Chapter 38: The Secret of the Abyss
Following Su Chen’s command, all of the soldiers simultaneously began to retreat back to the vortex.
Origin Qi Scholars shot out of the turbulent waters of the sea and onto boats that had been waiting for them to return one after another.
There were no greetings or conversations. As soon as a boat was full, it would immediately leave without delay.
Not long after all the boats left the Abyss, Sovereigns also began to emerge from the vortex.
However, this wasn’t a problem for the Boundless Sect.
History repeated itself once again — the Boundless Sect’s cultivators’ unified might blocked the exit of the Abyss and prevented the Sovereigns inside from emerging. Only when the boats were long gone did they unleash a final restrictive net of Origin Energy before retreating.
These immensely powerful Sovereigns could only howl angrily at their enemies as they watched them fly away.
Even so, no amount of anger was going to do anything.
The Boundless Sect had used this method two years ago to handle them, and the same tactic was still effective two years later.
And the Boundless Sect had even gotten stronger in the past two years as well.
The Boundless Sect had gained a few more bloodline-less Spirit Burning Realm cultivators and even more Light Shaking Realm cultivators.
A total of fifty thousand Boundless Sect disciples had come on this expedition. If there were twelve thousand Light Shaking Realm cultivators among them, then that meant that there were thirty-eight thousand who were not at that realm.
These people were training to reach the Light Shaking Realm, and would also begin to break through as time had passed.
During this two year period, nearly two thousand of these disciples had stepped into the Light Shaking Realm, brining the total number to fourteen thousand Light Shaking Realm cultivators.
Zhong Zhenjun and the others were amazed by the sheer number of Light Shaking Realm cultivators as well as the rate at which they appeared.
Unfortunately, Su Chen had made his stance quite clear — with the agreement he had with the nobles in place, the only way to cultivate the fourth level of the Flying Immortal Cultivation Techniques was to join the Boundless Sect.
Apparently, there were quite a few members of the Blackwater Corps who had secretly contacted the Boundless Sect and asked to join. If it weren’t for the Boundless Sect giving their allies face, then they probably would have already poached all of the Blackwater Corps and Subdued Sea Branch’s members.
In any case, the Boundless Sect’s strength had dramatically risen in the past two years. When their additional experience in dealing with Sovereigns was factored in, then it was obvious why locking down the exit to the Abyss was a piece of cake to them.
Even though the escape had gone off without a hitch, everyone heaved a collective sigh of relief when they successfully left the Abyss’ territory.
Even though their trip to the Abyss felt as if danger existed behind every turn, it had actually been relatively uneventful. Everything had gone as Su Chen had predicted.
This was not very strange. After all, success was built upon this uneventfulness.
If every one of their expeditions was filled with danger and a constant stream of unexpected situations, then failure was almost an inevitability.
Because truly successful plans were meant to be executed without many complications.
Even so, the soldiers were filled with excitement.
“We did it! We made it back from the Abyss alive!” someone laughed loudly.
Regardless of what had happened, they had made it out of the Abyss alive.
This achievement alone was worthy of praise.
“Yes, and we even managed to kill a Sovereign! Hey, do you think that if we do this a couple more times that we’ll kill off all the Sovereigns within the Abyss?” someone asked ambitiously.
“Forget about it. How could we get that lucky every time? Did you not see the Sect Master and his wife put their lives on the line to buy us time? Do you want them to do that for us every day?”
When they realized that that ambition was nothing more than an empty dream, everyone couldn’t help but sigh.
“But I’m afraid that this situation is only going to become more and more common,” one of the Boundless Sect’s disciples said.
Hm? What was that supposed to mean?
The disciple continued to explain, saying, “If we want to nullify the Deep Sea Sorrow, then this single experience is not going to be enough. Our battle with the Abyss is going to be a long one fraught with repeated encounters and battles. Actually, them eventually fighting back is almost guaranteed. I believe that one day, we will definitely get to slaughter Sovereigns again!”
When everyone heard this, they silently fell deep into thought.
Now that they were no longer in the stimulating environment of the battlefield, their sense of caution and prudence had returned.
The sails of the boats rippled with the wind.
Forever Clear Island gradually began to come into view.
However, the soldiers didn’t appear excited to return home at all. Instead, their expressions had become quite serious and heavy.
Because they had realized that this was not the end of the battle, but rather just the beginning.
Indeed, in the coming days, the fleet would go on an expedition to the Abyss every so often.
Most of the time, they would retreat soon after entering and wouldn’t remain there for long, let alone venture deeper in.
The only ones who probed deeper into the Abyss were Su Chen and Gu Qingluo.
To Su Chen, the fleet’s main mission was to hold their position around the vortex and stop Sovereigns from approaching when necessary. The rest of the objectives, however, depended solely on himself and Gu Qingluo. As a result, the fleet felt as if Su Chen’s actions were shrouded in mystery.
However, research was in and of itself a profound and mysterious matter.
All the soldiers could do was hope that Su Chen’s research proceeded as smoothly as possible.
“This really is hard to imagine.”
Within the palace’s research laboratory, Su Chen was staring at a large jar. Inside the jar was water that he had collected from the Abyss, along with a few normal fish.
Light flowed across Su Chen’s eyes as he observed a microscopic particle floating in the water in the jar.
It was a strange kind of Origin Substance. Under normal circumstances, it would be completely inert.
But if any lifeforms got close to it, then the Origin Substance would rapidly infiltrate the lifeform’s body. Su Chen watched as the bodies of the fish began to transform.
These changes occurred relatively slowly and, at the beginning, only on a very small scale. Su Chen had had a hard time noticing it at first.
If it weren’t for the fact that the fish had doubled in size after only three days, he wouldn’t have devoted so much energy to observing the tank. Now, however, he was obsessed with discovering the properties of this Origin Substance.
However, there was a problem — Su Chen’s microscopic eye could observe what was taking place in the water, but not what was taking place within the bodies of the fish themselves.
As such, he could only surmise that this strange Origin Substance was responsible for the changes taking place in the fishes’ bodies, but he had no idea why or how these changes were taking place.
This required him to slowly take his time in observing these fish.
More importantly, these microscopic Origin Substance particles would begin to degrade shortly after leaving the Abyss, which forced Su Chen to constantly return there to collect seawater — even though his intentions were obviously not to just collect seawater.
“Regardless, this microscopic substance should be the true culprit that’s accelerating the growth of these creatures,” Lin Zuiliu said. “As long as you figure out a way to destroy those substances, you should be able to stop the creatures living in the Abyss from growing faster than normal.”
Su Chen, however, shook his head. “That’s not my goal.”
Lin Zuiliu was taken aback. “Aren’t you here precisely because you want to solve the issue of the Deep Sea Sorrow for the Oceanids?”
Su Chen smiled. “Of course, but that doesn’t mean that I necessarily have to go down the path you just described.”
Lin Zuiliu didn’t understand.
In a speculative tone, Su Chen said, “Have you ever wondered whether these substances could be useful on humans?”
“On humans?” Lin Zuiliu was momentarily taken aback before his expression turned to one of shock. “You want to use these on humans?”
“An Origin Substance that can accelerate the growth process…… If used under the appropriate circumstances, it’s possible that we humans will not need to cultivate nearly as bitterly in the future,” Su Chen expounded calmly.
Lin Zuiliu found himself tongue-tied by Su Chen’s ambition and didn’t know what to say.
Actually, he wasn’t really a qualified “researcher” because he lacked the fundamental thought process necessary to perform science.
Su Chen, of course, was different.
Long before he had even discovered what the function of the Deep Sea Sorrow was, he had considered the possibility of using the Deep Sea Sorrow’s technology to aid the human race.
Even though Deep Sea Sorrow did consume one’s latent potential, no one would care once they reached the level of a Sovereign. And who could say whether even this drawback could be resolved by further research?
If the ability of the Deep Sea Sorrow could be extended to affect humans, then it would have a colossal impact on the human race as a whole.
As such, Su Chen had held onto this idea from the very beginning.
As for a way to deal with the Deep Sea Sorrow?
A solution had been revealed the moment the microscopic Origin Substance had been isolated.
It would be enough to just find a way to destroy this Origin Substance.
And would it be hard to find a way to destroy this Origin Substance?
Not at all!
It had already been said that this kind of Origin Substance would break down by itself once it was brought out of the Abyss.
This meant that this Origin Substance’s existence depended on some extremely heavy restrictions. By applying the right compound in the right places, it would be easy to counteract the Deep Sea Sorrow’s influence.
Yes. Now that the secret behind the Sea Beasts’ accelerated growth had been discovered, Su Chen’s research had moved into the express lane. Perhaps not long after, it would be completely finished.
However, Su Chen’s plan would complicate things for some time.
After all, destroying and reappropriating were two completely separate matters.
Lin Zuiliu was quite surprised by Su Chen’s ambition. “You want to use something designed for Sea Beasts on a human? I don’t know what to say anymore, Su Chen.”
Su Chen, however, replied, “It’s entirely possible that this thing was originally designed to be used on someone from the very beginning.”
Lin Zuiliu was taken aback by this possibility.
Su Chen said, “Patelocke, why don’t you explain.”
Patelocke’s voice immediately filled the room. “There were many different ambitious ideas that came about during the Arcana Kingdom’s age. They included immortality, strengthening one’s physical body, memory transfer, lifeform control, and many more. And one of these ideas was life-form evolution.”
Patelocke wasn’t actually in the research lab; his soul was still in Liaoye Country with the Zhu Clan. Since he was the only one capable of communicating over an unlimited distance, leaving him in human territory made it easier to spread and collect information.
In any case, it didn’t matter where Patelocke was because he could communicate with Su Chen from anywhere.
Lin Zuiliu had talked with Patelocke before, so he wasn’t surprised by Patelocke’s sudden voice. However, Patelocke’s words did surprise him. “Are you saying that the Arcana Kingdom was in fact able to realize that idea?”
Patelocke patiently explained, “An existence such as this Origin Substance, which cannot survive in the outside world and is only present in the Abyss, cannot be of natural origins. It’s extremely likely that someone artificially synthesized it. As far as I’m aware, a few of the Arcana Kingdom’s Arcana Masters specialized in this kind of research in the past, and they hoped to progress in the field of life-form evolution. Apparently, they achieved some success. It would have been nearly impossible for just Corniga alone to develop such an incredible machine as the Deep Sea Sorrow. But if he was able to stand on the shoulders of others before him and improve off of their work, then success would not be outside the realm of possibility.”
“Most likely, the Arcana Kingdom developed an evolutionary advancement technology that ended up being a failure,” Su Chen said. “And what we need to do is return it to its original state so that it becomes a success again.”