Kuang Han harassed Jiang Chen ceaselessly with his secret method. He could sense that they were closing in on their prey. Even though it wouldn’t cause any physical harm, it was imperative that he instill terror in the target.
“Fellow daoists, I can say with utmost certainty that he’s the murderer,” Kuang Han stated while giving chase.
“Why do you say so?”
“What makes you so certain, Daoist Kuang?”
“Simple. That brat wasn’t affected at all by the pressure of my consciousness and continues to run without slowing down. Have you ever seen a genius of this caliber in the great emperor realm?”
The two other daoists fell into deep contemplation with the countered question.
“That’s true. How can that brat be immune to your mental assault? Not even Xuan Rui or Kuang Rong can withstand our combined attacks, even from several hundred miles away.”
“I can’t believe there’s such a formidable monster on Winterdraw Island. Is it possible that he isn’t even part of the trial, but an empyrean master that slipped in somehow?” Xue Yi’s imagination ran wild.
The theory was a slight shock to Kuang Han and Xuan Zan. No wonder so many geniuses had died to that person. Their deaths wouldn't be unwarranted if met with this kind of opponent.
“No matter! Even if he has limitless talent, he’s going to die today!” Kuang Han yelled resolutely. If this had been some other incident, perhaps he might spare the genius and take them as a henchman. Unfortunately, a blood debt could only be paid with more blood; there was no room for compromise.
His life on the line, Jiang Chen had no choice but to push himself to the absolute limit. However, that still wasn’t enough to shake off his pursuers. In fact, they inched closer with each passing second.
Damn it! If this continues, it won’t be long until I’m surrounded. Must I really activate the spacetime seal and return to the human domain?
He felt extremely indignant. If he returned to the human domain, all of his hard work during this past period would go down the drain.
Moreover, he might not end up on this island again if he tried to come back. Who knew exactly how the teleportation array worked? He didn’t want to use the spacetime seal until absolutely necessary.
At this rate, they’ll close the distance to a hundred miles within a day. My every move and action will be difficult to escape their eyes then.
A good counterplan was needed, and quick.
Suddenly, an inexplicably powerful force emerged directly in front of him. He had no choice but to slow down his footsteps and move cautiously. He glanced ahead with the God’s Eye. An eerie, dark, and impenetrable forest was ahead of him; one could just make out an ancient and mysterious building deep inside.
A field of formations and traps was laid outside of the forest, stretching far beyond what the eye could see, blocking his path.
“What in the world is this place?” Jiang Chen was completely taken aback. The path in front was blocked while his pursuers were quickly encroaching from behind. It felt like he’d been pushed into a dead end.
Does this mean I have no choice but to use the spacetime seal? He smiled helplessly at the mysterious formation field in front of him.
“Haha! Brat, why have you stopped running?” The pursuers at the back had also sensed the formations blocking the path ahead and Jiang Chen’s predicament.
“Ran out of places to run, have you? Time to meet your maker!”
“How dare you kill our geniuses?! You’ve got some balls alright!”
Like rolling thunder, an endless stream of dignified voices exploded around Jiang Chen’s head and entered his consciousness. The three empyrean masters clearly wanted to destroy him through the sheer force of their combined consciousness.
The person in question could sense that they were getting closer. Four hundred miles… three hundred miles… two hundred miles… they’d covered those distances in merely a few breath’s time. However, Jiang Chen quickly regained his composure.
He stared deeply into the formation field with the God’s Eye in an attempt to uncover a weak spot. Every formation had a weak spot that was overlooked in some way or manner.
Impenetrable formations did exist, but this was very unlikely to be one in front of him. He could sense that this formation was likely from a very distant era. Though it was incredibly powerful, he still felt he had a chance. However, finding its weak spot in a short period of time was no easy feat.
If he failed to find its weak spot and rushed in headlong, he’d be attacked by the restrictions and ground to dust even if he was made of metal. He couldn’t afford to be so brash. He focused his attention and began to observe it.
However, this wasn’t something that could be completed in such a short amount of time. The empyrean masters had already reached the two hundred mile mark.
Without delay, he took out a talisman that he'd obtained from Shu Wanqing's storage ring, the empyrean concealing talisman. It was one of the most valuable talismans in his possession. Upon activation, it allowed the user to vanish into the void without a trace and unable to be sensed by the eye, nose, consciousness, or any of the other senses. One would meld completely with the air.
Without any hesitation, he activated the talisman and applied its effects onto himself. After a bright flash, Jiang Chen’s body rippled away from sight. His figure became blurrier and blurrier until he vanished altogether.
The three empyrean masters arrived in just a few breaths.
“Where is he?” Xuan Zan immediately asked upon landing.
Xue Yi cackled sinisterly and started to search around. “Brat, do you really think that hiding will of any use? The place is only so big. Let’s see where you can run off to!”
Kuang Han’s eyes glinted. His target had disappeared right beneath his eyes. This greatly perplexed him. There seemed to be no movement within the formation either. Did the brat scamper his way into the formation? Doubts filled his mind.
“Fellow daoists, let’s split up and see if you can find any trace of the brat.” He’d become the de facto leader between the three, while the other two had taken a slightly more supportive role. Without so much as a murmur, they split up and began their search.
Hiding within the void, Jiang Chen was just three hundred meters away from the empyrean masters. To minimize his presence, he stood under a nearby tree without moving a single muscle and observed the formation with complete focus.
Focusing one’s thoughts during such circumstance was an incredibly difficult feat. However, it was during such times when Jiang Chen’s Boulder’s Heart showed its strength. Even though the three were moving within his line of sight, his heart remained as immovable as ever.
The formation field is extremely complicated. It’s an amalgamation of many smaller formations stacked on top of each other, from deep to shallow, and from simple to complex. It’s fortunate that I didn’t rush in headlong. If I were attacked by it, I wouldn’t be able to escape even with the spacetime seal.
Jiang Chen silently heaved a breath of relief. After a moment’s observation, he began to gather some leads.
To infiltrate the formation, I’ll have to master every single minute detail. It’s clear that time has taken a toll on the formation as it’s integrity has begun to falter. This is a very favorable situation. I wonder what opportunities can be found inside?
However, he didn’t have the time to think about such things. Right now, all he could think about was escaping from his pursuers by entering the formation.
“You must be kidding me! The brat disappeared!?”
“Did he enter the formation without a care of the consequences?”
“Impossible. There isn’t any movement within the formation.”
The three were completely caught off guard. The fact that their prey had vanished into thin air only made them more frustrated.
“Daoist Kuang Han, what should we do?”
Kuang Han muttered, “This is extremely suspicious. Let’s take a closer look and see if there are any weak spots in the formation where the brat might’ve slipped into.” He couldn’t think of any other reasonable explanations.
The three had no choice but to observe the formation meticulously. There were a few weak spots here and there, but no sign of any holes or movement. Their fruitless search went on for almost an hour.
“Can the brat really have escaped?” Xuan Zan gnashed his teeth.
“Even if he can fly or tunnel into the ground, there’s no way he can escape from my field of consciousness. His mind ripples suddenly vanished into thin air. I can only think of two possibilities.
“First possibility is that he's entered the formation. Perhaps he's extremely familiar with formations. This explains why he could navigate his way through the mountains and arrived at this place with pinpoint accuracy. Second possibility is that he's used some kind of secret method to conceal himself from our consciousness. If it's the second one, he's probably still nearby.” Kuang Han growled deeply.
Xue Yi suddenly interrupted. “I recall that there's a concealing talisman that allows the user to hide his presence.
“A concealing talisman?” Yu Kuang had an epiphany. “Daoist Xue Yi might be right. If the brat has concealed himself, we won't be able to locate him with our consciousness. However, he won't be able to use to run away either because the talisman will immediately lose its effect. Since he has to run on foot, it’s unlikely that he’s made it very far. We can’t to see him with our eyes, but he can’t escape from our range either. We’ll sense it if he uses any arts.”
“Does that mean that he might still be in the vicinity?” Xuan Zan suddenly asked.
“Yes. Since there are two possibilities, let’s try to rule out the second one first.” Kuang Han answered coldly.