Book 10: Shrek's Seven Monsters
Chapter 63: The Preparatory Team
After hearing the words ‘Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’ Xu Sanshi blurted out, “Elder Xuan, are you saying that you’ll let us participate in the Continental Advanced Academy Soul Dueling Tournament?”
Elder Xuan snorted. “Will you be able to win even if I let you go? The age limit for the Continental Advanced Academy Soul Dueling Tournament is twenty years. You have the qualiﬁcations to participate this time but today’s qualiﬁcation match was used to select a preparatory team. Our preparatory team has always been chosen before the Shrek’s Seven Monsters go out to compete in the main competition.”
Right! The main requirement for the qualiﬁcation match held today was that participants needed to be under ﬁfteen. They ﬁnally understood why this was the case now; the age requirement was there to ensure that they wouldn’t turn twenty in ﬁve years, allowing them to participate in the next Continental Advanced Academy Soul Dueling Tournament.
Elder Xuan said, “I’ve chosen you lot for two reasons. Firstly, to be the preparatory team, and secondly, to be the main
team’s substitutes. Realistically, there’s an extremely miniscule chance of you actually going out to ﬁght, but as substitutes, you will have the qualiﬁcations to watch the matches from the front row. This will be an extremely precious experience for you. However, this qualiﬁcation match doesn’t decide everything. You will be examined continuously over the next ﬁve years and will only be allowed to represent the school if you’re strong enough. In the meantime, you’ll have to go through many tests. Thus, if you want to truly represent the school, you have to ﬁrst ensure that you can enter the inner courtyard.”
Although Elder Xuan had given them many restrictions, the seven of them were still overjoyed. Representing Shrek Academy to go out and ﬁght as the new generation of Shrek’s Seven Monsters was undoubtedly the highest honor they could obtain in the academy!
Before today, none of them would’ve expected that this seemingly simple qualiﬁcation match would be the deciding factor for such an important event.
Elder Xuan said, “The fact that you lot are the preparatory team is a secret within the academy. Hence you’re not allowed to reveal it to anyone or else you’ll be stripped of your
privileges. From now on, you’ll train with me once a week. We’re still one month away from the Continental Advanced Academy Soul Dueling Tournament so in the meantime I’ll bring you along to train with the current Seven Monsters. I hope that you’ll seize this precious opportunity to strengthen yourselves as much as possible. Okay, all of you can go now. Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, you two stay behind for a minute.”
“Yes.” Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong had excited looks in their eyes. After all, it was public knowledge that among these seven students, the ones who were most unconforming with the requirements needed to become a member of the Seven Monsters were the two of them and Xiao Xiao due to their young age. Even ﬁve years later they would only be seventeen years old. At the very most, they would’ve just entered the inner courtyard. Under the age of twenty, a difference of three years in cultivation was an enormous gap. However, Elder Xuan had already decided to temporarily allow them to enter the preparatory team. This meant that, at least for the time being, their position in the team was relatively stable and they could even receive personal pointers from Elder Xuan. From the terrifying amount of strength that he had released in mid- air, how could they not see how powerful this seemingly sloppy teacher was?
After Bei Bei, Xu Sanshi, and the rest left, Elder Xuan waved towards Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong, who quickly ran up to him.
“Your performance today has stunned me. If I had to choose the most outstanding participants in today’s match, I wouldn’t choose Bei Bei, Xu Sanshi, Jiang Nannan, or He Caitou but the two of you. Your fusion skill is miraculous but it has a large drawback to it. It’s extreme strength is limited by its glaring ﬂaw, the fact that it can only attack in a straight line. If your opponents are able to dodge it in time, you’ll have wasted an enormous amount of soul power for nothing. Because of that, however, you managed to give me an even bigger surprise. I care not about the strength of your skill, but rather, about the perfect timing you displayed. Tell me, was the fact that they were lined up together all due to luck or was it because everything was within your control? If it was in your control, how did you successfully coordinate it with your other teammates?”
Huo Yuhao wanted to be modest but Wang Dong spoke out, “Elder Xuan, he’s the one who planned and controlled everything during the battle. Ask him.” Wang Dong ‘sold’ Huo Yuhao out in a seemingly unloyal manner.
Elder Xuan lifted the disheveled hair in front of his forehead and revealed a pair of pitch-black eyes that were completely inconsistent with his age, “Tell me, Huo Yuhao.”
Huo Yuhao was somewhat bashful. “It’s nothing really, Elder Xuan. You’ll understand everything once I let you try it out.” With that, he released his Spiritual Detection Sharing and expanded its range out to the maximum limit.
Elder Xuan was slightly stunned when he initially received the spiritual undulations that Huo Yuhao had transmitted to him and instinctively resisted them, causing a large burst of spiritual force to block Huo Yuhao’s skill. However, he quickly realised what Huo Yuhao was trying to do, and hence hurriedly controlled the spiritual power he’d instinctively released. It was only then that was he able to truly sense Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection.
Though Elder Xuan was already aware that Huo Yuhao was a spiritual-type soul master, he also knew that his ﬁrst soul ring was only a ten year one. Because of this, he’d never paid much attention to him. It was only when Huo Yuhao obtained an Ultimate martial soul that he started to pay attention to him.
One of the most important reason why the second year core disciples had been allowed to participate in today’s qualiﬁcation match was because of Huo Yuhao, who possessed an Ultimate martial soul. A soul master who possessed an Ultimate martial soul couldn’t be viewed on the same level as an ordinary soul master. After all, the Martial Soul Department and the Soul Tool Department had even caused a ruckus during the conference held within the Sea God’s Pavilion for his sake. From that moment onwards, it was practically guaranteed that Huo Yuhao would have a place among the new generation of Shrek’s Seven Monsters. He just didn’t know it yet.
As an elder of the Martial Soul Department, Elder Xuan naturally wouldn’t have an absolute trust in Huo Yuhao solely based on the conference held within the Sea God’s Pavilion. This qualiﬁcation match was a way for him to judge what level of strength the latter had reached with his current cultivation.
In reality, Elder Xuan had never expected that he would be able to see Huo Yuhao distinguish himself in this qualiﬁcation match. After all, he could make this qualiﬁcation match redundant with just one word.
However, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong had given him an enormous surprise. When he personally experienced the vast area that the former’s Spiritual Detection enveloped, he was stunned. A mere second year student from the outer courtyard had managed to stun him.
When he looked back at Huo Yuhao, Elder Xuan’s gaze completely changed. His originally apathetic gaze had become ﬁery and passionate, while his previously sentimental gaze was now full of astonishment.
He muttered, “An inborn Soul Commander! Is this the skill of a ten year soul ring? No, this is impossible, absolutely impossible.”
Elder Xuan looked at Huo Yuhao agitatedly, then raised his left hand. When he did so, Huo Yuhao felt a burst of soul power enter his body, which caused the two white soul rings hovering beneath his body to become even more eye-catching.
Whenever he used his Spirit Eyes, the color of Huo Yuhao’s soul rings was always white.
As Elder Xuan’s soul power entered his body, his Imitation skill dissipated, which caused his second soul ring to reveal its original purple color. However, his ﬁrst soul ring was still as white as jade.
“Tell me, what are your two soul skills?” Elder Xuan asked impatiently.
Huo Yuhao told him the truth. “The ﬁrst soul ring of my Spirit Eyes has the Spiritual Detection Sharing skill while the second one has the Imitation skill.”
“Elder Xuan continued in a grave tone, “If I’m not mistaken, you used the Spiritual Shock skill during the freshmen assessment. How did you obtain that skill?”
Huo Yuhao was startled. After all, he couldn’t tell Elder Xuan his secret. Luckily, he had already thought of a way to explain it.
“Elder Xuan, I’m a disciple of the Tang Sect. Therefore, I practice the Tang Sect’s Purple Demon Eyes technique. And when I combine it with my Spirit Eyes, I can use the Spiritual Shock skill.”
After listening to his words, Elder Xuan’s expression was even more bewildered, “Is this even possible? The skill of a mere ten year soul ring was able to reach this degree? Just... how? So soul skills can have mutations too?” Even after racking his brain, he was still at a loss. He was ﬁrmly convinced that Huo Yuhao couldn’t hide the color of his soul rings under the probing of his soul power. And even if he were
to bang his head against a wall, he still wouldn't think of the possibility that Huo Yuhao possessed a million year soul ring. After all, how could he know that its white color was also the same as that of a ten year soul ring?
After pondering over it for a while, he still wasn’t able to ﬁnd the answer. Thus, he said, “Fine. You can go too. Originally, even if they were to win, second year students like you wouldn’t be allowed to join the competition as reserves. However, your performance was just too incredible. Remember, whether or not you can keep this position in the coming ﬁve years will depend on your efforts. There are many core disciples eyeing this position. Which means that the moment I see that you can’t keep up with the competition, you’ll be switched out immediately. Are we clear?”
“Yes.” Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong bowed respectfully to Elder Xuan following which they turned around and left.
As he gazed at their disappearing silhouettes, a faint smile appeared on his face, which was full of vicissitudes. “So what if they’re only second year students? Two twin martial souls, an Ultimate martial soul, and a fusion skill. Five years, huh? Who dares to claim that I can’t forge them into a team that will be
unmatched among their peers? I hope you’ll bring me even more surprises.”
After leaving the Soul Dueling Area, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong discovered that Bei Bei, He Caitou, Xu Sanshi, Jiang Nannan, and Xiao Xiao were all still waiting for them outside.
“Senior brothers! You haven’t left yet?” Huo Yuhao dragged Wang Dong along as hurried to greet them.
“We were waiting for you two. We wanted to thank you!” Bei Bei said with a faint smile.
“Thank us?” Huo Yuhao asked, astonished.
Bei Bei nodded and replied, “In that chaotic battle just now, strength alone wasn’t enough to obtain victory. After all, we had four rings. Sooner or later, we would have received a joint attack from the other students. It’s all thanks to the two of you that we were able to win so easily. Your Spiritual Detection and fusion skill with Wang Dong proved to be a crucial role in our victory.”
“Senior brother, aren’t we a family?” Huo Yuhao said shyly. “Without you, we wouldn’t have been able to pass the test either.”
“That’s enough.” Xu Sanshi interjected, “You two brothers should stop ﬂattering each other. Little Yuhao, we stayed behind for another reason too. Since we have been selected as Shrek’s Seven Monsters’ substitutes, we should give our all. None of us is allowed to fall behind. Only then will we be able to represent the academy at the Continental Advanced Academy Soul Dueling Tournament ﬁve years from now.”
While speaking, he secretly shot a glance at the nearby Jiang Nannan. Right now, she was hanging her head and looking at her feet. Xu Sanshi was very happy to have passed the test with Jiang Nannan. Now, he had found the best excuse to be with her.
“Little Yuhao, Wang Dong, we discussed another thing while you were away. Since we’re going to be the new generation of Shrek’s Seven Monsters, we should decide on an order, like the ﬁrst generation did. How old are you?”
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong told them their ages in years and months.
They then ranked themselves according to age.
Bei Bei was the oldest. He Caitou, Xu Sanshi, and Jiang Nannan and him all had a month’s difference between each other, just like Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao.
After Bei Bei, there was He Caitou. After that was Xu Sanshi, Jiang Nannan, Xiao Xiao, Huo Yuhao, and ﬁnally Wang Dong, who was the youngest.
Xu Sanshi spoke with a smile. “Previously, we used to refer to each other as upperclassmen. But in the future, we can just refer to each other as brothers and sisters. Wahahaha! I’m ranked third, just like Ancestor Tang San was back then.”
“Having the same rank doesn’t mean having the same ability,” Bei Bei said ill-humoredly, “It’s not a problem to call each other brothers. However, if you become part of our Tang Sect, you’ll have to follow in his footsteps.”
“Didn’t I already tell you my conditions for joining your sect?” Xu Sanshi said with a smile. As he spoke, he looked at Jiang Nannan and puckered his lips.
At this time, unexpectedly, He Caitou laughed foolishly and said, “Bei Bei… Uh, I mean senior brother. Can I also join your Tang Sect?”
Bei Bei was dumbfounded when he heard that but quickly regained his composure. Naturally, he was overjoyed after all He Caitou was already a Class 4 soul engineer as well as Fan Yu’s inheriting disciple. In the Soul Tool Department, his status was higher compared to that of Bei Bei’s and Xu Sanshi’s in the Martial Soul Department. He was someone that would surely enter the inner courtyard of the Soul Tool Department.
“Caitou, can I ask why you want to join our Tang Sect?” Although he was very happy, Bei Bei still wanted to make things clear.
“Yuhao used many concepts related to the hidden weapons of the Tang Sect when creating his soul tools.” He Caitou said with a smile, “I was also thinking of studying them. Even if I’m a soul engineer, I’m not restricted from entering any sect.
Moreover, what you said earlier was right! If I joined the Tang Sect, calling you senior brother would be more ﬁtting.”
Under these circumstances, how could Bei Bei refuse? He immediately agreed. Except for Xu Sanshi and Jiang Nannan, the rest of the substitutes for Shrek’s Seven Monsters substitutes were now all disciples of the Tang Sect.
Chapter 64: The Ultimate Soldier Plan
He Caitou’s choice to enter the Tang Sect was an absolutely overjoyous event to the previously ﬁve-man Tang Sect. Bei Bei had agreed to it, but Tang Ya was still the master of the Tang Sect. He immediately gathered everyone and went to inform her of the good news.
Tang Ya was overjoyed and naturally agreed. The Tang Sect had originally declined due to the large-scale appearances of soul tools. As such, they needed to start from the same ﬁeld if they wanted to make a comeback. Outstandingly talented disciples could give the Tang Sect a certain amount of ﬁghting power, but if they truly wanted to regain their past glory, they needed a source of income. Coincidentally, soul tools could not only give the Tang Sect a source of income, they could also cause their status on the continent rise once again.
The integration of soul tools and the Tang Sect’s hidden weapons was naturally of the utmost importance. Even though Huo Yuhao had begun to display his talent with soul tools, he was still only a single person. He Caitou, on the other hand, was already a Class 4 soul engineer. At the same time, he was also one of Fan Yu’s inheriting disciple. As such, the Tang Sect’s
strength could be considered to have grown greatly with his addition.
Ever since the Tang Sect had declined, everything in it had been conducted in a rather simple manner; the induction ceremony that Tang Ya held for He Caitou wasn’t complicated, and everyone was able to enjoy a celebratory feast once the ceremony had ended. Jiang Nannan and Xu Sanshi joined the festivities as well.
Once everyone had ﬁnished their meal, He Caitou called out to Huo Yuhao, who’d been about to head to his dorm room, “Junior brother, I’d like to talk to you alone.”
“Ah? Alright!” Huo Yuhao stopped walking and looked towards the seemingly worried He Caitou with a somewhat astonished look in his eyes.
Wang Dong said, “I’ll head back ﬁrst. You two can chat.” With that, he left.
Huo Yuhao walked towards the seemingly hesitant He Caitou, then asked “Senior brother He, what’s happened to
The sky had already become dark, and bright stars currently dotted the cloudless sky.
He Caitou looked towards the sky. Afterwards, the normally straightforward look on his face gradually changed into a grave one. The blankness that was usually present in his eyes subsequently disappeared, and a clarity that Huo Yuhao had never seen before in He Caitou’s eyes slowly appeared.
At that moment, he seemed like he’d become a completely different person. His temperament had completely changed, to the point that Huo Yuhao almost couldn’t recognise him.
He subconsciously took a step back, his face ﬁlled with astonishment. “Senior brother, you…”
He Caitou looked back towards Huo Yuhao. When his gaze met Huo Yuhao’s, there seemed to be something else besides the clarity that had just ﬁlled them.
“Yuhao, you know, I’m truly envious of your talent. If I had the same amount of talent as you do, I’d work hard and do everything that I could to get everything that I deserve returned to me. However, I can’t. Even if I do everything that I can, I’m still limited by my talent. My future accomplishments will, at most, tie with our teacher’s. However, you’re different: You have twin martial souls, with one of them being an Ultimate one. Your future is immeasurable. Even in a place like Shrek Academy, your radiance will still outshine everything.”
Huo Yuhao was at a loss when he heard He Caitou’s words. “Senior brother, what are you saying!?”
A pained look appeared on He Caitou’s face. “You know, we’ve always had a plan in our Soul Tool Department. It was known as the ‘Ultimate Soldier Plan’.”
“The ‘Ultimate Soldier Plan’?” Huo Yuhao asked, astonished.
He Caitou nodded. “It’s also the most important plan that we have. It was created in order to allow us to compete with the soul engineers of the Sun Moon Empire on equal terms.”
“The so-called Ultimate Soldier Plan refers to the Soul Tool Department creating a single person capable of changing the outcome of an entire battle by himself. Someone that possess this level of strength would thus be known as an Ultimate Soldier.”
Huo Yuhao asked, curious, “Shouldn’t a Titled Douluo be able to do that? What does this have to do with our Soul Tool Department?”
He Caitou shook his head. “No. Indeed, a Titled Douluo might be able to change the situation of a battle, but they can’t reverse the outcome of a large-scale battle. Won’t our enemies have experts on their level as well? However, the Ultimate Soldier is different. The Ultimate Soldier is an existence that would live for the sake of war. It wouldn’t just be limited to strength alone either; it would be specialised in both using and creating many different types of soul tools, and it would be good at concealing itself, subterfuge, and destruction. It would be sharp enough to ﬁnd any node on the battleﬁeld, and then capable enough to destroy targets or to provide assistance. The Ultimate Soldier isn’t a commander, but an artist who can change the outcome of a battle. A Titled Douluo is strong individually, but their use in a battle is far from planned power of the Ultimate Soldier. Originally, I was working hard as the focal point of this goal, and our teacher always relied on me to
realize this plan. However, everything changed when you appeared. Not only are you more talented than me, you’re also stronger than me in both soul tool creation and individual strength. Yesterday, our teacher told me that I wouldn’t be nurtured as the focal point of the Ultimate Soldier anymore. Instead, I’m to become an Auxiliary Soldier to help you. If we’re to say that you’re the future Ultimate Soldier, then I’ll be your portable armory.”
Huo Yuhao was astonished when he heard this. He couldn’t help but cry out, “Senior brother He, I—”
However, He Caitou put his hand up to stop him from continuing. “Yuhao, don’t panic. Let me ﬁnish ﬁrst.”
Huo Yuhao truly didn’t wish for a situation like this to occur. Ever since he’d begun to follow in Fan Yu’s footsteps, He Caitou had given him advice in many different aspects, and had selﬂessly passed on his experiences to him. The respect that Huo Yuhao had for He Caitou was no less than the respect he had for Bei Bei. However, he’d never thought that he’d be the one who’d rob his senior brother of his dreams. As such, he felt greatly pained.
It was precisely because of the fact that he’d lived in a hypocritical place like the Duke’s Mansion that Huo Yuhao valued relationships as much as he did. He’d ﬁnally managed to obtain both warmth and friendship inside of Shrek Academy, and he treasured these feelings greatly. At the moment, his ﬁrst thought was to give up his studies in the Soul Tool Department.
He Caitou patted Huo Yuhao on the shoulder, and the look on his face became a little bit gentler. “Yuhao, don’t panic. I don’t have any intentions of blaming you. If it were someone else, I’d deﬁnitely be unwilling to accept it. In fact, I’d probably even rebel against teacher’s arrangements. However, I don’t feel unresigned at all, since I know that the person who’ll carry out the Ultimate Soldier Plan is you. On the contrary, I feel quite happy.”
“I know where my ﬂaws lie. No matter how hard I work, I won’t be a suitable Ultimate Soldier. This is due to the innate ﬂaws in my martial soul. Category wise, I’m a food-type soul master. Even though my martial souls’s auxiliary capabilities aren’t bad, my personal combat strength is limited; I’m far from comparable to battle-type soul masters like you. I’ve done all I can, but all I can rely on are soul tools. However, oftentimes the effectiveness of soul tools falls short of martial
souls. I’ve worked hard, but talent isn’t something that you can get away with by relying solely on hard work.”
“Do you still remember the ﬁrst time we met? I’ve always been an extremely simple person in the academy. Furthermore, because of how special my name is, everyone’s always called me a turnip (Caitou), or some other nicknam like ‘blackie’ or ‘muscleman’. You’re the only exception to this. The ﬁrst time you met me, you called me ‘senior brother’. The look in your eyes back then was extremely clear, and was also very sincere. I recognised you as my junior brother from then on.”
“Once you began your studies, the talent that you revealed astonished even our ﬁerce teacher. I can understand how he feels; after all, who wouldn’t wish for one’s disciple to exceed oneself? Furthermore, there wouldn’t be the current ‘me’ without our teacher. Thus, junior brother, you don’t need to feel burdened. I’ve already talked it over with teacher, and I’ll do all I can to support you as the Ultimate Soldier. I’ll be your Portable Armory.”
Tears began to well up in Huo Yuhao’s eyes. “Senior brother, I really didn’t wish for this to happen. This isn’t fair. Why don’t I…?”
He Caitou stopped him once more. “Junior brother, don’t speak nonsense. There are some things that simply can’t happen. Furthermore, I have my own selﬁsh motives for helping you out at all costs: I hope that you’ll help me out with one single thing in the future. Once you’ve become successful with your cultivation in the future, I want you to help me out. Of course, only if it’s within your means.”
“Senior brother, tell me.” Huo Yuhao hurriedly inquired.
A trace of deep pain appeared in He Caitou’s eyes. “Yuhao, you know, in reality, even teacher Fan Yu doesn’t know where I’m from, or my identity. This is because I don’t want to bring him trouble, nor do I wish for him to feel disturbed. Since I’ve already told you this much today, I’ll go ahead and tell you all of it; I’ve held back too much pain in my heart over the past several years.”
“When teacher Fan Yu saved me that year, I was nine. When he ﬁrst saw me, I was covered with blood, and I was completely powerless. Once he’d saved me, he inquired about my origins. I told him that my family were businessmen, and that all of them had been killed in an unfortunate encounter. I told him that I was the only one who’d escaped, and that I had already become an orphan. When I said this, I was afraid that I’d
implicate him. However, I’d never expected that this would become my origin story.”
“When teacher brought me back to the academy and taught me how to practice soul engineer, I cultivated diligently, which gradually revealed that I had a certain amount of talent towards soul tool creation. However, I hid an unforgettable piece of hatred in the depths of my heart.”
“Huo Yuhao, I’m a person from the Sun Moon Empire. The only place where you can ﬁnd a person as dark as me is in that place. Furthermore, I’m a member of the Sun Moon Empire’s imperial family. I’m the nephew of the current Emperor.”
“Ah?” Huo Yuhao was greatly astonished by what he’d just heard. Never in his wildest dreams would he have expected that his normally straightforward and simple senior brother He would have such an impressive origin. For a brief moment, he was completely ﬂabbergasted.
He Caitou smiled bitterly. “You’re surprised, aren’t you? It’s no wonder, as I’ve kept this matter buried deep inside my heart for such a long time. My father was the previous emperor of the Sun Moon Empire. In fact, I had seven older sisters, and my mother only gave birth to me when my father had turned forty-eight. Back when my father was still the crown prince, his younger brother, who’s also my uncle, had always tried to snatch the throne away from him. However, grandfather knew about uncle’s vicious nature, and knew that giving him the throne would’ve only brought trouble to the country. Even though uncle’s talent far surpassed that of my father’s in every ﬁeld, my grandfather still decided to deny him the throne.”
“Once he’d inherited the throne, my father ruled the empire in earnest. He’d give his it his all to take care of national affairs, every day. As time went on, our empire became more and more prosperous beneath his rule. A large majority of the ofﬁcials were moved by his earnestness, thus they pledged their loyalty to him.”
“Right before his death, grandfather told my father to completely strip away uncle’s power—only then would our country remain peaceful. However, my father was too kind-
hearted; he couldn’t bear to take away his younger brother’s power. Therefore, he didn’t fulﬁll grandfather’s last wish, and thus left behind the root of all of the troubles that followed.”
“Six years ago, when my father was in the prime of his life, he suddenly died in the middle of the night. My mother and my three unmarried elder sisters also died that same night. Later that same night, my uncle led the army and barged into the capital. Later, it was found out that my father, mother, and elder sister’s food had all been poisoned. Everything changed from that night on. I still remember that terrifying ﬁgure entering the imperial palace and murdering everyone. I was only able to survive because my mother shoved me into a secret passage.”
“When he didn’t ﬁnd my body, uncle sent some out some people to ﬁnd and kill me. At the same time, he declared to the country that our entire family had died from food poisoning. He then took advantage of the situation and killed all of the subordinates and servants in the palace that were still loyal to my father, and then buried them with him. After this great purge, and due to the fact that he was the sole remaining heir to the empire, he began to rule over the country with an iron ﬁst.”
He Caitou’s eyes had become red as he spoke, and he’d clenched his ﬁsts tightly. His usually kind and naive face had also become extremely sinister. His heart was currently full of hatred.
“Maybe it was thanks to father and mother watching over me from the heavens, but in the end, I managed to escape. However, I—who’d once been the crown prince—had been reduced to someone that was inferior to a beggar. And yet, I still didn’t dare to return; I could only keep running. Afterwards, I managed to reach the borders of the Heavenly Soul Empire, which is where teacher saved me. Thanks to that, I was able to survive. However, I couldn’t simply forget the deep hatred that’s buried inside of my heart. Of course, I was clear as to what my limits were. In the end, I was still alone, and my power was insigniﬁcant by itself. The Ultimate Soldier Plan was my only hope of succeeding. However, I simply don’t have enough talent to complete this plan.”
He looked towards Huo Yuhao, his eyes red, and continued, “Yuhao. In the future, I really hope that you’ll become the Ultimate Soldier. And once you do, I hope that you’ll help me get my revenge. I know that this request might be too much. However, I’ll do everything in my power to help you grow and become stronger. I didn’t join the Tang Sect today just for its hidden weapons. It was also for the sake of deepening our
relationship as brothers. I won’t force you to do something you don’t want to do. However, I can’t get my revenge by relying on my power alone. Therefore, are you willing to try your best to help me, so long as it doesn’t endanger your life?”
Huo Yuhao looked towards He Caitou, his expression now somber. “Senior Brother He, I also carry a deep hatred within me. However, I can’t give you a deﬁnite answer right now, as I don’t have the qualiﬁcations to do so. As of right now, I’m too weak to deal with either of our enemies. However, I’ll always be your junior brother. If there’s someone that wants to injure you, I won’t let them off.”
“Before I entered Shrek Academy, my heart was full of hatred. The only thought I had on my mind was revenge. However, when I arrived here, I discovered that I was nothing but a drop in the ocean. In order to get my revenge, I realized that I needed to train harder than I’d ever trained before. Only once we’ve become powerful people in the academy will we have the qualiﬁcations to talk about revenge. We’ll both have to keep our hatreds buried inside of our hearts until we’re strong enough. When the time comes, not only will we be brothers, we’ll also be comrades-in-arms. At that time, I’ll ﬁght side by side with you.”
“Fine.” He Caitou stretched out his large hand towards Huo Yuhao. His white palm created a sharp contrast with the tanned skin on the back of his hand. Huo Yuhao also stretched his hand out and tightly grasped his.
He Caitou said in a grave tone, “Junior brother, let’s try to help each other. We’ll get through this together. Even if we take our revenge in ten years, it won’t be too late. Right now, we’re both still very weak. But what about ten years from now?”
Once he’d brought Huo Yuhao back to his dormitory, He Caitou changed back to the kind and plain core disciple of the Soul Tool Department he’d always been. Huo Yuhao had also gone back to normal; it was as if nothing had happened between them. However, he’d buried He Caitou’s secret deep inside of his heart. Unless they had absolute strength, it would be pointless to talk about revenge.
Once they received the status of Shrek’s Seven Monsters substitutes, Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao dedicated even more time to their studies. They spent all of their time after class cultivating.
They were honored to act as substitutes. However, the pressure weighing down on them was much greater at the same time. They wanted to preserve Shrek Academy’s honor with all of their strength. And, since they were the youngest of the group, they needed to expend even more effort to keep up
with the others and to maintain their position.
In the blink of an eye, two weeks had passed. In that time, Elder Xuan had helped them with their training twice. His teaching methods were very direct and crude. He simply made them ﬁght without any reservations.
Every time, the seven of them would be divided into different groups and made to ﬁght each other. Elder Xuan had also told them not to hold back. With a powerful expert like him as a supervisor, they wouldn’t be in any danger. Under Elder Xuan’s assiduous training, Huo Yuhao fought while paired with several different teammates. And every single time, his team would end up on the weaker side.
As they studied and cultivated earnestly, Huo Yuhao could feel that himself improving every day. Moreover, he and Wang Dong had gotten better and better at using their Haodong Power. After half a month, Huo Yuhao could feel his soul power approaching rank 27. Soon, he’d break through again.
But the one that gave them the biggest surprise was Xiao Xiao. Her soul power had managed to reach rank 29. Just one more level and she’d be able to hunt a soul beast and become a rank 30 Soul Elder.
Today was one of the days that Elder Xuan was training them. Whenever this happened, Huo Yuhao and the others would skip their classes and come to the Assessment Area to take Elder Xuan’s lesson. Today was no different.
However, as soon as they entered the Assessment Area, they saw some unfamiliar faces.
Bei Bei, He Caitou, Xu Sanshi, and Jiang Nannan had already arrived. However, there were also some other students alongside Elder Xuan.
Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao felt their heartbeat speed up when they saw the seven students, all of whom were wearing blood-red school uniforms. This color meant that they were students of the inner courtyard.
Huo Yuhao only knew one of those seven students: Ma Xiaotao. However, he hadn't seen her since that day.
Today, her long hair had been pulled up into a ponytail; she looked extremely neat. When she noticed Huo Yuhao, the corners of her mouth lifted to reveal a pensive smile.
Huo Yuhao was somewhat embarrassed, and he immediately blushed. He still clearly remembered the scene from that day! Moreover, Ma Xiaotao was the ﬁrst woman to have ever had such an intimate relationship with him. As such, he remembered it even more clearly.
Besides Ma Xiaotao, there were six other people present, four of which were men, while the other two were women. Their age seemed to be about the same as hers. Bei Bei and the others had arrived a bit earlier, and they had solemn expressions as they stood there. From time to time, they’d shoot a glance at the inner courtyard disciples. Apart from their envy, there was also admiration and respect within their eyes.
These red-clothed disciples of the inner courtyard were the strongest students in the academy. It was also thanks to them
that Shrek Academy could maintain its status as the number one academy on the continent.
Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao walked toward Bei Bei and the others; they too were very reserved. After all, today they were in the presence of several fellow powerful students. In addition to this, they had more or less guessed the seven’s identities.
Elder Xuan nodded at their arrival and said, “You’ve all arrived. The next Continental Advanced Academy Soul Dueling Tournament will begin in ten days. Both of your groups should’ve guessed the identity of the other. Your guesses aren’t wrong. On one side, we have those that will participate in the competition. On the other side, we have the reserves. Both of you are the old and new generations of the Shrek’s Seven Monsters. There are two reasons that I’ve brought you to here to meet each other today: The ﬁrst is to get to know each other, while the second is to get you guys acquainted with each other’s respective abilities.”
With that, he turned toward Huo Yuhao and the other seven and said, “You couldn’t have possibly thought that you guys would just act as spectators, right? On the contrary, unless something unexpected happens, all of you will probably have
to ﬁght. Whenever we encounter an opponent that’s not too strong, it’ll be your turn to go on stage. This way we can properly hide the main team’s abilities.”
When they heard that they would have a chance to go on stage, Huo Yuhao and the others were pleasantly surprised. At ﬁrst, they had really thought that they would just be present as spectators! They hadn’t thought that they’d have the opportunity to represent the academy! And this wasn’t just any academy they would be representing; it was Shrek Academy!
Elder Xuan snorted and continued, “Don’t get overexcited. It’s inevitable that you’ll have to go on stage. However, you’re not allowed to lose. If one of you isn’t careful and manages to lose a match… Hehe, you’ll learn the consequences. So long as I’m alive, that person can forget about entering the inner courtyard. Moreover, you should adjust your mentality. In this session, you’ll act as a support for the main group. You’ll have to obey their every order. Do you understand?”
“Understood.” The group of seven answered in chorus. With their current ages and cultivations, becoming the ofﬁcial substitutes for the main team was already enough to ﬁll them with happiness! Furthermore, they might even get the oppurtunity to go out and ﬁght. An experience such as this was already quite difﬁcult to come by, yet the academy had done all of this in order to prepare them to become the next generation of Shrek’s Seven Monsters.
Elder Xuan nodded. “Alright, everybody introduce yourselves so that you all can get to know each other. We’ll start with the preparatory team.”
After conﬁrming how old they were, there was naturally no problem regarding the order in which the preparatory team started speaking. Bei Bei was the ﬁrst to walk out, “I’m Bei Bei, a ﬁfth year student from the outer courtyard. I’m a Rank 42 assault-type Soul Ancestor.”
He Caitou was the next to take a step forward. “He Caitou. Fourth year from the outer courtyard. I’m from the Soul Tool Department, and I’m a Class 4 soul engineer.” As a student of
the Soul Tool Department, he evidently had no need to give out his own cultivation. On the contrary, he would use his Class to reveal his own strength.
Xu Sanshi was the third to come up. “Xu Sanshi. I’m a ﬁfth year from the outer courtyard, and I’m a Rank 41 defense-type Soul Ancestor.” In terms of soul power, he was still slightly weaker than Bei Bei.
The fourth in line was Jiang Nannan. Though she didn’t want to stand next to Xu Sanshi and listen to him grumble on and on again, they were of a similar age. It wouldn’t be good to reveal her thoughts at an important event like this.
“I’m Jiang Nannan. I’m a ﬁfth year from the outer courtyard, and I’m a Rank 41 agility-type Soul Ancestor.”
The gazes of a few male students from the inner courtyard immediately lit up after seeing her. Jiang Nannan was indeed extremely beautiful. Of the females present here, she was the most beautiful in terms of looks alone; Ma Xiaotao, on the other hand, had the best physique. As for Xiao Xiao, she was simply too young. As a result, she hadn’t developed much of her womanly charms.
Xu Sanshi immediately tensed up, and he looked toward his seniors in the inner courtyard with a blazing look in his eyes.
The ﬁfth person to step out was Xiao Xiao. “I’m called Xiao Xiao, greetings to my senior upperclassmen. I’m a second year from the outer courtyard, and I’m a Rank 29 control-type Soul Grandmaster.”
The disciples of the inner courtyard who were enraptured by Jiang Nannan’s looks involuntarily widened their eyes at hearing the words ‘Rank 29’.
Rank 29? Did they hear something wrong? This was the preparatory team of the Shrek’s Seven Monsters, but there was actually a second year among them? It was no wonder they looked so small. Heavens! What was Elder Xuan trying to do?
The next-in-line after Xiao Xiao was Huo Yuhao. He took a step forward to Xiao Xiao’s side and said respectfully, “Greetings to my senior upperclassmen. I’m Huo Yuhao, and I’m a second year of the outer courtyard. I’m a Rank 26 control-type soul master.”
Rank, Rank 26? Other than Ma Xiaotao, the expressions of the others in the inner courtyard became somewhat strange. However, seeing as they were able to become disciples of the inner courtyard, they had extremely calm temperaments. Though they were astonished, they didn’t reveal any large changes on the outside.
The last in line was Wang Dong. He could naturally see the astonishment that the seniors in the inner courtyard had, and hence he proudly raised his little chest and said, “Wang Dong. Second year from the outer courtyard, and a Rank 31 assault- type Soul Elder.”
Elder Xuan nodded and pointed towards the disciples from the inner courtyard, “Your turn.”
The ﬁrst one to walk out from among the group of disciples from the inner courtyard was actually Ma Xiaotao. She was evidently much calmer than before.
“Inner courtyard, Ma Xiaotao. Rank 67 assault-type Soul Emperor.”
Though Huo Yuhao and the rest knew that she was powerful, they couldn’t help but gasp after hearing her say the words ‘Rank 67’.
The fact that she could participate in the Continental Advanced Academy Soul Duelling Tournament meant that she wasn’t even twenty yet. However, her cultivation had already reached Rank 67. This couldn’t even be described using the word ‘terrifying’.
A male student stepped up after Ma Xiaotao. He was extremely tall, and standing together with the slender Ma Xiaotao was extremely ﬁtting. Huo Yuhao felt a few traces of familiarity upon seeing him, but didn’t know why this was the case. This man had a solemn temperament, and his gaze was as cutting as a blade. He said in a low voice, “Inner courtyard, Dai Yueheng. Rank 64 assault-type Soul Emperor.”
Huo Yuhao ﬁnally came to himself after hearing the words ‘Dai Yueheng’. He was greatly astonished, and his expression changed involuntarily. On the other hand, Dai Yueheng squinted his eyes as he looked at Huo Yuhao, and a faint chilly light ﬂickered through them.
The White Tiger Duke had two sons. The eldest was the prince of the White Tiger Duke’s Mansion, and also its future inheritor; he was called Dai Yueheng. Dai Huabin’s talent was very outstanding, as shown by the fact that he was able to become a Rank 37 Soul Elder before even turning thirteen. However, he still had to live under the shadow of his elder brother.
Huo Yuhao had never expected to see Dai Yueheng in a situation like this. He was actually one of the current generation’s Shrek’s Seven Monsters. From the look in Dai Yueheng’s eyes, he knew that his grudge with Dai Huabin was deﬁnitely known by the former.
The person who came up after Dai Yueheng was another male student. He wasn’t as sturdily built as Dai Huabin, but his body was slender. He carried the trace of a warm smile on his face. “Inner courtyard, Chen Zifeng. Rank 57 assault-type Soul King.”
Though the two previous Soul Emperors were shocking, a person who was able to become a Soul King before the age of twenty was similarly astonishing! It was extremely difﬁcult to become a disciple of the inner courtyard, but he was actually able to stand out from the many disciples in the inner
courtyard to go out and represent Shrek Academy. Their excellence could be seen from this.
The fourth person was another woman. She looked extremely normal, and her ﬁgure was also extremely normal. Moreover, she even had short hair. On the surface, she was a young girl who couldn’t be any more normal. Even her voice was so normal that it was astonishing.
“Inner courtyard, Xi Xi. Rank 56 agility-type Soul King.” She gave a similar introduction, but it didn’t really give a deep impression. The moment she spoke, her entire person seemed to dim, as if she’d been completely overshadowed by the radiance of the people in front of her.
The ﬁfth person was also a female student, and she was much prettier than Xi Xi. Unlike Ma Xiaotao’s ﬁerceness, she had a cool sort of beauty. She was also different from Jiang Nannan’s gentleness; the cold and aloof feeling that came from her would easily give a person a deep impression. Her skin was very white, and she seemed completely weightless as she stepped forward.
“Inner courtyard, Ling Luochen. Rank 55 control-type Soul King.” Finally, a control-type soul master came out after the other assault and agility-type ones.
The sixth person was a thin boy who was only 1.6 meters or so tall. He had a thin body, and was much shorter than Ling Luochen, but his eyes were bright and ﬁlled with expression.
“Inner courytard, Yao Haoxuan. Rank 55, control-type Soul King.” It was another control-type soul master, but were there any auxiliary-type ones?
The last disciple from the inner courtyard had an elegant set of facial features. Right, the word was ‘elegant’. Though he was clearly a male student, he had a slender body and a jade-like face. His elegant appearance made one involuntarily fall in love with him, and even his voice was soft, “Inner courtyard, Gong Yangmo. Rank 59 auxiliary-type Soul King.”
The seven from the preparatory team would never have thought that the last member of the Shrek’s Seven Monsters would actually be ranked third in terms of cultivation. Second only to Ma Xiaotao and Dai Yueheng, he was at Rank 59. He
only needed to take a single step to become a Soul Emperor- ranked expert.
After hearing his senior upperclassmen introduce themselves, Huo Yuhao etched their names, specialties, and soul ranks into his mind. Though they were were only assisting them in the actual competition, there were evident beneﬁts to memorising all of this.
Other than the gloomy feeling he had after Dai Yueheng’s unexpected appearance, Huo Yuhao felt astonished after memorising the details of his seniors.
These competitors were all under the age of twenty, but they were all above Rank 50! Moreover, there were even two of them who were Soul Emperors. Was this actually something that could be achieved before the age of twenty? Though they were deﬁnitely consummate existences amongst their peers, since they were studying in Shrek Academy’s inner courtyard, the fact that they were all Soul Kings and Soul Emperors still managed to startle Huo Yuhao. If he were able to reach the Soul King rank before the age of twenty, wouldn’t that be a sight to behold?
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the inner courtyard disciples standing in front of Huo Yuhao were already at the very top amongst their peers. Would there even be a chance of losing in the Continental Advanced Academy Soul Duelling Tournament with a team like this participating?
Elder Xuan nodded slightly, “Okay, you all know each other a bit now. For the sake of getting you guys to know each other more, your ﬁrst training task today is a friendly match. You should try and increase your familiarity with each other in today’s match. You won’t just be teaming up with your own teammates; I can switch the members of your teams any time I wish to during the match, so as to ensure that we can be the ﬁnal champions of the Tournament. Ma Xiaotao, Dai Yueheng, you each take a team. Ma Xiaotao, your cultivation’s higher, so you can only take two ofﬁcial members for your team. However, I’ll let you choose a member from the ofﬁcial and preparatory teams ﬁrst. Dai Yueheng, you can take three ofﬁcial members along with some people from the preparatory team.
Huo Yuhao’s group of seven were still somewhat bafﬂed, but the seven from the inner courtyard were clearly familiar with Elder Xuan’s way of doing things.
Ma Xiaotao and Dai Yueheng took a step forward and put some distance between the two of them. The former said, “The ﬁrst person I’ll choose from the ofﬁcial team is Gong Yangmo.” She had a total of three ofﬁcial members she could choose from, but the ﬁrst person she chose wasn’t the assault-type Cheng Zifeng, but the person who had the highest cultivation within the ofﬁcial team other than her and Dai Yueheng, Gong Yangmo.
With that, she paused, “The ﬁrst person I’ll choose from the preparatory team is Huo Yuhao.”
“Huh?” The moment she spoke, both teams were greatly astonished, and even Elder Xuan revealed a startled look on his face.
Ma Xiaotao snorted coldly. “What? Can I not choose him?”
Wang Dong bumped Huo Yuhao, who then glanced back at him. Under Wang Dong’s slightly inquisitive gaze, the former could only reveal a helpless smile.
Gong Yangmo walked elegantly over to Ma Xiaotao and smiled slightly. “Xiaotao, you truly have good eyes.”
Ma Xiaotao revealed a loathful look and said, “Maintain a ﬁve meter distance between you and me. Otherwise, don’t blame me for being impolite.”
Gong Yangmo wasn’t angered by this; he walked ﬁve meters away from her with a smile.
Ma Xiaotao waved Huo Yuhao over. “What’re you waiting for? Quickly, come here.”
“Oh.” Only then did Huo Yuhao quickly walk over to Ma Xiaotao’s side.
Ma Xiaotao raised her chin towards Dai Yueheng in a seemingly provocative manner. “It’s your turn.”
Chapter 65: Mix'n'Match Battle of the Seven Monsters!
Dai Yaoheng glanced at Ma Xiaotao, feeling a little dubious.
In a low voice, he said, “Chen Zifeng, Xu Sanshi.”
Both of them immediately arrived at Dai Yaoheng’s side.
Ma Xiaotao immediately made her decision again, “Xi Xi, Bei Bei.”
Hearing her say this, Huo Yuhao almost burst out laughing. Combining the characters from “Xi” and “Bei”, wouldn’t that form the word for fake goods?
As he was walking over, Bei Bei evidently thought of that as well, because the expression on his face was a little strange. He wanted to laugh, but he held it in.
Dai Yaoheng said, “Ling Luochen, Yao Haoxuan.” He could choose three people for the starting lineup. After Ma Xiaotao made two of her selections, it was naturally important to
decide the next two candidates at the ﬁrst possible moment. The team would deﬁnitely be a little stronger with a Soul King amongst them, especially since their opponents were all inner courtyard students from Shrek Academy.
Ma Xiaotao naturally went ahead and chose two more people. This time around, she obviously chose the reserve members from the outer courtyard, “He Caitou, Wang Dong.”
Both parties had ﬁnished making their decisions at this moment in time. In the end, Jiang Nannan and Xiao Xiao naturally went to Dai Yueheng’s team, since they were the only two remaining from the reserve team. On Ma Xiaotao’s end, the ones she chose were herself, Gong Yangmo, Huo Yuhao, Xi Xi, Bei Bei, He Caitou and Wang Dong.
On the other hand, Dai Yueheng’s ﬁnal decision was to go with Chen Zifeng, Ling Luochen, Xu Sanshi, Jiang Nannan and Xiao Xiao.
There were seven people on each end, but both teams had already been completely broken up.
This match was led by Ma Xiaotao and Dai Yaoheng with the intention to learn from one another. Even though this match was primarily meant for both parties to ﬁercely compete with each other based on strength alone, it was similarly testing their abilities to select their team members as well. In a team
battle, one would display different combat strengths when put in different groups.
Elder Xuan hugged his huge alcohol calabash and laughed mischievously. He then said, “Very well. Since you guys have ﬁnished choosing your members, I will give you ten minutes to plan your tactics. After ten minutes, the match will start. The losing party… Well… You can just scream this sentence - ‘I am a pig’ and that’ll be ﬁne.”
Sure enough, this was a peculiar punishment, causing Wang Dong to break out in laughter.
There were seven people on both parties. The distance between both parties naturally grew as they went to stand on each opposite ends of the assessment area.
Gong Yangmo spoke to Ma Xiaotao in a low voice, “Xiaotao, why didn’t you choose a Control System Battle Soul Master?
Didn’t I say that you can’t put Xi Xi in?! But you also know that if you don’t have a control-type in a team battle, we will be at a huge disadvantage. We usually conduct drills together, so you should also be very clear as to how powerful Ling Luochen and Yao Haoxuan are together as control-types. Even though I can barely act as a control-type, I am not a true control-type after all is said and done.”
Ma Xiaotao glared at him and said, “Do I need you to teach me what to do? You just need to do everything you can to assist everyone when the match starts. I’ll take care of Dai Yaoheng, but I can’t ﬁnish him off in a short period of time. I can only do my best and help the rest of you. Xi Xi, I’ll hand Chen Zifeng over to you.”
Xi Xi frowned a little. “Shouldn’t I take care of Ling Luochen ﬁrst?”
Ma Xiaotao shook her head and said, “Ling Luochen has Yao Haoxuan by his side. You will be at a disadvantage because Yao Haoxuan’s ability can restrain you. Relax, I have a plan. Bei Bei, follow Xi Xi when the time comes. Both of you have lightning abilities, so you’ll complement one another. You guys need to get rid of Chen Ziheng at the quickest possible moment, then you guys can focus on helping the others. Since we just put
these two teams together, I know there isn’t going to be much rapport between us in the upcoming confrontation. The most it’s going to be is a battle between individuals. Caitou, I know that you’re a very talented outer courtyard student from the Soul Tool Department. You don’t need to hold back for later,
and can shower them with omni-directional explosive attacks.”
“Okay.” He Caitou replied.
Only then did Ma Xiaotao shift her gaze to Huo Yuhao. There was an odd expression on her face as she chuckled. “Little Yuhao, elder sister did not pick you because we are personally on good terms. Elder Xuan only allowed me to choose two people from the starting lineup. You are the key as to whether we can win this battle or not, so you better go all out. I’ll give you and Wang Dong the authority to battle as you please. Let me see just how far you can go. Moreover, I’ll hand the team’s control over to you. Even if you can’t control your opponents, the best you can do is control the people on your team. Can you do that?”
Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but avert his gaze, seeing as there was somewhat of a playful look in Ma Xiaotao’s eyes. He had no choice but to nod and say, “I’ll do my best.”
Ma Xiaotao snorted and said, “Doing your best is out of the question. We must deﬁnitely win. If you let this old woman scream that line as punishment, then you better be prepared for the consequences.” After she ﬁnished talking, she straightened her back and almost knocked into Huo Yuhao. A valiant aura suddenly rose around her as Ma Xiaotao turned around and looked at their opponents in the distance, “Is Dai Yaoheng not satisﬁed that I got to lead the team when I returned? If so, then this old woman will beat him up till he’s satisﬁed.”
“Elder sister Xiaotao, I have a question.” Wang Dong suddenly spoke.
Ma Xiaotao glanced at him and asked, “What’s the question?”
Wang Dong said, “I’ve heard that there needs to be a student from the Soul Tool Department amongst Shrek’s Seven Monsters. But… there isn’t one amongst your group.”
Ma Xiaotao indifferently said, “We originally had one, but he was eliminated after I returned. No one is indispensable on this team; if we have to get rid of one person, we can deal with not having a Soul Tool Master.”
Huo Yuhao and He Caitou frowned hearing her say that. Even though Ma Xiaotao didn’t intentionally direct those words at the Soul Tool Department, it was extremely easy to discern from her tone that the Soul Tool Department didn’t have a position in the inner courtyard.
The ten minutes were up quickly. Dai Yueheng had evidently made certain arrangements on his end too. Both parties faced each other from opposite ends of the assessment area.
Elder Xuan’s voice rang out once more. “From now on, you are not students, but enemies. I don’t need to tell you what to do to ﬁght over the title of not being a pig. All of you don’t need to hold back. Start!”
Both parties were still extremely far away from each other right now. When he shouted “start”, both teams immediately moved.
Ma Xiaotao was the ﬁrst to rush out. Once the tips of her toes touched the ground, she was like an arrow, shooting straight out at lightning speed. Fiery feathers suddenly appeared, and following that, a radiant glow burned ﬁercely in her eyes.
A strong reddish-gold ﬂame burst forth, lighting up the whole ﬁeld.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong had personally seen how Ma Xiaotao was like when she launched an all out attack. When they saw the ﬂames from her Evil Phoenix, they were suddenly ﬁred up. They had never expected that they’d actually get to ﬁght alongside Ma Xiaotao so soon.
However, Ma Xiaotao’s opponent was Dai Yueheng’s team. As a result of that, she clearly wasn’t as ﬁerce and quick compared to when she was when dealing with those soul masters who wanted to kill Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong last time. She intentionally controlled the speed at which she was advancing, and maintained the formation she had with her team members behind her.
Xi Xi also made a move at the same time Ma Xiaotao advanced forwards. She was much faster than the outer courtyard students anticipated, and was even faster than Ma Xiaotao. In a ﬂash, she was right behind Ma Xiaotao. It seemed as though her whole body had already fused into Ma Xiaotao’s ﬂames. However, the moment she disappeared, Ma Xiaotao’s blazing phoenix ﬂames seemed somewhat colder than before.
Two magniﬁcent pairs of wings simultaneously appeared on the battleﬁeld. One of them was naturally Wang Dong’s Radiant Butterﬂy Goddess. Radiant rays of light ﬂickered in blue and gold as he unfurled his wings. However, Wang Dong didn’t take ﬂight, rather he held Huo Yuhao’s hand as they
quickly dashed forwards with the help of his wings.
The other magniﬁcent pair of wings didn’t lose to the Radiant Butterﬂy Goddess’ wings in terms of beauty. The other person had huge wings with feathers that comprised of all the colours of the rainbow. Starting with red feathers on the person’s back, the colors spread out till the tips of the wings were purple. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. Those seven colours were pure and sparkled in the light. When he took ﬂight, it was just as though a rainbow was hovering in the sky.
This gorgeous pair of wings belonged to the elegant Gong Yangmo. In this moment, his long hair had similarly turned into the colors of the rainbow. There was also white scales on his skin. On the whole, it was just like he’d turned into a huge colorful bird. The only difference between him and birds was that his legs seemed to have thickened a bit, with scales faintly ﬂashing at his ankles.
What was this martial soul? The outer courtyard disciples had also learned about many martial souls, but they hadn’t heard about a martial soul like Gong Yangmo’s before. The rarity of said martial soul could be compared to the Radiant Butterﬂy Goddess.
He Caitou wasn’t fast, but one shouldn’t forget that he was a Rank 4 Soul Tool Master. Rays of light suddenly shone on his back, brazenly indicating that the propeller had been activated. Moreover, he’d dragged Bei Bei along with him and caught up to Ma Xiaotao, not slowing down in the slightest.
At this moment, their formation was as follows: Gong Yangmo was in the sky. Ma Xiaotao, Xi Xi, Bei Bei and He Caitou were in front with Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong behind them.
On the other end, Dai Yaoheng’s team similarly got into formation. Dai Yaoheng took the lead and released the white tiger martial soul unique to the White Tiger Duke’s Mansion. A netherworldly glint shone in his eyes that had two pupils in them. They were ﬁlled with an intense desire to ﬁght.
Chen Zifeng was on his left, whereas Xu Sanshi was on his right. Jiang Nannan on the other hand, was behind Dai Yaoheng. Three Control System Battle Soul Masters were following them further behind the group.
Ling Luochen, Yao Haoxuan and Xiaoxiao were standing next to each other. The trio released their martial souls one after the other.
The seven on their end were arranged in a three-one-three formation.
Seven versus seven. A match between the students from the inner and outer courtyard as well as the Shrek’s Seven Monsters was about to begin.
Amongst everyone present on the battleﬁeld, the conspicuous ones weren’t the two Soul Emperors who were charging forth, ahead from everyone else in their own pack. Rather, Huo Yuhao was the one who caught everyone’s eye as a Soul Master with only two soul rings. His two white soul rings were really too striking!
When Gong Yangmo saw Huo Yuhao’s white soul rings as he ﬂew in the sky, he almost fell down. He really wanted to question when the Shrek Academy had a student who had two ten-year-old soul rings. Moreover, this student could even become a core disciple. If that wasn’t enough, this student was also part of the Shrek’s Seven Monster’s reserve team. It seemed as though Ma Xiaotao valued him highly too.
As everyone else released their dazzling yellow, purple, and even black soul rings, Huo Yuhao’s pair of pure-white ones naturally became the focus of the entire ﬁeld.
Shrek Academy’s assessment area took up a large amount of space, and though both parties were moving quickly, it still took a while for them to approach each other. At this moment, they were only a hundred meters away from each other. Huo Yuhao’s ﬁrst soul ring was the ﬁrst to light up.
The halo created by the pure-white soul ring wasn’t large, and it would be hard to attract anybody’s attention with it. However, in the short period of time in which the halo expanded, the other six people in Ma Xiaotao’s team were all astonished.
The sudden feeling of having an extra brain help them calculate and detect everything around them was simply too miraculous. They didn’t even need to use their eyes to feel everything around them. The appearance of the three- dimensional image caused a large quantity of data to appear in
their minds, causing them to feel much more conﬁdent. Though their opponents hadn’t even entered the range of Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection, its sudden and powerful effect stunned the few members of the ofﬁcial team who weren’t familiar with him.
Just why had Ma Xiaotao chosen Huo Yuhao? In reality, she wasn’t very clear on Huo Yuhao’s abilities, but his Ultimate martial soul had left too deep an impression on her!
The gap between her cultivation and Huo Yuhao’s couldn’t even be described using the phrase ‘as wide as the difference between the heavens and the earth’. However, even in a situation like this, he was able to rely on his weak ability to completely suppress her Evil Fire within a full day. After that suppression, Ma Xiaotao could no longer feel that evil intent burning her anymore. Though she knew that this was treating the symptoms, and not the root cause of her problem, Ma Xiaotao knew that there would be no chance of a relapse occurring even if she cultivated and battled for an entire month.
Combined with that fact that she had personally witnessed Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong escape from the encirclement of a Soul Emperor and ﬁve Soul Kings, she knew that she couldn’t
treat them like ordinary two-ringed and three-ringed soul masters. Elder Xuan was extremely picky, but had still allowed the three of them to enter the preparatory team; their talent could be seen from this fact alone.
Because of this, Ma Xiaotao’s ﬁrst pick wasn’t Bei Bei or Xu Sanshi, but Huo Yuhao. She hoped to be surprised by him.
And the facts had shown that Huo Yuhao had given her, Xi Xi, and Gong Yangmo an extremely large shock. The omnidirectional Spiritual Detection Sharing was essentially a fusion of a control-type and auxiliary-type skill, and its accurate scouting capabilities immediately gave them the initiative.
The midair Gong Yangmo revealed a look of surprise, then revealed his strength. After all, he couldn’t fall behind his little junior disciples.
A dazzling seven-coloured light lit up, and Gong Yangmo’s ﬁrst and second hundred year soul rings lit up. He ﬂapped his wings, causing a red and orange ring of light to soundlessly emerge from his body and envelop his allies below him.
Immediately, an astonishing scene occurred. A scarlet-red and orange ring of light appeared on the other six people led by Ma Xiaotao, and they were able to sense the strength of Gong Yangmo’s auxiliary-type skill.
The ﬁrst buff they were given was an increase in strength. It was admittedly true that soul power was important, but one’s physical strength played a similarly important role. When the red ring of light appeared, the six of them felt as if they’d been given a cardiac stimulant. This increased their strength by more than 50%, thus increasing their speed as well.
However, the orange ring of light was even more miraculous. After it landed on Ma Xiaotao’s team, they immediately felt as if they’d become a source of energy. The elemental undulations in the air became much clearer to them, before surging into their bodies like a river ﬂowing into a sea. This was actually an auxiliary skill that could recover a person’s soul power.
A supplementary ability on this level could be considered to be an explosive increase to the overall strength of their team. This was the most important use of an auxiliary-type soul master in a battle.
As an ofﬁcial member of the current participating team, Gong Yangmo’s cultivation level could be imagined. The reason why he was ranked last wasn’t because of a deﬁciency in his soul power or his martial soul, but because he was only an auxiliary-type tool soul master who didn’t have any combat
strength himself. Normally, a ﬁgure like him would tend to be ranked last in a team.
In terms of simple cultivation, however, he was second only to Ma Xiaotao and Dai Yueheng.
What Huo Yuhao and the rest didn’t know, however, was that because Ma Xiaotao had been affected by her Evil Fire, she had had to temporarily leave the Shrek’s Seven Monsters, and hence not be able to represent the school. At that time, the captain of the ofﬁcial team was Dai Yueheng, while the vice- captain was Gong Yangmo, who was ranked last.
Gong Yangmo’s martial soul was called the Rainbow Dragon. This was a soul beast that actually existed, but was extremely rare. Its rarity was around that of Wang Dong’s Radiant Butterﬂy Goddess.
The Dragon race had always been very powerful, and the Rainbow Dragon wasn’t an exception to the case; after all, it had the word ‘Dragon’ attached to its name. Whenever a Rainbow Dragon appeared, it would be followed by the most powerful members of the Dragon race, as the companion of the Dragon King.
The Dragon King who was the partner of the Rainbow Dragon would generally be unshakeable. That was precisely because it had the terrifying assistance of the Rainbow Dragon.
Practically every single member of the Dragon race was powerful in battle, but the Rainbow Dragon was an exception to this rule. It didn’t have a high level of physical strength, nor did it have a terrifying innate soul skill. However, it had the highest amount of magical power. Because of this, it was also referred to as the Magic Dragon.
Gong Yangmo was an auxiliary-type tool soul master, but his martial soul was actually a beast soul.
Of the many auxiliary-type martial souls, the strongest of the tool souls was the Seven Treasures Glazed Pagoda that Ning Tian possessed. Once it was able to enter the realm of Nine
Treasures, its auxiliary capabilities could terrify even a Titled Douluo.
Gong Yangmo’s Rainbow Dragon, on the other hand, was the strongest auxiliary-type martial soul within the category of beast souls; it was comparable to the Seven Treasures Glazed Pagoda. However, like the former, his Rainbow Dragon suffered a few limitations. Once he achieved the Seven Coloured Gamut, or the seven-ringed rank in other words, taking another step would be extremely difﬁcult for him.
The Rainbow Dragon and the Seven Treasures Glazed Pagoda each had their own specialties. On a comprehensive scale, there were hardly any differences between their respective strengths. From this, it could be seen how strong the pinnacle ﬁve-ringed Gong Yangmo was in the auxiliary ﬁeld. Ma Xiaotao had taken him as her ﬁrst pick due to the 30% strength increase he would give to the entire team, allowing her to make up for the lack of an extra member from the ofﬁcial team.
Just as Huo Yuhao and Gong Yangmo released their control and auxiliary-type skills, the seven-man team led by Dai Yueheng began to release their soul skills.
A heaven-shaking roar rang out. The person who made the ﬁrst move was the relatively unremarkable member of the ofﬁcial Shrek’s Seven Monsters, Yao Haoxuan. His extremely petite body suddenly accelerated, and he stomped his right foot on the ground heavily.
“Boom——” A mufﬂed, loud sound shook the entire Assessment Area, as if an Earth Dragon was rising to its feet. It was very difﬁcult to imagine how Yao Haoxuan’s petite body was able to release such an enormous amount of power.
Right after that, he borrowed the tyrannical amount of force from his stomp to shoot into the air. Then, Huo Yuhao witnessed a scene that he’d never seen on a soul master before.
Yao Haoxuan’s petite body released a shattering sound in midair, tearing his school uniform to bits and pieces. As if he knew this was going to happen, he wore a dark-gold shirt under his uniform. This shirt was extremely elastic; it didn’t have any signs of tearing even after his body suddenly expanded.
Normally, a soul master who possessed a beast soul would undergo a few changes when they activated them. For example,
this was the case for Ma Xiaotao and Dai Yueheng. However, amongst the soul masters Huo Yuhao had seen before, a person could only double the size of his body at most. However, the current Yao Haoxuan had completely overturned his understanding.
While his body was in midair, Yao Haoxuan extended his four limbs. Then, his terrifying muscles bulged, and within the blink of an eye, he became an enormous and over-exaggerated adonis.
Every single one of his muscles swelled, and the surface of his skin was covered in a keratin and leather-like substance. His skin turned a metallic gray, and his eyes turned dark green.
Yao Haoxuan, who originally wasn’t even as tall as Ling Luochen, was now over four meters tall as he landed on the ground with a crash. Right, four meters. This was a height that ordinary humans couldn’t even grow to.
The more terrifying fact was that his shoulders were three meters wide. After landing, he became as thick as a small fortress. He took a deep, coarse breath, then raised his pectorals, which were as large as a chopping block.
He pounded his chest using his enormous, hammer-like ﬁsts, and two yellow soul rings lit up.
“Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom…” Amidst the mufﬂed booms, everyone could see yellow rings of light spread out from Yao Haoxuan’s body. Every single member of the opposing team was covered with a layer of yellow light, and their auras became evidently sharper. On the other hand, Huo Yuhao’s team began to feel slightly dizzy after hearing that mufﬂed sound.
This was the auxiliary and control-type soul master, Yao Haoxuan! Just what martial soul did he possess?
Following Gong Yangmo’s appearance, another martial soul which Huo Yuhao completely didn’t recognise appeared.
Control-type soul masters would always make the ﬁrst move in a team battle. They didn’t just control their enemies, but their own teammates as well if they were able to. Control-type soul masters were always known as the commanders of the battleﬁeld.
Because of this, Yao Haoxuan wasn’t the only person from Dai Yueheng’s team who made a move; the control-type Ling Luochen and Xiao Xiao made a move as well.
Xiao Xiao knew that her cultivation was too low to play a decisive role in the battle. As such, she only used her Ninephoenix Worshipping Flute. When she did, a ‘wuwu’ sound echoed throughout the surrounding area, and Ma Xiaotao’s speed was immediately reduced by a small margin.
Compared to Xiao Xiao, the nearby Ling Luochen was much more powerful. When she released her martial soul, all ﬁve of her soul rings began to move rhythmically, and a layer of ice crystals covered her entire body. Immediately afterwards, the layer of ice crystals began to shine as they merged with her second soul ring, which caused her body to be encased in light blue ice armor. When the light from her teammates’ soul rings shone on it, the light was refracted and gave birth to a beautiful and radiant display of colors.
Her ﬁrst soul ring was the next to light up. Ling Luochen raised her right hand when it did, and made a grabbing motion. When she did, a two meter-long magical staff made of ice crystals materialized from a blue light.
Unexpectedly, both of the soul skills she’d used so far had nothing to do with ‘control’. One had caused a magical staff to materialize, the other a suit of ice armor. Despite this, neither of these abilities seemed weak!
However, Ling Luochen quickly displayed her strength. She pointed the staff towards the sky, and a layer of ice-blue light instantly enveloped the surrounding area. Afterwards, the ice- blue air rushed towards the enemy team. She didn’t use any other soul skills.
As one might notice, her martial soul was nothing but ‘ice’. She had an extremely rare elemental martial soul that let her control ice.
Ma Xiaotao was in the front. Therefore, she would have been the ﬁrst one to suffer the effects of the wave of cold. Dai Yueheng and the others thought that she would use her phoenix ﬂames to resist the attack. However, she did nothing of the sort. She just stopped.
Given her cultivation, Ling Luochen’s ability to control ice wasn’t really a threat to her. However, ice could restrain ﬁre. With Ling Luochen here, her phoenix ﬂames would be
weakened, and her consumption of spiritual power would also increase.
But surprisingly enough, the irritable Ma Xiaotao didn’t push forward. Since she had stopped, her teammates also quickly caught up.
“Huo Yuhao, release your ice element aura and suppress her.” Ma Xiaotao shouted in a low voice. At this time, they were less than ﬁfty meters away from Dai Yueheng and Chen Zifeng. And right now, they had already entered the range of Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection. The condition of their soul power, their speed, their movements, all the moves they were planning to do; nothing could escape Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection.
However, Huo Yuhao was still a little nervous. After all, the opposing team had four students of the inner courtyard! When Ma Xiaotao shouted that command, he mistook her intentions.
Suppress her? How exactly can I suppress her? If it were a Soul Grandmaster, maybe I would be able to suppress him. But a Soul King? This is impossible!
Ma Xiaotao was much more experienced than him. Therefore, she just wanted to make him release his Ultimate ice element martial soul. Even if Ling Luochen had a powerful elemental martial soul, it was still somewhat lacking compared to an Ultimate martial soul of the ice element. Just by releasing his Ultimate ice element, he would be able to protect his teammates from Ling Luochen’s ability to control ice.
Otherwise, if they were to be affected by this cold, their speed
and power would drop drastically.
However, Huo Yuhao didn’t know that his duty was so easy. He only had to release the martial soul of the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion and spread her aura in all directions. He had turned a simple task into something very complicated.
Sister Xiaotao, you’re asking too much of me! How should I proceed now?
Would he allow them to say that he was a coward? Of course he wouldn’t. At this time, Huo Yuhao recalled the words that Ma Xiaotao had left on the ground. This immediately ignited his ﬁghting spirit. A golden light ﬂickered through his eyes. Then, his second soul ring lit up.
Since Ma Xiaotao had stopped, everyone else stopped too.
They all heard the order she had given to Huo Yuhao.
Huo Yuhao took a step forward. At this time, he was standing in front of his teammates. After that, he released a piercing shriek from his mouth, and at the same time, his body also disappeared completely.
At this moment, Dai Yueheng, Chen Zifeng, and the others saw that Ma Xiaotao had stopped. Therefore, they also reduced their speed. If you know both yourself and your enemy, you won’t suffer defeat. There was surely a reason behind the other party’s strange behavior.
Then, they saw the boy called Huo Yuhao taking a step forward. And after that piercing shriek, they saw his body disappear completely. All those rays of light connected to his body also lost their luster.
At this time, the wave of cold arrived where Yuhao and the others were standing. Except for Huo Yuhao, everyone else felt their bodies become cold. The temperature in the surrounding area also drastically fell.
Ma Xiaotao was dumbfounded. She was just about to curse that idiotic Huo Yuhao when the surrounding scenery changed.
A strange form appeared where Huo Yuhao was standing. And when it appeared, it caused the surrounding air to instantly congeal. Then, a burst of ancient, powerful and overbearing aura spread from its body.
Elder Xuan, who was overseeing the match from the sky, lowered his head and spurted out the alcohol in his mouth. His eyes were wide open, and almost seemed to fall from his eye sockets. Afterwards, he started to cough ﬁercely. The alcohol had almost caused him to choke.
Huo Yuhao’s body had disappeared. And a beautiful and fearful form had appeared in his stead.
It was a scorpion. A very beautiful scorpion.
It was around one-and-a-half meters long, and its body had two colorations. One part had the same color as ice, while the other was a deep green.
At its front, there were four overlapping layers. Each layer was slightly longer than 15 centimeters, and the head was situated on the ﬁrst one. Its silver-white mouth was emitting a cold light. Moreover, the ﬁrst half of these four layers was covered with strange scales.
Each of these scales was hexagonal, and each and every one of them was emitting a bright light, just like protruding diamonds. Its six powerful long legs were also densely covered by these protuberances. Under the snowy radiance, they were emitting a blinding light. At this moment, it seemed as if its entire body had become a source of light; myriad different light shades were refracted from it.
The two pincers in the front were each a meter long. The pincers were also covered by those protruding diamond-like hexagonal scales. They were similar to its mouth, emitting a silver-white radiance like two mirrors.
However, the most eye-catching part was its two eyes. These eyes were yellow, and shining like a pair of crystals. They also had a hexagonal shape. They were emitting a bright yellow radiance, giving off an unusual feeling.
If you were to think that the ﬁrst half was bright enough, you still had to see the latter half. A long and dazzling tail was sticking up from its back, and this was the core of the radiance it was emanating.
Unlike the many segments of a normal scorpion’s, its tail only had ﬁve. Each joint had a charming dark green color. The glittering dark green color almost seemed lifelike. These ﬁve joints all had the same color, and the closer they were close to the body, the larger they were. Likewise, the farther they were, the narrower they got. At the end of the last joint was a diamond-like stinger that was standing high up in the sky. The tip of the stinger was also emitting a silver-white luster.
This soul beast, whose entire body resembled a shining precious treasure, was emitting an aura capable of making one terriﬁed.
After all, it was soul beast that had moved unhindered in the Extreme North for nearly four hundred thousand years! It was ranked second among the three emperors of the Extreme North, the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion!
The six people from the outer courtyard weren’t really affected. After all, they hadn’t ever encountered a ﬁrst-class soul beast, and they didn’t know what the aura of a ﬁrst-class soul beast looked like. In their eyes, this scorpion was nothing but a beautiful and dangerous beast.
However, the students of the inner courtyard were different! After entering the inner courtyard, their classes were different from those of the outer courtyard. They had a class that took place exactly in the Great Star Dou Forest. As soon as the Ice Jace Empress Scorpion appeared, they felt an immense fear. It was the pressure of a hundred thousand year soul beast.
The aura of the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion exploded out, and a sense of coldness spread everywhere. That wave of cold immediately stopped midair, then began to slowly solidify. It turned into a white light that enveloped the tip of the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s stinger. Those two bright yellow eyes were devoid of every emotion as they looked at the far away Ling Luochen.
Ling Luochen felt her body stiffen, and she couldn’t move from where she was standing. If one were to look carefully, they would notice that the ice armor covering her body had started to show signs of abnormally hardening. In addition,
her feet were glued to the earth by a layer of ice. She couldn’t move anymore, and her body had started to freeze.
All of this happened in an instant. While everyone was still dumbfounded due to Huo Yuhao turning into the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion, Ling Luochen had already been completely subdued.
“Elder Xuan, this is a hundred thousand year soul beast.” Ma Xiaotao was astonished. She quickly released her martial soul to protect the people behind her.
“Sister Xiaotao, what are you doing? Quick, attack them!” A form suddenly ﬂashed. That terrifying Ice Jade Empress Scorpion had disappeared, and Huo Yuhao had reappeared in her stead. Moreover, he was impatiently pressing forward, unaware of the fact that everyone was about to attack him. Even Elder Xuan was preparing to ﬁght him.
“Stop!” Elder Xuan shouted from midair. He descended from the sky and arrived in front of Huo Yuhao. Afterwards, he raised his right hand and grabbed him.
As for resisting it… it was completely useless. Huo Yuhao was nothing but an ant in front of someone like Elder Xuan.
Elder Xuan’s hand held his shoulder. Then, Huo Yuhao felt a powerful soul power entering and probing every corner of his body.
The quantity of soul power was too large. But luckily, Huo Yuhao’s meridians had gone through a lot tempering, and were quite strong right now. And what surprised him the most was that after experiencing Elder Xuan’s soul power, his own soul power that had reached the peak of Rank 26 suddenly broke through, allowing him to successfully reach Rank 27.
Chapter 66: Victory! Swap!
Elder Xuan’s expression turned strange. After looking at Huo Yuhao seriously for a while, he turned towards the others, “Stay here and don’t move. Wait for a while.”
After that, he grabbed Huo Yuhao and disappeared without a trace.
Huo Yuhao had been taken away by Elder Xuan, leaving Wang Dong somewhat anxious, “Sister Xiaotao, what’s going on?”
“There’s no use asking me anything,” Ma Xiaotao said unhappily, “you should question Huo Yuhao instead. What did he do just now?”
Dai Yueheng’s team was currently surrounding Ling Luochen. The ice on her body was slowly melting, and after a few moments, the armor of ice disappeared. She had a pale expression on her face, and she nearly fell down as her body shook.
Xiao Xiao rushed up to catch up, but she immediately felt as though she was touching ice when she touched her body.
The usually cool Ling Luochen was ﬁlled with astonishment at this moment. She didn’t know what had just occurred either. After that strange scorpion had looked at her, she immediately felt as if the soul power in her body had been frozen. This was the ﬁrst time she’d encountered a situation in which she was completely powerless to even resist. Even a Titled Douluo wouldn’t be able to strip her of her combat strength with a mere glance! However, that scorpion had done just that.
Elder Xuan didn’t bring Huo Yuhao anywhere far; he merely went to a corner of the Assessment Area.
“Just what happened just now? Explain everything in more detail.” Elder Xuan asked, somewhat panicked. When Huo Yuhao had transformed into the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion, Elder Xuan’s reaction was that the former was a transformed soul beast. Or rather, a soul beast that had decided to re- cultivate into a human.
After reaching a hundred thousand years of cultivation, a soul beast could choose to re-cultivate into a human. However, this path was extremely difﬁcult, because it would then have to undergo a period of weakness. Furthermore, the aura on its body would still remain that of a soul beast. Once it was
discovered by a powerful soul master, the only result was death. Furthermore, it would become that soul master’s soul ring and soul bone. Only after reaching the seven-ringed rank could a soul beast thoroughly mask its aura and become a true human. However, how easy would this process be? Because of
this, very few soul beasts would choose this path. With the Ice Empress’ level of power, she wouldn’t dare to risk her life in this way.
Greatly astonished, Elder Xuan examined Huo Yuhao’s body. However, he quickly calmed down. In his heart, he already knew that there was no chance of Huo Yuhao being a soul beast. The most powerful evidence attesting to this fact was his twin martial souls. Re-cultivated soul beasts would deﬁnitely maintain their original form, and thus there was no chance of one having a second martial soul. The fact that there was no trace of the aura of a soul beast on Huo Yuhao’s body merely further veriﬁed that he was truly a human.
With Elder Xuan’s cultivation, no matter how many brilliant tricks a person had, there was no way to conceal anything from
the former when he was holding onto you. However, Elder Xuan was curious! He had no idea how Huo Yuhao had done what he just did. If it was merely an illusion, how did Ling Luochen instantly freeze up and lose all of her ﬁghting power?
“Earlier, sister Xiaotao asked me to release my Ultimate martial soul to suppress sister Ling Luochen.” Huo Yuhao said obediently, “I ﬁgured that there’d deﬁnitely be no way for me to suppress her by simply releasing my martial soul, due to the massive gap in our cultivation levels. Thus, I used Imitation and imitated the form of my second martial soul. Then, I switched the attribute of that illusion to that of my second martial soul. I did my best to release the aura of an Ultimate martial soul. As for what happened to sister Ling Luochen, I don’t know either.”
He truly didn’t know what had just occurred. When the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion had glanced towards Ling Luochen, Huo Yuhao’s mind had gone into a daze for a bit. In reality, the true charm of that gaze had come from the Ice Empress.
Elder Xuan scratched his head and furrowed his brow. “Ultimate martial soul, Ultimate martial soul… Ah! I understand. Ice, you both have the Ice attribute. It’s actually an absolute suppression. This Ultimate martial soul of yours is too
tyrannical. Good, hahahaha, very good! I understand. Go, go back.”
Elder Xuan had truly guessed the approximate essence of the situation. This was absolute suppression!
The key to the problem lay in the differences in their elements. Huo Yuhao and Ling Luochen were both of the Ice element, but Huo Yuhao possessed Ultimate Ice. Thus, he held an absolute elemental superiority over Ling Luochen. The moment he imitated the body of the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion, the full power of his Ultimate martial soul was released.
Though the three Emperors of the Extreme North all belonged to the chilly Ice element, the Snow Empress was still the strongest in terms of extremely low temperatures. The Snow Empress controlled the power of Snow, while the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion controlled absolute ice as the Ice Empress. In the current Douluo Continent, she was completely deserving of the title ‘Ancestor of Ice’.
In terms of cultivation, Huo Yuhao was naturally nowhere near Ling Luochen. However, the problem lay in the fact that
Ling Luochen had used the power of Ice, while Huo Yuhao had coincidentally imitated the aura of the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion.
The Ice Empress was one of his intelligent soul rings. Thus, she was always paying attention to him. When Huo Yuhao had imitated her aura, she was able to sense the existence of a hostile intent that originated from ice. Her concentrated gaze wasn’t directed towards Ling Luochen, but the ice she was controlling. Unless there was an ice user who was even stronger than the Ice Empress, every ice element would fall under her control in front of her aura.
This was another fact that showed how weak Huo Yuhao was. If he had the same cultivation level as Ling Luochen, he would be able to possess a sufﬁcient amount of control over his Ultimate Ice as long as the Ice Empress willed it. Then, he would even be able to directly end Ling Luochen’s life with her own ice if she dared to use it against him. This was one of the terrifying aspects of the Ancestor of Ice, the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion. If the powerful four hundred thousand year-old Ice Empress still had her main body, she would be an opponent who was rarely seen on the continent.
Elder Xuan patted Huo Yuhao’s shoulder in a somewhat strange manner. “I was being narrow-minded. I shouldn’t have interrupted your match.” This time around, he held Huo Yuhao by the armpits, and returned back to Ma Xiaotao and the rest with a ﬂash.
“Everything’s normal. Ling Luochen, leave the battle for now. Everyone else, continue.” With that, Elder Xuan stepped into the void and rose back into the air to spectate the match.
Both parties were somewhat bafﬂed. The members of preparatory team from the outer courtyard still had some doubts in their hearts, but the disciples from the inner courtyard were very familiar with Elder Xuan’s temperament. Even if he usually seemed very erratic, he was always a fair person. Since he made Ling Luochen leave the match, he naturally had a reason for doing so.
At this moment, Ma Xiaotao had approximately guessed at a hint of the truth. Among the disciples of the inner courtyard, she was the only one who knew that Huo Yuhao possessed an Ultimate martial soul. However, she didn’t think that it’d be this strong. We can talk about the speciﬁcs once the match is over. Winning’s more important now.
Ma Xiaotao let out a long hiss, then started her assault again. This time around, both parties were already very close to each other.
Huo Yuhao reactivated his Spiritual Detection as though nothing had happened. He’d consumed a certain amount of soul power while using his Imitation earlier, but Elder Xuan had accidentally helped him break through a bottleneck when he was probing the state and aura of his soul power. At this moment, his soul power was restored to its peak state.
Gong Yangmo’s Rainbow Dragon ﬁnally showed its use now. The opposing Yao Haoxuan’s auxiliary and weakening skill had already ended, but the former’s auxiliary skills were still activated. This was the difference in their martial souls and cultivations.
However, a mere hundred year soul skill didn’t drain much energy. As the opposing team began their attack, Yao Haoxuan hurriedly re-released the skill he’d previously used. Right now, both teams were about to clash head-on.
The person who made the ﬁrst move was Chen Zifeng. He hadn’t released his martial soul since the beginning of Dai
Yueheng’s assault, but just as the opposing team started to make their move, he ﬁnally revealed it.
An intense, red light rose from Chen Zifeng’s body. It wasn’t ﬁre-type soul power like Ma Xiaotao possessed, but one that was purely blood-red in color. Following its appearance, Huo Yuhao could smell a mountain of corpses and a sea of blood coming from the former’s body.
Chen Zifeng suddenly raised his head, and the pressure coming from him instantly reached a peak. His eyes turned blood-red, and a ﬁerce killing intent emerged from his body.
He pointed with the index and middle ﬁngers of his right hand, causing a blood-red bolt of lightning to shoot out. The blood-red soul power coming from his body seemed to be drawn towards the bloody light, and actually fused with it.
At this moment, Huo Yuhao could see a blade in Chen Zifeng’s hand; a three foot six inch-long blade that was only an inch wide. The slender body of the sword had no guard on it, but there were three bloody grooves carved into it. Mysteriously, Chen Zifeng’s ﬁve soul rings didn’t undulate
around his body. On the contrary, they surrounded this blood- red sword.
After pausing for a moment in midair, the thin sword shot towards Ma Xiaotao like a blood-red rainbow. A bloody wound opened wherever the sword passed, and there was already a strong smell of blood ﬁlling the air even before the sword had arrived.
This was Chen Zifeng’s martial soul, Soulchasing Sword.
Ma Xiaotao had a serious expression on her face. She spread her arms wide as the lightning-like sword ﬂew towards her, causing her intense, golden-red phoenix ﬂames to blossom out. This was her second soul skill, Phoenix Baptism.
This was an omnidirectional attack. Other than that, her ﬁrst soul ring ﬂickered as she spit out a streak of ﬁre that went straight after the Soulchasing Sword.
As though it felt pressured, the body of the Soulchasing Sword paused brieﬂy and let out a buzz. Right after that, an extremely sharp bloody light ﬂashed. The Soulchasing Sword
spat out three bolts of sword light. Chen Zifeng’g ﬁrst and second soul rings lit up, shoving away the streak of phoenix ﬁre that was chasing after him. Though it was slowed somewhat, its trajectory didn’t change; it was still headed towards Ma Xiaotao.
This was Chen Zifeng’s ﬁrst soul skill, Sharpness, and his second one, Destruction. The two soul skills harmonized with each other, ﬁlling his originally sharp Soulchasing Sword with destructive power.
Just as he released his Soulchasing Sword, Chen Zifeng slowed down. He stood behind Dai Yuefeng with his right sword ﬁnger on his blade, guarding against attacks from the sky.
At that moment, Dai Yueheng ﬁnally reached Ma Xiaotao. However, even though the leaders of both teams were about to collide, the latter was still under the effects of the Soulchasing Sword. In other words, she was under attack from two people at once.
A dazzlingly golden light suddenly appeared above Ma Xiaotao’s head. Once it appeared, it shot outwards, then targeted the person behind Dai Yueheng, Chen Zifeng. This golden light was from Wang Dong, who’d released his second soul skill, Light of the Butterﬂy Goddess.
He was currently standing atop Huo Yuhao’s shoulders, the latter holding onto his legs with his hands in order to maintain the ﬂow of their Haodong Power.
The moment they made their move, the battle fully erupted.
A bolt of lightning suddenly ﬂickered past Ma Xiaotao’s body. Dai Yueheng stopped his charge when he saw this, then squatted down and out a mufﬂed roar. Sharp blades appeared
atop his enormous, tiger-like ﬁngers as he carefully guarded himself. Immediately afterwards, a series of consecutive ‘ding’s rang out. When they struck Dai Yueheng, he became unable to move even half a step forward. On the contrary, an electric light had wrapped itself around his body and entrapped him. Xi Xi had made a move, but she she had simply struck too quickly. If Huo Yuhao locked onto her with his Spiritual Detection, he wouldn’t have been able to see her clearly.
As students that’d been able to become ofﬁcial members of Shrek Academy’s competing team, none of them were ordinary; all of them had their own respective specialties.
The moment that Dai Yueheng slowed down, the combination attack he’d launched with Chen Zifeng was naturally broken. Ma Xiaotao let out a cold snort, then rushed forwards like a bolt of lightning. She reached for the Soulchasing Sword with her hands as she unfurled her wings, which caused a red light to rise alongside the black light her sixth soul ring had begun to emit. The patch of sky around her was almost instantly illuminated by a red light.
Ma Xiaotao’s sixth soul skill was undoubtedly her strongest one. Furthermore, the ﬂoating Gong Yangmo made his move concurrently.
Even though Ma Xiaotao thought that he had an extremely vile attitude, the two still held an extremely good relationship. It was a relationship akin to that of the relationship between siblings. Ma Xiaotao hadn’t just chosen him due to his strength, but also because of the relatively good synergy that they already had.
The midair Gong Yangmo unfurled his wings, and his ﬁfth soul ring lit up. When he released his ten thousand year soul skill, a green light accurately shot out from his body towards Ma Xiaotao’s back.
His and Ma Xiaotao’s green and red lights fused together in that instant, as if the wind itself were helping stoke the ﬁre. The sky was then dyed red, and enormous, meter-long balls of golden-red ﬁre immediately began to fall from the sky and pepper the opposing team.
Regardless of whether it was Dai Yueheng or Chen Zifeng, none of the opposing team had expected Ma Xiaotao to launch an all-out attack at the very beginning of the battle. Furthermore, the might of her already-terrifying attack had been doubled due to Gong Yangmo’s help! Even though this
was an attack that covered a large area, its power made Dai Yueheng and the rest’s expressions change.
If Ling Luochen had still be present, she would’ve been able to rely on her ice element to weaken Ma Xiaotao’s attack. However, she’d already been eliminated! Dai Yueheng’s team’s only choice was to endure the full might of Ma Xiaotao’s strike.
Ma Xiaotao’s headstrong temperament was undoubtedly fully manifested in her attack. In fact, ever since she’d returned to the ofﬁcial team, Dai Yueheng had been left in a somewhat uncomfortable state. After all, it wasn’t easy for him to accept another person taking over as the head of the team. Fine! Since you’re not willing to accept it, I’ll use my strength to make you do so!
Not only was Ma Xiaotao powerful, her mind was extremely sharp. She’d immediately thought of a strategy to suppress her opponents using brute force the moment that Ling Luochen was eliminated. She wanted to defeat her opponents in the shortest possible amount of time, thus she’d immediately used her strongest soul skill to simplify the situation on the battleﬁeld.
The balls of ﬁre that were falling from the sky resembled ﬁery meteors as they fell towards the ground. Moreover, every single one of these ‘meteors’ seemed to have grown eyes. All of them had targeted one of the six people on the opposing team, with most of them naturally targeting Chen Zifeng and Dai Yueheng. After that, they headed towards Yao Haoxuan, Xu Sanshi, Jiang Nannnan, and Xiao Xiao.
This was the Phoenix Meteor Shower, Ma Xiaotao’s sixth soul skill!
When the ﬁery meteors neared their targets, they transformed into the shape of a phoenix and let out reverberating phoenix cries, then immediately accelerated towards their respective targets.
Jiang Nannan and Xiao Xiao were removed from the battleﬁeld by Elder Xuan straightaway. With this, Dai Yueheng’s team had lost another two members.
Even though Dai Yueheng and Xi Xi were both Soul Emperors, Dai Yueheng was at a disadvantage against the latter’s attacks. Currently, he could only do his best to protect himself; he didn’t have any time to care about his teammates.
Xu Sanshi was left in an even more miserable state. When the Phoenix Meteor Shower had shot towards them, he hadn’t thought of protecting himself. On the contrary, he’d immediately moved to help Jiang Nannan. Because of that, his enormous Shield of the Xuanwu Turtle was sent ﬂying towards her with his fourth soul skill activated. However, the sudden acceleration of the Phoenix Meteor Shower caused Elder Xuan to take her out immediately, which resulted in his defensive shield landing on thin air. Almost immediately afterwards, he himself was removed from the battleﬁeld. Now that he’d lost his shield, even a defense-type soul master like him wouldn’t be able to withstand a full round of the strengthened Phoenix Meteor Shower!
It wasn’t clear if Elder Xuan had done this on purpose, but Xu Sanshi’s entire back had been scorched by the Phoenix Meteor Shower as a result of him arriving a beat late. Fortunately, he was of the water element. Thus, even though he let out a few miserable wails, he hadn’t suffered too much damage.
In reality, even though Ma Xiaotao was extremely powerful, she wouldn’t normally have been able to take out a team of people around their level of strength with just a single attack. However, their team simply wasn’t coordinated enough. All of
the people from the preparatory team had been disqualiﬁed in the blink of an eye.
In comparison, the inner courtyard disciples’ strength had been fully revealed. Chen Zifeng hadn’t let Ma Xiaotao grab hold of his Soulchasing Sword, and the moment that the Phoenix Meteor Shower was released, he’d immediately called his weapon back to him in order to defend himself. When he did so, Ma Xiaotao had no way to pursue him, as she needed to both maintain and control her sixth soul skill.
The Soulchasing Sword in front of Chen Zifeng continuously carved out startlingly bloody rainbows as the soul rings surrounding it continued to ﬂicker alternatingly. Firstly, it easily shrugged off Wang Dong’s Light of the Butterﬂy Goddess. Afterwards, it slashed apart the meteors that were aimed at him. At the same time, Chen Zifeng continued to move about in an illusory manner. He ﬂashed around at an unusually quick speed in order to dodge a few of the ﬁery meteors, but when he did, more continued to accurately home in on him.
Chen Zifeng had revealed a valiant level of power, but he’d become inwardly puzzled. Just when had Ma Xiaotao reached this level of control with her sixth soul skill? The level of
strength that the Phoenix Meteor Shower had revealed once it’d undergone Gong Yangmo’s auxiliary-type skill was entirely real, but when it was strengthened like this, it was normally extremely hard to control it.
However, the meteors that had ﬁlled the sky seemed to have grown eyes. Every single one of them had homed in one on of them; none of them were spared. Even the meteors that had previously been sent towards Xu Sanshi, Jiang Nannan, and Xiao Xiao had immediately changed directions in midair the moment that the three of them were taken out. They’d then immediately begun to chase after Dai Yueheng, Yao Haoxuan, and him.
There wasn’t much difference in the cultivation levels of the members of the ofﬁcial team. The level of control that Ma Xiaotao currently had over her Phoenix Meteor Shower didn’t shock Dai Yueheng and the rest. Instead, it caused them to feel that it was strange. This had clearly exceeded the level of control that a Soul Emperor could have!
The art of controlling a soul skill mainly relied on a combination of spiritual power and soul power. Besides spiritual-type soul masters, who were rarely seen, there was practically no difference in the spiritual powers of soul masters
of the same rank. Spiritual power would grow alongside soul power; a special situation occur would only occur very rarely.
The way that Yao Haoxuan blocked the Phoenix Meteor Shower could only be described as strange. He pounded his ﬁsts against his chest, which caused halos of light to appear and assist his teammates. He then activated his ﬁfth soul ring, which caused his head to swell up. Afterwards, he opened his mouth and looked towards the sky. In that instant, his mouth swelled to an unimaginable degree. Immediately afterwards, he swallowed an entire Meteor, then spat it out towards another. He was actually able to block Ma Xiaotao’s attack by relying on a method like this.
Dai Yueheng began to feel somewhat panicked when he saw that three of his team members had been eliminated. He let out a tiger-like roar, then swatted away a few meteors. Although ﬂames had begun to appear on his body, he didn’t pay them any attention. His ﬁrst, third, and ﬁfth soul rings simultaneously lit up.
A layer of golden-white light then covered the surface of his body, which caused his body to expand. Afterwich, the white fur on his body turned golden.
Huo Yuhao had seen Dai Yueheng’s third soul skill, the White Tiger’s Vajra Transformation, before. However, the transformation that the latter had just released was unimaginably stronger than Dai Huabin’s.
The enormous image of a white tiger then appeared behind Dai Yueheng. Its eyes ﬂashed with a golden light, then it charged towards the Phoenix Meteor Shower in a valiant manner. It opened its palms, then either shattered or deﬂected every meteor that approached it. Its always-invincible aura now had a trace of desperation to it.
He only had one aim—Ma Xiaotao, who was currently maintaining her sixth soul skill. She was in an extremely vulnerable position now that she’d released her omni- directional soul skill. As such, Dai Yueheng believed that he’d be able to defeat his remaining opponents with his Soul Emperor-ranked cultivation so long as she was defeated.
Ma Xiaotao didn’t have any intentions of retreating from Dai Yueheng’s assault. She simply let out a low roar, “Golden Road.” Afterwards, she rushed forwards to meet Dai Yueheng. Furthermore, she continued to maintain the Phoenix Meteor Shower as she did so.
The scene of Ma Xiaotao accelerating with her legs spouting ﬁre once again revealed itself to Huo Yuhao. When she accelerated like this, she collided with Dai Yueheng in practically an instant.
They were both six-ringed assault-type Soul Emperors, and they were both inner courtyard disciples. Furthermore, there was only a slight difference in their cultivations.
However, their styles of attack were somewhat different. Ma Xiaotao relied on energy-based attacks, which was somewhat similar to Wang Dong. However, Dai Yueheng was different; he relied on pure physical power.
As such, it was Ma Xiaotao who got the short end of the stick when they met head-on.
Following a thunderous roar, the Phoenix Meteor Shower suddenly stopped, and Ma Xiaotao’s body was sent reeling from the backlash.
Currently, Dai Yueheng had released his ﬁrst, third, and ﬁfth soul skills. These skills were, respectively, the White Tiger’s Shield, the White Tiger’s Vajra Transformation, and the White Tiger’s Devilgod Transformation, all of which had the ability to strengthen his body.
However, Ma Xiaotao hadn’t suffered a complete loss. When the two of them had collided, she’d used her fourth skill. Thus, even though she’d been knocked backwards and slightly wounded, her fourth skill had managed to interrupt Dai Yueheng’s strongest skill, his sixth skill. A ﬁery red ring was now revolving around Dai Yueheng’s body. Afterwards, it spread outwards and cancelled Yao Haoxuan’s buffs, which made Dai Yueheng’s body numb, and also made him incapable of using any of his soul skills.
Of course, this state only lasted a very short time. After all, his body was currently under the effect of three powerful body- strengthening skills.
But at that moment, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s dazzling Golden Road hit their target with great accuracy.
The moment that Ma Xiaotao had been knocked back, a huge vertical eye had quietly appeared where she’d been standing before and releasing her Phoenix Meteor Shower.
The golden radiance it emitted immediately covered an area ﬁfty meters wide, and left a golden trail behind in the Assessment Area.
Dai Yueheng, who was in a weakened state, had no choice but to meet the attack head-on. In an instant, the golden light passed through him. Moreover, Yao Haoxuan, who was still swallowing the last of Ma Xiaotao’s Phoenix Meteor Shower and had been about to spit one out, also ‘happened to be’ directly behind Dai Yueheng. As such, he was hit by the Golden Road as well. When the Golden Road struck them, two golden statues were left on the battleﬁeld.
Thunderous explosions then proceeded to happen one after another. Bei Bei roused his Blue Lightning Tyrant Dragon martial soul and charged towards Chen Zifeng’s Soulchasing Sword. If he were to only rely on himself, it would be extremely difﬁcult to deal with Chen Zifeng. However currently, a very dangerous ﬂash of lightning was beside him. Even someone like Dai Yueheng was fearful of Xi Xi’s attacks, not to mention Chen Zifeng. And currently, he couldn’t avoid them.
“Ti––” Amidst the cry of a phoenix, Ma Xiaotao rolled upwards while in midair. Immediately afterwards, she opened her phoenix wings and charged towards Dai Yueheng once again.
At the same time, dozens of dazzling lights exploded towards the currently golden form of Yao Haoxuan.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s Golden Road had the disadvantage of it only being able to attack in a straight line. Despite this, its greatest advantage was its extremely high degree of power.
Nevertheless, Dai Yueheng’s body reverted back to normal in less than two seconds. However, this only applied to his outer appearance! His White Tiger martial soul was still temporarily neutralized.
Yao Haoxuan was in the same situation. In fact, he seemed to be in an even more miserable state. He Caitou returned to his normal form from that of a four meter-tall giant, then used all the power in his soul tool to charge towards Yao Haoxuan.
The outcome could be imagined: This time, it was Dai Yueheng that was sent ﬂying. Yao Haoxuan was also covered in bruises once he was hit by He Caitou’s soul tool head-on; he was directly removed from the battleﬁeld by Elder Xuan the moment that He Caitou’s attacks landed.
Ma Xiaotao didn’t go so far as to pursue and attack Dai Yueheng again. She unfurled her wings and looked arrogantly down at Chen Zifeng. “Admit defeat.”
Originally, he’d already been at a disadvantage under the ‘Xi- Bei’ combo. However right now, he was the only one left from his team. What was the point in resisting? He could only helplessly retreat and put an end to the match.
The ﬁght had concluded, and it could be only described as an overwhelming victory. No one from Ma Xiaotao’s side had been eliminated, yet Dai Yueheng’s entire team had been annihilated.
Nonetheless, Dai Yueheng hadn’t been injured. Ma Xiaotao had shown mercy when she’d sent him ﬂying. He had a gloomy and surprised expression when he realized that they’d lost. He then looked towards Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong, both puzzled and astonished.
How had they lost? They’d clearly held a huge advantage in terms of individual strength! How had four members of the main team lost so pitifully! Furthermore, the cause of their loss hadn’t even been the main members of the enemy team. In fact, he’d already made plans for the strongest of them, Ma Xiaotao. However, Wang Dong, Huo Yuhao, and even Bei Bei and He Caitou’s power had surpassed his expectations.
The four members of the preparatory team on Ma Xiaotao’s side had played a great role in this battle, while the three reserves on his team had had little to no impact before they’d been eliminated. Moreover, Ling Luochen hadn’t even been able to display her abilities.
Elder Xuan came down from the sky with the students he’d rescued. “Quick, the losers should accept their punishment,” He said with a smile, “you’ll have another chance later.”
“I’m a pig!” Dai Yueheng shouted without hesitation. However, his face still twitched, as he hadn’t accepted this loss in his heart!
Yao Haoxuan and Chen Zifeng had no choice either; they shouted the words as well. When Ling Luochen said them, she was carefully scrutinizing Huo Yuhao.
Xiao Xiao also said it without any problems. Even these seniors are shouting it. Would I really lose face if I were to shout it?
Jiang Nannan also said in a low and soft voice, “I’m a pig.”
Xu Sanshi attempted to ﬂatter her, “As you’d expect from the woman I like. She still looks so cute even when she’s calling herself a pig.”
Jiang Nannan glared at him and said, “Go away.”
Wang Dong, who was standing near Huo Yuhao, burst into laughter. However, he quickly turned his head away. Huo Yuhao’s face also twitched as he tried to hold back his laughter. Senior brother Xu was madly in love with Jiang Nannan. Despite this, Jiang Nannan was trying her best to not pay any attention to him. They were truly an interesting couple.
Elder Xuan said, “Good. You have a two hour break. Afterwards, since some of you still seem to be unconvinced, you’ll ﬁght again.”
When they heard that they would ﬁght again, the seven disciples of the inner courtyard immediately sat down and began to recover their soul power. In the ﬁght just now, everyone had used different quantities of soul power. As they meditated, they also went over the information they’d gained from the ﬁght just now.
When they saw this, Huo Yuhao and the others also sat down to recover their soul power. Of everyone present, he and Wang Dong had consumed the greatest amount of soul power. Moreover, they’d already used their Golden Road; they
wouldn’t be able to use it again if they had to battle in a short while.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong were slowly discovering the peculiarities of the Golden Road now that they’d used it in battle multiple times.
The Golden Road itself possessed an incredible amount of destructive power. However, its limits were clearly visible when it was used against someone with a higher cultivation. It was a powerful fusion skill that combined both attack and control. Combined with Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection, many of its ﬂaws were counterable. Currently, it was without a doubt their strongest skill.
Without this skill, their overall strength would deﬁnitely drop by a large margin. However, it wasn’t like they were completely useless without it. Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection was one of the best auxiliary skills a soul master could have. Moreover, they both also had a powerful thousand year soul skill, and Huo Yuhao’s Ultimate element could also suppress Ling Luochen. Countering an enemy Soul King was an extremely useful thing in a battle.
The ﬁght just now had left a very deep impression on Huo Yuhao. Being able to ﬁght along these senior schoolmates had been of great help to him, as he hadn’t needed to show them the way. Just by being in the range of his Spiritual Detection, they’d be able to understand how they should proceed, and
would display the right ability at the right moment. That had been an extremely wondrous feeling.
Elder Xuan casually chose a place to sit down. Afterwards, he took a greasy chicken leg out of nowhere and took a bite from it. Currently, his face that was hidden behind a mass of extraordinarily messy hair held a pensive expression. No one could tell what he was thinking.
Two hours quickly passed, after which they were all back on their feet.
Elder Xuan also stood up. He took a large swig of alcohol, then said with a smile, “Kids, don’t be impatient. What’s the point of ﬁghting with the same members once again? Therefore… Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong will switch teams with Yao Haoxuan and Jiang Nannan.”
Both sides were surprised when they heard Elder Xuan’s words. The ones that had the biggest reaction were Dai Yueheng and Chen Zifeng. Both of them furrowed their brows. On the other hand, the normally cold Ling Luochen had a pensive expression.
Jiang Nannan was eager to get away from Xu Sanshi. As such, she quickly moved towards the opposite party. Yao Haoxuan had a happy expression on his face as he asked Elder Xuan, “Elder Xuan, will the loser have to shout the same slogan as last time?”
Elder Xuan immediately nodded and said, “Of course. I’m always fair, after all.”
Chen Zifeng couldn’t refrain from asking, “Elder Xuan, I don’t think that this is fair. We just lost the battle, yet you’ve replaced our members with weaker ones…”
When Xiao Xiao heard Chen Zifeng’s words, she angrily retorted, “Senior schoolmate, how could you consider Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong weak? They played a decisive role in the previous battle!”
Chen Zifeng replied, “I’ll take those words back if they can still use their fusion skill.”
Xiao Xiao was immediately dumbfounded; this was still a problem! Given their current strength, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong deﬁnitely wouldn’t be able to use their Golden Road again. With this, their overall power would be greatly reduced.
Elder Xuan indifferently said, “Silence. It was an order. I wasn’t asking for your opinion. If you have some skills, you better use them in the ﬁght. Before criticizing your teammates, you should make sure to not act like a pig yourself. Now then, make the changes that I said.”
As Elder Xuan spoke in a grave tone, a burst of oppressive aura began to spread over the area. None of the students dared to say another word and they quietly exchanged members.
Besides Chen Zifeng, Ma Xiaotao was also unwilling to make this exchange. Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection was just too useful! Without him, would they still be able to have a tacit understanding like before?
When Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong arrived at the opposite side, Yao Haoxuan and Jiang Nannan also took their places in the opposite party. Just looking at their line up, Ma Xiaotao’s team seemed to have the advantage. Four of them were members of the main team, while the other three members
from the preparatory team were all Soul Ancestors.
Chapter 67: Ultimate Transformation! Attribute Ampliﬁcation!
The core strength of Dai Yueheng’s team was comprised of Chen Zifeng, Ling Luochen, and himself. Among the other four, Xu Sanshi was comparatively stronger in terms of direct combat. The remaining three consisted of Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao.
To them, the only advantage brought about by having Huo Yuhao on their team was that Ling Luochen’s ability shouldn’t be restricted, but that was all.
Elder Xuan indicated for both parties to space out, but he didn’t give them time to familiarise themselves with one another this time around. As soon as both parties were a hundred and ﬁfty metres apart he sounded the command for them to begin.
Both sides were closer to one another this time around. As soon as Elder Xuan gave the signal to begin, the Control System Battle Soul Masters on both sides immediately activated their skills.
Dai Yueheng, Chen Zifeng, and Xu Sanshi were in front, Ling Luochen was in the middle, and Wang Dong, Huo Yuhao, and Xiao Xiao were in the back.
Ling Luochen ran ahead of Huo Yuhao, then turned her head back to look at Huo Yuhao, her cold gaze bearing a degree of curiosity and alertness.
Huo Yuhao shrugged his shoulders towards her. Afterwards, both of his foolproof white soul rings of lit up once more. Just like before, his Spiritual Detection Sharing was activated when the moment that his ﬁrst soul ring lit up.
The people in front of him shuddered all simultaneously shuddered. If it weren’t for the fact that they were all well experienced in battle, they wouldn’t have been able to keep themselves from turning and staring at Huo Yuhao.
Dai Yueheng and Chen Zifeng ﬁnally understood why Ma Xiaotao’s Phoenix Meteor Shower had been so accurate before. However, they hadn’t even thought that it had been due to Huo Yuhao. Weren’t his soul rings just white, ten year ones? How could he have such a powerful spiritual-type soul skill?! Furthermore, he’d previously used an ice-attribute martial
soul, right? As such, how had this spiritual-type soul skill come about?
Both parties were just over a hundred metres away from one another. It didn’t matter that Dai Yueheng, Chen Zifeng, and Ling Luochen had misgivings about this soul skill in their hearts, as they had to face their opponents ﬁrst.
Ling Luochen was also a Control System Battle Soul Master. The cold stream that had previously surrounded her rose up once more. As it did, Ma Xiaotao appeared directly across from her. In that moment, her phoenix wings unfurled again, and with Gong Yangmo’s help, raging torrential ﬂames appeared once more. The temperature in the assessment area rapidly began to increase.
At that exact moment, Ling Luochen felt two warm palms suddenly press themselves against her back. She couldn’t help but shudder, which nearly interrupted her soul skill.
Ling Luochen was mysophobic, quiet, and cold. Besides her close relatives, she’d never let anyone from the opposite sex touch her body before. Amongst the three people standing behind her, the one directly behind her was Huo Yuhao. As
such, this pair of hands undoubtedly belonged to Huo Yuhao. She was immediately enraged, but right when she was about to turn around and lash out at him, she suddenly felt that something about her soul skill had changed. It was difﬁcult to describe the frigid air that had suddenly surged into her body from her back: Her ability was originally ice-based, thus this external force wasn’t an attack, but an assimilation. She felt that her ice had turned into an existence that stood on a completely different level than before, while her entire temperament seemed to have subsequently changed because of that frigid feeling.
As one of Shrek Academy’s inner courtyard disciples, Ling Luochen wasn’t only stubbornly strong, she was also extremely knowledgeable when it came to soul masters. She immediately became aware of a possibility that had been unknown to her up until this point. When she thought of this possibility, she immediately understood why she’d previously lost to Huo Yuhao in such a dubious manner.
Ultimate, it’s actually Ultimate Ice. This tiny youngster actually has an inconceivable martial soul like Ultimate Ice!
Both parties began to near each other as Ling Louchen had this revelation. Ling Luochen quickly calmed down, then
immediately conﬁrmed that it was Huo Yuhao behind her. However, when she did, she noticed that his two soul rings had actually turned into a single soul ring. Wang Dong was right behind Huo Yuhao, and he‘d ﬁrmly planted both his hands on Huo Yuhao’s back as well. She was able to see all of this because of Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection.
Her ice element had turned into an Ultimate Ice element! To Ling Luochen, this feeling was both magical and wonderful. Even though this wouldn’t turn her into a true Ultimate Ice Soul Master, what Huo Yuhao had done was equivalent to amplifying her ice attribute for a short period of time, such that she could temporarily use the power of an Ultimate Ice attribute. Furthermore, Ultimate Ice that bore the power of a Soul King.
Ling Luochen’s ﬁrst soul ring metamorphosed into an icy staff, which she then raised over her head. However, she didn’t release her second soul ring and equip her ice armor this time around. Instead, she pointed her icy staff towards the sky. When she did, an icy blue halo encased her whole body in a split second, which caused body to be wrapped in an icy blue coat.
Immediately afterwards, an icy blue pillar of light soared into the sky. The dry heat that had ﬁlled their surroundings was immediately swept into oblivion. Not only that, but once the icy cold draft had risen ten metres into the air, it rapidly spread like a tide and pressed itself against Ma Xiaotao’s phoenix ﬂames.
No matter how ﬁrm Dai Yueheng’s resolution was, he couldn’t help but look up at the sky. He just so happened to see an icy blue layer overtake both Chen Zifeng and himself at an astonishing speed. That icy blue layer then rapidly came into contact with Ma Xiaotao’s monstrous phoenix ﬂames.
When they felt the chilliness brought about by the Ultimate Ice, Dai Yueheng and Chen Zifeng couldn’t help but shiver, despite being her teammates. They exchanged a glance, the astonishment they felt clearly present in their eyes.
All of them were within Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection Sharing, thus they could naturally tell that Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong were both currently supporting Ling Luochen. Furthermore, the cold aura that Ling Luochen had revealed had completely surpassed that of the one she’d revealed in the past. The overwhelming pressure brought about by it shocked even a Soul Emperor like Dai Yueheng!
Ma Xiaotao’s Reddish-golden ﬂames rapidly collided with the icy blue streams of cold.
The people on Ma Xiaotao’s team were startled to ﬁnd that their deduction was wrong: The one currently winning wasn’t the Soul Emperor Ma Xiaotao, but rather the Soul King Ling Luochen.
When the cold streams came into contact with the scorching phoenix ﬂames, they seemed as though they’d suddenly encountered a downpour. The ﬂames dissipated in the face of the cold streams, and were consequently replaced by the cold torrential streams. The cold streams of air shocked every single person on Ma Xiaotao’s team, and caused them to feel a little sluggish.
Yao Haoxuan had already turned into an extremely brawny four-metre tall man, and he began forcefully thumping his chest. That was his ﬁrst soul skill, ‘Warfare’.
However, this yellow soul skill of his that strengthened everyone on his team wasn’t able to neutralize the chilliness
they felt. Contrary to his expectations, he even slowed down a little.
It was at this moment that Xiao Xiao’s Ninephoenix Worshipping Flute suddenly rang out. Under her precise control, the sound waves that caused people to slow down ﬂew past her teammates without affecting them, only affecting the seven people on Ma Xiaotao’s team.
Ma Xiaotao’s team was strong, but they had a problem—they didn’t have a real Control System Battle Soul Master on their team. Their opponents, on the other hand, had three of them.
Under the joint efforts of Ling Luochen and Xiao Xiao, their seven-man team had now become signiﬁcantly slower.
Dai Yueheng and Chen Zifeng became ﬁred up when they saw this. They suddenly felt that their loss wasn’t necessarily certain in this match, and both released their martial souls. They then simultaneously accelerated towards Ma Xiaotao. Ma Xiaotao was in a completely different situation this match, now that she didn’t have Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection Sharing to aid her. Furthermore, Ling Luochen was suppressing her phoenix ﬂames.
“Xi Xi, get rid of Huo Yuhao!” Ma Xiaotao shouted out as she faced Dai Yueheng and Chen Zifeng head-on without a shred fear in her body. Bei Bei and He Caitou ﬂanked her from the sides, but a ﬂash of lightning immediately sparked past all of them, which formed a refraction at an alarming speed; Xi Xi had already reached Huo Yuhao’s side only a second after Ma Xiaotao had shouted.
Neither Ling Luochen’s cold streams nor Xiao Xiao’s Ninephoenix Worshipping Flute were capable of impairing Xi Xi’s speed by a large amount. She was Xi Xi: An ordinary- looking girl, yet a true assassin-like Agility System Soul Master!
“Dong—” Lightning shot out in all directions amidst the prolonged sound that was produced from a collision. Xi Xi ﬁnally revealed her true self from within the lightning.
In that moment, her pupils were vertical, while her skin had turned black, and lightning was currently coiling around body. That’s right, this was her martial soul—Lightning Leopard.
However, someone had blocked that attack of hers, which she’d unleashed with the intention to win. It was only natural that Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong wouldn’t have been able to block her sudden attack head on, but there was someone who could: Xu Sanshi.
His huge Shield of the Xuanwu Turtle had landed right in front of Huo Yuhao, which had caused Xi Xi to rebound from her attack. After her attack struck, Xu Sanshi positioned himself horizontally from her.
At that moment, Dai Yueheng and Chen Zifeng were even more aware of the wonder brought about by Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection. They were able to completely grasp the situation on the battleﬁeld in a three-dimensional form at all times due to his Spiritual Detection. Normally, a speedy assassin such as Xi Xi would dart behind their opponents and ambush them where they knew they’d appear. However, they didn’t make a detour to deal with Xi Xi this time around. Xu Sanshi’s obstruction had appeared in their Spiritual Detection, thus all they needed to do was face their opponents head-on.
Both parties were about to collide with one another, when Dai Yueheng suddenly revealed a somewhat strange smile on his face. Following that, his fourth soul ring suddenly lit up.
A bright, golden-white pillar of light soared into the sky. A brilliant, crescent-moon shaped light seemed to shine from within the light pillar. Shortly afterwards, tens of balls of light appeared from atop the light pillar and descended in a ﬂash. They passed Ma Xiaotao by, then split into two groups. One group headed towards the sky-bound Gong Yangmo, while the other portion rapidly dispersed and shot towards Jiang
Nannan and He Caitou.
Who doesn’t know how to unleash a meteor shower? You have your Phoenix Meteor Shower, I have my White Tiger Meteor Shower. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth! It’s my turn to land a clean hit now that I have Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection on my side!
If they were competing based purely on strength alone, Dai Yueheng naturally wouldn’t be able to compare to Ma Xiaotao’s six-ringed soul skill with just his four-ringed one. They were both Meteor Showers, but his was much weaker than hers. However, his meteor shower had a much smaller amount of meteors compared to Ma Xiaotao, which caused every single meteor of his to be more powerful in their own right. Moreover, the main target he’d chosen wasn’t the weakest amongst the three from the opposing team, but rather their team’s main attacker, Gong Yangmo. As long as he was able to
get rid of Gong Yangmo, the strength of Ma Xiaotao’s team would plummet.
Gong Yangmo had already released three soul skills at this point. The ﬁrst soul skill he’d used was ‘Scarlet Strength’, the second was ‘Orange Soul’, and the third soul skill was ‘Yellow Speed’. These three soul skills caused three halos to appear atop the heads of everyone on his team, with Yao Haoxuan’s ampliﬁcation then added onto them. Their party was now much stronger, and if one were to isolate their team and look at each individual’s current state they’d clearly be able to see this.
However, the moment that both parties were about to engage in a close-quarters battle, Ling Luochen suddenly let out another attack.
Ling Luochen’s third soul ring instantly lit up as she pointed her icy staff forward, which caused an icy-blue ray of light to strike the top of Ma Xiaotao’s head.
The blue light enveloped her and instantly entrapped her within an icy prison . Ma Xiaotao’s charge immediately halted her charge and her ﬁercely struck the icy prison with her phoenix ﬂames.
However, the icy prison didn’t shatter like she’d expected it too; only a few cracks had appeared. Ma Xiaotao’s ﬁery ﬂames had been completely suppressed by this icy prison.
Of the seven within the ofﬁcial team, Ma Xiaotao didn’t just have a bad relationship with Dai Yueheng. Her relationship with Ling Luochen wasn’t good either. She was of the ﬁre element, while Ling Luochen was of the ice element. As such, their dispositions naturally clashed with each other. In the past, Ling Luochen had refused to help Ma Xiaotao suppress her evil ﬁre. If she hadn’t, she wouldn’t have had to stoop to ﬁnding Xu Sanshi.
However, Ma Xiaotao had always suppressed Ling Luochen in terms of pure cultivation; she deﬁnitely didn’t want to lose against her this time around.
Opportunities on the battleﬁeld were both transient and ﬂeeting; a single moment’s opportunity could change the entire situation of a battle.
Dai Yueheng had originally planned to ﬁght Ma Xiaotao in a direct confrontation. However, the moment that Ling Luochen had made her move he’d been able to ﬁgure out who her target was due to Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection. His body suddenly ﬂickered, and his ﬁrst, third, and ﬁfth soul rings once again lit up. This brought him to the peak of his abilities, and in an instant, he found Bei Bei.
With the assistance of Gong Yangmo’s Rainbow Dragon, Bei Bei was able to block three of Dai Yueheng’s blows. However, he still retreated step by step as blood dripped from his mouth and nose. At the same time, Gong Yangmo was doing his best to protect himself from the White Tiger’s Meteor Shower. As a result, he wasn’t able to assist Ma Xiaotao. On the other hand, Jiang Nannan and He Caitou only choice was to exhaust their abilities in order to protect themselves from the White Tiger’s
Meteor Shower. Their originally orderly formation had crumbled in an instant.
With a ﬂash of blue light, Yao Haoxuan—who’d just swallowed a meteor from the White Tiger’s Meteor Shower and spat it out to help Gong Yangmo—was suddenly trapped in another icy prison. At that moment, Ma Xiaotao ﬁnally broke through the icy prison that had entrapped her. However, Ling Luochen’s attack arrived at the same instant that she broke free.
She pointed her icy staff forwards and her ink-like ﬁfth soul ring lit up. A dark-blue ring of ice then ﬂoated outwards, the extreme cold it emanated covering the entire Assessment Area in a layer of frost. Ma Xiaotao’s evil ﬁre was then subsequently suppressed to the point where it could only actually appear in a two meter diameter around her.
On the other side of the battleﬁeld, Xi Xi continued to attack Xu Sanshi wildly. However, even though she was quick, her attacks weren’t very strong. On the other hand, the Soul Ancestor-ranked Xu Sanshi was essentially a well-guarded fortress. He relied on the accurate predictive capabilities of Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection to defend Huo Yuhao, Wang
Dong, and Xiao Xiao in a timely manner using his Shield of the Xuanwu Turtle.
Ling Luochen’s dark-blue ring of ice continued to slowly rise, while the bluish light on it circulated and released three blue pillars of light that shot towards Ma Xiaotao, Gong Yangmo, and Yao Haoxuan respectively.
As a control-type soul master, Ling Luochen’s held an enormous amount of control over her Ice. With Huo Yuhao’s elemental ampliﬁcation, she was able to instantly gain the initiative with this attack.
Ma Xiaotao gritted her teeth. She knew that if this attack were to land, there was a high possibility that she wouldn’t be able to turn things around. She ﬂapped her wings ﬁercely, which caused the soul power within her body to suddenly explode outwards. Amidst the sonorous cry of a phoenix, her body turned illusory. In that instant, she seemed to transform into a genuine phoenix. The golden-reddish light on her legs lit up, and she accelerated toward Ling Luochen as she activated her ﬁfth soul ring. If she wasn’t able to deal with Ling Luochen, she wouldn’t have another chance to take back the initiative.
However, how could Ling Luochen, who was the core control-type soul master of her team, be allowed to take on Ma Xiaotao’s all-out blow?
Dai Yueheng’s muscular body suddenly appeared on the only path that Ma Xiaotao could take. Amidst the roar of a tiger, his sixth soul ring ﬁnally lit up.
An enormous ‘KILL’ that alternated between black and white appeared in midair and collided with the charging Ma Xiaotao, who’d been assisted by her two leg soul bones.
“Boom—” A violent undulation of soul power instantly spread outwards from the point of their collision, which forced everyone it to bend down and defend themselves.
When the ﬁerce, ﬁery red light collided with the golden- white tiger, they shot straight into the air. Their ﬁgures instantly separated once they’d collided with each other.
Dai Yueheng was sent ﬂying backwards from the collision, and two deep grooves had appeared on the ground below him.
When he ﬁnally stopped, he was already knee-deep in the ground.
Ma Xiaotao wasn’t feeling any better. As she tumbled on the ground, she was struck by Ling Luochen’s icy ring, and was frozen into a dark-blue pillar of ice as a result.
As for Gong Yangmo, even though his auxiliary abilities were extremely strong, he wasn’t specialised in combat. He Caitou did his best to rescue him with his soul tools, but a ten thousand year soul skill that held the power of Ultimate Ice wasn’t something that a Class 4 soul engineer could withstand. The power of Ice enveloped him, and he was frozen solid as well.
There was no need to even mention Yao Haoxuan. Before he could destroy the icy prison that had entrapped him, Ling Luochen reinforced it. As a result, his massive body was sealed within the icy prison. With Huo Yuhao’s elemental ampliﬁcation, Ling Luochen’s level of control over the battleﬁeld had been at least doubled.
The blood-red Soulchasing Sword ﬂickered proudly as it shot forwards. It smashed into the solid pillars of ice that were Ma
Xiaotao, Gong Yangmo, and Yao Haoxuan’s bodies, then ﬂew towards Bei Bei, He Caitou, and Jiang Nannan.
Bei Bei had already been injured, and he’d consumed an enormous amount of soul power. He Caitou’s consumption of soul power had been similarly enormous. Jiang Nannan had already expended all of her strength when she’d defended herself against the White Tiger’s Meteor Shower. How could the three of them currently defend themselves against Chen Zifeng’s powerful Soulchasing Sword? With the help of Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection, the battle ended in just three breaths of time.
The battles going on on the other side of the battleﬁeld ended as well.
When Dai Yueheng clashed against Ma Xiaotao, a ﬂaw ﬁnally appeared in Xu Sanshi’s defense. How could Xi Xi give up on an opportunity like this? She charged towards Huo Yuhao, who stood behind Ling Luochen, with a ﬂash.
At that moment, however, Huo Yuhao suddenly turned around. Two bolts of purplish-golden lightning shot out of his eyes towards Xi Xi’s.
Xi Xi only felt as if her head had been viciously smashed by a hammer. An instantaneous period of blankness overwhelmed her mind.
Regardless of how quick she was, she was still a Soul King. Huo Yuhao had fused his Spiritual Shock with his Purple Demon eyes, and had utilized the spiritual power from the Haodong Power; even Ma Xiaotao would’ve been momentarily stunned by his attack.
Huo Yuhao wasn’t the only person who’d made a move; Xiao Xiao, who’d been standing there and playing her ﬂute by herself, ﬁnally made her a move as well. Her enormous pitch- black cauldron mightily rumbled forwards as she released her National Treasure, Cauldron’s Quaking Tremble. She used her strongest soul skill, then maneuvered it right in front of Xi Xi’s body with the help of Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection. Even though Xi Xi had only been stunned for a single second, that was enough time for her.
Wang Dong’s charged-up attack also ﬁnally arrived and struck Xi Xi. Even though she’d been able to quickly recover from Xiao Xiao’s Cauldron’s Quaking Tremble with her
powerful cultivation, it wasn’t possible for her to dodge this attack.
Wang Dong’s thousand year soul skill, the Butterﬂy Goddess Slash.
Immediately after touching Xi Xi, the enormous ball of light instantly transformed into 108 blades of light, which crisscrossed as they struck her. Moreover, this skill had been strengthened by both the Haodong Power and the Golden Light. Once this attack had been released, he and Huo Yuhao fell to the ground, powerless.
These 108 blades of light weren’t inferior to a powerful attack launched by a four-ringed Soul Ancestor. Even if Xi Xi was the quickest among everyone present, she was still ﬂustered when she was struck by the attack. She’d never expected the three of them to be able to lay a trap for her with just their two and three-ringed cultivations.
She went all-out and released three consecutive soul skills before she was able to dissolve the might of the Butterﬂy Goddess Slash. However, she wasn’t able to dodge the Shield of the Xuanwu Turtle that struck her from behind.
The other battles had already ended, and Xi Xi was sent ﬂying by the Shield of the Xuanwu Turtle. Now that he’d taken a breather, Dai Yueheng struck out with his palms and caught Xi Xi, who continued to ﬂicker with electricity. Despite his hair standing up from her electricity, she still gave up the moment he extended his claws.
The battle had ended, with the result of the battle still being a perfect victory. However, the victors were evidently different.
Dai Yueheng, Chen Zifeng, and Ling Luochen weren’t joyous the moment the battle ended. Instead, they immediately turned towards Huo Yuhao, who was sitting on the ground.
Chen Zifeng had an astonished look on his face. “Twin martial souls? And you, you also have them?” The other person he was referring to was naturally Xiao Xiao. He ﬁnally understood, at least to some extent, why Elder Xuan wanted to make them members of the preparatory team, despite them being so young.
Ling Luochen’s question was only targeted towards Huo Yuhao, “Ultimate Ice?”
What could Huo Yuhao do except nod?
Dai Yueheng took a few steps forwards and helped Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong stand up. A trace of a smile appeared on his face. “Welcome to the preparatory team of the Shrek’s Seven Monsters. I know that you have a few conﬂicting views with my younger brother, but I’m not him. You don’t have to mind me. In the future, we’ll all be companions.”
There was no doubt that Dai Yueheng’s words were equivalent to acknowledging Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao as members of the preparatory team.
However, Huo Yuhao didn’t feel happy in the least when he heard Dai Yueheng’s words. On the contrary, he became extremely vigilant. Dai Yueheng’s smile appeared to be genuine, but the more genuine it looked, the colder he felt in his heart. When he’d met the former earlier, the trace of killing intent that had ﬂashed through his eyes hadn’t escaped Huo Yuhao’s keen Spirit Eyes.
Furthermore, Dai Yueheng was one of the sons of the White Tiger Duke, Huo Yuhao’s greatest foe.
An enemy that could hide his feelings was undoubtedly much more dangerous than one who wore his feelings on his sleeve. As an upperclassman, Dai Yueheng was deﬁnitely more terrifying than Dai Huabin to Huo Yuhao. Moreover, he was also his elder brother! If it weren’t for the fact that Huo Yuhao looked more like his mother, Dai Yueheng would’ve noticed that something was wrong.
“Thanks,” replied Huo Yuhao with a smile. He was very clever; if Dai Yueheng could hide his emotions, why couldn’t he? At the very least, Dai Yueheng wouldn’t dare to make a move against him within the academy due to the lesson Dai Huabin had received.
“Have you felt it? A live battle is the best way to test everything out. Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao aren’t strong enough by themselves, but they have a respectable amount of talent. Thus, I’m giving them this chance. Huo Yuhao, from now on, you’re the main control-type soul master of the preparatory team. Bei Bei, you’ll be its leader.”
A team leader was the head of a team, while the main control-type soul master was the brains of a team. By relying on his performance in the previous two matches, Huo Yuhao was worthy of becoming the main control-type soul master in the preparatory team even with his two-ringed cultivation. Nobody objected to this.
At this moment, the frozen Ma Xiaotao and the rest ﬁnally broke free of their bindings. Shivering somewhat, Ma Xiaotao glared ﬁercely at Huo Yuhao.
Huo Yuhao shrugged helplessly towards her. He didn’t know why, but he preferred Ma Xiaotao’s faux-anger over Dai Yueheng’s smile.
Elder Xuan was very pleased with today’s matches. He understood how strong each member of the ofﬁcial team was. After Ma Xiaotao returned, there were a few voices of dissent within the team. After today’s matches, however, she had revealed a persuasive amount of power. Though they’d lost the second match, everybody could see that she was slightly stronger than Dai Yueheng overall. Naturally, the situation could be different in a life-and-death match. After all, this was just a mock battle. The members of the ofﬁcial team hadn’t used any relatively brutal techniques.
However, Elder Xuan mainly wanted to test out the seven members of the preparatory team. Bei Bei, Xu Sanshi, Jiang Nannan, and He Caitou’s performances conformed to his expectations. Jiang Nannan was an agility-type soul master, and she had been suppressed relatively heavily. Thus, one
couldn’t blame her for not being able to perform spectacularly. However, Elder Xuan was surprised by Huo Yuhao’s trio.
They had the lowest cultivation levels within their team, but they were extremely well-coordinated with each other. Huo Yuhao was also able to strengthen the combat strength of his entire team by relying on his powerful Spiritual Detection. When he was teamed up with Ma Xiaotao, he was able to use the Golden Road at the right moment in order to settle the entire battle. Though their opponents had underestimated them due to unfamiliarity, the effectiveness of the Golden Road was evident.
Furthermore, the existence of Huo Yuhao was equivalent to an ice-type soul master who could restrict everything. Ling Luochen was already the most outstanding ice-type soul master within the inner courtyard, but she was completely suppressed in front of his Ultimate Ice. When she worked together with him, she had an all-around boost to her abilities. Evidently, they couldn’t be allowed to become enemies before the tournament started. Once the two of them worked together, Ling Luochen could deﬁnitely become the main control-type soul master within the ofﬁcial team. The reason why Ma Xiaotao had lost was because she had been completely suppressed!
Huo Yuhao’s only problem was his lack of cultivation. Otherwise, Elder Xuan would’ve even considered letting him try to become the main control-type soul master on the ofﬁcial team.
These two matches had solidiﬁed the conﬁdence in Elder Xuan’s heart. He’d secretly made a decision; within the preparatory team--which was the future generation of the Shrek’s Seven Monsters--Huo Yuhao’s position as the main control-type master would never change.
Chen Zifeng laughed mischievously. “A few people have to pay up their bets!”
After hearing his reminder, the newly crowned victors immediately looked towards Ma Xiaotao with a smile.
The saddest of the lot were undoubtedly Yao Haoxuan and Jiang Nannan. They’d lost two consecutive matches.
Ma Xiaotao glared at Huo Yuhao again, “You just wait for me.
I’m a pig.”
The others could only helplessly refer to themselves as a certain chubby animal. Elder Xuan laughed as he watched all this, feeling joyous inwardly. He believed that Huo Yuhao’s generation of the Shrek’s Seven Monsters would deﬁnitely be stronger than the current generation in ﬁve years’ time.
“Okay, you can all go back. Pack up your things. Gather at the academy’s entrance tomorrow morning. We’re going to Star Luo City to take part in a competition.”
“Star Luo City?” Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but cry out after hearing these words.
Elder Xuan looked towards him with a somewhat puzzled look in his eyes. “Is there a problem? The Continental Advanced Academy Soul Duelling Tournament is held in a different country every year. This time around, it’s the Star Luo Empire’s turn. The next one, which is the one you’ll be able to participate in as an ofﬁcial team member, will be held in the Sun Moon Empire. It’ll be held in the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. Thus, you’ll have to work even harder during these next ﬁve years.”
How could Huo Yuhao not reveal a change in his emotions after hearing the words ‘Star Luo City’? He’d never been to the capital of the Star Luo Empire, but Star Luo City was something he’d heard too many times during his youth. The Duke’s Mansion he’d grown up in was only 25km south of Star Luo City! When the weather was good, he would be able to faintly see the silhouette of the imperial capital from the outskirts of the Duke’s Mansion.
Huo Yuhao’s heartbeat involuntarily sped up. He’d never thought that he would have to go back this quickly. Dai Yueheng was a member of the ofﬁcial team, and wouldn’t he bring everyone to the Duke’s Mansion?
Though the two brothers no longer recognised him, he was still someone who’d grown up in the Duke’s Mansion. The servants there had seen him many times in the past. The moment he thought of returning to the place he’d grown up in, the place he resented and hated incomparably, Huo Yuhao’s heart was immediately thrown into disorder.
Huo Yuhao lowered his head and replied, “It’s nothing. I just didn’t think that we’d have to go to the Star Luo Empire.”
Elder Xuan didn’t take it to heart. “Then you can all go back now.”
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong walked all the way back to the dormitories. Nobody else had noticed anything strange about Huo Yuhao, but Wang Dong’s senses were very acute. After living with the former for more than a year, he was relatively familiar with him. Furthermore, he knew the hatred that existed in his heart.
“Yuhao, are you okay?” Wang Dong whispered.
Huo Yuhao shook his head. “I’m ﬁne. I just can’t adapt to suddenly going back. I can’t let Dai Yueheng know of my true identity.”
Wang Dong was silent for a moment, then whispered, “Yuhao, he should be your older brother. You…”
Stirred up, Huo Yuhao interrupted him, “I don’t have an elder brother, nor do I have any relatives. My mom is dead, and I’m only an orphan.”
“Fine, ﬁne, an orphan it is.” Wang Dong hurriedly parroted him.
“Sorry.” Huo Yuhao nodded his head gloomily.
Wang Dong walked over to him and sat beside him, “Don’t think too much about it. There’ll always be a way to get over this. Furthermore, it’s not guaranteed that someone will recognise you even if we go back. Haven’t you felt that you’ve changed greatly during this past year? Even someone who previously recognised you might not be able to tell who you are now. I know that you’re pained, but since you’ve chosen to face them and seek revenge, you have to be strong. The opponent you’re going against is extremely strong!”
Huo Yuhao was stunned. “Have I changed a lot?”
Wang Dong knocked him on the head once, then passed him a mirror from his bedside.
“Take a look for yourself.”
Right! Using the words ‘heaven-shaking and earth- shattering’ to describe Huo Yuhao’s transformation over his past year at Shrek Academy wouldn’t be inappropriate. In the beginning, he was only a bashful, ordinary youth who even seemed rustic. Over this past year, however, not only did he experience a tremendous growth in his strength, he even became a core disciple of the academy. At the same time, an enormous transformation had occurred to his outer appearance and his demeanor.
Strength would make a person conﬁdent. With his two intelligent soul rings, and especially the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s soul bone, he’d grown much taller.
When he’d arrived at the academy, he looked somewhat thin and weak. However, he was now as strong as a calf. His originally unhealthy facial appearance now shone with a rosy gloss. Moreover, he was ﬁlled with the aura of the sun. Wang Dong was correct--during this past year, he’d turned over an entirely new leaf. He was no longer the servant-like Huo Yuhao who’d lived in the Duke’s Mansion.
“Actually, you’ve already set a target for yourself. Since that’s the case, if we do go there, so be it. Why think too much about it?” Wang Dong stood up and took the mirror back from Huo
Yuhao. Then, he took the initiative to sit in a cross-legged position and extended his hands towards him. “Come, let’s cultivate. We’re still too far away from our seniors in terms of cultivation! We have to work hard.”
Huo Yuhao ﬁnally revealed a smile after seeing Wang Dong’s serious expression, “Since a lazy fella like you is actually asking me to cultivate, let’s do it. I’m going to surpass you sooner or later.”
Wang Dong feigned surprise as he looked towards the window. “Eeeeh, why are there cows ﬂying in the sky? Ah, I know. It’s because you’re spouting bullshit.”
“Don’t you dare laugh at me. I’ll show you how awesome I am.” Huo Yuhao suddenly pounced towards Wang Dong. Defenseless, the latter let out an astonished cry as he immediately tumbled onto the bed.
Huo Yuhao held onto his hands evilly, then shouted, “Are you gonna submit?”
“No!” Wang Dong shouted provokingly.
“You’re really not gonna submit?” Huo Yuhao slowly pressed down on him, and the distance between his face and Wang Dong’s began to decrease. He had a naughty smile on his face as he looked at the latter’s pair of beautiful, round eyes.
As Huo Yuhao continued to get closer to him, Wang Dong could feel his breathing on his face. He was ﬁnally panicking, and hence shut his eyes subconsciously. But, he still forced out a few words, “No! I won’t submit!”
Huo Yuhao was left in a daze as he looked at Wang Dong’s long, trembling eyebrows. He was just a few inches away from him, and he could smell the faint fragrance coming from him. He didn’t know why, but he shivered uncontrollably as he looked at Wang Dong, who was being forced down by him, so much so that he was completely helpless.
He hurriedly let go of Wang Dong’s hands, then grabbed his pinkish face and squeezed it. Then, he laughed, “If you won’t submit, I’ll make you look like a pig. Hey, you look rather good even as a pig. Quickly, stick out your mouth so you’ll look even more like one.”
“Huo Yuhao, I’m gonna ﬁght you!”
Chapter 68: Shrek Guardians
Two similar ﬁgures stood together.
“Brother, so how about it? Is there a chance for you to make a move?” Dai Huabin asked resentfully.
Dai Yueheng snorted coldly. “You’d best give up. There’s no chance. Huo Yuhao’s even more talented than you. He has a skill called Spiritual Detection that can beneﬁt every single one of his teammates. Furthermore, it’s obvious that Elder Xuan likes him a lot. The two consecutive matches we had were to show off his strength for everyone to approve of him. I don’t even need to tell you what kind of person Elder Xuan is again. Also, mother is very angry over this incident. Fortunately, father’s not home. Otherwise, you’d be in for a lot of trouble.”
“Mother has told me to pass on a piece of news to you. If there is a ‘next time’, nobody is going to help you. Do you know how much pressure mother suffered to keep this matter quiet? Even the royal family doesn’t dare to offend the academy. You were actually this rash?”
Dai Huabin’s eyes turned red. “Don’t tell me that you’re just going to let this go? Did our men die for nothing?”
“Bastard!” Dai Yueheng suddenly pulled his hand back and slapped Dai Huabin’s face. The latter staggered, and nearly fell to the ground.
“How old are you already?” Dai Yueheng asked sternly, “Do you not know the difference between the clan’s interests and your private grudges? If this were a soul master academy within our country, I’d have let you do anything you wanted. But this is Shrek! Don’t you know what the word ‘Shrek’ means? If you want to continue staying here, you’d better back down. Is this a place where you can simply do as you wish?”
“As for that Huo Yuhao, not only can we not go against him, we even have to rope him in. He’s still very weak now, but he has the sovereign abilities of a twin-souled soul master and an Ultimate martial soul. He’s a precious treasure even in our Shrek Academy. After the matter that you started, the old fellas from the academy will deﬁnitely protect him even more strictly. If you can rope him into our clan, do you know how many beneﬁts we’ll get? Have you forgotten the task our mother gave us?”
Dai Huabin turned silent. Though his eyes were still ﬁlled with rage, he’d calmed down.
Dai Yueheng’s expression softened slightly. “Go back ﬁrst. Don’t think too much about it. Even though you can’t take Huo Yuhao’s position, the other positions might not be as stable. Word hard, and you’ll have a chance to become one of the Seven Monsters. After this tournament, I’ll have the qualiﬁcations to graduate from the inner courtyard. I’ll return to our clan ﬁrst, and prepare for our major project under our mother’s plans.”
“Okay.” Dai Huabin nodded. After he turned away and left, he sneered inwardly, “Dai Yueheng, weren’t you just born a few years before me? There’ll be a day when you won’t be able to strut around in front of me. Once I’m your age, I’ll deﬁnitely be able to surpass the current you.”
Morning. Amidst the misty gates of Shrek Academy, a group of people slowly walked out. From their ages, it was clear that they were students of Shrek Academy. However, they weren’t wearing their uniforms today. Some of the students were
wearing clothes made of cloth, while some were wearing ones with ﬂowery designs; all of them wore different things.
Flowery clothes weren’t necessarily beautiful, and ones made of cloth didn’t necessarily represent mediocrity. The most obvious delegates of the two types of clothes were Yao Haoxuan and Jiang Nannan.
As a result of his skinny body, Yao Haoxuan looked somewhat wretched with his ﬂowery clothes on. On the other hand, the cloth-wearing Jiang Nannan looked incomparably elegant.
Huo Yuhao no longer wore the set of clothes he’s brought to the academy. However, he treasured the set of clothes his mother had made for him, and had thus placed them in the Twenty Four Moonlit Bridges. Currently, he was no longer the poor young boy who didn’t have a single penny to his name. The black set of warrior’s robes he wore made him look extremely nimble. Due to the changes that had occurred to his body, he looked fourteen to ﬁfteen years old, even though he wasn’t even thirteen yet. The well-proportioned muscles underneath his robes seemed to contain an explosive amount of power within them.
Wang Dong was no longer as tall as Huo Yuhao, but his slender body, elegant aura, and clever yet beautiful eyes were extremely captivating. If the prettiest among the girls was Jiang Nannan, he was deﬁnitely the most handsome of the boys. In terms of pure appearance, he was comparable to Jiang
The sun had just risen from the east, but they were already leaving the academy. This group of people naturally consisted of the ofﬁcial and preparatory teams of the Shrek’s Seven Monsters. Elder Xuan wasn’t the only person leading the group; Huo Yuhao’s teacher, Wang Yan, also tagged along with them.
Only now did Huo Yuhao know that Elder Xuan was Teacher Wang’s master. Only, Elder Xuan wouldn’t allow the former to address him as such. Elder Xuan liked his inheriting disciple very much, even though he wasn’t comparable to the other Heaven’s Chosen in terms of cultivation. Wang Yan could travel far along the path of research into martial souls, and he would be able to teach within the inner courtyard after two more years of practice.
The group of almost twenty people people walked together in twos and threes, but Elder Xuan was still as messy as ever, with
his bottle gourd and chicken legs in his hands. The foodstuffs he ate seemed to alternate between chicken legs and chicken wings, and he didn’t seem to ever get bored of eating them.
Possibly due to the fact that he wanted to eat and drink, Elder Xuan didn’t walk especially quickly; he walked at around the pace of an ordinary person. This gave the entire group a relaxing and leisurely feeling. With their physical abilities, walking at such a pace was simply a type of pleasure.
Compared to when he had just entered the academy, Huo Yuhao had experienced an earth-shattering transformation. He’d entered by relying on the Tang Sect’s special quota, and not only did he have a pitiful amount of soul power, he didn’t even have a single attacking skill. His body was as frail as an ordinary person’s.
The fact that he was able to completely change everything within a short year couldn’t be fully attributed to his two intelligent soul rings; his painstaking hard work couldn’t be ignored. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Huo Yuhao had put in more than twice the amount of effort as the other students. He didn’t even have any time to rest.
Although he now possessed talent that made even the upper echelons of the academy approve of him, he didn’t dare to relax at all. He deeply remembered what his Teacher Wang Yan had told him; as a wielder of an Ultimate martial soul, his cultivation speed would drastically decrease after reaching
Rank 30. At that time, his cultivation speed wouldn’t be comparable to that of an ordinary soul master. He could cultivate alongside Wang Dong, but he still paid attention to this matter. Moreover, he was even dual-cultivating in the Martial Soul and Soul Tool Departments. Thus, he had to work
After the earnest conversation he had had with He Caitou, Huo Yuhao paid much more attention to the Ultimate Soldier Plan. If he could become a person that could change the entire situation of a battleﬁeld by himself, he would have the qualiﬁcations to seek his revenge!
Due to his current mentality, Huo Yuhao didn’t want to waste any time. Seeing that they weren’t walking too quickly, he immediately whispered to Wang Dong, “Let’s cultivate for a while.”
Wang Dong glared at him unhappily. “I’m gonna die of exhaustion. What bad luck I have, having a roommate like
Huo Yuhao chuckled, “Haven’t you felt that you’ve been improving so quickly with me urging you on? You should be grateful to me.”
Wang Dong snorted, “I’d rather rest for a bit. Come. You’re not allowed to use Spiritual Detection.”
With that, Wang Dong ran straight towards Huo Yuhao. However, instead of colliding with him, he ﬂickered around the latter’s body at a rapid rate.
Huo Yuhao continued to slowly follow the group, but they were at the very back of the group, and thus wouldn’t be afraid of anyone noticing them. Huo Yuhao raised his hand, then started to make pushing and pulling motions with a regular tempo. A pale, white light could faintly be seen at the tops of his hands.
Wang Dong immediately slowed down. Evidently, he’d sensed what Huo Yuhao was doing. However, he immediately
accelerated using his soul power, doing his best to maintain his current level of speed.
Whilst walking together with Bei Bei, He Caitou turned around. He saw Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong with a weird look in his eyes and whispered, “Senior brother, isn’t Wang Dong using the Ghost Shadow Perplexing Tracks? What’s Huo Yuhao doing?”
Bei Bei naturally saw what the two of them were doing. He revealed a sincere look of admiration on his face. “Huo Yuhao’s using another secret technique of our Tang Sect. It’s called the Controlling Crane Capturing Dragon, and its user can use their soul power to release a pushing or pulling motion within a ﬁxed range. It’s a skill that’s extremely practical in close- combat. I’ll teach it to you later. Actually, even if your martial soul isn’t a combat-oriented one, you’ll be able to wield a decent amount of strength in a close-combat situation once you’ve ﬁnished training in our techniques.”
Xiao Xiao looked towards the two of them with a somewhat envious look in her eyes, then moved closer to Bei Bei, “Senior brother, let’s try this out as well.”
Bei Bei couldn’t help but laugh. “We’re not too suitable for what they’re doing. The training they’re doing now is more suitable for people whose cultivations are closer to each other. If I use my Controlling Crane Capturing Dragon on you, you won’t even be able to use your Ghost Shadow Perplexing Tracks.”
Xiao Xiao’s lips pouted, “Those two are so close that they’re like the same person. I can’t interrupt them either! They’re both guys, so why are they so intimate with each other? Hmph!”
She was truly somewhat envious of the intimate relationship that Wang Dong had with Huo Yuhao. In the past, she’d thought that it would be much easier for her to mix around with guys due to the fact that she was a girl! However, the intimacy that Huo Yuhao had with Wang Dong was evidently much deeper than the friendship she had with them.
He Caitou gave a silly laugh, “Since the two of them can complete a fusion skill, they’re naturally close to each other. However, a martial fusion between two people who don’t share the same bloodline is quite rare. Xiao Xiao, why don’t I help you out? I don’t know how to use the Controlling Crane Capturing Dragon, but I can use some of my weaker soul tools
to help you train your Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track. How about that?”
Though she felt that He Caitou’s extremely rugged body and black skin looked somewhat ﬁerce, Xiao Xiao was always a very kind and straightforward person in her interactions with other people. Thus, she nodded, “Sure! I want to train hard as well. Otherwise, I’d deserve to be eliminated if I lagged behind them.”
Elder Xuan and the seven members of the ofﬁcial team stood at the very front, while the seven members of the preparatory team trailed behind them. Because of that, Xu Sanshi and Jiang Nannan were able to listen in on Bei Bei’s conversation with the others.
It wasn’t easy for Xu Sanshi to obtain an opportunity to go out with Jiang Nannan. Naturally, he was tagging along with her shamelessly.
Jiang Nannan was simply helpless in front of Xu Sanshi. Thus, she strictly forbade him from entering a one meter area around her and from harassing her. After Xu Sanshi nodded like a baby chick eating rice, she ignored him.
Seeing that Huo Yuhao and the rest were working hard, Xu Sanshi immediately devised a plan. He smiled mischievously, “Nannan, see how hard they’re working. Why don’t we practice as well? Look, my hard and thick skin is great for you to practice your throwing skills. Naturally, I can take on your grappling skills as well.” His thirsty face was clearly telling Jiang Nannan, grapple me, grapple me!
Jiang Nannan turned around and looked at him with an icy look in her eyes, “It’d be better for you to scram than anything else.”
Xu Sanshi immediately contorted his face and said indignantly, “Nannan, just what can I do to make you understand my heart!? I’m sincere towards you. Just how can I make you be willing to be together with me?!”
Jiang Nannan stared at him hatefully, and a tint of red that arose from either bashfulness or anger faintly appeared on her exceptionally beautiful face. “I won’t be together with the hedonistic son of a rich family like you no matter what. A beast’s intentions still come from a beast’s heart. Stop bothering me. Also, I’m called Jiang Nannan. Please use my surname while referring to me.”
With that, she turned around and sped up, increasing the distance between her and Xu Sanshi.
Xu Sanshi covered his face with his hands and cried out sorrowfully, “Just let me die, die, die.”
Bei Bei was already next to him somehow. With a smile on his calm face, he asked sincerely, “Do you need help?”
Xu Sanshi put his hands down and ﬂew into a rage, “Are we brothers? Are we still brothers? I just knew that you’d be a guy who enjoys schadenfreude and kicking someone who’s down. If Xiao Ya weren’t here, you’d have revealed your true nature already.”
Bei Bei had a look of surprise on his face. “You want to talk about being brothers now? Why do I recall you saying that you’d be willing to ‘stab yourself twice for the sake of your brother, but stab your brother for the sake of a girl’!”
Xu Sanshi was left embarrassed. He raised his head high. “A girl can give me a child, can you? A girl can sleep with me on a bed, but can you?”
Bei Bei gave a warm smile, “I can’t do the former, but I can do the latter.”
Elder Xuan, who was walking in front, suddenly staggered mysteriously. Then, he violently spat out the mouthful of wine
he had in his mouth before glaring ﬁercely at Bei Bei and Xu Sanshi.
The two of them straightened their faces, not daring to say anything more.
“Okay! Come over!” Elder Xuan spat out a mouthful of saliva, then used his dirty, greasy sleeve to wipe his mouth before yelling out unhappily.
The group of fourteen hurriedly stepped forward and formed a circle around him. Due to the fact that they were just training, Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao were slightly out of breath.
Xu Sanshi still believed that it was Bei Bei’s words that had triggered Elder Xuan. “Just wait for your scolding. Hehe.” He whispered coldly.
At this moment, Bei Bei didn’t have any traces of a smile on his face. He had a ruthless look, and he mouthed a few words, “Since I’m going to get scolded, I’m gonna tell Jiang Nannan
that you actually like guys. You were only chasing her to hide your real sexual orientation.”
“Your sister…” Xu Sanshi’s face reddened.
Bei Bei maintained full eye contact with him and said, “I don’t have a sister.”
Elder Xuan suddenly rufﬂed his hair and glared at the two of them, “If you two spout anymore bullshit, I’m gonna beat you to the point where you won’t even be able to take care of yourselves anymore.”
Ma Xiaotao laughed, “Elder Xuan, you’re in perfectly good condition! However, our public morals are truly degenerating! They’re so young, but they’ve inclinations like this. I suggest that the academy have a rectiﬁcation campaign.”
“I’m perfectly straight!” Bei Bei and Xu Sanshi cried out together.
“Psh——” Ma Xiaotao had a look of disdain on her face, “Was I talking about the two of you? I was talking about Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong. What’re you panicking for? There’s no gold hidden here.”
Xu Sanshi smacked Bei Bei and said indignantly, “I blame you for all of this! My reputation!”
Jiang Nannan snorted and whispered, “Did you even have a reputation? You’re a…”
Xu Sanshi’s hearing wasn’t bad. “Nannan, it isn’t like that!
That time, I…”
“You dare?” Jiang Nannan suddenly raised her head. Her gaze resembled that of a dagger, and it was even that of an exceptionally sharp one. Xu Sanshi shivered instinctively, then instantly shut up. He put on a righteous appearance, giving off the impression that he wouldn’t say anything even if he was killed.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong were inwardly laughing themselves to death, but everyone here was an upperclassman.
It wouldn’t be good for them to laugh out loud, so they held in their laughter to the point where their stomachs hurt.
Wang Dong whispered, “Adultery. There’s deﬁnitely adultery between seniors Xu and Jiang.”
Suddenly, everyone felt the temperature surrounding them drop. The words ‘killing intent’ arose involuntarily in their hearts, making all of them shut up.
The killing intent that had appeared instantly caused Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao to stiffen up due to their low cultivations. Fortunately, it only lasted for a moment before disappearing.
Elder Xuan acted as if he’d heard and done nothing, and spoke in a low voice, “We aren’t far from the academy, and there a few things that I have to say now. You seven from the preparatory team have to listen carefully to me. This concerns the future direction of your path in the academy.”
Elder Xuan’s usual attitude wasn’t too calm, but this was the ﬁrst time they’d seen him act so seriously. Huo Yuhao and the
other six felt their hearts go cold, and they immediately curbed their previous laughter. Then, they paid full attention to Elder Xuan.
The seven from the inner courtyard seemed to know what Elder Xuan was about to say, but they had solemn looks on their faces. Moreover, they radiated a unique sort of arrogance.
Elder Xuan said, “Our Shrek Academy has existed for over ten thousand years. Normally, a powerful soul master can live for two hundred years at the very least, while some can live even longer. Moreover, more and more students enter the inner courtyard every year. However, the total number of inner courtyard disciples who currently remain within the academy doesn’t even reach a hundred. Do you know why this is the case?”
Xu Sanshi said, “It’s because our seniors have graduated, right?”
Elder Xuan shook his head, “You’re half-right. There are a few disciples of the inner courtyard who leave the academy after graduating, but I now want to talk about the disciples who don’t graduate.”
At this point, Elder Xuan’s voice clearly contained a few more traces of sorrow, “They were all good kids. Though they weren’t able to truly graduate, their names still exist within the school register. They took the ideals of the academy as their own ideals. It’s not that they didn’t have the strength to
graduate, but because they died for the sake of the academy’s ideals.”
“In reality, there are many other students who have the qualiﬁcations to enter the inner courtyard. However, many of them choose to leave the academy after graduating from the outer courtyard. It’s because entering the inner courtyard of Shrek Academy doesn’t just signify that you’ll get better things and better teaching. The weight of the responsibilities you’ll receive will be similarly large. Those students who choose not to enter the inner courtyard admit that they aren’t able to shoulder this task. After agreeing to keep this a secret, they leave.”
“The academy respects the choices of all of its students, but I want to say that every single student who has entered the inner courtyard to pursue their studies is a hero. Not a hero of the academy, but a hero of the entire Douluo Continent.”
The word ‘hero’ was still very unfamiliar to the young Huo Yuhao and the rest. However, this word carried an indescribable weight to it when it came from Elder Xuan’s mouth.
Elder Xuan said solemnly, “The thing that you aren’t allowed to disclose is the fact that you’ve already taken a step into the inner courtyard from the very moment you guys became members of the preparatory team. However, it’s just because of this that I have to conﬁrm whether you are willing to shoulder the burdens of the academy before we leave. If you’re not willing to, I can return you to the academy, and nobody will blame you. You will still complete your studies and graduate successfully. Furthermore, I have to say that there isn’t much the inner courtyard has that the outer courtyard doesn’t. The reason why disciples of the inner courtyard are strong is linked to that responsibility I mentioned. If you choose to go back, you’ll have to keep the same secret as the students who choose to leave after graduating. Can you do it?”
Huo Yuhao’s group of seven could feel that the secrets that Elder Xuan was about to reveal weren’t that humongous. The seven replied simultaneously, “Yes.”
Elder Xuan said, “The Douluo Continent was originally extremely large. After the collision and fusion it had with the Sun Moon Continent, it became even larger. Of the four great empires, the Sun Moon Empire covers the largest area. Its various mineral resources are extremely plentiful. However,
they’re still foreigners to us. Even if several thousand years have passed, they aren’t compatible with the three empires of our Douluo Continent. We aren’t able to truly accept their existences. This formed a mutual alliance we have against them. Although there isn’t any large-scale war on the Douluo
Continent, disputes always exist. If this dispute occurs among the normal countryfolk, it won’t cause too much damage. However, a dispute among soul masters is different.”
“Not all soul masters are kind. A large number of people will have inﬂated egos due to their strength, and they’ll get an air of haughtiness that makes it seem as though they’re the number one expert under the heavens. They may even have evil intentions as a result. These people will then bring about enormous casualties to the ordinary folk. A soul master committing an evil act is a common occurrence, and it’s getting higher as the days go on. Oftentimes, the more talented and stronger a soul master is, the higher the destructive power he’ll have after stepping onto the path of evil. There was once a Soul Emperor who massacred an entire village just because the food they served him wasn’t up to his standards. Why is that the case? It’s because soul masters far exceed ordinary people
in terms of strength, and also because they lack restrictions and control.”
“Our Shrek Academy doesn’t consider itself a righteous organisation, but we aren’t willing to allow calamities like this occur. Roughly six thousand years ago, the academy split into the outer and inner courtyards…”
Elder Xuan became even more solemn as he said, “You must be thinking, ‘Police? Police what?’ We aren’t trying to police the injustices within the continent, because that’s realistically impossible. The Douluo Continent’s too vast, and there are an uncountable number of people within the four empires. There are already ﬁve million permanent residents in our Shrek City alone. Moreover, we can’t even police the disciples from the inner courtyard. Because of that, we only police soul masters. We target people, and even government ofﬁcials, but never an entire country. We have our own sources of intelligence, and once something evil that a country is unable to, or doesn’t want to police occurs, or if a soul master turns to the path of evil, we’ll send out disciples of the inner courtyard to deal with the issue. Now, the disciples of the inner courtyard are known as police, the Shrek Police. Our inner courtyard has another name--the Shrek Guardians. Right now, I’m the current vice- leader of the Shrek Guardians.”
“You must be thinking, how do we police everything? The continent’s so vast, and the number of evil acts committed are many. We don’t even have a hundred people in the inner courtyard, so how do we do this? I can tell you this. Every single country, even the largest Sun Moon Empire, would never dare to look down on our Shrek Guardians. Although
there are only around a hundred disciples in the current inner courtyard, we have over twenty thousand graduates from the outer courtyard. At the same time, there are nearly a thousand students who have completed their service as Guardians. Casualties appear frequently within the inner courtyard, but I dare to say that every single person who steps out from Shrek Academy’s inner courtyard is an elite of humanity as a whole.
Furthermore, our academy has the most outstanding teachers
within the continent, and every single teacher in the academy is a Guardian.
“Every single disciple of the inner courtyard is a Guardian, and for them to graduate, they have to complete thirty assignments. These assignments not only test the strength of our disciples, but also their hearts. Our Shrek Academy doesn’t want to nurture plain experts, but true talents who are willing to protect the peace and stability of the continent.”
“What I want to tell you is this--we are Guardians, and also enforces of the law. Everything that the Shrek Guardians deal with is problematic, and extremely dangerous. There was even one occasion where we had to deal with a Titled Douluo. A threat to your life could occur at any time. Because of this, the ﬁrst thing you have to cautiously consider is whether you’re willing to become a Guardian.”
“Furthermore, there isn’t any compensation for a Guardian.” At that point, Elder Xuan’s solemn tone softened much more; he saw the gazes in the eyes of the seven members of the preparatory team. None of them had erratic looks in their eyes, but rather staunch and stubborn ones. They had undoubtedly made their decisions already.
Dai Yueheng walked up to Elder Xuan’s side and said in a low voice, “Junior brothers and sisters. I will tell you that, according to many of the seniors who have graduated, becoming a Shrek Guardian is the greatest honor they have ever been given. Even if they’ve already graduated, many of them still do things that a Guardian should do. To evildoers, we are the butcher’s blade; to the weak and bullied, we are existences on the level of Gods of kindness to them. There are uncountable numbers of people who have received the help of the Shrek Guardians, and the act of helping them is the best way we can perfect our hearts. I’ve always believed that doing good deeds doesn’t help others, but ourselves. That feeling of satisfaction is something that’s irreplacable.”
“I’m very proud to have completed twenty-eight assignments to this point. I’m already not far from thirty. During this process, I’ve killed bandits who raped and pillaged, and government ofﬁcials who didn’t care for their citizens’ lives. I’ve rescued children who were forced into slavery. The inner
courtyard has a motto--with great strength, comes great responsibility, and one’s heart travels along the same path as the good deeds one performs. I’m willing to work together with you guys.”
Dai Yueheng’s words were very plain, but they contained a unique effect to them. Even Ma Xiaotao, who didn’t get along well with him, had a solemn expression on her face as he recounted his experiences as a Guardian. Other than the pride on her face, she had a unique splendor to it as well. It was as though they were bathing in their glory.
Elder Xuan nodded. “Okay, you have to give me an answer now. Enter, or leave.”
“Enter!” The seven simultaneously cried out. In that instant, the thoughts of the seven from the preparatory team seemed to be linked. It was only then that they understood the missions and responsibilities that a disciple of Shrek Academy’s inner courtyard had to shoulder. At this point in time, they didn’t feel any of the glory that came with being a Shrek Guardian, but they unhesitantly accepted this task.
Elder Xuan smiled a very happy smile. “Very good. I wasn’t mistaken with you lot. None of you are cowards. I’ll tell you this--there was another reason behind all this. It’s because you’re about to take on your ﬁrst Guardian mission in a bit. Xiaotao, you can explain our assignment this time. Wang Yan, give them the equipment of a Shrek Guardian.”
“Yes.” Wang Yan nodded, then took a few rings from his storage tool and passed them to every single person there.
The ring was very beautiful; the ring itself was made of a silvery-whitish metal, and a jade-green gem the size of a ﬁngernail was embedded on it. The glistening gem shone with a bright light, and the green on it was ﬁlled with the aura of life. The top of the ring was carved into the shape of a Shrek, making it unforgettable.
Ma Xiaotao said, “You’d better take care of this. This is the symbol of a Shrek Guardian, and only we have it. Now, put a drop of your blood on the surface of the ring, so it’ll connect with your bloodline. As long as you’re one of us, you can use the Guardian Ring to verify the identity of a Guardian in front of you. The ring is also a storage tool, and it contains a complete set of equipment that we use. You can take a look at it now.”
“We have our specialised clothing, a mask, a cloak, and a distress signal. During a mission, we can’t let anyone see our appearances, so as to prevent things from affecting our lives. Thus, we need a mask. Most importantly, we have a distress signal. This signal is something that only we have, and after any Guardian releases it during a dangerous event, every student of Shrek Academy--outer courtyard or inner courtyard--will immediately go over to help you. It’s much more effective than you think.”
“Our assignment this time is to head towards a mountain range that borders the Star Luo Empire and the Sun Moon Empire to hunt down a group of bandits. The Advanced Academy Continental Soul Duelling Academy is going to start soon, so we have to ﬁnish this in three or four days.”
“These bandits are extremely savage and sly. They specialise in killing merchants who pass over the border, and they leave no survivors. They do every evil thing imaginable to their victims. The mountainous area they’re hiding in has some complicated terrain, and it’s precipitous. Moreover, there are many caves they can hide themselves in, so it’s disadvantageous for an army to attack them. More disgustingly, the area where those bastards live in belongs partly to the Sun Moon Empire and the Star Luo Empire.”
“The Sun Moon Empire has never had a good relationship with our Star Luo Empire. In a situation like this, it’s very hard for the two nations to cooperate. Whenever an empire sends its army out, those sly bastards will run over to the other side. Once, they even started a small scale war between the two countries. However, they’re still living ﬁne now. Numbers won’t be effective against them. There aren’t even three hundred of those bandits, but they’re familiar with the terrain, and they have many tricks. Because of this, a small team like us is better equipped to deal with them.”
“These bandits call themselves the Envoys of the Death God, and they’re supposedly headed by a relatively powerful evil soul master. Because of that, we can’t be careless at all. A majority of you haven’t killed a person before, and you’re going to have a brand-new experience now. I have to stress that the target of our assignment this time is to leave no survivors and completely eliminate them. There aren’t any elderly, weak, women, or children in this group of bandits, and none of them are kind.”
Killing someone? This term was extremely foreign to Huo Yuhao and the rest. This was especially true for Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao; after all, they were only twelve.
Their hearts started beating more rapidly after they heard the words ‘killing someone’.
Ma Xiaotao smiled and looked towards Huo Yuhao, “What? Scared? Don’t wet yourself when the time comes, since nobody’s going to wipe your butt for you.”
Huo Yuhao’s face immediately reddened. “I’m not scared at all.”
He really didn’t feel like he could lift his head in front of Ma Xiaotao. After the events of that day, a shadow had been cast over his heart.
Ma Xiaotao laughed mischievously. “It’s good that you’re not scared. The seven of us will be the main team during this mission, and you guys should do your best to protect yourselves while helping us from the side. These bandits are extremely unbridled; they’ve even titled themselves the ‘Hand of Death’. Within that vast, mountainous area, as long as you bring up the names ‘Hand of Death’, or ‘Envoy of the Death God’, the folk there will be scared witless.”
“This mountainous area was formed four thousand years ago as a result of the collision between the two continents. Because of that, it’s called the Ming Dou Mountain Range. It has an extremely vast amount of mineral resources, and it produces extremely precious minerals. Because of that, the Star Luo and Sun Moon Empires have been continuously ﬁghting over that mountain range for many years. The Star Luo Empire can give us a certain amount of help.”