Everyone turned their attention toward Elder Cai. She spoke with a deep voice, "Due to the outstanding performance of the first and second grades' alliance team in this match, the academy will choose a batch of students from the two grades to participate in the exchange program on the Star Luo Continent six months from now. All of you will have to work harder to earn a place among those going to the Star Luo Continent. The exchange program will go on for one year."
The Star Luo Continent?
Tang Wulin looked at Elder Cai with shock. The Star Luo Continent was a whole new world for them. What kind of a place was it?
As class monitor, he would undoubtedly be considered for selection. His memories flashed back to the match between the master and disciple pair who came to challenge the Blacksmith's Association not long ago. Would they be going for the exchange in the same manner? He did not think that it was likely to happen.
Frankly, he was slightly reluctant to go. Ever since he entered Shrek Academy, his development could be described as a seven-league stride. The best cultivation resources could be found here, in addition to those supplied by the Tang Sect. If he continued on, Tang Wulin was confident that he could become a one-word battle armor master before he finished first grade. At that point, he would be a mere sixteen years old. Even in Shrek Academy where there was no shortage of geniuses, he would still be regarded as an extraordinary student.
He would then further his studies in the inner court as he continued on the path to becoming an expert. If he went to the Star Luo Continent for a whole year, what would happen?
He was not the only one thinking about this, as his companions around him were also at a loss. Gu Yue seemed to be lost in thought, and Yuanen Yehui was noticeably frowning.
The rest of the students left the sparring grounds and went for their own cultivation.
Tang Wulin and the others went back to the working students' dormitory at once.
"Yuanen, Zhengyu, don't be in such a hurry to go back. Let's talk about what Elder Cai said, shall we?"
"Okay." Yuanen Yehui and Yue Zhengyu stopped where they stood.
There were only the eight of them staying in the dormitory, so it was the cleanest place in the academy.
"About the Star Luo Continent, anyone here know anything about it?" Tang Wulin put the question to them.
Xie Xie replied, "I've read about it a little. Once, there were two empires on the Douluo Continent. One of them was called the Heaven Dou Empire, and the other was the Star Luo Empire. There were a few smaller countries wedged between the two empires. About ten thousand years ago, continental drift caused the tectonic plate of the Sun Moon Continent to collide with ours, and the two merged. The Sun Moon Continent was rich in natural resources and had more advanced soul technology. At that time, the Heaven Dou Empire had split into two separate nations and this led to a war.
"Those were the days of Spirit Ice Douluo Huo Yuhao. During that period, the Sun Moon Empire eventually gained the upper hand and took over the two small countries borne by the division of the Heaven Dou Empire. They then prepared themselves to march against the Star Luo Empire. The enemy was already at their walls. It was Spirit Ice Douluo Huo Yuhao and Dragon Butterfly Douluo Tang Wutong who led their compatriots and tried their best to save the situation. In the end, the Star Moon Empire temporarily halted its attack on the Star Luo Empire, though the reason for that is unclear. The entire process lasted for years.
"The remnants of the Heaven Dou Empire's royalty brought their followers over the sea. They eventually found another continent and occupied the land, which is now called the Heaven Dou Continent. On our Douluo Continent, the Sun Moon Empire's strength continued to grow. Spirit Ice Douluo and Dragon Butterfly Douluo ascended into the Divine Realm and no longer cared about the mundane world. Feeling helpless, the Star Luo Empire secretly sent out a fleet of ships that eventually found a continent rich in natural resources. They then discreetly started migrating to that land. In the end, a huge portion of the Star Luo Empire's population had left. The Star Moon Empire unified the continent, and after many developments, the continent turned into the Federation we know today. That's why, whether it's the Heaven Dou Continent or the Star Luso Continent, they're actually the original inhabitants of our Douluo Continent, and they are openly hostile toward the Federation. If we went to the Star Luo Continent for an exchange, I'm afraid it won't be smooth sailing all the way. We'll face many challenges, and there will be more than a few uncertainties."
Yue Zhengyu nodded. "What Xie Xie said is basically the same as I know. If we went to the Star Luo Continent, I reckon that we'll be in a lot of trouble. That said, I'm still interested in going. It's nice to see things in other parts of the world! The academy will guarantee our safety. I heard that the Star Luo Continent has also dispatched diplomatic corps to have an exchange with our Federation. We don't know much about the situation in the Star Luo Continent, but it won't hurt to go and have a look. I think that they won't be as advanced as the Federation."
Tang Wulin looked at Yuanen Yehui. "You seem reluctant to go."
Yuanen Yehui nodded silently."I'm so used to the life here. I don't want to leave. Now that everyone's cultivation is on the right track, it would actually cost us a lot to tarry for one year."
Tang Wulin said, "I figure that the academy will pick you, seeing that you're the monitor of second grade class one. Besides, if they're asking us to go, the academy must have some plan in mind for our cultivation, right?"
Yuanen Yehui shrugged. "I'll go if I must. Can you forge enough spirit alloy in six months?"
Tang Wulin's heart stirred. "What? You're still thinking about becoming a one-word battle armor master? Even if I can forge it, I can't possibly craft battle armor!"
Yuanen Yehui squinted her eyes slightly and said, "At the very least, I think it's possible to forge a complete set if the eight of us were to give it our all and work at it."
Tang Wulin's eyes lit up. "What are you getting at?"
Yuanen Yehui continued. "What you need to do is forge enough spirit alloy within the next six months for the eight of us to craft a set of one-word battle armor. You don't have to worry about anything else. Then, we'll strive to craft a complete set of armor for one of us. In the year we'll be spending in the Star Luo Continent, we'll make battle armors for everybody using the rare metals that we have prepared. This way, our development will not be impeded."
When she said this, Tang Wulin could not help but shift his gaze toward Ye Xinglan. In terms of crafting battle armors, she was the best among them.
Ye Xinglan said, "I'm still only a rank 5 mecha craftsman. To complete a full set of one-word battle armor, I must raise my rank to 6, otherwise I won't be able to finish the final core components of the armor. I'll try my best to have make some progress within six months."
Tang Wulin nodded, "Alright. Then for these six months, just focus on crafting your full-body battle armor and nothing else. Only when your overall abilities are strengthened will you be quicker in crafting armor in the future. Yunanen, Zhengyu, what do you think?"
"I don't have any objections," Yuanen Yehui said with a nod.
Yue Zhengyu said, "Me neither. But, I'm also a craftsman. I'd still want to craft my own battle armor. I'll work at it slowly, so it's alright for the resources to go to Ye Xinglan." He was very close to becoming a rank 5 craftsman. In order to raise the team's overall strength in six months, it was most fitting to increase Ye Xinglan's pieces of battle armor first.
Besides, Ye Xinglan had proven herself with her powerful performance in that day's match. It was a glorious defeat, and she had made a huge sacrifice for the final victory of the team. If the scenario had gone the other way and the Black Swan Soul Master Mo Jue took part in the final seven against seven, third grade class one would never have admitted defeat. Not when they had two one-word battle armor masters. Their chances of winning would have been very slim.
Tang Wulin stretched out his right hand. "Then let's work hard for these six months."
Gu Yue placed her palm under his out of habit and the others stacked theirs on top of each other.
Today was definitely a day to remember, because it was the moment when the working students were at their most united.
Everybody would be busy in the coming days.
The students of first grade class one were more studious than any other grade. The inspirational role played by Tang Wulin and the others had filled the entire first grade with fighting spirit.
The name of 'strongest first grade' also spread like wildfire and was accepted by the entire outer court.
With the exception of Tang Wulin, the other team members had already attained four-ring cultivation bases. He only had two things on his agenda every day: cultivate his soul power, and forge spirit alloy.
The list of exchange students going to the Star Luo Continent was announced soon after. From first grade class one, Tang Wulin, Gu Yue, Ye Xinglan, Xu Lizhi, Xie Xie, and Xu Xiaoyan. From second grade class one, Yuanen Yehui and Yue Zhengyu. It was them, the eight working students.
The chaperone was teacher Wu Zhangkong. Besides him, the leader of the group was Silver Moon Douluo Cai Yue'er.
Tang Wulin and the others welcomed the thought of Wu Zhangkong being the chaperone, but Elder Cai's presence made them feel pressured. After all, Elder Cai had given them their fair share of trouble when they had first entered the academy.
Six months passed.
Beside the Spirit Ice Plaza of Shrek Academy's outer court, Na'er sat on the stone bench. Her feet dangled and swung lightly. She wore a dress, and when her feet kicked up, she exposed her calves that were as white as polished jade. Her silver hair was longer now and fell freely behind her. It flickered with a faint luster in the afterglow of dusk.
"Brother, when are you leaving?" Na'er asked softly.