Chapter 308: Provocation

On the other end of the Human Domain, the Astral Beast Domain’s bone spacecraft finally arrived at Astral-7’s space station. The astral beast competitors would enter the Lifeseek Realm through Astral-7’s trial zone mountain and then head to the specific area inside the realm where the Tournament of the Strongest would be held.

The average Astral Combat Academy student would only head to the border warfront after graduation or expulsion, so most of the present ones had not had any contact with any of the beings from the Astral Beast Domain. Thus, their curiosity was piqued when they heard the news that students from the Spiritual Academy would be visiting their academy.

A few were rather worked up by the desire to beat down the astral beast students. They were just savage beasts, but they wanted to compete against the top four of the Astral Combat Academy? Dream on.

Many students had gathered at Astral-7’s space station and were gazing at the bone spacecraft in wonder. This toy was a spacecraft?

Atop the white bone, Lilac Snow stretched lazily and stood up. Her beautiful face was exposed to the crowd of onlooking students.

Many were stunned; weren’t the visiting students supposed to be beasts? What was this beauty doing on the beasts’ ship? Was she human?

Lilac Snow frowned at the crowd of low-grade humans. “You guys should take care of yourselves. Ask if you don’t know the way, but play nice.”

From within the spacecraft, a green-eyed golden mouse jumped out. It was Hua Yishou, who was about the size of a palm and had an adorable appearance, but many girls were freaked out by it.

The students were stunned again. A mouse? What’s going on?

Embermane followed closely behind Hua Yishou, revealing his appearance as a blazing red sable.

Many were now rendered speechless. First, it was a mouse, and now, a sable. Were these the so-called astral beasts?

“Excuse me, but where’s the trial zone mountain?” Embermane asked. The beasts’ mouths did not move when they spoke, as they “talked” by making the air around them vibrate, which seemed very strange.

No one answered.

Embermane grew unhappy. “Humans, answer me or be burnt to death.”

“Embermane, be more amiable. You can’t be too excessive when dealing with weaker creatures,” a blue-haired beauty said as she walked out of the spacecraft behind the sable. This was Feng Jiu, whose appearance seemed much more normal compared to the beastly mouse and sable.

“Who are you calling weaker beings?” a female Astral-7 student barked unhappily.

Feng Jiu glanced at her. “You’re too weak.”

That female got angry. “Let’s duel!”

Hua Yishou spoke up, “You humans are really interesting. You’re clearly trying to probe our strength, and yet, you’re still looking for excuses to do so. Whatever, I’ll take on anyone who wishes to fight.”

“Hua Yishou, you’ve gotten a battle. It’s my turn next,” Embermane growled.

Feng Jiu frowned. “Elder was right. Humans are just asking for a good spanking. No one answers when we ask politely, so they all can only be beaten into obedience.”

Atop the bone spacecraft, Lilac Snow had already fallen asleep again.

This exchange had thoroughly riled up the Astral-7 students. They had tried to use the pretext of being insulted for a duel, but that no longer seemed necessary. They could have an open fight the way the situation was developing.

“Whoever wants to fight, just come on up. Order doesn’t matter—we can take all of you on at the same time if you so wish,” Feng Jiu said as she glanced at the crowd.

At that point, a figure clad entirely in black walked out from behind her. “Don’t cause trouble. Just ask for directions.”

Feng Jiu seemed very afraid of this black-garbed figure, and she did not speak any further.

Hua Yishou and Embermane also fell quiet. This was Tian Hou, the one who the Ghost Monkey had said was the strongest Academy Lord of the Spiritual Academy.

“Oh, another one that acts all mysterious. This one’s just a savage beast with a bizarre shape. Why even bother acting like that,” a student disdainfully insulted with a sneer.

Feng Jiu, Hua Yishou, and Embermane simultaneously looked at that student with sympathy written all over their faces.

Tian Hou raised his head from beneath his black robes. No one was able to clearly see his appearance, but the student who had ridiculed him suddenly turned deathly white while his pupils instantly constricted and he was paralyzed.

“Please, how do we get to the trial zone mountain?” Tian Hou quietly asked.

The many students of Astral-7 looked at him in fear without moving. They hadn’t even felt a tremor of star energy, but a Limiteer of the Astral Combat Academy had been scared so thoroughly that they had lost their fighting strength. Whatever method Tian Hou had used, it was too crafty.

“I can guide you,” Dai Ao said as he walked out from the crowd with a serious expression and looked at Tian Hou.

The cloaked figure nodded. “Many thanks.” He then walked out of the space station, following behind Dai Ao.

The appearance of the Astral Beast Domain’s four competitors attracted even more students, and even some mentors watched the procession below from the void above.

The mentors of the Astral Combat Academy’s various branches only had one role: to act as guides. Thus, they did not meddle in the management of the academy, and the administration was handled entirely by the students. The mentors had not even appeared to welcome this group from the Astral Beast Domain.

Dai Ao escorted Tian Hou and the rest through the teleportation device, after which they arrived at an empty grassland. Dai Ao then turned to Tian Hou. “I want to challenge you guys, and I will take you all to the trial zone mountain after the challenge.”

Hua and the others were not surprised. Feng Jiu coldly asked, “Are these your conditions?”

Dai Ao shook his head, and with a somber expression, said “It’s fine if you don’t accept. I can take you there now if you wish.”

Feng Jiu sneered and started to walk away, but Embermane leapt out in front of Dai Ao before she could leave. “I’ll bite.”

Feng Jiu did not argue. To the astral beasts, their true battle would be at the Tournament of the Strongest. The people they were currently meeting were just failures of the Astral Combat Academy, and they were not even qualified to touch them.

“Show some mercy,” Tian Hou softly said.

Many students gathered nearby and looked on in excitement. They wanted to get an idea of the so-called “four lords” of Spiritual Academy’s power; what were these four relying on to challenge the top of the Astral Combat Academy?

Embermane was rather small in size. He was just slightly larger than Hua Yishou and did not appear very threatening. However, when Dai Ao stood in front of the sable, he felt an intense chill cover his entire body. He had the preposterous notion that he could be turned into nothingness at any moment.

The air around them became scorchingly hot, and Dai Ao’s expression grew solemn. He then relaxed both fists to expose his palms before he charged at Embermane. “Starburst Palm.”

Embermane seemed indifferent to Dai Ao’s attack and merely thrashed out with his tail. The seemingly delicate tail carried an indescribably intense heat with it, as well as a strange force. Embermane released a battle technique through his tail to directly clash against Dai Ao’s Starburst Palm.

With a bang, the inferno soared into the skies and burnt the void away, causing it to violently erupt. In the next moment, a boundless heat melted almost all of the spatial cracks while Dai Ao was blasted backwards by the heat wave. A bit of his right palm had even been charred.

He looked at Embermane in shock, as that intense heat had nearly melted him into nothingness.

Embermane flew into the skies and stared down at Dai Ao. “Human, you’re not my match.”

Outside the battle zone, most of the Astral-7 students were taken aback. Dai Ao’s power was obvious, and he could rival an Area Master in power. His performance in the Astral Combat Tournament’s Three Academies Guarding the Gate had been dazzling. The Starburst Palm was also Astral-7’s top technique, but it had been dispersed by a mere flick of the tail.

Dai Ao raised his head and inhaled deeply. A trace of unwillingness ran through his eyes. “Gravity.”

An indescribable darkness extended across the ground, and a terrifying force descended upon the grassland. Embermane had been flying in mid-air, but he was suddenly pulled down by a strange gravitational pull, causing him to crash into the ground. Dai Ao raised both hands. “Gravity—Starburst Palm.”

Boom! 

The grassland split apart as a giant fissure extended in all directions. Dai Ao’s star energy followed along the cracks and swept up into the sky. The smoke was scattered, and the very air warped, causing the area to become fuzzy.

Many were knocked back by the aftershock and felt a giant wave of pressure blow past them.

Everyone’s gaze was focused on the battlefield. This was Dai Ao’s strongest attack, so the battle should have ended with that.

Feng Jiu stared at Dai Ao in astonishment. “Not bad! He actually has an innate gift of gravity.”

Tian Hou silently stood to the side.

Dai Ao was panting heavily outside the crater. He had put everything into that palm, and all of his star energy had been drained, but he still felt uneasy for some reason.

Suddenly, Dai Ao’s chest tightened as he reflexively dodged to the side. A fiery blaze burned the space where he had previously been standing to a crisp. He felt numb; if he had been just an instant slower, then he would have been fried.

The blazes coalesced into the shape of Embermane, and he stared at Dai Ao with fury in his eyes. “Human, you’ve angered me! Burn to death!” He then raised his tail as an incomparable conflagration streaked towards Dai Ao. The high temperature formed a cage that sealed off all directions, and even Dai Ao could not stop it despite his power. He could only watch on as the flames burned across the grassland; they were more than sufficient to reduce him to ash.

Tian Hou raised his head as if he were about to prevent a death, but then, he suddenly looked to the other side. At the same time, Feng Jiu and Hua Yishou looked in the same direction as well; a sharp sword aura had rushed out from the void in the direction of the battlefield. The target of the sword attack was actually not Embermane but rather Dai Ao.

The appearance of the sword attack was so sudden that Embermane did not even have any time to react. Not only was the timing of the attack exceptional, but it also sliced straight through the burning cage that had trapped Dai Ao, allowing him to break free at the last moment and avoid being roasted to death.

“Who is it? Get out here!” Embermane shouted as he stared in the direction that the sword attack had come from.

Dai Ao panted heavily as he fearfully looked at Embermane. He then looked towards the other end of the grassland. There was only one person in their academy who was both that powerful with a sword attack and also qualified to intervene in this battle. It was Astral-7’s student leader, Liu Xiaoyun.

Liu Xiaoyun slowly walked across the grassland with her sword in hand. A powerful sword aura composed of star energy swept out from her, leaving aftershocks in the wake of her domain. What a powerful woman! Her appearance shocked Feng Jiu and the other Spiritual Academy Lords.

Embermane warily gazed at Liu Xiaoyun; he could also feel that she was very formidable. That aftershock was, without a doubt, from a domain. This woman was far stronger than the man with the innate gift of gravity that he had been fighting.

Dai Ao gazed at her. “Thank you.”

Liu Xiaoyun glanced at him. “Leave with the other students. These are guests from far off, so do not act disrespectfully towards them.”

Dai Ao nodded and left. The other students grudgingly dispersed as well. Liu Xiaoyun’s word was law within Astral-7; after all, she was the academy leader.

“Woman, is it your turn?” Embermane said as he stared at her.

She frowned. “My apologies, your hosts have been rude. I’ll escort everybody to the trial zone mountain where you can enter the Lifeseek Realm.”

“There’s no rush. You just cut me with your sword, but you want to leave just things just like that?” Embermane was unsatisfied with Liu Xiaoyun’s response.

Tian Hou did not stop him, as Liu Xiaoyun had piqued his interests as well. This human female was the strongest human Limiteer that he had encountered so far.

“What do you want?” Liu Xiaoyun’s voice was cold.

Embermane, however, was in high spirits. “Let’s duel, or you can take one of my attacks.”

Liu Xiaoyun looked over at Tian Hou and the rest, and then back at Embermane. “Alright.”

“You’re pretty direct, so let me warn you beforehand—there’s no way you humans can withstand my flames. Offense or defense, it’s up to you,” Embermane haughtily declared before rising up.

Liu Xiaoyun had never looked down upon Embermane and the rest of the astral beasts, as she had been to the border warfront and personally witnessed too many powerful astral beasts. Many of them had strange innate gifts and were no weaker than humans. Additionally, she had heard of the Spiritual Academy’s reputation before. She felt as if she were facing an Astral Combat Academy student leader now that she was directly facing this Spiritual Academy Lord.

A heavy atmosphere suppressed the entire grassland while the loitering students further away looked back at the battlefield. Dai Ao was still there as well. He had not underestimated Embermane, but he had still been easily defeated, so he wished to witness the disparity between them.

Sparks suddenly appeared from the void and spread out, causing the temperature to spike dramatically. Many looked at the skies in shock, but all they could see was the sky distorting.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Choco

Edited By: Neshi/Nyxnox

TLC'ed By: OMA