Ye Xiu was watching his friends in the training grounds trying their best to come up with combination attacks but was failing. They had managed to come up with idea that they were currently testing and they were still in the process of thinking about new combination attacks. Ye Xiu decided to take a break so he could watch his friends have their failures explode in their face. Literally.
Many of their attempts, especially Shang Yang's and Xiao Tu's attempts had ended in explosions due to the fire Qi that they were using. Shi Die and Yan Guo had failures but none as explosive as theirs and their failures' reactions were much milder in comparison. Ye Xiu chalked it up to their combination attack chemistry being much closer to success compared to theirs.
Ye Xiu's own attempts for an attack had ended spectacularly disastrously when Xiao Tu's fire dragon managed to explode the moment Ye Xiu added his own attack to the mix. Ye Xiu had no idea why it happened but put it off as a failure and decided to stop that particular experiment.
Ye Xiu had an idea that he had thought up as he was watching his friends and wanted to test it out. San Guo never said that a combination attack required for a person to add their own attacks to the mix so why couldn't they just do separate attacks or have multiple people using the same attack to create a single massive attack?
What was sad for Ye Xiu was that he had no actual techniques that could be used consecutively or those that could, were those that he considered his finishing moves. He knew that his own repertoire of moves was definitely incomparable to those of his friends because he had placed his focus on his learnt techniques and refined them.
This meant that compared to the others who could use multiple techniques to experiment with, he had very little to work with. It's not like he didn't have anything to work with but it definitely wasn't anything he could boast about. He was tapping his fingers on the side of the door when he thought of something that he could try. 'It's an insane idea but I think it could work if we put effort into it.'
He rushed over to where Shang Yang and Xiao Tu were busy making his fire dragon into looking life-like. They hadn't seen an actual dragon but were basing it on the illustrations that they found in books, murals and paintings. Ye Xiu could see that instead of it looking like a western dragon, it was more of an eastern dragon look. It didn't surprise him since nearly everything in the world was of an eastern culture from his previous world.
The life-like dragon abruptly disappeared when Shang Yang fell down to the floor huffing and puffing. Ye Xiu had no idea why she was looking so tired but decided to approach her anyway. "Why do you look like you're about to keel over and faint?"
She continued to lay down on the floor with her arms outstretched to the sides. "Making such a complex illusion such as that is tiring, coming up and adding on the details to the illusion is much harder than I expected." Ye Xiu could see the exhaustion on her face but it seemed like she was cheering up very quickly. "I just have to train more! My illusions will be able to fool people easily!"
Ye Xiu simply smiled at her declaration. "I think there's a simpler way for you to use your illusions instead of having them so perfect. Currently, from what I've seen and what you've said, your illusions contain too much detail. Think about it realistically, in a battle situation who would give you the time to form your illusions? You need to be able to form your illusions quickly at the same speed Xiao Tu's flame dragon appears."
"By adding so much detail one by one, it's easy for you to miss a detail or the whole illusion might fail because you are focused on adding the details and your Qi control falters. You can add realistic illusions once you are good at them to the point that you can fool somebody but that'll take too long and I don't think you would make it in time for the tournaments so I just suggest you to generalise your illusions." Shang Yang was listening with rapt attention, burning the information into her brain.
"Focus on the main features of whatever you are featuring and make it look believable. As long as you can do that, few enemies would pay attention to it too closely when they need to focus on us. Also instead of adding physical detail you can also things such as sound, touch and smell to your illusion. The purpose of illusions is to trick your opponent so you could also trick your opponent into feeling like they've been hurt by an attack or whatever."
Shang Yang nodded. "I guess that means I'll have to actually study what I make as an illusion before I use it in a combat situation so that I know what it would act or feel like. I'll also need to practise my illusions on the group if I'm going to add pain to my illusions." Ye Xiu shrugged because he knew that everyone would accept to be her training partner anyway since nobody really minded the pain as long as they got some sort of benefit out of it.
Ye Xiu continued to give advice to Shang Yang. "Your illusions could very well be what would win us our fights because not many people fight illusions and even less have the control needed to use illusions during combat but I think you can do it. Search for other methods of using illusions as well, don't just rely on a single method of enforcing your illusions onto an opponent because if someone manages to figure out how to counter it, then the illusion would be pointless in the first place."
Shang Yang had been considering to learn different illusion techniques because she knew that she learnt them extremely easily, her current technique was one that she had learnt from the book that Xiao Bai had managed to teach her how to train with her Body Physique. "Thanks, Ye Xiu, you helped me a lot."
Ye Xiu smiled, "I didn't do it for free. I came here to ask you a question actually."
"Oh? What is it?" She was surprised since Ye Xiu didn't ask her questions often.
"Your skill with illusions... does it heighten your affinity for water Qi?"
Shang Yang was puzzled by the question but answered it nonetheless. "Yes it does, my affinity for water is quite high now because of my Body Physique. Why do you need to know?"
"I have an idea that would work for the both of us, not just me, but it can be considered as a combination attack. Since the both of us have a high affinity for wood Qi, why don't we use the fact that water and wood Qi work extremely well together? We can grow plants for combat and we can also use it for utility such as speeding up the growth of our own plants. What do you say? Would you like to hear about how we would go about doing this?"
Shang Yang accepted and was ready to listen to his idea. "Sure, it sounds interesting and it would definitely help if it means we can catch our opponents off-guard."
He presented his idea. "So what I had first intended was that during a battle, and I'm swinging my whip and it strikes a solid object, I can essentially leave a Qi imprint that I can explode when I want it to. I'm not sure how long the imprint would last because I haven't tested it but that imprint, when exploded, would contain the seed of a plant and wood Qi to accelerate the growth of the seed and your water Qi would help to increase the speed that it grows."
"We can trap our enemies with it if we grow plants and move it accordingly because the plant would be grown with my Qi and I'd be able to control how it moves as long as it's not dead." Ye Xiu concluded his explanation as he looked to Shang Yang who was completely dazzled by his explanation.
"That's elaborate, but I think it's a good plan. Though don't you think that it would be highly obvious to anyone who has an observation technique that's able to see Qi?" Shang Yang was starting to poke holes into his plan once she digested everything. "Also, how am I supposed to get my water Qi to where the imprints are placed? I don't have any long ranged abilities that are discreet."
Ye Xiu flicked her on the forehead. "I taught you how to use Qi Scalpels and you learnt how to make Qi needles. Are you really joking with me that you can't put water Qi into your needle than have it released when the needle's form is released?"
"I was trying to be helpful." She kicked the ground when Ye Xiu shot down her question immediately."
Ye Xiu continued to speak because he knew that Shang Yang would continue to listen to whatever he had to say and that she would offer useful inputs at random times. "I've thought about that particular problem about being sensed immediately, and I've come up with a solution. We don't always have to utilise this combination but whenever we do, we set it up by having you make a large-scale illusion, this way the area we fight around is saturated by your Qi so it'll be much harder for people to notice my imprint."
"I'll also learn how to conceal the imprints from their notice as well so you won't be the only person doing the work." Ye Xiu promised Shang Yang just in case she would put off the idea because of all the work they would have to do in order to set up the proper conditions for their combination to be used.
His worries were for nought, however. "Alright, your idea is sound but we'll have to practise it later. Just give me some time to get my illusions down first and we'll see what else we can add on to your idea once I manage that." Ye Xiu nodded before going back to leaning on the door into the residence as he watched everybody else continued their efforts on coming up with a new attack.
Ye Xiu wasn't idle because he was also coming up with new ideas. San Guo's words and demonstration had set off a whole onslaught of ideas in the group and it was unlikely that their enthusiasm and determination to experiment and come up with new techniques would subside any time soon.
He started to put his idea into practice and started to place Qi imprints on a solid object and observed the effects and duration of his imprint before changing what it did so that it would fit his specifications.
Whilst they were all busy playing around with their ideas, a certain girl was staring intently at the front of their residence. "Why didn't you invite me to your team? I thought you had no other friends, Ye Xiu... I feel betrayed. It won't matter in the end, because you'll be mine anyway." She licked her lips in anticipation.
"I'll meet you in the competition and I'll have you subdued. Once that happens..." The girl started to cackle. "you'll never leave my side again. You'll never look at anybody else with emotions besides me. If I can't have you... I'll just have to settle for your corpse." The girl left the vicinity of the area but not before blowing a kiss towards the residence which Ye Xiu resided in.