Chapter 182: Selection

“How do you know this?” Michelle’s voice was cold and a little anxious.

Lu Yin dissipated his own battle force. “I helped her comprehend it at the second level of the Sand Ocean.”

Michelle stared at Lu Yin before asking, “What are your conditions?”

He smiled. “Help me snatch a training ground.”

Michelle frowned as she replied, “You should know how scary an Area Master is since you’ve experienced Frankfurt’s power for yourself.”

A cold glint flashed through Lu Yin’s eyes; everyone knew that he had been killed by Frankfurt. He needed to repay this debt one day. It was a pity that Spear Mountain was not suitable for him. Otherwise, that training ground would have been his first choice. “Are you afraid?”

Michelle indifferently replied, “At worst, I’ll die. I’m alright.” Her tone then turned serious as she continued, “But I’ll only help you once. I can’t help you forever.”

He smiled at her agreement. “Sure, just once will do.”

“Where are we headed?”

Schutz also looked over.

Lu Yin’s eyes flashed before he said, “The Dao of Purgatory, the Fathomless Pool.”

The Fathomless Pool was the worst training ground of the Dao of Purgatory, though “worst” merely referred to its scope. In reality, the Fathomless Pool was very useful as it helped cultivators develop and refine their battle force; the deeper they went into the pool, the greater the pressure they would face. However, its small size could only accommodate two people at a time. Thus, not many students practiced there. Also, there were other trial zones that were also suitable for training one’s battle force. Thus, the Fathomless Pool garnered relatively little interest, as almost no one trained there besides its Area Master, Uro.

However, Lu Yin had another motive for choosing the Fathomless Pool; Uro was a good friend of Jared.

“The Fathomless Pool might only have the Area Master Uro, but he is very strong and has a biological innate gift—huan qi. He also has one line of battle force and he won’t be easy to deal with. Who else have you found to help you?”

Lu Yin looked at Schutz. Michelle frowned as she thought to herself, This person is useless.

“The Sand Ocean’s second layer can help one comprehend battle force?” Schutz suddenly asked.

Lu Yin nodded. “That’s where I picked it up.”

“Then I won’t help you snatch a training ground this time.”

Lu Yin sighed. Schutz had the heart, but not the strength. “You’re going to head to the second layer of the Sand Ocean?”

“I’ll help you after I learn battle force,” Schutz said with a nod before he left.

Lu Yin frowned, as the second layer of the Sand Ocean was no trivial place. Even Xi Yue had to rely on his help before she was able to withstand the ravaging winds that eroded at one’s body. Schutz definitely wasn’t strong enough to endure those winds, but Lu Yin knew that anything he said would be useless as Schutz had a fighter’s heart, just like Zhang Dingtian.

“You should just forget it if the helpers you’ll have are all like that. Uro has truly reached the level of an Area Master, and his innate gift is also very powerful. He’s not much easier to deal with than Frankfurt, and just the two of us won’t be his match.”

“Don’t look down on other people. He may be able to master battle force before he returns.”

Michelle’s gaze shifted; she obviously did not take Schutz seriously. Although her words were harsh, they coldly reflected reality. Only the top few elites in Astral-10 could face an Area Master, and Lu Yin needed to find people like Xia Luo, Yin, Darkvoid, or Lulu to help him.

“First, go in and head twenty kilometers north of the Dao of Purgatory’s Fathomless Pool. I’ll gather the rest before we start.”

Michelle was puzzled. “Twenty kilometers north? What’s there?”

“I don’t know.”

“But you’re making me go there regardless?”

“Why don’t you choose somewhere else nearby the Fathomless Pool that you’re familiar with then?”

Michelle was struck speechless by Lu Yin’s casualness, and she directly stepped towards the trial zone mountain. “I’ll wait there for five days at most. The deal is off if you don’t appear within five days, but you’ll still have to help me comprehend battle force.”

Lu Yin was helpless; this girl was difficult to deal with.

After Michelle entered the trial zone, Lu Yin walked around the trial zone mountain and found the areas where Xia Luo, Yin, Lulu and Darkvoid had accessed the trial zones. Now that he had located them all, he would not need to search around aimlessly. He sat down at the entrance of the trial zone mountain and waited for them to awaken.

Half a day later, someone woke up, but it wasn’t who Lu Yin was waiting for. Rather, Coco and Zora, the two disciples of Windrift Hall, walked out. There were other experts of Windrift Hall in the trial zone, and even though none of them were an Area Master, Coco and Zora experienced no issued under Windrift Hall’s protection. The Hall had an excellent reputation within the Innerverse. That, combined with Coco’s cute appearance and eager kindness, meant that the two were not bullied inside the trial zones.

Coco was glad to see Lu Yin. “Brother Lu, you’ve been gone for a long time. Where have you been?”

Lu Yin smiled as he answered, “Out for missions. Coco, congratulations on obtaining a hundred victories in the ported battles.”

Coco stuck out her tongue. “Don’t make fun of me, Brother Lu. My record is bad.”

“To attain a hundred victories is already an improvement.

“Coco, which Dao did you guys go to?”

“The Dao of Heaven, but we’re headed to the Dao of Slaughter next, or perhaps the Dao of Purgatory.”

Lu Yin was envious. Having a backer was completely different from not having one. If Lu Yin hadn’t managed to find a backer in the form of Charon, he would have been murdered regardless of where he went.

“Let’s go, Coco. The mentor’s waiting for us,” Zora said as she nodded at Lu Yin in greetings.

Lu Yin watched them leave as he had no plans of recruiting them for his mission. Although a healer was important, they lost their value in the trial zones. As long as one didn’t die, they would quickly recover to their peak state without any external aid. With Coco and Zora’s strength, they might be even less useful than Schutz against an Area Master.

Not long after, Darkvoid woke up and glanced at Lu Yin before indifferently walking out of the mountain.

Lu Yin asked, “Darkvoid, are you interested in snatching a training ground with me?”

“No,” Darkvoid replied simply. He was a man of few words.

“I can help you comprehend battle force and allow you to train at Whitebones Gorge.” Lu Yin offered up many incentives in his attempt to tempt Darkvoid, but he remained unfazed and walked towards the exit of the mountain without a word before vanishing before Lu Yin’s eyes.

Lu Yin felt helpless. If it had been Hui Daynight, then Lu Yin would have simply beaten him into submission, but with Darkvoid, Lu Yin felt like he held absolutely no authority over this fellow student. This person was like a steadfast rock; no one knew what he was thinking.

A student leader could supervise and even discipline the other students within reasonable limits, but Lu Yin did not feel that forcibly conscripting them for his personal mission would fall within those limits.

However, Lu Yin was not disturbed by his failure to recruit Darkvoid. He never expected to actually succeed, and his hopes were much more focused on the rest. He had to succeed with them.

Another day passed, and Lu Yin finally managed to encounter Silver.

He was still wearing that fox’s smile, not letting a single sliver of emotion slip through. During the New Students’ Tournament, he had easily eliminated Hui Daynight with a butterfly knife attack that Lu Yin hadn’t been able to understand at all. While the knife hadn’t moved that quickly, it had still sliced through Hui Daynight’s battle technique as if it weren’t there. It was a very strange attack.

Lu Yin still could not forget that moonlit night back on Earth when his Cosmic Palm had clashed against that butterfly knife. That moment seemed to have locked their fates together.

“Long time no see, Student Lu,” Silver beamed as he stretched his body.

Lu Yin still needed to be courteous to Silver, so he asked, “I want to grab a training ground. Want to join?”

Silver smiled. “Alright, I can spare a third of my strength to help you.”

Lu Yin sneered before replying, “A fifth will be more than enough.”

“A tenth will probably be fine.”

Their meaningless banter was pointless, so Lu Yin simply said, “Go to the Dao of Purgatory. I’m planning to take over the Fathomless Pool. Head twenty kilometers north of there and wait for me there.”

“Twenty kilometers north? What’s there?” 

“I don’t know. It’s just a random place.”

Silver shrugged, sat down a dozen meters away from Lu Yin, closed his eyes, and reentered the trial zone.

After Silver, Lulu was the next to awaken. When she came out, her eyes flashed when she saw Lu Yin. “Come on, let’s compare our strengths!”

“Sure, but the loser has to agree to one condition.”

“No problem.”

They walked out of the mountain to the trial zone mountain’s entrance.

There were many ways to compare strength, but for Lu Yin and Lulu, the simplest was a pushing contest.

Astonishment flashed through Lu Yin’s eyes when he clasped Lulu’s soft, white hand. There was a different feeling about it, as if her hand was more tenacious. This was a strangely familiar sensation—could it be? Battle force?

Lu Yin stared at Lulu in shock, and she merely grinned in response. Her already beautiful face became even more vibrant as she said, “Let’s go. The Mavis clan will not lose to anyone in terms of strength.” With that, battle force erupted from her body and distorted the void.

Lu Yin instinctively responded in kind, and their battle forces intertwined as they challenged each other. After just a split second, their terrifying strength caused a dull explosion to ring out, and with the two at the center, the earth suddenly sank down as sparks flickered dangerously in their surroundings. The air was calm around the two of them, but a turbulent stream of air spun upwards before blasting down at the area a hundred meters away from them, heavily pressuring the surrounding plains.

Lulu’s strength had greatly increased, reaching a freakish level, but Lu Yin’s physique was even more terrifying. He still had not reached the limits of his physical body yet, but he had witnessed a glimpse of its power during the Blackwater Lake phenomenon. He had withstood the whirlpool for two seconds while that same whirlpool had torn the students who were almost as strong as an Area Master, like Gus, to shreds. This proved that his physical abilities had already surpassed an Area Master, and Area Masters were among the top ten students of their respective academy. This clearly demonstrated the terrifying strength of his physical body.

And Lu Yin’s body was still improving. Lulu possessed the Mavis clan’s innate gift and was constantly growing in strength, but Lu Yin was the same. Ever since he had broken that seal after breaking through to become a Melder, his physical innate gift had shocked even the Sandmaster.

Lulu’s eyes widened when she didn’t instantly flatten Lu Yin, and she looked at Lu Yin as if he was a freak. She had used all her strength, but her opponent was still standing.

Their battle forces were nearly the same, with Lulu’s being slightly stronger. She had, after all, trained with the Sandmaster for nearly four months. But even with her advantage in terms of battle force, she still couldn’t beat Lu Yin and was being slowly pulled over by him.

Suddenly, the two were blasted back without any warning. In the distance, the clearly unhappy Trialmaster said, “I’ve told you this multiple times. Don’t wreck the grass, and don’t fight here.”

The two students shook hands as they exchanged a stare, both thinking that the other was a monster.

“I’ve lost. So what do you want from me?”

“Help me snatch up the Dao of Purgatory’s Fathomless Pool.”

Lulu was shocked but then quickly grew excited. “You want to snatch a training ground? Great! I’ve wanted to do so as well for a long time. The Fathomless Pool, huh? I’ve heard that it’s an excellent place to cultivate battle force.”

Michelle, Silver, Lulu, and Lu Yin. There were now four of them, and they were only missing Xia Luo.

Lu Yin would never underestimate an Area Master. He was confident that he would not be defeated even if he went by himself, but he knew that it was basically impossible for him to win alone. Only by combining forces could Astral-10 students snatch a training ground away.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Choco

Edited By: Neshi/Nyxnox

TLC'ed By: OMA