Chapter 499 - Rematch
Tang Wulin took in the entirety of the arena. Luo Guixing had rented the one specifically meant for internal matches. While it lacked a barrier, there was a self-restoration system in place, and within the perimeter, students could unleash their full strength without concern. The danger of their battles was also minimized in the presence of a teacher referee. Naturally, such a space came at a high price.
Other than Tang Wulin’s own team, Luo Guixing’s had arrived as well. And filling up the spectators’ seats were countless students from the first and second grade. Yuanen Yehui and Yue Zhengyu included. The audience members practically fell from their seats, eager to watch the second confrontation between the two teams.
Tang Wulin approached Yuanen Yehui until he was able to reach her with just the stretch of a hand. He bent his neck toward her, whispering, “Here to check us out?”
Yuanen Yehui graced him with a glance. “Yeah. So what? Don’t want us to see your tricks?”
Tang Wulin smiled. “I’m scared you guys will lose confidence!” In terms of trash talking, not even three Yuanen Yehuis could compare to him.
“We’ll see,” Yuanen Yehui said, keeping up her calm facade.
Yue Zhengyu chuckled from the side. “Wulin, let’s have a match again sometime too. I can’t really accept how the last one went.”
“It’s a bit late for a team battle, but a duel would be fine. I’ll take you on anytime,” Tang Wulin said, his smile full of teeth.
To which Yue Zhengyu’s eyes shone. “You’re the one who said it! No take backs!”
Tang Wulin wasn’t ignorant. He knew that Yue Zhengyu had obtained his fourth soul ring. Even so, he wasn’t afraid. “Alright. How about we add a bet to this too?”
Yue Zhengyu’s eyes glazed over. He understood Tang Wulin’s character all too well. Here was a person who would never gamble without confidence in victory. Fortunately for Yue Zhengyu, he was only here to observe the battle today and didn’t have to commit to a bet yet.
The rankers made their way to the center of the arena right before the stage, Luo Guixing and Wu Siduo at the lead. After spending a full year at Shrek Academy, everyone was more calm and mature than they had been when they had first arrived.
“Class President,” Luo Guixing said, beaming.
Wu Siduo gave Tang Wulin a curt nod.
Tang Wulin smiled back with a nod of his own. “Looks like everyone’s here. Let’s get ready to start.” A glance told him all he needed to know: the five rankers brimmed with energy. It was proof of their growth.
It didn’t take long for Wu Zhangkong to arrive.
“Hello, Teacher Wu,” the students of each team said respectfully.
Wu Zhangkong swept his gaze through them. “Get up there.” Then he ascended the stage.
Yuanen Yehui and Yue Zhengyu watched Tang Wulin’s team with renewed vigor. To say the two were not a bit interested in their growth would be a lie, especially by the confidence they exuded. And although Yuanen Yehui and Yue Zhengyu were not ignorant of the five rankers, they had never witnessed the rankers’ strength first hand. They had only had a taste of Tang Wulin’s team and only cared about his team. The one that had been strong enough to face the second grade.
The Genius Youths Rankings only meant anything when the students first entered the academy. The ranking had no bearing on their growth afterward. However, Yuanen Yehui was on the ranking herself, so she had some understanding of it.
Ever since she had lost to Tang Wulin’s team the previous semester, Yuanen Yehui had devoted herself to cultivation. Two extremes had occured on that day: the first grade had won glory, and the second grade had been disgraced. Even though she considered Tang Wulin a friend, she still had to win back her class’ honor. No matter what, defeating him was a must this year.
To that end, another reason Yuanen Yehui had attended this event was to scout any potentially troubling opponents in the first grade apart from Tang Wulin’s team. She had to be wary of any reserve members he could employ. Tang Wulin’s team only had six people, just one short of the standard seven-man team. It was likely that the last member would be selected from one of the rankers.
Yuanen Yehui and Yue Zhengyu sat in the audience together, along with the rest of their team. But apart from them and a few second graders scattered in the benches, no one from a higher grade took the time out of their schedule to attend.
Tang Wulin’s team was young and hopeful, naive to the gap between them and the upper grades. Many of those who had yet to turn twenty were doing their best to become one-word battle armor masters. And those who had already accomplished this feat were fiercely competing for the inner court examination quotas. A battle between first graders would never reach their eyes.
Like the last time, the battle was five versus five! However, , Tang Wulin chose to field Ye Xinglan instead of Xu Lizhi. After a year, only her teammates knew the extent of her strength. She normally kept a low profile and cultivated in seclusion, no more than a quiet pretty girl to her classmates. Even the rankers only knew she was strong, but how strong they could only guess.
Tang Wulin stood at the front of their triangle formation.Ye Xinglan and Xie Xie were the other two points of the triangle, and Xu Xiaoyan and Gu Yue stood in between them.
Opposite them, Yang Nianxia stood at the head of the ranker’s formation. On his left was Wu Siduo and his right Xu Yucheng. Zheng Yiran was positioned right behind him in his shadow, and Luo Guixing was positioned in the very back, the safest position possible. As the core of their team, it was the only logical position for him.
Their formations gave an inkling of their tactics, but not all of their cards had been laid out yet. They stared each other down, their auras flaring up.
Wu Zhangkong, at the center of the arena, glanced at both teams. “Let the match begin!” he declared without warning.
A boom, and Tang Wulin burst off the ground, shooting forward like a cannonball.
The force in which Tang Wulin had launched himself shocked Yang Nianxia to the very bones. Strong! He’s even stronger than me!
Tang Wulin reeked of confidence, a dominating edge to his whole being. His continuous run of victories had fed into a tyrannical aura.
But Yang Nianxia refused to be cowed. He roared. His muscles swelled with strength as he unleashed his Duskgold Bear martial soul. He charged forward to meet Tang Wulin in a confrontation of brute force!
Wu Siduo and Xu Yucheng dashed out to the sides to bypass Tang Wulin. Their targets: Ye Xinglan and Xie Xie! But soon after, a shiver ran down their spines. They turned their heads for brief moment and gasped. Tang Wulin was approaching too quickly, barrelling toward them as a one-man army!
In a split second, Wu Siduo and Xu Yucheng altered their trajectories, trapping Tang Wulin in a triangle formation with Yang Nianxia.
The scene caused Yuanen Yehui to knit her brow, her lips pressed firmly together. Given his wealth of combat experience, there was no way Tang Wulin could make such a simple mistake.