After careful analysis, it appeared that the most likely place the powerful members of the Body Sect were hidden in was either the Heavenly Dragon Sect, the Proudsword Sect, or the Snowdemon Sect. Frankly speaking, no matter where the Body Sect was hidden, they would pose a huge threat to the Tang Sect and Shrek Academy.
After they entered the top eight, they would surely face many challenges!
When everyone from the Tang Sect arrived at the arena, the team from Shrek Academy was already doing their warm-ups with their opponents from the Radiant City Soul Engineering Academy.
As they were in the first half, Shrek Academy would definitely go first.
The four rounds today were all major. The sun was already in the sky, and the weather was decent. As bright sunlight illuminated the earth, everyone felt a sense of warmth. Radiant City had experienced cold temperatures in the past few days, so the sunlight today lifted everyone's spirits.
Wang Qiu'er stood quietly outside of the VIP resting zone as she looked down at the arena, which had already been fixed from the damage she had helped cause it yesterday. No one knew what she was thinking. Her powdery-blue, wavy hair was bathed in sunlight, making it appear golden.
At the same time, she was like a solitary plum tree in winter. She stood there in solitude, appearing out of place, and yet, she was the center of it all.
When everyone entered the resting zone, Wang Dong'er, who was standing next to Huo Yuhao, walked over to Wang Qiu'er.
Huo Yuhao was stunned, but didn't stop her. He trusted her. While Dong'er had every intention of competing against Qiu'er, she would not behave rashly, particularly after what had happened the last time.
Wang Dong'er walked up next to Wang Qiu'er. Likewise, sunlight poured onto her silky-smooth hair. The reflected sunlight was even more intense, but at least it was not blurry like the light Wang Qiu'er's hair reflected.
Their faces looked exactly the same, even though there was a small age discrepancy. When the two girls stood there, they looked as if they were from a painting.
Wang Qiu'er sensed that Wang Dong'er coming up next to her, and turned to look at her.
"Why are you here?" Wang Qiu'er asked.
Wang Dong'er smiled slightly and said, "Did I not say it that day? You are my sister! The competition's about to start, so I'm here to check on you."
Wang Qiu'er said coldly, "If you're here to show off, you can leave. You've won."
Wang Dong'er was stunned, but soon understood what Wang Qiu'er meant. She sighed and said, "Do you know, after the fight that day, he scolded me. It was the first time he lost his temper at me."
Wang Qiu'er frowned and said, "So why are you telling me this? He was definitely afraid that you would be hurt by me."
Wang Dong'er shook her head slightly and said, "It's not only that. I can also feel that he admires you greatly. Furthermore, you've saved him so many times. Regardless of whether it's him or me, we're both grateful to you. If not for that fact that I can't compromise our feelings for him, I would very much like to be your sister. I respect you greatly."
"You can leave," Wang Qiu'er said, as the expression on her face turned even colder.
Wang Dong'er bowed her head and said, "I know that, regardless of what I say, you'll treat it as if I'm mocking you. However, all I can tell you is that I don't despise you. In fact, I kind of like your tenacity."
With that, she finally turned toward where the other members of the Tang Sect were resting. She took two steps out, stopped, then turned her head to look at Wang Qiu'er and said, "Sis, you must win."
When she heard the word 'sis', Wang Qiu'er's heart, for some reason, trembled. Her toned, strong arms clenched tightly into fists as she nodded in one vigorous motion.
Wang Dong'er's red lips trembled as she returned to Huo Yuhao's side.
"What did you tell her?" Huo Yuhao asked her curiously.
Wang Dong'er said slightly coyly, "This is a matter between us women, so why are you asking?"
"Eh…" Huo Yuhao looked helpless.
Xu Sanshi, who was sitting next to him, chuckled, "Yuhao, you resemble me more and more. How does it feel to have such a strict wife?"
Huo Yuhao glared at him and said, "Third brother, at least I have a wife to take care of me, is Sister Nannan really your 'wife'?"
Xu Sanshi turned his head to look at Jiang Nannan as he made kissing motions at her. Jiang Nannan pretended to not have seen it, but instead was trying to get the organizer of the tournament to prepare beverages for them, willingly oblivious to him.
Xu Sanshi turned his head back and glared back at Huo Yuhao and said, "Yuhao, you're learning all the wrong things. Now you know how to hit where it hurts. Hmph!"
Huo Yuhao chuckled bitterly. "You started it, alright?"
The members of every team were all present, including those from the Holy Ghost Sect. They were still as mysterious as ever, cloaked entirely in black robes. Tang Ya sat at the front, reflecting her important position in the sect.
At the back of the team stood the woman whom Huo Yuhao thought was familiar. She appeared to be the teacher in charge. However, the Scorpion Tiger Douluo Zhang Peng was nowhere to be found. He was not with the Holy Ghost Sect's team.
The Snowdemon Sect had arrived much earlier. Wei Na and Mu Xue sat at the front of the team, conversing in low tones, while the others were silent behind them. They all appeared extremely alert, and would occasionally glance in the direction of the Tang Sect.
There were far fewer participants in the waiting area than before. However, the atmosphere was still extremely tense, especially since every team would have to compete today. It felt like the very air could ignite at any moment.
Up on the main podium, the Prince Regent Xu Tianran had arrived a long time ago. Ju Zi sat next to him as she passed him a cup of fragrant tea.
Xu Tianran drank from the cup, looked at the Hallmaster of the Illustrious Virtue Hall and asked, "Hallmaster Hongchen, how are your grandson and granddaughter doing?"
Jing Hongchen replied quietly, "Thank you for your concern, Your Highness. Thanks to the imperial physicians you sent, their conditions have stabilized. However, as their injuries are not light, they will need at least a year to make a full recovery."
Xu Tianran sighed softly and said, "As long as there are no after-effects, it's fine. They're both pillars of the empire. Help me tell Xiao Hongchen and Meng Hongchen that this defeat does not mean anything. After all, defeat is the mother of success. As they now have the painful experience of a defeat, this will help them walk on more proper paths in the future. Tell them it's from me personally. I believe that one day they'll be able to beat the group from Shrek Academy!"
"Thank you, Your Highness." Jing Hongchen appeared drained after these two days. The defeat of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy team had placed a great deal of pressure on him.
Many other officials had raised complaints against him. It was a major humiliation to the empire for them to be unable to even make it past the qualifiers. Furthermore, both Xiao Hongchen and Meng Hongchen were severely injured. If not for the fact that Xu Tianran had sent the only healing-type Titled Douluo of the Sun Moon Empire to attend to them, Xiao Hongchen's wounds might have been fatal, and Meng Hongchen could have been permanently crippled.
Only with Xu Tianran's strong support was Jing Hongchen able to preserve his position. However, he understood that there was no free lunch in this world. After this incident, he was firmly in the orbit of the Crown Prince. He now had no choice but to serve him loyally in the future. He understood how powerful Xu Tianran was, and was clear on the Crown Prince's ambition. While he still had doubts in his heart, he now had no choice but to believe firmly in him.
"Hallmaster Hongchen, do you think the Radiant Academy can beat Shrek?" The first competition was about to start, and Xu Tianran was naturally in high spirits. He was particularly enthused by the prospects of witnessing such intense fights!
Jing Hongchen said, "While I don't think we should over-emphasize our enemy's power, and undermine ourselves, I have to say that Radiant Academy is not as good as the Imperial Academy. While the team from Shrek isn't particularly powerful, Wang Qiu'er is too difficult to defeat. We all saw what happened that day. Wang Qiu'er used all her might at the very end, which was close to the power of an eight-ringed Soul Douluo. If not, there was no way she could have defeated my grandson and granddaughter. With such a captain, the team from Shrek Academy has a very good chance."
Xu Tianran nodded, sighed, and acknowledged, "We really can't underestimate the ten thousand year foundations of Shrek Academy."
The mysterious Imperial Tutor who sat next to him suddenly said, "No matter how long they've been established, they also need talents. I think that the teams from Shrek Academy and the Tang Sect contain all their talents for this generation."
Xu Tianran's eyes flashed as he smiled and said, "Imperial Tutor is right."
Ju Zi, who sat next to Xu Tianran, said nothing. The trace of a smile could be seen on her face. She looked down at the arena, and in the depths of her eyes, one could see a hint of worry.
Zheng Zhan, the Unbreakable Douluo, was the referee. Ever since he had joined the competition, injury rates had plummeted. He refereed all the important rounds, such as today.
"The first round for the top eight, Shrek Academy versus the Radiant City Soul Engineering Academy. May the teammates from both teams enter the waiting zone. The first competitor for the individual elimination round from both teams, please come into the arena."
On Shrek's side were seven people. Their combination was exactly the same as the one they had used to face off against the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. They were Wang Qiu'er, Dai Huabing, Zhu Lu, Ning Tian, Cao Jinxuan, and the Lan sisters. This was their standard team.
In the previous round against the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, they had not worked together flawlessly. This was because after Wang Qiu'er was struck by the aging ray, Dai Huabing and Zhu Lu unleashed their power too early, causing them to almost lose control of the competition. For this, Wang Qiu'er scolded them harshly when they returned.
However, Wang Qiu'er understood clearly that if not for Huo Yuhao's fusion, while the Aging Ray might not actually make her age, there was no way she could have beaten Meng Hongchen and Xiao Hongchen due to the massive depletion of her soul power at that time.
However, this made her even more unhappy. She did not want to show weakness in front of Huo Yuhao!
When she entered the waiting zone, Wang Qiu'er jumped onto the arena without even sitting down. The team from the Radiant City Soul Engineering Academy had unpleasant looks on their faces.
No one wanted to fight this immensely powerful Golden Dragon Girl! Her Golden Dragon Spear could attack both near and far, and was almost impossible to resist. Many people believed that she was the most powerful competitor in the entire tournament, particularly after she defeated the Hongchen siblings!
Who would dare to fight her? However, this was the individual elimination round, and they had to send someone to face her, since she had already stepped up.
A youth leapt out from the Radiant City Soul Engineering Academy team's side and landed in the arena.
The youth was handsome, and his body well-defined. He looked like a piece of jade, and his eyes brimmed with confidence. He strode confidently to the center of the arena, where Wang Qiu'er was waiting.
"State your names."
"Shrek, Wang Qiu'er," she said in her characteristically straightforward manner.
"Radiant City Soul Engineering Academy, Lu Jun. Hello, Golden Dragon Girl, it's a pleasure to go up against you. Please show mercy…"
Lu Jun spoke to Wang Qiu'er in a gentlemanly manner, but she did not wait for him to finish before she turned her back to walk to the periphery of the arena, completely ignoring this handsome young man.
Lu Jun's mouth twitched. She doesn't give me face at all. What a personality. I like it!
Wang Qiu'er's strong showing, coupled with her beautiful face, attracted many people. All those who thought they had a chance, be it soul masters or soul engineers, tried to ask her out, including Lu Jun.
Zheng Zhan, the Unbreakable Douluo, looked at him coldly and said, "Young man, don't expect her to show you mercy just because you're handsome. She has a fiery temper, and all she cares about is winning. Be careful."
Lu Jun nodded his head and said humbly, "Thank you for your advice, senior. I'll be careful."
His careful attitude left a good impression on the Unbreakable Douluo. He had heard that there were some exceptional participants from the Radiant City Soul Engineering Academy. Lu Jun should be one of them!
Today, he would be able to assess the young man's performance throughout this competition. If possible, he would not mind taking in a disciple...
Lu Jun reached the edge of the arena after Wang Qiu'er. They looked across at one another. At this moment, Lu Jun was no longer smiling, and a severe expression settled on his face as he looked at Wang Qiu'er.
Who dared to be careless in front of the Golden Dragon Girl!? Flirting was flirting. His team was already in the top eight, and Lu Jun was undoubtedly a core member of his team. He dared not be careless!
"Prepare yourselves!" said the Unbreakable Douluo as he looked at both sides.
Wang Qiu'er sprang into action. Her left foot stomped down on the ground, and her body flew toward Lu Jun, who was more than a hundred meters away, like an arrow.
Everyone had witnessed how explosive she could be. In the blink of an eye, she covered the entire distance!
When Lu Jun heard Zheng Zhan say to prepare, he had already squatted down. When the referee announced the start of the round, he leapt into the air like a bolt of lightning. Behind him, a pair of wings from a flying-type soul tool expanded instantly, and four rays of light shot out, propelling him into the sky.