Chapter 999: A Naturally-occuring Opportunity

Tang Wulin was immediately enlightened upon hearing this. He had thought that he would encounter powerful opponents during the round-robin matches, and he'd even mentally prepared himself to use his blood soul fusion skills during these matches. However, he hadn't encountered the formidable foes that he'd expected to face. With his suit of two-word battle armor, martial soul, bloodline, insane strength, and soul power rank, which was close to 60, he was naturally able to cruise through this regional competition.

Jiang Wuyue cautioned, "But don't celebrate too early; once you progress to the finals, there will truly be a difficult road ahead. There are eight major competition regions, and 32 participants from each region progress to the finals, which makes a total of 256 participants. Those are all the elite Soul Masters that the major competition regions have to offer, so you better make sure you don't get eliminated in the first round!"

Tang Wulin scoffed, "You should be worrying about yourself! The first three rounds of the finals are all elimination rounds that'll narrow all of the participants down to the top 32. The top 32 will then be split up into four groups for round-robin matches, further narrowing it down to the top 16. After that, there will be more elimination rounds until the final champion emerges. The first three elimination rounds are definitely going to be the most difficult to endure. At that point, a major element of luck is involved, and it's very easy to be eliminated if one were to come up against a powerful opponent. 

"Also, I heard that they're conducting a test of stamina by holding the first three rounds on three consecutive days! Only after the Soul Master battles have concluded will the mecha battles take place, so there's a very good chance that someone will be eliminated in the finals during the first three rounds. Only those who make it into the top 32 will begin to receive prizes. I have to admit that the federation is the biggest greedy money-grabber I've ever seen!"

Jiang Wuyue chuckled, "What's there to be worried about? As long as I don't have to come up against you, I have a chance against anyone else." 

All of a sudden, his expression changed slightly, and he turned to Tang Wulin with a hesitant look. "I won't have such horrible luck that I'll encounter you in the first round of the finals, will I?"

Tang Wulin rolled his eyes in response. "This is why it's important for kids to stay in school; haven't you seen the competition rules? The rules of the finals stipulate that the system will avoid pairing up participants from the same competition region during the first three elimination rounds. There's only a chance for us to face one another during the round-robin stage."

Jiang Wuyue immediately heaved a massive sigh of relief. "Is that true? That's fantastic news for me! Haha! I have nothing to worry about, then. Let's eat."

Ever since he began dining with Tang Wulin, he had also become more picky with his food and developed the habit of only eating food from the first window every day.

Not only was the food served by the first window extremely delicious, all of the dishes were also very nutritious. Jiang Wuyue discovered that eating these foods was also beneficial to his cultivation. Compared to progressing in his military rank, it was more reliable to make himself more powerful.

Tang Wulin was naturally also having food from the first window.

The main dish that was being served today was a type of ice silkworm that was originally only found in the northernmost region of the continent, but the snowy mountains in the Skyend Mountain Ranges were tall enough, so the ice silkworms could also be bred here.

Ice silkworms had to be over half a foot in length to be considered as a true delicacy, and the ones they'd been served were each over one foot in length with a golden line running down each of their backs. The meat was soft and succulent, and the silkworms' bodies possessed very pure natural energies with extremely few impurities. They were very beneficial both to the consumer's body and their soul power, but they were also very expensive.

The prices of the food being served at the first window was set according to the ingredients used, and this meal alone cost 3,000 accolades per portion, so it could definitely be considered as a luxury meal in the legion.

Tang Wulin was enjoying the ice silkworm before him while pondering the basic spear techniques he'd practiced the night before.

Half a month had already passed since Ling Wuyue agreed to teach him mecha piloting skills, only the final mecha battle of the round-robin was yet to be held. The final round was going to be held tonight, and he'd already progressed to the finals in both battle disciplines. In particular, in the Soul Master battle component, he had secured a scintillating result of seven out of seven victories.

During the past half a month, Tang Wulin was constantly being tortured. He didn't know whether Ling Wuyue was intentionally targeting him, but her mecha training could only be described as hellish and diabolical. Furthermore, his soul power cultivation was also a source of much frustration for him.

He always felt like his soul power vortex was about to manifest a soul core, but he simply couldn't take that final step.

Tang Wulin knew that he couldn't rush his cultivation as doing so could lead to deviation, but how could he not be frustrated?

If he could take this step, then his powers would be elevated to a whole new level, and he'd been waiting for this day for far too long.

After swallowing his final mouthful of ice silkworm, its succulent flesh formed a burst of cool and refreshing energy that flowed into his body. All of a sudden, the soul power vortex in Tang Wulin's dantian stopped rotating for a moment, and his body stiffened before an ecstatic look appeared on his face.

He abruptly turned and patted Jiang Wuyue on the shoulder as he said, "I have something that I need to do, so I gotta go. Tell Ling Wuyue that I won't be attending mecha practice with her today."

After that, he rushed outside before heading toward his dormitory room as fast as the wind.

It was finally coming!

The stationary soul power vortex in his dantian was beginning to transform, and if Tang Wulin could inspect his internal bodily condition right now, he'd discover that there were arcs of lightning revolving and shimmering around the vortex.

He forced himself to ignore the searing pain in his dantian and rushed back into his dormitory room, then closed the door before sitting directly onto the ground.

He took a deep breath and only then did he begin to regulate his own emotions.

He had to calm down!

Tang Wulin was doing his best to gradually soothe his own emotional fluctuations.

The pain in his dantian was becoming more and more intense, making him feel as if there were a sharp knife digging around in there. Tang Wulin didn't use his blood essence power to interfere with the process. Instead, he sat on the floor in a completely still manner while silently experiencing the changes taking place within his soul power vortex.

Less than 1% of all Soul Masters managed to manifest soul cores. Only after becoming a seven-ring Soul Sage could one truly be considered as a high-grade Soul Master, and a soul core was the symbol of a Soul Sage. Only with a soul core could one work toward developing a martial soul true body.

As such, it was not an exaggeration to say that Tang Wulin was the only Soul Master in history to manifest a soul core below rank 60 in his soul power.

Wu Zhangkong had once told Tang Wulin that the vast majority of Soul Masters would only have one chance at manifesting a soul core in their lives. During this process, their soul power fluctuations would abide by the paramount will of heaven and earth, thereby providing the best opportunity for Soul Masters to attain enlightenment. No matter how painful the process was, he had to fully immerse himself in it as the opportunity wouldn't arise again if he were to miss it. 

Tang Wulin definitely had an extreme advantage when it came to pain tolerance as he'd constantly been growing amid the agony of breaking his Golden Dragon King seals. As such, even though the pain in his dantian was only intensifying further and further, he was still able to remain completely calm and collected while experiencing the changes taking place in his soul power.

The original soul power vortex transformed into a series of strips of soul power light that were constantly revolving while collapsing in on themselves. It was as if a black hole had appeared within his dantian, and it was sucking in everything around it as it collapsed.

The dragon core within his chest was radiating soft golden light, fortifying Tang Wulin's bones, meridians, and muscles.

After reaching a certain level, all Soul Masters had to refine their bodies. This was because a sufficiently powerful body was required to withstand the immense energy fluctuations that would arise during soul power breakthroughs at a high level. 

This was naturally not an issue for Tang Wulin as his physical constitution was far more powerful than the minimum threshold required to manifest a soul core.

His soul power vortex collapsed, then expanded over and over again, and Tang Wulin was afflicted with an enormous amount of pain each time the process was repeated. He could also clearly sense that the natural energies in the air were surging toward him in a frenzy during this process, and they brought along extremely violent soul power fluctuations with each and every surge.

Not far away, Blood One opened his eyes as he awakened from meditation, and a peculiar look appeared on his face.

He gently waved a hand through the air, and a faint smile appeared on his face as he rose to his feet before exiting the room.

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