Chapter 5: Net
After Origin Energy Talismans was Alchemy, followed by Absorption Technique Tutorials, Origin Energy Elements, Herbology, etc.
Su Chen had already decided to pursue the path of an alchemist, so he began to furiously study accordingly.
He attended a large number of classes every day, absorbing information like a dry sponge in water. When it was nighttime, he would return to his dormitory, cultivating his Origin Skills and learning more about Ancient Arcana Techniques.
The Hidden Dragon Institute had a lot of literature on Ancient Arcana Techniques, but there was no class offered for it, and the amount of information they possessed was pitiful. This was not particularly surprising. After all, old techniques that were no longer of any use weren’t viewed with much importance.
Even if he couldn’t finish all his assignments, Su Chen still had to conduct a lot of experiments.
He performed experiments on medicines, bloodlines, and using the Brooke Formula to generate a novel Origin Skill.
To give himself more time, Su Chen even gave up on cultivating during the day.
This tactic made it so that Su Chen’s cultivation base stagnated, but he didn’t care at all.
With his eye’s ability to see Origin Energy, he could catch back up by killing wild Vicious Beasts. The precious information he was surrounded with was much more important to him.
Su Chen’s first three months in the Hidden Dragon Institute passed by quietly as he furiously and diligently studied.
This period of time was both his busiest and most enriching. He submerged himself in his studies, cultivation, and experiments. His life seemed simple and dull, but he was filled with happiness.
This excitement came from the large amount of precious knowledge he learned, which in turn augmented and increased his own strength.
Today was just like any other day. After finishing his classes, Su Chen returned to his room. As part of his research, he began to infer information from the Brooke Formula.
He was essentially using the Brooke Formula to calculate how to combine Origin Energy Talisman fragments.
The Brooke Formula was incredibly powerful, but it was not invincible. It was impossible to use this formula to form any Origin Skill he wanted. In reality, it was more like a calculator, allowing people to rapidly calculate the possible reactions and effects from combining different Origin Energy Talisman fragments.
With the assistance of this calculator, but without an appropriate example, he needed to complete countless complicated tests to create an Origin Skill.
After two months of hard work, Su Chen finally discovered a small light at the end of the tunnel by inferring information from the Brooke Formula.
His fingers moved rapidly, as if he were plucking formless zither strings. Streaks of red shot out from his hands, carrying with them a searing heat. They formed a giant net of fire in midair.
He pulled out a piece of pure gold and tossed it into the fire net. The pure gold passed through the net as if it did not exist.
Right after it passed through, the gold split apart into numerous small chunks before falling to the ground. Each piece was slightly melted around the edges.
The fire net shook before disappearing completely.
“Is this the new Origin Skill you created using the Heavenly Zither Hands?” a voice rang out behind him.
Su Chen jumped into the air. He turned around and found Ji Hanyan standing in his room.
“How did you get in?” Su Chen’s eyes shot open wide in shock.
This was his personal room. There were restrictive spells placed by the institute, so how did this woman just barge in all on her own?
“Did you forget who my personal instructor is?” Ji Hanyan replied absentmindedly. She picked up the gold pieces from the ground, inspecting them closely.
Su Chen was quite exasperated.
It was pretty rare for people to abuse their power to the point she had. Who knew how her personal instructor could stand her.
Ji Hanyan said, “You’ve made a lot more progress than I expected. However, this doesn’t look much like the Erupting Firebird anymore, does it?”
“Yeah. In the end, the Heavenly Zither Hands is not the Flying Flower Hands. I tried a few times, but the results were not ideal…… They should all be considered failures. Afterwards, I thought to myself, If I’m not using the Flying Flower Hands anymore, why should I be so stubborn about getting the Erupting Firebird? The composition of Origin Skills is like love – compatibility is the most important. I tried to follow a different train of thought. I gave up completely on the Erupting Firebird, changing to the tactic of a net. Hopefully you don’t mind.”
Su Chen had been inspired to create the Inferno Net ever since his battle with Jin Ling’er. At the time, he was forced to repeatedly retreat, constantly using the Thunder Blade to create thunderous roars and ambush the enemies. Unfortunately, the Thunder Blade was still quite weak, and its capacity to injure was limited. If he used this Inferno Net instead, the opponent would be seeking death if they tried to charge at him head-on.
However, Ji Hanyan’s style of battle was overbearing and dominant. It was hard to say whether or not she would appreciate this technique, which was more applicable for defense.
Ji Hanyan said, “The reason why I enjoy attacking is because there isn’t anyone who has forced me to defend yet.”
“……” What an overbearing answer.
“But there are many individuals more powerful than I am in the Hidden Dragon Institute – at least for now. I like it a lot.” Ji Hanyan’s supplemental comment caused Su Chen to let out a sigh of relief.
He said, “That’s good. But right now this Inferno Net isn’t sturdy enough. I’m trying to figure out how to raise its stability. As it is right now, a single palm strike can break the skill apart, like you just saw. Because the threads are so thin, it’s hard to increase their durability.”
The thin strands forming the Inferno Net needed to be thin enough to preserve their razor-sharp cutting ability.
But on the other hand, if the strands were too thin, they would lack durability.
Sharpness and durability were the two opposite ends of a spectrum Su Chen was trying to simultaneously achieve. It was hard for him to find the perfect match.
Ji Hanyan lowered her head in thought upon understanding Su Chen’s conundrum. “Perhaps you can switch up your method.”
“What method should I use?”
“Make the net invisible.”
“Make the net invisible?” Su Chen was surprised, then revealed an excited expression. “That’s a good idea. Since I can’t raise its durability, I can go a different direction to make the skill effective, like invisibility. But in that case, I’ll need to add a new Origin Skill to it.
The phrase “the more, the better” absolutely did not apply to Origin Skills.
The more Origin Skills that were combined, the more complicated it would become. Not only would it require tons of man hours to calculate and experiment with, even its usage would become unnecessarily filled with small details. It would be hard to control and ineffective in a real battle.
The Inferno Net was already a combination of three different Origin Skills. Adding another one would make it too clumsy for use in combat.
“Why use fire?” Ji Hanyan asked.
“Hm?” Su Chen was caught off-guard. “That’s because……”
“Because you were trying to recreate the Erupting Firebird, right? But now we’re not focused on the Erupting Firebird anymore. This Origin Skill is completely unrelated to the Erupting Firebird, so why continue stubbornly using the fireball and Inferno Origin Energy Model as a basis? Or are those the only ones you know?”
Su Chen pondered on this question.
Ji Hanyan continued, “The purpose of the net is to obstruct and injure the opponent, so its qualities should include concealment and its power to injure. Although adding on the flames made it more likely to injure an opponent, this kind of limited improvement is not very useful at all. Why not try out a few different Origin Skills?”
Su Chen’s eyes lit up. “That’s right! If that’s the case, then things become much easier. Dammit, why didn’t I think of this earlier!”
Su Chen was extremely annoyed with himself.
The entire day, the two of them discussed new directions in which to take their Origin Skill, eventually deciding on one.
Throughout this process, Su Chen learned a valuable lesson – if he wanted to get something done well, it was important not only to have the right method but also the right direction. If he took a wrong turn, it didn’t matter how outstanding the method he had chosen was.
Ji Hanyan discovered that Su Chen really was a genius.
Combining different Origin Skills seemed simple, but it required an enormous amount of calculations and attention to detail. Some people could live their entire lives without creating one, yet this youth only required a few months to complete a prototype for an Origin Skill.
And he had done this while simultaneously taking a heavy courseload.
A new combination implicated countless new possibilities. Su Chen would need to perform an enormous amount of calculations to determine which Origin Skills were the most compatible.
This implied that he would need even more Origin Skills. This was where Ji Hanyan came into play.
Just like many investors, if they viewed the target of their investment favorably, they would often be willing to invest even more.
Ji Hanyan viewed Su Chen very favorably. It was just a few Origin Skills; they didn’t mean much to her.
That night, Ji Hanyan helped Su Chen find a giant pile of Origin Skills.
After filtering through a large number of them, Su Chen finally chose the Windedge Technique and the Light Bending Technique.
The Windedge Technique could give the strands in the net their desired sharpness, while the Light Bending Technique could grant it invisibility.
Most importantly, their Origin Energy Talisman and Origin Energy Pattern were compatible.
Everything was as Su Chen had said – combining Origin Skills was like love. Compatibility was everything.
Love existed between these three Origin Skills.