Chapter 82: Core (1)
Su Chen teleported past the tower base’s defenses, appearing within the tower and almost slamming right into another Harpy.
He was still concealed, so the Harpy didn’t spot him. The Harpy did, however, feel a gust of wind suddenly come his way. He instinctively waved his hand in front of him, almost swiping Su Chen in the face. Su Chen immediately squatted to avoid this swipe. The Harpy then took a step forward, and there was nothing Su Chen could do but retreat and roll to the side, barely avoiding the Harpy’s foot.
Su Chen broke out in a cold sweat.
Su Chen only slowly stood back up after seeing that the Harpy had walked past him into the inner room.
On the lowest floor of the Chaos Tower was a massive Origin Formation. Every room served as a node for the Origin Formation, conducting Origin Energy throughout the formation.
To Su Chen’s amazement, most of the people here weren’t Harpies but actually the Craftsmen, a long-necked Intelligent Race with three arms.
The Craftsmen were extremely good at their jobs. Their third arm protruded from their back and could reach above them, cooperating with their other two arms.
Their hands were incredibly agile, and their fingers could bend at all kinds of odd angles, making them extremely suited for delicate work. Their innate intelligence and love for creating things made them the best smiths and artisans.
When the Arcanists were at their peak power, the Craftsmen had higher status than the other five Intelligent Races. However, their independent personalities and tendencies to drift made it impossible for them to grow strong. They lived quite comfortably when the Arcanists were in power, because they were able to perform their duties as a subordinate race very well. Once the Arcanists fell, however, the Craftsmen fell far, eventually finding a home with the Harpies, who needed the skills of the Craftsmen quite badly. They had been betrayed and sold out a number of times at this point.
The Craftsmen had no territory belonging to themselves. They relied on a greater power to survive, including the Harpies, the Astrals, and the Oceanids.
Humans were quite good artisans as well, so they didn’t have much of a need for Craftsmen. The Ravagers didn’t respect construction skills, so even though they had a great need of the Craftsmen, their emphasis of military force made them look down on the Craftsmen instead.
There were currently a large number of Craftsmen living within the Chaos Tower.
They stood guard over a bunch of strangely-shaped objects, vessels, stoves, and Origin Formations, constantly tuning them, recording down their observations, and making strange cries from time to time.
A few Harpies supervised, recording down when the Craftsmen made these strange cries.
It seemed apparent that these Craftsmen were incredibly important to powering the massive Chaos Tower.
The Origin Formation inside the tower was incredibly large, but it was basically being maintained by these “specialists”. It didn’t seem like there were any important individuals otherwise down here.
Su Chen was able to proceed without hindrance. Apart from when he was just entering the tower, he basically didn’t run into any more danger.
As he walked along, Su Chen saw a massive room in front of him. Countless Craftsmen and Harpies were walking in and out of the room, so he immediately knew that there was something special about that room.
Su Chen walked over and saw a massive column stuck straight into the ground. The column glowed brightly with a blood-red luster, and countless Craftsmen circled the pillar, all hard at work.
At the very top of this large room, it was possible to see an amethyst-like crystal hanging from the ceiling.
This crystal, the Sparkling Sky Amethyst, was an incredibly rare consciousness-type crystal object. Su Chen had seen one before; a chunk the size of his pinky was already worth millions of Origin Stones. The one suspended in the sky, however, was the size of a person’s head. This Sparkling Sky Amethyst alone was probably worth a few hundred million Origin Stones. Most importantly, this item was incredibly hard to buy. Su Chen had no idea how the Harpies had managed to get a hold of one of those.
The Sparkling Sky Amethyst would unleash puffs of purple smoke from time to time. It seemed as if there was howling sounds coming from the amethyst that instinctively caused Su Chen’s hair to stand on end, as if something was threatening him. These cries were incredibly frightening, and Su Chen could sense his state of mind shaking slightly. This fear made him want to cry out loudly. Thankfully, he immediately activated his Heart Walls, allowing him to ignore the fear-inducing abilities of these cries. Even so, he broke out into a sweat yet again.
His journey had been mostly uneventful, but now that he was at the core area, he had suddenly received a shock like that. It was impossible for him not to be surprised.
This was probably an attack purely on the consciousness level, but it wasn’t an attack with intent. The amethyst was just that frighteningly powerful.
What kind of lifeform could possess such a shocking aura? Probably only a Desolate Beast.
But hadn’t this Desolate Beast become confused?
Where were these fierce howls coming from?
Su Chen felt like he had stumbled across one of the Chaos Tower’s important secrets.
However, he noticed one thing, which was that he found it very difficult to endure the pressure of these howls, while the surrounding Harpies and Craftsmen seemed totally fine. How were they able to remain unaffected?
Su Chen closely inspected those Craftsmen and found that they were all wearing a strange accessory with them that would fluctuate faintly when activated. Those fluctuations seemed to be keeping the aura of the amethyst at bay.
“So that’s how it is.” Su Chen understood somewhat.
It seemed that these accessories were not only status symbols but also served to screen outsiders. If an unknown individual somehow managed to sneak in, they would probably lose control of their bowel movements in shock when they encountered the Desolate Beast’s aura. Only Su Chen, who had the Heart Walls, could probably ignore its effects.
However, it seemed that once he was able to clear this test, there was nothing left in his way that would give him a hard time.
When he thought to this point, he decided to walk boldly into the room.
However, he had just stepped into the room when he saw a light shine on him from above, causing his figure to reappear immediately.
It was impossible for a person to appear out of thin air in this kind of a busy place without attracting any kind of attention.
In the blink of an eye, countless gazes of shock and surprise fell on Su Chen.
Su Chen was also taken aback. He had not expected that there would even be this exposing light in the room as well. Any kind of disguise or concealment was basically rendered useless by this light.
Since he had been discovered, did he need to kill them all?
Just as Su Chen was thinking this, however, a Craftsmen bowed to him in greeting. “You must be Sir River Sun?”
Su Chen was taken aback. It was then that he noticed that the light had not only exposed his concealment, but also revealed the actual Violent Wings on his back.
In those Craftsmen’s eyes, a real Harpy had appeared in front of them.
The Harpies possessed a high amount of internal solidarity. The Chaos Tower’s defenses were primarily aimed outside, not inside. There was probably also some important Harpy who was going to stop by at some point, which had resulted in the Craftsmen misidentifying Su Chen with some high-status Harpy. As for the sudden manner in which Su Chen had appeared, the Craftsmen chalked it up to Su Chen’s eccentricity, believing that he had only been testing out the tower’s defenses.
After a brief pause, Su Chen coughed gently and said, “Yes. Is everything going alright?”
The Craftsman replied respectfully, “Sir River Sun, the Shallow Sea Chain have been exchanged, and we have gathered thirty-one Depth Crystals. Do you want us to hand them over?”
Su Chen was taken aback.
He had no idea what the Shallow Sea Chain was, but he did know what Depth Crystals were. These crystal had incredibly unique attributes.
Unlike Origin Crystals, which were merely a repository for Origin Energy and could only be used for replenishing energy expenditure, not cultivating, Depth Crystals were pure Origin Energy bodies that could in fact be used for cultivation.
Of course, using them to cultivate was a bit wasteful. They were actually incredibly useful supplements for the cultivation of many Origin Skills or Arcana Techniques. They were also special ingredients which could be used in making Origin Formations, puppets, Origin Tools, and a bunch of other Origin Energy-related items.
If an Origin Tool was imbued with a treasure like a Depth Crystal, its power would increase by a nontrivial amount.
The Harpies maintained a monopoly on Depth Crystals and never handed them out. The only way to get them was to kill a powerful Harpy and take it from their Origin Ring.
For this reason, Depth Crystals went for an incredibly high price in human territory, and no human could ever place an order for one.
Upon hearing that the Craftsman was asking about giving him thirty-one Depth Crystals, Su Chen was elated.
What was this situation?
He was just about to nod and ask for them, when he realized that he had many treasures on hand already, like the Desolate Beast blood, which he hadn’t researched yet. He wasn’t lacking these Depth Crystals, so he said, “There’s no hurry. Let’s take a look around first.”
He wanted to look at the internal operations of the tower.
The Craftsman was taken aback before he asked, “What would you like to see, sir?”
Su Chen felt a strange feeling surface in his heart when he saw the Craftsman’s reaction.
After a moment of thought, he said, “Can you show me around so that I can see how the tower works? Right, and what is your name?”
The Craftsmen lowered his head, replying, “This Craftsman’s name is Cloud Worker.”
“Cloud Worker, is it? Can you show me around here? This is my first time here, so I want to see how everything works.
“......Yes, sir!” the Craftsman agreed after a moment of hesitation, bringing Su Chen around to tour the premises.
They were currently in the core operation room for the Chaos Tower, so Su Chen was privy to all of the secret mechanisms involved in the operation of the tower. However, just because he could see them didn’t mean that he could understand them. As such, Su Chen would constantly ask the Harpy questions as they walked, trying to surreptitiously obtain and acquire useful information.
This Craftman was quite smart. Whatever Su Chen asked of him, he would answer.
This very quickly confirmed something that he had suspected for a long time, or rather something that the Intelligent Races had never been quite able to figure out - how was this Desolate Beast being kept alive?
Su Chen had made many guesses before in the past, and the truth this time revealed to him that his guess had been right.
The answers lay in these Shallow Sea Chain, as well as in the Boundless Origin Sea.
The Boundless Origin Sea was the source of Origin Energy across the entire Primordial Continent. It was located in an isolated void, but it constantly infused the continent with an endless supply of Origin Energy via unique spatial fissures.
Some claimed that the only reason that the Origin Energy in the Primordial Continent was decreasing was because the sea of Origin Energy was still moving around, growing further and further away from the Primordial Continent and decreasing the amount of Origin Energy flowing in.
Many people attempted to search for the Boundless Origin Sea because of this.
However, matters involving spatial realms were never easy to deal with. Even if a person made some small gains, these gains would not be generalizable. Any creature that could use an unlimited amount of Origin Energy would be incredibly powerful.
Sky City was able to receive a constant, never-ending supply of Origin Energy from the Boundless Origin Sea by fixing themselves in place to it.
Even though it was a failed experiment, in some sense, the Harpies were still able to learn a lot from that situation.
Given that Sky City couldn’t move, some Harpies proposed that, given that they already knew how to extract Origin Energy from the Boundless Origin Sea, why couldn’t they use this knowledge to create yet another Sky City?