Book 4: The Golden Road
Chapter 23.3: The Golden Road Amidst Withering Resplendence
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong both ran towards the area between the teachers and students, loudly shouting “Reporting in.” as they did so.
The teacher in charge of the registration immediately paused. This teacher looked fifty-or-so-years old, and had a tall frame. He was dark-skinned and beardless, and had a stern expression on his face.
“What class are you two from? What happened?”
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong both recognised him. This teacher was called Du Weilun, and he was the director of the outer courtyard’s Martial Soul Department. He possessed the greatest authority in the outer courtyard.
Huo Yuhao shouted, “Reporting in, Teacher Du. We’re Class 1’s Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong. We were late due to excessive cultivation.”
Du Weilun’s face darkened. “You’re even late to the assessment? Have you no concept of time? As a punishment, you’ll be sweeping all the corridors of the freshmen teaching blocks two days after the tournament ends. Return to your team.”
“Yes sir.” Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong hurriedly replied. They inwardly let out a sigh of relief. As long as they didn’t lose their qualification to participate in the tournament, everything else was fine. The two hurriedly walked to the area where Class 1’s teams were and stood together with Xiao Xiao.
Du Weilun glanced at the nearby Zhou Yi before continuing to register the other students. With his temper, if any other students were late, it’d be very likely for him to directly strip them of their qualifications to participate in the ranking tournament. In any case, they’d have passed the freshmen assessment anyway. However, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong were unique in the sense that they had performed exceptionally well during the round-robin tournament; they’d obtained a perfect score. This was the reason why the iron-faced director let them off leniently.
Although results weren’t everything in Shrek Academy, students who were strong and obtained good results would have preferential treatment. This was the case in any academy.
“Where’d you two go to? Just wait till Old Lady Zhou takes care of you guys once today’s matches are over. Look at her eyes; they look like blades. If looks could kill, you two would’ve died by a thousand cuts.” Xiao Xiao spoke unhappily.
Wang Dong spoke with a depressed look on his face. “Stop grumbling. This is all Huo Yuhao’s fault. If he didn’t drag me out to compare notes with him, making me lose track of time, how could we be late?”
During the journey back, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong had agreed to keep their martial soul fusion skill a secret for the time being. After all, they weren’t planning on using it during the freshmen assessment. They agreed to only tell this piece of good news to Teacher Zhou, in order to appease her thunderous fury while letting her give them some advice regarding their cultivations. They’d then show it off in future assessments once they were adept at using it.
The director of the outer courtyard’s Martial Soul Department, Du Weilun, quickly finished taking attendance, and what followed that was the drawing of lots. This was only a freshmen assessment, so there weren’t too many complicated procedures involved. Huo Yuhao represented his team to draw lots. The sixty-four teams involved in the knock-out tournament were divided into thirty-two areas where they would fight each other.
Yesterday, the students had had an entire day’s worth of rest, and the layout of the Assessment Area had been changed during that day as well. They merely changed the positioning of the partitioning walls, re-dividing the Assessment Area into sixteen areas. This time, the area of every single sub-area was increased several-fold, allowing the participating students to have even more space to utilise.
The rules of the knock-out tournament were very simple; there would be one match in the morning and one match in the afternoon every day, and eliminated teams would have to return to class, while victorious teams would continue to compete. After three days, the top three teams would be decided.
After the lots were drawn, the round of sixty-four immediately started, and thirty-two matches were simultaneously held. This way, they could shorten the time used for the tournament and give victorious students ample time to rest for their afternoon match.
This time, Huo Yuhao’s team was sent to the 15th area; their proctor had been changed as well. This time, the proctor in charge of them was a thirty-or-so-year-old female teacher who looked extremely good-natured.
When they drew lots earlier, they only obtained a number. Hence, they didn’t even know who they’d be facing. Once they arrived, they were somewhat speechless. Their opponents in the first match was actually a few of their classmates, resulting in this knock-out tournament becoming a civil war.
Their three opponents were people who Huo Yuhao’s team recognised. One of them had even attempted to challenge Wang Dong. According to Wang Dong, that fellow had been immediately humbled after Wang Dong privately beat him up.
Zhou Yi’s judgement was extremely precise. Since she had chosen Huo Yuhao’s team as Class 1’s seeded team, their strength was naturally something that the other teams couldn’t compete against. The match didn’t last for long. Although their opponents were extremely resilient, the match was finished within ten minutes due to Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao working together, along with the assistance of Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection. Thus, Huo Yuhao’s team successfully entered the top 32.
However, just as they walked out of the Assessment Area, their originally joyful expressions instantly vanished. This was because the gloomy-faced Old Lady Zhou was waiting for them by the exit to the Assessment Area.
“Xiao Xiao, you can go back and rest first. You two, follow me.” With that, she coldly humphed and turned away.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong simultaneously felt a chill up their spines. Fortunately, they had already made their preparations. After glancing at each other, they followed Zhou Yi. Xiao Xiao could only gaze at them with an expression that said ‘you can fend go for yourselves’.
This time, Zhou Yi unexpectedly brought them straight to her office. As the teacher in charge of Class 1, her office was located in the Administration Area that was located behind the black and purple buildings of the outer courtyard’s teaching blocks, as well as the northern area of the Dormitory Area. Her office was situated on the first floor, and she was the only person who was currently working there.
After following Zhou Yi into the Office, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong couldn’t help but feel astonished.
Unexpectedly, the cold and extremely strict Teacher Zhou had decorated her office in an extremely elegant manner. The walls of her office were painted a light pink color, and her table was made with a special type of wood that was light red. Furthermore, there was a large red sofa that was meant for guests along with a few other decorations. There was also a small door that seemed to lead to a lounge. One had to admit that Shrek Academy treated its teachers relatively well; even teachers in charge of freshmen classes had their own private offices.
Huo Yuhao was the last person to walk into the room, and he carefully shut the door upon entering. Zhou Yi was already seated on the large red sofa, and she crossed her arms in front of her chest. She spoke coldly. “Tell me, just what in the world were you two doing? You’re really good! You two were late for two consecutive days. Since you’ve passed the freshmen assessment, your wings have hardened, and I can’t control you anymore. Is that what you think? Let me tell you this. As long as I will it, I can expel you two from the academy with a single word. This world doesn’t lack any geniuses, and I’ve expelled many of them myself. There’s only one reason why I would expel a genius—and that’s because they weren’t suited to become an expert with their personality. Give me a good reason why I shouldn’t expel the two of you.”
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong glanced at each other, and Wang Dong bumped him, indicating that he should explain.
Huo Yuhao could only brace himself and say, “Teacher Zhou, sorry. We were in the wrong.” During these three months, he could be considered to have become familiar with Zhou Yi’s temper. Arguing with her had no benefits; it’d just enrage this Old Lady Zhou further. If you had a good attitude, you could receive a smaller punishment.
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