Chapter: 895

AST 895 - Formation Unlocked, Nine Palace Steps

Qing Shui spent one whole day practicing. After his abilities had increased tremendously, he was unable to hold it in. It was as if he had found something he liked a lot and could not bear to part with. It was as if he was scared that if he were to stop practicing, it would disappear.

Now, his worries for personal gains or losses were especially strong. He felt that if he did not stabilize it, it would disappear.

Right now, Qing Shui was acting just like he had gotten his hands on an interesting toy, clutching it tightly, for fear that it would be snatched away if he were to loosen his grip.

Taichi Fist!

After his abilities improved, all the battle techniques underwent a huge improvement. Battle techniques were means, while a person's abilities were his "powers". Only when one had become powerful, would he then be able to unleash the greatest prowess of these battle techniques. Otherwise, the battle techniques would just be an act.

The transformation into the Seventh Layer was like a breaking through of a cocoon to become a butterfly or the transformation of a Jiao into a dragon or even like the act of drawing eyes on the painting of a dragon [1]. It was a leap into the sky, the act of the carp leaping over Longmen to become a dragon.

Thousand Hammer Technique!

Hidden Weapon!

Sword of Sixth Wave!

...

Qing Shui gradually came to a stop only after having performed all of his battle techniques. At this moment, he was feeling immense joy, not knowing how to express it. He suddenly felt like looking for someone to share his joy.

When his abilities increased, so did his spirit energy. Entering his consciousness, he now saw the of the Yin-Yang Image being about two times as big as before. He thought of how it was only the size of a date in the beginning but was now the size of a bowl.

Niwan Palace!

When Qing Shui saw his Niwan Palace, he was astonished. To think that there was also a golden pearl the size of a bean in the Niwan Palace. Although it was small, it was emitting a brilliant glow and the spirit energy it contained surprised Qing Shui.

There was also a qualitative change to his consciousness. Qing Shui could now sense that his spirit energy had increased by many times compared to before.

Before he attained this breakthrough, he had hoped that he could reach the Grand Perfection Stage for the Heart of Roc, for his spirit energy to be increased to ten times stronger. With that, the prowess of his primordial flame balls would also be increased to be ten times stronger.

Now that he was at the Seventh Heavenly Layer and the spirit energy he had increased to about forty times stronger... Before this breakthrough, even if his Heart of Roc had reached the Grand Perfection Stage, it would be far from comparable. This was a qualitative change.

This was a huge leap in his abilities and the benefits this breakthrough brought had exceeded Qing Shui's expectations. He had initially thought that the limits would be at 20 times stronger, or just slightly more. He had not expected it to be 40 times stronger. The Upper Dantian was a great contributing factor to this.

Unknowingly, he started to submerge in the cycle of training, eating and sleeping. Very quickly, one week passed by. Thankfully Qing Shui had great control over his powers. If not for the fact that this increase was too fast, he had no need to spend such a long time to familiarize himself with his newly found power. It was good that his spiritual sense was very powerful and the speed at which he familiarized with the powers in his body was very rapid. However, despite this, it took him a week to familiarize himself with it all.

In this breakthrough, Qing Shui's height unknowingly grew by an inch. His slender body was very well-proportioned, his muscles not extremely bulging but that sturdiness was like steel.

When he calmed down, Qing Shui suddenly recalled that the Ancient Strengthening Technique had awakened some skill within him. Thinking of this, he suddenly looked towards the depth of his consciousness agitatedly.

The formation has lit up!

Qing Shui was very agitated. After having seen the Sky Prison Sect's formation, he had been very interested in formations. He took a look and only found the formation lit up. It had appeared before his breakthrough but it was only now that he could start learning it.

There were many words below the formation. Qing Shui read on and saw that the first introduction was about the Eight Trigrams Orientation.

The Eight Trigrams Orientation refers to Qian, Kun, Li, Kan, Zhen, Xun, Gen, Dui.

Qian: represents the bottom right, the northwest, the right leg, right foot, the large intestine, the head and others. Kun: represents the top right, the southwest, the right shoulder, right arm, the spleen, the stomach and others. Li: represents upward, south, the head, the heart, the eye and others. Kan: represents bottom, the perineum, the kidney, the ear and others... Dui: refers to right, west, right ribs, right arm, mouth, lungs and others.

The Eight Trigrams Orientation not only relates to the directions between heaven and earth but there were even representative spots on a human body. The world started off in a state of chaos before it gradually split into two, which was Yin and Yang respectively. It then further diverged into variations from the initial state into interleading states of four and then further diverging to form the eight trigrams. The eight trigrams would continue to combine with each other, forming 64 combinations.

Qing Shui could still be considered to understand this quite well and he merely glanced through the descriptions of the acupuncture points and would only stop to read through in detail those which he had not come across before.

Nine Palace Steps!

When Qing Shui said this, his heart throbbed and he quickly went to take a look.

The power of the formation was closely related to the people who formed the formation. The people who were moving within the formations must have the abilities to advance and retreat with ease. The Nine Palace Steps were extremely profound and could let the people who set up the formation move around freely in the formation, borrowing the powers of the Heavens and Earth.

The Nine Palace Steps was a footwork that was created from the basis of the Eight Trigrams Orientation. It had a powerful damaging prowess when the users were escaping and going against their enemies, being able to unleash the strongest battle prowess in just a slight movement.

Next was the technique for the Nine Palace Steps. Everything in the Nine Palace Steps was related to the Eight Trigrams Orientation and with the amazing footwork, the user could gain great advantages in terms of speed and positioning, unleashing the greatest prowess they could.

Qing Shui started to learn the Nine Palace Steps. He had a strong level of mastery in the area of footwork and the Eight Trigrams Orientation and thus picked it up very quickly.

Qing Shui only scanned through it and didn't try to put in too much effort to pick it up. He was just intending to take a glance through everything and check out what amazing stuff was there.

After the Nine Palace Steps, there were some formations. However, there were not many of them. The first one was the Singularity Bane.

Singularity Bane allowed the users to tap on simple setups to kill enemies by relying on the Nine Palace Steps and the "positionings" in the surroundings. This was not really considered a formation but had some traits of a formation and primarily relied on the Nine Palace Steps' profoundness.

Duality Minutest Formation, Five Elements Minor Formation, Five Elements Major Formation, Twelve Celestials and Demons Formation, Spirit Gathering Formation, Spirit Sealing Minor Formation, Great Heavenly Stars Cycle Formation, Bei Ming Hidden Killing Formation, Godly Dayan Formation, Great Cosmic Formation, Amoghasiddhi Formation, Five Demons Pestilence Sword Formation, Eight Trigrams Formation, Five Elements Eight Trigrams Formation, Nine Palace Eight Trigrams Formation, Four Perfections Formation, Twelve Heavenly Gates Formation, Ten Paramitas Formation, Immortal Vanquishing Formation, Five Elements Spirit Sealing Formation, Five Elements Yin-Yang Great Reversal Formation, Big Dipper Formation, God Slaying Devil Devouring Formation...

Qing Shui almost looked through all the formations in one glance, but most of them were greyed out and he could only cultivate a few of them. Some of these formations were very familiar to him, while others were not. However, just by looking at their names, he felt that they seemed very powerful.

He even saw the "God Slaying Devil Devouring Formation" and “Immortal Vanquishing Formation”. These names sounded very much like a bluff but Qing Shui could not be bothered with that. He could finally pick up formations and would naturally not let go of this chance. Qing Clan might be able to become powerful through formations.

Seeing that he still had some time, Qing Shui decided to first check out the few formations he could cultivate. There were only five of them.

Duality Minutest Formation, Five Elements Minor Formation, Spirit Gathering Formation, Spirit Sealing Minor Formation, Nine Palace Eight Trigrams Formation!

Only when Qing Shui saw these formations did he feel that the Sky Prison Sect's saber formation was but child's play. Real formations could kill opponents by binding them without even needing them to move their hands.

There were many things that could be used to set up formations, including rocks, flags, demonic beast's bones, gemstones, demonic crystals, trees, boulders.

True masters of formations could make use of everything in the surroundings, including gales, rain or even lightning. An absolute expert in setting up formations could trap and wipe out a clan or an aristocrat clan...

Formation masters were a supreme existence but formations required the support of spiritual energy. Therefore, a heaven-defying formation required some heaven-defying items to be activated.

Formation masters were required to have great talent. There was no lack of people who cultivated formations in the world of the nine continents but there were very few who could excel through formations.

However, no one would offend low level formation masters either. They didn't wish to find themselves trapped and killed in their own homes...

Qing Shui spent his remaining time cultivating the Nine Palace Steps and the five formations.

The Nine Palace Steps was a tedious process. Qing Shui had known of Nine Palace Numerology from very long ago but had not been able to reach this stage. In the past, he was only able to pull off the Trinity Steps and could even barely reach the Four Phases Steps, let alone being able to achieve the Nine Palace Steps.

One Origin Steps, Duality Steps, Trinity Steps, Four Phases Steps, Five Elements Steps, Six Lunar Steps, Seven Star Steps, Eight Trigrams Steps, Nine Palace Steps.

This was the different levels for the Nine Palace Steps from the lowest to the highest. In the past, he had managed to reach the Four Phases Steps but back then, it was too hard. Moreover, he didn't know the actual way of using it. It was only now that he learned that such footwork was used like this and the effects were really heaven-defying.

When he was feeling sick and tired of practicing, he would sit down and take a look at the formations but it was just taking a look.

The Duality Minutest Formation was a binding formation like the one he knew of. This formation was split into six gates, namely, life, death, dark, light, illusion and perish. The gate of death was in the northeast, the gate of life in the southwest, gate of illusion in the extreme east, gate of darkness in the extreme south and the gate of light in the northwest.

People who were trapped would be at a loss if which gate to head to.

The gate of death was hard to enter but easy to stay alive; the gate of life was easy to enter but one would be trapped easily. The perish gate was the key to destroying the formation and shan't be mentioned now; the illusion gate and would allow the enemy to lose his way easily, finding himself trapped. The dark gate was that pitch black darkness and brought about terror that one would find hard to handle; the light gate in the northwest was the only one which could be passed through.

Usually, there would be both the gate of life and gate of death in most formations but there were also legendary death formations. However, these were too vicious and most people would not set up such a formation unless they have some huge grudge with the opponent.

Another thing was that death formations had not been passed down successfully throughout the course of history. Moreover, sometimes, "death formations" could also possibly be overcome by absolute power. Only when the person trapped was sufficiently powerful, would he be able to break through some powerful formations. Otherwise, there would be no other ways to breakthrough these formations since even if people outside the formations were to use brute force to break through, they would also cause the people inside to suffer from fatal injuries. This was the reason why formations were very profound.

...

Unknowingly, it was time for him to leave the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal. After cleaning up, Qing Shui left, feeling satisfied. It had only just turned dark and when he went out, he saw the Five-Headed Demonic Spider quietly staying in the hall.

When it saw Qing Shui, it ran over happily, letting out a cry which made Qing Shui feel a sense of amiability. Having stayed here for such a long time, he had only been able to communicate with the Five-Headed Demonic Spider through his consciousness. Hearing that soft voice it made him feel very warm inside.

[1] A Chinese idiom that describes the act of adding the finishing touch which would bring a piece of work to life.

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