Chapter 164: All Nine Stars

In the middle of outer space, two figures were entangled in a bloody battle as their surroundings crumbled all around them. Heavenly bodies were disintegrating left and right, and an indescribably frightening force streaked towards the spacecraft in the distance.

Lu Yin was dumbstruck by this scene, but before he could react or even think, his spacecraft started shaking violently. A bizarre vortex had appeared in the region where the duo were fighting, and the spacecraft could not resist the pulling force as it was being inexorably dragged towards it.

Lu Yin was extremely nervous and felt an impending sense of doom creep over him. He didn’t know how strong the two people fighting were, but their every attack could easily shatter his spacecraft. And by the looks of it, neither one seemed to care about his survival.

Bang!

A shockwave exploded in the void of outer space. The ripples of force overwhelmed the safety measures of the spacecraft and nearly knocked Lu Yin out. The surrounding celestial bodies trembled, and it seemed as if they had been pulled one step closer to the two battling cultivators.

The pulling force of the vortex grew even more powerful, and Lu Yin almost felt like he was seeing the birth of a new galaxy. Lu Yin stared at the illusory scene and a feeling of extreme vertigo overcame him, but he quickly recovered. Out of pure coincidence, the eight nearby celestial bodies started orbiting the vortex that was centered on the fight between the two cultivators. As the celestial bodies slowly spun in closer and closer to the vortex , Lu Yin’s spacecraft was pulled in and became the ninth body.

In that instant, Lu Yin had an epiphany, reaching some kind of enlightenment. His Cosmic Art unconsciously activated, and the indistinct image of the ninth star appeared.

The celestial bodies ruptured one after the other. The red magma and blue seawater were both scattered into the void of outer space. Following the explosions of the bodies, the void also cracked open. Lu Yin clenched his teeth, and blood even appeared on his lips. He could not escape. Three bodies had already exploded, and the fourth was now sweeping in towards the vortex. His own death was not far away.

As he watched the fourth star explode and the two cultivators still fighting in the center of the chaos, Lu Yin felt a wave of pain and sorrow wash over him. He had manifested the ninth star, but he would not even have a chance to use it once before his death. His Cosmic Art slowly dispersed from his body, and the ninth star broke away from the Cosmic Art the moment it dispersed. This was because Lu Yin had lost control due to his unstable mental state, causing the perfect star field formed by the nine stars to collapse.

Lu Yin’s eyes flashed when he saw the ninth star break away from his Cosmic Art. He suddenly grabbed the spacecraft’s controls and personally guided it to purposefully charge towards the center of the vortex at top speed. The spacecraft warned of imminent danger, but Lu Yin disregarded the warning and continued charging forward.

In the center of the chaos, the two people suddenly stopped their fight and stared at the spacecraft in astonishment. They watched with interest, but neither moved to save or block him.

The vortex was pulling everything in towards it, but it was also possible to use its irresistible pull to break away from it. Everything depended on if Lu Yin could find the correct trajectory.

If it had been at any time before now, then Lu Yin would have no chance of carrying out such a feat. However, a few moments ago, he had just observed the movements of the ninth star escaping from his Cosmic Art, and now, he was copying it as he controlled his spacecraft. His Aurora spacecraft borrowed the power of the vortex to break away at the exact same moment that the eighth celestial body exploded, the power propelling it far away.

Behind Lu Yin, the heavenly phenomenon finally exploded and caused space itself to undulate dangerously, but all of this was completely unrelated to Lu Yin now. After he had managed to barely avoid death, he collapsed in exhaustion.

“Position deviated. Reprogramming. Rerouting success.”

Lu Yin relaxed and squeezed out a faint smile. He wished that he would never have to experience such a dangerous experience again.

Meanwhile, the battling duo was left stunned in his wake. “I never thought that that brat would actually escape. From the spacecraft’s emblem, he should be from Astral-10. I’ve heard that the academy has been rather busy these days.”

“So what? I heard that, this time, they only managed to recruit twelve new students and that a considerable number of them came from the Innerverse as well. Once an order recalling them is issued, that academy will completely collapse.”

“If that director regains control, then no one will dare to plot against Astral-10.”

“True. Out of the ten directors of the Astral Combat Academy, that old fogey is the most terrifying. If he ever regains his sanity, then no one will dare to provoke his school. It’s a pity that doing so is far too difficult, since he touched what he shouldn’t have.”

“It has nothing to do with us. But when the Astral Combat Tournament begins, let’s check it out. That brat must be pretty good since he actually escaped.”

“It’s probably just luck. At least we didn’t have to rescue him.”

“Let’s continue. I want to see how far you’ve improved after all these centuries.”

“What a joke! When have you ever beaten me?”

“Shameless! I beat you once in the Cosmic Sea.”

“Why don’t you just say you beat me in the Neoverse? Don’t act dumb.”

“Stop bullshitting.”

Lu Yin’s spacecraft continued sailing through space steadily. Far in front of him was a giant spacecraft that had strangely stopped in the middle of outer space. From a distance, its sparkling lights seemed splendid, but everything changed when one noticed the blood staining the glass. Countless wails echoed forth from the massive craft as blood spilled out from the cracks in the spacecraft’s hull, adding a macabre element of horror to the originally dark void.

A few hours later, Lu Yin encountered the giant spacecraft and curiously wondered why it had stopped in the heavens.

Lu Yin’s expression quickly changed when he noticed the blood seeping out from the spacecraft. He vigilantly studied the spacecraft to see if there was an issue and was on full alert.

A figure appeared in Lu Yin’s view. It was a woman with long, drooping black and white hair. Shockingly, fresh blood was dripping down from the tips of the hair. She held a red longsword and there were numerous corpses floating beneath her.

Lu Yin was fully aware of the cruelty of the universe, and he ignored the bodies and instead focused on the woman; more specifically, he focused on her hair. It was black and white, which was a distinguishing characteristic of the Daynight clan. When did another member of the Daynight clan come to the Outerverse? This clan really does have its fingers in every pie.

The woman from the Daynight clan seemed to sense Lu Yin’s gaze as she turned around and looked at him with icy-cold eyes. Lu Yin was shocked; how could this gaze be so icy, emotionless, desperate, remorseful, helpless, and yet, contain an irrepressible grief? Those complicated eyes etched themselves deeply into Lu Yin’s heart and would become an unforgettable memory for the rest of his life.

The woman merely glanced at Lu Yin before she silently looked off into the distance as she remained in the spacecraft. No one could guess her thoughts.

At that point, Lu Yin’s spacecraft passed by that giant spacecraft, and he noticed an emblem on the front of the spacecraft. It was an interstellar pirates’ emblem, and it emanated a bloodthirsty aura. It turns out that this spacecraft had originally been full of interstellar pirates.

The Daynight clan was a powerful clan among the entire universe and one of their members would not be a pirate. The only logical explanation, then… Had this woman of the Daynight clan killed all of these pirates? With just a glance, Lu Yin had confirmed that no one else was alive besides that female. Such deep murderous intent.

Lu Yin’s spacecraft quickly left the scene, and soon, he could no longer see that giant spacecraft. However, that Daynight member’s gaze had been engraved deeply into his memory. It was his first time seeing such a complicated expression that mixed both grief and helplessness into a single gaze; the brief experience had shocked him to the core.

He shook his head. In the end, the matter was unrelated to him. He wasn’t qualified to meddle with the Daynight clan’s matters.

Lu Yin closed his eyes and began to revolve his Cosmic Art once again, as he wanted to quickly stabilize the ninth star and allow his Cosmic Art to reach perfection. It was, after all, a comprehension that he had only achieved after a near-death experience.

As his route had changed continuously throughout the journey, it had taken him a dozen more days than the original estimated time to arrive. After a month, Lu Yin finally reached the Butterfly Weave.

When Lu Yin arrived at the Butterfly Weave, Michelle appeared at the entrance of Astral-10’s trial zone. After spending two months under Elder Cai’s guidance, she was about to achieve her hundredth victory in the ported battle, and she wanted to enter the trial zone as soon as possible.

Of Astral-10’s twelve new students, the one with the most victories after Lu Yin was Schutz at 52 victories. Of course, the price he had paid for those wins was steep, as he had racked up 237 defeats. Schutz had challenged the ported  battles many more times than anyone else and his match count exceeded Lu Yin’s by more than a hundred matches. Schutz had continued to constantly challenge the ported  battles long after the rest had stopped. It was no mean feat to obtain fifty two victories, as both luck and battle experience played a huge part in doing so.

Today, Michelle had appeared on the battlefield.

Her previous record was thirteen victories and fifty six defeats.

Michelle entered the range of the teleportation stone and only returned a long time later.

The Trialmaster opened his eyes and calmly stated, “Michelle, seventeen victories to fifty seven defeats.”

“Michelle, twenty three victories to sixty defeats.”

“Michelle, thirty nine victories to sixty five defeats.”

“Michelle, seventy two victories to eighty eight defeats.”

“Michelle, ninety three victories to ninety eight defeats.”

When Michelle stepped out of the range of the teleportation stone after her most recent bout, Silver arrived at the trial zone entrance. He had heard the results announced by the mentor and was astonished. “Is she a genius? She’s improved vastly in just two months.”

When Michelle returned once again, the Trialmaster opened his eyes and looked at her seriously. “Michelle, ninety nine victories to ninety nine defeats.”

“Congratulations, student. Just one more victory,” Silver said as he smiled and offered his congratulations.

Michelle looked exhausted. She had spent several days fighting at the trial zone’s entrance to attain such results. It was almost too arduous to bear, but it also reflected the mentor’s teaching methods. She recalled her past two months of hard work; all of her missions had been specifically designed to double as the most effective training for her. The mentors of Astral-10 were indeed worthy of their positions in the Astral Combat Academy. But now, other doubts had cropped up in Michelle’s mind—no mentor in the other academies could get such amazing results. Astral-10’s mentors seemed to be different from the other academies’ mentors…

She turned to Silver and asked, “Do you want a turn?”

Silver smiled. “I’ll wait until your one hundredth victory.”

Michelle did not speak any further and stepped into the range of the teleportation stone again.

At the same time, Xia Luo arrived at the trial zone’s entrance and glanced at Silver. He then walked to the Trialmaster and spoke to him quietly. The mentor nodded and pointed at the teleportation stone. “Go to the battle arena.”

Xia Luo smiled and nodded back. He then walked over to the teleportation stone and patiently waited for Michelle to return.

Not long after, Michelle walked out of the area with an excited expression. The Trialmaster’s aged voice rang out. “Michelle, a hundred victories to a hundred defeats.”

Xia Luo was astonished and excitedly offered his congratulations.

Michelle suppressed her excitement. She had finally reached a hundred victories! But her elation was quickly dampened when she remembered that Lu Yin had already reached a hundred victories two months ago. Although she was much slower, she felt that she could still catch up. Her innate gift meant that she was destined to have an outstanding future. If her elder sister could reach those heights, then so could she.

Silver was next to step into the teleportation stone’s area while Xia Luo looked on from behind, deep in thought.

Not far away, Michelle walked to the Trialmaster and respectfully said, “Mentor, I would like to enter the trial zone.”

The mentor nodded. “Sure, go on in.”

Michelle was puzzled. “Go in where?”

The mentor pointed behind him and sighed, “Each as clueless as the last.”

Michelle stretched out her hand in the exact same way that Lu Yin had done so. Her eyes gleamed before she stepped forward, vanishing.

Xia Luo’s eyes shone as he watched. It was time for him to enter the trial zone as well.

Michelle was not completely unfamiliar with the trial zone mountain. She directly entered, closed her eyes, and selected the Dao of Purgatory. It was the same choice that Lu Yin had initially made, but her reception was worlds apart. Lu Yin had been faced with ridicule and attacks when he entered, but Michelle encountered stunned gazes and passionate greetings.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Choco

Edited By: Neshi/Nyxnox

TLC'ed By: OMA