Lu Yin’s heart suddenly let out a violent thump, and he spat out a mouthful of blood. His entire body hurt terribly, as if someone had stabbed him a thousand times. It wasn’t just his flesh that was in pain, but rather, it felt as if his very veins were on fire. The experience was oddly similar to breaking through, though even worse.
Across the surface of his body, Lu Yin’s veins bulged out like wriggling worms as his body went through a transformation that seemed to alter even his veins.
Lu Yin drew a single ragged breath and grit his teeth before he started reciting the Stonewall Scriptures.
Some time later, the pain finally subsided. He opened his eyes, and it looked like he had just been dragged out of a pool of water; his entire body was drenched in sweat. He looked down at his hands, clenched his fists, released his strength according to the Overlaying Stacks Path, and felt an explosive bang in the void.
Some time later, Lu Yin sighed. Thankfully, he hadn’t endured all that pain for nothing. His limit before ingesting the fruit had been Fifteen Stacks, but now, he had just used Seventeen Stacks without any complications at all, and it didn’t even feel like he had touched his limit. His physical limits had been expanded once again, and he was able to move even faster now.
As he eyed the other four strengthening fruits, Lu Yin carefully stowed them away. Before he could obtain better natural treasures, these strengthening fruits would be good enough to enhance his strength.
He raised his hand, causing the die to appear once again, and Lu Yin sighed in admiration at it. Every time he saw his die, it astonished him. Others would have needed to spend excessive amounts of effort to get an ingredient like the strengthening fruit he had just consumed, but all he needed to do was throw money at it. While it had cost him quite a bit, it meant that anything was possible.
Based on what the Sandmaster had said, a strengthening fruit needed to be at least 50,000 years old before it would be useful for a Limiteer. Many large organizations could not wait that long, but he had managed to obtain one for merely 400,000 star crystals. He was much luckier in comparison.
After his body was strengthened once more, Lu Yin was now heavily anticipating the Tournament of the Strongest. He wondered what kind of expression Nightqueen Yanqing and the others would have when they saw him use Fifteen Stacks. When he defeated her, he had used less than Thirteen Stacks. Actually, he had only used Nine Stacks, Seventeenfold Shockwave Palm. He was clearly much stronger now than before.
Lu Yin took a few days to rest and then left the Time Stop Space. When he breathed in the outside air for the first time in a long while, Lu Yin felt incredibly refreshed.
To others, it might seem as if only a second had passed, but it had been a long time for him. It had been nearly two months. In two more months, the Tournament of the Strongest would begin.
After Lu Yin removed the screen on the monkey’s senses, it tiredly spoke up, “We share the same body, Seventh Bro. You shouldn’t go so far.”
Lu Yin was currently in a very good mood. “From what you know, what kind of power should the strongest Limiteer possess?”
The Ghost Monkey was baffled. “The strongest? What do you mean?”
“I’m talking about the strongest Limiteer since ancient times,” Lu Yin clarified.
The monkey thought it over and then replied, “I don’t know. Those monsters on the Skymender List were already unimaginably powerful when they were Limiteers, but you humans’ Ten Arbiters were basically the strongest since ancient times as far as Limiteers are concerned. There’s no question about that. They’re the result of the advancements made in the universe.”
“How do you know about all this?” Lu Yin was surprised.
“It’s obvious. Rather, is there anything that I don’t know? I”ll tell you this as well—the Ten Arbiters were not all born during the same time period. Some of them were frost-sealed and only released when there was a huge change in the universe. Those ones are the worst,” the monkey explained.
Lu Yin paid no mind to that last bit. He was now incredibly confident in his abilities, so all he wanted to do was fight the strongest Limiteer around. He wanted to know if anyone was willing to take on his most powerful attack.
Actually, no. His current level was still far from enough. The Ten Arbiters’ Divine Fist had been able to use Thirty Stacks while in the Limiteer realm. Lu Yin’s current strength still wasn’t enough. He then contemplated earning more money so that he could upgrade the rest of the strengthening fruits until he could use Thirty Stacks.
However, this wasn’t the time for that. That had to wait until after the tournament. He looked around himself before deciding to head to the Sand Ocean in an attempt to upgrade his battle force.
When he arrived, Lu Yin found out that there were only seven levels beneath the Sand Ocean. The seventh level corresponded to five-lined battle force, which meant that this place would no longer be of much help to him anymore.
For a student, five-lined battle force was practically the maximum that one could achieve. When the Ten Arbiters had attended the Astral Combat Academy, they had only raised their battle force to five lines as well.
“Battle force corresponds to its wielder’s aura. It can be upgraded through experience in battles as well as by cultivating in certain areas. However, even without those, a person’s spirit can achieve the same results,” the Sandmaster earnestly told Lu Yin.
Lu Yin was confused. “A person’s spirit?”
The Sandmaster grinned. “Amongst the younger generation, the Ten Arbiters possess the boldest spirit, as they want to control the next generation of the universe with the power of ten people. That requires a tremendous amount of tenacity. Even I don’t have such ambition. That is what we call “spirit,” and it can upgrade your battle force. Back then, the Ten Arbiters had no more than five-lined battle force, but nobody knows how far they’ve gotten now. Nobody can predict how large the spirit of someone who can surprise the universe in such a manner is.”
Lu Yin could feel his excitement surging. After all, it made sense. What sort of spirit must ten people who desire to rule over an entire generation of people possess? It was to the extent where they were even able to affect the universe! He started becoming excited just thinking about it. With such spirit, how could one’s battle force not be upgraded? The best way to understand it was that one’s spirit alone could take over the universe.
They were unspeakably strong because they were the Ten Arbiters, and they were the Ten Arbiters because of their strength. This was a tenacity that only humans could have.
While the Astral Beast Domain had Skymender's List and although the individuals on the list were said to be comparable to the Ten Arbiters, Lu Yin was absolutely certain that they were not comparable in the slightest. The Ten Arbiters were a product of the universe’s changes, and nobody knew how powerful they actually were.
However, it was impossible to estimate how powerful the Ten Arbiters were just from their battle force alone.
The Sandmaster sighed. “Compared to people from ancient times, the Ten Arbiters can be considered to be monsters. Nobody amongst the younger generation can best them.” After saying that, he looked at Lu Yin. “You may be called a Ten Arbiters’ candidate, but you’re still far from approaching their strength when they were in the Limiteer realm. Nobody can replicate their achievements.”
“But I can best them,” Lu Yin interrupted. After saying that, he froze, and yet for some reason, he really felt as if he could do it.
The Sandmaster stared at Lu Yin with a strange look and then burst into laughter. “Young people need to have ambition! Try your best to surpass them, and you should indeed train your battle force with the intention of surpassing them. You really might be able to do it then.” After that, the mentor left.
Lu Yin could tell that the Sandmaster had merely been joking and that he didn’t really believe that Lu Yin was capable of surpassing the Ten Arbiters. It made sense, because who in the universe was capable of doing so? Lu Yin was about ten years younger than them, and there were already quite a few candidates around his age. However, all of them were rather commonplace. The Ten Arbiters were clearly far and above any candidate.
After leaving the Sand Ocean, Lu Yin headed to the Stargazing Deck. He’d been there once before, which made this his second visit.
There was definitely a reason why the Astral Combat Academy was considered to be the top academy in the universe, and the Stargazing Deck was something that existed in all ten branches. Perhaps there was something special about this place.
When he had first come there, the Starmaster had told Lu Yin something that he still remembered. “Go down. The Stargazing Deck shows you the stars, your gratitude and grudges, the world through the ages, the cycle of causality, and the part of the heavens that belongs to you.” Remembering the words was one thing, but understanding them was an entirely different matter altogether. Lu Yin had no idea what the words actually meant.
Did those huge, ancient warships and those mournful battle songs have anything to do with him? Also, what was the Endless Weave? What about that jade finger that had pierced through the universe towards him? How were any of those things related? Or did the future that he had seen have nothing to do with him?
“Sir, I am Lu Yin, and I would like to enter the Stargazing Deck,” Lu Yin respectfully called out.
“A person can only enter the deck once. It’s pointless to enter a second time. What you see will be either nothing or what you saw before,” the Starmaster replied.
Lu Yin looked up. “I’d like to see what I saw before. I didn’t manage to clearly see what was there my first time, and I would like to take a look once more.”
The Starmaster widened his eyes, stared at Lu Yin, and then nodded. “You can give it a try.”
Lu Yin bowed and then slowly climbed up.
He sat down cross-legged, calmed himself down, closed his eyes, and modulated his breath. Nine stars began revolving around him, and as he held onto the Giant Emperor’s third eye, undulations from his domain began to spread out.
The Starmaster was shocked at the sight. Not much time had passed, but Lu Yin had improved by a great deal.
Just like before, it was hard for Lu Yin to tell if he was awake or asleep. He once again saw that unfamiliar space that had an ancient, desolate feel to it. There was also a battle chant pounding in the distance, where he saw an enormous warship. Ahead was still the Endless Weave.
One ship after another passed by and flew ahead. Where are they going, and who are they fighting?
Lu Yin could now see even further than before. While he still saw the same scene, he could tell that there were a few figures on the ship who were stained red with blood. A jade finger burst through space, and Lu Yin felt a strange sense of fury overtake him, and he unconsciously shouted, “How dare you!”
All of a sudden, he seemed to remember something, and he ignored the finger. Instead, he stared at the deck and realized that there was a familiar clawmark there: it was from the Skybeast Claw.
The clawmark had been imprinted deeply within the deck, and blood flowed along the mark before spreading.
After a moment, Lu Yin was startled.
“How dare you!” he shouted again as he stood up, fury blazing within him.
“Shut-” A booming voice started answering, but Lu Yin was pulled out of the vision by the Starmaster. While still panting, he bowed to the mentor before slowly descending down the stairs. Before he left, he asked, “Do people see the same vision in each of the astral academies’ Stargazing Decks?”
Starmaster widened his eyes. “Perhaps. Perhaps not.”
Lu Yin nodded and left.
He had managed to see even more during this visit to the Stargazing Tower. He had seen that Skybeast Claw imprint on the deck, and he was certain that he had not been mistaken; he was very familiar with the sensation of that technique.
Lu Yin lifted his hand and shaped his fingers into claws. The 96th form of the Skybeast Claw technique was very familiar to him by now, but this time, there was a slight difference in his Skybeast claw compared to before. He was now demonstrating the 108th form: the complete version from the Great Yu Empire. However, this was still far from enough. Compared to the clawmark on that warship, his version was still far, far too weak. What he had seen in the vision was the true Skybeast Claw, something that could endure the passage of time just from being carved into the ship’s deck.
Why did the Great Yu Empire have the Skybeast Claw? Or rather, why had Undying Yushan had the Skybeast Claw? No, he hadn’t been Undying Yushan, but rather Undying Yu. Yu, one of the Court of Seven Names, which was one of the Three Dark Hands. With the truth in mind, it was actually of no surprise that he had possessed the Skybeast Claw.
Lu Yin sank deep into thought. The Skybeast Claw clearly had more than 108 forms. It was impossible to take another look from Astral-10’s Stargazing Tower, as the chances of the Starmaster allowing him to go in again were slim to none, but what about the other academies? He had a feeling that the Skybeast Claw might be extremely powerful if he ever managed to comprehend it in its entirety, and he might even be able to find out a bit about what had happened in the past.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Ying
Edited By: Neshi/Nyxnox
TLC'ed By: OMA