Chapter 250 – The Academy City
Shrek Academy, the number one academy that was located in the number one city of the continent, was a place that countless people yearned to enter.
Shrek Academy’s campus was vast, a small town unto itself.
It actually used to be the original Shrek City until Spirit Ice Douluo Huo Yuhao, the Spirit Pagoda’s founder, proposed an expansion. Only then did the city grow much larger.
Every three years, Shrek Academy would recruit new students, signaling a grand occasion for soul masters.
Merely qualifying for the entrance exam of Shrek Academy was a point of pride for many young soul masters. The continent even had a saying: Each and every soul master that qualified to take Shrek’s entrance exam and failed would still be scouted by advanced academies.
This saying was grounded in truth. People who qualified to take this exam were the cream of the crop.
Despite being the elite of the elite, only a fraction of the examinees were admitted to Shrek Academy’s outer court.
Shrek Academy only accepted two hundred outer court disciples every three years. Among the two hundred, fifty were set aside for those who failed to pass the inner court exam.
Only fifty people were allowed to take the inner court exam at a time. Passing the exam was obviously the desired outcome, but failing to do so still allowed entrance to the outer court, as well as the chance to enter the inner court in the future.
This was the exact reason why President Long Huantian of the Skysea Academy treasured the five inner court quotas. It essentially guaranteed five students entrance to Shrek Academy!
Those students would naturally be expelled if they didn’t measure up to even the outer court’s standards. Shrek Academy’s history had seen its fair share of such situations.
Anyone who graduated from Shrek Academy’s outer court would already be considered a person capable of standing at the summit of the continent. Great clans and organizations would spare no expense to invite such a person into their fold.
The inner court, however, was a realm of prodigies. Graduates of the inner court rarely chose to leave Shrek Academy. Most would stay.
In the world of academia, the inner court disciples of Shrek Academy were destined to become battle armor masters. This fact was undisputed.
Every single battle armor master was an existence of strategic importance to the Federation! There were always a few students who chose to leave the inner court for some reason or another, of course. Any such student would instantly attract the attention of the world’s superpowers.
Since today was the eve of Shrek Academy’s entrance exams, every inn in the city was filled to the brim with hopeful examinees, their teachers, and the heads of their families. The city was overrun with people.
Merchants seized this opportunity to turn a profit by selling old exam questions and rules. Some sold spirit items while others sold soul devices.
These masses of people worked in tandem, benefiting from one another.
The Shrek Academy entrance exam had three requirements. First, examinees had to be sent by a major city. Second, examinees could be no more than fifteen years of age. Third, the soul power of an examinee had to be rank 25 at the very least.
These were the basic requirements, but the most important requirement of all had been decreed 20,000 years ago.
Shrek Academy did not accept ordinary people. On the contrary, they only accepted monsters. As a result, Shrek Academy has championed the moniker of “Monster Academy” since ancient times.
Wu Zhangkong slowly approached Shrek Academy’s western gate. His wore a solemn expression, but something else seemed to be lurking in the depths of his eyes.
Upon seeing “Shrek Academy” carved into a sign board hanging from the city-turned-academy gates, he couldn’t help but come to an abrupt stop. His heart stirred as he pursed his lips.
Shen Yi walked over to stand beside him. “Go inside. Teacher has missed you all these years. You’re both just too stubborn to make up. I was really happy when you agreed to come back, you know!”
Wu Zhangkong wordlessly lowered his head. He walked toward the gate, his pace brisk and faster than before. It was almost as if he were afraid of getting cold feet.
Two youths clad in dark-green uniforms guarded the western gate of Shrek Academy, also known as “Shrek Inner City”.
The two saluted in respect when they saw Shen Yi. “Senior sister.”
“This is my friend,” Shen Yi said. “Please grant him entry.”
As she spoke, she took out a hexagonal metal plate and handed it to them. One of the youths examined it for a moment, then nodded to Shen Yi and stepped aside.
Shen Yi and Wu Zhangkong entered Shrek Inner City.
“I originally prepared this entry token for that female disciple of yours. I didn’t think I’d end up using it for you.”
She hadn’t expected Wu Zhangkong to return with her when she set out this morning.
Wu Zhangkong remained silent; his mind was already wandering in a world of its own.
Once they entered the inner city, it seemed as if they were in a completely different place. In contrast to the hustle and bustle of the outer city, here, silence reigned. Stores lined the sides of a wide street paved with black brick. The architecture of every store was ancient, and they were mostly made of wood. It was as if Wu Zhangkong and Shen Yi had been transported ten thousand years into the past.
The architecture resembled that of Heaven Dou City, but the buildings weren’t as closely concentrated. Vegetation grew through the gaps and alleys between the buildings of Heaven Dou City, instilling it with a sense of grace.
All the stores were open, but few people wandered the streets. Wu Zhangkong quickened his pace, quickly heading into the city’s core.
Shen Yi walked at his side, her eyes glazed over as she reminisced about years ago when she would shadow him on a stroll through the inner city.
However, that time had long since passed. Everything was different now. The sunny youth who always wore a brilliant smile had become a man as cold as heavenly frost that wore white robes and carried a blue sword.
Shen Yi didn’t know how many years had gone by since she had last seen Wu Zhangkong smile. When his beloved passed away, his smile froze. Since then, he spent years in isolation at Eastsea City, refusing to return.
Sometimes, Shen Yi felt as if Wu Zhangkong’s spirit had already faded away and that he only continued living because of a promise to his beloved. A promise to preserve her name alongside his within his battle armor.
Even after leaving Shrek Academy, Wu Zhangkong continued to demonstrate how outstanding he was. He was only thirty-two years old, yet he was a seven-ringed Soul Sage. He could now work on crafting three-word battle armor. Shen Yi was convinced that, even if it were several times more difficult, he would still be able to accomplish it because of his unyielding will.
When she met his disciples and saw how carefully he guided them, Shen Yi had rejoiced. Wu Zhangkong finally had something important in his life again. Along with his beloved, four more people had made their way into his heart.
Wu Zhangkong had returned to the academy for the sake of his disciples.
After passing through several streets and finding himself in a familiar area, Wu Zhangkong came to a sudden halt.
Shen Yi bumped into his broad back, yelping in surprise.
“Why did you stop so suddenly!?” she protested as she rubbed her nose.
Wu Zhangkong’s cold eyes thawed a little as he remembered the junior sister that had always followed him around in the past. She always said the same exact thing.
More than ten years had passed in the blink of an eye. He was no longer the Wu Zhangkong from back then, and she was no longer the young lady with a sweet smile. They had grown up. They had matured. However, doing so came at a price, and he had definitely paid the most.
“Where is Teacher?” Wu Zhangkong asked.