Chapter 278 – No Regrets!
Frozen in place, Tang Wulin, Xie Xie, Gu Yue, and Xu Xiaoyan saw the lion’s maw open wide. In the next instant, a torrent of flames spewed forth.
I-it came back! That adult Three-eyed Golden Lion is back!
Do I regret this?
All four of them asked themselves the same thing as they were engulfed by in flames.
Tang Wulin resolved himself. No! I have no regrets. I’m lucky to have comrades like them.
Xie Xie had similar thoughts. I’m a man, and a man doesn’t second-guess his decisions!
Gu Yue didn’t have any regrets either. She felt perfectly calm. Renouncing the soul bone had been the easiest choice for her since she never wanted it in the first place.
Xu Xiaoyan was at ease. Like the others, she harbored no regrets.
Why would I regret anything? I already made my choice. At least the mom lion will be happy when she sees her child is fine. They’re just data anyway. To us, this is just a virtual world… but to them, this is reality.
A soul bone could change a person’s life forever, but so could loss of a child!
And their vision went black.
In the next instant, light shone through the darkness as their metal capsules slid out of walls.
Tang Wulin, Xie Xie, Gu Yue, and Xu Xiaoyan each lay in a capsule, and all four of them sat up at the same time.
They were in the same metal room as before. A large screen displayed the cave they were just at.
Inside of the cave, the mother lion crouched to her cub’s side and enveloped it in golden light. The light healed the cub’s wounds, and it opened its eyes.
Once she saw her child regain consciousness, the mother lion took the cub into her bosom, a gentle golden light surrounding them both.
Tang Wulin and his companions silently watched the scene play out on the screen. For some reason, when they saw the mother lion nuzzling its cub, the weight in their hearts disappeared.
The four of them couldn’t help but smile.
Tang Wulin was the first to get out of his metal capsule, then he went around the room to help his teammates out of theirs.
“I have no regrets!” Tang Wulin grinned at his teammates.
“No regrets here!”
“My conscience is clear!’
The other three responded in kind, sharing the same knowing smile. Tang Wulin extended his right hand. Familiar with his personality, Gu Yue placed her hand on top of his. Then Xie Xie and Xu Xiaoyan placed their hands on top of theirs. At that moment, their joined hands symbolized their camaraderie.
All of a sudden, steady clapping resounded throughout the room.
The four of them turned to see Shen Yi watching at them, eyes filled with admiration.
“I have been overseeing the entrance exams for many years now, but I still remember when I took mine. Back then, I was just like you four. You might not know this, but you just took the hardest level of the ninth trial. The challenges presented to you were the most difficult that we had available. This trial tested your patience, your ability to survive, and most importantly, your character.
“I’m sorry that I tricked you earlier. Your individual character was the true focus of this trial. If a powerful soul master lacked kindness, honesty, and justice, they would be a danger to the entire Federation. Shrek Academy refuses to accept such people.
“Your first test in this trial determined whether or not you had the patience to find the valley. No points are assigned for the first test. The second test checked if you could recognize the power of the Three-eyed Golden Lion and the Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear. To pass the third test, you needed to have the courage to enter the cave. This is the most important test of the three, and you needed to pass it in order to get any points.
“You faced your fourth test after encountering the lion cub. If you had lost to it, you would have gotten zero points. However, the most important test in the entirety of the ninth trial began after you were presented with the possibility of acquiring the soul ring and soul bone of a Three-eyed Golden Lion cub.
“You were faced with a choice. Who would get the treasured soul ring and soul bone? I have witnessed many teams fall apart at this decision, turning their backs on their companions and fighting over the soul bone out of greed. They would quickly descend into an abyss of wickedness.”
Tang Wulin couldn’t help but speak up. “So when you told us that we could fuse with the soul rings and soul bones in that world, it was all a lie? It isn’t possible to fuse with the soul bones in there, is it?”
“The Auspicious Emperor, the Three-eyed Golden Lion, has only appeared once in the past twenty thousand years,” Shen Yi said. “Even if Shrek Academy possesses many detailed records on it, we wouldn’t be able to create perfect imitations of two of them, let alone allow examinees to absorb them. They were just illusions. Nothing more.”
Her words made odd expression come over the faces of the four of them..
Seriously? That’s just…
“If you had killed the Three-eyed Golden Lion and then calmly decided who got the spoils, everyone would have gotten six points,” Shen Yi continued. “However, you four made a decision that surpassed our imagination. All of you chose not to kill.”
She paused for a moment, letting her words sink in.
“I now understand how kind you four are. As you saw on the screen just now, soul beasts are living beings too. Shrek Academy has never advocated the mindless slaughter of soul beasts. Unfortunately, the Great Star Dou Forest has only declined while humanity has grown stronger and stronger. Battle armor has given us a decisive advantage over soul beasts. Humans were too greedy for what soul beasts could offer us, and that greed has led to soul beasts being driven to the verge of extinction. If we of Shrek Academy participated in this, soul beasts would have already been completely wiped out.”
Shen Yi calmly looked into the eyes of all four of them one at a time.
“You need to remember that, if you become students of Shrek Academy, you must not enter the Great Star Dou Forest to hunt soul beasts.”
Tang Wulin’s eyes lit up with respect. Although he was only thirteen years old, he could kind of understand the gravitas of Shen Yi’s words regarding the relationship between humans and soul beasts. Savage soul beasts definitely existed, but that didn’t mean that all soul beasts were savage!
“Judging by your performance in this trial, I can give you nothing less than a full score. I’ll also tell you this—if you had failed this trial, you would have been rejected by Shrek Academy even if you had earned a full eighty points up to now. We call this the overruling trial. If you were lacking in moral character, nothing else would have mattered.”
Tang Wulin and the others were startled, but secretly rejoiced on the inside.
Their choice hadn’t been wrong.
“With the conclusion of this trial, Tang Wulin has seventy points. Xie Xie, you have sixty-one points. Xu Xiaoyan and Gu Yue have sixty points and fifty-eight points respectively.”
Three of them already earned the minimum number of points required to pass the exam. Now, only Gu Yue lacked two points.
Shen Yi nodded to them as she pushed open the door that led out of the room.
All four students of class zero shared a smile. They were one trial short of joining Shrek Academy. After all of their efforts, it was nearly time.
Shen Yi led them down the hall and up another flight of stairs to the roof where three people awaited them.
In the center of the three was an elderly grey-haired man. On his left was Elder Cai, the Silver Moon Douluo, and on his right was the elder that had administered the first trial.
The three of them stood in a row, inspecting the new arrivals.
The expressions of Tang Wulin and the others soured when they saw Elder Cai.
What does she have to do with the last trial?