“You know about the Astral Combat Academy?” Lu Yin looked at Lulu.
“Heard some seniors talking about it, want to know more?” she smiled craftily, her gaze shifting as he nodded, “I can tell you, but you have to promise me something. Help me get something if you enter Astral-10… Hey, don’t leave, it’s not anything extraordinary or something! I just need you to fight someone; you should know that information about Astral Combat Academy is restricted. Even that General Sigmund might not know; no one will tell you except me!”
Xia Luo interrupted gently, “The Astral Combat Academy is an umbrella term for ten institutions, the first eight in the Innerverse. Astral-9 is in the Endless Weave of the Outerverse, while Astral-10 is going to appear here in the Frostwave Weave. Every academy is said to have supreme battle techniques inherited from ages past and is overseen by unequaled powerhouses. The academies also determine the top 100 youths across the universe, and then there’s the true attraction of the legendary Three Realms and Six Daos.”
Lulu clenched her jaw in fury, but everyone else focused on Xia Luo, “Three Realms and Six Daos?”
“Legend goes that there are nine trial zones passed on from ancient times, hiding supreme battle techniques. Longevity, strong blood vessels, unstoppable strength… rumors say you can acquire all kinds of things there, but there is one thing we know for sure,” Xia Luo’s smile faded, “Almost half of the Ten Arbiters of the Universe Youth Council have walked through the Three Realms and Six Daos.”
Lu Yin’s expression changed as well; the Ten Arbiters had taken the Universe Youth Council from an obscure organization to the behemoth it was today. These ten devilish geniuses were the greatest prodigies of their generation; while he didn’t know just how strong they were, a single one had destroyed a major organization that defied the Council’s ruling. That power had been far stronger than the Great Yu Empire.
The Universe Youth Council was originally responsible for the Outerverse competitions and rewarding or disciplining the younger generations, but ever since the Ten Arbiters came into power, its influence had broadened greatly. Not only did they rule over the young, but they now had judicial authority and supervised the various academies. They had the authority to investigate, pass, and enforce laws on education, military, and prisons, empowering the younger generations greatly. The Universe Youth Council was thus also called the Ten Arbiters’ Council. Mira was a prime example of the terrifying prowess of this organization. Lu Yin had tried to get more information about the Ten Arbiters, but there was very little he could glean about them. Those from the Outerverse simply couldn’t learn about them.
Lulu snorted, “Some of those freaks have indeed stepped through the Three Realms and Six Daos, but not all gained any technique from it. There is one certainty, though; any student that dares enter that place comes out much stronger than before. The Astral Combat Academy is like the gate to the Three Realms and Six Daos, which is why countless people are drawn towards it.”
“Do you know who the Ten Arbiters are?” Lu Yin looked at Lulu. When she and Xia Luo looked back silently, he asked, “Don’t know?”
Lulu shrugged with a negative. When Lu Yin turned to Xia Luo, the youth shook his head as well, “Don’t ask me, no one here is qualified for such information. Even the Emperor might not know; those ten are way too high, and no media dares to even contact them.”
Disappointed, Lu Yin thought back to news broadcasts he’d seen before. The only images shown for rulings from the Ten Arbiters were ten silhouettes; he really wasn’t qualified to find out. The only person on the Perseverance who knew was Mira, but asking her would only garner ill-will. It would show lofty ambition with little perspective.
After the ship warped once more, a notice was transmitted throughout the ship that they were about to arrive at the Zenyu Star, the capital of the Great Yu Empire. Lu Yin looked out his window to see a mass of vehicles passing by. They were soon in sight of the massive celestial body, three rings of land circling around it constantly. It looked vast and magnificent, terrifying star energy ripples passing by on occasion. The spaceships around stretched into an unknown distance.
There weren’t many students left on the Perseverance at this point, only children of influential families like Raas and Huo Xiaoling. Watching the capital approach, an excited Raas activated his gadget, “Senior, please, you have to avenge me.”
“That is King Zishan; if we mess him up, we risk offending the entire Zishan faction.”
“Bah, the Zishan faction withered away long ago, and many have cast their lots in with my father. There are only a handful of people left that support him; His Imperial Majesty only gave him the position because of a past promise. He really thinks that title will last forever; the Crown Prince and Second Prince will always be worried if he doesn’t die.”
“Have you forgotten about the Thirteenth Captain?”
Raas was startled, but then he smiled, “That woman is just holding up the Zishan name. She might even thank us when he’s dead.”
The person on the other end of the call took a while to respond, “Alright, I can teach him a lesson, but it’ll be embarrassing him at most. I can’t help you kill him; that’ll be courting death.”
“Of course. Thank you, Senior!” Raas huffed and forced a smile, deactivating his gadget. He then gazed at the Capital Star that was almost within reach, “Do you really think that the title of King Zishan is so nice? You don’t understand; the bigger you are, the harder you fall.”
Just before the Perseverance reached the capital star, dozens of royal courtiers gathered in the Great Yu Palace, watching an imposing figure respectfully. This was The Undying Yushan, the man who had taken the weak Great Yu Empire into a powerful nation that spanned thirteen filaments today. Even the Innerverse had heard of the Ironblood Emperor, a man who had reached the top ten of the Astral Combat Ranking in his youth and shaken the entire universe. Although conspiracies had pushed back his ambitious charge into the Innerverse, he had still built the Great Yu Empire up to its current state. As a Hunter, he could live over a thousand years, but his dignified figure was now only a shadow of in his prime. He was aging quickly.
The Great Yu Empire had advanced technology, yet upheld ancient traditions. Ministers that represented the various territories had to stand respectfully, while the captains of the Thirteen Imperial Squadrons who had the highest authority stood in the front row. Compared to the uniformly dressed, dignified and serene councilors, these captains were much stranger. Some were dressed bizarrely, there was one who was two meters tall, one with fiery red hair, and even one blind baldy. All sorts of people were present, making it look like a mob. Although they looked random, each of them were the greatest powers in the Empire.
There were two figures in front of even the captains. One was the Second Prince, Duque Yushan. His hands were in his pockets, and he seemed to be chewing on something absentmindedly. The other seemed more alert to the situation, wearing a faint smile that concealed the imposing aura that flashed past his eyes on occasion. This man resembled The Undying Yushan more than his brother, and was the Crown Prince of the Great Yu Empire: Dorren Yushan.
“That will be it on diplomacy with the Grandtop Weave. I want to bring up one other person, Lu Yin,” the Emperor started to speak, his dignified gaze sweeping across everyone present as a hint of exhaustion flashed past his eyes. The hearts of the courtiers jumped at the name; it had shocked the court when it first appeared. This name represented a clan that had once shocked them all, even if it had now declined; the Zishan Family.
Crown prince Dorren Yushan had stepped forward and bowed, “Royal Father, Royal Brother Lu Yin is going to arrive, do you want your son to welcome him personally?”
Undying Yushan shook his head, “I sent Bronsen to welcome him; his identity should be sufficient to welcome him.”
“The First Squadron Deputy does have sufficient seniority,” Dorren agreed respectfully, returning to his spot. The Second Prince glanced at him and continued to chew with a displeased expression.
The Undying Yushan coughed several times, “Zishan and I called each other brothers in our youth, and it was with his help that I forged this great empire. His family might have perished today, but Lu Yin is the sole survivor. I’ve already given orders that he shall inherit the title of King Zishan; he can enjoy the honor and glory that comes with that title. You must all treat him like you treat the other royal children.
“Yes, Your Majesty,” all of them chorused.
The Undying Yushan nodded, then coughed a few more times.
“Your Majesty, this subject has a question that I am unsure whether to ask,” an older man walked out.
The Emperor smiled, “All courtiers are free to speak in my presence.”
“There was a marriage contract between the royal family and the Zishan Family that is still unfulfilled. Will it be taking effect today?”
All gazes fell upon the Emperor, this time including some of the Thirteen Imperial Squadrons and the hitherto-inattentive Duque. The man’s own eyes narrowed; this was a difficult question to answer. Denial would sully the Yushan name, but he couldn’t acknowledge it either. There was only one unwedded princess in the royal family, Fifth Princess Wendy Yushan who wasn’t yet thirty. However, she was no ordinary princess; tutored within the Myriad Swords Peak of the Innerverse, she was ranked within the top 20 of the Astral Combat Ranking. Few people across the Outerverse could match her, and she was the pride of the Frostwave Weave— no, the entire Outerverse itself. She was considered the second coming of the Emperor’s own talent, and even he couldn’t compare to her in status. Regardless of willingness, he simply didn’t have the ability to decide for her.
The Emperor suddenly broke out into a fit of violent coughing, and a few doctors immediately rushed up and injected him with some medication. He spoke feebly when the fit subsided, “Suspend the court, we shall begin again when Lu Yin is here.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Choco
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA