“The Astral Combat Tournament is divided into four rounds. First, every academy will designate one of their students as a seed individual, who will directly enter the fourth round. This is also when the lots are drawn.
“The first round is called Three Academies Guarding the Gate. Three academies are chosen at random and each one will send one participant to guard a region. Competitors from the other academies will then go on the offensive and try to break into the guarded region, though they are barred from using any battle techniques or innate gifts. As long as the attacking students can break into the guarded area, they move to the next round. If more than half of the participating competitors break through, the three guarding academies will be judged as to have failed and will drop out of the tournament.”
Lu Yin’s eyes narrowed.
Old Cai paused before continuing, saying, “The second round is called Knocking on the Dragon’s Door—it is also known as Sounding the Battle Drums. The battle drums represent the origins of the Astral Combat Tournament, and every academy will station someone at the drums. After all of an academy’s participants arrive from the first round, the stationed student must successfully beat their drum. Those who cannot make any sounds will be judged to have failed, and their academy will be kicked out.
“The third round is known as Tribute to the Ancestors. Like the previous one, every academy must station one student for the third round. Once the first two rounds have concluded, the students stationed at the third round must light incense sticks and pay tribute to the ancestors of the ten academies. Those who cannot light their sticks will be judged to have failed, and their academy will be knocked out.
“As for the fourth round, it consists of drawing lots and deciding the strongest of the academies.”
“The battle drum and incense stick rounds must not be as simple as they sound, right?”
Old Cai laughed strangely. “Of course not. The battle drums are made from the leather of giant astral beasts. To beat one and make a sound is no simple task. One needs to have at least comprehended battle force. Otherwise, the drum will not make a single sound.”
Lu Yin’s brows rose. “What about the incense?”
“The same idea goes. Those who have not reached a certain level of strength will not be able to even touch one.”
Lu Yin’s expression turned solemn. “Between the seeded individual, the one to break through the three academies, the one to knock on the dragon door, and the one to pay tribute to the forebearers, every academy will be, at the least, short their three strongest individuals while three academies will be short four.”
“That’s one way of understanding it, which is why we gave you the mission of snatching a training ground. Otherwise, you wouldn’t even know who’s capable of what. If that were the case, how would you even compete in the Astral Combat Tournament?” Old Cai admonished as he rolled his eyes.
Lu Yin silently calculated their chances and concluded that Astral-10’s current formation was enough. “Old Cai, what should I do now?”
“Conceal your strength and bide your time. Don’t let others see through you before the Astral Combat Tournament begins, and always activate your battle force without letting others perceive it.”
Lu Yin nodded in understanding. He could revolve his battle force around his body and then constrict it so that it would not show through his clothes, preventing others from sensing it. But maintaining it in this form was very tiring.
Michelle was waiting not too far from the treasury when he exited.
“Do you want me to help you comprehend battle force now?”
She muttered, “Give me a month. I’ll see you at the Sand Ocean then.”
“Alright.” Lu Yin readily agreed as one month was enough time for him to earn some star crystals, and he had not rolled his die for a while now. Without enough money, it would just be a waste if he rolled Possession, so he needed to gather at least 100,000 crystals. Possession could allow him to fundamentally transform himself, so he should do his best to not waste it.
The next day, some shocking news rocked the Astral Combat Academy. The Fathomless Pool in the Dao of Purgatory had been snatched away by Astral-10’s students.
This news was published by the Astral Academy Journal with the headline, “Astral-10’s Resurgence to Glory: Snatching the Fathomless Pool!”
This article vividly described the battle between Uro and Astral-10 students. The editor, Wu Da, had penned down a lively battle scene with his seasoned experience and his flowing words made the readers feel as if they had witnessed the battle themselves. More importantly, the introductions of Astral-10 students shocked many others from the other branches of the Astral Combat Academy.
Xia Luo is a new student of Astral-10’s. As a newly minted Lockbreaker, this rising star easily dissolved a full force blow from Area Master Uro and played a pivotal role in Uro’s defeat. This author believes that, without Xia Luo, victory would not have been secured that easily. He dealt the decisive blow to Uro and received Uro’s most formidable attack as well. His power can rival an Area Master, and more importantly, he is still just a Melder, a superb genius buried in Astral-10.
Silver, is another new student of Astral-10’s. He is a smiling killer with a deceptive butterfly knife that injured Uro multiple times and cut off all paths of escape. His final slash beheaded Uro and his smile provokes the fear of death in his enemies. His blade can rip through the void and it’s impossible to know when or how he will attack. This author believes that he has obtained the strength of a domain. He was the student who limited Uro’s attacks and prevented him from freely attacking. He is also a Melder, another superb genius left disregarded in Astral-10.
Lulu Mavis is a female genius of the Mavis family who inherited the terrifying innate gift of the Mavis family. Every strike of hers can shatter heaven and earth, and her beautiful and delicate appearance belies the strength of a deity. Her strikes could not be blocked by Uro, and she even beat Uro into the ground multiple times. And that’s not even mentioning the fact that she drilled a hole through a mountain in a single blow! Her participation made Uro helpless, and even more terrifying, her mastery of battle force makes her incomparably powerful. She is also just a Melder, another superb genius of Astral-10.
Michelle, AKA the Red Lotus Witch. She needs no introduction as she is the younger sister of the Red Lotus Witchbow, Senior Mira. She has a charming appearance but an icy cold heart. An exception was made for this female genius, allowing her to join the Ten Arbiters Council as a Melder. Additionally, her red lotus arrows can penetrate the void. That, combined with her ability to precisely calculate every one of Uro’s steps, allowed her to deliver Uro a final, decisive blow. She’s the goddess in this author’s heart with her perfect looks, and it’s worth mentioning that she’s also a Melder. Astral-10 has concealed too many geniuses. What a pity.
Lu Yin, the supposed student leader of Astral-10 who is well known for defeating Hart Phoenix, a strong individual on the Blaze Realm Rankings. He also is known to have taken liberties with Xi Yue. His power’s not bad, but he did not exhibit any decisive or remarkable strength in the battle against Uro. This author believes that Astral-10 is just using him as a smokescreen to conceal the other existences. If his performance in the battle with Uro is used as a benchmark, then this person may not even be within the top five combatants of Astral-10. Of course, his power is not too bad, and he can definitely compete against the average students from the other academies. However, his battle results were too different from his reputation, so this author believes that the results from before need to be reevaluated.
These were Wu Da’s introductions of Astral-10 students in the academy’s tabloid in an article describing the battle at the Fathomless Pool. These words completely elevated Astral-10’s reputation and exposed Xia Luo, Silver, Lulu, and Michelle’s abilities to the entire Astral Combat Academy. Of course, Wu Da had long since learned that he should not describe anyone’s unique battle characteristics in detail, but his vivid description of the battle was very interesting in and of itself, and many students viewed the article like a comic.
It was a pity that Wu Da had only appeared when the battle was about to end and thus had to fabricate the first half of the battle. This also meant that he had not seen Lu Yin’s exchange with Uro. There was some exaggeration in Xia Luo and the rest’s introduction, but this was not important as his tabloid had finally become popular.
Be it celebrity gossip or battle news, there would always be high and low-rankings. For example, Xia Luo and most of the other Astral-10 students had been elevated by Wu Da, but Lu Yin was the sole person to be denounced. The point of the story was to be as eye-grabbing as possible. And Wu Da really did not think that Lu Yin was strong to merit a detailed investigation. His Skybeast Claw technique had not been shocking, and Wu Da did not believe that his observations were wrong; Lu Yin had obviously been used by Astral-10 to mislead the other academies. How could anyone from Astral-10 possibly suppress the terrifying Xia Luo and the other strong individuals that Wu Da had observed?
In Astral-2, Liu Tang looked at the report with some interest. “Not bad! Astral-10 defeated Uro, even though they had to join forces to do so. They’re all Melders and can be considered to have some power. But I thought that this Lu Yin was also a genius Lockbreaker! Didn’t she say that? Why didn’t they mention his identity as a Lockbreaker?”
In Astral-6, Charon laughed delightedly. He couldn’t personally do anything to Lu Yin, so he felt ecstatic when he saw how the article belittled Lu Yin. “Very good! This tabloid has great potential.”
Liu Ji, meanwhile, frowned when she finished reading through the article. She only recognized Xia Luo and Silver from the report, and their appraisals seemed to be rather on point. But the introduction for Lu Yin seemed way off the mark, though she had never expected this brat to actually be Astral-10’s leader. Why did they not report that he’s a Lockbreaker? And he’s a one star Junior Lockbreaker at that. This writer must be rather irresponsible.
Liu Ji hadn’t been able to properly assess Lu Yin’s strength. To her, it was entirely possible that Astral-10 might really be using him to mislead the other academies. Her impression of Astral-10’s true terrors were the smiling Silver and that black-haired male.
In Astral-8, Craynor firmly closed the newspaper. This idiot Wu Da better not show himself in front of me if he knows what’s good for himself. He dared to state that Lu Yin’s battle history should not be believed, but Craynor himself had been crushed by Lu Yin. That person’s power was definitely not as simple as this article made it out to be.
In Astral-10, Big Pao, Little Pao, and the others had also seen the article and were delighted to see that Astral-10’s fame was taking a step back towards what it used to be.
Michelle knotted her brows since she did not think that someone would have been spying on them. Moreover, Lu Yin’s power had been severely underreported. If he hadn’t depleted Uro’s battle force at the very beginning, the battle would not have gone that smoothly. Uro’s first severe injury had been caused by Lu Yin, but Lu Yin had not been injured despite the chaotic battle. His power could not even be measured, to the point where he could have conceivably defeated Uro by himself. And yet, he had been libeled harshly. Did that paparazzi not see the first half of the battle at all?
At the same moment, Uro was in a horrid mood. The article’s description had basically made him out to be the villain. He vowed that he would kill this scoundrel, Wu Da.
He glanced through the newspaper again before he finally focused in on Lu Yin’s introduction. Others might not be aware of Lu Yin’s true strength, but Uro knew full well how much trouble this person had brought him. His battle force powered blows had not harmed this person even when he used all of his battle force, and Lu Yin possessed battle force himself and a very sturdy physical body on top of that. The palm that had severely injured Uro was etched deeply in his memory. He could not stand it; this Wu Da was truly blind.
Uro closed the newspaper and focused on plotting out his revenge. He wanted to snatch the Fathomless Pool back, so he ignored his splitting headache and reentered the trial zone.
While many of the Astral Combat Academy’s students were discussing this article, Lu Yin left Astral-10 and appeared in outer space. When he saw the article, he couldn’t stop himself from bursting into laughter. He had wanted to pass the time smoothly, and Wu Da’s article would tremendously help him with this. Even if Astral-10 announced that Lu Yin had won the position of student leader with his own power, no one would believe it!
However, the evaluation of Xia Luo and the rest was also rather accurate. Wu Da had thought that he had exaggerated their introductions, but conversely, Lu Yin felt that their introductions were still underestimating them. He had a feeling that Xia Luo and Silver were both still hiding various trump cards. At the very least, Lu Yin had never seen them use their specialized battle techniques.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Choco
Edited By: Neshi/Nyxnox
TLC'ed By: OMA