Chapter 15: Black Flame
After Su Chen greeted Zhong Zhenjun, he glanced at the Arcanist standing next to him.
The old Arcanist said with a mild smile, “Cavill greets Sir Su.”
His voice was neither sinister nor warm, neither joyful, angry, or sorrowful. Anyone who didn’t know his actual temperament might have thought that he didn’t particularly like Su Chen. Actually, it was hard for anyone to know exactly what he was thinking.
No one ever knew what Cavill was thinking.
Cavill was probably the person with the least reputation out of the five Black Flame heads.
He didn’t have any particularly impressive military accomplishments, and he rarely participated in any missions.
Amongst the entire Black Flame organization, he was known as the Yes-Man — he always replied with a smile and never really fought with others. He was also known as the Eternal Second. He would never be the leader of the group.
Even so, it was precisely this Eternal Second who had been one of Black Flame’s leaders for the longest.
He had lived for nearly three thousand years and had experienced the passage of countless changes of Black Flame. But no matter how the wind howled and the rain poured down, he remained immovable. The Black Flame considered his position to have been forged by fire.
However, this kind of talk very quickly disappeared.
Because Cavill didn’t like it.
There weren’t many things that he disliked, but all of them would disappear without question.
This held true for both his enemies and any rumors.
Cavill had given Zhong Zhenjun his spot, and he had made such a concession more than once before in the past.
Su Chen greeted him extremely respectfully.
After Cavill came another Arcanist, but this one was a woman.
Her face was incredibly beautiful, and her voice was alluring and intoxicating. She smiled sweetly at Su Chen as she said, “Camilla greets Sir Su.”
Su Chen smiled. “The face of a fairy is truly worthy of praise, but unfortunately......”
Camilla’s expression sank ever so slightly as she intensely asked, “Unfortunately what, Sir Su?”
Everyone knew that flattering Camilla was exceptionally easy, as was making her angry — all you had to do was either praise her beauty, or conversely, say that her beauty was never hers to begin with.
Yes, this beautiful appearance was not Camilla’s actual face. It had actually been constructed by her.
Ou of real human skin too!
Camilla was also known as the Scalping Grandmother. Her original appearance was that of an ugly, vile, old woman, but her obsession with appearing young and beautiful had led her to slaughter countless beautiful young woman and take their skin for her own uses.
She was the nightmare of every fair maiden on the continent, and even to this day, no one exactly how many young girls she had killed.
This was a reflection of Black Flame’s true nature. Their headquarters was a place with an extremely high concentration of such vile individuals.
Even though Camilla had been full of anticipation for Su Chen’s arrival, nobody could guarantee that her attitude wouldn’t suddenly change if Su Chen brought up her least favorite matter.
That was also what Frostpoint and Westminster were the most concerned about.
They shot worried glances at Su Chen in an attempt to remind him to rein in his personal distaste for the sake of their grand scheme.
Su Chen, however, continued to speak indifferently. “Unfortunately, you used the wrong method.”
Camilla’s expression had completely changed at this point. Su Chen was basically telling her straight to her face that her appearance and voice were all fake.
An instant later, however, her anger dissipated.
Because Su Chen’s next words were, “There are better ways to preserve your youth that are more effective and practical than your current method.”
Camilla was stunned when she heard this. “You have something like this?”
Gu Qingluo answered, “Thirty years ago, my husband managed to refine a medicine that could preserve the fair skin of a lady and minimize the effects of aging.”
Camilla was delighted.
Su Chen, however, revealed some caveats. “It probably won’t be of much use to you, though. It can only slow down the aging process, not reverse the flow of time.”
Camilla was immediately dejected once more.
But Gu Qingluo said, “That doesn’t mean that he can’t come up with a new medicine that can do that. My husband has made quite a few advances these past few years in his study of solid medicines.”
Camilla was delighted yet again.
Su Chen, however, shut her down right after. “But I am very busy right now and might not be able to find any time to work on it right now.”
Camilla turned to look at Gu Qingluo, no longer able to keep up with the extreme mood swings she was being put through.
But Gu Qingluo merely laughed at Su Chen’s statement. “But you will have time eventually, right?”
Su Chen nodded. “Of course. I will resolve the issue sooner or later.”
The two of them had raised and crushed her spirits many times in rapid succession.
Camilla was not an idiot, and she knew what the two of them were hinting at. She smiled. “Black Flame will do its best to cooperate with Sir Su, as will I.”
Su Chen fell silent.
He didn’t like this evil old lady.
But none of the members of the Black Flame were innocent. By law, they all deserved to die.
As someone with great power, clinging excessively to stringent ethics would only hinder his ability to accomplish great things.
As such, he could only endure his discomfort.
Only once the situation was resolved could he then afford to think of a way to deal with the Black Flame.
As for now, cooperation with them came first.
Behind Camilla was another human.
This human kept their face veiled, making it impossible to see what they looked like.
The mysterious person glanced at Su Chen and cupped their hands in greeting, but remained silent.
Zhong Zhenjun said, “This is leader Ding Feng. He doesn’t like showing people his true appearance, so please forgive him.”
Su Chen said with a slight smile, “It’s not a problem.”
He had never heard of the name ‘Ding Feng’ before, as there was no news of anybody going by this name committing any crimes in the outside world.
Given that the other party was concealing their appearance, it was very likely that this was not their true name.
There were many ways of concealing one’s appearance, but the other party had chosen the simplest way of doing so. In some sense, this contradicted with their other general behavior.
At the same time that he greeted Ding Feng, Su Chen could sense a clear killing intent exuding from that individual.
Even Li Chongshan, Chu Yingwan, and the others behind him could sense it as well.
The old Heavenly Might Battalion generals glanced at each other and frowned but held their tongue in the end.
Behind Ding Feng was the lone Ravager.
His name was Hatch.
Su Chen had known about him for a long time.
Before Su Chen’s battles with the Ravagers, they probably would have feared Hatch the most.
Hatch was originally from the Droughthammer Tribe.
After his tribe had been defeated by the Redeagle Tribe, their status and strength began to slowly decline, until Hatch was born.
Hatch was raised in a broken family, and he was also quite the brawny kid who loved to pick fights with others. Naturally, fighting with other Ravagers was basically his go-to activity.
On its own, that wouldn’t have differentiated him from any other Ravager.
However, one day, Hatch was suddenly paralyzed.
His arms seemed to have become useless, and they lost their ability to move.
From that day onwards, he was seen as worthless, and he was no longer able to use his iron-like fists to fight.
It wasn’t until half a year later that his arms suddenly recovered out of the blue, and he had also grown many times stronger than before.
This story seemed quite familiar, didn’t it?
It was just like Su Chen and Li Daohong’s.
The only difference was that Hatch had only taken half a year to fully recover from his debilitation.
After recovering, Hatch had exacted his revenge. The very night he recovered, he slaughtered all of the children that had mistreated him in the past.
Even though he pretended that he hadn’t fully recovered, the Ravagers were still able to spot his bluff.
Just when the Droughthammer Tribe was about to punish him, Hatch suddenly exploded with violence.
He used his iron-like fists to bash the tribe leader’s head in, then stole the tribe’s Earth-Shaking Hammer. He managed to escape the encirclement, even leaving behind the mother that had taken care of him all these years and disappeared without a trace.
From that point on, a legend about a “head-basher” began to spread across the plains inhabited by the Ravagers.
Hatch traveled for thirteen years throughout the plains. These thirteen years were filled with bloodshed.
It was impossible to count how many Ravagers this guy had killed. He had at least been attacked by members of the tribes at least 136 times. Of those, he was able to kill the entire pursuing party 42 times.
The tribes’ various attempts to kill Hatch did nothing but strengthen him.
Later on, people discovered that even though he had never gone through a baptism in the Origin Energy Temple, he was able to control and use Origin Energy easily.
This was part of the reason he was so powerful. Those arms of his appeared to give him an innate ability to control Origin Energy.
For this reason, the head-basher was also known as the Innate Origin Arms.
These arms of his became a treasure that the various tribes put out a tremendous bounty for.
When faced with the intense greed of his fellow Ravagers, even Hatch wasn’t able to endure the pressure and finally ran.
During his escape, he still managed to harm thousands of his fellow Ravagers, treating them as if they were his mortal enemies.
Until he reached the Thousand Illusions Island.
If there was anyone Su Chen was interested in, it was Hatch.
However, just as Li Daohong hadn’t been able to give him any clues about the old man, Hatch was no exception either.
Hatch’s experience could only demonstrate one thing: Su Chen was not alone in what had happened to him.
But apart from that, Hatch had no value to him.
As such, Su Chen merely nodded to Hatch respectfully and kept his silence.
If possible, he really wanted to tear off that guy’s arms and do some research on them.
Before that happened, however, he needed these two arms to deal with those Sea Beasts.
After greeting one another, they began to discuss their next steps.
As they walked along the Thousand Illusions Island, Su Chen said, “You all probably know the reason why I have come here today.”
Zhong Zhenjun nodded. “Sir Su wants to borrow some soldiers?”
Zhong Zhenjun thought for a moment, then replied, “I can understand Sir Su’s desire to deal with the Sea Beasts, but with the Oceanid army and the Subdued Sea branch, as well as the Boundless Sect’s disciples, you should be able to take care of a Sea Beast, right?”
He didn’t know how strong the Boundless Sect was, but based on the fact that the Oceanids had sent their troops and the Subdued Sea branch was also present, dealing with a single Beast Sovereign shouldn’t be a problem.
It wasn’t that the Oceanids and the Black Flame couldn’t defeat these Sea Sovereigns; it was that they would suffer serious losses after every battle.
The constant nature of their battle made it impossible for them to keep up with the costs.
However, one or two victories wasn’t a problem.
The reality was that, even though the Black Flame and the Oceanids were fighting a losing war, their combat tactics were generally superior because they couldn’t afford to lose.
For this reason, Zhong Zhenjun believed that Su Chen had more than enough manpower under his control.
Su Chen replied, “I will need to get close to the Abyss if I want to research it. Our goal is not to kill Beast Sovereigns, but to resist their attacks and buy time.”
Zhong Zhenjun immediately asked, “How close? And how much time?”
“I want to get within ten kilometers.”
Zhong Zhenjun’s expression immediately shifted. “Are you crazy? That’s way too close!”
Even though ten kilometers sounded like a fair distance, that was nothing to a Sea Beast Sovereign.
Su Chen was basically asking them to help him do experiments right under the Sea Beast Sovereigns’ eyes. No wonder Zhong Zhenjun said that it was impossible.
“We can be further, but it will take more time the further away I am from the center. And we cannot go more than a hundred kilometers away.”
Zhong Zhenjun replied, “That’s still really difficult to do.”
Su Chen replied, “That’s why I need your help. The problem of the Deep Sea Sorrow was never going to be an easy fix in the first place. If you want to get the job done quickly without paying any kind of price, then I can only inform you that you must be dreaming.”