Chapter 491 - Feng Ling
Chapter 491 - Feng Ling
Tang Wulin was known for having a bottomless pit of a stomach. He had
already conned Yuanen Yehui once into treating him to a meal in exchange for smithing a metal for her. But now before their very eyes was Na’er,
shoving bite after bite of meat skewers into her little mouth, tossing each used stick into a pile at a rate that was almost on par with Tang Wulin’s.
Xie Xie and Yuanen Yehui both thought they were dreaming. Although she wasn’t as active as her brother, Na’er still managed to strike fear into the hearts of onlookers at how quick she made the food disappear. A third of the dishes ended up in her stomach.
Xie Xie gulped, his eyes wide as they drifted to Tang Wulin. “Boss, is
everyone in your family a glutton? Na’er, you shouldn’t learn from your brother. He’s a bad example to follow.”
Na’er giggled and reached for another meat skewer.
Rolling his eyes at Xie Xie, Tang Wulin said, “Please. Don’t you understand how wonderful eating is? Na’er, you want some more?”
She shook her head. “I’m good, Big Brother. I’m full. That was good food! It’s been a long time since I had something like this.”
Tang Wulin smiled, warmth in his gaze. They weren’t the same young
children from six years ago, wide-eyed and innocent. From when Na’er had been taken out of his life. They both grew since then. But if Tang Wulin had to be honest, she had changed more than he had.
He could tell that she was deliberately avoiding certain topics, such as those regarding her family. She always directed the conversation in another direction whenever he even slightly tested the waters. After the second time, he took the hint and stopped prodding. He didn’t want to make things difficult for her. As long as she was his little sister, it was enough.
The grill shop was getting busier and busier, a long line already twisting down the street. Guests had cycled to and from the tables, and only Tang Wulin’s party had remained throughout.
Through the clamoring of the guests, Tang Wulin heard someone say in a hushed voice,“Wow! That little missy really knows how to eat!” Having detected ill intent in their voice, he looked up from his food to identify the speaker, his sense of hearing heightened from breaking his fourth seal.
Since Yuanen Yehui was currently in her male disguise, Na’er was the only person in their group that looked like a girl.
Tang Wulin soon pinpointed where the voice had come from. A group of three young men in their twenties, chests exposed and arms covered in unseemly tattoos. A single look was enough for him to tell they were thugs. The crowd parted to let these men through. Not even the shop owner dared to say anything. He just lowered his head, focusing on the grill as if it were the most interesting thing in the world. As if his customers weren’t about to get harrassed.
The one who had spoken stood at the front left of their group. He looked like a monkey, exposing his chest despite being all skin and bones.
“Little Lei, you talking about that silver-haired girl?” asked the man in the center. He wore his hair in a fauxhawk and had bulging muscles. A real bull of a man. The tattoos running along his arms gave him a violent and fierce edge.
“Yeah! Big Bro Feng, it’s that girl! She’s quite the looker already. I bet she’ll be smoking hot in a few years.”
“Isn’t she kinda young?” asked Feng.
Lei exposed a smile that was more teeth and gums than anything. “Young is good! Haven’t you heard? You gotta groom pretty girls from childhood!
That’s how you get close to them.”
The other thugs hooted with laughter and grunted in agreement. Their filthy gazesl converged on Na’er. Not bothering to keep the voices down since the beginning, the thugs basically broadcasted their dirty thoughts to everyone in the shop. Many of the other patrons sent sympathetic looks to Tang Wulin’s party.
Tang Wulin and Na’er just continued eating as if nothing happened.
The shop owner pushed through the door and walked into the fenced eating area, bringing over five freshly grilled skewers of squid to Tang Wulin’s table.
Astonished, Tang Wulin looked up at the owner. “Boss, we already got all we ordered!”
The owner placed himself between Tang Wulin’s group and the thugs, using his body as a makeshift wall. “These are my treat. But you kids should leave immediately. Those guys who just walked in are good-for-nothings looking for trouble. You shouldn’t get involved with them.”
“But we’re right by Shrek Academy. They actually dare misbehave with the academy next door?”
The owner smiled bitterly. “Even if they’re right outside, they don’t police everything. Shrek City’s public order is pretty good to begin with, but you can’t be rid of all the criminals. Those guys had probably gotten expelled from Shrek Academy at one point. Or maybe they’re one of the hopefuls who failed to get in. Either way, they harbor a lot of resentment and refuse to leave the city, straying further and further from the right path.”
Tang Wulin’s eyes went wide. “Then they’re also soul masters?”
“Probably.” The owner shot him a meaningful look, eyes gesturing to the exit.
Tang Wulin smiled. “Don’t worry. We were just about to leave anyway.” He picked up the skewers the owner just brought out and devoured them each in a couple of bites. Then he settled the bill.
Xie Xie glanced at Tang Wulin, asking in a hushed voice, “Captain, do you want me to…?”
Tang Wulin shook his head. “It’s fine. We’re going. Na’er, are you ready to leave?”
Na’er nodded and smiled wide, a bit of sauce at the corner of her mouth. Grabbing a napkin, Tang Wulin gently wiped it away.
“Let’s go then.”
The four of them stood up to exit the shop. But the thugs barred their way at the door.
“Hey kids, you leaving already? I saw that you only ate food earlier. How about having some drinks with us too? Booze is good stuff. Let’s all grab some drinks,” said the skinny man, his smile reminiscent of filth as he placed a hand on Tang Wulin’s shoulder.
Tang Wulin returned a polite smile. “No thanks. We’re already full. And we’re still minors, so we can’t drink.”
“Well, you kids can leave then. But you know, that girl looks familiar. She sure looks like my little sister who I haven’t talked to for many years.” The man’s beady little eyes swept up and down Na’er’s body lecherously. “How about we chat a little?”
Tang Wulin and Na’er had blank looks on their faces. Even Xie Xie and Yuanen Yehui couldn’t help but crack up a bit.
“Wait a minute,” said the muscular man, the one who seemed like the leader of the thugs.
“Big Bro Feng, what’s up?”
Feng stared down Tang Wulin. “Are you kids from Shrek Academy?” Tang Wulin’s heart thumped. “How’d you know?”
The man clicked his tongue. “You kids are able to remain so calm and
confident even in a situation like this. The only kids this ballsy around here are from Shrek Academy.”
The other thugs looked at Tang Wulin’s group, jaws dropping, the predatory glints in their eyes disappearing in a flash. Every single citizen of Shrek
City prided themselves on being neighbors with Shrek Academy.
“Well, you’re right. We’re students at Shrek Academy,” Tang Wulin answered calmly. “Now, do you mind moving out of the way?”
The man advanced two steps on Tang Wulin, until the two were staring at each other face to face. “I’ll let you go. But first, have a spar with me.
You’re free to leave after that.”
Tang Wulin narrowed his eyes. “What if I refuse?”
“My name is Feng Ling. If you refuse, then I will still let you pass. But I will proclaim that Shrek Academy’s students are no match for Feng Ling.” There was a provocative glint in Feng Ling’s eyes, just daring Tang Wulin to refuse.
“Now you’re just taking advantage of me! You’ve probably got a whole decade on me!” Tang Wulin said, never breaking eye contact as he grinned. He was sure that if not a decade, then Feng Ling was at least seven or eight years his senior.
Chapter 492 - What About Gu Yue?
Chapter 492 - What About Gu Yue?
“Taking advantage?” Feng Ling crossed his arms. “Fine. If any one of you can take a single attack from me, then I’ll let you all go.”
“Big Brother, let me take care of this.” Na’er stepped past Tang Wulin before he could react. A wave of power burst from her body, her silver eyes shining iridescently.
Feng Ling felt as if hundreds of swords were aimed at him, their razor sharp edges grazing his skin. He instinctively summoned his martial soul to defend himself. But he was too late. In a flash, a silver spear pricked his throat. The chill of metal on skin froze his blood. If the spear had moved a
centimeter further, he would be dead. His martial soul summoning was interrupted, his soul power unable to circulate properly to call forth his martial soul. He stood still, sweating. Paralyzed by fear.
From start to finish, the whole encounter lasted no more than a tenth of a
second. Her movements had been too fast to follow, no more than a blur. A mere flicker. Whether it were Tang Wulin or Yuanen Yehui or anyone else present, no one could keep track of what had happened.
Four soul rings revolved around Na’er. Three purple, one black. She held a silver spear nearly four meters in length against Feng Ling’s throat with a single, still hand. A fine layer of silver hexagonal scales decorated the
slender shaft, spanning the entire length. At the end of the spear was a
single blade. It made up a third of the total length of the spear and featured
a conical tip. On it were twelve grooves, perfect channels for the blood of any it pierced.
A shiver ran down Feng Ling’s spine. His knees buckled, legs collapsing beneath him. Something warm and wet ran down the sides of his thighs to his ankles, but he didn’t have the capacity to care at the moment.
Complexion deathly pale, he wore not a hint of his previous bravado. All the while his underlings watched in fearful silence, postures no longer as proud, mouths wiped of shameless grins. None of them dared to make a move.
They were all soul masters and understood what the soul rings of Na’er
signified. Such a soul ring configuration at the age of thirteen held only one explanation. She was from the inner court. As one who belonged to Shrek Academy’s elite class, she was destined to one day overturn the continent! Her young age only amplified her status. An inner court student as young as her was as rare as a phoenix!
Na’er hadn’t even spared Feng Ling a glance the entire time, her gaze fixed on Tang Wulin, a sweet smile dancing on her lips. “Big Brother, let’s get going. I still wanna chat with you some more. Let’s not waste time on these guys.”
Tang Wulin stared at her blankly. When he first began cultivating, she hadn’t even Awakened her martial soul! Yet now she was more powerful than him, already attaining the strength of a Soul Ancestor with four mighty soul rings. She possessed the black fourth soul ring he so desperately hoped for as well.
Is that spear her martial soul? Is she an agility-type? She’s so great! Tang Wulin had felt his blood essence rousing when her spear appeared. It piqued his interest.
The spear disappeared in a silver flash. Then Na’er walked past the thugs. Tang Wulin, Xie Xie, and Yuanen Yehui snapped out of their dazes and followed. While Xie Xie kept a straight face, Yuanen Yehui’s eyes shone brightly, her gaze glued to Na’er’s back. She wanted to know where she
stood relative to Na’er. If she could handle the speed Na’er exhibited.
Na’er acted as if nothing had happened. She latched onto Tang Wulin’s arm the entire way back, sneaking tender glances at him from time to time,
smiling adorably while she praised the food they just ate.
Tang Wulin’s heart warmed at the sight of her so animated. But buried deep was an inkling of doubt. That silver flash. He couldn’t get it out of his head.
After Tang Wulin’s party left, Feng Ling and his thugs eventually regained themselves. They were pale, trembling with fear still. But in the end, they returned home with their tails tucked between their legs. What the thugs had seen was merely the tip of Na’er’s power. They couldn’t even fathom the gap between them.
Once Tang Wulin’s group returned to campus, Tang Wulin directed his
attention to Xie Xie and Yuanen Yehui. “You guys go on ahead. I’m going to go cultivate on Sea God’s Island for a few more days. I’ll be back by the start of the semester. Yuanen, I’ll deliver what I promised you then.”
“Okay,” Yuanen Yehui said, before heading for her room.
Xie Xie swept his gaze from Tang Wulin to Na’er. A few words danced at the tip of his tongue,but in the end he said nothing. He waved goodbye to Tang Wulin and ran after Yuanen Yehui like a puppy.
Tang Wulin and Na’er turned onto the path to the inner court. She skipped along ahead of him, humming a cheerful tune.
As he watched her, he couldn’t help but smile. Mom, Dad, I’ve finally reunited with Na’er. I’ll find you two next. I will reunite our family.
“Yuanen, wait for me!” Xie Xie shouted as he chased after her.
Yuanen Yehui headed straight for their dormitory without sparing him a glance.
Owing to his speed, Xie Xie eventually caught up with her. “Yuanen, there’s something I want to talk to you about.” He made sure to scan the area for onlookers before speaking in a hushed voice.
“What are you being all secretive for?” From the corner of her eye, she
snuck a peek at him. Her anger had subsided in the last two days. Looking back with a clear head, she had determined that Xie Xie truly hadn’t peeped on purpose, and his confession had moved her. He was the first boy to show her any affection. Even if she didn’t like the circumstances under which he confessed, it still left a deep impression in her heart. No one disliked being loved. She kept telling herself to ignore him, but she wasn’t angry enough to follow through anymore.
Then there were the chores. Xie Xie cleaned the dormitory daily, and had recently picked up the task of bringing her a fresh basin of water every morning. He kept at it even at her act of ignoring. Even at her scorn.
“Don’t you think Wulin and his little sister are close? Like, too close? They’re not siblings by blood! And his sister is so pretty too!” Xie Xie exclaimed.
“What are you saying?” She narrowed her eyes as she watched him.
“Nothing much. I’m just a bit worried. His little sister’s girl power is too
strong. She’s absolutely stunning and super attached to him. There’s no way a man won’t be attracted to her. Of course, I’m not talking about me!
You’re the only one in my heart!”
“Get away from me.” Yuanen Yehui hastened her steps.
“Wait! Don’t run! Hear me out on this!” Xie Xie said as he tailed her. “I’m worried. What about Gu Yue? None of us are blind here. It’s obvious that she likes Wulin! You’ve been around us for a while now too. What do you think will happen to Gu Yue if Wulin ends up with his little sister?”
Yuanen Yehui froze, her eyes once again focusing on Xie Xie. “What does that have to do with you? Just mind your own business. Let them sort out their relationships themselves.”
Worry flitted in Xie Xie’s eyes. “But we’re friends! I don’t want anything to come between that! And you’ve seen how differently Gu Yue treats Wulin.”
“So what if I’ve seen it? Or if I haven’t? You’ve barely started puberty and your head’s already full of this rubbish. No wonder you’re so weak.”
Xie Xie’s face soured. “How am I weak? Aren’t you just saying I don’t meet your standards?”
Indifference coated Yuanen Yehui’s words. “As long as you understand, then it’s fine. You don’t have to say it out loud.”
“You…” Xie Xie glared at her. “Then if one day I’m able to defeat you, marry me!”
Yuanen Yehui stopped in her steps. Bit by bit her neck turned, robotically, until her eyes were aligned with Xie Xie’s for a third time. Her lip twitched but she uttered not a word. Then she lurched forward and broke into a mad dash for her room.
Naturally, Xie Xie was not one bit discouraged, pumping his fist in the air. She didn’t say no! So if I become stronger than her, I’ll have a chance!
Beating her though… The grin on his face that had just formed quickly melted away. That’s going to be hard. Both her martial souls are amazing. It’s not fair. I have twin martial souls too, but mine can’t compare! Damn it! I have to word harder! I have to defeat her!
Xie Xie’s thinking was on the right track. He had to show off his manly appeal for any hope of winning Yuanen Yehui’s heart.
Chapter 493 - Golden Dragon Shakes the Earth
Chapter 493 - Golden Dragon Shakes the Earth
After a short while, Tang Wulin and Na’er reached the lakeside of Sea God’s Lake.
“Big Brother, aren’t you going to ask about my martial soul?” Na’er prompted as she summoned her spear. With a flick of her hand, it writhed and undulated, no more than a silver blur. “It’s called the Silver Dragon Spear.”
Silver Dragon Spear? Tang Wulin’s eyes went wide, his heart racing with anticipation.
With a giggle, her martial soul vanished. She hopped onto the small boat parked on the shore with the grace of a fairy. Tang Wulin quickly followed suit.
The moon hung clear in the evening sky. Below, the lake caught the lunar
and celestial glow, a cascading reflection upon the calm surface. Their small boat cut through the lake of stars, ripples distorting the still image in their
“The stars are pretty tonight!” Na’er said, a gleeful smile tugging on pink lips.
Tang Wulin took in her joyful expression and found it contagious. His heart was at peace. It didn’t matter to him that she was a powerful soul master.
No. All he cared about was that his little sister was safe and sound. That they had reunited.
This beautiful, serene scene was fleeting, the boat slowly approaching Sea God’s Island. But it was precious all the same.
After docking on Sea God’s Island, the two disembarked, their feet taking them toward the center of the island. Na’er clung to Tang Wulin’s arm, her lips never changing from an adoring smile. He couldn’t help but ruffle her hair the way he did when they were kids. The love in her eyes. He could see them glowing so.
“This is where I live,” Na’er whispered, her arm slowly rising, a finger pointed at a small wooded hill to the side.
Tang Wulin stopped and faced her. “Okay. Hurry on home.”
“Big Brother, are we meeting at the same place tomorrow?” she said, looking up at him.
“Sure! I’m not sure if I can stay out this long tomorrow though. I still need to cultivate.”
“Yay! I’ll be happy as long as I get to see you.” With that, Na’er waved him goodbye, then left for the hill, her figure shrinking with every step.
After she was no longer a speck in the distance, Tang Wulin took in a deep breath. In and out. The joy in his heart for reuniting with Na’er burned radiantly, warming his chest in soft brushes.
In the next few days, Tang Wulin diligently practiced Golden Dragon Shocks the Heavens. Since his blood essence was as vigorous as it was and he had already achieved the foundation of reversing his blood essence flow, he quickly picked up everything from Zhuo Shi’s next lesson. Which was on the sixth day, and covered the second of the Nine Arts of the Scarlet
Dragon. Dragon Shakes the Earth. For Tang Wulin, the art was more personalized: Golden Dragon Shakes the Earth. After shocking the heavens, shaking the earth next seemed the most appropriate.
Tang Wulin was able to progress quickly thanks to his foundation in Golden Dragon Shocks the Heavens. However, he was still sullen. Try as he might, he still couldn’t figure out the purpose of his second blood essence soul
skill. Apart from causing his scales to shine, that was. All that trouble to break the fourth seal, but the soul ring he gained appeared to be useless.
Although he didn’t pay too much mind to Na’er’s strength, her four soul rings and masterful spear technique ignited a fire to cultivate in his heart.
He had spent the last few days fervently cultivating, his dates with Na’er his only periods of rest. He was desperate to grow, to improve his combat
strength and increase his soul power.
“Big Brother, what’s got you down these last couple of days?” Na’er’s eyes held concern.
“It’s my second golden soul ring. I still don’t know what its skill does,” Tang Wulin said. He did not hide from her anything about his bizarre bloodline or golden soul rings, only keeping the seals a secret.
With both his parents missing, Na’er was his last remaining family.
“What about it?” Na’er asked. “How about you show me? Maybe I can help you.”
“Okay.” Tang Wulin urged his blood essence. Golden scales manifested on his body and two golden rings appeared around him. “Take a look.”
His first soul ring lit up and the golden scales became finer and more lustrous. Then he lit up the second ring. Tang Wulin was helpless to activate the skill any other way, stuck using Golden Dragon Body first, which increased his blood essence consumption significantly.
The scales on his body shone with a dazzling light, miniature mirrors each and every one of them. Two seconds later, the shining faded.
“That’s it. All it does is make me shiny for a couple of seconds. And it
consumes a lot of blood essence. I have no idea how I’m supposed to use it.
Nothing happens to my blood essence or soul power apart from them being consumed. I can’t attack with it either.”
After some thought, Na’er said, “What about defense? Did anything change about your defense?”
Tang Wulin’s eyes went blank as he searched within himself. Defense? I never thought about that! He had been too focused on improving his attack power. That was natural, since even his bluesilver grass’ functionality was mainly crowd control. Maybe it really is a defense skill?
“I didn’t feel any changes to my defense though.” “Well, let’s test it out first,” Na’er said.
“Alright.” But Tang Wulin’s interest was waning. Even if it were a defense skill, he couldn’t see how it would be useful or increase his combat power.
He roused his blood essence once more and used the second blood essence soul skill. Again, his scales shone brightly.
Na’er summoned her spear into her hand in a flash of light. She swung the spear at his stomach without any hesitation.
Tang Wulin’s lit scales flashed. As soon as that happened, Na’er felt a
sucking force on her, the blood essence within her raging as it rushed out to be absorbed by Tang Wulin. After absorbing the blood essence, Tang Wulin shone even brighter. He felt the whole action keenly, the energy behind
Na’er’s attack being drained to empower him, his own blood essence boiling with strength in the process.
A dragon roared deep within him and he subconsciously directed a palm of Golden Dragon Shocks the Heavens toward the sky. The roar thundered, a phantom dragon head on the cusp of being tangible bursting out his open palm. Tang Wulin noticed the radiance of his body dim, but this Golden
Dragon Shocks the Heavens he released was four times more powerful than normal. W-what happened? Na’er’s attack didn’t hurt at all!
Na’er examined him pensively. “It looks like it’s more than just a defense skill.”
It occured to Tang Wulin after finishing Golden Dragon Shocks the
Heavens that not only was it far more destructive, it also consumed less
energy and was released faster than usual. Is it some sort of support skill? “Big Brother, can you use it again?” Na’er asked.
“Yeah. I should be able to.”
“Okay. Let’s try it again then.”
“Got it!” Tang Wulin’s second golden ring lit up on command.
Instead of swinging her spear this time, Na’er thrust it hard. It pierced through the air like a lightning bolt, straight for Tang Wulin’s right arm where the scales were thickest.
Upon impact, Tang Wulin’s scales flashed brightly once more. Rather than facing the sky this time, he spun around and stomped on the ground. Eight phantom dragons burst from below him. Golden Dragon Shakes the Earth.
Chapter 494 - Golden Dragon Tyrant Body
Chapter 494 - Golden Dragon Tyrant Body
Na’er used her spear to vault into the air in an effort to avoid the phantom dragons. But it was to no avail. The pressure from Golden Dragon Shakes the Earth proved unescapable. A couple times she span in the air, silver hair whipping in the wind, silver light enveloping her body the moment she landed on his head. As Tang Wulin had informed her beforehand, the only
safe location when he used Golden Dragon Shakes the Earth was on top of him.
“Did it hurt?” Na’er asked.
Tang Wulin shook his head. The instant the spear had struck him, his scales lit up and he felt as if a burst of blood essence energy had been poured into him. Body urging to let out all that energy, he did so with Golden Dragon Shakes the Earth. During the whole event, he hadn’t once felt pain, nor had his scales been damaged.
“That’s good then. I think I know what your soul skill does too.” Na’er smiled.
Tang Wulin looked at her curiously. “So what is it?”
“The first half is invincibility for about two seconds.” She wrinkled her nose. “Well, not quite invincibility. I’m sure you’ve heard of such skills before. Ones where your defense triples for a moment, but it’s practically invincibility during that time. The second half of the skill absorbs the opponent's attack energy and converts it into your own, empowering your
next attack. When I hit you just now, I felt my soul power and blood essence being sucked into you.”
“Really?” Tang Wulin had already spent a semester at Shrek Academy, but he never heard of a soul skill like this.
A smile continued to dance on Na’er’s lips. “This isn’t too strange for a
soul skill. Besides, this isn’t an ordinary soul skil to begin with. Anything is possible. If you use it well, you’ll be unstoppable on the battlefield.”
Tang Wulin’s heart raced. He mulled over her words, considering the possibilities. A potent counter-attack skill. If he mastered it, it had the potential to be godly!
“Na’er, try hitting me again. But harder this time. Let’s see how strong my defense is,” Tang Wulin said.
Na’er nodded. “Alright. Be careful.”
Tang Wulin grunted his affirmation, then called forth his blood essence. He could easily use his second blood essence soul skill four or five times.
Na’er took in a deep breath, a sharp glint in her eyes. Her aura completely transformed.
Silver light burst from her body, obscuring her figure from Tang Wulin’s view. She became one with her spear, a meter long beam of light shooting out the spear’s tip.
Tang Wulin braced himself, not daring to underestimate the power within her spear.
A shout brought forth her full might. She pointed her spear to the sky, her
aura flaring. A wave of power crashed into Tang Wulin and all of his scales went erect, his soul power rapidly circulating to protect him.
“I’m going!” Na’er declared.
Tang Wulin sucked air into his lungs, his second golden ring lighting up. His scales shone once more, resplendent gold fighting back the wave of silver.
Silver streaked through the air, no more than a blur to the untrained eye. Tang Wulin couldn’t follow it at all. Before his mind could catch up, a metallic clink rang out and two dragons roared, one roar reverberating and the other melodic. Which came from his body was anyone’s guess.
Energy flooded into him. In order to vent the excess energy, he released a Golden Dragon Shocks the Heavens, the phantom dragon head far larger and tangible than previous. It was nearly indistinguishable from a real dragon. The phantom soared into the sky, tearing through the air. Tang Wulin had to do his best to redirect it from attacking Na’er.
The Silver Dragon Spear retreated, then softened and coiled around Na’er. Silver light pulsed around it, fighting back against Golden Dragon Shocks the Heavens.
Tang Wulin had never unleashed such a mighty Golden Dragon Shocks the Heavens. All of the seeds Zhuo Shi had sowed with his teachings bore fruit, their mysteries coming together into one powerful attack. His internal
energies were bubbling, both his soul power and blood essence sublimated.
The phantom dragon head persisted for three more seconds before fading. With it followed Tang Wulin’s scales and dominating blood essence aura.
He couldn’t sustain such power for very long with his current blood essence levels. Exhaustion finally caught up to him, weakness washing over him in a giant wave. But he didn’t care about that. He was still overcome with joy.
All the lesser techniques of Golden Dragon Shocks the Heavens had culminated into a single attack.
“Big Brother, I don’t think I can penetrate your defenses when you use that skill even if I attack with my full power. How do you feel now?” Na’er
withdrew her spear and walked over to his side.
Tang Wulin nodded, a grin on his face. “Tired but great. I’ve got it now. The stronger the attack is, the more energy I absorb and the more powerful my
counter-attack. But it’s a double-edged sword: the stronger the attack I take, the more of my blood essence is consumed. So in order to penetrate my defenses, your attack needs to overwhelm what my blood essence can handle. And if that happens, I’ll be gravely wounded. But for the most part, it’s exactly like you said. I’m practically invincible when I use it. An attack probably needs to be two or three times more powerful than my defense to overwhelm me.”
Na’er wholeheartedly agreed. “It’s a godly skill.”
Tang Wulin’s grin grew even bigger. “I have to thank you. If it weren’t for you, I would never have been able to figure out what this skill does. Once my blood essence has recovered tomorrow, let’s do some more testing. I need to experiment with it more if I want to master it.”
“I don’t think I’ll be able to break through your defense. If you had directed that attack earlier at me for real, I wouldn’t have been able to come out unscathed. That attack contained both your power and mine. Big Brother, what are you going to name this skill?”
Tang Wulin looked at her, eyes misting in thought, before shrugging. Na’er giggled. “How about I name it then?”
“Sure! What do you wanna call it?” Tang Wulin beamed.
Na’er thought about it for a moment. “Let’s call it Golden Dragon Tyrant Body. Isn’t that cool?”
Tang Wulin chuckled. “Yes, yes. We’ll go with that.”
It was quite fitting. Tang Wulin’s first Golden Dragon King blood essence soul skill was Golden Dragon Body. Now the second was Golden Dragon Tyrant Body!
Although Tang Wulin didn’t gain a ranged attack skill like he hoped, he was excited for the possibilities of Golden Dragon Tyrant Body after these initial tests. it was a skill that could reverse the tide of battle! The effect
would be especially great when faced with an opponent far stronger than him.
This skill was of great help to him in cultivating the Nine Arts of the Scarlet Dragon. Unleashing Golden Dragon Shocks the Heavens and Golden
Dragon Shakes the Earth while empowered by this skill beat using the two arts normally.
By the time the new semester started, Tang Wulin had mastered the tricks of Golden Dragon Shocks the Heavens and nearly grasped the basics of
Golden Dragon Shakes the Earth. In Zhuo Shi’s eyes, he was nothing short of a genius.
“Wulin, you need to focus on cultivating your soul power now. These arts I taught you are powerful and can help you out in battle, but soul power is
still the basis of a soul master’s strength. Quite a few of your classmates have already obtained their fourth ring. Don’t fall behind. And once you gain another ring, many more doors will open up for you,” Zhuo Shii said as he saw Tang Wulin off.
A chill ran through Tang Wulin’s heart. All of my teachers keep telling me to focus on cultivating my soul power. Looks like I really need to put more time into that once the new semester starts. If I can’t reach rank 40 by the end of the second semester, then I’ve gotta do it by the end of the third.
Each semester was a year long, and once the fourth semester came along, they would be in the second grade.
Before leaving Sea God’s Island, Tang Wulin sought out Na’er.
Harboring a lush forest, the island was eternally saturated with a refreshing scent. If Tang Wulin had a choice, he would never leave. He would be able to cultivate faster on this island, but in the end, he had no choice in the matter. He wasn’t an inner court student yet. Even if he were, not just
anyone had the qualifications to step onto Sea God’s Island. He had to spare no effort to grow and earn the right to be here.
“Na’er, I'm going back to the outer court now. Work hard in the inner
court.” Tang Wulin placed his hand on top of her head, ruffling the silver locks.
Her eyes were red, brimming with tears. “But Big Brother, I don’t want you to go.”
Chapter 495 - A New Semester
Chapter 495 - A New Semester
“This time it’ll be different,” said Tang Wulin, smiling as he attempted to soothe Na’er’s worries. “We both have soul communicators now, so just
give me a call whenever you miss me. You can come out and visit me too. I won’t be able to travel here to see you though. The only reason I was at Sea God’s Island to begin with was because of special circumstances.” He ruffled her hair. “I stay at the outer court’s working students dormitory. You can find me there.”
“Okay.” Na’er threw herself into Tang Wulin’s arms, locking him in a tight embrace. “Big Brother, no matter what challenges you face, do your best for me. You have to become strong. I’ll be waiting for you here.”
“Of course. I’ll step foot on Sea God’s Island with my own qualifications next time!” Tang Wulin declared, youthful passion flaring.
With their goodbyes said, Tang Wulin wasted no more time and left.
Minutes after his figure had disappeared, Na’er still stood there, glued to the floor, looking in the direction he had departed. Her eyes betrayed a deep sorrow.
“How are you doing? Your brother left?” The voice, though gentle, snapped Na’er out of her daze. She responded with a nod. From the corner of her
eye, she could make out a fair white hand landing on her shoulder.
“You’re both still young.” A squeeze. “You have plenty of time in the future. You foolish girl, your teacher is going to get jealous if you show so much attachment to him.”
Na’er looked up, pouting. “Mistress, I really like you and Teacher too!”
Had Tang Wulin been present, he would have been shocked out of his wits. The woman beside Na’er was the Vice-Master of Sea God’s Pavilion, the kindest woman on the continent, Holy Douluo Yali!
Yali responded by wrapping her arms around Na’er. “I like you too. Your teacher and I don’t have any children of our own, so we see you as our own daughter. Don’t worry. Your big brother is an excellent student. He’ll definitely enter the inner court one day.”
“Alright. Thank you, Mistress. But can’t you just let him into the inner
court right now? I think Big Brother is strong enough,” Na’er said, hope in her eyes.
Yali sighed and shook her head. “Now isn’t the right moment. He’s still an unpolished gem. He needs more time to refine himself first. He won’t be
able to do that here. For that same reason, your teacher and I have been preparing to send you out to gain experience. Spending all of your time
cultivating here will stunt your future growth. Wait another year. Then we’ll send you out.”
“No! I don’t want to leave you and Teacher!” Her cheeks puffed up as she returned Yali’s hug, squeezing tighter for good measure.
By the time Tang Wulin reached the working students dormitory, Xu Lizhi had already returned.
“Lizhi!” Tang Wulin smiled as he approached his friend. “Where did you and Xinglan go? How come I didn’t see either of you the entire break?”
Xu Lizhi chuckled. “Big Sis Xinglan was cultivating in a place well suited for her, and since I can cultivate my martial soul anywhere I want, I followed her. Both of us just got back actually. Now then, Captain, it looks like you broke through again!”
Xu Lizhi could tell that something about Tang Wulin was different. The changes were minute, and most people would have missed them, but Xu
Lizhi possessed keen senses. Tang Wulin was a bit taller, sturdier too. And his aura seemed strangely subdued.
“You’re right.” Tang Wulin grinned. “It’s just a minor breakthrough though. Nothing special. I’ve been focusing completely on cultivating lately.”
“Nice. I never thought there would be so much pressure even in the outer court. We’ve got quite a few four-ringed people in our class already. We gotta keep up.”
“Are Xiaoyan and Gu Yue back yet? And where’s Xie Xie?”
Xu Lizhi shrugged. “I haven’t seen Xiaoyan or Gu Yue. Xie Xie ran out
early in the morning and I’ve yet to see him since. Yue Zhengyu’s back in his room though. And Yuanen too, I think.”
“Got it. I’ll go pay them a visit then.” Tang Wulin still had his promise to Yuanen Yehui to fulfill.
Yuanen Yehui’s door was shut tight. Ever since Xie Xie had peeped on her, she had secluded herself in her room. She wouldn’t even open the curtains during the day.
Tang Wulin knocked on the door. “Yuanen, you in?”
A beat later the door swung open. She watched him like a hawk through the doorway. “Back so soon?”
Tang Wulin nodded. “I’m planning on forging the metal for you now. Nothing changed about the requirements?”
She shook her head. “No. But the higher the quality, the better.”
Tang Wulin smiled wryly. “I’ll do my best. It’s been a while since I’ve forged, so I’ll need some time to get back into the groove of things.”
“No rush. If there isn’t anything else, I’m going back to cultivating.”
Before she could usher him out, Tang Wulin asked, “Do you know where Xie Xie went?”
Her face went cold. “I don’t know. You guys are roommates. What are you asking me for?”
Tang Wulin averted his eyes sheepishly. “I’m sorry about what happened last time. But it was a misunderstanding and we’re all classmates, so you
Yuanen Yehui slammed the door on him.
Tang Wulin rubbed his nose, aware of just how close he came to having it broken. Whatever. I’ll just go forge first. It's been a while since I touched my hammers. I can’t wait. A smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. The image of Feng Wuyu, proud as he stormed Zhuo Shi’s home, still flashed vividly in his mind.
Feng Wuyu wasn’t supervising Tang Wulin’s blacksmithing at the moment. All of his teachers told him the same thing: he needed to increase his soul power. That was his greatest weakness.
Right before he left for the workshop, he received a call with good news. From Mo Lan’s husband.
After the call ended, Tang Wulin practically leaped into the air cheering. “Big Sis Mo Lan is awake! Yes!”
Besides still missing some of her mental faculties, she recognized all of her loved ones. This was fantastic considering the condition she was in. The
Holy Spirit Douluo was also informed and would be paying her a visit sometime soon. It looked like Mo Lan would make a full recovery.
“Captain, what’s got you so happy?” Xu Xiaoyan asked as she walked onto dormitory grounds, inquisitive.
Tang Wulin beamed. “One of my friends recovered, so I’m happy for her.”
Xu Xiaoyan felt herself smiling as well. “That’s great. I’m going to put away my things first then.”
A month had passed, and while none of them had changed drastically, Tang Wulin could tell that Xu Xiaoyan held herself with more confidence than before. Her bearing had elevated ever since her martial soul evolved. Her
sense of inferiority had been slowly washed away. With her three stellar
soul skills, her crowd control abilities were absolute. A force that could turn the tide of battle.
They were all maturing rapidly. There was no other choice in Shrek Academy. They couldn’t afford to waste a single moment. Such a
competitive environment would drive anyone into having tunnel vision, bent on self-improvement.
The moment Tang Wulin walked out the dormitory’s gates, he ran into another acquaintance. Luo Guixing.
“Hello, Class President,” Luo Guixing said.
“Guixing, what are you doing here? Are you applying to become a working student too?” Tang Wulin asked, a quirk of a smile on his lips.
Ever since Tang Wulin and his team defeated the five rankers in his class, his prestige had skyrocketed. And it didn’t stop there. After their victory against the second grade there wasn’t anyone left who could shake his position as the class president. His relationship with the rankers had
improved as well. In the end, they were still classmates. There was no need to burn bridges over a class competition.
“I wanted to invite you to have a friendly match with us. It is a new
semester after all, and we’ve been cultivating at Shrek for a year now. It’s a good opportunity to practice. What do you say?” Luo Guixing said, a friendly smile on his face.
Chapter 496 - Gu Yue Returns
Chapter 496 - Gu Yue Returns
Tang Wulin smiled at Luo Guixing. “Hmm? You guys still aren’t convinced? Want another go at it?”
Luo Guixing shrugged. “We just want to see how much we’ve grown and you guys are the best opponents to compare our strength with. Even though we probably won’t win, we still want to try. We’ve been training our asses off to reach you guys.”
Tang Wulin nodded. “Alright. When?”
“How about tomorrow afternoon? We’ll have nothing to do tomorrow after the morning opening ceremony. The losers pay for the arena rental fee.
What do you say?”
“Sounds good,” said Tang Wulin, a quirk to his lips. It was good to compare notes with his classmates, and he had absolute confidence in his comrades.
“Class President, you better not underestimate us! We’ve grown a lot stronger. Our teamwork has improved too. We won’t make the same
mistake as last time.” A sheepish smile slid across Luo Guixing’s lips. “But how about you guys lay off that soul fusion skill? It’s just too overpowered. Plus, isn’t the backlash quite large?”
Tang Wulin chuckled, soft and low. “Guixing, the way you’re talking just
shows how little confidence you got! You don’t have any chance of winning to begin with if you keep this up.” He saw right through Luo Guixing, his little plans and schemes. Luckily for his classmate, he didn’t plan on using the Dragon God Transformation anyway. Old Tang had advised him not to.
“Great. See ya tomorrow.” And off Luo Guixing went.
As soon as he was gone, Tang Wulin made his way to his workshop. He didn’t bother notifying his friends about the challenge. Despite having not forged for a while, he was surprised at how much better the hammers felt in his hands than before. He chalked it up to the improvement in his blood
essence and senses, and having some time to settle down. His alloy forging success rate increased, as well as the quality of his products. After an
afternoon of work, he produced a piece with a harmony rate of eighty-nine percent, which prompted a grin from Yuanen Yehui upon his delivery. By the time he finished and left for his dormitory, it was already evening.
Xie Xie wasn’t anywhere to be seen and Gu Yue had yet to return. Tang Wulin knitted his brows, concern tickling his heart. He pulled out his soul communicator and called Gu Yue.
“Wulin?” She picked up immediately. His body instantly relaxed at the sound of her voice.
“Yeah. It’s me. School starts tomorrow. How come you aren’t back yet? Where are you?”
“Hehe. I’m almost there. I’ve got you some tasty treats. Just wait a moment and I’ll see you.”
“I’ll meet you at the gates,” Tang Wulin blurted out. It surprised him, this impatience in his heart, and he hadn’t a clue why those words left his mouth.
Tang Wulin leaped off his bed, threw on some shoes, and ran out of his room, the door slamming shut behind him. And Xu Lizhi had watched him leave, a wry smile forming on his lips.
During his sprint, Tang Wulin bumped into Xie Xie a soon as he was one step off the dormitory grounds.
“Woah! Boss, you’re back?” Xie Xie asked. Drenched in sweat and coated with dust, he cut quite the sorry figure. His hair was sticking to his face in a disheveled mess, his complexion a bit pale.
“What have you been up to? You’re a mess,” Tang Wulin said, looking Xie Xie up and down.
Xie Xie’s eyes lit up. “It’s a secret!”
“Fine fine.” Tang Wulin knew when not to pry. He waved Xie Xie goodbye and continued running toward the academy gates.
A few moments later, Xie Xie found himself in front of a sink. He washed his face of sweat and dust. Rinsed his hair. He turned off the sink and felt refreshed, the water still dripping from his face and hair.
It made him cringe to think about the training he put himself through. But he could only blame himself. If he hadn’t been so quick to ask Liang
Xiaoyu for guidance that day, he wouldn’t have to endure such excruciating training.
But still, he persisted, excitedly even. Under Liang Xiaoyu’s watchful eye, he felt himself quickly growing stronger each day. He was discovering the potential hidden within his body and martial souls, the training drawing out more and more of it. Contrary to what he had first thought, he wasn’t weak or untalented. Xie Xie just hadn’t understood the essence of his martial
souls yet, or what it meant to be an agility-type.
Naturally, after being under the man’s guidance, Xie Xie had learned of his identity. On the second day of training, Liang Xiaoyu had brought him to a specialized training facility. And it belonged to the Agility Hall of the Tang Sect’s three outer halls! The Rising Sun of the West Mountain, Liang
Xiaoyu, was actually the master of the Agility Hall! He was tasked with intelligence gathering, public relations, and keeping tabs on the markets. The scope of his responsibilities was huge, countless bullet points needed to detail all of them.
The Agility Hall exclusively recruited agility-types, and Xie Xie had been scouted by Liang Xiaoyu. He was now an associate of the Agility Hall, and under Liang Xiangyu’s guidance, walking the true path of an agility-type.
The old Xie Xie wouldn’t have been able to endure such harsh training, but after the incident with Yuanen Yehui, a burning desire to grow stronger
appeared within him. His tenacity astonished Liang Xiaoyu. He put his all into his training every day, not stopping until his body was spent and on the verge of collapse. He had always treated his opponents with a touch of ruthlessness, but now he was directing that merciless edge at himself. He didn’t allow himself to make any excuses. No matter what it took, he would achieve his goal to surpass Yuanen Yehui, defeat her, and marry her!
Everyone needed a goal. A goal to strive for, to struggle for. The greater it was, the harder the struggle. With a goal branded on his heart now, Xie Xie had nothing holding him back anymore. He embraced the pain and
exhaustion, even if he was a husk of himself after training. These were all signs of growth.
As Xie Xie had washed up and ran through his thoughts, Yuanen Yehui stood at the edge of her window, peeking out through a crack in the
curtains. Her gaze never left him.
She had been drawn to the window after hearing the voices of Tang Wulin and Xie Xie. Just where has that bastard been lately?
Tang Wulin slowed his jog as he approached the gates, stopping just past them. He looked around, scanning for Gu Yue. But she wasn’t there yet.
It had been a month since he last saw her. Even so, he still remembered her face clearly. What’s going on with me? Why am I thinking about her so much?
As he was reflecting, a luxurious black car pulled up to the gates. The driver got out and opened the passenger door. Gu Yue stepped out of the
car. Once she saw Tang Wulin, a dazzling smile blossomed on her face. She beckoned to him, then walked to the trunk of the car.
Tang Wulin jogged over. “Why are you back so late?”
“I had some stuff to do. I couldn’t come back until I finished it all. Here, look at what I got you,” Gu Yue said as she pulled out a few boxes from the trunk and handed them to Tang Wulin.
From the weight of the boxes, Tang Wulin could tell they were packed full. “What’s in them?”
“Open them and see for yourself. They should still be warm.”
Tang Wulin placed them on the car’s roof and lifted the lids. An appetizing aroma struck him. What is that? It’s smells delicious! He peered inside.
There were nine large dishes of food split between the three boxes, in addition to twenty steamed buns.
“I didn’t want to make too many. I was afraid they’d get all messed up on the road. They should be enough to fill you up though. Have you eaten dinner yet?” They had walked into a nearby garden at this point, and Gu Yue placed the boxes over a stone table.
“Not yet,” Tang Wulin said. He followed behind her, his eyes glued to the boxes.
“Let’s eat first before heading back then.”
“Okay!” Unable to restrain himself any further, he grabbed a steamed bun and threw it into his mouth.
Amazing! So good! After years of gluttony, Tang Wulin was an expert on fine food. Yet to his surprise, the bun could stand its ground against the
extremely nutritious black buns his grandteacher had fed him!
Huh, that’s a wild sea cucumber. It’s really nutritious. It’s pretty big too. Probably at least twenty years old. Tang Wulin examined the ingredients of the dishes as he ate. The other dishes weren’t quite as delicious as the buns,
but the ingredients used were all treasures. He had nothing to complain about, a huge grin on his face as he gorged himself.
Chapter 497 - You Made It?
Chapter 497 - You Made It?
Gu Yue watched Tang Wulin eat in silence, a faint smile on her lips. After every finished plate, she swiftly replaced it with a new one. They sat close to the academy gates lost in their own little world.
A while later, all of the food in the three boxes was gone, swept within Tang Wulin.
“Are you full?” Gu Yue asked, eyeing his barely bulging stomach, his capacity to eat more still apparent.
Tang Wulin nodded. “Yeah. There weren’t many dishes, but they were all very filling! Where did you even get all that? Must have cost a small fortune.”
Gu Yue’s smile grew a crack wider. “I made them. All of them. I’ve been practicing how to cook at home. I think I did pretty well, judging by how good everything smelled.”
“You really cooked all those dishes by yourself?” Tang Wulin’s eyes went wide. For people like them, students of Shrek Academy, time was their most valuable resource. Yet Gu Yue had spent her vacation learning how to cook for his sake.
Warmth washed over him. He looked her straight in the eye. Just giving his thanks was not enough, could not be enough to begin expressing his gratitude.
He stood up and helped her tidy up the boxes, then stored them into his storage ring. “Let’s go,” he said, beckoning to her.
The two walked back to the dormitory shoulder-to-shoulder, enjoying the evening air. The moon shone bright in the sky, meeting the street in a soft spray, peeking through the branches of the trees. Neither Gu Yue or Tang Wulin spoke a word.
In Tang Wulin’s heart, Gu Yue felt different from before. Something had changed since the last time he saw her. After spending the last month hard
at work cultivating, and even reuniting with Na’er, he had felt worried when Gu Yue had failed to appear. Then she returned, and joy flooded his heart.
He had never experienced anything like it.
A single glance, and Tang Wulin was treated with a spectacular sight.
Moonlight shimmered around Gu Yue, accentuating her delicate features.
While she wasn’t the most beautiful of girls, at that moment, he was enchanted.
“What are you looking at?” Gu Yue asked, aware of his heated gaze. Tang Wulin smiled. “You.”
Gu Yue blinked. “I’m not that pretty. What’s there to look at?”
“That’s where you’re wrong. You are pretty,” Tang Wulin said, his smile growing bigger.
Gu Yue knit her brows together, lowering her head in thought. She clenched her fists, then slowly unclenched them. They kept silent and resumed their trek to their dormitory.
“Big Sis Gu Yue!” Xu Xiaoyan had called out to them the moment she saw them, dragging Gu Yue into the girls’ room.
But Tang Wulin had other ideas. Once standing at the center of the dormitory courtyard, Tang Wulin shouted, “Everybody! Please come out for a moment! I have something important to talk about!”
Xu Xiaoyan, Gu Yue, and Ye Xinglan immediately left their room. Xie Xie and Xu Luzhi also responded, rushing out of the room meant for the boys.
To Tang Wulin’s surprise, even Yuanen Yehui and Yue Zhengyu left the comfort of their rooms. Though he probably shouldn’t have been too
shocked. Yuanen Yehui did slightly warm up to him after he had delivered the spirit alloy to her. Of course, that was only with Tang Wulin. Her
attitude hardly changed toward Xie Xie.
“Sorry, this doesn’t involve you guys. It’s just a class matter,” Tang Wulin said to his upperclassmen.
Yue Zhengyu chuckled. “It’s fine. I’ll still listen in. Just consider me a little spy. Let me tell you, the second grade students still aren’t convinced of your strength. Who knows if there’ll be a chance for a rematch this year?”
Tang Wulin shrugged. “Well, we’re happy to take your points whenever you want.”
“Wow! Sure are confident, aren’t ya? Have you grown stronger recently?” Yue Zhengyu said, a teasing grin on his lips.
Tang Wulin rolled his eyes. “You got your fourth ring yet?”
Yue Zhengyu puffed out his chest. He didn’t say a word, but his display of confidence was answer enough.
“We’re not too far from four rings either,” Tang Wulin said. “If you guys
still can’t accept your loss, then we’ll show you exactly the true meaning of power.”
Yue Zhengyu glanced at Yuanen Yehui. She had remained silent throughout the exchange. As the class president of the second grade, only she could
speak for their class.
Tang Wulin moved on, turning to face his teammates. “Luo Guixing paid me a visit today. His team challenged us. The match is tomorrow afternoon. Prepare yourselves.”
“Oh.” Xu Xiaoyan nodded, not a word more.
Xie Xie was a different picture. “Yes!” he shouted, bubbling with
excitement. His captain’s words brought forth the image of Xu Yucheng popped to mind. In their last battle, he had managed to incapacitate Xu Yucheng at the cost of himself. But Xie Xie had changed, had become
stronger, more confident. He was eager to discover the winner of their next exchange.
“A good chance to practice,” Ye Xinglan said, a faint glint to her eyes. “You’ve got your spirit soul now?” Tang Wulin asked.
Ye Xinglan nodded.
“I’m down for it,” Gu Yue said. “If they can’t accept their loss, then we’ll beat them until they do.”
Xu Lizhi chuckled.
None of them had any reservations about the match. They may have
struggled the last time they faced the rankers, but now was a completely different story.
Wu Siduo likely had grown much stronger, but that held true for them as well. The perfect chance to verify the results of their training.
Soon enough, night descended, yet instead of returning to his room, Tang Wulin hid himself within the woods, cultivating amidst plant and tree. For this was the best environment for his cultivation.
Tang Wulin had the lowest soul power among his teammates. Even after breaking the fourth seal, he was only at rank 35. Xu Xiaoyan had surpassed him a while ago with the incident at the observatory, reaching rank 37. Xu Lizhi and Xie Xie were both rank 38, Gu Yue rank 39, and Ye Xinglan rank 41.
Tang Wulin was far behind his teammates. Although he could supplement his strength with the power of the Golden Dragon King, soul power was
still the basis of strength for soul masters. He resolved himself to forge less over the next semester and devote more time to cultivating.
In addition to improving his body, Tang Wulin’s consumption of nutritious foods aided his soul power cultivation. As for his spiritual power, he wasn’t worried about it. It was steadily growing ever since he attained the Spirit Sea realm.
Through the night, Tang Wulin slowly consolidated and strengthened his soul power.
Only when the birds began to chirp and the first glimmers of dawn peeked over the horizon did he wake. He gazed at the dawning sun, sweeping his gaze over Xie Xie, Xu Xiaoyan, Xu Lizhi, and Ye Xinglan, who just joined him in the forest. They cultivated Purple Demon Eyes together, gazing upon the purple wisps. They shared in the sensation of their spiritual power pulsing, growing by the tiniest amount. A faint mist surrounded their eyes before entering.
Reaching the Spirit Sea realm didn’t seem like much to most soul masters, but in reality the change penetrated into every aspect of life. Before reaching this realm, although Tang Wulin could to tell that his spiritual power was growing whenever he cultivated his Purple Demon Eyes, he
could not discern by how much. Now, however, he could. He was certain his spiritual power was growing faster than before.
He thought of Gu Yue, who had attained the Spirit Sea realm long ago. He could only guess her current level.
Taking in a deep breath, Tang Wulin used the Mysterious Heaven Method. The gentle surge of energy cleared his mind. This was his daily life now.
“Captain, you don’t need to cultivate here at night. There are lots of plants, but the life and natural energies are lacking. You should rent a specialized cultivation space from the Academy like I do!” Xu Lizhi said.
Blinking a few times, Tang Wulin asked, “A specialized cultivation space?”
“Yeah! Wait. You do know what they are, right? All you have to do is pay the Academy some points and you get to use a personalized cultivation
space. It’s been a whole year. Do you really not know that?”
Tang Wulin groaned. Of course he knew! The teachers had mentioned it when they first came to Shrek Academy!
Chapter 498 - Challenging the Third Grade
Chapter 498 - Challenging the Third Grade
Shrek Academy had a variety of private cultivation spaces suited for all types of soul masters available for rent. However, all things came at a cost, and these cultivation spaces were especially expensive. Too much for Tang Wulin to have even considered using until now. He had always been
embarrassingly low on money and points, needing every single bit to purchase metals for forging and spirit items for breaking his seals. That left him with no resources to increase his cultivation efficiency.
As he recalled, these cultivation spaces cost one hundred points per hour. To put that in perspective, a single day of cleaning Spirit Ice Plaza netted one hundred points. Fortunately for him, after reaching the sixth rank of blacksmithing, things were different now. His alloy forging success rate had skyrocketed. Enough so that he had a positive net income. Even so, one hundred points per hour was practically highway robbery.
“You think that’s expensive?” Ye Xinglan asked, able to discern Tang Wulin’s inner turmoil with just a glance.
Tang Wulin coughed. “I’m just afraid of wasting my money!”
“You don’t have to worry about that. The rental is well worth the price. You should give it a try.”
Tang Wulin nodded. “Fine. I will. If it really is effective, then I can bear the cost.” He still had a batch of spirit alloys waiting to be sold. And with the
semester just started, he could offload the metals for a nice amount. Since
he had a forging agreement with Yue Zhengyu, he didn’t have to worry
about the cost of raw materials either. His sole concern was affording the spirit items needed to break the fifth seal. He could spare the rest of his points of cultivation resources.
I'll try it tonight! Tang Wulin resolved himself. But for now, it’s breakfast time! I’m starving.
Following the beginning of the new semester was the reopening of the dining hall. And it couldn’t have come soon enough, especially for Tang Wulin.
After gobbling up his breakfast, he attended the opening ceremony. It was simple enough. With six classes, one for each of the six grades, the whole assembly only contained several hundred students. Elder Cai spared few words and casually praised Tang Wulin’s team for their victory against the Imperial Sun Moon Soul Engineering Academy. Then the ceremony
concluded. The teachers led their students back to their respective classrooms, marking the start of the semester.
Naturally, close congregation of students led to conversations, and
conversations led to gossip. Shen Yi’s class was no exception. “Have you heard? Luo Guixing and the other rankers challenged the class president’s team to a match. It’s happening this afternoon. I heard it from a teacher yesterday. Luo Guixing has already rented an arena.”
“Really? They’re fighting again? Those rankers still haven’t had enough?” “Of course they’re not convinced! They’re all on the Genius Youths
Rankings while none of the members of Class President’s team are on it. It’d be weird if they kept quiet. Well, good for us. Just means we have a show to watch this afternoon. Who knows how strong they all are now?”
“Yeah. One thing’s for sure: they’ve left us in the dust. You know, back then I had believed Luo Guixing and Wu Siduo would definitely win, but who
would have thought Class President’s team was so powerful? I still don’t see anything too special about them, even though they managed a victory.
And they even defeated the second grade’s class. I don’t think Luo Guixing’s team has got much of a chance.”
“Totally. I feel the same. But let’s wait and see. Luo Guixing wouldn’t have posed the challenge if he didn’t have some confidence. We gotta go watch this match.”
Patience wearing thin, Shen Yi swept her cold gaze through the classroom. The students quieted immediately. Satisfied, she went over the objectives for the academic year. Their task this year was simple: start the construction of a set of one-word battle armor.
In order to enter the inner court, they must become one-word battle armor masters by the age of twenty. So it was best to start early. Crafting battle
armor was no simple task, and it would take much time, effort, and luck to accomplish. In fact, many had secretly begun this after witnessing Tang Wulin’s one-word gauntlet. But making progress was another story. While they could buy the required metals, a bottleneck existed in the designs and crafting department. None of them were sufficiently skilled in their professions.
Still, after spending a year in Shrek Academy, students of the first grade had grown by leaps and bounds. The end-of-semester exam had stimulated them further, presenting numerous challenges for them to overcome and learn from.
Pride had filled their hearts when their class president prevailed over the
second grade’s team. And in that moment they had been crowned the most powerful class of new students in the past hundred years. Tang Wulin’s team and the rankers were the idols of the first grade. The goal they strived for, hoped to one day overtake.
Despite the difficulty of obtaining inner court seats, they still dreamed of getting in. Still fought hard for even the barest sliver of a chance.
After class ended, Wu Zhangkong called Tang Wulin to his office. “I’ll be your referee this afternoon.”
“Huh? Even you know about it?” Tang Wulin said, astonished.
Wu Zhangkong’s expression betrayed nothing as usual. “Don’t be careless. Luo Guixing’s team is very talented. As talented as yours. They’ve learned from their mistakes. Their loss had only driven them to work harder, and all got full marks on the semester’s end exam too.”
Tang Wulin nodded. “I understand. We won last time because their teamwork was uncoordinated. In fact, their cultivation bases were better than ours. I’m sure that they’ve fixed their teamwork by now and are much stronger. But…”
Wu Zhangkong shot a sharp look at him. “But what?”
Tang Wulin smiled, almost blindingly so. A fierce light flashed in his eyes. “We’re even stronger than that!”
Wu Zhangkong’s cold mask cracked for a second, taken aback by Tang Wulin’s blazing spirit. Wasn’t I just like him back then?
“Let the facts speak for themselves!” Wu Zhangkong declared.
“Yes. Teacher Wu, I actually had something I wanted to talk to you about too.”
“What is it?” His eyes narrowed slightly.
“This is our second academic year, so I was thinking of challenging the third grade in the latter half of the semester. Will you permit that?”
Wu Zhangkong blinked a few times. “Are you sure?”
“Yes. I want to see how we compare against our seniors. It’ll be great motivation for us. Any time is fine, even if it’s soon. I’m not sure how well we’ll do, though.”
Unblinkingly, Wu Zhangkong studied Tang Wulin. This brat. Is he trying to bite off more than he can chew? Just how ambitious is he? Challenging the third grade?
The third grade differed tremendously from those before it. Due to the
structure of Shrek Academy’s academic calendar and the three-year length of grades, everyone in the third grade was approaching twenty years old, if not just over that. Third grade students had been studying at Shrek
Academy for seven years, and the most talented of the bunch were preparing to take the inner court exam. The third grade simply couldn’t be compared with the second. They probably had one-word battle armor masters!
Tang Wulin’s team was extremely talented, but talent alone couldn’t overcome the divide between a battle armor master and a regular soul master. Tang Wulin knew this all too well from the incident with Yan Feng.
Generally, anyone who didn’t enter the inner court by the end of the third grade no longer had no hopes of ever making it in. Most of the students who stayed for the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades were gifted people who needed that final push to become a one-word battle armor master before
graduating. Even if it was just from the outer court, Shrek Academy’s name carried a prestigious and hefty weight.
“Why do you think you’re strong enough to challenge the third grade?” Wu Zhangkong asked.
“Because of our efforts! By the second half of the semester, we’ll be fifteen years old. Xinglan has four rings now so we'll be able to start creating battle armor pieces in earnest. We have plenty of materials too. I think in half a year, we’ll each be equipped with a decent number of battle armor pieces.
Even if we don’t manage to complete a full set, having a few pieces will make us much stronger. The most important part about battle armor is
compatibility rate.” Tang Wulin flashed him an earnest look. “It’ll be helpful to know how our seniors are making their battle armor too.
Naturally, we want to win. But what’s more important is the opportunity to learn from our seniors.”
“We’ll talk about this when the time comes,” Wu Zhangkong said, no room for negotiation.
Tang Wulin smiled wryly. “Alright then.”
Chapter 499 - Rematch
Chapter 499 - Rematch
Tang Wulin took in the entirety of the arena. Luo Guixing had rented the one specifically meant for internal matches. While it lacked a barrier, there was a self-restoration system in place, and within the perimeter, students
could unleash their full strength without concern. The danger of their battles was also minimized in the presence of a teacher referee. Naturally, such a
space came at a high price.
Other than Tang Wulin’s own team, Luo Guixing’s had arrived as well. And filling up the spectators’ seats were countless students from the first and
second grade. Yuanen Yehui and Yue Zhengyu included. The audience members practically fell from their seats, eager to watch the second
confrontation between the two teams.
Tang Wulin approached Yuanen Yehui until he was able to reach her with just the stretch of a hand. He bent his neck toward her, whispering, “Here to check us out?”
Yuanen Yehui graced him with a glance. “Yeah. So what? Don’t want us to see your tricks?”
Tang Wulin smiled. “I’m scared you guys will lose confidence!” In terms of trash talking, not even three Yuanen Yehuis could compare to him.
“We’ll see,” Yuanen Yehui said, keeping up her calm facade.
Yue Zhengyu chuckled from the side. “Wulin, let’s have a match again sometime too. I can’t really accept how the last one went.”
“It’s a bit late for a team battle, but a duel would be fine. I’ll take you on anytime,” Tang Wulin said, his smile full of teeth.
To which Yue Zhengyu’s eyes shone. “You’re the one who said it! No take backs!”
Tang Wulin wasn’t ignorant. He knew that Yue Zhengyu had obtained his fourth soul ring. Even so, he wasn’t afraid. “Alright. How about we add a bet to this too?”
Yue Zhengyu’s eyes glazed over. He understood Tang Wulin’s character all too well. Here was a person who would never gamble without confidence in victory. Fortunately for Yue Zhengyu, he was only here to observe the battle today and didn’t have to commit to a bet yet.
The rankers made their way to the center of the arena right before the stage, Luo Guixing and Wu Siduo at the lead. After spending a full year at Shrek Academy, everyone was more calm and mature than they had been when they had first arrived.
“Class President,” Luo Guixing said, beaming. Wu Siduo gave Tang Wulin a curt nod.
Tang Wulin smiled back with a nod of his own. “Looks like everyone’s here. Let’s get ready to start.” A glance told him all he needed to know: the five rankers brimmed with energy. It was proof of their growth.
It didn’t take long for Wu Zhangkong to arrive.
“Hello, Teacher Wu,” the students of each team said respectfully.
Wu Zhangkong swept his gaze through them. “Get up there.” Then he ascended the stage.
Yuanen Yehui and Yue Zhengyu watched Tang Wulin’s team with renewed vigor. To say the two were not a bit interested in their growth would be a lie, especially by the confidence they exuded. And although Yuanen Yehui and Yue Zhengyu were not ignorant of the five rankers, they had never
witnessed the rankers’ strength first hand. They had only had a taste of Tang Wulin’s team and only cared about his team. The one that had been strong
enough to face the second grade.
The Genius Youths Rankings only meant anything when the students first
entered the academy. The ranking had no bearing on their growth afterward. However, Yuanen Yehui was on the ranking herself, so she had some understanding of it.
Ever since she had lost to Tang Wulin’s team the previous semester, Yuanen Yehui had devoted herself to cultivation. Two extremes had occured on that day: the first grade had won glory, and the second grade had been disgraced. Even though she considered Tang Wulin a friend, she still had to win back her class’ honor. No matter what, defeating him was a must this year.
To that end, another reason Yuanen Yehui had attended this event was to
scout any potentially troubling opponents in the first grade apart from Tang Wulin’s team. She had to be wary of any reserve members he could employ.
Tang Wulin’s team only had six people, just one short of the standard
seven-man team. It was likely that the last member would be selected from one of the rankers.
Yuanen Yehui and Yue Zhengyu sat in the audience together, along with the rest of their team. But apart from them and a few second graders scattered in the benches, no one from a higher grade took the time out of their
schedule to attend.
Tang Wulin’s team was young and hopeful, naive to the gap between them and the upper grades. Many of those who had yet to turn twenty were doing their best to become one-word battle armor masters. And those who had
already accomplished this feat were fiercely competing for the inner court examination quotas. A battle between first graders would never reach their eyes.
Like the last time, the battle was five versus five! However, , Tang Wulin chose to field Ye Xinglan instead of Xu Lizhi. After a year, only her
teammates knew the extent of her strength. She normally kept a low profile
and cultivated in seclusion, no more than a quiet pretty girl to her
classmates. Even the rankers only knew she was strong, but how strong they could only guess.
Tang Wulin stood at the front of their triangle formation.Ye Xinglan and Xie Xie were the other two points of the triangle, and Xu Xiaoyan and Gu Yue stood in between them.
Opposite them, Yang Nianxia stood at the head of the ranker’s formation.
On his left was Wu Siduo and his right Xu Yucheng. Zheng Yiran was positioned right behind him in his shadow, and Luo Guixing was positioned in the very back, the safest position possible. As the core of their team, it
was the only logical position for him.
Their formations gave an inkling of their tactics, but not all of their cards had been laid out yet. They stared each other down, their auras flaring up.
Wu Zhangkong, at the center of the arena, glanced at both teams. “Let the match begin!” he declared without warning.
A boom, and Tang Wulin burst off the ground, shooting forward like a cannonball.
The force in which Tang Wulin had launched himself shocked Yang Nianxia to the very bones. Strong! He’s even stronger than me!
Tang Wulin reeked of confidence, a dominating edge to his whole being. His continuous run of victories had fed into a tyrannical aura.
But Yang Nianxia refused to be cowed. He roared. His muscles swelled with strength as he unleashed his Duskgold Bear martial soul. He charged forward to meet Tang Wulin in a confrontation of brute force!
Wu Siduo and Xu Yucheng dashed out to the sides to bypass Tang Wulin. Their targets: Ye Xinglan and Xie Xie! But soon after, a shiver ran down their spines. They turned their heads for brief moment and gasped. Tang Wulin was approaching too quickly, barrelling toward them as a one-man army!
In a split second, Wu Siduo and Xu Yucheng altered their trajectories, trapping Tang Wulin in a triangle formation with Yang Nianxia.
The scene caused Yuanen Yehui to knit her brow, her lips pressed firmly together. Given his wealth of combat experience, there was no way Tang Wulin could make such a simple mistake.
Chapter 500 - Dead End?
Chapter 500 - Dead End?
Luo Guixing threw out his hands and a burst of silver light manifested in the center of the arena. Sharp and blinding, the light held a nearly tangible quality to it, and upon its inception, everything within a fifteen meter radius trembled.
It was then that Tang Wulin’s team discovered the root of the other team’s confidence: Luo Guixing had not three, but four rings! Two yellow and two purple, not an average configuration as well.
The soul skill Luo Guixing had used was his fourth, Boundary Division! A potent spatial soul skill that instantly split open space and everything in its path! Nothing could escape once within the skill’s range. Tang Wulin was no exception to that. Trying to leave the boundary would just toss him back in. Boundary Division, a godly skill!
In fact, Luo Guixing had immediately used Boundary Division for the
express purpose of trapping Tang Wulin. He was well aware that, out of the entire opposing team, Tang Wulin had the highest attack power and control. The cornerstone and captain. As long as Luo Guixing could take Tang Wulin out, victory was in sight.
During the match between the first and second grade, the rankers had
witnessed with their own eyes the power of Tang Wulin’s team. Ever since that, they’d been drafting battle tactics for this rematch, bent on uncovering any sliver of an opening to exploit. With those discerning lenses strapped on, they had discovered an interesting detail; Tang Wulin’s tendency to
charge in as a one-man army at the start of battle only worked with Gu Yue backing him up. Because she could teleport him out of harm’s way at a
moment’s notice. Once he created an opening, the rest of his team would
concentrate their efforts in one mighty assault. The end result, victory. Luo Guixing chose to exploit this. Along with its other effects, his Boundary
Division isolated everyone within it from spatial fluctuations. Tang Wulin couldn’t be teleported out. While the skill only lasted five seconds, Luo
Guixing was confident his teammates could take down Tang Wulin in that time, especially three against one.
Aas long as they defeated Tang Wulin, he was certain the rest would be a
walk in the park. Everything was going according to plan. The corner of his mouth quirked up in a subdued grin. This was their chance.
Wu Siduo, Yang Nianxia, and Xu Yucheng had thrown away their rankers’ arrogance, working together to defeat Tang Wulin. Since their last match, Luo Guixing had made sure to fix his team’s coordination. After much practice, they had absolute trust in each other and knew what each one was doing at any given time. Their strength as a team was incomparable to before.
Yang Nianxia’s soul power was at rank 39, and with Wu Siduo and Xu Yucheng both having four rings, it was no wonder they thought Tang Wulin to be finished.
Tang Wulin’s heart pounded. They really did have a plan! From his wealth of combat experience, he had instantly determined that Gu Yue couldn’t
support him the moment Boundary Division activated. Luo Guixing’s specialization in spatial skills was a huge hint, and this was likely a
countermeasure against Gu Yue. No backup is coming! It’s all on me!
Despite being outnumbered, Tang Wulin snuffed out that ember of panic in his chest.
Bluesilver Impaling Array. The ground lit up gold and dozens of grass
spears erupted around him, forming a makeshift barrier. He didn’t bother using the skill offensively. It wouldn’t work on Wu Siduo or the others. All it could do was buy him time.
For a brief moment, the three rankers slowed in their assault by the edge of the spears.
Steeling himself, Yang Nianxia charged in to the heart of the spears, relying on his body’s tenacity to endure. His arms swelled with strength along the way, doubling in size as he swung them at the obstacles.
At the same time, Xu Yucheng reaped the grass with his scythe, mowing open a path for himself.
And Wu Siduo jumped into the air before using Hell Rush, heading straight for Tang Wulin, bypassing the grass spears on the ground.
As the three came upon their target, a silver ring of light appeared beneath him. Luo Guixing’s soul skill, Spatial Lock! Four rankers attacked Tang Wulin simultaneously with their full power, backing him into a corner! A grim smile spread on Luo Guixing’s face. Wu Zhangkong watched from the stage, prepared to intervene at any moment.
Luo Guixing didn’t hope to truly keep Tang Wulin restrained, but even
slowing his movements for a split-second was enough. With a three-man assault upon Tang Wulin, that delay sealed his end.
His fingers shook with anticipation. Once the battle became five versus four, victory was in the bag.
Tang Wulin was the core of his team, and without him the mighty Dragon God Transformation soul fusion skill could not be used. Though the others were powerful in their own right, they couldn’t compare with their captain.
As according to Luo Guixing’s plan, Zheng Yiran expelled a green fog of poison around his team. Once Tang Wulin was taken care of, they would regroup in the fog and then launch a final assault.
Meanwhile, Tang Wulin’s teammates did what they could. Xie Xie and Ye Xinglan immediately rushed into the spatial boundary, but they were
expelled in an instant. Three seconds remained on the boundary. They couldn’t intervene until then.
Xu Xiaoyan raised her staff, determination blazing in her eyes.
The elements swirled around Gu Yue, ready to rampage. Unable to keep her warring emotions in check any longer, Gu Yue thrust a finger forward. With a shout, two blue fireballs burst forth from her fingertips at the boundary,
curving around it under her control.
Both teams had one thought crashing through their minds: this was the end for Tang Wulin! Yet when all hope seemed lost, Tang Wulin smiled.
The first to reach him, Wu Siduo couldn’t comprehend what she was
seeing. How can he still smile? Does he still have an ace up his sleeve? Impossible! The moment she wavered, she caught sight of two golden rings appearing around him. Two? Two golden rings? She had an ill premonition.
Originally, she had been keeping her power in check in fear of harming him fatally. But now, her fear pushed her to draw out her full strength. Her soul power surged, empowering her Hell Rush to the peak.
Golden scales rippled into existence on Tang Wulin’s body, his right arm swelling with power. Although Spatial Lock restricted his movements, it couldn’t do anything to the internal flow of blood essence.
He had activated his first golden ring, Golden Dragon Body!