Star Odyssey - Chapter 7

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Lu Yin knew what Zhou Shan said was true. The Seven Sages of China were worth less than ants in the greater universe, the so-called Realm of Sky outmatched even by many students across the myriad stars. Out there, this stage was known as the Sentinel, only the second stage of training.
The stages of cultivation in the universe started with the Seeker, cultivators who were first starting to look for their paths like helpless chicks. Next came the Sentinel, when they explored the power of the human body. Third was Melder, when one would grow in strength and even reach the limits of the human body. The fourth stage was known as Limiteer, when one broke through the limits of the human body. Beyond this was the Explorer, those who could travel through space all on their own. Someone at this stage could collapse the mountains of earth with a single wave of their hands. However, even such powerhouses could not create formcast models. There was no end to the path of cultivation, but people who had trained with energy crystals like Zhou Shan would find it nearly impossible to even become an Explorer. The stronger one became, the more they would realize their own insignificance.
“Ah, why am I getting all philosophical with you? Let’s go watch the fun. Zhao Yu should be sparring with one of the captains right now.” Zhou Shan smiled and led Lu Yin out of the meeting room. They arrived atop the plaza without further conversation, watching through the glass pane as another captain lost a bout to Zhao Yu. The girl’s clothes weren’t even ruffled yet, but she was still swift and decisive in her attacks. Lu Yin had experienced all this before, but now it was Feng Hong’s turn to receive her assault.
Zhou Shan looked down and shook his head, “There are strong and weak cultivators at every stage, and the gap can be huge. Zhao Yu can easily defeat my captains even without using any battle techniques.”
“Her technique relies on some sort of plant,” Lu Yin commented as he stared down.
Zhou Shan laughed, “Of course. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Snow Maidens or the Water Sage herself, they all rely on external objects to use the Frost Palm. The human body is unable to conjure something like that on its own.”
Lu Yin’s eyes narrowed at the foolishness of that statement, but he kept quiet. Powerful battle techniques could even alter nature; it was just that people with such skills didn’t exist on Earth. His own Cosmic Art could even imitate the movements of celestial bodies, though no one would believe him even if he told them.
Feng Hong’s defeat came quickly, followed by two more captains consecutively being trounced as well. Eventually, no one else was willing to challenge the Snow Maiden, who matched gazes with everyone around her, “I was told all the captains here are capable, why aren’t any of you willing to spar with me?”
Feng Hong and the other captains grimaced, but Zhou Shan just laughed from above the plaza, “The Water Sage’s three disciples are said to be invincible within the Realm of Earth. That certainly seems to ring true!”

Zhao Yu looked up and stared straight at Lu Yin, crooking her finger at him. Feng Hong and the others were surprised, but Lu Yin raised a brow at this open provocation.
Zhou Shan grinned, “It seems like she’s not convinced that you defeated her yesterday.”
“Yesterday didn’t have a clear winner,” Lu Yin answered.
Zhou Shan agreed, “Then just go and face her, we can’t embarrass ourselves.”
Lu Yin nodded and left the room.
The hundreds of cultivators in the plaza were discussing the previous matches, most of them amazed by Zhao Yu’s might. Having defeated multiple captains in a row, she had quickly become a goddess to these soldiers. However, said goddess breathed in deeply as she saw Lu Yin approaching, taking the upcoming fight seriously. She still couldn’t accept what had happened the day before; despite initially holding the upper hand, she had been defeated by a single battle technique. She wanted to observe that skill once more…
Feng Hong went out of his way to approach Lu Yin and warn him, “Be careful, Brother Lu, this woman can use a battle skill called the Frost Palm that is very strong.”
Lu Yin nodded and headed towards Zhao Yu, “Please begin.”
Zhao Yu leaped up with her hand raised, using a dagger in the exact same manner she had next to the landing site. A blast of cold sliced through the air, but this time Lu Yin evaded it with ease. He was completely different from the day before; yesterday he had merely been a human with a strong body, but today he was a cultivator who had already entered the Realm of Earth!
Despite the carefree evasion, Feng Hong was anxious since Zhao Yu’s attacks kept speeding up. There was a freezing energy coming off the dagger that quickly dropped the temperature in the vicinity, the very earth fracturing as she spun around like a whirlwind. This Snow Maiden’s pressure blasted the walls and even suppressed the breathing of some cultivators around. However, Lu Yin merely observed for a while before he lifted an arm and rushed forward, leaving a dazed Zhao Yu behind. She looked at her empty hands; her dagger was now with him.
Feng Hong was shocked at first, but that quickly changed to excitement, “That was great, Brother Lu!”
“Brother Lu, you did great.” “Yes!” Others echoed from the crowd as well.
Lu Yin turned to face Zhao Yu and casually tossed the dagger back, “Do you want to go again?”
Zhao Yu stared at Lu Yin, “How did you do that?”
Lu Yin shrugged, “I’m quick and have a good eye.”
Bullshit, everyone thought instantly.
“Fine,” Zhao Yu shook her head, “You win. You disarmed me before I could so much as touch you; there shouldn’t be anyone in the Realm of Earth who can match you.”
Lu Yin laughed, these people were too isolated. Seekers of their caliber who had no proper battle skills were innumerable amongst the dregs of the various academies in the universe. That being said, she was still right in a way. There was no Seeker on Earth who could defeat him.
Zhao Yu sheathed her dagger despondently before realizing that there was something different about Lu Yin from the day before, “You, was your energy used up yesterday?!”
Lu Yin couldn’t be bothered to explain and just turned around to leave, planning to head out and see if the thing he was searching for could be found in the mountains or some other hidden area. The Snow Maiden desperately wanted to ask him about his battle technique, but she couldn’t bring herself to call out to him. Such arts were personal, and she had no right to ask.
Feng Hong and the other captains were still dazed by Lu Yin’s strength. They hadn’t ever doubted that he’d killed an alien, but all of them had conveniently forgotten that even injured, that was someone in the Realm of Sky.
While Lu Yin was officially made a captain yesterday, it was only now that the camp gave him any power; he had been assigned 100 soldiers to serve under him. As he walked out from Zhongshan, he summoned a young cultivator with a wave of his hand.
“Do you have any orders, Sir?” the youth asked.
“Do you know where the old gun store in Nanjing is?”
“It’s to the northwest.”
Lu Yin took out a map, “Mark it out for me.”
The soldier took out a pen and circled a place on the map. Lu Yin took a look, “You can go back, I’ll explore a bit on my own.”
The soldier hesitated, “Sir, the gun store was destroyed even before the Apocalypse. The few remaining ballistics were moved out as well. If you need one, you can ask the Executioner.”
“I understand. You can go back now.” Lu Yin nodded, but still walked towards the northwest alone. It was true that the soldiers answered to him, but they were also here to keep an eye on him. Fortunately, he didn’t plan to hide his movements anyway; what he was searching for was extremely well-hidden, and it was pointless to search at random. With the strength he had shown, there would be minimal opposition to his advance. In fact, someone could even step forth to help him find what he wanted.
His assumption was indeed correct. A short while after he left, Zhou Shan paused at a report he’d received, “The weapon storehouse? Why is he heading there?”
The woman adjusted her glasses, “It has already been destroyed, and he knows this. We know he’s looking for something, but we don’t know what.”
“Leave him be, we dont have any secrets here,” Zhou Shan smiled.
Zhongshan was the center of Nanjing, and the closer an area was to the mountain, the safer it was. The urban regions had thus descended into chaos, with people living on the streets and even in the river as they cowered in fear from the zombies outside. However, there were some people who actually celebrated this anarchy. They were no longer restrained by societal morals and gave in to every whim that crossed their minds. Lu Yin had seen many cultivators bullying the survivors, and there was no way for the soldiers to keep everyone in line. Uncertainty was the state of the entire world, but he understood that this was the steep price to be paid whenever a planet was to evolve.
The gloomy sky soon gave way to heavy rain, a mix of blood and water flowing in the streets. Lu Yin quickly found a restaurant that seemed clean and took a seat. Even the entrance was crowded here, but not with people wanting to get in. On the few occasions where leftovers were brought out to be thrown into the trash, the people would riot for the food.
“Stay away from me!” the waiter, clearly a cultivator himself, scolded the crowd as he tossed them a pail of trash, “And wash the bucket before you return it, or I’m giving this to someone else next time.”

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