Chapter 4: Sacrifice (1)
Within the Origin Bone Hall.
This was a hall that Su Chen had ordered to be constructed for the express purpose of housing the Origin Bone Scepter.
This hall was constructed from the bones of all kinds of different Demonic Beasts. There was a certain primal aura about it, which was somewhat incompatible with the Boundless Sect’s grand atmosphere.
Even so, this was the environment that the Origin Bone Scepter liked to be in. Only in such a primal atmosphere would the Origin Bone Scepter be able to unleash its greatest effect. This was another thing Su Chen had learned from the Ravagers.
The Origin Bone Scepter was placed on a specially constructed altar. Apart from the scepter, there was nothing else in the room. However, the ancient and imposing aura emanating from the Origin Bone obviously manifested the frightening power that the Shining Dragon, an Origin Beast, possessed.
Su Chen first pulled out an Origin Stone and placed it on the altar before asking his first question.
“I want to know what we are having for lunch.”
As the most basic containers of Origin Energy, Origin Stones were more than suitable for use as a sacrifice.
The Origin Stone on the altar disappeared, but Su Chen received no reaction.
Su Chen knew that this sacrifice had failed.
What they would have for lunch tomorrow was a very simple question, but he had still failed.
This seemed to indicate that, though the Origin Bone Scepter liked to consume objects with Origin Energy, they could not only contain Origin Energy. It was a bit picky with what it ate.
As such, Su Chen was not so much asking about what was for lunch tomorrow but what the Origin Bone Scepter preferred to eat.
Based on the fact that he had not received any answer, it seemed that items like Origin Stones were simply too plain.
Next, he placed a sprig of Clear Heart Grass on the altar. This grass was a cultivation resource, making it a bit more valuable than just an Origin Stone.
Then, Su Chen asked again what was for lunch tomorrow.
The answer came to him this time.
An image appeared above the altar of countless people sitting around a bonfire barbecuing.
“Roast meat…… Roast meat again! Is there nothing else to eat here?” Su Chen was a bit depressed. But when he remembered that the construction work on top of the mountain had just been finished and that many facilities had yet to be completed, including even a water reservoir, it was really quite difficult for them to eat anything but roast meat.
“So what am I eating tomorrow evening?” Su Chen asked as he placed another sprig of Clear Heart Grass on the altar.
This time, there was no answer.
Su Chen repeated a question, placing a Cloud Fruit on the altar instead.
Cloud Fruit’s value was somewhat lower than Clear Heart Grass, but what was for dinner tomorrow evening was obviously a bit more of a complicated question than what was for lunch.
The answer appeared again.
This clearly demonstrated that the Origin Bone Scepter’s answers weren’t dependent on the market value of the sacrifice.
That was a good thing!
Unlike those dumb Ravagers, Su Chen was not so eager to get an answer from the very beginning.
The first thing he wanted to figure out were the principles the Origin Bone Scepter operated by, and what it liked and didn’t like. The variable market prices meant that there were many loopholes to exploit; there would always be some things that weren’t very expensive but the Origin Bone Scepter would like more.
Next, Su Chen continued to test the items in his inventory.
After determining what was for dinner the following evening, he asked who he would see first the next morning, then who he would see second, then who he would see third, then what clothes he would wear, and finally what clothes other people would wear. Then, he continued to ask about the day after tomorrow, and then the day after that.
Su Chen did his best to try and string his questions together. Regardless of whether the Origin Bone Scepter gave him an answer, he would obtain some useful data, which he would record in the consciousness crystal in his mind.
However, after his twentieth question, the Origin Bone Scepter suddenly let out a low hum. The primal aura in the air perceptibly decreased, and no matter how many more questions Su Chen asked, he received no more answers.
“So you have a temper, do you?” Su Chen was taken aback.
He recorded in his consciousness crystal that he could at most ask twenty questions in a day.
Twenty was not a big number, but it wasn’t a small one either.
For the more important answers, that was more than sufficient.
For experimental questions, however, the price-to-performance ratio was not nearly as high.
No matter what, however, Su Chen could only accept this outcome.
In the coming days, Su Chen continued to test the Origin Bone Scepter repeatedly, figuring out the cheapest sacrifices that the scepter liked.
Through this constant process of testing out different sacrifices, Su Chen developed a few new rules for the scepter.
First, the Origin Bone Scepter liked to eat Beast flesh more than it liked to eat plants, and it liked elemental items more than Demonic Beasts. Finally, it liked items that contained time essence more than anything else.
Second, additional quantities of a sacrifice would result in diminishing returns. For instance, a Demonic Essence Fruit might allow you to determine something three days in the future, but offering one hundred fruits would not allow you to see an answer three hundred days in the future.
Third, different sacrifices could be superimposed on each other. The Origin Bone Scepter accepted this kind of sacrifice, and compatible sacrifices would even increase the effectiveness of the sacrifice.
Fourth, the Origin Bone Scepter also liked items with many beautiful inscriptions on their surface. If you offered up a sacrifice that you had spent some time to beautify and refine after obtaining that item, it was possible to achieve a better result. However, this was only a possibility; there was also a risk that engraving it would actually decrease its value in the scepter’s eyes.
Fifth, different predictions necessitated different sacrifices for the Origin Bone Scepter. In particular, the biggest factor was how willing the user was to accept a certain outcome.
In simple terms, if the Origin Bone Scepter was going to give a certain prediction that the user was able to accept, the cost of the sacrifice would decrease.
If the Origin Bone Scepter was going to make a prediction that the user resisted, the value of the sacrifice would need to increase, and it was very likely that no answer would be given.
This was because the future was filled with uncertainties. Any prediction that was offered had the possibility of altering it.
The Origin Bone Scepter prediction ability caused it to incline towards the “truth”, outcomes that were unlikely to change.
If the outcome was a good one to the user, then the user’s ability to accept the prediction would not change the outcome of the prediction. Of course, the cost of the sacrifice would be far lower, since it was much more likely to happen.
If the prediction was something that the user could not accept, then the user would attempt to change that outcome as soon as the prediction was offered. As such, the prediction was unlikely to be accurate, which was totally against the predictive nature of this scepter. It was unsurprising that the Origin Bone Scepter preferred not to offer an inaccurate prediction. If the user insisted on knowing, they would need to give the scepter enough of an excuse to do so, which of course meant providing a sacrifice with enough value.
In that sense, the Origin Bone Scepter preferred to only report the good news, not the bad news. The only exception was if this bad news could not be changed by the user.
As such, the main reasons for an unsuccessful divination was either that the duration was too far in the future, that the target of prediction was too powerful, that the prediction had the possibility of being incredibly inaccurate, or that the outcome was disastrous to the user. All of these, however, were basically down to the inadequacy of the sacrifice.
The sacrifice was the base for everything.
After a number of repeated experiments, Su Chen gradually came to know the Origin Bone Scepter’s “temper”.
The best sacrifice was probably the Sands of Time.
After this were items containing elemental essence.
The third best were the most precious parts of the Demonic Beasts, such as their Origin Crystals or their cores.
The fourth best was plants imbued with Origin Energy.
The worst sacrifice was Origin Stones.
Su Chen had taken more than half a year to develop this generalized list of rules and performed at least three thousand experiments. He had tested all kinds of common and precious resources, including a Demonic King Origin Crystal, all to find out what he would be eating eleven years from now.
Using a Demonic King’s Origin Crystal as a sacrifice was not strange. What was strange was asking such a pointless question.
However, if he didn’t ask such simple questions, he wouldn’t have been able to develop such precise rules.
His experiments were only experiments because he was willing to sacrifice.
Su Chen was able to confirm that ten years was not the Origin Bone Scepter’s limit. However, past ten years, the required value of the sacrifice would only increase.
The Ravagers had developed far less experience in tens of thousands of years than Su Chen had in half a year not only because they were dumb but also because they were lacking in resources, were unwilling to make sacrifices, and placed too mch emphasis on short-term benefits.
After obtaining such a wealth of experience, Su Chen began to try asking questions with more valuable answers.
Within the Origin Bone Hall, Su Chen first placed an assortment of twenty Demonic Lord bones with complicated engravings onto the altar, then covered them with the down of a Deepwater Midnight Goose. Finally, he pulled out a Demonic Lord’s Origin Crystal and placed it at the very top.
This was the best combination Su Chen had discovered during his many attempts, as it counted as a combination sacrifice.
Even so, Su Chen did not have complete confidence that he could obtain an answer to the question that he was about to ask.
“I want to know how to resolve this issue of reaching the Light Shaking Realm without a bloodline.”
Yes. Without question, this was the answer Su Chen cared about the most.
As long as he was able to resolve this problem, Su Chen would be able to give the Boundless Sect’s disciples a way to reach the Light Shaking Realm without a bloodline.
However, the only way he could get an answer was if there was an answer to be given. In other words, only if the future Su Chen or someone else could obtain an answer by themselves without the aid of the Origin Bone Scepter would the Origin Bone Scepter be able to provide an answer.
In addition, this answer could not be too far off in the future.
If it was too far off in the future - for instance, if Su Chen or someone else would only find the answer after decades, then sorry, the Origin Bone Scepter wouldn’t be able to provide an answer.
Most importantly, Su Chen wouldn’t even know if the issue was that there was no answer or that the answer was too far off in the future for the Origin Bone Scepter to access.
Because of that, Su Chen didn’t ask the question directly for safety reasons. Instead, he asked what the process of reaching the answer should be.
By finding the correct process, he could resolve a majority of the problems.
Once Su Chen asked the question, the altar began to glow with light. Unlike the former common sacrifices, a ray of light shot forth from the Origin Bone Scepter onto the sacrifices, causing them to gradually disappear.
As the sacrifices disappeared, images began to appear on the surface of the altar.
A young man was walking along a mountain path towards a stone house. That youth was Su Chen himself.
The sacrifices disappeared very slowly, so the images continued to play out.
The illusory Su Chen pushed open the door to the stone house and walked inside. It was Shi Kaihuang sitting inside.
Su Chen sat down right in front of Shi Kaihuang and said, “Instructor, is there a reason you were looking for me?”
Shi Kaihuang replied, “I have discovered a way to allow people to ascend into the Light Shaking Realm without a bloodline.”
“Instructor has found a way?” the illusory Su Chen asked with great excitement. The real Su Chen was quite surprised.
So the method was going to be discovered by his Instructor.
However, Su Chen realized upon further consideration that this outcome was not that strange. Shi Kaihuang was much more relaxed now that they had returned to human territory, and he had reverted to his old manner of living when he was at the Hidden Dragon Institute. He immersed himself in his research every day.
He was the person who had developed a way to reach the Blood Boiling and Yang Opening Realms without a bloodline, so it wasn’t really that strange that he would be the one to discover the way to reach the Light Shaking Realm without a bloodline.