Chapter 253 – To the Exam!
“You can go now. Continue working hard.”
The world before Tang Wulin melted away, fading into nothing.
His eyes shot open, surprised to find that the bathwater had cooled significantly. Still, it was refreshing for him.
Tang Wulin looked down to inspect his body but didn’t see any drastic transformations. Then, a visceral clawing need within the pits of his stomach had his mind elsewhere. I’m starving! How many days has it been?
Climbing out of the bathtub, he dried himself and quickly dressed, in a hurry to stave off his hunger with food.
But when he opened the washroom door, he nearly jumped with fright.
Instead of Wu Zhangkong, four people sat in the room, one of which was an unfamiliar white-haired woman.
He hadn’t seen her during his trip to Skysea City years ago.
“You’re finally awake!” Xie Xie leapt toward him.
“So I woke up in time?” Seeing them, his hopes rose. There should still be time before the exam, otherwise, his teammates wouldn’t be here.
Xie Xie grumbled, “What do you mean ‘in time’? We’re already late.”
“Huh?” Tang Wulin was so shocked, he even forgot his hunger.
“Let’s go.” Shen Yi stood up, giving Tang Wulin a meaningful look before walking out.
Xu Xiaoyan and Gu Yue also got up, the former beaming at him while the latter had an apathetic expression. Only, her eyes were far more expressive, concern lingering in their depths.
Tang Wulin nodded to them, then turned to Xie Xie. “Who is that?”
Xie Xie replied, “She’s a friend of Teacher Wu’s from Shrek. We’re already three hours late; Teacher Wu is helping us out at the academy right now, so we need to hurry over, otherwise, we might miss our chance.”
“I’m sorry. This is all my fault.” Tang Wulin slumped with shame and hung his head. His stinginess had started a domino-effect, from delaying the evolution of his bloodline to holding his teammates back and possibly missing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! And all this, just for the sake of saving money !
Xie Xie chuckled. “What’s the point in talking about it now? When you protected us at the forefront all those times, have we ever said thanks? How’s your body? How did your deep meditation go?”
Unable to tell Xie Xie about his seals, Tang Wulin could only smile bitterly and say, “I don’t know either, but I feel great.” He had realized that, apart from hunger, he was in good condition. Strength surged through his body, his soul power having grown. He estimated that it was around rank 27 or rank 28 now. Just like the first time, his soul power had not increased by much.
Though hunger still clouded his mind, he sensed that his body had strengthened by a third and, when considering his already immense physical power, it was a tremendous improvement.
What he truly looked forward to, however, was how his bloodline power had evolved, as well as the surprise Old Tang spoke of.
But now was not the time to test it out. In fact, he didn’t even have time to eat.
“Do you have anything to eat?” Tang Wulin asked Xie Xie.
Xie Xie shook his head.
But at that moment, Gu Yue held out a bag to Tang Wulin.
He accepted the bag, immediately knowing what it was just by the weight and feel of it. It was steamed buns and meat! They weren’t spectacular, but they were better than nothing!
He didn’t thank Gu Yue. Although they had grown estranged in the past three years, experiencing life-or-death situations together was a bond that would never break. Thanks was not needed for such a trivial matter.
It was three steamed buns and a portion of meat. They didn’t smell particularly appetizing, but desperate times called for desperate measures.
Tang Wulin devoured the food with such shocking speed that no one in the entire continent would dare say they were number one at speed eating in his presence. Not a single crumb was left by the time they reached the first floor.
Shen Yi had driven here. Her sleek, dark-green soul car was parked in the front.
“Get in,” Shen Yi said as she got into the driver’s seat. Xie Xie sat in the back but was promptly dragged out and forced to the front by Gu Yue.
Xu Xiaoyan, sitting next to the window in the back seat, covered her laugh with a hand. Tang Wulin sat by the opposite window, Gu Yue sandwiched between them.
Xie Xie silently cursed. Gu Yue is too controlling, hogging Wulin all to herself!
Gu Yue remained expressionless despite her actions, but Tang Wulin had long since become accustomed to it. He could see how much she cared just by the fact that the food she had given him, though meager, was enough to temporarily alleviate his hunger.
Gue Yue nudged him. He turned to see that she was offering him a juice box.
Tang Wulin’s heart warmed at the gesture. He smiled at her, before quickly drinking the juice.
Happiness flashed in Gu Yue’s eyes before she closed them to rest.
The two sat shoulder-to-shoulder, a cozy and peaceful atmosphere between them as Gu Yue’s cool arm pressed against Tang Wulin’s warm one.
Shen Yi drove fast but smooth, her reactions precise. She handled her car with skill, lacking any unnecessary movement so that it could display its full speed.
The scenery flitted by outside the window. It was class zero’s first time seeing the rest of Shrek City.
The city was just too lively and gigantic.
When Tang Wulin first left Glorybound City, he had thought Eastsea City was too much to behold, an entire world itself.
And now, he felt the same about Shrek City; only, this time, he was comparing to Eastsea City.
This really is the continent’s number one city!
With Shen Yi’s speeding, they arrived at the legendary Shrek Academy within an hour.
Ancient city walls extending beyond their vision towered over them like an enormous dragon coiled around the academy, plain and undecorated without even a signboard to mark the location.
A large crowd was currently assembled outside the gate. It was a sea of people rowdy with noise and excitement.
Instead of entering through the front gate, Shen Yie drove off to the side. After seven or eight turns, they found themselves before the wall again and in front of a small gate.
Shen Yi pressed a button and the gate opened, revealing a new road and the soul car turned into the street.
The gate closed behind them. Their new surroundings were peaceful and tranquil as if by passing through that door they had cut their connections to the outside world and entered an era long gone.
“Are we in Shrek Academy now?” Xie Xie asked Shen Yi.
Shen Yi nodded. “This is Shrek Academy, or as some call it, Shrek Inner City. It was the original Shrek City, but after the city expanded, it became part of the academy. The entire city was built for the sake of the academy, so this is the core of the city as well as where students study. Only those recognized by the academy are permitted to enter Shrek Inner City.”
The car did not slow one bit as she explained, continuing to speed toward the academy’s core.
“Because you were late, your exam will be harder than normal. You’ll be tested on the same things, but will have less time to finish and might not even have a chance to rest throughout the entire process. Furthermore, if you do pass, you’ll only be working students.”
“Working students? What’s that?” Tang Wulin asked.
Shen Yi said, “It means you’ll have to pay for the costs to attend Shrek by yourself.”
“Huh?” Dread gripped Tang Wulin at the mere mention of spending money.
Xie Xie laughed and said proudly, “That’s fine. Our captain is great at making money. I’m sure he’ll help us out.”
Tang Wulin was helpless to retort. He was the one who put them in this predicament after all.
Shen Yi said, “You’re not paying the school money, but working for the school to pay for your tuition. Do you think Shrek Academy is short on money? Normal students all attend for free.”
Tang Wulin’s mood uplifted the moment he heard this. He had never been one to back down from hardship. Xie Xie, on the other hand, made a sour expression as words tumbled out of his mouth. “What work?”