Lu Yin nodded, as he was truly curious about the matter. The Northgate Platform Competition was really between the three great families, not all seventeen. The other fourteen families were essentially playing supporting roles.
Lily Anne considered the question for a moment before then looking at Lu Yin. “When wolves circle, the lambs will still look to the hounds for the protection, even if they will be slaughtered by the hunters later.”
This one sentence clearly explained the state of the Northline Flowzone.
Lu Yin shivered, as the woman had not mentioned the seventeen families a single time, but her simple analogy was so apt that he had instantly understood everything. The other fourteen families would rather seek protection from the three great families than be divided and conquered by the other Flowzones. It was the tragedy of the weak. The universe was filled with such motivations and behavior.
Lu Yin looked away. He now had a much deeper understanding of the situation in the Northline Flowzone, as well as of the purpose of the Northgate Platform Competition—the primary intention was undoubtedly to intimidate neighboring enemies.
“Brother Lu, many experts have been invited to attend the Northgate Platform Competition as witnesses. Allow me to briefly introduce them all to you.”
Lu Yin nodded, as he was somewhat curious to discover who the Blazing Mist Flowzone had sent.
“First, there are the top-class experts. The Beast Tamers Flowzone is the closest to the Northline Flowzone, and they’ve sent a First Grade Hall Expert named Fayde. His power level is 170,000, and he’s not far from becoming an almighty powerhouse.”
“The Blazing Mist Flowzone’s Blaze Realm has sent Poison Flame, whose power level was 160,000 over ten years ago, but his current power level is unknown.”
“The Blazing Mist Flowzone’s Ross Empire is sending Duke Blackhawk over. Like Poison Flame, his last known power level was 160,000, and so, a conservative estimate of his current power level would be around 180,000.”
“The Tempest Flowzone isn’t too far from the Northline Flowzone, and they are sending…”
Many experts had been invited to attend the Northgate Platform Competition, and two of the eight Great Flowzones had also sent people over. In total, there would be more than ten experts in attendance when the smaller flowzones, such as the Tempest Flowzone, were taken into account.
These experts were attending as witnesses, and they were not that powerful, as not all of them were even Hunters. The truly notable ones were the Beast Tamers Flowzone’s Fayde and the Blazing Mist Flowzone’s Poison Flame and Duke Blackhawk.
The enemies of the Northline Flowzone were cautious precisely because of these two Flowzones.
Although the other Flowzones were not lacking in Hunters, they were not able to casually dispatch them either. However, the eight Great Flowzones were different; they could even send out almighty powerhouses at a moment’s notice, which were generally treated as ultimate guardians and protectors for the smaller Flowzones, which so they would not easily move about.
The passenger spacecraft was not very fast. It took the vessel five whole days to travel from the transfer planet to the Astral River Tributary Ark, where it finally entered the Northline Flowzone. These five days were the same amount of time that Lu Yin had estimated his trip from San Dios to the Northline Flowzone would take.
To cultivators, time was life. This huge delay caused him to consider procuring a blackhole grade Aurora of his own when he returned.
Lu Yin had not noticed it when he first stepped foot in the Blazing Mist Flowzone, but the deeper in he went into the Innerverse, the firmer the space felt.
He had travelled through the Innerverse before, when Big Sis had taken the whole family on a tour of the Innerverse. He had still been a regular human at that time and hadn’t become a cultivator yet, so he had not felt anything abnormal. His second trip through the Innerverse had been when he had traveled to the border warfront in the Erudite Flowzone. Along the way, the warship had passed through the Blazing Mist Flowzone, but Lu Yin had only crossed through the outer boundary of the Innerverse the entire time, so the difference in how the space felt had not been that apparent. But on this trip to the Northline Flowzone, he could clearly sense the change in the void. The space felt much denser, but it was not a huge difference from what he was accustomed to.
Upon arriving at the Northline Flowzone, Lily Anne started acting as a host for Lu Yin. A luxurious spacecraft belonging to the Lily family was already prepared for them even before they exited the passenger spacecraft. Lu Yin and Lily Anne were immediately taken into the luxurious spacecraft, which then headed towards the Northgate Platform Competition.
“There’s still about ten days until the Northgate Platform Competition starts. I can first take Brother Lu to the Northgate Platform so that you can familiarize yourself with the Northline Flowzone’s customs.”
Lu Yin immediately turned her down. This woman had been flattering him from the first moment they met, and he found it difficult to endure the obsequious schmoozing. He was certain that Lily Anne had some favor that she wanted to ask of him, so he tried his best to limit his interactions with her.
“Brother Lu, why are you so wary of me?” Lily Anne tried to probe into his thoughts.
Lu Yin smiled. “Of course I’m not wary of Miss Lily Anne. It’s just that Astral-10 has arrived in the Northline Flowzone, and I would like to return there first.”
She smiled back in response. “I understand. I must just be too apprehensive. Still, Brother Lu has referred to me by my full name this entire journey, and it feels a bit cold. Aren’t we friends?”
Lu Yin forced another smile onto his face. “Then I’ll call you Miss An’er.”
Lily Anne smiled in tacit approval.
“That’s right! Brother Lu, there’s something that I forgot to tell you.” She then activated her gadget and turned the display on. “When Astral-10 first arrived at the Northline Flowzone, a wave of students from Shangwu Academy went to challenge them, and the challenges haven’t stopped yet, though most of them were defeated.”
Lu Yin looked at the screen, and it was showing Zora’s battle against a stranger, who should be a student from Shangwu Academy. The student wasn’t weak, probably a Limiteer, and he seemed very familiar with the battle techniques that he was using. However, despite all that, he was still defeated by Zora.
Lu Yin felt that there was something different about her. The Windrift Hall had its own style of battle, and it was rather unique. If their disciples touched an opponent with even just a finger, then they would be able to seal off their opponent’s star energy. It was something that Lu Yin would look into if he had the time.
In addition to Zora, Zhao Yilong, Meng Yue, Coco, and the others also battled. Shangwu Academy lived up to its reputation, and many challengers emerged, despite almost all of them losing. There were the occasional victors as well, such as the person who fought against Meng Yue and easily won.
“That’s Northgate Gang, the younger brother of the Northgate family’s young master, Northgate Lie. He’s one of the strongest students in Shangwu Academy.” Lily Anne introduced the standout student to Lu Yin.
He nodded. Although Shangwu Academy could not be compared to the Astral Combat Academy, it was actually very normal for such an institute to have a few powerhouses. Meng Yue, Zhao Yilong, Schutz were all among the weaker students of Astral-10, followed by Hui Daynight, Michelle, and the others. Although Northgate Gang had beaten Meng Yue, he was not even close to being Michelle’s match and was about the same strength as Hui Daynight.
To be able to rival a Daynight clan expert was pretty decent.
The most hilarious battle was Coco’s. She ran about frantically with her giant syringe, as if she was going to jab whomever she caught. The giant syringe indeed looked terrifying, and Lu Yin, even now, did not dare to suffer its jabit. It looked very painful.
However, she had still been defeated since her weakness was very obvious. She was vulnerable to ranged attacks and had not been able to hold out despite her syringe’s impressive defense, since it could not last for too long.
After Coco’s defeat, Xia Luo was up next. Lu Yin knew this could not be considered a battle to Xia Luo. After all, the man was nearly invincible within Astral-10: second to only Lu Yin and about on par with Silver. If the two of them battled, the outcome would not be easily determined, but either of them were able to crush almost everyone else. The Astral Combat Tournament’s results had answered many people’s questions about the two’s strength. They were strong enough to battle against other student leaders.
Lu Yin had never been able to get a clear read of Xia Luo’s power, but his progress was unbelievable, just like Silver’s.
“He should be one of the top students of Astral-10, right? Once he acts, even the strongest fighters in Shangwu Academy will be defeated without any suspense.” Lily Anne’s eyes lit up as she watched Xia Luo’s battle.
Lu Yin nodded. “He’s second only to me.”
Lily Anne was shocked. “Of course. It’s no wonder why even Northgate Gang wasn’t able to force him to reveal his true strength with his current power.”
Lu Yin rolled his eyes. Even he could not see through Xia Luo’s true potential, so forget someone like Northgate Gang. Xia Luo had never seriously fought against Lu Yin before, and Lu Yin finally realized that their previous battles which he had considered serious had all been nothing more than jokes to Xia Luo.
The wave of challenges that Astral-10 faced from Shangwu Academy was just a small distraction. Arrangements had already been made for Lu Yin to stay in the grandest hotel near the Northgate Platform. Lily Anne tried to invite Lu Yin to stay at her house, but she was tactfully declined.
When he saw the Northgate Platform, Lu Yin was shocked. The square stone platform was incomparably large and floating freely in the air. The vast universe indeed held many mysteries.
Lily Anne did not bother Lu Yin much longer, and she soon left after making some arrangements.
Lu Yin stood inside his hotel room, looking outside where there were many students exuding a youthful energy. For them, the Northgate Platform Competition was a lively event, but that was mostly because they did not know that the gathering was actually a tragedy for the Northline Flowzone. A tragedy to intimidate external enemies, and a tragedy where they had to reveal their strength.
Lu Yin contacted Old Cai, but he did not hurry back to Astral-10. Since he was already at Northgate Platform, he naturally wanted to better understand the people of this academy. After all, it was under his direct supervision since the Ten Arbiters Council had appointed him as overseer for the Northline Flowzone when he had become a member of the Council of Astral Academy.
Lu Yin rested for a day.
His accommodation had its own courtyard, and outside of that was the hotel lobby.
Lu Yin casually ordered a few dishes while he sat in the lobby, observing the area. Since it was mealtime, more students started appearing.
“Why do you think the Astral Combat Academy students are so strong? Our Shangwu Academy has gathered all the top geniuses of the Northline Flowzone, but we’ve racked up more losses than wins.”
Not far away from Lu Yin, there were a few students stuck in a bad mood who were loudly discussing the recent fights. Lu Yin ignored them and kept to himself as he ate.
“Alright, stop getting a big head. What ‘more losses than wins?’ Almost no one from our academy won besides the top students like Northgate Gang.”
“Not necessarily. That girl can be beaten.”
“Aren’t you ashamed that you’re even considering fighting a girl?” a female student berated.
“Alright, don’t blame him. It’s really not good to provoke the Astral Combat Academy students. Don’t you remember how the eldest daughter of the Lily family, Lily Anne, even rebelled against her family and insisted on attending the Astral Combat Academy? And Northgate Lie tried his best to enter the Astral Combat Academy, but ended up staying here after the Shangwu Academy Headmaster promised to groom him with more generous resources.”
“The difference between the academies is too great. The lowest mentors in that academy are Hunters while those at our Shangwu Academy are mostly Cruisers. Hell, some aren’t even Cruisers!”
“You can’t say that either. A good deal of the Top Hundred Rankings didn’t attend the Astral Combat Academy. One’s strength still largely depends on their personal aptitude.”
Shangwu Academy’s wave of challenges had triggered these students’ competitive spirit, but a sobering wave of reality had crashed down upon them soon after.
Lu Yin smiled when he heard that Astral-10 was no pushover. Although the crazy headmaster had caused Astral-10 to decline, the current batch of students were different. Old Cai and the other mentors had made up their minds to individually instruct the students personally, which allowed Meng Yue and the others to undergo vast improvements. By now, they were able to match up to the average students from the other branches of Astral Combat Academy. Darkvoid, Michelle, and many others had even surpassed the average students and were closing in on the level of an Area Master. Also, there was Lu Yin himself.
“Seventh Bro, isn’t hearing the helplessness of others behind their backs very satisfying?” the Ghost Monkey asked with a laugh.
Lu Yin drank a mouthful of his wine. “It’s pretty good.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Choco
Edited By: Neshi/Nyxnox
TLC'ed By: OMA