Star Odyssey - Chapter 35

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“You really are the strongest of the Seven Sages. I’ll see you soon!” Silver retreated a few steps, turning around and rushing away. Zhang Dingtian was about to send a slash behind him, but stopped as he realized that he was fleeing in the direction of Bai Xue. Ice formed everywhere as the Water Sage stretched out her palm to confront him, but he simply laughed in mockery as his butterfly sword shattered the ice with ease, leaving her helpless as the blade stabbed towards her neck. She resigned herself to death, but watched the youth redirect the attack in surprise as a starry palm blocked the way.
Lu Yin had used the Roving Step to barely appear in front of Bai Xue in time, threatening Silver with a counter-attack that forced him to change targets. The air trembled as the two attacks met, the astral explosion blasting Bai Xue away and shattering the ground. Shockwaves spread out in all directions and filled the room with a cloud of dust; by the time it cleared, Lu Yin was still in place but the silver-haired youth had disappeared from sight. Fewer than ten seconds had passed from Zhang Dingtian’s injury to this point; leaving the nearby soldiers with no time to react.
“Are you alright?” Lu Yin asked as he stepped out of the debris.
Bai Xue was shaken by that touch of death; the delicate blade had effortlessly torn through her defences and threatened her life. This was the first time she’d felt such fear since becoming one of the Seven Sages. It took her a moment to nod, “Thank you.”
Lu Yin then turned to look at Zhang Dingtian, “You’re hurt.”
“I’ll be fine,” the Bladesage touched the wound on his neck, the blood shocking the soldiers who had just arrived. They couldn’t believe that the strongest of the Seven Sages had been injured, but he himself was more confused to see Lu Yin, “Why did you come here?”
Lu Yin looked at his palm, “I was curious. I wanted to know who the murderer was.”
Zhang Dingtian answered, “It was the guy who just left.”
“I know,” Lu Yin replied. He looked at Zhang Tian’s wounded neck and frowned. He had seen the entire process of Silver’s attack, and was quite astonished by the Bladesage’s perception to be able to avoid that attack at such close range without using any battle techniques. He had to admit that he could have done no better in the same situation. However, what truly intrigued him was how Silver had managed to hide his aura so completely. While most students could somewhat accomplish that to avoid scanners, Zhang Dingtian had almost let him get close enough to kill him in one blow.
“Why was he targeting you?” Bai Xue asked.
Zhang Dingtian narrowed his eyes, “I’m not sure, I’ve never met him before. The only possibility that comes to mind is that he doesn’t want the zombies killed.”
That comment hit Lu Yin hard; this attempt proved his previous guesses that Silver was connected to the zombie kings somehow. This also meant that Silver wasn’t really paying attention to the trial’s mission, but was instead worried about keeping the zombies alive. The youth was a complete puzzle; although some assumptions could be made, there was only so much that could be learnt from a single assassination attempt.

“Pass down orders to keep killing the zombies for 24 hours,” Zhang Dingtian suddenly commanded. Since it was impossible to capture someone that fast and sneaky, he would simply suppress news of the attack and redouble his efforts at eliminating the zombie horde. He quickly set about hiring even independent cultivators to join in on the task.
Time flew by, and soon there was only a month until the next group of students arrived. Numerous fights had broken out all over Europe in the meanwhile, but there was no news of the criminal’s capture. One day, Lu Yin’s gadget activated automatically and beeped as it sent him an announcement.
“Dear Students.
The grace period has now drawn to a close; location tracking can no longer be disabled on your gadgets, and your positions will be openly available. Please finish your missions as soon as possible.
Good luck.”
This message would cause the trial to become even more cut-throat. The first batch of students had already been on Earth for two months, and this time had been considered a safe period when they could hide their battle ability and just look for rare herbs or minerals in order to improve their results, but now that this period was over, everyone’s location would be publicly broadcasted unless they got rid of their gadget entirely. Lu Yin sighed, gazing at the sky. The true trial was now starting, and hiding was no longer a possibility. The last two months could also be considered an opportunity for the people of Earth to fight the students for resources; this was what the greater universe considered a fair opportunity for evolving planets.
“There’s quite a few,” he mumbled to himself. Vesta’s gadget finally connected to the net for the first time, showing a model of Earth with the locations of every single student. The pods he’d seen in Jinlin had only been a small fraction of the total number; he now saw nearly a hundred students in Asia, with more in Europe, Africa, the Americas, and even some all the way in Antarctica. However, most of the students were currently centered around a spot near the Mediterranean Sea.
As he looked through the map, a message suddenly popped up on top, “The Tianzhu Monk of Earth has defeated Hayden.”
Lu Yin was surprised by this; were battle results also going to be announced now?
This information startled many other students as well. Hayden was known to be the strongest in his school, so a native defeating him was stunning, especially for common students like Jeraldine. Top students were often considered unbeatable, and this defeat made them consider the risks of this trial much more seriously. Although the Great Yu Empire held many trials every few months, it was rare for a top student to be defeated anywhere. The strongest natives of typical planets weren’t even Sentinels, ensuring that those like Hayden were invincible.
Another message quickly appeared, “Eddy has defeated the Tianzhu Monk.”
This piqued Lu Yin’s interest; why would Eddy and Hayden visit Tianzhu? Jeraldine anxiously sought out Lu Yin, “Now that the trial has officially started, you can see everyone’s location on the map and can contact them, too. You’re aware of this, right?”
Lu Yin’s heart sank, “You can contact each other?”
She nodded, “The students come from all over the Great Yu Empire so most of us don’t know each other, which is why so few people contacted each other over the past two months. Whatever, the important bit is that someone already released news that the criminal left something important in Beijing that he’ll come back to retrieve.”
Lu Yin’s gaze turned cold, “Who?”
Jeraldine shook her head, “I don’t know, the net only shows the positions of the gadgets, not their users.”
Lu Yin ran through the possible suspects in his mind, but the only people who knew that the criminal had left something in the capital were the Seven Sages, President Lian, and himself. Not even Eddy had known about it, so now that the news had been leaked, Zhang Dingtian and Bai Xue would absolutely suspect him.
Surely enough, an energy wave swept through the area very soon. Lu Yin flew into the sky and saw Zhang Dingtian and Bai Xue, saying immediately, “I wasn’t the one who leaked the information.”
“Convince me,” the Bladesage glared at him.
Lu Yin narrowed his eyes in thought before ordering Jeraldine, “Announce that the criminal hid something in Tianzhu, which is why Eddy and Hayden were there. It was also why the Tianzhu Monk was able to beat Hayden.”
Jeraldine instantly complied.
“That won’t slow them down for long,” Zhang Dingtian said.
“I’m demonstrating my sincerity; it’s up to you whether you believe me or not.”
Zhang Dingtian inhaled deeply, clenching his blade. He wanted to capture this only outsider who knew the secret, but Lu Yin was too strong for him to be confident in victory.
“Let us check your gadget,” Bai Xue remained skeptical.
“Who the hell do you think you are?” Lu Yin shouted, “Come take it from me if you dare!”
“You!” Bai Xue was exasperated. She had wanted to give Lu Yin a chance to prove his innocence since he saved her life, but he was too stubborn.
“There are a total of nine people who were aware of this secret. I’m in the capital, so why would I say something that would bring trouble to myself like an idiot? Even if I had ulterior motives for being here, I would still keep my mouth shut,” Lu Yin said coldly.

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