Lu Yin’s words made sense. and Zhang Dingtian and Bai Xue exchanged glances. They realized that if Lu Yin really was a student taking the trial, he wouldn’t have done something to cause himself trouble.
“There is a person that I have my suspicions about, though,” he continued, glancing at Bai Xue, “Liu Shaoge.”
The two Sages were astonished, “Why?”
“Hubei has been marked blue, you know what that means.”
Bai Xue disagreed, “My entire domain is blue, as is Nanjing. That doesn’t mean anything.”
“You’re one of the three High Sages, and the only reason Nanjing is blue is that I saved it. Liu Shaoge isn’t a High Sage, he isn’t even much stronger than Zhou Shan; how could he possibly defend himself from the trainees? Look at the map yourself, you’ll see there are multiple students around the region.” This explanation silenced Bai Xue’s retort; she simply couldn’t pick a hole in his argument.
Zhang Dingtian heaved a deep sigh, sheathing his sword as he turned to leave, “Innocent until proven guilty; that applies to you, and it applies to Liu Shaoge as well.”
Bai Xue also left after one last, troubled glance at Lu Yin. It was only then that Jeraldine approached, “Was it really Liu Shaoge who spread the news?”
“How would I know?” Lu Yin answered nonchalantly.
She blinked, “But you sounded so certain just now.”
Lu Yin smirked at her, “How would I convince them if I didn’t? If you’re going to scapegoat someone, you need to have full confidence in your words. What have you been studying in school if you don’t even understand this?”
Scapegoat someone? How despicable! While Jeraldine was disturbed by these words, Lu Yin returned to his residence. Meanwhile, her post on the net prompted many of the students bitterly fighting in Europe to rush to Tianzhu. Although Eddy and Hayden tried to clarify that they had only been passing through and fought the Tianzhu Monk through coincidence, no one believed them.
To Lu Yin, the official network was like a movie over the next few days. There were constant messages about X defeating Y, Z dying, and the like; some of the students trying to fly over from the Americas had been eaten by mutant sea beasts on the trip. The commotion continued for five days until Eddy and Hayden finally managed to prove their innocence, convincing people that the criminal hadn’t left anything in Tianzhu.
When the focus finally shifted back to Beijing, Lu Yin sighed. He’d known that he couldn’t keep people distracted forever; those challenging trials weren’t fools, and Beijing was clearly the place most likely to have anything related to the criminal. However, Eddy had suggested that the students group up and take control of Beijing, waiting for the criminal to appear. If the month passed without that happening, they would stick together against the next batch of students. This suggestion proved quite popular with those who wanted to try and get into Astral-10; no one in the first batch had confidence in facing the next individually, but Eddy’s suggestion gave them a sliver of hope.
Within Beijing, Zhang Dingtian and Bai Xue looked terrible. They were aware of the situation and knew how bad things were about to become; the capital would soon become a battlefield. Although Zhang Dingtian was extremely powerful, there was a limit to his strength and he didn’t have any battle techniques that suited him; it would be impossible to protect the city alone. Bai Xue was significantly weaker, and the blunt truth was that even all of the Seven Sages gathered together would still face a hopeless situation.
Lu Yin was just as concerned as the two Sages. He had taken the identity of a native in the trial, so if Beijing was taken over, it would drastically reduce the effect he was aiming for. Also, he had no intentions of allowing the criminal to go free with the item that had been left behind. Beijing was critical to all of his plans.
“Lu Yin, let’s go. Beijing won’t be able to defend itself,” Jeraldine told him anxiously, but he was lost in contemplation. The most powerful people on Earth right now were Zhang Dingtian and Eddy, the former being a tiny bit more powerful, but there would be many opponents of comparable strength in the upcoming battle. He needed to be stronger than them all to keep the city from battle; at the very least, he needed to reach Eddy’s level and sweep through them all with his Cosmic Palm.
Considering all this, he whispered to Jeraldine before flying off, “Stay in Beijing, I’ll be back in a few days.”
Jeraldine was left gritting her teeth in reply. He was aware of the situation; why was he asking her to stay and die?
Right as Lu Yin was about to leave the capital, Bai Xue popped out to confront him, “Are you trying to escape?”
“I’ll be back before the trainees attack the city,” he answered softly.
“And why should I believe you?” she asked, her beautiful face expressing all the disdain she held towards him.
“You don’t have to; you can’t stop me regardless,” he stated matter-of-factly, “Or do you want a deathmatch with me right before an impending war?”
Bai Xue clenched her fists.
“Let him go.” Zhang Dingtian’s voice rang out, though he remained out of sight. Bai Xue could do nothing more at that point, and simply floated back to the ground. Lu Yin stared at the city for a while before leaving, taking out his gadget once he was far enough away.
“The closest one is… you,” he said while rushing west.
With Lu Yin’s departure, Jeraldine tried to leave as well. She had no obligation to him and would have fled long ago if he hadn’t been keeping an eye on her, so this was the perfect opportunity. Unfortunately, she’d missed something in this perfect plan; Bai Xue.
“What right do you have to stop me?” Jeraldine demanded furiously as the Water Sage stopped her.
Bai Xue glared at her, “Because you’re Lu Yin’s woman. Since he left, you have to stay.”
“I’m not his woman! Don’t spread rumors!” she screamed angrily, but while Bai Xue was powerless against Lu Yin, handling this girl was a breeze. It wasn’t long before a block of ice plopped down in Lu Yin’s residence, it would take quite a while for Jeraldine to thaw out. “Damned Lu Yin, Damned ice girl, damned natives… every damn one of them is unreasonable!”
Shaanxi was the province closest to Beijing, but without any of the Seven Sages protecting it, the strongest people within were only in the Realm of Earth. Still, a large group had gathered within its largest gathering point of Tongchuan. Russel was a laid-back person who was easily satisfied with minor accomplishments. As the second strongest student of Garu Academy, he had no ambitions to complete the trial mission and was content with simply occupying a region and harvesting what resources he could to have a decent result. He was delighted during the past two months of peace; as a Sentinel—no, a Realm of Sky cultivator—he’d taken over the city and become its guardian deity worshipped by all. Although he helped the survivors eliminate some mutant beasts on occasion, most of his time was spent in quiet explorations that resulted in the occasional delight of a rare item. Even the thought of his results made the man happy.
Sipping some wine under the sun, Russel was humming some tunes from his hometown as he thought to himself with a smile, ‘Primal planets like this one are the best. The air is fresh, the people are honest, and I’m free to do whatever I want! All I gotta do is find some valuable materials… heh, this is just the best! Hahaha!’
After enjoying himself for a bit, Russel waved over two beautiful young ladies and had one massage his shoulders while the other was tasked with keeping his glass full and working on his feet. He moaned in pleasure, “Ooh…”
Just as he was about to take a sip, a shadow suddenly blocked the comfortable sun. He frowned and looked up to see a rather plain young man staring down at him from mid-air.
‘Hmm? A Sentinel?’ He grew serious and shooed away the two girls who’d grown frightened, glaring at the man above him, “Who are you?”
“A thief,” the youth said briefly.
“What?” Russel stared blankly, “Come again?”
“I said I’m a thief,” Lu Yin repeated graciously. He’d come to the conclusion that the only way to raise his strength quickly was to absorb star energy, and robbing the students was the way to go if he wanted star crystals.
“I know you’re a trainee too, kid, but you have to be an idiot! Do you know who I am? Want to rob me? Let me tell you, I—”
He felt a sharp pain in his stomach before he could finish, sent crashing into the ground by the terrifying blow. The impact formed a deep crater, and at the bottom of it Russel coughed up blood and looked up with a pale face. Wasn’t that the Spacerender Palm? The hell? Where did a monster like that come here from?Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Ying
Edited By: Neshi/Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA