TGL Volume 3, Chapter 19 (4)

“Shameless!”

“Aren’t you concerned about Pill Valley’s face!?”

“Invalidate the bets! This doesn’t count!”

As usual, all the weak can do is jeer and complain. …Or helplessly smack the defensive formation I set up. I knew Lucia was strong as a sky-realm expert, but I didn’t think using her strength as a basis for how long it’d take her to break through a formation would produce such a vast disparity when someone else attempted to do so. Either Lucia was too strong, or this woman is too weak. It could be a mixture of both too.

“You! You’re hiding even more than Brother Gwey! Don’t tell me you’re a turtle too! Fight me like a true cultivator!”

It’s pretty stereotypical for someone cultivating fire techniques to be a passionate person, and this lady’s fitting the stereotype perfectly. I thought she’d be a calm fighter when she took a step back at the start, but that’s the only calm action she took. For the past ten minutes, she’s been pounding on the first layer of my defensive formation—yes, the first layer, the one that would’ve taken Lucia less than a minute to break. The thing is … it’s really cheap to make, and not just by my standards. I’m using the Immortal Continent’s formation flags; I plant them into the ground and use the surrounding qi to power them. Maybe it’s strong because the qi’s so concentrated in this sect, and there’s also the fact that I may or may not be borrowing the power of a spirit stone vein underneath the sect too. So, unless this lady can destroy the defensive formation faster than the vein can draw upon qi to regenerate it, she can’t hurt me. Also, it’s not like I’ve been doing nothing for the past ten minutes—I’ve set up two more defensive formations, and I’m currently working on an even bigger one. Once I finish, I’ll safely poke her with magic until she surrenders. Honestly, I’d love to just set up an indefinite number of defensive formations and wait for Lucia to come rescue me, but Softie still hasn’t responded to the emergency message I sent her. If I drag this out too long, those quasi-immortals might get impatient.

“Answer me! Answer me, answer me, answer me!”

This disciple’s really ruining her image, or maybe everyone knows she’s like this. She’s practically shrieking, and I think her shouts are imbued with qi to act as a separate attack. They’re leaving ripples on the defensive formation. There are some formations that have to be created in one stroke or else the whole thing will explode, but luckily, the defensive formation I’m currently working on isn’t like that. That means I have time to take some earplugs out of my interspacial ring.

“Are those earplugs!? You better not put those—”

Nice and quiet. I’ll reposition myself so that she remains in my vision since I cut off my sense of sound. It’s not too important, really. I’ll be able to tell if the formation shatters from the vibrations through the ground. Oh, she looks enraged. She’s so angry that she’s on fire. …I’m a little tempted to squirt her with water. Just one quick sprinkle spell will do. “Water, dance and sprinkle!” Right, this spell has no offensive capabilities. In fact, a servant invented it to water plants more efficiently. However, thanks to the improvement of my organs upon reaching the sky realm, my mana’s now at an extremely high quality. The water didn’t evaporate on contact with the fire and, instead, put the flames out. The lady looks like a drenched dog now. Ah, her expression really cheers me up. I don’t know why, but it reminds me of making fun of Lucia’s intelligence—without the consequences—and that was always enjoyable. Okay, now that I’m satisfied, I’ll ignore her and finish the rest of this formation.

Since the first formation already draws upon the surrounding qi, the rest need a different power source. All formations require some kind of energy to operate. It’s logical and straightforward, very much unlike karma. The most popular energy source for a formation is a person. That’s right. People are renewable energy resources, cheap and cost-effective as long as the formation can do more than the person. Unfortunately, I’m dueling and having others assist me would be highly frowned upon. Another renewable energy source, but not as popular, is a beast. However, I don’t have the respective taming skills to explain how to cooperate to beasts, and the intelligent ones are likely too strong to listen to me anyway.

The second most popular energy source is a spirit stone. The qi inside of spirit stones is pretty much universal. Any cultivator can convert it into any source of energy. I can even convert it into mana. However, just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s the most effective or even efficient. For example, if I use my spirit stones to buy the beast core of a sky-realm-ranked turtle, the defensive formation I can power with it will be much stronger, defense-wise, than if I powered it with the same amount of spirit stones. Thus, a true formation expert always carries around a bunch of odds and ends to most effectively power their formations. For the record, the very first prototype anti-Lucia cannon was powered by Lucia’s blood—don’t tell her that.

Anyways, now that I finished the formation core and set up the sky-realm-ranked turtle’s beast core, I can begin the second part of my plan: Poking Hong Tian Ji from absolute safety. But first, I’ll take out this energy reader to calculate how much time this first defensive formation can grant me. It takes maybe half a minute to get an accurate reading. While it’s operating, I’ll take out a book. It’s not for leisure, I swear. As a twenty-eighth-circle mage, I can circulate my mana through each of my organs twenty-eight times. The permutations are practically endless. That’s why, I’ve written down the best spells to use; I simply can’t memorize them all. Now, let’s see…, how should I bombard the angry lady outside my barrier?

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