Chapter 48: Blasphemy
The Primordial Continent was not a world with a strong religious following.
Even though the Humans, Ravagers, and other races had religious organizations and sects within their culture, none of them were an integral part of society.
Only one race was an exception to this rule: the Harpies.
The Harpies possessed strong faith. They all believed in a single Mother Goddess, the ancestor of all of the Harpies. She was called the Mother of the Boundless Sky, which was why her followers referred to her as the Mother Goddess.
The Harpies also possessed a distinct separation between church and state — the Sky Country and the Feathered Goddess Sect were entirely distinct.
The emperor possessed absolute political power, while the religious leader possessed absolute religious power. The religious leader’s influence was in no way weaker than that of the emperor; in some aspects, in fact, he possessed even greater sway. The Feathered Goddess Sect even had their own army and tax system.
The Harpies revered the Mother Goddess and zealously believed in her. Su Chen knew about all this.
However, he didn’t know that the Harpies would receive divine inspiration from the Mother Goddess.
She wasn’t just a symbolic figure to them?
He sneered disdainfully, “Do you really believe that there is a god in this world?”
Flowing Flame Oriole replied, “Of course the Mother Goddess exists! You unbelievers just have no way of understanding because you have never been cared for by her. However, we Harpies are different. We are cared for by the Mother Goddess, and she guides us onto the right path!”
Su Chen hadn’t expected Flowing Flame Oriole to respond with such aggressive fanaticism and was taken aback.
It was Patelocke who responded, “Don’t blaspheme the Mother Goddess of the Harpies. She is the source of their faith and the root of their pride.”
“You’re telling me that their pride comes from their Goddess?” Su Chen asked in shock.
Patelocke replied, “Well, it’s definitely not just because they know how to fly.”
Su Chen shrugged helplessly. He had in fact believed that that was the case until now.
The reality, however, was that the Harpies’ arrogance stemmed from the fact that they truly believed that they were the only race that received guidance from the Mother Goddess.
For this reason alone, all suffering was merely temporary.
Faith allowed them to ignore the truth, the reality before their eyes. They didn’t know how to analyze or dissect anything. Rather, they merely chased after their Goddess blindly.
If the Goddess wanted them to be kind, they were kind.
If the Goddess wanted them to be cruel, they were cruel.
Faith made them loyal, and it also made them crazy.
However, Su Chen didn’t understand any of that.
At the very least, he didn’t at this moment.
As such, he made a critical mistake.
He chuckled scornfully, “A bunch of idiots.”
“You don’t believe that their Mother Goddess really exists?” Patelocke asked.
Su Chen replied, “It’s just that I don’t think it matters whether their Mother Goddess exists or not. If she doesn’t exist, then they are just a bunch of idiots who believe in something fake; if she does exist, then they are a bunch of idiots who have blindly handed themselves over to her and relinquished their free will. No matter which case it is, the fact remains that they are still idiots. I would rather change my bloodline and my cultural traditions rather than place my hopes and dreams in a divine being and give up on my own free will.”
“Silence! You will not blaspheme our Mother Goddess!” Flowing Flame Oriole yelled maniacally.
Su Chen coolly replied, “You shouldn’t yell at me like that. Tell me how you are planning on controlling this guy.”
“I won’t tell you anything anymore!” Unexpectedly, Flowing Flame Oriole continued to defy him.
“What?” Su Chen was stunned.
Flowing Flame Oriole actually stood up, her body brimming with energy.
Su Chen discovered to his surprise that she had actually managed to shatter his control over her in that moment.
As she floated into the sky, she began to yell, “No one can blaspheme the Mother Goddess! Don’t even think about getting anything else out of me. The plan may have failed, but the bug hive’s queen will not belong to anyone besides the Harpies! I won’t allow you to use it to attack the other members of my race! I will use my own life to preserve her honor!”
As she spoke, her body began to glow with a brilliant light.
Then, she exploded.
With a violent burst of energy, Flowing Flame Oriole exploded into gory pieces, blood and flesh splattering all over the stone room.
Blood flew everywhere.
At the same instant that she exploded, however, Su Chen reached out to grab Flowing Flame Oriole’s body. A hand made of compressed Origin Energy quickly snagged Flowing Flame Oriole’s Arcana Technique Pattern, immediately throwing it inside a pre-prepared vial of medicine.
His actions were so quick that it seemed like he had been prepared for this to happen, but the reality was that Flowing Flame Oriole’s actions had surprised him as well. It was just that the consciousness crystal’s high-speed analysis had allowed him to react appropriately in time.
“So she was a fanatic,” Patelocke muttered to himself in shock.
He then turned to Su Chen and said, “Now do you know why you shouldn’t blaspheme the Harpies’ Mother Goddess?”
Su Chen remained silent for a moment as he stared at the Origin Energy Pattern in the vial and the blood splatters on the ground before he sighed and admitted, “I made a mistake. I’ll learn from this lesson.”
“Yes, remember this lesson. Don’t provoke another religious zealot that recklessly. You never know what might happen if you rub them the wrong way,” Patelocke advised.
Su Chen calmly replied, “That’s not what I was referring to.”
“The powerful consciousness assault not only helped her break through the secret memory-restriction technique, but also somewhat damaged her sea of knowledge. What I didn’t expect was that she would use that opportunity to destroy the control seal I had imprinted in her mind…… Damn! If I run into a similar situation in the future, I will definitely be more careful,” Su Chen said through gritted teeth.
Patelocke never would have expected Su Chen to say that that was the lesson he had learned and was caught a bit off-guard. “But their faith……”
“I don’t give a damn about their faith!” Su Chen exclaimed bluntly. “Whether or not those guys act crazy, I don’t really care. All I care about is whether or not I can control them!”
Patelocke was rendered completely speechless.
After thinking for a moment, he then said, “Regardless, you have now lost your opportunity to uncover the secrets of this bug hive.”
Flowing Flame Oriole had simply died too abruptly, and there were now many questions that Su Chen found he had no answers for. For instance, why exactly had Rong Guluo betrayed humanity? How would he control the bug hive in front of him?
Su Chen, however, was totally nonchalant. “That might not be the case. There are certain puzzles that you can figure out just by thinking about it a little. For instance, the exact reason why Rong Guluo had betrayed humanity is not really that important. Almost certainly, he was offered some kind of vast reward! The Harpies were likely willing to pay an astronomical sum in order to realize their plan of creating Floating Point Six. As such, the Harpies would have given Rong Guluo anything he wanted, because no matter how large his appetite was, his demands would never exceed the importance of Floating Point Six!”
The Harpies possessed five floating cities in total, which were their main source of strength when battling other races. It was no exaggeration to say that each of these floating cities was as important as an entire country. Of course, actually creating them was a different matter.
Given the importance of these cities, it was easy to imagine what kind of price the Harpies were willing to pay.
The reason why he had initially had a hard time figuring out why Rong Guluo would betray humanity was because the Rong Clan was a Demonic Emperor Clan. Su Chen didn’t believe that the Harpies would have been willing to pay that astronomical of a sum to persuade him.
However, this whole situation was turned around on its head if he reconsidered it from the vantage point of creating the Floating Points.
The Harpies probably would have been willing to buy out the entire clan ten times over just to obtain this sixth Floating Point.
The exact value was obviously not important, as it was just a number, so Su Chen was not particularly anxious to know.
“Then this bug hive......” Patelocke continued.
The bug hive was still attempting to endure Su Chen’s attacks as it shrieked repeatedly in pain.
Its condition appeared very dismal.
“That’s easy.” Su Chen gestured, and a pattern appeared in his hand. “Why do you think I wanted to take her Arcana Technique Pattern? Just to obtain an average Arcana Technique? No. Flowing Flame Oriole didn’t come with a special treasure designed to control the bug hive; rather, she came with a special technique, which will solve all the problems we are currently facing. I’m pretty sure that I know exactly what kind of technique it is...... as long as I am able to determine the correct Arcana Technique from inside this pattern, anyways.”
As he spoke, he activated his microscopic eye and began to closely inspect the pattern.
Very quickly, a smile surfaced on Su Chen’s face. “Just as I expected.”
As his finger delicately touched the pattern, the corresponding portion of the Arcana Technique Pattern began to morph and shine in his hands, allowing Su Chen to determine how they were organized. A moment later, Su Chen began to assimilate the selected glowing pattern.
Strangely, however, he found that the pattern simply would not enter his body no matter how hard he tried to absorb it.
“What’s going on?” Patelocke was stunned.
Too many shocking things had happened today.
Su Chen, however, was not that surprised. “It’s an Esoteric Arcana Technique, probably the Soul Stamp technique.”
Esoteric Arcana Techniques were a type of unique Arcana Technique only learnable and usable by those of a specific profession.
Soul Stamp was such a technique. Only Sanskrit Chanters could use it, and it was even unique to the Gentle Voice Nest. In other words, even Sanskrit Chanters from other nests wouldn’t be able to use such a technique.
There were two unique characteristics to this Arcana Technique. The first was that, once the Soul Stamp was applied to a target, that target was forced to obey the user’s every command. The second was that the target and the user could communicate without the use of words by sensing each other’s will.
The Soul Stamp technique was somewhat similar to the Zhu Clan’s consciousness enslavement techniques, but consciousness enslavement was only effective when the target’s consciousness was weaker than the user. It was very difficult to execute the technique when the order of strength was reversed. The Zhu Clan’s control techniques were better than the Bewitching Butterfly Jin Clan’s, but both clans would still have a hard time controlling individuals with stronger consciousnesses. At most, the Zhu Clan’s extent of control was greater than the Jin Clan’s, but that extent was still finite.
The Soul Stamp technique, however, completely ignored the gap between the user and the target’s consciousness power. The only factor determining its success was how much resistance the target offered.
In other words, if the target wanted to resist, they would be able to do so, but if they didn’t want to, they would be controlled no matter what.
In some sense, this technique actually seemed inferior to the Zhu Clan’s techniques.
One important factor regarding the Soul Stamp technique, however, was that the resulting connection it created was incredibly stable. Once an individual was Soul Stamped, no control technique would ever be able to erase that stamp.
The user of the stamp might not necessarily be powerful, but once the stamp was brought into existence, it could not be destroyed.
What had happened to Zhu Xianling would never happen to a target who had been Soul Stamped.
Also, the reason why Zhu Xianling’s slave had betrayed her was related to the Soul Stamp technique as well.
It was only effective against targets who had no will to resist.
Slaves were one such target — since they had lost all sense of self, where would they find the willpower to resist?
As a result, the Soul Stamp technique was the kryptonite to all Bloodline Nobility Clans that specialized in controlling others — they might be able to bring others under their control, but Soul Stamp users could easily then take control of those people.
There was one other type of target that Soul Stamp was exceptionally useful against.
Very young children similarly lacked the will to resist.
As such, Su Chen immediately determined that this was the technique the Harpies had used to take control of the bug hive.