Mei Chao Bing and Song Mu stopped talking as well and exchanged a glance before looking at her. “What do you mean?”
Xi Ju Hai waved with the map in her hands and turned it around. “A pattern. An array is basically just a pattern of different lines and knots. If the arrays in this place were the knots and they were tied together somehow, then they could technically form a huge array together.
“Or in other words: Instead of tying a spirit gathering array into each of the transportation arrays, the demonic practitioners might have tied the transportation arrays into one, big spiritual energy gathering array. That way, there would only be one array that would be able to spread the energy to all of the arrays inside which simplifies this whole matter by a lot.”
Mei Chao Bing looked at the path to their feet, trying to see something that might be connecting the arrays. There wasn’t anything there though. At least nothing he could see. “What exactly might be tying them together? Do you have any idea?”
Xi Ju Hai looked around but she didn’t seem sure either. “Well, for one, it could be that the tunnels themselves are used. That would only be problematic for the caves with several arrays inside. An alternative would be that there could be smaller tunnels out of sight. If they want this to stay hidden, that would probably be the best choice.”
Song Mu furrowed his brows and then turned to the side, lightly touching the wall. “If it was like this, those tunnels should be pretty close, right?”
Xi Ju Hai nodded. “Yes, the further they are away, the more difficult it would be to tie the arrays together. So they should be running directly next, above, or below them. There would be ways to make up for it if they didn’t but this whole matter isn’t easily seen so I don’t think they would have gone that far.” While the demonic practitioners would surely be interested in hiding this, they also couldn’t ignore the feasibility of their overall plan. It was better to let their enemies catch onto some clues than to not have enough energy to actually work the transportation arrays.
Mei Chao Bing watched Song Mu for a moment and squinted as well. “It might be better to do this close to an array. We don’t know where exactly the tunnels are but if they are supposed to work together with the transportation arrays, then they would likely need to cross him somewhere, right?” He glanced at Xi Ju Hai who nodded in return.
“That is likely, yes.”
“Then the tunnels definitely have to be at a place where the arrays are as well. We could check there when we get to the next one.”
Song Mu took back his hand and nodded. “Right. That might be more efficient.”
The three of them turned around and then went down the tunnel further until they finally came to the next cave. Once again, they found three arrays in there. Xi Ju Hai started to draw them on the map while Song Mu and Mei Chao Bing glanced at each other and then went to the array closest to them, crouching down on one side each and stretching out their hands to feel for any signs of spiritual energy below the ground.
Unfortunately, they were unable to sense anything special.
Mei Chao Bing furrowed his brows. “It doesn’t look like there’s anything but it could also be that this is different from what we thought. The lines of an array can’t be sensed for sure if there isn’t spiritual energy involved. Maybe it isn’t always active.”
Song Mu nodded. “Yes. It could also be that there is something in these caves that messes with our spiritual sense. I haven’t really been able to get a good picture of what’s ahead since we came here. In any case, if you are right, there would need to be some kind of smaller tunnel that the spiritual energy could be pushed through later on. We could check by opening up the ground. If we find something, we’re on the right path.”
Mei Chao Bing nodded and the two of them simultaneously raised a hand, firing a row of smaller attacks at the ground next to the array.
Soon enough, one of the attacks made the stone cave in instead of the few splinters that had been thrown into the air previously.
Mei Chao Bing and Song Mu exchanged a glance, and then stepped back, not interfering with the tunnel in any way. While they both knew a bit about arrays, Xi Ju Hai was still the expert in their group. Since this was an important clue, it was best to let her take care of this.
She only needed a moment longer to finish up the drawing of the map and then came over, looking at the two of them and then at the stones lying around on the ground. “You found something?”
Mei Chao Bing nodded and motioned over to the place they had just attacked. “We couldn’t feel any spiritual energy so we opened up the ground to see if there was something underneath. Would you take a look? We didn’t want to destroy any further traces so we didn’t dare to get too close.”
Xi Ju Hai crouched down next to the hole and took a look inside. Her eyes narrowed and she nodded slowly. “Yes, this is definitely being used as an array. There are traces of a powder left that might be some spiritual crystal. That type of thing can be used to gather spiritual energy at a place and transport it.
“So the demonic practitioners could transfer the spiritual energy from outside to just one place in here and would then only need to open a link to the array for one moment to power all of the transportation arrays at the same time.
“This is definitely the most cost-effective way that they could have found. I’m afraid that if we are right, they would be able to transport a whole army without trouble.”