Chapter 72: Is It Actually Absorbing Bloodlines?
Zhen Jin’s left foot was on the black volcanic earth while his right had stepped onto the desert sand.
In less than half a day, they had once more arrived at the boundary between the desert and the lava terrain.
Tan sand stretched as far as the eye could see; the scorching sun warped the distant horizon with heat haze.
Zhen Jin, Zi Di, and Cang Xu were all hungry and thirsty.
They were without food and with rumbling stomachs.
The heat from the volcanic eruption had made them sweat all over.
This was very dangerous; sweat consumed their precious internal moisture.
They had no choice but to replenish their water as soon as possible.
Inevitably, this depleted their already little water reserves even further.
No one spoke and silence fell over them.
After a momentary pause on the dividing line, Zhen Jin stepped over with Bai Ya on his back.
Zhen Jin’s burden was the greatest as he had to carry a youth on his back.
During the journey, Cang Xu had advised Zhen Jin: if he would not treat Bai Ya as food, he should abandon him.
Zhen Jin rejected it without hesitation and warned Cang Xu to never speak such words again!
The young knight’s resolute attitude made Cang Xu dumbstruck.
Zi Di repeatedly expressed: she was willing to share Zhen Jin’s burden and supersede him in carrying Bai Ya.
Cang Xu also had no choice but to echo the same sentiment.
Both of their offers, however, were rejected by Zhen Jin.
Zi Di was only a fifteen-year-old girl and Cang Xu was a white-bearded old man.
Their bodies were also in terrible shape.
It would be even more difficult to deal with if one of them became paralyzed with exhaustion.
“I already said that I would do all I can to save everyone and would never abandon a single man. This is my promise and my responsibility.” Zhen Jin said to Zi Di and Cang Xu.
“My Lord, your noble character dims even the brightest stars of the night sky! Cang Xu said from the bottom of his heart, “You are a paragon of virtue, even amongst the templar knights.”
Zhen Jin smiled bitterly and shook his head.
Only he knew his own heart best.
He had wavered and almost even fell into depravity when the evil thought of treating Bai Ya as food had crossed his mind.
For this reason, he had felt ashamed and doubted himself.
As a result, saving Bai Ya was more akin to validating himself.
He wanted to prove to himself: he was qualified to be a templar knight!
Zhen Jin was in a difficult situation at the moment.
He felt a faint weakness in his knees and legs.
He had not eaten anything since the previous night and had only barely survived the battle with the spear scorpions.
He was overburdened, wounded, and was rapidly consuming stamina.
Although he could control the heart core, absorbing magic beasts could not fill his stomach.
His empty stomach continued to secrete gastric acid, as if it would digest a piece of iron if placed within!
His throat also felt as if was filled with ashes.
In order to shift his attention, Zhen Jin began to reflect over the questions that perplexed him.
The first one was, what was the magic crystal in his heart absorbing?
The body of any lifeform, regardless of whether it was intact or not, could be absorbed by the heart core.
Besides converting it into a special blood-red magic energy, the heart core also increased in transformation options.
“So is the heart core actually absorbing bloodlines?”
Although Zhen Jin had lost his memory, he knew the concept of bloodlines were not limited to blood.
Bloodlines not only determined cultivation aptitude, it also passed on the information about a lifeform.
To cite a specific example: drinking dragon blood would not turn someone into a giant dragon. A dragon’s bloodline contained dragon blood, dragon scales, a dragon body, a dragon crystal, dragon magic, battle arts, and more.
“Now that I control the heart core, am I able to control every bloodline in the world?”
Zhen Jin could not help but feel a rush of excitement.
He understood what that meant!
Controlling the heart core would enable him to absorb and convert extrinsic bloodlines, bringing with it infinite power, influence, riches, and resources.
The more outstanding a lifeform’s bloodline was, the faster and more efficient their cultivation would be. One could grow faster and become stronger in a shorter amount of time.
After gaining great power, followers would naturally come. Even without followers, a person with formidable strength could topple the old social order alone.
Violence grants power and power makes resources easier to acquire.
With abundant resources, the strong could cultivate even higher, like adding wings to a tiger. As a result, the strong would become stronger and the weak would become weaker.
After a long time, the strong would become the ruling upper social class and the weak would become the ruled, exploited lower class.
This was the history of all races and also what was happening now.
The unshakeable cornerstone of the nobility’s dominance in human society were their bloodlines.
Bloodlines were very, very important.
A person’s bloodline affected their entire life!
To lack a sufficient bloodline was to be an ordinary person, like those exploration team members who had been slaughtered. Cang Xu being able to become a noble’s steward was already a very high achievement. In all of human society, individuals such as him were extremely rare cases.
Huang Zao and Lan Zao both possessed a bloodline, as a result, they could rely on ordinary battle qi cultivation methods to reach Bronze. Unless they got lucky, that was to be the pinnacle of their lives. Not only would it be very difficult for them to improve, their battle qi cultivation and life level would decline as they aged.
Zi Di was an Iron magician and she had candidly said that she had also exhausted her personal cultivation potential. Why was that? It was because she did not have a noble bloodline!
Zhen Jin belonged to the Bai Zhen Clan, a clan that was once a great clan of the South with a very high-quality bloodline. The source of his bloodline was the Legend-level golden needle queen bee. As a result, Bai Zhen Clan members could theoretically reach Legend cultivation.
Historically, many experts emerged from the Bai Zhen Clan one after another, with Silver, Gold, and even Saint cultivation!
Though no Legend expert had yet emerged.
Legend cultivation was the Hundred Needles bloodline’s theoretical limit.
Moreover, in this world, there were many better than the Hundred Needles bloodline.
Emperor Sheng Ming’s Sacred bloodline, Archduke Quan Fa’s Knowledge Seeking bloodline, Duchess Ai Mei’ Chimera bloodline, Duke Heng Le’s Indulgence bloodline, the An Hui Clan’s Dark Devil bloodline, et cetera.
The upper-limit of these bloodlines surpassed Legend, their cultivation efficiency was also greater than the Hundred Needles bloodline and the end result was so, too. The benefit of the Hundred Needles bloodline was precision, but these bloodlines provided more and stronger comprehensive benefits.
“If I seized the Sacred bloodline, wouldn’t I have the hope of becoming a second Emperor Sheng Ming?”
“No, in theory, can’t I control more than a trifling Sacred bloodline? The Knowledge Seeking bloodline, the Chimera bloodline, and more, I can have all of them, because my heart has this magic crystal!”
“As long-, as long as I kill enough targets, I can seize their bloodlines…”
Thinking of this, Zhen Jin’s heart suddenly trembled.
A chill instantly creeped through his entire body and made him extremely horrified.
“What am I doing?!”
“I actually wanted to sacrifice others, attack powerful nobles, and even Sheng Tang Clan members!”
“If I am even somewhat inattentive, I will consign the entire Bai Zhen Clan to eternal damnation.”
“No, I should not think this way.”
“This is a crime! Wanting to sacrifice innocents in order to satisfy my own selfish desires. That is too vicious! That is too evil!”
“I am Zhen Jin.”
“I am a templar knight.”
“I won’t ever do such a thing.”
“I vow that I will not put my hands on the innocent. I will not walk down the path of evil and depravity just to satisfy my selfishness!”
Zhen Jin secretly warned himself.
At the same time, he developed strong vigilance towards his heart core.
“It is too wonderful and too mysterious.”
“It had helped me in the fight for my life, but it is also tempting me, always, to fall into evil and cruelty."
“However, it may not, in fact, be capable of absorbing many bloodlines. These are all my conjectures. It can absorb a Silver lifeform’s bloodline but I haven’t tried to absorb a Gold one yet. Let alone Saint or Legend, perhaps it can’t absorb even that?”
“Is there any harm in using the magic core to absorb and convert other bloodlines?”
“Are there any repercussions every time I transform?”
“There doesn’t seem to be any repercussions, but are there any hidden dangers I cannot perceive?”
“Could these hidden dangers build up, eventually causing me to explode?”
“Or perhaps transform completely into a magic beast, forever incapable of returning to a human form?
A dark gloom welled up in Zhen Jin’s eyes.
Suddenly having such a strange and powerful foreign object appear within one’s body, as long as one had normal rationality, they would be vigilant and suspicious.
They would do all they could to understand and control it, at the same time, they would seek to avoid possible dangers.
However, now, Zhen Jin had only figured out some uses of the heart core, the alien nature of this object was something he did not understand one bit.
“Why could I activate the magic crystal in my heart?!”
Zhen Jin always remembered that this island's unique environment prohibited the usage of low-level magic and battle qi.
“Even my prayers seem disconnected from the outside world.”
“What allows the heart core to activate?”
“The magic energy in the heart core is very bizarre and mysterious, belonging neither to battle qi, or magics, or divine spells.”
“Does it circumvent the prohibition magic and is, therefore, unaffected by it?”
“Or is it because the island master’s original goal is to make this magic crystal. Was the entire environment meticulously made to maximize the likelihood of the creation of this magic crystal?”
Zhen Jin’s thinking diverged as he thought of more things.
But everything was bewildering.
He had no answers.
“Currently, the only thing I know is that, as I repeatedly use my heart core, my control over this magic crystal rapidly deepens further.”
The first time was when Zhen Jin transformed to deal with the Silver blade-legged spider.
The second time was when Zhen Jin confronted the electric flying squirrel, it was also the first time he felt the magic crystal in his heart.
The third time was just this morning. Zhen Jin took the first step in controlling the magic crystal and killed the spear scorpion leader.
“In the future, will my control over the heart core deepen?”
“The most crucial point is actually the oldest question.”
“How did this thing get here?!”
After thinking for a good while, Zhen Jin believed that the most probable answer was that it was related to the island master.
According to Cang Xu and Zi Di’s discussion and conjecture: the island master was a strong being, he (she or they) had remodeled this island and created many monsters in an attempt to stabilize their chaotic magic power and achieve equilibrium.
The goat’s magic power was one such semi-finished product that illustrated the island master’s path.
The true goal of the magic prohibition environment and the teleportation formation induced constant fighting between monsters was to allow them to make advancements through life-and-death battles and produce a magic crystal.
“So it is extremely possible that this magic crystal was accidentally produced inside my body after I killed that bear and because of Zi Di’s treatment potion.”
“Thinking back, I also had a lot of fire-poison in me. This magic crystal was the result of my bitter fights with the fire poison bees and the monkey tail brown bear.”
“Did the island master encourage monster infighting as a plan to use life-and-death battles to stimulate the creation of the crystal core?”
“Maybe he (she or they) did not succeed because they lacked the most crucial element—a human?”
“Did I fix this flaw by chance?”