"Of course. That was the basis of the War Guild, and the other forces had no way of reproducing it whatsoever. I researched it for a period of time as well and attempted to reproduce it, but unfortunately, I failed," Old Man nodded in reply.
"This place has an abundance of geothermal heat. Could you help me reform a War Chain? I want to upgrade the level of the Chain because this thing can be used for Solidifying and Permanent Tactics to covertly increase the powers of the members of the Chain. It's quite useful," Garen said immediately.
"Just upgrading it should be no problem, but retrieving some of the required materials will be quite troublesome. The War Guild constantly monopolizes these rare materials, making it difficult for outside forgers to obtain." Old Man shook his head to say that they had no choice. "Leader, if you want to upgrade the level of the Chain, you must upgrade it at the War Guild. There's a branch in the Kovitan Kingdom."
"Alright…" Frankly, Garen did not harbor any expectations and was merely asking around, but received the expected answer straight from Old Man's lips. Core items like these were definitely firmly controlled by the War Guild themselves.
Currently, the Nine-Headed Dragon's potential points were exhausted, and since there was no way to upgrade it, he had to think of other ways to upgrade his own strength.
Other than the effects of the War Chain's Solidifying Tactics, there were also Precious Heirlooms. Of course, if he were any other person, he would only be able to depend on these two paths to find a solution. The potential of his Core Totem was exhausted, and there was no way he could upgrade it, unless he switched the core. However, an Ultimate Totem that had reached its form 4 peak was not easy to cultivate, and he had undergone a lot of tribulations and misfortune in between.
After all, there were no tricks to get through this road easily. In the end, Core Totems needed to combine with their Totem Users, as this was one of the characteristics that were embodied during Spiritualization. If the Core Totem was not grown and cultivated with its Totem User since its low level stages, it would be impossible for them to merge.
If a strong individual gave a high level Totem to a low level Totem User directly, this high level Totem would not be able to adapt to the Totem User, and would cause the required Totem Strength consumption to increase rapidly in a short span of time. This would make it undergo terrifying changes that had the potential to suck the life out of a low level Totem User.
A Totem User needed to cultivate their Totems to ensure that the Totems would feed the Totem User themselves during the process, so that their respective natures would be able to match with one another gradually. This was in order to reach the final combination stage in the end.
Natures that were not matched, regardless of the level of the Totem, would only be burdens and encumbrances to the Totem User, and would not be of any support at all.
Thus, carelessly changing Core Totems was something that only low level Totem Users would attempt, because once they reached higher levels, only a handful of individuals would be willing to pay such a hefty price. After all, changing one's Core Totem and cultivating it from the start again would require a painstaking amount of time and effort.
Most people, even the talented ones, needed at least ten years or more. Every high level Totem that they cultivated required sources of astronomical proportions.
However, Garen was different because of his regenerative abilities. Although he had to cultivate his Totems, his Totems themselves would also feed his circulatory system, which was caused by his regenerative abilities that increased the speed of his terrifying evolution.
The time taken for him to cultivate his Totems were much faster compared to the other Totem Users. As long as his Potential Points were sufficient, he could increase his efficiency to a terrifying degree.
Garen was still pleased with the abilities of the Nine-Headed Dragon. Nine lives that could constantly be refilled through his regenerative powers easily made it a perfect match with his abilities! Perhaps it would be stronger if he changed it to a different Totem, but it would not necessarily have the same kind of powerful skills and abilities.
Next, he had to consider how to strengthen the Nine Headed Dragon.
God Cloud and the other Marshalls all had Form 5 Totems, while the Nine Headed Dragon was Garen's only Form 4 peak Totem. If he did not coordinate it with the strength of his physical body, it would be impossible for him to defeat something that was Form 5. However, his strength was only a rough guess, as actual combat would depend on his creativity, Precious Heirlooms and other means. The difference between their basic skills, however, would always be an existing factor. His other means were merely add-ons, and did not mean that his nature belonged to the Form 5 level.
Garen sat on the white rhinoceros while his ideas became clearer.
He looked at his current Attribute Pane immediately.
'Strength 14. Agility 10. Vitality 10. Intelligence 10. Potential 2218%. Obtained Luminarist qualifications.
Secret Technique -- Myriad Water Jasper Technique, Ten Thousand Mammoth Battle Skills.'
He skipped the rest.
The blood-red symbols in his Skill Pane represented his skills and their respective explanations. Garen himself was unclear of the number of skills that he had achieved, but since his Skill Pane was filled with symbols, he knew that he had obtained at least ten different types. Some of them were even accumulated from the Secret Technique world.
His attention was immediately turned towards the relationship between his Secret Techniques and Core Totem.
"The Secret Techniques are currently at the first level of the Myriad Water Jasper Technique."
It appeared on the Skill Pane clearly.
'Myriad Water Jasper Technique: Level one (Five levels in total, One of Neptune's top level ancient martial arts, used to increase the adaptability of one's body to water, and can be used to control a large amount of liquid flow."
Garen was unsure about this exceptional Secret Technique, as it was just something that he had traded with Celine for the Divine Statue Technique earlier.
That sly little fox Celine thought that she had been taken advantage of. She did not expect that the Divine Statue Technique was an Ultimate Secret Technique that only existed in theory, as the average person would not be able to adapt to it. All of this was only possible because of the Potential Points that Garen used to achieve this result. Once that cheat had been given to someone else, there was no way they could train themselves to use it.
Now that the Divine Statue Technique was gone, Garen had lost his immense physical strength and regenerative abilities in exchange for the Myriad Water Jasper Technique, and from the look of it, this new skill was not especially powerful.
He looked at his remaining Potential Points, and realized that there were only 22 points left.
He attempted to focus his gaze on the Myriad Water Jasper Technique to stop it.
There were no changes at all… Everything was still the same as it was earlier.
Garen furrowed his eyebrows. All this while he had been thinking about how he only needed ten or more points to upgrade his Secret Techniques in the past, whereas new issues had occurred now.
"It's very likely that my Potential Points are insufficient," he said as the guess appeared in his mind.
Right now, he was about to combine with the Nine Headed Dragon. The Nine Headed Dragon possessed a huge body, entirely filled with terrifyingly powerful spirits. Moreover, it also had nine lives!
A huge physical body foundation such as this was completely unlike his initial human body, and the difference was enormous.
These changes were probably caused by its difference in foundation.
A weak human body required a small amount of energy to be transformed, thus the large Nine Headed Dragon naturally did not undergo a large transformation as well.
For example, if the foundation was 1, the transformation would only need a single digit to easily undergo a large change. If the foundation was 10000, the changes of the new digits would not be substantial, and would not affect it at all.
Once he realized this point, Garen decided to attempt to accumulate a large amount of Potential Points. At the same time, he wanted to go to the War Guild in the Kingdom to upgrade his War Chain. He also wanted to see another one of the Chain's members, Angel.
She was the woman that he had once worked with in Iron Tank City, but now he was unsure of the progress of her and her group. Initially, she was already an elite Form 2 Totem User. Right now, he did not know whether or not she had entered Form 3.
Returning to his senses, he realized that his line of people had gradually entered a rocky area that was shrouded in mist. Their surroundings were still filled with the same jagged stones, except that muddy, slightly white colored flowing water had appeared in the stone cracks.
The flowing water formed large and small potholes that were all filled with hot steam that floated around endlessly.
Old Man stood in front of the line and led the way.
"It's not often that I drop by here, so I don't know if the hot spring in front still exists, but we should go there and clean our bodies."
"We can rest properly here for a day. This road is much faster than the one we took to get here. Thanks to Leader!" fawned Kitten as she smiled at Garen, before noticing that the latter was closing his eyes and concentrating, without looking at her at all.
"Hmmph!" Kitten pouted angrily.
"Is there anything good to eat here?" Meanwhile, Kid was busy thinking about food.
"There used to be whitebait here that tasted alright, and were good when roasted or made into soup. It's also full of nourishment to top it off. I don't know whether they're still here or not," replied Old Man, smiling.
"I don't think we should waste time here, so we can return to the Kingdom faster. If you want to bathe just do it quickly," said Garen absently.
"Leader, don't you need to rest? After running around for such a long time with such a dirty body… Can I ask you something, when was the last time you bathed?" Kitten retorted impatiently.
"Huh?" Garen's gaze drifted over.
The latter jumped off the rhinoceros suddenly, and hid behind Red Umbrella immediately as she had been frightened to the point where she was too afraid to come out.
"Lea… L-leader, I know that someone as kind hearted as yourself would not be offended by the little joke that I just made!" Kitten hid behind Red Umbrella's back and shouted loudly, speaking in one breath without stopping to breathe.
The others could not help but laugh softly. Before Garen's arrival, Kitten had always been the uncontrollable one in the group with a fiery mouth, and Red Umbrella who was the only one who could control her and was therefore unbothered.
No one expected that Garen's arrival would cause her to act like a mouse that had just seen a cat, thus keeping her in check at the same time.
"Men's bath times and women's ages have something in common, they are both things that you cannot ask. Understood?" said Garen coldly as he glared at Kitten who was still hiding behind Red Umbrella's back.
"Un… Understood!" Kitten nodded seriously, her whole face ghostly pale. Red Umbrella, the white rhinoceros below them, and Kitten herself had all been frightened until their entire bodies were frozen.
"That's good." Satisfied, Garen returned his gaze.
The two people and the animal breathed a sigh of relief simultaneously.
After going through this period of teasing, the atmosphere of the group had become slightly livelier.
Soon, bigger stones appeared in front of them, and the potholes in the middle of the rocks increased as well, and became bigger. Some of the potholes had become the size of little ponds with grey colored water that flowed out endlessly and constantly.
In one of the stone cracks in front, white water mist was spraying outwards like a high pressured water gun. The water mist sprayed outwards for a little while and then stopped, as if it was accumulating power before every gush.
The air was filled with water vapor, and every few meters it became difficult to see the others, and was occasionally so blurry that only black figures could be seen.
"A little further in front and you'll see the hot springs. Be careful, everyone. I haven't been here after the turmoil and I don't know whether any monsters are entrenched here," said Old Man loudly.
But the surprising part was that although the crowd had reached the large hot spring pool that Old Man led them to, there was not a single monster in sight.
Garen began to think that a stronger monster had designated this area as its territory. Thus, once they had reached their confirmed location, he began to survey the area. However, he soon realized that there were still no monsters to be seen, causing him to feel slightly confused.
These rocky areas were shrouded in white smoke. The surrounding temperatures reached over thirty degrees, while the core temperatures were up to fifty, sixty degrees. The highest temperatures of the hot springs were had almost reached a hundred degrees.
Large clouds of hot steam floated upwards, and formed a thick layer of black clouds in the sky.
He was unsure whether it was an illusion or not, but when Garen arched his head upwards, he noticed that the black cloud was changing its shape, and twisting and turning slightly.