Chapter 251 – Let Him Kneel
Chapter 251 – Let Him Kneel
“Where is Teacher?” Wu Zhangkong asked once more as he subconsciously tousled Shen Yi’s hair.
Tears began to pour out of Shen Yi’s large, evergreen eyes. Dumbfounded, she threw herself into Wu Zhangkong’s arms.
“Senior brother!” she said, choking back sobs.
The pitiful sound of her weeping attracted curious glances of passersby.
Shen Yi’s white hair was extremely easy to recognize even without taking her fame within the academy into account.
“Isn’t that the White-haired Witch, senior sister Shen Yi? What is going on with her?”
“She never smiles and all the juniors are afraid of her. What’s she doing?” “Who is that man? He’s so handsome!”
“Whoa. He seems sort of familiar. Who is he?”
As a stream of chatter reached Wu Zhangkong’s ears, he patted Shen Yi on the back and said, “Let’s go.”
Shen Yi raised her head sheepishly, her eyes still full to the brim with tears. “You’re still my senior brother, right?”
Wu Zhangkong forced himself to form a bitter smile.
“That isn’t up to me. Let’s go,” he said as he dragged her by the arm, taking large strides toward the inner city’s core.
“Teacher is in the inner court,” Shen Yi said softly as she wiped away her tears.
Inner court! Wu Zhangkong began to shake at the words. These words used to be an important part of his life! He had worked tirelessly for them, but as a result, he had also…
Forcefully taking a deep breath, Wu Zhangkong abruptly released Shen Yi’s hand and sprinted madly down the street.
He rapidly accelerated toward the eastern part of the inner city, air chilling in his wake because of his exertion.
Shen Yi hastened to catch up to him, dashing forth in pursuit.
Soon enough, a building surrounded by a tall, mossy-green wall came into view. The wall prevented anyone from seeing what lay beyond it and
converged on a lavish archway. At the top of the archway, the words “Inner Court” were visible on a sign that hung from it.
There were no guards manning the gate to the inner court. In spite of this,
Wu Zhangkong’s swift approach came to a sudden stop once he saw the
sign that read “Inner Court”. It was there that every fiber of his being froze. It was as if those words possessed an infinite magical power.
This was, without a doubt, the legendary inner court of Shrek Academy. This was the place that enjoyed continent-wide fame, one which countless soul masters yearned to enter. This was the place that struck fear into the Federation.
Lush greenery covered all of the inner court. Only geniuses privileged enough to enter it would know that it resembled a park.
Guards were not needed here. The words on the sign were enough of a deterrent.
“Senior brother.” Shen Yi stopped by Wu Zhangkong’s side, having finally caught up to him.
“Don’t call me that. I’m no longer qualified to be your senior brother. If Teacher hears you, you’ll be punished.” Wu Zhangkong dropped to his knees as he spoke.
Like jade pillars and mountains of gold crashing to the ground, the normally arrogant and stern white-robed man with the blue sword had suddenly kneeled before the inner court sign.
Shen Yi’s heart trembled, but she did not comment on what just happened. Instead, she simply said, “Wait here, senior brother. I’ll go get Teacher.”
She sucked in a deep breath, then charged into the inner court as swift as the wind.
The turbulent emotions inside of Wu Zhangkong gradually settled down as he continued kneeling on the ground, and a sense of peace washed over him. A cool breeze swept by, carrying the refreshing scent of nature that
could only be found in Shrek Academy.
The air of this place was humid and aromatic, perpetually bringing warmth and serenity to the people present.
Finally, I’m back. After thirteen years… today, I have returned.
As he kneeled, Wu Zhangkong felt that everything was currently as it should be.
Thirteen years ago, I was so impulsive and proud. Now I’m able to understand, but can I get back what was lost?
I’m sorry, Bing’er. I’m sorry, Teacher. It was all my fault.
Bing’er, just wait for me. I will preserve your name with my battle armor. We will be together forever.
As long as you desire it, I will not hesitate to sacrifice everything for you.
Time ticked by slowly, yet also quickly at the same time. When Shen Yi returned, Wu Zhangkong was already immersed in his own reminiscence.
She approached Wu Zhangkong, face pale, and her hesitant footsteps came to a stop a short distance away.
Moments later, she gathered up her courage and stepped in front of him.
“T-Teacher doesn’t want to see you.” Shen Yi’s voice wavered as the words left her mouth.
“Mn. Thank you,” Wu Zhangkong replied softly, his tranquil attitude undisturbed. He continued to kneel as he had been doing.
Hesitation showed in Shen Yi’s expression, but in the end, she spoke up. “Teacher said, ‘just let him kneel there.’”
Wu Zhangkong lifted his head, trembling as he stared at Shen Yi in astonishment.
He was trembling because he understood that his teacher’s fury was no reason to be terrified, but his teacher’s disregard certainly was! As long as his teacher was angry with him, he still had a chance.
“Thank you, Shen Yi.” Wu Zhangkong bit his lips, as he continued to kneel, his back straighter than before.
“Just keep kneeling for now, senior brother,” Shen Yi said. “You know what Teacher is like. He spouts harsh words, but his heart is soft. When I told him that you had returned, I could see a trace of joy in his face for a split
second. He couldn’t hide it at all. He still cares deeply for you. After another round of persuasion, I’m sure he’ll forgive you.”
Wu Zhangkong shook his head gently. “I don’t deserve Teacher’s forgiveness, but for the sake of my disciples, I implore you.”
“Mn.” Shen Yi turned around and re-entered the inner court.
“The sun is going to rise soon. Why hasn’t Teacher Wu come back yet?”
Xie Xie paced around the room anxiously. After Wu Zhangkong left, he
called them once to tell them he was handling business and that they should return to their rooms to avoid disturbing Tang Wulin’s deep meditation.
Instead, the three stayed in Wu Zhangkong’s room and meditated while waiting for Tang Wulin to awaken.
They had opened the door just a crack to take a peek at Tang Wulin, but Gu Yue and Xu Xiaoyan faces turned crimson when they saw him soaking in the bathtub naked.
Gu Yue had immediately covered Xu Xiaoyan’s eyes with her hands, leaving her own eyes wide open to take in the sight.
A moment after that, Xie Xie took the high road and peeled them away from the doorway, depriving both of them of the eye-candy that was Tang Wulin.
With Tang Wulin stuck meditating and Wu Zhangkong gone, Xie Xie’s heart was in a frenzy.
Although he had resolved to stick with Tang Wulin, taking the entrance exam would still be the best outcome! They were currently thirteen years
old, and in another three years, they would be sixteen. They would be too old to take the Shrek Academy entrance exam by then. This was their only shot at entering Shrek Academy, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
Gu Yue, the calmest of the three, sat cross-legged in a chair. She had been thinking about something ever since she saw Tang Wulin soaking in the bathtub.
“Let’s just wait,” Xu Xiaoyan said meekly. “Xie Xie, can you stop walking in circles? We’ve already made our choice. If we don’t end up taking the
exam, we’ll just treat this trip as a holiday and nothing more. In any case,
we’re on vacation right now. Once Captain wakes up, we can go sightseeing
at Shrek Academy. At the very least, we can have him treat us to dinner. I bet his cheeks will be sore considering how stingy he is.”
She giggled at the thought.
Xie Xie made a strange expression because he knew it was true. Aside from the bare necessities, Tang Wulin hadn’t paid for anything else. All of his money went into his savings. He rarely went out to eat because the price to fill his stomach was simply too steep!
As the sky slowly began to brighten, Xie Xie’s impatience disappeared. He knew that it would be too late even if Tang Wulin awoke at that very moment. Time waited for no one!
Their inn was quite far from Shrek Academy, and the exam would start in one hour. Even if they left right then and there, they still wouldn’t make it in time.
If they missed it, they missed it. Although they would have some regrets, all of them had decided on this, valuing their comrades more than Shrek
Gu Yue’s eyes shot opened, her gaze directed at Xie Xie. “I’ll stop mocking you in the future.”
“Huh?” Her sudden statement had Xie Xie at a loss for words.
Chapter 252 – The Breakthrough of the Second Seal
Chapter 252 – The Breakthrough of the Second Seal
“What do you mean?” Xie Xie eyed her with suspicion. Gu Yue said, “I guess you can be considered a male.”
His voice held a flurry of annoyance. “Are you saying you treated me like I was a girl before?”
Gu Yue giggled, a glint to her eyes. “You can take it however you want.”
Then, Xu Xiaoyan approached Xie Xie and latched on to his arm. “So we’re actually a group of sisters! I wouldn’t have known if big sis Gu Yue didn’t tell me.”
He rolled his eyes in exasperation, lips pinched as he wrested his arm free. “You girls are always bullying me! I bet you don’t have what it takes to mess with Wulin. Oh, whatever. I’m hungry now. You two guard him while I get some breakfast. Do you want me to bring anything back?”
Gu Yue nodded. “I want meat, steamed buns, juice, and yogurt. Oh right, some vegetables too.”
Xu Xiaoyan counted on her fingers as she said, “I want some bread, jam, yogurt, and a fried egg. Actually, make that two. Yeah, I’m still growing after all.”
Xie Xie said, “Yeah, growing as round as a fried egg!” He knew enough to run off after his snarky comment, escaping before Xu Xiaoyan had the
chance to erupt.
Not long after his getaway, there was a knock on the door.
“He’s back so quickly?” Xu Xiaoyan mumbled as she walked to the door. However, when she opened the door, the person outside was the white- haired lady from yesterday rather than her teammate.
“Oh, it’s you. Auntie, where’s Teacher Wu?” Xu Xiaoyan asked.
Shen Yi entered the room. “Your teacher is fine. He’s just taking care of some matters for you all at the academy right now. Has your captain
Xu Xiaoyan shook her head. “Not yet.”
A sigh escaped Shen Yi’s lips. “Then all we can do is wait. When he’s conscious, I’ll bring you all over.”
Confused, Xu Xiaoyan asked, “You’re bringing us over? But it’s already too late!”
Shen Yi wore a faint smile as she tousled Xu Xiaoyan’s hair, the same way Wu Zhangkong had done with hers the day before. “Don’t worry about it. Your teacher has already settled things. Your tests might be a bit harder, but you still have one last chance. We’ll depart once your captain is awake.”
“Really? That’s awesome! Teacher Wu is the best!” Xu Xiaoyan bounced with joy.
Although they had sacrificed the test for Tang Wulin, having both was still the best! Missing this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity would have been a tragedy!
Gu Yue stared at Shen Yi in surprise. She hadn’t expected a second chance and it was as if a heavy mountain had been lifted off of her.
In the washroom.
Tang Wulin remained soaking in the bathtub. The water had lost some of its heat, but was still lukewarm.
Golden mist gathered in the air, shrouding his body in a radiant haze.
“Have I succeeded?” Inside of his spiritual world, Tang Wulin found himself in the mystical hall once more.
Compared to the first seal, the second one was much easier to break. After the initial sensation of being boiled alive, he grew accustomed to the pain, feeling his blood rampage through his body as the latter transformed. From then on, the process was painless.
Later, a mysterious sensation filled him.
Just like the first time, his senses had dulled to the point where
comprehending the situation was fruitless. The only thing he could make out was the shattering of something within his body, the jaws of danger closing in on him.
During the breaking of the first seal, he had endured unspeakable pain, as if his entire body was on the brink of explosion, so much so that death would have been a sweet release.
This time, however, things were different. While he had felt something fill his body, he did not feel like bursting at the seams. Any semblance of pain had been a hollow image of itself.
“That’s right, you’ve succeeded.” Old Tang said, chock-full of satisfaction.
Old Tang appeared near him in a flash of light, his body clearer and more human-like than before.
Old Tang smiled. “How do you feel?”
Tang Wulin said, “Good. It wasn’t as painful as the first time.”
Old Tang said, “That’s because you’re more prepared this time. Both your body and soul power have made remarkable progress in the last three years, especially since your soul power is compressed by your new cultivation method. It has refined your meridians and increased the load that they can bear. You also found high-quality spirit items this time. All of these factors eased the process.”
Tang Wulin rejoiced, “That’s great! I didn’t waste my time then. Old Tang, what changed with my body this time? I remember back then you said there would be a nice surprise for me!”
“That’s right, there’s a surprise,” Old Tang said. “But you need to go
experience it for yourself. I suggest you don’t worry about it for now and instead focus on breaking the third seal in the near future.”
Tang Wulin laughed. “Isn’t the deadline when I’m twenty? I still have six years until then. That’s plenty of time to prepare.”
Old Tang seemed to arch a brow. “Who said the deadline is twenty years old for the third seal?”
Tang Wulin stared back deadpan. “But isn’t it? The deadline should be five years apart, and I’ve broken the second seal one year early! Five plus fifteen is twenty years old!”
Old Tang shook his head. “No, that’s not how it’s calculated. Your next seal needs to be broken by the time you turn sixteen. In other words, you have three years left. Fifteen years old was the absolute latest for the second seal, and the earlier your break a seal, the easier the later seals are. The
countdown for the next seal to be broken starts immediately after you’ve breaking the previous one. So, you have three years to prepare.”
Tang Wulin stood dumbfounded. “Are you telling me the time between seals is going to continue shrinking?”
Old Tang said, “That’s right. It shortens each time. You’ll be under a lot of pressure from now on.”
This shocking revelation wiped the smile right off of Tang Wulin’s face. If the time shortens after each seal and there are eighteen seals… then just how much time will I have for the later ones? And if I fail to destroy a seal, I’ll probably die!
“What is the minimum amount of time I will have to break a seal in the future?”
Old Tang said, “Your preparation time will shorten by three months each time. After the ninth seal, you will only have one year to prepare for each.”
Tang Wulin let out a long sigh. One year per seal after the ninth seal? Can… can I manage that?
He may have broken two seals already, but only now did he realize how menacing they were.
“I’ll tell you what you need for your next seal. But before that, let me remind you that the more your body and soul power progress in the next three years, the easier the unsealing. You will face a tribulation if you’re not prepared, and you might even…”
Tang Wulin nodded in silence. He understood what Old Tang implied.
Several spirit items popped into his mind. He first checked their prefixes, and was relieved to discover that they were thousand-year spirit items. If they were ten-thousand-year items, he would have just given up right then and there.
Chapter 253 – To the Exam!
Chapter 253 – To the Exam!
“You can go now. Continue working hard.”
The world before Tang Wulin melted away, fading into nothing. Cold.
His eyes shot open, surprised to find that the bathwater had cooled significantly. Still, it was refreshing for him.
Tang Wulin looked down to inspect his body but didn’t see any drastic transformations. Then, a visceral clawing need within the pits of his
stomach had his mind elsewhere. I’m starving! How many days has it been?
Climbing out of the bathtub, he dried himself and quickly dressed, in a hurry to stave off his hunger with food.
But when he opened the washroom door, he nearly jumped with fright.
Instead of Wu Zhangkong, four people sat in the room, one of which was an unfamiliar white-haired woman.
He hadn’t seen her during his trip to Skysea City years ago. “You’re finally awake!” Xie Xie leapt toward him.
“So I woke up in time?” Seeing them, his hopes rose. There should still be time before the exam, otherwise, his teammates wouldn’t be here.
Xie Xie grumbled, “What do you mean ‘in time’? We’re already late.”
“Huh?” Tang Wulin was so shocked, he even forgot his hunger.
“Let’s go.” Shen Yi stood up, giving Tang Wulin a meaningful look before walking out.
Xu Xiaoyan and Gu Yue also got up, the former beaming at him while the latter had an apathetic expression. Only, her eyes were far more expressive, concern lingering in their depths.
Tang Wulin nodded to them, then turned to Xie Xie. “Who is that?”
Xie Xie replied, “She’s a friend of Teacher Wu’s from Shrek. We’re already three hours late; Teacher Wu is helping us out at the academy right now, so we need to hurry over, otherwise, we might miss our chance.”
“I’m sorry. This is all my fault.” Tang Wulin slumped with shame and hung his head. His stinginess had started a domino-effect, from delaying the
evolution of his bloodline to holding his teammates back and possibly missing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! And all this, just for the sake of saving money !
Xie Xie chuckled. “What’s the point in talking about it now? When you protected us at the forefront all those times, have we ever said thanks? How’s your body? How did your deep meditation go?”
Unable to tell Xie Xie about his seals, Tang Wulin could only smile bitterly and say, “I don’t know either, but I feel great.” He had realized that, apart from hunger, he was in good condition. Strength surged through his body, his soul power having grown. He estimated that it was around rank 27 or rank 28 now. Just like the first time, his soul power had not increased by much.
Though hunger still clouded his mind, he sensed that his body had
strengthened by a third and, when considering his already immense physical power, it was a tremendous improvement.
What he truly looked forward to, however, was how his bloodline power had evolved, as well as the surprise Old Tang spoke of.
But now was not the time to test it out. In fact, he didn’t even have time to eat.
“Do you have anything to eat?” Tang Wulin asked Xie Xie. Xie Xie shook his head.
But at that moment, Gu Yue held out a bag to Tang Wulin.
He accepted the bag, immediately knowing what it was just by the weight and feel of it. It was steamed buns and meat! They weren’t spectacular, but they were better than nothing!
He didn’t thank Gu Yue. Although they had grown estranged in the past three years, experiencing life-or-death situations together was a bond that would never break. Thanks was not needed for such a trivial matter.
It was three steamed buns and a portion of meat. They didn’t smell particularly appetizing, but desperate times called for desperate measures.
Tang Wulin devoured the food with such shocking speed that no one in the entire continent would dare say they were number one at speed eating in his presence. Not a single crumb was left by the time they reached the first floor.
Shen Yi had driven here. Her sleek, dark-green soul car was parked in the front.
“Get in,” Shen Yi said as she got into the driver’s seat. Xie Xie sat in the back but was promptly dragged out and forced to the front by Gu Yue.
Xu Xiaoyan, sitting next to the window in the back seat, covered her laugh with a hand. Tang Wulin sat by the opposite window, Gu Yue sandwiched between them.
Xie Xie silently cursed. Gu Yue is too controlling, hogging Wulin all to herself!
Gu Yue remained expressionless despite her actions, but Tang Wulin had long since become accustomed to it. He could see how much she cared just by the fact that the food she had given him, though meager, was enough to temporarily alleviate his hunger.
Gue Yue nudged him. He turned to see that she was offering him a juice box.
Tang Wulin’s heart warmed at the gesture. He smiled at her, before quickly drinking the juice.
Happiness flashed in Gu Yue’s eyes before she closed them to rest.
The two sat shoulder-to-shoulder, a cozy and peaceful atmosphere between them as Gu Yue’s cool arm pressed against Tang Wulin’s warm one.
Shen Yi drove fast but smooth, her reactions precise. She handled her car with skill, lacking any unnecessary movement so that it could display its full speed.
The scenery flitted by outside the window. It was class zero’s first time seeing the rest of Shrek City.
The city was just too lively and gigantic.
When Tang Wulin first left Glorybound City, he had thought Eastsea City was too much to behold, an entire world itself.
And now, he felt the same about Shrek City; only, this time, he was comparing to Eastsea City.
This really is the continent’s number one city!
With Shen Yi’s speeding, they arrived at the legendary Shrek Academy within an hour.
Ancient city walls extending beyond their vision towered over them like an enormous dragon coiled around the academy, plain and undecorated
without even a signboard to mark the location.
A large crowd was currently assembled outside the gate. It was a sea of people rowdy with noise and excitement.
Instead of entering through the front gate, Shen Yie drove off to the side. After seven or eight turns, they found themselves before the wall again and in front of a small gate.
Shen Yi pressed a button and the gate opened, revealing a new road and the soul car turned into the street.
The gate closed behind them. Their new surroundings were peaceful and tranquil as if by passing through that door they had cut their connections to the outside world and entered an era long gone.
“Are we in Shrek Academy now?” Xie Xie asked Shen Yi.
Shen Yi nodded. “This is Shrek Academy, or as some call it, Shrek Inner City. It was the original Shrek City, but after the city expanded, it became part of the academy. The entire city was built for the sake of the academy, so this is the core of the city as well as where students study. Only those recognized by the academy are permitted to enter Shrek Inner City.”
The car did not slow one bit as she explained, continuing to speed toward the academy’s core.
“Because you were late, your exam will be harder than normal. You’ll be tested on the same things, but will have less time to finish and might not even have a chance to rest throughout the entire process. Furthermore, if you do pass, you’ll only be working students.”
“Working students? What’s that?” Tang Wulin asked.
Shen Yi said, “It means you’ll have to pay for the costs to attend Shrek by yourself.”
“Huh?” Dread gripped Tang Wulin at the mere mention of spending money.
Xie Xie laughed and said proudly, “That’s fine. Our captain is great at making money. I’m sure he’ll help us out.”
Tang Wulin was helpless to retort. He was the one who put them in this predicament after all.
Shen Yi said, “You’re not paying the school money, but working for the school to pay for your tuition. Do you think Shrek Academy is short on money? Normal students all attend for free.”
Tang Wulin’s mood uplifted the moment he heard this. He had never been one to back down from hardship. Xie Xie, on the other hand, made a sour expression as words tumbled out of his mouth. “What work?”
Chapter 254 – The Golden Dragon and the Black Dragon
Chapter 254 – The Golden Dragon and the Black Dragon
Shen Yi spared him a glance. “Ask me again if you pass. It’s still early for you to know.”
The car cruised to a snail’s pace, a giant plaza soon coming into view.
The ground at the plaza was made of ashen-gray stones, which were larger than the black rocks that paved the roads. There were buildings of similar height and ancient architecture arranged on the perimeter of half of the
circular plaza. Using just their eyes to estimate, class zero and Shen Yi determined that the plaza was at least one kilometer long in diameter. The buildings was made of stone, various figures carved into it.
Contained within semicircle of buildings was the plaza, and in the plaza’s
center was a circular man-made pond approximately one hundred meters in diameter. At the middle of a fountain stood a majestic sculpture..
When Tang Wulin realized the identity of the sculpture was similar to the one in Tang Sec, his heart thumped against his chest. Life-like, the art piece featured the only person who could compare with Tang San, the founder of the Tang Sect. It was the Spirit Pagoda’s founder, the master of the Sea
God’s Pavilion within Shrek in that era. The Spirit Ice Douluo, Huo Yuhao.
He was carved as the center and revered figure, his great spirit souls surrounding him as if they were his guardians.
Spirit Ice Douluo Huo Yuhao was the sole being of his era to ascend to godhood! That his sculpture could be found here was testimony to his great influence.
His sculpture was in the Tang Sect, the Spirit Pagoda, and even here! Tang Wulin’s eyes sparkled with awe.
“This is Spirit Ice Plaza. It was built ten thousand years ago when Shrek Academy started to expand into what is now the inner city. Currently, the
main school buildings for the outer court are located here. As you may have guessed, it was named after the world-shaking Spirit Ice Douluo, Huo Yuhao. I’m sure you’ve all heard of his legends, so I’ll leave it at that. Let’s enter the school building now.” After her simple explanation, Shen Yi led them toward the ring of buildings.
With each step closer to the building, the sculptures carved into surface of the buildings became easier to make out.
“These are all sculptures of inner court disciples. Every student admitted into the inner court will have a sculpture shaped in his likeness, in
commemoration as well as for evidence of Shrek’s history,” Shen Yi
explained when she noticed the wonder flashing in their eyes. Without letting them admire the art further, Shen Yi shepherded them into the building.
The first thing that jumped out at them was the size. The ceiling towered over them at least ten meters in height, despite the fact that the building had six floors. There were fine illustrations drawn into the walls and domed
ceiling, which caused onlookers to stop and stare, overwhelmed by the grandeur. Even so, such a sight was not tacky at the slightest, and was able to maintain an air of elegance.
Shen Yi talked while walking. “This building is called House Shrek. The murals on the walls and ceiling detail our twenty thousand years of history.”
So prestigious! Twenty thousand years of history!
A foundation spanning across eras was truly awe-inspiring. All four students of class zero felt the urge to kowtow before this history of magnificence.
Only now did they understand why Shrek Academy was known as the sacred temple of soul masters. Traveling to Shrek Academy was like
making a pilgrimage! If they were privileged enough to study here, they would have an unforgettable experience for the rest of their lives.
As his shame grew heavier, Tang Wulin’s blood boiled, his hands balling into fists and knuckles glowing white. I almost made my teammates miss the Shrek exam!
We… we all have to get in here!
Although it was his first time so close to Shrek Academy, a mere taste of its glory, he knew in his heart that he must enter it.
There wasn’t a single soul master who could resist the temptation of Shrek Academy.
After passing through the dome-roofed area, they climbed a flight of stairs with arching windows on each side, which provided a view of the yard outside. There were plants kept in tip-top shape throughout the green field, and on the other side of that was a stone structure similar to the one class
zero was in. Everything in sight was part of the Shrek House, illustrating how large the building was. The semicircle of buildings they had first been introduced to was just the tip of the iceberg! Even the imperial palaces of eras long gone might not be able to compare with this building.
No wonder Shen Yi said Shrek doesn’t lack any money. Just how much money did it cost to construct something so big?
Tang Wulin sucked in a deep breath. Immersing himself in the environment felt wonderful.
After passing through two more corridors, they arrived in a round hall. Its domed ceiling stretched twenty meters high. Additionally, there was a
mural painted on the ceiling just as the previous hall had been.
As class zero took in the detailed painting, their bodies trembled, their knees buckling beneath them. Despite the twenty-meter distance separating them and the mural, it felt as if a mountain weighed down upon their
There was a large black dragon in the mural. Its eyes glowed golden, even more striking against the backdrop of its ebony face, and its wings were
spread wide. Violet light exploded from its body. It was obviously a painting, but it was vivid to the point of blurring the lines between fiction and reality. Each dragon scale could be counted with no difficulty, without missing a single one. The mural imposed an unstoppable pressure on the onlookers, as if the room itself was caving in under the dragon’s might.
Compared to his teammates, Tang Wulin’s reaction was more subdued.
When the unseen pressure attempted to dominate him, his blood roared into action, arrogantly refuting the black dragon’s might and fueling him with
courage. He managed to stand tall before it, unaffected.
Gu Yue’s valor nearly matched his. After a moment of trembling and surprise, she regained herself.
Xu Xiaoyan and Xie Xie, on the other hand, were deeply affected.
Xu Xiaoyan trembled and verged on collapsing, her face pale with shock.
Xie Xie was in a worse state. His knees had given in immediately, but he was caught by Tang Wulin before he hit the ground. A bizarre sensation enveloped him the moment he came in contact with his captain’s aura, dispelling his fear enough that he could stand firm again..
At some unknown time, Shen Yi had disappeared, leaving the four students by themselves.
Wave after wave of pressure came crashing onto them, each more terrifying than the last.
Tang Wulin brows furrowed. He could sense Xie Xie shaking with each wave of pressure, nearing the point of collapse.
Snapping out of his stupor, Tang Wulin had noticed that Shen Yi was no longer present. As such, he came to the conclusion that this place held more secrets than it did at first glance. This was likely part of their test.
Tang Wulin snorted, golden light flaring in the depths of his eyes as his bloodline power spurred into motion.
Golden scales rippled into existence across his right arm, pulsing with more power than ever before. He could feel his blood overflowing with strength.
After the scales had spread up his arm, they continued past his shoulder to his collarbone, and then down his torso’s right side. The right portion of his neck was not left excluded.
His blood essence stretched beyond his body and enveloped his comrades in a bid to protect them.
Chapter 255 – The Potential of a Little Monster
Chapter 255 – The Potential of a Little Monster
Tang Wulin himself found this phenomenon strange, but dismissed it. With a cold snort, he dispelled some of the black dragon’s crushing pressure.
Now that Xie Xie was surrounded by Tang Wulin’s blood essence, he was finally able to regain his composure.
Though Xie Xie could not perceive Tang Wulin’s blood essence, he felt an unshakeable sense of security standing next to him. As long as he was next to Tang Wulin, everything would be okay.
“Huh.” Shen Yi appeared from around the corner of a stone pillar, an
elderly man following behind her. The old man wore a dark-green robe, his face the very definition of surprise. He nodded in approval when he saw
Tang Wulin. “Not bad. He has the potential of a little monster. It has been many years since I’ve last seen someone capable of withstanding the Gold- eyed Black Dragon King’s pressure.”
Unknown to class zero, the mural above them was painted by a Title Douluo who specialized in painting. However, the only reason it could
invoke such terror in their hearts was because it was painted with one drop of blood from the strongest soul beast in the Great Star Dou Forest, the fearsome Gold-eyed Black Dragon King.
The drop of blood obtained from the legendary battle between the dragon and Shrek Academy’s most powerful members.
This mural tested the spiritual power of examinees. The longer they lasted, the higher their score.
Shen Yi was also astonished. She had originally labelled Gu Yue as the most promising student of class zero, but now, Tang Wulin had emerged as another promising student.
In the long history of this Black Dragon Hall, no one had ever used their own aura to resist the might of the mural. Examinees had always been forced to resist it with their own strength.
“Elder Li, this trial’s score…?”
Elder Li glanced at Tang Wulin. “Give that boy full marks. As for the other three… I suppose luck is an aspect of one’s strength. Give the rest eight points.”
“Thank you, Elder Li.” Shen Yi’s eyes lit up with joy.
Without needing to be told, the four students turned to the elder and bowed.
The elder smiled humbly. “I’m just giving face to that old fellow, Zhuo Shi. It doesn’t change the fact that you were all late!” He made to leave, but turned back once more to give Tang Wulin an approving nod before
walking off. His actions were incomprehensible.
“The exam is split into many trials. Each trial has a maximum score of ten points, but to pass you need a minimum of six and your points are totalled at the end of the exams. Points will be deducted for failed sections and
added for full-score sections. So actually, your luck was pretty good for the first section.” Shen Yi nodded in satisfaction.
We’re done the first trial already?
Xie Xie gave Tang Wulin a thumbs up. They had only realized then that the trial tested their spiritual power. The greater their spiritual power, the longer they could endure the pressure.
Although Xie Xie’s spiritual power surpassed the norm, he still fell flat
compared to Shrek’s standard; if not for Tang Wulin, he would have failed this trial.
Gu Yue’s score could have been higher, but it would’ve been impossible for Xu Xiaoyan and him to get eight points.
The realization that they had just passed their first trial hit them hard, and they subconsciously moved to assume their battle formation as they walked. Tang Wulin stood at the front as the spear head, Xie Xie slightly behind him, while Xu Xiaoyan and Gu Yue were in the backlines.
After passing through a corridor, they arrived in another hall. Shen Yi
stopped and spun around to face the four students. “Wait here. The second trial will begin in a moment.”
She left without explaining the content of the next trial. It was already generous of Shrek Academy to let them to take the exam despite being late. Unlike the other examinees, they did not need to line up and as such could only power through the trials without resting.
With a glance, Tang Wulin signalled to Xie Xie and Xu Xiaoyan, who then immediately sat down cross-legged and began meditating. They were a bit spent after resisting the spiritual pressure of the previous trial.
Gu Yue, however, shook her head, indicating she was fine. At that moment, the hall darkened as if night had descended. But it was just noon! It’s too soon for it to be night time!
Mysterious silver lights lit up on the ground. They wove together, presenting a dazzling scene while the night sky painted on the domed roof transformed into a boundless expanse of space that seemed almost impossibly real.
Gu Yue’s brows jumped in surprise while Tang Wulin roused the barely rested Xie Xie and Xu Xiaoyan.
The silver pattern on the floor gradually faded away. At that moment, it was as if they were floating in the starry sky of a magical world.
“Hold hands!” Tang Wulin ordered as he grabbed Xie Xie with one hand and Gu Yue with the other. Gu Yue held Xu Xiaoyan’s hand and she, in turn, took Xie Xie’s, completing the circle.
Two purple rings rose beneath Tang Wulin as Bluesilver Grass burst from his body to wrap them all in a protective barrier.
Without knowing what the enemy was, this was the only action he could take. Once their safety was secured, they would have leeway to formulate a response plan.
Suddenly, their surroundings changed.
Light appeared in the still night. Now, however, they found themselves in a large space.
Where are we?
Just as they thought this, a deafening roar broke the air and the tyrannical pressure slammed into them.
A soul beast appeared before them, a monstrous thing over ten meters long and five meters tall. Two horns jutted out of its skull, one slightly longer than the other. Its skin looked as tough as armor, encasing its scarlet eyes.
“It’s an Earth Demon Rhinoceros. It should be at least three-thousand- years,” Xie Xie said solemnly.
They had never encountered such a beast in the spirit ascension platform since it wasn’t an inhabitant of the forest, but a lord of the savanna.
Although it was not as mighty as the Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear of the forest, its strength was not to be underestimated.
“Its attribute is earth,” Gu Yue judged.
Tang Wulin remained silent, only making a few hand signals.
Gu Yue and Xu Xiaoyan turned around and ran to open up distance while Xie Xie rushed to the side.
Sparkling strands of Bluesilver Grass bound their waists, connecting the four teammates. In a flash of golden light, a small snake appeared on Tang Wulin’s shoulder.
Goldlight had grown much since three years ago. It was about half a meter in length and as thick as a chestnut now. Meanwhile, its golden scales had transformed and appeared similar to those on Tang Wulin’s right arm, thicker and sharper than before.
Goldlight slithered down his left arm and coiled around his forearm, its eyes sparkling gold.
The Earth Demon Rhinoceros let out another thundering roar and pawed the ground twice before charging at Tang Wulin.
Rather than fear, Tang Wulin felt his blood rouse and shouted in unstoppable excitement This was the perfect opportunity to test his growth after breaking the second seal!
Which was why, instead of retreating, he charged forward to clash head on with the beast!
Xie Xie had positioned himself to the side at that moment, while a yellow light blossomed on the ground in front of the rhinoceros.
The earth softened as Gu Yue gestured with hands enveloped in yellow light. Not only could the earth element be used to harden the ground, it could also create a marsh.
The crimson eyes of the Earth Demon Rhinoceros were full of bloodthirst. Just before it fell prey to the marsh, a yellow light appeared beneath its feet and the earth hardened again. Without slowing down, it continued to charge at Tang Wulin.
Chapter 256 – Golden Soul Ring
Chapter 256 – Golden Soul Ring
Tang Wulin shot forward like a rocket, activating Bluesilver Impaling Array as he propelled himself into the air.
The Earth Demon Rhinoceros charged straight into his array, its large and thick body barely restrained for a moment.
Tang Wulin took advantage of the opening to edge closer and, drawing all his strength into his fist, punched it right in the face.
The rhinoceros roared, lowering its horns to counter the fist.
In terms of strength, the Earth Demon Rhinoceros would rank in the top three among soul beasts of the same level. The Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear, however, would only rank in the top ten.
It was like being hit by a train. Tang Wulin flew back like a cannonball, his entire arm numb from the impact. Still, he flung a strand of Bluesilver
Grass to bind the rhinoceros’s neck like a lasso.
The Earth Demon Rhinoceros also recoiled from the clash. Although it hadn’t been hurt, Tang Wulin was proud of his achievement. After all, the Earth Demon Rhinoceros was feared for its sheer brutal strength!
Tang Wulin took the opportunity to survey his surroundings while midair. This place reminded him of the beast arenas of old; a place where people with courage and riches gathered, a place where soul masters fought each
other or soul beasts, a place that seduced others with the promise great rewards. And this place felt the same.
The Earth Demon Rhinoceros’s strength was formidable, its defense
surpassinged even that of the Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear. All it lacked was attack power.
He pulled hard on a strand of Bluesilver Grass and, like a compressed
spring, he went flying through the air as the tension released in a burst of muscle and adrenaline. Xie Xie, positioned at the rhinoceros’s side, chose this moment to act. His second soul ring lit up as he activated Light Dragon Storm.
With his rich combat experience, Xie Xie pinpointed the rhinoceros’s head as its weakest point. The best target.
Agility-type soul masters had the most explosive attacks among their peers. Xie Xie was no exception.
The Earth Demon Rhinoceros twitched in its effort to pursue Tang Wulin, giving Xie Xie the perfect opportunity to strike. He took it.
Though such an attack could not breach the rhinoceros’s thick skin and even thicker defenses, It still stung. This was enough to accomplish Xie Xie’s objective.
Grunting in pain, the rhinoceros raised its right foot and stomped. Tang Wulin, still in mid flight, grabbed the strand connecting to Xie Xie and pulled him into the air.
Yellow light exploded outward as the rhinoceros’s foot descended, only dissipating after traveling for twenty-five meters in radius. A little more and it would have reached Gu Yue and Xu Xiaoyan.
It was War Stomp, an attack soul skill that possessed formidable paralysis effects.
Tang Wulin had been quick enough to evade it, but Xie Xie was one step too late as he lost control of his body to a numb sensation. He urged his soul power into motion, circulating it throughout his body.
Meanwhile, Tang Wulin landed on the rhinoceros’s head. Golden scales ripped across his skin as his arm transformed into his supreme golden dragon claw.
Among all the elements, earth had the strongest defense and stability.
Rarely could the other subdue it; as such, the biggest obstacle in defeating
an Earth Demon Rhinoceros was breaking its stalwart defense. Even so, this posed no problem for Tang Wulin. As long as he could penetrate its hide, then his golden dragon claw’s crushing effect would take care of the rest.
The rhinoceros’s defeat was only a matter of time. However, something unexpected happened.
The instant his golden dragon claw materialized, his body blazed with heat as fire seared his blood. His two purple soul rings vanished.
And in their place, a golden soul ring appeared. A golden soul ring?
Both Xu Xiaoyan and Gu Yue were dumbstruck by this unprecedented
scene, completely forgetting to prepare their soul skills. Even Xie Xie, who was planning for a second assault from the air, gaped at the sight.
The golden soul ring shone with resplendent light, showering Tang Wulin in a splendid gold. No longer were the scales on his arm and the claw a dull
color. Now, they dazzled brighter than a diamond.
A powerful aura of of blood essence gathered around him while his body swelled with power.
The Earth Demon Rhinoceros threw its head back, hurling Tang Wulin off.
Too preoccupied with the changes in his body, Tang Wulin missed his opportunity to attack. He only managed to raise his scaled arm to block the rhinoceros’s horn.
This time, he neither trembled nor did his arm go weak from the impact.
Confused, he took in the golden glow of his body. Gu Yue called out, “Be careful!”
Yellow light surged in his direction, earth spikes following in its wake. Having just landed on the ground, he braced himself for the onslaught.
Yet, a strange scene played out. Just as the earth spikes stabbed him, the golden light merged with his skin and he was sent flying into the air, unharmed.
Tang Wulin groaned as the impact ran through, but he quickly came to a realization.
That golden light strengthened my body? Is this the surprise Old Tang spoke of?
With no time left to ponder, he spun in mid air and grabbed the strand of
Bluesilver Grass wrapped around the rhinoceros’s head, diving down like a hawk.
His reinforcements finally arrived. Still in flight, Xie Xie split into three clones that headed for the rhinoceros. Another set of three shadows followed behind them, hidden from sight.
The strongest suit of his Shadow Dragon Dagger was its ability to stay hidden within the shadows. In this hairbreadth of a second, Xie Xie displayed the full might of both of his third soul skills, combining them into Twin Dragon Clones!
Both Light Dragon Clones and Shadow Dragon Clones could create three clones each, a total of six clones. Each one zipped toward the soul beast, assaulting it from a different angle.
Two of them attacked head-on, aiming straight for the eyes. No matter how strong the skin, the eyes would be weak points.
As if understanding this, the Earth Demon Rhinoceros used its thick eyelids to shield against Xie Xie’s barrage.
Because the Twin Dragon Clones required maximum control and soul power, Xie Xie was unable to utilize other soul skills simultaneously; but he didn’t need to. The disruptive effect of six clones attacking at the same instance was enough.
Without pausing, Xu Xiaoyan activated Starlight Shackles beneath the rhinoceros, binding it in place. The chains prevented the rhinoceros from charging at the two girls. Despite being effective for just an instant, the
shackles had upset the soul beast’s center of gravity and sent it toppling.
Stars littered the sky. Though it was just an illusion, such a sight was enough to set off her soul abilities.Xu Xiaoyan’s Starwheel Ice Staff
accepted the night as fact, granting her the absolute control of her Starlight Shackles.
Chapter 257 – Bloodline Soul Skill: Golden Dragon Body
Chapter 257 – Bloodline Soul Skill: Golden Dragon Body
If Xu Xiaoyan’s soul skill could restrain even an expert of Wu Zhangkong’s level, it was pointless to even mention the Earth Demon Rhinoceros.
Despite her attack being ready, Gu Yue did not launch it. Instead, she recalled her soul power and soul rings.
After Xu Xiaoyan recovered from her initial surprise, she created an opening with her Starlight Shackles. Tang Wulin did not let this chance slip away and swiftly remounted the rhinoceros’s head.
His resplendent golden dragon claw descended upon the rhinoceros’s nape.
The rhinoceros’s defenses were strong, and Tang Wulin didn’t know if his claw could penetrate its skull. Since its neck was a significantly weaker in comparison, it was the next best target.
The moment his claw touched the beast’s skin, the golden light clinging to his body converged on it, bathing it in a magnificent glow.
The crushing effect of his claw immediately activated, instantly shattering the rhinoceros’s outer armor of skin and creating a breach for him to thrust his claw into.
A moment later, the Earth Demon Rhinoceros collapsed with a loud rumble.
Tang Wulin had severed its spine, seizing both its control over its body… and its life.
It’s really strong. As Tang Wulin stared at his sparkling claw that lacked even the tiniest of bloodstains, he felt a flurry of emotions.
He had reaped many benefits from breaking the second seal.
First was this mysterious golden soul ring that seemed to appear when he unleashed his golden dragon claw. If Tang Wulin’s Bluesilver Grass
consumed his soul power, then this golden soul ring consumed his physical strength and blood essence.
His golden dragon claw no longer used up his soul power, but he could feel his blood essence drain away to sustain it. If he used up all of his blood
essence, however… he would get hungry.
As a result of that change, Tang Wulin could now sustain his golden dragon claw for longer periods of time. It also became stronger, while the golden
scales amplified Tang Wulin’s strength even further. In addition to that, the scales now covered the entire right side of his body, greatly strengthening the parts they covered.
All of this was a substantial improvement. He wouldn’t have been able to slaughter this Earth Demon Rhinoceros so easily without it.
In the back of Tang Wulin’s mind, he vaguely knew that the name of the golden soul ring’s soul skill was Golden Dragon Body.
Golden Dragon Body increased Tang Wulin’s strength, speed, attack power, and defense as an all-around ability amplifier. However, it increased his
strength the most. This was made clear by how he was able to go toe-to-toe against the Earth Demon Rhinoceros without backing down.
Of course, Xu Xiaoyan’s Starlight Shackles played a huge role in his swift kill. Without its absolute restraining power, he wouldn’t have had a chance to kill the rhinoceros in one attack while facing the many soul skills it possessed.
Just as he started reviewing the battle, the beast arena faded away, returning everything to darkness.
The stars in the sky warped, giving everyone a short bout of dizziness before their vision became clear again.
The four stood face to face with one another, hands joined together, just like before. It seemed as though everything they just experienced had been an illusion.
They had experienced fighting in an illusory world during their time in the spirit ascension platform, but that had only been possible through the usage of sophisticated technology! Yet this place was not like the spirit ascension platform. It felt different here… truly strange.
They couldn’t fathom the magic behind it, but they were awestruck nonetheless!
Shen Yi reappeared before them, her expression stranger than ever.
The beast arena was the second trial of Shrek Academy’s entrance exam.
The strength and number of soul beasts in the trial varied depending on the number of participants. Surviving for one minute was the minimum requirement for passing the trial, while harming the beasts awarded bonus points.
Shen Yi had purposefully neglected to tell them the minimum requirement to pass this trial, but she had never imagined that they would be so fierce.
They had faced an Earth Demon Rhinoceros after all! Even for her, it would’ve been annoying to kill one with over three thousand years of
cultivation without her battle armor. The rhinoceros’s defenses were simply too strong.
Yet these kids had slaughtered it! She wondered whether Tang Wulin’s claw would still be able to penetrate the rhinoceros’s defenses if it had been a bit stronger. Furthermore, there was the mystery of his golden soul ring. No matter how she looked at it, the boy had to have twin martial souls. But
surely Wu Zhangkong would have mentioned such a thing to her.
“The results for second trial, the beast arena: Tang Wulin, ten points; Xie Xie, ten points; Gu Yue, eight points; Xu Xiaoyan, ten points.”
“Wow, how did we score so high?” Xie Xie asked in surprise. He hadn’t expected to score a full ten points.
Shen Yi nodded. “You scored highly because you killed the Earth Demon Rhinoceros together. The criteria for passing didn’t involve killing it, so
even Gu Yue, who didn’t attack it, got a high score. We shall now continue. Follow me.”
As she led the way,Shen Yi’s heart welled with expectation. These kids really match Shrek’s motto. They’re like little monsters.
Their combat ability is high, and in addition to good teamwork, they are capable of remaining calm during battle.
Shen Yi was perceptive. She had seen that not a single one of the four had panicked during their battle against the Earth Demon Rhinoceros. Gu Yue was the calmest of them all, but the rest had excitement in their eyes!
Xie Xie had even spoken the Earth Demon Rhinceros’s name out loud, meaning all of them knew how formidable the beast was. Even with that knowledge, they did not cower back. Confident in their strength, they rose to the challenge. It was clear they had faced tougher foes before.
Senior brother, it seems you’ve made sure to give them a lot of combat experience!
In contrast to Shen Yi’s feelings of admiration, Tang Wulin furrowed his brow, overcome by confusion. He shot Gu Yue an inquisitive look, and she nodded in response.
Although they had scored well in the last two trials, Tang Wulin couldn’t relax. Their exam would continue, all of it administered in one go without giving them time to rest.
With their current cultivation base, their soul power would be severely limited without any chances to meditate. They didn’t know how many more trials there were, but at this rate, their soul power would definitely be
Fortunately, Tang Wulin now wielded a powerful bloodline soul ring in
addition to his martial soul. However, Xu Xiaoyan had used one-third of her soul power to restrain the Earth Demon Rhinoceros for a split second with her Starlight Shackles. If he had been any slower in finishing it off, even more of her soul power would have been consumed.
He had looked at Gu Yue to check on her condition, and her nod told him that she was alright.
After the last two trials, all four of them understood just what sort of
entrance exam Shrek Academy had. Many more unknown trials awaited them. This was just the beginning.
Shen Yi pulled a sliding door open and brought them to a space between the stone buildings. This was the site of the third trial.
A series of gates sat in rows, one after another, with at least a hundred covering the area in total. The number of gates in each row varied.
These gates were called guillotine gates. Each gate had a gigantic, two- meter wide, one-meter tall, half-a-meter thick guillotine blade. With such an enormous blade, even a full-grown cow would instantly be split in half.
“The third trial tests your ability to adapt. Once I tell you to get ready, you will have one minute to prepare. Once I shout for you to begin, you will have to pass through all of the gates. If you finish within thirty seconds, you get six points. For every three seconds you finish early, you get an
additional point. For every three seconds you’re late, you will lose one point. There are two things you need to know about this trial. First, the
closer you are to each gate, the faster its guillotine will fall. Since these are real guillotines, you will die if they strike you. Second, you can get a negative score for this trial. If you can’t even pass this trial, then forget
about taking the later trials. Raise the guillotines!”
When she finished speaking, she gestured to the side, and the clank of metal resounded as the guillotine blades began to rise.
The front-most gate’s guillotine fell with a booming clang, sparks erupting from it as it thudded into the recess below. The sound struck terror into the students’ hearts. Then, the blade rose back up and descended again…
Chapter 258 – Dominating the Third Trial
Chapter 258 – Dominating the Third Trial
Following the first guillotine blade, the rest began falling one after another, a metal clamor filling the air.
“Get ready. The one-minute countdown begins now.” Without giving Tang Wulin and the others even a moment to digest the situation, Shen Yi began counting down.
The gears of Tang Wulin’s mind began turning. “We need to cross through the guillotine gates within thirty seconds. The shortest path has six gates… Gu Yue, test the power of the guillotine blades.”
Having a cool head was essential to passing such trials.
While Xie Xie was eager to speed through the gates, Xu Xiaoyan stared at them pale-faced.
Gu Yue was just as calm as usual, and following Tang Wulin’s order, she held out her hand and turned her palm to the sky. Blue light condensed in her hand, forming a two-meter long icicle that she shot through the bottom of the guillotine.
The guillotine blade fell, instantly turning most of the icicle into a fine powder while splitting the thickest part of it into two.
“The descent of one blade produces about three thousand kilograms of force,” Gu Yue announced. Her precise analysis was only possible because of her spiritual connection with the elements.
“Can you do it?” Tang Wulin asked.
“I can protect one person,” Gu Yue responded. “How about you, Xie Xie?”
Leaping from the ground, Xie Xie said, “I’m fine.”
Just as Tang Wulin was about the state their plan, Gu Yue said, “How about I protect Xu Xiaoyan and you carry me on your back. It shouldn’t be a problem with your physical strength. Xie Xie can then follow right behind us. That should work.”
Tang Wulin considered it for a moment. The plan he thought up would have Gu Yue and Xie Xie pass through the gates by themselves while he carried Xu Xiaoyan. It was the most logical plan. Gu Yue’s arrangement would also work, but he felt that there was something strange about it, so he eyed her
A slight blush appeared on Gu Yue’s face, but she quickly returned to normal.
“Ten… nine… eight…”
Shen Yi had begun the final countdown. They only had a few seconds left before the trial started.
Tang Wulin sucked in a deep breath. There was no time left to change the plan. Gu Yue approached his back and quickly mounted him. With a wave of her hand, green lights enveloped Tang Wulin, Xie Xie, and Xu Xiaoyan.
Paralyzed by fear, she just stared at the guillotines.
“Xiaoyan, don’t be afraid,” Gu Yue said. “You go first. I’ll use the earth
element to hold the guillotine blades up and we’ll follow right behind you.
All you have to do is run through quickly.” Xu Xiaoyan clenched her jaw and nodded. “Three… two… one… begin!”
With Shen Yi’s declaration, the third trial began.
Gu Yue chanted quietly, her hands raised toward the sky. She only managed to stay pressed close to Tang Wulin’s back by using her legs. They straddled his waist tightly, his hands gripping the flesh of her thighs. A yellow light flashed as a stone pillar shot up underneath the first gate.
The blade hurtled into the stone pillar, crashing against it. The pillar shook as cracks webbed throughout its stone.
“Quickly!” Gu Yue shouted.
In that instant, Xu Xiaoyan’s eyes became resolute. After all these years together, she had come to completely trust in her teammates. She leaned forward and dashed through the first gate, joining Xie Xie who had flashed through it earlier.
With Gu Yue clinging to his back, Tang Wulin went through last. However, right when he passed directly underneath the guillotine, the stone pillar
The gigantic guillotine blade plunged downward!
Gu Yue shut her eyes tightly, arms wrapped tightly around Tang Wulin’s neck as if she had no intention of leaving him.
Her heart was racing, probably because of the tense situation.
Tang Wulin, however, only felt her drawing closer to him, her arms and legs wrapped around his neck and waist.
Faced with the incoming blade, Tang Wulin showed neither fear nor joy.
Isn’t this just three thousand kilograms of force? And it has even been weakened by the stone pillar.
Tang Wulin raised his right hand, his blood roaring as his golden dragon
claw appeared. He thrust his arm above him, struck the enormous blade…
…and held it aloft.
From her position on the sidelines, Shen Yi was dumbstruck
She had witnessed countless students face this trial in the past. Each and every one of them approached it differently, yet this was the first time she had seen someone brazenly grab the blade!
That blade weighs over a thousand kilograms! With gravity added to that, that should’ve been over three thousand kilograms of force!
Shen Yi nearly shut her eyes subconsciously. She was afraid of the bloody scene she anticipated.
But… of course that didn’t happen. Clang!
Tang Wulin easily caught the blade, only squatting a bit to compensate for the force.
“Up!” he shouted, his right arm filling with strength as fiercely pushed it up. Holding it high in the air, he stepped through the first gate with Gu Yue on his back.
“Boss, are you even human!?” Xie Xie stared at Tang Wulin in horror.
On the other hand, shock showed in Xu Xiaoyan’s eyes, forcing her fear into the back seat.
“Gu Yue, you don’t need to do anything else. I can do this by myself.”
Now that he had experienced the strength of the guillotine himself, Tang Wulin was confident. He walked toward the second gate with large strides.
As the blade dropped, he held up his hand once more and grabbed it. He pushed the blade back up, letting Xu Xiaoyan and Xie Xie pass through before him and Gu Yue.
Tang Wulin and his golden dragon claw treated the dreaded guillotine blades like toys. He held up each and every one of them easily.
The four of them soon passed through six gates, the shortest distance possible.
Shen Yi was speechless.
This kid is looking more and more like a monster! This trial was supposed to test their ability to adapt, their reaction times, and their courage!
Against such terrifying guillotines, with only a minute to plan, the ability to adapt quickly was essential to passing the trial. Furthermore, such
adaptability could only be founded in courage.
Many students who had what it took to pass the trial relied on things such as speed and strength. However, the enormous guillotines struck fear into these examinees who were under fifteen years old, leaving many of them too scared to move even an inch.
For the students of class zero, this trial had been exceptionally easy, but for most examinees, it was the hardest trial of them all!
With their time limited and their courage tested, many could not make it through the trial within the time limit.
Even if examinees were the elite of the elites that major cities recommended, the first trial eliminated a majority of them because their
spiritual power was usually just too weak. In comparison, most examinees passed the second trial since it was a simple battle. As for the third trial,
over half of the remaining examinees were usually weeded out due to their lack of courage in the face of death.
Examinees would normally go through the gates one at a time since they usually couldn’t formulate a plan of cooperation in the one minute given. Furthermore, there was the question of whether their courage, adaptability, and judgement were up to par. It was only because Tang Wulin possessed all of these qualities in excess that the third trial was so easy for his team.
In such a trial, Tang Wulin single-handedly dealt with everything! The trial’s difficulty had never crossed his mind. The entire time, he just focused on passing.
His courage wasn’t even tested here. Even if it were, he had never lacked it. If he had, then he wouldn’t have been able to decisively shield Gu Yue from a soul fusion skill with his own body.
As for the rest of his team, they rode his coattails to the finish line. It was as if he were a propping up the heavens.
Shen Yi called out their final time. “Fourteen seconds!”
Tang Wulin swung his arm a bit, flexing his shoulder as he withdrew his claw and his hand returned to normal.
Chapter 259 – Testing Specialties
Chapter 259 – Testing Specialties
Tang Wulin was quite pleased with the results of this trial. Apart from himself, who had called upon his blood essence and soul power, his team conserved almost all of their energy.
Now that the third trial was over, Tang Wulin understood how crucial it was to ration soul power for the upcoming trials. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be able to last until the end.
He had stopped Gu Yue from exercising control over the elements precisely to conserve her soul power. As the strongest of the four, she was better
suited for handling the later trials. Tang Wulin took the brunt of the earlier ones.
“You all scored ten points.” Shen Yi strained herself to maintain a mask of tranquility, promptly leading the way to the next test after announcing the results.
She had harbored some worry for these kids in her heart, since taking these trials consecutively without rest would be tough, but now it was apparent
she had been anxious for nothing. They had scored well on the first three, and even got full-marks on the third and hardest test. Although they didn’t break any records for speed, they were the only ones in history to have dominated the trial. That Tang Wulin really deserves to be class zero’s
captain! No wonder the talented Gu Yue submits to him so willingly.
“You can get down now,” Tang Wulin said, patting Gu Yue’s arms that were wrapped around his neck.
Gu Yue buried her head into his back, clinging on to him, pretending as if she hadn’t heard his words.
Confused, Tang Wulin asked anxiously, “Did you get injured back then?”
Gu Yue shook her head softly and under her breath said, “J-just carry me for a bit longer. I’m a bit scared.”
Both Xie Xie and Xu Xiaoyan pulled strange faces as they watched the two from the sidelines. What is there for Gu Yue to be afraid of? Does she even understand the meaning of fear? In the two bystander’s eyes, Gu Yue was unaffected by such things, a paragon of indifference. Besides maintaining good relationships with her teammates, she would ignore everyone else.
She looked at all strangers with cold, apathetic eyes.
In the past three years, she hadn’t interacted much with Tang Wulin, Xie
Xie, or Xu Xiaoyan. Whenever she had a day off, she would bury herself at the Spirit Pagoda. Yet, for some reason, after the start of the Shrek
Academy entrance exams, she seemed to warm up a bit. More precisely, she became warmer toward Tang Wulin. The change was quite obvious, and now it was even clearer.
Just what is going on here?
What they didn’t know was that currently, in Gu Yue’s mind, there was the image of a naked Tang Wulin soaking in the bathtub, golden mist lingering around his toned body. His muscles shimmered in the moist, wet steam.
Although she had gotten just a glimpse of his sculpted assets, it was
engraved in her memories, anything and everything. It was at that precise moment that toward Tang Wulin began changing.
Gu Yue’s legs were wrapped around Tang Wulin too tightly for him to peel her off. He resigned himself to carrying her.
While Gu Yue’s heart pounded, Tang Wulin’s face grew crimson by the second. Though they were still young, the differences between boys and girls were already becoming apparent, making their marks. Tang Wulin’s
figure was not bulky, but sturdy and lean. On the other hand, Gu Yue’s body
was soft, and softness brought toughness, a sweet scent hanging over her form. As he carried her, locks of her hair fell onto his face, tickling him.
Once they re-entered the building, they proceeded through another corridor, climbed up the stairs, and finally reached the building’s second floor. The walls and ceilings were pure white with gold lines etched into them, as if to portray something.
“Those are… soul device blueprints?” Xu Xiaoyan asked. She had chosen mecha designer for her secondary profession, and as such she could instantly recognize what these golden lines represented.
Why are they decorating the walls with soul device blueprints? Tang Wulin couldn’t make sense of the complex diagrams. If his spiritual power was
weaker, then perhaps he may have gone dizzy just staring at the diagrams.
hey entered a large room as he was in mid-thought. Shen Yi pointed to some chairs on the side. “Wait here. I’m going to go get this trial’s
administrators. This trial will test your personal strength. Only one of your specialties will be examined, so consider carefully what you will present.
Your greatest specialty is directly related to your strength.” Finished speaking, she about-faced and left.
“Our specialty?” Xie Xie was at a loss.
Gu Yue finally got down from Tang Wulin’s back and sat cross-legged first, meditating and not uttering a word.
Tang Wulin took a seat beside her. “This trial is pretty simple. Our specialty is just our greatest strength as a soul master. For example, Xie Xie, you’re
an agility-type soul master, so you just need to show the limit of your speed. You just need to embody what it means to be an agility-type soul master. Of course, you’re not a normal one since you have twin martial souls, so I think you should show off both: a combination of speed and your twin martial souls. It should be the same for everyone else, so just show them
what you’re best at.”
Xu Xiaoyan furrowed her brows. “Captain, then what should I do? My full potential only comes up at night.”
Tang Wulin flashed a wry smile. “You’ll just have to make do by describing it with words. You already used it during the second trial, so it shouldn’t be hard to find proof. It should be fine as long as you explain your ability thoroughly. As long as you’re speaking the truth, I don’t think they’ll demand you to show it.”
Xu Xiaoyan’s expression eased. “I got it.”
Tang Wulin said, “Alright, rest as much as you can everyone. This is a rare opportunity.” He closed his eyes in an instant and began meditating the moment he finished speaking.
The strength of his blood essence was closely related to his soul power. The greater his soul power, the mightier his blood essence. With no food in
sight, his only option was to recover his soul power.
However, they weren’t given much time to rest. Not even five minutes later, Shen Yi returned with three people in tow. Two were middle-aged while the third was an elderly lady.
The elderly lady held a walking stick in her hand, her gait unsteady as she walked over to a long table and took a seat. The two middle-aged men treated her with respect, sitting down on each side of her after she was
seated. This left Shen Yi to stand on the side.
The old lady scrutinized the still-meditating four examinees across from her, who were unaware of the three’s arrival.
A smile tugging at the corner of her mouth, she said in a hoarse voice,
“These kids sure know how to make the most of their time. Alright then, Little Yiyi, tell them we’re beginning.”
“Yes, Elder Cai.” Shen Yi showed no discontent at how the old lady
addressed her, and instead, answered deferentially. She took quick steps toward the four examinees to wake them up.
“This trial’s administrators are here now.” Shen Yi asked, “Which of you will go first?”
Tang Wulin studied his teammates as he considered. Since they were a team of four, he had to determine the best method for the whole group, especially since the first to go up would likely leave the deepest impression. The order they went in was crucial. The first to proceed needed to go with a bang.
“Xie Xie, you’re up first.” After announcing his decision, he shifted over to Xie XIe’s side and whispered a few words into his ear.
“Okay.” Xie Xie nodded then stood up, walking to the center of the room. “Hello teachers,” he said as he bowed deeply to the three examiners.
The old lady chuckled. “Kid, go on and begin. You only have once chance, so show me what you’re best at.”
“Yes,” Xie Xie answered respectfully while three soul rings appeared beneath him.
Two yellow and one purple, the three soul rings twinkled in the air. A moment later, his third soul ring, the sole purple one, lit up.
His body blurred into three identical clones standing side-by-side. They couldn’t be differentiated by the naked eye.
The three Xie Xie’s bowed to the teachers, then, in an instant, their figures became transparent as they dashed off in separate directions with bizarre
steps. Each one held a Light Dragon Dagger.
The air hissed as each of the daggers sliced through the air. The slashes grew faster, blurred, until each of the three figures seemed like a thrashing whirlwind. The clones flitted around the area, the wind raging as they fought an imaginary opponent at the eye of the hurricane.
The two middle-aged teachers were astonished. Using their soul power to envelop the arena, they could tell that these invisible clones were tangible existences!
Chapter 260 – The Fourth Trial
Chapter 260 – The Fourth Trial
Soul skills that produce clones weren’t anything special, and were actually a common sight among agility-type soul masters. Three clones were fairly impressive, but still couldn’t be considered much to Shrek Academy. Six
clones, however, were a different story, especially since half of them were invisible.
Thirty seconds later, the three clones merged back into one figure. Sweat dripped from Xie Xie’s forehead as he bowed to the three teachers three times. “I’m finished with my performance.”
The old lady looked at him with interest. “Kid, your twin martial souls are similar to one another, correct?”
“Yes, that’s right.” Xie Xie wasn’t surprised at the elder’s insight into his secret. This was Shrek Academy after all!
The old lady nodded. “Not bad, but you still lack control. You’ve only
scratched the surface of the Tang Sect’s Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track. Don’t try to rush progress and don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Refine your Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track more before giving all of your clones the same abilities. Furthermore, your spiritual power is too weak at the moment. It’s impossible for you to have complete control over three
clones at once. Focus on strengthening your spiritual power first. If you can reach the Spirit Sea realm within three years, your future will be boundless.”
Xie Xie had been quite proud of himself. With his Twin Dragon Clones, each one utilizing Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track against one target, he
considered himself quite formidable.
However, he couldn’t say a single word to refute the old lady’s criticism. She had hit each nail right on the head, pinpointing each and every one of his weaknesses.
Xie Xie happily bowed once more, his head nearly dipping below his knees. Admiration welled from the bottom of his heart.
“Thank you for your guidance. I will do my best to improve myself.” “Mn.” The old lady nodded. “Next.”
Xie Xie returned to the others in humiliation, shoulders drooping and his face bitter. The next person to go up was Xu Xiaoyan. Similar to Xie Xie, she had received some instructions from Tang Wulin.
“What’s wrong with you? Are you depressed?” Tang Wulin asked Xie Xie softly.
Xie Xie laughed bitterly in response. “That’s right! I originally thought I was pretty amazing, but I don’t think I did too well in this trial.”
Tang Wulin smiled calmly. “It’s fine. Actually, I think it’s the opposite. I bet you scored quite highly. That grandmother is clearly the central figure
among the three teachers. If she thought you were rotten wood that couldn’t be carved, would she have given you so much advice? Besides, we’re
students! We came to Shrek to learn. What would be the point of coming if we already know everything?”
Xie Xie was dumbstruck.
That’s right! I’m not horrible, that grandmother was just telling me how to make future progress!
Tang Wulin patted him on the leg. “Let’s watch.”
Xu Xiaoyan stood in the center of the room and bowed to the three teachers.
“You may start,” the old lady said.
“My sincerest apologies to the three examiners” Xu Xiaoyan said. “I am unable to show you my specialty because it is still daytime. My martial soul is different at night. From a certain perspective, I can be considered a monster of a soul master. That is why I have come to Shrek.”
Moving the examiners with words alone was not an easy task. Tang Wulin knew this, so he had instructed her to immediately point out her uniqueness. Being a “monster” was Shrek’s motto. Calling herself one would instantly draw the attention of the examiners.
“Oh? Then how are you different at night?” the examiner on the old lady’s left asked.
Xu Xiaoyan summoned her ice staff and grabbed it with her right hand, two yellow soul rings rising as she did so. “During the day, my martial soul is just the Ice Staff, which excels at controlling the battlefield and long-ranged attacks. At night, I gain the power of starlight, and my martial soul transforms into the Starwheel Ice Staff, changing my soul skills.”
A spark of excitement appeared in the old lady’s eyes. “I know of the Starwheel Ice Staff. It came from the Xu family long ago, but not many of them had it. Your surname is Xu?”
The old lady’s words took Xu Xiaoyan by surprise. “That’s right! You know about my family?”
The old lady smiled calmly. “There are very few things in the world of soul masters that Shrek doesn’t know about. You can go back now.”
Xu Xiaoyan gaped at her. “But I’m not done explaining.”
The old lady’s brow wrinkled. “Since I know about your origins, why wouldn’t I know about the absolute control of your starlight soul skills? Now go on back to your friends.”
“Oh.” Xu Xiaoyan bowed again before leaving.
Tang Wulin was already standing to welcome Xu Xiaoyan back, nodding with approval. “You did great. Relax.”
His words of assurance caused the tension to flow out of her body. Tang Wulin walked past her toward the center of the room.
The old lady inspected Tang Wulin curiously. “You seem quite confident!”
“Huh?” Her words caught him off guard, but he quickly realized his mistake and bowed. “Greetings to the three examiners.”
The old lady smiled strangely. “They seem to trust you. Show me what you can do. Show me… why they have so much faith in you.”
“Yes.” Tang Wulin didn’t explain himself. He now realized that the three examiners had likely heard everything he whispered into Xie Xie and Xu Xiaoyan’s ears. They were truly formidable, worthy of being teachers of Shrek Academy!
“My speciality is power,” he said.
A golden light flashed in his eyes and his blood essence erupted outward.
In a world of his own, he could hear the sound of his blood pumping through his veins like a mighty river. His right arm swelled with strength, golden scales covering it. Then a golden soul ring appeared.
“Ah!” Shock wiped the smile off the old lady’s face, her eyes wide at the resplendent soul ring.
Beside her, the other two examiners similarly gaped at the sight before them.
All of the colors a soul ring could be had long since been established in the world of soul masters. White represented a ten-year soul ring, yellow meant hundred-year, purple stood for thousand-year, black indicated ten-thousand- year, and red signified hundred-thousand-year.
Normal soul rings could be one of those five colors. However, in the entire history of the Douluo Continent, soul rings with special colors had
appeared. The appearance of such a soul ring signified immense power. In the history of Shrek Academy, a golden soul ring had appeared once.
Tang San of the original Shrek Seven Monsters, the founder of the Tang Sect, had killed a million-year soul beast and obtained a golden soul ring.
Yet million-year soul rings had only appeared twice in the history of the Douluo Continent. The second person to possess a million-year soul ring
was the legendary figure that the plaza was named after, the founder of the Spirit Pagoda, Spirit Ice Douluo Huo Yuhao!
However, Huo Yuhao’s million-year soul ring was different from Tang San’s. His was white and could easily be disguised as a ten-year soul ring. According to the analyses of later generations of soul masters, Tang San’s million-year soul ring had been directly obtained from a soul beast, resulting in its golden color. Huo Yuhao, on the other hand, had been lucky enough to fuse with the million-year Skydream Iceworm which had slept all the way until it reached the million-year level. This was the supposed reason for the difference in color. Although the Spirit Ice Douluo’s soul ring became very powerful, it wasn’t on par with Tang San’s golden soul ring.