Chapter 91: Grabbing Feathers from a Flying Goose
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Aspiring to the Immortal Path Chapter 91: Grabbing Feathers from a Flying Goose

Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr

Today, Tang Jie once more went to Celestial Defense Hall.

Standing in front of the record wall, he looked up at the name on the top, that Cang Qingfeng and his record of lasting thirty-five seconds against ten puppets.

He suddenly had an impulse.

He wanted to unleash all his strength and try to break that record!

At present, he was confident that he could get full points using the Formless Golden Body and the Aquagel Shroud.

But how long could he last against the full onslaught of those ten puppets?

How far away was he from thirty-five seconds?

A voice in his mind warned him that now wasn't the time to reveal his strength, as this would only plunge him into danger sooner.

But another voice responded that the potential energy endowed by the Parting Classic had essentially been used up, and daily cultivation would have a limited effect. He needed more resources to rapidly improve.

Moreover, he needed to be even stronger to even have a sliver of a hope of accomplishing what he needed to do next.

To do this, he probably needed to be the first in his class to get one hundred points and thus obtain the reward.

In the end, Tang Jie decided to use the Aquagel Shroud to try and get the highest score. Whether he succeeded or not, he would not use the Formless Golden Body.

With this idea in mind, Tang Jie entered Celestial Defense Hall.

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With the support of the Aquagel Shroud, Tang Jie was able to last for much longer.

Finally, after a long assault, the tenth puppet began to move.

But unlike with the previous puppets, when the tenth puppet began to move, the other nine puppets fell back.

The tenth puppet slowly raised its fist, took aim at Tang Jie, and gave a seemingly unremarkable punch.

But when this punch flew out, Tang Jie felt an enormous pressure engulfing him, rendering him unable to run. At that moment, he felt an immense fear.

He saw this punch hurtling toward his chest, penetrating through the Aquagel Shroud.

Bang!

One punch.

That was enough to pop the Aquagel Shroud like a balloon.

It made contact with his chest.

Tang Jie let out a frenzied howl, and the jade token erupted with blinding light and transported him out of the hall.

The moment he appeared, he rolled around on the ground. He looked at his chest and saw a large imprint of a fist on it, and his chest had even slightly caved in.

Tang Jie was stunned by what he was seeing.

The power of this punch was simply horrifying.

"One second… one punch!"

Tang Jie suddenly understood.

Thirty-five seconds meant thirty-five punches, but when it came to punches like these, he couldn't even take one.

Yes, he hadn't been able to take it. Before the fist had been able to touch him, when the Aquagel Shroud had shattered, he had sensed that something was wrong and activated the token.

This was also why his jade token showed that he only had 99 points.

The tenth puppet had started moving, but he had not gotten 100 points.

Tang Jie made some calculations. With the power of that fist, even if he used the Formless Golden Body, he would only be able to last three to five punches. Thirty-five punches? He didn't even dare to imagine it. The moment his resistance broke, a single punch would flatten him into a meat pancake. It was no wonder the academy repeatedly emphasized that the students shouldn't try to force things.

To reach Cang Qingfeng's level, the only method was probably to buy another batch of herbs to improve himself.

But… where would he get the money for these herbs?

Tang Jie couldn't think of any good ideas, so he shook his head and dropped the notion.

After some thought, he started to laugh. The records of the Seven Celestial Halls were the product of more than a thousand years of elites. He had a mere five-cycle Jade Gate and limited resources. It was already hard enough to get here. A record that could be so easily broken could only be a joke.

Forget it. I should just work to get one hundred points.

It would probably take a long period of tough training to be able to endure just one punch from the tenth puppet.

The difference of a single point was a distance of one thousand feet!

He really hadn't expected this puppet to be so powerful. What was it made of? And what sort of formation was carved into it?

Suddenly, Tang Jie had a flash of insight.

That's right!

He had been so focused on training that he had yet to research these puppets.

These puppets, as formation guardians, were all incredibly powerful, and the refining formation carved into them had to be incredibly complex. He was certain to benefit if he could learn it. How had he never thought about it?

Sure enough, a person would pay attention to different things according to what they liked.

If Xu Muyang had been here, he would have been over the moon to see such powerful puppets, and he would have gone to every length possible to understand them.

But he still had time. Wei Tianchong needed two months to complete his puppet, so Tang Jie could use this time to research them. When the time came, he could give Wei Tianchong a pleasant surprise and himself a powerful helper.

Tang Jie heartily laughed. He knew what he should do next.

He excitedly rushed off, and it wasn't long before another young man arrived in front of this hall.

It was Qi Shaoming.

As he looked up at the nameboard of Celestial Defense Hall, Qi Shaoming muttered, "I've learned a defensive spell this time, so I'm well prepared. I'll definitely get to the next level this time!"

In a flash, he entered the hall.

Just like Tang Jie, when Qi Shaoming reappeared in front of the hall, he staggered backward and fell back onto his butt, his legs weak.

He looked at the score on his jade token: 89 points.

Qi Shaoming sighed.

He was finally catching up!

For this score in Celestial Defense Hall, he had learned three defensive spells, which was the upper limit for what a cultivator at his stage could use at the same time.

When it came to defensive spells for cultivators, only spells of different natures could overlap. Spirit Disciples could only use body strengtheners, defensive barriers, and shields. Only when he could condense a Spirit Halo and radiate magic outward would he be able to use large-scale defensive spells like domains.

He wasn't too proficient in his third defensive spell, so he had only been able to last up to 89 points.

In this way, 100 points in Celestial Defense Hall probably corresponded to greater proficiency in all three categories of defensive spells one could learn at the Spirit Spring Tier. Only after one had mastered them all could one pass.

Tang Jie had always had only two spells, the Formless Golden Body and the Aquagel Shroud, yet he had been able to get ninety-some points. This was very rare, and it was presumably due to the wonders of the Divine Firmament Sword Classic.

But regardless, he had once more closed the distance between him and Tang Jie.

With this thought in mind, he looked up at that name on the record board.

Tang Jie, 99 points.

"99 points?" Qi Shaoming trembled. He couldn't stop himself from shouting, "How is that possible?"

Tang Jie didn't know that someone was doggedly attempting to catch up to his score. He was currently racking his brain for ideas on how to benefit from those ten puppets.

Another day.

In Celestial Defense Hall, Tang Jie endured the beating of a puppet to carefully examine the refining formation carved into it.

"All eight gates are present, and the formations overlap. I see. It's actually a mortal formation, but through combination, its power soars. It's incredible!" Tang Jie was shaking.

These puppets that beat him silly weren't even ranked combat puppets!

This was because they didn't have a single spirit formation. Their immense strength came purely from a combination of mortal formations.

Mortal formations corresponded to Spirit Spring, while Rank 1 corresponded to Spirit Lake.

This also meant that these puppets that beat the students black and blue were truly Spirit Spring existences. The school had not let out puppets of higher rank to bully them.

Upon realizing this and then thinking about the "Rank 1 wolf puppet" he had made, Tang Jie felt ashamed.

That Rank 1 combat puppet of his would have been utterly pulverized in front of this unranked combat puppet!

It was fun to challenge others that were beyond one's level, but not fun at all to be the one challenged.

Tang Jie was more amazed the more he saw, finally understanding the profundity and broadness of the Dao of Formations. Comparing what he had learned to this refining formation was like the novice meeting the master. The pitiful him had been hiding skills for fear that he might shake the world, but it now appeared that even if he did reveal his abilities, he wouldn't shake anyone of importance. At most, he would just startle a few ignorant fools like himself. 

The puppet he was studying was still punching him. At this time, the second puppet came up.

Tang Jie patiently pushed aside one and pressed the other to the ground, like a man about to force himself on a woman. He stared hard at the patterns on the puppet, and as the puppet fought back, he saw spiritual energy rapidly flow through the armpit, briefly flashing.

"The Stop Gate really is where strength is controlled…"

Ping!

An iron fist slammed into Tang Jie's head.

Tang Jie casually blocked it and then raised up that puppet's arms. "Stop bothering me!"

The puppet groaned and rumbled, and then it suddenly kicked.

Tang Jie took the kick in the chest, but at that moment, he saw another flash of light. Flipping over, he rushed back to examine the puppet's armpit. He cried out in delight, "Flying Fish Thread! Golden Silkworm Exuvia! So these were the foundation! No wonder a mortal formation can be so powerful! This is too shameless!"

Flying Fish Thread was the wing sinew of the Four-Winged Flying Fish, a species native to the Endless Sea Zone. It was tough and conducted spiritual energy extremely well, so it was an excellent material for making formation lines. Golden Silkworm Exuvia was a specialty of the northern frontier and was superb for making formation gates.

These two materials were extremely difficult to find in Rank 1 spirit puppets, let alone mortal-grade puppets! When combined with the exquisite layout of the refining formation and the overlapping formations, it was no wonder that these puppets could even overcome Rank 2 combat puppets.

Tang Jie continued to hold that puppet and look it over. Sure enough, he found several other excellent materials.

At that moment, he suddenly had an idea. What would happen if I took these materials from the puppets?

The puppets relied on these materials to move, but some materials would run out, and so extra material would be stored within the puppet so that it could be replenished when necessary, similar to the spirit stones that were used to drive the puppets.

These ten puppets were made of excellent materials, and he would be rich if he could scrape off a little.

With this idea in mind, Tang Jie immediately pushed that puppet down and began to search for the Qian Gate.

Formations had eight gates and nine transformations. These were Rest (Kan), Life (Geng), Injury (Zhen), Stop (Xun), View (Li), Death (Kun), Alarm (Dui), and Open (Qian). They had different names and different jobs, and they each had their variations.

The Qian Gate was the gate of central pivot, and it was also called the Open Gate. It led to the source of the formation, and all the reserve materials were certain to be stored at the source and would be automatically supplied through the Qian Gate. Formation sources were usually inside the body of a puppet.

There were countless methods to undo a formation, but they could be categorized into two general methods: by force or by procedure.

Tang Jie naturally couldn't go with force. This would destroy the puppet. So he had to go with option two.

In normal circumstances, this would have been impossible as well. After all, these were extremely strong puppets.

But this was Celestial Defense Hall. The puppets were restricted in strength at the start, and it was only at the end that they would be completely unleashed. This initial phase was the perfect opportunity for him to strike.

Of course, it was only with his body that had been refined through the Parting Classic that he was capable of doing this. A normal student's defensive spells would only be able to resist the attacks. They wouldn't have the strength to tinker with the puppets.

At this point, Tang Jie stopped researching the formations. He activated the Formless Golden Body, pressed the puppet to the ground, and clambered onto it. After searching it all over, he finally found the Qian Gate, which happened to be located at its butt.

"Shit, to think it would be here!" Tang Jie cursed.

Three puppets were now up, all of them barraging him with blows, causing his metallic body to clang and ring.

Tang Jie didn't care. He sent spiritual energy through his finger and opened the Qian Gate. Clack! The puppet stopped moving, and a small opening appeared at its bottom, revealing the various resources stored inside.

"Wonderful!" Tang Jie shouted in delight. He didn't dare to take out too much. He took out a small amount and put back the rest, after which he let the puppet go back to normal.

As the three puppets continued to attack him, Tang Jie rolled his eyes and ignored them. Instead, he lunged at the puppets that had yet to move, pushing them all to the ground and opening them up for their goodies.

After harvesting all ten puppets, Tang Jie activated his jade token and left, not caring about his grade.

He made sure that no one was around and hastily made his escape.

Translator Notes

Hmmm, some of the author's descriptions are really...hmmm...

Novel Notes

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