Chapter 38: Duplication (1)
Possessing a Fourth-Ring Arcana Technique was simple too inconceivable and hard to believe.
Even so, research was designed to create such miracles.
Unlike before, however, Iron Cliff’s Fourth-Ring Arcana Technique was obtained by cheating the system, so he would not be able to grasp other similar-tier Arcana Techniques any easier. In that sense, Iron Cliff’s status as a Fourth-Ring Arcana Master was in name only. Since Ancient Arcana Techniques relied on knowledge as the foundation, then as you constructed these Fourth-Ring Origin Energy Patterns, the difficulty in constructing other similar-tier patterns would greatly decrease.
But what did that matter?
Hadn’t he gotten them for free?
Most importantly, with these Fourth-Ring Arcana Technique Patterns, Iron Cliff would be able to study Ancient Arcana Techniques much more efficiently in the future.
Yes, he might not be able to study other Fourth-Ring Patterns, but studying patterns below that tier would become much easier.
This was similar to Su Chen’s use of the Origin Bone Scepter. First, he would obtain a high-level answer; once that was accomplished, he would then try to reverse-engineer the outcome. Once the foundation was set, learning similar-ring Ancient Arcana Techniques wouldn’t be a problem any longer.
This would greatly increase Iron Cliff’s studying efficiency, and he wouldn’t go down any wrong paths.
No one amongst the Stoneskins had ever become an Arcana Master before. This was quite a momentous occasion for Iron Cliff.
So he had become an Arcana Master just like that?
That was when he noticed that Su Chen’s expression was a bit pale.
Utilizing the microscopic eye and the consciousness crystal at the same time placed quite a bit of strain on Su Chen.
“Master, are you okay?”
Su Chen shook his head. “I’m fine. It’s a pity about this Arcana Technique Pattern.”
Su Chen glanced regretfully at the contents of the vial. The Arcana Technique Pattern had completely disappeared.
This Arcana Technique Pattern had contained all of that Harpy’s knowledge of Ancient Arcana Techniques. There was more there than just the Flame Shield, but unfortunately Su Chen’s forced duplication had destroyed the Arcana Technique Pattern. At the same time that the Flame Shield was successfully duplicated, the Arcana Technique Pattern had shattered.
In other words, he was only able to duplicate a single Ancient Arcana Technique.
Well, that was enough to be satisfied with.
Su Chen patted Iron Cliff on the shoulder and said, “From this day onwards, you’re going to need to study those Ancient Arcana Techniques a bit more. I’m going to have Patelocke teach you.”
As Su Chen spoke, he tossed the Mountain-Beheading Blade over to Iron Cliff.
“Study?” Iron Cliff frowned. “That’s a bit difficult for us Stoneskins.”
“But it’s only difficult, right? Difficulties are made for overcoming. I believe that you can do it,” Su Chen said.
“I’m still more used to my original style of fighting,” Iron Cliff said as he rubbed his head.
“I’m not telling you to change your normal style of battle, but if you can obtain even more strength for a relatively small price, there is no reason to refuse it. There are many Ancient Arcana Techniques that can increase your physical strength, which will be useful to you once you learn them. For instance, Dragon’s Might will cause your current strength to multiply. Iron Skin doesn’t clash with your Adamantine Battle Body and can be used simultaneously despite the fact that its defensive capabilities are limited. By the same token, Flame Shield can be used along with your Iron Mountain Shield. Furthermore, Wind Scamper will increase your speed and can be used along with the Cloud Body Technique. The Blood Boiling Technique can be used in conjunction with the Blood Fiend Constellation, and Devouring the Heavens is extremely compatible with Lifesuck. If you reach higher rings, you will obtain many more powerful abilities. I’m not telling you to give up on your original path, but to increase your supplementary powers so that you will be able to reach further heights with your current path.”
Iron Cliff’s eyes lit up when he heard Su Chen’s description of the future.
He liked the feeling of his fists slamming into meat, so launching fireballs off from a distance didn’t really suit him. However, Su Chen’s words told Iron Cliff that there were aspects of Ancient Arcana Techniques that suited him greatly.
To those Arcana Masters, these Arcana Techniques may have been slightly off-target, but they were perfect for Iron Cliff.
“Yes!” Iron Cliff nodded excitedly.
“Unfortunately, we only have two Harpy corpses here. If we had more, I could probably turn Cloud Leopard and the others into Arcana Masters as well,” Su Chen sighed regretfully.
“So why not capture a few more? There are plenty of Harpies flying around anyways,” Iron Cliff replied carelessly.
Su Chen chuckled. “Like you could just go around capturing......”
He suddenly froze as his eyes began to glow. “Right, why couldn’t I get some more Harpies for myself?”
Su Chen fell into deep thought as he stared at the Harpies on the altar.
“What? You want to buy more Harpy captives?”
Zhu Yunyan stared at Su Chen in shock.
“Yes. Matriarch, will you please offer your assistance?” Su Chen asked. “Liaoye Country has been at war with the Harpies for a long time. There should be many Harpy captives available, right?”
Yes, Su Chen wasn’t thinking of capturing them himself, but to buy them instead.
Since he had so much money, why would he risk his own life?
“For research?” Zhu Yunyan asked.
Su Chen nodded.
“How many do you need?”
“The quantity is not important. What matters is their quality...... I want the highest-quality ones.”
Since he was going to be duplicating Arcana Techniques one way or another, the stronger they were the better. Because the individual would be able to more easily grasp lower-ring principles, the higher-ring the Arcana Technique Patterns were, the faster the individual receiving the duplicated techniques would be able to advance.
This was why Su Chen needed the highest-quality Harpies, not necessarily the most.
Zhu Yunyan frowned slightly. “High-ranking Harpy captives are not easy to come by.”
“But the Zhu Clan should be able to buy them, right?” Su Chen said.
Of course it was possible for the Zhu Clan to buy these Harpy captives. After all, they were a Demonic Emperor Bloodline clan in the first place, giving them significant status amongst Liaoye Country. In addition, they had just exposed the Rong Clan’s collusion, which was a service for the country. Buying some high-ranking Harpy Captives wasn’t a problem as long as they had a good reason.
Su Chen’s name as the Worldly Sage had spread throughout the Seven Kingdoms. There was still some resistance to his developing the bloodline-less cultivation techniques, but if he wanted to do research on foreign races, that was something they were willing to openly discuss.
Zhu Yunyan very quickly agreed. “Fine. I’ll send some people to the capital right away.”
With the Zhu Clan handling the matter, everything proceeded extremely smoothly.
Today, Su Chen was doing research in his workstation as usual when Cloud Leopard appeared. “The people who went to the capital have returned.”
“Oh? How’d it go?”
“They brought back twenty.”
“Excellent!” Su Chen clapped his hands together in excitement. “Let’s go and have a look.”
They walked to the Zhu Clan’s prison. There, Su Chen found twenty Harpy captives shut in the prison, each one wearing restrictive shackles made of Origin Stones and Stargold.
Zhu Bailou was the warden of the prison, and a distant uncle of Zhu Xianyao’s. He was known as Uncle Thirteen because of his seniority. As he showed Su Chen around, he said with a smile, “The twenty captives are all here. Twelve of them are Fourth-Ring Arcana Masters, seven are Fifth-Ring, and one is Sixth-Ring.”
“Only one Sixth-Ring?” Su Chen was a bit unsatisfied.
Zhu Bailou smiled bitterly. “Young Master Su, high-ranking Harpies are not like cabbages. There aren’t many of them, and they are quite hard to capture alive. We had to negotiate a long time to get them to give us this Sixth-Ring Harpy. And even then, they strictly ordered us to not allow him to leave Liaoye Country alive; otherwise, we will have to answer for it.”
“Fine.” Su Chen could only accept the situation. It seemed like capturing a Tenth-Ring Arcana Master and soaring to the Heavens in a single step was going to be impossible.
Sixth-Ring was fine too; he could think about more after dealing with that one first.
As he inspected the captives, Su Chen suddenly saw a familiar face.
That was the Harpy female who had instigated the Rong Clan’s betrayal.
She had been sent to the capital along with the Rong Clan’s six elders, but after a short journey she had been sent back to him.
When he saw that Harpy female, Su Chen smiled slightly.
The Harpy Female’s eyes were filled with hatred.
Su Chen didn’t mind. He said to Zhu Bailou, “I’ll accept these Harpies. Please, give my thanks to the MAtriarch.”
Zhu Bailou hurriedly patted his chest, indicating that there was no need to thank him, and even personally escorted the Harpies out of the prison. Su Chen was the Zhu Clan’s important guest and Zhu Xianyao’s future husband, regardless of whether he was going to be brought into the fold or he was going to take Zhu Xianyao with him. At the very least, that reality would not change, so Zhu Bailou took advantage of the opportunity to curry some favor with Su Chen.
For the first wave, Su Chen took the twelve Fourth-Ring Harpies and the two Fifth-Ring Harpies with him.
The Fourth-Ring Harpies were prepared for the twelve Sword Servants, while the Fifth-Ring Harpies were prepared for Cloud Leopard and Zhu Xianyao.
Su Chen took the captives with him back to his research lab and began to extract their Arcana Technique Patterns, then duplicating the right Arcana Techniques.
Because he could only duplicate one technique per Arcana Technique Pattern, he needed to choose the right Arcana Technique to duplicate. This was why he had given Iron Cliff the Flame Shield. Harpies mostly used long-range and speed-boosting techniques, and fighting from a distance was their specialty, whereas close-quarters combat was not. The Flame Shield was not necessarily the strongest Arcana Technique that the male Harpy had known. However, because it was extremely compatible with Iron Cliff’s existing style of combat, Su Chen had chosen to give him this not-so-powerful technique.
The same went for the others.
The twelve Sword Servants came from a military background and had cultivated Su Chen’s Immaculate Cultivation Technique. They were extremely well-suited for fighting group battles, and their strength would multiply when grouped together.
As such, Su Chen expressly chose Arcana Techniques that could boost the effectiveness of their group skills, rather than purely selecting techniques based on strength.
After browsing the available skills for some time, Su Chen chose the “Icebound Technique”.
The Icebound Technique, as its name suggested, was used to freeze opponents.
The killing power of such a technique was only average. Most of the time, it was used to slow an opponent’s movements, sealing their limbs with ice and making it hard for them to move.
Su Chen had chosen it because it was an incredibly effective crowd-control Arcana Technique.
This was a difference between contemporary Origin Skills and Ancient Arcana Techniques that was worth commenting on. Contemporary Origin Skills focused on increasing one’s own lifeforce and strength, but techniques that weakened the enemy were rare. Even though there were control-type and curse-type Origin Skills around, they were not that effective, and there weren’t many of them. After all, since contemporary Origin Skills relied on self-improvement, the notion that strength was personal made it so that techniques trying to drag someone else down was frowned upon.
Arcana Techniques, however, were different. Both the Arcanists and the Harpies possessed weak lifeforces. They weren’t good at close-quarters combat, and could only attack from afar. To ensure their own safety, using Origin Energy to weaken and control their opponents was almost a necessity. Because of this, curses, impairment techniques, and control techniques were all commonplace amongst the Arcanist system.