Humanity's Great Sage

Humanity’s Great Sage – Chapter 291, Ward-Breaking


Translator: TheBrokenPen

Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys


The debate was still ongoing when the man in white lowered his gaze to examine his Battlefield Imprint. He had received a message. He checked the new transmission before he looked up again. With an odd look at Gu Canyang, he said, “Brother Gu, is our guest a student in the crafts of ward-casting?”


Gu Canyang paused to think. “I heard that he is being trained as a Glyphweaver. He could cast and use Glyphs, and we know that Glyphs and wards are closely interrelated branches of magic. Why? What is going on?”


“It appears that Brother Lu is near the peripherals of our outpost’s defensive ward. He seems to be studying how to undo its magic.”


“Undo its magic?” Both Ji Yan and Gu Canyang yelped in unison, their faces replete with shock. 


If wards could be cast it was only natural to expect that they could also be broken. Even so, defeating the magic of a defensive ward had, under most circumstances, been highly improbable for Cultivators of the Spirit Creek Realm. Those who were exceptions could only break simpler and elementary ones. Wards as complex and sturdy as defensive wards of outposts and strongholds often were impossible for them to defeat.


Such was the prime reason that the invasion and successful capturing of an enemy outpost in the Spirit Creek Battlefield had always been a rare occurrence. More so, since virtually every outpost in the Battlefield had a defensive ward potent enough to keep it practically impregnable. 


“Perhaps he is learning ward-casting as well. Send word to everyone else: no one is to disturb Brother Lu Yi Ye. Just leave him be,” ordered Gu Canyang, who was not at all bothered by the report. 


In the meantime, at the edges of the Hidden Light Sanctuary defensive ward, Lu Ye really was studying the subsistent operation of the defensive ward in its dormant state.


He needed to find the weakness in the defensive ward if he wished to break it, and to do that he would need to employ a methodology that would force said weakness to reveal itself. Every defensive ward had its own weakness–no ward was perfectly undefeatable.


But the more complex a ward was, the fewer weaknesses it would have. Most of the defensive wards that outposts in the Battlefield utilized ward keystones that could be bought from the Vault of Providence, but those who maintained and operated it understood almost nothing about how the defensive wards worked.


The defensive ward of the Crimson Blood Sect outpost, for instance, was controlled by Hua Ci using the jade tablet that corresponded to the ward. Despite her apparent lack of understanding of the sophisticated intricacies of a defensive ward, she had had no problems in handling the defensive ward at all.


The same could be said for Hidden Light Sanctuary.


The ones in charge of the defensive ward knew little about ward casting, making it difficult, if not impractical, to expect them to know how to strengthen their defensive ward. But most would just deem such notions as superfluous since defensive wards in the Spirit Creek Battlefield were only expected to hold up against invasions conducted by Cultivators of the Spirit Creek Realm. 


Lady Yun’s training of Lu Ye whenever he went back to the Crimson Blood Sect stronghold often began first with the dismantling of Glyphs. She would construct various kinds of Glyphs for Lu Ye to practice breaking them apart. Similarly, if defensive wards were like Glyphs, then defeating a defensive ward would be akin to dismantling Glyphs.


Then again, Lu Ye was no fool. He knew that the construction of defensive wards involved more advanced Glyph construction, especially those that encompassed the length and breadth of an outpost; an outpost’s defensive ward, for one, could easily carry more than ten separate Glyphs.


Lu Ye did not understand enough about ward-casting before he set off on this trip, hence he had not had the chance to properly examine the Crimson Blood Sect outpost defensive ward. 


But he had been reading a lot about the subject since he began his journey. As his knowledge about magical wards grew, he could already cast small and simple wards of his own, like the ones he attempted back when he was still in the Lost City of Xianyuan. 


But Lu Ye could read every book about ward-casting in Jiu Zhou and he would still not improve much if he did not have a chance for a practical way to test what he had learned. 


Examining the Hidden Light Sanctuary ward, Lu Ye realized that the magic was way more complex than he expected. The defensive ward appeared so immaculate that he could not find any weaknesses at all!


And with no weakness, there was no way to know how the ward should be defeated.


Lu Ye closed his eyes and concentrated his Spiritual Power on his eyes. The detailed runic shape of a Glyph came into view. 


Glyph: Insight!


The eleventh Glyph from the Tree of Glyphs had been especially instrumental in his defeat of a Ghost Cultivator during his attack on the Thousand Demon Ridge mines not long ago.


Lu Ye reopened his eyes. The world around him looked completely different—myriads of colorful hues surged into his line of sight—making the world around him strange and surrealistic. He could see Iights twisting and dancing around him,  shimmering and gyrating uncontrollably. He knew what they were—ambient Spiritual Qi flowing in the atmosphere around him.


The ability to see the flow of Spiritual Qi and Energy. That was the function of Glyph: Insight.


Quite some time ago, Lu Ye discovered that the use of Insight was not restricted to finding invisible enemies; he had realized back then that this Glyph could be especially useful with ward-breaking.


With his Insight-enhanced sight, Lu Ye studied the workings of the Hidden Light Sanctuary defensive ward once more. It was different now. He could see the flow of Spiritual Energies in the phosphorescent magical ward like the swirl of water on a lake’s surface. Only, the flow of the Spiritual Energies came from one direction and that was because magical wards were actually not in a semi-sphere, but, in fact, a full sphere. With one-half above the ground in full view, especially when the magical ward was fully activated. Stronghold and outpost defensive wards had another half of the shield underground. Hence the flow of Spiritual Energies in one direction would ensure the continued and perpetual operation of the magical ward so long as enough sustenance was supplied.


But with the rich ambient Spiritual Qi in the atmosphere and the different levels of Blessing accorded to every outpost’s Divine Opportunity Column, defensive wards had more than enough Spiritual energy to use and to hold up in reserve. This would allow wards to be strengthened during the occasion of an invasion. 


On most days the defensive wards would be kept dormant with a minimal amount of activity so that they could be activated at a moment’s notice.


To most people, an activated defensive ward resembled a transparent semi-sphere of water. But to Lu Ye through his Insight-enhanced sight, the shimmering shield of the defensive ward was a huge dome composed of thousands of tiny Yin and Yang element pieces, plus Glyphs glowing like stars twinkling back at him here and there. It would not take a genius to guess that these Glyphs must be there to amplify the defensive capabilities of the magical ward, augmenting its strength and increasing the efficiency of the Spiritual Energy to all quarters of the shield, among others


The whole magical ward was like one big enchantment made up of a tightly-knitted amalgamation of Glyphs!


But unlike enchantments cast upon Spirit Artifacts, this would be one that would only come into shape and operation if and when Spiritual Energy was channeled through it.


That would explain what Lady Yun had told him before about how ward-casting was actually just a branch of Glyph-weaving.


Lu Ye studied the link of the Glyphs, finding patterns that were familiar to him.


That was because the Glyphs he had been using were not the only things his Tree of Glyphs had. There was also a plethora of techniques to bind Glyphs together. Unlike ordinary Glyphs, they were useless if used individually.


But they were essential knowledge for anyone wanting to learn the applications of being able to bind Glyphs together.


Lu Ye went on with his observation. Still, the Hidden Light Sanctuary defensive ward yielded no discernible weakness that he could exploit. He paused for several seconds, then he decided to step nearer for a closer look. As he examined the phosphorescent ward, he slowly paced around.


After almost a quarter of an hour of strolling, he finally halted and stared intently at a certain part of the ward.


Unlike every other part of the ward that he had observed, there was something different about this particular spot. If the parts that he had seen before were perfectly flawless, then here he could find traces where the bindings were visible.


These traces were the weaknesses that he had been searching for—the points where the ward was exposed.


By his reckoning, Lu Ye knew that he must be somewhere in the middle of two of the ward’s keystones. 


The defensive ward of the Crimson Blood Sect outpost consisted of sixteen ward keystones. Although the distances between the keystones were enough for them to function and activate a viable defensive shield, the spot where the parts of the shield met would be weaker than the rest of the shield’s other sections.


If one were to liken the ward’s shield to a jigsaw puzzle, then the Crimson Blood Sect’s defensive ward would have sixteen different parts in its shield when the ward was activated. Even if the bindings between each part looked well done, the spots where the different parts met would forever remain the weakest links in the entire shield.


Most people wouldn’t have realized this and Lu Ye would have missed this too if he did not have his Insight-enhanced vision. 


Lu Ye exhaled with relief. His intuition was right! With the help of Glyph: Insight, he had found a way to detect weaknesses in a magical ward. 


Lu Ye drew Inviolable out of its sheath with deliberate slowness, all the while keeping his gaze transfixed upon the exposed binding. He channeled Spiritual Energy into his trusty weapon. Inviolable responded with a gleaming shimmer running down the length of its blade. With dual Sharp Edges activated, Lu Ye put his entire weight behind his weapon and drove Inviolable forward.


The saber’s tip hit right where the exposed binding was and Inviolable gave off a violent shudder and a hum, radiating a pulsing shock wave of Spiritual energy. The defensive ward gave an involuntary shudder and its otherwise calm surface twisted like a rumpled fabric. 


Lu Ye withdrew his saber. But he wasn’t stopping just yet. He pummeled the same spot again and again, the weapon in his hand now a blur of countless afterimages stacked upon each other as he pounded the exposed binding with dogged ferocity. 


Boom! Boom! Boom!


The signs of distortion on the shield’s surface began to deepen and stretch further. 


The commotion sent the entire outpost into a panic. Every Hidden Light Sanctuary acolyte raced around to find out what was going on. Cries of “Attack! We’re under attack!” could even be heard reverberating down the hallways and corridors.


No one knew where the attack was coming from, but there was no mistaking the signs. The shield was distorting and that could only mean that the shield was under attack. 


Gu Canyang, his white-robed deputy, and Ji Yan were alerted at once. The white-clad prolegate of the outpost immediately extracted his jade tablet to activate the shield and increased its strength to the fullest.


The entire outpost went into complete disarray until word finally came that it was their guest Lu Yi Ye who was behind the ruckus. It was he who had been attacking the defensive ward; there was no attack at all.


The corners of Gu Canyang’s eyes were still throbbing as he listened to the reports by one of the acolytes. “You mean he caused all that alone?”


“Yes, sir. I saw it myself. He was using his weapon to attack the defensive ward’s shield,” said the acolyte who had not been far when he saw what Lu Ye did. He had witnessed everything. He too was caught between bewilderment and shock for he had never seen anyone who was able to cause such a disturbance to the ward’s shield before. 


If Lu Yi Ye, now just an Eighth-Order of the Spirit Creek Realm, already possessed real strength and power to threaten the integrity of a defensive ward, then maybe he could even break it down with just one single stroke if he became a Ninth-Order trained in a Heaven-grade cultivation technique!


“Let’s have a look!” beckoned Gu Canyang who had clearly arrived at the same conclusion. With his prolegate and Ji Yan, plus a mob of male acolytes in tow, he hurried to Lu Ye was. 


They arrived to find Lu Ye sitting on the ground, recuperating. 


Lu Ye had stopped when he sensed that the defensive ward was being strengthened. At that moment, he learned that his actions must have unsettled the entire outpost.


But what he did not expect was that the commotion was big enough to have rattled the whole outpost.


“Brother Yi  Ye, were you attacking the magical ward just now?” asked Gu Canyang.


“I had an idea, that’s why I wanted to test it.”


“And were these attempts fruitful?” Gu Canyang cocked an eyebrow quizzically. 


“I’m afraid it only opened doors to more questions. Sorry, everyone, for the alarm.”


“No problem! ” Gu Canyang waved a hand at Lu Ye. “Whatever it is you wish, feel free to just put your ideas to the test. The Hidden Light Sanctuary is at your service!”


This was more than just wanting to repay Lu Ye for his assistance during the exploration of the Last City. If Lu Ye could really defeat a defensive ward by himself, the implications could be groundbreaking!


Invasion of enemy outposts was often seen as one of the most rewarding endeavors to undertake, but few ever attempted it due to the presence of defensive wards.




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