When they spoke, the stone tiles on the ground moved. After a while, five animated puppets appeared once again and Chengfeng laughed. “Only five? Stay where you are, leave this to me!”
When Su Yuehan saw the positions where these puppets appeared- which was two in front, one in the middle and two at the back, the centre looked like the weakest region. She muttered to herself: is this the Spinning Sword Array or Separating Fire Array? Or the Setting Sun Array, or the Heavenly Nine Dawns Array? Or…
There were almost twenty possibilities given this standing position. Only time would tell what it actually was.
That was why very few people would rush into battle before the array was completely revealed unless the attacker had full confidence in identifying it, and was not afraid of subsequent changes in the array.
Su Yuehan said, “Slow down, Young Master, Let’s wait till the array is complete, we should…”
Before she finished, Chengfeng had already rushed forward. He could not wait to test out the concepts he had learned from the book. This was what the training at Yanjian Hall was for.
Although the training was dangerous, once they were familiar with arrays and battle strategies, it was the most effective method to improve one’s battle knowledge and skills. Other than improving teamwork and chemistry between cultivators, one’s individual skills would progress too.
Ever since he stopped one stone statue with his plant powers, he constantly kept a pack of grass seeds in his pocket. He rushed towards the statues and flicked his fingers, tossing about twenty seeds at it. He did not stay close to the animated puppets, instead, sprinting past them while using his mind to coax seed germination.
Before the puppets could move, their joints and cog wheels were filled with grass, clicking and creaking incessantly.
He chuckled. “Puppets like that are useless against me…”
Before he could finish, there was a ‘click’ from all five stone statues. The stone tiles had stopped moving and the array was complete. The stone swords in their hands trembled slightly as their eyes gradually brightened into glowing red orbs.
Soon after, white smoke rose from their bodies and with a deep rumble, a pillar of fire shot into the sky from their bodies. Chengfeng watched in dismay as they stood ablaze, all the grass growing between their joints burnt to crisp.
His jaw dropped!
What the heck?!
Very soon, Chengfeng discovered his current biggest weakness: if he met a fire-attributed cultivator, he would be done for!
Su Yuehan shouted, “It’s a Separating Fire Array! HIDE! The scariest part of this array is the first fifteen minutes! After hiding for fifteen minutes, we’ll take advantage of its weakest moment as it recharges itself!”
‘Book of Arrays’ recorded the advantages and disadvantages of this Separating Fire Array: upon activation, blazing flames would improve fire spells by fifty to seventy percent as well as attack enemies with flames. It would cleanse itself of any hostile wood spells, as well as some water spells, transforming all attacks into spells of the fire attribute. Wood attribute cultivators would suffer triple damage under its influence while water attribute cultivators will find their powers cut by half.
If a cultivator was naturally of the wood attribute, the array would automatically attack them. If the array was under attack by a powerful water attribute spell, it would grow five times more powerful. Fifteen minutes after activation, the array will enter a recharging stage, lasting between one second to fifteen minutes depending on its scale.
The Separating Fire Array was a common array during the Era of Arrays. It still made frequent appearances during the current modern era where individual spell duels were uncommon.
While it was a powerful array, its weakness was very obvious. After Su Yuehan pointed out the method to defeat it, everyone immediately retreated and ran around playing cat-and-mouse with the blazing animated puppets.
Although Chengfeng had already gained some spell casting abilities, he was still helpless in the face of such a powerful fire attribute array. It was like meeting his natural predator! All he could do was hide.
Plus Yanjian Hall was huge for the six of them. Even sixty more participants would not be a problem.
After running around in a circle, the puppets were all separated far from each other. Only the statue at the eye of the array remained in its position, sword in hand. No one attacked the centre though, for Su Yuehan yelled that this was the most powerful region of the array. Fire attribute spells would become ten times more powerful when the caster stood at the eye of the array.
This meant that even the four people standing in the four other positions added together were not as powerful as the person at the centre.
Fifteen minutes later, the blazing stone statues running around suddenly stopped moving, their flames also dimming greatly. The flames used to be an inch tall but right now it was barely a centimetre.
When the four blazing statues stopped, the statue at the centre suddenly moved. It lifted its long sword high, its body still burning, while its eyes scanned the entire hall murderously.
Su Yuehan yelled, “Quick, attack that one! Find a way to chase it out of the eye! Then we destroy the eye of the array, and the array will collapse!”
Su You roared, “GO, BLOCKHEAD! WE’LL COVER YOU!”
With a mighty roar, He Zhu lowered his head and charged at the central stone statue like a charging bull.
Su You and Tian Jun lifted their hands, their swords instantly flying upwards. Both swords trembled mid-air, the sword tips glowing brightly until two blades of Sword Qi slashed outwards.
The two blades of Sword Qi might as well have been solid blades. Chengfeng witnessed the blades of qi slashing directly at the statue, causing it to fall backwards, its flames dissipating from the vibration of the impact!
The moment the flames were gone, He Zhu hurled himself into it. The statue lifted its giant sword to hack it at He Zhu but he did not dodge at all, still charging ahead.
When Chengfeng saw the sword about to touch He Zhu, he pounced forward and scattered his grass seeds, coaxing them to grow immediately. Plants germinated within the statue’s joints at lightning speed, causing the sword to halt mid-air. At the same time, two flying swords came whirling over, colliding directly into the sword so it flew out of the statue’s hand, barely brushing past He Zhu’s shoulder, then stabbed itself into the ground in a deep crater.
He Zhu hurled himself at the stone statue’s torso. All the muscles in his body swelled and with a deafening roar, Chengfeng saw this two-metre tall stone statue thrown several metres back.
However, just as it flew mid-air, the stone statue burst into flames again. It hugged its arms in front, meaning to trap He Zhu on itself, burning him to death!
Chengfeng leapt forward but his arms missed, though when his finger brushed across He Zhu’s foot, a blade of grass shot out of his sleeve at an alarming speed.
He Zhu felt something tighten around his foot, then a huge force yanked him back from the edge of death. The stone statue’s arms were suddenly empty.
He Zhu fell heavily on the ground. He turned to see Chengfeng holding a ball of vines with leaves growing out of it, while the other end of it was tied tightly around his foot.
And it was that moment when they all felt like Chengfeng was a god. Su You and the rest were utterly impressed. What a prodigy! Junior Chengfeng will surely be a duelling prodigy in the future!