Chapter 209 – She’s the Opponent?
Mu Xi was stupefied. “That’s right! You still only have one ring… How could I forget? You’re not that great after all! You’re still so much weaker than me!”
Tang Wulin felt as if three black lines were sliding down his forehead. Just what is she thinking?
An unexpected smile spread across Mu Xi’s face. “My heart calmed down as soon as I remembered that. Yeah! No one could be that unbelievably powerful and you’re no exception. Alright, hurry up and go then. I’m not participating in the individual competition, but I am in the team competition. I won’t go easy on you when we face off. Well… assuming you make it that far.”
Tang Wulin waved goodbye to Mu Xi as he ran off. It was nearly time for the individual competition.
Watched his departing figure, Mu Xi’s smiling expression gradually vanished. She muttered, “Dad was right… I really should form a good relationship with him. That brat… hmph! I really want to pinch him to death.”
A smile spread across her lips as she spoke the last few words. It was far more brilliant than the one that had previously graced it.
Once he arrived at the competition ground, Tang Wulin rushed to check the progression of the matches. Fortunately, there was still some time before his match. Since the individual competition had advanced to its second round, each match was far longer than before.
After making sure that he was on time, Tang Wulin spotted his teammates nearby.
Xie Xie and Gu Yue stood next to each other, observing the battles of their competition. Tang Wulin quickly walked over.
“Your blacksmithing competition is done? How’d you do?” Gu Yue asked.
“I did great,” Tang Wulin answered. “The champion will be decided tomorrow.”
Since the blacksmith’s competition wasn’t very popular, it only took three days to finish.
“Have you guys fought yet?” Tang Wulin asked.
Gu Yue shook her head. “Not yet. I’m still waiting.”
“So what’s the situation?” Tang Wulin asked. “Has anyone powerful appeared yet?
Gu Yue answered, “A few. We just saw a three-ringed soul master. A three-ringed opponent will be kind of tough.”
With an upper age limit of fifteen, it was certainly to be expected that some three-ringed soul masters would be found in the junior division. Compared to Xie Xie and Gu Yue, both of which had two rings and powerful martial souls, Tang Wulin merely had a single soul ring and the trash-tier Bluesilver Grass. Although he brought his martial soul up to the thousand-year level, he was still an infant against those three-ringed giants.
Yet, in spite of that, Tang Wulin’s confidence did not waver. He never expected to do particularly well in the individual competition; he only entered in order to further temper himself. It wouldn’t be much of a loss if he were defeated by an opponent that was more powerful than him.
At that moment, Tang Wulin’s eyes went wide.
Ye Xinglan and Xu Lizhi approached him like enemies meeting on a narrow road. The former led the way while the latter followed like a servant.
There’s no way she signed up for the individual competition, right?
Tang Wulin was speechless, but anticipation flickered within his heart. The two were from Shrek Academy, so he couldn’t help but wonder just how strong they were.
“Are you waiting for your match?” Ye Xinglan approached Tang Wulin with a sinister grin.
Tang Wulin pretended to be disinterested. “Did you sign up for the individual competition too? If I remember correctly, the competition was already underway when you decided to sign up.”
“What does that have to do with anything?” Ye Xinglan asked. “I just needed to speak with the organizers and tell them that I wanted to spar with you guys. Of course they made an exception for me. Since I guaranteed I won’t fight for the top eight, they happily agreed to my participation.”
Tang Wulin’s heart stirred, anxiety seeping into his heart.
“Oh, right, I wanted to tell you the good news. The opponent you drew for today is unable to make it, so another opponent has been arranged for you—me.”
Faced with the smirking Ye Xinglan, Tang Wulin felt as if he had encountered a little devil. He knew her what she was aiming for without even needing to think about it.
Xie Xie’s and Gu Yue’s faces darkened. This was especially the case for Gu Yue, whose narrowed eyes held a cold sheen.
Tang Wulin, on the other hand, continued to meet Ye Xinglan’s gaze without faltering. Their gazes locked, and he flashed a radiant smile at her. “Fantastic!”
Fantastic? He isn’t scared at all? Ye Xinglan was stunned. This guy isn’t scared of having a match with me? But I’m from Shrek Academy!
She couldn’t sense the slightest bit of anxiety from Tang Wulin’s confident expression. In fact, his smile was simply to dazzling for her.
As if to tell Tang Wulin to surrender right then and there, Xu Lizhi gave him a meaningful look from behind Ye Xinglan. However, Tang Wulin ignored Xu Lizhi’s warning. Instead, he was completely calm as he continued to hold Ye Xinglan’s gaze.
Ye Xinglan’s expression quickly turned dark. She nodded at Tang Wulin repeatedly. “Good. Very good. Let me see just how skilled you are then.”
After spitting out these words, she swiftly turned around and left.
A wry smile appeared on Tang Wulin’s lips as he returned his attention to the matches in progress.
Feeling a tug on his arm, Tang Wulin turned to see Gu Yue grabbing onto him and staring right at him with eyes filled with worry.
The corner of Tang Wulin’s mouth curled in amusement. “It’s fine! We’re here to challenge the powerful and gain more combat experience after all. Battling a student from Shrek Academy is a rare opportunity. You wouldn’t believe how happy I am right now. Why are you guys making that face? Are you thinking it’s certain that I’ll lose?”
“Well said,” an icy voice interjected. “Do your best and battle with all your strength. You might just have a chance at winning if you do.”
The trio swiveled their heads in the direction that it came from, slightly surprised at Wu Zhangkong’s sudden arrival.
Wu Zhangkong nodded at Tang Wulin in satisfaction. His appreciation for this disciple of his only continued to grow. Not only did Tang Wulin have a good head on his shoulders, his perception was sharp and his heart was large. The boy was only ten years old, so Wu Zhangkong could only imagine what he would be like when he was twenty. Tang Wulin’s growth was unpredictable.
A lot could change in ten years. Although Tang Wulin’s martial soul was weak, it had mutated and made the path to greatness available to him. If this trend continued, Tang Wulin would be destined to reach great heights in the future.
“Teacher Wu,” Tang Wulin hastily said in greeting.
Wu Zhangkong walked to stand in front of the three, gravely saying, “Do your best in your battles and don’t feel pressured. Regardless of how it turns out, everything will be fine as long as you give it your all. In my opinion, the battle isn’t completely hopeless for you.”
“Yes!” Tang Wulin answered respectfully, eyes sparkling. Battling an opponent from Shrek Academy was a wonderful chance to test himself.
Tang Wulin sat down where he was, closed his eyes, and began regulating his breathing. He wanted to be in top condition when he faced Ye Xinglan.
Xie Xie was the first to have a match. His opponent wasn’t particularly strong, and a little less than five minutes later, he stood victorious.
Then it was finally Tang Wulin’s turn. He sprang up from the ground, a confident smile on his face as he strode toward the arena.
“Big sister Xinglan, Wulin didn’t really do anything wrong. You should go easy on him!” Xu Lizhi implored. He still had a good impression of Tang Wulin, especially since Tang Wulin could eat so much. Such a limitless stomach was something he had never seen before, and one could only conquer a glutton by eating more than them after all! It was only because of this that Xu Lizhi approved of Tang Wulin.
“You still have the face to say that? Would I have had to suffer so much if not for you? Stop letting this bother you so much and just watch me put him in his place. Hmph!” Ye Xinglan freed herself from Xu Lizhi’s nagging and charged toward the stage.
During the exhibition match that kicked off the tournament, few had taken note of her since she had been in the back. Furthermore, she wasn’t clothed in the iconic green Shrek Academy uniform today. Instead, she wore a yellow dress. She only seemed to be a young, pretty girl.
Both Tang Wulin and Ye Xinglan ascended to the stage. Upon seeing Tang Wulin’s assured smile, fumes of anger poured from Ye Xinglan’s head. In her eyes, that smile was provocation. Grievances filled her heart as she remembered how Tang Wulin had mooched off of her and even had the gall to pick the dishes.
This bastard! Today we’ll see how I put you in your place!
Today’s referee was the same as yesterday’s. After unceremoniously announcing the rules for the match, he let the two start preparing.
Tang Wulin’s narrowed eyes were locked onto Ye Xinglan. After his short rest, his mind was sharp as a blade.
He was like a spring—the greater the pressure placed on him, the stronger he would bounce back. At this moment, he was bursting with fighting spirit. He would rather face a powerful opponent like Ye Xinglan instead of an inexperienced one like the one from yesterday. This way, he would gain something from the battle.
“Three, two, one, begin!”
Tang Wulin sprang into action immediately after the referee’s declaration. He stomped down with his left foot, charging straight at Ye Xinglan while a single purple ring twinkled beneath his feet.