Chapter 42: Heart Walls
The furious wave of consciousness shrieking washed over the entire group, forming quite a soul-shaking attack.
“Get out of here!” Su Chen yelled.
If it were some other Demonic Beasts, then Su Chen and the others might have been able to take them on given their current strength.
However, they were currently facing a large wave of these consciousness bugs.
Even though this shrieking was a simple consciousness attack, it was unknown how many bugs they were facing, and whether or not these consciousness attacks were multiplicative in effect.
Su Chen’s consciousness was much more powerful than everyone else present, so he was the first to realize that thousands of bugs were currently shrieking at them, with potentially more on the way.
If they were to remain here, he himself might end up alright, but most of the others would probably die.
Su Chen made his decision.
Upon hearing Su Chen’s command, everyone else also realized the crisis they were in and immediately turned around to run.
However, those bugs weren’t slow either.
They continued to close in the distance between them and the group. Su Chen didn’t even need to inform the group - everyone was able to tell just based on the intensification of the consciousness shrieks coming from behind them.
“What’s going on? How come those bugs are even faster than us?” Li Xi said, stunned.
“Because they are coming straight out of the walls!” Su Chen replied.
These bugs were able to travel through the tunnel walls as they pleased, but they could only travel around through these tunnels. They weren’t actually faster than humans, but they were much closer.
The result was that the bugs got closer and closer.
This wasn’t even the biggest issue.
Everyone very quickly discovered that they were lost.
They had been quite relaxed on their way over, and no one had paid much attention to the route they were taking. Now that they were on the run, none of them had any mind to notice where they were going, and they had accidentally gone down a wrong path. Their sense of direction was totally turned around now. Su Chen dimly remembered the way they had come, but he had been at the very front. Now, he was at the very back, and one of the twelve Sword Servants had made a mistake, bringing the rest of them with him. Su Chen seemed content just to follow along.
By the time he figured out that something was wrong, he wanted to turn around but discovered that it was too late. The bugs had sealed off the path behind him, so he could only continue to go down this wrong path.
Then again, if mistakes were that easy to fix, then they wouldn’t really be mistakes.
The more they ran, the more they felt like things were off, until they finally had to admit that they were totally lost.
“Dammit, where are we?” Cloud Leopard cursed.
His perception was being greatly suppressed by the constant shrieking of those bugs, and he hadn’t discovered the problem in time.
“Feng Hai was the one leading the way.” Someone very quickly began to shift responsibility.
“I wasn’t leading any way. I was just running around blindly,” Feng Hai huffed.
“You were still leading the way.”
“So you should have reminded me, then. You didn’t notice either, did you?”
“Enough! Why are you fighting now?” Su Chen yelled as he charged to the front.
Everyone simultaneously shut their mouths.
They might make a scene normally, but at this moment their military discipline returned.
Su Chen glanced around. They were at a three-way fork, and even Su Chen had no idea which path was the right one to take.
Su Chen said after taking a moment to calm down, “Leopard, you take the others and leave. I’ll handle these bugs.”
“Are you crazy?” Cloud Leopard was startled. “Those bugs know how to use consciousness attacks. You won’t be able to withstand them.”
“If I can’t handle it with my three thousand units of consciousness power, then no one can. Take them and run. Use your perception to lead them out of here.”
“The consciousness attacks of those bugs is affecting me.”
“I’ll take them away from here,” Su Chen said.
As he spoke, he turned around and took flight.
“Su Chen!” Zhu Xianyao yelled.
Su Chen stopped and turned around.
Zhu Xianyao said with a worried expression, “Be careful, okay?”
“Don’t worry about it.” Su Chen smiled gently. “I won’t die that easily.”
As he spoke, he led the swarm of bugs off in the other direction.
Even though he couldn’t see any bugs given how dark it was, Su Chen could perceive that the sea of bugs was quickly closing in on him.
They constantly shot out of the rock-hard walls as if they were part of a wave, rapidly swarming towards Su Chen.
“Come. Let’s see who’s stronger,” Su Chen muttered as he stared at the walls in front of him.
His consciousness perception was telling him that the bugs charging at the very front were located there.
He stood still, waiting and gathering all his consciousness power.
A strange bug suddenly shot out of the wall, opening its maw wide as it bit down at Su Chen.
However, the frightening maw was only for outward show. The real danger still came from the consciousness-level attack.
To Su Chen, however, this attack was still a bit too weak.
He raised his hand, and the blade fell, cutting that bug in two.
Very quickly, however, even more bugs surged out of the wall to attack Su Chen, their consciousness shrieks superimposing on each other.
The more bugs there were and the closer they got, the greater the effect of their attacks.
If each bug possessed a consciousness power of around 100 units, then ten bugs was equivalent to a thousand units, more than enough to pose a certain degree of threat to Su Chen. Of course, the bugs’ consciousness power didn’t necessarily add up one to one. The more bugs were present, the less each individual bug would contribute to the total power.
Even so, the mounting numbers of bugs were still sufficient to give Su Chen significant trouble.
Su Chen could sense that hundreds of bugs were encroaching on his position, shrieking at him simultaneously. Their combined consciousness power had already surpassed two thousand units, and the sea of wailing that washed over him put quite a bit of pressure on Su Chen.
“Damn! Now things are really getting difficult.”
Even Su Chen felt a headache coming on when faced with such a large wave of consciousness energy heading in his direction.
Three thousand units of consciousness power was quite high, but the problem was that the wave of enemies never seemed to end!
If this were to continue, there was no way that Su Chen would be able to hold on.
However, he had very few consciousness-type Origin Skills, and even though Fata Morgana was quite powerful, it was totally useless against these bugs.
Thankfully, he still had medicine.
The Spirit Sobering Medicine allowed him to resist the consciousness attacks assaulting him to some degree.
However, Spirit Sobering Medicine alone wouldn’t be enough to deal with the oncoming attacks.
The bugs surged wave after wave, causing Su Chen’s expenditure of consciousness energy to surge immensely.
“We can’t continue like this. You’re just burning consciousness energy right now. They’re going to stall you to death!”
Patelocke’s voice came floating from the surface of the Mountain-Beheading Blade.
“I know, but what can I do? There’s too many of these bugs. Damn!” Su Chen cursed.
“Consider yourself lucky. I recently developed a new consciousness technique,” Patelocke said.
“Your consciousness techniques are not suitable for me. Otherwise, I would have learned them a long time ago,” Su Chen replied bluntly.
“That’s why I said I newly researched it. I designed it specifically for you,” Patelocke said.
“You’re being that good to me?” Su Chen was stunned.
“I have some conditions.”
“I knew it. Tell me what they are.”
“I’ve spent too much time in this blade. I want to come out, I want a body of my own. You promised me this before.”
“I did promise you that, but you should also be aware that every body has its own soul and possesses an innate advantage. If you try and force your way in, you’re going to die. We still need to prepare!” Su Chen replied.
“Isn’t that all because you ruined my research lab anyways?” Patelocke said resentfully.
Patelocke possessed some equipment in the Goldwater Ruins that allowed him to transfer consciousnesses, but as the Goldwater Ruins decayed, these equipment followed suit. Once Patelocke had lost the equipment, he had no way of easily taking over another creature’s body. This was one of the reasons why he had been willing to remain inside the blade for so long.
“There was nothing I could do. I only had a limited amount of storage in my Origin Ring,” Su Chen replied.
“Answer me honestly. Even if you had enough space in your Origin Ring, would you have taken this equipment with you?” Patelocke asked.
Su Chen chuckled. “Why ask questions that will only harm our relationship?”
Patelocke was speechless.
Yes, Su Chen would not have taken the equipment out with him even if he had enough space in his Origin Ring. At the time, Patelocke simply could not be trusted. If Su Chen took the equipment with him, Patelocke would definitely try to think of a way to trick Su Chen. Patelocke would only fully serve Su Chen if he didn’t have a loophole like that to exploit.”
“So what about now?” Patelocke asked.
“Of course I can, but you should know that I don’t have that kind of skill right now. Also, you have no way of reconstructing that equipment,” Su Chen replied.
Just because Patelocke was an Arcana Master didn’t mean that he was omniscient. Other Arcana Masters had built his equipment for him, and he was only the user.
“I know,” Patelocke said. “I never asked you to find me someone who was still alive. I can carefully research the way to move out, but I need you to help me find a puppet. Even having a fake body is better than being a blade. In any case, you have the Soul Armaments technique, so you could just replace me with any Demonic Beast’s soul.”
“But it won’t be as easy to use as with you there.”
“I can help you just as much if I’m a puppet. Also, don’t you think you should be swapping out this Mountain-Beheading Blade at some point?”
“I feel that it suits me quite well.”
“But it can only demonstrate the might of your physical body. Even though you control three Arcana techniques, one of them being the incredibly powerful Flaming Phoenix Theurgy Art, you must admit that activating the Primordial Blood Incarnation doesn’t increase the strength of your Arcana Techniques in the slightest. You aren’t able to master any of these paths because you have too many research targets to focus on.”
“What exactly are you trying to say?” Su Chen began to grow impatient.
More and more bugs began to pour out of the wall.
“You need new weapons, while I need a new body. I just so happen to sense a new weapon nearby that is suitable for you.”
“Oh? What is it?” Su Chen’s eyes lit up.
“I don’t know, but I can sense that it is an Origin Tool that possesses an immense amount of Origin Energy. It might not be as outstanding as your Mountain-Beheading Blade in terms of unleashing your physical might, but it will be able to combine the strength of your Flaming Phoenix Theurgy Art and your Primordial Blood Incarnation as long as it is sturdy enough.”
“It has strong Origin Energy?” Su Chen was completely entranced.
With so many bugs unleashing consciousness attacks, shouldn’t the item have possessed powerful consciousness energy instead?
However, Patelocke’s perception wouldn’t be wrong. Since he said there was an item that possessed strong Origin Energy qualities, then it possessed strong Origin Energy qualities.
“Fine. I do have one question, though - how am I going to learn your consciousness technique? It’s not going to be easy for me to learn it and use it here and now.”
Origin Skills needed to be practiced over and over. There was no such thing as learning a skill in a single go on the Primordial Continent. Su Chen’s innate talent didn’t allow him to do so, and neither did his consciousness crystal. He might be able to learn faster because of it, but the learning process could not be omitted.
The bugs obviously wouldn’t give him the opportunity to do so.