Book 8: Advancing to the Second Year
Chapter 54.1: Meeting at the Sea God's Pavilion
Of course, a place that held treasures would always attract thieves. Numerous arrogant experts who’d thought highly of themselves had secretly tried to infiltrate Sea God’s Island in the past, in hopes of stealing the items within. However, none had ever been able to leave once they entered the island.
Meetings would be held at Sea God’s Island every time a major event happened within Shrek Academy. These meetings were of the highest importance to the academy. Only the Deans and Vice Deans of the Martial Soul Department and Soul Tool Department, along with the resident elders of the Hall of Consecration, had the right to take part in these meetings. Important matters would be resolved through a show of hands.
The Dean and Vice Dean of both departments had one vote each in these meetings.
Currently, the grand conference hall was completely silent. Inside of the room, ten people sat around a long oval table. A recliner had been placed at the innermost section, where the head of the long table sat. The light around the recliner was extremely dim; one could only faintly see that a person seemed to be lying on it. Compared to the ten people sitting around the round table, his posture caused him to appear particularly unusual.
Xian Lin’er and Qian Duoduo sat on the right hand side of the long table, at the very end, while Yan Shaozhe and a woman who looked to be around fifty years old sat at the end of the table on the left hand side. The woman looked like she’d been extremely beautiful when she was young. Though they were both women, she didn’t even glance in Xian Lin’er’s direction. She instead maintained a stern appearance as she sat next to Yan Shaozhe. Just like Qian Duoduo, they sat opposite one another.
Besides the four of them, the six people who were sitting closer to front of the table were all Elders. Every single one of them were old, gray-haired individuals. Of course, their forms were different, a fact that could be seen through the way each of them sat.
Xian Lin’er, Qian Duoduo, Yan Shaozhe, and that woman that looked fifty years old sat in a comparatively proper manner, while the Elders all sat in various postures. Present amongst them was the Elder that Wang Yan had called Elder Xuan. He was seated near the front of the table and to the right of the chairperson. This also meant that he was currently seated in the first seat at Yan Shaozhe’s end of the table.
At that moment, Elder Xuan had a drumstick in his left hand and a wine calabash in his right. He looked extremely relaxed as he continued to eat and drink at the table.
“Now that everyone has arrived, let’s begin the meeting. Shaozhe, take charge of the meeting.” A gentle voice rang out. Hearing this voice would cause one to feel as if their soul and mind had been cleansed, yet it wasn’t enough to discern the owner’s age. This voice came from the head of the table—from the one lying on the recliner that was hidden within the darkness.
“Yes, teacher.” Yan Shaozhe stood and bowed towards the person sitting at the head of the table.
If any outsiders were to hear the way Yan Shaozhe addressed that person, they would jump in shock. One had to realize that Yan Shaozhe was famous for being over sixty years old, but in reality, he was over ninety years old. Furthermore, his teacher was actually still alive and in good shape! This was really shocking news!
Even Elder Xuan put his drumstick and wine calabash down when he heard the gentle voice rang out. He rubbed his oily palms on his clothes, then proceeded to sit relatively straight. The other resident Elders also assumed rather proper sitting positions; only the person lying down kept their posture.
Yan Shaozhe bowed slightly toward the Elders in front. “Teacher and fellow resident elders, Lin’er and I have gathered everyone here today and initiated a Sea God’s Island meeting for a matter that will decide whether or not our academy will continue to prosper in the centuries to come.”
“Bang!” Xian Lin’er violently slammed his hand down on the table. “Cut the chit chat and stop trying to scare people Yan Shaozhe. Get to the point.”
The elders became somewhat shocked when she slammed her hand down on the table. The looks in their eyes turned somewhat strange as well. The old woman who was sitting to the right of the chairperson frowned and said, “Lin’er, this is a meeting on Sea God’s Island. If you’re going to make a ruckus, get out.”
There was a slight change in Xian Lin’er’s expression when she heard this. She snorted, but didn’t say anything else.
The old woman’s hair was as white as snow, but there weren’t many wrinkles on her face. An extremely gentle glow was also present within her eyes. No matter what way one looked at it, she looked like an amiable old grandmother. She then turned towards Yan Shaozhe, gave him a small smile, and said, “Shaozhe, continue.”
“Yes, Elder Lin.” Yan Shaozhe looked towards Xian Lin’er. Even though a somewhat apologetic look was present in his eyes, his determination shone through even more. As the Dean of the Martial Soul Department, he definitely couldn’t let his personal feelings affect his decisions.
Xian Lin’er turned her head to the side, refusing to look him in the eyes.
Yan Shaozhe lowered his voice and said, “To all the resident elders, the matter is as follows…” As he spoke, he didn’t conceal the truth. He began with the bet he’d made with Qian Duoduo, then narrated Huo Yuhao’s performance without missing a single detail.
“...When this student returned from the holidays, not only did he have a second martial soul, it was also an Ultimate martial soul. Even though his first martial soul isn’t that good, as an Ultimate type soul master, he’s bound to become a pillar for the academy in the future—if he’s nurtured with care. Furthermore, this child is an orphan. There’s a possibility that we could also fight for him to stay within the academy.
“I lost the bet with Dean Qian, but it must be stated that only the Martial Soul Department has the experience to properly raise and teach someone with an Ultimate element. It’s also the only way he’ll reach his full potential.”
Yan Shaozhe’s words were simple, but he spoke in a very natural manner as he exposed the way that Qian Duoduo had laid a trap by using a stratagem in order to ensure that Huo Yuhao could become a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department.
When they heard what he had to say, surprised looks on all of the resident elder’s faces. Elder Xuan in particular had knit his eyebrows closely together—as if he could no longer see the drumstick before him.
There were two ways a Sea God’s Island meeting could be held. One was the periodic meeting that was held annually, while the other was an interim meeting. The periodic meetings were normal, but when an interim meeting was held, it implied that something major had happened in the academy. The few times that an interim meeting had been held throughout the course of history had decided the direction that the continent would head towards.
It was definitely worth hosting a interim meeting for an Ultimate attribute soul master. However, when the resident elders realized that the Martial Soul Department and the Soul Tool Department were fighting over the student, their expressions relaxed quite a bit. This was an internal problem; it should be relatively easy to settle compared to other matters.
As soon as Yan Shaozhe had finished speaking and had sat down, Qian Duoduo immediately stood up.
“Fellow elders, I don’t completely agree with Dean Yan’s narration. Sure, we made a bet. However, when we did so, even the Soul Tool Department didn’t know that Huo Yuhao would gain a second martial soul. It goes without saying that this is an extraordinarily rare occurrence. Anyway, what we saw in him was his talent towards soul tools.
“Huo Yuhao had been formally declared as Fan Yu’s disciple. In the short span of eight months, he’s gone from a normal soul engineer—someone who’d never once touched a soul tool in his life—to a Class 2 soul engineer. This rate of improvement is a new record in the academy’s history. This child is both hardworking and endures hardship. He has no small amount of Fan Yu’s praise. When we learned of this, we had already decided to take him in as a core disciple; how could we let such a talent slip through our fingers? Furthermore, the Martial Soul Department chose not to make him a core disciple, despite him leading his team to win the freshmen test. However, just as luck would have it, Dean Yan discovered his second martial soul, thus he is now fighting us over him. What happened to the academy’s rules? I stand here as a representative of the Soul Tool Department: No matter what happens, the Soul Tool Department absolutely won’t give up on such a talented person. Furthermore, the Soul Tool Department has already decided to put all of our resources into nurturing this child. We shall strive to nurture him into Shrek Academy’s first Class 9 soul engineer within thirty years.
“In order to nurture Huo Yuhao, Dean Xian, Fan Yu, and I have talked things over. We’ve decided that the Ultimate Soldier Plan will rest on his shoulders. As such, He Caitou—who was originally tasked with carrying out this plan—will act as an auxiliary soul engineer and will help educate him.
“Fellow resident elders, I can understand Dean Yan’s feelings; an Ultimate-type martial soul is indeed extremely important to the Martial Soul Department. However, is it not important to the Soul Tool Department as well? Their department has already become the number one martial soul department on the continent, yet ours hasn’t. We’re always striving to do our best in the hopes that we’ll make a breakthrough. Yet, what do we lack the most? Talent! Fellow resident elders, please think this through. Ever since our department was established, when have we not accepted the rejects of the Martial Soul Department? How are we supposed to compete with the Sun Moon Empire under such circumstances? We aren’t lacking in money, nor are we lacking in resources now. What we are lacking in is talent! Huo Yuhao has displayed extraordinary talents towards being a soul engineer. Furthermore, he now has twin martial souls, one of which is an Ultimate attribute. I’m absolutely confident that I can nurture him into an extremely powerful soul engineer. As such, we definitely will not, and are not willing to, part with this student.”
Qian Duoduo went straight to the point without beating around the bush. His words were far more direct than Yan Shaozhe’s had been. In reality, the Soul Tool Department was actually being reasonable about this matter.
Xian Lin’er said, “Dean Qian’s intentions are my intentions. The Soul Tool Department is willing to stake everything on this child. If he’s unable to fulfill the Ultimate Soldier Plan, I’m willing to resign from my position as Dean of the Soul Tool Department.”
Yan Shaozhe and the woman sitting beside him were shocked when they heard her say this. This was too cruel! Xian Lin’er really was being ruthless when she made this move.
It was true that the Martial Soul Department had held absolute dominance within the academy ever since Shrek Academy had been founded. However, when both departments were aligned side by side, Xian Lin’er and Qian Duoduo were on par with them in soul rank. Even though most of the resident elders were from the Martial Soul Department, they couldn’t disregard the opinions of both Deans from the Soul Tool Department. This was even more true since the Soul Tool Department were actually being reasonable about the matter.
For a moment, Yan Shaozhe couldn’t help but feel that things really had become more difficult for him. If they continued to fight like this, the conflict between both parties would really spiral towards an all-out explosion. This wasn’t what he hoped to see.
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