Chapter 479: Give Me a Moment
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
The vast lounge was filled with a huge crowd walking to and fro. There was a long queue in front of the front counter.
Formation plates, weapon, and pill, these three were known as the necessities for a journey. However, the variety and number of formation plates that the Formation Master Guild sold everyday was limited so there was often a long queue of people hoping to buy just one.
"Paying respects to Hall Master Sai!"
Walking around the crowd, before Zhang Xuan and Hall Master Sai could reach the reception, a young man had already walked forward to welcome them.
"I have some matters to ask of Guild Leader Zheng, I'll be troubling you to lead the way." Hall Master Sai waved his hands.
"My teacher is currently in the midst of inscribing a formation plate. I'll lead you there now!" The young man smiled and led the way.
Walking along the stairs up to the second floor, it didn't take long before they arrived at a room. Formation plates of all sizes were placed around the room, and at the very center sat an elder who was busy carving something.
A formation required a formation core and formation flags to be placed in a manner that complemented the geographical terrain to maximize its might. As such, setting one up and activating it were extremely troublesome processes, and only those who were well-versed in it were capable of the feat.
Formation plates were much simpler in comparison. One just had to inscribe a miniaturized version of the formation on the unique round plate, and just by infusing one's zhenqi into it, one would be able to trigger it.
But formation plates had two major flaws to them.
Firstly, due to its size, it was unable harmonize with the surroundings and thus, it typically only contained around half the might of an ordinary formation.
Secondly, every usage would result in immense damage to the formation plate. As such, it was limited by the number of uses, and while five times was the maximum, it was often the case that the formation plates broke after the first use.
While the flaws couldn't be said to be insignificant, its benefits still far outweighed its disadvantages. Otherwise, there wouldn't be so many people queuing up for it.
Its greatest strength lay in that anyone, even those who were completely unknowledgeable in formations, could use it. Secondly, it was convenient to carry around and it could be activated quickly and easily one just had to infuse zhenqi into it thus, making it a valuable tool in times to danger.
The elder in the room seemed to be in his sixties but there wasn't the slightest trace of facial hair on his face. His large hand was holding a small carving knife, and he was carefully carving a plate.
The creation of a formation plate was an extremely complicated process. After all, what one was trying to do was to condense a massive formation into a round plate around the size of one's palm. The difficulty of the task was obvious with just a single thought. With the slightest mistake, the inscribing process might very possibly end in failure.
Inscribing formation plates was somewhat similar to forging pills. Even 4-star formation masters couldn't claim to be able to succeed all the time. The creation of every single plate was an extremely effort and time-consuming process.
"Teacher, Hall Master Sai is here!"
Walking into the room, the young man bowed.
Putting down the carving knife, the elder raised his head, looked at his old friend, and smiled. "I've always been the one to look for you in the past, what brings you here today?"
"I have something that I have to request of Guild Leader Zheng this time!"
Hall Master Sai nodded before introducing, "This is Zhang shi. He hopes to purchase a formation plate, and after some consideration, I felt that the items you sold here are the most reliable of them all so I brought him over!"
Guild Leader Zheng stood up and assessed Zhang Xuan with a doubtful expression.
He knew the temper of this old friend of his very well. The latter was an extremely proud person, and he acted extremely casually even with him. Yet, when the latter was introducing the young man, he spoke with a very grave and earnest tone which left him intrigued.
Taking a closer look, he couldn't find anything unique about this young man. One thing notable was that he was unable to see through the cultivation of the latter, but even so, given how his actions weren't aligned with the flow of the world, it was clear he hadn't reached Transcendent Mortal realm yet.
A young lad who hadn't reached Transcendent Mortal actually made his old friend act so respectfully?
"May I know what kind of formation plate Zhang shi is looking for? Confinement Formation, Slaughter Formation, Illusion Formation... I've a few of those in stock!" Even though Guild Leader Zheng was perplexed, he had only just met the other party and it would be rude to ask of it before him.
"What I wish to find is a... Spirit Gathering Formation!" Zhang Xuan said.
"Spirit Gathering Formation?" Guild Leader Zheng was perplexed. "... There's no such formation plate. Usually, it's set up at a certain fixed location..."
Spirit Gathering Formation was mainly used for cultivation, and normally, it would be set up by some influential powers at a specific location to groom their talents. On the other hand, formation plates were often viewed as an offensive or defensive measure.
Thus, very few people would inscribe a Spirit Gathering Formation on a formation plate, and even he, the guild leader of the Formation Master Guild, had never done it before.
In truth, Guild Leader Zheng wasn't the only one who was surprised. Even Hall Master Sai was taken aback.
Hall Master Sai had thought that Zhang shi was buying a formation in preparation for the exploration of the soul oracle tomb. However, from the looks of it now, it didn't seem like that was the case. After all, what was the use of a Spirit Gathering Location in there? Was he supposed to throw it in to gather 'spirits' and capture soul oracles?
"There's no such item?" Zhang Xuan frowned.
"Indeed. I've never drawn it before. If you really require it, I can draw one for you. However, it'll take some time!" After a moment of hesitation, Guild Leader Zheng said.
The purpose of a Spirit Gathering Formation was to gather spiritual energy. As such, one would be affected by the disturbances in the spiritual energy while inscribing the formation plate. As Guild Leader Zheng had never tried it before, he didn't dare give his word.
How long will it take?" Zhang Xuan asked.
"This... I've never inscribed it before so I might take some time to grasp it properly. At worst, it might take an entire month. However, if no hiccups occur, I should be able to finish it within... half a month!" Guild Leader Zheng said.
"Half a month?" Zhang Xuan shook his head.
He was supposed to meet Luo Zhu tomorrow and set off for the soul oracle tomb. Before that, for his and his students' safety, he had to at least reach Transcendent Mortal 1-dan. By the time the formation plate was done, it would already be too late.
"Why? Do you doubt my capability?" Seeing Zhang Xuan's action of shaking his head, Guild Leader Zheng's face darkened.
Of all things, to be buying a Spirit Gathering Formation formation plate... do you even know the slightest thing about formations? If not for my old friend making this request of me, I'd definitely have thrown you out instantly!
Yet, you still dare to shake your head at me?
"Oh, I'm not saying that you can't inscribe it!"
Hearing the displeased edge in the other party's voice, Zhang Xuan realized that the other party was mistaken. Thus, he immediately clarified sheepishly, "It's just that I think your speed is a little too slow. Half a month... is a little bit too long. I really have urgent use for the formation plate now. If you can finish it within two hours, I'm willing to pay a little more!"
"Too slow? Two hours?"
Guild Leader Zheng's face immediately steeled. Flinging his sleeves, he bellowed, "Hall Master Sai, is this your guest? I don't welcome him here! Xiaowu, send our guest out!"
Do you think that inscribing formations can be done as easily as eating or drinking?
Putting aside the Spirit Gathering Formation which he had never inscribed before, even Confinement Formations and Slaughter Formations which he was familiar with would require at least a week time to inscribe. On top of that, that was assuming that his full concentration was into the task such that he didn't make the slightest error.
Otherwise, even one month would be insufficient to inscribe a single formation plate.
And that was still if he did it himself. If it was a 3-star formation master of the guild, it would take at least half a month to inscribe a single formation plate.
Yet, this fellow wanted it done... within two hours?
Are you here to make a fool out of yourself or are you trying to mock me?
"Yes..." The young man who brought the two of them in walked over and gestured, "This way please!"
In truth, the young man was also dissatisfied with Zhang Xuan's atittude.
He was a 2-star formation master and inscribing a single formation plate would take him more than a month. Yet, this fellow expected his teacher to finish one within two hours. Clearly, he wasn't a customer but a troublemaker.
"Guild Leader Zheng, please calm down."
Not expecting his old friend to chase them away all of a sudden, Hall Master Sai immediately walked up with a flushed face, "Zhang shi is just unfamiliar with formations. In terms of appraising ability, he's a 5-star appraiser who has passed the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblet. His capability is far above me!"
Guild Leader Zheng leaped in shock.
He thought that his old friend was so fearful of Zhang shi due to the latter's prestigious background. Never in his dreams did he expect the other party to be a 5-star appraiser!
With just this identity, there was no one who would dare to trifle with him in Honghai City. It was no wonder why he dared to spout such arrogant words.
"Un!" Hall Master Sai nodded his head.
While master teachers immersed themselves in multiple occupations, they were, by no means, omniscient. Zhang shi's words had clearly reflected his position as an amateur in the occupation.
And his guess was right. Even though Zhang Xuan had read through the books in Tianwu Kingdom Formation Master Guild and assimilated them, due to the guild being of too low tiered, there wasn't much information on formation plates detailed within them. Thus, even though those were basic information, Zhang Xuan was unaware of them.
"Pardon me, I was unaware of Zhang shi's identity!"
Upon knowing that the other party was a 5-star appraiser, Guild Leader Zheng immediately reined in his previous attitude and bowed respectfully with a clasped fist.
While the ranking of an appraiser didn't tie in with one's cultivation, it was still a respected occupation due to its involvement in dealing with precious artifacts. Even as the head of the Formation Master Guild, he didn't dare to offend the other party easily.
Not to mention, the other party was still a master teacher on top of that.
"You're being too polite!"
Zhang Xuan waved his hands, not paying it any heed. After some contemplation, he asked, "Since it's impossible to succeed within two hours, may I ask you to sell me a set of Spirit Gathering Formation's formation flags, core, and blueprint instead?"
Since there was no formation plate to be sold here, he could try doing it himself instead. As long as he had the formation blueprint, flags, and core in possession, it wouldn't be too difficult for him to succeed.
"Formation blueprint, flags, and core? We do have them but if one isn't an official formation master, they'll be completely useless..." Guild Leader Zheng said.
Formations had to be laid out in a way that aligned with the environment. If one didn't know the slightest thing about formations, it would be useless even if one were to obtain the formation blueprint, flags, and core.
If one could simply forge it with just these three items, they, as formation masters, would have already gone out of business long ago!
"It'll suffice as long as you sell it to me. I'll find a way myself after that!" Knowing what the other party was worried about, Zhang Xuan continued.
"This isn't a problem of whether I am willing to sell or not..."
Seeing the other party insist on the matter, Guild Leader Zheng's face darkened. He couldn't help but shake his head.
Why did Hall Master Sai bring such an unreliable lad here?
Formation flag, core, and blueprint were useless in the hands of ordinary people. Furthermore, they were extremely expensive... It was truly a waste of resources in the hands of the other party.
Besides, while I could sell the formation flags and core to you, the blueprint... That is something similar to pill formulas. There are strict rules within the guild, and as long as one isn't an official formation master, one would be prohibited from looking at it, needless to say, sell it.
From the previous exchange, it was clear that this fellow was a person who didn't know a thing about formations.
Putting aside selling formation flags and core, formation blueprint... Aren't you dreaming?
If anyone could simply look at the blueprints and buy them as and when they please, what kind of prestige would the guild retain?
"How about this? If you can set up a formation and prove that you're an official formation master, I'll let you see the formation blueprint and record it down. I'll also sell the formation flags and core to you... But if you can't do it, you'll have to drop the matter!"
Shaking his head, Guild Leader Zheng gave an ultimatum.
"If I can set up a formation, you'll sell them to me?" Zhang Xuan stared at the other party.
"That's right!" Guild Leader Zheng nodded his head. Then, a slight frown appeared on his face as he continued, "Why? Is Zhang shi a formation master as well?"
But before he could finish his words, Zhang Xuan had already shut his eyes.
"... Give me a moment!"
Library Of Heaven's Path Chapter 479
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