Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 511
Challenging the Third Grade
Once Tang Wulin left the Battle Hall and returned to his busy life, he strived to learn and grow as fast as possible alongside his classmates in the first grade.
Although it was Wu Zhangkong’s first time teaching at Shrek Academy, Shen Yi had left all teaching responsibilities to him. The students were much more diligent compared to when she had led the class, so she needn’t get involved. Watching their growth though the days brought a smile to her lips.
The teams of Tang Wulin and the rankers led their class in terms of growth. With their current pace, it was very possible that they would make it into the inner court!
Half of the academic year passed by in the blink of an eye.
“Tang Wulin, come to my office after class,” Wu Zhangkong said one day at the end of lecture.
“Yes, Teacher Wu.” In the past several months, Tang Wulin had grown a few centimeters and now stood nearly 1.8 meters tall. His face had shed much of its baby fat, revealing handsome and sharp features that further accentuated his large, clear eyes and high-bridged nose. He was already more charming than the Ice Prince Wu Zhangkong. If not for his immature age, Tang Wulin would have been the focus of affection for just as many ladies as Wu Zhangkong. Among those the same age as him, however, he was a prince.
“Any idea what Teacher Wu wants you for?” Xie Xie asked, elbowing Tang Wulin.
Tang Wulin shrugged as he put away his textbooks. “No clue. I’ll see soon enough I guess. Well, catch ya later.”
When Tang Wulin arrived at the office, Wu Zhangkong looked up from his desk and beckoned Tang Wulin over.
“Here, take this,” Wu Zhangkong said, a hand with a silver card outstretched toward Tang Wulin a silver card.
“Teacher Wu, what’s this for?”
“Your mecha has been approved. Stick this into the slot in your mecha. It’ll show up when you get scanned at checkpoints and they will let you through. Now you can fly anywhere on the continent.”
“Yes!” Tang Wulin grinned. His mecha had been finished months earlier, but bureaucratic red tape dragged out the process of issuing his legal permit. An incredible hassle. Despite having Wu Zhangkong’s referral and his own heroic deeds in Heaven Dou City, Tang Wulin had waited months for his legal permit to be approved.
“Thank you, Teacher Wu.”
“Don’t thank me just yet.
There’s something else I wanted to talk to you about. I remember in the beginning of the year you said you wanted to challenge the third grade. I asked Elder Cai for approval and she did. You can begin preparing now. But it won’t just be the first grade challenging the third. You’ll be teaming up with the second grade for the match.”
“What’s the format of the competition then?” Tang Wulin asked.
“Three one-on-one battles, one two-on-two battle, and a final match between seven-man teams. You’ll combine forces with Wu Siduo’s team for the competition. The second graders will send some people as well. This competition will be used as your annual assessment and will influence your end of semester exams.”
Tang Wulin forced back a gasp. The competition format was the most traditional one there was!
“Does the second grade know yet?”
“They should be notified today as well,” Wu Zhangkong answered. “You can go discuss who will be participating with Yuanen later.”
“Choosing is going to be hard. Both our classes have more than enough people to fill in for all the battles. How are we supposed to choose?” Tang Wulin said, furrowing his brow.
“It doesn’t matter to me,” Wu Zhangkong said, his face a stone mask. “Decide it yourselves. Strength will speak for itself.”
“Got it. I’ll handle it.” For a competition like this, the larger the pool of potential participants, the better. This way, they could be more selective and choose the best of the best.
Tang Wulin left the office and returned to the working student dormitory, heading straight for Yuanen Yehui’s room. He knocked on the door. After a few seconds without answer, he concluded she had yet to return. I guess I’ll have to wait until she’s back.
He returned to his own room, an unsettling sensation filling him upon entering. He rarely spent time here, always cultivating his nights away in the specialized cultivation spaces. Mornings were spent in class, and afternoons brought him out to a variety of locations for blacksmithing, pilot practice, or combat training. There was simply no need to return.
Tang Wulin wasn’t the only busy person in his group. The rest of his friends were hustling to grow stronger. They had their own paths of cultivation and could only rely on themselves to walk them. Morning classes marked the only period they spent time in the same location. For that reason, their room was unoccupied except for himself.
Tang Wulin lay in his bed and enjoyed the silence and calm. Relaxation was a luxury nowadays. He did his best to enjoy these moments when he could, mindful of Wu Zhangkong’s warning not to overwork himself and burn out. Before he realized it, he fell asleep. It was a deep slumber without any dreams to disturb it.
When Tang Wulin woke up, he felt refreshed, a warm, cozy feeling enveloping him. That was great! He stretched and uncurled his body in bed. So what if his schedule had gone awry. He surely didn’t mind at this point.
This afternoon he had planned to forge enough metals to ensure Ye Xinglan has an ample supply. So that it wouldn’t matter if she failed a few while crafting the battle armor pieces. With her current success rate, Ye Xinglan averaged about ten days per piece. She was currently equipped with three pieces herself, the most out of any of them. Right gauntlet, right pauldron, and circlet.
Ye Xinglan’s battle armor was prioritized as each piece increased her crafting success rate. Before making her third piece of armor, it had taken her an average of fifteen days per armor piece. Now she focused on crafting everyone else’s right gauntlets.
Tang Wulin had no idea how much battle armor Yuanen Yehui or Yue Zhengyu had, but he was certain that Yuanen Yehui was at least a match for Ye Xinglan as a mecha maker.
Rolling off of bed, he set his mind back to work. The nap had washed away his mental fatigue and he was raring to go. I should take naps more often. My head feels so clear.
The room was still empty aside from him. Xu Lizhi and Xie Xie had yet to return.
Glancing back once at the unoccupied room, Tang Wulin left to find Yuanen Yehui. The moment he stepped outside, he was astonished to find the sky already dark, the lights of Yuanen Yehui’s room a glowing beacon in the night. He knocked on her door.
“Who is it?” Yuanen Yehui called out from inside.
“It’s me, Tang Wulin.”
The door opened swiftly and Yuanen Yehui greeted him, dressed in her comfortable female clothing.
“You sure are a busy person! I rarely see you around!” she said, a teasing smile on her lips.
Tang Wulin smiled back wryly. “Aren’t we all? None of us has got any time to spare with all this pressure on our shoulders.”
“Yeah. Well, come on in.” She pulled the door open wide and ushered him into her room.
“You’re here about the competition with the third grade, right?” Yuanen Yehui asked.
“Yep.” Tang Wulin’s expression grew severe
“Have you decided who will participate yet?”
“Isn’t that what I’m here to discuss with you?” Tang Wulin said, crossing his arms. “How are things on your side? We got three singles, one duo, and one seven-man team battle. Which ones did you want to send your people out for?”
“Wulin, this competition should have been between the second grade and third grade originally. Shrek doesn’t usually have grades challenging anything higher than the next grade. The age gap is just too significant at that point. And there’s not much to gain either.”
“But you guys lost to us!” Tang Wulin said with brutal honesty, though blinking with an undeniable pureness.
Yuanen Yehui snorted. “One of these days, I’m gonna beat that pretty face of yours into a pulp.”
Tang Wulin fought to suppress his laughter but couldn’t in the end. “Alright alright. Enough probing. Let’s just get straight to the point. We’ll be honest about who we can send up and how strong they are, okay? Tell me who you’re considering and we’ll discuss if they’re good enough.”
“Fine. Since this competition should have been ours to begin with, I want two of the singles battles, the doubles battles, and four people in the final team battle. You’ll get the remaining three and one singles battle.”
Tang Wulin quirked a brow. “Wow. Now that’s just bad faith! If you’re gonna be like that, I’ll go complain to the teachers and challenge the third grade without you guys. This is a competition, so we need to do what has the highest chance of victory. Do you really think you can win with your current proposal?”
Yuanen Yehui sneered. “And you think you can win with your team? I’ll be straight with you. We understand the third grade far better than you do. They have two one-word battle armor masters. Do I need to say any more?”
Tang Wulin’s eyes went wide. They already have two one-word battle armor masters? D--n! This isn’t good! He had experienced first-hand the might of a one-word battle armor master. Facing two would be near impossible.
“So you can win with your class?”
With stunning indifference, Yuanen Yehui said, “At the very least, we would be able to last longer than yours.”
“Let strength speak for itself then. We’ll choose the participants through matches. The winners will get to fight the third grade.”