Star Odyssey - Chapter 31

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The chaotic fight showed Lu Yin that he could now defeat school leaders, but he didn’t get much time to bask in that fact before Zhang Dingtian raised his blade to kill both Parlie and Veron. He stopped the man immediately, “Wait, we can use these people as bargaining chips!”
Zhang Dingtian was confused, “Bargaining chips? With whom?”
“You should know that these students came to Earth for a trial. Although people can die in trials, the students who participate all have strong backgrounds; we can use them to negotiate with the higher-ups of the Great Yu Empire.”
Bai Xue looked at Lu Yin, “We’re going to use their lives to obtain Earth’s freedom?”
Lu Yin nodded, “Although this trial is supposed to evolve humanity, it’s actually a method for the Great Yu Empire to recruit warslaves. All earthling cultivators that aren’t chosen for other purposes are sent to battlefields, be they between the Great Yu Empire and other empires or between the galaxies controlled by different races. Those battlefields are far crueler than these trials; even Explorers won’t necessarily survive. These students can help us keep more people on Earth.
Zhang Dingtian silently sheathed his blade, while a twinge of sadness flashed across Bai Xue’s gaze. Humans had once thought they were the only intelligent beings in the universe, but all that had changed once they discovered that corpse on Neptune. Now they knew that Earth was just a primal planet under the surveillance of a large empire; so what if they could enter space, they were always caught under someone’s gaze. Moreover, they were currently facing something even scarier than mutant beasts and zombies; once the planetary trial was over, countless people would be sent to battlefields where perhaps even the Seven Sages would only be considered soldiers of decent ability.
Jeraldine stared at Lu Yin with surprise; she hadn’t known about such a plan at all. In fact, she’d never heard of a situation where natives asked the Great Yu Empire for anything, forget negotiations using high-ranking children as hostages. She was certain that he was only digging his own grave with it, but somewhere in the back of her mind she also felt like it just might work. After all, Veron’s background was quite decent; he had a relative in the Thirteen Imperial Squadrons.
“Cough, you, you’re such a simpleton. The Great Yu Empire is known for military discipline, we won’t be cowed by mere natives!” Parlie taunted from the side.
Lu Yin glanced at him, “You don’t need to worry about anything, just stay alive to be our bargaining chips.”
Parlie just sneered; it was clear that these natives were clueless about the reality of the Great Yu Empire. However, Bai Xue looked at Lu Yin in surprise. After all, even though it might be useful to catch students trying to negotiate with the Great Yu Empire, this would doubtlessly endanger the youth himself, maybe to the point of death. Did he have some hidden backers? No one helped others at the cost of their own lives. Her caution only rose.

BANG! A loud explosion from the north sank Zhang Dingtian’s heart in an instant, and he shouted as he rushed towards the source, “NO, THE RESEARCH CENTER!”
Two figures flew away to the west, figures that Parlie recognized at first glance, “Eddy, Hayden.”
The Bladesage shot into the sky in pursuit, but two more people joined the escapees from another direction. He turned grim as the energy from his body set the air off buzzing, all energy seemingly vanishing into his raised blade. It felt like this one strike would split the Earth.
Lu Yin watched with amazement as the attack blasted the skies apart, drowning out all sound. He wondered whether it was a battle technique for a moment, but he knew that wasn’t the case; this was simply the man’s strongest attack.
Eddy and the other students in the west were stunned by the attack and how deeply Zhang Dingtian had hidden his true strength. While the slash was not a battle technique, it closely resembled one and was truly terrifying.
“Don’t wait, run!” Eddy called out in an instant, and Gerlaine and Balaror nearby were surprised as well, “This guy is nuts! Run!”
The Bladesage’s slash split the sky as it crashed towards the trainees out west, shocking the people in Beijing as it distorted the air all around. Eddy, Hayden, Gerlaine, and Balaror stopped and turned around, bracing themselves for the incoming attack that split into five separate energy waves. When the aftershocks finally disappeared, a shocked Eddy was the only one who was relatively fine. Hayden’s black robes had been torn apart to reveal the scales covering his upper body, the blood on his lips shining under the sun. Gerlaine was panting as she stared at Zhang Dingtian, while Balaror had spat out a mouthful of blood entirely. His skin had noticeably turned greener, and there were some cracks all over his body.
“Go!” Eddy cried out, rushing west once more. Hayden took one more look before following reluctantly, followed by the silent duo behind him. An impressive Zhang Dingtian floated heroically in the sky, cheered on by the masses at having sent four students running with one attack.
Lu Yin’s eyes narrowed in excitement and inspiration. How much stronger would his Cosmic Palm be when he got to three stars? Would he be able to beat this? Bai Xue simply heaved a sigh of relief, smiling softly; the Head of the Seven Sages had shown his prowess once more.
Jeraldine was left dumbfounded at the presence of a realmbreaker among the natives, while Parlie and Veron watched with awe; this was someone stronger than the vast majority of Sentinels in the Great Yu Empire. They realized their error in underestimating this man; if they had known, they would certainly have avoided the capital before.
Zhang Dingtian flew north to check the Research and Development Center, while Lu Yin and Bai Xue rushed to catch up to him; this was one of the most important places in China. Jeraldine grabbed the two captive students and followed behind.
The Research and Development Center was in the northern part of Beijing, and was where the corpse recovered from Neptune had originally been stored. Lu Yin didn’t know why senior management had decided to transfer it to an unknown location, but a huge explosion in the process had triggered the subsequent Apocalypse. The Research and Development Center was very much the origin of everything that had happened. Parlie and Veron had only considered checking Zhang Dingtian’s residence and Number One’s office, but hadn’t thought to check the Research and Development Center that Eddy had targeted.
Arriving at the Center, the group saw wreckage and corpses everywhere, causing Zhang Dingtian to clench his fists before sending soldiers to block off the area and search for any survivors. However, one guard ran up and interrupted him, “Bladesage, President Lian wants to meet you.”
“The President is alive?” Zhang Dingtian clearly grew delighted, following the man right away to a small hollow a few kilometers away from the wreckage. This was the entrance to the Center’s basement, and within the cordoned-off area was an old man in a white coat who was leaning against a wall drinking water. Beside him was a beautiful woman in a black business suit, and the Bladesage questioned her anxiously, “Huansha, how is the President?”
“He’s fine, he was only startled,” the woman replied.
“What nonsense, I wasn’t startled,” the old man grumbled, “I only sprained my ankle.”
Huansha smiled, “Yes, yes, you only sprained your ankle.”
Zhang Dingtian looked to the old man as Lu Yin and the others arrived, “Mr. President, what happened?”
Bai Xue gave Lu Yin an odd look as she saw him rifle through Parlie and Veron’s cosmic rings, confiscating everything of value. There was technically nothing wrong with this— he had contributed to that battle and there was no chance he would waste the loot— but the scene left her perplexed. The youth himself was excited to discover an entire cube of star crystals, which left him anticipating the next use of his die.
President Lian had Zhang Dingtian disperse the troops and even sent Huansha away, leaving only Bai Xue, Lu Yin, and Jeraldine with the two leaders. Lu Yin soon asked Jeraldine to move away, which she only complied with after a glare from him; Eddy had clearly discovered something here, and she wanted to know what it was too. Bai Xue stared at Lu Yin in a similar manner, hinting for him to leave, but he blatantly ignored her and looked at President Lian with curiosity.
“Who are you?” the President asked.
“Zhou Shan’s representative,” Lu Yin answered, leaving the woman speechless.

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