Ringed Corridor Plains had a complicated layout, especially due to the constant transposition of terrain. Navigating it was extremely frustrating.
Just as they were all advancing, they suddenly heard a rumbling from beneath the earth and knew that the ground was about to shift yet again. They flew into the air, and those who couldn’t fly scrambled into the Cloud-Piercing Shuttles - at this point, the Boundless Sect’s wealth knew no bounds, and even low-tier disciples had been given Cloud-Piercing Shuttles.
They had only just flew into the air when the ground below then began to transform.
It was as if there was something squirming through the ground, bringing with it massive changes to the nearby terrain. The “gears” of the Ringed Corridor Plains had begun to “turn”, causing mountain ranges to form from flat ground and vice versa.
Such a drastic transformation was awe-inspiringly impressive.
Thankfully, even though these movements appeared violent, they weren’t dangerous in the slightest.
As they watched on, a gigantic chunk of land came flying through the air, with black dots scattered across its surface. Only as it got closer to them did they realize that those black dots were actually small coffin-like constructs.
“It’s an Astral cemetery! We’ve got one!” Chang He cried out happily.
An Astral cemetery had appeared before their very eyes.
This cemetery was being shuttled along by the ground beneath it, seemingly completely unaffected by the motion.
The first thing Ye Fenghan did upon discovering the cemetery was to report it back to his superiors.
Then, he settled in for the main force to arrive.
At that moment, however, he discovered that the chunk of land carrying the Astral community suddenly veered off in another direction.
“Holy crap, the ground can even change directions?” Chang He watched as the ground beneath their feet suddenly shot off in a different direction. He had no idea what had just happened.
“Don’t waste your breath. Keep up,” Ye Fenghan urged.
The reinforcements were aware of the squad’s location, so they would be able to keep up as long as the squad didn’t lose their target.
The small squad carefully followed the shifting ground from afar, never getting too close.
All of a sudden, the Astral community came to a stop.
The ground was still moving, but the cemetery had stopped near a canyon, as if they had just been dropped off a boat.
This was the first time Ye Fenghan had discovered that the Astral communities could stop moving as they pleased.
After the community stopped, hundreds of illusory figures floated out from the coffins towards the canyon.
“What are they doing?”
Chang He shook his head. “I don’t know. The Astrals are always secretive about their actions. Who cares what they’re doing? Once our main backup gets here, we’ll be able to wipe them out.”
Ye Fenghan, however, frowned. “The Astrals prefer to live alone and very rarely move as a community. Their default is to try and solve any problem on their own. It’s extremely rare for them to move as a group like they just did. And under the circumstances......”
Ye Fenghan knew that the Astrals had a strange way of communicating with each other. After all, Tormuncardo had already been somewhat prepared for their attack when they arrived.
Even though Wind Silence Breach was quite a ways away from the Ringed Corridor Plains, and the Astrals shouldn’t have been able to communicate with each other from that kind of distance, who knew whether they had some other secret transmission techniques up their sleeves.
If that was the case, then it was definitely worth keeping an eye on the Astrals’ movements.
When he realized this, Ye Fenghan said, “We must go and take a look.”
Chang He was badly startled. “Are you crazy? You’re courting death!”
“What if they’re doing something that is going to impede our expedition? Should we just stand here and idly watch on?” Ye Fenghan countered.
Chang He helplessly replied, “You say that, but we wouldn’t be of any use even if we went. You can’t possibly think that our small squad is going to be able to do anything to them, right?”
“Who knows?” Ye Fenghan commented as he descended to the ground.
He didn’t fly, and he made no attempt to conceal himself. Instead, he slowly walked along the ground. This would limit the disturbance around him to its greatest extent. The Astrals were incredibly perceptive of Origin Energy and consciousness power, and they would easily notice any abnormal fluctuations. But this hypersensitivity to Origin Energy and consciousness power also made their normal detection abilities quite limited. Living inside this different world for so long rendered their physical eyes almost completely useless.
As such, the best way to get close to them was to not use any Origin Skills at all and just walk over. This was one trick that the humans had learned through fighting against the Astrals for millenia.
Ye Fenghan carefully advanced on foot.
At this point, the shifting of terrain had begun to die down slightly.
The shifting terrain had created many ravines in the ground. Ye Fenghan made use of these gulches and valleys to conceal his movements as he advanced. Very soon, he had arrived at the cemetery.
From there, it was possible to see that a large group of Astrals had gathered.
At their center was a massive Origin Formation that had been completed. The nodes of the formation glittered like stars under the night sky.
A huge crowd of Astrals was gathered around the formation, and one high-tier Astral stood in their midst, chanting something in a low voice. At the same time, formless consciousness power ripples began to disperse in all directions.
These consciousness ripples were invisible, but they were spreading over an incredibly long range. If it weren’t for the fact that Ye Fenghan also cultivated the True Spirit Scripture and Heart Walls, he probably would have already been discovered. Even so, a shiver ran up his spine when he felt the consciousness fluctuation wash over him.
Not only so, but he could sense that there seemed to be consciousness fluctuation responses off in the distance as well.
This immediately gave Ye Fenghan pause.
At first, it had seemed that only this Astral cemetery was in motion, but he suddenly realized that all of the Astrals on the Ringed Corridor Plains were up to something.
He felt his scalp tingle.
What target was enough to force all of the Astrals living in the Ringed Corridor Plains to band together?
The Boundless Sect!
Only the Boundless Sect!
Without question, the Astrals had already gotten news of the Boundless Sect’s arrival. They had found out much more quickly than the Boundless Sect had anticipated, and had begun to deal with them in a targeted manner.
Ye Fenghan didn’t know what battle tactics the Astrals would use, but he knew that he couldn’t let them succeed.
As soon as he realized this, Ye Fenghan made a decision.
He began to slowly inch his way towards the cemetery.
When Chang He saw this, his agitation almost drove him mad.
Was this guy crazy? What was he doing??
Unfortunately, he couldn’t call out to Ye Fenghan because he was too far away, so he could only sit and watch as Ye Fenghan walked towards the community.
Because the Astrals were all in the canyon, the Astral cemetery itself was quite desolate. Only a few lifeless puppets had been left behind as guards.
Ye Fenghan quickly navigated through the cemetery, heading for a pyramid-like structure at the center.
That was the Astral Hall, where the Astrals took care of official business. Because Astrals were solitary creatures, and they could communicate telepathically, there was no need for them to have incredibly convoluted political hierarchies. A single Astral Hall was more than sufficient for them to settle all political issues. In that sense, the Astrals were truly superior to humans.
But it was for that reason as well that the Astral Hall was considered a weak spot amongst the Astrals.
If you wanted to make a commotion, targeting the Astral Hall was a great choice.
Upon arriving at the Astral Hall, Ye Fenghan noticed a low-tier Astral standing guard outside.
Ye Fenghan was confident that he could handle this guard, but it was going to be a bit of trouble not to disturb or alert the other Astrals in the canyon.
After a moment’s thought, Ye Fenghan pulled out an item from his Origin Ring: a crystal in the form of a raindrop.
This item was the Nightmare Crystal, a special kind of crystal that could unleash special ripples of consciousness power. A target struck by the Nightmare Crystal would be temporarily disoriented. The Nightmare Crystal also contained a special kind of poison that was particularly effective against those with spiritual bodies.
This was another thing that Su Chen had invented expressly to deal with the Astrals. Unfortunately, he was unable to mass-produce them due to their high cost, so they could only be bought with contribution points.
Ye Fenghan had paid quite a bit to buy this thing. He was originally planning on using it as a life-saving measure, so it was only natural that he was a bit hesitant about using it on a mere low-tier Astral.
Ye Fenghan gritted his teeth and threw the Nightmare Crystal out.
The Astral reacted quite rapidly and opened its mouth to unleash a formless wave of consciousness energy in response.
Unfortunately, at the same time that this consciousness wave expanded, the Nightmare Crystal also slammed into him.
The instant the crystal came in contact with the Astral, the Astral froze in place. Obviously, the Nightmare Crystal’s effect had manifested itself, and the wave of consciousness energy it had been in the process of unleashing was cut off.
The interrupted fluctuation of consciousness energy was noticed by the Astrals in the canyon, but it wasn’t very powerful.
The high-tier Astral sitting within the formation turned around, then said, “I thought I felt a consciousness ripple from Zero just now.”
“I did too, Elder Cruta, but it was not strong. It was probably nothing more than an accident,” an Astral replied.
“Perhaps, but at this critical moment......” Cruta thought for a moment, then said, “Wing, you go and take a look.”
An Astral flew into the air and headed towards the Astral Hall.
Meanwhile, Ye Fenghan stepped out of the Astral Hall after dealing with the guard outside.
His plan originally was to destroy the Astral Hall and make a commotion to draw some of the Astrals in the canyon back, thereby delaying their plans and buying time for the Boundless Sect’s main forces to show up. But as soon as he stepped inside, he realized that the hall was actually filled with formation inscriptions.
At each of the formation’s six corners sat an Astral, all of them mid-tier.
As soon as Ye Fenghan stepped inside, the six Astrals all turned to glance at him, completely stunned.
Ye Fenghan hadn’t expected there to be six Astrals within the Astral Hall either, and he was also at a loss for words.
The two of them stared at each other, both parties momentarily at a loss as to what to do.
Ye Fenghan barely squeezed out a smile. “Sorry, I must have taken a wrong turn somewhere.”
As he spoke, he slowly retreated out of the Astral Hall.
Shockingly, however, the other party didn’t seem to be chasing after him.
Ye Fenghan thought for a moment and realized that something seemed off.
His curiosity won over, and he quickly returned to the scene of the crime.
The six Astrals were still sitting in the middle of the Origin Formation, completely motionless. When they saw Ye Fenghan appear yet again, their expressions became panicked.
Ye Fenghan was delighted. “So you can’t move now?”
He lowered his head and glanced at the Origin Formation. The profound formation inscriptions on the ground headed in the direction of the canyon.
“So that’s how it is...... This and that are one and the same? Wait, that might not be all.” Ye Fenghan suddenly recalled the faint responding fluctuations he had sensed earlier.
Understanding dawned in his heart. “A giant formation that spans half of the Ringed Corridor Plains...... The Astrals’ intelligence-gathering abilities are truly formidable. Perhaps even the terrain’s transformation was your doing, huh?”
Ye Fenghan could tell from the gazes of terror on his opponent’s faces that he had guessed correctly.
The larger the Origin Formation, the more of the environment’s Origin Energy was necessary to power it, and the more powerful it would be.
Ye Fenghan had no idea what kind of formation this was, but as soon as he considered just how vast the formation was, and how many Astrals were needed for its activation, he became quite aware of how frighteningly powerful this formation was.
Wasn’t Wanlai Caves where their ultimate trump cards were supposed to be?
How come Ringed Corridor Plains was already as strong as the final boss?
Ye Fenghan broke out in a cold sweat.
But while there were benefits to a formation being large, there were also quite a few drawbacks.
If an Origin Formation was too vast, there would be more opportunities to ruin it as well.
Now was one such instance.
Ye Fenghan slowly raised his sword. “So as long as I destroy this, the entire formation will be affected?”
“You dare!” one of the Astrals couldn’t help but yell. “If you destroy this formation, we will be freed and you will die!”
That was true.
If he destroyed the formation, the six Astrals being tied down would also be set free.
There was no chance that Ye Fenghan would be able to win against six Astrals.
He smiled. “I guess I must be quite unlucky. I thought I had an opportunity to earn some contributions, but now...... I guess it was an opportunity to die instead.”
As he spoke, his sword descended.
Right onto the center of the Origin Formation.