The Dual Headed Salamander ate the Unihorn Lizards slowly, as if it were enjoying a snack. It went around looking for the ones it liked best, picking the fatter ones and discarding the skinny ones. Even the Unihorn Lizards, who were only slightly skinnier, were rejected.
In this short period of time, this ferocious two-headed beast had eaten six red Giant Lizards. Now a large herd of Unihorn Lizards were crawling on the ground before flapping their wings and flying away. Terrified, they ran in all four directions, not wanting to come near at all. The same also applied to the red Unihorn Lizard.
Seeing that it was impossible to catch up anymore, the Dual Headed Salamander then turned away and looked around at its surroundings, waiting for Garen’s next order. Both of its heads had long, snake-like necks that stood up straight in mid air, waiting to lunge forward and bite its enemies like a snake.
"Too fierce..." said Garen softly, unable to deny this fact any longer. Six red Unihorn Lizards would be equivalent to twelve Potential points.
This evolution would help him regain almost one third of the Potential points he had used.
Garen noticed that out of the red Unihorn Lizards that the Dual Headed Salamander had killed, one of the larger sized ones had not been fully eaten. There was a blood-red coloured egg sticking out of its abdomen and beating continuously like a heart.
This egg was slightly over a meter tall, and was giving off a light silver glow.
Garen leaped up and landed on the Dual Headed Salamander’s back. He found a hollow area to hid there, before using his grey robe to shield himself further.
"Go back. Now."
Now that he had a Form 3 Totem, Garen had the right to steadily replenish his Potential points, to ensure that his Impact Core Totems could be upgraded to higher levels. If he were to single-handedly nurture Core Totems to be evolved, he would only obtain a low percentage of the points he required, and even if he accumulated the few points he had over the span of a year, he would still only be able to reach Form 2 Totem levels. By then, he would have easily been taken out by the Obscuro Society and Terraflor Society already. After all, his old man Vanderman had offended the Obscuro Society, and those bloodthirsty bastards would never be satisfied with just leaving a true-born son like himself alone.
Meanwhile, the higher ups of the Terraflor Society also held a life-or-death grudge with Vanderman.
"Fortunately, I finally have some self-preservation skills now. Even if the Great War broke out and Iron Tank City fell into chaos, I would still be able to protect myself somewhat," Garen sighed in relief.
Form 3 Totems, even if they were merely Silver Totems, were still equivalent to those of Elite-level in various cities. In Iron Tank City, there were almost five thousand Totem users, and less than fifty of them were Form 3 Totem users, the undefeatables, said to be the ultimate pillars of strength.
In Garen’s case, he was considered to have only touched the threshold of elite strength.
As for the Grand Duke and Grand General levels, one would definitely need a Form 4 final stage Totem. It would also require various secret and powerful means, which could include specially researched non-animal type Totems. In some of the monster information books that Garen had purchased from the war Guild, they mentioned certain unusual organizations that possessed Aberration Totem types.
These powerful Aberration Totems were far superior to most Totems, as they were aberration types that were specially forged and nurtured for strong individuals. An example of this would be the Grand Duke’s Platinum Dragonhawk, the most suitable Core Totem for a Grand Duke.
The Form 4 Aberration Totem, which was also designated as Form 5, was also officially acknowledged as the strongest level that had ever existed in the whole world.
Some of the information that Garen had collected clearly proved that point.
Form 5 had always been the unspeakable secret of the aristocrats and the royal family. It was also the true reason for the foundation of their existence that had been passed down from one generation to the next.
Putting his thoughts aside, Garen tapped the Dual Headed Salamander’s back lightly.
The Salamander exhaled impatiently while one of its heads looked up at the Unihorn Lizard with the parasite. Its footsteps echoed loudly as it stomped on the ground, as it ran in the direction it had came from earlier.
Perched on its back, Garen resembled a tiny grey moth, as he lay on top of it gently, keeping his eyes downcast the whole time.
On the road back, Garen heard the loud cries coming from the inner city once again.
Strange cries of monsters could be heard throughout the sky as the ground shook slightly, causing some decrepit houses to toppled down instantly. Explosion-like noises echoed endlessly, one after another, continuously without stopping.
All of the monsters in the surroundings had gathered here because of the noise, and Garen took the opportunity to jump up and stand on one of the Dual Headed Salamander’s heads so that he could look into the inner city from afar.
In the grey-white sky nearby the city, a large cluster of small black dots along with another cluster of small dots, mostly silver-coloured, were fighting with each other. Within the silver dots, a large Platinum Dragonhawk continuously punched through the air as it flew, as if it were a sharp knife continuously cutting the small black dots into smaller pieces.
Perched on the back of the Platinum Dragonhawk was a tall man in gold armor, holding a sharp spear. Every time he pierced his weapon through the air, another red Giant Lizard would be killed.
"Is that the Grand Duke?" Garen squinted while he travelled further away on the Dual Headed Salamander, as the war zone in the inner city became blurrier the further he went.
Garen jumped off of the Salamander’s head and landed on his back, before checking the current amount of Potential points. After the Deep Swamp Croc’s evolution, there were only five Potential points left, but after that he had accumulated another twelve points, increasing the final amount to the current total of seventeen points.
When he returned to the villa, the Dual Headed Salamander’s large body frightened the other Totems and caused them to prostrate before it, before Garen instructed it to dig an underground maze for itself in the backyard, to be used as its nest.
Garen himself jumped off the Salamander’s back, and leaped a few times before going into the broken window on the second floor, into his previous study.
In the period of time after that, Garen allowed the Dual Headed Salamander to go out and hunt every day, while he hid inside the villa and practiced his Tactics.
He had not expected that Lala would have been so well-behaved. Every time she heard a loud, terrifying noise coming from outside, she was too afraid to walk out of the door to take a look, and was now completely unaware of what was happening outside.
This made Garen change his initial thoughts of explaining everything to her. Instead, he had now decided that he was not going to explain anything that was unnecessary.
Garen spent about four or five more days in his villa, and evolved his remaining two Blue Back Lizards into Petrifying Lizards. After that, he began accumulating Potential points, in preparation to impact the Black-Striped White Tiger.
‘Core - Black-Striped White Tiger: First Form Totem, upgradable. Probability of successful evolution: 11%. Potential point cost: 700%.
Abilities: Tail Whip, Puncturing Crunch.’
With only an 11% success rate while requiring seven points each time, this cost was not something that most Totem users could bear. This was also the reason why the Black-Striped White Tiger had not achieved a successful case in so many years.
The cost was greater than most of the Totems, while the success rate was smaller than most of them. Moreover, information regarding post-evolution nurturing was inadequate, and almost impossible to find.
Only those who used the method of high Potential points to evolve their Totems like Garen could afford to pile on the evolutions.
The Dual Headed Salamander’s terrifying rank suppression made him invincible in the midst of the surrounding red Giant Lizard herds. Every time it left, it would roar loudly, and would always successfully capture at least five red Giant Lizards. Furthermore, when it cooperated with the Resonance Hawks and the Beetles, they would always return with at least ten of their prey.
Five days later.
Garen stood in the garden of his villa and looked around. The sky above him was clean, and there were no monsters flying there. This area had finally become the Dual Headed Salamander’s territory. Ever since it scared that Giant Bird away, other large beasts no longer flew past here anymore.
He stood beside the red Giant Lizard that was currently the Parasite host, and crouched down to stroke the red egg gently. He felt a warm and hard sensation creeping up his hand, as if he was touching a burning piece of rubber.
The red egg would jump occasionally, following the regular and rhythmic beat of a heart.
Moments later, the jumping movement became more frequent, and became faster as well.
Pop! Pop! Pop!
Tiny cracks began to form on the surface of the red eggs.
A soft noise could be heard. It sounded like a watermelon getting sliced open.
The red egg split open from the middle, and out crawled a half-meter long, black-coloured baby crocodile. The crocodile opened its mouth and exposed its red tongue, which had a ferocious-looking tip, the most impressive of all its mouthparts.
"It finally hatched, the small-scale Deep Swamp Croc," Garen stood up and watched as the little crocodile began to chomp on the corpse of the red Giant Lizard that incubated it.
Only when the little crocodile had almost finished eating did he turn his gaze away, before looking at the Pane of the Black-Striped White Tiger in his Totem Pane, his eyebrows furrowing suddenly.
"In these five days, I’ve obtained over sixty points of Potential Value, but failed and lost most of them apparently. This Black-Striped White Tiger is impossibly hard to evolve…"
His mood began to darken. Sixty-three points of Potential Value, and a grand total of nine evolutions, who would have expected that he would not even succeed once. All of these had caused Garen’s bad mood. He had used all of his accumulated Potential points on this because he was hoping to reach the next level in one go. Unfortunately, the situation was not as simple as he had imagined.
"The monster herds in the surroundings have almost been all hunted to death. The Salamander’s influence is becoming too strong, and it’s only a matter of time before it catches the attention of the Form 3 monsters. I cannot let this continue any longer."
Garen looked at the all the Totems he currently possessed.
Silver Totems: Dual Headed Salamander, Resonance Hawk, Petrifying Lizard, Howling Wererabbit.
Primitive Totems: Neon Butterfly, Black-Striped White Tiger.
The Howling Wererabbit’s icon was greyed out, showing that it was probably suffering heavy injuries, or was already dead. In this terrifying and chaotic environment, in order to survive properly, one would need to rely on their individual strength.
Moreover, the evolution percentages of the Primitive Totems were frighteningly low. It would be more cost-effective to evolve the Silver Totems first. After all, once a Primitive Totem was broken or had suffered injuries, in the event that there were no Totem repairing skills, the strength of the Totem would just gradually decrease.
Although the Silver Totems possessed weaker powers, they could still rest and restore themselves like living creatures. The most important factor was that the probability of successful Totem evolution for Silver Totems was much higher.
Garen looked at all of his Silver Totems. The Petrifying Lizard was the only one that could be evolved, and its evolution percentage was still very high.
‘Petrifying Lizard (Unnamed): Form 1 of the Blue Back Lizard’s evolution, Second Form Creature Totem. Upgradable, Probability of successful evolution: 34%. Potential Point cost: 500%.
Abilities: Petrifying Gaze (Any enemy creature that makes eye contact with it will be affected by the Light of Petrification), Rapid Drilling.’
"A thirty-four percent probability, I could take a chance and try. I’ll go and take a look at the situation in the inner city first, before I begin to evolve the Petrifying Lizard. I definitely need more Form 3 Totems. Including the Dual Headed Salamander’s parasite, I could surely forge a Totem army!"
A plan began to form in Garen’s mind.
"I should go and check on Goth and the others, I’m not sure if the wounds that Goth had sustained from earlier have healed by now. Jessica’s illness should be cured too, right? The time taken for me to go there and come back should be sufficient for the Salamanders to regain their Potential points."
He had attacked the Black-Striped White Tiger so many times, but they always ended in failure. Garen wanted to take this opportunity to cool down, and subside his emotions as well. At the same time, he wanted to see how Jessica was doing. Although history showed that she was alive and well, he was still worried in case there were any changes.