Xu Sanshi had a gloomy look on his face as he said, “Teacher Wang, why didn’t you team Jiang Nannan and I up together? We know each other well, so we’ll definitely have a strong rapport with one another.”

Jiang Nannan widened her almond-shaped eyes, “Who’s familiar with you? Stop trying to worm your way into being so close with me.”

Wang Yan said, “This is a competition, not a place for you to murmur endearments to one another. Your abilities are much more compatible with Caitou’s. Your focus is on defense, while his is on attack. Jiang Nannan’s quick-wittedness is better coordinated with Bei Bei’s strong attacks as well. If she were to team up with you, I’m afraid she wouldn’t even be able to exhibit thirty percent of her true strength.”

Jiang Nannan, who usually didn’t talk much, immediately nodded without the slightest hint of hesitation and said, “Teacher Wang is wise.”

Xu Sanshi’s face sank all at once, but since this was to do with competition arrangements, he didn’t think it was appropriate to harp on about this matter.

Wang Yan said, “The basic arrangements will be like this. The most favorable competition styles for us are actually the 1v1 and 2-2-3 fights. Team battles are the easiest for us to reveal our flaws to our opponents. I’ll emphasise this once again. During the competition, everyone must pay attention to your opponent’s soul tools. Competitors are allowed to utilise simple soul tools in battle. Yuhao definitely can’t repeat his attack pattern after what happened in the first round, but the team’s deterrent effect is still present. Moreover, you can’t hold back with your spiritual detection either when the others are competing. We can only do everything in our power to emerge victorious in order to uphold the academy’s glory. When the time comes, I will be commanding the team on the field, and I hope you guys can carry out my commands.”

“Yes.” The seven team members from the outer courtyard replied uniformly.

Wang Yan stood up and said, “Everyone should rest up well tonight so that you’re in your best state. None of you are allowed to go out. Dismissed.”

Everyone got up and walked out of the conference room. As Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong were walking to his room together in preparation to cultivate, Huo Yuhao suddenly sensed something, and his gaze fell on the other end of the corridor.

A handsome youngster that looked to be about fourteen or fifteen years old was standing at the other end of the corridor, and was currently burning holes through Huo Yuhao as he stared at him.

Huo Yuhao’s gaze immediately froze over. From the white skintight clothing that the other party was wearing, as well as the direction the person had appeared from, he could tell that the other party was a student from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy.

“You’re called Huo Yuhao. Remember my name. I’m Xiao Hongchen. I’ll definitely defeat you.” That handsome youngster made a thumbs down sign to Huo Yuhao.

“You…!” A cold glint flashed through Wang Dong’s eyes, but Huo Yuhao placed a firm hand on his shoulder.

Huo Yuhao raised his right hand and hooked his thumb and middle finger together, flicking his own clothes. He frowned and said, “Where’s this flea from? It’s so hateful! I’ll crush it to death sooner or later.”

As he spoke, he opened the door to his room and walked in with Wang Dong.

Huo Yuhao was very loud and the acoustics in the Grand Imperial Star Hotel were pretty good. The expression on Xiao Hongchen’s face twitched slightly as he squinted his eyes. He wasn’t angry; rather, a thoughtful look appeared on his face. His strength wasn’t the only reason why he was able to become the new commander of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s team. He too had a brain.

“Why did you stop me?” Wang Dong suddenly and indignantly spoke as soon as they entered the room.

Huo Yuhao forced a smile and said, “What if I didn’t stop you? Are we going to suffer the consequences? I activated my spiritual detection the moment I saw that person. He seemed to be aware of my actions. Moreover, the soul power fluctuations in his body far surpasses ours. From the fluctuations of his soul power, I’m afraid he has five soul rings.”

“What?” Wang Dong was taken aback. “No way. He doesn’t seem that much older than us. He ought to be a reserve member of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, and a Soul King at that. It can’t be that he also masked his soul power like you did, right?”

Huo Yuhao shook his head and said, “Is it really that easy to mask the fluctuations of one’s soul power? Anyway, he didn’t even release his martial soul!”

Wang Dong frowned slightly, and a worried expression emerged in his large pinkish-blue eyes. “The reserve team is like that. It seems as though the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy is much stronger than we imagined. Thankfully, we shouldn’t be meeting them in the round-robin tournament, since they were the runners-up last year.”

Huo Yuhao’s eyes twinkled. “Actually, the thing we have to be more worried about is them being our opponents when we become official members of the team in five years’ time and compete in the Elite Continental Soul Master Academy Tournament! He’s a Soul King now, but what about five years later with his current cultivation speed?”

Wang Dong indignantly exclaimed, “But we’re still young!”

“But the time the tournament gives us all is the same,” Huo Yuhao retorted. “Come, we have to work harder now. Our true strength actually lies in our Haodong Power. My cultivation speed might be slower after getting three soul rings due to the restrictions of my Ultimate martial soul.”

Xiao Hongchen’s appearance really did give them a sense of urgency. The duo sat on the bed straightaway, placed their hands against the other’s, and started circulating their Haodong Power.

As they spent more time together, Wang Dong was getting less mysophobic towards Huo Yuhao.

The warm Mysterious Heaven Technique and Wang Dong’s light-attribute soul power intertwined and quickly gathered to form their torrential Haodong Power. It then started to circulate within their bodies.

Following Wang Dong’s breakthrough to Rank 30, Huo Yuhao also broken through to Rank 27. When they joined hands and circulated the Haodong Power to utilise their soul skill, the true might of their attack could compare to that of a Soul Ancestor with four soul rings. This was a massive amplification in terms of martial soul fusion.

Their cultivation was also the same. The higher their cultivation level, the stronger the circulation of soul power and therefore, the speed of their cultivation would naturally increase as well. Using the Haodong Power to cultivate was equivalent to progressing at the speed of a Soul Ancestor with four soul rings. One could say that their cultivation was advancing by leaps and bounds.

Huo Yuhao had only broken through to Rank 27 about ten days ago, but now he already felt like his soul power was close to the middle stages of Rank 27. Going according to this cultivation speed, it wasn’t a dream for him to break through one rank a month before reaching level 30!

Wang Dong didn’t get left behind either. His body seemed to be able to support more soul power compared to Huo Yuhao, who had twin martial souls. There was no sense of blockage when he circulated his soul power, and he was also growing stronger every day. In the few months since school had started, he’d already broken through to Rank 32, and was charging straight ahead to his bottleneck of Rank 33. With the help of their present Haodong Power, there was a possibility that he could break through to four soul rings in one and-a-half years’ time at most.

At present, Dai Huabin was unquestionably the second year outer courtyard disciple who had the strongest soul power at Rank 37. However, Wang Dong was getting more and more confident that he could surpass him in two years’ time.

On the other hand, Xiao Xiao’s cultivation was slightly slower than the theirs. Even so, this was because she was about to break through her third soul ring bottleneck.

The first round of the knockout competitions finally ended, yet the spectators watching the match in Star Luo City were all riding on an emotion-driven high. There would be people queueing up deep into the night every day. Even though Star Luo Plaza had a large surface area, there were limitations to how many people it could contain. It couldn’t satisfy the needs of the masses.

The government officials from Star Luo Empire naturally increased the entrance fee in order to control the queue so that it wasn’t too congested. As a result of that, they made a huge profit, and therefore it was only natural for Star Luo Empire to contribute to the rewards of the tournament. It was the same every year, but the rewards were never expressly stipulated. Since no country would ever want to lose face, they would always present very good things as rewards.

Why did the competition rules stipulate that the first cycle had to be a knockout competition? Other than reducing the number of academies participating in the later matches, it was to make the competition more exciting too!

The Elite Continental Soul Master Academy Tournament had become the most important competition on the whole continent, conducted by the officials of every country. The reason why this competition was so popular every year was all due to the exciting matches. It was only natural to use various means to make sure this grand occasion held every five years would run better than the last each time.

The knockout tournament made the whole competition extremely exciting. Even though the tournament officials had tried their best to prevent any injuries, close to two hundred students participating in the match sustained various degrees of injury each time around. There were even tens of students who’d died due to excessive injuries. The battlefield was drenched in blood, so it naturally increased the viewership. Of course, it meant that all students who’d unexpectedly died would also receive a bountiful compensation.

However, the knockout round was now over, and the second phase, round-robin tournament, was next. Even though the round-robin tournament wasn’t as intense as the knockout matches, the former had its perks, which was the variety of rules in the competition. There were three ways the matches could be held, and which one the students would use to compete was decided through drawing lots. One could say that every match had its own exciting aspect.

Moreover, after the first elimination cycle, the remaining teams would be much stronger, and so the matches would be much more exciting and varied. Hence, it was extremely difficult to get a ticket to watch this match in Star Luo Plaza, even when it could accommodate more than two hundred thousand people. The place would be packed to the brim every day, and even if they couldn’t get into the venue, these people wouldn’t leave either. They would continue waiting in line all the way till the next day, since it was impossible for those who queued up on the first day to watch the competition to watch it the second day, be it civilians or the rich and powerful. This actually ensured that everyone was treated equally.

When faced with such a situation, the Imperial family of the Star Luo Empire naturally couldn’t conceal their happiness. Not only did they deploy five thousand soldiers to maintain order in the city, though even they found it difficult to withstand the weight of having so many people, but they also even started peddling official match reports. A new match report would appear every day, and would cost a few copper coins. There would be a detailed report after every match too, which was another form of income.

However, the Star Luo Empire knew how to conduct themselves well. They would cover all travelling and lodging expenses for the academies that had been eliminated, even giving them a set amount of subsidies. They would also provide medical treatment for those injured, and provide financial support to relatives of those who died in the matches. In addition to that, all the participating academies highly praised the event, and the way Star Luo Empire dealt with the lively crowd in an orderly manner just three days into the tournament. It could be said that they earned a profit while increasing their reputation.

It was now the fourth day of the tournament. The screams from the spectators had already been reverberating constantly throughout Star Luo Plaza since the early morning. There was only one reason for this, and that was because the team representing Shrek Academy was going to appear on the field again. Moreover, they would be appearing in the first match. Even the emperor of the Star Luo Empire, who would only occasionally grace the city with his presence to spectate, had mounted the lead position in the imperial city at first light, and was quietly waiting for the match to begin. The emperor was giving Shrek Academy a lot of face by doing this.

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