Book 9: Escape
Chapter 62.3: The Chaotic Preliminaries
With his cultivation, Elder Xuan only needed a glance to assess the current state of affairs. When he confirmed that no one had been severely injured, he relaxed. He then waved towards the people on the edge of the stage.
Wang Yan, Mu Jin, and rest of the teachers immediately came over.
All of the teachers had witnessed the battle just now. When they gazed at Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong, they felt as if like they were looking at two monsters. Even in this academy of monsters, there shouldn’t be someone so monstrous. One of them had two rings, while the other had three. And yet, somehow they’d been able to defeat twelve opponents whose cultivation weren’t inferior to their own.
“Those that have been eliminated can head back. You seven, stay behind.” Elder Xuan took a bite of his chicken leg when he’d finished. Behind the mass of chaotic hair that covered his face, a strange light flickered through his eyes. He carefully observed Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong.
The students that had fainted were able to regain consciousness with the help of the teachers. Many of them revealed dissatisfied expressions on their faces when they came to. Indeed, many of them hadn’t even had enough time to display their full potential before they’d been eliminated.
Therefore, even when they heard Elder Xuan’s words, none of them left. Instead, they all silently gazed at him.
Elder Xuan took another bite from his chicken leg, then snorted and said, “Are you all not convinced yet? If you're not convinced of something in the future, you’d better show it with your strength. Do you think that this chaotic battle was unfair? Do you think that it was unfair that you couldn’t display all of your abilities amidst all those people, and that you therefore lost in an inconceivable way?”
None of the core disciples replied, but their answer was clear.
Elder Xuan curled his lips and continued, “Was it really that unfair? In a chaotic battle, everyone has to fight for themselves. When you’re on the battlefield, do you have the luxury of picking the number of opponents you have to face, or the conditions of the battle? No, you don’t. However, in a chaotic battle like this, you all do at least have the same starting point. As such, you won’t find yourself in an immediately hopeless situation. With your current mindsets, none of you are qualified to become inner courtyard disciples. To tell you the truth, this ‘unfair’ chaotic battle is the best way to assess your actual strength. In this short chaotic battle, I was able to see how well each of you collaborates with others, your individual strength, and even your moral character. The saying that ‘those that act in accordance to justice and morality will be widely supported’ is utter bullshit. If you want someone’s help, you’ll need to have good relationships with others. Of course, you’ll still need enough strength. However, a person who can’t communicate is bound to be unsuccessful.”
“A test that consists of a chaotic battle is an extremely common thing in the inner courtyard. If you can’t even adapt to the situation, what qualifications do you possess to an inner courtyard disciple? Do you know what the most difficult situation encountered the inner courtyard disciples have faced is? Once, twelve inner courtyard disciples encountered a hundred thousand year soul beast when the teacher wasn’t present. Eight of them died in battle. However, the four that survived now stand at the peak amongst the inner courtyard disciples. One of them even obtained the soul ring and soul bone of that hundred thousand year soul beast. Don’t make mistakenly think that everything will be fine just because you’re studying at Shrek Academy. If you want to become strong, you’ll have to face life and death situations several times, even while inside the school.”
Elder Xuan’s tone was very flat. However, his words contained a formidable amount of spiritual power, which pounded into the hearts of the core disciples like a hammer.
“You should stop thinking that you’ll become inner courtyard disciples just because you’ve managed to become core disciples of the outer courtyard. Even if you do manage to become one, don’t think of it as something great, as that’s just the starting point; a starting point that can decide your life and death. Do you know what the first thing students do when they become inner courtyard disciples is? They sign a contract of life and death. The only way you can become capable of making the impossible possible is by throwing away all regard for your life and your death. Only then will you be able to become a top-level soul master. Regardless of your family background, once you became an inner courtyard disciple of the academy, you’ll become a real member of Shrek Academy. That means that, for your entire life, you’ll carry Shrek Academy’s mark. However, at the same time, it also means that you’ll also face mortal danger every day. You might lose your life at any time. While you’re still in the outer courtyard, your security can essentially be guaranteed. However, if you manage to enter the inner courtyard, you’ll face all kinds of terrifying tests.”
“Do you know how Shrek Academy managed to become the number one academy on the continent and how it managed to not fall over the past ten thousand years? It’s all thanks to the efforts of the inner courtyard disciples. It’s extremely rare for there to be more than fifty inner courtyard disciples. This is because every year, someone dies. Now then, does anyone still have any questions?”
Elder Xuan’s voice had become even colder than normal towards the end. Based on his speech, the core disciples of the outer courtyard had come into contact with the world of the inner courtyard for the first time. It didn't give them hope, but rather somewhat stirred them up and gave them a solemn feeling when they thought about Shrek Academy's glory.
All of their previous resentment had vanished into thin air. Afterwards, all of the core disciples who’d been eliminated lowered their heads and left the Soul Dueling Area one after another. Every single word said by Elder Xuan had been deeply engraved in their hearts; they wouldn’t forget any of them for the rest of their lives.
Wang Yan bowed deeply towards Elder Xuan and said, “Thank you for teaching these disciples an important lesson.”
Elder Xuan took a swig of alcohol and faintly said, “I only explained to them how the world works.” At that time, no one noticed that his eyes had teared due to the mass of chaotic hair that covered his face.
When those twelve disciples of the inner courtyard had faced that hundred thousand year soul beast alone, he had been the teacher leading them! Eight of them had died in that battle. This was both one of the saddest and one of the most heroic moments in Shrek Academy’s history. Even now, he couldn’t help but blame himself for the accident. From that moment on, he’d begun to drink heavily, and had given in to despair. He, who had once been Shrek Academy’s number one genius, had fallen into despair. Originally, he was supposed to take over the positions of Dean of the Martial Soul Department and Master of the Sea God’s Pavilion. However, given his circumstances, the Sea God’s Pavilion had remained under Elder Mu’s command.
Even after so many years had passed, the pain he felt was still buried deeply in the depths of his heart.
No one blamed him for the accident. However, he simply couldn’t forgive himself.
Currently, only Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, Xiao Xiao, Bei Bei, He Caitou, Xu Sanshi and Jiang Nannan were left inside the Soul Dueling Arena.
The seven of them quietly stood in a row. None of them bothered Elder Xuan, as they’d all been deeply affected by the sad atmosphere. Even though they’d prevailed over the others, their hearts felt extremely heavy at the moment.
Up until now, Shrek Academy’s glory had never had anything to do with the outer courtyard disciples, which a lot of people felt was strange. However, they now realized why that glory belonged exclusively to the inner courtyard: The inner courtyard disciples had used their blood to gain their glory. Currently, a fire had begun to burn in their hearts. This was the so-called ‘passing of the torch’. They too hoped to inherit a portion of the inner courtyard’s glory.
Bei Bei, Xu Sanshi, and Jiang Nannan—who were already Year 5 students—had all fallen deep into thought. After all, they were very close to entering the inner courtyard.
Elder Xuan slowly turned around and said to the seven, “Every one of you should have heard about Shrek’s Seven Monsters, right? In the front door of our academy, you can find the sculptures of the founders of the academy, and those of the original Shrek’s Seven Monsters. Do you know how the original Shrek’s Seven Monsters gained their reputation?”
At that time, none of them even thought of interrupting Elder Xuan. They chose to keep listening in silence.
“At that time, the head of the Golden Iron Triangle, the Four-eyed Eaglecat Flanders, had just established Shrek Academy,” Elder Xuan said in a grave tone, “however, there weren’t many teachers, and the number of students was even fewer than the number of teachers. As such, Dean Flanders proposed that the academy only accept monsters, and that they should disregard the average person. Later on, this became the academy’s slogan. Nonetheless, finding monsters wasn’t an easy task. It was only when the original Shrek’s Seven Monsters appeared that the academy had the opportunity to rise.”
“They gained the title of Shrek’s Seven Monsters for several reasons. One of them was because they were monstrous geniuses that hailed from Shrek Academy. Furthermore, they were also the only students of the academy at the time. However, the most important reason, and also the reason that caused our academy to become famous, is because they represented the academy at the Elite Continental Soul Master Tournament. When the tournament began, nobody thought much of Shrek Academy. Back then, the academy was still unknown. However, Shrek’s Seven Monsters relied on their strength to defeat all of their opponents and to barge into the finals. The opponents they faced in the finals came from the then-powerful Martial Soul Hall. And then, even though they were weaker than their enemy, Shrek’s Seven Monsters still managed to obtain the final victory under Ancestor Tang San’s lead. That day, the foundation that would lead our academy towards becoming the number one academy on the continent was finally laid down. At the same time, the first generation of Shrek’s Seven Monsters became famous.”
“To thank the first generation of Shrek’s Seven Monsters for their contributions, the academy chooses a new group of Shrek’s Seven Monsters every five years. These seven will then represent the academy in the Continental Advanced Academy Soul Duelling Tournament, which is held every five years. The Elite Tournament part was changed to Soul Dueling Tournament alongside the appearance of soul tools. However, this great event has a different meaning from the past.”
“Originally, the Sun Moon Empire was defeated due to the coalition of our three great empires. However, our three empires also suffered heavy losses. For several thousand years now, the Sun Moon Empire has done its best to research and develop new soul tools. As such, their strength has continuously risen as a result. At the end of the day, the three empires are exactly what their names imply: Three different empires. The three of them aren’t of the same mind. If the Sun Moon Empire hasn’t made any moves yet, it’s because they can’t completely assure themselves that they’ll win. As long as our Shrek Academy remains standing, they won’t dare to act rashly.”
“I'm absolutely not bragging when I say this. If the Sun Moon Empire really wants to dominate the continent, the one they’d need to deal with isn’t the Star Luo, Heavenly Soul, or Dou Ling Empire, but rather our Shrek Academy. This is because only our academy has the power to rally the three empires together, and to make them resist the Sun Moon Empire. Only we have enough power to deal with the Sun Moon Empire’s top-ranked soul tools.”
“The Sun Moon Empire wouldn’t dare launch a full-scale war just to test our strength either. However, they’re constantly trying to probe it. And the best method for them to do so is exactly through the Continental Advanced Academy Soul Duelling Tournament. Therefore, our real opponent in this tournament is the Sun Moon Empire’s Imperial Soul Engineering Academy.”
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