Theory (Part 1)
Regardless of how fast Mu Yu teleported or where he hid, Ji Kaiming was able to catch up and force Mu Yu out of hiding using talismans. Continuing to run would just be a war of attrition – in terms of spiritual energy. Thus, Mu Yu decided to go on the counterattack.
Mu Yu distorted his immediate surroundings and inserted nine phantasmal characters from his hand into the formations around. Lightly rising, Mu Yu raised his hand and delivered a slash of sword qi, cutting through Ji Kaiming’s talismans.
Mu Yu was stronger than Ji Kaiming expected. Nonetheless, Mu Yu hadn’t displayed enough to be perceived as dangerous as long as Ji Kaiming didn’t take him lightly.
“Talisman Shadow Mountains and Rivers Celestial Pole Scroll!”
Ji Kaiming summoned two yellow talismans attached as one. The talisman grew to roughly thirty square metres. A white light radiating from it highlighted a picturesque scene of mountains and rivers. The light shone onto Mu Yu and Ji Kaiming, sucking them into the painting.
Mu Yu found himself standing on a mountain in the painting. The trees and river within his sights were also from the painting. Ji Kaiming’s bloodlust, however, ruined the serenity.
“I control everything in here, including you,” Mu Yu heard echoing from the trees.
The talisman was essentially an isolated dimension. The technique was Ji Kaiming’s ace that he’d usually save. Howbeit, he wanted to be safe against Mu Yu.
Besides the identical scenery in the painting, Mu Yu could hear birds singing melodies and feel the breeze. The terrain resembled troughs and hills linked together. Mu Yu felt danger lurked at every corner. His intuition proved true when the ground sunk on his first step, triggering a rain of arrows enhanced with talismans.
Mu Yu aimed his teleportation formation up. To his dismay, he discovered teleportation didn’t work, in the sense that he couldn’t find locations to teleport to. When he activated Heavenly Star Formation, he expected to move, but he remained in the same spot.
“You think you can teleport as you please here?” Ji Kaiming appeared on a tall boulder standing in the distance.
From memory, I can only teleport sideways in here because there are only “length” and “width” on a talisman, Mu Yu reminded himself. “Guess I’ll have to use Contiguous Horizon.”
Mu Yu’s Contiguous Horizon failed to prevent the arrows inching closer. While the arrows appeared to be coming from below, they were actually coming from behind! Mu Yu hastily drew Wood Spirit Sword from behind, deflecting the arrows with its sword qi. Even so, the shockwave from the impact thumped him hard. Before he could recollect himself, arrows travelling as fast as lightning closed in on all fronts.
As Mu Yu’s Contiguous Horizon hadn’t been deactivated, the formation thwarted the areas from his sides but not the ones coming from above or below due to the same principle as mentioned when casting teleportation skills.
Mu Yu tried to teleport to a stone slab but couldn’t, leading to him realising, The directions are misleading! I can’t tell where the earth is to teleport or cast formations!
As Ji Kaiming fired his arrows from a stationary point, it was impossible to navigate the directions. Extrapolating from the fact that he entered after himself, Mu Yu speculated that those outside couldn’t interfere with what took place within. Else, Ji Kaiming could’ve put his painting away after capturing Mu Yu, thereby imprisoning him for life.
If he’s in here, he must have the same restrictions I do. Why, then, do the arrows come from below…? Skilled artists can leverage the human eyes’ divergence to create 3D images. Ji Kaiming must also be taking advantage of some discrepancy of my senses to mislead me into thinking the arrows are coming from below.
Ji Kaiming appears to be looking down at me, but he’s standing on the same plane as I am because he can’t fly, either. The angled trees must also be angled, even lined up in a specific order, to throw off my senses to conceal where the earth actually is. I’m going to need to find the earth if I’m to use Heavenly Star Formation. I should consider adding this talisman technique to my repertoire.
Ji Kaiming performed hand seals again, shaking the trees and firing more arrows. The spiritual qi in the vicinity stirred. The talismans in the sky fired more arrows. Mu Yu watched the arrows through his black and white eyes, quickly deciphering the arrows were actually coming from his front, rear, left and right but were using capitalising on light and trees to mislead him.
The arrow barrage wasn’t as powerful as a Spirit Severing Realm attack. Nevertheless, Ji Kaiming was positive that the attack was impossible to defend.
There are approximately two hundred talismans overhead and a hundred in the crater underfoot. There are over a thousand to my left and four to five hundred in the remaining directions, Mu Yu counted silently.
Mu Yu dashed left.
“Some genius you are, choosing the quickest route to death,” remarked Ji Kaiming.
Mu Yu abruptly switched and sped right.
“What is this, hide and seek?” Ji Kaiming changed the direction of his arrows going from left to right to pursue Mu Yu.
Ji Kaiming placed too much faith in his homing arrows and missed the fact that Mu Yu was drawing formation lines with his feet and concealing them in the earth.