Unrivaled Tang Sect Volume 28

Book 28: Escape from the Sun Moon Empire

Chapter 337: Purple Golden Butterfly Dragon Transformation

Wang  Dong’er  nodded  lightly  and  replied,  “Yes!  We’ve won...” There was a complicated look in her beautiful eyes at this moment.

She had always believed that she wasn’t that much worse than Huo Yuhao in many different aspects. But after today’s battle, she finally understood that Huo Yuhao was already a class above her in arrangement and delegation, without discussing fighting strength. He lived up to his reputation as a proper control-type soul master!

They were six against four in this group battle, but there was an enormous rift between their overall prowess.

All four of their opponents were evil soul masters who were at least Soul Emperors, and their opponents also had Yan Feng, who possessed a formidable Bone Dragon Martial Soul, and who was also a Soul Sage! Every single one of them possessed the strength to challenge someone one rank above them! They had managed to defeat their opponents in the end despite these circumstances. These evil soul masters had had a long and bright… or dark... future ahead of them, but every single one of them perished at their hands. How incredible was that?Huo Yuhao seemed to have been in control from the
moment Bei Bei fought his first duel to the moment when they concluded the group battle. Every time they were in a dire circumstance, or when they were about to be beaten back, Huo Yuhao would flip another one of his trump cards so that they could turn the tables back around. This had happened again and again all the way until the last moment, when they had eliminated their opponents with an all-out attack and eventually clinched the win.

Wang Dong’er only had pride in her eyes as she hugged and supported Huo Yuhao. This is my man, my man!

Huo Yuhao closed his eyes once more as he leaned against Wang Dong’er’s body and took in her warmth and fragrance. His heart was surging like a volcanic eruption, and he felt as if his spiritual power was sublimating once more in this moment. There was a mystical feeling bouncing about at the bottom of his heart. He didn’t know that Wang Dong’er was feeling proud of him. The entire battle played out rapidly over and over again in his head.

The first merit belonged to Bei Bei in today’s victory. He was heinously wounded to the brink of death, which was the price he had paid for taking care of two evil soul masters and reaching out to Tang Ya, who had been controlled and brainwashed by the evil soul masters. Judging from Tang Ya’s reaction, Bei Bei’s words had been successful. At the very least, Tang Ya had reacted, and her emotions had begun to change because of his words. This proved that the Holy Ghost Church’s hold over Tang Ya wasn’t complete, and this meant Bei Bei had forged a path for them to bring Tang Ya back into the fold in the future.

The group fight came afterwards. All four of the evil soul masters they had faced were very powerful, so he had chosen Gu Yu as their point of entry when the battle first begun. This choice was exceptionally important, because they would only have the confidence to eliminate their weakest opponent within a short period of time by ganging up on him to weaken their adversaries’ overall strength. Xu Sanshi’s contribution was the most substantial one to that end. He had dived deep behind enemy lines so that he could create an opportunity for his teammates, before transporting him and Wang Dong’er so that the group battle could officially commence.

Huo Yuhao had delegated his companion’s abilities one by one. Xiao Xiao had sealed their second-strongest opponent, the Skeleton King, so that they could shave their opponents’ strength from three to two people, and the battle could be simplified even further. However, he hadn’t expected Yan Feng to be so powerful, and he had to reveal one trump card after another to achieve victory in the end.

The Snowless Glacier used together with his Ice Explosion was one of his strongest moves. This combination was so formidable that he had astonished the Dragon Emperor Douluo when he used it against him back then. Huo Yuhao used the same move against Lu Genggeng, the Abomination, and this had been imperative to their battle.

It seemed as if defeating Yan Feng in the end was part of his plan, but he had borne a heavy burden to do so. He had revealed five different trump cards to finally take down Yan Feng! 
Huo Yuhao had basically possessed his body soul’s Second Awakening ever since he returned from the Icefire Yin Yang Well in the Setting Sun Forest, but he had always kept it hidden.

This was the first trump card that he had used against Yan Feng.

His second trump card was his Light of Destiny, and his Destiny Gaze. Huo Yuhao rarely used this ability, and it seemed like something that didn’t possess any offensive or defensive capabilities on the surface, but Huo Yuhao knew that this ability could turn the tides in battle.

This ability focused on lowering his opponent’s luck and increasing his own. If he hadn’t used his Destiny Gaze, dealing with Yan Feng’s assault afterwards and using the rest of his trump cards wouldn’t have been so smooth!

The Spiritual Shock that was used with his Eye of Destiny was so effective because of his Destiny Gaze. His third trump card that came afterwards was even more important. His next trump card was his purplish-golden projection.

Huo Yuhao only went through with this attempt after making brave and nonconservative judgments. Furthermore, this was their first time using this, and it could possibly be their last. This was the most important trump card that had enabled them to defeat Yan Feng in the end.

He hadn’t created any new martial soul fusion skills with Wang Dnog’er when the two golden projections merged together. The reason was because it wasn’t just the two of them fusing together, there was someone else! Yes, there was a third person besides the two of them. The third person was Wang Qiu’er!

This was similar to how he had discreetly helped Wang Qiu’er against her powerful opponents. This time, Wang Qiu’er was the one who had lent them a hand, and he had used Imitation to accomplish this feat.

Wang Qiu’er had actually been beside them since the moment they got on the competition stage. She had been with them all the way, until the entire round was over. Huo Yuhao had communicated with Wang Dong’er and Wang Qiu’er through his Spiritual Detection at the most crucial moment, and he went through with something that was unprecedented for them.

His Eye of Destiny had been evolving continuously as he became stronger. This was especially so when Huo Yuhao obtained his body soul’s Second Awakening, which had evolved his Eye of Destiny to an exceptionally powerful level and given him even stronger abilities. The ability he’d used today was called Fate Conversion. Fate Conversion allowed him to lower his opponent’s luck and raise his at the same time. Huo Yuhao could absorb his opponent’s luck while lowering it to further boost his own at the same time.

Huo Yuhao had tried something new under such circumstances... a three-in-one martial soul fusion skill!

Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong’er, and Wang Qiu’er were all capable of undergoing martial soul fusions. Furthermore, their fusion had an almost one hundred percent compatibility. Therefore, he made a courageous guess. If one straight line was parallel to two other lines at the same time, then the other two lines would still be parallel to each other. In other words, all three straight lines would be parallel to one another. Since I can fuse with either one of them, why can’t the three of us fuse together?

Fusion skills had always been a process of sublimating one’s abilities. There had been more than one instance of three-in- one martial soul fusion skills in the history of soul masters.

This had happened before within Shrek Academy. Ten thousand years ago, Shrek Academy’s forefathers – Dean Flanders, Yu Xiaogang, and Liu Erlong – used a three-in-one fusion skill to summon the formidable Golden Holy Dragon.

Yu Xiaogang was the Dragon God Douluo, Mu En and Bei Bei’s mutated Blue Lightning Tyrant Dragon’s ancestor.

If the people who came before me could do that, can I do the same with my increased luck? Huo Yuhao only took a few seconds to contemplate this question.

Yan Feng was simply too powerful, far more so than he had initially expected. Huo Yuhao had prepared other trump cards against him, but he had realized in that moment that the trump cards that he had prepared beforehand didn’t seem like they would be enough.

How did Yan Feng accidentally kill Lu Genggeng? That was Huo Yuhao’s fourth trump card—Spiritual Interference Domain.

Yes, it was a Domain!

Spiritual Interference wasn’t as valuable before, but it was a pity to let it go. Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power had gotten stronger as he had, and that allowed his Spiritual Interference to be used together with his Imitation. This gave rise to his Spiritual Interference Domain.

Huo Yuhao could change someone’s vision and senses within a certain range with Spiritual Interference and Imitation, so that his opponent would be enmeshed in his confusion and deceit. Yan Feng was extremely powerful, but he was still tricked into thinking that Lu Genggeng was his enemy, and he ended up lashing out and killing his own teammate. It was clear how powerful this ability was! Huo Yuhao hadn’t put everything he had into this Domain because he had to leave something for his three-in-one fusion skill. Otherwise, with his current abilities and his body soul’s Second Awakening, he would still be able to use his Spiritual Interference Domain to ensure that his entire team could return safely.

Reality proved that Huo Yuhao’s courageous hypothesis worked. Under immense pressure from their enemies, Wang Dong’er and Wang Qiu’er set aside their differences and opinions so that all three of them could align themselves together. They managed to complete their unrivaled and magnificent fusion under Huo Yuhao’s forceful guidance.

Huo Yuhao himself didn’t expect that their fusion would be so different after it had been completed. They were set for victory once he showed his fourth trump card.

The heavy downpour was enormously beneficial for Huo Yuhao, who possessed Ultimate Ice. His strength climbed exponentially under such circumstances.

Their three-in-one fusion skill also raised his control over ice to another level. 
Wang Dong’er’s element of light and her Clear Sky Hammer, Wang Qiu’er’s strength, and Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power and Ultimate Ice, were all thrown into the same pot. How powerful was that?

Huo Yuhao thought of an appropriate name in an instant.

Huo Yuhao was the one controlling this three-in-one fusion skill, so he hadn’t channeled his own abilities into it. Instead, he drew upon Wang Dong’er and Wang Qiu’er’s abilities. He called it the Purple and Gold Draconic Butterfly Transformation.

This was a fusion skill superior even to the Solitary Dance Amidst the Frost, Raiment of Light.

Huo Yuhao finally revealed his last trump card when they were using the Purple Golden Butterfly Dragon Transformation. This trump card was also the most important reason why he was confident that they could clinch this victory through the group battle. Not long before this, Huo Yuhao had realized something very fortunate had happened to him.

The Ice Empress had awoken! 
The Ice Empress had been in hibernation because she had expended too much of her power when she fused with the Snow Empress back then, but now she was finally awake!

The Ice Empress waking up had finally allowed Huo Yuhao to master his fourth soul ring’s last ability, which came about after his second martial soul, the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion, merged with the Snow Empress’ spirit.

His second martial soul was the Ice Empress, but four of his five soul rings originated from the Snow Empress’ spirit. The three skills that had been bestowed upon him were: the Unparalleled Chill, Empress’ Sword; the Snowless Glacier; and the Snowy Dance of the Brilliant Sun. Of the three powerful soul skills, the Snowy Dance of the Brilliant Sun fused with the Domain of Perpetual Ice that came with Huo Yuhao’s Ice Empress skeleton, and that formed his first Domain, the Snowy Dance of Ultimate Ice.

However, the Snowy Dance of Perpetual Ice didn’t distinguish between friend and foe. Huo Yuhao’s current physical state and his restricted movement made it hard for him to control it. This was the main reason why he hadn’t used it in the tournament’s previous rounds.

Huo Yuhao had never used his fifth and last soul ring before, the same orange-golden soul ring that came from the Ice Empress. Before this, he had no idea what he had to do to activate his fifth soul ring.

But not too long ago…

The Ice Empress woke up because Huo Yuhao had continually absorbed the Ultimate Ice origin energy of heaven and earth, and only then did Huo Yuhao learn that the Snow Empress’ last soul skill had to be fused with the Ice Empress’ powers before it could be used. This was a powerful soul skill that surpassed even his Empress’ Chill.

Pride of the Ice and Snow Empresses!

Huo Yuhao couldn’t use this mighty soul skill with his current soul power, and he could only barely make it work when he was using the Raiment of Light with Wang Dong’er. 
But after completing the Purple Golden Butterfly Dragon Transformation, he managed to unleash Pride of the Ice and Snow Empresses, and he was even able to maximize its power at their current cultivation ranks. He had even completely eradicated Yan Feng’s incredibly tough Skeletal Dragon True Body!

Even Wang Dong’er was astonished at the number of trump cards that he had. Huo Yuhao was in total control of their victory in the group battle. Of course, Wang Qiu’er was discreetly helping them from the shadows.

---

The Tang Sect had won.

They’d defeated the Holy Ghost Sect, which had possessed seven formidable evil soul masters. Furthermore, six of the Holy Ghost Sect’s elite youngsters were killed, with the lone exception of Tang Ya. This was undoubtedly a huge blow for the Holy Ghost Church, which was backing the Holy Ghost Sect.

The Skeletal Dragon was gone, so Jiang Nannan broke out of her prison. The Skeleton King was dead, and so Xiao Xiao was back on the competition stage once more.

With Wang Dong’er’s support, Huo Yuhao used his control over ice to melt the ice on He Caitou and Xu Sanshi’s bodies.

Every single one of them was exhausted and spent from everything they had given in this match. However, their eyes were sparkling as they got back together on the competition stage, and only pride could be seen in their eyes.

This was a pride and arrogance that belonged to the Tang Sect and Shrek Academy at the same time.

The six of them placed their hands together in midair. Huo Yuhao raised his head towards the sky and hollered, “Tang Sect!” “Tang Sect! Tang Sect! Tang Sect!” they shouted as loudly as they could.

Yes, this glory belonged to the Tang Sect! They had defeated evil, and justice and righteousness were always bound to win!

In this moment, the competition stage and the entire Continental Elite Youth Soul Master Tournament belonged to the Tang Sect!

The audience was shaken by the Tang Sect’s aura and the atmosphere they were creating, and some people unwittingly began to chant along with the Tang Sect’s voices, to the point where the organizing committee finally recovered from their astonishment and immediately escorted the Tang Sect’s team off the competition stage.

But the audience was reluctant to leave, and the spectacular and dazzling scenes replayed again and again in their minds. The Tang Sect’s name had been deeply imprinted in their minds! It was from this moment that the Tang Sect’s reputation resonated across the entire Continent!

---

Inside the resting area, the Scorpion Tiger Douluo worked hard on Tang Ya. Her eyes had become cold and icy once more, but when she heard the Tang Sect’s torrential exclamations, the confusion and vacancy in her eyes seemed to crack a little more, and another dash of clarity filled the gap. A thoughtful look flickered once in her eyes as she watched the people on the competition stage.

The mysterious black-robed lady sitting beside her raised her head slightly, and a thick scorching aura emanated faintly from her body. This thickness was filled with limitless hostility and murderous intent.

---

An elderly man smiled faintly in the spectator’s grandstand as he muttered under his breath, “You had foresight, Elder Mu. He is the Ultimate Soldier that the Shrek Academy has produced, and he’s finally grown up after the ordeal that he went through the last time. When he can get back up on his feet, Shrek Academy will possess a true Ultimate Soldier who belongs to us.”

---

Na Na stayed behind to take care of Bei Bei, but Ji Juechen, Jing Ziyan, and Nan Qiuqiu raced onto the competition stage. Ji Juechen carried Xu Sanshi off, while Jing Ziyan and Nan Qiuqiu helped an exhausted and fatigued Wang Dong’er take care of Huo Yuhao, who was back in his wheelchair.

“You  guys  are  so  fantastic!”  Nan  Qiuqiu  embraced  Wang Dong’er, and pecked her on her soft and tender lips. Wang Dong’er was a little taken aback, and her beautiful pale cheeks tinged with redness.

“Qiuqiu…” Wang Dong’er’s voice sounded a little blaming and displeased.

Nan Qiuqiu couldn’t detect Wang Dong’er’s embarrassment and shyness. She continued elatedly, “The Tang Sect is the best! The Tang Sect is the best! We won, we won! Haha, if only I had been able to fight, too!”

Jing Ziyan seemed a little despondent. “If only I had been born a few years earlier.”

Ji Juechen stared at Huo Yuhao solemnly and muttered, “What state were you in during that transformation? I want to try fighting against that.”

Huo Yuhao rolled his eyes and said, “You’ll have your chance in the future. However, you have to make sure that you’re stronger than Yan Feng before that.”

“Are you feeling very good about yourselves?”  an old and deep voice boomed angrily, interrupting them like a volcanic eruption.

Everyone turned around to look. The Scorpion Tiger Douluo, Zhang Peng, was staring at them insidiously. There was only ferocity and savagery in his eyes. Among the Holy Ghost Sect’s participating members in this competition, the Skeleton King, Tang Dai, was the Scorpion Tiger Douluo’s personal disciple! The Purple Golden Butterfly Dragon Transformation had defeated and killed the Bone Dragon as well, and it didn’t help that the Holy Ghost Church had put in so much effort to nurture this group of young evil soul masters. The Holy Ghost Church had sustained heavy losses even though they still had Tang Ya, and this blow was so heavy that the mysterious Imperial Tutor almost couldn’t hold himself back, let alone Zhang Peng!

“So what if we’re feeling good about ourselves?”  Newborn calves were not afraid of tigers, and Nan Qiuqiu had that classic personality. She rebuked Zhang Peng’s ice-cold accusation, and she didn’t show any weakness at all.

Zhang Peng’s eyes closed into slits as he nodded and said, “Good! Good, good! Let’s go.”

He suppressed the impulse to explode as he spoke, and he took Tang Ya, the mysterious girl in black, and the reserve evil soul masters, and they left quickly. The gloomy and eerie atmosphere in the resting lounge vanished once they disappeared, and there was a very refreshing feeling in its place.

The rainstorm was gone, and the thick dark clouds in the sky separated as enchanting sunlight peeked from between them and shone on the competition stage, and onto the audience in the resting area.

The radiant golden color and the unique warmth that only sunlight possessed put a charming smile on many people’s faces.

Wang Qiu’er walked over to Huo Yuhao and lowered her voice as she spoke. “I’ve returned what I owed you. We’ll meet again in the finals.”

Huo Yuhao smiled and said, “Thank you, Qiu’er.”

Wang Qiu’er felt her heart skip a beat as she met his sincere gaze, but she swiftly turned around and waved as she led Shrek Academy’s team away. Dai Huabin, Wu Feng, Zhu Lu and the others seemed a little lost and vacant when they passed Huo Yuhao, because they were clear that they had no chance of catching up with this fellow in a wheelchair, not even in the future. The rivalry and animosity between them seemed to disappear after today’s
match.

Huo Yuhao’s lips moved as he mouthed something to Wang Qiu’er soundlessly.

Wang Qiu’er paused for a moment as she was walking forward, before she rapidly departed.

Huo Yuhao shut his eyes. He was quite exhausted, but there was a smile at the corner of his mouth.

------

The end of this round opened the curtains for another great battle. This was just the beginning! The Continental Elite Youth Soul Master Tournament was nearing its end as it reached this stage.

The semi-finals were over, and the Tang Sect and Shrek Academy had successfully defeated their opponents to reach the finals. For some people, it didn’t matter which team emerged victorious in the end. The fight that seemed like some kind of family infighting would take place the following day.

Everyone returned to their respective rooms back at the hotel to rest, and Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’er retired to their own room.

There was no need to hide anything anymore, and the two of them placed their palms together as they channeled their Haodong power and regenerated their soul power. But there was something dark and shadowy riling up in Radiant City...

-------

Radiant City’s Dinghou Main Street was located in a residential area lined with short houses near the western suburbs. It was called a main street, but it was just a small path that couldn’t be considered wide or spacious.

The western suburbs had always been the place where the citizens in the lowest strata of society lived. There were hardly any tall buildings or skyscrapers in the area, only large patches of short houses. There were enormous stone mountains further to the west, which formed the Sun Moon Mountain Range.

There was a small restaurant on Dinghou Main Street; it couldn’t have had much more than a thousand feet of floor space. There were four or five tables laid out inside. This restaurant could not be considered splendid or magnificent. Describing it as simple and plain was already a compliment. This place served only the simplest meals.

The sky had gone dark at this point, but this was Radiant City’s busiest and most bustling time. This was especially true due to the exceptionally thrilling semifinals that everybody was talking about.

Dinghou Main Street’s little restaurant was broken-down and decrepit, but every single seat was occupied, and there were even two extra tables set up near the entrance... 
There were three people seated at the farthest table inside the restaurant. They seemed a little strange, as they had conical bamboo hats over their heads and veils draped over their faces. It was difficult to make out their physical appearances, and even their figures were hidden beneath wide, oversized robes.

The person seated at the innermost corner said said, “I didn’t expect this to happen.”  She had a bright and crisp voice, but she wasn’t loud. Her voice had a limpid and sweet-sounding quality.

Another woman’s voice rang out to her right. Her charming and enchanting voice was filled with lament as she said, “Yes! Who would’ve thought that the Tang Sect could defeat the Holy Ghost Sect? Sister Zhang, do you know what ability they used at the end?”


The voice that belonged to the leftmost girl had a special feminine quality. She answered, “I’m not sure, either. However, it’s true that everyone from the Tang Sect can be considered the most elite and outstanding individuals from the academy’s younger generation.”

The  innermost  girl  said,  “Given  enough  time,  they  will definitely become Shrek Academy’s mainstays and cornerstones. But I don’t understand, why didn’t they represent Shrek Academy in this tournament? If they had Wang Qiu’er, they would’ve had an easier time claiming the championship.”

The innermost lady was the Star Luo Empire’s princess, Xu Jiujiu, while the girl sitting on the right was the Heavenly Soul Empire’s princess, Wei Na. The girl on the left was Shrek Academy’s eldest senior sister, Zhang Lexuan.

Who would have expected that these three ladies who represented three different powers would come together in such a small and dilapidated restaurant? But it was easier to avoid discovery in a place like this.

Zhang Lexuan smiled casually and said, “They have their own reasons. Our academy isn’t a sect after all, and we won’t hold them back.” Xu Jiujiu didn’t continue harping on the issue, even though she was shaken and dumbfounded when the Tang Sect eradicated the Holy Ghost Sect’s entire team without losing a single team member of their own. No matter what, Shrek’s Seven Monsters made up the Tang Sect’s core, and even though
Xu Jiujiu and Wei Na looked up to them, they still weren’t those top-tier powerful individuals. The two princesses had many more responsibilities than just the tournament.

Xu Jiujiu lowered her voice and said, “How are things looking on your side, Sister Zhang?”

Zhang Lexuan naturally knew what she was trying to say. She tilted her head and said, “I’ve discussed it with our elders, and we have decided to participate in your operation.”

Both Xu Jiujiu and Wei Na trembled at the same time as they heard this. There was nothing more exciting than this piece of news for either of them.

“Alright. Our chances are so much better with your aid.” Xu Jiujiu planted her hands on the table excitedly. Even though she deliberately kept her voice down, the other two girls could still hear the exhilaration in her voice. 
Wei Na nodded as well and said, “That’s great! We have to unite in the face of a great enemy, and I hope this will serve as a beneficial beginning. The Sun Moon Empire isn’t impregnable, no matter how strong they are.”

The Heavenly Soul Empire and the Star Luo Empire felt a lot more urgency in dealing with the Sun Moon Empire, at least compared to Shrek Academy. These two empires would have to take the vanguard if the Sun Moon Empire launched an invasion.

Zhang Lexuan whispered, “Alright, let’s talk about the details. Time is of the essence, and we will go back to making the necessary arrangements after our discussion. You don’t have to hide the details of our operation anymore.”

Xu Jiujiu nodded at once. She harbored no suspicions about Zhang Lexuan. Given Shrek Academy’s status on the Continent, they wouldn’t leak details about the operation even if they weren’t participating. Furthermore, Shrek Academy had already declared that they would participate, and they wouldn’t go back on their word. This was the reputation and trust that Shrek Academy had accumulated and built up over the years. Both empires also knew about Zhang Lexuan’s entry into the Sea God’s Pavilion. Her presence was enough to represent the entire academy.

The three women’s’ voices faded into silence, and only their mouths shifted up and down behind their veils.

--------

“How are things going?” Xu Tianran leaned against a soft couch. His eyes were closed into slits, but they were sparkling with emotion as he stared at a man completely covered in black kneeling not far from the couch.

“Your Highness, the arrangements have been made. Soldiers have been delegated in the north, south, and east. Every single region is anchored by Class 9 soul engineers, and every spot has more than five stationary soul cannon shells. They should know about our setup due to our deliberate leaks.”

Xu Tianran laughed grimly and said, “How about the west?
How are preparations going?” The man in black said, “We are prepared in the west as well. Those people from before are still at the western front, and we have given them one last chance.”

Xu  Tianran  nodded  and  said,  “Very  well  done.  Continue making preparations, and make sure that everyone is on the highest alert and vigilance over the next two days, so that we can be prepared for every possibility. You may leave.”

“Yes,  Your  Highness,”   the  man  in  black  acknowledged respectfully.

He stood up and quickly vanished into the darkness.

A thoughtful look appeared on Xu Tianran’s face. “I hope they make the right choice, and that they choose the western path. We won’t have to expend so much effort and energy that way.”

With that, his body suddenly drifted up from the soft couch he was on, and he floated over to his wheelchair without releasing his martial soul. He pushed forward with his hands through his sleeves, and his wheelchair began sliding out. 
------

The epic fight between the Tang Sect and the Holy Ghost Sect made the city’s atmosphere a lot warmer and more enthusiastic. Everything settled down overnight, and Radiant City seemed exceptionally calm and quiet when dawn broke the next day. It felt as if the entire city was still in a deep slumber, and it wasn’t about to wake up for a long time.

Huo Yuhao was up early in the morning. He had astonishing regenerative abilities, and he also had the Haodong Power that he shared with Wang Dong’er. He felt as if he had been revived after the previous night’s rest. He was full of energy and vitality this morning.

Wang Dong’er pushed his wheelchair into Bei Bei’s room after they had breakfast.

Wang Dong’er knocked twice on the door, with no response. She was just about to use the room key that Bei Bei had given Huo Yuhao, the door opened from the inside. Zhang Lexuan was the one who opened the door. Her eyes seemed red and swollen, as if she had just been crying.

“Uh… hello, eldest senior sister. Why don’t we come back later?” Huo Yuhao looked a little awkwardly at Zhang Lexuan.

Zhang Lexuan frowned and said, “Come in. I’ve just finished delivering breakfast to Bei Bei and tending to his wounds.” She stepped aside and let them in.

Wang Dong’er’s gaze was a little strange as she pushed Huo Yuhao into Bei Bei’s room.

There was a thick medicinal smell in the room; nobody trusted the Sun Moon Empire to send someone to heal Bei Bei’s wounds. Instead, Shrek Academy sent a healing-type soul master to complete this task.

Bei Bei’s face was very pale as he lay in bed. This was the second time he had sustained severe injuries since coming to Radiant City. He had suffered internal injuries last time, and he was recovering from heavy external injuries this time. However, Bei Bei’s eyes seemed as bright as ever; his wounds were severe, but his condition had stabilized after treatment. Powerful soul masters had bodies far stronger and tougher than normal
people, and external wounds healed far quicker than internal ones.

“I’m going to go back. We will follow the plan.” Zhang Lexuan seemed to revert to the majestic and dignified eldest senior sister. She nodded at Bei Bei, then at Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’er, before she turned to leave. She even closed the door behind her.

Wang Dong’er pushed Huo Yuhao over to Bei Bei’s bedside. Huo Yuhao asked concernedly, “How are you feeling, eldest senior brother?”

Bei Bei smiled faintly and said, “Don’t worry, I’m fine. My injuries are lighter than you think; Xiao Ya’s Bluesilver Grass didn’t shatter my bones, and it passed between my ribs. I managed to deliberately dislocate four of my ribs in the nick of time to avoid direct contact, and I also deliberately shifted my organs aside. My injuries seem bad, but they are simple external injuries. I feel a lot better after treatment, and my ribs and organs have returned to their original positions.”

Huo Yuhao’s eyes lit up as he listened to Bei Bei’s words. My eldest senior brother is such a great strategist.

“I wonder how teacher Xiao Ya is doing,” Huo Yuhao lamented.

Bei Bei replied, “I carefully felt her spiritual undulations when we were together. I could feel that her spirit was obscured behind a layer of filth, and her personal consciousness had been completely silenced and locked away. Fortunately, her memories haven’t been removed. The evil soul masters sealed her memories so that they could maintain her fighting will. They used their sinister abilities to gradually shift and change her personality, so that her memories from the past would slowly fade away. They didn’t directly remove her memories, as doing so would affect her cultivation. Her circumstances could be much worse.

“I sustained injuries as a price so that I could trigger some kind of reaction from Xiao Ya. What happened afterwards proved that I was quite successful, and I think I’ve managed to break through a crack to Xiao Ya’s silenced inner heart. Even though the evil soul masters sealed it up again right away, how can it be so easy to seal her away entirely?”

A confident smile broke out across Bei Bei’s face. Compared to before, he seemed as if he possessed extraordinary intelligence, and the resolve to face anything that came his way.

Huo Yuhao felt a little fearful as he said exasperatedly, “Eldest senior brother, are you saying all this just to console us?”

“Ahem,”  Bei  Bei  cleared  his  throat  twice  and  said,  “Why would I do that? I’m saying all this so that I can strengthen your confidence. Yesterday was so close! Who can match you in terms of secrets, depth, and hiding abilities? You really caught everyone’s attention and gained everyone’s respect after yesterday’s match. However, you have been placed at the heart of the struggle, where the wind and the waves are the fiercest. The Holy Ghost Church probably hates you to the core.”

Huo Yuhao smiled and answered, “Let them hate me, it’s not like I can control their emotions anyway. Eldest senior brother, did you arrange everything with eldest senior sister when she came by?”

Bei  Bei  nodded  and  said,  “Everything  has  been  arranged. What an exciting and busy night we shall have! I wonder what will become of Radiant City tomorrow morning, when the finals are about to begin.”

Huo Yuhao said, “Since you’ve already enjoyed eldest senior sister’s breakfast filled with love, we don’t have to give you the food that we’ve brought for you. You should have a good rest; Dong’er and I will take our leave.”

Chapter 338: Ju Zi's Reminder

Bei Bei snapped, “You dare slander your eldest senior brother? Go, go!”

Huo Yuhao chortled as Wang Dong’er pushed his wheelchair out.

“Yuhao!” Bei Bei suddenly called.

Huo Yuhao turned back.

Bei Bei lowered his voice and said, “You have to prioritize your own safety if tonight’s operation cannot be completed. You’re the true future of the academy and the Tang Sect, and you cannot brave any dangers. Do you understand?”

Huo  Yuhao  smiled  faintly,  and  answered,  “Rest  assured, eldest senior brother. Have we not arranged this way before? According to our plan, everything will be fine. Don’t forget, I can…” He stopped talking, and gestured with his hands. Bei Bei’s expression softened and relaxed as he nodded lightly and said, “Still, please be careful.”

“Yes.”

---

Wang Dong’er pushed Huo Yuhao out of Bei Bei’s room and returned to their own.

“Now that I think about it, I’m looking forward to tonight.” Wang Dong’er’s eyes suddenly grew excited as she shut the door behind her.

Huo Yuhao turned to look at her and said seriously, “Dong’er, when we are going through with the operation tonight, you can’t…”

“I know, I know, I have to think about the big picture. You’ve said that so many times.” Wang Dong’er smiled enchantingly as she spoke. However, a thread of anxiety quickly flowed through her eyes. “But I’m worried about you when I’m not by your side. Furthermore, you have to face so many more dangers and perils tonight compared to the rest of us. You have to control two situations at once, it’s going to be so tiring for you. In the event that you’re exposed, you don’t have to care about us. We will be able to escape even if we have to fight our way out forcefully. You must take care of yourself.”

Huo Yuhao nodded. He grasped Wang Dong’er’s hands and pulled her over to his side as he placed his arms around her slim waist and leaned in.

“I’m worried about one thing right now… the road we have to take when we are leaving. Eh?” Huo Yuhao was still leaning against Wang Dong’er when he suddenly sat up straight, and his eyes became a lot sharper and more focused than before.

He was staring at the tea table in the room.

Huo Yuhao had always been cautious and careful. He had swept the room with his spiritual power habitually when they came back, and he always started from one direction before he rotated his spiritual power in a circle so that he could make his sweep as thorough as he could. Huo Yuhao could feel that something wasn’t right when his spiritual power came across the tea table, because there was an extra something on top.

There was a letter, and it was definitely not there when they left for breakfast before this.

Wang Dong’er immediately raised her guard and half- squatted like a leopard. She leaned in close to Huo Yuhao’s body, and spiritual undulations instantly rippled from her body as she prepared to adapt and react to any eventuality.

Huo Yuhao waved his hand and said, “There’s no danger. I’m not sure who placed this here, but it looks like someone thoughtful.” He waved his right hand at the letter on the tabletop as he spoke, and used the Tang Sect’s Capturing Crane Controlling Dragon. The letter floated into the air and drifted towards him.

Wang Dong’er raised her right hand, and thin rays of faint golden light waltzed through the air as they nimbly removed the letter from the envelope without damaging its contents at all. Their teamwork seemed very casual, but there was so much tacit understanding in it.

The letter opened up in midair to reveal a row of small and graceful words.

“Leave immediately! The western side is still safe for now.
Hurry, hurry!”

No name was left at the end, there was only a circular marking.

Wang Dong’er’s eyebrows knitted faintly as she snapped around to look at Huo Yuhao. Huo Yuhao contemplated for a moment before an awkward look surfaced on his face.

“You know who sent this?” Wang Dong’er was very sensitive, and she could immediately tell from his expression that he knew.

Huo Yuhao tilted his head and said, “It should be Ju Zi. I’ve seen this mark before. She used to leave this mark behind on the soul tools she created back at the Sun Moon Academy.”

Wang Dong’er grunted and said, “You’re getting it on with girls everywhere, huh? So, it’s a letter from an old flame.”

Huo Yuhao forced a laugh and said, “Now’s not the time to be jealous, Dong’er. Plus, don’t you already know my heart? There’s no space for anybody else in my heart but you.”

Wang Dong’er giggled and snatched the letter from the air. “I don’t get jealous so easily. But Ju Zi is very nice to you, indeed. She risked being discovered to send you a letter at a time such as this. You have to remember her feelings and her favor!”

Huo Yuhao tilted his head once more and said, “It seems like the situation is a lot more perilous than we had originally imagined.”

Huo Yuhao flicked the letter in his hands lightly and scrutinized the words once more. He lowered his voice and said, “I can tell from the words that Ju Zi knows some things about what the Sun Moon Empire wants to do against us. However, she’s from the Sun Moon Empire after all, and she’s also engaged to the crown prince. I don’t think she wants to tell us too much. Things are probably going to change, and chaos may break out after the finals. The Sun Moon Empire and the Holy Ghost Church might make a move against us immediately afterwards.”

Wang Dong’er asked, “The letter says that the western side is still safe for now. What does that mean? Does this mean that our judgments before this were wrong?”

Huo Yuhao laughed bitterly and replied, “The western side is our only choice whether or not our predictions and judgments are wrong. The news that our eldest senior sister has given us is simply too astounding. There are Class 9 stationary soul cannons locking down the other three sides. Those are frightening forces that are sufficient to kill Titled Douluo, and possibly even Transcendent Douluo. They are considered the Sun Moon Empire’s strategic weapons, and they are taking out so many of them at once this time. It’s clear that they have made up their minds. Furthermore, they must have complementary locator-type soul tools with them.”

“The Star Luo Empire gave us that information. That also means that Xu Jiujiu, Wei Na, and the others all know about this. There is no question that they will choose the western path as well – under such circumstances, we will become even weaker and more isolated if we choose to break through one the other three fronts by ourselves. It’s better if we concentrate our forces and make an attempt on the western front. It’s a pity that she didn’t mention what the situation was like on the
western side.”

Wang Dong’er said, “I believed at the start that working together with the Body Sect was like asking a tiger for its skin. They don’t typically do things like normal people. Furthermore, the plan cannot keep up with everything that’s happening. Everybody might be in danger when the time comes.”

Huo Yuhao continued, “The Tang Sect is the smallest target, and that’s our only advantage for now. Furthermore, if we end up facing an unbeatable foe, or we find ourselves in irrevocable danger, I can only expose myself and take everyone into my demiplane of specters. At most, we can hide in there for some time before coming back out. Radiant City can’t stay locked down forever. Anyhow, we will follow the other three main powers to break through the western front when the time comes, and if something happens or problems arise, I will immediately hide and protect myself.” Wang Dong’er said, “Alright. Fortunately, you have still have that trump card. I wouldn’t be so agreeable to this, otherwise.”

Huo Yuhao said, “We should plan more carefully so that we can plug any loopholes that might appear as tightly as we can.”

“Okay.”

------

The deathly silence in Radiant City lasted all the way till midday. The overly excited citizens from yesterday were slowly waking up, and everything seemed to return to normal.

However, the final that was about to happen the next day seemed to be a little colorless compared to the Tang Sect’s epic fight against the Holy Ghost Sect the previous day. It was clear that the Tang Sect was undoubtedly stronger than Shrek Academy, as they had managed to defeat the Holy Ghost Sect. However, the only uncertainty was how much the Tang Sect could recover after their excessive exhaustion and consumption from their previous battle. The sun slunk towards the west as time continued to pass, and Radiant City’s atmosphere became a little more bustling. The reason for that was because another tournament close to home was about to begin. This was also the final round!

The Radiant City Elite Soul Engineering Tournament, organized by the three underground organizations, was about to have its grand finals tonight.

The three underground organizations sent forth three soul engineers each.

The grand finals’ betting process was spectacular and colorful. There were many details regarding the nine participating soul engineers circulating around.

The audience was allowed to bet on rankings, on the first three, and on the champion. There were several other strange betting options for the rankings, and many gamblers were spoiled for choice.

The three underground organizations thought as long and hard as they could in order to maximize their profits. They unleashed every single ounce of their influence so that they could lead as many citizens to the grand finals, and so that these citizens could participate in the last betting phase of the tournament.

The prizes that the participating soul engineers stood to win in the grand finals were extremely generous and luxurious.

The final champion would win a Class 9 soul tool. The soul tool itself was a priceless item, and the champion would also win one ton of rare metals that the champion could choose at his or her own discretion at the same time.

Forty-nine rare metals would be available for the picking when the time came, as long as the total weight didn’t exceed one ton, and each of the rare metals didn’t weigh more than a hundred kilos.

The first and second runners-up had prizes as well, but these prizes were stark in comparison to what the champion would receive. They didn’t get Class 9 soul tools, and would only get one ton of rare metals. The remaining soul engineers wouldn’t win a single dime.

This reward system was undoubtedly aimed at instigating the nine participating soul engineers’ competitiveness and will to win.

Furthermore, these were the prizes that were to be given on the surface. The three underground organizations each had their own form of encouragement for their participating soul engineers, and these soul engineers would receive plentiful rewards from their respective organizations if they won something in the grand finals.

This attractive reward system was the reason why so many young soul engineers had participated in this tournament.

------

Inside the Green Hotel...

“Tang Si and Tang Wu aren’t here yet? Did you not inform them about the timing?” Third Elder glared at Chen An solemnly, and his eyes became a little cold and eerie.

Chen An’s forehead broke out in a cold sweat as he said hurriedly, “I have informed them. I informed them a long time ago, I told them right after the semifinals ended that they had to be here early today, so that we could make some final preparations.”

“Hmph! If they don’t show up on time, you will compensate the Duskwater Alliance’s losses. You’ll have to pay with your life,” Third Elder muttered coldly. 
“Calm down, teacher. I believe they’ll be here soon. In the end, the rewards are very generous and extravagant.” Ninety- Six, Huang Zheng, chimed in with a smile on his face. He was as calm and steady as he had always been. This was in stark contrast to Ninety-Eight standing beside him, who had already been eliminated from the tournament. Ninety-Eight’s face seemed a little dark and gloomy.

The only thought in Mocke’s head was his Darkness Green Dragon.

“Don’t trouble him anymore, Old Three. I believe that kid will arrive. We need to have a proper discussion with him after the tournament.”

A deep and thick voice rang out; the Duskwater Alliance Master, Nangong Wan, appeared in the hotel’s main lobby.

The entire green hotel seemed like it was under martial law as uncountable men in black filled up half of its main hall. Nangong Wan, Old Three, Mocke and Huang Zheng stood in the center of the main hall, along with several large trunks. What they contained was obvious; these trunks were used to carry the rare metals that were to be used for the tournament!

Sounds travelled from the entrance right at this moment.

Under the guidance of two men in black, a wheelchair appeared in Nangong Wan and Third Elder’s field of view.

Huo Yuhao had become Tang Wu, and he was still wearing a cold and solemn look on his face. He Caitou had become Tang Si, and he was wearing a mask as always.

Nangong Wan and Third Elder appeared a lot more delighted when they appeared, and Chen An hurriedly went forward to welcome them.

“You guys are finally here, my honorable guests.”  He didn’t dare to question why Huo Yuhao was late, and he gave him a light nod when their gazes met to signal that the deal that they had agreed upon was prepared and everything was fine. A faint smile appeared at the corner of Huo Yuhao’s mouth, and he returned a look to signal that everything was in place on his end as well.

Nangong Wan came forward personally to greet them. “You guys made it here in the end, and all is well as long as you guys are on time. The Duskwater Alliance’s honor and glory will be on your shoulders to uphold and defend.”

“Naturally, we will do our best,” Huo Yuhao replied in a cold mutter.

Huo Yuhao was wary and cautious of these two people, who could well be elders of the Holy Ghost Church. Huo Yuhao couldn’t determine their strength with his current cultivation, and their power could definitely be described as deep and immeasurable.

The Holy Ghost Church’s mighty influence and strength had gradually entered Huo Yuhao’s field of view as they gradually surfaced in the world. The Dragon God Douluo, Mu En, had told Huo Yuhao before that evil soul masters had a very difficult time becoming Titled Douluo. However, Huo Yuhao was sure that the Holy Ghost Church, which had been through many years of experience and history, should have mastered a way for evil soul masters to
break through that barrier. Of all the evil soul masters that he had seen so far, four or five were undoubtedly Titled Douluo… and the two men in front of him were at least Titled Douluo. The Sea God’s Pavilion’s elders would have a real headache if they had to face these guys, let alone himself.

Furthermore, Huo Yuhao didn’t know what positions they held within the Holy Ghost Church. He knew that their ranks couldn’t be that low, as the Duskwater Alliance controlled nearly half of the overall underground economy. The Duskwater Alliance was the Holy Ghost Church’s financial source, so it had to be under the command of people who were relatively higher in rank and status.

Nangong Wan stared at Huo Yuhao curiously and said, “You gave me a very strong and lasting impression when we last met, Tang Wu, my little friend. We have to get a little closer to each other after the tournament.” Huo Yuhao immediately put up a wary and cautious expression as he said, “There’s nothing to be close about. I’m just here for the tournament, and I won’t establish any connections with your underground organizations.”

Nangong Wan laughed heartily and replied, “That’s alright. We’ll talk about this again after the tournament. Chen An, please introduce tomorrow’s finals to our two little friends.”

Chen An felt his heart pumping vigorously in his chest as he listened to Huo Yuhao and Nangong Wan’s conversation. This guy’s circumstance seems to be a little different from my judgment. The Duskwater Alliance Master should be from that place, so how can he not recognize him? But Tang Wu’s abilities are clearly…

Chen An felt a little doubtful and suspicious inside, but he had no other choice at this point in time. He had gotten many benefits from Huo Yuhao already, and this was in addition to the fact that they were about to work together again. Chen An forced the doubts in his heart down.

“Yes,  Alliance  Master.”   Chen  An  bowed  respectfully  in Nangong Wan’s direction before he turned towards Huo Yuhao and   He   Caitou.   “This   season’s   Radiant   City   Elite   Soul Engineering Tournament’s grand finals shall be carried out tomorrow. The Duskwater Alliance is organizing the grand final together with the Common Alliance and the Alto Chamber of Commerce, and it will happen in the western suburbs. We have arranged everything on our side.

“We have finally decided upon the tournament’s rules after meticulous discussion. All three sides will send three people each for the grand finals. Every participant will be given six hours to craft a soul tool, and there are no limits on the materials to be used. However, each contestant can only make one soul tool, and this phase will conclude after six hours. All nine participants will go through three competitive rounds after that: technique will be tested in the first round, during which a mysterious task will be given. We’re not sure what it is at the moment. All nine soul engineers will be very exhausted after six hours of crafting, so this round will undoubtedly be a great test for you all. The lowest scoring participant will be eliminated, while the remaining eight will proceed to the next round.

“The second round will be actual combat. Those who obtain the highest score in the technique round will face off against the lowest scorers in the final eight, and four people will progress into the next round. The second-highest scorer will fight the second from the last, and so on. The four who will go on into the next round will be determined this way, and the final four will draw lots for the next round, and the final round will happen after that.

“The tournament’s rules have been designed to be as fair as possible. However, there are some things that we have to pay attention to: first, everyone can only forge and use one single soul tool, so it will be up to the soul engineer himself or herself whether the soul tool will be focused on attack or defense. They cannot expend too much energy when crafting them, either. Otherwise, they’ll run a risk of being eliminated in the technique round. Furthermore, the higher they score in the technique round, the greater the advantage they’ll have in the subsequent round-of-eight. You guys need to have proper planning from the moment you start the six-hour crafting phase.”

Both Huo Yuhao and He Caitou felt a little astonished as they listened to Chen An’s introduction. The grand finals organized by the three underground organizations were far more complicated than they had imagined. They had to craft soul tools first, and they would have to go through a technique assessment and three different rounds of combat to clinch the championship. Winning in this tournament would be quite a challenge! 
What they didn’t know was that all three underground organizations were treating this championship very seriously. Furthermore, the Common Alliance and the Alto Chamber of Commerce intended to team up against the Duskwater Alliance. This was the reason why the three organizations
went through countless rounds of discussion and negotiation before they came up with these rules for the grand finals. These rules were so that their representative soul engineers had to rely on their own abilities to finish the tournament.

Of course, it did seem like the Common Alliance and the Alto Chamber of Commerce had an advantage overall. They had six people after all, so it would be a lot easier for them to arrange their strategies.

Chen An finished his introduction, and Nangong Wan’s expression became a little more solemn than before. He lowered his voice and said, “My three friends, you are representing the Duskwater Alliance in this competition, and I have absolute faith in your abilities. However, you have to be prepared to resist the other two organizations, as their strategies are likely to target us. Since you are representing the Duskwater Alliance, we will not waste your time; every one of you will be rewarded whether or not you clinch the championship in the end, and I believe the Common Alliance and the Alto Chamber of Commerce cannot possibly match up to these rewards. Furthermore, we will give them out here, on the spot. Bring them up, please.”

Nangong Wan waved his right hand as he spoke, and four men in black immediately walked over carrying a big trunk between them.

All four men were tough and muscular, but even they struggled a little as they lifted the trunk together.

Huo Yuhao subconsciously released his spiritual power and surveyed the trunk. However, even his reliable spiritual power couldn’t pierce though this thick and heavy black trunk as it brushed against its surface; his spiritual power was kept completely outside. Some of his spiritual power was even refracted away.

“Eh? This is…”

Huo Yuhao swiftly came to a conclusion; this truck had to be lined with thick lead, meant to block all kinds of tricks and intangible things. There was a layer of steel alloyed with mithril on the outside. Furthermore, he could tell from how these muscular men were struggling that the trunk should weigh between two hundred and fifty to five hundred kilos. What is this? It’s forged from pure lead, and wrapped with metal that contains mithril.

Huo Yuhao wasn’t the only one who was surprised. He Caitou and even Huang Zheng widened their eyes as they stared at the trunk. They didn’t have Spiritual Detection, but they were still quite sensitive to metal as soul engineers, and they could both feel that the trunk contained mithril.

So precious and valuable…

The trunk was placed carefully in front of them. Nangong Wan personally walked towards the trunk, raised his right hand and pressed on the trunk’s side. A small screen bounced up, with many sophisticated characters and patterns on its surface.

Nangong Wan pressed his palm against the screen, and all five of his fingers tapped rapidly and rhythmically. This was a Passcode-Locked Explosive Case.

Passcode-locked cases were considered special trunks that were sealed with both soul tools and a passcode, and they could only be opened with preset patterns and activation methods. As for the “explosive” in the name, there was no question that an erroneous passcode entry would trigger the explosives inside, and a frightening explosion would follow!

However, these explosive cases typically gave a few chances for wrong passcode entries, and thus wouldn’t explode on the first wrong try. Still, these chances couldn’t be more than five, and there were many different kinds of secret passcode forms to seal away whatever was inside. This was just a trunk, but it could match a Class 6 soul tool! 
Huo Yuhao had been concentrating his spiritual power ever since Nangong Wan pressed his palm against the trunk. He relied on his impressive spiritual power to forcefully memorize Nangong Wan’s rapid tapping and its frequency. Even though it might not be useful in the future, memorizing the pattern was still a potential opportunity.

Nangong Wan tapped continuously for twenty seconds before he lifted his hand, and the screen popped back into place. Faint cracking sounds could be heard as the trunk began to split open from the center of its lid.

The Third Elder was standing beside Nangong Wan, and he raised his hand as a hemispherical barrier enveloped everyone inside. He was also inside this hemisphere, as was Mocke.

Huo Yuhao and the two other contestants drew a cold breath from the moment this crack appeared on the trunk, and they understood at the same time why Third Elder had to barricade everyone inside. There was an indescribably somber and desolate aura emanating from within, and it seemed to stem from the bravery and majesty of an entire army in shining armor.

The Third Elder and Nangong Wan had no reaction, while Huo Yuhao, He Caitou, Huang Zheng, and Mocke turned pale as intense astonishment broke out across their faces.

Huo Yuhao’s sensations were the deepest, as he possessed the strongest spiritual power. It was because of how mighty his spiritual power was that he felt the greatest impact.

He felt as if he were facing a metal torrent formed by an enormous army, and this torrent carried hysterical hostility and killing intent as it surged towards him. This torrent was so strong that it almost made him lose control over his spirit. A pale golden light emerged over his body, and his Spirit Eyes were immediately unleashed, and only then could he calm and steady himself.

However, Huo Yuhao managed to use his Imitation in the nick of time so that his actual soul rings weren’t revealed in front of everyone. “This…”  He  Caitou  blurted  out.  He  suddenly  recalled  the agreement he had with Huo Yuhao after uttering one word, and hurriedly closed his mouth. However, the bewilderment in his eyes was a lot more intense than before.

The trunk had completely opened up at this moment to reveal its contents. Special filters made of a material was known as jade rubber filled its inner layers. The rubber itself was white, but it was extremely tough and bouncy. Jade rubber was typically used as a cushion or buffer.

There was something in the center of all the blocks of jade rubber inside the trunk.

This item was roughly one and a half meters long, and had a cylindrical body. It had a conical tip, and a ringed groove at the back. The entire item had no cracks or kinks, and it seemed like everything blended together into one integrated body. The item was pale gold in color, and it shone with a metallic luster.

The violent and hysterical killing intent and fearsome aura came from this item, and everyone felt as if this sensation was becoming worse over time. Huo Yuhao and the others felt their hearts tremble even though they were only looking at it. 
Mocke swallowed some saliva as he stammered, “This, this is…”

Huang Zheng could no longer maintain his composure, and he blurted out, “Class 9! It’s a Class 9 stationary soul cannon shell.”

What did a Class 9 stationary soul cannon mean?

It was evaluated as Class 9, and that meant it was a Class 9 soul tool in itself. It was also a Class 9 soul tool that could only be used once. This cannon shell could even be fired over half the entire Continent at a target when used with a Class 9 soul cannon, and it could also be detonated at a shorter distance without a Class 9 soul cannon. However, there was a prerequisite, as the person detonating this cannon had to have some way to distance himself or herself from the explosion, as the user would vanish from the face of the earth otherwise.

A Class 9 stationary cannon shell’s destructiveness was enough to instill fear in even Transcendent Douluo. The only outcome that could happen when normal Titled Douluo faced one of these was death! 
The Sun Moon Empire was the only entity capable of manufacturing Class 9 stationary soul cannon shells at the moment. Only those at the higher levels of the empire knew how many there were, but there couldn’t possibly be that many.

Why did the Body Sect, Shrek Academy, the Star Luo Empire and the other powers choose to break through the western front when they discussed how the Sun Moon Empire was locking down the Radiant City? What did they fear so much?

It wasn’t because they didn’t consider that dangers could arise on the western front. Instead, it was because they didn’t dare to take the risk of travelling on the other three roads. It had been confirmed that there were at least five Class 9 stationary soul cannon shells stationed in the other three regions.

Even Titled Douluo had no chance against a frightening entity of this level if they were the ones who were locked on. What was even more frightening was that Class 9 cannon shells had an extremely large area of effect, and an explosion would eradicate an entire area around it, not just a single spot. If five Class 9 stationary soul cannon shells were stationed in one direction, even powerful beings like Elder Xuan would be wary. Perhaps he might have the ability to survive this ordeal, but there was no way he could protect the people around him.

Every single person in the world considered Class 9 stationary cannon shells priceless and inestimable. Not in their wildest dreams did Huo Yuhao and the others expect that the Duskwater Alliance would take out such a reward so that they could win this tournament. Huo Yuhao had learned from Chen An before this that the Duskriver Alliance would give out a share of their profits from all the bets and wagers, but this cannon shell was more generous than all the shares they could give, the reason being this cannon shell couldn’t be valued with money, as money couldn’t even buy such an item.

Huo Yuhao had heard from Xuan Ziwen that the Sun Moon Empire didn’t possess more than fifty Class 9 stationary cannon shells. Some were reported openly, while some were hidden away in secret, and only the emperor himself knew the exact number. But what was certain was that a single shell could eradicate an entire small city, while two shells were enough to annihilate a mid-sized city. Radiant City was the greatest city on the Continent, but even a city as large as Radiant City couldn’t possibly take more than ten shells. It wasn’t hard to see how terrifying these cannon shells were.

One of the main reasons why the Sun Moon Empire dared to go up against the Douluo Continent’s three native empires one versus three was because of their Class 9 stationary soul cannon shells. This was also one of the most substantial reasons why the other three empires hadn’t invaded them yet.

The Duskwater Alliance, or perhaps the Holy Ghost Church, had too much influence and might. They actually managed to obtain a national-level strategic weapon!

Huo Yuhao had unswerving will and determination, but even he felt his heart pounding vigorously in his chest. His eyes grew hot and passionate. This wasn’t just a cannon shell in his eyes, this was also a sample! If he could study and scrutinize this cannon shell through and through, he could possibly enable the Tang Sect to craft Class 9 stationary soul cannon shells of its own. At the very least, he could probably make it easier for teacher Xuan to break through in his research. There was one problem: was this stationary cannon shell that easy to get? Was winning this championship more important than this cannon shell?

“I’m sure you guys have already realized… yes, this is a Class
9 stationary soul cannon shell, and it’s called Annihilation Storm. I will only tell you its effects and how it’s used when one of you returns with the championship. I can guarantee that we will present you with this gift on the spot when you clinch the championship. So, you guys have to work hard.”

Nangong Wan waved his sleeve as he spoke, and the trunk closed up again. That violent and crazed aura was swiftly covered up.

Huo Yuhao and the others could finally breathe easy. However, there was only vengeance and hatred in Mocke’s eyes as he glared at Huo Yuhao. His defeat to Huo Yuhao in the previous round meant he no longer had the opportunity to vie for this cannon shell, and he had even been forced to relinquish his ranked carving knife, his Darkness Green Dragon! Huo Yuhao didn’t care about his gaze at all. His heart and emotions had settled down by now, and his eyes became clear and transparent just like before, though He Caitou was still a little exhilarated behind him.

“Work hard, youngsters.”  Nangong Wan spoke with a faint smile on his face. However, his eyes were fixed on Huo Yuhao from beginning to end as he uttered these words. He was momentarily stunned when he saw that Huo Yuhao’s eyes had become clear and transparent once more, and nodded in his direction.

“Let’s go!”

Nangong Wan swung his hand through the air. He and the Third Elder took point, while Huo Yuhao and the three others followed behind them, and throngs of men dressed in black flanked and escorted them.

Third Elder naturally couldn’t let these men in black carry the Class 9 stationary soul cannon shell, and he stowed it away within his storage-type soul tool. They headed towards the western suburbs once they departed the Green Hotel. Huo Yuhao didn’t have any opinions about where the tournament was to be carried out. However, his eyes were starting to close at this point, as if he were trying to concentrate and calm himself down so that he could prepare himself mentally for the tournament.

He Caitou fully recovered only when the cold wind outside billowed against him as he exited the hotel. A strange look appeared on his face, and he shook his head from side to side before his eyes returned to normal.

Huang Zheng was in a similar state. As for Mocke, there was only hatred in his eyes. It wasn’t easy for him to calm himself down.

The Green Hotel was located near the city center, and Radiant City had such a large surface area. They couldn’t just walk over directly. That would be too slow.

Extravagant and magnificent carriages drawn by wildebeests had been prepared outside the hotel. The three participating members – Huo Yuhao, He Caitou, and Huang Zheng – took one carriage, while Nangong Wan, the Third Elder, and Mocke took another one. The remaining men in black loaded the miscellaneous rare metals on relatively simpler carriages as they got on their respective horses. A majestic company of more than a hundred people journeyed towards the western suburbs.

------

Inside one of the carriages...

Mocke was full of righteous indignation as he asked, “Master, do we really have to use a Class 9 stationary soul cannon shell as reward?”

The Third Elder frowned and snapped, “Shut up. Are you even worthy to comment?”

Mocke was unwilling inside, but he immediately withdrew his emotions when he saw the annoyance on his teacher’s face. He knew that his teacher was very short-tempered; one of his senior brothers had spoken out against his teacher for a sentence or two some time ago, and his brain was instantly blown to smithereens.

Third Elder turned towards Nangong Wan and asked, “What do you think, second brother?”

Nangong Wan’s eyes were tinged with a layer of silver-grey light. The lighting inside the entire carriage became a little brighter, as if everything was covered with silver-grey hues.

“That kid is very sophisticated. He managed to recover so quickly after his initial temporary surprise, and this means that he has very strong spiritual power. Our guess should be right; he should be an evil soul master who leans towards spiritual summoning abilities. However, he may not be from the Sun Moon Empire. After all, with our sect’s strength and influence and after so many years of searching and recruiting, it is impossible for us not to pull a prodigy like him to our side.”

Chapter 339: The Curtain Opens

The Third Elder revealed a slight smile on his face and said, “This kid is pretty good. At least the reward that we’ve offered is not wasted. I’ll guide him well in the future.”

Nangong Wan laughed and said, “Third Elder, don’t try to pull that trick on me. I noticed this kid first. Spiritual calling is my thing. You already have so many disciples, but I don’t even have one who’ll inherit everything that I have. I’ve already discussed this with the vice-founder. The tournament is an additional test for him. I want to him accept him as my inheriting disciple. Otherwise, why would I have asked the vice-founder to find this Class 9 stationary soul cannon shell? I’ve already spent a lot of money. There’s no way you can snatch him from me!”

The Third Elder snorted and said, “Don’t forget, he’s an outstanding soul engineer. He shouldn’t be older than twenty- four or twenty-five years old, but he’s already as good as a Class 6 soul engineer. If we continue to nurture him, he’ll definitely become a Class 9 soul engineer. The founder also mentioned before that the future will belong to soul engineers. While his soul master cultivation is pretty decent, he can’t give up on soul tools. Why don’t we both accept him as a disciple?”  He knew he couldn’t win against his second brother, and thus he offered an alternative.

Nangong Wan pondered for a moment before saying, “It’s a plausible idea. However, he can only be my Inheriting Disciple. It’s fine if you want to teach him some stuff, but we’ll have to see whether his spiritual power is sufficient. Soul engineers will be the trend in the future, but soul masters are stronger for now. I’ve discovered that many academies have realized how important it is to combine both soul masters and soul tools.”

The Third Elder snapped, “Second brother, you are really calculating. You’re asking me to teach him, but he’s going to be your inheriting disciple? Hmph!”

Nangong Wan laughed and said, “Alright, alright. You must understand how I feel, too. When I accept him as my disciple, I’ll get him to return the Darkness Green Dragon.”

After hearing Nangong Wan’s words, Mocke looked very delighted and hurriedly said, “Thank you, senior uncle!” Nangong Wan furrowed his brow when he looked at him and said, “Even if the Darkness Green Dragon returns, you don’t have the authority to possess it right now. You are too impatient; you’ll need to train for a few years first. When we return, you should learn how to develop soul tools.”

Mo Ke was stunned for a moment, then turned dismal. He looked at the Third Elder and softly said, “Teacher…”

The Third Elder snorted, “Your second senior uncle is giving you a chance this time. If you left it up to me, I’d confiscate the Darkness Green Dragon from you forever. Hmph!”

After hearing the Third Elder’s words, Mocke didn’t dare to say anything.

------

They quickly left the Radiant City on their carriages. The Duskwater Alliance was the strongest of the three underground organizations, and thus they weren’t too bothered with causing trouble as they rushed to their destination, charging along all the way there. The ordinary citizens avoided them when they saw the symbol on their carriages.

Huo Yuhao’s eyes were shut all the while. He didn’t move at all. He Caitou also didn’t make a sound as he sat beside Huo Yuhao. Huang Zheng didn’t try to start a conversation with them when he saw how they were composing themselves. Compared to the other carriage, they were much quieter. The carriage they were in also greatly reduced incoming external sound, and thus it was completely silent in their carriage.

However, was Huo Yuhao really calm despite the silence? It was the exact opposite. Right now, he was trying to gather his spiritual power!

In Huo Yuhao’s spiritual sea, he had entered a miraculous state. Waves were surging furiously in his vast spiritual sea. The “seawater”  had turned golden-silver after he completed the Second Awakening of his body soul.

Every time the seawater rose, the waves that it conjured stopped slightly. A two-colored whirlpool would also appear occasionally. As the seawater rose, a white ball of light emitting a dim glow condensed in mid-air. This ball wasn’t completely circular, but oval, like an egg. It was filled with the aura of life!

There were a few figures drifting atop the water’s surface in his spiritual sea.

The Ice Empress still held the image of the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion. However, her body was a hundred feet long in this spiritual sea. Her dazzling diamond ice crystals and azure- green tail were very splendid and eye-catching.

The eight-to-nine-year-old Snow Empress was standing beside the Ice Empress. She was already very pretty at this age. Her long, white dress was completely spotless, and she wore a captivating smile on her face. Occasionally, she would get closer to the Ice Empress and whisper a few words.

The Ice Empress wasn’t the largest figure. That was the Skydream Iceworm, who was lazily lying down in the spiritual sea. Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power came mainly from the Skydream Iceworm. It was his presence that gave him everything that his Spirit Eyes possessed. Although his spiritual power had increased to an extremely high level, his compatibility with the Skydream Iceworm was still very high.
The Skydream Iceworm was very comfortable as he lay in Huo Yuhao’s spiritual sea.

However, the Skydream Iceworm was in a rather bad mood right now. As he stole glances at the Snow and Ice Empresses, he felt a little indignant.

After the ordeal that happened in the past, the Snow Empress had turned into a Spirit, and he entered deep sleep with the Ice Empress. It was also at that point in time that his relationship with the Ice Empress got a little closer.

However, the Ice Empress still seemed a little harsh, like she had been in the past, after she awoke. Even though the Snow Empress had lost most of her memories, she remained close to the Ice Empress instead of bothering with him. How could he not be depressed seeing that? “Skydream, is it fine for Huo Yuhao to be like this? Will he be in any danger?” The Ice Empress’ voice was very captivating.

The  Skydream  Iceworm  lazily  replied,  “He’ll  be  fine.  His spiritual realm has reached the stage I was in at my strongest state. He has also fused with my spiritual power. Right now, the problem he has is that his body can’t handle his spiritual power. He won’t lack for power. He’s just using his spiritual power to do things right now, and not directly attacking anyone. He’ll be fine. He’s only isolating a part of it right now. Even if it doesn’t come back, it won’t harm him.”

The Ice Empress snorted and said, “You don’t seem to be anxious at all.”

The Skydream Iceworm replied, “Eh, I don’t even want to live anymore. What’s there to be anxious about? Even if something happens to him, I’ll just die with him.”

The Ice Empress was stunned for a moment. “Don’t want to live anymore? There’s no one in this world who knows this logic better than you; better a bad life than a good death! You’ve already lived for a million years, but you are still entertaining such a thought?” 
The Skydream Iceworm almost spat out blood. “Ice, can’t you treat me better? After all, we are of opposite genders!

“Nothing will happen between you and the Snow Empress. Why are you still pestering her? I’ve treated you so well. Let me tell you, I don’t have anyone else that I like. I’ve already turned into Yuhao’s Spirit. I’ve felt this Spirit before. Even if something happens to me, it won’t affect Yuhao. Since you are so cold towards me, I might actually seek death one day.”

The Ice Empress snapped, “Don’t pull this trick on me! Don’t think that I’ll like you just because you were being very righteous and brave then! Look at your foolishness! Iceworms were born to be the food of Ice Jade Scorpions! You and I can never be together!”

The Skydream Iceworm didn’t reply after hearing the Ice Empress’ words. He lazily turned his head and didn’t utter a word.

There was a slight tremble of emotion in the Ice Empress’ eyes. She lifted her tail to slap the spiritual sea. She seemed to be venting and exerting her dominance over the Skydream Iceworm. However, she didn’t do anything to him.

This fellow! Why should I like him? I’m an elegant Ice Jade Empress Scorpion. Why would I like an Iceworm? The Ice Empress told herself. However, she was very frustrated by the Skydream Iceworm’s silence.

The Snow Empress stared at her with her big, beautiful eyes.
The look in her eyes was very clear.

The Ice Empress was in a daze. She recalled everything that had happened in Clear Sky Castle. She recalled too many things. She recalled how the Skydream Iceworm was so decisive, and the Snow Empress’ last words.

Don’t tell me I’ve really…

At this moment, the ball of light above the spiritual sea broke apart, and a projection rose from it. A rhythmic heartbeat was suddenly audible. The projection slowly descended and appeared in front of the two Empresses and the Skydream Iceworm.

“How do you all feel? Sense my aura.” Huo Yuhao had descended. Right now, he seemed to be completely formed from spiritual power. He was icy-white in color, as if he were carved from ice. However, there was a dim golden glow around him.

The Skydream Iceworm finally opened his mouth. He lifted his head and came over in front of Huo Yuhao. He complimented,   “Oviparity!   Not   bad,   not   bad.   You   can completely unleash the concrete-immaterial realm, and temporarily attain the concrete-material realm!

“However,  don’t  forget  that  you  don’t  have  much  time. Although you won’t be affected even if your spiritual self is gone, you’ll still suffer short-term memory loss. Your spiritual sea will also be greatly affected. You’ll need to recover for at least three months before you return to normal. That’s why you need to return in two hours. At the same time, you can’t transcend space with your actual body. Get it?” 
Huo Yuhao nodded and said, “Don’t worry, Brother Skydream. I know my limits. Also, I’m very eager to see how much we’ll gain from tonight’s show, and who’ll be the main lead.” As he finished speaking, he revealed a wide grin on his face.

As he looked at the Skydream Iceworm, he sent him a message telepathically. As his back was facing the Ice Empress, she didn’t discover anything.

Huo Yuhao wasn’t the guy that had to be protected by the Ice Empress and Skydream Iceworm anymore. He had grown up. He was no longer inferior to these hundred-thousand year and million-year soul beasts at the spiritual level.

The Skydream Iceworm revealed a slightly weird look as he nodded at Huo Yuhao. After that, he grinned, revealing the smile of an Iceworm…

------ The luxurious carriages of the Duskwater Alliance finally stopped. At this point, they were in a western suburb five miles outside Radiant City.

Huo Yuhao seemed to have woken up at the perfect time. When he opened his eyes, he seemed slightly lost. However, no one noticed that a distorted light pattern had surfaced between his eyebrows, as it disappeared right after it surfaced.

“We’ve arrived!” a voice declared from outside.

Huang Zheng disembarked from the carriage first, followed by He Caitou. He Caitou moved Huo Yuhao’s wheelchair down first before setting him down in it.

Huo Yuhao seemed to be in a daze. However, he returned to normal as the night breeze blew past him.

He squinted and activated his Spiritual Detection. Huo Yuhao was slightly stunned. Tonight’s event is really large-scale! He felt thousands of people around him. They were clearly separated into three regions in three different directions. The greatest difference between the three regions was the dress code of the people inside them, as they were all decked out in different colors.

The Duskwater Alliance’s camp was in front. To the front left were people in white warrior robes. To the front right, the people were clad in yellow.

Chen An jumped off the carriage at this point and quickly introduced them. “Tonight, all the senior members of the three underground organizations are here. All three parties regard this tournament highly, and they have all sent their strongest lineups to grace tonight’s event.”

“Those in white hail from the Alto Chamber of Commerce, while those in yellow are from the Common Alliance. Apart from these three parties, some notable families in Radiant City were also invited, as well as some rich clients who have wagered heavily on tonight’s tournament. The only restriction that the three parties have is that there shouldn’t be more than one thousand guests from each side. The rest here are the spectators. Anyway, everything will be carried out fairly, so please do not worry.” 
Huo Yuhao’s lips moved slightly. For some reason, he felt that today’s tournament was going to be fairer than the Continental Elite Youth Soul Master Tournament. At least the referee wasn’t inclined towards any side. Perhaps profits were sometimes better than things that appeared to be very honorable, but were actually secretly deplorable.

The three of them were led into the tournament venue by Chen An, under the protection of a bunch of men clad in black from the Duskwater Alliance.

The western suburb area wasn’t considered too shabby. The perimeter was surrounded by people from the three underground organizations, covering the entire venue. There were even people sent to seal the roads to prevent ordinary citizens from getting too close.

Spectator stands had already been set up within this perimeter. There were three different spectator stands, each filled with bettors that had their money on tonight’s tournament. There were other, even smaller circular spectator stands, which were closer to the core region. They were occupied by the members of the notable families who were here today, as well as reputable soul masters and soul engineers.

The tournament ground was the most shocking.

The circular stage in this tournament ground was just like a replica of the stage in the Continental Elite Youth Soul Master Tournament. It was also one hundred meters in diameter, and there seemed to be protective barriers around it.

The most hilarious thing was that there were also three resting areas around the stage, located in three different directions. If they were connected by straight lines, they would form a triangle.

Huo Yuhao was brought to the resting area of the Duskwater Alliance. Nangong Wan and the Third Elder also came in.

Huo Yuhao thought to himself, Don’t tell me there’s only the two of them from the Duskwater Alliance? From how highly the Duskwater Alliance regards this tournament, there should be more senior members present... At this moment, the place had become quite rowdy. Before the tournament began, there wasn’t a host to liven up the atmosphere. Those who were seated in the spectator seats and the VIP seats were all conversing with one another. The lighting in the venue was very good, soul lamps illuminating
the entire place.

As he saw all this, Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but sigh in his heart. Soul tools should be used in the lives of ordinary people. No one does it better than the Sun Moon Empire. In this aspect, the other three empires on the continent are indeed lacking! This is a gap that cannot be closed by the strength of one individual, and it’ll take time, too. Even if they’ve realized this now, they can only choose to play catch-up in terms of their military strength...

The Third Elder whispered to Nangong Wan, “I heard they’ve hired Class 9 soul engineers to hold the fort this time. On the seven-man committee, three belong to them, while we only have two from our side. The other two are neutrals. Will there be a problem?”

Nangong Wan laughed coldly and said, “No. The vice- founder will bring elder brother, third brother, fifth brother, and sixth brother over later. Do you think we’ll be scared of them? If not for the fact that we’re giving face to the imperial family of the Sun Moon Empire, do you think the lowly Alto Chamber of Commerce and Common Alliance could challenge us? The profit distribution in this tournament is very important. The founder instructed us to strictly follow protocol. However, we should be able to gain flexibility in some areas with the vice-founder around. I’d really like to see if the people they’ve pulled over will dare to oppose us.”

The Third Elder also revealed a cold smile on his face, and nodded his acknowledgement gently.

Although Huo Yuhao looked very calm, he was observing everything around him seriously. After he heard from Nangong Wan that there would be more senior members from the Holy Ghost Church coming later, he was secretly surprised by the strength and foundation of the Holy Ghost Church. However, he was also delighted, as there was bound to be a dispersion of the Holy Ghost Church’s strength. When things happened, they were going to be in huge trouble.

Right now, everyone from all three parties had already arrived. Someone came over to ask Nangong Wan something. After receiving his verification, all the lights were focused on the stage where an additional person had now appeared. 
This person was tall, broad, and extremely handsome. He wore a bright-red, elegant formal suit. His golden hair was neatly combed, and his eyes seemed to sparkle.

---

“Greetings  everyone,  I’m  your  emcee  for  tonight’s  grand final. My name is Lu Qi.” The voice of this emcee was rather pleasant, loud and husky. Along with his charming looks, he seemed quite likable.

However, Huo Yuhao had already scanned him using his Spiritual Detection. Lu Qi was only an ordinary person. He had no soul power undulations.

“Tonight is the grand final of the Radiant City Elite Soul Engineering Tournament. The nine competitors come from the Common Alliance, the Alto Chamber of Commerce, and the Duskwater Alliance. I believe all of you are familiar with the nine of them; I shall not elaborate further. “Let us now invite the three chairmen from the Common Alliance, the Alto Chamber of Commerce, and the Duskwater Alliance in the organizing committee to give their own speeches.”

---

In the resting area of the Duskwater Alliance...

Nangong Wan looked very grim as he muttered to himself, “Reckless.” As he muttered to himself, he stood up and walked towards the stage.

The Third Elder laughed coldly. “This lowly thing from the Common Alliance is trying to court death with his stupid tricks. Does he really think the Common Alliance can protect him?”

Huo Yuhao and the rest only just realized that Nangong Wan was furious because the emcee had mentioned the Duskwater Alliance last. The Common Alliance controlled the sex industry of Radiant City. It was very normal to have such a host. However, this host’s performance was rather normal! The self-entitled thinking of evil soul masters couldn’t be understood through a normal person’s eyes.

Nangong Wan didn’t reveal his cultivation. He slowly took the steps to ascend the stage. On the other two sides, there were also people ascending the stage.

On the side of the Alto Chamber of Commerce, there was a middle-aged man roughly forty years old. He was wearing a purple overcoat, and appeared very decent, with the aura of a powerful person. Just from his looks, it was very difficult to imagine him controlling an organization that was involved in piracy and murder. He seemed more like an official. He took long strides, and his eyes were very sharp.

From the soul power undulations that he exuded, Huo Yuhao could tell that he possessed at least eight rings. He had intentionally repressed his aura, but he should still be some ways off from a Titled Douluo. Compared to him, the representative from the Common Alliance was more eye-catching.

She was a lady in a long, red dress. From afar, she appeared very beautiful. Her long maroon hair was rolled up into a bun above her head. As she walked, her body swayed in an elegant manner. She had a very holy look on her face, and seemed like a mortal masterpiece. Her slender waist and devilish figure made her extremely captivating.

When she ascended the stage, many men started to salivate, their attention completely drawn to her.

As he participated in the tournament, Huo Yuhao had developed a great understanding of the three underground organizations. The middle-aged man in the purple overcoat was the chairman of the Alto Chamber of Commerce, An Litong. Opposite him, the woman was the Common Alliance Master, Shangguan Wei’er, who controlled the sex, food, and beverage industries in Radiant City. 
Huo Yuhao had heard from Chen An that this lady was very powerful. Many strong individuals had fallen to her before. While she still seemed very alluring, she had in fact been the Common Alliance Master for forty years! No one knew her actual age. Her cultivation was above An Litong’s. The backers of the Common Alliance even included some of the nobility in Radiant City...

As for the Duskwater Alliance, Nangong Wan represented the imperial family of the Sun Moon Empire. Because of this, the Duskwater Alliance was able to exert their dominance over the other two organizations. However, the other two organizations also represented people that hailed from the higher strata of society. Even the imperial family couldn’t completely suppress these people. Although the Common Alliance and Alto Chamber of Commerce knew that the Duskwater Alliance was composed of evil soul masters, they weren’t afraid, as they knew they had strong backers behind them.

It was under such a premise that this tournament was organized. On the surface, it seemed as if the tournament was a ruse by the three organizations to earn profits from tourists, but in fact, this tournament was very critical for each organization’s authority. The Duskwater Alliance wanted to gain more control, while the Alto Chamber of Commerce and Common Alliance wanted to gang up on the Duskwater Alliance.

After all three parties negotiated and reached an agreement, this ‘fair’ tournament was held. Just like what Huo Yuhao felt, this underground tournament was even fairer than the Continental Elite Youth Soul Master Tournament. There were too many eyes watching.

What was the greatest profit for all three underground organizations? Only the senior members of these organizations knew. They were given the opportunity to control the smuggling of rare metals!

The Sun Moon Empire had banned the sale and purchase of rare metals. Because of this intervention, the rare metals had become very expensive. Under such circumstances, smuggling rare metals was a surefire way to earn massive profits. However, they couldn’t earn this money openly, and the amount of rare metals they smuggled couldn’t be too much, either! Even so, this was a business they had to have. Between the imperial family, the military, and the nobility, who didn’t want to have a piece of the pie? This was what they were doing earlier, too!

However, Xu Tianran had discovered all this as he slowly rose to power. The three-way smuggling operation caused the loss of rare metals to exceed what the Sun Moon Empire wanted to happen. Xu Tianran was furious, and made up his mind.

He couldn’t completely stop everything. The more he tried to restrain such smuggling operations, the greater the backlash he would receive. Moreover, he hadn’t actually taken the throne yet, and didn’t dare to completely offend the military and nobility. After pondering on the matter, he was the one who supported the underground tournament as a means of dealing with the authority held by the three underground organizations.

Whoever won this tournament would be given full control of the rare metals smuggling operations. Of course, the winning party still had to hand over the dues that they owed to the other two parties. It was only fair that way. Compared to the other industries, the profits from smuggling rare metals were too attractive. All three parties vied for it. It was why the reward for winning this tournament was so lucrative.

Of course, all this was conducted behind the scenes. Not only was Huo Yuhao unaware, but the rest of the soul engineers in the tournament, including Huang Zheng, didn’t know about this, either.

To Xu Tianran, it was a way for him to control the underground organizations. He had to have a hand in smuggling rare metals, too. How could he do so? Through the Duskwater Alliance, or rather, the Holy Ghost Church. He was determined!

------

Lu Qi smiled as he stood at one side. He guided the leaders of the three underground organizations to the center of the stage.

“Let’s invite the three chairmen to give their speeches. First, let’s invite the Duskwater Alliance Master, Nangong Wan, to give his speech.”

Although Nangong Wan wanted to kill Lu Qi, he didn’t show it on the stage. He said, “This tournament is jointly organized by all three organizations. I think we can consider this a contribution to the industry of the empire, and it’s going pretty well, too. Tonight, the Duskwater Alliance is determined to win. I also believe that our competitors are capable of doing so, but the championship will belong to us! For those who have yet to bet, you might want to consider us.”

After he finished speaking, he stepped back as a sign that he had finished.

The second to speak was An Litong. He glanced at Nangong Wan and gave a pretentious smile. “It seems like Master Nangong is very confident! However, I don’t concur with you. The representatives from the Alto Chamber of Commerce are all elites from the younger generation of soul engineers. I’m absolutely confident in them. Right here, I’ll represent the Chamber of Commerce and stake ten million gold soul coins on them to win. As long as any of them wins, I’ll donate the profits to everyone.” As he said this, everyone was shocked. Ten million gold soul coins! Even if they were priced at evens, the potential profit was still ten million gold soul coins! It was an astronomical figure.

Even the Snow Empress’ Spirit couldn’t be auctioned for such an astronomical figure. Ten million gold soul coins was undoubtedly very attractive to soul engineers, who spent a lot of money. The Alto Chamber of Commerce wasn’t just showing off their wealth. They were also showing off their determination to win. Suddenly, many bettors started to become more inclined towards them.

At this moment, Shangguan Wei’er laughed slightly. She walked up and said, “The two of you are really confident! I can’t lose to you, am I right? The Common Alliance isn’t as rich as the Alto Chamber of Commerce. We don’t have ten million gold soul coins, and we can’t bear to part with such a huge amount of money either. However, we have beauties. Whichever soul engineer from our side that wins will be given the autonomy to choose any beauty that he wants. At the same time, I’ll give him three female dragons who have ancient bloodlines as slaves. They're all virgins.” Female dragons? After hearing these two words, He Caitou, Huang Zheng and even Mocke were confused. However, Huo Yuhao looked shocked instead.

As the first person in Shrek Academy who was trained in the Ultimate Soldier Plan, he had gleaned knowledge from different aspects. He had once heard Elder Mu mention female dragons before.

What were they? They were special creatures that were half- human and half-beast. However, only the faces of female dragons resembled humans. They had scales on their bodies.

However, their scales would disappear during sex. When that happened, the female dragons would reveal their stunning beauty.

Once humans copulated with them, they could absorb the essence of the dragon blood in these female dragons and change their body constitution. This would gain them a dragon’s blood and aura within their own blood. It would help them evolve their martial souls once, and this evolution was bound to be beneficial. It was just that such female dragons were very rare. They were only found in deep mountains and marshlands. Furthermore, they were all protected by curses of bad luck.

The first person to catch them would suffer from this curse and die. As a result, there were very few people who could find and lay their hands on them.

However, the Common Alliance was able to find three female dragons. This was unbelievable to Huo Yuhao.

Female dragons didn’t really help those whose martial souls were already very strong all that much. However, they were invaluable to soul engineers!

Many soul engineers consumed medicine and pills to enhance their martial souls. However, such medicine and pills often contained impurities. When their cultivation reached a certain level, they would find it very difficult to improve further. Some of them might even suffer from side effects. If they could copulate with a virgin female dragon, these problems would cease to exist. The power of a female dragon’s bloodline could remove the impurities in their bodies and evolve their martial souls. They wouldn’t face any barriers as they advanced to become Titled Douluo!

Yes, ten million gold soul coins was a lot of money. However, money couldn’t buy a female dragon! Female dragons were too valuable for soul engineers!

Regarding dragon ladies, Huo Yuhao didn’t need to explain them to He Caitou and Huang Zheng. Lu Qi was already going on about what they were. After hearing his words, Huo Yuhao could clearly sense Huang Zheng’s breathing getting heavier and heavier. On the contrary, He Caitou seemed very calm.

Huo Yuhao subconsciously nodded at He Caitou. He Caitou revealed a smiling intent with his eyes. Although he didn’t say anything, the answer was evident.

Xiao Xiao, you were right to choose second senior as your partner!

The three underground organizations took turns to express their stand, but without a doubt, Shangguan Wei’er stole the limelight. 
Nangong Wan paled. However, he wouldn’t step up to speak again at this point. Furthermore, he couldn’t reveal that the Duskwater Alliance was willing to offer a Class 9 stationary soul cannon shell!

This proved one thing: in order to stand out, they had to act later than the rest!

Nangong Wan returned to the resting area and turned to look at Huo Yuhao. He said, “I want you to try your best to kill whoever they send up. You can use whatever abilities you have. If anything happens, I’ll take responsibility. Young man, do your best. When this tournament is over, you’ll benefit greatly for sure. I’ll get one of the female dragons that Shangguan Wei’er mentioned for you, too.”

Huo Yuhao was a little stunned. He didn’t know Nangong Wan regarded him so highly. However, it was expected. When he defeated Mocke earlier, his evil soul master tactics had convinced Nangong Wan completely.

Chapter 340: Sunmoon Divine Needle

Huo Yuhao nodded gently and didn’t say anything. However, there was a resolute look in his eyes. It was just that Nangong Wan didn’t know that he wasn’t determined just to win the tournament...

The seven judges were the next to be introduced.

They were all advanced-level soul engineers. There were three Class 9 soul engineers among them, and the remaining four were Class 8. As the seven of them appeared together, they seemed very imposing.

Their speeches weren’t as intense; they were more focused on the fairness of the tournament. They didn’t provoke the nine competitors with their words.

The seven judges were soon seated on the stage in seven comfortable seats that had been prepared for them beforehand. There were now nine carving tables on this wide stage. These carving tables were each twice as big as the carving tables used in the previous rounds. At this point, the members from the three organizations were setting up the equipment and rare metals that they had brought along.

Before the tournament even started, the three parties were already pitted against one another.

---

Through his Spiritual Detection, Huo Yuhao observed the nine carving tables. Even though he was a composed person, he couldn’t help but be moved.

He’d never seen such a level of equipment, even at the Illustrious Virtue Hall. Every instrument and tool was exquisite! With all this, his speed and precision would be greatly increased. Furthermore, it might even be possible for him to create a soul tool beyond his class!

As for rare metals, he had as much as he wanted. There were even some rare metals that Huo Yuhao had never seen before. 
The Duskwater Alliance had the greatest variety of rare metals; there were sixty-four different types! The glow from all these rare metals even tempted the judges on the stage.

They’ve really spent a lot! Huo Yuhao was in awe. He looked around to meet He Caitou’s eyes.

They had already made plans before they came. In the grand final, they weren’t going to hold back anymore. On the one hand, they could test their abilities. On the other, they wanted the lucrative rewards.

If they won, they could obtain a Class 9 soul tool, along with the Class 9 stationary soul cannon shell. Such things couldn’t be bought with money. Moreover, they would also win a ton of rare metals. Huo Yuhao was more attracted to things he didn’t know about. If He Caitou was given the opportunity to do some research with all these things, he might be able to invent new soul tools!

--- “Alright, the exciting moment is here. As the three parties prepare their equipment for the tournament later, we’ll let our seven judges safeguard our grand final prize. This prize has been prepared for our winner tonight. Let’s invite our chief judge for tonight – Class 9 soul engineer and the Starsky Douluo Ye Yulin – to present our grand final prize!”

An elder seated in the center of the seven judges stood up. He lifted his right hand, and a spot of silver light shot into the sky.

It was like a silver spark. However, it grew in size as it ascended. When it was a hundred meters in the air, it actually turned into a bright ball of silver light.

Starsky Douluo Ye Yulin? Huo Yuhao was stunned.

When he was in Shrek Academy, he had heard Teacher Fan Yu mention a few notable Class 9 soul engineers in the Sun Moon Empire.

The Starsky Douluo was a Class 9 soul engineer, around Rank 92 or 93. In terms of soul tool creation, he was a genius. He was comparable to Jing Hongchen, and specialized in creating all types of high-altitude soul tools, which was how he had gotten his title.

He Caitou’s Eye of Fear was invented by this man. It was rumored that his soul tools could turn into stars during a war, unleashing great offensive strength. He could even tap into celestial phenomena to attack. His namesake soul tool was called the Sunmoon Divine Needle. It was ranked as having among the highest levels of offensive power of all Class 9 soul tools.

The ball of silver light in the sky finally stabilized. Following this, a silver ray descended from the sky and landed on Ye Yulin. He didn’t make a sound, but mimicked a lifting action. Suddenly, a dim golden ball of light appeared within the silver ray of light.

This ball had a diameter of one meter. As it slowly rose, it resembled a sun, shining along with the ball of silver light until it arrived next to it.

These two balls of light coordinated with each other in the sky, revolving around an invisible center. They wove into a larger golden-silver ball up in the air. 
There was no strong aura from these two balls of light. However, all the Class 8 and above soul engineers that were familiar with the Starsky Douluo were shocked when they saw them.

“Our revered Master Ye, can you introduce this prize to all of us?” In the face of Ye Yulin, Lu Qi appeared very respectful.

Ye Yulin was an elder with a bald head. His cheeks were rosy, and his gaze was electrifying.

He lifted his head and was a little reluctant as he looked at the gold and silver ball of light. He said, “Tonight’s grand final prize is a soul tool that I created. I call it the Sunmoon Divine Needle. The reason behind this name is because it is an anchor for the Sun Moon Empire. It’s able to make up for the flaw of my Sun Divine Needle, which only works in the day.

“It is an offensive-type soul tool. It can rise sixteen hundred meters into the air, and has an effective range of thirty kilometers. With sufficient spiritual power, it can detect a target up to thirty kilometers away, and produce an accurate attack. However, I’d like to caution all our young competitors, this soul tool is my proudest work. I hope you don’t tarnish it!

“At the same time, please do not dismantle it in an attempt to study it. Otherwise, you’ll only suffer from its backlash...”

Sunmoon Divine Needle!

Huo Yuhao and He Caitou were both shocked. A Class 9 soul tool with an effective range of thirty kilometers! It could also unleash immense spiritual power for detection and accuracy… it was too powerful.

This was their first time encountering a Class 9 soul tool. They only now realized why a Class 9 soul engineer could challenge a Titled Douluo even though his martial soul wasn’t very strong. In addition, they also discovered how a Class 9 soul engineer possessed an obvious advantage in a war.

In a duel, a Class 9 soul engineer was definitely inferior to a nine-ringed Titled Douluo. However, the Class 9 soul tools that they created were lethal! Huo Yuhao had seen a Class 8 soul tool before. However, it was far different from this Class 9 soul tool! Of course, the Sunmoon Divine Needle was one of the top-ranked Class 9 soul tools, too!

He Caitou was a little excited as he whispered, “Little junior, this thing was custom-made for you!”

Huo Yuhao focused his gaze and glared at him. He Caitou only then realized that he had said the wrong words, and quickly shut his mouth.

However, Nangong Wan and the Third Elder both heard him mention the words “little junior”. Although they were a little doubtful, they weren’t suspicious, as He Caitou didn’t expose anything further, so they didn’t say anything. After all, Huo Yuhao seemed like an evil soul master who specialized in spiritual calling. With his great spiritual power, he was very suited to use the Sunmoon Divine Needle.

The Third Elder snorted and said, “Don’t be fooled by Ye Yulin. His Sunmoon Divine Needle is good, but it takes three days to charge. In addition, it can only be charged using Sun Moon Essence. Its offensive strength is great, but it can only be used three times after being charged. Furthermore, a lot of soul power is depleted every time it’s used! It’s very taxing. The thirty kilometer effective range is theoretical, too. However, it’s true that it can reach sixteen hundred meters into the air.”

Nan Gongwan chortled and said, “Third Elder, admit it. You are indeed inferior to Ye Yulin in terms of high-altitude soul tools. He’s also representing the imperial family. Why do you have to pit yourself against him? Although the Sunmoon Divine Needle is difficult to use, it’s still one of the best Class 9 soul tools. There are only benefits to be reaped by getting it. However, it’s best not to use it before you have nine rings, or you might suffer from a backlash. From what Ye Yulin said, I think he has some kind of self-detonation setting installed into it, too. Don’t try to dismantle it.”

While he was talking to all of them, he was actually looking at Huo Yuhao as he was speaking. It really felt as if he were a teacher guiding his student.

Huo Yuhao didn’t make a sound, and only nodded gently.

He Caitou laughed to himself. Those who are good are always meant to shine. No matter where little junior goes, he always captures attention! Even evil soul masters want to accept him as a disciple.

The introduction of this prize caused a huge uproar. The tournament was about to start! Tonight’s final in the western suburb was bound to cause a huge wave in the Empire! 
“Let us now invite the nine competitors of the Radiant City Elite Soul Engineering Tournament to come up to the stage now. Our accurate timer-type soul tool has already been prepared. In our first segment for tonight, the competitors will be given six hours to create a soul tool. Our seven judges will be monitoring them throughout the entire six hours. Those who try to flout the rules and attempt unfair means will be disqualified. Please treat this tournament seriously.” Lu Qi said with a stern look on his face. He shifted his body to one side and gestured.

The competitors from the three organizations exited their resting areas. They followed their respective leaders up onto the stage.

He Caitou was still pushing Huo Yuhao’s wheelchair. Besides him, the rest of the competitors were fit and healthy.

Nangong Wan was the frontmost person. He was the first to ascend the stage. His gaze was very sharp, and he glanced coldly at Lu Qi. Lu Qi was petrified, and felt as if his head had been hammered. His expression changed in horror, and he subconsciously took a step back.

An Litong was still wearing the pretentious smile on his face. He glanced at the three behind Nangong Wan, and his smile became a little forced. He said, “Master Nangong, I’d heard there was a disabled person among your three representatives and thought it was a joke, but it’s really true that you’ve picked a cripple! You are really creative.”

Nan  Gongwan  smiled  and  said,  “Physical  disabilities  are nothing.  The  worse  disability  is  up  here.  It’s  fatal!”  As  he spoke, he pointed to his own head.

An Litong’s expression changed slightly. He was a bit terrified of Nangong Wan. After years of interaction, he naturally knew that Nangong Wan was an evil soul master. It was just that the Alto Chamber of Commerce was backed by the military, and thus he wasn’t afraid of dealing with Nangong Wan on a large scale.

“Oh! Brother Nangong, you are still as trenchant as ever! I’m so terrified.”  Shangguan Wei’er walked up to the stage in her usual manner and arrived beside Nangong Wan.

Nangong  Wan’s  smile  became  wider.  “Long  time  no  see, Elder sister Shangguan! You still look as young as ever. I admire you so much for that.”

Nangong Wan looked like an elder, but he called Shangguan Wei’er his elder sister. Everyone felt very irked by that. The enchantment they were under after seeing Shangguan Wei’er’s stunning looks also disappeared.

Her expression changed, and she immediately seemed very cold. “Nangong Wan, you are courting death!”

Nangong Wan was still smiling widely as before. Two silvery- grey sparks appeared in his eyes, “Elder sister Shangguan, calm down. The tournament is about to start.”

Shangguang Wei’er was also slightly petrified when she saw the sparks in his eyes. She snorted and regained her original expression.  “Then  let’s  start.  I’ll  make  you  pay  for  what’s happened today another time.” After the three leaders completed their brief exchange of words, they all retreated to their own sides. Apart from observing the competitors, they didn’t do anything else. Under so many watchful eyes, even they didn’t dare to pull any tricks.

Huo Yuhao was also observing his opponents.

The three representatives from the Alto Chamber of Commerce were all men. They seemed to be around thirty years old, and didn’t look very special. The only notable thing about the three of them was their composure. Evidently, they were experienced and talented soul engineers.

The Common Alliance was bound to draw attention. All three of their representatives were ladies.

There were women soul engineers, but they were much rarer than male soul engineers. The Common Alliance sent out three women soul engineers, and they were all extremely pretty. It was shocking. Evidently, they were all nurtured by the Common Alliance. The three of them were clad in three different colors – red, yellow, and blue. These three primary colors were indeed very recognizable.

The lady in red was extremely stunning. She was like a blooming rose, whereas the lady in blue seemed very cold and arrogant. As for the lady in yellow, she was wearing a long palace dress. She was extremely elegant, just like a princess.

The three ladies were all special in their own ways. All of them were extremely outstanding.

However, Huo Yuhao only thought of them as ordinary people, because they couldn’t control their own souls. Everything they displayed on the surface was actually trained; they weren’t natural. Such ladies couldn’t compare to Wang Dong’er. They weren’t even fit to compare with Wang Dong’er.

“Don’t be fooled by their looks. The soul engineers nurtured by the Common Alliance are very cunning. If there’s an opportunity, go hard on them. Don’t give them a chance.” Nan Gongwan’s voice sounded in He Caitou, Huo Yuhao and Huang Zheng’s ears. Huo Yuhao thought of something. Indeed, these ladies would gain an advantage to a certain extent. Against ravishing beauties, any normal man would be more merciful.

Ye Yulin gestured and said, “All three leaders, please step down from the stage. Competitors, get into position and get ready to compete.”

Nan Gongwan, Shangguan Wei’er, and An Litong looked at one another. There was a cold look in their eyes as they turned around.

He Caitou pushed Huo Yuhao behind a carving table before he proceeded to his own carving table behind him.

Ye Yulin placed his hands behind his back. He seemed very stern. Even in the face of the leaders from the three organizations, he continued to be very blunt.

If not for the fact that Xu Tianran had personally invited him, he wouldn’t have appeared today. He was only willing to part with his Sunmoon Divine Needle after Xu Tianran promised him compensation. In his opinion, soul engineers should be more invested in soul tool research. Competing in tournaments was a waste of time. Moreover, this tournament was organized by underground organizations. That was why he didn’t like any of the competitors that were going to compete.

They were both Class 9 soul engineers, but Ye Yulin’s status seemed to be higher compared to Zheng Zhan.

Given different research directions, Class 9 soul engineers would achieve different things. Ye Yulin was among the top three Class 9 soul engineers in the Sun Moon Empire. In terms of his abilities, he was at least at Jing Hongchen’s standard. He was even recognized as the controller of the stars and the sky.

Right now, his dominant aura filled the entire stage as he scanned the nine competitors coldly. Among all the nine competitors, he was most drawn to Huo Yuhao. It was only when he looked at Huo Yuhao that his gaze turned much gentler.

Although he was also representing an underground organization, Ye Yulin felt that Huo Yuhao seemed very determined, even with his disability. After all, soul engineers required a lot of resources. It was much more difficult for a crippled soul engineer to obtain resources compared to a normal soul engineer, so Ye Yulin paid more attention to Huo Yuhao.

“You’ll be given six hours to create a soul tool. You can only create one soul tool, but you can use whatever materials you want. However, you can’t use any half-finished products that were assembled earlier. If you are discovered doing something like this, you’ll immediately be disqualified. At the same time, I need to remind all of you that you won’t be given any time to rest after the six hours. We’ll enter the technical test immediately. The lowest-ranked of the nine will be eliminated, and the rankings will also determine your places in the quarterfinals. That’s why it’s important for all of you to conserve some of your energy when you create your soul tool, so that you’ll have some energy left to deal with the technical test. The difficulty of the technical test is going to be very high.”

After hearing Ye Yulin’s words, the nine competitors were stunned. If even Ye Yulin claimed that the technical test was going to be difficult, it must be really difficult.

Huo Yuhao was also slightly shocked. He shut his eyes and placed his hands on the table. He was waiting silently. 
“The time starts now! Raise the soundproofing barriers!”

As Ye Yulin shouted, a layer of dim white rose from the sides of the stage. The gentle white light quickly formed a ceiling in the sky and covered the stage. All external noise was isolated. Ye Yulin also returned to his position and watched the soul engineers as they worked.

Huo Yuhao immediately moved after Ye Yulin shouted. He grabbed a piece of rare metal with each of his hands before moving to the stamping equipment on the table.

The rest started on their formation arrays, since they were in their best condition right now. Huo Yuhao, on the other hand, started with the shell of his soul tool. He was extremely quick, and used many pieces of rare metal and equipment to form the shell of his soul tool.

He was also the one who moved the most because of his choice. He created pieces of abrasives. They were also quite large in size. Ye Yulin had been observing him earlier because of his disability. He was even more drawn now. Seeing the method that he used, Ye Yulin was a little stunned.

What is this young man doing? Why isn’t he creating his formation arrays when he’s most focused, but instead creating his outer shell? Does he think it’s more difficult to create the outer shell compared to the formation arrays he plans to use?

While he thought like this, he wouldn’t go and disrupt Huo Yuhao. Each competitor could choose how they wanted to create their soul tool. 
Huo Yuhao was too quick. In just a few minutes, there were already more than ten metal shells on his carving table. Furthermore, each one of them was quite large. He needed to place some of them on the ground before he could continue his work.

Among the seven judges, the leftmost elder furrowed his brow and said, “Don’t tell me that the disabled kid from the Duskwater Alliance is trying to take away all the rare metals by creating such a huge soul tool?”

Ye Yulin also furrowed his brow. He had also thought of the same thing. It seemed very possible. It had been less than fifteen minutes, but Huo Yuhao had already used a lot of rare metals. At the same time, he had created many pieces of outer shell. It seemed like the soul tool he was creating today was going to be very large. The benefit of creating such a soul tool was that he could leave with a lot of rare metals. However, he was only using the cheaper rare metals, and hadn’t used the more valuable ones yet. It was just that Ye Yulin couldn’t tell what he was trying to create. Is it an original piece? That’ll be interesting.

Huo Yuhao was very quick, and seemed very serious too. However, no one noticed that he seemed to be less quick-witted than before, even though he still appeared to be very persistent.

It was very tormenting to experience spiritual separation! He tolerated the bouts of weakness he felt as his spirit was separated from his body. Although he wasn’t slow, his spiritual sea was billowing.

It’ll be great if my spiritual power became material. When I reach the concrete-material realm, I won’t have so many problems undergoing spiritual separation.

Of course Huo Yuhao knew that he should create his formation arrays when he had the most energy. It was just that he couldn’t focus right now!

The portion of spiritual power he had separated from himself in the carriage had already left this place under the concealment of his Imitation and returned to Radiant City. 
He had attempted such a spiritual separation before, but had had to remain in a still state so that his energy would be focused on the spiritual power that had separated from his body. However, it was different this time. His actual body had to compete here, while he separated his spiritual power to perform other tasks.

He was successful, but the side effects still left him feeling dizzy. Furthermore, his spiritual form and actual body kept on switching in his mind. If not for the fact that his spirit was sufficiently strong, this continuous change would have driven him crazy.

However, he started to adapt as time passed. A trace of his spirit had been in his spiritual form. The consciousness within that trace of his spirit slowly awakened, and he managed to slowly separate his energy between both sides. He was truly multi-tasking now!

However, this was his first attempt at such a thing. It was inevitable that he couldn’t concentrate. When his spiritual form traveled in the air, there were a few times he almost got into an accident. While nothing had gone wrong so far as he was working on his soul tool, he couldn’t possibly develop his formation arrays, as he couldn’t focus properly.

When his spiritual form separated from him, Huo Yuhao gathered a lot of his spiritual power in it. It was a fascinating separation. His soul skills could also be separated between his two bodies. The four skills from his Spirit Eyes’ first soul ring were allocated to his spiritual form. Without his Spiritual Detection in his actual body, he could only create the outer shell of his soul tool.

Fortunately, it wasn’t his first time creating this soul tool. He was at least familiar with the steps. There were also many rare metals available to him. He wasn’t bothered about failing; he just wanted to increase his speed. He wanted to give everyone a huge surprise. This soul tool he was creating was very important for that surprise.

When he created this soul tool in the past, he couldn’t bear to use rare metals! It was already very good if he could use some fine iron. But now that he had such excellent resources available to him, he couldn’t spurn such a good opportunity. He had to try his best to gain as many benefits as possible. In addition, he would benefit greatly if he managed to successfully create this soul tool. 
Very soon, one hour had passed.

As Ye Yulin had placed most of his attention on Huo Yuhao during this time, he started to figure some things out.

Is this kid creating a human-shaped soul tool? How is that possible?

From the outer shells that Huo Yuhao was assembling, he seemed to be forming the shape of a person. However, everyone in the world of soul engineers knew how difficult it was to create a human-shaped soul tool.

Ye Yulin had tried it before. However, a human-shaped soul tool required too many formation array transducers. The requirements on the resources needed and the number of formation arrays that had to be linked, as well as one’s control of the soul tool, were too high.

It wasn’t difficult to create a human-shaped soul tool that could be controlled. The difficult part was creating a human- shaped soul tool that could greatly increase one’s abilities. It had to be superior to the controller’s own abilities in terms of speed, attack, defense, and other aspects. It must also not restrain the soul skills that the controller could use.

Even a Class 9 soul engineer finds it difficult to create a human-shaped soul tool, but this young man who isn’t even older than thirty is trying to create one in this tournament. Why is he so confident?

Does he really think that he can create a human-shaped soul tool within six hours? And that it can help him win this tournament?

No! Ye Yulin’s eyes suddenly brightened. He started to understand what Huo Yuhao was doing.

This kid can’t move his lower limbs. He’ll definitely suffer later. If he can create a human-shaped soul tool that can help him move, he might actually win. However, such a human- shaped soul tool has to be equipped with an additional offensive-type soul tool, but the rules dictate that each competitor can only create one soul tool. How is he going to overcome this dilemma? Don’t tell me that he’s going to forfeit after completing this human-shaped soul tool? 
Even if this is the case, can he really complete the hundreds of formation arrays needed for a human-shaped soul tool within six hours? And make it move? It’s impossible!

Suddenly, the Starsky Douluo felt very confused. He was getting more and more curious as he watched Huo Yuhao.

Huo Yuhao continued to work on his soul tool, but he didn’t make any formation arrays. He was now making some smaller components. The rare metals that he used also became increasingly valuable.

Good rare metals are indeed different! The difference between using tough spring copper and ordinary fine copper to create the same component is indeed very large. In the past, I only succeeded once after failing many times, and I still had to worry about the strength. However, I’ve succeeded in one try using this spring copper, and my worries are also allayed. The difference is too great.

Ever since he became a soul engineer, Huo Yuhao had never enjoyed himself so much before. It was an enjoyment derived from being lavish. 
However, his concrete-immaterial spiritual form was quickly traveling back to Radiant City even as he was enjoying this experience with his actual body.

------

The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy was completely silent now. It wasn’t long before the lights would be turned out. The academy students had long since returned to their dorms.

Night had fallen, and the weather seemed a little gloomy. The lighting was very poor as night fell. Only the soul lamps along the sides of the walls in the academy managed to provide some lighting to their surroundings.

There were a few figures standing at a gate not far from the academy. They had managed to camouflage themselves into the dark.

“Why is here not here?” A captivating female voice sounded a little anxious. 
“Don’t be anxious,”  a cold voice replied. It was a voice that could leave a deep impression in one’s mind.

At this point, the clouds in the sky seemed to disperse. A streak of moonlight flashed past this dark corner they were in, revealing five figures.

They were waiting silently. There were five people – Ji Juechen, Jing Ziyan, Xiao Xiao, Wang Dong’er and Wang Qiu’er!

Yes, both Wang Qiu’er and Wang Dong’er were there!

The entire Tang Sect was waiting outside the hotel, apart from Bei Bei. They all looked ready for action, even though they were supposed to be resting in their hotel rooms right now.

Wang Dong’er and Wang Qiu’er were the two that had been speaking earlier. Wang Dong’er furrowed her brow and revealed a mysterious look in her eyes. She wasn’t worried about tonight’s operation, but she couldn’t help but fret as she heard that Huo Yuhao was about to perform a spiritual separation. Huo Yuhao’s actual body still had to compete, and he was being watched by many eyes where he was, including many strong individuals from the Holy Ghost Church. His life might be endangered. He Caitou couldn’t possibly protect him on his own.

However, it was too late now. They could only follow Huo Yuhao’s plan and arrangements.

“The money is all in this card. Check it.”  Xu Sanshi was covered in a black hat and veil. Jiang Nannan was the same.

There was a sneaky middle-aged man in front of them. He glanced around, then quickly took the card from Xu Sanshi. He retrieved a small soul tool and inserted the card into it.

Very soon, an astronomical number appeared on the screen of this soul tool. The sneaky middle-aged man also appeared much more relaxed. “Where  are  the  goods?”  Xu  Sanshi  asked.  He  exerted  his dominance at this point.

Chapter 341: Dragon Emperor, Taotie, Body

Xu Sanshi and Jiang Nannan didn’t participate in the operation on the other side because his injuries were relatively severe. Instead, he represented Huo Yuhao to settle the deal with Chen An’s subordinates.

Huo Yuhao’s plan didn’t allow anything beneficial for the Tang Sect to slip through their fingers. Even if their other two operations failed, the rare metals they had obtained through this deal was enough for the Tang Sect to use for quite some time. How could money be more important than rare metals? Furthermore, most of their income came from what they won from the underground tournament, other than Xu Jiujiu and Wei Na’s deposits.

Completing this deal would reduce Chen An’s suspicions. The Tang Sect could possibly draw upon this connection in the future.

A bracelet and two rings were handed to Xu Sanshi. Xu Sanshi passed them to Jiang Nannan beside him, and she immediately wore them on her hand as she scanned them with her spiritual power.

She nodded at Xu Sanshi after a few moments. They exchanged a look, and they could see the elation in each other’s eyes – they had completed the deal on this side.

“Are the goods all there?”  the middle-aged man that came forth to complete the deal asked a little restlessly.

Xu Sanshi nodded in response.

The middle-aged man’s expression smoothed out, and he pulled the hood of his cloak over his head as he waved to them before he briskly disappeared into the night.

Xu Sanshi grinned and said, “Let’s go, Nannan. I believe their operation is about to begin, so let’s get ready to coordinate or lend a hand. I wonder how Huo Yuhao is doing?” “Alright.” Jiang Nannan acknowledged softly, and the two of them vanished into the darkness.

……

Inside the Sun Moon Empire’s royal palace...

Lights and lanterns dotted the royal palace and lit up the night sky. The crown prince, Xu Tianran, was reading a book in his study, accompanied by Ju Zi.

Xu Tianran suddenly looked up and smiled as he spoke to Ju Zi. “Ju Zi, do you want to watch the great soul tool crafting tournament? You’re also a soul engineer, so you should be interested in that.”

Ju Zi was momentarily stunned. “That’s not a good idea, your Highness. How can you appear in a place like that with your status?”

Xu Tianran smiled and replied, “That’s alright. All I must do is hide your identity. There will be a conclusion tonight – even if rare metals have to be given out, the profits must end up in the royal family’s hands. Furthermore, the Holy Ghost Church has an exceptional appetite, and they wouldn’t be so obedient and stable if not for these profits. Besides, you’re the one spectating the tournament. I won’t be following you. Go if you wish.”

Words came to the tip of Ju Zi’s tongue, but she held them back in the end.

“What? Are you worried that working with the Holy Ghost Church  is  like  dealing  with  the  devil?”   Xu  Tianran  saw through her doubts with one look.

Ju Zi nodded lightly and said, “The Holy Ghost Church is a sect that consists of evil soul masters after all, and they are publicly rejected. Their thought processes are drastically different from how normal soul masters think. I’m afraid…”

Xu Tianran waved her away. “I am very clear that cooperating with them is equivalent to dealing with the devil. However, this is something I have to do.” “The  Douluo  Continent’s  three  native  empires  will  never catch up to our speed of soul tool development no matter what they do, and our national strength is far superior to each of them. With our current strength, we can deal with a single country, but unifying and conquering the entire continent is
exceptionally challenging.”

“Why haven’t the other three empires devoted their time and energy into developing soul tools? The reason is not because they lack rare metals – the more substantial reason stems from their deep-seated ideas and principles about soul masters. Soul masters represent a formidable profession, and they have existed on the Douluo Continent for far too long. Powerful soul masters are considered strategic assets for empires, and we have far fewer soul masters than the other three empires. The gap is even more pronounced as we go up the ranks. Think about it – how many Titled Douluo are there in Shrek Academy alone? Perhaps the Sun Moon Empire may accumulate enough strength, soul tools, and prodigious soul engineers to conquer the entire Continent after a few hundred years. But I won’t live that long, and time is short. I have to conquer the entire Continent in the time that I have to rule over the Sun Moon Empire.”

Xu Tianran’s eyes surged with passion as he reached this sentence. 
“We will need friends, and we have to form alliances if we want to achieve this. We need to obtain sufficient strength to fight against those soul masters on a higher level. Soul engineers can rival soul masters given enough time to set up and prepare, and soul engineers may even surpass soul masters in battles that rely on large-scale attacks. However, a Class 9 soul engineer has almost no chance to defeat an actual Titled Douluo in an impromptu battle, while every single Class 9 soul engineer is considered an invaluable asset to the empire. Therefore, I will not use them against those soul masters and those Titled Douluo. The optimal decision under such circumstances is to work together with the Holy Ghost Sect.”

“The Holy Ghost Sect’s evil soul masters have been holding back and building up for countless years to reach the scale they are at today. They are our greatest strength in terms of high- level combat. The Holy Ghost Church consists of only evil soul masters, so they can’t do anything in public or out in the open. This is the reason why they are always in the shadows, while I handle the publicity and everything else on the surface. I have been using the Holy Ghost Church, and they have been using me. Their most important request doesn’t mean much to me – they want to become the Sun Moon Empire’s national church, and they want their founder to become the Imperial Tutor. At the same time, they want us to announce across the entire world after we conquer the Continent that they will take over as traditional soul masters, and society is to do away with their label of evil soul masters.”

“Therefore, I don’t have to worry about anything at all. Even if we have conflicts, all that will happen after the empire conquers the Continent. When that happens, perhaps I will have accumulated enough strength.”

A cold feeling flickered across the corner of Xu Tianran’s mouth as he finished his last sentence.

Ju Zi listened intently, but her heart was going cold inside. The crown prince is so reserved, and he will only reveal some of his thoughts and opinions in front of me. Have you left, Huo Yuhao? Hurry up and leave! How can you fight against him? I truly don’t wish to see your corpse.

Ju Zi couldn’t help but feel a little anxious when she thought about Huo Yuhao. She had taken a big risk and gotten someone to send a letter to Huo Yuhao so that he could leave this giant whirlpool that was Radiant City as quickly as possible. She didn’t know how many people were going to be sucked into this enormous whirlpool. Xu Tianran said, “Push me to the window, Ju Zi.”

“Yes.” Ju Zi hurriedly pushed his wheelchair to the window and helped him open it.

The night winds felt chilly as they gusted through the window. Xu Tianran stared at the night sky and smiled as he said, “You should make your move if you want to watch the tournament.”

Ju Zi shook her head and said, “I’m not going anywhere. I want to accompany you.” She placed her hands on Xu Tianran’s shoulders as she spoke and gently massaged them.

A warm smile appeared on Xu Tianran’s face, something that was hard to come by. He patted Ju Zi’s hand and said, “My heart can relax only when I’m alone with you. This feeling is just fantastic. It’s a pity that the night will not let me enjoy this pleasure peacefully and quietly. If you’re not going to watch the tournament, remember not to leave my side after this. They should be here soon.” Ju Zi was a little surprised. “Who’s coming? It’s already so late.”

Xu Tianran sneered and said, “Some people won’t give up on their stupid decisions just because it’s getting late.”

Right at this moment, an elderly voice suddenly rang out. “Since you’re already here, stop hiding. Come out!”

Countless bodyguards raced out and plugged every corner of Xu Tianran’s study. A white sphere of light suddenly lit up the black night sky.

A figure hovered arrogantly in the sky above Xu Tianran’s study, and a long black robe swayed gently in the wind.

He was just standing there in midair, as if he had been there since the beginning of time.

There was no expression on his face, but there was an indescribable pride and arrogance, as if he were the sky’s dictator, as if the earth beneath submitted to him. 
“The Dragon Emperor Douluo has become someone’s guard dog.  People  are  so  treacherous  nowadays!”  A  strange  voice could be heard, and the sky seemed to split open as a dense dark green cloud stretched through the night sky. The green cloud opened, and someone walked out from within.

Indeed, the person hovering above Xu Tianran’s study was the Dragon Emperor Douluo, Long Xiaoyao, who was also known as the Darkness Holy Dragon.

The person who had stepped out from the green clouds was the Body Sect’s current sect leader, Du Busi, who was a Rank 98 Body Douluo. He was close to becoming an Ultimate Douluo.

Only powerful individuals of his level dared to face someone like Long Xiaoyao, who was already an Ultimate Douluo.

Long Xiaoyao grunted coldly as he glanced at Du Busi, who had a mass of green hair on his head. “Your elder brother was heavily injured at the hands of Mu En all those years ago. If you wish to remain here today and want the Body Sect’s lineage to end, I will fulfill your wish.” Du Busi’s eyes closed into slits as he muttered coldly, “Don’t be so pretentious and condescending, Long Xiaoyao. If I remember correctly, you’re originally from the Heavenly Soul Empire. Your decadence has taken you into a sect filled with evil soul masters, and you’ve become the Sun Moon Empire’s
lackey. The Body Sect looks down on you.”

Long Xiaoyao’s expression changed a little when Du Busi mentioned the Heavenly Soul Empire. He lowered his voice and said, “Has the Body Sect really come under the Heavenly Soul Empire’s wing?”

Du Busi said contemptuously, “Come under their wing? No. We’re just working together. The Body Sect is currently the Heavenly Soul Empire’s national defense sect. Long Xiaoyao, if you still consider yourself part of the Heavenly Soul Empire, get out of my way.”

Long Xiaoyao shook his head and said plainly, “I’ll spare your life since you have decided to represent the Heavenly Soul Empire. There’s nothing more to be said. You should understand the code of Titled Douluo, and we will speak in the sky if we interfere with mortal conflicts and affairs. Come out, Xuan Zi. I will take you both on at the same time today.” Long Xiaoyao shook as he spoke, and instantly surged into the sky as shadow after shadow appeared behind him. 
The Scorpion Tiger Douluo, Zhang Peng, was among them, along with about a dozen other shadows. The Sun Moon Empire’s mysterious Imperial Tutor stuck close to Long Xiaoyao.

There was an unspoken rule in the world of soul masters – Titled Douluo who interfered or participated in worldly affairs or conflicts had to fight it out in the sky to avoid annihilation, destruction, and the loss of life. Only the victorious party was worthy of making a move against others who weren’t Titled Douluo. As long as there was one Titled Douluo who hadn’t been defeated, the other side’s Titled Douluo couldn’t participate in combat against others.

This rule was a commandment left behind ten thousand years ago by the Tang Sect’s founding father after he entered the Divine Realm. Not a single empire had passed this as a law, but all the Titled Douluo in the world followed this commandment religiously. War was most harmful towards normal citizens, while it wasn’t difficult for individuals like Titled Douluo to massacre an entire city if they unleashed their full strength. This commandment greatly reduced the bloodshed and lives lost in the wars that had unfurled in the ten thousand years since.
This was reason why Long Xiaoyao brought it up.

He was an Ultimate Douluo, and the Body Sect’s sect leader, Du Busi, wouldn’t break that rule. Nobody knew exactly how effective Tang San’s commandment had been ten thousand years down the road, but everyone was clear that one of them breaking the commandment meant the other party would do so as well. If that happened, the entire Continent would swiftly become devoid of life. This was the reason why the Titled Douluo fought in the sky no matter their goal, and those who didn’t have nine soul rings were responsible for assaulting the royal palace.

A golden beam of light lit up half the night sky as the Taotie Douluo, Elder Xuan, appeared in the sky. He seemed to chime in from the other end as they sandwiched Long Xiaoyao between them, and the three of them soared into the sky at the same time. There were more than twenty individuals who rose together with Elder Xuan and Du Busi into the sky. Long Xiaoyao was a powerful being, but his expression changed – his side had only half the number of Titled Douluo compared to the other side.

Furthermore, Long Xiaoyao was very clear that with the Body Sect and the Shrek Academy’s depth and background, more than half of these Titled Douluo were Transcendent Douluo. Otherwise, they wouldn’t dare to trespass into Radiant City’s royal palace.

“Xuan Zi, we don’t have to be polite with the old darkness dragon anymore. He’s our senior – let’s team up against him.” Du Busi laughed heartily, and he bolted out right when he rose into the sky as he went straight for Long Xiaoyao.

Elder Xuan frowned, but he hesitated for only a moment before he flew towards Long Xiaoyao along with Du Busi.

The two of them were some of the strongest individuals in the world; they were both Rank 98 Transcendent Douluo. However, it might seem like they were only one rank away from a Rank 99 Ultimate Douluo, but they were very clear what this gap meant. This was the reason why Du Busi hadn’t dared to attack Mu En when he faced him those years ago, even though he knew that Elder Mu was still recovering from his old injuries. If they matched up one-versus-one against the Dragon Emperor Douluo, Long Xiaoyao, they had no chance at all.

But two against one was different. They were at the pinnacle of the world, and Long Xiaoyao might not be able to defeat them one against two even with his strength. This wasn’t as simple as one plus two – their cultivation and experience over a hundred years would allow them to complement each other and raise their overall strength exponentially.

The other Titled Douluo didn’t make a move. Instead, they retreated far away and watched this epic showdown. This was a great opportunity for them to watch a battle at this level, and it would be very beneficial for people at their level. If they could understand something, or have some kind of revelation from this fight, that would be very catalyzing and inspirational for their cultivation in the future. Ranking up after becoming a Titled Douluo was extremely challenging, and this was especially so for those Titled Douluo who were stuck at the bottleneck that would make them into a Transcendent Douluo.

Long Xiaoyao wasn’t fearful at all as the two powerful individuals lunged towards him. He raised both hands in the air and pushed one out against Du Busi, and the other at Elder Xuan.

Deep dragon roars echoed through the night sky like rolling thunder. In Elder Xuan and Du Busi’s eyes, Long Xiaoyao was like an ancient dragon arching its back and flashing its sharp claws at them.

Two black palm shadows swelled in the wind, quickly reaching a height of one hundred meters. They were so tall and majestic that they resembled small mountains.

“Heh!”  Du Busi growled as green light surged around his body. A dark green light stretched out behind his back, and his arms grew exponentially as he pushed forward with his two Giant Spirit’s Palms and collided with one of the black palm shadows in the sky.

“Boom!”  A deep boom resonated across the air, and even Radiant City’s royal palace trembled beneath it. Du Busi quivered, but his enormous dark green hands plunged into the large black palm shadow, and he forcefully tore it apart right in front of him. On the other side, Elder Xuan’s response was a lot less ferocious. He took a step forward through the air, and the Godly Taotie Bull’s projection flickered behind him as two long horns protruded from the top of his head. Two yellow, two purple, four black, and one red soul ring shimmered into view as he punched out with his right hand.

“Boom!”

The black palm shadow dissipated, while Elder Xuan was sent hurtling backwards more than ten meters. Long Xiaoyao’s shoulders trembled in the distance.

The Dragon Emperor Douluo was fighting against two, and he still had the upper hand – this was true strength!

……

“Boom, boom, boom!” Deep thunderous booms resonated in the sky, and shadows flickered incessantly. “It’s begun. We should make a move.” A bright voice rang out in a dark alley beside the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy.

A strange sight occurred.

There was a small being hovering in front of Wang Dong’er, Wang Qiu’er, Ji Juechen, Jing Ziyan, and Xiao Xiao. This being was about one foot tall, but it felt like a real person.

Judging by its appearance, wasn’t that Huo Yuhao? The light coming from his body wasn’t glaring, and his projection almost felt material. However, he was no longer crippled and immobile, and he was just drifting in front of everyone. He looked a lot like his Spirit, the little Snow Lady.

Everyone was overcome with shock when Huo Yuhao appeared in front of them like that a couple of minutes ago.

Yes, this was Huo Yuhao’s spiritual avatar that he had separated from his main body. He was gradually able to control it as he flew along, and even though he was still a little disoriented and unfamiliar because he had to split his consciousness in two, the fact that he could fly his spiritual avatar to his companions proved that he had been successful.

Huo Yuhao wasn’t hasty to lead his companions into the operation when he arrived. Instead, he was waiting quietly until now. He flew over to Wang Dong’er and sat down on her shoulder when they heard the deep and deafening booms in the sky, and he urged them to begin.

Wang Dong’er glanced at him, and she couldn’t help but laugh. “You’re quite cute in this form.”

Huo Yuhao rolled his eyes and said, “Let’s go, we should hurry. Almost all the powerful individuals are concentrated over there, and it seems like the Sun Moon Empire is prepared for this ambush on the royal palace. If I’m not wrong, the Class 9 soul engineers who are normally stationed here have been drawn over there. We have about an hour to figure out how much of an advantage we can take from this opportunity.”

“Alright.” Wang Dong’er acknowledged, and she walked at the forefront with Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power guiding her. The other four followed closely behind. Wang Qiu’er was walking right behind Wang Dong’er, and she stared at Huo Yuhao on Wang Dong’er’s shoulder. Strange lights flickered time and time again in her eyes. This fellow is getting more and more powerful, indeed.

The place they were at was the same one that Chen An had met somebody in secret that day, and the same place that Huo Yuhao had discreetly discovered.

Huo Yuhao had used spiritual separation that time, as well. But his main body wasn’t doing anything when he had used it back then, while his spiritual avatar didn’t have to use any abilities at all. This meant the previous instance was a lot easier to control and operate, but now he had to concentrate all his energy on this endeavor. Huo Yuhao activated his Imitation, and he integrated himself and his five companions into their surroundings. Nobody could discover them even if someone came close to check.

They followed along the small path beside the Sun Moon Academy, and they relied on Imitation to circle around the soldiers who were standing guard outside. They quickly arrived outside the same courtyard where Chen An had discreetly met up with somebody back then. “It’s  here.”   Huo  Yuhao  reached  into  his  companions’ consciousnesses and informed them. He increased his Spiritual Detection’s area of effect at the same time, and encompassed the entire courtyard.

The situation was exactly as he had predicted. The only person who remained was the middle-aged man who met Chen An that day, and his surname was Li. At this moment, he was just standing inside the courtyard, a calm expression on his face. However, anxiety flashed across his eyes from time to time, as if he was waiting for something.

The middle-aged man wasn’t waiting for money, as Chen An had given him the rest of the payment once the goods had been delivered. He was waiting for news that the deal had been successful.

He was selling rare metals in private without his superiors’ knowledge, and he knew that his life would be over if he was discovered. He had to be as cautious and careful as possible.

There was a black metal box in his hands, and he glanced again and again at the crystal screen on the metal box’s surface. 
“Let me go,” Wang Qiu’er whispered.

Huo Yuhao hurriedly waved her away and said, “We’re not in a hurry. Let’s wait for a little while more. This place seems lax on the outside, but it’s very strict and secure on the inside, and there are many traps all around. We cannot act rashly and alert the enemy – he’s waiting for news, and we’ll make our move when he gets it. This way, the person he’s meeting up with won’t suspect that something isn’t right, and we can avoid any unnecessary accidents.”

Huo Yuhao’s calm and composure influenced everybody around him, and Wang Qiu’er said nothing more.

The deep booms that were coming from the distant sky that resembled rolling thunder became louder and louder. Dark green, black, and yellow colors alternately lit up the sky.

They were battling high up in the sky, but everyone could still feel how epic and magnificent that battle was even though they were so far away. A look of pity and regret flashed across Huo Yuhao’s eyes. He would really have loved to watch this clash between this generation’s most powerful individuals if he hadn’t had more important things to do. 
The middle-aged man could naturally also hear the deep booms in the distance, and he glanced up at the sky from time to time as faint fear flowed from his eyes. He was a soul engineer, and that meant he was fundamentally a soul master as well, but this was the first time that he had ever heard something as frightening as that. Furthermore, he had no idea what was going on, and it was happening while there was something else on his mind. He glanced at his screen a lot more than before.

Right at that moment, shadows rose into the sky from another courtyard behind this one. An old and hardy voice said, “Li Chong, guard the courtyard. We’ll head to the royal palace to see what’s going on.”

Eight shadows surged into the air, and transformed into flowing light as they bolted toward the deep booms echoing across the horizon, and the royal palace beneath them.

Everyone looked on as those shadows disappeared beyond the horizon. Wang Dong’er, Wang Qiu’er, Ji Juchen, Jing Ziyan, and Xiao Xiao all glanced at Huo Yuhao with a little more admiration in their eyes.

They had waited for only a short while longer, but this had greatly reduced the dangers that they originally could have faced.

Huo Yuhao smiled, though he didn’t admit that his prediction had been correct. “We’re lucky. You can go, Qiu’er. The key is tied to Li Chong’s waist. Try to be as silent and discreet as possible. The room behind him and to his left is empty; take him in there.”

“Okay.” Wang Qiu’er acknowledged, and Huo Yuhao expanded his Imitation’s area of effect as she leapt gently into the courtyard.

---

Li Chong felt his heart skip a beat when he heard that old and hardy voice. He had a guilty conscience, and there was something else on his mind, so he was especially sensitive to external stimulus and what was happening in the outside world. The voice eventually said that they were heading to the royal palace to take a look, not that they had discovered something, and only then did Li Chong, who was also the manager, immediately relax. He even felt as if his entire body were going soft and weak.

The soul communicator’s screen finally lit up in his hands at this moment. A sign to represent that the deal had been successfully closed appeared, and Li Chong’s heart finally relaxed completely, while his eyes appeared immensely relieved.

Unfortunately, he didn’t know that Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection was monitoring everything that he was feeling and doing. Wang Qiu’er took this opportunity to strike through the guidance provided by Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection.

Wang Qiu’er darted forward like a lightning bolt as her figure flickered through the air. She was moving too quickly, and she even emerged from Huo Yuhao’s Imitation because of her incredible speed.

However, she was simply too fast. It was too late for Li Chong to react when alarm rose in his heart. 
He was still a soul engineer, however, and a Class 5 automatic protective soul barrier emerged from his body in an attempt to block Wang Qiu’er’s attack.

Unfortunately for him, he was facing a person that was touted as the strongest dragon-type soul master in the entire Continental Elite Youth Soul Master Tournament, the golden dragon girl! Breaking through fortresses and defenses was Wang Qiu’er’s forte!

Wang Qiu’er’s Golden Dragon Spear pierced through the soul barrier as if it were punching through a piece of paper. Wang Qiu’er had charged up for this attack, and it included her frightening strength and soul power, along with her spiritual power. The dash of golden light that erupted caused Ji Juechen’s expression to change, even though he was already a Soul Sage.

The sharp tip accurately impaled Li Chong’s throat, and the soft sound of cracking bones rang out once before everything went silent. Li Chong’s eyes were as wide as they could be. He had relaxed completely before this, and his mind had been filled with the luxurious and fortunate life that he would have in the future. However, his life turned upside down in that moment – he was motionless and lackadaisical, and he stared in disbelief as Imitation closed over him. He was not resigned to his fate as he watched the twisting and contorting figure in front of him.

Li Chong’s life energy flooded through the Golden Dragon Spear, and not a single drop of blood was shed. Wang Qiu’er kept his corpse impaled on her spear as she dashed into the room that Huo Yuhao had pointed out to her in a flash.

It only took a few seconds to complete this ambush. When Wang Qiu’er came back out from that room and gently shut its doors, Wang Dong’er, Ji Juechen, and the others had already arrived inside the courtyard.

Huo Yuhao gave Wang Qiu’er a thumbs-up and said, “Brother Ji, you’ll stay here with sister Ziyan to keep a lookout for us. If powerful enemies come, release the signal, break through the onslaught by yourselves, and return to the hotel right afterwards. You don’t have to wait for us. Third senior brother and fourth senior sister will be waiting for you on the other side of the alleyway. Xiao Xiao, Dong’er, Qiu’er… let’s go.” 
There could only be one voice in the team at a time like this, and Jing Ziyan and Ji Juechen nodded softly.

Huo Yuhao brought everyone into a room in the center according to what he remembered from his reconnaissance efforts the last time, finding this room also empty. Ji Juechen and Jing Ziyan found a window each and hid beside them as they watched everything that was happening outside. Huo Yuhao brought the other three girls to a large wardrobe inside the room.

“Open it,” Huo Yuhao said.

Wang Dong’er and Wang Qiu’er took a step forward at almost the same time. They exchanged a look, and Wang Qiu’er stepped back and let Wang Dong’er open it.

Huo Yuhao facepalmed. It seems like I have to make things a little more specific next time.

“Qiu’er, insert the purple key into the keyhole on the hinge at the left side of the wardrobe.” Huo Yuhao’s instructions were now a lot clearer.

Wang Qiu’er retrieved a purple key from the set of keys that she had stolen, found a discreet keyhole at the hinges, and inserted the key.

A series of faint cracking sounds could be heard, and the board behind the wardrobe began to open slowly to one side. An entrance was revealed, faint light flickering inside.

Wang Qiu’er was about to enter, but Huo Yuhao stopped her.

Huo Yuhao lowered her voice and said, “We will have to face all kinds of booby traps after we go inside. This place is exceptionally important for the Sun Moon Empire, and there will be many soul tool traps and whatnot. Dong’er will take point, Xiao Xiao will be in the center, and Qiu’er will be at the back. Everyone has to follow my instructions, and please don’t make any mistakes. Otherwise, we will all be doomed. I don’t care what other thoughts and opinions you guys have right now… stow them.”

“I’m okay with that,” Wang Dong’er answered forthrightly. 
Xiao Xiao stared at the two other girls amusingly before she nodded.

Fortunately, only Huo Yuhao’s spiritual avatar was here, so he wouldn’t blush even when Xiao Xiao was staring at him with a strange look.

Wang Qiu’er took a deep breath and said, “Okay, we’ll listen to you.”

“Let’s go! Dong’er goes first.”  Huo Yuhao didn’t waste any more time, and immediately gave his orders.

Wang Dong’er leapt softly and nimbly entered the entryway within the wardrobe. She didn’t make a single sound, and Xiao Xiao and Wang Qiu’er followed closely behind.

The insides of this tunnel gave everyone a very spacious feeling. This tunnel didn’t go directly down, but pointed forward instead. There were stone walls on both sides at least a meter thick. It was difficult for Huo Yuhao to pierce through such thickness even though he possessed formidable spiritual power.

They pushed forward for about ten meters before they came across three doors. Every door had a keypad with numbers from zero to nine, and a keyhole as well.

If Huo Yuhao hadn’t used his spiritual power to follow Li Chong into this place, there would be nothing he could do against a mechanism like this, no matter how smart he was.

These doors were this place’s second firewall!

Right when they arrived in front of these doors, waves of crackling sounds suddenly rang out, and small holes appeared in the walls around them. Barrel after barrel of metal soul ray cannons protruded from the holes, locking down every possible angle that the few of them could dodge to.

Wang Qiu’er was about to react instinctively, but Huo Yuhao growled at her to stop. “Don’t move!” Perhaps due to the deep-seated trust that she had in him, her tensed body immediately stopped moving.

Huo Yuhao lowered his voice and said, “If we find the right door, and if the passcode is right, these things won’t attack us. Qiu’er, go to the door on the left. The code is: three, seven, six, four, five, one, six, nine…”  Huo Yuhao went on to quote a sixteen digit passcode.

Wang Qiu’er entered the passcode on the leftmost door.

“Insert the yellow key and turn it clockwise, two and a half rounds.”

Wang Dong’er followed his instructions.

The door bounced three inches out after three clangs, and the soul ray barrels that poked out swiftly disappeared.

The door bounced open, as if it were releasing some pressure. “What  a  skillful  and  delicate  soul  tool  setup,”  Xiao  Xiao muttered  admiringly,  “This  barrier  would  have  been  very difficult to pass if we hadn’t known about it beforehand.”

Huo Yuhao smiled and said, “This is not a big deal; the things that are waiting for us afterwards are even more frightening. In the end, a barrier like this can only be used against soul masters who aren’t Soul Emperors, and actual powerful individuals could break in with brute force. You guys have seen how these booby traps are, so we have to be a lot more careful when we’re inside. Let’s go.”

Wang Dong’er nodded, and was still in front as she entered the door.

The three girls were surprised to find that after walking in they were inside a hermetic space about twenty square meters in surface area. There were no paths leading anywhere but back where they came from.

Huo  Yuhao  said  to  Wang  Qiu’er,  “Qiu’er,  there  are  three rectangular yellow bricks on the wall to your left. You have to knock on them; knock three times on the first one, five times on the second one, and once on the third one.” 
Wang Qiu’er was incredibly fast, and finished the job in the blink of an eye.

The sealed room suddenly trembled, and the door that they had just entered from gradually closed up. A dim yellow circle lit up on the ceiling.

The entire sealed room began to shake and tremble subtly, and everyone suddenly felt their stomachs drop.

“This…  we’re going down?”  Wang Dong’er turned to Huo Yuhao.

Huo  Yuhao  nodded  and  said,  “This  place’s  defenses  and firewalls are a lot more powerful than those inside Illustrious Virtue Hall. We are going several hundred meters beneath the ground, and all kinds of automatic soul tools are set up several thousand square meters around us. If we don’t use this enormous elevator, not even Class 9 stationary soul cannon shells can break through the defenses on top!”

Chapter 342: Golden Butterfly Dragon Transformation

They went down for about twenty seconds. The enormous elevator began to shake once more before it gradually came to a stop.

“Get ready for battle. There are two people –  Dong’er will take the one on the left, and Qiu’er the one on the right.”

Huo Yuhao’s voice barely dropped before the elevator’s main door gradually opened.

“Eh, what’s manager Li doing at a time like this? Is he sending alcohol to us?”  Someone’s voice could be heard. He sounded a little amused.

Huo Yuhao’s eyes flashed with golden light, and two muffled grunts could be heard at the same time. Spiritual Shock!

He was in his spiritual form, and he couldn’t unleash his Spiritual Shock’s real power. But what he could do right now was enough at a time like this.

Wang Dong’er and Wang Qiu’er lunged forward like lightning bolts. Wang Qiu’er grasped her Golden Dragon Spear as she always did, while Wang Dong’er reached out with her right hand.

The two people’s automatic protective soul barriers bounced up as they were caught off-guard, but these barriers were immediately broken through by the two girls.

The Golden Dragon Spear, and the Broken Devil of Light!

Two middle-aged men crashed to the ground unwillingly from the two girls’ attacks, just like that.

They were both Class 6 soul engineers. Just like Xu Tianran had said to Ju Zi, soul engineers weren’t afraid of soul masters of the same level if they had time to prepare, and some soul engineers even had the advantage at lower classes and ranks. However, soul masters could react a lot faster than soul engineers in terms of ambushes and sudden attacks. It was unfortunate for them that both Wang Qiu’er and Wang Dong’er had the strength to break through protective soul barriers, and these two Class 6 soul engineers didn’t have a single chance at all as they crumpled to the ground.

The two girls turned and looked at Huo Yuhao after they moved the corpses aside. There was another tunnel in front of them, and this tunnel was a lot more spacious than the one before. Soul lamps dotted its walls. There was another pair of twin doors roughly ten meters inside.

Huo Yuhao said, “These two each have a set of keys on them.
Take them out.”

Wang Dong’er and Wang Qiu’er took out one set each.

Huo Yuhao lowered his voice and instructed the two girls. “Follow the left side of the tunnel. Remember, your steps cannot be more than two feet horizontally.” They followed his instructions, followed the left side of the tunnel, and arrived at the twin door.

This door was huge: four meters tall, and at least three meters wide. There weren’t any decorations on top, only a danger sign. There were three holes in its lock, and a passcode keypad above it.

“You have to insert the key first this time. Dong’er’s key will go into the bottom left position while Qiu’er’s key will go into the bottom right position. Qiu’er, there’s a black key in Li Chong’s set, and that goes into the top hole. All three keys have to be pieced together before they’re inserted.”

The three girls were increasingly astonished and bewildered the deeper they went in, and only now did they understand why Huo Yuhao had insisted on separating his spiritual avatar to follow them here.

Every single detail was very important in this place, and not a single mistake could be made. They also needed his Spiritual Detection to guide them so that they could avoid the various dangers and traps. This place was as perilous as it could be. The girls were also full of admiration for Huo Yuhao’s powerful memory.

They inserted the three keys at the same time, and the passcode was next. This time, there were thirty-two digits.Wang Qiu’er had already forgotten the numbers in front by the time she entered everything Huo Yuhao told her.

The twin doors creaked and opened up, and a faint metal smell emanated from within.

Wang Dong’er, Wang Qiu’er, and Xiao Xiao weren’t soul engineers, so their reactions were still quite mild. However, Huo Yuhao’s spiritual avatar was getting excited as he stared at everything inside.

---

This was an enormous warehouse. It didn’t seem to have an end as it stretched out into the distance. It was possibly ten thousand square meters in surface area. Trunks and cases of different categories were placed in various locations, and the dense, thick smell of metal came from those cases.

The cases’ outer layers were not enough to block Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power. Therefore, his senses were telling him that this was a tremendous treasure trove.

More than ten thousand tons of all kinds of rare metals were stored here. Huo Yuhao did a simple scan, and realized that there were thirty-two different types of rare metals in this place. Even though they were not the rarest or the most exotic ones, there was just so much here! Huo Yuhao could only evaluate the rare metals in this warehouse as enough to rival an entire nation.

“Are they all rare metals? Do we start bagging them now?” Wang Dong’er asked softly.

Huo Yuhao shook his head and said, “No, there are many traps and mechanisms in this place. Furthermore, these are not the most exotic and precious ones. There are three different warehouses in this place, and this is only the first one. Fortunately, the guardians of this place have headed towards the royal palace; otherwise, we might have had some real trouble, because they are at least Soul Sages! Li Chong can only enter the warehouse up until the second level. Come, let’s go to the second level. There are much more valuable and important rare metals there!”

“Be careful, and pay attention to the bricks on the ground. You can only step on those with dark colors, and if there aren’t any for you to step on, you have to jump over. Also, some of these cases have red lines on them. You can’t walk within a meter of those cases. If you do, we will trigger the alarm, and we will be attacked by soul tools.”

Why wasn’t such an important underground warehouse heavily guarded by soldiers? Other than the powerful guardians who had just departed, the most important reason was that the soul tool defense mechanisms in this place were armed to the teeth. Even the people who were working in the warehouse only knew how the mechanisms and traps for their own region worked.

Li Chong was the manager, so he knew a little more than the others. However, he would need the other two keys at the same time if he wanted to enter the twin doors. Huo Yuhao guided them forward, and the company anxiously pushed on. They had Spiritual Detection to guide them, and they didn’t make any mistakes at all. The company continued carefully, and went about one hundred meters in from the entrance before they took a left turn, and they took a
few more before they found a second gate behind a large batch of cases.

There were five different gaps in this gate’s keyhole, while Li Chong only had one key. The other four keys had been taken away by the powerful individuals who had left before this.

“What do we do, Yuhao?” Everyone was dumbfounded as they stared at the gate’s complicated keyhole, and they wondered about how many digits this passcode would have.

Wang Dong’er snapped her head around to Huo Yuhao on her shoulder and said, “We can’t take this risk, Yuhao. Why don’t we just take some from this warehouse and go back? We have more than thirty storage-type soul tools, and we still have that large Starlight Sapphire breastplate. We can take quite a bit away already.” Huo Yuhao smiled and said, “It’s fine, I already predicted a situation like this, and everything that we’ve done before this was to minimize our troubles and avoid as much as we can. We can actually open this door.”

Wang Qiu’er nodded and said, “If I use all my strength, I should have a chance of bashing it down. We would have a higher chance with his help… but can you precisely predict the soul tools that will attack us?”

She was naturally referring to the sword maniac, Ji Juechen. Fortunately, Ji Juechen wasn’t next to her, because he probably would have taken out his Judgement Sword already with his personality.

Huo Yuhao was in his spiritual form, but he felt as if he were going to sweat as he said helplessly, “Can you not be so violent? We don’t need you to be violent yet.”

His spiritual avatar became a little illusory as he spoke, and a bluish-green light separated from his body in the next moment and hovered in front of the three girls. This was a carving knife that was green all over, with a light orbiting it. It was filled with life energy.

Wang Qiu’er’s eyes suddenly focused as she stared at this carving knife and blurted out, “Is that Life Gold?”

Huo Yuhao was also momentarily stunned. This was the first time he had heard someone else mention Life Gold other than the Calamity Necromancer Electrolux, who was already gone.

Wang Qiu’er’s eyes immediately grew sharp. “Where did you get this Life Gold?”

Huo Yuhao said, “I got lucky at an auction. This carving knife was originally called the Soul-Devouring Carving Knife. I removed its curse after I obtained it, and returned it to its original form. It became like this. Since you know about Life Gold, then you should be able to sense what it does.”

Wang Qiu’er shot him a complicated glance and nodded, grabbing the Life Guardian Blade from in front of him. “My Golden Dragon Spear can absorb living beings’ life energy, and this carving knife that’s formed from Life Gold should be able to absorb physical matter’s life energy. I never expected to see such a large piece of Life Gold. This is the kind of rare metal that’s born from heaven and earth, and cannot be
replicated.”

Wang Qiu’er began stabbing as she spoke, and the knife pierced into the gate before her.

Green light flickered across the Life Guardian Blade, and the knife stuck more than half an inch into the tough gate.

A strange scene occurred. A layer of pale green light shone from the gate, and the thick gate that was filled with ancient strength was immediately tainted by a faint grey color, while the Life Guardian Blade’s green light became stronger and stronger.

Wang Qiu’er gripped the handle, continuously infusing her soul power into and guiding the green light that was coming from the Life Guardian Blade, while she held her Golden Dragon Spear with her other hand. The extracted green light flowed into her Golden Dragon Spear, and her spear instantly shone with golden light that easily lit up more then ten meters around them.

Huo Yuhao was in his spiritual form, so his senses were more sensitive than usual. He was a little surprised as he looked on and  said,  “Are  you  infusing  the  life  energy  that  the  Life Guardian Blade is sucking away from the gate into your Golden Dragon Spear? You can do that?”

Wang Qiu’er glanced at him and said, “How can you not know the value of what you possess? Such a large piece of Life Gold can be considered a Divine Weapon. Life Gold’s most fascinating characteristic is not how it possesses metallic qualities. Instead, its most impressive attribute is how it can evolve other metals! Therefore, Life Gold has another name; it’s also known as the mother of all metals!” 
“It can suck away any metal’s life energy, but Life Gold itself cannot absorb all this life energy in its solid state. If this material life energy isn’t guided, it will dissipate into the air. My Golden Dragon Spear possesses similar characteristics, and it can absorb living beings’ life energy, but it cannot keep that energy within itself. The spear can only direct all that life energy into humans. From the opposite perspective, I can use my Golden Dragon Spear to absorb life energy and feed it into your Life Gold. Their existences can be said to be symbiotic and complementary.”

Huo Yuhao only realized that he didn’t know the value of what he possessed after listening to Wang Qiu’er’s explanation. Not even his teacher, Electrolux, knew about what Wang Qiu’er had just said. The academy didn’t have any record of such esoteric information, yet Wang Qiu’er knew this. Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but feel a lot more curious about her identity and where she came from!

As they were talking, metal powder and tiny fragments began to drift away from the gate in front of them. Wang Qiu’er continued to channel her Golden Dragon Spear and the Life Guardian Blade, and the spear continued to absorb while the knife’s Adjudication ability seemed to be activated at its highest possible level.

Huo Yuhao said no more. Instead, he raised his Spiritual Detection to the highest possible level as he perceived everything around him. He would inform his companions as soon as he discovered something amiss.

Adjudication destroyed a metal’s empirical characteristics. This large gate was at least a meter thick, and made from seven or eight different alloys. If a soul master wanted to use brute force against this gate, even an eight-ringed Soul Douluo might not be able to break through. In addition, brute force would cause the place to shake and tremble, and that would trigger all the soul tools set up around them.

Adjudication could directly absorb a metal’s life energy and cause it to crumble. The designers who built this warehouse could never have anticipated such a thing, and even if all the Class 9 soul engineers in the Soul Moon Empire were concentrated in this place, they probably wouldn’t have considered this possibility, either. “How much more, Qiu’er?”  Wang Dong’er couldn’t help but ask. She was afraid that Huo Yuhao’s spiritual avatar had been separated from his main body for a little too long, and problems could arise. Furthermore, Huo Yuhao was participating in the soul engineer tournament on the other side. He had brought his Life Guardian Blade to this place, so what carving knife was he using over there?

Wang  Qiu’er  answered,  “This  gate  is  very  thick,  and  its metals are also exceptionally tough. You can tell from how strong the life energy that I have absorbed is. I need at least ten more minutes before I can break it down entirely.”

Huo Yuhao naturally guessed Wang Dong’er’s worries and attempted to comfort her. “Don’t worry, there’s more than enough time. However, you have to be prepared! I suspect that there will be people guarding the second level, and they cannot possibly be weak. There must a Class 7 soul engineer at the very least. Dong’er, Qiu’er, Xiao Xiao... the three of you have to coordinate at full strength so that you can defeat and kill your opponent as quickly as possible. Afterwards, we can attempt to break into the third level, as I believe that’s where the most invaluable and precious metals are kept. Most of the strongest guardians have left, and the third warehouse is also the deepest region, which means it’s far less likely that somebody will be standing guard there.” 
Wang Dong’er and Wang Qiu’er understood that his reminders didn’t seem to include Xiao Xiao. The two girls exchanged a look and nodded slightly. Tthis was crunch time for everyone, and the two girls had to temporarily set aside their differences if they wanted things to work.

--------

The Radiant City’s western suburbs...

The Radiant City Elite Soul Engineering Tournament was progressing anxiously and tensely. After working for more than an hour, every soul engineer pretty much had a prototype of their soul tool... with the exception of one person.

The Starsky Douluo, Ye Yulin, had spent more than fifty percent of his time watching the youth in the wheelchair.

Everyone else’s soul tools were starting to take shape. At least, they had completed between one to two formation arrays, while this youth was still working on those delicate components. 
That cannot possibly be a human-shaped soul tool! It’s impossible that he possesses such strength, and even if he does, a Class 9 soul engineer will take from half a month to one month to complete more than one hundred formation arrays! Furthermore, human-shaped soul tools take very long to test and troubleshoot. One such soul tool cannot be completed without spending several months on it. What’s this youngster doing?

Ye Yulin wouldn’t be so focused on Huo Yuhao if the only thing about him was that he couldn’t understand what this youngster was doing. Ye Yulin scrutinized him so much mainly because of the speed at which Huo Yuhao was crafting those components, and how his hands were moving like clouds and flowing water. At this moment, there were many different components strewn around and beneath the crafting desk. It felt as if he wasn’t going to stop making components. Two hours were about to pass, and Huo Yuhao didn’t seem like he was about to take a break.

I’ll wait and see what he can do,Ye Yulin thought to himself.

Huo Yuhao had his own hidden troubles. Because of his separated spiritual avatar, he seemed like he was moving very quickly, but there was nothing more he could do beyond these components that weren’t considered too exquisite. Furthermore, he didn’t have his Life Guardian Blade, and that meant he couldn’t complete his soul tool’s important parts at all, let alone his formation arrays.

Huo Yuhao had to switch his spiritual power over to the other side again and again throughout the crafting process. He focused more on his crafting process when Wang Qiu’er was using his Life Guardian Blade to open the large gate.

The mysterious and masked vice-founder had arrived inside the resting area beneath the competition stage. Just as Nangong Wan had said, the vice-founder brought along several other powerful individuals.

Everyone could see the waves of radiant light and deafening booms that were coming from the sky in the city. However, the three underground organizations went on with their business as if nothing was happening, and they informed the audience that they were just fireworks. The Holy Ghost Church’s vice- founder had no help over there, and one could tell from this that the Holy Ghost Church was very confident. It seems like the operation on the other side is bound to fail. I wonder what strength the Holy Ghost Church is relying upon to resist this multi-pronged assault and pressure from Shrek Academy, the Star Luo Empire, and the Body Sect? Are they just banking on the Dragon Emperor Douluo, Long Xiaoyao, and several evil Titled Douluo? They must be far outnumbered. Even if Elder Xuan and Du Busi cannot defeat Long Xiaoyao, they are both Rank 98 Transcendent Douluo, and they should have no problem keeping Long Xiaoyao occupied. Furthermore, they’re inside Radiant City. Even if those Class 9
soul engineers have the strength to threaten those Titled
Douluo, will they dare to use those powerful soul tools? They will be in big trouble if they accidentally damage the Royal Palace or anything else within the city...

Huo Yuhao’s thoughts continued spinning in his head. His spiritual power was extremely powerful, but he still felt a throbbing headache. He hurriedly withdrew his wandering thoughts and concentrated on crafting his soul tool, and didn’t dare to be distracted anymore.

It seems like there’s nothing I can do about the operation over at the Royal Palace. I can only make sure that I complete my own two operations as best I can. The Sun Moon Empire looks like they are prepared... I just hope Elder Xuan and the others will be fine. 
Huo Yuhao wasn’t that worried about Elder Xuan and the other people from Shrek Academy. Why did Zhang Lexuan agree to the two princesses’ request? It was part of his plan from the beginning!

Zhang Lexuan had gone to see Bei Bei and Huo Yuhao before she met the two princesses, and she actually met Bei Bei and Huo Yuhao with Elder Xuan beside her.

Shrek Academy came up with their plan after careful discussion. If they were prepared, and if Elder Xuan was leading the group, it was almost impossible for the Sun Moon Empire to keep them here if they wanted to. Not even an Ultimate Douluo could accomplish that. They were inside Radiant City after all, and the Sun Moon Empire had to guard against these top-tier individuals from fighting for their lives and causing collateral damage. If a group of Transcendent Douluo and Titled Douluo went wild, Radiant City would be in tatters, if it wasn’t just flattened entirely in the process. That wasn’t something that Xu Tianran wanted to see.

Huo Yuhao settled down, and didn’t dare to slow his crafting speed at all. Every single component and how they had to be made was firmly in his mind, and all he had to do was craft them as quickly as possible.

Even though he didn’t have his Life Guardian Blade, Huo Yuhao was using another high-quality carving knife. Metal dust and particles flew all over the place on his crafting desk.

------

“Alright. Watch out!”

The large metal gate in front of them finally crumbled. Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power quickly showed the way while the gate was still falling down.

A frightening white beam immediately fired out from inside, shooting straight for Wang Qiu’er, who still had the Life Guardian Blade in her hands.

Wang Qiu’er grunted coldly as her enchanting eyes focused on the light. She didn’t dodge at all, instead planting her Golden Dragon Spear vertically in front of her and blocking the ghastly white light beam.

Her Golden Dragon Spear had just absorbed large amounts of metallic life energy, and it was currently so bright and radiant that it seemed like it had transformed into a sun. The spear shone into every corner within everyone’s field of view , and everything was tainted with brilliant golden hues.

She didn’t dodge, because Huo Yuhao had reminded her that she had to defend against all the soul tool traps that the people inside would use against her.

Wang Dong’er crouched on the other side, her wings stretched out behind her back as her elegant frame glided just above the ground. Her wings were like enormous guillotine blades as she slashed towards the person in front of them.

They were up against a middle-aged man who looked like he was in his fifties, and had many soul tools equipped at this moment. He hadn’t paid much attention to what was happening to the large gate in the beginning. However, the gate’s inner colors started to change as time went by, and the decaying metal finally alerted him. He was the only person left on the second level, but he was a Soul Sage!

He had touched the gate carefully, and immediately discovered metal dust and fragments crumbling off.

This was the first time he had ever encountered a situation like this. He didn’t understand what was going on, and when he attempted to open the door, he realized that the gate’s mechanisms were no longer operational.

He wasn’t sure what was happening, and that was the reason why he hadn’t sounded the alarm as soon as possible. He had stared at the gate doubtfully and dumbfoundedly as he attempted to open it. 
At this moment, the Life Guardian Blade had absorbed enough life force from the large gate until it couldn’t decay any further.

The Soul Sage immediately sensed that something was wrong, and armed himself.

The second level’s soul tool defense mechanisms were a lot more rigorous than the first level, but the alarm was inside the third level’s main gate, and only that alarm could reach the outside world. The people who were standing guard here before this were alerted to what was happening at the Royal Palace through this alarm mechanism.

The Soul Sage was just getting ready to run into the third gate when the gate in front of him suddenly crumbled, and he almost subconsciously fired his aging ray.

It was a pity that he was faced with Wang Qiu’er’s Golden Dragon Spear. 
This middle-aged Soul Sage had a lot of experience, and he didn’t underestimate his adversaries even though he was facing three young girls. He activated all his soul tools at once, and immediately began to retreat as fast as he could. He had only one goal; there were many booby traps that were set up all around the second level, and he only had to lure his adversaries inside and trigger those traps. The traps would definitely hurt his attackers even if they were Titled Douluo! Furthermore, he didn’t know how many intruders there were, so his best choice was to sound the alarm as soon as possible!

He made his decision because of these considerations, and bolted backwards as fast as he could.

Wang Dong’er was fast, but this Soul Sage had Class 7 soul tools. He was caught off-guard, and he didn’t have any particularly powerful soul tools that had to be charged up, but Wang Dong’er’s physical body wasn’t strong enough to withstand his attacks.

Wang Dong’er unleashed streak after streak of her Light of the Butterfly Goddess to defend herself against her opponent’s attacks as she lashed out with her Guillotine Wings. 
This Class 7 soul engineer could possibly have escaped if Huo Yuhao hadn’t been there. However, how could Huo Yuhao not plan their combat strategically now that he had locked onto his opponent’s position?

Black light stretched across the air without warning, and an enormous cauldron accurately appeared in the path that the Class 7 soul engineer had to pass in his retreat.

Xiao Xiao’s Threelives Soulcrush Cauldron’s barricade was very effective!

The secret warehouse’s second level was similar to the first, and there were many automatic triggers laid out all over the ground. Soul tools would be triggered and concentrate their attacks on whoever stepped on these automatic triggers.

Huo Yuhao had used his spiritual power to stalk Li Chong into this place, and this was the reason why he was relatively familiar with the second level. Under such circumstances, the huge cauldron was placed precisely at a spot that the Soul Sage could retreat safely to. There was space around the cauldron, but those were spaces were where the booby traps were located. The Soul Sage would bring death upon himself if he accidentally stepped on one of those triggers.

The Class 7 soul engineer was quite sensitive, and he felt so despondent that he wanted to vomit blood when the large cauldron appeared in front of him.

He immediately leapt up and attempted to jump over the cauldron, but how could Xiao Xiao give him this chance? Her three Threelives Soulcrush Cauldrons were stacked like a pyramid as they blocked his path and cut off every spot he could retreat to. The cauldrons’ tops were almost touching the ceiling.

The Class 7 soul engineer was getting a little worried and desperate. Light erupted from the soul tools on his body, and a dark red metal sphere appeared in his hands.

Fuck, that’s a Class 7 explosive bomb! Is he not afraid of destroying everything here? Huo Yuhao cursed silently. He passed a message to Wang Qiu’er and Wang Dong’er through his Spiritual Detection, “What are you two waiting for? Do you really want everyone to die here?” Wang Qiu’er’s eyes were a little hesitant, but her hesitance disappeared as she tapped her foot on the ground and followed behind Wang Dong’er as fast as she could. She tossed the Life Guardian Blade in her hands, and the carving knife flew out of her hands like a green beam of light.

The Soul Sage in front of them had seven soul rings. However, the Sun Moon Empire’s seven-ringed Soul Sages couldn’t be gauged with the same criteria as typical seven- ringed soul masters could, as long as they were soul engineers. The reason was because their standards weren’t on the same scale.

Simply put, this Class 7 soul engineer wouldn’t have much of a chance against Wang Qiu’er if he were up against her one versus one in a restricted area of battle.

He possessed the advantages that soul engineers typically had, but he also had all their weaknesses... and their main weakness was their reaction time.

The green light flashed by far too quickly. Wang Qiu’er’s strength was unrivaled, and the Class 7 soul engineer felt the light change in front of him as the metal sphere that he had just retrieved only got three feet into the air before it was struck by that green light.

A carving knife? The Class 7 soul engineer could finally tell. Soul engineers were exceptionally sensitive towards carving knives, and so he was momentarily stunned at the sight.

The green carving knife released green light in all directions, and he watched as, in the next moment, the Class 7 explosive bomb that he had tossed out transformed into a sphere of green light before it vanished into thin air.

How is that possible? The soul engineer was petrified, and his first reaction was to protect himself. Golden light flashed across his body as an Invincible Barrier that could last for fifteen seconds shimmered into being. His first thought at a time like this was how he could survive. Furthermore, he believed that fifteen seconds was enough for him to be able to trigger the soul tool mechanisms around him, and he was confident that these traps were enough to stop these people!

However, he was momentarily dazed once more at such a crucial time. He was stunned, as what was transpiring before him was simply too peculiar and insidious. 
There was one young girl with flowing pinkish-blue long hair who was catching up to another young girl with outstretched wings. Both of them looked exactly the same, and they were both mouthwateringly beautiful. Stranger things continued to unfold as the young girl who was coming up from behind flung the spear in her hands forward before hovering in front of the other young girl. That young girl then tightly embraced the other young girl with butterfly wings in front of her.

Dazzling golden light instantly blinded the soul engineer, and a tremendous shockwave came at him from behind.

His Invincible Barrier could protect his body, but there was nothing it could do against such an immense impact from shockwaves like that. He could only rely on his own strength to defend himself.

His Invincible Barrier relaxed a little, and caused him to stumble forward unwittingly.

It was in this moment that the two figures who had merged together transformed in front of him. The bluish-gold butterfly wings became a brilliant gold, while flowing lines appeared on the enchanting butterfly wings as her upper wings cracked open. Two became four, while the lower wings shifted down to allow space for the new pair. Even stranger, the butterfly wings were a lot wider and larger than before... they were clearly miniature dragon wings! Furthermore, those wings were covered with diamond-shaped golden dragon scales.

Six dragon wings... there were actually six golden dragon wings!

Her enchanting features didn’t change, and her long, flowing pinkish-blue hair was no different from before, but there was now another crystal-like layer on her body.

Every single strand of her hair was translucent, as if they were formed from crystal lattices, and pinkish-blue hues circulated on top of every strand as if they were neon lights. Her long hair draped behind her back, and her golden dragon wings stretched out while her body became a lot taller than before. Golden armor covered her entire body, and the soul engineer could see that the armor was pieced together with fine, compact scales. She didn’t have a helmet, but she wore a strange headband; there was a golden dragon’s head imprinted in the center, with two butterfly wings on each side of it.

This incredibly beautiful being raised her right hand, which now had dragon scales as a handguard, and reached out for the Golden Dragon Spear in front of her. Crisp and bright dragon roars resonated through the entire level in the next moment, and golden light flickered as innumerable golden beams rained down on the Invincible Barrier in front of her.

The dazzling and blinding golden light caused the Class 7 soul engineer’s entire body to become slack and lackadaisical, but it was in this moment that the Golden Dragon Spear stabbed his golden Invincible Barrier again and again.

Shrill cracking sounds could be heard, and the soul engineer looked on incredulously as golden light detonated before his eyes. He had had absolute faith in his Class 7 Invincible Barrier, but it lasted for less than two seconds. He didn’t even have enough time to recover from his daze and how befuddled he was before his Invincible Barrier was dispelled!

His Class 7 automatic protective soul barrier was also instantly penetrated! 
A six-winged golden dragon! What… what is this?

This was the last thought that went through the Class 7 soul engineer’s head. He couldn’t think of anything else afterwards because the entire world had turned dark before his eyes.

Circle after circle of golden light fed back through the Golden Dragon Spear, and the enchantingly beautiful being stood proudly in the second level as faint golden light emanated from her body. She pointed the spear in her hands diagonally down, and there seemed to be a disdainful look in her eyes.

Xiao Xiao’s eyes were wide and stupefied. Even Huo Yuhao in his spiritual form was dumbfounded by what he had just witnessed.

He was the one who had planned this fusion, but this was still the first time he had seen it in action.

Yes, this was a fusion between Wang Qiu’er and Wang Dong’er, and this was their martial soul fusion skill. Huo Yuhao thought of a fantastic name for them at this moment: the Golden Butterfly Dragon Transformation!

There was only one word missing from this name compared to their three-way martial soul fusion skill, and its strength was definitely inferior in comparison. However, this Golden Butterfly Dragon Transformation was the strongest skill that they could unleash at the moment.

Huo Yuhao had calculated the power they had unleashed when they were in their Purple Golden Butterfly Dragon Transformation after the match ended. Afterwards, he was sure that the strength that they possessed in that state was near the pinnacle of what an eight-ringed Soul Douluo could reach. Even though such a circumstance was difficult to replicate, this was the best they could do for now.

The Golden Dragon Spear was almost like a Divine Weapon, and as long as they faced off enough enemies, and if these enemies subsequently perished at their hands, the two girls could maintain their martial soul fusion skill for a far longer time in combat than most others. How did Huo Yuhao know that Dong’er and Qiu’er could unleash a fusion skill like this? The reason was simple. He could undergo his own martial soul fusion with Wang Dong’er and Wang Qiu’er individually with one hundred percent compatibility, while the three of them could unleash a three- way fusion skill. It would be very strange if Wang Dong’er and Wang Qiu’er couldn’t fuse.

Huo Yuhao began to truly wonder in that moment whether Wang Dong’er and Wang Qiu’er were actually biological sisters. They looked so similar to one another, and their martial souls could fuse. There was no other possibility that he could think of besides the fact that they were biological sisters!

Chapter 343: So Much, So Much!

“Who’s the one in control right now between the two of you?” Huo Yuhao asked subconsciously.

“Me!”

“Me!”

Two voices answered at the same time.

Both voices were extremely charming, but they were easily distinguished from one another; Wang Dong’er’s voice was crisp and lovely, while Wang Qiu’er’s voice had a hint of cold arrogance.

Huo Yuhao had a headache. If he hadn’t needed Wang Qiu’er’s ferocious strength, he really wouldn’t have brought her today. “I’m in charge of close-combat abilities, while she controls all the other energy-based attacks and the other auxiliary abilities,”  Wang Qiu’er’s voice rang out once more, and she explained the situation properly.

A thought appeared in Huo Yuhao’s head. “If you two can coordinate so well, isn’t that a lot better than a single person controlling your fusion skill? But, aren’t fusion skills typically controlled by only one party? How can you two…?”

Wang Dong’er snapped, “Is this the right time to delve into this? Let’s get down to business. We’ve absorbed that Soul Sage’s strength, and we can temporarily maintain this state!”

As she spoke, the Golden Butterfly Dragon Transformation’s incredibly beautiful figure picked up the Life Guardian Blade that had dropped to the ground.

The second floor was a lot smaller than the first floor. It had about a third of the first floor’s surface area, but just this one- third could still be considered extremely spacious. There weren’t that many trunks and cases here, and only now could Huo Yuhao divert his attention to examining them. He had been focused on the various traps and mechanisms when his spiritual avatar followed Li Chong into this place, so it was only now that he truly felt how wealthy the Sun Moon
Empire was.

There were more than thirty different types of rare metals stored on the second floor. Furthermore, these rare metals were very expensive and quite valuable. Every single type was exponentially more expensive than the ones they had seen on the first floor, and this was especially so for the seven or eight rare metals that were stored deeper inside. There were at least five different kinds that Huo Yuhao had heard of, but never seen before.

These rare metals were a lot smaller in volume, but that was just relative. Their mass had to be calculated in tons, at the very least.

The rare metals in this warehouse couldn’t be gauged with money! Huo Yuhao’s spiritual undulations rippled vigorously and immediately informed the three girls about the traps and mechanisms on this floor.

“Are we going to take everything here and leave, or are we pushing forward?” Xiao Xiao asked.

Huo Yuhao answered, “We’ll do it this way – Xiao Xiao, you can start packing things into our storage-type soul tools according to my instructions. We will only choose the expensive ones, not the ones we need. Just take whatever’s valuable, and we can trade them with the Douluo Continent’s three native empires for other metals if the need arises. Dong’er, Qiu’er; you two will go directly to the third gate, and we will open the third gate with my Life Guardian Blade. We don’t have to go inside, but we absolutely need to see what’s stored inside. If we can’t take it away, we have to consider destroying whatever’s inside.”

“Okay!” The three girls acknowledged at the same time.

Huo Yuhao directed the merged Wang Qiu’er and Wang Dong’er and pushed forward. They quickly arrived at the gate to the third floor. 
Huo Yuhao had his Spiritual Detection activated this entire time, and even though the golden being wasn’t in its combat state, he could still see a lot of things with his Spiritual Detection.

First, he could feel its flourishing blood essence. Wang Qiu’er’s Golden Dragon’s strength and blood worked perfectly on their Golden Butterfly Dragon Transformation. Second, he could feel its flourishing energy of light that came from Wang Dong’er.

The two girls’ auras were almost equal to one another in their Golden Butterfly Dragon Transformation, and neither party possessed any conspicuous advantage.

Their speed and soul power had been amplified manifold, and gauging their strength at the pinnacle of what a Soul Sage could reach was a conservative estimate. Huo Yuhao even suspected that their current state could, in some sense, be considered a Martial Soul True Body!

The Life Guardian Blade swiftly pierced through the metal gate. This time, stronger soul power was used to operate it, and thus the Life Guardian Blade’s Adjudication was channeled even more powerfully than before.

The Golden Dragon Spear was also having a good time – it absorbed voluminous amounts of metallic life energy to boost itself, and this Divine Weapon’s aura quickly became lot more intimidating and ferocious than before.

The Golden Dragon Spear had pierced right through a seven- ringed Soul Sage’s Invincible Barrier under the Golden Butterfly Dragon Transformation’s control, but it could do that mainly because of the metallic energies that were temporarily stored within it.

The Golden Dragon Spear’s forte was penetration and piercing. The spear had also been amplified by tremendous metallic energies, and that made it a lot better at what it did best. The penetration point’s attacking strength temporarily reached an eight-ringed Soul Douluo’s level. In other words, Wang Dong’er and Wang Qiu’er had temporarily become an eight-ringed Soul Douluo with a Divine Weapon in their possession. The Golden Dragon Spear was temporarily bearing the power of Adjudication, and it converted this Adjudication into destructiveness towards living beings. The Invincible Barrier was energy-based, but it was targeted by two Divine Weapons at the same time, which greatly weakened it.

---

Storage-type soul tools were passed to Xiao Xiao one after another. Xiao Xiao was no longer polite and courteous. Actually, even Huo Yuhao was now showing some avarice.

“Mine, they’re all mine!”

The eyes of Huo Yuhao’s spiritual avatar sparkled radiantly. He would probably be drooling at this moment if he actually had any saliva.

Any other soul engineer would feel the same way if they were in his shoes. In fact, they would probably be in a worse state than Huo Yuhao was right now. “Yes, that; this Multiridged Devilgold will belong to us! And that Soulforging Silver is also ours! Great stuff! Scarletsun Soulstunning Steel, fantastic! Pack as much as you can. Eh, what’s this? Golden Cloud? These things can be considered too luxurious even if they’re used to craft Class 9 soul tools. Why do they have so little of that? They don’t even have one ton of this? Take everything away.”

Xiao Xiao became a porter under Huo Yuhao’s command.
However, her labor was quite easy and relaxing.

Storage-type soul tools had become a lot more convenient after so many years of development. The user only had to press them onto the items and infuse some soul power for the item to be absorbed inside the storage-type soul tool.

Huo Yuhao had also taken an enormous Starlight Sapphire storage-type soul tool that resembled a breastplate from the Illustrious Virtue Hall some years ago. It was a lot better than the vast majority of other storage-type soul tools.

The breastplate itself could contain more than all their other storage-type soul tools combined. When Huo Yuhao had first acquired it, there was still a lot of space left even when there was a giant human-shaped soul tool over ten meters tall inside. Other attachments could be also added to the breastplate!

This thing could absorb all tangible things within five meters at once when soul power was infused into it. One sweep cleared out an entire patch of this floor of the warehouse.

However, Huo Yuhao was still very rational and conscious even though he was overcome by greed, and he reminded Xiao Xiao time and time again to avoid the booby traps.

The most successful part of their break-in was that they didn’t trigger any alarms. Otherwise, how could they have had it so casual and easy?

The passcode locks and every other firewall inside this warehouse were too complete. The guards who had left had taken the keys to the second and third floor with them, and they didn’t consider the possibility that somebody could break in at all. Anybody who tried to attack the tough gates with brute force would immediately trigger the alarms. It didn’t take long before an empty space one hundred square meters wide appeared on the second floor.

Huo Yuhao was only lamenting that he didn’t have enough storage-type soul tools!

They were carrying many storage-type soul tools with them, but he could gauge from their current progress that they would be lucky if they could take away a third of everything inside the second warehouse. Thus, they picked the most valuable and densest rare metals.

Huo Yuhao really wanted a colossal storage-type soul tool that could pack the entire warehouse inside!

Time continued to pass, and the giant Starlight Sapphire storage-type soul tool was finally filled up. The Starlight Sapphire’s radiance was a little dimmer than before; it had been used too much.

Huo Yuhao wasn’t finished yet – Xiao Xiao filled up the other storage-type soul tools one by one, putting each one away after it was filled to the brim. 
A high-pitched and shrill voice suddenly rang out from the other side.

“Yuhao! Come and take a look!” The voice belonged to Wang Dong’er.

What’s happening? Huo Yuhao felt his heart skip a beat as he hurriedly extended his Spiritual Detection to the other side. The first thing he noticed was that the gate to the third floor was now open.

The good thing about being in his spiritual form was that he could fly wherever he wanted to. Huo Yuhao arrived before their Golden Butterfly Dragon in a flash of thought.

Huo Yuhao was very relieved that the Golden Butterfly Dragon was completely fine. However, his eyes grew slack as he gazed into the third warehouse.

“This… this…” The third floor’s gate opened up to reveal a flight of stairs that led downwards. This staircase went down for twenty meters, and this was the reason why Huo Yuhao hadn’t seen exactly what was happening when he reached out with his Spiritual Detection after he heard Wang Dong’er’s exclamation.

The light was dim on the third floor at this moment, and there were several weak soul lamps dotting its walls. A dense metallic aura wafted from within, and it felt extremely eerie and chilly.

Huo Yuhao subconsciously attempted to swallow some saliva, but he quickly discovered that his spiritual form didn’t have any saliva at all.

“This is… we’ve just hit the jackpot!”

----

What did Huo Yuhao see? He saw a large metal forest. Yes, he was staring at a metal forest, a mass of metal that didn’t seem to have an end in sight.

According to Huo Yuhao’s initial judgment, the warehouse’s first floor contained relatively normal rare metals, while relatively more valuable metals were stored in the second floor. The third floor should be smaller than the second floor, and he expected to see some kind of precious treasure, or perhaps some top-tier soul tools. That was why he wanted to take a look.

Furthermore, he had already made up his mind. Even if they found something good on the third floor, they had to do as much as they could to destroy it. He couldn’t risk the three girls entering to retrieve the things inside, as he didn’t know what the defense mechanisms and firewalls were like.

But when he actually witnessed everything on the third floor at this moment, he realized that his judgment had been wrong… very, very wrong.

First, the third floor was a lot larger than he had predicted. It might be ten times larger than the first floor! Yes, ten times! Otherwise, how could he feel as if this floor was endless even though he was standing at a high vantage point?

The staircase led down into a spacious courtyard. The first things that entered his field of view were lines of soul cannons…

There were enormous Class 4 soul cannons in the first row. These soul cannons fired very quickly, and were very precise, able to reach more than five hundred meters away. However, they were quite large, which meant they had wheels, and somebody had to push or pull them around. A Class 4 soul engineer without any Milk Bottles could fire more than thirty rounds from one continuously.

There were thousands of such soul cannons in this warehouse. Furthermore, he was looking at the weakest ones!

Endless cases were stacked neatly, and what did Huo Yuhao see with his spiritual power? He saw endless soul ray guns and small-scale soul cannons... and they were all Class 4 or Class 5 soul tools! There was something even more frightening; he saw cases of stationary soul cannon shells, and case after case of sealed Milk Bottles…

The amount of sealed Milk Bottles should be the fewest amongst the other soul tools. What did this thing do? Sealed Milk Bottles allowed normal soldiers who weren’t soul engineers to carry soul tools into war. There weren’t that many of them, but there were at least thousands stored in this place. It wasn’t hard to guess that the Illustrious Virtue Hall had started manufacturing them en masse as soon as they had devised this technology!

The most powerful soul tools Huo Yuhao could see in this colossal underground warehouse were the Class 7 stationary soul cannon shells; there was nothing else above that. However, there were so many of them, and if they were equipped by the military…

Huo Yuhao’s mind spun rapidly as he nervously calculated in his head.

The number of soul tools in this place was enough to fully equip more than four of the Sun Moon Empire’s soul engineer legions, while there were less than ten soul engineer legions currently serving in the Sun Moon Empire’s military. Their equipment couldn’t be compared to the soul tools in this place; they were probably two classes below what was here.

This also meant that extracting every single soul tool in this place could immediately arm four elite soul engineer legions, and the Sun Moon Empire could create a fully mechanized army of soul engineers. There were also at least one hundred simplified all-terrain self-driving forts in this place!

With the Douluo Continent’s three native empires’ strength, an entire army that consisted only of soul masters probably couldn’t withstand the hysterical bombing and onslaught from an army like this!

The most frightening thing about soul tools was that they would become exponentially more destructive when many were unleashed at the same time.

A Titled Douluo wouldn’t even bother looking at a single Class 4 soul cannon, but the same Titled Douluo would have to defend himself with everything he had if one hundred Class 4 soul cannons fired at the same time. If one thousand such cannons were fired at the same time, the only thing the Titled Douluo could do was run!

Furthermore, there were so many stationary soul cannon shells in this place, and those things could reach exceptional distances. Those Class 7 stationary soul cannon shells could reach more than five kilometers!

Huo Yuhao attempted to swallow another ball of saliva before he snapped his head around and shouted, “Come here, Xiao Xiao! We have work to do, everyone!”

Chapter 344: Imperial Fort

Xiao Xiao rushed over after Huo Yuhao called her. When she saw everything in front of her, she was also stunned. It was indeed unimaginable! It was the first time any of them had seen so many soul tools...

“Go, let’s go down.” Huo Yuhao had regained his awareness by now. After the temporary shock, his eyes were filled with excitement.

The Golden Butterfly Dragon Transformation twisted to look at Huo Yuhao, “Go down? We aren’t clear about the traps here!”

Huo Yuhao smiled and replied, “I checked them out earlier. I can confirm that there aren’t any traps.”

“Why?” Xiao Xiao asked.

Huo Yuhao chortled, “You aren’t a soul engineer, or you wouldn’t ask such a question. Everything that’s in storage here is a soul tool, especially those Milk Bottles and stationary soul cannons. What do you think they are? They are explosives! If they explode, they’ll blow this warehouse apart. The entire city might even suffer from the explosion. While they are very stable, a chain reaction might be initiated if even one of these
soul tools was hit. In light of this, do you think the Sun Moon Empire will set traps on this level? I sensed it earlier; there aren’t any other soul power undulations other from those coming from these soul tools.”

“Of course, they have other arrangements set in place. However, these arrangements are used to prevent explosions. I’m sure that there’s more than one entrance to this warehouse. This side is only one of them. Because they need it to be convenient for transportation purposes, they can’t install too many defensive soul tools here!

“If we remain careful, nothing will happen.”

The three ladies understood. The previous two levels were full of all types of rare metals. These rare metals were usually very tough, and didn’t seem to be at risk of an explosion. Even soul rays couldn’t damage them. However, the soul tools on this level were different. It would be a disaster if they blew apart! 
As they descended the steps and entered the warehouse, that feeling became much stronger. They weren’t threatened at all as they entered the warehouse. Huo Yuhao also activated his Spiritual Detection to sense any changes that might occur.

Wang Dong’er’s voice sounded, “Yuhao, we have to hurry up. You still have a tournament over on the other side. If you drag things out here, what’ll happen to you over there?”

Huo Yuhao nodded slightly and said, “Let’s start. Follow the arrangements that I’ve set up. There is still some good stuff here. We must choose what we want to leave with properly. Xiao Xiao, take all the Milk Bottles first. They will be a future source of power for the Tang Sect. Next…”

Under Huo Yuhao’s command, the three ladies quickly took action. They started to do some sneaky things…

---------------

BOOM! It wasn’t the first time such a loud explosion had sounded.

Two thousand meters up in the sky, an intense fight was still going on.

A huge, black dragon covered half of the battlefield. As it opened its wings wide, it seemed to fill the entire sky.

This black dragon was more than a hundred meters long, and covered in thick scales. Its dim-golden eyes made it feel awe- inspiring. Every time it moved, it would cause huge patches of space to distort. These distorted spaces didn’t spread, but neutralized the surrounding shockwaves.

Opposite this black dragon was a dark-green giant. This giant was close to one hundred meters tall. His developed muscles made him look as if he came from ancient times. A huge dark- green whirlpool with many golden streaks of light within revolved around him continuously.

Not far from this giant, there was a huge beast that had a horned head that resembled a dragon’s, the spiral horns pointing ahead of it, and a body that resembled a muscular bull. This beast was stepping on clouds formed by a yellow glow. The strength that this beast possessed was such that it felt like the sky had become the earth.

That black dragon was formed by the Dragon Emperor Douluo, Long Xiaoyao. The blackish-green giant was Du Busi, and the huge bull was the Godly Taotie Bull formed by Elder Xuan.

The three of them had been fighting in the sky for quite some time. Indeed, even Elder Xuan and Du Busi weren’t Long Xiaoyao’s match in a duel. However, they had hundreds of years of experience. When they teamed up, they weren’t at a disadvantage. After clashing with Long Xiaoyao several times, they started to reveal crazed looks in their eyes.

Du Busi and Elder Xuan’s cultivations were almost at the peak of their level. They had already been Rank 98 Titled Douluo for years, and continued to try their best to reach the top. However, it wasn’t easy to become an Ultimate Douluo!

Even though Elder Xuan had once had the guidance of Elder Mu, he lost a sparring partner after Elder Mu was critically hurt. It was even more difficult for Du Busi, since he was already the strongest in the Body Sect!

Right now, Long Xiaoyao was one of the few remaining Ultimate Douluo on the continent. He was a Rank 99 Ultimate Douluo, his abilities nowhere inferior to Elder Mu’s. As Elder Xuan and Du Busi fought Long Xiaoyao, they felt like they were fighting to their heart's content. As they basked in such a feeling, they felt that they were getting closer and closer to the next threshold!

Long Xiaoyao could sense the changes in them. In fact, he was able to greatly harm the both of them, even if he couldn’t kill them. The gap between an Ultimate Douluo and a Rank 98 Transcendent Douluo was actually extremely large.

However, Long Xiaoyao had his own misgivings. He wasn’t willing to work himself to the bone for the Holy Ghost Church. How long had he been famous? He was probably the strongest living soul master in the world! How could he possibly accept the fact that he was fighting his guts out for a bunch of evil soul masters? He was only doing this for some special reason... He was once best friends with the Dragon God Douluo, Mu En. While they became love rivals later on, their friendship still existed. Elder Xuan could be considered a half disciple of Elder Mu, and was also the pillar of Shrek Academy. Long Xiaoyao wasn’t willing to hurt him, just like he had
intentionally let Huo Yuhao go previously.

While he didn’t particularly like Du Busi, Du Busi’s words earlier had still moved him. Long Xiaoyao was still quite sentimental.

As a result, he didn’t give his all in this fight. He even became more conservative when he sensed that the two of them were using him as a touchstone.

That was why the fight between the three of them wasn’t a life-and-death one even though it was very intense. They canceled one another out with their fighting strength. However, they couldn’t control what was happening below.

Right now, the ground fight had reached an extremely intense stage. The Titled Douluo from both parties remained spectators, watching the three of them fight from afar. However, the Sun Moon Empire’s imperial palace was still being invaded.

The assault that came from Shrek Academy, the Star Luo Empire, and Heavenly Soul Empire had begun!

----------

An assault team formed by soul masters who were at least seven-ringed Soul Sages had already charged their way into the imperial palace of the Sun Moon Empire fifteen minutes ago!

They were all masked, but they were extremely strong. As they charged their way into the palace, they killed many of the soul masters, soul engineers, and guards who were defending the palace. They charged straight for Xu Tianran’s imperial study.

Although they were at least Soul Sages, none of them were Titled Douluo. They still had to follow the unwritten rules of the world of soul masters. A young man flashing with glaring lights was charging in front of everyone else. He was extremely quick, and the ordinary guards couldn’t get close to him.

Although he was masked, those who had seen the Continental Elite Youth Soul Master Tournament could recognize him. He was the most prominent young figure from the Body Sect, Long Aotian!

Long Aotian’s martial soul was his skin. Although he couldn’t compare to Du Busi, whose martial soul was his body, he was still one of the best in the Body Sect. As he unleashed his fighting strength now, he seemed invincible.

His body occasionally showed strange changes. At times, he was as hard as steel. At other times, he was as soft and springy as tendons. Soul rays were completely ineffective against him.

There was a bright moon above his head. The moonlight from it was targeted towards the stronger soul cannons.

After all, this was the imperial palace, and highly lethal weapons couldn’t be installed here. Shrek Academy and the other two empires had reached a consensus on this before they launched their assault. This was also where their greatest advantage lay.

The Sun Moon Empire’s soul tools couldn’t be fully unleashed, which gave them hope. They didn’t have to worry about soul tools. Furthermore, soul masters were most adept at reactive combat within small areas.

However, they still met problems when they breached the palace.

While the Sun Moon Empire couldn’t install highly lethal weapons, they could still install protective soul tools! 
Layers of protective soul barriers appeared from the building and blocked the stationary soul cannon shells that they had prepared before they launched their assault. At the same time, they kept feeling that they were being intercepted.

The Sun Moon Empire’s soul masters also made their move. Even though they were without their Titled Douluo, they still had the Holy Ghost Church’s evil soul masters to lead them!

The Zhong Li brothers that Huo Yuhao had once met before were included among them. There were quite a lot of these evil soul masters, and their abilities were also special. It was very difficult to separate them and the soul masters that had breached the palace.

“Help  me  rise!  Strengthen!”   A  woman’s  shouting  voice echoed behind Long Aotian.

Long Aotian quickly stepped back and squatted down. Following this, a figure stood on his shoulders and streaks and streaks of lights were shot out from behind her, illuminating this figure. In the next instant, this figure shot into the sky like a bolt of lightning.

A strong silvery-white light glowed brightly, and the moon from earlier turned silver. The bright moonlight made it seem as if another moon had appeared in the sky. As the moonlight surged, the surrounding air started to distort before being crushed. A dark vacuum pulled in the air around this silver moon.

The figure that rose into the sky stood in front of the silver moon, forming a weird gesture with her hands. On her body, her last blood-red soul ring was slowly rising. The silver moon was slowly stained by the blood-red light from her soul ring, and turned into a blood moon. Instantly, everyone felt a bloody storm coming from the sky.

Even those from the same side were astonished when they saw this scene. Streaks of strengthening light continued to land on this figure. The most eye-catching one was a treasure pagoda that drifted in the air. This pagoda had seven stories, and five of them were shining brightly. The five streaks of dazzling light that came from these five stories had a strengthening effect. Xu Tianran’s pupils shrank when he saw this blood moon. “Eight-ringed Soul Douluo!”

When the blood moon appeared, Ju Zi immediately rushed in front of him and shielded him. She had a serious look on her face.

The suppression that came from the sky was about to tear her body apart. Even though a protective barrier with the defensive strength of a Class 9 soul tool rose around her, Ju Zi still felt very uneasy for some unknown reason.

At this point, a sonorous phoenix call resonated through the sky. A ball of dark-red light suddenly rose from a courtyard beside Xu Tianran’s study. This dark-red light instantly converted into a pitch-black phoenix that was covered in dark- red flames. This phoenix charged towards the figure like a bolt of lightning.

Corrosion of the Blood Moon!

Bloody light spread, and the weather changed. Even the Titled Douluo that were watching this from the sky could feel the changes that were happening on the ground.

When that streak of bloody light shot out, the air it pierced seemed to evaporate completely. The Dark Phoenix that rose seemed to discover something was wrong. It fluttered its wings and quickly rose up high.

Fortunately, the bloody light wasn’t targeted towards the phoenix, and only brushed past its body. It struck the Class 9 barrier that was protecting Xu Tianran.

Suddenly, the golden barrier was stained blood-red. The thick, blood-red color quickly spread, and Ju Zi felt as if a sea of blood had completely engulfed them. Her own blood seemed to surge, and she quickly unleashed her Invincible Barrier.

“Come back, Ju Zi!” An irresistible suction force came from the back. Ju Zi felt as if her body had become lighter, and she was immediately sucked into someone’s embrace. Following this, everything around her changed. Everything turned scarlet-gold. Is this the strength of a hundred-thousand year soul skill? Ju Zi felt as if her mind had blanked out.

Theoretically speaking, a Class 9 protective soul barrier could block the attack of a Titled Douluo. However, this theory wasn’t applicable in front of an extremely strong soul master!

The figure in the sky evidently only had an eight-ringed cultivation! However, her attack managed to overcome a Class 9 protective barrier!

Am I dead? Ju Zi thought to herself in a daze. Against such an irresistible force, she felt very insignificant.

However, she soon realized that she wasn’t dead. That was because there was an arm around her waist.

She subconsciously turned her head to look. What she saw was the cold yet confident face of a person.

“Your Highness, you, you managed to stand up?” That was exactly what had happened. Xu Tianran was the one standing behind Ju Zi and holding her waist.

However, Ju Zi was horrified to discover that the imperial study had disappeared. The entire imperial study had completely disappeared. On the ground was only a bunch of slowly melting blood-red debris.

Xu Tianran looked a little dismal. He had been prepared for the invasion today, and was confident. To him, the strongest soul masters that his enemies could possibly send were only eight-ringed Soul Douluo. They couldn’t possibly reach him. However, the sudden release of the Corrosion of the Blood Moon suddenly made him feel soul masters were truly terrifying!

There was a bowl-shaped soul tool above Xu Tianran right now.

This dark gold bowl-shaped soul tool was only slightly larger than an ordinary rice bowl. It drifted above Xu Tianran’s head and pointed down, flashing with starlight. As the bright starlight shone, it felt as if countless stars were revolving around them.

The soul tool released a layer of golden light that engulfed Xu Tianran and Ju Zi. Ju Zi had seen the scarlet-gold light earlier because the Corrosion of the Blood Moon had already been blocked by this layer of golden light.

It was a top-ranked Class 9 defensive soul tool! As the Sun Moon Empire’s Crown Prince who had once been the target of an assassination, Xu Tianran was extremely meticulous about his own safety.

In the sky, the bloody lights withdrew.

Zhang Lexuan felt slightly regretful now. Although this sudden attack didn’t have to be successful, it would naturally be better if it did.

There was one point the Star Luo Empire and Heavenly Soul Empire were correct about; killing Xu Tianran would cause internal problems within the Sun Moon Empire. This was also what Shrek Academy hoped to see. However, Xu Tianran’s soul tool was too strong. Even when she used her Corrosion of the Blood Moon strengthened by her teammates, she didn’t manage to kill him.

She only had this one opportunity. The Sun Moon Empire’s soul masters and evil soul masters were already shooting soul rays towards her.

The Dark Phoenix in the sky was already crying as it charged towards her.

Zhang Lexuan drifted back and fused with the silver moon behind her, forming a blurry silvery glow that covered her body.

She didn’t immediately tackle the Dark Phoenix that flew towards her. Her silver moon sank and landed on the ground again.

If she remained in the sky, she would be too obvious. Even with Zhang Lexuan’s abilities, she wouldn’t be able to handle the barrage of attacks that would surely come at her if she continued to make herself such an obvious target. 
However, the Dark Phoenix didn’t give up pursuing her. It chased her all the way down.

Long Aotian turned into a huge hammer and went straight for the Dark Phoenix. Zhang Lexuan was offered some time to retreat.

“Chi!”  A  strange  noise  sounded,  and  Long  Aotian’s  body burned with dark-red flames. He flew back into his own crowd of people, causing exclamations to ring out. He had actually lost in a direct confrontation?

“It’s indeed you, Xiaotao. Wake up!” Zhang Lexuan shouted. As she drifted forward, she took up Long Aotian’s core offensive position.

Right now, her body was surrounded by the moonlight of the silver moon. She had completely fused with the silver moon to form her Silvermoon True Body. It was a powerful Martial Soul True Body that was adept at both close-range and long-range attacks. As she lifted her right arm, a thick beam of moonlight blocked the Dark Phoenix.

Zhang Lexuan felt a gust of warm air coming towards her. The moonlight that she shot out was distorted by this warm air. When it reached her opponent, it had been greatly weakened.

This was…

“Ultimate  Fire?  No,  it’s  an  impure  Ultimate  Fire.”  Zhang Lexuan immediately made her judgment and turned more serious.

The Dark Phoenix didn’t make any sound, and quickly flashed before it clashed with Zhang Lexuan. At this instant, moonlight and flames filled the palace. Zhang Lexuan was engaging the Dark Phoenix in an intense fight!

At this point, the fight in the sky had also experienced changes. “Guys, what are you still waiting for? Attack. I want to see how this bunch of fellows is going to stop me without Long Xiaoyao!”  Du Busi started to turn stubborn, and immediately gave an order.

Elder Xuan was stunned, but he naturally couldn’t let Du Busi know about the changes on his side. He had no choice but to give the signal to attack as well. Let’s fight and see first. Perhaps we’ll gain the upper hand?

Long Xiaoyao didn’t seem to be bothered at all. As he rolled in the sky, a huge patch of black air turned into countless, dark meteors that shot towards Elder Xuan and Du Busi.

At Long Xiaoyao’s level, his abilities were so strong that he could affect meteorological phenomena. Elder Xuan and Du Busi had no choice but to deal with him.

There was an intense confrontation between both sides.

Ever since they appeared, Shrek Academy had possessed the upper hand. The Body Sect was very strong, and their style was very similar to Du Busi’s. They attacked ferociously the moment they appeared. There were not many evil soul masters who could edge them out in direct confrontations. They were mainly strong in terms of their depravity and special abilities.
At this point, they were being suppressed! 
As for the Sun Moon Empire’s Titled Douluo, they were at a distinct disadvantage as they faced Shrek Academy’s Titled Douluo.

Xu Tianran had been observing the situation in the sky. Seeing that his side was being thrown into a more and more unfavorable situation, he started to turn pale.

“Hallmaster, please prepare.”

“Yes.”

His room had been destroyed, and almost all his guards had been killed. However, this was still the Radiant City’s imperial palace. Xu Tianran didn’t have a lack of men.

On the other side, Zhang Lexuan and the rest suddenly heard weird noises. “Zaza, zaza, gaga, gaga, jiji, jiji……”

These weird noises didn’t come from one direction. They came from all directions.

This was…

Zhang Lexuan turned slightly anxious. She unleashed her moonlight with all her strength to force the Dark Phoenix back. However, waves of fire surged from the Dark Phoenix’s body and swept towards her. The Dark Phoenix seemed completely fearless.

Zhang Lexuan and the rest very soon developed an ominous feeling. It was because they were horrified to realize that the imperial palace was transforming.

The surrounding rooms covered with protective barriers started to move!

They started to crack open, and cannon barrels poked out from these rooms. Under the light emanated by the protective barriers, the cold metal glow emitted by these cannons was filled with a destructive aura.

If Huo Yuhao were here and had time to think, he would have guessed that the warehouse he had discovered wasn’t the only one. It was because there weren’t any Class 7 soul tools and stationary soul cannons, or anything stronger, over there.

The other more valuable and terrifying warehouse was located in the imperial palace! Everything in here was what was lacking in the other warehouse. There were all sorts of soul tools and weapons that were at least Class 7.

Zhang Lexuan’s expression changed when she saw the cannon barrels appearing, and sensed the terrifying soul power that was surging around them. She shouted without hesitation, “Retreat! Retreat from the ground!”

At this moment, those who were fighting the enemies on the ground were the safest. That was because the soul cannons were all aimed towards the sky. After all, a ground attack would affect the palace, and even the city. This problem could be circumvented if the cannons were aimed towards the sky. Those who were in the sky were the most threatened at this moment, and they could feel it.

When one became a Titled Douluo, he would feel some form of sensation if he was in danger. Right now, they could all sense a fatal threat.

It was an extremely terrifying feeling.

When they looked down, even Elder Xuan and Du Busi couldn’t help but be shocked.

The imperial palace seemed to have turned into a metal forest.

Thick cannon barrels were sticking out from the buildings. Glaring lights were already starting to shine inside them. Evidently, the cannons were charging.

Even the smallest of these cannons had barrels more than thirty centimeters in diameter. The largest cannon that Elder Xuan could see had a barrel that was more than two meters in diameter.

Even though he wasn’t familiar with soul tools, he could tell that it had to be at least a Class 8 soul tool! There was no lack of stationary soul tools, either!

Huo Yuhao was right! Assaulting the imperial palace was a mistake. The Sun Moon Empire was the strongest empire, and had built its name on soul tools. How could their base not be prepared?

A cold look flashed across Du Busi’s eyes. He was about to dive down.

However, Long Xiaoyao suddenly showed a tremendous change.

He was originally in his black dragon form, but that suddenly turned illusory. However, this illusory figure suddenly expanded in size. In the blink of an eye, the black dragon that Long Xiaoyao had changed into grew more than one thousand meters in length. As it revolved in the sky, Du Busi, Elder Xuan and many of the Titled Douluo on their side were stopped. They were prevented from charging down to launch an attack.

At this point, Elder Xuan knew exactly what to do. He immediately shouted, “Retreat!”

When the others from Shrek Academy heard his signal, they immediately detached from their groups and quickly retreated.

Once they retreated, Du Busi had no choice but to retreat as well. However, he couldn’t help but curse as he withdrew unwillingly.

The Titled Douluo formed streaks of flowing light. They disappeared into the horizon like shooting stars.

The mysterious founder of the Holy Ghost Church lifted his hand to stop his disciples from chasing them. As he looked at all the cannons below, he too felt very uncomfortable. After all, the strength of the Sun Moon Empire wasn’t something a mere sect like theirs could compare to!

-------

Xu Tianran stood there quietly. Seeing that everything was going according to plan, he couldn’t help but reveal a grin on his face.

At this point, Ju Zi realized that Xu Tianran could stand up not because his legs were fine. He had put on a pair of exquisitely crafted prosthetic legs hidden from view under his pants.

Class 9 soul tool! The Crown Prince is able to use a Class 9 soul tool? Ju Zi was astonished.

She thought she had understood him very well, but didn’t know that his abilities had reached such a level. What did it mean if he could use a Class 9 soul tool? Even if this Class 9 soul tool had a lower requirement, its defensive strength was still at the standard of a top-ranked Class 9 soul tool. This meant that Xu Tianran was at least a top-ranked, eight-ringed Soul Douluo!

However, he was only slightly above thirty years of age. His abilities would be considered rare even if he were in Shrek Academy!

Xu Tianran was slightly moved as he loosened his grip on her waist. He said, “Good, good. You are just like you were many years ago.”

Ju Zi lifted her head to look at him. She was actually moved, and couldn’t help but sigh. I’m sorry, Your Highness. Even if I’d never met Huo Yuhao, I still wouldn’t fall for you. I can only think of you as my benefactor.

Xu Tianran didn’t know what Ju Zi was thinking. As he looked at her delicate skin, a regretful look flashed across his eyes. It’s a pity that I can’t… otherwise, Ju Zi would indeed be a perfect partner.

“Follow the plan. Push them to the west side. All soul engineering teams in the other three directions, be on your highest alert. We must not let them escape from any of those three directions.”

“Yes!”  Ju Zi hurriedly acknowledged his words before she turned and rushed off.

-------------

At this point, a streak of flowing light shone in the sky. This streak of light was very special. After it rose into the sky, it turned into a glittering green freak-like entity. It remained in the sky for a long time without disappearing.

Everyone from Shrek Academy immediately saw this streak of light as they were retreating.

Elder Xuan was delighted. He punched his left arm with his right fist and shouted, “Good!”

Just as he was surprised, another streak of red light rose into the sky. It formed the same entity as the earlier streak of light. Elder Xuan’s expression changed, and he said, “Go. Leave immediately to the west.”

Du Busi was flying not far away from Elder Xuan. When he saw everyone from Shrek Academy changing their direction towards the west, he couldn’t help but shout, “Little Xuan, what are you doing? Do you really think they didn’t set a trap in that direction?”


Elder Xuan was stunned. It seemed the Body Sect was also prepared! However, they had their own plan. While there might be traps in the west, they couldn’t possibly breach the defenses in the other three directions. He still had to ensure the safety of Shrek’s team and the Tang Sect. These two teams could only leave after they finished competing on the final the next day. They couldn’t break out while it was dark now. Otherwise, breaking out with the Body Sect might be a good choice.

“Old freak, we have our own plan. We’ll meet again. Let me give you a warning… leave the city immediately. Don’t continue to remain here.”  After he finished speaking, Elder Xuan gathered everyone to meet Zhang Lexuan and the rest, who had just broken their way out. After that, they proceeded towards the west. 
Du Busi was a bit stunned. However, he wisely chose to believe Elder Xuan at this point. He also gestured to his people and those from the Star Luo Empire to escape in another direction.

---

They were very thorough in this mission. They quickly rushed towards the streets, and followed predetermined routes to meet up with Xu Jiujiu and Wei Na.

“Great-grandfather,   did   we   succeed?”    Wei   Na   asked anxiously.

Du Busi was a little annoyed as he replied, “No. Their defenses were too strong. Long Xiaoyao was indeed shamelessly there. Let’s leave, quickly. I saw some kind of signal from Shrek Academy earlier. Little Xuan warned me to quickly leave the city. They must have had arranged something. Let’s leave immediately.” Xu Jiujiu asked, “Elder Du, aren’t those from Shrek Academy leaving with us?”

Du   Busi   snorted   and   answered,   “Little   Xuan   is   very concerned about glory. He won’t leave before the tournament is over. Shrek Academy likes to brag about how open and aboveboard they are. They won’t leave now.

“Let’s go! Anyway, we can’t store too many people in that thing of ours. I’m sure Shrek won’t suffer much, given their abilities. Come to think of it, I’m quite excited to find out what kind of surprises Little Xuan will bring me. Quickly, instruct your people to move off now.”

“Alright.” Xu Jiujiu didn’t delay either, and quickly gave the order.

---

On the other side, Elder Xuan quickly left with the rest from Shrek Academy. Zhang Lexuan managed to catch up to him. “Elder Xuan, are we going back first? We still have the tournament tomorrow.”

Chapter 345: Steamed Buns

Elder Xuan didn’t hesitate as he heard Zhang Lexuan’s words. “No. Did you not see his signal? Green means he was successful, and red means danger. You guys should hide outside the city for a little while, and go back when dawn breaks. We will hide somewhere in the western suburbs, and prepare to reinforce Huo Yuhao. If something happens to him at the Radiant City Elite Soul Engineering Tournament, it will be convenient for us to escort him away.” Huo Yuhao was still participating in the competition in the western suburbs, and this was one of the most important reasons why Elder Xuan didn’t want to leave with Du Busi and the others. Huo Yuhao was Shrek’s future!

Zhang Lexuan was a little worried and anxious. “What about Bei Bei? He’s still at the hotel. Should I look for him?”

Elder Xuan heaved a faint sigh and said, “You’re not thinking straight because you’re too concerned, Lexuan. Do you really think, with Huo Yuhao’s meticulousness, that he didn’t think about Bei Bei? The signal that he just sent out means danger, but they have just left from there. Furthermore, he has to continue in the Radiant City Elite Soul Engineering Tournament, so he will only reappear after the competition ends, no matter what happens in the city. There’s more than enough time for him to send someone to fetch Bei Bei between now and then.”

Zhang Lexuan bit down on her lower lip. It was true, she wasn’t thinking straight because she was too concerned. Even though that fellow…

She stared at Elder Xuan with a pair of bright and spirited eyes. “Elder Xuan, I’m still not assured. I…”

Elder Xuan felt a little helpless. “Alright, you can go... but be careful. I’m afraid the city might be under martial law very soon, and you should take Bei Bei out of the city as soon as possible once you meet him. Rendezvous with us at the western suburbs.”

“Yes.”  Zhang Lexuan’s voice had barely dropped before she flew out and disappeared in the blink of an eye.

Elder Xuan wasn’t that worried about her safety, as Zhang Lexuan was strong enough to challenge even a Titled Douluo. Furthermore, she was one of the people leading a finalist team in the Continental Elite Youth Soul Master Tournament. It would be easier for her to deal with things if she wasn’t masked when she entered the city.

------

In the western suburbs...

Ye Yulin’s tightly knitted eyebrows finally relaxed. The colors in the skies above Radiant City changed continuously. Normal people couldn’t understand what was happening, but a powerful individual like him could. This especially true because he was the Starsky Douluo, so he was naturally more sensitive about everything that happened in the skies.

The other side had finally settled down, and it seemed like the empire was in control of the situation.

Ye Yulin supported Xu Tianran. Furthermore, he was one of the main committee members when the royal palace was being designed, so he was very well-versed in the royal palace’s defensive capabilities. He had absolute faith that even if an Ultimate Douluo arrived above the Radiant City’s royal palace, he or she wouldn’t have a good time against the royal palace’s defense mechanisms all going off at the same time.

The royal palace’s main defense mechanisms hadn’t even been activated yet, which meant that the intruders were not worth activating their fortifications. Even though the intruders were in the sky, the royal palace would still create an enormous disturbance if they fired countless Class 8 and Class 9 soul cannons heavenwards, possibly instilling panic into the citizens. But everything had settled down by now, which meant the issue had been resolved.

The furor in the city had settled down, but the tournament was starting to pique Ye Yulin’s excitement.

More than half of the round’s stipulated time had passed at this point. The fellow named Tang Wu hadn’t begun on a single formation array, and his movements even seemed to slow, as if he were a little fatigued. He was still working on some miscellaneous components.

Ye Yulin observed him for a little while. Those components gave him a refreshing feeling; the springs, the mechanical joints, and everything else gave him quite some inspiration. This youth was clearly very familiar with these things from the way he worked.

The only problem was, no matter how intricate and exquisite these things were, soul tools needed formation arrays to work.

Ye Yulin was a Class 9 soul engineer, and he could naturally understand some of Huo Yuhao’s intentions after observing him for so long. This youth wanted to use certain unique mechanical joints and components to substitute for certain formation arrays. Yes, that must be it. But even so, human- shaped soul tools require far too many formation arrays. More than half of the given time has passed, so can he finish his soul tool if he hasn’t started on them yet?

Ye Yulin liked this youth’s speed, stability, and technique. This was especially true because this youth was crippled; his body was weak, but his will was strong, and this made Ye Yulin even more moved about taking him in as his disciple.

Even though he didn’t know where Huo Yuhao had learned his skills, Ye Yulin was a giant among men in the soul engineer world. He wasn’t afraid that Huo Yuhao would be unwilling to be his disciple. 
But he was starting to worry for this young man as time continued to pass. Can it be that this youth will be eliminated from this round, even though he possesses such impressive standards, because he can’t complete his soul tool?

Ye Yulin began to feel a little regretful after he understood what Huo Yuhao was trying to do, because he hadn’t been watching Huo Yuhao too closely from the beginning. Therefore, he could only partially understand the delicate mechanical parts that Huo Yuhao was working on.

Huo Yuhao was also very sly. He was crafting all kinds of miscellaneous components, and these components were placed randomly all around him. Only somebody with his level of spiritual power wouldn’t feel confused, or find everything chaotic. Huo Yuhao would do all the stitching, splicing, and assembly of the various mechanical parts at the end of everything.

He’s really making me worry. When exactly is he going to start creating formation arrays? He’s making a few too many mechanical parts, is he not? He has more than two hundred components. Is he really going to be able to stitch everything into a human-shaped soul tool? 
I’m glad that I decided to come here today. I hope this youth can show me a miracle.

Ye Yulin stood up so that he could observe Huo Yuhao’s crafting process a little better.

Ye Yulin wasn’t the only one watching him. Of the seven judges, there were three of them who were observing this crippled youth, who had metal parts lying around his crafting desk and on the ground around him.

The Holy Ghost Sect’s vice-founder was sitting quietly inside the resting area beneath the competition stage. She seemed like she had no idea what was happening within Radiant City, and her expression didn’t change at all.

She only grunted softly when news of what had happened reached her. Her grunt was full of disdain.

A faint smile appeared on Nangong Wan’s face. Seems like some people have tucked tail and ran. If they choose the western side, then so be it. 
This tournament was extremely important to them, but it wasn’t important enough that the vice-founder and the four elders had to hold down the fort. Their presence was to continue giving the soul masters who were trying to break out an impression that the western front was still defended, except
it was a little weaker than the other sides. The Holy Ghost Church’s basic responsibility would be complete if the soul masters attempted to break through the western side.

Huo Yuhao’s forehead was starting to sweat. His spiritual avatar had been separated from his body for far too long, and the side effects of this separation were finally starting to show.

Spiritual power that was separated from the spirit was bound to be intimately connected to his original body. This connection would become weaker with the passage of time, and once this connection was completely severed, the separated part would never return to his body, and simply dissipate.

The Skydream Iceworm had mentioned that this wasn’t enough to threaten Huo Yuhao’s life, but he would definitely be severely hurt if such a situation did happen. It would also mean he wouldn’t be able to compete anymore. 
But some things couldn’t be hurried. There were many things that could only be done after making sufficient and necessary preparations.

Quick, quick, quick!

Huo Yuhao was almost done with his mechanical components, and he was preparing the rare metals that he would need for his formation arrays. However, he couldn’t start engraving and sculpting his formation arrays in his mentally weak state. All he could do was wait.

The tournament was still ongoing, and he would definitely raise suspicion if he stopped doing anything. The Holy Ghost Church’s vice-founder and the four elders were watching everything on stage from beneath it, and they were all evil soul masters and Titled Douluo. Nobody could predict what their reaction would be once they realized that something was wrong with him, and his only choice if his second senior brother and he were attacked was to hide inside the specter demiplane. But if that happened, Huo Yuhao’s spiritual avatar would be unable return to his body, and he would be seriously injured. How then could he arrange and work out the things that were to happen afterwards? 
Quicker, quicker!

He had already prepared the best materials that he would need for his formation arrays. There were eighteen different rare metals of all sorts of colors arranged in front of him, while the mechanical components that he had completed before this were strewn all over the ground.

Yes, Huo Yuhao and Xuan Ziwen had made a breakthrough in their research. They had managed to simplify the Tang Sect’s mechanical hidden weapon’s principles, and the simplest human-shaped soul tool they could create only needed eighteen formation arrays!

Huo Yuhao’s hands didn’t dare to stop, and he could only use his carving knife to start sculpting these rare metals into their rough shapes and sizes. The detailed stuff would have to wait.

Eighteen pieces of rare metal were quickly sculpted. I can’t stop, I can’t stop right now. Huo Yuhao had insisted on this idea because he couldn’t let anyone see through anything he was doing, and he couldn’t reveal any loopholes or weaknesses. Otherwise, problems would irrevocably arise even when his spiritual avatar returned to his body. Those evil soul masters were adept in dealing with all kinds of spirits.

What else could Huo Yuhao do without crafting his formation arrays? He could only start assembling his human- shaped soul tool.

Huo Yuhao pointed his palms toward the ground, and seven to eight components flew in front of him. He quickly pieced them together and assembled a small and agile joint in no time before he sucked up several other components and continued assembling everything.

The assembly process was a lot simpler than crafting those mechanical pieces. There were just so many pieces that other people felt a little dazed looking at them. However, Huo Yuhao didn’t even need his eyes to see, and he used his Capturing Crane Controlling Dragon technique to suck those components to him and piece them together continuously. He would place each relatively larger mechanical piece neatly on the crafting desk before moving on, and it didn’t take long for him to assemble one hundred larger parts. 
So, he’s going for that. Ye Yulin had been watching Huo Yuhao this entire time, and he heaved a sigh of admiration inside. He’s going to work on his formation arrays after everything else has been completed. Even though this method isn’t worth complimenting, his intricate and exquisite mechanical parts are simply too beautiful. I wonder what this soul tool can do? I have to speak to this young fellow after the tournament!

A smile finally appeared on Huo Yuhao’s face, and his hands were starting to move faster and faster. He was piecing together the mechanical parts on his crafting desk once more, and even the Class 9 soul engineers who were watching him felt a little dazed and befuddled as he completed all those fine and delicate steps.

These Class 9 soul engineers had good eyes. Even though they didn’t really understand what these mechanical parts were for, they could tell that every piece that Huo Yuhao created was assembled compactly and seamlessly. Whole parts were starting to appear, and everything was becoming more streamlined. This wholeness was the most attractive thing in a soul engineer’s eyes. 
“Impressive!  Tang  Wu  is  such  a  genius.”  An  elderly  man sitting beside Ye Yulin couldn’t help but exclaim in admiration.

The seven judges were sitting on the competition stage, so their voices would directly affect the competitors if they were a little too loud. However, this judge still blurted these words in the end, so it wasn’t hard to imagine how shaken he was by Huo Yuhao’s work.

Ye Yulin nodded gently and said, “You’ve realized it too, Old Wang?”

The elderly man he was speaking to snapped, “Old Ye, my eyes still work. How can I not tell? However, can you tell which family is adept with those sophisticated mechanical parts?” He was naturally referring to soul engineer sects.

Ye Yulin shook his head and answered, “I have seen soul tools that are supported by mechanical parts, but this is the first time that I’ve seen so many mechanical parts being used at the same time. However, I have a gut feeling that this youth can create a whole new era in soul tools. It looks like we were wrong before.” 
Old Wang forced a laugh and said, “Can you not be so direct? I’m getting old, so I can’t take a blow like that anymore. Even though I know that our path is a little off, we can only continue on it, now that we’re old.”

Ye  Yulin  grunted  disdainfully  and  said,  “That’s  just  your opinion. I don’t believe we can’t change our paths, and I’m still very young. I’ll have no problem living for another hundred years.”

Old Wang contemplated for a moment, then heaved a faint sigh as he said, “Your relentless pursuit for more... this has always been the difference between you and I, and this is also the reason why I’ve always been one class beneath you. However, no matter how highly you regard this youngster, you have to call me when you want to discuss fusing mechanical parts and soul tools after the tournament.”

“How  about  us?”  Several  other  judges  couldn’t  help  but express themselves on the other side.

Ye Yulin raised his right hand, and a soundproofing light screen encompassed everyone inside so that their conversation wouldn’t affect the contestants who were still hard at work.

“All of you are so shameless. You’re behaving like a mosquito when it sees blood. You guys can watch and listen, but nobody can snatch him from me. You have to understand that I’ve paid with my blood and sweat, and I’ve taken out the Sun Moon Divine Needle that I’ve just developed,” Ye Yulin said hatefully to the other judges.

The other six soul engineers couldn’t compare to Ye Yulin in terms of their status within the soul engineer world, and everyone felt a little helpless and exasperated as they watched his domineering and authoritative attitude.

Old Wang immediately tried to relieve the tension. “Alright, that’s enough. Old Ye, we can see your efforts, we won’t snatch him from you. However, everyone has discovered this at the same time. We want to study this together. Furthermore, everyone can participate in this research together. The truth is, those three bullshit underground organizations’ tournament rules are just nonsensical. What do soul engineers compete with? Besides the soul tool itself, soul engineers compete with design and creativity. So many soul tools today have been developed from creativity and innovation. I think Tang Wu’s innovation of integrating mechanical parts into his human- shaped soul tool so that he doesn’t have to create so many formation arrays is enough to crown him as champion. If anyone dares to make an attempt on his life in the subsequent rounds, hmph!”

Ye Yulin glanced at him and said, “Do I need you? Look up in the sky. What are those things? Do you think I’m useless?”

One of the other judges blurted out, “That doesn’t seem very nice. These three underground organizations have given us so much. If we ruin the tournament…”

Ye Yulin shot a glare in his direction, and he seemed like he was going to explode at any moment. He growled, “Bullshit. Let me ask you, Old Zhang, is this bullshit tournament important compared to a new era of soul tools? Is it?!”

Old Zhang was clearly losing this argument, and his voice became a little feeble. “Alright, alright. If you say so, Old Ye. However, we still have to try and avoid going overboard. Furthermore, if this youth can’t even finish his soul tool before the time’s up, he can’t even participate in the following rounds.” Ye Yulin grunted coldly. “It’s alright if he doesn’t. At most, I can make another set of Sun Moon Divine Needles as a gift to him.”

So fierce! Old Wang thought to himself. Ye Yulin has become so shameless because of this outstanding youngster. He’s making it clear that he’s going to claim this kid by force. Pity! What a pity! Why didn’t I meet this outstanding young man earlier?

The judges were discussing amongst themselves on one side, and Huo Yuhao seemed to feel a chill run down his spine on the other side. He looked up subconsciously, and he was met with the gazes of the judges who were staring right at him from within their soundproofing barrier.

Shucks, I’m showing off a little too much. Hah! I should have made the soul tool and pieced the shell together before assembling all the mechanical parts inside the shell. What a pity!

Forget it, I’m just going to play with them for a little bit. A playful smile appeared at the corner of Huo Yuhao’s mouth. He suddenly raised his head and exaggerated his motions as he gazed up into the sky, and his facial features instantly became slack and lackadaisical.

The judges had been focusing their attention on him this entire time, and they were all shocked by his sudden change of expression. Every soul engineer would have the same reaction at a time like this no matter what class they were in, and they followed Huo Yuhao’s eyes into the sky.

But they quickly realized that Huo Yuhao was staring up into the darkness… where there was nothing at all.

What they didn’t know was that when their eyes shifted away, a twisting beam of light pierced discreetly through the soundproofing layer outside and soundlessly entered the back of Huo Yuhao’s head.

This time, Huo Yuhao’s body actually trembled.

When the judges’ eyes returned to his face, they saw that Huo Yuhao had a look of epiphany, and he quickly lowered his head and continued piecing his mechanical joints together.

Old Wang heaved a sigh of admiration. “This fellow is so scary. I actually thought he saw something, but it turns out he’s just thought through some conundrum. A sudden revelation for someone of his talent and caliber must be pretty good. Look, he’s working on his formation arrays now. Eh? His carving knife is pretty. Is that one of the ranked carving knives?”

Wasn’t that right? Huo Yuhao was starting to craft his formation arrays on the other side. The carving knife in his hands was a strange knife that was completely green in color, and filled with life energy.

Yes, Huo Yuhao’s separated spiritual avatar finally had hurried back at that moment. When everything fused back together, Huo Yuhao instantly felt all his mental weakness wash away in that moment. He even felt as if something had become purer within him at that moment.

This is just fantastic! Huo Yuhao heaved a sigh of admiration inside. At the same time, the Life Guardian Blade that had just returned to him began to dance in the palm of his hand. 
Huo Yuhao’s spiritual avatar had helped the three girls complete their operation, and he had helped them do a couple more things afterwards before they left to meet up with Xu Sanshi and Jiang Nannan. Huo Yuhao had told them to return to the Brilliant Delight Hotel and take Bei Bei to the western
suburbs before he immediately separated from everyone, and his spiritual avatar hurried back to his main body as quickly as possible.

Wang Dong’er was the one who had fired those two signals when they had departed the underground warehouse.

A faint smile trembled on Huo Yuhao’s face; he really wanted to laugh right now. His smile was full of satisfaction.

We’ve profited so much today. This time, the Sun Moon Empire has given me a generous gift, and I’ve left them a generous one as well. These two presents should be enough to greatly delay their invasion plans.

Huo Yuhao felt a lot more spirited as he thought about this, and his hands subconsciously began to work at full speed. All seven judges were at least Class 8 soul engineers, and every single one of them had widened eyes and slack jaws as they stared at Huo Yuhao.

Huo Yuhao’s movements were slowing down a little, but after his  “epiphany”   in  that  instant,  he  began  to  work  on  his formation arrays rapidly, as if he had been injected with adrenaline.

The first rare metal he used was a special metal known as Diamond Essencegold. Diamond Essencegold was refined and purified from gold. Typically, only thirty grams of Diamond Essencegold could be purified from a single kilogram of gold. This rare metal was seldom used because it was too expensive and luxurious, but its unique characteristics were very impressive.

Diamond Essencegold was an excellent conductor of soul power, just like gold, and Diamond Essencegold’s inner compact refractive structure could amplify soul power undulations.

There was a special soul tool known as a Soul Power Amplifier, and Diamond Essencegold was most essential in crafting it. A Soul Power Amplifier could only be completed using Diamond Essencegold to craft its formation arrays. 
Soul Power Amplifiers didn’t have a class, but any soul tool with one as an attachment would be upgraded by one class, with the exception of Class 9 soul tools.

Only the Duskwater Alliance had given Diamond Essencegold to their competitors. Among them, only Huo Yuhao’s crafting desk had a piece of Diamond Essencegold as big as an infant’s fist.

This was Nangong Wan’s bias towards Huo Yuhao, as Ye Yulin wasn’t the only person who wanted to take Huo Yuhao as a disciple. There was still the Master of the Duskwater Alliance in the fray!

Huo Yuhao only discovered this piece of Diamond Essencegold through the cracks between the other rare metals after using some of the others. This thing’s value couldn’t be measured with money, and even when it was in its metallic form, a single piece of Diamond Essencegold had the same worth as a Class 8 soul tool. Soul Power Amplifiers were touted as Class 9 soul tools that weren’t actually Class 9 soul tools, so it wasn’t hard to imagine why Diamond Essencegold was so valuable.

Diamond Essencegold was great, but it possessed some of its own unique characteristics, one of the most prominent ones being how hard it was.

The “Diamond” in its name didn’t just describe its inner refractive abilities, it also described how hard it was!

Diamond Essencegold was so hard that even Class 9 soul engineers would have a challenging time using their carving knives to engrave and sculpt it. One would not even be able to leave a single mark on Diamond Essencegold if they weren’t supported by formidable soul power, or if they didn’t have a carving knife that was hard enough.

But Huo Yuhao’s green carving knife waltzed around as the judges watched, and it cut into the Diamond Essencegold until dust and particles flew in all directions. The Diamond Essencegold in his hands was quickly taking shape. “His carving knife is not a ranked carving knife...” one of the Class 8 judges muttered confidently. He wasn’t a Class 9 soul engineer, but nobody else compared to him in terms of understanding and research regarding ranked carving knives. If he said Huo Yuhao’s knife wasn’t a ranked carving knife, then it wasn’t.

Ye Yulin frowned and said, “If it’s not, then the people who created the list must be blind. Or maybe this carving knife has never appeared before. We can all see its strength from how it’s cutting through Diamond Essencegold like butter. This carving knife is probably the best I’ve seen at cutting through hard metal. It’s better than my Morning Star!”

Old Wang nodded sincerely and said, “That’s true. I think this fellow isn’t even using soul power, so there must be something strange about his carving knife, and it’s not just because it’s incredibly sharp. I suspect the carving knife itself carries some special characteristics that make it excellent at cutting through hard things. But this characteristic may be a little too intense.”

Ye Yulin said, “Can it be something that the Duskwater Alliance has taken out for him to use? I’m becoming a lot more confident in this kid.” 
Elder Zhang laughed and said, “Right? The Duskwater Alliance is so astute and shrewd, yet they are willing to take out Diamond Essencegold for him to use. It’s not hard to imagine how much emphasis they have placed on this young man, and it would be weird if you or they didn’t have confidence in him.”

Ye Yulin smiled and said, “Then we will eagerly wait for this young man to finish his human-shaped soul tool. He is already today’s champion in my heart.” His pupils suddenly dilated as he said these words, and he exclaimed in surprise, “What a man! He’s already done with his formation array?”

Was that right? Huo Yuhao seemed to be finished engraving and sculpting the piece of Diamond Essencegold in his hands. Furthermore, Huo Yuhao retrieved a small bottle from somewhere and raised his hand. All the Diamond Essencegold dust that had fallen off from his cutting and engraving was all sucked into the bottle. This was good stuff, and even the dust and fragments had special uses and effects.

Huo Yuhao began working on his second formation array after that. He didn’t use any auxiliary tools, and gripping the piece of rare metal in his left hand while he grasped his Life Guardian Blade with his right, and engraved and sculpted rapidly. Metal dust and particles flew in all directions once more.

His current speed was faster than when he was making those components from before, and his hands were starting to leave afterimages.

The current state Huo Yuhao was in was his best state for crafting soul tools. He had been hiding his abilities in the previous rounds, but there was no need to hide anymore at a time like this, because he was in the final round. He probably wouldn’t meet these people ever again after the tournament, at least on good terms. Perhaps they would meet on the battlefield someday.

His Life Guardian Blade tapped lightly on the metal piece in his hands and quickly completed three arced cuts. They were so precise it was if they had been measured with a ruler. Cutting its corners, slicing at lightning speed, drilling and boring holes… his fingers switched continuously from technique to delicate technique. Huo Yuhao did possess unique and extraordinary characteristics as a soul engineer. For one, he might have stronger spiritual power than even the Class 9 soul engineers judging this tournament, and there was no need to mention how agile his hands were, as he had the Tang Sect’s Mysterious
Jade Hands and his training with hidden weapons. All that, in
addition to Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power guiding him, meant he would never make a mistake. His spiritual power would guide his hands to move with incredible precision according to whatever he was thinking.

It was difficult for him to make an error throughout the entire process.

Huo Yuhao had recovered from his weakness after his spiritual avatar returned to his body, and it felt as if there were some kind of sublimation. Huo Yuhao basked in this magical feeling as the carving knife in his hand danced up and down, and line after line of intricate and beautiful patterns appeared continuously on the piece of rare metal in his hands. He was completely in the mood for crafting soul tools, and he could now give all his heart and soul to this endeavor without having to worry about anything else. Xuan Ziwen had remarked in admiration before that if Huo Yuhao could place all his energy and attention into crafting soul tools, he could possibly become an unprecedented Class 10 soul engineer with all the talent that he possessed.

It wouldn’t be very difficult for him to become a Transcendent Douluo because of his Ultimate Ice, while his talent with soul tools was unique and otherworldly. Xuan Ziwen even believed that Huo Yuhao’s talent in crafting soul tools was superior to his accomplishments as a soul master.

However, Xuan Ziwen also told Huo Yuhao that talent was very important for soul engineers to reach Class 7. However, continuing up from Class 7 would take ten times more effort than before. Soul engineers would never be able to progress if they didn’t put their entire heart and soul into the endeavor. Therefore, Huo Yuhao needed to make a choice when he became a seven-ringed Soul Sage.

Huo Yuhao gave Xuan Ziwen an answer back then, and he had made the same choice from the day he became a soul engineer. His choice was simple; he was going to become a soul master who used soul tools, and this would become the mainstream in the future. He would never give up his journey as a soul master, because he wanted to climb all the way to the top, and also because he had to keep going for the Skydream Iceworm, the Ice Empress, and the Snow Empress. He had no choice but to work hard on his cultivation.

Huo Yuhao conveyed his opinions to Xuan Ziwen. His goal for the future was simple; he wanted to use soul tools to boost a soul master’s strength, and his goal would be complete when soul tools could completely become amplifiers for soul masters.

Huo Yuhao’s second formation array quickly took shape, and he didn’t slow down at all.

All seven judges were top-tier soul engineers, and they could naturally relate to the current state that Huo Yuhao was in. This was a state that they desired when they were crafting soul tools.

This state in the world of soul engineers was known as Body and Mind as One. A soul engineer couldn’t explicitly pursue this state; they needed to be spirited, have very deep foundations, and have a certain level of cultivation and spiritual power before they could reach this state. A soul engineer would have to enter this Body and Mind as One state to craft Class 9 soul tools. Typical soul engineers didn’t have Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection, so they wouldt make mistakes, and thus they could only rely on reaching the state of Body and Mind as One to smoothly complete such an
extremely sophisticated thing as a Class 9 soul tool.

The chief judge, the Starsky Douluo, who was also a Class 9 soul engineer, stared at Huo Yuhao until his eyes seemed to become a little greedy. What a prodigy! He’s an absolute prodigy! I don’t care who his teacher is, I have to snatch him over to my side! This talent is something that all soul engineers crave and desire!

The other soul engineers’ crafting progress was at odds with Huo Yuhao’s process. They were practically done with their formation arrays, and were now starting to casually forge their soul tools’ other parts.

The tournament’s technique round was coming later. Therefore, every contestant planned to have some time to rest and recover after completing their soul tools, so that they could be revitalized for the undoubtedly strict technique assessment afterwards. The contestants began to glance at their adversaries at this point, now that they were relatively less tense than before. Huo Yuhao quickly became their focus of attention.

There was no way they couldn’t pay attention to Huo Yuhao; there was a human-shaped soul tool two and a half meters tall, standing right next to him!

One of the Alto Chamber of Commerce’s contestants pressed the pestle and mortar in his hands the wrong way when he saw that human-shaped soul tool, causing him to waste a piece of rare metal. He almost crushed his own hand!

The other soul engineers felt their eyeballs popping out as they watched Huo Yuhao… only He Caitou could maintain his casual and calm demeanor, because he wasn’t looking at Huo Yuhao.

A human-shaped soul tool? He’s actually crafting a human- shaped soul tool in this tournament?

“This  Tang  Wu  is  a  prodigy.  Have  you  investigated  his identity?”  The vice-founder deliberately suppressed her voice as she spoke.

Nangong Wan hurriedly answered respectfully and said, “I’ve sent someone to investigate, but we didn’t find anything. It feels like Tang Si and Tang Wu just emerged out of nowhere. They had servants before this, so I thought they came from a sect, but we’ve checked every single sect, and nothing. However, I don’t think his identity and where he’s from is important. He’s participating in this tournament for the rewards, and that means he’s not that wealthy. Everything else won’t be a problem; we just have to brainwash him.”

“Dumbass,” the vice-founder grunted coldly.

Nangong Wan felt his heart skip a beat, and his expression changed slightly as he bowed respectfully and said, “Forgive me, vice-founder. Please advise.”

Chapter 346: Racing Against Time

The vice-founder explained coldly, “He’s a soul engineer, not a soul master. The things he has to do require creativity and innovation. If we brainwash him, his memories will greatly deteriorate. It’s easier for soul masters because we can guide them and train them so that they regain their memories under our control, but can he regain his memories regarding processes as fine and intricate as crafting soul tools? We have to focus on pulling him over to our side without brainwashing him.”

Nangong  Wan  hurriedly  lowered  his  head.  “Yes.  We  have taken out a Class 9 stationary soul cannon shell to rope him in. What I meant to say was, if he doesn’t wish to concede, we can consider brainwashing him if we have no other choice.”

“Okay. Don’t let him leave our sight after this tournament,” the vice-founder continued to instruct him with a chilly voice.

If those who were familiar with Huo Yuhao knew everything that was happening here, they would have thought, This delicious cake will be wanted wherever he is. ------

Inside Radiant City...

Shadows flew past again and again as they descended from the sky into a courtyard beside the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy.

The issue at the royal palace had been resolved, so the high- level soul engineers who were responsible for guarding the important warehouse hurried back as soon as possible. They were guarding a place of strategic importance, and they would be in big trouble if something happened.

There were eight high-level soul engineers standing guard here. Their leader was an elderly man who was tall, but a little scrawny. His eyes were sunken deep into their sockets, and his skin was very black. He looked like he shared the same blood with the royal family. Of course, ever since Xu Tianran’s father
– who was also the current emperor of the Sun Moon Empire –
usurped the throne, the traditional royal family’s black skin color had been continuously diluted by the current royal family. This person was born into the previous royal family. However, he was one of those who had mutinied against the throne all those years ago, and he was deeply trusted by the Sun Moon Empire’s current emperor. However, he didn’t support Xu Tianran, though Xu Tianran had been working
hard at trying to bring him to over to his side.

This man’s name was Xu Guozhong, but he wasn’t loyal at all. He was big on profits and money. He had helped the current emperor usurp the throne all those years ago, and gained voluminous medicines and whatnot in exchange, which was how he had reached his current cultivation rank.

They were just guarding a warehouse, but these guardians were treated extremely well. The key was their authority; only the emperor himself could touch the rare metals and equipment in this warehouse, nobody else. Not even the crown prince had this authority.

He was in full control of the inventory and everything in this warehouse. Occasionally smuggling some out to sell brought incredible profits, and Xu Guozhong himself was still a prince. He was revered, had status and influence, and was a man with real power and authority. He had some connections with the military, and he was also a Class 9 soul engineer himself. Xu Guozhong was one of the Sun Moon Empire’s bigger characters.

Xu Tianran had always been trying to rope him in, but Xu Guozhong had never confirmed his attitude and his position because he was still hoping for better profits and benefits. In the end, Xu Tianran would still need Xu Guozhong even after he ascended to the throne because of Xu Guozhong’s authority and influence in the empire.

Xu Guozhong was a classic miser. He didn’t have to come to this warehouse every day with his status and his rank, he could have stayed in his own manor. However, taking stock of all the treasures in this warehouse was one of his greatest joys and interests. This was especially true for the stuff on the second and third floors.

Li Chong was the manager, and he occasionally smuggled some rare metals out of the warehouse. However, he could only take from the first floor, and Xu Guozhong was very clear about everything on the other two floors.

Xu Guozhong had gone to the royal palace to take a look, and then had hurried back when they realized that everything was alright. This was the first time that he had seen so many Titled Douluo… how intimidating! The situation in Radiant City had become so obscure and blurry, so he hurried back as soon as possible because he was worried about the warehouse’s safety, and also about his own.

Where else was safer than his warehouse one hundred meters underground? Furthermore, Huo Yuhao and the others had failed to discover something; Xu Guozhong had his own underground palace in his warehouse, which was furnished with everything money could buy. His underground palace was even more luxurious and extravagant than a prince’s mansion.

“Where’s Li Chong?”  They walked into the courtyard and noticed that everything looked normal. Xu Guozhong felt a little more assured as he entered.

In this place, he was the only one that possessed every single key. He was the only one that possessed keys for the second and the third floor; nobody else had them. Nobody could embezzle anything, even if they wanted to.

Xu Guozhong called out to his trusty subordinate once he entered the courtyard. He knew about Li Chong’s tricks and the fishy business that he occasionally dabbled in, but Li Chong was very competent and capable, while also being very loyal to him, so Xu Guozhong could only close one eye to his nonsense. Everyone here were his trusted aides, and how could he keep them by his side if he didn’t give them some benefits to lock them in?

Other matters aside, the rare metals in here that couldn’t be measured with money were one of the most important reasons he was able to attract these high-level soul engineers.

“Where  are  you,  Li  Chong?  Come  out,  right  now!”   Xu Guozhong didn’t feel very good when he noticed that Li Chong hadn’t come out to greet him as soon as he stepped in.

Still nothing...

Xu Guozhong had a lot of experience, and he realized that something was wrong. His eyes focused as he lowered his voice and growled, “On guard!”

The Class 7 soul engineers that he had with him were all high-level individuals, and he had three Class 8 soul engineers with him, as well. Clanging sounds could be heard as they released their signature soul tools and activated their protective soul barriers, even as the Class 7 soul engineers immediately searched the several rooms around them.

However, Li Chong seemed to have vanished into thin air. The other rooms were all empty, and not a single person could be seen. There was nothing else happening in this place, either.

One of the Class 7 soul engineers walked out from a room and couldn’t help but laugh as he ventured, “My Lord, could he have snuck out for some wine?”

Xu Guozhong’s expression changed again and again as he growled once more, “No, that’s not it. Li Chong has always been true to his duty. How could he have dared to step out with everything that was happening outside before this? Quick, let’s check the warehouse!”

He activated his protective soul barrier as he spoke, and charged into the central room. He opened the wardrobe and tapped in the passcode as they proceeded into the elevator that led down to the warehouse. The elevator quickly came up, and everything seemed to be normal. Xu Guozhong took his high-level subordinates into the lift.

One Class 7 soul engineer knocked rhythmically and familiarly on the elevator’s wall. They were about to go down in the elevator when it moved, and an intense loss of gravity struck them in the next moment.

“Idiot! What did you do?” Xu Guozhong was infuriated.

Xu Guozhong naturally knew what this loss of gravity meant; it happened when the elevator’s traps had been triggered!

This wasn’t the only entrance into the warehouse, but this elevator was the only entrance on their side, so it was natural for it to have anti-burglary mechanisms. If the wrong knocks were given, the elevator would instantly slide down, and would get stuck halfway through before an alarm sounded. This elevator was constructed from alloys almost half a meter thick, and its walls were extremely tough. Any thief or burglar who got stuck inside this elevator had no way out. People had made mistakes and gotten themselves stuck inside the elevator before, but those who were following Xu Guozhong had been part of this warehouse’s guard for a long time, yet they were still making mistakes... furthermore, this was crunch time! How could he not be furious?

Indeed, the elevator slid down several dozen meters before they heard a soft clacking sound. The elevator was now stuck.

The Class 7 soul engineer who had knocked on the elevator’s walls stared at his compatriots’ disdainful looks, and then at Xu Guozhong’s furious expression, with an awkward look on his face.

“I don’t think I knocked wrongly, my lord...”

“You don’t think you did? I’ll take care of you when we get out. Quickly, reboot it.” He retrieved a golden key as he spoke, and inserted it into a small and unassuming hole in the wall on the other side.

A strange scene occurred. The key went in, but the soul elevator didn’t react. It was like it was completely stuck, and couldn’t be moved at all.

A Class 8 soul engineer from the company suddenly thought of something, and said, “Listen, my Lord! Why aren’t there any alarms?”

Xu Guozhong was rooted to the spot. Yes! If something happened to the elevator, the alarms should have sounded! The people from the Illustrious Virtue Hall would be alerted, and alarms would also sound in the royal palace. This was the reason why he had flown into a rage when his subordinate made a mistake, because his people messing up was very embarrassing for him.

Xu Guozhong turned his golden key forcefully several more times, and confirmed that the lift wasn’t reacting at all. His face became a lot blacker than before.

“Something’s not right, someone’s messed with the elevator! Quick, break it open! Our close-combat soul engineers will work on that, while the rest of us will break open the bottom.” Xu Guozhong had a lot of experience, and he made a decision in the blink of an eye. The warehouse had probably been invaded, and even though he had absolute faith in the booby traps and various defensive soul tool mechanisms set up inside the warehouse, he was still a miser, and he was most afraid of losing the things that he cherished most. Furthermore, there were several treasures that he doted on inside his underground palace!

------

“That’s the ninth one.” Ye Yulin was full of admiration as he counted Huo Yuhao’s completed formation arrays.

“Tang Wu” had finished nine formation arrays within one hour. Based on his current speed, he could finish all eighteen formation arrays within the six hour time limit.

One hour for nine formation arrays? These formation arrays are also Class 6, at the very least. The judges were feeling a little bad about themselves. It wasn’t because they didn’t have the same ability, but it wasn’t easy to remain in the Body and Mind as One state for more than one hour. These judges sometimes went for an entire year without entering this state, but Huo Yuhao had managed to achieve it basically on command! The formation arrays were like pieces of intricate art Huo Yuhao was displaying on his crafting desk. Huo Yuhao himself was like a machine that didn’t make any mistakes at all, a machine operating with incredible speed and efficiency.

“Haih–” Ye Yulin heaved a sigh, and shook his head, a little helpless and exasperated. 
Elder Wang said mockingly from one side, “What? You’re thinking there’s nothing much you can teach him, right? This youngster’s foundations are near our own standards. Besides some top-tier formation arrays, concepts, and principles, we are only better than him in cultivation rank. I think his abilities are close to that of a Class 7 soul engineer. Perhaps his cultivation hasn’t reached that level yet, but his abilities are definitely there.”

Ye Yulin nodded softly and agreed, “Yes! If he’s as young as he looks, us seniors should feel guilty. Even though he’s crippled, I favor him a lot. Who knows? Maybe he will create miracles in our soul engineering world in the future.”

Elder Wang heaved a faint sigh and said, “Don’t give him so much credit yet. The world never lacks for talents and prodigies, but those that truly make it in life, and perhaps eventually become a legend of their era, are few and far between. It depends on his direction in the future. Right now, I want to see how far he can take his human-shaped soul tool with just eighteen formation arrays. Have you realized that not a single one of the nine formations arrays that he has created are weaponized? According to the tournament’s rules, every person is only allowed to have one soul tool. He’ll be going against the rules if he attaches external weapons.”

“Yes, let’s wait and see. If he’s so talented, then he shouldn’t be clueless about the rules. I don’t think we can guess what he’s doing exactly before he finishes his soul tool.”

------

The tenth, the eleventh, the twelfth…

Huo Yuhao continued to complete formation arrays, one after another.

The fifth hour was about to end, and someone had already finished their soul tool at this point.

The first contestant to complete their soul tool was Huang Zheng, who was representing the Duskwater Alliance with Huo Yuhao and He Caitou. Huang Zheng’s soul tool was very characteristic of him. It was an enormous mechanical arm, and it was one hundred and twenty centimeters long, with three sharp claws in front. The entire mechanical arm would be attached to his own arm, and it looked eerily shiny and reflective. What this soul tool did would only be revealed in the subsequent rounds. Soul tools that could be used for tournaments wouldn’t be so simple or standard, and nobody could tell what it did just from looking at it.

Huang Zheng didn’t leave his position after completing his soul tool. Instead, he crossed his legs and just sat there. He seemed to enter meditation. His entire body looked very calm and orderly, and he didn’t seem tense, hasty, or too slow.

The Third Elder in the resting area beneath the competition stage nodded in satisfaction. Compared to Huo Yuhao, who’s really making people worry, my disciple is displaying abilities that truly outstanding soul engineers should. He was very interested in Huo Yuhao, but he still had a lot of faith in his disciple.

He Caitou was the second to complete his soul tool. The soul tool that he had created was both fearsome and ferocious. He Caitou had crafted an enormous cannon. On the surface, this cannon didn’t look like something that typical humans could use…

Huo Yuhao used many rare metals, but his soul tool was not necessarily higher in overall volume than He Caitou’s cannon.

He Caitou’s cannon was more than three meters long. The most frightening part of his cannon was the cannon’s mouth; it was two-thirds of a meter in diameter!

This cannon could pass for a thick house column if it were placed vertically; it seemed very appropriate or supporting weight.

The tournament provided many different kinds of rare metals, but there wasn’t that much of any one type. Therefore, He Caitou’s enormous cannon seemed extremely gaudy and showy as the cannon flickered with all sorts of colors from many different metals.

What a waste! If the seven judges were to evaluate his enormous cannon, evaluating it as a complete waste couldn’t be more appropriate. He Caitou might not even be able to use this cannon himself, and even if he could, it was still a waste.

This large cannon was a Class 7 soul tool, and the judges could see that it was a Class 7 rapidfire cannon. Rapidfire cannons were very useful among Class 7 soul tools, because they could fire both soul power cannon rounds and stationary soul cannon shells. They could fire all sorts of shells between Class 4 to Class 7.

However, such rapidfire cannons were set up on a base, and a carriage had to pull it along. A fortress was also required behind it before a soul engineer could operate it. Nobody had ever done it like he had; he had no base, only a cannon barrel! Were all the formation arrays inside the cannon barrel?

Was he going to carry his cannon on his shoulder? Even if he could fire this cannon, it would not be agile at all. His rapidfire cannon couldn’t lock onto his targets, which meant that he would have to rely on his eyes for precision and accuracy…

--- Everyone was working faster and faster as the round entered its final hour. Most contestants had entered their final assembly phase, and they conservatively planned to finish fifteen minutes before the stipulated time was up. Only Huo Yuhao was different; he had three formation arrays left, and these formation arrays seemed exceptionally sophisticated. He would need more time to craft each one.

The other contestants completed their soul tools one after another. There were fifteen minutes left when the eighth contestant finished his soul tool, while Huo Yuhao was still working on his final formation array.

This formation array was huge, almost as large as a person’s head. Huo Yuhao was also using more than one kind of rare metal.

---

“A combined formation array?” Ye Yulin lived up to his name as the chief judge, and was the first to understand what Huo Yuhao was doing. Combined formation arrays referred to combining several formation arrays to form a new and multi-functional formation array.

This couldn’t be achieved by simply connecting several formation arrays together. These formation arrays had to be made complementary, and was a technique that only top-tier soul engineers could use.

It was no wonder he was taking so long for his last formation array; he was probably combining three different formation arrays. Did he have enough time?

Ye Yulin looked up at the hourglass; there was a little bit left.
One hour was a very short time when crafting soul tools.

Elder Wang whispered, “Should we extend the time?”

Ye Yulin shook his head and said, “Is it that important that he claims the championship? We will let him finish his product even if the hourglass runs out before he completes his soul tool. He can be number one in our hearts, and that’s enough. Tell the contestants who have already finished their soul tools that they aren’t allowed to make noise, and they can’t disturb him. Otherwise, they will be punished.”

Elder Wang’s mouth slanted as he said, “You’re so biased!”

Ye Yulin grunted coldly and said, “I’ve always believed that protecting the weak is a virtue.”

Elder Wang laughed heartily and said, “What a virtue!
Alright, I’ll go.”

The other eight contestants quickly received notifications that they had to wait at their respective spots, and they weren’t allowed to disturb Huo Yuhao even if time ran out.

---

Huo Yuhao’s forehead was dotted with beads of sweat. He knew that he was racing against time, while his entire heart and soul was in his production, and his spirit had been raised to the highest possible level. Huo Yuhao even felt that the immense spiritual power that he had concentrated in his current state was subtly affecting and changing his spiritual sea, to the point where his spiritual sea was undergoing some kind of sublimation.

At this moment, the Ice Empress, the Skydream Iceworm, and the Snow Empress were all extremely quiet in his spiritual sea. They were afraid that making a single sound would disrupt or interrupt him.

Huo Yuhao was lucky to be in his current state. He had separated his spirit today, and his spiritual avatar had spent a very long time outside his body. Most soul masters wouldn’t even dare to attempt something like this, as typical soul engineers didn’t have a million -year soul beast like the Skydream Iceworm inside their spiritual seas protecting their spiritual origin. One mistake could cause their spirits to shatter into pieces.

However, Huo Yuhao’s experiment had been successful. Furthermore, his spiritual avatar had returned in time at the crucial moment, and his spirit was reintegrated while his spiritual power fused back into his body. This gave Huo Yuhao a better understanding of his concrete-immaterial realm, and it was then that he had quickly entered the Body and Mind as One state, catalyzing his spiritual power to circulate at high speeds, and he even managed to consolidate some of his revelations from before. Everything had just seemed to come together.

Much of Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power had been upgraded by the Fullmoon Piercing Autumn Dew that he had consumed. He had assimilated the medicinal herb, but he had never been able to completely control the spiritual power that this herb had refined and improved. In the end, his body was a lot weaker compared to his spiritual power. He wouldn’t even have been able to store so much spiritual power if not for his Eye of Destiny!

At this moment, his spiritual power was sublimating once more, and integrated a little more with his body. This integration process was equivalent to boosting how much the spiritual sea in his brain could take, and also improved his spiritual power’s compatibility with his body. The better the compatibility, the lighter the burden on his body when he used spiritual power. Even though his physique hadn’t improved, he could now unleash a lot more spiritual power.

Initially, Huo Yuhao had only needed a singular formation array for his last one. However, he was still immersed in that state, and he gave himself a challenge while he was feeling inspired so that he could force himself to undergo this sublimation at an even higher level. Even though this meant that he might fail to craft his soul tool in time, this opportunity to sublimate his spiritual power was substantially more important than this tournament!

Of course, Huo Yuhao definitely wouldn’t admit that the fact that his spiritual power was so smooth and streamlined had something to do with him stealing countless precious materials!...

------

The Tang Sect had rendezvoused with Shrek Academy’s company not far from the western suburbs’ tournament arena.

Zhang Lexuan reached the hotel at almost the same time as Xu Sanshi and the others. Zhang Lexuan was finally satisfied when she found out that Huo Yuhao had indeed made plans for Bei Bei, but she still followed the Tang Sect’s members as they swiftly escorted Bei Bei out of the city. 
Just as Elder Xuan had said, Radiant City was now under martial law as throngs of soldiers swarmed into the city. Everyone knew that these armies couldn’t do much against powerful soul engineers and soul masters, but having them around was better than nothing. At the very least, these soldiers could restrict their movements and breathing space.

The journey out of the city wasn’t overly perilous; they readily exploited Radiant City’s lack of walls. Zhang Lexuan helped everyone out of the city, and they met up with Elder Xuan and the others.

Huo Yuhao had already informed everyone earlier on that there were many powerful evil soul masters at the tournament arena. Therefore, Elder Xuan arranged for everyone to rest in a small forest several kilometers out. Elder Xuan personally embarked on some reconnaissance duties, since it was hard for most people to discover him with his abilities.

This kid is starting to look like an Ultimate Soldier, Elder Xuan thought to himself approvingly, as he watched Huo Yuhao on the competition stage from afar, still hard at work. Huo Yuhao had made a great contribution this time, and Elder Xuan could cancel Huo Yuhao’s punishment from last time when they returned to the academy.

It’s a pity that Du Busi and the others are not reliable. Otherwise, we might have gained so much more if I had guided them here.

Elder Xuan’s eyes flowed with hostility and murder as he continued to think.

If he could have besieged and eliminated the three underground organizations, the Holy Ghost Church’s people, and those soul engineer judges, the impact to the Sun Moon Empire would probably have been comparable to assassinating Xu Tianran.

But Elder Xuan was aware that it was just a fantasy.

There were five evil soul masters who were also Titled Douluo there, along with several other Class 9 soul engineers. There were far too many exceptionally powerful individuals there, and Shrek Academy’s people who were currently here wouldn’t emerge unscathed even if they could defeat this group. Furthermore, a great battle like that needed time, while the Sun Moon Empire clearly knew that Elder Xuan and the others were heading towards the western side. It was clear that the Sun Moon Empire was prepared.

The Sun Moon Divine Needle hovering in the sky made someone even as powerful as Elder Xuan feel very threatened.

Fortunately, Huo Yuhao had informed them in time, and Wang Dong’er and the others told Shrek Academy’s company that the Holy Ghost Church’s vice-founder and several of its elders were there. Otherwise, Elder Xuan would probably have led everyone into an ambush. They had been separated from the Body Sect at this moment, and if their enemies and their enemies’ reinforcements managed to surround and entrap them, the Academy was certain to sustain heavy losses.

Elder Xuan weighed the pros and cons, and chose to hold back in the end. His goal right now was simple; he wanted to ensure that Huo Yuhao and He Caitou returned safely! Their operation would be considered completed once that happened. Afterwards, they would have to wait and see what pleasant surprises Huo Yuhao’s green signal would bring them. ------

The cannon barrels that had been protruding from the structures within the Sun Moon Empire’s royal palace had all been retracted, while cleaning and repair works were being carried out in perfect order.

Xu Tianran was still standing in the pile of rubble that was his study, while the Holy Ghost Church’s founder and Jing Hongchen stood to either side of him. The evil soul masters had all disappeared; nobody knew where they had vanished to. The Dragon Emperor Douluo was likewise nowhere to be seen.

A servant clad in golden warrior robes ran up to Jing Hongchen and whispered something in his ear.

Jing Hongchen nodded and walked over to Xu Tianran. “Your Highness, the northern, eastern, and southern sides have been placed on the highest alert, and the respective Class 9 stationary soul cannons have been properly established. They will be instantly struck by our strongest firepower if they dare to break through from one of those sides. According to our scouts’ reports, they separated a while ago. The group that Shrek Academy was leading went over to the western side, while the Body Sect, the Heavenly Soul Empire, the Star Luo Empire and the others entered a viscount’s mansion towards the east. They haven’t done anything after entering the mansion. They seem to be hiding and waiting for an opportunity.”

“Hiding?” Xu Tianran frowned slightly as his eyes closed into slits. “Get someone to monitor them as closely as possible. We have to force them to choose the western side, and I don’t think they’re just hiding. If they have separated from Shrek Academy’s group, then they definitely won’t break through from the western side. Imperial Tutor, can you send some people from your side over there?”

“Alright.” The Holy Ghost Church’s founder nodded and turned as he disappeared into the darkness. It didn’t take long before he returned.

“I’ve  sent  some  people  over.  Without  Shrek  Academy’s people, they will have to pay a bloody price if they want to force their way out with the people I’ve sent and the empire’s soul engineer legions working together. Why didn’t you let us unleash everything we had when they were here before this, your Highness? If we fought with our full strength and if you had also participated, we could probably have taken down more than half of their entire company.”

Xu Tianran’s eyes changed a little as he smiled and said, “We are inside the empire’s capital, and we are also inside Radiant City’s imperial palace. If we fight them with our full strength, we will make them pay a bloody price, certainly…. but we will also sustain heavy losses ourselves. Furthermore, they have so many Titled Douluo, and if they disregard the unspoken rule and attack the city, the entire city will be laid to waste. How am I to explain it to my citizens if that happens? We have to deal them a heavy blow this time, while making sure that we avoid as many losses as we can on our side. It’s not easy for you and your church to nurture youngsters and talents either, no?”

He knew very well why the Holy Ghost Church’s founder suggested fighting here. The man didn’t care about death and destruction, and the deaths of so many citizens was actually greatly beneficial for evil soul masters. Xu Tianran wanted the rest of the world to descend into chaos, but how could he let the Holy Ghost Church do something like that here?

The truth was that Xu Tianran wasn’t that afraid of Shrek Academy and the Body Sect disregarding the Titled Douluo’s unspoken rule of battle. Rather, he was more afraid that these evil soul masters would take this opportunity to stir up trouble, and that they would murder throngs of his citizens!

The Holy Ghost Church’s founder grunted coldly and said, “I can’t let those little scoundrels from the Tang Sect escape. I will turn every single one of them into zombies under my control.” He hated the Tang Sect’s company to the core, as the deaths of several outstanding young soul masters had dealt a heavy blow to him. His heart ached for them!

Xu Tianran answered, “Don’t worry, Imperial Tutor. Shrek Academy’s company went towards the western side, and that means they will be leaving from there. Furthermore, they will never give up the glory that they have held onto for so long. Shrek Academy is facing off against the Tang Sect in tomorrow’s finals, so they won’t leave until the tournament ends. They have left the city for now, but they will probably return after a little while because they can’t bear to leave those elite youngsters behind. I can guarantee that they will all remain if they continue towards the western side, and we can keep them here forever by paying a very small price.”

The Holy Ghost Church’s founder tilted his head and said nothing more. ------

Time was almost up.

There wasn’t much sand left in the hourglass, and even Ye Yulin was starting to feel a little nervous. Huo Yuhao’s hands were still working, and it would appear that his final three-in- one formation was about to be finished.

Could he make it on time?

Huo Yuhao was the focus of every single person’s attention, and countless people felt anxious for him.

Those who were most concerned about the outcome of this tournament were naturally those who had wagered and placed their money on this round. Everyone’s mouths and throats were dry at this point. Of course, not many people had placed their bets on Huo Yuhao, and many people were secretly jeering him. They didn’t know that Huo Yuhao was crafting a human-shaped soul tool, but this thing looked so much like a person, and it seemed quite formidable no matter how they looked at it. 
Ye Yulin withdrew the soundproofing soul tool beside him as he  lowered  his  voice  and  said,  “The  hourglass  is  almost finished. I will count down from ten after the last grain of sand drops before this round will end.”

The only thing he could do was give Huo Yuhao a little more time, as much as he could.

Huo Yuhao’s hands stopped moving for a single moment when he heard Ye Yulin’s voice, but he quickly resumed his work.

His knife sliced through and created three impeccable curved arcs. Huo Yuhao’s Life Guardian Blade flickered continuously, as touching and enchanting as ever, while the formation array in front of him now shone with gentle light.

It was complete!

Ye Yulin, the other judges, and the other contestants’ eyes were all wide open; Huo Yuhao’s final formation array was finally finished at the most crucial moment! 
And it was at this time that the last grain of sand dropped from the hourglass.

“The countdown has begun. Ten–” Ye Yulin raised his voice, but also deliberately slowed his countdown.

Huo Yuhao exhaled deeply after he completed his formation array. He nearly forgot that his legs weren’t working, and he actually subconsciously attempted to stand up. His legs didn’t support him, of course, and his body swayed as he almost fell to the ground.

Ye Yulin felt his heart sink as he watched Huo Yuhao. Yes! He has continuously crafted so many formation arrays, and in addition to what he made before this, he must be exhausted and spent. He had no idea that Huo Yuhao wasn’t acting right because he was too concentrated…

Huo Yuhao supported himself on the table to keep himself from falling. He hurriedly picked up two formation arrays and turned towards his human-shaped soul tool. “Nine!”

“Eight!”

“Seven!”

No matter how much Ye Yulin wanted to be biased towards Huo Yuhao, he couldn’t make it too obvious on the surface. This tournament was important for the three underground organizations’ reshuffling.

“Six!”

“Five!”

Huo Yuhao’s movements were quick, and he used reality to prove to Ye Yulin that his human-shaped soul tool’s design was proper and rational. Huo Yuhao installed nine formation arrays within these few seconds, and he was working hard to fit the remaining nine formation arrays. “Four!”

“Three!”

“Two!”

“One!”

“Time’s up. Stop what you’re doing, everyone.” Ye Yulin had really tried his best, and even his last sentence was slightly more draggy than usual.

Snap!

Huo Yuhao didn’t disappoint in the end, and he attached the final formation array into the human-shaped soul tool’s chest as Ye Yulin uttered the last three words.

Huo Yuhao planted his hands on the crafting desk in front of him as he stopped, and it was clear that he was panting a little. Huo Yuhao was tired, and he even felt a little fatigued despite his formidable spiritual power.

He had given far too much compared to everyone else over the past six hours. He had split his spiritual avatar and journeyed into that underground warehouse. That endeavor had consumed his energy continuously. He had also channeled his heart and soul into crafting this soul tool, and had entered the Body and Mind as One state after his spiritual avatar had returned!

Chapter 347: Compete! Crossing the Boundaries!

Being in the Body and Mind as One realm was very beneficial to him while creating soul tools. It was also very beneficial for improving his cultivation. However, it greatly depleted his energy!

At this point, Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power had been greatly depleted. Even though he was in the concrete-immaterial realm, he was almost on the verge of caving in.

However, he was rewarded for his sacrifice. He could sense improvement. After this was over, his spiritual power was bound to increase. Furthermore, he also felt his soul power increasing at this tense moment. It was as if he had overcome a barrier. It must have increased by another rank!

It was very difficult for him to increase his soul power, given his current condition. As his blood couldn’t circulate properly in his lower limbs, his soul power couldn’t circulate properly in his body. He currently relied almost completely on absorbing the origin energy of Ultimate Ice to improve. Under such a circumstance, it was definitely a surprise to him that his cultivation had increased by one rank. An increase in his cultivation was very beneficial to him in terms of absorbing origin energy!

However, all this couldn’t stop him from feeling weak at this point. The only good thing was that he adjusted very quickly. He took deep breaths and circulated his soul power. At the same time, his spiritual sea also undulated. The undulations of spiritual power helped to clear his mind.

---

He was finally finished. Ye Yulin heaved a sigh of relief. Although he could tell that Huo Yuhao’s human-shaped soul tool wasn’t equipped with any additional weapons, at least Huo Yuhao managed to finish his soul tool on time. It wouldn’t be a problem for him to enter the next stage of the tournament.

The technical test was next. With the abilities Huo Yuhao had demonstrated earlier, it wasn’t going to be difficult for him to pass this test. As for how he would perform in the quarterfinals, it would depend on himself. Since he dared to create such a soul tool, he must have had a plan. 
“Alright,  all  the  soul  tools  have  been  finished,  and  the deadline is over. From now on, you can only use the soul tool that you’ve created. You are not allowed to borrow other soul tools to aid yourself,” Ye Yulin informed the contestants.

After seeing Huo Yuhao complete his soul tool at the last moment, there were those who were in awe, and those who found it a pity. Huo Yuhao didn’t have the energy to bother with how they were feeling. He was focusing right now, and did his best to restore his spiritual power.

Ye Yulin scanned his surroundings and said, “We’ll check the soul tools now and verify that they are finished products. Those whose soul tools aren’t complete will be directly eliminated.”

After he said this, the rest of the six judges around Ye Yulin twisted their lips. He was too biased. The rest of the competitors had rested for fifteen minutes, and restored their energy. Only Huo Yuhao seemed fatigued.

There was no such segment in the original rules of the tournament. After all, if there was a problem with their soul tools, it would be obvious when they were used later on. Ye Yulin was obviously doing this to stall for time and offer Huo Yuhao more time to rest.

---

The leaders of the three underground organizations were weirded out at this moment. However, Ye Yulin’s demand wasn’t too unreasonable. Furthermore, they weren’t willing to offend the Starsky Douluo.

As they were helpless, they could only watch as Ye Yulin led the rest of the judges to check the soul tools that each competitor had created.

It was very thorough. The soul engineers even had to pour in their own soul power to ensure that their soul tools were working.

Ye Yulin led everyone over in front of Huo Yuhao and he said, “Tang Wu, is your soul tool complete?” Huo Yuhao was very sensitive. When Ye Yulin deliberately delayed the timing by counting down from ten earlier, he could already sense that the man was helping him. At the start, he thought that the judge had been bribed by the Duskwater Alliance. However, he realized something was wrong when Ye Yulin suggested this segment.

If the Duskwater Alliance had bribed him, they wouldn’t make it so obvious. Furthermore, the look in his eyes was the same Yan Shaozhe had when he discovered that Huo Yuhao had twin martial souls!

Has he noticed my potential? However, Huo Yuhao verified his guess when he saw how the judge looked at the human- shaped soul tool beside him.

“Yes, chief judge. I have completed it. My soul tool is working perfectly. It can be used,” Huo Yuhao said respectfully.

Even though he didn’t think that he could mix with this Starsky Douluo, he still had to appear respectful, since Ye Yulin was being nice to him. Ye Yulin was drawn to Huo Yuhao no matter what. Seeing that he was respectful and not impatient,, he was even more satisfied. He nodded his head repeatedly. “Good, good. If I’m not wrong, you installed some mechanical parts into the human-shaped soul tool, am I right? They are also the main components. Do you think these mechanical parts can replace formation arrays? Can your human-shaped soul tool fight?”

Although he shouldn’t be asking that at this time, he couldn’t help himself.

Huo Yuhao said, “I reckon that the mechanical parts can replace the formation arrays to some extent. After all, formation arrays are more complicated to make, and the requirements for the rare metals used are also pretty high. In addition, formation arrays can be unstable, and aren’t as stable as mechanical parts. As a result, I replaced the formation arrays with them. Not only are they easy to create, but they are also more reliable. Of course, the mechanical parts have to be very precisely installed. This is achievable through continuous testing.”

“Ah, that makes sense. Test this human-shaped soul tool for us to see.” “Yes!” Huo Yuhao acknowledged.

Ye Yulin asked, “Do you need our help?”  As he spoke, he pointed at Huo Yuhao’s legs.

Huo Yuhao smiled and shook his head. He lifted his hand and pressed the human-shaped soul tool a few times. Suddenly, the chest of the soul tool opened to either side. The same thing happened to its legs. The entire outer shell opened up, revealing the insides of the soul tool.

Ye Yulin discovered that this soul tool was assembled very precisely as he observed it close up. The overall layout of the soul tool was also very reasonable. The end product after the mechanical components were assembled was very level. It wouldn’t be painful for one to enter and stay within the soul tool. The space available was also bigger than he had expected.

Huo Yuhao said, “As I created this soul tool in a rush, I didn’t add cushioning material such as leather. Otherwise, it would be even more comfortable.” As he spoke, he leaned on the forging table in front of him with his hands. As he moved his waist, he shifted his legs into the leg spaces in the soul tool. After that, he shifted the rest of his body into the soul tool.

With the support stand that he had installed earlier, he was held in place inside the soul tool even though he couldn’t move his legs.

A clanging sound resonated. First, the legs of the soul tool closed and buckled Huo Yuhao’s legs in tight. After that, the entire outer shell closed, and he was completely covered inside the soul tool!

This human-shaped soul tool was bright silver in color, since the metal that was mainly used to create this outer shell was silver. For some of the joints, the color was different. Overall, the soul tool couldn’t be considered considered extremely pleasing to the eye, but it was acceptable.

As Huo Yuhao slowly released some of his soul power, the eyes of the soul tool lit up. They were formed using two layers of thin metal that looked like crystals. A dim golden glow came from each eye. 
The metal that was used there was called crystal steel, which was very tough. The greatest trait that it had was that it was as transparent as crystal. It was extremely suitable for creating the eyes of a human-shaped soul tool.

Huo Yuhao’s Spirit Eyes shone, and he unleashed his spiritual power at the same time. His forehead contacted a formation array in front of him. Through this formation array, he transmitted his soul power to the rest of the seventeen formation arrays around his body.

The transmission of his soul power was completed through the formation on his belly. This formation array was also the largest and last formation array he had created.

A layer of gentle white light was released from the human- shaped soul tool. As Huo Yuhao controlled it with his mind, the human-shaped soul tool walked forward. At the same time, it lifted its arms and seemed to be flexing its muscles.

Clang! It was successful! Ye Yulin’s eyes were filled with astonishment and surprise. While he was a Class 9 soul engineer, he couldn’t believe that Huo Yuhao had created such a human-shaped soul tool.

Human-shaped soul tools were often a barrier for soul engineers. The greatest problem with them was that they were very hard to control.

The Illustrious Virtue Hall had once suggested huge human- shaped soul tools had to be controlled through spiritual power. The problem regarding soul power could be settled using Milk Bottles. They also started to install Sealed Milk Bottles. However, immense spiritual power was needed to guide and control a human-shaped soul tool. In addition, it was quite difficult to control such a soul tool.

The formation array that Huo Yuhao contacted with his forehead didn’t come from his own research. It was came from the latest technology invented by the Illustrious Virtue Hall, known as a Spiritual Guide. It was jointly invented by three soul engineers. Xuan Ziwen was one of them. After looking at Huo Yuhao’s plans for a human-shaped soul too, Xuan Ziwen had suggested installing this first. Using one’s spiritual power to control a human-shaped soul tool would achieve the best effect! 
Ye Yulin was so astonished because he saw that Huo Yuhao was using his spiritual power to control his human-shaped soul tool. As he couldn’t move his legs, that must mean that he could directly use his spiritual power to exert control over his soul tool, since it could take a step forward. Furthermore, Huo Yuhao had only used eighteen formation arrays, a very small number!

Huo Yuhao controlled his soul tool to take a step back. He was also very emotional. It’s great to be able to move! I can finally stand up again!

He had left his previous human-shaped soul tool with Xuan Ziwen to research and continue improving on.

He hadn’t brought it with him this time. Even if he had, he couldn’t possibly use it in this tournament, it would expose him too easily. If things didn’t go well, he might even be kidnapped by the Illustrious Virtue Hall, and have all his research findings stolen. However, it was different now. He didn’t use his identity as Huo Yuhao, but called himself Tang Wu. After this tournament was over, he was going to vanish completely. He created this human-shaped soul tool to help himself in that goal. He eliminated the problem of his immobility, and thus his fighting strength soared. In addition, it was much easier for him to move now.

Huo Yuhao looked at the passionate Ye Yulin through the crystal steel and asked with a smile, “Revered chief judge, do I pass?”

“Oh, yes, yes.”  Ye Yulin was delighted. The rest of the six judges were also fascinated. The way they looked at Huo Yuhao made it seemed like they wanted to eat him.

---

They weren’t the only soul engineers around. There were also the other competitors, and many of the spectators!

“It’s actually a human-shaped soul tool.”  The Third Elder was already very unsettled, and couldn’t remain seated. He stood in front of the resting area with a very shocked expression on his face.

“Second brother, my dear second brother. You forced me to give this kid to you. Are you seeing this? He’s actually made a human-shaped soul tool! He can even use his spiritual power to control it. While his actions were simple, he only used eighteen formation arrays! Even if I made something like this, I’d still need at least forty formation arrays to complete the simple actions that he’s performed with eighteen! This kid is a genius, an absolute genius! Such a genius is too important to my future development of soul tools.”

Nangong Wan was also stunned by what Huo Yuhao had created. However, he had to remain insistent. He smiled and said, “In my opinion, he should be stronger as a soul master! Did you forget the soul skill he demonstrated earlier? In addition, I won’t stop him from learning how to create soul tools. You can continue to interact with him.”

Seeing that Nangong Wan was unwilling to budge, the Third Elder  immediately  turned  to  the  vice-leader.  “Vice-leader, you’ve seen it too. He knows about soul tools. What do you think?” The   vice-leader   replied,   “Let’s   discuss   this   when   the tournament is over. Let’s watch the tournament first. I just received news that there might be people from Shrek Academy nearby. They won’t ambush us now, but that doesn’t mean they won’t target us. Everyone be prepared to fight. The only thing
that we have to avoid now is internal conflict.”

After hearing her words, Nangong Wan and the Third Elder were afraid, and hurriedly nodded.

---

On the stage, Huo Yuhao’s human-shaped soul tool made the rest of the competitors apart from He Caitou grim.

He actually made a human-shaped soul tool. However, can his soul tool really fight? Is it really strong and flexible enough? How can it fight without any offensive weapons?

Huang Zheng suddenly thought of something. Surely this fellow isn’t going to use his evil soul master methods to fight again? However, the other two underground organizations should already know about his abilities. Is there really no way they can target him? The soul tools made by the rest aren’t easy to deal with, either…

---

“We’ll  carry  out  the  technical  test  now.  Some  special techniques used to create soul tools and formation arrays are very pertinent. It’s only by using these techniques that one can achieve greater heights. We’ll need all of you to complete some techniques within a set time in this technical test. The last to complete them will be eliminated.” Ye Yulin tried to suppress his excitement while recounting the rules to the competitors.

Very soon, every soul engineer was presented with a tray.

This tray was squarish, and there were nine grids on it. On each grid was a squarish piece of rare metal. Each of the nine pieces of rare metal on each tray was a different color. Given the abilities of the competing soul engineers, they could naturally recognize what these rare metals were.

Huo Yuhao could also tell, of course. He didn’t leave his human-shaped soul tool. To him, the feeling of standing was too comfortable. He only put his wheelchair away in his own storage-type soul tool.

After scanning the nine pieces of rare metal in front of him, he had already developed a spectrum in his mind. The nine pieces of rare metal were arranged from hard to soft. The first piece was extremely hard, and the last piece was extremely soft. In short, they were all of varying degrees of hardness.

“To ensure fairness, none of you can use your own carving knife. You must use the blade on the tray. What you have to do is to use specific techniques on the nine pieces of rare metal to create nine different formation arrays. For the first piece, you need to drill thirty holes. For the second piece, you need to carve fifty tortuous curves that are proportionately separated. For the third piece, you’ll need to carve an image of a windmill. For the fourth piece……”

As Ye Yulin read out the requirements, all the soul engineers started to turn a little dismal.

Nine different techniques, from the easiest to the most difficult. However, they all roughly knew how to do them. However, they turned grim once again as they saw the rare metals in front of them.

Different rare metals were suitable for carrying out different tasks. The rare metals in front of them were the most unsuitable for performing the techniques required of them!

For example, they had to drill thirty holes in the first piece of rare metal, which was the toughest. It was too difficult, and they couldn’t use their own carving knives. They could only use the one on the tray, which was made of ordinary fine steel. How much soul power would they need to expend to complete this technical test?

In the end, they still had to carve the most complicated image on the softest piece of rare metal. No wonder Ye Yulin warned them that the technical test wasn’t going to be easy. Not easy was an understatement!

Ye Yulin didn’t care what they thought. After he announced the rules, he didn’t even bother explaining again. He immediately shouted, “The technical test begins! All of you have fifteen minutes to complete this test. If no one can complete all nine techniques, we’ll rank you based on the number that you’ve completed.”

At this point, night had already fallen after the six hours allotted to the competitors to create their soul tools. However, the nine competitors weren’t tired at all. They all started at the same time.

Their martial souls were different, and thus they each had their own ideas.

He Caitou’s idea was the simplest and crudest. He bit on a cigar that helped to restore his soul power, and directly used his soul power to strengthen the carving knife before he started to carve forcefully.

Compared to him, Huo Yuhao seemed to be more technical. For the first piece of rare metal, he used a special method that only he could perform.

After all, there weren’t any rules that forbade damaging the rare metals. Aren’t you very tough? I’ll make you stronger then. He pressed the metal with his left hand and poured in his soul power from his Ultimate Ice. The temperature of the metal fell to negative two hundred degrees Celsius. This extreme temperature was very damaging to the rare metal.

After this, Huo Yuhao lifted the carving knife with his right hand. He couldn’t just drill the holes forcefully. The sizes of the holes had to be the same, and they had to be circular, and flawless. This was the definition of success.

After he placed his carving knife in position, his eyes turned slightly grey. Following this, a streak of green light shone on his hand.

He was in his human-shaped soul tool now, and only opened the hand compartments so he could start carving. No one could see his eyes.

A small green spot slowly formed on the metal. After this, Huo Yuhao retracted the low temperature of his Ultimate Ice, and the metal started to fume with smoke.

This was known as a Corrosive Light, from the necromantic arts. It was extremely corrosive and destructive to all matter. Huo Yuhao was able to use this technique with his current spiritual power, but he couldn’t lock onto his target with this Corrosive Light, and it only covered a small area. However, it was pretty effective when used on metals.

The rare metal that had been frozen earlier was corroded now. The structure of the metal broke down further. At this point, Huo Yuhao used more of his soul power and pushed his carving knife through the metal, which was much easier now. His control of this Corrosive Light was very good, it didn’t spread elsewhere. He first drilled a hole before using this light to expand it slightly. In this way, he conserved more soul power than the others.

---

The rest of the technical test was basically a proficiency test of his techniques. While he had yet to fully restore his spiritual power, he was still very familiar with these techniques, even without the help of his Spiritual Detection. He wasn’t any slower than the rest of them.

Moreover, his spiritual power recovered rather quickly. The sense of weakness he had felt had already disappeared. His condition was even improving!

The seven judges were impressed as they saw how the competitors were progressing. They had to admit that these soul engineers had very strong foundations. No one made any obvious mistakes.

Huo Yuhao wasn’t the fastest, but he was among the top three. Ye Yulin understood why Yuhao wasn’t the fastest; he was tired!

Considering how tense Huo Yuhao was when he made his soul tool earlier, it was quite commendable that he could maintain a top three position in this technical test! 
However, Ye Yulin didn’t know that Huo Yuhao didn’t leave his human-shaped soul tool just because he was afraid of trouble. His Soul Power Amplifier was taking effect, which greatly helped to conserve his soul power.

Those who were competing today were at least Class 6 soul engineers. While Huo Yuhao had twin martial souls, he also only had five rings. It was better for him to conserve his soul power right now, as there were other things he had to do later on.

He Caitou used a lot of soul power to complete the technical test. He seemed to gain the upper hand, however, as he was the first to complete it. At this point, more than three-quarters of the fifteen minutes had passed.

Huo Yuhao had been monitoring He Caitou’s movements. Seeing that he had completed the test, he also increased his speed, and was second to finish. The third was a young lady in yellow from the Common Alliance. The fourth was Huang Zheng. 
From this technical test, it was clear that the three from the Duskwater Alliance were slightly stronger. An Litong and Shangguan Wei’er looked a little grim at this point. This was especially so for An Litong, as the three representatives from the Alto Chamber of Commerce were obviously slower.

“Time’s  up!”   This  time,  Ye  Yulin  had  no  intention  of delaying. He immediately ended the test when the last grain of sand in the hourglass fell.

Five of the nine completed the test, while the other four failed to do so. After the judges made their decision, they eliminated one representative from the Alto Chamber of Commerce, as he had the lowest completion rate. It wasn’t much of a surprise.

The two others from the Alto Chamber of Commerce that had qualified were ranked first and third from the bottom. The first from the bottom had to face the first from the top, which was He Caitou, whereas the third from the bottom had to face the third from the top, which was the lady in yellow from the Common Alliance. ----

At this point, Nangong Wan revealed a satisfied smile on his face in the resting area. Huo Yuhao and the other two were three of the top four in the technical test. This was a delightful surprise! He hadn’t expected He Caitou to be the fastest. He only realized at this point that this tall and burly young man who wore a mask all the time actually had a pretty strong soul power cultivation. No wonder he was a Class 7 soul engineer!

Huo Yuhao, He Caitou, and Huang Zheng were all in the top four, which meant that they wouldn’t face one another in the following elimination round. If the three of them could all reach the semifinals, the Duskwater Alliance was very likely to become the champion.

Nangong Wan was very confident in Huo Yuhao and Huang Zheng. The others didn’t understand why Huo Yuhao would produce a human-shaped soul tool, but he could roughly guess. Wasn’t his intention very simple? He was trying to increase his mobility and flexibility! He was an evil soul master, and no ordinary soul engineer either. Even without any offensive weapons, was it really impossible for him to curb his opponents? Nangong Wan was also very confident in Huang Zheng. After all, Huang Zheng was the Third Elder’s most outstanding disciple. He possessed roughly the abilities of a Class 7 soul engineer, and also had a six-ringed cultivation. Although his evil soul master abilities weren’t that strong, he was very talented in creating soul tools. He even had a ranked carving knife with him! He Caitou’s surprising ranking meant that he was most likely facing the weakest of the remaining eight in this tournament! At this point, the Duskwater Alliance was in a very favorable situation.

---

“All of you are to be given a five minute rest. After five minutes, the elimination round will begin.” Ye Yulin said.

Immediately, several staff members rushed up to the stage and carried the carving tables and leftover materials away. The competitors descended the stage and returned to the resting area for a short rest.

Huo Yuhao was ranked second. His opponent was going to be a young lady in a blue dress from the Common Alliance. He was going to compete in the second match. 
There wasn’t too much planning behind the order in which they competed. The highest-ranked competitor would compete in the first match, followed by the second-ranked, third- ranked and fourth-ranked competitors. Thus, one could have more rest later on if they competed earlier. There wasn’t anything unfair about this arrangement. In addition, they still had these additional five minutes of rest.

Nangong Wan went forward personally to receive Huo Yuhao and the other two competitors. Huo Yuhao had proved with his actions that his human-shaped soul tool was working. His soul tool closed up and he descended from the stage. Even though his human-shaped soul tool was much smaller than the one the Illustrious Virtue Hall came up with initially, it was still a human-shaped soul tool!

Ye Yulin’s gaze never left him. Seeing that Huo Yuhao had left the stage leisurely, naturally, and without any awkwardness, his gaze turned even more passionate.

“Great.  All  of  you  did  well.  Now  rest.  You  just  need  to remember that I’ll fulfill my promise the second after the tournament is over. It’s right here. If you achieve good results, you can claim it.” Nangong Wan didn’t give out too many instructions. He only emphasized the prize they could claim if they won. He knew that the three of them needed rest right now.

The Third Elder never sat down all that time. His gaze was burning as he looked at Huo Yuhao, scanning the human- shaped soul tool.

The soul tool was around two and a half meters tall. It had a streamlined design, and its silvery-white body exuded slight soul power undulations, its eyes releasing a golden glow. If it were painted properly, it would seem even more magnificent.

Huo Yuhao didn’t sit down, controlling his soul tool to remain standing. He shut his eyes to restore his spiritual power. He had been sitting for too long. The feeling of standing was very magical to him after sitting for so long!

-------

In the underground warehouse... Boom!...

As the explosion shook everything everything around him, Prince Xu Guozhong’s protective soul barrier flared and blocked the shockwaves coming towards him.

This underground warehouse was too firm and secure. When the lift was constructed, it was reinforced to prevent anyone from trying to force their way out. As a result, Xu Guozhong still needed the help of his subordinates to escape from the elevator through its bottom, even though he was a Class 9 soul engineer!

It wasn’t considered a feat to escape from the elevator. They still had to escape the elevator shaft.

There were eight of them, and they drifted down along the shaft. However, the main elevator door was now a problem for them again. They had already attacked it six times. In such a narrow space, they couldn’t use soul tools that were too powerful. Otherwise, they would be the ones in trouble. As a result, they could only try to force openings using weaker soul tools before using close-combat soul tools to break through. In such a situation, close-combat soul tools became extremely important!

A fifteen centimeter opening was finally made. These eight advanced-level soul engineers exerted their full strength at the same time, but it still took seven to eight minutes before they made an opening that they could escape through.

Xu Guozhong’s face had turned black by this point. His heart ached! He had long since viewed this warehouse as his own. Repairing the elevator and the elevator shaft was bound to cost him an arm and a leg. Right now, he only wanted to tear the thieves to pieces!

After he entered the tunnel, Xu Guozhong saw two of his subordinates on the ground. Their corpses had already long turned cold.

Everyone could sense the fury that Xu Guozhong suppressed. Two people immediately went to search the bodies. Indeed, their keys were no longer there! They quickly ventured in and came to a huge door that led to the first level of this warehouse.

Xu Guozhong wore a gloomy expression as he retrieved his key. He attempted to open the door. As expected, Huo Yuhao didn’t give him the opportunity to do so. He had already destroyed and altered the mechanism used to open this door. No matter how the key was turned, the door wouldn’t budge.

“Idiot!”  Xu Guozhong finally erupted in anger. He punched the door and groaned. This door was designed to be stronger than the doors of the elevator shaft! It was extremely thick, and constructed using alloys which were almost as strong as some rare metals!

“Break the door down!” Xu Guozhong shouted furiously.

“Your Highness, we might activate the defensive soul tools if we attack the door directly. They will fire at us…,”  a Class 8 soul engineer beside him immediately warned him.

Xu Guozhong was one of the most highly-respected figures in the Sun Moon Empire. After his rage subsided, he quickly calmed down. He was clearly aware of the strength of the defensive soul tools installed in this tunnel. Even though he was a Class 9 soul engineer, he wouldn’t feel good if he were struck. Class 7 soul engineers might even be killed! The controls for the entire defensive system were inside this
warehouse. They couldn’t control it from the outside!

He took a deep breath and tried to suppress his anger. He wore  a  grim  look  and  shouted,  “Let’s  slowly  destroy  the defensive soul tools before we break down this door. Be quick!”

--------

Of course, Huo Yuhao didn’t know that Xu Guozhong currently hated him to the core.

Right now, he was focusing on his energy and sensing the undulations in his spiritual sea. His spiritual and soul power combined and flowed throughout his entire body. It was very soothing. His spiritual power had improved once again, and it seemed as if he were absorbing the origin energy in his body at a quicker rate now. The remaining origin energy was localized in his dantian now! “Time’s  up.  The  first-ranked  and  last-ranked  competitors from the technical test earlier, please ascend the stage!”  the emcee’s voice sounded up on the stage.

Ye Yulin was personally standing at the center of the stage. As the chief judge, he didn’t need to do something like this. However, he wanted to observe how Huo Yuhao controlled his human-shaped soul tool close up later on.

He Caitou stood up and bent his back. He lifted his rapidfire cannon in front of him and walked to the stage. With his well- developed, burly figure, and that huge cannon on his shoulder, he looked rather awe-inspiring.

His opponent from the Alto Chamber of Commerce was also already on the stage. The soul tool that he had created was a long warblade. He had chosen a close-combat path.

The length of his warblade was around the same as He Caitou’s rapidfire cannon. The blade of his warblade was around two meters long, the hilt as thick as an egg. As he stood there, he also looked very imposing.

Chapter 348: Entering the Finals

Ye Yulin looked at He Caitou and the representative from the Alto Chamber of Commerce and said, “Both parties, please report your names. Let me reiterate - this match will only end when one party concedes defeat or loses his fighting strength. If you think you can’t beat your opponent, please say so so you don’t make a grave mistake.”

“Tang  Si!”  He  Caitou  shouted  his  name  in  a  concise  yet assertive manner.

“Alto Chamber of Commerce, Zhao Shouze.”

“Begin.” Ye Yulin suddenly rose into the sky and announced the beginning of the first match.

This wasn’t a fight like the Continental Elite Youth Soul Master Tournament. It was a real life-and-death fight. This was an underground tournament – there weren’t that many rules to protect the competitors. Zhao Shouze pointed his toes to the ground before he charged towards He Caitou. His body shone with three yellow and three purple soul rings. Evidently, he was a six-ringed Soul Emperor. He waved his warblade, and it lit up with a blinding, golden-red spark.

The surprising thing was that He Caitou didn’t fire his cannon. He even set it down. It might be because he couldn’t do so in time, or he just didn’t want to fire it. It was as if the cannon was too heavy, and He Caitou couldn’t lift it anymore.

However, his soul rings rose too.

Two yellow, two purple, and two black soul rings.

There was a huge commotion beneath the stage when everyone saw that his six soul rings were of the optimal combination.

It was very rare for even a soul master to have the best combination of soul rings, much less a soul engineer. The members of the Duskwater Alliance were naturally greeted with a delightful surprise. However, the members of the Alto Chamber of Commerce and Common Alliance turned grim.

Zhao Shouze naturally saw He Caitou’s soul rings. As he looked at his opponent’s soul rings before looking at the colors of his own soul rings, he realized that he was in trouble! His unstoppable momentum earlier suddenly met with an obstacle.

But even though his aura was slightly suppressed by He Caitou’s soul rings, he didn’t slow down. He quickly charged across the center line. As he waved his warblade, he slashed it towards He Caitou.

Suddenly, this golden-red blade formed a long arc that advanced more than forty meters before it slashed towards He Caitou’s head. Its majestic aura was about to slash the stage in two.

The air suddenly became hotter. Zhao Shouze’s warblade was very exquisite. While it was a close-combat soul tool, there were nine formation arrays in it. As it was strengthened, it was almost as strong as a Class 7 close-combat soul tool. Furthermore, it could cover a longer distance than most ordinary close-combat soul tools. It was a soul energy weapon.

However, He Caitou wasn’t anxious at all. His legs moved swiftly, and he dragged his rapidfire cannon along with him. As he shifted, he avoided the slash.

A long trench was immediately slashed open as the energy from the warblade struck the ground. The two sides of the trench had turned completely red, and they were even melting quickly. This showed how frightening the elevated temperature of this warblade was.

However, the spectators couldn’t be bothered about the strength of this warblade right now. This was because they were stunned as they were looking at He Caitou. He Caitou lifted his cannon and charged towards Zhao Shouze.

A long-range, offensive-type soul engineer was running straight toward a close-combat soul engineer. What was going on? Beneath the stage, Huo Yuhao’s eyes had already opened wide. As he watched the situation on the stage, he revealed a slight smile on his face behind his human-shaped soul tool. The real fool is the one who thinks second senior is a fool. In terms of fighting strategies, second senior is not inferior to anyone! He’s trying to catch him off-guard.

Zhao Shouze also didn’t expect He Caitou to charge towards him. In addition, He Caitou was extremely fast. It was very shocking. Even while he was carrying a rapidfire cannon, Zhao Shouze felt as if he were illusory as he burst over.

Bei Bei and Huo Yuhao weren’t the only ones who knew the Tang Sect’s Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track! He Caitou had been in the Tang Sect for a long time. The two main Tang Sect Secret Techniques that he cultivated were the Purple Demon Eyes and Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track. Even while he had a cannon on his shoulder, he still performed his Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track perfectly. Not only this, but the barrel of his cannon also started to light up.

Zhao Shouze was also only stunned for an instant. In the next moment, he swept his warblade and slashed it towards He Caitou’s waist. At this point, He Caitou was still around fifteen meters away from him. He was confident of killing his opponent through a series of quick attacks. Zhao Shouze also didn’t believe that He Caitou could fire his rapidfire cannon under such a situation.

However, he also discovered that there was an additional cigar in He Caitou’s mouth just as he swept his warblade. It was a dim golden cigar. He Caitou was expelling smoke from his mouth, and a layer of golden light also shone from his body at the same time.

He Caitou lifted his rapidfire cannon and used his body to bear the attack of the warblade.

“Dang!” He Caitou was still advancing forward as a loud and clear sound resonated. The warblade brushed past his body, but was blocked by a golden barrier.

Invincible Barrier?

He has flouted the rules! This was what Zhao Shouze thought at first. However, Ye Yulin had no intention of ending their fight. At this point, He Caitou had already closed up the gap. He Caitou flung his cannon forward towards Zhao Shouze.

Zhao Shouze was shocked. He quickly used his warblade to block the attack. After all, he was a close-combat soul engineer, and he was very confident in his physical strength.

However, he didn’t know one thing – there were gifted people in this world.

He Caitou was one of them. Although he wasn’t as strong as Wang Qiu’er, he was still superior to most ordinary soul masters.

“Bang!”   Zhao  Shouze  reeled  back.  He  felt  a  huge  force exerted towards him before the hilt of his warblade struck his own chest. He quickly activated the second state of his warblade; his entire warblade turned a piercing, golden red. Although he couldn’t effect a long-range attack after his warblade changed to this second state, the close-range destructiveness of his warblade was greatly increased. However, he immediately saw He Caitou’s cannon barreling towards his chest.

Zhao Shouze lifted his warblade straight without any hesitation before he used his scorching blade to strike He Caitou’s cannon.

However, he was petrified at the next moment. That was because the light in the barrel of the cannon had suddenly gone off.

Rapidfire cannons derived their name from their ability to fire rapidly. On a battlefield, rapidfire cannons were used to contain enemies through their firepower. A single strike of a rapidfire cannon wasn’t too strong. For example, a cannon shell fired from He Caitou’s Class 7 rapidfire cannon was as powerful as a Class 6 explosive cannon shell.

Of course, He Caitou’s rapidfire cannon was different from other rapidfire cannons in terms of its size.

If a cannon was too large, it would be too bulky. However, there was a correlation between strength and size. The cannon shell of this rapidfire cannon was at least three times the size of a normal cannon shell. Naturally, it was of greater strength.

After he struck his opponent with the barrel of his cannon and forced him back, He Caitou immediately pointed the barrel of his cannon toward his opponent.

It was a cannon! It wasn’t a close-combat soul tool, but a cannon that could be fired. However, Zhao Shouze seemed to have forgotten this point after he was forced backward.

Under normal circumstances, his golden-red blade could slash a rapidfire cannon in half as if it were a block of butter.

However, He Caitou placed his rapidfire cannon right in front of him! No matter what, it was still a cannon!

“Boom!”

Everyone could clearly see a very bright ball of light shining between He Caitou and Zhao Shouze. The tremendous explosive force and recoil caused He Caitou to be flung back along with his cannon.

Zhao Shouze’s warblade was indeed very strong, and was worthy of being a close-combat soul tool that was almost Class
7. His golden-red blade was still pointed straight up, and the cannon shell that was fired towards him had been slashed in two. However, the two halves of the cannon shell still struck him!

This tournament was different from any ordinary fight between soul engineers. The soul engineers could only use the soul tools they created. This meant that Zhao Shouze didn’t have an automatic protective soul barrier with him. While the cannon shell was slashed in two, it was still a cannon shell. The pieces would still hurt when they struck his body….

Zhao Shouze was also flung backward. However, it wasn’t his body that flew back. It was scraps of his flesh.

His entire upper body had disappeared. Only his legs were left standing on the ground. His warblade swayed for a few times before it fell to one side. The light from his blade also slowly faded away. As his golden-red blade hit the ground, it melted.

The entire venue went silent.

Even though everyone knew that there were no rules in this underground tournament, they still found it uncomfortable when they saw such a bloody scene in front of them – a living person’s upper body had been directly blown apart by a soul cannon.

At this moment, dry coughs could be heard all around the stage.

Apart from the vice-leader, the rest of the members of the Duskwater Alliance stood up at this point. Even the Number 98 competitor who hated Huo Yuhao and He Caitou couldn’t help but cheer at this point.

A long-range soul tool could be used in this manner? Fired straight in front of one’s opponent? It was too much. He Caitou flew back due to the backblast generated. Right now, he had already landed steadily on the stage. He didn’t even look at Zhao Shouze’s remains. He lifted his cannon, turned around and walked towards the people from the Duskwater Alliance.

“The first match has ended. Tang Si is the winner.” 
After hearing some weeping sounds, He Caitou seemed to think of something. He suddenly stopped in his tracks and walked towards Zhao Shouze’s remains. He picked up his warblade and looked up at Ye Yulin. After this, he asked, “Chief judge, can I keep this as a reward?”

Ye Yulin’s mouth twisted a little. It was his first time seeing someone using such a fighting style! However, He Caitou’s ferocious fighting style still left a deep impression on his mind. Tang Si and Tang Wu. He must be here with Tang Wu. It seems he is also quite gifted!

“Yes. However, you can only use the soul tool that you’ve created in the later rounds.”

“Alright.”  He Caitou followed Huo Yuhao’s instructions and tried his best to say as few words as possible. He carried his cannon and the warblade on his shoulders as he left the stage.

After he left the stage, the stage was cleaned up. Following this, Ye Yulin said, “The second-ranked and seventh-ranked competitors, please come up to the stage.”

Huo Yuhao controlled his human-shaped soul tool to walk forward. When his soul tool came to the stage, it bent its legs slightly before leaping up. With a boom, it landed on the stage. It looked slightly clumsy, but its aura was pressing.

On the other side, the lady in blue from the Common Alliance ascended to the stage as well.

The situation wasn’t very beneficial to the Alto Chamber of Commerce. One of their soul engineers had been eliminated, and another had been killed. Even though the representatives from the Common Alliance didn’t place much in the technical test, all of them still managed to advance. They were much more fortunate.

“Clang, clang, clang!”  Huo Yuhao’s human-shaped soul tool made its way over in front of Ye Yulin.

Huo Yuhao nodded at Ye Yulin. The lady seemed a little fearful, but she still walked over slowly. Her body swayed in an elegant manner as she walked over. She seemed to be about eighteen or nineteen years old, and she revealed a terrified look on her face.

Ye Yulin said, “Both parties, please report your names.”

“Tang Wu.” Huo Yuhao’s cold voice sounded out.

“My name is Lan Ruoruo. Brother, you won’t kill me like he did earlier, will you? I’m a little scared.”  Lan Ruoruo’s body trembled slightly. She also looked slightly pale, as if she were truly frightened.

Huo Yuhao didn’t make a sound. He turned around and walked toward his side of the stage.

Beauty trap? This lady from the Common Alliance had found the wrong target. Huo Yuhao had suffered from such temptations several times before. For example, there were Ju Zi and Wang Qiu’er, who were both stunning. However, he still remained loyal to the love of his life. Lan Ruoruo was just a lady nurtured by the Common Alliance. In his eyes, her soul had already been corrupted. Her actions couldn’t possibly draw his pity. 
Lan Ruoruo’s eyes flashed with a frustrated look. She had always believed that she was charming but Huo Yuhao wasn’t even moved. She felt that he was too much. “Hmph!”

As she thought of that, she also turned around and retreated to her position.

The soul tools created by the three ladies from the Common Alliance were all very special. They were completely opposite to He Caitou’s soul tool, as they were small and portable.

The Common Alliance nurtured such outstanding young ladies because they had some kind of mission to complete. Bulky and large soul tools didn’t suit them. On the contrary, small close-combat soul tools were the most effective for them. As a result, they were all agility-type soul masters.

“Begin.” Ye Yulin rose into the sky once again. This time, he fixed his gaze on Huo Yuhao. He had to see what Huo Yuhao was going to do for himself. As he announced the start of the fight, Lan Ruoruo immediately moved. She gently pointed her toes to the ground and drifted towards Huo Yuhao like a small, blue bird. She was very graceful, and seemed like she was dancing. However, it was clear that her dress was very special as she moved.

As her dress flew slightly upward, her smooth, white skin could be subtly seen. Her flowing sleeves didn’t even cover her arms. As she lifted her arms, her sleeves rippled slightly, and her lotus-like arms began to sway.

Lan Ruoruo’s soul tool was a dagger. The smaller a close- combat soul tool, the more difficult it was to create. This was especially so for advanced-level close-combat soul tools. Her dagger was completely black, and no soul power undulations could be seen from it. As it stuck close to her wrist, it was hidden from view as she danced.

“Clang, clang, clang!” Huo Yuhao’s movements still seemed a little clumsy. He took big steps forward and lifted his arms at the same time. He adopted a posture that seemed to suggest he was ready to engage in close-combat. Everyone knew that he didn’t have any offensive soul tools with him. He only had his human-shaped soul tool. Furthermore, he was disabled. His legs couldn’t move, and it was already a feat for him to control the movements of his human-shaped soul tool.

Lan Ruoruo didn’t charge right at Huo Yuhao, but only slowly came closer to him by revolving around him. Huo Yuhao’s soul tool could only follow her movements clumsily.

Ye Yulin furrowed his brow. It seems like this human-shaped soul tool is still a half-completed product! While he can control it with his mind, the mechanical components can’t compare to formation arrays in terms of offering agility to the soul tool. However, we can still learn from his human-shaped soul tool. If we can enlarge it and equip it with more offensive soul tools, it’ll be pretty strong on a battlefield.

It might be good for him to lose. A setback might spur him to work even harder in the future.

Lan Ruoruo was getting closer to Huo Yuhao. She revealed more and more of her skin as she danced. She was almost like a fairy as her blue dress was juxtaposed with her fair skin. Along with her captivating looks, she could easily make one distracted.

It was a pity that she couldn’t see Huo Yuhao’s expression as he was hidden in his soul tool. His gaze was clear, and a dim golden shone from his eyes. He wasn’t bewitched at all.

Suddenly, Lan Ruoruo lifted her thigh, and her entire dress flew upward. As she turned, she showed off her butt to Huo Yuhao. At the same time, she made another sudden turn and brushed past Huo Yuhao’s left flank like a butterfly.

If he were any ordinary person, he would be stunned by this sudden ‘view’. This was also the opportunity that Lan Ruoruo was looking for.

After she brushed past Huo Yuhao, her seduction turned into killing intent. Her eyes flashed with a cold and vicious look as she leaped up. She held onto her dagger with both hands, and three of her six soul rings – two yellow, three purple and one black – shone at this point. They were all unleashed as she strengthened her soul power. Her pitch-black dagger also turned dark purple. A three-inch purplish sword light stabbed towards the back of Huo Yuhao’s head like the fangs of a venomous snake.

It was an attack that she had been preparing and accumulating for some time. Lan Ruoruo was very confident in her offense. Not to even mention that Huo Yuhao’s human- shaped soul tool seemed so clumsy, a soul master couldn’t possibly dodge this attack of hers.

Lan Ruoruo’s greatest strength lay in the offensive strength of her close-combat soul tool. Compared to a long-range soul tool, a close-combat soul tool’s offensive might was very great. Her dagger even sacrificed all long-range offensive abilities, and contained the element of darkness within it. It was even able to destroy a soul. It could damage all protective soul barriers and Invincible Barriers. Not only this, but it could pierce through all metals. It was even stronger than most ordinary Class 7 soul tools. If it stabbed someone, they would definitely die.

However, Huo Yuhao’s eyes shone brightly just as she made her move. Just as her dagger was about to stab the back of his head, Lan Ruoruo saw eight streaks of white light shining from Huo Yuhao’s back. An impact force suddenly appeared.

This impact force wasn’t very strong. She was only forced back by one foot, given her six-ringed cultivation. However, Huo Yuhao’s body also moved forward one foot. Two feet wasn’t considered much to a soul master or soul engineer. However, it made a huge difference to Lan Ruoruo’s lethal attack.

As a purple light flashed, her attack struck nothing. At this point, she felt things had turned blurry in front of her. The seemingly-clumsy figure in front of her had vanished.

The spectators had initially thought Huo Yuhao was going to be in huge trouble. At this moment, they were stunned when they saw Huo Yuhao controlling his soul tool to deftly perform a turning action. As it turned, lights shot out from its back. At the same time, a streak of light also shot out from its waist. It drew a very weird arc in the air, and it managed to flip itself behind Lan Ruoruo. As it flipped, it punched towards Lan Ruoruo’s shoulder. Lan Ruoruo reacted quickly. After she discovered that Huo Yuhao was missing, she used her left foot as an axis to make a turn. At the same time, she bent her upper body backward and avoided Huo Yuhao’s fist. She also pointed her dagger upward and attempted to graze Huo Yuhao’s arm.

Huo Yuhao wouldn’t let her get what she wanted! He lifted his arm and kicked his right leg out towards her supporting leg.

At this moment, his human-shaped soul tool didn’t seem clumsy at all. It was extremely agile.

Ye Yulin was astonished. This kid was pretending all along!

Lan Ruoruo’s close-combat abilities were indeed great. Even in such an unfavorable situation, she was still able to control her own body. She used her left arm to support herself. She was completely arched by now. She used her support leg to spring up, and kicked Huo Yuhao’s arm. She was trying to exploit her momentum to dodge his attack. 
It was a pity that Huo Yuhao didn’t dodge this time.

He punched her thigh.

“Bang!”  Lan Ruoruo screamed in pain. As she smacked her left hand against the ground, she quickly slid back.

She was a Soul Emperor, but Huo Yuhao was a Soul King with twin martial souls! His human-shaped soul tool was made entirely from rare metals. After Huo Yuhao poured his soul power into it, it became extremely resilient. She couldn’t easily overcome it with her strength.

In addition, Lan Ruoruo clearly sensed an extremely cold aura entering her left leg. Right now, her left thigh had gone completely numb, and she couldn’t feel anything there.

Huo Yuhao had no intention of letting her go. Suddenly, his body shone with golden light, and an indescribable aura was released from his body. His silvery-white human-shaped soul tool turned completely golden, and the majestic aura that it released put a lot of pressure on Lan Ruoruo.

At this moment, Lan Ruoruo felt as if she were facing a Titled Douluo. She couldn’t help but scream again, and she quickly retreated as she jumped on one leg.

Huo Yuhao snorted coldly. He stepped forward with his left leg and punched his right fist out. Suddenly, a bright golden fist projection flashed in the air before it disappeared. Instantly, it came before Lan Ruoruo.

She frantically used her dagger to resist the fist projection, and it was eventually destroyed. However, the gold that spread from this fist projection still struck her body.

She felt as if her body had fallen apart. An indescribable spiritual trauma seemed to cause her to be rapidly paralyzed. Her internal soul power seemed to have been restrained by that invisible force, and her mind seemed to lose its connection to her body. The figure in front of her was too strong. She wasn’t hurt by soul power or the fist. She was hurt by spiritual power of Huo Yuhao’s Sovereign’s Descent.

Huo Yuhao had the Soul Power Amplifier that he had created. The formation arrays of his amplifier were above his right fist. It enabled his human-shaped soul tool to unleash his strongest attack.

His Sovereign’s Descent was unleashed through his amplifier, which greatly enhanced the strength of his attack. However, Huo Yuhao was also slightly regretful. If his amplifier was large enough to be placed in front of his chest, his overall abilities would grow by another level as he enhanced all of his soul power.

However, he was still delighted that his attack was successful. That was because he knew that he was slowly grasping how a human-shaped soul tool greatly enhanced a soul master’s abilities. It wasn’t just about the Soul Power Amplifier; there were many other methods that could be used.

The entire venue went silent. Huo Yuhao won just like that. He even won comfortably. His human-shaped soul tool was actually so quick and deft. The last strike involved his own self- invented fighting technique, which was very rare even among soul masters. Lan Ruoruo – a Class 6 soul engineer and six- ringed Soul Emperor – lost her fighting strength after she was struck by the fist.

Of course, no one knew that Huo Yuhao had used his Ultimate Ice on Lan Ruoruo earlier. She suffered because she was careless. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have been so easily struck by his Sovereign’s Descent earlier.

“Tang Wu wins.”  Ye Yulin descended from the sky, stunned as he looked at Huo Yuhao. There was also a look of admiration on his face. He’s succeeded. He’s really succeeded. From the agility of his human-shaped soul tool earlier, I can tell that the combination of mechanical components and formation arrays in his soul tool is already perfect. His Soul Power Amplifier isn’t too impressive though. After all, the difficulty of making such an amplifier depends on the quality of materials available.

Such a human-shaped soul tool can enable a disabled person to fight with so much agility. This is a success. His Highness will certainly like a human-shaped soul tool like this. Everyone from the Duskwater Alliance felt extremely at ease now. He Caitou and Huo Yuhao had both competed, and both of them didn’t even give their opponents a chance. They had already taken half the spots in the semifinal. The Duskwater Alliance was in a very favorable situation now.

The third match was between the lady in yellow from the Common Alliance and the last remaining soul engineer from the Alto Chamber of Commerce.

Both parties didn’t intend to give up on this opportunity, and they fought very intensely. Eventually, the lady in yellow attained victory. She defeated her opponent using her long sword, a close-combat soul tool, and advanced to the next round.

The last match was between Huang Zheng and a lady in red from the Common Alliance.

Huang Zheng, who always seemed very composed, finally demonstrated his ruthlessness in this match. His claw-shaped soul tool was useful for both close-range and long-range attacks. At the same time, he was determined enough not to be seduced by his opponent. Eventually, he chopped off one of his opponent’s arms and forced her to concede defeat.

The semifinalists were He Caitou, Huo Yuhao, Huang Zheng and the lady in yellow, who was called Ye Guyi.

However, Huo Yuhao and He Caitou were troubled after the draw was made for the semifinals. They drew each other. They were going to face each other in the semifinal.

“It’s good like that too. You’ll have enough time to rest. I’ll forfeit this round.”  He Caitou announced his forfeit, and Huo Yuhao successfully advanced to the finals.

Nangong Wan was delighted with He Caitou’s decision to forfeit. This proved that Tang Si was inferior to Tang Wu. In addition, Tang Wu could conserve his fighting strength for the final. Of course, it would be great if Tang Wu and Huang Zheng were the finalists. The Duskwater Alliance would win no matter what if that happened.

The second semifinal round was Ye Guyi from the Common Alliance versus Huang Zheng from the Duskwater Alliance. 
Both competitors went up to the stage. Ye Guyi was the prettiest among the three representatives from the Common Alliance. However, she wore a cold look at this point. While Lan Ruoruo lost to Huo Yuhao, she didn’t suffer any injuries. However, the lady in red was critically hurt by Huang Zheng. Even if her amputated arm was reattached, it might not be as agile as before.

Ye Guyi coldly glared at Huang Zheng and sternly said, “If you are a man, you’ll fight until the end. Don’t concede defeat.”

Huang Zheng laughed coldly, “You’ll have the opportunity to tell whether I’m a man in the future.”

“Begin!” Ye Yulin couldn’t be bothered with their trash talk.
He immediately announced the start of the fight.

Ye Guyi pointed her toes to the ground and burst towards Huang Zheng like a patch of yellow clouds. Huang Zheng rested his claw-shaped soul tool on his right arm. As he lifted it slightly, the three sharp claws at the front shot out three-feet long light blades. These light blades were used to chop off the arm of the lady in red earlier.

As Huang Zheng lifted his claws, he shot his light blades towards Ye Guyi like bolts of lightning. Not only could his light blades be used for close-combat, they were also very effective for long-range attacks.

After locking onto the opponent, these light blades spiraled out and intercepted Ye Guyi from different directions as they drew arcs in the air. They weren’t easy to be dodged. Furthermore, they were extremely sharp, and very explosive. Resisting them without any protective soul barriers was bound to deplete the target greatly. Huang Zheng called them Soulchase Claws.

After unleashing his three sharp blades, Huang Zheng unleashed yet another three light blades from his claws. He was advancing quickly towards Ye Guyi.

Ye Guyi wasn’t afraid as she faced these spiraling light blades. Earlier, she had already witnessed Huang Zheng’s fighting style. The lady in red had suffered as the blades blew apart. Ye Guyi wasn’t going to make the same mistake. 
She turned her wrist, and a long sword appeared in her grasp. This sword was around three feet and three inches long. The blade of her sword was one inch thick, and it emanated a bright golden light. There were seven stars on the sword, and three formation arrays. While there were only three of them, they were very small. Miniature formation arrays such as these could only be made using advanced techniques.

She pointed her sword forward and gently waved her blade in the air. A blurry sword projection was created.

“Ding, ding, ding.”  As three clinks sounded, she accurately struck the three sharp blades that were spiraling towards her.

These three blades were stopped in the air. However, Ye Guyi seemed to turn illusory as they were about to blow apart. She was like yellowish fog, and drifted forward instantly. The speed that she managed to achieve was almost close to the standard of an Instant Teleportation.

“Boom!    Boom!    Boom!”      Three    explosions    sounded simultaneously. Ye Guyi had already avoided the danger. As Huang Zheng was advancing towards her, he managed to close the gap between them.

After witnessing his opponent’s outstanding swordplay and speed, Huang Zheng was slightly stunned. However, his abilities weren’t ordinary either. His eyes shone, and he continued to take big steps towards Ye Guyi. It was important to note that he was from the Holy Ghost Church!

Ye Guyi’s body flashed with an illusory light projection. Huang Zheng didn’t unleash his light blades again. The two of them quickly met in the center of the stage.

Ye Guyi evidently hated Huang Zheng. As she shook her wrist, her sword formed countless streaks of lights. These streaks of starlight were glowing brightly, aimed at Huang Zheng’s eyes.

Huang Zheng didn’t panic. He straightened his claws and started to move them. A layer of dim-green light shone from his claws, forming a shield that blocked the sword lights. His claws were adept at both attacking and defending. Not only were they very explosive, but they even possessed great defensive strength too. It was as strong as a Class 6 protective barrier.

As he blocked the sword lights, Huang Zheng’s third purple soul ring lit up.

Chapter 349: Holy Angel

The purplish light exuded from Huang Zheng’s third soul ring seemed to be very gentle. However, a sinister aura slowly arose from it. His eyes turned blood-red and he let out a low- pitched whisper. With his body at the center, a layer of purplish-black light covered his surroundings to a diameter of thirty meters.

Darkness’ Descent!

Huang Zheng’s martial soul wasn’t considered very strong among evil soul masters. It was called an Evil Servant, a strange human-shaped martial soul. According to the Holy Ghost Church, such a martial soul came from an avenging spirit after a human passed away. When an avenging spirit was contaminated with the evil qi of heaven and earth, it would become a very special existence. It became an Evil Servant that could harm living things through its resonance with the evil qi of heaven and earth.

Once an Evil Servant entered the belly of a pregnant woman, this martial soul would be imprinted on the fetus’ body. However, the pregnant woman would die during childbirth, and her blood would nourish this Evil Servant, which would slowly take form in the fetus’ body.

However, Evil Servants weren’t considered very strong among evil soul masters. They were even considered one of the weakest martial souls. It was vastly inferior to the Bone Dragon, Abomination, or Skeleton King. This was also the reason why Huang Zheng chose to be a soul engineer in the Holy Ghost Church, and not a pure evil soul master. He wouldn’t excel as an evil soul master.

While an Evil Servant wasn’t very strong, it was still considered an evil martial soul. It was mainly auxiliary in nature, and unleashed all sorts of soul skills filled with an evil aura to weaken its opponents, which indirectly strengthened itself.

At this moment, Huang Zheng unleashed an auxiliary-type soul skill of his Evil Servant called Darkness’ Descent. Within a certain domain, it would greatly affect his opponent’s vision, and the sinister, evil aura from this soul skill would invade his opponent’s body. The effect of his Darkness’ Descent was even greater at night. Indeed, Ye Guyi suddenly felt everything turning dark around her. She seemed a little frantic when she couldn’t see Huang Zheng clearly. She subconsciously retreated a few steps and waved her sword in front of her body. Although she blocked Huang Zheng’s attacks, she was at a disadvantage right now.

Huang Zheng revealed a cold smile on his face. His fifth soul ring also lit up. He was a very composed person. Once he gained the advantage, he would never allow his opponent to flip the tables on him!

His ten-thousand year black soul ring caused the surroundings to turn even eerier. Layers of purplish-black fog started to rise from the ground. This thick fog started to engulf Ye Guyi.

Ye Guyi’s movements slowed, and waves of sinister aura continuously entered her body. A yellow light projection appeared behind her, but this projection was already being torn apart by the purplish-black fog.

Spiritual Extraction! While it was an auxiliary-type soul skill, it was still a ten- thousand year soul skill! It could greatly influence an opponent’s spirit. If the opponent’s cultivation was too inferior, his spirit would really be detached, crushed, and turned into food for Huang Zheng’s Evil Servant. Huang Zheng normally attacked ordinary people. Those who suffered under his Spiritual Extraction would usually turn into vegetables after they lost their spirits.

The light from his claws became even stronger now. Meter- long light blades shot out towards Ye Guyi. You want my life? You can die under my Soulchasing Claws first! Without your flesh, I’ll tear your spirit apart. The spirit of a Soul Emperor must be delicious! My cultivation will rise a few levels again!

A mixed look of ferocity and delight appeared on Huang Zheng’s face. To ensure that his strike was fatal, he even added a thick purplish-black layer to his claws. This was his second soul skill, Darkness Touch! It was a lethal poison filled with the element of darkness!

Ye Guyi was about to be killed. It seemed destined that the Duskwater Alliance was going to win this match, and by extension, the entire tournament! However, there was one person who didn’t concur: Shangguan Wei’er! A cold and scornful smile appeared on her face. She knew who backed the Duskwater Alliance, and she was therefore prepared against evil soul masters.

The Duskwater Alliance had prepared valuable and rare treasures for Huo Yuhao, but the Common Alliance had also prepared something…

Ye Guyi’s actual body seemed to be in a daze right now. However, the tip of her sword suddenly shot upward before turning just as the claws were about to strike her.

Suddenly, the seven gold stars on her sword shone, and an intense golden light exuding a sacred white glow spread out.

The purplish-black fog that was invading her spirit behind her screamed tragically. Instantly, the fog disappeared, and the surrounding darkness also vanished.

Ding! Ye Guyi’s sword struck the center of Huang Zheng’s claws, blocking them. The spirit behind her returned to its previous position as well. 
She also revealed a cold smile on her face.

Huang Zheng’s Spiritual Extraction was overcome, and Huang Zheng’s Evil Servant trembled. His Evil Servant was directly connected to his own spirit. Although he wasn’t hurt, he was also stunned.

Following this, the sacred golden-white light struck his body. Huang Zheng only felt a warmth engulfing him. Purplish-black fumes started to rise from his body. As his body shook tremendously, he screamed tragically and started to stagger backward.

It was a Holy Light, filled with an aura of holiness!

This time, even the vice-leader of the Holy Ghost Church couldn’t remain seated in the resting area. Holy Light was the jinx of evil soul masters! Was Ye Guyi’s martial soul of the rare holy element?!

Ye Guyi wasn’t going to answer his question. As she stepped forward, she slashed her sword. At the same time, her fifth black soul ring shone. Her spirit received an enhancement, and her terrifying strength soared.

A holy intent was revealed on Ye Guyi’s face. At this moment, her earlier disguises melted away. Yes, she was of the rare holy element. She was not even from the Common Alliance!

She had joined this tournament to target the evil soul masters of the Duskwater Alliance using the Common Alliance.

Evil soul masters were very adept at harming living spirits to increase their own cultivation, whereas a soul master who possessed the holy element, like Ye Guyi, was most adept at killing evil soul masters to strengthen herself!

Ye Guyi’s holy look also moved Huo Yuhao. Her spirit had reached an extremely intense stage at this instant. The golden- white light that she emanated illuminated the entire stage. Even the darkness in the sky almost seemed to be taken over.

This is… holy… The holy element was different from light, they were two different existences. However, the holy element was much more effective against evil than the light element.

Ye Guyi’s right hand had turned completely golden-white by now. A strong sword light also engulfed her sword at this moment.

At the same time, two white, feathery wings appeared behind her back. She pointed her sword forward, and her sword light engulfed Huang Zheng’s body.

Fifth soul skill, Holy Sword!

An Angel. Her martial soul was an Angel! No wonder she was of the holy element!

Angels were worshipped by sects in olden times. Ten thousand years ago, the predecessor of the Martial Soul Hall was the Church. The Church was very strong because they possessed holy strength. At that point in time, there were many soul beasts with evil bloodlines. The Church cleansed them, which earned them the recognition of the people. However, the evil soul beasts started to disappear, and the influence of the Church started to wane. As they lost more and more talents, they were soon replaced by the Martial Soul Hall.

Ye Guyi’s huge golden-white sword flashed past, and she stood arrogantly on the stage, alone. Huang Zheng and his soul tool had both completely vanished!

Huo Yuhao couldn’t control himself when he saw this scene. It’s indeed an era of heroes! The Holy Angel that has been missing for years has finally re-surfaced! To a certain extent, a holy martial soul is an extremity. It’s just that Ye Guyi is too rash. Does she really think that the Common Alliance can protect her? Perhaps if she had the support of a strong organization like the Holy Ghost Church... Furthermore, she has underestimated how afraid evil soul masters are of her martial soul. I’m afraid…

As Huo Yuhao thought to that point, his aura turned slightly cold.

The vice-leader and four elders of the Holy Ghost Church stood up at the same time. To them, a holy martial soul could threaten the very existence of the Church! 
Huo Yuhao sighed in his heart. He could hardly look after himself right now. Even if he wanted to help Ye Guyi, he couldn’t!

What should I do?

At this point, the vice-leader lifted her right hand and said, “Let’s talk when the tournament is over.”

“Yes.” The four elders acknowledged her words immediately.
However, they knew that Ye Guyi was doomed.

It wasn’t just Ye Guyi. Even Shangguan Wei’er could sense the sinister looks coming from the Duskwater Alliance.

Shangguan Wei’er felt a premonition. Was I wrong to use Ye Guyi to deal with the Duskwater Alliance? Forget it, the imperial family is backing me. No matter how arrogant these evil soul masters are, surely they wouldn’t dare to mess with the imperial family... However, Shangguan Wei’er didn’t realize that everyone had a bottom line that couldn’t be crossed. This was also applicable to evil soul masters!

Ye Guyi was filled with positive energy. At this point, it was clear that she was the only one among the three ladies that didn’t expose her skin.

She pointed her sword towards the Duskwater Alliance, looking arrogant and scornful. The tip of her sword shook gently, and pointed towards Huo Yuhao’s human-shaped soul tool.

This girl doesn’t know her limits! She’s actually trying to provoke me!

Huo Yuhao was a little speechless. She’s really fearless. How can the Common Alliance compare to the Holy Ghost Church? 
“I’ll   kill   her   to   avenge   Brother   Huang!”    Huo   Yuhao exclaimed. He rushed up onto the stage. As he charged up, he also blocked the Third Elder, who was about to take action.

As he leapt up, Huo Yuhao arrived on the stage once again.
He took big steps towards Ye Guyi.

Ye Guyi snorted, “Evil soul master, I’ll definitely kill you with my sword!”  After killing Huang Zheng, her cultivation had increased significantly. Her soul power that had been drained earlier had also been replenished. At this moment, she was bursting with confidence.

Huo Yuhao sighed in his heart, but he still said, “I’ll see whether you are capable of doing so.”

---

As the chief judge, Ye Yulin wore a grim look on his face right now. When Ye Guyi revealed her Holy Angel, he was extremely shocked. However, he had the same thought as Huo Yuhao. What a foolish girl! Why did you reveal your holy element in front of evil soul masters, given that you’re but a fledgling soul master yourself? Aren’t you courting death? If I discovered your holiness earlier and referred you to His Highness, you’d have become a future trump card in dealing with the Holy Ghost Church. Wouldn’t that be great? However, I’m afraid now…

Ye Yulin shook his head helplessly; he had already thought it through. Those guys from the Holy Ghost Church are bound to do something now. Since this is the case, I’ll do them a favor. Once Tang Wu can’t hold on anymore, I’ll end the fight. After all, the Holy Ghost Church is going to cause trouble, and I’ll have to save Tang Wu. I can’t let him be hurt by this Holy Angel.

As he thought to this point, Ye Yulin formed a plan in his mind.  He  drifted  up  once  again  and  shouted,  “The  fight begins!” This time, he didn’t even tell both parties to retreat. Since the tournament was already at such an intense stage, he allowed it to continue.

--- Ye Guyi’s sword shook slightly, and she pointed the tip of her sword at Huo Yuhao. However, a subtle voice rang out in her ears at this moment.

“How could you reveal your holiness in front of the Holy Ghost Church? Do you really think the Common Alliance can protect you?”

This sudden voice caused Ye Guyi to be slightly stunned. Although she wasn’t slow, she started to become a little doubtful. Who’s talking to me? Why does it sound like it’s in my head?

“It’s me, your opponent.”  As Huo Yuhao spoke to her, he quickly slid back and avoided her sword.

Ye Guyi laughed coldly and thought to herself. This must be another of the cunning tricks the evil soul masters are trying to play.

“It’s not a plot. There are five strong individuals from the Holy Ghost Church over there. The five of them are all at least Titled Douluo, and one of them is even a Transcendent Douluo. Do you think the Common Alliance can protect you?”

At such a close distance, Huo Yuhao could used his spiritual power to communicate with Ye Guyi. Within a ten-meter distance, he could almost read her mind. Of course, this was also because Ye Guyi didn’t activate her own spiritual power to resist him.

Ye Guyi pointed her toes to the ground, and her sword formed countless streaks of light. These streaks of light engulfed Huo Yuhao, but she was shocked as she thought to herself, You can sense what I’m thinking?

“My main martial soul is a spiritual-type,” Huo Yuhao replied mentally, “as long as you don’t resist me too much, I can sense the undulations in your mind and judge what you’re thinking.”

As he spoke, he performed his Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track using his human-shaped soul tool. His soul tool quickly retreated, and he avoided Ye Guyi’s attack.

“Why should I believe you?” Ye Guyi snorted coldly. 
Huo Yuhao was a little helpless as he said, “To be honest, I don’t know how to convince you. However, I can assure you that the Holy Ghost Church is our common enemy. I’m more determined to get rid of them than you are. However, they are very influential, and it won’t be easy. If you want me to prove it
to you, I can only do so by defeating you before thinking of a way to save you.”

Ye Guyi picked her brows and thought disdainfully, “You want to defeat me? It’s impossible even if you’re an evil soul master!”

Huo Yuhao felt very helpless as he replied, “Your pride will harm you! Grow up. Let’s make a deal. If I defeat you, you’ll listen to my arrangements. I’ll do my best to protect you. You need to understand that your Holy element is a great threat to these evil soul masters. They’ll try to get rid of you before you become truly powerful!”

“Okay. I’ll listen to you if you defeat me.” Ye Guyi’s face was filled with an arrogant look even though she thought that way. She didn’t believe that she would lose to a cripple. She had been observing him earlier. She was stunned that he could create a human-shaped soul tool, but she didn’t think that he was her match.

Huo Yuhao stopped talking. As he retreated, he suddenly punched his fist out.

Instantly, Ye Guyi felt as if it there was no longer a person in front of her. Rather, it was a huge mountain. A bright-golden fist grew larger right in front of her eyes.

A strong golden-white light rose from her body. Her sword shot out light. As she pointed the tip of her sword forward, she managed to stab Huo Yuhao’s fist.

Ding!

In terms of cultivation, both of them possessed Ultimate martial souls. Huo Yuhao’s soul power was still weaker than Ye Guyi’s even with the enhancement of his twin martial souls. However, his Soul Power Amplifier now worked to great effect. As their soul powers clashed, a winner couldn’t be determined. Ye Guyi only felt an extremely immense spiritual undulation coming towards her. She felt she was going to be crushed by the aura of Huo Yuhao’s Sovereign’s Descent!

Huo Yuhao’s Sovereign Descent had already been modified, and was different from the original version that Elder Mu had passed down to him. It was also why Huo Yuhao wasn’t afraid of letting the Holy Ghost Church’s members witness it. At the same time, his Sovereign’s Descent was still very strong even without the Goddess of Light to unleash it. The effect of the spiritual power in his Sovereign’s Descent was far superior to that of his soul power, which represented the greatest difference from the original Sovereign’s Descent.

However, Ye Guyi wasn’t like Lan Ruoruo. When she opened her feathery wings, Huo Yuhao felt as if his spiritual power had encountered a holy barrier, and he was completely isolated.

However, his fist also stopped Ye Guyi’s attack. He forced her to move half a step back.

He exploited this opportunity, and his aura suddenly changed. A greyish halo surfaced underneath his feet, and his eyes also turned grey. 
A greyish soul ring? Ye Guyi was also shocked. She had never seen such a soul ring. It’s abnormal, and filled with an evil aura. It can only belong to an evil soul master!

You’re a liar. You’re obviously an evil soul master!, Ye Guyi thought to herself furiously.

Huo Yuhao was a little helpless as he said, “If I didn’t do something like this, do you think the Duskwater Alliance and Holy Ghost Church would trust me? Just remember our agreement; if I defeat you, you must listen to me! Be careful!”

It was obvious that Ye Guyi’s trust in Huo Yuhao was greatly diminished when he unleashed the aura of a necromancer. Her sword shook, and she opened her wings. Her feathers exuded a layer of gentle, golden-white light fog. She seemed to turn transparent from the intense light. She was filled with a thick aura of holiness. She pointed her sword forward, causing countless streaks of sword light to shoot towards Huo Yuhao.

--- When they saw this scene, all the evil soul masters beneath the stage turned dismal. Even they felt slightly uncomfortable before this pure holy strength.

Ye Guyi was only a two-winged Angel, but she was already very strong. When her cultivation grew to seven rings and she gained her Martial Soul True Body, she might grow another two wings. When she reached nine rings, she might even have six wings! When that happened, she would become a very strong enemy to the Holy Ghost Church!

Furthermore, Ye Guyi’s appearance also disrupted the Holy Ghost Church’s arrangements. If she won the overall competition, the Duskwater Alliance could only give up on controlling the rare metals in the Sun Moon Empire. Although they were backed by the strength of the Holy Ghost Church, they couldn’t do it forcefully. After all, Xu Tianran would support them no matter what. However, offending the military and nobility wouldn’t tie in with the interests of the Holy Ghost Church when war was getting closer and closer.

It was now a matter of whether Huo Yuhao could win. The vice-leader had already thought this over. Once Huo Yuhao was in a disastrous situation, she would try her best to intervene. Although she would offend the other two parties, it was better than completely losing face.

---

What a strong Holy Light! Huo Yuhao was in awe. Ye Guyi’s holy aura made him feel as if he was immersed in warmth. However, this warmth was trying to corrode his body. If he were really an evil soul master, his abilities would be greatly weakened.

Huo Yuhao quickly retreated and used his right hand to mimic a lifting action in the air. He continued to rely on his Soul Power Amplifier to strengthen himself. A long staff appeared in his palm.

The greyish soul ring that rose from beneath his feet continued to shine brightly. Following this, it rapidly turned golden.

As the golden glow surfaced, Huo Yuhao’s human-shaped soul tool was also dyed gold. This gold was different from the gold of his Sovereign’s Descent. This gold was much darker, but it was filled with an aura of light.

---

At this point, Ye Guyi and the evil soul masters beneath the stage were all stunned.

Why is he filled with the aura of light now, even though he seemed to be surrounded by evil energy earlier? How did he manage to perform this trick?

Just as the orthodox evil soul masters were all shocked, and the vice-leader moved forward one step, a low-pitched recitation of incantations sounded from the stage.

---

As Huo Yuhao pointed his staff towards the sky, a ball of pale-white flame surfaced in the air. It quickly turned into a figure that appeared right in front of him. A white shield descended to block the Holy Light coming towards him!  
The vice-leader stopped all movement when she saw this figure. It was Huang Zheng’s figure!

However, his expression was very rigid at this moment. He seemed ethereal; obviously, he was in his spiritual form. However, Huo Yuhao used his spirit to block Ye Guyi’s sword lights!

Controlling spirits had always been something that evil soul masters were very adept in. However, why was he filled with an aura of light earlier? Even the vice-leader was confused at this moment!

Ye Guyi felt everything best. She discovered that her first soul skill, Holy Light Illumination, had lost its effect on Huo Yuhao when his soul ring turned golden. Her Holy Light was supposed to have an immediate effect on evil soul masters, but it was completely useless against Huo Yuhao. He blocked it with his soul power. While Huang Zheng’s spirit was crushed by her sword lights, Huo Yuhao was still offered some buffer time. Huo Yuhao was reciting incantations throughout this time, and his staff didn’t stop moving. As he pointed it at the ground, golden bone claws started to extend up from the ground. They were reaching for Ye Guyi!

Ye Guyi swept her sword out to crush them. She fluttered her wings and immediately rose into the air.

Huo Yuhao swept the right arm of his soul tool forward. A streak of golden light flashed, and a few dim golden figures covered in a pale-white glow appeared in front of him.

They were tall and huge liches, wearing rigid expressions and completely disfigured. There were seven of them, each holding a bone staff. After the liches appeared, they surrounded Huo Yuhao and made weird noises. At the same time, they lifted their staffs up high.

---

Electrolux had once told Huo Yuhao that undead magic and necromantic magic were different and involved different abilities, but Electrolux had specialized in both categories. Necromantic magic generally involved five different components: incantations, poison, calling, darkness, and alchemy. Of these, Electrolux was most adept in the aspects of incantations and summoning. Combined with his in-depth research into undead magic, he had managed to make great
achievements. Electrolux was also truly proficient in all types of summoning, as well as spiritual rituals.

If Electrolux were still alive, he would be ranked higher than the Dragon Emperor Douluo Long Xiaoyao, who was an Ultimate Douluo. Furthermore, he had once challenged an empire with his necromantic magic and destroyed it with his own power!

Electrolux had achieved enlightenment following that deed, and later even performed a series of tests on Huo Yuhao’s will before he passed his necromantic magic on to him. At the same time, he also helped Huo Yuhao solve many of the problems he himself had once faced. What he left for Huo Yuhao was a pure, light-type necromantic magic. It was invented by Electrolux, and also the reason why he added the word ‘Divine’ in front of ‘Necromancer’ in his title.

--- “Die!”   Just  like  the  Holy  Ghost  Church’s  members  had wondered if Huo Yuhao was an evil soul master because of the aura of light that he released, Ye Guyi also revealed a cold look in her eyes when she saw these liches. She lifted her sword above her head, and her second soul ring shone.

A projection of a six-winged angel flashed behind her. Her sword light suddenly expanded, and the blade of her sword became blinding. No one dared to look straight at it!

A huge beam of sword light a meter long and a third of that wide descended from the sky and slashed towards Huo Yuhao’s head.

Holy Ghost Slash! It was the second soul skill of her Holy Angel!

When this attack appeared, Huo Yuhao felt as if it had locked onto his spirit. The terrifying beam of sword light turned into a longbow that descended from the sky.

The seven liches around Huo Yuhao finished uniting with his incantations. A golden slit suddenly appeared above his head, and a huge pale-white head suddenly poked out from this slit.

Accurately speaking, it wasn’t a head, but a huge skull instead. Those who had watched the fight between the Tang Sect and Holy Ghost Sect in the Continental Elite Youth Soul Master Tournament easily recognized that it was the skull of a Bone Dragon. In addition, this skull was at least five times larger larger than the skull of the Bone Dragon that Yan Feng had changed into!

An adult Bone Dragon! The evil soul masters immediately recognized what it was.

Bright golden spiritual fire was burning in the eyes of this adult Bone Dragon. Strangely enough, it was filled with the aura of light. The golden spiritual fire was like liquid as it flowed down its cheekbones. As the skull moved upward, it let out a silent roar.

A clear cracking sound reverberated out. The Holy Ghost Slash struck the dragon’s skull forcefully. However, the Holy Light dissipated, and nothing happened to the skull. The spiritual fire was still burning. Suddenly, the skull opened its mouth and spat out a ball of dim golden dragonfire. 
After that, the skull receded back into the slit!

---

Ye Guyi hadn’t expected her opponent to be so difficult. Her Holy Ghost Slash had no effect. When the dragonfire appeared, its assertive aura caused her surrounding Holy Light to become unstable. It was as if she were being threatened by a raging tidal wave!

Although the fearless Ye Guyi was a little reckless, she was still a genuine talent. In the face of such a situation, she still remained fearless. Her fifth soul ring shone again.

She slashed her sword toward the dragonfire coming at her.

The sharpness of her sword was indeed extraordinary. The ball of dragonfire was slashed apart, and the two halves brushed past her body. However, she didn’t gain any headway from this attack. She even staggered backward a few steps and turned a little pale. ---

“Nice!”  The  vice-leader  couldn’t  help  but  exclaim  in  the resting area. She was impressed, “Fusion summoning... it’s a very rare technique! The Bone Dragon earlier was extraordinary! Nangong Wan, you’ve contributed greatly to the Church by discovering such a gifted talent! However, I’m afraid Tang Wu can’t be your disciple. I’ll report to the leader myself. Our previous guess might be right! He is the Holy Son of our Church!”

“Yes.”   While  Nangong  Wan  was  regretful,  he  was  more astonished. Although his cultivation doesn’t seem to be very strong, it’s evident that he possesses great potential from his ability to call out an adult Bone Dragon! The leader was furious a few days ago when Yan Feng died. Although his abilities aren’t comparable to Yan Feng’s, his potential seems to be higher. If his calling were completed, he might have been able to call out an entire Bone Drago! If that’s the case, he can even defeat a normal Titled Douluo! Of course, I’m afraid he’d have to be at least a Titled Douluo before he could do something like that…

--- After forcing Ye Guyi back, the seven liches around Huo Yuhao also disappeared. He continued to recite his incantations, and a pale-white door started to rise in front of him.

“Open, Spectral Door!”  Huo Yuhao finally shouted a phrase that the spectators could understand.

After he summoned the door, Huo Yuhao walked through it and vanished. Following this, skeletal troops started to rush out from the door, and charged towards Ye Guyi.

These skeletal troops all had a layer of gold on their bodies. As undead, their greatest trait was that they weren’t afraid of death.

Ye Guyi slashed out with her sword. Every time she slashed it, some of the skeletons collapsed to the ground. However, her expression was turning more and grim.

Her Holy Angel was supposed to be the jinx of evil creatures and soul masters. As long as she killed evil creatures and purified them, her own cultivation would be supplemented by the power of purification. As a result, her soul power would be restored, and her cultivation would increase.

This was her greatest trump card!

However, these specters really seemed to possess the element of light within them. They weren’t afraid of her holiness! Her Holy Light wasn’t very effective against them, and even if she killed them, she wasn’t replenished!

Were they really light-type undead?!

The skeletons only formed the first wave. After they appeared, countless liches also started to rush out from the door. Stronger skeletal horsemen also started to appear on the stage. They weren’t strong individually, but they were extremely strong when they came together.

They were unceasing as they all charged towards Ye Guyi.

Ye Guyi lifted her sword, and her fourth soul ring shone. She lifted her wings before smacking them down forcefully. Suddenly, layers of Holy Light started to spread from her body. The incoming undead were crushed and flung back.

Holy Light Spiritual Formation!

If these undead that had encircled her were ordinary undead, her Holy Light Spiritual Formation would have annihilated them. However, these light-type undead were too difficult to deal with. Not only did she not receive any replenishment, but the undead that were killed were only the skeletal troops at the front. The rest of the undead continued to advance. They weren’t retreating at all.

While Ye Guyi was unleashing her killer moves, she wasn’t replenishing her soul power. She was starting to turn more and more dismal.

---

Beneath the stage, Nangong Wan complimented, “Yes! Tang Wu must be the Holy Son! A specter that can’t even be harmed by the holy element! It’s too magical! Congratulations, vice- leader!” 

Chapter 350: Devouring Angel

The vice-leader was clearly very pleased with Huo Yuhao’s behavior. This was definitely a very pleasant development to her. The fact that he was able to crush his opponent in this tournament meant that the Holy Ghost Church wouldn’t need to fall out with the noble faction and the military, and everything would go according to plan. Moreover, the existence of a super-genius like Huo Yuhao who signified the descent of the Holy Son naturally left the Holy Ghost Church overjoyed.

“Do you finally believe me now?” Huo Yuhao’s voice rang out again in Ye Guyi’s mind.

Ye Guyi clenched her teeth. Believe what? Believe a wicked evil soul master like you?

Huo Yuhao sighed softly. “How do you still not understand what’s going on? If I am truly that wicked, why are my summoned creatures not afraid of your holy element? If I truly wanted to harm you, would I even be bothering to chat so much shit with you? Look.” As he spoke, the enormous Spectral Door suddenly grew even larger. Accompanied by the deep stamping sounds of horses, tall knights began to walk onto the tournament stage.

These knights all wore deathly-gray armor, and had faintly golden orbs of spirit fire pulsing within their helmets. The war-horses they rode only had bones, but they were incomparably large, and left trails of golden fire behind them as they marched forward.

Only three knights appeared, but the pressure that each and every one of them exuded was much, much greater than the spectral creatures that had previously appeared!

After these three knights appeared, they immediately rode in three different directions. As though they had found their masters, the low-ranking undead creatures that had been previously summoned started to congregate in these three directions as well!

Immediately afterwards, the undead became increasingly orderly under the commands of the three knights. As a result, Ye Guyi felt an even greater amount of pressure! As a possessor of the Angel martial soul, she had done more research on evil martial souls than almost anybody else. Naturally, she knew what these undead creatures were.

These were Death Knights, undead creatures which were naturally at the Soul Emperor level of power!

Ye Guyi wouldn’t be afraid of a single Death Knight. After all, being a Soul Emperor herself, she was confident in her abilities to purify them using her Angel’s abilities.

However, three Death Knights had appeared at once! Not only were they as powerful as Soul Emperors, they could even command the other undead creatures from the Spectral Door to form a true army!

In reality, with Huo Yuhao’s current capabilities, the unique martial soul that Electrolux had left him was no weaker than the combined strength of his other two martial souls. The reasons for this were very simple: the spectral demiplane that Electrolux had left him to conveniently summon from was one, but more important was his powerful spiritual power! In the world that Electrolux came from, spiritual power was the main factor that determined the strength of magic, as well as the duration that it could be used.

While using his unique Necromancer martial soul, his true strength was at the level of a Soul Sage. Furthermore, he was as powerful as an evil Soul Sage, to boot! This was an ability that he couldn’t use in the open, but one that he could use as Tang Wu!

At this moment, even the distant Elder Xuan was dumbstruck, much less the onlooking audience. He was also unable to comprehend how Huo Yuhao was able to use the abilities of an evil soul master, that were nonetheless filled with the element of Light.

Ye Guyi’s expression became increasingly uglier to look upon. She could clearly feel that her soul power was being depleted rapidly as she killed these spectral creatures. If this continued, she would be ground down by the large numbers of spectral creatures that she could easily beat in one on one fights!

Furthermore, there was a question that was stuck in her mind: Why aren’t these spectral creatures afraid of my holy martial soul?!

There were no more undead creatures emerging from the Spectral Door. However, even the ones remaining on the stage left her in a very dangerous situation!

The three Death Knights were coldly staring her down as they commanded their underlings. Moreover, they would occasionally fire out Death Lights to revive the undead creatures that she had already killed!

It was like she had entered a never-ending cycle of death and rebirth!

At the same time, a deep incantation filled with an aura of mystery once again rang out. This incantation came directly from the enormous Spectral Door, which was trembling violently at this moment. Large amounts of golden-green light started to roil about in the surroundings, and the Spectral Door was unexpectedly expanding yet again.

Not good! Ye Guyi’s expression suddenly changed. Is he going to use an even stronger move? 
She knew that she couldn’t wait any longer. She finally started to regret revealing her Angel today!

However, this regret only lasted for a brief moment before going away. If not for her extremely sturdy willpower, she would definitely not have been able to control her Angel!

Ye Guyi proudly raised the longsword in her hand, letting out a sharp whistle as she did so. Immediately afterwards, the Seven Star Sword suddenly combusted. The sword, which was made completely out of rare metals, was unexpectedly starting to melt due to Ye Guyi’s holy soul power. Moreover, the holy golden light she emitted started to turn a golden-red. An enormous, blazing ball of light appeared behind her, and her pure white wings started to unfurl.

However, this new pair of wings wasn’t as tactile as her previous ones. Instead, they were made of light! Even so, the undead creatures that were made of light were filled with fear, to the point that they were shaking in their boots. Even the Death Knights were left in the same state, no matter how hard they tried to resist! Ye Guyi’s pitch-black sixth soul ring slowly started to rise above her. During this process, her soul ring started to release the same golden-reddish light that was coming from her body, before slowly melding into her.

The longsword that had melted within her hands and the light coming from her body congealed together, forming an enormous sword over three meters long. It felt like the light coming from this golden-reddish sword wanted to pierce through the Heavens and Earth itself!

Ye Guyi made her move. She took a step forward in midair and whirled around, causing the enormous sword in her hands to dance about. The four angelic wings behind her flickered with light, making her look ever so beautiful.

This was her sixth soul skill, Angelic Dance!

By relying on the strength of her martial soul, Ye Guyi was able to forcefully bring herself to a level of power near that of a Soul Sage’s Martial Soul True Body for a short period of time. The holy sword in her hands had transformed into a Holy Sun Sword, and any undead creature it touched immediately turned into dust. 
The three Death Knights quickly grouped up and charged fearlessly towards her. However, they couldn’t even last three seconds against the Holy Sun Sword before being vaporized by its terrifying light!

---

Below the stage, the Titled Douluo from the Holy Ghost Church started to reveal expressions of panic on their faces. Their evil martial souls were actually starting to tremble slightly due to this young girl, who wasn’t even a Soul Sage! It was no wonder that the Angel was known as their greatest nemesis! This was way too powerful!

Once she slew the last Death Knight, Ye Guyi fiercely beat the four wings on her back. A vast amount of holy light surged out from her body, and with her hands gripping her sword, she leapt into the air. The golden-red light from her sword filled the sky, and she launched an incomparably powerful slash towards the enormous door of light. Her tender face was filled with an unwavering look of determination! At this exact moment, the light in a fifty-meter range surrounding Ye Guyi and the Spectral Door started to twist, causing everything to turn blurry. Nobody from the outside world could see what was going on on the stage.

Only Ye Guyi could see, to her astonishment, that an enormous pair of golden eyes had appeared within the enormous Spectral Door!

Right after that, she felt an extremely powerful force slam into her tenacious spiritual world. Her petite body trembled, instantly depleting nearly half of the strength contained within her Angelic Dance.

A golden figure walked up to her. This figure was extremely elegant and peerlessly beautiful, and was filled with a boundless amount of light. There was no deathly aura present on this golden figure at all. Her long hair fluttered about behind her, and her pure golden body seemed to be filled with a boundless life force. Furthermore, Ye Guyi unexpectedly sensed a holy aura coming from her. This was a holy aura that was somewhat similar to hers, yet was very dulled down in comparison to her own. In an instant, this golden figure slammed into her!

Ye Guyi’s aura instantly dispersed. At that moment, she finally believed Huo Yuhao.

Nothing of what Huo Yuhao had previously said had made an impact on her. However, it was impossible for anybody to falsify a holy aura, much less an evil soul master! Even a faint trace of it could only be produced by an extremely pure person!

Huo Yuhao’s voice once again rang out in her head, “Do you feel it?”

Yes.

“Good.”

The two conversed for an extremely short period of time.
Right after that, the arena underwent huge changes. The originally twisted light within the arena suddenly became clear. Countless thick chains attached to sharp sickles shot out from the violently trembling Spectral Door.

On the other hand, the previously incomparably powerful Ye Guyi was now floating in midair. Her body was covered in a deathly-grey light, and her pupils had dulled. Her back no longer had four wings, but two.

The thick chains and sickles pierced through her body, firmly locking her in a prison of chains. It seemed as though she had completely lost her soul, and the fresh blood trickling from her body evaporated into countless streams of greyish-black air.

Suddenly, all of the thick chains pulled back, dragging her body into the extremely terrifying Spectral Door.

The Spectral Door finally shut. The instant it shut, however, it seemed to transform into a ghastly and sinister mouth that started to chew loudly.

--- The entire field was completely silent now. An absolutely overwhelming number of people felt absolutely horrified, and started to sweat down their backs.

A crack appeared in midair, and the Spectral Door subsequently vanished quietly. Amidst the flickering light, the two-and-a-half-meter tall metallic figure once again appeared on the tournament stage.

At this moment, the stage was completely silent. The metallic figure stood proudly, but everyone looking at him felt as though he was filled with a sinister aura. They couldn’t help but lower their gazes as they looked at him, not daring to look directly into his face. Moreover, the pupils in his mask that were originally flickering with a dull, golden light had turned blood-red.

“Is there anybody else?”  a ghastly voice rang out from his mask. This voice was eerie, ice-cold, and contained a sort of pressure that could intimidate one’s soul.

The entire field was silent. Even Ye Yulin, floating up in midair, felt his face twitching. Even at his strength, he’d suddenly realized that a few traces of fear had sprouted in his heart towards this unfathomable youth.

An evil soul master, he’s actually such a powerful evil soul master! Just why is a genius soul engineer like him an evil soul master!? Ye Yulin was feeling pained due to the inner struggles in his heart, but he knew that the Holy Ghost Church would definitely not give up on an evil soul master like this.

Furthermore, he wasn’t willing to take in an evil soul master as a disciple.

Suddenly, the sound of clapping rose up.

Huo Yuhao looked towards the source of that sound, and what he saw was a pair of greyish-blue eyes filled with an otherworldly sense of beauty. Moreover, the owner of this pair of eyes was the vice-leader of the Holy Ghost Church!

Right after she started clapping, the other four elders from the Holy Ghost Church started clapping alongside her with fervor and passion. The crowd in the arena was extremely large, and only the four of them clapping was a strange sight, indeed. However, this roused the awareness of everyone else present.

He had won. Tang Wu, who was representing the Duskwater Alliance, had won the Radiant City Elite Soul Engineering Tournament!

------

Ye Yulin landed on the tournament stage and looked at Huo Yuhao with a complicated look in his eyes. He suddenly felt an urge to drop the Sunmoon Divine Needle in the sky to eradicate this fellow in front of him.

This person was a genius soul engineer and a genius evil soul master at such an age. Would the Empire truly be able to control him in the future? Moreover, just how greatly would the Holy Ghost Church flourish in the future with a genius like him in the younger generation?

However, Ye Yulin didn’t dare to do so in the presence of the five evil Titled Douluo who were staring intently at him! 
What Huo Yuhao had revealed to the various powerhouses was talent. However, there was still a great difference between him and these Titled Douluo and Class 9 soul engineers when it came to power. Yet, he was able to rely on the mentality of the masses and the evil soul masters, along with the three underground powers, to control the entire situation.

The evil soul masters had become his protective umbrella!

An indifferent smile started to surface on the face below the golden mask. So many pleasant surprises had occurred today. Huo Yuhao was especially pleased with his performance today. He finally felt as though he had truly understood the various abilities that he possessed.

After all, he was still a youth. He was inwardly screaming to himself, Call me the Everchanging Huo Yuhao!

“The  Duskwater  Alliance’s  Tang  Wu  wins.”   Ye  Yulin’s complicated gaze finally returned to normal as he stiffly announced the result of the tournament. On the other hand, the instant this result was announced, the Alto Chamber of Commerce and the Common Alliance, who were originally displeased, were now completely silent. Unexpectedly, no one jumped out to contest the results of the tournament...

Chapter 351: A Terrifying Explosion!

How could Huo Yuhao’s abilities not make them fearful? They weren’t afraid of Tang Wu on the competition stage, they were afraid of the five formidable evil soul masters beneath the arena, who were just standing there spookily. They were no longer masking their auras!

An evil soul master who was still so young was already so horrifying; he had defeated and murdered that girl, who had an Angel martial soul and possessed the holy element, and swallowed her up entirely. If that was the case, then what kind of abilities did these stronger evil soul masters possess?

Huo Yuhao nodded at Ye Yulin and said, “Since I’ve won, then please give me the prize, chief judge.”

Shadows appeared one after another beside Huo Yuhao; the Holy Ghost Church’s vice-founder had taken her four elders onto the competition stage.

The vice-founder stared at Ye Yulin with a sinister look in her eyes. She didn’t say anything, but the aura that was rising from her body caused Ye Yulin to recoil in fear.

Transcendent Douluo! She’s actually a Transcendent Douluo!
She’s an evil Transcendent Douluo!

Nangong Wan was very pleased and satisfied at this moment. He  raised  his  voice  and  said,  “The  Radiant  City  Elite  Soul Engineering Tournament’s championship belongs to the Duskwater Alliance. From this moment onwards, our wager is complete. An Litong, Shangguan Wei’er, what else do you have to say?”

The elders from the other two underground organizations were already on their feet at this point. An Litong wore a black face, and he wanted to retort, but he ultimately held himself back as he surveyed the five mighty evil soul masters on the competition stage. He shook his head painfully.

Shangguan Wei’er’s dainty face seemed a little slack as her eyes were filled with agony. Ye Guyi’s death had dealt a heavy blow to her. Nangong Wan said proudly, “Alright, since there’s nothing else you wish to say, then we will proceed according to the tournament’s rules. Come to the Duskwater Alliance’s headquarters tomorrow, and we will have a thorough follow- up discussion.”

An Litong snorted coldly before he turned and led his company away. Shangguan Wei’er’s face suddenly became vengeful as she shot a hateful glare at Huo Yuhao, before she also turned and left.

The tournament was over, concluded in such a shocking and breathtaking fashion, and the aristocrats, the audience, and even the gamblers who had won some money hurriedly got to their feet and swiftly disappeared, one after another. They really didn’t want to see that horrifying devil hidden underneath his human-shaped soul tool. Yes, Huo Yuhao was no different from the devil in their eyes at this moment.

Huo Yuhao’s prizes were laid out one by one in front of him.

Rare metals were placed in front of him, ton after ton, and then there was the insurmountable Class 9 soul tool, the Sunmoon Divine Needle. 
The Sunmoon Divine Needle was actually two ring-shaped soul tools, one larger than the other. The first ring was about one and a half meters in diameter, while the smaller one was roughly one meter in diameter. The larger one was golden, and the smaller one was silver. Sophisticated patterns were
engraved all over their surface, and even Huo Yuhao felt a little dizzy just looking at it, even though he could be considered a Class 7 soul engineer!

Ye Yulin heaved a sigh and passed the Sunmoon Divine Needle to Huo Yuhao. He lowered his voice and said, “You need to have at least eight soul rings before you can use it. Otherwise, you won’t be able to control it at all, and you won’t even have enough soul power to support it. Don’t attempt to break and copy my soul tool, because it will rip your body into a million pieces. That’s all.”

Ye Yulin paused after this. The Starsky Douluo couldn’t control himself in the end, and asked, “I’m quite interested in your human-shaped soul tool’s structure. If you’re willing, you can sell its blueprint to me. The price can be negotiated This is how you can contact me.”  He passed Huo Yuhao a card as he spoke. “Okay.” Huo Yuhao said nothing more and took the card.

He Caitou had arrived beside Huo Yuhao, and his shoulder touched Huo Yuhao’s shoulder. Huo Yuhao turned around and glanced at him, and a faint smile appeared on He Caitou’s face. Five mighty evil soul masters had sealed away every possible escape path beside them at this moment, and every single evil soul master had satisfied smiles on their faces besides the vice- founder, whose facial expression was masked.

Huo Yuhao smiled as well, except his smile was hidden inside his human-shaped soul tool. It’s almost time.

-------

Inside the underground warehouse...

Boom!

Countless metal fragments flew in all directions. However, the reinforced underground palace didn’t quake too much. Some of the rare metals that were closer to the warehouse’s first gate scattered across the ground, triggering several soul rays that fired off randomly.

Xu Guozhong dispelled the smoke in front of him with a somber look on his face. The soul rays were blocked by an invisible barrier a meter from his body.

The underground warehouse’s defense system was established too perfectly, so much so that it had taken them an exceedingly long time to destroy the various booby traps before they could attempt to break down the first floor’s main gate.

It wasn’t hard to imagine how many losses they had already incurred, and the repairs would also cost a tremendous amount of money and time. But Xu Guzhong had no choice, as he had to enter the underground warehouse as quickly as possible so that he could take stock and calculate his losses. Furthermore, nobody else could know about this episode; they would have to try their best to keep this a secret! Otherwise, it wouldn’t be too difficult for the crown prince, Xu Tianran, to impeach him! He would be in real trouble if that happened...

Powerful soul rays erupted from behind Xu Guozhong’s back in a tight volley, and his soul engineers destroyed all the soul tools on the floor.

One of the Class 8 soul engineers said, “It seems like the booby traps and the defense mechanisms are alright. They can still be triggered, which means they’re still operational. Let me scout ahead, my Lord.”

Xu Guozhong’s complexion became a little better at this show of his subordinate’s loyalty. He nodded gently and said, “Be careful!”

“Yes.” The Class 8 soul engineer stepped into the warehouse routinely and easily as he swiftly checked out the situation on the first floor. His voice quickly came back from the distance.

“My Lord, nothing has been stolen from the first floor, but the gate leading to the second floor has been destroyed. All the traps and defense mechanisms are intact, and they don’t seem like they’ve been triggered. It seems like somebody familiar with our place has done this.”

Xu Guozhong led his company forward, avoiding the miscellaneous traps as they quickly advanced to the gate leading to the second floor. He saw the metal dust and fragments strewn all over the ground, and bent down and pinched some in his fingers to take a look.

Xu Guozhong was a Class 9 soul engineer, so it wasn’t hard to imagine how familiar he was with metal. His expression quickly changed as he muttered, “These particles have lost all metallic elements, as if they’re just dust. How is that possible? This gate was made from more than ten different alloys, and the gate itself possessed a protective soul barrier. Breaking it down should have triggered the alarm. How did the intruders accomplish this? Li Chong is the mole!”

He had a clear judgment in his head. Li Chong was nowhere to be seen, while the traps and defense mechanisms outside hadn’t been triggered, and only certain setups and mechanisms had been destroyed all the way inside. This would be impossible unless the intruders were familiar with this place, so Li Chong was the prime suspect; he fit the bill, and he had been standing guard before this, too!

A vindictive look flickered across Xu Guozhong’s eyes as he lowered his voice and said, “On to the second floor.” The second floor was where the most precious metals were kept! At this moment, Xu Guozhong wasn’t that worried anymore. In the end, most rare metals were very dense and heavy, so thieves couldn’t take that much away even if they had storage- type soul tools for transport. These losses wouldn’t be much to the colossal warehouse, compared to the inventory they had accumulated over so many years. Xu Guozhong was confident in his ability to keep this incident quiet if they didn’t lose too much...

However, Xu Guozhong’s face quickly turned dark and gloomy when they entered the second floor. The piles of rare metals that were originally neatly arranged had disappeared in enormous patches, and his estimate of his losses reached a horrendous level even before he was only ten meters in.

“Bastard! He must have planned this. He’s stolen the most valuable metals!” Xu Guozhong’s face was so somber it felt like his emotions were dripping down his face.

The color on his face turned a few shades blacker the deeper he went. His losses were far greater than his original estimations, and they couldn’t be measured with money at this point. This was especially true because several rare metals had completely disappeared. Among them was the Diamond Essencegold; they hadn’t even had one ton of it in this warehouse, and now not a single speck of it remained!

And that was only one example!

“Oh no! My Lord, the third floor’s gate has been opened.” One of his subordinate’s voices could be heard from far away. Xu Guozhong suddenly felt a little lightheaded, and he nearly fainted. The third floor’s gate has been opened? An extremely ominous feeling swiftly rose from his heart.

Xu Guozhong briskly brought his subordinates to the gate leading down to the third floor.

This gate was broken down in the same way that the second floor’s gate had been destroyed; the tough door had been converted into dust and nothingness. What helped him relax a little was that soul tools missing from the third floor’s immense and vast storage space weren’t so obvious.

“Steal them! Steal them, bastard! You’re so good, eh! Why didn’t  you  take  them  all  away?!”   Xu  Guozhong  bellowed hysterically. Storage-type soul tools had a limit to the volume that they could contain, but the stolen rare metals still gave him a splitting heartache.

“Go check it out and see if we’re missing anything from the third floor.”

His subordinates’ trembling voices quickly travelled back to his ears.

“Your Highness! All the Sealed Milk Bottles and stationary soul cannon shells Class 5 and above have… have been stolen…”

A fountain of fresh blood erupted from Xu Guozhong’s mouth, and his face turned ghastly white. Ruthless! Li Chong, that bastard, is too inhuman! He… he actually…

Right at that moment, Xu Guozhong’s eyes suddenly floated subconsciously in a certain direction, because a faint red light seemed to be coming from that way. The red light expanded very swiftly, and it didn’t take long before the stationary cannon shells stacked up like mountains beneath it were covered with a layer of red light.

Xu Guozhong was a Class 9 soul engineer, and he quickly discerned what the red light was as a hopeless look flashed across his eyes. He mumbled under his breath, “A timed explosive bomb…”

Red light surged into the sky.

------

“Thank you for your contributions to our alliance, Tang Wu! These belong to you.” The Duskwater Alliance placed the rewards in front of Huo Yuhao, including the Class 9 stationary soul cannon shell! 
Huo Yuhao pocketed everything without acting courteous at all. These rewards were one of his most important goals in this tournament!

“Thank you, sir. If there’s nothing else, we’ll take our leave.” Huo Yuhao was still inside his human-shaped soul tool at this moment. He raised his metal leg and was about to walk away.

“Wait.” The vice-founder raised her hand, and blocked Huo Yuhao and He Caitou’s path.

Huo Yuhao muttered plainly, “What’s up? We’ve helped you clinch the championship. Are you still not letting us go?”

The vice-founder smiled faintly and said, “Of course not, but there are some things that I wish to discuss with you. Judging from your abilities, you seem like an evil soul master.”

Huo Yuhao didn’t respond directly. “What does that have to do with you guys?” 
The vice-founder didn’t react emotionally at all because of Huo Yuhao’s cold attitude. She continued amicably, “Of course that has something to do with us... because we are the same.”

An aura that instilled intense fear into Huo Yuhao and He Caitou’s hearts instantly rose from her body as she spoke.

Greyish-blue light expanded from behind her back, and an exceedingly sharp and shrill howl could be heard. The greyish- blue light surged into the sky and condensed into a phoenix, while that eerie evil aura painted the sky above the competition stage greyish-blue with incredible speed.

Such a mighty aura of evil! No matter how powerful Huo Yuhao and He Caitou were, they felt their entire bodies turn cold and stiff as they sensed the aura that emanated from the vice-founder’s body. It was like their spirits had been locked away.

Evil Phoenix! That was actually the Evil Phoenix! It was a formidable martial soul that was almost considered Ultimate Evil! The vice-founder was undoubtedly a Transcendent Douluo, and she was possibly higher than Rank 95!

The four elders behind her took a few steps back, their faces overcome with respect and admiration.

The vice-founder’s voice was very warm and gentle. “Look, we’re one and the same. Even though I can’t tell what your evil martial soul is, you can have everything you want if you join us.”  There was a peculiar charm in her voice, and her voice made Huo Yuhao feel as if his heart was pounding out of his chest.

“You can use the power of light to unleash your abilities as an evil soul master, and I am a big fan of your necromantic summoning abilities. You are the Holy Son that my Church has been looking for, and we are very delighted that you have come to us. Join us, and you will be the future dictator of the world.”

Not everyone in the audience had departed at this point. Those normal citizens who were still here were transformed into greyish-blue statues as the greyish-blue light shone on them from the sky. They couldn’t move at all, and there seemed to be struggling against frightened spirits above their heads.

Huo Yuhao felt his heart sink. The Holy Ghost Church was so unbridled and unscrupulous. What did that mean? It meant they had absolute faith in their strength!

It was at this time that the vice-founder’s eyes suddenly turned toward the city, as if she had felt something.

In the next moment, everyone began to feel the earth trembling faintly beneath their feet.

Elder Xuan also felt this, even from some distance away. He turned around in shock, and he was one step earlier than the vice-founder to realize that something was amiss. However, his perception was different from that of the the Holy Ghost Church’s vice-founder. He was far more sensitive, and he could tell that this quake was coming from the location Huo Yuhao had released the green signal from before.

What’s happening? The same doubt arose in everyone’s hearts.

The vice-founder soared into the sky and transformed into a greyish-blue light projection as she swept through the air. She was moving way too quickly, and took the greyish-blue radiance that had spread out across the sky with her.

The vice-founder gazed down upon Radiant City from a thousand meters up in the sky. Her initially calm and composed eyes transformed in that instant, and her pupils became as thin as a needle’s tip as she witnessed something that she would never forget for the rest of her life.

Something was happening in one corner of Radiant City. There was no warning at all as large masses of structures and buildings suddenly collapsed and sank, while stone and gravel were hurled into the sky from where the ground was collapsing inwards.

The great earth roared furiously in the next moment. The ground that had sunk now began to rise with lightning speed, and a colossal mushroom cloud accompanied by unrivaled explosive power surged into the sky. The vice-founder was watching from a thousand meters in the sky, but she was still impacted this horrifying scene. She plummeted down at once, and laid down flat on the ground.

Boom, boom, boom, boom…!

The earth was moaning and thundering. Everything was trembling and quaking, and it seemed as if Hell itself had descended upon Radiant City in that instant. An incomparably terrifying explosive impact swept over a third of the greatest city on the Continent in the blink of an eye, and intense shockwaves shook the entire city.

Uncounted tons of gravel and dust flew in all directions as millions of fragments and bits of debris soared into the sky. Soil and earth billowed through the air as the scorching and horrifying shockwaves continued to ripple through the city.

This effect was something that not even Class 9 stationary soul cannon shells could accomplish. The entirety of Radiant City was quivering and groaning from the explosion, and was crumbling before it. There were more than ten million people from all over the continent here in Radiant City to participate in and watch the tournaments. There were a lot more who were gathered in the western suburbs, all waiting for the Radiant City Elite Soul Engineering Tournament’s results. However, one third of
Radiant City had already collapsed; how many lives would
those frightening shockwaves take?

The sky was dark and gloomy over the Douluo Continent on this day, and the world was transformed.

------

Huo Yuhao was the perpetrator, but even he had had no idea that his actions would lead to something so crazily horrifying.

There was no color on Huo Yuhao’s face at this moment. He didn’t dare to bring He Caitou and himself into his spectral demiplane because the petrifying explosion that resembled an apocalypse seemed to blow the heterogeneous space around them into smithereens. A yellow shadow appeared behind Huo Yuhao and He Caitou amidst the hurricane of stone and gravel and picked them up, one person in each hand. The three of them disappeared without a trace amidst a few flickers of light.

“You guys did this?” Elder Xuan’s deep voice rang out beside Huo Yuhao’s ear.

Huo Yuhao was still inside his human-shaped soul tool, but he subconsciously nodded his head.

“What a massacre!” Elder Xuan’s elderly voice was filled with sorrow and astonishment. He lowered his voice and said, “Don’t ever speak of this to anyone. Do you understand?”

“Yes.”  Huo Yuhao’s voice was trembling as an indescribable agony rose from his heart. He hadn’t expected something like this to happen, that he would trigger an explosion so horrifying that it almost wiped out the entirety of Radiant City.

Huo Yuhao naturally understood the pain in Elder Xuan’s voice. An explosion like this would take countless lives, and there were many more who would slowly slip into the void. 
This was truly a massacre. The death toll was bound to be counted in tens of thousands, at least.

And he, the Ultimate Soldier, was the perpetrator and the assassin.

Huo Yuhao’s lips were tightly pressed against each other as Elder Xuan swiftly brought them away as if they were rag dolls.

The Continental Elite Youth Soul Master Tournament’s grand finals were utterly meaningless at this moment.

But there was one thing that Huo Yuhao had achieved. This great explosion, known by later generations as the Day of Darkness and Destruction, had absolutely delayed the Sun Moon Empire’s plans to invade the Douluo Continent. Huo Yuhao, an Ultimate Soldier, had achieved a level of destructiveness unmatched across human history.

Huo Yuhao would be known as the Eyes of the Asura in the future,  and  the  “Asura”   in  his  name  stemmed  from  this terrifying explosion. 
------

The other members of the Tang Sect who had helped to accomplish this feat were also trembling inside. At this moment, their faces were all devoid of color as they lay prostrate on the ground and felt the impact of the cyclone of stone and sand. They felt the earth’s moans, and nobody knew what to do.

---

The earth split open in another place, and peculiar giant soul tools emerged from the ground, one after another. The Body Douluo, Du Busi, was leading the Star Luo Empire and the Heavenly Soul Empire’s company, and they stared with slack jaws and widened eyes at the mushroom cloud looming over Radiant City. They found it hard to believe what had just happened.

In fact, nobody knew what exactly had just happened. “Did… did Shrek Academy do that?” Xu Jiujiu stared at the mushroom cloud rising through the sky with lackluster eyes. She could feel the ground still shaking intensely where they were, kilometers away from the explosion, and her beautiful eyes were filled with an indescribable fear at this moment.

Wei Na’s eyes were also blank with astonishment as she muttered under her breath, “This…  what exploded, that can result in something like that? How many people will die?”

Du Busi was equally astounded. “I’ll concede if Shrek Academy really did this. It seems like all we can do are parlor tricks in comparison.”

Their three companies represented the Sun Moon Empire’s greatest enemies in Radiant City at this moment. The Star Luo Empire and the Heavenly Soul Empire had a backup plan, and they had used ground-drilling soul tools that they had specifically researched to escape Radiant City underneath the eastern front. The Sun Moon Empire’s army couldn’t stop them in the end. However, not in their wildest dreams did they expect to see such a magnificent sight, which was so apocalyptic at the same time. ------

Fewer than ten percent of the reinforced structures in the Sun Moon Empire’s imperial palace had collapsed. Fortunately, the imperial palace was located in the center of the city, and wasn’t encompassed in the one-third that had been annihilated.

There was no color on Xu Tianran’s face as Ju Zi carried him on her back and squirmed out from underneath a pile of rubble. She stared at the colossal mushroom cloud in the distance, and at everything that had been destroyed around them. Her eyes grew slack and lifeless.

Right at that moment, shadow after shadow gathered in the sky. Hearty laughter could be heard, and even the mysterious Imperial Tutor had joined them at some point. The Holy Ghost Church’s evil soul masters and their sinister auras soared into the sky, one after another.

Destruction was calamity and disaster for normal people, but for them, it was an opportunity that they dreamed of! “There’s so much resentment, and the spirits are so strong!
Hahaha!” 
Shrek Academy’s company began to move after their temporary astonishment. Elder Xuan’s face was as gloomy as could be while he took everyone and raced toward the horizon.

Most of Shrek Academy’s powerful individuals didn’t know what had happened, and nobody knew why this scene had occurred.

A handful of people, including Zhang Lexuan, could faintly guess that the Tang Sect had catalyzed and caused that apocalyptic episode in some way.

Wang Dong’er, Wang Qiu’er, and Xiao Xiao were the clearest about the entire process. They were the ones who had installed the timed explosive bomb!

Huo Yuhao had deliberately damaged the elevator and the first floor’s gate before they exited the underground warehouse, so that the inevitable inspection to come would take as long as possible. Everything had been within his calculations. He didn’t make a single mistake, and he was extremely precise even with their timed explosive bomb.

The only thing he hadn’t predicted was the final explosion’s force and impact.

The timed explosive was placed beneath all the stationary cannon shells. There had been at least tens of thousands of stationary cannon shells, possibly more, that they hadn’t been able to take away.

Huo Yuhao’s goal had been simple; he wanted to destroy the underground warehouse, and he wanted the explosion to vaporize all the rare metals that they couldn’t take away, along with all the low-level soul tools. That way, the Sun Moon Empire’s invasion plans would be delayed by the tremendous losses.

According to Huo Yuhao’s estimations of the stationary cannon shells, the explosive impact would only spread for one kilometer because the detonation was one hundred meters beneath the surface. The explosion would trigger an enormous earthquake, and the Illustrious Virtue Hall would take the full force of this disaster, as they were located right next to it! 
The Sun Moon Empire would suffer unimaginable losses if this underground warehouse and the Illustrious Virtue Hall were destroyed at the same time, and that had been enough for him.

What Huo Yuhao didn’t know was that there was another underground warehouse, dug out beneath the Illustrious Virtue Hall. This warehouse was even more protected and guarded than the one they had found, and a total of sixteen Class 9 stationary cannon shells were stored there. The explosion he had triggered awakened these tools of destruction slumbering deep beneath the ground.

Sixteen Class 9 stationary soul cannon shells, in addition to tens of thousands of stationary soul cannon shells below Class 5… everything compounded to create this calamity within Radiant City.

The Lightless Day of Destruction.

It was a day that the Sun Moon Empire would remember forever. ------

Shrek Academy’s team finally escaped into the western mountains. However, everyone felt as if their legs were going soft. They couldn’t imagine how anybody could survive the core of that frightening explosion.

“Let’s take a break,” Elder Xuan ordered with a black look on his face.

Elder Xuan was still holding Huo Yuhao, who seemed as lifeless as a zombie iniside his soul tool, and quickly pulled him to one side. He lowered his voice and said, “Everyone from the Tang Sect, come here. Wang Qiu’er, Lexuan, come here as well.”

Everyone lowered their heads and walked over briskly as they heard Elder Xuan’s solemn voice. The other powerful individuals from the academy had the same thought. It can’t be. The explosion within Radiant City was actually caused by…

Nobody could stop this thought from flooding their minds, and everyone’s eyes turned slack. 
Elder Xuan placed Huo Yuhao’s soul tool on the ground. He lowered his voice and said, “Open it and come out.”

Huo Yuhao opened his human-shaped soul tool like a robot and revealed his ghastly pale face. Wang Dong’er hurriedly came forward and helped him out.

Elder Xuan stared at Huo Yuhao, and then at the others around him. His face seemed as solemn as could be as he said, “Who’s going to tell me what happened? Speak now.”

The lifelessness look in Huo Yuhao’s eyes vanished, and his eyes became focused once more. He raised his head determinedly and said, “I did it, Elder Xuan. I was the one who set everything up. We discovered one of the Sun Moon Empire’s underground warehouses, and there were a lot of rare metals stored inside, along with hosts of soul tools and stationary soul cannon shells. I buried a timed explosive bomb beneath the stationary cannon shells.”

Elder Xuan drew a cold breath. He had already guessed it, but he could still feel the immense impact when he heard it from Huo Yuhao’s mouth. He couldn’t help but say, “Yuhao, Yuhao! Do you know how many lives will have been lost, how many innocent citizens have died? We have to be the Continent’s guardians, not its executioners. You… you…”

Huo Yuhao lowered his head and clenched his fists tightly. “This was all my fault, Elder Xuan. I will not push away my responsibility, and you can punish me in any way you wish. But can we settle that after we leave the western mountains? My Spiritual Detection should still be useful for everyone.”

“Huo Yuhao can’t take all the blame, Elder Xuan,” Wang Dong’er held Huo Yuhao tightly in her embrace, and sounded very  emotional.  “We  didn’t  know  this  would  happen.  Huo Yuhao discovered that underground warehouse with his Spiritual Detection, and he risked damage to his own spirit by separating his spiritual avatar today so that he could lead us into that underground warehouse, even though he was in a perilous situation himself. He did all that so that we could collect enough rare metals for the Tang Sect and the Academy’s future development. At the same time, he wanted to see if we could set the Sun Moon Empire back in some way so that we could disrupt their invasion plans in the future.

“Huo Yuhao led us after we entered the underground palace, and we found where the rare metals were stored. There was just too much in there, so much that the Sun Moon Empire could easily mass produce soul tools for war. We went deeper inside, until we reached the third floor, where the manufactured soul tools were. We took the high-level stationary soul cannon shells and left everything else. Only
those things could have detonated.

“Huo Yuhao calculated it carefully. That place was one hundred meters below the surface, and its structure was exceptionally reinforced. The explosive impact wouldn’t be that great even if an explosion was triggered inside the warehouse. Yuhao estimated that a small earthquake would occur, and the surface would tremble a little intensely, at most. Our main goal was to destroy the soul tools stored within that warehouse, and it would be great if the explosive force could destroy some of the rare metals outside. At the same time, the sounds produced by the explosion would give him an opportunity to escape the western suburbs.

“Thus, we went ahead with the plan. We don’t know why the explosive force suddenly became so powerful. Everything has far exceeded our expectations, while the outcome was also very abnormal. Huo Yuhao just wanted delay the Sun Moon Empire’s invasion plans. Think about it, Elder Xuan. This incident that has led to so much bloodshed and so many lives lost is truly an accident. However, such a circumstance only happened because some other unknown explosives were triggered. If those explosives, along with the soul tools and stationary cannon shells that we destroyed, were used in their invasion, so many more people would have died. I’m afraid that number might have been ten times or even one hundred
times more than the lives that were lost today. Therefore, I don’t think Yuhao did anything wrong. If you wish to punish him, then punish me too. I support everything that he’s done.”

Wang Dong’er’s voice was unwaveringly determined as she clasped Huo Yuhao’s right hand tightly.

Suffering bred true intimacy. Dong’er is standing with me at such a crucial moment. She wasn’t terrified by that frightening explosion, and she hasn’t chided or scolded me at all. She’s supporting me!

Huo Yuhao’s astonishment, agony, guilt, helplessness, self- blame, and all his other negative emotions receded conspicuously in the face of her stubborn support. His psychological and mental strength had always been superior to the average person’s, and his lover was standing with him at a time like this. Huo Yuhao’s eyes were already determined, but now they began to flare with even more perseverance and fortitude. 
Wang Qiu’er walked out and stared at Elder Xuan as she said, “Even if you insist on blaming someone, Huo Yuhao can’t take all the blame. He was only in his spiritual form at the time, and he couldn’t do anything at all. Dong’er, Xiao Xiao, and I were the ones who installed that timed explosive bomb, so we are the perpetrators. And if we are, then so be it. Things have already turned out this way, so there’s no point talking about it anymore.”

Wang Qiu’er’s words displayed her unswerving toughness, in contrast to Wang Dong’er’s reasonable argument. Her personality didn’t change one bit, even though she was speaking to Elder Xuan.

Xiao Xiao nodded and said, “Yes, Qiu’er is right. The three of us are the perpetrators. This has nothing to do with Huo Yuhao. He was just helping us calculate, and only the three of us could execute any actual operations. We were the ones who made the final decision.”

Huo Yuhao forced a laugh and said, “You guys don’t have to help me carry this responsibility. A mistake is a mistake, and now that I think about it, triggering an explosion in that warehouse probably triggered an explosion in another warehouse. Those explosives were likely to be high-level soul tools stored within Illustrious Virtue Hall. I should have thought about that. Our explosion was so close to the Illustrious Virtue Hall, after all! Destroying the Illustrious Virtue Hall was part of our plan, but I was too eager to accomplish that, and being eager for success led to this disaster. Many innocent citizens are probably dead, especially so because the Continental Elite Youth Soul Master Tournament was still ongoing. There were surely many travelers in Radiant City.”

He pressed his lips tightly together after this sentence. Even though he didn’t like the Sun Moon Empire, the empire’s citizens were innocent, and the consequences of this disaster were unimaginable. He had no idea what the actual death count was like inside Radiant City.

Elder Xuan’s emotions had settled down a little. He was about to say something when an amiable, but somewhat authoritative voice rang out.

“Elder Xuan, this matter has nothing to do with them at all. Yuhao and I were the ones who planned the whole thing, and I am the Tang Sect’s eldest senior brother, so I was the one who had the final say in whether we carried out this operation. All this would never have happened if I hadn’t made that decision. I am no longer worthy of staying in the inner courtyard, and I request the Academy expel me as punishment.”

Bei Bei’s voice was calm, but determined. His face was still a little pale, but he could move now. Bei Bei slowly walked in front of Huo Yuhao and stood between him and Elder Yuan.

Elder Xuan’s eyes shone as he stared at Bei Bei and waited for him to continue.

Chapter 352: Sacrifical Offering

Bei Bei met Elder Xuan’s eyes and continued, “If one person has to be blamed for this, then I am the one to blame, because I was the one who approved this operation. Elder Xuan, I’m not trying to take their responsibility away from them, but I will not attempt to lessen my own. No matter how and why this thing happened, I was still the one who made the final decision. The outcome and consequences have far exceeded our judgments and expectations, and it’s true that we have taken many lives. Nobody wished to see this happen, because these citizens are innocent even though they reside within our enemy’s territory. We will take full responsibility for this. I can only say that over at the Academy, the entire Tang Sect will pull out of the inner courtyard except for Huo Yuhao. This way, the Tang Sect can take full responsibility if word of this incident does get out, and the Academy’s reputation won’t be affected.

“However, Huo Yuhao cannot leave the academy. You should remember that Elder Mu has instructed us that Yuhao is to be the subsequent generation’s Master of the Sea God’s Pavilion. This mistake happened because of my inadequate command and leadership, so he shouldn’t be the one to bear all the responsibility. Furthermore, you’ve seen the things he can do with your own eyes; he is the academy’s future! If Yuhao is allowed to truly grow up, Shrek will always be the Continent’s number-one Academy.”

Elder Xuan shook his head and said, “Alright, I know how everything happened, and I trust you guys. Get some rest. We’ll get going in fifteen minutes.”

Elder Xuan surveyed everyone with calm eyes after that before turning and leaving without saying anything else.

---

Xu Sanshi came up beside Bei Bei. They were both quite severely injured, and these two brothers exchanged a look as Xu Sanshi couldn’t help but ask, “What’s this? Is that it?”

He Caitou touched his round and bald head as he said, “I think there was nothing much to this in the first place, and you guys are overthinking things. What else can happen? Everything has already happened. “Furthermore, nobody knows that we were the perpetrators. The truth is, I think Dong’er’s speech swayed Elder Xuan the most. How many people would have died if such frightening weapons had been used on the battlefield instead? This enormous explosion occurred underground where it was sealed off, and even then it had such a tremendous effect on the surface. What if this explosion went off on the surface instead? I calculated the explosion’s force, and I can tell from its impact that this explosion was equivalent to ten or more Class 9 stationary cannon shells going off at the same time!

“What are Class 9 stationary cannon shells? A single one can destroy an entire small city, and it can wipe out an entire legion out of existence! This explosion was intense and violent, but I believe the death count isn’t as high as it seems, either.”

“Why?” Xiao Xiao asked doubtfully. “That explosion seemed to sweep across the entire city. Dust and smoke billowed throughout the sky, and there were also terrifying shockwaves! It felt like the apocalypse was upon us!”

He Caitou answered, “Trust the professional. Little junior brother was involved, so he couldn’t calculate as calmly as I did. Let me ask you, little junior brother... how thick were the warehouse’s walls, and what were they made of?” 
Huo  Yuhao  replied  without  hesitation.  “The  walls  were constructed mainly of alloys and granite. The alloys were more than two meters thick, and the granite behind them was at least fifteen meters thick. Their design during construction probably relied on the alloys’ toughness and the granite’s thickness and hardness for perfect underground support and defense.”

He Caitou nodded. “That’s it. Since that’s the case, the first instant after the great explosion in this large underground warehouse would have released enormous amounts of heat that would have expanded outwards. However, that expansion process would have been barricaded by so many tough blockades. How much force could leak onto the surface?

“I believe your calculations are correct. The release of high temperatures that were compressed within the underground warehouse from this vigorous explosion would definitely destroy those soul tools, while most of the rare metals would melt, and some would be mixed with stone and gravel and thus would no longer be usable. I believe we have perfectly achieved our goal, and the only problem that we didn’t think about was that the expanding heat caused some Class 9 stationary soul cannon shells stored in another nearby warehouse to detonate! “That warehouse was used to store Class 9 shells, so that means its defenses and layering must have been a lot tougher and stronger than the warehouse you guys were in. Illustrious Virtue Hall had been robbed before, so they’ve learned their lesson from that experience. How could they not be careful?”

“Therefore, if the underground defenses were so strong, the explosive impact wouldn’t shift horizontally. Instead, it would be pressed to explode upwards, and the explosion caused those vigorous tremors and a minor earthquake, just as Huo Yuhao had predicted. However, those Class 9 stationary soul cannon shells increased this earthquake’s magnitude. The hurricane of sand and stone that we saw earlier came from the sand and stone that this explosion carried into the sky, and it swept across the entire city. But the region at the explosion’s epicenter suffered the heaviest losses, and that region is far smaller than one-third of Radiant City.

“People will die, and the number won’t be small. However, claiming that one-third of the entire city’s population will die is impossible. Destroying those underground warehouses was the real blow that we have dealt the Sun Moon Empire this time.” Huo Yuhao nodded continuously as he listened to He Caitou’s analysis. He felt a lot better with his second senior brother’s reminders, and his train of thought cleared up. Some of He Caitou’s words were shots in the dark, but not everything he had said came from pure conjecture. Huo Yuhao dug into his memory and confirmed He Caitou’s analysis.

Xiao Xiao laughed and said, “When did you become so smart, Caitou? Why haven’t I felt this way before?”

“Uh…” He Caitou immediately felt as if he had spoken a little too much today. He smiled sheepishly and said, “I was worried that little junior brother would overthink things. I want to take this opinion to Elder Xuan, and I think he will find this matter a lot easier to accept if I do that.” He Caitou instantly tucked his tail in and ran away.

Jiang Nannan heaved a faint sigh and said, “War is the cruelest thing. I hope our actions will delay the war, and it would be better still if the war didn’t happen at all.”

Huo Yuhao shook his head and said, “That’ll be very difficult. The Holy Ghost Church is strong, and Xu Tianran is wildly ambitious. They will sustain heavy losses from this, but what we have done is far from enough to extinguish his wolvish ambitions.”

I’m sorry, Radiant City. Fourth senior sister is right; war is the cruelest thing, and what I have to do as an Ultimate Soldier is to rely on just myself in a war against my enemies. Even though many people have died this time, I will not regret my actions, because I have prevented more from being sacrificed in a war, and now we have more time to prepare.

Bei Bei chimed in. “This matter will have nothing to do with the Tang Sect as long as the Academy doesn’t speak about it. After all, we are not the Sun Moon Empire’s only suspects. The Body Sect is adept at moving through the ground, and they are lot more suspicious than we are.”

Xu  Sanshi  mused,  “Pushing  the  blame  to  others...  that sounds  a  little  evil.”   He  paused  for  moment  before  he continued, “But, why do I feel like I like it…?”

Jiang Nannan snapped, “That’s because the two of you are equally thick-skinned!” ------

------

“Who was it!? Who was it!?”  Xu Tianran roared furiously, and his indignant voice echoed throughout the Imperial Palace.

Many people were helping out with the wounded and treating them at this moment, as numbers and data continued pouring in.

Just as He Caitou had predicted, the death count from this incident wasn’t that serious. However, the Sun Moon Empire’s financial losses were immeasurable!

Uncountable structures inside the Imperial Palace had collapsed, but the servants were all working because it was daytime, and thus hardly anybody was buried in the rubble. Furthermore, the interior structures of soul tools were tough. Even so, voluminous amounts of money would be required to repair and restore the Imperial Palace. Many of the Imperial Palace’s soul tools were damaged by the intense shockwaves, let alone its various structures.

Other than that, enormous patches of structures had collapsed, with the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy at the epicenter. The city’s death count and injury count continued to rise, and the loss of life and livelihood was severe, even though the losses weren’t as high as the mighty explosion should have inflicted.

Xu Tianran wouldn’t wince at some of his citizens’ deaths. What made him feel so much pain and agony was that the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy and Illustrious Virtue Hall had vanished from Radiant City. Large amounts of the resources that were stored in those underground warehouses were gone too!

They represented the basis of his invasion plans. Everything was gone... what did that mean? It meant his plans had been pushed back indefinitely! Furthermore, the Sun Moon Empire had trouble sustaining these losses, even though they were exceptionally wealthy!

--- 
Jing Hongchen almost vomited blood when he discovered that the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy was at the explosion’s epicenter, and nearly fainted on the spot. The Illustrious Virtue Hall was the basis of everything that he was, and this explosion would push the Sun Moon Empire’s research progress back years. There was no need to mention the number of people from Illustrious Virtue Hall who had perished in the explosion.

The only reason why Jing Hongchen didn’t pass away from anger was because he had been keeping his grandchildren beside him this entire time, because he had felt that the recent situation was a little unstable. Xiao Hongchen had been heavily wounded, and Xu Tianran took the initiative and brought him into the Imperial Palace for treatment. Because of that, Jing Hongchen’s grandchildren survived the blast peacefully.

If his precious grandson and granddaughter had died in the blast, Jing Hongchen would have expelled every single ounce of his life energy in a mouthful of blood.

“Your Highness, Your Highness! It’s not good!” A vigorously trembling voice was carried from far away as a servant scrambled towards Xu Tianran. He was clearly grieving and despondent.

Xu Tianran retorted angrily, “What’s not good? Everything’s happened because of you bastards calling out ominously!”

“Your Highness, the Emperor… the Emperor… he has passed away…” 
Xu Tianran’s furious face instantly froze when he heard those words. A strange light flickered beneath his eyes – this seemed to be the only piece of good news amidst his colossal losses today. The emperor’s death meant that he, who was the crown prince, had a chance to ascend to the throne. He had enough influence and power to support him in his bid for the throne, and the strongest resistance that he faced came from Xu Guozhong’s lineage. But how could Xu Guozhong survive that tremendous explosion?

Suddenly, everything doesn’t seem all that bad…

Xu Tianran gritted his teeth as he looked up at the troupe of evil soul masters who had already gathered in the sky. He suddenly  cried  out  painfully,  “Father,  father!  How  can  you leave just like that?” Two lines of tears streamed down his cheeks, but nobody knew whether they came from grief, or from regret.

…… There were mountains all around, and not a single ray of sunlight shone through.

This was the center of the Sun Moon Empire’s Western Mountains, and this gigantic valley was more than five kilometers around. This valley was exceptionally spherical.

The valley sank down into a hemisphere, and the bottom was filled with clear lake water. The lake water gleamed, and it was so clear and crystalline that the lakebed could be seen.

Several shadows broke the tranquility of this place right at this moment. They were soaring through the sky, and they quickly arrived above the lake’s surface.

One would realize upon closer inspection that there were four people. Two of them had black veils covering their faces, while they each carried someone in their hands – one was a young man, and the other was a young girl.

The young man and the young girl were crying out in alarm and surprise. However, they couldn’t’ move at all, and they couldn’t struggle even if they wanted to. 
The two people in black swiftly brought them to the center of the lake and hovered in midair.

They stared at the water beneath them, and they raised their captives above their heads.

“You… what are you trying to do?” The young man shouted dismally with a trembling voice.

One of their captors answered him. His voice sounded a little husky as he said, “We want to organize a grand sacrificial rite, and we need a living human as our sacrifice. We happen to have captured the two of you, who also happen to be married to each other. Speak now – who wishes to be sacrificed? We will let the other person go.”

“No, please! I beg you, let us go!”  Judging by her age, the young girl didn’t seem like she had been married for long. Her voice was quivering at this moment, but she stared at her husband with a pleading and begging look in her eyes. Her husband stared back at her with sluggish eyes. Suddenly, he roared at the top of his voice, “I don’t want to die! I don’t want to die! Use her! Use her as your sacrifice!”

The wife stared at her husband, who she had had made vows with, and her eyes were filled with disbelief.

“How… how can you do that? Didn’t you say that you would protect me with your life? You… you’re such a liar!”

Her husband howled hysterically, “We only live once, and this life is gone when we die. What about you? Do you think you’re any better? What was that look in your eyes before this? Don’t you want me to sacrifice myself for you? I’m so nice and good to you, so why won’t you sacrifice yourself for me so that I can live?”

“Nonsense! I…  I want to live, but I only want to live with you. Go to hell – you’re the one who should die. Kill him, kill him!”  The wife’s emotions had become a little hysterical and distraught. Two chilly lights flashed and slashed the couple’s throats at the same time. Fresh blood erupted from their gaping wounds like a fountain and poured onto the lake’s surface beneath them.

The couple’s eyes were filled with incredulity and disbelief, and they seemed like they wanted to ask something, but they were just no longer able to do so.

One  of  their  captors  muttered  disdainfully,  “This  is  the fickleness of human nature, and everyone goes their separate ways when disaster arrives. How many times have we done this? This has never failed before. This place is quite peculiar, though – it can only be primed by the lives and blood of a man and woman who are in love but betray each other in the end.”

The other man in black lowered his voice and said, “Cut the crap. Quickly, drain them of their blood so that we can go back and make a successful report on our task. This place will be activated two hours after it has been primed, and even saints can’t escape from this when that time arrives. Any humans inside will be…” The first man in black seemed to recall something, and said nothing more.

The couple’s blood was swiftly drained, and their lives came to an end.

“Kerplunk, kerplunk.”  Two corpses plunged into the lake, and the two men in black turned and soared into the sky. They departed rapidly, as if they were running from something, and vanished in the blink of an eye.

In the few minutes after they disappeared, the lake’s surface began to ripple and surge. The couple had just dropped into the lake, but their blood undulated and gradually began to lighten as strange colors started to appear.

Those were golden and silver hues. Golden light flickered while the silver light rippled, and they permeated the lake’s surroundings at an alarming rate…

…… “Let’s go.” Elder Xuan instructed the company.

Shrek Academy’s company immediately set out once more after their short rest and continued westward. They had no other choice at this point.

The colossal explosion in the middle of Radiant City would undoubtedly end this season’s grand competition without proper closure. The Douluo Continent’s three main countries’ tense relationships with the Sun Moon Empire would undoubtedly be aggravated because of this explosion as well.

The Sun Moon Empire’s citizens probably hadn’t really supported war before this, but it wasn’t hard to imagine what their opinions would be like after this incident.

Elder Xuan’s expression seemed a little better after he listened to He Caitou’s explanation. If the Sun Moon Empire’s death count wasn’t as bad as it seemed, then their operation could only be described as impeccable.

The company could only progress through the Western Mountains because they were afraid that flying through the air would draw attacks from the Sun Moon Empire’s long-range soul tools. Everyone in the company was relatively powerful, and they scaled hill after hill as they pushed forward. They arrived within the Western Mountains’ inner regions in no time.

However, a strange atmosphere appeared right at this moment.

“This place looks very familiar –  I think we were here two hours ago.” Huo Yuhao was back inside his human-shaped soul tool. He had plugged one Class 6 Milk Bottle in each of the machine’s reserve slots – with these two Milk Bottles supporting him, he could spare a lot more energy to recover his spiritual power and his soul power throughout the journey.

The Western Mountain could present unforeseen problems and obstacles, so Huo Yuhao had his Spiritual Detection activated this entire time. He alternated between different directions as he surveyed and scouted far into the distance, searching for problems that might appear.

He hadn’t discovered anything throughout their journey so far, but the feeling that something was wrong became stronger and stronger.

Huo Yuhao didn’t know why he was feeling that, but he was confident that something bad was about to befall them. The ominous feeling in his mind seemed to mature at this moment.

“Stop, everyone.”  Elder Xuan drifted over to Huo Yuhao’s side. He had always had faith in Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power. “Are you saying that we’ve circled back? Can it be that there is a maze inside the Western Mountains? Such a problem shouldn’t occur with our ability to discern direction and our navigational abilities.”

Elder Xuan looked up at the stars in the night sky as he spoke. Observing the stars at night had always been a good way of telling direction.

Huo Yuhao lowered his voice and said, “I am positive, Elder Xuan, that we’ve been to this place before. The reason is because I did a single-direction sweep in this place before, and there are still some remnant spiritual imprints of that on the plants around us. That can’t be wrong.” Elder Xuan’s expression instantly grew solemn. He was a Rank 98 Transcendent Douluo, a powerful being who was almost an Ultimate Douluo, yet not even he had detected anything wrong. They were going around in circles, and this proved that the situation was quite serious.

“What do you think we should do?” Elder Xuan lowered his voice as he asked Huo Yuhao.

Huo Yuhao answered, “The sky is too dark at this moment. I’ve attempted to reach far into the distance with Spiritual Detection, but the further I go, the less clear our surroundings become. I can only feel out the rough landscape, but I’m unable to use my spiritual power to do any in-depth observations. Should we rest and wait for daybreak? Dawn is coming soon.”

Elder Xuan nodded and said, “Alright, let’s wait for daybreak then. Rest where you are everyone, and stay together. Don’t get separated from each other – Lexuan, you’re responsible for arranging the shifts for night watch. Those who are resting, meditate as soon as possible.”

Zhang Lexuan immediately went ahead to arrange the night shifts. She was the inner courtyard’s eldest senior sister, and she was also part of the Sea God’s Pavilion, so she had always been efficient at arranging such things. It didn’t take long before a small-scale campsite was established on a location that was relatively higher than their surroundings. Several Titled Douluo, including the Martial God Douluo Xian Lin’er, rested near the edge of the campsite so that they could protect everyone.

There were five Titled Douluo who were part of Elder Xuan’s company, and there were four Transcendent Douluo, including Elder Xuan. However, they had quite a few people to protect. The Tang Sect comprised the largest group – Bei Bei, He Caitou, Xu Sanshi, Jiang Nannan, Xiao Xiao, Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong’er, Ji Juechen, Jing Ziyan, Nan Qiuqiu, and Na Na. There was also one other person that Huo Yuhao had roped in for the operation last night, and that was Gao Dalou, who possessed a ranked carving knife of his own. Huo Yuhao had used some rare metals to completely bring this self-established soul engineer over to his side.

Besides the Tang Sect’s company, the Titled Douluo also had to protect the team from Shrek Academy who had come to participate in the tournament – Wang Qiu’er, Dai Huabin, Zhu Lu, Zhou Enchen, Cao Jinxuan, Lan Susu, Lan Luoluo, Wu Feng, Ning Tian, and Xie Huanyue. In addition to their eldest senior sister, Zhang Lexuan, these Titled Douluo had quite a few people to protect.

The six Titled Douluo’s most important task was to escort these people – there were more than twenty of them – safely back to Shrek Academy.

Dai Huabin and the others from Shrek Academy’s team were full of doubt and suspicion as they watched the mysterious and secretive looks on the others from the Tang Sect. They were deeply shaken by the frightening explosion before this, and they also noticed that Elder Xuan had inquired of the Tang Sect’s company in private – did that mean the Tang Sect had something to do with that explosion?

The Tang Sect’s company naturally huddled together. They had hustled throughout the night, and Huo Yuhao was naturally the most exhausted one. He almost instantly entered meditation, and his fatigued expression didn’t look so good under the firelight. 
Wang Dong’er walked discreetly beside Wang Qiu’er and whispered, “Can I discuss something with you, Qiu’er?”

“What?” Wang Qiu’er replied coldly.

Wang Dong’er continued, “Huo Yuhao is too exhausted today. Furthermore, he’ll have reconnaissance duties when dawn comes, so he has to recover his energy as quickly as possible. We can both fuse our martial souls with him, so will he recover faster if the three of us cultivate together? Therefore, I’m asking that you…”

Wang Qiu’er’s eyes undulated for a single moment as she gave Wang Dong’er a deep stare. Wang Dong’er was also staring at her, and their gazes met as Wang Qiu’er saw the clarity in Wang Dong’er’s eyes. She finally nodded.

Wang Dong’er was elated as she hurriedly said, “Thank you, Qiu’er.” The two girls arrived beside Huo Yuhao. Wang Dong’er sat opposite him, while Wang Qiu’er sat behind him. Wang Qiu’er raised her palms and placed them on Huo Yuhao’s back as Wang Dong’er carefully placed her hands on Huo Yuhao’s. She channeled their Haodong power before she raised his palms
and placed hers against them.

Huo Yuhao was too familiar with cultivating with Wang Dong’er. Even though he was already in meditation, he immediately felt it when their Haodong power began to circulate, and he naturally started to cooperate. His recovery would undoubtedly be a lot faster and more efficient with Wang Dong’er’s help.

However, a wave of powerful soul power flowed in from his back at this moment. In the beginning, this soul power seemed a little violent as it barged around, but the three different soul powers quivered when this third soul power interacted with Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’er’s Haodong power before all three strands began to interact and intertwine.

There were three different entities intertwined together, but they could also be counted as two, because the Haodong power was one body in itself. Wang Qiu’er’s soul power came afterwards. 
Wang Qiu’er’s soul power was still overbearing and felt a little forceful, but this forcefulness didn’t carry any impact. Instead, it began to circulate and rotate once it interacted with the Haodong power, and its color also began to change.

Huo Yuhao sensed, to his surprise, that the purplish-golden hues that had reigned supreme on the competition stage and defeated the Bone Dragon, Yan Feng, appeared once more.

This wasn’t a martial soul fusion skill. Instead, it was a direction fusion between their soul powers. That purplish- golden soul power began to flow through Huo Yuhao’s body, and every passageway felt smooth, as if it had been warmed and ironed. Hu Yuhao’s spiritual power seemed like it was being encompassed and boosted within all those purplish- golden colors.

Huo Yuhao’s entire body felt transparent, and his circulation was smooth and unobstructed. That sensation was just fantastic, and it didn’t take long before Huo Yuhao’s passageways became entirely purplish-golden in color, and even his spiritual sea was blanketed with a faint layer of purplish-golden light. Huo Yuhao wasn’t the only person who enjoyed this pleasant and comfortable feeling – Wang Dong’er and Wang Qiu’er shared the same sensations.

Wang Dong’er discovered to her surprise that their cultivation didn’t just sublimate when Wang Qiu’er added her soul power into the mix. Furthermore, her soul power fusion with Huo Yuhao seemed a lot tighter and more intimate than before. Their soul power circulated more rapidly when it flowed into her body, and it even expanded her passageways as it boosted her qi and blood.

Wang Dong’er had light-type abilities, while Huo Yuhao’s main martial soul was spiritual-type. Wang Qiu’er’s forte was strength, and this strength represented the body and the body’s blood vessels. These three entities complemented each other as mysterious lights flickered on their faces amidst the emanating purplish-golden colors.

Elder Xuan quickly noticed their transformations, and walked over at once.

On the surface, Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong’er, and Wang Qiu’er’s faces undulated with a faint and elegant but mysterious purple color, while this purple color became stronger as they continued to cultivate before it gradually turned purplish-gold. This purplish-golden light cocooned them, and the three of them seemed like they had integrated into one body. Elder Xuan could even feel their sublimation through their cultivation from the outside.

Elder Xuan exhaled deeply and nodded in approval inside. A three-way martial soul fusion skill could only be described as miraculous in the world of soul masters. Even though there were many question and doubts in his mind that he wanted to ask Huo Yuhao, especially about his necromantic abilities and his battle against the Angel, Ye Guyi, now clearly wasn’t the time to pose these questions. I’ll bring them up in the morning.

One of the most important reasons why Elder Xuan had held Huo Yuhao accountable for the great explosion inside Radiant City before this was because his faith in Huo Yuhao had been shaken, and that was due to Huo Yuhao’s display of abilities that only evil soul masters could possess. However, Elder Xuan could feel the vast, righteous, and pleasant soul power undulations from the three of them, and he felt a little ashamed. Could somebody with a heart towards evil possess soul power like this? Elder Xuan shook his head self-mockingly as he sat down close to the three of them with his legs crossed and personally stood guard for them.

The Martial God Douluo, Xian Lin’er, watched over Shrek Academy’s other soul masters. She was the Soul Tool Department’s Dean, and she glanced at Huo Yuhao from time to time. That was a human-shaped soul tool, and she would have contended with Elder Xuan if now had been the right time.

Everything seemed quiet and peaceful. However, what Shrek Academy’s group of powerful individuals didn’t know was that a thick fog was starting to permeate the Western Mountains. The entire mountain range seemed to come alive as peculiar transformations began to take place.

……

“How’s  the  situation  looking?”   The  Sun  Moon  Empire’s crown prince, Xu Tianran, was dressed in mourning clothes as he asked with a solemn look on his face. The empire’s defense minister was on one knee in front of him as he lowered his voice and said, “The situation has been stabilized, but we have sustained heavy losses, especially in our structures and buildings. The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy has been completely destroyed, and the Illustrious Virtue Hall’s underground structures are probably…”

Xu Tianran waved him away and said, “I don’t want to hear about our losses. I’m asking you about the citizens’ feelings and what they’re thinking.”

The  defense  minister  replied,  “The  citizens’  emotions  are highly unstable, especially so for the families whose members have died or are injured. Many people have no homes to return to. There are many outsiders who came to spectate the tournament that have died or been injured as well.”

Xu Tianran nodded and said, “Pass the order –  muster our resources in nearby cities and immediately begin providing aid for the victims as much as possible. Assemble our armies and bring them into the city to maintain order. Kill those who dare to cause trouble and take advantage of the chaos. Kill those naysayers and those who try to turn the people against the empire. Kill those who dare to plunder or rape. We have to stabilize the situation as quickly as possible. Mark this day as National Funeral Day, and make sure that the news of the emperor’s passing doesn’t leak out. You will personally publicize and push the blame for this explosion on the Star Luo and Heavenly Soul Empires.”

“Yes.”  The defense minister acknowledged respectfully. He admired the Prince Regent for settling down as quickly as possible, and Xu Tianran was still able to handle things properly and react accordingly even though so many things had happened one after another. This was the mark of a true ruler!

“How about Shrek Academy, your highness? This matter is likely to be connected to them. When we are announcing to the public…”

Xu Tianran shook his head and said, “Don’t mention them. Shrek Academy is just an academy after all, and they are considered spiritual leaders for many soul masters at the same time. Dragging them into the fray will affect our strategy. I have my own plans to deal with them.”

“Yes. I’ll take my leave, then.” 
“Go. Providing aid for the victims is our priority, and we have  to  stabilize  them  as  soon  as  possible.”   Xu  Tianran reiterated once more.

The defense minister departed, and the mysterious Imperial Tutor dressed in black quickly walked in without announcing his arrival. He seemed to be in a good mood.

“How’s the situation looking, Imperial Tutor?”  Xu Tianran asked with a concerned look on his face.

The mysterious Imperial Tutor replied, “This incident has been greatly beneficial for my sect, and multiple powerful individuals from my sect have taken this opportunity to break through their bottlenecks. However, there’s one issue that hasn’t been dealt with properly – the Heavenly Soul Empire, the Star Luo Empire, and the Body Sect have all escaped. They actually prepared large amounts of drilling soul tools, and they used them to send their main members away. According to the holes that we’ve discovered, they managed to send out hundreds of people. Those that remain are scattered amongst the citizens, and it will be difficult to seek them out.” Xu Tianran’s expression became a little contorted as he smacked his left palm heavily with his right fist. “Shit! I should have considered that. Those irritating rodents ambushed the Illustrious Virtue Hall before. When Hallmaster Hongchen wakes up, we have to enhance the entire city’s underground monitoring and surveying mechanisms. They must have been the ones who triggered the explosion in the underground warehouses – there’s no way to break into those warehouses besides drilling through the ground.”

What happened at those underground warehouses had become a mystery after the explosion, and nobody knew exactly how things had played out. Xu Tianran could only push the blame on the Star Luo Empire and the Heavenly Soul Empire because that was most beneficial for him, and so that he could have more reason to launch an invasion against them in the future.

The Imperial Tutor sounded solemn as he said, “You have sustained severe losses this time. Your Highness – oh, no, I should address you as ‘Your Majesty’ now. Your Majesty, when are you going to mobilize your armies?”

He was the Holy Ghost Sect’s founder, and he was the one who controlled those evil soul masters. Nobody was more eager for this war than he was, since the arrival of this war meant there would be uncountable spirits for the Holy Ghost Sect to make use of.

Xu  Tianran  contemplated  momentarily,  then  said,  “This incident was too sudden. Stabilizing the citizens and the city has top priority at the moment. Furthermore, the destruction of the underground warehouses and the Illustrious Virtue Hall was too damaging for us, and most of our soul tools that had been prepared for the war were destroyed. If you are willing to give your sect’s full strength, Imperial Tutor, we might be able to launch an invasion earlier. But…”

The Imperial Tutor shook his head decisively and interrupted him. “We can only aid you from the shadows, and we cannot give our full strength. The world of soul masters has never accepted us. Even though we have enough strength to protect ourselves, openly participating in this war will undoubtedly draw out the other sects that have been hiding from the world. If that happens, it will be very difficult for you to execute your strategy and your plan. I think the war can be delayed, but we have to take this opportunity to intensify the citizens’ hate for those two empires. We have to continue adding more soldiers and training them, and we have to build soul tools with everything we have so that we can make sufficient preparations for the war. Since we’ve already antagonized them openly, we have to make sure that our armies are equipped and prepared as early as possible. It’s alright if nothing happens, but once we unleash our armies, we have to take them all down in one heavy and fatal blow.

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