“How was it? Is he very strong?” someone asked.
Zhanlong Daynight’s face sank, and his expression turned serious. “Very, very powerful. Even though we only had a single exchange, it was enough for me to tell that his strength exceeds that of a Limiteer. It’s completely normal that Yanqing was not able to match up against him. After all, even my Daynight Restoration Technique was nearly broken.”
The faces of the surrounding Daynight members immediately changed. “Brother Zhanlong’s Daynight Restoration Technique is invincible. It can’t be broken through.”
“There’s no such thing as an invincible technique. This Lu Yin nearly broke through my technique with just one strike. He’s much stronger than Yanqing. If I hadn’t been imprisoned in the ancestral grounds and forced to increase my strength, then I wouldn't have any confidence in winning a clash against him. Even now, the victor has yet to be decided.”
Zhanlong Daynight’s words shocked everyone, as he could be considered the strongest Limiteer within the Daynight clan. Lu Yin must be incredibly powerful for Zhanlong to say such things; no wonder Lu Yin had been able to defeat the Sword Sect’s Liu Shaoqiu and Nightqueen Yanqing to enter the top four of the Astral Combat Tournament. This person was very frightening.
“Those old farts actually have some pretty discerning eyes. Aside from me, no other Limiteer in our Daynight clan could possibly be Lu Yin’s opponent. It looks like I get to have some real fun this time,” Zhanlong Daynight exclaimed excitedly as the desire to battle Lu Yin surged within him. That palm of his had been too strange; no one had given Zhanlong Daynight such an exhilirating feeling before, and even his Daynight Restoration Technique had almost been broken. This was something that had never happened in the records of the Daynight clan’s history.
The matter of Lu Yin clashing against Zhanlong Daynight was fiercely suppressed by Ming Zhaoshu, and Lu Yin continued to guard the back gate of the king’s palace.
Seven very peaceful days passed, tranquil to the extent where it felt strange, as if everyone was preparing for something.
What disappointed Lu Yin the most was that he had not caught so much as a glimpse of Ming Yan in these seven days. She had most likely been grounded and restricted from even walking to the main gate.
Lu Yin was disappointed, but he also rejoiced at this. He wanted to see Ming Yan, but he was also afraid of revealing himself in front of Li Zimo. Ming Zhaoshu had actually handled the situation correctly.
On the eighth day, Lu Yin and the others were called back to the Ming Constables’ headquarters, and all the Ming Vanguard troops left the Reverent King's palace, including Li Zimo.
After the Ming Vanguard left the palace, Lu Yin and the rest were ordered to put on blindfolds and other such devices meant to isolate their five senses. They were then taken to a dark and gloomy place where Li Zimo also underwent the same procedure.
“You guys are being brought to the Tower of Resonating Light,” the Ghost Monkey’s voice rang out in Lu Yin’s head.
Lu Yin peeled off his blindfold, only to see that it was pitch-black all around them. He could only vaguely make out a few others figures. Li Zimo was not that far from him, and they were definitely beneath the Tower of Resonating Light. That was to say, they were the ambush that had been prepared for Han Chong and the other trialtakers.
There was a mutual understanding between both sides that, on the day of celebration, they would compete in strength. From Han Chong’s perspective, as long as they could bring down the Tower of Resonating Light and destroy the node controlling the five sealing planets, then the external experts would swarm in and occupy the entire Shenwu Continent. To Crown Prince Ming Hao, this was a trap designed to capture the vast majority of the trialtakers.
“Everything is in position to move out once the order is given. For now, everyone can rest in place,” Ming Zhaochen ordered in a sonorous voice.
Lu Yin remained silent and he looked around as the map that Ming Zhaoshu had shown him of the Tower of Resonating Light floated up in his mind. The Tower of Resonating Light had thirteen levels in total, and only five were above the surface, which made up the Tower of Resonating Light that everyone could see. The other eight levels were hidden underground, and the area became wider the further down one went. The thirteenth level was nearly as expansive as the capital on its own. Of course, Ming Taizhong was buried on this lowest level.
Lu Yin looked down; a great powerhouse was buried some distance beneath his feet. There should be precious battle techniques, treasures, and training materials buried down there, but it was a shame that he could not reach them. Ming Zhaoshu had mentioned that even Hunters would find it hard to return from Ming Taizhong’s tomb alive, which should be in the thirteenth level. Lu Yin’s current position was somewhere in the seventh level.
Crown Prince Ming Hao had leaked information saying that the control node for the five sealing planets was located underneath the Tower of Resonating Light. Since Han Chong and the other trialtakers already knew about the sixth level, the ambush had been set up on the seventh level. Of course, the trialtakers had also probably already guessed that there was more than one subterranean level.
Why is Crown Prince Ming Hao so confident that this will capture all of the trialtakers? Lu Yin wondered to himself as he curiously looked around.
The scope of the seventh layer was massive and very dark since it was underground. There were no traces of sunlight anywhere, and all he could see were the solid slabs of stone beneath his feet.
However, the martial power here was abundant and almost felt like it was overflowing. This allowed the Ming Vanguard to maintain their peak combat state while they were waiting.
“How strange, this place feels very odd,” the Ghost Monkey mumbled.
Lu Yin could not speak and thus could only listen to the monkey muttering to himself.
“Aside from the abundant martial power here, there are various other energies mixed in as well, and that’s not even mentioning this place’s massive size. This feeling is like—how should I put it?—right, a sourcebox!” The Ghost Monkey finally made this connection as he cried out in realization.
Lu Yin’s gaze flashed as a bolt of lightning seemed to streak past his brain. He recalled the two strange-looking mutant beast statues at the Ming Constables’ headquarters’ entrance, which were both sourceboxes as well.
“That’s definitely the case. We’re surrounded by sourceboxes!” the Ghost Monkey cried out again.
“What does that mean?” Lu Yin softly asked as he moved to the edge of the area that they could roam around in.
The Ghost Monkey muttered back, “It’s not easy to explain this. Hmm, if you consider the entire Tower of Resonating Light to be a giant sourcebox, then we would currently be trapped inside it.”
Lu Yin was astounded by the explanation. “How is that even possible? Can the sourcebox still be used?”
“Of course, let me tell you this: the human race isn’t the only group that has Lockbreakers. Our Astral Beast Domain has some as well! We can also unlock the treasures sealed by the universe. Your Lord Hou here is also a Lockbreaker!” the Ghost Monkey proudly declared.
“You’re a Lockbreaker?” Lu Yin was truly taken aback this time. This monkey was supposed to be a Lockbreaker? What a joke!
The Ghost Monkey sternly replied, “I’ll warn you again. Don’t look down on us astral beasts. Never. Since the dawn of the universe, astral beasts have existed for ages, and our history far surpasses you humans’. And I’ve also mentioned this before, but humans really are just another species of astral beasts. From our perspective, all of humanity is just one branch of the beasts. Naturally, astral beasts can do anything that the humans can, and lockbreaking is no exception. Many astral beasts have strange innate gifts that far surpass the humans’ as well.” The monkey was boasting again. “Such as myself, Lord Hou.”
“How do you lockbreak?” Lu Yin asked in a puzzled tone.
The Ghost Monkey was unhappy at the question. “What do you mean?! My grasp of star energy is extremely advanced, and I almost comprehended a domain! But regardless of all that, Lord Hou was born with special eyes, and I can see the changes in star energy that normal beings cannot. Based on your human grading of Lockbreakers, I should have reached the standard of a five-star Junior Lockbreaker.”
Lu Yin rolled his eyes, as he did not believe the monkey one bit. However, he knew that this monkey did indeed have a sharp pair of eyes that could pierce through any disguise. On second thought, it may actually be possible for the creature to lockbreak.
“So are you saying that we’re trapped in this giant sourcebox, the Tower of Resonating Light?”
“Of course, the Tower of Resonating Light is not actually a sourcebox. Rather, it’d be more accurate to say that there are sourceboxes placed all around us that have caused this underground area to develop a strange environment that is concealed by various energies. This environment has been fundamentally changed, and it has even caused the entire underground area to be sealed, which is very similar to the solid coating of energy that the dust of the universe forms on a sourcebox.”
Lu Yin had a much better understanding of the situation now. It seemed that Ming Hao was planning on using this method to entrap everyone, but where had he found this many sourceboxes? Did the Shenwu Continent somehow have a vast number of them?
“Can we escape if we’re trapped by these sourceboxes?”
“I’m not sure. It depends on the intensity of the energy.”
Lu Yin’s eyes flashed. He then closed his eyes, waiting for the day of the emperor’s birthday celebration to arrive.
Three days later, there was a loud rumbling in the sky. Fireworks blossomed above Mingdu, and various cities in the different islands throughout the Shenwu Empire also launched fireworks. The birthday celebration had finally begun.
Reverent King Ming Zhaoshu was dressed splendidly for the occasion as he escorted Ming Yan towards the palace. High-ranking officials from all over the empire had converged here like tributaries feeding into a single, massive river as numerous experts carefully watched the proceedings. The soldiers had also sealed the city gates.
The entire empire was celebrating on this day, but only the upper echelons knew that this day was also the day where they would have a decisive battle against the foreigners.
Lu Yin was waiting in the dark, not knowing what was happening outside the Tower of Resonating Light. All the members of the ambush party were waiting for the possibility of battle to break out.
After an unknown amount of time passed, the ground vibrated as a ray of light burrowed through the ground towards them. An intense sonic boom soon followed behind it, prompting Li Zimo to unsheathe his sword and move out from his hiding place underground. Blood soon spread through the earth.
Lu Yin opened his eyes, and he looked up. The ceiling had been split apart, causing the dust from the floor above them to drift down. The entire Ming Vanguard stood up and rushed up and out of the seventh level.
At the same time, a happy celebration filled with songs and dance had started in the imperial palace. Ming Zhaotian had not appeared yet, so Crown Prince Ming Hao was overseeing the event and hosting the celebration. Ming Zhaoshu occasionally looked into the distance at the direction of the Tower of Resonating Light.
Ming Yan sat behind him with a worried look.
Not far away from them, Bei Qing stared passionately at Ming Yan. Unfortunately, at that moment, he was interrupted by a middle-aged man who was standing beside him. This man was the empire’s minister of defence, Bei Hong.
At the other end of the proceedings, finance minister Ming Zhaocai was beaming from ear to ear. Behind him sat Grandini Mavis under her pseudonym, Ah-Lan. She intently stared ahead at a woman behind Crown Prince Ming Hao. She had never imagined in her wildest dreams that Starsibyl would actually be sitting there. She really was too brazen and determined.
Suddenly, a crack extended across the sky, seemingly splitting it asunder. A boundless and terrifying aura dropped down upon them.
A cold glint flashed across Ming Hao’s eyes.
The four peaks surrounding the capital emitted a shining radiance that combined to stop the aftershocks shaking the city. The protecting figures then dashed out of the void and joined the battle.
Aside from these four experts, many other figures shot into the sky from the capital, rushing towards the five sealing planets to participate in a decisive battle against the foreign invaders.
Many powerhouses from various places across the entire Shenwu Continent also headed towards the planets. This was a rather moving scene to most, as regardless of if they were friend or foe, everyone in the Shenwu Continent was charging up together to fight to the death for their homeland. It was anyone’s guess as to how many would perish in the heavens this day.
Within the Tower of Resonating Light, dozens of trialtakers charged down with a simple goal: destroy the control node of the five sealing planets that was hidden beneath the tower. When they broke it, the Darkmist Weave’s powerhouses would be able to enter in full force, and the Shenwu Continent’s independence would finally be ended.
Yue Xianzi frowned in a corner; it should not be like this. Even if the Darkmist Weave had placed a great deal of pressure on the Shenwu Continent, there shouldn’t be a complete absence of Explorers here. This was the control node—the most important place on the entire continent—and the trialtakers had made very detailed plans before carrying out their attack. They had even made preparations for if a Cruiser appeared, so why was there not even a single Explorer here?
Yue Xianzi wasn’t the only one who had a feeling that things were odd; Han Chong and the other hidden members of the Daynight clan held similar thoughts. But since they had already arrived, there was no longer an option of retreat.
Lu Yin clashed with a trialtaker, but he did not end the fight quickly. He forced the trialtaker around the area so that he could observe the rest of the battles taking place.
That trialtaker was bewildered by Lu Yin, as he had used all his strength but could not get rid of this brat before him. This person was even idly looking all around and was obviously not taking the trialtaker seriously. “Go and die, idiot!”
Lu Yin retreated several steps and frowned at the inexplicably angry male. “Huh?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Choco
Edited By: Neshi/Nyxnox
TLC'ed By: OMA