Lu Yin’s heart froze as he heard Duque’s words, “Me?”
Duque Yushan nodded, “That’s right, you’re fourth in line to become the Great Yu Emperor.”
Lu Yin blinked, “Don’t pull my leg, Royal Brother I’m just an idle lord, not even from the Yushan Family. How could I qualify?”
The Second Prince smiled, “I’m not spouting nonsense. Did you know what His Imperial Majesty promised The Undying Zishan before the two of them stormed the Innerverse?” He paused for a moment, “Should we not perish this time, you and I will each own half the Empire. The Great Yu Empire will belong to both the Yushans and the Zishans.”
Lu Yin squinted and gazed into Duque’s eyes before smiling and picking up some vegetables, “Tastes pretty good.”
Duque averted his gaze, “Then eat as much as you want. The people beneath me aren’t sensible; I apologize on their behalf.”
Lu Yin knew he was speaking about Sicar, but did not mind, “Royal Brother, do you have any news on when Astral-10 will arrive?”
Duque shook his head, “I don’t, there’s only one person of the Empire who has access to such news. Fifth Sister, your fiancee.”
Lu Yin rolled his eyes; Wendy Yushan, his fiancee? She wouldn’t even bother looking at him. To her, the Great Yu Empire wasn’t important.
His thoughts were brought to a halt by a thump of a cosmic ring on the table. Duque stood up, “This is my welcome gift to you, Brother, I hope you don’t hate it. I’ll take my leave.”
Lu Yin’s eyes gleamed at the sight; he knew that the Second Prince wouldn’t hold back with his gift. Duque smiled and was about to leave, but suddenly paused, “There’s a rumor that the Zishan Family has a hidden treasure, Brother, there should be no harm in trying to find it. Perhaps it might be an unexpected harvest.”
The Prince’s figure vanished,and Lu Yin’s eyes flickered as he picked the ring up. Hidden treasure? What did that mean? Find it himself? The Undying Yushan hadn’t mentioned a single word about this hidden treasure; the man clearly didn’t want anyone getting involved in this pie. If he went to look for it himself, wouldn’t that be courting death? Did Duque really think he was so greedy that he was digging this kind of hole? These royals loved to create problems out of nothing.
Within the cosmic ring was a set of ring armor, and given the gifter, it was certainly at least Melder armor. This was rather generous, but the implications were also quite dark. Still, Lu Yin lost himself in thoughts of the Zishan Family’s qualifications to inherit the throne. Was that why Sicar tried to suppress him? Impossible; even if he was qualified, there was no chance of success. He had nothing in a competition against the Princes who had run the Empire for centuries, and wouldn’t even make for a worthy opponent. Was it because of the Zishan Family? The clues lay in Duque’s apology. Evidently, Sicar had acted on his own initiative. Or rather, Duque wasn’t the only one behind the man.
“Bronsen,” Lu Yin called.
“Your Majesty,” a shadow stepped out of the void.
“Have you heard of the hidden treasure of the Zishan Family?”
“Yes, but it was several centuries ago. No one mentioned it in recent times.”
“Do you know if Sicar has any grudges against the Zishan Family?”
“I’m not sure.”
Lu Yin started mumbling to himself. The Great Yu Empire’s water ran rather deep as the Emperor aged, especially with rumors of an old injury’s relapse. The man wasn’t likely to live long, so how would the struggle for the throne end? He sat down and pondered for a while before heading back to his residence. All these things were unrelated to him for now; when the situation erupted, he might already have entered the Astral Combat Academy.
There were many books within the Zishan Residence, but none of them detailed any battle techniques. Tomes of such worth would likely have been taken by the Zishans when they disappeared, so Lu Yin focused his energies on looking for books related to Melder breakthroughs. This realm was a turning point for cultivators; many books said that a person’s potential could be seen at this point, but he didn’t know what that meant. All he knew was that the road to power was paved with realms and battle techniques. What else could there be?
“Bronsen, have you gone to the Innerverse?” Lu Yin asked, to which the man shook his head. He felt it a pity; the Innerverse had always been far stronger than the Outerverse. While he’d lived there himself before, he’d been stuck in one place and didn’t really understand the world; he’d learnt nothing about being a Melder during his stay. Should he ask The Undying Yushan? He shook his head after giving it a thought; the man was still the Emperor, and even if he spoilt him a little, it wasn’t right to look for him for everything. Dorren seemed gentle on the surface, but he was just as scheming as Duque. Mira? He had to maintain as little contact with her as possible. The more times they talked, the more his value would drop in her eyes.
“Are you considering your breakthrough to a Melder?” Bronsen asked, one of the rare occasions he spoke up without being asked.
Lu Yin shook his head, “The breakthrough is a natural process. I’m considering what the source of a Melder’s strength is.”
Bronsen muttered, “Within the Great Yu Empire, the source of a powerhouse’s strength is their battle techniques. But I have heard of another strength called battle force, it is supposedly very powerful.”
Lu Yin’s eyes gleamed; he had heard of battle force himself. A powerful warrior was someone with a clear conscience and determination which stemmed from the heart; they could manifest that will for attack or defense, even breaking through their limits to crush the heavens or tear the skies apart. Battle force was an incomprehensible power that everyone had the potential to unlock, but few ever did. He had heard of it multiple times in the Innerverse, but even there, techniques to train it were a secret protected more tightly than formcast models. In the Outerverse, there was simply no way to train in it. Even the fact that Bronsen knew of its existence was a testament to his status, but that was the extent of it.
Lu Yin gazed at the sky, watching the three rings around the Zenyu Star. His eyes suddenly gleamed; how had he forgotten about the Skybeast Claw? He immediately thought of asking for the approval of all five hall masters to learn the first twenty forms. The first order of business was to contact Gerlaine and ask her to help with Gerbach, but he stopped after opening his gadget and thought about her for a while before brushing off that idea. With her personality, it was already good enough that she wasn’t looking to make trouble for him. He could only take the initiative himself, sending out requests to the hall masters as a member of Yu Academy.
Tianming was the first to agree. This guy was easy to talk to; he’d already said so at the formcast pool. The second was Logan, while the third was Huo Zhong. It was Huo Zhong that surprised Lu Yin the most; he’d thought the Huo Family would have been antagonistic due to Xiaoling. Unfortunately, Gerbach and Schutz refused. It was a pity, but it was also within expectations; three approvals was already a good deal.
As he was wondering how he’d get the other two to agree, Lu Yin received a notification that Gerbach wanted to see him. He was stunned by the request, and his thoughts immediately rushed to Gerlaine; that brat had snitched! Still, this would reveal the man’s thoughts about the approval anyway, so he decided to go quickly. He left for the first ring the same night; cultivators didn’t have strong circadian rhythms, and it was easy to go a few days without sleep.
Gerbach’s residence was a bit distant from the formcast pool, taking nine hours of travel in total from Lu Yin’s residence. The sky was already bright by this point; if he had used a normal plane, it would have taken days to arrive.
There was a lake on the first ring around the Zenyu Star, large enough to be considered an ocean. Its surface area exceeded all of Earth’s, and at the center of it all was the hall Gerbach managed. There were enormous towers stacked all around, with the occasional person zooming through the skies. Marine life swam freely in the ocean, the ones that dared to attack the tower from time to time being obliterated in moments. The place was guarded by Explorers.
As his plane sped towards the highest tower, Lu Yin looked down and watched as students from Yu Academy hunted at the surface of the water. He didn’t notice a youth at the top floor of the tower opening his eyes and grinning from inside a spacious stone house. As an outsider, Bronsen was blocked from entering; Lu Yin had to go in alone.
The tower was tall enough to pierce through the clouds. Students from Yu Academy entered and left regularly, many sending curious glances towards Lu Yin. This was where the most powerful youths of the Empire gathered, and none of them were simple; any one here could very well be an opponent in the future.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Choco
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA