Chapter 45: Red Lotus Witchbow

Mira smiled, “I’m glad to hear that. I wasn’t supposed to appear in the trials here, but the Empire’s Youth Council was dissolved and I’m the one who has to bear this unfortunate news. The trials cannot continue without the presence of someone from the Youth Council; is that not right, General Sigmund?”

Sigmund nodded, “Thank you, Lady Mira.”

“This guy is something else, I hope he does well,” she stated with her eyes on the screen, turning around to exit the surveillance room and leaving a delicate fragrance behind. Everyone heaved a huge sigh of relief as she left; they’d felt an intense pressure by her very presence, making it clear that she was more powerful than anyone else here. Even though she was from the Innerverse, she was still a student at the end of the day. How was she so powerful?

Torry Auna said gravely, “She’s just one of the underlings of the Universe Youth Council. Sure, she’s a student of Astral-6, Sure she’s the Red Lotus Witchbow, but I’d never have imagined her to be this powerful.”

Sigmund sighed loudly, choosing not to discuss this any further as he returned his attention to the screen. The young man there had Mira’s favor; if he continued to overperform, her help could grant him a meteoric rise to the top. He was truly a lucky youth.

Having been shut down by a woman, Shalosh was still in a daze. Torry noticed the rage bubbling up within him, but only laughed in disdain. So what if he was angry, would he actually dare to do anything to Mira? Even if she weren’t the more powerful of the two, she was backed by the Universe Youth Council and its ten monsters. He himself was no match.

……

Outside Beijing, Xia Luo had left without much conversation. The youth didn’t even fly, instead choosing to walk in the direction of the roaming zombie horde. Lu Yin was too focused on robbing Raas and the other man to care; it had to be said that this child of a Vice Treasurer truly was rich. There were close to 12 cubes of star crystals within his cosmic ring, and a number of other natural crystals that shocked Jeraldine and the rest.

“You’re dead!” the youth himself was glaring angrily from the ground, “Everything I own is monitored by the Empire. Father already knows about this, and you’ll be hauled off to court right after the trial. I’ll make you beg for mercy!”

Clearly unintimidated, Lu Yin laughed, “I’ll look forward to it.”

There was a twinkle in Raas’ eye; natives were clueless about many things, and Lu Yin would only truly know despair after his sentencing. 

“Right, what was that technique you showed earlier?” Lu Yin suddenly switched topics.

Raas sneered, “A mere native dares to dream of the Skybeast Claw? Well, telling you won’t change anything. Yu Academy of the Great Yu Empire has an inheritance of 108 forms of the Skybeast Claw; I have only managed to master five. Feel welcome to somehow come and try to learn all 108; you will shock the universe.”

“You only managed to master five forms out of 108? That’s such low aptitude!”

“I am the son of Lord Sicar, you pleb! Even Gerbach and the others only have half-mastery over a single form, a native like you cannot even understand such powerful techniques!”

“Techniques like this?” Lu Yin raised a hand, curling it into a claw. A faint bestial cry rang out from nowhere, sending out a pressure wave that ruptured the rocks nearby. Zhang Dingtian and the rest suddenly felt a wave of fear washing over them.

Raas gritted his teeth; this asshole really had managed to learn three forms of the Skybeast Claw. If he’d displayed all five earlier on, would he not have learnt those too? Such people had to be strangled!

With Lu Yin’s help, the capital had captured twenty five students, one of whom was the son of a noble. This caused quite a stir in the network. Watching over the movements, Jeraldine quickly counted things up, “There are a total of 26 people in the second batch of trainees, and fifteen of them landed in China.”

Even though 26 was a far lower number than in the first batch, the individuals were on a completely different level. Any given individual in the second batch possessed peak Sentinel strength; only the three High Sages could match the weakest ones, and even then victory wasn’t guaranteed. Even Zhang Dingtian wouldn’t be confident against someone like Raas; battle techniques could often make up for many disparities, and their power couldn’t be expressed with mere combat level.

……

Northern Europe. Heavy winds and relentless snow had lasted for days, and the once-picturesque area had been reduced to a snow-covered wasteland. Countless zombies shuffled across the frozen plains, the entire northern half of the continent covered in bloodless white. One of several shooting stars landed on the island of Hailuoto in the now-frozen Gulf of Bothnia. There wasn’t a single soul within a hundred kilometers, so the spacecraft did no damage despite the huge crater it formed. The doors opened and a young man walked out, hot breath turning into icicles in mid-air that tinkled against the ground.

“Damned random landings, sending me to this god-forsaken place. So damn cold, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the coldest place on this planet!” the man cursed, walking out further and looking around. His expression changed abruptly as he tapped his gadget, finding a reading only a few kilometers away and shooting off in that direction. It wasn’t long before he saw a lone figure sitting atop a mountain, absentmindedly staring into the sky.

“Hey, where are we?” the new arrival asked from up above.

The man on the mountain looked up, “I don’t know.”

The youth’s gaze turned icy, “What? You don’t know? Then why are you here?”

“I’m hiding from people,” the figure said indifferently.

The student landed on the mountain and walked towards the figure, “2300 combat level, that’s quite impressive. But you don’t have a gadget, are you a native?”

The person turned around to look at the man, “Can you do me a favor? I need you to help me post something on the network.”

“Post what?” the student grew suspicious.

“Just that you spotted the criminal,” the figure smirked.

“Why?” the student was startled and immediately went into a defensive stance, but the next moment, he felt all strength leaving his body. This man was only showing 2,300 combat level before, but now he was releasing insurmountable energy that completely overwhelmed him. His gadget rang out endlessly to inform him that this was a Melder-level battle technique.

“Thank you,” the figure said faintly before turning around and walking away. 

A few minutes later, the network on Earth exploded with activity. Everyone received an alert that the escaped criminal had Melder-level strength and was hiding in northern Europe, and that message ended with a request for assistance. Many didn’t believe it at first—it made no sense to publicize the location of this trial’s mission—but Eddy and the others who’d fought the criminal before looked through the details about the criminal’s appearance and certified its authenticity. Many students raced towards Europe immediately.

Within Beijing, Lu Yin and the others were caught off guard, “The target’s position was leaked? Something doesn’t seem right.”

Jeraldine explained, “Not all students care about the trial’s mission; everything that happens over the course of their stay can affect the result. Win/loss records count, and publicizing the information might be worth some points as well.”

Lu Yin looked at Eddy, “You fought the criminal before, how strong is he?” 

Raas’s capture had turned Eddy into a well-behaved captive. He replied obediently, “He’s very powerful. Even with little star energy, any Explorer’s control and understanding of their battle techniques is difficult to match with numbers. A dozen of us attacked him together, but he instantly killed five and escaped.”

“The poster mentioned that the criminal has Melder-level strength; is that true?” Jeraldine asked. 

“Not when we confronted him, or we would’ve run away.”

Lu Yin muttered something under his breath. The whole situation seemed suspicious; someone who could escape to the Outerverse from the Innerverse would not be careless enough to let a passing student notice him and post information.

“Quick, look at this. Some students are nearing northern Europe.” Jeraldine cried out and everyone gathered to watch the local network.

Three students flew over to the location of the message, two from the first batch and one from the second. While they arrived at the same time, the former were afraid to even approach the latter.

“Where’s the criminal?!” the stronger student shouted, while the other two started looking around. However, a dull thud suddenly rang out as the duo fell to the ground; it wasn’t long before the student from the second batch join them. Only when they had all fallen did a man slowly walk over, his steps seemingly gentle yet releasing an indescribable pressure that caused them all to tremble. The trio raised their heads to look up at the figure, but all they could see was a silhouette in ring armor towering over them with an expression of content. Although the streak of white amidst his thick black hair made him look rather odd, he gave off a sinister vibe.

“Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Qingyu, the one you refer to as the criminal on the loose,” the man said with a faint chuckle. The three students trembled as they watched an explosion of star energy that caused them all to pass out immediately. Qingyu looked to the vast horizon with eyes filled with longing as he muttered to himself, “Four is nowhere near enough.”

Over the next two days, the local network erupted into chaos as no fewer than twenty students were captured. His name was finally released for the first time as well: Qingyu.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By:Styles

Edited By: Neshi/Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA