Book 12: The Strength of the Preparatory Team
Chapter 98.1: A Top-ranked Auction
“Teacher Wang, we qualified from the round-robin round in first place, and with their strength, the Dou Ling Imperial Soul Academy should’ve done the same as well. If that’s the case, why are we fighting them? Aren’t the number one teams supposed to only get the second place teams in the round of 16?” Dai Yueheng asked suspiciously.
Wang Yan said, “In terms of overall strength, the Dou Ling Imperial Academy should’ve been first place in their group. However, that wasn’t the case. A black horse which also had a streak of consecutive wins and no losses appeared in their group. Yet, the Dou Ling Imperial Academy forfeited their match with that black horse for no reason. That’s why they qualified in second place. I didn’t think that we’d meet them.”
“Was there a problem?” Ma Xiaotao asked, “The Dou Ling Imperial Academy is also a well-known school. They must’ve known the importance of the group matches, and what first place signifies. Just what would make them give up that first place spot? Are they trying to preserve their strength for a single attack?”
Wang Yan replied, “I’ve also thought about this. The only difference between first and second place in the qualifier rounds lies in the round of 16. It doesn’t hold any significance after this match. The Dou Ling Imperial Soul Academy must’ve done this for a reason, and they must’ve concealed it well. We’ll only be able to see why in the match. Fortunately, we’ve kept the fact that you and Yueheng are participating in this match a secret as well. With you guys leading the team, there shouldn’t be too big of a problem. Okay, I’m going to explain the rules of our next elimination round.”
“Over the ten thousand years that the Continental Advanced Soul Duelling Tournament has been held, its rules have never changed. This is especially so for the final elimination rounds. To make the tournament more interesting, as well as to better display the comprehensive strengths of the participating academies, the tournament format will change slightly from previous matches. The elimination rounds won’t be decided using lot-drawing as per previous matches. Each match will be held over two days, and both a team battle and an individual knockout round will be held. Winning the team fight doesn’t mean that you’ll definitely proceed to the next round; if you can defeat all seven of your opponents using only three members, you’ll be able to overturn the outcome of the team match. On the other hand, the team that wins the team fight can guarantee their advance into the next stage by defeating three of their opponents using seven team members.”
“These tournament rules both illustrate the importance of a team’s overall strength and give a chance to teams which have strong individuals. For example, our team has Soul Emperors like Ma Xiaotao and Dai Yueheng. Even if we lose the team fight, they might be able to shine in the individual matches and defeat all seven of their opponents by themselves. In that case, we could still win the elimination round. Because of that, although the elimination round tests our strength as a complete whole, it gives a great chance to strong individuals. Truly powerful academies will definitely try extremely hard to nurture their best students, and one reason for that is to allow them to turn the tides in the elimination round’s individual matches.”
The fact that the elimination round was actually held in a way like this was something that nobody had imagined. Huo Yuhao asked, “Teacher Wang, then what happens in the 1v1 fights if a team member is injured or over-exhausted from the team fight?”
Wang Yan replied, “Then it’ll depend on the strength of that team’s bench. Every academy that’s participating in this tournament has to have a preparatory team, just like what you guys originally were. If something like what you’ve just said occurs to an official team member, a member from the preparatory team will have to take their place.”
“Bei Bei, Xu Sanshi. The two of you should’ve recovered already. Would it be possible for the two of you to use your abilities if you were to participate in the elimination round?”
Wang Yan was naturally referring to Bei Bei’s Golden Holy Dragon and Xu Sanshi’s Xuanwu.
Bei Bei nodded. “I should be able to. My martial soul doesn’t get strengthened as much as Xu Sanshi’s. However, it all depends on whether I can make it come out. After using it once, I’ll have to wait three days to use it again, just like the fusion skill my junior brothers use. Also, I’ll only have the power to unleash a single attack. I’ll only be able to stabilise this power once I become a seven-ringed Soul Sage.”
Xu Sanshi had a bitter look on his face as he said, “I can’t say for sure, because I can’t control it. A variation like that only occurs to my martial soul when I receive an especially intense stimulation. However, I’m the same as Bei Bei. Once I become a Soul Sage, everything will be fine.”
Wang Yan nodded slightly. “I understand. Now, I’ll make arrangements for the team members who are participating in tomorrow’s match. Once we enter the elimination round, we can’t be sloppy at all. Our upcoming opponents were within the top 4 of the last tournament, and so we’ll definitely have to go all-out. Ma Xiaotao, Dai Yueheng, Ling Luochen, Bei Bei, Xu Sanshi, Huo Yuhao, and Wang Dong. The seven of you are participating in the team fight tomorrow. Ling Luochen and Huo Yuhao will be the main controllers in the team, and everyone else will launch frontal attacks to smash our opponents with our strength. Caitou, you’ll have to go make a few cigars and distribute them to everyone so they’ll be able to use them during the match.”
“Yes.” He Caitou answered.
Xiao Xiao curled her lips and said, “It’s got nothing to do with me then.”
Wang Yan smiled slightly. “Seeing that we’re near the end of the tournament, nobody can guarantee that we won’t suffer any injuries. As benchwarmers, you guys are also important. You all have already performed very well during the earlier parts of the tournament. You, Nannan, and Caitou also have to make preparations to go out and fight at any time. Now, I’ll talk about the strategies we’ll use in tomorrow’s team fight. No matter what that Dou Ling Imperial Academy has prepared, we’ll have to give them a show of strength.”
With the return of the two Soul Emperors, the current Wang Yan was filled with confidence to win. They still had to go through four more elimination rounds to secure their spot as champions, and although the following matches would be very tough, it wouldn’t be as tough as the preparatory team facing off against Justsky Academy.
At this exact moment, someone suddenly knocked on the door to the conference room.
Wang Yan furrowed his brows and shouted in a low voice, “Didn’t we tell the service staff to not disturb us?”
A pleasant, female voice rang out from outside the door. “Sorry for the interruptions. I’m not a member of the service staff; I’ve come from the Starlight Auction.”
The Starlight Auction? Wang Yan couldn’t help but feel stunned for a brief moment after hearing this somewhat familiar voice. The person who was nearest to the door--Bei Bei--stood up and shot Wang Yan a questioning look. After seeing Wang Yan give him a nod of assurance, he walked towards the door and opened it.
A woman wearing a black cheongsam was standing outside the door. Being twenty-eight to twenty-nine years old, she possessed a mature charm and an occasional air of youth.
Huo Yuhao and the rest all recognised her; she was the auctioneer who had held the auction they’d participated in that day, Qing Ya.
Qing Ya’s gaze directly landed on Wang Yan as she smiled and greeted him, “Hello, Teacher Wang Yan. I have to apologise for taking the liberty to disturb you.”
Wang Yan’s gaze softened somewhat as he saw that the intruder was Qing Ya. He asked in a low voice, “Do you have something for us, auctioneer Qing Ya? Also, how did you find us here?”
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