Chapter 22: Research
Now that the first battle was over, the fleet changed directions and headed for an island to the west of the Abyss.
Forever Clear Island.
Forever Clear Island was one of the closest islands to the Abyss. Because it was simply too close and was very difficult to defend, no one dared to live there. After all, any passing Sovereign would be more than capable of obliterating it.
However, Forever Clear Island gained a master on this day.
Two years ago, the Boundless Sect had sent disciples over to begin to develop this island.
Many of the Boundless Sect’s disciples had also come to facilitate this process.
The land on the island was quite arable at this point, and large quantities of resources were being grown there.
A Flight Network was setup to facilitate travel between the Thousand Illusions Island, Neptune’s Fort, Water Sheen, etc.
The ones setting up this were the Gu Clan.
Yes, they had extended their Flight Network business all the way out here.
Naturally, this had been Su Chen’s idea.
The Boundless Sect was going to be living in this area for a long time, so they needed lots of support from the backlines. The Gu Clan was demonstrating their support for Su Chen by installing the Flight Network here. In any case, Su Chen was the one who had given them this money-making opportunity in the first place - they had managed to profit quite handsomely.
When the fleet arrived at the island, the dock was already filled with people waiting to greet them.
Gu Qingluo flew forwards and leapt into a person’s embrace. “Father!”
It was Gu Xuanmian.
Gu Xuanmian had believed that he would never see his daughter again outside of Empty Mountain, the miracle he had hoped for had actually happened.
As he tightly hugged his daughter, Gu Xuanmian said tenderly, “Very good. You have done very good.”
Next, he was introduced to these important characters one by one. However, after all these introductions, he was surprised to not see Su Chen amongst their ranks. “Where is Su Chen?”
Gu Qingluo replied, “He’s already doing his research.”
A massive research station had been placed in the center of the Boundless Sect’s floating palace specifically for Su Chen’s needs.
At this moment, Su Chen was sitting there in thought. Not far from him lay the Iron-Shelled Dragon. Thankfully, because it was so small, Su Chen could fit it inside the research station.
His original plan was to age a Beast Sovereign to get it to leave the Abyss, after which they would be able to capture it.
However, after encountering the Iron-Shelled Dragon, Su Chen changed his mind. The Iron-Shelled Dragon was an even more suitable target than a Beast Sovereign. It was easier to deal with because it was weaker, and it was almost a Beast Sovereign already. Turning a Demonic Emperor into a Sovereign would be easier than turning a young Sovereign into an old one. This would also save Su Chen quite a few resources.
Su Chen made his preparations, then lifted his hand. A Flowing Gold Blade had appeared in his grip.
After Su Chen’s Flowing Gold Blade had absorbed countless precious materials, its might was close to that of a Divine Tool. Even the Iron-Shelled Dragon’s sturdy shell was soft like butter under the blade’s precise strokes.
The blade scored the dragon’s body, leaving behind a thin line in its softer midsection. However, the wound did not completely rupture.
Even so, the Iron-Shelled Dragon howled with anger and pain as it thrashed about, exuding a powerful aura.
But no matter how powerful it was, it was at the mercy of the Origin Formation controlling it. This Origin Formation itself was not particularly impressive, but the source of power was. The Boundless Sect’s disciples were constantly rotating to power the formation, and this endless supply of dense Origin Energy allowed even this simple formation to suppress the Iron-Shelled Dragon completely.
Su Chen continued to score the dragon’s body, recording his observations and using his microscopic eye to closely observe as he muttered under his breath from time to time.
Iron Cliff was still his assistant. This Stoneskin, which everyone had believed to be an idiot, was now one of the most knowledgeable people in all the Boundless Sect - second only to Su Chen.
Under Su Chen’s tutelage, Iron Cliff’s medical skill had far surpassed the skills of an average person. No matter where he went, he was regarded as a skilled doctor.
Not long ago, Iron Cliff had personally developed a method of cultivation specifically designed for Stoneskins. Su Chen had only given him a few pointers during the construction process.
After cutting open the Iron-Shelled Dragon, Su Chen carefully stowed away its blood.
As he glanced at the fresh blood he had just collected, Su Chen muttered, “As expected……”
“Is it some kind of special Origin Substance?” Iron Cliff asked.
“Yes.” Su Chen nodded. “But it’s not one kind - it’s three.”
Su Chen was able to carefully dissect the components of the blood because of his microscopic eye.
Long before he even began his experiment, Su Chen had suspected that the Deep Sea Sorrow’s operation was primarily driven by special kinds of Origin Substance.
This was the source, the intrinsic essence, of all energy on the Primordial Continent!”
Su Chen’s observations were only confirming this suspicion of his.
Su Chen also guessed that the other Beasts in the Abyss would probably all have the same Origin Substances. However, he had not expected to discover that the beasts actually had three Origin Substances in common rather than one.
This surprised Su Chen quite a bit.
How had Corniga managed to extract and utilize so many Origin Substances at once?
Su Chen had wanted to accomplish something like this a long time ago, but the Flying Immortal Cultivation Techniques had taken up most of his time and energy. As a result, his ability to do research on these Origin Substances had been greatly hampered.
Even now, his analysis of the black stones was not fully complete yet.
And now, he had found a creature with three different Origin Substances in side it.
Well, that wasn’t too strange, was it?
The Arcanists possessed microscopic eyes in the first place. To them, the discovery of Origin Substances was not strange at all.
Actually, many of the inventions that had been lost to time probably had close ties to Origin Substances.
However, merging three Origin Substances was no easy task. Clearly, this Corniga was no slouch - if the Arcana Kingdom hadn’t collapsed, he probably would have become quite a famous Arcana Master in his own right.
“Let’s begin the catalysis,” Su Chen said as he put down the vial of blood in his hand.
Confirming the existence of these Origin Substances was merely the beginning. Next, Su Chen needed to figure out how to utilize them and the principles behind their transformation. Every Sea Beast in the Abyss was under the Deep Sea Sorrow’s influence, especially if they were powerful.
Su Chen needed to know how to turn a Demonic Emperor into a Demonic Sovereign.
It was important to reiterate something at this point.
Demonic Emperors and Sovereigns were actually technically at the same cultivation tier.
In other words, Sovereigns were still Demonic Emperors, but they were elite ones, typically far more powerful and elite. As a result, they had more authority than your average Demonic Emperors - emperors of emperors, in some sense.
This title of Sovereign, then, didn’t refer to cultivation realm. There was no intrinsic breakthrough to be made, nor any significant transformations to be made.
They were basically just stronger Demonic Emperors.
But that created a problem.
How was the Deep Sea Sorrow able to differentiate between Demonic Emperors and Sovereigns?
For an inanimate object to make this kind of determination meant that there was definitely some kind of rule that it had to apply.
For instance, Su Chen was in the Spirit Burning Realm, while Li Chongshan was in the Thought Manifestation Realm. Determining the difference between the two was very easy, because Thought Manifestation Realm cultivators had opened their Yin-Yangs, giving them an endless supply of energy. The Deep Sea Sorrow would be able to easily identify such differences.
However, Demonic Emperors and Beast Sovereigns were intrinsically identical. So how did the Deep Sea Sorrow figure out the difference?
Historically, only Beast Sovereigns had attacked the Oceanids.
The Oceanids were easily able to discern this based on the fact that these Sovereigns could fight against their own Ultimate Emperor Realm cultivators.
But inanimate objects weren’t able to make these kinds of analysis. So what was its criteria?
And how could it determine the ages of the Sovereigns?
This was the first thing that Su Chen wanted to determine.
If he was able to discover this principle, he would be able to interfere with the Deep Sea Sorrow’s commands in the future. For instance, if he were to release some kind of substance to influence the Beasts in the Abyss and make it so that the Deep Sea Sorrow thought all of the Sea Beasts were young Sovereigns, they would be confined there for eternity with no way of leaving.
This was one way that he would be able to accomplish his mission of destroying Deep Sea Sorrow.
There were many different ways for him to accomplish his mission. Before he did so, no one would know which one was the path to success.
So he needed to try each one.
And to figure out which path was right, he needed to better understand the creatures living in the abyss.
Following Su Chen’s command, Iron Cliff pulled out a vial and poured out a large handful of scarlet pills, stuffing them into the Iron-Shelled Dragon’s body.
Su Chen had managed to develop these pills many years ago. Even though the plan was only being put into motion now, he had begun to prepare for it at least five years ago.
The red pills began to dissolve within the Iron-Shelled Dragon’s body, causing it to howl with unwillingness.
Waves of energy began to emanate from its powerful body, but the Boundless Sect’s disciples were able to keep it suppressed.
As it thrashed about in pain, the Iron-Shelled Dragon’s body began to transform. Its blood began to emanate an aura of power, and the air around it grew noticeably more turbulent. Strange Origin Energy flows began to appear within the research station.
Su Chen didn’t seem surprised by this at all. All he said was, “Lower the power of the Origin Formation by twenty percent.”
The Origin Formation’s power was weakened, and the excess energy was used to constantly supply it with energy rather than suppress it.
This was to help it along in its growth process.
From Demonic Emperor to Sovereign.
Ascension without any actual ascension!
Su Chen activated his microscopic eye to its greatest extent, observing the process by which the medicine was accelerating the growth of the Iron-Shelled Dragon.
In order to ensure his ability to observe the Iron-Shelled Dragon’s condition, he continued to constantly make cuts on its body.
This unfortunate Iron-Shelled Dragon was, on the one hand, receiving a constant supply of energy while, on the other hand constantly being wounded. This made it quite difficult for it to grow stronger, and the consumption of its latent potential was extremely great.
But this was the only way that Su Chen would be able to closely monitor the developments taking place in the Iron-Shelled Dragon’s body.
Fresh blood continued to flow out of the Iron-Shelled Dragon’s body as its blood bubbled and roiled due to the stimulating effects of the medicine.
Then, Su Chen discovered that the Iron-Shelled Dragon’s aura suddenly changed!
It was completely different from before!