Chapter 616: Array On Array
The creepy fog drifted closer, making those that were too close turn slack and then swallow their saliva without so much as a peep.
Every time it inched closer it buried a deeper dread in the hearts of these people, making them scurry and shuffle further away even when they had no place to go.
The only exception was Zhuo Fan, staring with a frown and ever hopeful for the tiniest hint that would help unravel this mystery.
The fog’s devouring continued unabated, its struggling and erratic prey would halt all movements, even their eyes glazed the instant they got close before sinking into the great white beyond.
Zhuo Fan caught every minute expression and muttered, “It’s so obvious now. The kid almost played me.”
“Did you find a way?” From Zhuo Fan’s cocky outburst, Chu Qingcheng smiled.
The rest looked with hope, Fiend Yin asking, “You know what this is?”
“Sure, this thing’s looks got us all fooled. This is no fog, nor is there any poison inside. Better yet, it doesn’t exist.” Zhuo Fan explained.
Zhuo Fan snickered, “Recall our analysis of the guy? Ha-ha-ha, he is truly just playing around. He set up the fog to scare and confuse us before it swallowed us all up. When in fact, it’s nothing but an expanding barrier, that of a bewildering array. Once inside it, you’ll be taken by illusions and won’t be able to escape regardless of being swallowed by it.”
“So that’s why. Fiend Yang’s attack had no effect because it was empty to begin with. He must’ve come to the same conclusion when he shouted, but the illusion took hold just as he started.”
Fiend Gui figured it out as well, “The same happened to all those who were taken, their eyes dulled and didn’t even cry as they were overcome by the illusions. But it sure is an impressive array for not even an Ethereal Stage expert to escape it.”
Despite being harmless, the fear still remained in the hearts of all remaining, since the array could deal with Ethereal Stage experts. They turned to Zhuo Fan with a pleading and tearful look.
[What did we ever do to deserve this fate?]
Zhuo Fan squinted at the fog still, muttering, “Not to worry, the guy ain’t so tough. This array is definitely above 7th grade and quite intricate, but even that’s not enough to take hold of an Ethereal Stage expert so fast. I bet…”
“What?” Shui Ruohua asked.
Zhuo Fan had a nasty grin, “He used a special way to raise its effect. The most logical explanation is using sacred stones.”
“What?!” Everyone cried, “But that’s…”
Zhuo Fan raised an eyebrow, “Of the entire western lands, only the middle and superior three sects can have them. The middle three sects would get too little to waste like this. No elder in their right mind would throw them away on something as wasteful as an array. It only goes to shoe it’s a demonic sect from the superior three sects, the number one demonic sect in western lands, Hellion Flame Sect.”
“Ha-ha-ha, quite the head you have on your shoulder, despite the low cultivation. You guessed it!”
A cackle echoed from the fog, startling the average disciple.
Zhuo Fan grinned, “I was wondering what trick you used to take all townsfolk without a sound when it’s just a mere illusion to make them leave by themselves.”
“Humph, punk, you’re not bad, the first to have seen through my little game. Though what good will that do against a 7th-grade array set up with sacred stones? Nothing, that’s what, ha-ha-ha…”
While he mocked, the rest turned to Zhuo Fan, having given them a trickle of hope, yet now he only had a cold smile.
They took Zhuo Fan for being scared and their hearts sank. Only Chu Qingcheng had endless faith and a cute smile for her man.
“Eh, aren’t you scared?” Zhuo Fan smiled at her.
Chu Qingcheng shook her head, her eyes only for him, “I’ll never be scared with you around.”
Zhuo Fan’s heart twitched and his mouth widened into a smile as his hand touched her back and let a red glow enter her, “No matter what happens, I’ll never leave you.”
The two fiends were speechless.
[Dude, we’re your teammates here. Shouldn’t you tell us how to deal with the danger? Fiend Yang and co. are awaiting rescue, yet here you are flirting with women?]
[The sect rules are right. Any demonic cultivator taken by love will lose themselves in it.]
Shui Ruohua and the others had an odd taste in their mouth. Any sect forbids men and women from getting too close. While not as strict as demonic cultivators, righteous cultivators deny it on account of messing with their cultivation.
These women were in the prime of their womanhood. Sure, they indulged in some hanky-panky now and then, but they still cultivated the rest of the time. But seeing these two in a world of their own making stirred something in their lonely hearts, a longing and desire they never knew existed.
Dan’er went beet red.
[Sister Qingcheng is like a fairy, with all in the sect adoring her, yet why did she fall for a demon?] She had no answer.
That senior sister of hers was punished for the same reason.
Dan’er began to worry about Chu Qingcheng’s shaky future…
“Go die, you rotten couple! Let her go, you prick, I got dibs first. Do it now or die!”
The hatred-fueled howl came from beyond the fog.
While scared out of their minds still, the others had to admit, that these two lovebirds showing off in public needed to be talked down.
[Dude, we’re on different sides, but we got your back!]
Zhuo Fan smiled, irking him on purpose, raising their connected hands, “I’m just that charming. What are you gonna do about it?”
“Hi-hi-hi, getting you separated is nothing to me, overconfident punk!”
The cackle was followed by the billowing fog rushing for them. It took the rest in its wake like all the countless victims before.
“I will have you suffer in the 7th-grade Soul Rotting Moon Array for 49 days. When I get my fill of her, I’ll drop by to tell you how she fared, hi-hi-hi…”
All wanted to run away, but where?
It took little time for the fog to take them, leaving but the cute couple.
The two stepped back for as long as they could but alas, the fog was on them.
Chu Qingcheng’s mind hazed over and Zhuo Fan shouted, “Qingcheng…”
His cries died out as well with his eyes glazing over.
The cackle came once again, “Fool, no matter how sharp your mind is, you’re too weak! It’s a waste of time toying with a puny 2nd layer Radiant Stage cultivator, hi-hi-hi…”
Zhuo Fan’s hand on Chu Qingcheng got thrown off, and then a burst of distant laughter echoed.
Too bad the guy didn’t notice Zhuo’s eyes sporting an extra-bright azure flame.
The prismatic dragon roamed within his mind, surrounded by the fog yet never approaching. The prismatic shield protected it from anything. The dragon’s eyes snapped open and howled as a torrent of azure flame exploded from within it into an inferno, burning away any trace of the fog.
Zhuo Fan opened his eyes, the azure flame flicking on his forehead, clearing his mind.
“Ha-ha-ha, the guy played for so long he got cocky. He has no clue of the meaning of who laughs last!”
Zhuo Fan snickered, “With the azure flame, no method will ever harm my soul. Now then, time to follow him to his lair.”
Zhuo Fan then gave his white surroundings a once over and sighed, “Almost forgot, I’m still stuck in his array. If you can set one, can’t I as well? I have sacred stones too. If there’s one thing I don’t lack, it’s sacred stones, hi-hi-hi…”
With a cackle, Zhuo Fan waved his hands, and the lights released formed an intricate array.
Then formed a hand sign and shouted, “Array on array!”
With a large quake, Zhuo Fan at the center, a dazzling light flashed, expanding in all directions.
The inexplicable fog had met its match, scattering on the spot. The empty town was now clear and regained its quiet nature.
Except for being empty…