Lu Yin headed to the center of the tower and climbed up the spiraling stone staircase. Flying was forbidden on these premises. A youth walked over just as he started the climb, looking at him curiously,“Where you going, bro?”
“Which floor is Gerbach on?” Lu Yin asked, attracting surprised glances in an instant.
“You’re looking for the Hall Master?” the youth was surprised.
“He’s looking for me.”
Everyone sized Lu Yin up at that moment, and a shorter man among the crowd glared at him. This was one of those from Yu Academy who’d gone to the trial on Earth and been robbed by Lu Yin; he had a very strong impression of the thief, and was one of the few who knew Lu Yin’s identity. He really wanted to cause trouble, but considering the identity of the King Zishan, it wasn’t worth it.
“He’s on the top floor,” the youth who’d blocked Lu Yin spoke up, clearing the way. Lu Yin thanked him and headed up.
As he climbed, Lu Yin found that some of the floors were completely empty. The higher he went, the fewer people there were as well. Nobody else stopped him on the way, and by the time he started seeing clouds, there was no other person at all. When he leapt up to the top floor, he found Gerbach with his back turned to him, staring at the fierce winds through a stone window. The young man’s back was ramrod straight and he radiated an aura of discipline; this was one of the strongest fighters of his generation in the Great Yu Empire, one of the hall masters of Yu Academy that people considered a monster.
As he thought to himself that Gerlaine and her brother looked quite alike, the youth in question suddenly turned and sent him a chilling glare that was like an arrow streaking through the sky.
“You took care of my sister during the trial,” Gerbach trained his eyes on Lu Yin. With his entire being straight as an arrow, he seemed quite overbearing. Each of the hall masters of Yu Academy seemed quite different. Tianming was gentle and polite, while Gerbach was incredibly fierce.
Lu Yin frowned but did not back down, “It’s all about survival of the fittest.”
Gerbach smirked, “Exactly. Since you know what, why did you help her?”
Lu Yin froze. Help her? When did he do that? Didn’t he rob her?
Gerbach said dryly, “Although the trial on Earth wasn’t a success, Gerlaine’s marks put her even in front of Eddy. I know my sister; it’s impossible for her to get there on her own. She helped you rob dozens of students to get ahead of everyone else.”
Lu Yin raised an eyebrow; it seemed like Gerlaine hadn’t told her brother that she was robbed as well. But that made sense; given her personality, she was someone who’d never admit to something shameful. And while Gerbach had high status in Yu Academy, that power did not extend outside this system; he couldn’t find out about the situation himself. This was all a glorious misunderstanding.
“Is that the reason why you’re not letting me learn the first twenty forms of the Skybeast Claw?” Lu Yin asked.
Gerbach directed his gaze outside the tower, “I just wanted to meet you. You might be the King Zishan, but you participated in the trials as a native. As a native, you defeated dozens of students, including the best of Yu Academy. It made me curious.”
He shifted his attention back to Lu Yin as he spoke, eyes filled with a desire to fight, “I’d like to know more about your strength. There are rumors that you can learn the Skybeast Claw just from battling someone using it; I don’t believe it.”
Lu Yin grinned, “Let’s try it out, then.”
Gerbach grunted in approval before suppressing his star energy to the level of a Sentinel, “Careful. Once I’m in battle mode, I don’t hold back.”
“Me neither,” Lu Yin answered, and the two charged towards each other at the same time. Fists clashed and shockwaves surged in all directions, both combatants retreating in tandem before darting back quickly. Gerbach truly didn’t hold back, launching a Skybeast Claw that was much stronger than Tyson’s. Even with Sentinel strength, the Hall Master could use battle techniques beyond most Melders.
Lu Yin seemed hesitant and stopped, eyes fixated on Gerbach’s Skybeast Claw. The five stars of his Cosmic Art formed their unique defensive forcefield, allowing him to see every little form of the attack. One, two, three… The attack consisted of fifteen forms, possessing terrifying power as a bestial cry resounded through the air. The surroundings almost froze in place, but Lu Yin’s eyes narrowed and his body curved unbelievably to dodge the attack that covered a hundred-meter area. All the strike accomplished was an enormous claw imprint on the ground.
“You actually managed to dodge that? Nice!” Gerbach looked at Lu Yin in shocked delight, but Lu Yin only frowned. He’d gotten to the ninth variation, but that wasn’t enough and he wanted to go again. The Hall Master obliged, trying to defeat Lu Yin with his attack, but Lu Yin managed to dodge every single one.
It was after the fifth exchange that Lu Yin’s eyes lit up; he’d gotten all fifteen. He raised an arm in the next instant, fingers curving as it shot towards a startled Gerbach. Gerbach fought back with the same attack, and the resulting rumble drew the attention of people even at the bottom of the tower.
Lu Yin and Gerbach retreated at the same time, leaving behind deep imprints in the ground. When the dust settled, a shocked Gerbach commented, “You really can copy… no, learn the Skybeast Claw on sight. Only five times and you got it.”
Lu Yin gasped hard, nursing his stinging hand. While the Melder had suppressed his star energy, the body was still the same. If he wanted to keep this going, he was certainly the one who’d lose.
“I didn’t think you really were such a genius. The Skybeast Claw is carved into the stone walls, and even the best of Yu Academy take ages to learn it. Some never manage to learn the fifteenth form in their lifetime, but you can do it like this,” Gerbach sighed in admiration.
Seeing no envy in the youth’s eyes, Lu Yin found himself liking this man even more, “I think this battle technique just suits me very well.”
Gerbach nodded and sighed ruefully, “Yes, one can learn a technique very quickly if it is suitable.”
“Do you want to keep going?” Lu Yin asked.
The corners of Gerbach’s lips curved up, “My best move isn’t the Skybeast Claw. Since I said I wanted a battle with you, it can’t end so easily. Be careful; I’ll use a technique that suits me next, so don’t blame me if you die.”
“Come at me,” Lu Yin answered, but he felt slightly apprehensive. Gerbach was a hall master after all, and at the peak of the Melder realm. His other battle techniques must be terrifying,
Gerbach grinned and a strange fruit appeared in his hand with lightning markings all over. This fruit was somewhat similar to an energy crystal, and it thundered as he crushed it, bolts of lightning scorching the ground and startling a few people as they flashed outside the window.
“The Hall Master is fighting? Who?”
“Could it be that person that just went up?”
“That’s impossible. That guy was just a Sentinel.”
As he saw the violent lightning, Lu Yin took several steps back subconsciously. This scene reminded him of Gerlaine’s armor, although that had been much more terrifying. Deciding not to wait, he shot out a Spacerender Palm with a cold look in his eyes.
Gerbach merely snorted, the lightning bursting forth with a wave. It tore apart the Spacerender Palm’s shockwaves and shot towards Lu Yin like an arrow, barely missing as he dodged. The wall behind him was pierced through and a searing shockwave pushed him aside, his body numbed by the electricity.
“This is my battle technique, Lightning Arrow. Let me see what you can do!” Gerbach shouted as he took one step forward. The lightning turned into a bow and arrow and was pointed at Lu Yin, sending a chill down his spine. It wasn’t just lightning that appeared before his eyes; there was another force approaching that he couldn’t even begin to fathom. The entire world became a sea of plasma that made an enemy of everything in its path.
Outside the tower, Bronsen solemnly stared up at the sky. So long as nobody was killed with intent, he couldn’t interfere in any battles at Yu Academy. He hoped the King Zishan wouldn’t die; hall masters were much more powerful than ordinary melders even after suppressing their strength.
Lu Yin stared hard at the approaching force amidst the lightning; the threat Gerbach currently posed to him far exceeded what he’d felt from Qingyu. Qingyu had been severely wounded, suppressed in energy and unable to use most battle techniques. Gerbach was different; with nothing holding him back, he could use even the Sentinel power to its limit. Seeing the approaching force, he knew he wouldn’t be able to avoid it. All he could do was raise a palm with five stars, activating the Cosmic Palm.
The entire tower rumbled.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Ying
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA