Chapter 189: Graduation And Expulsion

The power level of a Realm Master was too difficult to reach. Lu Yin was confident that he could attain the level of an Area Master in half a year, and even surpass it after that. However, reaching the strength of a Realm Master was just too difficult. Could it be that he was destined to lose in this Astral Combat Tournament?

The Astral Combat Tournament took place once every twenty years, which meant that a member of the younger generation could generally only participate once. But with Lu Yin’s young age, he could participate in the next one as well, though he did not wish to wait for twenty years.

While considering his options, he raised his hand and caused his die to appear. “Hopefully, you’ll be able to bring me a miracle.”

But right at that point, the thuggish Little Eight rushed in and excitedly shouted, “Boss, we’ve found some other pirates!”

Lu Yin casually dismissed the die and stared coldly at Little Eight. “In the future, knock before you enter. Next time, I’ll chop your hand off.”

The thug jumped in fright and immediately acknowledged the order. 

“Pirates? How large is their group?”

Little Eight nervously replied, “There’s a pirate group about half a region ahead of us called the ‘Flying Fish.’ This group is several years older than ours, and they can be considered professional pirates.”

Lu Yin was amused. “Professional pirates? So are there amateur ones?”

“Boss, most pirates are actually not real pirates. Being a pirate is somewhat like putting on a mask. Someone might be broke, have poor cash flow, or have some other special goal, but there are always new pirates rising to the occasion. Once they’ve completed their goals, these pirates usually disappear back to their old life. This is a very normal occurrence.”

Lu Yin’s gaze twinkled as he remarked, “The dark side of the universe.”

Little Eight nodded in agreement. “Boss, so what do you think of this Flying Fish group?”

“Approach them and then rob them,” Lu Yin said simply before walking out towards the control room with Little Eight hurriedly following behind. This amateur pirate had decided that, since he could not resist, he might as well put on a good performance. If he was lucky enough, he might even find some opportunities in future to make some profit for himself.

The various great weaves of the Outerverse had never relaxed their clean-up operations of the roaming pirate groups. The presence of pirates severely hindered the finances of the various weaves, and quite frequently, news would emerge of some important figure being killed by pirates. Hence, each weave had its own set of professional troops that specialized in exterminating pirates. But the pirates were just too sneaky. Besides the exceptionally strong pirate groups that were difficult to fight against, the smaller scale groups never stayed in one place for too long, and the Flying Fish pirate group was no exception to this rule.

“What methods do they employ?” Lu Yin asked as he looked at the medium-sized pirate spacecraft in the distance.

“They’re not much different from us. They only plunder and never kill.”

“I wouldn’t have been able to tell, but it seems that you people still have some principles,” Lu Yin remarked, somewhat astonished.

Little Eight grimaced. “Boss, being a pirate is already hard enough. Plundering has its risks, but killing is even riskier. Due to the weave’s clean-up troops, many pirates have an iron rule to plunder and never to kill. If we ever violate that, the weave’s troops would place us on their must-kill list. Thus, any killing on our part would attract the attention of powers we can’t contest. The risks are just too large for a little group like ours to even think about taking them on.”

Lu Yin nodded, as Little Eight’s words were logical. Though the universe was cruel, that was only true for cultivators and those who walked in the dark, like pirates. For the average person, aside from natural disasters, they could expect to live a long and uneventful life. In short, the great weaves were closely linked and had developed robust systems to protect themselves and their denizens.

Not long after, Lu Yin leisurely stretched out as he looked at the two fallen Limiteers in front of him. He was now on the Flying Fish pirate spacecraft, and in the middle of plundering it.

These small-scale pirate groups did not have many powerhouses, the couple of Limiteers that they did have were only as strong as the average Melder from the Astral Combat Academy, roughly around Gerbach’s level. They were just too weak compared to Lu Yin.

“Boss, here’s our harvest,” Little Eight said as he obsequiously handed Lu Yin a Mavis Bank black card as if he were presenting treasure, earning him a furious look from the Flying Fish’s captain.

“How much?” Lu Yin’s lips twitched upwards.

“Hehe, 60,000 star crystals.”

“So little? Hasn’t this group been running around and looting for a couple of years?”

“Boss, a pirate group’s expenses are quite high. Besides the costs that go along with a crew member’s death, there’s also the constant cost of maintaining their weapons and spacecraft, medicines and information, paying off the stronger pirate groups, and even paying the cultivators within their own group. 60,000 is a pretty decent haul, all things considered.”

Lu Yin’s gaze swept across the pirate captain and grunted when he saw his ashen face. He kept the card. “Not bad. Go ahead and split everything else among your men.”

Little Eight was delighted. “Thank you, Boss!”

Lu Yin’s way of doing things truly shocked Little Eight, as Lu Yin had not claimed everything for himself. This was a good way of accumulating goodwill among the crew and showed that Lu Yin wasn’t a fool despite his youthful appearance. The pirates all cheered and they gave their all in completing their assigned tasks.

Lu Yin couldn’t care less about the rest of the loot, but he did care about the money. He had not become so desperate that he would act unscrupulously for money, but he was willing to use force when necessary. He was expecting these pirates to have a large fortune; otherwise, he wouldn’t be able to gain a good harvest from robbing all these pirates. He was willing to face the additional risk. Although this pirate group could no longer offer him any benefits, they did represent the risk of spreading the news about his activities and causing him to be chased around by the other pirate crews.

Over the next half month, Lu Yin visited multiple regions with Little Eight’s lead. There were ninety seven regions in the Dark Mist Weave, and according to Little Eight, this was the weave where most of the pirates in the Outerverse gathered. In just half a month’s time, they had already robbed more than ten pirate groups. They were practically sailing through a den of thieves, and their harvests reflected it. Lu Yin himself had already obtained about 700,000 star crystals, which sounded like an enormous fortune. Every pirate following him had also obtained enough wealth to live extravagantly for the rest of their lives. They could even quit being a pirate and live as a rich commoner if they so desired it.

“Brother Eight, isn’t the territory of Knight Pirates ahead? Let’s go rob them!” a pirate exclaimed excitedly in the command room.

Little Eight smacked the pirate heavily on his head. “Are you crazy?! You want to rob the Knight Pirates? Scram!”

Lu Yin was coincidentally walking by and overheard the conversation. “Why can’t we rob the Knight Pirates?”

Little Eight jumped in fright when he heard Lu Yin’s voice, and he quickly turned around to explain. “Boss, the Knight Pirates are the strongest pirate group in this entire region. They have at least five Limiteers in their ranks, and their captain, the Mad Viper Knight, is an absolute powerhouse. He graduated from the Astral Combat Academy.”

Lu Yin was stunned. “He graduated from Astral Combat Academy? He’s an Explorer?”

Little Eight shook his head. “No, there’s no way an Explorer would linger in this poor region. He’s a peak Limiteer.”

Lu Yin relaxed. As long as the opponent wasn’t an Explorer, he would be fine. It must be a false rumor that this captain had graduated from the Astral Combat Academy, as the rules stated that a student could only graduate after they became an Explorer. Anyone who could not reach that stage would be expelled when they came of age, which was not considered graduating.

The Astral Combat Academy was split into ten academies. Aside from Astral-10, the other academies had an average of a thousand students each. Not even a third of those students would be able to successfully graduate, and each graduate was an absolute elite of the universe. Even those who had been expelled were not weak. Becoming an Explorer required both fortuitous opportunities and innate talent. Without a five-stage formcast model, it was too difficult to become an Explorer by the academy’s required age. But even their expelled students would remain outstanding wherever they went. There should be no need for one to ever become a pirate, which meant this Mad Viper Knight was probably a fake.

“Let’s go. We’ll plunder these Knight Pirates. Since they’ve been able to dominate the few surrounding regions, they should give us a decent harvest.” Lu Yin held high expectations for the upcoming loot.

Little Eight’s face turned bitter. “Boss, these pirates really can’t be provoked. They were once surrounded by soldiers, but they slaughtered almost half of them. Their blood even turned the oceans of the planet beneath them red! The Mad Viper Knight even managed to sneak in and kill an Explorer! This guy’s scary!”

Lu Yin beamed as he replied, “That’s our target! Let’s go!”

Little Eight was left helpless, and he could only glare furiously at the pirate who had opened his mouth earlier. The spacecraft changed course and headed straight at the Knight Pirates’ territory.

It was no easy task to find a pirate group, as they would not stay in the same place for long. It required some luck, but since both parties were pirates, Little Eight had a good chance of tracking their prey down.

By this point, Lu Yin had long since forgotten about his Lockbreaking mission. Although Lockbreaking was important to him, these star crystals were much more important. His die was his shortcut to rapidly increasing his strength. He had already gathered 700,000 star crystals, so after this last mission, he could head back to Astral-10 and patiently wait for the Astral Combat Tournament to start.

The Knight Pirates roamed across several regions, so Little Eight initially expected it to take awhile to find them. But contrary to his expectations, they spotted a large spacecraft in the middle of a meteoroid field after just a day. It was the Knight Pirates’ spacecraft.

Under Lu Yin’s stern gaze, Little Eight sent a docking request to the Knight Pirates. Quickly, their spacecraft was given permission to board by the larger spacecraft.

Lu Yin looked at his gadget when he heard the two spacecrafts connect. He could see the power levels of the various people on this large vessel and saw that there were nearly a thousand people here. There were three Limiteers, but more importantly, one had a power level of 10,000. This impressive number caused Little Eight to nearly faint in fear. This was a peak Limiteer and should be the Mad Viper Knight. It seemed that he was only a single step away from breaking through to become an Explorer.

Lu Yin’s face became slightly grave, but he did not pay too much attention to this number. He had met many peak Limiteers and had even fought against some of them in the teleportation battles. While their superior star energy had strongly suppressed him, they were not unbeatable like an Explorer was. Uro had been a peak Limiteer, and so had Spear Mountain’s Area Master, Frankfurt.

“B-boss, there’s still time to retreat. I think that it’d be best if we don’t provoke the Mad Viper Knight. We can leave after giving him some tribute,” Little Eight nervously stammered out.

Lu Yin waved away the suggestion and calmly walked out of their spacecraft and onto the Knight Pirates’ vessel. He had already made sufficient preparations before arriving, and if this Mad Viper Knight was too strong, he could still retreat. However, this pirate captain should still be within Lu Yin’s capabilities. If the fight did turn out to be impossible, then he could use his status as a Lockbreaker to save his life.

He first used his status as a pirate captain to request a meeting with the Mad Viper Knight. This was not an excessive request, and Lu Yin was quickly taken to a lounge where he saw a Limiteer standing outside.

Just as the Limiteer was about to speak, however, his gadget beeped, and his face changed. His entire bearing shifted and he quickly left. The pirate who had escorted Lu Yin left in a hurry as well, leaving just Lu Yin by himself. Lu Yin frowned, but did not pay the two’s actions any mind. He directly opened the lounge door and stepped inside.

The Mad Viper Knight was a middle-aged man, of a similar age as most of the pirate captains. He wore an elegant aristocratic coat and clasped a cane in his hand. On his face was a fearsome snake tattoo, and his appearance was rather intimidating at a glance.

Lu Yin’s entrance did not disturb the captain since he was looking at something on his gadget, but his eyes seemed to carry a trace of worry.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Choco

Edited By: Neshi/Nyxnox

TLC'ed By: OMA