Arrays are one of the killer methods that the Hidden Sword Court has relied upon and mastered to survive. The once weak Hidden Sword Court had always utilised arrays to win against strong opponents. By relying on arrays, the Hidden Sword Court could even allow many of its disciples who had yet mastered the foundation of cultivation to momentarily use their magical powers. This would allow them to utilise and amplify their strength tenfold, using their strength in numbers and discipline, even the most low ranking cultivator could defeat a strong opponent.
Furthermore, there are countless arrays that exist. Each array has its own use and characteristics. Hidden Sword Court has a total of ninety-nine thousand eight hundred and eleven arrays, but many of these are interchangeable. Not to mention, the ingenuity in applying these tactics depends on hard thinking, such as the Warfare Array that makes something real look like an illusion and vice versa.
But among arrays, there will always be a weakness, and this weakness is the centre of the array. Hence usually, those who are the strongest would protect the array’s centre. This was why the first thing that Su You did was try to target the centre of the array first. If they were to conquer the centre of the array, the rest of the arrays would not be able to function. These mechanised stone statues may be strong, but if the team worked together and managed to focus their attack on the centre, the array formation could be stopped.
However, what Su You would never expect was that he put too much trust in his Grand Senior Brother’s words. He assumed that this would be the Chaotic Sword Array from the get-go, never in his dreams would expect that this was a combination of intricate and interlinked arrays.
Four hundred years ago, the universally recognised Array Master An Conghai described the mechanism of the arrays in his book, A Lecture About Arrays, which went like this, “Those that control the centre of the array, controls all arrays in the world. The beholder of the centres understands the key to the array, its method of fighting must be hefty and strong. Those who are foolish would leave the strong soldiers to protect the centre; Those who are cunning would hide the centre from plain sight. The cunning would devise a decoy, resulting in a genius two in one solution.”
As for the centre of the array’s flaw and weak spot, those who are foolish would position their most important and powerful member near the centre. This is obviously telling their opponent, “This is the centre, please come and attack it”. Whereas a smart person would leave the centre of the array in a random spot, a place where it would leave no suspicion.
For a person with wisdom, they would use a higher-skilled method, by creating an illusion, a fake centre would be placed. Tricking the opponent to use all their strength to destroy the fake centre, and designing it so that when the fake centre has been activated by touch, the true centre would unleash its full power. Using the fake centre to drain the opponents’ strength, then unleashing the real centre of arrays’ true power. Killing two birds with one stone.
But there was a method that was far more genius than the rest. Because the fake centre also contains a weak point to be destroyed. That would drain its opponents’ strength and resources, only then the true centre would be activated, showing its true form. This was a classic example of the art of war. The true genius level of this was the deception, to intentionally let the opponent believe that the fake centre is the real array, and while the opponents believe they had successfully conquered the centre and lured into the middle, the true array would successfully be activated, unleashing a continuous and interchangeable array to defeat the opponent.
Therefore, by using these methods it is proven that although the arrays may just be a tool, a person’s mind is flexible. When parts of the array are embedded to the floor, they are not able to move anymore, hence this was the most important factor in how to layout an array. One must lure their opponents to the centre, then unleash the mechanisms of the array when the opponents are cornered, rendering them unable to escape.
But the enemies are not stupid, they wouldn’t idly wait at the most crucial area of the array’s layout. They would usually try to snatch and prevent the castor from finishing their array, trying to defeat or conquer the centre.
Henceforth, only array masters from the genius level would design a ‘continuous array’ layout such as this! This array in Yanjian Hall was one of the genius array methods — The Five-Partied-Demon-Sword Array!
This array in itself does not contain immense magical power, but it could combine and evolve into seven different arrays. At the same time, it also possessed the power to interchange between six other types of arrays. However, the scariest part was that when this array is activated, it would amplify the physical strength of its members by tenfold! It can singlehandedly amplify a cultivator’s skills from the first heavenly level to the fourth heavenly level, levelling them up to three levels. A cultivator with the skills with the third heavenly level could be amplified to the fifth heavenly level. Whereas, one that possessed the skill of the fifth heavenly level could be upgraded to the sixth! Their powers would be amplified tenfold as well!
The stone statues before them had a sudden boost in ability. Their physical strength, physical defence and magical defence had all been amplified by threefold. If one were to combine them all, their fighting abilities had been amplified to more than tenfold.
Su You and the rest of the team understood how terrifyingly strong these stone statues had become. Their eyes were clouded with despair. The confidence in them to clear this level had lost.
These stone statues suddenly charged towards them like lighting. Instantly they broke down and started to run away!
As they reached the gate, they realised that it had been shut tight by a large and heavy bolder. No matter how hard they rammed it or how hard they tried to split it in half with their swords, it would not even budge!
“Grand Brother Senior! Please! Open the gates!” screamed Su You. His expression was filled with fear, not realising that a stone statue had already appeared behind him, ready to slice his head open.
Blockhead immediately pulled Su You away. If not for his keen senses, Su You’s head would have already been sliced in half.
Hearing the loud crash, they realised that one of the stone statue’s swords had sliced into the stone boulder. However, it was stuck so tight that it could not pull it out.
In a flash, it held its other sword and sliced the sword that was stuck in half. Wielding its broken sword with one hand the three on the rest, it started to chase Su You.
The situation in the stone room was chaos, it was like a cat and mouse hunt. Screams filled the room as every one of them ran for their lives.
Chengfeng too was drenched in sweat while the stone statues pursued him with its blades, trying to slice him at every opportunity. Even with the help of Xiaobao, it was difficult to dodge them.
Before the array was activated, Chengfeng thought that although their strength was terrifying, he did not fear them as their speed could be easily dodged.
However, now that their speed had been amplified by threefold, the once sloth-like speed of the stone statues’ sword strike had now turned into the speed of a cheetah!
If Chengfeng had a sword, he would be able to cope with this. Because the speed where the stone statue swayed its sword was slower compared to him. If he had a sword, he would be able to strike faster.
But his opponent was a four-armed statue with four swords, not to mention their strength was much more powerful compared to him. The violent shaking sensation he felt whenever he used his bone spear to block its attacks were going to make him vomit blood!
Even just by dodging, with these four swords coming at him without rest, Chengfeng felt like he was dancing with the blades. Yet if he were to misstep one little move, he would be sliced in half!
‘Dealing with an opponent that never tires out is so scary! It can’t go on like this! We’ll eventually be sliced to death’ thought Chengfeng as he glanced at the other four stone statues that were chasing the other cultivators.
There must be a way to get out of this! There must be a way to break the array!
To get out, that was probably impossible. Grand Senior Brother was already determined to let them face such a cruel challenge. Isn’t he worried that it might kill us all?
Can we break the array? How do I find the flaw?
If it wasn’t Su You who told them that this was the Five-Partied-Demon-Sword Array, he wouldn’t even have known what it was called. He couldn’t even recognise the array, so how should he devise a plan to break it?
Just as Chengfeng was deep in thought, thinking of ways that could help them deal with their opponents, he did not notice that when he dodged the stone statue in front of him, he was actually nearing another one!
The other stone statue used magic and teleported to the corner, making Chengfeng the nearest to it. The stone statue’s immediate reaction was to charge its sword to Chengfeng’s spine!
“Young Master! Look out!” screamed Xiaobao as he witnessed the turn of events. With a worried cry, he immediately charged towards them and pushed Chengfeng away. The blade mercilessly pierced into Xiaobao’s chest.
Without missing a beat, the two stone statues gathered together and started stabbing Xiaobao in the waist, abdomen, shoulder, thighs and arms, not stopping for a moment.
As Chengfeng turned his head around to see what had happened, he realised that the two stone statues had lifted his servant high up, then threw him in the corner like garbage. Xiaobao tumbled onto the ground, fresh blood spilling everywhere, filling the cracks of the bluestone tiles. The trembling weeds that grew by the cracks were now painted in red.
Chengfeng felt as if his heart had exploded from anger as he rushed towards Xiaobao. His eyes were red fury.