Yun Bei Fen had watched closely as white jade drew the array. Just like when Zhi Guan had shown him the sword moves earlier, he directly copied the way Shang Qiang had moved. His movements weren’t as elegant and, in fact, they couldn’t even be called smooth. The result wasn’t bad though. It seemed that the array Yun Bei Fen drew was pretty much the same as Shang Qiang’s.
White jade was satisfied when he saw this result and nodded to himself. It seemed that his teaching this child wouldn’t be in vain. If he practiced a bit more by himself, he should be able to do this well in the future.
Being completely convinced that he wasn’t just wasting his time here, the took a moment to explain the benefit of this array. “The arrays I am going to teach you today are all very basic so you can’t expect wonders. Still, they can play a bit of a role in a wide variety of situations.
“The one I just taught you is a defensive array. It isn’t effective against spiritual energy so if you are directly attacked by another cultivator, it likely won’t benefit you. It is able to stand physical attacks though.”
Yun Bei Fen blinked his eyes. “So if somebody is using a sword to attack me, I could use this to defend?” He tried to imagine such a scene but felt that his opponent would never let him draw the array first. And he’d have to stand in the middle, right?
Shang Qiang’s lips twitched, thinking the same. “I don’t think that’d work. You need time to draw the array and imbue it with spiritual energy. Plus, it can’t block everything. How much it can block depends on your level and the amount of spiritual energy you imbue.
“Basically, the array is like forming a shield with your spiritual energy, just that its form helps with the effect so you need to use less energy for the same effect.”
“Oh.” Yun Bei Fen nodded but his expression looked rather blank. He understood white jade’s explanation in theory but … he still wasn’t sure when to use it.
Mei Chao Bing glanced at his little bunny and rubbed his head. “Try to think outside the box: You are in a cavern and are being attacked by a demonic practitioner. You manage to run away and they can’t find you so they get angry and try to get rid of you another way. Maybe they will use an attack to make the ceiling of the cavern collapse.
“In that case, what you need to defend against is not the direct attack with spiritual energy but the physical attack of the boulders and rubble falling down. The array can help you deal with some of that damage. It can’t protect you against everything because your level and that of the array are both low. But it can indeed absorb some of the damage for you and that with you needing to use less spiritual energy than you would if you directly made a shield.”
Yun Bei Fen’s eyes widened. “So it was like that!”
Shang Qiang glanced from Yun Bei Fen to Mei Chao Bing and back again and finally nodded. “Well, I’ll just casually explain the others then. Let your lover explain them later. Anyway, it’s not like we have a lot of time.”
Yun Bei Fen nodded, not thinking too much about it.
White jade indeed didn’t waste more time on explanations that likely wouldn’t be understood. He drew one array after the other, this time directly using the box with the sand and only ever imbuing it with spiritual energy afterward. Then he had Yun Bei Fen repeat it after him while he gave a short explanation of the effect. He always looked at Mei Chao Bing at the end, making sure that he had understood before he switched to the next array.
In this manner, Yun Bei Fen finally learned a full dozen arrays. Other than the array used to defend against physical attacks, there was one used to defend against spiritual attacks as well. Another one could reflect attacks, although its strength was lower than the previous two. It was estimated that it wouldn’t even be able to defend against somebody of the same level as Yun Bei Fen but it might be helpful in other situations.
Most of the other arrays also played more of a supporting role: For example, they could help with hiding some of his presence, leave a clear trace of spiritual energy in a place to confuse pursuers about his actual hideout, or strengthen the energy he gave off to hoodwink others and make them believe that he was actually stronger than he was. Of course, their actual usefulness would still depend on his own level and they were mostly so he wouldn’t have to fight.
In case he couldn’t get around it, Shang Qiang also included two arrays that could give him a slight advantage when trying to launch an offense: One array could give off a spiritual energy attack using the previously imbued spiritual energy. This could be used in conjunction with an attack you prepared directly, allowing you to do twice the damage at once while your enemy might not suspect you. The other one was used to launch nearby objects into the air and hurl them at your opponent. It wasn’t as strong as the former but could still play a decisive role if used well.
It had to be said that Shang Qiang had really considered well while choosing these arrays. Not only did Yun Bei Fen not need to adjust them, but they were also able to be used well at a level as low as his. Of course, if he met with a very strong opponent, he still wouldn’t be able to win in a fight so, at most, it could probably be said that they would allow him to play some tricks. But then, that might be able to win him the time he needed to get away or wait for help to arrive. In his case, that might be for the best.