Book 5, Chapter 91: Study

Chapter 91: Study

Su Chen’s expression sank. He unfurled his wings and flashed forwards like lightning, flickering briefly before reappearing in front of the youth. The youth hadn’t expected his opponent’s speed to be that quick and was totally caught off-guard. Su Chen’s fist slammed into his face, sending him flying.

An instant later, Su Chen pounced and straddled him, unleashing a violent beating upon the young Harpy.

The youth was totally stunned by the vicious beating.

What was happening?

How was I hit by him?

He was not surprised that the other party had tried to attack him after he had pointed out their most humiliating experience.

Instead, he was surprised that he hadn’t actually been able to react, that he was completely unable to mount a defense, that his opponent was currently straddling him, and that he was being beaten to the point where he had no strength to retaliate.

He could only watch on as fist after fist came raining down on him, causing flowers of blood to bloom. However, he had no strength to retaliate, and he could only yell in shock and anger, “Let go! Let go! What are you guys still standing around and watching for!?”

That last sentence was directed at the lackeys he had brought with him.

Those minions of him seemed to awaken from their reverie and charged forwards, attempting to pull Su Chen off of their leader.

Su Chen harrumphed and didn’t try to resist. Instead, he bit down onto the fallen youth’s ear.

His bite was quite heavy, and the young Harpy howled with pain in response.

The seven or eight Harpy subordinates surrounded Su Chen, but Su Chen refused to let go. As he was pulled off of the youth, the youth’s ear was also stretched longer and longer until it finally snapped off.

“AHHH!” The youth’s piercing howl rang out through the sky.

Harpies began to charge over from all directions when they heard this howl.

The first one to arrive was a middle-aged Harpy. When he saw the bloody scene before him, he was shocked. He barked, “Halcyon Wing Streak, what are you doing?”

“Second Junior Uncle, make a judgment on my behalf! That bastard bit…… bit off my ear,” the youth howled as he clutched at his mangled ear.

Su Chen recognized this Second Uncle. His name was Halcyon Wing Wind, Halcyon Wing Mourning’s older brother, so he should have normally called Halcyon Wing Wind Second Elder Uncle.

Su Chen was able to determine based on the youth’s cry that he was the son of the eldest uncle, Halcyon Wing Plume.

Su Chen finally realized who the youth in front of him was.

Halcyon Wing Whisper.

The reason Su Chen hadn’t recognized him was because Halcyon Wing Streak hadn't listed him as an enemy, but rather as a follower.

Yes, Halcyon Wing Whisper had actually once been Halcyon Wing Streak's follower.

Even though Halcyon Wing Whisper's father was Halcyon Wing Mourning's older brother, Halcyon Wing Whisper was younger than Halcyon Wing Streak, and his talent was also inferior. As a result, he had been relegated to the status of a follower and minion. This was why Halcyon Wing Streak hadn't referred to Halcyon Wing Whisper as an enemy when Su Chen had been interrogating him, and why Su Chen hadn't been able to recognize him.

Unexpectedly, this former follower had started a fight with him, even going so far as to intentionally provoke him on sight. If Halcyon Wing Streak wasn’t lying, then that meant this youth had gotten stronger in recent years and wanted to turn his former pillar into a stepping stone.

Su Chen couldn’t determine whether this was actually the case ⁠— these opponents were all people he could suppress easily anyways. In his eyes, a strong ant and a weak ant were both at the same level, and it was hard for him to notice any difference in the two.

When Halcyon Wing Wind saw Halcyon Wing Whisper’s torn ear, the shock in his heart was palpable. “Streak, what are you doing?”

Su Chen remained silent, continuing to glare intently at Halcyon Wing Whisper, his gaze filled with rage and boundless hatred.

His acting skills weren’t half bad.

Unexpectedly, he had learned this expression from Cloud Leopard. After all, no one could compare with Cloud Leopard when it came to trying to kill an opponent with a glare. Su Chen had copied Cloud Leopard’s stolid woodenness, savagery, and tenacity ⁠— it could be almost said that he was method acting.

Halcyon Wing Wind was surprised when he saw Su Chen’s expression. He knew that the situation was most likely not that simple, so he turned and asked Halcyon Wing Whisper, “What exactly happened?”

Halcyon Wing Whisper rubbed his neck as he explained, “All I did was say something about him, and then he went crazy and tried to bite me.”

"What did you say about him?"

Halcyon Wing Whisper lowered his head and awkwardly said, "I said...... I said that he had been raped......"

Hiss!

Halcyon Wing Wind sucked in a mouthful of cold air.

All of the Harpies who had shown up on the scene by now had heard exactly what he said, including Halcyon Wing Mourning.

"What did you say?" Halcyon Wing Mourning stared at Halcyon Wing Whisper, aghast, before turning to look at his "son." Su Chen's expression seemed to make it clear even without words that Halcyon Wing Whisper was probably telling the truth.

He grabbed Halcyon Wing Whisper by the neck. "Who told you this?"

Halcyon Wing Whisper choked out with great difficulty as he strained his neck, "The other fifty-eight Harpies that came back with him...... They...... They all know...... I have a subordinate who is friends with one of those captives, and he was the one who told me."

Halcyon Wing Mourning began to tremble. He turned to gaze at his son, finally understanding the source of his son's anger.

Anyone who went through something traumatic like that would probably go crazy upon having their wounds ripped open, right?

No wonder his son had suddenly become so aloof after returning.

He had actually experienced something as horrific as that.

"Bastard!" Halcyon Wing Plume slapped his son in the face. "How dare you even say something like that?"

Halcyon Wing Streak knew that he had committed a grave sin, but he still couldn't resist complaining. "He bit off my ear!"

"You reap what you sow!" Halcyon Wing Plume glared at him as he sternly ordered, "Go back and spend three days in confinement! Mourning, take your son with you and let him rest."

"Yes!" Halcyon Wing Mourning obeyed and led Su Chen back to his room.

As he watched the father-son pair depart, Halcyon Wing Plume sighed regretfully.

He knew that this incident had probably dealt a serious blow to Halcyon Wing Streak. It was entirely possible that this would ruin him.

That being said, how had this kid managed to get on top of Halcyon Wing Whisper and beat him up so badly?

Halcyon Wing Streak had been in captivity for a long time, so it was impossible for him to have increased his strength by much, but he was still able to defeat Halcyon Wing Whisper easily. There was only one possible explanation, which was that Halcyon Wing Whisper had been slacking in his cultivation lately.

Halcyon Wing Plume decided that he needed to whip this son of his into shape.

As Halcyon Wing Whisper’s fate was being decided, he was still mourning the loss of his ear. He had no idea that this was only the beginning of a long nightmare for him.

That day became a day of silence for the Halcyon Wing Clan.

Many Harpies soon found out about Halcyon Wing Streak’s “experiences”, which helped them understand his behavior. They ordered their subordinates to not provoke Halcyon Wing Streak at any cost and did their best to prevent news from spreading. At the same time, they gave Su Chen as much freedom and space as possible, hoping that he would be able to recover from his haze.

This was exactly what Su Chen wanted.

All of his earlier preparations were now bearing fruit. Su Chen was totally justified in his wildly different demeanor, so he was allowed to be extreme, violent, irritable, and aloof. Even though he might be mocked and ridiculed for this, he didn’t care. After all, he wasn’t Halcyon Wing Streak, and even if he were, he wouldn’t care either.

He was only after knowledge!

In the following days, Su Chen placed all of his focus into studying the Harpies’ system of knowledge.

The Halcyon Wing Clan had their own library.

This was where Su Chen liked to go the most.

He spent his time here reading up on Harpy history and studying their social structure. At the same time, he came to understand the Halcyon Wing Clan’s structure even more clearly.

Because he had the consciousness crystal, he could basically remember everything he read, so his rate of reading comprehension was also exceptionally quick. He merely had to flip through the pages rapidly before putting them down. In just half a month, he had read through most of the library’s books. Of course, Su Chen’s actions were just a form of venting in the eyes of the other Harpies.

Somehow, he was relieving stress by flipping through these books chaotically.

The rumors about him only began to increase as a result, but Su Chen didn’t mind.

He was very satisfied, as the Halcyon Wing Clan’s books were able to help him deepen his understanding of Arcana Techniques.

Su Chen had known for quite some time that Arcana Techniques were unleashed via Arcana Technique Patterns, with each technique corresponding to a specific pattern. These patterns were in turn made up of countless fragments. Because there was a general, foundational structure to these patterns, their derivative fragments shared some common attributes. For this reason, combining Arcana Technique Pattern Fragments was almost like playing with toy building blocks. Thus, Arcana Masters typically tried to master as many fragments as possible in order to be able to quickly combine them into usable techniques.

To increase the rate at which they mastered these fragments, some Arcana Masters branded these patterns and fragments into their bodies.

This was similar to a molding process. They essentially cast a specific Arcana Technique through a mold, allowing them to then construct the Arcana Technique Patterns much more rapidly. This was the reason why certain Arcana Techniques were even usable in the first place.

Because each individual possessed different physical attributes, the strength of the brands differed wildly, as did the improvement in strength that these Arcana Masters received from the branding.

Normally, an Arcana Master could brand an additional fragment every time they advanced a tier. These techniques were known as innate Arcana Techniques.

This was quite similar to the Humans’ Lotus Platform engraving, which relied on similar principles to allow the user to rapidly unleash Origin Skills. However, the Lotus Platform’s branding was that of Origin Energy Talismans, not Origin Energy Patterns, even though the overall principles were quite similar. After all, this was something that the humans had learned from the Arcanists in the first place.

Even though there were innumerable cultivation systems under the heavens, they all shared certain similarities, especially because the descendants were usually heavily influenced by their ancestors.

However, Arcana Masters could sometimes brand more than one pattern per tier. Some of the more talented ones could even brand two innate Arcana Techniques every tier; the level of branding was also incidentally the measure that they used to define true talent.

Different talents resulted in different results. Some people specialized in quantity, allowing them to barrage enemies with a wide variety of Arcana Techniques. Some people specialized in complexity, allowing them to unleash a few incredibly powerful Arcana Techniques. In any case, the world of Arcana Techniques was quite complicated, much more so than the human system of Origin Skills.

The only reason these techniques had been abandoned by humans was because they were not very well suited for them due to their lack of processing power.

However, whereas most humans lacked in computing ability, Su Chen did not. His memory and predictive abilities were extraordinary, even to the point that he was superior to some Arcanists. As a result, his studies of Arcana Techniques were extremely successful. Before, he had been somewhat lacking in knowledge; all he had to work with was the knowledge from some ancient dead Arcanists. This had not nearly been enough to support his needs, but now that he was in Harpy territory, his eyes were finally being opened.

Su Chen began to ravenously devour all this information. He firmly believed that he could turn these mountains of knowledge into jade, and that not only would the complicated Arcana Techniques boost his strength, they would also be incredibly useful to his research.

Su Chen immersed himself in this kind of study.

After half a month, Su Chen received a notice.

The human merchant group that had come to Flat Sky City had departed.

On that day, Su Chen knew that, from this moment onwards, he was going to be fighting this battle alone.

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