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“It's too soon to talk about defeat. And even if we lose, we can use this opportunity to temper the seven children of the preparatory team, and turn them into an outstanding generation of our Shrek Academy. In that case, even if we lose, it will be still worthwhile. For the time being, let them do as they wish. Lin'er, after the tournament ends, send a request to the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy on behalf of our Soul Tool Department and apply for a student exchange program. Let's send the students of our Soul Tool Department to their empire to study.”
Xian Lin'er was stunned. “Elder Mu, will they agree? And even if they agree, I'm afraid that our students…”
“The objective isn't to send them there to learn,” Elder Mu said with a faint smile, “I want them to go there to gain experience. I want them to have a look at the number one soul engineering academy of the continent, and see what their soul tools look like for themselves. As for the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, they will agree. They've already sent a request to apply for a student exchange with our Martial Soul Department. So tell them that as long as they agree to accept our students first, they're allowed to send ten students of their own to study here.”
“Yes.” Xian Lin'er replied.
Elder Mu said, “Talk things over carefully. Within five years, I want the Martial Soul and Soul Tool Departments to undergo a partial fusion. Add a weekly course on soul engineering for the students of the Martial Soul Department. Even if they don't learn how to manufacture soul tools, they must know how to use them. Shaozhe, Mei'er, Lin'er and Duo Duo, you must remember this: the advent of soul tools cannot be stopped. We're unable to predict to what degree they will develop in the future. Therefore, we must gain an advantage while there is still time. Our Shrek Academy has never had a lack of talents, and in the future, soul masters will fight while combining both their martial souls and their soul tools.”
Perplexed, Yan Shaozhe asked, “Teacher, aren't we rus.h.i.+ng things? Even if soul tools are developing quickly, soul engineers aren't comparable to soul masters that have surpa.s.sed the Soul Sage rank.”
“Aren't you neglecting the real problem and concentrating only on details?” Elder Mu said coldly, “Anyway, you're mistaken. Not too long ago, I personally went to the Sun Moon Empire, and the things I saw there were able to shock even me. The growth of soul tools in the Sun Moon Empire has already exceeded your imagination. I even saw a huge soul tool that needed many people to control it, and that soul tool was capable of threatening even my life. Something like that has the power to change the course of an entire war. Everything I said today wasn't without cause. If you keep on with this mentality and refuse to change, Shrek Academy won't last for long.”
“What?” Yan Shaozhe was dumbfounded. He was aware of how strong his teacher was. Even if he was a powerful t.i.tled Douluo that had reached Rank 95, in front of his Elder Mu, he was only a tiny existence. And now, his teacher said that there was a soul tool capable of threatening his life. Just how powerful was this soul tool?
“And if we look at things from the Sun Moon Empire's perspective, they should be unwilling to remain in the shadows anymore. If a war breaks out, you think our academy can shut itself up in an ivory tower? With things as they are now, we might even be the real objective of the Sun Moon Empire's attack.”
After hearing these words, the expressions of the nearby elders turned solemn.
“It's been a long time since I have proposed something. “Elder Mu said in a grave tone, “Now, let's vote for what I've proposed today.” After that, he raised his hand first.
Given his position as Master of the Sea G.o.d's Pavilion, no one had ever gone against Elder Mu's propositions in the past, let alone now that his words had moved the elders. Everyone voted in favor.
Elder Mu nodded and said, “The academy needs to support the development of soul tools. Huiqun, your department will receive a little more funding.”
Elder Lin nodded.
Elder Mu said, “That Fan Yu from the Soul Tool Department isn't bad. What about making him the vice-dean?”
Once again, everyone voted in favor.
“He'll be in charge of researching and developing soul tools,” Elder Mu said to Xian Lin'er, “he doesn't need to teach anyone else except his two inheriting disciples. Moreover, he'll be the one leading the students in the exchange with the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy.”
Tang Ya was sitting in the dormitory and gazing out the window. Her pretty face was a bit pale.
“I wonder how Bei Bei and the others are doing. Elder sister Le Xuan said that the disciples of the inner courtyard were seriously injured during this mission. One of them died in battle, and the other six were wounded. Even if Bei Bei and the others are alright, I'm afraid they'll have to partic.i.p.ate in the compet.i.tion.”
“Even Little Yuhao, w.a.n.g Dong, and Xiao Xiao are there. On the other hand, I'm quite useless. Even if I'm the head of the Tang Sect, I don't seem to have a bright future. It's already been a year since I broke through the third ring bottleneck, and up til now, my soul power has only reached Rank 33; it's getting harder and harder to advance. As of now, even that Dai Huabin from the second year has surpa.s.sed me. I'm already in my fifth year, and I'm starting to wonder how I'll be able to graduate once I'm in the sixth grade! Breaking through the fourth ring seems so difficult.”
The always-bright Tang Ya was talking to herself. Her beautiful face was quite gloomy right now.
“Father, mother, the both of you died in such a tragic way, and yet, there is no one that can really help us. Ten thousand years have pa.s.sed, and all the friends.h.i.+ps from back then have started to wane. In any case, Shrek Academy still remembers the contributions of Ancestor Tang San and gave me a place to stay. But the Clear Sky Clan? I went to look for them, but they said that they would help the starving but not the poor. The decline of the Tang Sect seems unavoidable. No, I refuse to believe it! I must rebuild the sect, and even if I have to pay a great price, I can't shrink back!”
Tears were streaming down Tang Ya's tender cheeks. After all, she was only a fifteen-year-old girl, but she had so many responsibilities already.
The Tang Sect had recruited Bei Bei, Huo Yuhao, Xiao Xiao, w.a.n.g Dong, and He Caitou. This had given the Tang Sect some hope. However, her talent was the worst among them. How was she supposed to lead them in the future?
After wiping her tears, Tang Ya stood up and clenched her delicate fists. “I want to become stronger. I'll do everything to make the Tang Sect great again. Father, mother, forgive me. I'm afraid that your Little Ya will have to go Star Luo City.”
In regards to the Star Luo Empire, Star Luo City was worthy of being called the number one city. It was the Star Luo Empire's political, cultural, and economic center. It also had the t.i.tle of 'The Undefeated Imperial Capital'.
Star Luo City's city walls reached a height of hundred meters, and unexpectedly, their width was also a hundred meters. These walls were made of a very durable stone. The area it encircled surpa.s.sed a thousand square kilometers; it surpa.s.sed fifty kilometers in both length and breadth.
The core of the city, the so-called inner city, was obviously situated in the center of Star Luo City. The inner city had a length of 960 meters and a width of 750 meters, and the inner city walls around it were 20 meters high—it was a city within a city. The Imperial Palace was already complete thanks to the White Tiger Duke's lineage and the Imperial Family. Every time it was rebuilt, it got bigger in scale and more magnificent.
Star Luo City's population exceeded 8 million inhabitants, and could hold up to 20 million people if one were to add the foreigners.
However, even such a big city had started to become crowded as of late. The number of visitors had rapidly increased in a short half-month, and all the hotels were full. Therefore, the officers had to take over the residences of a few commoners and open their houses up to the visitors. The number of troops inside the city had also increased quite a lot due to security reasons.
There was only one reason for such a huge change: the Continental Advanced Academy Soul Dueling Tournament that was held every five years. And now, the tournament was taking place in Star Luo City.
There were four great empires on the continent, and the various capitals of the empires would take turns to host the tournament. Therefore, Star Luo City would need to wait another twenty years to hold it again. How could such a grand occasion not attract all the residents of the Star Luo Empire?
The tournament was going to be held in Star Luo Plaza, in front of the inner city. Star Luo Plaza was very big, and could hold many spectators. There were thirty thousand soldiers tasked with keeping order in the city, and ten thousand of them were stationed at Star Luo Plaza.
Not far from the east side of the Star Luo Plaza was a big hotel with seven stories. This was the Imperial Star Grand Hotel, and it belonged to the royal family. Currently, it was being used to welcome the various high-ranked soul masters and soul engineers coming from the other countries to partic.i.p.ate in the tournament.
Due to the fact that they were the reigning champions from the number one academy on the continent, the members of Shrek Academy were situated in the most luxurious room on the highest floor. Everyone had their own bedroom, and in addition, they also had a meeting room that they could use as they wished.
At this time, the ten members of the team and their leading teacher, w.a.n.g Yan, were in the middle of the meeting room, talking things over before the start of the match.
They had only arrived in Star Luo City yesterday. They were quite late compared to the other academies partic.i.p.ating in the tournament. However, in their eyes, it was just Shrek Academy acting arrogantly because they were the defending champions and the number one academy on the continent.
w.a.n.g Yan sat in the place of honor. On his left were Ma Xiaotao, Dai Yueheng, and Ling Luochen; all three of them had pale complexions. Their internal organs were still damaged. Even if they had received medical treatment and tried to recuperate their strength with their own methods, they had rushed here in great haste with the aid of a flying-type soul tool. This had taken quite a toll on them, and had actually aggravated the state of their injuries. The time they would need to recuperate was going to be higher than the previous estimates.
Given the situation, it would be strange if w.a.n.g Yan had a good complexion.
The registrations would end today. w.a.n.g Yang had already discussed things with the organizers of the tournament and signed up the current students, but the reinforcements from the academy were yet to be seen. The compet.i.tion would start tomorrow, and at this point, they could only rely on themselves.
w.a.n.g Yan tried to calm down, and showed a slight smile on his face as he said, “Did you have a proper rest yesterday? The Star Luo Empire's hospitality isn't half bad.”
Bei Bei, who was the first on his right, said, “We had a good rest. However, today is the last day for the registration, and those reinforcements from the academy…”
w.a.n.g Yan waved his hand and said, “Don't worry. I've already received a letter from the academy. It takes some time to gather students that were away. Moreover, our academy has a certain privilege… thus, we must fight for Shrek's glory! I really wonder how far the preparatory team can go.”
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