Chapter 197 – The Students of Shrek
Tang Wulin smiled. “Then I should be about half a year older than you. What’s your name?”
The little fatty said, “My name is Xu Lizhi, but everyone just calls me Little Glutton. You can call me by that nickname too.”
A bitter laugh escaped from Tang Wulin’s lips. “We still don’t know for sure who’s the real glutton between the two of us, so I’ll just call you by your name. Are you here to participate in the competition too?”
Xu Lizhi nodded. “Yeah, that’s right! It’s really nice here. This is my first time seeing the sea so I’m planning on going for a swim later. Can you tell me what sorts of delicious seafood there are?”
He really is a glutton! Activating his storage ring, Tang Wulin retrieved another piece of dried fish for him.
“There are tons of delicious seafood here like briny sea urchins, tasty sea cucumbers, and the bluefin tuna is pretty good too. Oh right, there are also eels that taste as sweet as honey. If you want crab try the goldhair crab; it beats the king crab at taste by a long shot. Even the meat is more tender. If you want lobster though, I still feel that our Eastsea City’s eastsea lobster is the best. It might be a bit pricy, but the meat is simply delicious. The skysea lobster has firmer meat, but its nutritional value is quite lacking. Not to mention, it’s a pain in the butt to chew.” Tang Wulin explained effortlessly like a food connoisseur.
Xu Lizhi’s eyes grew brighter as he listened to Tang Wulin’s summary, swallowing down a gulp of saliva. “Great! This is great! So, after the competition is finished, do you mind showing me around? I’m already itching to try them all.”
Tang Wulin said helplessly, “It’ll depend on the time, but here’s my communicator number. You can call me about this later.” He doubted the Skysea Alliance Tournament could have prepared a meal big enough to satisfy him and already assumed he would need to hit the streets later for some grub. Therefore, having a fellow foodie tag along was not a hassle.
Just as the two finished exchanging soul communicator numbers, an icy but pleasant voice called out. “Little Glutton, how did you run all the way over here? All you know is how to eat. Hurry up and come back.”
Tang Wulin and the Little Glutton, Xu Lizhi, turned toward the voice. The speaker was a girl around Xu Lizhi’s age, dressed in the same green exercise clothes as him. In comparison to Xu Lizhi’s fat-filled form, her clean-cut silhouette brought out the best in the clothes. Her golden hair was combed up into a ponytail, accentuating her large, bright, blue eyes framed by long eyelashes. They were nearly on par with Tang Wulin’s. Her skin glistened under the light, tender, and white.
Although she was likely Tang Wulin’s age, her face was a mask of stone compared to his, as if she were a little adult.
Upon the sight of her, Xu Lizhi was like a mouse facing a cat. He stood straight and said earnestly, “Big Sister Xinglan, I know I made a mistake but I’m still starving! You know right? If I don’t eat enough, then I won’t have any strength!”
“Let’s go.” As the girl was waving Xu Lizhi over she noticed Tang Wulin nibbling on dried fish beside him. Disdain colored her words. “Don’t just eat anything you get from a stranger! Don’t you know how many bad people there are nowadays?”
Xu Lizhi’s chubby face twitched for a moment before he turned back to face Tang Wulin, gesturing that he would call him later. He swiftly ran off, obediently following the girl.
Tang Wulin rubbed his face absentmindedly. Do I look like a bad guy?
“Who was that just now?” Xie Xie asked as he walked over. With just one glimpse of the blonde girl, his breath had nearly been taken away.
Shrugging his shoulders, Tang Wulin replied. “I don’t know either. I was just chatting with Xu Lizhi about food.”
Suddenly, an announcement was broadcasted.
“Today marks the start of the Skysea Alliance Tournament. We have invited a team specially from Shrek Academy to exchange pointers with last year’s champions. Accounting for the gap in strength, this match will be held between different age groups. The contenders are last year’s youth division champions of the seven-man team competition and Shrek Academy’s seven-man team from the junior division. Now, will both sides please come on stage.”
The youth division against the junior division?
Tang Wulin’s eyes shifted to stare at Xu Xiaoyan. Everything was going according to her predictions. Sure enough, the higher-ups of the Skysea Alliance had considered the difference in strengths and came to this conclusion. However, if the youth division lost to the junior division…
What happened next shocked Tang Wulin even further.
The representatives of the Skysea Alliance arrived on the platform. Since they were the winners of the previous tournament, they were now all over twenty years old and should be placed in the adult division.
There were five men and two women clad in silver team uniforms, standing with confidence and valiance imbued in their hearts. Their synchronous movements illustrated their rigorous training while their eyes shined with excitement.
But that wasn’t what truly caught Tang Wulin by surprise. When the delegation from Shrek Academy arrived, he didn’t recognize the frontmost five people. They all wore green sportswear and were about fourteen to fifteen years old. Nevertheless, behind them were two people he could identify. In fact, he just met them not too long ago! Isn’t that the little fatty Xu Lizhi and that Xinglan girl? They were far younger than the rest of the team and immediately caught everyone’s attention.
“Huh. Hey, it’s those two! Why are they up there on the stage?” Naturally, Xie Xie recognized them too.
Dumbfounded, Xu Xiaoyan said, “Our ages are the same, yet the gap between us is so great!”
That’s right! We’re all just ten years old yet they’re already fighting in an exhibition match. More importantly, they’re representatives of the legendary Shrek Academy!
Even the usually level-headed Tang Wulin couldn’t help but admire and envy them. No wonder that Xinglan girl was so arrogant. She has the power to back it up! Just how strong are they though?
They’re only ten years old; could they actually possess three soul rings?
The two sides greeted each other courteously. The team of seven from the Skysea Alliance towered over the students from Shrek Academy, a manifestation of their age gap.
After all, there was more than a difference of five years between them!
A fifteen-year-old boy lead the Shrek Academy’s team. Though his looks weren’t particularly flattering, his temperament held an indescribable quality. He stood tall and astute. Simply by taking a few steps forward, he drew the attention of the whole stadium.
Tang Wulin’s eyes were peeled in anticipation of the match. It was seven versus seven, the most common form of team battles. In the last 10,000 years, this formation proved to be the optimal setup for a team of soul masters.
The two groups on stage were the cream of the crop from two different generations, especially the youngsters from Shrek Academy. It was a mystery to all just how powerful they were. Unwittingly, Tang Wulin already began comparing himself to them. For those with ambitions, it was important to set a high goal.
Both teams gave simple self-introductions, revealing the arrogant little girl’s name. It was Ye Xinglan, a good name.
An old man served as the referee. With his profound air, after a single glance anyone would know his strength was not shallow.
“Now, let the match begin!”
The stage wasn’t particularly large, spanning less area than class zero’s arena. There hadn’t been enough time to build a grander one and as such it was only fifty meters in diameter. Occupied by only fourteen people, the area didn’t seem too crowded. Even so, there wasn’t much space to maneuver.
Right as the referee announced the start of the match, Shrek Academy broke into action.
Surprisingly, the first to make his move was Xu Lizhi.
With a wave of his arm, two yellow soul rings appeared under him. Mysterious objects flew out of his hands as his first soul ring lit up. Because he was so far from the arena, Tang Wulin couldn’t see what were thrown. Yet for some reason, he thought they resembled steamed buns.
Xu Lizhi’s six teammates each consumed one of the objects. The female teammate beside Ye Xinglan roared as three soul rings materialized beneath her feet. Two were yellow and one was purple—the optimal soul ring configuration. Light coalesced in her right hand to form a seven-tiered pagoda. As the first three levels of the pagoda sparkled brilliantly, its glow enveloped the stoic youth spearheading their formation.
The youth released a draconic roar as his body swelled. His arms especially grew thick and solid. Four rings rose from beneath him—two yellow, one purple, and one black. Shockingly, he had a ten-thousand-year soul ring!
Tang Wulin grew feverish as an unknown feeling welled up inside of him. It continued to expand as thunder shook the arena.
Few in the audience saw the whole process clearly. What they did see, however, was cyan light exploding on stage, followed by a baptism of lightning and thunder.