Chapter 183: The Academy’s Tabloid

While Lu Yin was busy recruiting students to help him snatch a training ground, above the Sand Ocean, Big Pao and Little Pao both faced the Sandmaster with solemn looks on their faces.

“Have you both made your decision? This is no joke. With your abilities, it will be almost impossible to win,” the Sandmaster said in a concerned tone as he looked at the both of them.

Little Pao was determined. “Mentor, we have decided. My brother and I are orphans who were taken in by Astral-10. Astral-10 is our home, and we won’t allow some new disciples who have been here for less than a year take up this responsibility.”

Big Pao then said, “Old Cai gave Lu Yin a mission. As long as he completes it, we will proceed, even if we can’t win. We need to find out their true abilities, no matter what.”

The Sandmaster nodded his head in understanding. “There are too many young powerful people in the universe. It turns out that some of them have concealed their abilities, so having the two of you probe their abilities is a good thing. This recent batch of new students are all quite promising, and it might be possible for Astral-10 to move back to the Innerverse in the future.” After he said that, however, the Sandmaster’s gaze turned stern. “However, the two of you must remember this; you will both be thoroughly exposed after this, and it will lead to both of you being studied in great detail by the other academies in anticipation of the Astral Combat Tournament. Do you understand this?”

Big Pao and Little Pao looked at one another, smiled, and then answered, “We’ve already thought it over. We’re ready.”

In the Innerverse, there was a barricaded region beside an Astral River tributary. This was where Astral-6 was located. 

Inside Astral-6, Frankfurt looked at Liu Ji with admiring eyes as he said, “This is the first time I’ve seen the Lockbreaking process from up close. You’re truly a genius Lockbreaker.”

Liu Ji frowned. “It’s a pity that this Sourcebox’s contents were destroyed by time long ago and that there was no harvest.”

"It doesn't matter," Frankfurt replied with a laugh, "You've already fulfilled your duty by showing me your lockbreaking abilities."

Liu Ji looked at Frankfurt. “Senior, what do you think about Astral-10?”

Frankfurt was surprised at his question. “Astral-10? The banished academy? Why do you ask?”

“I just wanted to understand them a bit more.” She could still remember the shock she had received during her visit to Astral-10. Xia Luo, Darkvoid, Silver, and Lu Yin were all extraordinarily talented. 

Frankfurt considered her question for a bit before letting out a wry chuckle. “I  don’t know much about them, but I do know that the students there have some backers. The Daynight clan, the Mavis family, Windrift Hall, and various other organizations. Oh, and also, there are some who rely on the Lockbreaker Society for protection as well.”

“Who?” Liu Ji asked, eager to find out. The first people she thought of were Xia Luo and Lu Yin. Both of these two were Lockbreakers.

“I think that his name is Lu Yin,” Frankfurt said as a cold glint flashed across his eyes. He was not unfamiliar with the name. To appease Jared, Frankfurt had been tasked with killing Lu Yin. And after the students of the Blaze Realm spread the news of him defeating Lu Yin, the two of them had become irreconcilable enemies. Not that it mattered—Lu Yin was just some random student from the Outerverse.

Liu Ji was not surprised by this news at all. Lu Yin had become a member of the Lockbreaker Society, so having them as a backer was completely within her expectations. However, she was actually not aware that Lu Yin had not revealed his status as a Lockbreaker to the others. Frankfurt was also unaware that the Outerverse student that he had become enemies with was also a Lockbreaker with contributions.

Two more days passed before Xia Luo woke at the trial zone mountain, leaving Lu Yin with only two days of the agreed upon five day period that he had with Michelle. 

Upon seeing Lu Yin, Xia Luo was astonished. “You’re back.”

Lu Yin replied, “Brother Xia, I need your help to snatch a training ground.”

Xia Luo paused to think. “Who else is involved?”

“Michelle, Silver, and Lulu are also joining me,” Lu Yin answered. 

Xia Luo nodded his head. “Alright then, when do we leave?”

“Right now. We will meet up around twenty kilometers north of the Dao of Purgatory’s Fathomless Pool,” Lu Yin said 

Xia Luo was just about to say something, but he was immediately interrupted by Lu Yin. “I don’t know what’s there either.”

Xia Luo smiled gently and then reentered the trial zone. 

Wherever there were people, there was always news, and where there was news, there would always be journalists. Wu Da was one such journalist. It had been his ambition since childhood to be the best journalist in the universe. To fulfill his dream, he had trained very hard and had finally managed to enter the Astral Combat Academy with his innate gift. Everything seemed to be going according to plan for him. 

However, after he entered the Astral Combat Academy, Wu Da had discovered that he was too naive. He wanted to report on the news, but what kind of news would there be in the Astral Combat Academy? There was no celebrity gossip or neglected periodicals; there were only constant battles between powerful figures. What was there to report on with these battles? The answer was nothing. Nobody wanted to let others know too much about them or their battle techniques, especially with the Astral Combat Tournament fast approaching. Wu Da thus felt miserable, as if his dreams had all been dashed away. He even reported on two battles in great detail once. After that… he had been pursued by assassins for a month. 

However, Wu Da did not give up and he had even established the Astral Academy Journal in order to fulfill his dreams. Even though he was currently the only staff member, he refused to give up. 

Since he could not report current events, Wu Da decided to focus his attention on the trial zone, which also had many battles going on. Besides, so what if people tried to kill him there? He had no fear of such a death and his only regret would be if he was unable to record the battle. Unfortunately, no devices could be taken into the trial zones, but Wu Da wasn’t concerned about such limitations. He had great confidence in his ability to accurately describe a battle with only a few words while allowing his readers an in depth look into a battle.

On this day, Wu Da decided to go to the Dao of Purgatory, but his mind was still ruminating over the article that he had recently published. The news regarding Blackwater Lake was one that had garnered a lot of attention. More specifically, the news that Yue Xianzi had gained an inheritance had caused countless people to become alarmed, which meant that the sales of the Astral Academy Journal had gone through the roof. 

Even though the people of Frostmoon Sect were after his life, he wasn’t very concerned about that. More importantly, he had finally received some financial backing; a group of network companies had extended an olive branch to him. To Wu Da, their financial support was secondary. What he cared about more was their recognition. He felt that he was mere inches away from realizing his dream of becoming the universe’s greatest paparazzi.

He grew increasingly excited as he continued to think about it. Wu Da stood at the same spot and scanned the scenery intently. After mumbling to himself for a moment, he turned to sprint off in a specific direction. His journalistic intuition was saying that there was hot news to be found in that way. 

The Fathomless Pool seemed like an unremarkable pool, but the water inside was pitch black. If it were not so far away from Blackwater Lake, then many would have thought that the two were connected.

Twenty kilometers north of the Fathomless Pool, Michelle and two others sat, resting calmly against a huge black tree. In the distance were a group of wandering war spirits. Lu Yin was not aware of this, but the location that he had chosen at random was actually a gathering ground for war spirits. 

When Lu Yin appeared, he was surprised to see the roaming war spirits there.

“You picked a good spot,” Michelle said coldly. 

Lu Yin was slightly embarrassed. “Keep your voices down! We want to keep a low profile. They are war spirits after all.”

Michelle grunted, but did not speak. 

A few hours later, when Xia Luo arrived, he looked at the group of war spirits in astonishment. “What a good place for spirit hunters.”

“It is unlikely that any spirit hunters would dare to do anything here,” Lulu said.

Xia Luo shook his head, “You don’t understand the longing the spirit hunters have for war spirits. These war spirits must have only started to gather here very recently, otherwise, they would already have become a target for the spirit hunters.”

“Why do spirit hunters hunt these war spirits?” Lu Yin asked, puzzled.

“I do not know either. It’s said that they hunt war spirits as a tradition that has been practised for ages,” Xia Luo responded. 

“Alright then, let’s head to the Fathomless Pool. We have no time to waste,” Michelle said as she started walking toward the Fathomless Pool. 

With their speed, they reached their destination very quickly. 

The Fathomless Pool was within a secluded valley, and it had been initially discovered purely by coincidence. At this time, there was only one man inside the pool: Uro. He was one of only three Area Masters from Astral-6.

The Dao of Purgatory’s training grounds were Spear Mountain, Blackwater Lake, Fathomless Pool, Whitebones Gorge, and the Sky Platform. Four out of the five training grounds were occupied by Astral-6, and only Blackwater Lake had been snatched away by the Frostmoon Sect. 

The number of Area Master-level combatants in each training ground was around the same, but that was only because there were not that many training grounds to begin with. This was also the main reason why Lu Yin had decided to snatch the Fathomless Pool. Snatching a training ground would likely escalate to war against the powerful figures from the academy that used to own the training ground, and in severe cases, Realm Masters could even get involved. The only exception to this was the Dao of Purgatory. This was because Lu Yin, like the Realm Master, Dao Bo, was a Lockbreaker.

“Attack,” Lu Yin growled lowly before immediately charging viciously at the Fathomless Pool without giving any indication that he was about to attack. This was a trial zone where only the strongest survived, and there were no rules to speak of.

A few meters away from the Fathomless Pool, a half naked man with messy hair suddenly looked into the direction of Lu Yin and his cohort. When he saw Lu Yin rush at him with the intent to attack, his gaze turned icy. “You don’t know who you’re messing with.” As he spoke, he stretched out his right palm, causing translucent streams of air to circulate around his body. Soon, visible currents enveloped his entire body like tattoos. This was his battle force. 

Lu Yin raised his palms into the air, activating the Skybeast Claw technique. A bestial roar caused the void to tremble as the Ninety Sixth form of Skybeast Claw swept down upon Uro. 

With a loud bang, the Skybeast Claw was easily shattered as Uro swiped at Lu Yin. The Area Master’s star energy then soared out from his palm as it transformed into a scorching wave of flames. The high temperature instantly scorched the ground black as it radiated in all directions. 

Lu Yin took a step back as a silver shadow slid past him. Silver’s butterfly knife flashed and the star energy flames from Uro’s palm rushed towards the knife, attempting to deflect it, but they were unable to do so. A look of astonishment shot through Uro’s eyes and he forcefully changed the direction of his palm strike, slapping the ground. At the same time, his battle force surged and forced Silver to retreat. 

From above Uro’s head, Lulu released a loud yell as she pounded down with a heavy fist.

Uro narrowed his eyes and evaded her attack, causing her to strike the ground. But then, starting from Lulu’s fist, the entire valley split in half, visibly shocking Uro.

“Don’t run!” Lulu cried out. She snapped out with her leg, revealing a slender calf that carried a tremendous strength within it. While her leg looked deceptively fragile, Uro didn’t dare to underestimate the girl’s physique after just witnessing the strength of her fist. He lifted his leg to counter her kick. Since both legs were charged with battle force, a violent explosion rang out, nearly deafening everyone’s ears. 

Uro and Lulu both retreated at the same time.

Uro was shocked by how powerful these strange people who had just appeared out of nowhere were. They all had the strength to rival an Area Master. Could it be that another academy is trying to snatch this training ground in the Dao of Purgatory away?

After receiving the diligent instruction of Astral-10’s few mentors over the past four months, all of the students had seen their abilities rise meteorically. They were no longer the green, inexperienced novices that they had been before. Even Lu Yin was stunned by his fellow students’ improvements as their natural talents that already allowed them to fight those above their levels had been amplified even further. 

It could be said that the gains that Astral-10’s students had made over the past few months equaled what students from the other branches of the Astral Combat Academy would need several years to attain. After all, the other academies did not have dedicated mentors who would personally instruct the students. Being admitted to Astral-10 had indeed been an exceptional bit of good luck for them.

“Who the hell are you people?!” Uro cried out in confusion. Just as he finished speaking, however, a numb feeling crept across his back and he hurriedly dodged to the side. A red lotus arrow pierced the ground, causing him to squint into the distance to see who had shot it. Was that Senior Red Lotus Witchbow Mira just now? No, if it was Senior Mira, then I would’ve died by now. That woman must be Mira’s younger sister, Michelle. That means that this group of troublemakers is from Astral-10.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Neshi/Nyxnox

TLC'ed By: OMA