Chapter 295 – The Pressure of Shrek
Since Elder Cai left the lecture hall, Shen Yi replaced her at the lectern and swept her gaze across all the students.
“On behalf of Shrek Academy, I welcome you. Everything I’m about to say concerns your future studies, so take note. It’s important that new students like you know these things, and I will not repeat myself.
“All of you are now members of Shrek Academy. Whatever you do in the outside world represents Shrek Academy. If you overstep your bounds, the Academy will punish you. Punishment will be completely unrelated to whatever the Federation decides.”
Her voice grew somber as the last few words left her mouth.
Shrek Academy, and by extension, Shrek City, was a powerful independent organization in the Douluo Continent. Laws and punishments were determined solely at Shrek’s discretion. The Federation had no jurisdiction over it.
“Each one of you has a student identification card with your information and contribution points stored in it. I’m sure you’re all curious about what you can use contribution points for. Simply put, they can be used for anything in the outer court. You can exchange them for cultivation resources, spirit souls, time in special facilities on campus, personal guidance from a teacher, and entrance to the spirit ascension platform. Working students, in particular, need them to buy food. Within reason, you can exchange them for anything and everything you want.
“You’re all probably curious as to how you can obtain more points. Let me get this out of the way first: you cannot purchase contribution points with money. You have to complete jobs for the Academy in order to earn contribution points. There is a large variety of jobs for you to choose from. For example, you have physical labor, metal forging, mecha design, mecha making, mecha maintenance, and so on. As long as you are able to complete the job, you will be awarded contribution points. They can also be transferred between students. Private transactions will not receive the Academy’s protection, but you can choose to make such transactions through the Academy’s public platform at a small cost. The points will be valid as long as Shrek Academy still stands, and what you spend them on is up to you. Of course, if you’re expelled, you will be given an opportunity to spend all your points before being forced to leave.
“Classes are only held in the morning. You are free to do whatever you want in the afternoon and evening. You can study on campus in any way you wish or even go out into the city. Anything is fine as long as you do not miss your morning classes. Apart from special circumstances and the approval of a teacher, tardiness will not be excused. Instances in which you are late to class will be considered absences. Anyone who is absent three times will face expulsion.
“Continuing on, you are not allowed to bring anything bought with Federation money onto campus. Anyone who is caught doing so will be fined contribution points ten times the price of the items. You can try your luck in smuggling things in, but I wouldn’t suggest it. Some places on campus do accept Federation money, but as I’m sure those of you who have been there already know, they are very expensive.”
“Those of you who are working students will have it harder. You will have to pay for your own meals. No one will stop you from going off-campus to eat, but I advise that you consider how much time would be wasted if you did. Time is the most important thing for students here. If you fall behind, you risk being expelled.
“There’s one thing you should know that Elder Cai didn’t mention earlier. In Shrek Academy’s elimination system, anyone in the bottom five of the yearly minor exams will be expelled. Shrek Academy only raises monsters. You could spend your time here in a leisurely manner, but then your stay would only last a year.
“A list of optional courses will be passed around later. Some of those classes are free to normal students while others require payment. Working students, however, will have to pay for any optional classes they choose to take. All students will need to exchange contribution points for the resources used in these classes.
“That is all you need to know for now, so we will stop here for today. You can go familiarize yourselves with the campus or perhaps try doing some jobs to earn points. Oh, right, be careful of point deductions. If any of you reach negative one thousand points, you will be expelled.”
Shen Yi explained how Shrek Academy worked as if she were reading from a script, but every word stabbed at Tang Wulin’s heart.
The curriculum seemed easy, and classes only took place in the morning, yet the elimination and contribution point systems pushed students to strive for the best. Anyone who didn’t spend their afternoons and evenings improving themselves risked falling behind. They also had to find time to do jobs and earn contribution points. In truth, they had a packed schedule.
It was clear to Tang Wulin that competition here was fierce. Shrek Academy was far more challenging than Eastsea Academy, and he could only rely on himself to get what he needed.
Even so, there was nothing he could do but work hard. Tang Wulin’s eyes shone with confidence. Now that he was a fifth-rank blacksmith, he and his teammates wouldn’t have to worry about contribution points. He only told Xie Xie to improve in his second profession that morning because he feared that the others would become dependent on him for contribution points, letting their second professions stagnate. They needed to be involved in the creation of their own battle armor to be able to use it. Before they could do that, they had to improve in their respective professions and reach the fourth rank. To forge two-word battle armor, however, they had to reach the fifth rank. This requirement was not up for negotiation.
The greatest benefit that Shrek Academy provided the four of them was the broadening of their horizons. Here, they could truly develop themselves as future battle armor masters!
“Alright,” Shen Yi said. “I’ve finished explaining the important stuff. Let’s move on to the topic of this morning’s class.”
She’s jumping straight into lecturing? Things move so quickly at Shrek!
“Today’s first topic is battle armor masters.” Shen Yi’s words immediately caught everyone’s attention. “What is a battle armor master? What does it mean to become one?”
Every single soul master dreamed of becoming a battle armor master. Regardless of where they came from, each and every student here was a genius at their previous academy, and it was obvious where their goals lay.
“I’m sure some of you are confused as to why the first class is about battle armor masters,” she continued. “Well, that’s because you already learned the basics before you came here. If you hadn’t, you wouldn’t have passed the entrance exam. In light of that, we won’t be covering them here. For the next five, ten, fifteen, or maybe even twenty years, your goal is to become a battle armor master.
“As all of you heard from Elder Cai’s speech during the opening ceremony, you will only be able to stay in the outer court until thirty-five years of age. If you fail to become a one-word battle armor master before you turn thirty-five, you will be sent home without graduating. If you do manage it, however, you will be able to graduate from the outer court. This is the standard for all of Shrek Academy’s students. Let me tell you all right now—only thirty-three percent of outer court students graduate. In other words, a third of all outer court students have what it takes to become a battle armor master.
“If you’ve already laid down a sturdy foundation for your secondary professions before coming here, then congratulations. It will be easier for you to progress from here on out. However, if you haven’t, you better put more effort into improving in your profession.
“Anyone capable of becoming a one-word battle armor master at twenty-five years old or younger will be eligible to join the inner court. If you don’t pass the inner court exam, then you will just graduate as an outer court student and leave. Unlike what you all may think, you don’t have that much time here.”
She paused, letting her words hang in the air for just a moment.
“Now let’s move on to the topic of battle armor masters. Just what is a battle armor master?” she asked. “I’m confident that most of you will say they’re just more powerful mecha pilots, yes?”
A wave of subconscious nods spread throughout the class.
“Then you are all gravely mistaken.”