Book 15: Victors
Chapter 129.2: Shrek's Seven Monsters
"Kids, your performances were beyond what I expected."
"That's why these rewards are what all of you have earned. But it's important to realize that this doesn't mean you will be forever successful. All of you must live up to the name of Shrek's Seven Monsters. I hope that all of you can work hard to preserve Shrek's glory just like you did before. Bei Bei, Xu Sanshi, Jiang Nannan and He Caitou, the four of you are already beyond soul ancestors. I grant special permission to the four of you to go take the inner courtyard test after this academic year ends. After passing the test, the four of you shall continue to learn in the inner courtyard. The difficulty level of your tests will remain the same."
Bei Bei and the other 3 looked at one another. Right now, they were all nervous. The test choked many external courtyard disciples, and there were very few who could really be admitted to the inner courtyard. It was impossible for them not to feel anxious, as they were about to undergo the test earlier than was required.
The frail, elderly voice continued, "Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao, the three of you shall remain on the Sea God's Island temporarily and cultivate alongside me. The three of you will only return to the external courtyard when I think that it's time. Bei Bei and Xu Sanshi shall be guided by Little Xuan, while Jiang Nannan shall be guided by Cai Mei'er. More effort has to be placed on Lin Er, Duo Duo, Fan Yu and He Caitou too. If they don't pass the test, you will be punished as teachers."
Although this elderly voice sounded very gentle and benevolent, his words left everyone convinced, and no one doubted his words. All the Sea God's Pavilion elders and four deans stood up together and bowed towards Elder Mu respectfully.
"Meeting dispersed." Elder Mu's voice became more peaceful.
All the elders seemed to instantly disappear. The new Shrek's Seven Monsters didn't even notice their movements clearly.
Elder Xuan, the four deans and Fan Yu remained.
"All of you can go too. It's fine if only Huo Yuhao and the other 2 remain here." Elder Mu waved his hand.
"Yes." Yan Shaozhe replied respectfully and left with everyone quietly. Bei Bei and He Caitou lifted both Xu Sanshi and Jiang Nannan as they left too. They all glanced at Huo Yuhao as they left. They gave him an encouraging look.
The Sea God's Pavilion quieted down. Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao were nervous. The Master of the Sea God's Pavilion who was half-lying on the main seat was even Dean Yan Shaozhe's teacher! He was the greatest authoritative figure in Shrek Academy.
"Kids, come over." Elder Mu gestured towards the three of them.
Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao walked around the long table quickly and came beside Elder Mu. They all lowered their heads slightly and looked a little nervous.
"Why? Did the three of you managed to defeat your opponents like this in the tournament? What's there to be nervous about in front of me when all of you are fearless in front of your opponents? Lift your heads. We're old friends." Elder Mu's gentle voice sounded very inspirational.
Huo Yuhao and the others lowered their heads subconsciously. All they saw was an elder who was in his declining years, but had a face that wore a slight smile and was filled with tenderness.
"It's you?" The three of them exclaimed at the same time. They even stared at him directly.
They wouldn't have gotten it right even if they had 10,000 guesses. The elder who always laid down leisurely in front of the freshmen dorm was actually the Master of the Sea God's Pavilion in Shrek Academy! The three of them were so shocked that they became speechless.
Elder Mu smiled and said, "It's weird, isn't it? All of you are right, I am that old man! Although I control the Sea God's Pavilion, I'm unwilling to stay here. It's too boring. How can it be as bustling as your freshman dorm? I can feel the youthful aura, which makes me feel younger too. Sensing all of your vitality and vigor can also prolong my lifespan by a few years."
"You, you…" Huo Yuhao discovered that he was stuttering. Whether it was him, Wang Dong or Xiao Xiao, they couldn't draw the connection between this frail elder and his identity as Shrek's master.
Elder Mu lifted one hand and said, "Help me up."
Huo Yuhao rushed forward and lifted Elder Mu's hand. Elder Mu's actions were very slow, just like an old man who had one foot in his grave. He stood up from his lying position slowly. But his back continued to be bent at a 90 degrees angle, which was a sorrowful sight.
Elder Mu's arms were very delicate. While they felt very warm, they were extremely bony and rigid.
Elder Mu chortled and said, "I'm not trying to be ostentatious by lying over here. When I was younger, I was injured, and I never recovered from that injury. That's why I can only bend my back like that. They felt bad for me, so they prepared a reclining chair for me." As he spoke, he lifted his hand and pointed in a direction. Huo Yuhao carefully supported him as they advanced. Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao followed behind. Even now, their eyes were still filled with surprise.
Elder Mu laughed slightly as he walked, "Huo Yuhao, I noticed you the first time you entered the freshman dorm. That's because you are one of the rare few kids who greeted me actively. You're very courteous. Every time you entered the freshman dorm, you greeted me. That's very good."
"That's what younger ones like me should do." Huo Yuhao replied in a low voice. Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao lowered their heads in guilt. They were normally all so focused on learning and cultivating in the external courtyard. How could they be bothered to notice an elder in front of the freshman dorm?
Huo Yuhao supported Elder Mu all the way to the front of a wall. Elder Mu lifted his hand and pointed out. A streak of golden light suddenly lit up, and everything around them seemed to turn illusory. An intense golden halo surrounded Huo Yuhao and the other two instantly. They only felt that it was extremely bright in front of them. They quickly shut their eyes. There was nothing beneath their feet. When they stepped forward in the next moment, the surrounding golden light had already disappeared.
The Sea God's Pavilion had disappeared. To their horror, they discovered that they were in a vast hall. This hall seemed to be 100 meters long, and was squarish in shape. Its surface area was similar to the competition stage of the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament.
There were several tunnels at the sides of the hall that led to unknown places. There were no windows and everything was enclosed, but the air was very fresh. There was several statues erected inside the hall. They were similar to the ones in Shrek Academy after one entered the academy. Shrek's founder, the Golden Triangle, and the first-generation Shrek's Seven Monsters. But there were more statues here, and these statues seemed to be made of wood.
Elder Mu smiled, "Aren't you all curious as to why the Sea God's Pavilion doesn't seem grand? But did any of you realized that the Sea God's Pavilion wasn't constructed, but carved out?"
"Carved out?" Huo Yuhao and the other 2 were stunned. They didn't understand the meaning behind those 2 words.
Elder Mu said, "The Sea God's Pavilion was originally a huge tree, a golden tree that was rarely seen in the world. It was a tree that contained an aura of light and life. The earlier generations used this golden tree as the foundation, and carved out the Sea God's Pavilion without affecting the life of the golden tree. That's why the Sea God's Pavilion doesn't seem to have been put together, while the various decorations and statues in the Sea God's Pavilion were made by the wood that was dug out during the carving process. This golden tree can be said to be the root of Shrek Academy. The three of you will understand its significance in the future."
"Wang Dong, go to the first tunnel on the right. At the 10-meter mark, there should be a door. Push the door open and enter the room behind it. Sit on the prayer mat and cultivate there."
Wang Dong was stunned and hesitated for a moment. Huo Yuhao nodded his head at him hurriedly, and he then followed Elder Mu's instructions. He naturally knew that Elder Mu's instructions were for his own good, but he was unwilling to be separated from Huo Yuhao.
"Xiao Xiao, take the third tunnel to the left and enter the second door. Cultivate there too. Whenever the two of you recover from your fixed state, you can return to the external courtyard."
"Yes." Xiao Xiao answered hurriedly. Her huge eyes blinked, and she walked to the other side.
Only Huo Yuhao was left with Elder Mu after the two of them left.
Elder Mu smiled and said, "You can go too. Walk to the end of the first tunnel to the right. There will be a door to a room. Enter the room and start to meditate. You'll have your answer when you come out."
"Yes. Thank you, elder."
Elder Mu smiled and said, "My surname is Mu. You can call me Elder Mu."
"Alright, Elder Mu." Huo Yuhao answered. But he didn't leave. "Elder Mu, do you need me to take you somewhere to rest first?"
Elder Mu was a little stunned as he twisted his head to look at him. He could only see Huo Yuhao's sincerity and naturalness from his eyes. There was no deliberate intention at all.
After patting Huo Yuhao's hand, he smiled and said, "I can still walk. Go. This closed-door cultivation will be important to all of you. Relax and go over everything that has happened. I believe that you will gain something from this."
"Yes." Huo Yuhao only let go of his hand now and walked towards the first tunnel to the right. When he reached the opening of the tunnel, he stopped in his tracks subconsciously and turned back to look at Elder Mu. Elder Mu was also looking at him. Huo Yuhao didn't know that Elder Mu was sure this concerned look of his proved that his words previously didn't contain any other intentions.
Wang Dong was the first to reach his destination - the first door at the end of the first tunnel to the right.
The door was wooden, and appeared to be made from the golden tree wood that Elder Mu had mentioned. As he lifted his hand to push at the door slightly, the door opened easily. It was as if it had just unlatched.