This mountain was actually physically present. It appeared to be covered in verdant foliage and flowing streams, with clouds circling near its peak. There were even some majestic-looking birds flying around nearby.
A waterfall thundered off the side of a cliff.
The scene was very picturesque, but it was also quite strange.
After all, the Abyss never rained. They were in an isolated area of space, and there was no need for rain or snow to refill any lost water.
If there was no rain or snow, where did the waterfall come from?
Even so, it was truly there. Water flowed down its side without end.
A few black shadows could be seen floating just underneath the surface of the waters around the mountain.
It wasn’t obvious from the air, but Su Chen could sense that those Sea Beasts were all Sovereigns based on his Origin Energy perception.
These Sovereigns were circling around the mountain, guarding it.
“This is where the Deep Sea Sorrow is located? Then where is it exactly?” Gu Qingluo asked.
“At the top,” Su Chen said as he pointed at the mountain with his chin.
Gu Qingluo was momentarily taken aback. “You mean......”
“On top of the waterfall. Or, you could say that it is the source of the waterfall in the first place.”
Even though he couldn’t see it with his own eyes, Su Chen was confident that this was the case.
This was the recognition of a great master’s work by another great master, just like two powerful martial artists sparring and exchanging blows.
This kind of understanding was bone-deep and manifested by way of intuition.
As a top-tier scholar of the science of cultivation, Su Chen had the ability to understand and perceive the composition of this world. For just a moment, Su Chen almost felt as if he had gone back in time, watching how Corniga had orchestrated all of this.
He had come to this place and built this mountain, creating a closed circuit for the isolated space.
That waterfall was the source of everything!
More specifically, it wasn’t a waterfall - it was a spring of vitality flowing out of the Deep Sea Sorrow.
Its flowing never ceased, and as the Deep Sea Sorrow’s waters mixed with the sea water, the Sea Beasts would begin to grow at a rapid pace.
As such, this waterfall was the source of life for these Sovereigns.
And the Deep Sea Sorrow was the source of this source.
“So what are we waiting for? Let’s go and destroy it now!” Gu Qingluo was obviously excited.
“Don’t be in such a rush,” Su Chen said as he grabbed Gu Qingluo’s hand.
Those Sovereigns below weren’t just there for decoration. It appeared there was at least a dozen of them down there.
This was probably the last line of defense that Corniga had left in place for the Deep Sea Sorrow. They were most likely under its control and wouldn’t leave easily.
Even though the battle taking place at the entrance to the Abyss was fierce, to the point that the energy fluctuations could be felt even here, the Sovereigns near the mountain appeared completely indifferent.
“I will unleash the power of my Shining Dragon Bloodline to stun them, and you can take advantage of the opportunity to destroy the Deep Sea Sorrow. What is there to be afraid of?” Gu Qingluo said somewhat disdainfully.
Her strength had increased yet again during the past few years, and Su Chen had prepared quite a few trump cards for her as well, all with the goal of using them to deal with these Sovereigns. As such, she was extremely confident.
Su Chen, however, calmly replied, “The more this is the case, the more careful we should be. First of all, the Sovereigns standing guard here are definitely the most powerful ones. What if your Shining Dragon Bloodline isn’t able to suppress them? Second of all, none of us have even seen the Deep Sea Sorrow before, so we have no idea if there are any protective Origin Formations nearby. In addition, even if we can find it and it is not being protected by and Origin Formation, will it be so easy to destroy? What if it’s made out of an incredibly sturdy material? What would we do then?”
Gu Qingluo pouted. “Fine. You always think things through so carefully, so what do you think we should do?”
Su Chen chuckled. “Of course we should cheat!”
As he spoke, he pulled out the Origin Bone Scepter.
Gu Qingluo thought that Su Chen already had a plan in mind, but it turned out that he was going to use the Origin Bone Scepter to resolve the issue. A smile of amusement appeared unbidden on her face.
However, upon further consideration, she realized that there was no need to come up with an awe-inspiring plan when you could cheat, not to mention that the situation didn’t really allow for an awe-inspiring plan in the first place.
Apart from Su Chen and Gu Qingluo, there was no one else near the mountain. This meant that the Origin Bone Scepter’s predictions could be made much more easily. As long as Su Chen didn’t make any predictions about himself, only about the Deep Sea Sorrow, the cost would be exceptionally low.
But weren’t there Sovereigns present as well?
Yes, there were, and if these Sovereigns were factored into the prediction, the cost would definitely be high.
But the issue was that there were only Sovereigns around.
According to the Origin Bone Scepter’s prediction rules, if the prediction target was worth more than the actual sacrifice offered, the prediction would fail.
As such, Su Chen would basically only need to offer a common sacrifice and ask a question, and success or failure would be an answer in and of itself.
If he succeeded, the outcome would be pretty self-explanatory.
If he failed, that meant the Sovereigns would get involved. In other words, that path was not a tenable one.
Getting no answer was an answer in and of itself.
Su Chen began with an extremely simple prediction: trying to determine whether he could just fly to the peak of the mountain and retrieve the Deep Sea Sorrow. As expected, he failed.
This meant that the Sovereigns would get involved.
Su Chen didn’t appear to care all that much. Instead, he made a prediction about what would happen to him and Gu Qingluo after an hour.
The prediction failed yet again, implying that the Sovereigns would chase after them. The Origin Bone Scepter was unable to make a prediction as a result.
For the Sovereigns that wouldn’t easily leave the mountain to chase after him meant that it was very likely that he had taken the Deep Sea Sorrow with him. There was also a remote possibility that there were simply too many variables for the Origin Bone Scepter to account for.
Su Chen continued his predictions, this time choosing to pick a different direction.
Simply put, he wanted to see if there was a way to accomplish his goal without startling the Sovereigns.
The third time, he made a prediction about Whitetower Teleportation.
The range of this skill was very far. At this point, Su Chen could leap ten thousand feet at once - the pinnacle of range that an Intelligent Race member could achieve in the first place. Unfortunately, the Sovereigns had an extremely sizable patrol range, and a few of the larger Sovereigns were thousands of feet in size in the first place. There was no way Whitetower Teleportation would succeed.
Light Shaking Phantom would get him fr enough, but he needed to first send one of his clones out.
Su Chen chose that as his fourth prediction but failed yet again.
The fifth time, Su Chen predicted that he would invent a concealment medicine, but he failed.
The sixth time, Su Chen asked what would happen if he went off to distract the Sovereigns while Gu Qingluo took advantage of the opportunity to take it.
Su Chen tried many different ideas, but all of them failed.
The rate at which the Origin Bone Scepter was consuming Su Chen’s sacrifices was mercilessly informing him that it was impossible for him to get close to the Deep Sea Sorrow without alerting the Sovereigns.
“It seems like we can only do things by force.” Gu Qingluo leapt to her feet, already prepared to do battle.
“No, I still have one idea,” Su Chen said.
“What is it?”
Su Chen gestured, and a Catastrophe Bug appeared in his hand.
“We’ll send it.”
Even though the Catastrophe Bugs were powerful, they relied on sheer numbers to overwhelm their enemies.
A single Catastrophe Bug was far less threatening, and probably wouldn’t be noticed by the Sovereigns.
The sacrifice began to disappear from the altar.
This time, an image finally appeared.
A Catastrophe Bug flitted around in the image like a bee. Eventually, it landed at the top of the waterfall.
Su Chen and Gu Qingluo saw a giant statue standing at the top of the peak, opening its mouth wide.
The waterfall was coming out of that mouth.
The Catastrophe Bug attempted to enter the statue’s mouth, but a moment later, a white streak of light suddenly shot out of the statue’s eyes, slamming into the Catastrophe Bug.
The Catastrophe Bug, which had withstood the attacks of a few Sovereigns at this point, was instantly incinerated.
The image disappeared.
Su Chen and Gu Qingluo both fell into a stunned silence.
“So there are defenses in place,” Gu Qingluo said.
What was that white light? It appeared to be common, but its actual power was quite threatening.
“Well, at least we’ve found a way to sneak in without startling the Sovereigns,” Su Chen said, maintaining his composure.
If a Catastrophe Bug wouldn’t attract the notice of a Sovereign, then the situation would be much easier to resolve.
Su Chen pulled out a vial of his blood and applied a temporary stasis measure to it before allowing the Catastrophe Bug to fly away. Once the Catastrophe Bug arrived at the source of the waterfall, the blood would turn into a clone, allowing Su Chen to use Light Shaking Phantom.
As for how he would leave, that was even simpler. He could just leave behind a clone here.
Actually, Su Chen had even left a clone at the entrance to the Abyss.
“You need to be careful,” Gu Qingluo clutched at his hand as she said with affectionate concern.
“Don’t worry. Just wait here for my good news,” Su Chen said.
A clone appeared. Because Su Chen’s consciousness was connected to it, he could remain in contact with Gu Qingluo.
The Catastrophe Bug flew off with Su CHen’s blood. Very quickly, it arrived yet again near the statue.
This time, however, instead of attempting to enter the statue’s mouth, it let the drop of blood fall.
The moment that the blood droplet fell to the ground, a clone appeared. An instant later, the space around the clone rippled faintly as the real body substituted for the place of the fake one.
Su Chen had easily jumped the gap, and appeared in front of the statue.
Because of how close the two clones were, he hadn’t expended much energy to make this jump.
First, he used a concealment technique to cover up his aura, doing his best not to startle those Sovereigns. Then, he stowed away the Catastrophe Bug before beginning to carefully inspect the statue.
The statue was roughly three hundred feet tall and stood erect on the mountain peak.
The Origin Bone Scepter’s prediction hadn’t lasted long enough for Su Chen to get a clear look. Now that he was able to, however, he couldn’t help but feel slightly taken aback.
Because the face of this statue was not actually an Arcanist’s face.
Arcanists were proportionally short by birth, so the actual height of the statue wasn’t so important. However, the statue’s limbs were slender and lithe, and its pointed ears and faint green skin clearly indicated that the statue was not of an Arcanist. Actually, it bore some resemblance to the nearly extinct Dark Astrals.
Corniga was an Arcanist. The fact that he had not constructed the statue in the form of an Arcanist was confusing, to say the least.
However, Su Chen didn’t have time to ponder this question too much. He looked up at the giant mouth of the statue and began to fly into the air.
The Deep Sea Sorrow should be inside, so he would need to go inside if he wanted to take it with him.
There was no way that Su Chen would try to brute force his way inside given the white light he had seen in the Origin Bone Scepter’s prediction. Instead, he created another clone to see if the clone could sneak past the statue’s defenses.
Even though Su Chen wasn’t particularly proficient with Origin Formations, as an avid researcher, he was very clear that there needed to be a mechanism that activated that white light. As long as he didn’t trigger that mechanism, none of the defenses would do anything.
Su Chen didn’t know how that white light was activated, but it was very likely that any organism that tried to enter would be slain.
The clones were only formed from a drop of Su Chen’s blood, so its aura of vitality was virtually impossible to detect.
Unless the statue would use the white light to kill even mosquitoes, a clone most likely wouldn’t activate that particular mechanism.
The clones couldn’t deceive the Sovereigns because they had eyes, but the same didn’t necessarily go for a statue.
As he considered this, the clone entered the mouth of the statue. Indeed, no streak of white light attacked the clone.
An instant later, Su Chen himself materialized within the mouth of the statue.