Chapter 163: Who Fell for the Ploy?
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
The Hundred Herbs Sect was not known for their offensive spells and abhijnas, and the Changchun Heaven-Defying Formation lacked the intensity required to deal critical damage. However, the Mountain Defence Spell Formation became heavily fortified with the essence of heaven and earth tapped on by Hundred Herbs Grandmaster. It was definitely not penetrable by any ordinary cultivators, even if they came in large numbers.
Unless, they could strategize a battle formation, similar to the Divine Martial Army of Zhou, to merge the mana of all into a combined mana pool.
However, quantitative change may very well lead to qualitative change. When the quantity of any element increased substantially, the after effects of the change would not be proportionate and easily predicted logically anymore.
Thousands of Tiger demons, released all the Undead Spirits stored within their bodies, amounting to more than tens of thousands of Undead Spirits. Most of these were at their Foundation Establishment Stage, but there were many who have reached the Aurora Core Stage.
The concentration of Undead Spirits, driven by their desire to kill, formed a current of darkness and charged into the Changchun Heaven Defying Formation.
The sheer numbers and density of Undead Spirits were enough to strike fear into anyone on Changchun Peak.
The foot of the mountain was covered by a thick brown fog. It was the first barrier of the defence formation. The fog was further thickened by the absorption of the essence of the soil, turning dense and viscous.
Upon entering the thick fog, anyone would feel the crush of the soil essence, as though being weighed down by thousands of pounds. The weak would have no chance of survival. Bones would be crushed and flesh would be flattened. These Undead Spirits might not be bound by a body of flesh, but the thick fog remained effective.
Once inside, the movements of the spirits decelerated. Every inch forward was with great difficulty. Tens of thousands of spirits formed a sea of death, stumbling forwards and backwards in the fog.
These spirits did not feel pain nor lethargy and pushed on with the lust to kill. Those who crumbled to the pressure were trampled over by others from behind. Undead Spirits did not care about the life and death of their compatriots; pushing on was their sole purpose.
The crumbled Undead Spirits did not disappear completely. Instead, they turned into black smoke particles to be absorbed by others who carried on charging forward. Those who survived took in the essence and grew further.
Within the spell formation, the numbers of Undead Spirits dwindled quickly. Natural selection took place; those who could not handle the pressure were eliminated. The numbers halved, and only approximately five thousand Undead Spirits remained.
However, these five thousand were tough and tenacious, even more so after absorbing the remains of those who fell before them.
The numbers might have fallen, but the strength of the group did not.
Lin Feng watched the scene unfold, smirking silently, 'I wonder how the Hundred Herbs Grandmaster is feeling right now? The first obstacle of his Changchun Heaven-Defying Formation actually increased the power of these Undead Spirits.'
In the Great Hall of Changchun Peak, Hundred Herbs Grandmaster could sit down no longer. He stood emotionless in the center, as he bound his mind with the formation spell and focused on the developments of the Undead Spirits.
The most skilled of the Undead Spirits did not exceed past the Aurora Core Stage, Hundred Herbs Grandmaster could wipe them out with ease personally.
But the Gengjin Tiger King was expecting him out there. Any mistake he made will be an opportunity for the Tiger King to rip him into pieces.
Looking down, the army of Undead Spirits had reached the halfway mark of the mountain and were marching past the first barricade into the second.
The movement of the Undead Spirits came to a sudden halt.
The interior of jade-green clouds was teeming with the essence of life. Life was an impeccable enemy to these undead spirits. And to them, being within clouds of life was as good as being thrown into a sea of lava; it was nothing short of pure agony.
The aura of life caused some of these Undead Spirits to recall some of the short-lived memories in the past life.
Looking at their pitiful state, many of these Undead Spirits broke down in howls. Some even looked the other way round, staring at the tiger demons with eyes full of hatred.
Below the mountain, the tiger demons sensed this change and frowned, clearly not expecting this effect of the Changchun Heaven Defying-Formation.
The Gengjin Tiger King squinted at the scene from afar and sneered.
He tilted his head towards the sky and gave a deep, earth-shaking roar. The roar contained immense demonic energy that penetrated through the green clouds and into the minds of the Undead Spirits.
Gradually, the memories of these Undead Spirits were erased and they became blood-thirsty once again. Control over their minds was returned to the tiger demons and the Undead Spirits resumed their march up the mountain.
Hundred Herbs looked on blankly. He raised his right hand and began conjuring a spell.
At once, countless thorns and vines sprouted out from the clouds. They were dark green in colour, with a hint of purple light shimmering through. These thorns were growing out at an extraordinary pace, covering the mountain's midsection in no time. One by one, the Undead Spirits were tied up and motionless. The purple shimmer glowed brighter, and large numbers of Undead Spirits lost their focus and drive, especially so for those still in the Foundation Establishment Stage.
'These vines seem to especially effective against spirits," Lin Feng thought as he watched from far.
More frowns came from under the mountains, where the Tiger Demons clearly did not expect this new development. Compared to the previous obstacle, these vines were proving to be a greater challenge and posed a true threat to the Undead Spirits.
The Gengjin Tiger King swept the scene with his gaze as he pondered the problem.
'These are the Soul Corrosion Vines, designed to be efficient against spirits of the dead and living. Looks like these were aimed to wipe out our Undead Spirits...'
'Hmph! Watch me break his spell!' Tiger Demonic Commander grunted, and began channeling his demonic energy.
On Changchun Peak, among the Undead Spirits, one of Aurous Core stage began to experience changes. This specific Undead, before being consumed by Tiger Demonic Commander, used to be a cultivator specializing in fire spells.
This Undead gave out a sudden shriek, and out from the jaws shot out jets of flames. The flames were pale white in colour, and instead of producing any heat, icy cold winds came out.
The pale white jets landed onto the Soul Corrosion Vines, and the vines burst into flames. Hordes of Undead Spirits reacted by charging straight into the centre of the blaze. These pale white ignitions were by no means high in temperature. Quite the contrary, great amounts of negative yin energy were produced, drawing in Undead Spirits in waves and acting almost like a steroid.
Approximately ten of Aurous Core Stage Undead Spirits charged from the front. Aided by the demonic flames, they forcefully pried open the first gap in the Soul Corrosion Vines defence line. The Foundation Establishment Stage spirits followed right behind, causing the gap to widen further. The remaining Qi Cultivation stage Spirits at the back provided the final push and drove the tsunami of spirits past the Soul Corrosion Vines defence lines.
While the essence of life may be the nemesis of the undead, a dense essence of death could also be the bane to the living.
Under the influence of the thick, demonic essence, many plants within the Changchun Heaven Defying Formation withered.
The Undead Spirit broke through the second defence line swiftly and proceeded to the last line of Changchun Heaven Defying-Formation.
Lin Feng anxiously observed the situation and thought, "Changchun Heaven Defying Formation's main purpose is to create the essence of life and brewing of herbal medicine, and not for combat."
"Even though it was not meant for combat, it was still cast by Hundred Herbs Grandmaster who was in the Nascent Soul Stage. How could it possibly be so weak? The enemies are about to charge up the mountain anytime soon."
With events going so strangely, could there be an ambush? Lin Feng regained his composure and carried on focusing on the ongoing brawl.
Down the mountain, the Gengjin Tiger King barely took notice of any abnormalities going on. He raised his paw idly and commanded all his tigers to join in the attack.
"If I knew how weak Hundred Herbs Grandmaster was, I would've taken the mountain ages ago." Clearly, his guard was lowered after the initial attacks by the Undead Spirits.
The tigers acknowledged his command eagerly. The desire to kill flashed from their eyes as golden rays, splitting through the layers of brown fog.
"Charge!" The tiger demons charged past the first line of defence without any difficulty, and straight into the green clouds. They assumed the path was cleared by earlier waves of Undead Spirits. But as they entered the green cloud covered layer, countless black vines sprouted out unexpectedly.
Unlike the green-coloured Soul Corrosion Vine, these black vines were peppered with red cysts. Upon contact with the Tiger Demons, these cysts burst instantly, with blood-red liquids flowing out. These liquids sizzled after dripping onto Tiger Demon Armour, producing a thick gaseous substance. The armour on the Tiger Demons could not handle the red substance and began to melt down rapidly.
Upon contact with the bare skin, Tiger Demons howled in excruciating pain.
These demons wildly thrashed at the black vines, attempting to slice them apart with their sharp claws. Only the Demonic Commanders proved capable of this, with attempts of all others ending fruitlessly. Neither the claws, nor the metallic spines sprouting out from their bodies were useful, and the vines remain resilient as ever.
From the Great Hall on Changchun Peak, Hundred Herbs Grandmaster finally smiled in relief.
'These demons are ultimately no different from livestock. No matter how they similar they look to humans, their intelligence remains deficient and lacking. A simple plot and all were hooked!"
"I knew Tiger Demon Race was a potential problem to begin with. Of course, I would've taken necessary precautions. I searched far and wide to discover this Heme Blood Cane and took years of cultivation to produce this specific strain. The purpose? To target the Gengjin Tiger Demon Race!'
The tiger demons realized something was amiss and began retreating down the mountain. To their horror, the brown fog they went through easily and thickened up a thousand fold. Compared to the brown, soil - like substance in the fog earlier, the consistency now has turned into Granite!
Clearly, it was a ploy to lower the guards of the Tiger demons, and now to cut their way of escape.
Hundred Herbs Grandmaster smirked lightly, commenting, 'Today is the day, I will cripple the Gengjin Tiger Demonic Race, and permanently remove this scourge from the realms!'
A storm was forming over Changchun Peak. Lin Feng watched and thought, "Hundred Herbs's ambition seems immense..."
"The trump card of Hundred Herbs Grandmaster got revealed. So, have you fallen for his ploy...?" He wondered as he turned to the direction of the Gengjin Tiger King.
Since the beginning, the Tiger King has been lying on the ground, unassuming to the events in front of him, almost absent-mindedly ignoring his troops falling to their deaths in the Changchun Heaven Defying Formation.
This crucial moment, the once arrogant Gengjin Tiger King finally stood up.
"Damn Hundred Herbs, the one who fell for the ploy is you!"