Chapter 452 - Do You Have to be so Ruthless?
Wu Zhangkong's chilling voice thundered throughout the area, courtesy of the soul megaphone.
Following that, he pressed down a button on the megaphone and pushed it into Tang Wulin's hands.
"Teacher Wu, do you have to be so ruthless?" Tang Wulin groaned.
Wu Zhangkong looked him right in the eye. "Did you think getting full marks would be that easy?"
Before Tang Wulin could retort, the megaphone sounded again. "Pay attention students of the Imperial Sun Moon Soul Engineering Academy! The six of us come from Shrek Academy! We're all fourteen years old and we're here to challenge your strongest team under the age of twenty! We're here to show you once again the gap between you and the greatest academy on the continent!"
Shit! This thing even has this kind of functionality…
Wu Zhangkong disappeared in a blur, leaving only a rustle in the air.
Tang Wulin buried his face in his free hand. Teacher Wu, didn't you say you were going to lead us? We trusted you!
As the megaphone repeated itself for the third time, Xie Xie shot Tang Wulin a fearful look. "We're trapped."
Xu Xiaoyan swallowed down a mixture of saliva and trepidation. "We must have been smoking something if we thought we'd get all those points for the same amount of work! I take it back. This is a crappy idea!"
On the other hand, Ye Xinglan seemed entirely in her natural habitat, cracking her knuckles with a shrug. "Let's do it. If you want, I'll shout too."
Xu Lizhi's hand shot up straight in the air. "I agree!"
Gu Yue approached Tang Wulin to examine the megaphone. "It's not like Teacher Wu's declaration was wrong."
All Tang Wulin could do was let out a relenting sigh. "Teacher Wu should just be called the 'Trap King'." After messing around with the megaphone, he finally found the power button, turning the device off before it could repeat the confrontational announcement a fifth time.
However, it was too late. In the short moment that the megaphone had been on, a giant crowd formed around them. Students and staff of the Imperial Sun Moon Academy, as well as people passing by.
A blonde, middle-aged man walked out of the school building. His expression clouded over as he approached Tang Wulin, the bearer of the megaphone. "Shrek Academy?" he asked.
Tang Wulin stored the megaphone in his storage ring and stepped forward. "We're from Shrek Academy's outer court. The first grade class."
"If you want to challenge us, then so be it. Follow me," the man said, sweeping his imposing gaze past them.
Tang Wulin felt like an ant before this man, his sharp aura cutting down any courage he could muster.
"Now everyone else, get moving. If you want to know the outcome of the match, we'll be broadcasting it live later." The man's overpowering aura suddenly retracted, and he turned around to lead them into the academy.
That easy? Tang Wulin glanced at his companions, a chill running down his spine. That that man was leagues above them in terms of strength rang clear. He was likely at the same level as Wu Zhangkong. Perhaps even higher.
The Imperial Sun Moon Academy was famed throughout the continent, renowned as being only second to Shrek Academy. Tang Wulin was beginning to understand the extreme difficulty of the task their teacher had instigated. However, they couldn't retreat now. They had no choice but to gather their courage and advance. The pressure weighed heavily on them. They represented not just themselves, but also Shrek Academy.
At the corner of the street, Wu Zhangkong quietly watched Tang Wulin's group follow the man into the academy grounds. His expression was still as icy as usual, but the corner of his mouth quirked up. This was the match that would truly temper his students.
The moment Tang Wulin entered the school building, he felt as if he had walked into a high-tech factory. It was a surreal world of metal. A giant metal ball floated in the center of the hall, soul power pulsing through its circuits, powering its core. It produced a gentle light that bathed the entire hall. The reception desk mirrored that of a large conglomerate, not a trace of academia to be found on top of it. It was sparkling white, undulating waves clear on its surface.
What is that? Tang Wulin wondered. The desk was clearly made from some sort of rare, expensive metal. Unfortunately, it wasn't forged by hand, otherwise Tang Wulin would have had the urge to re-forge it and purify it.
The man led them along silently. As he approached the reception desk, two receptionists, both pleasing to the eye, stood up and bowed.
There were numerous people of various ages scattered throughout the hall. Most were students dressed in the impeccable white uniforms of their academy. They stared at Tang Wulin's group of six, some with curiosity, others hatefully. Most places would welcome people from Shrek Academy with open arms, but not here. Here they were sworn enemies. Fortunately for Tang Wulin's group, not all of the student body seemed to bear enmity against them.
Tang Wulin silently cursed in his heart as he examined his surroundings. He just hoped that the match would be held with fair rules. If not, the traps such a powerful academy could lay could be deadly.
They entered a large elevator made of the same shining white metal as the rest of the building. It seemed that white was a color of honor here.The elevator ascended rapidly but smoothly.
The man had been silent the whole way, causing Tang Wulin's group to exchange doubtful glances with each other. None dared speak to break the silence.
At the sixteenth floor, the doors to the elevator slid open. The man once again led them, this time to a conference room.
"Sit," he commanded.
Tang Wulin was fully aware of the situation. They were the ones who came to challenge the Imperial Sun Moon Academy. It would be strange if they were treated politely, especially with the way in which they had declared their challenge. Teacher Wu, you really are the Trap King!
"You're here to challenge us?" the man asked in confirmation.
Tang Wulin nodded. "We want to have a match."
"That's possible. I'll prepare an arena and some opponents for you in a moment. They'll be opponents of a suitable age for you all." His piercing gaze fell upon Tang Wulin's group. His curiosity about their ages went unspoken.
Tang Wulin relaxed a little and let out a sigh of relief. He wasn't afraid of facing others his age.
"We're all about fourteen years old," Tang Wulin said.
The man narrowed his eyes. "Excellent. The students I had in mind are all fifteen at the oldest. Your ages just about match. There are two things I need to inform you of first though. Number one: the match will be held in front of the entire academy. Number two: the match will be broadcasted to all of Bright City."
Tang Wulin shuddered. "A private match is fine with us. There's no need to make it such a big deal," he said probingly.
"No! It has to be this way. If you win, it wil spur all of our students to work harder. If you lose, then we can trample Shrek Academy's reputation. Those two requirements are non-negotiable."
Just how deep is their grudge? He's so fierce! It was now clear to Tang Wulin why Wu Zhangkong had used such a provocative method to challenge the Imperial Sun Moon Academy. It seemed that the grudges between the two academies ran far deeper than he had ever thought. But there was no escape now. This was a match they must win.
"Good. Wait here." The man stood up and exited the conference room, leaving Tang Wulin's group behind.
As Gu Yue was about to speak, Tang Wulin raised a hand to stop her. "Prepare yourselves. We're going into battle soon."
This was the home turf of their opponents. Whether or not there were hidden cameras or microphones monitoring them, he didn't know. As such, they had to watch what they spoke. They couldn't afford to risk the walls having ears.
As Tang Wulin had expected, Gu Yue instantly understood his intentions. The six of them sat cross-legged in their chairs and began to meditate, adjusting their internal energies to peak condition.
Unknown to them, the entire Imperial Sun Moon Academy had jumped into action to prepare for the match. It only took them one hour to set up the arena, opponents, and advertising. They didn't just advertise in Bright City, but throughout the entire continent. In fact, there wasn't a person on the continent that didn't know of the match.
The Sun Moon television channel broadcasted the match to every city in which they were available. The match was promoted with a slogan: the 'Battle of the Greatest Soul Masters of the Next Generation'!
On the streets, Wu Zhangkong took in the giant screen attached to the side of a skyscraper. His eyes narrowed as he listened to the repeating announcement of the match.
Right at that moment, his communicator rang.
"What's going on?" Shen Yi asked frantically.
Wu Zhangkong remained as calm as ever. "Everything is fine. Those kids are challenging the Imperial Sun Moon Academy. I just helped encourage them a bit."