Chapter 107: The Semifinals Lineup!

    Huo Yuhao, utilizing the strength in his legs, quickly stood up from the ground, then reached out and grabbed Wang Dong's ankles.

    Wang Dong's body bent forwards as he pointed his downwards-facing legs forwards in order to wrap them around Huo Yuhao's neck and trap his head between his legs.

    Huo Yuhao immediately retracted both of his arms to beside his neck, then reached out and grabbed Wang Dong's ankled again.

    "Your arms can't twist my thighs." Wang Dong snorted. He didn't dodge Huo Yuhao's strike, instead leaning his upper body backwards and supporting his body with both hands on the floor. At the same time, he tried to encircle Huo Yuhao's neck with renewed vigor.

    However, Huo Yuhao had an iron grip on Wang Dong's ankles; no matter how much Wang Dong struggled, he couldn't move his legs forwards even an inch.

    Huo Yuhao laughed and said, "You're still too weak. You call these matchstick-thin legs thighs?"

    Wang Dong continued to exert his strength in disbelief, but Huo Yuhao's grip remained firm. Huo Yuhao was even slowly prying Wang Dong's legs apart.

    "That's impossible! You only have two soul rings, how could you be stronger than me?" Wang Dong said, unconvinced.

    Huo Yuhao laughed again. "I have a soul bone."

    "So do I!" Wang Dong rebutted, refusing to yield to Huo Yuhao.

    Huo Yuhao became speechless when he heard this, and thought about telling Wang Dong about the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion's trunk bones. He'd also felt his strength increase palpably once he'd absorbed the Life Gold energy. If it hadn't been for that, he wouldn't have been able to resist Wang Dong's legs so easily.

    Don't think that Wang Dong, who possessed the Radiant Butterfly Goddess, was weak. On the contrary, his abilities were much greater than his slender frame suggested, due to his second martial soul being one of the strongest strength type martial souls on the continent, which once belonged to the continent's first hereditary martial soul of the sect-Hao Tianchui!

    To think that Huo Yuhao could defeat Wang Dong when he had not cultivated as much power as Wang Dong, it must have been a victory purely in terms of an increase in his physical body. Of course, neither of them had used their soul power either.

    Wang Dong had already used all his strength, yet he still wasn't able to clamp his legs around Huo Yuhao's neck. Instead, his legs were being pulled further and further apart, causing the both of them to look rather comical. One was standing there with his hands apart beside his head, while the other was doing a handstand with his legs apart. Furthermore, half of Wang Dong's body was outside of their room.

    "Wow, what're you guys doing? Do you need to be so affectionate?" Xu Sanshi's voice could be heard as he, Bei Bei, and Ma Xiaotao emerged from the room. All of them could tell with one look that Wang Dong's body was the one sticking out of the room.

    Wang Dong was both ashamed and annoyed as he said, "Let go of me."

    Huo Yuhao finally let go, then immediately took a few steps backwards as Wang Dong flipped backwards and stood upright, glaring at Huo Yuhao. Wang Dong then turned to face Xu Sanshi and the rest and said, "We're just practising our fusion skills, is there anything wrong with that?"

    He definitely couldn't say that they were fighting because Huo Yuhao had touched his butt.

    Huo Yuhao touched his nose with a smile.

    Ma Xiaotao burst out laughing, then said, "Go on, young people should be lively."

    Wang Dong humphed, then said, "You aren't so old yourself, Ms. Tao!"

    Ma Xiaotao replied, "Alright, let's go. Teacher Wang has called for a pre-battle meeting. We'll have to compete tomorrow, so we need to make our final preparations now. " After being lectured by Wang Yan the other day, Ma Xiaotao's temper was much more restrained. She had become less of a maniac, and was acting more calm; she was finally showing some semblance of a team leader's qualities.

    "Tomorrow?" Huo Yuhao gasped, surprised. "You must mean the day after. We just competed yesterday, so the other teams should still be competing in the quarter-finals today. We should get a day's rest after the end of the competition, right? Ms Tao, you must have remembered the dates wrongly."

    Wang Dong snapped, "Ms Tao didn't make a mistake, it's you who got confused. You were in deep meditation for an entire day and night, and I'm dead tired from trying to protect you, yet you still bullied me."

    "Er..." Huo Yuhao didn't expect that a day and a night had already passed. In light of this revelation, he noticed the dark bags under Wang Dong's eyes and felt deeply touched.

    Bei Bei gave Huo Yuhao a thumbs up, then said, "My Little Junior is amazing. Let's go."

    Wang Dong said, "Senior, you're being biased. I'm obviously the youngest one; shouldn't you be calling me your Junior?"

    Bei Bei gave him a strange look and said, "Really? Are you certain that you want to be my Little Junior?"

    Wang Dong felt rather sheepish after getting stared at like that, so he stuck out his tongue and said, "Who cares, let's go." He then rushed out of the meeting room before the others.

    Huo Yuhao followed, rather confused as he asked, "Big Senior, what's gotten into him? Why'd he just let it go?"

    Bei Bei chuckled and said, "Don't ask so many questions, it's fine like that for now. Let's go, we have a meeting to attend. Tomorrow's competition is no joke."

    Huo Yuhao was still in shock about how he'd managed to stay in deep meditation for a full day and night. Previously, he thought that he had only mediated for a very short while-only a few minutes. Now, he realized first-hand how amazing the results of deep meditation were. Besides, it was also a great way to evade monotonous training. No wonder every soul master yearned for such an opportunity.

    As these thoughts ran through his mind, Huo Yuhao followed the others into the meeting room.

    Wang Yan was clearly the first to reach the room, and had been waiting for everyone. Seeing that everyone had arrived, he said, in a deep voice, "Alright, let's begin the meeting."

    "Now that the quarter-finals have finished, the semifinals will start tomorrow. We will undoubtedly be in the first match. Another round will take place tomorrow. After the semifinals, there will be 3 days till the final.

    "Teacher Wang, who's our opponent in the semi-finals?" Xiao Xiao asked curiously.

    Wang Yan replied, "I'm still unsure. For fairness' sake, the semi-finals pairings are to be decided through lot drawings. As the reigning champions of the tournament, we'll definitely compete tomorrow. Thus, we can't make any specific preparations to target our opponent. Our only option is to consider everyone in our preparations. Even though this is a drawback, all of our opponents have to face the same situation as us. They're also not sure whether or not they'll meet us."

    "The remaining 4 teams are us, the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, the Star Luo National Academy, and the Imperial Mystical Academy."

    "It's fair to say that the other 3 academies are all old rivals of our academy. They're all very powerful, with our strongest rival undoubtedly being the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. Even if we don't meet them in the semifinals, we'll meet them in the finals. Thus, we need to aim our strategies at them."

    "Let me brief you all on these 3 teams, as well as what we'll have to take notice of when we compete, and the specific strategies against them."

    "The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy is definitely our strongest opponent out of these 3 teams. Their team leader, Ma Rulong, hasn't appeared yet. However, based on previous tournaments, Ma Rulong should be a soul emperor. Luckily, he's the only soul emperor from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy."

    "Of the 14 people in the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy's official and preparatory teams, only Ma Rulong, Xiao Hongchen and Meng Hongchen haven't competed yet. Both Xiao Hongchen and Meng Hongchen are from the preparatory team. For reference, Meng Hongchen is that young lady that Wang Dong tried to pick up back then." Wang Yan couldn't help but grin and look at Wang Dong as he said this.

    Wang Dong did not seem to take this awkwardly at all.

    Wang Yan continued, "The rest of their official team are all soul kings, but only 2 of them are above Rank 55. The rest of them are below Rank 55 but above Rank 50. They've also all inherited martial souls with some useful characteristics to soul engineers, that not ones that are too outstanding. They're main strongpoint is their soul tools. As for the 5 preparatory team members who've already competed, 2 are soul ancestors and 3 are soul elders. However, we shouldn't see these preparatory team members at all."

    "The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy isn't our strongest rival because they have nurtured students that can match us, but due to the countless changes in their soul tools. Without a doubt, they must have many soul tools that they haven't used in this tournament, and they have kept these soul tools to use them against us. This has always been the case in previous tournaments. Over these past few decades, the Sun Moon Empire's soul tools have been changing at a faster rate, and are becoming increasingly difficult to handle. That's why our strategies have to be able to adapt against them. In the team round, we'll likely be at a disadvantage because of the group advantage of their soul tools. But in the individual round or the 2-2-3 fight, we won't be at a disadvantage. We'll have our chance their."

    Huo Yuhao asked, "Teacher Wang, are there any more changes in the rules for the finals?"

    Wang Yan nodded and said, "A team round will be organized, along with an individual round and a 2-2-3 fight. Furthermore, these 3 competition segments will be completed in one go after both teams have chosen all 7 competing members. There will be no intermission. The eventual champion will be the one that wins 2 out of the 3 segments."

    Huo Yuhao was stunned when he heard his words. It wasn't easy to become the champion of the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament!

    Wang Yan said, "However, the Imperial Mystical Academy from the Heavenly Soul Empire is also our rival. Only us, the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, and the Imperial Mystical Academy have soul emperors amongst everyone in the tournament. The Imperial Mystical Academy is the royal academy of the Heavenly Soul Empire. All the royal members of the empire will enter the academy to learn. Their lineup for this tournament is very strong: 1 soul emperor and 6 soul kings. However, soul masters are their main force. Their soul engineers will provide support to their soul masters. Among their 7 official team members, 2 of their soul kings are soul engineers. From my observations, they shouldn't even be Class 5 soul engineers, and are instead most likely Class 4 like He Caitou."

    "Our last opponent is the Star Luo National Academy from the Star Luo Empire. Among these 3 rivals, the Star Luo National Academy is the weakest. But this doesn't necessarily mean that they are the easiest to deal with. This is the Star Luo Empire, their home turf. Furthermore, the overall power of the Star Luo National Academy isn't that weak either. Although they don't have a soul emperor to hold down the fort, they still have up to 6 soul kings. Things have gone smoothly for them so far, or at least, they're finding it smoother than us."

    "The last 2 rounds will be very tedious for us. Even though we have two soul emperors-Xiaotao and Yueheng-our rivals still possess a greater overall strength in numbers. Their overall abilities aren't inferior to ours. The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy and Imperial Mystical Academy are even somewhat superior to us in terms of overall abilities. The only we'll become champions is by giving it our all. It's like the first time we faced Justsky Academy."

    Wang Yan didn't sound relaxed at all. Everyone from Shrek Academy also felt heavy in their hearts.

    Indeed! Even though they had two soul emperors and Ling Luochen, who was a control-type soul king, their preparatory team members were still much weaker than their rivals.

    Among their 4 soul ancestors, Xu Sanshi's soul power was only Rank 47. The rest were even worse. As for the last 3, Wang Dong was only a soul elder, Xiao Xiao had barely become a soul elder, and Huo Yuhao was only a soul grandmaster. While they all had twin martial souls, their cultivations were still very weak! How much could they truly contribute in the top-ranked team competition of the tournament?

    According to Wang Yan's arrangements in the previous round, it was more likely that Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong wouldn't participate in the team battle. Even if the two of them were sent out together, it would still pull Shrek Academy's overall power down. Although Huo Yuhao's soul skill was very practical, and the Golden Road was a rather decent crowd-control skill, could their powers be fully unleashed against tough opponents? This was also under the circumstance that their opponents were entirely unaware of their capabilities.

    Wang Yan swept his gaze from left to right. He naturally realized that not everyone was fully confident. He gently said, "I didn't expect us to become the champions ever since the day we came to Star Luo City, as we're not champion material. I'm already extremely satisfied that we've made it this far. All of your hard work is clear for everyone to see. All of you have already preserved Shrek's glory, thus I hope that all of you won't be pressured in the upcoming competition. Whatever the result, I will ask for all of you to receive merits when we return."

    Wang Yan's words sounded normal to Huo Yuhao and the rest of the preparatory team members, as they had indeed sacrificed quite a lot. However, his words sounded a bit piercing to Ma Xiaotao, Dai Yueheng, and Ling Luochen.

    As official team members, they faced a worse predicament than the preparatory team members in this tournament. Even though Wang Yan's words had pricked them, they didn't know how to reply.

    Wang Yan seemed relaxed as he spoke; it was as if he didn't notice the burning radiance in Ma Xiaotao and the other two's eyes. "Our mission has already been completed. I shall describe our opponents now. We'll analyze the capabilities of each team member before deciding our strategies. We'll adjust who competes accordingly."

    This pre-competition meeting went on for nearly 6 hours, all the way from lunch through dinner until the sun set.

    Shrek Academy wasn't the only anxious one. The other 3 were also anxious. The overall victor of the tournament was about to be decided. This wasn't only a battle of glory between these 4 top-ranked academies, but was also the most crucial battle for the competing team members.

    It must be known that the members of the top teams would receive the most distinguished treatment no matter which power they joined. If they were to assume positions in an empire, they would be conferred titles, and this glory would accompany them throughout their entire lives! It was fair to say that the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament had become a platform for the various empires in the continent to pick and fight for the best talents.

    If not for the prestigious status that Shrek Academy held, many powers, families, and even sects would have poached their students already.

    Huo Yuhao felt that his body was extremely stiff as he walked out of the meeting room. Spending the entire afternoon memorizing the capabilities and strategies of his opponents was indeed very dull and boring. He would rather run in metal clothing than do this.

    After stretching his lazy body, Huo Yuhao felt much better. As his blood began to circulate more smoothly throughout his body, the fatigue he'd felt earlier disappeared. The prosperous life power in his body seemed to have been awakened by this simple action.

    "Junior brother, go and get some food." Bei Bei patted him on the shoulder.

    "Okay." Huo Yuhao answered hurriedly.

    "Eldest senior brother, do you think we can become the champions in the end?" Huo Yuhao asked softly. While Ma Xiaotao and Dai Yueheng appeared to be the most powerful among them, Huo Yuhao was the most convinced by his gentle-looking and refined, yet intelligent and approachable eldest senior brother.

    Bei Bei smiled and said, "What? Are you unconfident?"

    Huo Yuhao shook his head and said, "It's not that I'm not confident. I just think that our opponents are extremely strong now that I've heard Teacher Wang Yan's analysis!"

    Bei Bei laughed. "That's right, our opponents are very strong. Their teams are almost entirely made up of at least soul kings. But I'm confident that we'll be the champions in the end."

    "Eh?" Huo Yuhao was a little stunned as he looked at him.

    Bei Bei retracted his smile a little and said gently, "Confidence stems from one's own abilities. Shrek Academy was able to become the best academy on the continent because the academy has never once been hasty. Every single person that was sent to participate in this tournament has achieved our skills through our own hard work. That's why Shrek Academy's soul elders and soul ancestors are different from those of other academies. Our soul kings are even more different. At the soul emperor level, the gap is even larger. Maybe our opponents can use soul tools or some strategies and tactics to close this gap, but if our true abilities can be sparked by our fighting will, and if we can light the fire of glory for Shrek, we'll win for sure."

    Everyone was walking out of the meeting room sequentially when Bei Bei said this, and as he didn't lower his voice, they all heard what he'd said.

    Ma Xiaotao, Dai Yueheng, and Ling Luochen's expressions changed. The look in their eyes as they watched Bei Bei also changed slightly.

    Huo Yuhao nodded, then asked curiously, "Eldest senior brother, what do you mean by destructive enthusiasm?"

    Bei Bei chuckled and replied, "Do you think there are really so many talents in the world that are able to become a soul king before they're 20 years old? Our Shrek Academy nurtures such students through a teaching model that has been built up over tens of thousands of years, as well as the extremely hard work of the talented students. Perhaps other academies can nurture a few such students, but have you ever wondered how those soul engineers with ordinary martial souls are able to do it?"

    "I dare say that those from Shrek Academy will all have the ability to become a Titled Douluo so long as they're able to survive in the outside world. However, it's much less likely for people from other academies who've competed against them in the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament. That's because a lot of the increase in their powers isn't attributed to their own hard work."

    "Haven't you ever realized that the most outstanding teams all come from the royal families of various empires, or are the best academies of the different empires? I'm sure that at least half of those who are competing used different types of pills and treasures to increase their cultivation. Especially the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy from the Sun Moon Empire, which is very wealthy! You've also seen the soul tools from the Illustrious Virtue Hall before."

    Huo Yuhao immediately understood. "So their powers were enhanced through medicine."

    Bei Bei nodded his head and said, "It's undeniable that several medicines are beneficial to soul masters. However, moderation is key. A lot of medicines possess poisonous components too. Apart from a select few medicines that can solidify one's foundations, it's best to consume medicine that increases one's soul power as little as possible. Ask Senior Ma and Senior Dai; they'll tell you that Shrek Academy has banned our students from consuming such medicine. That's because this form of cultivation method has no future. If one over-consumes these medicines, even by just a little bit, it can make it so that one will never be able to become a Titled Douluo."

    Ma Xiaotao's voice suddenly rang out, "Junior Bei Bei, you know quite a bit. How do you know so much about the inner courtyard even though you're from the outer courtyard?"

    Bei Bei turned around and smiled at Ma Xiaotao, "Senior, I can't tell you."

    Ma Xiaotao was stunned for a moment. "Why can't you tell me? Tell me."

    Bei Bei shook his head and said, "Saying it would offend someone."

    Everyone knew Ma Xiaotao's temper. She slapped her chest and said, "So what if you offend someone? I'll protect you."

    An uncomfortable expression appeared on Bei Bei's face as he said, "Alright, Sister Xiaotao. You must live up to your side of the bargain and protect me!"

    Ma Xiaotao was impatient and said, "Why are you dilly-dallying like a woman? Quickly, just say it!"

    Bei Bei smiled and revealed a mouthful of white teeth as he said, "You might have never eaten pork before, but you've surely seen a pig run."

    The moment he said that, he violently pulled the door next to him open. Whoosh! He immediately dashed inside. It appeared that, unknowingly, he'd already arrived outside of his own room.

    Ma Xiaotao was stunned when she heard this. She quickly reacted and cursed, "The nerve of you, Bei Bei! You dare to call me a pig." With that, she attempted to rush into Bei Bei's room.

    Ling Luochen quickly pulled her back as she tried to stifle a laugh and said, "Don't run. If you run, you'll have fallen for his ploy. Remember, he did talk about a running pig."

    Ma Xiaotao looked at her, and a chortle suddenly escaped her mouth. She couldn't help but laugh too.

    After this bout of tomfoolery, the somber atmosphere from the meeting before was greatly lightened.

    As Wang Yan stood in the doorway of the conference room, he couldn't help but sigh in admiration after seeing what had just happened. Bei Bei indeed possessed extraordinary leadership capabilities! As for the preparatory team, they appeared to be getting better and better.

    Five years later, when the children from the preparatory team grew up, they'd probably be the most powerful team Shrek Academy had had in a long while. They would probably become the most powerful Shrek's Seven Monsters in a long while too.

    "Are you going to train tonight or not?" Wang Dong nudged Huo Yuhao with his shoulder.

    Huo Yuhao nodded and said, "Of course we have to train. Last-minute training has its uses too. You'll see the results of my deep meditation once you've finished eating."

    Wang Dong's mouth twitched involuntarily as he said, "You've only cultivated for a single day. Do you expect some sort of earth-shattering change?"

    Yet, reality proved that he had experienced an earth-shattering change.

    After dinner, the two of them began to cultivate together using their Haodong Power. However, Wang Dong opened his eyes and stopped his cultivation after only a single revolution.

    "How... how can this possible?" Wang Dong looked at Huo Yuhao in shock.

    Huo Yuhao beamed as he opened his eyes and said, "How could it not be possible?"

    Wang Dong said, "Your circulation speed of the Haodong Power has doubled.!It's even faster than me, a Soul Elder. My god! What did you do? If not for the fact that I've been following you all this time, I would've thought that you'd taken some sort of precious elixir."

    Huo Yuhao chuckled. "I didn't eat anything. But you'd still be shocked if I told you."

    Actually, right after the two of them linked arms to cultivate, their Haodong Power circulated much faster after it entered Huo Yuhao's body. Its speed had indeed almost doubled. It appeared to be filled with a vibrant life force when it re-entered Wang Dong's body. After their soul power had completed a full revolution, Wang Dong's body became much more comfortable and relaxed. His energy rose in all aspects, and the effects of his cultivation were greatly enhanced too. While he didn't know it was from the vast life energy that the remnants of the Life Gold had left in Huo Yuhao's body, he'd still felt an obvious change!

    Wang Dong looked suspiciously at Huo Yuhao and said, "Are the effects of deep meditation really so good? Next time, I'll calm myself down too, and try to achieve it."

    Huo Yuhao smiled and said, "It's fine. Come on, let's start cultivating. Deep meditation is the best way to restore one's energy. I feel that my soul power has undergone a special kind of change. Let's not waste this opportunity; it will benefit you too."

    While the vast life energy from the Life Gold would continue to congregate inside of his body, it would gradually be absorbed by his body. It wouldn't attach itself to his soul power for long, otherwise it would be draining on his soul power. Huo Yuhao wanted Wang Dong to train with him right now so that he could pass some of the life energy to him while he still had it. In doing so, they could share in its benefits.

    The two of them started to use their Haodong Power once more. This night could be said to be their most productive joint cultivation session.

    After that night, more than half of the vast life energy in Huo Yuhao's soul power was absorbed by Wang Dong. The finished cultivating at dawn, and as Huo Yuhao cultivated his Purple Demons Eyes at the window, Wang Dong's entire frame appeared to be bursting with energy. His skin shone with light, and his eyes were much brighter. His handsome face was reddish, and was indescribably adorable. He appeared well-rested and energetic. After an entire night of cultivation, their cultivation speed had more than tripled. Furthermore, after they'd connected and cultivated that vast energy, they were even more in-sync with each other. It was as if they were a single person.

    Now that it was dawn, it would be time for the semifinals once they'd brushed up and eaten breakfast!

    The team from Shrek Academy, clad in ink-green attire, was met with thunderous applause when they appeared in Star Luo Plaza.

    There had been more than a hundred teams at the start of the competition, but there were now only four teams left vying for the top spot. The competition had taken over a month at this point, during which Xiao Xiao, Wang Dong, and Huo Yuhao had all experienced breakthroughs in terms of their soul power.

    Of the four remaining teams, every single one of them had at least two major fights left. The decisive moment had come, and they would be battling with all their strength.

    After some renovations, there were now only four zones left in the participants' resting area. Every single team was spread quite a distance from each other.

    There was still an hour until the commencement of the competition, but all four squads were already present.

    Occasionally, they would cross gazes. When that happened, sparks appeared to fly from their eyes. A powerful battling aura could be felt, and the atmosphere in the resting area became harsh and tense, some traces of killing intent even present.

    The sun slowly rose through the sky, the temperature today not bad. As sunlight cascaded over the vast Star Luo Plaza, it appeared to be cloaked with a layer of light gold. However, in the eyes of the four teams, it wasn't just sunlight, but the honor of a victory that they had to stake their all for.

    The first day of the semifinals would be composed of the team battles.

    What no one expected was to see a red carpet, about ten meters wide, stretching from the gates of the palace all the way to the front of the arena. Tten minutes before the teams were to draw lots, the gates of the palace swung open and the Star Luo Emperor, surrounded by his guards, strode out from it and headed towards the arena.

    "Long live the Emperor! Long live the Emperor! Long live the Emperor!" Every single soldier who was responsible for maintaining order cheered and waved their weapons in the air.

    When the crowd noticed the appearance of the emperor, they burst into cheers.

    The four teams stood up as well, and gazed at the emperor with respect.

    Huo Yuhao noticed that there were four old men next to the Star Luo Emperor. They'd formed a square around the emperor. Behind them, there were no more than 20 guards. Hence, it didn't appear to be overkill.

    However, every single person there clearly knew that the squad of guards there was nothing to scoff at. Those four old men were likely the Titled Douluo of the Star Luo Empire.

    Ten thousand years ago, after the Martial Soul Hall-which had possessed the most powerful soul masters on the continent-had disintegrated, the many powerful soul masters within had pledged their allegiance to various states. As soul masters began to understand more about their martial souls, more and more Titled Douluo started to appear. However, some of them had relied on medicine to achieve their breakthroughs. Hence, they were comparatively weaker.

    Of course, even if there were more Titled Douluo than ten thousand years ago, they were still scarce. Furthermore, different Titled Douluo had different martial souls, different ways of cultivation, different soul rings, different soul bones, and different amounts of soul bones. Thus, their individual powers varied greatly.

    However, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong couldn't find the person who'd threatened them among the four Titled Douluo below.

    The 108 soul masters responsible for security all bowed to the emperor. However, they didn't kneel.

    According to the rules of the Star Luo Empire, soul masters that had more than four rings and were under the employ of the empire didn't have to kneel to the emperor.

    The emperor ascended the arena under the protection of the four Titled Douluo. He then faced the Star Luo Plaza, smiled, and said, "Please rise my subjects."

    "Long live the emperor! Long live the emperor! Long live the emperor!"

    Cheers erupted from all sides of the Star Luo Plaza. Evidently, the emperor was well-loved by his subjects.

    The Star Luo Emperor didn't try to stop their cheers. Instead, his gaze was calm, and he had a smile on his face as he looked at his subjects from afar. Once the plaza had quietened down, he smiled and said, "The Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament is a major event for the Douluo Continent that takes place once every five years. It's an honor for us to host the competition this time. I'd like to thank these representatives from over a hundred schools. Thanks to them, we've been able to witness many exciting rounds, as well as the ever-changing developments among the soul masters and soul engineers of the continent. This pleases both me and the general populace."

    "The semifinals will commence in a moment. In turn, the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament will soon come to an end. There will be no more lot drawing after the top four teams draw their lots, thus I will personally supervise the lot drawing this time. I hope that Shrek Academy, the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, the Imperial Profound Academy, and our own Star Luo National Academy will put on a grand, exciting show for all of us."

    "I know that everyone is dying to watch the show. I'm very excited too. Without further ado, let the drawing commence. I wish to partake in the joy with my people, and I hope that our Star Luo Empire will prosper for generations to come."

    The Star Luo Emperor's words were majestic, humorous, and not too long. The moment he finished, the crowd began to cheer once more.

    Among the four old men who'd gone up with him, the front-left one took two steps forward as he faced the resting area and said in a low voice, "Will the team leaders of the four teams come up to the stage now and draw lots."

    A hard-to-describe powerful energy could be felt from the body of this old man. The power that this energy held made everyone in the Star Luo Plaza feel as if the sky had darkened.
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