Chapter 139: Second-Level Runes
The fourth-generation runic arrays he had previously updated to were not particularly large, with the smallest one being the size of a ping pong ball and the largest the size of a round disk.
In other words, the size of these arrays directly determined the upper limit of the energy they could contain.
And when the upper limit of energy is constrained, it means there’s a limit to the power that the runes can unleash.
So, what Su Hao needs to do next for the fifth-generation runic arrays isn’t just to crudely enlarge the array’s size to gain more powerful rune effects. Instead, he’s looking for the optimal solution for converting blood energy into power.
Increasing the array’s size can indeed provide more power, but it comes at the cost of longer activation times and a reduction in the number of runes that can be inscribed on a set of armor or a weapon.
In the end, it’s not worth it.
In Su Hao’s vision, the optimal solution for blood energy conversion is to improve the efficiency of this conversion and slightly increase the overall power of the runes to the level he desires.
Take a simple rune like ‘Barrier’ as an analogy.
The mechanism behind the Barrier is similar to the principles of non-Newtonian fluids. When activated, the runes generate a significant amount of red substance that surrounds the body. When subjected to intense impacts, this substance starts moving vigorously, greatly increasing friction and forming a protective barrier effect.
While this barrier effect is powerful, it also has its defense limits. Faced with attacks that exceed these limits, the barrier is no tougher than a sheet of paper.
As Su Hao’s battles become increasingly intense, this ‘Barrier’ is no longer sufficient to keep him safe.
It’s similar to his past battle with the King of Humans. He maintained the ‘Barrier’ effect almost throughout the battle, but the King of Humans still broke through it with a single strike.
It’s not just the ‘Barrier’ effect; most of the rune effects on his hands are no longer satisfying Su Hao’s ever-growing desire for combat… or rather, his craving for intense battles!
Su Hao doesn’t actively seek out battles; he doesn’t fight for the sake of fighting.
Battles are merely means to achieve a goal. And the stronger these means are, the smoother Su Hao’s progress towards his goals will be.
So, Su Hao needs to ensure that his combat capabilities match what he intends to do; otherwise, he’ll face destruction.
In other words, true justice is only justice when accompanied by sufficient power.
So, once he’s sure about the desired effects, the thought process for updating the array begins.
The ‘Barrier’ should be so resilient that even with all his might, Su Hao can’t break it. That’s the benchmark for a qualified ‘Second-Level Barrier’. Then, he can further enhance it based on this benchmark.
The ‘Strong Electric Current’ should deliver a lightning-like effect, ideally capable of instantly killing a person. It also deserves a name change to ‘Second-Level Strong Electric Current’.
If there’s room for further optimization and enhancement in the future, it can be upgraded to ‘Third-Level’ and ‘Fourth-Level’, and then based on his desired effects, he can choose runes of different levels.
Once the thought process is clear, Su Hao immerses himself in his own world.
“First, it’s about the power, not about having as much blood energy input as possible, but maintaining overall coordination.”
In places where more blood energy is needed, the rune structure can be made more robust to achieve greater strength. In places where simple effects suffice, the structure can be made finer, requiring only a bit of blood energy.
In the past, he only had the Golden Silkworms/Planaria, all of which were the same size, and he didn’t pay much attention to these details. But now that he can freely create runes, it’s time to explore some intricate aspects.
If all the details about runes are fine-tuned, the power of the runes won’t be just a minor improvement; it will undergo a true transformation, and the size of rune power can be controlled.
A month later, Su Hao completed the update of most of the runes.
He began conducting experiments in his laboratory.
“The effect of ‘Second-Level Barrier’ has undergone a transformation. Even at my current full strength, I can’t break through this barrier with two powerful strikes. And ‘Second-Level Sturdy’ has almost achieved the effect that the King of Humans originally displayed. Even a knife enhanced with ‘Penetration,’ ‘Sharpness,’ and ‘Erosion’ at the first level can’t penetrate ‘Second-Level Sturdy.'”
And what he’s most satisfied with is ‘Second-Level Deflection.’ When a knife strikes the ‘Second-Level Deflection’ effect, it hardly exerts any force; it simply glides through. With these three layers of defense, his safety is greatly enhanced. He has no need to fear other high-level anomalies, no matter if they’re fifth-level anomalies or kings. He can stand still, and who can touch a hair on his head?
Su Hao has a strong sense of confidence and premonition. This time, he is undoubtedly destined for a long life and invincibility.
But that’s not all. Su Hao also conducted a major update on the runes for the attack direction.
‘Second-Level Penetration’ can pierce through the ‘Second-Level Barrier’ effect, ‘Second-Level Sharpness’ can break through ‘Second-Level Sturdiness,’ and they counter each other. ‘Second-Level Coordination’ can directly neutralize the ‘Second-Level Deflection’ effect, while ‘Second-Level Erosion’ inflicts chemical damage, and ‘Second-Level Rotation’ produces explosive and twisted damage.
Also, ‘Strong Electric Current’ had its power significantly increased, so Su Hao simply renamed it ‘Second-Level Lightning.’
Overall, the rune effects on the attack side triumph over those on the defense side.
For Su Hao, this isn’t necessarily a good thing. He still wishes that the defense effects were stronger. If they could reach a level where even he couldn’t harm himself, wouldn’t he be invincible?
In addition, inspired by ‘Drill Rat,’ Su Hao developed many interesting gadgets.
For example, the tracking ‘Bombs,’ which have the effect of missiles. They can track targets with precision guidance, although Su Hao needs to control them personally.
Then there’s ‘Second-Level Thunder Beads.’ Su Hao uses bone generation to create a large number of bone spheres, each inscribed with a ‘Second-Level Lightning’ rune. When facing fast-moving enemies, he can generate thousands of tiny bone spheres and release them into the sky, creating a massive electric web.
Faced with such shameless area attacks, will speed be of any use? The faster you run, the more electrifying it gets.
When Su Hao left the laboratory, Yashan had already prepared a meal.
At the dining table, Su Hao said directly to Yashan, “Yashan, I’ve updated some of the runes recently, and they are much stronger than before. After dinner, I’ll update your bone armor.”
Yashan’s eyes lit up, and he responded with joy, “Thank you, Boss Wei!”
Then Yashan added, “Boss Wei, I’ve noticed that having rune abilities makes me practically invincible among the same level of Demons!”
Su Hao smiled, “How do you come to that conclusion?”
Yashan replied, “Some time ago, that kid Mong Chuan evolved into a ‘Night Demon,’ right? I often spar with him, and he’s hardly my match. I can only chase him, and in the end, he can only hide underground or fly into the sky to escape.”
Su Hao said , “Having one more rune is like having one more powerful skill. Strength is a given. When I inscribe the new runes for you, you’ll understand what it means to be godlike. I reckon even some fifth-level anomalies won’t be your match.”
Yashan nodded in agreement and then hesitated, saying, “But, Boss Wei, I have a question. When a ‘Night Demon’ hides underground or flies into the sky, how should we ‘Bone Demons’ respond? We can’t just let him escape, can we?”
Su Hao asked, “Have you mastered the ‘Bone Control’ ability?”
Yashan scratched his head, feeling embarrassed. “It’s too difficult, Boss Wei. I have no sense of control! What I generate is just bone spurs, and they’re driving me crazy.”
Then Yashan cautiously asked, “Boss Wei, I mean, are there any other methods besides ‘Bone Control’? In case we encounter such a situation in the future, I’d like to have some means of dealing with it.”
Su Hao contemplated it, and Yashan had a point. It might be a good idea to provide him with some additional attack methods.
After a moment of thought, Su Hao said, “How about this: I’ll customize a special sniper cannon for you as an additional means of attack. But I’m not sure if it’ll work, so don’t get your hopes up too high.”
Yashan was confused, thinking, “A sniper cannon? What’s that? It doesn’t sound very impressive.”
(End of this chapter)