Book 18: The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy Exchange
Chapter 154: I'm Leaving, Don't Cry
When Wang Dong woke up, the sun had already risen. Although he had gone to sleep late the previous night, he still slept very soundly.
He had spent many of his nights cultivating. He felt much more relaxed after sleeping through the night instead.
He wanted to laze in bed for the rest of the day! However, what time was it already?
His initial comfort turned to a ﬂurry of emotions, jerking him up from his sprawling position.
He was the only one on the bed. The other side of the bed was empty, except for a sheet of paper.
Wang Dong snatchedup the paper. There was only a single line of words on it: I’ve left. Don’t cry. Wait for me to return.
“That rascal.” Wang Dong jumped off from his bed and donned his outerwear. Before he even ﬁnished buttoning up, he had already opened his window and leapt out. A pair of bluish wings ﬂapped open behind his back, ﬂashing with a golden-yellow radiance as the sun shone on them.
He ﬂapped his wings forcefully and ﬂew rapidly towards the main gate of the academy.
Huo Yuhao was very calm, and even wore a smile on his face. He had yet to obtain his fourth soul ring, but he could already use a ﬂying-type soul tool with his Rank 40 soul power.
Wang Dong was sleeping very soundly at dawn, so Yuhao didn’t wake him up. He was afraid of saying goodbye. Wasn’t it good just like this? He had already bid his goodbyes the night before.
The other four members of Shrek’s Seven Monsters sent him and He Caitou off. They were perplexed as to why Wang Dong
didn’t come. Huo Yuhao only laughed and joked that Wang Dong was crying in his dorm room.
Huo Yuhao turned and looked back in the direction of Shrek Academy. Huo Yuhao said in his heart, Shrek, Wang Dong, I’m leaving. Don’t worry, I still remember that I owe you two things.
He had come to Shrek Academy at the age of eleven, and now he was already fourteen years old. His entire personality had transformed completely in these three years. Huo Yuhao was overwhelmed as he recalled his three years in the academy. What would the next two and a half years be like?
What would he be like two and a half years from now, when he returned from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy?
Everything was unknown.
Even if Elder Mu didn’t insist on sending him to the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy then, he would have fought for this chance. Huo Yuhao became more and more
interested in soul tools the more he learned about them. Furthermore, he could sense the difference between Shrek Academy and the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy in terms of soul tools. He was certain that the Judgement Sword that had caused Ma Xiaotao’s martial soul to transform was something that Shrek Academy’s teachers couldn’t create even if they worked together.
The difference wasn’t just in terms of valuable resources. More importantly, it was in terms of the concepts behind soul tools, and the amount of accumulated research.
Huo Yuhao and He Caitou chose two different paths even though they were both learning to create soul tools. Huo Yuhao was more focused on close-combat soul tools, and soul tools controlled by one’s body. On the other hand, He Caitou was more into stationary soul tools, and especially stationary soul tool cannons. The stationary soul tool cannons that they had purchased from the Starlight Auction House had many uses.
Elder Mu once mentioned that he had snuck into the Sun Moon Empire for reconnaissance purposes before. Within the next thousand years, stationary soul tool cannons were bound to become the strongest soul tools. That was because stationary soul tool cannons could fuse in more core formations
regardless of their size, and use better materials without any restrictions.
When He Caitou realized that his talent in soul tools was incomparable to Huo Yuhao’s, he decisively made a choice to focus on speciﬁc areas. Huo Yuhao also gave up learning about the creation of stationary soul tools after He Caitou made his choice. Both of them had their own targets to meet.
Over the past one and a half years, Huo Yuhao and He Caitou had made some progress in the Ultimate Soldier Plan. This progress wasn’t just in terms of their cultivation, but also their knowledge of different aspects. Of course, they needed more time to digest the knowledge they had as they learned more. According to Shrek Academy’s Soul Tool Department’s plan, these two and a half years would be the time for them to assimilate all their knowledge.
Yan Shaozhe was the one leading the group from Shrek Academy this time. Besides He Caitou and Fan Yu, there were eight other outstanding talents from Shrek Academy’s Soul Tool Department’s inner courtyard that were coming on this trip.
Although the Soul Tool Department’s inner courtyard disciples couldn’t compare to the Martial Soul Department’s inner courtyard disciples, they were still outstanding, having been nurtured by the Soul Tool Department. Furthermore, the students from Shrek Academy’s Soul Tool Department were originally from the Martial Soul Department. Their ability to get into Shrek Academy already proved that they weren’t ordinary.
The Soul Tool Department inner courtyard disciples that were chosen this time were at least soul kings, and were at least Class 5 soul engineers. They would be pretty outstanding even in the Sun Moon Empire. Of course, Class 5 soul engineers from Shrek Academy couldn’t compare to Class 5 soul engineers from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy.
Huo Yuhao and He Caitou ﬂew at the back of the group.
There was a Class 6 soul engineer badge on He Caitou’s chest.
Soul engineer badges differed according to class. They all adopted the shape of a star anise, but the badges were blue for Class 1 to Class 3 soul engineers, which were differentiated using diamond-carved stars. The badges were purple for Class
4 to Class 6 soul engineers, black for Class 7 and 8 soul
engineers, and red for Class 9 soul engineers. As there had never been a Class 10 soul engineer before, a Class 10 soul engineer badge didn’t exist.
Huo Yuhao’s badge was blue, and had three diamond-carved stars on it. He Caitou’s badge was purple, and had six diamond- carved stars on it. This represented a huge gap between them.
Only He Caitou was aware that Huo Yuhao wasn’t inferior to him, apart from creating stationary soul tools. It was just that Huo Yuhao’s soul power was lacking. In addition, He Caitou even carried a few soul tools created by Huo Yuhao.
He Caitou had managed to reach Rank 50 just a month ago. He had obtained his ﬁfth soul ring and become a soul king. As such, his Class 6 soul engineer title wasn’t just for show.
It was also ﬁtting for Huo Yuhao to wear a Class 3 soul engineer badge, since he had three soul rings. After all, a soul engineer’s soul power rank and soul engineer class had a direct connection, even though it was possible to perform beyond one’s class.
Shrek Academy was situated at the southeast region of the Heavenly Soul Empire, while Maple Leaf City was at the southwest region of the Heavenly Soul Empire. The Sun Moon Empire could be reached by moving west to the border of the western territories. The ﬂying distance was about twice the distance between Shrek City and Star Luo City.
The students had to rest every two hours due to their limited soul power. Yan Shaozhe didn’t carry the rest like Elder Xuan had. They only arrived at their destination late in the afternoon.
Maple Leaf City was on the western side of the Star Luo Empire, near to its very active border with the Sun Moon Empire. Maple Leaf City handled a lot of the military logistics of the Heavenly Soul Empire. At the same time, it was an important trading and commercial city at the border. Even though it wasn’t as prosperous as Shrek City, it wasn’t inferior in terms of size.
After entering the city, Yan Shaozhe brought the students to ﬁnd a hotel to stay in. He instructed them to rest well.
The eight students from the inner courtyard knew one another very well. He Caitou and Huo Yuhao were younger, and the academy also kept news of them a secret after they entered the Ultimate Soldier Plan, so the inner courtyard seniors didn’t know much about them. However, He Caitou’s Class 6 badge caught their attention. He Caitou hadn’t entered the inner courtyard yet, and he was only seventeen years old.
There was another Class 6 soul engineer among the inner courtyard disciples apart from He Caitou. He was also the leader of the eight students. Yan Shaozhe announced a break, and this Class 6 soul engineer senior started to gesture for Huo Yuhao and He Caitou to join him.
The two of them looked at each other before stepping forward together.
“Senior, what instructions do you have for us?” The two of them greeted this Class 6 soul engineer respectfully.
This senior looked pleased with the both of them. He wore a smile on his face and said, “The two of you don’t have to be so formal. We’re all from the same academy. It’s just that I’ve
never seen either of you in the inner courtyard before. It seems like both of you are very talented, since you’re both here in this exchange. Caitou, you’re Teacher Fan Yu’s disciple, if I’m not wrong. Oh yes, my name is Ye Xiaosheng. You can call me Brother Sheng.”
“Brother Sheng.” Huo Yuhao and He Caitou said respectfully.
Ye Xiaosheng nodded his head in satisfaction and said, “A snake cannot crawl without its head. We’re all from Shrek, and this is a valuable opportunity. We have an important mission to carry out, too. If there’s anything either of you need, you can come and ﬁnd me.”
He Caitou smiled and replied, “Thanks, Brother Sheng. You can also instruct us if there’s anything that you want us to do.”
Ye Xiaosheng was originally worried that He Caitou would snatch away his leadership role. He was much more relieved after this brief conversation. But he wouldn’t make it difﬁcult for He Caitou, either. After all, He Caitou was a Class 6 soul engineer too, and was also Fan Yu’s inheriting disciple. He was ﬁne as long as He Caitou didn’t affect his leadership role.
“I don’t think I’m in a position to instruct the both of you. Brother He, you don’t have to stand on ceremony. The two of you should also rest after this long journey.” After he ﬁnished speaking, Ye Xiaosheng waved goodbye before leaving.
He Caitou and Huo Yuhao stared at each other for a moment before smiling. After that, they returned to their rooms.
Shrek Academy’s students quickly ﬁnished packing on the second morning, and followed Yan Shaozhe and Fan Yu to Maple Leaf City’s central plaza.
Huo Yuhao immediately recognized both Meng Hongchen and Xiao Hongchen, who were familiar foes. They were both seventeen years old now, and didn’t look much different from adults. They were standing at the forefront of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s group. What stunned Huo Yuhao was that Jing Hongchen had come personally. The teacher that was leading them was Teacher Ma, the same teacher he’d seen during the tournament. Teacher Ma was also Ma Rulong’s biological grandfather, and the chief of the Illustrious Virtue Hall.
The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy was determined this time. Not only did the Hongchen siblings come, but Huo Yuhao also spotted three of the preparatory team members from the tournament. Jing Hongchen appeared quite relieved.
Both parties met at Maple Leaf City’s central plaza. The Hongchen siblings quickly located Huo Yuhao, who stood at the back of the group. When Xiao Hongchen saw Huo Yuhao’s Class 3 badge on his chest, he instinctively pursed his lips and shot Huo Yuhao a provocative look.
The Hongchen siblings were still very indignant about having lost to Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong in the most critical battle during the tournament. They believed that it wasn’t because of cultivation, but rather because their understanding of Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong was insufﬁcient. In addition, Xiao Hongchen had been gravely injured back then.
Xiao Hongchen didn’t regard Huo Yuhao as being on the same level as him, even though he had lost the tournament. His targets were soul emperors like Ma Xiaotao and Dai Yueheng.
Jing Hongchen said to Yan Shaozhe, “Greetings, Dan Yuan. I didn't expect that you’d be here personally today. It seems like your academy is treating this exchange quite seriously.”
What kind of person was Yan Shaozhe? He was as calculating as Jing Hongchen. He wore a smile and replied, “Hallmaster Hongchen, aren’t you personally here too? Apologies for not hosting you well when you came to Shrek Academy as a guest the other time.”
Yan Shaozhe disliked Jing Hongchen. Although he didn’t have proof, it was likely that Jing Hongchen was behind Ma Xiaotao’s disappearance from Shrek.
Jing Hongchen’s facial muscles cramped a little. His experience at the Sea God’s Pavilion was too memorable. A Class 9 soul tool! He had lost such a soul tool to Shrek Academy; even the automatic Class 9 soul tools he’d brought had been conﬁscated by Shrek Academy. He’d suffered great losses! Yan Shaozhe was obviously adding salt to his wounds.
“I heard that Elder Mu has passed on. My condolences! It’s a pity that it was our last time meeting then. He was the
strongest and most deserving of respect among all the Titled Douluo that I’ve ever seen.”
Yan Shaozhe received those words coldly. Elder Mu’s death had been a huge blow to him. He replied, “Hallmaster Hongchen, let’s cut the unimportant words. Since we already agreed to this earlier, let’s exchange our students now. I’m representing Shrek Academy’s Martial Soul Department in welcoming your students for this exchange.”
Chapter 155: A Completely New World of Soul Engineering
When he heard Yan Shaozhe’s words, Jing Hongchen’s expression turned gloomy, but he smiled and said, “Alright.”
“I didn’t know Dean Yan was such a reliable person. I hope you can take good care of my students.”
Yan Shaozhe laughed and said, “At least I can guarantee that the things they learn learn while they’re at Shrek will be useful. Shrek Academy’s inner courtyard will be open to them; I hope that Hallmaster Hongchen can reciprocate this sincerity during the exchange.”
Jing Hongchen laughed and replied, “Of course. Your elite students will receive the best possible guidance in the Illustrious Virtue Hall.”
Yan Shaozhe laughed slightly and said, “Since that’s the case, let’s make this a promise.” He then lifted his right hand.
Jing Hongchen also lifted his palm and give Yan Shaozhe a high-ﬁve. The two of them laughed, but only they themselves knew what they were thinking.
The students from both academies switched positions under the guidance of the teachers. When Xiao Hongchen and Huo Yuhao brushed past each other, Huo Yuhao clearly heard Xiao Hongchen say, “In the next tournament, I’ll personally be the one to crush your balls.”
Huo Yuhao smirked. “I’m so scared.”
They exchanged heated gazes, neither backing down from the challenge. However, unlike Xiao Hongchen, Meng Hongchen was in a good mood, which was quite a surprise to Huo Yuhao. She even had a smile on her face, and only nodded her head slightly when she saw him. Huo Yuhao didn’t feel any contempt in her gaze, which left him a bit perplexed.
In fact, even Xiao Hongchen didn’t know what his sister was currently thinking.
Meng Hongchen smiled and her face even turned a little red. She looked into the distance and thought to herself, He isn’t a part of this exchange. Does that mean that he’s in Shrek Academy? I wonder what he looks like now; I bet he’s even more handsome. I’m going to see him soon! His pinkish-blue eyes are really beautiful.
Apart from Yan Shaozhe and Jing Hongchen, everyone from both academies had switched positions.
Yan Shaozhe smiled gently and said, “Hallmaster Hongchen, I shall bid you farewell for now.”
Jing Hongchen said, “Dean Yan, take care.”
Their gazes met again, then Yan Shaoze ﬂew up into the air. He didn’t even need to use a ﬂying-type soul tool. Rather, an invisible staircase seemed to be present in the sky and lead all the way up.
Under Teacher Ma’s guidance, everyone from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy took out their ﬂying-type soul tools and started to activate them. However, they were
shocked when they saw Yan Shaozhe glide into the air. Was this the power of a Transcendent Douluo?
Jing Hongchen didn’t rush to leave. He watched as Yan Shaozhe left with the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s students, somewhat pensive.
He could also ﬂy on his own, since he was also a Titled Douluo. However, he couldn’t do what Yan Shaozhe was doing. After all, Yan Shaozhe hadn’t even used any soul power! Even though Elder Mu had passed on, Shrek Academy was still a powerhouse!
Jing Hongchen grinned and then turned around. He looked at Fan Yu and the Shrek Academy students before saying, “Guys, let’s go. I’m the Hallmaster of the Illustrious Virtue Hall, Jing Hongchen. On behalf of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, I welcome you all.”
Jing Hongchen also leapt up into the air once he’d ﬁnished speaking. Two thin streaks of golden light slowly rose behind his body.
Huo Yuhao observed the ﬂying-type soul tool that he used carefully. It seemed like a pair of wings that was both very thin and very soft. The wings didn’t appear to be made of metal at all. Even though the golden lights on the wings surged, no soul power could be felt from it. Jing Hongchen ﬂapped his wings lightly and rose into the sky with ease.
Soul tools were usually made from metal, but what kind of metal could be described as soft? At most, metals were generally considered malleable, yet Jing Hongchen’s ﬂying- type soul tool actually gave off a feeling of softness.
Fan Yu was a Class 8 soul engineer himself, but his shock was even greater than Huo Yuhao’s. He muttered to himself as he ﬂew into the air, “The Illustrious Virtue Hall’s research into soul tool bionics has reached such a level?”
Shrek Academy’s Soul Tool Department had developed rapidly over the past two years. However, Fan Yu could clearly sense the difference in quality between the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy and Shrek Academy. As far as soul tools go, the gap was exceedingly large!
Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but ask, “Teacher, what do you mean by ‘soul tool bionics’?”
Fan Yu said, “It refers to imitating the form of a living being with a soul tool. The soul tool will then adopt some of the common characteristics found in the being it’s imitating.”
Jing Hongchen’s voice could be heard as soon as Fan Yu ﬁnished speaking, “Little fellows, we need to be quicker. Else we won’t reach our destination before dark.”
As he spoke, the ﬂying-type soul tool behind him started to shine with golden light. It was like a golden screen of light had descended from the heavens, and they were all engulfed in it.
Some of the students attempted to resist out of surprise, but Fan Yu stopped them.
Afterwards, everyone started to move upwards. They realized that Jing Hongchen had expanded his ﬂying-type soul tool a thousand times over, and engulfed them in the aforementioned ﬁlm of light. They ended up behind Jing
Hongchen’s back, his more than ten meter-wide wings ﬂapping lightly.
Jing Hongchen turned around and smiled at them. The golden light became even more intense soon afterwards, and the surrounding scenery began to blur.
Huo Yuhao groaned, only managing to stabilize himself with He Caitou’s help, and then unleashed his Spiritual Detection to analyze the light ﬁlm. However, attempting to do so ended with his spiritual power simply being shredded by the air current outside of the ﬁlm. Luckily, he stopped his Spiritual Detection fast enough that he wasn’t hurt.
Everything outside had become blurred, but even so, the students from Shrek Academy felt nothing; it was almost like they were in a quiet room. They couldn’t even hear the sound of the wind outside. In fact, they might not have even realized that they were moving if it wasn’t for the fact that they could see the scenery zooming by.
Fan Yu’s expression hardened. He was well aware that Jing Hongchen was showing off, but he also understood that his ﬂying-type soul tool was the highest calibre on the entire
continent. The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s understanding of bionics must’ve reached a considerably high level, considering the fact that they were able to use it on ﬂying-type soul tools. Conversely, Shrek Academy was still in the dark on soul tool bionics.
Elder Xuan had once carried everyone as he ﬂew, but Jing Hongchen was on an entirely different level.
Huo Yuhao began to ponder as well. He’d discovered early on that streaks of golden light would shine near Jing Hongchen’s back; they were most likely the soul tool’s origin. But what about the ﬁlm of light surrounding them? Had it also been formed through the soul tool with soul power?
No, deﬁnitely not.
Huo Yuhao reached out to touch it, and felt a smooth texture. He couldn’t tell what it was made of, but he was certain that he’d never seen anything like it before.
Originally Huo Yuhao had been feeling down from his separation with Wang Dong, but now he was fascinated with
this magical soul tool. For the next two and a half years, he would be learning in the same place that this soul tool had been made.
“Guys, are you alright?” Jing Hongchen’s voice resonated through the light ﬁlm.
Fan Yu nodded and said in awe, “Hallmaster Hongchen, your ﬂying-type soul tool is quite impressive. I didn’t expect your academy’s research in this aspect to have reached such a level.”
Jing Hongchen replied, “It’s never enough. I won’t consider it a major breakthrough until I can be within the light ﬁlm at the same time as I pilot it. To be honest, even though this soul tool expended quite a lot of valuable resources, it was primarily made for research purposes. One goal of the Illustrious Virtue Hall is to create a ﬂying-type soul tool that can carry many people without using too much soul power. Of course, we’re hard at work in achieving this goal, but it’s not something we can achieve in the short-term.”
Fan Yu sighed and said, “At least your academy has a lofty goal like that. When that day comes, the masses will be able to ﬂy across the continent with ease; everything will change.”
Jing Hongchen laughed and said, “That might be possible many years from now, but I doubt I’ll live to see it.”
Fan Yu didn’t know how much he was leaving out, but he was certain that the gap in technology between their academies was smaller than the gap in training their soul masters had.
Elder Mu decision to develop soul tools before he passed on was undoubtedly the correct decision, and the opportunity to pursue that goal was right in front of them.
The Sun Moon Empire’s capital was called Sun Moon City or The Radiant City. It was the hub of the Sun Moon Empire’s administration and economy. The city was very large, completely beyond what the Shrek Academy students had imagined.
Jing Hongchen only slowed down once they entered the Radiant City. When he did so, everyone could clearly see what was beneath them.
“We’ve already arrived in The Radiant City. All of you will live in this place for the next two and a half years. I hope that you all ﬁnd it to your liking.”
“The Radiant City is the pride of the Sun Moon Empire. I’m certain that even if one were to place Star Luo City, Heaven Dou City, and Dou Ling City together, they’d still be outclassed in size by The Radiant City.”
It was already nightfall when they arrived, but the time only served to make the city appear more shocking. As Huo Yuhao looked down on the city, he could only see buildings in every direction; there didn’t seem to be end to the city. The majority of the buildings were ﬁve stories tall, but some were more than ten. This was extremely rare in Shrek City and Star Luo City. However, this wasn’t what caused the city to look shocking; many buildings were lit up, and shone brightly, like the stars in the sky.
Many large streets and avenues snaked between the buildings, some of which were as large as thirty meters in width. Huo Yuhao seemed to sense a soul power ﬂuctuation amidst the bright lights.
Fan Yu couldn’t help but ask, “Hallmaster Hongchen, why are there no city walls?”
Jing Hongchen replied, “The Radiant City doesn’t need walls.” His voice sounded very calm, yet was also full of assurance. His words were thought-provoking, but they didn’t divulge any of the Sun Moon Empire’s secrets.
Jing Hongchen led everyone as they ﬂew towards the south. As they ﬂew, Huo Yuhao noticed some star-shaped golden lights emerging from Jing Hongchen’s ﬂying-type soul tool and spreading outwards that seemed to maintain a special frequency.
Even though Huo Yuhao didn’t know what the point of it was, but he knew it had to have a point. He quickly found the rhythm with his spiritual power, then recorded it.
Jing Hongchen’s words weren’t an exaggeration. While they weren’t ﬂying very fast, it still took them ﬁfteen minutes to reach the Radiant City’s southern edge. Huo Yuhao could tell that even if they really did combine all of the capitals, it would still be less than half the size of the city beneath them. While he might not have seen the Heavenly Dou Empire and Dou Ling
Empire’s capitals in person, he still knew that this was the case. This city’s sheer scale left them in shock.
Not too far in front of them, a hexagonal region outlined by lights appeared. This region alone was comparable to a medium-sized city. There were several buildings inside of it, but the region mostly contained empty plots of land. Jing Hongchen informed everyone that this region was property of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy.
The golden light scattered, and Jing Hongchen landed with everyone in an enormous plaza. The light ﬁlm dispersed, and the magical ﬂying-type soul tool disappeared before any of them realized.
Some people were awaiting their arrival in the plaza and had come to welcome them. Among them, a short and plump middle-aged man walked towards Jing Hongchen and said respectfully, “Hallmaster, everything’s been arranged.”
Jing Hongchen smiled and said, “Let me introduce this man to you all. He’s the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s teaching director, Lin Jiayi. All of you will be learning from him over the next two and a half years. Jiayi,
please make the proper arrangements for these students. Teacher Fan Yu, please follow me.”
Once he’d ﬁnished speaking, Jing Hongchen led Fan Yu somewhere else. Fan Yu didn’t even look at Huo Yuhao or He Caitou as he left. As of this moment, the exchange had ofﬁcially begun.
Lin Jiayi’s face was as chubby as Jing Hongchen’s, it was just younger looking. He waved his right hand, and the people behind him stepped forward. They each held a tray and stood in front of a different Shrek student.
“Welcome everyone, to the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. For the next two and a half years, each and every one of you will be considered students of our Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. To ensure the success of this exchange, we’ll be providing you all with the best learning environments. As such, the Illustrious Virtue Hall will be open to you two days week. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in the Illustrious Virtue Hall’s tests. If you manage to pass, you’ll become members of the Illustrious Virtue Hall until the exchange is over.
Within these trays you’ll ﬁnd a map of the academy and the academy’s handbook, as well as the keys to your room. As it’s a bit late right now, the academy’s teachers will conduct a few simple tests so that you can receive your proper uniforms tomorrow. Once your physical conditions have been recorded, you can ﬁnd me if you need help with anything.”
Everyone received their things, while Ye Xiaosheng cemented his role as their leader by stepping forward ﬁrst. He Caitou and Huo Yuhao, along with the rest of the students, followed him. He Caitou and Huo Yuhao stayed near the back of the pack as they were led by the teachers to a nearby area.
As they walked, Huo Yuhao took out the map that he’d just received. The darkness didn’t affect his vision much. The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy was much larger than Shrek Academy, even if one included Sea God’s Island.
The map simply showed that the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy was divided into three regions—the teaching area, dormitories, and the testing area.
The testing area covered two-thirds of the academy, and many regions within the testing area were circled. Huo Yuhao
could vaguely recall that there were many buildings within these regions, but their purposes weren’t written on the map.
There was a particular region in the center of the testing area that was circled in red called the Illustrious Virtue Hall. While the Illustrious Virtue Hall was a part of the testing area, everyone present knew just what it meant to the Sun Moon Empire and their academy.
The teaching area and dormitory area had more details on the map. There were a total of twelve teaching blocks divided into six grades of students—two blocks for each grade. It was clear that the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy accepted far more students than Shrek Academy.
Elder Xuan had given them a brief overview of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy before they’d come, which included its students.
The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s six grades weren’t classiﬁed by age. Instead, the requirements to join the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy were to be a Rank 10 soul master with at least one soul ring, and to not
be over twelve years in age. However, age wasn’t an important divider once one joined the academy.
In the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, one could enter the second grade when their abilities reached the standard of a Class 1 soul engineer. Following this rule, they would enter the third grade at Class 2. The learning atmosphere at the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy seemed to be much more relaxed than Shrek Academy’s, as there were only tests to determine the grade of a soul engineer. Of course, the soul engineer tests given at the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy were much different than the tests given out at Shrek Academy, but Huo Yuhao was unsure how this difference would manifest.
There was still a cut-off point in the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. If one was unable to become a Class 3 soul engineer by the time they turned eighteen, they’d have to leave the academy and fend for themselves. But if one could live up to their standards and become a Class 5 soul engineer by twenty-ﬁve, then they’d qualify to enter the Illustrious Virtue Hall. Similarly, if they didn’t reach Class 5 by twenty- ﬁve, then they’d have to leave.
At this point, the teachers brought Huo Yuhao and the others to a school building for ﬁrst-grade students.
The building was massive, and the vast corridors extended far into the distance. Lin Jiayi informed everyone that the quantity of students in each grade varied a lot because of the promotional criteria in the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. There were thirty-two classes of forty students each in the ﬁrst grade, which fell by a third once one entered the second grade. The sixth grade students, on the other hand—all of whom Class 5 soul engineers—were no longer separated into classes, and all cultivated together in order to prepare for the Illustrious Virtue Hall’s tests.
Huo Yuhao noticed that there were many soul tools all throughout the school building, all of which looked exquisite. While he could tell what some of them were used for, most of them he couldn’t.
Lin Jiayi brought them all the way to the end of the ﬁrst level and stopped in front of a room. There was a sign on the door that read ‘Measurement Room.’
Lin Jiayi retrieved a badge from his neck and placed it in front of a circular, disc-like object embedded in the door.
A beep sounded, and the metal door silently opened to both sides. Lin Jiayi then led everyone inside .
The room wasn’t very big, only around a hundred square meters in size. Inside, there were several large-scale soul tools.
There were some large-scale soul tools inside Shrek Academy’s Soul Tool Department’s testing area, but they were mainly used for handling metal, sculpting, and punching holes during the process of creating other soul tools. However, the large-scale soul tools here were much more compact, and soul power undulations they emitted were much stronger.
Lin Jiayi clapped his hands, attracting everyone’s attention to him. “This is the academy’s measurement room. All students must complete their physical measurements here. Don’t worry, the soul physique measuring scale won’t do any harm to your body. Now then, I’ll need all of you to temporarily put your soul tools away to prevent any interference. Pass your storage-type soul tools to your friends ﬁrst, then ensure that there’s no other metals on your bodies.”
Soul physique measuring scale? This was a new term to the Shrek students. Huo Yuhao was also very curious. Was this soul tool supposed to scan their bodies and display what abilities they possessed? Although they were guessing in their hearts, they followed Lin Jiayi’s instructions and put their soul tools away.
He Caitou looked at Huo Yuhao and asked, “Little junior, will we be harmed?”
Huo Yuhao shook his head lightly. If the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy wanted to deal with them, they didn’t have to go through so much trouble.
“Which student is going ﬁrst?” Lin Jiayi asked as he saw the group of Shrek students quickly putting their things away.
“Let me go ﬁrst.” Ye Xiaosheng volunteered by raising his hand. He turned back to look at the other students and nodded at them.
Initially, Huo Yuhao didn’t have a good impression of this Brother Sheng. However, he didn’t seem to be stealing the limelight by volunteering to go ﬁrst. As a stranger in an unfamiliar place, his courage earned Huo Yuhao’s respect.
A teacher led Ye Xiaosheng to a measuring scale and said, “Don’t be nervous and relax your body. There will be a beam of light scanning your body from the top down. The entire process won’t harm you. It’ll only record your body condition, as well as your height and weight.”
“Okay.” Ye Xiaosheng acknowledged readily, and didn’t speak any further.
The rest of the students focused their attention on him. They were both curious and nervous.
This measuring scale was a tall, circular pillar. A crystal beam extended from top to bottom of the front of the scale. The pillar was about three meters tall, with a circular platform in the front of it. Ye Xiaosheng faced the crystal beam as requested by the teacher.
The teacher walked in front of the measuring scale and pressed his hand against a palm outline depression on the side of the pillar. At the same time, another teacher walked to the other side. He was holding a book and pen for recording purposes.
“Relax. It’s about to start,” that teacher said. Everyone felt a wave of soul power coming from his body. It was the most obvious around his arm, where they could clearly see a white glow ﬂashing. Following that, the top of the measuring scale lit up with a fan of white light, covering around a square meter. It descended slowly from the top of the pillar.
Ye Xiaosheng couldn’t possibly not be nervous. But he still tried to relax at this point. When he saw the white light descending, he stiffened up, and didn’t move in the slightest.
Lin Jiayi nodded as he watched from one side. He indeed lived up to the name of a Shrek student. He wasn’t even a little afraid as he was scanned by a soul tool from Shrek’s rival academy. His courage was indeed commendable.
The white light slowly moved from his head down as it scanned Ye Xiaosheng.. It took some time before the light
reached his chest. The teacher on the other side had already started recording, and reported the results.
“Physical strength – Rank 54. Physical tenacity – Rank 61. Soul power undulation – Rank 62. Height- 1.82 meters. Weight
– 81 kilograms. Left arm length… no added soul bones. Evaluation: Soul Emperor.”
The ranks referred to in this measurement were related to one’s soul power. In Ye Xiaosheng’s case, he was a Rank 62 soul emperor who had a physical strength that corresponded to a Rank 54 soul king, and a physical tenacity that corresponded to a Rank 61 soul emperor. However, only the Sun Moon Empire knew their own evaluation standards.
Throughout the entire scanning process, the teacher that was responsible for recording actually reported more than 30 statistics related to Ye Xiaosheng’s body. Ye Xiaosheng was shocked. Evidently, the statistics accurately revealed his body condition. He felt as if he had been stripped and measured at this point.
Huo Yuhao was equally shocked. This soul tool was actually so capable? This was too scary. Did this mean that his own
hidden abilities would be exposed? In terms of physical strength, he was far superior to the others! What should he do?
Huo Yuhao furrowed his brows as he stood there. He didn’t know what to do. The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s advances in the area of soul tools might thwart their plan.
He Caitou thought of the same problem and turned around to look at Huo Yuhao. He asked Huo Yuhao how they should proceed using his eyes.
Ye Xiaosheng’s body measurements had been completed and recorded. Lin Jiayi gestured for the next student to take their measurements.
It would take around a minute to scan each student. Although Huo Yuhao and He Caitou were at the back, they didn’t have much time to think.
Could he use Imitation to imitate the body condition of someone else? This was the ﬁrst possibility that Huo Yuhao
thought of. However, he refuted that possibility almost immediately. That’s because he couldn’t possibly imitate someone else’s entire body. He couldn’t possibly change himself to become the other person. He would be exposed that way. Furthermore, there would be soul power undulations if he used his soul skill. The measuring scale was so advanced; how could it not tell?
He Caitou looked at Huo Yuhao anxiously as he started to perspire.
Huo Yuhao touched his arm lightly and said softly, “Second senior, it’ll be ﬁne. We’ll ﬁnd a way out. It’s ﬁne if they ﬁnd out. Let’s take it step by step. Since they’re not going to let me remain low-proﬁle, then…” As he spoke till here, he squinted his eyes, and a cold light ﬂashed across them.
The students took their measurements one by one. Lin Jiayi’s expression also started to turn serious. The students that Shrek had sent over were indeed superior to the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s students in terms of their physical strength. Even the Illustrious Virtue Hall’s disciples couldn’t compare. It was important to note that they were Shrek Academy’s Soul Tool Department students! Their
bodies were already so strong! Just how strong were the Martial Soul Department students?
Lin Jiayi sighed in his heart. Shrek Academy indeed lived up to its name as the top academy on the continent!
“Wow, this student is huge.” Lin Jiayi’s eyes brightened up as he watched the next student that walked up to the soul physique measuring scale. This student was the ninth one. His complexion resembled the members of the Sun Moon Empire’s nobility!
He Caitou’s tanned skin caught Lin Jiayi’s attention. Although not all members of the Sun Moon Empire’s nobility possessed a tanned complexion, almost all the subjects of the Sun Moon Empire with a tanned complexion were members of the Sun Moon Empire’s nobility. That was why a dark skin color was the most elegant in the Sun Moon Empire.
He Caitou was now more than two meters tall. When the light from the measuring scale scanned him, the voice of the teacher recording the results reached a higher pitch.
“Physical strength – Rank 70! Physical tenacity – Rank 64. Soul power – Rank 51…” As he spoke till here, the teacher lifted his head to look at He Caitou. He was a Rank 51 soul king, but his body was as strong as a seven-ringed soul sage? Although a soul master’s strength was not as important as his soul power, it was still very important for a soul engineer to possess a strong body. This would at least give him the ability to carry heavier soul tools. When using offensive soul tools, he would also be able to bear the recoil better than other soul engineers.
Lin Jiayi’s pupils shrank. Was this guy a freak? Where did Shrek Academy ﬁnd this guy? From his statistics, it seemed as if he was custom-made to be a soul engineer.
“Age – 17. Height – 2.02 meters. Weight- 110 kilograms. Added soul bone and skeleton. Little fellow, you’re like the human form of a soul beast!” The teacher doing the recording exclaimed. It wasn’t his ﬁrst day doing such tasks, but it was his ﬁrst time seeing someone He Caitou’s age possessing such a great physical condition. He possessed the powers of a soul king, but the other aspects of his body were at least at the level of a soul emperor. It was extremely shocking!
Not only were the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s teachers shocked, but even the Shrek Academy
students were stunned as they all looked at He Caitou.
They wouldn’t be so shocked if He Caitou was an inner courtyard disciple. But they were clearly aware that he was Teacher Fan Yu’s inheriting disciple! He was a seventeen-year- old soul king, and clearly had the ability to enter the inner courtyard.
Ye Xiaosheng’s expression changed drastically. His eyes ﬂashed a little as he looked at He Caitou. He seemed to be thinking of something.
Lin Jiayi stared at He Caitou, certain that he was the main student sent by Shrek Academy. Furthermore, his soul engineer badge showed that he was a Class 6 soul engineer!
A soul king’s soul power. Class 6 soul engineer. Seventeen years old. These three statistics were already enough. Lin Jiayi nodded towards the teacher recording the results, and that teacher marked He Caitou’s name down.
He Caitou stepped down from the measuring scale and retrieved his storage-type soul tool, which he had passed to
Huo Yuhao. After that, Huo Yuhao handed him his own storage-type soul tool. He Caitou was a little worried as he looked at his junior.
Huo Yuhao smiled conﬁdently and nodded his head. After that, he walked towards the soul physique measuring scale. He took in a deep breath, while a golden light shone in his eyes.
“Student, relax your body,” the teacher in charge of the measuring scale advised Huo Yuhao.
Chapter 156: Entering School and Taking Measurements
Huo Yuhao nodded and relaxed. He had already made up his mind. If they wouldn’t let him stay low-proﬁle, then he was going to let them see true brilliance.
The golden light in his eyes faded away. After a detailed analysis of the of the soul physique measuring scale from up close, Huo Yuhao had managed to record its entire structure in his head, including the development of its formation arrays.
Huo Yuhao had already started to absorb the spiritual power in the Skydream Iceworm’s second seal as his cultivation increased. Even Elder Xuan wasn’t aware of this information, but Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection not only could improve in the range of its detection, it could also improve in its intensity. With his current cultivation, he could memorize the structure and formation arrays of a Class 6 soul tool not in use with his Spiritual Detection. This was his ‘lethal weapon’ in coming to the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. These records would be very important the future development of Shrek’s soul tool department. This soul physique measuring scale was his ﬁrst target for today.
Huo Yuhao was certain that the soul physique measuring scale was a Class 6 soul tool through his detection and observation of its formation arrays. He didn’t ﬁnd any problems, and he had completely recorded the information on this soul physique measuring scale. As he stepped up to the
soul physique measuring scale, he completed his record of its formation arrays.
However, the amount of complicated information was too great to be memorized in the long-term. Huo Yuhao could at best commit it to memory for two hours before he’d forget it. So he had to draw what he could recall as soon as possible, or cement his memory even further.
Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power was depleted by almost ten percent just like that.
The white light from the soul physique measuring scale lit up and scanned him from the top down. Huo Yuhao squinted as he retracted his spiritual power.
“Physical strength—Rank 62. Physical tenacity—Rank 68. Soul power undulation—Rank 40. Height—1.80 meters. Weight
—74 kilograms. Left arm length… Age—14. Added left and right arm bones. Final evaluation…”
The series of numbers in front of them left everyone around shocked. The entire measurement room was in pin-drop silence.
Even though He Caitou was evaluated to be a soul king based on the statistics that popped out, everyone was stunned to see Huo Yuhao’s age and Rank 40 soul power.
What did his Rank 40 soul power signify? It meant that he had yet to become a four-ringed soul ancestor. That being the case, then Huo Yuhao must be a soul elder, but he was a soul elder that had obtained over Rank 60 in more than one measurement. Besides lagging behind He Caitou in physical strength, he matched him in others. Most importantly, he had three soul bones, which was more than He Caitou!
“Beep, beep, beep, beep…” Weird sounds came from the soul physique measuring scale. The teacher in charge of recording results was stunned. He said, “The numbers are a mess, the soul physique measuring scale has malfunctioned… Monster, this guy’s a monster.”
When he looked at Huo Yuhao again, his eyes even showed traces of shock and fear.
Huo Yuhao scanned him calmly. He stepped off the soul physique measuring scale and said gently, “I’m from Shrek Academy. The academy has another name: Monster Academy. Our school motto is: We only nurture monsters, not ordinary people. Thanks for your compliment.”
Ye Xiaosheng was shocked as he looked at Huo Yuhao returning to He Caitou’s side. He couldn’t help but mutter to himself, “There should be another measurement—for arrogance…”
Lin Jiayi swallowed and looked at Huo Yuhao, astonished. He didn’t know what to say.
He’d seen many talented students in his role as the continent’s top soul engineering academy’s teaching director. But he had to admit that Huo Yuhao had one of the most abnormal body conditions he’d ever seen. Xiao Hongchen and Meng Hongchen couldn’t even compare to him!
When they were his age, both Xiao Hongchen and Meng Hongchen had better soul power ranks. However, their physical strengths paled in comparison. Fortunately, Huo Yuhao’s soul power wasn’t very great, it might’ve been shocking to see a soul king at age fourteen. Lin Jiayi tried to
keep himself composed, he nodded at Huo Yuhao and smiled. “Little fellow, your body is quite strong indeed! No wonder you’re in Shrek Academy.” He complimented. Before this Huo Yuhao didn’t catch his attention. He caught a glimpse of Huo Yuhao’s Class 3 soul engineer badge and sighed in relief, at least
Huo Yuhao’s soul engineer class was normal.
Lin Jiayi said, “Alright, we still have two more tests to do. We don’t have much time left, so let’s move it along. Allow me to introduce the subject of the second test. This test will measure you strength. You can’t use soul tools for the test, but you can use soul power to boost your strength. Strength is vital to a soul engineer, necessary to control large-sized soul tools.”
The soul strength measuring scale. It was larger than the soul physique measuring scale, taking up around ten percent of the room. There was a striking point covered in leather within the soul strength measuring scale, this striking point was a square meter in size. No-one from Shrek Academy knew what this soul tool was made of. The strength test was very simple— one just needed to hit the striking point with all their might.
Evaluations were determined in terms of soul power rank, in line with the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s evaluating standards.
Dull booms sounded repeatedly. These Shrek Academy students didn’t excel in this test. After all, they were from the Soul Tool Department and were more focused on increasing their soul powers. Even their soul rings were focused on increasing their soul powers. None of them were evaluated above Rank 60 in this test, including Ye Xiaosheng.
It was He Caitou’s turn again!
He Caitou and Huo Yuhao looked at each other. They didn’t need use words to understand what the other was thinking.
He Caitou walked up to the soul strength measuring scale and took in a deep breath. He compared the size of his ﬁst to the striking point. Just as everyone thought he would punch the striking point, he suddenly shouted, “I have a large cigar!”
Ye Xiaosheng slipped and fell to the ﬂoor. His head even hit the side of the soul strength measuring scale. Everyone stiffened up suddenly as they saw He Caitou holding his large cigar. He stuffed the cigar in his mouth and lit it with a speck of ﬂame before taking in a deep breath.
Strength-Amplifying Large Cigar! This was He Caitou’s second soul skill.
“Student, you can’t smoke in the academy…”
As a teacher tried to warn him, He Caitou’s eyes shot open. He brought his left foot forward and punched out with his right ﬁst, striking the soul strength measuring scale before him.
“Bang——” A huge tremor spread, the entire room seemed to shake because of this ﬁst. The numbers on the soul strength measuring scale quickly changed, and the scale even shifted more than three inches from its original position.
“Strength—Rank 70.” The teacher that was in charge of recording muttered the staggering number out. It was pertinent to note that this soul strength measuring scale could only record soul power up to Rank 70! This Rank 70 limit was set using a strength-type soul master as a benchmark.
He Caitou shook his ﬁst and jumped off of the soul strength measuring scale leisurely. He took out the cigar from his mouth and breathed out a swirl of smoke. He spoke to the teacher that warned him, “Sorry! Didn’t mean to violate academy regulations on purpose. I’m a food-type soul master, the cigar is my martial soul. Teacher, do you wanna try my large cigar? How about my thick cigar?” He stretched his waist as he spoke.
The teacher quickly rejected him. He was still completely stunned by He Caitou’s strength. To teaching director Lin Jiayi’s knowledge, no one else in the room but him could reach the limit on the soul measuring scale.
He Caitou’s strength was comparable to a soul beast’s. At Rank 50 soul power he could actually unleash such a powerful force, whereas even an assault-type soul king with many enhancements from soul skills might not be able to reach such force.
Huo Yuhao was the last to take the test. He had many things to consider at the moment. Should he go all-out? Should he hide his power? This soul strength measuring scale wasn’t as thorough as the soul physique measuring scale. With his age, he had no doubt that no-one could see through his bluffs if he held back a bit. However, that previous test had revealed some of his ﬁgures, if he tried too hard to conceal his strength he might arouse suspicions. After a moment’s thought, Huo Yuhao knew what to do.
He took a deep breath while he stepped onto the soul strength measuring scale. Huo Yuhao lifted his right arm slowly, mimicking the action of hitting the striking point.
All the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy teachers focused their attention on him. After all, they’d been shocked by his previous test.
Huo Yuhao suddenly took in another deep breath. He gave off the impression that he was sucking all the air in the room into his lungs. He made a ﬁst with his right hand, and pulled it back a foot before striking out!
“Thud—” Huo Yuhao’s strike was much more underwhelming compared to He Caitou’s. The sound it made was also the softest among the ten students present.
“Strength—Rank 55!” The teacher in charge of recording their results shouted another shocking number once again.
Huo Yuhao was only average amongst the ten students despite his Rank of 55. However, as he was only fourteen years old, this was actually an extraordinary result. Furthermore, he’d released his strength using a different method than the others; he’d managed to unleash such a powerful force even though he was only a foot away. His strike hadn’t made much sound, which further demonstrated his technique. He hadn’t wasted any strength at all.
Huo Yuhao hadn’t used any soul skills to enhance his body either. The only thing he’d relied on was his own personal strength and a little of the Tang Sect’s Controlling Crane Capturing Dragon. He was quite satisﬁed with his strength evaluation; it was neither too high nor too low. With this, he’d
pass the test without drawing too much attention to himself. If he’d used the Ice Empress’ Pincer and Mysterious Jade Hands, the result would’ve been completely different.
After the strength test ended, everyone proceeded to the last segment. This time, it was a reaction speed test.
The measuring scale was much smaller this time. It was a squarish platform that held sixteen boxes, each of which were the size of a ﬁst. These boxes would light up at random, after which one was supposed to slap the lit boxes in order to deactivate them. The test would end when one box was missed.
This test had nothing to do with one’s abilities; it was a simple test of one’s reaction speed and the coordination between one’s mind and body.
Ye Xiaosheng didn’t act as arrogant as he had before when they arrived. The two tests that they’d just taken had revealed how inferior he was to He Caitou. The only lead he had was his soul rank. Although he didn’t think that he’d lost face, he still felt a bit awkward.
The last test was like a game. In the beginning, Ye Xiaosheng wasn’t very bothered by the test, and even became slightly complacent. However, he paid the price for his complacency very quickly.
When the test started, the boxes only lit up one by one and remained lit for around a third of a second. If one hit the boxes before the time was up, they’d pass and the test would continue.
Ye Xiaosheng managed to breeze through the test while the boxes lit up one by one. However, a pair of boxes lit up after a while, which temporarily stunned Ye Xiaosheng. He managed to hit one of them, but he was slightly too slow to reach the other.
With this, his test was over.
“Reaction—slow.” When the teacher in charge of recording the results gave him this evaluation, Ye Xiaosheng felt like hiding himself in a hole.
The rest of the students learned from Ye Xiaosheng’s mistake and were much more cautious. Even though they were all inner courtyard disciples from the Soul Tool Department, they had still once been part of the Martial Soul Department. Shrek Academy often trained the reactive abilities of their students,
thus they weren’t too bad at it.
When He Caitou’s turn came, he fully demonstrated his great reaction speed and managed to survive for ﬁve full minutes. It was only when eight boxes lit up at the same time that he couldn’t react in time.
Huo Yuhao was the last to take the test. He was rather curious about how the test functioned. However, he found it difﬁcult to focus. While the others had been taking the test, he’d attempted to memorize the structure and formation arrays of the three measuring scales using his spiritual power, which had depleted him greatly.
This caused him to be eliminated rather quickly. He only managed to reach six boxes, thus his reaction speed was evaluated as average.
“Alright, the tests will end here. The teachers will bring you all to your dormitory in a little while. The academy has arranged a single room along with a washroom for each of you. I hope that all of you like this place for the next two and a half years. Your uniforms will also be delivered tomorrow.”
The dorm area was located behind the teaching area, and was much larger than Shrek Academy’s. The map clearly detailed the various amenities in this area. Huo Yuhao was extremely interested in a place called the auxiliary cultivation room. However, it looked like an exorbitant fee had to be paid in order to use it.
They were all allocated rooms on the top ﬂoor of the sixth- grade dormitory region. The ﬂoor was rather quiet, and just like Lin Jiayi had mentioned, they’d each been allocated a twenty square meter dorm room equipped with a washroom. Even though their rooms weren’t luxurious, they were still neat and tidy, and were better than the dorm rooms at Shrek Academy.
However, Huo Yuhao had no energy to deal with any of this right now. The moment he entered his room, he quickly locked his door and walked to one side. A golden light ﬂashed from his forehead, and his third eye slowly opened.
He shut his other two eyes, then solely used his Eye of Destiny to observe the world around him. He unleashed his Spiritual Detection, which reached a nuanced state under the inﬂuence of the Eye of Destiny. Even the smallest dustmite wouldn’t escape his detection.
The entire process lasted for about a minute. When his Eye of Destiny ﬁnally shut, Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but nod his head in satisfaction. The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy hadn’t installed any monitoring devices in their rooms, which could be considered quite magnanimous.
He didn’t dare to delay any longer, and quickly sat in front of a table in the room. He retrieved a paper and pen from his storage-type soul tool and then started to record the details of the three soul tools that he’d seen.
This was Huo Yuhao’s huge responsibility. He was aware that by recording the structure and formation array of every single soul tool that he saw, he was helping Shrek Academy improve.
The structure of a soul tool was rather complex, hence he couldn’t make any mistakes in his recording. The soul
physique measuring had been the most advanced of the three soul tools that he’d seen today, followed by the soul strength measuring scale. They were Class 6 and Class 5 soul tools respectively. The last soul tool had only been Class 4, and was much simpler than the other two.
Their complex structures and formation arrays were slowly recorded by Huo Yuhao. He took two hours to record everything, and even included his own evaluation of the three soul tools.
Huo Yuhao also managed to develop a deeper understanding of them as he recorded their structures and formation arrays. He sighed when he realized that they weren’t even the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s greatest works. However, he could already sense the enormous gap between Shrek Academy and the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. Despite the deeper understanding he’d gleaned from them, Huo Yuhao could barely understand a third of the three soul tools he’d just recorded. Yet, according to Shrek’s standard, he was already at the level of a Class 6 soul engineer!
Despite his large quantity of spiritual power, he was still fatigued once he’d ﬁnished writing, thus he went to his bed to meditate.
“What’s the situation like?” Jing Hongchen asked Lin Jiayi.
Lin Jiayi said, “The most outstanding of them is He Caitou. His strength has reached Rank 70. Furthermore, he stated that he was a food-type soul master, and his martial soul should be a cigar. His body has reached the level of a soul emperor despite him only being a soul king. He ranked ﬁrst in all three tests.”
“What about Huo Yuhao?” Jing Hongchen asked.
Lin Jiayi answered, “He’s quite extraordinary. During the physique test, his strength and tenacity were rather outstanding. His reaction speed was normal, however. I observed him carefully, and I don’t believe that it was intentional. Furthermore, he actually has three soul bones. When our soul physique measuring scale tried to analyze them, the numbers got messed up. I thus suspect that he has an external soul bone. He’s not like a soul engineer, but more like a talented soul master. His soul power has reached Rank 40,
yet he hasn’t obtained his fourth soul ring to attain a breakthrough yet. This is also quite suspicious.”
Jing Hongchen smiled and said, “That’s normal; Huo Yuhao is from Shrek’s Martial Soul Department. He’s mainly here as collateral. However, we can’t underestimate him. After all, he’s still Elder Mu’s personal disciple. My sources claim that he’s an orphan, and that his background is unclear. Continue to observe their movements. During class, try to pay attention to He Caitou. I’ll send someone else to watch Huo Yuhao.”
Lin Jiayi asked, “Hallmaster, do we…?”
Jing Hongchen shook his head and said, “There’s no need to. Just follow the normal procedures. The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy can’t go back on its word. So what if they manage to learn? The gap between our academies in terms of soul tools is simply too great; it can’t be closed with just a few exchange students. They won’t possibly be able to ﬁgure out our core secrets either. More importantly, Shrek is only an academy. However, we’re the research facility of the Sun Moon Empire. With the Dragon God Douluo Mu En dead, the continent will belong to the Sun Moon Empire within twenty years. The Douluo Continent will be renamed to the
Moon Continent when that happens.” When he reached this point, an excited look ﬂashed through his eyes.
Lin Jiayi acknowledged his words respectfully and then retreated.
“Jiayi, wait a minute.”
“Yes, do you have any other instructions?” Lin Jiayi asked.
Jing Hongchen asked, “How’s the progress on Plan One?”
Lin Jiayi said, “It’s a little problematic. The main problem lies in the formation arrays. Based on our design, even a Titled Douluo runs the risk of having his soul crushed by the intense spiritual shock of the formation arrays. That is, unless we can ﬁnd a spiritual-type Titled Douluo to try it, which will give us a thirty percent chance of success. Hallmaster…” As he reached this point, he seemed a little hesitant to speak.
“What?” Jing Hongchen squinted, “What do you want to say? Tell me. Don’t tell me that I’ll blame you if you tell me what you want to say.”
Lin Jiayi replied, “Yes. Hallmaster, I’ve always reckoned that Plan One is proceeding too quickly. Even if our research is successful, we won’t be able to form a proper military that’s big enough. But we have expended a lot of human resources, material resources, and money on Plan One. I believe that our chances of success will be greater if we lower our standards.
After all, forming a large-scale force is scarier than creating a top-ranked military force.”
Jing Hongchen furrowed his brow and replied, “I’ve never considered that before. However, the chance of success is still very low even if we lower the standards. The key lies in the design of the formation arrays. I’ve always emphasized high standards because they can be extended to other aspects if they’re achieved, which will increase our probability of success in other areas. It seems like we’re rushing too much. Pass on my instructions – allow the Class 9 soul engineers to rest for a few days. I must consider the future of Plan One before proceeding. Let them work their brains too.
“Whoever has a good idea must inform me immediately.”
Lin Jiayi was delighted when he saw that Jing Hongchen had listened to his advice. “Hallmaster, you are indeed wise.”
Jing Hongchen laughed, “Wise my foot. I’ve been under a lot of pressure because of Plan One, and His Majesty has asked me about it a couple of times. We need to hand something up soon. Otherwise, I believe his patience will become limited.”
Huo Yuhao’s three eyes opened together, and he watched as the sun rose. He let out a refreshed breath, and a gust of white fog came out from his mouth. It slowly took shape and surrounded his body. As he breathed in again, the fog turned into two streaks of white gases that entered into his body through both of his nostrils. The entire room was ﬁlled with a clear aura.
Although there weren’t any plants, there was a strong sense of life.
His fatigue ceased to exist after a few hours of meditation. Huo Yuhao’s improvements in the Mysterious Heaven Technique were slow but steady.
He wasn’t in a rush to obtain his fourth soul ring. He had enough soul skills, unlike other lower-level soul masters who possessed limited soul skills. His ﬁrst soul ring had given him four useful spiritual-type soul skills. He also had two other soul skills from the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion, as well as ﬁve soul skills from his four soul bones. Even a soul sage might not have as many soul skills as he did!
If he absorbed another soul ring he could increase his own power and add another soul skill. Furthermore, he had also realized after he added his third soul ring that his spiritual- type martial soul needed some luck in ﬁnding a suitable soul ring. That was why he wasn’t rushed at all, and instead calmly focused on increasing his own cultivation. He also aimed to improve his knowledge on soul tools over the next two and a half years, and enhance his own abilities. In addition, he also
aimed to steal the research results of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy!
He took in three more deep breaths and adjusted his soul power. Huo Yuhao felt a warmth coming from his body. He shut his Eye of Destiny and it disappeared. The light within his Spirit Eyes also slowly faded away. While he was only fourteen years old, when he placed his hands behind his back he already looked very mature.
Every dormitory block in the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy had its own canteen. The higher the grade, the nicer the food in the canteen of the dormitory block. Huo Yuhao and the others stayed in the sixth-grade dormitory
block, which meant that the food in the canteen there was the best.
However, the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy couldn’t compare to Shrek Academy in terms of its food. Huo Yuhao and He Caitou had been enjoying delicacies in Shrek Academy over the past two years. The food here in the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy was too plain for their liking.
Huo Yuhao and He Caitou met Fan Yu in the canteen.
“How are the two of you feeling?” Fan Yu wore a slight smile as he looked at the both of them.
He Caitou laughed bitterly, “The gap is really huge.”
Huo Yuhao nodded.
Fan Yu smiled and said, “We wouldn't be here if there wasn’t a gap. Everything here regarding soul engineers is worth learning. I spoke with the Hallmaster of the Illustrious Virtue
Hall yesterday. They’re more sincere than I thought they would be. Just do your best to learn and don’t worry about other things. The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy won’t do anything to the both of you before these two and a half years are up. As for how much you’ll learn, that
depends on you.”
Huo Yuhao didn’t mention the fact that he had recorded the three soul tools. There were too many people around, and it was best to be prudent.
The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s efﬁciency was indeed great. After they ﬁnished their breakfast and returned to their rooms, their uniforms had already been delivered. They were also told to gather at the ﬁrst level of the sixth-grade teaching block.
The sixth-grade teaching block was not smaller than the ﬁrst-grade teaching block that they saw yesterday. However, they knew that there were only a handful of students in the sixth grade. These students were at least Class 5 soul engineers. What could they do by occupying two huge teaching blocks?
The teaching director, Lin Jiayi, was already waiting here.
There were ten teachers of various ages standing behind him.
“Students from Shrek, you’ll be learning from our teachers from today onwards. I hope that you’ll treat this as your room for the next two and a half years. To facilitate your learning of more advanced soul tool knowledge, your learning arrangements will be as follows…
“All of you will follow the ten sixth-grade teachers who are standing behind me now. They are the most capable teachers in the academy. They’re all at least Class 7 soul engineers. Each of them is in charge of a few sixth-grade students.
“The sixth-grade testing area will be open to all of you, too. All the materials that you need for experiments will be provided by the academy. Of course, you’ll need to pay a certain fee for the materials if you want to bring the soul tools that you’ve created back with you. However, the experiments will be completely free.
“In the ﬁrst month, you’ll all be learning here. Once you possess a certain foundation, you’ll take a test administered by
a teacher from the Illustrious Virtue Hall. The results of that test will determine your frequency of participation in the Illustrious Virtue Hall’s lectures and practicals. The best you can achieve is to enter the Illustrious Virtue Hall directly to learn. The worst is that you’ll only be able to enter once every ten days. You’ll also be offered the opportunity to take the test again as you learn. As long as the results of your test are satisfactory, your time in the Illustrious Virtue Hall will be increased.”
“Principally, the academy doesn’t wish for any of you to leave unnecessarily. That’s because we can’t guarantee your personal safety outside of the academy. As exchange students, we’ll be heavily accountable if anything happens to any of you. That’s why it’s important for you to apply for leave and report to me if you want to leave the academy for leisure purposes. You’ll need to sign an indemnity form, too. Basically, that is all. If there are any questions, you can ask your assigned teacher directly, or you can ﬁnd me.”
Lin Jiayi explained the future learning process to Shrek’s students. Besides the Illustrious Virtue Hall’s test that caught Huo Yuhao’s attention, he was also piqued that they were all going to be separated. There were ten teachers standing behind Lin Jiayi, meaning that each one of them would take one student.
“To ensure fairness, the teachers will use a lot-drawing method to choose which student they’ll be guiding. The lot- drawing will start now.”
As he spoke, Lin Jiayi received a tray from one of the working crew. There were folded pieces of paper on the tray. The ten teachers streamed towards the tray and each took a piece of paper.
The ﬁrst teacher to draw his lot was the youngest among the ten teachers. He appeared to be around thirty or so, and was even younger than Fan Yu.
“Huo Yuhao.” He read out the name on his piece of paper.
Huo Yuhao’s brow furrowed a little, but he still walked out quickly. He replied, “Present!”
This young teacher looked very cold. After seeing Huo Yuhao’s Class 3 soul engineer badge, he said coldly, “Follow me.” After he ﬁnished speaking, he turned around and walked away. He didn’t wait for the other teachers.
Huo Yuhao didn’t say anything else, and followed him out. He proceeded to the second teaching block of the sixth grade as he followed this young teacher.
He had furrowed his brow earlier because this teacher was too young. He was capable of becoming a Class 7 soul engineer even though he was only thirty or so years old. However, he should be placing all his focus and energy on his cultivation and research on soul tools at such an age. Could he teach well? Furthermore, he could sense that this teacher didn’t like him. That’s because the teacher also furrowed his brow when he saw Huo Yuhao.
“I hope that I can learn something from him,” Huo Yuhao sighed. He had hoped for an older teacher.
Chapter 157: An Oath Made by a High-Five
That thirty or so year-old teacher went up the stairs inside the second block of the sixth grade. This classroom block was six stories high, and he brought Huo Yuhao to the ﬁfth before they turned down a corridor. They walked down it a few dozen meters until the teacher stopped before a door.
There was a tag on the door that read ‘3rd Laboratory.’
He’s already taking me to the lab? Huo Yuhao had some doubts in his mind when he saw where they were. However, he didn’t have any control over what he was going to learn while he was here.
The young teacher took out a nameplate from his pocket and waved it in front of the door. A similar sight to what Huo Yuhao had seen at the measuring room yesterday presented itself—a single beam of light ﬂashed, followed by the door opening.
“Come in.” The young teacher’s voice was simple and pithy as he led Huo Yuhao into the lab.
The lab was extremely large and spacious; it was larger than Fan Yu’s lab in Shrek Academy. There were all sorts of soul tools and metallic materials on display, while the gigantic lab desk was more than thirty square meters in size. The matte, silverish-white metallic surface was squeaky clean, and gave off a pleasant sensation.
The lab was empty save for them; nobody else was around. The young teacher said in an uninterested manner, “My name’s Xuan Ziwen, and I’ll be your teacher from today onwards. I don’t care what the assessment rank you’ve received from Shrek Academy is; you’ll have to retake my tests from the very beginning. If you can’t pass my assessments, you’ll have independent learning in the library so that you don’t waste my time.”
Huo Yuhao was taken aback. He’d never expected this teacher to say something like this; he didn’t want to teach him?
Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but ask, “Teacher Xuan, is every teacher in charge of the exchange students like you?” It would spell immense trouble for them if this was the case. He was conﬁdent that he’d be able to learn something by himself in the library, but he knew from his experiences with Fan Yu that
there were some topics that one would have to ponder for several days to understand alone, rather than being able to simply resolve it in just a few minutes with a teacher’s help.
Xuan Ziwen didn’t seem to react to Huo Yuhao’s jibe, and he replied coldly, “I don’t care how others act; this is just how I do things. My schedule is tight, so if you ﬁnd this unfair, go and take your dispute to Lin Jiayi and request a change of mentorship. I didn’t want to take this responsibility anyway, so I’m telling you what choices you have.”
Huo Yuhao thought about Zhou Yi when he gazed into the coldness in Xuan Ziwen’s eyes. Teacher Zhou’s strictness and ﬁerceness was different, but learning under Zhou Yi gave Huo Yuhao some experience with teachers who had strange personalities. Teachers with characters meant they had standards, and tests were just tests anyway – how could he be afraid of assessments?
Huo Yuhao tempered his emotions momentarily before he gave his answer. “I’m willing to take your assessment.”
Xuan Ziwen’s calm but cold eyes ﬂowed with a strange emotion, and he shot a mildly surprised glance at Huo Yuhao
and said, “Alright, then let’s begin. The badge on your chest should represent a Class 3 soul engineer from Shrek Academy. I’ll give you ﬁfteen minutes – you can select from any of the materials here, and you will forge your best Class 3 soul tool formation arrays for me. It’s not about how low your class is, it’s about a soul engineer’s thoughts and his or her creativity. This is my only prompt for you – you may begin.”
With that, Xuan Ziwen stepped to one side. He ﬂipped his wrist, and a small timer appeared in his hands. Fifteen minutes were entered, and he placed it on the lab desk after starting the countdown.
Huo Yuhao started on his work as soon as possible. Ever since he had joined the Ultimate Soldier Plan, he had simply put in too much effort. However, he was still a fourteen-year-old teenager after all. He had passed his soul physique measurement with ﬂying colors, and an arrogant ﬂair rose from his heart after he received Xuan Ziwen’s neglect and indifference.
He walked towards the metallic materials before him. He didn’t even bother inspecting them closely, but instead immediately activated his Spiritual Detection and perceived everything in his mind. He raised his right hand, and ﬁve dark
golden blades protruded from his ﬁngertips. He swung his hand gently, and sliced off the corner of a bright silver chunk of metal.
Huo Yuhao raised his left hand, used the Controlling Crane Capturing Dragon technique, and this piece of metal was securely in his grasp. He withdrew the Darkgolden Terrorclaw, and diamond ice crystals suddenly appeared on both of his hands. He placed his hands together and gradually kneaded the metal piece that he had just shaved off.
Xuan Ziwen gasped in surprise when he ﬁrst saw the Darkgolden Terrorclaw. He was already more than thirty years old, but he had been immersed in soul tools for more than twenty years, and he could clearly tell that Huo Yuhao wasn’t using a soul tool. The metal that he had chosen was the notoriously tough and hard titanium – it was a rare metal that was only produced within the Sun Moon Empire. Xuan Ziwen’s ﬁrst impression when he chose titanium was: did he make a mistake?
However, his pupils immediately contracted when the dark golden blade swiped across the silver-white titanium chunk and effortlessly chopped a piece off without even making a
single sound. His brain started to work quickly as he attempted to calculate the dark golden blade’s sharpness and toughness.
What shook Xuan Ziwen even more was what came after. A series of crackling sounds could be heard from between Huo Yuhao’s palms, and a ﬁne silver-white powder started drifting down from his hands. The diamond ice crystals looked incredibly brilliant as they reﬂected the light from inside the lab.
Huo Yuhao came before the lab desk without giving Xuan Ziwen a chance to deliberate. His demeanor changed a little as well, and Xuan Ziwen could subtly feel Huo Yuhao’s otherworldly focus and stability – a silver-white sphere that was about as large as a lychee appeared on the table.
He… He used his hands to knead titanium into a sphere? Xuan Ziwen was in awe once more. He hadn’t collected any of Huo Yuhao’s assessment details and particulars from Lin Jiayi before this, so he had no idea what this ﬁfteen or sixteen-year- old teenager’s abilities were like. He hadn’t even seen Huo Yuhao’s soul rings, but he had already used two soul skills. Xuan Ziwen was ﬁnally attracted by Huo Yuhao’s behavior. However, he told himself that Huo Yuhao’s display of abilities was that of a soul master. Huo Yuhao was from the number-
one soul master academy in the Continent, Shrek, so his possession of these abilities wasn’t that wondrous. He was here to test Huo Yuhao’s soul engineering abilities.
Huo Yuhao started working while Xuan Ziwen continued thinking to himself. A silver-white carving knife appeared in his hands, but it wasn’t the Life Guardian Blade – it was just a normal ﬁne golden carving knife, and there was a layer of diamond powder on the blade. It was enough to carve and sculpt most metals, but it wasn’t the best of the best. It would be extremely difﬁcult to cut certain hard metals, and it could even break.
Huo Yuhao’s left hand pinched the small silver-white sphere while his left hand waltzed swiftly. His movements were incredibly fast – at least, it seemed this way from Xuan Ziwen’s perspective. Every slice connected to the next without pause, and deep grooves began to appear on this silver-white metal sphere’s surface.
Xuan Ziwen came next to Huo Yuhao out of curiosity, and meticulously monitored his work.
Huo Yuhao worked with tremendous speed. It didn’t take long for sophisticated and intricate patterns to appear on the metal sphere’s surface. However, Xuan Ziwen’s brows knitted into a knot, and he muttered to himself, “Charge, Speed, Speed, Speed, Speed, Speed, Speed. Adding seven arrays to such a small body is outstanding, but why are you making six Speeds? If this were used as a soul thruster, a single use would break your back in half. Titanium is strong and tough, but seven arrays being added to a piece this size – and six Speeds. You are pursuing something so extreme, so you can only use it once. Don’t you feel like it’s a waste due to the fact that you will discard it after a single instance?”
Xuan Ziwen’s voice wasn’t that soft, but Huo Yuhao seemed to be paying no attention to outside matters and focused on his work. The titanium sphere constantly rotated as the carving knife in his right hand sliced down repeatedly. Thin and ﬁne titanium powder scattered subtly all over the lab desk.
Xuan Ziwen became even more interested in Huo Yuhao at this point. He could tell that this teenager’s foundations were good, and even though this was a Class 3 soul tool, adding so many arrays at once was something that only a Class 4 soul engineer should be able to do. His hands were steady while his movements were quick yet rhythmic. What was more impressive was that he didn’t make a single mistake despite all
his bewildering speed, and Xuan Ziwen could tell with one look that it wasn’t Huo Yuhao’s ﬁrst time creating formation arrays like this. Formation arrays were a soul tool’s heart and soul, so there was no room for errors. Even a tiny error or mistake would cause the soul tool to be discarded as worthless.
Five minutes – Huo Yuhao took only ﬁve minutes to sculpt his formation array. He blew on the metal sphere gently, and a layer of metallic powder drifted down; the carving was complete.
What was previously just a normal titanium sphere now looked like an exquisite art piece at this point. Deep and shallow grooves, vertical and horizontal lines snaked all over the metal sphere, giving it a formidable three-dimensionality.
“I’m done, teacher Xuan.” Huo Yuhao clasped the small formation array sphere in his hands.
Xuan Ziwen said coldly, “That’s nothing impressive. Do you think creating such an extreme formation array is considered creative?”
Huo Yuhao glanced at the timer and said, “Teacher Xuan, there’s still some time left. With your permission, I hope to be able to forge the entire soul tool and demonstrate it to you. The profundity of this soul tool I intend to create isn’t about its formation arrays.”
“Oh?” Xuan Ziwen watched him with astonishment and said, “Alright, show me. If it’s actually that creative, you are allowed to exceed the time limit by a little bit.” His interest was now sufﬁciently piqued by this youth from Shrek Academy.
“Yes.” Huo Yuhao acknowledged and immediately returned to the pile of metal from before. He didn’t pick titanium anymore, but chose iron instead, which was the most normal metal. It was a typical metal that was rarely used even when forging a soul tool’s shell. Iron was typically used for molds, and people rarely used it directly for forging soul tools.
The Darkgolden Terrorclaw appeared once again, and chopped off piece after piece of iron. From Xuan Ziwen’s perspective, Huo Yuhao’s methods of creating soul tools were extremely special and unique.
Huo Yuhao could use his hands to knead a metal as tough as titanium, and even knead it into a perfect sphere – it was needless to say what he could do with iron.
Huo Yuhao quickly converted the iron pieces in his hands into the desired shapes. He used the carving knife after kneading the iron to carve them into the precise shapes and forms that he wanted.
If the time Huo Yuhao needed to create the formation arrays was considered quick, then the speed at which he was working now could only be described as frighteningly fast, almost to the point where Xuan Ziwen’s eyes couldn’t distinguish his movements. Huo Yuhao would subtly shift and tilt his body
from time to time during his work, intentionally blocking off Xuan Ziwen’s line of sight. When Xuan Ziwen changed his own position to continue watching, several metal pieces would already have been swiftly completed, and Xuan Ziwen never got a chance to witness what Huo Yuhao did during that time.
Xuan Ziwen could gradually discern some clues, however. Huo Yuhao wasn’t just carving and sculpting the iron pieces when he was making the shell – he looked like he was engraving something on their surface, while piece after piece of arrow-shaped metal sticks were incorporated within that emanated soft metal clanging sounds from time to time.
“Crack, crack, clang, clang…” A series of crisp metallic sounds could be heard, and a iron box that was roughly one foot long, three inches wide and two inches thick appeared before Xuan Ziwen. The formation array that Huo Yuhao had designed before had already been infused inside. Despite his extraordinary memory, Xuan Ziwen couldn’t remember much, as Huo Yuhao’s forging speed was simply too fast, and he had intentionally blocked off his vision at times. He could feel that
Huo Yuhao’s soul tool was extremely ﬁne and exquisite, especially for a shell formed by iron. He even felt a little eager to discover what it could do.
“You’re done?” Xuan Ziwen asked Huo Yuhao.
Huo Yuhao nodded and pressed down on its surface with his right hand, as if he were making some ﬁnal touches.
“Alright. Show me what this consumable can do.” Xuan Ziwen muttered indifferently.
Huo Yuhao wasted no words, stepping out from behind the lab desk and moving into the soul tool testing area. Every large laboratory would have a soul tool testing area, which was used to test completed soul tools. Of course, the testing area had a limit to how much it could take, and soul tools that were too powerful couldn’t be used here.
Huo Yuhao raised the rectangular box in his hands and pointed at the alloy wall more than ﬁfty meters away, which was two meters thick. He pressed with his ﬁngers, and Xuan Ziwen only heard a buzzing sound.
A series of ear-piercing explosive sounds could be heard from ﬁfty meters away, and metal powder erupted from the alloy wall.
The iron box in Huo Yuhao’s hands groaned and shattered into pieces with a splat. Huo Yuhao pressed his hands inwards, and the broken soul tool in his hands was immediately kneaded into a metal sphere with his Mysterious Jade Hands.
Any soul engineer below Class 4 probably wouldn’t understand what Huo Yuhao had done. However, Xuan Ziwen wasn’t a soul engineer below Class 4! The Illustrious Virtue Hall had given him special subsidies, and he was also one of the Illustrious Virtue Hall’s research consultants. He was also a special teacher in the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, and he was a Class 8 soul engineer. He couldn’t be more clear about what Huo Yuhao did in that instant.
Xuan Ziwen’s eyes sparkled like the stars in the night sky, and he immediately gave his feedback. “Class 4 soul tool, name unknown. If better original materials were used, its offensive abilities would be close to a Class 5 soul tool – no, more accurately put, this should be considered a stationary soul tool that doesn’t come with explosive projectiles. It’s very difﬁcult
for soul barriers to defend against this, and its speed can rival that of a soul ray, while its force is far superior. What’s more outstanding is the fact that this soul tool has impressive extensibility. Wait – when you ﬁred that shot, you only pressed a button on the soul tool, and you didn’t inject any soul power? I understand now. You used the Charge array to infuse soul power, to activate the entire soul tool when you were placing the entire formation array inside. Ingenious! What an ingenious plan! In other words, even normal people can use this soul tool as long as it’s completely charged. However, how can the overall discharge system be so small? There’s something about this soul tool’s shell, and you must have included elements that I don’t understand.”
Huo Yuhao was ﬁlled with awe as he listened to Xuan Ziwen’s analysis – every statement was right on point. There indeed was something within the shell. The shell’s structure was so compact and sophisticated that it could rival even the formation array inside. This was the most important feature of the entire soul tool – the formation array was nothing much, but this shell was Huo Yuhao’s secret.
This soul tool had a name that shook the entire Continent ten thousand years ago – Zhuge Divine Crossbow. Tang San, the person that established the Tang Sect, was its inventor. However, the Zhuge Divine Crossbow that Huo Yuhao had just
forged was a soul tool that incorporated the Zhuge Divine Crossbow’s principles and structures.
Even though he had had the Zhuge Divine Crossbow’s original blueprint, Huo Yuhao had had to study it for more than half a year before ﬁnally completing this creation. Even Fan Yu didn’t know this soul tool’s actual structure, as this was the ﬁrst soul tool that he had created for the Tang Sect. Just as Xuan Ziwen said, the Zhuge Divine Crossbow’s force wasn’t that formidable, but its authentic extensibility and that normal people could also use it could be considered exemplary and extraordinary features – it could even be said to be something that the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy had been pursuing for a long time.
The number-one research topic pursued by the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy was how they could enable normal people to use soul tools. This research topic focused on empirical principles, and not how soul tools were made or how they operated.
Xuan Ziwen grabbed Huo Yuhao’s hands and said, “Tell me right now, how did you do that? How did you create such an impressive soul tool? No, sorry, I’m too excited. Sell it to me –
sell your research to me. You can name any price you want. How about that?”
Huo Yuhao’s impression of Xuan Ziwen became a little better as he watched Xuan Ziwen’s exhilaration. He could feel that Xuan Ziwen was the kind of person that would give everything he had for his research, and these kinds of people were usually purer, and didn’t have too many ulterior motives.
“Teacher Xuan, I’m here for your guidance. Did I pass the assessment?”
“Of course you’ve passed. Are you selling this soul tool? Even though its empirical principles may not be enough to solve the problem, it will be able to give great inspiration… Wait, I don’t know your name yet.”
Huo Yuhao sounded a little exasperated, and replied, “My name is Huo Yuhao.”
“Alright, alright. Huo Yuhao, tell me – can you tell me your research ﬁndings?” Xuan Ziwen asked eagerly.
Huo Yuhao shook his head without hesitation. “I’m sorry, teacher Xuan, I can’t sell it to you. I’m sure you’re aware of the competition between the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy and Shrek Academy. More importantly, the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy belongs to the Sun Moon Empire. You should understand how frightening it could be if soul tools that could be used by normal people were eventually dispersed to the military.”
Xuan Ziwen’s brows creased tightly and said, “That means you’re not willing to sell?”
Huo Yuhao replied with a resolute and uncompromising tone, “No, I’m not. You don’t look like a belligerent, so do you really want to use my research to incite conﬂict and war? Even if it’s for assistance, I belong to the Star Luo Empire, and I cannot give my research ﬁndings to the Sun Moon Empire.”
Xuan Ziwen’s facial expressions changed continuously as he said. “Aren’t you afraid of me doing something to you because of your research?”
Huo Yuhao smiled plainly and answered, “You probably wouldn’t have told me that if you did harbor any such
intentions. Furthermore, Shrek Academy can’t be so easily bullied and pushed around by others. Even though your cultivation is much higher than mine, I have a ten percent chance of taking you down with me at this distance – do you believe me?”
Xuan Ziwen didn’t explode in a ﬁt of fury like Huo Yuhao imagined he would. Instead, Xuan Ziwen had a look of genuine sincerity and said, “Alright, then tell me – what will it take for you to share your research ﬁndings with me? How about I give everything I have to teach and mentor you? I will use my own research ﬁndings in exchange for yours. You have to know that my latest research ﬁndings are extraordinarily impressive, and one of them is controlling soul tools from a distance. This is something that only I can do within the entire Illustrious Virtue Hall. Even though it’s a Class 8 soul tool, people have touted it to be the Class 9 soul tool among Class 8 soul tools.”
Huo Yuhao still shook his head with a calm expression on his face. He didn’t know that if Jing Hongchen, the Hallmaster of the Virtuous Hall, heard Xuan Ziwen’s words, he probably would have vomited blood.
“Don’t you understand?” Xuan Ziwen could tell that Huo Yuhao disregarded his own research ﬁndings, and immediately
Huo Yuhao said plainly, “I don’t really understand, teacher Xuan. However, I can tell that your research ﬁndings are more suitable for the national military, and not so much for personal use. However, I’m not a soldier. As for reconnaissance abilities, do have a look.”
Huo Yuhao’s eyes glowed as he spoke. Pale golden light ﬂowed out, and his Spiritual Detection immediately landed on Xuan Ziwen’s body.
Three-dimensional images immediately appeared in Xuan Ziwen’s mind. He felt his body quiver vigorously as he could clearly feel everything within ﬁve hundred meters around him. Everything, including things outside the laboratory, were all part of this mystical detection ability.
Huo Yuhao didn’t give him much time to experience it, and he withdrew his soul skill as soon as he activated it. He was still gazing calmly at Xuan Ziwen. He revealed his abilities because he had a faint feeling that he could make a breakthrough with this teacher Xuan. This breakthrough
would be immeasurably beneﬁcial for both Shrek Academy and the Tang Sect.
“You…” Xuan Ziwen gazed at Huo Yuhao, his words stuck in his throat, rendered completely speechless momentarily. “That’s not possible! You can’t be a spirit-type soul master, just judging from the soul skills you displayed forging the soul tool. You…”
“Heh. It’s not really a secret—I have twin martial souls; one assault-type, one spiritual control-type. The ﬁles you academy has on me should say about as much.” With his experiences in the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament, there wasn’t much hidden about him, in the eyes of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, from two years ago. Huo Yuhao was a spirit-type soul master, making his instincts keenly accurate, and he could sense that this teacher Xuan wasn’t someone sent with malicious intentions at all. His blistering passion for soul tools gave Huo Yuhao an idea.
“Spirit-type? Assault-type?” Xuan Ziwen’s eyes instantly began to sparkle. He grabbed Huo Yuhao’s shoulders and said, “A soul master with twin martial souls—and one of them is a spirit- type! What a heaven-sent blessing!. This is great, just too great.”
Huo Yuhao forced a laugh and said, “Don’t be so excited, teacher Xuan. Can you let go of me ﬁrst?”
“Oh, sorry.” Xuan Ziwen’s face was ﬂushed red from all the excitement. “Spirit-type—you live up to the Shrek Academy name! Wow, you actually have a spirit-type martial soul. Yuhao, what’s your soul power rank?” It wasn’t as simple as just accepting Huo Yuhao, within this brief conversation he even changed his form of addressing him.
“Rank 40. However, my spirit-type soul is the primary soul for now, and spirit-type souls are just too few and far between, so I just haven’t been able to get a fourth ring yet. I’m still a three-ringed Soul Elder.” Huo Yuhao gave a detailed explanation. The thought from earlier ﬂared up again as he saw the ﬁery passion in Xuan Ziwen’s eyes.
Xuan Ziwen frowned and said, “Rank 40? That’s a little too low. We could have a go if you had at least six soul rings.”
Huo Yuhao was momentarily speechless, and couldn’t help but remind him. “I’m only fourteen this year, teacher Xuan! Not twenty-four!”
“Uh… Right, I forgot. Regardless, you’ve won my approval with your abilities. I will admit that with the Spiritual Detection alone, I am conﬁdent in mentoring you to become a top-tier soul engineer, even if you’d never touched soul tools before. I just have a few more questions for you, Yuhao.”
Huo Yuhao nodded.
Xuan Ziwen contemplated for a short while, lowered his voice and asked, “First off, can you control your Spiritual Detection’s area of effect? More speciﬁcally, can you reduce the area of effect in exchange for accuracy and precision?”
Huo Yuhao nodded and said, “I can do that for myself. However, I can’t do that if I’m sharing my Spiritual Detection with others.”
Xuan Ziwen said contentedly, “That’s impressive enough as is. Soul engineers need to rely on hard work to learn and research, they can’t just rely on strength to create things— strength is a supporting tool. My second question is: Can your Spiritual Detection reach deep into physical materials to perceive the transformations within them?
Huo Yuhao said without hesitation, “Yes, but only to a certain level. To put it simply, I can’t look deep inside the most complex things, but a human body is no problem. Naturally, that also means that I can perceive soul power transformations inside someone.”
Xuan Ziwen didn’t expect Huo Yuhao to be so honest and straightforward with him. He gave an astonished glance as he looked over at Huo Yuhao, then he tilted his head slightly as he said, “Truly a powerful spirit-type martial soul. My last question: Will you accept me as your teacher, as a disciple? My hope is that you leave Shrek Academy and join the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. This might sound outrageous, but I can guarantee you direct entrance to the Illustrious Virtue Hall, without any entry examinations at all. I will teach you all I have to offer, and mentor you into a top-tier soul engineer, and you will be a part in our most important and substantial research projects. Plus, I daresay that the Illustrious Virtue Hall is at least dozens of years ahead in soul tool research from any other power.”
Huo Yuhao smiled and replied, “I realized that in the trip to The Radiant City, teacher Xuan, and I’m sure what you’ve just said is true. Dozens may even be a conservative estimate. However, I need to know what will happen if the day comes, where the Illustrious Virtue Hall’s technology and soul tools
leave them entirely unafraid of even the most powerful soul masters. Will the Sun Moon Empire be as peaceful as they are now?”
“Uh…” Xuan Ziwen frowned and replied impatiently, “This isn’t something that researchers like us should be worried about. We should only care about how to produce more magniﬁcent, practical, and novel soul tools.”
Huo Yuhao loosed a faint sigh and said, “That’s because this is your country, but it isn’t mine. I don’t want to, nor can I, fuel conﬂicts because of my passion for soul tools, which leads to the destruction of life.”
Xuan Ziwen muttered indifferently, “You’re too full of yourself. You think you can incite a war by yourself?”
Huo Yuhao said seriously, “Maybe I’m not powerful enough to incite a war, but I won’t give my abilities to a rival country— do forgive me. You are my teacher now, so I hope that means you’re willing to guide me.”
Xuan Ziwen’s face seemed a little black, but he had to admit that this exchange student from Shrek Academy possesses the qualiﬁcations to shake him to the core. Perhaps this little fella didn’t have much experience in regards to soul tool research and concepts, but he has solid foundations and a creativity that is imperative for soul tool research. Furthermore, he has a spirit-type martial soul, and that’s as unique and extraordinary as it could get.
Xuan Ziwen sighed and said, “That’s a pity. However, I’m still willing to mentor you. The only difference is that I can’t share some of the most crucial information from the Illustrious Virtue Hall. Of course, we can still negotiate if you’re willing to make an exchange using your research ﬁndings.” He smiled sheepishly after he spoke.
Huo Yuhao said, “Have you ever thought about leaving this place, teacher Xuan?”
Xuan Ziwen was slightly taken aback, and shook his head as he said, “No. Why would I leave? I have always wanted to become a top-tier soul engineer since I was kid. I want to enable the civilians, so that they too can use soul tools, so that I can change their lives forever, and perhaps even the entire world. Across the entire Continent, only the Illustrious Virtue
Hall can provide sufﬁcient budget and a research direction for me. Even though the Illustrious Virtue Hall can’t teach me much, they still have the best research facilities. Shrek Academy may have superior soul masters, but they are far inferior in terms of soul tool research facilities.”
Huo Yuhao smiled. “I wasn’t about to convince you to join Shrek Academy. I wanted to tell you that the only way for you to obtain my research ﬁndings is to join my sect. I accomplished my research by incorporating the esoteric knowledge from my sect, so it doesn’t really belong to myself.”
Xuan Ziwen was stunned momentarily and asked subconsciously, “You have a sect? What sect?”
Huo Yuhao said, “The Tang Sect. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of it before…”
Xuan Ziwen contemplated for a short while, and then exclaimed, “The Tang Sect—the one that invented hidden weapons? The Tang Sect that existed during the time of the Heaven Dou Empire?”
Huo Yuhao nodded his head and asked with a surprised look, “You know of the Heaven Dou Empire?”
Xuan Ziwen replied, “Of course I do. I come from the Heavenly Soul Empire, but my parents’ generation migrated to the Sun Moon Empire.”
Huo Yuhao was even more moved at this. “Then, are you willing to join the Tang Sect?”
Xuan Ziwen grunted coldly and answered, “Are those lunatic ravings, or are you trying to deceive me? According to what I know, the Tang Sect no longer exists. Even if there are remnants of it lying around, they are extremely weak. Are you sure you can provide me with sufﬁcient research expenses and facilities?”
Huo Yuhao could feel the contempt and scorn in his voice, and he was instantly infuriated. However, he took a deep breath and paciﬁed his rage quickly, as he had to admit that Tang Sect was indeed in a declining state, and was currently far from enough to attract the likes of Xuan Ziwen.
“Yes, the Tang Sect cannot afford a top-tier soul engineer like you right now. However, let’s make a bet. If the Tang Sect rises again within ten years, and they have a large enough research budget and facilities for you, then you shall join it.”
Xuan Ziwen answered, “You still don’t understand what I’m after. I don’t care about the money, and I probably don’t care about anything else except the profound world of soul tools— much like the research that you just showed me. How about this? I will join your Tang Sect if you can produce ten of these extraordinary research ﬁndings.”
Huo Yuhao raised his right hand and placed it before Xuan Ziwen.
Xuan Ziwen was a little shocked. “What are you doing?”
Huo Yuhao said with determination, “A promise must be kept! We will high-ﬁve to make an oath.”
Xuan Ziwen chuckled and blurted out, “You think it’s so easy to produce similar research breakthroughs? I have to say you could even be considered fortunate to have one—some soul
engineers cannot even produce one such research breakthrough in a lifetime, let alone ten in different ﬁelds.”
Huo Yuhao’s eyes sparkled as he gazed at Xuan Ziwen and said, “Teacher Xuan, whether or not I can accomplish this is my problem. I only want to ask you—if I succeed, will you honor your word?”
The amusement in Xuan Ziwen’s eyes disappeared as he lowered his voice and said, “If you can accomplish it, and every soul tool research direction is different, then I will join the Tang Sect.”
“Clap, clap, clap.” Three high-ﬁves, and the oath was made.
Chapter 158: Senior Sister Ju Zi
Xuan Ziwen could tell that Huo Yuhao’s eyes had changed a little after their three high-ﬁves. Huo Yuhao was no longer a child in his eyes, as he could clearly feel that Huo Yuhao wasn’t just saying all this for the fun of it. The determination and self- conﬁdence in his eyes was truly stunning and remarkable.
“Alright, then we shall start today’s lesson. Hopefully, I can give you even more pleasant surprises today. However, I have to say that you can’t take too long to devise ten different research breakthroughs, or I may no longer have that hysterical passion to achieve my dreams when I’m too old.”
Xuan Ziwen was stubborn and passionate about soul tools, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t rational and intelligent about other things. Huo Yuhao’s research was enough to move him, but it wasn’t enough to pull him over without conditions and prerequisites.
Huo Yuhao nodded and smiled. “Let’s begin our lesson, teacher Xuan. I have already passed your assessment, and I am your student now.”
Xuan Ziwen nodded and said, “Alright then, let’s start. I can tell that your foundations are solid and reliable, and you are a unique spirit-type soul master. I want to discuss some principles and concepts before I elaborate more about techniques in forging soul tools. Once your principles and concepts are right, you won’t digress from the right path so easily when you’re doing deeper research.
“Tell me... what is a soul tool?” Xuan Ziwen’s face was serious and solemn.
Huo Yuhao replied, “They are tools activated and directed by a soul master’s soul power. They can be used as weapons, or tools to support people's’ daily lives or their work.” This should be the model answer, and he had known that ever since he started learning how to forge soul tools.
However, Xuan Ziwen shook his head disappointedly when he heard these words.
“I have to say that Shrek’s views and perception of soul tools is simply too backward. I will give you a new deﬁnition – you must memorize it. What are soul tools? Soul tools have nothing to do with soul masters. The meaning of the existence
and advancement of soul tools lies in catalyzing human society’s evolution.
“That means research and development in soul tools is intended to advance and further societal development, so that humans can enjoy a stronger and more fulﬁlling existence. I have always believed that, one day in the near future, humankind will be able to use soul tools to dominate and subdue all other species, perhaps even other worlds that are not our own. Our vision may be too insigniﬁcant and trivial for now, but humans are also constantly growing and evolving in tandem with our advancements in soul tools. Do you believe that one day, humans without even a thread of soul power can use soul tools to hunt and kill ten thousand year soul beasts?”
Huo Yuhao paid attention and remembered everything that Xuan Ziwen said to him. His current impression of Xuan Ziwen was similar to the same awe and amazement that Xuan Ziwen had felt when Huo Yuhao had forged the Zhuge Divine Crossbow.
Xuan Ziwen had ﬂipped his knowledge and understanding of soul tools with just a few simple words, and this was entirely because of the gap in their standards.
“Human evolution and development has been extremely slow over the past few thousand years. I believe that the Douluo Continent’s sluggish development would have continued if it hadn’t collided with the Sun Moon Continent. Even now, the three empires native to the Douluo Continent haven’t entirely taken soul tools seriously. Without considering top-tier soul masters, I dare say that the Sun Moon Empire is entirely capable of using soul tools to dominate and unify the entire continent. There is already a rift in the levels of civilization.” Xuan Ziwen’s speech gave the impression that he couldn’t stand not saying staggering and startling things.
“However, our research and development in soul tools has reached a bottleneck. The reason is simple: soul masters are the bottleneck.
“That is because research in soul tools began with the notion and purpose of soul masters using them, so soul power was required to activate them. Over the past few thousand years, every single piece of research has been channeled and focused on this aspect. This has created a worldwide malady, in that soul tools cannot be used on a large scale. Soul masters are ultimately the elites among humans, but they are still the minority, and normal citizens are still the majority. If soul tools cannot enter normal citizens’ lives, then we will never truly realize the dream of advancing humankind and
transcending generational boundaries. Mightier soul tools required stronger soul masters to use them, and this moronic logic has led to the stagnation of soul tool research. Our current research direction is ‘how do we enable normal citizens to use soul tools?’ This is the reason why I was so amazed and bewildered when I saw the soul tool that you just created!
“Even though you haven’t completely solved the problem, you have allowed soul masters to act as a vector for charging the soul tool. Once it’s charged, the soul tool that you have forged can be used by normal citizens. This is what I’m most concerned about, and not your soul tool’s force. In other words, this soul tool’s most important technology is about using gears and buttons so that the Charge array can be used as a primer, instead of soul power. Therefore, you should do everything you can to explore and research soul tools for civilian use if you wish to move me. The relatively more successful examples are currently limited to stationary soul tools. The only problem is that stationary soul tools are simply too expensive, and even the Illustrious Virtue Hall rarely forges high-level stationary soul tools. To this day, the Sun Moon Empire has only equipped a single stationary soul tool regiment.”
Xuan Ziwen suddenly seemed to realize that he had misspoke, and he forced a laugh in exasperation. “Pretend you didn’t hear that last sentence.”
Huo Yuhao smiled in understanding but said nothing, and only listened intently to Xuan Ziwen’s explanation.
Xuan Ziwen’s mood and interest had been completely triggered by now, and he went on and on about his knowledge and understanding of soul tools, as well as some principles and concepts. Huo Yuhao was like a dried-up sponge, and constantly absorbed all this information. He could imprint everything into his mind with impeccable accuracy due to his supernatural memory.
Xuan Ziwen’s research in regards to soul tools truly ﬂabbergasted Huo Yuhao. He was a Class 8 soul engineer, but the feeling he gave Huo Yuhao was different from what he felt with Fan Yu. Fan Yu’s style was stability, and Huo Yuhao’s foundations had become extremely sturdy under his guidance.
Xuan Ziwen was the complete opposite. His mind was like a heavenly steed soaring through the skies, bold and imaginative; he was a soul engineer ﬁlled with creativity and
vigor. His research was mostly unrelated to war, and certain principles and concepts gave Huo Yuhao a sudden ﬂash of insight. Some things that he didn’t understand about soul tools, or some things that he just couldn’t wrap his head around, were smoothed out and resolved by Xuan Ziwen’s guidance in principles and concepts. Even though it couldn’t be considered a complete resolution, he could at least see a clear path before him.
This was also a soul engineer curriculum, but the gap had become increasingly conspicuous. Huo Yuhao’s learning in Shrek Academy was more about memorizing blueprints of soul tool formation arrays, yet Xuan Ziwen didn’t produce a single blueprint for him! He was merely explaining the innovative principles of soul tools. In Xuan Ziwen’s words, a soul engineer teacher should never give his or her students rules and boxes to follow. Soul engineer teachers should be giving their students principles and concepts, and once their students obtained a sufﬁcient foundation, they would use their understanding in principles and concepts along with their personal creativity to create soul tools that belonged to themselves.
This was the main reason why Huo Yuhao amazed Xuan Ziwen when he made something of his own during the assessment.
Huo Yuhao felt as if he was re-learning everything he knew about soul tools under Xuan Ziwen’s guidance. His brain had been completely rewired at this point, and he would ask some questions from time to time, which Xuan Ziwen answered immediately without exception. Time seemed to ﬂash by as an hour passed just like that. Xuan Ziwen spoke until even he was a little exhausted, but Huo Yuhao was still as excited and lively as ever – one of the major advantages of being a spirit-type soul master.
Creeeeak... The lab door suddenly opened with a jarring creak and shook Huo Yuhao out of his immersion in the ocean of knowledge as he subconsciously glanced towards the door.
It was just a glance, but his eyes suddenly seemed to freeze, and he could no longer withdraw his gaze.
There was a young woman standing by the door. She seemed a little drowsy-eyed, but her beauty made Huo Yuhao lose his focus even though he had seen many pretty girls before.
This young lady had long,ﬂowing black hair. She looked to be between seventeen and eighteen years of age, her large and nimble eyes appearing a little nebulous. Her complexion was
just too impressive, as not a single pore could be seen on her soft and tender skin, as if he could squeeze water out of her with just a single pinch. She wore a school uniform like everyone else, which brought out her relatively attractive ﬁgure. Perhaps she wasn’t as pretty as Jiang Nannans, but her lazy and naturally cute demeanor was riveting.
“You’re early, teacher! What a rare sight!” The young girl acted like she didn’t see Huo Yuhao at all, addressing Xuan Ziwen lazily. She walked over and sat down on the lab desk before she laid down on top of it, as if she wanted to take yet another nap.
“Ahem, ahem!” Xuan Ziwen coughed dryly and said, “Stop sleeping, Ju Zi. Can’t you see there’s someone new here?”
The young girl referred to as “Ju Zi” was still lying down. She waved her right hand lazily, as if she were swatting ﬂies and said, “Stop talking and let me sleep for a little while. You know what I was doing last night when I burned the midnight oil.” Her soft and silky voice gave people a strange and tickly sensation in their hearts.
Xuan Ziwen was a little exasperated and said, “Forget it. Don’t mind her, she’s just like that. Her name is Ju Zi, and she’s also one of my students. You can call her senior sister from now on, or you can just address her by her name. She was researching soul tools last night, and she kept at a single experiment until midnight. That is the reason why she’s only up at this hour. I only have four students. The other three are out to gain experience, and will probably only be back after a few days.”
“Experience? Soul engineers also have to venture outside for experience? What kind of experience is that?” Huo Yuhao asked curiously.
Xuan Ziwen replied, “Of course they need to have experience! Simply doing experiments inside a lab is not enough, and some research has to be tested in real life so that it can be improved, and better results obtained. I guided them through forging some soul tools before this, and they brought their soul tools out for experiments. You will have similar experiences in the days to come.”
“Since you already have Rank 40 soul power, you should go out and get your fourth soul ring as soon as possible. Even though I’m unwilling to admit it, soul engineers will dread the stagnation of their soul power the most, as powerful soul tools require a powerful soul master to wield them right now.”
Huo Yuhao forced a laugh and said, “It’s not like I’m delaying in getting another soul ring. Suitable spirit-type soul beasts are just too rare, if that wasn’t the case, I wouldn’t have dragged it out this long.”
Xuan Ziwen contemplated momentarily, then said, “Rare doesn’t mean nonexistent. Even though the Sun Moon Empire’s overall soul beast quality may be inferior to that of the Great Star Dou Forest near Shrek Academy, it holds true that different regions will have different types of soul beasts. I can accompany you to ﬁnd a suitable soul ring, you can get one as long as you ﬁnd an appropriate soul beast.”
“Thank you, teacher Xuan.” Huo Yuhao thanked him sincerely. While he wasn’t wholly convinced that Xuan Ziwen
could take him to ﬁnd a suitable soul beast, he could still appreciate his teacher’s good intentions.
Xuan Ziwen glanced at the time and said, “Alright, it’s getting late. We will stop here for today, in the meantime you can think things over on your own. I can only teach you the principles, after that your subsequent inventions and innovations are yours alone.”
“Yes.” Huo Yuhao nodded.
Xuan Ziwen sauntered beside Ju Zi and suddenly shouted, “It’s time to eat!”
“Ah! Let’s go! The shrimp crackers will be gone!” This beautiful girl, who still had sleepy and dazed eyes just a moment ago, suddenly leapt to her feet. She raced out of the lab with a spring in her step while Huo Yuhao watched her, slack-jawed.
Xuan Ziwen laughed uncontrollably as he watched her mannerisms.
It didn’t take long before Ju Zi stomped furiously back into the lab. She raised her arm and hurled a sphere of yellow light towards Xuan Ziwen exclaiming, “You lied to me! You lied to me again. I’m going to kill you.” She tossed sphere after sphere of yellow light as she spoke.
Xuan Ziwen could catch a few at the start, but was quickly overwhelmed and guffawed, “Help me, Yuhao.”
Huo Yuhao could see everything from the moment Ju Zi raised her hands into the air. She was actually throwing out oranges, every single one was ripe and supple. It was apparent that she was a food-type soul master with an Orange martial soul.
Huo Yuhao’s movements were quite unlike Xuan Ziwen, while neither released their martial soul, Huo Yuhao seemed to grow innumerable hands, catching every single orange barreling through the air. Not a single orange could get by him, he simply dropped them on the ground beside him.
“Eh?” Ju Zi ﬁnally realized there was someone else in the lab.
She stopped what she was doing and asked, “Who are you?”
Xuan Ziwen walked towards Huo Yuhao and explained, “He is your new junior brother, and I will be mentoring him from today onwards.”
Huo Yuhao was relatively tall and lanky compared to others of the same age. He had a cool and composed demeanor, so he seemed more like a teenager closer to seventeen or eighteen years old.
Ju Zi waved at him indifferently before she rushed in front of Xuan Ziwen angrily and said, “You lied to me again, teacher Xuan. If you do that again, I’m going to request a change of teachers.”
Xuan Ziwen chuckled and replied, “Is it my fault that you were born a glutton? Everything would be okay if you didn’t react so dramatically. I leave you in charge of answering your junior brother’s questions when I’m not around. His name is Huo Yuhao.”
Huo Yuhao stepped forward a bit rushed and said respectfully, “Nice to meet you, senior sister Ju Zi.”
Ju Zi looked him up and down more carefully than before, then muttered, “I don’t have time for that, I still have to continue researching and studying my own things. Anyways, I’m leaving to ﬁnd something to eat—I’m famished! I haven’t had anything to eat yet.” She waved her hands as she spoke and departed the laboratory once more.
Xuan Ziwen explained sheepishly, “Our learning atmosphere is a little more relaxed. Ju Zi might seem reserved and isolated from her surroundings, but she has extraordinary talents with soul tools—she’s already a Class 5 soul engineer. The only thing she’s lacking is cultivation level.”
Huo Yuhao suddenly thought of something and asked, “I’ve seen many students from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy before, and I noticed that they typically possess a very formidable soul power from a young age— reaching Rank 60 before twenty years of age isn’t rare, is it? Have they achieved it by eating exotic foods or whatnot? That might be a little excessive.”
Xuan Ziwen sighed and answered, “They’re spoiling them with undue haste. The academy has employed some special and unnatural methods to aid students with a talent for forging soul tools, and the academy spends a myriad amount of exotic
foods and precious resources to boost their cultivations. This method has side effects, which will affect their future development. I can’t tell you about that though—it’s classiﬁed.”
Xuan Ziwen quickly left, and Huo Yuhao was the only person left inside the lab. Huo Yuhao sat down on the ground crossed- legged, and started meditating.
He wasn’t just trying to understand and consolidate the things he learned from Xuan Ziwen—he was also trying to memorize the structure and formation arrays of the soul tools within the laboratory. But he didn’t dare to draw them onto paper right now, as he wasn’t quite sure if there wasn’t a soul tool spying on him or monitoring his actions.
He was about to head down to the canteen to eat after ﬁnishing up when the lab door opened again—Ju Zi was back.
“Senior sister Ju Zi.” Huo Yuhao was a little fatigued when he greeted Ju Zi.
Ju Zi raised one hand and tossed a card that looked like it was made of crystal to Huo Yuhao. Huo Yuhao caught it.
Ju Zi said, “How troublesome. Teacher Xuan wanted me to give you this access card. You’ll be able to go in and out of the laboratory when you like with it. We don’t really have any rules here, so you can carry on with your own research if you have any, and ﬁnd teacher Xuan if you have something you don’t understand. Alright, I’m going to take a nap and continue my research in the afternoon.” She yawned as she
spoke. She turned and began walking towards the exit.
She suddenly stopped after taking only a step or two and snapped her head around. “Huo Yuhao, right? How did you catch so many of my oranges awhile ago?”
Huo Yuhao answered, “It’s a technique from my sect.”
“What sect are you from?” Ju Zi asked curiously.
“The Tang Sect.” Huo Yuhao replied.
Ju Zi was a little confused, and asked, “I’ve never heard of it before. Is it fun?”
Huo Yuhao felt a little speechless, but he still replied. “A sect shouldn’t be described as ‘fun’, senior sister.”
Ju Zi grunted and said, “Forget it, if it’s not fun, I’m out.” She pranced away just like that.
Huo Yuhao ate a simple lunch and returned to the lab in the early afternoon. Neither Xuan Ziwen nor Ju Zi were around.
He recalled Xuan Ziwen’s advice from the morning, and began to experiment with soul tools. He was trying to forge a commonplace, but extremely valuable, soul tool—a Class 4 Milk Bottle.
The Milk Bottle, and soul tools like it, were always in high demand. Only problem is that forging one is a troublesome process, with its formation arrays being especially sophisticated. Huo Yuhao was experimenting in simplifying these complex formation arrays.
After about thirty minutes of deep concentration, Ju Zi walked in. She wasn’t too concerned to see Huo Yuhao making a soul tool off to the side, she walked over to the other side of
the lab desk and got down to work. She was also creating formation arrays.
Huo Yuhao’s senses were incredibly perceptive, he was aware of her presence the moment she entered. He discreetly activated Spiritual Detection and monitored his senior sister’s movements.
Even with his good impression of Xuan Ziwen, he still knew it would be difﬁcult to pick up any core knowledge or bits and pieces of information, because he was from Shrek Academy. He had to learn whatever he could, however he could do it.
Huo Yuhao’s ﬁrst impression of Ju Zi was that she seemed cute, she was pretty too, but also ignorant and obnoxious. He quickly realized that Ju Zi was almost like a completely different person when she walked in. She was extraordinarily focused, as if without a care in the world for anything else besides the formation array she was forging at the moment. It was far more complicated than Huo Yuhao’s Class 4 Milk Bottle’s formation array. Huo Yuhao couldn’t even tell what the formation array was for, despite his vast memory banks of formation arrays—of course, this was also because Ju Zi had just started carving.
Ju Zi appeared to enter a state of absolute concentration, as if she didn’t realize that Huo Yuhao was now right behind her. She grabbed a silver-white piece of metal with her left hand while she held a carving knife with unique colors in her right. This knife looked like it was made of clear and transparent crystal, and its handle was an orangish-red. The blade’s hues gradually became lighter and more plain from the handle all the way up to the tip, which was so clear and transparent that it was almost invisible.
The carving knife spun between her ﬁngers, and waltzed like a sphere of ﬂame.
Fan Yu had once remarked that different soul engineers had different preferences and varying carving knifes when creating formation arrays. Those who would eventually become top- ranked soul engineers all had their own unique techniques and style.
Huo Yuhao was still discovering his own style and preferences. However, he could see fragments of a style from Ju Zi.
Ju Zi gave onlookers a light and agile feeling when she handled her carving knife. The knife looked like a ball of ﬂame, only brieﬂy touching the metal piece before it was withdrawn, and didn’t stop moving for even a single moment. This natural movement made it seem like she was caressing the metal piece with her carving knife. Metal scraps continuously drifted to the ﬂoor, but none of them scattered outwards; the intricate textures made her work seem like that of uncanny and superlative craftsmanship.
One was sitting down while the other was standing up. One was carving in silence while the other observed quietly from the side. Like this, time unwittingly ﬂew by.
Dusk was gradually approaching, warm lights automatically lit up inside the lab to maintain the brightness. However, neither Huo Yuhao nor Ju Zi noticed these changes.
One was focused on working, another was watching on, enchanted.
Today’s takeaways were almost overwhelming for Huo Yuhao. He had received Xuan Ziwen’s guidance in soul engineering principles this morning, but these several hours of standing during the afternoon were actually even more important.
This was the optimal combination of theory and hands-on practice. Ju Zi was effectively giving him an exciting and magniﬁcent practical lesson, it was especially effective because she was a form of conﬁrmation for what Xuan Ziwen had talked about in the morning. A new door to becoming a proper soul engineer was slowly opening before Huo Yuhao.
Ju Zi heaved a long breath after a long time. “Oh, it’s ﬁnally done.” The silver-white metal piece became a square formation array. The horizontal and vertical lines on the formation array were precise and orderly, and Huo Yuhao wouldn’t have believed it if you told him they were carved manually, without the help of any other tools, had he not just seen it happen in person.
“Why didn’t you use any other tools?” Huo Yuhao spoke for the ﬁrst time after she ﬁnished her work.
“Ah!” Ju Zi was clearly startled. Her body instantly erupted with orangish-red radiance, and uncountable oranges were immediately ﬂung towards Huo Yuhao. The oranges whooshed through the air like they were shot out by a tornado.
Huo Yuhao didn’t expect she would have such a violent reaction, but his battle instincts caused him to respond subconsciously.
Diamond-like crystals covered his entire body, and the ﬂurry of oranges crashed against him, but didn’t even force him to take a single step back. The oranges ricocheted against the Ice Empress’ Armor and scattered in different directions.
Huo Yuhao’s pupils suddenly dilated as he felt more than ten oranges soundlessly stick to his body, and he was assaulted with an unprecedented sense of danger.
He made a split-second judgment due to his perceptive senses. Emerald light ﬂickered as a shadow ﬂashed behind his body. An emerald-green layer of light blew outwards with his body at the center before being immediately withdrawn.
Everything froze within an area of about ten meters in diameter. Ju Zi had already turned around, and was a looking at Huo Yuhao with an astonished look on her face, the whirling oranges in the sky—just stopped and remained in a strange state of silence.
The oranges rained down from above, to the ground. They crackled like ﬁreworks as they hit the ﬂoor, like they were rocks slamming into the ground.
Huo Yuhao ﬁrst scanned his body. There were more than ten oranges stuck to his Ice Empress’ Armor, but they had all become small ice blocks, and their original effects were dispelled by his Ultimate Ice.
He pinched one of them, and realized that the orange’s surface was soft and tender like an actual orange. He used his Spiritual Detection and discovered, to his intense fright and bewilderment, that this orange contained a complicated formation array that was no weaker than that of a Class 4 soul
tool, as well as a small energy-gathering array. The soul power contained within it had been frozen luckily—if not, he couldn’t even begin to imagine what would have happened.
Without a doubt, her food-type martial spirit was just like her name, Orange. Her food-type martial soul didn’t contain much offensive power, but was incredibly misleading. He would have suffered unimaginably had his senses not been adequately keen and perceptive. Ten Class 4 soul tools detonating on his body at the same time—not even his Ice Empress’ Armor could’ve taken that! Of course, it was likely that Ju Zi would stop what she was doing when she realized it was him. However, Huo Yuhao wouldn’t gamble with his life over this.
He shook his body, and the ten “oranges” fell off. Huo Yuhao used the Controlling Crane Capturing Dragon technique to grab them carefully before putting them on the lab desk some distance away.
Huo Yuhao placed his right hand on Ju Zi’s shoulder, and the Ultimate Ice energy released by the Domain of Perpetual Ice was slowly withdrawn.
Ju Zi was a ﬁve-ringed Soul King, but it would have probably still taken her around ﬁfteen minutes to remove the effects on her own, and this was only when Huo Yuhao used the Domain of Perpetual Ice without much force in consideration of her safety.
“It’s so cold.” Ju Zi shivered, and her charming ﬁgure quivered slightly before she sat back down. Her red and supple lips were turning blue, and the infuriated expression in her eyes held a tinge of fright.
“What were you thinking?!” Ju Zi exclaimed angrily.
Huo Yuhao forced a laugh and said, “I would not have acted like that if you didn’t react so violently.”
Ju Zi grunted angrily and pointed a ﬁnger at Huo Yuhao’s nose. “Just you wait!” She took the newly ﬁnished formation array as she spoke and stormed out.
Huo Yuhao stroked his nose. He felt as exasperated—he had never intended to offend this senior sister, but he couldn’t possibly be expected not to retaliate in that kind of situation.
He didn’t think too much about it. The sky was getting darker by the minute, after eating something light at the canteen, he returned to the dormitory and immediately started meditating.
Huo Yuhao’s meditation process was different from that of normal soul masters. After obtaining his second spiritual sea, Huo Yuhao realized that he could separate a strand of consciousness to think about things while he cultivated. This was undoubtedly a great increase for his intellect and ability to grasp concepts.
This was how things were: He had absorbed voluminous amounts of knowledge, even though it was only the ﬁrst day, and he needed time to fuse what he’d learned today with the things he already knew. All so he could better understand the most advanced soul tool engineering principles.
Three days passed in the blink of an eye. Over these few days Huo Yuhao received Xuan Ziwen’s meticulous guidance on principles and concepts. Even though he hadn’t attempted to forge another soul tool yet, he obtained a fresh mind, full of knowledge about soul tools. However, he didn’t see Ju Zi again after the ﬁrst day, as if she’d just vanished into thin air.
On the morning of the fourth day, Huo Yuhao arrived early and started cleaning up the lab once he arrived. He’d been doing this since the second day; he cleaned every the lab until it was spotless and then awaited Xuan Ziwen’s arrival.
He was halfway through cleaning when the lab door suddenly shot open. Huo Yuhao was wondering why teacher Xuan was coming so early in the morning when four people stepped in from outside—one of them being Ju Zi.
A tall and burly youth stood in front of the group. He was at least two meters tall, and his muscular body rivaled that of He Caitou. Even his skin was dark and tanned—darker skin was an aristocratic sign within the Sun Moon Empire. This muscular youth’s hair was brown and short, his eyes sparkled with vitality, and his bulging muscles stretched his uniform tightly.
A tiny girl with a small ﬁgure stood behind him. She wasn’t as beautiful as Ju Zi, but she had a cute charm, and was only about one hundred and sixty centimeters tall. Her eyes were full of life and ferocity, and even contained a tinge of intimidation. The third person was male, and he had a tall and
slim ﬁgure. He was a little taller than Huo Yuhao, had long ﬂowing golden hair reached past his shoulders, his nose was high and sharp, his blue eyes were deep yet lively, and his handsome features were complementary with Ju Zi’s behind him.
Huo Yuhao immediately stopped what he was doing when they walked in and he said respectfully, “Nice to see you again, senior sister Ju Zi. You guys must be my senior brothers and sisters. Nice to meet everyone—my name is Huo Yuhao, and I’m a new exchange student.”
He barely ﬁnished his sentence when the tiny girl’s shrill voice rang out. “Enough with all that formality. We aren’t your senior brothers and sisters—did we let you call us that?”
She walked towards Huo Yuhao as she spoke. Her hands planted on her waist, carrying a truculent and overbearing demeanor.
Huo Yuhao smiled and said, “Then how should I address you?”
“Uh…” The tiny girl was stunned momentarily, and her ﬁerce mannerisms fell apart instantly. “Let’s not talk about that ﬁrst. Who allowed you into the lab?”
“Teacher Xuan, of course.” Huo Yuhao replied, amused.
The tiny girl grunted and said, “We haven’t agreed to that. This is a shared study area. Follow me outside for a while, I want to ask you something.” She pointed towards the door as she spoke.
“Why?” Huo Yuhao asked doubtfully.
The tiny girl said, “Come out and you’ll know.” She took the lead and headed outside as she spoke
Huo Yuhao didn’t know what she was going to do, but, judging from her attitude, it probably wasn’t anything good. However, he didn’t want to antagonize his senior brothers and
sisters in his ﬁrst few days here, so he followed the tiny girl outside. The other three gazed at him expressionlessly—it was clear that they were ostracizing him.
The tiny girl walked out of the lab and pointed towards a wall by the corridor. “Stand over there.”
Huo Yuhao followed her instructions and asked, “What do you want to say to me?”
The tiny girl grunted coldly and replied, “I want to tell you that you aren’t worthy enough to enter the lab without our permission. Next time you do, we’ll beat you up. Do you understand?”
Huo Yuhao’s brows creased. He wanted to say something, but the young girl swiftly took a step back and into the laboratory and shut the door behind her.
“You…” Huo Yuhao possessed impressive self-restraint and composure, but he couldn’t help but feel a indignant. He hurriedly stepped forward to use the access card hanging at his
chest to swipe at the door, while he prepared to reason with them inside.
Chapter 159: Xenophobia, Bullying, and the Sovereign Descends
Huo Yuhao’s expression grew solemn and gloomy. His eyes narrowed into slits, and a cold light ﬂickered through them.
I just want to learn here, yet you guys just had to force my hand. Huo Yuhao knew that the best thing for him to do would be to ﬁnd Xuan Ziwen and let his teacher resolve his predicament. However, he knew that doing so would mean lowering his head to the four of them; a moment of timidity and cowardice like that would probably lead to even more bullying in the future. How could he focus on studying if that happened?
He heaved a sigh and mumbled exasperatedly under his breath, “You guys forced me.” He raised his right hand once he’d ﬁnished speaking and pressed it to the lab door. A pale golden radiance ﬂickered in his eyes and one white, one purple, and one black soul ring—quite the peculiar combination— gradually rose from his body. This was the true color of his Spirit Eyes’ soul rings, but whether or not others would believe what this was a different story. After all, not many people believed that the colors of one’s soul rings could be changed at will.
Xuan Ziwen had asked Huo Yuhao if he could use his Spiritual Detection to probe into metallic objects, to which Huo Yuhao had answered that he could, but only to a certain extent. This was a huge breakthrough he’d achieved in his two years of cultivating Spiritual Detection, and he’d come up with a name for it: Focus.
He could focus his energy on a single point to increases its penetrative power and analytical abilities to a truly formidable level. Huo Yuhao’s target of choice was naturally the lab’s access control soul tool.
His gaze quickly concentrated on a single point. He raised his right hand that he’d just pressed against the door and pointed his index ﬁnger at a certain spot. Dark golden light sparkled the next moment, and a sharp blade extended from his ﬁngertip and pierced into the alloy door.
One had to admit that the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy didn’t skimp with the mechanisms they used to protect their laboratories. The door was at least half a foot thick, and was incredibly tough. Huo Yuhao had the ability to break it down, but it would consume too much of his
soul power to do so. He had several things he needed to do after this, thus he didn’t want to expend too much energy.
It wasn’t easy for his Darkgolden Terrorclaw to drill through such a tough alloy. His Darkgolden Terrorclaw released an ear- piercing sound as it ground through it, and was accompanied by intermittent sparks. However, he was gradually making progress thanks to the Terrorclaw’s extraordinary sharpness.
He drilled about two inches in before violently jabbing his ﬁnger inwards, causing the access control soul tool to instantly explode in a shower of sparks. Huo Yuhao immediately withdrew his Darkgolden Terrorclaw when this happened, and the door opened before him.
The best method to open a door guarded with a soul tool was to destroy the soul tool guarding it. It hadn’t been too difﬁcult for him to ﬁnd the crucial formation arrays.
“Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep…!” the sound of an alarm rang out. The four inside of the lab all turned to stare at him with dumbfounded expressions on their faces. Not even in their wildest dreams had they expected Huo Yuhao to break
down the door; they’d never even suspected that he had the ability to do so.
The shrill alarm continued to ring, but Huo Yuhao pretended to not hear anything and stepped into the laboratory. He didn’t even look at the four of them as he sauntered towards the place that he’d just been cleaning previously.
“Stop right there!” the young girl exclaimed in both fury and shock. “You dare to damage our lab! Have you already forgotten what we just told you? ‘If we see you inside one more time, we’ll beat you up again!’”
Huo Yuhao stopped in his tracks and gradually turned around. His expression was full of regret and pity as he said, “I gave you guys one last chance after opening the door. Since you have refused to take it, then I’m sorry. I suspect you guys are intruders, and Ju Zi is your accomplice on the inside. I will take all of you down and hand you guys over to teacher Xuan.”
“Where did this little bastard come from? Who do you think you are? Don’t you think you’re punching above your weight? Take us down? You?” the tall youth that stood in front of everyone exclaimed indifferently. Ju Zi was also indignant, and
only the relatively good-looking youth revealed an expression of astonishment, but didn’t react much.
He had already decided what he was going to do once he broke down the lab door. He wanted to give these fellows a show of strength, did they really think he was that easily bullied?
Golden light ﬂashed from his eyes, and one white, one purple, and one black soul ring appeared on his body.
The four of them were slightly taken aback when they saw his soul rings. Three rings wasn’t much in their eyes, but the colors of Huo Yuhao’s three soul rings were simply too peculiar.
Just as they were momentarily off-put, Huo Yuhao’s ﬁrst and third soul rings lit up at the same time.
Huo Yuhao’s pupils immediately turned white, and a circle of white light subsequently expanded from his body. The lab’s entire atmosphere twisted and contorted. When Ju Zi and the
others looked at him again, they felt as if everything around them had turned blurry and obscure.
Even though Ju Zi and the others weren’t inside the Illustrious Virtue Hall, they were the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s sixth year students, and they could be considered the elites of their batch. How could they just sit back and let Huo Yuhao attack them?
Ju Zi’s reaction was the fastest. Uncountable oranges lunged towards Huo Yuhao’s slightly contorting ﬁgure, while the handsome youth beside her raised both hands and hurled out six hexagon-shaped golden boxes. A golden light screen wrapped around them and protected them inside itself, right before Huo Yuhao’s circle of white radiance hit them.
The four of them unleashed their martial souls at the same time, as powerful soul tools required sufﬁcient soul power to maximize their effects. A giant cannon that was disproportionate to her body size suddenly appeared on the tiny young girl’s shoulder. This cannon barrel was even larger than He Caitou’s Giant Lightning Cannon, and it looked quite heavy. The tall youth ﬂipped out more than ﬁfty strange soul cannons of all kinds. Even though it wasn’t a soul tool fortress,
he moved incredibly fast, and the number of soul cannons he was already displaying outmatched most soul tool fortresses.
It was a pity that they still underestimated Huo Yuhao’s abilities. The white circle of light effortlessly passed right through the layer of golden light, not impeded at all, and struck the four of them, just like that.
Their eyes immediately turned white, and an intense weakness coursed over their bodies. Their subsequent movements seemed to be slower than usual as dizziness, weakness in their legs, and fatigue caused them to stumble around. This was especially so for the young girl with the enormous cannon, who almost lost her balance.
It was right at this moment that Huo Yuhao suddenly vanished right in front of them, disappearing into the ﬂurry of oranges that were still in midair.
Huo Yuhao had been tricked before, so he wouldn’t fall into the same trap again in the face of a similar attack. He was almost sliding across the ground when he slipped out, and he grabbed at the air above him again and again while he was
sliding. He seized six actual oranges in the blink of an eye, and hurled them towards the golden layer of light.
Food-type soul masters were the most adept at materializing soul power, the food items that they produced were real, and actually had special effects.
Oranges contained moisture inside them, and he had now transformed them into solid ice. What could six oranges do against a Class 5 soul barrier?
Huo Yuhao gave them the answer.
These four students from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy were outstanding enough. Even though they were struck by Huo Yuhao’s Mass Enfeeblement and their minds were under the inﬂuence of Spiritual Interference, they still managed to unleash their respective attacks. The handsome youth stepped forward and stood in front of Ju Zi as a pristine white light barrier rose from his body. He raised his right arm at the same time, and a ﬁery-red longsword instantly appeared in his hands.
Strength and burliness was not a characteristic of long-range soul masters. He was tall and lanky, yet he was a close-combat soul master. The close-combat soul tool in his hands was also clearly a special item.
The tall youth’s body erupted with soul rays and soul cannon shells, his judgement extremely accurate for his currently weakened state. He blanked the area Huo Yuhao was moving into and through with ranged ﬁre. It was unfortunate for him that his mind was far too hampered by Spiritual Interference, and adding in Huo Yuhao’s accurate judgments via Spiritual Detection, Huo Yuhao simply shifted his position subtly as he surged past this shower of attacks.
The tiny young girl only stabilized herself at this moment, but she hesitated in ﬁring her giant cannon. If she ﬁred this giant cannon inside the laboratory, the cost would be… Just as she hesitated, Huo Yuhao arrived before the light barrier. This was a lab after all, and not some competition arena – the distance between both parties was not even ten meters before this!
“Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom!” Six vigorous explosions could be heard on the golden light barrier. The
things that detonated were the six oranges that Huo Yuhao had tossed out before this – Ice Explosion!
However, it didn’t look like that from their perspective. The tiny young girl reacted in shock and fury as she shouted, “What are you doing, Ju Zi?!”
An enormous crack appeared on the golden light barrier after this series of explosions, and Huo Yuhao’s hands slammed ferociously against the light barrier in the next moment.
Fearsome energy spewed from his body like crashing mountains and tidal waves. Diamond ice crystals covered his large palms, and a faint green luster was shining from them. The golden light barrier wasn’t able to resist for even a single second, it was blown to smithereens under his hands with a string of shrill breaking sounds.
He used the Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track, and his ﬁgure appeared even more surreal and virtual under the incredible masking effects of his Spiritual Interference. He was beside the tiny young girl in a ﬂash, and used the Controlling Crane Capturing Dragon technique to pull her in front of him… and directly into the path of the tall youth’s soul tool onslaught.
In a soul engineer’s defensive arsenal, there are two main types of barriers—one used soul rays with a shell designed for blocking soul power attacks, and the other soul barrier was one that could defend against physical attacks. Both could be used at the same time, but soul engineers would typically only choose one in battle. In the end, it was rare for soul engineers to use physical attacks; even for close-combat soul engineers.
The barrier of golden light released by the handsome youth was meant to defend against physical attacks. But this young girl didn’t have the same accurate judgment, taking Huo Yuhao by surprise, so his large hands immediately clamped down on her neck.
Everything happened far too quickly. In two breath’s time Huo Yuhao had moved to the point when he started to close his ﬁngers around the girl’s neck. Both parties had tremendously quick reactions, but it was undoubtedly Huo Yuhao who came out on top.
The tiny young girl was unexpectedly strong. Still struggling and twisting her body in resistance to Huo Yuhao’s Ice Empress’ Pincer. While she pushed backwards with her hands, her right leg sprung out at the same time to kick Huo Yuhao’s vitals.
Unfortunately, it was to no avail. Her soul barrier blocked off the attacks of the tall youth, but that was it—she felt an intense chill on her neck before a wave of numbness came over her body, and she collapsed to the ﬂoor like a ragdoll.
Purplish-golden light erupted from Huo Yuhao’s eyes. He hated it when people dragged in his mother when they were insulting him, and the “little bastard” the tall youth had just called him was at the top of the list in the reasons for his fury and immediately launched a spiritual assault. Predictably, this formidable Purple Demon Eyes’ Spiritual Shock was intended for that tall and lanky youth.
The most frightening feature of spirit-type attacks was that the aforementioned defensive barriers were entirely useless against them, and those struck by such them could only use their own spiritual power to protect themselves.
These four students from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy were ﬁve-ringed Soul Kings, but their spiritual power absolutely paled in comparison to Huo Yuhao’s.
Blood gushed from the tall youth’s mouth, nose, eyes and ears as he grunted and crashed to the ground. His eyes rolled back into his head, and he fainted straightaway.
Huo Yuhao’s movements didn’t stop because of this. His right hand ﬂickered with a dark golden light, and he sliced directly towards the handsome youth. This was because the handsome youth’s sharp sword was stabbing at him as he unleashed his Spiritual Shock.
The handsome youth’s hands were as stable as ever, even under the effects of Huo Yuhao’s Mass Enfeeblement. He stabbed out with his sword and projected three sword shadows into the air. They were like three blooming roses as they struck at all of Huo Yuhao’s vital points.
Huo Yuhao made the right judgment in this split-second that he was inferior to his opponent in terms of close-combat techniques. However, this didn’t mean that his opponent’s actual close-combat power was more fearsome than his—
therefore, he gave the handsome youth a complete Darkgolden Terrorclaw swipe.
An enormous dark golden blade slashed down from the sky and crashed against the handsome youth’s soul barrier. The Class 5 soul barrier instantly crumbled, and the “roses” he had formed broke apart next.
Huo Yuhao punched out with his left hand after slashing out with his right. His right foot took a step forward, and Huo Yuhao simply punched forward without any special effects. However, this punch didn’t seem simple at all in this handsome youth’s eyes.
It felt as if all of Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power was concentrated onto this ﬁst. In the handsome youth’s eyes, this ﬁst was all of Huo Yuhao’s being—a ﬁst that sparkled with diamond brilliance.
A golden shield appeared in the handsome youth’s hands. He held the shield up with both hands and infused his Soul King- level soul power inside. Dense soul power rippled, and the shield erupted with golden luster.
“I cannot possibly lose like this!” The handsome youth couldn’t maintain his composure any longer. Two yellow and three purple soul rings sparkled on his body. However, the peculiar three ring combination had already disappeared from Huo Yuhao’s body.
Huo Yuhao’s ﬁst connected with the shield. What the handsome youth felt in that moment, could only be described as a wretched shattering.
He felt as if his shield wasn’t the only thing being destroyed. His mind was breaking apart simultaneously when a defenseless sensation burst from the bottom of his heart, and he felt as if his entire world was being torn apart.
He puked out a mouthful of blood, and the handsome youth followed in the tall youth’s footsteps, collapsing onto the ground. Blood trickled from his nostrils like miniature snakes, but the shield in his hands didn’t actually break apart in the end.
Huo Yuhao’s eyes now erupted with golden radiance, and he turned towards his last remaining adversary—Ju Zi. At this point, her eyes were a little lackadaisical, and her face was completely pale.
“What are you doing?!” An astonished voice could be heard, and in the next moment a ﬁgure appeared in the lab with a ﬂash and stood in front of Ju Zi. The golden radiance in Huo Yuhao’s eyes vanished at nearly the same time, and his previous frightening aura, like he reigned supreme over the world, receded.
The name of his ability was Supreme Reign! It was invented by the Ultimate Douluo, Elder Mu. Yes, this was Supreme Reign. A terrifying ability that combined both physical and spiritual attacks, and Huo Yuhao was the only person in the entire world who had inherited it.
Supreme Reign wasn’t a soul skill—it was better, and it could be used with any soul skill. However, it could only be used to infuse spiritual power into physical attacks. In other words, the underlying foundations of this technique were still in physical attacks. While Huo Yuhao could inject his formidable spiritual power into his physical attacks, he couldn’t ﬂip the
process around. In the end, the creator of Supreme Reign wasn’t a spirit-type soul master.
Elder Mu had commented to Huo Yuhao before that if he could ﬁnd out how to reverse the order, then he would have succeeded in life.
Of course, this was still quite a distance away from Huo Yuhao’s capabilities. There were just too many things that he had to learn, and even with the Ultimate Soldier Plan starting to bear fruit, the path ahead of him was still extremely long.
Xuan Ziwen was overcome with a haze of terror as he stood before Ju Zi, who was ghastly pale at this point. He would’ve taken another ﬁfteen minutes to reach his lab, but he was alarmed by the security sirens going off. He had remote control connection to his door’s access control soul tool, so he was as bewildered as could be when he realized that the incident was coming from his own lab, so he came as fast as he could.
Xuan Ziwen was ﬂabbergasted as he saw his three students unconscious on the ground. Huo Yuhao had mentioned to him before on the ﬁrst day they’d met each other that he was conﬁdent of perishing together with him within a ﬁxed
distance. He didn’t pay much attention to that comment at the time, but how couldn’t he be shaken to his very roots by the scene before him?
These four students had been his personal students ever since they had entered Year 6, including Ju Zi. He was naturally acutely aware of his students’ abilities—they were all Soul Kings and Class 5 soul engineers, considered the best of the best amongst their batch. Yet, Huo Yuhao didn’t even have his fourth soul ring, and three of them were actually defeated easily. He had no doubt that Ju Zi would also hit the deck if he had arrived just a second later.
“This child is this fearsome and outrageously powerful at such a young age? No wonder…”
Xuan Ziwen had perused Huo Yuhao’s ﬁles and records after meeting him, especially looking over his experiences during the Continental Advanced Academy Soul Dueling Tournament.
His ﬁles detailed Huo Yuhao’s performance during several key battles, and it remarked that he had been mentored by the Dragon God Douluo, Mu En, before his passing. He was one of the absolute elites amongst the younger batch of students from
Shrek, and he was deﬁnitely in line to participate in the upcoming Continental Advanced Academy Soul Dueling Tournament.
Xuan Ziwen still didn’t have much of an impression after browsing through his records. He could see that Huo Yuhao’s records mentioned that he had twin martial souls, but the records also mentioned that Yuhao’s soul power rank was only a little more than twenty during the competition, with only two soul rings. Even though nobody knew his soul rings’ exact ages, his ﬁles had clear records of his abilities. One of the more salient notes featured his martial soul fusion skill with Wang Dong, and Xuan Ziwen was more interested in the fact that the two of them could use martial soul fusion skills rather than Huo Yuhao’s personal battle prowess, so he paid less attention to the latter.
Xuan Ziwen suddenly realized that he was wrong. Huo Yuhao’s personal battle prowess was weak? Then, what’s the deal with these three fellas lying on the ground…
Huo Yuhao had crushed these three Class 5 soul engineers even without his fourth soul ring, the fourth wasn’t even ﬁt to continue the battle. This caused Xuan Ziwen to lose all faith and conﬁdence in his previous experiences.
“Teacher Xuan, these guys hacked the access control and barged into the lab. I was afraid they were intruders, so I made the ﬁrst move. I was going to take them down and hand them over to you. Ju Zi brought them here, so I suspect they are accomplices. Please take care of this, Teacher.” Huo Yuhao spoke as if he were recounting the sincere truth. His face of complete sincerity was totally misleading compared to the ferocious aura he’d emanated during the battle before this.
Ju Zi had recovered by now. Her face was still as pale as ever and she exclaimed, “Nonsense! You intentionally attacked us!”
Huo Yuhao shrugged and replied, “If you guys hadn’t hacked the access control, and insulted me, why would I treat you like intruders? Did I say something wrong? Teacher Xuan, you can inspect the access control soul tool. They deceived me after barging into the lab to step out, and they hacked it afterwards. I had to force my way in to ensure the lab’s safety, so I could take them down. They have only lost their autonomy and ability to move right now, some are slightly injured. It’s not too big a deal.”
Xuan Ziwen was immersed in soul tool research, but he wasn’t a fool. He could tell from Huo Yuhao’s description that
Ju Zi and the others had bullied Huo Yuhao, who was new to this place. Huo Yuhao was infuriated, and found an excuse to retaliate.
The process wasn’t that important—what was of far greater signiﬁcance was that the four of them were nothing before Huo Yuhao, falling one after another, and Huo Yuhao ended up standing there, as clean as jade, untainted by even a speck of dust.
Could he have some special soul tool on him? Xuan Ziwen was a little suspicious.
Many academy guards had arrived by this time. Xuan Ziwen shot a glare at Huo Yuhao and walked out of the laboratory. He explained what had happened to the guards, telling them that something went wrong with his students’ experiments in the lab, and it had already been resolved.
Experimenting with soul tools was bound to give rise to all sorts of problems. The guards naturally knew that Xuan Ziwen was a reputable researcher from the Illustrious Virtue Hall, so they didn’t suspect the truth of his words and departed immediately afterward. Xuan Ziwen tinkered with the access control soul tool, and returned it to normal.
Ju Zi stared at Huo Yuhao and wanted to say something threatening, but nothing came out of her mouth. It was clear that this kid, who was actually younger than she was, had instilled a deep sense of fear in her.
She had brought three classmates back with her today to seek vengeance for what had happened the day before, when she was frozen by the Domain of Perpetual Ice. Even though she had recovered, she was shivering for pretty much the entire day afterwards, and it wasn’t that easy to recuperate. She was instantly infuriated when she thought about Huo Yuhao watching her secretly and even attacking her. She waited for
her classmates to return before she recounted the episode, and everyone came to an easy consensus. They all agreed to show Huo Yuhao, this new student who had just arrived, who was boss around here.
However, never in Ju Zi’s dreams had she expected Huo Yuhao to overwhelm their combined strength. Even though the laboratory wasn’t big, and no one went all-out, Huo Yuhao’s movements were just too quick. He never gave them a chance to show their best, and then the battle was over. If teacher Xuan hadn’t arrived in the nick of time, she would probably have been struck down as well.
How did he do that? He didn’t use any soul tools, he was just relying on his power as a soul master.
Ju Zi had always been one of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s elites, and she was conﬁdent of passing
the Illustrious Virtue Hall’s entry examination. Her research with soul tools had gone so deep that she was beginning to doubt the abilities of a soul master. From her perspective, a soul master of the same class would never be able to outmatch a soul engineer from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy like her.
But today, Huo Yuhao had completely turned her opinions around. Even though she wasn’t convinced, she couldn’t help but feel a sense of defeat and self-deprecation whenever she thought about Huo Yuhao’s three soul rings lighting up at the same time.
Huo Yuhao continued to act as if nothing had happened, and went back to cleaning the place up, especially the oranges that littered the ground.
Xuan Ziwen closed the lab door with a strange expression on his face and walked back to everyone. He checked the three collapsed students on the ground to make sure they were okay, but suddenly realized that he had a problem on his hands.
Huo Yuhao made it seem like it wasn’t a big deal, and that their lives weren’t in danger, but it wasn’t as simple as losing
their ﬁghting strength!
The only person that was in relatively good shape was the tiny young girl. Only her central nervous system had been frozen by Huo Yuhao’s Ultimate Ice, and she ended up like Ju Zi on the ﬁrst day, who had recovered after shivering for an entire day. The other two’s circumstances were a lot less optimistic.
The tall youth took a hit from Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Shock. Even though Huo Yuhao had limited his spiritual power, he gave his opponent a solid and ferocious hit in return for the humiliation. The powerful Spiritual Shock had caused the tall youth’s spiritual sea to disassemble and come apart. He was now in a coma, and he deﬁnitely wouldn’t wake up for a while. It was hard to say whether he would experience any sequelae when he woke up.
The handsome youth was in a slightly better situation. He had suffered a traumatic injury that Xuan Ziwen couldn’t identify, and there seemed to be some remnants of power left inside his body that were still wreaking havoc. It wasn’t that ﬁerce, but Xuan Ziwen was an eight-ringed Soul Douluo, and even he couldn’t resolve it with all his power.
“Come here, Yuhao,” Xuan Ziwen waved towards Huo Yuhao.
“Yes?” Huo Yuhao walked over immediately.
Xuan Ziwen glanced at him with an inscrutable expression. He lowered his voice and said, “The three of them are my students. I know that you must have received some injustice, but you have wounded them in return, so let’s call it even. What do you think?”
It was Huo Yuhao’s turn to be shocked. He had originally expected Xuan Ziwen to chide or punish him, and he was mentally prepared for that eventuality. However, he didn’t expect teacher Xuan to resolve the issue so casually.
“I will listen to you.” Huo Yuhao answered like an obedient child.
Ju Zi watched from the side with a look of annoyance. She thought to herself, You little bastard, acting like an obedient and gentle little child in front of teacher Xuan. You were so ﬁerce just a moment ago.
Xuan Ziwen continued, “You’re an exchange student, and you will be studying with us for two years. No matter what, they are still your seniors, and the academy prohibits ﬁghting inside the laboratories. We’ll let this go, and I hope there won’t be a next time. Of course, I will control and restrict them. If they trouble you again, I will punish them according to the academy’s rules. However, you have to help me heal them, as I don’t wish for anything bad to happen to my students. Do you understand what I’m trying to say?”
“I understand.” Huo Yuhao didn’t mince his words, and pointed a ﬁnger the tall youth. “I can’t help him, teacher Xuan. I have only had my mother since I was young, but my mother is no longer around, and he called me a little bastard. There is nothing I can do to help him. Find a place to let him rest, and he will recover on his own after about half a month. However, he might experience some spiritual disorientation for a period of time.”
He immediately knelt down on the ﬂoor afterwards. He pressed down on the back of the tiny girl’s neck and withdrew his Ultimate Ice energy, before he walked beside the handsome youth and patted him on the body several times to neutralize the Supreme Reign’s mystical effects.
The two of them woke up one after the other. The tiny girl shivered violently, before she suddenly saw Huo Yuhao right next to her. She leapt to her feet and was about to erupt once again until Xuan Ziwen stopped her with a furious exclamation.
“Enough, Ke Ke. If you still want to cause trouble, get out of my sight.”
It was only then that the tiny girl, Ke Ke, realized Xuan Ziwen was present. She said with an aggrieved expression, “He’s a bully, teacher Xuan! He hit me! You have to get justice for me!” It was obvious that she was better than Ju Zi was at throwing tantrums.
Xuan Ziwen grunted coldly and muttered, “Do you think I don’t know who’s bullying who? How can you mess around with them, Zi Mu?”
The handsome youth, Zi Mu, had a look of exasperation as he replied, “Don’t be angry, teacher Xuan. We were wrong.” He didn’t push the issue, and Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but glance a few more times in his direction.
Xuan Ziwen said, “Wang Shaojie needs more time to rest. Send him back to the dormitory, and I will send a teacher responsible for healing students to see to him soon.”
“Yes,” Zi Mu acknowledged. He turned towards Huo Yuhao momentarily, and he couldn’t help but quiver when his eyes came across this youth for reasons he couldn’t explain, as if something in his spirit had been shattered.
Huo Yuhao met Zi Mu’s gaze calmly. He was much more familiar with Supreme Reign’s effects.
Supreme Reign was a mighty ability that combined physical and spiritual attacks. Once his opponent took a hit from Supreme Reign, their conﬁdence would be crushed as well. His opponent would develop a fear of him, as if there were no way they could resist him the next time they encountered each other.
Zi Mu carried Wang Shaojie away, and Xuan Ziwen turned towards Yuhao with an exasperated look. “Ah, Yuhao. This is a little problematic. Wang Shaojie belongs to the royal family. Even though he’s not a direct member, he belongs to an aristocratic family that has been added to the royal family’s
register. The academy needs to answer to them now that you have wounded him.”
Huo Yuhao lowered his head and said, “Everything is up to you, teacher Xuan.” He was ready to give and ready to take, and he knew he couldn’t be overly tough and stubborn if he wanted to continue studying at the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. He was positive that teacher Xuan could do something about this with his status within the academy.
Indeed, Xuan Ziwen frowned and said, “Alright, that’s enough. Let me handle this. You can stay in the lab and clean everything up. Nobody will cause trouble for you again. If not, don’t blame me for not giving you another chance.” With that, he hurried away. Even though Huo Yuhao refused to help Wang Shaojie, the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s medicinal prowess was relatively formidable, and it wouldn’t be hard for him to ﬁnd someone to heal Wang Shaojie. This inﬁghting would quickly be resolved as long as he was okay.
The laboratory door closed once again, and only Huo Yuhao, Ju Zi, and Ke Ke were left inside.
Huo Yuhao didn’t say anything else, and continued cleaning up the lab. Ke Ke and Ju Zi were extremely close and intimate, and they knew what the other was thinking the moment their gazes met. Ke Ke’s red lips shifted up and down, and she mouthed to Ju Zi, “This fellow is so powerful! Even four of us can’t take him down?!”
Ju Zi was a little unconvinced. “That’s because we’re inside the lab. If we were outside, and if we were given enough space, he would have no chance at all.” She didn’t suppress her voice, and intentionally said everything out loud.
Huo Yuhao pretended as if he hadn’t heard anything, and kept at what he was doing.
Ke Ke chimed in and harmonized with Ju Zi. “He’s a soul master. He has an advantage at close-range, but he doesn’t have a chance at a distance. We shall see when we’re on our expeditions, heh!”
Huo Yuhao suddenly straightened his back and stared at Ke Ke.
Ke Ke was taken by surprise and raised her hands to protect herself. She stammered nervously, “What are you doing?”
A mocking smile appeared on Huo Yuhao’s face. “Strength and ability doesn’t come from speech or from the mouth. You might as well spend the time researching or studying soul tools. I can help you if you need guidance or whatnot.”
The oranges on the ﬂoor had been swept into his storage- type soul tool at this point. He cleaned up the lab every single day, and it was spick and span in the blink of an eye.
He found a spot to sit down after completing his task, and quietly contemplated some questions for his teacher he had had regarding soul tools while he waited for Xuan Ziwen to come back.
Chapter 160: Enlightenment
Ke Ke was still infuriated, and made a few hand gestures at Ju Zi. Ju Zi shook her head and said, “Forget it. Don’t bother with him. Didn’t you say that he was an orphan?”
Ke Ke stuck her tongue out and said, “You’re the one with compassion. I’m the one who got whacked.”
Ju Zi laughed and replied, “He didn’t whack you! He only touched you. Come to think of it, Zimu was the only one who got hit. Even Wang Shaojie only got glared at. I wonder how he started bleeding and fainted.”
The two of them were feeling better now. They were also a little stunned as they recalled Huo Yuhao’s performance just now. Huo Yuhao’s abilities had left a deep impression on them.
“Oi!” Ju Zi called out to Huo Yuhao.
“My name is Huo Yuhao, not ‘oi.’” Huo Yuhao turned around, annoyed. He couldn’t focus on his thinking as the two of them
stared at him. Furthermore, it seemed like Teacher Xuan wouldn’t be back in time for lessons. He was prepared to return to the dormitory to cultivate.
“Alright, Huo Yuhao. What’s your martial soul? Are the claws that you used just now your soul tool? What class is it? Zimu’s Class 5 soul tool barrier couldn’t even block it. That’s not normal!”
Huo Yuhao smiled and said, “It’s a secret. I’m leaving now.” As he spoke, he started to walk out.
“You’re not allowed to leave before answering me!” Ke Ke moved in front of him.
Huo Yuhao didn’t care, and continued to move forward. He said, “What? You want to get frozen again?”
Ke Ke didn’t dare to clash head-on with him, and seeing that they were about to knock into each other, she dodged to one side unwillingly. Huo Yuhao opened the laboratory door and walked out just like that.
“Idiot!” Ke Ke slapped a table hard and said angrily, “This fellow is too unreasonable. Hmph!”
“Forget it,” Ju Zi snapped at her, “He’s an orphan. Anyway, we’re the ones who provoked him ﬁrst.”
“Hey! Ju Zi, how can you side with him? Are you into him because his abilities are great? It seems like he’s not even our age!”
“Pooh, pooh, pooh!” Ju Zi snapped, “Did you forget what my goal is? I swear that I’ll marry the best chef on the continent. That’s the only way my insatiable appetite can be satisﬁed.”
Ke Ke laughed and answered, “Your goal has tortured Zimu. He had the ability to enter the Illustrious Virtue Hall last year, but he delayed it for you. He even allocates some time every day to learn cooking. Honestly speaking, he treats you quite well. Why’re you so stubborn?”
Ju Zi rolled her eyes and said, “Forget it, I don’t want to ﬁnd a guy who I have no sense of security with. I’m not into
handsome guys! I’m not as obsessed as you. You can have him if you want.”
Embarrassed, Ke Ke retorted, “You’re the one who’s obsessed! See if I spare you!” As she spoke, she leapt towards Ju Zi. Their conﬂict with Huo Yuhao seemed to have been forgotten. Women’s hearts were really unfathomable!
Huo Yuhao’s lifestyle back in the dormitory was simple, yet fulﬁlling. He engaged in meditation, thinking, cultivation, and sketching. Besides the short amount of time he allocated to eating, Huo Yuhao did all of these things in his room. It was only when He Caitou came to ﬁnd him at night that they shared their ﬁndings over the past few days. That was the only time that he stopped cultivation.
“Bang, bang, bang!” the room’s door sounded.
Huo Yuhao and He Caitou looked at each other. Who was here so late? The sky was already completely dark, and the lights in the dorms were about to go out for the night.
Huo Yuhao opened the door. Xuan Ziwen was standing outside.
He looked ghastly. He didn’t enter the room, and only said from the hallway, “Yuhao, Wang Shaojie’s condition is not very good. Will he really recover in half a month’s time?”
It seemed like the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy had healing-type soul tools apart from healing-type soul masters. However, one’s mind and Spiritual Sea had always been forbidden ground. Soul masters and soul engineers were both limited in their research on Spiritual Seas. After all, it was too dangerous to venture into such an aspect, since it might lead to permanent impairment.
Wang Shaojie’s mind had suffered from a powerful shock. Although he was a ﬁve-ringed soul king, most of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy students relied on medicine and some soul tools to increase their cultivation when they were young. Just like Shrek Academy’s soul engineers couldn’t compare to the Sun Moon Empire, the Sun Moon Empire’s soul engineers were inferior to true soul masters in terms of defenses. Wang Shaojie’s spiritual power wasn’t strong, and he was critically injured after suffering
from Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Shock. The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s healing-type soul masters didn’t dare to use invasive methods to heal him. They could only let him recuperate on his own, like what Huo Yuhao had suggested.
Huo Yuhao nodded and replied, “I held back. It won’t harm his life. He just needs a while to rest. After one’s mind suffers from shock, it’s best to recuperate on one’s own. External help may be counter-effective.”
Xuan Ziwen nodded his head and said, “That’s good. But…” as he spoke to that point, he became a little hesitant.
Huo Yuhao was puzzled as he asked, “Teacher Xuan, ‘but’ what?”
Xuan Ziwen sighed and said, “Wang Shaojie has some standing in the empire’s royal family. Thus, the royal family has already learned of his injury. They want me to hand you over. Even though I tried to keep matters under control, they’re still demanding that you be handed over. I’m afraid you’ll have to suffer for a few days.”
Huo Yuhao squinted and asked, “Teacher Xuan, what do you mean?”
Xuan Ziwen said, “Let’s put it this way. They didn’t test our newly-created soul tool properly the last time. Tomorrow, you shall follow Ju Zi and Ke Ke to test that newly-created soul tool. You’ll return in half a month’s time. If Wang Shaojie wakes up like you said, the problem should be resolved. Leave things here to me.”
Huo Yuhao could sense that Xuan Ziwen was protecting him. He felt a tinge of warmth in his heart, and bowed towards him, “Thank you, Teacher Xuan.”
Xuan Ziwen smiled and said, “You’re my student. I must be responsible for you. If you really want to thank me, you should invest more effort in the research of soul tools. I’m waiting for you to surprise me more. Alright, it’s no longer early. Have an early night. Tomorrow morning, wait for the two of them at the gate of the academy. They will bring you to a suitable testing area.”
Xuan Ziwen left, and Huo Yuhao returned to his room. He Caitou was a little worried as he looked at him. He said, “Little junior, should I go with you tomorrow? Is this their scheme? If something happens while you’re out…”
Huo Yuhao shook his head and said, “It’s not a scheme. I believe Teacher Xuan. Second senior, you should know that I’m quite sensitive. If Teacher Xuan had been nervous when he was talking to me earlier, I would have been able to sense it immediately. Furthermore, I believe in my own judgment. If the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy wants to deal with me, they can only do so after the exchange is over. After all, Meng Hongchen and Xiao Hongchen are still in Shrek. If something happens to me, will Shrek let them off? Let me follow Teacher Xuan’s arrangement. It’s also good for me to leave the academy. I can pass on all the sketchings I’ve made. At the same time, I can take a look at their new soul tool.”
He Caitou nodded and said, “But you must still be careful. If you’re attacked, don’t think too much, and escape. Safety is your ﬁrst priority.”
The two of them looked at each other. They were still exploring, since they had just arrived. Although they had
learned some things, they were still very far from the core of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy.
“Second senior, I can sense that Teacher Xuan is under a lot of pressure teaching me. Otherwise, he wouldn’t just be teaching me all the theoretical stuff, and not explaining the practical stuff to me. What about you?”
He Caitou laughed bitterly. “We did talk about practical stuff. But they’re all about Class 8 soul tools, which I can’t understand. I don’t have a memory like you, either. I can only memorize a little, and my sketchings are all incomplete. They’re obviously playing tricks on me. I believe that the rest are also learning the same things.”
Huo Yuhao chortled and said, “That’s normal. If they didn’t do this, I might even have suspected that something was wrong. It’s not early anymore. You should return to rest. I’ll be out for at least half a month this time. I hope that I can learn something.”
He Caitou left, but Huo Yuhao couldn’t enter his meditative state while laying on his bed. His emotions were a little messy.
He had already been in the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy for four days. He had learned quite a lot in the past four days. Although he hadn’t encountered anything important yet, the knowledge that he had acquired was deﬁnitely more than the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy expected.
However, he didn’t like the feeling here. Compared to the familial warmth that he felt in Shrek Academy, he always had to be on his toes over here. He had to be able to react at any time, and he was wary of everyone around him.
Huo Yuhao missed the time he’d spent cultivating in Shrek Academy. If it were possible, he hoped that the two-and-a-half years would pass quickly, so that he could return to Shrek and reunite with his friends.
When he thought of his friends, he couldn’t help but miss Wang Dong. He didn’t wake Wang Dong up the day that they separated. However, Huo Yuhao could clearly remember the tears in Wang Dong’s eyes. Wang Dong had even muttered his name in his dreams, and begged him not to leave. His voice had even seemed to…
Huo Yuhao’s heart was a mess when he reached this point. Wang Dong’s ﬁgure and the ravishing beauty formed from the Rainment of Light’s transformation appeared in his mind.
These messy thoughts made him ﬁlled with yearning for Shrek Academy. Was eldest senior ﬁne? Did he ﬁnd Teacher Xiao Ya yet? How was the relationship between third and fourth seniors? Fifth senior Xiao Xiao had also seemed a little different before he left with second senior. As for Wang Dong, he’d discover the truth about him when he returned.
The next morning.
A refreshingly chilly, light mist ﬁlled the air.
Huo Yuhao had changed his attire; his current ordinary attire made him seem like an ordinary kid.
The sun had already risen halfway in the east. He’d also ﬁnished cultivating his Purple Demon Eyes. He’d made the quickest progress in the Purple Demon Eyes among all of the Tang Sect’s Secret Techniques.
There were four different levels of the Purple Demon Eyes: Surveyance, Totality, Mustard Seed, and Boundlessness.
He was already at the third level, Mustard Seed. He’d managed to reach this level using his Spiritual Detection to research the ability to focus. He was also the ﬁrst to reach the Mustard Seed level among everyone in the Tang Sect.
Even Shrek Academy’s senior management didn’t know that Huo Yuhao’s greatest offensive strength didn’t lie in his Ultimate Ice or Darkgolden Terrorclaw. Rather, it was his immense spiritual power that could be used through the combination of his Purple Demon Eyes and Spiritual Shock. His irresistible spiritual power was the reason why he could ﬁght beyond his level.
In the distance, two graceful-looking ﬁgures drifted into view. They were walking very quickly, and reached Huo Yuhao quite quickly.
Ju Zi had changed into a white dress, which accentuated her ﬁgure. Her silky-white skin looked much brighter, as it was complemented by her white attire.
Ke Ke was dressed in green, and looked very neat. Although her ﬁgure wasn’t as good as Ju Zi’s, it was still very proportionate, her dress making her look more vibrant.
The two of them weren’t kind when they saw Huo Yuhao. Ke Ke placed her hands on her waist and said, “It’s all your fault that we have to go out again. Teacher Xuan said that you have to listen to the both of us when we’re out. If you dare to try
anything, the academy will expel you and immediately send you back to Shrek Academy!”
Huo Yuhao was a little annoyed, thus he shrugged his shoulders. He simply gestured for them to advance, but didn’t say anything.
Ju Zi glanced at him and said, “Let’s go. We’re heading to the Jing Yang Mountain Range. There are many soul beasts there. We should forget our conﬂict back in the academy and work together on this journey. You’re the only male here, thus you should protect us well.”
Huo Yuhao was a little stunned as he looked at Ju Zi. He hadn’t expected her temperament to change so much. He nodded and said, “Okay.”
Ke Ke was annoyed after hearing Huo Yuhao’s short reply and said, “Hey, you’re taking this attitude even though Sister Ju Zi is being so nice to you?”
Huo Yuhao laughed bitterly. “Am I supposed to be grateful?
The two of you were bullying me just yesterday.”
Ke Ke glare grew even wider. It was as if she’d just heard something ridiculous. “We bullied you? Wang Shaojie is still unconscious, while Zimu’s injury is still quite serious. Who bullied who?”
Huo Yuhao answered, “I was just defending myself. Could you take it if someone calls you a bastard?”
Ke Ke wanted to say more, but was stopped by Ju Zi, “Alright, let’s go. Huo Yuhao, Teacher Xuan indeed said that I’m the leader for this trip. Don’t worry, I won’t take revenge on you for what happened earlier. It’s one thing to have conﬂicts in the academy, but even though you’re an exchange student, you’re still part of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. You’re even leaving the academy to experiment on soul tools on its behalf. Let’s go.”
Once she’d ﬁnished speaking, she forced Ke Ke to walk in front. Ke Ke turned to look at Huo Yuhao. “Can you use a ﬂying-type soul tool despite your three rings?” A pair of wings ﬂapped open behind her as she spoke. Her toes pointed upwards, and two blue ﬂames spewed out from her wings, which quickly propelled her into the air.
Ju Zi also turned back to look at Huo Yuhao, asking him the same question with her eyes.
Huo Yuhao didn’t speak, but a simple, greyish pair of wings ﬂapped open behind his back. A gentle white light shot out and propelled him into the sky. Even though he wasn’t a Class 6 soul engineer in the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, he still had a ﬂying-type soul tool with him.
Ju Zi’s ﬂying-type soul tool was orangish-red; she seemed to love this color. Three pairs of wings ﬂapped in the air and headed towards the south.
At this point, the difference in their soul tools was revealed. Ju Zi and Ke Ke seemed very relaxed as they ﬂew in front. However, they were still very fast. Their wings even released a layer of dim light that formed a ﬁlm on the surface of their bodies. Even their hair swayed in the wind as they ﬂew.
Huo Yuhao, on the other hand, was lagging behind them. Although he tried his best to propel his self-made Class 5 ﬂying-type soul tool, he couldn’t catch up, and thus was still depleting more soul power than the other two, who would
slow down to wait for him so that he didn’t get separated from the group.
Ke Ke was delighted. Every time they waited for Huo Yuhao, her eyes held a look of disdain and mockery.
Huo Yuhao didn’t react to this. He knew how inferior he was in terms of soul tools, and that it wasn’t something that he could make up for in such a short period of time. However, he memorized the structures and formation arrays of their soul tools as they ﬂew.
Xuan Ziwen didn’t conduct practicals for him, thus he had to ﬁnd real-life examples to test his theories.
Even now, Huo Yuhao didn’t know exactly where the Jing Yang Mountain Range was. He was ﬁne just following the both of them. However, he could make a rough guess from Ju Zi’s words. The Jing Yang Mountain Range had many soul beasts. Was this an arrangement that Teacher Xuan had made so that he could get his fourth soul ring? That was highly probable.
After ﬂying for two hours, Huo Yuhao expressed that he needed to rest. Afterwards, he ﬂew downwards, disregarding the other two’s opinions. He still had some soul power left, but he wouldn’t deplete it all.
He found a suitable place to rest as he descended. Once he landed, he immediately sat cross-legged and entered a meditative state to restore his soul power.
Ju Zi and Ke Ke landed after him.
Ke Ke stuck out her tongue at Huo Yuhao. “Wasn’t he arrogant before? His soul engineer standard is just average. He can’t be arrogant anymore, can he? Sister Ju Zi, you’re right. With enough distance between us, this fellow wouldn’t be our match.”
Ju Zi didn’t say anything, simply watching Huo Yuhao. She appeared to be thinking of something.
She was the only one out of the four yesterday that had seen the entire ﬁght. Huo Yuhao left a deep impression on her—not
because of his Darkgolden Terrorclaws, but because of his punch towards Zimu’s soul shield.
Ju Zi had felt as if he was a king capable of ruling the world at that point in time. She’d seen the extremely wise, intelligent and powerful Zimu be unable to even handle his strike, and collapse after just one punch.
She couldn’t forget the golden light in Huo Yuhao’s eyes and his dominant might.
The horrible feeling she’d felt from being frozen by the Domain of Perpetual Ice had been replaced by curiosity. How magical was this young fellow from Shrek Academy?
She was only a student, and didn’t have the authority to investigate Huo Yuhao’s background like Xuan Ziwen. However, she clearly felt that he wasn’t just some random three-ringed soul master. There must be some secret to him. Shrek Academy was indeed mysterious!
“Alright, Ke Ke. We have to stick together since we’re on the same trip. There are bound to be conﬂicts. If we meet danger
and can’t work together, won’t we just be harming ourselves? Let’s take a break too.” Ju Zi pulled Ke Ke and sat down.
They had more soul power than Huo Yuhao, and had depleted less of it too. However, Huo Yuhao’s restoration left both of them shocked. It only took 15 minutes before he opened his eyes, looking refreshed.
Ke Ke was stunned and asked, “Your soul power’s already been restored?” She hadn’t even seen Huo Yuhao using an auxiliary-type soul tool like the Milk Bottle.
Huo Yuhao nodded and said, “We can leave now.”
His soul power increased very slowly even though he’d had the greatest support from Shrek Academy in terms of resources. He’d only managed to reach Rank 40 with Elder Mu’s help before he passed on. His improvement was slow even though he’d had the help of the Haodong Power and worked very hard on his cultivation. However, it wasn’t that simple. His soul power was extremely dense, much more than that of any ordinary soul master’s. More importantly, his endurance in battle and regenerative abilities were greater than most soul masters at the same level as him.
Huo Yuhao estimated that with his current cultivation speed he’d need ﬁve more years to reach Rank 50, should everything go smoothly. He would need ten years before he reached Rank
60. As for becoming a Rank 70 soul sage, it would require twenty years. The progression of an Ultimate Element soul master was indeed fraught with difﬁculties.
However, could his cultivation speed really be appraised as normal? Elder Mu had already helped him ﬁnd the most suitable path. Although this path was difﬁcult to tread, it was already a shortcut. He even had another shortcut for himself. However, it wasn’t the time for him to fully activate his potential yet.
Huo Yuhao wondered whether he could fulﬁl his true mission here in the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. When he thought of this point, a streak of blinding light ﬂashed through his eyes.
Ju Zi managed to capture that light in his eyes, and she discovered that her heart throbbed a little when she saw it. How was it possible for someone his age to have such a look in
his eyes? Why did she feel like she was looking at the cold eyes of a huge soul beast?
They ﬂew up once again, but Ju Zi didn’t remain at the front with Ke Ke, instead choosing to ﬂy alongside Huo Yuhao.
“Huo Yuhao, the Jing Yang Mountain Range is located in the northern region of the Sun Moon Continent. It’s around a thousand miles away, so it’ll be another six hours for our ﬂight. The Jing Yang Mountain Range covers a wide expanse, and is engulfed by thick vegetation. There are many valuable resources located there, but there are also many metal-type soul beasts. Even spiritual-type soul beasts have been known to appear, Teacher Xuan asked me to tell you that. He told me to let you use your own judgement. Don’t miss the opportunity if a suitable soul beast appears. Ke Ke and I will help you too.”
Huo Yuhao nodded and said, “Thanks, senior sister.” Ju Zi’s kind gesture removed the disdain he held her in previously, and his tone of voice also became much gentler. However, he remained quiet. It was impossible for him to not be wary of them.
Ke Ke twisted her lips beside Ju Zi and didn’t make a sound. She didn’t hold any less contempt for Huo Yuhao, and she vividly recalled how Huo Yuhao had strangled her. When that happened, she felt as if she was going to die. Her entire body turned numb from the struggle, and she even felt that she would never wake up again.
They ﬂew for another two hours before resting again.
“Let’s eat before we continue our journey. With our current speed, we’ll reach the Jing Yang Mountain Range before evening.” Ju Zi looked at the sky and instructed them to rest.
She was fully prepared for this trip. She brought out a large quantity of food from her storage-type soul tool, which she had since she was a lady who loved to eat. There were vegetables, fruits, frozen meats and even condiments. Needless to say, she was well prepared, she even brought her own kitchen cutlery.
Ju Zi was delighted when she saw Huo Yuhao staring at her in a daze. “I’m going to show off my skills now and let you two taste my outdoor-grilled food. It’s deﬁnitely delicious. Be careful not to eat your tongue too.”
As she spoke, she set up the grill and started a ﬁre to prepare her food.
Huo Yuhao was a little stunned as he watched. He had a weird feeling in his heart, because he was always the one who grilled meat for others. However, it was the reverse now, an entirely new experience for him. He didn’t say much, and just watched quietly.
“You’re in luck. Sister Ju Zi’s cooking is the best. Even Zimu and Wang Shaojie rarely get to try it.” After ﬂying for four hours, Ke Ke seemed to have forgotten the conﬂict between her and Huo Yuhao. Although still as petty as ever, the contempt in her eyes had dissipated.
“Haha.” Huo Yuhao laughed even though he thought it seemed a little silly.
Ke Ke snapped, “What’re you laughing at? Oh right, what type of a soul engineer are you?”
“Type?” Huo Yuhao was a little puzzled as he looked at her.
Ke Ke seemed as if she were looking at a freak and said, “That can’t be right. Don’t tell me that Shrek is so backwards that it doesn’t categorize its soul engineers? Soul masters must tend towards a certain aspect. No soul engineers can excel in all areas, unless you’re a research-type soul engineer like Teacher Xuan, who puts research as his priority, and is not inclined towards any certain aspect. You must be a close-combat type of soul engineer, since your close-combat skills are so honed. However, I haven’t seen you use a close-combat soul tool before.”
Huo Yuhao felt the illusion of something that had been confusing him for along time instantly being blown to pieces in his brain. A light appeared in his head.
All this while, he and He Caitou had been cultivating tirelessly because of the Ultimate Soldier Plan. They practically tortured themselves every day. How couldn’t he feel tired? Wasn’t he human too? Even though his memory was shockingly good, and his spiritual power was superior to that of most others, he would still be fatigued when he tried to meditate at night. This was also why his mind became unstable when Elder Mu passed away.
In Shrek Academy, the Soul Tool Department was undergoing rapid development. The Ultimate Soldier Plan’s goal is to nurture an invincible soul master and soul engineer. This was a great motivational plan for Huo Yuhao, but also a great source of mental pressure!
Ke Ke’s words jolted him awake, especially when she mentioned that ‘no soul engineer could excel in all areas’.
Yes! No wonder he felt as though his improvements didn’t match up with that of He Caitou’s even though his soul engineer rank increased. This was the problem!
He Caitou had managed to ﬁnd his path, which was in the area of stationary soul tools. What about him? Besides stationary soul tools, he learned everything. The immense knowledge that he had been assimilating caused him to become incredibly exhausted.
She was right. He needed to make a choice. To decide on a path suitable for him. If he continued like this, he might be unable to become the Ultimate Soldier. If things went wrong,
he might even be overwhelmed in the complex and advanced knowledge of soul tools.
Huo Yuhao felt very free when he ﬁgured all this out. He stood up and bowed towards Ke Ke.
Ke Ke jumped in shock. “Hey, are you okay? Are you sick in the head? I don’t want to train with a mentally-ill person.”
Huo Yuhao was in a good mood now. The sense of unhappiness that he’d had earlier disappeared, “I’m ﬁne. I just thought of something that made me happy. You’re right. But I’m not a close-combat soul engineer. I’m a war-type soul engineer to a certain degree.”
Ke Ke was stunned, “A war-type soul engineer? It’s my ﬁrst time hearing that. What do you mean?”
Huo Yuhao replied, “A war-type soul engineer researches soul tools that exist solely for the purposes of war. Mainly
using close-combat and certain long-range soul tools, but it’s effects are more for close-range.” He wasn’t slow-witted. He had been giving his all for the Ultimate Soldier Plan. After he ﬁgured out this all-important question, he immediately found his direction. However, he couldn’t tell Ke Ke everything. He had chosen close-combat as his main direction. As for long- range attacks, he would need He Caitou to back him up. With their chemistry, the title of a war-type soul engineer should technically belong to the both of them.
Ke Ke said, “Be careful of being overzealous.”
Huo Yuhao asked her, “Senior, what path did you choose?”
Ke Ke seemed to be in a better mood after Huo Yuhao called her senior. She proudly said, “I chose to be an explosive medium-range combat-type soul engineer. If I wasn’t concerned about ruining the laboratory, do you think you would have won? Otherwise, when I ﬁre a cannon at you, you won’t be able to take care of yourself for the rest of your life.”
After digesting her words and recalling the huge cannon she’d brought at that time, Huo Yuhao vaguely understood what her direction was.
Huo Yuhao sighed in his heart. Shrek Academy’s Soul Tool Department didn’t make any clear distinctions like this. Soul engineers were classiﬁed just like soul masters! He had to pass this news back quickly. His entire trip out here made worthwhile by this discovery.
As he was thinking, a thick aroma wafted over. He and Ke Ke were attracted to it.
“Wow, it’s so fragrant.” Ke Ke rushed towards Ju Zi. Her eyes brightened up, surprisingly her drooling face looked rather cute.
Ju Zi’s grilling technique was indeed amazing. The two pheasants she cooked turned a golden yellow from the grilling.
Huo Yuhao’s nose twitched, and he could immediately tell that Ju Zi had used more than ten different types of spices on the grilled pheasants, and he could tell her grilling method was slightly different from his. However, he could ascertain that the taste of the pheasants would be good from its aroma and crispy, golden-yellow appearance.
Ju Zi glanced at Ke Ke and laughed. “They always laugh at me for being a glutton, but you’re not much different from me. It’s just that you’re good at hiding it.”
Ke Ke laughed. “I’ll put up with anything you say now. Faster! I’m dying of hunger. As long as you feed me right this instant, I’ll let you say anything.”
Ju Zi glared at her before glancing at Huo Yuhao, who didn’t react. She joked, “You’re spouting so much nonsense. Are you sure he won’t misunderstand you?”
Chapter 161: Arrived, Grilled Meat
Grilled meat, roasted buns, peppered vegetables, chilli, sour plums and stew brewed from beef became a hearty meal for Huo Yuhao and his friends.
In Shrek Academy, Huo Yuhao was rather selective about the food he ate. While he was not picky, he had to admit that Ju Zi’s culinary skills were decent. The meal helped the three of them to bond, and reduced the distance between the three new students.
“So? I am right, right? Sister Ju Zi’s food is indeed tasty. Let’s see if you dare to offend us in the future. If not for Sister Ju Zi’s kindness, we would not have given this meal to you,” Ke Ke informed him.
Huo Yuhao chuckled and said, “Sister Ke Ke, please don’t keep thinking about that incident that day. Why don’t you let me cook dinner instead, as a form of apology to you and Sister Ju Zi?”
“You can cook?” Ju Zi and Ke Ke asked simultaneously. While Ju Zi’s faced brimmed with curiosity, Ke Ke’s face was full of doubt.
Huo Yuhao smiled and said, “After I try, you’ll know. When I ﬁrst came to Shrek Academy, I survived by selling grilled ﬁsh. If I hadn’t done that, how could an orphan like me afford the school fees?”
When they heard the word orphan, the gazes of both girls turned soft. The change in Ju Zi’s emotions was natural, but Ke Ke was better at concealing it. However, the change in her eyes could not escape Huo Yuhao’s observation.
They were indeed two kind seniors!
“Okay, you are in charge of dinner. However, to preserve their freshness, I did not bring much food. When we arrive at the Jing Yang Mountain Range, we may have to make do with what we ﬁnd there.”
The three of them continued on their journey. This was not Ju Zi and Ke Ke’s ﬁrst time going to the Jing Yang Mountain
Range. As they ﬂew, Ju Zi told Huo Yuhao about some of the dos and don’ts.
“The Jing Yang Mountain Range resembles a huge spider. The central mountains occupy a vast space, and they branch out in eight different directions, like the legs of a spider. The branches surround the central mountains, protecting them. There aren't a lot of soul beasts in the branches, which are rich in mineral resources. However, the central mountains are full of soul beasts, and many of them are powerful, particularly around Jingyang Peak.”
Huo Yuhao asked curiously, “With the power of the Sun Moon Empire and its progress in soul tool technology, it wouldn't be difﬁcult for them to harness the resources of the Jingyang Peak, right?”
Ju Zi shook her head and said, “Don’t underestimate Jingyang Peak. In the continent, the Great Star Dou Forest near Shrek Academy is undoubtedly the top gathering area for soul beasts, but Jingyang Peak is deﬁnitely within the top ﬁve worldwide. To take advantage of the resources here, one would need to use a long-ranged soul tool to carpet bomb this place. Even so, the soul beasts would retaliate furiously, and there would be many casualties.
“While a huge amount of mineral resources can be found in the Jing Yang Mountain Range, we from the Sun Moon Empire view the soul beasts as valuable resources, too. Since they are valuable resources, we cannot drain the pond to look for ﬁsh. After all, in terms of soul beasts, the Sun Moon Empire cannot compare to the three big states of the Douluo Continent. The Jing Yang Mountain Range contains the greatest amount of soul beasts in our country, and we are more keen on
preservation. Hence, despite knowing that there are many precious mineral resources, we will only exploit those found in the branches. However, we have stationed a huge army near the Jing Yang Mountain Range…”
Here, Ju Zi suddenly stopped. She looked at Huo Yuhao and smiled. “I can’t tell you more, these are military secrets.”
Huo Yuhao smiled and replied, “I don’t want to know anything military. It has nothing to do with me.”
Ke Ke said, “We have told you so much already, shouldn’t you share a bit about yourself? You have only three soul rings, so why are you so powerful? What power did you use that day?”
Looking at the curious expressions on the faces of the two girls, Huo Yuhao smiled and said, “I am a twin-souled soul master.”
When they heard the four words,’twin-souled soul master’, Ju Zi and Ke Ke could not help but open their eyes wide. Ke Ke’s eyes were almost glittering as she said, “Whoa, so twin- souled soul masters aren’t a myth! No wonder you’re so powerful.”
The two girls were more surprised than Huo Yuhao had expected. This made him feel slightly odd. “Are there no twin- souled soul masters in the Sun Moon Empire?”
Ju Zi shook her head and said, “No, I can be sure. In the history of the Sun Moon Empire, there has never been any twin-souled soul masters. Even in the Douluo Continent, it is considered rare.”
Ke Ke was more excited as she said, “Tell us, what are the differences between your two souls? What are your martial souls?”
Huo Yuhao was silent. Perhaps it was because he, Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao were all twin-souled soul masters, but he did not think much of his status as a twin-souled soul master. Furthermore, he was not born with a second soul. Instead, the Skydream Iceworm gave it to him. In the past few years, regardless of whether it was Skydream, the Ice Empress, or Electrolux, they had all been very quiet. Occasionally, when he reached a certain level of cultivation, they would release some of their sealed power for him. However, beyond that, they did not really have a huge impact on him. Instead, it appeared as if they wanted him to improve by himself. However, Huo Yuhao was clear that the Ice Empress, Skydream, and Electrolux were his main sources of support and his true shield. They feared that he would become over-dependent on them, and hence they rarely appeared. In the past two years, they had been happy with his progress.
“My main martial soul is a spiritual type, and my auxiliary martial soul is an ice-type. I have Rank 40 soul power. However, as I could not ﬁnd an appropriate spiritual-type soul beast, I have yet to add a soul ring.”
“No wonder your three soul rings are so powerful.” Ju Zi said in shock, “Not only do you have two martial souls, but your soul power is also at Rank 40. A spiritual-type martial soul,
that’s rare indeed! The school has been searching for a spiritual-type soul master, though I do not know what for.”
Huo Yuhao’s heart missed a beat. He realized that it was the right choice to follow these two girls out. Perhaps Teacher Xuan would be more careful and prevent him from knowing too much about the inner workings of the Soul Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, but Ju Zi and Ke Ke were much less guarded against him. Anything they said thoughtlessly would be helpful to him.
“So what are your soul skills? Especially the one that distorted the surrounding rays of light which stopped me from taking clear aim at you,” Ke Ke asked curiously.
Ju Zi frowned and said, “Ke Ke.” It was taboo to ask a soul master about his soul skills.
Huo Yuhao, however, answered nonchalantly, “That’s one of my auxiliary soul skills, called Spiritual Interference. Through my spiritual power, I used it to affect you. Anyone within the radius of my Spiritual Interference will have lowered accuracy. Only those whose spiritual power is superior to mine will be less affected.”
Ke Ke followed up with another question, “So what’s the radius of your Spiritual Interference?”
Huo Yuhao smiled and did not reply. He could not answer that. This was his true secret.
Ju Zi glared at Ke Ke, who stuck out her tongue and stopped asking. Evidently, she knew that she had gone overboard too.
When the western skies turned into a beautiful dusk, they ﬁnally reached their destination. From far above in the sky, one could tell that the Jing Yang Mountain Range resembled a huge spider, or an octopus, that lay splayed on the ground, majestic and awe-inspiring.
While they were both gathering points for soul beasts, Huo Yuhao sensed that it was different from the Great Star Dou Forest.
The Great Star Dou Forest seemed endless. Here, however, one could sense a raw, fearsome smell. In terms of depth, it
could not compare to the Great Star Dou Forest. However, it was clearly more aggressive.
“We shall rest nearby for the night, and tomorrow we will try the soul tool. At the same time, we will try our luck and see if we can ﬁnd a suitable soul beast for you,” Ju Zi said.
The three of them landed a few hundred kilometers away from the foot of the Jingyan Mountains. They found an elevated piece of land and pitched their tents there. With their storage-type soul tools, they were able to bring enough items for all of them. Three people, three tents. Aided by Huo Yuhao, they were able to quickly set these tents up.
Ke Ke looked at Huo Yuhao, who was hurriedly setting up his own tent, and said with a smile, “I remember someone saying that it’s show time tonight! Don’t disappoint us!”
Huo Yuhao chuckled and said, “Of course, let me prepare. Please wait while I see if there are suitable ingredients nearby. The fresher, the better.”
As he said that, Ke Ke and Ju Zi saw a golden light ﬂashing from his eyes. The moment they saw the golden radiance, their hearts skipped a beat. They could still clearly remember the power he had emitted.
Huo Yuhao looked into the distance and slowly turned around. He expanded his ﬁeld of view.
Ke Ke asked Ju Zi in a low voice, “The sky is dark, is he using his eyes to search for food?”
Without waiting for Ju Zi to reply, Huo Yuhao’s ﬁgure shimmered. In the blink of an eye, he disappeared.
Ju Zi replied in a low voice, “He is indeed powerful. Earlier, I thought that a soul master could not compare to a soul engineer of the same rank. However, looking at it now, this notion seems ludicrous. Even now, we have yet to see him use any powerful soul skills. With his own martial prowess, he was able to render us defenseless. I daresay that in the wild, and with sufﬁcient distance, even the four of us would not be his match.”
Ke Ke nodded and said, “His Spiritual Interference targets us soul engineers in particular. I just hope that its radius isn’t too wide.”
Ju Zi laughed and said, “He is not our true enemy. After all, he is just an exchange student from Shrek Academy. Who knows, maybe we can learn something from him? However, are we really going to eat his food?”
Ke Ke sniggered and said, “That brat did insist on cooking for us despite having tasted your food for lunch, which means that he should be relatively skilled, right? If we don’t try, how will we know? Who knows, maybe you will even realize your goal of ﬁnding a lover who can cook.”
Ju Zi coughed, and her face turned red. “Don’t spout nonsense. He isn’t that old. If you look carefully at his skin, you will see that despite his size, his face is still supple and youthful. The soft hairs at the side of his lips have just started to harden. He should only be about 15 or 16 years old, and is surely much younger than us.”
Ke Ke looked at her with oddly and said, “Wow, Sister Ju Zi, you are observant indeed.”
Ju Zi said unkindly, “What is going in your head? Know oneself and know your enemy, only then can you win.”
As they spoke, Huo Yuhao returned. His right hand appeared to be clutching something. As it was dark already, they couldn’t see what it was. Then, he busied himself.
Ju Zi and Ke Ke did not notice what wild beast Huo Yuhao caught. When they took notice, all they could see were strips of meat. Each strip of meat had been sliced evenly. They were the size of a palm, and as thick as two thumbs. Not too thick, not too small.
It was time to start a ﬁre. The moment he thought about ﬁre, a shiver went down Huo Yuhao’s heart. He could not help but to look into the distance. Sister, where are you? As he thought about the missing Ma Xiaotao, his mood soured.
However, he did not stop what he was doing. After a while, a ﬁre was burning. He turned his head to look at the two girls who were staring at him and said, “Come, seniors, and prepare to feast. My meat must be eaten as soon as it’s ready to preserve its taste.”
As he said that, he took out three small bowls. He added something into each of the bowls, which looked like a translucent brown sauce. Then, he distributed forks to the two girls.
“Grill the meat, and then eat it with some sauce. Let’s start.” As he said that, Huo Yuhao used his fork to take a slice of meat off a branch. His wrist twirled, and that meat was cooked over the ﬁre. Then he twirled his hand again, and the meat landed in Ju Zi’s bowl.
Under the light from the ﬁre, both Ju Zi and Ke Ke’s faces were red. They looked rather seductive.
Ju Zi had been noticing Huo Yuhao’s actions. From his skilled actions, it was clear that this was not his ﬁrst time grilling meat. She looked down and noticed that the sizzling meat was still slightly pink. It was not fully cooked.
“Eat it while it’s hot. It tastes best this way.” As Huo Yuhao said that, a second piece of meat was ready. It dropped into Ke Ke’s bowl.
Ju Zi loved to eat. When she heard that, she did not think on it any further. With the fork, she picked up the slice of meat and gently lathered some sauce over it. Then, she placed it in her mouth.
The sauce was not strong, but was extremely fragrant. The meat was extremely smooth after it had been lathered with sauce. After it entered her mouth, she chewed on it on a while, and it melted and went smoothly down her throat. The fragrance and silky texture almost made Ju Zi bite her tongue.
Chapter 162: The Mysterious Ju Zi
“Wow, it’s so tasty.” Unlike Ju Zi, who ate the meat in a daze, Ke Ke could not help but leap up the moment she tasted the meat. She was extremely excited.
This taste… Ju Zi appeared lost, but she felt an indescribable emotion in her heart. Tears ﬂowed down her cheeks, and she looked at Huo Yuhao in a completely different light.
Huo Yuhao’s attention was completely devoted to the meat. He wanted to maximize his control over the ﬁre, and he even used his Spiritual Detection to help him with that. As he grilled every single piece of meat to perfection, and then delivered them into the hands of the two girls, he himself began to eat too. It tasted good, and he couldn’t help but sigh in admiration. Most importantly, he had been lucky today, as he had caught a deer that was perfect for grilling. If not, no matter how skilled he was, he could not have made a meal as tasty as this.
The deer, which had weighed about ﬁve kilos, had about two to two-and-a-half kilos’ worth of good meat. In less than an hour, it was in their stomachs. The tasty juice from the meat made them content in a way that words could not express.
“Is there anything else you want to eat?” Huo Yuhao asked the two girls as he ate the last piece of meat.
Ke Ke patted her slightly bulging belly and said, “It’s so tasty, it really is. It tastes awesome, but I can’t eat anymore. Eh, Sister Ju Zi, why are you crying? Why are your eyes red?”
Huo Yuhao, who had devoted all his attention to cooking, and Ke Ke, who had devoted all her attention to eating, realized that Ju Zi was not in a normal state. Her eyes were puffy and red. Carefully, she inserted the last piece of meat Huo Yuhao gave her into her mouth and chewed softly.
She did not reply to Ke Ke, but instead mumbled to herself, “This taste, it’s really this taste. I thought I would never taste it again.”
Ke Ke saw her slightly unstable state of mind and rushed to her side. She grabbed her arm and asked worriedly, “Sister Ju Zi, are you alright?”
Ju Zi gently lowered the bowl in her hands and nodded. She looked at Huo Yuhao, and her warm voice croaked as she said, “Thank you, Yuhao, for letting me taste my father’s cooking again.”
Huo Yuhao did not expect Ju Zi to say something like this. A look of shock crossed his face as he said, “Fa…father?”
Ju Zi nodded. Her eyes were blurry and she appeared to be in her own world as she said softly, “Father was the best cook. I was born in a small border town of the empire. Mother was the prettiest woman in the entire town, and father opened a small restaurant that did very well. Father said that his greatest joy in life was to cook for mother. Your food tasted like my father’s. While I haven’t tasted it in a decade, I will never forget it.”
“A decade?” Huo Yuhao looked at Ju Zi. Her eyes were so warm and sweet. They also brimmed with longing and admiration for her father. This look shocked him greatly. In his memory, he never had a father.
Grief now ﬁlled Ju Zi’s eyes. Huge teardrops started to roll as she continued, “War, war ruined my family. Father was
forcibly conscripted, and he perished in the war against the Star Luo Empire. Mother was grief-stricken and fell deathly ill. Three years later, she passed on too. Hence, like you, I am an orphan, too.”
An indescribable feeling engulfed Huo Yuhao. Faced with this girl, who shared the same fate as him, he had a sudden desire to embrace her. She had lost her father and mother, and was an orphan just like him. No wonder she treated him differently after she found that he was an orphan, too.
However, he did not know how to comfort Ju Zi. His heart was ﬁlled with an intense sorrow. He thought about his mother, who had raised him with much difﬁculty, and his father, whom he hated. At this moment, he was wracked by emotions too.
Ke Ke stood up and spoke in a loud voice, with her hands on her hips, “What are you guys doing? Don’t be sad. All those things are in the past. The more you think about it, the sadder you will be. Look ahead, and don’t wallow in your grief. There are many nicer things waiting for us, no?”
Looking at her, the heavy atmosphere suddenly changed.
Huo Yuhao and Ju Zi were both stunned. Then, they couldn’t help but burst out laughing.
Ke Ke was confused as she said, “Am I that funny? Sister Ju Zi, don’t you ﬁnd it embarrassing to be crying and laughing at the same time?”
Ju Zi stood up and tugged her elbow. She said, “It’s not early, let’s rest. We need to be well-rested should we wish to enter the mountains tomorrow.”
As she said that, she pulled Ke Ke toward her tent.
After a few steps, she suddenly stopped and turned around to look at Huo Yuhao. She said, “In the future, you will be responsible for our meals.” With that, she ﬂashed him a smile. When he saw that smile, he felt that the tension between them had been reduced. The distance they kept from each other in school was gone.
Her smile is beautiful indeed, Huo Yuhao thought. However, another ﬁgure ﬁlled his heart. He couldn’t help but to mumble
to himself, Raiment of light, raiment of light, Wang Dong, that’s truly…
It was a quiet night.
In the morning, when Ju Zi and Ke Ke woke up, Huo Yuhao had already made breakfast. Because of his dawn training, he would wake earlier than everyone else. Everyone present was a soul master, and they all felt rejuvenated after a good night’s rest.
Ju Zi was especially chirpy. Her smooth face had a tint of pink, making the desire to nibble on her almost irresistible. She was like a sweet and juicy peach.
Huo Yuhao made a simple breakfast. Soup, roasted buns, and some simple meat. He had brought all the ingredients himself. However, despite their simplicity, Ju Zi’s heart raced with every bite. She did not say it, but she had dreamt about her father last night. It was almost as if her father had coaxed her
to sleep. While she did not train beforehand, it was one of the best nights of sleep she had ever had.
Even Ke Ke felt that something was amiss about Ju Zi. Over breakfast, she stole eight glances at Huo Yuhao. Every time she looked at him, her gaze would become warmer. It was as if she had found her soulmate.
Huo Yuhao noticed this, too. Unlike Ke Ke, he felt that Ju Zi now viewed him as her father. He felt as if he was lying on a bed of nails. Ju Zi was older than him by at least four or ﬁve years!
After breakfast, they continued their journey. This time, they did not proceed with ﬂying-type soul tools. The skies above where soul beasts congregated were off-limits. Unless someone had a death wish, or was immensely conﬁdent in his or her abilities, no one would attempt to ﬂy.
At this time, Huo Yuhao ﬁnally saw the soul tool they planned to experiment with.
It was an extremely odd-looking item. It was shaped like a ball with a diameter of two meters. Inside, there were three seats, one in front and two behind. The ball was sealed shut, but it had windows made of crystal on its front, back and two sides, which one could look out.
At the bottom of the ball, there were six metallic legs. Every leg was split into three segments. The last segments were extremely sharp, and could easily be stuck into the ground. The second segment raised the contraption up, and the ﬁrst segment connected the leg to the ball. It looked very weird.
“What is this?” Huo Yuhao asked in surprise. It was his ﬁrst time seeing something like this.
Ju Zi said, “Teacher Xuan named it the all-terrain exploration soul tool . You see its six legs? We can sit inside the ball, and with its formation arrays, we can control it. The ball is formed from high-density metals, and can resist attacks from Grade 6 soul masters and below. At the same time, the ball can let us release our protective soul tools. Right now, its protective gear is Grade 5. Both Ke Ke and I can control it.
“Furthermore, it can seal off our life energy. As long as we sit inside, we need not fear soul beasts sensing our energy. It can adapt to different scenarios. For example, if we encounter danger on a mountain, it can retract its legs and release a thick layer of rubber, rolling down while protecting us. The ball is
sealed, but if necessary, there won’t be an issue if it falls into water. The all-terrain exploration soul tool emphasizes life energy. Hence, its armor is very thick, but it drains soul power quickly, too. With my cultivation, I can control it for an hour before I need to meditate to regain my soul power. However, if
the three of us take turns controlling it, it can last much longer.”
Huo Yuhao was stunned. This was the ﬁrst time he had seen a soul tool a human could ﬁt inside. While it was only an exploratory tool, what if soul cannons were added to it? That wouldn’t be too hard.
Ju Zi’s explanations were very detailed. “Yuhao, don’t underestimate this soul tool. More accurately, it can be said to be an amalgamation of many soul tools. To research it, the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy took thirty years, as we tried to match different formation arrays and further reﬁne it. Only in the last two years have we achieved something signiﬁcant. The highest level of research in the Illustrious Virtuous Hall concerns ways to weaponize it.”
“Currently, the technology is not fully explored. Research into weaponizing soul tools like it can only get more complex, and they expend huge amounts of soul power. Even a Titled Douluo cannot control it for long, furthermore, its powers cannot compare to that of the Titled Douluo themself. This is not what we want at all. We hope that with our research, we can even let an ordinary person control the soul tool, till the point where even civilians can use it. This is what Teacher Xuan has been researching.”
Huo Yuhao inhaled deeply. Ju Zi’s exposition changed his perception of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s research. Did they just want civilians to operate their soul tools, or…? Ordinary soldiers would be able to operate these machines. With that, who could resist an invasion from the Sun Moon Empire?
While he had yet to try the all-terrain exploration soul tool for himself, he had the feeling that this item’s success would signiﬁcantly impact the future of the Douluo Continent.
“Come, you try it.” Saying that, Ju Zi walked over to the all- terrain exploration soul tool and climbed in with the help of the handles by the side.
Ke Ke looked at Ju Zi, speechless. She thought to herself, “Isn’t this top secret information in our school? He can try it out, but why did Sister Ju Zi tell him about its origins, and the research the school is working on? Did his food really loosen her tongue?”
Huo Yuhao didn’t say much. He entered the machine straightaway.
The inside of the all-terrain exploration soul tool was extremely simple, crude even. The three seats were simple and metallic, and they were secured in a small space within the ball, also the seats had seatbelts. There was a metal stick in front of the ﬁrst seat, but Huo Yuhao didn’t know what it was for. When they entered, Huo Yuhao noticed a few windows. Other than the four main windows, the ball also had a crystal window directly above the seats, and one in the center that seemed to hold the two halves of the ball together.
Before Ke Ke entered the ball, Ju Zi explained to Huo Yuhao, “Our all-terrain exploration soul tool’s original objective was to transport and protect soul engineers. When soul engineers need to ﬁght, they can be directly ejected from the seat. The crystal glass above will split in two, and the person will launch out from the ball. Every seat has this function. To the right of your seat, there is a red button. If you hit it, you’ll be ejected.”
“Such a good design,” Huo Yuhao said in admiration.
Ke Ke had climbed in as well, and she sat next to Huo Yuhao. Ju Zi chose a function from the control stick and tugged it gently. Instantly, the window closed, and the three of them were sealed inside a two-meter wide ball.
“Be careful, I’m going to start.” As she said that, an orange- red layer of light shone from Ju Zi’s body. Two yellow and three purple soul rings appeared. With her left hand, she grabbed the thickest metal bar and injected her soul power into it.
Instantly, the all-terrain exploration soul tool started to move. As its engines purred to life gently, the ball started to rise. Huo Yuhao activated his Spiritual Detection. He could
sense that its six legs started to lift the ball up, allowing him to see through the windows clearly.
“Ke Ke, you take charge of the soul barrier.” As she said that, she pressed down on a button to her left. Then a metal stick appeared before Ke Ke as well, who grabbed it tightly and prepared to channel her soul power into it.
“Let’s go!” Ju Zi shouted excitedly. She pushed the metal bar in her left hand forward a little, and in turn, the six thick metal legs started to move forward slowly. The entire all- terrain exploration soul tool began vibrating.
Huo Yuhao fully activated his Spiritual Detection. He could clearly sense that, all throughout the all-terrain exploration soul tool, at least thirty formation arrays were operating. The soul tool was completely propelled by Ju Zi’s soul power. Hence, a great deal of her soul power was being siphoned, particularly when she ﬁrst started the machine. When that happened, Ju Zi’s face turned pale from the exertion.
As its speed increased, Huo Yuhao took the time to quickly record the inner structure of this soul tool. The all-terrain exploration soul tool had too many formation arrays, and he
could not remember all of them at present. But it was far more important for him to remember its structure instead, something which took the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy thousands of tests and trials to come up with.
In a short time, Huo Yuhao had gauged the soul tool’s abilities. However, from one perspective, this soul tool did not appear to have much usefulness. While its defensive powers were decent, it would extort a huge amount of soul power for a Class 5 soul master. Once attacked, its huge size meant that it was just a massive target. While it was moving faster and faster, it still couldn’t compare to a ﬂying-type soul tool. Its six metallic legs would not let it become faster than this.
One could say that this soul tool was full of deﬁciencies, but Huo Yuhao was completely certain that Shrek Academy absolutely could not make a soul tool like it. In other words, the Star Luo Empire, the Heavenly Soul Empire, and the Dou Ling Empire had yet to make any soul tools with its ability. The technology required to make this soul tool was too advanced. The inter-connected formation arrays and its inherent concealment technique prevented him from fully understanding the soul tool, even with his Spiritual Detection.
Looking at it now, the soul tool appeared to have very little use. With its huge soul power consumption, it was less useful than a Class 5 soul engineer. Even he could easily destroy this machine should he wish to. However, what if one day the Sun Moon Empire found a replacement for the soul power source? What if the new source could support a soul cannon? What would the situation be then? It was hard to imagine, but what if it became the main weapon of all wars? How useless would ordinary soldiers be next to it?
In just a short while countless thoughts and possibilities ﬂashed through Huo Yuhao’s mind. The impact of this soul tool was indeed extraordinary.
He implicitly understood that while Xuan Ziwen did not have any well-deﬁned teaching syllabus, that he wasn’t too guarded against Huo Yuhao, as he allowed him to partake in this experiment with Ju Zi and Ke Ke. However, he understood Xuan Ziwen’s intentions too. If he could combine the Zhuge Divine Crossbow with the all-terrain exploration soul tool, then it would possess offensive potential! While it would require complex preparational procedures, it could at least bestow it attacking capabilities. This research would signiﬁcantly improve this soul tool.
While a stationary soul tool could be placed on it, from Huo Yuhao’s understanding of a stationary tool, almost all the projectiles ﬁred by a stationary soul tool were propelled by the formation array. While the energy-gathering formations could deﬁnitely gather a certain amount of energy, it still required soul energy to operate. Compared to the Zhuge Divine Crossbow, which was mechanical, a concentrated soul tool was vastly different.
Simply speaking, should the internal workings of the Zhuge Divine Crossbow be implanted into the all-terrain exploration soul tool, it would reduce its overall energy consumption. This was what Xuan Ziwen wanted the most.
Naturally, Huo Yuhao would not give him the mechanical secrets of the Zhuge Divine Crossbow. With the current technological level and research behind the Sun Moon Empire, if he helped them by divulging any of the secrets of the Zhuge Divine Crossbow, then the three other countries would be in deep trouble!
Ju Zi did not know what Huo Yuhao was thinking, partly because she was giving all her attention to controlling the all- terrain exploration soul tool. As she expended her soul power, she also had to adjust according to the type of terrain.
Inside the sealed ball, it was indeed uncomfortable. The main problem was its shakiness. While the all-terrain exploration soul tool was relatively shock-proof, the path wasn’t smooth at all. In the hard seat, the motions were extremely uncomfortable. After ﬁfteen minutes, Ju Zi had to stop to rest. At last, they had arrived at one of the outlying branches of the Jing Yang Mountain Range. Moving forward, they would be climbing the mountains.
Huo Yuhao made some quick calculations, and he realized that since the all-terrain exploration soul tool started operations, its speed was almost as fast as his highest running speed.
“Yuhao, share your feelings.” Ju Zi, who was visibly pale, turned her head to look at Huo Yuhao. She’d switched positions with Ke Ke, who was piloting now.
Huo Yuhao thought about it for a while and said, “Clumsy and lacking agility. I feel that what we see now is the result of its materials. For such a huge contraption, it’s amazing enough that you can make it move at such high speeds just with your soul power. When compared to ordinary soul tools, which can only attack or only defend, it is already extremely complicated.
Ju Zi nodded and said, “That’s right, it’s still full of problems, and all we can do is continually improve it. With our current progress, it will be awhile before we reﬁne it any further. Right now, there are some people in the empire who believe that we should devote more energy to the stationary soul tools. After all, they can already be operated by lower level soul masters, and they have very powerful offensive abilities. Furthermore, the expenses put into the production of a soul tool like this are extreme…”
“You don’t know this, but even though this machine appears clumsy, every single one of its joints holds a different formation array. Several researchers have been involved in its creation, and many different materials have been tried. The workload is immense. I think it’ll take a few thousand years to weaponize.”
Huo Yuhao ﬂatly asked, “Sister Ju Zi, do you think there was a point to doing such research?”
Ju Zi replied without missing a beat, “Of course there was a point. Research into soul machines will have a monumental impact on both our society and era. However…”
She frowned, then continued, “Looking at things right now, soul machines seem to be too advanced, which is why continuing to research them has become so hard. If we spent more time on fundamental research, soul machines would surely become a thing of the future. In my opinion, we need to focus on researching a replacement for soul power. If we don’t, only soul masters will be able to use this sort of soul tool. This
massive limitation will surely affect the development of soul tools.”
Huo Yuhao hadn’t expected Ju Zi to be so open about it. With respect in his heart, he gently nodded, but chose not to express his own opinion.
“Why haven’t you said anything? Is it because you’re afraid that we’ll use it to attack your country?” Ju Zi seemed to understand what Huo Yuhao was thinking.
Huo Yuhao didn’t try to hide his thoughts. He nodded again and then said, “Many technological advancements are made to fuel the war engine. Once war breaks out, civilians are the ones who suffer the most.”
Ju Zi looked at him in the eye and said, “I understand this point perfectly. Hence, rapid technological advancement might not be a good thing. Regardless of whether it’s me or Teacher Xuan, we all share this sentiment. You don’t know this, but Teacher Xuan is considered the best researcher of his generation in the Illustrious Virtuous Hall. He could be considered one of the top researchers in the entire Sun Moon Empire, but he’s never once revealed his full ability. This is
because he doesn’t want his research to be used for war, and is why I respect him.”
Huo Yuhao was shocked and said, “You mean to say that Teacher Xuan doesn’t submit his research?”
Ju Zi nodded. “That’s right. When you came to the Sun Moon Empire, didn’t you feel that our soul tool research progress was much faster than the other three countries?”
Huo Yuhao nodded.
Ju Zi said, “In reality, our research has reached a bottleneck
—in all directions. We haven’t made any improvements in the last decade. This is also why we have yet to see a Class 10 soul engineer emerge in the past few years. Coupled with the constant turmoil in the imperial family, which results in the ruling class not having a proper direction, our research into
soul tools has naturally stopped.
“Many years ago, the Sun Moon Empire was defeated by the other three countries of the Douluo Continent, which caused the Sun Moon Continent to be stripped of its name. Because of
this, the empire devoted all of its energy to developing soul tools for a period of time. Our progress was the fastest back then; in just a thousand years, our progress in soul tools and all aspects of technology surpassed that of the other empires. However, the presence of soul masters kept us in check, thus we didn’t dare to act carelessly.
“However, following the development of soul tools, the country progressed well too. Thus, the imperial family started to believe that our country’s defences were adequate, and that we were powerful enough to compete for supremacy on the continent. Hence, the ofﬁcial policy of the imperial family started to change; hedonism reigned, and income inequality throughout the empire widened. Conﬂicts began to erupt between the rich and poor, especially in the past few decades. The common people have rioted several times now. Do you know what the best option for the ruling class is now?”
Had Ju Zi asked Huo Yuhao the same question two years ago, he would’ve only been able to show her an expression of confusion. However, the Ultimate Soldier Plan had let him gain quite a bit of knowledge over the past two years, including knowledge pertaining to politics and history of the continent.
“A war would be able to resolve all of the empire’s conﬂicts. Following an invasion, the empire could resolve all sources of conﬂict. War would let the country gain more land, which would in turn enrich more people. The lower class could become rich and aristocratic through war, while societal conﬂicts would be partially resolved because of it. At the very least, there wouldn’t be any large-scale riots.”
Ke Ke appeared completely confused, but Ju Zi looked at Huo Yuhao and smiled slightly. She then said something that caused the hairs on Huo Yuhao’s back to immediately stand on end. “You seem more and more like a spy, albeit one who’s not fully qualiﬁed.”
A startled expression crossed Huo Yuhao’s eyes, but he soon returned to normal and said plainly, “As an exchange student from Shrek Academy, I wasn’t welcome from the very start, right? But don’t worry, I’m not a spy, nor am I serving any country. However, if possible, I want to prevent a war from happening.”
Ju Zi smiled and said, “Yuhao, do you know what my life’s goal is?”
Huo Yuhao shook his head.
Ju Zi’s eyes narrowed into slits as she looked out of one of the windows and mumbled, “I hate war; I despise it. However, I have to avenge my father—to trample the Star Luo Empire under my feet. That’s the reason for my existence.” Right now, her normally-warm eyes held an ice-cold gaze. It was as if she’d put a pair of glasses over her heart.
Huo Yuhao was shocked. He’d thought that Ju Zi was a paciﬁst in his heart. He’d never expected Ju Zi to say something like this.
Ju Zi turned her head and smiled at him. “It’s not a comfortable thing to hear, right? I know that you’re a citizen of the Star Luo Empire, thus I hope I don’t see you on the battleﬁeld in the future. Let’s go, Ke Ke.”
Following Ju Zi’s words, the atmosphere within the all- terrain exploration soul tool became solemn. The ball began to move forwards, while Ju Zi had already closed her eyes and appeared to be meditating.
Huo Yuhao sat there and stared at her quietly. His heart was heavy. Ju Zi made him uncomfortable. Even though she was only a Class 5 soul engineer, Huo Yuhao had heard several different things from her words that weren’t something a soul engineer—engaged only in research—could think of. What was she hiding in her heart?
Suddenly, an unknown sense of danger ﬂashed through Huo Yuhao’s heart and manifested itself into a desire to kill. He suddenly felt that, in the future, the warm and pretty young girl in front of him would become a powerful and threatening enemy. He’d only seen a small portion of her heart, but it was enough to shock him. This girl was better at concealing herself than he was!
However, could he really do it?
No, he couldn’t.
He couldn’t forget the sorrow her eyes had held when she’d uttered the word ‘father.’ He couldn’t bear to do so.
“If you have this sort of mentality, why are you telling me so much?” Huo Yuhao ﬁnally asked.
A warm light suddenly spread from her, separating Ke Ke from them. It was from a soundprooﬁng soul tool. Surprisingly, Ke Ke didn’t seem to realize. Ju Zi turned her head, smiled and said to Huo Yuhao, “Your heart is still young; you don’t have the capability to be my opponent. If I’m to die in battle one day, I hope to die by your hands. Like this, I’ll be able to taste my father when I die. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?”
Huo Yuhao’s heart trembled. He could see the very same expression he’d had when he ﬁrst left the Duke’s Mansion in her eyes. However, she hid it very well. Furthermore, she’d cloaked herself in a layer of warmth. It was only because he’d cooked for them last night that the deepest thoughts in her mind had been triggered.
“So how are you going to lead the Sun Moon Empire into war?” Huo Yuhao asked in a low voice. Even though Ju Zi was a Soul King and Class 5 soul engineer, her powers didn’t appear to surpass Huo Yuhao’s.
Ju Zi smiled and said, “Guess. All I can say is that martial prowess isn’t the only determinant.” She appeared to have given a lot of thought to this. Naturally, she wouldn’t tell Huo Yuhao.
“I’ve told you all of this today purely because I had the urge to do so. There’s nothing I truly cherish in this world, as there’s nothing that’s worth cherishing to me. However, I have to avenge my father and mother. I can still clearly remember the look of desperation in my mother’s eyes when she heard that my father had died, as well as my own desperation. At that moment, the entire world seemed to become black and white. Oh well, I know that you think I can’t do much. Just treat it as a story then.” Once she’d ﬁnished speaking, she deactivated the soundprooﬁng soul tool.
Is it really only a story? Huo Yuhao didn’t know. However, the Eye of Destiny on his forehead appeared to be telling him something. But when he tried to focus on it, the feeling disappeared.
Huo Yuhao looked deeply at Ju Zi and then sank into deep thought.
Ke Ke hadn’t sensed the conversation that had just taken place. As she had to constantly channel her soul power, her attention was completely focused in front of her. Currently, they’d just started to ascend a branch of the Jing Yang Mountain Range. The ball’s multiple legs proved their usefulness here. While it was still vibrating, it wasn’t slowed down at all. Under Ke Ke’s control, the metallic ball continued to move forwards. Since it had six legs, there were always at least three support points. Furthermore, they were made from ﬁrm metal that could easily be inserted into both the mud and granite around them. After a while, they managed to ascend a mountain.
Ju Zi didn’t say anything else to Huo Yuhao. Instead, she took out a pen and paper and started to take notes. Evidently, she was recording notes on the all-terrain exploration soul tool.
“Ke Ke, if you’re tired, just tell us,” Ju Zi reminded Ke Ke.
“Yup,” Ke Ke replied. Her face was pale from continually channelling her soul power into the all-terrain exploration vehicle.
Chapter 163: The Hexa-Elemental Silverwolf
Huo Yuhao kept his Spiritual Detection activated and an eye on their surroundings. He also used it to observe the two ladies in front of him, and slowly realized that they’d used medicine and some special methods to increase their soul power to their current levels. However, their soul power lacked tenacity and didn’t circulate well. It wasn’t even comparable to a normal soul master who’d just reached Rank 40. This wasn’t something that would happen in Shrek Academy.
This was a side effect of impatiently chasing success! They’d increased their soul power quickly, but their foundations were lacking. They hadn’t even fully experienced the changes that had occurred as their soul power increased. Whether it was the speed they gathered soul power at or their control of it, they deﬁnitely couldn’t compare to an orthodox soul king.
Would soul masters be replaced by soul engineers in the future? Huo Yuhao had never thought of this question before. Even if such a thing were to happen, he probably wouldn’t live to see it.
Ke Ke was completely spent once she got the machine over the mountain, thus she left the main control seat. Rather than take over, Ju Zi gestured for Huo Yuhao to take her place.
Huo Yuhao didn’t decline. He sat down in the main control seat and listened to Ju Zi’s explanation of how to control the vehicle.
Sitting in the main control pod felt quite different. The window in front of him wasn’t very ﬁne, but it had been specially designed to allow him a 180-degree view of the outside terrain.
There were four control joysticks in front of him. One was for injecting soul power into the vehicle, while the other three joysticks were used to advance, retreat, and jump. The joystick used to inject soul power also had the ability to rotate which direction the vehicle was going. All in all, the controls seemed very easy to use.
However, Huo Yuhao discovered some problems the moment he started to control the vehicle; he couldn’t coordinate its controls well. In order to properly control this all-terrain exploration vehicle, he needed to learn the rhythm that the six
mechanical legs moved in. It was only through this that he’d be able to change directions at the appropriate time, as well as control the speed of his advancement and retreat.
Others might take some time to adapt and familiarize to this, but Huo Yuhao held an advantage because of his Spiritual Detection. He was able to control the soul tool after about ten minutes of testing, and after almost a third of his soul power had been depleted.
He pushed the joystick to advance forwards, injected his soul power into the directional joystick, and then excitedly said, “We’re about to move. Sit tight.”
The soul tool then began to move under his control. Although it was a little slow when he started, the burden on his soul power had also become greater.
Huo Yuhao’s advantage over the other two was displayed at this point. While he was only Rank 40, his foundation was extremely solid. His cultivation had been greatly inﬂuenced by the Ultimate Ice between Rank 30 and Rank 40, thus his accumulation of soul power had increased greatly. Currently, his soul power was restored a little but every time he simply
took a breath, and was also aided by the Mysterious Heaven Technique. This was an aspect that the two ladies couldn’t compare to him in.
Ju Zi observed Huo Yuhao seriously, only to reveal a stunned look. Ke Ke was equally appalled, and her reaction was even greater than Ju Zi’s.
Huo Yuhao had seemed a bit rusty when he’d started to use the all-terrain exploration vehicle, but that had only lasted for the ﬁrst ten minutes. After some minor adjustments, he managed to control the speed of the all-terrain exploration vehicle pretty well.
This huge metal ball seemed quite imperious from the outside. Its speed gradually increased, and its direction continuously adjusted. When the metal ball encountered any barriers, it always managed to jump up at just the right time.
It could jump up to twelve meters into the air, the amount that it did being completely controlled by the joystick. As such, Huo Yuhao was able to have the vehicle jump to the appropriate height at the appropriate time without wasting any energy at all every time.
As time passed, Huo Yuhao’s control over the vehicle became better and better. The all-terrain exploration vehicle seemed to have come alive as it burst forwards. It was extremely rapid, and its traits were greatly exhibited.
Ke Ke mumbled, “Is this really the ﬁrst time he’s controlled this all-terrain exploration vehicle?”
Ju Zi nodded slightly and said, “It should be.”
“But…” Ke Ke was doubtful.
Ju Zi smiled. “Sometimes you have to admit that there are geniuses in the world. Isn’t he a good example?”
Ke Ke shook her head speechlessly and said, “I don’t believe it. Even if he is a genius, he’d still need some time to grasp the controls. Sister Ju Zi, do you know how he did it?”
Ju Zi nodded and said, “If I’m not wrong, it’s because of his spiritual-type martial soul. Think about it: If he can judge the
geography of our location and accurately pinpoint the condition of the all-terrain exploration vehicle, wouldn’t controlling it to be much simpler? After a period of training and adapting, he’ll be able to control this soul tool better than both of us.”
Ke Ke asked, “But wouldn’t that require a lot of calculations?”
Ju Zi rolled her eyes and said, “Do you honestly think that this guy lacks the ability to do such a thing? I ﬁnally understand why the academy has been searching for spiritual- type soul masters. Spiritual-type soul masters have a unique advantage when it comes to controlling and creating soul tools! No wonder Teacher Xuan thinks so highly of him.”
Huo Yuhao could hear what the two of them were saying, but he was immersed in controlling the soul tool. His soul power continued to deplete, but he realized that he didn’t need to continuously inject his soul power to keep the vehicle moving.
There were six cumulative formation arrays inside of the vehicle. These formation arrays would gather the soul power he injected before they absorbed it. Following this, his soul
power would then be transferred to the other formation arrays. If he continued to inject his soul power, a small portion of his soul power would be wasted in the process of being transferred between the formation arrays. He was able to tell that this was happening through his Spiritual Detection, which in turn allowed him to conserve his soul power. Furthermore, his regenerative abilities were superior to those of most ordinary soul masters, which was why he still had some soul power left despite controlling it for nearly 30 minutes.
Right as Huo Yuhao was exploring the magical effects of the vehicle, his Spiritual Detection sent him a warning. The all- terrain exploration vehicle suddenly stopped, and its six mechanical legs descended into a half-squatting stance. Huo Yuhao then scanned one direction in particular with his Spiritual Detection .
A two meter tall, wolf-like soul beast appeared and gazed at the all-terrain exploration vehicle warily. It then let out a deep hooting sound, as if it were trying to demonstrate its might.
It was Huo Yuhao’s ﬁrst time seeing this wolf. Its was silvery- white, while its fur appeared metallic. An intense radiance was reﬂected off of it, which made it seem as if it were glowing under the sun.
Huo Yuhao couldn’t tell what the soul beast’s cultivation was from its appearance.
“It’s a rare soul beast, a Silverwolf! Based on its size, it should have a cultivation of around three thousand years. Yuhao, beware.”
Huo Yuhao nodded, then asked, “What kind of soul beast is this Silverwolf? How come I’m not familiar with it?”
Ju Zi replied, “The Silverwolf is a special soul beast in the Sun Moon Empire. It’s a metal element soul beast, but it’s not any ordinary soul beast. It’s very difﬁcult to deal with, and it feeds on Mithril. The Silverwolf needs to consume massive amounts of Mithril to break through its own bottleneck like humans need a soul ring when they reach a bottleneck. There’s a rumor that a Silverwolf King appeared in the past with cultivation of ten thousand years. It managed to resist two Soul Douluo before escaping with injuries. A Silverwolf Emperor with a hundred thousand year cultivation and above has never appeared before. A Silverwolf’s fur and bones are extremely useful materials for making soul tools with, while their meat is quite delicious, and can strengthen the body of a soul master.”
Ke Ke eagerly said “Let me go out. I have a way to deal with it.”
Huo Yuhao said, “Let me go instead.”
The Silverwolf had already launched an attacked while they were speaking. It was evidently unhappy with the metal ball in front of it, as its silver fur started to shine, and it spat out a silver ball of light towards it.
The silver ball of light didn’t make any sound as it shot through the air. However, the silver light transformed the moment it neared the all-terrain exploration vehicle. It became a diameter-wide ﬁreball, then sped towards the all-terrain exploration vehicle.
Huo Yuhao was also shocked. He rushed to make the all terrain exploration soul tool jump, barely managing to evade the ﬁreball. Even so, two of the vehicle’s mechanical legs were struck, which caused the balance of the all-terrain exploration
vehicle to be affected. Huo Yuhao quickly corrected the all- terrain exploration vehicle to prevent it from collapsing.
The Silverwolf unleashed a second silver ball of light at that moment. Huo Yuhao thought that it would turn into another ﬁreball, but the silver light turned into ten wind-blades that surrounded the all-terrain exploration vehicle this time. The blades then swung towards the all-terrain exploration vehicle maniacally.
Fortunately, Ju Zi unleashed a Class 5 soul tool barrier and blocked the wind blades.
Huo Yuhao was stunned, and asked, “What element does this fellow have?”
Ke Ke replied, “The Silverwolf is so strong because it possesses the six elements of water, ﬁre, earth, wind, light and darkness. It’s able to unleash the powers of any element depending on its will. That’s why it’s so difﬁcult to deal with. There’s practically no element that can curb it. It’s said that once it becomes a Silverwolf King after ten thousand years, another rare and advanced element will be added to it. At the hundred thousandth year, it will gain yet another element. The only fortunate thing is that it can only unleash the most basic attacks of each element, even though it possesses many elements.”
Before Ke Ke even ﬁnished speaking, a third ball of silver light had already turned into a cone-shaped ice attack shooting
at them. Although it couldn’t overcome the barrier, it depleted Ju Zi’s soul power rapidly.
Ke Ke wanted to press the eject button beside her seat, but she was stopped by Ju Zi. “Let Yuhao do it. Your ﬁghting style creates too much commotion. I didn’t expect to meet such a rare soul beast after just entering the Jing Yang Mountain Range.”
Huo Yuhao didn’t say anything after he heard her words. He slammed his right hand beside his seat, and the window above him opened to either side. His body was ejected like a cannonball.
The Silverwolf couldn’t overcome the Class 5 soul tool barrier easily. It was even shocked as Huo Yuhao suddenly appeared. As the Silverwolf lifted its head, it spat out a silver ball of light.
It was yet another wind-type attack. Many wind blades covered the entire area, and Huo Yuhao couldn’t possibly dodge.
Diamond ice crystals appeared and shone extremely brightly under the sun. They were even more dazzling than the silver light on the Silverwolf’s body. The wind blades couldn’t penetrate Huo Yuhao’s Ice Empress’ Armor.
Six metal barrels appeared on Huo Yuhao’s body at this point, and were ﬁred in the direction of the Silverwolf. Six streaks of light instantly shot out. The Silverwolf was extremely quick, and spat out a few more silver light balls as it leapt backwards. They formed layers of water curtains in the air, which weakened the soul rays. By the time the soul rays reached it, it managed to dodge them easily.
Huo Yuhao landed on the ground following this strike and started to lope towards the Silverwolf like a panther.
The Silverwolf was evidently more adept at long-range attacks. As it retreated, it continued to spit out balls of silver light towards Huo Yuhao.
However, Huo Yuhao had a deeper understanding of the Silverwolf after Ju Zi and Ke Ke introduced it to him. The element contained within the Silverwolf’s silver light balls
couldn’t be concealed from him, he used his Spiritual Detection to detect it.
Three white soul rings rose from Huo Yuhao’s legs, and started to shine brightly. The two ladies who were watching him were shocked. What was happening?
Huo Yuhao didn’t dare to reveal too many of his abilities since Ju Zi had threatened him. Right now, he was using all three of his soul skills at the same time.
A purplish-golden radiance ﬂashed across his eyes before disappearing. The Silverwolf screamed pathetically before falling into convulsions on the ground. It writhed around in pain for a few seconds before staggering back to its feet. However, it didn’t appear to be clear-headed anymore. Mass Enfeeblement and Spiritual Interference had struck it at the sametime.
Huo Yuhao was the one most surprised at this point. He thought that the Silverwolf was merely a few thousand years old, and thus its spiritual power should be inferior to him by a lot. Even if it didn’t die from his Spiritual Shock, it should be almost half-dead. However, it was able to crawl up.
This was beyond what Huo Yuhao had expected. Was this Silverwolf a spiritual-type soul beast? However, it only had three thousand years of cultivation. It wasn’t suitable enough for him!
He did not slow down even though he was thinking in his head. When the Spiritual Shock was unleashed, he had already charged forward. The intense radiance from a Class 5 soul thruster lit up behind his back. He increased his speed to the limit instantly and reached the Silverwolf just as it stood up.
He struck with his right hand. The purplish-golden radiance ﬂashed from Huo Yuhao’s eyes again. He didn’t give the Silverwolf any chance to catch its breath. He unleashed the Spiritual Shock once again, causing the Silverwolf’s seven apertures to spurt blood. His Darkgolden Terrorclaws stabbed into the back of the Silverwolf’s neck and tore into its central nerves.
The entire ﬁghting process was very simple. The three thousand year old Silverwolf was repressed so heavily by Huo Yuhao that it couldn’t resist at all.
Ju Zi looked at the wide-eyed Ke Ke with an amused expression. “Do you still think we can beat him in the wild?”
Ke Ke muttered, “He’s too scary when he engages in close- combat. That’s a three thousand year Silverwolf! However, it was completely helpless against him. Since when did a Silverwolf become so weak? I’ve heard that such soul beasts are very strong!”
Ju Zi sighed, “The Silverwolf isn’t weak. He’s just too strong. Before his last strike, the Silverwolf had already lost its ability to resist after being struck by his soul skills. His twin martial souls are indeed scary! I think even a Class 6 or 7 soul engineer wouldn’t be able to resist him if he gets close.”
Ke Ke was a little indignant as she said, “Then don’t let him come close.”
Ju Zi shook her head helplessly and said, “You say it like it’s so simple. Didn’t you see what he used to increase his speed? That was a Class 5 soul thruster. Even a Class 7 soul engineer wouldn’t dare to use it so easily. Aren’t you aware of its impact on one’s body? With our physical strength, we wouldn’t even be able to use a Class 3 soul thruster a few times. He only has
three rings. Although his soul power has reached Rank 40, he is still considered brave to attempt the use of a Class 5 soul thruster. Furthermore, he was still able to attack after using it. What does that mean?”
Ke Ke didn’t speak. She naturally knew what it meant it. It meant that Huo Yuhao was much stronger than they had imagined. How strong must his body be to withstand such an immense, instantaneous thrusting force? With their current abilities, they could only manage to sustain it for somewhere between ﬁfty and two hundred meters. Beyond that range, they needed stationary soul tools to maintain sufﬁcient offensive strength. A Class 5 soul tool increased Huo Yuhao’s speed such that he moved one hundred meters in a second. This meant that he moved two hundred meters every time he inhaled. How would they stand a chance against him with his physical strength and impressive close-combat abilities?
“He must be quite extraordinary in Shrek Academy, too,” Ke Ke said softly.
Ju Zi nodded lightly, “Perhaps, the seemingly weakest out of the exchange students is actually the core of everything. Alright, this doesn’t really concern us. Don’t talk of this matter when you return either. After all, we enjoyed his delicacies.”
Huo Yuhao had already returned with the Silverwolf as they spoke. A ﬂashing purple soul ring rose from it.
“Brother Skydream, wake up!” Huo Yuhao slowed down intentionally. He called for the Skydream Iceworm, as he needed answers to his questions. He was actually tempted by this Silverwolf’s soul ring. For most soul masters, their fourth soul ring should come from a thousand year soul beast. If he had no choice, he could accept this three thousand year soul ring.
“Little Yuhao, you haven’t disturbed me in a long time!” The Skydream Iceworm answered lazily. It didn’t sound fully awake yet. However, it was still very happy that Huo Yuhao woke him up.
“Brother Skydream, I met a special soul beast found only in the Sun Moon Empire. Help me see if it’s a spiritual-type. I can’t be sure.” He quickly described the Silverwolf’s abilities.
“Oh?” The Skydream Iceworm used the projection in his Spiritual Sea to observe the Silverwolf as he heard Huo Yuhao’s
description. When Huo Yuhao reached the all terrain exploration soul tool, it gave him a deﬁnite answer.
“This soul beast is supposed to be a mix of elements that doesn’t possess all the elemental powers? That is not possible for a soul beast. It’s only tapping into its afﬁnity with the various elements and its own immense spiritual power to control the elemental powers. The metal that it consumes is probably only effective in increasing its afﬁnity toward the different elements. Otherwise, it would be able to exhibit more than just the basic elemental powers. Yes, you can adopt it as your fourth soul ring. However, this Silverwolf is too weak, and isn’t suitable for you. I didn’t expect to see such a fun soul beast. If you meet another one of the same species with a cultivation of at least ten thousand years, you must not let it go. I believe that its soul skill should be rather good. Although it may not be an offensive-type soul skill, it can enhance your overall abilities, as well as your Mass Enfeeblement.”
“Alright, thanks.” Huo Yuhao put the Silverwolf’s corpse away in his storage-type soul tool before re-entering the all- terrain exploration soul tool.
Ju Zi gave him a thumbs-up as a compliment. Huo Yuhao only smiled and asked, “How do you plan to deal with this
Ju Zi said, “If you’re willing to sell it, I can help you. It should fetch a good price. You can keep it for now, the Silverwolf’s fur will prevent its corpse from rotting. We’ll deal with it once we return to the academy. I believe that the Silverwolf isn’t a spiritual-type soul beast, but its spiritual powers should be quite strong. Otherwise, it shouldn’t be able to control the elements to attack. Aren’t you going to try it? Also, why did your soul rings turn white just now?”
Huo Yuhao shook his head slightly and said, “It’s not what I want yet. As for the color of my soul rings, can’t I have three ten-year soul rings?” As he spoke, he also laughed. This was an answer that no one would believe.
Ju Zi pursed her lips. She had already returned to her gentle persona, and managed to conceal her thoughts well.
Huo Yuhao pondered for a moment and said, “Wolves are usually very sensitive in terms of their sense of smell. Does this Silverwolf also have such a characteristic?”
Ju Zi thought for a moment before replying, “It should. After all, it’s a wolf.”
Huo Yuhao said, “Seniors, I may have to separate from the two of you for some time.”
Ju Zi was stunned. “Where are you going?”
Huo Yuhao replied, “I’m going to ﬁnd a suitable soul beast. This Silverwolf is indeed suitable for me, but its cultivation is too low. It’s too easy for me to fuse with it. That’s why I’m going to ﬁnd a stronger Silverwolf, or some other spiritual- type soul beast. It should be a dangerous journey. That’s why it’s better for me to work alone. Continue with your experiments. I will meet the both of you back at the place we camped last night. If I’m not back in half a month’s time, the two of you must return ﬁrst.”
“No, how can we leave you alone?” Ke Ke asserted righteously. “We have to go together. Don’t forget that we’re soul kings. Three is always better than one in terms of safety. Although your close-combat skills are outstanding, our soul tools are rather powerful too. Our survival skills are equally as good as yours.”
Huo Yuhao was stunned. He didn’t expect that this young lady who continuously clashed with him was actually offering help to him at this critical moment. Huo Yuhao could see the sincerity in her eyes.
Ju Zi also nodded and said, “Ke Ke is right. We can’t let you take the risk alone. It’s always safer with three rather than one. Furthermore, we’re the ones who are familiar with the Jing Yang Mountain Range. Let’s go together. Are you scared that we’ll drag you down? I know what you’re going to do. You’re going to scatter the Silverwolf’s blood on the all-terrain exploration vehicle to threaten the lower-level soul beasts not to come close to us. It’s also a good way to test the survival capabilities of the all-terrain exploration vehicle.”
Huo Yuhao glanced at Ke Ke before turning to look at Ju Zi. He said seriously, “However, that is very dangerous. The Silverwolf’s blood may attract other types of soul beasts, which can be very strong. Think about it carefully. This all-terrain exploration vehicle can’t ensure our absolute safety.”
Ke Ke was a little impatient as she said, “Are you a girl? Why are you so pushy? Let’s go. If your soul power is gone, I can take the controls.”
Huo Yuhao nodded at the two of them as he glanced over them. Although Ju Zi had revealed her internal thoughts before, Huo Yuhao had a feeling that it was because he was like a father ﬁgure to her. That was why she wouldn’t hurt him.
“Alright, I will protect the both of you as long as I’m alive.”
Ju Zi sat lazily in her seat and replied him, “It’s still too early to tell who’ll be protecting who. Just remember that you need to feed us.”
Huo Yuhao’s face stiffened, and he shook his head in annoyance. He couldn’t help but think, Are they following me because they want me to cook for them?
Huo Yuhao didn’t set off immediately. He made some minor adjustments, and only moved off after his soul power had been restored to about half.
He controlled the all-terrain exploration vehicle with ease, following the experience that he had already accumulated. He would only slow down if they had to pass through a dense
forest. He passed mountain after mountain, but didn’t rush to scatter the Silverwolf’s blood.
They also met a few soul beasts along the way, but they were all below a thousand years in cultivation. Huo Yuhao used the simplest method to deal with them: he ran them over. This all- terrain exploration vehicle had used a lot of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s resources, and the materials used to construct it were very tough. Soul beasts below a thousand years’ cultivation couldn’t cause any damage to it.
The quality of soul beasts in the Jing Yang Mountain Range was evidently lower than that of soul beasts in the Great Star Dou Forest. As they followed the branching trails to get closer to the main trail in the forest, they didn’t bump into a single ten-thousand year soul beast. Including the Silverwolf, only three soul beasts attacked them. The other two perished at Huo Yuhao’s hands and became food.
Huo Yuhao didn’t mind building a ﬁre in the Jing Yang Mountain Range. Lunch was yet another feast. However, it was
different from the grilling the night before. He made soup this time using Silverwolf meat.
The Silverwolf’s bones and fur were preserved, and its blood was smeared on the all-terrain exploration vehicle. Its meat became their delicacy.
Huo Yuhao only decided on his cooking style after examining the quality of the Silverwolf’s meat. The Silverwolf’s meat was quite tough, not tender enough for grilling, which would make it difﬁcult to chew. After a period of cooking, it would taste nicer when it was softer.
He indeed had the sense of a father, just like Ju Zi had said. His delicious meat soup left Ju Zi and Ke Ke pleased. They revealed a greater trust and reliance on Huo Yuhao in their eyes.
“Huo Yuhao, I’m going to stick to you from today onwards. As long as you’re in the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, you have to cook for me!” Ke Ke exclaimed.
Ju Zi teased, “You made him your chef, but what’re you going to offer? Your body?”
“Err…” Ke Ke’s face turned red. However, she threw a threatening look at Huo Yuhao and said, “Do you dare to demand anything from me?!”
“No, I don’t,” Huo Yuhao answered smoothly.
Ke Ke wanted to scare him, but she didn’t expect him to answer so readily. She said dismally, “I’m smart, intelligent, and cute. What expression is this? Why don’t you dare to make a demand?”
Huo Yuhao chortled and answered, “Even if I said I wanted something, you wouldn’t budge! I’m only saying what you want to hear. I’m really maligned! Do you want me to beg you to be my girlfriend before you’ll dump me to one side?”
Ke Ke nodded her head forcefully and said, “That should be the case. However, I may give you a chance if you continue your cooking. It’s a pity you’re a little young. Tell me, how old are you?”
Huo Yuhao smiled and said, “Fourteen, going on ﬁfteen.”
Silence! Turned heads! Eye contact!
Ke Ke and Ju Zi screamed at the same time, shocking Huo Yuhao. Even a few weak soul beasts that were observing them were startled, and ﬂed in fear.
“You’re only fourteen? How’re you only fourteen? You look more like eighteen. Furthermore, you’re already at Rank 40 at fourteen years old, and possess twin martial souls. You’re inhuman!” Ke Ke exclaimed in disbelief.
Huo Yuhao rubbed his nose and said, “I grew a little faster. You don’t have to be so appalled. As for cultivation, the two of you are only three or four years older than me, but you’re soul kings already. I may not even be a soul king at your ages.”
Ke Ke shook her head forcefully and replied, “Although I look young, I must say that I’m already nineteen years old. Sister Ju Zi is almost twenty. We’re ﬁve years older than you! Generation gap, there’s deﬁnitely a generation gap.”
Ju Zi chuckled and said, “It’s ﬁne. An older wife can be as loving as a mom. You still have a chance.”
“You’re the mom. It’s a pity that I don’t have a sister.
Otherwise, I could introduce him to her.”
After interacting for a day, the three of them had become completely familiar with one another. Their relationship also became closer after what they had gone through together.
Ju Zi and Ke Ke had trained with Wang Shaojie and Zimu in the past, but they seemed to be more secure with Huo Yuhao now.
After lunch, the three of them took a short break. They only continued after their soul power was restored to their peak levels.
Huo Yuhao remained seated in the main control pod. Before he moved off, he turned to the two ladies and said, “I’ve already smeared the Silverwolf’s blood on the all-terrain exploration vehicle. It’s too late for regrets now.”
Ke Ke snapped, “Enough with the crap. Let’s go.”
Huo Yuhao wasn’t impatient as he said, “If the two of you insist on following me, I must insist on being the team leader from this point on. Although I’m not fully aware of your abilities, you must listen to my instructions. I am deﬁnitely more experienced in dealing with soul beasts than the two of you. I can guarantee our safety if we don’t meet a hundred- thousand year soul beast or many ten-thousand year soul beasts.”
Ju Zi offered her position to him easily. “Alright, you can be the team leader.”
Huo Yuhao said, “Then let’s head out. Seniors, remember not to leave the all-terrain exploration vehicle easily no matter what. This soul tool is able to withstand more damage than you described earlier. It can unleash your soul tools through the windows, too. If there’s a ﬁght, leave it to me. The two of you just need to reinforce me with ﬁrepower.”
Ke Ke snapped, “Why do I feel more like trash the more I listen to you? Stop spouting gibberish and let’s go!”
Chapter 164: Silvermoon Wolf King
Huo Yuhao put his soul power into the all-terrain exploration vehicle, and its six mechanical legs began moving. It followed this branch of the trail, until they passed a narrow downslope ﬁnally entering the main trail of the Jing Yang Mountain Range.
Huo Yuhao currently was observing the geography of the Jing Yang Mountain Range from above. The main trail of the Jing Yang Mountain Range was ovular. Although it was his ﬁrst time here, he could roughly discern the distribution of soul beasts, referencing his experiences with the Great Star Dou Forest.
The weaker and smaller soul beasts lived near the outermost perimeter of the mountain range, while the stronger ones lived somewhat deeper in. As long as they didn’t venture in too deep, they shouldn’t be in much trouble.
After all, the Silverwolf’s scent could only spread outwards a certain distance, and shouldn’t be able to reach all the way to the core of the mountain range.
The Silverwolf’s profuse bleeding hadn’t caused any trouble for them, or at least not yet. Most soul beasts would ﬂee after detecting the scent of the Silverwolf’s blood. This was very evident when Huo Yuhao used his Spiritual Detection. He discovered that even some of the thousand year soul beasts would escape after catching a whiff of the Silverwolf’s blood. Just like this, they were advancing faster and faster along the path.
Huo Yuhao quickly controlled the all-terrain exploration vehicle to ascend a nearby mountain peak within the outer boundaries of the Jing Yang Mountain Range.
He didn’t dare expend too much of his soul power as they ventured into the habitats of these soul beasts. After restoring part of his abilities from the mountain peak, he looked into the distance.
Like most mountain ranges, the Jing Yang Mountain Range’s mountain peaks were higher the closer to the center you got. However, not all of them were steep inclines, and there were some with quite gentle inclines.
The quantity of soul beasts near the main trail was much greater. They were easily comparable to the soul beasts at the edge of the Great Star Dou Forest. However, they didn’t reveal themselves because of the Silverwolf’s blood.
Huo Yuhao sat cross-legged on the ground and allowed the wind to blow against him softly. He wasn’t being adventurous, when he leaned on the all-terrain exploration vehicle, the two ladies couldn’t see his face. A streak of golden light ﬂashed across his forehead, and the Eye of Destiny quietly opened.
Huo Yuhao’s spiritual world had experienced earth-shaking changes after he had received the Eye of Destiny. Neither the Skydream Iceworm, the Ice Empress nor Electrolux could control his body anymore because of the Eye of Destiny, unless he allowed it. Even so, he could instantly regain control of his own body with his will even if he invited them to control his body.
Him using the Eye of Destiny right now wasn’t to enhance his Spirit Eyes’ visual acuity. When he opened them, the aura of destiny appeared in Huo Yuhao’s mind. His sensitivity also increased greatly, allowing him to predict the future to a certain extent, and be warned of trouble or anything good that was about to happen.
“Oh?” The Eye of Destiny shut. But even when Huo Yuhao opened his normal eyes, he was shocked. He didn’t expect to come across something like this when he used the Eye of Destiny to search for the paths of destiny.
It was a little unclear, but he could deﬁnitely sense the presence of both danger and opportunity. This was new, surprising him.
What was going on? Huo Yuhao tensed up. Although the Eye of Destiny only gave unclear answers, he did sense that the dangers came before the opportunities. It seemed as if some countless dangers were waiting for him in the mountains faraway. This was a very ominous sign.
However, he wouldn’t back off when he was already here. Moreover, the Eye of Destiny didn’t give him any sense of fatal danger.
Proceed with caution. Huo Yuhao set himself this careful strategy.
Huo Yuhao slowed down as they continued once more. He stopped almost every ﬁfteen minutes to make adjustments, while they offered, the two ladies were rejected by him to take control the all-terrain exploration vehicle. He only required them to be at their optimal ﬁghting conditions at all time.
Them seeing Huo Yuhao so cautious, they didn’t dare to say anything. It was always good to be more cautious. Even Ke Ke didn’t appear to be annoyed anymore.
After two hours, they were on the way to the top of the third mountain. This was the ﬁnal destination set by Huo Yuhao for the day. They would be spending their night on the mountain peak.
They ﬁnally ran into some problems earlier. Two golden tigers with three thousand years of cultivation had stopped them from advancing.
The golden tigers in the Jing Yang Mountain Range were very strong. Huo Yuhao had only been able to penetrate an inch into their tough skulls, even when using the Darkgolden Terrorclaws. They still died, but a lot of time had been wasted killing them. It wasn’t simple to best their resilient bodies.
After a day’s worth of observation, Huo Yuhao discovered that the metal-type soul beasts in the Jing Yang Mountain Range were stronger than average soul beasts. However, the other types of soul beasts weren’t much weaker. They’d ran into a wind-type Noble Roc with ten thousand years of cultivation as well, which was also the strongest soul beast they saw today. But it was still scared off by the two golden tigers! This showed how dominant the metal-type soul beasts were in the Jing Yang Mountain Range.
However, Huo Yuhao couldn’t hear a peep from the soul beasts that he really wanted to meet. No more spiritual-type soul beasts appeared. Spiritual-type soul beasts were indeed very rare, no matter which part of the continent you look for them. Fortunately, this was only the ﬁrst day, Huo Yuhao still had patience to spare.
He decided to venture inwards up to the ﬁfth mountain peak as the limit based on his Eye of Destiny’s prediction. He
wouldn’t venture any further in past that. He would then proceed to move perpendicularly to conduct his search. If he didn’t make progress in the next ﬁve days, he would retreat. After all, his safety was paramount.
They ﬁnally reached the top of the mountain.
There was an important reason for choosing to rest at the top of the mountain—the all-terrain exploration vehicle was most adept at escaping from a high ground. As a ball-shaped entity, it could roll down a moderately low slope. It wouldn’t be easy for a soul beast to chase them down. Of course, the soul masters inside the all-terrain exploration vehicle wouldn’t ﬁnd it very comfortable.
Huo Yuhao didn’t start up a ﬁre, but he still whipped up a delicious meal for the ladies. Earlier Huo Yuhao had retrieved the tastiest loin from the golden tiger, then, using the White Tiger Dagger, he cut out thin strips of meat.
Tiger meat was generally a tinge sour. Usually speaking, it wouldn’t taste nice without appropriate cooking methods. Fresh tiger meat tasted better than normal meats, but how many people had a chance to eat it?
Before Huo Yuhao cut the fresh tiger meat into pieces, he had already prepared a condiment. It was a new slightly spicy sauce, but it was very refreshing. After the tiger’s meat was marinated, it became very tender. Not only did the sour and ﬁshy taste disappear, somehow it developed a wild taste.
However, Huo Yuhao didn’t let them eat too much of it. He knew it wasn’t easy to digest raw tiger meat, even though it’s very nutritious. He came up with another sauce and used it to make a salad. He added some dried foods to the salad, which tasted pretty addictive themselves.
Ke Ke and Ju Zi discovered that their sisterly affections for Huo Yuhao increased every time they tasted his cooking.
“What will we do at night?” After having dinner, the three of them formed a circle. The mountain breeze was chilly at night, and gusts of mist ﬂoated by, causing their outerwear to be wet.
However, it wasn’t a good idea to pitch a tent here, because they might meet a soul beast anytime.
Huo Yuhao pointed at the metal ball behind him and said, “We can only sleep in it. The two of you can rest. I’ll stand guard outside. If there’s any movement, I’ll inform you immediately.”
Ju Zi said, “Let me relieve you at midnight.”
Ke Ke added, “Let’s make it four hours per person.”
Huo Yuhao smiled and replied, “Alright, don’t worry and go to sleep. I’ll call for you when your time comes.”
The ladies returned to the all-terrain exploration vehicle and shut the crystal door, completely isolating themselves from the chill outside.
Huo Yuhao leaned against the metal ball and sat down. Although the mountain breeze was very chilly, it meant nothing to him. He was someone with Ultimate Ice, this was a suitable place for him to cultivate, rather than harmful.
He shut his eyes and sat cross-legged. His Spiritual Detection spread out, and his soul power circulated in his meditative state.
This was a major beneﬁt of using Huo Yuhao’s second mental sea. He could leave a shred of consciousness in his second mental sea and adjust his soul power to use his Spiritual Detection to sense the conditions around him. He could also rest part of his mind in primary Spiritual Sea. It was like sleeping with one eye open. If he discovered something, his mind could be activated quickly. Which was why he had no intention of asking them to relieve him.
The sky was getting darker, and the starlight dimmed. Gusts of thick fog blew past, and visibility became very poor.
The chill had no effect on Huo Yuhao though. His body temperature was even lower than the temperature outside. The Ultimate Ice caused his soul power cultivation to proceed at a snail’s pace, but his foundation was very solid. No soul master at the same level could compare with him in this aspect.
Water was the foundation of ice. The water element in the air was very beneﬁcial to Huo Yuhao’s cultivation.
Furthermore, the natural qi of heaven and earth was providing nourishment amidst the mountains of the outside world. His cultivation would accelerate here.
There was a great feeling to cultivating deep in the mountains. Huo Yuhao could sense everything that changed within a 500 meter radius, and he sighed to himself. No wonder soul beasts would rather live in the deep mountains, swamps or a forest. The spiritual energy was just so very nourishing.
“Oh?” Huo Yuhao shivered. Although he hadn’t discovered anything with his Spiritual Detection, his hairs still stood on end.
What’s going on? Huo Yuhao stopped meditating, stunned. He trusted in his own instincts, these sudden warnings and his intense reactions signiﬁed that the impending danger was terrifying.
He knocked on the crystal door twice. It wasn’t loud, but the ladies were jolted awake.
“We may be in trouble. Don’t come out, but be prepared to attack. Ju Zi, remain in the main control pod. If things get out of hand, don’t bother with me and just roll down the mountain. I’ll ﬁnd a way to escape.” Huo Yuhao said softly. The composure and tension in his voice completely woke Ju Zi and Ke Ke up.
“What did you discover?” Ju Zi opened a glass window and asked softly. As she spoke, some metal clanging sounds could
already be heard from her and Ke Ke’s body. They were preparing their offensive soul tools for battle.
Huo Yuhao shook his head slightly and said, “I’m still unsure. But I’m far more sensitive than most people. I believe that a huge problem is coming.”
Huo Yuhao took a deep breath and tried to calm himself down. Although he had made signiﬁcant improvements over the last two years, he was still only at Rank 40 at the moment. He couldn’t compare with truly powerful ﬁgures.
His Spiritual Detection changed from an radial detection to a one-directional detection as Huo Yuhao scanned his surroundings.
The one-directional detection could stretch out to a kilometer if he didn’t use the Eye of Destiny. This wasn’t the time to conserve soul power, so he initiated his Spiritual Detection to the fullest and scanned downslope.
The two windows of the all-terrain exploration vehicle were open, two black cannons poking out from them. Each cannons’
caliber was greater than 100 millimeters, both operated by Ke Ke, who was carrying a cannon on each shoulder. Ju Zi sat in the main control pod, ready to move the all-terrain exploration vehicle at a moment’s notice.
Huo Yuhao didn’t unleash any soul tools, but he watched his surroundings very sharply. When his entire body made a full revolution, his expression was extremely dismal before he ﬁnished.
Silent ﬁgures were already gathering towards the top of the mountain from all directions. They didn’t make a sound, but the invisible threats clenched at Huo Yuhao’s heart.
“A pack of wolves. It’s a pack of golden wolves. We’re surrounded. There are at least three ten thousand year golden wolves leading more than one hundred hundred year to a thousand year wolves. They’ll be here in less than three minutes. Be prepared to escape. I believe they won’t be able to resist the all-terrain exploration vehicle if it rolls over them.”
Ju Zi and Ke Ke were stunned. These golden wolves were in fact metal-type wolves. They were actually soul beasts under the metal element. Although they weren’t as powerful as the
golden lion, tiger, panther or bear metal-type soul beasts, they were much quicker, and they moved in packs. In the Jing Yang Mountain Range, all metal-type soul beasts show more ability in ﬁghting than the other soul beasts by at least thirty percent. In addition, there were even three ten thousand year soul beasts leading this pack. This spelled trouble. Even if Huo Yuhao and the girls couldn’t be killed so easily, their energy would be depleted rapidly.
“Yuhao, get in.”
“Let’s roll them down together.” Ju Zi called anxiously.
Huo Yuhao shook his head in refusal. “No, I can’t leave. These golden wolves were sent by a Silverwolf. I can sense the Silverwolf’s aura. If I’m not wrong, this Silverwolf’s soul ring should be suitable for my fourth soul ring. Leave ﬁrst. Don’t worry about me. I’ll ﬁnd a way out.”
“No, it’s too dangerous. There’s more than a hundred golden wolves out there!” Ju Zi wanted to come out as she spoke.
Huo Yuhao pressed against the door and said, “I know how I can get out. But if I’m really stuck, I can just use a ﬂying-type soul tool to escape. Be careful now. I’m sending the both of you off.” As he spoke, his palms were covered in diamond crystals. His arms exerted an immense force, and the Controlling Crane Capturing Dragon fully unleashed the Mysterious Heaven Technique, in cohesion with Huo Yuhao’s physical strength. He lifted two of the metal ball’s legs and pushed them forward.
At the same time, the heavy all-terrain exploration vehicle shifted backwards. Ju Zi and Ke Ke cried out in exclamation simultaneously. Huo Yuhao’s voice rang in their ears, “Don’t bother worrying about me. Let’s meet at our rendezvous point later. I’ll be ﬁne. Don’t turn back. Just keep rolling.”
The top of this mountain wasn’t very wide, so the all-terrain exploration vehicle immediately lost its balance and nearly rolled off the side.
Ju Zi’s decisiveness was displayed at this moment. While Ke Ke was still very displeased with Huo Yuhao and wanted to question his decisions, Ju Zi had already shut the two open windows. The six mechanical legs shrank, and a huge amount of rubber spewed out of the all-terrain exploration vehicle. This caused the surface of the all-terrain exploration vehicle to
become very springy, its scent was concealed by the rubber as well. The all-terrain exploration vehicle rolled down the mountain, and the two ladies inside rolled around interior of the all-terrain exploration vehicle. The protective mechanism in the all-terrain exploration vehicle ﬁnally took effect. The internal area was separated from the outer surface layer, which let the central springs rapidly reduce its bouncing, and
increased the stability inside the soul tool.
Huo Yuhao was relieved as he watched the metal ball roll down the mountain. He couldn’t let them see some of his abilities. It was less strenuous on him if they were around yes, but he also couldn’t unleash his full power. He wasn’t lying when he said he had felt a ten thousand year Silverwolf’s presence earlier. As a spiritual-type soul master, Huo Yuhao knew the importance of a suitable spiritual-type soul ring, and he couldn’t let go of such a great opportunity. Otherwise, it would prove to be very difﬁcult to ﬁnd this ten thousand year Silverwolf later, given its ingenuity.
Ever since he started training for the Ultimate Soldier Plan, he’d never once burst forth with his full abilities. Even he himself didn’t know the limit of his current cultivation’s might. However, today was as good an opportunity as any to test out his abilities. Only in the face of a true threat could his potential truly be unlocked. He wasn’t afraid of a ten thousand
year soul beast, even if it was of the metal element, he already specialized in ﬁghting many opponents. Moreover, he thrived in situations where he was outnumbered! Otherwise, what was the point of the Ultimate Soldier Plan?
His hands drooped down beside his body, and Huo Yuhao’s eyes emitted a dim golden glow. The gentle gold contained a thick aura of austerity.
“Come.” Huo Yuhao’s mind and energy were at their peak.
His Spiritual Detection told him that the all-terrain exploration vehicle had attracted a few golden wolves as it rolled down, they had chased after it. This was also a small part of his plan. Right now, his plan was to distract these wolves. Making the wolves run around was bound to cause confusion and mess up their formation.
Huo Yuhao threw a silver ﬁgure into the air. Following that, a reverberating boom resounded in mid-air. A subtle azure- blue radiance appeared on Huo Yuhao’s left arm, which was a trace of his Ice Explosion Technique.
The Silverwolf’s corpse turned into powder in mid-air and scattered. A thick, bloody scent diffused across the mountain top.
If one wasn’t merciless enough in the world of soul beasts, where survival of the ﬁttest was the rule, one wouldn’t be able to survive. At this point, Huo Yuhao had retracted the little hint of compassion hiding in his heart and made himself more cold-blooded.
Pathetic wolf howls could be heard from the midway point up the mountain. The pack of wolves evidently realized that Huo Yuhao already discovered them. The all-terrain exploration vehicle that rolled off the mountain lost the Silverwolf’s scent and no longer captured their attention. The pack of wolves didn’t bother with concealing themselves anymore, and burst forth with the fastest speeds they had towards the peak.
Crisp, clanging sounds rang on Huo Yuhao’s body, and metal cases started appearing. They emitted an eerie, dark golden color.
The metal cases were stacked on his shoulders, arms, chest and back, the sides of his legs, his waist etc. There were eighteen of them. Every metal case seemed to be rather heavy, and made Huo Yuhao’s person seem to tower high.
The ﬁrst golden wolf ﬁnally drifted into Huo Yuhao’s view. It was indeed different from the golden wolves found in other places. Its muscles protruded underneath glowing fur, and made it seem very burly. A bloodthirsty gaze from it was instantly ﬁxed on Huo Yuhao’s body.
It roared furiously and leapt towards Huo Yuhao. It lifted its blade sharp front claws and slashed towards Huo Yuhao.
Huo Yuhao estimated that this golden wolf should be among the strongest for its cultivation.
Huo Yuhao took half a step back, only a series of clanging noises resonating could be heard. A layer of white ﬂashed on one of the metal cases on his left wrist before disappearing. That golden wolf’s ﬁgure froze in the air. Although it was still in a leaping stance, it started to howl pathetically.
Sixteen transparent holes appeared in its fur, which was supposed to be defensively sound.
This was part of the frightening penetrative ability belonging to the Zhuge Divine Crossbow. Which instantly pierced through the golden wolf’s body.
The crossbows on Huo Yuhao’s body were completely charged beforehand. They had to be recharged once every three days. Huo Yuhao had already prepared them long before he’d entered the Jing Yang Mountain Range. This golden wolf became the ﬁrst victim of his Zhuge Divine Crossbow.
Huo Yuhao reached out with his left hand and grabbed the golden wolf’s corpse. He sealed its wounds with ice and then threw the corpse to one side with a ﬂick of his wrist as he opted not to use the Ice Explosion Technique on its body
The Zhuge Divine Crossbows he was currently using were different from the ones that he’d created in front of Xuan Ziwen. They were made from better materials, and more meticulous craftsmanship. They could be ﬁred three times, and were top-grade Class 5 soul tools. This meant that the eighteen slots in the Zhuge Divine Crossbow could ﬁre ﬁfty- four times in total, which was the reason that Huo Yuhao was so conﬁdent. It’s pertinent to note that the Zhuge Divine Crossbow could also be ﬁred extremely easily—he only needed to use a tinge of his soul power to initiate the cumulative formation arrays within them. The rest of the ﬁring mechanism was completed by the soul tool itself, the end result being that the charged power would ﬁre the arrows. Their destructive ability was also extremely great.
Another seven golden wolves had already reached the mountaintop by the time the ﬁrst golden wolf was thrown to the side. All of them rushed towards Huo Yuhao. Their
cultivations varied from three hundred to two thousand years, which was evident from their size and muscle density.
Huo Yuhao initiated his Spiritual Detection and moved extremely quickly. He used the Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track to burst towards the smallest golden wolf, and then lifted both of his arms, causing a crisp, clanging sound to resonate. He’d ﬁred the Zhuge Divine Crossbows, causing several sharp arrows to pierce into the golden wolves’ ﬂesh and for them to howl in pain. He didn’t even need to use his Spiritual Detection to know that two of the golden wolves had collapsed.
Huo Yuhao had reached the smallest golden wolf at this point, his ﬁgure ﬂashing to the side as he dodged its attack. At the same time, he used his Darkgolden Terrorclaws to sever the wolf’s spinal cord through its neck, instantly killing it.
Huo Yuhao lifted his toes off the ground, but his entire body froze in place for a moment. He transferred the golden wolf’s corpse to his left hand and then turned the upper half of his body as he threw the corpse towards three golden wolves who’d just reached the top of the mountain.
The Zhuge Divine Crossbow was unleashed once again when he turned around instantly taking down the golden wolves that had intended to attack him from behind.
The Ice Explosion Technique was initiated, causing the three hundred year golden wolf’s corpse to became an incredibly effective bomb that ﬂipped the three golden wolves leaping towards Huo Yuhao. Huo Yuhao quickly turned and grabbed another golden wolf corpse with his left hand. He injected the Ice Explosion Technique into it, then ﬂung the corpse out as he lifted his right foot off the ground.
The advantage his Spiritual Detection gave him was clearly demonstrated at this point: The corpse he’d thrown landed at the edge of the mountain at the same time as when the majority of the pack of golden wolves reached the top of the mountain.
Blood and ﬂesh scattered amidst an explosion; several golden wolves had been blown apart.
Huo Yuhao continued to grab wolf corpses with his left hand, causing the golden wolves that perished under his crossbows to continuously be turned into bombs from his Ice Explosion Technique one by one, then be ﬂung out. As explosions continued to resound, it soon felt like the entire Jing Yang Mountain Range was shaking. Sonorous echoes could be heard from between the mountains.
Over thirty golden wolves had been killed, just like that. Huo Yuhao had only wasted half of his Zhuge Divine Crossbow’s arrows, while the majority of the golden wolves had been killed with his Ice Explosion Technique.
Huo Yuhao’s Ice Explosion Technique achieved an effect similar to the Envoy of the Death God’s corpse explosion. The difference was that the Envoy of the Death God’s corpse explosion was a soul skill similar to a lethal poison, in that it needed some time to transform a corpse. On the other hand, Huo Yuhao couldn’t use his technique on a large group of corpses at the same time, but his Ice Explosion Technique could be unleashed faster. The only problem was that he needed to manually inject the Ice Explosion Technique into the corpse. However, the beneﬁt lay in that it had a negligible impact on Huo Yuhao’s soul power.
A Class 6 Milk Bottle appeared in Huo Yuhao’s hands, and he quickly restored his depleted soul power. Meanwhile, the pack of golden wolves had stopped rushing to the top of the mountain; the string of deaths had evidently left them fearful. They were all waiting for their leader to appear.
Huo Yuhao was also waiting; it would be a good idea for him to escape right now, as the golden wolves wouldn’t be able to stop him. However, his target wasn’t this pack of golden wolves. He was still waiting for his target to appear.
He put the Zhuge Divine Crossbows on his arms away, as they'd been completely expended. This freed up his arms, after which he lightly ﬂexed his Darkgolden Terrorclaws, causing dark golden light to ripple through the air. They weren’t stained with blood even though Huo Yuhao had used them to kill a golden wolf earlier.
Huo Yuhao’s eyes suddenly brightened, and he turned to face a certain direction. Three ﬁgures jumped up and lined themselves up in front of him.
They were three unusually large golden wolves, each of which was more than four meters long. Their thick bodies
resembled huge bears, and they stood on their hind limbs, which were especially developed. Their four claws also looked just as sharp and ferocious as Huo Yuhao’s Darkgolden Terrorclaws.
Their eyes were also blood-red rather from the common brown. Bloodthirsty auras were continuously released from their bodies.
They were ten thousand year golden wolves and were the leaders of the pack. Based on their auras and soul power undulations, their cultivations lay somewhere between ten thousand and twenty thousand years. However, their practical ﬁghting strength should be beyond twenty thousand years. This was the ﬁrst time that Huo Yuhao had seen such strong soul beasts. Although he was conﬁdent in himself, he wasn’t completely conﬁdent that could deal with these golden wolves. However, he didn’t have a choice, as a slim silver ﬁgure had also appeared behind the wolves when they revealed themselves.
This Silverwolf was three meters long, and wasn’t as developed as the golden wolves. However, it was more slender and still well-built, and a crescent shaped patch of silverish- white fur lay on its forehead. Its silver eyes looked as if they
were about to spurt ﬁre as they stared at Huo Yuhao. They were ﬁlled with hatred and resentment.
Both parties appeared very restrained and quiet at this point. Normal strategy dictated that the three golden wolves should’ve surrounded Huo Yuhao in a triangular formation. However, they hadn’t adopted this formation. Instead, they were facing him from one direction. It was obvious that the Silverwolf’s safety was a higher priority to them.
The Silverwolf was a Silvermoon Wolf King—a ten thousand year soul beast, and the same soul beast that Huo Yuhao was looking for. Huo Yuhao wasn’t afraid at all now. Instead, he was a little excited. Fear had completely vanished from his head, and had been replaced with composure.
He didn’t need to clash with the golden wolves; his only objective was to kill the Silvermoon Wolf King behind them and bring its soul ring away successfully. However, this would be a difﬁcult task.
The rest of the golden wolves didn’t attempt to rush to the top of the mountain. As the top of the mountain wasn’t very large, if too many of them were to gather, it wouldn’t be
advantageous for their leaders. Huo Yuhao’s use of the wolves’ corpses to unleash his Ice Explosion Technique was also another important reason for them being afraid of coming to the top of the mountain.
Huo Yuhao suddenly made his move: He leapt forwards like an arrow, actively launching an attack. The moment his body moved, a golden vertical eye opened on his forehead. A mighty aura that seemed to be in control of destiny was suddenly released.
The three golden wolves and the Silvermoon Wolf King that had already prepared their own strategy were stunned by this, and an indescribable fear ﬁlled their hearts.
At that point, a streak of purplish light shot out from the Eye of Destiny, its target being the Silvermoon Wolf King.
Yes! This was the strongest spiritual-type strike that Huo Yuhao could currently unleash—the Staring Soul of Destiny.
The Silvermoon Wolf King was a soul beast with with extremely great amount of spiritual power, but its body began
to shake tremendously, and it screamed ferociously when its gaze met Huo Yuhao’s Eye of Destiny.
A light suddenly shot out from its head as it tried to resist destiny, and Huo Yuhao’s Staring Soul of Destiny!
This light was blue, red, yellow, green, gold, black, and purple. When it appeared, the air around the Silvermoon Wolf King began to distort. It distorted so greatly that even the Silvermoon Wolf King’s body began to become indistinguishable.
When the purplish-golden light that was ﬁlled with the might of destiny struck the seven-colored light, it caused it to distort furiously. It turned into a huge whirlpool that wanted to crush Huo Yuhao’s Staring Soul of Destiny!
A white projection appeared behind Huo Yuhao. This projection had a swollen, extremely plump body, but ten golden patterns surfaced on its body. The entire projection ﬂashed once before disappearing. However, the Staring Soul of Destiny’s radiance became even brighter.
The seven-colored whirlpool was then crushed, and the Silvermoon Wolf King roared pitifully. Its silver eyes burst, and fresh blood ﬂowed out of them. Its body also rolled across the ground before it managed to stop itself and force itself to stand back up.
It was extremely powerful! Huo Yuhao wasn’t excited now; he was shocked.
The Staring Soul of Destiny was his strongest spiritual attack. He was capable of threatening a seven-ringed soul sage with it. When he’d unleashed his attack, the Eye of Destiny had already increased the intensity of his attack to its highest point, and had sucked out almost all of the spiritual power in his second mental sea. It had even borrowed the Skydream Iceworm’s spiritual power to complete the attack. It was an attack that he could only use once a day.
Huo Yuhao had once unleashed this strike against a two thousand year soul beast during a test in the Ultimate Soldier Plan. That soul beast had instantly died, its head exploding.
The Silvermoon Wolf King should’ve only just reached the ten thousand year level. However, it had still managed to
withstand Huo Yuhao’s attack. Huo Yuhao had even borrowed the Skydream Iceworm’s strength and spiritual power to increase his own power in order to make it unbearable for the Silvermoon Wolf King. Yet the Silvermoon Wolf King hadn’t died, even though its eyes had burst. This had put a little dent in Huo Yuhao’s plan.
Everything seemed to have happened very slowly, but all of this actually occurred extremely quickly.
Chapter 165: Fourth Soul Ring
At this point, Huo Yuhao relied on his explosive strength. Once the three golden wolves began to attack him, it would be very difﬁcult for him to escape.
When he unleashed his strongest strike, his Imitation also exhibited a great effect. The mighty Ice Empress Aura spread out, and the blood-red soul ring started to shine extremely brightly.
The three golden wolves that were about to leap towards him stopped in their tracks. Among the surrounding pack of golden wolves, those that had less than a thousand years of cultivation all collapsed to the ground.
Huo Yuhao exploited this opportunity, and his third soul skill, Enfeeblement, turned into a patch of white light that scattered. The Silvermoon Wolf King, the three golden wolves and the rest of the golden wolves were all struck by this white light.
The Zhuge Divine Crossbows ﬁred at this moment. Huo Yuhao’s Class 5 soul thruster behind his back was also activated with full force, propelling his body forward like a shooting star.
Although his plan had deviated, he didn’t retreat. He still needed to complete it. Even if he couldn’t kill the Silvermoon Wolf King, he had to burst forward. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have any chance left.
Spiritual Interference was unleashed following the Enfeeblement. The three golden wolves weren’t affected that much, but the rest of the golden wolves weren’t so fortunate. That was also key to ensuring Huo Yuhao’s escape.
The Silvermoon Wolf King let out a vicious howl. Although it had already lost both its eyes, it still relied on its immense spiritual power to predict Huo Yuhao’s actions. Its howl also jolted the three golden wolves, who were still reeling in shock from Huo Yuhao’s Imitation. The three huge wolves blocked Huo Yuhao and prevented him from proceeding forward.
The Zhuge Divine Crossbows’ arrows could pierce through thousand year golden wolves’ bodies, but they only created
sparks when they struck the three golden wolves. The three golden wolves shut their eyes and lifted their claws. They kept on clawing towards the arrows. Although they felt pain, they weren’t really harmed.
Huo Yuhao collided with the three golden wolves in front of him at this moment.
His speed was frightening under the effect of the Class 5 soul tool. Huo Yuhao hugged his knees to his chest and used his hands to hug his legs as he lowered his head. This was to reduce the surface area of his collision.
The Ice Empress’ Armor covered his entire body. He was currently like an enormous ice ball.
The three golden wolves reacted quickly. The burliest golden wolf in the center stood up straight, and its two claws pierced towards Huo Yuhao as it let out an ear-piercing roar. The golden wolf on the left retreated rapidly and protected the Silvermoon Wolf King. The golden wolf on the right teamed up with the central golden wolf to attack Huo Yuhao.
Indeed, the higher the cultivation of a soul beast, the more intelligent it was. The three golden wolves complemented each other very well, and worked together efﬁciently.
Although the Enfeeblement had taken effect on them, their offensive strength didn’t dip by a lot. After all, Huo Yuhao was still some way off from their abilities. That was why Huo Yuhao’s soul skill didn’t affect them too much.
Under normal circumstances, Huo Yuhao’s best choice was to use his Spiritual Detection to try and avoid the golden wolves’ attacks. However, this would make it impossible for him to burst past them.
Huo Yuhao looked very calm now. It was as if it wasn’t his body that was was about to be struck.
There was no resistance or attack. He chose to take the strikes of the two golden wolves forcefully!
A scarlet-golden radiance suddenly shone from Huo Yuhao’s body. In the pitch-dark night, another sun seemed to rise from the mountaintop.
The strikes of the two golden wolves landed on the scarlet- golden light barrier that appeared, and a miraculous scene occurred. The scarlet-golden light barrier’s surface seemed to ripple, and the strikes of the golden wolves slid off. They couldn’t penetrate it.
Huo Yuhao groaned, and his Class 5 soul thruster propelled him forward at maximum speed. He collided with the golden wolves and pushed them aside.
The Ice Empress’ Pincer restrained the claws of the golden wolf that was originally in front of Huo Yuhao. However, he was still struck in the back by the golden wolf that was originally at his left side. The scarlet-golden barrier weakened a little. But Huo Yuhao managed to lift his legs, and two balls of light were shot out from the balls of his feet. It was yet another soul thruster. Although it was only a Class 3 soul thruster, it managed to propel him forward extremely rapidly. He burst past the two golden wolves instantly.
An intense azure light now shone from Huo Yuhao’s body. A weird golden light also ﬂashed across his Eye of Destiny before landing on the Silvermoon Wolf King, which was spitting out a huge silver ball of light.
The intense azure light spread and carried a chill with a desolate aura that ﬁlled the entire top of the mountain. Everything within a 10 meter radius was engulfed by this azure light. It was the Domain of Perpetual Ice.
The silver ball of light spat out by the Silvermoon Wolf King had already been converted into a huge ﬁreball. However, it was instantly extinguished by the azure-green Domain of Perpetual Ice. Not even a single spark was left.
Huo Yuhao was in a delicate position now. Behind him were the two golden wolves that had tried to block him earlier. To his front left was the golden wolf that was protecting the Silvermoon Wolf King, whereas the Silvermoon Wolf King itself was less than ﬁve meters from him, and bursting forward.
The Domain of Perpetual Ice was indeed very powerful. The four wolves instantly slowed down tremendously as their bodies were coated with a layer of frost. However, they were all too powerful for Huo Yuhao. Huo Yuhao’s current cultivation was insufﬁcient to freeze them completely. Even so, Huo Yuhao still earned himself a great opportunity by slowing them down.
The golden wolf that was protecting the Silvermoon Wolf King became much slower. Huo Yuhao’s body twisted in the air, and he avoided its claws. He came before the Silvermoon Wolf King. At this point, the three golden wolves were behind him, while the Silvermoon Wolf King was in front of him. He was surrounded by the four wolves now.
A cold look appeared in Huo Yuhao’s eyes. He didn’t even bother with the three golden wolves behind him. The Domain of Perpetual Ice could at least ensure that they couldn’t attack within the next three seconds. What he had to do now was deal with the Silvermoon Wolf King before the three golden wolves recovered.
He unleashed everything that he was holding in earlier. The Silvermoon Wolf King was also affected by the Domain of Perpetual Ice, and its movement were slowed. However, its resistance was superior to the three golden wolves, so it was recovering faster. However, Huo Yuhao wouldn’t grant it the opportunity to fully recover.
An azure-blue light ﬂashed in his left hand before disappearing. A compressed boom sounded right in front of the Silvermoon Wolf King’s face. The frozen bloodstains on its fur that were left by the Domain of Perpetual Ice exploded.
When the Silvermoon Wolf King was struck by the Destiny Soul Gaze, its eyeballs had been blown apart as it neutralized the impact of Spiritual Shock, and its crushed eyeballs had left a pile of ﬂuid.
Although its body wasn’t frozen by the Domain of Perpetual Ice, it couldn’t prevent these ﬂuids from ﬂowing out. And now, Huo Yuhao used the Ice Explosion Technique to blow that frozen ﬂuid apart.
The explosive force of this direct explosion was naturally incomparable to the explosive force when the Ice Explosion Technique was injected into a corpse. However, a portion of the ice exploded inside the Silvermoon Wolf King’s eye sockets! In addition, it happened very suddenly.
The Silvermoon Wolf King’s body suddenly rose up as it screamed in pain. The intense pain caused it to lose its cool and judgement.
The Darkgolden Terrorclaws turned into four meter-long blades of light that stabbed into the Silvermoon Wolf King’s body.
This ten thousand year Silvermoon Wolf King was very powerful. It seemed to possess something like an automatic defensive soul tool when the Darkgolden Terrorclaws stabbed into its body. The seven-colored radiance that had once appeared from it ﬂashed again. It was different from the time it tried to resist Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power. This time, Huo Yuhao only felt that his Darkgolden Terrorclaws had stopped seven times. After seven roars were heard, he ﬁnally managed to strike the Silvermoon Wolf King.
As these seven roars were released, seven different forms – water ripples, ﬂames, tough ramparts, a rapid whirlwind, a light shield, a dark barrier and a lightning web – were adopted. These seven forms represented the seven elements, and greatly diminished the effect of the Darkgolden Terrorclaws.
Huo Yuhao didn’t manage to kill the Silvermoon Wolf King even though he had stabbed his claws into the vital area between its chest and belly.
The three golden wolves behind Huo Yuhao had recovered by now, and they burst towards him.
Huo Yuhao took in a deep breath and his entire body seemed to swell. His gaze remained calm. It was as if he had predicted this. His left hand drummed against his chest, and a blinding golden light started to spread from his body. It turned into a golden barrier two meters in diameter. The three golden wolves couldn’t penetrate this golden barrier with their attacks.
Huo Yuhao’s entire spine had already turned a blinding azure-green. This was the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s skeleton’s strongest attack, the Ice Empress’ Wrath!
From Rank 30 to Rank 40, the greatest transformation that had occurred was that he no longer had to rely on the Haodong Power to support his strongest few soul skills.
Although Huo Yuhao was now spent, and his soul power was almost completely depleted, he still appeared very ferocious as the Ice Empress’ Wrath was unleashed. The four hundred thousand year soul ring caused Huo Yuhao’s strongest strike to make a clean sweep through the Silvermoon Wolf King.
His Destiny Soul Gaze had destroyed the Silvermoon Wolf King’s eyes, and his Darkgolden Terrorclaws had torn its seven- elements defense apart. The Ice Empress’ Wrath now dealt the fatal blow. This was the power of Huo Yuhao, the Eyes of Asura.
Huo Yuhao jumped forward, and his right hand’s Darkgolden Terrorclaws stabbed into the frozen Silvermoon Wolf King’s neck. He ﬂung the Silvermoon Wolf King into the air forcefully after that, then leapt forward and used the Class 5 soul thruster behind his back to increase his speed. He chased after the frozen Silvermoon Wolf King and brought it to an abyss at the bottom of a cliff. The golden wolves that lay in ambush at the sides of the cliff were still affected by Huo Yuhao’s Enfeeblement, and could only watch helplessly as that ball of golden light shot away.
Even at this point, the three golden wolves still couldn’t penetrate the golden light barrier.
A pair of wings from a ﬂying-type soul tool ﬂapped open, and Huo Yuhao’s body stopped falling, before rapidly ﬂying into the
No matter how strong metal-type soul beasts were in the Jing Yang Mountain Range, they couldn’t change the fact that they couldn’t ﬂy. They watched helplessly as Huo Yuhao turned into a ball of golden light and disappeared into the horizon. The layer of golden light around him also diminished, and a dim mist surged out from him. The vapor engulfed his entire body, and his aura disappeared as it did so.
The three golden wolves roared furiously, and burst out running towards the foot of the mountain. However, it was impossible for them to chase Huo Yuhao. After a few minutes, the trail of mist had already disappeared into the clouds between the mountains.
Huo Yuhao ﬁnally let out a long breath of relief after he ﬁnished nourishing his soul power with a Class 6 Milk Bottle.
Everything had seemed to be under his control. However, he had spent more than ten seconds gliding through the air after
activating his ﬂying soul tool.. He had done that so he could use all his remaining soul power to support his Imitation as a means of concealing himself.
Even though he had now restored almost half of his soul power using the Milk Bottle, he still felt fatigued.
While this battle was a little risky for Huo Yuhao, it was still within his projections. It was only the Silvermoon Wolf King’s abilities that were beyond his expectations. However, he used his immense explosive strength to counteract the slight deviation in his plan.
It was very difﬁcult to ﬁnd a suitable spiritual-type soul beast for himself. Since he had found one, he couldn’t let it go. He had asked Ju Zi and Ke Ke to leave ﬁrst so that he could unleash his full abilities. Two facts had let him keep his life. The ﬁrst was his location. Since he was high on a mountain, it gave him an opportunity to ﬂy into the air to shake off his enemies.
If he had stayed the ground, he would have needed to gain some altitude after using a ﬂight soul tool. With the golden wolves’ leaping abilities, they would have been able to attack
him three times each. That was equivalent to nine strikes, since there were three golden wolves!
However, he had been on top of the mountain. When he jumped from the top of the mountain, the golden wolves lost their ability to pursue him. Time was very precious at that point. After Huo Yuhao used all his strength to kill the Silvermoon Wolf King, every second was very critical.
The other reason was that he had another soul tool on his chest, which was there before he left Shrek Academy.
This soul tool was related to Jing Hongchen’s trip to Shrek Academy. Jing Hongchen had been forced to leave behind a soul tool when threatened by Elder Mu. Eventually, he left a Class 9 soul tool behind, Hongchen’s Blessing.
Hongchen’s Blessing could do two things. First, it had a defensive capability that could be automatically initiated. The scarlet-golden light barrier that Huo Yuhao had used to defend against the golden wolves’ attacks earlier was a sign that Hongchen’s Yearning had been initiated. The other thing it could do was the bright golden light barrier that Huo Yuhao had activated at the end, an Invincible Barrier that lasted
ﬁfteen seconds. This Invincible Barrier could withstand an offensive force three times Huo Yuhao’s strength.
While the three golden wolves were very strong, they weren’t three times stronger than Huo Yuhao. This allowed him to escape after he killed the Silvermoon Wolf King. Without this Class 9 soul tool, Huo Yuhao would’ve been torn apart by the four wolves. The best result he could’ve achieved was to kill one of them.
Huo Yuhao had kept his cool and stayed behind because he had the Hongchen’s Blessing. He eventually achieved his goal, too. He wasn’t afraid of being discovered by soul beasts as he ﬂew through the sky with his Imitation skill in place.
In addition, it was very late at night. If it were daytime, he would have been more likely to show some ﬂaws.
Although the battle had ended very quickly, Huo Yuhao was spent. Not only was his soul power greatly depleted, but his own spiritual power and energy were also mostly expended. Huo Yuhao was certain that he wouldn’t have been calm enough to win this ﬁght without the tough training that he had gone through in the Ultimate Soldier Plan.
He was even sweating profusely at this moment. The conditions in the Jing Yang Mountain Range couldn’t be judged based on his experience in the Great Star Dou Forest. He needed to be more cautious in the future.
Of course, he wasn’t being too bold, either. He could have escaped, even though he might not have killed the Silvermoon Wolf King, since he had the ﬁfteen seconds of protection from the Hongchen’s Blessing’s Invincible Barrier. His life was never in danger. Huo Yuhao still treasured his life.
Huo Yuhao managed to direct his ﬂying-type soul tool out of the main branch of the Jing Yang Mountain Range as he nourished his soul power with the Milk Bottle. However, he was getting more and more exhausted. More importantly, a black soul ring started to surface from the Silvermoon Wolf King’s body.
The soul ring that surfaced after a soul beast perished only remained for a certain period of time. If there was too much of a delay, the soul ring would dissipate on its own.
Huo Yuhao had expended a lot of effort to get this soul ring, so he couldn’t waste it. He controlled the ﬂying-type soul tool and slowly descended towards the branched trail beneath him. He needed to ﬁnd a place to absorb his fourth soul ring. At the same time, he needed to regain some of his energy.
The tremendous depletion of his second mental sea meant he had lost his ability to use the Eye of Destiny temporarily. He needed at least a day to fully recover.
Huo Yuhao was still in a good mood after all that had happened. He had obtained his fourth soul ring, which meant that his abilities could be enhanced further. He had been unable to improve recently because of the bottleneck in his cultivation. After absorbing this soul ring, he could reach Rank 41, and Rank 42 was not out of the question. He could become an ofﬁcial Soul Ancestor!
Huo Yuhao found a secluded area along the branched trail of the mountain range, and used his Spiritual Detection to scan his surroundings. After he conﬁrmed that there was nothing
that could threaten him within a two-kilometer radius, he quietly sat down on a large mountain rock.
As a golden light ﬂashed, he ﬁrst ﬂung out a golden wolf’s corpse. This golden wolf was killed by him previously. It had had a cultivation of around a thousand years.
Huo Yuhao pressed his right hand against the golden wolf’s corpse and muttered something under his breath. He was speaking in a weird language, but his body started to shine with weird streaks of light.
The light then changed, starting from his eyes. Huo Yuhao’s Spirit Eyes turned grey, and were ﬁlled with a sense of death.
The greyish light circulated, and his right hand was slowly coated in a layer of blurry, greyish light. The greyish color was slowly injected into the head of the golden wolf’s corpse, and a weird scene appeared.
The dead golden wolf started to tremble slightly. Its fur gradually stood on end, and its huge body slowly crawled to its
feet. However, its brownish-yellow eyes had turned grey, just like Huo Yuhao’s. It was a terrifying scene to watch.
Huo Yuhao lifted his right hand, and his index ﬁnger touched the golden wolf’s forehead lightly. The golden wolf’s body trembled a little, and the greyish color in its eyes turned into jumping, greyish ﬂames.
“Protect me and you won’t come to harm.” Huo Yuhao’s voice was deep and captivating. The golden wolf nodded its head in a very human manner after hearing his words. After that, it jumped away and disappeared into the forest.
Huo Yuhao breathed out and revealed a delighted look. This was his real secret. Even in Shrek Academy, no one knew about it. It was necromancy that came from the Divine Law of Necromancy, taught to him by Calamity Necromancer Electrolux.
When Huo Yuhao’s soul power cultivation broke the Rank 40 barrier, Electrolux told him that he could start cultivating necromancy.
Huo Yuhao was a little doubtful about necromancy at the start, but he soon accepted it under Electrolux’s guidance.
Electrolux told Huo Yuhao that he had a story that belonged to him. However, this story was very long, and he was unwilling to tell it to Huo Yuhao at that point in time. His memory had only been partially restored, and he needed it to be complete before he could be clearer about things.
However, he was certain about one thing. Necromancy would never affect Huo Yuhao’s will. Any skill could be used for good or bad purposes. Necromancy was very powerful and magical, and was completely different from the soul rings, soul power, soul skills, and soul bones in this world. It was an independent yet immense force. However, it could be practiced through a combination of soul power and incantations. This was a profound skill that had been derived by Electrolux after being fused with Huo Yuhao’s body for many years.
Huo Yuhao decided to accept Electrolux’s teachings after a period of consideration. As he entered the world of necromancy, he slowly felt the charm of it.
True necromancy was far superior to the evil soul skills that the Envoy of the Death God had used. Necromancy involved research on souls, especially those after death.
Electrolux told Huo Yuhao that the ﬁrst necromancer in his original world learned the art for the sake of reviving his dead wife. Although he wasn’t able to revive his wife, her soul was resurrected, and he managed to live with his wife’s soul until he himself perished.
Huo Yuhao could only grasp very little, as his cultivation was too low. However, he had managed to develop his foundation in necromancy over the past two years. Right now, he had used necromancy to make the golden wolf his bodyguard temporarily. Although it wouldn’t be for long, it would be long enough for him to absorb his fourth soul ring.
Huo Yuhao revealed a determined look as he placed the Silvermoon Wolf King’s corpse on the ground. He was certain that even an eight-ringed Soul Douluo couldn’t deal with a Silvermoon Wolf King easily under normal conditions. The Silvermoon Wolf King’s ﬁghting strength was immense, and its spiritual power was also greater than that of most ordinary soul beasts. More frighteningly, it could enslave other wolf- type soul beasts. If Huo Yuhao hadn’t unleashed his explosive killing power at the very start, along with his powerful soul skills, he wouldn’t have stood a chance against the Silvermoon Wolf King.
Huo Yuhao was very certain that the Ice Empress’ Armor was unable to resist the golden wolves’ attacks, and that he truly needed Hongchen’s Blessing to protect himself. He wasn’t capable of dealing with three golden wolves at his current cultivation level.
And the Silvermoon Wolf King was even stronger than them. It had a seven-elements defense that made it very resolute. If he hadn’t used the Destiny Soul Gaze at the start to critically injure the Silvermoon Wolf King and affect its spiritual powers, the battle wouldn’t have ended so easily.
However, all that was in the past. Huo Yuhao had succeeded, and the most important thing that he had to do now was absorb his fourth soul ring.
His gentle soul power rose, and the Mysterious Heaven Technique circulated normally. Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power gradually guided the black soul ring hovering over the Silvermoon Wolf King’s corpse towards him.
It was a ten-thousand year soul ring, but this soul ring wasn’t just an ordinary black. Seven types of light subtly ﬂashed within it, and Huo Yuhao could clearly sense the undulations of the seven elements.
Back when he was absorbing his third soul ring from the Purplespirit Wolf, Huo Yuhao had been quite embarrassed, although he wasn’t afraid at all. That was because Elder Mu had been guarding out in front of the Sea God’s Pavilion for him.
Right now, he was absorbing a ten-thousand year soul ring again. However, he was doing it by a trail out in the Jing Yang Mountain Range.
As the black soul ring entered his body, there were only two words to describe Huo Yuhao’s feelings – blown away.
When the black soul ring fused with his body, Huo Yuhao felt as if his entire body was about to blow apart. His entire person shook tremendously, and a layer of seven-colored light shone from his body to a diameter of three meters before dimming. Huo Yuhao’s face also turned pale.
He never expected the Silvermoon Wolf King’s aura to be so domineering. This might did not come from the immense spiritual power at the core of the soul ring, but from the strength of the elements within it.
Water, ﬁre, earth, wind, light, darkness and thunder, which were only achieved after ten thousand years of cultivation. The seven elements contained their own abilities, but they were all unleashed in Huo Yuhao’s body in that instant.
Huo Yuhao’s will was already very strong. However, he felt as if his entire body was about to explode when the frightening force blew apart. It wasn’t a comfortable feeling at all!
However, he could only endure!
While enduring it was pure torment to Huo Yuhao, he could reap great beneﬁts if he managed to successfully pass this test
His soul power circulated fully, and started to accept the soul ring. At the same time, two waves of force were released inside Huo Yuhao’s body.
The Silvermoon Wolf King was infringing on the territory of the Ice Empress. The Ice Empress was going to retaliate!
Huo Yuhao’s body turned azure-green at this instant, a color that originated from the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s skeleton.
An intense azure light spread to every corner of his body. A chilly aura instantly repressed the manic explosive force. The Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s aura was also released at this moment, and repressed the Silvermoon Wolf King’s soul ring.
While the Silvermoon Wolf King was very powerful, how could it compare to a four-hundred thousand year soul beast that was one of the Ten Great Savage Beasts and Three Heavenly Kings of the Extreme North, the Ice Empress?
The all-engulﬁng, frightening will and desolate aura of the Ice Empress instantly repressed the manic struggle.
However, the Silvermoon Wolf King was an arrogant creature. It wouldn’t submit even under such circumstances. Since it couldn’t match up in terms of soul power, it activated its dominant spiritual power. However, once it did so, it collided with a spiritual barrier.
The Skydream Iceworm was not as hot-tempered as the Ice Empress, but the Silvermoon Wolf King had crossed its bottom line.
Huo Yuhao had expended a lot of effort to kill this soul beast. He was fatigued now and couldn’t be counted on to absorb the soul ring. After remaining silent for so long, the Skydream Iceworm decided that it had to do something… and so the Silvermoon Wolf King’s spiritual power didn’t work.
In terms of species, the Iceworms couldn’t compare to the Silverwolves. They weren’t even on the same level. However, the Silvermoon Wolf King wasn’t anywhere near as old as the Skydream Iceworm!
Even in the Great Star Dou Forest, Skydream Iceworms were treated as treasures by the other hundred-thousand year soul beasts. No soul beasts in the world could compare to Skydream Iceworms in terms of spiritual power. The only weakness of the Skydream Iceworms was that they didn’t have any offensive abilities.
However, they were immensely strong in terms of defense.
The fusion process became much easier with the help of the Ice Empress and Skydream Iceworm. The black fourth soul ring was slowly imprinted onto Huo Yuhao’s soul and body after a brief period of torment.
Not only this, but the Skydream Iceworm and Ice Empress also took this opportunity to further fuse their powers into Huo Yuhao’s body.
The origin power released by the Ice Empress’ skeleton slowly combined with Huo Yuhao’s body. Not only did this enhance his soul power, it also made his body tougher.
The Skydream Iceworm used his own spiritual power to restore Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Sea and second mental sea. At the same time, it expanded the size of Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Sea.
The leap from a soul elder to a soul ancestor was very important for every soul master. This signiﬁed that they had progressed from the beginner stage to the intermediate stage. Even though such an appraisal couldn’t be used on someone as talented as Huo Yuhao, his abilities did indeed improve by another level. Perhaps it was because the Silvermoon Wolf King’s soul ring was strong enough, or the Ice Empress and Skydream’s powers were too great, but after fusing with his fourth soul ring, Huo Yuhao’s soul power crossed Rank 41 and reached Rank 42. This was a delightful surprise for Huo Yuhao, whose cultivation speed had slowed down greatly.
It was already daybreak when he opened his eyes. The trail was foggy, and he was unable to see the sunrise, so he couldn’t cultivate his Purple Demon Eyes today.
Huo Yuhao jumped up and stretched. An immense force surged through his entire body, which was a very refreshing feeling. His body also became much more ﬂexible. The increase in his soul power caused his overall abilities to jump by twenty percent. While he still couldn’t use the Ice Empress’ Wrath twice with his current abilities, he could at least unleash the Domain of Perpetual Ice another time.
“I wonder how much time has passed.” With his previous experience of how long it took him to absorb soul rings, Huo Yuhao was uncertain whether it was the second, third, or even the fourth morning.
His mind wavered, and a golden light shone from his eyes. One white, one purple, and two black soul rings rose from his feet. His Spiritual Detection was unleashed, and Huo Yuhao was delighted to feel that it had been enhanced once again. He was now able to increase his detection to a six-hundred meter radius. If he changed his detection to make it unidirectional, he could double the distance!
The Silvermoon Wolf King’s corpse was as stiff as ever. The ice imbuing it couldn’t be melted so easily.
Huo Yuhao put the corpse away in his storage-type soul tool, and his four soul rings also disappeared. His trip to the Jing Yang Mountain Range wasn’t a waste after all. He wondered what his fourth soul ring’s ability was.
As he thought about it, the four soul rings that had disappeared earlier surfaced once again. The black fourth soul ring lit up brightly, and a soul skill activated.
Huo Yuhao was stunned after it was displayed. He wasn’t sure whether he should be happy or worried.
He naturally expected the seven-colored, seven-elements defense of the Silvermoon Wolf King. It was an impressive defensive skill!
However, that was not what he had obtained. It wasn’t a defensive-type soul skill. Rather, it was…
Chapter 166: Fatal Injury!
Huo Yuhao stood still, dazed momentarily. He shook his head and laughed uncontrollably. Forget it, it wasn’t really a bad thing, anyways he could still continue to cultivate with this fourth soul skill.
Huo Yuhao’s condition had been almost fully restored by this point, and his second mental sea could once again unleash the immense power of the Destiny Soul Gaze.
He wondered how Ju Zi and Ke Ke were doing. He had to meet up with them soon.
Huo Yuhao looked at the sky while thinking. He wanted to proceed towards the outside of these branching mountains. He could tell that this branching trail wasn’t the same one they’d passed when they entered the main trail. It should be a neighboring trail.
A loud boom suddenly sounded and Huo Yuhao stopped in his tracks as he heard it.
He looked in the direction the sound came from with a puzzled expression. It seemed to be from the main trail, but the loud boom wasn’t unleashed by a soul beast’s soul skill. The explosive, metallic smell seemed to be reminiscent of a soul engineer.
Huo Yuhao immediately changed directions without thinking. He didn’t even use a ﬂying-type soul tool, instead running in the direction of the sound. As he burst forward, he pointed his ﬁnger outwards, and a golden ﬁgure caught up to him. Huo Yuhao lifted his hand to pat the necromantic golden wolf. Huo Yuhao extinguished its preserved soul, and put its corpse away in his storage-type soul tool.
Ju Zi and Ke Ke were in a very awkward situation right now. Since they lost contact with Huo Yuhao, they hadn’t been doing too well.
When Huo Yuhao threw the mechanical legs of the all- terrain exploration soul tool, Ju Zi already knew that she didn’t have a choice. Huo Yuhao was bound to turn the soul
tool over. Hence she could only passively control the soul tool to ensure their safety.
The golden wolves were not as quick as the soul tool when it rolled down the mountain. When it ﬁnally stopped rolling, there were no longer any golden wolves chasing after them.
Ju Zi and Ke Ke rushed out of the all-terrain exploration soul tool at the ﬁrst possible moment to vomit. How could they feel good after rolling almost a kilometer down a mountain in ﬁve minutes?
Then they passed out, they didn’t even crawl back into the all-terrain exploration soul tool
They were in rather good luck though. No soul beasts found them while they were unconscious. They regained consciousness slowly on the second morning as the sun shone upon them. Next the two of them decided to return to ﬁnd Huo Yuhao, just after resting for a moment.
The two of them were in different states of mind, but they remained silent, and didn’t interact with one another. This
was especially so for Ju Zi, who experienced the large spectrum of emotions. At times, she was panicked and anxious, at others, she was sad and hot-tempered.
This was Ke Ke’s ﬁrst time seeing her display so many emotions in one go.
Ke Ke was more straightforward compared to her. She only thought of Huo Yuhao’s resolute expression and conﬁdence when they were separating.
Ke Ke could still recall a reverberating sound from the top of the mountain when they were rolling down. Without a doubt, this sound came from the pack of golden wolves Huo Yuhao had attracted! At that moment, she knew that she would never forget Huo Yuhao. They might have only been friends, or she could have developed feelings for him. Regardless, Huo Yuhao left a deep impression on her young heart.
Although they didn’t interact with each other much, they still silently acknowledged that they had to rescue Huo Yuhao!
Which was why they rested for only a short while. After their bodies recovered, they immediately controlled the battered all- terrain exploration soul tool to venture deep back into the Jing Yang Mountain Range. They tried to ﬁnd Huo Yuhao, and had spent the last two days doing so.
They met many soul beasts over the last two days. However, they were never in real danger since they were Class 5 soul engineers, and even had the all-terrain exploration soul tool to protect them.
But, when they reached the top of the mountain, all they could ﬁnd was traces of his battle, they couldn’t ﬁnd Huo Yuhao.
They also tried to search for him in the nearby mountains. They refused to believe that Huo Yuhao was dead. Despite this, they didn’t make any progress.
When they were ﬁnally prepared to leave and proceed towards the old rendezvous point, they were attacked by some powerful soul beasts.
Enemies often crossed each other’s path. They met the same pack of golden wolves that Huo Yuhao shook off the other day.
Through the death of the Silvermoon Wolf King the three golden wolves were dealt a vicious blow. The Silvermoon Wolf King had been extremely sensitive to the raw materials most suitable for the metal-type wolves’ cultivation. Under its guidance the abilities of the entire wolf pack increased by about twenty percent. This was a staggering ﬁgure! This meant that a golden wolf could have a hundred and twenty years of cultivation even if it had only cultivated for a hundred years.
However, the Silvermoon Wolf King was slain by Huo Yuhao just like that. They didn’t even know that the Silvermoon Wolf King was dead yet. Over the past two days, the three golden wolves frantically led the rest of the wolf pack to search for the Silvermoon Wolf King. Even when they met other soul beasts, they would kill them mercilessly. Around the main trail, there were no other soul beasts that could compete with this wolf pack.
The three golden wolves were highly intelligent. Upon seeing the damaged metal ball, they didn’t hesitate, and immediately had the whole wolf pack attack. Ju Zi and Ke Ke were quickly embroiled in a tough battle.
They had many soul tools as they were Class 5 soul engineers, so they still managed to kill many low-level golden wolves.
However, their soul power was limited! They didn’t dare to use ﬂying-type soul tools in broad daylight either. They also didn’t possess an Imitation-like soul skill that Huo Yuhao had. If they entered the air, they were bound to be attacked by soul beasts from all directions. Moreover, the three golden wolves could leap more than ten meters high, and they certainly wouldn’t give them an opportunity to escape.
“Boom—” The huge cannon in Ke Ke’s hands ﬁred at a leaping golden wolf king, sparks ﬂashed on the golden wolf’s king body, and it was sent ﬂying away more than ten meters, temporarily incapacitated.
This was Ke Ke’s Wind Lightning Cannon. Possessing the speed of wind and the crackle of thunder, it was extremely powerful. It was especially useful against these metal-type soul beasts.
However, it also greatly depleted Ke Ke’s soul power. These golden wolves were just too defensively overbearing. Even the ordinary wolves were only critically injured when struck. As for the golden wolf kings, they were only numbed temporarily.
The more advanced students from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy all had their own specializations in weaponized soul tool research. Like how Ke Ke chose heavy cannons and Ju Zi chose tangerines. They used completely different types of soul tools
Ju Zi ﬂung countless tangerines at the wolf pack. Intense balls of light would suddenly shine before piercing screams sounded. The lights touched the golden wolves’ bodies, and tremendous explosions followed.
There were many Class 5 soul tools. However, Ju Zi’s problem was with her body. She wasn’t nearly as physically tough as Huo Yuhao. Even Ke Ke was far inferior to Huo Yuhao. But that’s why Ju Zi chased the advantage of quantity over quality.
The two of them worked in cohesion. One was responsible for resisting the wolf pack, while the other one focused on
attacking them. This managed to put them in a relatively comfortable position against the wolf pack. However, they weren’t hopeful for their chances.
This wolf pack was very strong, even without the Silvermoon Wolf King. How did Huo Yuhao manage to resist them? More importantly, how were they going to escape now?
“Ke Ke, we can’t go on like this much longer. Our soul power won’t last!” Ju Zi shouted as she resisted the wolf pack. Her eyes still revealed a sense of composure.
“What should we do?” Ke Ke asked anxiously.
Ju Zi replied decisively, “We’ll break out of this trap. Then we return to the all-terrain exploration soul tool. I’ll control it while you’ll set up the cannons to open a path for us, and we’ll force our way out.”
Ke Ke hesitated. “Can we run faster than the wolf pack?”
Ju Zi said in a deep voice, “Did you forget how we escaped the last time? We can still use that trick if we make it to the top of the mountain in front of us.”
Ke Ke’s eyes brightened. “Alright, let’s go.” They erupted with force and made the wolf pack retreat. They both looked extremely spent. At this point, Ju Zi’s ﬁfth soul ring shone and released two tangerines with purple skins. She threw one towards Ke Ke, and stuffed the other in her mouth. Then they squeezed their way into the all-terrain soul tool.
Ju Zi scattered may tangerine soul bombs, keeping the golden wolves at bay. Ju Zi had already started controlling the all-terrain exploration soul tool to move at its fastest speeds.
The six mechanical legs stood up and supported the distorted metal ball. The legs took big steps as they rushed up the closest mountain.
Ke Ke’s heavy cannons were positioned in the front windows. She couldn’t be bothered with conserving her soul power now. While the purple tangerine Ju Zi gave her was very sour, it managed to restore her soul power by about thirty percent. It was the strongest ability of Ju Zi’s food-type martial soul.
Three blasts ﬁred from the Wind Lightning Cannon towards the wolf pack, and a piercing hum loosed from the all-terrain exploration soul tool as Ju Zi ﬁlled it with her soul power. Its six mechanical legs began moving rapidly, bursting out towards the front.
Ju Zi made the right choice. The sudden changes left the Golden Wolves shocked, and unable to react in time. Two of the three Golden Wolf Kings were stunned already, and they managed to brush past them easily.
However, the last Golden Wolf King was still in peak condition, and its pressure erupted forth.
The hair on its back stood on end, and ﬂashed with an intense golden glow. It faced the sky and roared furiously then its body swelled, and its muscles bulged in an exaggerated manner. It started to chase after the all-terrain exploration soul tool like a bolt of lightning.
The all-terrain exploration soul tool was extremely swift with its top speeds engaged. However, it still needed some time to accelerate to full speed.
The Golden Wolves might have lost their long-range offensive abilities, but their strength, speed and defense were still fearsome.
The Golden Wolf King hurtled forward. It lowered its head and rammed it into the all-terrain exploration soul tool.
If Huo Yuhao were around, he could use his Spiritual Detection to sense the changes in their surroundings and react quickly by attacking behind them. However, Ju Zi and Ke Ke weren’t Huo Yuhao, let alone the fact that they were exhausted. In addition, Ke Ke had also depleted a lot of her energy trying to carve out an escape route just now. Ju Zi still activated a defensive barrier, but the Golden Wolf King also still crashed against it.
The all-terrain exploration soul tool could deﬁnitely withstand one all-out strike from a Class 6 soul engineer. However, its defensive barrier was only Class 5 right now, since it was dependent on the user’s cultivation.
The Golden Wolf King’s ﬁerce attack overcame the Class 5 soul tool barrier instantly. Its claws grazed against the metal ball maniacally, and its head struck the side of the all-terrain exploration soul tool heavily.
The all-terrain exploration soul tool was indeed durable. Although struck off balance, the Golden Wolf King’s attack only left a dent, and couldn’t put a hole in the soul tool.
However, this was still fatal for Ju Zi and Ke Ke.
The imbalanced all-terrain exploration soul tool fell forward, its forward acceleration dropping signiﬁcantly. When Ju Zi managed to stabilize it, the wolf pack had already caught up. Their method of attacking was very simple. They followed the Golden Wolf King’s example and knocked against the soul tool heavily. However, they were aiming for the six mechanical legs instead.
The legs of this soul tool were constructed using special materials, and were rather durable. However, they had still been slightly damaged over the past few days, most notably on the day when they rolled down a mountain. Although they
could still go without breaking, they couldn’t ensure balance anymore!
The soul tool collapsed and started rolling, much to Ke Ke and Ju Zi’s dismay. The Golden Wolves rushed up to claw at the soul tool. Their bodies engulfed the whole soul tool, and their teeth and claws made annoying, scratching noises as they grazed against the metal soul tool. Dents and scratches started appearing all over the surface of the soul tool.
Although the Golden Wolves were temporarily delayed by the highly resistant metal exterior, Ju Zi and Ke Ke couldn’t make the all-terrain exploration soul tool stand anymore.
“Bang—” A huge claw print suddenly appeared on the all- terrain exploration soul tool, visible even from the inside.
The frightening strength behind it and reverberating bang revealed that this was the work of the Golden Wolf King. To make matters worse, the other Golden Wolf Kings were also rushing over. It was only a matter of time before the all-terrain exploration soul tool was torn to pieces.
Ju Zi and Ke Ke looked at one another. They could see the desolation in the other’s eyes, and face.
They no longer had a chance. They didn’t dare to open the crystal glass door anymore either, as the Golden Wolves would certainly exploit the opportunity to force their way into the soul tool.
If death happened instantly, they might perish before they felt afraid. Looking at it like that, it wasn’t too scary. The truly frightening thing was waiting for death when they looked at the scene of carnage around them. The scratching sounds made by the sharp claws grazing against the metal surface of the soul tool caused Ju Zi and Ke Ke to shudder in fear.
“I didn’t expect that we’d die here today.” Ju Zi sighed. Her eyes weren’t ﬁlled with fear, but indignation.
“Daddy, your little Ju Zi can’t avenge you anymore. Our plan can never be fulﬁlled. I’ve always prided myself on my intelligence, but I’m meeting with such a gruesome end. Daddy, can I still taste your cooking when I reach the other world? Daddy, mommy, I’ve missed you. I’m coming.”
As she spoke, Ju Zi shut her eyes. Two streams of tears rolling down her cheeks.
She was different from Ke Ke. Ke Ke didn’t despair, and instead revealed her unyielding spirit. Many soul tools rapidly appeared in front of her. She took their formation arrays apart before connecting them in a special way.
“Come at me bastards! I’ll risk it all to ﬁght it out with you. If you want to eat my ﬂesh, I’ll blow you apart!” She connected the formation arrays, and used an energy-gathering formation at the core. She slowly formed a special structure that may have looked messy, but still released a frightening aura.
Ju Zi heard Ke Ke’s words and knew what she was doing right now, but she didn’t stop her. At the end of their lives, perishing alongside the Golden Wolves wasn’t such a bad ending after all.
However, the situation outside the all-terrain exploration soul tool seemed to change instantly. A Golden Wolf leapt towards the soul tool, but its eyes were blank, and its body rigid. Unfortunately, none of the Golden Wolves noticed it,
they were all too busy frantically attacking the all-terrain exploration soul tool.
“Bang.” The stiff Golden Wolf struck another Golden Wolf, which in turn made that wolf roar in fury. Before it could react further, a terrifying explosion occurred.
The booming explosion made ice scatter, and at least twenty Golden Wolves were caught in the crossﬁre. The six or seven closest to the epicenter Golden Wolves were completely blown apart. Those struck by the ensuing shockwave were also critically injured.
A ﬁgure exploited this opportunity to strike. This ﬁgure moved briskly. As it ﬂashed, it moved behind a Golden Wolf that had been caught in the explosion and stabbed his dark golden claws into the wolf’s neck. Then it ﬂung the Golden Wolf to its left hand.
Four soul rings—one white, one purple and two black— shone. The last black soul ring in particular shone extremely brightly.
This ﬁgure was none other than Huo Yuhao, who rushed over and managed to reach them at this most critical moment.
His eyes had turned bright silver. His fourth soul ring ﬂashed, and in his eyes a seven-colored whirlpool seemed to appear. He levelled his gaze at one of the three Golden Wolf Kings.
That Golden Wolf King lowered its head subconsciously and stared at him. A weird scene suddenly came about.
A one foot high, seven-colored whirlpool surfaced above the Golden Wolf King. It revolved in an awkward manner before penetrating through the Golden Wolf’s skull into its body. The Golden Wolf King’s body stiffened up instantly, becoming motionless. Its blood-red eyes turned a silver shade like Huo Yuhao’s, so too did the whirlpool-like radiance coming from its body.
Huo Yuhao’s eyes became normal again a moment later. A strong killing aura exuding from his body. Huo Yuhao carried a deep enmity with this pack of Golden Wolves that had threatened his life earlier. Now they were even threatening Ke Ke and Ju Zi’s lives.
His Eye of Destiny opened, and a purplish-golden light ﬂashed before disappearing. Another Golden Wolf King’s body stiffened up instantly. It didn’t nearly possess the same spiritual powers the Silvermoon Wolf King did. It couldn’t even resist when faced against the might of the Destiny Soul Gaze. It blew apart after its body turned rigid, and fresh blood scattered everywhere. It was killed instantaneously.
One Golden Wolf King was controlled by Huo Yuhao’s fourth soul skill, and another Golden Wolf King was killed by the Destiny Soul Gaze. Apart from them, one Golden Wolf King remained. The remainder of the Golden Wolves were mostly blown away during the previous explosion.
Huo Yuhao threw the Golden Wolf’s corpse in his hand away, and the Ice Explosion Technique revealed its might. Once more a terrifying explosive force shook the entire area.
The previous Golden Wolf’s corpse was maintained by Huo Yuhao. Generally speaking, a soul beast’s soul power would dissipate within an hour after death, past that it wouldn’t be a good bomb for the Ice Explosion Technique. However, Huo Yuhao used necromancy to control that Golden Wolf corpse, and thus retained its soul power. This soul power was only
released after Huo Yuhao extinguished its soul, which made it useful in the present situation.
There were only forty Golden Wolves still capable of ﬁghting now. The last of the Golden Wolf Kings howled, bearing a hateful look in its eyes. It leapt towards Huo Yuhao.
Unexpectedly, a pair of wolf claws forcefully struck its body as it leapt forward. These frightening wolf claws stabbed into its body through its ﬂanks before they eventually pulled back. The front of the Golden Wolf King was torn to shreds. Its internal organs and fresh blood scattered everywhere.
It was the Golden Wolf King controlled by Huo Yuhao’s fourth soul skill that unleashed the attack. Appearing to have gone mad, it attacked the rest of the Golden Wolves after it killed this Golden Wolf King.
Yes! This was the soul skill Huo Yuhao had obtained from the Silvermoon Wolf King, Spiritual Confusion.
This was an ability that the Silvermoon Wolf King didn’t even possess. Huo Yuhao was a spiritual-type soul master, but the Silvermoon Wolf King wasn’t exactly considered a spirit- type soul beast. It only used its spiritual power to control different elements for its own purposes. It was more of a multi- elemental soul beast that couldn’t use too powerful soul skills.
That was why its soul ring transformed when it combined with Huo Yuhao’s Spirit Eyes. The eventual result of that transformation was this soul skill. Huo Yuhao had named it Spiritual Confusion.
It could only be used on one target at a time, but as long as the target’s spiritual power wasn’t at least a third of the user, it was guaranteed to descend into confusion. While confused, it would go mad and attack everything around it. However, if its spiritual power was greater than a third of Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power then the target would be spiritually attacked. The effectiveness would vary according to the target’s spiritual cultivation, but its spiritual power would undoubtedly fall, and it would be struck by vertigo for while.
If Mass Enfeeblement was Huo Yuhao’s crowd control soul skill, then this Spiritual Confusion could be considered a single target spiritual control skill.
This was his ﬁrst time using Spiritual Confusion, and it achieved unparalleled effects immediately.
The last remaining Golden Wolf King went crazy and started killing its own species. This diminished the ﬁghting will and morale of the remaining Golden Wolves, hence they all ﬂed in fear.
Huo Yuhao couldn’t be bothered to deal with the insane Golden Wolf King. He turned around and dashed towards the
all-terrain exploration soul tool. He was unsure how Ju Zi and Ke Ke were holding up.
At this point, the door of the all-terrain exploration soul tool opened, and the ladies crawled out in fear and confusion.
Ju Zi shouted, “Yuhao, run! Ke Ke used all her soul tools to create a self-detonation device.”
Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection covered the scene. He clearly sensed an internal, terrifying force within the all-terrain exploration soul tool, rising quickly.
At this terrifying prospect, he only showed his manliness even further. He didn’t turn to escape, but rushed towards Ju Zi and Ke Ke. He could tell that they were completely spent in terms of soul power and couldn’t escape the imminent blast radius.
Seeing them all the way out here, Huo Yuhao knew they came to ﬁnd him. How could he leave them in danger when they hadn’t given up on him?
He burst towards them, uncaring of any repercussions. He huddled them in his embrace before activating his Class 5 soul thruster. Then, he picked a direction and charged.
Less than two seconds after he charged out, the all-terrain exploration soul tool behind him turned scarlet-red. Following this change, a reverberating explosion boomed within the Jing Yang Mountain Range.
“Boom boom boom…”
Huo Yuhao still had the help of his Spiritual Detection, with it he could manage to grasp the exact timing of the explosion. He tugged his arms inwards and pulled Ju Zi and Ke Ke towards his body, sheltering them. Hongchen’s Blessing was activated, and the Ice Empress’ Armor was unleashed, instantly increasing his defensive ability to the greatest level.
Huo Yuhao only felt a wave of heat sweeping him up from behind. He felt his body and everything else seemed to ﬂip suddenly. A sweet and ﬁshy taste rose up from his throat as the Hongchen’s Blessing and Ice Empress’ Armor were crushed.
Everything before his eyes turned black, and he lost consciousness.
The frightening explosion Ke Ke created was too powerful. She had used all the formation arrays in her soul tool arsenal. She truly wanted to drag as many Golden Wolves to the grave along with them.
It was too late to reverse the explosion when she and Ju Zi ﬁgured out that the situation outside changed.
Everyone thirsted for survival. When they realized that the danger outside was vanquished, they frantically tried to escape.
Ke Ke and Ju Zi weren’t struck directly by the explosive force, and thus they could still see what was going on. They could tell that the surrounding air had been visibly distorted. Next, a stiﬂing force swept past them. However, it was nothing compared to the shockwave that Huo Yuhao protected them from.
The Golden Wolf King still in a confused state was instantly obliterated by the explosive force, even its corpse ceased to exist.
The Class 5 soul thruster had propelled Huo Yuhao and the girls more than a hundred meters in two seconds. That was why they were only struck by a shockwave from the explosion.
Huo Yuhao vomited blood all over the two ladies.
Just after, the three of them collapsed to the ground together.
Ju Zi and Ke Ke almost fainted from this, but they hung on and opened their eyes wide.
They were certain that Huo Yuhao would have escaped unscathed if he had only just listened to Ju Zi’s words and ﬂed immediately.
Ju Zi was still ﬁne mentally. She was only worried and concerned for Huo Yuhao’s safety. However, Ke Ke was ﬁlled
with regret. If she wasn’t so impulsive and observed the situation outside, none of this would’ve happened! The Golden Wolves did nothing to her, but she was almost killed by her own bomb in the end…
As she thought this, Ke Ke felt like her heart had been stabbed with a blade.
Fresh blood ﬂowed from Huo Yuhao’s nose. He’d turned extremely pale.
Ju Zi and Ke Ke struggled as they climbed out of his embrace.
When they looked back into the distance, they were stunned.
Nothing was left of the all-terrain exploration soul tool. It was the ground-zero of an explosion more than ﬁve hundred meters in diameter. A huge hole ﬁfteen meters deep had formed where it used to be. Even the corpses of the Golden Wolves had all disappeared. A mist of soil and ﬂesh descended, carrying a bloody smell, landing only tens of meters away from the center of the explosion.
After a momentary daze, they turned their attention to Huo Yuhao—unconscious on the ground.
They were distraught at the sight.
Huo Yuhao was completely covered in blood. His back, thighs and calves were gushing blood. There was shrapnel stuck in his muscles everywhere.
“Oh no! How did it end up like this, why did it end up this way…?” Ke Ke exclaimed, completely frantic.
Ju Zi raged at her. “Calm down and shut up! We need to calm ourselves.” As she spoke, she quickly squatted beside Huo Yuhao to check his breathing and whether or not he was alive. After that, she went to measure his pulse.
While Huo Yuhao’s pulse was very weak, it was still rhythmic.
Ju Zi took in a deep breath. She knew she had to be cool headed now to save Huo Yuhao’s life.
“Ke Ke, protect us. I’ll save him.” While she spoke, she had already retrieved her storage-type soul tool—an orange-red bracelet—and gave it to Ke Ke. Inside this bracelet were many soul tools, all of which were created by Ju Zi herself.
“Alright.” Ke Ke had also ﬁnally calmed down by now, and received the bracelet from Ju Zi. Then she took out a Milk Bottle, and restored her soul power. She also took out the soul tools from Ju Zi’s storage-type soul tool and set up a defensive formation.
Ju Zi had no energy to bother with Ke Ke or her surroundings. Although Huo Yuhao was still alive, his life power was diminishing quickly. He could be in fatal peril any second now.
She didn’t care about all the shrapnel still in his body. They couldn’t be pulled out yet, because that would lead to greater blood loss. She had to stabilize Huo Yuhao’s condition ﬁrst.
As she thought of what to do, Ju Zi took out a needle and string from another storage bracelet on her other hand. She
couldn’t be bothered with anything else, only Huo Yuhao’s life mattered now.
Ju Zi’s hands were trembling as she attempted to thread the needle. Her mental energy and soul power were greatly exhausted, also adding her anxiety to the mix, and she could conclude she was unstable.
She suddenly lifted her left hand and bit down on her own wrist forcefully. She left a deep wound, and used the intense pain to stabilize her mindset before quickly threading the needle successfully this time. After that, she started to stitch up Huo Yuhao’s wounds.
Her stitching started from his ruptured capillaries before she proceeded to his muscles and skin. To reduce Huo Yuhao’s blood loss, she could only keep pressure on his wounds with her body-weight. Her clothes were quickly stained with Huo Yuhao’s blood.
Stitching up wounds required meticulous care. For someone like Ju Zi whose forte was carving detailed formations, this wasn’t hard to pull off. Huo Yuhao’s blood loss was ﬁnally being stoppered.
Even so, he still looked very weak and pale.
Ju Zi felt heat coming from the places stained with Huo Yuhao’s blood. Concentrated bursts of warmth entered her body, and left her feeling very comfortable. This also let her restore her energy quickly.
Ju Zi immediately recognized this as a problem. She couldn’t let him waste his blood’s power because of her. Just… what power does he have in his blood?
Chapter 167: Bite
Ju Zi removed Huo Yuhao’s torn clothing as Ke Ke watched her from afar. After that, she lifted him up and leaned him against a huge tree. She rubbed Huo Yuhao’s blood onto the parts of his body that weren’t injured.
Ju Zi was already breathing heavily at this point. The depletion of her energy left her extremely fatigued, and she felt she might faint at anytime. However, she was closely monitoring Huo Yuhao’s heartbeat at this moment. Although Huo Yuhao’s heartbeat was very slow, it was still beating. This was also her last shred of hope.
Ju Zi judged that Huo Yuhao had lost almost half of his blood from his injuries. This would be fatal for a normal person, but she could also sense that Huo Yuhao’s life power was very strong. Even though he was critically injured, his heart was still beating resolutely.
“How is he?” Ke Ke walked over and asked after her soul power had been restored by the Milk Bottle. She passed a Milk Bottle to Ju Zi as well.
Ju Zi laughed bitterly and replied, “I don’t know. A normal person should have caved in under such injuries. But he’s still alive. I’ve stitched his wounds, but the shrapnel is still not out. Let’s see whether he can survive beyond today. I’m only scared that he’ll suffer from an infection. The shrapnel should be unclean. However, he’s lost too much blood; everything depends on him now.”
Ke Ke stripped off her outerwear and covered Huo Yuhao’s blood-stained body. She looked at Ju Zi and laughed bitterly, “Sister Ju Zi, are you repaying your benefactor with your own body?”
Ju Zi turned red, and her cheeks turned rosy. “Don’t talk nonsense. His blood has a special strength that is very beneﬁcial for one’s body. I’m returning the blood that stained me to heal his body.”
Ke Ke squatted down and looked at Huo Yuhao. She said, “We both owe him our lives. Especially me. If I hadn’t been so reckless, he wouldn’t be in this state.”
Ju Zi shook her head and said, “How can you be blamed? We were both in danger. I didn’t even realize that he had arrived.
But you’re right. We owe him our lives.”
Ke Ke focused and stood up. She said, “Sister Ju Zi, take a rest. I’ll protect the both of you.”
“Alright.” Ju Zi acceded to her request and sat down close to Huo Yuhao.
Although Huo Yuhao’s back was covered in blood, he wasn’t hurt in front. There wasn’t a single piece of fat on Huo Yuhao’s well-developed body. Hongchen’s Yearning had been reabsorbed into his chest as well.
If not for this Class 9 soul tool that produced an Invincible Barrier that was almost three times stronger than his own body, the three of them would have been blown to pieces.
Huo Yuhao’s body was a little cold, Ju Zi was using her body to warm him up. When her eyes shut, she fell asleep almost instantly. However, she wore a peaceful look on her face.
Only one man had held a place in her heart ever since she was young – her father. Her father had ﬁlled her childhood with fantastic memories, but had perished in war. Right now, someone else had unwittingly entered her heart. Even though he was injured, Ju Zi felt at ease as she hugged him. It was as if
she had found a shelter to hide away from all her trials and tribulations.
After her close brush with death, she was in a weird state of mind. This weird state of mind was also extremely immersive.
Ju Zi was right. If Huo Yuhao’s injuries were inﬂicted on someone else, that person would have been dead by now. The shrapnel wasn’t from the all terrain exploration soul tool. The powerful shockwave was kept out by the Hongchen’s Blessing. What really tore his skin and muscles were the soul tools on his body that blew apart in the explosion.
His life hung by a thread as he was protected by the Hongchen’s Blessing and the Ice Empress’ Armor. Ju Zi was right when she had tried to limit his blood loss. What she didn’t know was that he wasn’t destined to die once she stabilized his injuries.
How would Huo Yuhao, who had fused with the immense life power of Life Gold, die so easily? The strength within his blood came from the life power of Life Gold! This immense life power wasn’t just in his blood, but was spread out all through his body, from his bones to his internal organs.
Huo Yuhao’s life power started to return as he healed. The immense life power started to stimulate his bone marrow and increase the rate at which he created new blood. His energy was slowly restored, and his internal organs were being healed. It was treatment from the inside out.
Ke Ke didn’t dare to sleep. Although she was exhausted, she had to hold on for their safety.
The sun in the sky rose higher and higher. The warm sunlight shone down on her and left her slightly hazy. After taking a small bite of some food, she restored her energy and chased away a few soul beasts who didn’t have high cultivations.
She also came to check on Huo Yuhao and Ju Zi from time to time. She discovered that Huo Yuhao’s body was slowly getting hotter and hotter, as if he had developed a fever. However, his temperature was still within an acceptable range. His pulse wasn’t any weaker, either.
Ke Ke was completely clueless about healing. She didn’t know what to do, and thus could only wait.
Ke Ke was on the verge of collapse when Ju Zi awoke from her sleep. Although her soul power had recovered, her mental energy was almost depleted since she had to be wary of soul beasts the whole time.
“Ke Ke, take a break. Let me take over for you,” Ju Zi said to Ke Ke, who was muddle-headed by now.
Ke Ke stood up and rushed over to them, asking, “How is he?”
Ju Zi furrowed her brow and revealed a stunned look in her eyes. “His pulse is vibrant, and not as weak as before. Although his body temperature is higher than average, it’s not too high.
His breathing is also stable. He doesn’t even seem like he was critically injured.”
Ke Ke looked at Ju Zi in a daze. “Are you saying he’s in a much better condition now?”
Ju Zi nodded her head, “It’s unbelievable! How is this possible? He lost almost half his blood, and even sustained critical injuries. There’s still shrapnel in his body. However, his pulse is beating normally. It’s only been ten to twelve hours.”
Ke Ke said, “Take a look at his back.”
Ju Zi and Ke Ke carefully placed Huo Yuhao on a blanket that they set out. She also changed into clean clothing before taking off the outerwear Ke Ke had put on Huo Yuhao.
The pieces of shrapnel were still very horrifying, as if Huo Yuhao had grown spikes on his back. However, Ju Zi and Ke Ke were more shocked that none of his wounds had been infected. Although Ju Zi had rubbed some medicine on him, that had just been medicine for the treatment of common injuries.
“Is he human?” Ke Ke couldn’t help but ask.
Ju Zi laughed bitterly. “I thought of a quote. Shrek only accept monsters, and not ordinary people. It seems like he really is a monster. Even a soul beast can’t compare to his self- healing ability.”
Ke Ke asked, “Should we remove the shrapnel?”
Ju Zi shook her head and said, “No, let’s allow him to recover more. With his current healing speed, he should be awake soon. We can help him remove the shrapnel then.”
As they spoke till here, the two of them looked at each other before heaving sighs of relief.
Ju Zi said, “It seems like we will have to spend the night here. Ke Ke, hold on for a while more. Let’s pitch a tent to keep out the wind and rain. The mountains will also be colder at night. Let’s take turns to keep watch at night.”
Ke Ke hesitated for a while. “The tent is for one person. So I’m going to be with him in one tent?”
Ju Zi snapped, “I didn’t even care when I tried to save him just now. What’re you scared of? Furthermore, we can also watch him at a close distance. Don’t worry, I won’t reveal this to anyone. You must also keep this secret for me.”
Ke Ke took a look at her and replied after a moment, “Alright, I’ll take it as if he’s my younger brother.”
Ju Zi suddenly thought of something. “He’s not that young either…”
The two of them were efﬁcient. After Ju Zi had ten to twelve hours of rest, her body had already recovered. After she pitched the tent, Ke Ke went inside with Huo Yuhao and laid down beside him. She was so exhausted that she passed out instantly.
Ju Zi was the one on guard duty now. She was feeling much better now. She adjusted her soul tool defense line before
adding some chemical items that had the effect of chasing soul beasts away.
Ju Zi discovered that her body felt much better, and even more vibrant. Not only was her fatigue gone, but she was ﬁlled with energy. Even her soul power seemed to have been enhanced.
Ju Zi couldn’t help but wonder if it was her reward for being nice.
That was exactly the case. The Life Gold’s life power helped Huo Yuhao heal. There was also some external ﬂow of the immense life aura when Ju Zi was stained with some of Huo Yuhao’s fresh blood. This allowed the Life’s Gold’s aura to nourish her body and let her feel more refreshed. Ke Ke was also likely to beneﬁt as she lay beside Huo Yuhao now.
The sky was slowly turning dark. Ju Zi sat in front of the tent and watched her surroundings. Her emotions started to rise as she sat there on guard duty.
“Daddy, is he your reincarnation, sent here to lessen my pain?” Ju Zi sighed slightly. She had always been concealing her inner thoughts with her innocent look. However, she was actually someone who was icy-cold at heart.
She only thought of revenge. For this, she didn’t mind being pretentious, and became a young lady that no one would be wary of.
She was aware that Zimu had always been chasing her. However, she didn’t give him a straight answer all this while because her plan didn’t allow her to date. She had a goal, and this goal was an important part of her plan for revenge.
However, the calm in her heart changed when she tasted Huo Yuhao’s cooking. It was a change that caused her to panic inside.
Ju Zi had never expected to eat something that was as delicious as her father’s cooking. But Huo Yuhao had managed to whip up food that resembled her father’s cooking. Her cold heart opened slightly at that moment.
She was an orphan, like him. She had no other yearnings in her life. It was revenge that kept her going.
However, his appearance caused a change in her heart. Her ideals didn’t change, but someone had managed to creep into her heart. Could she still not be bothered by everything and face her future with a calm attitude with this person around?
Ju Zi didn’t know. She didn’t know at all.
“Huo Yuhao, why did you have to come into my world?” Ju Zi sighed.
When Huo Yuhao woke up from his sleep, it was already light again.
“I’m alive?” That was his ﬁrst thought. He subconsciously initiated the circulation of his soul power.
His soul power had already been restored, but the circulation of it wasn’t very smooth. His passageways and back were ﬁlled with a piercing pain.
“Ah!” he groaned slightly, and opened his eyes.
The ﬁrst thing he saw was a beautiful face. The smooth and tender complexion of that face gave a refreshing feeling even
though the tent was slightly dim. He had never seen such a refreshing beauty.
Her eyes were shut as she lay beside him. Huo Yuhao immediately realized that he wasn’t wearing anything except for a blanket.
“Ju Zi,” Huo Yuhao whispered.
Ju Zi was jolted awake. She had only just fallen asleep after Ke Ke took over her guard duty.
Her large eyes opened, and her eyelashes perked up. Huo Yuhao was rather swept away by her appearance.
“You’re awake?” Ju Zi asked, surprised.
Huo Yuhao tried to prop himself up, but he felt an intense pain in his back. He groaned, and laid back down.
“Don’t move, your injuries are very serious,” Ju Zi said hurriedly.
“What happened to me?” Huo Yuhao asked.
Ju Zi related what had happened after the explosion, except for the part where she carried him naked.
“The explosion was too powerful. Ke Ke’s soul tools are indeed very powerful!” Huo Yuhao laughed bitterly.
Ju Zi said, “Ke Ke has suffered great losses this time. Her soul tools took two years to create and assemble, with their formation arrays joined together. They were also extremely valuable. How could the explosion not be strong? No one else could bear to do that. The amount of resources that were wasted was too much.”
Huo Yuhao asked, “How am I now? The shrapnel on my back has to be removed eventually.”
Ju Zi said, “I was afraid that you’d lost too much blood and didn’t dare to act recklessly. If you think you’re ﬁne now, I’ll help you remove the shrapnel. However, you must do it slowly at the start. Try to minimize your blood loss. After all, you’re critically injured.”
“I’m ﬁne.” Huo Yuhao had sensed his own body condition earlier. Apart from some blockages in his passageways, he wasn’t in too much trouble.
Ju Zi stared at him as if he were a freak, then nodded slightly. She said, “Alright. I’m going to start then. It’ll be painful, but you’ll have to bear the pain.”
Huo Yuhao smiled and replied, “Come on.” What kind of pain had he not endured before? Pain? How could it compare to the fusion of the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s skeleton? How could it compare to his fusion with the Darkgolden Terrorclaws?
Ju Zi was very careful with her actions. She didn’t pull the shrapnel out forcefully. She retrieved an orange-red carving blade and slowly opened his wounds. After that, she tried to pluck the pieces of shrapnel out.
She soon discovered that it was much more relaxing helping Huo Yuhao treat his injuries when he was awake.
When she helped Huo Yuhao to pluck out the ﬁrst piece of shrapnel, he immediately used his soul power to seal the blood vessels in that location. After she stitched his wound, Huo Yuhao relaxed his control over that location and stopped the bleeding.
Ju Zi managed to remove most of the shrapnel quickly as they worked together.
“Rest for a while.” Huo Yuhao retrieved a clean towel from his storage-type soul tool and passed it to Ju Zi.
Ju Zi’s forehead was already brimming with perspiration. She let out a fragrance that was very characteristic of a young lady.
Ju Zi couldn’t help but laugh bitterly. “Your willpower is too scary. I don’t think making you my opponent in the future is a good thing. You’re ﬁne, but I’m the one who’s not okay.”
Huo Yuhao had had to bear a lot of pain as the many pieces of shrapnel were plucked from his body. However, he appeared ﬁne to her. He never once screamed. Ju Zi was even more impressed with him among the mix of emotions that she felt.
Ju Zi said, “Although your will is strong, your wounds will still take some time to heal. Sleep for a while more. I also need to take a rest. When my energy is restored, I’ll help you remove the rest of the shrapnel.” As she spoke, she took a glance at the largest piece of shrapnel.
This piece of shrapnel was triangular, and was close to Huo Yuhao’s heart, below his left shoulder. It was very deep into his muscles. Ju Zi was not sure how to handle it. She couldn’t use a carving blade to guide the piece of shrapnel out; she would need to pluck it out directly.
Huo Yuhao nodded and closed his eyes. The Mysterious Heaven Technique kept on circulating. It had a good healing
effect, and his wounds slowly healed with its help. Huo Yuhao also managed to unblock some of his passageways, and his body began to recover at an even faster speed.
After resting for two hours, Ju Zi helped Huo Yuhao remove the remaining pieces of shrapnel. Soon, most of the shrapnel had been removed, with the exception of one ﬁnal piece.
Ju Zi looked at Huo Yuhao and was even more impressed with him. His forehead was also perspiring, but he still wore a smile. She had never seen someone as resolute as him.
“Rest a while more before the last piece,” Ju Zi told him.
Huo Yuhao shook his head and said, “Since it’s the last piece, let’s take it out. I also want to relax, otherwise I’ll keep thinking of it. Don’t worry, I can take it. It’s better to suffer now than later.”
This piece cut into at least three of his passageways. Although it wasn’t the main passageway, it greatly affected the circulation of the Mysterious Heaven Technique. In addition, the wound brought him great pain if he moved even slightly.
Ju Zi hesitated for a while before nodding her head as she grit her teeth.
“This piece is deep. If it’s too painful, just bite my arm.” As she spoke, she pulled up the sleeve covering her left arm and extended her slender arm in front of Huo Yuhao.
Huo Yuhao only grabbed her wrist after hesitating for a moment. Her wrist was soft and tender. The Raiment of Light’s projection was undoubtedly the most ravishing beauty that Huo Yuhao had ever seen, but Ju Zi had the best complexion. Although she wasn’t as pretty as the Raiment of Light’s projection, and was even slightly inferior to Jiang Nannan, she was still a beauty like Ma Xiaotao. Ma Xiaotao had the best ﬁgure, while Ju Zi had the best complexion.
There was a sense of gentleness as he felt her tender skin. It was an indescribable feeling.
“I’m about to start.” Ju Zi didn’t know that Huo Yuhao’s heart had ﬂuttered slightly. Her right hand held onto the exposed part of the piece of shrapnel, and she looked nervous.
Huo Yuhao nodded slightly and relaxed his back muscles. It would be much easier if he wasn’t tense.
Ju Zi took in a deep breath and stuffed her left hand into Huo Yuhao’s mouth. “You saved my life. Let me bear this pain with you!” she shouted softly, and plucked the piece of shrapnel out forcefully.
Fresh blood shot out as the shrapnel was pulled out. Huo Yuhao’s whole body tensed up, and he bit Ju Zi’s arm under the intense pain.
When he ﬁrst met her Huo Yuhao didn’t expect that his desire to bite Ju Zi’s smooth skin would be fulﬁlled under these circumstances.
Panting heavily, Ju Zi pressed a clean towel against Huo Yuhao’s wounds.
Compared to the pains she felt in her heart, the pain in her hand was nothing. She actually felt like she was going to let Huo Yuhao die.
Although reluctant to do so, Huo Yuhao ceased biting into her hand. A bite mark was left behind, along with some redness on her skin, but only some redness as the skin wasn’t pierced.
Ju Zi retracted her arm and started speaking rapidly, “Quick seal your blood vessels! How are you feeling? Are your passageways damaged?”
Huo Yuhao spoke while circulating his soul power, “Don’t worry, I’m ﬁne. I can just use my soul power to recover. However, a few passageways are completely damaged, and I need time to heal them.
Ju Zi let out a sigh of relief. “That’s good. At least it’s not too serious. You somehow managed to drag yourself back from the dead, you freak. It only took you a day and night to recover this far from your critical injuries.”
Huo Yuhao laughed bitterly. “Don’t compliment me like that when I’m in such unbearable pain.”
Ju Zi laughed. “Pain? I can’t tell from your expression.”
Huo Yuhao immediately displayed an exaggerated expression, “I’m tolerating the pain! Think about it. My entire back is stitched up right now. Why wouldn’t I feel pain?”
Ju Zi shuddered a little. That’s right! Huo Yuhao’s back was almost entirely full of stitches. With a little more than a hundred wounds his back was almost entirely covered in stitches by now. The same for his legs, really just his entire
body seemed to have been ravaged by injuries. Only some of the parts not carrying soul tools appeared much better off.
Huo Yuhao smiled as Ju Zi fell silent, “I’m ﬁne actually. I’ve experienced more painful things than this before. Let’s leave the mountain range after I rest a bit. The all-terrain exploration soul tool has been destroyed, so we have to end our experiments here. What about you though, is your hand in pain from my bite?”
Ju Zi retorted, “Am I that weak to you?”
Huo Yuhao chortled, “Yeah. It seems like your skin will tear the moment I touch it.”
Ju Zi’s face turned red. She took out a tangerine to stuff in his mouth, “Go and rest. I’ll leave you to it.” As she spoke, she escaped from the tent. The age gap between her and Huo Yuhao seemed non-existent when confronted with his maturity which exceeded the norms for his age.
The lingering fragrance left Huo Yuhao in a trance, but he soon recovered from it. His heart was occupied by someone
else already. Although Ju Zi was a ravishing, attractive beauty, she deﬁnitely couldn’t compare to the Raiment of Light’s projection so deeply imprinted in his heart.
With the pieces of shrapnel removed from his back, and a period of rest, he could prop himself up.
His back wasn’t just simply in pain now. It was miserable and numb, the blood circulation in his back didn’t seem to be running smoothly either. Fortunately, most of his injuries were concentrated on his muscles. The circulation blockages in his passageways were mainly caused by some blood clots.
Huo Yuhao had lied about being in such a dire situation before. In fact, he was very afraid right now. If he was just a little slower or didn’t have the Hongchen’s Blessing, he would have died! Furthermore, the impact almost wreaked havoc on his spiritual sea. Skydream, the Ice Empress and Electrolux combined their strengths to unleash a spiritual barrier that protected his head. That explained why his back and legs were injured, but his head wasn’t.
His body’s damage could be easily healed by the Life’s Gold life power, not to mention that the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s
skeleton would protect his internal organs. However, a blow to his head could kill him. Huo Yuhao wouldn’t have survived this time with luck alone.
He struggled to sit cross-legged, and even perspired from the constant pain. He focused, and circulated his power; the Mysterious Heaven Technique slowly circulating.
After his reaching Rank 40 soul power, Huo Yuhao didn’t fully experience the transformations to his body. This was especially so with the advancements in his soul skills and the enhancement of his spiritual power. It was important to know that almost all of his soul skills would improve as his cultivation increased. That being the case, his soul power would skyrocket after each new added soul ring. Over the past two years, his foundation remained untouched while his cultivation speed dipped considerably. His cultivation so far could be described as slow but steady.
The Mysterious Heaven Technique overcame all obstructions and slowly ﬁlled his body, nourishing him. It stimulated the Life’s Gold life power to heal his body as well. Afterwards, Huo Yuhao divided part of his soul power to start removing the blood clots in his passageways. Then he used soul power to
adjust his damaged passageways, moving them back into position and reconnecting them.
He’d entered a fairly stable state to recover quickly.
The trio was rather fortunate. They stayed in this place for two days, but the strongest soul beast they had encountered was only a thousand year soul beast.
Huo Yuhao recovered at an alarming rate. On the third morning, he walked out of the tent. He faced the rising sun in the east and started to cultivate.
Ke Ke smiled as she said, “Yuhao, I’m going to call you a monster in the future. You’re more of a soul beast than real soul beasts!” There was a sense of affection in her tone.
Huo Yuhao laughed and said, “Don’t call me that. That’ll reveal my background as a student from Shrek Academy, and I hope you haven’t forgotten that we’re a strong competitor to the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. If you push me to the metaphorical wolves, I may end up dead.”
Ke Ke rolled her eyes and said, “Forget it. You’re a Soul Elder, and you’re unphased by Soul Kings like us. You’re afraid?”
Huo Yuhao corrected, “I’m an ofﬁcial Soul Ancestor now!”
Ju Zi put the tent away into her storage-type soul tool and said, “Alright, stop bickering. Let’s leave quickly. I’m more concerned about when this freak will be able to cook for us again.”
Huo Yuhao was still quite far from a complete recovery. However, since he could move freely, it was best to leave the Jing Yang Mountain Range as quickly as possible. Otherwise, if they ran into any strong soul beasts again, they would end up in danger.
Huo Yuhao laughed again and replied, “I can cook anytime.
They could only rely on themselves to leave since the all- terrain exploration soul tool was destroyed. Although Huo Yuhao told them he could walk all by himself, Ju Zi and Ke Ke
still put his hands around their shoulders as they dragged him out of the mountains.
Ke Ke wore a gloomy expression while they walked, “Blegh, Ju Zi. Will I be held accountable for destroying ofﬁcial academy property? The academy will spare me from paying for the soul tools, right? My savings will evaporate! You should know that I exchanged my scholarship money all for precious metals. But now I’m broke! Isn’t it tragic for a Class 5 soul engineer not to have any soul tools?”
Ju Zi snapped, “You still have the cheek to mention this? Just be poor. It’s better to be poor than to be a walking debt time bomb.”
Ke Ke revealed a dismal look. “Sister Ju Zi, lend me some money. Sister~”
As she spoke, she couldn’t help but turn to Huo Yuhao. Huo Yuhao started to break out in a sweat as he saw Ke Ke’s suddenly gentle gaze. “Don’t look at me! I don’t have any money. I was working while studying when I was at Shrek Academy. My soul tools all belong to Shrek Academy. I owe the academy a lot of money right now too.”
Ju Zi pursed her lips and said, “Shrek is so cunning. They have no intention of making you repay your debts. They’re doing everything possible to tie you down. Am I right?”
Huo Yuhao smiled and said, “I’m willing to be tied down. I’ll let you know that I’m an orphan. In my darkest hour, eldest senior brother and Teacher Xiao Ya brought me to Shrek Academy. Everything that I own now was given to me by the academy and the Tang Sect. My life naturally belongs to them, and this will never change.”
Ju Zi looked at Huo Yuhao and said seriously, “What if… I tell you that I can make the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy do even more for you than Shrek Academy ever did, would you stay here? You can list whatever conditions you want.”
Huo Yuhao was stunned, but he turned serious. Saying in a deep voice, “Senior Ju Zi, please don’t speak of such things again. I don’t want to lose a friend like you.”
Ju Zi laughed bitterly. “Although I expected this, it was still worth a try. But you were right. You’re from Shrek. It’s better
if you keep a lower proﬁle in the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy.”
Huo Yuhao nodded slightly. He previously felt a sense of crisis from Ju Zi, but was relieved to feel it vanish. He could subtly feel that this was because Ju Zi’s mentality changed.
They successfully managed to leave the Jing Yang Mountain Range. This mountain range wasn’t comparable to the Great Star Dou Forest. Showcasing this, when they reached the branching trail again, the concentration of soul beasts dropped signiﬁcantly. Ju Zi used some soul tools to scare most of the remainder away, and they managed to leave the mountain range rather easily.
In an area unlikely to be threatened by soul beasts, they found a suitable place to set up a campsite. They rested here.