"The operations of evil soul masters have been increasingly rampant lately. It has reached the point that they need to be taught a lesson. The federation has sent us a request, hoping that we could collaborate with them to combat this growing threat. The only way to counter the mysterious appearance of these evil soul masters is by strengthening each city's safety measures, as well as gathering more military forces to guard them at all times."
The Sea God Pavilion Master continued, "We'll approve of the federation's application while the academy's inner court disciples will aid in the siege on the evil soul masters. At the same time, contact the Tang Sect. Mobilize all our contacts and search for the evil masters' whereabouts. Report to us as soon as there's news."
"Yes," all the elders responded in unison.
"Pavilion Master, there is another matter. The Star Luo Continent representative expressed hope that we would send an exchange team to their academy, you see..." Elder Cai spoke.
The Pavilion Master gave a slight smile. "Accept their request. Send the outer court's outstanding first and second grade students. Limit the number to ten people for now and assign Wu Zhangkong to lead the team. The new students of both years aren't bad, especially the first grade. This Tang Wulin is stirring things up. We must have him on the list so that the evil soul master won't come for him."
Zhen Hua raised his brows slightly but said nothing.
Scarlet Dragon Douluo Zhuo Shi spoke, "Pavilion Master, those striplings have yet to form their abilities. Wouldn't it be..."
The Sea God Pavilion Master waved his hand. "The representative of the Star Luo Continent just arrived not long ago. They won't be leaving so soon. The academy should adjust the resources for the youngsters accordingly so that they can elevate as soon as possible. We are going for an exchange, not to show off our own prowess. There is no need to send students of higher grades from the inner court. Outstanding students of the same age are the really exceptional ones."
Elder Cai nodded and said, "Yes, they'll only return to Star Luo Continent around half a year later. That's why they've just sent us their application."
The Sea God Pavilion Master said, "Then it's set. Yue'er, you'll be selecting the candidates."
"Yes," Cai Yue'er responded respectfully.
The discussion proceeded with some countermeasures and overall planning as to how to handle the evil soul masters.
Meanwhile, Tang Wulin and Gu Yue had no idea that this discussion took place. They had just arrived in class.
Fortunately, it was Shen Yi's class that day instead of Wu Zhangkong's. Although he was surprised that they were late, Shen Yi allowed them both to attend class without pressing any further.
"Our class president is late? Are you so happy that you didn't want to come back?" Xie Xie bumped into Tang Wulin and asked softly with a smirk.
Tang Wulin glared at him. "Yes! I was so happy that I didn't want to come back. You should try it too next time. Then you'll know exactly what that's like."
"Why would he be so happy that he didn't want to return? He should feel lucky that he survived."
Xie Xie proceeded to wink at him. Even Xu Xiaoyan, Xu Lizhi, Ye Xinglan and the rest looked at Tang Wulin and Gu Yue in an odd way.
Wu Siduo looked on from a short distance. He frowned as he watched Tang Wulin and then Gu Yue.
"Tang Wulin, Gu Yue, come here," Shen Yi called the both of them to the office as soon as the class ended.
"What's wrong with you two? What kind of example are you setting for your classmates when the class president and vice-president are both late at the same time? Moreover, the two of you were over an hour late. Come, will you tell me what happened?"
Although Shen Yi was not as strict as Wu Zhangkong, she was not all kindness and pleasantries. Especially when first grade class one's result ranked on top while teachers and students of other grades were watching.
Tang Wulin scratched his head. "We encountered an evil soul master and almost didn't make it back." He did not hide anything and told every single detail that happened during their trip to Heaven Dou City and about Zhen Hua sending them back himself.
"Are evil soul masters so unrestrained now?" Shen Yi frowned in a slightly gloomy expression.
Tang Wulin immediately responded. "I know! They even wanted to assassinate my uncle-master. It's clear that they're trying to conquer the power of the soul master world. There must be a scheme behind this."
Shen Yi nodded slightly. "Alright then, put it out of your minds. The both of you can leave now. The match with third grade class one is in a few more days. Please prepare yourself and don't get beaten too badly."
Tang Wulin smiled and said, "Ma'am, why are you so sure that we will lose?"
Shen Yi replied, "Then win the competition if you can! If you beat third grade class one, the academy will pay for all of the materials needed to make one-word battle armor for each of the participants."
Tang Wulin's eyes lit up. "Really?"
One must know that the amount of rare alloy needed to forge battle armor for that many people doesn't come cheap. On top of that, making the core circuits takes more than only rare alloy. They also needed some unique energy and precious stones to activate the circuits' base and storage. All of this requires money. Essentially, the core components are the most vital part in the making of battle armor. They are usually located in the middle of the breastplate, while some are placed on the helmet. Making the core circuits was the most difficult step and also the one requiring the most expensive material.
"Yes, I've asked Elder Cai and he agreed to it. He told me that the Star Luo Continent representative team had invited our academy to do an exchange with their continent. Elder Cai is interested in selecting candidates from the outer court's lower grade. Thus, as long as you display adequate ability, we should have some adjustments to our resources later on."
"That's great!" Tang Wulin was so excited that he almost jumped up. Shrek Academy had traditions stretching back tens of thousands of years. How could they not be seen as worthy? Although the Spirit Pagoda had great wealth, money could not be compared with heritage. Their time taken to achieve one-word battle armor mastery would be greatly shortened if the academy could provide them with the required resources and support.
"Where are you going?" Gu Yue asked Tang Wulin as they walked out the door.
Tang Wulin replied "I'm going to the special cultivation venue to train. I'll be there through the night. I guess we no longer have to work on our coordination and routines. We'll work on the battle methods together and practice with the rest tomorrow and the day after. Let's give it our all. Perhaps we really do have a chance at beating our third-grade seniors."
"The chances are slim. Even with all of us combined, we couldn't fight a one-word battle armor master that time. Don't forget that the masters from our academy aren't comparable with those from the outside world. Besides, it would be impossible for any of us to become a master within such a short period." Gu Yue poured cold water on Tang Wulin's enthusiasm.
The two students from third grade who possessed complete one-word battle armor were the biggest obstacle they would have to face.
"Let's just try our best then," Tang Wulin said while feeling helpless.
The first and second grade were tense those couple of days, especially for the students who were going to take part in the match with third grade.
The tensest atmosphere could be found at the working students' dormitory. They stayed up all night for two consecutive days to discuss their plans.
There would be a total of ten points available throughout the three rounds. The one-against-one match was worth one point, the two-against-two waws worth two points, while the victorious seven-person team would earn five points. In the last round, victory would earn three points and performance would take two points.
They must reach six points to win the friendly match.
With that said, it would be best for them to score in every round.
This was different from the matches between the first and second grades. The friendly competition this time had attracted the attention of every grade in the outer court.
The reason was throughout Shrek Academy history, there were barely any challenges that took such a great leap. According to the normal academic entry age, the difference between first and third grade was six years. A six-year gap was like Heaven and Earth among young soul masters.
Meanwhile, third grade class one classroom had its own issues.
"Class president, the academy is obviously punishing us by arranging such a thing. How dare the brats from first and second grade challenge us! They must be overconfident, a young man whose body was slender and whose face a little lecherous said to another young man while crossing his legs.
As third grade students, their average age was around eighteen. The person he called class president was a young man with a large body and an unsophisticated face. He could not be considered handsome, but he had an unwavering majesty. Just sitting there, he made people feel safe. He was like the pillar of the entire classroom, able to easily hold up the sky even if Heaven was to collapse.
He was the president of third class grade one, Li Qiankun. He was also one of the two one-word battle armor masters from his class. At eighteen years old this year, he was a rank-52 shield battle soul master. His martial soul was very unique. It was called the Heaven and Earth Sphere, a rare Variant Martial Soul.
"I've heard about the first and second grades. We can't be careless," Li Qiankun said calmly.
The lecherous one sat up. "Captain, do we have to be so serious about it? The highest they could be is rank-40. How far could they be on the path of soul master cultivation?
"Please count me in on the one against one match this time. I guess the academy arranged this battle mainly to suppress their imposing manner so they don't get too full of themselves."
The lecherous young man was named Ye Wu, an agility-type battle soul master. His specialty was high-speed fights of all sorts, and he had completed 70% of his one-word battle armor. He was seventeen this year and he had a good chance of becoming an inner court disciple by completing his battle armor before turning twenty. He was the core member of third grade class one.