Chapter 186: Making Things Difficult
Su Chen was sitting near a small creek outside of Black Gold City, casually holding a fishing rod in his hands.
There was no bait attached to the fishhook. It just floated in the water.
However, it didn’t take long before a fish darted through the water and latched onto the fishhook, refusing to let go.
Even though it had taken the bait, Su Chen didn’t reel it in. He just watched the fish struggle.
“If you don’t reel it in now, it’s going to get away,” Danba said as he walked out of the forest behind him.
Su Chen replied, “It doesn’t really matter. I wasn’t planning on eating fish; I just wanted to see it struggle to survive.”
As he spoke, he waved his hand, and the fish flew back into the river.
However, it didn’t try to run; instead, it continued circling around the fishing hook, as if there was a delicious bait attached to it.
Danba remained silent as he watched the fish dance.
After a long time, he said, “So in your eyes, I am just another fish? An illusory piece of bait is enough to trick me into running circles around a fishhook for your entertainment?”
“No, you’re much more powerful than this dumb fish, and the bait I laid for you is real,” Su Chen replied as he put away his fishing rod.
The fish in the water had lost its target, so it shook its tail a few times before swimming away, disappointed.
“It’s not enough, though. I inspected him already; the technique you taught him can indeed bestow us Ravagers with the ability to manipulate Origin Energy, but there are two major flaws. One is that it requires the use of medicinal supplements, and the second is that it’s useless on Temple Warriors. How will you explain these shortcomings?”
Su Chen replied, “I didn’t think that you would care about the first one. Resolving a problem that has plagued the Ravagers for tens of thousands of years is obviously not going to be easy, even if I am the one coming up with a solution. It’s impossible for the solution to not require some kind of external support. Using a medicine is the easiest solution. It’s fine as long as the technique works, right? Why do you care so much about the method? Also, he is a down payment of sorts; once you give me what I want, I will naturally hand over the medicine’s refinement method to you.”
“Then what about the second point?” Danba asked. To him, this was actually the most important issue.
Su Chen replied, “Of course it’s useless on Temple Warriors. If it could be used on them, then wouldn’t Ravager generals be able to break through the limit of six baptisms? Forget about it, Danba. Not only is it currently impossible for me to make something that advanced, but I wouldn’t create it even if I could. This cultivation technique will only allow Ravagers who cannot currently use Origin Energy reach the equivalent of the Qi Drawing Realm. It won’t have any effect on anyone that’s at or higher than the Qi Drawing Realm. Also, this technique can be thought of as a single Origin Energy Temple baptism, so a person who has cultivated this technique will experience a corresponding decrease in the number of baptisms their body can handle. In any case, I don’t want to create any existences stronger than a human Ultimate Emperor Realm cultivator.”
“So that’s indeed the case.” Danba was not surprised by Su Chen’s response.
If the Ravagers’ Origin Energy Temple’s baptisms stacked on top of Su Chen’s cultivation technique, they would be able to exceed their current maximum limitations. This was something that Su Chen could not possibly accept.
“Then what if it wasn’t a method usable by all Ravagers?” Danba asked.
Su Chen paused. “What do you mean by that?”
Danba walked over and sat down next to Su Chen. “I know what you want, Su Chen. But did you ever realize that what you are asking for is nearly impossible for me to obtain? At the very least, I will not be able to succeed within the next hundred years.”
“Next hundred years......” Su Chen muttered, pondering over the meaning of those words. “You mean......”
“Strength!” Danba said. “My strength, the strength of a Head Chieftain! You should know that just having a brain alone isn’t enough to effect change in this world where only power speaks!”
That was true. In this world, no matter how smart or quick-witted you were, it would be impossible to climb to the top if you didn’t have the strength to back it up.
Danba was still much too young, and his strength was similarly lacking.
Even though he possessed intelligence, which made him unique amongst the Ferocious Race, his personal lack of strength was his greatest weakness.
This was a world made for the powerful. Without the strength to carry the entire tribe on his back, Danba’s ability would be very limited if he only relied on his brain.
Because of this, Danba desperately desired to grow stronger.
“The Origin Energy Temple is in Gullan Castle, which is how the Inferno Tribe controls the other tribes. If any tribe shows signs of disloyalty, the Inferno Tribe can decrease their quota or even completely ban them from receiving any baptisms,” Danba said. “I have only gone through two baptisms at this point. If I only rely on my own cultivation in the future, the only aspect of my cultivation that I can improve is the tier of my totemic inscriptions. However, my ability to use Origin Energy will stop here. If you cannot increase my personal strength, then don’t even think about getting anything from me. When I reveal my true goals, I will no longer be able to use the Origin Energy Temple! And with my current strength, I can only unify the small tribes. I have no confidence in dealing with a medium-sized tribe, for a very simple reason...... I do not have the strength necessary to deal with a Takusha challenge from a powerful Head Chieftain. You don’t need me to explain the significance of Takusha, right? After all, that’s what you used to defeat us in the past.”
Su Chen was taken aback.
This was truly a problem he hadn’t considered before.
A faint smile of victory appeared on Danba’s face when he saw Su Chen’s stupefied appearance. “What, was that beyond your calculations? I must say, I rather like this current expression of yours.”
“Hm......” Su Chen shrugged. “Fine, I admit that I miscalculated and underestimated the magnitude of this problem. So you’re confident that, unless I help you resolve the incompatibility between this cultivation technique and the Temple Baptisms, it is impossible for you to grow stronger?”
“That’s right. Perhaps I can use my shamelessness and schemes to defeat a few Head Chieftains stronger than me and deal with a few medium-sized tribes, but you should know that won’t last for long, and it will cause no small amount of trouble in the future. Ravagers will never fully submit to someone weak. Only a truly powerful person can unite the Ravagers, as demonstrated by tens of thousands of years of history. As such, I can suppress them for a while, but not forever. During this period of time, you must help me resolve this issue.”
“You’ve really got me, huh?” Su Chen stared at Danba in surprise.
“Just like you got me before,” Danba replied impolitely.
The two of them stared at each other for a long time before suddenly simultaneously bursting out into laughter.
After a long time, Su Chen said, “How interesting! I’ve always been the one to scheme against others, but now it seems like someone else has me by the balls, and a Ravager at that.”
“If I couldn’t do this, how could you pin your hopes on me?” Danba countered.
“That’s true,” Su Chen agreed. “If you weren’t like this, why would I invest so much effort and time on you?”
“So you agree to help me, then?”
“Well.” Su Chen didn’t directly reply. Instead, he paced back and forth a few times, his hands clasped behind his back.
After thinking for a long time, he finally said, “Resolving the incompatibility between the Temple Baptisms and this cultivation technique will require a comprehensive understanding of how the Origin Energy Temple works. Before I see it for myself, I will not be able to fix this issue.”
“So you’re telling me that you will be able to fix it once you see how the Origin Energy Temple functions?”
“I have a certain amount of confidence, but I’m not absolutely sure.” With the consciousness crystal calculator, Su Chen’s ability to do research had greatly increased, and he was filled with self-confidence. However, this matter of seeing the Origin Energy Temple firsthand was Su Chen deliberately making life difficult for Danba.
Unexpectedly, Danba agreed casually, saying, “If that’s what you want, I can take you to Gullan Castle with me.”
“Gullan Castle? You can take me?” Su Chen was stunned.
“Yeah. Can’t you disguise yourself? Turn into one of the Gravel Lizard Tribe’s soldiers. I’m the Gravel Lizard Tribe’s Head Chieftain, so every year I am allotted a certain quota of individuals to undergo the baptism. Recommending a few warriors is no problem. The only question is...... do you dare go?”
A mischievous smile danced across Danba’s face.
Up until now, Su Chen’s interactions with Danba had all been firmly under Su Chen’s control. No matter what tactics Danba had tried to utilize, Su Chen had always been able to command the situation enough to maintain control.
But if he were to go with Danba to Gullan Castle......
Su Chen would no longer have control of his own fate.
The difficult choice had been tossed back to him.