Book 4, Chapter 4 – Lesser Thousand Swords Formation
Ji Ning watched off to the side, not daring to disturb the old black bull as he wrote. On the skin parchment, one line of words after another swiftly appeared, along with the occasional formation diagram.
Soon, the pages of skin parchment were completely filled.
The old black bull tossed the quill aside, saying delightedly, “Child Ji Ning, you can be considered to be exceptionally talented. A Xiantian who actually has such an astonishing soul! Only with a sufficiently powerful soul is one suited for utilizing this ‘Lesser Thousand Swords Formation’. However, the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] also requires flying sword type magic treasures, and it has exceptionally high requirements with regards to the amount of magic treasures.
“I have plenty of these unranked magic treasures.” Ning laughed.
The old black bull shook his head. “Once you reach the Zifu Disciple level, those unranked magic treasures will no longer be usable. At that time, what you will need is ranked magic treasures, and generally speaking, you will need a large number of flying sword type magic treasures in order to utilize this [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] technique’s power.”
“A large number of ranked magic treasures?” Ning was stunned. “How many?”
“The [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] at this highest level requires 729 flying swords.” The old black bull said. “Even if you are just using the weakest types of ranked magic treasures, you still need 729 of them…the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] requirements regarding magic treasures are very high. The more flying swords, the better. The more you have, the greater the power of this [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] technique.”
Ning was stupefied.
Over seven hundred ranked magic treasures, and all sword type? He wasn’t sure if the entire Five Prefectures of the Ji clan combined would be able to buy so many, even if they sold off all their assets.
“As your power increases, the number of flying swords you can use will naturally increase.” The old black bull said. “Starting from Mortal-level magic treasures to Earth-level magic treasures, to Heaven-level magic treasures, to Immortal-level magic treasures…”
“I, I…” Ning felt an unbearable pressure. He hurriedly said, “It wouldn’t have been hard for Immortal Juhua to procure and leave behind a few hundred flying swords here in this Immortal estate prior to his death, right? And Immortal Juhua killed that powerful enemy, who used the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] right?”
The old black bull shook his head. “That great enemy was known as the Thousand Swords Immortal! Immortal Juhua had to expend enormous amounts of effort in order to kill him. Although he had acquired those flying sword magic treasures after killing him, it was a waste to just keep them without using them. Thus, Immortal Juhua immediately traded them away for a large number of precious materials, which he then forged me out of! Thus, if you want to acquire thousands of flying swords from Immortal Juhua, it is impossible. Truly powerful Immortals will usually only carry a few magic treasures which they are particularly skilled in. After killing an enemy, they will immediately use the enemy’s tools to upgrade their own magic treasures! They won’t just leave them there to be wasted.”
“Understood.” Ning was somewhat despondent.
“Don’t think too much of it. Don’t think that just because you received this Immortal estate that you’ll instantly fly to the heavens.” The old black bull said. “There are countless relic sites left from the Fiendgod Era, but how many people are able to truly stand at the very top of the Grand Xia Dynasty? The fourth master, Rampart, only reached the Wanxiang Adept level before dying. Don’t end up like him.”
The old black bull continued, “My creation was thanks to this Thousand Swords Immortal. Thus, I paid especial attention to this [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation]. I didn’t just read it once; I also carefully pondered it. I’ll explain to you.”
Ning immediately began to listen attentively.
“The [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] uses nine flying sword type magic treasures to form the base of a formation! You need nine formation bases…in order to form a sword formation. This is the most basic sword formation, which requires eighty one flying sword type magic treasures . This is the first level [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] attack.”
“If you are able to control a second set of eighty one flying swords and have these two sword formations cooperate…your power will instantly multiple! This is the second level of the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation]! You will need 162 flying swords!”
“If you are able to control 243 flying swords to have three sword formations join forces, your power will multiple once more. This is the third level of the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation]!”
“Four sword formations will again multiply the power, and is known as the fourth level of the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation].”
“And so on and so forth.”
“In the end, with nine sword formations combined, you will need exactly 729 flying swords, which will be the ninth level of this [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation]. The power is so great…as to be inconceivable! But of course, given your current soul strength, even if you are able to control many unranked flying swords, you are far from being able to reach this level for now.”
Ning nodded as though understanding.
“For example, if you were to become a Wanxiang Adept, you would be able to use unranked magic treasures to set up nine sword formations! But if you were to use ranked magic treasures, most likely you wouldn’t even be able to set up two or three sword formations.” The old black bull said, “The more powerful a magic treasure is, the more mental energy you use up in controlling them. Naturally, it won’t be easy to control them. But this also means that even after becoming a Celestial Immortal, you can still use this [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation]. However, by then, perhaps you would have acquired an even better sword formation. But of course, this [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation]…should be good enough for you to use for a thousand years.”
“The most important secret of this [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] lies in the ‘Lesser Thousand Seal Lines’…”
The old black bull continued to explain some of the mysteries.
A while later, Ning had finished reading the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] for the first time. He couldn’t help but sigh in astonishment. Compared to the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation], that ‘Yin-Yang Twin Energy Formation’ which Ironwood Zhan had used was absolute trash.
Ning immediately and quickly withdrew nine sword-shaped magic treasures from his storage treasure. Because these were all unranked magic treasures, generally speaking they were meant to be held in the hand when engaging in battle; there were thus some differences between them and flying swords.
“Lesser Thousand Seal Lines.” Ning tested drawing the lines out on the floor with his finger.
Given Ning’s control of his body, he was naturally able to completely duplicate the seal lines.
The old black bull, by his side, shook his head. “No. It isn’t the appearance that needs to be the same; the inner meaning needs to be the same. When you draw the ‘Lesser Thousand Seal Lines’, you need to faintly activate the power of the heavens and the earth. Only then will the seal lines be complete.”
“Alright.” Ning continued to draw.
Because his copying ability was quite accurate, and given that Ning had already reached the ‘True Meaning of the Dao’ level, and also had a faint hint of understanding regarding the ‘Dao’…after drawing it 312 times, he drew a seal line which was capable of utilizing a hint of the power of the world.
“Right.” The old black bull nodded. “Your level of comprehension is very high, your soul is powerful, and you are very sensitive towards the heavens and the earth. It is only normal that you learn quickly…remember, the Lesser Thousand Seal Lines is the base for the entire [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation]. You must not reveal it. Once the Lesser Thousand Seal Lines are revealed, some of the larger tribes will definitely be able to develop this [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] just based on the seal lines.”
Ning nodded. “I understand.”
“Then you can begin.” The old black bull watched from one side.
Ning let himself calm down, and then he withdrew a small basin from within his storage treasure. He placed his finger within the small basin, and from within his fingernail, one drop of blood after another began to well up and flow out. Soon, he had a small basin that was half-full of blood. Watching to the side, the old black bull shook his head and sighed emotionally, “Fiendgod Body Refiners have extremely powerful life force. They can be chopped into many pieces without dying, while Ki Refiners will die to a blow to the heart. If a Ki Refiner was to lose this much blood, their face would turn pale. For you, though, most likely your body replenished the blood as soon as you let it out.”
Ning didn’t say anything. Instead, he picked up a sword-type magic treasure, which suddenly shrank in size greatly. Ning’s finger, stained with blood, began to draw atop the sword.
In the blink of an eye, a single Lesser Thousand Seal Line appeared on the sword. A bloody light flashed, and quickly, the seal line completely merged into the sword.
“Success.” The old black bull nodded.
Ning then picked up yet another sword-type treasure. Once he had mastered the Lesser Thousand Seal Lines, he virtually never made a mistake. During this attempt at the trials, he had acquired thousands of magic treasures, with swords being extremely common. He had a full thousand sword-type magic treasures. Ning straightforwardly drew onto 729 of the sword-type magic treasures.
“Formation base!” Ning sat there in the lotus position, and imposed his will.
Shua! Shua! Shua! Shua! Shua! Shua!
Immediately, nine swords swung into the air around Ning, slowly revolving. But there was something missing. Ning frowned.
“Remember. The power of the sword formation comes from attuning to the heavens and the earth.” The old black bull said to one side.
After the amount of time it took to brew tea.
The nine swords hovering around Ning were faintly carrying within them a type of invisible intent. It was as though the nine swords actually formed a single entity. In that moment, the nine swords were positioned in a very perfect manner with respect to each other.
“The formation base is complete. Formation, arise!” Ning willed it, and then 72 more swords suddenly lifted up, all of them in groups of nine.
The first level of the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] required 81 swords to be formed into a formation.
81 sword-type magic treasures circled and hovered around Ning, while Ning himself closed his eyes as he controlled them. Soon, with the Lesser Thousand Seal Lines in each sword as the base, the 81 sword-type magic treasures began to emit a hazy glow while countless sword glows quickly converged around Ning.
A constantly fluctuating sword light hovered there in the air next to Ning.
Ning finally opened his eyes and stared at the hovering sword light next to him. This sword light was the Xiantian ki of his which had been transformed and compressed by the magic formation of the 81 sword-type magic treasures. The amount of power had already caused a qualitative change, and the strength was astonishing.
“Not too bad.” Ning willed it. Another 81 swords rose into the air.
The old black bull stood there, watching. He couldn’t help but sigh in amazement at the strength of Ning’s soul. This wasn’t as simple as what he had done earlier, just stupidly and wildly controlling thousands of magic treasures to go forward in one direction. He had to carefully control every single flying sword…causing them to form a perfect, complete sword formation which was continuously able to summon the power of the heavens and the earth.
“He mastered the third level as well. In terms of strength alone, the power of his sword light right now isn’t any longer than his earlier attack of thousands of magic treasures.” The old black bull sighed in astonishment. The power of this [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] multiplied several times over with each increase in level.
Hundreds of sword-type magic treasures swiveled around Ning, with the surface of each sword having a hint of light on it. In front of Ning, the solidified, devouring sword light grew even more powerful.
Yet another 81 swords entered the mix, with the level of difficulty in controlling them quickly increased as well.
Ning’s forehead began to be covered in sweat.
All of the swords were hovering with a faint light.
“Success.” The old black bull was stunned, incomparably stunned. “He is actually able to utilize the fifth level of the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation]!”
Papapapapapa…405 swords clattered and fell to the floor. His forehead covered in sweat, Ning opened his eyes and murmured to himself, “The fifth level of the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] is too arduous. My head hurts terribly. Normally, in battle, I should limit myself to the fourth level. Using the fourth level is much easier.”