Chapter 57: Finding the Puppet
This day became the day of the Boundless Sect.
The Boundless Sect obtained twenty-nine Light Shaking Realm cultivators in a single day.
Yes, not fourteen, because fifteen more people succeeded in breaking through back at Ten Thousand Swords Mountain. Because Su Chen wasn’t there to guide them, eight people failed, but they would also soon get another chance to attempt the breakthrough in the future.
In the following days and months, even more people would break into the Light Shaking Realm.
Just as Zhu Chenhuan and the others witnessed, once the bloodline-less techniques became widely distributed, the higher cultivation realms became much more common, thus lowering the overall value of a Light shaking realm cultivator.
Su Chen’s actions, in some sense, were akin to trying to pull down the lofty existences in the sky back down to the ground. Everything considered noble and untouchable by commoners would suddenly become worth about as much as a cabbage. Anyone in the entire world was now able to walk in the same footsteps.
It was understandable that some people viewed him with enmity because of this.
However, Su Chen didn’t care in the slightest. No matter how much those who were profiting from the current system resisted, they would not be able to deny that Su Chen’s contributions benefited the public. There was no way that he would stop just because of a few short-sighted individuals who bore the brunt of the “birth pangs”, so to speak.
Unfortunately, news that the Boundless Sect had suddenly gained twenty-nine Light Shaking Realm cultivators wouldn’t spread - the Boundless Sect still needed time to build up their strength.
At the same time, Su Chen received another piece of good news.
The good news had come from the broodmother. Su Chen had placed one of his bloodline clones there and learned from it that the broodmother had found something that seemed like a puppet.
The puppet was stashed below the Zhu Clan’s Stargold Mine.
Unfortunately, the Harpy diplomatic envoy had no clue where to start looking for the broodmother, and it seemed that they were unaware of the strange realm the broodmother was being kept in. As such, they were merely bumbling around like a fly without a head.
Even though the Harpies had used all kinds of tactics to conceal their true motive for coming to Flat Sky City, they were fighting an unfair battle. The Zhu Clan had known from the beginning what the Harpies were looking for, so the Harpies would never be able to deceive their opponents no matter what they did. All of their tactics and posturing looked like child’s play from the Zhu Clan’s point of view.
If possible, the Zhu Clan would have allowed the Harpies to do as they pleased, but they probably would have grown more suspicious. They needed to play along with the Harpies and avoid giving any unnecessary details.
Scattered Moon Mist was fretting over their inability to find the broodmother, but the Zhu Clan was worried for them as well. Thankfully, the broodmother wouldn’t finishing devouring the Stargold Mine for some time. Both sides continued to delay.
This matter was not particularly urgent, and even taking a few months was not an impossibility.
Zhu Chenhuan began a completely pointless negotiation with Purple Forest Stream, while Su Chen and Patelocke waited for the good news to come their way. In the meantime, they decided to pay the Stargold Mine a visit.
A worker bee led Su Chen and Patelocke through the tunnel system.
Once Su Chen realized that these bugs were harvesting resources for the broodmother, he decided to call them worker bees.
Zhu Chenhuan had directed for the mining going on at the Stargold Mine to stop, so the mineshafts and tunnels were all abandoned. No workers could be seen anywhere. Occasionally, a golden glitter could be seen in the walls.
The ores here hadn’t been completely mined away yet, and the broodmother was producing new worker bees to excavate all of the Stargold ore.
“I suddenly thought of something,” Su Chen said. “Moonstone ore’s purity isn’t high enough, so it is very hard to refine it. Moonstones are very high quality but few in number, which was why the broodmother relied on the worker bee swarm to mine all of the Moonstone away. However, it wasn’t able to eat all of the Moonstones at once and instead stored them in the strange realm in a pile beneath it. There is much more Stargold Ore in comparison, so the broodmother should be able to survive a few years. But we cannot stall out the discussions for a few years, right?”
“That is indeed a problem.” Patelocke understood what Su Chen was getting at. “Is there a way to resolve the issue?”
Su Chen chuckled. “Why do I need to resolve the issue? Our cooperation with the Zhu Clan has taught me some things. So what if the Stargold ore isn’t completely being consumed? It doesn’t matter, because it’s not a problem we need to consider. It has nothing to do with us.”
Patelocke was momentarily taken aback before he began to laugh loudly. “That does make sense. A person with real ability not only knows how to resolve a situation but also knows how to delegate responsibility. Zhu Chenhuan truly is a sly old fox.”
Leave the Harpies’ problems to the Harpies to deal with. Being too careful would often give oneself a pretty unpleasant feeling.
After working through his thoughts, Su Chen continued to walk through the tunnel system.
Finally, the worker bee reached the deepest parts of the mine.
A large pit had been dug out, and a faint hole could be seen at the very bottom of the pit.
Su Chen jumped down into the hole and realized that he couldn’t see anything around him.
He gestured, and a flame burst forth from his hand, illuminating his surroundings. He found that he was now in a large void, which was covered in profound, arcane inscriptions.
The puppet the broodmother had found was supposedly at the end of this cave.
There was a destroyed throne at the front of the cave with a human-like figure sitting on it.
The reason Su Chen thought it was a human-like figure and not the puppet was because it was hard to determine exactly what was sitting on the dilapidated throne. The puppet sat within a white veil of light, which starkly contrasted with the pitch-black background. Despite that, however, it continued to shine. The creature behind the barrier looked both human and nonhuman. Its head was large and round, and its ears were long and pointy. Its facial features were completely at odds with each other. In addition, its limbs were incredibly thin and small, making it look exactly like an Arcanist. However, it had four arms, and a sphere was placed right in the center of its chest.
The light was coming from this sphere, and it was protecting the throne and everything around it.
Su Chen could sense that the light surrounding the throne was extremely unconventional, forever sealing the figure inside so that time would not cause it to decay.
It was hard to imagine what kind of power was enough to prevent the passage of time from eroding whatever was behind that veil of light.
However, perhaps because the entrance to the cave had been opened, the light was rapidly degrading. It seemed like it was going to dissipate soon after.
Before that, however…...
Su Chen tried to attack the veil of light, but nothing happened. Actually, Su Chen’s attack strengthened the veil of light, causing it to glow brighter.
“Is that it?” Su Chen asked.
“Yes, without a doubt! That’s the transmission puppet!” Patelocke said with excitement. “This is one of the most remarkable inventions of the Arcana Kingdom. The unique materials it’s constructed out of allow it to survive in all different kinds of environments. It is able to transmit and receive messages up to ten times as far as current methods allow, and it even possess the ability to defend itself.”
“Its defenses have lasted for tens of thousands of years without degrading,” Su Chen muttered. “Did the Arcana Kingdom develop their skills to that kind of a degree? To the point where they could even convert attacks into energy for the defensive barrier to use?”
Anything that could last for tens of thousands of years without being destroyed was definitely an incredibly uncommon existence. What was even rarer was that it was still functioning even now.
Su Chen had a hard time imagining what kind of skill was necessary to accomplish something like this. Even though the Arcana Techniques he was aware of were all brilliant, none of them were exceptional to this degree. It seemed simple, but in reality it was far more extraordinary than anything anyone currently alive could produce. If the Arcana Kingdom was really able to manufacture even their transmission puppets to this kind of standard, Su Chen felt like the Arcana Kingdom should have been able to fight back against even an Origin Beast.
Patelocke was also taken aback as he realized what kind of talent he was bearing witness to. “This is impossible. No one would ever make a transmission puppet like this because no one has the ability to. How is this possible? How can it exist like this? What is it exactly?”
He stared in shock at the puppet.
“I feel a lot more at ease hearing you say that, even though I feel a bit regretful.” Su Chen gazed at the degrading light screen. He made some quick calculations and said, “It will take roughly half a day before it completely disappears.”
“What exactly is this thing? Why does it have this behavior?” Patelocke asked with great curiosity.
Unfortunately, the barrier of light couldn’t be destroyed, and it prevented any outside objects from entering. If they tried to force their way in, the barrier would only grow stronger.
A mountain of treasure was before them but they couldn’t touch it. Patelocke and Su Chen were agitated but could only resign themselves to wait.
At that moment, Su Chen saw a strange carving at the foot of the throne. It looked like some kind of script, lying right next to the puppet’s dangling hand. If Su Chen hadn’t been paying close attention, he wouldn’t have spotted it.
“Patelocke, do you know what this is?” Su Chen asked.
“It’s a really ancient form of Arcana script. Even by the time I was born, very few people knew how to read this written language. I only recognize some words,” Patelocke said.
“That’s more than enough. Just tell me what you do recognize, and leave the rest to me.”
Each language had a set of systematic rules it abided by. As long as Su Chen was able to determine those rules, he would be able to decipher the meaning behind the abstruse writings. Of course, this was not an easy task to accomplish for most people, as it required incredible mental capacity and analysis to reverse-engineer the fundamental principles of the language.
The consciousness crystal gave Su Chen an exceptional calculative ability. With Patelocke providing the initial groundwork, he provided Su Chen with some clues which he could start with.
In theory, this kind of calculation could be made just by analyzing a single character, but that required too much processing power. Even Su Chen, with his consciousness crystal, wasn’t able to perform that kind of computation. Luckily, Patelocke recognized more than one character - he actually knew thirty or forty of them.
These thirty or forty characters served as a great stepping stone for Su Chen, who used these preliminary connections to quickly formulate a series of rules for the language.
Very soon, Su Chen was able to decipher the meaning of the words.
“This is…… the account of Sbasser…… a transmission puppet. If you ever come across it, please pass on my story……” Su Chen muttered. “Sbasser? So he has a name.”
Patelocke was also surprised. “And a story? What kind of story could a transmission puppet possibly have?”
“That’s the interesting part. Do you remember the story you told me before about this transmission puppet?”
“The situation seems more complicated and more interesting than we realized,” Su Chen sighed as he scanned the writings on the ground. “This is a sad and tragic tale……”