Chapter 37. The Alliance’s Attack
Normally, making a formation required meeting many conditions.
One had to take geography, temperature, wind, and time into consideration when activating a formation.
And that wasn’t all. The formation had to be drawn perfectly.
A perfect circle. In order to draw that, formation experts usually had to carry a large amount of tools along with them to draw.
Jo Gi Chun was also like that in the beginning. But that was a long time ago. When he learned that formations could be made with math, he also acquired some shortcuts that let him bypass many of the annoying requirements when making formations.
And recently, his formation creation skills were boosted significantly once again when he met Cho Ryu Hyang.
The earth began to wave like a body of water, then began to crack all over the place.
That was the beginning. Yu Sul Bin, when he saw this, stopped grinning, and became alert.
A giant tree began to grow all of the sudden.
A silver tree that pierced the earth. It instantly grew tall enough to block the light from the sun.
While Yu Sul Bin was looking at this spectacle with a stupid face, one of the seven old men spoke with amazement.
“Ho, this is amazing. I never saw one of this type before.”
“Uncle Feng Ho Zi, do you know what this is?”
“Hah? You don’t know what this is?”
“I don’t. Just what type of magic is this terrifying?”
When Yu Sul Bin asked this, the old man shook his head when answering.
“This isn’t magic. It’s a formation.”
“What? A formation? This?”
Yu Sul Bin became puzzled.
The formations he knew about wasn’t this amazing. The old man who answered him moments ago, looked around some more, and opened his mouth in astonishment once again.
“Yes. It seems that an extremely skilled formations expert was with the Demon Church.”
“Can’t you do anything about this?”
The old man with a long beard. He was a person who was skilled in all kinds of things, and was the one who took care of the temple at the Alliance. In short, this old man was very talented. But even he simply made a troubled expression right now.
“I don’t think I can. The difference between the creator and I is too big. Plus, it seems that we are already trapped inside.”
Yu Sul Bin frowned. Feng Ho Zi was a respected formations expert in the Alliance. If even he said that, then there really was no way to destroy this formation.
Come to think of it, that old man behind the Blood Sound Demon. That man was doing something behind the old demon’s back. That old man was probably the one behind all this.
“Goddamned Demon Church Bastards…….”
While Yu Sul Bin was just standing there gritting his teeth, the first transformation took place.
The silver tree that seemed to grow endlessly soon stopped. When Feng Ho Zi saw this, he grew worried.
“Be careful. If I’m right, this should be…….”
He didn’t need to continue. That was because the thick roots of the tree began to wriggle around, and move.
“Uwah! What’s that?! It’s disgusting!”
When Yu Sul Bin made a horrified face, Feng Ho Zi opened his mouth.
“Even though everything here’s an illusion, if it’s this well made…….”
Feng Ho Zi and Yu Sul Bin stopped talking, and moved sideways. There was a tree root the size of a giant’s arm stuck in the place where they were moments ago.
When Yu Sul Bin saw the floor that got pierced quite deeply by the root, his face turned stiff.
“We’ll have to expect at least a broken limb when getting hit by one of those roots.”
Yu Sul Bin fondled his sword’s hilt. He should’ve known that everything was going too smoothly.
To think that the tables would be turned on them like this. Yu Sul Bin quickly looked around, all the while swearing in his mind.
The tree roots were constantly assaulting Yu Sul Bin and the uncles, but it wasn’t much of a problem.
It would be dangerous if they got hit, but they weren’t sitting ducks. To them, the tree roots were simply an annoyance.
The one that worried him was Ju Sang San, who somehow hid himself during all the confusion. That old demon was the biggest problem here.
‘Damn, where is he?’
Because he got so shocked by the formation, he missed the old demon slipping away under his nose.
He regretted it greatly, but the past has already passed. Now, all he could do was to take care of everything as fast as possible. Yu Sul Bin stretched his senses to the limit as he dodged the roots.
‘I have to find him as fast as I can.’
He was in a disadvantageous situation, but he was still prepared to meet Ju Sang San head on when the old demon came.
After all, he was an expert at the harmonious level. Something like an ambush simply won’t work against him.
But there were his uncles. They didn’t step into the harmonious stage yet, so if Ju Sang San ambushed them, they would probably get heavily injured.
Because of that, Yu Sul Bin had to focus on finding Ju Sang San, and protect his uncles all at the same time.
Yu Sul Bin heard something streak towards him, and quickly swung his sword.
A small pebble was thrown at him. Yu Sul Bin quickly turned and ran towards the direction the stone came from, but stopped just as fast. Realising something, he then began to run back while screaming at the top of his lungs-
“Uncle Feng So Zi!”
Feng So Zi. He became alert when he heard Yu Sul Bin’s voice after dodging a tree root.
A small shadow jumped towards Feng So Zi. Feng So Zi became surprised, but he still managed to instinctively stab his sword at the shadow.
But even so, a rushed attack like that would never work against a harmonious expert. Ju Sang San softly pushed away the sword that was coming at him, and punched.
Feng So Zi’s knees bent powerlessly. At the same time, his body quickly fell downwards to the floor.
“Son of a bitch! I’ll kill you!”
Yu Sul Bin quickly struck towards Ju Sang San.
A white-hot sword. As expected of a disciple of the Dao Emperor, Yu Sul Bin’s sword was filled with white energy.
Ju Sang San, who expected all of this to happen prior, simply smiled and dodged the blade.
“Your uncle is not dead yet, idiot.”
Yu Sul Bin paused when he heard the old demon’s voice.
And there he saw the uncle, who was suffering from two broken legs. Only then did he realize what Ju Sang San was trying to do, and trembled in rage.
“You goddamned demon…….”
Ju Sang San was a seasoned veteran. He knew how to take on multiple enemies in a battlefield like this.
He wouldn’t kill his victims even when he had the chance. Instead, he would make them be unable to move, which would force the victim’s comrades to take care of the victim.
The victim would become a dead weight to the whole group.
“Son of a bitch…….”
Yu Sul bin grit his teeth.
This was dangerous. With a injured person in the battlefield, the risks the others would have to take would rise significantly.
This just meant that Ju Sang San’s chances of victory were just increasing. This really was the perfect way to fight.
“Aren’t you going to chase me?”
Ju Sang San sent an energy blast at Yu Sul Bin, then stepped back, and smiled evilly.
“Then just wait. I’ll kill every single one of you as fast as I can.”
Yu Sul Bin, who was about to give chase, stopped. If he chased the old demon, there was no telling what would happen to the uncles.
‘The is the beginning, novice.’
Survival of the fittest, a dog-eat-dog world.
A place where that phrase fit in perfectly was the Heavenly Demon Church. Ju Sang San, having lived there his whole life, was very used to battlefields like this.
What he had gone through in the past was much worse than what was happening here. Because of that, Yu Sul Bin, who had been living in a much more comforting environment in the past, couldn’t hope to fight against Ju Sang San.
“Don’t worry about Feng So Zi. We’ll take care of him.”
Yu Sul Bin nodded with a stiff face when Feng Ho Zi came to get the injured uncle.
“I’ll leave him in your care.”
“Just go kill the demon.”
“I was just about to.”
Yu Sul Bin sliced the tree root that was coming for his head, blood red tree sap splattered on his body.
Yu Sul Bin made a ferocious face with the blood-red sap on him. Right now, he was extremely mad at himself. He thought he got tricked by Ju Sang San.
‘Just because of a damn pebble…….’
He became so alert, that his body responded to the pebble unconsciously. Because of that mistake, one of the uncles lost two legs.
A regretful mistake.
‘I’m not going to fall for it twice.’
Yu Sul Bin grit his teeth, and widened his senses. Ju Sang San, who was watching all this from afar, just grinned.
‘You really think this same trick isn’t going to work twice in a row?’
Ju Sang San could clearly see what that boy was thinking. Even though their skill levels were about the same, in terms of experience, Ju Sang San outstripped Yu Sul Bin by far.
Ju Sang San smiled as he cooked up a strategy to take care of the boy.
‘Come to think of it, this really is amazing.’
Ju Sang San looked at the giant silver tree in the middle with a look of amazement. This situation here really was a heaven-sent opportunity.
He knew that Cho Ryu Hyang’s teacher was skilled in formations, but he didn’t realize that the man could do something so amazing like this.
If even he was surprised by this, just how surprised did those guys get? It was probably something like a sucker punch to the face.
‘They’ll be safe in there, right?’
The silver tree.
Young lord Cho Ryu Hyang and Jo Gi Chun probably lay there. And that was probably the safest place in the whole formation.
‘By the way, just what is this tree made of?’
He didn’t know what this tree was, but it wasn’t normal. The tree was barely scratched after taking quite a lot of blows from just about everyone.
And then there was Yu Sul Bin, who cut a whole root with a single slash. That was something to be alert about for sure.
‘So, how shall I attack next…….’
Ju Sang San evened out his breath as he thought. He was trying to hide his presence.
Feng Ho Zi dodged a tree root to the side, and thought for a moment. There was something he didn’t understand going around here.
‘This is strange.’
The fact that there existed an amazing formation like this. That in itself was amazing, but there was something else that was even more surprising.
‘How can a single formation perform two different tasks?’
A normal formation would usually perform simple tasks with a single objective. For example, killing everyone in the formation.
If there was a command like that, the formation would try to indiscriminately kill everything inside. In the beginning, Feng Ho Zi thought that this was the case.
But that wasn’t it. Only the people from the Alliance were being targeted. Ju Sang San hasn’t been targeted by a tree root a single time this whole moment.
This was weird. In the beginning, a formation didn’t even have the power to distinguish different humans.
But from what he was seeing right now, the formation was doing just that. After thinking some more carefully, Feng Ho Zi opened his mouth with a serious face.
“Yu Sul Bin.”
Yu Sul Bin, who wasn’t hearing anything because he was so concentrated, quickly came back to his senses and looked at the uncle.
“What is it?”
“That place. It’s suspicious.”
Yu Sul Bin followed the uncle’s gaze. He soon opened his mouth with narrowing eyes.
The silver tree. While looking at the tree’s center, Yu Sul Bin nodded.
Right then, Feng Ho Zi nodded.
“It looks like the nucleus of the formation would most likely be in here.”
“Yes. As long as that’s gone, the formation would be destroyed.”
They didn’t have the power to destroy the formation based on skill. But they did have the power to destroy it with brute force.
“But if I move, that guy’s going to come for you.”
Feng Ho Zi knew that. But there was no time to just wait and do nothing. That would just cause more damage.
“It wouldn’t be good if we just dragged time, either.”
Yu Sul Bin furrowed his brows, and began to think. He had to choose. After a while, he slowly opened his mouth.
“We’ll have to sacrifice……. a bit.”
“Amitayus…….” (TL: ……It’s a buddhist thing. I think.)
While everyone was nodding, and praying at the same time, Feng So Zi, who had a painful expression plastered onto his face, spoke.
“…….Just leave me here.”
Yu Sul Bin shook his head.
“We can’t do that.”
“I don’t want to be a burden to all of you.”
Yu Sul Bin’s face became red when he heard Feng So Zi’s words.
“Are you telling us to become monsters that leaves one of their own behind to die? We can’t leave you here!”
“That kind of a thing is something that only the Demon Church does! Don’t say anything anymore. You just have to go back with us in one piece.”
Yu Sul Bin said this, and piggybacked Feng So Zi onto his back. He then took off his belt, and used it to tie him and Feng So Zi together.
“I’ll take care of uncle’s life from now. If you die, I die. So don’t say anything else about leaving people behind.”
Feng So Zi made a pained face, but Yu Sul Bin’s mind was already set. And now, a fierce battle was to take place.
But at the same time, thanks to Yu Sul Bin’s choice, everyone else in the group was letting out an extremely fierce aura.
They all became united as they prepared their minds for death.
The silver tree.
The experts of the Alliance began to move towards its center.