Garen withdrew his hand and glanced at the totem panel. The Dual Headed Salamander’s icon remained there. It did not turn grey nor disappear.
He thoughtfully withdrew his hand and immersed his body in the nutrient pool, which had turned to clear water. The blood stains on his body were quickly washed off with the slightly vibration, revealing his white fleshed body beneath.
Suddenly, he noticed that although the Dual Headed Salamander's icon remained, some strange changes had quietly taken place.
He carefully looked at the totem’s introduction symbol. Suddenly, his pupils shrunk.
"What is this!!??"
The explanation on the front of Dual Headed Salamander’s totem icon suddenly evolved into a core totem!
"Core totem - Dual Headed Salamander: Third evolution of Deep Swamp Croc. Third Form Creature, Ultimate Totem, Cannot be evolved.
Abilities: Maze Mining, Life Tear, Dragon’s Roar, Dragon Skin, Parasitism."
Suddenly his heart skipped a beat, Garen gradually gathered his martial arts aura.
As the Myriad Water Jasper Technique continued to operate, a faint red aura slowly formed. It was a blood-like, thickened fluid, spreading all over the ground.
Garen could clearly feel a huge blood red pattern forming on his back. It was the pattern of the Dual Headed Salamander's body outline.
Garen extended his arm to look at his fair but abnormally tough skin. His five incredibly sharp fingernails on his left hand turned into devil-like red. Garen naturally realized that his left fingernails were the parts that could use Life Tear. Once the five red fingernails pierced any living being, it would replicate the effect of the Dual Headed Salamander’s Life Tear and draining the being’s life force to restore his own.
"This is the real way to use totems?" Garen felt enlightened in his heart.
His heart skipped a beat as the red Dual Headed Salamander behind him suddenly let out a fierce howl.
A circle of clear sound waves originated from him and spread throughout the perimeter.
"This is Dragon’s Roar." Garen, without any change in expression, jerked his left arm forward. Chii!! His five fingernails naturally extended, leaving a red shadow,. It was like a lunging, ferocious bite towards prey.
"This is Life Tear."
He abruptly leapt out from the pool in a blur. He landed in front of a clothing rack on the right side of the cave. He grabbed a grey robe and wrapped it around his body.
In a flash, Garen’s whole body was wrapped in the grey robe. His dripping wet golden hair was draped over his shoulder. His eyes were faintly glowing in red, but the most noticeable was the three red dots on his eyebrows which were still faintly emitting red fluorescence.
With a beat of his heart, the gigantic Dual Headed Salamander totem slowly dissipated. The three red dots on Garen’s eyebrows also stopped glowing, reverting to a normal three dot birthmark, like a cinnabar.
"Looking at it, once I stop using the totems, there won’t be any strange signs on my body." Garen had an epiphany.
The bizarre existence of the Dual Headed Salamander was similar to the primitive totems of Luminarists.
The only difference was while Luminarists used silver as the material for totem creation, Garen relied on blood; large amounts of the Dual Headed Salamander’s blood.
The similarity was both had an activated and deactivated form.
"Luminarists use a storage device to keep their core and secondary totems. While it seems that my current method is to combine the totem with my body as one?" Garen cautiously sensed the changes of his body. The Dual Headed Salamander totem seemed to be in the three red dots on his forehead.
He had a vague feeling that he was on the path of the legendary warlocks.
"If the way of the Luminarists retains the totem’s life as an independent being, my way of integrating the totem into the body to obtain the abilities of a core totem causes the totem to lose its independence. It will be totally dependent on the host body for nutrients.
He looked at the half-opened door in the distance. Komodo left it opened as he was fleeing. It was still lightly swaying from the air flow in the cave.
"Next, let’s see whether I have really surpassed my limits."
Garen focused and concentrated on the most important point.
The sign of surpassing his limits was tied to the increment of his attributes with potential points. This was the thing that he cared for the most. As for the core totem’s inability to evolve, there would be solutions in the future.
Even a Luminarist’s core totem could be changed once in five years. Maybe this form of core totems would be able to as well.
After focusing, Garen shifted his attention towards the attribute pane.
"Let me try it on vitality first." He glanced at "vitality" on the pane.
His vitality had already raised to 2.97 after the heart transplant.
He focused his gaze for three seconds.
One potential point vanished from the pane.
The vitality bar jumped from 2.97 to 3.07 in a moment.
Garen’s eyelid twitched. He remembered clearly that one potential point could increase 0.3 on the attribute pane previously. But now, it only increased it by 0.1.
Although he expected a increase in the depletion rate of potential points during attribute increment due to the increase in his strength, he didn’t think it would be so much.
"Luckily I’ve accumulated more than 400 potential points. Let’s see how much will be used." Garen was determined. His fixated his gaze on "Vitality".
His vitality shot up like a rocket. From 3.07 to 3.27, then 3.57...3.96...4.26...
His potential points also dropped like a stone.
As the vitality hit 5.00, the increment speed slowed down.
Through Garen’s careful observation, he realized that the depletion rate had changed once again. One potential point could now only increase 0.05 in attributes, which means 20 potential points were needed to increase 1 attribute point.
"Since I still have a lot, and only a few potential points were used, continue!" Garen’s expression remained and continued increasing his attributes. He was looking forward to see the attribute limits of his new body. Every being has a limit. The difference was whether the limit can be reached.
His vitality points continue to raise at an insane rate. As it hit 5.00, it required 20 potential points to increase 1 attribute point. In one go, Garen’s vitality rushed past 6.00, then 7.00, 8.00.
As it hit 8.00, the depletion rate chanced once again. From requiring 20 potential points to increase one attribute point, it became above 60 potential points.
As his vitality hit 10.00, it was stuck at this number and could no longer be increased.
His potential points had already been depleted by almost 200 points. Garen felt the heartache as he looked at the remaining 200 potential points which had been accumulated over a long period of time. Recently, the results haven’t been good for the Petrifying White Dragon and the rest. There was only an increase of around 10 points each day. It was evident that there wasn’t much to hunt.
As Garen stood in the tunnel, he felt the changes caused by the huge increase in attributes.
Before the increase, he could already rely on his 6 points of strength to draw in a fight with the Dual Headed Salamander. The Dual Headed Salamander was a giant beast known for its strength. As his vitality reached 10.00, Garen was unsure what changes it would bring. He only felt a stronger musculoskeletal system,tougher skin and more alert senses.
His sense of smell could detect different kinds of odors. It could detect the Dual Headed Salamander’s blood, his own blood, the smell of stones, the smell of nutrient fluids and even the fragrance of a bush in the far corner.
His eyes could see the minute patterns on the wall opposite the cave’s hall. There was a black beetle crouching there. Garen could clearly see that the little finger-sized beetle was mildly chewing on some moss on the wall. He could even clearly see the villi on its mouth.
The sound of the beetle chewing on the moss seemed to be just beside his ear. He could hear it completely once he focused his attention.
Garen felt the toughening of his skin all over his body, but other than that, there didn’t seem to have much changes visually. It was still fair like white jade of the finest grade. However, Garen could feel that his whole body was layered with a layer of invisible stratum corneum. This layer of stratum corneum was incredibly tough, like the scales of a dragon.
"The increase of vitality was effective indeed. Looks like 10 points is this body’s new limit." Garen focused his gaze on the two key attributes, strength and agility.
"Strength seems better. My martial arts has always been on the path of strength. All my styles revolved around immense strength." Garen thought for a moment and chose to increase his strength. Whatever remained would then be used on agility.
Since his martial arts did not focus on agility, this was the best way. For those martial artists that focused on speed, agility would naturally be the choice.
His fixated his gaze on the strength attribute.
The same scenario happened. The strength attributed climbed upwards from 6.66. In a brief moment, it exceeded 8.00 and was still swiftly increasing.
Garen was delighted and was eager to test the effects of the change in strength.
Suddenly, a bored, low growl came from the back of his mind.
His blood red core totem - the Dual Headed Salamander emerged from his back. The 7-8 metre tall blood totem twisted and roared towards the sky.
There was ball of flesh emerging from the Dual Headed Salamander’s body, from its back part near its neck.
The ball of flesh grew and expanded. Finally, with a tearing sound, the ball of flesh tore apart and another dragon head appeared.
It was then Garen noticed that balls of fleshes were growing on the salamander’s back as his strength attribute increased.
The balls of flesh grew more and more, bigger and bigger, like a fast-forwarded movie. The balls of flesh grew a rate visible to the naked eye. They would then tear part, forming wet, new dragon heads.
One by one the new heads emerged. Until after the eighth head, things came to a halt.
The eight headed salamander’s size had evidently increased. From a height of 7-8 metres to 10 metres and eventually twelve metres. Its twenty-metre long body looked exactly like a red mountain.
At this point, the strength attribute had increased to 14.00. The limit of the body was 10.00, but the increase of the gigantic creature wasn’t included in the limit. Garen was delighted.
Whether it was the salamander’s change or him surpassing the limits of the attributes, there seemed to be an unknown connection.
While Garen was delighted, he also faintly realized. This method of totem combination seemed to be far stronger than the way of the Luminarists.
The improvement of the host’s body could even affect the core totem. This was mind boggling.