Star Odyssey - Chapter 1929
Lu Yin’s eyes flickered. With both Extremes Must Be Reversed and the power of time, it would indeed be incredibly difficult for Progenitor Ku to be killed. In fact, Lu Yin himself had already questioned whether the Progenitor might still be alive. Lu Yin had been able to use Extremes Must Be Reversed to overcome Progenitor Chen’s innate gift, Heaven’s Furnace, and he had used the accumulated power to instantly defeat a fusion of eight of Progenitor Chen’s clones with a single attack. Lu Yin really could not imagine what could possibly kill Progenitor Ku, especially since the man had once controlled one of the Nine Mountains and Eight Seas. The power that the Progenitor had to wield was something that Lu Yin could not even imagine.
The next day, Lu Yin met with Hui Zhi on his own.
While Hui Kong was the Hui family’s ancestor and held the status of an elder, there were certain things that Lu Yin did not want to share with his sworn brother. After all, elders were different from a family’s patriarch, and most families were not like the Xia family where the position of patriarch held no power at all. In the case of the Xia family, Xia Ji was simply too oppressive. Hui Kong did not have a similar personality at all.
“Alliance Leader Lu, if you have anything that you need to say to my Hui family, you can just speak to Elder Hui Kong, and he can make any necessary decisions.” Hui Zhi poured a cup of tea for Lu Yin as he politely addressed the young man.
Lu Yin shook his head. “Personal relationships need to be kept clear from business matters. My relationship with Brother Hui doesn’t have anything to do with your Hui family.”
Hui Zhi smiled. “In that case, what is it that you wish to speak to the Hui family about, Alliance Leader Lu?”
Lu Yin picked up his teacup. “The imitations that you produce are far different from the true Roots of Intelligence.”
Hui Zhi shrugged. “I’m sorry, Alliance Leader Lu, but I can’t offer you any authentic Roots of Intelligence. If we had any at all, Elder Hui Kong would not hold back with you.”
“I know.” Lu Yin put his teacup back down. “But does the Hui family really have no true Roots of Intelligence?”
Hui Zhi hesitated as he picked up his own teacup. He took a sip and then indifferently replied, “No.”
“Brother Hui Kong mentioned to me that when he left the Hui family many years ago, his family still had some Roots of Intelligence. Years ago, when I first heard of them, I was told that the Hui family should have some real Roots of intelligence. Your Hui family has the impressive lineage of being the descendants of Progenitor Hui, so is it really possible that you have no Roots of Intelligence?” Lu Yin casually asked.
Hui Zhi laughed and then looked at Lu Yin. “Are you suspecting me or Elder Hui Kong of lying to you, Alliance Leader Lu?”
“There’s no way my brother’s aware of anything, as he would simply give me a root if there was one,” Lu Yin replied.
Hui Zhi twitched. “Still, my Hui family has no true Roots of Intelligence.”
Lu Yin let out a long breath. “I’m happy to hear you say that, regardless of whether it’s simply because you’re worried Brother Hui Kong would simply give me one or because you truly don’t have any.”
Hui Zhi said nothing, though he also did not deny Lu Yin’s suspicions.
No one could blame the man. Hui Kong really was a generous man, and it was absolutely possible for him to simply give Lu Yin a true Root of Intelligence. Such a gift would be a terrible loss for the Hui family, but there was also no way for Hui Zhi to object to anything that Hui Kong did, so denying the existence of any Roots of Intelligence was really the patriarch’s only option.
“Patriarch, have you ever drank tea made with a true Root of Intelligence?” Lu Yin suddenly asked.
Desire flashed across Hui Zhi’s eyes, and he mournfully shook his head as he let out a sigh. “Of course I’ve never had the opportunity.”
“Then let me propose a deal to you, Patriarch. I’ve heard that heart of teardust is needed in order to grow true Roots of Intelligence, and I just happen to have some,” Lu Yin casually mentioned as he held his teacup.
Across from him, Hui Zhi was left stunned, and he stared at Lu Yin in disbelief. “What did you just say? You have heart of teardust?”
Lu Yin pulled out the Enhanced teardust from his cosmic ring to show the man.
While Lu Yin was not entirely certain that the Enhanced teardust had actually been upgraded to heart of teardust, it was clearly different from normal teardust.
Hui Zhi looked at the jewel-like teardust that Lu Yin had taken out, and the older man’s eyes went wide. Each individual piece looked like a work of art, and each was a perfect sphere. The entire pile together had a beautiful and shimmering appearance. “Yes, this is indeed heart of teardust, but…”
Lu Yin arched a brow. But? Was something wrong?
“But why is there so much of it?” Hui Zhi was in utter disbelief. He looked as if he had just seen a ghost as he blankly stared at Lu Yin. “While I don’t know how much heart of teardust Progenitor Hui gathered in the past, from both our records and our own research, it’s impossible for so much heart of teardust to appear at once.”
Lu Yin indifferently replied, “Someone else gathered this long ago. I just picked it up.”
This was the only explanation that he offered.
Hui Zhi stared at Lu Yin intently for a moment as he reviewed everything that his family had learned about Lu Yin.
Rumors had started to circulate about Lu Yin as far back as when the Outerverse and Innerverse had first been separated. At that time, Enlighters had tried to suppress Lu Yin, but he had revealed one treasure after another, whether they were power vessels, natural treasures, or some other valuable item. Everything that Lu Yin had revealed had allowed him to turn certain defeat into victory, and there had been a veritably endless stream of various items. Many people had started to wonder where Lu Yin could have acquired so many treasures, and many were certain that he must have received the full inheritance of some ancient and very powerful organization.
However, Lu Yin had risen from the Outerverse. What kind of powerful ancient inheritance could he have acquired in such a place?
This had led nearly every organization in the entire universe to send people into the Great Eastern Alliance to try to uncover the truth of the matter, but all of them had failed. According to Hui Zhi’s analysis of the matter, this was most likely because the inheritance that Lu Yin had obtained most likely did not come from the Outerverse, but was rather something along the lines of a hidden world.
Regardless of where Lu Yin went, he always had power vessels that allowed him to fight against more powerful opponents. There was no end to the treasures that he had revealed, and the flow had never stopped regardless of where Lu Yin traveled. There was only one possible explanation, and that was that he carried everything that he possessed with him at all times.
It was impossible to do that with a mere cosmic ring, and he had only been given Zenith Mountain after winning ZENITH, which meant that the mountain was not the hidden world that Lu Yin used. The only possibility was that Lu Yin had received a complete inheritance and that it included a massive and powerful hidden world.
It was also highly likely that this hidden world had a connection to Lu Yin’s desire for star essence.
It made no sense at all for such a talented cultivator to treat mere wealth as something as important as their life.
This summarized the Hui family’s assumptions regarding Lu Yin.
Also, the Hui family had never shared their analysis of Lu Yin with anyone at all.
Still, it was possible that the Hui family was not the only power to have arrived at such conclusions, but it was impossible for any other organization to have verified anything either. Everyone wanted proof, but there was no opportunity to do so.
Lu Yin had climbed too high too fast, and at his current heights, even Semi-Progenitor would find it difficult to deal with the youth.
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“Alliance Leader Lu, what sort of deal do you hope to make?” Hui Zhi looked up at Lu Yin as he asked this question. The patriarch forcefully suppressed his desire for the heart of teardust in front of him.
However, regardless of how calmly the man acted, Lu Yin was able to sense his desire. For the Hui family, heart of teardust was as priceless as a secret technique. No, the material was even more priceless as heart of teardust represented a possibility to grow true Roots of Intelligence. This was the family’s greatest wish throughout their entire existence. If they were able to produce authentic Roots of Intelligence, then the Hui family’s status would completely transform, and the entire universe would try to ingratiate themselves with the family.
Even a tiny bit of heart of teardust presented infinite possibilities to the Hui family.
The corners of Lu Yin’s mouth curled upwards. “I would like to know just what the Hui Family can offer me.”
Hui Zhi and Lu Yin stared at each other. The young man was not merely a gifted cultivator, but also someone who stood at the absolute peak of power in the universe. It was possible that the Hui family could not afford what Lu Yin wanted from them.
“What is it that you want, Alliance Leader Lu? A true Root of Intelligence?” Hui Zhi asked.
Lu Yin replied, “That’s a given condition to any deal. I’d accept three Roots of Intelligence for half of this heart of teardust.”
“Three roots? Alliance Leader Lu, you’re overestimating things. If my Hui family actually had three Roots of Intelligence, why would we hide it? Given the friendship between Elder Hui Kong and yourself, why not just offer you a single root?” Hui Zhi retorted.
Lu Yin pursed his lips and then began to go down the emotional path. “Patriarch, there’s no need to speak of such things. I’ll explain this matter to Brother Hui Kong myself. However, if your Hui family genuinely respected him as you claim, then you won’t hide this matter regarding the Roots of Intelligence. You may be willing to lie to him, but I’m not. After we conclude our negotiations, I will speak to him about this matter, but I won’t say anything yet, as I don’t want my brother to get trapped in the middle.”
Hui Zhi’s brows rose. “Regardless, three roots is simply too many. Alliance Leader Lu, I’ll be blunt. My Hui family does not have three true Roots of Intelligence, and even if we did, you want to offer us only half of the heart of teardust that you brought’ve out for three of them? Don’t you feel that that’s a bit too much?”
Lu Yin smiled. “Patriarch, you just mentioned that this is a great amount of heart of teardust, even compared to the amount that Progenitor Hui was able to gather. Tell me, how many Roots of Intelligence did Progenitor Hui leave behind? Ten? Twenty? A hundred? I can only imagine just how many Roots of Intelligence can be grown from this much heart of teardust.”
“Earlier, my comment was intended to refer to how it’s impossible to acquire so much heart of teardust at a single time. That’s simply beyond anyone’s control. Still, given Progenitor Hui’s abilities, even if he was not able to gather this much at once, he was still able to find heart of teardust twice, thrice, and possibly even countless times. Progenitor Hui cultivated the Roots of Intelligence, and he possessed an endless amount of teardust and heart of teardust,” Hui Zhi countered. He had just realized that Lu Yin was as cunning as a fox, and he would latch on to any flaw, even if it was revealed in a single word.
Lu Yin sneered. “Patriarch, you’re wasting your breath, as your earlier reaction confirmed my conjectures. This is a tremendous amount of heart of teardust, which means that it’s up to you whether or not you want to make this deal. If you don’t want to, then just forget it.”
“Alliance Leader Lu, this heart of teardust is useless to you. Do you know how to grow Roots of Intelligence?” Hui Zhi asked softly.
Lu Yin boldly replied, “Brother Hui Kong will teach me.”
Hui Zhi was left speechless. Given their ancestor’s personality, he would absolutely be willing to share such information with Lu Yin. The entire Hui family had realized that they needed to treat Lu Yin as though he were their ancestor’s own son.
“Alliance Leader Lu, three Roots of Intelligence is simply too much. My family really doesn’t have that much. I can also tell you in complete honesty that there is no other place in the Fifth Mainland that possesses a true Root of Intelligence, and that includes even the Hall of Honor,” Hui Zhi said.
Lu Yin arched a brow. “Patriarch, are you trying to use a Root of Intelligence to threaten me?”
“Aren’t you doing the same to me with the heart of teardust?” Hui Zhi shot back.
The two fell silent for a while, but it was not long before Lu Yin’s eyes rose back up to stare at Hui Zhi. “Because of Brother Hui Kong, I’ll reduce it to two Roots of Intelligence, as well as 20 billion star essence.”
Hui Zhi nearly spat out his tea into Lu Yin’s face. 20 billion star essence was a tremendous sum. Even though it was an amount that his Hui family could pay, the new terms that Lu Yin was offering was essentially setting the value of a single true Root of Intelligence at 20 billion star essence. Was this a reasonable price? It was impossible to say.
For a normal cultivator, a root would never be worth such a price. Forget 20 billion star essence—a true Root of Intelligence would not even be worth 200 million star essence. After all, the roots were not secret techniques, and they could only be used to make a tea, of which there would only be three sips. This tea could allow a person to comprehend whatever they put their minds to, but that also depended entirely on the person in question. For a genius like Shang Qing, the price might be reasonable. After all, the deeper a person’s foundation was, the greater the value a true Root of Intelligence would hold for them.
This was particularly true for Semi-Progenitors, as they needed to comprehend the path that they needed to take to become a Progenitor. This placed the value of a Root of Intelligence far higher than 20 billion star essence for such people.
However, the Hui family was not being offered the chance to buy Roots of Intelligence, but rather the heart of teardust, and they were also being told to pay two Roots of Intelligence for just half of the heart of teardust in Lu Yin’s possession. Hui Zhi did not know how to negotiate with Lu Yin.
Hui Zhi took a sip of his tea and then helplessly said, “Alliance Leader Lu, Elder Hui Kong has a special relationship with you, so I won’t beat around the bush anymore.”
The man hesitated and looked down at the heart of teardust between them. “This is indeed a tremendous amount of heart of teardust, and I have no idea how you acquired so much. Still, true Roots of Intelligence cannot be grown with this alone. Many other precious materials are needed as well. Even if the heart of teardust alone could allow us to grow Roots of Intelligence, the amount here would only allow us to grow five roots at best. The deal that you’re proposing is one that I can’t even consider, as even a perfect harvest would incur a loss for my Hui family.
“If you insist on pushing this particular trade, I can only ask you to remain nothing more than our guest.” The patriarch continued sipping his tea.
Lu Yin could not determine if Hui Zhi was telling the truth or not. The members of the Hui family were all highly intelligent, and Lu Yin could not get a read on Hui Zhi.
Also, Lu Yin did not actually know what the value of the heart of teardust in his possession was, as it was genuinely useless to him. On the other hand, he desperately needed Roots of Intelligence in order to increase his comprehension of Inverse Step. He wanted to revisit what he had seen when Progenitor Chen’s clone had used the technique, so this was extremely tempting for him.