Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
“Senior Brother, what do you have here? Is this also a tool that could speed up the installation of array formations?”
Lan Ling’e swore to the Grand Pure One it was the only thing she asked before she was called and imprisoned by her senior brother in a wooden cage. She had become a lab rat for that ‘technical product’.
The wooden cage was about the height of a man. It was made of 36 connected lightning-conducting logs. Its interior was also coated with a delicate layer of colorful iron web.
The lightning-conducting logs were pieced and tied together. That made the wooden cage appear a little shabby.
There was a rainbow-colored long needle at the tip of the wooden cage and a hexagram made of lightning-accumulating Seven Deity Metal at the bottom. However, the hexagram was not an array formation, and it did not contain any restrictions. It was just a plain and simple hexagram-shaped pattern.
When cultivators underwent Tribulation Transcendence, they could not rely on array formations to block the attacks. The rays of lightning during Heavenly Tribulation could disregard all array formations.
There were many miraculous uses for postnatal Dharma treasures that were refined by cultivators. They mainly relied on the restrictions inscribed on both the interior and exterior of the Dharma treasures.
After years of research, Li Changshou was certain about one thing—the principles behind restrictions were similar to that of array formations. Both relied on specific symbols and patterns to draw spiritual energy. The only differences were in the complexity and size of the symbols and patterns.
Restrictions were inscribed onto Dharma treasures. The Dharma treasures were similar to the base of an array formation. Cultivators could activate the restrictions and produce an enormous force by injecting immortal powers into the Dharma treasures.
In array formations, the base acted as nodes. By drawing on Heaven and Earth’s powers, spiritual energy would flow within the base of the array formations.
Although the principles behind restrictions and array formations were similar, they served completely different purposes.
Advanced postnatal Dharma treasures could usually compress a complete restriction into the size of a fingernail.
On the other hand, the strength of array formations was directly proportional to their sizes. Array formations had to integrate with heaven and earth so as to utilize their powers.
Therefore, although Li Changshou was skilled in creating array formations, he was not proficient in refining Dharma artifacts.
There was nothing he could do about that. He had only been cultivating for 112 years, and he had tried his best to reduce his sleeping time throughout the years. Nevertheless, cultivation and other skills such as alchemy, refining poisons, and array formations all required an immense amount of time to achieve mastery.
He would die to be able to spend the 24 hours he had every day as though he had 48 hours instead. Nonetheless, the duration of his cultivation was ultimately too short. He had to compromise some of his avocations. There was no way he could achieve mastery in all his avocations.
Back to the issue of blocking Heavenly Tribulation…
Heavenly Tribulation could overlook array formations and most defense-type Dharma treasures. Only some rare Dharma treasures could reduce the Heavenly Tribulation’s impact. Those did not include the connate Dharma treasures and ultimate Dharma treasures as they were too rare to be found.
However, Li Changshou had an advantage that no one else had—nine years of compulsory education.
The wooden cage that he had made was inspired by the Faraday Cage1 that was in his high school physics textbook. It could be used to block out lightning and was often used in breathtaking high-voltage magic tricks.
Li Changshou had almost forgotten about the principles behind the cage, but he could still recall its structure.
Li Changshou instructed Lan Ling’e, “Do not touch the web around you.”
Lan Ling’e shivered in the cage. She stepped on a wooden plank and looked at her senior brother pitifully. “Senior Brother, what exactly are you doing?”
“Just don’t move,” Li Changshou replied calmly. He took out a few talismans from his sleeve and threw them about 100 feet above the wooden cage casually while pointing at the talismans with his left hand.
A few cracks were heard, and lighting soon struck down from the clear sky.
A few bolts of lightning struck directly on the lightning-conducting logs above the wooden cage. The iron web surrounding the wooden cage was lit up by tiny electric currents instantly. The lightning-accumulating Seven Deity Metal at the bottom of the wooden cage instantly scattered the electric currents and integrated them into the ground.
Lan Ling’e was hugging her head and cowering in fear. She looked up slowly and glanced around in astonishment. Praises escaped her mouth.
“What is this treasure? It could actually block the lightning bolts successfully!”
Li Changshou replied nonchalantly, “This is the Faraday Cage. Stay in there a while longer. I’ll try increasing the voltage.”
“Senior Brother! Why don’t we stop here? Aiya!”
Before Lan Ling’e could finish her sentence, Li Changshou had taken a stack of yellow paper talismans from his sleeve. He activated them using his Dharmic powers and threw them above the wooden cage.
These talismans produced bolts of lightning and filled the sky with thunderbolts.
The lightning bolts crashed towards the wooden cage below!
In a split second, the sky was engulfed by lightning. The birds on the Little Qiong Peak flocked above the forest, and the spiritual beasts were filled with uneasiness.
The experiments showed that the Faraday Cage’s effects were pretty remarkable. The only concern that he had was whether the Heavenly Tribulation would demolish the cage.
He only hoped that the cage could block the first bolt of heavenly lightning during the Heavenly Tribulation for his master.
“Come on out. Thank you for your hard work.” Li Changshou called out before starting to think of ways to reinforce the wooden cage.
Lan Ling’e could not resist the urge to complain. “Senior Brother, you could have placed a fish in the cage! Wouldn’t that achieve the same result?”
“I wanted you to participate in this. We both helped Master during his Tribulation Transcendence,” Li Changshou replied while smiling.
Lan Ling’e pursed her lips and arranged her beautiful hair behind her ears. “Senior Brother, are we going to continue experimenting?” she asked softly. “My cultivation level might not be high, but I can definitely help with these things.”
“You can’t stay in there for the next experiments. We’ll do as you have said. Let’s grab a bucket and experiment with fish.”
Li Changshou took out a bunch of colorful and long strings. He continued burying his head in the tasks. “We are now testing the intensity of the lightning strikes. There’s no way you can handle the impacts if they land on you.”
Lan Ling’e responded in agreement, turned around, and rushed to the side of the lake. She carefully avoided her master, who was meditating in the soundproof field, and jumped onto the lake.
After a while, lightning appeared above the Little Qiong Peak again.
That lasted for about three days. Those who noticed the lightning thought that someone was practicing lightning Dharma spells on the mountain peak. Nobody paid attention to the weird occurrences.
That continued until Qi Yuan woke up from his meditation. Satisfied with the outcome of his meditation, he turned around to find that the lush grass and beautiful scenery beside the lake had been thoroughly demolished. Parallel black vertical lines appeared on his forehead that was full of wrinkles. A large hole had formed on the bank of the lake. His two disciples were squatting at the bottom of the hole and were working on a large birdcage.
Qi Yuan sighed in despair and chided them. “What are you two doing instead of cultivating?!”
“Master! You’re awake!” Lan Ling’e called out in excitement. “Senior Brother has made a treasure that could help you with the Heavenly Tribulation! We have tested it out hundreds of times with lightning strikes. The fish are still alive!”
Li Changshou added, “Please wait a moment, Master. This object will be completed soon.”
“Oh?” Qi Yuan’s expression changed instantly. He was curious about the new innovation his elder disciple was working on.
However, the moment he stepped forward, his expression changed again. He stood still and looked at the sky in the east.
Lan Ling’e lifted her head and asked, “What’s wrong, Master?”
“Haiz.” Qi Yuan stood with his hands behind his back. He replied gently, “The Heavenly Tribulation is here.”
Those words made Li Changshou and Lan Ling’e’s smiles disappear instantly.
They jumped out of the hole hurriedly and looked towards the direction their master was looking at. A sea of dark clouds appeared in the east and was moving towards the Immortal Du Sect at fast speed.
“Ling’e, quickly!” Li Changshou shouted immediately. “Ling’e, quickly! Bring the cage to the Tribulation Transcendence venue that Master had picked in the mountains behind! Make sure that the six poles of Seven Deity Metal are buried in the ground!”
Lan Ling’e carried the Faraday Cage with her skinny arms and rushed towards the mountains behind on a cloud. She did not have time to be concerned about her ‘fairy image’.
At that moment, Li Changshou was even more worried than his master. He took out a brocade box from his sleeve and rushed towards Qi Yuan.
“Master, this is a precious pill that I have specially refined for you. It… it can help you block one bolt of heavenly lightning. After the first lightning bolt, you can consume this immediately if you think that you cannot handle the next strike.”
Qi Yuan looked at Li Changshou with a smile and said in a hushed voice, “Keep this precious pill for yourself. You can use it during your Tribulation Transcendence. Don’t waste it on me.”
Li Changshou knelt down in front of Qi Yuan and squeezed the brocade box into Qi Yuan’s hands. He said anxiously, “Master, you have raised and taught me for so many years. You are the one who guided me on the path to pursue Dao, and you had never been harsh on me or asked anything from me. This is the only thing I can do for you, Master. If you do not accept this pill, I will destroy it immediately!”
Qi Yuan smiled bitterly and said, “Why do you have to do this? How could I possibly not know about my condition?”
“Oh, right! I have 11 more of those pills!” Li Changshou changed his strategy immediately. “I can swear to the miraculous Dao that I definitely have 11 more similar pills! And, every cultivator can only consume one of the pills!”
Qi Yuan was a little hesitant. “Really?”
“Okay, then.” Qi Yuan grabbed the brocade box with his hand and said, “Come on. Let’s head to the back mountains. Let’s not allow the Heavenly Tribulation to destroy our accommodation.”
The grey cloud soon reached the Immortal Du Sect.
Li Changshou hopped on a white cloud hurriedly and pulled his master to the back mountains.
“Master, you can save your Dharma powers now. Oh, right. Master, do you have sufficient medicinal pills with you? You can use all kinds of medicinal pills during Tribulation Transcendence. Have you prepared enough pills to treat your injuries and recover your energy? Why did the Heavenly Tribulation come without any warning?!”
“I have prepared them. I have prepared them.” Qi Yuan smiled as he looked at Li Changshou, who was standing in front of him. He recalled the demure and lost little boy Li Changshou was when he brought him to the mountains initially.
In a whizz, so many years had passed.
Although the little kid then became a little wild, he had ultimately grown up.
Qi Yuan spent the last of the resources that the Little Qiong Peak had on him. His only wish was that Li Changshou could successfully become an immortal.
“Changshou, if I do not manage to survive the Heavenly Tribulation, the Little Qiong Peak will be left in your hands. If the sect wants to reclaim our Little Qiong Peak, do not obstruct them. Listen to the sect’s arrangement. I have begged a few fellow sect members that I am familiar with for a favor. They will bring you and Ling’e to their peak to cultivate.”
“Master, you will definitely survive the Heavenly Tribulation!”
Li Changshou asserted, “Be confident! Do not be depressed. This is an obstacle that the Heavenly Dao wants you to overcome. Everything will be okay once you have overcome it. If living things do not fight for a chance to survive, what is the point of their existence?! There is always a slim chance of survival in every desperate situation. Only when you fight for your survival will you survive the situation!”
Qi Yuan sighed. He smiled bitterly and said, “My dear disciple, don’t you know these principles? Why do you still live so cautiously every day?”
Li Changshou replied solemnly, “I have never forgotten these principles that you have taught me. The only reason for my cautiousness was to avoid landing myself in those desperate situations.”
In no time, they reached the Little Qiong Peak’s back mountains. Lan Ling’e was waving from an empty space in the forest. Li Changshou pulled his master and jumped down. He pushed his master into the newly constructed wooden cage without any room for debate.
Afterward, he lowered his head and started checking the condition of the birdcage. He took out a couple of porcelain bottles, threw them into his master’s hands, and closed the wooden cage door. Then, he pulled Lan Ling’e and started retreating quickly.
The grey cloud had already appeared above the Immortal Du Sect and shielded the light from outside. The Immortal Du Sect was engulfed in darkness.
Li Changshou yelled at the top of his lungs, “Master! Do your best to fight it! The precious pill must be used after the first bolt of heavenly lightning!”
Qi Yuan nodded his head solemnly. He lifted his head and looked at the tribulation cloud. Waves of Dharma powers swarmed him. His sleeves and the seams of his Dao robe were moving without the presence of any wind.
Lan Ling’e shouted, “Master, you can do this!”
“I will fight for myself this time!”
Qi Yuan looked at the sky. His eyes were sparkling.
A fight against destiny!
All of a sudden, the cry of a dragon sounded above the clouds. A 10,000-feet long azure dragon that was covered in shimmering red scales emerged from the grey clouds. Its claw slammed onto the mountain-protecting array formation.
The lights in the mountain-protecting array formation flickered as the mountains trembled. Loud booms sounded from the ground on all sides!
At the same time, a deep voice sounded from the skies!
“The person in charge of the Immortal Du Sect, come out and reply to me!”
Azure dragon? Calling out people?
This grey cloud was situated outside the mountain-protecting array formation. It did not have the ability to disregard all array formations…
Although it has a suppressive force, upon closer inspection, it was not the heavenly suppressive force.
“Eh? Isn’t that Master’s Tribulation Cloud?”
Li Changshou tilted her head. He could not stop himself from cupping his forehead. Qi Yuan, standing inside the Faraday’s Cage, also twitched the corner of his lip.
This old Daoist priest turned around quietly and squatted down slowly.
‘Oh my Grand Pure One, I have embarrassed myself thoroughly this time!’