Big Pao glanced at Michelle in astonishment; this brat seemed to know quite a lot. “I don’t know why we don’t have standard tutors; I’m just a student. Now, I admit I’m a little more handsome and better qualified than most, but I don’t have the authority to intrude on academy matters.”
Michelle looked down at her gadget and noted something down, prompting a change in Big Pao’s expression. He muttered into his own, “Sandmaster, this isn’t good. The rumors might be real; she might be the one the Ten Arbiters’ Council sent to inspect us. What? You don’t care? How? This kid will spill all our secrets! Yes, yes, I know we don’t have secrets, only problematic education policies. But it won’t be too good if your mantra of ‘only idiots study’ leaks out. Ugh, whatever. If you’re not concerned, then so be it. Don’t blame me when the Council cracks down on us.”
“How do we confirm that we have obtained the Rain Observatory’s acknowledgment?” Lu Yin suddenly asked.
“Simple. Just write your name out with star energy and send it out; you’re acknowledged if it doesn’t shatter,” Big Pao replied.
Zhao Yilong stuck out his hand and lightly plucked his fingers, turning the star energy on his fingertips into swords that he twisted into his name. He pushed this name out, but it was dissipated in moments.
Michelle spoke coldly, “One’s understanding of star energy has to be so deep to gain acknowledgment here; no wonder Astral-10 hasn’t produced any outstanding geniuses in thousands of years. There are problems with your policies; the tutors just don’t want to teach.”
Big Pao rolled his eyes. This woman was pretty, but she seemed to be picking fault at everything.
“Is it true that the tutors here are all very powerful?” Coco raised her hand to ask.
Michelle was the one to reply, “One needs to be at least a Hunter to qualify.”
“A Hunter? So strong!” Coco cried.
Lu Yin squinted. Hunters were at the same level as The Undying Yushan, a veritable powerhouse in the Outerverse, but they were only tutors in the Astral Combat Academy. It went without saying that they were all much stronger than the Emperor; why did tutors have such power?
“If only we could ask them to teach us individually,” Coco murmured.
Big Pao smiled, “Of course it’s possible. As long as the conditions are met, you might even become direct disciples and learn the formidable battle techniques passed down in Astral-10 through the generations.”
Everyone’s eyes gleamed, “What conditions?”
Big Pao laughed in a strange way, “One is sending your name past the Rain Observatory. There are absolute beasts from ancient times that have sent their names right through and left them intact for a myriad years. They float endlessly in the curtain of rain and form the Rain List. If you enter the Rain List, you can become a direct disciple of any of the tutors and receive the ancient battle techniques.”
Rain List? Ancient battle techniques? Their gazes brightened at the mention of names that had lasted a myriad years.
“Where can we see the Rain List?” Zhao Yilong asked loudly.
Big Pao laughed mischievously, “No idea, only those who qualify to enter the list supposedly see it.”
Michelle turned to the rain curtain and drew her name with star energy, pushing it away. Everyone looked on curiously; although there hadn’t been a proper comparison, she was likely the most powerful of them all. She was the first to obtain the gift, had the most knowledge about the battle academy, and many were curious about her origins and especially her power. Even Zhao Yilong from the Myriad Swords Peak couldn’t send his past a hundred meters, but her’s pushed much further in only moments.
Still, her name shattered before long, causing her to frown as Big Pao commented, “Pity, it didn’t even make it past the tree.”
Everyone experimented successively. Lu Yin used five stars to open a path through the rain, but his name shattered at about 300 meters. Hui Daynight managed 500, while Xia Luo almost reached Michelle before his name shattered.
“No need to try that hard, I haven’t managed it even after spending so many years here; you guys are still too far away. The Rain List supposedly only has a hundred names; you need to be a prodigy to squeeze in there,” Big Pao consoled them.
Hui Daynight felt this was beneath him. He may not have had confidence in the other nine academies, but Astral-10? There were no powerful individuals birthed here. He was confident that if he was given some time to achieve enlightenment, he would definitely enter the Rain List.
“Senior, I want to go to the trial zone,” Lulu said excitedly. Everyone was shaken and looked at Big Pao; there was no greater attraction among the Astral Combat Academies than the Nine Trial Zones. There were rumors of ancient battle techniques, cultivation methods, bloodline enhancements, and the like all waiting to be obtained. Even the Ten Arbiters had grown through these trial zones, so they were a huge attraction.
Big Pao shrugged, “Sorry Junior, the trial zones cannot be entered as one pleases.”
Michelle’s gaze turned cold, “The Astral Combat Academy holds the key to the Nine Trial Zones, and those that have enrolled in the Academy can enter. Why can’t Astral-10?”
Big Pao spread his hands, “There are conditions.”
Everyone was left helpless again. Condition after condition, was this even a school? Shouldn’t they have no restriction on educating their students? Was it even logical for the Academy to not teach if the student wanted to learn?
“What conditions?” Hui Daynight asked coldly.
“You should have heard of the ported battles. As long as you win a hundred matches, you can enter the Six Daos,” Big Pao said with a little sympathy in his eyes.
Michelle was enraged, “Ridiculous, as a representative of the Ten Arbiters’ Council, I suggest that any student who has entered the Academy should be allowed to enter the trial zones. This is a universal rule among the other nine, why does Astral-10 not follow it?”
Ten Arbiters’ Council? Everyone stared at Michelle in awe. Big Pao felt helpless. It turned out that this woman really was picking them apart; it was a pity that she was a beauty. “As I said, Junior, this is not something I can decide. Why don’t I bring you to the Trialmaster?”
“Lead the way,” Michelle snorted.
The new students did not know how far the trial zone entrance was from the Rain Observatory, but they followed Big Pao through the teleporter and arrived there directly.
“Brother Xia, what are ported battles?” Lu Yin asked. He hadn’t heard of them before.
Schutz and Meng Yue looked over as well, so Xia Luo picked his words, “How do I put it… The universe is very mysterious, and has birthed many strange things. One of these things is a teleportation stone. So long as you touch it, it can send a perfect copy of you into another space to battle someone who touched another stone simultaneously. These are called ported battles.”
“It’s matchmaking?” Lu Yin asked in shock, recalling many games he had heard of from centuries ago.
Xia Luo shook his head, “Matchmaking implies that you’re actually looking for suitable opponents based on qualifications. Ported battles don’t care; you can come across anyone. You can fight a Seeker or an Explorer; there is no fairness. These stones are extremely rare and controlled by the strongest academies and powers in the universe. Any opponent in a ported battle is an absolute elite; we should be on the lowest rung.”
Lu Yin was stunned that there was actually such a thing. According to what Xia Luo had said, anyone that qualified to use the teleportation stone was a force to be reckoned with, and there would be no lack of bullies like the Daynight Clan, Mavis Family, or even the first nine academies. The strength would also be varied, but Sentinels should be the weakest. It was no wonder that Michelle was incensed; they were simply too weak to achieve a hundred victories. Their opponents wouldn’t be weaklings like Eddy or Raas, but truly exceptional elites. They would almost never find opponents at their own realm, and defeating those opponents would be a huge challenge.
Lu Yin felt some pressure for a moment, like he had seen countless proud experts who would be his opponents in the future. His eyes glinted as they teleported out of the curtain of green rain and entered a savannah where the dry grass swayed gently in the wind. Each stalk had a dim radiance with a strange evening color, giving off a delightfully fresh smell.
“This is the entrance to the trial zones, and the location of the teleportation stone as well. The Trialmaster is within that tree’s hollow, everyone; you can go ahead. See you later!” Big Pao waved and left. He had pointed out an enormous curved tree that looked like a crescent moon, the surface wilted with countless cracks across the bark. The tree was so tall that it pierced the clouds, its interior holding a full forest of its own.
As everyone entered the tree, their gazes were drawn to a stone that was floating in mid-air, emitting a bright light that pierced through the hazy mist.
“That should be the teleportation stone. How mysterious,” Xia Luo sighed; this was his first time seeing such a thing as well.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Choco
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA