AIP - Chapter 65: Spirit Gathering
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Cloudmist Stones were cautiously placed down on two sides of the room, and then silver powder was carefully sprinkled over them. In a flash of light, all the materials used to lay down a formation disappeared as if they had never existed.
Tang Jie exhaled. "This spirit-gathering formation is finally done."
The spirit-gathering formation was made to gather spiritual energy from the surrounding world, and was one of the more common kinds of formations in the cultivation world. Cultivators frequently used this formation to gather spiritual energy so that they could mobilize the spiritual energy of the world.
Although the ability of cultivators to absorb spiritual energy primarily depended on their Jade Gates, the local environment was also a significant factor. Even a nine-cycle-Jade-Gate cultivator could not cultivate in a place devoid of spiritual energy.
But spirit-gathering formations couldn't be laid down as casually as befuddling formations. Special materials were needed to serve as their foundation.
Just like medicines and puppets, formations were also divided into mortal, spirit, and Immortal grades, and there were different ranks within the grades.
A minor befuddling formation belonged to the mortal grade, so it needed only a few spirit lines to create.
The spirit-gathering formation was a Rank 1 spirit formation, so it required some materials. Even Xu Muyang, who bragged that he could use the world itself as his formation, couldn't actually make a formation without any materials. He just required fewer of them.
The strongest known formation so far was the Nine Executions Immortal Formation. This was a formation that claimed to execute Immortals, so it surpassed the Immortal grade. This was why not even Godhead Palace dared to think about breaking the formation by force.
Tang Jie had long known how to lay down a spirit-gathering formation, as it was one of the basic formations, but he had not been bold enough to lay it down before now.
The spirit-gathering formation gathered energy from the surroundings, so it created much more disturbance than the minor befuddling formation. He would be discovered the moment he activated it.
He couldn't let anyone know that he understood formations!
At least not now!
If Godhead Palace knew that he knew, it could basically confirm who he was.
Tang Jie's plan required only suspicion, not confirmation!
Thus, no matter what, he could not allow Godhead Palace or the Basking Moon Sect the chance to confirm who he was.
But when Xie Fengtang had that protective formation set up around the Carefree House, everything changed.
With the outside formation serving as a cover, he could do whatever he pleased without being discovered. Even if he were noticed, people would take it for pulses from the large formation outside.
This was Tang Jie's first time actually laying down a formation. Everything before this was just laying the foundation.
This was like a cook-in-training finally graduating and beginning to cook food for the customers himself.
Fortunately, he was also the customer, so he didn't have to worry about the reviews.
Upon activating the spirit-gathering formation, Tang Jie could feel the spiritual energy gathering around him.
As the formation worked, more and more energy accumulated and began to surge into Tang Jie's body on its own. The faucet of a five-cycle Jade Gate wasn't very big, but the flow was accelerating.
Tang Jie used this chance to circulate the Circuit Heaven, greedily absorbing the spiritual energy, converting it into spiritual liquid to be stored in the Spiritual Space, and then rapidly releasing it as a spell. As he continued this cycle, one Aqualight Shroud after another appeared and disappeared.
The effects of the spirit-gathering formation were obvious. Tang Jie's magic recovery speed had essentially doubled.
Even so, Tang Jie wasn't satisfied. The higher his proficiency, the more difficult it became to improve.
Several hundred attempts might be able to shrink the casting time from twenty seconds to six second, but each additional second of reduction might require thousands of attempts.
Fortunately, Tang Jie didn't have only the spirit-gathering formation. He also had the spirit medicine Xie Fengtang had given him.
In order to accelerate his mastery of the Aqualight Shroud, Tang Jie had redeemed half of the medicine as spirit recovery medicine.
In the Rosecloud Domain, the majority of spirit recovery medicines didn't immediately restore energy upon consumption. Rather, the medicine was packed with spiritual energy that could easily be converted into liquid, but this energy still needed to go through a Minor Circuit Heaven.
Tang Jie took one of the spirit recovery pills and immediately felt his body brimming with energy. With one Minor Circuit Heaven, he was able to condense thirty drops of spiritual liquid. Not only that, his Minor Circuit Heaven suddenly accelerated. The effects of the medicine had also made the condensation process remarkably smooth.
Tang Jie continued to digest the medicine while exhausting the energy through rapid casting of the Aqualight Shroud, growing more and more proficient with it.
After one night, the medicinal effects of the spirit recovery pill finally ran out. Tang Jie calculated that he had circulated the Minor Circuit Heaven about seventy times, and his speed had essentially doubled. This was mostly because the energy was easy to condense, but this process had also increased his familiarity with the circulation of the Minor Circuit Heaven.
At the same time, he had cast the Aqualight Shroud more than two hundred times, and he had managed to reduce his cast time to nearly five seconds.
One bottle of spirit recovery medicine had ten pills, and five bottles could be used for fifty days. Tang Jie estimated that he would need two to three bottles to reduce his cast time for the Aqualight Shroud to one second.
The sun was rising, and Tang Jie felt clean and refreshed. He withdrew the spirit-gathering formation before leaving his house to attend class.
During class, Tang Jie saw that Wei Tianchong was listless, so he used his brush to write a question to Wei Tianchong: "Did you not sleep last night?"
Wei Tianchong wrote back, "Ah, don't even talk about it. I finally realize the drawback of making puppets. When we cultivate, we can go without sleep for a night without a problem, but making a puppet isn't cultivation! I was working all night, so I'm exhausted."
"Then sleep. After all, so long as you don't talk, sleeping in class is fine."
"But what about class? The big exam is in a few days."
"It's not like you're going to pass whether you listen or not. You'll just have to keep taking classes."
"Tang Jie, should you be speaking to the young master in this way?"
"I'm not speaking. I'm writing."
"Tang Jie, is it really right for me to work on puppets? Big Brother came again yesterday and lectured me, saying that I wasn't attending to my proper duties."
"The path of Immortality is very narrow and very long, but there isn't just one path. Each person has their own road to walk, Third Young Master, and this one is the best fit for you. If you believe in me, just keep on this path. I guarantee that you will succeed. Don't forget that I'm still hoping for you to become one of the top ten disciples."
"Don't bring up the top ten. But I discovered something last night. Making puppets is rather interesting. Each material has its own purpose, and when it's put in a different location or is activated by a different refining formation, it will have a different effect. It's endlessly amusing. This little carving skill of mine is far from the only thing needed for making puppets."
"It's good as long as you like it. If you're interested, then you will succeed so long as you persist in it. Right, how much longer until you expect the puppet to be complete?"
"It's still my first work, so I'll need at least twenty days to make a good job of it. But when several upperclassmen learned about what I was doing, they said that it was too small and not suitable for a refining formation. Normal students don't have the skill, and I might need to ask for the help of an esteemed teacher."
"Don't worry. I can help you solve that problem."
"You know refining formations?"
"I don't, but I know someone who does."
"A hidden master who secludes themselves from the world, a hidden dragon among the students, a superman playing the pig to eat tigers, a supreme Formation Dao expert of a generation."
"Tang Jie, you're messing around with me again!"
"'Again'? Whatever do you mean, Third Young Master? In any case, I can guarantee to you that the refining formation will be flawless and a Rank 1 combat puppet will soon make its debut. But to get a refining formation to your satisfaction, it probably won't be cheap."
"One hundred spirit coins."
"If you can pull off what you say you can, one hundred spirit coins is worth it."
"Deal." Tang Jie smiled and stopped writing.
The Eagle Nest.
Gu Changqing sat on his seat. A new desk had been placed in front of him.
After some thought, Gao Fei finally said, "If he's really Tang Jiye, Eagle Master, what do you think his back-up plan is?"
Gu Changqing shook his head. "I don't know. This boy has already surpassed our expectations, and there are some things that are now beyond my estimations. When dealing with this sort of opponent, relying on the simplest method is often the least troublesome."
Gao Fei's eyes flashed. "Eagle Master means…"
"Intricate items fear being treated brutishly. Since our opponent has laid out this intricate and interlocking plan, at times, you can't try and unwind it. That will only make you follow the path laid out by the enemy and draw you deeper and deeper into the quagmire. Thus, at times like these, it's best to strike with thunderous momentum and destroy it! Since our foe wants to play with fire, we should let him know that he doesn't have the ability to control the fire, that everything is not going to go his way. The moment he lights the fire, this fire will be lunging at him and devouring him whole!"
Gu Changqing coldly laughed. "Immediately send someone to capture Tang Jie and interrogate him with the Soulscour spell!"
So we are still going to make our move?
Gao Fei frowned. "Isn't this a little too rushed? We actually still have a few other ways we can investigate him. We can even go to Anyang and find some people who have seen Tang Jiye before."
"What if that's exactly what he wants?" Gu Changqing countered. "Anyang is far away, and who knows how long it will be until we find those people? He might have tried something else by then, so we will have run around for nothing. Our foe is so cunning that we have no other choice than to use extraordinary methods. Moreover, it's not like we didn't have those people come over before, and you know what happened."
Gao Fei naturally knew.
They had had many suspected targets over the last three years, and they had had those people from Anyang come over, but it turned out that those people had already begun to forget what Tang Jiye looked like, and the people from Godhead Palace were so intimidating that they would often just point people out at random.
One of the last two mistakes had been because those fellows had randomly pointed out the wrong person.
"Moreover, I feel like if Tang Jiye is smart enough, he's probably taken precautions against this," Gu Changqing added.
Gao Fei agreed with this. Even so, he still warned, "That's all true, but we still have to try. Moreover, if the Soulscour spell doesn't turn up any clues, we might lose any hope. And the Soulscour spell's costs are too high…"
"That's why we interrogate him first. The Soulscour spell is only the last resort. As for the costs, you don't need to worry about that."
"Then what if he's the wrong person?"
"So until we succeed, we have to ensure that Godhead Palace is not implicated in any way…" Gu Changqing paused, and then he sighed. "We can't repeat the mistake from the last two times. We have to think of another method this time."
"The Basking Moon Sect has already taken note of Tang Jie. If we make our move now, they won't believe us."
"They don't need to believe us. We just need to offer an explanation."
Gao Fei said nothing.
He understood what Gu Changqing meant.
Gu Changqing sighed. "Let's prepare ourselves to lose a man… Sacrifices are necessary for the sake of great ambitions. One life for the Martial Mirror is already very worth it."
"Yes!" Gao Fei said, lowering his head.
He couldn't help but think to himself that it probably wasn't worth it for the person being sacrificed. They couldn't hope for any volunteers, so they would have to use their heads a little.
Gu Changqing added, "You choose the person."
Gao Fei coldly laughed, knowing that Gu Changqing was pushing the problem onto him so that he would take the fall for any sort of mishap.
But who would bear the blame, if not one's subordinate?
"How much time do you need?" Gu Changqing asked.
After some thought, Gao Fei replied, "At least one month. Tang Jie's residence has a protective formation. After that incident, whether he's Tang Jiye or not, he'll be on his guard, so we'll need some time to slowly get close to him. Unless…"
"Unless we have Fierce Ape do it."
"No!" Gu Changqing immediately rejected the idea. "That's our ultimate trump card, not to be used until we've reached our absolute limit! It wasn't easy to train Fierce Ape."
"I will give you forty days. Within forty days, you must capture Tang Jie!"
"Your subordinate understands!" Gao Fei loudly replied.