Chapter 93: Archetype Flame (1/2)
An explosion of water rang forth. Luo Nan had experienced yet another failed relay, re-entering the Frost River Waterway. The rapid flowing water and fragments were above his body, bringing a bone-chilling sensation.
Luo Nan didn't stand up immediately. Instead, he submerged his head—which was wearing the tactical helmet—underwater. He used the cold flowing rapids to clear up his brain.
When he had decided to substitute the Dynamo Core for the chipset and connect to the Frozen Star System of Frost River Reality, he had very much expected to dig up information of this degree.
Originally, with the temporary privilege granted by Bai Xinyan, he was unable to access to the core of this virtual reality project. It was only after the feelers of the external neuron touched upon the lowest level of the Frozen Star System that he was able to get a glimpse at these deep mysteries.
"Simulating the Burner. The Burner's simulator."
Frost River Reality, beloved by youths, even had this function... Alright, this was still within the realm of reason. The government and the army were involved and this was a large project about virtual reality. Like borrowing the hen to lay an egg, they had made a few model constructions, combat simulations, and similar work. Things couldn't be more normal.
This kind of optimization towards ability users—such as Burners—really made one’s imagination go wild. Even the technological methods employed were amazing.
Luo Nan was already super familiar with the leading story at this time, so he had skipped it by habit when it started playing again; he had not been paying much attention. He was just mulling over his current situation, wanting to see what was different in the end.
Suddenly, Nina's notification streaked past his ear. "...Please pay attention to the internal energy reserves of the Archetype Format, appropriately deploy them, and avoid being frozen solid."
Huh? The lines changed?
Luo Nan had a sudden realization. He still remembered that Nina's guide sequence started by notifying that the combat suit had been damaged, noting the anomalies of the waterway, and then there was the line "Please amply move your body to avoid being frozen solid".
What the heck was this ‘internal energy reserves’ that suddenly popped up?
His thoughts arose and the scenery cast on his retina changed. On the lower left corner, a thick white U-shaped symbol appeared, shining brightly. It captured Luo Nan's attention.
When Luo Nan's gaze was cast onto the U-shaped symbol, the deep and low background commentary voice spoke once again, "By drawing in the Archetype Format, the Burner transcends the burning mechanism that is conventionally inefficient. The Burner fully transforms and utilizes the internal energy of the human body and obtains even higher applicational efficiency..."
The U-shaped symbol was changing as the commentary sounded. It turned from an initial white color to red, orange, green, blue, purple—in that order. Five colors in total. Then it returned to its initial color—white. During this time, the coloration that filled the U-shaped symbol had its ‘water-level’ endlessly increase. Direct observation of this image revealed crucial information.
Luo Nan took in the relevant words and quickly understood the meaning behind them. Burners could utilize the Archetype Format to continuously transform, accumulate, and increase the internal energy of the human body. The ‘water levels’ of the U-shaped symbol was the available internal energy reserve, and its changing spectrum of color represented the efficiency of that form of energy from low to high. There were six levels in total.
It was very clear that the key factor for determining the depths of ability in a Burner—in a situation where the internal energy reserves were extremely close—laid in the energy form.
The body's natural generation of chemical energy and the muscular mechanical energy of a 100 kilogram built man was laughable when compared to the antimatter annihilation reaction produced from a strand of hair from a baby.
Of course, this comparison itself was a joke.
This was where the mighty secret of the Burner lay... Or at least a crucial portion of it.
Luo Nan straightened up. The icy cold flow of water continued to scour against his body, causing his body temperature to rapidly plunge. He did not move, instead, he waited:
Where are the internal energy reserves? Where is the Archetype Format?
Even though he was inside a game, Luo Nan did not believe that he was simply playing a game. The so-called internal energy reserves, the Archetype Format, and even the digitized symbol should not be concepts that were just installed in the game. There had to be some sort of concrete, touchable experience...
Though, he had not entered here in a very formal way. He had used the Dynamo Core to gain access.
An odd sound started ringing out. The image shown on his retina and the background commentary in his ears turned a bit fuzzy. Clearly, they were being affected by some strong interference.
The disturbance passed after a second or two. The background commentary was fine and Nina, the system guide, was fine too. There were no problems afterwards. There was only the singing voice of the Frost River Pub that was transmitted over from the distance via radio waves. Mixing into the noise towards Luo Nan in the waterway, a voice called out:
"I used the memory of fine liquor to cast up a flame, letting her freeze in the ice..."
Amidst the cold and intermittent singing voice, Luo Nan could feel a slight vibration just above his forehead. The tingling sensation started from the top and moved down, spreading out layer by layer from the top of his head to his shoulders and neck, chest and back, waist and abdominals, legs, and finally the soles of his feet.
During this time, detailed feedback was transmitted through his brain, his spinal cord, his twelve cranial nerves, and even his thirty-one spinal nerves. This spurred his near a thousand bones and muscles, the hundreds of millions of capillaries, and the tissues of his entire body to form an innumerable stream of information that was transmitted back to his brain.
To differentiate these signals one after another and clarify the meanings accumulated within them may not be possible for Luo Nan, even after his brain underwent a transformation into a super computer.
But when these signals swarmed over, they circled around the external neuron, and the external neuron instantly differentiated them into a marvelous order.
Some were stronger. Some were weaker. Some were more hurried. Some were more at ease. Each seemed to be in their respective and definite positions, arranged in order of density. It was like the different shades and shadows of lines when drawing. They instantly formed a profound structural whole that was directly observed.
Next, Luo Nan's consciousness naturally sprouted, directly embedding itself into the central core of balance in the dominant structure.
Driven by a wonderful thought, Luo Nan sat back into the water and adopted the full lotus position, fixing his entire body to the riverbed. The two sides from the top of his head to his shoulders, elbows, and knees formed two perfectly straight diagonal lines that merged with the riverbed and formed a stable pyramid structure.
The rapidly scouring flow of water instantly clashed with his face. The external and powerful pressure was conducted into him layer by layer and was transformed into energy and information that conducted through the system of millions and millions of nerves, tissues, and capillaries. They ultimately formed a weak yet perfect stimulation that was tossed into the central core where Luo Nan's consciousness lay... It was like a spark being tossed into a deep pool of kerosene.
The flames danced and soared, seemingly engulfing everything.
Of course, this wasn't a real fire. This could only be described as the pouring of his consciousness, an expansion of his perception. However, when Luo Nan's consciousness shifted away from his feelings and returned to a normal perception, there was clearly now a warming force within his lower belly. It radiated out all around.
And at this time, the ‘water level’ of the U-shaped symbol on his retina rapidly plummeted. It kept falling until it reached the lower one-third mark. Only then did the downward trend barely stop, yet the symbol continued to shake endlessly.
The trend did not look good but Luo Nan was able to feel the matching real sensations and acuities synchronized within his body.