“Now then, earlier I touched on the makings of the Universe and how everything in this world is connected.” Zilan smiled at his seven disciples as he spoke.
“Currently, you all have little to no idea what this concept truly means however, that will be remedied by the end of this lesson.”
Lorn and the others sat up. Something within them told them that they couldn’t afford to miss even a word of what Zilan was about to teach.
“Let’s begin with formations. According to us Beasts what are formations and how exactly do they come about? How do they operate? Why do they exist? Do any of you know the answers to these questions?”
Misty and Hendrek simultaneously put their hands up.
“According to the ancient texts formations are intricate drawings that allow Beasts to draw upon power greater than oneself.” Her ears stood straight as she spoke with confidence.
“Hmm, Hendrek what say you?”
“Formations are products of the human mind. Using different forms and diagrams they allow humans to bridge the gap between us and them, giving them an edge in confrontation.”
Zilan’s smile vanished replacing it was a look that despite lasting but an instant clearly expressed his disappointment. This let down was not because of Hendrek’s definition but rather because he, Misty and probably most of the Beast community had such a shallow way of viewing and interpreting formations.
‘It looks like there’s no point in asking questions now. First I’ll let them understand.’
“What are Formations?”
Zilan seriously looked at his disciples before raising the index finger of his right hand.
“I am the bridge.” He pointed at himself.
“Earth is the source.” He pointed to the ground before pointing at the space all around him, including the ceiling and the sky.
“Heaven is the decider.” He pointed to himself again.
All of his students were confused by the explanation. It seemingly made no sense.
“You need not be alarmed or confused. The principle of Heaven is one you currently need not concentrate on.”
“All you need to know is that the Heaven I speak of is not that of man. Man worships the Heavens, but we all originate from Heaven. What is Heaven then? That is a question to which even I do not know the answer. My belief is that it is the Origin of existence.” Continued Zilan.
“As for Earth? Earth is everything. It is not limited to the ground we walk on. No, in fact even space can be classified as Earth.”
“What is the role of Formation Masters then? Well, we are the bridge through which the energy of Universe can be channelled.” Said Zilan smiling warmly.
He then took his index finger and using his nail began drawing a simple diagram in the air. He used no energy whatsoever from his cultivation.
To his students, he was just casually waving his finger around. They couldn’t see or tell what he was trying to accomplish.
“The energy of the Universe is all around us.” He spoke softly. “We use different diagrams and drawings as you like to call them to cause these energies to flow according to a rhythm of our choosing. That is a Formation Master.” As soon as he finished his sentence, a complex diagram suddenly appeared out of nowhere at the place Zilan was pointing. It was shining with multiple colours, causing all of his students to stare in wonder. “I am not powering this formation. The energy flow of the Universe is.” He calmly stated.
“Using no external energy, Formation Masters create diagrams that use the Universe’s energy flow to their advantage. For example, mortal farmers who require water to irrigate their crops and plants will usually redirect the flow of nearby streams, rivers, lakes and so on, in order to acquire this water.”
“The theory is the same for Formation Masters. Apart from a few basics of formations you’ll need to learn everything else about Formation Mastery lies in experience. You’ll be required to read the flow of the Universe’s energies around you in order for you to create a working formation. There is no book or text that can help you here, only constant practice.” Said Zilan, finally pausing his explanation.
Looking at the faces of his students he could tell that despite being enthralled by the new discovery, they were still wondering how this related to Alchemy.
Paying no mind to this, Zilan continued.
“That is how formations work on their own. Couple it with a whole different ‘Way’ for example, cultivation, and you have a completely different story. The diagrams grow hundreds to millions of times more intricate but so does the power. Couple these two ‘Ways’ with another different ‘Way’ like Spirit Mastery and you have yourself a new monster. Using tools such as flags, banners and many others, the formations become even more fearsome, practically unstoppable. However, this is not the end as formations can once again be coupled with yet another ‘Way’, in this case, Inscriptions and Runes. The result of this marriage of multiple different ‘Ways’, you cannot even begin to image its power.”
The eyes of all of his students widened as well as brightened. A whole new door, no, a whole new world had just opened before them. Something they never even knew of as possible before suddenly seemed so natural and true that it caused them to enter a trance.
“Oh, I also almost forgot to mention this. Another major ‘Way’ that can be coupled with Formations as well as every other ‘Way’ in existence is none other than Alchemy. Now do you comprehend what it is I mean by everything is connected?”
His disciples subconsciously nodded causing Zilan to laugh. In his mind he was thinking,
‘This is only but the simplest of examples when it comes to the ‘Connection of the Universe’ though.’
Just as he was inwardly patting himself on the back, Zilan saw Lorn looking at him, hesitating to ask something.
“What is it?” he asked.
Lorn stared at Zilan before posing a question,
“What exactly are inscriptions?”
Zilan raised his eyebrows, thinking to himself. ‘That is indeed a deep question but is that really all he wants to ask?’
Noticing the furrowed brows of his Master, Lorn decided to just ask his whole question.
“Why is it that even though I’ve never had any great contact with inscriptions, I feel that it isn’t all that hard to understand their meanings. Even without great study, I can tell what’s bad from what’s good and if I’m not wrong this is the case for most Beasts. Is it a Divine ability that we’re all inherently born with or is it something else?”
Zilan casually waved his hand, “Your analysis can be considered correct but not completely. It isn’t a Divine Ability that you’re born with but rather an inherent familiarity with inscriptions.”
“Eh?” Lorn didn’t quite understand.
Zilan began explaining, “First, you need to understand what inscriptions are. Only then will you be able to get an inkling as to why Beasts have a familiarity with them.”
“Finding this information is more than difficult so pay attention.” Said Zilan. “Inscriptions and Runes are a language. More specifically, they’re the language of the Universe. By this, I don’t mean inscriptions are what the people of the vast Universe use to communicate. No, Inscriptions and Runes are what the Universe use to communicate with us, understanding them and studying them allows us insignificant beings to thus communicate with the Universe on a basic level. Usually it is us requesting something, such as protection, strength, healing, as well as many other things. Of course, on an advanced level the functions of an inscription/inscriptions grow exponentially. The number of Inscriptions and Runes is virtually limitless, nobody knows them all, so learning and searching is a must for Inscription Masters.”
“Coupling this ‘Way’ with many of the other ‘Ways’ can lead to very, interesting discoveries. Doing so though, is harder than ascending the Heavens as humans like to say, so don’t attempt coupling Inscriptions and Runes with more than one ‘Way’ at a time unless you know what you’re doing.”
If before the light in his disciple’s eyes was akin to a faint glow, currently their gaze was so hot that it could probably burn holes through walls.
“In essence, as creatures who are born from the Universe and follow the way of the Universe, Beasts have a greater familiarity with ‘basic’ inscriptions and runes. You should also take note that depending on the school of thought some people classify Runes and Inscriptions as two different ‘Ways’, there are reasons for this but biting off more than you can chew is not good, so let’s conclude the lesson here.” Stated Zilan with a smile.
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