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835 Reunion

 "By the way, what are those dimensional creatures outside the city? Are they the alien reinforcements of the Holy City?" asked Wang Zhong as he recalled the Oblivion Thunder Beasts and the strange species that he saw outside the city. "I haven't seen many of those species before. It's not possible that they had always been in the Holy City, have they? The Holy City can only hold up to a few hundred thousand people. Even if they were diverted out, how is it possible that there are so many of them?"

Oscar laughed loudly. "Reinforcements? There's no such thing. They are all war weapons kept in captivity in the Holy Land."

He paused and continued with a smile, "Many newcomers or people from the Federation tend to confuse the Holy City and the Holy Land, but they are actually two different concepts. The Holy City is just the center of the Holy Land, just like the capital of a country. In the entire Fifth Dimension, all areas under their rule are considered part of the Holy Land. That's simply too wide and too many to count. Let alone you, even though I have been in the Holy City for many years, I still don't know how big the Holy Land is or anything about the distribution of influence. Maybe one day, when you become a Great Teacher or Sacred Teacher, you will have access to all this knowledge."

Wang Zhong shrugged and couldn't help but sigh with emotion. He could only say that he had really underestimated the strength of the Holy Land. Who knew that the Holy Land had such a large-scale army as well as advanced scientific and technological power? That aircraft carrier actually had runic airships. It was no wonder the Federation didn't dare to resist them. To be honest, it would just be a matter of minutes to destroy the Federation. They were definitely not at the same civilizational level.

Fortunately, such thoughts did not last long. The registration counters remained open until about 8 p.m. For such a large Holy Battle, the efficiency of all parties in handling matters was amazing. In just one night, the registration list had been confirmed. Moreover, everyone had also been allocated to their respective positions. Indeed, a large number of exploration teams had been eliminated as many expected, but the Wanderlust Team was not included in this list.

The Wanderlust Team had already planned to meet up at the Queen's Bar for the next few days. When Wang Zhong arrived in the morning, he saw Oscar brimming with joy, even though he had two extremely dark circles under his eyes. Oscar was so worried last night that he didn't fall asleep at all. It wasn't until the news came out that he finally grew relieved. "We passed the selection! Also, we are directly placed under Great Teacher Sophia's command, haha! She's a 7-star Great Teacher. Of the sixteen Great Teachers participating in the battle, Great Teacher Sophia is definitely one of the strongest. We're really lucky to be under her! "

"Great Teacher Sophia?"

Small Eyes also couldn't hide her excitement and added a comment, "Hmm, isn't that a familiar name? No wonder we got lucky. Great Teacher Sophia is not only a powerful 7-star Great Teacher. The key is that she is your girlfriend's teacher, haha. Lao Wang, thank you, man. I heard that many teams were eliminated in the final selection around this time. I guess we have you to thank for the fact that we were selected! Who knows? Maybe Great Teacher Sophia personally selected us because of your girlfriend!"

Although the people in the Wanderlust Team had never seen Scarlet, they were rather familiar with the rumors about Scarlet and Wang Zhong. One reason was that Scarlet was naturally given a certain amount of attention in the Holy Disciples' circles, and the second was because Wang Zhong was the one involved. Besides, there were 'informed people' like Sharmie in the team. After two or three glasses of wine, Wang Zhong and Scarlet's little secret was no longer a secret to the team.

Actually, Small Eyes was just teasing him. For the Wanderlust Team to have been picked, luck was definitely a factor, but it was highly unlikely for Sophia to be directly involved. It was obvious that a 7-star Great Teacher would not care about such trivial matters. This was most likely just a coincidence.

However, whether it was coincidence or just pure luck, it didn't matter. It was not just Small Eyes and the others - even Mario who had been pulling a long face yesterday - who put on a rare smile today.

In fact, the survival rates of the participating exploration teams were largely linked to their commanders. If the commander allocated a team to the rear-side of the battle, it was likely that the Holy Battle would have ended without the team even getting to see the enemy. However, if the commander always assigned the team to the most dangerous places... This was a level three civilization; no matter how powerful one was, it was highly possible that one would not survive.

Now that Scarlet's teacher had become a direct superior of the Wanderlust Team and with the relationship between Wang Zhong, Sharmie, and Scarlet, not to mention pulling strings, even if Great Teacher Sophia just looked after them a little, everyone's survival rate would be greatly improved. As such, it was no wonder that even the most pessimistic Mario grew confident.

Wang Zhong couldn't help but smile. It was not because he knew his commander and could pull strings, etc.; it was that he couldn't help feeling a little warm.

Scarlet... He hadn't seen her for a long time. Had she returned to the Holy City?

Great Teachers' District...

Sophia was currently handling some matters at her work desk. As one of the Great Teachers in the Mystic Sect who were assigned important roles, it could be seen that Sophia was clearly valued by the Sacred Teachers. Additionally, her private relationship with the God of Thunder, one of the Sacred Teachers, was rather good. As such, for this Holy Battle, the God of Thunder handpicked her to be a commander. This was why she had hurriedly ended Scarlet's training and returned to the Holy City in the past night. Now, she was looking through the list of army battalions assigned to her and some reports on the upcoming battle.

Scarlet was standing next to her. After half a year of training, all of Scarlet's immaturity had disappeared long ago. Even so, she still appeared youthful and was more beautiful than ever. However, she was extremely calm and kept a straight face the whole time. This alone made people feel that this girl's history was complicated, and she seemed to have lost all the innocence young girls were supposed to have.

Sophia looked through the reports for a while and seemed to grow a little tired. She rubbed her temples as Scarlet handed her a cup of warm tea.

Sophia took a sip and did not return to looking over the documents. Instead, she turned to Scarlet. "We've just returned. Why didn't you go and walk around?"

"I didn't dare to leave without your permission." Scarlet's response was rather calm.

"I sense some resentment... I've been busy handling matters since we came back, and I haven't had time to talk to you. My fault."

Sophia smiled, put down the cup of warm tea, and signaled for Scarlet to come closer. Now that they had returned to the Holy Land, Sophia was like a different person. When they were out there, she was like a monster. No, wait... she was a monster. But when they returned to the Holy Land, she became that kind and pretty teacher once again. However, she had left an impression so deep that Scarlet couldn't believe her eyes currently. Was she even the same person?

Scarlet came forward, filled with doubts, but Sophia held her right hand and patted it gently. "You have completed your first trial, and I have to say that you have done an excellent job."

"Thank-thank you, Teacher." Scarlet froze slightly. Training with her teacher for the past six months, she didn't even get a single praise or compliment. As such, she felt rather uncomfortable when she suddenly got one.

However, that surprised look remained on her face for less than a tenth of a second; after which, she concealed it naturally.

"You're scared of me?" asked Sophia, smiling. "Is it because the training is too tough? Or is it because I used him to threaten you?"

"I dare not." Scarlet's face changed a little when her teacher mentioned him.

"Whether you dare or not is not the point. If you think the training is tough, so be it. I know that you are unhappy with me and that you think I am an emotionless person. Maybe you even resent me. But this is the fate for us practitioners. I already told you long ago that you don't deserve to have anything if you don't have enough power. As long as you have sufficient power, you can do anything you want."

Scarlet didn't say anything. This was a repeated argument. She had tried to refute it, but the results were obvious.

Unexpectedly, this time, Sophia changed her tone. "Now that you have completed the first step, I think you already have a certain level of strength. At least at this stage, you have the ability to control some things."

Scarlet was stunned and continued to listen to Great Teacher Sophia. "Go to him, at least before the Holy Battle ends. I will not restrict your actions anymore. This is what you deserve for your hard work," said Sophia.

Scarlet looked up all of a sudden. Scarlet had already come up with countless reasons for it when her teacher forbade all contact between Wang Zhong and herself. Sophia had always stressed that it was for her cultivation and for her future, but the more her teacher said it, the more she didn't believe it. She even stubbornly assumed that it might be because her teacher had an ugly past, so much so that she hated love to the core.

But she didn't expect that...

Scarlet's eyes turned red in an instant.

"Silly girl." Sophia took her hand and patted it gently again. "I just don't want you to repeat my past mistakes and take a detour. I just want you to know that without power, death is definitely not the most terrible end one could meet."

"Teacher!" Scarlet choked on her words, and all her resentment dispersed in an instant. She realized that she had misunderstood her teacher.

One would only know the importance of something once one has experienced loss. Scarlet wanted to say thank you, but her lips were so shaky that she couldn't make a sound.

"Go," said her teacher as she smiled. "You can't help me with these things anyway."

Scarlet took a deep breath, expressed her gratitude with a bow, and ran out at top speed. She was really going crazy from thinking about him. Behind her, Sophia shook her head with a smile.

This time, Lan Daier had also received a call order. Gourmets were extremely important. In addition to targeted food configuration, gourmets were also excellent healers. As for excellent gourmets such as Lan Daier, they had to participate in battles.

As early as half a month ago, Lan Daier had begun to study the Phoenix World via the information given to her by the Holy City and found out that the place's environment, climate, seasons, temperature, humidity, radon, etc. might cause large-scale infections for the soldiers. According to the situation, she had also begun conducting targeted experiments with large amounts of ingredients that could be carried to the battlefield. This kind of work was rather tedious, and it was necessary to meet deadlines, making Lan Daier extremely busy. She had so much on her plate that when Wang Zhong came to visit, she didn't have the energy to talk much. She merely asked some questions about which battalion Wang Zhong joined and which Great Teacher he was reporting to.

In the end, she asked Ella to bring over a small box. It was a sealed food container, which Wang Zhong had seen several times before.

"I will also go to the battlefield, but there will be no chance of contact between my assigned location and the frontline battalion you are in. If you meet with any danger in the frontlines, don't expect anyone to save you." Lan Daier did not elaborate on what was in it but just handed it to Wang Zhong. "Bring this along with you. It can help you heal. You will need it."

After taking the sealed food container from Lan Daier, he felt the lingering touch of Lan Daier's at the spot where she had touched his hand. Although Wang Zhong felt that it might not be useful, he was really moved by her concern for him. There was no need for any words as there was enough tacit understanding between the two.

"A Holy Battle which needs to involve two Sacred Teachers is quite rare even in the history of the Holy City. From this alone, it can be seen that our opponents are very strong. So don't try to put up a strong front. I know that you have confidence in yourself and that you want to do something big, but with your current ability, you can't control the battle situation. Don't hesitate to run when you need to," added Lan Daier.

Wang Zhong smiled and said, "I won't try to be a hero. You should also take care of yourself. Even though you are at the rear side of the battle, you need to be extra careful."

Lan Daier smiled and nodded in return. When Wang Zhong came out of Lan Daier's laboratory, the usually quiet Teacher's Experimental Area seemed to be rather noisy at this time. Lan Daier was just a gourmet, but the area had alchemists, wards masters, and so on. The products made by these big shots were all important weapons of war. He could see several staff members carrying various materials or finished products everywhere. They were coming in and out of the area repeatedly, making the place seem very lively.

Wang Zhong was also filled with emotion. War - a term that was once quite distant, once mere recordings of magnificent battles at the frontlines - was coming. He used to think that only such big scenes could be considered war, but in fact, to be involved in one could really change one's perception. The preparatory work before the war alone was enough to make people feel the pressure and urgency of war.

Ding Ding Ding...

His Skylink rang. In the past few days, Wang Zhong's Skylink had not stopped ringing. There had been various matters and preparations which the Wanderlust Team had to handle. The preparation for the war was definitely not just handled by the Holy City's Logistics Department alone; it extended to every individual, and therefore, everyone was actively preparing everything that could boost their power these days, such as buying better soul tools, one-time-usage wards, supplies, potions, etc. Even Lance and the others who chose not to participate in the war were also actively helping everyone in their preparations. Lance even lent out a large amount of Holy Coins, which he had earned in the previous bet, to everyone. Although it was considered a loan, in fact, whether the person who borrowed the money could return to the Holy City alive was basically a different matter. Looking back at his usual miserly behavior, his actions really made Small Eyes, Sharmie, and the others extremely touched this time.

Each Holy Battle would greatly increase the Holy City's resources. Simply put, as long as the battle was won, the Holy Land would leap a great step forward. Additionally, the resources expended during the battle would be replenished from the conquered world. If the Holy Land wanted to move forward, they could either conquer or wait to be conquered.

Ding Ding Ding...

Wang Zhong originally thought that it was someone from the exploration team asking for help in choosing a soul tool through the Skylink, but in the end, it turned out to be Scarlet.

"Wang Zhong! I'm back!"

Initially, Wang Zhong was slightly emotional because of the war, but his depressed face immediately turned into a full smile. As he established connection, he saw Scarlet's face, which was full of anticipation and happiness.

"Where are you?"

"I'm with Sharmie and the rest." Scarlet originally wanted to look for Wang Zhong directly, but the guy had moved house and didn't reply to her Skylink message. As such, she could only send a message to Sharmie first.

"Hey, hey, hey!" Sharmie squeezed herself into the video call with an excited expression. "Lao Wang! Stop being long-winded. Today, it's your fat wallet's turn to bleed!"

"No problem. Why don't we go to Lan Daier's restaurant?"

"Alright! Bring your wallet and get ready to pay!"

"Ha, I'll be there in a flash!"

By the time Wang Zhong came over from the Teachers' District, everyone else was already here. Sharmie, Mario, Laura, Grai, and the others were all present; they were all from the clique that they had formed before entering the Holy City.

Laura and Sharmie were gathered around Scarlet and chattering non-stop, returning to the state when these three had just become sworn sisters. Although Sharmie and Laura had been estranged due to not having contact with each other over a long period of time, their relationship gradually improved after Laura finished her closed-door cultivation and had the time to hang out with her. At this time, with Scarlet in the middle, they seemed to be very harmonious.

Scarlet had truly changed quite a fair bit in the past six months. Even Grai, the most improved among the rest, felt that he couldn't see through her realm. The aura emanating from her showed that she had definitely reached the peak of the Heroic Soul Stage. However, it was unknown how powerful she was. This truly could not be achieved by imagination alone. Actually, her increase in power was secondary. Now, Scarlet seemed much more independent and mature compared to the past. This change in temperament most certainly was due to her experience outside.

Everyone was enthusiastically asking her what had happened in the past six months when she suddenly saw Wang Zhong enter the door. Scarlet could not help but stand up immediately.

"Haha. Welcome back!"

They gave each other a tight and long hug.

On the other hand, everyone else watched from the side. These two had come out of the same school and had established a strong relationship from the beginning. They were not lovers, but they appeared so. For Wang Zhong, to think of their relationship as a boy-girl relationship was truly too shallow; Scarlet was more like his next-of-kin.

Scarlet's eyes grew a little red. This half-year experience had changed her a lot. She now found that just being able to get together was the greatest happiness one could hope for. In this place or on the path of cultivation, the weak really didn't have much choice in anything. Her recent cultivation experience had allowed her to understand a lot, as well as to keep a level head.

Naturally, there was a lot to catch up on during this reunion, especially after being apart for such a long time. Wang Zhong was now filthy rich in the eyes of the Wanderlust Team. As such, they would definitely not stand on ceremony with him. Although it was said to be just a welcome party for Scarlet, in fact, it was also a chance for them to get a treat from Wang Zhong.

Scarlet didn't mention much about her experience of going out. Instead, she just brushed it off lightly. She spent most of the time eagerly finding out about things related to Wang Zhong. Besides that, everyone also talked about the upcoming Holy Battle. Although the Holy City had already released some relevant information about the Mizobudapi Phoenix World to the public, the information was obviously just a general overview. After all, minute details of the battles to come and confidential information of the Mizobudapi Phoenix World would not simply be announced to everyone. As such, most people were clueless and knew almost nothing about how the war would be fought. They were just waiting for the order from the higher-ups, and this gave everyone a sense of uncertainty.

From following Sophia for the past two days, Scarlet managed to see some battle strategies, which she shared with everyone. However, the most important thing that everyone was concerned about was Great Teacher Sophia's character.

"Great Teacher Sophia's personality is more on the strict side, and she might seem a little fierce. She can be stubborn, but in fact, she is very kind," said Scarlet with a smile. Truly, it felt good to be back. At that moment, she felt that all that she had endured during her training was nothing and that her stubbornness and persistence were truly a little silly.

Upon hearing that, Mario and Sharmie heaved a sigh of relief. They had been concerned about working under Sophia for the past two days. They had heard that Sophia was a very unfeeling person and was very belligerent. If that was true, they would definitely have a difficult life under her. After hearing this, they felt much better.

Additionally, Scarlet's decision to join the Wanderlust Team also made everyone very happy, especially Oscar. Scarlet's future prospects were much brighter than Wang Zhong's. They did not expect that there would be a day when the tides would turn for the Wanderlust Team. As long as they could survive the Holy Battle, their team would definitely shine.

Everyone was elated, but there were a lot of preparations to be done for the Holy Battle, so they all had to split up. Scarlet also had to report back to her teacher. Although she was given freedom, it would be stupid for Scarlet to act willfully. As for Wang Zhong, there were not many important preparations he was assigned to. Other than stocking up on some basic materials, the more important thing was to calm his mind and continue to consolidate his power. The practice of his Speed Circuit, Power Circuit, and Agility Circuit could be carried out regardless of time and place. It was always better to be more prepared.

As for Simba, he was much more excited than usual. The sense of urgency everyone had due to the war was completely non-existent for him. Instead, the most important thing for him was that he finally had a human-like friend!

Simba was moved to tears as his life had finally taken a turn for the better. Although he wasn't that lonely recently, look at the bunch of guys around him! Big White was as silly as a pig; Salamander was a masochist who liked to tie himself up with a chain, and the last one was the weirdest! He didn't even have a head! What's more was that he would constantly bug everyone to return his head. It wasn't even cut off by Simba, so how was it possible to do that?

Now, everything was well: there was Alice! She was cute and gentle. Although she did not speak much, she looked like a little angel every time she smiled. She looked so sweet that Simba's heart would melt every single time. He couldn't help but want to hug her all day... Simba was definitely over the moon now.

There were all kinds of adjustments and preparations. Thus, 10 days passed by in a flash.

The Holy Battle had finally begun.

Seventeen exploration teams that were under Great Teacher Sophia's command gathered on the airship platform at the C9 area. This was a semi-civilian airship platform in the outer city. Of course, this situation was considered a wartime special case. An air-ban had already been implemented on civilian airships 10 days ago. This included dimensional flying beasts as well. All airship platforms in the city, no matter how large or how small, had been allocated for military use.

When Wang Zhong and others arrived, many exploration teams had already gathered here, and everyone sort of knew each other. They were all exploration teams at the top of the Dimensional Hostel list, and almost all were within 50 places of each other. It could be seen that although everyone was randomly assigned to be under a Great Teacher's command, it still followed a certain rule. The exploration teams filled with Holy Disciples and on the Holy City side were basically assigned to the same Great Teacher. The same was true for those teams with external forces. If everyone knew each other, it would be easier for them to work together and carry out their orders together.