Chapter 166: Assaulting the Mountain
As soon as they said that they were going to do it, they began to make their preparations.
Since they had already decided to go to the mountain in the north, Su Chen, He Yuandong, and Qi Weiyan held a short meeting before gathering everyone to head to the mountain.
That evening, after everyone who had gone out had returned, He Yuandong directed everyone to the north without stopping even once. Their goal was to utilize their organizational efficiency to react more quickly.
Under the cover of night, everyone finally arrived at the mountain.
They could tell that this mountain was much taller than the stone mountain they were previously at. The rock face of the mountain was covered with lush, green vegetation, making it seem quite picturesque.
Just as they were about to enter the restricted area, Ji Ruoyu suddenly said, “Careful, there’s some kind of powerful void energy here.”
“Powerful void energy here? What’s it used for? Killing someone? Transportation? Or something else?” Qi Weiyan asked.
“No, that’s not it.” Ji Ruoyu shook his head.
He reached out and closed his eyes, using his heart to feel the void within these mountains. After some time, he finally opened his eyes and said, “It’s just a naturally-occurring maze that was created due to the void’s collapse. There shouldn’t be any danger. However, this mountain will be even larger than what we see now. Once we enter inside, we’ll be walking in circles, and it will be difficult to reach the top. At the very least, however, retreating shouldn’t be a problem.”
Upon hearing these words, everyone let out a sigh of relief.
As long as it wasn’t a deadly formation, they would be ok.
However, it would also be annoying to deal with. After all, they only had a limited amount of time; if they were to get lost deep in the mountain, they would have failed their mission.
“No wonder the road seemed so long last time; it was like we couldn’t get there no matter how fast we walked,” Shen Yucheng said.
“Little Forty, can you figure out this maze?” Pi Yuanhong asked.
Ji Ruoyu shook his head. “I can’t figure it out right now, but I can sense the void nodes. Hopefully, we’ll save some time because we won’t be retracing our steps so often.”
“How much time will it take?”
“Three or four days.”
“That’s great,” everyone cheered.
Someone else laughed, “The Ferocious Race is in for it now.”
This void labyrinth seemed to cover the entire mountain. It wouldn’t be so easy to deal with.
Those Ferocious Race youths might be able to deal with the Origin Formations based on their own strength, but they would be completely at a loss when dealing with the maze.
“This is what happens when you can only rely on brute strength to do things,” He Yuandong laughed.
“What are we waiting for then? Let’s go!” Qi Weiyan said.
Everyone yelled, then embarked on their journey up the mountain.
After setting foot at the base of the mountain, everyone began to pay close attention to their movements.
Every nook and cranny on this mountain could be concealing a powerful ancient restrictive formation.
Thankfully, the Hidden Dragon Institute had made preparations for this long in advance.
Wei Yang, Jiang Hanfeng, Ma Xuan, and Yan Ling were all proficient in Origin Formations, and they specialized in killing, restrictive, illusion, and defensive formations, respectively. These four types were enough to deal with most of the Origin Formations on this mountain.
Ji Ruoyu pointed the way, while the four formation experts neutralized any hidden formations. Ever since they had stepped foot on the mountain, they had played a leading role.
While the four of them neutralized the formations, the others would carefully watch their surroundings, protecting the four of them.
This mountain had not only Origin Formations but also Vicious Beasts and even Demonic Beasts.
After stepping foot on the mountain, Wei Yang and the others each pulled out an item.
Wei Yang was holding a mirror in his hand, Jiang Hanfeng a jade circlet, Yan Ling a cloudy, glowing Night Pearl, and Ma Xuan a miniature clock.
Su Chen asked Jiang Hanfeng out of curiosity, “What are these things?”
Jiang Hanfeng replied, “The mirror is a True Sight Mirror. It can expose all kinds of concealed items and determine the location of Origin Formations. The pearl is a Perception Pearl, which can sense Origin Energy in the air and determine the strength of an Origin Formation. The Jade is Rainbow Jade; when faced with different types of Origin Formations, it will turn different colors corresponding to that type of Origin Formation. The clock is a Soul Tone Clock. It is specifically used to handle consciousness disruptions and break through illusion techniques.”
As he spoke, the jade circlet in Jiang Hanfeng’s hand suddenly turned red.
Simultaneously, more fog appeared on Ma Xuan’s pearl.
Ling Yan said, “Second-tier strength.”
Jiang Hanfeng said, “Fire-type Origin Formation.”
“It’s there.” Wei Yang glanced at the mirror in his hand, then pointed at a far-off stone.
The three of them stepped forward and did something to the stone. A moment later, Jiang Hanfeng turned around and said, “Okay, everyone can continue.”
Once everyone arrived, Wei Yang then regenerated the Origin Formation.
This way, the Ferocious Race youths wouldn’t be able to get an advantage by following after the humans.
They were both neutralizing and reforming Origin Formations as they went; thus, their speed wasn’t anything noteworthy.
After walking for some time, everyone arrived in front of a dirt slope.
Ma Xuan’s tone was serious as he glanced at the dirt slope and said, “Careful, it’s fourth-tier strength.”
The higher the tier, the more powerful an Origin Formation would be. A fourth-tier strength formation was similar in power to an all-out attack from a Blood Boiling Realm cultivator. Everyone tiptoed cautiously around it.
The four of them began trying to neutralize the formation.
At that moment, Cloud Leopard suddenly yelled, “Careful!”
A foot flew through the air and landed right on Jiang Hanfeng’s butt, sending him scooting along.
With a “whoosh,” a sharpened stick of bamboo flew right past where Jiang Hanfeng had been standing previously.
The sharpened bamboo had been thrown by a White-Nosed Ape, which let out a threatening howl at the group of students.
An instant later, countless Origin Skills slammed into its body.
Once the smoke and dust from the attacks had subsided, the White-Nosed Ape had already died.
Wang Doushan ran over to the ape. “Aren’t you guys a bit too overbearing? I can’t eat it anymore because the ten of you ruined this ape by slamming it with Origin Skills!”
His tone was pouty.
After his battle with Ferraro, he had been searching for meat to eat because he had expended so much fat.
The Vicious Beasts that Su Chen had killed were all given to him to eat. Another one had appeared, but it had been blasted into meat paste. It would be virtually impossible to try and roast it.
Su Chen laughed. “Don’t worry. There should be plenty of Vicious Beasts on this mountain, more than enough for you to eat.”
“What if there aren’t that many?” Wang Doushan asked.
“Isn’t that better? It means less work for everyone,” Su Chen laughed.
Wang Doushan realized that Su Chen’s words made a lot of sense and couldn’t come up with anything in response.
Jiang Hanfeng returned, rubbing his butt. “I say, Senior Brother Twelve, if you want to save me, that’s fine, but do you really have to kick me? And if you’re going to kick me, please don’t kick me in the direction of the Origin Formation, okay? If it weren’t for the fact that my reflexes kicked in and I found the right place to land, I might have activated the formation…… in which case, I would much rather be speared by the bamboo, thank you very much.”
Cloud Leopard: “……Got it.”
Upon seeing Cloud Leopard’s embarrassed appearance, everyone couldn’t help but laugh loudly.
Cloud Leopard harrumphed, “Right, there seems to be some kind of Origin Formation suppressing the perceptiveness of my consciousness. My ability to detect things has been suppressed to the lowest point, and I won’t be able to discover Vicious Beasts a long ways away. You all should be vigilant.”
“Don’t worry about it, Leopard,” everyone replied, not placing too much weight on what he had said.
“Right, since there are Vicious Beasts within the mountain, then why don’t those Vicious Beasts activate the Origin Formations when they walk over them?” Wang Doushan asked.
Wei Yang said, “Normally, large-scale formations will all have specific mechanisms to discern between humans and beasts, allowing those beasts to bypass the formations. The Origin Formations here should be no exception.”
Ma Xuan added, “But those kinds of discernment mechanisms aren’t easy. Usually, you need to place a control mechanism in the middle of the formation.”
Central control mechanisms weren’t simple, even during the Arcana Kingdom’s height of prosperity. Not just any Arcana Master could set one up.
Evidently, these ruins were created by someone with quite a high social status.
That was very good. It implied that there could be some real treasures.
Everyone expected much more now, and they continued pressing onwards with even more energy. However, because there were so many Origin Formations in their path, they were still moving very slowly. The others were growing impatient, but Su Chen was more than happy to take it nice and easy, learning from Jiang Hanfeng and the others how to neutralize Origin Formations.
Jiang Hanfeng said, “Third Senior Brother, you’re already such a talented student. If you become an expert in Origin Formations as well, what will we do in the future?”
Su Chen laughed, “Don’t be so flippant; I’m just dabbling a bit. In any case, I don’t have anything else to do.”
He said that he was just dabbling, but his rate of learning was astounding, shocking Jiang Hanfeng and the others.
This wasn’t actually that surprising. A lot of this type of knowledge was very interconnected.
Su Chen had been studying Origin Energy for nearly ten years. Even though he primarily focused on cultivation methods, all of the universe’s governing principles all returned to the same root. They were all just different ways of using Origin Energy.
If Su Chen understood one principle, he could understand them all. Thus, as he followed the four of them, he reached a skill level where he could be considered a novice with just a few pointers in the right direction.
After a day, even though he was far from mastering Origin Formations, he could understand what the four people were doing and why they were doing it.
The four of them had just encountered an Origin Formation and were neutralizing it when they suddenly heard a strange noise.
Immediately afterward, a swathe of white fog appeared off in the distance and began to swarm towards them.
“It’s an Origin Formation!” Wei Yang shouted loudly. “The Origin Formation activated; everyone, be careful of a surprise attack!”
“Why would the Origin Formation suddenly activate?” He Yuandong yelled loudly.
“The reason is unclear. No one got near it; it just suddenly activated on its own,” Jiang Hanfeng yelled. He couldn’t understand why this was happening.
No matter what the reason was, the fog was getting closer and closer to them. The whole forest was eventually shrouded in fog, greatly decreasing their vision. It was hard to see anything further than an arms-length away from them.
At the same time, a shrill cry echoed throughout the mountain.
The beasts were attacking!