Book 10: Shrek’s Seven Monsters
Chapter 68.3: Shrek Guardians
Elder Xuan became even more solemn as he said, "You must be thinking, 'Police? Police what?' We aren't trying to police the injustices within the continent, because that's realistically impossible. The Douluo Continent's too vast, and there are an uncountable number of people within the four empires. There are already five million permanent residents in our Shrek City alone. Moreover, we can't even police the disciples from the inner courtyard. Because of that, we only police soul masters. We target people, and even government officials, but never an entire country. We have our own sources of intelligence, and once something evil that a country is unable to, or doesn't want to police occurs, or if a soul master turns to the path of evil, we'll send out disciples of the inner courtyard to deal with the issue. Now, the disciples of the inner courtyard are known as police, the Shrek Police. Our inner courtyard has another name–the Shrek Guardians. Right now, I'm the current vice-leader of the Shrek Guardians."
"You must be thinking, how do we police everything? The continent's so vast, and the number of evil acts committed are many. We don't even have a hundred people in the inner courtyard, so how do we do this? I can tell you this. Every single country, even the largest Sun Moon Empire, would never dare to look down on our Shrek Guardians. Although there are only around a hundred disciples in the current inner courtyard, we have over twenty thousand graduates from the outer courtyard. At the same time, there are nearly a thousand students who have completed their service as Guardians. Casualties appear frequently within the inner courtyard, but I dare to say that every single person who steps out from Shrek Academy's inner courtyard is an elite of humanity as a whole. Furthermore, our academy has the most outstanding teachers within the continent, and every single teacher in the academy is a Guardian.
"Every single disciple of the inner courtyard is a Guardian, and for them to graduate, they have to complete thirty assignments. These assignments not only test the strength of our disciples, but also their hearts. Our Shrek Academy doesn't want to nurture plain experts, but true talents who are willing to protect the peace and stability of the continent."
"What I want to tell you is this–we are Guardians, and also enforces of the law. Everything that the Shrek Guardians deal with is problematic, and extremely dangerous. There was even one occasion where we had to deal with a Titled Douluo. A threat to your life could occur at any time. Because of this, the first thing you have to cautiously consider is whether you're willing to become a Guardian."
"Furthermore, there isn't any compensation for a Guardian." At that point, Elder Xuan's solemn tone softened much more; he saw the gazes in the eyes of the seven members of the preparatory team. None of them had erratic looks in their eyes, but rather staunch and stubborn ones. They had undoubtedly made their decisions already.
Dai Yueheng walked up to Elder Xuan's side and said in a low voice, "Junior brothers and sisters. I will tell you that, according to many of the seniors who have graduated, becoming a Shrek Guardian is the greatest honor they have ever been given. Even if they've already graduated, many of them still do things that a Guardian should do. To evildoers, we are the butcher's blade; to the weak and bullied, we are existences on the level of Gods of kindness to them. There are uncountable numbers of people who have received the help of the Shrek Guardians, and the act of helping them is the best way we can perfect our hearts. I've always believed that doing good deeds doesn't help others, but ourselves. That feeling of satisfaction is something that's irreplacable."
"I'm very proud to have completed twenty-eight assignments to this point. I'm already not far from thirty. During this process, I've killed bandits who raped and pillaged, and government officials who didn't care for their citizens' lives. I've rescued children who were forced into slavery. The inner courtyard has a motto–with great strength, comes great responsibility, and one's heart travels along the same path as the good deeds one performs. I'm willing to work together with you guys."
Dai Yueheng's words were very plain, but they contained a unique effect to them. Even Ma Xiaotao, who didn't get along well with him, had a solemn expression on her face as he recounted his experiences as a Guardian. Other than the pride on her face, she had a unique splendor to it as well. It was as though they were bathing in their glory.
Elder Xuan nodded. "Okay, you have to give me an answer now. Enter, or leave."
"Enter!" The seven simultaneously cried out. In that instant, the thoughts of the seven from the preparatory team seemed to be linked. It was only then that they understood the missions and responsibilities that a disciple of Shrek Academy's inner courtyard had to shoulder. At this point in time, they didn't feel any of the glory that came with being a Shrek Guardian, but they unhesitantly accepted this task.
Elder Xuan smiled a very happy smile. "Very good. I wasn't mistaken with you lot. None of you are cowards. I'll tell you this–there was another reason behind all this. It's because you're about to take on your first Guardian mission in a bit. Xiaotao, you can explain our assignment this time. Wang Yan, give them the equipment of a Shrek Guardian."
"Yes." Wang Yan nodded, then took a few rings from his storage tool and passed them to every single person there.
The ring was very beautiful; the ring itself was made of a silvery-whitish metal, and a jade-green gem the size of a fingernail was embedded on it. The glistening gem shone with a bright light, and the green on it was filled with the aura of life. The top of the ring was carved into the shape of a Shrek, making it unforgettable.
Ma Xiaotao said, "You'd better take care of this. This is the symbol of a Shrek Guardian, and only we have it. Now, put a drop of your blood on the surface of the ring, so it'll connect with your bloodline. As long as you're one of us, you can use the Guardian Ring to verify the identity of a Guardian in front of you. The ring is also a storage tool, and it contains a complete set of equipment that we use. You can take a look at it now."
"We have our specialised clothing, a mask, a cloak, and a distress signal. During a mission, we can't let anyone see our appearances, so as to prevent things from affecting our lives. Thus, we need a mask. Most importantly, we have a distress signal. This signal is something that only we have, and after any Guardian releases it during a dangerous event, every student of Shrek Academy–outer courtyard or inner courtyard–will immediately go over to help you. It's much more effective than you think."
"Our assignment this time is to head towards a mountain range that borders the Star Luo Empire and the Sun Moon Empire to hunt down a group of bandits. The Advanced Academy Continental Soul Duelling Academy is going to start soon, so we have to finish this in three or four days."
"These bandits are extremely savage and sly. They specialise in killing merchants who pass over the border, and they leave no survivors. They do every evil thing imaginable to their victims. The mountainous area they're hiding in has some complicated terrain, and it's precipitous. Moreover, there are many caves they can hide themselves in, so it's disadvantageous for an army to attack them. More disgustingly, the area where those bastards live in belongs partly to the Sun Moon Empire and the Star Luo Empire."
"The Sun Moon Empire has never had a good relationship with our Star Luo Empire. In a situation like this, it's very hard for the two nations to cooperate. Whenever an empire sends its army out, those sly bastards will run over to the other side. Once, they even started a small scale war between the two countries. However, they're still living fine now. Numbers won't be effective against them. There aren't even three hundred of those bandits, but they're familiar with the terrain, and they have many tricks. Because of this, a small team like us is better equipped to deal with them."
"These bandits call themselves the Envoys of the Death God, and they're supposedly headed by a relatively powerful evil soul master. Because of that, we can't be careless at all. A majority of you haven't killed a person before, and you're going to have a brand-new experience now. I have to stress that the target of our assignment this time is to leave no survivors and completely eliminate them. There aren't any elderly, weak, women, or children in this group of bandits, and none of them are kind."
Killing someone? This term was extremely foreign to Huo Yuhao and the rest. This was especially true for Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao; after all, they were only twelve. Their hearts started beating more rapidly after they heard the words 'killing someone'.
Ma Xiaotao smiled and looked towards Huo Yuhao, "What? Scared? Don't wet yourself when the time comes, since nobody's going to wipe your butt for you."
Huo Yuhao's face immediately reddened. "I'm not scared at all."
He really didn't feel like he could lift his head in front of Ma Xiaotao. After the events of that day, a shadow had been cast over his heart.
Ma Xiaotao laughed mischievously. "It's good that you're not scared. The seven of us will be the main team during this mission, and you guys should do your best to protect yourselves while helping us from the side. These bandits are extremely unbridled; they've even titled themselves the 'Hand of Death'. Within that vast, mountainous area, as long as you bring up the names 'Hand of Death', or 'Envoy of the Death God', the folk there will be scared witless."
"This mountainous area was formed four thousand years ago as a result of the collision between the two continents. Because of that, it's called the Ming Dou Mountain Range. It has an extremely vast amount of mineral resources, and it produces extremely precious minerals. Because of that, the Star Luo and Sun Moon Empires have been continuously fighting over that mountain range for many years. The Star Luo Empire can give us a certain amount of help."