Chapter 534 - The Competition Begins

Chapter 534 - The Competition Begins

“Ye Wu, how long is it going to take you to fix that arrogance?” a gentle yet hauntingly piercing voice chimed out.

The instant that lilting rebuke fell on Ye Wu’s ears, he drew back and shot up to stand at perfect attention before turning to face the direction the words came from. “Big Sis Mo! It's just small talk. No reason to worry at all! I’m taking this very seriously.” 

A young lady glided over with ethereal grace and reclined herself beside Li Qiankun. Her long black hair cascaded in waves over her back, and all that was best of dark and bright met in her aspect; in her eyes. Her stunning features carried the cold perfection of marble. She was the portrait of femininity. Despite her beauty, it was apparent that attempting to breach that frosty temple would result in penile frostbite.

“I’ve heard that those children have at least two soul fusion skills, one of which is a self-soul fusion. They use both the elements of light and darkness in a combo skill. Nearly everyone on that team is above rank 40. Some even have battle armor pieces crafted from various spirit alloys. I don’t believe the children are our equals, but that difference in power that you’re so confident of, it's not as great as you imagine. If we do not take this seriously, we will be the architects of our own humiliation,” said Mo Jue in her peculiar melodic yet stern way. 

Mo Jue was one of the Vice Presidents of the third grade class. A rank 51 Soul King and the other battle armor master from the third grade. She was even more respected among her classmates than Li Qiankun, due in part to her strong and selfless character. She had helped many of her classmates. This, combined with her honesty and empathy, made her one of the pillars of the third grade alongside Li Qiankun. It was thought that both she and Li Qiankun were certain to enter the inner court in the future. They were ready to take the entrance examination at the end of the academic year. As long as they made it through the trial by fire, admittance to the inner court was guaranteed. 

Li Qiankun turned to her, a brow raised. “Two soul fusion skills? How powerful are they?” 

Mo Jue shook her head. “I couldn’t find out. They shouldn’t be much of a threat though, according to my estimates, since we have battle armor. Once we equip our armor, we’ll have the strength of a normal Soul Sage.” She let out a little laugh that sounded like bells tinkling on a warm breeze before continuing, “Even though the gap in strength is still large, I do have to admit that our juniors really are quite talented. I heard that one of them is already inches away from becoming a sixth-rank blacksmith. That’s how they got the spirit alloys for their battle armor. What’s even more astonishing is that the spirit alloys are all rumored to have had a harmony rate over eighty percent. We should have a word with that blacksmith once we pass the inner court exam and start on our two-word armor.” 

Li Qiankun understood what Mo Jue was subtly pushing for and cracked a wry smile. “We shouldn’t be too harsh on our dear juniors then. We gotta control ourselves.” 

Mo Jue nodded. “We’ll just compete like normal. The team battle is the only one we need to win, so we can let them win a couple of the matches before that. That’ll allow them to gain some confidence, too. As far as strategy goes, how about you and I split up? One of us will fight in the team battle, and the other in one of the duels. That way we’re guaranteed at least six points. That’ll be enough.”

“Sounds good to me. We’ll go with that. Which one do you want to participate in?”

Mo Jue’s lips curved up in a slim smile. “Naturally, I already know which one. I’ll take one of the duels. If those children are much stronger than we’re expecting, I’ll also join in on the team battle. If we dominate in the early matches, I’ll abstain from it.”

Li Qiankun chuckled. “Alright. It’s settled.” 

☀ 

The day of the competition had finally arrived, and Tang Wulin was rushing to finish last minute preparations.

 “Give me some more buns,” Tang Wulin said, leaning on a chair as he beckoned for Xu Lizhi to hurry up. 

Worry flashed in Xu Lizhi’s eyes. “Boss, can you really eat this many? Aren’t you full yet?”

Unfortunately for Xu Lizhi, Tang Wulin’s appetite had grown by fifty percent in the past few months. He didn’t even know what it felt like to be satiated anymore. A bitter smile tugged at the corner of Tang Wulin’s mouth. “I can’t help it! If I don’t eat enough now, what’ll happen if I run out of blood essence this afternoon? You can’t give me buns in the middle of a battle either. Just make sure you prepare a bunch of buns for me to eat after my two-on-two match!”

Every student of the outer court had their eyes on this competition. The way things worked out, the third grade was the strongest in the outer court. This was primarily due to the fact that those in the fourth through sixth grades no longer had any chance of entering the inner court, and were now completing their battle armor at their own leisure. Since they were over twenty years old, graduation swiftly followed the completion of their battle armor and they would be booted out. Thus, none remaining in the upper grades had a full set of battle armor and the strongest, those with the most potential and talent, of the outer court were all found in the third grade. 

It was rare for such an exciting competition to be held. Students and teachers alike welcomed this exciting break from the monotony. This competition was sure to entertain with the participants being the greatest talents of the outer court, the ones with the most hope of entering the inner court. It was a clash between the shining stars of the new generation. 

The students of the first and second grades arrived early. From the moment they took their seats, they were on edge, desperately hoping for a miracle. 

Meanwhile, the third grade students reclined in their seats and watched without a care. To them, this was just a few friendly matches. They saw no possibility of their juniors winning. Talented soul masters with powerful martial souls could perhaps challenge a grade up and win, and they could even be worthy of challenging another grade up. However, that was the limit. It was nigh impossible to win against battle armor masters without being battle armor masters themselves.

Yuanen Yehui and Yue Zhengyu were the first of the team to arrive. They walked into the stadium and stopped breathing for a moment. The intense gaze of hundreds of spectators bore down on them. But this only urged them on. They could not accept the shame of losing to the first grade, this was a chance for redemption. 

Up on a platform for observing the arena sat Elder Cai, Yali, and another teacher of the outer court. Behind Yali were Zhuo Shi and Feng Wuyu, who were both here to watch Tang Wulin’s performance. Yali was clearly the leader of this group of Titled Douluos. 

Before the assembled team of the first and second grade, Wu Zhangkong swept his gaze over them. “Are you all ready?” 

“We’re ready!” they shouted in unison.

“For the first duel, we’ll send Yuanen Yehui. Remember, don’t hold back at all. Don’t worry about conserving your strength for the later matches and just focus on winning. Now for the second duel, we’ll have Wu Siduo go, and Ye Xinglan for the third.” 

“Yes!” the three girls nodded.

Xu Xiaoyan smirked, glancing at Xie Xie to her side. “You boys ashamed yet? Sending out all girls for the duels.”

Xie Xie snorted. “I have my own battle to fight. I’m just letting you girls go first.” 

Xu Xiaoyan snickered. 

“‘Hehe’ my ass!” Xie Xie retorted. 

She snickered again.

Tang Wulin narrowed his eyes as he thought over Wu Zhangkong’s plan. They had to get at least one victory for the duels, hopefully two. Then they absolutely had to win the two-on-two match. He and Gu Yue were responsible for that, and the burden weighed heavily on his shoulders. There were too many obstacles to overcome. All they could do was give it their all for those two points. If they somehow won three or four points and earned some merit points for the team battle, they would achieve their goal for this competition. With how great the gap in strength was, that would be the best possible outcome. 

“Yuanen, good luck!” Xie Xie shouted after her, waving his arms. 

Yuanen Yehui shot a glare at him, then sat down and began meditating. She had to bring herself to peak condition before her battle. As the class president of the second grade, she was confident in her victory. 

On the other side of the arena, the third grade team was gathered before their teacher, a middle-aged woman named Song Lin. She was a veteran teacher of the outer court and a two-word battle armor master. The talents of the third grade had been guided by her hand since their admittance to Shrek Academy. 

“Wu Rui, you’re up for the first match,” Song Lin said as she glanced at a young man about eighteen years old. “Go easy on them.” A gentle smile graced her lips. 

Wu Rui was rank 48 control-type. His martial soul was the Heaven’s Book and he was the strongest control-type of the third grade team. However, duels were a weak point for him. 

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johnchen6797's Thoughts

Alas, we lost Dev to frostbite. 


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