Book 15: Victors
Chapter 127.3: The End of the Tournament and the Awards!
This elder was Shrek Academy's Master of the Sea God's Pavilion and the most powerful person in Shrek Academy—Elder Mu.
No wonder he always laid down in a recliner chair. He had an unmentionable disease that prevented his back from straightening. Who would have expected that he possessed the powers of a Transcendent Douluo? He even had a respectable status.
Elder Mu said, "You're right. It's also my first time seeing this Dark Phoenix flame. I also took a look at the sword that Little Xuan (Elder Xuan) passed to me. What a Judgement Sword. It can actually turn any soul power to the powers of light and darkness at will. My estimates of soul tools are already very great, but who could have expected that the Sun Moon Empire's development in this aspect was even beyond my imagination?"
"Xiaotao's martial soul experienced a transformation because that Judgement Sword's power of darkness could enter her body and stimulate the evil aura that was suppressed. They complemented each other and took control of her body. Xiaotao resisted with her resilience and fought for control of her own body. Although the will of the evil force is extremely strong, she still has a fire-type body. A huge collision occurred between both parties in her body."
"Xiaotao is a very resilient person. She doesn't bend. I can imagine how she was willing to perish alongside the other party when that came along. Although she was obviously inferior, she managed to force the power of darkness and evil to compromise. They stopped clashing with her and infused into the phoenix flames directly, hoping to assimilate her. Xiaotao also used the transformation time to unleash an obstinate blow and achieved victory."
"You're right about one point. The greater the suppression, the greater the backlash. After the evil will and power of darkness were infused into the phoenix flames, they initiated a mad transformation. I'm also unclear on the details, but not everything's bad."
Upon hearing Elder Mu's words, Yan Shaozhe was shocked. "Teacher, isn't this bad enough? If we didn't control Xiaotao, she would've become an evil soul master!"
Elder Mu tilted his head and glanced at him. He furrowed his brows before saying, "You're almost a hundred too. Why're you still so surprised by things? You're good in other aspects, but your character is flawed. Otherwise, I wouldn't have asked Lin'er to restrict your authority."
Yan Shaozhe was petrified and answered respectfully, "Yes, Teacher. I was wrong."
"It's good that you know you're wrong," Elder Mu said indifferently, "you must be calm in dealing with matters. There are always two sides to a coin. Yes, Xiaotao's phoenix flames did get contaminated and can't suppress the evilness within like in the past. But the power of darkness can stimulate the most primitive power of her phoenix flames. Otherwise, how could these black flames be so powerful?"
Yan Shaozhe was also very powerful, and had the cultivation of a Transcendent Douluo. He also spent his life immersed in the study of martial souls. After hearing Elder Mu's words, he understood, "Teacher, are you saying that Xiaotao's Evil Phoenix has evolved following this transformation?"
Elder Mu nodded and replied, "That's right. It didn't just evolve. It evolved completely too. Besides the fact that she can't control it, I dare to claim that her flames are the strongest existence of fire currently. In other words, they've formed the Ultimate Fire."
"Phoenix flames form Ultimate Fire naturally, but the evil aura in Xiaotao's body prevented the flames from being pure. Her lineage has always experienced this problem. The transformation in her martial soul has initiated the power of her phoenix's primitive bloodline. Although it has turned into a Dark Phoenix, its powers are still very great. If Xiaotao were awake, she could fight an ordinary Titled Douluo with her seven-ringed cultivation right now."
Yan Shaozhe's eyes flashed with radiance. "Ultimate Fire. It's indeed the Ultimate Fire. However, it's a pity that Xiaotao can't control her Ultimate Fire in her current condition!"
Elder Mu sighed, "That's why I say that there are two sides to a coin. We can only seal her here for now. Otherwise, she may become the strongest evil soul master in the continent's history if she loses control. Once her cultivation reaches a Titled Douluo's level, it'll be difficult to suppress her anymore. The development of evil soul masters has always been very frightening."
Yan Shaozhe said with a look of worry, "But we can't just leave her like that. I can feel the Dark Phoenix's flames growing in her body. There'll be a day when we can't suppress it anymore. Once that day comes, will we really have to…"
Elder Mu shook his head and said, "Don't be too anxious. It's not entirely hopeless yet. We can't be hasty right now."
Yan Shaozhe was stunned for a while. "Teacher, you have a solution?"
Elder Mu whispered something.
Yan Shaozhe nodded repeatedly after hearing his words and became more relieved, "We can only do it this way since this is the case. When the time comes, I'll be the bad guy. We have no choice anyway."
Elder Mu said, "The other kids are almost back. I can't believe they were able to defend Shrek's glory even though they were so much weaker. Their achievements are beyond conceivable. After this experience, they will have a lot of room to improve. The academy will also not be stingy with them for what they've contributed."
Yan Shaozhe was moved, "Teacher, don't worry. We shall reward them according to what we discussed. When Wang Yan returns and relates the entire tournament process, I will record everything into the academy's history books, and they will be accorded with unprecedented rewards."
Star Luo City also regained its peace after the tournament ended.
The prize ceremony wasn't made public, and it wasn't grand either. But the prizes were top-quality.
The runners-up, the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, left Star Luo City on the second day after the tournament ended under the charge of their teacher and returned to the Sun Moon Empire.
Shrek Academy waited one more day for Elder Xuan. Besides receiving gold soul coins, they were also given 4 soul bones as their prize. They were offered the Ice Jade Scorpion Left Arm Bone apart from the 3 soul bones normally given to the champions.
The Star Luo Emperor Xu Jiawei wanted to invite Elder Xuan to choose from the imperial treasury, but he was declined by Elder Xuan. As the strongest individual from Shrek Academy that revealed himself to the external world, he didn't want to have too much to do with the Star Luo Empire. Wang Yan represented the academy to make the choice eventually. He understood his students sufficiently well, and his discernment of soul bones wasn't inferior to Elder Xuan either.
The Star Luo Emperor felt the pinch with his final choice, but he was helpless too.
The value of the 3 soul bones couldn't just be measured using money anymore. The pressure brought about by the tournament prizes was also one of the reasons why the tournament was organized by a different empire every time. All semifinalists were awarded prizes, but only the champion was given 3 soul bones, and the runners-up were given 1 soul bone.
The soul bones had no lives on their own; they could only exert their effects when they were absorbed. That was why empires and sects often gave their soul bones directly to their outstanding successors. The greatest difference between a soul bone and soul ring was that a soul bone remained after a soul master perished, but a soul ring disappeared.
Soul masters had been around for several ten thousands of years. Although soul bones could be accumulated, there were far less of them than soul masters. More importantly, the world of soul masters had gradually developed a method to synthesize soul bones through research. This was because of the increasing demand for soul bones. If not for the rapid development of soul tools and the conflict between the Sun Moon & Douluo Continents, the most advanced research in the Douluo Continent would probably be in the synthesis of soul bones.
The so-called synthesis of soul bones referred to combining a few pieces of related soul bones using a special method. This would form a brand-new soul bone. The synthesized soul bone was likely to be more powerful, but they would also be damaged in half of all instances.
There were very few people who dared to synthesize soul bones because of how valuable soul bones were.
When Huo Yuhao fused with the Ice Empress' skeleton, he had used a Secret Law soul bone. It was considered a type of soul bone synthesis. But because the Ice Empress' skeleton was too powerful and the synthesis was even controlled directly by the Ice Empress, there was no way that it could have failed.
Elder Xuan only took a day to make the round trip between Star Luo City and Shrek Academy. He didn't allow Wang Yan to allocate the 4 pieces of soul bones, but paid for Shrek's expenditures in the Starlight Auctionplace first. After that, he instructed everyone to pack up and return to Shrek Academy. He could only relax once they were back in the academy.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong had fully recovered. Bei Bei, Ling Luochen and Dai Yueheng were also fine after they dispelled their poison. Jiang Nannan's injury, however, wasn't light, and she was still in the process of recovery. Xu Sanshi was the most heavily injured one. He only woke up after 2 days in a coma. But he was still so weak that it was difficult for him to speak, and would need some time to recuperate.
Elder Xuan returned from Shrek Academy and brought sufficient flying-type soul tools. He led everyone personally just like the previous time. He unleashed his soul power to protect both Xu Sanshi and Jiang Nannan. The rest used the flying-type soul tools to fly just like they had when they left the academy.
On the second morning after they collected their prize, everyone from Shrek changed into ordinary attire. Without alerting the Star Luo Empire's officials, they snuck out of Star Luo City and flew towards Shrek Academy. It was time to return home! The anxiety that they had felt when they first came had turned into pride and glory.