Chapter 93: Archetype Flame (2/2)
Luo Nan opened his eyes but still maintained his sitting position. The penetratingly cold river brought chunks of ice to endlessly batter against his chest. Occasionally, there seemed to be a shard that could penetrate the defenses of his tactical helmet and directly injure his face. The ice also seemed to be mocking him in low voices.
"Ha, what's appeared within your body? What's dancing within?"
What appeared was the Archetype Format. What danced was the Format of Fire.
Luo Nan had expected this even before he had jumped off the high-back starship chair. He was eagerly awaiting these results.
He absolutely would have refused this opportunity a week or two ago, perhaps due to feelings of pride. But through the Format ‘My heart’s a prison’, through subduing the Human-Faced Arachnid, through establishing the Format Pyramid, through the out-of-body state, and through contemplation over reality and fantasy, he had experienced many different trains of thought. He was very different from before.
Only when one planted their feet and stood firmly could they hold a calm and objective attitude when facing problems on the plane of reality.
Luo Nan was already convinced that the Formatting Theory he had inherited really did have practical results and that it was not in the least bit inferior to the Archetype Format. In fact, it was even more amazing on the mental plane.
However, he conceded that the Archetype Format's development and application in the field of the human body's potential had been conducted to an extremely deep level. They had already established a relatively complete systematic standard that was able to successfully appear in a virtual reality system. This was extremely extraordinary.
What he wanted to do now was to dig deeper into the mysteries within, from the Archetype Format itself to the source and technology of the simulated copy. He would not let a single hair escape his grasp.
The water level of the U-shaped symbol continued to shake and drop, showing Luo Nan that his internal energy reserves were still being used up. However, this sort of consumption had already displayed its value.
Right now in Luo Nan's lower abdominals was a real sensation of heat manifested from his internal energy. It forced down the chill and continued to circle around his lower abdominals, making his inner organs slightly warm.
Luo Nan stood up and moved his limbs a bit. The effects of the internal energy grew clearer under this movement. There was now an axis for the energy of his entire body. Although the heat was constantly being worn away, a portion of it operated and flowed via the axis' control. It flowed from his upper limbs to his lower limbs, from areas of high heat to areas of low heat. Even though the efficiency was all over the place, Luo Nan was still able to maintain the normal functions of his body.
Luo Nan could feel something like an armor formed from the support of the heat upon the outer layer of his skin. What used to be a bone-chilling cold became somewhat bearable.
"Yes. This is it."
This was none other than the results of being able to control his nervous system. He had been looking for this during his repeated attempts in Frost River Room No. 3. Previously, he was unable to grasp it when faced with the complex structure of the hypothalamus and had given up.
But now, through his internal energy, through the Archetype Format, everything was accomplished naturally and easily. If Luo Nan were to look at it from an observer's point of view, he would be able to sense the stimulated area of the two front and back sides of the hypothalamus and the thermoreceptors that covered his entire body. Through a high-degree of conformity, they coordinately stimulated every location: top and bottom, inside and out. All of his body was used to transport this heat all around, forming a fine Heat Network that covered his entire body.
The involving neurons, blood vessels, muscle fibers, and even fine and hidden conductive paths were controlled in a fashion that was a thousand times more complicated than Luo Nan expected. No, ten thousand?
However, this control method was not mentally taxing at all. He just spurred his thoughts and issued a not-so-clear instruction. The Archetype Format that was powered by his internal energy reserves had completed everything for him.
Luo Nan began to walk forward with large strides. The heat armor displayed its effects very prominently. Even though the water level of the waterway was gradually rising and the contact of the icy water with his body grew greater and greater, the response of his body actually grew quicker. He could effortlessly avoid the large chunks of ice floe that was rushing down the watery rapids. He could also sense the unsteady undercurrent below and was able to control his body in time and maintain his balance.
Soon, he had walked over two, three hundred meters; a distance that far exceeded his previous record.
"It really is important to have good 'software'..." thought Luo Nan with sudden emotion.
Because of the existence of the Archetype Format, he did not need to manipulate his complicated nervous system directly. Instead, through his internal energy, he achieved a method of manipulation that even an idiot could do. He could focus more of his energy towards responding to external stimuli.
Luo Nan's Self-Format was like this as well. Did he know how to control the Human-Faced Arachnid? Did he know how to increase his number of believers?
He totally did not know!
Even if he possessed ten times the strength he had now, he would still need to personally experience all of the details. He would need to dig from the application all the way down to the base layer in order to put every link in place. It was practically impossible.
But once he had the Format Pyramid of ‘My heart’s a prison’, everything became easy. All he had to do was tap into the potential of the Format Pyramid, then supply it with the necessary energy. The high-level applications would then became successful.
The current situation was very interesting.
Most of Luo Nan's Self-Format targeted the soul and the mental plane. The effects towards his fleshly body were lacking.
The Archetype Format mobilized the potential of the human body to a very large degree, fully achieving control and application towards every part of the human body. However, Luo Nan could see that its results were mediocre in the mental realm from his various experiences thus far.
What was the factor that led to the two theories, which could be said to have stemmed from the same source, to have such a big difference between them appear? Thinking a step further, if he could merge the two together, could he be able to create something that could affect both the mental and the material plane? A highly effective Formatting Software?
Luo Nan was unable to find an answer in this short amount of time but he recognized one point very clearly. Right now, just touching the software of the Archetype Format was his only version of experience. He hadn't really formed the Archetype Format.
The cause was very simple... Right now, there was a difference in the stimulation of the Archetype Format towards the body. It did not matter whether it was the operation of his brain and spinal cord or the arrangement of his forty-three cranial and spinal nerves. There existed a discrepancy. Perhaps this discrepancy was big, perhaps it was small. It was between them all and the Format of Luo Nan himself.
Though the two design philosophies were identical, the details were completely different; they were two different works. They could be compared but they could not be confused to be the same.
What he could currently perceive was just stimuli conferred to him through the VR system. For example, the ice flow of water that endlessly battered against him was just some data model being cast onto his body.
Its results were real, real enough to touch upon a part of his energy, transform it into internal energy reserves, and ignite the Format of Fire. However, it still fundamentally did not exist.
Luo Nan was not dejected though. The Archetype Format, an alteration of the body that touched upon the deepest levels of the body's mechanisms, was not something that could be casually obtained. Just being able to experience it once had already far exceeded his expectations.
Most of Luo Nan's attention was cast upon his body. The external world grew fuzzier under his perception but there was an understanding and that understanding was the depth of the waters. Right now, the icy waters were already past his chest and then his neck. It seemed impossible to carry on walking normally. Luckily, Luo Nan knew how to swim a little and started to half walk and half float.
But since the waters were like this, he lost his sense of time and distance.
Right now, had he reached the five hundred meter mark yet?
Right when he sought to find the system confirmation, the space beneath Luo Nan's feet became nothingness. His toes could no longer reach the bottom and from here henceforth, the depths of the water exceeded his height.
This was nothing but the problem was that the thick rock strata was already within reach. If he were to continue on, it would not be long before the flow of the water would completely submerge this endless cavern, leaving not even a sliver of space behind.
Had he reached the second stage?
A rumble sounded right when Luo Nan was pondering over how to overcome this juncture. The rocky wall behind him collapsed and another stream of water came gushing out. The two streams collided against each other, forming a whirlpool with a bizarrely large force. He was drawn into the whirlpool instantly and was fiercely flung and smashed onto the un-level rocky wall. It smashed him silly on the spot and his tactical helmet became damaged. A cold stream of water came gushing inside and the so-called Heat Network, his so-called armor, was of no use. His consciousness faded and the world instantly spun all around.