Unrivaled Tang Sect Volume 34

Book 34: The Calm Before the Storm

Chapter 452: Broken Meridians

Just as the black and red clashed, the twelve Titled Douluo staggered a few steps back. The Shattered Star Douluo did his best to protect everyone from Shrek Academy from the explosive burst of strength.

“Let’s retreat a little further first!” the Shattered Star Douluo shouted. He immediately unleashed his Light of Shattered Stars, which engulfed everyone. After this, he proceeded to a point lower in the mountain with all of them.

If they continued to remain here, they would very soon be killed by this clash between two Ultimate Douluo!

The two of them were simply too strong. The shockwaves from their clash were already very terrifying.

The black dragon claws were forced back, but they didn’t sustain any harm.
 
“Bloody Demonpuppet. So that’s your martial soul! It relies on devouring spirits to evolve. It seems like you haven’t just harmed soul beasts, but also many humans. This so-called Death God is simply a manifestation of your martial soul. How many avenging spirits do you kill every time you manifest it in this form? Every avenging spirit can only be collected after a live human being is killed. Even soul beasts can’t be replenished. I don’t care if you kill humans, but you’ve killed too many of my people. I’ll use your life to avenge all of them.”

As he spoke, ‘Huo Yuhao’ peered into the sky and let out a dragon’s roar. He lifted both his hands in the air, his palms facing upward. The space behind him tore apart, and a huge dragon head slowly poked out. Pitch-black dragon flames carrying spots of golden starlight were unleashed on Ye Xishui.

The surrounding space blew apart just as the dragon flames were unleashed. The blood-red light was torn apart, and the entire mountain started to distort. A terrifying force tore apart the spatial barriers and bore down on Ye Xishui as if it were a great river.

The Bloody Demonpuppet behind Ye Xishui shone brightly. Her own body also turned into a streak of red light that fused into the back of the Bloody Demonpuppet as her seventh soul
 
ring shone. The Bloody Demonpuppet expanded as it moved through the air. Rings of red light resisted the onslaught of the dragon roars defiantly.

Intense explosions started to ensue, and the entire mountain started to compress down under their terrifying strength.

The Death God Pagoda finally moved. It was shaking slightly.

“Beast God, Di Tian! So it’s you!”  Ye Xishui’s sharp voice sounded. She couldn’t believe that the Beast God had actually appeared here and was helping the Star Luo Empire.

The Beast God calmly said, “That’s right, it’s me. You can kill everyone else, but you can’t kill this person I’m protecting. Moreover, what’s the benefit of letting the Sun Moon Empire rule the entire continent?”

Ye Xishui snorted coldly, “That’s right. You’re indeed very strong, and can curb my abilities. However, don’t forget that you’re not in your true form right now. If you possess this little fellow for too long, he might be unable to take it.”
 
It was a pity that all the Titled Douluo had already retreated. Otherwise, they would be shocked beyond words if they heard Ye Xishui admitting that she wasn’t Di Tian’s match.

It was the truth. The last time Di Tian had commanded his soul beast army to attack Shrek City, Elder Mu and Elder Xuan had banded together to overcome him. Elder Mu had even planned everything very early, which aided them in curbing Di Tian. Even so, Huo Yuhao was the one who convinced Di Tian in the end. Otherwise, Shrek City would have been destroyed.

He had a cultivation greater than eight hundred thousand years, and had broken through eight bottlenecks. He was already one foot into another tier. Even Ye Xishui had to admit that he was terrifyingly strong.

“How do you know that I can’t summon my true form? How is it possible for a mere human like you to comprehend things at my level?”

As he spoke, ‘Huo Yuhao’ pointed his right hand towards the sky and his left hand towards the ground. A pitch-black beam of light quickly joined between his left and right index fingers.
 
Black light tore space apart, and a figure slowly walked out from the slit that opened.

Suddenly, the black dragon head behind ‘Huo Yuhao’ turned real, and the strength of the dragon flames increased significantly.

“You, you can actually break apart space and teleport your true body? This is impossible…” Ye Xishui exclaimed, but she stopped resisting. Instead, she turned into a beam of red light and instantly charged towards the Death God Pagoda.

The Death God Pagoda shone extremely brightly. Countless avenging spirits could be heard whining. A beam of red light that Huo Yuhao had seen before descended from the sky. It was the Avenging Light of the Death God, a watered-down version of the Light of the Death God. It clashed ferociously with the dragon flames that were in pursuit of Ye Xishui.

It wasn’t that Ye Xishui wasn’t willing to fully unleash her Light of the Death God, it was just that she needed some time to accumulate her strength before she could unleash the complete version. The last time she did so, she went through prior planning first.

This Avenging Light of the Death God was unleashed through some kind of special method after greatly compressing avenging spirits. It was very powerful, but it used up thousands of avenging spirits every time it was unleashed. There were more then a hundred thousand avenging spirits gathered within this Death God Pagoda. However, they were very limited. Every time it was unleashed, they had to be replenished.

What Huo Yuhao didn’t know was that there were many avenging spirits in this Death God Pagoda collected by Ye Xishui after he initiated the massive explosion in Radiant City. This also aided in the completion of the Death God Pagoda, allowing it to cross the barrier that made it a Class 10 soul tool.

In this world, there wasn’t just a single genius. Huo Yuhao was one, but Ye Xishui was another.

She had started to research soul tools in the Sun Moon Empire after her disappointing relationship with Mu En. After years of research, she gradually fused her evil soul master abilities and soul tools, creating a unique soul tool that belonged only to her. With her immense power as a foundation and the Holy Ghost Church as a backer, she finally became the
 
strongest soul engineer in the Sun Moon Empire and the Death God Douluo. At the same time, she was also the Supreme Leader of the Holy Ghost Church. After Xu Tianran ascended to the throne, he even accepted her as his godmother. The current leader of the Holy Ghost Church, Zhong Liwu, was Ye Xishui’s son.

It could be argued that she was actually the most powerful person in the Sun Moon Empire.

A huge explosive force was released as the black dragon flames and the Avenging Light of the Death God clashed. The entire mountain was flattened. The Death God Pagoda actually rose into the air and turned into a beam of red light that shot in the direction of the Sun Moon Empire. At the same time, another beam of blood-red light shot into the sky and turned into a weird image.

From afar, the formation of soul tools that the Sun Moon Empire had deployed started to reverberate with booms. The Titled Douluo from the Star Luo Empire had already achieved what they wanted. Following this, beams of golden light rose into the sky. It was the signal for the Star Luo army to come.
 
Huo Yuhao silently drifted above the mountain and watched as the Death God Pagoda escaped. He didn’t pursue. The Beast God was drifting beside him. He furrowed his brow as he looked at Huo Yuhao.

Di Tian was a little displeased as he said, “You actually riled up such a strong enemy. If I hadn’t appeared in my true form, I don’t think she would have left.”

Huo Yuhao seemed to have returned to normal, and calmly said, “You’ve already cost me two opportunities to advance to the future. Don’t you think you should help me at such a critical moment? Moreover, from the perspective of the world of soul beasts, it’s not advantageous if the human world is ruled by the Sun Moon Empire. When that happens, all of you will only become experimental subjects of the Sun Moon Empire. Once they find substitutes for soul rings that can replace soul beasts, it’ll be the day that soul beasts vanish from the face of this world. This is why peace and balance between the various empires should be something that you want to see, am I right? Now that the Sun Moon Empire is so strong and the Heavenly Soul Empire is on the verge of destruction, the Sun Moon Empire will be very likely to rule the entire continent if we don’t deal them a huge blow right now.”
 
After pondering for a moment, Di Tian said, “However, you can’t face too strong of an opponent. If not for the fact that I had some kind of understanding of her the first time you suffered the attack of the Avenging Light of the Death God and intentionally dealt with her strategy, she wouldn’t have been
scared off. She’s right. I can’t possibly descend in my true form. I believe that she’ll realize that she’s been scared off by me after she returns and calms down. This woman is very strong. If not for the fact that she detached herself from the Death God Pagoda, I wouldn’t have been confident of fighting her even with my true form if she relied on her Death God Pagoda to fight me.”

After hearing his words, Huo Yuhao was slightly stunned. Even the arrogant Di Tian was not confident of defeating Ye Xishui. How strong was she? With someone as strong as her, the Star Luo Empire would be unlikely to gain an advantage even if the Star Luo Empire faced her with a hundred- thousand-man army.

“This time, you’ve lent me too much of your strength. Your body is already on the verge of collapse. Fortunately, there’s a very strong life energy in your body, which seems to come from the same source as the Lake of Life. This life energy has been helping you to recover quickly. However, don’t face her again. Otherwise, I won’t even be confident of saving you. You
 
only have one life. Your life might be important to us, but isn’t it important to you, too? Take precious care of your life and get as far away from the Death God as possible.”

The Beast God was very composed. He didn’t react to Huo Yuhao’s earlier reprimand. After he finished speaking, dim black light slowly turned into air currents, and he disappeared. Black air also engulfed Huo Yuhao and carried him to the top of the mountain.

Slowly, the black disappeared, and Huo Yuhao looked very pale. Fresh blood flowed from all his pores. He only felt excruciating pain throughout his entire body before he lost consciousness.

When the Star Luo Empire’s Titled Douluo came to the top of the mountain, they only saw an astonishing scene.

The height of the highest mountain peak in the Ming Dou Mountain Range had fallen by at least a hundred meters. There was a huge depression at the top of the mountain, filled with smaller craters. Even though the clash was already over, the entire mountain was still engulfed by strong soul power undulations. Occasionally, the cries of avenging spirits could be heard as well.

“Yuhao!” Xu Sanshi immediately spotted Huo Yuhao lying in the center of the huge depression, and rushed towards him. Everyone from Shrek Academy did the same.

The earlier clash at the top of this mountain was too intense. They had no idea what had happened, but the Death God Pagoda had vanished at this moment. The Death God Douluo had also disappeared, and only Huo Yuhao remained. After the flashes of red light earlier, the soul engineers of the Sun Moon Empire quickly fled after being momentarily shocked. They left with whatever soul tools they could bring with them.

Although more than ten Titled Douluo from the Star Luo Empire were here, their advantage in numbers didn’t give
 
them an advantage. A combined attack from many soul tools would still threaten them greatly. Seeing that their enemies had fled, they naturally didn’t pursue them.

Victory? If they had really achieved victory, it was a victory that belonged to the twenty of them! Among them, Huo Yuhao had played the most critical role.

When the Titled Douluo witnessed the Death God Douluo’s immense abilities, they were all shocked. They clearly knew that they couldn’t overcome such a powerful enemy, even with their numerical advantage. Moreover, Ye Xishui had the Death God Pagoda to rely on. If they continued fighting, they would have all been decimated.

However, it was at that moment when Huo Yuhao’s unexplained power managed to resist the Death God Douluo. They didn’t witness the fighting process, but the final result did sort of indicate that Huo Yuhao hadn’t lost. The Death God Douluo and Death God Pagoda had disappeared, and the Sun Moon Empire’s soul engineers had retreated too.

This meant that the Ming Dou Mountain Range had been won back. To the Star Luo Empire, this was extremely
 
important. With the Ming Dou Mountain Range falling back into the hands of the Star Luo Empire, the Sun Moon Empire would find it very difficult to reclaim it again and reinvade the Star Luo Empire. Furthermore, the Sun Moon Empire lacked leadership right now. Now that the Star Luo Empire had
overcome their first defensive line, it was time for them to make further headway!

All the Titled Douluo were excited right now, but everyone from Shrek Academy looked very serious.

When they surrounded Huo Yuhao, they only saw how blood-soaked his clothes were. Blood was oozing from all his pores, and his aura had become very weak. They couldn’t even sense any soul power undulations from him.

Xu Sanshi looked very serious, and squatted down beside Huo Yuhao. He carefully placed his hand on his chest to sense Huo Yuhao’s condition. After a brief moment, he furrowed his brow and stood up.

“How is he, Third Senior?”  Ye Guyi asked anxiously. Tears were already forming in her eyes. Even though she had already suppressed her feelings for Huo Yuhao, she still felt that she
 
was about to experience an emotional outburst upon seeing that he was seriously wounded and on the verge of death.

Xu Sanshi solemnly replied, “Not good. Little junior’s life aura is very weak and his heartbeat is so slow it’s almost undetectable. He might die at any moment.”

“Yuhao, wake up. Yuhao…” Ye Guyi squatted down beside Huo Yuhao and started sobbing as she pleaded for him to regain consciousness.

Ji Juechen also furrowed his brow. “Is there no other way?”

Xu Sanshi shook his head and said, “I did a preliminary check on his condition, and it seems like all his passageways have been broken. They even seem to be seriously damaged. I don’t even dare to touch him right now.”

Jing Ziyan was the calmest among all of them. She immediately turned around and faced all the Titled Douluos, asking, “Elders, which one of you is adept at healing? Please take a look at Yuhao. He’s in very bad condition.”
 
At this moment, all of the Titled Douluo were jolted from their excitement, and quickly surrounded Huo Yuhao.

However, all of these Titled Douluo that were chosen for this mission were adept at attacking. None of them were adept at healing! After checking Huo Yuhao’s condition, all of them came to the same conclusion as Xu Sanshi. Huo Yuhao was in very bad condition. All his passageways were seriously injured. If it was someone else with such serious injuries, he would have died. However, there was some kind of special force in his body that was helping him hang on. The circulation of his blood seemed to have stopped completely, apart from a small region around his heart. As for his soul power, it had long disappeared.

At this moment, all the Titled Douluo were helpless.

The  Shattered  Star  Douluo  said,  “Yuhao’s  injury  is  very serious. Let’s not touch him for now. Let’s go and rendezvous with the army first. Giant Hammer, make a trip back and immediately ask the Marshal to send a healing-type soul master over. I’ll stand guard here.”
 
“Alright!” the Giant Hammer Douluo acknowledged, turning around before flying away.

Huo Yuhao had made an important contribution this time by helping to reclaim the Ming Dou Mountain Range. Even these arrogant Titled Douluo were in awe of him. They were also very shocked by the secret force that was keeping him alive.

Even without saying anything, they knew that he had borrowed some kind of strength that didn’t belong to him to fight the Death God Douluo, scaring her away. His body was seriously wounded because he couldn’t handle such great power.

All of the Titled Douluo thought that it was no mean feat that Huo Yuhao could preserve his life. He was dealing with a powerful force that could resist an Ultimate Douluo! Even Titled Douluo like them weren’t confident of remaining alive if they had to deal with such a powerful force.

Tang Wutong also stood beside Huo Yuhao. She didn’t wail as pitifully as Ye Guyi. She only stood where she was, looking a little dazed.
 
The scene of Huo Yuhao exchanging places with her when the Light of Death God descended on her earlier kept on repeating itself in her mind. She kept on asking herself this question, If it were me, would I be capable of doing the same thing?

Huo Yuhao! Tang Wutong knew that this name had been permanently imprinted in her mind right now.

The healing-type soul master team arrived at almost the same time as the soul master legion that was here to reclaim the mountain range. Everyone was shocked that the White Tiger Duke had personally come, and even brought along a healing-type Titled Douluo. There were also about sixteen other healing-type soul masters with them.

“Where’s Yuhao?” The White Tiger Duke led this large group of healing-type soul masters as they descended from the sky. The first thing he asked when he landed was Huo Yuhao’s location.

The Shattered Star Douluo’s expression changed when he saw that the White Tiger Duke was personally here. It was important to know that the White Tiger Duke was very crucial
 
to the Star Luo Empire’s military. If the Death God Douluo returned, they would be unable to protect him at all!

“Duke, you…”

The White Tiger Duke lifted his hand and stopped the Shattered Star Douluo from speaking any further. Of course he understood what the Shattered Star Douluo meant. He said, “It’s more important to save this life first. We can leave the rest for later.”

Xu Sanshi, Jiang Nannan, and the rest quickly came up to receive him. The White Tiger Duke led the healing-type soul masters to Huo Yuhao under their guidance.

The healing-type Titled Douluo was an elder with white hair and a wrinkled face. It was impossible to tell her actual age.

When she arrived in front of Huo Yuhao, she lifted her right hand and a streak of dim-green light instantly turned into a barrier of light that engulfed him.
 
“Duke, you must save Yuhao.”  Xu Sanshi’s voice started to tremble slightly.

“Don’t worry, I’ll try my best. Yuhao is a great servant to our empire!” the White Tiger Duke said without any hesitation.

Earlier, he could only see the explosions of light that had blossomed from the top of the mountain. When they first started, he started to tense up. Without a doubt, Huo Yuhao had already been discovered. Being discovered was an unavoidable consequence of the plan. The key lay in whether Huo Yuhao was able to free all the Titled Douluo after being discovered.

Therefore, the most important thing to take note of was the amount of time the explosions lasted.

Huo Yuhao didn’t disappoint him. The lights didn’t disappear, and even larger explosions ensued. At that point, the White Tiger Duke was already ready to command his entire military to fight.
 
After that, the White Tiger Duke saw terrifying red light flashing at the top of the mountain. The black light that Huo Yuhao had released wasn’t very clear against the night sky.

However, the White Tiger Duke was astonished when he saw that the mountain had collapsed slightly. Huo Yuhao had succeeded!

Even without any signal, the White Tiger Duke had already given the order to attack. The Giant Hammer Douluo returned not long after that, and relayed news that Huo Yuhao had been seriously wounded.

For some unknown reason, the White Tiger Duke felt his heart constricting after learning that Huo Yuhao had been seriously hurt. He ignored Princess Jiujiu’s attempt to stop him and personally led a team of healing-type soul masters to save him. He only had one thought in his mind: save Huo Yuhao at all costs! Such a talent was simply too important to the Star Luo Empire!

Besides his desire to save a generational talent, the White Tiger Duke didn’t realize that deep down in his heart, there was some kind of unexplained attachment that was growing.
 
Even he himself wasn’t clear what it was. His concern for Huo Yuhao had already surpassed the sort of brotherly love he had for his own subordinates.

Ye Guyi clenched her fists tightly and prayed to herself. Nan Qiuqiu also clasped her hands together in front of her chest, and was reciting something to herself.

The White Tiger Duke softly said, “Yuhao will be fine. Don’t worry. This person performing the healing on Yuhao is the Hallmaster of the Star Luo Empire’s Imperial Shrine. He’s a Titled Douluo. As long as someone is still breathing, she can save him. Perhaps all of you have heard of her before. Her name is Wang Xian’er.”

After hearing the name “Wang Xian’er”, Xu Sanshi was the first to react. He shook a little, a surprised look on his face. He probed, “Are you talking about the Immortal Doctor Douluo Wang Xian’er?”

The White Tiger Duke nodded gently.

Xu Sanshi heaved a huge sigh of relief and explained to the rest, “Elder Wang Xian’er is the world’s top healing-type soul master. Even Elder Zhuang from our academy is inferior to Elder Wang. Elder Zhuang has mentioned that Elder Wang is the world’s strongest healing-type soul master. Her martial soul is the Healing Angel.”

Healing-type and food-type soul masters found it much more difficult to become Titled Douluo compared to assault-type soul masters.

This was because fighting helped to stimulate the potential of soul masters, but healing-type and food-type soul masters hardly fought. They could only rely on cultivation and the
 
accumulation of experience to slowly improve. As a result, there were only a few of them who could become Titled Douluo. As for Transcendent Douluo, there were hardly any of them who made it.

This Immortal Doctor Douluo Wang Xian’er was one of these rare healing-type Transcendent Douluo. She was probably the most important trump card of the entire Star Luo Empire, and the Hallmaster of the Star Luo Empire’s Imperial Shrine. She was only inferior to another Transcendent Douluo as the strongest individual in the Star Luo Empire.

If even this Miracle Healer couldn’t save Huo Yuhao, it meant that Huo Yuhao was really going to die. Xu Sanshi heaved a sigh of relief when he found out that she was the Immortal Doctor Douluo. He had known Huo Yuhao for a long time now. He knew that Huo Yuhao’s survival capabilities were shocking, having managed to escape death many times. In terms of survivability, he was definitely the best of the members of Shrek’s Seven Monsters. Right now, it was almost impossible for him to die, since the Immortal Doctor Douluo was around.

The green light in Wang Xian’er’s hands slowly retracted, and she furrowed her brow slightly. The wrinkles on her face also became more evident.

“This little fellow’s injuries are very weird.”

Weird? After hearing her words, everyone from Shrek Academy was worried. Tang Wutong immediately asked, “What’s weird?”

She replied, “His passageways are almost broken, especially his main passageways. His injuries are extremely serious. If I’m not wrong, there must be some kind of immense force that surged through his entire body, bursting his passageways. Logically speaking, his flesh should have blown apart under such conditions. There should be no way for him to still be alive.

“However, I’m shocked by the fact that his main organs are still fine, even though his passageways are so seriously hurt. More surprisingly, his damaged passageways are all only temporarily blocked. His blood is not flowing, but stuck within these passageways. Furthermore, there’s a very strong life energy in his damaged passageways. They seem to be recovering on their own. It’s something that I’ve never seen or heard of before. I think he possesses extraordinary life energy, which enables him to experience something like this. In addition, there’s some kind of force protecting his body.”

The White Tiger Duke hurriedly asked, “What should we do then? How can we heal him?”

The Immortal Doctor Douluo shook her head and said, “There’s no need to heal him.”

“What?”    Everyone   exclaimed   at   the   same   time.   The Immortal Doctor Douluo said that there wasn’t any need to heal him. Didn’t this mean that Huo Yuhao was doomed?

The Immortal Doctor Douluo gestured and said, “Don’t misunderstand. What I mean is that he should be able to recover, but he’ll need some time. I’ll stimulate some of his life energy and try to pour some life energy into his body. This will increase the speed of his recovery. That’ll be enough. We don’t have to overtreat him. At times, overtreating can cause unnecessary damage to a body. Since his self-healing abilities are already so strong, we’ll just let him heal. That will be the most beneficial to him.”

After hearing Wang Xian’er’s explanation, everyone present heaved a sigh of relief. The White Tiger Duke respectfully said, “I’ll need to trouble you then.”

Wang Xian’er eyes flashed and turned jade-green. The color gave everyone a very bright and lively feeling. The Immortal Doctor Douluo’s body started to change weirdly.

Multiple pairs of wings started to open up behind her back. One, two, three, four, five, there were actually five pairs of wings that appeared. They were all jade-green, too, resembling those of Bi Ji. However, the Immortal Doctor Douluo’s wings were smaller than Bi Ji’s wings, but there were more of them. After the appearance of each pair of wings, the life energy in the air became even more concentrated. After they had all appeared, the entire top of the mountain was like an ocean of life. Everyone felt abnormally relaxed and comfortable right now.

The Immortal Doctor Douluo was a national treasure of the Star Luo Empire! Who else could ensure that one wasn’t ever hurt permanently or never fell ill? She was like a goddess to the Star Luo Empire.

Something strange occurred to the Immortal Doctor Douluo’s body. Every time a pair of wings appeared behind her, she would look younger and younger. When the fifth pair of wings appeared, she already looked ,like an eighteen or
 
nineteen-year-old teenager. Her eyes were bright and captivating, and she possessed a beauty that was filled with life aura. Everyone felt a sense of amiability when they looked at her, and couldn’t help but get closer to her.

She lifted her right hand and made a pressing motion in Huo Yuhao’s direction. Suddenly, intense green light started to gather towards Huo Yuhao’s body.

Huo Yuhao’s body slowly lit up. Spots of green lights shone, and a gentle life aura cleansed his entire body, removing all the impurities that were still within. Streaks of black air slowly drifted out from his body before dissipating. Huo Yuhao’s body also slowly lit up with green light. He was absorbing the life aura that the Immortal Doctor Douluo had formed.

Under the effect of that concentrated life energy, Huo Yuhao’s own aura started to appear. His chest could also be seen rising and falling.

The young version of the Immortal Doctor Douluo revealed a slight grin on her face. Right now, she was in the form of her Healing Angel.
 
She kept on pouring life energy into his body, stimulating his potential. Such a healing method tackled both the symptoms and root cause of the problem, which was the most advanced healing technique. It was even more effective when used by the Immortal Doctor Douluo.

Suddenly, Huo Yuhao’s forehead lit up. A streak of jade-green light suddenly appeared and slowly cracked open on his forehead. It was his Eye of Destiny.

It was just that his Eye of Destiny was completely jade-green right now. When that jade-green light appeared, Huo Yuhao’s body suddenly turned into a huge jade-green whirlpool, and devoured all the life aura that the Immortal Doctor Douluo released.

Wang Xian’er was also shocked. It is very abnormal for a Soul Sage to devour life energy at such a speed! What’s going on? Is it the source of power that’s protecting his body?

Although she was shocked, she still increased the output of her life energy. She was different from ordinary soul masters. Every human and soul master had their own life energy. Once
 
they drained too much of it, they would experience decline, and might even die as a result.

However, the Immortal Doctor Douluo possessed strength that could control life, and she could filter life energy from the air to complement her healing. The more prosperous the life energy in a place, the greater her powers. For example, her healing abilities would be on another level if she were in the Great Star Dou Forest. If she could reach the Lake of Life where Di Tian lived, her healing abilities would be at the tier of an Ultimate Douluo.

After sensing the changes to Huo Yuhao’s body, she poured more soul power into him. All types of life aura and elements at the top of the mountain were infused into Huo Yuhao’s body.

Wang Xian’er was observing Huo Yuhao’s changes throughout this process. She discovered that his passageways were healing faster after the jade-green light appeared on his forehead. It wasn’t just his passageways; every part of his body was healing rapidly. Most of the life energy actually came from his own body. Although he had absorbed a lot of life energy too, the life energy that he absorbed wasn’t as pure as his own life energy. It was like it went through a filtering process before it managed to completely fuse with his body.

The soul power of a Transcendent Douluo was already very dense. While Huo Yuhao was devouring her life energy very quickly, she was also rapidly gathering life energy from the air.

From afar, it was clear that a huge green whirlpool had appeared at the top of the mountain. The life energy surrounding the entire mountain range was rapidly being absorbed before fusing with Huo Yuhao’s body.

The jade-green light that Huo Yuhao’s body emanated also became stronger and stronger. At the start, it was only shining from his Eye of Destiny, but it slowly spread to the rest of his body. Under the effect of the immense life energy, he experienced a drastic change in his condition. His breathing became more normal and stable.

Wang Xian’er nodded silently. It was also her first time seeing a case like this. She quietly memorized the changes to Huo Yuhao’s body. This was like a brand-new experience to her.

Suddenly, Huo Yuhao’s body experienced changes again. He unleashed a beam of intense jade-green light from his body. This beam of jade-green light rapidly fused with the whirlpool
 
and caused it to stop. After this, it started to flow in the opposite direction.

Immense life energy started to pour into Wang Xian’er’s body!

Wang Xian’er was stunned for a moment first. After this, she sensed the benefits of this immense life energy. Just like she had felt before, the life energy coming from Huo Yuhao’s body was extremely pure. There wasn’t any form of impurity within it. It was much purer than even her own soul power!

Chapter 453: Tang Wutong's Erasure

Even though this pure energy wasn’t very strong compared to hers, it was like a seedling. When this pure life energy entered her body, she immediately controlled it and poured it into the core of her soul power, sealing it. At the same time, she also summoned her soul power to familiarize itself with the traits of this pure life energy.

A surprised look appeared on the Immortal Doctor Douluo’s face. For someone at her tier, it was very difficult to improve any further, especially since she was a healing-type Transcendent Douluo; it was even more difficult for her than for others.

Wang Xian’er was in fact like Mu En and Long Xiaoyao, a generational talent. She was the only honorary elder that remained of the Star Luo Empire. She had been protecting the empire for decades. However, she was growing older and older, close to two hundred years old now. As she grew older, she felt her life energy was quickly fading away. She believed she only had ten more years to live.
 
However, after Huo Yuhao poured that pure life energy into her body, she was offered another opportunity to make progress.

Her accumulation had long been sufficient. What she lacked was enlightenment and an opportunity. The pure life energy that Huo Yuhao released presented a valuable opportunity to her! As long as she tried her best to remember the traits of the life energy that he had released and evolved her soul power according to these traits, she could enable her soul power to rise another tier.

By raising her cultivation one rank, she would be able to live for decades longer.

Elder Mu lived until the age of two hundred before he passed away. The main reason he died so soon was because the injury that he sustained in his younger days was too serious. Long Xiaoyao and Ye Xishui were both still alive and well. If nothing happened, neither of them would have any problems living for more than three hundred years.

After a momentary surprise, Wang Xian’er immediately increased her attention on Huo Yuhao. As a healer, she was
 
very concerned about him. Furthermore, she was a very sympathetic and kind person. She definitely didn’t wish him to suffer because of what she had obtained.

After meticulously observing him, she was quickly relieved. Huo Yuhao was in good condition, better than expected. Earlier, the reversal of the flow of life energy occurred because the amount of life energy he could store in his body had reached its limit. This limit wasn’t reached because of the Immortal Doctor Douluo’s life energy. Her life energy only acted as a guide that guided his own life energy. After that, his body was completely nourished by that pure life energy.

Wang Xian’er was silently in awe. Every individual indeed had his own break! If all this life energy belonged to her, she believed that she could possibly become an Ultimate Douluo in the future. For her, pure life energy could be directly turned into soul power. However, such pure life energy would only serve to increase the life energy in his body.

The Immortal Doctor Douluo absorbed the remaining life energy in the air into her body. She couldn’t possibly waste it! She had reaped massive rewards today. In just this short period of time, she felt as if the bottleneck that had been frustrating her for so long could be broken through.

The door from Rank 95 to Rank 96 seemed to be slowly opening.

The green light started to slowly retract, and the mountaintop started to become peaceful once again. Huo Yuhao had regained some rosiness in his cheeks by now.

Wang Xian’er was shocked when she discovered that Huo Yuhao’s damaged passageways were filled with life energy.

This meant that the pure life energy was entering his passageways and aiding in their recovery. Huo Yuhao’s blood started to circulate once again inside these healed passageways.

Even the Immortal Doctor Douluo was shocked by a scene like this. It was too magical.

“Elder, how is it?” Xu Sanshi asked softly.

The Immortal Doctor Douluo replied, “Alright, he’s fine now. However, he needs some time to recuperate. Please take him
 
back first.”  As she spoke, she made a pressing action toward Huo Yuhao, and streaks of gentle green light turned into strips before surrounding his body. They lifted him up without moving his body at all.

Wang Xian’er turned to the White Tiger Duke and said, “Duke, I’ll bring him back first and observe him for a period of time. His condition is a little special. However, overall, he should be fine.”

“Alright, I shall count on you then,”  the White Tiger Duke said respectfully.

---

At this moment, the situation here at the Ming Dou Mountain Range was already set in stone. The Sun Moon Empire hadn’t stationed many troops here. When the Death God Pagoda left, it meant that their defense here had already failed. This time, the Sun Moon Empire had left behind many soul tools, even though they didn’t lose too many soul engineers. To the Star Luo Empire, this was already a success.
 
Those from Shrek Academy didn’t stay further either. They followed the Immortal Doctor Douluo and proceeded in the direction of the Northwestern Field Army’s base.

Everything that had happened tonight was indeed very astonishing! However, the rest only witnessed what had happened in the latter half of the night. Only Tang Wutong clearly saw what had happened in the earlier half of the night.

Her eyes shone a little as she saw Huo Yuhao engulfed by the green light. She looked very perplexed, and her thoughts were unknown.

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

Very soon, all of them returned to the base. Wang Xian’er sent Huo Yuhao back to his tent and performed another check on him. After that, she instructed everyone not to move him, and let him recuperate. He should be able to recover very soon.

After relaying her instructions, she reverted to her elderly appearance and left. She was rushing back to attempt to evolve her own soul power and try to raise it to Rank 96.

Everyone from Shrek Academy surrounded Huo Yuhao’s bedside. At this moment, they all heaved a sigh of relief.

They had finally reclaimed control of the Ming Dou Mountain Range, which completely changed the situation in the entire continent. They had basically completed their mission. As for how the Star Luo Empire would deal with the Sun Moon Empire from now on, that was a problem that the White Tiger Duke had to deal with. To them, the most important thing was knowing when Huo Yuhao would be able to fully recover.

After  a  brief  moment,  Xu  Sanshi  said,  “Alright,  everyone must be tired after moving around the entire night. Let’s do it this way; we’ll take turns to watch over Yuhao. Girls are more meticulous. Guyi, I’ll assign you this role first, and you’ll watch over him until daybreak. Qiuqiu will take over after you. We’ll decide the roster after that. Guyi, remain here. As for the others, go back and rest.”

Huo Yuhao was unconscious, thus Xu Sanshi took over his role as the leader. Everyone nodded. Ye Guyi was even a little thankful as she looked at Xu Sanshi.
 
There was a weird look in Tang Wutong’s eyes. She looked at Ye Guyi before glancing at Huo Yuhao. After this, she turned around and left the tent.

Watching her back, Xu Sanshi revealed a cheeky smile on his face. At times, it might not be a good thing to hasten things. Using some other method might actually yield more effective results.

Even though Xu Sanshi wasn’t sure whether Tang Wutong was Wang Dong’er, at least he knew that she looked very much like Wang Dong’er. This was something that couldn’t be faked. If Wang Dong’er had really gotten into a mishap, Tang Wutong might possibly become Huo Yuhao’s new confidante in the future. This was why he was trying to stimulate the relationship between the two of them.

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

Everyone left the tent, and only Ye Guyi remained.

As she looked at Huo Yuhao, she couldn’t help but sigh to herself.

“Yuhao, get better quickly. I know that you’ve never liked me before, and you’ll never ever like me. However, I feel very happy to have an opportunity to be alone with you and take care of you. Don’t you think I’m very foolish?”

After laughing, Ye Guyi stood up and walked to one side. She carried a basin to Huo Yuhao’s side and used a clean towel to wipe the bloodstains off his face.

She didn’t dare to change his clothes, as she was afraid that it would affect his recovery. However, it should be fine for her to gently wipe him down.

Under her gentle movements, the bloodstains on Huo Yuhao’s face were quickly wiped off.

He looked a little sallow, as if he had lost too much blood.
However, his life aura was very strong.

Ye Guyi lifted her hand and wanted to touch his face. However, her palm remained above his face. She never touched him.

“Nemesis!  You  are  really  my  nemesis!”  She  sighed  before retracting her hand. After this, she quietly sat down beside him and watched him.

------

Outside the tent, a pair of beautiful eyes moved away from the window. Tang Wutong was standing there, and silently heaved a sigh of relief.

When she left the tent earlier, she kept on telling herself that nothing would happen between Huo Yuhao and Ye Guyi, given that he was already in such a state. However, she wasn’t able to calm herself down after leaving the tent. She silently returned outside the tent and secretly watched from outside. She saw Ye Guyi wiping Huo Yuhao’s face.

An indescribable feeling surged into her heart. She even wanted to charge in. However, she was soon jolted to her senses.
 
Why am I like this? He has nothing to do with me. Why am I so concerned about him? Someone else is treating him so nice. Why am I not happy for him?

These thoughts kept on playing in her mind. When she saw Ye Guyi lifting her hand and wanting to touch Huo Yuhao’s face, she forgot everything again and wanted to charge into the tent. It was only when Ye Guyi put her hand down that she heaved a sigh of relief.

Tang Wutong clenched her fists as she turned around and peered into the night sky. She stuck her tongue out at the sky and asked herself, Tang Wutong, what’s wrong with you? Why are you missing that person? Don’t tell me that you’re jealous? Why? Just because he saved me? No, I can’t be like that. He’s just an ordinary person. Furthermore, he already has a lover. So what if he’s outstanding? He’s not particularly handsome either! Sleep, go and sleep!

As she talked to herself, she started to walk towards her tent.
However, she was walking very slowly…

-----

Early morning…

The Immortal Doctor Douluo was delighted as she came to Huo Yuhao’s tent and checked on his condition once again.
 
Just as she had expected yesterday, she managed to break through the bottleneck that she had been facing for years after absorbing Huo Yuhao’s pure life energy.

She rose from Rank 95 to Rank 96. This last step wasn’t easy. It had taken her close to sixty years! However, she had finally achieved it! Huo Yuhao was undoubtedly responsible for this!

That was why she came in the early morning. Even though she didn’t need to perform any treatment on him, she still had to try her best to help him if he suffered any problems during his recuperation process. It was a form of gratitude to him.

Huo Yuhao was in stable condition. His broken passageways were slowly recovering, and he was recovering at a quick rate overall. Apart from the immense life energy in his body, there was another important reason for his speedy recovery: his passageways had immediately frozen in place after they were damaged. They didn’t shift or change their positions at all. As they remained still, they played a very critical role in his recovery.

Ye Guyi didn’t sleep the entire night. When she saw the Immortal Doctor Douluo silently nodding as she checked up on
 
Huo Yuhao, she couldn’t help but ask, “Elder Immortal Doctor, how is Yuhao? Will he be fine?”

Wang Xian’er glanced at her, and was amused as she said, “Young lady, the more concerned you are, the more disorderly you’ll be. In terms of emotions, you have to work harder. There’s some kind of pent-up stress in you. I assume it has something to do with him? I can sense that your martial soul comes from the same origin as mine. Alright, I shall lend you a hand.”

As she spoke, the Immortal Doctor Douluo lifted her left hand and gently pressed on Ye Guyi’s chest.

Ye Guyi felt a gust of refreshing soul power entering her body. Her entire body seemed to have cleared up. She felt indescribably comfortable afterwards. If not for the fact that Huo Yuhao was sleeping, she would have shouted into the sky.

“Medicine can cure diseases, but matters of the heart can’t be resolved through medicine. Young lady, I can tell that you really  like  him.  Why?  You’re  so  pretty.  Isn’t  he  satisfied?” Wang Xian’er retracted her left hand and touched Ye Guyi’s head.



Ye Guyi felt much better after the knot in her heart was untied. As she looked at the benevolent look in the Immortal Doctor Douluo’s eyes, her eyes turned red, and she gently shook her head. She said, “He already has someone he likes. I don’t blame him. Perhaps I’m only in love with the fact that he’s so persistent in love.”

The Immortal Doctor Douluo sighed and said, “Young people! It’s difficult to tell what love is. I was the same when I was young. It’s just that loving someone doesn’t mean possessing that person. Furthermore, there are other things to like and admire in this world. There’s nothing wrong with liking him. Just don’t be too stubborn. Otherwise, you’ll only feel depressed your entire life. You must learn to let go, understand?”

“Yes. Thanks for your advice, elder,” Ye Guyi nodded gently. However, she couldn’t help but turn her gaze towards Huo Yuhao.

Wang Xian’er smiled slightly. She knew that she couldn’t fully convince Ye Guyi in just a few words, especially when it came to matters of the heart. However, she could tell that she
 
wasn’t a stubborn person. Otherwise, the pent-up stress in her body would be even worse.

“He should be fine. However, he’ll still need time to recover, since his passageways have been so seriously damaged. If I started healing from the start, I’d need at least half a year to fully heal him. I couldn’t even guarantee that there wouldn’t be any side effects. His entire cultivation might even have been disabled. However, his life energy is too strong. He must have experienced something special, and is thus able to recover on his own. In my opinion, he should be fine in at most ten days. I’ve got to say that this is a miracle.”

“Recover in ten days? That’s fantastic!” Ye Guyi couldn’t help but cheer.

At this moment, the curtains to the tent opened, and Nan Qiuqiu walked in.

“What’s so great? Is Yuhao fine?” Nan Qiuqiu quickly walked over to Ye Guyi’s side and looked at Huo Yuhao. Seeing that he was still the same as the night before, a disappointed look came over her face.
 
The  Immortal  Doctor  Douluo  laughed,  “Yet  another  one. There are so many guys out there. Why do all of you fall for the same guy? There’s no future. Isn’t it more painful? However, you aren’t that bad. At least you don’t have a mental knot because of your crush on him.”

Nan  Qiuqiu’s  face  turned  red,  and  she  said,  “Elder,  don’t make fun of me. I don’t like this guy. It’s Sister Guyi who likes him!”

The Immortal Doctor Douluo laughed, “I’m old, but I’m not blind. If I can’t even tell that you like him, wouldn’t I have lived the last two hundred years in vain? Alright, alright, I won’t bother with the issues of young people anymore. You can deal with your own problems. Remember, don’t touch him. If his passageways move, there’ll be trouble.”

“Yes!”  Nan Qiuqiu and Ye Guyi hurriedly acknowledged her words.

The Immortal Doctor Douluo left, and both of them looked at each other. Nan Qiuqiu stuck out her tongue at Ye Guyi, who smiled back. After this, both of them turned their attention to Huo Yuhao.

Nan Qiuqiu twisted her lips and said, “What’s so good about this guy? Who likes him? Hmph! He’s always so mysterious. He’s not even twenty, but he acts like a forty or fifty-year-old man.”

Ye Guyi was amused as she looked at her friend. “Why do I recall someone mentioning before that she likes guys who are more mature and capable?”

Nan Qiuqiu’s face turned red, and she said, “Is that so? Who said that? Who’s that person with such low taste?”

Ye Guyi laughed. “Alright, it’s not you.” Her smile gradually faded away. As she looked at Huo Yuhao, she softly said, “Elder Immortal Doctor said that we should let go. He won’t belong to us. I can actually sense that he’s in pain.”

“What? He’s in pain? So many of us like him! Furthermore, he’s the future Hallmaster of the Sea God’s Pavilion. He also holds an important position in the Tang Sect, too! He’s even the in-name Master of the Spirit Pagoda. He’s so decorated. What’s there to feel pain over?”
 
Ye Guyi glanced at her and said, “Now you finally admit that you like him. He’s actually in pain. I can sense it. Everything that you’ve mentioned are his achievements. However, have you ever thought of the amount of pressure he has to bear because of these achievements?

“It was still fine in the past, but ever since Dong’er went into a coma, his emotions were greatly affected. After this mission, I even feel that he seems to be less composed than before. If this were the past, he wouldn’t have taken such a huge risk. Last night, I finally understood that maybe he doesn’t want to live anymore. That was why he was willing to take such a huge gamble. Only he knows how painful he feels.”

Nan Qiuqiu furrowed her brow and asked, “Isn’t that Tang Wutong Wang Dong’er who has lost her memories? Didn’t everyone claim that?”

Ye Guyi rolled her eyes and said, “For goodness’ sake, can you be more observant? Haven’t you realized that Huo Yuhao has been very formal towards Tang Wutong? He’s so polite that it feels as if they are strangers. She’s not even as close to him as we are. What does that mean?
 
“Given his character, would he act like that if Tang Wutong was really Wang Dong’er? He must have used some method to verify that Tang Wutong isn’t actually Wang Dong’er. This is why he’s acting like this. It’s also since then that I felt that his emotions have become a little abnormal.”

After hearing her words, Nan Qiuqiu stuck out her tongue and said, “Hmm, it seems so. If that Tang Wutong isn’t Wang Dong’er, where can Wang Dong’er be then? Actually, I feel that we probably don’t even stand a chance, even if Wang Dong’er is dead. This fellow is too stubborn. He only loves Wang Dong’er. Wang Qiu’er looked so like Wang Dong’er and sacrificed so much for him, but even that didn’t change his heart.”

Ye Guyi said, “This is why we should let go. Let’s keep this as a beautiful memory. We are from different worlds. I only hope that he can find Dong’er soon, and start to feel happy once again.”

Nan  Qiuqiu  gave  Ye  Guyi  a  weird  look,  “Sister  Guyi,  I suddenly feel that you’re very noble.”

Ye  Guyi  chuckled  and  replied,  “What’s  there  to  be  noble about? If I stood even the slightest chance, I’d do my best to
 
fight for it. I wouldn’t even bother with my face. However, you’ve said it, we have no chance at all. In that case, we can only wish him the best.”

------

Outside the tent, a person was quietly standing there. She had come ever when the Immortal Doctor Douluo left, but she didn’t enter the tent. She only eavesdropped on Nan Qiuqiu and Ye Guyi’s conversation. When she heard all this, she turned around and silently walked off. For some reason, she started to feel lonely deep in her heart.

---

Nan Qiuqiu took over from Ye Guyi, keeping watch over Huo Yuhao until lunchtime, when the next change was made. Jiang Nannan replaced her. After that, it was Jing Ziyan. Jing Ziyan’s shift lasted until nightfall.

“Wutong, rest for two hours after dinner before replacing Ziyan.  Do  you  have  any  questions?”  Xu  Sanshi  asked  Tang Wutong.


Tang Wutong was stunned for a moment before shaking her head and replying, “I’m fine.”

Xu Sanshi naturally said, “That’s great, then. I asked Elder Immortal Doctor Douluo earlier, and she said that Yuhao’s passageways have basically joined up again, but they’ll need some time to heal. His shirt is filled with bloodstains, which isn’t great for his body. Can you help him remove his shirt tonight? Please be careful.”

“Alright.” Tang Wutong subconsciously agreed to his request. By the time she realized that it was inconvenient for a lady to help a guy change his shirt, Xu Sanshi had already left.

She wanted to stop him, but she didn’t do so in the end.

Xu Sanshi revealed a grin on his face as he walked away. Yuhao, I’ve already helped you so much. You must do your best and recover quickly!
 
------

After dinner, Tang Wutong returned to her tent. She had two hours to rest. However, she couldn’t stay calm as she sat on her bed. She discovered that she was actually eagerly waiting for the two hours to pass.

However, the two hours passed very slowly. She couldn’t calm herself down at all, and even started pacing up and down inside her tent in order to compose herself…

---

Finally, two hours passed. She quickly charged out of her tent and proceeded to the opposite tent.

“Wutong, you’re here.” Jing Ziyan stood up to receive her as she saw her walking over.

“Oh yes, Sister Ziyan. It’s been tough on you. How is he?” Tang Wutong asked softly.
 
Jing Ziyan smiled and replied, “Everything’s fine. I’ll pass him on to you. I’ll head off to rest now.”

“Alright, don’t worry.” Tang Wutong acknowledged her words and saw Jing Ziyan out of the tent.

After Jing Ziyan left, she returned to Huo Yuhao’s side. Her breathing quickened. Am I really going to be with him the entire night? Everyone knows about it too.

Nothing will happen. Didn’t Guyi remain here for the entirety of last night too? I can do the same!

Tang Wutong slowly walked to Huo Yuhao’s bedside and watched him in his deep sleep. His face was still as pale as ever, but it was less shallow than the previous night. His breathing had also become steadier.

He was still wearing the clothes Xu Sanshi had given him. When she saw how bloodstained his shirt was, she couldn’t help but recall Huo Yuhao’s nude body after he took the strike of the Light of the Death God for her. She turned slightly red from embarrassment.

I will help him clean up his body first.

She filled a basin with clean water before returning to the tent. After that, she used her own basin to collect some hot water and adjusted the temperature of the water to a suitable temperature using the water in the other basin.

She didn’t use the towel in Huo Yuhao’s tent. She wasn’t willing to admit to herself that Ye Guyi had used it to clean up Huo Yuhao the previous night, and thus she didn’t want to use it at all.

She used her own towel. After soaking the towel in warm water, she sat by Huo Yuhao’s bedside and carefully unbuttoned his shirt.

She shuddered slightly when she touched Huo Yuhao’s chest.
Helping a guy to unbutton his shirt was indeed very intimate.

Her face turned red from embarrassment, and her body warmed up, too. Even the temperature in the tent seemed to have risen due to her embarrassment.

After pausing for a moment, she decided to pinch his breast and slowly remove the front of his shirt. After this, she gently released her soul power, lifting Huo Yuhao’s body and removing his shirt.

After she was done, she discovered that there was a layer of sweat on her forehead.

To a Soul Sage, this wasn’t very hard at all! However, she actually broke out in a sweat. How nervous must she be?

Huo Yuhao had started to release a blood fog, and some of the bloodstains on his body had already dried up. When she removed his shirt earlier, it was obvious that many of the bloodstains had already adhered to his body. Tang Wutong used a little warm water to dab at the surface of his shirt, hoping to dissolve some of the dried bloodstains before removing them.

She kept Huo Yuhao’s body levitated in the air using her soul power. After that, she released her Radiant Dragon God’s Butterfly and used one side of its wings to lift him. She quickly
 
ducked down below him and use the moist towel to wipe off the bloodstains on his back.

She started to perspire more and more, releasing a slight fragrance. She was very focused as she did all this. Her face had turned red, but she felt a sense of achievement after cleaning Huo Yuhao’s body. She was even feeling satisfied.

She carefully placed him back on the bed. It was time to wipe off his front.

She cleaned the towel in the warm water before wiping his face. After wiping his face, she wiped his brow.

She felt cramping pains in her heart when she saw his pale face. He’s really seriously injured!

After wiping his face, she started wiping his neck before proceeding to his chest, arms, armpits, belly and waist. His body was very clean after Tang Wutong meticulously wiped him down.
 
“Hoo...” After she was finished, she let out a long breath and relaxed. She lifted her wrist and used her sleeves to wipe off her perspiration. After chuckling, she muttered to herself, “So I’m actually capable of waiting on others. If dad knew about this, I wonder what kind of reaction he’d have.”

However, her grin didn’t last very long. This was because her gaze landed on Huo Yuhao’s pants.

I’m done with his top. What about the bottom?

Clean? Or not?

She was in a difficult spot as she looked at his bloodstained pants. Even though she had taken a peek at his nude body that night, it was still different from the situation now! Everyone was in peril at that point in time, and couldn’t care so much. However, they were alone in a tent right now. Even though he was in a coma, an intimate atmosphere was slowly brewing in the tent right now.

She was in a daze as she looked at Huo Yuhao. Tang Wutong seemed to have been struck with an epiphany. She pulled the
 
blanket across the entire top half of his body and covered it up.

She turned around and came to the front of his tent. She looked out, and only returned after verifying that there was no one around.

After taking in a few deep breaths, Tang Wutong made her decision. She swiped her right hand over his belt before it broke. She pulled the blanket down slightly, all the way until it covered his crotch. After that, she carefully lifted his body with her soul power, and used warm water to damp down the bloodstains on his pants, before she slowly pulled down his pants.

With the blanket, she managed to cover his most vital area. At least nothing embarrassing was on display. It was only after this that she wiped down his exposed legs.

Watching the bloodstains disappear, Tang Wutong heaved a huge sigh of relief. Her forehead was covered in perspiration once again.
 
She twisted her lips at Huo Yuhao before sticking out her tongue. This fellow is indeed tiring me out.

What should I do next? How can I help him clean up that part of his body? After all, she was unmarried. She couldn’t bring herself to clean up such a private part of a guy, even though she might be slightly fond of him. After hesitating for a moment, she immediately turned around and ran out to call Xu Sanshi.

---

When Xu Sanshi came over and saw Huo Yuhao’s exposed legs, he almost burst out laughing. However, he appeared to be very composed on the surface.

“Senior  Xu,  I  can’t  help  him  with  that  part.  I’ve  already pulled his pants down. Please give him a hand.” As she spoke, Tang Wutong embarrassedly passed the towel in her hand to Xu Sanshi. After that, she turned around and ran away.

Xu Sanshi didn’t make fun of her. She was already embarrassed enough. He knew exactly when to and when not
 
to make jokes, and what the limits were.

After cleaning up Huo Yuhao’s vital area, he helped him put on a clean set of pants.

Looking at Tang Wutong’s embarrassed face and the beads of sweat on the tip of her nose, Xu Sanshi asked in concern, “I’m done. Wutong, are you fine? If you aren’t, I can help you take care of him for a while.”

Tang Wutong shook her head gently and said, “I’m fine, Senior Xu. Let me do it.”

“Alright,  tell  me  if  you  need  help.”   After  he  finished speaking, Xu Sanshi turned around and left.

---

Tang Wutong sat by his bedside and continued to watch Huo Yuhao as he slept, letting out a long breath. What she did earlier was even more tiring than cultivating for an entire day. It wasn’t physically draining, but it was mentally tiring.

She felt a sense of achievement when she saw how clean Huo Yuhao was. This guy is really good. He made me so tired. Hmph! When he wakes up, I’m going to deal with him!

As she sat by his bedside and watched him sleep, she relaxed her mind and slowly started to fall asleep.

Something like this wouldn’t happen normally, but she was too tensed up earlier. Right now, she unwittingly felt a strong sense of lethargy when she relaxed.

Even Tang Wutong didn’t know when she fell onto the bed. When she fell onto the bed, she squirmed, but didn’t touch Huo Yuhao. She was like a kitten as she fell into a deep sleep.

------

The sky turned darker and darker. Suddenly, Huo Yuhao moved. His right hand was trembling, and came into contact with Tang Wutong’s hand.
 
He subconsciously hooked her finger, and his breathing quickened. His lips were also shaking slightly.

Ever since he had descended into a deep sleep that day, Huo Yuhao kept experiencing dreams and nightmares. Everything in the past replayed in his mind. His tragic childhood, tough period of cultivation in Shrek Academy, happy times with Wang Dong’er, and their four fusion skills all surfaced in his mind. Wang Dong’er and Wang Qiu’er’s departure and all sorts of pain also filled his head.

Chapter 454: Awakening, Realising

Cool sensations suddenly coursed over his body through the pain, and gradually extinguished the flames of agony within him. That refreshing feeling was exceptionally comfortable, and Huo Yuhao’s nerves gradually relaxed in his deep slumber.

In his dream, Dong’er had returned to his side and was leaning down next to him. He could smell her faint fragrance as he was holding her petite hand, and he could feel his heart calming down completely. All the torturous pain and agony that he had sustained in the past were nothing with Dong’er around, and everything was no longer painful as long as she was back. At least, there was a crisp sweetness after the bitterness.

------

The first ray of sunlight seeped into the tent in the next morning and shone right on Tang Wutong’s face. She wanted to raise her hand subconsciously to shade herself from the sunlight, but she realized that her hand felt a little heavy.
 
Tang Wutong opened her eyes. Her large pinkish-blue eyes were still a little blurry and sleepy, and the first thing she saw was a pale but slightly rosy cheek.

The blurriness in her eyes immediately vanished as her big beautiful eyes widened in an instant. Everything went blank in her mind.

I… where am I? Why is there someone sleeping next to me? She nearly kicked out, but she had a deep impression of this side profile that she was staring at, and she understood that this person couldn’t be harmed.

Tang Wutong forced herself to calm down and composed herself before she took a serious look at this person. It’s… it’s him? Huo Yuhao?

Tang Wutong’s memory from the previous night finally returned. She thought to herself, to her apparent surprise, I fell asleep next to him? And I slept here for the entire night? Even though this fellow is still unconscious, but… but I slept with him for the entire night.
 
Tang Wutong glanced down at her hand. She was astonished as she discovered that all of the fingers on her right hand were tightly interlocked with Huo Yuhao’s right hand, as if that was how it was supposed to be.

That can’t be… What are you doing, Tang Wutong?

Tang Wutong sat up, embarrassed, as she swiftly pulled her hand back. She blushed from with embarrassment, He’s still unconscious, and it’s obvious that he wasn’t the one who reached over to grab me. Does this mean that not only did I sleep next to him, but I also decided to hold his hand? That… that is just unbelievable!

Tang Wutong placed her hands against her cheeks, which were burning up. She didn’t dare to look at Huo Yuhao. Suddenly, footsteps could be heard outside the tent.

Tang Wutong bounced to her feet as if she had been shocked. She stood beside the bed as she circulated her soul power to calm herself down.
 
The curtain was lifted as Xu Sanshi and Jiang Nannan walked in from outside. They looked at Tang Wutong, who was standing beside the bed, and Jiang Nannan couldn’t help but laugh at her as she said, “Wutong, even if you’re taking care of Huo Yuhao, you don’t have to keep standing up! How is he? Has anything changed?”

Tang Wutong’s back was facing them as she nodded and said, “He’s doing well. Everything’s normal.”

Xu Sanshi and Jiang Nannan came beside the bed. Xu Sanshi glanced at Tang Wutong, and caught her embarrassed and blushed expression. From his perspective, she was clearly still feeling embarrassed about cleaning up Huo Yuhao during the previous night. He couldn’t help but laugh inside, but he didn’t expose her.

“Eh, Yuhao’s complexion seems a lot better than before. Look,  there’s  rosy  traces  on  his  face,”   Jiang  Nannan  said elatedly.

Wasn’t that right? Xu Sanshi looked down, and could tell that Huo Yuhao’s face was much better than the past few days, while his breathing was a lot thicker and more stable.

“Wutong, you take the best care of him! Seems like he’ll recover very quickly,” Xu Sanshi praised her.

“Yes,  I  hope  he  will  recover  as  soon  as  possible,”   Tang Wutong answered automatically.

Jiang Nannan said, “Wutong, you must be tired after taking care of him for the entire night. You should go back and rest. Sanshi and I will take turns to look after him during the day.”

“Oh, okay,” Tang Wutong nodded in their direction before she hurriedly stepped out. She raced into her own tent after exiting Huo Yuhao’s tent.

---

Jiang Nannan glanced at the tent’s curtain, which was still swaying a little. She muttered confusedly, “Eh, why does she seem like she’s escaping from something?”
 
Xu Sanshi chuckled and said, “Who knows? In the end, Yuhao is in such bad shape, and he can’t do anything bad to her even if he wanted to. Nothing could have happened.”

Jiang Nannan blushed as she glared at him and said, “Only you would think about doing bad things every day.”

Xu Sanshi grabbed her around her slim waist and said, “Did you not say last night that ‘bad things’ actually feel quite good?”

“Psh! You’re such an asshole. How can you say such things? If you keep going, stay away from me next time!” Jiang Nannan retorted angrily as she blushed even more.

“Alright, alright, I’ll stop. I’ll stop talking,” Xu Sanshi apologized again and again.

His eyes suddenly widened as he spoke. That was because he suddenly noticed that the corner of Huo Yuhao’s mouth actually curved upward a little, as if he was… smiling?
 
------

Huo Yuhao recovered very quickly indeed, and he finally awakened from his deep slumber that same afternoon. Even though his body was still very weak, his mind was clear and awake, and that undoubtedly meant he was starting on a path to speedy recovery.

Xu Sanshi was taking care of Huo Yuhao in the afternoon. He had just fed Huo Yuhao some water before he lowered his voice and said menacingly, “You little rascal, did you hear something you were not supposed to hear this morning?”

Huo Yuhao couldn’t help laugh as he said, “No! I didn’t hear anything at all.”

“Really?” Xu Sanshi stared at him suspiciously, “But why did I feel like you were smiling this morning?”

Huo Yuhao rolled his eyes and said, “Third senior brother, you must have a guilty conscience. What have you done this time?”
 
“Psh, psh. I am righteous and honest. Why would I have a guilty conscience? Right, Yuhao, let’s not talk about that. Our mission can be considered successfully completed. We have helped the Star Luo Empire regain the Ming Dou Mountain Range, which they can use to directly threaten the Sun Moon Empire’s own territory. We have fulfilled our strategic aim. Should we go back once you’ve recovered?”

Huo Yuhao answered, “Yes, it’s about time to go back. We don’t yet know what the situation is like with the Heavenly Soul Empire. If the Heavenly Soul Empire is completely conquered, the Sun Moon Empire will directly threaten the Academy. We should return to the Academy as quickly as possible once I’m a little better.”

Xu Sanshi said, “Alright then, doesn’t seem like we have another choice. Right, the Star Luo Empire has ordered us to be rewarded for our merits in battle, and many rewards have been bestowed upon us. We have accepted all the monetary rewards, but we declined offers of noble titles. Your title is a hereditary Marquis; what do you plan to do with that?”

Huo Yuhao sighed and said, “Forget about the rest. This title of hereditary Marquis is useful to me, so I want that. How is the situation on the frontlines?”

Xu Sanshi said, “The Star Luo Empire’s garrisoned the Ming Dou Mountain Range after taking it back. They have sent several dozen small teams of soul masters to wreak havoc in the Sun Moon Empire. This is meant to attract the Sun Moon Empire’s attention, but we have no idea what this measure will achieve. We have no longer participated in their military operations after that day.”

Huo Yuhao said, “That’s alright. I trust that the White Tiger Duke won’t make the same mistakes, with his eye for strategy. The Star Luo Empire’s elites are all here, and the Sun Moon Empire has to put in a lot of effort even if they deploy their large armies to attack the Ming Dou Mountain Range to retake it. Furthermore, their main forces are all concentrated in the Heavenly Soul Empire.”

Xu Sanshi laughed bitterly. “I think the Star Luo Empire won’t be that much of a threat to the Sun Moon Empire. The Death God Douluo is too terrifying. With her around, it will be very difficult to deal real damage to the Sun Moon Empire.”

A lamenting and frustrated look appeared in Huo Yuhao’s eyes. How could he not be aware of what Xu Sanshi had just told him? The Death God Douluo, Ye Xishui, was an Ultimate
 
Douluo, possessing the powerful Bloody Demon Puppet as her martial soul. She was even his teacher’s old lover… this senior was simply too powerful!

Huo Yuhao could still remember that his teacher once said it was difficult for evil soul masters to become Titled Douluo, but if one such evil soul master eventually did become a Titled Douluo, then there would be a calamity.

The Holy Ghost Church had been hiding away for so many years, and their strength had finally matured. They possessed evil soul masters who were also Titled Douluo, and they even had an evil soul master who was an Ultimate Douluo. She possessed the Death God Pagoda, which had probably become a Class 10 soul tool. Ye Xishui was almost invincible in the human world, and was directly involved in this war. The Beast God Di Tian had scared her away this time... but what about the next time?

A single individual’s strength might not be able to change the outcome of a war, but a person with terrifying power such as hers was more than sufficient to turn the tides of battle!
 
Furthermore, the Holy Ghost Church still had the Darkness Holy Dragon, Long Xiaoyao, who was yet another Ultimate Douluo. The only two remaining Ultimate Douluo in the world were both aiding the Sun Moon Empire. This was terribly disadvantageous for the Douluo continent’s three native
empires.

The balance of this war had completely swung in favor of the Sun Moon Empire. The Star Luo Empire had regained the Ming Dou Mountain Range, but what about the future? What would the future bring? The Sun Moon Empire’s main forces were concentrated in the Heavenly Soul Empire, but the Death God Douluo was anchoring things down in the Sun Moon Empire, and it was hard to say how many of the Star Luo Empire’s soldiers and soul masters would be annihilated.

What was even more frightening was the fact that Ye Xishui was an evil soul master, and everyone could tell from the mental state she had displayed the other day that she wasn’t stable at all. Such a person wouldn’t care about the deaths of normal citizens, and there was nothing at all that could threaten her.

My strength is far from enough! If I can also become a Titled Douluo, and perhaps even a Transcendent Douluo, I might
 
have a chance to stop her. But becoming a Titled Douluo is so difficult...

Huo Yuhao said nothing, and Xu Sanshi said, “I have already sent the news back, and I have reported the Death God Douluo Ye Xishui’s existence to the various elders of the Sea God’s Pavilion. I think it won’t be long before the Academy will throw themselves into the war after all. Otherwise, the Sun Moon Empire will be unstoppable.”

“Yes,” Huo Yuhao returned from his contemplation and said, “We should go back as quickly as possible. The Star Luo Empire isn’t being aggressively pressured by the Sun Moon Empire on this side, after all, and they can stabilize themselves for the time being. However, the Heavenly Soul Empire is probably in deep trouble. With the Death God Douluo around, I don’t think the Star Luo Empire can be that effective even if they push into the Sun Moon Empire’s territory. The Academy probably has to make other plans.”

Xu Sanshi said, “Alright. You don’t have to worry about so much, your recovery is most important. Stop talking and take a rest.”

“Alright,” Huo Yuhao shut his eyes once more, and quietly felt the changes in his body.

Huo Yuhao’s body had almost exploded from the pressure after he overused the strength of the Beast God Di Tian’s, but all that wasn’t without benefit.
 
The Beast God was controlling him back then, but Huo Yuhao’s consciousness was still very much awake. Therefore, he could entirely feel how frighteningly powerful the Beast God was.

That was what it felt like to be an Ultimate Douluo. This experience allowed Huo Yuhao to feel the aura of a top-tier individual before he had attained the necessary power and cultivation.

Huo Yuhao could even feel that the Beast God had infused about eighty percent of his true body’s soul power into him. Huo Yuhao’s passageways were all saturated when that happened, and his tremendous life energy couldn’t keep up with the terrifying destructive power. This was the case even after the reverse scale that the Beast God had given him bore the brunt of the pressure.

That memory was extremely vivid and deep for him. He realized back then that Di Tian’s soul power was different from his. Huo Yuhao was a Soul Sage, and his soul power was like sticky liquid that circulated when and how he wanted it to. His soul power’s density, purity, regenerative effects, and sustainability were all relatively good.
 
However, Di Tian’s soul power was like tiny black holes connected together. Every hole contained frightening spatial power, while each unique space contained unimaginably terrifying strength… yet everything was within Di Tian’s control!

Huo Yuhao had thought to himself back then, Is that the power of an Ultimate Douluo? It was very difficult for the human body to contain such terrifying and extraordinary soul power, and having to rely on spatial power to contain their soul power. Furthermore, that spatial power had to take effect within one’s own body. Everything was just so strange and mystical.

Di Tian mentioned spatial power when he was battling Ye Xishui, and it was obviuos that she wasn’t as good with spatial power as Di Tian was. They were two of the most powerful individuals in the world, but there was still quite a gap between them. Huo Yuhao could feel that if Di Tian’s true body were present, Ye Xishui would still ultimately be no match for Di Tian even if she leveraged the Death Pagoda.

Di Tian wasn’t known as the most powerful individual in the world for no reason!
 
Huo Yuhao had told his four Spirits that his future aim was to challenge the Beast God and ultimately defeat him, before he attempted to sense the call from the God realm.

Huo Yuhao realized after his experience that he still had a long way to go. He was just too far away in comparison to the most powerful individuals in the world.

Huo Yuhao was a rare prodigy. However, was any individual who could become a Titled Douluo not a prodigy?

Ye Xishui, Mu En, and Long Xiaoyao were the most talented individuals of their generation. Huo Yuhao still had a long ways to go if he wanted to catch up with them, much less surpass them.

Di Tian’s power replayed in his mind. Huo Yuhao didn’t feel discouraged because of it. Instead, an intense desire was ignited in his heart: the desire to become more powerful, to become stronger!

Furthermore, for some reason, he realized after he had passed out twice that his spiritual state would improve every
 
time he came to. During both times he was unconscious, he felt as if Dong’er had returned to his side, and that sensation felt extremely real.

If it can be like that every time I pass out, then I don’t mind even if I have to pass out every day!

Huo Yuhao continued to think as the corners of his mouth curled into a faint smile. He channeled his spiritual power and looked at his current state.

The passageways in his body were reconnected, and dense life energy was surging through them, while his blood was flowing very smoothly. His soul power began to recover by itself after his passageways healed, such was the strength of his body.

Di Tian’s power wasn’t something that just anyone could take. He had used Yuhao’s body as a foundation in battle, and even if another Titled Douluo was in his place, he or she probably wouldn’t be in as good a shape as Huo Yuhao was. Even a Titled Douluo might explode from all the pressure, let alone a Soul Sage like Huo Yuhao.
 
Huo Yuhao’s reconnected passageways had turned green from all that life energy nourishing them. There was no question that most of that tremendous life energy originated from his Life Guardian Blade, rather than his own veins.

The Life Guardian Blade had evolved completely after it consumed the Life Gold. It was a small carving knife at the start, but now it had evolved into a dagger. It was nourished continuously within his body, and even Di Tian couldn’t feel its existence. Di Tian had used his own strength to protect Huo Yuhao’s organs after his body was severely hurt. Damaged passageways weren’t much, and the power in Huo Yuhao’s veins was enough for his passageways to recover by themselves. However, Huo Yuhao would have been in deep trouble if his organs had erupted.

What Di Tian didn’t know was that the power of Huo Yuhao’s Life Guardian Blade was unleashed again after it was guided by the Immortal Doctor Douluo’s life energy. That pure life energy had baptized Huo Yuhao’s body once more.

Its effects this time were almost the same as when Huo Yuhao had first fused with it. His damaged passageways contained even more life energy. His healed passageways became tougher, and were filled with even more life energy.

If this state continued, Huo Yuhao felt that he could return to normal in just three more days, at most!

The experience of fighting against the Death God was exceptionally precious for him. At the same time, he understood that the protection that the Beast God’s reverse scale conferred to him wasn’t absolute. He was lucky this time; if Ye Xishui hadn’t been overly sensitive, he probably would have been in deep trouble!

Even if he was faced with a normal Titled Douluo, his body would be severely injured from the burden it would have taken, even if the Beast God defeated the Titled Douluo for him.

Thinking about everything in hindsight was scary, but it wasn’t a bad thing for Huo Yuhao. At least he was able to judge how much strength the Beast God could channel into his body, and how much his body could take. This would very beneficial for his attempts to utilize the Beast God’s power in the future.

The Beast God didn’t just do bad things after he had bestowed the reverse scale upon him; he finally did something
 
good. However, Huo Yuhao still reminded himself constantly that he couldn’t draw upon the Beast God’s power if he could afford it. Otherwise, he would develop a reliance on it, and that would hinder his future improvements and cultivation.

Soul power continued circulating through his body. Huo Yuhao used his spiritual power to control a small part of his soul power before he circulated it in his dantian.

Huo Yuhao recounted again and again what it was like when the Beast God had channeled soul power into his body. If he could create a black hole like that, would his cultivation improve more quickly? Even if his cultivation didn’t improve, what would it be like for his explosiveness in battle?

Huo Yuhao began to circulate that thread of soul power in his dantian as he contemplated. He whirled and compressed it. That seemed like where the Beast God’s secret lay, except utilizing spatial power was still a mystery to him.

This thread of soul power wasn’t that powerful, but it began to whirl increasingly quickly as Huo Yuhao deliberately controlled it with his spiritual power. This soul power was gradually compressed. At the beginning it was like a fist, but it
 
was gradually compressed into the size of a chicken egg, and then a hawthorn.

Huo Yuhao could clearly feel that his liquid soul power felt like it was going to solidify after it had reached that level. Its rotation speed began to slow down from to the compression process.

What’s happening? Is my method wrong? But Di Tian’s soul power was clearly formed by small black holes that were rotating at high speed! Every black hole contained spatial power and immense soul power. Is there something wrong with how I’m compressing the soul power?

Huo Yuhao infused even more spiritual power as he thought things over, and forced that soul power to continue rotating more quickly. However, he was careful not to compress it anymore.

Huo Yuhao could gradually feel that something wasn’t right. This thread of soul power was rotating even more quickly after his full effort, but solid grains began to appear in it. Those grains began to absorb the rest of the soul power inside his dantian as they rotated, strengthening themselves. Those
 
whirlpools that had been compressed to the size of hawthorns began to enlarge once more.

No!

Huo Yuhao immediately sensed that something wasn’t right. He instantly increased his control over his spiritual power to make the whirlpools rotate more slowly.

Luckily, it was him. If another Soul Sage was in his place, that person couldn’t possibly have extra spiritual power after adjusting his or her control over their soul power time and time again.

The soul power’s rotation speed slowed, and its absorption of external soul power naturally weakened. Its volume stopped increasing, but the solidified soul power also began to slowly melt and become liquid once more.

Finally, the thread of soul power returned to normal under Huo Yuhao’s careful control, and returned all the soul power in his dantian. It continued circulating according to the Mysterious Heaven Technique’s cultivation pathways.

Huo Yuhao was utterly confused after his experiment. He couldn’t possibly ask the Beast God, as Di Tian would be extremely happy that his soul power was increasing more slowly. Why would Di Tian possibly tell him such a secret? However, the way Di Tian circulated his own soul power left a
deep impression in Huo Yuhao’s mind, and he could faintly feel that such a way of circulating soul power was the method he would ultimately reach.

Doing experiments on his body here was far too dangerous; a single misstep would be equivalent to creating a bomb inside himself. Huo Yuhao decided that, after his body had recovered, he would channel his soul power out of his body and control it outside.


There should be no problem with his spiritual power. At the very least, he had to figure out the secret of how soul power and spatial power fused together. He would have to ask Elder Xuan for the rest after he returned to the Academy. Even though Elder Xuan wasn’t an Ultimate Douluo, he was still a Rank 98 Transcendent Douluo after all, so he should also be working in the same direction.

------

His body was getting better by the second, and his passageways were repairing themselves continuously. Huo Yuhao could get out of bed himself by nightfall.
 
However, he didn’t get to eat much for dinner, due to his physical state. He ate a large bowl of nourishing meat soup and some noodles that were cooked until they were very soft.

Everyone from Shrek who was sitting in the canteen glanced at Huo Yuhao again and again. What a miracle… what was happening to Huo Yuhao was simply incredible!

He was someone whose passageways were almost completely shattered. Not only did he not die, but it had only been three or four days, and he could already get up and walk? What was that, if not a miracle? They would have inferred that he had an undying body if they hadn’t known him so well.

Xu Sanshi stared at Huo Yuhao’s pale expression and said, “Yuhao, who are you going to assign to take care of you tonight?”

Ye Guyi and Nan Qiuqiu blushed when they heard his words. Tang Wutong was drinking her soup, and her spoon quivered faintly as she spilled some soup back into her bowl.
 
Huo Yuhao smiled and said, “There’s no need. We are inside the Northwestern Field Army’s main camp, and we are very safe. I can move around by myself too, so I don’t need someone to take care of me. Thank you, everyone, for the past few days, and I know I’ve also worried you. I will completely recover
after two more days, and then we can return to the Academy.”

Ye Guyi and Nan Qiuqiu seemed a little dejected when they heard him say that he didn’t need anyone to take care of him, because that meant that they no longer had any chances to be close to him.

Tang Wutong heaved a deep sigh of relief. She didn’t even take a single glance at Huo Yuhao throughout dinner. Every time she thought about wiping and cleaning Huo Yuhao the previous night, she would be uncontrollably embarrassed. She couldn’t even regret it. Why did I help him do something like that the other night? That’s just unbelievable...

Xu Sanshi glanced at all three ladies, and a strange smile appeared on his face. “Alright, then, you have to be careful tonight. Right, Wutong is very near you, and you can call her if you feel that something is wrong with you. She should be able to hurry over as soon as possible. Right, Wutong?”
 
“Ah?” Tang Wutong raised her head and looked at Xu Sanshi, and then at Huo Yuhao. Her expression was clearly a little rigid as she nodded.

Huo Yuhao thought she wasn’t very willing as he watched her expression and hurriedly said, “It’s alright, Wutong. I don’t think I’ll have to trouble you.”

“Yes,”  Tang Wutong acknowledged before she lowered her head once more.

------

Everyone returned to their tents to rest after dinner. The Northwestern Field Army’s camp was rather empty at this moment, as most of the army had already been deployed into the Ming Dou Mountain Range. The White Tiger Duke and Princess Jiujiu had to direct everything over there, so they weren’t around, either.

Huo Yuhao felt a lot better as he crossed his legs and sat on his bed. His new passageways had reconnected completely, and the next thing he had to do was get used to them. At the same
 
time, he had to let his passageways consolidate and strengthen themselves with nourishment from his life energy. They should be able to recover completely soon enough.

Life Gold is truly a mystical existence!

Huo Yuhao controlled the Life Guardian Blade with his mind as green light flickered, and it suddenly appeared in front of him and hovered in the air, point-down.

The room was a little dim, but the dagger’s appearance instantly painted everything with green hues. Green light wove around the room as dense life energy rippled.

Huo Yuhao waved his hand, and the dagger ended up in his grasp. The blade wasn’t very long – about seven inches – and the grip was about four inches long. The Life Guardian Blade could only be considered a small dagger.

However, Huo Yuhao immediately felt a thick wave of life energy fill his body as he gripped it, and everything in his body glowed green.
 
He leapt down from his bed, and removed a tough piece of metal from his storage ring. Huo Yuhao swung the dagger in his hand, and green light flashed over the metal before it vanished into thin air just like that, as if it had never existed.

A beam of light flashed on the Life Guardian Blade, and it didn’t change much, but Huo Yuhao could feel that it now contained some life energy inside that didn’t belong to it.

Huo Yuhao exerted his will once more, and the Golden Dragon Spear flew out from his Eye of Destiny. The Life Guardian Blade pressed against the Golden Dragon Spear, and the Golden Dragon Spear flickered and absorbed the life energy that belonged to some other object.

Something occurred to Huo Yuhao. Just as Wang Qiu’er had said before, the Life Guardian Blade and the Golden Dragon Spear were clearly complementary to each other.

Life energy absorbed by the Golden Dragon Spear could sustain the Life Guardian Blade, while life energy absorbed by the Life Guardian Blade from objects could be used to replenish the Golden Dragon Spear. If these two items could be completely fused together, then their strengths would be
 
improved. Their strengths might even be increased to a frightening level.

The Life Guardian Blade belonged to him, while the Golden Dragon Spear belonged to Wang Qiu’er, so he couldn’t attempt something like this before. Furthermore, the Life Guardian Blade was just a small carving knife back then, and its volume was too small. But now, the blade’s bulk had increased, and both items belonged to Huo Yuhao. Could he attempt this now?

Huo Yuhao pinched the Golden Dragon Spear’s tip as he contemplated this, before he pressed it against the Life Guardian Blade’s grip.

The Life Guardian Blade shone with faint green light, while the Golden Dragon Spear radiated faint ripples of golden light. Those lights intertwined and fused together.

I can’t just tie them together, can I? A simple connection like that cannot unleash their potential with one another! What do I have to do for this to work?
 
Huo Yuhao was stuck. He could sense that his choice was right, but how he should fuse them together was another tough question.

Huo Yuhao frowned as he descended into deep thought. The Life Guardian Blade radiated tremendous life energy, while the Golden Dragon Spear seemed a lot more reserved. There seemed to be golden light flowing inside the Golden Dragon Spear’s deep golden hue. Perhaps that was because it had tasted the blood of many creatures, and the spear itself effused a somber and desolate aura.

Both items had the same characteristic of absorbing life energy, but they were different in that the Life Guardian Blade absorbed life energy from objects and converted it into life energy that humans or animals needed, while the Golden Dragon Spear did the opposite.

How could these two be fused together?

Huo Yuhao continued contemplating as he pressed both items together, and focused on their transformations as they were pressed against one another.
 
Huo Yuhao quickly discovered that neither changed too much when they were pressed together. They didn’t reject each other, but they didn’t attract each other, either. They seemed like two distinct objects that couldn’t be simpler, and nothing much happened when they were pressed together.

Huo Yuhao took out another piece of metal. He allowed the Life Guardian Blade to absorb its life energy… yes, something began to change...

The Life Guardian Blade flashed once before golden light circulated around the Golden Dragon Spear. However, this didn’t take longer than an instant before the two items finished interacting.

Seems like I can’t make them fuse together. At least, I don’t have the ability to do so at this point.

Huo Yuhao shook his head in exasperation. His Eye of Destiny flickered and reabsorbed the Golden Dragon Spear. At that moment, an idea struck him; if he didn’t have the ability to fuse them together, could they fuse them together through destiny within his Eye of Destiny?
 
The Eye of Destiny contained the mystical power of destiny, and was a power that not even Beast God Di Tian could understand. The Beast God couldn’t detect the Life Guardian Blade’s existence before this, because it was contained within Huo Yuhao’s Eye of Destiny.

Huo Yuhao had stored and nourished both items in his Eye of Destiny separately before, and let them interact with each other. What if he changed his methods?

With that, Huo Yuhao immediately reabsorbed the Life Guardian Blade into his Eye of Destiny, controlling and shifting it so that it was placed in the same place as the Golden Dragon Spear.

He didn’t feel anything special. They were both under the influence of the power of destiny, but they were just sitting there calmly, no different from how they were on the outside.

Huo Yuhao wasn’t worried, as he knew that good things only came to those who waited. Both items fusing together could possibly give him an unexpected surprise, while it would be nothing much even if those items didn’t fuse. They were both trump cards on their own!

---

Huo Yuhao finished dealing with two things that could almost be considered godly weapons, and his thoughts returned to his recollection of Di Tian’s soul power.

His body hadn’t completely recovered at this moment, but his spiritual power almost had. His soul power was also flourishing.

Huo Yuhao didn’t dare to experiment within his body, as he would be in big trouble if something went amiss. However, everything was different outside his body. Even though Huo Yuhao knew that he should wait until his body had fully recovered before attempting this experiment, he couldn’t resist the temptation right now. His desire for power and strength were even stronger after facing off against Ye Xishui, and comprehending the secret to Di Tian’s soul power would undoubtedly be very helpful for his improvements in cultivation.

Huo Yuhao thought for a moment before deciding to begin his experiment. He was doing it externally anyway, and he
 
wouldn’t hurt himself as long as he controlled his soul power appropriately. He could stop his experiment the last time he attempted it inside his body, so he should have no problems outside it, he assured himself before starting his experiment.

Huo Yuhao raised his right hand, and a thread of soul power gradually appeared. The Mysterious Heaven Technique’s soul power was present as a faint white thread; this was his purest soul power, as it didn’t interact with either of his martial souls.

Chapter 455: Extreme Compression!

The biggest difference between soul masters with twin martial souls and those with only one was that when soul masters with twin martial souls switched between their martial souls, their soul power would swiftly fuse with the new martial soul.

Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power was sufficiently strong at this point that he could even use both of his martial souls at the same time under certain circumstances. Using both martial souls at the same time meant fusing one distinct part of his soul power with his respective martial souls at the same time.

He couldn’t do it for a prolonged period of time, and could only do it once or twice before he had to choose one martial soul. However, this method enabled him to connect his two martial souls more perfectly in an actual battle, and if this connection was utilized appropriately, it would be no different from using both martial souls at the same time.

Huo Yuhao had only just mastered this method. It was a pity that his newfound ability was far from sufficient against an
 
Ultimate Douluo like Ye Xishui. He didn’t even have a chance to use it.

The Mysterious Heaven Technique’s pure soul power began to rotate in Huo Yuhao’s palm. To ensure his safety, Huo Yuhao only used half the soul power that he had used when he was experimenting inside his body.

Milky-white soul power continued to rotate, and gradually became like a whirlpool. It was like a ball of milky-white liquid, and seemed very strange and unique.

Huo Yuhao allowed it to start its rotation before he gradually began to compress the milky-white soul power down.

He was very careful with his movements, and he made the compression process as balanced as possible; doing so would hopefully avoid the phenomenon that had occurred the last time, where some parts solidified while other parts remained in liquid form. Since he had decided to do this, he would have to do it as perfectly as possible. Only then would he achieve the best results!
 
Milky-white light shone faintly. Huo Yuhao concentrated on his task, and the white whirlpool’s volume quickly shrank under his manipulations. It didn’t take long before it was half its original size.

Huo Yuhao was especially meticulous in controlling the whirlpool this time, so it didn’t show any signs of solidifying. It only became a lot thicker, and rotating it seemed to become increasingly hard.

Huo Yuhao used even more spiritual power. With his prior experience, he immediately raised his spiritual power while making sure he was even more careful with his manipulation.

The white whirlpool decreased in size, while the milky-white hues became increasingly withdrawn as the thick liquid-like state began to solidify. It started to spin faster and faster under Huo Yuhao’s control.

Huo Yuhao remembered very clearly that every single existence that resembled black holes in the Beast God’s body was rotating at a speed almost indiscernible to the naked eye. Their rotation speeds were evidently important to utilizing
 
spatial power. He didn’t know the trick to that yet, so he had to experiment according to what he could observe right now..

The whirlpool began to rotate even faster while it became ever smaller, and slowly began to solidify.

Huo Yuhao could feel that he was on to something. The tiny whirlpool was gradually compressed to the size of a yellow bean. It had become completely solid at that point, and was shaped like a funnel. It continued rotating vigorously, while the soul power aura it was emanating weakened.

Does this mean that I can solidify my soul power, and store it externally? That’s just miraculous. If I can do that, what will happen if I place this highly compressed soul power into Milk Bottles? What kind of effect would I achieve?

Milk Bottles were useful, but the soul power they could contain was ultimately limited, and even Milk Bottles of higher classes were only equivalent to a Soul Sage’s soul power. Milk Bottles weren’t that important for higher-tier soul engineers.
 
Perhaps I can devise a Milk Bottle of an even higher class, if I didn’t have any distractions?

Huo Yuhao was elated from his surprise discovery. He began to observe the milky funnel even more intricately, without overlooking any details. He continued to use more spiritual power at the same time to compress the funnel, so that he could keep it rotating.

The yellow bean gradually became the size of a green bean. Huo Yuhao could feel that his soul power was being compressed to almost its maximum level, while its rotation speed seemed to have reached a limit as well. It would be difficult for his spiritual power to make it spin any faster.

But its volume hasn’t changed qualitatively. No matter how I look at it, it’s just a small object that’s spinning continuously!

How did this happen? When it was inside my body previously, I hadn’t compressed it to such a level, and it had already begun absorbing my soul power!

Right... it has to continuously absorb soul power?!

Huo Yuhao’s eyes lit up. He carefully released a little more soul power, and indeed, the solid funnel that was spinning sensed Huo Yuhao’s soul power. It seemed to quiver subtly before a powerful gravitational force immediately emerged from it and swallowed the soul power that he had released.

The tiny funnel began to spin even faster after swallowing that bit of soul power. Furthermore, the gravitational force that it produced began to strengthen, and Huo Yuhao could clearly feel that the little thing was starting to consume the origin energy of heaven and earth around it as well. That wasn’t all; this gravitational force was acting on his own body as well, as if it wanted to absorb even more of his soul power!

This process was just so strange. Huo Yuhao was very excited at this point, and he immediately released another thread of soul power for the funnel to absorb as he closely monitored the funnel’s transformations.

The tiny funnel began to spin even faster after it consumed that soul power, and was now spinning at a speed so quick that Huo Yuhao could barely see what state it was in. More importantly, the funnel no longer needed Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power to control it after it absorbed his soul power. It could
 
now maintain its high rotation speed on its own. At the same time, it began to absorb the origin energy around it more quickly.

Is it strengthening itself on its own? Have I done it?

Fifteen minutes had gone by since Huo Yuhao had released this thing, and more and more strange and mystical phenomena gradually began to appear around it.

Huo Yuhao’s mind was steady and calm. He didn’t continue releasing soul power into the funnel under such circumstances. Instead, he focused on closely observing how the funnel transformed after absorbing more of the origin energy of heaven and earth.

The funnel’s volume had increased after absorbing his soul power twice. Its mass had increased to that of a yellow bean after both instances.

The funnel’s volume was increasing at a decreasing rate as it continued to absorb the origin energy around it. However, it
 
was still increasing in size as it continued absorbing energy, and its rotation speed continued to increase as well.

Huo Yuhao attempted to attach his spiritual power to the funnel. He could still do it in the beginning, but now his spiritual power was tossed back out very quickly.

The funnel seemed to have created a strange magnetic field with its high-speed rotations. This magnetic field seemed to affect the space around it.

That’s it! This should be it! If its rotation speed increases to a certain level, and if the funnel itself becomes sufficiently strong, perhaps it will become like the soul power inside the Beast God’s body. But how am I to store this inside my own body? If I can’t store it, then won’t everything be meaningless?

Huo Yuhao wasn’t worried. He just sat on his bed with his legs crossed as he used his spiritual power to observe the funnel’s state.

This little thing was continuing to spin faster and faster, and was consuming energy at a continuously faster rate. After an
 
hour, its volume had increased by another thirty percent.

Upon closer inspection, Huo Yuhao discovered that the spatial undulations around it weren’t obvious, as if the funnel itself was far from strong enough. However, in terms of volume, the funnel seemed similar to those black holes when the Beast God was using his soul power!

However, even if that was the case, Huo Yuhao could already feel that this little thing was very dangerous. It was like a storeroom full of gunpowder that could be ignited at any time, and if anything collided with it, the soul power that was rotating at high speed could become unstable, and would definitely explode.

Unfortunately, he was inside an army camp, so he couldn’t test how it would look like after it exploded. He would have to find another place for that.

Huo Yuhao channeled his spiritual power with that thought and enveloped this funnel from the outside as he began to attempt to gradually reduce its speed.
 
This circumstance was different from when the soul power was inside his body. This time, perhaps because the funnel was simply spinning too quickly, he ran into a small problem as he tried to control it.

Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power was just starting to interact with it when the funnel immediately displayed signs of instability, as if it were instantly about to explode. Huo Yuhao hurriedly reduced the amount of pressure he was putting on it with his spiritual power, and the tiny funnel stabilized once more.

However, that wasn’t enough to stump Huo Yuhao. First, he used a spiritual barrier to cut off the funnel’s connection to the outside world so that it could no longer absorb the origin energy around it to strengthen itself, before gently reducing its rotation speed so that it would gradually slow down in its stabilized state.

It took fifteen minutes to make this solid-state soul power stop spinning completely. The funnel finally returned to a conical shape in his hands, while the compressed soul power began to dissipate swiftly after it was no longer spinning, before Huo Yuhao reabsorbed it into his body.
 
This process continued for about two hours. Huo Yuhao still hadn’t discovered the trick after close inspection, but at least he had managed to finish his experiment.

Perhaps this introductory experiment will give me even more unexpected surprises? What I need now is to make more observations. I need to go outside…

------

Huo Yuhao exited his tent, and glanced toward somewhere not far from him: the tent that belonged to Tang Wutong. He slowly activated his martial soul and used Imitation.

His passageways still felt a little painful, but there wasn’t a problem if he didn’t channel a lot of soul power. He didn’t want to give up on such a fantastic opportunity: many times, inspiration was but something that occurred in an instant, and he might never find the same inspiration again if he missed it.

Therefore, Huo Yuhao didn’t hesitate for too long. He immediately concealed himself through Imitation and snuck out of the camp.

---

The Star Luo Empire’s camp didn’t have that many surveillance soul tools. With his ability and intentions, he quickly managed to get out.

Huo Yuhao accelerated after leaving the army camp, though he used less than thirty percent of his soul power as he raced into the distance.

His physical state was a little better than he had imagined. There wasn’t too much of a burden on him as long as he suppressed his soul power to a certain level, a beneficial result for him.

He went more than ten kilometers away from the camp before he slowed down. He found a small hill and went behind it, using his spiritual power to sense if there was anybody around him before he began his experiment again.

With his previous experience, Huo Yuhao directly released even more soul power than before this time, and began to
 
rotate and compress it.

He took only half the time that he did before, and the soul power that he released took the shape of a solid funnel.

He was no longer inside the army camp. There was nobody else around him, and he wasn’t afraid of this thing exploding anymore.

The funnel hovered in midair. Its rotation speed increasing very quickly as Huo Yuhao continued infusing soul power into it, and it began to absorb the origin energy of heaven and earth around it crazily.

It didn’t take long before the solid funnel became the size of a fist. White lightning streaks were faintly visible around it, and the space around it also began to contort.

Huo Yuhao continued to observe closely as he reduced the amount of soul power that he released. This fist-sized solid funnel had a gravitational force much stronger than the first one, and even if he reduced the amount of soul power that he released, this thing would still automatically absorb it. Huo
 
Yuhao could clearly feel that his soul power was flowing out from his pores to fuse with the funnel, and all the origin energy within a thousand square meters around him was being aggregated at lightning speed. The funnel’s volume and rotation speed were also increasing continuously.

What kind of law does this follow? Huo Yuhao wasn’t sure, but he understood that the more soul power this funnel contained, the closer it came to the special characteristics of the Beast God’s soul power. Of course, this was only one of the black holes inside Di Tian’s internal soul power...

Huo Yuhao stopped releasing soul power as he gradually moved backwards to distance himself from the funnel. To his surprise, he quickly realized that there seemed to be some kind of unknown pulling force coming from his body, as the funnel actually shifted along with him. It was chasing him!

Are you kidding me? Huo Yuhao wasn’t confident of making it stop, as it had become so big.

He was astonished, and couldn’t be bothered with the fact that his passageways hadn’t recovered completely. Light
 
flashed around his body as he used Instant Teleportation at its maximum range.

Huo Yuhao disappeared one hundred meters away with a flash. The funnel quivered faintly, and seemed to have lost its target. It stopped chasing him.

Huo Yuhao finally heaved a sigh as he continued shifting backwards. He placed two hundred meters between the funnel and himself before he used Spiritual Detection to scrutinize its state.

Chapter 456: The Experiment Fails?

The funnel’s volume and rotation speed increased continuously, along with its soul power. Its gravitational force became stronger as it became larger, and even the stones and sand around it were being pulled in its direction. However, they were immediately ground to dust by the powerful soul power.

The space around the tiny funnel slowly began to contort even more. Its volume was still increasing as it spun, but its rotation seemed a little irregular, while the funnel itself was no longer stable. It was trembling faintly.

I’m losing control!

An ominous feeling surfaced in Huo Yuhao’s heart as he pounced behind a small hill on the side.

Boom, boom, boom!... He heard intense explosions as a vigorous air flow rushed past his head. The soundwaves were deafening as intense soul power undulations erupted in all directions. However, everything settled down very quickly.

Huo Yuhao looked over where the funnel was before, and he could see an enormous crater, thirty meters in diameter and more than ten meters deep. A hurricane seemed to have swept over the large crater, and he could see many marks like blade cuts around it.


This…

Huo Yuhao, even with his full strength, couldn’t do any better. However, he didn’t even use ten percent of his soul power!

High-speed rotation and compression were undoubtedly the reasons why the tiny funnel had become so strong. However, the funnel became very unstable when he lost control of it.

There were clear spatial undulations and contortions around the funnel. However, there was a clear gap between that and the Beast God’s black holes. It was probably because he didn’t have enough soul power.
 
No wonder the Beast God was so formidable, he had stored so much soul power in that state in his body! It would be a surprise if he wasn’t frighteningly powerful!

Huo Yuhao understood that controlling such power was far too difficult with his current strength. However, understanding and experiencing the principles concerning this were very beneficial for his future cultivation, so that he didn’t take any overly long roads.

He decided to stop experimenting, because he wasn’t sure whether he could distance himself from the pull of the funnel using Instant Teleportation if the funnel became stronger than before. If he couldn’t, that meant he could only detonate it prematurely. Otherwise, the ultimate result would be that his soul power would be sucked dry, or perhaps the funnel would swallow everything. The funnel would increase to an even more frightening state before a tremendous explosion was triggered.

Huo Yuhao had already observed and learned a lot today. As for his next experiment, he felt that it would be a lot safer if he attempted it after he had returned to the Academy.
 
------

Huo Yuhao rushed back to the army camp. The explosion from before was quite loud, but the army camp was ultimately relatively far away, while he had also chosen a valley in the mountains. As a result, nothing much happened in the army camp.

He silently snuck back to his own tent, but was startled when he lifted his curtain, because there was actually someone else in his tent.

Tang Wutong was frowning as she stood in the center of the tent and asked as he walked in, “Where did you go?”

Huo Yuhao hesitated momentarily as he stammered, “I went to the toilet!”

Tang Wutong retorted angrily. “Do you need to spend one hour on the toilet?”

“I have constipation…” Huo Yuhao answered feebly.

“You!”  Tang  Wutong  grunted  furiously  as  she  turned  to leave.

“Hey, how did you know I wasn’t in my tent?”  Huo Yuhao asked subconsciously.

Tang Wutong had already stomped to the entrance of his tent. She paused and replied, “I was afraid that something would happen to you, so I decided to visit you tonight, and discovered that you weren’t here anymore. Where did you go?”

Huo Yuhao could tell that her voice was softening, and Dong’er’s beautiful face surfaced in his mind once more. His heart softened as he spoke the truth, “I went to experiment with a method of controlling soul power. It wasn’t very convenient to do it inside the army camp, so I decided to go outside.”

Tang Wutong turned around and stared at him in shock. “Your body is still recovering, why are you still doing experiments? What if something happened? Couldn’t you have just waited for two more days?”
 
“Uh…   alright,  I  made  a  mistake,”   Huo  Yuhao  admitted conscientiously.

Tang Wutong grunted and said, “Sleep early. Good night,” and walked away after that.

Huo Yuhao was in a little bit of a daze as he watched her departing profile. Her attitude towards me seems a little better than before! Unfortunately, she’s not Dong’er… how fantastic would everything have been if she were Dong’er!... Huo Yuhao lamented as he sat back on his bed and quietly recalled every detail of his experiment.

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

Two days quickly passed as Huo Yuhao’s body gradually recovered. Positive news came back from the front lines: The Sun Moon Empire’s internal territories were indeed empty, while the White Tiger Duke’s war strategy was extremely successful. The soul master legions that had dispersed into the Sun Moon Empire’s territories were wreaking havoc everywhere, and had caused great damage to the Sun Moon Empire. The Star Luo Empire had more soul masters than the number of soul engineers that the Sun Moon Empire had


 
brought back, and this disparity was even wider in terms of the number of powerful individuals. The Sun Moon Empire was badly bruised and battered as the Star Luo Empire overran several of their cities.

However, the White Tiger Duke governed his army very strictly. Normal citizens were not to be harmed after the city had fallen, and their armies would pull out of the city after looting and pillaging the governing body’s granaries and armories.

Conquering cities wasn’t the aim of their battle strategy, and wreaking excessive destruction wasn’t part of the White Tiger Duke’s personality, either. Pillaging resources was a lot more effective, and furthermore could also replenish the Star Luo Empire’s own expenses.

All the troops who participated in the strategy were soul masters, and many of them had storage soul tools. Pillaging was like a gentle breeze for them. Very quickly, the Sun Moon Empire’s eastern borders were in a state of emergency.

Even though their intel was shut off and they didn’t know the Sun Moon Empire’s response, or the Heavenly Soul
 
Empire’s situation, the Star Luo Empire’s operations would undoubtedly relieve the situation.

The White Tiger Duke sent letters back several times to inquire about Huo Yuhao’s physical state. After he made sure that Huo Yuhao was fine, he even personally wrote a commendation for Huo Yuhao for his contributions to the Star Luo Empire. The title of Marquis was also conferred to Huo Yuhao.

Xu Sanshi and the others rested and got ready for another day, and made sure Huo Yuhao had recovered completely before he wrote a letter to the White Tiger Duke to bid their farewells. All eight of them then departed the Star Luo Empire’s army camp and journeyed back to Shrek Academy.

Neither the White Tiger Duke nor Princess Jiujiu wanted them to leave. However, the war situation at the front lines was of the utmost priority, so they couldn’t take time out to persuade the eight of them to stay. Furthermore, they understood that these people from Shrek Academy couldn’t be kept. Fortunately, both parties had established an amiable relationship after their missions, especially so after Huo Yuhao accepted his title of Marquis. This undoubtedly meant that
 
Huo Yuhao was admitting he was a soul master from the Star Luo Empire.

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

Everyone flew through the air. They came as eight, and they returned as eight. Huo Yuhao had practically returned from the dead, but everyone managed to return with their lives. However, everyone had experienced the cruelty of war. This was especially true after the top-tier individuals directly participated in the war.

The Death God Douluo Ye Xishui had not appeared again after she departed. At least, the Star Luo Empire had yet to encounter the terrifying Ultimate Douluo after they invaded the Sun Moon Empire. But no matter what, that Ultimate Douluo was like an enormous shadow that looming over the Star Luo Empire’s head. Her appearance would lead to rivers of blood.

The situation had descended into complete chaos. The eight of them were returning to the Academy to protect it, and that was what they absolutely had to do.
 
Even though their individual strengths weren’t much for Shrek Academy as a whole, Huo Yuhao’s status was special, and his presence even allowed Shrek Academy to ask the Great Star Dou Forest’s soul beasts for aid. If that was the case, Shrek Academy would be able to hold their own against the Sun Moon Empire if it was invaded.

They maintained a strict formation as they flew through the air. Huo Yuhao flew in the center, but his eyes were a little lackadaisical.

More accurately put, he had been in this state for the past few days. Whether he was walking, sitting, flying, or perhaps even eating, he would have a dazed and listless demeanor. His companions were a little worried about him, but he would always say that he was just contemplating some things when they asked.

The truth was, he wasn’t lying, as he was contemplating some things that were extremely important to him. That tiny funnel that he was experimenting with was naturally the most important item amongst those things.
 
Huo Yuhao had officially concluded his experiment’s results after his last experiment. Even though he didn’t manage to create a black hole like Di Tian’s soul power had in the end, the entire experimental process allowed him to discover and complete things that he had never known about.

For instance, soul power would generate tremendous gravitational force once it was compressed into a solid state, and its absorption of external soul power would become stronger. This point was very important for his future cultivation.

He was a Soul Sage, and his soul power had become liquid at this point. His liquid soul power’s viscosity would increase as his cultivation increased. Wasn’t that distinctly similar to what his soul power was like when he compressed it during the experiment? Furthermore, he had known about this principle a long time ago, that soul masters compressed the soul power inside their body continuously as their soul power increased, before more soul power could be stored. Soul masters’ martial souls would naturally become stronger if their martial souls fused with more soul power.

Elder Mu had told Huo Yuhao before that soul masters’ soul power would be continuously accumulated and compressed as
 
they became stronger, and only when they became Titled Douluo would things begin to change.

However, Elder Mu didn’t tell him much about Titled Douluo. That wasn’t because he forgot about those things, but rather because Huo Yuhao’s cultivation was still very low at that point, and Elder Mu feared that Huo Yuhao would attempt to run before he could walk.

Huo Yuhao recalled what Elder Mu had told him. According to Elder Mu, a soul master’s soul power would reach the limit of its conversion from liquid to solid as he or she reached the pinnacle of an eight-ringed Soul Douluo, Rank 89, while Titled Douluo would probably have entirely solid soul power!

One of the most prominent characteristics of solid-state soul power was the fact that they could leverage on the origin energy of heaven and earth in the air better. Huo Yuhao had already felt this in his experiment from before.

Even if the solid-state soul power didn’t absorb the soul master’s own soul power, it would still continuously absorb the origin energy in the air by itself. The pertinent soul skill’s strength would therefore increase throughout this process.

This experiment was equivalent to opening a door to another world for Huo Yuhao, and it allowed him to see stranger things regarding soul masters. The first thing he wanted to do when he returned to the Academy was to seek out Elder Xuan so that he could get answers to his questions and clear up his confusion.

“Hey, are you alright? Why are you always in such a daze? Did your injuries this time damage your brain?” Tang Wutong was flying beside him, and she couldn’t help but ask him that question. This fellow has been like this over the past few days. Everyone is worried about him, but they can’t really press him
 
any further for fear of upsetting him. He keeps saying that’s he’s fine, he’s alright… but he doesn’t seem like he’s alright at all!

“Eh?” Huo Yuhao was deep in thought, and his thoughts became a little jumbled when he heard Tang Wutong’s voice. He frowned a little and said, “Of course I’m fine. I’m just thinking about some things.”

Tang Wutong rolled her eyes and said, “What do you have to think about that you have to do it for a few days? It’s fine if something is wrong with you, just treat it as quickly as possible. Don’t force yourself!”

Huo Yuhao snapped, “Nothing is wrong with me. I’m perfectly fine. There are some questions that I need to think more about, so don’t interrupt my train of thought.” With that, he continued flying forward as he began to contemplate once more.

This guy! Tang Wutong glared at him, but he didn’t respond at all. He doesn’t recognize my good intentions at all. Hmph!
 
------

Everyone flew continuously until midday before Xu Sanshi, who had taken point, suggested that everyone descend and take a rest. It was not quite a coincidence that they descended onto a spot next to a wide river.

This enormous river was a hundred meters wide, and the flow of the water was rapid. Even though it wasn’t very clear, the bluish-green river water’s clarity was decent if its volume was taken into account.

“Huo Yuhao, I want to eat grilled fish. This river is so huge, I’m sure there are enough fish here. They must be very fat and juicy,” Nan Qiuqiu exclaimed happily.

“Ah? Grilled fish?”  Huo Yuhao stared at her, and his eyes looked a little blank.

Xu Sanshi smiled and said, “Yes, Yuhao. Your grilled fish is the best in the world. Give us another taste of it! Everyone will probably get busy once we get back to the Academy. You should also stop thinking and rest your mind a little bit. You should
 
switch up your thoughts once in a while, no matter what you’re contemplating.”

Huo Yuhao couldn’t really decline the request as he saw everyone’s hopeful eyes. He nodded and went ahead to catch some fish.

Tang Wutong secretly swallowed some saliva after she heard that they were eating grilled fish. She could still vividly recall the savory aroma from the last time.

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

Catching fish was like using a hot knife on butter for a Soul Sage. Huo Yuhao chose to use the simplest and most brutal method.

He froze some of the river’s water before he transformed it into icy spheres and detonated them in the water with Ice Explosion. The shockwaves flipped a large amount of fish out, and Huo Yuhao used Controlling Crane Capturing Dragon to pull them onto shore.
 
The entire process took a little more than ten seconds, and he proceeded to then process the fish. Ye Guyi and Nan Qiuqiu had already gone to collect firewood, while the others helped out in their own way to prepare rations and start a fire.

Huo Yuhao’s movements were extremely quick. His deep thoughts over the past few days were very helpful to him, and he had an increasingly strong feeling that he had found the right path. Therefore, he was eager to continue thinking.

The fish were processed after a short while, and a fire was started. The grilling had begun.

Huo Yuhao didn’t do anything different from the last time. He was still very familiar with the techniques for grilling fish, and grilled fish quickly appeared one after another in his companions’ hands for them to enjoy.

“Oh, this is good, it’s so good,” Nan Qiuqiu exclaimed in elation as she ate.

Tang Wutong was also eating, but she realized that today’s grilled fish seemed a little different from the last time when
 
they were travelling toward the Star Luo Empire’s Northwestern Field Army. The fish still tasted fresh and delicious, while the fire had been controlled extremely well... but something seemed to be missing. In a more exaggerated sense, the grilled fish seemed to lack spirit.

Tang Wutong sat down beside Jiang Nannan. She couldn’t help but whisper, “Sister Nannan, do you see any difference between the grilled fish today and the one we had the last time?”

Jiang Nannan was momentarily stunned. “Difference? Nope!
The fish is very tasty. You don’t’ think it’s nice?”

Tang Wutong shook her head and replied, “Not that... I just feel like something seems to be missing from the last time.”

Jiang Nannan was dazed for another moment before a deep look appeared in her eyes. She whispered, “I think you’re right. Huo Yuhao thought you were Dong’er when he grilled fish for everyone the last time. He gave voice to the emotions in his inner heart when he was grilling for you. Afterwards, because he realized that you’re not Dong’er, he has treated you like everyone else.”

“Eh?” Tang Wutong stared at Jiang Nannan, surprised. She turned her eyes toward the grilled fish in her hands.

The fish is missing emotions? It’s missing a spirit? Can emotions be infused into a fish? In that case, his feelings for Wang Dong’er must be very deep!

For some reason, envy began to develop in her heart as her thoughts stopped here.

Everyone was satisfied after eating the grilled fish, and they continued their journey.

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

It was midnight when they arrived back at Shrek City. Xu Sanshi and the others went back to the Tang Sect, while Huo Yuhao and Tang Wutong went to Shrek Academy.

Huo Yuhao was the group leader, so he had to report the results of their expedition to Elder Xuan. Tang Wutong didn’t
 
belong to the Tang Sect, and was staying in Shrek Academy in the first place.

Darkness covered the skies. Huo Yuhao and Tang Wutong weren’t flying anymore, walking toward Shrek Academy as a form of respect.

Shrek City had transformed quite a bit over this period of time. With the full effort of the Academy and the Douluo continent’s three native empires, the new Shrek City’s construction speed was one of the fastest on the continent.

At to their current speed, they would need a year at most before Shrek City’s overall structure took shape, and they would need another three years after that before the new city would be completely established.

Once the new Shrek City was constructed, its scale would rival that of Star Luo City and Heaven Dou City. It would be second only to the Sun Moon Empire’s Radiant City, which was the largest city on the continent.
 
The Academy’s main gates were already shut. However, that didn’t pose a problem to Huo Yuhao or Tang Wutong at all. Huo Yuhao didn’t want to disturb anyone, so he used Imitation before he concealed both Tang Wutong and himself, and they discreetly leapt over the wall.

The Sea God’s Lake came into view in the distance. Huo Yuhao stopped as he arrived at the lakeside, and Tang Wutong did the same.

The night sky was impressive tonight. Moonlight shone across the Sea God’s Lake, casting light on the lake’s clear ripples and waves. The moonlight was gentle, while all sorts of vegetation was growing by the lakeside. The Sea God’s Island was barely visible in the distance, as if this were a paradise on earth.

Huo Yuhao began to feel dazed as he saw everything in front of him. He could still clearly remember the first time he realized that Dong’er was a girl; weren’t they on Sea God’s Lake?

The Sea God’s Fated Blind Date. Everything that had happened that day left an extremely deep impression in his
 
mind.

Idiot… I’m her idiot. I was with her for such a long time, yet I didn’t realize she was a girl. That was really stupid of me!

He recounted all the sweetness and tenderness he had shared with Dong’er, and the corner of his mouth curled into a faint smile. He felt as if he could see Dong’er once more under the moonlight.

Dong’er, have you really been beside me this entire time? But why don’t you show yourself to me?

Huo Yuhao reached inside as he reminisced, and retrieved the handkerchief that he had treasured this entire time.

Tang Wutong was only momentarily stunned by the beautiful scenery on Sea God’s Lake after she arrived. She was about to return to Sea God’s Island, but she immediately realized that Huo Yuhao was in a daze once more. Except, this one was very different from the last time. The way he was dazed before seemed very muddleheaded, as if he were very deep in thought.
 
However, his eyes were very gentle at this moment, much like the moonlight reflecting off the lake. The corner of his mouth was curled upward, and there was a slight smile on his face.

She instantly froze when she saw him reach into his shirt and take out a handkerchief that felt extremely familiar to her. That… isn’t that my handkerchief?

Huo Yuhao closed his eyes as he held onto the handkerchief and slowly took a deep breath through his nose. The moist air on the lakeside and the clear and fresh smell of vegetation wafted into his nose, while the handkerchief’s crisp aroma that he had yearned for was also part of all those refreshing smells that he was familiar with. He felt as if his heart and mind were both intoxicated as his entire body relaxed.

Tang Wutong was just watching from beside him. She blushed a little, Why is he holding my handkerchief? Does that mean he knows that I was sleeping beside him that night?

Huo Yuhao opened his eyes as he looked down at the handkerchief in his hands and heaved a faint sigh. “Dong’er, when will you return to my side? Have you really forgotten
 
about me, or do you have some hidden troubles? If you have any problems, why don’t you let me face them together with you?”

Bastard! He thinks my handkerchief belongs to her. Tang Wutong was so upset that she started to pout.

Huo Yuhao was completely immersed in his wonderful memories. Naturally, he wasn’t paying attention to Tang Wutong’s emotional changes. However, she didn’t disturb him, and was just standing next to him.

This bastard… he’s quite concentrated in his love. Tang Wutong couldn’t help but recall the first time she had met Huo Yuhao. He almost immediately charged at her and embraced her in his arms. That embrace was burning with passion and filled with emotions. Tang Wutong was overcome with embarrassment that time, but she felt as if she were about to melt in his arms. She began to feel a little feverish when she recalled that moment.

Huo Yuhao finally came to from his deep dream after a long while, and he glanced at Tang Wutong with an apologetic look in his eyes. “I’m sorry, I phased out. Thank you.”

Tang Wutong was momentarily stunned. “What are you thanking me for?”

Huo Yuhao smiled and said, “Thank you for not waking me from my dream. It feels great to be home! Let’s go.” With that, he soared into the sky like a large bird, gliding across Sea God’s Lake.

He tapped gently on the surface of the lake, a small piece of ice forming underneath his feet and supporting his weight. He continued gliding forward as he strode across the lake like rolling clouds and flowing water.

Tang Wutong followed behind him. She didn’t step on those ice pieces, but quietly flew behind him instead. Huo Yuhao glowed with spirit, health and vigor when he spoke his thanks to her. She had seen Huo Yuhao in such a state when they left
 
Shrek Academy, back when he still thought she was Wang Dong’er. Now, that Huo Yuhao that she recalled seeing seemed to have returned.

Tang Wutong wanted to tell Huo Yuhao that the handkerchief belonged to her, but she erased that thought from her head when she witnessed the vigor and vitality in his eyes. Even though it was just a small thread of hope, some was better than none.

They stepped onto Sea God’s Island. Huo Yuhao went to the Sea God’s Pavilion, while Tang Wutong returned to her own place. Huo Yuhao would be doing the reporting, so she didn’t have to follow him.

------

Huo Yuhao stood in front of the Golden Tree and knelt down in front of it before going to the Sea God’s Pavilion. He respectfully kowtowed thrice toward the Golden Tree.

“I have returned, teacher. Even though you might find this hard to believe, I did meet Ye Xishui on my expedition. She is
 
now the Sun Moon Empire’s Death God Douluo, an evil soul master who is also an Ultimate Douluo. She is likely the continent’s first Class 10 soul engineer.”

Faint golden light rippled from the Golden Tree, and dense elements of light were clearly visible. These undulations were extremely intense at first, before they returned to complete calm.

“Teacher, did you hear me?” Huo Yuhao exclaimed joyfully.

The Golden Tree no longer gave him any signs. Faint golden hues radiated gently, and everything seemed to return to tranquility.

“Elder  Mu  can’t  answer  you  anymore.  He  released  his strength the last time, and his spirit has been damaged. He can only nurture himself inside the Golden Tree. Yuhao, were your words really true?”

Elder Xuan had arrived beside Huo Yuhao, his face overcome with solemnity.
 
Huo Yuhao nodded and got to his feet. He recounted everything that had happened when he faced off against Ye Xishui, and everything else that he had heard and seen on his expedition in front of the Golden Tree.

Elder Xuan’s expression turned even blacker when he heard Huo Yuhao’s words. He glanced at the Golden Tree and said, “Follow me inside.”

Elder Xuan brought Huo Yuhao into the Sea God’s Pavilion. They didn’t wait in the main hall, but Elder Xuan brought him directly into his own room.

“Sit down,” Elder Xuan pointed at a chair inside the room.

Huo Yuhao walked over to sit down and said apologetically, “I apologize for disturbing your rest by coming so late at night.”

Elder Xuan sighed and said, “How can I have the mood to rest? The situation in the continent has suddenly become so deplorable. I never thought that the Sun Moon Empire had hidden such deep secrets.”

Huo Yuhao hurriedly asked, “Back when I was at the Star Luo Empire’s frontlines, I heard that the Heavenly Soul Empire had lost a lot of territory, and even Heaven Dou City has been lost. What is the situation like now?”

Elder  Xuan  shook  his  head  and  said,  “The  situation  is terrible. The Heavenly Soul Empire has already lost two-thirds of their territory to the Sun Moon Empire. The Sun Moon Empire had to task some of their soldiers to handle their conquered territories, and they also had to pacify the Heavenly Soul Empire’s citizens. If not for those reasons, the Sun Moon Empire would have conquered every inch of the Heavenly Soul Empire. The Heavenly Soul Empire’s remaining soldiers have already rendezvoused with the Star Luo Empire and the Dou Ling Empire, and they are holding onto the last of their territories. However, it will be extremely difficult for them to defend it. The Heavenly Soul Empire has already sent messengers to the Academy for aid. The Dou Ling Empire has also started to send their armies into the Heavenly Soul Empire.”

Huo Yuhao wasn’t overly surprised, as he had already predicted such a situation. The Dou Ling Empire’s thoughts were very simple: they wanted to keep their enemies out of their borders and keep the battle in the Heavenly Soul Empire.
 
That would be far more beneficial for them. Therefore, it was natural that they were sending their armies forward. Otherwise, the Dou Ling Empire would end up like the Star Luo Empire if the Heavenly Soul Empire was destroyed, having to prepare to suffer the Sun Moon Empire’s cannon fire at any moment.

The Heavenly Soul Empire sending for aid from the Academy was also expected. However, the Heavenly Soul Empire’s nation-protecting sect, the Body Sect, couldn’t protect them against the Sun Moon Empire’s assault. How much stronger could Shrek Academy be than the Body Sect?

Shrek Academy would definitely be stronger in terms of overall strength. However, Shrek was an Academy, not a sect. The Academy didn’t have the same common interests as the Body Sect. The Academy’s elders naturally wouldn’t be a problem, but the teachers and students didn’t have a duty to fight for the Academy. Even if they agreed to, the Academy’s higher levels would definitely have to consider the safety of these teachers and students, quite unlike the common interest shared within sects.

Therefore, Elder Xuan had been very hesitant these days about the Heavenly Soul Empire’s request for aid, and he
 
hadn’t sent out any reinforcements yet.

Reinforcements were important, but the question of scale posed a very large problem. If the Heavenly Soul Empire had been completely dominated by the Sun Moon Empire, they would be able to directly threaten Shrek City. There was no question that the Sun Moon Empire would attack Shrek City. In the beginning, Shrek Academy’s participation in the war finally allowed the Douluo Continent’s three native empires to beat the Sun Moon Empire back, and the Sun Moon Empire was ultimately defeated. The Sun Moon Empire had holed up for a thousand years after that.

The Sun Moon Empire had obtained all possible advantages, and they would never let Shrek City go. They had the most advanced technology on the continent, and their assault would likely be even more frightening than the Great Star Dou Forest’s beast wave back then.

“Elder Xuan, you have to take care of your body,” Huo Yuhao could clearly see that there were more wrinkles around the corners of Elder Xuan’s eyes.
 
Elder Xuan glanced at him and smiled warmly as he said, “To be honest, I’m not very good at being a leader. My life was carefree when Elder Mu was around. I was wanton and unrestrained, and I was very happy from beginning to end. Ever since Elder Mu left, that burden has been shifted onto my shoulders. I finally truly understand the kind of responsibility that Elder Mu bore for so many years.”

“If only the Sun Moon Empire had delayed their assault for a few decades more! By then, you would have grown to become a man, and I could have passed this mantle to you.” Elder Xuan smiled, but there was some bitterness in that smile, bathed with the vicissitudes of life.

Huo Yuhao said, “Elder Xuan, I will work hard to grow up. I am willing to give everything for the Academy.”

Elder Xuan said, “Now is not the time to give everything you have. If the situation forces our hand in the end, and we cannot defend ourselves against the Sun Moon Empire, then you must remember that you must continue to live on. You and the other young men are the hope of the Academy. Do you understand?”
 
Huo Yuhao felt his heart skip a beat. He could clearly sense some bad omens in Elder Xuan’s words.

Elder Xuan said, “Ye Xishui is actually still alive…  I didn’t expect that. Furthermore, she has become the Sun Moon Empire’s Death God Douluo. With her and Long Xiaoyao around, unless the Beast God stands directly with us against them, there is no chance that we can defeat them. Furthermore, the Beast God represents the benefits of all soul beasts. With his personality, he is no doubt more than eager to watch humans hurt one another, and to see the human elites perish. That is most beneficial for soul beasts. Therefore, even if he did participate, he would wait until both parties have been badly hurt. We can’t depend on him at this moment.”

Huo Yuhao said, “Elder Xuan, can we gather some reclusive sects to come together and fight the Sun Moon Empire? In the end, things will be bad for them if the Sun Moon Empire conquers the Douluo Continent’s three native empires.”

Elder Xuan answered, “We are already doing that, and some sects have already responded positively. However, the Sun Moon Empire’s soul tool technology is far more advanced than ours. Their prowess in battle sweeps aside everything in their path. I have obtained some detailed battle reports from the
 
Heavenly Soul Empire. The Sun Moon Empire and Heavenly Soul Empire’s losses are one to ten! Even with the Body Sect’s participation in the defense of the Heaven Dou City, their losses were still five to one against the Sun Moon Empire. It’s hard to say what the war will be like in the future.

“Fortunately,  you  helped  the  Star  Luo  Empire  regain  the Ming Dou Mountain Range, and you’ve finally held the Sun Moon Empire back for a period of time. Time is increasingly important for us. I have already instructed the Tang Sect to push back all soul tools that are meant to be sold and all purchase requests so that they can focus all their efforts on crafting soul tools to equip Shrek City’s defense army. We can only hope that Shrek City’s defense army can turn the tides of battle.”

Huo Yuhao could feel fear creeping into his heart. He naturally understood the kind of pressure that Elder Xuan had to bear to make such a decision. The Star Luo Empire and Heavenly Soul Empire both lacked resources, but the Tang Sect’s production was very limited! How much effort would they have to put in to equip a legion with enough strength to fight against the Sun Moon Empire’s soul engineer legions?

“Elder Xuan, why don’t I seek out Di Tian tomorrow?”

Elder Xuan shook his head and said, “There’s no use. Soul beasts have always only protected their own, and not outsiders. Di Tian can only protect you; he’s more than happy to see other humans die, and the more, the better. Don’t waste your time. You should go and rest.

“You should return to the Tang Sect after resting up for a few days so that you can help the Tang Sect’s Soul Tool Hall produce soul tools more quickly. All of the Academy’s resources and the resources that the Douluo Continent’s three native empires have sent to support us have been granted to the Tang Sect. Perhaps the Tang Sect’s strength will be key to the final outcome of the war.”

“Yes,” Huo Yuhao acknowledged and stood up.

Elder Xuan said, “We will send news from the front lines to the Tang Sect as soon as it comes. You can rest assured as you cultivate and craft soul tools in your sect. You don’t have to bother yourself with other things for the moment.”

Chapter 457: The Academy's Soul Engineer Legion Plan

“Yes.”  Huo Yuhao acknowledged once again before leaving Elder Xuan’s room.

He didn’t remain in the Sea God’s Pavilion, heading back to the Tang Sect. His body had just recovered, and he didn’t dare to toil the entire night. He returned to the Tang Sect and his own room, and began to meditate to recover his physical strength.

------

On the morning of the second day, he ate his breakfast before Bei Bei gathered the senior management of the Tang Sect for a meeting.

Huo Yuhao had gone to report to Elder Xuan the night before. Xu Sanshi recounted the entire journey in detail as a means of updating Bei Bei.
 
Just like Elder Xuan had mentioned, the Tang Sect’s Soul Tool Hall was very busy. Shrek Academy sent all their teachers and students from the Soul Tool Department to the Tang Sect, personally led by Dean Qian Duoduo. They were now all under Xuan Ziwen.

The Academy also sent over all types of resources, and Dean Xian Lin’er and Teacher Fan Yu led a batch of teachers from the Martial Soul Department to instruct the students of the Academy as well as the Shrek City Defense Army on the use of soul tools.

The Tang Sect had already been relocated into two different areas. One of them was at the original address, while the other region was a huge factory used to manufacture soul tools.

“Eldest senior!”  Huo Yuhao hurriedly greeted Bei Bei when he saw him.

However, Bei Bei was unkind to him. He said, “Little junior, you aren’t allowed to perform any missions without my permission from now on.”
 
“What?” Huo Yuhao was shocked as he looked at him. He asked, “Eldest senior, why is that so?”

Bei Bei ferociously banged the table and said furiously, “Before you left, what did I tell you? My words have fallen on deaf ears, haven’t they? You disregarded your own safety and took such a huge risk. How dare you still ask me why?”

“Ugh…” Huo Yuhao suddenly looked very embarrassed. He scratched his head and looked at Xu Sanshi helplessly.

Xu Sanshi chuckled and said, “Yuhao, don’t look at me. You were injured earlier, such that I couldn’t bear to reprimand you. Did you really think I couldn’t tell what you were planning? I was fooled by you at the start. After that, I realized that the door that you left behind was supposed to be used to return back to the base, am I right? This means that you didn’t stand a chance at all. If not for the power that Di Tian left in your body, you would have been dead.

“Eldest  senior  is  right.  Don’t  go  out  and  perform  any missions anymore. Remain in the sect and focus on your cultivation.”
 
Huo Yuhao revealed a disgruntled look on his face, “Third senior, you can’t put it that way. I was forced by circumstances then, wasn’t I? If I didn’t help the Star Luo Empire achieve a decisive victory, the Sun Moon Empire would have run riot in the Heavenly Soul Empire.”

Bei Bei just looked very cold. “All right, there’s no use in saying all of that. Sit down. Whatever it is, you won’t be allowed to leave Shrek City without my permission. Otherwise, you’ll be expelled from the sect.”

Bei Bei was normally very refined and very nice in his treatment of the members of Shrek’s Seven Monsters. This was especially true for Huo Yuhao. This was his first time he had lost his temper against Huo Yuhao.

Huo Yuhao was instantly very afraid and didn’t dare to argue back. He could only sit down in disappointment, and appear very helpless.

Nan Qiuqiu was sitting beside him and started to secretly laugh.
 
Huo Yuhao was frustrated as he glanced at her. He asked, “Is it that funny?”

Nan Qiuqiu chortled, “You deserve it. Who asked you to lose your cool? We support eldest senior’s punishment of you. Just remain in the sect and cultivate.”

At this moment, Bei Bei said, “During these last few days that you weren’t around, the Tang Sect has already started to move on all fronts. According to Elder Xuan’s instructions, what we need to do first is equip an army that is capable of resisting the Sun Moon Empire’s soul engineer legions. The members of this army will be formed by the teachers and outstanding students of the Academy. I’m going to repeat the plan now, and we’ll see if anyone has anything to add.

“The  Academy  has  considered  the  opinions  of  all  parties after a conference. They’ve decided to set up three soul engineer legions.”

Three? Huo Yuhao was rather shocked when he heard that number. If they were like the Sun Moon Empire, each soul engineer legion would be composed of five hundred people. This meant that equipping three soul engineer legions would
 
mean equipping fifteen hundred people. How easy was it to create enough equipment for fifteen hundred people to use? Furthermore, the Sun Moon Empire’s soul engineer legions were strong in the sense that their soul tool technologies were leading the entire continent. Formations of soul tools and linked soul tools were some things that the Tang Sect lacked.

Why were there so few casualties from the Sun Moon Empire’s soul engineer legions when they fought? Hundreds of the Sun Moon Empire’s soul engineers unleashed linked soul tools, creating a line of defense that even Transcendent Douluo were helpless against!

Wasn’t it a little too hasty for the Academy to set up three soul engineer legions?

Bei Bei glanced at Huo Yuhao and saw how astonished he was. An intense smile flashed across his face. However, he soon returned to his cold and indifferent look and he continued, “Out of these three soul engineer legions, the first legion will be called the Tang Sect Soul Engineer Legion. The Academy approved this name. It’ll be the most elite legion out of the three, consisting of two hundred soul engineers. They’ll all be equipped with the most advanced technologies that the Tang
 
Sect possesses right now, and all the soul engineers will at least be Soul Emperors.

“The leader of this legion will be Dean Xian Lin’er, and the vice-leader of this legion will be Dean Qian Duoduo. At the same time, there’ll be ten Titled Douluo in this legion, all from the Academy. However, Dean Xian Lin’er will be the only Transcendent Douluo.”

Two hundred? That’s still rather reliable. Huo Yuhao heaved a slight sigh of relief when he heard that. However, his eyes popped wide when he heard ‘ten Titled Douluo’!

Ten Titled Douluo! Even the Sun Moon Empire’s Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Legion, the strongest out of the Hand that Protects the Nation, didn’t have so many Titled Douluo! Moreover, all the soul engineers from this legion would at least be Soul Emperors, even though there were only two hundred of them. It really seemed like they wanted to create the number one soul engineer legion on the continent!

Bei  Bei  said,  “Currently,  we’ve  decided  to  equip  this  soul engineer legion with custom-made soul tools, including the newly-created batch of linked soul tools. Teacher Xuan will
 
also personally supervise and participate in the creation of core parts of all equipment. We’ve predicted that we’ll be able to fully equip all of them with half a year to a year’s time.”

Huo Yuhao lifted his hand and said, “Eldest senior, I have a question.”

Bei Bei glanced at him and said, “What’s the question?”

Huo  Yuhao  said,  “Given  the  Tang  Sect’s  current  abilities, there shouldn’t be no problem creating soul tools for Soul Emperors. In terms of linked soul tools, we shouldn’t have a problem either, since we have Teacher Xuan. However, Soul Emperors should only be a small part of this soul engineer legion. Soul Sages, Soul Douluo, and Titled Douluo will make up the large bulk of this soul engineer legion. The soul tools that they will be using should be even more advanced, otherwise, they won’t be effective enough! Do we have the ability to create so many advanced soul tools?”

Bei Bei nodded and thought to himself. No wonder he’s our little junior. He managed to find the core of the problem so quickly.
 
“Your question is very good. Yes, we won’t be able to create so many suitable soul tools given our current abilities. This is why, after much discussion, we’ve decided that the Tang Sect Soul Engineer Legion will be composed entirely of close- combat soul engineers. For all the soul tools we are going to manufacture, we’ve decided to focus on those that increase speed and offensive strength. Secondarily, they’ll be tailored to increase survivability on the battlefield. The only linked soul tool will be for mass defense.”

After hearing his words, Huo Yuhao was immediately enlightened. At the same time, his eyes brightened. It’s a great idea, isn’t it? What are the soul masters from Shrek Academy most adept at? It’s the way they fight. In the entire continent, Shrek Academy is the best in this aspect.

Since that’s the case, why would we focus on long-range attacks? Close-combat soul engineers, increasing speed, offensive strength, and survivability. If we can achieve all these, we would naturally increase the fighting strength of our soul masters.

“If that’s the case, that’s great then. Eldest senior, you can continue.” Huo Yuhao was in awe as he looked at Bei Bei.
 
Bei Bei glared at him unkindly and continued, saying, “For the other two soul engineer legions, there will be more people. The first of the other two soul engineer legions will be called the Heavy Artillery Soul Engineer Legion. They’ll be equipped with the most advanced Zhuge Divine Crossbow Cannons. They’ll be given three hundred of them, of varying classes. There’ll be a total of one thousand soul masters in the legion. Our aim is to ensure the agility of our heavy cannons as we increase our firepower, and also to ensure that the soul engineers wielding these cannons will be able to get into formations at the quickest speed under any condition and at any place.

“Currently, we’ve requested the purchase of a huge batch of low to mid-tier soul cannon shells. Some of them have even secretly been imported from the Sun Moon Empire. In addition, we are also manufacturing our own cannon shells.”

Heavy Artillery Soul Engineer Legion. It was much simpler to equip such a soul engineer legion. The Tang Sect had already been producing Zhuge Divine Crossbow Cannons, and thus had an increasing stock of them.

However, the stronger a cannon was, the less portable it was. How could they ensure that they could move the cannons as
 
quickly as possible? Furthermore, they still had to preserve the fighting strength of the cannons. What they needed were sufficient Sealed Milk Bottles to support these cannons.

Wait, one thousand people and three hundred cannons? It seems like eldest senior is trying to use people to make up for the lack of Sealed Milk Bottles? After all, every soul master is a source of energy. If they take turns pouring soul power into the Zhuge Divine Crossbow Cannons, they should be able to attack continuously for some time.

If three hundred Zhuge Divine Crossbow Cannons are fired at the same time, they would unleash terrifying strength!

Huo Yuhao could still clearly remember that Zhuge Divine Crossbow Cannons had played a very critical role in Shrek City when the Beast Wave came.

Bei Bei said, “The third soul engineer legion will be named the Fort Soul Engineer Legion. It’ll be composed of fifteen hundred soul masters. Comparatively speaking, this batch of soul masters will be of lower cultivations, and they’ll only be equipped with one type of soul tool: our modified All-Terrain Self-Driving Fort. Every fort can only carry five people. As a result, this soul engineer legion will be equipped with three hundred such forts.”

After hearing such a number, Huo Yuhao was astonished. He first thought of the sheer amount of rare metals they needed to produce so many self-driving forts and Zhuge Divine Crossbow Cannons.

Bei Bei instantly saw through what he was thinking and took the initiative to answer his doubts before he even posed his question, “To conserve resources and increase the speed of manufacture, we’ve hired blacksmiths from the Heavenly Soul, Dou Ling, and Star Luo Empires on high payrolls. They’ll proceed with the manufacturing of the outer shells of the cannons and forts. All the metal outer shells will be built using fine iron. Although this will greatly reduce the defensive
 
tenacity and durability of these cannons and forts, it’s the only way to manufacture so many soul tools as quickly as possible. According to our estimates, the three soul engineer legions should be fully equipped within a year’s time.”

Relentless! This was Huo Yuhao’s immediate reaction after he heard Bei Bei’s words. The Academy is really going all-out this time! These three soul engineer legions consist of a total of twenty-seven hundred soul masters, including more than ten Titled Douluo. This is indeed the strength of Shrek Academy!

The Sun Moon Empire would never expect them to manufacture the outer shells of such large-scale soul tools using fine iron. After all, soul tools were precious in the sense that they were durable. How could fine iron compare to rare metals?

At least, it was unlikely that the Sun Moon Empire would use fine iron to manufacture soul tools. However, the Tang Sect was going to do just that. The only advantage that the Tang Sect had over the Sun Moon Empire was the mechanical blueprints for the Tang Sect’s Hidden Weapons that originated from the ancient Tang Sect.
 
Huo Yuhao could guess without even asking. Apart from the most critical parts, all of the soul tools they were going to manufacture were likely going to be using fine iron, fine steel, and other ordinary metals. Even though they were also very strong, their strength could only be realized by the Tang Sect using those mechanical blueprints.

Teacher Xuan, you’ve really tapped into the full potential of the Tang Sect!

Bei Bei said, “Now that the first batch of soul tools for the three soul engineer legions has been completed, we’ve been conducting training every day. Perhaps our three soul engineer legions aren’t strong enough to change the entire situation of the war, but they’ll be a force to be reckoned with. When needed, we can attack and defend.”

Huo Yuhao said, “Eldest senior, I have a suggestion.”

Bei Bei nodded and answered, “Go on.”

Huo Yuhao continued, “I suggest that we specially divide some people to specialize in manufacturing stationary soul
 
cannon shells. A stationary soul cannon’s greatest advantage lies in its effective range. Since we can use fine iron to create the main structure of our soul tools, we can also manufacture cannon shells. As long as we reduce their strength below a certain standard, fine iron and steel should be able to handle them.”

Bei Bei furrowed his brow and said, “We’ll only be able to manufacture Class 3 stationary soul cannon shells then. Wouldn’t that be too weak?”

Huo Yuhao’s eyes flashed and he replied, “It might not be. If we thicken the layer of fine iron and steel on the outer shell, we should be able to increase the soul cannons to at least a Class 4 standard. Furthermore, these outer shells can be manufactured by ordinary blacksmiths. We can add a very thin layer of rare metals as the innermost layer. In that case, we should be able to create Class 4 stationary soul cannon shells. Although the destructiveness of a Class 4 stationary soul cannon shell is only roughly at the standard of a Class 5 soul cannon, we’ll still be able to gain a very huge advantage in long-range attacks if we have enough of them. They’ll be especially useful for aerial soul tools. Given my spirit power, we can specialize in using stationary soul cannons to attack the Sun Moon Empire’s aerial surveillance soul tools within a ten-
 
kilometer radius. Destroying aerial surveillance soul tools doesn’t require too much power, either.”

After hearing Huo Yuhao’s words, Bei Bei nodded repeatedly and said, “Alright. If you think this is plausible, I’ll arrange for you to find Teacher Xuan when this meeting is over. After that, you can quickly perform tests and come up with a proposition before we commit to anything. We don’t have many soul engineers in the Douluo Continent, but we have many blacksmiths. Hire another batch of them.”

“Alright.”

After this, Bei Bei introduced all the details relating to the Tang Sect to everyone. There were simply too many matters to deal with in the Tang Sect right now. Bei Bei was also very relieved now that Huo Yuhao and the rest had returned. At least there would now a bunch of them helping him with all the work. Otherwise, he would have died from fatigue. He wouldn’t even have enough time to search for the Bluesilver Emperor.

After the meeting was over, Huo Yuhao left the room and was prepared to find Xuan Ziwen. After seeing the Death God
 
and learning about some soul tools on the battlefield, he wanted to discuss all of it with him.

“Hey, wait a minute!” someone called to Huo Yuhao, causing him to turn around perplexedly. He only saw Nan Qiuqiu chasing after him with a grin on her face.

“What’s wrong, Qiuqiu? Are you still gloating?”  Huo Yuhao laughed.

Nan Qiuqiu snorted and replied, “Am I that sort of person?
I’m here to help you.”

Huo Yuhao was curious as he asked, “Help me? Help me with what?”

Nan Qiuqiu chuckled and said, “Do you want to go out and play? I have an idea that will let eldest senior agree to let you go out.”

“What?”  Huo  Yuhao  appeared  delighted.  He  didn’t  really want to leave, but he might have a chance to bump into Wang
 
Dong’er if he left Shrek City.

Huo Yuhao was doubtful as he asked, “What idea could you have?”

Nan Qiuqiu snorted and said, “You just need to agree to one of my conditions before I’ll bring you along.”

“What’s the condition? Tell me.” Huo Yuhao asked.

Nan Qiuqiu paused for a moment and she turned slightly red. After that, she answered, “I want you to be my boyfriend for a few days.”

“What?”  Huo Yuhao was stunned for a moment. He was a little embarrassed as he looked at her and shook his head helplessly before turning around and leaving.

“Hey!”  Nan Qiuqiu stomped her foot in anger. “Am I that annoying? Can’t you even pretend to be my boyfriend?”
 
Huo Yuhao shook his head and replied, “I’m sorry, Qiuqiu. We can negotiate other things, but I can’t accede to this request of yours. You should know my feelings for Dong’er. If I agree to your request, I’ll be hurting you. That won’t be good for either of us. I’m really sorry. You’re a nice lady, and I’m sure you’ll find your Prince Charming in the future. I’ll go and find Teacher  Xuan  first.”  After  he  finished  speaking,  he  turned around and left.

Huo Yuhao could naturally sense the feelings that Ye Guyi and Nan Qiuqiu had for him. It was just that he was overly sad because of what had happened to Wang Dong’er and Wang Qiu’er, and really didn’t wish to associate himself with anyone else. If he were more determined when Wang Qiu’er got close to him, the tragedy might not have happened. This was why he was now very disciplined with regards to matters of the heart.

Even though Tang Wutong looked almost identical to Wang Dong’er, he still decided to immediately steer clear from her after verifying that she wasn’t Wang Dong’er. He didn’t want to give her or himself the wrong impression. She had her own feelings. When a guy and a girl stayed around each other too much, it was inevitable that feelings would grow between them. Huo Yuhao didn’t want such a situation to happen. This was why he rejected Nan Qiuqiu so readily. Perhaps this might
 
hurt her in the short-term, but it was better than hurting her after she was even more emotionally involved.

“Hmph! Guys are all so heartless. I don’t want any Prince Charming. Don’t leave! Let me finish talking first!” Nan Qiuqiu was fuming as she pursued Huo Yuhao, stopping him in his tracks.

Huo Yuhao sighed slightly and asked, “Qiuqiu, what else do you want?”

She snorted and said, “It’s a good thing for you. I still have to chase you for this, but you’re so unwilling.”

Huo Yuhao was apologetic. “I’m sorry, Qiuqiu. Ever since Qiu’er left and Dong’er felt into a coma, I’ve not been feeling very good. If there’s anything that I’ve done to offend you, please forgive me.”

Nan Qiuqiu glared at Huo Yuhao and said, “Do you know how much I hate you? It’s always like this, you acting so kind and treating others as outsiders. Even if you can’t be my boyfriend,
 
can’t you at least be an ordinary friend?” As she spoke, her eyes had already turned red.

Huo Yuhao’s heart softened and he said, “We’ve always been friends! We’re even partners, even closer than ordinary friends.”

Nan Qiuqiu’s expression became milder and she said, “That’s more acceptable! Alright, I won’t delay you, I’ll get straight to the point. Do you remember my mom mentioning that there’s a mysterious place where the Earthdragon Sect is that she wants to give to the Tang Sect?”

Huo  Yuhao  was  moved  and  he  said,  “Yes,  Elder  Nan  did mention it before. Why? Haven’t we gone to retrieve it yet?”

Nan Qiuqiu said, “One look and I can tell that you didn’t fully understand her words. My mom was telling you that the place is likely to be accessible only to you. As the temperature inside is extremely low, ordinary soul masters can’t possibly survive inside, much less venture deep into it.
 
“According to the information that our ancestors left behind, there’s likely to be a mine inside. This mine is also very strange, as it’s extremely cold inside. We can only predict that there’s some kind of rare metal inside, but we can’t tell how rare it is. If you’re interested, you can go and take a look since you’ve nothing much to do now and the war situation has more or less stabilized. If you retrieve rare metals, you can bring
some of them back!”

So it’s about this matter. Huo Yuhao finally understood, and said  gratefully,  “Thanks,  Qiuqiu.  I’ll  return  and  ask  eldest senior for permission first.”

Nan Qiuqiu nodded and said, “Alright, I’ll go and find my mother, too. I’ll ask if she’s free within this period of time. Hah, our sect’s territory has already been occupied by the Sun Moon Empire. If we return, we must be careful, too.”

Huo Yuhao smiled and said, “No worries, it won’t be some kind of death trap. We’ve already overcome the Death God. Do we need to be afraid of ordinary soldiers from the Sun Moon Empire?”

Nan Qiuqiu laughed and said, “Eldest senior just lectured you, but you’ve already gone back to your old ways. Aren’t you afraid that I’ll report you to him?”

Huo Yuhao laughed, “I’m not afraid. You aren’t that kind of person. You’re the most loyal.”

Nan Qiuqiu snorted and said, “It seems like we can only be good brothers in this life.”

Huo Yuhao chuckled, “It’s great to be good brothers! See, I’m so good to my brothers. Alright, I’ll find Teacher Xuan first. We’ll talk when we get back.”

-----------

In the next few days, Huo Yuhao was always busy. His discussion with Xuan Ziwen took six hours before he invested his energy into developing stationary soul cannon shells, as Xuan Ziwen handed the job to him. If it were Xuan Ziwen, he would find it very easy to complete this task.

As for the Earthdragon Sect, Bei Bei allowed him to proceed there after he was done with this task.

During the breaks in his experiments, Huo Yuhao wanted to make a trip to the Sea God’s Island and ask Elder Xuan about a problem he had faced during his cultivation. It was just that he found it difficult to turn his attention away from his
 
experiments after he started on them. He only found the time after he completed all his experiments.

After the Class 4 stationary soul cannon shells were completed, they were only two-thirds as strong as normal Class 4 stationary soul cannon shells, but their effective range was almost the same, all a result of the materials used. Xuan Ziwen was already very pleased that they could make it that far.

Huo Yuhao had used a few techniques in their construction. Among them, the most important technique was the delayed activation component of the stationary soul cannon shells.

When such cannon shells were fired, they normally relied on the thrust at their tail to travel a distance before exploding. The components that gave them their thrust and power had to be separated using a strong rare metal. The stronger a cannon shell was, the more precious the rare metal needed to separate the components.

However, Huo Yuhao went against conventional logic this time in his design. He used a new activation technique.
 
First, as these soul cannon shells were specially designed for Zhuge Divine Crossbows, Huo Yuhao fully tapped into their thrusting force.

The cannons were able to fire the cannon shells around two kilometers in distance. If the shells were detonated within these two kilometers, a lot of energy is undoubtedly wasted.

Huo Yuhao didn’t separate the components but placed them together in the same compartment. At the bottom of the cannon shells, he used some mechanical principles and created a delayed activation component.

When these shells were fired by the cannons, they would automatically be activated. However, as it didn’t have the thrust component, the power component should directly blow apart.

However, with the delayed activation component, the power component was meant to blow apart after some time. It would take a few seconds. Within these few seconds, the shell would fly more than two kilometers. When the power component was about to detonate, the central detonation component would take effect.

The power component was divided into two parts. One of these parts was the second thrust component. This second thrust component would increase the speed of the shell once again, reaching the speed of an original Class 4 shell and speeding further away. Due to the initial propulsion, it just needed to increase the speed of the shell.

In this way, a lot of energy was conserved. Although the strength of the power component was slightly reduced as it was smaller, it was important to remember that the outer shell and mechanical components were made completely from fine iron! It was already very difficult to achieve this.

Such a cannon shell would be two-thirds as strong as usual, but its cost would only be a tenth of normal. This was not even including the fact that some rare metals couldn’t be found on the market. It was indeed possible to mass-produce such cannon shells.

Of course, Huo Yuhao’s research only went this far. Stronger stationary soul tools couldn’t be manufactured in this way. They were too strong, and needed rare metals for their outer shells. However, adopting this method would undoubtedly help to conserve resources!

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

He had finally finished. Huo Yuhao reported his results to Bei Bei and was excited as he sat in the chair in front of Bei Bei, gulping down water. He was completely tired out over the past half month.

Bei Bei couldn’t help but smile when he saw Huo Yuhao’s excited look. After Huo Yuhao and the rest returned, they had helped him with a lot of work. He had been much more relaxed over the past half month.

“Yuhao, when are you planning to leave since the experiments are done?” Bei Bei asked.

Huo Yuhao was puzzled as he asked, “Leave? Where to?”

Bei Bei was speechless and said, “Your memory is failing you! Have you forgotten what you promised Qiuqiu? They are helping us. We can’t delay any further. Go and take a look. If it’s some kind of precious rare metal, bring it back.”
 
Huo Yuhao recalled his conversation with Nan Qiuqiu that day and was embarrassed as he scratched his head. “Alright, eldest senior. I’ll go over in a day or two.”

Bei Bei said, “Alright, you can go in two days’ time. You should also rest over these two days. You can’t spend all your time researching in the future. Look at Teacher Xuan. He’s a soul tool maniac right now.”

Xuan Ziwen had become the busiest person in Shrek City. However, it was weird. He managed to become a Titled Douluo amidst all his activity. Recently, he was researching his special Class 9 soul tool. Once his research was over, he would become a true Class 9 soul engineer. He would even be stronger than most ordinary Class 9 soul engineers.

Huo Yuhao chortled and said, “I can’t rest. I had some doubts during my cultivation earlier. I still need to ask Elder Xuan about them. Eldest senior, I’ll leave first if there’s nothing else. I’ll go to the Sea God’s Pavilion straightaway. If you want to find me, ask someone to go over there to call me over.”

After he finished, he quickly rushed out. Every minute was precious to him.

His soul power had increased by another rank over the past half month. He was now a rank 74 control-type Soul Sage. This increase was a result of his accumulation, as well as his research into the soul power of the Beast God.

As he was busy performing experiments, Huo Yuhao didn’t manage to improve in his earlier cultivation. But now that the experiments were over, it was time for him to work towards improvements in that area.

“Yuhao, wash up before going.” Bei Bei smiled as he called out to Huo Yuhao from behind.

“Alright.” Huo Yuhao acknowledged his words before he disappeared.

---

Bei Bei had a smile on his face as shook his head helplessly. He gently leaned back in his chair. Suddenly, he seemed to have thought of something. He pulled the drawer in front of him open and took out a small jade box.

Pinkish lights flashed inside this box. It was given to him by the Delicate Silk Immortal, and was one of the two valuable treasures needed to save Tang Ya. However, the only problem was that the Bluesilver Emperor had yet to surface.

Xiao Ya, where are you? How are you doing?

Bei Bei’s expression turned gentler as he thought of her. However, he was deeply worried. It had already been so long since he had received any news of Tang Ya. Without a doubt, she must have been completely influenced by those evil soul masters and lost her awareness.

Bei Bei really wanted to risk everything to find her. He had already secretly decided in his heart that he was going to leave the Tang Sect to find her after the three soul engineer legions were fully equipped. No matter what price he had to pay, he had to bring her back safely, even if he couldn’t find the Bluesilver Emperor…

------
 
Huo Yuhao quickly went to Shrek Academy after leaving the Tang Sect. The Academy was considered to be in the inner city now. Although Shrek City had expanded, Shrek Academy hadn’t. They only added an extra experimental ground outside of the Soul Tool Department.

Now that war had begun on the continent, even Shrek Academy wasn’t completely safe. Apart from the students who were already in the Academy, the number of new students was decreasing. If Shrek Academy was already like that, there was no point talking about other Academies.

Huo Yuhao went straight to Sea God’s Island after entering the Academy. When he was outside the Sea God’s Pavilion, he first kowtowed to the Golden Tree before going in to find Elder Xuan.

---

Elder Xuan looked much better than he had the last time they had met. He directly brought Huo Yuhao to his room to talk to him.
 
“Elder Xuan.” Huo Yuhao was delighted as he rushed in front of Elder Xuan. “My experiments have succeeded! We can start manufacturing low-tier Class 4 stationary soul cannon shells now. If we make them in batches, we should be able to surprise the Sun Moon Empire.”

Elder Xuan was in awe as he said, “Oh? You’ve actually succeeded? You’re indeed a genius!” It’s only been a few days, but Yuhao has already completed such crucial research. It’s even something the Sun Moon Empire can’t replicate!

After Huo Yuhao started researching, Bei Bei had reported his idea to Elder Xuan during their regular meetings at the Sea God’s Pavilion.

Shrek Academy was no longer peaceful after the war started. The Conference of the Sea God’s Pavilion was meant to be annual, but it was now changed to regular monthly meetings. If there were other special situations, more such meetings had to be organized.

Chapter 458: Soul Core

Elder Xuan dusted off Yuhao’s shoulders and said in concern, “Don’t tire yourself out, Yuhao. You look so worn out.”

Huo Yuhao laughed in embarrassment. Bei Bei’s warning had fallen on deaf ears. He was excited after completing his experiments, and was eager to tell Elder Xuan everything about the mysteries of soul power.

“Elder Xuan, I was possessed by the Beast God Di Tian when I was resisting Elder Ye Xishui. Then, the Beast God poured in his strength into my body from afar through spatial power. He descended using my body. Even though my passageways were damaged following that, I managed to understand some certain traits of Di Tian’s soul power. When I did my research after that, I found out something strange.”

Huo Yuhao recounted his discoveries, along with the details of his experiments to Elder Xuan.

Elder Xuan was still smiling when he first started, and nodding his head from time to time. He was very pleased with
 
Huo Yuhao’s curiosity. However, his expression slowly changed as he continued to listen.

He performed high-pressure compression on his soul power and controlled it outside his body, creating a spatial distortion and allowing him to imitate Di Tian’s black hole soul power.

This kid is too brazen!

“…Elder  Xuan,  whatever  knowledge  the  Academy  taught before only applies to Soul Douluo and below. There’s no other knowledge beyond Soul Douluo. When one becomes a Titled Douluo, what kind of changes will happen to his soul power? Is Di Tian’s black hole soul power only applicable for Ultimate Douluo? In other words, is he the only one with knowledge of it? Although they are both Ultimate Douluo, Di Tian was stronger than Elder Ye Xishui. If Ye Xishui doesn’t use the Death God, she won’t be Di Tian’s match in a direct confrontation.”

Elder Xuan silently nodded. He sighed before saying, “I didn’t expect you to reach this level so quickly. Since you’ve asked, I guess it’s fine that I tell you.
 
“You aren’t wrong. When a soul master becomes a Titled Douluo, his soul power will transform from its original fluid state to a solid state. That’s the Rank 90 bottleneck, and the soul master will obtain his ninth soul ring to become a Titled Douluo. This is a very difficult bottleneck to break through for
most soul masters. This is why there are so many Soul Douluo, but a scarcity of Titled Douluo.

“There’s a very big problem when one’s soul power changes from a fluid state to a solid state. It’s very difficult to cultivate soul power in the solid state. Let’s not talk about those Soul Douluo who can’t transform to become a Titled Douluo, let’s only talk about Titled Douluo. You’ve already sparred with many Titled Douluo. Have you ever realized that even Titled Douluo of the same rank can actually differ a lot in their abilities?”

Huo   Yuhao   immediately   nodded   and   said,   “Yes!   I’ve discovered this point. Isn’t this because of one’s martial soul?”

Elder  Xuan  smiled  and  said,  “That’s  right.  It  has  some relation to one’s martial soul. The stronger one’s martial soul is, the better he is able to unleash the strength of it when he combines it with his soul power. However, you might know about something. The stronger one’s martial soul is, the
 
greater the amount of soul power during cultivation. This is because one’s martial soul can contain a part of his soul power. The stronger a martial soul, the greater the amount of soul power it can store.”

“One can store a portion of his soul power in his martial soul?”  Huo  Yuhao  was  astonished.  He  really  did  not  know about this.

Elder Xuan smiled and said, “Yes. You should be realizing it now. A soul master can unleash his Martial Soul True Body if he’s at least a Soul Sage. His Martial Soul True Body can help him to store some of his soul power. You’ll only learn such knowledge in the Academy if you’re at least a Soul Sage. You didn’t realize it because the amount of soul power you have is already greater than other soul masters of the same rank. Don’t forget, you have twin martial souls.”

Huo Yuhao pondered, then asked, “Does this mean that it is very difficult for a Titled Douluo to improve further when his soul power reaches a solid state?”

Elder Xuan smiled and nodded lightly, “That’s right, you’re correct. The reason is also very simple. If your soul power is in
 
the gaseous or liquid state, it can flow inside your body. Now, let me ask you, can your soul power still flow if it’s in a solid state?”

Huo Yuhao was stunned for a moment, and subconsciously shook his head. How can one’s soul power flow inside his body if it’s in a solid state?

Elder Xuan said, “Your research is going in the right direction. In fact, the situation that you’ve laid out is exactly the soul core that only appears for Titled Douluo. It refers to the core of soul power, the foundation of a Titled Douluo. Soul power is compressed from a fluid state to a solid state, which is then immersed in the dantian of a soul master. That is the soul core. The soul core revolves continuously, and will absorb external soul power through the soul master for the soul master to use. Whether it is in terms of fighting strength or recovery ability, the soul master will be stronger than before.

“However, it is much more difficult to improve once one’s soul power solidifies compared to when it’s in the fluid or gaseous state. This is because a human can’t possibly circulate solid soul power through his body. A human can only dissect the solid soul power in his body into beads before controlling the circulation of his soul power like in the gaseous or fluid
 
state. Not only is this process difficult, but it is also very dangerous. As a result, some soul masters who didn’t think they were talented would give up on further improvements after they became Titled Douluo, and remain at Rank 91. This is very safe for them.”

It's actually so complicated? Huo Yuhao was shocked when he heard that.

Elder  Xuan  continued,  saying,  “However,  it’s  not  entirely true that soul power can’t circulate in one’s body in the solid state. If a soul master’s spiritual power is strong enough that he can control the beads of soul power to appear in the gaseous or fluid state, he can naturally circulate his soul power. Given this, solid, fluid and gaseous states could possibly exist together. One must be a Transcendent Douluo to control one’s soul power at this level. As a result, after becoming a Transcendent Douluo, cultivation might actually become easier. At least there’s a correct cultivation method!

“Of course, Transcendent Douluo still find it difficult to improve. There’s a limit to how much soul power a human body can handle. It can still be compressed in the gaseous or fluid state, and it is already highly compressed in the solid state. It can no longer be further compressed. In order to allow
 
one’s body to handle more soul power, it comes down to the question that you asked earlier: why does Di Tian’s soul power contain such strong spatial power?

“Di Tian has an eight hundred thousand year cultivation. Although he has not lived in this world for eight hundred thousand years, he has still lived much longer than us. Throughout his entire life, he has been understanding the mysteries of space and time, granting him his current cultivation. No one on the continent can compare to him in this aspect. His soul power, which is every little black hole that you saw, contains an immense amount of compressed soul power. It is stored in his body using time and spatial power, which enables him to handle it. Once a fight breaks out, he can unleash immense fighting strength by controlling his soul power.

“My current soul power is Rank 98. All these years, I’ve been troubled by how to control that spatial power and stabilize it after compressing my soul power. I can perform some simple control of spatial power. Come, take a look.”

As he spoke, Elder Xuan stretched out his hand, and a ball of yellow light appeared out of nothing in his palm. It was a
 
yellow ball of light, which looked very real. There were thin spatial cracks around it.

Earth-type soul power! This was clearly Elder Xuan’s solidified soul power!

Elder Xuan’s eyes glowed. Suddenly, the spatial cracks that surrounded the ball started to widen, and the ball started to collapse inward. A small black hole was formed. A terrifying suction force dragged Huo Yuhao toward it, and he almost bumped into Elder Xuan.

After that black hole formed, it started to revolve at high speed. The origin energy in the air started to get sucked into the black hole.

The yellow light on Elder Xuan’s body became more intense. The little black hole stabilized as it was surrounded by a layer of gentle yellow light. It stopped spinning faster, but revolved at a constant speed.

“This is roughly how it is in Di Tian’s body. He uses his own soul power to cause a collapse in space, forming a black hole
 
that can devour origin energy. Theoretically speaking, this black hole can continuously devour origin energy. However, there will be instability if I can’t control it, which would eventually lead to an explosion. I heard Elder Mu mention that if an Ultimate Douluo could complete a black hole and
maintain it at a limit that he can handle, the black hole would be able to remain indefinitely. In that case, this black hole could even devour our entire continent.

“Of course. Such a possibility is very rare. Elder Mu was only making deductions. Such a black hole soul power would require immense spiritual power to be controlled. After it’s controlled, it can be absorbed into one’s body. I can complete such a process, but I can’t transform my soul power in that way like Di Tian. Currently, there’s only one black hole of soul power in my body right now, my soul core. The soul power that’s flowing in my body is still existing in three states.

“If I can transform one-tenth of the soul power in my body into a black hole, I can create a second black hole soul core, possibly in my chest or brow, thereby becoming an Ultimate Douluo.

“However, it’s not easy! I’ve already tried many times, but I’ve always missed by a bit. Compared to substituting my soul
 
power, creating a second soul core is easier. Elder Mu and Long Xiaoyao both took this path. I think Ye Xishui did the same too.

“Only Di Tian took a different path. This is why he is much stronger than most ordinary Ultimate Douluo."

“Furthermore, I suspect that Di Tian has a second soul core. His abilities are already close to that of a god. If he were human, he might have been accepted by the Godly Realm already.”

Huo Yuhao listened very seriously. To him, such knowledge was simply too important. This also allowed him to clearly see his future path of development.

Elder Xuan smiled and said, “Yuhao, it’s much easier for you to become an Ultimate Douluo compared to us, because you have twin martial souls. Remember, you must aim to achieve double soul cores the moment you become a Titled Douluo. As long as you can form black holes with those two soul cores, you can easily overcome the barrier to becoming an Ultimate Douluo. Haih, it’s a pity that time is not on our side. If you had another thirty years to become an Ultimate Douluo, why would we be afraid of Ye Xishui and Long Xiaoyao? An Ultimate Douluo with twin martial souls would be much stronger than either of them. You could even possibly challenge Di Tian!”
 
Huo  Yuhao  said,  “Elder  Xuan,  how  can  soul  power  be stabilized as it transforms into a black hole? In my experiments, I found myself losing control before the revolution of my soul power had generated sufficient spatial power. The key lies in my fear. I feared that I would suffer some kind of backlash once I lost control. That is why I don’t even know what my limit is.”

Elder Xuan laughed and said, “Fool, don’t be too ambitious! You’re only a Soul Sage right now. Even though you have twin martial souls, you’re still a Soul Sage! You can’t possibly form a soul core right now. However, you have a very great advantage over other soul masters. Because of this advantage, I’m confident that you can directly form double soul cores when you become a Titled Douluo.”

“Are  you  talking  about  my  spiritual  power?”  Huo  Yuhao immediately understood what Elder Xuan meant.

Elder  Xuan  nodded  and  replied,  “That’s  right,  it’s  your spiritual power. Your spiritual power is greater than most other ordinary soul masters, comparable to a Titled Douluo. There are very few spiritual-type soul masters, but a spiritual- type Titled Douluo will most certainly become a Transcendent
 
Douluo. This is because spiritual-type soul masters have greater control than most ordinary soul masters!

“It’s fine for you to carry out such experiments right now. At least you’ll get to accumulate experience. However, don’t be too fixated on it. You can’t help it if your abilities aren’t up to par. As your soul power is insufficient, you can’t possibly compress all your soul power inside your soul core when you change it from the fluid to the solid state. The bigger the soul core, the stronger the Titled Douluo.”

Huo Yuhao was moved, and asked, “Elder Xuan, if I try to form a soul core right now, what might happen?”

Elder Xuan was stunned for a moment, then smiled. “First, it’s almost impossible. While your control might be strong, it’s very difficult to control spatial power. If things go wrong, you’ll be courting your own death. During the process of carrying out soul power compression, the demands on a soul master’s physical tenacity are very great. One’s body is like a container that stores soul power, whereas the transformation of soul power from a fluid to a solid state will generate immense energy. If your body isn’t strong enough, you’ll blow apart and die. This is why you can’t just try for fun.
 
“Assuming  you  really  succeed,  your  future  cultivation  is bound to increase significantly. A solid soul core absorbs origin energy at a much faster speed than your meditation right now. However, what will happen when you reach Rank 90? You already have one soul core, and you can’t possibly compress all your soul power inside it.

“When  you  reach  Rank  90,  you’ll  need  to  attempt  the compression of your second soul core. It’s only in this way that you’ll become a Titled Douluo. However, your soul core will definitely appear in your dantian. There’s a very high possibility that your first soul core will form in your dantian, as well. There’s also a possibility that you can form two at the same time. However, if there’s already one soul core in your dantian, you’ll have to take a look at my condition if you want to form a second soul core somewhere else.”

Elder Xuan was a little helpless as he pointed to himself.

Huo Yuhao understood what he meant. According to Elder Xuan, assuming that he did the impossible and formed a first soul core, it would be as difficult for him to form a second soul core as it was to become an Ultimate Douluo from a Rank 98 Transcendent Douluo.
 
“I understand. Thank you.” Huo Yuhao said softly.

Elder Xuan said, “Didn’t you say you wanted to challenge your limits earlier? You can try, I’ll watch over you. I would also like to see how good your control is. I suggest you try with one-tenth of your soul power. When your soul power reaches the solid state and continues to increase until you feel like you can’t control it anymore, I’ll be here. Don’t worry. I’ll ensure your safety.”

Huo Yuhao was delighted, “Thanks, Elder Xuan. Shall I start now?”

“Yes, you can start now.”

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

Huo Yuhao first calmed himself down and adjusted his state of mind. He shut his eyes, and his spiritual power started to flow. He also checked his soul power.
 
Elder Xuan stood by one side and silently nodded. This kid is still as composed as ever. He’s not lost his cool at all.

When Huo Yuhao opened his eyes again, his eyes were already covered with a layer of gold. He slowly lifted his right hand, and his milky-white soul power started to flow out.

As his soul power was in the fluid state, it looked like a puddle of milk in his palm. None of his soul power seeped out of his hand as he controlled it using his spiritual power.

More and more of his soul power started to appear and drift above Huo Yuhao’s palm. It was slowly revolving. This time, Huo Yuhao had poured out more soul power than he did the previous two times in his experiments. With Elder Xuan protecting him, he naturally didn’t need to worry too much.

Under his control, the circulation of his soul power started to increase in speed. At the same time, it also started to slowly compress. During the process of compression, Huo Yuhao slowly increased the input of his soul power.
 
His fluid soul power started to become viscous, but its speed kept on increasing under Huo Yuhao’s intentional control. There was now a layer of gold surrounding his white soul power. It was this layer of gold that protected his soul power from seeping away.

If it were any other seven-ringed soul master, his soul power would quickly vaporize if he let his soul power out of his body just like that, without using any soul skills. After vaporizing, his soul power would then vanish into the air.

Elder Xuan nodded in approval as he watched Huo Yuhao’s control of his spiritual power. Even though this didn’t drain too much of his spiritual power, there was a very great demand of detail. It wasn’t easy for Huo Yuhao to do something like this.

His soul power was slowly transforming from the fluid to the solid state. Huo Yuhao’s expression also started to turn serious. However, his soul power didn’t shift in the slightest under his control, and continued to constantly revolve.

It finally transformed into the solid state. It was very difficult to imagine a Soul Sage doing this! Elder Xuan was in awe, and
 
also grew more focused. He was ready to react to any situation.

Huo Yuhao’s soul power kept on compressing and revolving.

Slowly, his solid soul power took form. The little funnel that Huo Yuhao was familiar with appeared. As he had poured more soul power into it this time, the appearance of the funnel created a greater draw of origin energy from outside than before. The terrifying suction force directly spread outward. Within the Sea God’s Pavilion, origin energy was in abundance. Huo Yuhao felt as if the energy from this little whirlpool had increased at a rate at least twice as quick compared to his previous two experiments.

Distorted lights around his solid soul power started to become more and more obvious. The intense suction force didn’t just draw in origin energy, it was also absorbing Huo Yuhao’s own soul power. Huo Yuhao had no choice but to continuously pour his soul power into it to enhance the strength of his solid soul power.

“Very good, continue. Don’t worry. Let me see what standard you can reach.”  Elder Xuan’s voice sounded in Huo Yuhao’s ears, alleviating his worries. However, he didn’t immediately
 
increase the output of his soul power. Rather, he allowed the vortex to absorb the soul power in his body. At the same time, he kept on strengthening the control of his spiritual power in a bid to maintain the stability of his solid soul power.

Elder Xuan had mentioned before that he had to maintain the stability of his solid soul power if he wanted to make it his soul core. Once stability was lost, a huge explosion would ensue. That would be very perilous.

Under Huo Yuhao’s control, his solid soul power started to stabilize, as well as continuing to strengthen. The surge of origin energy also became faster and faster. Huo Yuhao even saw dim gold appearing on the walls in the room. The Golden Tree was absorbing origin energy from the outside world even as it was pouring out origin energy. This went to show that Huo Yuhao’s solid soul power was absorbing origin energy at an immensely quick rate.

Elder Xuan’s body lit up with a layer of dim golden light, isolating him from the outside world. Huo Yuhao’s solid soul power was already starting to absorb his own soul power. However, Elder Xuan was able to isolate it, given that there was a huge difference in their cultivations.
 
A mysterious look slowly appeared across Huo Yuhao’s face. On his forehead, his Eye of Destiny had already slowly opened. He increased the output of his spiritual power once again and continued to control the revolution of his solid soul power with stability.

Seconds passed, and more than half of Huo Yuhao’s soul power had already fused into this solid soul power. He also started to feel that he was slowly losing control of the revolution of this solid soul power. His spiritual control was still maintaining its stability, but it was impossible for him to stop it anymore. If he did so, there would only be one result: an explosion!

Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power didn’t weaken in the slightest as he continued to pour out his soul power. Elder Xuan was stunned to discover that the spiritual power surrounding the solid soul power was getting stronger and stronger. It had even turned from the original gold to rose-gold. It was like a layer of solid spiritual power existed and maintained the stability of the solid soul power perfectly.

His spiritual power is really strong. It seems like I have underestimated the strength of his spiritual power. It is much stronger than I expected. Perhaps this kid’s spiritual cultivation has improved recently?...

Elder Xuan was right. After experiencing the war between the Star Luo Empire and Sun Moon Empire, Huo Yuhao was even personally involved in a fight between Ultimate Douluo. His body had suffered critical injuries, but he had developed a deeper understanding of spiritual aspects. After all, the spiritual power of two Ultimate Douluo were far stronger than his. Under the kind of pressure that he faced, his spiritual power naturally grew as it was stimulated.
 
At this tier, even a minor increase in his spiritual power was still a huge improvement!

The terrifying soul power undulations continued, and Huo Yuhao started to find it a little overwhelming. He could still hold on in terms of his spiritual power, but the solid soul power was absorbing his soul power at a faster speed, and the amount of soul power in his body was now less than that in the form of the solid soul power. Huo Yuhao only felt as if the soul power in his body was rushing out, while the revolution of the solid soul power had reached a speed that he couldn’t see properly even with his Spirit Eyes.

Fifty percent, sixty percent, seventy percent. When more than seventy percent of his soul power had been absorbed from his body, Huo Yuhao couldn’t control the output of his soul power any longer. What he couldn’t see was that the entire Sea God’s Pavilion had already let out a dim golden light. Above the Sea God’s Pavilion, origin energy had already formed clouds in the air. Immense origin energy continuously gathered in the direction of the Golden Tree.

------
 
Some of the elders in the Sea God’s Pavilion were awakened from their cultivation at this moment. How could they possibly not notice such a great disturbance in the pavilion?

Is someone trying to become a Transcendent Douluo?, was their immediate reaction. Something as strange as this only appeared when someone was trying to form a soul core!

After this, they discovered that the core of all the soul power undulations came from Elder Xuan’s room. This wasn’t considered a very impressive level of soul power undulations to them. Instead, they thought that the undulations were a little weak. There should be a greater disturbance if it was a Titled Douluo trying to become a Transcendent Douluo?...

However, they weren’t worried, since everything was happening in Elder Xuan’s room. After observing for a while, they all returned to meditate. The concentrated origin energy in the air was actually very beneficial to their cultivation. However, the prerequisite was that they had to create a barrier around themselves to prevent their soul power from being sucked away.

----

Eighty percent! More than eighty percent of Huo Yuhao’s soul power had been devoured. Right now, he needed to use a portion of his spiritual power to control his entire body, so that his soul power would leak out at a slower speed. Perspiration had already drenched his forehead, and he started to look paler and paler.

However, Elder Xuan was very impressed that Huo Yuhao was still able to stabilize and control the solid soul power even under such conditions. It did not shift at all!

At this moment, something strange happened. The original milky-white solid soul power started to change color, and turned a dim gold. Furthermore, this golden color was intensifying.

After seeing this, Elder Xuan was astonished. He lifted his head to look at Huo Yuhao. Although Huo Yuhao was already finding it very tough right now, he was still trying his best to hold on.

“Yuhao, hang on. Your solid soul power is starting to develop elemental characteristics. Perhaps you can really construct a
 
soul core. Your situation is different. If you manage to construct a soul core right now, you might actually reach the Rank 89 bottleneck in a much shorter period of time. Although it’s still difficult to become a Titled Douluo, this might be your opportunity. Hang on.”

After hearing Elder Xuan’s words, Huo Yuhao was slightly stunned. He continued to use his spiritual power to control the remaining soul power in his body from being sucked out too quickly. This was because the solid soul power was not just absorbing his soul power; it was also absorbing the origin energy in the air. If it sucked less soul power from him, it could absorb more of the origin energy in the air.

In addition, Huo Yuhao had the deepest awareness of this solid soul power, since he was the one who had created it. He could clearly feel that the development of elemental characteristics was on the spiritual level. This meant that this solid soul power contained the spiritual power of his Spirit Eyes. It was fusing with his first martial soul!

His spiritual power kept on growing. His soul power couldn’t compare to a Titled Douluo, but his spiritual power could. Under the effect of his Eye of Destiny, he continued to let out more spiritual power from his body, and his Eye of Destiny also
 
turned rose-gold. An aura of destiny started to appear as he let out his spiritual power.

The revolution of his solid soul power continued to speed up. It was slowly turning golden. Apart from the immense soul power undulations, there were also decently strong undulations of spiritual power appearing. The spiritual power that Huo Yuhao unleashed to protect the solid soul power had even stuck to it, and was being devoured!

At this moment, the solid soul power slowed down its drawing of origin energy from the air and Huo Yuhao. This gave Huo Yuhao an opportunity to catch his breath.

I must hang on.

Huo Yuhao recognized that his abilities were lacking as he faced off against stronger individuals. He was clearly aware that his current cultivation was still not good enough to challenge individuals of higher cultivations. He had to work hard in his cultivation and increase his abilities right now. Elder Xuan had mentioned that this was a great opportunity, which was also what he had thought earlier.
 
As for a future, second soul core, it wasn’t impossible for him to form it, even if it was difficult. In addition, he had another thought. If he could hang on and wait until his solid soul power formed a soul core, it might even be a stepping stone for him to form a second soul core in the future.

The golden color turned more and more intense. The aura of his Spirit Eyes had already completely pervaded his solid soul power. However, Huo Yuhao’s soul power had already been drained such that there was only a little left over. He gritted his teeth and hung on. However, he couldn’t just hold on because of the void in his body. He was trembling slightly. Without some soul power to support his body, his ability to let out spiritual power would also be affected!

Elder Xuan furrowed his brow. He couldn’t help Huo Yuhao in the formation of his soul core. It could only be completed by the soul master himself. It seems like Yuhao won’t be able to hang on! After all, his cultivation is too weak. Even if he has twin martial souls, his soul power is still not at the level of a Titled Douluo. Haih, it seems like pure spiritual power is still insufficient to complete the formation of a soul core.

However, he should be proud of himself for what he’s achieved. After all, I was Rank 88 when I reached his standard
 
in the past. He’s only Rank 70 or so right now!

The yellow light that Elder Xuan released was getting stronger and stronger. He was ready to intervene. When Huo Yuhao couldn’t hang on anymore, he would use his soul power to cage in Huo Yuhao’s solid soul power before sending it high up into the air and detonating it. In this way, there shouldn’t be much danger. However, Huo Yuhao would need a few days to recover after this experience. The drainage of his soul and spiritual power wasn’t something that he could easily recover from.

Huo Yuhao’s body was already shaking tremendously by now. He was relying on his willpower to hang on. The immense suction force kept on pulling his body forward. Once he couldn’t hang on anymore, he might even be sucked in.

A soul master couldn’t possibly carry out such an experiment on his own, because the end result was death. A soul master needed someone strong to protect him. A Soul Douluo had some ability to protect himself, since his soul power had already reached a certain standard. Even so, there were many cases of Soul Douluo getting critically hurt when they tried to become a Titled Douluo.
 
Just as Elder Xuan was ready to intervene, a beam of golden light shone behind Huo Yuhao’s back, then a ball of milky- white light drilled out from his back. At the same time, a circular barrier appeared in front of him, helping to isolate the suction force of the solid soul power.

Life Reflection Shield!

The ball of milky-white light that appeared slowly took form and transformed into a huge iceworm. Rings of subtle golden light patterns appeared.

The moment it appeared, a wave of pure soul power poured into Huo Yuhao’s body, stabilizing him.

Brother Skydream! Huo Yuhao naturally knew the origin of this force.

The Skydream Iceworm’s voice sounded in his head, “Continue. I’m here.”
 
The moment his voice was heard, the Life Reflection Shield disappeared, and the suction force was felt again, but with the support of the Skydream Iceworm, Huo Yuhao managed to recover slightly. The soul power that the Skydream Iceworm poured into his body contained concentrated spiritual power. As it was released, the solid soul power’s color intensified even more quickly. The gold turned brighter. Spatial cracks also started to appear around it.

The light coming from the Skydream Iceworm’s body became stronger and stronger. Streaks of milky-white light separated from his body and entered Huo Yuhao’s body.

There was a comforting look in the Skydream Iceworm’s eyes. What Huo Yuhao didn’t know was that the Skydream Iceworm had poured in most of the origin strength from his million-year cultivation into Yuhao’s body.

Chapter 459: Fusion of Soul Cores

Even the Beast God Di Tian wanted this strength back in the Great Star Dou Forest. The Skydream Iceworm was far too valuable, and this origin power wasn’t something that Di Tian could take without the Skydream Iceworm’s consent. Therefore, the Beast God had gathered other savage beasts to absorb the Skydream Iceworm’s soul power that he had obtained after so many years.

In the beginning, the Skydream Iceworm brought his own origin power into Huo Yuhao’s body when he had first fused with him. Huo Yuhao’s cultivation had thus been able to improve continuously, and his spiritual power’s exponential qualitative change all had to do with the Skydream Iceworm’s origin power. Otherwise, how could his body transform so smoothly?

However, the Skydream Iceworm didn’t give all his origin power to Huo Yuhao, because his body’s capacity was far from enough.

There was another, more important thing that Huo Yuhao didn’t know. As long as the Skydream Iceworm maintained his
 
origin power and kept it from dissipating, then the Skydream Iceworm could still choose another human to merge with, even if Huo Yuhao passed away.

In this moment, when the Skydream Iceworm decided to fuse his most valuable possession into Huo Yuhao’s body, Huo Yuhao and he could no longer be separated. Either Huo Yuhao finally stepped onto the path of becoming a God, or he would live and die with him.

The truth was, the Skydream Iceworm had long contemplated fusing his origin power with Huo Yuhao when Huo Yuhao had first interacted with the God Realm a long time ago. What Huo Yuhao’s body could bear was sufficient. However, the Ice Empress had stopped him. The Skydream Iceworm should wait until a crucial moment, and give him his origin power when Huo Yuhao was breaking through. That would be much more effective.

Wasn’t this the important opportunity they were waiting for? The Skydream Iceworm didn’t expect this moment to arrive so quickly.
 
Soul beasts cultivated differently from humans. Therefore, they couldn’t guide Huo Yuhao in this respect. However, both the Skydream Iceworm and the Ice Empress were some of the strongest people in the world, and they all possessed incredibly strong abilities within their domains. Of course, they could see
that this moment was an incredible opportunity for improvement to Huo Yuhao. An opportunity like this only came once in a blue moon; at the very least, such opportunities were considerably rare. It would be a pity to miss it!

The Skydream Iceworm’s origin power was incredibly strong, a pure and perfect fusion between spiritual power and soul power. The Skydream Iceworm had completely discarded his element of ice when he was helping Huo Yuhao construct his second martial soul. The Skydream Iceworm only had pure soul power and spiritual power at this moment. It meant he was the most suitable for helping Huo Yuhao form his first soul core.

Elder Xuan’s eyes were wide with astonishment. Huo Yuhao was already almost overcome with weakness, but the enormous Iceworm’s appearance behind his back enabled his spirit to swiftly recover, while his soul power was being unleashed at an exponentially quicker rate, and continuously as well. It didn’t take long before the volume of the solid-state
 
soul power he had created was comparable to that of a Soul Douluo.

That was just unbelievable, the first time that Elder Xuan had seen such a thing!

Even though a powerful martial soul can help soul masters store a certain amount of soul power, Huo Yuhao is storing far more than he should be able to. Furthermore, his two martial souls are the Spirit Eyes and the Ice Empress Jade Scorpion. What is with this huge worm? Does this mean that Spirits can help soul masters store even more soul power?

Elder Xuan shook his head in exasperation. Prodigies and geniuses cultivate in a different fashion from what is the norm, after all. I’ll just wait and see to what stage he can reach.

The cracks around the funnel-shaped solid soul power began to turn gold, while the black hues that belonged to spatial cracks began to appear within the golden colors.

To his surprise, Huo Yuhao realized that when his spiritual power reached a certain level inside the solid-state soul power,
 
it was just like the fusion of soul power and spiritual power inside his own body. The state of his soul power was very similar to when he was unleashing his Three Ultimate Haodong Skills, while the only difference was that his soul power was now solid instead of liquid.

It seems like solid-state soul power is still a reflection of my own ability after all!

However, Huo Yuhao realized some even stranger things right at this moment. The solid soul power was still absorbing his soul power and spiritual power, while Huo Yuhao could still hang on with the Skydream Iceworm replenishing him. This solid soul power was starting to absorb more than just those two things… It was actually gradually absorbing the spatial power contained within the cracks in space.

Is this where the secrets of creating the combination lie? Huo Yuhao widened his eyes, and was working hard to control everything while observing closely at the same time.

Yes, it’s like that! The solid soul power was clearly swallowing the spatial power contained within the cracks in space. It was very strange. The cracks in space became
 
increasingly larger as their spatial power was absorbed, while even more spatial power filled them. Furthermore, Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power was being expended at an exponentially faster rate, while the wild and violent spatial power was tearing at his spiritual power. Huo Yuhao wouldn’t have been able to hang on if not for his Eye of Destiny.

Time continued to pass. The Skydream Iceworm that was almost material behind his back also became increasingly illusory. The Iceworm’s origin power had already integrated into the solid soul power through Huo Yuhao’s body. Even if his experiment ultimately ended in failure, the origin energy of heaven and earth would be very beneficial for him, especially with respect to his fusion of soul power and spiritual power. The Skydream Iceworm would truly become his Spirit after everything ended, and they would be inseparable, just like the Snow Empress.

The Skydream Iceworm’s origin power coming from behind him became increasingly weak. Huo Yuhao could feel his body descending into weakness once more, and he grit his teeth as he tried his best to hang on. Even though he didn’t know what kind of price the Skydream Iceworm was paying, Huo Yuhao could still feel his weakness. Brother Skydream has given so much to help me... I have to hold on, no matter what!
 
He clenched his teeth and continued releasing more spiritual power. There was nothing he could do about his soul power, so he could only keep working through spiritual power. The spiritual power in his spiritual sea flowed as if it were limitless, and even more strangely, the aura of destiny within his Eye of
Destiny seemed to become stronger. A faint shadow of the Three-Eyed Golden Lion actually surfaced behind his back and enveloped his entire being in a layer of rose-gold colors.

Huo Yuhao was giving his all in this moment. If he failed at compressing his soul core, he would be severely injured, and this could possibly end in worse injuries than when all his passageways were shattered. In the end, he even used all of his own origin power that he could control.

The cracks in space became increasingly strong. The contortions and ripples in space, along with that strange sensation, were all deeply imprinted into Huo Yuhao’s mind.

It wasn’t easy to sense spatial undulations from day to day. One could create those cracks in space with forceful attacks, but those cracks would only appear for an instant before disappearing again, so sensing and studying them would be impossible. However, those spatial undulations were appearing around his compressed solid-state soul power continuously and
 
finely. They were closely related to his soul power and spiritual power, so studying and sensing them became very easy.

Beads of nervous sweat began to appear on Elder Xuan’s forehead. Elder Xuan could tell that Huo Yuhao was continuously releasing soul power and spiritual power, and every possible strength in his body was reaching its respective limit. Elder Xuan also understood that he would inflict heavy damage to Huo Yuhao if he interrupted him at such a moment.

But fusing with the mixture wasn’t as simple as creating it. The individual’s body had to be able to bear the mixture! Huo Yuhao had only recently become a Soul Sage, and he had just sustained severe injuries. Could he really absorb the soul core into his body?

The cracks in space on the surface of the solid soul power became closely woven like a web. Black cracks appeared continuously, and the solid-state soul power’s absorption and rotation speed were nearing their absolute limits. All space was being completely distorted around it, and all Huo Yuhao could see was a ball of gold, rose-gold, and black merged together into a strange sphere, which contained frightening soul power.
 
Come! Collapse! Huo Yuhao roared in his heart, and he transformed the meager remainder of his spiritual power into Spiritual Shock before he fused that entirely into the solid- state soul power. It was at this time that the Skydream Iceworm behind him released every last bit of his origin power. The Skydream Iceworm transformed into a beam of flowing
light, reintegrated into his body, and vanished.

Success would be determined in this exact moment.

The solid-state soul power quivered faintly. Huo Yuhao had a strange feeling in this moment that the solid-state soul power, which was rotating ever so quickly, had suddenly stopped; it went from extreme motion to extreme motionlessness. This sudden sensation made him depressed. However, Huo Yuhao felt as if everything had grown blurry around him in the next moment, as if he were now within the starry skies, and only that gentle spatial power was around him.

Space suddenly collapsed in that instant, as if everything was collapsing together with his body as the epicenter, while terrifying spatial power immediately tore his body to pieces.
 
However, his body reformed itself after it was torn to pieces, and his consciousness returned. Huo Yuhao saw to his surprise that the solid-state soul power had collapsed into a black hole.

Huo Yuhao only took one look before he felt as if his soul were about to be sucked in. There was endless darkness inside the black hole, and boundless unknowns, but he couldn’t feel the kind of soul power contained within it at all. However, he could clearly feel a connection resembling a bridge between the black hole and himself!

There were fine golden waves rippling continuously around the black hole. These golden waves gradually froze and took shape, and Huo Yuhao discovered to his surprise that they actually took a strange eye-like shape, while the black hole in the middle was the pupil.

This… is this my soul core?

Elder Xuan was watching him from the beginning to the end.
At this time, he shared the same shock and astonishment.

Huo Yuhao had formed his own soul core as a Soul Sage. This was the first time he had heard of such a thing, let alone seen one! He had witnessed a miracle happen with own eyes, and was filled with pleasant surprise.

Furthermore, he had obtained some inspirations from Huo Yuhao when he was compressing his mixture. Huo Yuhao’s compression method was different from typical soul masters. He was clearly using a lot more spiritual power than soul power, and when his element finally fused with his soul core,
 
his martial soul seemed to become his main guide. This order looked very important. In the instant when the soul core collapsed inward, its soul power undulations were unnaturally stable, and it didn’t need any external strength to control it.

The soul core had been formed in that moment, and it no longer absorbed Huo Yuhao’s soul power. It was only gently absorbing the origin energy of heaven and earth in the air. However, the deep darkness within it and the aura of the mixture itself clearly gave Elder Xuan a feeling that this core wasn’t that much different from that of a Transcendent Douluo. The only difference was that it was a little smaller.

“Yuhao, try to absorb it. However, you have to be very careful! If you feel like your body can’t take it anymore, release it immediately. You’ll have to risk regressing your cultivation instead of forcing yourself. Otherwise, this soul core can obliterate you with its power. You should feel whether your body can take its power once it enters you. Remember,don’t force yourself! If you feel even a little bit like you’re forcing yourself, don’t fuse with the soul core.”

“Yes!” Huo Yuhao steeled his nerves. He was still very much overcome by surprise, because he realized that soul power was coming back into his body after it was empty of it.
 
Furthermore, his soul power was recovering faster than before, and his spiritual power was recovering at a similar speed. Everything seemed connected to this soul core!

Huo Yuhao wasn’t overly hasty to absorb the soul core. Instead, he crossed his legs and sat down in front of it. He channeled his soul power quietly as he replenished it while observing any changes that were happening in the mixture.

Elder Xuan was momentarily stunned before he said hurriedly, “Wait for a moment before you absorb it, your soul core seems different from most. It’s far too stable, and it doesn’t seem like it will lose control or become unstable even without your control. If that’s the case, you can try recovering all your soul power and spiritual power before attempting to absorb it. Don’t worry, I will observe from the side, and will immediately warn you if something is wrong with it.”

Huo Yuhao nodded toward Elder Xuan. His own feelings were identical to those of Elder Xuan, except this was his first time forming a soul core, so he didn’t know what it was supposed to be like.
 
Elder Xuan drew a cold breath. This was the first time he had seen such a stable soul core that was almost near perfection. Did this mean that soul masters could create a soul core such as this before becoming a Transcendent Douluo, as long as their spiritual power far exceeded their soul power?

Typically, Titled Douluo would have to immediately absorb their soul cores after completing them when they were breaking through to become a Transcendent Douluo. Otherwise, if their soul cores became unstable, everything that they had worked for could possibly be for nothing, while the soul core could possibly hurt their body.

Huo Yuhao’s soul core was different from the rest. It was so stable that it was almost like a normal object. Quite a long time had passed since the soul core was formed, but it was still extremely stable. The way it absorbed the origin energy of heaven and earth wasn’t as forceful and ferocious as that of a Transcendent Douluo’s soul core, but this kind of stability was even more precious and hard to come by.

It seems like Huo Yuhao might have a chance to fuse with his soul core successfully! This was just unimaginable. Elder Xuan was witnessing yet another miracle from Huo Yuhao!
 
------

Time continued to pass. Huo Yuhao’s soul power and spiritual power were recovering at an astonishing speed, and it took him less than an hour before he reopened his eyes, back to his peak condition.

“Can I begin, Elder Xuan?” Huo Yuhao turned toward Elder Xuan.

Elder Xuan was astonished. “Your soul power and spiritual power have recovered?”

Huo Yuhao nodded.

Elder Xuan didn’t ask any further. Instead, he tilted his head and said, “Then yes, you may begin. Remember what I said before: it would be better for you to not complete the fusion than take any risks.”

“Yes.” Huo Yuhao acknowledged and turned his gaze toward his soul core.

Huo Yuhao could feel a boundless and terrifying existence inside his soul core that could consume everything, just like when he was observing it before. When he stared at it, he immediately felt an incredibly strong attractive force that seemed like it wanted to pull his spirit into it.

Huo Yuhao closed his eyes and opened his Eye of Destiny. Rose-gold patterns immediately shone from his Eye of Destiny.

Huo Yuhao’s Eye of Destiny gazed at the black hole, and realized, to his surprise, that he had a feeling as if his Eye of Destiny was staring at itself, as if the black hole was what it would be like after his Eye of Destiny was magnified.

Everything was just so unimaginable. Huo Yuhao didn’t have to control it; his Eye of Destiny naturally produced a strange gravitational force that pulled the black hole towards him. The faint golden light around the black hole also began to shrink, and even its original body was contracting.

By the time the black hole was only a few meters in front of Huo Yuhao, it had shrunk to the same size as his Eye of
 
Destiny. Golden light patterns shone from both ends, and it fit itself against his Eye of Destiny as if it was imprinting onto it.

Elder Xuan’s eyes widened. He understood what Huo Yuhao wanted to do – he wasn’t just about to fuse with his soul core. The location that he chose wasn’t his dantian, a location that was easier for a soul master to absorb his soul core into. Instead, he chose the center of his eyebrows, the hardest place to accomplish fusion.

Typically, even Transcendent Douluo breaking through to become an Ultimate Douluo would choose the chest instead of between the eyebrows when forming their second soul core. The reason was because the space between the eyebrows was too close to the brain, and a single mistake could threaten their life!

However, Huo Yuhao’s situation was different from everyone else. Spiritual power was his forte, and in the process of forming his soul core, his spiritual power helped his soul core become very stable. His martial soul was Spirit Eyes, while the space between his eyebrows was one of three locations that could absorb soul cores, and so close to his martial soul’s location at the same time.
 
Therefore, Huo Yuhao’s idea wasn’t impossible! He would leave his dantian empty so that he could store another soul core there when he was breaking through to become a Titled Douluo. In that case, he could wield two soul cores when becoming a Titled Douluo. Elder Xuan thought about his twin
martial souls, and felt that this path that Huo Yuhao had chosen was most suitable for him. He exhaled deeply as he remained amazed.

For the first time, Elder Xuan felt that he could no longer teach this little fellow in front of him.

Golden lights pressed together as his soul core slid in. Huo Yuhao’s body trembled, and two beams of rose-gold light blasted from his eyes as if they were two materialized swords. Elder Xuan wasn’t far from him, and took a step back subconsciously.

His Eye of Destiny shone with light between the center of his eyebrows, and its sun patterns seemed like they were being reinvigorated. They layered together as they glowed and stretched out from his forehead to the space between his eyebrows. The sun patterns looked like they were growing, and quickly stretched over his entire forehead. Huo Yuhao’s hair
 
drifted into the air and danced in midair, even though there was no wind.

Huo Yuhao felt as if a terrifying and indescribable power had been injected into his spiritual sea. This power was like a sharp cone splitting his head apart, and felt like it was about to suck his spiritual sea dry, trying to really open up another eye on his head. That agonizing feeling gave him feel a clear sensation of being shattered.

Huo Yuhao’s path could be said to have been forged through pain and agony ever since the day he had fused with the Skydream Iceworm and the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion. He possessed many abilities that soul masters couldn’t even begin to imagine. However, he had to sustain countless instances of unimaginable pain to gain such abilities!

His strength increased after every episode of agony. At the same time, every instance strengthened his spiritual resolve and endurance. His pain tolerance was not something that normal people could match.

Towards the end, Dong’er and Qiu’er left him one after another, and he almost broke down because he had suffered
 
too much pain in his heart. He had grown after that, grown from a young boy to a young adult, and a true warrior!

In this moment, Huo Yuhao’s body was still trembling intensely as he was struck by this agonizing pain. His lower body was still stable, and his hands were clenched tightly into fists. However, he was subconsciously channeling his Mysterious Heaven Technique with his full strength. Immense spiritual power swirled within his spiritual sea at his whim to resist the intense pain.

Four large Spirits hovered above his spiritual sea. They knew that everything that was happening was very important to Huo Yuhao. With the exclusion of the Skydream Iceworm, who had sacrificed his origin power, the other three Spirits were all using their consciousnesses to protect his spiritual sea so that it wouldn’t shatter.

Golden sun patterns quickly stretched from his forehead over his face, before they went down his neck, his collarbone, his chest, his arms, and his abdomen…

Several short minutes passed as Huo Yuhao’s entire body was covered with sun patterns. That wasn’t all: an enormous
 
vertical eye slowly opened behind his back, rose-gold as well. It radiated sun patterns, and that frightening suction force appeared once more. It was twice as strong as before, and the origin energy of heaven and earth in the air swiftly and immediately gathered toward Huo Yuhao!

Huo Yuhao’s clothes instantly disintegrated into dust, revealing his body, a perfect fusion between energy and beauty.

Sun patterns covered his tall and frame, giving others a feeling of simple mystery.

The vertical eye behind him gradually became a black hole as it consumed everything in the air. Even Elder Xuan began to feel that his soul power and spiritual power wanted to leave his body, and he had to release even more soul power to control them.

---

Time continued to pass. Huo Yuhao’s trembling slowly stabilized, and the rose-gold colors in his eyes slowly dimmed as he gradually shut his eyes. However, the Eye of Destiny on his forehead became ever brighter.
 
The vertical eye contained the endless stars of the night sky, deep whirlpools, and uncountable worlds of radiant colors, as if the black hole contained everything in the world and beyond.

Has he succeeded? Elder Xuan was also a little nervous. He was still confident of pulling out the soul core during the first few seconds when Huo Yuhao was fusing with it, but even Elder Xuan couldn’t do anything at this moment. Huo Yuhao’s fusion with his soul core was far too deep, and Elder Xuan couldn’t do anything to separate them. Otherwise, Huo Yuhao’s own life would be at risk.

Truly high risk, but high reward! Elder Xuan heaved a sigh inside.

Far inside the Great Star Dou Forest, not even the Beast God could have expected that his descent into Huo Yuhao’s body had advanced Yuhao’s understanding of strength at that level, and Huo Yuhao was even bravely experimenting with it!

The sun patterns began to ebb like tidewater. They receded as quickly as they had appeared, and even Huo Yuhao’s skin faded away with the sun patterns as he shone with faint rose-
 
gold light. However, it seemed like his entire person was sublimating into itself.

Huo Yuhao finally stopped trembling. The Eye of Destiny on his forehead gradually withdrew, and when its glow was extinguished in the end, all that was left was a black whirlpool swirling continuously.

There were fine and delicate rose-gold light patterns around the whirlpool. Every single line flashed and changed shape continuously, as if they were all cracks in space.

The black whirlpool was clearly on Huo Yuhao’s forehead, but one would feel that it in fact belonged to another world upon closer inspection. That mystical feeling transfixed Elder Xuan.

Huo Yuhao’s fusion today had given him inspiration, and a lot of inspiration, at that!

The black whirlpool was shrinking as it rotated, until it finally disappeared in the end, and Huo Yuhao’s forehead was clean once more.

What was even stranger was that Huo Yuhao’s aura vanished entirely along with the black whirlpool. He was sitting there like a rock, but also like aclear spring; there wasn’t a single trace of his own aura, as if his entire being had become illusory, and Huo Yuhao had disappeared along with that black whirlpool into another world.

Elder Xuan took a deep breath. He knew that this little fellow had created something entirely new once more. According to his knowledge, nobody among human Titled Douluo had ever successfully created a soul core above his dantian. There were three areas possible: the glabella,, the chest, and the abdomen. These locations were extremely important for a soul master in his later years, and a soul master’s soul power could only transform qualitatively by forming a soul core. This was at the core of being a Titled Douluo.

Soul beasts had a relatively easier time forming soul cores than soul masters. In the end, soul beasts’ physiques were much stronger than those of humans. Di Tian’s soul power had been completely converted into soul cores, and there was nobody else like him in the world. Therefore, he was the most powerful individual among all the Ultimate Douluo.
 
At this moment, Huo Yuhao had managed to create his first soul core as a seven-ringed Soul Sage. There was no question that his cultivation would improve at a rate far exceeding typical individuals. This was an unimaginable accomplishment! The only thing Elder Xuan was worried about
was whether Huo Yuhao could form his second soul core to become a Titled Douluo after reaching Rank 89.

Elder Xuan had been working towards creating his second soul core for many years, but he was still one step away, even after all this time. It wasn’t hard to imagine how difficult creating two soul cores was. However, Huo Yuhao had already chosen this path, and he could no longer regret his choice.

Huo Yuhao seemed to enter a state of deep meditation as he sat there with his legs crossed. He didn’t wake up, his prescence still filled with a feeling of illusion. Only a powerful individual like Elder Xuan could feel the spatial power permeating around them.

Having a soul core meant that one’s martial soul could already absorb strength from the space all around them. The soul core wasn’t just absorbing the origin energy of heaven and earth: the power of space was unlimited! This was the reason
 
why the Death God Douluo was so astonished when she discovered that the Beast God had mastered spatial power!

They were all Ultimate Douluo. If Ye Xishui and the Darkness Holy Dragon were at the same standard, then Di Tian was at a standard several levels higher than them. The two of them had to rely on external objects to close this gap.

Huo Yuhao could no longer feel that intense pain anymore, and in his daze, he felt as if he were entering another world. He was hovering in the darkness within this world, and there was no end to it. It was all endless stars and night.

He was trying very hard to control himself, but nothing responded to his attempts at all. He could only close the distance between his senses and everything around him when he fully concentrated on the stars above, and only then could he see this starry world.

Space and light: this was everything he was feeling at this moment, and he felt like everything he was, was being purified.
 
Everything around him was just so surreal. However, all this surrealness seemed to contain the profundities of heaven and earth.

This feeling was both magical and painful. Huo Yuhao found himself immersed in those sensations.

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

“Ah? Yuhao is meditating at your place?”  Bei Bei stared at Elder Xuan, who had personally arrived at the Tang Sect. Bei Bei found that hard to believe, and asked nervously, “Is he alright?”

Elder Xuan shook his head as he smiled and said, “Don’t worry, he’ll be fine. This is quite a big opportunity for him. You guys have to work hard. Otherwise, Huo Yuhao will leave everyone in the dust in the not too distant future!”

Bei Bei forced a laugh and nodded as he said, “That fellow is truly a prodigy!”
 
Elder Xuan said, “Don’t make it sound like that. He has gone through much more pain and suffering, and he has put in a lot more effort than you guys have. Talent is one thing, and effort is another. You have too many things to deal with in the Tang Sect; you should quickly share your burden with others so that
you don’t overlook your cultivation. You must understand that you have completely inherited Elder Mu’s blood, and your future is boundless, so cultivation is the most important thing. At least, before soul tools can become stronger than an Ultimate Douluo, we have to focus on our cultivation. That’s the core of being a soul master!”

“Yes,” Bei Bei agreed solemnly.

Elder Xuan then asked about the Tang Sect’s progress before he left.

Bei Bei escorted Elder Xuan out, and then returned exasperatedly to where he dealt with the Tang Sect’s administrative items. He muttered under his breath, “I was hoping he could help share my burden; looks like he’s run away once again. Hopefully he can awaken from his meditation as soon as possible.”
 
----------------

However, Bei Bei didn’t expect Huo Yuhao to meditate for a much longer time than he thought he would.

A month passed in the blink of an eye. There was still no news from Huo Yuhao, and Bei Bei, Xu Sanshi, and the others personally went to the Sea God’s Pavilion to visit him. They made sure that he was still meditating before they returned, reassured.

The others from the Tang Sect didn’t have such an easy time going into the Sea God’s Pavilion. However, there was one person who would discreetly visit the Sea God’s Pavilion, and Elder Xuan didn’t stop her.

Tang Wutong stood silently inside the room. She was staring at Huo Yuhao, who was sitting there with his legs crossed and silent like a child. Her eyes were very gentle. She seemed to feel that mystical strength from Huo Yuhao, and this strength was faintly affecting her own soul power undulations.

This guy is sublimating. That was Tang Wutong’s judgment.

Tang Wutong had gone to the Tang Sect after Huo Yuhao had meditated for a week. She was there with a task from Elder Xuan, and responsible for monitoring the Tang Sect’s soul tool production. She unintentionally discovered that Huo Yuhao was meditating inside the Sea God’s Pavilion, and went to find Elder Xuan to ask if she could see him.

Elder Xuan didn’t stop her, and he saw her figure quite often since then.

Tang Wutong didn’t know what she felt towards Huo Yuhao. She had thought that he was a lecher when they first met, and then believed him to be brave and clever when they were at the Star Luo Empire’s western frontlines, and then she believed him to be affectionate and loyal when he saved her life from the Death God. Even his story with Wang Dong’er made her feelings toward him transform continuously.

Huo Yuhao had been sitting there peacefully over the past month, and Tang Wutong had already gotten used to watching his calm silence. Every time she returned after visiting him, she would become exceptionally concentrated when she meditated, and her cultivation was more effective than usual. She had gradually formed this habit.

She was just standing there quietly, and an hour went by.

I think it’s time to leave. Tang Wutong suddenly realized that she didn’t want to leave him behind.

But she had to go back in the end. Over this period of time, after she experienced the battle at the Ming Dou Mountain Range, much of her potential had been unleashed, and she was improving very quickly.

I should go back. I don’t know when he will wake up, or whether we will come together again in the future. Perhaps we will not. I pray that he finds Dong’er as soon as possible.

Those thoughts passed through her head, but she suddenly felt a sour tinge in her thoughts.

What… what is happening?

Just as she was feeling a little dazed, a strange sensation suddenly appeared on her body. She was surprised to realize
 
that her soul power was starting to circulate, even though she didn’t do it deliberately, and a layer of faint purplish-gold light was shining from her body.

Chapter 460: I'm Willing to Never Wake Up

The soul power undulations weren’t powerful, but they were definitely there.

Tang Wutong felt her heart skip a beat, and that strange feeling immediately disappeared. Losing control of one’s soul power was an extremely frightening thing, and was something that nobody wanted to deal with.

Tang Wutong suddenly felt everything light up in front of her in this moment. When she blinked her eyes, she witnessed Huo Yuhao’s glowing eyes.

What kind of eyes are those?! They seem to contain the endless starry skies, and are so deep that the end cannot be seen. In that instant, Tang Wutong was transfixed.

Huo Yuhao’s eyes weren’t shining with any kind of light. However, the space between him and Tang Wutong still became very bright.
 
This feeling was impossible to describe with words, as if there were an unknown source of light present at that location. Tang Wutong stared with his whirlpool-deep eyes, and she felt as if her mind had gone completely blank. The feeling of losing control over her soul power became increasingly strong, but everything seemed to calm down in the next moment. Waves of dragon roars resonated through her mind, and were chiming with joy.

“Dong’er…” Huo Yuhao stared blankly at Tang Wutong, who wasn’t far from him, and was just standing there, staring at him in a daze. Huo Yuhao began to levitate from the ground just like that.

The air on the Sea God’s Island was very clean, so he was sparkling clean even though he had been meditating there for a month.

Tang Wutong was wearing a blue gown today, once Wang Dong’er’s favorite color. Only thoughts of Dong’er resided in Huo Yuhao’s mind at this moment.

Huo Yuhao had been in deep meditation for over a month. He had gone back and forth through the brightness within those
 
endless starry skies, but everything seemed to vanish the moment he saw Tang Wutong. In this exact moment, she was the only thing in his eyes: his alluring, familiar, and elegant Goddess!

The space around him seemed to change, and neither Huo Yuhao nor Tang Wutong knew how they closed the distance between one another.

Huo Yuhao gently stretched out his arms and embraced her.

He felt as if he had wrapped his arms around the entire world in that moment, as if he were the dictator of those boundless starry skies.

Everything is just wonderful, just so wonderful.

Tang Wutong was no longer staring at those bottomless eyes, her own becoming agile and sensitive once more as she emerged from her dazed state. She realized that she had melted into a warm and wide embrace.
 
“Dong’er, Dong’er…” There was a gentle call in her ears, and that voice sounded like a dream. That voice sounded as if it were calling for a spirit from ancient years, and was so gentle and full of emotion that it made Tang Wutong a little intoxicated. She realized that she could no longer control
herself... except it wasn’t her soul power this time, she had lost control over her body!

She raised her hands subconsciously. She was hesitant and jerky, but her hands kept moving forward, and she wrapped them around Huo Yuhao’s waist. She closed her eyes in that moment, and all she felt was warmth, security, comfort, and intoxication.

They were hugging each other so tightly in that moment, and the entire room seemed to glow.

Huo Yuhao muttered under his breath, “Even though we are just in a dream, I am willing to remain in this dream forever. Please allow me to sleep for eternity if this a dream. Dong’er, I miss you, I miss you so much. Did you know? I am but left with an empty vessel in the days that you’ve left my side. You’ve returned, and my spirit has returned. I love you, Dong’er. I am willing to love you with my everything to the end of eternity, and I am willing to burn my own life and soul so that we can be
 
together. That is all I want. If this is a dream, let me remain in deep slumber.”

Tang Wutong was momentarily stunned, and her sensations of indulgence and immersion receded instinctively.

He’s calling for her… her… for Wang Dong’er…

I am just his dream. I am just a shadow of her...

A taste of bitterness appeared at the corner of her lips. She didn’t want to leave this warm embrace, but she had no choice but to gently put down her hands that were tightly wrapped around him, no matter how much yearning she had to be in his arms.

“I’m sorry, I am Wutong.” A gentle voice rang out beside Huo Yuhao’s ears. This was like a thunderclap for him, and he subconsciously released his arms and floated backward like a lightning bolt.
 
Tang Wutong no longer had anything to lean on as he shifted, and her elegant frame stumbled forward for a moment before she stabilized herself.

Huo Yuhao’s eyes were filled with hope and dreams before this, but they gradually dimmed as he stared at Tang Wutong in front of him.

Tang Wutong turned her eyes aside. She seemed to lose her own spirit as he left her arms, and she appeared a little dazed. That empty feeling gave her unimaginable agony deep within her heart, and she felt like she wanted to die.

Huo Yuhao’s face was a little pale as he stared at Tang Wutong. “Sorry,” he said with difficulty.

“I’m the one who should be sorry. I startled you and woke you up from your dream. But I am not her, and I am sorry for making your sweet dream a nightmare.” Tang Wutong nodded gently in his direction before she swiftly turned around and glided away. She didn’t give him another look from beginning to the end.
 
She didn’t dare to look at him. She was afraid that his eyes would hook her spirit once more if that happened. Yes, she didn’t dare.

Huo Yuhao was just standing there as he watched her leave with listless eyes. There was an almost hysterical voice in his heart that was calling for him to hold on to her, but he remained standing there in the end, motionless.

She’s not her. She is Tang Wutong, and not my Dong’er!

But why did our embrace feel so familiar? If she didn’t say it, perhaps I would really have treated her as Dong’er.

Where are you, Dong’er?

Tears flowed down his cheeks like a waterfall. He clutched his fists tightly as he suddenly turned and stared outside the window.

Huo Yuhao could see Tang Wutong, who was dashing away crazily. He could see the radiating purplish-green hues from
 
her body, and an unknown force pulled at his body and his heart. He watched her until she disappeared beyond the horizon, and that figure that was identical to Dong’er’s vanished just like that.

Dong’er, Dong’er…

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

In the Tang Sect...

Bam! Nan Qiuqiu began to pout as she kicked away all the stones that were blocking her way. She had been very depressed over the past month.

We had an agreement! We were supposed to return to my sect and explore the hidden area. But he didn’t even say anything to me before he went into his closed-door cultivation! And he picked the wrong time for that, as well! Is he deliberately trying to avoid me? We have already agreed on being brothers, so why is he dodging me? What an asshole!
 
Everyone in the Tang Sect had been very busy over the past month. They were either busy with administrative matters or cultivation.

Nan Qiuqiu was the same. She wasn’t assigned much work because she had a very irritable and impatient personality. She was tasked to focus more on cultivation. However, cultivating for too long also made her feel frustrated and dull. She was really starting to find this loneliness unbearable.

She was still walking forward as a figure blocked her path.

“Hey, get out of my way!”  Nan Qiuqiu was already in a bad mood, and her hot temper immediately erupted. She didn’t even lift her head as she exploded.

“You won’t be able to marry in the future if you keep doing this,” the person quipped back at her, instead of moving out of the way.

“What the fuck does that have to do with you?!” Nan Qiuqiu was furious. She raised her head and looked at the person blocking her way, and her eyes widened as her jaw dropped.

Huo Yuhao stared at her with a faint smile on his face, but he sounded like he was chiding as he said, “Don’t curse, you’re a girl.”

Nan Qiuqiu’s sizzling fury from before was immediately extinguished. She was just now clearly full of complaints about this guy in front of her, but she now found herself unable to vent her anger when he was standing in front of her.

Her voice was a lot lower than before. “It’s true, anyway. Why do you care whether I can marry? Hmph, you still know how to come back.”

“I’m sorry, Qiuqiu,” Huo Yuhao said apologetically, “I didn’t know this delay would be so long. I’m sorry!”

Nan Qiuqiu’s mood was instantly lifted when she heard Huo Yuhao apologize. She looked up at him and said, “Are you still going? I’ve been waiting for you for more than a month.”

Huo Yuhao answered, “Yes, of course we’re going. We can leave at any time! I await your instruction!” He even bowed at
 
Nan Qiuqiu as he spoke.

Nan Qiuqiu was elated. She placed her hands behind her back and nodded proudly as he said, “Yes, that’s much better. I will forgive you temporarily because of your good attitude, and I will think about how to deal with you according to how you behave later on!”

“Alright,” Huo Yuhao stood up straight as he smiled and said, “Let’s go back to the Tang Sect. I will report to eldest senior brother, and then I can leave with you.”

“Yes!”  Nan Qiuqiu acknowledged as she turned around and pranced back toward the Tang Sect. However, she didn’t notice the faint dash of loneliness deep within Huo Yuhao’s smiling eyes.

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

Huo Yuhao went to find Bei Bei immediately after returning to the Tang Sect.
 
Bei Bei appeared much better than he had one month ago. Xu Sanshi and the others had helped share much of his burdens after they returned, and he finally had time to continue cultivating.

“You’re finally awake, little junior brother. How was it? How much have you gained?” Bei Bei spoke in pleasant surprise.

Huo Yuhao nodded and answered, “I have gained much.
However, I can’t duplicate it for everyone.”

Bei  Bei  shook  his  head  with  a  smile  on  his  face.  “That’s nothing to worry about. Everyone has his or her own path. You have yours, and we have ours. Everyone’s path is different, but we will all reach the same destination in the end, as long as we work hard and find the right direction, and if we don’t take any shortcuts.”

Nan Qiuqiu giggled from aside. “Eldest senior brother, your words are starting to sound more and more philosophical. You live up to your name as the Tang Sect’s eldest senior brother!’
 
Bei Bei chuckled and said, “Qiuqiu, are you taking Huo Yuhao back to your sect? We have delayed this matter for quite some time, and I am sorry for that. Do help me apologize to your sect leader."

Nan Qiuqiu nodded and said, “It’s fine. I’ve already told my mother, and she said that cultivation is more important, and we can go whenever Yuhao is free. My mother returned to our sect about half a month ago. I’ve heard that Dragon City, where the Earthdragon Sect is located, has been conquered by the Sun Moon Empire, and she wants to go back to deal with some administrative matters. She will withdraw all of the sect’s resources this time and transfer them to Shrek.”

Huo Yuhao was momentarily shocked when he heard that the Sun Moon Empire had conquered Dragon City. He turned towards Bei Bei and asked, “How is the war going, eldest senior brother?”

One month was quite a long time, and their situation could change in the blink of an eye.

Bei Bei said, “Don’t worry, little junior brother, the situation is considered relatively stable. Ever since you guys helped the Star Luo Empire break through the Ming Dou Mountain Range’s defensive perimeter, the Star Luo Empire has
 
unleashed an assault on all fronts against the Sun Moon Empire’s territory. Even though their forward momentum isn’t too quick, they’ve managed to disturb the Sun Moon Empire so that they have no choice but to call back their soldiers to reinforce their own territory.

“The  pressure  on  the  Heavenly  Soul  Empire  has  been reduced. The Heavenly Soul Empire and the Dou Ling Empire’s reinforcements have rendezvoused, and they are trying their best to resist the Sun Moon Empire’s pressure. Even though the Sun Moon Empire is still conquering more and more land, their speed has been considerably slowed. This has given us some time.”

Huo Yuhao heaved a sigh of relief when he heard Bei Bei’s words. It seemed like the Star Luo Empire had been reasonably effective.

Ultimate Douluo were indeed powerful, but the Death God Douluo couldn’t rely on her own strength to cover the entire battlefield. Before they left back then, the White Tiger Duke had already decided on their direction to divide and conquer so that they could target the locations where the Sun Moon Empire lacked soldiers, and hence destroy all the legions in those areas. They harassed the Sun Moon Empire over large
 
areas with small teams. Ye Xishui’s individual strength was very powerful, but she couldn’t cover every single spot.

This should be a battle strategy that was effective in the end. The White Tiger Duke wasn’t inferior to any of the Sun Moon Empire’s commanders in terms of strategy and tactics!

Bei Bei said, “Even though you are unlikely to run into the Sun Moon Empire’s main forces on your journey, you guys still have to be careful. You have to help the Earthdragon Sect’s leader return to Shrek City while you explore their mysterious areas. Qiuqiu, don’t be unreasonable or playful with Huo Yuhao, do you understand? Otherwise, I will confine you when you return.”

Nan  Qiuqiu  stuck  out  her  tongue  and  said,  “Understood, eldest senior brother. Can you not see how obedient and lovable I am right now?”

Bei Bei stared at her as she attempted to act like she was aggrieved. He couldn’t help but laugh as he said, “You? Obedient and lovable? Heaven pity and protect us! Alright, go and pack up, and then you can leave.”
 
Nan Qiuqiu turned and darted away excitedly. She had been looking forward to going out to play for a long time.

Huo Yuhao chose to stay behind. He could tell from Bei Bei’s eyes that his eldest senior brother had something to say to him.

“Yuhao, help me look for the Bluesilver Emperor when you go to the Heavenly Soul Empire, if it’s possible.” His eyes were full of grief and frustration when he said those words. He knew that their chances of finding the Bluesilver Emperor were very slim. In the end, the Great Star Dou Forest was very helpful, but they still hadn’t discovered anything yet. All they did was provide a lead that a certain soul beast had seen the Bluesilver Emperor within the Heavenly Soul Empire, which was why Bei Bei brought it up to Huo Yuhao.

Huo Yuhao nodded and said, “Definitely. Do you have solid leads regarding the Bluesilver Emperor, eldest senior brother?”

Bei Bei said, “I don’t have any proper leads. Someone from the Great Star Dou Forest mentioned some soul beasts have seen the Bluesilver Emperor in the Heavenly Soul Empire, but we don’t have any precise leads. Oh, yes; if you have time, you can visit the Setting Sun Forest. I have kept Big Fur and Little
 
Fur there, and it’s been some time. I wonder how they’re doing.”

Big Fur and Little Fur were the two Darkgolden Terrorclaw Bears that Huo Yuhao and Wang Qiu’er had rescued from evil soul masters a long time ago. They had been fed well over the past few years, and were a lot larger than before. Bei Bei had left them in the Setting Sun Forest back then before he returned to the Tang Sect to deal with administrative matters.

“Alright,  I’ll  take  a  look,”   Huo  Yuhao  acknowledged.  He couldn’t help but think about Wang Qiu’er, who had sacrificed herself for him, when he thought of Big Fur and Little Fur. Wang Qiu’er was with him when they had rescued Big Fur and Little Fur!

Bei  Bei  glanced  at  Huo  Yuhao  and  said,  “Right,  Yuhao.  I heard that Tang Wutong has been visiting you often when you were meditating. Have you seen her? She even found an excuse to come to the Tang Sect not long ago to look for you.”

Huo Yuhao was momentarily stunned, and the image of Tang Wutong dashing away surfaced in his head. He nodded and said, “I’ve met her already.”

Bei Bei contemplated for a moment. He wanted to say something and seemed very hesitant, but he kept his words to himself in the end. “Alright, little junior. Be careful on the road, and return as quickly as possible. If you can’t find the Bluesilver Emperor, then forget it. As for Big Fur and Little Fur, you have to tell them not to destroy the immortal herbs around the Icefire Yin Yang Well.”

Huo Yuhao nodded.

He was all alone in this world, so there was nothing much for him to pack. He took a shower and changed into some clean clothes before he packed a few extra sets of clean clothes, some rations, and some water. He bid his farewells to his companions, and went to see Xuan Ziwen that night.

Huo Yuhao and Nan Qiuqiu departed the Tang Sect in the morning on the next day, and headed straight toward the Heavenly Soul Empire.

----------------
 
Shrek Academy was positioned at the border between all three empires. They were originally within the Heavenly Soul Empire’s borders, while Dragon City, which was where the Earthdragon Sect was located, was in the Heavenly Soul Empire’s northeastern regions. They just had to proceed north from Shrek City to reach Dragon City.

Huo Yuhao and Nan Qiuqiu activated their respective flying- type soul tools as they left Shrek City, rising into the sky and traveling north.

Both of them felt very liberated as they left the city. The endless skies were just so clean, and everything flashed past beneath them.

Nan Qiuqiu was flying beside Huo Yuhao, and for some reason, she felt as if there was something different about him. He appeared a little more transcendent than before. Of course, that was a good feeling, but Nan Qiuqiu’s heart sank into a dilemma once again, since she had already given up on her feelings toward him.

Can this guy stop being so outstanding?
 
Ye Guyi had gone into closed-door cultivation since they returned the last time, and wasn’t done yet. Nan Qiuqiu knew that she wanted to keep herself from seeing Huo Yuhao as much as possible, so that he couldn’t pull her heart along. Nan Qiuqiu also wanted to go into closed-door cultivation, but she couldn’t stand all that loneliness. Furthermore, she still had to take Huo Yuhao to the Earthdragon Sect. She was still hoping deep within her heart that something would happen between them during their expedition.

“Hey. Why are you so taciturn?” Nan Qiuqiu couldn’t control herself anymore after flying for more than an hour.

Huo Yuhao still seemed very casual and elegant as he flew in the sky, and he didn’t make a sound.

He turned towards her in confusion and asked, “Why? What do you want to talk about? Don’t you think the wind is very strong? Talking will waste soul power.”

Nan Qiuqiu was infuriated. “Then so be it. We should still chat; t’ll be so boring otherwise!”
 
Huo Yuhao answered, “Alright, let’s chat. About what?”

Nan Qiuqiu was momentarily stunned as she said, “What did you gain from your deep meditation? Don’t tell me you’ve had another breakthrough, and you’re already at Rank 80! I will truly be ashamed if that’s the case.”

Huo Yuhao shook his head and said, “Of course not. Improving soul power requires continual accumulation. Even though I accumulate soul power relatively quickly, I can’t reach Rank 80 so fast. I still need some time.”

Nan  Qiuqiu  stared  at  him  suspiciously.  “Back  in  the Earthdragon Sect, my seniors all start shaking their heads when they talk about reaching Rank 80 after breaking through Rank 70, as if reaching Rank 80 is very difficult. Why do you sound like your success will come naturally?”

Huo Yuhao stared back at her in exasperation. “With your talent, you will realize my words stand true when you reach my cultivation rank. However, Qiuqiu, I have to remind you that you have to pay attention to your spiritual power. When your strength reaches a certain standard in the future, spiritual power will be extremely important if you want to
 
continue improving. Your strength will halt if you don’t have sufficient spiritual power, and you will find it very difficult to continue breaking through.”

This was Huo Yuhao’s greatest takeaway after completing his soul core. His tremendous spiritual power made up for his insufficient soul power. Furthermore, the greatest benefit of having formidable spiritual power was the soul core’s stability.

Huo Yuhao was just a Soul Sage. Even though he had twin martial souls and was stronger than normal Soul Sages, he was still a Soul Sage in the end. But his spiritual power far exceeded his soul power, and under such circumstances, his ability to control his soul power was far stronger than other soul masters. It was how he managed to unexpectedly create his soul core!

Huo Yuhao understood very well that he would need even more spiritual power when he fused with his second soul core. Any soul master who wanted to fuse with their soul cores would need spiritual power as a shield to support them, and thus spiritual power was the most crucial component to his future advancements.
 
Why couldn’t Elder Xuan fuse with his second soul core to become a true Ultimate Douluo? A large part of that lay in his lack of spiritual power, in addition to his lack of opportunity and luck. Every attempt ended in complete failure, and at his level, he had to readjust himself for a long time after every failure before he could try again. His confidence would also be affected after experimenting too many times without success, and that was a very terrifying thing for soul masters.

Nan Qiuqiu stared at Huo Yuhao’s serious look and mumbled, “How do I train my spiritual power? I’m not a spiritual-type soul master. I can’t just try and control my soul power futilely.”

Huo Yuhao smiled and said, “You can’t take shortcuts in cultivation. Actually, there are some methods that you can try to raise your spiritual power.”

Nan Qiuqiu’s eyes glowed. “What methods?”  She was very interested about becoming stronger, and this was especially true in a place like the Tang Sect. The Tang Sect was full of elites, and anyone could be left behind.

Huo Yuhao replied, “For instance, like this.” He stared at Nan Qiuqiu, and his eyes suddenly became deep and profound. Nan Qiuqiu felt as if there were a black maelstrom in each of his eyes, and she could feel an indescribable and terrifying pressure emanating from his body that locked her body down in an instant.

She could feel a tremble from her own spirit, and was terrified as she subconsciously gathered her soul power to resist that pressure. However, she quickly realized that her attempt was futile, because that pressure didn’t come from soul power at all! It was pure spiritual power.

Furthermore, the spiritual pressure was so strong that she couldn’t even speak. Her flying-type soul tool became unstable as well, and she teetered in midair and seemed like she was going to plummet.

The pressure was suddenly lifted, and Nan Qiuqiu felt as if an enormous mountain had been lifted from her body. She panted with deep breaths as she tried her best to control her flying-
 
type soul tool. She glared at Huo Yuhao and said, “Are you crazy? Are you trying to kill me?”

Huo  Yuhao  smiled  and  said,  “This  is  the  most  effective method to train your spiritual power. If, at any moment, you can successfully resist my spiritual pressure, then your own will have reached a certain standard. Training like this is very hard to come by. Didn’t you feel like you were very bored along the way? Then I will take this chance to help you. We’re not in a hurry, anyway.”

“I don’t…” She couldn’t even say “want” when the enormous spiritual pressure that had just disappeared descended onto her once more.

Even though Nan Qiuqiu was a little more prepared than before, she was caught still off-guard in front of Huo Yuhao’s formidable spiritual power. This time, she was so badly beaten that she plummeted straight towards the ground.

Huo Yuhao grabbed Nan Qiuqiu at an appropriate time in midair, and made sure that she wouldn’t fall to her death. He waited for her to regain control of her body and stabilize herself before the spiritual pressure came back.

“I’m not fighting back anymore. Throw me to my death if you dare!”  Nan Qiuqiu was furious after this repeated itself a few more times!

She felt extremely fatigued after those episodes of immense spiritual pressure. She didn’t even bother to fly as she just allowed herself to drop down.

Huo Yuhao had no choice but to catch her and land on the ground.

---

Nan Qiuqiu kicked at Huo Yuhao as they dropped to the ground. Huo Yuhao dodged lightly towards the side and said, “I’m doing this for your own good, Qiuqiu.”

“Psh. You’re trying to take this opportunity to get back at me!” Nan Qiuqiu glared at Huo Yuhao with an indignant look on her face.
 
Huo  Yuhao  frowned  slightly  and  said,  “Looks  like  I  was wrong about you.”

Nan Qiuqiu was momentarily stunned. “Wrong about me?
What are you wrong about me?”

Huo Yuhao continued, “I have always believed you were a very strong lady. If others can’t bear this method of training spiritual power, I’m sure you can. This is very beneficial for you becoming a Titled Douluo in the future. I didn’t expect you not to be able to take it after these few times. You’re no different from a typical little girl. Forget it,I won’t give you any more pressure. Meditate and rest up, and once you’ve rested up, we shall hurry towards the Earthdragon Sect.” He gave her a disappointed expression as he spoke and turned his head to one side.

Nan Qiuqiu frowned as he eyebrows went almost vertical. “Who says I can’t take it? I can take it! But… but you’re so evil! Are you targeting me deliberately?”

Huo Yuhao snapped back. “I’m not so frivolous. I wouldn’t be willing even if someone else begged me.”
 
Nan Qiuqiu grunted and said, “Alright, then let me recover.
Don’t think you can overcome me when I’m prepared.”

Huo Yuhao twitched his lips and shot back, “Prove it!”

Nan Qiuqiu crossed her legs and began to recover with a competitive heart.

Huo Yuhao smiled faintly as he watched her enter meditation. Provoking this girl is the way to go! She’ll probably be tricked even if she knows I’m trying to bait her.

-------

The Earthdragon Sect had taken out their most important belongings to establish close cooperation with the Tang Sect. Bei Bei had told Huo Yuhao privately that the Tang Sect had to find some way to repay them if possible. The Earthdragon Sect wasn’t considered a top-tier sect amongst the sects on the continent, but they were still considered a very old and powerful sect. The Earthdragon Sect had provided much help to the Tang Sect in terms of resources.
 
Furthermore, with Nan Shuishui’s support, the Tang Sect’s middle to high level strength had been bolstered. The Earthdragon Sect’s several hundred disciples still belonged to the Earthdragon Sect in name, but Nan Shuishui had already expressed generously that the Earthdragon Sect would fully support the Tang Sect if anything happened.

Of course, the Tang Sect reciprocated the Earthdragon Sect’s sincerity. Almost a third of the Earthdragon Sect’s disciples had successfully fused with Spirits, which was a very laudable accomplishment amongst the sects. The other sects all looked on with watering mouths, except they didn’t understand the Tang Sect like Nan Shuishui did, and they were just a little hesitant for the moment.

Huo Yuhao listened to Nan Qiuqiu as she introduced her sect’s secret grounds. He understood that even though Nan Shuishui and Nan Qiuqiu spoke of this as a gift to the Tang Sect, this was equivalent to a gift for him. If there really was a rare ice-type metal inside, then that would be extremely useful for him. He could possibly fix the problem of channeling soul power around his human-shaped soul tool.

Human-shaped soul tools didn’t present any problems for the average soul master as long as their rare metals, jewels, and
 
formation arrays were used appropriately. However, he had an Ultimate martial soul, and typical rare metals couldn’t bear his Ultimate Ice once he used it. Even if those rare metals had enough resistance, they didn’t provide any amplification effects. Instead, they could hinder him instead!

Huo Yuhao didn’t want to owe too many favors, and this was especially true when he knew of Nan Qiuqiu’s feelings toward him. Therefore, he wanted to take this opportunity to help her.

------

Nan Qiuqiu’s recovery speed was quite fast, and she leapt to her feet energetically after an hour.

“Are you ready? You can’t say I’m ambushing you this time,” Huo Yuhao placed his hands behind his back and stared at Nan Qiuqiu in amusement.

Nan Qiuqiu couldn’t stand his mocking smile. She said proudly, “Come!”
 
“Be careful.”  Huo Yuhao warned her as his eyes suddenly became extremely deep and profound. This time, his spiritual power was very gentle as it pressed against Nan Qiuqiu.

Nan Qiuqiu sensed that spiritual pressure, and she immediately concentrated to face it. She felt as if this pressure wasn’t that powerful after a few moments, and a proud look immediately appeared on her face. She grunted and said, “I knew it! I was a little panicky in the sky. Otherwise, your spiritual power would have been useless against me, unless you used soul skills.”

Huo Yuhao smiled plainly and said, “Pay attention!”

His spiritual pressure gradually began to increase as his voice dropped.

Nan Qiuqiu was tough in her words, but she knew the gap between Huo Yuhao and herself. Her expression froze as she gathered her strength once more to fend off Huo Yuhao without quarter.
 
Huo Yuhao’s spiritual pressure started to increase bit by bit. This level of increase was small, but it was still happening continuously. Every increase gave Nan Qiuqiu a little more pressure.

Beads of sweat began to appear on her forehead, and her face turned a little rosy as her mouth opened slightly. A faint odor wafted from her body as she started sweating.

Huo Yuhao was just standing there. He didn’t even use his eyes to look at her as the pressure from his body continued to strengthen.

Nan Qiuqiu gradually began to see hallucinations in front of her eyes as her breathing became very labored. She felt as if there were an enormous and formless mountain was weighing down on her soul.

No... I need to hold on. I can’t let this fellow look down on me!

She gritted her teeth before she suddenly shouted to boost her own form as a layer of pinkish light emanated from her
 
body. That was her Ruby Dragon; her martial soul emerged automatically under Huo Yuhao’s formidable spiritual pressure.

A pinkish diamond-shaped crystal instantly appeared on Nan Qiuqiu’s forehead as her martial soul appeared. She clearly felt a break in the pressure as the spiritual power inside her spiritual sea fused with her martial soul and resisted Huo Yuhao’s pressure more effectively.

Unfortunately, she couldn’t even catch a breather as Huo Yuhao’s spiritual pressure suddenly increased. That tremendous pressure made her body tremble as the pinkish light around her shone brilliantly.

She couldn’t help but feel a chill run down her spine. Has this guy’s spiritual power really become this powerful?

Nan Qiuqiu was very clear that Huo Yuhao hadn’t yet released his martial soul. This meant that he was pressuring her with pure spiritual power, without any amplification from his Spirit Eyes. However, Nan Qiuqiu had unleashed her martial soul. No matter what, I’m still a Soul Emperor! Am I about to crumble against his spiritual pressure?

Huo Yuhao still wasn’t looking at her as the spiritual pressure increased continuously.

Pinkish dragon scales emerged over Nan Qiuqiu’s body. Her face and eventually her entire body were covered by dragon scales, but these dragon scales couldn’t defend her against Huo Yuhao’s spiritual pressure. Her body started to quiver and sway, and she grit her teeth as she clenched her fists tightly. However, she was starting to break under the tremendous spiritual pressure.

No, I can hold on! Nan Qiuqiu’s stubbornness acted up. Just as Huo Yuhao thought, provoking this unbending girl was always the simplest and most effective method.

Time continued to pass as Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power continued to increase. Even he was a little surprised at this moment, as he hadn’t expected her to be able to resist his pressure for so long. An hour had passed, while he had already unleashed forty percent of what he could release.

This forty percent couldn’t be underestimated, as it was equivalent to the spiritual pressure an eight-ringed Soul
 
Douluo could unleash. Ever since Huo Yuhao had completed his fusion with his soul core, his spiritual power’s overall volume could be compared to that of a Transcendent Douluo, while his recovery speed and effectiveness followed in tandem. It was already quite impressive that Nan Qiuqiu could
withstand forty percent of his spiritual pressure.

A thread of blood appeared at the corner of Nan Qiuqiu’s mouth. Her eyes and pupils became a little slack, but her unbending will kept her on her feet.

Chapter 461: Overt Plot of the Mysterious Marshal

Huo Yuhao knew that it was almost time. If he went any further, he would hurt her.

He didn’t immediately remove his spiritual pressure. That wouldn’t be good for her. Instead, he slowly lowered the pressure and let her gradually adapt to it. As the pressure decreased, Nan Qiuqiu’s spiritual state of mind also started to weaken.

Finally, she collapsed to the ground after Huo Yuhao removed all the pressure.

Huo Yuhao came to her side. He lifted his hand and rubbed the perspiration off his forehead. While he only let out at most forty percent of his spiritual power, he was carefully controlling it throughout this past hour. He had to get close to Nan Qiuqiu’s limit without hurting her, which was sort of a test of his control. If he had tried this before he had formed his soul core, he wouldn’t have been able to do it.
 
He squatted down beside Nan Qiuqiu and placed his hand on her brow. After sensing for a brief moment, he was sure that her spiritual sea was undamaged, it was just that she was overly drained. After this, he nodded satisfactorily.

The method of using spiritual pressure to strengthen someone else’s spiritual power was built on the premise that the person possessed immense spiritual power in the first place. Otherwise, the other party might be critically hurt if things went wrong.

However, this was undoubtedly the best method, and it was the most effective on the first try. Huo Yuhao estimated that Nan Qiuqiu’s spiritual power would experience a significant increase after this experience.

However, she was overly drained, and wouldn’t wake up anytime soon. Huo Yuhao spontaneously opened his spectral demiplane and placed her inside. After unleashing some enchantments, he chased away some specters and protected her inside the demiplane. At the same time, he left behind a streak of his spirit to protect her inside the demiplane. The moment she woke up, he would be aware of it.
 
After finishing all that, he stood up before continuing his journey.

-------

Without Nan Qiuqiu slowing him down, Huo Yuhao was as quick as lightning as he flew in the air. This time, he didn’t use any flying-type soul tools, relying on his soul power to fly.

As he flew, Huo Yuhao sensed that his soul power was still slowly being drained.

After forming his soul core, he hadn’t had time to carefully test it out yet. He had only briefly tested it in the Sea God’s Pavilion. After the fusion, his soul power had actually jumped two ranks. He was now at Rank 74, ever closer to Rank 80. In just a year, he had managed to improve by leaps and bounds.

However, Huo Yuhao wasn’t satisfied with his current cultivation. The war might carry on at any time. A seven- ringed Soul Sage was considered pretty high-ranked, but he wouldn’t be of much help if he wanted to affect the situation at the highest tier. He needed greater strength.

Due to the rank of his soul power, his soul power was obviously being drained at a slower speed. Huo Yuhao was more astonished with the recovery speed of his soul power.

After more than ten percent of his soul power had been drained, he didn’t need to deliberately do anything. On his forehead, the black whirlpool that belonged to a different dimension naturally opened. There was boundless darkness inside it. A strong suction force instantaneously appeared and drew all the origin energy in the air to replenish his body. He recovered as quickly as he was drained, it was as if he wasn’t affected at all.

No wonder it was only a Titled Douluo that could possess a soul core! Given this recovery speed, he wasn’t afraid of being drained in the process of flying.

Huo Yuhao was also stunned to discover that his soul core didn’t just replenish his soul power. It also replenished his spiritual power!

After helping Nan Qiuqiu earlier, his spiritual sea was revolving in a weird trajectory, but his spiritual power was now
 
recovering too!

Simply put, this soul core was like another Huo Yuhao in a different dimension. In this world, Huo Yuhao might be flying. However, he was resting and cultivating in the other dimension. This feeling wasn’t just new, it was fantastic!

Huo Yuhao understood that his cultivation speed had doubled at the very least after obtaining this soul core. Within a year or two, he could become a Soul Douluo!

Right now, he was just twenty years old...

As he flew on and sensed the changes in his soul core, Huo Yuhao’s flight speed kept increasing. He was like a beam of flowing light in the air. More magically, this beam of flowing light was slowly dimming as it flew. It was as if it were melding into heaven and earth.

If Elder Mu could be by Huo Yuhao’s side right now, he would be shocked. He would also tell Huo Yuhao that this was the Unity of Heaven and Man. Even Transcendent Douluo might not reach such a realm. After reaching such a realm, not only
 
would one’s life energy decrease at a slower speed, but his affinity with the origin energy of heaven and earth would also increase. During the process of cultivation and recovery, such a soul master would do better than other soul masters of the same cultivation. In addition, such a soul master would also be better at concealing himself.

------

Huo Yuhao was delayed because he was helping Nan Qiuqiu earlier, but he soon caught up with his astonishing speed. In the evening, he could already see the outline of Dragon City.

Dragon City was considered a huge city in the Heavenly Soul Empire, located in its northeast region. Its temperature was comparatively lower than the other regions. Moving north from Dragon City, Huo Yuhao could reach the Extreme North in less than four hours, the core of the Extreme North in at most eight hours, clearly explaining why the temperature was so low in Dragon City.

Huo Yuhao could only see ice and snow all around.
 
In fact, he clearly knew why the Sun Moon Empire chose to occupy more than two-thirds of the territory of the Heavenly Soul Empire. They wanted to continue expanding their territory, starting from the north.

One reason was that it was very difficult for ordinary soldiers to resist the cold in the north. This made it even more advantageous for their soul engineer legions. Even the Dou Ling Empire wasn’t able to provide such support. Another reason was naturally because of Shrek Academy.

If the Sun Moon Empire attacked the south first, they were very likely to face the combined forces of the Star Luo Empire, Heavenly Soul Empire, Dou Ling Empire, and Shrek Academy. Just like Huo Yuhao’s second plan, such a situation would lead to a final showdown with the Sun Moon Empire versus the other empires and Shrek Academy.

Without the Star Luo Empire’s attack on the Sun Moon Empire’s territories, the Sun Moon Empire might perhaps still choose a final showdown. With the Holy Ghost Church supporting them, a few soul engineer legions and two Ultimate Douluo, they were confident of winning.
 
However, if the Sun Moon Empire’s own territories were attacked, they would be greatly threatened, and would have no choice but to send troops to protect their own territories. Under such a condition, the situation at the frontlines was bound to be less intense.

Invading from the north could at least help them avoid the Star Luo Empire and Shrek Academy. The remaining troops of the Dou Ling and Heavenly Soul Empires would at most delay them, but not stop them. Attacking from the north instead of the south was much more advantageous.

At the same time, the Sun Moon Empire needed some buffer time. Although the Heavenly Soul Empire wasn’t as huge as the Star Luo Empire, it was still much bigger than the Dou Ling Empire. Compared to the Sun Moon Empire, it was only two- thirds as large. After occupying the Heavenly Soul Empire, the Sun Moon Empire still needed time to pacify the citizens and strengthen their rule. This was why the Sun Moon Empire had toned down over the past month or so.

An invasion couldn’t be pulled off so easily, because it wasn’t just an invasion, it was an annexation! The Sun Moon Empire wanted to expand its territory!
 
------

It was Huo Yuhao’s first time here in Dragon City. Now that the first city in the north of the Heavenly Soul Empire was already occupied, how could one not feel hopeless?

The Heavenly Dragon and Earthdragon Sects were the two most prominent sects of Dragon City. However, they were still lacking compared to the Sun Moon Empire.

The Earthdragon Sect saw it coming, and had already moved more than half of their resources and disciples to Shrek City under Nan Shuishui’s guidance. They had some resources left over, but they weren’t greatly affected.

The situation that the Heavenly Dragon Sect was in right now was unknown.

Huo Yuhao could still clearly remember how strong the captain of the Earthdragon Sect’s team, Yu Tianlong, was during the Elite Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament. His pure Blue Lightning Tyrant Dragon was extraordinary. Nan Shuishui had also mentioned
 
that the Heavenly Dragon Sect was stronger than the Earth Dragon Sect, whose sect leader was a Titled Douluo. Even though it wasn’t as strong as the Blue Lightning Tyrant Dragon Sect in the past, it was still an elite sect.

As he thought, Huo Yuhao was already drawing closer and closer to Dragon City. He unleashed his spiritual power in the direction of Dragon City. Just as he had expected, there were already aerial surveillance soul tools over Dragon City.

However, there were fewer aerial surveillance soul tools here compared to the Ming Dou Mountain Range. After all, manufacturing aerial surveillance soul tools wasn’t cheap. Unless they were used at particularly important places, there wouldn’t be a congregation of them.

At the same time, Huo Yuhao saw that there were no troops stationed outside the city. There were only some guards on the city wall.

It seemed like the Sun Moon Empire’s defense of Dragon City wasn’t very strong.
 
Huo Yuhao found a small tree that could conceal him as he descended around eight kilometers from Dragon City. He revealed himself before walking towards the city.

Nan Qiuqiu was still in a deep sleep. Huo Yuhao predicted that she would only awaken the tomorrow morning. This period of time was particularly important to her. One couldn’t increase their spiritual power under normal conditions. He decided to enter the city and find a place to stay. They’d go to the Earthdragon Sect after Nan Qiuqiu was awake.

He would need some time to walk eight kilometers. However, he wasn’t in a rush, and walked slowly. There wasn’t much security outside the city, and he was only briefly checked before he was allowed to enter.

After entering Dragon City, Huo Yuhao felt much less cold air blowing against him. With the city wall as a barrier, the temperature inside the city was naturally higher than outside the city.

Everything inside the city seemed to be very ordinary. There weren’t any signs of suffering or misery. Although the streets weren’t completely empty, they weren’t bustling with life either. In a city as cold as this, the population was bound to be much less than a city in the south.

As Huo Yuhao walked forward, he observed his surroundings and sensed the changes.

There was a simple soul formation at the top of the city wall. However, there weren’t many soul engineers stationed there, and they were only accompanied by a few ordinary soldiers.

Given such a defense, the Heavenly Soul Empire could probably overcome it if they could divide their troops and
 
attack the city with one or two regular legions.

Shrek Academy didn’t have any information about this city, either. Naturally, Huo Yuhao didn’t know anything. In a city, there wasn’t any place more suitable than an inn to find out information. Huo Yuhao decided to find an inn and gather information about the situation in Dragon City before making any plans.

------

It was very easy to find an inn in such a cold city. Drinking could warm one’s body, and this was why many northerners considered it their hobby. Even some ladies shared the same hobby.

Huo Yuhao soon found an inn and entered. The signboard of this inn wasn’t very big, but Huo Yuhao immediately sensed a bustling atmosphere the moment he entered.

A warm wave swept over him the moment he entered. He felt engulfed by a heatwave, and the chill he felt immediately disappeared.

The inn wasn’t very big, and it was much hotter inside than outside. Some people were even sleeveless as they drank.

There were four or five tables as well as a bar. There were twenty to thirty people in the inn, contributing to the rowdy atmosphere. However, the atmosphere also felt very friendly.

Huo Yuhao noticed that there were a few scantily-clad ladies behind every table and the bar. However, these ladies weren’t young, they looked to be in their thirties. Although they were scantily-clad, they weren’t very attractive, and were all dressed in the same way. Evidently, they belonged to the inn. They were there to drink with the customers, but they didn’t provide any further services. Even though the customers were also drinking and joking with them, they were seated pretty far away. It seemed like this was a culture of inns in Dragon City. Ladies were only there to provide an atmosphere for drinking.

“Welcome, sir.” A scantily-clad lady with revealed shoulders and cleavage walked over and greeted Huo Yuhao, who had just entered. She had a strong northern accent. Her voice was very smooth, but slightly nasal. Although her yellow dress was very revealing, it also exuded the elegant style of the Heavenly Soul Empire. It was merely made of slightly inferior material.

“Hi.”  Huo Yuhao nodded slightly to acknowledge her. “Are there still seats?”

The lady in yellow said, “There are only seats at the bar. Will that do?”

“Yes,” Huo Yuhao nodded again.

The lady brought him to a corner of the bar before sitting down. Huo Yuhao was dressed rather lightly. After all, he came directly from Shrek Academy. Naturally, he didn’t need to take off a coat. However, all the customers in the inn were already drunk, and didn’t notice this at all.

The lady brought a glass of warm water for Huo Yuhao before asking, “Sir, you must be a foreigner.”

Huo Yuhao nodded, “Yes! Dragon City is really cold.”

The  lady  laughed,  “You’re  right.  Seeing  the  way  you’re dressed, you must be feeling very cold. You’ll be fine after
 
having some alcohol. What do you want?”

Huo Yuhao said, “Give me something local.”

“Alright, wait a minute then.”

Not long afterward, a glass of amber alcohol was brought in front of Huo Yuhao. It had a strong alcoholic odor.

Huo Yuhao lifted his cup and sniffed the alcohol. A strong alcoholic smell assaulted his nose. Evidently, the alcohol was very strong.

As he sniffed the drink, he couldn’t help but recall how there was too much origin energy of Ultimate Ice in his body during the tournament in Radiant City, and how he had to rely on distillate to neutralize it. Time had passed so quickly. Wang Dong’er was no longer with him, and he was now in this northern city.

After tasting a sip of the booze, a malty, acrid taste filled his throat. It warmed his body as it went all the way into his belly.
 
The feeling was indeed refreshing.

Huo Yuhao didn’t use his soul power to neutralize the strength of the alcohol. As he sensed the burning stimulation, his face also turned a bit red.

Even though he wasn’t the most handsome person, he was still very charming because of his great spiritual power. The lady’s eyes brightened when she saw his flush. “Sir, where are you from?”

Huo Yuhao said, “I’m from the south, and I’m here to visit a friend.”

The lady smiled and replied, “You must be careful then. It’s wartime now. Don’t go to war-prone places where there’s a lot of fighting.”

Huo Yuhao wasn’t moved as he said, “I heard that Dragon City has already…”
 
The lady didn’t hide anything from him and responded to his question. “Yes, Dragon City has already been occupied by the Sun Moon Empire. We were initially very worried, but it seems like things aren’t that bad.”

“Oh?” Huo Yuhao was a little astonished as he looked at her.
He asked, “How’s the war situation?”

She replied, “Ordinary citizens like us wouldn’t know anything. At least the Sun Moon Empire hasn’t done anything to ordinary citizens like us after occupying Dragon City. Instead, they’ve sent out announcements that they won’t plunder from us or kill anyone. They want us to maintain order and not leave our houses for no reason.”

“Just like that?” Huo Yuhao was a little astonished. The Sun Moon Empire had greatly alleviated the suffering that ordinary citizens generally experienced in such cases by not touching them. If this was the case, it was a blessing among all the suffering.


The  lady  said,  “Yes!  They  have  occupied  Dragon  City  for many days, and only left behind a few soldiers to maintain order. After that, businessmen started to enter the city. The
 
soldiers retreated from the city two days after arriving. You should have seen how there isn’t much damage to the city at all. I only heard that a few soul master sects were forced to temporarily leave Dragon City by the Sun Moon Empire’s troops. However, I’m not sure where they went.”

Huo Yuhao furrowed his brow and started to ponder. From the start when Xu Tianran started the war and held many elite talents from the Soul Dueling Tournament captive, he thought that lives were bound to be lost in this war.

Furthermore, the Holy Ghost Church aided the Sun Moon Empire. Given such a situation, how was it possible that they spared the citizens? This was something that Huo Yuhao hadn’t expected.

Before Huo Yuhao even asked anything else, the lady also got herself a glass of malt alcohol from behind the bar and said, “Those businessmen were also very weird. After entering the city, they didn’t trade. Instead, they were giving out stuff. I heard that they gave many of the nobility in the city weird items. I heard they are related to soul tools. Their empire occupied our city, but they’re giving us stuff. I don’t get what’s going on.”
 
Huo Yuhao was also confused when he heard her words. Why has something like this happened? What is the Sun Moon Empire planning to do?

Huo Yuhao only got this information. He didn’t obtain anything useful after speaking to other patrons.

After inquiring about the mayor’s house in the city, he left the inn upon finishing his drink.

----------

Right now, the sky had already turned dark, and the flow of people on the streets had decreased further. The temperature had also dropped significantly.

To prevent himself from being too conspicuous, Huo Yuhao retrieved a coat from his storage-type soul tool and donned it. He slowly walked the streets.

He had originally intended to find a place to stay, and would only go to the Earthdragon Sect after Nan Qiuqiu woke up.
 
However, he had some new ideas now.

He was curious. The Sun Moon Empire had not plundered the citizens nor touched them in any way. They even allowed businessmen to enter the city to give them stuff. What were the empire’s intentions here?

He went to the mayor’s residence to take a look. At least there would be people from the Sun Moon Empire there. Perhaps he could obtain some information.

As he planned things out, Huo Yuhao turned into a dark alley and slowly disappeared into the dark under the concealment of his Imitation.

---

The mayor’s residence was located in the city center, just like in most other cities. The mayor’s residence looked pretty big, and was visible from a distance.
 
There were two soldiers standing at the entrance, wearing thick winter gear. Huo Yuhao jumped up and silently entered the residence. He moved like a falling leaf, and didn’t alarm anyone.

The residence was very quiet. It was only after a while that a patrol of troops could be seen passing by. Huo Yuhao snuck in and quickly came to the core structure of the residence.

He drifted up towards an illuminated second-story room. At the same time, he unleashed his spiritual power, engulfing the entire residence. He didn’t believe there were any spiritual detectors here.

Very soon, he quickly grasped the situation in the residence. There were about a hundred and fifty troopers inside this residence. Of them, twenty were soul engineers. Their cultivations were slightly weak, only two or three-ringed soul engineers. In the central room of the residence was a six- ringed Soul Emperor. Huo Yuhao could only tell if he was a soul engineer by seeing him directly.

He’s only a Soul Emperor, but he’s taking charge of the entire city? The Sun Moon Empire is really throwing caution to the
 
wind.

As he processed this, Huo Yuhao drifted up towards the room where the Soul Emperor was.

Very soon, he was outside the door. Given the number of people that were in this residence, he was absolutely confident of defeating all of them by himself. However, he didn’t want to alarm anyone, and remained quiet outside the window. His spiritual power was focused inside the room, and he silently listened and observed.

There was a fifty-year-old Soul Emperor reading some documents in the room and nodding occasionally. To only be a Soul Emperor at such an age meant that he had no future. Furthermore, Huo Yuhao also sensed the presence of soul tools in the room. Undoubtedly, he had to be a Class 6 soul engineer.

Someone arrived. Huo Yuhao felt something, and sensed a few more people had arrived outside the residence. From their dress, it seemed like they were all businessmen instead of military personnel. These people quickly entered the residence
 
after sending word of their arrival before rushing into the room where this Soul Emperor was.

“Sir, people from the Sun Moon Chamber of Commerce are here,” a soldier respectfully reported from outside the room.

“Alright. Let them in,” the Soul Emperor said calmly.

The few businessmen were led into the room under the guidance of the soldier. At the same time, they bowed towards the Soul Emperor.

“How is it? How’s the plan going?” the Soul Emperor asked.

A   lanky   businessman   replied,   “We   experienced   some difficulty at the start. The nobility of the Heavenly Soul Empire discriminated against us. However, after you sent out instructions not to confiscate their land and wealth, they didn’t dare to openly express their hate towards us, even if they secretly do. They only resisted our efforts in the shadows. Over these few days, we’ve already demonstrated how magical soul tools can be, which I believe is slowly moving them. This is especially true for our thermal radiators, which I believe
 
they are most interested in. Thermal radiators can greatly conserve costly coal. Every other week, they just need a soul engineer to pour in his soul power. It will be sufficient to power a thermal radiator to keep a plot of land not bigger than five hundred square meters warm. We can even avoid the smell of burning coal. They were all very surprised.”

The Soul Emperor nodded in satisfaction and responded, “Alright, continue to advertise. Give them everything. Don’t feel heart-ache over that. The marshal has mentioned that even though we’ll experience some temporary monetary losses, they’ll eventually be reliant on us once they adapt to a life of soul tools, and won’t be willing to return to their obsolete lives. After we win over the nobility and convince them to work for us, we’ll then turn our efforts to the citizens. In a few years, we’ll win the hearts of the entire city.”

“Yes,” the businessmen nodded respectfully. After this, they carried out a series of reports. They were talking about how to transport soul tools into the city for the noble families and teaching them how to use them. They were also talking about how to move the nobility, as well as the ones who had been moved, and who were were still very stubborn.
 
The entire report lasted roughly an hour before the businessmen left.

After sending them to the door, the mayor returned to his room and muttered in awe to himself, “Marshal, you are far- sighted! This method is much better than performing a massacre. The Sun Moon Empire can’t just rely on military power to rule the entire continent. This method to use soul tools to win the hearts of the people is indeed impressive. We’ve lessened the number of troops in the city, making them relax their guard. After that, we used soul tool technology to infiltrate their lives, although we’re the ones who control the core technologies. In the future, there’ll only be the Sun Moon Empire. The funny thing is that the Heavenly Soul Empire, Star Luo Empire and Dou Ling Empire are still trying to resist us. Perhaps they’ll discover in a few years that the citizens in the territories we’ve occupied are no longer loyal to them. Haha, brilliant. This is indeed brilliant. The Marshal is indeed the person I admire the most! Conquering hearts without using force. That’s the most advanced of all strategies.”

Huo Yuhao stood outside for two hours and listened to everything. After listening to this point, his expression had already turned slightly pale.
 
Impressive. This ‘Marshal’ that he’s talking about is too impressive.

Using soul tool technology as a means of infiltration. What kind of brilliant idea is that?

The air outside was extremely cold, but Huo Yuhao was dripping with perspiration. An overt plot, it was a true overt plot! Perhaps he could destroy everything in Dragon City with all his strength. However, if the Sun Moon Empire did the same throughout the entire Heavenly Soul Empire, there was no way he could stop them unless he could drive them out quickly.

Who exactly was this marshal? He actually had such a strategy. He was indeed a brilliant strategist!

Huo Yuhao had seen Xu Tianran before. He didn’t have a good impression of him. Without a doubt, Xu Tianran was an anti-hero. However, it was perhaps because of his disability that he seemed very sinister and vicious. Right now, the strategy that Huo Yuhao heard of was definitely something that an anti-hero couldn’t have thought up.
 
This was a true overt plot. It was upright, but perhaps only effective in the long-term. However, if it worked, it would be extremely effective! If they succeeded, the Heavenly Soul Empire would find it extremely challenging to regain hold of the territories they had lost.

Given the current situation in all the empires, the foundation of every empire was the nobility. The nobility controlled almost all the resources in an empire. The most powerful of the nobility were naturally the imperial families of each empire. It was the foundation of a monarchy!

This was why the Sun Moon Empire had a very specific target. First, they chose to penetrate the hearts of the nobility of the Heavenly Soul Empire. Once the nobility slowly sided with the Sun Moon Empire and helped them promote soul tool technology in their own empire, they could only be subjected to manipulation, given that they didn’t possess any core technologies. They would forever be reliant on the Sun Moon Empire.

The longer they were under occupation, the more obvious this would become. This was too terrifying. The person who came up with this strategy left Huo Yuhao in awe.
 
There weren’t any massacres. It was through pure soul tool technology penetration that the Sun Moon Empire demonstrated their advantage to the fullest. Before today, Huo Yuhao would never have expected the Sun Moon Empire to use such a method of invasion.


How should he react to such a strategy?

Huo Yuhao silently left the residence and found a hotel to stay the night. He was sleepless the entire night.

--------

It was only when the sky had already brightened that Huo Yuhao retracted his thoughts. To him, it was fine that he couldn’t sleep the entire night. It was just that he couldn’t think of a proper way to deal with the Sun Moon Empire’s strategy, even though he had been thinking the entire night.

What an overt plot! It was an overt plot that one found difficult to counteract.
 
It wasn’t completely foolproof. The simplest way of dealing with it was to quickly reclaim all the lost territories. At the same time, the Sun Moon Empire had to be stopped. It was only this way that they could possibly hang on.

However, what about the long-term?

Within the Sun Moon Empire’s borders, the empire had already promoted soul tool technology to ordinary citizens. Furthermore, it was extremely difficult to reclaim the cities that they had taken from the Heavenly Soul Empire. In the area of soul tools, the Sun Moon Empire was simply leading by too much.

As time passed, the cities that had fallen to the Sun Moon Empire would likely yield to the Sun Moon Empire even if they didn’t attack, and only maintained the current situation. With more resources and support, the Sun Moon Empire’s soul tool technology would advance faster and faster. This would further the gap between them and the other empires of the original Douluo Continent.

The current peak of soul tool technology right now was the Death God. However, the Death God was undoubtedly an
 
exception. It was a soul tool that everyone feared, and could only be operated after killing people. One Death God wasn’t considered too terrifying to Huo Yuhao. Its threat would cease to exist once the soldiers of the Sun Moon Empire couldn’t handle it anymore.

However, soul tool technology was continuously improving. As it continued to develop, there would be a day in the future where it could possibly threaten Titled Douluo, and even Ultimate Douluo. If that was the case, the Sun Moon Empire’s rule over the entire continent was bound to happen!

Huo Yuhao didn’t reject soul tool technology, as he was also a soul engineer. As soul tool technology kept on developing, it represented societal progress. It was an evolution of the entire Douluo Continent. However, he didn’t wish to see the Sun Moon Empire ruling over the entire Douluo Continent. It was something that he couldn’t accept.

However, there wasn’t any stopping them. Over the past few thousand years, the three empires of the original Douluo Continent had already told him the answer using the current situation that they were facing: closing their empires and refusing to accept development as a reality, as well as being
 
unwilling to learn the qualities of others. The end result was that they were on the verge of becoming obsolete.

The three empires of the original Douluo Continent were too huge. All the authority lay in the hands of the nobility. Even if the imperial families wanted to promote soul tool development, it wasn’t something that was effective in the short-term. Most noble families were still discriminative towards soul tools.

Perhaps the only hope lay in the Academy.

Shrek was only a city, mainly led by Shrek Academy. Over the past ten years, ever since Elder Mu had recognized the importance of developing soul tools, and after Elder Xuan had taken the reins, Shrek Academy had been continuously developing its Soul Tool Department, and the Tang Sect was established to encourage the speedy development of Shrek City. Furthermore, there weren’t any noble families in Shrek City. Perhaps the future Shrek was the only hope left for the original Douluo Continent.

After thinking of all this, Huo Yuhao considered something. There was something extra in his head. However, he couldn’t
 
tell what it was yet.

Just as he was clearing his thoughts, his spiritual sea moved slightly. Nan Qiuqiu was awake!

Chapter 462: The Earthdragon Sect's Secret Base

Nan Qiuqiu looked very depressed as she exited his spectral demiplane.

Huo Yuhao smiled as he asked, “What’s wrong, Qiuqiu?”

Nan Qiuqiu looked at the weather outside and said, “Surely this isn’t the second day already, right?”

Huo Yuhao shrugged.

Nan Qiuqiu snorted and said, “What’s so impressive about bullying me? Your spiritual power is just a little stronger. There’ll be a day where I’ll surpass you.”

When she said that last sentence, she didn’t seem to have any confidence at all.
 
Huo Yuhao didn’t mock her. He only smiled and said, “I’m waiting for that day to come. How’re you feeling? Are you feeling unwell?”

Nan Qiuqiu snorted and replied, “No. I’m great. For someone who doesn’t know how to appreciate beauty, hmph!”

Huo Yuhao shook his head helplessly. He didn’t try to explain himself either. He believed that Nan Qiuqiu would understand his intentions in the future.

“Let’s go. I’ll bring you back to your sect.” After he finished speaking, Nan Qiuqiu started walking out, but Huo Yuhao stopped her and took her somewhere to eat first. After eating, they checked out of the inn and came to the streets of Dragon City.

Nan Qiuqiu was very familiar with Dragon City. After making turns within the city, they came to the center of the city, facing north. She looked to the street sides and corners of the walls. Evidently, she was still displeased with Huo Yuhao, and refused to acknowledge him.
 
Huo Yuhao stayed very quiet as he followed her.

After walking for some time, Nan Qiuqiu’s eyes brightened. She stopped in front of a textile shop and twisted her head to Huo Yuhao before gesturing towards him. “Quick, come.”

Huo Yuhao hurried forward and entered the shop behind Nan Qiuqiu.

It was a little empty in the shop. Perhaps it was because it was still morning, and they had just opened up. There was a shopkeeper at the counter, and two workers outside.

Seeing Nan Qiuqiu, the shopkeeper appeared to know her. His eyes brightened and he rushed over. After taking a few glances, he whispered, “Young mistress, you’re finally here!”

Nan Qiuqiu also lowered her voice and asked, “Where’s my mother?”

The shopkeeper answered, “She’s in the back. This is?”  He was doubtful as he looked at Huo Yuhao.

Nan Qiuqiu replied, “He’s my friend. My mom knows him.
Bring us to see her.”

“Yes.” The shopkeeper led both of them to a small door and proceeded towards the back yard of the shop.

Huo Yuhao thought to himself. The foundation of the Earthdragon Sect is so deep in this city. It’s not easy for the Sun Moon Empire to chase them away.

Nan Shuishui had just finished her breakfast, and was basking in the sun in the backyard. Seeing that Huo Yuhao and Nan Qiuqiu had arrived, she was delighted. She smiled as she received them.

“Elder Nan.” Huo Yuhao greeted her with a bow.

Nan Qiuqiu stood at one side and shouted, “Good kid!”

Nan Shuishui glared at her daughter. “How can you take such advantage of him? Don’t be so mischievous.”

Nan Qiuqiu laughed cheekily, and her displeasure at Huo Yuhao seemed to disappear.

Huo Yuhao lowered his voice and said, “Elder, how is the situation in Dragon City? I heard that the soul master sects in the city have been taken away by the Sun Moon Empire?”

Nan Shuishui sighed and said, “It was too quick. In just a few months, the Sun Moon Empire has already occupied this city. Their powers are beyond our imagination! You’re right. Most of the large sects in Dragon City, apart from us, have been forced out of Dragon City. The rest have been taken away. The Sun Moon Empire has performed a clean sweep of the soul master sects in the city. However, it’s fortunate that they’ve not done anything to the people. This is the reason why we’ve been able to preserve some of our resources. I’m sure there are others who are still here, but have yet to reveal themselves.”

Huo Yuhao furrowed his brow slightly and said, “I wonder what the Sun Moon Empire is planning by taking away so many of the soul master sects.”
 
Nan Shuishui laughed coldly and said, “What else can they want? They’ll probably tempt them to join them. If it’s not possible, they’ll just kill all of them. There are only two possibilities. There’ll be those who are cowardly and afraid of death. I heard that the Sun Moon Empire added two more soul
engineer legions after occupying the Heavenly Soul Empire’s territories. These two soul engineer legions were divided and sent to the original soul engineer legions. The soul engineers in these legions are equipped with basic soul tools and have become part of their fighting forces. This Sun Moon Empire is really devious. Those who lack backbone also deserve to be killed!”

They were fueling the war through what they’d won from the war! After Huo Yuhao listened to Nan Shuishui’s words, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of helplessness. After the Sun Moon Empire started its invasion, he felt that their strategy was flawless, and they completely had the upper hand.

From the initial feint attack on the Star Luo Empire to restraining them during the massive invasion of the Heavenly Soul Empire to the series of targeted strategies later on, the Sun Moon Empire had achieved the greatest advantage in the shortest period of time.
 
Marshal. Are those strategies devised by that marshal mentioned by the mayor? I didn’t expect Xu Tianran to have such a powerful figure under him. I wonder what kind of clash will occur when we face him on the battlefield in the future.

Nan  Shuishui  said,  “Since  you’re  here,  let’s  exploit  the opportunity that there aren’t many Sun Moon Empire soldiers here right now and get things done. Come on, I’ll bring you there.”

“Alright.”

Nan Shuishui dressed herself up and put on a bamboo hat with a veil before leading both of them out of the shop. She proceeded in a northerly direction.

Nan  Qiuqiu  whispered  to  Huo  Yuhao  beside  her,  “Before Dragon City was occupied, the Earthdragon Sect occupied the city’s north, and the Heavenly Dragon Sect occupied the city’s south. We’ve never touched each other. The Heavenly Dragon Sect is more powerful. Their sect leader is even a Titled Douluo. I’m not sure what their situation is right now either.”
 
Nan Shuishui turned her head to Nan Qiuqiu and said, “Speaking of it, I’m really in awe of Old Tianlong. When the Sun Moon Empire’s troops arrived, that old fellow led his sect to defend the city along with the Dragon City Defense Army. I heard he killed many enemies. After the city was breached, the Heavenly Dragon Sect suffered massive losses, and Old Tianlong died in battle. I heard Yu Tianlong disappeared, but I’m not sure where.”

After hearing Nan Shuishui’s words, Huo Yuhao and Nan Qiuqiu were both in awe too. Someone who defended the city until the very last moment deserved massive respect. If Yu Tianlong had run away, it meant that the lineage of the Heavenly Dragon Sect could still be carried on.

Nan Shuishui said heavily, “I have been fighting Old Tianlong for my entire life, and have always been restrained by him. I didn’t expect him to die earlier than me. The Heavenly Dragon Sect has been half wiped out, while the remaining ones have been taken away. The hateful thing is that there were a few sects that secretly surrendered to the Sun Moon Empire. If they didn’t open the city gate, things wouldn’t have…”

Nan Shuishui turned more and more grim as she finished speaking.

Nan Qiuqiu rushed forward a few steps and grabbed her hands. “Mom, we’ll avenge Uncle Heavenly Dragon one day in the future. Your actions were right. We can’t fight the Sun Moon Empire given our strength. It’s only through surviving that we can take revenge in the future. Uncle Tianlong is sometimes too stubborn. If he were willing to listen to you and move to Shrek City, he wouldn’t have…”

“Shut  up!”   Nan  Shuishui  shouted,  and  Nan  Qiuqiu  was stunned in place.

Nan Shuishui looked very strict as she said, “He wasn’t being stubborn. He just couldn’t give up the city. Dragon City is the place where the Heavenly Dragon and Earthdragon Sects were established. I couldn’t lead the Earthdragon Sect to fight the enemy along with the Heavenly Dragon Sect, and I’m very guilty over that. Unless I can avenge him one day, the Earthdragon Sect can never lift its head in front of the Heavenly Dragon Sect again. I already regret my decision. If I had known, I would have been willing to fight to the death with the Old Tianlong.”

When she was done, her eyes filled with tears and she clenched her fists.

Huo Yuhao sighed silently when he sensed Nan Shuishui’s deadly aura. Seeing that the city where her sect had been established had been sacrificed, and her old friend and foe had died in battle, Nan Shuishui must be feeling very down.

“Elder Nan, we’ll get Dragon City back. Elder Tianlong was a hero of Dragon City, and so are you,” Huo Yuhao said sincerely.

Nan Shuishui lowered her head slightly and gently shook it. She didn’t say anything else, and turned around before continuing to walk ahead.

Nan Qiuqiu stuck out her tongue and looked scared. Her mother was normally very nice to her, hardly ever so strict.

---------

After passing streets and alleys, an extremely large courtyard appeared in their vision. After seeing this courtyard, both Nan Shuishui and Nan Qiuqiu seemed to be very sad. Undoubtedly, this was the Earthdragon Sect.
 
There were seals all over the gate of the Earthdragon Sect, but no one was guarding it.

“Mom, there shouldn’t be too many guards in the city. Why don’t we kill them and snatch Dragon City back?!” Nan Qiuqiu said hatefully.

Nan Shuishui glared at her and said, “How is it so simple? If the Sun Moon Empire dared to put so few guards in the city, they must have their reasons. There’s another announcement on the noticeboard at the side. If any soul master dares to revolt, they’ll kill all the soul masters they took from Dragon City. If this wasn’t the case, do you really think I would have waited until now?”

“Scoundrel!” Nan Qiuqiu shouted furiously.

Nan Shuishui’s eyes turned cold. Seeing that there wasn’t anyone around looking at them, she nodded to the other two before drifting up, and entered the sect first.

Huo Yuhao tugged Nan Qiuqiu’s sleeves before they followed Nan Shuishui.

It was a mess inside the Earthdragon Sect. Many areas had been damaged. There were broken walls all around. Evidently, the place had been ransacked.

Nan Qiuqiu hadn’t returned in a long time. Upon seeing the condition of the place, her eyes turned red, and she wanted to turn around and rush off. Nan Shuishui grabbed hold of her, but it took some effort to restrain her.

“We need to take care of business. Yuhao was right. We’ll come back one day.”

Nan Shuishui led both of them to the backyard of the Earthdragon Sect. It was a huge garden, now in ruins. When the Sun Moon Empire’s troops searched the place, the garden was badly damaged. It would be difficult for it to return to its former look in the future.

Nan Shuishui shut her eyes in torment as she saw all this. The Earthdragon Sect’s legacy had been passed down for more than a thousand years, but it died in her generation. Undoubtedly, she was in great pain right now.
 
However, she didn’t stop. She led the two of them to the depths of the backyard, where there was a well.

Huo Yuhao was slightly moved as he came closer and closer to the well. He could sense subtle movements from the Ice Empress, and she wanted to be released. There seemed to be something very attractive within the well.

“It’s here. This is a cold spring, with concentrated spiritual energy. It’s very nourishing for soul masters. However, only the sect leaders of the Earthdragon Sect know about this. At the bottom of this spring, there is actually a cave. However, we’ve isolated it from the well using some mechanisms. Inside that cave, there are many exotic mineral stones.

“The  temperature  inside  the  cave  is  too  low.  Even  our ancestors that were Titled Douluo couldn’t stay inside it for long. Our ancestor managed to mine a small stone once. It contained a strong ice-type aura inside.

“It also seemed to be a metal. This is why our ancestors believed that there is a mine inside this cave, a mine that contains an ice-type metal. As to its standard, we have no clue.”
 
After finishing, Nan Shuishui looked at Huo Yuhao and said, “Yuhao, your martial soul is of Ultimate Ice. You should be able to survive in this cave. If the stones below are of use to you, try to mine them. After all, we won’t be back here any time soon. Just take it as our contribution to the Tang Sect. The Tang Sect has been very good to us in Shrek City. I hope we can work together more closely in the future.”

“Thank you, elder.”  Huo Yuhao didn’t stand on ceremony. Although the ice spring was a barrier, he could clearly sense that the stuff in the cave was indeed useful to him.

Nan Shuishui told him how to open the cave in detail before saying, “Go on down. I’ll guard this place with Qiuqiu. Don’t force it. Although you possess an Ultimate Ice martial soul, I was almost frozen when I tried to go down for even just a few seconds. The temperature below is simply too low. It doesn’t seem like a human can handle it.”

“Alright.” Huo Yuhao acknowledged her words. Nan Shuishui wouldn’t warn him without reason. Naturally, he wouldn’t be careless.
 
After slightly adjusting his own state, he gestured to both Nan Shuishui and Nan Qiuqiu before drifting up and dropping into the well.

The moment he entered the well, a sinister cold breeze swept over him. However, the cold could only serve to strengthen Huo Yuhao. Even without unleashing his martial soul, he wasn’t affected at all.

However, for safety’s sake, Huo Yuhao still unleashed his Ice Jade Empress Scorpion before entering the well, and used the Ice Empress’ Armor. As a layer of diamond ice crystals covered his body, he sank deep into the spring.

Chapter 463: Divine Ice Crystal

The spring was icy-cold, its temperature was at least in the negatives. Strangely, it didn’t freeze up. After entering the spring, Huo Yuhao could clearly sense chilly origin energy rippling through the water. Although such ice-type origin energy didn’t affect him, the chilly aura that it possessed was very pure. No wonder Nan Shuishui claimed that this spring could nourish a human’s body.

The spring was quite deep. Huo Yuhao circulated his soul power and sank down. The deeper he went, the lower the temperature became. If it were any other ordinary soul master here, his soul power would be drained very quickly. However, Huo Yuhao wasn’t affected at all. His martial soul was even being nourished.

The lights around also started to dim. This didn’t affect Huo Yuhao at all, even though the darkness and cold would have greatly affected a soul master of the same rank as him.

Although his spiritual power couldn’t reach as far in the water, it was already plenty strong. Apart from the fact that it
 
didn’t extend as far, Huo Yuhao wasn’t drained much in this aspect, either.

The deeper he went, the faster his spiritual power extended down. Even the Earthdragon Sect wasn’t clear on what was going on down below. Of course, Huo Yuhao had to be cautious, and not get himself into any trouble.

Nan Shuishui had told Huo Yuhao that this spring was around thirty meters deep. At the very bottom, even a Soul Douluo like her wouldn’t be able to resist the chill. The cave was located at a depth of between thirty to thirty-five meters.

However, Huo Yuhao sensed that the depth of this spring didn’t seem to be only thirty meters. When he was thirty meters down, he felt a very strong surge of energy. It felt as if it were coming the bottom, below where the strong surge of cold originated from. The mouth of the spring seemed to be down there at the bottom. The mouth was very large, easily large enough for a person to get through. Huo Yuhao could sense a strong, deep-blue color using his Spiritual Detection, showing how cold it was.
 
He was very curious about this spring’s mouth. The colder a place was, the better it was for him to cultivate his Ultimate Ice soul power. To him, it felt very similar to the Icefire Yin Yang Well. It was something that he hadn’t expected at all.

However, Huo Yuhao needed to breathe even though he wasn’t affected by the cold and darkness. Even though he could hold his breath for a long time, he couldn’t do it forever.

Let me find the cave opening first.

As he thought, Huo Yuhao continued to use his soul power to control his body as he dove down.

Very soon, he was at a depth of twenty-five meters. His swimming speed was much quicker than the ancestors of the Earthdragon Sect. After all, he didn’t have to protect himself from the cold.

The walls around the spring were cold and slippery. Touching them was like touching Manifold Mysterious Ice. As Huo Yuhao swam down, he kept on searching for the cave opening.

This cave was rumored to exist naturally. It was originally not a well, but the natural mouth of a spring. After the Earthdragon Sect gained control of this place, they built a well specifically for it. This was why they designed mechanisms when they first constructed the well. If one wasn’t the leader of the Earthdragon Sect, it was very difficult to find these mechanisms.

Huo Yuhao followed the walls and felt his way to the cave opening. With the help of his spiritual power, he quickly located a bulge. Normally, one would press down on such a bulge when they felt it. However, the Earthdragon Sect designed it in the reverse. Huo Yuhao grabbed hold of that bulge and pulled it up. He used more than forty percent of his soul power before the bulge moved up slightly.

After this, he turned around and swam to the wall on the other side, searching out an ordinary dent on it. This dent didn’t exist previously. It only appeared after he meddled with the bulge earlier.

He pressed hard on the dent, and a soft ‘za za’ sound was heard. Huo Yuhao returned to the bulge and pressed it down this time, all the way down until it disappeared.

The entire wall started to shake slightly. Huo Yuhao turned around, and saw a door that could only fit a single person slowly opening.

The weird thing was that there was a strong surge of cold as the door slowly opened. Even Huo Yuhao could sense a tinge of chill, though he possessed an Ultimate Ice martial soul.

What a low temperature! Huo Yuhao was in awe, and focused his attention on it.

The door slowly opened, and Huo Yuhao rushed forward.

There was clearly a cold spring outside. However, this door seemed to possess some magical force. Not a drop of the cold spring water seeped past it. Even as Huo Yuhao entered, the cold spring water was filtered from his body. He was instantly dried out.

As he was dried off, he felt an extreme aura of cold sweep over him.
 
Gusts of chilly air carrying visible icy elements surged towards Huo Yuhao. However, it was a pity that they were stopped by Huo Yuhao’s Ice Empress’ Armor. Not only did they not cause him any harm, they even stimulated Huo Yuhao’s Ultimate Ice soul power.

Even though Huo Yuhao was using his Ice Empress right now, he could still sense the situation in the cavern using his spiritual power.

This cavern couldn’t be considered very large. It was filled with unknown mineral stones, and the temperature was very low. It was similar to the Extreme Chill Icespring, and its temperature was comparable. If Huo Yuhao’s abilities were still at the level they were when he had first encountered the Extreme Chill Icespring, he wouldn’t be able to bear such a low temperature.

He didn’t rush to venture in. He carefully observed his surroundings at the cave opening. At the same time, the Ice Empress started calling out in his spiritual sea.

Although he didn’t know what kind of ice-type treasure belonged here, it was clear that such an extreme level of cold
 
wouldn’t exist for no reason. Even at the core of the Extreme North, the temperature wasn’t so low!

Jade-green lights flashed, brightening their surroundings. The Ice Empress silently appeared beside Huo Yuhao. The light from her body lit up everything around them. Huo Yuhao was immediately stunned.

Huo Yuhao wasn’t the only one who was stunned. The Ice Empress was also stunned.

The cavern looked extremely beautiful after it was lit up by the Ice Empress’ jade-green light. It was almost surreal. The entire cavern was formed using all types of crystals. These crystals were jade-blue, but it was likely that the Ice Empress’ jade-green light had affected their color a little. They should, in fact, be deep-blue in color.

These crystals were smooth and transparent, and looked ethereally beautiful under the jade-green light. Their beauty was almost indescribable. It was like Huo Yuhao and the Ice Empress had entered an immortal realm.
 
The ground, walls, and ceiling were filled with such crystals. They varied greatly, and were all glowing brightly. The different intensities of the jade-blue crystals brightened the cavern such that every minor detail could be clearly observed.

Huo Yuhao was in awe as he asked, “Ice Empress, what is this?”

The Ice Empress was a little stunned as she looked at everything around her. After this, her figure flashed before she drifted away. Although she existed as a Spirit and a spiritual entity, her affinity with the ice element was still very strong. She could sense that the chill in the cavern was surging towards her as she flew around. After this, the cold started to revolve around her.

“This, this seems like the legendary Manifold Mysterious Ice Cavern. How is this possible? Why is there such a place here? Gods! This is unbelievable!” The Ice Empress’ voice was a little hysterical. It was Huo Yuhao’s first time seeing her so shocked.

“No, no, this isn’t the Manifold Mysterious Ice Cavern yet. This is the Divine Ice Crystal that accompanies the Manifold Mysterious Ice Cavern. There are so many Divine Ice Crystals
 
here. I’m sure the Manifold Mysterious Ice Cavern exists here. This is too unbelievable. How is it possible that such a place exists in the human world?”

The Ice Empress appeared to have gone a little crazy as she kept on dancing through the cavern. The light from her body lit up the entire cavern.

The cavern couldn’t be considered very large. It was only thirty meters in length, but Huo Yuhao could sense that there were streaks of light blue mist revolving around the Ice Empress as she flew around the cavern. Even he was in awe of the extremely low temperature of these streaks of mist.

Such a low temperature was completely unimaginable.

The Ice Empress flew around for a good fifteen minutes before she stopped. Huo Yuhao breathed in the cold air and felt he had to circulate his Ultimate Ice soul power to dispel the chill. This meant that the cold here even surpassed his Ultimate Ice. It was close to absolute zero!
 
“Yuhao, how did you find this place? How did you find it?” The Ice Empress quickly regained her awareness and returned to Huo Yuhao. She grabbed his shoulders. Apart from the look of excitement on her face, she was also greatly sentimental.

“An elder brought me here. It’s the location of their sect. What’s wrong, Ice Empress? What’s the Manifold Mysterious Ice Cavern? And the Divine Ice Crystal?”

The Ice Empress took in a deep breath and tried to calm her emotions. She said, “The Manifold Mysterious Ice Cavern is an ice-type ultimate place. Let me give you an example. If the Snow Empress and I could have found the Manifold Mysterious Ice Cavern before we become your Spirits, we wouldn't have needed to find any way to achieve a breakthrough. Our abilities would have been able to overcome any bottleneck we faced. In the near future, we would have definitely been able to challenge Di Tian!”

“To be more direct, the Manifold Mysterious Ice Cavern is a treasure ground for ice-type cultivators like us. Why was Di Tian able to overcome eight consecutive bottlenecks and become the god of all beasts, and even invincible? This is because he managed to gain control of a treasure ground: the Lake of Life in the Core Region of the Great Star Dou Forest. He used the immense life energy there to nourish himself, allowing him to achieve what he has today. However, the truth is that the Lake of Life can nourish any soul beast. He’s not the only one who can benefit from it. This is because the Lake of Life is life-type.

“In fact, it isn’t completely compatible with his darkness- type. Even so, he was still able to cultivate to such a level. But the Manifold Mysterious Ice Cavern is completely compatible with us! It is as valuable as the Lake of Life to us.”

After hearing her words, Huo Yuhao was instantly astonished. He had personally seen the Lake of Life before! At the core of the Lake of Life was Life Gold. In addition, it wasn’t lacking in amount. It was the place that held the lifeline of the entire Great Star Dou Forest. If the Manifold Mysterious Ice
 
Cavern could compare to the Lake of Life like what the Ice Empress had said, it would be completely unbelievable...

“Ice Empress, is there no Manifold Mysterious Ice Cavern at the core of the Extreme North?” Huo Yuhao asked.

The Ice Empress was in a bit of daze. She seemed to still be struck with disbelief.

Another voice sounded at this moment. “Yes, there’s at least another  one.”  As  a  light  projection  flashed,  the  Skydream Iceworm appeared beside the Ice Empress. He was also emotional.

Huo Yuhao was puzzled as he looked at the Skydream Iceworm. The Ice Empress also glanced at him in the same way, but there was an extra weird look in her eyes.

The Skydream Iceworm asked, “Yuhao, did you forget how I managed to survive for so long?”
 
Huo Yuhao’s body shook. “You mentioned that you spent most of your time sleeping, and a million years passed just like that. I remember that you consumed some kind of ice essence and fell into a deep sleep. Don’t tell me…”

Skydream nodded. “That’s right. The Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence that I consumed came from the Manifold Mysterious Ice Cavern! I discovered that place unintentionally. The essence of an ice cavern lies in the ice essence. I was just an iceworm, but I relied on the benefits of the ice essence to cultivate into a million-year soul beast. Ice also wanted to kill me because of this.”

“Hmph.” The Ice Empress snorted, “If you had let me have the ice essence then, the Beast God might not be Di Tian. The Snow Empress would also…”

The Skydream Iceworm leisurely replied, “Ice, stop whining.
This is called fate and destiny.”

“Are you looking for a beating?”  The Ice Empress snorted furiously, and the Skydream Iceworm immediately stopped making any sound.
 
The Ice Empress turned to Huo Yuhao and said, “I didn’t expect there to be a second Manifold Mysterious Ice Cavern in this world. Your luck is simply too good. Furthermore, this ice cavern is different from the one that Skydream encountered the other time.”

Huo Yuhao was delighted. From the Ice Empress’ agitated look, and how the Skydream Iceworm described the situation, he must have had gotten extremely lucky. No matter what the difference was, it should be extremely beneficial to him.

The Ice Empress said, “The ice cavern that Skydream was in had a huge amount of Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence. That thing is very nourishing for ice-type soul beasts like us. It’s a real treasure.”

“It’s of the same tier as your Life Gold. However, we didn’t see any Divine Ice Crystals.

“A Manifold Mysterious Ice Cavern is in fact formed when Mysterious Ice is converted into it under huge pressure after being hidden for more than ten thousand years. Hundreds of thousands of years, and even upwards of a million years might
 
be needed for it to be formed. The right opportunities are also required.

“This ice cavern is filled with so many Divine Ice Crystals. As for how much Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence can be produced, it’s difficult to tell. However, there’s bound to be some. I had a look over there earlier, and there isn’t any here. If it’s not here, it should be in the well. It feels like this ice cavern isn’t much smaller than the ice cavern that Skydream saw, even though it’s smaller. If there’s some ice essence here, it would be very useful for the four of us and you.”

The Ice Empress revealed yet another heavy look in her eyes when she said that. She really wished that she had encountered this ice cavern before she had given up her body! If that were the case, everything would have been different...

The Skydream Iceworm said, “Alright, Ice. Don’t think too much. Honestly speaking, one must be very fortunate to bump into a Manifold Mysterious Ice Cavern. I’m not afraid that you’ll dislike my words, but both you and the Snow Empress don’t have such fortune. You are only here because of Yuhao. If you didn’t choose to fuse with Yuhao before, you wouldn’t have been able to experience something as good in your entire life. This is why you shouldn’t look for problems for yourself.”

What surprised Huo Yuhao was that the Ice Empress wasn’t furious after hearing the Skydream Iceworm’s words. Instead, she  nodded  and  mocked  herself,  “Yes!  I  am  indeed  finding problems for myself. Let’s not talk about this. Yuhao, you must not give up such a rare opportunity. We must tap the resources
here effectively.”

Huo  Yuhao  nodded  and  said,  “Ice  Empress,  what  is  this Divine Ice Crystal? What’s its use for us?”

The Ice Empress replied, “Divine Ice Crystals might not be as valuable as Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence, but they’re still extremely valuable. They are the strongest and toughest ice- type metal. They appear as crystals, but they possess the properties of metals. To put it in human words, a Divine Ice Crystal is a top-grade rare metal. As for how their special characteristics are used, it will depend on the user.”

Huo Yuhao was delighted, and said, “It seems like Elder Nan Shuishui was right. The Divine Ice Crystals here are very suitable for me.”
 
As he spoke, he lifted his right hand. His Darkgolden Terrorclaws revealed sharp, dark-golden blades as he swept it towards the Divine Ice Crystals.

Piercing sounds resonated, and five streaks of sparks flashed.
However, only shallow marks were left on the ice crystals.

It was an extremely tough metal!

It was pertinent to note that Huo Yuhao would often use his terrorclaws to sculpt his soul tools when he manufactured them. The sharpness and strength of his terrorclaws were great, and were one of his best offensive weapons. However, they weren’t enough to damage the ice crystals. This showed how tough they were.

Huo Yuhao was confused as he looked at the Ice Empress. “The Divine Ice Crystal is so tough. How can we mine it?”

The Ice Empress smiled and said, “There are many items that clash with one another, but there’s always something that can overcome another thing. Don’t worry, others might find it difficult to find a way, but it won’t be difficult for us to leave
 
with these crystals. You can’t use your Life Guardian Blade. It’ll destroy the internal structure of the ice crystals. This Divine Ice Crystal is in itself one of the best ice-type soul conductors and amplifiers. Try pouring your soul power into it.”

“Alright.” Huo Yuhao agreed to her words and retracted his terrorclaws. He put his right hand on the ice crystals beside him.

He was stunned that this ice crystal didn’t feel cold even though the cavern was at such a low temperature. It was as if all its cold was contained inside it.

He slowly poured in his Ultimate Ice soul power. After this, his body shook, and he revealed a shocked look on his face.

He could clearly sense an affinity when he poured his soul power into the ice crystal. Yes, it was an affinity!

It was clearly a metal, but it seemed to have emotions. It felt very close to his soul power. After this, Huo Yuhao felt the ice crystal in his hand softening a little. He tightened his five
 
fingers and exerted strength as he pulled, and a huge piece of ice crystal was pulled out, just like that.

Once this piece of ice was separated from the cavern and landed in his hand, his body immediately emitted a deep-blue glow. Lights subtly flashed. It was as if the piece of ice crystal had a life of its own.

“You  sense  it,  don’t  you?”  The  Ice  Empress  asked.  “The reason why it’s called the Divine Ice Crystal is because it has evolved into a realm with some life of its own. Animals and plants have their own lives. For minerals and metals, they can exude their own life aura and emotions when they reach a certain quality. It’s just that it’s much more difficult for them compared to animals and plants.

“What you are sensing is correct, i’s all real. If you want to dig out some ice crystals, there’s only one way... your Ultimate Ice soul power. You, me, and the Snow Empress can do it. Skydream can’t do it, and Star Anise is slightly lacking, too.”

Huo Yuhao nodded and said, “I’m using your power, anyway. Why do I feel that it’s no longer hard, but soft, yet resilient? It’s like…”  After speaking to this point, he paused for a moment
 
and thought of a way to describe it before saying, “It’s like it’s a huge piece of crystal jelly. It’s too magical.”

The Ice Empress nodded and replied, “You must try to communicate with the life aura inside with your Ultimate Ice soul power. Such a life aura is also called an ice spirit in the Extreme North. You can only try to retrieve it for now. It’s only when you can fully communicate with it that you can completely own it. Don’t think that just because there’s a lot of ice crystals here, you can retrieve as many ice spirits as you want. Not many of them can nurture ice spirits. The remaining ice crystals can be dug out, but they don’t have ice spirits. You are in luck, this piece of ice crystal contains a life spirit!”

Seeing the flashing Divine Ice Crystal in his hand, Huo Yuhao’s eyes brightened. He was in awe. “The miracles of this world indeed have to be continuously explored! Ice Empress, what should we do now?”

The Ice Empress laughed, “Isn’t it obvious? Whether it’s a Divine Ice Crystal that has nurtured an ice spirit or not, it’s still very valuable. Quickly, leave with them. The temperature of this place cannot be matched by the temperature of the outside world. I can sense that the icy spring has entered a state of deterioration. In another few hundred to few thousand years, the temperature here wouldn’t be sufficient to maintain this Manifold Mysterious Ice Cavern. When that happens, everything here will be slowly damaged and destroyed.”

“Alright.”  Huo Yuhao acknowledged her words and started moving. How could he let go of so much good stuff? As his eyes flashed, a layer of gentle, icy jade-green light was released from his body. It was his Snowy Dance of Ultimate Ice.

His Snowy Dance of Ultimate Ice contained immense Ultimate Ice soul power, and quickly engulfed the entire
 
cavern. Suddenly, the Divine Ice Crystals in the cavern all lit up, and Huo Yuhao started to extract them.

Without Ultimate Ice soul power, the price to pay for extracting even a small piece of ice crystal would be huge. Even an Ultimate Douluo wouldn’t be able to operate in such a low temperature. Furthermore, he wouldn’t be able to communicate with the ice spirits. However, Huo Yuhao found it much easier to extract these ice crystals.

Pieces of Divine Ice Crystals were pulled out of the walls of the cavern. Not only were they preserved, but it also didn’t take much effort for him to extract them. Without the need for the Ice Empress to remind him, he would differentiate the ice crystals with ice spirits from those that didn’t have ice spirits, and stored them separately in his Starlight Sapphire Ring.

Divine Ice Crystals were very special, as they contained immense ice-type energy. However, they didn’t feel cold on the surface, only slightly colder than ordinary metals to the touch. However, one could guide the Ultimate Ice origin energy inside them just by pouring in one’s soul power. Without Ultimate Ice soul power controlling the origin energy inside, it would have instead been unleashed in an explosive manner.
 
The reason why this cavern was so cold was because there would be times when the ice crystals would become unstable internally, and leak their origin energy. This cavern had been filled with Divine Ice Crystals for a long time. The accumulated cold turned this place into a danger zone.

As the pieces of ice crystal disappeared into Huo Yuhao’s storage-type soul tool, the temperature in the cavern rose noticeably. The surrounding walls also contained layers of crystals. They looked like huge pieces of ice sludge, and were also very sturdy. However, they were far inferior to to the Divine Ice Crystals.

Finally, Huo Yuhao placed the last piece of Divine Ice Crystal into his storage-type soul tool. At this moment, he was suddenly jolted by something, and instantly turned around. He only saw a huge current of water surging towards him.

Without the magical power of the ice crystals, the spring water finally surged into the cavern, given that the door wasn’t closed either.

Huo Yuhao laughed. Both the Skydream Iceworm and Ice Empress fused into his body. He swam upwards strongly.

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

Outside the well...

Nan Shuishui and Nan Qiuqiu were already very anxious from waiting.

It had been an hour since Huo Yuhao had descended into the well. However, they hadn’t heard anything from the well yet. It had been a long time, and Nan Shuishui doubted that she would be able to hang on for so long if she were the one inside.

However, both of them were similar, in that they had absolute confidence in Huo Yuhao’s abilities.

They had seen Huo Yuhao fusing with Wang Qiu’er’s abilities before, and witnessed the great improvement in his abilities after he formed his sixth soul ring.

Although Nan Shuishui wasn’t completely confident that Huo Yuhao could deal with the extremely low temperature of
 
the ice cavern, she deeply believed that Huo Yuhao wasn’t going to be hurt in any way, given his seven-ringed cultivation.

Nan Qiuqiu was slightly worried as she asked, “Mom, why don’t you go down and take a look? It’s been such a long time, but Yuhao still isn’t coming up.”

Nan Shuishui smiled slightly and said, “Why? Are you anxious? It seems like my precious daughter really has fallen for someone. No matter how hard you work, you’ll never be his wife. Why don’t you try becoming his concubine?”

Nan Qiuqiu was stunned for a moment, then in disbelief as she stared at Nan Shuishui. After this, she asked, “Mom, are you my biological mother? You’re actually asking me to be someone’s concubine?”

Nan  Shuishui  laughed,  “It’s  precisely  because  I’m  your mother that I’m giving you this suggestion. At times, you can’t think too highly of yourself. As people always say, it’s difficult for guys to chase girls, but it’s easy for girls to chase guys. There are many ways for a girl to earn the liking of a guy. I’m not literally asking you to be his concubine. I’m saying that if you really like him, you should try your best to chase him. I
 
support you. If I could have such a son-in-law, I’ll laugh even in my sleep.”

Nan Qiuqiu’s face turned red, and she replied, “No way. Who’s going to chase him? You don’t know that he’s such a mule in terms of relationships. Apart from Wang Dong’er, he can’t have anyone else in his heart. Didn’t you see what happened with Wang Qiu’er? Qiu’er was so outstanding, but she could only be his sacrifice. She couldn’t even be with him. This guy is very stubborn once he likes someone, even a girl who looked like Wang Dong’er can’t catch his eye. What about me? I’m not going to do that to myself.”

Nan Shuishui sighed and replied, “I know it’s difficult. Hah, just do as you please. Matters of the heart can’t be forced. However, I’m experienced in this matter. If you really like him too much, you must take the initiative. It’s only then that you’ll have an opportunity. If you choose to give up, you won’t stand a chance at all.”

Nan Qiuqiu was silent, and revealed a pensive look in her eyes. After a brief moment, she nodded silently.
 
At this moment, the sound of splashing water could be heard. Shortly after, a figure flew out from the well.

The intense chill forced Nan Shuishui and Nan Qiuqiu to stagger backward a few steps. Huo Yuhao slowly revealed himself from the icy fog that surrounded him.

“Yuhao, are you fine?” Nan Qiuqiu asked in concern.

Huo Yuhao nodded and smiled at the both of them before saying, “I am. I’m very fine. This cavern is indeed a treasure ground. Elder Nan, you were right. There’s indeed a special rare metal contained inside. Take a look.”

As he spoke, Huo Yuhao flipped his wrist, and a piece of Divine Ice Crystal that hadn’t nurtured an ice spirit appeared in his palm.

The color of the Divine Ice Crystal was obvious outside. It was icy-blue, resembling the color of the sky, while the glow that it emanated was deep blue. Under sunlight, even such a small piece of Divine Ice Crystal gave off an ethereal feeling. It was extremely magical.

“Wow, it’s beautiful.”  Nan Qiuqiu squealed in delight. She wanted to touch it, but she was stopped by Nan Shuishui.

Nan Shuishui had entered the cavern on her own before. She didn’t dare to be impulsive with regards to the stuff inside it.

Huo Yuhao smiled and said, “Elder Nan, it’s fine. This metal is called a Divine Ice Crystal. It indeed contains immense Ultimate Ice origin energy, but it’s very stable. As long as you don’t pour your soul power into it, things will be fine.” As he spoke, he passed the crystal to Nan Qiuqiu.

Nan Qiuqiu received the crystal and looked at it under the sun. Suddenly, the surrounding plot of ground under the crystal was covered by a layer of blurry blue light.

Nan Shuishui smiled as she looked at Huo Yuhao and said, “Yuhao, is this ice crystal useful to you? Can it be extracted?”

Huo Yuhao nodded and answered, “I can do it. You need to possess Ultimate Ice soul power to extract this Divine Ice Crystal. I’ve already extracted all the crystals from the cavern.
 
This was why I took such a long time. Sorry to have made the both of you wait.”

Nan Shuishui smiled, “It’s good as long as it’s useful for you. Quickly, put it away. I hope your abilities will improve much further.”

As she spoke, she took the crystal from Nan Qiuqiu’s hand. After taking a look at it for a moment, she returned it to Huo Yuhao.

After receiving the crystal, Huo Yuhao pondered for a moment before saying, “Elder, this crystal can only be molded and extracted using Ultimate Ice soul power. Don’t worry, I won’t steal what belongs to the Earthdragon Sect. When I turn them into soul tools, I’ll give a share of the soul tools I produce with it to the Earthdragon Sect. What do you think?”

No matter what, this Manifold Mysterious Ice Cavern belonged to the Earthdragon Sect. Although Nan Shuishui mentioned that she was offering it to him, this gift was simply too precious.
 
Nan Shuishui and seemed to be unbothered, “In fact, I wanted to use this place as Qiuqiu’s dowry. However, I discovered you were the most suitable person to take control of this place after working with the Tang Sect. Since I’ve decided to give you this place, you can choose what you want to do with it. You don’t really have to distinguish between the Earthdragon and Tang Sect either. Don’t call me Elder, either. You’re Qiuqiu’s friend. You can call me ‘Aunty’.”

Huo Yuhao could infer the double meaning from Nan Shuishui’s words. However, he could only act stupid, and respectfully replied, “Thanks, Aunty.”

He didn’t go into the details of how he would allocate these ice crystals. He would definitely compensate the Earthdragon Sect after he turned them into finished products. Actions spoke louder than words.

Nan Qiuqiu glanced at her mother before looking at him. She jumped excitedly towards Huo Yuhao and laughed, “Yuhao, I don’t care about others, but I demand to be part of it if you are using such a beautiful treasure to manufacture soul tools.”
 
Huo Yuhao smiled as he nodded and said, “Definitely. When I return, I’ll start researching how to manufacture them.”

Nan Shuishui smiled and said, “Alright, let’s go then.”

Huo Yuhao replied, “Aunty, give me a moment...”

Chapter 464: Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence

“Eh?” An inquisitive look appeared in Nan Shuishui’s eyes.

Huo Yuhao said, “Auntie, when I went down to investigate, I discovered that deep within this well is the mouth of a spring. The water within this spring has a very low temperature, but there seemed to be something else hidden inside. I went into the cave to investigate, and now I want to enter that icy spring to see if there’s anything down there. This place can form rare metals that are considered one of the most precious between heaven and earth, so there must be something that they originate from.”

A thought occurred to Nan Shuishui as she said, “There’s such a thing? There aren’t any records in the Earthdragon Sect’s archives about that. The temperature in the icy spring is very low. Will that hurt you?”

Huo Yuhao smiled and said, “Don’t worry, auntie. I have Ultimate Ice soul power. I’ll be able to judge if I can’t bear it, but there should be no problem protecting myself.”
 
Huo Yuhao was protected by the Snow Empress and the Ice Empress, and he also supported by the Star Anise Mysterious Ice Grass. If he couldn’t enter that icy spring, then nobody else in the world could.

“Alright. Go, then. Qiuqiu and I will keep watch for you outside.”  Nan Shuishui didn’t advise him further. Huo Yuhao was a very reliable fellow in her eyes, and he was definitely sure of himself if he said he was. The more she looked at Huo Yuhao, the more she liked him – those eyes clearly belonged to that of a mother-in-law gazing upon her son-in-law. Even Huo Yuhao couldn’t take her gaze any longer.

Huo Yuhao bowed at Nan Shuishui before he leapt into the well and dove deep into the icy spring.

The Ice Empress had mentioned that Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence had to exist here, whether in small or large amounts. The ice essence wasn’t useful just for him; it was also beneficial to different degrees for each of his four Spirits, and he couldn’t give up on that.

Normal soul masters could still use soul tools crafted with Divine Ice Crystals with the help of formation arrays, but only
 
a person with ice-type abilities like Huo Yuhao could use the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence. Furthermore, this was his own discovery, and thus using it wouldn’t weigh on his conscience.

Quite a bit of spring water had surged into the cave, and the surface level of the spring had dropped a little.

Huo Yuhao swiftly dove deeper than he had reached before, and he continued down while the water pressure around him began to increase, and the temperature swiftly plummeted.

The temperature of the spring water closer to the surface rose a little without the Ice Divine Crystals, but the temperature below didn’t change at all. Huo Yuhao quickly arrived near the mouth of the spring.

Such low temperature! Huo Yuhao was impressed even though he had just arrived. He could clearly feel that his soul power was circulating much more slowly due to the low temperature here.
 
He possessed Ultimate Ice soul power, and yet his soul power was being affected. It wasn’t hard to imagine how normal soul masters would be affected after coming to a place like this. Even Titled Douluo could probably only remain here for a few breaths, and even an Ultimate Douluo might not have the
courage to investigate deep into this icy spring.

Two shadows gradually appeared behind Huo Yuhao’s back: the Ice Empress and the Snow Lady. The Ice Empress pulled the Snow Lady along like an elder sister holding her younger sister. They felt the extreme chill around them, and their faces showed expressions of enjoyment.

Bluish-green and dark blue colors glowed at the same time. These two lights merged together and turned a deep bluish- green, entering Huo Yuhao’s body and forming a layer of protection over his skin.

The Star Anise Mysterious Ice Grass came out on his shoulder. A layer of faint blue light emerged, and absorbed the chills that were invading Huo Yuhao’s body.

Huo Yuhao realized, to his amusement, that his soul power wasn’t weakening around this icy spring. Instead, with
 
support from his three Spirits, his soul power was increasing continuously. This situation was similar to when he was in meditation. If he didn’t have to hold his breath in this place, he would truly want to spend more time cultivating here. His cultivation would be much more effective.

Things that were most suitable for him were always the best. Perhaps the origin energy of heaven and earth here was inferior to the Lake of Life, but the pure elements of ice were most suitable for his cultivation.

Huo Yuhao stopped one meter away from the mouth of the icy spring while he was thinking.

Huo Yuhao would never be blindly optimistic or careless even though he was confident. He had gone through far too many lessons and experiences, and no matter what, he wouldn’t let himself be placed in harm’s way so easily.

Huo Yuhao gathered spiritual power and transformed it into formless energy as it went through the mouth of the spring. Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power was like his eyes, and he would be able to accurately judge the situation as long as he could see inside the mouth of the spring.

However, Huo Yuhao was immediately astonished, as his spiritual power felt as if it had entered a sticky swamp. There was great difficulty in pushing it forward, and he would have to expend far too much spiritual power.

What…

How can elements affect spiritual power? This was the first time Huo Yuhao had encountered something like this.

“Pull your spiritual power back, Yuhao. Let me go down and take a look,” the Ice Empress’ voice rang out from behind him.

Huo Yuhao turned around to look at her and asked, “Why is this happening, Ice Empress?”

The Ice Empress answered, “Energies may be different, but they are all of the same kind once they reach a certain standard. Spiritual power is different from elemental energy, but it is still a form of energy. The elements of ice within this icy spring are as extreme as they can get, and your spiritual power will obviously be affected by it by going inside. You
 
might be able to send your spiritual power inside if you use the power of your soul core, but that will expend too much energy. Furthermore, the situation is unclear, so it’s better not to take this risk. Let me take a look inside. My origin is inside your body, and a thread of my consciousness will have no problem
going inside.”

“Alright,   thank   you   for   your   trouble,”    Huo   Yuhao acknowledged.

The Ice Empress transformed into a beam of flowing light and disappeared into the mouth of the spring. Huo Yuhao’s four Spirits were evolving at different rates as he became stronger.

Amongst Huo Yuhao’s Spirits, the Skydream Iceworm wasn’t the one most intimately connected to him, it was the Ice Empress. The Ice Empress was his martial soul, after all! What the Ice Empress meant when she said that her origin was inside his body was that she was Huo Yuhao’s martial soul, so damage to a single thread of consciousness wouldn’t cause too much trouble.
 
His other three Spirits all took the true form of Spirits. The Skydream Iceworm and Huo Yuhao were inseparable, and their integration level was comparable to him and the Ice Empress. However, the Skydream Iceworm’s half-spiritual and half-ice abilities were inferior to the Ice Empress in a situation like
this.

Huo Yuhao waited quietly outside the icy spring. He wasn’t hasty, as he had faith in the Ice Empress’ abilities. Even though only a thread of her consciousness went in, Huo Yuhao still knew far less than the Ice Empress did about the element of ice.

It didn’t take long before the Ice Empress emerged from the icy spring. She waved at Huo Yuhao excitedly and said, “Everything is fine, come in.”

“Alright!”  Huo  Yuhao  couldn’t  hold  his  breath  for  much longer. He was starting to feel stifled in his chest, and he passed a message to the Ice Empress with his spiritual power before he activated his soul power and dove in.

Huo Yuhao went into the mouth of the icy spring, and he immediately felt an intense wave of cold that invaded his body
 
like millions of steel needles. The temperature of this wave of cold was something that Huo Yuhao had never felt before. From his perspective, this extreme cold exceeded every ice-type energy that he had ever encountered. He felt as if his entire skeleton were glowing as he was immersed in it.

Huo Yuhao had the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s skeleton and left arm bone to protect those parts. However, the other parts of his body were clearly feeling a little stiff.

The Star Anise Mysterious Ice Grass and the Snow Empress displayed their powerful abilities in this moment. They had absorbed a large amount of the elements of ice around them, and now formed a protective layer around his body so that he could continue diving down, while the Ice Empress took point in front.

This icy spring was far deeper than Huo Yuhao had judged. He went thirty meters down, and the chills around him became increasingly strong. Huo Yuhao had to continue channeling soul power to resist the cold. He was starting to fall apart because he had been holding his breath for a long time, and this environment put a lot of pressure on him.
 
A suffocating feeling was starting to appear, and that stifling feeling in his chest was starting to make his inner breathing a little unbalanced.

Oh no, problems might occur if this continues! Huo Yuhao was beginning to feel a little hesitant.

The Ice Empress clearly felt the changes in his body. She waved her hand at him to show that everything was fine as they continued descending into the depths.

The Ice Empress was a part of his body. The Ice Empress couldn’t live by herself if something happened to him, so Huo Yuhao had absolute faith in the Ice Empress as he gritted his teeth and continued downward.

Forty meters, forty-five meters, fifty meters…

Huo Yuhao almost couldn’t bear it anymore at this depth. His body was starting to tremble as the water pressure increased, and with the agony of the intense chill in addition to the harsh suffocating sensations, his body was starting to reach its limit.
 
Huo Yuhao was like Nan Qiuqiu when she was resisting his spiritual pressure before. He was relying only on his willpower to support his body under that enormous pressure.

The Ice Empress paused in front of him at this moment before she suddenly accelerated and continued down.

Huo Yuhao paused for a moment. He still had a chance to return if he went back now, but if he went deeper in and if he couldn’t extricate himself from this situation, then he would probably be in big trouble.

Should I trust the Ice Empress, or should I go up and take a breather before I prepare myself to return?

Those two thoughts resonated in his mind for but an instant before he made his choice. He grit his teeth and channeled all his soul power before he pressed his hand backward. Two waves of soul power surged and propelled his body as he suddenly burst forward and went deeper down.

Huo Yuhao felt as if the icy spring water around him had already reached absolute zero. The extremely low temperatures were starting to make his body go numb. However, the soul power within his body was greedily absorbing that extreme chill.

Huo Yuhao’s body suddenly lightened, and he suddenly felt the pressure around him plummet as he fell into a small cave with a woosh.

Everything was completely dark inside the cave, but there wasn’t any spring water at all. Huo Yuhao almost subconsciously opened his mouth to breathe.

A wave of terrifyingly chilly air followed his breath into his body. In that moment, Huo Yuhao felt as if everything, including his own spirit, had frozen. His entire body went stiff as he just stood there, motionless.
 
Huo Yuhao thought that he had a very deep understanding of the element of ice, but only in this moment did he truly understand that everything that he knew was insufficient. At least, he had never believed that ice could cause even spirits to freeze. Was this the true element of ice?

The Eye of Destiny opened on his forehead. The deep, profound, and tranquil vertical eye opened as the soul core in his body rotated frantically. Tremendous spiritual power rippled out and forcibly helped Huo Yuhao’s spirit struggle out from the icy rigidity.

Bluish-green light glowed in front of him at the same time. The Ice Empress hovered in front of him quietly, and Huo Yuhao could finally see everything around him clearly.

He was inside a very small cave. It was only about ten square meters, and about one and a half meters high. Huo Yuhao had to step inside while bending down.

There were strange pillars of ice inside the cave. There were more than ten of various sizes, some big and some small, all intertwined with one another. Every pillar was white, and they
 
stayed white and clean even when the Ice Empress’ bluish- green light shone on them.

Liquid seemed to flow within those white, icy pillars. The frightening chill came from these icy pillars.

The extreme cold here was different from that contained inside the Divine Ice Crystals. The cold here couldn’t be contained, and even the air seemed to be sticky. The elements of ice were so thick here that even Huo Yuhao couldn’t absorb them, and only the Ice Empress, the Snow Empress, the Star Anise, or other Spirits like them wouldn’t be too affected in such an environment. That wasn’t because they were in spiritual form, but because their bodies were formed from Ultimate Ice.

“We are here. This is the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence,” the Ice Empress spoke with great sorrow.

The Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence!

Huo Yuhao’s spirits were rekindled when he heard those words. He couldn’t move at all, and his entire body seemed like
 
it was frozen. However, with his soul core helping him, his thoughts and spirit were very normal.

The Ice Empress said, “Don’t worry, Yuhao. You’re just not used to the extreme cold in this place. The area here is too small, and there is too much Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence, which is why the temperature is so low. The temperature here is about five degrees from absolute zero. Even though these five degrees are still calamities, this is the lowest temperature I have ever come across.”

Thoughts spun in Huo Yuhao’s head as he turned to the Ice Empress and asked, “Does that mean our Ultimate Ice isn’t absolute zero?”

The Ice Empress shook her head and said, “Of course not. Temperatures can be considered at the extremes when they are one hundred and fifty degrees below zero. That is already a range forbidden to life. However, that threshold is still quite far from absolute zero. But this place is different. This place is truly a place with a temperature close to absolute zero! There isn’t as much Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence as the place that Skydream Iceworm discovered by chance, but the space here is small, and the cold air cannot be released outside. The cold air has been accumulating, and trapped here. Therefore, low
 
temperatures such as this are few and far between, even in our lives. Don’t do anything now; just stay here quietly, and it will be beneficial for you. We will absorb the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence to reduce the icy air’s thickness, and then you can slowly adapt. Just make sure that your mind remains clear.”

“Alright.” Huo Yuhao said nothing more. He understood what the Ice Empress was saying: he had to feel and experience more of a place like this that hardly ever occurred in the world, if at all. It would be very beneficial for his cultivation with Ultimate Ice!

Huo Yuhao concentrated his spiritual power and began to quietly feel everything around him. Even though his body was frozen, there was an icy-blue layer around his body that was protecting him. Huo Yuhao’s martial soul had Ultimate Ice, and he couldn’t be frozen to death. The only problem was that the chilly air here was too strong, and he didn’t know how to deal with it yet.

Light flickered as the Skydream Iceworm emerged from Huo Yuhao’s body. Even though the Skydream Iceworm didn’t originally have Ultimate Ice, he was undoubtedly the most experienced in dealing with Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence.
 
“What do you plan to do?” the Skydream Iceworm asked the Ice Empress.

Their consciousnesses were the most intact amongst Huo Yuhao’s four Spirits. The Star Anise was similar, but it was a plant-type soul beast, and it only had a hundred thousand years of cultivation, so its intelligence was lower. The Snow Empress’ memories were sealed after she became Huo Yuhao’s Spirit, so she couldn’t help them make a decision.

The Ice Empress lowered her voice and said, “We are without our bodies. However, the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence is the purest and most valuable treasure for our elements of ice. We may be able to recreate our bodies if we use this ice essence as materials and absorb them through our origin energy. These bodies will still based on energy, but if our fusion is to be successful, we will be able to leave Yuhao for a certain distance in the future and still be able to live. At the same time, if anything happens to Yuhao, we can still…”

She paused here and glanced at Huo Yuhao.

Huo Yuhao passed his message with his thoughts. “Can what?”

The Ice Empress took a deep breath and spoke with radiating eyes that were trained on him. “We can leave you, and we can find another person who can help us attain eternity. With the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence, our spiritual origins can possess a vessel that isn’t so easily dissipated.”

Huo Yuhao said, “That’s great! That is a good thing. Hurry up and absorb it.”

The Skydream Iceworm’s eyes became a lot deeper than before. “That’s not good.”

The Ice Empress stared at him coldly and said, “What’s not good?”

The Skydream Iceworm frowned. “I can understand what you are feeling. However, since we have chosen to follow Yuhao from the beginning, we have to give our entire hearts and souls. Everyone has been through life and death struggles so many times... have you forgotten?”
 
The Ice Empress paused momentarily and said, “I just wish to use the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence to strengthen my origin so that my spiritual origin can rely on something. What’s wrong with that?”

The Skydream Iceworm shook his head. “No, that’s not all you are thinking of. I understand that you want to try to recreate your physical body with all this Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence. I can tell you two things. First, you can’t possibly do that. This ice essence is a very valuable ice-type treasure, but there isn’t enough here for you to recreate your physical body. How can you recreate your body without any dependence?

“Second, even if you manage to do that, you will no longer be with us. I understand how you feel about seeing all this Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence, but I have to stop you. This is not our path. Have you not seen hope in Yuhao? Since we already have hope, why do you have to take this risk?”

The Ice Empress retorted defiantly, “I didn’t think of hurting him. I just…”
 
The Skydream Iceworm’s voice suddenly became very severe. “Shut up. I know you never wished to harm him, but why didn’t you tell him that he would have to sustain such enormous pressure in the process of coming in? You didn’t want him to stop you after coming here. Absorbing the
Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence to strengthen your own body is alright, but I’m afraid that your mentality will become unstable. Don’t take the wrong path!”

The Ice Empress fell silent. Even though she didn’t want to admit it, she understood that the Skydream Iceworm was speaking the truth.

The Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence had caused a ripple in a heart that had always been calm, and she felt as if she had seen hope. She had never fused with a treasure like this before, but she held onto that tiny thread of hope, that she could use it to try and recreate her physical body. She did see hope by following Huo Yuhao, but she craved freedom more.

“Brother Skydream,” Huo Yuhao called out.

The Skydream Iceworm turned around and looked at Huo Yuhao with an apologetic look on his face. “I’m sorry, Yuhao.
 
She didn’t do it intentionally. The Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence is unimaginably alluring to any ice-type soul beast.”

“I understand. I don’t blame her,” Huo Yuhao continued, “I understand the value of freedom. Brother Skydream, I called you because I wanted to ask if I can truly help you guys recreate your physical bodies by leveraging the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence.. or rather, by using it as the main material. If that’s possible, I am willing to help you. Really. I don’t mind even if you absorb every single inch of the ice essence here.”

The Skydream Iceworm frowned even more tightly. “What do you mean, Yuhao?”

Huo   Yuhao   smiled   and   said,   “Brother   Skydream,   Ice Empress… I’ve always known that you guys have high expectations and hopes on me, and this expectation has been an enormous burden for me! If you guys can recreate your physical bodies, then this burden will naturally disappear. I can do some things that I want to do with a lightened heart. You guys don’t have to worry about anything. My Spirit Eyes have grown, and even if the Ice Empress leaves me and takes my second martial soul, that’s not a big deal. I am very clear about how valuable freedom is. Therefore, if you have a
 
solution to this, brother Skydream, please help the Ice Empress and yourself. There will be no problem if the Snow Empress can Awaken because of this. The original rationale of becoming my Spirits was to live better lives! Since you guys have this opportunity, why are you giving it up?”

The Skydream Iceworm’s knotted brow relaxed, but his expression was one of astonishment. He could tell that Huo Yuhao’s words were very sincere, and there wasn’t a single trace of sarcasm.

The Ice Empress stared at Huo Yuhao with a blank look on her face, and seemed a little lost.

Huo Yuhao heaved a faint sigh and said, “I have always had three wishes. My first wish is to avenge my mother, and for everybody who hurt her to pay. This is my duty as a son. My second wish is to find Dong’er again, so that we can be together, and that is for my own happiness. My third wish is to help you guys live on, and in a better life. You guys are the reason why I have achieved everything that I have, and to me, you are both teachers and friends. The only responsibility that remains after I have completed these three wishes will be to fight for Shrek and the Tang Sect.

“I truly wish to see my three wishes fulfilled. Therefore, brother Skydream, every one of you can leave if you are able to. I will not be upset at all. I only wish that we can still be friends afterwards.”

The Skydream Iceworm’s voice became a little lower. “But you know that if we leave you – perhaps what we have fused
 
with you will remain in your body – what the Ice Empress, the Snow Empress, and I will take with us all the soul skills that we have bestowed upon you. Even the soul bone that the Ice Empress has given you will disappear. Your second martial soul will likely crumble, and your Spirit Eyes’ fourth soul skill will vanish with me. Even though you are a Soul Sage, your strength will very likely plummet.”

Huo Yuhao chuckled. “I have considered all of that. That’s not a problem, because I am not worried about all that as long as I can fulfill my three wishes. Brother Skydream, you don’t have to worry for me. I am no longer the same me as I was back then. With your help, at the very least, I am still a Soul Sage. Furthermore, I already have my soul core. I trust that I can regain my prowess with my own abilities. Even if I only have Spirit Eyes, I am still quite powerful! Don’t worry.”

The Skydream Iceworm sighed and turned around to look at the Ice Empress. “Have you heard him?”

The Ice Empress nodded silently.

The Skydream Iceworm said plainly, “So what is your decision?”

The Ice Empress didn’t answer directly. Instead, she asked the Skydream Iceworm a question. “If I choose to leave, then what about you? Will you leave with me?”

The Skydream Iceworm shook his head almost without hesitation as he said decisively, “No, I won’t.”

The Ice Empress frowned. “But you’ve said before that you like me. Why aren’t you willing to be with me?”

The Skydream Iceworm replied plainly, “Yes, I like you. No, I should say that I love you. You are one of the most important components of my life. However, Yuhao is the same.

“Yes, it was because of me that Yuhao’s strength has risen so quickly. However, on the other hand, I would probably no longer exist if I hadn’t run into him. We have always been relying on each other for survival and helping each other, and only then have we reached where we are today. Therefore, no matter what, whether Yuhao will touch that level successfully in the future, I will accompany him on his path. I will always be by his side whether he is successful or not. I am his
 
companion, and I am also his elder brother. Just as you are, he has long become one of the most important parts of my life.

“Yuhao is right – he has a tremendous burden on his shoulders because of us. I trust that everything that he has said is sincere. Our departure for him might be a kind of liberation, but I will not leave, no matter what the future holds for us. I will stand with my brother.”

The Ice Empress’ expression turned a little bitter. “What about me? We both hold important places in your heart. Why won’t you choose to be with me?”

The Skydream Iceworm sighed and said, “How I wish I could be with you! I will wish the same in the future. However, I cannot follow you if you choose to leave. I will look for you only after I accompany Yuhao to finish the last days of his journey. If you are still alive then, I will come to you to protect you, and to accompany you. If you are no longer there, then I will find you in another world. Even though I am very afraid of death, I have to admit that I have been alive long enough. Love and friendship cannot be had at the same time; if your choice is right, and Yuhao’s choice is not right, then I will choose you. But now, you should understand what my choice is.”
 
“Hmph!” The Ice Empress grunted angrily. “You wait!”

The Skydream Iceworm revealed a pained smile. “Perhaps this wait will bring me agony for the rest of my life.”

The Ice Empress stared at him coldly and said, “Yes, it will give you pain for the rest of your life.”

She turned and floated towards Huo Yuhao as she spoke. The Skydream Iceworm felt his heart skip a beat as he hurriedly followed her.

The Snow Empress had lost her memory, and she only recognized Huo Yuhao. She immediately flew next to Huo Yuhao as she stared at the Ice Empress warily.

The Ice Empress smiled, staring at Huo Yuhao, and her smile was very happy.

“You are all wrong. I do want to absorb this Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence, and I have to admit that greedy thoughts did appear in my head when I saw it. I believe that is
 
something that any ice-type soul beast cannot avoid. However, that avarice is insufficient to sway my faith.

“So what if I recreate my physical body? In Di Tian’s life, he has cultivated for more than eight hundred thousand years with the help of the Lake of Life, and even then, he doesn’t have a single chance of touching the God Realm. The God Realm has always been very harsh and strict towards us soul beasts. However, I have truly seen hope in Yuhao. The call from the God Realm and the formation of his soul core proves that my judgment wasn’t false all those years ago. Since that’s the case, why would I give up my roots to chase something so trivial?”

The Skydream Iceworm stared at her with widened eyes and slack jaw. “You… you’re not recreating your physical body anymore?”

The Ice Empress rolled her eyes and said, “When did I say that I wished to do that?”

The Skydream Iceworm stammered, “But… but you said that if something happens to him, you can choose another host!”
 
The Ice Empress replied, “I did say that! But I was just speaking casually. Why are you so serious? Do you think I don’t know how illusory recreating my physical body is? You are too tensed up. Yes, Yuhao did sustain enormous pressure coming in here, but that pressure was within my control. If I sensed that he had reached the limits of what he could bear, I would have immediately helped him relieve that pressure.”

The Ice Empress’ green light suddenly flourished as she spoke, and the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s original form glowed behind Huo Yuhao’s back. The chill that had been assaulting him from the beginning to the end, that had frozen him over instantly, disappeared as Huo Yuhao regained his senses.

“How can he improve without pressure? Did he not do the same to Qiuqiu? Don’t you know how difficult it is to give Yuhao pressure? This place is as suitable as it gets. This experience will be very beneficial for him when he absorbs the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence later.

“However,  I  have  to  absorb  at  least  half  of  the  Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence here,” the Ice Empress was very serious, “I have never considered recreating my physical body, or to change hosts in the future. To be honest, I don’t think anybody
 
can be better than Yuhao, and I was just commenting casually. However, such a thing is possible, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. As for why I have to absorb large amounts of Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence to consolidate and strengthen my origins, the reason is simple.”

“Why?” the Skydream Iceworm asked.

The Ice Empress rolled her eyes and said, “You’re such an idiot. You had nothing better to do, so you decided to help Yuhao form his soul core with only seven soul rings. This will allow his cultivation to increase more quickly, but have you considered that forming a second soul core is a challenge for an Ultimate Douluo? He’ll probably need more than thirty, or even fifty years.

“The Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence is your great luck. The amount that he can absorb is limited, while my absorption is equivalent to his martial soul absorbing more. All this will be unleashed when he breaks through in the future, and when he is forming his second soul core. I will infuse my origin power into his body so that he has a chance at success.”

The Skydream Iceworm’s jaws were still agape. “Very wise!”

The Ice Empress shot him a disdainful glance and said, “Of course I am wise, unlike you; you’re such an idiot. You hadn’t even clarified anything before you came running to express your loyalty. Please, continue!”

“I…” The Skydream Iceworm gave her a sheepish look. “I was wrong, Ice Empress. I have aggrieved you.”

The Ice Empress laughed coldly and said, “No! Do not speak of aggrievance. You’re so good to Yuhao, you guys are brothers. I am an outsider. Yuhao is the generous one… what about you? You are projecting your own despicable thoughts to judge honest people. Leave me alone next time.”

“I was wrong, Ice Empress. Isn’t it enough that I have apologized? I will do whatever you wish me to, my lady. I was wrong, I truly understand that I was wrong now.” The Skydream Iceworm finally understood what the Ice Empress meant about giving him pain for the rest of his life. He finally felt it deep in his bones.

Huo Yuhao turned toward the Ice Empress with a forced laugh. “This is all just a misunderstanding, jeez…  I was also
 
wrong. Everything is my fault. Don’t blame brother Skydream.”

The Skydream Iceworm secretly gave Huo Yuhao a thumbs- up.

The Ice Empress chortled and said, “It’s not so easy to toss us away, Yuhao. You will only have motivation when there’s pressure. It’s fine, I don’t blame you. I have always treated you like a younger brother. Furthermore, your speech just now was pretty touching. Quite unlike a certain crawling bug, heh!”

“I…  I  was  wrong!  Ice  Empress,”  the  Skydream  Iceworm hurriedly stepped forward to pull on the Ice Empress, but she shrugged him away.

“That’s enough, I’ll deal with you later. We have to discuss this matter with the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence. You also have to absorb some, Skydream, not just me. The Snow Lady and the Star Anise have to do it, as well. The Snow Lady has to take more, and perhaps that will help her regain her strength. Yuhao can only absorb a little for now. The Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence is too effective, and if you absorb too much of it, you may very well end up in a deep slumber like the
 
Skydream Iceworm all those years ago. If that happens, you may sleep for a good ten years. I’m sure you won’t want that."

Chapter 465: Absorbing the Ice Essence

The Ice Empress said, “It’s a lot easier for us to absorb the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence. We are all your Spirits, and our origin will absorb some of it, while more of it will be sealed into our bodies. These energies will be useful when you attempt to form your second soul core.”

“Alright, I’ll listen to you,” Huo Yuhao quickly acknowledged.

The Ice Empress continued, “Okay, then I shall begin, and the Snow Empress will go next, then Skydream, and the Star Anise goes last. You will take your turn when we finish.”

Huo Yuhao nodded that he understood.

The Skydream Iceworm stared anxiously at the Ice Empress beside her and said, “Do you need help, Ice Empress?”

“Scram,” the Ice Empress pushed him away as she floated before a single pillar. Intense green light lit up every corner of
 
this tiny cavern. Every single pillar of ice essence seemed to come alive under the green luster.

The Ice Empress shifted as an enormous green scorpion tail glimmered into view behind her. The shiny hook stabbed ferociously into the pillar in front of her.

Tch! A soft sound shook the cold air within the cavern. Huo Yuhao could clearly feel even stronger waves of cold permeate around him, and the energy undulations were also becoming stronger within all those chilly waves.

However, it happened for only an instant. Huo Yuhao could see in the next moment that waves of dark blue liquid swiftly flowed into the Ice Empress’ body through the sharp hook on her tail, and she absorbed the liquid within.

The Ice Empress was Huo Yuhao’s martial soul, after all, and Huo Yuhao could sense something changing once she began to absorb it. The rigid soul power within his body began to circulate once more. Furthermore, his soul power began to strengthen as the pure elements of ice flowed into his body.
 
The Ice Empress stretched out her arms to both sides, and transformed into two enormous pincers that waved rhythmically in the air as they flowed with bluish-green hues.

The green lights intertwined and curved through one another in midair as strange bluish-green runes and glyphs took shape one after another behind her before imprinting on her body.

Huo Yuhao’s soul power was increasing at a slow rate. However, the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s pattern was vividly shining on his back. That wasn’t all; the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s skeleton shone lustrously.

The Ice Empress’ origin resided within those bones. The Ice Empress was starting to fuse with and seal away the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence, and that essence was naturally sealed into her skeleton.

The process was very quick. Fifteen minutes passed as the first pillar dimmed, and the liquid that was so lively and full of vitality completely disappeared.
 
The pillar of ice essence shattered with a light pop and transformed into a mass of icy dust.

The Ice Empress’ body became much more material after fusing with the essence of the pillar. Even though it still couldn’t compare to her real body, Huo Yuhao could tell that she was a lot more lively than before.

Two pincers stretched out from her sides, and each clamped down on a pillar as she continued to absorb more!

The Skydream Iceworm flew quietly behind the Ice Empress. Nobody was as experienced as he was in absorbing the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence, and back when he had first absorbed it, he went into a deep slumber for a long time because there was too much energy inside the ice essence, even after absorbing but a little bit. He could absorb more as he became stronger over time, and he managed to accumulate his tremendous ice-type origin energy after a million years. Unfortunately, those energies were “gifted”  to someone else when he arrived at the Great Star Dou Forest. He wasn’t adept in battle, and so he became a source of great nutrition to the Beast God, Di Tian, and a bunch of the Great Star Dou Forest’s Savage Beasts.
 
Just as the Ice Empress had said, if she was the one who had absorbed all that Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence back then, it was hard to say who the number-one soul beast in the world would be.

The Skydream Iceworm protected the Ice Empress from behind, so that if she absorbed too much, he could help her by drawing some away.

However, the Ice Empress was very powerful. She already had four hundred thousand years of cultivation before fusing with Huo Yuhao. Even though the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence was very potent, her origin power was much stronger than the Skydream Iceworm’s back then.

She absorbed one pillar after another. Her body became increasingly material, as if she were a real human. Huo Yuhao could feel that the Ice Empress’ consciousness and the tremendous power contained within the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence gradually allowed her to take a form that was completely formed of ice energy. Just as the Ice Empress had said, she could be some distance from Huo Yuhao for a period of time in such a state without running into any problems. This was an improvement in her intrinsic qualities. She would possess her own fighting strength even without relying on Huo
 
Yuhao. Of course, she was still quite far from how she was in her prime.

The Ice Empress only began to slow down after she had absorbed seven pillars of ice essence. Some of those energies integrated with her origin, while she began to seal the others into her origin. She was starting to exert a lot of effort after the seventh one.

She could still absorb the eighth one on her own, but she couldn’t absorb two at the same time, while the cavern became a little warmer after those pillars disappeared. The Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence wasn’t so unbearable anymore.

The ninth one!

Thick icy bluish-green mist began to appear around the Ice Empress after she absorbed her ninth one. The icy mist would transform into drops of liquid in the air and plop to the ground. Her body was starting to tremble, and it was clear that she was reaching her limit.
 
It was quite difficult to digest the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence. She could only store that much with her origin power.

The Ice Empress struggled to finish absorbing her ninth pillar. She took a deep breath as she glided away. Green light flickered on her body, and flourishing ice-type origin energy undulations gave everyone the feeling that she had restored herself to her peak strength.

“I’m good. Yuhao, let the Snow Empress absorb some.” The Ice Empress heaved a long exhalation as she floated next to Huo Yuhao. She had to absorb some ice essence to fuse with her consciousness, otherwise, she might explode at any moment, because she had absorbed too much energy.

Huo Yuhao communicated with the Snow Lady, and she flew into the air and came before the ice essence.

The Snow Lady was a lot more direct than the Snow Empress. She opened her palms and grabbed a pillar with each one, and everyone could see her pulling circles of blue light into her body before they merged with her.
 
The Snow Empress was in a different state than the Ice Empress. The Ice Empress was Huo Yuhao’s martial soul, but she had only retained her consciousness. The Snow Empress was possibly the strongest Spirit in the continent. Even though she didn’t have soul bones to rely on, her consciousness and soul power had merged to become a Spirit so that she could survive. She was much more material than the Ice Empress’ pure consciousness, and she began to display strength superior to the Ice Empress once she started to absorb the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence.

The Snow Empress finished absorbing two pillars in less than five minutes. What was even more surprising was that her body, which was already relatively material, seemed to be growing.

She had looked like a thirteen- or fourteen-year-old teenager before this, but she seemed to grow a year older after absorbing the two pillars. She grew a little taller, and her frame seemed to become more developed.

Dense ice elements spiraled around her, as if they had found an owner that they loved, and were radiating excitement.
 
Two pillars, and then another two.

The Snow Empress was absorbing the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence at a speed that was twice as fast as the Ice Empress, and was growing continuously amidst it all.

Fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen – she gradually grew up from a teenager. Her body became long and slender as her chest grew larger, while her long legs could be faintly seen within her white dress. The Snow Empress’ stunning features became increasingly crisp and cold.

She slowly left her look as the Snow Lady behind, and transformed continuously into the Snow Empress.

A confused look gradually appeared in her clear dark-blue eyes, before that confusion turned into bewilderment, and her eyes slowly cleared once more. The pillars of Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence disappeared continuously amid her transformation.

Thirteen pillars… she finally paused after she absorbed her thirteenth pillar. She stopped growing when she reached the
 
state of a twenty-year-old woman, but the aura of Ultimate Ice emanating from her body was extremely strong. Her white dress now had snow-white ribbons on it – six of them – and every ribbon wrapped around her in different ways that complemented her slender and exceedingly beautiful body.

Huo Yuhao could clearly feel that she was different, but as for how different she had become, there seemed to be something else besides her increased strength.

The Snow Empress raised her hands once more.

Does she still want to absorb more?

Huo Yuhao stared at her in astonishment. However, the Snow Empress didn’t grab any pillars with her hands this time. Instead, she waved her hands in front of her. She first made the shape of an arch before her ten slender fingers began to waltz in midair.

Dark blue patterns rippled in the air, and transformed continuously as they congregated to form strange runes that resembled snowflakes.

The Ice Empress had her eyes closed while she absorbed the origin energy of heaven and earth, but her eyes suddenly burst open because of those glyphs. She stared in shock at the Snow Empress in front of her, and when she saw the glyphs that resembled snowflakes appear one after another in front of her,
her eyes widened in excitement as tears welled up in her eyes.

The Snow Empress took a good fifteen minutes to draw and create those frosty runes, and in the end, a total of seven snowflakes hovered in front of her.

“Go!” the Snow Empress growled, and the seven snowflakes floated forward and each landed on a single pillar of ice essence.

All seven pillars glowed at the same time. The snowflakes that were originally pristine white sparkled along with the ice essence and gradually turned dark blue. The auras of those dark blue shadows became stronger every time they transformed.

Several minutes later, all seven pillars crumbled at the same time, and the seven snowflakes floated into the air as they shrank. They transformed into a bracelet of snowflakes that wrapped itself around the Snow Empress’ left wrist.

The Snow Empress slowly turned around. She still had a clean and cold look on her face, but she said plainly, “I’m good.”

Huo Yuhao stared at her with jaws agape and wide eyes as he said, “You... you’ve recovered your memory?”

Huo Yuhao could feel that his connection with the Snow Empress hadn’t really changed from before, and their thoughts were still connected. However, there seemed to be something
 
else in the Snow Empress’ consciousness, a kind of will. Yes, after absorbing the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence, the Snow Empress had probably…

“Yes,” the Snow Empress answered firmly.

Huo Yuhao’s eyes instantly became very complicated, a look that the Skydream Iceworm shared.

The Snow Empress was still number three among the Ten Great Savage Beasts, after all! She was inferior only to the Beast God, Di Tian, and the Evileye Tyrant King. The Snow Empress had recovered her memory; would she still be willing to remain as Huo Yuhao’s Spirit? Just as the Ice Empress had said, she could find a new host after fusing with the ice essence. Since that was the case, she could possibly even recreate her physical body.

The Snow Empress had been the Snow Lady ever since she merged with Huo Yuhao and remained by his side. She was like his daughter when she was younger, and became like his little sister when she gradually grew up. She was someone that Huo Yuhao felt like he had to care for and protect in his heart, so how could he not develop an attachment after so long?

Huo Yuhao stared at the Snow Lady was standing in front of him. She had unrivaled beauty that matched even Dong’er, and Huo Yuhao could feel a thread of fear in his heart. He really didn’t want the Snow Empress to leave, and deep in his heart, he would rather the Snow Empress had remained as the Snow Lady.

As for the Skydream Iceworm, the reason for his complicated emotions was a lot simpler. The Ice Empress liked the Snow Empress! The Snow Empress was his rival in love! The Ice Empress was hot and cold to him from beginning to end, but now that the Snow Empress had regained her memory, had his chances not dwindled even more? How could he not be dejected?

The Snow Empress seemed to feel the changes in Huo Yuhao’s emotions as she said plainly, “I’m the Snow Empress, and I am also the Snow Lady.”

Huo Yuhao felt a tremble in his heart, and his eyes were overcome with pleasant surprise.
 
The Ice Empress transformed into a beam of green light at this moment and rushed to the Snow Empress. She opened her arms and hugged her tightly.

“You’re back, Snow! That’s great, that’s just great! You’re finally back!”

The Snow Empress hugged the Ice Empress as well, and a faint smile finally appeared on her beautiful, ice-cold face. “I’m good, Ice Empress.”

The Skydream Iceworm flew up next to Huo Yuhao with a depressed expression on his face. His eyes were dreary as Huo Yuhao turned towards him in amusement and said, “Be strong, brother Skydream.”

The Skydream Iceworm heaved a sigh. He didn’t say anything as he flew directly towards the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence.

He wasn’t like the Ice Empress or the Snow Empress, who both absorbed two or more at a time. Instead, he targeted a single pillar and began to absorb it.

Less than half of the pillars were left inside the cavern after the two ladies had finished absorbing their share. Huo Yuhao did a rough count; there were a total of forty-five ice pillars inside the cavern. The Ice Empress had absorbed nine, the Snow Empress had absorbed thirteen, and in addition to the seven pillars that she had sealed away with an unknown method, twenty-nine pillars were gone, leaving sixteen.

The Skydream Iceworm was evidently a lot slower at absorbing the ice essence in comparison to the Snow and the Ice Empress. Not too long ago, he had fused almost all his origin power with Huo Yuhao, and his element of ice was used as a medium for Huo Yuhao’s second martial soul back then. Therefore, even though he still had some left, those elements were far inferior to the Snow and Ice Empress. If he hadn’t absorbed the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence in the past, he probably wouldn’t even be worthy of absorbing any now.

The two ladies hugged for a moment before they gradually separated. The Snow Empress’ eyes were full of sadness, while the Ice Empress’ eyes were filled with elation.

The Snow Empress turned around and nodded at Huo Yuhao. “Thank you for taking care of me over these years.”

Huo Yuhao shook his head and said, “I didn’t do much.”

The Snow Empress flashed him a faint smile and said, “I have always been very clear about favors and grudges. I will always accompany you for allowing me to live again, and we will always follow you if you manage to break through that level. Even if you fail, I will follow you to the end of your life, and make my own plans after you leave this world.”

Evidently, Huo Yuhao didn’t think the Snow Empress would say such things, and he stared at her with an astonished look on his face. The Snow Empress’ icy features melted into a slight smile as she suddenly raised her hands and grabbed Huo Yuhao’s collar.

“Eh?” Huo Yuhao stared at her in shock.

The Snow Empress pulled her hands open to both sides, taking Huo Yuhao’s shirt along with them, revealing his chest.

Huo Yuhao was immediately embarrassed as he grabbed the Snow Empress’ hands. “What are you doing, Snow Empress?”

The Snow Empress’ pretty eyes squinted slightly as she stared at Huo Yuhao’s chest. She muttered to herself, “Beast God Di Tian! Hmph!”

Huo Yuhao realized then that her attention was focused on the reverse scale on his chest. His embarrassment ebbed as he released the Snow Empress’ hands.

The Snow Empress’ hands were smooth but cold, like tender snow and ice that was without warmth, yet perfect and without blemish.

The Snow Empress glanced at him and said, “Don’t worry. With our help, once your strength reaches a certain level, you will undoubtedly be able to shake off the burden from Di Tian’s reverse scale. But that’s not possible now. Even though I have Awakened, I will suppress my own strength. Otherwise, Di Tian will make a move against you once he realizes that I am inhabiting your body.”

“When you manage to get your eighth ring, take a trip to the Extreme North. There is a place there that is suitable for helping your cultivation breakthrough. Not even Di Tian will
 
have an easy time killing you once you become a Titled Douluo.”

Huo Yuhao tilted his head in acknowledgement. The Snow Empress was just that intimidating! He was the only one that was working hard to break free from the Beast God’s shackles when it was just the Ice Empress and the Skydream Iceworm with him. But when the Snow Empress woke up, her words clearly meant that she wanted to help him break free. This was the difference between their strengths.

The Snow Empress closed his shirt as she turned around to the Ice Empress and said, “Ice, my origin has stabilized. With the help from the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence, I can regain some of my strength from a long time ago. From now on, we will teach him the art of controlling ice.”

“Alright,” the Ice Empress nodded as she agreed.

The Snow Empress turned towards Huo Yuhao and said, “Last time, you were too weak, so you couldn’t have learned this even if we did try to teach you. You have a certain foundation in your spiritual power at this point, and your soul power is sufficient to control relatively more powerful ice-type
 
abilities, so you can start learning now. You have to break through to become a Titled Douluo within two years. Afterwards, you have to work hard toward that.”

Huo Yuhao nodded. He suddenly realized that his belief that the Snow Empress would probably leave him after she woke up was entirely wrong. The Snow Empress’ Awakening made him feel a lot less pressure instead, and oftentimes, it was usually the most relaxed for him when he didn’t have to consider his own future. With the Snow Empress and the Ice Empress giving him pointers, if his ability to control ice could continue to improve, his overall strength would undoubtedly increase.

Huo Yuhao had twin martial souls, but his main martial soul had been his Spirit Eyes from the beginning to the end. Even though he had invented his Three Ultimate Haodong Skills, those skills had their foundations in spiritual power, and his ice-type abilities were all purely channeled through soul skills. His control over ice was achieved mainly through spiritual power to control the elements of ice. The “method”  that the Snow Empress was speaking of clearly wasn’t so simple.

The Skydream Iceworm was relatively slower at absorbing the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence. He managed to absorb one after a long while, leaving fifteen pillars.

The Snow Empress said, “You should absorb some too, Star Anise.”

The Star Anise Mysterious Ice Grass swayed on Huo Yuhao’s shoulder and glided over. It flew next to the Skydream Iceworm and landed stably on the ground. It shook its head from side to side as it released circles of blue hues to encase a pillar.

Light rippled as the pillar shone. The Star Anise was starting to absorb it.

The Star Anise’s element was also ice. Furthermore, it had been living next to the Icefire Yin Yang Well’s Extreme Chill Icespring over its entire life, and its attributes were not weak at all. Even though the Star Anise didn’t have a very strong cultivation, it was still absorbing the ice essence more quickly than the Skydream Iceworm.

The Ice Empress stood next to the Snow Empress. She was clearly subordinate. Huo Yuhao had a strange feeling in his heart; the Snow Empress’ Awakening immediately made her the leader of his four Spirits, and she seemed like a big sister
 
taking care of everyone else. How unfortunate for brother Skydream! I wonder if he can still be together with the Ice Empress. I hope he can...

The Snow Empress said, “While they’re absorbing the ice essence, let me take you on a walk through the world of ice.”

She raised her right hand as she spoke and gently placed it on Huo Yuhao’s forehead.

Huo Yuhao immediately felt an extreme chill pierce into his brain, and his consciousness seemed to travel to another world in the next moment.

That world was white… everything was white, but it was also very quiet, and there wasn’t a single sound at all.

A single droplet suddenly appeared soundlessly. It hovered in midair and emanated gentle water-based ripples.

“Water is the foundation of snow and ice. Water is the source of all things, and of all life. The power of water is that it can
 
flow into anything.”

The droplet immediately increased in size as she spoke. When it had become so large that even Huo Yuhao’s consciousness had to “look up”, it suddenly exploded, and transformed into countless water droplets that splattered in all directions.

There were large and small ones, and all Huo Yuhao felt was moisture as they flew through the air.

Yes, water could flow into everything. Only with water would there be life and nature. Yes, water was the source of all life...

A droplet paused in front of Huo Yuhao. He tried to control himself with his thoughts, and he realized to his surprise that he actually had a body… and he was raising his hand to gently touch this droplet.

The water droplet stopped on the tip of his finger, and the wet feeling soaked into his finger. Perhaps it was because this world was too spacious and quiet, but Huo Yuhao felt very real when his finger touched the water droplet.

Water... when there was water, there was life.

Suddenly, the droplets around him changed, and the temperature in the air plummeted. The droplets gradually became ice.

“Ice and snow all come from water, no matter what state they are in. Water becomes ice due to low temperatures. Ice is water in solid form. It’s water that is hard, and water that is tough.”
 
Tiny ice grains splattered on Huo Yuhao’s body. He could feel waves of piercing pain course over his body, and he tried to block them subconsciously, but realized that he could no longer control his body. He could only let those ice crystals assault him.

It’s so painful! Ice is the toughness of water?

Large masses of ice crystals stuck to his body as they billowed toward him. However, Huo Yuhao only felt cool and refreshed instead of cold.

“The art of controlling ice lies in controlling temperature. Once you have grasped the secret of temperature and the characteristics of water, you will have made some headway into the art of controlling ice. Today, I will let you feel the first level of controlling ice: temperature changes.”

The ice spheres that were pressed against Huo Yuhao’s body suddenly changed, and all melted. The cool and refreshing feeling instantaneously became one of coldness and chill piercing his bones, and Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but shiver from the cold.
 
“Water solidifying into ice will release large amounts of heat, while ice melting into water requires large amounts of heat. Therefore, you won’t feel cold so quickly when ice is pressed against you, but the ice will suck the heat from your body when it melts, and then the cold will come.”

The Snow Empress’ words resonated in Huo Yuhao’s mind. He suddenly realized that he had never really understood ice, in spite of his possession of Ultimate Ice. He had overlooked many things about the very origins of ice.

Coldness wasn’t just about controlling temperature. More importantly, it represented an understanding of ice itself.

The whiteness around him dissipated amid the silence, and Huo Yuhao returned to the Manifold Mysterious Ice Cavern. However, he had entered a state of epiphany at this moment.

The Snow Empress didn’t teach him much, but she spoke of foundations and roots.

The Ice Empress looked at the Snow Empress with a faint smile on her face. “I never expected you to become a teacher
 
one day.”

The Snow Empress smiled faintly and said, “Have I not been a teacher to you before?”

The Ice Empress took a few steps forward and grabbed one of the Snow Empress’ hands. She leaned gently against her and said, “Snow, I have missed you so much. It’s great that you’re back.”

The Snow Empress raised her hand and stroked the Ice Empress’ face gently. “You silly girl. You are lucky and happy whether or not I am here. At least, you are much more blessed than I am.”

The Ice Empress was momentarily stunned as she stood up straight. “Why do you say that?”

The Snow Empress glanced at the Skydream Iceworm, who was still absorbing the ice essence effortfully, and said, “Because you have him.”
 
The Ice Empress’ expression changed as she lowered her head and said, “You mind his presence?”

The Snow Empress’ eyes changed slightly, and her expression suddenly became cold as she said plainly, “Yes, I do mind his presence. Go kill him for me.”

“Ah?” The Ice Empress exclaimed in shock. She released the Snow Empress’ hand as she stumbled backward, and she stared at the Snow Empress with a look of disbelief. “Why? Why do you want to kill him? He will not be a threat to you. It’s true... you’re the one I like.”

The Snow Empress answered plainly, “Since I’m the one you like, and he keeps sticking with you, then what use is there to keep him around? Are you still the Ice Empress that was full of a desire to kill back then? Kill him.”

The Ice Empress was momentarily stunned. Her frame was trembling a little, and she snapped her head around and stared at the Skydream Iceworm, who was still working hard at absorbing the ice essence. Her eyes sparkled incessantly.
 
She knew that the Skydream Iceworm could definitely hear what the Snow Empress was saying even though he was absorbing the ice essence. However, he didn’t have any reaction at all. Does he not know how to speak for his own life? Why, why is not talking?

The  Snow  Empress  said  plainly,  “He’s  useless.  He’s  an iceworm, and he’s only managed to accumulate some strength by relying on his long life because he absorbed the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence. However, his strength was absorbed by the Beast God and the Great Star Dou Forest’s Savage Beasts. He fused with Huo Yuhao afterwards, and not too long ago, he fused all of his spiritual origin with him. Right now, he is completely useless. Killing him will not affect us, and neither will it affect Yuhao. We can be together without him coming between us. What are you waiting for, Ice? Do it.”

“I…” The Ice Empress shivered vigorously as watery mist appeared in her beautiful eyes.

The Ice Empress was very conflicted as she stood there. The Skydream Icewarm, who was deeply in love with her, was standing behind her, while the Snow Empress, who she had always been in love with, was standing in front of her.
 
Do I really have to choose between them?

The Ice Empress was a soul beast, but she had long possessed intelligence that wasn’t inferior to that of humans. The rise of intelligence would undoubtedly generate feelings and emotions.

How could she not feel how good the Skydream Iceworm was to her? That was especially true when danger was knocking on her doorstep over several episodes, and the Skydream Iceworm had defended her with his life every single time. How could she not feel anything for him, when he would give everything for her?

She had been spending every single day with the Skydream Iceworm ever since she went into Huo Yuhao. Top-tier soul beasts also had feelings, and at this moment, the Snow Empress was asking her to kill him! How could she not be conflicted?

“Snow, have you not said before that he’s been very good to me,  and  that  I  should…”   The  Ice  Empress  spoke  with  a trembling voice.
 
The Snow Empress said plainly, “That was before. I couldn’t give you a sense of security back then, and I couldn’t be with you. I was willing to have someone around to protect you. But it’s different now, and I have returned. There is nobody else in this world better suited to protect you than me. His existence will only be a distraction for us when we are together. I don’t wish to see that. Why aren’t you making a move!?”

“Snow!” the Ice Empress protested agonizingly.

The Snow Empress said coldly, “That means you can’t bear to move against him? That’s fine. If you don’t want to, then I’ll do it.” The Snow Empress floated forward as she spoke, and arrived in front of the Ice Empress in an instant.

The Ice Empress hadn’t even reacted when the Snow Empress’ left hand pressed gently on her shoulder.

Snowflakes condensed one after another, and swiftly wrapped around the Ice Empress’ body. The snowflakes fixed her to the spot and immobilized her. Even though they were all energy forms that originated from their consciousnesses, the Snow Empress’ strength was superior to the Ice Empress. Furthermore, the Ice Empress was caught off-guard.

The Ice Empress was fixed in place by the Snow Empress, and her body was swiftly half-turned. She watched in shock as the Snow Empress brushed past her, and her palm that was clear and dark blue pressed against the back of the Skydream Iceworm’s heart.

“No –” The Ice Empress screamed. Her voice was filled with fear and agony as intense green light erupted from her body while she struggled to free herself from the Snow Empress’ shackles.

The Ice Empress was far too familiar with the Snow Empress’ palm: the Snowless Glacier, the Snow Empress’ strongest attack! Even she probably wouldn’t survive if this attack was used against her, let alone the Skydream Iceworm.

The Ice Empress felt as if her heart had just skipped a beat, and an unspeakable fear filled her heart.

He’s dead, he’s dead... Snow has killed him. Snow has killed him!
 
The Ice Empress’ eyes gradually turned red as she screamed hysterically. The ice auras that were coming from her body climbed rapidly as green light erupted, and the Snow Empress’ snowflakes that were holding her down were melting at an incredible speed.

The Skydream Iceworm stood there motionless. There was a dark blue layer over his body. The Ice Empress was only far too familiar with that dark blue color that was filled with the stench of death. Snowless Glacier took away all life, and even an individual as powerful as the Beast God would probably be severely injured if the Snow Empress had struck him back when she was at her full strength.

There was only one method to fight against Snowless Glacier, and that was to not let the Snow Empress come close.

But how easy was it not to let the Snow Empress come close? The Skydream Iceworm was also defenseless, and he was struck just like that. His vitality seemed to vanish in but an instant. Snowless Glacier was something that could freeze even spirits!
 
Bam! Snowflakes scattered in all directions. The Ice Empress finally broke through her shackles as she pounced hysterically towards the Skydream Iceworm.

The Snow Empress blocked her in a flash. Countless snowflakes billowed in all directions as they became a barrier that stopped the Ice Empress.

The Ice Empress screamed as she pressed her hands forward. The Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s shadow glimmered behind her as intense green light transformed into an enormous pillar that went straight for the Snow Empress.

“You dare to attack me, Ice?”  the Snow Empress shouted angrily.

“Why? Why did you have to kill him? He would never be a threat to you. Why did you kill him? Why!?” the Ice Empress cried and howled sorrowfully. Her hands blasted with the light of Ultimate Ice, which hammered continuously against the Snow Empress. She seemed to have gone insane in this moment, her emotions out of control.
 
The Snow Empress used but one hand as she defended herself against the Ice Empress’ crazy assault. However, she didn’t answer her question.

“Why? He was never a threat to anyone, and he had only lived a little longer than everyone else. But everyone wanted to target him, to harm him. What wrong has he ever committed? Why, Snow, why did you have to hurt him?”

Tears dripped from the Ice Empress’ eyes like waterfalls, and they swiftly transformed into ice crystals. Those ice crystals even contained her soul power, tinged with green energy.

“You’re in love with him, Ice?”  The Snow Empress pushed out with her hand and shoved the Ice Empress back.

The Ice Empress was momentarily stunned as she stopped attacking, and just allowed her body to be pushed a few meters back.

Chapter 466: Ice Empress' True Feelings

There was a dazed look on her face, while her gaze was filled with  sadness  amid  the  confusion.  “Yes!  Perhaps  I’ve  really fallen for him. Snow, you’re wrong. You shouldn’t have killed him. By killing him, I’ll never be together with you anymore. Perhaps I’ve not fallen in love with him, but I’ll never be able to get together with you because he died under your hands. Otherwise, how can I live up to the feelings he had for me? Although he wasn’t strong, and was even my enemy in the past, he’s been really very good to me. I’ve always felt a sense of hope with him around.

“You’ve destroyed my hope. Snow, why did you have to do that? Why do you have to make me stand on different ground from you? He’s dead, which means that my heart will never belong to you anymore. Do you know? You were wrong. You were wrong to kill him. By killing him, you’ve destroyed the relationship between us.”

The Snow Empress sighed and said, “Are you really not in love with him? Because of him, you’re even willing to give up on our hundreds of thousands of years together. I wasn’t wrong. I was right. Perhaps even you didn’t know that you’ve
 
fallen in love with him. It’s just that you weren’t willing to admit it.”

“You’re  wrong.  You’re  wrong!”   The  Ice  Empress  was shouting maniacally.

The Snow Empress smiled. Her smile was very beautiful. She was normally very indifferent and cold, and often appeared very unapproachable. However, she was extremely captivating when she smiled. Her smile even gave off a sense of warmth.

“I’m not wrong, Ice. Silly girl, I’m only helping you see yourself more clearly.”

As she spoke, the Snow Empress stood to one side. Behind her, the deep-blue from the Skydream Iceworm slowly faded away, and he also slowly turned around, revealing a teary face.

“Ice,  Ice,  Ice,  Ice…”  The  Skydream  Iceworm’s  voice  was trembling. He couldn’t even call her name properly and his body was shuddering non-stop. His eyes were already filled with emotional undulations.
 
The Ice Empress was stunned as she saw the tears on his face.

He’s not dead. He’s actually not dead. He’s alive, he’s still alive!

“Ah!” The Ice Empress screamed and instantly turned into a flowing streak of jade-green light. She crashed straight into the Skydream Iceworm’s arms and hugged him tightly. However, she was sobbing furiously.

The two of them hugged each other as they cried. The feelings that they had always been hiding for each other were finally revealed.

The Snow Empress was drifting not far from them. There was a warm smile on her face as she muttered to herself, “I told you... I was right.”

“Thank you, Snow Empress.” Huo Yuhao spoke up.

He had already awoken from his meditation. He saw everything that had happened. In fact, he already knew what
 
the Snow Empress was intending to do when she hit the Skydream Iceworm earlier. As the Snow Empress was closely connected to him and was even his Spirit, he knew that she didn’t unleash her Snowless Glacier. How could it be so destructive if that was the case?

The Snow Empress drifted up beside Huo Yuhao and said, “I’ve  already  regained  my  memory.  If  I  didn’t  do  this,  Ice would still be conflicted. She wouldn’t be able to acknowledge her true feelings.”

Huo Yuhao looked at the Snow Empress and softly said, “Have you ever liked the Ice Empress? You’re too noble.”

The Snow Empress revealed a subtle bitter smile on her face, and her thoughts rang out in Huo Yuhao’s mind, “I’m not noble. I’ve always only had sisterly love for Ice.”

This…

Huo Yuhao suddenly understood, and his expression turned slightly weird as he looked at the Snow Empress. However, there was more of a warm smile on his face.

Seeing that the Skydream Iceworm had finally won the heart of the woman he loved, he was delighted! This was perfect.

The Skydream Iceworm was the first to stop crying, but he was still hugging the Ice Empress tightly. The Ice Empress’ cries slowly stopped too, but she was unwilling to lift her head. She buried her head in the Skydream Iceworm’s embrace.

The Skydream Iceworm lifted his head to look at Huo Yuhao. Seeing that he was amused, he immediately turned red, and nodded gratefully at the Snow Empress.

The Snow Empress smiled and didn’t say anything.

“Ice, everything’s fine. Everything’s fine. I’ll protect you in the future. Did you know? Today is the happiest day of my life. It’s true. I’m really happy. I’m the most blissful iceworm in the world. I must be!”

The Ice Empress snorted lightly and smacked his shoulder. Suddenly, she forced herself from his embrace and turned into
 
a streak of jade-green light before disappearing into Huo Yuhao’s body. She was truly embarrassed right now.

The Skydream Iceworm chortled as he watched the Ice Empress disappear. He rubbed the tears off his face, and there was only a coquettish look left.

“Continue absorbing!”  As he spoke, he posed coquettishly, placing one hand on his waist and grabbing the second Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence with the other, continuing his earlier absorption.

-----------

Time passed very quickly. After the Star Anise Mysterious Ice Grass completely absorbed its sixth pillar of Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence, the Skydream Iceworm also completed the absorption of his third pillar.

Although it was only his third one, it was still sufficient to strengthen the foundations of his spiritual origins. It was just that most parts of his body were spiritual-type, which was why he was unable to seal some ice essence for Huo Yuhao.

The Star Anise Mysterious Ice Grass was much stronger in this aspect. It had absorbed four for itself, and sealed another two for Huo Yuhao. It was only inferior to the Ice Empress.

At this moment, there were only six pillars of ice essence left.
The temperature in this cavern had also started to rise.

---

“Yuhao, do you sense it? Although there’s much less ice essence here, the temperature isn’t rising quickly. Why is this?” the Snow Empress asked Huo Yuhao after allowing both the Skydream Iceworm and the Mysterious Ice Grass to return to Huo Yuhao’s body.


Huo Yuhao replied, “It’s because the temperature here is too low. A lot of thermal energy is needed to make the temperature rise. However, there is very little thermal energy in this cold spring. Even if we take all the ice essence away, the temperature here will still take some time before it starts to rise.”
 
The Snow Empress nodded and said, “That’s right. Alright, you can absorb the last six pillars. You should be able to bear this amount of ice essence, given the strength of your body. I’ll help you. Don’t worry. Go and stand in the center.”

“Alright.” Huo Yuhao agreed and went to the center of the ice cavern. He increasingly felt that it was a good thing that the Snow Empress had regained her memory. Not only was she a strong partner, she was also like a teacher as she kept on helping him.

The Snow Empress drifted in place, and her white dress danced in the air like a fairy. As she waved her hand, her sleeves shot up, and the last six pillars of ice essence suddenly drifted into the air. They surrounded Huo Yuhao in six different directions and were separated from one another at exact distances and angles.

These six pillars were like six ice sticks of life energy. They exuded a dim light, and a gentle white glow emanated from the Snow Empress on the ice essences. Suddenly, all the ice essences lit up, and shone with a bright blue glow. The Ultimate Ice origin energy in the air started to become more and more concentrated.
 
Huo Yuhao immediately sensed greater viscosity in the surrounding air. The extremely pure ice essence was even purer than his fluid soul power. Gentle soul power started to seep into his body in streaks.

Huo Yuhao didn’t even need to intentionally circulate his soul power before his soul power began to circulate in the path of his Mysterious Heaven Technique. The Ice Empress’ tattoo on his back became clearer, and his entire body was glowing jade-blue.

Very quickly, Huo Yuhao’s soul power was completely nourished. Following that, he felt that his entire body was ballooning up. It was also at this time that the fusion of Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence in his body began to slow down.

With every round of circulation, Huo Yuhao’s soul power would fuse more and more with the ice essence. He could sense that he wasn’t fully absorbing the ice essence. However, it was being turned into spots before being stored within his soul power.
 
If Huo Yuhao’s original soul power was fluid, these ice essences that he had just fused into his body but was unable to absorb had turned into thin ice floes within his fluid soul power. Under such conditions, he was able to store more and more Ultimate Ice origin energy.

Huo Yuhao’s body was becoming stronger and stronger under the nourishment of his Life Gold, his passageways becoming more and more resilient. Even if he wasn’t able to absorb the ice essences, he could still store them. As his soul power circulated, his ballooning body slowly began to feel more and more comfortable. As his body gradually fused with the ice essences, the speed at which the ice essences surged into his body increased.

This process carried on for close to two hours before Huo Yuhao managed to fuse all of the six ice essences into his body.

Even though he could only temporarily absorb part of them, he could still sense the improvements to his soul power throughout this process. Given enough time, he believed that his soul power would make significant improvements.
 
“We’re  done.  These  ice  essences  have  been  compressed within your body. When you cultivate in the future, they’ll slowly fuse further into your body and strengthen your cultivation.” The Snow Empress woke Huo Yuhao from his cultivation state.

As he opened his eyes, Huo Yuhao suddenly saw small white cyclones around his body. They exuded an icy-cold aura. As he breathed, he discovered that these cyclones were coming out of his nose. It was really magical.

“This place… it’s a pity.” The Snow Empress looked around her and sighed.

Huo Yuhao was curious as he asked, “What’s wrong?”

The Snow Empress said, “The formation of any Manifold Mysterious Ice Cavern is a gift of nature. This one is no exception. However, it’s a pity that it wasn’t in the Extreme North. The temperature of the outside world can’t sustain the development of this Manifold Mysterious Ice Cavern. Otherwise, more ice essence might form in a few years as long as we leave some behind. If I’m not wrong, this ice cavern should have moved here as the earth’s crust changed. It shouldn’t have formed here. Even if we don’t take all this ice essence away, it will slowly disappear as the outside temperature changes. Without the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence and Divine Ice Crystals, this place will vanish completely soon.”

Huo  Yuhao  nodded  and  said,  “This  is  a  miracle  of  the Creator! I’m already very satisfied.”

The  Snow  Empress  glanced  at  him  and  said,  “Leave  this place. In this period of time, you must place more of your attention and energy on understanding the mysteries of Ultimate Ice and the intrinsic nature of ice.”
 
“Yes.”

The Snow Empress sprang up and flew towards Huo Yuhao. In the past, Huo Yuhao didn’t have any sort of feeling when that happened. After all, the Snow Lady was only a little girl then. However, she had regained her former look now. She was already very ravishing, and looked out of this world. As she flew, she was like a fairy. Even the determined Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but be slightly stunned.

The Snow Lady waved her hands, blocking his vision. Immediately after this, she turned into a streak of flowing light and fused into his body.

----

Huo Yuhao didn’t stay any longer. He made his way into the spring before swimming out.

The icy spring outside was still cold, but it was a little different from before. It had lost some of its intrinsic nature, and wasn’t able to pose any threat to Huo Yuhao.
 
Nan Shuishui and Nan Qiuqiu were waiting very anxiously outside. Nan Shuishui had even tried diving in once, but the temperature was simply too low. She had no choice but to give up and wait outside.

When Huo Yuhao reappeared, he was immediately reprimanded by Nan Qiuqiu. He could only smile as he looked back at her.

“Yuhao, what’s your plan?” Nan Shuishui asked Huo Yuhao.

Huo Yuhao said, “I still have to go to one place and help eldest senior find something. At the same time, I’ll need to go take a look at Big Mao and Second Mao.”

“I want to go too!” Nan Qiuqiu immediately said.

Huo Yuhao replied, “Qiuqiu, don’t go. Aunty wants to move all the remaining stuff from the Earthdragon Sect over. Help her. I’ll go and return quickly. It won’t take too long. That place is already occupied by the Sun Moon Empire. It might be dangerous.”
 
“I’m   not   afraid   of   danger,”    Nan   Qiuqiu   immediately responded.

Huo Yuhao smiled and said, “I’m afraid even if you’re not. If you’re hurt, how can I account to Aunty?”

Nan Qiuqiu snorted and said, “Stop it. You just want to get away from me. Don’t think I don’t know that. No, I have to go.”

Huo Yuhao was a little helpless as he said, “Qiuqiu.”

She turned her head around and ignored him.

Nan Shuishui was grinning at one side, not uttering a single sound. As an elder, she wasn’t willing to intervene in the matters of young people. Furthermore, she could tell that her daughter didn’t stand a chance with Huo Yuhao even though she wanted to help her. If she tried to blindly help her daughter at one side, she might even catalyze the opposite effect. It was fine just letting Nan Qiuqiu speak for herself.
 
Huo   Yuhao   replied,   “Alright   then.   We’ll   go   together. However, you must listen to me. Entering the Sun Moon Empire’s territories now isn’t the same as before. If we encounter enemies, you must never be impulsive.”

“I’ll listen to you.” Nan Qiuqiu’s anger turned to delight, and she reacted cheerfully to his words.

Huo  Yuhao  said,  “Take  a  rest  tonight  first.  We’ll  set  off tomorrow morning.”

“Okay.” Nan Qiuqiu acknowledged readily.

-------

The three returned to the cloth shop as they silently left the original location of the Earthdragon Sect. Although the backyard of the cloth shop wasn’t very large, it was still possible for them to allocate a room to Huo Yuhao, while Nan Qiuqiu slept with her mother.
 
After he was given his accommodations, Huo Yuhao immediately entered his room and told Nan Qiuqiu not to disturb him. He was not going to eat dinner, and was prepared to retreat in his room until the next morning.

He had just fused a lot of Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence into his body. The faster he absorbed the ice essence, the faster his cultivation would grow. Naturally he wasn’t willing to give up on this opportunity.

He sat cross-legged on his bed and shut his eyes. His soul power circulated as he started to cultivate.

After leaving the Manifold Mysterious Ice Cavern, he managed to discover what his problem was immediately during this session of cultivation.

As he had fused with a huge amount of Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence, which had formed ice floes, his soul power was moving much slower as it circulated.

Although this wouldn’t affect him in a fight, he would still take a long time to absorb all the Manifold Mysterious Ice
 
Essence, given the speed of his soul power circulation.

Huo Yuhao didn’t dare to blindly increase the speed of his soul power circulation. He was afraid that the ice floes would harm him.

He could only take it slower. As he thought, he initiated the circulation of his soul power and also divided a part of his attention to his soul core in his Eye of Destiny.

Within his soul core, the compressed space was filled with immense spiritual power. A huge amount of spiritual power surged out under his command and fused into his passageways. His spiritual power fused with his Ultimate Ice soul power.

This was the benefit of having great spiritual power. Even when he didn’t unleash his Spirit Eyes, his spiritual power was still at the standard of a Titled Douluo.

After his spiritual power fused with his Ultimate Ice soul power, he didn’t increase the circulation speed of his soul power. Instead, he relied on his spiritual power to gather all
 
the ice in his soul power. Slowly, he was changing the form of his soul power.

If the ice essence was separated in his soul power, blindly increasing the circulation speed of his soul power could harm his passageways. However, if the ice essence formed a thin line under the effect of his spiritual power, and was then engulfed by his Ultimate Ice soul power, what would happen? The problem was immediately solved!

While Huo Yuhao tried to perform such a combination, the Snow Empress watched in awe from his spiritual sea. This wasn’t something a normal seven-ringed soul master could control. Even some Titled Douluo couldn’t do this. However, Huo Yuhao relied on his soul core and immense spiritual power to do it.

It took him a full four hours before he completed this combination and smoothed out the flow of his soul power. With sufficient spiritual power to control it, he was afraid of changes to his soul power. In such a state, he wouldn’t be affected whether he was cultivating or directly using his soul power to fight.
 
He recirculated his soul power according to the trajectory of his Mysterious Heaven Technique. Under the fusion and protection of his spiritual power, Huo Yuhao’s soul power circulated faster and faster.

Very soon, he understood why the Ice Empress was so obsessed with and in awe of the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence. In just one major circulation, Huo Yuhao could already sense an improvement in his soul power. At the very least, it was comparable to the results he obtained from several days of cultivation!

What was even more impressive was that his Ultimate Ice had grown stronger. This meant the temperature of his Ultimate Ice soul power was even lower now, and was also much purer. Even his life energy had grown stronger as a result. His passageways and bones were also strengthened under the nourishment of the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence.

It’s indeed very strong! Huo Yuhao was delighted, and immediately continued to cultivate without any hesitation.
 
His soul power had reached Rank 74. After absorbing the ice essence, Huo Yuhao sensed that his soul power had reached Rank 75. If he continued in this manner, his soul power would be bound to increase further and further. This opportunity that Nan Shuishui had brought to him was indeed very rare.

He performed more and more major circulations of his soul power, and slowly lost track of time. His soul power was filtered and purified. Furthermore, his soul power wasn’t the only thing absorbing the ice essence. His body, bones, passageways and organs were also absorbing this treasure.

The energy from the six pillars of Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence was slowing being absorbed into his body. His abilities were also slowly increasing.

Huo Yuhao only stopped when he sensed that his soul power was already greatly nourished, and he needed some time to adapt to the changes.

As he opened his eyes, Huo Yuhao let out a long breath. A white mist was released from his mouth, and the entire room was instantly covered in a layer of frost.
 
It was a magical feeling. Huo Yuhao was very awed in his heart. His soul power circulated like mercury; it was gentle and heavy, yet it ran smoothly. With every movement he took, his soul power would surge. He was even more surprised by the fact that his soul power seemed to have gained a greater connection with the origin energy in the air. This meant that not only could he adjust his soul power in a fight, but he could
also better guide the origin energy in the air for his own use.

He drifted up and took a look outside. The sky was still bright outside, but he was shocked to learn how long he had spent cultivating. Surely it’s not morning, is it?

As he pushed his door open and walked out, Huo Yuhao immediately saw Nan Qiuqiu, who was supposed to be guarding his door, but was dozing off right now.

A warm feeling surged through his heart. Without a doubt, Nan Qiuqiu was here to protect him!

“Qiuqiu.”  Huo Yuhao squatted down beside Nan Qiuqiu and called softly.
 
“Oh?” Nan Qiuqiu was immediately jolted awake. She heaved a sigh of relief when she turned her head and saw that it was Huo Yuhao. She was surprised as she asked, “You’re awake? You’re finally awake. You said it was going to be one night, but seven days have already passed! How ridiculous can you get?”

Huo Yuhao was apologetic as he said, “I’m sorry! I couldn’t stop myself after going into cultivation. I only just woke up.”

Nan Qiuqiu was speechless, and silently thought to herself, It’s already very difficult for me to enter deep meditation, but this guy can do so at any time and anywhere he wants. It’s really frustrating!

“Alright. It’s good that you’re awake. How is it? What have you gained?”

Huo Yuhao replied, “My soul power should have improved. I feel good. This is all because of Aunty. I have gained significant rewards from my venture into the Earthdragon’s Sect secret location this time. In the depths of that cold spring, there was something called Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence. For soul masters like me that cultivate Ultimate Ice, it’s extremely helpful. This is why I’ve benefited greatly this time.”

Nan Qiuqiu said, “That’s great, then. Talking about it, thanks for the last time.”

Huo  Yuhao  was  a  little  perplexed  as  he  asked,  “Thanks?
What’s there to thank me for?”

“Thanks for abusing me,” Nan Qiuqiu snapped.

Huo Yuhao was confused as he asked, “What? Abusing you?
What are you talking about?”

Nan Qiuqiu snorted and replied, “You’re really so forgetful. Have you forgotten that you used your spiritual power to exert pressure on me? I didn’t have any feeling when I woke up the second day, but I’ve regained some sensation over the past few days. My spiritual control seems to have strengthened. It must be your doing. That’s why I’m thanking you.”

Huo Yuhao just smiled and asked, “I took seven days during my deep meditation this time. What has happened in the outside world?”

After hearing his question, Nan Qiuqiu straightened her face and nodded before replying, “For some unknown reason, the
 
Sun Moon Empire brought a legion of troops and stationed them outside Dragon City.”

“A legion of troops?” Huo Yuhao was also astonished. Dragon City was basically in the most northern part of the Heavenly Soul Empire, and also the largest city in the northeast of the Heavenly Soul Empire. Why did the Sun Moon Empire send troops here? Moving east from here, it’ll already be the Dou Ling Empire. Don’t tell me they’re making their move on the Dou Ling Empire before they’ve even occupied the entirety of the Heavenly Soul Empire?

“How many of them are there? Are there soul engineers?” Huo Yuhao asked.

Nan Qiuqiu shook her head and answered, “I’m not clear on the details yet. My mother and I are afraid that the other party has soul detectors, so we only watched from afar, and didn’t dare to get too close. However, the troops appear to be very orderly, and there’s at least twenty thousand of them. I’m not sure if there are soul engineers. There should be some. Even a normal legion of the Sun Moon Empire will have some soul engineers to perform surveillance and aid the rest of the legion.”
 
Huo Yuhao nodded and said, “Since it’s so timely, I’ll go take a look too. I’ll go see what their plan is, and send a message to the Heavenly Soul Empire and Dou Ling Empire.”

“Alright. We’ll leave after you finish checking them out?”

Huo Yuhao answered, “Yes. We’ll see how it goes. Although there are only twenty thousand people in this legion, their fighting strength will be fairly great if they’re a soul engineer legion. I’ll need to find out their motives first before we talk about anything else.”

“Alright.  I  knew  that  you  weren’t  reliable.”   Nan  Qiuqiu twisted her lips.

Huo Yuhao was helpless as he smiled. “I’m hungry, Qiuqiu.”

“……”

------------
 
When Huo Yuhao woke up from his cultivation, it was already noontime. Even he didn’t know how much his soul power had increased.He was fairly confident it was at least Rank 75 or 76. Otherwise, he would have absorbed all the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence for nothing.

After eating some food, he silently left the city. Even though nighttime was the best time for him to perform his surveillance, he still had to get a grip on what was going on first.

Nan Shuishui was no longer in Dragon City. She had left Nan Qiuqiu behind to protect Huo Yuhao and departed for Shrek Academy with the last batch of resources from the Earthdragon Sect. Regarding Huo Yuhao, she was very relieved. In Dragon City, there was hardly anyone who could threaten him, given his cultivation.

The gates of the Earthdragon Sect weren’t sealed just because the troops had arrived. It was the same as it was when Huo Yuhao first came.

According to Nan Qiuqiu, this Sun Moon Empire legion was stationed outside the city. As for their motive, it was unclear.

Huo Yuhao changed into an ordinary cloth shirt and used Imitation to slightly change his appearance. He now looked like an ordinary person, and snuck out of the city. To prevent drawing attention to himself, he didn’t leave the city through the northern city gate, instead using the eastern one. After
leaving the city, he made his way to the northern city gate.

He unleashed his Spiritual Detection and started to scan the air.

Very soon, Huo Yuhao discovered that the number of aerial surveillance soul tools in the sky above the northern city gates had greatly increased.

Just simply scanning around, Huo Yuhao was astonished to discover that the number of aerial surveillance soul tools outside the northern city gate was more than a hundred.

It seemed like there was a soul engineer legion within this regular legion! Otherwise, there wouldn’t be so many soul tools.
 
After discovering this, Huo Yuhao was even more determined to carry out some surveillance.

He quickly shifted his attention to the northern city gate. Around five to six kilometers from the northern city gate, Huo Yuhao made his way into a patch of forest.

From the fact that there was a forest outside the city, it was evident that Dragon City was a city that had hardly faced any battles. Normally, huge cities wouldn’t have any forests at all for dozens of kilometers around. There wouldn’t be a barrier blocking the view from the city like this forest was.

Huo Yuhao wasn’t anxious at all as he peered into the sky. He was only going to carry out surveillance when night fell. Those aerial surveillance soul tools hadn’t detected him at all. After his soul core formed, Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power grew by another tier. Not only was it stronger, it was also able to recover much faster. Even when he unleashed his Imitation using his Eye of Destiny, he was still able to last for a long time. Now that he had completed this round of deep meditation, his understanding of the origins of ice was much deeper, too. His control over his own temperature was much stronger than before. Except for oscillation detectors, there weren’t any soul tools that could detect his presence. No matter how tight the
 
defense of this legion, it couldn’t possibly compare to that of the Ming Dou Mountain Range with the Death God around.

----------

After cultivating for some time, the sky had already turned darker. From afar, smoke could be seen rising, indicating that the Sun Moon Empire’s troops were cooking. It was time for dinner.

Huo Yuhao didn’t continue waiting. The change in the color of the sky and the rest that the troopers were taking during dinner was a rather good opportunity for him to carry out his surveillance.

He silently left the forest and fully unleashed his Imitation. He seemed to fully merge into the air as he rapidly drew closer to the northern city gates.

His spiritual power fanned out towards the military base at the northern city gates. Huo Yuhao wasn’t even too afraid of oscillation detectors, since the effective range of any oscillation detector couldn’t compare to his Spiritual Detection. He could
 
simply avoid the oscillation detectors after performing his surveillance.

The spiritual barrier that the Death God Douluo could unleash wasn’t something that was found everywhere. If there was one here, he would consider himself unlucky.

Very soon, Huo Yuhao discovered the positions of some oscillation detectors, and noted them mentally.

At the same time, he also discovered that the troops were indeed as orderly as Nan Qiuqiu had mentioned. Even though it was already dinnertime, patrolling, surveillance, and scouting were still being carried out diligently.

Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power extended into the military base. Very soon, he found some tents that were different from the others.

These tents were much smaller than the tents at the perimeter of the base. Each tent was roughly five to six square meters in size. Tents of such size were only meant for single individuals. However, the quality of these tents was far
 
superior to the tents on the perimeter. They were actually made of mature leather.

Such leather was very tough. By applying wood oil to it, it was able to repel water and fire. These tents were definitely top-quality. Huo Yuhao wasn’t surprised by their presence. However, he discovered that there were several hundred such tents when he scanned the camp with his Spiritual Detection. They were neatly arranged, and they were all dark-red. There were even dim golden patterns on these tents.

Observing more closely, Huo Yuhao discovered that these patterns were actually images of phoenixes.

He was shocked when he saw that. He could roughly guess at the core of this legion now.

In the Sun Moon Empire, there were five strong soul engineer legions. Among them, the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineer Legion was the strongest, followed by the other four beast lord-ranked soul engineer legions. Together, they formed the Hand that Protects the Nation.
 
Huo Yuhao had faced Wang Yiheng’s Evil Tyrant Legion recently. Wang Yiheng had even perished under his and his partners’ hands.

From how this soul engineer legion was equipped, it was likely that it was another one of the beast lord-ranked soul engineer legions, the Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion!

Among all of the Sun Moon Empire soul engineer legions, it was ranked in the top three. Why are they here? Don’t tell me that they’re really here to invade the Dou Ling Empire?

However, Huo Yuhao discovered some problems as he scanned the camp with his Spiritual Detection. Although this military base followed a very strict formation, there weren’t any soul formations present. This meant that this soul engineer legion had no plans to fight. In that case, their true motive was a big question mark.

It would have been fine if he didn’t encounter them. However, now that he had, he had to find out what they were up to.
 
As he finished thinking, Huo Yuhao exploited the darkness and rapidly snuck into the base. He circumvented a few oscillation detectors and made his way deep into the base.

The rations of this army were rather good. Huo Yuhao could immediately smell meat soup not long after he entered. Some soldiers were already holding bowls in their hands and walking towards the mess areas. However, there was hardly anyone joking around. Even when they spoke to one another, they whispered. The quality of such an army might compare to that of the White Tiger Duke’s army...

Chapter 467: Star Anise Omnithrust

A twenty-thousand man army was considered rather large. Nan Qiuqiu’s estimation was accurate. After Huo Yuhao used his Spiritual Detection to scan the place, he could basically confirm that the size of the army was between twenty to twenty-five thousand men.

He continued to advance further in. He moved his way past the tents at the perimeter and got closer to the dark red tents. At the same time, he strengthened his Spiritual Detection and sensed any changes that occured around him.

If this were an ordinary army, they couldn’t possibly threaten Huo Yuhao. However, things were different with the presence of the Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion. There had to be a Class 9 soul engineer in this soul engineer legion. Furthermore, the tactics of such an advanced-tier soul engineer legion could threaten a Titled Douluo, much less Huo Yuhao. He had to be careful!

As he moved forward, he discovered through his Spiritual Detection that there was a huge tent in the center of all the tents. It was also dark red, but it was as large as the
 
commander’s tent. There were even obvious golden phoenix images on it. It was extremely crowded inside.

What left Huo Yuhao the most shocked was that he sensed something wrong just as his Spiritual Detection came closer to the tent. He immediately stopped his detection when he discovered a spiritual barrier around it.

If not for the fact that he had just formed his soul core, and the sensitivity of his Spiritual Detection had increased significantly, he wouldn’t have discovered the presence of this spiritual barrier. If he had tried to probe further in, he would have likely been discovered.

No wonder it was a beast lord-ranked soul engineer legion. The defense of the commander’s tent was extremely tight; there was even a spiritual barrier around it!

Huo Yuhao was naturally not disappointed because of that. He silently inched forward and drew closer and closer to the tent. It was only by getting close to it that he could obtain the most reliable information.
 
At the same time, his spiritual power also entered the rest of the other tents for detection purposes. The members of this soul engineer legion were indeed all female soul engineers. Furthermore, their cultivations were quite strong. They all possessed at least four soul rings, some of them even possessing five or six!

In the slightly bigger dark red tents, there were even seven- ringed soul engineers. Such soul engineers were considered quite strong.

As he inched forward, Huo Yuhao circumvented a few more oscillation detectors. Finally, he stopped thirty meters away from that huge tent. This was the furthest he could go, given the presence of the spiritual barrier. If he moved any further forward, he would most certainly be discovered.

I can’t go any closer, or I’ll be discovered. However, I can’t get any reliable information if I don’t get closer.

Huo Yuhao furrowed his brow.
 
He found a corner and squatted down. At the same time, he unleashed his Spiritual Detection laterally around the commander’s tent. He was trying to survey everything that was going around the tent, and waiting for his opportunity.

The black soul core of his Eye of Destiny subtly appeared. His aura of destiny spread out, and Huo Yuhao shut his eyes. He sensed everything silently.

Given the standard of his current spiritual power, almost the entire base was engulfed by his spiritual power, apart from the commander’s tent. He was definitely more effective than the aerial surveillance soul tools in the sky.

However, Huo Yuhao’s expression soon turned weird.

The members of this Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion were all female. It was already very late. Some of the female soul engineers toned down on their clothes after dinner. Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection was all-engulfing. When the images of countless women dressed rather lightly entered his spiritual world, Huo Yuhao felt as if he were about to go crazy.
 
After his expression turned momentarily weird, he started to blush. After this, he frantically retracted his Spiritual Detection. He only kept it in the air, and stopped inspecting the conditions inside the tents.

Huo Yuhao heaved a sigh of relief when he could no longer sense their bodies. He continued to look towards the commander’s tent, and silently waited for his opportunity. Although there was a spiritual barrier blocking him here, he didn’t believe that he didn’t stand a chance at all.

Dim lights flashed, and an icy-cold look rose in his eyes. As he silently waited, he was also observing things.

Very soon, his opportunity arrived.

A few female soul engineers dressed in red armor walked towards the commander’s tent. Their armor was well-fitted and top-quality. Every one of their suits of armor was custom- made. There were even buckle-like accessories and slots on them. Obviously, these slots were used to connect to different soul tools.
 
Although these female soul engineers weren’t particularly ravishing, they still looked like suave heroines!

Very soon, they arrived in front of the commander’s tent. Unlike what Huo Yuhao feared, they walked through the spiritual barrier and into the tent as if there was nothing there.

Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power had engulfed everywhere else nearby. This was why he had an acute feeling of everything around him. He immediately discovered a layer of light shining from each of them when they passed through the spiritual barrier. These layers of light were extremely weak, but there were obvious spiritual undulations coming from them. When they passed through the spiritual barrier, they demonstrated their compatibility with the spiritual barrier before they managed to pass through.

Impressive! Huo Yuhao was in awe.

In terms of soul tool research and manufacturing, the Sun Moon Empire was indeed superior to the three empires of the original Douluo Continent. This wasn’t an extremely impressive piece of research, but the attention to detail was
 
great. While this spiritual barrier didn’t have any fighting use, it was still very practical.

Since this was the case, these soul engineers must possess some kind of special soul tool on their bodies that helped them disperse the spiritual undulations. This meant that Huo Yuhao could sneak in with someone else if he possessed such a soul tool. It would help him avoid all the spiritual barriers.

As he thought of that, Huo Yuhao started to take action.

Under the surveillance of his Spiritual Detection, it was definitely not difficult for him to find a suitable soul engineer. Huo Yuhao quickly made his way around a few tents while continuing to use his Imitation to conceal himself.

Very soon, he found a member of the soul engineer legion not far from the side of the military base.

To ensure that he could get what he wanted, Huo Yuhao intentionally selected a Class 4 soul engineer.
 
In Huo Yuhao’s eyes, a Class 4 soul engineer was an easy target. He crept closer and closer. Given his Imitation, he wouldn’t be discovered even if he got right up to his opponent’s back.

Huo Yuhao controlled his body temperature very well through a combination of his ice-type soul power and Imitation. Very soon, he was behind that female soul engineer. He swiftly hacked at her neck with his palm. At the same time, he unleashed his Spiritual Interference Domain and engulfed both him and the female soul engineer inside.

When his palm hit her neck, he immediately discovered something amiss.

A gentle yet resilient wave of soul power immediately rose. Following this, the female soul engineer’s body shone with a streak of red light. The appearance of this red light was very sudden. However, the moment it appeared, a deafening alarm also immediately reverberated throughout the entire base.

The red light wasn’t sufficient to resist Huo Yuhao’s right hand. The Class 4 soul engineer collapsed to the ground amid the deafening alarm.

What’s going on? Not only does she have an automatic defensive soul tool on her body, but she also has an alarm-type soul tool with her? Huo Yuhao was shocked, but he didn’t have time to hesitate anymore.

He bent over and quickly picked the soul engineer up. He was going to flee before deciding on what to do.

After being discovered by such a strong soul engineer legion, there were many methods that could be used to detect his location.

However, something else caught him by surprise again. When his hands touched the unconscious female soul engineer, another layer of red light shone from her body. Following this, this layer of red light seemed to cause more than ten different beams of red light around them to shine at the same time too.

Not only did this red light protect this female soul engineer, but it also engulfed a large area around her.
 
It’s a linked defensive soul tool. It can still work after she’s struck unconscious?

Huo Yuhao was depressed! I have to go. Otherwise I’ll be in trouble.

He couldn’t be bothered with capturing her anymore. He quickly shot up and charged out like an arrow. He was about to collide with the red lights in front of him, but snorted coldly and lifted his left hand before smacking it out in front of him. A strong aura of cold was instantly unleashed. The chill was very strong when it first appeared. However, it soon toned down.

However, just as the temperature turned from extremely cold to normal, the red lights in front of him weakened. Huo Yuhao waved his hand and unleashed the destructive strength of his Darkgolden Terrorclaws. He forced open a slit in the barrier that the red lights had formed before charging out and up towards the sky.

Even though he could also be detected in the air, he had no choice but to do it now. This was because there were many oscillation detectors scanning in his direction right now.

Furthermore, many more red lights also shone within the Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion

Huo Yuhao was secretly counting his blessings. If he were any slower, the earlier linked defensive soul formation would have become stronger, and it would have become impossible for him to escape. He would have landed in the enemy’s hands!

No wonder it’s the Hand that Protects the Nation. This indeed an extremely strong soul engineer legion.

Huo Yuhao silently compared the Evil Tyrant Soul Engineer Legion to the Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion. He immediately felt that this Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion was even stronger than the Evil Tyrant Soul Engineer Legion.

Perhaps the difference in their overall fighting strength wasn’t very obvious. However, the Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion was better in terms of the details.

As he thought, Huo Yuhao immediately flew into the sky. Even if he was discovered, he couldn’t make this trip for nothing.

The oscillation detectors below were scanning everywhere, including the sky.
 
Huo Yuhao wove and turned in the sky with the help of his Spiritual Detection, avoiding detection by his enemy.

His motive was simple. He had to at least destroy the batch of aerial surveillance soul tools in the air and cause some damage to the Sun Moon Empire. Furthermore, it would make it more convenient for him in the future if he wanted to spy on this soul engineer legion.

However, his expression suddenly changed before he could fly up to the altitude of the aerial surveillance soul tools. As he extended his Spiritual Detection upward to find out the exact location of those aerial surveillance soul tools, they quickly shifted and got into a very weird formation.

Shit!

Before he even had time to be shocked, Huo Yuhao reacted without any hesitation. He continued flying upwards, but in addition, he also burst out in a diagonal direction at full speed.

Indeed, the moment he moved, a huge invisible web fell from the sky.

This huge web was made from hundreds of aerial surveillance soul tools. They unleashed soul power undulations from oscillation detectors.

The soul power unleashed wasn’t strong, but it came in streaks and was very dense. When the web fell from the sky, it covered almost the entire sky above the military base.

The reason why Huo Yuhao felt that things were amiss earlier was because the aerial surveillance soul tools had fallen from an altitude of a thousand meters to five hundred meters.

Something had to be going on if they all fell collectively. He had reacted immediately, and he was right. These aerial surveillance soul tools all contained the ability of oscillation detection, and they bore down as a huge web. No matter how powerful Huo Yuhao was, he couldn’t possibly avoid them all.

The undulations couldn’t cause him any harm, but Huo Yuhao soon felt his skin numbing. Without a doubt, he had been locked on.
 
Streaks and streaks of intense red light shone below. Following this, more than fifty beams of piercing red light rose into the sky and shot straight towards him. These fiery-red lights covered hundreds of square meters around him, with him at the center. There was no way he could avoid them.

These were high-temperature scorching rays, at least Class 5 soul tools. Such rays couldn’t pose any harm to Huo Yuhao, but they were definitely the most rapid attack the Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion could unleash in the short-term. Their aim was also very simple. They wanted to stall Huo Yuhao before deploying other attacks against him.

As these scorching rays shot towards him, more than ten figures had already risen from the base to attack. From their auras, it was evident that they were at least Class 7 soul engineers. One of them was even a Class 9 soul engineer. They were all flying towards Huo Yuhao at the quickest possible speed.

Damn it! They’re too ruthless!

Huo Yuhao was a little depressed right now. However, his greatest potential was always unleashed whenever he was
 
facing danger.

A layer of icy-jade light emanated from his body. His seven soul rings shone brightly. If the soul engineers from the Sun Moon Empire could see these seven soul rings clearly, they would certainly be astonished.

There was one red and four orange-gold rings, followed by another two red soul rings. These were the seven soul rings that Huo Yuhao possessed right now.

He controlled his Snowy Dance of Ultimate Ice and unleashed it within a small region. All the scorching rays turned to nothing when they entered this region. The beams of scorching red light only added large patches of mist in the sky, and didn’t serve to stop Huo Yuhao at all.

Huo Yuhao turned into a beam of flowing light and flew downwards diagonally.

Right now, he had already been locked on by oscillation detectors. His highest priority was to charge his way out from the region covered by those oscillation detectors. Otherwise,
 
even if he had wings, he wouldn’t be able to fly out of the grasp of the enemy’s top-ranked soul engineers!

As he completely unleashed his soul power, his Eye of Destiny opened. His soul core revolved quickly, and immense spiritual power shot out from his head.

His spiritual power was very strong. After it appeared, it immediately turned into a spiritual windstorm in the sky.

Spiritual Blast!

Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Blast basically engulfed the entire area spanning a diameter of five hundred meters. It wasn’t targeted at any soul master, but at the oscillation detectors in the air.

Spiritual power could generate undulations too. Under the effect of his Spiritual Blast, all the oscillations within this region immediately went haywire.

Huo Yuhao knew that he couldn’t immediately charge out from the engulfment of the huge web. Those aerial
 
surveillance soul tools were chasing after him based on the direction he was escaping in.

With the soul engineers below him to stall him, how could he successfully escape? This was why he had to disrupt the enemy’s knowledge of his exact position.

At least he had some free room to move about within this region now.

Indeed, the moment he unleashed his Spiritual Blast, the second round of attacks that was supposed to come towards him from the ground was silenced. An area five hundred meters in diameter was rather large.

Huo Yuhao needed to use this limited amount of time he had.

His body was still positioned diagonally downwards from earlier. He had already quickly put a flying-type soul tool on his back. After stabilizing himself in the air, he immediately burst up like a shell and shot straight up.
 
Go down? The bottom was completely covered; there was an elite force of soul engineers on the ground, and there were even aerial surveillance soul tools forming a huge web in the sky. Huo Yuhao was truly trapped. The only escape route was up. It was only by breaking free from the web that he stood a chance of escaping. Furthermore, the attacks that came from below would also weaken as they moved progressively farther through the air. Huo Yuhao was a Class 7 soul engineer himself, and still possessed a deep understanding of soul tools.

The only escape route was above.

The aerial surveillance soul tools at an altitude of roughly five hundred meters. Under the influence of his Spiritual Blast, Huo Yuhao wasn’t able to carry out any detection in the region that he was in. However, he unleashed his Spiritual Interference as he shot up.

Even though his Spiritual Interference wasn’t as effective as his Spiritual Blast, it still had some confusion effects under the influence of his earlier Spiritual Blast. After rising a few hundred meters into the sky, he was finally discovered again. However, his exact position wasn’t exposed, even though they could roughly gauge where he was, because of his Spiritual Interference.

Right now, he was very calm. He had faced more perilous situations on many other occasions. He knew that he needed to remain calm in a situation like this. Only by remaining calm could he increase his chances of survival.

He continued to unleash his full strength and didn’t even look at the soul engineers that were pursuing him. Ordinary soul tool attacks couldn’t harm him at all. If advanced-tier soul tools couldn’t lock onto him, their strength was also limited. After all, there were very few soul tools like the Death God that could unleash area attacks with such great and terrifying destructive power.

The Sun Moon Empire had discovered his intentions. The aerial surveillance soul tools in the sky started to rise higher and higher.

Huo Yuhao wouldn’t give them such an opportunity. At this moment, he was only a few hundred meters away from these aerial surveillance soul tools. As he flew up, he was already putting another type of soul tool on his back.
 
Lights started to shine brightly, and Huo Yuhao accelerated amidst strong soul power undulations. During this process of acceleration, he curled his body up, to the point where he resembled a cannon shell.

Not far from him, the soul engineers were shocked as they pursued him.

Is that a soul thruster? However, the soul thruster that this person is using is a little too overpowered. Can his body withstand such strong forces?

They didn’t know that Huo Yuhao had already unleashed his Ice Empress’ Armor to protect himself as he activated his soul thruster. Furthermore, he was also very strong, comparable to a Titled Douluo. Even though it was still a little overwhelming, it wasn’t as intense as the soul engineers were predicting.

Huo Yuhao quickly closed the gap. His eyes flashed with cold light, and he stomped with his right leg. Following this, the Star Anise Mysterious Ice Grass surfaced behind his back. An icy-blue halo spread from it over Huo Yuhao’s body. After this, something shocking appeared.
 
The temperature high up in the sky was naturally lower than on the ground. When that halo spread, all the water vapor and ice elements started to gather in Huo Yuhao’s direction at an alarming speed!

This was one of the two soul skills that the Star Anise Mysterious Ice Grass had conferred to Huo Yuhao through his right leg bone: Star Anise Ice Coagulation. It was specially used to form ice elements. Even though it was just an auxiliary-type soul skill, it was important to note that the Star Anise Mysterious Ice Grass was a hundred-thousand-year soul beast. This meant that the soul bone that it gave Huo Yuhao was also a hundred-thousand-year soul bone!

As the ice elements in the air formed, the aerial surveillance soul tools that were quickly rising into the air were affected by the temperature and ice elements. They rose ever more slowly as the temperature of the air fell significantly.

Huo Yuhao’s right leg lit up with blinding, icy-blue light. The projection of the Star Anise Mysterious Ice Grass also ballooned significantly behind Huo Yuhao. After that, it turned into countless icy-blue light projections that scattered all around before disappearing.

In the air, ice spikes several meters long started to appear out of nowhere. They looked quite astonishing from a distance. It
 
was like a huge ice flower had formed at that instant. This ice flower covered a region spanning close to a thousand meters in diameter. As the region that it covered was so huge, the soul engineers that were pursuing Huo Yuhao subconsciously slowed down, and their expressions all changed.

When soul masters cultivated and added soul rings, they would generally add a domain-type soul skill. Under certain special conditions, domain-type soul skills could be very useful. However, this domain-type soul skill was something that the soul engineers from the Sun Moon Empire were seeing for the first time in their lives.

How ridiculous was it if it covered a thousand meters? That was a full kilometer! The icy spikes filled that region completely. Such a domain-type attack was something they could hardly imagine. It could even rival some deadly soul tools!

Huo Yuhao disappeared as the ice flower bloomed in the sky. However, those aerial surveillance soul tools faced a different fate.
 
The thick ice spikes ruthlessly penetrated the metal outer shells of those soul tools. Piercing booms and scratching sounds echoed through the air.

Even though not all the aerial surveillance soul tools had been engulfed, most of them were gathered here, as they were trying to capture Huo Yuhao!

More than sixty percent of the aerial surveillance soul tools were destroyed, just like that. The earlier blockade naturally ceased to exist.

How could Huo Yuhao give up such a fantastic opportunity? He quickly changed directions and flew diagonally upwards to a greater altitude.

“Star Anise, I didn’t expect this! This soul bone that you’ve given me is actually so powerful!” Huo Yuhao complimented it as he ascended.

The earlier attack had drained more than thirty percent of his soul power. However, Huo Yuhao was well-aware that he couldn’t possibly inflict such great damage if he just used thirty
 
percent of his soul power to attack. The earlier attack was completely reliant on the Star Anise Mysterious Ice Grass’ help!

The Star Anise gave Huo Yuhao two soul rings and one soul bone. Originally, Huo Yuhao didn’t put too much hope in it. At some point, he had even forgotten the two soul skills that came with his right leg bone. After all, he already had the Skydream Iceworm, Ice Empress, and Snow Empress. Any one of them was much stronger than the Ice Grass!

However, Huo Yuhao had gradually grown to understand the true meaning of the origin of ice after the Snow Empress’ guidance. At times, power wasn’t everything. The best thing was something that suited one the most at the time it was needed.

His earlier attack was actually the combined effect of three soul skills.

Among the two soul rings that the Ice Grass gave Huo Yuhao, the sixth soul ring carried a soul skill called Ultimate Ice Enhancement. It helped Huo Yuhao to greatly increase the strength of his Ultimate Ice. Hundred-thousand-year soul rings generally came with two soul skills, but the Ice Grass was a
 
plant-type soul beast. It had fewer innate soul skills compared to most ordinary animal-type soul beasts, and there were also two soul skills in its right leg bone. It didn’t have extra soul skills to confer to Huo Yuhao.

The other two soul skills that took effect earlier came from the right leg bone. One of them was called Star Anise Ice Coagulation. This soul skill was very effective in tandem with Ultimate Ice Enhancement. It was also an important reason why Huo Yuhao’s later strike was able to cover such a huge area. As for the ice spikes that had appeared, they came from the other soul skill of the right leg bone, called the Star Anise Omnithrust.

One attack was enough. More than sixty percent of the Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion’s aerial surveillance soul tools had been destroyed. Huo Yuhao felt great. The grim look on his face when he was pursued earlier had vanished completely.

Without oscillation detectors locking onto him and with his Imitation protecting him, detecting him would be extremely difficult. The soul engineers below tried to use two rounds of domain-type attacks, to no avail. Eventually, they had no choice but to retreat back to their base.
 
Huo Yuhao was very pleased with how he had reacted to the situation. As he flew towards Dragon City, he silently thought to himself, If the earlier fight was on the ground, or if those people chasing me were a little closer, I could have directly used my Ice Explosion Technique after my Star Anise Omnithrust. They’d have been completely blown apart.

What if I used this combination on the Sun Moon Empire’s military base? I should be able to cause quite a lot of damage to them...

All this while, Huo Yuhao hadn’t used any direct domain- type attacks. After trying it this time, he was rewarded with an unexpected result.

Huo Yuhao escaped in delight, but the atmosphere in the Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion felt extremely repressed.

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

He couldn’t have imagined that the dark-red commander’s tent that he had tried to sneak into earlier actually had the Empress of the Sun Moon Empire inside. She was his former
 
classmate and friend who was once under Xuan Ziwen’s guidance in the aspects of soul tool production, Ju Zi!

Ju Zi looked very gloomy as she sat in the main seat in the commander’s tent, decked out in fiery-red armor.

Ever since she came to the Heavenly Soul Empire, she had never been on such a big losing end before. When she heard that more than sixty percent of the aerial surveillance soul tools had been destroyed, she stood up furiously and broke a glass cup that she normally liked very much.

There were many senior soul engineers of the legion standing below her. However, they were all very petrified now. They lowered their heads and didn’t dare to utter a sound at all.

Ju Zi tried to suppress the fury in her heart and asked, “Can someone tell me what’s going on?”

A lady who was wearing the same red armor and who appeared to be about forty years old stepped forward and said,
 
“Commander, there seems to only be one enemy. However, this enemy was very strong.”

“Be more specific,” Ju Zi said coldly.

“Yes.  This  enemy  should  have  been  here  to  carry  out surveillance. He was able to conceal himself using his own abilities or through a soul tool. After he entered our base, he seemed to be intending to carry out surveillance on this tent. After that, he attacked one of our soul engineers, triggering our linked soul tool. We immediately surrounded and attacked him. However, he was very sly, and his abilities were also very strong. He managed to break free from our initial encirclement and tried to escape by flying higher. To more accurately determine his position, we lowered our line of aerial surveillance soul tools and attempted to use an oscillation detection web to discover his exact position. Very soon, we pinpointed his location.”

She paused for a moment before saying with some difficulty, “We were about to succeed. However, he suddenly unleashed some kind of soul skill that stopped us from locking onto his position. After that, he rose into the sky at an alarming speed. As we pursued him, he reached the same altitude as our aerial surveillance soul tools. Following that, he unleashed an ice-
 
type soul skill that covered a region spanning a thousand meters in diameter. The entire sky was filled with ice spikes, destroying many of our aerial surveillance soul tools. Without

the web, he concealed himself once again. We tried to use
domain-type attacks on him, but they were useless. He
managed to escape.” 
Ju Zi looked very serious after hearing this report. She furrowed her brow and paced up and down in the tent.

“Concealment. Yet another concealment. At the Ming Dou Mountain Range, it was also because of a fellow who managed to carry out surveillance and used some unknown method to teleport so many Titled Douluo in that it caused our defense to be overwhelmed. Eventually, we were trapped on the losing end. Don’t tell me it’s the same person? Or have the Star Luo and Heavenly Soul Empires found a method of creating soul tools that can help with concealment?”

As she finished speaking, Ju Zi paused for a moment before revealing a pensive look on her face.

The Ming Dou Mountain Range’s failed defense actually had a great impact on the Sun Moon Empire’s overall situation in
 
this war. Given the high status of the Death God Douluo Ye Xishui, no one dared to question her at all.

Ye Xishui didn’t reveal any details of the fight. She only mentioned that the Star Luo Empire had a soul master who was very adept at concealment that used a special method to sneak into the Ming Dou Mountain Range. Furthermore, this soul master brought in many Titled Douluo and caused significant damage to the defense line at the mountain range. To prevent damage to the Death God, she chose to retreat.

This answer was extremely ambiguous to Ju Zi, and greatly affected her judgment. However, while she was the Empress, her position in the empire was nothing compared to Ye Xishui. As a result, she couldn’t do anything even though she was doubtful. She could only plead to Xu Tianran to get to the bottom of things.

Xu Tianran attempted to do so, but Ye Xishui didn’t say anything else. As the Emperor, he was also helpless. He couldn’t afford to offend the Holy Ghost Church. The two Ultimate Douluo in the Holy Ghost Church and many evil soul masters were the foundation of his plan to dominate the entire continent. He couldn’t do anything to the Death God Douluo!

Chapter 468: Fire Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion

The Sun Moon Empire had a lot of confidence in their overall strength in this war. The invention of linked soul tools gave them an absolute advantage. However, in terms of high-level fighting strength, the Sun Moon Empire didn’t have enough to defeat the Douluo Continent’s three native continents and Shrek Academy by themselves. Therefore, they had to rely on the Holy Ghost Church’s power.

The Holy Ghost Church was very formidable. Without discussing other things, the existence of the Death God Douluo, Ye Xishui, and the Dragon Emperor Douluo, Long Xiaoyao, meant they had two Ultimate Douluo. That was enough to intimidate countless powerful Titled Douluo.

From Ju Zi’s perspective, if there weren’t any unforeseen incidents, there wouldn’t be any problem with Ye Xishui standing guard at the Ming Dou Mountain Range. But who knew that the Star Luo Empire managed to break through in the end?
 
Afterwards, the White Tiger Duke had used a very venomous strategy, and Ju Zi was still held back no matter how powerful she was.

The White Tiger Duke had dispersed the Star Luo Empire’s soul master legions, and deployed five legions with thirty soldiers in a team. He divided them to go deep into the Sun Moon Empire and destroy things.

They focused on destroying the Sun Moon Empire’s granaries and armories in their respective cities. The Star Luo Empire had almost as many soul masters as the Sun Moon Empire did, and they didn’t have many soul engineers. However, soul masters were as destructive as soul engineers when they unleashed their destructive power!

There were at least a hundred and fifty units of soul masters scattered in the Sun Moon Empire’s territory. They retreated after an assault wherever they were attacking, and they immediately escaped beyond the horizon. They didn’t give the Sun Moon Empire a chance to surround and kill them. They were practically engaging in guerilla warfare, and they had caused many losses to the Sun Moon Empire after little more than a month.
 
The Sun Moon Empire’s royal family had to pull back a few soul engineer legions because of that, to defend their territory. They even deployed two of their royal soul engineer legions, which were like their trump cards, so that they could surround the Star Luo Empire’s units and establish defensive perimeters. Only then were they able to suppress the Star Luo Empire’s undercover soul masters in their territory.

But they were in a standoff at the moment.

The Sun Moon Empire could only produce large amounts of aerial surveillance soul tools and rely on their surveillance to fight against the Star Luo Empire’s soul masters in their territory.

However, aerial surveillance soul tools were expensive to craft. The Sun Moon Empire’s territory stretched over a vast land, so they couldn’t possibly cover every inch of land. Otherwise, the White Tiger Duke’s strategy wouldn’t have been so hard to deal with.

Nobody was a match for the Death God Douluo in face-to-face battle, but the Death God Douluo was just a mortal, and not
 
actually a god. She couldn’t stretch her strength to cover overly large areas.

The soul masters who were undercover in the Sun Moon Empire preoccupied them, while the White Tiger Duke himself led his remaining soul master legions to create defensive structures and perimeters at the Ming Dou Mountain Range with the Star Luo Empire’s Northwestern Field Army. They regained everything that they had lost before.

The Sun Moon Empire could only maintain their current situation because the Star Luo Empire was holding them back. They didn’t have enough strength to continue their invasion, and this was especially true because the Sun Moon Empire didn’t dare to attack in Shrek Academy’s direction. Even the Holy Ghost Church was afraid of Shrek Academy.

The Douluo Continent’s three native empires knew about Shrek Academy’s battle against the Great Star Dou Forest’s beast wave, and the Sun Moon Empire had also received similar information.

Xu Tianran turned pale with fright when he heard that Shrek Academy had pushed back the Great Star Dou Forest’s
 
immense army, and when he heard that the Dragon God Douluo, Mu En, had reappeared.

The Darkness Holy Dragon, and the Death God Douluo Ye Xishui, had told him long ago that everything between them could be discussed or worked out, but they would never directly participate in attacking Shrek Academy.

Xu Tianran didn’t have those two Ultimate Douluo in his war against Shrek Academy. As of now, he didn’t have any confidence in fighting an open battle against Shrek.

Ju Zi personally returned to Radiant City, and they went through a series of military conferences after a deep talk with Xu Tianran. They finally decided that they should stabilize the current situation and consolidate, and that they had to assimilate as much of the territory that they had conquered in the Heavenly Soul Empire as possible. The commander that Huo Yuhao admired and respected was actually Ju Zi. Her reputation in the Sun Moo Empire was growing exponentially throughout this war.

The Sun Moon Empire’s current situation wasn’t as good as it was in the beginning, because the Death God Douluo hadn’t
 
been able to defend the Ming Dou Mountain Range. It had nothing to do with Ju Zi’s war strategies and tactics.

The Sun Moon Empire had conquered two-thirds of the Heavenly Soul Empire’s territory with minimal costs and losses by following Ju Zi’s war plan. She had earned a lot of credit for the Sun Moon Empire’s glorious victories, expansion, and conquered territories. This was especially true because she had feigned an attack against the Star Luo Empire in the beginning, when her real target was the Heavenly Soul Empire, and she made sure that the Star Luo Empire’s intel and surveillance were locked down. She had accomplished great feats.

Ju Zi had been lauded as the Sun Moon Empire’s military genius after the war, one who only appeared once in a blue moon, and even the queen’s halo wasn’t as bright as her own commander’s. Ju Zi had increasingly more authority and influence. Besides the Sun Moon Empire’s royal legions, the other four beast-ranked soul engineer legions were under her control. She was the commander-in-chief of the great army that was invading east.

Xu Tianran trusted Ju Zi the most, and that was the reason he was very assured despite her holding all that authority.
 
She didn’t disappoint him. After conquering large areas of the Heavenly Soul Empire, Xu Tianran was very supportive of penetrating those territories with soul tools and technology. Xu Tianran admired and respected Ju Zi, and he knew that he couldn’t devise such strategies by himself. He held her in very high regard.

This time, she had discreetly led an army of twenty thousand to the Heavenly Soul Empire’s northeastern region to investigate some mineral resources in the north.

What were wars fought with? Resources and money!

The Sun Moon Empire had been accumulating reserves for many years, and were sufficiently prepared. However, Huo Yuhao had shaken them at their very core after the massive explosion that he had triggered inside Radiant City. Money and resources were continuously expended after the war started, and that was especially true for their rare metals. They were starting to run low. Therefore, the Sun Moon Empire had been trying to strengthen their search for mines and minerals recently, especially within the Heavenly Soul Empire. They would undoubtedly excavate and mine anything they discovered as quickly as possible.
 
Ju Zi had received reliable reports from her people in the Heavenly Soul Empire saying that there was an enormous mine in the Heavenly Soul Empire’s northern region, in the areas bordering the Extreme North. There were more than ten veins of rare metals they could excavate there.

She had sent someone to investigate the matter previously, and the report was confirmed. This mine was very close to the Dou Ling Empire’s northern borders, positioned between the Heavenly Soul Empire and the Dou Ling Empire.

Before the Sun Moon Empire had started this war, the Heavenly Soul Empire and the Dou Ling Empire had just discovered the existence of this mine. They hadn’t had time to excavate it before the war had started.

Therefore, the Sun Moon Empire would likely clash with the Dou Ling Empire if they wanted to mine these resources.

The Sun Moon Empire had formidable tools for detecting rare metals. Ju Zi had instructed experts to do a serious investigation of this area before coming here, and her experts had told her that this mine held an extremely large volume of
 
rare metals. If they could extract it, they would have enough to support another war.

Ju Zi had reported that to Xu Tianran once she managed to confirm those reports.

Rare metals had undoubtedly become the most important resource after adding soul engineers into the history of war. Xu Tianran wasn’t assured at all leaving such important resources in the hands of just anyone. He decided after discussing with Ju Zi that she was to personally lead the Fire Phoenix Legion here, and was to be in charge of excavating this mine.

Besides this army of twenty thousand, there was to be an enormous team of excavators that would arrive later. However, they were going to mine in the Extreme North, and the weather would greatly affect the speed and progress of excavation. The team needed time to prepare. Therefore, Ju Zi came first, to conquer and assimilate this entire place before making other plans.

Huo Yuhao wouldn’t know about all this if he had left with Nan Qiuqiu before. Destiny worked in such mysterious ways,
 
and a single episode of deep meditation created an opportunity for him to do reconnaissance like he had.

How could she not be dejected? She hadn’t accomplished her true aim of being here, and yet she had sustained such heavy losses. It wasn’t hard to imagine how expensive the soul detectors that were used by beast lord-ranked legions were, and even she couldn’t bear a sixty percent loss! This was a colossal blow. Furthermore, she couldn’t fathom what kind of soul master could achieve this feat. If that individual was a soul engineer, not even the Sun Moon Empire had such results in using soul tools for the art of concealment. Ju Zi didn’t believe that the Douluo Continent’s three empires could surpass the Sun Moon Empire in this respect.

If a single soul master did everything by himself, then wouldn’t this soul master’s abilities be far too powerful? He could conceal himself, and he could unleash ice-type soul skills over large areas. She had never heard of any Titled Douluo that could achieve all that!

“Pass down my orders. Everyone in the Fire Phoenix Legion is to move at once. Everyone will hold oscillation detectors to search within thirty kilometers of the army camp. However,
 
don’t affect Dragon City, so that we don’t affect our plan to assimilate the city through our technology.”

“Yes!” Her subordinate soul engineers acknowledged at once, and departed swiftly.

Ju Zi frowned tightly as she calculated mentally, and considered where that person who was investigating them came from. The Heavenly Soul Empire shouldn’t have any strength left to conduct such reconnaissance in the northern regions, and they would definitely have used an individual with such impressive scouting abilities on the battlefield.

The Dou Ling Empire was in the same situation. They were teamed up with the Heavenly Soul Empire, and their army was in a standoff against her own army on the battlefield. They wouldn’t have anybody to deploy in the northern regions. She hadn’t even attempted to excavate those mines yet!

There was only one other possibility besides these two empires. The person who had just come to investigate came from one of the Heavenly Soul Empire’s reclusive sects. It was the only plausible explanation.

Ju Zi felt a headache come on when she thought about “reclusive sects”. As of now, they had conquered more than two-thirds of the Heavenly Soul Empire’s territory, but the Sun Moon Empire had also sustained heavy losses. Their greatest losses weren’t in the war. Instead, their greatest losses occurred when they were fighting those reclusive sects.

The Heavenly Soul Empire had a long history, which could be traced back ten thousand years. Back then, the Heavenly Soul Empire was still called the Heaven Dou Empire, and the empire was formed by the Heavenly Soul Empire and the Dou Ling Empire. There were many soul masters in the Heavenly Soul Empire, and there were many reclusive sects as well.

Even though these reclusive sects didn’t want to have anything to do with the Heavenly Soul Empire in normal days,
 
the Sun Moon Empire was their enemy in the end. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and they had to work together against their common enemy. Reclusive sects were always very secretive with what they did, as they focused on protecting themselves. They were always doing hit-and-runs against the Sun Moon Empire, and it highly irritated her. Even though these people didn’t have a decisive impact on the war, they
were consistently causing damage to the Sun Moon Empire.

They had appeared in the Ming Dou Mountain Range before, and now they had appeared far into the Heavenly Soul Empire’s northeastern region. It seemed like this sect, who was adept at the art of concealment and reconnaissance, didn’t have just one person who was good at these things. What was more frightening was the ice-type domain attack that had a reach of a thousand meters in diameter. Based on that range, that person should be a powerful Titled Douluo.

Titled Douluo were always terrifying as an enemy. A Titled Douluo was just one person, and his powerful strength, in addition to the fact that he was hiding in the darkness, meant that he was a threat whenever and wherever. Even if this person didn’t care about lashing out against normal soldiers, he was still a great threat to the Fire Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion. Without talking about other things, this person would
 
destroy every single one of their aerial surveillance soul tools if he attacked a few more times. He could blind her entire army.

Ju Zi’s hands gradually clenched into fists. Cold light flickered in her eyes; she had to find a way to remove this threat, no matter what!

------

Huo Yuhao had already returned to Dragon City at this point. The soul-stirring thrill from before was just another unimpressive experience among all his past experiences.

He returned to the cloth store. Nan Qiuqiu was still awake, and was waiting in the courtyard for him.

“Why did you take so long?” She asked with a frown.

Huo Yuhao said, “The situation is more serious than I had imagined. The Sun Moon Empire’s Fire Phoenix Legion is hidden among the army of twenty thousand.”
 
Nan Qiuqiu was shocked. How could she not know about the Fire Phoenix Legion? “What are they trying to do?” she said nervously, “Do they want to destroy Dragon City?” If a legion with an overall fighting strength like that one wanted to cause destruction, destroying an entire city really wasn’t anything
much.

Huo Yuhao shook his head and said, “How can that be? If that were the case, then they wouldn’t have to expend so much energy to penetrate Dragon City with soul tools and technology. However, I wasn’t able to discover their goal.”

Nan Qiuqiu frowned and said, “Then what should we do? We should continue investigating and figure out what’s happening. There must be something they want, with such a powerful soul engineer legion around.”

Huo Yuhao stared at her with a strange look in his eyes. “Yes, investigating is the right way to go. But there’s no we – there’s only me.”

Nan Qiuqiu’s eyebrows immediately went vertical. “What do you mean? You intend to abandon me and go alone?”
 
Huo Yuhao said sincerely, “Qiuqiu, did you notice the disturbance outside just now?”

Nan Qiuqiu was momentarily stunned, and said, “I didn’t hear any disturbance, but I did see faint flickers outside the city. That was you?”

Huo Yuhao nodded as he recounted his experience in detail.

“I managed to escape, but by a hair’s breadth, with my own abilities. If you were with me, neither of us would have been able to escape.” Huo Yuhao said with a very pained look on his face.

Nan Qiuqiu was rude and unruly, but she definitely wasn’t unreasonable. She stared at him and said, “You can’t put it like that. Are you saying that I’m a burden?”

Huo Yuhao said nothing, and just stared quietly at her.

Nan Qiuqiu was a little embarrassed and annoyed at his stare. She grunted furiously and said, “Fine, so I am a burden. I
 
won’t follow you, then. But since they have already discovered you, their defenses will be much tighter. How are you going to find out what they want?”

Huo Yuhao said, “I wanted to find intel directly, but since I can’t do that, then I can only follow them. Since they have come all the way to the northern regions, their destination can’t be far. I will definitely be able to find out what they want as long as I follow them. Don’t worry, I will be more careful with the lesson I’ve just learned.”

Nan Qiuqiu contemplated for a while. Even though she wasn’t convinced, she had no choice but to admit that she was a lot weaker than Huo Yuhao was. Huo Yuhao would be burdened if he had to take another person with him.

“Alright, alright. You go, then. I’ll wait in Dragon City for you, and we’ll head to our destination from before after you come back. But you must be careful.”

Huo Yuhao laughed and said, “Qiuqiu is a reasonable lady, indeed.”
 
“Don’t do that. I’m going to sleep. Hurry and leave if you must.”  Nan Qiuqiu turned around and went back to her own room after that.

Huo Yuhao heaved a sigh in his mind as he watched her elegant profile. Qiuqiu is a nice girl, and I can’t let her become like Qiu’er back then, no matter what.

His heart began to ache when he thought about Wang Qiu’er. Dong’er should still be alive no matter how her situation was, but Qiu’er was already… This feeling had become an agony deep in his heart that would last forever.

Huo Yuhao sighed as his thoughts stopped there, and returned to his own room. After this night’s hustle, the Sun Moon Empire wouldn’t move out throughout the night, so it wouldn’t be too late for him to follow them in the morning.

---------

Huo Yuhao snuck out after finishing breakfast the next day. Nan Qiuqiu didn’t escort him out, but sulked in her own room after he left instead.

Am I not just a little weaker than you? I’ll catch up to you! Nan Qiuqiu decided that she would go into closed-door cultivation during the days that Huo Yuhao wasn’t around, and began to work hard inside the cloth store.

Huo Yuhao left the city through the eastern gate just like he had the previous day. He returned to the forest he was hiding in previously. He wasn’t hasty to go out this time. Instead, he began to meditate in the middle of the forest as he observed the movements of the Sun Moon Empire’s army in the distance.

He wasn’t stupid. He had dealt such a heavy blow to the Fire Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion the previous day, so the defenses within their army camp had to be incredibly strict. He would be going to certain death if he took the risk to investigate at this time. Since that was the case, he chose to observe from afar, since his aim was to follow them anyway.

The maximum range of his Spiritual Detection meant nothing could possibly go wrong if all he wanted to do was follow an army. Only if the Sun Moon Empire could redirect all their aerial surveillance soul tools to his location so that they could conduct surveillance close to the ground across all positions could they possibly discover his presence.

There wasn’t much disturbance within the Sun Moon Empire’s great army. Everything seemed very calm and peaceful one day later, as if nothing had happened last night.

Huo Yuhao was very patient. He wasn’t flustered at all as he cultivated quietly inside the forest. He would just wait it out. His enemies weren’t hasty, so why should he be?

He simply used his spiritual power to detect in a single direction from time to time, and would sweep over the Sun Moon Empire’s camp to make sure that the Fire Phoenix Legion was still around before he continued cultivating.

He had gained quite some inspiration from last night’s battle. Furthermore, he had been focusing his energy on studying Ultimate Ice over recent weeks. This was something that needed a lot of time for him to slowly grasp. At the same time, he needed time to absorb the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence in his body. Cultivating anywhere made no difference to him. As for being exposed outdoors, that was a piece of cake.

---
 
Three days passed like that in the blink of an eye. The Sun Moon Empire finally couldn’t stand the loneliness anymore, and they made ready to depart.

Huo Yuhao had to admit that this army was very outstanding. They didn’t create much of a disturbance as they moved out, and their formations were very neat and strict. The army on the periphery began to move first, and they took down their tents, while the soldiers responsible for impedimenta took everything apart and packed it up. The soldiers formed up in neat lines as they proceeded north.

Huo Yuhao quickly located the Fire Phoenix Legion’s team. The legion’s members were walking on the ground, and their formation was very neat. They didn’t act all high and mighty just because they were soul engineers.

They can’t hold back any longer? A faint smile appeared at the corner of Huo Yuhao’s mouth as he stood up. He wasn’t worried at all. He couldn’t follow too closely, as he would be easily discovered if he came too close. He just had to follow them from several kilometers out. With his Imitation, those aerial surveillance soul tools in the sky couldn’t possibly discover his presence as long as he maintained a sufficient distance.

Huo Yuhao followed far behind once the army had completely uprooted and moved on. He didn’t follow behind them for long, proceeding on their flank as he gradually shifted forward.

He knew that for him to complete his reconnaissance mission, or even to ruin the Sun Moon Empire’s mission, he had to allow his enemies to lower their guard first. Therefore, he couldn’t allow his enemies to discover his presence, no matter what. His enemies would believe that he was already gone, given enough time, and that he had never returned after escaping the other day. As for making a move, he wouldn’t do anything unless as a last resort.

Huo Yuhao followed at a distance just like that. The Sun Moon Empire’s army continued pushing forward as they went straight north.

The army was moving very quickly. They were almost always jogging; they would jog for an hour before they walked for a bit, and then jog again. This army was moving at a spectacular speed, their overall quality obvious.
 
The army traveled a hundred kilometers north in one day. The air was starting to become increasingly cold. They stopped to set up camp and cook food.

Huo Yuhao hid behind a small hill. The weather was cold, but that didn’t affect him at all. However, he couldn’t help but swallow as he stared at the smoke spiraling from the army camp in the distance. Drinking some hot soup in such snowy lands would be so luxurious! I’m just doing hard labor now.

He couldn’t help but laugh bitterly as his thoughts stopped there. However, he could only continue, since he was already at this stage.

Huo Yuhao laid out his map as he leaned against the hill. He had prepared this map long ago. It wasn’t a map of the Heavenly Soul Empire’s northern region, but a detailed map of the Douluo Continent’s northern regions. He had spent quite a lot of money to get this map. The map itself was made from goatskin, both tough and soft at the same time. It could be preserved for a long time.

Huo Yuhao scrutinized the map for a while when he discovered that the Sun Moon Empire’s army was still going northeast. They would reach the border between the Heavenly
 
Soul Empire and the Dou Ling Empire if they went further in the same direction. They would also be bordering the Extreme North there, and it would be even colder than it was here.

The temperature there was no small problem for typical soul masters, but could normal soldiers really bear it?

Huo Yuhao turned around as he contemplated, and laid on his stomach on the hill as he gazed at the Sun Moon Empire’s camp in the distance. He activated Spiritual Detection and swept it toward the army camp.

He quickly discovered that something else was happening. The Sun Moon Empire’s camp seemed to be handing something out, and their soldiers were all lined up to collect those things Everybody was issued two items that resembled small boxes, and cotton-padded clothes.

The cotton-padded clothes seemed decent in quality. That was especially true for the cotton shoes. They were thick and sturdy, and Huo Yuhao could tell that they would be very good at retaining warmth.
 
It seems like the Sun Moon Empire has long been prepared! These soldiers are probably decent at resisting the cold, so the Sun Moon Empire can’t have deployed soldiers from their own northern territories. Since that’s the case, and in addition to the cotton clothes that they have prepared, they will actually be able to resist the severe cold for a short period of time.

Huo Yuhao went through the night amid the chilly winds.

He understood during what those boxes that were given out to the soldiers did the next morning.

Every box was about the size of a palm, and the soldiers placed them in their clothes. These boxes were very closely pressed against their inner shirts and tied around their waists. When they began to march, Huo Yuhao immediately realized that the boxes emanated gentle heat. The heat coursed throughout the soldiers’ bodies and helped them resist the external cold.

That works? Those tiny boxes should also be soul tools. If that was the case, the box definitely needed sealed Milk Bottles inside. Maintaining the heat didn’t need too much soul power,
 
but Huo Yuhao could tell from the size of the box that it could only be sustained for a few days before it had to be charged.

Huo Yuhao thought carefully for a moment, and couldn’t help but concede his enemies’ ingenuity. The Sun Moon Empire’s army was following a formidable soul engineer legion, and the Fire Phoenix Legion had at least three hundred soul engineers. Charging those small milk bottles didn’t need too much of their soul power. When the army was resting at night, every soul master would be responsible for some soldiers’ sealed Milk Bottles. Naturally, they would be able to charge all those milk bottles that way.

Huo Yuhao hadn’t expected the Sun Moon Empire to have developed soul tools for commoners to use. If, one day, they could find something to substitute for milk bottles, the Sun Moon Empire could truly conquer the entire continent. That would be the time when normal soldiers could become soul engineers, and they would have a soul engineer’s attacking power. Huo Yuhao thought about it. How frightening would it be if a hundred thousand soul engineers appeared on the battlefield?

Huo Yuhao heaved a faint sigh inside. He shook his head as he accepted this reality in exasperation. It seemed like the
 
Douluo Continent’s three native empires had to accomplish great feats as soon as possible if they wished to fight back against the Sun Moon Empire. Otherwise, within a hundred years, even if the Sun Moon Empire didn’t launch an invasion, their technological advantage would become increasingly evident. The Douluo Continent would belong to them like a meal on a lunch plate…

---------

Huo Yuhao was lamenting inside, but he had to continue following them. He was still following far behind them on their flank, and he trailed the army towards the Heavenly Soul Empire’s northeastern region.

The Sun Moon Empire’s great army slowed down as the weather became colder. The place that Huo Yuhao had estimated they would reach within a day took them two days.

Everything was white and snowy around him, and the cold winds howled through the air as they cut like blades. There wasn’t much moisture in the air in a snowy place like this, because any bit of water would be immediately frozen. The temperature here was at least thirty degrees below zero, and
 
normal people would find it extremely difficult to survive in such an environment.

It was almost evening before the Sun Moon Empire set up camp once more. Their camp was a lot more compact than before. Furthermore, Huo Yuhao realized to his surprise that the layout was also different.

The Fire Phoenix Legion, who were originally in the innermost sections, were shifted to the periphery. They formed an arch as they directly faced the northwestern winds, as if they were alpha wolves guarding their companions from the most bitter chill. The commander’s tent was apparently right at the front, and it didn’t move at all even when the cold wind blew against it.

The other tents were tightly and neatly arranged in rows behind them. This was the layout that could preserve as much heat as possible.

The spiraling smoke had disappeared by now, and he could see hot air rising from some large tents. There was no doubt that the army cooks were located toward the center, and not on
 
the outside. Otherwise, starting a fire would be very difficult in a place like this, where water turned into ice.

Huo Yuhao heaved another faint sigh in his heart. I have been freezing for a day, and I should also get a sip of that hot soup! Even though I’m not afraid of the cold, I have been exposed to the weather in this snowy place for days. These days haven’t really been comfortable at all.

However, Huo Yuhao could tell that the Sun Moon Empire’s army wasn’t that far away from their destination. They were always travelling toward the northwest, and now, they were near the Extreme North’s borders. They would enter the Extreme North if they continued forward.

Huo Yuhao had been in the Extreme North before, and was very clear on the dreadful conditions there. Normal people would definitely not survive in a place like that, and that was the case even with cotton-padded clothes and soul tools that provided heat.

Even soul masters couldn’t go deep inside if they didn’t meet a certain standard. Furthermore, there were many ice-type soul beasts living in the Extreme North. They borrowed
 
strength from their surroundings, and were much more powerful than typical soul beasts. The Fire Phoenix Legion would run out of strength no matter how powerful they were if they ran into a pack of formidable soul beasts. Huo Yuhao could faintly guess that the reason why the Fire Phoenix Legion was involved in this operation was likely to be because their abilities had something to do with fire. Fire-type abilities
would be greatly limited in a place like this, but fire-type
abilities were also good at resisting the cold. The more he thought about it, the more Huo Yuhao felt that the Fire Phoenix Legion wasn’t directing the Sun Moon Empire’s army here to fight. They were here for something else.

Huo Yuhao continued to think as a faint light flickered. He hid himself within a small depression in a mountain. He didn’t have any fire-type abilities, and having something warm in such a snowy place was completely impossible. However, he had his own methods.

He retrieved some dry rations from his storage-type soul tool before he placed them on his right hand. A strange scene occurred; the tough dry rations in his hand gradually softened, before they began to emanate a faint warmth.
 
Huo Yuhao hadn’t wasted his time in the Extreme North over the past few days. His understanding of the element of ice had become increasingly deep, especially in terms of controlling heat.

Ice needed a lot of heat to melt. In the same way, water forming ice would release large amounts of heat.

Huo Yuhao leveraged this principle as he sealed off the air around him before he began to control his blood and condense it into ice. This naturally released heat; such control shouldn’t be too difficult for a person with spiritual power as powerful as his.

However, the dry rations would only be a little warm and soft. He had to eat them quickly. In the end, he couldn’t let the blood in his hands freeze for too long, just long enough to swallow those dry rations.

Huo Yuhao swiftly dealt with dinner as he prepared to meditate once more. However, right at that moment, he suddenly realized that something was happening in the Sun Moon Empire’s army.
 
The Sun Moon Empire began to erect thick metal pillars around their camp in the dark of night. Some of the Fire Phoenix Legion’s members clad in dark-red armor were hard at work, flying through the air as they arranged those metal pillars according to their designated locations, before certain individuals would hammer them into the ground and stabilize them.

Normal people would need many large machines to complete a task like this. However, this wasn’t much for soul engineers. Soul engineers were soul masters first, and they could rely on auxiliary soul tools for aid, so they found such tasks very easy and casual. It didn’t take long before they were almost done with their job.

Have they arrived at their destination? Huo Yuhao observed closely.

There was no doubt that these metal pillars were brought along with their storage-type soul tools. Every pillar seemed about fifty meters long, and were more than three meters in diameter. It wasn’t hard to imagine their weight. They were not just brought by storage-type soul tools; this had to be done with high-quality storage-type soul tools!
 
What is the Sun Moon Empire doing here? Is this where they intended to be? What can there be in the barren Extreme North?

Huo Yuhao had many doubts in his mind. However, he could only continue observing. At least, he was sure of one thing; that the Sun Moon Empire wouldn’t create a fortress here like idiots.

The enormous metal pillars weighed at least five thousand kilos, and several high-tier soul engineers had to work together to arrange and install them properly in the ground. Seven or eight pillars were quickly drilled into the ground, and every pillar was at least thirty meters deep, while twelve meters remained above ground.

Chapter 469: Devious Trap

After this, Huo Yuhao saw that the Sun Moon Empire had used these metal pillars as a foundation to build machines around.

It was Huo Yuhao’s first time seeing such machines. He had no idea what they were. Their structure appeared very complicated, and soul power undulations rippled from them.

These machines were very sophisticated. Although Huo Yuhao could use his spiritual power to imprint their structure in his mind, he had to get closer first. Right now, he was around five kilometers from the Sun Moon Empire’s military. He would only be discovered if he went too close, so he wasn’t anxious at all.

No, I’ll go take a look at night. Huo Yuhao believed that he could find out what these soul tools were used for if he could observe their core formations, given his understanding of soul tools.
 
The Sun Moon Empire wouldn’t do this for nothing. They had to have their reasoning behind building such a formation here. Furthermore, he was a little relaxed knowing that the Sun Moon Empire had not built them as a means of war. The Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion didn’t seem to intend to construct a soul formation here. Without a sufficiently large soul formation, Huo Yuhao believed that this place wasn’t enough to threaten him yet.

----------

Night fell. The Sun Moon Empire’s soul engineers returned to their tents after working for more than two hours. When night fell, the temperature of the Extreme North would fall significantly. No soul engineer would be able to work under such hostile conditions!

The sky had turned fully dark. Amid the chilly wind, the snow on the ground was blown into the air, turning into huge patches of ice flakes. Not only was the temperature of these ice flakes extremely low, but they also combined with the chilly wind to make it bitingly cold. If a normal person’s skin was exposed, it would dry up and sustain frostbite in a matter of seconds.
 
Huo Yuhao waited another two hours until the entire military base had quieted down and all the soul lamps had been switched off before he silently snuck out.

Around a week had passed since the start of this expedition. Huo Yuhao believed that the Sun Moon Empire’s military should have lowered their guard slightly, even though they were very cautious. Those machines were on the perimeter of the base. No matter what, there shouldn’t be too much danger.

Huo Yuhao inched forward in the darkness. He unleashed his Imitation and rapidly drew closer to the military base.

Five kilometers was a very short distance for him. In just a short while, he managed to get close to the military base.

He unleashed his Spiritual Detection and first scanned the sky. He didn’t want to repeat his earlier mistake. If the aerial surveillance soul tools were at an altitude of five hundred meters or below, he would rather give up on this surveillance mission.
 
There were indeed aerial surveillance soul tools in the sky. However, they were much higher up. They weren’t carrying out any oscillation detection towards the ground. At the same time, Huo Yuhao also carefully used his Spiritual Detection to scan the surroundings of those machines. There weren’t any oscillation detectors or spiritual barriers around those machines either.

After ensuring his safety, he continued to draw closer, quickly arriving near those large-scale machines and observing them closely.

The massive metal pillars gave off an increasing sense of oppression the closer he came to them. He touched them gently before using his spiritual power to analyze them. Huo Yuhao discovered that these metal pillars were constructed using alloys. Although they were large, they were still mixed with many other rare metals inside. This also meant that the cost of even one metal pillar would be astronomical. The pillars were very strong. It seemed that they were being used to support some other soul tools.

Many of the soul tools that were manufactured with these metal pillars as their foundation didn’t have core formations
 
yet. They looked very exquisite, but it was unclear what they were going to be used for.

After furrowing his brow, Huo Yuhao was a little confused.
What is the Sun Moon Empire trying to do?

It seemed like he had to continue waiting. It was only through greater observation that he could discover their true motive.

Huo Yuhao didn’t dare to stay any longer as he thought until here. He turned around and was prepared to retreat.

At this moment, a cold voice sounded. “Since you’re already here, you don’t have to rush to leave.”

Huo Yuhao was petrified. At that instant, the surrounding several hundred square meters started to shine brightly with light. All the lights were focused on him, and the metal pillars were completely exposed under the lights.
 
Although Huo Yuhao was protected by his Imitation, he could clearly sense that he was being locked on.

How is this possible? Huo Yuhao was astonished at this instant. He had believed that he was very cautious. How could he possibly have been discovered? He hadn’t discovered any oscillation detectors or spiritual barriers earlier!

“Weird, isn’t it? You don’t have to be surprised. Since you’re able to perform surveillance on us, we had to put in a lot of effort to set this trap for you. The edges of the Extreme North are famed for their extremely low temperatures. Amidst the low temperatures, thermal detectors are especially sensitive. Even though you’ve tried your best to assimilate your body temperature with your surroundings, you forgot that there will be changes in the air currents as you move about. This more or less changes the temperature of the air. No matter whether it’s you or the air, the outcome is the same.

“Of course, such slight changes are unable to explain anything. Generally, we wouldn’t be too bothered even if we discovered this. However, it’s different today. When I instructed people to build this foundation, I expected you to come. This was why I gathered many thermal detectors far away, and these thermal detectors are specifically targeted at
 
this small region. Even a slight thermal change can be detected. Furthermore, those controlling the thermal detectors are ordinary soldiers under me. They don’t know what the point of it is. This is why they weren’t cautious against you.

“I’m clearly aware that Titled Douluo like you are very sensitive to danger. However, those people I sent out don’t pose any threat to you. How can you sense any danger if that’s the case? Even the people surrounding you right now were informed that this was only an exercise. I’m afraid you have nowhere to run now.”

Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but sigh as he heard the lady speak. It seemed like he had been too careless! Or rather, this person was simply too cunning. To trap him, she had been waiting for an opportunity to set this up. Wasn’t she afraid that he hadn’t followed them here? Or rather, she was setting up this trap based on the thinking that he would be here. She was patient, even more patient than him. She was indeed a very strong opponent.

Huo Yuhao didn’t utter a sound or move. He could only feel his skin numbing, and couldn’t move at all. Once he moved, countless hidden soul tools would be fired at him instantly.
 
Since the enemy had prepared such a trap, they would definitely reckon that their attack was sufficient to harm him. Furthermore, he could also deducer from the words of the enemy that it was a trap set for a Titled Douluo.

Huo Yuhao wasn’t feeling depressed. He was reprimanding himself instead. In the Academy, he was the only one who had completed the Ultimate Soldier Plan, but he was actually in such a situation right now. He could only blame his carelessness. It was a problem birthed from his own overconfidence.

Of course, the cunning of his enemy was key to him being trapped. However, he could only pick problems with himself at this moment. At the same time, he started to think of ways he could escape.

“You should feel that you’ve been locked on by us. I’m not afraid of telling you that you have been completely locked on by our linked defensive soul tools. It’s impossible for you to escape. At the same time, there are more than a hundred offensive soul tools aimed at you. They are all at least Class 5 soul tools. Among them, one is even a Class 9 soul tool. There are sixteen Class 8 soul tools. If you think you can escape, you can try.”

That cold voice sounded gentler. For some reason, Huo Yuhao seemed to feel that he knew this voice as it softened.

Do I know this person?

However, this thought disappeared as soon as it appeared. The pressing issue was how he was going to escape. The enemy had said everything she said in order to heap more psychological pressure on him. However, by saying all that, it was clear that she wanted to capture him alive.

Although Huo Yuhao was trapped, he had great spiritual power, and was very calm. He was able to maintain his cool even in such a situation, and make a correct judgment.

The other party doesn’t want to kill me. She wants to capture me alive. This is my opportunity.

If their aim was to kill him, he would have felt it earlier. He didn’t have the senses of a Titled Douluo, but he possessed the Eye of Destiny. Once he faced mortal danger, he would have some sort of sensation. His enemy was too cunning. She got
 
almost everything right, but she didn’t have any intention of killing him.

It seems like my Imitation and Star Anise Omnithrust attracted her attention. Given her absolute advantage, her intention must be to capture me and get information out of me. If that’s the case, I stand a chance.

Huo Yuhao didn’t move. He unleashed his spiritual power and turned it into a huge invisible web that started to spread out in the direction of that voice.

Very soon, he discovered that he knew nothing about this trap. The soul engineers that were in ambush weren’t on the ground at all. They were beneath the ground. They weren’t far away and had dug their way out before aiming their soul tools at him.

At this instant, Huo Yuhao understood everything. When the enemy was installing the metal pillars earlier, they were trying to draw his attention. In fact, they were thinking of ways to dig tunnels below and hide their soul engineers. Without a doubt, these soul engineers had some ways of hiding their own auras. At the same time, they didn’t receive any instructions to carry
 
out an ambush, so Huo Yuhao didn’t discover them. Cunning, this marshal is indeed too cunning. She actually set such a big trap to catch me.

Huo Yuhao intentionally deepened his voice, made it nasally, and said, “What’s the point of saying all that? If you want to kill me, do it.”

The lady with the cold voice laughed. “I just want to avoid unnecessary death. As long as you’re willing to lay down your arms and surrender, I can guarantee your safety. Otherwise, we’ll just lose some machines.”

Huo Yuhao was silent for a moment before saying, “How do I know you’re telling the truth? What if you kill me after I surrender? What happens then?”

That lady chortled coldly, “Do you have the right to negotiate with us now? If you believe me, you might survive. If you don’t, you’ll die. A clever person knows what to choose.”

Huo Yuhao definitely knew that there weren’t any guarantees, given such a cunning opponent. However, he
 
needed some time to analyze the situation. This was because this lady was clearly using a displacement soul tool. Her voice didn’t come from where she actually was. He needed more time to determine her position.

“Let me consider it for a moment,” Huo Yuhao replied.

“You can do so, but shouldn’t you reveal your true self, so that I can see who the person who brought so much damage to my Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion is?”

“Yes.”  Huo Yuhao answered without any hesitation. At the same time, he removed his Imitation. It was just that he used it to slightly change his appearance just as he removed it. He now looked like an ordinary middle-aged man. As for his figure, he didn’t change it. It was easy to be exposed if he changed his appearance too much.

As Huo Yuhao slowly appeared, more and more equipment locked onto him.

The other party seemed to be observing him. After a brief moment, that lady’s voice sounded very skeptical, “You used a
 
soul skill to conceal yourself? Not a soul tool?” Her voice sounded disappointed.

Huo Yuhao nodded and replied, “You’re right, of course it’s through a soul skill. I have never heard of a soul tool being capable of concealing someone.”

That lady said after a momentary silence, “Alright, whether it’s soul skills or soul tools, you only have one chance to survive; that is to submit to the Sun Moon Empire and become one of us. Life is precious. Everyone can only live once. You’ve been cultivating since the beginning, and have put in a lot of hard work. I don’t suppose you want to die just like that. If you listen to us from now on, I can give you a new life. This world is going to be ruled by the Sun Moon Empire soon.”

Chapter 470: Ju Zi, Ju Zi, Ju Zi!

Huo Yuhao laughed sarcastically and replied, “Do I have a choice? Whatever you say is final? You’re right. I admit that I don’t want to die. However, will you trust me if I surrender so easily?”

The lady laughed coldly and said, “I can confirm that this is very simple. I’ll start with understanding who you are.”

At this moment, an object flew towards Huo Yuhao. He didn’t move as it was flung at him, and it landed three meters away from him.

It was a pair of dark gold manacles. There was a ring of sharp teeth pointing inwards within the manacles.

“Those are called Godrestricting Manacles. When you put them on, it will restrict your soul power. We can start talking properly then,” the lady said in a very relaxed manner.
 
Huo Yuhao stood there and hesitated for a moment. He revealed a slightly hesitant look in his eyes, “If I put these manacles on, will you really not kill me?”

The lady calmly replied, “I already mentioned that you have no choice. You can only believe me. Moreover, do you think you’d still be alive if I wanted to kill you? Put them on. My words are final.”

She was both threatening and convincing him. Her tone of voice also sounded very reassuring.

Huo Yuhao stood where he was, his expression changing. That lady didn’t force him any further. She only maintained her silence as she waited for his response.

After a while, Huo Yuhao let out a long sigh and slowly walked towards those manacles. He was walking very slowly. As he moved, the soul tools that were locked onto him also slowly moved.

The lady smiled and said, “You’re clever. Just like that, walk slowly. Otherwise, I can’t guarantee that my men won’t
 
accidentally discharge their soul tools.”

Huo Yuhao was indeed very slow. He didn’t want to move too quickly. There was a look of helplessness and dejection in his eyes. Finally, he arrived in front of the manacles. He slowly bent at the waist over and moved to put the manacles on.

“Just put them on directly?” Huo Yuhao asked.

“Yes, Both hands.” the lady said very patiently.

“Alright, I concede defeat,” Huo Yuhao sighed once more and used the Godrestricting Manacles to cuff himself.

All the soul tools were still locked onto him. However, Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power was very sensitive. When he moved to put on the manacles, he immediately sensed that all the soul engineers relaxed slightly.

They didn’t make a mistake; this was a normal human reaction. Any human would react like that under such a
 
circumstance, especially in this icy place. However, Huo Yuhao made his move just as they reacted.

The Godrestricting Manacles were getting closer and closer to his wrists. To a normal person, this happened in just an instant. However, Huo Yuhao was able to delay this instant through his spiritual power.

The manacles were less than an inch away from his left wrist. At this moment, Huo Yuhao could sense the power of the manacles. He immediately made his judgment; once he was cuffed, one of the cuffs was enough to restrict him completely. He didn’t need to be cuffed on both hands.

At the last inch, Huo Yuhao suddenly moved.

Lights flashed without any warning.

Huo Yuhao instantly switched positions. An old lady who was around seventy was standing where he was now. She appeared very confused.
 
This sudden change shocked all of the soul engineers. They had clearly locked onto Huo Yuhao earlier, but he had disappeared now, and caused their lock-on to vanish, too. Many of the soul engineers suddenly fired, as they couldn’t control themselves. However, their attacks were blocked by a layer of light that rose from the old lady’s body.

“This is not good, commander!” the old lady shouted.

The surrounding soul engineers were all in a state of panic. This was because they could recognize that the old lady was the vice-legion commander of the Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion. She was a Class 9 soul engineer!

The original strict formation changed. Following this, an anxious voice sounded. “I’m fine. Catch him. He’s fake.”

The old lady revealed a slight smile on her face. Had he finally appeared?

Lights flashed again before that old lady disappeared. She was replaced by a tall, big lady who was around forty years old.
 
Yes, that old lady earlier was still Huo Yuhao. He had used his Spiritual Interference to isolate all lock-ons before using his Imitation to change his appearance.

He had no choice. He still hadn’t managed to trace the original source of the voice using his spiritual power earlier. However, he still managed to discover the Class 9 soul engineer who could threaten him the most using his Spiritual Detection.

How could he stop the enemy from attacking him even after discovering him? Choosing to adopt the appearance of this soul engineer was evidently the wisest choice. This was why Huo Yuhao did this. He only had one motive: to draw the legion commander out from her hiding place!

It was a fact that even the most intelligent hunters could make mistakes when panicking. The reason why that lady’s voice couldn’t be traced by Huo Yuhao earlier was because her emotions didn’t change at all. Using a displacement soul tool, she had managed to conceal herself. Right now, her emotions changed as she panicked. Naturally, Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection managed to capture her detailed position. Following this, he used his Xuanwu Displacement.
 
Every time Huo Yuhao used his Spiritual Inscription, he would return to find Xu Sanshi to re-inscribe it once again. He promoted it from the Mysterious Underworld Displacement to the Xuanwu Displacement. It was a life-saving change!

The Xuanwu Displacement had saved Huo Yuhao on many critical occasions, so he always re-inscribed this soul skill. Whether it was control or attack, he had great self-confidence. While his surveillance was good, his greatest shortcoming was in terms of how well he could escape. The Xuanwu Displacement was undoubtedly the best soul skill to use to escape.

The Xuanwu Displacement could teleport Huo Yuhao a greater distance than his Instant Teleportation. Furthermore, there would be a substitute in his place, which made it even more confusing. When used in tandem with his Instant Teleportation, it could bring about unexpected results.

Right now, Huo Yuhao made a life-saving displacement.

Through his Spiritual Detection earlier, he was clearly aware that the enemy’s words were right. He was heavily trapped, and it was impossible for him to charge out. A bunch of soul
 
engineers had surrounded him, and linked defensive soul tools were ready to be fired. Even an Ultimate Douluo might not be able to force his way out. It was only by killing and reducing the number of people that he might possibly stand a chance of escape.

Huo Yuhao’s abilities were still a far ways off from those of an Ultimate Douluo. This was why he only had one chance: he had to capture the leader of the enemy and use her as a hostage to stand a chance of survival. Force him to surrender? In his dictionary, there was no such word!

As Huo Yuhao heard exclamations, he had already unleashed his Xuanwu Displacement. Suddenly, he appeared behind a lady wearing red armor. He was trying to displace this person’s bodyguard. From the voice of this person and her attire, he had already determined earlier that she was the marshal who had been speaking earlier. Whether she was the true marshal or not, she had to hold an important position in the Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion.

After displacing himself behind this lady, he continued to maintain the appearance of the old lady. All the soul engineers around were astonished, but they didn’t do anything immediately.

Huo Yuhao wasn’t bothered at all. He had already planned his move. His Eye of Destiny had already opened, and his soul core was already revolving extremely quickly. He didn’t conserve his spiritual power as he unleashed it. Immediately, his Spiritual Blast was unleashed.

The strong spiritual blast was compressed within a hundred square meter region. The soul engineers around were all seven-ringed and Class 7 soul engineers. There were other, even stronger soul engineers that had locked onto Huo Yuhao from different directions earlier. However, these Class 7 soul engineers were not very protected against Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Blast, not to mention that Huo Yuhao had enhanced his Spiritual Blast using his Eye of Destiny.

At this moment, there was no room for error. Huo Yuhao attacked immediately. Even though his Spiritual Blast was strong, the red-armored lady in front of him had actually unleashed a spiritual barrier around her. It managed to resist his blast as they collided.

Oh? I’m right, she must be the marshal. How could she not be the marshal, given that she’s equipped with such an expensive defensive soul tool? However, Huo Yuhao was
 
surprised that her abilities weren’t that strong. She was at most a Soul Sage. He was very confident about this. After understanding the mysteries of soul cores, he had developed a deep understanding of the soul power undulations of Titled Douluo.

Even if she was a Titled Douluo, he still had to take action!
This was his only chance!

He instantly unleashed his Spiritual Shock. A beam of rose- gold light that seemed to come from prehistoric times flashed before disappearing. Huo Yuhao had already formed his soul core. Along with the enhancement of his Eye of Destiny, he unleashed this strike with all his strength. In terms of power, it had to be the strongest one that he had ever unleashed. It was comparable to the attack of a Titled Douluo.

The rose-gold light flashed, and the lady in front of him groaned. A necklace on her neck snapped and fell off, and the spiritual barrier covering her was destroyed. She even fell forward.

Huo Yuhao didn’t care. He lifted his hand and grabbed hold of her neck. He used his left hand and unleashed his Ice
 
Empress’ Pincer instantly. At the same time, he stomped his right foot on the ground, and his Star Anise Omnithrust was unleashed.

As his attacks were all too closely-linked, he couldn’t care about using any auxiliary-type soul skills. Even so, his Star Anise Omnithrust still covered an area that spanned more than two hundred meters in diameter.

This was an icy place near the Extreme North, the coldest region in the entire world. Here, all ice-type abilities were greatly enhanced. Huo Yuhao’s martial soul was Ultimate Ice. It was obvious that his abilities would be greatly strengthened here.

Huge ice spikes as long as three meters and as thick as water buckets shot out in all directions. These terrifying spikes tore some of the tents apart. The soul engineers were sent flying into the sky even though they were protected by protective soul barriers. Some of the soul engineers who were slightly weaker were even stabbed through by the spikes. Huo Yuhao was suddenly free of any soul engineers around him.

Huo Yuhao’s left hand was about to grab hold of the lady’s neck, but a layer of golden light suddenly appeared on the lady’s body.

Invincible Barrier!

At this moment, Huo Yuhao really wanted to curse. The reason why he continued using his spiritual-type attack on the enemy was because he hoped to make her lose her awareness, so that she wouldn’t be able to use her Invincible Barrier or any types of abilities similar to that of an Invincible Barrier. An Invincible Barrier could last for more than ten seconds! How would he stand a chance then?

However, Huo Yuhao still had to continue on, even though the Invincible Barrier had been unleashed. He didn’t continue attacking the lady, which would be a waste of his soul power. His eyes flashed, and he switched to his Spirit Eyes. A white halo quickly spread out from his body. Huo Yuhao unleashed his Mass Enfeeblement under the effect of his soul core.

His Mass Enfeeblement spread in all directions, and large patches of red light started to appear in bursts. This was a fire- type attack, which the Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion was most adept at.
 
Huo Yuhao squinted his eyes. He clenched his left hand into a fist, and loud booms started to detonate.

The booms echoed, and the explosions were centered around Huo Yuhao and the lady. They were spreading out wildly.

The fiery-red lights were immediately devoured. At this instant, it seemed as if a terrifying and brutal snowstorm with terrifying explosive force was raging. Ice flakes were dancing in the sky, and the intense explosive force was so strong that even a Titled Douluo would have to stay away.

At the same time, Huo Yuhao’s eyes turned deep-blue, and a figure silently surfaced behind him. It was the Snow Empress, who had already recovered her origin and regained her memories.

The Snow Empress didn’t open her mouth. She drifted silently behind Huo Yuhao. She reached out her hand and pointed to the sky with one hand, and to the ground with her other hand. The intense explosions weren’t even able to get close to Huo Yuhao and the Snow Empress. The ice flakes in the sky instantly turned into a snowstorm under the Snow Empress’ control.

Huo Yuhao switched back to his Ice Jade Empress Scorpion.
His seven soul rings started to shine brightly.

Snowy Dance of Ultimate Ice!

With the support of the Snow Empress, the strongest version of the Snowy Dance of Ultimate Ice was unleashed. At the same time, the Star Anise Mysterious Ice Grass surfaced from Huo Yuhao’s shoulder. Blue halos quickly spread out. This was the strengthening effect of his Ultimate Ice.

The terrifying Snowy Dance of Ultimate Ice instantly raged, and everything within a region spanning several thousands of meters was trapped within it. Almost the entire military base was caught in this region. Although the soul engineers were strong, they could only maintain their linked defensive soul formation. It was impossible to see what was going on inside the domain. Everyone’s senses, the soul tools that were locked onto Huo Yuhao, and all surveillance soul tools lost their effect in the Snowy Dance of Ultimate Ice.

At this moment, the lady seemed to have regained her awareness. She suddenly turned around and looked at Huo
 
Yuhao, who was still imitating the old lady’s appearance.

When she saw Huo Yuhao’s seven soul rings, she was completely shocked. What soul ring colors are these? Out of his seven soul rings, four don’t even belong to the normal scheme of colors, and the other three are hundred-thousand-year soul rings. Is he really a soul master?

She was in a daze as she looked at Huo Yuhao. Huo Yuhao was about to unleash his full strength at her under the cover of his Snowy Dance of Ultimate Ice, but he also went into a daze after seeing her. He was completely amazed.

“Ju, Ju Zi…” Something seemed to be stuck in Huo Yuhao’s throat. His voice changed slightly at this instant. He didn’t expect that this cunning marshal was actually Ju Zi, whom he had not seen in a long time.

In her military outfit, Ju Zi appeared very suave. Her crystal- clear skin was still as smooth and clear as ever. Her beautiful big eyes were locked onto Huo Yuhao in disbelief. Both of them were just staring at each other just like that. Their expressions were about the same: they were both in complete disbelief.
 
“Who, who are you?” Ju Zi was astonished when she heard the other party calling her name.

A light projection flashed, and Huo Yuhao removed his Imitation. He looked at Ju Zi and laughed bitterly.

Ju Zi subconsciously lifted her hand to cover her lips. Huo Yuhao hadn’t expected the enemy to be her, and she also hadn’t expected that the person who had caused such heavy losses to the Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion and brought her such a headache today was actually Huo Yuhao.

“You, you, why is it you? How could it be you?” Ju Zi’s voice was filled with shock and astonishment.

Huo Yuhao laughed bitterly and replied, “It’s me.”

At this moment, the Snow Empress’ cold voice sounded, “Quickly, take action. This domain is unable to handle the pressure much longer. They’ll soon make their way here.”
 
Huo Yuhao’s body shook, and there was a complicated look on his face as he looked at Ju Zi, her Invincible Barrier started to dim.

Ju Zi also looked at Huo Yuhao with a complicated expression.  She  sighed,  “Damn  it!”  She  didn’t  activate  her second Invincible Barrier. She turned around and hugged Huo Yuhao.

Huo Yuhao subconsciously grabbed onto her waist. At this instant, he felt extremely emotional.

He did have some feelings for Ju Zi. Back then, his relationship with Wang Dong’er wasn’t established yet. In his eyes, Wang Dong’er was still Wang Dong, and a guy. Ju Zi was probably the first woman that he had developed some feelings for. It was just that their identities, backgrounds and a series of changes had happened, such as Wang Dong’er’s appearance, causing them to slowly drift apart.

Their next few meetings were also very rushed. Huo Yuhao could still clearly remember that Ju Zi took the risk to send him a letter during the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament in Radiant City.

At this moment, even though it was Ju Zi who was in his embrace, he felt his heart throbbing.

“Ju Zi, you…”

Ju Zi suppressed her inner emotions and said, “I am the marshal of this army. If you hold me as your hostage, they won’t dare to do anything to you.”

Huo Yuhao naturally knew that this wasn’t the time for them to catch up on old times. As he placed one hand over her waist, he gently pressed his other hand on her neck. He looked into the sky and shouted, “Stop! Your marshal is in my hands!”

Seeing that Huo Yuhao had gotten his wish, the Snow Empress glared at him with a weird look on her face. After this, she turned into a beam of flowing light and re-entered his body, and the Snowy Dance of Ultimate Ice slowly disappeared.

The Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion immediately ceased fire as Huo Yuhao shouted. Following the disappearance of the Snowy Dance of Ultimate Ice, red figures started to slowly surface.

Huo Yuhao looked very cold and indifferent as he stood there. Right now, he had yet to revert to his original appearance. He continued to use his Imitation to mimic the look of that old lady. He stood behind Ju Zi, and one of his hands was on her waist, while the other was in a stranglehold around her neck. A killing aura spread. Given his spiritual power, it was easy for him to imitate a strong killing aura.

After the Snowy Dance of Ultimate Ice disappeared, Huo Yuhao finally saw that the sky had been completely covered by a red barrier. Every member of the Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion had a diamond-shaped soul tool on their chests that shone brightly with red light. Evidently, those were their linked defensive soul tools. It was a linked defense unleashed by several hundred advanced-tier soul engineers. He couldn’t possibly breach such a defense. His earlier strategy was correct, which was to take the marshal hostage. It was the only way out.

It was just that Ju Zi was the marshal. However, no matter what, this act had to continue. Ju Zi also seemed very willing to play along.
 
Everyone watched Huo Yuhao intently. A fiery-red figure rapidly made it to the front and watched him coldly. Wasn’t she the Class 9 soul engineer that Huo Yuhao had imitated?

The two of them stared at each other. The scene was very weird. Huo Yuhao was completely surrounded by the Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion. All types of advanced-tier cannons were aimed at him. he started to get numb and itchy as a multitude of soul tools locked onto him. Once an order was given, Huo Yuhao would be instantly torn to pieces when so many powerful soul tools fired at him.

However, Huo Yuhao wasn’t anxious at all. He even appeared extremely calm.

“Let  go  of  our  legion  commander,”  the  old  lady  on  the opposite side said coldly.

This old lady was the original legion commander of the Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion. Ever since Ju Zi arrived, she had been demoted to the position of vice-legion commander. Her abilities were even greater than Wang Yiheng’s, and she was one of the oldest Class 9 soul engineers in the Sun Moon Empire.


She was a Rank 94 Titled Douluo, known as the Fire Phoenix Douluo. It was a pity that her martial soul wasn’t a Fire Phoenix, but a Fire Phoenix Sword instead.

The Fire Phoenix Douluo was once a very notable name in the Sun Moon Empire. She was as reputable as the Starsky Douluo, Ye Yulin.

When Ju Zi first took charge of the Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion, this Fire Phoenix Douluo wasn’t very convinced. How could she possibly submit to such a young lady? However, Ju Zi was the Empress, and Xu Tianran even pleaded for her to continue to remain in the Fire Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion. She would be treated the same, and was even given greater benefits. Apart from her title, she would continue to command the Fire Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion. She was even told that Ju Zi was the commander in name only, and so she remained.

However, as time passed, Ju Zi led the legion to countless successes in the war. She commanded the entire army, and managed to overwhelm both the Star Luo and Heavenly Soul Empires. The Fire Phoenix Douluo was slowly convinced by
 
her. She was now fully committed to aiding Ju Zi in managing this soul engineer legion. Apart from admiration for Ju Zi, she was even starting to like her now.

Ju Zi also called her ‘granny’ normally. For the unmarried Fire Phoenix Douluo, it was her desire to have such a granddaughter. She imparted everything she knew about soul tools to her, so she shared a very complicated relationship with Ju Zi. She was her subordinate, kin, and teacher.

Seeing that Ju Zi had been captured, she was very anxious, even though she looked very calm. She didn’t suspect Ju Zi at all. After all, they kept thinking that their target was a Titled Douluo before they had attacked. Furthermore, they believed that it was likely to be a Transcendent Douluo. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have set such a huge trap.

While Ju Zi had an Invincible Barrier on her body, it still had a limit. Against a true Transcendent Douluo, it couldn’t possibly completely resist a serious attack.

“Stay away. Otherwise, she’ll perish with me.”  Huo Yuhao sounded very forceful. He intentionally changed his voice to
 
sound hoarse and old. It was difficult to tell his age or even his gender from his voice.

“Let go of her!” the Fire Phoenix Douluo screamed furiously before taking a step forward. A strong beam of fiery-red light subtly surfaced behind her.

In fact, even in the Sun Moon Empire, someone who could become a strong soul engineer would also naturally have a pretty strong martial soul. The Fire Phoenix Douluo was a good example of that.

Huo Yuhao laughed coldly. “If you want her to die, make a move.  Otherwise,  move  away.”  As  he  spoke,  he  pressed  his hand harder on Ju Zi’s throat. It looked like he was gripping her throat tightly. Ju Zi played along with him and groaned in pain as she revealed a painful look on her face.

“Stop it!” The Fire Phoenix Douluo was very anxious, almost unable to maintain her calm exterior. Her eyes flashed. She had gone to so much trouble to set up such a trap to capture Huo Yuhao, but it eventually led to her legion commander being taken as a hostage. This person is simply too strong. Not only can he conceal himself and imitate someone else’s
 
appearance, but he also possesses great ice-type abilities. Don’t tell me he has twin martial souls? Or does he have a strong soul tool with him? The Fire Phoenix Douluo couldn’t tell right now, but she clearly knew that she couldn’t let him go. If she wanted to capture him again, it would be extremely difficult. However, if she didn’t let him go, Ju Zi would be in danger. Ju Zi wasn’t only the marshal of three armies; she was also the
Empress! If her safety was endangered, no one could possibly handle the responsibility.

Huo Yuhao couldn’t care about what the Fire Phoenix Douluo thought. He strangled Ju Zi as he slowly moved forward. He wasn’t very quick, but his spiritual power started to spread quickly. When he only had two rings, he was able to scare a bunch of soul beasts by imitating the aura of the Ice Empress. After all these years, his abilities in imitation were unparalleled.

He seemed to have assimilated with his surroundings as he unleashed a terrifying soul beast aura. The pressing aura that belonged to a hundred-thousand-year soul beast immediately caused all the seven-ringed soul engineers to pale. Some of them almost fired the soul tools in their hands.
 
Huo Yuhao took one step at a time as he walked towards the Fire Phoenix Douluo. Ju Zi was completely in his arms. No one would doubt that a Titled Douluo had countless ways to kill a person. The Fire Phoenix Douluo gritted her teeth and roared, “Stand back! Let him leave!”

A pathway was slowly opened. The Fire Phoenix Douluo asked, “What will make you let go of our legion commander?”

Although everyone from the legion had already made way, their linked defensive barrier hadn’t moved yet. The Fire Phoenix Douluo was very experienced. She instructed everyone to make way to reduce Huo Yuhao’s killing intent, so that she would be able to negotiate with him afterward.

Huo Yuhao calmly said, “You don’t have the right to negotiate with me. After I leave, I’ll definitely let go of her.”

The  Fire  Phoenix  Douluo  didn’t  budge.  “Swear  on  your martial soul before I’ll believe you. Otherwise, I’d rather perish together if you hurt our legion commander after leaving.”
 
Huo Yuhao snorted coldly and said, “Alright, I swear on my martial soul that I’ll let go of this hostage after I leave. Otherwise, my martial soul will be crushed, and never be restored. Is this fine?”

How would he ever hurt Ju Zi? The Fire Phoenix Douluo had suggested that he should swear, and so he went along with her.

Seeing that he agreed so readily, the Fire Phoenix Douluo furrowed her brow. After hesitating for a brief moment, she eventually gestured and instructed her subordinates to remove their linked defense.

Huo Yuhao slowly left with Ju Zi. He still remained very wary at this moment. There were so many soul engineers here. Perhaps the enemy had some kind of special soul tool.

He unleashed his Spiritual Interference Domain and both his and Ju Zi’s figures blurred. All the soul tools lost their locks on him.

Ju Zi’s skin was as smooth as ever. Even though he was only touching her neck now, he could still feel how soft and smooth
 
it was.

Ju Zi didn’t make any noise apart from the earlier groan. To those from the Fire Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion, she had been completely suppressed, and wasn’t able to speak at all.

Finally, Huo Yuhao broke free from the encirclement. He turned around and faced the Fire Phoenix Douluo, who was following him. He slowly stepped back. Under the effect of his Imitation, he slowly melted into the darkness.

“You are also very strong. I hope you stay true to your words. Otherwise, your vow will turn into a curse!” the Fire Phoenix Douluo swore coldly.

For a Titled Douluo like her, she fully believed in destiny. A vow couldn’t be made easily, especially one that was on one’s martial soul. A vow was usually the most serious and official form of transaction between many Titled Douluo when they negotiated with one another. With Huo Yuhao’s vow, she believed that he wouldn’t dare to renege on it.
 
Never would she have guessed that Huo Yuhao wasn’t a Titled Douluo.

-------

Huo Yuhao heaved a sigh of relief after melting into the darkness. Although they were stuck in ice and snow, the back of his shirt was completely drenched with sweat.

It was simply too dangerous. If the legion commander of the Fire Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion hadn’t been Ju Zi, he wasn’t sure if he could have even made it out alive.

He could clearly see that Ju Zi was ready to unleash her second Invincible Barrier. Under that circumstance, he could only attack with all his might. He had to either stop her from unleashing her Invincible Barrier, or crush the Invincible Barrier and take her as a hostage before his Snowy Dance of Ultimate Ice vanished.

As for whether he would succeed, Huo Yuhao didn’t have any confidence at all. Today’s situation wasn’t any less dangerous than the time when he was surrounded by two evil soul
 
masters and the Evil Tyrant Soul Engineer Legion in Sunrise City. Wang Qiu’er was the one who had saved him then. This time, it was Ju Zi. Fortunately, Ju Zi’s life wouldn’t be in danger.

He subconsciously let go of Ju Zi’s neck. He only held her waist as he fled far away.

Ju Zi didn’t utter a sound at all. She let Huo Yuhao bring her wherever he wanted. Right now, how could she not be emotional?

It was only after flying tens of kilometers away and using his Spiritual Detection to scan his surroundings to ensure no one was following them that Huo Yuhao landed. He found a place to stop.

“I’m sorry, Ju Zi.”  Huo Yuhao let go of his arms around Ju Zi’s waist and gently sighed.

Ju Zi turned around suddenly and embraced him. He was completely in her grasp.
 
Huo Yuhao was in a daze. The surrounding winds were very chilly. He had unleashed his soul power to protect himself and Ju Zi. He wasn’t afraid of the cold, but she was! At this moment, he had already forgotten that Ju Zi was a Soul Sage.

Ju Zi stuck close to him. Although they were separated by a layer of armor, Huo Yuhao could feel the passion from Ju Zi.

“You’re still alive. That’s great. Did you know? I thought you were dead all along,” Ju Zi muttered.

Huo Yuhao chortled and replied, “I won’t die so easily. Don’t worry, I’m doing well.”

Ju Zi laughed gently and softly said, “Did you know? I’ve not had such blissful feelings for a long time. You’re still alive. Great, I feel very blissful.”

Huo Yuhao was in a daze. He hadn’t expected her to say something like this to him. He didn’t know how to respond.
 
Ju Zi gently lifted her hands and relaxed her grip on his waist. She took a step back and widened the gap between them.

“How have you been?”  Ju Zi lifted her head, a concerned look on her face.

Chapter 471: Your Heart is Too Soft

Huo Yuhao removed his Imitation and revealed his actual appearance. He nodded lightly and said, “I’m fine. And you?”

Ju Zi gave him a slight smile and said, “You’ve seen it... I have been leading the great army into battle. It’s not good for me, but it’s not bad either.”

Huo Yuhao stared at her as she stared back at him, and they went quiet for a moment.

Ju Zi’s eyes were very passionate, but Huo Yuhao’s were full of lamentation. A long time had gone by, but he could still remember vividly even now when he brought Ju Zi deep into the lair of soul beasts and risked their lives.

“Yuhao, are you really the person who destroyed our aerial surveillance soul tools?” Ju Zi suddenly asked.

Huo Yuhao nodded in response.
 
Ju Zi heaved a sigh and turned around. She gazed in the direction of where her Fire Phoenix Legion and army were camped as she said bitterly, “I never thought that those words that I said back then would come true. The thing I really didn’t want to happen finally did. We finally met again on the battlefield, after all.”

Huo Yuhao said, “You’re just a girl; why do you have to throw yourself into this war!? You… haven’t you married Xu Tianran? He actually allows you to show yourself outside?”

Ju Zi said plainly, “He is a person who is very sensitive to danger, and he doesn’t even trust the people closest to him. I am the exception, because I saved his life when he was in the most difficult of times. Therefore, he has always trusted me. Our marriage was just a ceremonial process so that he can allow me to do more. You can say that I am his wife, but it’s more accurate to say that I am his most trusted subject. Military power has always been most important in his eyes, so he inserted me into the army. You may not believe me, but when he was severely injured all those years ago, not only were his legs crippled, but he’s also infertile. I haven’t stayed together with him even today.”
 
Huo Yuhao was astonished when he heard her words. He was an emperor, but he was infertile? If this secret was known to the public, it would probably shake Xu Tianran’s throne to its very core.

Ju Zi chuckled and said, “I’m telling you all this, and it seems like your status in my mind has surpassed his. But I believe you won’t say this to anyone, right?”

Huo Yuhao said, “Since you trust me, what else can I say? I’m not such a bad person.”

Ju Zi turned around and stared at him again. “I’m sorry, Yuhao. Even though I am unwilling to meet you under such circumstances, I am very happy to see you alive. Don’t fight against me, okay? You will not be my match on the battlefield. Your heart is too soft, and that is especially true for those beside you. Your heart has always been too soft.”

Huo Yuhao frowned as his eyes gradually grew cold. That was because he could see that Ju Zi’s large eyes were flickering with decisive emotions.
 
“Ju Zi, I can take you away if you’re willing. I can take you away from the Sun Moon Empire, and you can start an entirely new life. You have personally been through the cruelty of war, so why do you have to bring war to even more people?”

Ju Zi’s expression changed, and her voice suddenly became shrill. “That’s easy for you to say. The Star Luo Empire’s army killed my father back then and ruined my family, so why don’t you say that to their generals and commanders? They destroyed me and everything I had, and I want revenge. I told you a long time ago that the reason why I’m still alive in this world is for revenge. Anybody who will help me exact my revenge will be doing me a favor. Xu Tianran is my benefactor, and you… are not!”

Huo Yuhao felt the resentment that was rippling from Ju Zi, and fell silent.

They returned to their quiet interaction from before.

The resentment on Ju Zi’s face gradually disappeared after a moment, and a faint smile surfaced. “Why are we talking about all that after not seeing each other for so long? I don’t want such bliss that’s so hard to come by disappear like that. Walk
 
away, Yuhao. We have become two parallel lines that are destined to never converge. You have your path, and I have mine. Unless you kill me now, you can’t stop me. Nobody can stop me from moving forward, and one day, I will lead the Sun Moon Empire’s great army to flatten the Douluo Continent’s three empires and conquer the world. There will no longer be conflict on the continent when that happens, and I will rule over this country properly, so that there will be eternal peace.”

Her eyes were full of passion as she spoke.

Huo Yuhao felt his heart tremble when he heard her words.
Rule this country properly... her?

Ju Zi smiled and stared at the shock in Huo Yuhao’s eyes “For some reason, I can never hide the words that are deep in my heart whenever I’m with you. Perhaps it's because you are the only man I’ve ever liked in the world. Seems like my choice was right; you have become so powerful now. You’re not yet a Titled Douluo, and yet even though I don’t know how you’ve done it, I can feel that you are far more threatening than a typical Titled Douluo to me. Yuhao, if you’re willing,if you’re willing to help me, when I have conquered the entire continent in the future, I am willing to be the woman behind you.
 
Alright? When that happens, I trust that you will have reached the pinnacle of the human world.

“You’re only twenty years old and yet you already possess such power. Furthermore, you’re not like me, because I’ve used a lot of medicines and drugs to raise my strength. My senses are very strong, and I can feel the aura of a very powerful individual of our generation from you. You will definitely become a Transcendent Douluo, perhaps even an Ultimate Douluo. Stand by my side, will you? If that happens, I will be filled with hope, and even more fighting spirit. I will definitely attain my goal in an even shorter period of time.”

Huo Yuhao slowly but determinedly shook his head as he gazed into the burning passion in her eyes. “Ju Zi, you’re right. We are two lines that can no longer converge, and you have your resolutions, while I have my own motivations. Yes, an empire that can conquer the entire continent will bring peace in the future. But have you considered how many lives have to be given in this war to reach this goal of peace?”

Ju Zi said coldly, “Success is paid with lives, and the future has to be built on rivers of blood.”
 
Huo Yuhao grunted coldly and said, “Ju Zi, I didn’t expect you to be so cold-blooded. How are you any different from an evil soul master? Even though I don’t know what you’re going to do in the future, you should know that the Sun Moon Empire is playing with fire by cooperating with the Holy Ghost Church. The Holy Ghost Church has so many evil soul masters, and they are extremely formidable. Their two Ultimate Douluo are the most powerful human beings in the world. Do you really believe that you can control them? In the future, even if the Sun Moon Empire can conquer the whole continent, will these evil soul masters remain silent? I’m afraid they will have the same goals as you when that happens.”

Ju Zi laughed, and her laughter was brimming with confidence. “I don’t need you to worry about those things. As long as you’re willing to be together with me, and help me, I will slowly let you understand my plan. The Holy Ghost Church is very powerful, but even the strongest of men have weaknesses. Furthermore, they are a sect. What I control is an empire’s strength. Do you really believe that individual strength can fight against an entire empire? Be the man behind me, Yuhao. Please? Consider me begging you.”

Ju Zi suddenly became very weak as her words stopped there. Two rows of tears slid down her cheeks as the
 
transparent teardrops swiftly turned into ice and dropped to the ground before they shattered into pieces.

Huo Yuhao stared at her. There was uncertainty in her eyes, and there was fear… but there was more hope.

He knew that this was perhaps the last time their destinies would intersect. But could he really do that?

Huo Yuhao took a step forward as he shook his head lightly. He brought Ju Zi into his embrace and said, “I’m sorry, Ju Zi, but I can’t. You have your resolutions, and I have mine. Even though I am not willing to admit it, perhaps we can only be enemies. After today, I will risk everything to stop the Sun Moon Empire’s invasion. I wish for peace in the continent, and I will work to that end till the day I die.”

Ju Zi let him hug her. She raised her arms and wrapped them around his sturdy back. She didn’t attempt to convince him anymore, and just allowed her tears to flow like waterfalls, and her teardrops turned into ice on her beautiful face.
 
The two of them were just hugging each other, and Ju Zi raised her head after a moment as she gently pushed Huo Yuhao away.

“You are the person I am least willing to have as an enemy, Yuhao. Do you know that?” Ju Zi said agonizingly.

Huo Yuhao raised his head into the sky and said, “You and me both.”

Ju Zi nodded gently and said, “Alright, since you’ve made your choice, then we can only be enemies after today. Yuhao, have you ever liked me?”

Huo Yuhao trembled before he gently nodded.

Ju Zi smiled and walked next to him. She placed her arm around his neck as she pressed her lips close to his ear. “I guess I have not liked you for nothing. Thank you, and even if you’re lying to me, I’m still very happy.”
 
Huo Yuhao heaved a sigh and said, “Why would I lie to you? You were the first woman that walked into my heart, but there are just too many hurdles and barriers between us – too many. Ju Zi, you…”

Ju Zi suddenly raised her hand and pressed it against his lips. She  didn’t  let  him  continue.  “Since  we  have  our  own resolutions, then from today onwards, can we stop attempting to convince each other? We will both work hard on our own paths. Perhaps, several years or even decades later, when one of us has achieved our goal, everything will be different. Don’t you think so?”

Huo Yuhao gently nodded. He knew that any attempt to convince her would be futile.

Ju Zi cupped his face in her hands as she stared into his eyes from as near as they could be. She stroked his face tenderly as she felt the warmth coming from his cheeks, and her eyes were covered with unshed tears once more.

“I can’t bear to leave you, do you know that?” she said gently.

Huo Yuhao’s body shook, but he couldn’t say anything at all.

He did like Ju Zi before, but his heart now truly belonged only to Dong’er. Furthermore, even if Don’ger hadn’t appeared, he couldn’t go against his principles for Ju Zi. However, his heart was truly aching so, so much at this moment.

“I want to kiss you – may I? Consider it a farewell kiss.” Ju Zi said softly.

Huo Yuhao was momentarily stunned. Ju Zi stepped forward against his body without waiting for his response as her ice- cold but moist lips pressed tightly against his.

Her lips were soft and fragrant. Huo Yuhao was a normal man, and especially because of the atmosphere they were in, he really couldn’t push her away.

Subtle intoxication coursed through his body, and Huo Yuhao suddenly felt as if his entire being was immersed in this feeling. Even his spirit began to feel a little lost in the next moment.

“Eh?” Huo Yuhao grunted softly, and his eyes suddenly widened, because he could clearly feel that something wasn’t right.

Ju Zi was still kissing him, and she smiled gently.

Her lips parted as she said, “Don’t try to struggle. This Infinite Intoxication has no antidote. It’s not poisonous; it will only make you sleep for a little while. I love you, Yuhao, really. I love you. You will be the only man that I will ever love in this life.”
 
Huo Yuhao’s body gradually slid into her arms along with her soft and fine words.

The Infinite Intoxication was too strong. Huo Yuhao’s spiritual sea was almost instantly cut off by that strange drug, and he couldn’t even communicate with his four formidable Spirits. His consciousness slowly left him, and only a bitter smile remained on the corner of his mouth.

Ju Zi is right... my heart is just too soft.

Ju Zi placed him carefully onto the ground as she sat quietly beside him. She raised one of his arms and rested against it as she curled herself up against his chest.

Snow and ice was everywhere around them, but the Extreme North’s low temperature didn’t affect the burning passion in her heart at all.

She had been waiting for this day for far too long. The feeling of curling up in his arms was wonderful.
 
Waves of warmth emanated from Ju Zi and spread over both of their bodies to fight against the severe cold around them. She was just lying there, silent and enchanted, enjoying this rare blissful moment.

Fifteen minutes passed as she lay there motionless, and there was only happiness on her face.

She slowly sat up from Huo Yuhao’s embrace after fifteen minutes, and the warmth, tenderness, and bliss on her face was gradually replaced by iciness.

She gradually stood up as she stared at Huo Yuhao beside her. She muttered, “I did say that your heart was too soft, especially towards people you like. But why do I like that about you? I can feel that you will be an enormous threat to my future plans, and I should kill you at this time. Killing you can resolve the only remaining soft emotions in my heart, and I can eliminate a great threat at the same time.”

Ju Zi flipped her wrist as she spoke, and a spike that was yellowish all over appeared in her grip.
 
Murder flickered in her eyes, but lasted but a moment before she smiled.

“He won’t kill me, so how can I kill him? His heart is soft, and mine is cold, but my heart melts only when I am with him! You’re so foolish. No matter what, I will not hurt you. Do you know that? As long as you’re alive, I will not go insane. That bit of tenderness in my heart is what I treasure the most. Not only will I not hurt you… but if somebody else hurts you, I will kill that person no matter who he or she is.”

She tapped the tip of her foot gently against Huo Yuhao’s waist as she spoke, and flipped Huo Yuhao onto his side.

She squatted down beside him and stared at him seriously. After few moments, she raised the yellow spike and thrust it ferociously at Huo Yuhao’s waist.

------

Cold wind billowed.
 
The sky was already bright when Huo Yuhao came to from his blackout.

Daytime in the Extreme North was a lot shorter compared to the south The sky was already completely bright at this point, but it still looked very dim.

Huo Yuhao swiftly sat up and glanced down at himself subconsciously. He didn’t feel anything different.

He looked around him, and everything was just snow and ice; Ju Zi was long gone. However, the soul tools that Huo Yuhao had detected that generated heat were placed in a circle around him. These were the things that had been giving him warmth before.

Even though he possessed Ultimate Ice and wasn’t afraid of the cold, he couldn’t help but feel a wave of warmth flow through his body when he saw those soul tools that generated heat.

Haih, Ju Zi!
 
Huo Yuhao stood up and gazed in the direction of the Sun Moon Empire’s great army. He shook his head in exasperation, but his gaze quickly turned to one of determination.

I’m sorry, Ju Zi. You have your targets, but I have to stop you. I cannot let you achieve your goal. If we meet again on the battlefield, perhaps that is our destiny.

“Yuhao, she is right. Your heart is too soft. If she wanted to do something bad to you, you would have died a hundred times over.”   A  shadow  flickered  as  the  Snow  Empress  appeared soundlessly beside him.

He snapped around to look at the Snow Empress, and saw her displeased look.

Huo Yuhao’s four Spirits were powerful, but their existence depended on Huo Yuhao, after all. During the previous night, after Huo Yuhao’s spiritual sea was blocked off by that sinister Infinite Intoxication, his four Spirits couldn’t channel his strength no matter how worried they were. They couldn’t even come out because his spiritual sea was shut off.
 
“I’m sorry, Snow Empress,” Huo Yuhao forced a laugh as he replied.

The Snow Empress said plainly, “You don’t have to apologize to me. Your soft-heartedness has led you to your current dire situation. That woman is dangerous. If you can, killing her is the best choice.”

Huo Yuhao laughed bitterly and said, “I can’t do it. Ju Zi has saved my life before. I…”

The Snow Empress waved him off and didn’t let him continue. “If you can’t do it, then don’t interact with her so closely anymore. What do you intend to do next?”

Huo Yuhao answered, “I will continue investigating what this army is here to do. They have come so far into the Extreme North, and it can’t be that they’re here to deal with me. They must have some other objective. I will discover their objective, and then I will stop them.”

The Snow Empress thought for a moment, then said, “That’s not difficult. This is my home, and it’s also the Ice Empress’
 
home.”

Huo Yuhao’s eyes glowed as he heard her words. “What do you mean, Snow Empress?”

The Snow Empress said, “You should wait until you find out what they want. Otherwise, we can’t do anything against them.”

“Alright,” Huo Yuhao acknowledged.

Even though he was soft-hearted toward Ju Zi, he was never unclear about the bigger picture. He wouldn’t give up on his own goal just because Ju Zi was the commander of the Sun Moon Empire’s army.

Huo Yuhao ate some dry rations and readjusted himself to make sure that his body was alright before he travelled in the direction of where the Sun Moon Empire’s army was camped.

He had confidence. Even if the army was gone, he could still track them using any traces they had left behind with his
 
abilities.

However, the Sun Moon Empire’s army was still there, and they were still camped where they were the previous night. Furthermore, the soul engineers and soldiers were starting to get busy. They were still building based on the foundations of the trap they had set for Huo Yuhao the previous day, but he didn’t know what they were doing.

Huo Yuhao’s eyes closed into slits as he watched them hustle around, and he began to think. It seemed like this place was their destination. But what could they be doing in a place like this?

He had learned his lesson, and he wouldn’t go in to investigate anymore. Furthermore, even if he did, he had to be especially careful. He wasn’t interested in causing damage right now, as finding out the Sun Moon Empire’s objective was more important.

-----------
 
Huo Yuhao observed quietly in the snow and ice, and a day passed just like that.

There were a lot of soul engineers participating in the labor, while their machines worked very quickly. They took but one day to finish the base of their constructions over five hundred square meters. A certain large machine attracted Huo Yuhao’s attention.

There was a drill-like thing beneath this enormous machine. This drill was more than five meters in diameter, and it was constructed by hoisting components into place. This machine was very large, and the metal pillars from before formed the foundations for its construction. Some stabilizing mechanisms were built with those metal pillars as the skeleton.

What are they trying to do, exactly?

Huo Yuhao was very suspicious. Are they trying to drill into the ground? But what could be beneath the ground?

An idea came to Huo Yuhao as he contemplated. Underground? What can be underground? There can only be
 
one answer... resources!

Can it be that there are some resources in the Extreme North that the Sun Moon Empire needs? Or…

Huo Yuhao did not continue observing from where he was, but ran further away and soared into the sky.

He had been following the Sun Moon Empire’s army over these days, but he had always been doing everything from the ground. His field of view would be a lot wider if he flew into the sky, and perhaps he could discover something then.

The chilly air was sharper, and the temperature even lower. However, those conditions didn’t affect Huo Yuhao. He didn’t have to use the Snowy Dance of Ultimate Ice; he only needed the Domain of Perpetual Ice to form a layer of protection around him, and that was sufficient.

Huo Yuhao gazed down as he flew high into the sky, and quickly discovered some problems.
 
There were some barracks established twenty-five kilometers from where the Sun Moon Empire’s army was camped. That area should be within the Dou Ling Empire’s territory. The Heavenly Soul Empire’s territory was in the other direction, and there seemed to be some old structures about ten
kilometers out. The Sun Moon Empire was currently camped between those two areas.

Something’s wrong!

Huo Yuhao immediately descended after this simple observation before he flew towards the Heavenly Soul Empire’s rickety structures.

He used Spiritual Detection, and discovered that the Sun Moon Empire’s soldiers had long been standing guard in those old structures. There were many large machines inside those structures, and even though they weren’t as advanced as the machines that the Sun Moon Empire had just constructed, he could tell that they were targeted at the ground.

Resources – yes, resources!

Huo Yuhao didn’t go any closer. He was afraid to startle his enemies, and he was a little afraid of Ju Zi. Her devious trick had bested him once, and he had to be more careful in dealing with her.
 
If he couldn’t tell what was going on with the Sun Moon Empire, could he not tell from the Dou Ling Empire’s side? Even though they were all bordering the Extreme North, their objectives were likely to be the same. He would naturally discover something if he went to observe the Dou Ling Empire’s barracks.

Huo Yuhao turned around as he contemplated, and covered several dozen kilometers in the blink of an eye.

The Dou Ling Empire was clearly unaware that the Sun Moon Empire’s great army had arrived. In the end, they were separated by national borders even though they were so close to each other. The Dou Ling Empire was still upholding their agreement with the Heavenly Soul Empire, that they wouldn’t send any scouts to conduct reconnaissance within the Heavenly Soul Empire’s territory.

Huo Yuhao was full of admiration for Ju Zi as he confirmed the barracks’ positions on this side. If the Sun Moon Empire had come any closer to this side, they would likely have been discovered by the Dou Ling Empire. The Sun Moon Empire’s current position was close to the other side, but they were somewhere where it wasn’t easy to be discovered.
 
There was no doubt that, with the Sun Moon Empire’s Fire Phoenix Legion, they could destroy the Dou Ling Empire’s army without breaking a sweat. But if they did that, they would undoubtedly alert the Dou Ling Empire. Judging from the current situation, the Sun Moon Empire – rather, Ju Zi – didn’t want to be exposed so quickly.

Too cunning! Even though he didn’t want to admit that that Ju Zi was one of the Sun Moon Empire’s generals, he had to admit that she was very talented in military matters. She was definitely superior to him.

He landed close to the Dou Ling Empire’s barracks, and his Spiritual Detection immediately stretched over the barracks like an enormous web.

He quickly discovered what he needed to know.

The Dou Ling Empire’s barracks had clearly been around for a longer time. There was an army of two thousand standing guard on this side, and there also many workers hard at work.
 
The surface of the earth was freezing. However, the temperature beneath the ground was a lot higher. There was no doubt that this was the publicly recognized location to work on, and they were excavating some minerals from beneath the ground.

Rare metals!

Huo Yuhao finally got his answer.

He hadn’t expected that the Sun Moon Empire’s objective was a vein of rare metals that had appeared on the borders of the Extreme North!

The Dou Ling Empire was thirty kilometers from the Sun Moon Empire’s camp, and about fifty kilometers from the Heavenly Soul Empire’s old barracks.

There was no doubt that the Heavenly Soul Empire was originally mining here as well. This meant that the underground mine could possibly stretch out fifty kilometers. How abundant did those rare metals have to be? It was no wonder that the empress, Ju Zi, would venture out in person.
 
The resources here were equally important to the Sun Moon Empire. They were very advanced in soul tools, but crafting soul tools, especially high-level ones, had an equally heavy requirement for materials.

Huo Yuhao’s eyes were opened, and he finally understood the Sun Moon Empire’s objective.

No, I cannot let them succeed, no matter what! If the Sun Moon Empire manages to obtain the incredibly large amounts of rare metals here to support them, who knows how many more soul tools they can craft to use against the Douluo Continent’s three empires? I have to find a way to ruin her plan.

However, Huo Yuhao was no longer so worried when he discovered Ju Zi’s plan. The reason was simple: mining a mineral vein like this required a lot of human and material labor. They couldn’t achieve anything overnight. The Sun Moon Empire had to mine over a long period of time. Ju Zi and the others should first be establishing a base for excavation before they would start as quickly as possible so that they could transport the rare metals back to the Sun Moon Empire.
 
Since that was the case, he had a chance.

A cold grin appeared on Huo Yuhao’s face. I can’t deal with the Sun Moon Empire’s army by myself, but just as the Snow Empress said, we are in the Extreme North. This was the Snow Empress, the Ice Empress, and the Skydream Iceworm’s old home.

Without discussing the great boost in strength for someone who possessed an Ultimate Ice martial soul, this was the world that the Snow Empress had ruled over a long time ago!

The Snow Empress’ status in the Extreme North was like the Beast God’s status in the Great Star Dou Forest.

“Snow  Empress,  Ice  Empress.”  Huo  Yuhao  channeled  his thoughts and summoned the two empresses.

Two lights flickered as the Ice Empress and the Snow empress emerged from his body at the same time.
 
Ever since they came across the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence, the two empresses had been integrating with the ice essence, and their origin powers were now a lot stronger than before. Even though they were still energy bodies, their forms were no different from material forms when they emerged from Huo Yuhao this time.

The Ice Empress blushed faintly as she saw Huo Yuhao. This was the first time that she was facing him after she had revealed her true emotions when the Snow Empress provoked her.

Huo Yuhao naturally wouldn’t tease her at a time like this. He lowered his voice and said, “Ice Empress, Snow Empress… I have figured out the Sun Moon Empire’s objective. They’re trying to extract the rare metals here. How do we destroy their operation so that they can’t take these resources away?”

The Ice Empress resolved her embarrassment as she rushed to speak. “Isn’t that simple? We’ll chase them all away, and then we’ll extract it for ourselves.”

Huo Yuhao’s facial muscles spasmed as he watched her speak so casually. He thought to himself, Everyone who is in love
 
seems to be blinded... whether they are soul beasts or humans.

“What about you, Snow?” The Snow Empress’ thoughts should be more normal.

The  Snow  Empress  said  plainly,  “Ice  is  right!  We’ll  chase them away, and this place will belong to us. This is our territory anyway, and anybody who wants to come into our place to pillage is asking to die.”

“Ahem!”  Huo Yuhao almost choked on his own saliva as he forced a laugh and said, “The two of you think too highly of me. I am very ashamed! I don’t have the strength to help you guys chase them away.”

The Snow Empress’  answer was plain. “Have you forgotten that I said this is our territory? We are the true dictators of this place. Even though we have become your Spirits, and we no longer possess the strength we did back then, it doesn’t change the facts.”

A thought occurred to Huo Yuhao. “Are you saying that we should draw on…”

The Snow Empress tilted her head slightly as she pointed with her right hand toward the ground. The snow and ice around them instantly transformed into cyclones as snowflakes danced through the air. The surrounding temperature immediately plummeted as her eyes became a
little listless. “It feels so good to be back! This is our home.”

The Ice Empress nodded and chimed in. “Yes! This is the first time that we’ve been back ever since we left with you. Let’s go, Yuhao. We’ll let them hustle. You’ll follow us into the Extreme North, and we’ll go into the core circle.”

“Alright.” The two queens had spoken their piece. There was no other reason for him to hesitate. Yes! The Ice Empress and the Snow Empress had ruled over the ice-type and snow-type soul beasts in the Extreme North’s icy plains for several hundred thousand years, and their authority in this place ran deep. Even though they had become Spirits, they were still dictators in this place.

Huo Yuhao soared into the sky as he flew towards the Extreme North’s core circle.
 
--------------

Inside the Fire Phoenix Legion’s commander’s tent...

Ju Zi calmly gave order after order. These orders included several important traps. She understood Huo Yuhao too well, and from her perspective, he was extremely intelligent, even though he sometimes did things based on his emotions. Ju Zi knew that capturing him again after failing to do so the last time around would be even more difficult.

She didn’t want to be enemies with Huo Yuhao, but she was very clear that he would not give up on messing with her army after she didn’t kill him. Furthermore, with his intelligence and abilities, it wouldn’t take long for him to figure out what she was doing with such a large army. In the end, something like this was very hard to hide.

Ju Zi didn’t intend to conceal her intentions any longer. She became a little excited and enthusiastic when she found out that Huo Yuhao was her opponent. Perhaps this was the best opportunity for them to clash.
 
Such a long time had passed, and Huo Yuhao’s strength had actually grown to such a level. She could feel that he was at least a Soul Sage, and he also had twin martial souls. His spiritual-type martial soul should have given him the soul skill that allowed him to conceal himself, and his ice-type soul skills
naturally came from his Ultimate Ice marital soul. It was no wonder that his abilities were so powerful. The Extreme North could be said to be his turf.

But, so what? I will never lose.

Ju Zi’s subordinates had all left, and she stood up by herself as a faint smile appeared on her face.

Will you still come, Yuhao? I am eagerly waiting for that to happen. To be honest. I am not willing to become your opponent, but this is truly very interesting. We can have a great battle here in the Extreme North, and we shall see who will overpower who. I will not give you a chance to give me any more trouble if you end up in my hands. At least, I will only let you go after I complete my objective here. Do you know, I am regretting not bringing you back last night a little... but there are some things that you don’t know about.
 
Ju Zi smiled mysteriously as her thoughts stopped there.

There was a secret deep in her heart that only she knew. Yes, she was the only one who knew, and she would protect this secret forever.

“Yuhao, do you know that the happiness that you have given me will remain by my side?”

Chapter 472: The Snow Empress' Dance

Time passed, day after day. From Ju Zi’s perspective, Huo Yuhao should be making his move soon. At least, he should make some kind of probing attack, and attempt to destroy some of their surveillance soul tools on this side. His concealing abilities could be maximized only when there were fewer surveillance soul tools.

What caught her a little off-guard was that she was still waiting around as five days flashed by. Huo Yuhao didn’t appear in the end, and their plan was successfully carried out. They were starting to extract the metals from the mine.

The roads were too far away, and in addition to the terrible conditions in a cold and dreadful place like the Extreme North, transport was very inconvenient. Therefore, Ju Zi had decided before they departed that they would extract, refine, and process everything on the spot. They would only transport all the rare metals when refinement was complete.

Xu Tianran was the only person outside the Legion who knew that she was here in person, while all the rare metals that they would extract from this operation would all belong to
 
the empire’s royal family, which would strengthen their control over the imperial family. Everything was arranged after she had a discussion with Xu Tianran.

Has he really left? That’s not like his personality! He has always been the kind to become braver as pressure piles on, and he will never admit defeat. Even if I am his enemy, there’s no reason for him to leave just like that, since he is so determined to oppose me.

Ju Zi was as dejected as she was suspicious. Truthfully, she would rather clash with Huo Yuhao than receive news once more that she had lost him. In the end, she had absolute authority over the army here, and all she had to do was not hurt him, even if they faced each other on the battlefield. She didn’t feel very comfortable thinking that he would leave just like that, definitely an emotionally complicated frame of mind.

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

Of course, Huo Yuhao didn’t give up. Three days after departing the Sun Moon empire’s great army, after travelling continuously for a long time, he was inside the Extreme North’s core region.

Huo Yuhao didn’t run into too much trouble as he flew forward. Typical soul beasts couldn’t threaten him at all with his strength, and even those that were relatively stronger would immediately scamper away when he imitated the Ice Empress’ aura.

The Ice Jade Empress Scorpion was one of the Extreme North’s Three Heavenly Kings. Most high-level soul beasts from the Extreme North were very familiar with the Ice Empress’ aura, and that was the reason why Huo Yuhao’s Imitation was almost always successful.

The temperature dropped even more as they entered the Extreme North’s core region. There were hurricanes and biting winds high up in the sky. Huo Yuhao didn’t know how to fly when he was last here, so he didn’t learn how powerful these hurricanes were. This time, he immediately suffered a blow as soon as he flew into the Extreme North’s core region.

A powerful gust of wind swept over, and Huo Yuhao couldn’t resist at all as he was thrown higher into the sky. This terrifying gust was incredibly strong and explosive. If Huo Yuhao’s body hadn’t been sufficiently tough, and if he hadn’t
 
possessed an Ultimate Ice martial soul, he would have been torn to pieces.

Huo Yuhao was barely able to land on the ground. He was overcome with fear; with his knowledge of powerful individuals, that gust of wind was probably equivalent to an eight-ringed Soul Douluo’s attack at full strength. He had just entered the Extreme North’s core region! Wouldn’t it become even more terrifying if he went deeper in? No wonder he almost never saw any soul beasts flying in the sky here. It lived up to its name as a forbidden grounds for humans!

The Extreme North’s core region shared a name with the Great Star Dou Forest’s Slaughtering Grounds. Even the Sun Moon Empire’s Evildemon Forest was far inferior.

In the end, the Evildemon Forest got its reputation because of how powerful the Evileye Tyrant King was. The Great Star Dou Forest’s Slaughtering Grounds contained many savage beasts, and the threat in the Extreme North’s core region wasn’t from its soul beasts; it was from its environment!

In such an environment, even Titled Douluo couldn’t survive for too long. The air was incredibly dry, while the chilly winds
 
cut like blades. Not a single stalk of grass could be seen, and the incredibly low temperatures would continuously burn down a soul master’s soul power. It was almost impossible for them to live here.

Furthermore, ice-type soul masters were a minority, anyway. Therefore, very few soul masters came to this place to hunt soul beasts. This was the reason why the overall strength of the Extreme North’s soul beasts had grown to such a formidable level over the ages. If not for the fact that this place wasn’t that suitable for soul beasts to live, it probably wouldn’t take long for the Extreme North’s soul beasts to catch up with the strength of the Great Star Dou Forest’s soul beasts.

Huo Yuhao no longer dared to fly in the sky after the lesson he had learned. He walked on the ground, and even though there were gusts of cold wind that cut through the air near the ground, they were much gentler compared to the winds higher up.

Huo Yuhao had the Skydream Iceworm to protect him the last time he was here, and only then could he resist the severe cold. He was back here many years later now, and he felt a little strange.
 
Back during the first time he was here, he was as weak as an ant compared to the other beings in the Extreme North. Without the Skydream Iceworm’s help, just the environment here would have killed him countless times over.

Ten years later, today, he had the ability to face this environment’s dreadful conditions by himself. Furthermore, two of the Extreme North’s Three Heavenly Kings were accompanying him.

Ten years ago, him doing this was something that he didn’t even dare to think about!

Huo Yuhao didn’t ask the Ice Empress or the Snow Empress anything else as they continued forward. The Ice and the Snow Empress would tell him when they arrived.

He moved forward very naturally as his eyes glanced towards his left. There was life rippling from that place, and those undulations were very intense.

What’s that? Huo Yuhao immediately used Spiritual Detection and extended it into the distance. He quickly saw
 
several soul beasts.

There were several incredibly muscular Extreme Northern Bears. These bears were very large, at least seven to eight meters tall when they stood up, while their bodies were extremely thick and tough. These soul beasts had thick fur, and their strength was terrifying. Furthermore, their explosive power was so great that they could spring over short distances as quickly as agility-type soul beasts. They were high up in the food chain within the Extreme North’s icy plains.

There were four bears here, and three of them were grown, while there was only one that was relatively smaller, only three meters tall. It looked like a baby bear.

Full-grown Extreme Northern Bears had to have at least a thousand years of cultivation, but one couldn’t underestimate their threat just because they were only thousand-year soul beasts. The Extreme Northern Bears in this place were like the Darkgolden Terrorclaw Bears in the Great Star Dou Forest. Thousand-year Extreme Northern Bears could rival normal ten thousand year soul beasts, and even though their fighting strength still couldn’t match up to that of the Darkgolden Terrorclaw Bears, very few soul beasts dared to provoke them.
 
At this moment, these four Extreme Northern Bears were charging at Huo Yuhao at breakneck speed.

Huo Yuhao instantly felt a little exasperated, because he finally remembered the Extreme Northern Bears’ characteristics. Powerful soul beasts like that in the Extreme North had very sensitive senses of smell, because the Extreme North always had a scarcity of food. Therefore, their sense of smell became very strong through consistent evolution. They could smell other living beings from kilometers away, and it was clear that they had discovered him, and were treating him like prey.

Huo Yuhao didn’t run, because he had recalled some information about the Extreme Northern Bears. When he was undergoing training in the Ultimate Soldier Plan, his teacher that was teaching him about food told him that the Extreme Northern Bears’ paws were the most delicious among the other bears. That was because they were living in the Extreme North, and under continuous refining from the severe cold, their paws were especially fat and juicy. They could be cooked with certain special methods, and they would taste extremely delicious, while being extremely nutritious for humans. They were very beneficial to soul masters.
 
However, nobody really dared to try to kill them, because they were naturally very ferocious and powerful. They lived in the Extreme North’s core region, and soul masters’ appetites were not enough for them to give their lives in this place. Therefore, the Extreme Northern Bears’ paws were sold at extremely high prices in every empire on the continent.

There are four Extreme Northern Bears! Since you’re treating me like food, heh, then I will not give you a chance. Let’s see who gets to eat who in the end...

“You can’t hurt them!” The Ice Empress and Snow Empress’ voices rang out in Huo Yuhao’s spiritual sea at the same time.

Huo Yuhao’s mouth twitched as he attempted to resist them. “Why? Only they can treat me like food, but I’m not allowed to eat them? What kind for reasoning is that?”

The Ice Empress grunted coldly and said, “If I say no, that means no. There aren’t many soul beasts in the Extreme North in the first place, and these bears are considered one of the rarer species. If these bears can grow until they reach ten thousand years of cultivation, they will become the main fighting force of the Extreme North’s soul beasts.”

“Are you saying that you want to launch a beast wave? Who are you going to target?” Huo Yuhao said exasperatedly.

The Ice Empress snapped, “What do you think? Don’t you want to deal with the Sun Moon Empire’s army? You think you can do that by yourself.”

“What?  You  can  command  those  ice  bears?”  Huo  Yuhao answered in shock.

The Ice Empress laughed coldly. She said nothing, but the arrogance in her eyes was very evident.

The four bears were charging very swiftly, and it didn’t take long before they appeared in Huo Yuhao’s vision.

The Extreme Northern Bears were very muscular, while their limbs were very well-developed, but their brains weren’t that simple. The three grown bears swiftly dispersed, and the burliest one in the middle dashed toward Huo Yuhao. The other two wrapped around towards the flanks, while the smallest one followed behind. They were surrounding him.

Huo Yuhao wasn’t worried at all. The only thing he was thinking about was the bears’ paws… what a pity that they were so delicious!

The largest bear charged first. When it saw Huo Yuhao, who was standing there calmly, and the Ice and Snow Empress behind him, it was also momentarily stunned. It was the first time that it had come across humans that were so calm.

Soul beasts that had relatively lower cultivation like these had never seen the Ice Empress or Snow Empress before, especially when they didn’t have this form. They were in human form now, and no different from humans when they were deliberately hiding their aura.

The Extreme Northern Bear roared as his majesty was disregarded. It charged at Huo Yuhao with his muscular body, and its enormous frame stood up as it swung its paws down at him.

Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection had been trained on it the entire time. He could clearly feel that when the bear was using its strength, its thick fur was immediately charged with intense soul power, and every single hair became like needles. Its fur was its best defense.

There was no question that this bear was a kind of soul beast where its own body was its main strength. The Extreme Northern Bears shared similar characteristics with the Darkgolden Terrorclaw Bears, except it didn’t have the Darkgolen Terrorclaw Bear’s fearsome claws.

Huo Yuhao glanced at the Ice Empress and the Snow Empress, and when he realized that they didn’t intend to do anything, he couldn’t just stand there and let the bear smack him! He went forward to face the bear with a body like a demon, and he grabbed the bear’s right paw that was swiping down at him with both arms as he suddenly used his strength.

Even though Huo Yuhao’s martial soul didn’t have anything that was based on strength, he had obtained part of the Golden Dragon’s strength after Wang Qiu’er had sacrificed herself for him. In addition to the fact that he had seven soul rings, he definitely wasn’t afraid of the bear in front of him in terms of strength.

Huo Yuhao swung the bear’s eight-meter tall enormous body into the air and sent it crashing into the icy surface as an explosive impact rang out.

The other two bears that were charging in from the flanksurprised. However, they accelerated as they charged toward Huo Yuhao furiously.
 
This is what a male and two females are like! Huo Yuhao’s body flickered, and he didn’t take them by force anymore. Instead, he ran behind the Ice and Snow Empress.

“If you two aren’t going to let me eat bear paws, shouldn’t you at least be doing something?”

The Ice Empress grunted as she unleashed the aura that she was originally suppressing. An unrivaled aura was immediately released, and a tremendous pressure that belonged to a hundred-thousand-year soul beast bore down on the three ice bears.

The three bears that had gone berserk acted like they had been doused by a bucket of cold water as their hysterical aggression immediately disappeared. They growled softly as they stumbled back in retreat. The bear that Huo Yuhao had slammed into the ground rolled onto one side, its manner was almost a little comical.

The tiny bear that was following from behind halted immediately when it felt this aura. It covered its head with its paws and lay prostrate on the ground with its buttocks pointed
 
high up into the air, just like that, and that was about as amusing as it could get.

She’s the Ice Empress, after all! Huo Yuhao heaved a sigh of admiration.

The Ice Empress’ eyes flashed with green light as a strange sound rang out in her mouth. This sound had a very intriguing and alluring quality, apparently the soul beasts’ language.

The three bears nodded continuously when they heard her voice. A superior that was giving them so much pressure meant they didn’t even consider resisting.

The three bears got to their feet after a moment as they swiftly ran away into the distance.

The Ice Empress stared at them as they left and muttered under her breath, “It feels great to be back! Snow, how nice would it be if we were still the dictators of this place? We don’t have any natural enemies here, and nobody is around to oppose us. This is our paradise.”
 
The Snow Empress floated up next to her and smiled as she replied, “I beg to differ. I have begun to understand humans ever since I’ve walked into the human world. Over the past months and years, we have always detested humans, and we hate them for disturbing our way of life. However, we are disturbed considerably less by soul beasts here compared to the Great Star Dou Forest. Even though I lost my memory after following Yuhao, I can still see the outside world very clearly as the Snow Lady. We have to admit that humans possess intelligence and creativity superior to ours, and we can only adapt to nature, while they can change everything. This the reason why humans could conquer the entire continent even though they are so weak in the beginning when they are born. They’re just too creative. If I were given a chance to choose again, perhaps I’d choose to be a human.”

The Ice Empress’ body quivered. She didn’t think the Snow Empress would say something like that, as this wasn’t the Snow Empress that she knew. The Ice Empress turned towards her, her eyes filled with astonishment.

The  Snow  Empress  smiled  and  said,  “Are  you  surprised? Have you not seen through everything, Ice? Think about it. How long have we been living in the Extreme North, and how long have we been ruling over this place? Haven’t you had enough? Right now, I just want to use the remaining years of
 
my life to experience other things, as much as I can. This is the only way for me to feel excited, and to feel glorious. I won’t regret it even if Yuhao doesn’t succeed in the end. Perhaps I will choose to compress my origin and fuse with another human when that happens, and I’ll become a human once more.”

The Ice Empress said, “You’ve changed, Snow.”

The Snow Empress smiled. “Yes! I’ve changed. Otherwise, how could I allow you to be together with Skydream? Speaking of which, how is he worthy of you?”

The Ice Empress blushed as she lowered her head. She had been concealing her emotions ever since that day, and she hadn’t really paid any regard to the Skydream Iceworm. The Skydream Iceworm wasn’t worried, and he just stuck with her every day and asked about her well-being. The Ice Empress’ expression of love made him blissfully happy, and what made him even more excited was that the Snow Empress didn’t stop them from being together. Instead, she was adding fuel to the fire!
 
The  Ice  Empress  said  after  a  few  moments,  “Yes!  You’ve changed, and I have too. Perhaps, all this is because humans have affected us.” She turned towards Huo Yuhao as she spoke.

“I didn’t ask any of you to change anything!” Huo Yuhao said helplessly.

The Ice Empress grunted and said, “We can see everything you do. You have been changing us through imperceptible influence.”

She paused for a moment after that, then continued, “Maybe I should feel fortunate, because you are the one who has shown us the world of humans. Before I met you, I had always believed that humans were tiny and pathetic with all their avarice, cruelty, and cunning. All they knew was to take from Mother Nature.

“But you have gradually changed my perspective after we met, and I have realized that there are humans like you who are determined with their emotions. Your creativity and your talent, and a great many other things, weren’t bestowed upon you by me or the Skydream Iceworm. We are helping you, but
 
the truth is that you’ve been helping us, too. We have learned a great many things from you.”

Huo  Yuhao  smiled  faintly  and  said,  “Can  you  not  be  so touching? However, Brother Skydream should really thank me. Without me as a vessel, he wouldn't have had a chance of moving your heart.”

“Don’t talk about him!” the Ice Empress retorted bashfully.

Huo  Yuhao  smiled  as  he  continued.  “Ice  Empress,  since you’ve already confirmed your feelings, why do you still run away from them? In this world, no matter how powerful you are or how powerful we will become in the future, nobody knows what will happen tomorrow. Just like that day when I was surrounded by enemies on all sides. I never expected to land in a trap, and if I wasn’t lucky that day, in addition to my appropriate response, perhaps I would have died. Your destinies would have changed because of my death.”

The Ice Empress frowned said, “What are you trying to say?
Don’t beat about the bush!”
 
Huo Yuhao said, “I’m trying to tell you that life is short, and we have to enjoy our happiness while we still can. Since you have already confirmed your feelings, why don’t you treat them accordingly? Brother Skydream truly likes you, and since you like him too, then you should accept his feelings seriously.”

The Ice Empress blushed even more as she rolled her eyes and said, “You males just know how to help other males!”

Huo Yuhao chuckled, but said nothing else. He turned towards  the  Snow  Empress  and  said,  “What  should  we  do next?”

The Snow Empress smiled plainly and said, “We wait – all we must do is wait here.”

Wait? Huo Yuhao was starting to understand. It seems like the Ice Empress asked those bears to pass some messages along.

Right at that moment, the Snow Empress’ elegant frame suddenly slid backwards and drifted into the sky like an apparition.

“Be careful, Snow Empress,” Huo Yuhao hurriedly shouted at her. He had personally experienced how frightening those hurricanes were in the sky, but the Ice Empress revealed a mocking smile.

The Snow Empress seemed like she didn’t hear Huo Yuhao’s voice as she floated into the air. She was just dancing in the air, and she stepped on nothing as she waltzed into the winds.

She gradually released her aura. Her aura wasn’t as intimidating as the Ice Empress, but Huo Yuhao realized to his surprise that everything dimmed when her aura was unleashed.

The white snow disappeared. All the ice and snow became blue, and the figure dancing in the sky was the only thing that was white.

Her long sleeves waved as white ribbons danced around her. Those blue snowflakes circled around her as they rippled and unfolded.
 
The Snow Lady was like the spirit of the snow. Her wonderful posture made her seem like she had become the core of the Extreme North’s core region.

Huo Yuhao’s eyes were frozen. He had never expected someone to have such a beautiful posture, and that someone could be so alluring.

The Snow Empress had unrivaled beauty. In this moment, she seemed almost completely immersed in her dance as the gusts in the air grew gentle. The temperature seemed to rise a little amid the fluttering snowflakes. There was no warmth, but there was no chill either. There was only a pure and refreshing coolness.

The blue hues stretched far into the distance. Everywhere her eyes could reach had been tainted blue, while the sky and the ground could no longer be told apart.

This feeling is just wonderful. Huo Yuhao believed, in that moment, that this was the most gorgeous scene he had ever seen in his life. His heart was intoxicated at this moment, while the ice-type soul power in his body rippled along with the Snow Empress’ dance.


The Snow Lady danced in the icy skies.

The Snow Empress was a unique being. She was a living being formed by the purest ice-type origin energy of heaven and earth within the Extreme North’s core region, and after countless years of gestation and growth, had finally developed her own thoughts and intelligence. She finally became an intelligent creature.

Her original form was composed of the purest elements. If the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence was a treasure, then she was the Extreme North’s daughter.

The Icesky Snow Lady, blessed and unique; the Snow Empress, dancing as snowflakes drifted in the air.

Huo Yuhao could clearly feel that he was slowly experiencing moments of enlightenment from this incredibly beautiful dance. But even he wasn’t clear what he was being enlightened about. Perhaps this was just one of his most peculiar experiences...

The Ice Empress stood beside Huo Yuhao, her eyes completely intoxicated. She was also immersed in the Snow Empress’ dance. The Snow Empress had always been a fairy of the snow!

The Snow Empress’ dance continued for an hour or so before she finally descended from the sky and returned to Huo Yuhao’s side.

Her expression seemed very calm, and not as intoxicated as the Ice Empress was, but Huo Yuhao could tell from her emotions that she was feeling very happy.

Yes! They are home, and they should be happy.

Right at this moment, Huo Yuhao suddenly felt a large mass of life energy emerge from beyond the horizon. This wave traveled in their direction very quickly.

Huo Yuhao unleashed Spiritual Detection and directed it into the distance.
 
“That is…” Huo Yuhao’s pupils instantly contracted, and fear appeared in his eyes.

The Extreme North’s core region was still a world of ice and snow that stretched to the end of the horizon, and not a single trace of life could be seen. However, Huo Yuhao could see within the range of his Spiritual Detection that there were thousands and thousands of soul beasts gathering in his direction.

These soul beasts took many different forms. Tthere were flying soul beasts that were rarely seen in the Extreme North, while more of them were on the ground. The Extreme Northern Bears that Huo Yuhao had seen before were here, and there were many other species that he had never seen before. Every soul beast seemed very excited, and they were running in his direction as quickly as they could.

This was but the second time that Huo Yuhao had seen such a spectacular gathering of soul beasts. The last time this had happened was when the Great Star Dou Forest had launched a beast wave against Shrek City.
 
There weren’t as many soul beasts as there were compared to back then, but this was almost a miracle, considering that the Extreme North’s core region was almost uninhabited!

Huo Yuhao quickly calmed down after a very momentary shock. Perhaps only the Snow Empress can create a scene as spectacular as this in the Extreme North. Even the Ice Empress isn’t as good as she is in this respect.

The Snow Empress was number three in the Ten Great Savage Beasts, and was the Extreme North’s true dictator. She was a formidable soul beast with seven hundred thousand years of cultivation.

Of the Ten Great Savage Beasts, only the top three controlled a particular region. The Beast God, Di Tian, controlled the core of the continent, the Great Star Dou Forest. The Evileye Tyrant King ruled over the Evildemon Forest, with the most soul beasts within the Sun Moon Empire. However, the Snow Empress’ reach was the widest.

In the icy plains of the Extreme North that stretched to the end of the world, every single soul beast bowed to her command. She was queen in this place, and also the dictator.

The Beast God or the Evileye Tyrant King had never come to this place to challenge the Snow Empress’ authority. Not even the Beast God was confident of defeating the Snow Empress in an environment like the Extreme North. Furthermore, no other place inhabited by soul beasts was as cohesive as the Extreme North.

Huo Yuhao had merged with the Snow Empress by chance and coincidence back then, and she became his spirit. The Snow Empress almost blew apart his body because she had too much power on her own, and the Calamity Necromancer Electrolux had to burn the remnants of his divine sense so that Huo Yuhao could complete the equality pact in the end.

The Snow Empress became the Snow Lady afterwards. In the beginning, she was like Huo Yuhao’s daughter, and her cute demeanor made everyone express tender affection for her. The Snow Lady gradually grew up, but she was always by Huo Yuhao’s side, always helping him, accompanying him, and supporting him.

In Huo Yuhao’s heart, the Snow Lady had already become family. Her status in his heart could almost compare to Dong’er.

However, the Snow Empress had recovered her memory not too long ago due to the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence. Huo Yuhao felt bewildered and helpless; he wasn’t afraid of anything except that the Snow Empress would leave him. The Snow Lady had become the Snow Empress, and he could feel
that they were less intimate, and there was more reverence.

That reverence in his heart had reached the highest possible level at this moment. He finally understood that the little Snow Lady that had once treated him like a father was the dictator of the Extreme North, and she ruled over thousands and thousands of soul beasts.

The Snow Empress… she’s the Snow Empress, after all!

A faint sadness gradually appeared at the bottom of Huo Yuhao’s eyes, and he subconsciously took a step back. His expression was very calm, but there was a dash of sorrow deep in his heart. If it were possible, he truly hoped that the Snow Empress was still the Snow Lady; he even hoped that she would remain the tiny Snow Lady that had formed a pact with him in the beginning.
 
The Snow Empress just stood there silently and gazed into the distance as the corner of her mouth curved into a gorgeous smile.

The immense pack of soul beasts came ever closer. The Ice Empress’ eyes also grew excited; yes, they were back, and they were back in the world where they reigned supreme.

Thousands of soul beasts thundering across the Extreme North’s icy plains… what a rare sight! The enormous beast wave was congregating in Huo Yuhao’s direction very quickly, and they stopped only when they arrived a thousand meters away from the Snow Empress and the Ice Empress.

All the soul beasts in the Extreme North slowly lay prostrate on the ground after they reached this place, facing the Snow Empress and the Ice Empress with the most respectful and worshipful attitude.

The soul beasts in the distance gradually formed a circle that was two thousand meters in diameter. This circle’s thickness gradually increased as the number of soul beasts grew.
 
Most of the Extreme North’s soul beasts were white. If one didn’t look closely, one would think that they were just snow piled up on tiny hills. Some soul beasts that were relatively larger in size were particularly eye-catching.

The Snow Empress stood there quietly as the expression on her beautiful face grew cold. She was just standing there, proud and aloof, and there was no other soul beast that dared to stand as proudly as she did.

They were in awe; they were worshipping their ruler.

The Snow Empress had been gone for far too long. But even so, nobody in the Extreme North dared to forget her aura. She was the one who protected their paradise, and her existence made every soul beast in the Extreme North bow to her command. Not a single powerful soul beast dared to resist her rule.

The Extreme North had had very few conflicts ever since the Snow Empress took over as ruler. Nobody dared to challenge or violate her authority. Every single soul beast knew that the Snow Empress was the Icesky Snow Lady, the spirit of the snow. She could sense everything where there was snow and
 
ice. In the beginning, they were afraid of the Snow Empress, but this fear slowly became reverence. The most ferocious and dominant soul beasts in the Extreme North eventually lost their lives to the Snow Empress’ Three Ultimate Techniques.

There were no longer any voices of resistance. The only person who could decide everything and dictate everything was the Icesky Snow Lady’s ice-cold voice.

More and more soul beasts gathered at the outer layer. However, the icy plains were still extremely quiet, and one had to listen very closely to hear the soul beasts’ breathing. They were panting with excitement; for many of these soul beasts, to be able to see the Snow Empress in person was their life’s greatest honor.

The bears from before had also returned. However, they were just lying prostrate on the outer layer; they weren’t even worthy of entering the inner circle.

There was an exceptionally large bear that had returned with them. This bear’s tremendous body was like a tiny hill as it walked over, and even though it was travelling on all fours, it
 
was still more than fifteen meters tall. Thick fur covered its immense frame, radiating faint silver hues.

When this enormous bear appeared, the soul beasts that were prostrate on the ground swiftly opened a path so that it could pass. It walked to the innermost circle and faced the Snow Empress before it prostrated itself as well. Its action was just like the tiny bear that Huo Yuhao had seen before; its giant buttocks were raised high into the air, and its upper body was flat on the ground. Its large head swayed faintly as it whimpered softly at the Snow Empress.

That sound made it seem like the bear had just met its owner, filled with admiration.

The Snow Empress smiled faintly when she saw the bear, and she waved at him gently.

The soul beasts prostrate on the Extreme North immediately stared at the ice bear, their eyes filled with envy.

The gigantic bear was overjoyed as it stood up and howled elatedly into the air before it ran towards the Snow Empress.

The bear was far too big, and its running was like a tiny mountain jumping up and down in the icy plains of the Extreme North. Its incredibly fat body would leave deep marks in ground every time it landed.

One thousand meters was but a blink of an eye for this bear. It suddenly slowed down only when it was fifty meters away from the Snow Empress, and it actually crawled the last fifty meters until it was right in front of her. Its head was over two meters in diameter, but it still shoved its face down before the Snow Empress. His large nose, which was different from its white fur, a little pinkish, poked forward. Huo Yuhao felt as if this fellow’s breathing could almost create hurricanes.

He didn’t need to use Spiritual Detection to clearly judge that this bear was a hundred-thousand-year soul beast. Even though its strength couldn’t compare to the Great Star Dou Forest’s Bear Lord, Huo Yuhao figured that this bear couldn’t be that much weaker. However, it was extremely respectful towards the Snow Empress, much more respectful than the Bear Lord was toward the Beast God.

Chapter 473: Father? Grandfather?

The Snow Empress smiled, like a flower that bloomed everywhere across the icy plains. The soul beasts who didn’t dare to even breathe heavily all exhaled in relief, because they could feel the Snow Empress’ happiness at the same time.

The Snow Empress raised her hand and placed it gently on the bear’s enormous nose. She stroked it tenderly and said softly, “You’ve grown fat again, Little Bai.”

Little Bai…

This fellow is “little”?

The corner of Huo Yuhao’s mouth twitched. Is he the Snow Empress’ pet?

The Ice Empress’ voice rang out next to Huo Yuhao’s ear. “The Snow Empress found Little Bai as a tiny ice bear when she first called herself queen, and he has been living with the Snow Empress ever since. It has been at least two hundred
 
thousand years. Little Bai rules over his own domain now, but he’s always treated the Snow Empress like a mother. That’s the reason why I didn’t let you harm his descendants.”

More than two hundred thousand years of cultivation; that meant the enormous ice bear in front of Huo Yuhao could be considered a Savage Beast!

The Ice Empress lowered her voice and said, “Little Bai’s strength is comparable to that of the Tai Tan Snowdevil King, but the Snow Empress asked him not to fight the Snowdevil King. Furthermore, he doesn’t want to share the same status as the Snow Empress, and that’s the reason why the outer world only knows about three of us, the Extreme North’s Three Heavenly Kings.”

“Mm.” Huo Yuhao nodded softly. He was full of complicated emotions. The Snow Empress’ rising power was a good thing for him, but he felt as if she was getting further and further away from him. It seemed like the Snow Lady was never coming back.

Little Bai seemed very blissful as the Snow Empress continued to caress him. He whimpered from time to time, and
 
his enormous white buttocks would twitch again and again in bliss.

Right at this moment, the circle of soul beasts that was several hundred meters thick separated once more as a gigantic figure appeared in Huo Yuhao’s vision. There was a whole pack of other enormous shadows that appeared along with the first one.

The soul beasts that had formed a circle swiftly separated and opened a path for then. The enormous figure that was at the forefront strode into the inner circle.

This figure looked a lot larger than the Ice Bear King, Little Bai; this soul beast was just too tall!

This soul beast was at least one hundred and twenty meters tall. It was the largest species of soul beast that Huo Yuhao had ever seen; even the Beast God wasn’t this tall if he was prostrate. Furthermore, the Beast God always showed himself in human form.
 
What was even stranger was that this enormous, terrifying soul beast had a build that was very similar to that of humans. It had long and slender arms, and snowy white fur covered its entire body. Even its face had similar features to that of humans, except there were many wrinkles on its forehead, and its skin had a copper tint. It had two large fangs, showing its true colors as a soul beast.

Huo Yuhao didn’t need the Ice Empress to explain for him to guess what this species of soul beast was: the Tai Tan Snowdevils that the Ice Empress had just mentioned!

Only the Tai Tan Snowdevils could have such enormous sizes. More importantly, the Tai Tan Snowdevils were a community.

There were more than a hundred Tai Tan Snowdevils behind this one. Even though they were not as tall as the first one, their average height was more than eighty meters. More than ten of those who were exceptionally powerful were at least a hundred meters tall, and their muscular frames seemed like they could hold up the skies.
 
The other soul beasts that resided in the icy plains clearly created an even larger path when the Snowdevils came, and nobody dared to block their path.

“Snow  Empress.”   The  Tai  Tan  Snowdevil  King  didn’t continue forward once he entered the innermost circle. Instead, he knelt down on a single knee and called out respectfully. He was speaking the human language, and was the only soul beast that dared to actively address the Snow Empress directly among all the other soul beasts. He greeted the Snow Empress while glancing at the Ice Bear King who was lying down next to her, and the envy in his eyes was obvious.

The Snow Empress nodded at the Tai Tan Snowdevil King and said, “Tai, it’s been a long time.”

The Tai Tan Snowdevil King hurriedly answered respectfully, “Yes! It’s been long time, Snow Empress. Ah! You – you’re the Ice Empress?” His eyes quickly landed on the Ice Empress, who wasn’t far behind the Snow Empress.

The Ice Empress didn’t hide her own aura, so she was easily recognized.
 
The Ice Empress nodded at the Tai Tan Snowdevil King, but said nothing. The Snow Empress was there, so this wasn’t the time for her to speak. The Snow Empress’ authority and majesty in the Extreme North was something that no soul beast would dare to violate.

The Snow Empress said plainly, “Ah Tai, you can get up.”

“Alright,” the Tai Tan Snowdevil King acknowledged as he hurriedly got to his feet. The group of Tai Tan Snowdevils behind him had already fallen to their knees like dominos long ago, and they all appeared as reverent as could be.

The scene was just too mind-blowing. The Tai Tan Snowdevil’s tremendous size was absolutely unrivaled among ground-walking soul beasts. So many Tai Tan Snowdevils kneeling was just too spectacular.

The Snow Empress waved at the Tai Tan Snowdevil and said, “Come, sit down beside me.”

“Alright, alright.” The Tai Tan Snowdevil King immediately ran over joyfully to the Snow Empress’ side. The disturbance
 
he created was comparable to the Ice Bear King as he jogged over.

Huo Yuhao witnessed a very amusing detail in this moment. The Ice Bear King was still enjoying the Snow Empress’ caresses, but his eyes were closed into slits as he side-eyed the Tai Tan Snowdevil King. The small part of his pupils clearly exuded disdain. It was evident that his relationship with the Tai Tan Snowdevil King wasn’t very amicable.

Dong, dong, dong... The Snowdevil King trod over to the Snow Empress and sat down with his legs crossed next to the bear. The Ice Bear King and the Snowdevil King were just too immense, and Huo Yuhao immediately felt as if another mountain had appeared in front of him.

The Snowdevil King didn’t dare to mess around in front of the Snow Empress. However, he clearly touched the Ice Bear King’s body when he sat down, and those two shoved each other forcibly, but neither got the better of the other. However, a series of cracking sounds could be heard on the tough ice beneath them.

Such terrifying fellows!

Huo Yuhao made some rough judgments about the soul beasts in the Extreme North over this period of observation. He realized that the soul beasts on the icy plains were much more cohesive and united compared to the Great Star Dou Forest’s soul beasts. Both the Ice Bear King and the Tai Tan Snowdevil
King were at the apex of the food chain in this place, but they still didn’t dare to mess around in front of the Snow Empress at all. They submitted completely to the Snow Empress, and the other soul beasts did the same. The Snow Empress was a dictator, in the truest meaning of the word.

The Extreme North’s overall strength perhaps wasn’t sufficient to fight against the Great Star Dou Forest, but that would only be the case if the battle happened in that region. If this battle happened in the Extreme North, then Huo Yuhao was inclined to believe that the Extreme North’s soul beasts were more likely to emerge victorious. After all, the environment in this place was far too vile for typical soul beasts.

The Snow Empress said plainly, “Alright, since almost everyone is here, we can begin. I haven’t seen everyone in such a long time, and I am very happy to be back.”
 
Even though there wasn’t a single hint of a smile on her face, the thousands of soul beasts immediately cried out in joy once she said those words. Deafening roars and soundwaves forcibly tore the apart hurricanes across the icy plains. Every single soul beast grew excited, as if they were overcome with mass
bloodlust.

The Snow Empress gradually raised her right hand and pressed it against the air. The ear-splitting howls of thousands and thousands of soul beasts immediately stopped, and everything returned to silence.

The Snow Empress eyed the Tai Tan Snowdevil King beside her. The Snowdevil King could feel her gaze, and immediately lowered his head to curry favor with her.

The Snow Empress said, “I have been in closed-door cultivation over these few years, and I have been working hard to break through the next bottleneck. Every one of you knows that I’m not young anymore, and I have been alive for far too long. Di Tian, the Evileye, and I have reached the end. The world of the future belongs to you.”
 
“The Extreme North is a paradise. The thing that has made me most content is peace in the Extreme North. I have gathered everyone here for two important matters. First, I’m here to announce to everyone that I will be going into another episode of closed-door cultivation after meeting everyone here today, and I don’t know how that will turn out. I am here to bid everyone farewell. It’s very likely that this is the last time we will meet. Secondly, I’m here to appoint my successor.”

The Snow Empress’ words caused an uproar across the Extreme North’s soul beasts.

The Snow Empress was the Extreme North’s divine guardian! The Snow Empress said that she could be leaving this world soon, and she wanted to attempt a very tough breakthrough. That was just unbelievable, and like a calamity for them.

Powerful roars and howls could be heard as the Tai Tan Snowdevil King suddenly got to his feet. He hammered his broad chest heavily, and his furious howls crackled so explosively that they suppressed the uproar from all the other soul beasts.
 
A formidable aura mixed with boundless murderousness permeated the skies as the soul beasts who were just making a racket lowered their heads frightfully. However, that didn’t cause their emotions to settle. The Snow Empress was God in the Extreme North. Could the Extreme North still be the same
place without their God?

The Tai Tan Snowdevil King surveyed everyone coldly before he sat down beside the Snow Empress once more.

The Snow Empress said plainly, “I declare that Ah Tai will succeed me from this moment onwards. He will become ruler of the Extreme North, and you have to respect him like you respect me and listen to his orders, and you have to support him to maintain peace in the Extreme North. Ah Tai is a little rough and crude, but he is honest and sincere, and he is very honorable. He doesn’t rely on his strength to overpower other species, and he is the most suitable candidate.”

The Extreme North’s soul beasts were astonished again after she said that. From the soul beasts’ perspective, only the Ice Empress could succeed the Snow Empress’ position! Furthermore, all the soul beasts in the Extreme North knew that the Snow Empress and the Ice Empress were practically conjoined, and they shared a great relationship. Of the Three Heavenly Kings, the first two Heavenly Kings could even match the Beast God’s prowess if they teamed up. If the battle was to occur here, the Beast God would have to avoid them.

The Snow Empress relinquishing her position as ruler over the Extreme North was enough to shock them. The fact that she wanted to pass her position to the Tai Tan Snowdevil King instead of the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion was even more unbelievable for them.


Even the Tai Tan Snowdevil King himself widened his eyes and stared at the Snow Empress. He thought that she had made a mistake.

The Snow Empress gazed back at the Snowdevil King and nodded in his direction to show him that her words rang true.

“Snow Empress, you…” The Snowdevil King’s voice was clearly a little shaky. However, he wasn’t shaky from excitement, but from grief.

Only savage beasts knew what the Snow Empress’ arrangement meant; her decision meant she wasn’t confident of breaking through her next bottleneck, and that the Ice Empress was facing a similar situation. Otherwise, with the relationship between the Snow Empress and the Ice Empress, the Snow Empress would never pass her position to him otherwise.

A faint smile appeared on the Snow Empress’ face as she said, “Ah Tai, you have accumulated much credit over these years, and you have truly grown up. I have been watching your every move from day to day, and I am very happy that you have been doing well over the years. This position has always been more suitable for you than the Ice Empress. Her personality is too strong, and her tribe isn’t as dominant as the Tai Tan Snowdevils. Therefore, I have always thought of you as my successor in my heart. You have to remember that even if I’m not around, the Extreme North will still be the same. You have to be kind to every species, and you have to uphold my vision, that the Extreme North has to be sufficiently united so that we will not be bullied and invaded by external enemies.”

“Yes,  yes…”  Large  teardrops  slipped  from  the  Snowdevil Kings eyes. The Snow Empress’ instructions to him were something he had never expected.

The Snow Empress passed her position to him, and that was sufficient to show her trust. He had always been delightfully willing under the Snow Empress’ command. He couldn’t help but feel sorrow when he thought that the Snow Empress could reach the end of her life.

The Ice Bear King, who was prostrate beside the Snow Empress, finally reopened his eyes and stared at the Tai Tan Snowdevil King. There was a little bit of unwillingness in his eyes, and he didn’t mask his emotions. However, the Snowdevil King’s attention wasn’t on the Ice Bear King at this moment.

The Snow Empress said plainly, “Ah Tai, and my other children. You must remember that my departure doesn’t mean that I’m dead. If my attempt is unsuccessful, then there’s nothing else to be said, but if I’m successful, than even Di Tian will never surpass me. My soul will always be in the Extreme North whether or not I am successful, and I will always protect
 
you. Anybody who violates the Extreme North’s rules is my enemy.”

Roar, roar, roar!... Three continuous roars erupted from the mass of soul beasts. All the soul beasts in the Extreme North howled hysterically as they released the emotions in their hearts.

The Tai Tan Snowdevil King stood up once more and took a few steps back before he fell down on both knees in front of the Snow Empress. He kowtowed, and his immense frame trembled continuously from beginning to the end. Every single kowtow looked very sincere.

The Snow Empress grinned as she nodded at the Snowdevil King. “You can stand up, Ah Tai. There’s something I need you to do before I leave.”

The Snowdevil King immediately raised his head and said reverently, “No matter when, only you control the Extreme North, Snow Empress. Only you are ruler of the Extreme North, and I trust that you will be back. I will guard this place for you when you’re not around. I… I will await your return...” The Tai Tan Snowdevil King sobbed uncontrollably.

The Snow Empress’ expression changed as she witnessed his emotions. “Alright. If I am successful, I will definitely return to visit. Perhaps that won’t take too long.” She turned around as she said that and glanced at Huo Yuhao, her warm gaze stunning him momentarily.

“Alright, I have said all that needs to be said. Everyone can go. You can return and continue your lives. Any important matters in the icy plains in the future will be decided by Ah Tai.”

The Snow Empress floated into the air as she spoke, gliding and levitating silently high in the sky.

The Snowdevil King hurriedly took a few steps forward and stood beneath her.

The Snow Empress drifted down and landed on his broad shoulder.

There were so many soul beasts in the icy plains, but not a single one moved. They just lay there, prostrate, and knelt and
 
kowtowed to the Snow Empress.

The Snow Empress stood on the Snowdevil King’s shoulders and gradually turned around. Her eyes were covered with mist as she stared at her kinsmen, who had followed her for so many years.

“Go,  my  children.  Let  me  watch  you  leave.”   The  Snow Empress’ voice travelled far into the distance.

The soul beasts on the icy plains got up one after another as they listened to her orders, and gradually dispersed. However, they would turn back after a few steps as they departed, and stared at the old ruler of the Extreme North with reluctant eyes. From this moment on, the Three Heavenly Kings were no more, and all that was left was their new ruler.

The Snow Empress just stood there quietly, and the Tai Tan Snowdevil King was also motionless. The Ice Bear King stood up at the same time, over forty meters tall as he stood up straight. He was still much shorter than the Snowdevil King, but his physical power was quite comparable. The Ice Bear King’s silver fur flickered continuously, and fierce lights flashed in his eyes. He glanced at the Snowdevil King from
 
time to time, and then at the soul beasts that were leaving in the distance. His emotions were clearly rippling.

Huo Yuhao stood with the Ice Empress from the beginning to the end as he witnessed this succession of authority in the Extreme North. He couldn’t help but sigh with admiration at the Snow Empress, Snow Empress, you are the third of the Ten Great Savage Beasts after all!

A whole hour passed before all the soul beasts gradually departed, and the Extreme North returned to tranquility.

Only two tribes remained: the ice bears, and the Tai Tan Snowdevil King.

These two great tribes were some of the strongest ones across the Extreme North. They were known as the Three Great Tribes along with the Ice Jade Scorpions, and their overall strengths were most formidable.

The Snow Empress’ eyes were full of lament as she stood on the Snowdevil King’s shoulder. After all, she had ruled over the
 
Extreme North for hundreds of thousands of years, and she still couldn’t bear to leave this place forever!

She had wracked her brains back then so that she could re- cultivate and preserve her strength as much as possible, but she was taken away by a soul master who had ventured into the Extreme North. It was the reason why everything that had happened afterwards happened, and she didn’t have time to address anything to anybody back then.

She managed to deal with her affairs at this moment, but she was still very reluctant in her heart.

“Snow  Empress.”  A  deep  and  hoarse  voice  rang  out  that shook the Snow Empress awake from her thoughts.

The Snow Empress looked down from the Snowdevil King’s shoulders. She saw the Ice Bear King looking up at her, and staring at her with very sincere eyes.

The Snow Empress tapped her foot on the Snowdevil King’s shoulders and descended from the sky as she drifted to the ground.

The Ice Bear King immediately lay down once more and pressed his enormous head against the ground. There was some pitifulness in his eyes, and there was also some exasperation as he stared at the Snow Empress.

“Snow Empress!” He called out once more.

The Snow Empress ignored him. Instead, she turned towards the Snowdevil King and said, “Ah Tai, you have just succeeded me as ruler of the Extreme North. You have to personally placate the large tribes beneath you, and you have to establish authority and credit as quickly as possible. Go. I will wait three days for you here, and after three days, you shall bring your kinsmen. There is something that I need you to do.”

“Yes, Snow Empress.” The Tai Tan Snowdevil King glanced at the Ice Bear King, and a thread of worry flashed across his eyes. However, he still followed the Snow Empress’ instructions as he turned around and left.

The Snow Empress watched the Snowdevil King depart before she turned towards the Ice Bear King.
 
“Snow Empress, what about me? What’s going to happen to me?” The Ice Bear King only voiced his doubts at this moment. His kinsmen were quietly waiting in the distance, and even the Tai Tan Snowdevils had departed along with the Snowdevil King.

The Snow Empress said plainly, “As for you, of course I have my own arrangements. You shall just follow me, Little Bai.”

“Eh?” The Ice Bear King was momentarily stunned. “Follow you? Aren’t you going into closed-door cultivation?”

The Snow Empress continued, “I will not be here in the Extreme North anymore. Only your tribe is worthy of challenging Ah Tai. Even though Ah Tai’s tribe is stronger overall, you might still have a chance of victory. Will you listen to him when I’m no longer around?”

The Ice Bear King immediately went silent after hearing the Snow Empress’ question. He couldn’t lie in front of the Snow Empress, so he could only respond with silence.
 
The Snow Empress continued, “Therefore, only one of you may exist on the Extreme North after my departure. Otherwise, peace in the Extreme North will be very difficult to maintain.”

“Snow  Empress.”  The  Ice  Bear  King  cried  out  dejectedly. “Alright, Snow Empress, I’ll listen to you. You have bestowed life upon me, and you raised me so that I could become stronger, and you helped me become king of the Extreme Northern Bears. You have given me everything I have, and your wish is my command. I will die if that’s what you want.”

The Snow Empress laughed. “Silly… why would I want you to kill yourself? I chose Ah Tai to become ruler of the Extreme North after considering between you and him, and that’s because his personality and the entire Tai Tan Snowdevil tribe is more suitable than you and your tribe. However, he can never compare to you in terms of intimacy. You are like the Ice Empress in my heart, and you are my family. Ice is my sister, but you are my child!”

The Ice Bear King’s eyes immediately softened when he heard her. He nudged his enormous nose against the Snow Empress body and said, “Snow Empress, Snow Empress... what am I to do, exactly?”

The Snow Empress heaved a sigh and said, “You will just follow me from now on. I can feel you are not far from your third bottleneck, and you only have a thirty percent chance of breaking through it. If I’m still around to protect you, perhaps you will be able to make it, but there’s no way I can stay here to help you. Therefore, I hope that you can choose a different path with me.”

The Ice Bear King clearly didn’t really understand the meaning of the Snow Empress’ words. He stared at her in confusion, and didn’t know what to say.

The Snow Empress continued, “You will understand if you follow me after this. The path that I am looking at is one to become a God. If I am successful, then we will transcend this world, and we will no longer be threatened or affected by it. If we fail, then we have a chance to choose another. In the
 
Douluo Continent, no matter how strong us soul beasts are individually, there is no way we can touch the God Realm. It is the rule of this world. Di Tian is sufficiently powerful, but he still has no way of breaking this curse. If he can’t, then I can’t, and neither can you. Therefore, we can only attach ourselves to the strongest person in this world, and perhaps that person that will reach the God Realm, and only then can we leave this world.”

“I don’t know about all that, Snow Empress, but I will follow you, whatever you say.” The Ice Bear King used the most direct method to express his trust in the Snow Empress.

The Snow Empress turned around and waved at Huo Yuhao. “Come here, Yuhao.”

Huo Yuhao hurriedly step forward and came to the Snow Empress’ side.

The  Snow  Empress  smiled  and  said,  “Little  Bai,  let  me introduce you. This is my father.”
 
Huo Yuhao was still digesting the shock and astonishment that he harbored towards the Snow Empress, and he didn’t know why she was calling him over. However, his entire being froze like a rock when she said that.

Father… What did she just call me? Father…

He was completely motionless at this point, as if his spiritual sea had turned into ice. More importantly, the Snow Empress’ expression was extremely calm and casual when she said those words, as if she were describing something very normal.

Huo Yuhao wasn’t the only one; the Ice Bear King’s expression was equally lackadaisical. There seemed to be a trail of snot flowing from his giant nose.

Father…

That term was equally unfamiliar to him. He didn’t know who his father was. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been taken away by the Snow Empress.
 
But why would this term, father, appear in the Snow Empress’ mouth!? The Snow Empress... she actually has a father? She has been alive for more than seven hundred thousand years, and she’s one of the oldest living beings in the world. How old does her father have to be?

The Snow Empress stared at the human and soul beast, who were both stunned speechless and motionless. She couldn’t help but laugh, and it wasn’t just a grin, because she was laughing particularly happily. This was especially so when she was looking at Huo Yuhao, because it was evident that there was some teasing in her smile.

The Ice Empress wasn’t too far away from them, but she couldn’t laugh at all. Her eyes were opened wide as her jaw hung open; she hadn’t expected such words to come from the Snow Empress’ mouth, either.

“Daddy, what’s wrong?” The Snow Empress stared at Huo Yuhao with a captivating smile on her face.

Huo Yuhao swallowed forcibly before he pointed at himself and said, “You… you’re calling me? You can’t make a joke like this, Snow Empress!”

The Snow Empress rolled her eyes and said, “Who’s joking with you? I am calling you. Why, do you not dare to acknowledge me? Have you forgotten? I have just passed my crown as the ruler of the Extreme North to Ah Tai, and since that moment, I am no longer queen in this place. I am no
longer the Snow Empress: I am the Snow Lady, the Snow Lady that you have always protected, and the Snow Lady that has been growing up little by little.”

Never in his wildest dreams did he expect such a tremendous turnaround. He was just feeling sad about the distance between the Snow Empress and himself when she gave him such an enormous pleasant surprise.

The Snow Empress’ eyes grew tender. “Yuhao, I have recovered my memory, but everything that happened when we were together has long been imprinted in my memory in the period that my old memory was lost. I will never forget all the times that we have shared together, and in my heart, you are my father. This has nothing to do with age, and it’s just a sentiment. Yes, it’s just a sentiment.”

Her eyes grew a little sadder as she paused. “Did you know? I was all alone when I came into this world, and this loneliness
 
made my personality cold and icy. I am the Icesky Snow Lady that the heavens have nurtured and brought into this world, but even though the weakest soul beasts in the Extreme North have their own parents, I have no parents. Rather, the Extreme North is my parent. I have never experienced parental warmth or kindness.

“But I’ve felt that from you. I can feel the love and care that you have for me. When I’m with you, even if you’re just staring at me with a tender and amiable gaze, it makes me very happy. Even though I had yet to regain my memory back then, once I regained my memory, I realized that the period when I was with you was the happiest and most blissful part of my life.

“Therefore, I consider you my father in my heart, and that will never change. Ever since I’ve recovered my memory over these days, I can feel the worry in your heart. You don’t have to fear anything. I am the Snow Empress, but I am your Snow Lady even more. I am more than willing to be your Snow Lady! Daddy, are you willing to accept me as your daughter?”

The corner of Huo Yuhao’s mouth began to twitch. Daughter… the Snow Empress, the Icesky Snow Lady, third amongst the Ten Great Savage Beasts, and a soul beast with
 
seven hundred thousand years of cultivation… Gods! What has happened to this world?

Even though he was full of yearning towards the Snow Empress before this, his first reaction when the Snow Empress was standing in front of him and saying to him plainly that she wanted to be his daughter wasn’t happiness; he could almost feel his nose bleeding. That was just…

The Snow Empress pouted and said, “Daddy, do you not want me anymore? Then I will become a child with no home to return to.”

The Snow Empress was incredibly gorgeous from the beginning. Everything came from her heart, and even though she seemed like a lady who had grown up, her voice, eyes, and tone were no different from the little Snow Lady back then.

“Of course I do!” Huo Yuhao sputtered.

“Alright, then!”  The Snow Empress giggled as she pranced forward and wrapped her arms around Huo Yuhao’s arm. “I have been trying too hard to pretend after I’ve recovered my
 
memory. I would rather be the Snow Lady. More accurately, the memory that belongs to the Snow Lady has allowed me to find myself. I am a little reluctant to give away my position as the ruler of the Extreme North, but now I feel as if I have been liberated, and all my responsibilities are no more. I will live my
life happily from today onwards, and that feeling is just fantastic. Isn’t that right, daddy?”

Huo Yuhao really wanted to ask her if she could stop calling him that. After all, they looked like they were of the same age! The Snow Empress calling him that just made him feel very strange.

The Ice Empress’ voice came from behind her. “Snow, you… you’re calling him father. What about me?”

The Snow Empress turned around and giggled at the Ice Empress. “I don’t care about that. I have already found you your lover, Ice. Don’t worry, we can do things differently. You have been addressing him by his name, anyway. It hasn’t been easy for me to find this familial love, Ice. Aren’t you happy for me?”
 
“Yes, of course I am happy,” the Ice Empress forced a laugh. “But this sudden change of events does make me feel a little weird.”

The  Snow  Empress  chortled  and  said,  “There’s  nothing weird about this. I am still me, and I am still the same Snow in your heart. Everything is fine if that hasn’t changed. Little Bai, what are you waiting for? Hurry up and greet your grandfather. Haven’t you always wanted me to be your mother? Alright, I am willing to accept you as my son.”

“Grand…  grandfather…”  The Ice Bear King stared at Huo Yuhao with blank eyes. He could definitely tell that Huo Yuhao was a human. But the Snow Empress, whom he had endless respect for, actually called a human such as this her father. That… that was just…


Huo Yuhao felt incredibly peculiar. He suddenly had a daughter today, and she felt like a very formal one, and now he had a grandson. He wasn’t even married yet! He didn’t know if he should laugh or cry. Everything was just so peculiar, but he couldn’t not recognize the Snow Empress as his daughter.
 
“There’s a good boy,” The Snow Empress patted the Ice Bear King on his nose, and she waved her right hand across the air and pointed. A dark blue ice crystal hovered in front of the Ice Bear King.

“This is your grandfather’s gift to you.”

The Ice Bear King was momentarily stunned. When he managed to see what was in front of him with clarity, his eyes immediately widened. “That… that’s Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence?”

The Snow Empress nodded and said, “Yes! How’s that? Isn’t your grandfather generous?”

“Generous, yes. He’s very generous. Greetings, grandfather. Thank you, grandfather!”  The way he addressed Huo Yuhao clearly sounded a lot smoother this time. The Ice Bear King stared at the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence as he swallowed again and again, looking like he was about to start drooling.

However, before he could raise his paws to take it, the Snow Empress withdrew the ice crystal.

“You have to wait for a little while, and you can’t absorb it yet. This will be used to stabilize the origin of your consciousness. Let’s do it this way; let me explain things to you as your mother. Ice, your aunt, and I have merged with your grandfather. Simply put, we have assimilated part of our power with your grandfather. You have already felt that your grandfather is a human. He is the most talented human in the world today.”

Chapter 474: Lord of Soul Beasts

The Snow Empress said seriously, “In the future, we’ll do our best to become Gods. Once your grandfather becomes a God, we can also enter the God Realm and break free from the limits of this world. This is why you need to fuse with your grandfather. After fusing, you can use this Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence to ensure that your spiritual sense is protected. Things will be fine like this.”

“Alright, mom. Whatever you say. I’ll listen to you. I know you won’t harm me. I still thought that you were biased towards Ah Tai. It seems like you’re really biased, but you’re biased towards me! Ah Tai has no chance of becoming a God. Hahahahaha! I’m so happy!”

Huo Yuhao’s heart couldn’t take it. This Ice Bear King has a one-track mind. Is he not worried that he can’t make a successful breakthrough? Right now, he understood why the Snow Empress wanted to pass the position of the leader of the ice plains of the Extreme North to the Tai Tan Snowdevil King, instead of the Ice Bear King.
 
The Snow Empress nodded and said, “It’s good as long as you’re willing to. Because it involves giving up your own body, you have to be completely willing to do so. You can’t be forced at all.”

“I’m not forced. I’m not forced at all,” the Ice Bear King said delightedly.

The Snow Empress said, “Alright, you should return to your tribe to recount things to them. Once you leave this time, I’m afraid you won’t have time to return anymore.”

“Alright!”   the  Ice  Bear  King  agreed  before  turning  and rushing off.

The Ice Empress laughed, “Little Bai is really that naïve! He hasn’t changed in all these years. He trusts you completely.”

The Snow Empress smiled and said, “Daddy formed a soul core, and his spiritual power is enough to accommodate another Spirit. Let’s take this spot first before he gives it to his Spirit Eyes. Given Little Bai’s abilities, he can be the eighth and ninth soul rings. When daddy cultivates until he reaches eight
 
rings, he can fuse completely with Little Bai. After that, I’ll help Little Bai suppress some of his powers and wait until daddy reaches Rank 90 before letting him become the ninth soul ring of daddy’s Ultimate Ice martial soul. I’m confident with the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence around.”

Huo Yuhao revealed a bitter smile on his face, “Snow Empress, can you change…”

The Ice Empress immediately nodded. “Change it. I can’t stand it, either.”

The Snow Empress glanced at Huo Yuhao and said, “I’ll change it if you stop being so skeptical in the future. Don’t forget that I’m your first Spirit, and I gave you four soul rings. This means that we are actually very closely connected. Furthermore, because you burned your teacher’s divine senses as an intermediary to connect with my spiritual mind, I’m able to sense everything in your mind.”

Huo Yuhao was in a daze. Yes! I completely forgot about that. I’ve been using my mind to control the Snow Lady all this while! After she regained her memory, this became mutual. Without a doubt, the Snow Empress must have had sensed his
 
intentions and emotional changes. That was why she mentioned this.

The Snow Empress drifted to his side. “Alright, I’ll call you by your name and you’ll call me the Snow Lady. Not only is this less unfamiliar, but it’s also less weird.”

“Okay, okay.” Huo Yuhao nodded repeatedly. Snow Lady is great. It sounds the most natural.

The Ice Empress’ expression turned slightly weird now. The look in her eyes appeared to be that of jealousy at this moment.

The Snow Empress said to Huo Yuhao, “They’ll need some time to return. You can cultivate here first. The environment of the Extreme North is extremely suitable for you to cultivate in.”

“Alright.” The Snow Empress’ problem had been settled, and Huo Yuhao was in a good mood right now. He sat cross-legged on the ground and immediately entered a cultivation state.
 
This was already the core region of the Extreme North. The temperature was extremely low. If an ordinary person were here, they would become an ice sculpture in just a few breaths.

In such an extremely chilly environment, the amount of ice was naturally greater than in most other places. Huo Yuhao’s Ultimate Ice martial soul had only fused with a part of the Ice Empress’ strength in the beginning, it wasn’t pure enough yet. However, he had slowly fused with the soul power origin of the Ice Empress as his powers increased. As his own abilities increased, his Ultimate Ice became more and more elemental. This was especially true after he fused with the Snow Empress, who became his Spirit. His Ultimate Ice was slowly becoming stronger and stronger.

However, Huo Yuhao did face difficulties in this process. For example, when the Snow Empress poured her ice-type origin energy into him, he was disabled for some time.

After absorbing the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence, Huo Yuhao’s own condition had improved by leaps and bounds. Such an improvement couldn’t be described physically. Rather, it was the increased sensitivity of his Ultimate Ice. During this process, his Ultimate Ice also started to become more and more extreme.

In fact, to say that something was ‘ultimate’ was just a way of describing it. There was no way such an extreme could ever be achieved. Whether it was Huo Yuhao’s Ultimate Ice, the Snow Empress’ Ultimate Ice, or the Ice Empress’ Ultimate Ice, they couldn’t possibly reach absolute zero.

However, as Huo Yuhao’s abilities improved and his understanding of Ultimate Ice increased, they kept proceeding in that direction.

An ice-type soul master could reach just above negative one hundred degrees Celsius, and his soul skills could also reach such a standard. However, more and more ice-type soul masters would fail as the temperature continued to fall. When the temperature reached negative one hundred and fifty degrees Celsius, every unit drop in temperature required not just hard work, but also talent, and a quality martial soul.

Huo Yuhao’s Ultimate Ice was the most terrifying in the sense that it kept on changing.

The Ice Empress had reached an all-time low of negative one hundred and ninety degrees Celsius at her peak, whereas the
 
Snow Empress could reach around negative two hundred and five degrees Celsius. These were their limits. These were also the limits of the continent’s ice-type soul beasts and ice-type soul masters.

This was why an Ultimate Ice martial soul referred to a temperature below negative one hundred and fifty degrees Celsius when the martial soul unleashed a soul skill. Initially, Huo Yuhao couldn’t do this when he first fused with the Ice Empress. But as his cultivation improved, he was slowly proceeding in this direction.

The lowest temperature that he could reach now was already far below this temperature. Even though he couldn’t compare to the Snow Empress and Ice Empress at their peaks, he could still control his soul skills to achieve a temperature below negative one hundred and sixty-five degrees Celsius after fusing with the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence. This was the true standard of Ultimate Ice.

This was especially true recently. After the Snow Empress woke up from her sleep, she gave him some guidance. With the Snow Empress’ help, Huo Yuhao’s understanding of Ultimate Ice kept deepening.
 
That was not to say that the Ice Empress didn’t advise him in the past. However, the Ice Empress and Snow Empress were different. Although the Ice Empress had turned into Huo Yuhao’s martial soul, she was still a soul beast, and the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion. An Ice Jade Scorpion’s cultivation, understanding, and control of ice elements were very different from humans.

As the Icesky Snow Lady, the Snow Empress was a living spirit birthed from the essence of heaven and earth, even though she was categorized as a soul beast. She looked very similar to humans. This was why Huo Yuhao found it easier to implement her advice.


The Snow Empress kept on emphasizing that Huo Yuhao was very reliant on his Spirit Eyes. Right now, his Spirit Eyes had grown to a certain standard, and his soul core had already been formed. If he wanted to improve further, the amount of effort that he needed to use was going to be many times higher. His Ultimate Ice martial soul hadn’t been completely tapped yet. This was why he needed to improve his second martial soul if he really wanted to increase his abilities. It was even more essential for him to understand his own martial soul and the ice element.
 
Just like the Snow Empress had said, it was much easier for him to understand the mysteries of ice in the core region of the Extreme North than in other places.

Huo Yuhao relaxed his body and circulated his Mysterious Heaven Technique. He switched to his Ice Jade Empress Scorpion. Naturally, his Mysterious Heaven Technique turned into a cold current that flowed through his body. Although his Spirit Eyes were shut, his immense spiritual control was still there.

Huo Yuhao didn’t cultivate directly. Rather, he tried his best to relax and silently sense the ice around him.

Ice was the solid state of water. Water nourished all living beings, and was the origin of life. However, ice could complete life. To some extent, water and ice weren’t just related by temperature. They represented the changes between life and death.

He was silently sensing things around him and understanding them. He was very invested in it.
 
The Snow Empress stood beside him and shut her beautiful eyes. She was also silently sensing. What she sensed were Huo Yuhao’s emotions, and the changes in his body.

She looked very calm and peaceful as she stood there. There was a slight smile on her face. She didn’t look as cold as she used to be. She looked like a wife trying to protect her lover.

The Ice Empress was a little dazed as she stood to one side. She also didn’t understand why the Snow Empress was so nice to Huo Yuhao. It isn’t about working together anymore. Don’t tell me that the Snow Empress likes him? Impossible, this is impossible. The Snow Empress is the Icesky Snow Lady, a spirit of heaven and earth. How could she fall for a human? However, the way she called to him…

The Ice Empress thought of how the Snow Empress had called Huo Yuhao ‘Daddy’ earlier, and felt goosebumps on her arms.

“Don’t think too much. Just follow your heart.” A projection silently drifted from Huo Yuhao’s body and landed beside the Ice Empress. It was the Skydream Iceworm’s human form.
 
“I don’t need you to care!” the Ice Empress snapped.

The Skydream Iceworm chuckled and said, “When it comes to relationships, you really have to seek me for advice. I’m great at them!”

“How so?” the Ice Empress asked, unimpressed.

The Skydream Iceworm replied delightedly, “Of course I’m great at them. See, I made you fall in love with me unwittingly. Am I not great?”

“……” Pause… “Do you have any shame?”

“Do Iceworms have any shame?”  Brother Skydream asked casually.

“I really want to strangle you!” The Ice Empress twisted her head and looked at him fiercely.
 
Brother Skydream looked deeply into her eyes, “Could you bear to do so?”

“Scram!”  The Ice Empress lifted her hands and wanted to push him away. The Skydream Iceworm flipped his wrist and grabbed her arm. Naturally, he pulled her into his embrace.

“You…” The Ice Empress was furious as she struggled.
However, he lowered his head and kissed her on the lips.

Suddenly, the Ice Empress’ body flashed with jade-green electricity. After this, her entire body turned rigid.

If any soul beast from the Extreme North saw this, they would be greatly shocked. Ice Empress, she was the Ice Empress! She was only inferior to the Snow Empress in the Extreme North. The strongest Ice Jade Scorpion was actually kissed by someone?

The Skydream Iceworm was only sneaking an attack initially, but very soon, he discovered that the Ice Empress didn’t resist at all. Her hands even tightly grabbed onto the front of his shirt, which he had conjured up using his spiritual sense.

How could he possibly give up such a rare opportunity? The half-hearted attempt instantly turned into deep research. His kiss was extremely passionate.

The Ice Empress’ body gradually turned from rigid to soft. Although she appeared to be trying to push the Skydream Iceworm away, she didn’t do so in the end.

The Snow Empress lifted her head to look at the two of them.
She shook her head helplessly and shut her eyes..

Even the Ice Empress reacted over after being kissed many times. When she used force to push Brother Skydream away, her face was already red.

He put on a fantastic ‘performance’ at this moment, revealing an indignant look on his face, as if he were a kid that had done something wrong. He lowered his head, “Ice, I was wrong.”

The Ice Empress was about to rage, but couldn’t help but be stunned when she saw him like this. Before she could even
 
rage, she subconsciously asked, “What did you do wrong?”

The Skydream Iceworm lowered his head and said, “My, my first kiss has been given to you just like that. Ice, you must take responsibility!”

The Ice Empress was stunned for a moment. After this, she raged, “Nonsense! Wasn’t that my first kiss too?”

“Indeed  so!”  Brother  Skydream  instantly  lifted  his  head. There was a look of delightful surprise on his face. Even his eyes were shining brightly.

“Do! You! Want! To! Die?!” The Ice Empress’ aura ballooned.
This time, she was well and truly going to rage.

“Stop! Ice, clam down. Let me analyze the Snow Empress’ situation for you right now.” The Skydream Iceworm immediately changed his expression, and looked very serious.

The Ice Empress had already lifted her hand, but when she saw him like that, she eventually didn’t smack him.

“Tell me!” the Ice Empress demanded, gritting her teeth.

The  Skydream  Iceworm  was  serious  as  he  said,  “The situation that the Snow Empress is facing is very normal. Initially, she wanted to be reborn as a human and seek an important path. This was because she realized that as a soul beast, she can’t possibly overcome the limits of this world no matter how strong she is. Even if she were like Di Tian, she can’t reach the Godly Realm. This is something that soul beasts can’t accomplish. She only has a chance by being reborn as a human.

“However,  who  knew  that  she  would  meet  despicable humans who took her embryo away just as she was filled with hope? She was greatly tormented because of that, as she was likely to become a human soul master’s soul ring. It was Yuhao who saved her. Then, the Snow Empress didn’t even lose her awareness. She was still as strong as ever. Without any choice, she fused into Yuhao’s body and left with him. From then on, she truly entered the world of humans.

“Not long after that, her compressed origin power was completely unleashed because Yuhao absorbed the Frigid Jade Essence Bed, which led to her fusion as his Spirit. Because of
 
that, Yuhao’s teacher had to burn his divine sense, and left this world. Although the Snow Empress didn’t explicitly say it, she has always felt that she owes Yuhao. Furthermore, Huo Yuhao treated her very well after she became the Snow Lady.

“After some time, some feelings must have developed. The Snow Empress was originally the Icesky Snow Lady. In the Extreme North, all soul beasts respected and feared her. From Yuhao, she sensed unprecedented closeness. When she was still the little Snow Lady, she really treated Yuhao as her father. This was why she has found it very natural to call him ‘daddy’ all this while.

“Right now, the Snow Empress’ choice was made because of two reasons. First, she’s tired of the lonely life she has here, and is striving to integrate into the world of humans. Second, I reckon that she has no way of leaving Yuhao. The fusion between her and Yuhao is even deeper than ours.”

The Ice Empress was astonished, and asked, “How is that possible? I am Yuhao’s martial soul! You’re not too shabby, either; you’ve even fused your spiritual origin with him! How can our fusion with him not be as deep as his with the Snow Empress?”
 
The Skydream Iceworm chuckled and answered, “You probably won’t know this. You forgot something important. When the Snow Empress became Yuhao’s Spirit, Yuhao’s teacher, Electrolux, actually burned the remnants of his divine sense. No matter what, he was halfway to becoming a God. Under such a circumstance, do you not agree that a fusion using the remnants of his divine sense would be deeper?

“I can feel that the Snow Empress and Yuhao might even be related by blood. This is what we lack. This also means that her origin might have become a part of Yuhao. As a teacher, Electrolux must have had left some benefits for his own disciple by sacrificing his own life. Because of that, Huo Yuhao feels much closer to the Snow Empress.”

After hearing the Skydream Iceworm’s analysis, the Ice Empress forgot about how she was taken advantage of earlier, and entered a pensive state.

The Skydream Iceworm said, “Alright, Ice. I’m going to return to Yuhao’s body to cultivate. I haven’t fully absorbed the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence.” After he finished speaking, he turned into a beam of flowing light and vanished into Huo Yuhao’s body.


 
After a brief moment, the Ice Empress reacted. I haven’t settled my score with this scoundrel for taking advantage of me! However, Huo Yuhao was cultivating right now. She couldn’t possibly cause a disturbance in his spiritual sea! She was immediately furious as she pouted her lips. However, she turned slightly red from embarrassment when she recalled how the Skydream Iceworm had kissed her. Apart from embarrassment, she also felt a slight sense of sweetness.

-----------

When Huo Yuhao awoke from his meditation, he only felt that his entire body had become completely clear. In this short span of time, he felt as if he had turned into a block of ice, and sensed the eternal past of ice.

However, when he opened his eyes, he immediately discovered that he was probably the only one who thought that only a short amount of time had passed. This was because there were a bunch of Tai Tan Snowdevils standing around him.

The Tai Tan Snowdevil King was standing in front. Not far from him was the Ice Bear King. Evidently, they had returned
 
after accounting to their own people.

The Snow Empress was still standing beside Huo Yuhao, and smiled as she said, “You’re awake. You’ve achieved pretty good results.”

Seeing the smile on her face, both the Tai Tan Snowdevil King and Ice Bear King were in a daze.

The Snow Empress has smiled? Since when has she liked smiling? Is she smiling for this weak human being?

Huo Yuhao drifted up and nodded at the Snow Empress before saying, “I don’t know what I’ve comprehended, but it feels good.”

The Snow Empress said, “We still need to wait for a while before we can leave. Ice has also returned to her own people. I’m not sure whether she’ll return upon leaving this time. She’ll need to account to her own species, too.”
 
“Alright.” Huo Yuhao was moved. After fusing with the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence, the Ice Empress’ origin had indeed been completely consolidated. She could now remain some distance from Huo Yuhao.

The Snow Empress shared a strong sense of telepathy with him, and naturally knew what he was thinking. She nodded and said, “At least within the core region of the Extreme North. However, she can’t do it for too long. After all, our origins are in your body. If they remain too far away from you, their spiritual sense will weaken. They can only recover in your body. After leaving your body, they’ll only be draining themselves.”

“I see.” Huo Yuhao was enlightened.

The Ice Empress didn’t make them wait too long. In less than two hours, she had already turned returned as a beam of jade- green light and returned. However, she didn’t say anything, and directly fused back into Huo Yuhao’s body. Her separation from her own species had inevitably left her slightly depressed.

The Ice Bear King and Tai Tan Snowdevil King opened their eyes wide when they saw the Ice Empress fusing into Huo
 
Yuhao’s body just like that. They didn’t know what was going on.

The Snow Empress calmly said, “Alright, let’s move on.” As she spoke, she dragged Huo Yuhao up and landed on the Ice Bear King’s wide shoulders.

It was Huo Yuhao’s first time sitting on an Ice Bear. He felt like he was sitting on a mountain as he sat on the Ice Bear King’s shoulders. The massive Tai Tan Snowdevil King, the new leader of the ice plains of the Extreme North,was even beside him!

Huo Yuhao looked at the Snow Empress and asked, “Snow Empress, are you using the Tai Tan Snowdevil King to deal with the Sun Moon Empire?”

The Snow Empress nodded and answered, “Your individual strength is too weak. Furthermore, the Sun Moon Empire has invaded our territory, which makes them our enemy. To us, this is an insider thing.”

Huo Yuhao smiled and didn’t say anything else. The Snow Empress turned back and didn’t look at him.

Seeing her ravishing face, Huo Yuhao felt his heart soften. He wasn’t developing romantic feelings. Instead, he was thinking about the Snow Lady.

To him, the little Snow Lady was like his daughter and younger sister. What about the Snow Lady now?

Elder sister?

When he thought about an elder sister, Huo Yuhao felt a sudden heartache. It’s been a long time. I wonder how Sister Xiaotao is. After we parted, Qiu’er sacrificed herself. Then, my emotions were very unstable, and I had to face the beast wave from the Great Star Dou Forest. I had no choice but to rush back to Shrek City. After that, it was the war against the Sun Moon Empire. I don’t know where Sister Xiaotao is. Even though I helped to suppress the evil fire in her, it’s already been a long time. Her evil fire might have acted up again. Will she be involved in the war? If that’s the case, how can I face her?

No matter what, I must save her!

With his recent experiences, Huo Yuhao had confidence inhelping Ma Xiaotao with the evil fire in her body. Among his various options, the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence was the best choice. As long as he fused some of the Manifold Mysterious Ice Essence in his body into Ma Xiaotao, he could completely neutralize her evil fire with the help of the Ice Empress, Snow Empress, and Star Anise Mysterious Ice Grass. If the three Ultimate Ice Spirits that he had couldn’t do it, there wouldn’t be anyone in the world who could.
 
When he thought about that, Huo Yuhao decided that he had to find her when he went to the Heavenly Soul Empire. I hope I can find her. If I find her, I’ll be able to find out about Teacher Xiao Ya, too. I hope she’s okay...

Seeing that Huo Yuhao was in deep thought, the Snow Empress didn’t disrupt him. She quietly sat on the Ice Bear King’s shoulders.

While the Ice Bear King was huge, he was also very quick when he started galloping. He was like a mountain that was sliding on ice.

There were more than a hundred Tai Tan Snowdevils running with him. They were huge. Every step they took covered more than a hundred meters. When they leapt up, they could cover more than five hundred meters. In just two leaps, they covered one kilometer! Given such power, they could match Huo Yuhao’s all-out flying speed.

This was the great strength of the Extreme North. No wonder the ice plains of the Extreme North were a promised land. It had close ties with their immense abilities.
 
Seeing the astonishment in Huo Yuhao’s eyes, the Snow Empress smiled and said, “This is the core strength of the Extreme North. The strength we can utilize is something that you can’t imagine. It’s just like how you’ve never seen the core strength of the Great Star Dou Forest before.”

“Oh?” After hearing the Snow Empress mentioning the Great Star Dou Forest, Huo Yuhao’s curiosity was piqued.

“I’ve not seen the core strength of the Great Star Dou Forest? Don’t tell me that the Five Great Savage Beasts that started the beast wave didn’t form their core strength?”

The Snow Empress shook her head and said, “The Five Great Savage Beasts are the strongest soul beasts in the Great Star Dou Forest right now. However, if we’re talking about core strength, it’s not been utilized yet. In fact, your knowledge of Di Tian is still sorely lacking. He doesn’t rule just the entire Great Star Dou Forest. He’s the spokesperson of ALL soul beasts. If he really wanted to go all-out to deal with humans, the Great Star Dou Forest wouldn’t be the only ones to have attacked. Even the Extreme North would also have to accept his commands and attack humans. When that happens, it’ll be destruction for both sides. Humans are indeed quite strong. However, the hundreds of thousands and million-year
 
cultivations that we have can’t be easily overcome. Even if the humans win, the destruction to the continent would still be immense.”

“Wait a minute.” Huo Yuhao suddenly exclaimed and asked, “Snow Lady, what did you say just now? What do you mean when you say that Di Tian is the spokesperson of all soul beasts? Don’t tell me that there’s a stronger and more powerful soul beast in this world?”

The  Snow  Empress  nodded  seriously  and  answered,  “Yes, there is. At least, that’s what the legends say. In the continent, apart from strange existences like the Skydream Iceworm, we also acknowledge that Di Tian is the strongest and oldest. The Evileye Tyrant is only inferior to him. Only living beings like us that have been around for so long know about the existence of a Lord.”

Huo Yuhao asked, “Who is this Lord of Soul Beasts? If even Di Tian calls him Lord, isn’t he a God then?”

The Snow Empress smiled and explained, “The Lord of Soul Beasts is a God. You should have heard before that our Lord is the Dragon God. The Dragon God is the earliest soul beast to
 
have been birthed, and has his own Godly Seat in the Godly Realm. For some unknown reason, the Dragon God perished, but all the soul beasts on the Douluo Continent recognize him as our Lord. He has nine sons, but we don’t really consider his children as our lords. Rather, we recognize his avatar after he perished as our Lord.

“The legends say that the Dragon God wasn’t accepted into the Godly Realm because he was a soul beast. He separated into two different dragons, and has always been one tier away from being a God. These two dragons are the Golden Dragon and Silver Dragon.

“Among  them,  the  Golden  Dragon  inherited  the  great strength of the Dragon God, whereas the Silver Dragon inherited the Dragon God’s control of the elements: water, fire, earth, wind, light, and darkness. Both of them excelled in their own fields, and were very powerful. They dominated the entire Douluo Continent, and ruled the world of soul beasts together.

“Back then, when the two Dragon Kings and nine sons of the Dragon God ruled, the dragon species was extremely strong. Dragons ruled over all the soul beasts. Afterward, it seemed like a catastrophe hit the Douluo Continent. The two Dragon Kings led the nine sons and the other powerful dragons to
 
resist that catastrophe. Eventually, almost all of them died. Di Tian seems to be the only remaining powerful dragon from that catastrophe. This is why I said that he’s the spokesperson of the Lord of Soul Beasts. It’s because he’s the strongest dragon to have survived, and his blood lineage is the purest.

“The legends also posit that there was a descendant of the Dragon God that survived. As for who it is, only Di Tian might know. I’m not clear on it. However, I’ve sensed the oldest soul beast to have ever existed in the Great Star Dou Forest. This soul beast is indeed very strong. Its strength is hidden within the entire Great Star Dou Forest. He’s not the only one. There is another beast whose job is to protect it.

“Di Tian controls this strength. That is the true core strength of the Great Star Dou Forest.”

To Huo Yuhao, the Snow Empress’ words could only be explained by the legends. Was there really someone stronger in the Great Star Dou Forest?

“Snow  Lady,  who  do  you  reckon  this  surviving  ancient dragon to be?” Huo Yuhao asked.
 
The Snow Empress shook her head and said, “I’m not clear either. I believe that it’s more likely to be one of the Dragon God’s nine sons. Of course, it could also be the Golden Dragon King or Silver Dragon King. However, this possibility is a little too low. After all, the strengths of the two Dragon Kings were very critical in resisting the catastrophe. As they were the avatars of the Dragon God, they can’t possibly produce offspring. If their actual bodies were still around, do you really think humans could rule the continent?”

Huo Yuhao chortled and argued, “It’s not impossible! If they were greatly hurt in that catastrophe, they might need time to recuperate...”

The Snow Empress laughed, “You’d better not be wishing for that scenario to happen. If that’s the case, humans will be in grave danger.”

Huo Yuhao shook his head and laughed. “I’m only kidding. If someone as powerful as him survived, how could he possibly not have recovered after so many years? However, since you’ve sensed that there are other powers in the Great Star Dou Forest, they might really be Di Tian’s trump card.”
 
The Snow Empress smiled and said, “Do you know why I told you all this?”

Huo Yuhao replied, “Don’t tell me that you’re trying to dissuade me from resisting Di Tian?”

The Snow Empress shook her head and replied, “Of course not. I’m giving you encouragement. Furthermore, I’m also trying to tell you that Di Tian might not be your strongest enemy. There might be someone stronger in the Great Star Dou Forest. This is why you should never be overly pleased with yourself, even when you become very strong in the future.”

Huo Yuhao nodded seriously and said, “I won’t be.”

------

Huo Yuhao and the Snow Empress sat on the Ice Bear King’s body and used much less time to return to their target area.
 
The aura of hundreds of charging Tai Tan Snowdevils was simply too strong. The Snow Empress asked them to stop when they were around fifty kilometers away from the Sun Moon Empire.

“Yuhao, from now on, you’ll command them. You’ll decide what to do. I’m re-entering your body to rest.”  As she spoke, the Snow Empress turned into a beam of white light and fused into Huo Yuhao’s body before disappearing.

Before this, the Snow Empress had already explained the abilities of the Tai Tan Snowdevil King, the Tai Tan Snowdevils and the Ice Bear King to Huo Yuhao. She had also instructed them to listen to Huo Yuhao’s orders.

Originally, the two of them didn’t really like humans. However, Huo Yuhao was different. Just like the Snow Empress said, he wanted to enter the God Realm. Also, the Snow Empress even called him ‘daddy’. Neither of the soul beast kings dared to delay any further.

Chapter 475: Huo Yuhao is Back!

“Guys, thanks for your help. We are going to have to deal with a human army later.” Huo Yuhao said as he looked at the two huge powerful soul beasts in front of him.

The Tai Tan Snowdevil King nodded and said, “Since the Snow Empress said we should listen to you, we will follow her arrangement.”

The Ice Bear King nodded and said, “Yes, grandpa. Whatever you want Little Bai to do, Little Bai will do.”

Grandpa…

The Tai Tan Snowdevil King’s face contorted a little. It was not his first time hearing the Ice Bear King call Huo Yuhao that. Furthermore, the Ice Bear King even intentionally called Huo Yuhao that all the time. He was trying to show how close Huo Yuhao was with the Snow Empress.
 
Huo Yuhao had tried to correct him a few times, but it was really difficult to stop someone with a one-track mind like him, so he eventually gave up and let the bear call him whatever he wanted.

Huo Yuhao said, “Like this…” Huo Yuhao started to plan out some arrangements. After going through the Ultimate Soldier Plan, he was able to command a team of elite soldiers in a small-scale battle, even if he wasn’t adept at commanding a huge army.

Of course, the ‘small-scale’ here referred to the number of people involved, and not…

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

Over the past half month, the Sun Moon Empire’s military base had been extremely busy. Ever since they set up their base, they had started to take action in full swing. The initial investment naturally needed time. For example, there was the installment of all types of equipment, the detection of the detailed locations of all types of minerals and how to mine them, etc.
 
It was only after mining all those minerals that they could talk about purification, collection, and transportation.

After more than ten days of building, the basic foundation was more or less set up with the help of the Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion. After that, it was time to mine the minerals.

Eleven veins were discovered here. These veins intersected one another, and each had a different amount of reserves. However, all of them contained high-quality rare metals. Among them, the rare metals produced by two veins were of especially precious quality.

Given such a situation, the entire mining process intensified. Furthermore, according to their research, among the eleven veins, six extended all the way into the Dou Ling Empire. This also meant that they eventually led to the Dou Ling Empire, where further rare metal veins could be discovered and controlled.

After ten days, the Sun Moon Empire’s reinforcements arrived. This batch of reinforcements didn’t have any fighting strength, but they were the best rare metal mining team in the Sun Moon Empire. There were more than five thousand of
 
them, and they brought a large number of machines with them. After arriving at the base, they immediately set up tents and settled down. The Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion and more than twenty thousand soldiers coordinated with this professional team and expanded the scale of the foundations. At the same time, they started to mine.

After half a month, a ceaseless flow of rare metals had already been mined, and were being purified. Twenty-four openings were dug to carry out the mining operations. No time was wasted at all.

The Sun Moon Empire was very aware that the three empires of the original Douluo Continent would also try to obtain more and more rare metals as soul tools became more relevant in the war. If they knew that there were so many huge veins in the Heavenly Soul Empire, they would certainly risk everything to snatch these resources.

This was why Ju Zi’s first instruction was that they mustn’t alarm those from the Dou Ling Empire, or allow them to find out what was going on. Second, they had to mine all the rare metals at the fastest possible speed.
 
More than three thousand storage-type soul tools were used to transport the large-scale machinery. Under normal circumstances, these machines were sufficient to mine more than three times the number of veins currently there. They were brought over because the Sun Moon Empire wanted to
work as quickly as possible.

The entire mining operation was in full swing. Aerial surveillance soul tools were everywhere, performing strict surveillance on the Dou Ling Empire. Once anything was discovered, the Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion would be able to react in the fastest possible time. Given the strength of the Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion, they would be able to resist for a long time even if they met a hundred-thousand-man army. Moreover, they even had the help of a twenty-thousand-man army!

There were many soul formations deployed on the ground. Large-scale soul tools had been fully constructed, and were sufficient to deal with a long-running battle.

Ju Zi also instructed the Sun Moon Empire’s army to send more reinforcements. It wasn’t that she wasn’t confident with the current reinforcements that they had; it was because Huo Yuhao had appeared.

It had been half a month. She had been waiting for half a month, but Huo Yuhao hadn’t shown up to cause any damage yet. Ju Zi immediately came to with a conclusion: Huo Yuhao had indeed left this time. But what did his departure mean? It meant that he had gone to get more reinforcements. Not much
time was needed to travel from the northeast of the Heavenly Soul Empire to Shrek Academy. When he returned, he might bring many powerful individuals from Shrek Academy with him.

Ju Zi had deployed two soul engineer legions for this reason. These two soul engineer legions were watching Shrek Academy. Once soul masters from the Academy were deployed, they would be in charge of intercepting them. At the same time, the troops in the Heavenly Soul Empire were instructed to increase their pressure on the Heavenly Soul Empire.

If the Sun Moon Empire knew that this series of arrangements were all for one person, a lot of people would definitely be shocked. However, Ju Zi deeply believed that this was necessary. In her opinion, Huo Yuhao would only pose a bigger threat to them.

---

At this moment, Ju Zi was gathering intelligence from all directions in the commander’s tent.

Compared to the three empires of the original Douluo Continent, the Sun Moon Empire was very particular about surveillance and intelligence. This was especially true after Ju Zi became the marshal of the three armies. Her first order was to expand the production line of aerial surveillance soul tools; more had to be produced. At the same time, she requested more funding from Xu Tianran to expedite their research in high-altitude offensive soul tools.

Occupying the sky was a very important component of intelligence gathering. At the same time, it was critical for the war. It was just that simple aerial soul tools were still ineffective in the battle for aerial supremacy, compared to soul masters and soul engineers.

Ju Zi sat in the commander’s seat and looked at a report. She revealed a slightly doubtful look on her face and muttered, “What’s going on? How can there be no movement at all?”
 
Over at Shrek Academy, she wasn’t able to deploy many aerial surveillance soul tools to carry out surveillance. However, she had already sent many scouts to observe the Academy’s every move.

Shrek Academy was very quiet over this period of time. She naturally knew that the Tang Sect was mass-producing soul tools. Although she didn’t know what they were actually producing, she wasn’t very worried. The gap in expertise couldn’t be closed in a day or two. This was true even for Xuan Ziwen. No matter how strong he was, he was only one person. There were a bunch of people who were as talented as Teacher Xuan in the Sun Moon Empire. In terms of resources, the Sun Moon Empire was also much stronger. Most importantly, whether it was the Tang Sect or Shrek Academy, they didn’t have enough time to close the gap.

“Yuhao, have you given up? No, I don’t believe that you’ll do that. That’s not your character. You must be able to tell what we’re trying to do. How can you possibly give up just like this? But where are you? Why is there no movement from Shrek Academy? Don’t tell me you’ve gone to the Dou Ling Empire? You wouldn’t do that, given your intelligence! The main forces of the Dou Ling Empire are with the remaining forces from the Heavenly Soul Empire, trying to resist our empire. You should know that they’ll be outnumbered if we put more pressure on
 
them. Since that is the case, where exactly are you? Is there something that’s more important than stopping me? No, I don’t think so. You must be doing something, and I’m sure you’ll have something to show me. Unless…”

Her expression changed slightly. She wasn’t willing to think beyond that. She also believed that it wouldn’t happen. Given Yuhao’s current abilities, there are very few who can harm him...

Ju Zi mocked herself and was a little annoyed as she said, “When  you  left,  I  kept  on  worrying  that  you’d  return. However, you haven’t appeared for so long, and there’s been no intelligence. I started to worry about your safety. I really suspect whether I’ll be capable of being ruthless to you when I face you again! Yuhao, you know how much I don’t want to lay my hands on you. If you can cooperate with me, that’d be really good. If that were the case, I’d be more confident of conquering this world...

“Where are you? I need to have news of you. Otherwise, I might really go and find you if this continues.”
 
Ju Zi kept mumbling Huo Yuhao’s name in the tent. However, she didn’t know that he was not less than ten kilometers away from her. Furthermore, he was in the air. If he wanted to, and if there wasn’t any resistance, he could appear in front of her in less than ten minutes.

That was right. Huo Yuhao was in the air right now, hiding in a bank of clouds.

As he drifted in mid-air, Huo Yuhao silently observed the camp.

The weather in the Extreme North was very good today. More accurately speaking, the wind in the Extreme North was very strong today. At a certain altitude, visibility was much greater than inland. It was very difficult to find a cloud like the one Huo Yuhao was hiding in. Furthermore, this cloud was moving at an extremely high speed.

Many aerial surveillance soul tools in the distance were being monitored by Huo Yuhao. These soul tools were very scattered. In addition, they were all different types of surveillance soul tools. There was an all-around surveillance soul tool around a thousand meters in the air, and an oscillation detector at an
 
altitude of five hundred meters. There were even thermal detectors at an altitude of two hundred meters.

The aerial surveillance soul tools were very scattered. Undoubtedly, they had learned a lesson when Huo Yuhao had destroyed many of them at once. There were more of them now, and they were all dispersed. Furthermore, they were carrying out more in-depth surveillance to achieve greater results. Of course, this required more efforts to be invested. On that point, Ju Zi naturally didn’t skimp at all.

After his period of observation, Huo Yuhao discovered that the aerial surveillance soul tools didn’t just protect the military base below. They were also directed towards the Dou Ling Empire. It wasn’t an exaggeration to claim that the Dou Ling Empire’s troops would be discovered as long as they came within thirty kilometers of the base. What would follow would likely be the attacks of the Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion directed towards them.

Huo Yuhao was still in awe right now. He was very impressed by the professional standards of the Sun Moon Empire. In just half a month, the size of the base was already ten times bigger than when he was first here. There were also more people around. He had not seen many of the large-scale soul tools. All the soul tools were in use, but the noise pollution they created
 
wasn’t very high. He was less than three thousand meters in the sky right now, but no sound from below was audible at this altitude. Evidently, the Sun Moon Empire had done a great job at minimizing noise pollution.

Although Huo Yuhao wasn’t very experienced in mining rare metals, he could tell from the scale of their mining operations that the amount of reserves in the mines was definitely extraordinary. The Sun Moon Empire would not take much time to mine all the metals, given the scale of their mining operation.

From the sky, everything was clear. There were more than twenty mine tunnels. Chunks of ore were constantly being transported out of these openings. These could become rare metals that were worth a lot, and be used for the cores of soul tools after they were purified.

Huo Yuhao was also a soul engineer. Even though he was far away, he could still recognize some of the more special rare metals. Given the amount of rare metals they had, it naturally meant that more and more weapons could be created by the Sun Moon Empire. Although the same thing would happen if he was the one with the rare metals, at least the Tang Sect and
 
Shrek were producing weapons to stop the war, and resist invasions!

Huo Yuhao’s plan was very simple. First, he wanted to blind this Sun Moon Empire army before leading the Tai Tan Snowdevil army to attack them.

The Tai Tan Snowdevil King was very unconvinced by this plan. In his opinion, the number of people here wasn’t enough to pose any threat to the Tai Tan Snowdevils. In a few attacks, everyone from the Sun Moon Empire would certainly be killed.

However, Huo Yuhao warned him that there were many powerful weapons in the human world. Even if he was a soul beast, his life was still in danger.

Tai Tan Snowdevils were the most powerful species of savage beasts in the Extreme North. They possessed incredibly terrifying strength. Their bodies were their strongest weapon and ability. Their dominating strength was a nightmare for their enemies. However, their bodies were very large, which made them easy targets for soul tools.
 
Huo Yuhao was able to convince the Tai Tan Snowdevil King under the name of the Snow Empress. He was here to help. He didn’t want his entire species to be critically hurt because of him. If that was the case, he wouldn’t be able to account to the Snow Empress, either!

After observing for some time, Huo Yuhao carefully retreated. He was too easily spotted in the day if he took any action. The results would be better at night.

He silently returned to where the Tai Tan Snowdevils were stationed, and tweaked their original plan slightly. The Tai Tan Snowdevil King led his own species, as well as the Ice Bear King, to take a brief rest.

The Snow Empress didn’t permit the Ice Bear King to bring his own species with him. This was because the Ice Bear King was going to leave with them after this. If he brought his own people with him, he would be put in a difficult spot later on.

What they needed now was to wait for nightfall.

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

Time slowly passed, and the sky slowly turned dark. A figure silently flew out from a snowdrift in the distance. More figures followed, and slowly scattered. They were all slowly moving forwards. They lightened their footsteps and tried not to make any sound as they moved forward, all of them advancing towards the same target.

The figure in front of everyone else, with a height of around two meters, wasn’t Huo Yuhao. He was a burly man with an extremely muscular physique.

When savage beasts reached a certain level, they could transform into a human appearance, and the Tai Tan Snowdevil King was no exception. However, soul beasts weren’t willing to do so unless it was necessary. They could only unleash their greatest strength in their original state. Right now, they did this to better conceal themselves. In Huo Yuhao’s plan, the Tai Tan Snowdevil King definitely played the most important role.

What about Huo Yuhao?
 
Right now, he wasn’t alone in flying towards the sky. There was a big fatty beside him. If one wasn’t observant enough, they would assume that it was a pig flying in the sky.

Huo Yuhao was a little helpless as he asked the Ice Bear King, “Little  Bai,  why  are  you  in  this  form?  Ah  Tai  looks  more normal than you.”

That ‘pig’ was indeed the Ice Bear King!

Right now, the Ice Bear King was just like a ball-shaped human. He flew beside Huo Yuhao with his huge belly. He could glide as much as he wanted. He wasn’t wearing anything, either. After all, he couldn’t fit into Huo Yuhao’s clothes! His flesh was all round, and even his head was ball-shaped. His look was extremely interesting.