Chapter 111: Ascending Again
Stormy Spiral was a powerful Arcana Technique that was unique to the Harpies. Its ability was to lock down an area of space.
More importantly, it was a Sixth-Ring Arcana Technique.
When Youthful Abundance saw this, she cried out in shock. “You’re a Sixth-Ring Arcana Master now?”
Formerly, Su Chen had only been able to unleash Fifth-Ring Arcana Techniques. Even though the Flowing Gold Blade had technically been brought to the realm of Seventh-Ring techniques, it was still a Fourth-Ring Arcana Technique at its core.
Obviously, the fact that Su Chen was now able to use a Sixth-Ring Arcana Technique was indicative that he had likely ascended yet again.
Given Su Chen’s foundation, it wasn’t too hard for him to learn Sixth-Ring Arcana Techniques. However, because the Harpies valued their research, they all kept their knowledge and secrets tightly guarded. Su Chen hadn’t been able to find any good Sixth-Ring Arcana Techniques, so he had simply never tried to learn any.
But that pile of books he had found in the palace contained quite a few Arcana Techniques in addition to its experimental records and written experiences.
A legendary Arcana Master possessed no shortage of high-tier Arcana Techniques that ran the gamut from Fifth-Ring all the way to legendary. However, there weren’t that many skills below Fifth Ring.
The Stormy Spiral that Su Chen had used here was one of the techniques he had found in the book, and he had used it right after learning it.
But how could he learn while in battle?
That was actually quite an easy question.
In order to catch the slippery creatures, Su Chen had pored over the books with six different clones, searching for any Arcana Techniques that fit his needs before learning them all.
Learning high-tier Arcana Techniques was no joke, and creating complete Arcana Techniques was incredibly difficult. This was why Su Chen needed a gigantic knowledge base. However, Su Chen’s consciousness crystal was incredibly effective. What others would need to take a year or so to memorize was dissected by Su Chen’s consciousness crystal in a matter of minutes.
Of course, deconstructing an Arcana Technique’s Pattern wasn’t enough. His control over Origin Energy needed to be on the same level as his understanding. Different Arcana Techniques could be very different, and each Arcana Master would only be able to proficiently use elements that they were familiar with. Otherwise, one would be able to increase their cultivation tier just by learning other Arcana Techniques.
Of course, the opposite also held true. Only with enough proficiency would one be able to control the corresponding Arcana Technique.
Su Chen’s wind proficiency was distinctly average. He probably would have had a better effect with thunder- or fire-based Arcana Techniques. Wind was much more challenging than those other elements.
But that didn’t matter.
Because he had plenty of resources and money!
Temporarily increasing a person’s elemental strength was not a simple accomplishment, and it would take more than cobbling some common ingredients together.
And Su Chen just so happened to have such an uncommon ingredient on hand.
Lifesource Candles were one of the trump cards that the humans had relied on to defeat the other races. They could be used in many different applications, including saving lives. No matter how badly wounded a person was, a Lifesource Candle would allow them to at least survive. As such, they were typically used to protect especially powerful individuals. The rate at which the candle burned was proportional to the severity of the wound.
It had another function as well, however, which was to greatly strengthen a user’s technique.
They would basically boost a person’s innate talent and ability. This was what allowed Su Chen to meet the necessary requirements to activate the Arcana Technique despite the fact that he might have been originally unqualified to do so.
This was the greatest use of a Lifesource Candle.
As such, it was quite easy for Su Chen to improve his proficiency with the wind element.
All he needed was the right type of Origin Crystal and a Lifesource Candle.
It just so happened that he had both of these on him — amongst Su Chen’s handfuls of Origin Crystals, which he had been planning on using as sacrifices, some were wind-type crystals.
In order to find a way to deal with those slippery creatures, he had started burning through his supply of Lifesource Candles.
Some effects of the Lifesource Candles were temporary, while others were permanent. The latter effects were obviously much more difficult to trigger.
But since Su Chen had mastered its usage, it was hard to say that he wouldn’t make any other improvements.
Su Chen’s wind element skill had formerly been equivalent to that of a Second-Ring Arcana Master. He was able to permanently bring this up to the Fourth Ring. Then, with the aid of twenty-one Lifesource Candles and large quantities of wind-type Origin Crystals, Su Chen had finally become proficient in it and was now even able to unleash a wind-type Sixth-Ring Arcana Technique.
Only someone like Su Chen would be able to cultivate like this.
Even though this was a bit extravagant, Su Chen had lots of money. What else would he spend it on?
Su Chen had always found it hard to spend money faster than he made it, so he was actually quite happy to have an opportunity to burn through some resources.
The Stormy Spiral was able to directly restrict the movements of the creatures, making it so that they could only wait to be slaughtered.
Then, Su Chen pounced, waving his Flowing Gold Blade at them.
After his control over wind had reached the Sixth Ring, his speed had gone up significantly as a result. Even without his Whitetower Teleportation, he was able to advance and retreat like the wind, using the chaos created by the storm to wantonly slaughter his opponents.
He really was like a ferocious gust of wind. All of the onlookers were completely stunned.
Were these the same creatures that had been chasing after them this whole time? Was their skin really as tough as iron? What about the gravity fields they could create? What about their terrifying metallic bone blades?
Why are you all dying to just a single slash of the opponent’s, but weren’t even scratched when we launched all-out attacks at you?!
That’s not fair!
All of the Harpies present cursed silently. Even the Wingless Harpy bandit was stunned.
As a Wingless Harpy, he was incredibly proud of his iron-like body, but his physical strength had meant nothing to these creatures. Now, however, this Azure Mark guy had shown up out of the blue and was crushing these creatures like a meat grinder. That was quite a serious blow to his confidence.
However, this was only the beginning.
Perhaps the strange creatures’ attempts to hide were beginning to make Su Chen impatient.
He frowned and unleashed yet another Arcana Technique.
Transparent chains appeared in the air, flying towards those creatures.
Yet another Sixth-Ring Arcana Technique.
Even Youthful Abundance couldn’t believe her eyes.
She could accept Azure Mark using a Sixth-Ring Arcana Technique. After all, he had already demonstrated incredible strength, and it was abundantly clear that he had already been close to ascending. But grasping two Sixth-Ring Arcana Techniques immediately after ascending was simply too shocking of a feat.
She didn’t know that Su Chen’s clones were still hiding somewhere out there, voraciously reading books.
Su Chen’s peculiar way of using his clones had essentially caused his learning rate to double. Five or six clones were simultaneously reading these books and sending the knowledge that they learned to Su Chen’s consciousness crystal for aggregation and assimilation. With how fast the consciousness crystal could work, it was able to smoothly process this information in parallel, meaning that it wasn’t hard on Su Chen in the slightest.
What Youthful Abundance didn’t know was that Su Chen actually wouldn’t have been able to use this Arcana Technique even a minute ago.
Now, however, he had gained complete control over this Arcana Technique, and the corresponding Arcana Technique Pattern had already appeared in his body. Even though it was his first time using the technique, the familiarity with which he executed the skill made it seem like he had used it for years already.
Even Su Chen had to admit that his consciousness crystal was basically a cheat code when it came to studying Arcana Techniques.
As long as his strength was sufficient, he would be able to immediately learn a technique.
The Wind Chains bound up the creatures, allowing Su Chen to slay them even more easily. His butchering rate had clearly gone up.
Even though the creatures did their best to fight back, Su Chen continued to spare no expense in unleashing Wind Chain after Wind Chain. He didn’t really need to bind them up; after all, as long as he could delay them momentarily, that would give him more than enough time to reap their lives.
He was basically tying them up with one hand and killing them with another, slaughtering them like pigs. The other Harpies couldn’t believe what they were witnessing.
There was originally a hundred of these metal creatures. But Su Chen had already managed to finish off half of them, and it seemed that his efficiency was only increasing. At that moment, the creatures glanced at each other before falling to their knees and crying out to Su Chen.
“Oh? Are you all trying to surrender?” Su Chen was taken aback.
These metal creatures were very stubborn, but they had no choice but to lower their heads when faced with certain death.
Survival was always their top priority. Any species that didn’t understand this principle would be the first to go extinct.
“Oh, interesting. But you don’t seem very tameable, and neither can you understand what I am saying. Even if I do take you guys in, I won’t be able to use you. Thus, I’d rather use your corpses to feed my Flowing Gold Blade,” Su Chen muttered.
Those creatures couldn’t understand what he was saying, but they could sense his tone. Upon realizing that he didn’t seem interested in accepting them as his slaves, they began to cry out in piteous fear.
“But perhaps there is one way for me to get you guys to obey me,” Su Chen said as he pointed at them, seemingly having come up with an idea. “Stand over there and don’t move.”
He didn’t specify who he was talking to, so those creatures didn’t dare move, and neither did the Harpies. Both groups just stared at him.
However, Su Chen didn’t seem like he was doing anything besides standing there motionlessly.
No one knew what he was trying to do. They glanced at each other in equal parts confusion and curiosity.
What they didn’t know was that Su Chen’s clones were currently hiding in a corner, furiously flipping through the myriad of books.
Jade Clearmist’s library had an Arcana Technique known as Soul Link. It allowed any two individuals to communicate via each others’ wills and understand each other without words.
However, this Arcana Technique was a Seventh-Ring Arcana Technique and required a certain level of soul mastery.
Su Chen had enough consciousness power, but one’s soul mastery depended on many other aspects such as one’s comprehension and experience. If Su Chen were at the Spirit Burning Realm, he probably would have met the requirements.
But he hadn’t, so his level of soul mastery was clearly lacking.
It could be said that he had an incredible amount of raw power, but not enough skill to be able to wield it properly.
However, this didn’t pose a problem to him.
Why not continue using Lifesource Candles?
As the clones pored over the books, memorizing the Arcana Techniques contained inside and forming the corresponding Arcana Technique Patterns, Su Chen’s main body lit a Lifesource Candle.
The way to use a Lifesource Candle was very interesting. After being lit, they would turn ethereal, enter a person’s body, and then continue to burn there. While they burned, a person’s perception would be heightened. The only prerequisite to their usage was that you had enough energy in the first place to light one.
For instance, if he wanted to increase the strength of his wind-type Arcana Techniques, he would need light the candle with a wind-type Origin Crystal.
Increasing his soul mastery was much more difficult, however, because there were so few soul-type Origin Crystals.
Even though Su Chen possessed a large pile of Origin Crystals, they were primarily comprised of common elements like wind, fire, and lightning. Even if Su Chen had a soul-type Origin Crystal, he wouldn’t possible bear to use it as a sacrifice.
So if he lacked a soul-type Origin Crystal, then what was he to do?
The answer was quite simple.
Su Chen decided to burn his own consciousness energy.
By using his own consciousness energy as fuel, he would be able to start the requisite fire.
A moment later, Su Chen’s body began to glow brilliantly.
This scintillating light scattered in all directions, illuminating everything nearby and bathing them in light.
When the Harpies sensed the soul light Su Chen was emitting, all of them felt a sudden urge to prostrate and worship him.