Chapter 677: Assassination Attempt

The figure felt their blood turn cold, and they turned around to see Ban Jiu’s gloomy face. “Cap- captain?”

Ban Jiu exerted some force through his hand, causing the figure to wail as he crushed their shoulder. The person’s entire body was pressed against the floor, and they stared up at Ban Jiu in terror. “Captain, spare me!” 

“The rules of the Technology Department don’t allow anyone to bring their cosmic rings in. Given that you came here so late at night and even brought your ring in, I knew that something was up. I only expected you to try to steal some things, but I never imagined that you would actually try to destroy the androids. Speak up! Who ordered you to do this?” Ban Jiu interrogated, his words in a strange rhythm and his voice glacial. 

The figure lowered their head and appeared to have fallen into despair.

“What? You don’t want to speak? You are fully aware of the Twelfth Squadron’s methods,” Ban Jiu said slowly. 

The figure trembled. They suddenly seemed to recall something that caused them to shiver in fear. “Nobody ordered me. The Royal Regent ordered the Ninth Squadron to eradicate my family! I wanted revenge, so I made these plans.” 

Ban Jiu suddenly remembered that this person didn’t come from some insignificant background and that they were actually related to one of the empire’s influential officials. It had been precisely because of that relationship that this person had been able to join the Twelfth Squadron. It was no wonder why they wanted revenge, as that official had been eliminated by the Ninth Squadron just a few days earlier. 

“Just like that?” Ban Jiu asked coldly as he crouched down.

That person fearfully stared at Ban Jiu. “Captain, I understand your methods, and I know that there’s no one you can’t get to talk. I wouldn’t dare try to hide anything from you, so I’ll only beg you for a quick death.”

Ban Jiu’s eyes narrowed, and a gentle breeze blew across, bringing him his white coat.

Beads of sweat rolled off of the person’s forehead. “Captain, even if I haven’t made any major contributions to the Twelfth Squadron, I have still always worked hard! I’m only asking for a quick death, so please grant me that much, captain.” 

Ban Jiu stood back up and stared down at the figure on the floor. He raised a hand and struck down. The person’s forehead split open. They were dead.

“It looks like it’s time to clean up the Twelfth Squadron,” Ban Jiu muttered to himself. If not for his vigilance, months of his hard work would have been destroyed. Not only would he not be able to accept such a thing, but there would also be no way for him to give an account of himself to the Royal Regent. Given Lu Yin’s current attitude towards certain families within the empire, the people who had entered the squadron through their family backgrounds were no longer reliable, and Ban Jiu had to come up with ways to replace them.

***

On Shenwu Continent, ever since Lu Yin left, Ming Yan had firmed her resolve to handle her administrative duties well. After many days of practice, her personality had also quietly transformed. 

Sometimes, it was not that a person had no ability, but rather that they had never been pushed to the point of showing it. 

Rebellions had broken out all across the Shenwu Empire, and Ming Yan had been more benevolent than her father when handling the conflicts. However, her leniency had led to a second wave of rebellions, forcing Ming Zhaoshu to personally take action to quell the new insurrections. He had buried 20,000 people alive, shocking the entire continent and causing the people of Shenwu Continent to become nervous. 

Ming Yan had witnessed the massacre herself, and it left an unimaginable impact on her. After that single event, she started making much firmer decisions, and her vision, attitude, and personality all underwent profound changes. And that wasn’t even mentioning how the way she viewed her father had also changed. 

Ming Zhaoshu looked at Ming Yan’s memos that littered the floor. On some of them, he could see the words, ‘No pardons, kill.” Ming Zhaoshu’s gaze then landed on his daughter and exchanged glances with her. Her gaze had previously been filled with a gentle kindness and even some nervousness. But now, that nervousness had vanished, and that kindness had also dissipated by a great deal. There was now a steely glint to her gaze and also a touch of something unfamiliar. 

Ming Zhaoshu’s heart ached, as Ming Yan’s transformation had been catalyzed by him killing those 20,000 people; that number had become a wedge that would forever remain between the father and daughter, as it was something that could never be resolved. 

Still, Ming Zhaoshu did not regret his actions. Since his vitality was rapidly draining away, he did not have long before he died. The chaotic Shenwu Empire required an iron-fisted ruler, not a benevolent one. The universe was cruel, and the previous Ming Yan would not have been able to survive there. 

“Yan'er, do you blame Father?” Ming Zhaoshu could not resist asking this question.

Ming Yan trembled slightly, but she shook her head. “Daughter is tired, and I wish to rest.”

Ming Zhaoshu nodded. “Go on, and don’t overthink things.”

Ming Yan left the study and looked up at the sky. The radiant sunlight was dazzling, but she enjoyed this bright lighting. Ever since she had witnessed those 20,000 people being massacred, she no longer dared to sleep at night since she would see those 20,000 people staring at her from the darkness. The grief and hatred that she saw in their eyes gripped her heart in a vice, and she felt as though it would pull her into the abyss. 

“I’m sorry, I’m truly sorry,” Ming Yan muttered to herself. She curled up alone on her bed as she faced the sun. Tears streamed down her face.

In the study, Ming Zhaoshu sighed. “Yan'er, Father is sorry to you.”

***

Outer space was always dark, but it was also eternally illuminated by the stars.

Lu Yin sat in his spacecraft and drank a specially produced fruit juice that was unique to the Lars Weave. He was feeling quite tranquil at this moment.

“I just received a notification that our route is going to change again and that our journey will be extended by another day,” Aden said. 

Lu Yin grudgingly asked, “Is this still because of the higher energy levels?”

Aden nodded. “The Astral River swelled dramatically when it separated the Outerverse and the Innerverse. Many areas of the Outerverse have had similar energy surges, and the eastern and western regions have practically been completely isolated from each other. Fortunately, Sourcepeak Weave is situated in the center area. Otherwise, we might not be able to make the trip.” 

“Have you ever been to Sourcepeak Planet?” Lu Yin asked.

Aden shook his head. “Never.”

“I wonder what sort of place it is, and if there are a lot of sourceboxes there.” Lu Yin walked to the front of the vessel. He had come to rather enjoy lockbreaking. It was like searching for mysteries, as each and every sourcebox potentially contained something ancient. Lockbreaking felt akin to transcending time and conducting transactions with those from ancient ages. It was very interesting, though of course, it was also very dangerous.

Aden looked at Lu Yin. “Actually, I rather admire you. You’re so young, and yet, not only do you have powerful strength, but you can also lockbreak. You’re an absolute genius.”

Lu Yin smiled. “I don’t deserve that much praise.”

“You’re very similar to Undying Yushan,” Aden stared out into outer space as he spoke, a look of reminiscence on his face.

Lu Yin’s heart leapt, and he looked over at Aden. “What did you say? I’m very similar to Undying Yushan?” 

Aden nodded. “Undying Yushan was someone who had an amazing talent for cultivation as well as lockbreaking. It’s as if you are his carbon copy.” 

Lu Yin frowned. “Undying Yushan was a Lockbreaker? Where did you hear that?”

Aden laughed. “I didn’t have to hear it from anyone—I could tell. Although he intentionally did not reveal anything, a Lockbreaker’s star energy control is different, and I could recognize his ability with just one look.”

Lu Yin’s eyes flickered; Undying Yushan had been a Lockbreaker? Nobody had mentioned this before. Still, it didn’t matter since the old emperor was already dead, so there was nothing more about it worth mentioning.

Ahead of them, a spacecraft flew along, evidently headed towards them.

Lu Yin’s expression changed the moment he saw the approaching spacecraft. “Be careful.” 

Aden instantly grew vigilant. “An enemy?”

Lu Yin squinted at the spacecraft ahead of them; he could see three enormous groups of rune lines within it, and the largest group was even able to rival Xueshan Auna, which meant that there were three Hunters inside the spacecraft approaching them. The strongest of the three was a peak Hunter who could rival Kong Shi, and they would not be much weaker than Aden. 

When the spacecraft passed by the one that Lu Yin was in, the three clusters of rune lines sped across the gap between the vessels in the blink of an eye, and Lu Yin’s eyes went wide. “Attack!” 

Aden reflexively released his thunder shield in front of their spacecraft, and three attacks struck it head on, but they were unable to breach its defense. All they could do was blast the shielded spacecraft 10,000 meters away. 

Assassins. Lu Yin donned his universal armor and exited his spacecraft, and Aden appeared by him at the same time while solemnly looking ahead. The three enemy Hunters did not speak, instead unleashing one attack after another as their peculiar innate gifts and powerful battle techniques accompanied the flood of attacks. Their assault shattered the void into fragments that then formed a blackhole that nearly devoured the spacecraft. 

Fortunately, under Lu Yin’s orders, his own vessel had already escaped at top speed.

“Thunder Mountain Breach.” Aden roared as he attacked, his thunder shield flickering and rumbling. There was a loud crack as a powerful shockwave swept out, overwhelming the three Hunters with amazement. This was their first time encountering such a terrifying Hunter, and his power was not much weaker than an Enlighter’s. 

Although Aden’s attacks had not reached the power of the Enlighter realm yet, his defenses were absolute, and he could even withstand an Enlighter’s attacks.

The thunder shield expanded outwards endlessly as it enveloped the surrounding space. Aden then pushed forwards and charged towards the three Hunters.

The three exchanged looks, and one of them said, “You guys hold him back.”

With that, the Hunter tore through the void and vanished.

The thunder shield was firmly raised in front of Aden, and the two Hunters acted in unison without using any battle techniques. They already knew that it was impossible for them to break through Aden’s defense, so it didn’t matter whether or not they used their battle techniques. They then raised their hands and blocked the advance of the thunder shield.

Aden was right behind the thunder shield, and his expression changed the moment the two Hunters collided with it. He could feel the star energy that was his thunder shield being rapidly depleted, and it felt like it was being broken down. His battle technique was being dissolved, or rather, it was being lockbroken. The two Hunters were both Lockbreakers. 

Not good, there’s one more. Aden whirled around. “Be careful!”

Lu Yin turned to his right, as he had long since seen the other group of rune lines approaching him; the last Hunter was tearing through the void towards Lu Yin. This person was the strongest of the group, a peak Hunter, and they unleashed a palm at Lu Yin from a distance. It appeared to be a very ordinary attack, but for some unknown reason, it gave Lu Yin a sense of absolute danger. The feeling of crisis bypassed his universal armor, but Lu Yin was still fearless since he had already equipped it. 

He confidently stepped up and swatted at the peak Hunter assassin at the same time as the Hunter’s attack landed.

Two palms collided, and at that moment, Lu Yin’s palm immediately shrank back, as the star energy within it had suddenly vanished. This was due to it being dissolved. “You’re a Lockbreaker!” 

A battle between Lockbreakers was unique, as they could use their lockbreaking techniques to the fullest by dissolving their opponent’s battle techniques and arts. Both of those abilities, and even innate gifts, required star energy to be used, and once that star energy was broken down, the power of the attack would drop precipitously. 

This was also one of the reasons why Lockbreakers held such a high status within the universe, as any Lockbreaker would be a powerhouse within their own realm. This was common knowledge. 

Lu Yin himself was also a Lockbreaker, and he had even reached the standard where he could unlock Perceptive Intermediate sourceboxes. However, the Lockbreaker in front of him was able to dissolve star energy at such a rapid speed that Lu Yin was caught unprepared, which meant that they were at least a three or four star Perceptive Intermediate Lockbreaker. 

Lu Yin’s domain had also been seen through by the assassin, so it was also useless.

Lu Yin pulled back. He did not feel any sense of danger while he wore his universal armor, but despite that, this Hunter was leaving him with no other choice. This Lockbreaker was so powerful that even Lu Yin’s Dream Finger would probably have its power sapped away. The Hunter had not used any battle technique yet, which meant that Lu Yin wasn’t able to use the Yu Secret Art. 

The assassin pressed his advantage and grabbed at Lu Yin. The hunter quickly realized how strong the universal armor’s defenses were, but that did not matter. The plan was not to kill Lu Yin, but rather to merely take him away.

Lu Yin snorted. Since his star energy was ineffective, then he would use his physical strength.

“Hundredfold Shockwave Palm.” There was a soft thump, but not a single speck of star energy was used as Lu Yin swatted a palm at the assassin. The Hunter had not expected Lu Yin’s physical might to be so terrifying, and Lu Yin’s palm shattered his assailant’s arm.

The assassin stared at Lu Yin in shock.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Choco

Edited By: Neshi/Nyxnox

TLC'ed By: OMA