Chapter 648 - The Knockout Stage Begins
The Continental Young Elites Tournament continued. After the round-robin stage kicked off, the matches had become more entertaining, and there were more highlights. The clashes between the Shrek Academy and the Monster Academy had become a major subject of discussion.
Most of the audience had started to turn a blind eye to the fact that the Monster Eight Kings were much older than the students from the Shrek Academy; they didn’t care about anything else, as long as Long Yue stayed invincible. And they assumed the reason that Ye Xinglan had backed out of her one-on-one and two-on-two competitions was because she had got cold feet.
In the one-on-one competition, the Shrek Academy only had three people left: Tang Wulin, Xie Xie, and Yuanen Yehui, and in the two-on-twos, they only had two pairs competing. Fortunately, they didn't meet any strong opponents in the following matches, so after ten days of fighting, they had all advanced without a hitch.
As for the Monster Academy, Long Yue, Dai Yueyan, Dai Yun’er, and two other competitors had made it to the knockout stage of the one-on-one competition.
The final knockout stage started at long last. Losing one match meant that one was out, so every contestant was under huge pressure.
The final stage of the one-on-one competition in total had 64 competitors; the two-on-twos, 32 pairs; the team competition, 16 teams. Rules in this stage were a little different from those in the previous stages: the two-on-twos wouldn’t start until the one-on-ones ended, and the team competition would come last. Such an arrangement could ensure the fairness of the tournament and enable the participants to be in their peak condition in each competition, because some would compete in two or all the three competitions.
Tang Wulin had come up second in his group after the one-on-one round robin, because he had given up when facing Dai Yueyan. The audience had laughed at him, but he could have cared less, since he had been sure he would advance.
“The final stage will start tomorrow,” Tang Wulin said to Yuanen Yehui and Xie Xie in his room. “The matchups have come out. Do your best, but be safe.”
Gu Yue, Xu Xiaoyan, and Yue Zhengyu were also there; only Xu Lizhi and Ye Xinglan were absent – they were busy making Tang Wulin’s battle armor.
Yue Zhengyu hadn’t fully recovered yet, but he should be able to compete in the team competition. After that fight with Long Yue, Yue Zhengyu seemed to have matured some; even the vibes he was giving off had changed.
Tang Wulin sat there, his voice calm and reassuring. He was acting more like a captain than before, now that he had become stronger.
“When do I get to beat the crap out of them?” Xie Xie said, disappointed. He was looking forward to fight the Monster Eight Kings, but unfortunately, his first opponent was not one of them.
“Soon enough,” Tang Wulin said. Then he turned to face Yuanen. “Don’t take your opponent lightly.” She had to fight one of the two agility-type soul masters in the Monster Eight Kings.
“I won’t,” Yuanen Yehui replied. “I’ve watched his matches. He’s strong. I’ll give it my all.”
Now that they had arrived at the final phase of the tournament, they would surely meet the Monster Eight Kings. The time had come to test their skills.
“I watched some of his matches as well,” said Tang Wulin. “Let’s compare notes and come up with some tactics.”
Gu Yue stood there, listening to Tang Wulin analyze Yuanen Yehui’s opponent, but his words seemed to be going in one ear and out the other.
Xu Xiaoyan nudged her. “Big Sis Gu Yue, are you all right?” she whispered. “You seem a bit distant these days. Did you quarrel with the captain? But since everyone is busy preparing for the tournament, you don’t have the time to quarrel, right?”
“You’re too smart for your own good, you know that? Don’t you have more important things to worry about? Like how to win the tournament?”
Xu Xiaoyan giggled. “Elder Cai and Teacher Wu left us to our own devices to see if we could rise to the challenge, and we did. We have done well enough already, I think. Of course our teachers will praise us if we win, but I don’t think they will blame us if we lose, since we’re much younger than our opponents.”
Gu Yue was surprised. “So you have figured it all out, huh? But our goal is to win.”
“I know,” Xu Xiaoyan pouted. “It’s just this tournament has changed us. Zhengyu seems to have shut himself off after losing that match. He seldom speaks. He is trying to heal his injuries and training like hell. I don’t like it. He used to be so outgoing and talkative… Even the captain has changed a lot. He is more reliable than before, yes, but he has become too calm and passionless, like a robot. Something must have happened to him. Don’t you worry about him? Maybe he’s under massive pressure.”
Gu Yue smiled. “You don’t know him like I do. The bigger the pressure on him, the stronger he will become. He has never once let pressure get him down.”
“But he used to be more enthusiastic and passionate. I like the old captain better.”
Gu Yue nodded. Me too, she thought miserably.
“You should go have some dinner,” Tang Wulin said to his teammates after finishing analyzing Yuanen Yehui’s opponent with her. It was dark outside.
“What about you, Captain? You’re not coming?” Xu Xiaoyan asked curiously as Tang Wulin picked up his coat.
“No. I have other matters to attend to first,” said Tang Wulin. Then he left without another word.
“He is skipping dinner!” Xu Xiaoyan whispered to Gu Yue. “That’s so weird! I told you something must have happened to him. Is he all right?”
Gu Yue just watched Tang Wulin leave and made no reply.
Tang Wulin walked out of the hotel and hailed a soul taxi.
“Where to, mister?” the cabbie asked.
“The headquarters of the Tang Sect,” Tang Wulin answered.
The taxi was running smoothly on the street. Darkness deepened. The street was full of lights. People who had been busy working all day could finally have a rest.
Tang Wulin cleared his mind as he looked out the window, savoring the brief feeling of having nothing to worry about.
The taxi was running slowly, because there were too many pedestrians and vehicles on the street. After they finally got out of the downtown area, its speed picked up. Tang Wulin put on his white mask and took out his white cloak.
After they arrived, Tang Wulin found the headquarters of the Tang Sect was also bustling with people. He got out of the taxi, threw on his cloak, pulled up his hood, and walked towards the gate.
Seeing him dressed like this, the people getting in and out of the Tang Sect couldn’t help but look at him with envy and respect. One didn’t need to be very familiar with the Tang Sect to know what such an ensemble meant – an agent of the Battle Hall, one of the three inner halls.
The Battle Hall was the very core of the Tang Sect and as important as the Holy Hall; almost all the members of the Holy Hall came from the Battle Hall.
Although Tang Wulin was just a white-class agent, many members of the outer halls were gazing at him with undisguised envy.Previous Chapter Next Chapter