Chapter 31: "Imprisoned Within an Array"
Sima You Yue took a good look around to see where she was. All she could see was an impenetrable wall of bamboo seemingly reaching the skies. Each shoot of bamboo appeared to radiate a faint green glow and the ground was covered by a thick layer of dead leaves. How did she end up in this bamboo forest?
She came before a bamboo stem and stretched out her hand to touch it. A brisk chill lingered upon her fingertips, as if the thing that she had touched was a giant ice cube.
"So cold!" She felt as if her fingers had been frozen, to the point where she could no longer feel them, and immediately retracted her hand.
She wandered about in a circle and realized that this forest was ridiculously huge. She had already walked about for a good half hour, but she was still lost within the bamboo forest.
"What the heck is this place? Don't tell me it's a fantasy world, or else, why would these bamboos and rocks feel so realistic?" She sat her b.u.t.t down on a piece of rock, and started to pound on her weary legs. "This body is also too weak, I've only walked about for a little while but it's already so tired. It's just too different from my previous life. If I ever have to battle anyone in the future, this would definitely be too disadvantageous! It looks like I'll have to exercise more in the future."
After resting for a little while, she continued to meander around the forest. She hadn't even caught a glimpse of a single living thing, much less a Spirit Beast Egg.
"d.a.m.n, what kind of G.o.dforsaken place is this?! Didn't they say that you just had to find a Spirit Beast Egg and leave? But this place doesn't even have a single egg, how am I supposed to look for it!" Sima You Yue kicked a bamboo leaf that was sticking out that she was facing. Who would have thought that there was something under the leaf and it tumbled and rolled to her feet.
"A human skull?!" Looking closely at the white skull that had flew out in front, Sima You Yue immediately burst forth with killing intent. She had only realized at this point that the place in which she was standing had a few footprints.
She lowered her head to take a look. Because she had just exerted a bit of force, she had kicked away quite a number leaves that were under her. Aside from the skull, which was recently kicked aside, there were still numerous bones scattered around her.
She retreated backwards by a couple of steps and stepped down from atop the skeleton. The leaves had all been scattered, clearly revealing the entirety of skeleton.
"The skeleton has no signs of scarring. It looks as if this person had not encountered any external danger prior to his death." Scrutinising it once more, she thought about how she had already circled more than halfway around the entire forest. She asked in confusion, "Could it be that this person died of starvation or dehydration?"
"Master, this is an array." Little Spirit's voice answered in reply.
"An array? I think that someone had mentioned that this place contained an Illusion Array and it makes everything look the same, in order to let everyone see everything in front of them as the Spirit Beast Eggs." Sima You Yue said.
"The one you're talking about is an illusion array. This array is not an Illusion Array. It's actually…… a Mystical Array." Little Spirit said.
"A Mystical Array? What kind of array is that?" Asked Sima You Yue.
"It's a array that causes people to lose their way." Explained Little Spirit. "The reason that you got lost is also because of this Mystical Array. This caused you to become increasingly anxious. You couldn't even hear me although I had called out to you a few times just now."
"You called out to me just now? Since I could not hear anything just moments ago, how come I can hear it now? Could it be that the array was broken?" Sima You Yue thought about how she had indeed felt increasingly muddled just now that was nothing like her usual calm and she suddenly felt a wave of the after-shock.
"You just happened to kick a skull, that managed to jolt your consciousness that stimulated your brain for a moment, which allowed me to take advantage of the opportunity to b.u.t.t in." Little Spirit said.
"This array is really scary, why would the Academy erect this kind of array?" Sima You Yue asked in bewilderment.
"This is not the right time for you to be thinking about this. If you wish to live, you need to think of a way to dispel this array, or you will have to stay here forever with no means of getting out." Little Spirit roared.
"This must be the reason why that person had been trapped here until he died." Sima You Yue said, "Little Spirit, since you know about this array, are you able to dispel it?"
"I'm not an Array Master, how would I know how to dispel it?" Said Little Spirit.
"If you're not an Array Master, how would you know about the Mystical Array?" Asked Sima You Yue.
"Does everyone who knows how to eat, know how to cook?!" Little Spirit said in disdain, "Even if you've never eaten pork, you've seen a pig run."
"Uh..You don't know how to dispel the Array, and neither do I. What now?"
" Yue Yue, umm, I know what to do?" Little Roar interrupted.
Sima You Yue reacted to Little Roar's shout, and asked, "What?"
"In the past, you had a brother who was a super powerful Array Master. I once heard him mention that this type of array could be broken in two circ.u.mstances. One way was by following a specific method, the other was by going completely against it."
"Following it? Against it?"
"Yes, following it requires you to be aware of the array's motion pattern and undoing it step by step. This method doesn't dispel the array and the people inside the array will also get hurt." Little Roar said.
"This method is impossible, we don't even know the array. Tell us about the next method." Sima You Yue said.
"The method that goes against is a very simple one." Little Roar said, "Your brother once said that every Array has a core. As long as we can locate that core and take it away, we will be able to dispel the Array."
"This solution is simple!" Sima You Yue started to look around in all directions, in order to locate the core of this Array.
"I haven't finished talking!" Little Roar snapped. "Although this method of going against it is simple, once you destroy the core, the entire array will collapse. Every array collapses in a different way. Some shatter like ice, without causing any harm to the people in the array, but there are those that explode like a bomb, wounding or even killing the people inside. It really depends on how the the owner has set up the Array."
"What the h.e.l.l, that's so dangerous!" Sima You Yue uttered in despair.
"That's right, so a majority of the people won't choose the second option." Little Roar explained.
Sima You Yue pondered over it for a moment and said, "There's nothing I can do even if it's really going to explode. I don't know how to execute the method of following it and only know how to go against. There's still a possibility of survival if I take the method that goes against it. If I don't understand it then there's only the option of death."
"It seems that way. We should go out together and search for that core." Little Roar flew towards Sima You Yue's head and lay down, using his big round eyes to search everywhere diligently.
"To begin with, the core is already not easy to locate. Furthermore, this array is so big, if we want to locate its core, it's worse than looking for a needle in a haystack. It's not even as easy as that!" Little Spirit lamented.
"We still have to look for it." Sima You Yue shrugged, "This is the only option we have right now. Anyway, we have some food and drinks, so we won't die even if we can't leave this place. What we have now is time and we can use it up slowly."
Little Spirit remained silent while Sima You Yue and Little Roar continued to look for the array core together.
When she was hungry, she went inside the Spirit Pearl to cook. When she was thirsty, she went into the Spirit Pearl to get some water to drink. When she was sleepy, she also went inside the Spirit Pearl to sleep. Actually, she had decided to sleep inside the forest, but Little Spirit said that one's consciousness would be weaker after they had fallen asleep. If she once again became muddled as a result of the array, it was uncertain whether or not she would be able to awake from it once again.
She did not know how long she had spent walking around in the forest since it was always dark inside, except for that bit of green luminesce. Although the sky did not darken, she had already eaten 7 meals and slept an entire sleep cycle so 2 or 3 days should have pa.s.sed already.
"Yue Yue, it is impossible to discern where this array core is located!" They were completely unable to locate the array core and Little Roar's entire person looked as if he was in despair, as he climbed to the top of Sima You Yue's shoulder.
"We will find it eventually." Sima You Yue was also a bit discouraged. Aside from bamboo, this forest only had bamboo. Furthermore, during their search, they had even uncovered 2 more skeletons.
"Continuing this blind search is also not a good method." She halted her steps and said, "Since it is a core, it definitely has to have some kind of law it has to follow or some unique characteristic. Let us first examine at this carefully before continuing."
After saying this, she sat down atop a piece of large rock, scrutinising the Bamboo and fallen leaves on the ground.
 a nonsensical reply
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