"Hello, Elder Cai." The federation's secretary Zhang Panwen personally came before Elder Cai to pay his respects.
Panwen was middle-aged and of medium build. He was a slightly balding man, who appeared to be over fifty years of age. There was nothing special about his looks. In fact, they were quite ordinary. However, he was reputed to be a rising star in the federal administration. He was alleged to be running for the next presidency.
"Hello, Chief Secretary Pan," Elder Cai greeted him flatly. Shrek Academy had never been on the best of terms with the federation.
Zhang Panwen chuckled and spoke, "Elder Cai, it goes like this. We've arranged for your respected academy to be on the Star Luo Continent's ocean liner S.S. Star Luo for the purpose of the exchange between both parties. They're in this program too. They wish to trade skills and learn from all of you during our long journey to Star Luo Continent."
Elder Cai's reply immediately made Tang Wulin feel energized.
"Oh, so it's the academy that wishes to begin the exchange program with our academy despite our own wishes!"
The atmosphere turned a little quiet when those words were spoken.
Panwen proved himself to be a politician. He reacted to the situation swiftly as he laughed aloud. "You're right! Your respected academy didn't make arrangements for that as the timing wasn't suitable. So this is just the right time to exchange experience on the boat, right?"
"Hmm." Fortunately, Elder Cai did not speak anymore. Instead, she simply nodded.
Panwei continued. "Alright, Elder Cai. This way, please. I'll bring you and your Shrek Academy's top students to the location."
The federation's secretary personally came to lead the way. He had already shown all the respect he could.
Frankly, Panwen was feeling frustrated at heart. He understood Shrek Academy's status on the continent better than anyone else. The academy had always been the biggest problem for the federation. The greatest desire held by previous generations of the federation was to take control of Shrek Academy and the Spirit Pagoda. Of course, that was just a wishful thinking.
These two organizations had a decisive status on the continent. More importantly, both of them were home to the continent's most powerful forces.
The Spirit Pagoda was easier to manage since they would cooperate smoothly, driven by mutual interest. However, the Shrek Academy was akin to the hardest reef in the ocean, refusing to budge no matter how the wind or rain crashed into it.
The federation only tolerated Shrek Academy as it housed the most powerful in the continent. Of course, it was also because Shrek Academy did not have any wild ambitions. The Academy had never expressed any desires to expand its influence. The students were akin to flowing waters, and they had no intention of accumulating their forces. This was why the federation allowed for the Academy's autonomy.
Under Panwen's personal guidance, the Shrek Academy's group boarded the ship in succession.
The ship had a specialized escalator that was powered by soul technology. It was steady yet a little too slow.
Tang Wulin had only taken a moment's glance before seeing that there was a line of people dressed neatly standing a short distance from them. They were in the process of boarding the ship.
All were dressed in white school uniforms, and their average age was around seventeen to eighteen years old. They pointed and discussed something unknown when they noticed the presence of Shrek Academy's group dressed in their own green school uniforms.
"So those are the students from Royal Star Luo Academy?" Xie Xie asked softly.
Yue Zhengyu fiddled with his long, thin finger. "Who cares where they are from? I will ruin them if they dare to cause trouble."
Xie Xie darted him a look. "I don't believe you. You can try to ruin them if you can. I doubt that you're capable of doing so."
"Are you looking for trouble again?" Yuanen Yehui glared at Xie Xie.
Yue Zhengyu was pleased with himself. "You see that? Our class monitor is still on my side. Don't blame the class monitor for treating you harshly if you go looking for trouble!"
Yuanen Yehui glared at him "What he said earlier was right. One look at you and I can tell that you're no good."
This time it was Xie Xie's turn to laugh aloud. He looked at Yue Zhengyu with a self-congratulatory expression.
Xu Lizhi, who was standing at the back, was also laughing foolishly. Ye Xinglan darted them a look. "These two must be getting uncomfortable from all the boredom."
It was actually true not only for Yue Zhengyu and Xie Xie but even Ye Xinglan, Xu Xiaoyan and the rest. All were feeling restless from the monotony.
For them, being occupied had truly become a habit.
During their normal routine, they were used to being busy with their studies and cultivation in the academy. There was nothing much for them to do after they came out other than training by themselves. This was in fact quite boring.
It was inconvenient for Ye Xinglan to forge her battle armor without a stable location. Moreover, she could clearly tell that although she was still capable of forging some parts of the one-word battle armor, and her success rate was already very high, it was still out of her reach to forge the most complicated core components. To progress, she needed to advance to a rank six craftsman. However, she was still rather far away from that, judging by the current situation.
She had already discussed this with Tang Wulin yesterday. She would start forging battle armor for her companions after her set of battle armor was fully completed save for the core component. She would finish her armor when the time was right.
They boarded the large ship. Everything seemed so small when they turned around and looked at the shore.
There were already workers approaching them. These were not workers from the Douluo Continent but from the Star Luo Continent.
Naturally, the arrangements of their lodgings had already been taken care of. The ship's carrying capacity was large enough for everyone to board together without any problems.
There was enough space to keep both rival groups separated into two sides.
Soon, everyone received the keys to their cabins. Each of them was given their own room due to the abundant space while Elder Cai left by herself. Her living quarters were different from everybody else as it was on the highest level of the ship. Panwen personally led her to her room.
"Shrek Academy's school uniform is truly hideous. How can all of you stand to wear it!" an eccentric voice echoed at this moment.
Shrek Academy's group turned around and found themselves greeted by the few Royal Star Luo Academy's students whom they had seen earlier.
There was a total of twelve students who appeared to be of similar age. The eight boys and four girls moved forward.
The person speaking was a short boy. He was not lean, but he appeared to be exceedingly strong and bulky.
Yue Zhengyu suddenly turned his head as if he was looking for something and then muttered to himself, "Who's talking? Is anyone there?"
The Royal Star Luo Academy's student was short, but not so much that he could not be seen! Yue Zhengyu's words immediately infuriated the crowd.
"Boy, what did you say?" The short student was the first one to take the bait. He took a big stride and sprinted forth as he slammed his chest into Yue Zhengyu.
Yue Zhengyu did not run or dodge. "Oh, turns out you're here. I'm truly sorry. My cervical vertebra isn't functioning well, so I'm not used to lowering my head to look at someone. However, your height, heh-heh, must be a little problematic, right?"
"Bang!" The two parties' chests slammed against one another, the short youth having to jump up to ram into Yue Zhengyu. Yue Zhengyu stood his ground, not moving an inch, while the diminutive student felt as if he had crashed into an iron sheet. His body dropped down as he took two steps back.
It was clear to see that their power levels were different.
"Is this how the Star Luo Continent's people bond with others? This is so strange! Is it the same with your girls too?" Yue Zhengyu peered at the four Royal Star Luo Academy's female students curiously as he said this.
Tang Wulin had already covered his face as he stood behind them. He calmly said, "We aren't acquainted with him. Do as you please." He then turned around and walked away. Yue Zhengyu was truly too eager to get into trouble.
With Tang Wulin leaving, Gu Yue naturally turned to go with him without any hesitation. Xie Xie was the last person to turn around and back away. He gave Yue Zhengyu a pat on the shoulder, saying, "Self-help is better than help from others."