Book 5: The Championship Fight
Chapter 32.4: Rewards and the Core Disciples
Du Weilun continued, “In light of both Team Wang Dong’s exceptional performance, and their lossless win-streak throughout the entire tournament, the Academy has also decided to award them something special. However, this reward will be kept secret by the Academy. When the class-division has been finished, the three of you can follow me to collect it.”
A special reward on top of what they’d already received? This really showcased the difference between the champion team and the second and third place teams. Huo Yuhao’s trio immediately became excited; even the awkwardness that they felt from Du Weilun calling them ‘Team Wang Dong’ had diminished greatly.
Nobody had any objections to Huo Yuhao’s team obtaining an additional reward, as they’d managed to defeat teams led by the Soul Elder-ranked Ning Tian, Xie Huanyue, and Dai Huabin throughout the course of the tournament. The three great Soul Elders among the freshmen had all lost to their team; it wasn’t simply luck that they’d become champions. For them to receive even more rewards would definitely be within reason.
Du Weilun said, “Alright, you all can return.”
Huo Yuhao and the other eight students returned to their original positions.
Du Weilun then said, “The quality of this year’s students exceeds that of previous years, thus I hope that you all can continue to work hard. The Heavens reward the diligent, so I hope that all of you will be able to smoothly graduate while obtaining excellent results. Now then, seeing that a few outstanding students have appeared in this year’s freshmen assessment, the Academy has decided to promote a few students to core disciples. I will now announce the names of the students that’ve been promoted.”
Shrek Plaza immediately became completely silent. After all, core disciples didn’t only come from the top three teams! Du Weilun hadn’t said it outright, but who didn’t know that core disciples would receive a large amount of resources from the Academy? This issue concerned every single student present, thus, they all listened attentively, in fear that they’d miss their own name being called.
Du Weilun opened the file he’d been carrying, then began to read through the names of the students who’d been promoted to core disciples, “In accordance with the performance of the students during the freshmen assessment, the Academy has decided to choose these following students as core disciples: Wang Dong, Xiao Xiao, Dai Huabin, Zhu Lu, Zhou Sichen, Cao Jinxuan, Lan Susu, Lan Luoluo, Ning Tian, and Wu Feng.”
The instant that Du Weilun had mentioned core disciples, Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao simultaneously thought inwardly, Teacher Xiao Ya’s information was actually correct.
When Du Weilun called out Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao’s names at the very start, the two of them clearly became excited. However, this was followed by astonishment when they realized that Du Weilun hadn’t called out Huo Yuhao’s name. Instead, he’d directly skipped to Dai Huabin. How was this possible? Huo Yuhao was their leader!
They still held a trace of hope in their hearts as Du Weilun continued down his list, but Huo Yuhao’s name still wasn’t announced.
Huo Yuhao was also astonished. In that instant, he felt as if something had been wrenched out from his heart, and his face immediately turned pale white.
Ever since he’d entered Shrek Academy, he’d cultivated with all his might, and had worked tirelessly to improve himself. When the others were resting, he’d been cultivating; when the others had been slacking off, he’d still been cultivating. When the freshmen assessment had begun, he’d put his all into working together with his teammates, which had allowed him to obtain the highest form of glory a freshmen could receive. But why? Why wasn’t I chosen as a core disciple? Why?
On the surface, Huo Yuhao’s expression hadn’t changed. However, his heart had a dark side that ordinary children wouldn’t have. The darkness that had gradually accumulated during his childhood had nearly exploded out when he saw Dai Huabin, but he’d forcefully suppressed it. However, right now, he once again felt like he was going to lose control of himself. Why, why did they have to do this to me? He finally realised why Du Weilun had referred to their team as ‘Team Wang Dong’ instead of ‘Team Huo Yuhao’ during his speech. This had all been planned from the start!
Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao were naturally able to sense how strangely Huo Yuhao was acting. Wang Dong hurriedly grabbed ahold of Huo Yuhao’s arm, fearing that he’d act rashly. However, he didn’t know what to say at the moment. Both he and Xiao Xiao had become core disciples, but Huo Yuhao hadn’t. How would he be feeling right now?
At this point, Du Weilun continued, “However, although a few students are currently somewhat lacking in terms of their talent and ability, they still performed exceptionally well during the freshmen assessment. As such, the Academy has decided to temporarily let them enjoy the benefits of a core disciple until the school year finishes. If they’re able to make a breakthrough by next year’s promotion assessment, the Academy will consider making them formal core disciples. These students are as follows: Huo Yuhao, Cui Yajie, Huang Chutian, Long Xiangyue, and Nanmen Yun’er. The announcement is now finished.”
Huo Yuhao’s gaze was somewhat vacant, but the anger in his heart gradually receded. That’s right! My abilities are still somewhat lacking. Of all the people that were chosen as core disciples, I’m the only one who’s yet to reach Rank 20. A pained look flashed through his eyes. Lowering his head, Huo Yuhao buried his sadness deep in his heart.
If it weren’t for the fact that I’m able to release a fusion skill with Wang Dong, maybe I might not have even received the temporary treatment of a core disciple. But, who can I blame? I can only blame the fact that I’m not strong enough yet, and the fact that my first soul ring is only a ten year soul ring in their eyes. A self-depreciating smile appeared at the corner of Huo Yuhao’s lips, but when he raised his head back up, his smile had disappeared, and a trace of coldness had appeared in his eyes.
“Yuhao, are you okay?” Wang Dong whispered.
Huo Yuhao softly shook his head, then forced himself to smile. “I’m fine. I just don’t have the qualifications to become a core disciple. After all, I’m only a Rank 17 Soul Master.”
Wang Dong hurriedly replied, “No, that’s not it! They don’t know how important you are…”
Xiao Xiao nodded her head in agreement.
Huo Yuhao’s smile became slightly more natural. “I’m really fine. Didn’t Director Du say that I’d still be able to enjoy the treatment of a core disciple? That’s already an extremely good reward. I’ll continue to work hard. Who knows? I might be able to formally become a core disciple by the time the promotion assessment comes around.”
Wang Dong sighed softly as he released Huo Yuhao’s arm. He’d been together with Huo Yuhao for a long time, and they were companions who shared a fusion skill. He understood Huo Yuhao’s personality to some extent by now: Huo Yuhao had a calm appearance and a gentle temperament on the surface, but he was actually a very strong-minded person. When he’d heard of Huo Yuhao’s background, Wang Dong had gradually begun to understand the obstinance and unbending will that Huo Yuhao had buried deep within his heart. However, no one else would be able to help him. If he wanted to cross this threshold in his heart, he’d have to rely on himself.
Following that, the division of classes began. Year 1 was split into four classes: Class 1, which had assault-type and control-type soul masters, Class 2, which had defense-type and agility-type soul masters, Class 3, which had auxiliary-type soul masters, and Class 4, which had food-type, healing-type, and other unique types of both Battle and Tool Soul Masters.
Without a doubt, the strongest class was naturally Class 1. Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao were all placed in this class. In Class 2, the strongest student in it was undoubtedly the defense specialist, Xie Huanyue. His Rubberdon truly stood out as a uniquely defensive martial soul. Class 3 was an auxiliary-type class, but it didn’t consist of only auxiliary-type soul masters. Instead, it was meant for both Battle and Tool Soul Masters who could directly aid their teammates during a battle. An example would be Ning Tian, who had the Seven Treasures Glazed Pagoda. As for Class 4, it consisted of a diverse range of soul masters. Comparatively speaking, they had no combat power whatsoever. Instead they had unique abilities that fit within certain special fields. Of them, the most important soul masters in Class 4 were food-type and healing-type ones.
Almost all year groups were split this way, with the classes from higher years having fewer students in each class. Shrek Academy’s expulsion rate had always been extremely high; the number of students who were able to successfully graduate from the outer courtyard each year didn’t exceed fifty. In other words, if 20% of the current three hundred or so students were able to graduate, that would be an extremely good result.
When everyone had been placed in their classes, the teachers in charge of each class introduced themselves. The only piece of good news for Huo Yuhao was that Zhou Yi was one of the teachers in charge of Class 1. Every class had two teachers, and the other teacher in charge of Huo Yuhao’s class was Wang Yan, who’d viewed him highly.
Wang Yan, who’d originally intended to teach the higher years, had actually chosen to come to Year 1’s Class 1 and teach alongside Zhou Yi for the sake of Huo Yuhao, but not even Zhou Yi knew that.
“Alright, follow your new teachers and return to the school buildings. Wang Dong, you three follow me and claim your prize.” Director Du Weilun announced.
Huo Yuhao seemed to have returned to normal. At the very least, one wouldn’t be able to see that his emotions had been affected based on his external appearance alone. The three proceeded to follow Du Weilun to the teacher’s offices, which were located behind the higher year’s school buildings.
Du Weilun’s office was situated on the top floor, and his office was much bigger than Zhou Yi’s. Although it didn’t have any fanciful decorations, there were four bookcases inside, which were filled with an abundant number of books.
Du Weilun smiled and pointed towards the sofa. “Come, sit. Huo Yuhao, don’t let this burden you. You’ve seen it as well. It wasn’t just you; there were also a few students from the top three teams who weren’t able to become core disciples. You performed extremely well, especially considering the fact that you were able to help Wang Dong release a fusion skill. However, your individual ability still needs to be improved. When you need your second soul ring, you can request assistance from the Academy in order to ensure that you obtain an optimal soul ring. If you also manage to perform exceptionally well during your Year 2 promotion assessment, the Academy will consider formally accepting you as a core disciple.”
Wang Dong began, “Director Du, it’s not like that! Huo Yuhao wasn’t helping me, it was…” At that point, he was suddenly stopped by Du Weilun, who’d raised his hand. In Du Weilun’s opinion, this was merely a show of friendship between two young kids.
Huo Yuhao also tugged on Wang Dong’s sleeve, then replied respectfully to Du Weilun, “Director Du, I’ll definitely work hard. Thank you for your concern.”
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