Chapter 244 – Departure
Mu Xi didn’t know why she was so broken-hearted as she wept through the night. Only in the morning did the truth sink in. She couldn’t let him go and wished to stay by his side.
However, in the end, he was still leaving. Even if she was younger than Ouyang Zixin, there was no hiding her age. She was also eighteen years old. From their four-year age gap, they were destined to walk two different paths. When she entered an advanced academy, he would still be working through his intermediate academy studies.
He was more gifted than her, his future as boundless as the ever-expanding universe. Perhaps, she must resign herself to travelling on a path parallel to his, so close but never intersecting.
Her emotions were in turmoil as memories of their last three years together flashed through her mind.
Fate would not change for a single person’s desires, and his departure was inevitable.
“Wulin, what’s on your mind? What are you daydreaming about?” Xie Xie nudged Tang Wulin, a quirk to his brow.
Tang Wulin snapped out of his stupor and smiled. “It’s nothing. I’m just going to miss Eastsea City.”
With that, Xie Xie’s jaws dropped. “You, aren’t you arrogant!”
Tang Wulin burst into laughter. “How so?’
Xie Xie looked like he swallowed a lemon. “Didn’t you just imply that we’ll definitely pass? If that’s not what you meant, then why would you miss Eastsea City?”
Tang Wulin pursed his lips, the dip to his brow becoming utterly significant, “You’re overthinking it.”
Although he dismissed his friend’s accusations, in reality, buried within the deepest, softest crooks of his heart, he did feel this way. It would be a long time before he next returned to Eastsea City.
There were tons of things he needed to do in Shrek City, such as searching for traces of his parents.
Before his departure, he had met with Mang Tian once. Mang Tian had been convinced that his parents had left for a major city. Since Shrek City was the biggest city on the continent, it was likely they were there.
He had received a message from his parents after their retreat, stating he would have the qualifications to search for them once he became a fifth-rank blacksmith.
Yet, in the three years since he had left Glorybound City, he had not received a single call from them.
Tang Wulin couldn’t bear to think of his parents. Every time he awoke from meditation, his mind would wander in that direction and daggers stabbed his heart.
Mom, dad, where are you?
He had matured a lot in this string of lonesome years. His resolve has sharpened like a knife. Mang Tian had said nothing, but it was evident something had transpired. No news was good news, until it wasn’t. If his parents were fine, then there was no reason not to give him a call! At the very least, they should have been able to get in touch with Mang Tian!
Tang Wulin did not strive so hard in cultivating solely for the sake of his dream of becoming a battle armor master. No, he desired the power to necessary to find his parents and protect them.
In his spare time, he had visited his home before. However, it had become an empty husk of what he remembered. There was nothing there, no personal items of his parents, nothing to suggest it hadn’t been abandoned and tossed aside like rubbish, and the four bare walls felt as if they were closing in on him. He had visited again, though. This time it was a little more than a year ago, and he discovered something interesting. A double-layered wall hid in his parents’ room. Within was a peculiar-looking badge with an even more peculiar symbol, and Tang Wulin couldn’t for the life of him figure out what it was.
He had recognized the significance of the badge immediately. With it being the sole clue to the puzzle of his parents’ whereabouts, he safeguarded it in his storage ring.
As the soul train sped along, the carriage became bathed in hushed whispers until just the squeaking of the wheels could be heard. For the young students of class zero, the second-class seats were slightly cramped, but it gave them a sense of adventure.
Outside the window, the landscape flitted by. The sound of breathing within the carriage steadied as passengers fell asleep one by one.
Tang Wulin took a deep breath. Exhaled. Took a deep breath again. A journey is traveled step by step and rice is eaten by the spoonful… I just need to continue working toward my goal.
On this trip to Shrek City, the first thing on the itinerary was to find a thousand-year Azure-Veined Vine. He had the other three spirit items prepared and the Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear’s soul bone had strengthened his body. He was ready to break the second seal now.
Once he accomplished this, his strength would soar to new heights. His chance of passing Shrek’s entrance exam would skyrocket.
According to Wu Zhangkong’s scheduling, they would arrive one week early, giving Tang Wulin just enough time to find the thousand-year Azure-Vein Vine, break the seal, and take the Shrek exam.
His expectations for the second seal’s surprise continued to grow as the time approached.
Compared to Heaven Dou City, Shrek City was slightly closer to Eastsea City.
The train slowed when it neared their destination.
Then, an announcement sounded.
“Dear guests and travellers, we have arrived at the greatest city on the Douluo Continent, Shrek City. Shrek City’s roots extend tens of thousands of years and is a cultural hub. The legendary Shrek Academy was founded here, as well as the Spirit Pagoda headquarters. As the number one city in the Federation, Shrek City boasts immense economic and political influence. Everyone, please take a look out the left window. The tower in the distance is the headquarters of the Spirit Pagoda.”
The four students of class zero flipped over to take a peek. Sure enough, a majestic tower pierced the heavens. Because it was so far away, only the upper-middle portion was visible. All eight sides sparkled with silver splendor,, slowly tapering into the clouds, the peak unseen.
The Spirit Pagoda’s headquarters was the tallest building in the continent. Everyone, including Tang Wulin, knew this. In fact, the Federation had rules forbidding buildings with greater height as a show of respect.
If the Tang Sect was the most mysterious organization, and Shrek Academy the most illustrious, then the most powerful was undoubtedly the Spirit Pagoda.
With their artificial spirit soul technology, the Spirit Pagoda was able to gather a horde of researchers, powerful soul masters, and amass riches on par with that of a nation. Its influence was undeniable in the Federation.
In the Federation’s parliament, seven of the 108 seats were taken by the Spirit Pagoda.
This didn’t even account for parliamentary members under their influence.
Shrek City truly transcended the realm of the ordinary!
An interesting array of buildings surrounded the tower. Both ancient and modern buildings stood side-by-side, an odd sight.
It was different from Heaven Dou City’s air of antiquity and Eastsea City’s fresh metal scent.
Shrek City felt like a vast melting pot.
Its boundaries extended beyond what the eye could see!
After entering the city, the train sped along for another hour before cruising to a stop.
In his entire life, Tang Wulin had never laid eyes on a larger train station than this. It was at least five times larger than those of Heaven Dou City and Eastsea City.
An enormous dome roof hovered above them, marked by simplistic architecture. Sculptures were scattered across the station for travellers to marvel.
“Teacher Wu, where are we going first? Straight to Shrek Academy?” Xie Xie asked eagerly. Even if he hailed from a wealthy family, it didn’t mean a thing; he couldn’t control his excitement after stepping foot in this city of legends.