Chapter 194 – Setting Off for the Tournament
“Let’s do our best, guys!”
Tang Wulin was the first to reach out a hand. Gu Yue placed her hand on top of his, before quickly grabbing Xu Xiaoyan’s hand so that it rested on hers.
Although he was an agility-type soul master, Xie Xie’s reaction lagged behind the rest and he was the last to join in. He glared daggers at Gu Yue. “Just how much do you loathe me!”
Gu Yue thought it over for a moment, then flashed a smile. “About as much as one would loathe a housefly.”
Night crept by without a peep. Once the rays of the sun pierced through the horizon, Wu Zhangkong and the four students departed from the academy. Their destination: Eastsea Square located at the city’s center.
Tang Wulin and the others wore Eastsea Academy’s uniform. This time, Director Long Hengxu joined the children and Wu Zhangkong.
There was another team representing the academy apart from Tang Wulin’s group, though they were from the advanced division.
The latter team would be participating in the fifteen to twenty youths division. Tang Wulin spotted a couple of familiar faces among the crowd. The first was Xu Xiaoyan’s older brother, Xu Xiaoyu. To his surprise, the other one was the beautiful senior sister he met during his first days at Eastsea Academy, Liu Yuxin.
It was clear that Liu Yuxin hadn’t spared him a thought. Instead, her gaze was glued on the face of a man with fluttering white robes, never letting him out of her sight. Her eyes were practically in the shape of hearts.
“Xiaoyan, let me know if they try to bully you.” Walking past the four students of class zero, Xu Xiaoyu showcased a display of force.
Xu Xiaoyan rolled her eyes at him. “Just worry about yourself. At least make it through the preliminaries this time.”
At such a statement, Xu Xiaoyu’s expression stiffened. “Of course. Everyone on our team has at least three rings this time. We’ll definitely achieve a good result.” They were participating in the team competitions as well. This was not just any team event. It was the most illustrious one—the seven-man team competition.
The corner of Xu Xiaoyan’s mouth twitched.
From the conversation between the two siblings, Tang Wulin could infer at least that Eastsea Academy held some hope of glory at the tournament. In fact, their chances of attaining victory were pretty high.
As Eastsea City was ranked number two among all the cities in the east coast, achieving glory and maintaining their status was a crucial goal and a touchy subject.
In truth, Tang Wulin’s guess hit the nail right on the head. While Eastsea Academy was Eastsea City’s only intermediate soul master academy, its students were not particularly outstanding.
The Skysea Alliance Tournament was so large that it required not just the five first-class cities on the east coast to host it but had even summoned the aid of some second and third-class cities. Eastsea City had produced dismal results for a first-class city in the previous tournaments. Both the academy and the city’s government lost much face.
It was no wonder that Long Hengxu’s proposal to create a ‘class zero’ for their newly found geniuses was approved so quickly.
If things continued on like this, then Eastsea City’s prestige would definitely suffer. The city’s bustling economy might also be adversely affected, plummeting the markets. The academy was placing their bets on a group of ten-year-old children this time, hoping that they would showcase the city’s potential at the Skysea Alliance Tournament while also gaining the support of the city’s government.
After all, they were only ten years old. Their future was limitless.
Crowds of people and luxurious soul busses assembled at Eastsea Square to set off together.
“Hey, why are you so late?” Mu Xi jogged over to Tang Wulin and grabbed him by the ear.
“What are you doing?” Before Tang Wulin could speak up, Gu Yue swatted away Mu Xi’s hand and stood protectively in front of him.
Stunned, Mu Xi stared at Gu Yue in a daze before bursting out in laughter. “Not bad! Tang Wulin, you’ve already become a deviant at such a young age. Who is your little girlfriend?”
“No, no! Senior disciple sister, don’t say such nonsense.” Mu Xi’s voice had been particularly loud, attracting the attention of those around them like bees to honey. With the proverbial spotlight shining on him, Tang Wulin flushed as red as a tomato in embarrassment.
His handsome looks, coupled with his rosy-red, abashed face tempted Mu Xi to pinch his cheeks.
“Wow. You’re bringing so many people with you?” Ignoring Gu Yue, Mu Xi asked Tang Wulin.
Tang Wulin said, “We’re participating in the junior division’s soul master’s team competition.”
“The soul master’s team competition? You guys?” She did not try to hide her disdain at all.
“What about us?” Xie Xie said indignantly.
Mu Xi sneered. “It’s nothing much. Just that we’re also entering the junior division of the soul master’s team competition. Do you guys still think you have a chance?” As she spoke, three soul rings appeared from beneath her feet.
Yellow, yellow, purple! She was a three-ringed Soul Elder!
Mu Xi was currently a fifth year in her second semester, so she was four years older than Tang Wulin. At fourteen years old, she just barely qualified for that division’s age limit.
Mu Xi said, “We’ll also be entering as a three-man team. Our goal is the top eight. There are currently thirty-six east coast cities competing in this tournament with over one hundred participants, and the first two rounds are knockout competitions. Can you guys even pass the first round?”
At their age, every single year signified a great gap in strength.
Tang Wulin went silent.
Even though they had beat Xu Xiaoyu once before, they had to admit it was due to Xu Xiaoyu’s carelessness and their strength in numbers.
Yet in this coming tournament, they would be facing the most powerful of their peers. There would even be those that were older than them. Against such formidable opponents, just what kind of hopes did they have?
“Alright, don’t be discouraged. I’ll treat you guys to a meal after the first round.” Mu Xi rubbed Wulin’s head then whispered into his ear, “You might not have a chance at the soul master’s tournament, but you can definitely rank high in the blacksmith one. I’ll be cheering for you when the time comes! Go become the champion!”
Since the time Tang Wulin had agreed to give up first place for her, the thorns in their relationship had blunted.
Tang Wulin nodded helplessly. She really knew how to surprise people.
The square was in chaos as the representatives of every association participating in the tournament organized themselves.
There were even representatives from other academies.
The Skysea Alliance Tournament had numerous events, including mecha and battle armor competitions.
Like how Eastsea City held an embarrassing position in the alliance, the Skysea Alliance were ashamed of their rank in comparison to the rest of the continent. Although their economic status was unrivaled, whether it were battle armor masters, mecha pilots, mecha technology, or the quantity and quality of soul masters, they ranked near the bottom in all of these elements.
The cities that dominated these categories were the Sun Moon City and Heaven Dou City. As for Shrek City, it could neither be evaluated by the Federation properly nor be put on the same scale as the others. Basically, Shrek City exceeded their comprehension.
“The teachers and students of Eastsea Academy, board your bus now.” Hearing this, the teachers began leading the students onto the sixth bus.
Without a single break in her stride, Gu Yue sauntered forward and kicked Xie Xie out of the way, plopping down on the seat beside Tang Wulin. Xie Xie could only settle for the next best thing and sat next to Xu Xiaoyan. Unfortunately for him, however, Xu Xiaoyu picked him up and stole the seat beside his sister.
“You…” Xie Xie was annoyed, but he could do nothing against the much stronger Xu Xiaoyu. He resigned himself to sit beside Wu Zhangkong. After descending into his seat, he felt countless eyes stabbing his body as the surrounding women glared as though they wanted to rip him to shreds.
I don’t want to sit here either!
Xie Xie immediately stood up to find another seat.
“Don’t stand up if you know what’s good for you.” Wu Zhangkong’s cold voice sounded.
Xie Xie didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Is this counted as provoking whoever I meet?
The Xu siblings sat right behind Tang Wulin and Gu Yue. As he stared at Gu Yue, a scowl materialized on Xu Xiaoyu’s face.
After facing defeat at the hands of Gu Yue, indignation and depression had filled his heart. As time progressed though, Gu Yue appearing in his dreams more and more frequently. Every once in awhile, Gu Yue’s face would pop up in his conscious mind.
She is so young, yet possesses such power and an amazing martial soul. Just how formidable will she be once she matures?
This girl piqued his curiosity, as well as some of his other sentiments.
Xu Xiaoyu was easily considered an outstanding elite in the advanced division, but that was just within the walls of the weak Eastsea Academy. He would be entering an advanced academy in a year, walking on his chosen path in life. Despite aspiring to be a battle armor master, he struggled with the fact that this was an exceedingly difficult occupation. In particular, the process of making battle armor required more than just money. Not only would he have to pour his all into cultivation, he would also need to divert his time and energy into battle armor research. He was already seventeen years old; though his potential was not lacking, it was unknown whether he had it in him to realize such a goal.