Chapter 219 – Powerful Opponents
“I heard things are different in the center and western regions. Apparently, becoming a battle armor master is a lot more popular there. That’s why, many of those people choose to walk a pure soul master’s path. They don’t rush to increase their soul powers blindly. In order to be a battle armor master, it’s important to also be a formidable soul master. Because of this mindset, there are more battle armor masters produced by the center and western regions. In their eyes, battle armor masters are the greatest military force on the continent; so, they all strive to become one. I believe this difference in perspectives has created the current gap in strength.”
“I think Teacher Wu’s teaching methods are similar to the center region’s. In fact, they’re probably from Shrek Academy’s inner court. This should be why we’re stronger than our peers.”
Tang Wulin couldn’t help but raise a brow at Xie Xie’s theory. “How do you know these things?” He couldn’t believe that this was something Xie Xie dug up himself.
Xie Xie smirked. “When I returned home for vacation, I wanted to play but my old man was bent on testing me. I gave him a nice surprise in the end. After I explained the training we’d been through, he told me about this stuff. My old man is quite perceptive, you know.”
Tang Wulin nodded. “What Uncle said is reasonable. Let’s all work hard to become battle armor masters.” He extended his hand as he spoke.
Gu Yue placed her hand below his. On top were Xie Xie and Xu Xiaoyan’s. The four friends smiled at each other, their confidence soaring.
Tang Wulin’s team was able to attain easy victories in the following three matches. There was only one three-ringed opponent that appeared throughout the string of matches. The entire time, Tang Wulin served as the cornerstone of the team. He controlled the battlefield, protected his teammates, and dealt the most damage. Overall, he carried the team.
Although his cultivation was weak, his innate divine strength and golden dragon claw made up for it and then some. He had yet to meet a worthy opponent in the team competition.
By their fourth win, the other teams in their group had taken notice of them. They were wary of Tang Wulin especially.
Tang Wulin’s performances had been too dazzling, his attacks too intimidating. He also wielded a purple soul ring. The other teams realized that he always barged through as the vanguard. He kept the opposing team in check while his teammates did their part. As a result, he became a hot topic and a subject of research for those interested in his combat style, techniques, and weaknesses.
Tang Wulin had a strict daily schedule. He would rise at the break of dawn to cultivate the Purple Demon Eyes and practice Controlling Crane, Capturing Dragon. In the afternoon, he would compete, and at night he would meditate. His days were rich and productive.
Actual combat was essential to his cultivation. As Tang Wulin grew more familiar with the basics of Controlling Crane, Capturing Dragon, he tried applying it in some of the matches. He couldn’t wield it effectively, but his understanding of the technique continued to deepen. Not only was Controlling Crane, Capturing Dragon another method of attack, it also improved his control over the soul power compressed by the Mysterious Heaven Method. His priority involved training what little soul power he possessed to burn at one hundred percent each time he summoned it.
“I heard our opponents today are strong! They’re probably the most formidable team in our group.” Xie Xie said to Tang Wulin.
Tang Wulin nodded. “Mn. That’s right! It’s Sealand Academy’s primary team. I heard that they have two three-ringed soul masters and one two-ringed soul master. Our group’s overall strength is actually pretty low. Sealand Academy’s team also has four wins in four battles so far. The top four teams in our group will enter the top sixteen. We just need to win one more match. It’s practically settled already.”
“What’s the plan for this match?” Xie Xie asked. “You should let me show off for once. You’ve been hogging all the limelight! No one’s paying attention to me!”
Tang Wulin lowered his voice, his words mysterious, “The ones who burst out in the end are the trump cards! Those like me are the worst. I can only show my strength in the beginning.”
A look of astonishment crossed Xie Xie’s face. “Really? But all the girls on the other teams only pay attention to you. I don’t understand why since I’m more handsome than you!”
“Your skin sure is thick. You aren’t even one third as handsome as our captain.” Xu Xiaoyan fought hard to contain her laughter.
Xie Xie’s face soured, wrinkling like a prune. “I hate people as blunt as you. Anyway, I want to show off a bit. I don’t want to be a trump card. Just let me show off how awesome I am.”
Tang Wulin shrugged. “Fine! We’ll change our tactics.”
Although Wu Zhangkong had brought their team here, he gave them free reign to do as they saw fit. He did not impart any advice. Every single strategy they used had been drafted by Tang Wulin.
All this freedom gave Tang Wulin a lot of space to operate. His display of strength in the previous matches were orchestrated to draw the attention away from Xie Xie and Gu Yue. Since they hadn’t faced the strongest team in the tournament yet, they were saving their trump card for as long as they could. Their opponents would be tougher to defeat from now on. In fact, they might even face a Shrek team with Ye Xinglan and Xu Lizhi on it. It was best to focus on hiding his teammates’ abilities, using his revealed skills as a veil.
Today, they would be facing off against Sealand Academy’s primary team. Sealand City was the third largest city in the Skysea Alliance, preceded by Eastsea City. It was located two-hundred kilometers to the north of Skysea City. The city’s denizens were valiant and Sealand Academy was famous, even eclipsing the repute of Eastsea Academy.
Sealand Academy’s three representatives were nearing fifteen years old. The team was composed of a pair of three-ringed soul masters and one two-ringed. Even the two-ringed soul master’s soul power hovered around rank 25 at least. In their previous matches, they had relied on absolute strength to crush their opponents. These adolescents were the one of the favorites of the tournament, thought to have a high chance of becoming the champions.
Their captain possessed one thousand-year soul ring, but had yet to use it in any of the matches. Its abilities were unknown.
“Oh right, I ran into an acquaintance of ours earlier,” Xie Xie said with a smirk.
“Who?” Tang Wulin asked.
Xie Xie said, “It was our two former classmates, Yangzi and Jinxi. They’re in the fourth group. It seems they’ve been able to win without a hitch guided by a senior schoolmate.”
Wang Jinxi and Zhang Yangzi? Tang Wulin trembled at the mention of their names, recalling their battle with the Man-Faced Demon Spider together. His heart ached. If it wasn’t for me, they wouldn’t have had to leave.
“I called out to them and chatted. Do you know what Jinxi said? The team he hopes they don’t meet at all costs is us!” Xie Xie roared with laughter.
A gentle sighed escaped from Tang Wulin’s lips. “If they were still in class zero, then we would only be one person short of participating in the seven-man team competition.
Xie Xie wiped the smile off of his face. He let out a long sigh. “There’s no one to blame in this matter. Everyone has their own ambitions. In any case, we’re still in class zero. Let’s win today’s match for the glory of class zero!”
Tang Wulin raised his head, eyes shining with resolution. “Victory!”
“Victory!” Xu Xiaoyan and Gu Yue joined in.
The arenas used after the start of the round-robin tournament were larger and more secure than their predecessors.
Only junior-division matches were scheduled for the afternoon. Though the battles were broadcasted, there will still disgruntled spectators in the stands. Perhaps they would pay more attention once the top sixteen teams remained. This was just the three versus three competition, after all.
Within box one.
Box one was set aside for officials of Skysea City. During important matches, Skysea Alliance’s big shots would congregate here to watch.
For this reason, box one was the largest box.
However, box one was desolate this afternoon. It was the junior division’s time slot, beginning from the three-man team battles. Rarely would a high-level match be seen in this division. Even so, the box was not completely empty. Two people sat in a sofa viewing the matches on the screen.
The pair seemed to be in their fifties. One was tall and stalwart with a head full of blazing-red hair. His voice was deep, resonating throughout the box the moment he opened his mouth.
“Brother Zhenpeng, your Sealand Academy is really shining this time!”
The man called Zhenpeng was slender with bronzed skin and small, sharp eyes. He smiled humbly. “Brother Huantian is too modest. Your Skysea Academy is number one in the Alliance and no one shakes its position.”
The two were renowned figures among the soul masters of the Skysea Alliance. The red-haired man was Long Huantian, the president of Skysea Academy and a six-ringed Soul Emperor.
Zhang Zhenpeng was the president of Sealand Academy, and although his cultivation was still short of Long Huantian’s, he too was a Soul Emperor.
“Brother Zhenpeng, what did you call me here today for? Could it be the junior division’s competition?” Long Huantian gazed curiously at Zhang Zhenpeng.
Zhang Zhenpeng nodded. “My academy has quite a few talents currently. I wanted to discuss with Brother Huantian about granting us three quotas this time.”
Long Huantian snapped into attention. Naturally, he knew what ‘quotas’ Zhang Zhenpeng spoke of. Those were the quotas to take Shrek Academy’s entrance exam.