“This... is Five Stacks?” Tianming was shocked, and he stared at Lu Yin in disbelief.
Lu Yin nodded. “I’m still extremely grateful to Hall Master Tianming for demonstrating the Three Stacks technique for me. This Five Stacks is to show my thanks.”
Tianming was still at an absolute loss for what had just happened. “How did you learn the Five Stacks technique? The Ninefold Sect’s Nine Stacks technique is one of the absolute secrets of the Grandtop Weave. Did you meet one of their disciples?”
Lu Yin smiled as he shook his head. “I learned this from one of Astral-10’s mentors. Hall Master Tianming, reaching Five Stacks is not actually that hard. Come and get a feeling for it. After you learn it, I’ll go to learn the Skybeast Claw technique.”
Tianming suppressed his shock and excitement as he quickly nodded. He then raised his hand again with a solemn expression. This was the Five Stacks technique, and as a disciple that was chased out of the Nine Stacks family, it held a great attraction to him. Even if he had to owe Lu Yin a great favor, he was still more than willing as long as he could learn this technique.
It wasn’t that Lu Yin was unwilling to teach him the Nine Stacks technique, but rather that it would take too much time, and he did not have the luxury of slowly teaching it to Tianming. It took Tianming two entire days to learn the Five Stacks technique, and that was still only enough for him to find the general direction for future practice. It would still take him a few months to fully be able to use the Five Stacks technique. After all, he was not like Lu Yin, who had a Cosmic Art that greatly reduced the time it took him to learn a new battle technique.
It was precisely at times like this that Lu Yin acutely appreciated the value of his Cosmic Art. In this specific instance, he was eager to see when he would be able to manifest the ninth star and form a star field. It would definitely bring about a noticeable transformation to his techniques.
The entirety of the Skybeast Claw was recorded on a stone wall. The twenty forms that each Hall Master held were nothing more than a copy of a section of the wall. Once Lu Yin saw the original record, he was overwhelmed by a feeling of transcending through the ages as the image of a beast’s giant claw of tearing through the heavens flashed through his mind. At that instant, Lu Yin could even make out the scales of the claw, even though it was no more than a glimpse.
“The Skybeast Claw stone wall was brought out of the Innerverse by His Majesty. The Great Yu Empire had no Skybeast Claw or Flash technique until His Majesty brought them back from the Innerverse. From then on, we have used these two battle techniques to dominate the Frostwave Weave,” Tianming explained before letting Lu Yin ponder the wall alone.
Lu Yin was already thoroughly immersed in the Skybeast Claw stone wall. The technique appeared to only be a normal claw tearing through the heavens, but he could see boundless changes within the technique. It was very similar to how an absolute powerhouse in their natural state was capable of facing any battle techniques, where even just one move could neutralize every technique under the skies. That was the sensation that the Skybeast Claw technique gave off, and it made Lu Yin feel that it could face up against any other battle technique without losing.
Lu Yin stared at the Skybeast Claw stone wall and unconsciously raised his hand in an attempt imitate the carvings. As he did so, a beastly howl could be vaguely heard resounding through the walls.
In the history of Yu Academy, the ones who had comprehended the Skybeast Claw technique the furthest were three deceased former Hall Masters. One had been an Explorer who had perished in a war against the other weaves. He had comprehended seventy two forms and had been considered a genius with an innate gift. He could use one strike to defeat two others at his rank, but he had died surrounded by enemies. His death was truly tragic.
However, that was only when the history of Yu Academy was considered, and the Skybeast Claw technique did not belong solely to them. The royal family also had the right to learn this battle technique, and Lu Yin had even seen a shadow of the Skybeast Claw technique in Duke Yushan’s drinking posture. The Duke had already assimilated the technique into his every movement, and since he had lived for hundreds of years, it also meant that his understanding of it was profound. Also, Dorren Yushan must have learned it in the past as well.
Before this, Lu Yin had only learned the first twenty forms. As he faced the ancient stone wall, he practiced by repeating the same action for five consecutive days. After five days, he had learned forty three forms. All the while, his Cosmic Art spun at its full power of eight stars, causing his comprehension speed to greatly increase and his understanding of the Skybeast Claw technique to rise continuously.
After another five days, Lu Yin had learned ninety forms, and when his hand formed a claw it caused the very air to distort. He had a feeling that, once he learned all hundred and eight forms, he would be capable of tearing the void itself apart.
When a Melder was capable of tearing space, it was a sign that they were an incredible genius with innate gifts. The five Hall Masters of Yu Academy had practiced the Skybeast Claw technique for many years, but none of them had even learned fifty forms. This was because they were too weak and also why Wendy Yushan could not be bothered with them. Lu Yin’s comprehension speed was an innate gift that had shocked all of Astral-10; there was a vast difference between the Hall Masters and him.
The ninetieth form seemed to be a threshold, and it became more and more difficult to comprehend the battle technique after that. Over the next three days, Lu Yin only learned six more forms, and he was unable to continue after that regardless of how much time he poured into studying the stone wall. Even with his Cosmic Art, he could only comprehend the first ninety six forms.
Lu Yin breathed out; he was done learning this battle technique for now. Ninety six forms wasn’t bad, so he could let the last twelve forms go for now. He wouldn’t try to force his comprehension since his impression of the Skybeast Claw technique was sufficiently deep already. He would wait for his Cosmic Art to further develop, and he might even be able to derive the remaining forms from what he had already learned. He had spent thirteen days to learn ninety six forms of the Skybeast Claw technique; this was shocking enough to even draw the attention of Undying Yushan.
Lu Yin raised his hand and tested the claw technique, nearly causing the void to collapse. This power could rival the Nine Stacks Shockwave Palm’s. Once he integrated it with his battle qi, Lu Yin felt that it would truly tear through the void.
He left the stone wall and returned to the King Zishan palace. It had been nearly half a month since he had left the capital star, and when he returned, he noticed that there were many more powerhouses gathered around the imperial palace. Lu Yin was able to notice them even though they were purposefully restraining their auras. He was immediately reminded of the spacecraft docked at the space station that did not come from the Outerverse. Were they here for the Undying manual? The Innerverse must be getting ready to act against the capital star.
At this time, his gadget beeped quietly, and Uncle Youling appeared. “Little Seven, leave Zenyu Star immediately. Undying Yushan has reached his limits. Once he dies, no one will be able to restrain those from the Innerverse, and the Zenyu Star will fall into chaos.”
“It should just be some captains from the Imperial Thirteen Squadrons. They won’t pose a problem to me,” replied Lu Yin.
Uncle Youling sternly said, “Those Outerverse Cruisers can’t even be compared to the Innerverse powerhouses. Besides the exceptions of Huo Qingshan and the blind monk, the rest are nearly useless. The blind monk was also taken to the frontline by Dorren Yushan. Zenyu Star will not be able to defend itself. You should leave immediately.”
Lu Yin sighed. Truthfully speaking, Undying Yushan had treated him rather well and Zenyu Star had also been a peaceful time in his life. Who would have thought that it was about to become a bloody battlefield?
“Wendy Yushan is on her way back to Zenyu Star. When she gets back, she will be able to regain control of the situation. Nothing will happen to the Great Yu Empire.” It was as if Uncle Youling could read Lu Yin’s thoughts.
Lu Yin’s heart trembled. The name “Wendy Yushan” had not originally meant anything to him, and he had only regarded her as a legend. Yet ever since she had publicly rejected him for her hand in marriage, her name seemed to have become tightly intertwined with him. Wendy Yushan did not seem to care about him, but he would never forget her. Even Uncle Youling assumed that she would be able to suppress all the troublemakers who had come to the Great Yu Empire. “I understand. I will bid farewell to Undying Yushan before I leave.”
Uncle Youling nodded and then disconnected the transmission.
Lu Yin stepped through the Grand Astral Gate; he could feel many eyes boring holes through his back. There was a teahouse that had sprung up not far from the palace, and it was currently filled with powerhouses.
These powerhouses from the Innerverse were becoming unbridled. Once Undying Yushan perished, they would charge into the palace without care. Lu Yin knew that he should leave quickly.
After a long wait, Undying Yushan finally awakened and summoned Lu Yin in.
“Your Majesty,” Lu Yin greeted politely.
Undying Yushan looked feebly at Lu Yin. “Come closer.”
Lu Yin walked towards the emperor.
Lu Yin was puzzled by the request, but he nonetheless stepped forward until he was right by Undying Yushan’s side. Undying Yushan looked at Lu Yin with murky and tired eyes. “Little Yin, don’t search for the Zishan clan hidden treasure. Return to Astral-10.”
Lu Yin was shocked as he looked at Undying Yushan. Only now did he realize just how perceptive this Ironblood Emperor, who had ruled the empire for eight hundred years, was even at death’s door. Perhaps Lu Yin’s last visit to the palace had made his goal too apparent when he had wandered around the palace for a prolonged period of time.
“Your Majesty-” Lu Yin wanted to say something, but he was stopped by Undying Yushan. “The treasure belongs to the Zishan clan, and this Majesty should not stop you. But there’s no more time, so don’t think about it anymore. This Majesty will see to it that you get appropriate compensation. Leave the capital star immediately—the further the better. Before you can properly protect yourself, don’t stray too far from Astral-10. Rest assured. Even if a war breaks out in the empire, it will not spread to Earth. This Majesty has already sent people to protect it.”
Lu Yin felt a pang of sorrow stab through his heart. He could feel Undying Yushan’s concern and the dying man was truly doing his best to guide Lu Yin as an elder. “Your Majesty, please take care.”
This was his last farewell.
Undying Yushan nodded. “Go. The further, the better.”
Lu Yin retreated a few steps, bowed, and then turned to leave.
Undying Yushan sighed. So what if he had traveled through the universe? On his deathbed, he was surrounded by insignificant enemies, his descendants were being monitored, and his son had turned traitor. He asked himself what wrongs he had done to deserve this ending. Why did it have to end up like this?
“Eh, it’s such a pity that the effect of this purple star ointment is insufficient. Otherwise, it could have prolonged His Majesty’s life a while longer.” Lu Yin had just stepped out of the emperor’s chambers when he coincidentally overheard this. His eyes gleamed as he paused in his steps.
Undying Yushan’s attending physician had just uttered those words.
“When His Majesty first returned from the Innerverse with heavy injuries, it was only with the purple star’s medicinal effects that he was able to survive for so long. But now that the plant has been mostly exhausted, there’s no choice left. It’s a panacea from the Innerverse’s Fallen Star Ocean. Even the fifth princess would not have an easy task gathering it as it can only be found by luck,” another doctor griped.
“If we could just double the effectiveness, then His Majesty could be saved. But what a pity. The second prince is too vicious and preemptively arranged for the purple star to be wasted bit by bit a hundred years ago. Otherwise, it would not have ended up like this,” another doctor bemoaned.
Lu Yin’s eyes flickered as he stood at the doorway. It was possible for him to raise the effectiveness of this purple star if he managed to roll Enhance. His die should be able to upgrade the purple star by a grade, no? However, Lu Yin hesitated. If he did this, then it would expose his innate gift. But if he didn’t… He remembered Undying Yushan’s affectionate gaze that should have been directed only at family members. Lu Yin’s heart jolted and his gaze steadied.
Sometimes, human emotions could surpass all else. Lu Yin knew that he was no selfless saint and that he would also take advantage of anything to get ahead, even engaging in dark schemes if necessary. He had thought that he would never sacrifice himself to save another; those who did so were idiots. But when it came to those who were close to him, he couldn’t turn a blind eye, could he? Otherwise, how would he be any different from a beast? Undying Yushan had shown great kindness to Lu Yin ever since he arrived at the Great Yu Empire, and now, Lu Yin wished to preserve this person’s life, even if it required paying a price.
Lu Yin returned to Undying Yushan’s side, “Your Majesty, could you hand the purple star to me and allow me to study it?”
The surrounding people looked at Lu Yin. This was Undying Yushan’s lifeline and this request was akin to cutting it short.
Huo Qingshan and Jue Lang’s gazes turned cold.
Undying Yushan lethargically opened his eyes, “Of course.”
“Your Majesty, no! The purple star is the key to your survival!” one doctor cried out.
Undying Yushan feebly responded, “For how long?”
The doctor hung his head. It was not a question of how long as it was simply unable to prolong the emperor’s life any further. Undying Yushan was practically already at death’s door.
“Give it to Little Yin.” Undying Yushan was finished speaking on this matter.
Jue Lang stood up and glared at Lu Yin. His eyes were cold as he did not know what King Zishan intended to do, but to request the purple star at this sort of time was no simple request.
Lu Yin never thought that Undying Yushan would not hesitate to hand over his lifeline, the purple star, to him. He took a deep breath and hoped his luck wasn’t too bad. He had to roll three pips: Enhance. He had to.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Choco
Edited By: Neshi/Nyxnox
TLC'ed By: OMA