Chapter 756 Genetic Optimization and Ambitions
Along one of the continuous mountain ranges of Planet Macipher, a mountain face was dug out by Han Xiao’s machinery to form a cave, and the cave was equipped with a fully automatic environmental shelter, disguised as a rock. In the light of dawn, those outside could not see the existence of the cave, and the energy detection shield blocked out many of the satellite detectors that Sardeem had arranged in outer space, making it impossible for the owner of the planet to discover any energy responses here with just satellites. This area was a blind spot on their radar.
Within the cave was a hollowed-out mountain belly, and Han Xiao had unfolded a portable mechanical fortress there, occupying thousands of square meters. Numerous mechanical foundations were spread across the mountain walls, supporting the hollowed abdomen of the mountain. This area had turned into a stronghold, and the multiple mechanical foundations also served as light sources, illuminating the darkness of the cave.
After laying his hands on the Evolution Cube the previous night, Han Xiao had analyzed his situation clearly and decided to leave the Planet Macipher’s city to set up a temporary hidden stronghold in the wilderness of the planet to prevent Sardeem from detecting their usage of the Evolution Cube. After Hila brought Aurora over, Han Xiao took the three of them there and built a small base with the compressed orbs that he carried with him.
He always carried equipment to set up a temporary camp.
After settling down, Han Xiao took out the Evolution Cube, explaining his hypothesis so far. Originally, the three of them were confused over Han Xiao’s sudden irrational behavior, but after hearing the history of the item, they were enlightened.
The trio looked curiously at the small black cube in Han Xiao’s hands. Aurora was purely curious about Universal Treasures, while Hila was interested in its ability to promote one’s strength.
Feidin, however, showed an anxious expression. “This is the Evolution Cube of legends? Since we’ve picked it up, what do we do now? Do we return it to Psyker? Will he think that we stole it?”
Because he had followed Han Xiao to visit Austin, he knew that this belonged to Psyker.
Han Xiao could only helplessly reply, “I haven’t thought of that yet.”
“It can’t be that you’re thinking of keeping the Evolution Cube,” Feidin said. “If you do, we’ll also become enemies with Psyker. Now that you’ve already provoked the Tyrant, if we add on Psyker, that would mean that you’ve provoked half of the Beyond Grade As in the Shattered Star Ring…”
Han Xiao interrupted him. “We can discuss that later. Since the Evolution Cube is in my hands, let’s first use.”
How do we use it?” Hila impatiently asked.
“If my memory serves me right…”
Han Xiao flipped the small black cube around, scrutinizing it. Every face was as smooth as a mirror, absent of any notches. Even when he exerted strength with his fingers, it did not leave any traces.
After hesitating, he covered the two sides of the cube with both his palms, pressing down on all corners of the cube simultaneously. The next moment, the inky black surface lit up with streams of light, and a spherical black energy ball wrapped around the cube, suspending it in midair.
“The first step was right…” Han Xiao was overjoyed.
The easiest way to utilize the Evolution Cube was to enter it when it was in its natural state. However, when the Evolution Cube was fixed in its portable mode, the container needed to be opened in a specific manner to expose an opening where the energy from the cube could exit.
The first step was thus to put the container into its ‘Ready* status. This was what Han Xiao had just done. However, it did not mean that the cube had been activated yet.
A cover would then materialize around the cube, which served as a password input screen. A series of specific ‘passcode symbols’ would have to be drawn on it to open the container. This was equivalent to a password. Compared to the Secret Message Bead, this was actually quite simple.
Many players from his past life had used the Evolution Cube in the Arcane Church in exchange for their Contribution Points. Thus, there were a few that had watched the NPCs from the Arcane Church unlock the Evolution Cube in person and recorded it. The process was not a secret to him, and there were even others who posted a summary of the passwords for the Evolution Cube, which were made up of forty-two different symbols.
However, the exact shape and position of the symbols were a little vague to Han Xiao. Fortunately, his Intelligence attribute had improved so much that his memories were already structured like a bookcase. All his memories were stored in different categories, which could be manually accessed and viewed. Such thinking modes could be mastered by ordinary people just after training, let alone for Mechanics with extremely high Intelligence and large brain areas. Otherwise, would it not be too difficult for them to memorize their blueprints?
After pondering for a while, he slowly recalled the structure of the symbols and started to trace with his fingers on the energy cover of the cube, leaving behind golden trails. He quickly finished drawing the symbols, but the energy hood was only drawn back, and the cube dropped onto the ground. Obviously, it was a failure, causing him to stagger slightly.
That’s right. The password set by the Arcane Church might not be the same as that set by the EsGod. Han Xiao suddenly realized the issue. He was a little depressed. If he failed to open the Evolution Cube, he could only smash it to allow it to regain its original size. The commotion created by that would be too big, and people would definitely notice.
Frowning and sighing, he consoled himself. That might not be the case as well. The Evolution Cube belonged to a lost civilization, and making portable containers was also this civilization’s technology. It is very advanced and is not something ordinary people can decipher. Maybe the Gods can make containers such as these, but it should be difficult to improve the technology.
As such, these forty-two symbols should be the fixed password of the container. As to why the container was not opened… maybe my drawing was inaccurate, or the order was wrong.
Han Xiao did not know that he had guessed upon the truth. This set of symbols was a fixed activation password of the portable Evolution Cube, which could not be changed. It was not only used to unlock the container but also the key to harnessing the energy of the Evolution Cube.
This was the top-secret information left behind by the Evolutionary Cube’s Civilization. At present, such knowledge was only in the hands of EsGod. Even Colin and the others did not know how to open it, to prevent their greed, betrayal, or accidental disclosure of information.
In his previous life, the Arcane Church had not been afraid of leaking out such information as no one could take away their items, so Han Xiao had become one of the few people currently who knew the password needed to open it.
He tried more than thirty times, slowly replicating the symbols, refining his accuracy. Finally, on his thirty-seventh try, there was a different reaction from the Evolution Cube.
From the center of every face on the cube, a small hole appeared, in which a black stream of ribbon-like particles escaped, surrounding the cube and propelling it in the air.
“It’s open!” Han Xiao exclaimed.
Looking at the others, Han Xiao first took a deep breath, before stretching out his palm and releasing his Mechanical Force toward the Evolution Cube.
The next moment, the black stream seemed to have discovered a vent to escape from and flocked over to Han Xiao, continuously infiltrating his body from his skin.
That was his first thought.
This sort of itch seemed to be bom from his soul. His skin, muscles, bones, blood vessels, and organs all felt the itch, but it was impossible to reach out and scratch it like scratching one’s body. The symptoms could not be relieved at all.
At this point, notifications started to pop up from the interface.
You have utilized the Evolution Cube (Gold Grade)!
You have received a permanent special benefit—[Gene Optimization: Evolution Cube]!
Identifying species… Identification complete. Your current species is: [Void Star Pursuer].
Your genetic structure is now being adjusted to the best state of the [Void Star Pursuer]. Please do not interrupt the Evolution process.
The first optimization has succeeded. Your potential qualities have increased. You have received +6 STR, +4 DEX, +5 INT, +4 MYS, +3 CHA, and +30 Energy.
Because your Energy Level is above Level 0, the second optimization has automatically succeeded. Your potential qualities have increased, and you have received +8 STR, +7 DEX, +11 END, +7 INT, +5 MYS, +6 CHA, and +40 Energy.
Because your Energy Level is above Level 14, the sixteenth optimization has automatically succeeded. Your potential qualities have increased, and you have received +64 STR, +67 DEX, +72 END, +76 INT, +61 MYS, +43 CHA, and +240 Energy.
When he was rushing toward level 238, his Energy Attribute had broken through the 40,000 mark, achieving the [Level 14] bonus.
For each additional energy attribute level, one would be able to access an additional layer of genetically optimized attributes as a reward. Hence, the stronger one’s body was, the better the effect of one’s first use. The attributes awarded were based on a variety of factors, such as cell activity, life span, and species—of which the species had the greatest impact. The Evolution Cube would be optimized based on the race, and if one’s racial species was more powerful, their benefits would be greater.
When the Evolution Cube was used for the second time onward, it would not be calculated based on the new strength level but rather repeat the optimization process for each layer. However, the attributes given would be greatly reduced, with each subsequent usage giving out less than the previous one, until there was no effect. Only through the sublimation into a new racial species would one then regain some benefits, but even that would be far less effective than the first use of the Evolution Cube.
Han Xiao endured his itchiness while calculating in his mind. This series of genetic optimizations had provided him with an extremely terrifying increase in his attributes. The five attributes of Strength, Dexterity, Endurance, Intelligence, and Mystery shot up by more than five hundred points, while Charm was increased by nearly four hundred points. As for Energy, there was an increase of 2,100!
This wave of soaring attributes exceeded the total amount of attribute points that he had obtained up till Energy Level 14!
The sum of all his improved attributes added to reach more than three thousand points, which was equivalent to Han Xiao’s attributes being improved by a third. The effect was outstanding!
Because the potential of the [Void Star Pursuer] was strong—coupled with his young age, high vitality cells, and strong energy—the increase was terrifying!
When he had upgraded his profession to Emperor Mechanic, rising to level 238, his total Energy count had been at 32,600. Right now, after utilizing the Evolution Cube, he suddenly leaped up by another 2,000 points, reaching 34,450.
Even though the itchiness in Han Xiao was hard to bear, he could not help but reveal an expression of joy. This genetic optimization was too worthwhile.
However, the notifications on the interface had not yet ended.
The first time utilizing the Evolution Cube awarded you with sixteen layers of genetic optimization. There will be a +40% experience penalty to level up, which will last for 16 months.
Han Xiao nodded to himself secretly. Players would suffer from experience penalties upon using the Evolution Cube. After all, the attributes obtained were equivalent to gaining ten or more levels. It was just like the saying of pulling up seedlings to help them grow—it would be impossible without a cost. This principle was just like how a stronger lifeform would find it harder to sublimate themselves. Each time the Evolution Cube was utilized, there would be a forty percent experience penalty, and the duration would depend on the number of genetic optimizations obtained.
However, this was nothing to Han Xiao. Just a forty percent experience penalty, under the influence of his thirty percent increase through the Political Asset, was essentially just a ten percent penalty. Han Xiao’s experience gain relied on the experience of his leek fields. He could afford to just wait for a while, using this sixteen-month penalty in exchange for a large increase in attributes. This was a permanent force that would result in larger combat power.
Furthermore, the stronger one’s attributes, the higher the energy level. As such, his chances of breaking through to the Beyond Grade A at level 240 was even higher now.
At this time, the interface popped up with the last few notifications.
Special Conditions met: On your first time utilizing the Evolution Cube, you unlocked more than ten layers of genetic optimizations.
Special effect triggered.
In the next advancement, you will receive an additional opportunity to perform a Race Evolution.
Gene Optimization has ended.
The black particle flow finally stopped flowing, retreating into the Evolution Cube.
Han Xiao hurriedly squatted down to take a breath, calming himself. He then slowly sensed the power within his newly increased attributes, giving him the feeling that he could blow up a whole planet.
Feidin rushed up to help, asking, “How was the effect?”
Han Xiao only waved his hands, signaling that there was no need for any aid. He then slowly stood up, feeling refreshed. Seeing Hila staring at him, he could not help but laugh.
“I’ve tested it, and the side effects are small. All of you should have a go.”
Hila immediately nodded. “Let me go first then.”
Han Xiao did not hesitate, opening the Evolution Cube again to allow the black particle stream to flow toward Hila.
From the perspective of an outsider, the black particle stream would wrap the user into a black cocoon. It took a while for Hila to break out of the cocoon, as though emerging from the cocoon as a butterfly. There was a red glow in her eyes, which then slowly faded.
“Sis, how do you feel?” Aurora curiously asked.
Hila clenched her fists, and her sharp look softened suddenly, as she revealed a rare smile.
“I feel really great.”
Seeing the situation, Han Xiao smiled. He was happy to share the Evolution Cube, which would allow him to improve the backbone of his group.
Soon, there were another two cocoons beside the Evolution Cube. It was Feidin’s and Aurora’s turn to enjoy the baptism of genetic optimization.
Han Xiao stood beside them, looking at the two people who were undergoing the process, and suddenly spotted a problem.
If the Evolution Cube returned to Psyker, he would not know the opening symbols, only being able to destroy the container and release the evolution block, making it return to its original state.
It seemed … that only Han Xiao knew how to use the evolutionary block in its portable state.
Once this thought was bom, Han Xiao’s eyes flashed.
Maybe this is a foundation for cooperation…
In a short while, Feidin and Aurora also completed their optimizations, and each experienced with their own changes.
“Ok, what’s the plan now?” Feidin immediately asked. Since the Evolution Cube had been used, it was time for them to think about what to do next.
Han Xiao’s answer was out of his expectations.
“You all will stay here.”
The three of them stopped in shock.
“Are you planning to…” Feidin was in disbelief.
Before waiting for him to finish, Han Xiao nodded. “Sardeem has already sealed up the entire planet, so Psyker will probably catch up soon. I have my ways of protecting myself from a Beyond Grade A but not you guys. We will act separately this time. You guys stay here temporarily. I have a way to leave this planet.”
His real objective was to utilize the Void Dimension Jump to leave Planet Macipher on his own. This way, he could precisely test the accuracy of the detection method that Sardeem or Psyker had.
No matter how he planned to deal with the Evolution Cube, he could not avoid taking a risk. In this manner, it would be better if he just operated solo. This way, he would not need to worry about his teammates.
In reality, this Evolution Cube was a hot potato, but since it had already fallen into his hands, Han Xiao was not willing to hand it over.
Risk and opportunity co-existed side by side. This was the situation that he had analyzed, and there was no doubt that only by keeping the Evolution Cube in his possession could he maximize the benefits.
As for whether he had the ability to keep it… if he did not try, how would he know?
Thus, Han Xiao decided to enter the desolate universe belt with the Evolution Cube by himself, giving himself time to accumulate enough experience to reach level 240.
While he did not know the exact context, he felt that the facts should be similar to his own deduction. It was likely that there would be a pursuer, which was most probably Psyker.
Han Xiao had nothing against Psyker and even respected such heroes who cared about their races.
The Evolution Cube only worked for an individual, but the descendants of powerful individuals would also end up inheriting certain genetic optimization effects. Furthermore, undergoing another process through the Evolution Cube would be a positive cycle, and this was exactly how Psyker had managed to evolve his Star Pupil Holy Race to its current state.
To this day, the Evolution Cube was still a very important tool for the development of the Star Pupil Holy Race…
However, what had that got to do with him?
He was not a member of the Star Pupil Holy Race!
He was not even the one who stole the cube!
He just picked it up!
Han Xiao had already made his decision. At least, he had to exchange blows with Psyker once. If he could not fend him off, it would not be too late to negotiate!