Chapter 69: Exploring the Secrets of the Magic Core

“Most important of all—I am still alive!”

“I am still alive!!”

The sheer exhilaration of surviving was so intense and emotional that it caused Zhen Jin to keep repeating these words subconsciously.

For a time, Zhen Jin thought he was doomed!

Ever since Zhen Jin had regained consciousness, he had gone through several life and death trials and his whole being had been emotionally touched each time by the elation of survival. This time, it was especially vehement as if each and every cell in his body were rejoicing.

Huff, huff…

Zhen Jin’s ragged gasps gradually calmed down.

The wound from his shoulder blade kept causing pounding pangs.

His joy and euphoria faded as the youth clenched his teeth, tore a strip off from the hem of his clothing, and used it to dress his wound.

The cloth acted as a bandage and was immediately colored red with bloodstains when it covered the wound.

Zhen Jin wrapped the cloth around his armpit, bit one end with his teeth, and then tied it tightly with his hand.

A burst of pain made his vision darken.

The youngster sucked in a breath of cold air and after enduring for several more seconds, the pain slightly abated.

He wiped the cold sweat from his forehead while constantly gasping for breath.

After a long while, his eyes refocused once more.

The erect tail in front of him then attracted his gaze.

The scorpion tail seemed to glitter like gold.

When Zhen Jin had fought with the spear scorpions, he had suffered much because of their tails. But now, he actually had one of his own.

It was a fantastic feeling.

As soon as Zhen Jin willed it, the tail straightened out and bided motionlessly, as if it were a bamboo pole.

Willing it again, Zhen Jin made the scorpion tail bend and undulate like a wave.

It was as fluid as moving his own fingers!1

“Although this is the first time I have grown a tail, it feels as if it were originally a part of my body.”

Zhen Jin reached out his hand to touch the scorpion tail.

The hard and ice-cold feeling was subsequently communicated to his mind.

“However, the scorpion tail doesn’t feel like it was touched.”

Zhen Jin lowered his head and looked towards his chest.

His chest was enveloped in a scorpion carapace, seemingly like inborn armor, which tightly fitted and shielded his body.

Zhen Jin touched the carapace on his chest and felt the same cold and hard sensation as from the tail.

“It's the same, the carapace also does not feel like it was touched.”

“But previously, when the carapace protected me from the stabs of the spear scorpions, I clearly felt the impact of the attack. In other words, the tactile sense isn’t absent. It is just that my touch was too light for me to even feel it.”

Humans had many senses.

The main ones were vision, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, and tactile.

Most beasts had carapaces, or fur, or feathers, or others. In comparison, the human body had sparse hair and delicate skin, as such, the defensive capabilities of humans were weak.

However, simultaneously, a human’s skin and fine hairs gave them a relatively keen tactile sense. Sometimes, humans could even quickly sense when a mosquito landed on them.

A scorpion’s carapace’s tactility was inferior to that of humans. However, the defensive strength of a scorpion’s carapace utterly dwarfed that of the human body.

“It was the scorpion carapace that saved my life!”

Without the carapace, his body would have been pierced by the tails of several spear scorpions.

Zhen Jin tried to peer inside himself again.

It succeeded without a hitch!

He beheld the magic crystal in his heart once more without any hindrances.

The magic crystal constantly flickered with blood light as it was ceaselessly being consumed to silently support Zhen Jin’s present transformation.

Zhen Jin’s eyes flashed as he tried to control the magic crystal to quell its ongoing consumption.

Thereafter, the magic crystal’s radiance quickly diminished and completely ceased in less than a breath.

Without the mysterious crystal core’s support, Zhen Jin’s scorpion carapace and tail rapidly blackened and then carbonized. In the blink of an eye, the transformed tissue was reduced to ashes and scattered across the ground.

Shortly after, a sense of weakness welled up from the depths of Zhen Jin’s heart.

Regarding this sensation, Zhen Jin was already very familiar with it.

In the past, he had felt it after his hands transformed into bear claws, after the cancellation of his arms’ transformation, and also after he took the emetic potion.

Zhen Jin lowered his head and observed his chest.

The scorpion armor had already dissipated without a trace and revealed his uninjured and toned pectoral muscles.

Naturally, his pectoral muscles were not large.

“I am only sixteen years old, I am still growing.”

Zhen Jin inspected his chest and did not detect any abnormal changes left behind.

After that, he stretched out a hand and touched his buttocks.

His trousers had a hole torn into it.

It was the place where the scorpion tail had sprouted from.

Zhen Jin then touched his tailbone.

It was completely normal.

Zhen Jin quietly heaved a sigh of relief.

He once again attentively focused on the magic core in his heart.

He discovered that the more he focused on this mysterious and fantastic magic core, the more clearly he perceived its state.

After reaching a certain level of clarity, Zhen Jin wholly investigated the remaining power of the magic core.

“If the degree and duration of the transformation are the same as before…I can probably transform twice more.” Zhen Jin was able to calculate as if it were natural. Furthermore, his intuition told him this calculation was extremely accurate.

“I will be very powerful after transforming.”

“But the number of times I can transform is finite. It doesn’t allow me to transform infinitely.”

“The inherent cause of this is the magic core’s finite power.”

Zhen Jin’s eyes gleamed with light as he pondered.

“That’s not the only aspect of limitation.”

“There is still another limitation—I can only induce scorpion carapace and tail transformations.”

He could not induce a spear scorpion’s large pincer transformation.

“Wait a minute! This is?” As Zhen Jin's perception deepened, he made another new discovery.

The youngster's face flashed with joy.

Because he had discovered: he could not only induce transformations of parts of a spear scorpion, he could additionally induce a monkey bear transformation again!

However, similar to the limitations of a spear scorpion, he could only induce the bear’s claws and arms transformations, but not the rest of the monkey bear.

“Besides the monkey bear, I can also transform into a fire-poison bee?!”

One new discovery after the other.

Following Zhen Jin’s thoughts, the magic core in his heart activated quickly.

Zhen Jin had already experienced the spear scorpion and monkey bear transformations. For the other transformations, he needed to try and experience them for himself.

He could not conserve energy on this.

The fire-poison bee transformation soon appeared!

Zhen JIn looked at the backside of his hand.

The back of his hand rapidly turned black and yellow while being covered in a layer of fuzzy hair.

This was the hair of a fire-poison bee which was striped like a zebra, only with yellow and black.

“I can cover all of my skin in this fuzzy hair, but doing that will consume even more energy.”

Zhen Jin immediately stopped exerting the magic core and a similar scene played out once more.

The fire-poison bee hair quickly withered, turning into fine ash.

With a slight shake of the back of his hand, Zhen Jin shook off this layer of ash, revealing his normal skin that was the same as before.

“Spear scorpion, monkey bear, fire-poison bee…I can even transform into a goat.”

However, this goat transformation only allowed Zhen Jin to transform his flesh into goat flesh.

Compared to the previous transformations, the value of this one was extremely low.

Zhen Jin still tried to a slight degree.

“The transformed goat flesh does not contain the chaotic frost magic power from before, but that is normal as the goats only had it because they ate that grass.”

After stopping the magic core, the transformed goat flesh parts turned back into normal human flesh.

“If I transformed a part of my body into goat flesh and dug it out with a dagger, could I use it as food?”

“Could I eat myself?”2

Zhen Jin thought once more and shook his head.

Prior practice had already proved: once the support of the magic core’s power was withdrawn, the transformed parts would quickly grey and turn into ash.

Therefore, the plan of eating himself would not work.

As Zhen Jin reached the limits of his investigation, he discovered he could transform into two additional things.

One was a type of moss.

The other was the flesh of the acidic green lizard.

“What is this moss?” After seeing the back of his hand transform, Zhen Jin immediately felt a familiarity with it.

In the next breath, he recognized it.

“Isn’t this the moss that poisoned me?”

It had been when he and Zi Di were exploring outside the monkey bear cave. During which, he had gotten poisoned because his skin had brushed on this moss.

Zi Di had tried to detoxify him but could only alleviate the symptoms. Finally, they searched for the source of the poison and used this moss as an ingredient to make medicine which completely eradicated the poison from Zhen Jin.

“Let’s just call it green-spotted poisonous moss.”3

Zhen Jin remembered that after he had gotten poisoned, small and round green spots started growing on his face although he himself felt nothing different.

Lastly, Zhen Jin slightly transformed into the flesh of the acidic green lizard.

It was basically the same as goat flesh and did not have high practical value.

After fumbling about a bit, Zhen Jin’s understanding of the magic core in his heart deepened.

“It seems that, after the magic core absorbs external lifeforms, the energy is converted and stored in the magic core as a universal medium for all transformations.” 

“But why can I change into these but not into the evil blue-furred wolf, or python vine, or single-horned black-scaled leopard, or blade-legged spider?”

After reflecting upon this, Zhen Jin came up with an answer.

“The spear scorpion…is it because I activated my magic core to draw out all of its life?”

“The monkey bear…is it because when Zi Di treated me, she imbued me with large quantities of the bear’s blood?”

“I ate some goat meat. Likewise with the lizard meat. Recently, lizard meat has been my primary food.”

“However, I also ate viper meat, flying squirrel meat, as well as some arachnids like spiders and scorpions. Maybe I didn’t eat enough of them.”

As for the fire-poison bee?

“I had been poisoned. My body once contained a large quantity of fire-poison, to the extent that I was at death’s door.”

“Both poison and flesh entered my body. From that point of view, both are indistinguishable.”

“Therefore, they were all being quietly absorbed by the magic core.”

“As for the other magic beasts, although I have encountered them, I did not come into close contact. The evil blue-furred wolf, the gigantic lava turtle, and the python vines are all like this.”

Thinking of this, Zhen Jin received another valuable conjecture.

“Currently, it seems that the things the magic core absorbs and converts into are all living creatures.”

“The magic core cannot absorb pure magic power.”

Zhen Jin had been poisoned by “cold poison” previously and had a large amount of chaotic frost magic power in his body. However, that magic power was not absorbed and converted by the magic core, or else he would not have been poisoned.

“So the function of my heart’s magic core is roughly this: to forcibly absorb and convert living creatures into a special and mysterious magic energy. Once activated, this magic energy can transform the human body to a certain extent, altering it into the structure and tissue of previously absorbed lifeforms.”