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Chapter 453 - Intimidation
"This matter is far bigger than that! Senior Brother, you should have told us ahead of time. We would have done something if you did. Now the Imperial Sun Moon Academy managed to advertise before us. There isn't a single person in Bright City or the surrounding cities who doesn't know of the match. In fact, everyone in the Federation knows about it! If we lost this match, the shame would be too great. Did you even consider any of this beforehand?" Shen Yi spoke solemnly.
"I know my disciples," Wu Zhangkong said. "I wouldn't have decided to do this if I wasn't confident in them. I want them to face a difficult challenge, only then will their potential be roused. If they lose, I'll bear the responsibility and resign. But if they win, I'm certain one day they'll become the next generation of the Shrek Seven Monsters. I trust them. I'm willing to sacrifice myself to save Shrek's reputation if needed, but I'm confident in their victory."
The line went silent for a moment before Shen Yi spoke again. "Fine. I'll handle things over here. I'll give you their answer in a bit." She hung up.
Five minutes later, Wu Zhangkong's communicator rang again.
"Elder Cai agreed to allow you to do as you wish. Regardless of if they win or lose, you have to bring those kids back safe and sound. They're our hope for the future. She also said…"
"What did she say?" Wu Zhangkong asked.
"She said she wants to see Tang Wulin and his team lose this match. That sometimes, losing isn't a bad thing."
Wu Zhangkong immediately replied, "Failure is the key to success, but they can only reach the peak by continuously achieving victories. They will win this match. I'm certain of it."
"Well then. We'll arrange everything from over here, so you just watch over them."
Tang Wulin opened his eyes and glanced at the clock in the conference room. He couldn't help but knit his brow. Two hours had already passed, yet no one had come to get them yet. Are they doing this on purpose?
After meditating for so long, his body was in peak condition and his mind incredibly focused. Just as Wu Zhangkong had said, Tang Wulin performed best under pressure. There was an unyielding intensity about him at that moment.
One by one, his friends woke up from their meditation after him.
"Still nothing? Should we go see what's going on?" Xie Xie asked Tang Wulin.
"Let's wait a bit longer," Tang Wulin said. "We're the ones who challenged them, I don't think they would just leave us here. They're probably preparing a lot of things, or maybe it's taking some time to find the right opponents for us. Let's just wait and see."
Just as Tang Wulin finished speaking, the door to the conference room opened and the same middle-aged man from before walked in.
"Everything is ready now. The match will be held in our academy's arena," the man said. "Do you need more time to prepare?"
"We're ready," Tang Wulin said.
"Follow me then." Even now, the man had yet to introduce himself or ask for their names. Without another word, he turned and walked out the door.
They followed him into an elevator and headed up, changing elevators once they reached the thirty-sixth floor. This time, they moved horizontally for a while before going downward. Two minutes later, the elevator came to a stop.
When the doors opened, the previous manufactured world of metal was nowhere to be seen. Before them was a wide and open hall made of stones. These seemingly simple stones released powerful energy fluctuations, making them seem ancient. Tang Wulin's soul power began to shift restlessly inside of him under their influence, circulating more freely than ever within his body.
The man forged on ahead in silence.
This hall spanned over five hundred square meters, and high up on the ceiling was a mural.
Tang Wulin looked up at it, awed by the sight. A single youth wearing Shrek Academy's uniform sat in the center of a plaza, surrounded by numerous students fitted in the white uniform of the Sun Moon Academy. Compared to their modern uniform, this design was far simpler, but it was still clearly the Sun Moon Academy uniform..
W-who is that? Tang Wulin couldn't understand why, but he felt a sense of familiarity as he gazed at the figure of that Shrek Academy student.
At the end of the hall was a pair of giant arched doors standing at fifteen meters tall and thirty meters wide. Mechas could easily pass through them.
"This is the waiting area of the arena. You'll be sent in momentarily." The man pointed to a stone bench on the side, indicating for them to sit and wait there.
A waiting area is this huge? Tang Wulin had assumed this was the arena. He could faintly hear clamoring roars beyond the gates.
The pressure of this match was weighing heavier and heavier on his shoulders. They must have made a lot of preparations in the last two hours.
The man opened a small door to the side and walked through. Tang Wulin's group nearly jumped in fright as the loud roars of the crowd suddenly burst into the hall.
They could hear someone yelling, "Shrek Academy has come to challenge us! Are we going to let them trample all over us? No! Students of the Imperial Sun Moon Soul Engineering Academy, we must stand united and cheer for our champions! We have to beat these brats from Shrek Academy and send them back where they came from with their tails between their legs! We will show the continent that we are the greatest academy!"
I-is that coming from the arena?
The crowd roared with approval in response to the provocative speech. Curses against Shrek Academy were thrown about, amidst the shouting.
"Are they trying to show off?" Gu Yue asked, eyes narrowed.
"Yeah, they want to intimidate us. Just relax, everyone," Tang Wulin said.
Xie Xie rolled his eyes. "What intimidation? How much money does that cost per pound?"
Xu Xiaoyan bubbled with excitement. "It sounds like there's a lot of people! They'll all be able to see how awesome my martial soul is now. Do you guys think I have a chance at entering the inner court?"
Ye Xinglan crossed her arms. "My Stargod Sword thirsts for their tears!"
"Pft! 'Thirsts'? Is that really something a girl should be saying?" Xie Xie smirked.
"Do you want to die?" Ye Xinglan and Xu Lizhi said in unison. Xu Lizhi threw a pork bun at Xie Xie's mouth.
Xie Xie dodged and hid behind Tang Wulin, grabbing the bun out of the air as he did so. He pretended to be timid as he said, "Captain, I'm so scared."
It was Tang Wulin's turn to roll his eyes. "Your acting sucks. Xinglan, I don't know him. If you want to beat him up, I'll help you hold him down."
Ye Xinglan snorted. "I'll remember that. We can discuss it later. Wulin, what's the battle plan?"
Tang Wulin's eyes flashed with a sharp light, and he nodded towards Gu Yue. Gu Yue raised her hands, her soul rings rising up from beneath her as she created a dome of ice around them. They were isolated from any eavesdroppers now.
Ten minutes later, a cold voice said, "The match is about to begin. Please enter the arena."
The dome of ice melted away from the top and immediately evaporated into the air.
The middle-aged man's heart trembled at the sight. Their control power is strong!
The giant arched doors slowly pulled open and the crowd grew even louder than before, their excitement thundering throughout the arena.
What lay beyond the doors was far brighter than the stone hall, blinding Tang Wulin's group. Before their eyes could adjust, the man led them in.