Chapter 35: Two Years
Upon entering the sea of knowledge, the defenses surrounding Shang Li’s consciousness immediately collapsed.
A cloud of black fog hung over Shang Li’s sea of knowledge, refusing to dissipate. A voice howled out from the cloud, “Don’t even think about saving him! Apart from death, no one can take him away from me. Hahahaha!”
This laugh was fearsome and tinged with insanity.
“Save him? That’s a dumb way of consoling yourself. I already told you that I will not insist on saving him…… I just want to study him a little more,” Su Chen said disdainfully.
“He is your subordinate!” the Astral said in anger and shock.
“That’s right. That’s why I will do my best to save him. But if I’m not strong enough, then I can only give up on him. Should I tear my clothes and weep on his behalf?” Su Chen countered.
“But you didn’t try your best at all.”
“How do you know I didn’t try my best? Do I need to put my life on the line or spend hours of time and energy for it to count as doing my best? Also, you’re the one who is harming him in the first place, not me. You think that I’m not doing enough to try and save him? How ridiculous and ironic!” Su Chen laughed scornfully.
Even though the Astral was the one doing all these things to Shang Li, he somehow still had the face to criticize Su Chen.
Even so, this was reality. To the Astral, the more Su Chen valued Shang Li and his own ethical duties, the more opportunities the Astral would have.
Su Chen had realized that there was nothing he could do, so he had stopped. The Astral, on the other hand, was disappointed that Su Chen hadn’t insisted on forging on, and had even begun to criticize Su Chen for his behavior.
This was quite comical and absurd, but it was also the truth.
Su Chen didn’t care about how his opponent felt at all.
Just as he had said, he would do his best to save Shang Li, but if he couldn’t he could only give up on them. In the grand scheme of things, Shang Li was not that important, and Su Chen had no intention of stubbornly proceeding down the wrong path for the sake of one man’s life. Instead, his intention was to size up the situation carefully and act accordingly.
Shang Li’s sea of knowledge was already completely occupied by the Astral, it was going to be too hard to save him.
Su Chen had given up on trying to save Shang Li. He had only entered Shang Li’s sea of knowledge to observe and gather data.
The black fog was hanging over Shang Li’s sea of knowledge, and the Astral’s will had completely permeated every nook and cranny of Shang Li’s consciousness. He was entirely capable of summoning countless creatures to attack Su Chen, but there was no point. Su Chen didn’t fear him, and he couldn’t kill him either, so fighting was a complete waste of time. As such, the Astral will could only pointlessly clamor.
As the Astral will yelled, however, Su Chen was continuing his research. He couldn’t use his microscopic eye, but his consciousness crystal was fully activated as he rapidly analyzed all of the information available to him.
“What kind of sage are you? You’re more like a hypocrite.” The Astral was still complaining, attempting to distract Su Chen, but he had no idea that its actions were completely meaningless against Su Chen.
Su Chen smiled. “I am called a sage not because of my morality but because of the contributions I have made towards the human race.”
“Is that so? Then why don’t you show me what you are currently researching?”
Su Chen replied meaningfully, “I am trying to remember your scent and get a feel for your consciousness pulse.”
“What?” The Astral was stunned.
Su Chen tilted his head up to look at the sea of knowledge in front of his eyes. “You have already completely corrupted this place, but even though I cannot drive you out completely, I have remembered your strength, your consciousness’s unique fluctuations, your aura, etc…… Astral, what is your name? Actually, there are two of you, aren’t there?”
The Astral didn’t say anything.
Su Chen chuckled. “It’s okay if you don’t say anything. Now that I’ve remembered you, you won’t be able to run…… I will catch you very soon.”
An instant later, Su Chen’s figure flickered as he disappeared from Shang Li’s consciousness.
He had returned!
Just like that.
Within the research lab, Su Chen’s body jolted as his eyes regained their spirit. His will had returned to his body.
He smacked Shang Li on the chest, knocking him unconscious.
Su Chen walked out of the research lab.
The nearby Boundless Sect disciples bowed in greeting when they saw him appear. “Sect Master!”
“Gather the entire fleet, now!” Su Chen said.
The disciples were stunned. Were they about to go into battle? However, they still quickly scurried off to fulfill their Sect Master’s orders.
The conch shell signal was blown once again.
The fleet began to gather together.
No one knew why Su Chen had suddenly gathered everyone together, but since Su Chen had given the command, the most important task at hand was to obey.
All of the fleet’s ships simultaneously departed from the port. The soldiers stood on the surfaces of the boat in an orderly fashion. At this point, the fleet was like a well-oiled machine, and the process of gathering them together was smooth and painless.
Li Chongshan and the others flew over and asked Su Chen, “What’s happened?”
Su Chen, however, raised a finger and shushed them as he flew towards the first boat.
The soldiers stood at attention on the surface of the boat. Su Chen walked past them one by one, as if he were a drill sergeant examining his troops.
“What happened?” Zhong Zhenjun came over to ask.
Su Chen didn’t reply. Instead, after he finished inspecting that boat, he flew directly to the next one and continued his inspection, as if inspecting the troops. Not a single one of them escaped his notice.
Zhong Zhenjun was beginning to grow impatient and was just about to ask what was going on when Su Chen suddenly stopped in front of one of the soldiers. He looked him over, then said, “He is a puppet being controlled by the Astrals. Hurry and captured him.”
Everyone was stunned.
The soldier flew into the air and was about to attack when Gu Qingluo coughed gently. The soldier suddenly froze in midair as if he had suddenly been paralyzed. A moment later, a few more soldiers flew into the air, tied him up, and dragged him off.
There was no need to explain any further. The soldier’s actions alone were more than enough to demonstrate what had happened.
Everyone immediately realized what Su Chen was doing.
Ji Hanyan asked, “Su Chen, you can figure out which people are puppets being controlled by the Astrals? How are you doing it?”
“I smelled him,” Su Chen replied.
Everyone was stunned.
Su Chen flew back into the air, heading for the next boat - there was no need to continue inspecting this one, since the Astrals could only control so many puppets at once and would definitely not place more than one puppet on a boat.
In what seemed like the blink of an eye, Su Chen was able to find ten or so puppets being controlled by the Astrals, including humans and Oceanids.
The Astrals had concealed themselves quite well, but the unique aura of an Astral was still detectable by Su Chen.
Su Chen had memorized the consciousness fluctuations of those Astrals, allowing him to discover the puppets that he had taken control of. Not a single one was able to escape Su Chen’s notice.
The spies that the Astral had planted so carefully were so quickly uprooted that even he spat out a mouthful of blood. All he could do was sit angrily in the darkness and swear that he was going to take his revenge.
However, before he could do so, the threat coming from Su Chen was growing closer and closer - after finding the puppets, Su Chen began to search the entire island. Clearly, he was not going to be satisfied until he managed to catch that Astral.
The Astral knew that his situation wasn’t looking so good, so he could only grit his teeth and activate his secret escape technique.
By the time Su Chen discovered the secret room on the island, all he found was the mess left behind by the Astral.
“He ran,” Su Chen said with a gloomy expression.
“It’s my fault for letting an Astral sneak his way onto the island without us detecting it!” Lin Shaoxuan said as he knelt on the ground.
He was responsible for managing the security of the Forever Clear Island, so this oversight was indeed part of his responsibility.
Su Chen, however, replied calmly, “This is not exactly your fault. The Astrals are incredibly skilled at hiding in the darkness and scheming. Their perception is strong, and their consciousness techniques are unpredictable. It’s not surprising that we weren’t able to catch them this time given how good they are at running and hiding. But after this experience, we need to find a way to defend ourselves against further infiltration. At the very least, we need to make sure we know if he shows up again.”
“Yes, sir!” Lin Shaoxuan replied loudly.
Su Chen turned around and left.
The situation with the Astrals was resolved as a result.
Even though Su Chen wasn’t able to apprehend the mastermind of the whole situation, he was at least able to stop the issue from growing more serious.
Unfortunately, Su Chen wasn’t able to save any of the puppets controlled by the Astrals. As such, he could only use them to their greatest value as research subjects.
One benefit of this was that Su Chen’s understanding of consciousness had greatly improved.
Based on his understanding, Su Chen was able to develop a technique that specifically targeted the Astrals. The technique would allow him to detect the presence of any Astrals nearby. This would make it much more difficult for the Astrals to sneak up and control more soldiers from the shadows.
Su Chen named this technique Astral Search, since it was exclusively meant to be used to find any Astrals in the area.
Of course, this was merely one of many side branches that Su Chen was researching.
Su Chen was still spending most of his time researching bloodline mixture.
Not the Deep Sea Sorrow.
Successfully mixing bloodlines was the prerequisite to Su Chen starting his research on the Deep Sea Sorrow in the first place - only Gu Qingluo’s Shining Dragon Bloodline could suppress a Sovereign. And only by suppressing the Sovereigns would he be able to enter the Abyss and gain a better understanding of what exactly the Deep Sea Sorrow did.
All of these things were closely linked. Only by resolving one issue would he be able to begin working on the next.
Lin Zuiliu’s arrival had given Su Chen a spark of inspiration, and it had also catalyzed his bloodline mixture research.
But even with Lin Zuiliu and the Origin Bone Scepter, Su Chen took two full years to make a significant breakthrough.
On that day, a blinding, powerful light suddenly shone from the palace.
The piercing, brilliant light shot high into the sky.
“Success! Success! I’ve finally succeeded!”
An insane laugh echoed throughout the island as Lin Zuiliu’s figure shot into the sky. He danced like a child, holding a vial of something in his hand.
“What succeeded?” everyone whispered amongst themselves when they saw his giddy behavior.
Su Chen calmly walked out behind him and said, “What else could make the King of Chaos this happy?”
Zhong Zhenjun squinted his eyes. “Bloodline mixture? So he actually pulled it off?”
“He did it a long time ago, actually, but couldn’t find an appropriate vector for the longest time. It turns out that cultivators using the Flying Immortal Cultivation Techniques are extremely suitable heirs of these bloodline mixtures,” Su Chen replied.
“It doesn’t sound like it would be that hard,” Frostpoint replied.
“That’s because we also did some other experiments,” Su Chen said.
“What did you guys do?” everyone asked.
“Naturally, we tried to further improve Qingluo’s strength,” Su Chen calmly replied. “Our goal was to allow Qingluo to unleash power equivalent to a bloodline purity of sixty percent.”
Sixty percent purity!
Everyone felt their hearts tremble violently.
Forty percent was already enough for Gu Qingluo to throw an entire Sea Beast Wave into disarray. What would sixty percent look like?
Suppressing even Sovereigns?
That was their goal in the first place.
“So did you succeed?” everyone asked.
“Yes, we did!” Su Chen nodded confidently.
Then, he cracked a smile and said, “So our next course of action is to barge right into the Abyss.”