Chapter 65: Odds and Ends
The moment that Chu Huailiang pulled out the Flame-Dispelling Pearl, Su Chen sighed.
He sighed not because he couldn’t defeat his opponent, but rather because he realized that he had yet to fully organize and merge his strengths and abilitiesdiscovered that his strength had yet to be fully organized and integrated.
This whole time, he had been constantly creating new skills, but these skills all stood alone, and Su Chen couldn’t effectively chain them into a series of attacksmaking it hard for Su Chen to use them well in tandem.
Su Chen hadn’t discovered this earlier because his opponents had been were either too powerful or not powerful enough. Now, however, this glaring problem had been exposed by an opponent of roughly equal who was a good match for him in terms of strength.
Su Chen supposed that he should probably follow Patelocke’s advice and reorganize himself so that he could apply his strength to the fullest extent. He was going to use everything he could use, including the Demonic Emperor’s treasures, the transmission puppet, the Shining Dragon Bloodline, and Lifesource Candles, as long as time permitted.
Su Chen didn’t waste time even as he pondered all these things.
A strange vortex suddenly appeared behind Su Chen’s back in response to Chu Huailiang’s attack.
The vortex, which glowed like the sun, began to spew forth a deluge of energy, which rushed into Su Chen’s body.
“How is that…… possible?” Chu Huailiang stared at Su Chen in shock.
“It’s called Energy Well,” Su Chen replied indifferently.
Su Chen had managed to obtain three Arcana Techniques in total from the Harpies. Darkness Spring allowed him to better use Darkness Origin Substance; Arcana Modeling Technique greatly increased the power of his clones, allowing them to unleash Flaming Phoenixes; and Energy Well, the final technique, was his trump card. It not only supplied him with a wealth of Origin Energy, but it would also upgrade his Origin Skills.
This was also the most practical Arcana Technique Su Chen possessed for battle. Su Chen’s use of the technique at that moment was the same as him using his final trump card. If he wasn’t able to defeat his opponent even with the help of this skill, then he would have to cheat to win - such as by using the Lifesource Candles, etc.
If possible, Su Chen would rather not.
He wanted to rely on his own strength to suppress his opponent!
The massive dark Flaming Phoenix doubled in size yet again.
This increase was not only in size, but also in aura. Chu Huailiang’s aura had decreased when he assumed beast form, so now Su Chen’s aura actually had surpassed that of Chu Huailiang with his Desolate Beast Bloodline at this point.
The dark Flaming Phoenix flapped its wings, sending a black wave of flames surging towards Chu Huailiang.
Chu Huailiang’s Flame-Dispelling Pearl could no longer withstand the black flames and shattered, disappearing into small fragments.
“What?” Chu Huailiang was stunned badly.
Without the Flame-Dispelling Pearl, the black flames were no longer being diverted, and the flames opened up their maw to swallow Chu Huailiang whole.
“NO!” Chu Huailiang howled in despair as he forced his bloodline to its greatest extent in a last-ditch effort to protect himself.
However, the White Fang Bloodline had powerful attack, not defense. Given the corrosive properties of the black flames, even the Black Tortoise Bloodline would probably have had a hard time resisting them, let alone the White Fang.
Chu Huailiang’s bloodline shield only lasted for a brief moment before shattering.
Battles between Origin Qi Scholars were usually ended in a similar fashion. Once victory and defeat had been determined, death would happen in an instant.
Once the barrier had disappeared, Chu Huailiang had reached the end of his life.
“Su Chen, spare me……” Chu Huailiang howled.
Unfortunately for him, Su Chen was not interested in hearing what he had to say. He reached out and deftly drew some blood from Chu Huailiang before allowing the black flames to completely devour him, turning him to ash.
Of course, he made sure to specifically hold back so that he could take Chu Huailiang’s Origin Ring.
Unfortunately, Chu Huailiang had nothing particularly valuable on him.
“He’s from a Desolate Beast Bloodline Nobility Clan, but he’s still so poor.” Su Chen was stunned.
Chu Huailiang did have some valuable items on him, including some Origin Stones, medicines, and Origin Tools. However, Su Chen wasn’t lacking Origin Stones, he could create his own medicines, and Su Chen only had two hands to wield all these Origin Tools, so most of them couldn’t catch his eye anyways.
At this point, Su Chen’s scale of reference had changed dramatically. What he wanted was not necessarily the most valuable item, but the items that were the hardest to find. If they were items obtainable in this realm, then he wouldn’t value them even if they were worth quite a bit.
Once a person got rich enough, they really could lose interest in earning more money.
This was not Su Chen trying to put on a show, but rather a reflection of human nature. Humans did not care about anything that they had an infinite amount of, unless the compensation was roughly equivalent to what they already owned.
Su Chen still had over a billion Origin Stones left on him, and only transactions worth more than a hundred million Origin Stones would catch his eye. Otherwise, his attitude was that money didn’t matter.
Chu Huailiang was only worth a few tens of millions of Origin Stones, so it was only natural that Su Chen looked down on what he had owned, considering Chu Huailiang to be poor. If Chu Huailiang were to hear from the netherworld that Su Chen considered him poor, he probably would have died another time out of anger.
In any case, Su Chen completely disregarded Chu Huailiang’s contribution. Even though he had still made a profit, those profits hardly made a dent in his existing net worth, so he considered them not even worth mentioning. The only thing worth something to him was the black dagger, which was a high-tier Grade Three Origin Tool. Even then, he couldn’t use it himself and could only hand it to Cloud Leopard to use instead.
After finishing off his opponent, Su Chen returned to Flat Sky City.
Because the battle had been fought in a faraway location, no one in Flat Sky City knew that an expert with a Desolate Beast Bloodline had just perished. Everything continued just as it had before.
The Harpies were still searching everywhere for the broodmother.
Flowing Flame Oriole had done a better job hiding the broodmother than they had expected. Even though the Zhu Clan had opened their doors and allowed them to search the Rong Clan’s mines as they pleased, they were still unable to find its whereabouts.
Even the Zhu Clan was starting to get worried for the Harpies.
At this rate, it would take them years to find where the broodmother had been stowed away.
This was why, as soon as Su Chen returned, Zhu Chenhuan called him over to discuss the matter.
“These Harpies really are useless. They’re still fumbling around blindly, looking for that broodmother. A few days ago, the Harpies even visited our Stargold Mine. How could they not even consider how the Rong Clan had managed to help Flowing Flame Oriole hide the broodmother in territory that didn’t even belong to them?” Zhu Chenhuan sighed as he spoke, a lamenting expression on his face.
“That is indeed a problem. It seems like we will need to prepare to execute the second step of the plan,” Su Chen said after a moment of thought.
“Are you really planning on trying to sneak into Harpy territory?” Zhu Chenhuan asked with some suspicion.
“Sky City…… I do want to see it for myself,” Su Chen calmly replied.
Within the Zhu Clan’s prison.
Nearly sixty Harpy captives were being kept there.
An old Harpy and a young Harpy had been placed into a single jail cell.
The older Harpy was sitting there, cross-legged, while the younger Harpy stared out the window, thinking about something.
After being in a daze for some time, the younger Harpy said, “Teacher, I heard a few days ago that the Harpies sent a diplomatic envoy here to exchange some captives……”
The older Harpy remained motionless and only replied after some time, “What? Are you going restless?”
The younger Harpy said, “Your disciple’s heart cannot be still. I can’t help but feel uneasy about our situation.”
The older Harpy sighed as he opened his eyes slowly to look at his beloved disciple. “That’s not your fault. It would be difficult for anyone to maintain their composure after being brought into such a strange prison.”
The younger Harpy lowered his head silently.
The older Harpy glanced at his disciple and said, “I did hear of that, but don’t you think it’s strange? The humans and the Harpies have fought many times, and taking prisoners of war is quite a common occurrence. But how often do we exchange captives?”
The younger Harpy fell silent.
There had been exchanges in the past, but they had always been proposed by the humans.
The Harpies were naturally arrogant, so they had humbled themselves in attempting to bargain for peace with other races in the past.
This was why the humans were usually the ones sending diplomatic envoys to Sky City.
This was the first time the Harpies had ever sent out a diplomatic envoy.
The old Harpy understood the ways of thinking of the members of his own race, so he said, “There are not many things which can cause my people to humble themselves.”
The younger Harpy was taken aback. He wanted to ask more, but the older Harpy shook his head and pointed above him. The younger Harpy realized what he meant and kept silent as well.
They were currently captives in a human prison. Who knew whether or not their conversation was being listened in on.
The older Harpy had some idea of what was going on but didn’t dare voice it out loud. Even though the younger Harpy wasn’t fully mature, he was quite smart and didn’t ask any more questions.
Their caution was not misguided. In actuality, there was someone watching them at the moment.
Within the Zhu Clan’s residence, above the prison.
Su Chen sat next to a monitoring crystal, which showed ten or so different screens that displayed all of the Harpies present.
Only someone like Su Chen could watch all these people at the same time without becoming confused.
As he watched the older and younger Harpy converse with each other, he chuckled, “These two people seem quite interesting.”
The person in charge of the dungeons was called Zhu Tianchi, a branch disciple of the Zhu Clan. When he heard Su Chen’s words, he hurriedly added on, “The older of the two Harpies is called Moonless Face, and the younger of the two is called Halcyon Wing Streak.”
“Halcyon Wing Streak? Of the Halcyon Clan?” Su Chen was taken aback.
“Yes, that very same Halcyon Clan,” Zhu Tianchi responded definitely.
Each Harpy nest had a few large clans as the center. The Halcyon Clan was one of the three large clans that composed the Nightfrost Nest.
Unlike human clans, however, Harpy clans were much, much larger.
That was because the Harpies didn’t Harpies didn’t divide their clans into smaller subunits.
As such, clans easily had hundreds if not thousands of disciples. Even the Harpies couldn’t usually figure out which where their clans started and ended, let alone the humans.
Under these kinds of circumstances, which clan they were part of was actually not so important unless they were higher up on the clan’s hierarchy.
Halcyon Wing Streak was no exception. Even though he was technically a noble, his ranking was around 342nd, and his parents’ status amongst the clan was merely average at best, which transferred over to him as well. However, his instructor, Moonless Face, was quite a character.
He was one of the five main bishops of the Nightfrost Nest’s Mother Goddess Sect, giving him status and authority alike. This had raised Halcyon Wing Streak’s status amongst the clan to a decent level.
However, during a border raid, Halcyon Wing Streak and his teacher were unfortunate enough to have been captured by the humans. They had been prisoners of war for at least three years now.
Because of Moonless Face’s status as a bishop, Liaoye Country had taken quite good care of them all things considered. This was also the reason that the imperial family had hesitated to sell them to the Zhu Clan at first.
This time, the Zhu Clan had used all of the connections at their disposal in order to get this master-disciple pair.
Purple Forest Stream’s list of individuals that they wanted to negotiate release for contained these two Harpies as well.
“What? Have they caught your eye?” Zhu Chenhuan frowned. “I would recommend against choosing them.”
“Why is that?”
“The old man is brilliant. It will be very hard for you to not be exposed if you stand by his side.”
“But his status is very high. He’s one of the Nightfrost Nest’s bishops. With a teacher like that, I will be able to come into contact with even higher levels of Harpy society.”
“Your goal is not to infiltrate the upper ranks of the opponent!”
“I’ll just do it on the side. I’ll have to make a trip one way or another, so I should arrange it so that I can profits the most.”