His face wasn't red when he reached his leaf, nor was he out of breath. He turned around and then bowed slightly towards the girls with his right hand across his chest.
Of course, not all the girls approved of his performance, but despite this, Han Ruouruo whispered to Wu Ming, "This fella is so generous with his love, he'll definitely lay down his heart forever if you're willing to take him in. Ming'er, you have to be sure!"
Wu Ming blushed faintly and said, "It's all your fault. You just had to bet with me! Hmph."
Chu Qingtian had no idea what was happening on the girl's side, thus he just stood there proudly and figured that his performance had been pretty good.
The second student came forward: Dai Huabin had been the one to draw the second stick.
Dai Huabin wasn't as fast as Chu Qingtian, so he decided to rely on his ability to maneuver his body to ultimately reach the girl's side.
He released a deafening roar and a powerful layer of white light erupted from his body as he used the White Tiger's Shield. White fur appeared all over his body while his frame simultaneously became quite robust. His body then soared forwards with a flash of white light.
The White Tiger's Shield transformed into a layer of white light that covered his body and allowed him to barely drift across the water's surface. He was nowhere near as elegant as Chu Qingtian had been, but everyone present was intelligent; they could tell that attacking on water wasn't his forte. He was a battle soul master—his strengths lay in head-to-head battle.
"Hello everyone, my name is Dai Huabin. I'm seventeen years old and am a Rank 57 assault-type Soul King. My martial soul is the White Tiger. That's it, thank you." Once he finished his sentence, he simply spun back around and leapt back onto his water lily leaf. He didn't even report a number to Zhang Lexuan; this meant that there wasn't a girl that he liked in particular. His performance couldn't even be compared on the level as Chu Qingtian's—it was too outrageously simple.
Huo Yuhao shot a glance towards Dai Huabin, only to realize that Dai Huabin was also looking at him. There was vigorous belligerence in his ice-cold eyes.
Huo Yuhao knew that Dai Huabin did have someone in his heart, and that that person was Zhu Lu, who he could unleash the martial soul fusion skill, Netherworld White Tiger, with. He's probably only participating in the Sea God's Fate today because he wants to stir up trouble with me.
However, even though Dai Huabin's introduction was simple, the girls' reactions weren't.
Dai Huabin, Xie Huanyue, Ning Tian and Wu Feng had entered the academy quite recently, so the inner courtyard's older students weren't that familiar with them.
The few seemingly simple numbers that he'd said had made him the center of attraction. He was seventeen years old, Rank 57, and his martial soul was the White Tiger. Everyone present was a talented soul master, so they naturally understood what these numbers meant. With his current cultivation, he was very likely to reach Rank 60 before he turned twenty, and prodigious soul masters who could reach Rank 60 before the age of twenty were ultimately bound to formidable Titled Douluo, as well as probably eventually become Transcendent Douluo.
One's ability was one of the most important considerations for the inner courtyard's girls in their search for a partner. It wouldn't be very good if their future husbands' cultivations ended up inferior to their own.
After Dai Huabin, several other people displayed their abilities. Some showed their dazzling soul skills, while others simply walked across the water, but everyone's performances were spectacular. They were all roughly between twenty-five and thirty-five in age, and most of them were Soul Emperors and Soul Sages.
He Caitou was number nine, while Huo Yuhao was number eleven. Xu Sanshi wasn't as fortunate; he was number twenty-four, which meant that he'd be the last to introduce himself.
Soon, He Caitou's turn arrived.
"Next." Zhang Lexuan's tender and alluring voice echoed across the lake's surface.
He Caitou cleared his throat and took a deep breath. He then forcefully suppressed his excited emotions, but didn't make another astonishing or bewildering performance like before. He tapped lightly on his leaf with the tip of his foot, and a layer of light immediately appeared around his body. He looked a little like the Dai Huabin had, and he used this protective barrier to drift across the water's surface. However, this wasn't a soul skill, it was a protective soul barrier.
As he floated within the protective soul barrier, the soul thruster behind him released a faint glow as it propelled his tall, muscular body towards the girls' side. Once he reached them, he spoke in a loud voice,
"My name is He Caitou. It's a very silly name.
"I might look a little old, but I'm actually only nineteen.
"Teacher saved my life and brought me here to Shrek Academy. It's thanks to him that I have a chance to stand here today.
"I'm a soul engineer, and am a Rank 62 auxiliary-type Soul Emperor.
"I'm only here for one person. I'm extremely nervous, but I know that if I don't confess now, I won't ever be able to forgive myself. I'm here, Xiao Xiao. I like you. I've never liked a person the way that I like you in my entire life. I lost my family a long time ago, and I've even lost most of my memories of them. However, it's clear to me that someone will always be the most important person in my heart… and that person is you. I truly like you."
Simple, direct, and straightforward. This was the solution that He Caitou had come up with.
His head remained lowered from the beginning to the end of his speech. He didn't dare to look at Xiao Xiao, but his voice was determined and his fists were clenched tight. However, his dark face was a little red and swollen, and there were enormous beads of sweat dripping from his forehead.
The entire lake became quiet once he finished speaking. Of the nine students that had gone up, only He Caitou had confessed his feelings for a girl in his introduction. He'd insisted on this choice, and had no regrets.
"Hey, you're going to hit us." A sudden voice jolted He Caitou, who'd been moving forwards due to his soul thruster and his head lowered this entire time. He looked up and immediately realized that he was about to run into Han Ruoruo.
"Ah! Sorry, sorry." He hurriedly shut off his soul thruster, his body swaying a little when he did so. Fortunately, he'd released a protective soul barrier so that he wouldn't fall into the water with it active. Otherwise, it would've been quite hard to say the results.
Han Ruoruo stared at his daft and clumsy action, and for some reason, she felt a wave of envy and admiration surge from her heart. She smiled towards him and said, "Keep it up, big boy."
"Okay." He Caitou subconsciously acknowledged, before quickly recovering and staring deeply into Han Ruoruo's eyes as he said, "Thank you."
Han Ruoruo didn't know it, but this simple sentence would end up saving her life in the future.
He Caitou glanced carefully towards Xiao Xiao. However, Xiao Xiao didn't dare to look at him; her head was lowered and her tiny hands were tied into a knot before her. If she were to stick out her two index fingers right now, her actions would probably appear identical to the little Snow Lady.
What should I do? What should I do? This is so embarrassing! Xiao Xiao's mind was a complete mess right now.
"Ahem, one minute is up." Bei Bei reminded He Caitou from a distance.
"Alright, alright." He Caitou cut a sorry figure as he activated his soul thruster once more and retreated back the way he'd come.
Zhang Lexuan smiled and said, "So that means you've chosen Xiao Xiao, right?"
"Yes, yes." He Caitou nodded repeatedly before frantically turning around and returning to his leaf.
"Xiao Xiao," Han Ruoruo called out softly.
"Ah?" Xiao Xiao looked up. Her pretty white face had as red as a tomato. If He Caitou was here to see it up close, he would've definitely said, "I love to eat tomatoes."
Han Ruoruo giggled and said, "Don't be shy, little sister. Girls have to be more courageous, especially when faced with good fortune like this! We have to be brave and grasp it firmly in our hands. The truth is that that tall, dark guy… his looks are definitely not worthy of you."
"Ah?" The redness on Xiao Xiao's face receded, and a little displeasure had appeared in her eyes. She wanted to dispute Han Ruoruo, but Han Ruoruo continued before she could.
"Even though his looks aren't worthy of you, I can feel that his feelings are true. He's persistent, and if a person like him has recognized the girl of his dreams, then his heart will never change. You'll definitely be happy if you follow him."
"Ah!" Certain words were at the edge of Xiao Xiao's mouth, but she swallowed them down in the end and lowered her head embarrassingly. However this time, there was a tinge of sweetness in her eyes.
The tenth student introduced himself, while Huo Yuhao looked at the sweaty He Caitou and gave him a thumbs-up. Huo Yuhao exclaimed in admiration, "That couldn't have been better, second senior brother!"
"Eh? Was my performance really alright?" He Caitou stared at Huo Yuhao anxiously.
Huo Yuhao nodded heavily and said, "At least you've spoken your mind, and let Xiao Xiao know about the feelings you have for her. No matter what the outcome is, the fact that you were able to say all these things in front of so many people means that you've already succeeded."
As He Caitou gasped for breath and wiped the sweat from his face he said, "That's good, that's good. It's almost your turn, little junior brother. Good luck! Which girl have you set your sights on?"
"Me?" Huo Yuhao's eyes shifted subconsciously to the second veiled girl, but he shook his head and said, "I don't know."
Huo Yuhao's mind was a lot calmer and more composed than before after the previous few segments. Controlling one's emotions was a lesson that the Ultimate Soldier Plan had taught him, and his self-control had continuously improved as he grew older.
He Caitou had taken the same lessons, but he was too close to the issue, thus he couldn't control his emotions well, as this was simply too important to him.
Huo Yuhao actually envied his second senior brother. He thought to himself, If that's Wang Dong's sister… and she looks just like the Goddess of Light… will I have an epic romance where I give her everything I have?
Just as he began to speculate about this in his mind, He Caitou suddenly said, "It's your turn, Yuhao." Huo Yuhao was jolted back to reality. One minute had already passed. The student before him had completed his self-introduction in the Love at Second Sight, and was currently returning to his own water lily leaf.
"It's your turn, Yuhao." Indeed, Bei Bei's call could also be heard.