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"However, the timing we’ll change it to and what will we change is still a problem," Garen mulled while he remained seated.
An impossible plan lingered in his mind, and whether this plan would succeed depended on the research conclusions observed in this period of time.
"We’ll wait for a bit and see. If that plan succeeds, it won’t matter if it’s the Black-Striped White Tiger or other cores, or whether there even is a core totem, because it will all be irrelevant."
Five days later…
Alone within the carriage, Garen stood in front of the laboratory equipment, gently shaking a test tube filled with pale yellow liquid.
The midday sunlight shone in from the outside and gave the interior an ethereal glow.
Garen carefully returned the test tube to the test tube rack, pipetted a drop of red liquid from a second test tube and released it into the first one.
Instantly, black smoke curled out of the test tube while an intoxicatingly sweet smell slowly saturated the air.
"Success…" Garen nodded in satisfaction. "The Dual Headed Salamander serum that I separated using the centrifuge can probably be ridden of its toxicity this time.
He picked up the pale yellow liquid-filled test tube and shook it in sync with the clock, as though his hand contained an unknown regular pattern.
Rolling up his sleeves, Garen exposed his right arm, picked up the syringe he had prepared earlier and equipped the needle. He began to suck the serum out of the test tube. Only when all of the pale yellow liquid had been sucked into the syringe did he take it out of the test tube, before flicking the needle tip.
Garen’s left hand pressed down the syringe plunger steadily as he pierced the needle directly into his vein at his wrist.
The needle was inserted into his bloodstream through his vein slowly, and the Dual Headed Salamander’s serum sample flowed into Garen’s blood. After a few moments, a strong rejection reaction suddenly occurred within Garen’s body.
He tossed the syringe away and remained standing in his initial position, while all the blood vessels in his body began to swell up slightly.
On his neck, his veins swelled up endlessly, as green blood vessels began to slowly appear on his handsome face. Garen began to gasp for air, while beads of sweat started to cover his entire forehead.
"I’ve research the serums of various creatures, such as the Dual Headed Salamander’s serum, wild creatures’ serum, and the Petrifying White Dragon’s serum. The wild creature totem’s serum used to give off the strongest rejection until now, where that property now lies with the Silver Totem that I control. Moreover, out of my Silver Totems, the Petrifying White Dragon’s blood toxicity is too strong, which means I can only choose the Dual Headed Salamander… I’ve diluted its concentration levels greatly, and also got rid of some of the toxic proteins, so the remaining serum is very weak now, and I should be able to succeed."
Garen grinded his teeth, feeling as though an inferno was rampaging within him.
The blood inside his body began to flow faster as it tried to expel the injected serum, but Garen suppressed this natural instinct.
The Peak State Secret Technique allowed him to control his own blood flow and physiological responses perfectly. He suppressed his body’s rejection reaction, allowing the injected serum to enter his circulation system quickly.
The serum entered his blood and quickly became more diluted, and much lighter as well.
After more than ten minutes, Garen sighed in relief slowly, and opened his tightly shut eyes.
"The first step… went as expected, and it was a success." He clenched his fist and felt a tingling sensation throughout his whole body, a sign that the Dual Headed Salamander’s serum had already assimilated into the circulation system of his body. This potent serum was like an incomparable poison to the average person, but for a strong and healthy Secret Technique user like himself, the harm caused by the serum could be controlled to an extent.
"As long as this plan succeeds, I will become the core totem, and the core totem will be myself!" Garen glanced at his right hand, and unconsciously thought of the gigantic city troll that he had once seen.
He found out through his research that when silver creatures were controlled by the Derivator, the area that was actually being controlled was the brain. Meanwhile, the remaining areas would not be controlled at all. After conducting many experiments, he made a mad decision.
That mad decision was the test that he was attempting right now.
After stowing the equipment used for the injection and the other experiment tools securely, Garen slowly sat down at his favourite seat in the carriage. He closed his eyes to visualise the situation inside himself.
The blood continued to circulate inside him, and by now he could clearly feel that there were some signs of unknown changes happening inside his own body.
The blood vessels through which the serum had flowed through had begun giving off a layer of gentle light. This layer of light flashed softly and did not bring any attention to itself, making it barely noticeable.
Garen rested for a while until he felt that his body had returned to normal, before finally relaxing.
The human body is a balanced circulatory system in itself, but right now, he wanted to destroy this system, in order to build an even stronger circulation.
"Lord Garen, it’s time for lunch," Lala called from outside.
The carriage troop had rushed a five-day journey and faced constant hurdles along the way, forcing the cavalry team to be replaced three times. After the three aristocrats joined their entourage, the head of the cavalry team was switched to a form two totem user, showing the government’s priorities on this matter.
"I’m coming," Garen stood up and exited the carriage.
After that, another six days passed.
In this period of time, after Garen had successfully performed an experiment with the serum, he began to regularly inject himself with the Dual Headed Salamander’s serum once a day.
His body gradually began to accept the toxicity of the serum, and under Garen’s control, the rejection reactions stopped as well, showing that his body had naturally adapted to the serum, and had quickly balanced itself simultaneously.
Garen did not waste extra attention on matters regarding the core totem. Instead, he repeatedly conditioned his body. After all, the situation concerning the Black-Striped White Tiger could not be rushed, and required him to wait patiently.
As for the Kovitan kingdom, they had finally arrived.
The wheels on the carriage spun smoothly.
Garen sat in the driver’s seat and looked towards the faraway lands in front of him while the evening sunlight began to bask on his body, gilding him in golden rays.
On Garen’s left shoulder perched an owl with ashen feathers. The owl was over half a meter long, and its sharp claws tightened and loosened around Garen’s arm from time to time whenever it shifted its lower body.
This owl was the totem of Hunting Group member Ansa, but was merely an insignificant form two totem. Since its form one body was the easiest low-level state to evolve, it was evolved to form two. However, it only had one ability, which was its night vision observation. Although all owls possessed night vision abilities, this owl’s ability was slightly stronger, allowing it to see places that were especially dark.
Even though this grey owl was not especially useful, its claws were still unusually sharp.
Garen allowed Ansa to let the owl out so that he could play with it. These lesser ability totems did not consume a large amount of points when released, and were excellent to use for training purposes. Ansa did not object to this at all.
At the back of the front carriage, Angel sat at the end, holding up one knee, and playing with a black dagger in her hand. She looked disinterestedly at Garen as he played with the grey-feathered owl.
This expression had been plastered on her face for two whole days already, because Garen was utterly boring.
No one noticed that while the owl had stuck its claws into Garen’s arm and perched there, there was not a hint of totem light emitting from his arm.
Garen teased the owl while observing the changes that had occurred in his body.
He got rid of his totem light and placed the Green Vine Sphere inside the carriage. Afterwards, he made sure that he was alone and that there were no other creatures close by, so that he could come into contact with the totem beast like this. His predicted result had been spot on.
His own body had already achieved its own totem light attributes.
He analysed this carefully, and realised that it was probably because of a certain reason.
"If a totem user is covered in their totem light for a long period of time, their own bodies will eventually go through the same situation as mine. They will produce a resistance towards the totem light. The only difference is that I used my Secret Technique and the serum to speed up the process. The short-term two-in-one process caused by Spiritualization was probably the key element that quickened this process. However, I’m not the same as them…"
Garen stroked the owl’s smooth but slightly hard feathers, while he drifted off into deep thought.
"Regarding my current body, when compared to a totem, it probably has strength comparable to a form one totem right now. This excludes the totem light, the Green Vine Sphere, the Troll Grip, and only refers to my flesh body."
Garen swayed his hand gently to shake off the owl, prompting it to fly away.
"The first step is easy, I just need to have the blood controlling ability, strong physical fitness, plus a refined and toxin-free serum, in order to achieve this level. However, the second step will be much more troublesome," Garen continued to ponder.
While researching the Crystal Derivator and the Resonance Stone, he had managed to improve the feasibility of his previous plan to near perfection. Regardless if it was the empowering measures of the Obscuro Society or the specialized principle vibration of the Resonance Stone, as long as those things were combined with Garen’s plethora of knowledge and theory systems from both Earth and the Secret Technique world, the plans of the first step would be completed without a hitch.
Garen had never really prioritized the nurturing of core totems from the beginning; he had always been preparing this plan. Now, he had finally finished the first step.
Currently, his core totem, the Black-Striped White Tiger was not working, and Garen had finally decided that he would give up on it, and focus on completing his plan instead.
The goal of this plan was the allow his flesh body to be transformed completely so that it would possess Silver Totem characteristics, while remaining uncontrollable by others. This thought came to him while constantly chatting with Leila, and had slowly expanded from there.
He tapped his skin lightly, and realised that his strength was now almost on par with the totem light of a form one totem, except that it was of a slightly weaker grade.
The supposed form one totems were actually creatures who were covered by a layer of totem light on the surface. Most of the form one totems were like that, except that the strength of the totem light was decided by the totem itself.
Regarding the newfound totem light traits that he had acquired, Garen was not surprised at all. The Obscuro Society research knowledge that Leila brought along, as well as the bits of Vanderman’s research information he had acquired from the mansion had all mentioned this kind of supposed occurrences.
These occurrences referred to the traits that allowed living creatures to carry the totem light. All of these originated from the empowering process. However, the empowering process was an abnormal process, and Vanderman chose to perform this process on foreign bodies to provide them to people.
Meanwhile, the direction that Garen chose to follow, was the one that all researchers had always hoped to succeed in.
Indeed, it was to use the totem power to strengthen one’s own body.
This required a sufficiently strong flesh body, and it was a shame that no one in this world, including the normal people and those who belonged to the Master-level, had a body that was as strong as his own.