Chapter 39: Duplication (2)
Icebound Technique was such a control-type Arcana Technique.
As a Third-Ring Arcana Technique, its control strength was not that great. However, this Arcana Technique had two great benefits: the first was that it could decrease a strong opponent’s speed even if it couldn’t freeze them entirely, giving the user an opportunity to retaliate; the second was that the effects were stackable. If one use was not achieving the desired results, then applying more on top would increase its effectiveness. Of course, the more Icebound Techniques that were layered on each other, the worse the effect would be. Even so, when enough people used this technique in tandem, they would still be able to seal a powerful opponent.
Throughout Harpy history, occurrences like this had happened more than once. When faced with a powerful opponent, multiple Harpies had activated this Icebound Technique against a single target, sealing them and making it impossible for them to move. Then, a hail of arrows so thick that it blotted out the sky would slam into the now-frozen target, causing them to shatter.
The twelve Sword Servants would be incredibly useful regardless of whether they were fighting alongside each other or supporting others.
It was for this reason that Su Chen had chosen a Third-Ring Arcana Technique despite the fact that he had twelve Fourth-Ring Arcana Masters at his disposal.
On the other hand, it was because they were Fourth-Ring Arcana Masters that their Third-Ring Patterns were exceptionally solid, and why Su Chen was able to find a technique that they could all possess. The unique aspects of their same-ring Arcana Techniques meant that Su Chen would need to try and find twelve Arcana Masters who had mastered the same Arcana Technique. This was no easy feat.
After “applying the mold” to the twelve Sword Servants, Cloud Leopard and Zhu Xianyao were next.
Cloud Leopard was a genius when it came to fighting. His perception had been honed over the course of many years, but it was for this reason that most Arcana Techniques actually didn’t fit in with his style of battle very well. One party was a mage, launching attacks from afar, while the other party was a close-range assassin. It was very difficult to reconcile the two.
Su Chen found it quite amusing to imagine Cloud Leopard suddenly stopping in the middle of a fight to use an Arcana Technique, but it was quite impractical.
For this reason, Su Chen searched the Fifth-Ring Arcana Technique Patterns for a long time but was unable to find a suitable technique.
There was nothing he could do about it, so he decided to kill another two Fifth-Ring Harpies and harvest their patterns.
This time, he was able to find a suitable technique, and two of them at that.
The Fifth-Ring Arcana Technique, “Arcana Technique Reversal.”
The Fourth-Ring Arcana Technique, “Elemental Resistance.”
Arcana Technique Reversal was a unique Arcana Technique, but it was more accurate to call it Origin Energy Reversal. Its use was very simple: it would allow an individual to locally reverse the flow of Origin Energy so that they would be able to push through a wave of Origin Energy.
It sounded quite complicated, but it was actually very simple. Origin Energy attacks wouldn’t be able to send him flying; on the contrary, he would be able to utilize this reverse flow of Origin Energy to unleash attacks himself.
This Arcana Technique was quite strange, because it didn’t allow the user to avoid injury, nor would it increase the strength of his attacks. However, the user could determine what direction they wanted to fly in - where a fireball would have sent the user flying backwards, Arcana Technique Reversal would allow the user to fly forwards, or to the left or right. In that sense, “reversal” was inaccurate as well; the user could choose whichever direction they wanted to the flow to be in.
This technique was a bit weak for a Fifth-Ring Arcana Technique, so most people didn’t really find much of a use for it. The only reason this technique was considered a Fifth-Ring technique was because it involved control of Origin Energy, which was quite a complicated process. In other words, the effect was quite poor, and the cost of learning it was quite high, so the return on investment was pretty bad.
To Cloud Leopard, however, this Arcana Technique was extremely useful.
His style of battle was inherently variable and mobile, and his ability to attack from any direction was very annoying to deal with for any opponent. With Arcana Technique Reversal, Cloud Leopard’s slipperiness would increase even further. He would be able to close in on an opponent when he should have been sent flying, and opponents caught off-guard might die immediately because of this.
In addition, Arcana Technique Reversal didn’t need to be specifically activated once it was learned; rather, it would become a kind of passive skill that the user could use as they pleased when attacked. They wouldn’t be able to decide whether they went airborne or not, but they could decide the direction of their flight. If truly mastered, you could even change directions in the air, or even draw a symbol in the air as long as the attack was powerful enough and your body was strong enough to withstand it.
In addition, while Arcana Technique Reversal was active, the user was basically immune from all attacks. This was because the Origin Energy around the user was changing directions, and most attacks aimed at the user would be affected as a result. However, accidents could still happen, and attacks aimed in a different direction could accidentally be redirected and still hit the user.
Because the activation period for Arcana Technique Reversal was so short, this period of “invincibility” wasn’t particularly important. To Cloud Leopard, however, that was already enough.
For the most part, Arcana Technique Reversal was a pretty weak technique, but it was selected because of how compatible it was with Cloud Leopard’s style of combat.
The Fourth-Ring Arcana Technique, Elemental Resistance, was very simple. It increased the user’s resistance to elemental attacks, but it would also decrease the user’s sensitivity to the elements, thereby decreasing the power of most Arcana Techniques.
Most Arcana techniques were elemental in nature. Skills such as fireballs, the Icebound Technique, lightning skills, and Wind Blade all were elemental Arcana Techniques, so Elemental Resistance was not very useful to most Arcana Masters. It was similarly considered a weak Arcana Technique.
These two weak Arcana Techniques, however, became Cloud Leopard’s greatest allies.
Cloud Leopard relied on physical attacks, so he didn’t care about how effective his Arcana Techniques were. On the other hand, the increase in elemental resistance that he gained was incredibly useful for him.
Zhu Xianyao also obtained two Arcana Techniques.
The Fifth-Ring Arcana Technique, “Holy Light Blessing.”
The Fifth-Ring Arcana Technique, “Holy Light Recovery.”
Two archetypal Holy Light Arcana Techniques.
Holy Light Arcana Techniques were true Ancient Arcana Techniques, somewhat different from most Arcana Techniques that the Harpies practiced. After tens of thousands of years of development, the Harpies had managed to develop a cultivation system that better suited their needs, and some of these “Arcana Techniques” were possessed by the Harpies alone. The Holy Light set of Arcana Techniques, however, were true Ancient Arcana Techniques, passed down from the Arcanists themselves.
The Holy Light Arcana Techniques were basically like buffs.
Holy Light Blessing would create an area blessed by holy light. All selected targets in that area would be buffed and have their strength increased significantly.
Strictly speaking, Holy Light Blessing was also a bit weak. It was an area-of-effect skill, but the area it affected was quite small - only about 100 feet or so.
Once a person’s cultivation base reached a certain point, a hundred feet was a bit small. Moving in any direction would bring them outside of that range. In addition, who could ensure that everyone would remain in the same place on the battlefield? For most people, this Arcana Technique wasn’t even as useful as a single-target buffing skill.
The situation, however, was obviously different for Zhu Xianyao.
She was used to control techniques anyways. Others might not always be around her, but her slaves couldn’t ever go far from where she stood. Buffing her slaves alone already made this technique worth it.
The strength increases provided by Holy Light Blessing were pretty good for an area-of-effect buff technique as well.
As such, Holy Light Blessing was a pretty suitable technique for Zhu Xianyao.
The Holy Light Recovery was even simpler. It recovered the user’s wounds and nullified any curse-type Arcana Techniques, with the recovery effects dependent on the user’s strength. As a Fifth-Ring Arcana Technique, Holy Light Recovery was quite useful for a Light Shaking Realm cultivator. Even though it couldn’t bring someone back from the brink of death, it was still powerful enough to regenerate limbs. Of course, Light Shaking Realm cultivators possessed the ability to regenerate limbs as well, but Holy Light Recovery was effective even if the user had suffered from an attack that prevented the regeneration of limbs. In addition, its recovery ability was much greater than what Light Shaking Realm cultivators innately possessed. On Spirit Burning Realm cultivators, however, the recovery effects were somewhat limited.
Since this Arcana Technique was effective in many circumstances regardless of whether the user controlled slaves or not, Su Chen decided to give it to Zhu Xianyao as well.
Su Chen didn’t hesitate to use the remaining three Fifth-Ring Harpies and single Sixth-Ring Harpy on himself.
The Sixth-Ring Arcana Technique, “Energy Well.”
The Fifth-Ring Arcana Technique, “Darkness Spring.”
The Fifth-Ring Arcana Technique, “Arcana Technique Modeling.”
Energy Well allowed the user to create a special energy core outside of their body and store up even more Origin Energy. Basically, it gave him the ability to build up extra reserves of Origin Energy.
Of course, if it was only used to store Origin Energy, then Origin Stones would have sufficed. There would have been no need to learn a completely new Arcana Technique.
The selling point of Energy Well was that using it as the foundation for an Origin Skill or an Arcana Technique would increase the effects of that skill or technique. The exact increase in power was directly linked to the amount of Origin Energy in the Energy Well. The more Origin Energy stored inside, the more powerful the unleashed technique would be.
Put simply, the Energy Well wasn’t only used to stockpile Origin Energy but also as a destructive force amplifier.
Its purpose for existence was to provide its master an extremely powerful Arcana Technique. What type of Arcana Technique was up to the user to decide.
Su Chen didn’t need to really decide, as he possessed the Flaming Phoenix Theurgy Art.
He wanted to see how the Energy Well and the Flaming Phoenix Theurgy Art would interact.
The Darkness Spring was obviously closely tied to Darkness Origin Energy.
Su Chen had managed to obtain a number of powerful Darkness-type Origin Skills from the Rong Clan, but his supply of Darkness Origin Substance had become a problem. The Darkness Door at Ten Thousand Swords Mountain was a source of Darkness Origin Substance, but that was only at the Ten Thousand Swords Mountain, not around Su Chen himself. When Su Chen wasn’t at the mountain, the problem resurfaced.
Darkness Spring was a way to completely avoid this problem. It directly opened a tunnel to the realm of darkness and caused darkness to flow out. Not only so, but it could also increase the might of darkness-type Origin Skills and Arcana Techniques. This Arcana Technique was used to supplement darkness-type Arcana Techniques in the first place and was the foundation for those techniques, so it was really no surprise that Su Chen had chosen it as well.
Arcana Technique Modeling was used to strengthen manifestation Arcana Techniques, greatly increasing the effective duration of said techniques.
Su Chen didn’t possess any manifestation Arcana Techniques, but he did possess a cloning Origin Skill that allowed him to clone himself. Clones were also made of aggregated Origin Energy, so Arcana Technique Modeling was effective on them.
Whereas Cloud Leopard’s choices were a bit more exotic, these three Arcana Techniques were quite mainstream, and only someone like Su Chen, who combined the strengths of many different schools of thought into one, was suited to learn them. With these three Arcana Techniques, Su Chen was able to officially build a framework linking the contemporary Origin Skills with Arcana Techniques. The two systems were now linked by this bridge, with massive implications for the future.
And the reason he had been able to learn these three techniques was because he had spared that female Harpy back then.