Chapter 84: Astrals (2)

Chapter 84: Astrals (2)

There weren’t any ghosts in the Primordial Continent before. Once a person died, they were dead and no longer existed in the world.

Before the Astrals appeared, they were just fantasies and folklore.

But with the Astrals, ghosts truly appeared in this world.

Unlike the other races, the Astrals were a race that had been created by another race.

If you became an Astral, you could live a long, long life.

No one knew if this kind of life would come to an end, because up to this point, no one had heard of a Astral dying because of old age. Patelocke, in some sense, was also an Astral, but his circumstances were unique. His consciousness couldn’t take physical form on its own. It was the stone tablet that was supporting him, but apart from this, he and the Astrals were all alike. Because of this, he could live for tens of thousands of years without any issues.

Ignatius reckoned that he could continue to improve the Consciousness Converter Instrument and eventually use it on an Arcanist, even on those who had perished, achieving a different kind of immortality.

In the end, however, he discovered that he had reached a bottleneck.

He was never able to break the shackles on the Consciousness Converter Instrument to the day of his death.

The frenzy over immortality slowly died down after one failure after another. Only a few Arcanists unwilling to admit defeat continued this vain of research, unintentionally strengthening this germinating race.

After the Arcana Kingdom was wiped out, the Dark Astrals, led by a group whose consciousnesses had already been converted and who had been waiting a long time, seized the Consciousness Converter Instrument.

The Dark Astrals, now with the Consciousness Converter Instrument, disagreed on how to deal with it.

Some of the Dark Astrals wanted to totally destroy it, allowing the Dark Astrals to be freed from suffering. However, those whose consciousness had already been converted exhorted the members of their race to convert themselves into an energy-type lifeform, thereby obtaining immortality as well as increasing their ability to use Origin Energy. Of course, as a price, they would lose the ability to reproduce or experience sexual pleasure.

The Dark Astrals split into two camps because of this.

One group of the Dark Astrals continued along the path of exile. They returned beneath the ground to live a life without sunlight. After living in darkness for many years, their bodies began to adapt to living in the dark. They developed night vision and the ability to move stealthily in darkness. They were ashamed of their “ugliness’, so they began to call themselves the Shadows or the Nocturnals instead of the Dark Astrals.

The other Dark Astrals group followed in the footsteps of their forerunners, willingly passing through the Consciousness Converter Instrument to turn themselves into a purely consciousness-based lifeform.

This was the Astrals.

Because their bodies were made from condensed Origin Energy, the Astrals had an innately powerful control over Origin Energy. Their individual strength was the greatest out of the five races. One could even argue that they had become Origin-related lifeforms while preserving the ability to create of the Intelligent Races. They possessed a lifeforce that didn’t decay and wouldn’t die of old age. As such, one could say that they were all soldiers, each one of them psosessing great power.

An eternal lifespan and powerful strength; these two combined were more than enough to create the most powerful and most glorious race.

Thankfully, the Astrals had two main flaws.

One was that they could not reproduce.

All that supported the numbers of the Astrals were a few Dark Astrals who willingly gave up having their consciousnesses converted. After being improved, they were sent to the heart of Gloom City’s “Reproductive Temple” to be carefully guarded. They were known as “Birth Mothers”.

The second was that they were naturally solitary creatures.

Their extensive lifespan made them apathetic, so they enjoyed floating around all over the place.

In addition to their floating around was their incessant pursuit of Origin Energy.

The Astrals enjoyed doing research, as they had inherited the Arcanists’ intelligence. Because they could not cast off their immortality, many Astrals would go the path of trying to develop a deep understanding of the world they lived in.

As naturally isolated individuals, they wouldn’t interact with anyone else for long periods of time. This made them generally weak in large-scale battles, as they lacked cooperative capabilities. As such, the Astrals usually relied on terrain conditions when battling to triumph in smaller-scale skirmishes so that they could display their individual strength.

In the year 8300 of the New Star Era, another massive incident occurred amongst the Astrals.

Because of an experiment, an explosion happened in the heart of the Astral headquarters. The Reproductive Temple was destroyed in this explosion, and the Birth Mothers were almost completely killed.

For the continuation of the Astrals, the Astrals once again were forced to extend an olive branch to their former “Nocturnal” compatriots to obtain new Birth Mothers.

Even so, evolution over long periods of time drove the Nocturnals and the Astrals apart, making the children of the Nocturnals' Birth Mothers inferior to before both in terms of successful conversion rate as well as in strength after conversion.

The Astrals’ development fell into a decline because of this.

From that point onward, the Astrals began to research in a new direction - how to recover the Reproductive Temple.

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When Su Chen heard of the matter of “demons sending babies”, he knew that more likely than not these were the result of the Astrals performing more research related to reproduction. The matter with Wei Liancheng and the Purple-Colored Glass were just further proof of this.

When he heard Ji Hanyan say these things, Su Chen laughed, “Now we just don’t know if the Astral in Bachuan is the same as the Astral in Clear River City.”

“That is hard to say. These ghost-like yet not ghost-like people have always done things very secretly, and the matter of the Reproductive Temple has historically been of utmost importance to them. It’s not really that strange for there to be two groups of Astrals who are researching reproduction in the same area,” Ji Hanyan replied.

“But there’s no way that you came to the Crow Region for no reason,” Su Chen said.

“I came not to deal with those Astrals but to find a specific person.”

“Who?”

“About a year and a half ago, Bachuan’s Vice Director, the one who discovered the corpses in the cave, suddenly disappeared. Before he disappeared, he left behind a letter that said that he had discovered a few clues regarding that Astral that he was going to pursue. From that day onward, no one ever saw or heard from him again. Bachuan’s Investigations Agency searched for him for a long time but never were able to find him again. It just so happened that we graduated from the Hidden Dragon Institute at that time, so I was sent to fill this Vice Director position.”

Ji Hanyan continued to explain the situation in a clear and organized manner. “After arriving at Bachuan, I investigated the disappearance of my position’s predecessor as well, but I had to give up on account of there being no clues whatsoever. His son, Wei Xiaofeng, however, was unwilling to give up and continued to search everywhere. About three months ago, I suddenly received a notice from Wei Xiaofeng that said that someone had seen his father in the Crow Region and that he was going there to search for him. I didn’t take it seriously at the time, but not long after Wei Xiaofeng disappeared too. Before he disappeared, he left a few clues for us that proved that the Astrals could very well be in or near Crow Region.”

“So that’s how it is,” Su Chen muttered. “If that’s the case, the Astrals in Crow Region and in Bachuan seem to be the same.”

“We’re not excluding that possibility, but right now our main priority is to find Wei Xiaofeng. If we can find Wei Xiaofeng, we can find the Astrals.”

“How do you know Wei Xiaofeng hasn’t died yet?”

“Wei Xiaofeng comes from a Bloodline Clan. Even though this bloodline is common, it has a unique power that allows him to leave a bloodline imprint that tells us whether he has died yet or not. Among the clues that he had left behind for us was this bloodline imprint. Not only so, but this bloodline imprint can give us a rough approximation of the location of the bloodline that is the source of the imprint. During this period of time, the bloodline imprint showed that Wei Xiaofeng was near Clear River. As such, we hurried over here immediately and are paying you a visit along the way.”

“So that’s how it is.” Su Chen nodded, then casually asked, “Right, what was the former Vice Director’s name?”

“He was called Wei Liancheng.”

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