Not far from the teleportation stone was an old man with a white beard and eyebrows. He appeared benevolent, and without a single drop of star energy leaking from his body, he seemed just like a commoner. Michelle landed in front of him and saluted, “Ten Arbiters’ Council Representative Michelle pays her respects to the Trialmaster.”
Lu Yin and the rest immediately followed suit, with only the black-haired Darkvoid and Hui Daynight refusing to even look at him. The man opened his eyes, lips creaking open as though he had not spoken in a long time. He had to cough twice before his eyes seemed to regain focus, sweeping across them all to focus on Michelle, “My apologies, Student; my ears aren’t what they used to be. Could you repeat yourself?”
Michelle repeated, “Ten Arbiters’ Council Representative Michelle pays her respects to the Trialmaster.”
“Ten what Council?” he seemed lost.
“Ten Arbiters’ Council.”
“Ten Arbiters’ what?”
Michelle frowned, and it took multiple repeats for the man to finally understand, “Ten Arbiters’ Council?”
She relaxed and nodded, saying seriously, “I’m here on behalf of the Ten Arbiters’ Council to inspect Astral-10. Mentor, may I ask why the students of Astral-10 have to win a hundred ported battles to enter the trial zones?”
“What? Could I trouble you to repeat?” the old man leaned forward slightly and tried his best to speak. A stumped Michelle walked a few steps closer and repeated loudly, but he seemed to grow distracted and pointed at the teleportation stone, “That is the teleportation stone, Student. Do you want to join a ported battle?”
Michelle was left speechless. Lulu laughed and Lu Yin chuckled, prompting a fierce glare from her before she looked at the old man helplessly. Was this fogey really hard of hearing? It did seem like it. She ended up walking towards the teleportation stone, coming across Zhao Yilong who was waiting nearby, “Who’s in there?”
“The one from the Daynight Clan,” Zhao Yilong replied coldly.
She looked at the mist below the teleportation stone and waited silently. Meanwhile, Lu Yin and the others arrived as well, all wanting to try the ported battle. Only one person could use a teleportation stone at a time, and Astral-10 only had one such stone. Fortunately, Hui Daynight left quite quickly, an ugly expression on his face.
“How’s it? Should have failed,” Lulu rejoiced at his misfortune, only drawing a snort.
“Hui Daynight, zero victories to one defeat,” a voice rang out all of a sudden, making everyone jump. They all turned to look at the old man, while Hui looked annoyed at the report. Michelle’s expression wasn’t all that great either. Who would believe that old coot couldn’t hear if he was calling out names so clearly?
Lu Yin felt more weirded out by the old man the longer he looked at him. He had the feeling that the coot wasn’t as kind as his appearance suggested. In the meanwhile, Zhao Yilong stepped directly into the teleportation stone and back out a short while later, looking just as bad as Hui Daynight had.
“Zhao Yilong, zero victories to one defeat,” the elder shouted.
Michelle grunted and stepped in. She spent a little more time there than the two boys, but it wasn’t that much longer.
“Michelle, one victory to one defeat.”
Hui Daynight tried to walk in again the moment Michelle walked out, drawing an annoyed shout from Zora who was next in line, “Hey, Daynight kid, get in line.”
“You’d just be wasting resources.” He couldn’t be bothered to turn towards her as he stepped towards the stone, but before an angry Zora could attack him, he was pressed into the ground by an invisible attack. Everyone turned to look at the old man, who said indifferently, “No cutting the line, Student.”
Hui was furious, but he had been suppressed by an invisible and immaterial attack that he simply could not resist. Michelle was stunned as well. This old fellow was far deeper than they could measure, so he had to be an Explorer at least. How could someone like that be deaf? He was clearly acting stupid! She decided to report back to the Ten Arbiters’ Council once she left, asking them to crack down on Astral-10 and allow other academies to replace it.
“Zora, zero victories to one defeat,” the old man called out only moments after Zora entered. Coming out of the portal, she could only grit her teeth and stare at him. Xia Luo followed calmly behind her, his entrance drawing Michelle’s attention as he was the second person to receive a gift at the Rain Observatory.
Unfortunately, he walked out soon after and spread his hands. “Xia Luo, zero victories to one defeat.”
Lu Yin was stunned at this. The ported battles had to be terrifying if even this immeasurable youth was defeated, and Michelle’s one victory suddenly seemed all the more stunning. It was no wonder that she was a representative of the Ten Arbiters’ Council as a mere Melder.
“Schutz, zero victories to one defeat.”
“Darkvoid, one victory to one defeat,” the old man said with a little astonishment. He’d never thought someone else here could actually emerge victorious. Everyone looked at the youth whose hair swallowed all light, but he remained indifferent as he gave off an aura of cold solitude.
All the Melders had entered by this point, and Zhao Yilong had also tried from the Sentinels. Lulu jumped in happily, and returned just as quickly, “Ridiculous! It was actually a sylvan dragon, and even a Limiteer; such a bully!”
“Lulu Mavis, zero victories to one defeat,” the elder shouted. His gaze lingered slightly on her before moving away.
“Meng Yue, zero victories to one defeat.”
“Coco, zero victories to one defeat.”
Everyone had tried by this point outside of Lu Yin and Silver. The latter smiled and gestured for him to proceed, and Lu Yin didn’t stand on ceremony and entered the battle. It felt like he’d entered a different world when he entered that mist, and the world spun around him as he touched the stone itself. He instantly appeared atop a volcanic crater with lava spewing all around him.
Ported battles could perfectly clone anyone into a virtual space, but the environment wasn’t fixed. It could be land, ocean, or sky; this time, Lu Yin had arrived at a volcano. He looked at himself as the heat spewed all around; the space copied the build exactly, but his appearance was a little hazy with his face a black void. Trying the Cosmic Art, he found no abnormalities at all, a fact that shocked him. This stone truly was mysterious, and every sense of this virtual space felt exactly like a real world. He bent down to touch the volcanic rock and was burnt; even his body’s ability to withstand heat was exactly the same.
A new figure suddenly appeared before him, accompanied by a terrifying pressure that distorted the void and burst the volcano open. Lu Yin’s eyes narrowed, but he couldn’t even gather his senses before he was killed. The only thing he saw was a silhouette with words atop its head—Big Windy Bro.
“Oh, it’s just a Sentinel rookie. My apologies, I should have exercised some restraint. Such a pity, he died before his codename even appeared, haha!” Big Windy Bro sniggered atop the volcano. There was no form of communication here, and they could only think to themselves.
Below the teleportation stone, Lu Yin opened his eyes with sweat beading on his forehead. He’d thought he really had died in that instant. That person was definitely an Explorer at least; they were so powerful that he didn’t have a chance to react. This was way scarier than even someone like Sigmund Mathers, the strength of a young genius in the ported battles.
As he walked out of the teleportation stone scope, the elder’s voice rang out, “Lu Yin, zero victories to one defeat.”
No one was surprised, as it would only be peculiar if he won. Silver beamed at him and entered the portal, while Coco asked curiously, “How was it, Brother Lu? Who did you meet?”
Lu Yin shrugged, “Unsure, it should be an Explorer.”
She stuck out her tongue, “Worse than me, I met a Limiteer.”
He smiled bitterly. Xia Luo was right; they were too weak. They were the worst among the ported battles, and the requirement of a hundred victories to enter the trial zones was unbelievably harsh. It was a pity that Michelle hadn’t succeeded in changing their minds.
“Oh right, what are your codenames?” he asked. One could use their real name in a ported battle, or just a codename to represent them. He hadn’t even come up with one for himself before getting wiped out by Big Windy Bro.
“I’m Hercules,” Lulu clenched her fists. It was a formidable name, just in her style.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Choco
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA