Chapter 70: I Have Not Fallen into Depravity
“So, how can I replenish this magic energy?”
Almost instantly, Zhen Jin recollected the scene from earlier when he had dispatched the silver level spear scorpion.
That matter of life and death, that moment of truth had created a deep impression on Zhen Jin such that it was almost imprinted in the youngster’s heart.
Zhen Jin immediately stood up and walked towards the carcass of a dead spear scorpion.
The silver level spear scorpion had already been reduced to ashes and the other spear scorpions had fled, but there were still some spear scorpions that were killed during the battle.
Zhen Jin activated the magic crystal in his heart and his palm flooded with red light.
However, the red light could not be directly radiated.
“Does it need physical contact for it to be effective?” Zhen Jin frowned slightly.
He did not rush to place his palm on the scorpion’s carapace but stopped.
Zhen Jin carefully perceived the magic core and quietly mumbled: “The magic core can be activated and deactivated at will and without suffering any backlash. Additionally, because this operation does not transform the human body, the consumption is minute and negligible.”
“Then, I’ll test it with blood first.”
This spear scorpion died when Zhen Jin pierced its head with his tail and its blood had continued to flow from the puncture wound since then.
A lot of the scorpion’s blood on the ground had evaporated on the hot volcanic surface, rapidly pervading the pungent stench of blood to the surroundings.
The red light enveloped Zhen Jin’s palm.
Zhen Jin plunged his palm into the small pool of blood on the ground.
The red light instantly permeated like lightning.
What was originally a small pool of blood immediately turned into a pile of carbon ashes. As the scorpion’s blood continued to flow down, the carbon ashes mixed with the blood.
“As long as it is a part of a lifeform, the magic core can convert it.”
Zhen Jin waited patiently for a moment.
When the small blood pool accumulated to its previous size, he once again activated the magic core’s absorption.
“This time the magic energy that was converted and stored was a bit more than last time.”
“Is it because the scorpion’s blood had only just accumulated, and the degree of magic power dispersion was lower than before?”
“Although the magic core cannot directly convert magic power into this magic energy, as long as it targets a lifeform, then the more magic power there is contained within that lifeform, the more special magic energy there is converted.”
“Under normal circumstances, a lifeform with a stronger life level has a higher quality of magic power; therefore, there will be more magic energy in the core after absorption and conversion.”
“So what then is the upper limit?”
“The magic core can, at the bare minimum, absorb silver level lifeforms.”
Finally, Zhen Jin placed his palm that exuded red light on the spear scorpion’s corpse.
A similar scene from before played out.
The red light propagated out from Zhen Jin’s palm and turned into four blood threads.
The blood threads wrapped around the corpse of the spear scorpion like snakes then quickly turned dark, seemingly having penetrated into its body.
After two breaths, the four blood threads cleared up again, with its blood-red color becoming more vivid and dense.
The blood threads quickly returned, and a lot of new magic energy was added to the magic core.
Simultaneously, the spear scorpion’s corpse also turned into a pile of carbonized ashes.
“It cannot compare to the amount I absorbed from the silver level spear scorpion.”
This proved Zhen Jin's previous conjecture.
“Hold on, I can now induce a spear scorpion pincers transformation!”
Originally, Zhen Jin could only induce spear scorpion tail and carapace transformations, but after absorbing a second bronze level spear scorpion, he had gained a new transformation.
The young knight’s eyes flickered with deep thought.
“Based on this, it seems that the more lifeforms of the same species I absorb, the more possible transformations there are to choose from.”
“These transformations are all related to that lifeform.”
“As long as I absorb and convert enough spear scorpions, could I theoretically transform into a complete spear scorpion?”
Zhen Jin continued to clean up the battlefield.
During the battle, his spider blade had been damaged and shattered into many fragments.
He carefully collected these fragments from the battlefield.
He then activated the magic core.
The red light radiated, and the spider blade fragments quickly carbonized into ashes. Zhen Jin then lightly dusted and scattered the ashes through the air.
Zhen Jin focused his attention once more on the magic core.
A flush of elation quickly appeared on his face.
He tried to activate the magic core again and the fingers on his left hand quickly transformed, turning into five slender spider blades!
The five blades were very small, incomparable to the blade he previously wielded, they were only slightly longer than an adult human’s finger.
However, the blade’s glistening sheen emanated a cold light. Zhen Jin then moved his fingers and clanged them against each other, producing a clear sound similar to that of metals colliding together.
“It is very evident that these blades are as sharp as the spider blade when I first acquired it.”
Zhen Jin then tried to stimulate more of the heart core’s magic energy.
The transformed spider blade fingers grew increasingly longer and leaned to emulate the spider blade that had shattered previously.
However, accompanying this was an increasingly growing consumption of magic energy.
Zhen Jin quickly stopped the test.
“I must conserve the heart core’s magic energy. My repeated attempts today have already used up enough of it.”
“It is indeed powerful!”
The youngster sincerely exclaimed with admiration.
With this formidable trump card, he could now calmly face many dangers. Existences that could previously endanger him now had their positions inverted, having to face the danger of the youngster.
“By mastering this mysterious and wondrous magic core, I will surely leave this island alive!”
From the moment he had awakened, the youngster had never felt so much confidence about escaping as he did now.
Zhen Jin finally looked around him.
This was the place where he first controlled the magic core in his heart.
“Perhaps this place was where the wheel of fate had turned for me.” Zhen Jin smiled.
Without hesitation, the youngster turned and left the battlefield.
He smoothly returned to the cave.
Cang Xu and Zi Di were nowhere to be found.
“The spear scorpion group lost and routed, but if they encountered Zi Di and Cang Xu, the two of them would be in a terrible situation.”
“I must find them without delay.”
“But before that…”
Zhen Jin concentrated his gaze on the dead spear scorpions in the cave.
Red light constantly flickered from the cave.
The exploration team had made their last stand here and killed many spear scorpions.
Under the red light, these spear scorpions were reduced into piles of ashes.
Although most of the spear scorpions’ magic power had dissipated having lay here overnight, a mickle makes a muckle and the current accumulation of magic energy in the core resulted in the greatest abundance of it Zhen Jin had ever stored.
“Hmm?” Zhen Jin raised his eyebrows as sure enough, the magic core reacted!
“Scorpion carapace, tail, chelicera, eyes, and feet…I can now transform into a complete spear scorpion!”
Zhen Jin had already foreseen this outcome.
He merely did not think that he would reach it so soon.
All the spear scorpion corpses were absorbed by Zhen Jin, but the young knight did not rush to leave, rather he entered the depths of the cave.
There, he found Bai Ya.
“Sure enough.” Zhen Jin sighed softly.
Bai Ya was abandoned.
Regardless of whether it was Zi Di or Cang Xu, both were powerless to defend themselves and it was impossible for them to escape while carrying a burden like Bai Ya.
But Zhen Jin could not blame them.
Everything was for survival.
Zhen Jin placed his finger under Bai Ya’s nostrils and immediately sensed his weak breath.
Bai Ya was not dead yet.
Zhen Jin reached out and stroked Bai Ya’s forehead.
His fever had gone down!
“You’ve done well.” The youngster mumbled, appearing very elated.
Since awakening, he had been unyielding, struggling for survival, and striving for his dreams.
Likewise, Bai Ya, too, did not give up.
Even though he was in a coma, he too endeavored for survival.
This kind of spirit and willpower resonated with Zhen Jin.
But very quickly, the youngster’s countenance turned complex and abstruse.
Seeing Bai Ya, he could not help but think of the time when his fate hung by a thread.
At the moment of death, Zhen Jin was wretched and deplorable.
Confronted with death, he could not help but feel dread, plunging him into panic.
The desire to survive was so vehement that it made his heart bellow and attempted to break his most basic morals.
“Those weaker than me can escape? Am I, the stronger one, going to die?”
“If I had listened to Cang Xu’s advice and ate human flesh, perhaps I would also have survived.”
“Why did I recall that memory of my peers and listen to that 'hell is at one’s feet, depravation is instantaneous’? Bullshit! I am truly moronic.”
“I realize that nothing is more important than survival!”
“Even if…even if others die, what does that have to do with me?”
“I want to live!!”
These were all genuine thoughts that manifested from the depths of his heart!
And these were thoughts that would never manifest under normal circumstances.
Although it had happened not long ago, it still seemed as if it were a dream.
“It was indeed a nightmare!”
“Am I…am I really a person who is greedy for life and fearful of death?”
“Am I a despicable and unscrupulous person?”
Zhen Jin now besought himself in his heart.
After the jubilation of surviving had waned and the curiosity of exploring the magic core’s secrets concluded, Zhen Jin finally had no choice but to confront himself.
The life-and-death battle against the silver level spear scorpion had allowed him to see an ugly aspect of himself.
“Was that really me?”
“Do I really think that way?”
The youngster half-knelt next to Bai Ya and his downcast face seemed to be shrouded by a shadow.
He had his head hung low, his posture was no longer as upright as before, and he even seemed somewhat hunched.
“No, no, I am a templar knight.”
“I am truly a templar knight!”
Even though he told himself this, in Zhen Jin’s heart still arose shame, self-reproach, and self-doubt.
“Cough, cough, cough.”
At that moment, Bai Ya coughed and thereafter, he slowly opened his eyes.
“Lord, Lord Zhen Jin…” Bai Ya weakly called when he realized that Zhen Jin was half-kneeling beside him.
Zhen Jin’s body shook and promptly leaned over to Bai Ya: “I’m here, Bai Ya, you have to persevere!”
“My Lord…you must’ve been the one who saved me, thank you.” Bai Ya looked at Zhen Jin with utter gratitude.
Upon saying that, his eyes closed as he sank into a coma once again.
He was very weak and in poor condition.
“Yes, yes, I saved you. I will definitely save you.” Zhen Jin murmured continuously as he stared blankly at Bai Ya.
It was as if Bai Ya were a light, a pure-white dawn that illuminated the youngster’s heart and dispersed the shadow upon his face.
In the abject darkness, it seemed as if some power entered the young knight’s body.
The young knight raised his head and his posture no longer seemed hunched.
His eyes scanned the cave and the scene of the previous night replayed before his eyes.
His ears seemed to hear the voices that echoed here.
At the break of dawn, the young knight had powerfully and resolutely said—“I will not treat human beings as food!”
He was very staunch then—“Don’t try to persuade any longer, I have already made my decision.”
Even though the situation was dire, he still remained optimistic and hopeful—“Let’s go. Based on the time, when we reach the cave’s mouth, we will greet the light of dawn.”
The young knight’s mind once again recalled the An Hui Clan’s motto—Hell is at one’s feet, depravation is instantaneous.
Zhen Jin’s eyes gradually became clear.
“I have not fallen into depravity.”
“I adhered to my bottom line and to the knight’s code.”
He gazed at the unconscious Bai Ya.
“I will save you.”
“And I will not…eat you.”
The youngster put Bai Ya on his back and slowly stood up.
Carrying Bai Ya, he left the bitter cave battlefield.
Dawn had long since come.