Chapter 863: Shuttling Through The Astral River

It didn’t take long for the two youths to arrive at the edge of the Astral River, which was where it connected to the cemetery. Lu Yin’s gaze followed Hai Qiqi’s finger, but he saw nothing in the direction where she was pointing. 

“Get closer and see.” Hai Qiqi was not in a good mood. 

Lu Yin flew closer. Only when he was so close that he could almost touch the Astral River by reaching out did he finally see it. There was a vague gap in the wall of liquid energy swaying along with the Astral River, and it was impossible to see if one did not get close enough. Finding this opening along the boundless Astral River was even more difficult than finding a needle in a haystack. 

Lu Yin gave Hai Qiqi a strange look. “How did you find this?” 

Hai Qiqi’s tone was sad as she replied, “I told you, I felt Father’s strength.”

“Are you saying that the Sea King’s strength was transmitted to you through this passage?” Lu Yin was astonished. 

Hai Qiqi nodded. “I have a unique connection with Father, and the strength that he stored in my body vanished the moment the Astral River isolated the Outerverse from the Innerverse. However, more recently, I’ve felt Father’s strength return intermittently. Thus, I simply tracked down the source of that strength to where it was most intense. Which is right here.” 

Lu Yin instantly understood her explanation; the Sea King’s strength had essentially been a homing beacon, and Hai Qiqi had followed its signal back to this place. 

“When did you first sense the Sea King’s strength?” Lu Yin asked. 

Without hesitation, Hai Qiqi answered, “About four months ago.” 

Lu Yin did some quick calculations, and he quickly realized that that time period coincided with the decisive battle at the border warfront against the invaders from the Sixth Mainland. During that battle, Ancestor Di and Mister Mu had both appeared. In addition, This place was very close to Endless Weave. Could this passageway’s existence actually be related to that battle at the border? 

As he thought about it, Lu Yin moved closer to better observe that little fissure. There was one set of rune lines that obviously did not belong to the Astral River. Actually, there were two independent sets of intertwined rune lines, and one of them gave Lu Yin a sense of familiarity.

He slowly reached out and touched the fissure. At that moment, he saw Yuan Shi’s figure towering in space, and Lu Yin immediately pulled his hand back. His guess was right—this gap had been created during the battle between Yuan Shi and Ancestor Di, and it had been torn open by the aftershocks of the clash between those two powerhouses. 

Only experts at that level could divert the flow of the Astral River.

“Eh? Have you poked it enough? I’m leaving. I was just waiting to say goodbye to you,” Hai Qiqi urgently said to him. 

Lu Yin solemnly replied, “Do you really want to try returning to the Innerverse with this little hole? If you get stuck in the middle, you’ll die in the Astral River.” 

Hai Qiqi looked at the fissure. The end of it could not be seen, and she firmly answered, “I have to go. Otherwise, who knows when the Outerverse will be reconnected with the Innerverse.” 

Lu Yin did not know what to tell her, as Hai Qiqi had not wanted to be in the Outerverse from the very beginning. The moment the Outerverse had been isolated from the Innerverse, she had started searching for a way back home, and this search had gone on for nearly four years now. Her actions had long since become a stubborn belief that could not be changed. 

“Have you ever thought about what the Sea King would say if he knew that you wanted to take such a huge risk to head back to the Innerverse? About how worried he’d be?” 

Hai Qiqi looked straight into Lu Yin’s eyes. “If you don’t know how to give advice, then just don’t speak. Your words only make me want to head back to the Innerverse even more.” 

Lu Yin had nothing to say to that. He truly did want to send Hai Qiqi back to the Innerverse, but he was also afraid that he would get stuck in the middle of this fissure and just die. Besides, even if they did safely return to the Innerverse, if the hole vanished after they arrived, then he would be trapped in the Innerverse and be similarly finished. 

While Lu Yin was torn over what to do, Hai Qiqi’s expression changed. “Father’s strength has vanished.” 

Lu Yin was surprised by this change, and he watched as Hai Qiqi moved to dash into the fissure. He quickly blocked her off and stopped her. “You’re crazy! When the feeling of the Sea King’s strength disappears, that might be the hole being filled and the passageway closing up. If you rush in there right now, you’re just asking to die.” 

Hai Qiqi stared intently at the gap, clearly anxious. 

Soon, she relaxed again. “Father’s strength has reappeared.”

Lu Yin’s eyes narrowed.

Hai Qiqi flung Lu Yin off and firmly said, “There’s no need to stop me. I’ve been observing this hole for more than ten days. Even though it’s slowly closing up, it will be able to last for at least a few more months. There’s nothing wrong with this gap, but Father’s strength comes and goes intermittently, which means that he might be in danger. I have to return to the Innerverse! You can leave first, as this is none of your business.” 

Lu Yin’s head started to hurt. “What about waiting for another ten days?”

Hai Qiqi gritted her teeth and looked pointedly at Lu Yin.

Lu Yin continued, saying, “Another ten days. Let me observe the rate at which the hole is closing for another ten days. If it turns out to be like you said, then I’ll let you go. But otherwise, don’t even think of leaving.” 

Hai Qiqi sarcastically retorted, “You don’t believe me?” 

Lu Yin did not deny the accusation. 

Hai Qiqi snorted and glanced down at her gadget. “That time starts now. After ten days, don’t even dream of stopping me. Otherwise, I’ll tell Wendy that you’ve been taking advantage of me.” 

Lu Yin rolled his eyes, as he simply could not comprehend the way this brat’s brain operated. 

Lu Yin had asked for ten days not just to observe the rate at which the hole was closing, but also to check and see if anyone else had approached this area. If there was any possibility of someone else knowing about this hole, then Lu Yin would destroy it the moment that Hai Qiqi left, as he could not allow the Outerverse to be reconnected to the Innerverse at this moment. 

The ten days quickly passed by, and Lu Yin observed the fissure this entire time. It proved to behave exactly as Hai Qiqi had claimed, and although the hole was not very big, the speed at which it diminished was slow. He did not observe it the way Hai Qiqi did; rather, he studied the two intertwining sets of rune lines’ rate of dissipation as they were the force that had torn the Astral River apart. The fissure had been created by the aftershocks of Yuan Shi and Ancestor Di’s battle, and once those two sets of rune lines vanished, the gap would similarly disappear. 

According to what Lu Yin could observe, it would take the two sets of rune lines at least half a year to disappear. Thus, this hole would last for about that amount of time before vanishing. 

“I’m leaving,” Hai Qiqi said as she suddenly dashed towards the gap, scared that Lu Yin would stop her once again. 

Lu Yin did not move. Instead, he simply watched her leave.  

Although the Astral River was broad, it should not take more than half an hour to travel from the Outerverse to the Innerverse given the speed of Hai Qiqi’s collapsible spacecraft. 

Lu Yin was not worried about her making it through the tiny passageway, but rather about her safety in the Innerverse. 

Now that the Innerverse was dealing with its own massive war against the Sixth Mainland, Lu Yin had spent the last ten days not only observing the hole, but also sharing the details of the Innerverse’s situation with Hai Qiqi. He had repeatedly exhorted her to be careful, but just being careful would not keep one alive in the current Innerverse. 

If Hai Qiqi ran into any Sixth Mainland cultivators, she would be in danger. 

Lu Yin had not been worried about her safety in the past, as she carried a portion of the Sea King’s strength with her back then, which meant that nobody even dared to touch her. She also had the impressive status of being the Sea King’s Dome’s little princess. However, at this time, the enemy was the Sixth Mainland, and the Sea King’s strength would not deter anyone from the Sixth Mainland. Moreover, the entire Innerverse was enveloped within a turbulent energy, preventing everyone’s attacks from exceeding a power level of 200,000. 

Lu Yin was facing a dilemma of whether he should simply send Hai Qiqi on her way or at least accompany her to the Starfall Sea. 

Suddenly, there was an intense flash of light from inside the fissure, and it was extremely dazzling. 

Lu Yin’s expression changed, and he immediately dashed in. 

That light was from an Ultra Flash Tearbomb that he had given Hai Qiqi so that she could protect herself. If she had already used it, then that meant that she had already encountered danger. 

The hole was not very large, but that was simply when it was compared to the entire Astral River. Its length was quite long since it had to traverse the entire width of the Astral River, and its cross section had a radius of about ten meters, which was enough for a personal spacecraft to pass through. 

Lu Yin did not use a spacecraft. Instead, he simply donned his universal armor and charged straight in. 

In the distance, a noticeable portion of Hai Qiqi’s collapsible spacecraft was missing, as it had been destroyed by a tremendous attack. In front of the vessel, there was a sinister and terrifying eye that was tightly shut. Shockingly, there was a lone eyeball blocking the tiny passageway. This was from a strange creature native to the Astral River. 

Everyone knew about the dangers of fishing in the Astral River, and even space-exploring powerhouses who fell in would find it difficult to survive. Thus, not many individuals had ever even seen the creatures that lived within the Astral River. 

However, Hai Qiqi had just met one. 

This strange fish had a massive body and a thick outer layer of scales, rendering all of Hai Qiqi’s attacks useless against the great beast. 

Fortunately, the flash bomb had scared it into tightly closing its eyes. Otherwise, it would have simply swallowed Hai Qiqi in one bite. 

When Lu Yin arrived, Hai Qiqi was fiercely attacking the fish, but to no avail. The fish’s eye was clearly about to open back up. 

“Move aside!” Lu Yin barked. He held the Arrow of Valiance in one hand as he dashed past Hai Qiqi and stabbed the arrow in and out of the fish’s eye. The creature trembled violently, and its body swayed for a moment before it quickly swam away. It had been injured by the arrow. 

“What did you use to attack it?” Hai Qiqi was puzzled, as she had not been able to see the Arrow of Valiance. 

Lu Yin stored it away in his ring. “Let’s go. I’ll see you through. Otherwise, you won’t even reach the Innerverse.” 

“There’s no need. You’ve started a grand project in the Outerverse, and things will be troublesome if you end up trapped in the Innerverse.” Hai Qiqi nonchalantly waved a hand. 

At that moment, the strange fish from before swam back and opened its mouth wide. It swallowed some of the liquified energy and swatted its tail.

Hai Qiqi was so frightened by its reappearance that she went pale.

That strange fish was as strong as an Enlighter, and it was not something that Hai Qiqi could deal with unless she triggered the Sea King’s strength within her body.

Lu Yin laughed and looked up at the fish as he watched it swim further away. “Let’s go, I’ll escort you.” 

Hai Qiqi rolled her eyes. “Don’t even dream of getting me to thank you, and you can simply forget about me giving my heart to you, as that’s impossible.” 

Lu Yin could not even be bothered to acknowledge her. 

Although the collapsible spacecraft had been damaged, it was still functional. Lu Yin and Hai Qiqi sat in it together as they traveled through the hole in the Astral Sea and headed to the Innerverse. 

As expected, they saw all sorts of strange creatures along their way. This was the Astral River, and there was no reason to be surprised no matter what manner of strange creatures one encountered in this place. Hai Qiqi was focused on returning to the Innerverse, and thus, she held no interest in these strange beasts. 

Half an hour later, Lu Yin saw open space once again; they had made it to the Innerverse. It had taken him four years, but he had returned to the Innerverse once again. 

Hai Qiqi grew excited, as she had finally returned. She had been searching for a way back for four years, and she had finally succeeded. 

At this time, close to the hole’s opening on the Innerverse’s side of the Astral River, a spacecraft exploded not too far away from where Lu Yin and Hai Qiqi were. There had been about a dozen people inside the vessel, and many of them died instantly since they were not able to survive in the vacuum of outer space. From their group, only four Explorers managed to survive. 

From behind them, a spacecraft sped towards the survivors. 

“Young Master, RUN! Hurry!” Among the four survivors, an older man grabbed a youth and threw him into the distance. The old man then dashed towards the approaching spacecraft by himself. “Sixth Mainland bastards, let’s fight to the death!” 

The other two survivors followed after the elder and hurried towards the approaching vessel.

That youth who had been flung away had bloodshot eyes, and he looked back, as if to deeply imprint this scene into his memory. 

There was a miserable shriek, and when the youth turned back again, the sight he saw made his pupils shrink. Two of his companions had already been reduced to puddles of blood that were already turning dark as they floated through space. 

The old man bellowed, “I’m an Enlighter! Who dares to act?”

A youth emerged from the spacecraft. There was a mocking expression on his face as he taunted the old man. “An Enlighter? Do you dare to use your full strength?” 

The elder’s face turned deathly white. Up above them, instead of the dark, endless expanse of space that normally existed, there was an unstable, boiling energy that emitted a threatening sense of fatal danger. This was precisely the reason why the old man did not dare unleash his true power. Still, he could not feel resentful towards this oppressive energy, this was the same energy that protected the Innerverse. Without it, the Sixth Mainland would have long since slaughtered their way through the entire Innerverse.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Choco

Edited By: Neshi/Nyxnox

TLC'ed By: OMA