Chapter 1339: Merging |
There was another bang, and Lu Yin appeared above Xia Jiuyou's head. He slapped down a palm, and Xia Jiuyou coughed up more blood. This attack had taken most of Xia Jiuyou’s life.
The Nine Clones Technique gave the user nine lives, but Lu Yin had no intention of killing Xia Jiuyou, as that would not help anything. If Lu Yin wanted to, he could instantly eliminate Xia Jiuyou, but killing Xia Jiuyou was not the goal.
Xia Jiuyou collapsed halfway to his knees. His arms trembled, and he could barely support his own body. He maintained only the tiniest bit of his consciousness. He knew what Lu Yin was wanting to do, he was trying to knock Xia Jiuyou out cold to allow Xia Luo to absorb Xia Jiuyou instead of the reverse. Xia Jiuyou would rather die than be absorbed by Xia Luo.
"Brother Jiuyou, your hand’s broken." In his half-conscious state, Xia Jiuyou saw a child approaching. It was his younger brother, his own brother. He looked so cute, and he looked at Xia Jiuyou with so much admiration in his eyes.
Another child appeared, this one with the same appearance as Xia Jiuyou himself. It was Xia Jiuyou when he had been a child.
"A wound on your hand? Here, let Brother give it a small huff and puff and the pain will go away."
"Thank you, Brother."
A girl walked up behind Xia Jiuyou. "Brother, let's go! Let’s sneak out to play! I heard that people outside call us one of the Three Dark Hands! That’s so funny."
Xia Jiuyou blinked at her like a child. "The Three Dark Hands? What’s that mean?"
"It means we’re great, so how about we go bully people?"
"No, you old lady! Stop bullying people!"
"Hey, who turned you kind?"
"Brother Jiuyou, it’s very difficult to practice the Yōu Reinforced Palm."
"Brother Jiuyou, I'm hungry."
"Brother, my sister wants to play with you."
"Aren’t you Big Brother Jiuyou? You’re really amazing!"
"Brother Jiuyou is amazing!"
In a blink of an eye, the entire situation had changed. "Big Brother Jiuyou, kill me! The Xia family will only allow you to live."
"Brother Jiuyou, I don't want to die, but I want you to live, so say goodbye."
"Brother, remember me and live, no matter what."
Xia Jiuyou's eyes grew bloodshot as scenes from his past appeared. He was overcome with anguish. The memories of his brother and sister caused him to collapse, and tears combined with blood before falling from the corner of his eyes.
Ever since he had been old enough to understand, the Xia family had instilled in Xia Jiuyou to win by any means necessary. This was the reason why Xia Jiuyou had killed his brother, his sister, and everyone he had held dear, following his father's orders one step at a time.
Successfully cultivating the Nine Clones Technique had not only been a means for Xia Jiuyou to become stronger, but also a method to split his personality.
Each clone had broken away, one by one, and each one of the clones had taken away a portion of his empathy. In the end, Xia Jiuyou, who had been left alone, had been left with nothing but ruthlessness, deceit, and—weariness.
Lu Yin stared at Xia Jiuyou as the young man shed blood and tears. Xia Jiuyou’s pupils were unfocused and he was almost unconscious, so why were his eyes filled with so much pain and sadness at this moment?
Xia Luo approached and stood in front of Xia Jiuyou. "Xia Jiuyou is someone who is ruthless and unscrupulous. He is trying to become as invincible and powerful as Progenitor Chen, and if it’s something that will help him become stronger, he will ignore the rules, hide, and allow people to humiliate him. However, he is also very tired, and deep down in his heart, there is still a trace of his obsession with dying, which has been there since he was a child.
"To absorb him and replace him as the Xia family’s inheritor means that I am also taking on his obsession, as well as his pain."
Lu Yin’s eyes narrowed his eyes, and he thought of Ming Yan. Her white-haired personality had taken on all of Ming Yan's pain and sorrow, and it turned out that Xia Jiuyou's situation was exactly the same as hers.
"Truthfully, you also truly want to set down your burden. I will take it for you, so you can rest easy," Xia Luo stared into Xia Jiuyou's eyes as he spoke slowly. He spoke like he was hypnotizing Xia Jiuyou, but also like he was making a promise.
The last trace of Xia Jiuyou self-consciousness completely disappeared.
Lu Yin turned around and walked away.
Only Xia Luo and Xia Jiuyou stayed behind.
Even at the end, Lu Yin had never known Xia Jiuyou.
Everyone has a side to themselves that others did not know. In the Mountain and Seas Zone, Xia Jiuyou had suffered multiple defeats after he had appeared, and he had been mocked by others. At that time, who had known that everything had been in his control. He had later stepped onto the golden platform and proven himself to be one of the strongest people in the entire younger generation. He was brilliant, but he had sabotaged himself in a bid to win ZENITH.
Xia Jiuou had many faces, but it appeared that they had all been created by his own internal traumas.
Lu Yin remembered Jin He and Tong Zhan, both of whom he had personally killed. They had been his enemies, but had there also been an unknown side to them?
With a wry smile, Lu Yin lifted his head and let out a long sigh. He still over-thought things. This was the way of the universe. As long as there was life, there was a reason for existence and there would be an obsession to live. Lu Yin was no different, and this led to competition.
In a universe ruled by survival of the fittest, kindness was the least valuable commodity that existed. The only thing that a person could hope to preserve was a line they would not cross no matter what.
Off in the distance, Xiao Xuan and the others were blankly staring at Lu Yin as he approached. Lu Yin had returned to his normal appearance, and his face belonged to a person who had been obsessed over by Xiao Xuan and the others. Their idol was in front of them.
"Lu- Arbiter Lu!" Xiao Xuan squeaked in surprise.
All of the other students were also excitedly staring at Lu Yin. "Senior!"
Lu Yin was met by a similar scene to before. The last time, he had not been able to face the students, and this time he felt a little embarrassed. However, he had also just attacked someone, and he was feeling a bit down about it.
"Why are you here? This place is very dangerous," Lu Yin said.
Xiao Xuan was so excited that stars shone in her eyes. "Senior, you’re back? When? Did you come back to graduate?"
"Senior, I heard that you entered the Rain List right from the beginning, right? That’s so hard!"
"Senior, is it lonely being such a powerhouse?"
"Senior, what was that power you used during the last fight of ZENITH? You were so handsome, and so charming."
The corners of Lu Yin's mouth were pulled up, and he looked over at the girl who asked the last question. She had a great eye. "Cough, This place is very dangerous, so don't try to go any further and worry the mentors."
"Senior, when did you get back?" Xiao Xuan asked.
"A few days ago."
"We've been working up in the space station, but we didn’t see you. Ah, I remember now, you were the senior from Legend 1!" Xiao Xuan exclaimed, startling Lu Yin.
He did not deny her conclusion. "I needed to do something after coming back, so it’s best if I don’t say."
On the other side, a boy asked, "Senior, could you guide us? Teach us how to leave our name on the Rain List? We’ve stayed in the Rain Observatory for a whole year, yet we can’t even see the Rain List."
Lu Yin smiled and said, "In addition to trying to simply control star energy, there’s also the aspect of comprehension, which is understanding it. I’ll leave you with this: hold a wild flower in your hands and in doing so, the world."1
"Hold a wild flower in your hands and in doing so, the world?" These young students were all confused. This simple phrase had given them enough to think on for a lifetime.
The truth was that Lu Yin did not understand this phrase himself. Although he had reached the Worldliness realm of star energy control, he fell far behind Liquor Hero. She was a peerless talent who had truly understood the meaning of one flower, one world. She had used a single drop of wine to trap Bai Mai, and the bug had been unable to escape. Liquor Hero’s Creation realm of star energy control had also allowed her to simply absorb the various weapons that God Qingguang had created with Truesight. Liquor Hero’s star energy control was simply exquisite.
If possible, Lu Yin wanted to speak with her about how she had reached such an enigmatic realm of star energy control.
One girl was very excited, and she squeezed herself in front of Lu Yin. Her face was flushed and her eyes were full of admiration. "Senior, during ZENITH’s last fight when you singled out all of the top ten, why did that power make you so handsome? What kind of power is it?"
Everyone wanted to know what sort of power Lu Yin had used, and Lu Yin was absolutely certain if not for his own level of strength, there would be countless people from all parts of the universe who would want to capture him in order to find out about that power.
That energy had given Lu Yin the strength to overwhelm all of ZENITH’s top ten, even with powerhouses like Shang Qing. Not only that, Lu Yin had crushed all of the others. Such a power was truly monstrous, and even Lu Yin himself felt it was horrifying, especially since it was difficult to control.
"That power is something that I only managed to obtain by chance, and it would be difficult to use it again." Lu Yin did not want to share much information.
Still, it was pleasant to chat with his juniors. All of them were full of energy and curiosity towards the universe. They had a strong desire for adventure flowing from their hearts, though they had no idea what awaited them once they entered the universe.
Even with Lu Yin's talent and strength, he had nearly died multiple times, and he had truly died several times more.
The universe was a cruel place, and the competition within an academy, or the oppression felt from a powerful family was nothing more than the tip of the iceberg, and was truly nothing in the greater universe.
Confronted with a dozen pairs of eyes, each full of hope for the future, Lu Yin smiled gently. "Remember what Senior told you: no matter what you experience in the future, never give up hope, not even when facing unimaginable giants. There is a silver lining to everything in the universe, and maybe you’ll catch it, and maybe you won’t, but if you ever give up, it simply means an early end. Also,” At this point his smile grew a bit bigger. “Astral-10 is our home, so never forget our home.”
"Yes, Senior," everyone replied, each of them staring at Lu Yin with excitement and admiration. They had only briefly interacted with Lu Yin, but it had still greatly increased their respect for him.
"Alright, head on back. In the future, to go so deep into the ruins. It’s dangerous." Lu Yin waved a hand to dismiss the students.
"Goodbye, Senior!" All of these students implicitly believed Lu Yin's words, and decisively acted on them. In the blink of an eye, they were all gone, though their eyes were filled with reluctance.
Soon, Xia Luo walked out of the flames behind Lu Yin with a smile on his face.
Lu Yin turned around and looked at Xia Luo.
Neither of the two spoke, and instead they just looked at each other.
After a while, Xia Luo asked, "Brother Lu, why are you acting so hesitant?"
Lu Yin’s eyes narrowed. "Your gaze feels unfamiliar to me."
Xia Luo spread his hands. "It’s not that, but this is how merging works. Xia Jiuyou hasn’t disappeared, but rather our minds have merged. His feelings, as well as some of his attachments, have affected me. Still, I am the dominant one."
"So, are you the second Xia Jiuyou?" Lu Yin smiled.
Xia Luo smiled. "You can say that. Let's go. Elder Xia Meng is in a hurry."
Lu Yin nodded.
Outside of Astral-10, up in space, Xia Meng's face had become exceptionally gloomy, and she was quietly waiting.
She had not made any moves after the crazy headmaster had appeared. She had not been able to get into Astral-10, and her efforts had been futile. Hidden in the dark, the powerhouse sent by the Hall of Honor to protect Xia Jiuyou also remained still.
Several of Astral-10’s mentors were vigilantly keeping an eye on Xia Meng.
Old Cai was anxious. He did not know what had happened to Lu Yin and the others, and everyone was still worried about Xia Luo. After years together, Xia Luo was like a child in their hearts. They had never said anything, but their actions had spoken for them. Even with their strength, if it had not been for Xia Luo’s sake, not one of the mentors would have risked going up against Xia Meng, even with their strength.
Fortunately, Xia Meng was too powerful, and she had drawn the attention of the crazy headmaster. Otherwise, Xia Meng would have broken into Astral-10.
 This comes from the William Blake poem A Grain of Sand:
To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour. ☜
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