“Oh.” Huo Yuhao had just wanted to go over what Beibei taught him about capturing skills but he paused after Tang Ya told him to listen.
The three of them started on their journey. As they walked, Tang Ya started to teach Huo Yuhao about Shrek Academy.
Shrek Academy was founded ten thousand years ago. Shrek means monster. Which is to say, the academy was originally founded for monsters.
The earliest school motto said that it will only cultivate monsters, not commoners. The monsters in this context meant prodigies.
Even the almighty founder of the Tang Clan was a graduate from Shrek Academy. It was also his class that brought the first glory to Shrek Academy. The academy at that time only had those students. In the history of Shrek Academy, they were known as Shrek’s Seven Devils.
The story of Shrek’s Seven Devils has long been popular. The most famous is still the Tang Clan’s master and his wife. Although the Tang Clan decayed over time, the Shrek Academy still withstood the test of time, gradually becoming the best academy on the continent.
Today, Shrek Academy has an important position in the continent. The main reason was because of the war four thousand years ago after the Douluo Continent and the Sun-Moon Continent collided.
When it first began, the three main empires on the Douluo Continent did not work together and they were losing. Even to the point that they were deeply invaded by the Sun-Moon Continent’s army.
At this critical time, the dean of the Shrek Academy took a stand and gathered the entire continent’s sixty Titled Douluos. The dean also became a temporary marshal to all three armies, leading them to victory and defeating the army of the Sun-Moon Empire to unite the continent under the name Douluo Continent. Only after the Sun-Moon Empire ceded land and paid reparations did they survive. However, their military strength was greatly reduced and they have never been able to oppose the combined strength of the three kingdom alliance again. Their military power is only equal to a single empire now.
That war made the school famous. Not only was it because Shrek Academy gathered Title Douluos, it was also because the dean became the marshal of the three armies. With his call to war, the three empire’s royalty were shocked to realize that even their own commander-in-chiefs were alumni of the academy. Under the unified deployment of the dean, the three empires’ armies were never in conflict again. It was only because of the three empires’ alliance that they achieved victory.
From that time on, Shrek Academy no longer belonged to any country, but existed as an independent entity.
Shrek Academy continuously promoted brilliant deans. Although it had a lofty status in the continent, they never discriminated and treated every country the same. They never kept a private army. They even kept the number of teachers at a certain level. Therefore, Shrek Academy stayed as a school and didn’t give any country a sense of danger. So, the school survived, and it’s position in the continent is not easily challenged by any empire.
Shrek Academy is located in the southern region of the Heaven-Spirit Empire. To its southeast is Star Dou Forest; to its East, the Dou-Ling Empire; to its South, the Star Luo Empire. It can be said to be the center of the three great empires.
Tang Ya told Huo Yuhao, currently, academy students are divided into two denominations: inner and outer. Every year, there are around one thousand new students. But, the total number of students in the academy never exceeds five thousand. From entering the academy to graduation takes around twelve years. That is to say, the academy’s expulsion rate is very high. If a student can’t pass the school’s examination, the school would expel that student without any mercy.
So, those who can actually graduate from Shrek Academy are all heavenly geniuses.
It can be said that Shrek Academy is the real cradle for the strong. The Heaven-Spirit Empire, Dou-Ling Empire and Star Luo Empire would fight for spots within each year’s entering class, this could even result in political calamities. Just from this, one can see the reputation of Shrek Academy.
Due to hostilities toward Shrek Academy, the Sun-Moon Empire never requested to send any of their students to study there. In the Sun-Moon empire, there are also many reputable schools that have reached a comparable standard after thousands of years of development. However, the Sun-Moon Empire’s military force has always been under restriction. They are not allowed to expand so it gave the appearance of modesty.
“Yuhao, after you enter the academy, you will be cultivating in the outer school. The outer school is divided into many departments so you should temporarily enter the control type department. You can practice spirit guidance at the same time. What do you think?” Tang Ya asked after explaining the basic situation of the academy.
“Teacher Xiao Ya, what is spirit guidance?” Huo Yuhao asked.
Tang Ya responded, “The spirit guidance department is focused on learning how to make spirit guidance weapons.” When she came to the words spirit guidance weapons, she clenched her teeth tightly.
“Spirit guidance weapons?” Huo Yuhao still didn’t understand. It’s not his fault. His experience from growing up in a closed environment was small and Shrek Academy is the continent’s number one academy.
Beibei saw that Tang Ya’s expression didn’t look good and replaced her in responding to Huo Yuhao. “Spirit guidance devices have a lot of connection to our Tang Clan. Spirit guidance devices are basically tools which you can activate using Spirit Power. The higher your Spirit Power, the stronger the force exerted. Which means, even if you are a Tool Spirit Master, if you have a weapon-type spirit guidance device, you can still exhibit a powerful offensive force. The rise of the spirit guidance weapons is the reason the Tang Clan declined.”
“We were still the most powerful four thousand years ago. The collision of the Sun-Moon continent was the reason why we declined” said Yang Ya with hatred. “The Tang Clan was famous because of its hidden weapons and made money through selling these weapons. From the start, almost every single country would buy a set amount. Even other clans and sects would buy from us as well.”
“Four thousand years ago, the Sun-Moon continent collided with our Doulu continent and war began. The three empires equipped with our hidden weapons fought with the Sun-Moon Empire. Even though the Sun-Moon Empire did not have significant advancements in Spirit Master cultivation, they had more significant development of spirit guidance devices. Using those spirit activated weapons, they were stronger as a force than using our Tang Clan hidden weapons. In the early battles, our Douluo continent empires suffered heavy mortalities.”
“Even though we won the war, the use of our Tang Clan hidden weapons was called into question. From that time on, each country began to significantly reduce their purchase of our hidden weapons. Even though the Tang Clan had a lot of funds, we followed our first master’s wishes and donated most of it. They were used to change the living conditions of people in poor regions and to build schools for their education. So, we didn’t have much leftover.”
“At the time, the Tang Clan had many thousands of people. The speed of decline was way too fast. In less than two hundred years, our Tang Clan had hit the bottom. The once magnificent, number one Tang Clan lost its glory. When it reached my generation, the only people left were me, Dad and Mom, the three of us. One time, in the hunt for a Spirit Beast, Mom and Dad left me. Tang Clan was then left with me alone.”
Speaking to this point, tears followed down Tang Ya’s smooth, exquisite face. she unintentionally tightly clenched her fists.
“Teacher Xiao Ya, are the Tang Clan’s hidden weapons really no match for the spirit guidance weapons?” Huo Yuhao muttered.
Tang Ya sighed and said, “From certain aspects, it is true. The Sun-Moon Empire not only brought spirit guidance weapons but also a vast amounts of mineral deposits. These precious minerals are all very good for Spirit Power guidance and suitable for making spirit guidance devices. This means that in the past few thousand years, the development of spirit guidance weapons went rapidly. This made our Tang Clan hidden weapons lose even more market share. However, based on fine details and clever designs, our hiddens weapons are definitely above spirit guidance devices. Especially a few top hidden weapons. But, the creation of those weapons is also very complicated.”
Beibei patted Tang Ya’s head. “The development of spirit guidance devices was a big blow to our hidden weapons. When I first met Tang Ya, she was still stubbornly holding on to the idea that hidden weapons were better. The reality is, spirit guidance devices replaced our hidden weapons as the standard weapon. There is a good reason. First is because it is easy for everyone to accept. Especially for Tool Spirit Masters with no offense abilities, having a spirit guidance device meant they could become Battle Spirit Masters in an instant. All they would need is the ability to use Spirit Power. So, Xiao Ya and I determined that for the growth of the Tang Clan, we cannot be so close-minded like the past. We need to immerse ourselves more in the world. If we want to re-establish the Tang Clan, not only will we need to understand spirit guidance devices but we also need to combine hidden weapons and spirit guidance devices to create a more powerful spirit guidance weapon. Only with this will there be a chance for our growth. So, any disciple of the Tang Clan will need to study spirit guidance weapons outside of cultivating their Battle Spirit.”
Huo Yuhao said, “Teacher Xiao Ya, Elder Brother, if spirit guidance weapons are this powerful, then why did the Sun-Moon Empire lose to our three empire alliance?”
Beibei smiled. “Even though spirit guidance weapons are not weak, the greatest spirit guidance weapon still can’t match against the fighting strength of Titled Douluos. But over the last few thousand years, extremely powerful spirit guidance weapons have started to appear that could even threaten Titled Douluos. Spirit guidance devices also have a problem, which is that the more powerful spirit weapons require a more powerful Spirit Master to use. If there is not enough Spirit Power to support it, then the power of a spirit guidance weapon will be extremely limited. So, after our two continents united, an interesting thing happened. On our side, everyone strived to learn about spirit guidance weapon usage. And on their side, they started to cultivate more powerful Spirit Masters. After a few thousand years, things have become more balanced.”
With Beibei and Tang Ya’s introduction, Huo Yuhao finally gained a basic understanding of Shrek Academy.
After Tang Ya wiped off her tears with Beibei’s sleeves, she said, “Little Yuhao, for you, the most important thing is to be able to stay in Shrek Academy. Beibei and I are already third year students. Now that I have obtained a thousand-year spirit ring, there should be no problems rising with him to the fourth year. After entering the fourth year, expulsion rates will not be very high. After a couple more years, we will even have the chance to study in the inner school. But you are different. You are just entering the academy as a first year student, so there will be tough competition. There will be an academy examination every three months. Only those who pass the exam can remain. Even though our Tang Clan has the qualification to enter a student, whether or not you can stay in the academy will depend on your own abilities. No one will be able to help you with this. Do you understand?”
Huo Yuhao seriously nodded his head. “Teacher Xiao Ya, I will definitely try my best. However, with yours and Elder Brother’s power, how can you still not be an inner school student?”
Tang Ya said: “It is not easy to gain admission into the inner school of Shrek Academy. The school motto has never changed. The outer school was created much later under the high demand of the three empires to produce more talented people. However, from a certain aspect, only the students that can enter the inner school are the actual students of Shrek Academy. Within those walls, people are prodigies, weirdos, or even monsters. The students from the outer school will have an assessment after grade six. Passing the assessment means the ability to graduate. Furthermore, only the best few from the assessment can receive the chance to take the entrance assessment for the inner school. Only by passing that can one enter the inner school. The inner school also requires six years of study. It has been said that anyone who can graduate from the inner school are at least at the level of Spirit Emperor! They will also receive the best treatment from all countries, even the the Sun-Moon Empire.”
“So amazing!” Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but feel fascinated. He secretly thought to himself, *If one day I can become a Shrek graduate, I can go back to Duke’s Estate to see Mother’s remains.* His mom will then be able to rest in peace without worrying about him. With the thought of that, he tightly clenched his fists.
Beibei said seriously, “They are far more than just amazing. I have seen an upperclassman who went into the Star Dou forest by himself. With his bare hands, he defeated three ten-thousand-year Spirit Beasts without killing them. He also took the beasts back to the school. It was said that this was his tenth grade assessment task.”
Tang Ya said, “I also heard there was once a twelfth grade upperclassman. At graduation, he was already a ranked seventy Spirit Sage and possessed a red hundred-thousand-year spirit ring. That upperclassman later stayed at the academy and was trained as the next dean.”
After listening to their narrations, Huo Yuhao couldn’t wait to join the academy. Spending these last couple of days with Tang Ya and Beibei, he deeply felt the benefit of a great teacher. Unquestionably, Shrek Academy was the best choice! He swore to himself that no matter how much effort, he will make sure to stay in the outer school, so he can get the chance to enter the inner school in the future.
With this attitude, Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but think about the few Tang Clan skills he had learned while walking. Tang Ya and Beibei’s introduction on Shrek Academy had ignited the fire within his heart.
Seeing Huo Yuhao’s manner, Tang Ya and Beibei looked at each other and laughed. When they first entered Shrek Academy, weren’t they just like him?
After a few hours, Huo Yuhao finally saw where Shrek Academy stood.
It’s better to describe it as a city than a single school. Following the main road out of a thicket, tall city walls extend out from the grassland.
Shrek Academy covers an expansive area on the grassland. It really is a city called Shrek City. On the Douluo continent, Shrek City is one of the biggest cities and contains more than two million people. Shrek Academy governs this city with independent power that does not pay taxes to any empire. With this privilege, not a single academy, including those in the Sun-Moon Empire, can match them.
Shrek Academy is not set in the center of the city, but is actually in the eastern section to face the distant Star Dou Great Forest.
Shrek City is surrounded by land in all directions and easily accessible through transportation. It is not only a place containing Shrek Academy but also an important economic center for the three original empires of the Douluo continent. Because Shrek Academy is here, public order is very good in the city. Trading here is not only fair but also reassuring. So, when merchants from the three great empires conduct international transactions, everyone picks Shrek City for their businesses.
Shrek City’s south, west and north gates allow anyone to pass through. Only the eastern gate is restricted to Shrek Academy.
Huo Yuhao followed Beibei and Tang Ya to the eastern gate.
Even though this gate’s use is restricted to Shrek Academy, it was very lively this time. The eastern gate had around five thousand people crowded outside. Most merchants had heard rumors and moved. There was probably more liveliness outside of the city here than inside.
“Little Brother, you came at the perfect time when the academy is accepting new students. You can also smoothly join this year’s class of freshmen, three years lower than Tang Ya and me. These regular freshmen not only have to pass an examination but also need recommendations from the capital cities in the three great empires. This is the liveliest time for Shrek Academy each year.”
Huo Yuhao asked with a low voice, “Elder Brother, is the examination really hard?”
Beibei paused for a second and glanced at Huo Yuhao.
Tang Ya frankly said, “He will know sooner or later. This can also be a motivation for him in the future so just tell him. Little Yuhao, to be accepted into Shrek Academy, there are two requirements. One is, you cannot be over twelve years of age. The second is, your Spirit Power must not be lower than rank fifteen. From a potentials perspective, you would not pass.”
She had not said anything that would have made Huo Yuhao give more efforts because he had already been giving it his all.
Huo Yuhao seriously answered, “Then would the examination in three months also test Spirit Power?” With his body’s abilities, to reach rank fifteen from rank eleven within three months will be an impossible feat.
Beibei shook his head. “No. Examinations at Shrek Academy always involve actual battle. As a teacher said in the past, numbers are meaningless in front of actual fights.”
Huo Yuhao forcefully nodded his head, “Teacher Xiao Ya, Elder Brother, it’s possible that I cannot match up to most of these new students but I will definitely surpass most of them in the future.” His voice carried a calm tone above his years and his eyes contained a firm determination.
Beibei was more than a head taller than Huo Yuhao and extended his hand to hold Yuhao’s shoulder, “Go on. If you can pass the next three months, Elder Brother will watch you go till the end.”
Beibei and Tang Ya took Huo Yuhao and walked through the crowd to get to the east gate.
Outside of the gate, there were about a dozen guards the same age as them, each dressed in yellow with a green symbol on their chest. These are the second and third-year uniforms at Shrek Academy.
Seeing Beibei, these young students exclaimed, “Brother Bei, you are back.”
Beibei smiled and greeted every student, then said a couple of words to someone. That student looked at Huo Yuhao, immediately nodded, “Brother Bei, we would never doubt your words, just take this little brother inside for registration.”
Beibei smiled and gave a thumbs up with his right hand, “Thanks, next time I’ll take everyone out to eat.”
That person laughed, “You said it. We will never let this opportunity go.”
Beibei raised his hand and gave him a high five, “I will definitely not let everyone down.” As he finished talking, he and Tang Ya took Huo Yuhao and entered the east gate of Shrek Academy.
Not far away, a new student who just finished the registration examination asked an upperclassman: “Senior, who is that upperclassman that just walked by?”
“That is Brother Bei, name Beibei. Everyone calls him Thunderbolt Beibei. He possesses the strongest beast Battle Spirit, Blue Lightning Tyrant Dragon and is also extremely talented. When he was thirteen, he had already reached rank thirty. It is said that he is already close to rank forty now. Within a year or two, he might possibly become a Spirit Ancestor. He is one of the strongest in the outer school. If it’s not to stay near Tang Ya, with Brother Bei’s ability, he should have already been able to take the level five assessment. If he breaks rank forty, even the level six assessment wouldn’t be hard for him. Brother Bei is not only powerful but also an extremely nice guy. He is the most beloved person in the outer school and also the prince charming in the hearts of many female students. However, he is very faithful. For Tang Ya, he had rejected numerous girls. There are even many admirers in the inner school. Everyone says that within two years, Brother Bei can definitely enter the inner school.”
Beibei and Tang Ya took Huo Yuhao into Shrek Academy. Unlike Huo Yuhao’s imagination, Shrek Academy’s campus is beautiful, filled with all types of different plants. Walking on the wide road, no matter which direction, there are at least ten different types of plants in sight, all meticulously pruned.
As they walked about two hundred more meters, a couple of huge statues blocked their view. There were about ten of those statues, each at least ten meters in height and were carved from the hardest granite.
The front row only had three statues. The center one was an old man with a pair of glasses and a smile on his face. His figure was around average but a little chubby. He looked like a kind gentleman.
Beibei told Huo Yuhao, “The one in the center is the founder of Shrek Academy and the first dean, Flander. To his left is one of my ancestors. He created the foundation of the current teachings in Shrek Academy Battle Spirit courses. He is one of the top ten experts, Grandmaster Yu Xiaogang. My mother is his direct descendant. The woman on the right, Liu Er Long, is also my ancestor. The two of them and Flander formed the Golden Triangle. If Flander is said to have created Shrek Academy, then Grandmaster is the school’s real spirit. He was the one who trained the Shrek Seven Devils who now stand behind them.”
Grandmaster’s statue looked like a slightly slim, middle aged man; while Liu Er Long’s statue was a graceful, middle aged woman.
Behind them, there were seven statues. When Huo Yuhao’s gaze fell upon the first statue, his body shivered from shock.
It was a tall figure of a handsome young man. The amazing thing was his pair of eyes. His forehead also had the word “king.” Even though it was only a statue, it had an aura of greatness.
“Behind the Golden Triangle are the statues of the Shrek Seven Devils, who were responsible for the brilliance of the academy. The first is the White Tiger Douluo, Dai Mubai. The second is the Sausage Douluo, Oscar. The third is our Tang Clan’s founder, Thousand Hands Douluo, Tang San.”
Within these seven people, Tang San was the most handsome. His long blue hair draped upon his back with a simple outfit. There were many blue vines that encircled the statue showing that obviously, his Battle Spirit was Blue Silver Grass. He showed a hint of a smile at the corner of his mouth. His eyes focused on the fifth statue in the row who was a woman with a scorpion braid.
“The fourth is the Evil Phoenix Douluo, Ma Hongjun. The fifth is our Tang Clan’s founder’s wife, Flexible Boned Douluo Xiao Wu, who was said to be a hundred-thousand-year Spirit Beast turned human. The person after that is the strongest Support Spirit Master, Nine Treasured Douluo Ning Rongrong. She was the Sausage Doulou’s wife. The last one is Nether Douluo Zhu Zhuqing, who’s the White Tiger Douluo’s wife.”
Each statue of the first generation Shrek Seven Devils had their own unique expressions. From the fact that they all became Titled Douluos, one can see how powerful they once were.
Tang Ya’s focus fell upon the statue of Thousand Hands Douluo, Tang San. The Golden Triangle and Shrek Seven Devils created Shrek Academy’s foundation. Over the next ten thousand years, Shrek Academy had produced numerous prodigies and powerful figures. Even then, there were only ten statues here; never another added.
Beibei continued his presentation, “From here the road divides. To the left is the Battle Spirit Campus. To the right is the Spirit Guidance Campus. These are Shrek Academy’s two main departments belonging to the outer school. In comparison, the Battle Spirit School is much larger. The Battle Spirit School also has many subdivisions. We will first apply to the Battle Spirit School. You will need to pass the first new student examination before you are allowed to apply to the Spirit Guidance School.
Huo Yuhao’s gaze was still captivated by the ten statues. His mother’s stories played over and over again in his mind and he felt waves of shock.
Walking left from the statues, the road was still very wide, enough for four or five carriages side by side. The road sign read: Lakeside Trail.
Between the shade of the green trees on the right hand side, you could almost see a wide expanse of water. In other words, there was a huge lake behind the ten statues.
Tang Ya noticed Huo Yuhao’s gaze and proudly said, “That was built to commemorate our Tang Clan’s ancestor, Thousand Hand Douluo Tang San. It is called the Sea God Lake; because legend says, our ancestor Tang San inherited the Sea God’s will. The Sea God Lake is very wide and is filled with underground water. The inner school of the Shrek Academy is on an island in the center of this lake. All the outer school are proud of being able to step on the island in the center.”
Beibei looked in the direction of the Sea God Lake with determination sparkling in his eyes.
The Sea God Lake was really big. They walked for fifteen minutes to the south and another fifteen minutes to the west before the trail ended. A wide, rectangular plaza came into sight. On the side stood a sign that read: Shrek Plaza.
Behind the Shrek Plaza stood many tall academic buildings with different colors. The main colors were white, yellow, purple and black. Looking north from the plaza, there was also a cluster of grey-colored academic buildings.
Beibei pointed at the academic buildings on the other side of the plaza, “The colors of the academic buildings represent different ranks. They are separated by the color of the spirit rings. The white academic building is for new students, just like the lowest ten-year spirit rings. Yellow is for the second and third years. Purple is for the fourth and fifth years. Black is the sixth year’s academic building. If you can walk out from the black academic building, you can receive the outer school’s graduation certificate.
“The grey buildings on the far side belong to the spirit guidance department. The spirit guidance buildings take up about a third of the main academic area. Beside those academic buildings in the front, the backside has more designated areas such as the Spirit Battle Arena, Examination Area, Dormitory Area, Office Area, etc.”
The white new student academic buildings were at the far south. They were also closest to the Lakeside Trail. The three of them walked from Shrek Plaza and directly into the white academic buildings.
Since it was enrollment time for the new students, the new student buildings were extremely lively. Many who had passed the entrance examination were here for registration.
Under Beibei and Tang Ya, Huo Yuhao had a very smooth registration. The tuition was paid by Beibei. One year of tuition was ten gold coins, and that didn’t even include the food cost. The tuition was nonrefundable even if they failed the first exam and were forced to withdraw.
After receiving the dormitory keys, two sets of uniforms, and a white new student badge, Huo Yuhao followed Tang Ya and Beibei out of the new student academic buildings.
Tang Ya said, “Little Yuhao, the dormitory is right behind the academic buildings and is the largest building on the whole campus. You can go by yourself later. The first day of school is in three days. You should get used to your surroundings for now. The first year of tuition is on us, but after this, you will have to pay for yourself. Every department has their own tournaments with prizes. Also, you are already a Spirit Master. After registration at this school, you can receive a salary from the three great empires. If you don’t overspend, it should be enough for food.
Huo Yuhao memorized everything Tang Ya told him and was about to say farewells to Teacher Xiao Ya and his elder brother when Beibei tightened his eyebrows as he saw the notice on the nearby bulletin board.
Huo Yuhao didn’t need to get closer. Circulating his Spirit Power, his Spirit Eyes’ magnification ability activated and clearly saw the words on the notice.
His mother had taught him to read ever since he was young. Even though he had never gone to school, his level of education was not bad.
The notice said, the first new student class, homeroom teacher: Zhou Yi….
Zhou Yi? I think I am a student in class one! Because Huo Yuhao had registered early, he was directly put into new student class one.
Tang Ya also discovered what Beibei was focusing on and said with a low voice, “Ah? Why does it have to be that perverted hag Zhou Yi? Isn’t she teaching the third years? How did she get assigned to teach new students here?”
Beibei laughed bitterly, “I heard that Teacher Zhou was too strict when teaching the third year students and only a tenth of her students graduated to fourth year. Also, many students had reported her to the school. It was probably because of this that she was relegated to the new student’s year. Little Brother, you need to be careful. Even though there are not many monster students in the outer school, there are a lot of monster teachers. The worst being this Teacher Zhou.”