Visible clouds of green, toxic gas could be seen floating through the air. Chilian Daynight had broken through the ice seal, releasing a poison gas that filled the valley. It covered an enormous area, which also meant that it was much more dilute compared to before. With Dai Ao and Silver’s strength, however, most of the students would not be able to pass through the valley unless they were a top ranked fighter of their academy.
Twenty minutes passed before the last student exited the valley, thus ending the tournament’s initial segment of Three Academies Guarding the Gate.
A total of 362 people had managed to break through, which was nearly half of the starting number. If just a few more had slipped through, then the three Astral academies guarding the gates would have been eliminated from the tournament.
Nightqueen Yanqing heaved a pent up sigh of relief. Thankfully, the Three Academies Guarding the Gate stage was mainly for entertainment purposes. If the Area Masters had seriously attacked, then even if all three of the students from Astral-3, Astral-7, and Astral-10 had worked together, they would not have been able to stop the other academy students from breaking through.
This portion of the tournament allowed the spectators to see just how powerful the students of the Astral Combat Academy were. It wasn’t just the students guarding the gates, but also those who broke through. Many of the spectators had realized that they wouldn’t have been able to get past those three defenders themselves. They had used poison, gravity, and a killing domain—each terrifying in their own right. Even some of the Explorers had a grim look when faced with the reality that the young generation was growing increasingly powerful.
Out in space, Liu Xiaoyun sighed in relief that her academy had passed this initial stage. She looked at Silver on the screen, who was still wearing his perpetual smile that gave her the chills. He was merely a Melder, but in his domain, he was able to fight against Limiteers as an equal. Even though the Limiteers weren’t allowed to counterattack, few could even block his moves. The moment Silver became a Limiteer, he would definitely become someone to watch out for in the battles for the Realm Master titles.
It was not just Liu Xiaoyun; the other Realm Masters sitting atop the peak at the south of the valley had their eyes on Silver as well.
And within the Great Yu Empire, Jue Lang had a large frown on his face as he considered Silver’s mysterious origins. Although Silver was from the Great Yu Empire, there was a pathetically small amount of information about him, and it even seemed that his information had been covered up. Who exactly is he?
On the screen of Undying Yushan’s gadget, Silver’s background information was displayed. It was very normal and simple, and also very mysterious.
Within the valley, Chilian Daynight and Dai Ao curiously sized Silver up. This person was terrifying; he was personally responsible for nearly half of the students’ deaths. Although they were in the Lifeseek Realm, they had a strange feeling that Silver wouldn’t hold back even if he were actually killing people. In other words, he was a madman.
Silver had an enormous grin as he looked up at somebody.
When the participating students reached the areas behind the battle drums, the next stage, Knocking on the Dragon’s Door, started.
All the students from Astral-4 gathered together right away. On the screen, under the gazes of countless people in the universe, a man grunted as his palm expanded and the air around him distorted. His battle technique caused the ground to crack beneath his feet, and there were even some spatial tears that reached into the sky, leaving the onlookers in dumbstruck in awe.
A startling sound echoed throughout the arena as soundwaves that were visible to the naked eye rippled through the air. The ones who were first affected by the soundwaves were the participating students from Astral-4.
This was a form of initiation by battle drums. During ancient times, when wars were waged, an army would always strike their drums before entering battle. Only those who were able to withstand the drum’s heavy soundwaves were allowed to enter the battlefield. And here, the Astral Combat Tournament could be considered a battlefield as well.
The dozens of participating students from Astral-4 could not move as the heavy soundwaves passed through them. Even if blood flowed out of their eyes, ears, mouth, and nose, they had to endure it. At this moment, they refused to collapse no matter what.
The soundwaves passed through the students from Astral-4 and spread outwards, gradually encompassing all of the participating students. This included the students from Astral-3, Astral-7, and Astral-10, who had just arrived.
The ground cracked, and shards of stone flew into the air before being pulverized into dust.
At that moment, another drumbeat rang out from the direction of Astral-1’s side. Right before Lulu’s eyes, Grandini Mavis attacked the drum with a punch. Although her attack didn’t create spatial tears like the man from Astral-4, her attack was just as shocking because she was beating the drum with pure physical strength.
The deafening sounds caused the very air to distort, and the explosion of concentrated sound waves caused a huge ruckus in the arena. In front of Grandini, the three valleys from the previous segment had been destroyed. The other various combat academy students who were watching from the side were also affected by the stacked soundwaves. They covered their eyes as their faces scrunched up in pain.
Behind Astral-10’s battle drum, Coco bit her lip, Meng Yue’s face turned red, and Schutz clenched the handle of his sword. These soundwaves had forced them to the brink of fainting.
Lulu let out a sound, lifted her hand, and punched forward. It was only when her little white fist made contact with the drum skin that she finally understood why she had been told to go all-out. The battle drum was so tough that ordinary people wouldn’t even be able to cause the drum to make a sound.
The soundwaves from the drums kept overlapping, until finally, some students collapsed from the power of the vibrations. These students had managed to pass through the previous segment by sheer luck, but that alone was not enough for them to qualify to pass through this stage. The Astral Combat Tournament was a place where only the truly powerful and not those who were merely lucky would shine.
In front of Astral-5’s battle drum, the man who Lulu had assumed was frail raised his hand. Water gathered in the sky until it formed a giant ball. As time passed, the size of the ball continued to increase. Many were startled by how much water had gathered, and the water ball was clearly horrifyingly heavy.
Astral-5’s battle drum produced an earth-shattering sound that overpowered the sound from Astral-9’s drum. It also caused at least twenty students to cough up blood and collapse.
Behind Astral-10’s battle drum, Darkvoid looked up at the frail-looking man. His name was Tu Bo, and like him, he was an individual who was being nurtured by Shamrock Enterprises. This meant he had a terrifying innate gift.
All the battle drums were beat resoundingly, but this also caused everything within a radius of ten thousand meters to be destroyed. The ground turned to dust as smoke and dust filled the air. Above the war drums, the sky itself had cracked, as if it were unable to withstand the pressure from the beating drums, with more cracks appearing with each passing second, like raindrops.
The numerous people spectating throughout the universe watched on in shock. The participants were merely hitting drums, so was there a need to make such a huge commotion? Wasn’t tearing the void something that only cultivators who were at the Explorer realm or above could do? How were these students casually causing such a terrifying phenomenon to appear?
At this moment, Gerbach and the rest of the Yu Academy students who were watching the screen finally understood the vast difference that separated them and the top geniuses of the universe. It wasn’t something that could be measured with just numbers—there was simply no way to compare them. It now made sense why Wendy Yushan had thought nothing of the Yu Academy’s students in the past.
Lulu was not a topic of major conversation because her identity was obvious to anyone who looked. The Mavis family had an innate gift of strength, and they were also known for their extreme talent. Her abilities were nowhere as surprising as Silver’s earlier reveal.
At this point, Wu Da’s focus had shifted toward the south, where there were towering incense sticks that were five hundred meter tall. These incense sticks were very difficult to light up, not because of their material, but rather because of the ancestral bloodlust that surrounded them. It was hard to explain this bloodlust with words, but it was similar to a domain. Regular people would not even be able to approach the incense sticks.
Lighting up these giant sticks of incense might seem simple, but in actuality, it was the most difficult stage of them all. Throughout the storied history of the Astral Combat Tournament, quite a few academies had been disqualified at this stage because none of their students had been able to successfully light up a stick. Hence, anybody who could do so was definitely a powerhouse of the Astral Combat Academy.
The other academies definitely had their trump cards for this stage, but what about Astral-10? Who from their academy would light the incense? It was possible for Big Pao and Little Pao, but these two were only capable of barely doing so. One’s combat power was not an indicator for one’s ability to light the incense sticks. Just the brothers’ personalities were enough to reduce their chances of success greatly, as lighting the incense was a form of paying tribute to their forebearers, which required a reverent heart.
As the soundwaves gradually dissipated, the sky regained its calm. The video feed cut to another scene, refocusing all the spectators’ vision onto the ten towering ancient incense sticks in the distance, as well as the ten figures standing a thousand meters away from the sticks.
In the previous tournaments, it had almost always been the leaders of the academies who took this challenge on. Thus, these ten figures were the ones with the most eyes on them.
The ten solitary figures stood in front of the incense sticks that were a thousand meters away from them. This was their test.
Everyone looked at Astral-1’s representative, who was a woman, and she was standing in front of the incense stick. There was a veil covering her face, but despite that, her cold aura that had a hint of an ancientness to it still emanated through. Nobody dared to underestimate her. Astral-1 had been the top academy for many years, and historically, they possessed the most monstrous powerhouses.
Next was Astral-2, whose representative was a man with a sword who quite a few people recognized. His name was Liu Tang, and he was a disciple of the Sword Sect. While he wasn’t an Area Master, he was not any weaker than one, and he might even be more powerful. There was no need to explain his talent; the two words “Sword Sect” were enough to explain everything.
Astral-3 had sent someone from the Daynight clan and so did Astral-4. The Daynight clan represented power, so nobody bothered wondering how powerful those two were as it was patently obvious.
Astral-5’s representative was an Area Master, and he had a gentle demeanor, had smiling eyes, and overall, seemed rather calm. Quite a few people already knew of him. He was called Xia Ye, and he was the Area Master of the Dao of Heaven’s Mechanical Mound. Even though he was widely recognized, almost nobody knew his true strength. However, the fact that he was standing there proved that he must be very powerful.
Astral-6 sent out a fresh face. Many powerhouses in the academies did not readily show their strength, and perhaps only their respective Realm Masters knew how strong these students really were.
Astral-7 and Astral-8 also sent out unknown students, so it was similarly hard to gauge how powerful they were. However, if they were chosen to compete on the stage of Tribute to the Ancestors, it meant that they were sure to become superstars by the end of the tournament.
Quite a few recognized the person that Astral-9 had sent out. To be more specific, his family was very well-known: the traitor of the Phoenix Family, the Black Phoenix Family. The representative was Bonny Phoenix, who had become a Limiteer.
Behind Astral-5’s battle drum and among the dozens of other participants, Hart Phoenix's eyes blazed as his lips curved upwards. He’d gone through hell before finally successfully metamorphosing. His most ardent desire was to tear Lu Yin and this traitor apart with his own hands during the tournament so that everyone could see the splendor of the Phoenix clan once more.
Everyone gaped when they saw who was standing a thousand meters away from Astral-10’s stick. A Melder? They actually sent a Melder?
Many had guessed that Astral-10’s representative would be Big Pao or Little Pao as these two had challenged a Realm Master before and were as powerful as an Area Master. While it would be difficult for them to light the incense because of their temperament, it still made more sense than sending a Melder of all things!
Yes, Astral-10 had sent Xia Luo. He calmly smiled as he stood there even as numerous people in the universe doubtfully looked at him. His expression remained unchanging and he even seemed relaxed.
Wu Da was excited when he saw Xia Luo. “That’s the one! He’s the one who easily dispersed Uro’s full force attack. He’s definitely very powerful. It’s even possible that he comprehended a domain, and on top of that, he’s a Lockbreaker! The moment he succeeds at lighting the incense, he’ll definitely shock the ten academies. He’ll be the first Melder in history to succeed at this stage. Hurry up! You’ve got to succeed!”
Out in space, Madam Nalan froze and turned towards Lu Yin. “Your Astral-10 really has boundless courage.”
Lu Yin chuckled. “He’s very strong.”
“How strong is he? As strong as Silver?” Madam Nalan was very curious. Her inquisitive nature had been piqued by Astral-10; the academy that had been expelled from the Innerverse.
Lu Yin nodded. “Though I will say, I don’t know exactly how strong he is since he hasn’t revealed it.”
Liu Xiaoyun disdainfully replied, “It seems that you really are what the rumors claim to be, nothing more than a false front for Astral-10.”
Madam Nalan hurriedly exclaimed, “Don’t be rude, Xiaoyun!”
Lu Yin just chuckled, not minding the derogatory comment at all.
At that point, the pilot announced, “We are about to reach Astral-10, madam.”
Both Lu Yin and Liu Xiaoyun’s eyes lit up. It was finally their turn to take to the stage.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Ying
Edited By: Neshi/Nyxnox
TLC'ed By: OMA