Book 12: The Strength of the Preparatory Team
Chapter 88.1: A Decisive Battle
Ma Rulong had a calm smile on his face, but didn’t refute what Xiao Hongchen had said. Teacher Ma and the other teachers similarly didn’t say anything.
A cold glint flashed in Xiao Hongchen’s eyes as he lowered his voice and said, “Teacher Ma, do you know that mysterious boy’s name?”
“I’ve already investigated that boy. He’s called Huo Yuhao, but that’s all I know. He doesn’t exist in the data we have on Shrek Academy.”
Xiao Hongchen nodded and laughed coldly before speaking. “It’s hard to say whether Shrek Academy can enter the finals with their present situation. Leader, I’m afraid we won’t be able to beat such a rubbish team if they continue deploying their preparatory team only!”
Ma Rulong’s face sank. “Xiao Hongchen, shut your bloody mouth. I’m still the captain of Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s representative team. You can insult yourself, but before you truly beat Shrek’s strongest representative team, you have no right to insult your opponent.”
A powerful aura suddenly surged out from Ma Rulong’s body. Xiao Hongchen staggered back as he felt the oppressive aura. His younger sister immediately stood up, brazenly exuding a severely sharp aura. She was about to counter Ma Rulong with force.
Xiao Hongchen stretched his arm out and blocked his younger sister. A hint of a smile formed on his face. “Yes, leader. I was in the wrong. But I will prove everything to you with my actions in time. I will take your place, and that of all the seniors from previous generations who wanted to defeat Shrek Academy in trampling them under my feet.”
Sea God’s Pavilion, Shrek Academy.
“Elder Mu, are we really not sending anyone over? They have to face three Soul Kings as their opponents tomorrow.” The one standing before Elder Mu was the vice-dean of the Martial Soul Department, Cai Mei’er.
Elder Mu smiled slightly and said, “Is this what you wanted to ask me, or did Shaozhe ask you to pose this question?”
“Shaozhe meant for me to ask you,” Cai Mei’er replied honestly.
Elder Mu chuckled. “I know it’s him. He’s not happy about this. I’ve seen all the messages he sent to me before. Those kids are doing very well. Xuannie has very good foresight. Not a single one among them is a useless scoundrel. Aren’t things going well the way they are now? Why must we emerge as champions? If we send people over to them, will these children be enticed to give it their all? Go back and tell Shaozhe that these seven children with Huo Yuhao as their leader will be Shrek’s glorious pioneers in the years to come. Ask him to set his sights a little further. I sent them off to the tournament for them to gain experience. Since the heavens have decided on the outcome, we don’t have to try to fight it. Let the will of the heavens decide what their fate is. Who can say what will happen? Is it impossible for them to continue creating miracles? What we need to do now is believe in these children. After they return from the Star Luo Empire, you and Shaozhe, along with Lin’er and Duoduo, should personally congratulate them.”
“They’re fighting for Shrek’s glory. We must have faith in them. It takes ten years to polish a sword. We need at least ten years to let these seven children become Shrek’s future. They will be the ones sitting in the Sea God’s Pavilion in the future.”
“Elder Mu, you actually view them in such high regard?” Cai Mei’er was shocked. As far as she could remember, Elder Mu had never praised anyone like this before, not even his Inheriting Disciple, Yan Shaozhe.
Elder Mu smiled faintly. “That’s because I understand them better than you do. You’ll understand in the future. Go.”
Early in the morning.
The preparatory team assembled in the conference room after breakfast. They were all full of spirit and energy after resting up yesterday. Their energy, spirit and Qi were all at their peak. However, their faces didn’t bear relaxed expressions, but rather ones that were slightly grave.
Their match today would inevitably be their toughest match in the Continental Advanced Academy Soul Dueling Tournament so far. They had to confront a strong team led by three Soul Kings without a single Soul King on their team. They didn’t even have anyone above Rank 45 on their team!
Wang Yan looked at Bei Bei, He Caitou, Xu Sanshi, Jiang Nannan, Xiao Xiao, Huo Yuhao, and Wang Dong, who were all sitting in a row. His gaze swept from the first individual to the very last person in the row.
“Dearest children, the crucial battle is about to begin. I didn’t tell Xiaotao and the rest how difficult this match was going to be so that they can recuperate without worry weighing on their mind. I’ll emphasise this for the last time. Even if you guys lose this tournament, you guys definitely shouldn’t feel like you’re a disgrace to the Academy, because all of you average out to only 14 years old. I believe that it’s impossible for any other academy to have students that are superior to you guys at this age. What we need to do now is pray that luck is still on our side, that the next match will be a team battle again. I similarly have but one request for you all that you must accomplish at all costs, and that is your safety. I know your hearts must definitely be bursting with energy to win this match. However, victory is nothing compared to your safety.”
“I hope I can bring every single one of you back in one piece, the same way I brought you guys here. Every single one of you is the most valuable treasure to the academy. Humans only have one chance at life, and we can’t regenerate our limbs either. Since that’s the case, I hope you guys won’t fight with your lives on the line, or to the point where you become crippled in your efforts to stake everything on this match. We don’t need to you to do something like that. You guys have already done your best. In any event, you don’t need to feel pressured because of everything the outside world says about us. The tournament stage is nothing but a stage for you guys to display yourselves, and nothing else. You guys are only going on a relaxing journey.”
Wang Yan spoke every word with the utmost sincerity. He was more emotionally charged now, paired with the worry he held towards them. He was entirely certain that other teachers accompanying their teams to the Continental Advanced Academy Soul Dueling Tournament definitely wouldn’t tell their students not to be afraid of losing. Nor would they take the initiative to bring their students’ fighting spirit down. Yet, Wang Yan was doing just that now.
However, he could clearly see the raging flames burning in everyone’s eyes.
These children had come far from their apprehension toward the tournament at the start, progressing to the resolution they had shown later and ending with the pride they now had to uphold Shrek’s glory. That pride had already filled their hearts with the intention to fight. How could they possibly give up on the tournament now and let the consecutive victories Shrek Academy held for many years end with them?
Wang Yan inahled deeply and stood up before speaking in a low tone. “Let’s go, children. It’s time we relax.”
At that, he feigned a relaxed laugh and was the first to leave. However, when he turned around, he suddenly had a grave expression on his face. As the teacher in charge, the pressure he was shouldering was even heavier! Admittedly, Shrek Academy’s long-held glory was not only a driving force for the students, but was similarly an immense pressure they had to face too. Wang Yan didn’t even dare to imagine what it would be like for a representative team to appear in Shrek Academy after a loss. He didn’t know how he was going to face the academy if they did lose. Even if the fault didn’t lie with him, Wang Yan and these children behind him would be the ones who had disgraced the academy. The matter he was even more worried about was the serious mental burden these children would have to bear from that point onwards, affecting their development for all their lives. As a result of that, he was always advising them in the hopes that they could relax. However, the outcome was not ideal, for he only saw a strong will to fight in them.
Huo Yuhao didn’t know how the others felt. All he knew was that his blood was burning in his body. There was no fear or worry in him, for he only wished to fight for Shrek Academy, and would do anything he could to uphold their glory. If burning his blood could increase his strength, he would do it without giving it a second thought.
It’d been more than a year since he’d entered Shrek Academy. He’d formed friendships he had never had in his life before, and received tender loving care from the whole academy. One could say that he had learned more in this year than he had in his last decade. He’d already fallen deeply in love with this academy and every single one of his comrades by his side.
He would do anything he could for the academy. That was his lifelong hope, just like how he hadn’t hesitated in making his decision to become a guardian. He needed to defend Shrek Academy’s glory now. In his heart, this in itself was already a glory in its own right. How could Wang Yan’s words dispel his fighting spirit for this glory and Shrek’s glory? His heart was burning, and his blood was boiling. There was no sense of failure in his heart, only the glory accompanying victory.
The others all had the same expression in their eyes as Huo Yuhao. The match today was inevitably going to be the most difficult one, yet it was similarly the one time their cohesion was the strongest. The seven monsters were all of one heart. At this moment, they truly considered themselves to be Shrek’s Seven Monsters.
They left the Grand Imperial Star Hotel and headed toward Star Luo Plaza. They could feel the firmness of the earth with every step they took, just like the unyielding conviction they had at this very moment.
They had to win, win, win!
The atmosphere in Star Luo Plaza was still as riled up as before. Shrek Academy was going to appear again today. What surprises would they bring to the audience?
In all of the three matches Shrek Academy had appeared in before, one could say that every match had brought different stunning surprises to the audience. Huo Yuhao was mysterious, Xu Sanshi had an impeccable defence, and the seemingly-disorderly team actually had gorgeous coordination. And no one could forget how He Caitou had fought with his Soul Tool Fortress. Every single battle had left a lasting impression on the audience.
Even though the audience also found it very strange that Shrek Academy had deployed so many students who only had four soul rings, they didn’t give it too much thought, since Shrek had always emerged victorious.
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