Chapter 37: Research (2)
The two Harpy corpses were neatly placed on his long research workbench.
The Harpies had quite similar physical appearances to humans, apart from the fact that they were slightly smaller in stature and possessed large wings sprouting from their backs. Their internal makeup, however, was very different.
Su Chen discovered a small air sac inside the first Harpy’s body when he cut him open in addition to the normal internal organs. This air sac belonged uniquely to the Harpies. Originally, it was used to store air to help them fly, but later on it was converted into an Origin Energy storage pouch.
The bone structure of the Harpies was also different. The space around their arms was hollow to better direct airflow, which was necessary for the Harpies to be able to fly from birth. Later on, however, it was adapted to better serve their use of Origin Energy.
Because of this, Harpies were the best of the Intelligent Races at using Origin Energy. They were actually not inferior to the Arcanists, but they lacked the same kind of powerful eyesight and the ability to apply their knowledge effectively.
Their greatest weakness was their physical bodies.
Their unique bone structure made them very ineffective at bearing loads, causing their vitality to be greatly reduced as well. No matter how much they cultivated, their latent talent was incredibly low. Very rarely did Harpies act as warriors. Most of the time, they were either archers or mages. This was on the opposite end of the spectrum as the Ravagers, and humans were roughly in the middle.
For this reason, the Harpies adopted the Arcanist system of cultivation, from one ring to ten serving as the ten tiers. Unlike humans, the Arcanists measured cultivation tier by the standard of the Ancient Arcana Technique an individual could unleash. In other words, whatever ring the Arcana Techniques you could use were at defined what tier Arcana Master you were. This was because each Ancient Arcana Technique was a kind of cultivation method in and of itself. The more advanced an Ancient Arcana Technique you mastered was, the higher the tier it would be placed in.
This was the biggest difference between Ancient Arcana Techniques and contemporary Origin Skills.
In terms of pure offensive capabilities, Ancient Arcana Techniques were the most powerful since they utilized Origin Energy to its greatest extent. It was probably not an exaggeration to say that Ten-Ring Ancient Arcana Techniques could wipe out Heaven and earth, which was why they were known as Forbidden Arcana Techniques.
Something to note was that Su Chen was technically an Arcana Master as well, but quite a low-ringed one.
He controlled quite a few high-ring Ancient Arcana Techniques, such as Whitetower Teleportation, which was actually at the ninth ring. The greatest characteristic of this Arcana Technique was that it could ascend tiers as the user gained a better comprehension of it. As Su Chen had improved his understanding of it, he had already turned it into a Ninth-Ring Ancient Arcana Technique.
However, this kind of an improvement was too much of a pain and expended quite a bit of consciousness energy as well. Given how practically useful it was, Su Chen decided to brand it onto his Lotus Platform, which was akin to cheating. As such, even though he had increased the tier of Whitetower Teleportation, it wasn’t by relying on his own abilities.
As for the Erupting Firehawk skill, it was about equivalent to a Third-Ring Arcana Technique. A whole flock of them was roughly equivalent to a Fourth-Ring Arcana Technique. However, these two techniques had been mixed with human elements, and weren’t pure Ancient Arcana Techniques. Even though these improved Arcana Techniques weren’t negatively affected in terms of power, they broke the boundaries of the tiers. In addition, just because you were able to master that technique didn’t necessarily mean that you would be able to master a technique at a similar tier. As such, it was not sufficient to estimate an individual’s cultivation tier just based on the might of the skills they could unleash alone.
The same went for the Flaming Phoenix Theurgy Art. Its might was equivalent to a Sixth-Ring Ancient Arcana Technique, but because it incorporated elements from many different sources of inspiration and placed high demands on the user’s consciousness, it was impossible to include that skill in the rating system either.
As such, Su Chen was only a Third-Ring Arcana Master if you went purely by the Ancient Arcana Technique tiers.
The two Harpies before him were Fourth-Ring Arcana Masters. He was able to figure that out just by investigating their Origin Energy Patterns.
The Origin Energy Patterns were also known as Arcana Technique Patterns, the foundation for which Ancient Arcana Techniques took shape. Su Chen had spent quite a bit of energy in the past studying these things. Arcana Technique Patterns also belonged to this ten-ring system, which was why Su Chen was easily able to discern the mastery of these two Harpies so easily.
When Su Chen cut open one of the Harpies’ chests and opened their Origin Sea, he found a number of glittering items floating inside.
These were the Arcana Technique Patterns.
These Arcana Technique Patterns were formed from pure Origin Energy and looked like a miniature Origin Energy building covered in profound, arcane inscriptions. They sat half-merged in the Origin Sea.
After opening the Origin Sea, the Arcana Technique Patterns lost their protection and began to glow as they disappeared into thin air.
Su Chen watched as they disappeared, the glow from the Origin Energy fading.
“What a pity!” Su Chen sighed.
“What’s the pity?” Iron Cliff asked.
“If only I could have preserved those Arcana Technique fragments. Those are the crystallizations of the Harpies understanding of Ancient Arcana Techniques,” Su Chen carelessly replied.
“Why couldn’t you?”
“Because those are made of pure Origin Energy. Without the appropriate realm, it’s impossible to preserve them,” Su Chen said.
“So create one for them,” Iron Cliff said.
Su Chen was just about to shake his head when his heart jolted.
Why wasn’t it possible?
“Actually, I think that this idea of yours is very logical...... and it might not actually be that hard to bring to fruition,” Su Chen said with excitement.
Indeed, it was quite simple to achieve it in the end.
Su Chen was able to find the answer just by using the Origin Bone Scepter twice.
“Flowerless Grass, Three Yangs Fruit, Flying Squirrel Heart, and Dried Bell Seeds......” Su Chen quickly listed these items down, then handed them to Iron Cliff. “Ask Xianling to prepare these for me, the sooner the better!”
Given the Zhu Clan’s might, gathering these items was very quick and easy.
That afternoon, a mixture containing all those ingredients appeared on Su Chen’s workbench.
Su Chen carefully cut open the second Harpy corpse and extracted the Arcana Technique Patterns. The Arcana Technique Patterns began to dissolve as soon as they encountered the air. Su Chen hurriedly pulled them out and placed them in the liquid mixture. Indeed, those Arcana Technique Patterns stopped dissipating, and they reverted to their formerly stable condition.
“Success!” Iron Cliff chuckled happily.
In comparison, Su Chen’s expression was incredibly emotional. He stared at those floating Origin Energy Patterns, in a daze, as he muttered, “How beautiful.”
Iron Cliff stared at those Origin Energy Patterns and said, “If I might speak my mind, Master, I cannot tell why you think those are beautiful.”
Su Chen said, “Do you know what the biggest difference between contemporary Origin Skills and Ancient Arcana Techniques is?”
“You can increase your cultivation tier just by mastering the corresponding Ancient Arcana Technique?”
“No, no, you’re referring to the outward manifestations. I’m talking about the fundamental difference.”
Iron Cliff shook his head.
Su Chen said, “The core of Ancient Arcana Techniques is knowledge. They are the best methods we have of using Origin Energy.”
In the human cultivation system, cultivators sought to improve themselves, and a person’s cultivation increased by that person increasing their foundation. Origin Skills were merely a combat manifestation of that foundation. This system was a result of the human desire to achieve immortality.
On the other hand, Ancient Arcana Techniques were designed purely with efficient application of Origin Energy in mind and wouldn’t result in much change to a person’s lifespan. Even though a few Arcanists relied on high-ring Arcana Techniques to increase their lifespan, this was not an intrinsic increase but an increase resulting from borrowing Origin Energy as a surrogate.
This was similar to how humans would rely on medicine and other methods to increase their lifespans, while other animals simply lived long lives.
One was intrinsic, while the other was extrinsic.
“Knowledge can be reproduced,” Su Chen said quietly as he gazed at the Origin Energy Patterns floating in the mixture.
Iron Cliff was still confused.
Su Chen smiled slightly. “Fine. What if I told you that I could implant these Arcana Technique Patterns into your body, which would give you the ability to use Ancient Arcana Techniques?”
“Me? Use Ancient Arcana Techniques?” Iron Cliff opened his eyes wide with shock. “Is that really possible?”
“Of course not.” Su Chen dumped a bucket of cold water on his head. “How on earth could something that good happen? Every person’s Origin Energy Pattern has a unique imprint on it. Even if I could find a way to implant them in you, it would probably be very hard for you to use them.”
“So why even say something like that?” Iron Cliff was disappointed.
“I already told you that they can be duplicated,” Su Chen said meaningfully as he activated his microscopic eye, the consciousness crystal in his mind firing on all cylinders.
An instant later, Su Chen placed his left hand on the Origin Energy Patterns, at the same time placing his right hand on Iron Cliff’s head.
Iron Cliff felt his vision tremble for a moment as countless dots of light flickered around the corners of his vision. He felt as if he had suddenly entered a secret realm, and arcane inscriptions floated through the air around him.
Then, a hand suddenly appeared in the air. Iron Cliff instinctively went to push the hand aside.
Just as he was about to do so, however, he heard Su Chen say, “Don’t resist!”
The years of following after Su Chen had made Iron Cliff totally obedient to Su Chen.
Since Su Chen had said as much, he suppressed his instincts.
Next, he watched as the hand forcefully entering his consciousness began to fly around in his mind, flickering with light.
Origin Energy Pattern after Origin Energy Pattern was grasped by the hand and combined together, and Iron Cliff’s consciousness began to follow along.
“Use your Origin Energy to trace these patterns!” Su Chen’s voice continued to speak.
Iron Cliff followed his instructions.
The patterns danced more and more quickly, constantly reorganizing and joining together.
Iron Cliff did his best to keep up, following Su Chen’s directions as he revolved the Origin Energy in his body.
Slowly but surely, the Arcana Technique Patterns began to form in Iron Cliff’s consciousness.
As the hand pressed down, Iron Cliff felt the Origin Energy Patterns sink into his Origin Sea. In that moment, his Origin Energy was revolving to its greatest extent.
Once the Arcana Technique Patterns were fully submerged in his Origin Sea, a resounding thunderclap boomed right next to his ear.
Iron Cliff felt his vision fade momentarily as a wave of dizziness overtook him.
While he was still recovering from his confusion, he heard Su Chen’s voice say, “Congratulations.”
For what? Iron Cliff didn’t really understand.
“Try it out for yourself,” Su Chen said.
Iron Cliff carefully sensed his own condition. Suddenly, a profound and mysterious sensation surfaced in his heart.
Iron Cliff stared in shock. “How is this possible?”
“You’ll know when you try it,” Su Chen said as he clapped him on the arm.
Iron Cliff raised his hand, and a wave of intense Origin Energy shot forth from his hand, turning into flames as they left his palm. The flames quickly formed a shield that enveloped Iron Cliff.
“What is this?” Iron Cliff’s jaw dropped.
“Flame Shield, a Fourth-Ring Arcana Technique. Congratulations, you’re now a Fourth-Ring Arcana Master.”
TL: Author’s note that I felt was worth translating for the more astute among you.
PS: I went back to look at what I had written before. Damn, I remembered it incorrectly - Su Chen’s consciousness energy should be around two thousand and two units without any equipment. My apologies.
However, even if Su Chen’s consciousness is powerful enough, he still cannot fight a Thought Manifestation Realm cultivator before casting his Divine Palaces. This is a problem of not being able to utilize his consciousness energy properly. He is still unable to use his full consciousness power when attacking. Of course, he can still completely suppress someone at the same cultivation realm.