The human race’s loss in the war at the Human Domain’s frontier was unrelated to the Astral Combat Tournament, but their tournament was nonetheless still being used to recruit new troops for the war effort. This method had results, as many people who could not enter the Astral Combat Academy would choose to become soldiers. This was good enough, as the greater goal was for this tournament to inspire humankind and mollify the negative effects from their recent defeat.
From Lu Yin’s perspective, this tournament was more of a cover up than a response to the defeat, but it was all the same to him. He knew that, at times, the higher echelons’ decisions were forced. Besides, the students were still able to enjoy this incredible stage because of the situation.
Lu Yin’s eyes flickered as he watched all the proud geniuses battling it out from his position on the highest peak. He thought back to his experiences on the pirate port planet and his desperate straits on Driftcharge Planet. Despite the large jump upwards, he still was not satisfied with his current position.
He glanced over at the other nine student leaders besides him, who were also watching the battles from above. In truth, they were just pawns of certain parties who had been placed here to receive adoration from the crowds. The backers of these student leaders could actually strip them of everything they had at the snap of a finger. Those masterminds in the dark possessed the true powers that Lu Yin firmly desired.
Lu Yin smiled, knowing that he was overthinking his position. He did not yet hold the qualifications to entertain such thoughts.
At that point, Nightqueen Yanqing’s expression suddenly soured.
Lu Yin looked downwards at the arena where many spectators had also focused their attention—Hui Daynight had been defeated.
A Daynight clan member would draw attention wherever they walked. Even though he was from Astral-10, Hui Daynight had attracted everyone’s attention from his first battle, and his defeat just now had roused surprise among the crowd.
A girl had defeated him. Although she seemed to be a very normal girl, she had calmly defended against every one of Hui Daynight’s battle techniques. Eventually, his inability to break through had driven Hui Daynight to his wit’s end until he finally fell.
There were too many geniuses in the Astral Combat Academy who were participating in this tournament, and Hui Daynight’s defeat was not exceptional in any sense.
Not too far from Hui Daynight’s arena, another falling corpse attracted Lu Yin’s attention. Astral-6’s leader, Dao Bo, suddenly stood up and stared at the same arena as well. His sudden movement caused the other leaders to also direct their attention to where he was focused.
The falling body was Uro’s.
Lu Yin’s face turned serious as he observed the man standing near Uro’s corpse. It had been an unbelievable battle where Uro had been instantly eliminated in a single strike. His opponent had moved at an incredible speed—no, instead of speed, it was more like his movement had broken through space itself, just like… a domain. Lu Yin’s eyes brightened. Right, that man’s movements had been very similar to Silver’s domain, which was something that had been condensed purely for the sake of killing others.
When the crowd looked at the person who had killed Uro, they were all dumbfounded. No one recognized this stranger even though he had instantly killed Uro, an Area Master. He seemed to have appeared out of thin air and had a completely ordinary appearance, but all that belied his thunderous move. Just who was he?
“So it’s him. I didn’t think that he would also show up here,” said a melodious, ringing voice from near Lu Yin. He turned around and his pupils shrank. When did she arrive?!
There was a girl sitting in the first seat that had been empty all this time. Her face was covered with a veil, but she had a similar appearance to the girl who had paid tribute to the forebearers for Astral-1. Her demeanor was so mild that it felt as if a soft breeze would blow her away. However, Lu Yin had not even sensed this girl’s presence until she opened her mouth and spoke out.
This girl was Astral-1’s leader.
“You know him?” Dao Bo slowly asked.
“He’s Calcifer, an assassin from a hundred years ago.”
Feng Shang was astonished. “You know someone from a hundred years ago?”
The girl turned around, revealing pupils that sparkled like stars with the faint trace of a smile, as if the stars themselves were smiling at them. “It’s because he assassinated Starsibyl.”
Her explanation shocked all of the student leaders, and even Liu Yin shook his head nonstop. They all stared in disbelief at Astral-1’s leader.
“You said that he assassinated Starsibyl?” Liu Xiaoyun was amazed.
Astral-1’s chairperson calmly nodded. “That’s right. Although he failed in his attempt, there are records of it. To think that he froze himself for a hundred years and then joined the Astral Combat Academy after he was unsealed. Who knows what he’s thinking—he’s an assassin who was exposed to the eyes of the entire universe.”
“You people allowed him to live on?” Nightqueen Yanqing gave the Astral-1 leader a strange look.
“It’s not a problem,” Astral-1’s leader replied with a breezy smile.
Lu Yin was puzzled, but he did not jump into the conversation. These people still had not acknowledged him, and it would be embarrassing if they just ignored his questions. But Lu Yin couldn’t push Nightqueen Yanqing’s question from his mind. Just who was “you people” referring to? And what did Calcifer’s assassination attempt on Starsibyl have to do with Astral-1’s leader?
Calcifer’s power shocked many, but few recognized him, so his identity was not revealed to the general public.
Soon after, a different battle overshadowed Calcifer’s that drew everyone's attention; Big Pao was in danger.
Ever since the two brothers from Astral-10 had teamed up to challenge Kuang Wang, Big Pao and Little Pao’s reputations had spiked up as a result of the academy newspaper’s popular article on them. They had received attention from not only the entire Astral Combat Academy, but also the outside world. After all, anyone from the younger generation who could directly confront a Realm Master was a genius.
But despite his burgeoning reputation, Big Pao found himself in a tough spot. He was panting heavily, and his body was in a dismal state. His shoulder had been stabbed though, and fresh blood dripped down his arm.
Additionally, his sorry state was a direct result of the Melder realm sylvan dragon standing in front of him.
Lu Yin’s eyes narrowed, as he was familiar with these dragons. But if a Melder realm dragon could force Big Pao into this miserable state, then it implied that this dragon’s strength was comparable to Xia Luo’s.
Feng Shang exclaimed, “It’s Long Yi! It looks like the sylvan dragon clan is also taking this Astral Combat Tournament seriously.”
Lu Yin looked at him. “You know him?”
Feng Shang smiled. “Of course, this dragon’s famous. Fifteen years ago, he challenged one of the lords that now presides in the Ten Arbiters’ Council.”
Lu Yin was shocked. The “Ten Arbiters” specifically referred to this generation’s Universe Youth Council’s authority figures, as the councils of previous generations had never been referred to as “the Ten Arbiters.” This also meant that this dragon had once challenged a member of the Ten Arbiters, even if it was fifteen years ago.
“I recall him now. Fifteen years ago, a peak genius emerged in this dragon clan with a terrifying innate gift. His clan named him the symbol of their emergence. That should be him,” Nightqueen Yanqing haughtily added on.
Feng Shang nodded. “That’s right. Fifteen years ago, that Ten Arbiters lord was just a Sentinel. The two fought, but it resulted in this dragon being crushed. Based on their agreement, he should have become that lord’s mount, but the dragon clan refused to acknowledge the bet and unceremoniously whisked him away. After being sealed in ice for fifteen years, he’s finally returned.”
Kuang Wang sneered. “He can’t have come out now just to attend this Astral Combat Tournament. It’s quite possible that he wants to repair his relationship with the Ten Arbiters. After all, becoming the mount of one of the Ten Arbiters isn’t embarrassing. This race is getting more and more shameless as time goes on.”
Lu Yin was curious. “You guys seem to all hate this dragon clan.”
Feng Shang glanced at him, but only smiled in response.
“No one likes traitors,” Dao Bo duly replied.
Lu Yin nodded and stayed quiet.
Below them, Big Pao looked at the sylvan dragon with a grimace. He had been too careless in this battle. He had assumed that he would have an easy victory, but he had ended up being injured by a strange ray. If he had known this would happen, he would have mercilessly tried to end the battle immediately.
Opposite Big Pao, Long Yi’s giant body exerted a formless pressure before he split into five dragons. This was the sylvan dragon race’s extreme speed technique that caused phantom images indistinguishable from the actual body to appear from the void. Each of the five dragons then opened their mouths.
Big Pao’s scalp turned numb, and two-lined battle force instantly covered his body. He had used his most powerful defense, but he was still struck by a ray that pierced through his body, causing him to die instantly.
Many sighed at this scene, as a two-lined battle force was very powerful. Big Pao was definitely at the level of an Area Master, but he had still been defeated so early on.
Lu Yin squinted and stared downwards. That ray attack was Long Yi’s innate gift.
Big Pao’s corpse fell to the ground, but before it completely vanished, Long Yi pounced on top of it. He raised his head, let out a fierce roar that shook the void, and then turned back around to look at the peak above him.
“This pet is still so disgusting.” Kuang Wang’s eyes were cold, as if he hated the entire dragon clan.
Lu Yin’s eyes also took on a steely glint. Long Yi stepping on Big Pao’s corpse was an insult to him. This unruly pet needed to be put in its place.
In the second round of the random match battles, Coco had been defeated by the muscled man. Despite her blazing fast speed, the muscled man calmly enveloped the entire arena with his attacks, leaving no room for escape. The power behind his attacks was also more than Coco could handle. Thus, she could only resign herself to defeat, just like Zhao Yilong back in the first round.
Multiple Area Masters were also defeated in this second round, exposing more hidden powerhouses, many of whom had only recently joined the Astral Combat Academy.
This result frustrated all of the academy leaders, as these hidden powerhouses who had recently joined the Astral Combat Academy could not be considered fellow students. Instead, they were outsiders who were continually provoking the true students of the academy.
Lu Yin could feel that several of the student leaders sitting here at this peak were on the verge of exploding with anger. These newcomers were far too arrogant, and they believed that, by defeating the Area Masters, they could dominate the entire Astral Combat Academy. However, the strongest were undoubtedly here, at the very top.
Astral-10’s results were unexpectedly good. Xia Luo, Silver, Darkvoid, Lulu, Little Pao, and Michelle all won their second round matches. Although Astral-10 only had fourteen students even with Lu Yin, half of their students had made it to the third stage. Proportionally, their academy was unmatched.
The Sand Master and Rain Master were watching the tournament and were very satisfied with their students’ results. They had only mentored them for half a year, so it was already quite good for them to achieve these results. If they had entered this tournament with the strength that they had when they first joined Astral-10, not a single one of them would have lasted to this point.
There was another three hour break after the second round to allow both the spectators and the competitors to rest.
After the break, the arenas shifted again, reducing to a total number of fifty four arenas. There were only 108 competitors left as one person had directly advanced.
At this stage of the competition, almost nobody had come this far through sheer luck. Only the true elites of their respective academies remained, and most were among the top ten of their academy. Nearly a quarter of those remaining were Area Masters, which meant that all the other competitors had a good chance of encountering one of them.
Apu felt that he was lucky beyond belief as he earnestly thanked the heavens. He had melted into the crowds and passed the Three Academies Guarding the Gate stage like that. Then, he had faced a Melder during the first round of the stage battles. Any Melder who could reach this stage was definitely a genius, but even geniuses needed time to mature. His opponent had not been very strong, and Apu had slowly defeated him, allowing him to proceed to the second round of battles. Then, as one might expect, he had been lucky enough to receive the second round bye and directly advance to the third round.
Apu’s original goal had been to reach the second round and bring honor to his ancestors. Although he was one of the top fifteen students in his academy, he was aware of how strong the other students who had reached this stage were. He was not greedy and was already satisfied with his results. However, at this moment, his thoughts changed when he saw the youth opposite him. He felt that the god of luck had descended for him once again.
He was facing another Melder, and his opponent was young as well. Although he was probably not a teenager anymore, his immature face indicated that he should still be around twenty and that he was just a youth. It seemed that this youth had reached this third round through luck as well, but unfortunately for him, he had encountered Apu. Although Apu had also reached this stage by luck, it didn’t feel like his luck would run out any time soon.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Choco
Edited By: Neshi/Nyxnox
TLC'ed By: OMA