Thunderous applause erupted from the surface of the lake, as well as the audience on the shore. The first match had been made, and everyone was cheering them on.
Tears welled up in Xie Xie's eyes. He'd been waiting for this day for far far too long. It had been such an arduous journey up to this point!
Tang Wulin was also applauding with all his might with a wide smile on his face.
Congratulations, Yuanen, Xie Xie!
The fireworks faded, and the lotus leaves beneath Xie Xie and Yuanen Yehui's feet turned golden as they carried the two of them toward the shore. There were no challenges, only blessings.
Instead of immediately departing, they stood together alongside Xu Lizhi and Ye Xinglan, who had just gotten changed out of their wet clothes.
"I'm sorry, Sister Xinglan; it's all my fault that we didn't get fireworks as well," Xu Lizhi said to Ye Xinglan in an apologetic manner.
Ye Xinglan held onto his rotund hand, just as she had done countless times ever since their childhood.
"There aren't enough fireworks here. I want more than this; you have to buy me fireworks!"
An excited look immediately appeared on Xu Lizhi's face. "Alright! I'll buy all of the best fireworks in Shrek City, and I'll set them off only for you!"
"Can you not be so corny?" Xie Xie chuckled in a teasing manner.
"Speak for yourself!" Xu Lizhi glared at him in response.
Right at this moment, Lan Muzi's voice rang out from the surface of the Sea God's Lake. "Next up is Tang Wulin."
All four of them instantly fell silent upon hearing this, and as they turned their attention toward the ongoing convention, all of them reflexively clenched their fists.
Their captain was back, yet they hadn't even had a chance to catch up yet. However, all of them were aware of just how important this segment was for him and Gu Yue.
"Why won't she remove her veil? And she didn't choose Captain, either; is she jealous?" Xu Lizhi speculated.
Xie Xie shook his head with tightly furrowed brows. "No, I don't think it's as simple as that. You guys know Gu Yue just as well as I do; if she wants something, she'll fight for it no matter the cost. Back when she first started pursuing Captain, she always sat right next to him, and even when we put our hands together, she'd always ensure Captain's hand was on the very bottom with her hand directly above his. Something must've happened between them that we don't know about, and I have a strong feeling Captain's disappearance also had something to do with this."
"I have the same feeling. If they can't rekindle the flame during this match-making convention, then..." Yuanen Yehui heaved a faint sight. That would not be the outcome any of them wanted to see.
Tang Wulin was also rather surprised that he'd been drawn as the second male participant, and his lotus leaf gradually drifted forward to the front of the group.
His joyful smile for Xie Xie and Yuanen Yehui had already faded, and he stood with his back ramrod straight on his lotus leaf.
He was already 18 years old; he was an adult. As a man, he couldn't allow himself to wallow in despair regardless of what hardships and adversity came his way.
Even if his heart were throbbing with unbearable pain, he had to stand up straight like a man. Being a coward never resolved any problems, and nor would it earn him any sympathy.
"Three of our celestial maiden chose Wulin earlier, and it's now their turn to make their confessions to him to try and win his heart. We'll be drawing your names at random again to determine the sequence. Yinmeng, I'll let you do the honors."
Tang Yinmeng drew the first name. "Wu Siduo."
Wu Siduo raised her head and turned her gaze toward Tang Wulin. In that instant, she was suddenly instilled with a burst of confidence because Gu Yue hadn't taken off her veil, and nor had she chosen him. Could it be that their relationship had completely died after more than three years apart?
In that case, perhaps she still had a chance.
She glanced at the Dragon Spear Goddess, Na'er. She was indeed more beautiful than all of the other female participants, but she hadn't heard anything that would suggest that she and Tang Wulin had entered a relationship. Furthermore, she was only 16 years old.
"Long time no see, Wulin. Choosing you during this match-making convention is a decision that I've made after extensive consideration. In other words, if you hadn't appeared, perhaps I would've chosen someone else, but the fact of the matter is, you came. I began to first notice you back when we just first began attending Shrek Academy. In all honesty, in the beginning, I didn't like you at all. I thought you'd only become a student of Shrek Academy through sheer luck, and I thought you had no right to become our class president. However, you showed us with your actions time and time again that you deserve to be in that position.
"I watched you grow every single day, and my confidence began to waver. After losing to you over and over again, the image of you in my heart began to carry more and more weight. I'm a competitive girl; ever since I was a small child, I always did my best in everything I tried, and I always wanted the best of everything. In my eyes, you're the best. Only you can make my heart flutter like no one else. I don't know how to flirt; all I can say is that that with me by your side, you'll go further than with anyone else."
Her confession wasn't very moving, but it most definitely came straight from the bottom of her heart. On the shore in the distance, Luo Guixing and Xu Yucheng were standing side by side, and both of them were soaking wet as they exchanged a wry smile with one another.
They had already guessed her reason for choosing him; he was indeed the best.
"Do you have something you want to say, Wulin?" Lan Muzi asked.
Tang Wulin sighed, "I'm very sorry, Wu Siduo, but there's no direct correlation between love and power. In my eyes, you were just a fellow classmate. I already have someone else I like, so I'll have to turn you down."
Wu Siduo took a deep breath, and asked, "Is it still her?"
A determined light appeared in Tang Wulin's eyes, and he nodded without any hesitation. "Yes."
Wu Siduo nodded in response, and she suddenly smiled. "I don't regret choosing you because you're the best, even in the way you treat your relationships. I can accept losing to her."
After her voice trailed off, she rose up into the air, yet instead of returning to the shore, she jumped into the water instead, sinking into the lake just as Luo Guixing and Xu Yucheng had.
Tang Wulin looked on with an apologetic expression as she departed, but this was the only response that he could give her.
Lan Muzi sighed, "That's a real shame. Next up is..."
"Dai Yun'er!" Tang Yinmeng announced.
Dai Yun'er's lotus leaf drifted forward, and she wore a dejected look on her face. She knew that his heart didn't belong to her as soon as he answered Wu Siduo's final question.
"Long time no see, Brother Three. I've been searching for you for so long, and I've finally been reunited with you on this match-making convention. Do you know how happy I am to see you again? It's been more than three years, and you should've only just gotten back, so I should be the last person who was with you. Have you forgotten everything we experienced in the Dragon Valley? If it weren't for your help, I wouldn't be who I am today. You are the only man in my heart, and even if you don't choose me, that will never change. I don't like you because you're the best or anything like that; I like you because you're you. I like you, plain and simple."
Tang Wulin heaved a faint sigh at the sight of the tears flowing down Dai Yun'er's face. "I'm sorry, Yun'er, but as I'm sure you already know, I've already loved someone for a long time. I can't accept your feelings as my heart has been fully occupied by her for many years. I can only say that you came into my life too late. I like you too. You're a proud little princess, but you're very kind at heart. You're a good girl, but unfortunately, you appeared before me at the wrong time. There's no way for me to create more space in my heart for you. I can only ever see you as a little sister or a friend, but never as a lover."
Dai Yun'er stared blankly at him with a heartbroken expression as she listened to his euphemistic rejection. She didn't say anything else, but she didn't give up like Wu Siduo had, either. Instead, she remained on her lotus leaf and chose to stay.
"Alright, then our final celestial maiden with be our Dragon Spear Goddess. It's your turn, Na'er."
As Tang Yinmeng's voice trailed off, the entire Sea God's Lake fell completley silent.
Starlight and moonlight shone down from above, illuminating the rippling water of the Sea God's Lake, as well as the Na'er's exquisitely beautiful features. She slowly drifted over to Dai Yun'er's side, and her eyes were rippling with a special kind of emotion.
She was no longer looking at him with the eyes of a little sister looking at her big brother.
Tang Wulin shuddered slightly as he also sensed the shift in her demeanor.
"Big Brother!" Na'er called out gently.
"Na'er, you..." Tang Wulin's brows furrowed slightly.
Na'er smiled, and continued, "Big Brother, did you know that I'd already developed feelings for you from the moment you took me in when I was just three years old? You were nowhere near as strong as you are now, but you stood in front of all of those bad people to protect me. Not only are you kind, you're also courageous, and you possess far more mental fortitude than anyone else of your age. When you were six, you awakened your marital soul, only to find that it was Bluesilver Grass, widely renowned to be a trash martial soul. The silver lining was that you also awakened soul power at the same time. You aspired to become a Soul Master. At the time, you didn't even dare to imagine becoming a battle armor master, so you said that you wanted to become a mecha pilot."Previous Chapter Next Chapter