|“||Shinsu is the world itself.||”|
—Lo Po Bia Ren discussing Shinsu
- 1 Origin
- 2 Overview
- 3 Shinsu Manipulation
- 4 Shinsu Control
- 5 Shinsu Resistance
- 6 Types of Shinsu
- 7 The Exact Definition of "Wave Controller"
- 8 Contracts
- 9 Baang, Myun and Soo
- 10 Notes and Trivia
- 11 Alternate Translations
- 12 References
- 13 Navigation
Shinsu exists everywhere inside the Tower. Shinsu does not flow from the Outside, but is rather "created" and "produced" by the Tower itself. Shinsu can even exist in a vacuum. As of now, what Shinsu consists of or comes from is unknown.
Shinsu is essential to all living beings in the Tower, enabling their survival in multiple ways. For all of living memory, and likely prior to it, Shinsu has been an integral part of the Tower. Strong or weak, ranker, regular, or otherwise, if you run out of Shinsu you will die. It fulfills the role of life energy for organisms within the tower, aswell as acting in lieu of oxygen for for breathing.
Shinsu can be utilized in a multitude of ways, given adequate knowledge, skill, resistance, and natural talent. Through Shinsu, one can attain eternal youth, extended lifespans, halt the aging process, control natural elements and, even attain the powers of a god.
Shinsu is normally not visible to the naked eye like air, unless it is highly concentrated, manifested in large amounts or is manipulated using a Shinsu Technique or item.There are exceptional areas within the tower where Shinsu is highly concentrated naturally (eg. the White Steel Eel's cage on the Headon's Floor or the sea of blood on the 43rd Floor). These locations will appear as being submerged in liquid Shinsu, and can be hazardous to enter for those who lack high shinsu resistance and adequate combat skill to defend against the shinheuh that often inhabit there.
The first person to systematically study Shinsu was Po Bidau Gustang, head of Po Bidau Family, of the 10 Great Families. All terminology (jargon), standards, and units used to describe Shinsu today originated from Gustang's work.
Air and Shinsu
When Ashul Edwaru learned about the existence of something called "air" on the Outside world from the Irregulars (the term he created for Zahard and his 12 companions), he began to interview the Irregulars and performed theoretical study in order to compare the difference between the air and shinsu. Edwaru then wrote his theories in his book called Of the Tower's Weapons.
In short, Air and Shinsu has few things in common. They are both flows throughout their surroundings and essential for all living beings in each of their respective worlds, as it allows for breathing and provides moisture for the inhabitants. Lero-Ro stated that within the Tower, Shinsu replaces air and carries out all the processes that air would.
The most significant difference between air and shinsu is the laws by which it operates. Unlike air, which uniformly conforms to the laws of pressure when flowing, Shinsu has no unifying laws. It flows and behaves entirely differently in different places, sometimes it become gas and other times it become liquid, depending on other various factors, like the Floors environment, shinsu density or consentrations, and the Guardian of the floor. The flow of Shinsu determines its qualities, allowing it to appear as water, fire, light, and other phenomena and materials. Shinsu has no singular property or feature and is rather the very basis of all energy and things within the Tower.
- Main article: Shinsu Manipulation
Shinsu is a very powerful, mysterious substance. It can be manipulated into water, fire or light. To manipulate Shinsu into natural elements or unique forms, a person must find "Shinsu Qualities" that suits them. Shinsu can change in infinite ways. Controlling Shinsu is like interrupting the role of god, so it was considered to be very dangerous. In order to use Shinsu without the help of any special items, a person needs to obtain "Contract or Permission" from the Guardian of the Floor. However, in rare special case, there are people who can control and manipulate Shinsu without having to sign a contract nor using any special items, because they were not bound to the rules of the Tower, they are called "Irregulars". Because Irregulars can use Shinsu freely in the Tower, they were labeled as dangerous beings. All Irregulars who have entered the tower on their own power, have a natural affinity with Shinsu, which leads to them being extremely powerful. Read More.
Being able to directly control Shinsu is a very rare talent and it can be said that this talent itself is an absolutely necessary requirement to becoming a Ranker. Basically, most, if not all, Regulars have some degree of control over Shinsu, although this does not mean all Regulars can become skillful manipulators of Shinsu. While the Wave Controllers are very specialized in direct control, all Positions have to learn it eventually to pass the Tests, to fight successfully or to use it to strengthen their bodies and enhance physical abilities.
Not all regulars have good Shinsu control, so some will rely on specific items to assist them in battle like Rozeals Wand which can produce shinsu independently, or Lighthouses and Observers to reinforce their shinsu control and techniques. Controlling Shinsu through items doesn't require a Contract because they were already permitted by the Guardian at The Workshop when they were created.
- Main article: Shinsu Resistance
Shinsu Resistance is the innate ability to withstand Shinsu, allowing the individual to resist attacks consisting of Shinsu, move around in areas with certain amounts of Shinsu density and so on. It seems to be inborn for Tower inhabitants.
Types of Shinsu
Pure or Natural Shinsu
Shinsu manipulated by certain individuals (eg. Twenty-Fifth Baam and Yu Han Sung) will directly appear in the form of liquid water (which is said to be the purest form of shinsu). They are referred to as individuals blessed with Shinsu.
"The entire Tower is filled with Shinsu so it is everywhere but there is a difference between natural Shinsu and man-controlled Shinsu." -SIU 
What the difference is has not been elaborated upon as of yet.
"There are many cases where a person uses their organs to change the nature of their Shinsu for tactical use." -SIU
Ignition Weapon Shinsu
The Exact Definition of "Wave Controller"
- Main article: Wave Controller
Technically, the term Wave Controller does not actually refer to just Shinsu manipulators, but rather something more specific. However, the two terms are often used interchangeably in the Outer Tower.
In terms of battle positions, the Wave Controller refers to a position that utilizes Shinsu manipulation in order to participate in battle. However, this is merely a traditional definition and very few individuals actually fit these conditions. Most Wave Controllers have other direct battle abilities and commonly fill other positions.
In order to manipulate Shinsu directly (without the use of an item) within the Inner Tower or Outer Tower, a contract with the Guardian of the Floor must be made. In regards to items, only items that already have a contract made with the Guardian can be used. For example, an item that has a contract with the Guardians of the 2nd~30th Floors cannot be used at the 31st Floor.
Because one has made a contract with the Guardian does not mean one can manipulate Shinsu anywhere on that Floor.
After a contract has been made with a Guardian, one must uphold several terms and conditions. If one violates any of these rules, the contract is considered to have been broken and one's rights are taken away, making their contract null. The strictness of these rules varies between class to class. In terms of the contract that Rankers and High Rankers make with Guardians, it can be said that they are nearly completely free of restrictions.
It is not impossible to manipulate Shinsu without a contract. Simple manipulation of amounts below a certain standard is possible without a contract. Also, an innate resistance to Shinsu, a body strengthening ability that utilises Shinsu or other similar skills are all natural abilities that one can have and thus do not require contracts.
The 10 Great Families, their numerous branch houses, and a few other families have a higher chance to be born already able to manipulate Shinsu. In the 10 Great Families, this does not actually mean they do not have a contract, it occurs because they are considered to have a contract at birth. (Note: When they make a contract directly with Guardians, their Shinsu manipulation obviously becomes stronger.)
Baang, Myun and Soo
The basic unit of Shinsu manipulation is called Baang (방 (放); release), the size of the Baang is called Myun (면 (面); surface) and the density of Shinsu that goes in a Baang is called Soo (수 (水); water).
Note: The Company used "room" for Baang. However, room is actually 房(fáng) as opposed to 放(fàng). They used "room" because the whole explanation is easier to understand if you imagine it using "room / wall / mass". e.g. imagine some Rooms and each has a certain size (specified by Wall). But having many Rooms with big Walls doesn't mean it's strong because you also need to count Mass (basically density of object).
- Main article: Baang
Baang is the basic unit in which Shinsu is measured by and made up of. The more Baangs one can control, the more skilled at manipulating Shinsu one is judged to be. However, this does not mean one can manipulate greater Myun and higher Soo with many Baangs. As the number of Baangs increase, control becomes more difficult. Overdoing the handling of Baangs can physically and mentally exhaust the manipulator - in serious cases, this may lead to death. Read More.
Myun refers to the size of a Baang. Specifically, it refers to the surface area that Shinsu is spread out across, regardless of height. 1 Myun is equal to 1 pyeong (평, 坪), which is equal to around 3.306 square meters of Shinsu. When discussing the size of a Baang, the height is not considered because its range of fluctuation is large and heavily depends on the situation, which makes it difficult to discern. (Height is not involved in the calculation of the size of the Baang. The height is dealt with by converting it using the numerical value of the concentration of the Baang in question.)
It can be said that the wider the Myun one can control, the wider the area in which Shinsu can be applied. Those who can control a large Myun are closest to what the traditional Wave Controllers were, who controlled the flow of the battlefield. Since they had to be able to control Shinsu throughout the whole battlefield, the Myun the Wave Controller had would have to be the size of the battlefield.
However, because one can control a wide Myun does not mean one can manipulate a certain concentration of Shinsu within the Myun. Normally, the centre of a Myun has the highest concentration of Shinsu and the circumference has the lowest concentration, but skilled manipulators can make the outer layer quite dense. There are also some who can control the concentration within the Baang quite freely, although this is quite rare.
Soo refers to the concentration or mass of Shinsu within a Baang. Only the concentration of Shinsu in the most concentrated area of the Baang is used to calculate Soo. There is no numerical unit used on Earth that can be related to Soo. The measurement of Soo can only be done using a Lighthouse, Observer or specialized senses. The higher the Soo, the more effective and destructive a Baang is. This is why controlling a high Soo is extremely important. Normally, the denser the Shinsu in the environment, the faster the Soo in a Baang can be increased. However, there is a limit to the amount of Soo that can be pressed into a Baang and this limit depends on the person. The environment has no effect in overcoming this limit whatsoever.
The concentration of Soo within a Baang is not uniform, either. The value of Soo changes depending on the Myun, so there are big differences in regards to Soo between individuals who manipulate Shinsu. If one has very good mental concentration, it is possible to manipulate a high Soo of Shinsu within a small Myun. If one is very good at distributed data processing, it is possible to manipulate a certain amount of Soo within a large Myun.
Baang, Myun, and Soo
Basically, when discussing the Baang, Myun, and Soo an individual can control, Baang would actually refer to the maximum number of Baangs one can manipulate simultaneously. Myun would actually refer to the maximum Myun one can manipulate if they created only one Baang and Soo would actually refer to the maximum concentration one can press into a Baang, regardless of the Myun in this case. For example, let's say someone can:
- control 4 Baangs at once, but they're not very big or dense
- control 100 Myun if they create only 1 Baang and focus everything on it
- gather up to 30 Soo into a single Baang
Despite the fact that they are unable to do all of the above at the same time, they are still evaluated as being able to control "4 Baang, 100 Myun, 30 Soo".
Baang, Myun and Soo are very closely related and, when supported by a Lighthouse or some other form of aid, large differences can be seen. Normally, the more numerous the number of Baang, the smaller the Myun and lower the Soo that can be managed and the larger the Myun, the lower the Soo that can be managed. Soo therefore heavily depends on the numerical value of Myun and Baang, as an increase in either means a decrease in Soo. Fundamentally, this is known as the "minus tendency" (마이너스 기질 (氣質), maineoseu gijil; or "minus constitution"). Sometimes, there is a special case in which the numbers of manageable Myun and Soo instead increase as the number of Baangs increases. This special case is known as "plus tendency" (플러스 기질 (氣質), peuleoseu gijil; or "plus constitution") and is an extremely rare talent.
The minus tendency can be overcome with improvement from training and support from external aids, which helps in reducing the amount subtracted. However, one can never become a plus tendency. Also, being a plus does not mean one can produce an infinite number of Baangs. Pluses find it equally difficult to increase the number of Baangs.
Notes and Trivia
- Shinsu on each Floor has areas of varying amounts of Shinsu density, increasing with each Floor. In lower concentrations, its density makes the Shinsu act like a gas, but in higher concentrations, Shinsu behaves like a liquid water.
- While the possibilities of Shinsu are said to be without bounds, limits still exist depending on the person who used it. A Regular also can't use Shinsu to their rank. Shinsu clearly cannot be used to swap the locations of the 10 Great Warriors and Zahard. Shinsu can't be used to magically discover the top Floor of the Tower. It can't be used to change the species of a character, like changing Androssi Zahard or Ja Wangnan into a giant rabbit or flying bat. As a result, Shinsu has close to no limits or no known limits. But in other situations, it is bound by several conditions.
- When young people start to manipulate Shinsu properly since early age, their growth stops before they become adults.
- Shinsu Manipulation does not always work. (Notably on the 43rd Floor, because the Guardian was killed.)
- If the Regulars or Rankers did not make an eternal life contract, they all age. It is just pace that differs from a person to person. But once they get into the Inner Tower, the aging process does slow down. And actually, even if you made an eternal life contract, not everybody stops aging. Growth just ceases at some point.
- Shinsu and magic are individual concepts, and follow different rules. Of the two, the mechanics of Shinsu are more commonly known and accessible.
- Currently, Enryu is the only known person to handle the largest numerical value of Shinsu. Although the accurate number is not recorded, it's clear that it surpasses other recorded figures greatly. According to a Light Bearer who recorded the battle, Enryu seems to have handled over 9000 Baangs during combat. There is even a rumour that Enryu is able to create life from Shinsu.
- (Korean Translation) Shin-su
- Shinsu (Line)
- ("神水") Divine Water or God Water