The man sitting behind the tea-table was quite handsome, and he appeared to be in his thirties. His entire body was emanating an ethereal aura, and an excited expression immediately appeared on the young man's face at the sight of him.
He hurriedly stepped forward before taking a seat on the other side of the table. "Vice-palace Master!"
The middle-aged man pushed a cup of tea toward him. "Have a taste."
The young man faltered slightly before quickly calming himself down. He picked up the teacup and blew on it a few times before downing the contents of the entire cup in one mouthful.
A refreshing fragrance flowed into his stomach along with a stream of warmth, and his entire body was struck by an indescribably warm and comfortable feeling while the aroma of tea wafted through the air around him.
"I was very glad to hear that all of you are still alive. At the very least, the future hopes of Shrek Academy have been preserved, and its heritage hasn't been completely severed."
A hint of sorrow flashed through the middle-aged man's eyes as he spoke.
The young man lowered his head, and tears welled up in his eyes as he asked in a heavy voice, "What's the current situation like in our Tang Sect, Vice-palace Master?"
The middle-aged man shook his head in response. "Very bad. After our headquarters was bombed, all of our Radiant Tang Sect branch companies were oppressed on all levels. The military had been in close contact with us in the past, but they've since completely cut off communications with us. We've been dealt heavy blows from many sides, both out in the open and in the shadows. This was clearly all part of a pre-planned operation. The palace master has decided to temporarily close all of our branches. Our Tang Sect has many emergency plans prepared, and we're currently employing one of them. This is also the course of action that we'll only adopt during the direst of situations."
The young man asked, "Who else is there aside from the Holy Spirit Cult?"
The middle-aged man replied in an indifferent voice, "Have you heard of the saying that everyone will strike a man when he's down? This scheme has most likely been devised over a very long time. Both Shrek Academy and the Tang Sect have been targeted, and one generation of people definitely isn't enough to pull this off. The Holy Spirit Cult is only the entity at the very forefront; as for just how many powers are involved behind the scenes, I can only tell you that there are enemies everywhere you look.
"The Tang Sect and Shrek Academy have held such lofty statuses on this continent for far too long. Truth be told, we predicted a long time ago that the federation will inevitably plot against us one day, but we didn't think that this day would come so soon and that they'd employ such extreme tactics. Regardless of whether it's the elders of the Sea God's Pavilion or the current leaders of the Tang Sect, all of us are to blame for this. We've been basked in complacency for far too long, and we've clearly sensed that danger could arise, but we've always just thought that no one would dare to do anything to us. As it turned out, we were wrong. Our enemies are far more vicious than we imagined, and they'd even go as far as to kill over 10,000,000 people just to take us down."
The young man raised his head, and there was faint golden light shimmering in his eyes as he asked, "What are our Tang Sect's plans from here onward, Vice-palace Master?"
The middle-aged man replied, "No one can get away with plotting against our Tang Sect without paying a price. The glory of our Tang Sect definitely won't be crushed so easily, and the same goes for Shrek Academy. Zhen Hua has informed me of your objective for coming here. Even those people aren't fully aware of just how much power our Tang Sect and Shrek Academy has accumulated. You and your friends are the future. The futures of the Tang Sect and Shrek Academy are in your hands, and both organizations must be rebuilt. The Tang Sect Ice Fire Seal I gave you last time has already expired, but the secret realm of the Tang Sect, the Ice Fire Yin Yang Well will still be open to all of you.
"Our Tang Sect will support you and your friends with all of our power from the shadows. Those people have taken centuries, perhaps even thousands of years to plot against us, and we're willing to do the same. Even if it takes the concerted effort of an entire generation, or even several generations, we'll take back what rightfully belongs to us. Perhaps its exactly because our Tang Sect and Shrek Academy have been overly dogmatic in following the rules that those people no longer feared us. All of those lives that were lost during the attack can't be for nothing."
The air temperature in the entire tea room plummeted as the middle-aged man spoke, and a sharp aura appeared before vanishing in an instant.
The young man nodded firmly, and said, "We won't let you down. When can we set off for the Ice Fire Yin Yang Well, Vice-palace Master?"
"Right away," the middle-aged man rose to his feet, and said, "I'll go and bring our friends here right now, and all of you can immediately set off after that."
The young man was none other than Tang Wulin in disguise, and the young woman accompanying him was naturally Gu Yue, who was still suffering from amnesia.
She had no idea what was going on, and she stood beside Tang Wulin with her eyes wide open, feeling as if she were listening to an alien language.
The middle-aged man was none other than Amorous Douluo Zang Xin, whom Tang Wulin had met once before, and he was the current vice-palace master of the Douluo Palace, as well as the second most powerful being in the entire Tang Sect.
Two ordinary-looking soul cars drove onto the street before stopping in front of the tea house.
In the instant that Zang Xin emerged from the teahouse, his facial muscles transformed, and he turned into an entirely different person.
These measures were very much necessary as with the current level of soul technology on the continent, satellites could easily search for a designated person based on their appearance.
Tang Wulin and Gu Yue followed Zang Xin into a car.
Zang Xin said, "Our Tang Sect has now become an entirely underground organization. After your trip to the Ice Fire Yin Yang Well, you can all go to join the military as you initially planned; there's no need for all of you to worry about anything else."
"Yes." Tang Wulin immediately felt as if the burden on his shoulders had been lessened slightly upon hearing this. Even though the academy was gone, they still had the Tang Sect as a powerful backer.
Zang Xin leaned back against his seat and closed his eyes as he said, "Remember this, Wulin; if you do nothing or don't do enough, then you'll always be ostracized and alone. However, when you attain enough power and influence, you and your friends will be like magnets. All of the hidden allies of Shrek Academy and the Tang Sect will flock to you. In the minds of all of our enemies, you and your friends no longer exist, yet your potential and identities make all of you the ideal leaders of the resurgence of Shrek Academy and our Tang Sect.
"You are no longer just Shrek’s Seven Monsters; at the same time, you are the elders of the Sea God's Pavilion and the future hopes of our Tang Sect. After leaving the Ice Fire Yin Yang Well, do not contact the Tang Sect again so you don't blow your covers; the Tang Sect will contact you if and when required, understood?"
"Understood," Tang Wulin replied as his heart stirred slightly. Through this lecture, Zang Xin was telling him that they had an extremely heavy burden on their shoulders, and that they'd have to rely solely on themselves the vast majority of the time.
It appeared that the Tang Sect had even more severe losses during the recent explosion than he'd imagined.
Half an hour later, the six other members of Shrek’s Seven Monsters were picked up on the outskirts of Heaven Dou City, and two highly disguised Tang Sect battle vehicles drove onto the road.
The windows were tinted completely black, and a panel slowly descended up ahead to obscure everyone's vision. The Ice Fire Yin Yang Well was an extremely important secret realm for the Tang Sect, and the way to get here had to be kept confidential even to Tang Wulin and his friends.
After an indeterminate period of time during which Tang Wulin had meditated for two cycles, the cars slowly drew to a halt.
Gu Yue was sleeping soundly while using his leg as a pillow.
"We're here." The car windows turned transparent again, thereby allowing those inside the car to see everything outside, and Tang Wulin discovered that they'd arrived in a forest.
Everyone was still trying to adjust to the bright light, so all of them got out of the cars with narrowed eyes.
The forest appeared to be very primitive, and no signs of human activity could be seen here. Aside from that, they weren't able to deduce anything else.
The Amorous Douluo instructed, "Come with me. From now on, all of you have to listen to everything I say; the journey won't be a safe one." He strode on ahead as he spoke, and Tang Wulin hurriedly followed along with everyone else while holding onto Gu Yue's hand.
Zang Xin wasn’t moving very quickly, so everyone could keep up. After making their way into the forest, everyone began to inspect their surroundings with curiosity in their eyes.
Everything appeared to be very normal, and there weren't any exotic or peculiar plants in sight.
After about two hours later, the terrain suddenly became very steep.
"Follow the exact route that I'm taking, and make sure you don't stray away from it. There are very many extremely poisonous plants here, and you'll be in a lot of trouble if you come into contact with any of them," Zang Xin cautioned.
The world around them suddenly became illusionary, and Tang Wulin felt as if he'd stepped into a blurry world. Only Zang Xin was able to see the way ahead.
Was this... an illusionary realm?Previous Chapter Next Chapter