Many federal scientists had already stated that technology would definitely replace the occupation of Soul Masters in the future, and at that point, they would become completely redundant. In any case, soul beasts were already virtually extinct, and research and development in soul spirits had also reached a bottleneck. With sufficient cutting-edge technology to enhance one's powers, who would still bother to cultivate?
This viewpoint was even affecting the Dou Spirit Empire to a certain extent. They were at a huge disadvantage in terms of soul technology, so they had been constantly working toward developing their soul technology in the hope of catching up to the other two continents.
In contrast, the Star Luo Empire assigned greater importance to traditional values, and reverence toward individual power was a deep-rooted part of its culture. Even in its research and development into soul technology, it was mostly to enhance individual combat prowess. They still firmly believed that if a single person were powerful enough, they would be able to turn the tide of an entire war.
Perhaps this was because the Star Luo Empire had witnessed Tang San's miraculous heroics in his battle against the Spirit Hall, as well as Huo Yuhao's legendary feat of forcing the Sun Moon Empire into retreat on his own.
However, it was exactly because of this that Dai Yueyan had been so stunned after witnessing the power of the heavy ion laser gun. If technology in the federation had already outstripped that of their empire to this extent, then how were they supposed to even stand a chance in the imminent war?
The imperial palace was extremely lavish and grandiose. Even though the Star Luo Empire had also already progressed into the modern age of soul technology, the guards in front of the imperial palace still wore antiquated suits of armor to pay homage to their traditions. This imperial palace was virtually no different from the palace of the Star Luo Empire from 10,000 years ago. It was extremely spacious with a ceiling that was over 40 meters tall, and just being inside it struck one with an indescribable sense of pressure.
On either side of the hall stood the officials of the Star Luo Empire, and it was no coincidence that they had been gathered on the same day that Dai Tianling had been scheduled to meet Tang Wulin.
The Smiling Douluo had already told Tang Wulin in advance to expect this, so he was mentally prepared.
He looked up to find a staircase consisting of a dozen or so steps at the conclusion of the red carpet on the ground before him. At the top of the staircase was what appeared to be an independent miniature city with dozens of guards and servants surrounding a man seated on a throne. The man wore a set of golden robes with the diagram of a fierce white tiger embroidered on its surface. The white tiger was the symbol of the Star Luo Empire, and the direct lineal martial soul of the imperial family, so the empire had always revered tigers.
Dai Tianling was a powerful Soul Master himself, so the passage of time hadn't left many traces on his physical appearance. The last time Tang Wulin had seen this emperor was from afar, and even when the awards were being presented, he hadn't paid any particular attention to this man. Now that he was meeting the emperor again, he was struck by a rather peculiar feeling. He was back, but he was in a completely different position compared to in the past.
Never did he think that he would be able to negotiate with the ruler of an empire as equals in only his early twenties.
There were two chairs beside Dai Tianling's throne, and they were the only ones on this independent platform aside from the throne. There was an elderly man occupying one of the chairs with his eyes closed, and he seemed to be sound asleep.
Tang Wulin was not very fond of this old man. He was the principal of Monster Academy and a Limit Douluo. Back when Long Yue had lost control and tried to kill Tang Wulin, this man had displayed no intention of stepping in, whatsoever. If it weren't for Tang Wulin's incredible regenerative abilities and the timely intervention from Mu Ye, he most likely wouldn't even be standing here today.
Tang Wulin recalled this man's name very clearly; it was En Ci. He was able to sit beside the emperor not just because he was a Limit Douluo, but also because he was the imperial teacher.
The current emperor had studied and cultivated under his guidance for a very long time, so he had a great deal of respect for En Ci.
However, what caught Tang Wulin's attention the most was the person sitting on the other side of Dai Tianling. This was a woman in a long palatial dress with her hair organized in an immaculate fashion indicative of an unmarried noblewoman.
There was an intricate phoenix with a pair of exuberant eyes and its wings spread open embroidered on the dress, and the woman wearing the dress had a pair of large bright eyes that had left a strong impression on Tang Wulin on more than one occasion.
Their eyes met, and Tang Wulin's determined gaze wavered ever so slightly.
There was no way that he wouldn’t have any feelings toward a woman like her. At the very least, he had been touched by her persistence. She had once traveled across the ocean to find him in Shrek Academy, only to be rejected by him, and for that, Tang Wulin was still feeling very apologetic.
Dai Yun'er was looking back at him with a series of complex emotions in her eyes. There was a hint of anticipation, but that was far outweighed by a look of sorrow.
The last their eyes had met was during the Sea God Fate Match-making Convention. Since then, the Sea God's Island had already disappeared, yet they were reunited here in the imperial palace of the Star Luo Empire. Fate really did work in strange and unexpected ways sometimes.
Dai Yueyan quickly stepped forward before extending a respectful bow. "Your Majesty, I've brought Sect Master Tang Wulin here."
Even though the Star Luo Empire still abided closely to traditions, there were still many changes that had been made. For example, officials no longer needed to kowtow to the emperor, and one of the main reasons why the Dai Family was so revered by its people.
One had to realize that even the Spirit Ice Douluo was a member of the Dai Family. In the federation, the Spirit Ice Douluo had always been known as Huo Yuhao, but here in the Star Luo Empire, his name had always been Dai Yuhao. He had the blood of the imperial family flowing through his veins, but unfortunately, he hadn't inherited the white tiger martial soul.
Dai Tianling nodded at Tang Wulin in an expressionless manner. "Thank you for coming all this way to our Star Dou Empire, Sect Master Tang. Please take a rest, and we'll begin our negotiations once I finish addressing my officials."
"Thank you, Your Majesty." Tang Wulin extended a slight bow of gratitude.
Someone quickly carried a chair over to Tang Wulin, and he took a seat in front of all of the officials, just one step away from the platform up ahead.
The Smiling Douluo was given a seat on the other side, while Shrek’s Six Monsters were offered seats behind Tang Wulin.
Dai Tianling said, "Let's continue. How is the mobilization of our troops coming along, Minister of War?"
One of the officials below the platform strode forward, and said, "Your Majesty, everything is going smoothly. Our empires first, third, and seventh legions have been deployed to the borders, and the mobilization of the Spirit Ice Fleet and White Tiger Fleet is also complete."
"Good. If you encounter any problems in resource distribution, then turn to the Ministry of Revenue for timely assistance. Ensure that our troops on the front lines are in the best possible condition to face a war should it arise."
"Yes, Your Majesty," another official said in a respectful voice as he also stepped forward.
After that, they discussed some general affairs, and Tang Wulin listened in silence. All of the officials of the Star Luo Empire struck him as being very efficient and concise, and as the emperor, Dai Tianling mostly just had to approve the courses of action being presented to him.
This was the main advantage of a monarchy. However, this was still very different from a traditional monarchy as the officials clearly had more speaking rights, but they still had to maintain a certain level of respect toward the royal family.
On the surface, the court appeared to be extremely cohesive and well-run, and it was no wonder that the Star Luo Empire was so confident in itself.
Tang Wulin sat in his chair and looked straight forward, not taking any further glances at Dai Yun'er. He didn't seem to be tuning out everything around him, nor did he seem to be listening very carefully; everything about him appeared to be very natural.
At this moment, En Ci slowly opened his eyes, and his gaze settled on Tang Wulin. His eyes were slightly murky, but the complex emotions within them were still quite clear to see.
Back during the tournament, he hadn't stepped in to save Tang Wulin from Long Yue precisely because he had identified Tang Wulin's latent potential at the time.
As it turned out, his judgment had been correct. No more than seven years following the tournament, he had reappeared before them as the Tang Sect Master. It was undoubtedly the case that the higher-ups of the Tang Sect were even more aware of his potential than En Ci was.
When En Ci first heard the news that Tang Wulin had become the Tang Sect Master, he had been given a massive shock as well. This was the Tang Sect Master, the representative of the number one sect on the continent!Previous Chapter Next Chapter