Book 12: The Strength of the Preparatory Team
Chapter 88.2: A Decisive Battle
Shrek Academy was once again the first team to take the stage. On the other hand, their upcoming opponents had easily obtained their victories so far during the round-robin tournament, and this even included the Thousand Spirits Academy that the Shrek's team had faced previously. After all, this team was one that had entered the previous quarterfinals.
Everyone in the audience thought this match would be a powerful confrontation between the two teams due to their previous performances. Naturally, there were differences even among the strong. In the eyes of everyone present, Shrek wasn't on the same level as all of the other academies present; it was an existence akin to that of a sovereign. However, they all wished for Shrek's opponents to be a little stronger, so as to allow them to watch a more interesting fight.
Shrek's seven combatants were now at their peak condition as they entered the resting area. Now, all they needed to do was wait for the start of the match.
The members of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy once again arrived in the arena. There was no doubt that they were still trying to observe Shrek's overall strength.
Mu Rulong couldn't help but furrow his brows as he saw the same seven people from Shrek walk out. He was very confident in his own judgement, but was Shrek going to forfeit this competition? If his predictions were wrong, how would they take on their powerful opponent today? Or perhaps, were his predictions all wrong?
A light flickered through his eyes, and Ma Rulong was nearly lost confidence in himself.
Wang Yan's current expression was evidently somewhat unsightly. It would be a lie to say that he wasn't feeling nervous right now. He couldn't fathom imagining how the audience would react if Shrek lost this match that was being watched by such a large crowd. At that time, the pressure of losing would all be forced onto the bodies of the children in front of him! Could they endure it? However, he couldn't forfeit of his own accord, as doing something like that would be even more disastrous. The always-wise Wang Yan now had his thoughts in a whirl. Even if they were to follow the strategy for the team fight that they had planned, their chances of winning wouldn't be too great. There was no need to even mention whether luck would be on their side then.
As time passed second by second, the sun had already risen high from the east.
The Emperor of the Star Luo Empire came to the city escorted by his ministers. He didn't sit down, but instead chose to walk directly towards the resting area to spectate the match.
When he saw that Shrek's team still consisted of the Shrek's Seven Monsters that had come from the preparatory team, he was slightly stunned. Astonished, he muttered to himself, "Was my judgement incorrect? That can't be! Just what is Shrek trying to do? Why did they participate in this tournament with a lineup like this? I have to see whether these youngsters are really true talents later. I hope that they're truly talents who fear no trials."
As he spoke, he seemed to recall a few things, and muttered to himself, "Huo Yuhao, twelve years old. Wang Dong, twelve years old. Xiao Xiao, twelve years old. None of the others are older than fifteen either. It's no wonder they're little monsters that come from Shrek! However, what about their official team? Where did they go?"
It was extremely easy for him to look into a few things as the emperor. He had been greatly interested by Shrek's preparatory team, and he too wanted to see just how far these young kids could go, and what they could do.
The referee took the stage, and used the sound amplifying soul tool to carry his voice outwards.
"This is the first match of the third round of the round-robin tournament. Both sides, take your positions. May the representative teams of Shrek Academy and Justsky Academy enter their waiting areas. Team leaders, come up to the stage to draw your lots for the tournament format."
That was right. Today, Shrek Academy had to face the Justsky Advanced Soul Academy. Justsky Academy was identical to Shrek Academy in the sense that they both came from the Heavenly Soul Empire, but unlike Shrek, which didn't belong to any empire, Justsky Academy was a famous academy from the Heavenly Soul Empire that had produced a large number of talents.
The Empire that insisted most on maintaining traditional soul masters and rejecting soul engineers within the continent's four empires was the Heavenly Soul Empire. Because of that, Justsky Academy was actually even more insistent towards pure soul masters than Shrek Academy. They simply didn't even have a division for soul engineers; they only nurtured soul masters. Regardless of whether they would be washed away in the future, Justsky Academy was currently still a notable academy that was considered powerful throughout the continent.
The team leader of Justsky Academy was a youth of around twenty or so, and his handsome looks were comparable to even those of Wang Dong. Naturally, Wang Dong was still young now, and he had yet to mature.
Wang Yan had talked about this very team leader of Justsky Academy, and he had had a very high opinion of him. This person had never made an appearance since the start of the tournament, and as a result Wang Yan had only been able to obtain a bit of information about him after much hard work.
Ye Wuqing, nineteen. A very talented person from Justsky Academy, and the leader of their representative team. His martial soul was the Golden Leaf, and he was a Rank 58 assault-type soul master who was extremely powerful. He had already represented Justsky Academy as a member of the official team in the last tournament, and now he was the cornerstone of his current team.
If it just so happened that he had turned twenty this year, there would've been a very high chance of him breaking through to Rank 60, becoming Justsky Academy's first-ever Soul Emperor to participate in the Continental Advanced Academy Soul Duelling Tournament.
If that had been the case, Justsky Academy would've formally joined the ranks of the top-ranked academies.
Ye Wuqing's physique wasn't too different from Bei Bei's. Unlike Bei Bei's scholarliness, however, he had a much colder disposition. A cold light flickered through his eyes as he looked at Bei Bei.
The aura Bei Bei emanated was comparatively weaker than Ye Wuqing's. It wasn't just a matter of cultivation, but due to their ages. After all, the nineteen-year-old Ye Wuqing had already matured, while the fifteen-year-old Bei Bei was still a youth.
Bei Bei had a smile on his face as their gazes met, but his eyes were extremely resolute and focused; Ye Wuqing's gaze was like a sharp blade that wanted to find a hole in his body and pierce through it.
The referee said in a low voice, "Lot-drawing, start. May both parties act as a witness to this."
Wang Yan was already nervously clutching his armrests as he sat in the waiting area. He inwardly prayed for a team fight. One could say that all of his plans had been based around a team fight. Furthermore, that was the only way they had a chance of winning! Conversely, they wouldn't have a single chance if they didn't get a team fight!
While everyone waited for the results of the lot-drawing with bated breaths, the outcome of the lot-drawing finally came out at this moment.
Even Bei Bei, who was burning with fighting intent, instantly had a change in expression after seeing the outcome of the lot-drawing. This time, luck hadn't sided with Shrek; this result was what they didn't wish to see the most.
The referee said in a loud voice, "The match between Shrek Academy and Justsky Academy will be held as a 2-2-3 match. In other words, we will have two 2v2 matches before a 3v3 match. Two out of three victories is sufficient to win the whole match, so if a side wins both of the 2v2 matches, the 3v3 match will be cancelled. May both team leaders step down and make their preparations."
Wang Yan felt his head buzz for a moment before going blank the instant he saw that they had drawn the 2-2-3 lot.
How would they fight this 2-2-3 match? They practically had no chance at all when facing Justsky Academy, which had three Soul Kings! Over, everything was over. Wang Yan, who had originally had some semblance of wishful thinking, was now left completely disappointed. It seemed as though all of the energy from his body was sucked dry as he sat in his chair.
Bei Bei's footsteps were clearly stiffer as he walked back. The expressions of the other six of Shrek's Seven Monsters became gloomy. There was already no use for the preparations they had made before the match. The reason why Wang Yan hadn't made any preparations for the other two tournament formats was because they simply had no chance of winning in them at all.
"Children, listen to me." Wang Yan gritted his teeth and stood up, a sincere look in his eyes as he looked at the Shrek's Seven Monsters in front of him. "Let's admit defeat. At the very least, this can be considered a strategic defeat. Let's make it so that our opponents won't be able to fully understand our condition."
"No." Bei Bei let out a resolute, low shout, "If we run without a fight, we can't be considered students of Shrek Academy. Teacher Wang, no matter what, let us give it a try. Even if we lose, we have to lose contentedly. We'll lose without any regrets. Teacher Wang, you've already done a lot for us. Now, it'll all rely on us. From now on, can you let me lead the team?"
At this moment, Bei Bei's scholarly aura suddenly turned into a powerful one; it seemed as if he could control everyone seated in the waiting area. His current gaze was clearly much more concentrated than usual, and any traces of laziness had completely vanished. It was as though a sleeping lion that was filled with unrivalled tyranny had been awakened.
Wang Yan nodded practically instantly, because he knew that persuasion wouldn't work at all. He suddenly felt that Bei Bei's eyes were very terrifying, as if they could swallow a man whole. He could even see the fighting intent that was burning through his eyes.
"Junior brothers, junior sisters, let me ask you a single question: are you willing to just lose and throw away Shrek's glory?" Bei Bei asked in a low voice, his fists clenched tightly.
Huo Yuhao had never seen his senior brother act so seriously. The six of them practically simultaneously replied, "We're not willing." At this moment, a fiery blaze seemed to have ignited from their heads. This was clearly the strength of conviction that came from a unity of wills!
"Good!" Bei Bei said solemnly, "Now, I'll arrange the order in which we'll go out. I'll leave you guys to plan your own strategies. I believe that we have the strength to fight against our opponents and win in the end. We need to burn, burn our soul power, burn our own bodies, and even burn our own lives for the sake of Shrek's glory. Today, we need to fight, to fight for what we can call our future. The only way we can stand straight and call ourselves Shrek's Seven Monsters is by winning today. We won't lose any face for the title 'Shrek's Seven Monsters'!"