Chapter 109: Fata Morgana1
Iron Cliff was cultivating when Su Chen suddenly appeared, walking quickly towards him.
“Master.” Iron Cliff turned around to greet him.
Just as Su Chen was about to say something, the Origin Energy Tower suddenly trembled as if something had slammed into it.
Next, a loud, explosive yell sounded out. “Su Chen, you bastard, you killed my clan members and imprisoned my daughter. I’ve come to take your life!”
Soon, the entire tower began to rumble again from the people outside who were attacking the Origin Energy Tower. In an instant, the external defenses of the Origin Energy Tower were shattered.
Su Chen’s expression drastically changed. He said, “It’s the Zhu Clan members; they’ve found us. Let’s get out of here!”
As he spoke, he turned around and began to sprint towards the top of the tower with Iron Cliff following close behind.
After reaching the top of the tower, they found an Origin Formation glowing above them. Iron Cliff knew that it was the Origin Tower’s teleportation formation. By activating it, one could directly teleport thousands of kilometers away.
Just as Su Chen and Iron Cliff were about to enter the formation, a person came flying towards them with a tragic cry. It was Shi Kaihuang. His entire body was covered in blood, and his chest had caved in. Evidently, he wasn’t long for this world.
When Su Chen saw this, he turned around to catch Shi Kaihaung, but a person charged forwards from beneath them and slammed their palm into Su Chen’s body, causing blood to spurt forth from his body.
Su Chen gritted his teeth and grabbed onto the person as he turned around and yelled, “GO!”
He raised his hand and sent Iron Cliff flying into the formation.
“Master!” Iron Cliff yelled.
The formation flashed with white light, sending Iron Cliff out of the Origin Energy Tower. When he reappeared, he was standing in a desolate plain.
When Iron Cliff thought of how Su Chen and Shi Kaihuang had died, he felt his heart seize as he mountfully wailed. He felt that though the world was vast, he had no place to go.
While he was feeling perplexed at what to do, he suddenly saw a trading caravan headed in his direction. The person leading the caravan had a large beard. Upon seeing Iron Cliff and his powerful build, the large-bearded man asked him if he had any interest in joining the caravan as a guard.
Iron Cliff was depressed, and there was nowhere for him to go. Thus, he nodded his head in agreement.
After walking with the caravan for some time, they arrived at a desert and stopped to take a break.
They had just begun to make food when a signaling horn sounded off in the distance, a cloud of dust beginning to rise on the horizon.
Upon closer inspection, countless Ferocious Race soldiers were charging in their direction.
“This is behind the human race’s front lines. How can there be Ferocious Race soldiers here?” The members of the caravan began to yell.
Everyone began to howl in despair.
As he gazed at the oncoming Ferocious Race army, a desire to do battle suddenly surged in Iron Cliff’s heart.
His master had died, so what point was there in living on his own?
Since the enemies had invaded, he would oblige them in battle!
He howled and charged forwards, slamming his iron-like fists over and over into the enemy.
He didn’t know how long he fought for or how many soldiers he killed. Gradually, Iron Cliff began to feel the energy leaving his body.
A Ferocious Race soldier’s metal halberd pierced his chest. Iron Cliff finally toppled over.
The moment he fell, he watched as countless Ferocious Race soldiers trampled over his body as they continued to charge forwards. His vision began to fill with blood……
He closed his eyes.
Iron Cliff trembled as his eyes snapped open. He found himself still within the Origin Energy Tower.
Su Chen was standing in front of him with a slight smile.
Iron Cliff instinctively glanced at his surroundings.
“There’s no need to keep looking. It was just a dream. There was no caravan, no Ferocious Race army, and you are still alive,” Su Chen laughed.
“A dream?” Iron Cliff said in a daze. “What is going on? Master, I dreamed that you died?”
“I know. That was a Dreamrealm that I created. What do you think? Not bad, right? It seems like I was at least able to trick you,” Su Chen laughed.
Iron Cliff began to understand what had happened. “Is this the new Origin Skill that you mastered?”
“Mhm. I call it Fata Morgana. Fata Morgana is purely an illusion technique. It’s the result of combining the principles of the Slyheart Bloodline, Soul Eye, Soul-Fixation Technique, and my understanding of Zheng Bashan’s Soul Sinking condition. It causes people to fall into a world of dreams, unable to extricate themselves for some time. Do you know how long you were asleep for?”
Su Chen extended his index finger. “A stick of incense. The time it takes for exactly one stick of incense to burn.”
Iron Cliff’s jaw dropped.
He had been dreaming for the time it took for one stick of incense to burn?
“How can it be so long? Master, doesn’t this mean that your opponent will die more than a hundred times over if you use it in battle?” Iron Cliff grew excited.
This Origin Skill was too powerful.
“No Origin Skill is invincible,” Su Chen replied. “Although Fata Morgana lasts for a long time, it has its own limitations. First and foremost, it relies on constructing a world of dreams that the opponent cannot escape from by themselves. This implies that the target cannot be attacked while within the dream world. Otherwise, they will reawaken.”
“In other words, you only have one chance to attack?” Iron Cliff understood what he was implying.
“But even so, this is already extremely impressive. If you can take advantage of the opportunity and use it well, you might be able to kill someone with a single blow. With enough people, you can even surround your opponent and attack simultaneously, turning one attack into many.” Although the Cliff Race was simple and honest, they weren’t complete idiots. Iron Cliff had come up with a way to use Fata Morgana almost immediately.
Su Chen laughed, “That’s correct. Another point is that Fata Morgana’s effective time period is not set. A stick of incense is just how long it lasted for you. It might not be this long against other people.”
“Why is this?” Iron Cliff didn’t understand.
“Because I understand you,” Su Chen replied. “Fata Morgana is mainly comprised of two components – one component is the Origin Skill itself, while the other component is the need to construct a compelling world. Fata Morgana has no way of altering the memories of your target. In other words, the target will keep their earlier memories once they enter the dream world. Just think, if your surroundings were to suddenly change like this……”
Su Chen snapped his fingers. Iron Cliff’s eyes blurred, and the images in front of him changed. Suddenly, he was no longer in the Origin Energy Tower.
He was standing on a tall mountain. Not far away, Su Chen was standing underneath a tree with a smile on his face.
Iron Cliff understood. “You’re using Fata Morgana on me again? I’m in a dream world?”
He raised his head and looked at the brilliant blue sky.
“How do I leave this place?” Iron Cliff asked.
Su Chen countered, “How do you usually wake up?”
Iron Cliff thought for a moment, concentrating. Then, he muttered, “This is just a dream…… wake up for me!”
As he spoke, he punched his fist into the sky.
All of his willpower was concentrated into the punch. Iron Cliff’s fist suddenly multiplied in size countless times as if he was trying to tear open the sky with that punch.
With a loud explosion, the sky trembled.
A large hole had appeared in the sky.
As the sky began to fragment, Iron Cliff felt as if he was being dragged into an invisible vortex.
When he reopened his eyes, he was once again standing within the Origin Energy Tower. Su Chen, who was in front of him, let out a pained cry as blood spurted from his nose and mouth.
Iron Cliff was stunned. “Master!”
“I’m fine. This is just the backlash from the dream world being broken.” Su Chen waved Iron Cliff away. “Now you know that this is what happens when you fail to deceive someone.”
No Origin Skill was invincible!
Even though Fata Morgana was very powerful, the prerequisite was that the dream world was able to trick the other party.
If the deception failed, the dream world would shatter and result in a consciousness rebound.
Consciousness rebounds could happen with varying degrees of severity. Relatively gentle ones would only result in a bout of dizziness; medium-intensity ones could result in a temporary loss of ability to activate any Origin Skills; severe-intensity rebounds could knock a person out completely.
Iron Cliff’s method of breaking free had been barbaric, but Su Chen had only sustained relatively minor injuries because he had prepared for the rebound by ingesting a vial of Spirit Sobering Medicine.
Fata Morgana had tricked Iron Cliff the first time because the illusion Su Chen had created agreed with Iron Cliff’s understanding. The Zhu Clan’s sudden appearance and attack were in agreement with Iron Cliff’s existing memories, so it had succeeded. Without this harmony, the result would only be like the second attempt. Forcing it on someone without the appropriate foundation would only cause the technique to be quickly discovered and then neutralized.
Thus, Fata Morgana was like setting up a scam. Learning how to deceive an opponent would determine whether the technique was successful or not.
Although there was a risk that Fata Morgana would fail just like any scam, it had the benefit of ignoring someone’s cultivation base and strength because of this.
Fata Morgana didn’t rely on the strength of the Origin Skill to forcefully overpower the opponent’s consciousness. Rather, it relied on the art of deception to ensnare the opponent, making strength completely irrelevant. As long as the lie was woven well, even the strongest individual could fall prey to the technique.
Of course, the more powerful a target was, the more sensitive their perception of Origin Energy and their surroundings was. Thus, the likelihood that they would be able to see through the deception was also much greater.
If Su Chen had tried to use the same world on Shi Kaihuang, Shi Kaihuang would have told him that the dream world had not been constructed with enough attention to details and was clearly rough around the edges. For instance, the shaking of the Origin Energy Tower upon being struck was too uniform, the Origin Energy fluctuations from the attack were not equivalent to the force of the attack, the Ferocious Race army had not utilized enough tactics during the battle, etc. etc.
Any one of these problems could become a factor in the dream world being seen through.
But if he could fix these issues, then there would be a high likelihood that it would successfully deceive Shi Kaihuang. Of course, this didn’t imply that he would necessarily be able to kill these powerful opponents. After all, he only had only one opportunity even if he was able to trick them.
But that is a digression. No matter what, even with its significant limitations, Fata Morgana was an incredibly valuable Origin Skill.
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fata_Morgana_(mirage). The Chinese term is typically used to denote an illusion caused by the strange refraction of light, so I used this term rather than “mirage” since it sounds cooler. ↩