Chapter 148: Playing With Balls

Xia Luo nodded. He held the starburst orb and replied with a serious expression, “I’m going to start now.” One, two, three seconds passed before the surging star energy within the orb started to dissipate, only completely calming down after five seconds.

Liu Ji was surprised; he had actually succeeded in five seconds.

Master Wusheng wasn’t too surprised since Xia Luo had been recommended by Elder Tan. He smiled and said, “Not bad at all. This is a good result, especially when considering that this is your first time interacting with a starburst orb. Your potential is similar to Liu Ji’s. Elder Tan’s recommendation is perfectly justified. You may keep this starburst orb for yourself.”

Xia Luo placed the thin metal covering back over the orb and stored it away. “Thank you, Master.”

“Alright, you can return now,” Master Wusheng said.

Xia Luo understood that Master Wusheng probably wanted to talk to Liu Ji alone, so he nodded and left through the teleportation device.

After Xia Luo left, Master Wusheng looked at Liu Ji and asked, “What’s wrong? You look strange.”

Liu Ji solemnly replied, “This academy isn’t as simple as we had first assumed. I saw quite a few geniuses here.”

“That’s normal. After all, the Outerverse is bound to give rise to some geniuses. Didn’t Wendy Yushan from the Great Yu Empire in the Frostwave Weave break into the top twenty of the Astral Battle Leaderboards? I was astonished by her results as well. The Outerverse is enormous, and you don’t have to worry about the fact that there are a few geniuses here,” Master Wusheng explained. 

Liu Ji agreed, but she still wanted to meet the top student. Just how powerful did the top student have to be for him to be able to defeat all of the students that she had seen so far? Liuyi was extremely curious.

“You haven’t neutralized a starburst orb in a long time, correct?” Master Wusheng suddenly said while looking at Liu Ji.

Liu Ji was caught off guard by his question, but she nodded slowly.

Master Wusheng took out another starburst orb and passed it to Liu Ji. “Try and see if you can wipe out the star energy instantly.”

Liu Ji muttered to herself, “How is that even possible? Only geniuses can do that.” But despite her misgivings, she did her best to instantly wipe out the surging star energy. At that moment, someone appeared in the teleportation device. Wusheng and Liu Ji turned around to see Lu Yin appear.

When Lu Yin entered the space station, he hadn’t expected other people to be there, let alone two strangers. Was that a girl playing with a ball?

He was even more shocked to see a girl seemingly playing with a ball in Astral-10’s space station, but the ball did look rather intriguing with star energy surging from within it.

The starburst orb exploded with a bang as Liu Ji was distracted by Lu Yin’s sudden appearance, causing her to accidentally fail.

“Be as calm as water. Is this the extent of your current abilities?” Master Wusheng said sternly as he stared at Liu Ji.

Liu Ji hung her head as she angrily glared at Lu Yin. This annoying person had suddenly appeared out of nowhere, distracted her, and caused her to fail and be scolded by Master Wusheng.

“Again!” Master Wusheng roared, completely ignoring Lu Yin, who was now right beside him. Master Wusheng took out another starburst orb and gave it to Liu Ji while still glaring at her.

Liu Ji took a deep breath and removed the thin metal layer yet again. Star energy surged from her palm, neutralizing the violent star energy within the ball in just three seconds.

Master Wusheng sighed. “It’s still three seconds. It seems that you won’t be able to overcome this threshold anytime soon.”

Liu Ji hung her head in disappointment. Three seconds was a significant threshold that she wanted to overcome someday. She wasn’t hoping to clear the energy instantly, but even a minor improvement of one or two seconds would show that her ability had improved. This was very important to Lockbreakers, as their control of star energy was of the utmost importance to them.

“Can I try playing with that ball?” Lu Yin asked. He was very interested in the orb, and if his guesses were right, then this should probably be some kind of assessment that tested one’s control over their star energy. Moreover, he saw that there was a spacecraft that did not belong to Astral-10, and the symbol of the Lockbreaker Society was even emblazoned on the spacecraft.

Liu Ji snorted disdainfully. “Go away.”

Lu Yin blinked before saying, “You mentioned neutralizing it within three seconds just now. I can do that too.”

Both Master Wusheng and Liu Ji were stunned when they heard Lu Yin’s claim. The starburst orb looked simple, but the surging star energy contained within it was very complicated, and it would erupt violently if one tried to wipe it out forcefully. It could only be neutralized by someone whose control over star energy had reached a certain level. There were a very small number of people who could do this within a minute, let alone three seconds. Otherwise, this orb wouldn’t have become the Lockbreaker Society’s standard assessment method.

Master Wusheng frowned. The quality of Astral-10 has truly dropped. This student can’t even tell how difficult the starburst orb is to neutralize.

“Go away. Where did you come from?” Liu Ji was annoyed. She had just been scolded by hger master and was still disgruntled that Lu Yin had interrupted her.

Lu Yin felt helpless as he insisted, “Just let me have a try. You won’t lose anything if I fail.”

Liu Ji was furious and glared at Lu Yin, but she was just about to tell him off again, Wusheng waved his hands. “Give it to him.”

“Master, this guy-” Liu Ji was reluctant, but Wusheng impatiently said, “Just give it to him,” before boarding the spacecraft to leave.

Liu Ji snorted and threw the starburst orb at Lu Yin before following behind Wusheng.

Lu Yin caught the starburst orb, and the star energy within the ball immediately started surging again. When he felt the energy in the ball, he estimated that, with his current level of control over star energy, he would need at least ten seconds to neutralize the surging energy. Only geniuses like Xia Luo would be able to finish it in three seconds. However, Lu Yin could also try using his Cosmic Art to control the starburst orb, as it increased his perception abilities towards all kinds of changes.

Lu Yin immediately activated his Cosmic Art, causing eight stars to start circling around him and revealing the surging star energy as clearly as a child’s puzzle. Lu Yin smiled, “I’m done.”

Wusheng, who was about to step onto the spacecraft, whirled around to look at the starburst orb in Lu Yin’s hands. Four seconds! This child actually completed it in four seconds! 

Liu Ji was stunned as well. Four seconds, that’s impossible! Where did this genius come from? Even Xia Luo took five seconds to completely neutralize it.

In an instant, Master Wusheng appeared in front of Lu Yin, looking at him with an expression of shock. “Do it again.”

Lu Yin beamed, as the Lockbreaker Society was the exact backing that he needed. There were too many enemies in the Nine Trial Zones as Astral-10 was too famous. There was just no way for him to survive there without some kind of support. A special organization like the Lockbreaker Society was exactly what he needed. as there were definitely people from the Lockbreaker Society within the Astral Combat Academy.

The energy in the starburst orb began raging once more while Master Wusheng and Liu Ji stood in front of Lu Yin, watching him. He once again used his Cosmic Art to observe the changes within the surging star energy in the starburst orb before neutralizing the energy. This time, he finished even faster than before: three seconds! He had managed to complete it in just three seconds.

Liu Ji’s mouth fell open as her shock peaked. This, this guy completed it in three seconds! Where did this freak come from? She had been born into the Lockbreaker Society and her parents and grandfather were all Lockbreakers. Even so, it had taken her more than ten years of training before she was able to neutralize the starburst orb in three seconds. Just where had this guy come from?

Master Wusheng was also astonished. This was a genuine genius standing before him! He had now met two geniuses today, but this one was even more talented than the first. He had already known about Xia Luo, so he hadn’t been  too surprised, but this student in front of him was a true lucky encounter. Master Wusheng warmly asked Lu Yin, “Young fellow, what is your name? Are you a student of Astral-10?”

Lu Yin nodded and smiled. “I am Lu Yin from Astral-10. It’s nice to meet you.”

Master Wusheng was shocked. “Lu? Your surname is Lu?”

Lu Yin answered, “Yes, my surname is Lu, and I’m from Earth of the Great Yu Empire.”

“The Great Yu Empire? Then you have a legal status. That’s good. I’m Wusheng. You can call me Master Wusheng,” Wusheng said in relief. There was a strict rule in the Lockbreaker Society that stated that the society wouldn’t accept people with ancient surnames if they didn’t have a legal status. Lu was one such ancient surname, and Xia was actually another one. However, he wasn’t too worried about Xia Luo’s status as he had Elder Tan’s guarantee. Fortunately, Lu Yin also held a legal status. Otherwise, Wusheng wouldn’t be able to accept him regardless of how talented he was.

“Greetings, Master Wusheng,” Lu Yin said in a respectful and humble tone.

Master Wusheng nodded in satisfaction as he started to grow fond of Lu Yin. Finding a genius like him so unexpectedly could turn out to be one of his greatest achievements. If in the future, Lu Yin produced great accomplishments, then it would be proof that Wusheng had a great eye for spotting talent. He had travelled all over the universe, hoping to find geniuses like the student before them, but they were just too rare. He had never expected to find one today.

“Lu Yin, have you heard of the Lockbreaker Society?’ Master Wusheng asked.

Liu Ji was still in a daze; this guy had easily completed a task that she had spent ten years training to do so. Xia Luo was already at the five second threshold, and he would definitely improve to three seconds after just a few more years of training. But Lu Yin had them all beat. He had accomplished it on his first day; this guy was really revolting.

“The Lockbreaker Society? Of course, Lockbreakers are a greatly respected group of people,” Lu Yin gushed excitedly.

Master Wusheng was even happier now. Although he rarely smiled, he truly felt very happy at this moment. He looked at the sincere gaze of the young man standing in front of him and said in a contented tone, “Are you willing to join the Lockbreaker Society?’

Lu Yin blinked and pointed at himself in feigned disbelief. “Me? Can I, Master?”

“Of course. The Lockbreaker Society has a fixed assessment for talented cultivators. However, since you are already able to neutralize the starburst orb in three seconds, you are eligible to skip the assessment stage, so long as there’s no problem with your status. By the way, your control over star energy has reached the infinite change stage, correct?” Master Wusheng said.

Lu Yin nodded as he responded, “Yes.”

Master Wusheng nodded in satisfaction. He asked Lu Yin to wait for a moment while he verified Lu Yin’s information. As long as there were no problems with what was recorded, Lu Yin would be able to immediately join the Lockbreaker Society.

While Master Wusheng was looking up Lu Yin’s information, Liu Ji stared at Lu Yin as if he were a monster, causing Lu Yin to feel uncomfortable. “Astral-10 isn’t bad at all. You guys have concealed yourselves well.”

Lu Yin was confused. “Concealed ourselves? How so?”

Liu Ji sneered. She had come to the conclusion that Astral-10 was just pretending to be weak. Everyone had long since assumed that all of Astral-10’s students were useless, but no one knew that there were multiple geniuses dwelling here, not to mention the two Lockbreakers. Lockbreaking was a rare talent even in the scope of the entire Astral Combat Academy. It was already considered quite good for an academy to have two lockbreakers among their entire student body, but two had suddenly appeared in Astral-10 out of nowhere, and they were both extremely talented as well. This was bordering on absurd.

Normally, one would be eligible to take the Lockbreaker Society’s assessment if they could neutralize a starburst orb within a minute. If they were able to do so under ten seconds, then they would automatically pass the assessment. Only geniuses were able to complete the starburst orb within five seconds on their first try, but two students from Astral-10 had accomplished the strictest criterion: Xia Luo and this guy. Liu Ji was still wondering if there were any other geniuses among Astral-10 students when she suddenly remembered Silver as well as that mysterious top student. Oh right, I forgot to ask what the name of the top student was.

“Hey, who’s the top student in Astral-10?” Liu Ji suddenly asked.

Lu Yin pointed at himself. “Me.”

Liu Ji ignored his answer. This person didn’t intimidate here and even felt weaker than that silver haired guy. In her mind, it was impossible for Lu Yin to be the top student. “It’s fine if you don’t want to tell me, but don’t lie.”

Lu Yin was curious. Why is this girl so sure that I’m not the top student?

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: WQ

Edited By: Neshi/Nyxnox

TLC'ed By: OMA