There were nine totems in total: Wind, Fire, Water, Earth, Light, Thunder, Darkness, Consciousness, and Vitality.
Of these, Su Chen had obtained Wind, Thunder, and Vitality, which had given him some comprehension of the related Method Power.
As for the other six, all Su Chen knew was that the Fire Totem was in Eternal Night’s hands. However, Eternal Night hadn’t handed it over to him when showing him the imperial treasury. The fate of the other five was unclear.
“Which one is it?” Su Chen asked.
“Consciousness,” Zhu Xianyao replied.
So the Consciousness Totem was in the hands of the Astrals.
Unlike the Totems that the Ravagers possessed, the Consciousness Totem was far from useless in the Astrals’ hands.
Many of the Astrals’ consciousness techniques, including consciousness enslavement, were apparently produced from the enlightenment they had received from this totem.
It had been placed in Gloom City’s Spirit Hall. The Ravagers had no interest in that place, allowing the Boundless Sect to profit handsomely.
Su Chen himself already had a little bit of comprehension of consciousness Method Power. Now, with this Totem, it would probably advance, giving him a way to upgrade his God-Sealing Method Power.
“Give it to me.” Su Chen reached his hand out.
Zhu Xianyao purposefully said, “I won’t. Didn’t you say you weren’t interested in any of this just a moment ago?”
Su Chen reached out and pulled her into his embrace before reaching his hand inside her clothes.
Zhu Xianyao immediately flushed. “It’s not here, it’s not here! There’s so many people watching us from down there.”
“They can’t see us,” Su Chen chuckled.
He activated Fata Morgana.
The two of them frolicked for some time before Zhu Xianyao handed over the Consciousness Totem to Su Chen.
As soon as he touched the totem, a familiar sensation began to rise in his heart.
Unlike the Wind Spirit and Thunder Spirit totems, which he had obtained when lacking in comprehension, the Consciousness Totem had fallen into Su Chen’s hands now that he was quite familiar with it. With but a thought, his consciousness was pulled into the Totem.
And, as expected, the Totem was filled with consciousness Method Power. Su Chen’s consciousness floated through the tablet, taking in its surroundings.
He already had some comprehension of consciousness Method Power. Now, with this Totem, his comprehension advanced in leaps and bounds.
And as Su Chen comprehended, the Consciousness Totem also slowly began to disintegrate.
Suddenly, a thought came to mind, and he pulled out a Titan-Class puppet and pointed at it. A mote of light descended onto it. Though it seemed as if nothing had changed about it, its eyes flashed red for a moment.
Then, it fell to one knee. “Greetings, Master.”
“Hm? How come the puppet can talk now?” Zhu Xianyao was greatly surprised.
Even though Titan-Class puppets were very powerful, they had no intelligence. There was no need for them to speak, so their builders never gave them that skill. After all, that was a waste of resources.
At that moment, however, the Titan-Class puppet actually spoke.
God-Sealing All Things.
God-Sealing could turn a commoner into a deity, and it could naturally give inanimate objects life.
Even though Su Chen wasn’t at that point yet, giving a puppet intelligence was not beyond his capabilities.
When Su Chen saw that he had succeeded, he was filled with joy, and he quickly pulled out all of his other puppets and gave them intelligence as well.
This was true animation. The puppets all came alive, each capable of speaking and each with its own personality.
This was the benefit of absorbing the Consciousness Totem was arguably one of the strongest amongst the nine Totems. The ability to confer consciousnesses onto an inanimate object blossomed in Su Chen’s hands.
“So the Astrals have been wiped out, and a puppet race is going to take their stead?” Li Chongshan quipped when he flew over and saw the puppets talking to one another.
Su Chen laughed. “Not quite. But giving inanimate objects intelligence should at least increase their combat strength.
The biggest flaw for most puppets was that their lack of intelligence made them inflexible. Even if their raw strength was comparable, they would usually not be able to fight anyone at the same tier as them.
A Titan-Class puppet was as strong as an Ultimate Emperor Realm cultivator in theory, but it often took two Titan-Class puppets to fend off a single Ultimate Emperor Realm cultivator. This was because they lacked combat instincts and intelligence.
The puppets Su Chen had produced, however, were obviously different. They possessed intelligence similar to that of an average human, and they would definitely cause a big surprise in a fight.
“Not bad, not bad!” Li Chongshan said with a slight smile. “Seems like we’re going to have to tell the Heavenly Construction Pavilion to up their rate of production a little.”
Puppets were unafraid of death, making them good cannon fodder, but they were inflexible, making nigh unto impossible for them to carry out missions independently. Now, it would be possible to send these puppets on some of the more dangerous missions.
If the Boundless Sect were to send out a bunch of puppets on a mission, no human contact would even be necessary, and the puppets would even know to collect payment. That would truly be astonishing.
The cost would greatly decrease, and the rate of success would greatly increase.
Su Chen laughed. “That would be very good.”
His God-Sealing Method Power would only improve with repeated use as well. Even though this was a bit like the Sect Master doing work for the Sect, Su Chen couldn’t be bothered with it at this point.
“Right, what exactly is this skill anyways?” Li Chongshan asked.
Su Chen didn’t tell him about God-Sealing Method Power. All he said was that he had gotten this skill after Menelaus had used the consciousness conversion instrument on him.
The difference between God-Sealing and ordinary consciousness techniques was night and day, though their initial manifestation appeared about the same. Even so, Li Chongshan was quite envious when he heard.
“And you managed to deal with the issue of how to break into the Ultimate Emperor Realm...... This speed is almost a little too hard to keep up with!” Li Chongshan sighed.
In the past, Su Chen had spent an incredible amount of time and energy to find a way into the Light Shaking Realm. Now, in the span of a few short years, he had managed to break first into the Thought Manifestation Realm and now into the Ultimate Emperor Realm. It could only be said that his preparations were paying their dividends now.
The disciples below were still carrying the treasures away.
Su Chen gestured, and the puppet army also began to join in.
The Astrals had stored up quite a few riches, and now that their dynasty had been toppled, all these riches fell into the hands of the victors.
In particular, the number of secret tomes and experimental logs kept in the library were nearly limitless, and the Ravagers had no interest in them. Su Chen was more than happy to take all of them back with him to the Boundless Sect.
At this point, the Boundless Sect’s most impressive location was not the River Source Peak supported by the River Source Grass and Moonglow nor the Divine Medicine Peak led by Su Chen himself but the Boundless Sect’s library.
An entire peak had been dedicated to this.
These books came from all over the continent, including those that he had obtained from the Goldwater Ruins, the Demonic Emperor’s treasury, and the Harpies’ capital, to name a few. Now, with the Astrals’ records added into the mix, one location was no longer enough. As such, Su Chen spent some time reading through the books with his clones. He was able to read dozens at once, then use the consciousness crystal to filter out useless information. That was the only way that he could manage to read through all of the books.
To read through all of those books would take Su Chen a significant chunk of time.
Even so, he was more than happy to do it.
He could sense that his comprehension of Method Power was intimately related to the knowledge he possessed.
Method Powers, in some sense, were the governing principles of the natural world.
Mastering Method Power would give a person to directly utilize these governing principles with their own strength.
As such, the statement “knowledge is power” was not just empty words in this world - unfortunately, precious few realized this fact.
And once Su Chen understood this fact, the world began to open up its secrets to him.
The current Su Chen had truly entered a new world, where the unknown was no longer fully unknown. An unlimited reserve of power and wealth was waiting to be opened by him.
Combing through Gloom City took an entire day, and the Boundless Sect reaped in spades. They had obtained an incredible amount of wealth, but none of the items in particular were worth mentioning.
In any case, the Boundless Sect had struck gold this time.
The Ravagers were also more than delighted with their portion.
The humans and Ravagers had, surprisingly enough, maintained their peace, and neither side turned on the other once the matter was said and done. This was a historical anomaly, to be sure.
Not long after, Danba gave the command to retreat, leaving Gloom City in Su Chen’s hands.
There was likely still quite a few hidden treasures in Gloom City, including the forest of towers itself, which had been constructed from precious materials. Breaking them down would also yield quite a few riches, but Danba had no interest in such things.
Excessive greed would only lead him towards a dead end.
As such, Su Chen wasted no time and gave the command. Tear down the city!
The Astrals’ buildings were all quite valuable. In particular, quite a few of them could be broken down and melted to be reforged into other items. Even Su Chen himself participated in the breakdown process.
Tearing down the city took three days.
The Boundless Sect’s disciples worked as one as they swept through the city. Eventually, the entire city had been torn down. Apart from the half-destroyed city walls, not a single thing of value remained.
An imposing capital city that had stood for twenty thousand years was dismantled in the span of a few days. From now on, it would only exist in history books.
After scouring the city one more time, the Boundless Sect’s disciples retreated, returning to Long Sang.
What they needed to do next was take some time to properly digest everything they had obtained on this expedition.
Resources could only be useful when converted into genuine strength. Both Su Chen and the Boundless Sect’s disciples would need time to slowly assimilate these benefits and grow stronger.
The disciples needed to continue their cultivation, and Su Chen wasn’t idle either.
He needed to use his clones to get through the vast backlog of reading material he had accumulated;
He needed to advance his comprehension of Method Power and upgrade his God-Sealing Method Power;
He needed to continue animating objects to further increase the strength of the Ten Thousand Swords Peak;
He needed to spend time with Gu Qingluo and Zhu Xianyao;
He needed to continue perfecting the techniques for breaking into the Thought Manifestation and Ultimate Emperor Realms;
And he even needed to research whether there was a realm higher than the Ultimate Emperor Realm that could be achieved.
There was always the possibility that more remained to discover.
Since humans had managed to discover three additional cultivation realms since the times where the Light Shaking Realm was their upper limit, was it not a possibility that there was more to be discovered beyond the Ultimate Emperor Realm?
After all, he was already used to going where no one else had gone before.
The human race’s seven cultivation realms, which had formerly required a bloodline to reach, could now be reached by anyone. Who was to say if an eighth or ninth or even tenth realm would appear in the future?
Fueled by his ambition, Su Chen constantly studied, researched, and experimented, gradually sinking into a routine.
And after the Boundless Sect had wiped out the Astrals, no one dared to disturb him.
It was easy to lose track of time in the mountains.
In the blink of an eye, ten years had passed.