Book 15: Victors
Chapter 127: The End of the Tournament and the Awards!
The dancing ﬁgure kept on drifting into his mind. Huo Yuhao had a dazed look in his eyes.
The ﬁgure’s long pinkish-blue hair was the same color as Wang Dong’s. He couldn’t help but recall the time when they unleashed the Heavenly Emperor’s Hammer together. The fusion of their martial souls then projected his adult ﬁgure that unleashed an extremely powerful blow. Huo Yuhao still clearly recalled the strength of that blow. It was an amazing feeling.
But why did the Raiment of Light turn into a ravishing beauty? Did the Radiant Butterﬂy Goddess descend? That didn’t seem too possible either.
As Wang Dong was the one who controlled that martial fusion soul skill, Huo Yuhao’s impression of it wasn’t very deep. Wang Dong had even lost consciousness after the attack.
Right, how was Wang Dong now? Both of them had over- drafted their powers, and Huo Yuhao immediately thought of Wang Dong as he recalled everything that had happened before. He suddenly became anxious.
Although his body was depleted, he was only fatigued. With the Life Gold nourishing him and his own extraordinary life power, his body recovered quickly after he rested for a day.
But Huo Yuhao still found it difﬁcult to move. He couldn’t go and ﬁnd Wang Dong even if he wanted to. He could only calm himself down and use the Mysterious Heaven Technique to restore his soul power.
The Mysterious Heaven Technique was very effective in healing and recovery. When it was initially activated, Huo Yuhao could only sense according to how he cultivated normally because he had no excess soul power.
However, a tinge of soul power seemed to be squeezed out from his limbs after three days. They started to be activated.
Everything was different when he had soul power. Huo Yuhao sat up, albeit with difﬁculty. He focused his mind and attention on activating his soul power.
The Mysterious Heaven Technique didn’t just restore his power. It also nourished his body. The sore feeling he felt was also alleviated as his soul power was activated. But Huo Yuhao didn’t see the Eye of Life opening on his forehead. The dim green that contained a life aura nourished his entire body quietly.
When he awoke from his cultivation, it was already dark outside. It was already evening.
After he stretched, Huo Yuhao made a surprising discovery. His soul power had increased once again and was now quite close to Rank 29. This had something to do with his effort in cultivation, but more importantly, his potential was stimulated by that life and death situation.
But he couldn’t be bothered about his delight now. There were too many things on his mind. He jumped out of bed and changed his clothes. He didn’t even wash up before he rushed out of his room.
Huo Yuhao subconsciously wanted to go to Wang Dong’s room. But he soon realized that there were more important things. That’s why he went to knock on Wang Yan’s door directly.
Huo Yuhao realized that Teacher Wang had black circles all over his eyes when the door opened. He looked very lethargic, as if he had yet to wake up.
“Teacher Wang, you…”
“Yuhao? You’re ﬁne already? How’s your body?” Wang Yan was jolted awake seeing that it was him.
Huo Yuhao hurriedly asked, “Teacher Wang, how’s my elder sister? The black ﬂames…”
Wang Yan creased his brows and said in a deep voice, “Troublesome. We became the eventual champions after the tournament ended yesterday. After we returned, Elder Xuan started to help Xiaotao suppress the black ﬂames. Although the overall strength of the black ﬂames can’t compare to Elder
Xuan, they’re very resilient. They managed to free themselves even though Elder Xuan suppressed them a few times. Xiaotao’s awareness still remains unclear. The trouble is indeed quite great now! We must return to the academy once we collect our prize. We need to treat her using the academy’s resources. Come in ﬁrst.”
As he spoke, Wang Yan allowed Huo Yuhao into the room.
Wang Yan’s room was a little messy. The curtains were still drawn, and it was obvious that he had been resting before Huo Yuhao came. He was too exhausted. As the teacher in charge of this tournament, he was under greater pressure than anyone else. He felt as if his body was going to collapse after he became more relaxed following the excitement of being crowned champions. After settling a few matters when he returned, he collapsed onto his bed. He tried to crawl out of bed a few times, as he was worried about his students’ condition. That was why he looked so exhausted now. Without some adjustment, he wouldn’t be able to restore himself to his peak state. But this experience was still very precious to Wang Yan. He became a much more outstanding teacher in terms of experience, mentality and some other subtle aspects.
Wang Yan allowed Huo Yuhao to take a seat and poured a glass of water for him. “Your body is already ﬁne?” he asked.
Huo Yuhao didn’t stand on ceremony, and downed the glass of water. He replied, “I’m already ﬁne. I was just exhausted. Teacher Wang, will elder sister’s martial soul turn into an evil martial soul?”
He was the most familiar with Ma Xiaotao’s Evil Phoenix among everyone. While the evil aura of the original phoenix ﬂames was very obvious, it was suppressed by the phoenix ﬂames. But Huo Yuhao could no longer feel the nobility of the phoenix ﬂames when Ma Xiaotao’s martial soul transformed. It was only left with desperation and violence. This shouldn’t resemble a normal soul master’s martial soul.
Wang Yan wore a bitter look. “If the black ﬂames can’t be completely suppressed, she may become an evil soul master. She’ll even become an extremely powerful one. Elder Xuan mentioned that Xiaotao’s soul power reached Rank 70 after the phoenix ﬂames turned black. After she obtains seven rings, there’s likely to be another increase. Elder Xuan is also unclear about how much it can potentially increase. But we’ll deﬁnitely hope that Xiaotao won’t become an evil soul master. Her awareness will be consumed by the evil darkness. When that
happens, she won’t be the original Ma Xiaotao anymore. She’ll be an evil Dark Phoenix.”
Huo Yuhao was shocked as he said, “What should we do then? Elder sister…”
Wang Yan sighed and shook his head. He replied, “At least, we have no solution now. We can only see after we return to the academy. Elder Xuan has already brought Xiaotao back to the academy. He will come back to fetch us after that.”
Huo Yuhao heaved a sigh of relief after he heard that Ma Xiaotao had returned to the academy. He had great belief in the academy. He only asked out of curiosity, “Teacher Wang, why do we need Elder Xuan to fetch us? Can’t we go back ourselves? Our injuries aren’t too bad.”
Wang Yan looked at him with a deep gaze and said, “Yuhao, you can’t leave the academy for some time after we return this time. You can’t even leave during the holidays. After becoming champions of this tournament, all of you have gone into the spotlight and have become others’ targets. What if someone wants to harm all of you? The academy is only being cautious. Did you forget the Body Sect?”
Huo Yuhao opened his eyes wide. “Are you saying that someone will…”
Wang Yan nodded and replied, “We can’t exclude that possibility. Those fellows won’t act recklessly with Elder Xuan around. Don’t ever underestimate the evilness of this world. All of you are already so outstanding at such a young age. What about 10, 20 years later? Our rivals won’t want to see all of you reach the stage where you become threats to them.”
Huo Yuhao furrowed his brows. Although he wasn’t old, he was much more mature than others of the same age. He understood Wang Yan immediately.
“Teacher Wang, how’s Wang Dong?”
Wang Yan said, “His condition is quite stable. Like you, his body was over-drafted. Both of you gave your all in the ﬁnal. Honestly, your martial soul fusion skills shocked everyone. This is the ﬁrst time in the continent’s history where 2 twin martial souls managed to unleash 4 martial soul fusion skills. You must both be more aware of your safety precisely because of this. Alright, go take a look at him. Just get whatever you
want to eat from the hotel. You’re a star now.” A comforted smile appeared on his face after he ﬁnished speaking. The way he looked at Huo Yuhao was like how he was looking at his own kid.
Huo Yuhao always had Wang Dong’s room key, just like how Wang Dong would walk in and out of his room freely.
Huo Yuhao walked into the room after opening the door.
Wang Dong was still asleep. His entire body was covered by a warm blanket, and only his pale face was revealed.
His short pinkish-blue hair was very messy as his head lay down on the pillow. His charming face appeared much gentler.
Huo Yuhao sat by the bedside and couldn’t help but pinch his face. He lowered his head and went closer to him before muttering, “He looks exactly the same!”
Yes! Whether it was the hair color or the facial outline, Wang Dong and the lady’s ﬁgure were the same. But he was much
more innocent, and lacked the lady’s charm.
Huo Yuhao was extremely close to Wang Dong because he was analyzing Wang Dong’s face. At this point, he felt soft hair brushing across his face. A pair of blue eyes appeared in front of him. The long and curly eyelashes trembled a little because they had been slightly touched.
“Ah, you’re awake?” Huo Yuhao was shocked and straightened his back. For some reason, his heartbeat rapidly increased as he was watched by the huge eyes.
Wang Dong snapped, “You dare to pinch my face. You wait…”
Huo Yuhao chortled, “You were already awake? Why didn’t you say anything when I came in then?”
Wang Dong snorted and replied, “Why must I make any sound? I wanted to see what you were up to. Indeed, I discovered your intention!”
Huo Yuhao chortled and said, “Whatever. Wang Dong, aren’t you extremely weak now, and can’t use any of your energy?”
Although Wang Dong was awake, his voice was very weak.
His condition was just like Huo Yuhao when he just woke up.
Wang Dong rolled his eyes and said, “Do you think everyone is as ﬁt as you?”
Huo Yuhao laughed teasingly, “It’s good that you’re weak too. What can you do if I pinch your face?” As he said, he used both his hands to pinch Wang Dong’s face. He even twisted his cheeks a few times.
Wang Dong’s charming face was twisted till a weird shape was formed. Even his lips couldn’t help but pout.
“You, you rascal…” Wang Dong spoke unclearly.
Huo Yuhao relaxed his grip on Wang Dong’s face before patting his neck. He said, “You should behave yourself more since you’re already so weak. Haha, I’m enjoying this feeling.”
Wang Dong was furious till his face turned red. He glared at Huo Yuhao, but a slight laughing intent ﬂashed across the depths of his eyes subconsciously.
The Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament had ﬁnally concluded, and they had managed to defend Shrek’s glory. They were even the ones who had decided victory in the ﬁnal.
They were much more relaxed now that the intense tournament was over. That’s why Huo Yuhao had behaved in this way now.
Huo Yuhao saw Wang Dong smiling too, but he was trying to conceal his smile.
“Wang Dong, aren’t we the best?”
Wang Dong was stunned as he looked into his eyes. The fury on his face disappeared, and he nodded slightly. “Yes, we are. We’re the champions.”
Huo Yuhao smiled brightly, but tears started to appear in his eyes. He bent his waist suddenly and crawled up to Wang Dong’s body before hugging him tightly.
“Thanks, Wang Dong.”
Wang Dong was in a daze. He could sense Huo Yuhao’s sudden emotional outburst, but he didn’t know what to do or say at this moment. But he stretched out his arms slowly. Though he was weak, he still managed to hug Huo Yuhao’s back.
Huo Yuhao muttered, “From the day I left the Duke’s Mansion, I swore to avenge my mother when I returned. I must be stronger than all of them, and make them pay the price for the torment my mother bore for more than 10 years. I even wanted to end the Duke’s bloodline.”
“I didn’t realize how childish this mentality was then.”
“I met eldest senior and Teacher Xiao Ya in Star Dou Forest. I only realized how small and weak I was after I entered Shrek Academy. I worked so hard to fulﬁl the stubborn desire I had. However, I realized how impractical it was the more things I learned. I’m just a weak orphan compared to the Duke’s Mansion. I can’t threaten them in the slightest.”
“There was even a period of time when I was ﬁlled with desolation. I didn’t think I stood a chance in my life anymore. It was you and everyone that made me feel warm. I’m really fortunate to have met Teacher Xiao Ya and eldest senior. I’m even more fortunate to have met you. It’s all of you that enabled me to join Shrek’s big family. It’s all of you that made me feel the warmth and friendship I never felt when I was younger.”
“We came hand-in-hand to the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament, and even obtained the championship. From that moment onwards, I realized that not everything is possible because of hard work. Wang Dong, thanks for giving me courage and helping to become stronger.
You’ll always be my best brother.”
After listening to Huo Yuhao’s words, Wang Dong’s gaze turned extremely gentle. Even his arms developed more strength to hug Huo Yuhao tighter.
The two of them maintained this position for a few minutes, while one side of Wang Dong’s pillow was drenched by Huo Yuhao’s ﬂowing tears.
“Hey… you’re crushing me.” After a long while, Wang Dong ﬁnally managed to squeeze these words out of his mouth.
Huo Yuhao bounced up unwittingly, but only saw Wang Dong smiling at him. Seeing his charming face, Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but pinch his face again.
“Wang Dong, how great it would be if you were a girl just like the appearance of the Raiment of Light revealed that day.” Huo Yuhao said.
Wang Dong’s face turned red, and he answered, “Even if I’m a girl, what has that got to do with you?”
A few teardrops still continued to cling to Huo Yuhao’s face, but he didn’t even realize, and chuckled, “Of course it concerns me. Then I’ll cling onto you shamelessly. Elder Xu said that a good girl is afraid of clingy guys, and that he’ll manage to win over Jiang Nannan one day. Oh yes, do you have a sister at home? You can introduce her to me. It’s better to beneﬁt someone you know than outsiders.”
“Pui!” Wang Dong’s face turned red, but he didn’t turn to look at Huo Yuhao.
Huo Yuhao thought that he was angry, and said hurriedly, “I’m just kidding. Don’t take it for real!”
Wang Dong twisted his head suddenly, “What do you mean by that? You can’t take back your words. Let me tell you, I
really have an elder sister.”
“What?” Huo Yuhao’s eyes opened wide as he looked at him, “Is that for real?”
“Of course it’s real,” Wang Dong said seriously, “I have an older twin sister. She was born 2 hours earlier than me. If you really want to know her, I can introduce you to her. She’s in another academy now. That’s because my family is worried about her being too far due to her gender and her beautiful looks. But my elder sister’s martial soul is just like mine. Our Shrek Academy allows outstanding individuals to join the inner courtyard test. Maybe my elder sister will join too when we take the test a few years later. I can introduce you to her then?”
Huo Yuhao was stunned as he looked at Wang Dong, “Older twin sister? Does that mean she looks just like you?”
Wang Dong rolled his eyes and said, “Obviously. How can we be twins if we don’t look alike? I believe she’ll look just like the appearance of the Raiment of Light that we displayed that day. Why? Are you moved? If you listen to me, I can consider introducing her to you.”
Huo Yuhao chuckled before shaking his head. He said, “Forget it. If your sister is so pretty, why would she fall for me? I was just kidding. That Raiment of Light was indeed ravishing.”
Wang Dong snapped, “Don’t underestimate yourself. Do you still think that you’re lousy? Twin martial souls, ultimate martial soul. A member of the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament champions. You’re even a main driving force of the team. Who are you lousier than among those of the same age? Of course, even I am a little off from you too.”
Huo Yuhao was stunned for a moment. Yes! Who was he inferior to? After he questioned himself, he discovered it was difﬁcult to answer his own question.
Wang Dong was cross as he said, “Stop spacing out. Help me recover. Are you still human? You only know how to bully me, but not help me recover my strength.”
“Oh, oh, okay.” Huo Yuhao rushed to grab both his hands. He slowly injected his Mysterious Heaven Technique soul power
into Wang Dong’s body.
Wang Dong was equally exhausted, but his passageways were resilient. They didn’t show any signs of damage.
The nourishing effect of the Mysterious Heaven Technique’s soul power was extremely great. Along with Huo Yuhao’s life aura in his soul power, Wang Dong restored his soul power very quickly. The Haodong Power even managed to start circulating again.
The two of them worked together and used less than 2 hours. When the sky outside turned dark, Wang Dong’s soul power had almost been fully restored. He was no longer in a weakened state.
Huo Yuhao let go of Wang Dong’s hands as he let out a long breath, “Alright, you should be much comfortable now. Let’s stop cultivating today and have a good rest. Let’s go and have some food.”
Wang Dong sat up suddenly, and he quickly used his hands to pinch Huo Yuhao’s cheeks. He revealed a cheeky look on his
face after he twisted Huo Yuhao’s cheeks.
Huo Yuhao didn’t resist, and let Wang Dong pinch him. “Your petty mentality is too great.”
Wang Dong opened his eyes wide and increased his strength, “My petty mentality is too great? Who’s the one who started it? I shall pinch you.”
Huo Yuhao screamed in pain, “I didn’t use so much force. If you don’t stop, I’m going to retaliate!”
As he spoke, both his hands had already reached below Wang Dong’s armpits.
“No…” Wang Dong laughed loudly.
The two of them were continued to have fun in their room.
Shrek Academy. Sea God’s Island. Sea God’s Pavilion. In a quiet chamber.
Ma Xiaotao lay on a smooth, white bed. The black ﬂames that kept on coming out from her body had disappeared, but she still looked extremely pale. Her face even ﬂashed with a layer of black gas at times.
A golden light barrier covered this bed. It seemed as if Ma Xiaotao had been sealed.
There were two people standing at her bedside. On the left was the Shrek Academy’s Martial Soul Department’s dean, Yan Shaozhe. Beside him was an elder in his declining years.
The elder seemed unable to straighten his back. Although he stood there, his body seemed to be bent at a 90-degree angle. He held a crutch with both his hands, with which supported his body.
Yan Shaozhe wore a serious look as he looked at Ma Xiaotao and said in a deep voice, “Teacher, I think this is just a temporary measure even though we used the Manifold
Mysterious Ice Bed and your power of light to seal Ma Xiaotao’s Dark Phoenix ﬂames. Those Dark Phoenix ﬂames are extremely domineering. Once they break free from the restraints, things will get messy. Xiaotao’s senses will also…”
This elder was Shrek Academy’s Master of the Sea God’s Pavilion and the most powerful person in Shrek Academy— Elder Mu.
No wonder he always laid down in a recliner chair. He had an unmentionable disease that prevented his back from straightening. Who would have expected that he possessed the powers of a Transcendent Douluo? He even had a respectable status.
Elder Mu said, “You’re right. It’s also my ﬁrst time seeing this Dark Phoenix ﬂame. I also took a look at the sword that Little Xuan (Elder Xuan) passed to me. What a Judgement Sword. It can actually turn any soul power to the powers of light and darkness at will. My estimates of soul tools are already very great, but who could have expected that the Sun Moon Empire’s development in this aspect was even beyond my imagination?”
“Xiaotao’s martial soul experienced a transformation because that Judgement Sword’s power of darkness could enter her
body and stimulate the evil aura that was suppressed. They complemented each other and took control of her body. Xiaotao resisted with her resilience and fought for control of her own body. Although the will of the evil force is extremely strong, she still has a ﬁre-type body. A huge collision occurred between both parties in her body.”
“Xiaotao is a very resilient person. She doesn’t bend. I can imagine how she was willing to perish alongside the other party when that came along. Although she was obviously inferior, she managed to force the power of darkness and evil to compromise. They stopped clashing with her and infused into the phoenix ﬂames directly, hoping to assimilate her. Xiaotao also used the transformation time to unleash an obstinate blow and achieved victory.”
“You’re right about one point. The greater the suppression, the greater the backlash. After the evil will and power of darkness were infused into the phoenix ﬂames, they initiated a mad transformation. I’m also unclear on the details, but not everything’s bad.”
Upon hearing Elder Mu’s words, Yan Shaozhe was shocked. “Teacher, isn’t this bad enough? If we didn’t control Xiaotao, she would’ve become an evil soul master!”
Elder Mu tilted his head and glanced at him. He furrowed his brows before saying, “You’re almost a hundred too. Why’re you still so surprised by things? You’re good in other aspects, but your character is ﬂawed. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have asked Lin’er to restrict your authority.”
Yan Shaozhe was petriﬁed and answered respectfully, “Yes, Teacher. I was wrong.”
“It’s good that you know you’re wrong,” Elder Mu said indifferently, “you must be calm in dealing with matters. There are always two sides to a coin. Yes, Xiaotao’s phoenix ﬂames did get contaminated and can’t suppress the evilness within like in the past. But the power of darkness can stimulate the most primitive power of her phoenix ﬂames. Otherwise, how could these black ﬂames be so powerful?”
Yan Shaozhe was also very powerful, and had the cultivation of a Transcendent Douluo. He also spent his life immersed in the study of martial souls. After hearing Elder Mu’s words, he understood, “Teacher, are you saying that Xiaotao’s Evil Phoenix has evolved following this transformation?”
Elder Mu nodded and replied, “That’s right. It didn’t just evolve. It evolved completely too. Besides the fact that she can’t control it, I dare to claim that her ﬂames are the strongest existence of ﬁre currently. In other words, they’ve formed the Ultimate Fire.”
“Phoenix ﬂames form Ultimate Fire naturally, but the evil aura in Xiaotao’s body prevented the ﬂames from being pure. Her lineage has always experienced this problem. The transformation in her martial soul has initiated the power of her phoenix’s primitive bloodline. Although it has turned into a Dark Phoenix, its powers are still very great. If Xiaotao were awake, she could ﬁght an ordinary Titled Douluo with her seven-ringed cultivation right now.”
Yan Shaozhe’s eyes ﬂashed with radiance. “Ultimate Fire. It’s indeed the Ultimate Fire. However, it’s a pity that Xiaotao can’t control her Ultimate Fire in her current condition!”
Elder Mu sighed, “That’s why I say that there are two sides to a coin. We can only seal her here for now. Otherwise, she may become the strongest evil soul master in the continent’s history if she loses control. Once her cultivation reaches a Titled Douluo’s level, it’ll be difﬁcult to suppress her anymore.
The development of evil soul masters has always been very frightening.”
Yan Shaozhe said with a look of worry, “But we can’t just leave her like that. I can feel the Dark Phoenix’s ﬂames growing in her body. There’ll be a day when we can’t suppress it anymore. Once that day comes, will we really have to…”
Elder Mu shook his head and said, “Don’t be too anxious. It’s not entirely hopeless yet. We can’t be hasty right now.”
Yan Shaozhe was stunned for a while. “Teacher, you have a solution?”
Elder Mu whispered something.
Yan Shaozhe nodded repeatedly after hearing his words and became more relieved, “We can only do it this way since this is the case. When the time comes, I’ll be the bad guy. We have no choice anyway.”
Elder Mu said, “The other kids are almost back. I can’t believe they were able to defend Shrek’s glory even though they were so much weaker. Their achievements are beyond conceivable. After this experience, they will have a lot of room to improve. The academy will also not be stingy with them for what they’ve contributed.”
Yan Shaozhe was moved, “Teacher, don’t worry. We shall reward them according to what we discussed. When Wang Yan returns and relates the entire tournament process, I will record everything into the academy’s history books, and they will be accorded with unprecedented rewards.”
Star Luo City also regained its peace after the tournament ended.
The prize ceremony wasn’t made public, and it wasn’t grand either. But the prizes were top-quality.
The runners-up, the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, left Star Luo City on the second day after the tournament ended under the charge of their teacher and returned to the Sun Moon Empire.
Shrek Academy waited one more day for Elder Xuan. Besides receiving gold soul coins, they were also given 4 soul bones as their prize. They were offered the Ice Jade Scorpion Left Arm Bone apart from the 3 soul bones normally given to the champions.
The Star Luo Emperor Xu Jiawei wanted to invite Elder Xuan to choose from the imperial treasury, but he was declined by Elder Xuan. As the strongest individual from Shrek Academy that revealed himself to the external world, he didn’t want to have too much to do with the Star Luo Empire. Wang Yan represented the academy to make the choice eventually. He understood his students sufﬁciently well, and his discernment of soul bones wasn’t inferior to Elder Xuan either.
The Star Luo Emperor felt the pinch with his ﬁnal choice, but he was helpless too.
The value of the 3 soul bones couldn’t just be measured using money anymore. The pressure brought about by the tournament prizes was also one of the reasons why the tournament was organized by a different empire every time. All semiﬁnalists were awarded prizes, but only the champion was given 3 soul bones, and the runners-up were given 1 soul bone.
The soul bones had no lives on their own; they could only exert their effects when they were absorbed. That was why empires and sects often gave their soul bones directly to their outstanding successors. The greatest difference between a soul bone and soul ring was that a soul bone remained after a soul master perished, but a soul ring disappeared.
Soul masters had been around for several ten thousands of years. Although soul bones could be accumulated, there were far less of them than soul masters. More importantly, the world of soul masters had gradually developed a method to synthesize soul bones through research. This was because of the increasing demand for soul bones. If not for the rapid development of soul tools and the conﬂict between the Sun Moon & Douluo Continents, the most advanced research in the Douluo Continent would probably be in the synthesis of soul bones.
The so-called synthesis of soul bones referred to combining a few pieces of related soul bones using a special method. This would form a brand-new soul bone. The synthesized soul bone was likely to be more powerful, but they would also be damaged in half of all instances.
There were very few people who dared to synthesize soul bones because of how valuable soul bones were.
When Huo Yuhao fused with the Ice Empress’ skeleton, he had used a Secret Law soul bone. It was considered a type of soul bone synthesis. But because the Ice Empress’ skeleton was too powerful and the synthesis was even controlled directly by the Ice Empress, there was no way that it could have failed.
Elder Xuan only took a day to make the round trip between Star Luo City and Shrek Academy. He didn’t allow Wang Yan to allocate the 4 pieces of soul bones, but paid for Shrek’s expenditures in the Starlight Auctionplace ﬁrst. After that, he instructed everyone to pack up and return to Shrek Academy. He could only relax once they were back in the academy.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong had fully recovered. Bei Bei, Ling Luochen and Dai Yueheng were also ﬁne after they dispelled their poison. Jiang Nannan’s injury, however, wasn’t light, and she was still in the process of recovery. Xu Sanshi was the most heavily injured one. He only woke up after 2 days in a coma. But he was still so weak that it was difﬁcult for him to speak, and would need some time to recuperate.
Elder Xuan returned from Shrek Academy and brought sufﬁcient ﬂying-type soul tools. He led everyone personally just like the previous time. He unleashed his soul power to protect both Xu Sanshi and Jiang Nannan. The rest used the ﬂying-type soul tools to ﬂy just like they had when they left the academy.
On the second morning after they collected their prize, everyone from Shrek changed into ordinary attire. Without alerting the Star Luo Empire’s ofﬁcials, they snuck out of Star Luo City and ﬂew towards Shrek Academy. It was time to return home! The anxiety that they had felt when they ﬁrst came had turned into pride and glory.
Chapter 128: The Light of the Seagod's Pavillion
The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s Illustrious Virtue Hall.
This was a spacious great hall, and every decoration was styled with metal, and were mainly pale-gold in color. The ornaments weren’t extravagant, but they were full of tactile qualities. A horizontal inscribed board hung from the top of the great hall’s entrance, and the enormous pale-gold characters had an intimidating feeling about them – Illustrious Virtue Hall.
“Stand up.” There was a person sitting in a chair in the center of the great hall’s inner regions. He looked not more than forty years of age, and he wasn’t tall, yet he was robust. A simpler way of explaining his appearance would be that he was short and plump.
Long hair wasn’t suitable for a person with a short and plump build, but he had a ﬂowing lock of long reddish-brown hair that draped behind his head, and this made his short and thick neck even more obscure.
There was a person prostrate on the ground, and he stood up at this moment as if he had just received great amnesty.
“Please punish me, Hallmaster. I failed to lead the team to success.” This person’s appearance became apparent once he stood up; it was the teacher that had led the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s students into the ﬁnals. However, his face was overcome with a haze of terror, and it appeared as if he was as frightened as he could possibly be.
The short and plump middle-aged man was actually the Illustrious Virtue Hall’s famous Hallmaster, and that meant he was also Xiao Hongchen and Meng Hongchen’s grandfather. One wouldn’t be able to tell his age purely from his appearance.
“You didn’t do anything wrong. There were many coincidences and unforeseen circumstances that you couldn’t control. Furthermore, you and your students’ takeaways have been relatively fruitful even though a few people perished. As for the Judgment Sword, I will personally visit Shrek Academy, as we can’t let it end up in their hands. The grand competition’s results actually turned out to be disappointing,
but I cannot be bothered with defeating Shrek Academy when they are having some internal issues.”
The Hallmaster’s magnanimity and mercy took the teacher in charge by surprise, as the Hallmaster’s temper wasn’t so mellow if memory served. He raised his head and stole a glimpse, and he realized that there was a faint smile on the Hallmaster’s pudgy face, as if he wasn’t furious at all.
“Thank you, Hallmaster.” Only then did the teacher in charge dare to heave a sigh of relief.
The Hallmaster’s mood seemed to be on cloud nine. “Do you know which of your harvests I’m most satisﬁed with?”
The teacher-in-charge tested the waters and said, “Is it because of the hundred thousand year soul beast embryo?”
The Hallmaster shook his head and answered, “No. That may be part of the harvest, but we have also given up large amounts of wealth, so that can only be said to be a fair exchange. Of course, the embryo in our hands is different from the embryo ending up in other people’s hands, but it has also brought
much trouble to us. There have already been three batches of people who have attempted to steal it from the Illustrious Virtue Hall, and this exempliﬁes the crime of treasuring a cherished item. Furthermore, there’s still the Godsealing Avatar. The Godsealing Avatar isn’t worth much amongst the other Class 9 soul tools, but it can only be forged by Class 9 soul engineers. I do want to know which Class 9 soul engineer from the Sun Moon Empire sold this supreme treasure to the Star Luo Empire instead of handing it over to the Illustrious Virtue Hall.”
A hostile glare ﬂickered in the Hallmaster’s eyes as he spoke that last sentence, and this terriﬁed the teacher in charge so much that he got down on his knees once more.
“Continue guessing,” the Hallmaster went on with a plain voice.
“The… The…” Beads of sweat were breaking out on the teacher in charge’s head, “Can it be the information we have obtained regarding Shrek Academy’s students?”
The Hallmaster answered, “That can be considered a part of it. Three twin martial souls – Shrek Academy is truly
extraordinary, and they also have an Ultimate martial soul. Shrek Academy has already agreed to an exchange between our respective students, but the news from yesterday stated that the exchange will have to be pushed back due to some internal reasons in the academy. They will decide the exact postponement after their investigation. It seems like they’re
afraid of us making a move on their students! Still, I have to
admit that Shrek Academy is the best in the entire Continent at attracting talents and soul masters. It’s a pity. However, this still isn’t the greatest takeaway from your expedition.”
The teacher in charge was a little lost as he gazed at the Hallmaster with perplexed eyes.
The Hallmaster gradually stood up. He wasn’t even one-and- a-half meters tall, but his girth was deﬁnitely over a meter- and-a-half. He placed his hands behind his back, and there was a ﬂowing black robe embroidered with golden patterns covering his bulbous tummy.
He sauntered before the teacher in charge as he suddenly raised his leg and sent him tumbling with a kick. “The only reason why I’m not going to kill you is because you have let Meng Hongchen and Xiao Hongchen realize the danger and urgency from this competition, and they now know it’s time to
focus and buck up. They took the initiative and requested to go into closed-door cultivation when they came back, and that is the greatest takeaway from your expedition. Get lost, and don’t let me see you in the near future – if not, I will remember all the children who have passed away, and I will send you to the grave to accompany them.”
“Yes… Yes…” The teacher in charge was elated instead of feeling angry, as he knew he was going to live. He didn’t even bother getting up, and just crawled out of the room.
The Hallmaster’s brows creased as he watched him crawl away. “The Taotie Douluo was personally at Star Luo City to hold down the fort. Fine! We shall meet again during the next Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament ﬁve years later, and we shall see if the Taotie can hold back this toad. Hmph!”
He turned around and walked towards the back of the hall. He strolled through the main hall and stopped before a metal statue by a certain spot in the wall. A sphere of light ﬂashed before his chest, and a peculiar golden rune was printed onto the wall before him as if it had just ﬂown out from inside his chest.
The entire wall seemed to come alive in the next instant as it split open into two sides, while gears and machinery crackled within. There were several faint ripples of frightening energy that ﬂickered when the wall ﬁrst opened up, but the Hallmaster was undeterred and unmoving from beginning to
He stepped into the crack, and the wall closed behind him.
The Hallmaster arrived in a silent room without any windows at all after ten minutes.
Everything inside this room was also made of metal. The ceiling, the ﬂoor and the walls were all ﬁlled with metal sculptures.
A soul engineer would be able to tell that these metal sculptures had a similar functionality as formation arrays, but they were extremely sophisticated, and emanated a magniﬁcent and elegant feeling.
There was a squarish metal pillar erected in the center of the room. The metal pillar was about one and a half meters tall,
and there was an object placed on top.
It was a wooden base, and there were several hundred jewels of a myriad of colors inlaid on its surface. A sphere of air undulated faintly above this wooden base.
This sphere of air was white. The tender white hues resembled streams of air, and there appeared to be several shapes glimmering faintly within, yet it was hard to perceive its profundity or arcane might simply by looking at it.
This sphere of air was condensed, and seemed to surge left and right, as it were trying to break out of some barrier. The wooden base beneath it constantly released a barrier of pale- golden light that enveloped the air sphere within throughout the entire struggle, rendering it unable to break free.
Yes, this wooden base was the Starlight Auction’s ﬁnal item up that was up for bidding – the Godsealing Altar, and the item sealed inside was the one-hundred-thousand year soul beast embryo.
The Hallmaster squinted his eyes as he stood before the Godsealing Altar. He actually directly spoke to the one- hundred-thousand year soul beast embryo that was sealed inside the Godsealing Avatar.
“I can feel your immense power. I have afﬁrmed by speculation through various experiments that you’re not a typical hundred thousand year soul beast. Anybody that tries to absorb you and assimilate you into a soul ring or a soul bone after obtaining you will deﬁnitely die a painful death. I can sense that even a powerful Titled Douluo will ﬁnd it extremely difﬁcult to absorb your strength, and it might even lead to a toxic backlash. Am I right?”
The white air sphere grew quiet, as if it were listening intently to the Hallmaster’s voice. A small human ﬁgure shimmered within the pale white mist, much like a human infant.
“Therefore, I believe my guess is correct,” the Hallmaster chuckled and said, “I am extremely clear about the Starlight Auction’s background – they belong to the Star Luo Empire’s royal family. Their intentions in putting you up for auction were meant to cause some trouble for me, and for me to wonder: who forged this Godsealing Altar? They wanted to use
the fact that a person’s treasure will arouse the envy of others to instigate powerful beings from across the Continent to attack the Illustrious Virtue Hall – so what? Let them come. This is a test for the Illustrious Virtue Hall’s defense mechanisms, and the Illustrious Virtue Hall’s disciples cannot
live a life this smooth, can they?”
“It’s a pity, because Star Luo City has made a grave mistake, and that is the fact that they hadn’t discovered your true power. That means I will have the last laugh. You’re not some typical one-hundred-thousand year soul beast, but a soul beast with at least one hundred ninety nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine years of cultivation, except you haven’t been able to break the bottleneck, am I right? This shouldn’t be the ﬁrst time you’re attempting the soul beast’s bottleneck, except you weren’t successful in the end. I’m curious about something
– according to what we humans know about you guys, soul beasts only have one chance to cultivate into human form after the one hundred-thousand year mark. However, how is it that you haven’t broken through the capstone, yet you are still able to do this? I am very curious about this.”
“Don’t worry, though. We will make the best use of you here. I will study you meticulously, and I will extract every single ounce of energy from you, so that your almost two hundred thousand years of cultivation will not be wasted. This is
wonderful – maybe I can even lend you a hand, and help your overall strength break through that bottleneck, so that you will become a transcendent soul beast before I strip your power from you. It may be difﬁcult for normal soul masters to absorb your power, but it’s not that much of a challenge for me. It’s a pity, because I already have nine soul rings, and I can only extract your power to bestow upon my prodigious grandson. Everybody will be in the same family in the end.”
The Hallmaster’s eyes were tender, as if he were speaking to his own child, and there was even a tinge of benevolence within his voice.
“Sssss…” The white mist abruptly crashed violently against the Godsealing Altar’s golden light barrier, as if a wail had suddenly appeared in the Hallmaster’s consciousness.
The Hallmaster continued to grin as he said, “You should count yourself lucky, as there are hardly any treasures that are worthy of my emphasis and my cherishment. Do you know what a person’s greatest agony is when he or she has reached the pinnacle? It’s the lack of happiness. I can feel this blissful sensation from you, and I believe this blissfulness will be with me for quite a long time.”
At Shrek Academy’s main gate.
It was almost midday, and it was still lesson time. Shrek Academy’s main gate felt extremely tranquil today as the myriad of vendors and merchants that would gather here on typical days were all absent. There were ﬁve people standing before the enormous gateway.
The person standing in front was Shrek Academy’s Martial Soul Deparment’s Dean, Yan Shaozhe, and the Soul Tool Department’s Dean, Xiao Lin’er.
The three people behind them were: the Martial Soul Department’s vice-Dean, Cai Mei’er, the Soul Tool Department’s vice-Dean, Qian Duoduo and the Soul Tool Department’s core teacher, Fan Yu, who was also Huo Yuhao’s mentor.
The four Deans were all present along with Fan Yu, who was almost set to become the Soul Tool Department’s next vice- Dean. This group was substantial and monumental, but they were not accompanied by other teachers.
Their heads were slightly tilted as they glanced towards the far end of the horizon, and everyone was standing silently in wait.
Several ﬁgures that looked like tiny black dots gradually drifted into view one after another in the skies in the distance, and descended from the sky as the ﬁve of them looked on.
“They have returned.” A faint smile broke out on Yan Shaozhe’s face.
Xian Lin’er took a step forward and muttered, “They’re ﬁnally back.” Her eyes ﬂowed with obvious excitement and exhilaration, and it was a wonder she wasn’t trying to oppose Yan Shaozhe at every available opportunity like normal.
Yes, the ﬁve of them were here to welcome the return of Shrek Academy’s heroes.
Several ﬁgures ﬂitted onto the ground. The ﬁrst person that came into view was the slovenly-dressed Elder Xuan, and he waved his large hand, and the others descending behind him caught the two stretchers in the sky.
Xu Sanshi was still unconscious on the stretcher, but Jiang Nannan was wide awake. She was so thrilled when she saw the
words “Shrek Academy” across the enormous gate that tears of excitement ﬂooded from her eyes.
Even though they hadn’t even been gone for two months, they had experienced and gone through far too much over these two months.
Bei Bei and Dai Yueheng caught Xu Sanshi’s stretcher, while Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong were responsible for Jiang Nannan’s stretcher. Everybody’s eyes sparkled with excitement, and the younger ones all began to tear up.
They had been through so much suffering, but they managed to defend Shrek’s honor and glory. They were ﬁnally home, and they were ﬁnally standing before the main gate that they were so familiar with.
“Welcome home, children.” Yan Shaozhe and the others strode forward and welcomed them with open arms. All ﬁve of them paid their respects to Elder Xuan as they spoke before they arrived before Shrek Academy’s marvelous students.
Yan Shaozhe and Cai Mei’er managed to suppress their emotions, but Fan Yu couldn’t control himself, and lunged forward as he pulled Huo Yuhao and He Caitou over. He scrutinized his two dear disciples, and only heaved a sigh of relief after he was sure that they were in one piece.
He Caitou swallowed and said, “I didn’t embarrass you master. I didn’t embarrass Shrek.”
Fan Yu glanced at him, and then at Huo Yuhao beside him, whose face was ﬂowing with tears, and he grabbed the both of them into a bear hug as he said, “Silly child. I am not afraid of you guys disappointing me – all I wish for is that everyone returns home safely!”
This period of time was way too torturous and agonizing for Fan Yu. He wasn’t even supposed to be here, as he was not yet the Soul Tool Department’s vice-Dean.
Fan Yu hadn’t enjoyed a single day of peace ever since the main team members had returned with heinous injuries, and his heart began to beat out of his chest when Elder Mu decided to let Shrek Academy continue on in the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament with an
incomplete team. He was extremely aware that the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament wasn’t an entirely safe competition, and participants died almost every time.
He only had two direct disciples! Fan Yu and Zhou Yi didn’t have their own children, and he had long treated He Caitou and Huo Yuhao as his own children. There were several times when he wanted to venture into Star Luo City, but was stopped by Qian Duoduo.
How could Fan Yu not be elated, now that his prized disciples had returned home? This hardened man couldn’t help it, and tears cascaded down his cheeks in an instant.
The four Deans shook hands with the group before they personally led them all back into the academy. A small boat was already waiting on the the Sea God’s Lake’s shore.
Everybody exchanged looks with one another as they turned towards the Deans with astonished looks on their faces.
Yan Shaozhe smiled and said, “You have sacriﬁced so much for the academy. You continued on in the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament with an incomplete team, and eventually brought home the championship. This record will forever be etched into Shrek
Academy’s history, and the conference held within the Sea God’s Pavilion has decided that everyone shall be rewarded – on the Sea God’s Island, inside the Sea God’s Pavilion.”
Neither Huo Yuhao nor Wang Dong knew what the Sea God’s Pavilion was about, but Dai Yueheng and Ling Luochen were aware, and they instantly reacted with intense shock.
The Sea God’s Pavilion was Shrek Academy’s cardinal location for ofﬁcial businesses and meetings, and it was also Shrek Academy’s actual treasury. Shrek Academy’s top secrets were all kept there, and nobody was allowed to enter besides the Sea God’s Pavilion’s Elders and the four Deans under normal circumstances. The opportunity to enter the Sea God’s Pavilion was an incredible honor. Both Dai Yueheng and Ling Luochen had never heard of any student who had been allowed to go inside, and this was the case even for their seniors that participated in the previous Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament and eventually took home the crown.
Everybody got onto the boat, and Yan Shaozhe personally checked Xu Sanshi’s health. He immediately passed on an order for both Xu Sanshi and Jiang Nannan to remain on Sea God’s Island for treatment and recovery.
Huo Yuhao knew that the Sea God’s Pavilion existed, but he didn’t really know anything much about it. He was anxious and excited when he was told that he was about to set foot on the island. Sea God’s Island had something that was touted as the most impressive cradle for soul masters across the entire Continent – Shrek Academy’s inner courtyard!
The fact that Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao were able to visit the island at such a young age was enough to excite them.
The Sea God’s Lake’s surface area was immense, and it was far larger than the rest of Shrek Academy added together. The boat pierced through the layers of mist, and the shape of an island gradually drifted into view after about ﬁfteen minutes
The Sea God’s Island only appeared to be roughly two square kilometers, and its surface wasn’t ﬂat and smooth at all. Instead, it seemed like a small mountain, with all kinds of
buildings constructed upon it. The structures that were usually obscured behind the layers of dense mist ﬁnally appeared right before their eyes, and the excitement in their eyes grew ever more radiant.
Even though everything was unfamiliar and novel, these things were still the stuff of legends to them.
Yan Shaozhe didn’t let someone take Xu Sanshi away to rest yet. Instead, he took them all and stepped along a narrow stone path towards the Sea God’s Island’s inner regions.
Sea God’s Island was extremely quiet, almost as if it were uninhabited. Everything just seemed too tranquil and serene, and the entire place felt like Shangri-la. The various pavilions and structures that were hidden within a myriad of tall and endless vegetation appeared graceful and elegant. This was Huo Yuhao’s ﬁrst time here, but he fell in love with it at ﬁrst sight.
The vegetation here had more than a few thousand years of history, and some trees were even a hundred meters tall. The air along the trail was fresh, and all that vegetation blocked everyone’s vision. There was a mysterious and enigmatic
feeling as they sauntered along the footpath, as if they were just inside the mountain.
It didn’t take long for them to reach a position near the mountain summit, and a single pavilion immediately appeared before everyone’s eyes.
This was a three-story building, and the entire structure was gray and made of wood. It appeared simple and unadorned, yet there were tinges of vicissitudes upon it. One would realize upon closer inspection that there was a layer of grease-like light on the structure’s wooden body.
The three-story building was about ten meters tall, and it didn’t feel grand or magniﬁcent at all. However, a black horizontal inscribed board hung from the top of the ﬁrst level’s entrance, and three radiant golden words announced the building’s identity – Sea God’s Pavilion.
Everybody developed a solemn and respectful feeling as they saw these three words. Judging by the distance, the Sea God’s Pavilion was not only close to the mountain summit, but was also near the island’s center.
Yan Shaozhe stopped before the Sea God’s Pavilion’s entrance and turned towards the Shrek team members with a faint smile on his face. “I didn’t let Xu Sanshi and Jiang Nannan rest because I wanted them to have the experience of stepping into the Sea God’s Pavilion.”
He turned back towards the Sea God’s Pavilion after explaining himself, and he bowed respectfully and said, “They’re back, teacher.”
Everybody was taken aback when they heard “teacher”. Both Dai Yueheng’s and Ling Luochen’s faces were stricken with shock, even though they were disciples from the inner courtyard.
Yan Shaozhe was the Martial Soul Department’s Dean, and his status was already extremely high in the minds of the inner courtyard’s disciples. Even Elder Xuan wasn’t as important to them as Yan Shaozhe due to the differences in their responsibilities. Never once did they expect that Yan Shaozhe’s teacher was still alive.
“Come in, everyone.” An old voice rang out, and a scene that astonished everyone appeared before their eyes.
The three-story Sea God’s Pavilion that was just as unassuming as it could be suddenly brightened without warning right before them. Radiant beams of golden light glowed, and the entire pavilion became golden, as if it were a building made entirely from pure gold.
The thick but tender golden light drifted down and enveloped everyone within. The warm and dense light aura nourished everyone’s bodies, and all the exhaustion that they had brought back from their long road home was swept away in an instant. Xu Sanshi was still in a deep sleep, but his body quivered and gradually came to.
Wang Dong’s experience was the deepest. His body emanated transparent golden hues that interacted with this sudden burst of golden light, and his left arm was even completely golden in color as it sparkled radiantly. That pure golden luster was extremely bright and vivid, and it felt as if colors were ﬂowing out from it.
The Shrek team members and even Wang Yan subconsciously shut their eyes as they were bathed within the golden light. The four Deans, Fan Yu and Elder Xuan quietly stepped into the Sea God’s Pavilion. They weren’t affected by the Sea God’s Pavilion’s sudden outburst of light.
The expression in Bei Bei’s eyes was a little peculiar as he released the soul power in his body. The bluish-purple lightning radiance disappeared, and faint dragon roars could be heard from within the ﬂickering golden lights.
Everybody who closed their eyes had different sensations. Huo Yuhao’s reaction wasn’t as great as Wang Dong’s, but the astonishment he experienced was extremely intense as well.
The vitality of heaven and earth in the air became a lot denser, and the three powerful beings that were slumbering within his body awakened at the same time. These three powerful beings didn’t unleash their respective auras, and neither did they attempt to interact with Huo Yuhao. Only Electrolux subtly passed Huo Yuhao a thought, telling him that the person who possessed this light aura was exceptionally formidable, and was almost at his level of cultivation when he was still alive. The Ice Empress, Skydream and he had to hide themselves completely, as they ran the risk of being discovered by the owner of this light energy even though they were inside Huo Yuhao’s body.
Could he be more powerful than Elder Xuan? Huo Yuhao felt the muscles in his heart tighten. His original perception was that Elder Xuan and the several Deans were supremely
powerful beings. It appeared, however, that the academy’s strength didn’t stop there – this was Yan Shaozhe’s mentor!
However, these thoughts in his mind dissipated after a while, and he entered a meditative state while standing inside the dense and thick light aura. He channeled the Mysterious Heaven Technique, and he could clearly feel his cultivation rising linearly with every circulation.
His body’s endurance had become a lot more powerful after the Life Gold’s regulation and harmonization, and his life energy had also become much more bountiful. Even his Eye of Life started to itch as he soaked himself within the dense light aura – it was subconsciously absorbing the life energy in the air.
The Mysterious Heaven Technique’s soul power circulated smoothly, and the dense vitality in the air seemed to ﬂow directly into his soul. Huo Yuhao’s soul power was originally at around Rank 28, but he was already close to breaking through to Rank 29 after these few moments.
If felt as if only a minute had passed, yet it also felt like a century. The warm and radiant aura gradually vanished, and
everybody woke up from their strange sensations and experiences one after another.
The ﬁrst to recover was Dai Yueheng, as his cultivation was the highest, and there was an exhilarated look on his face. His soul power improved at a sluggish pace at his current rank, and even raising it by one level was extremely challenging. However, he had felt improvements in his soul power after these few moments, and what was more substantial was that he felt like his soul power had been completely rinsed, and was now purer. This was relatively more important than increasing his cultivation directly.
The reason why Huo Yuhao didn’t have this sensation was because his soul power had already undergone several similar experiences – the Life Gold’s cleansing and nourishment was only the most prominent episode. Therefore, the light energy’s effect on his body was just a pure boost to his soul power.
Ling Luochen, Bei Bei and the others gradually came to after Dai Yueheng. Xu Sanshi’s face looked a lot better after he woke up, as if he had just replenished all the vitality that he had lost. He gazed at the three-storey building before him with perplexed eyes as the golden hues gently receded, and he muttered under his breath, “Where am I?”
Jiang Nannan had recovered a little from her injuries since the beginning, and that recovery process had been sped up with this golden light. She got off her stretcher voluntarily and whispered a few sentences in Xu Sanshi’s ear to explain the situation.
Xu Sanshi looked at her with a dazed look. “Are you alright, Nannan?”
Jiang Nannan shook her head softly, and the expression on her face was a little complicated.
“Let’s go. Let’s just go inside before anything else,” Bei Bei said as he carried Xu Sanshi’s stretcher.
Huo Yuhao had already awoken at this point. He realized, to his pleasant surprise, that his soul power had broken through Rank 29 just like that, and it didn’t feel like a long time had passed when he glanced up at the sky.
What kind of power was this?! The light aura contained dense volumes of life energy – could this be achieved by soul
Wang Dong was the last to wake up. Huo Yuhao could tell from the look on his face that it was needless to say that he had also beneﬁted greatly from this experience. The golden luster on his left arm was still sparkling, and wasn’t receding quickly.
They stepped into the Sea God’s Pavilion in single ﬁle after everybody woke up. They had just been baptized by light, and this tiny three-storey building suddenly became incredibly majestic in their eyes. They walked inside with feelings as if they were undergoing a pilgrimage.
They stepped into the Sea God’s Pavilion’s ﬁrst level. Everything was just so plain and austere, and every single piece of furniture or decoration seemed to be made from this strange wood, just like the Sea God’s Pavilion itself.
There was a long table in the center of the great hall. The four Deans and Elder Xuan were sitting by the table, while Fan Yu stood behind Xian Lin’er and Qian Duoduo – it was clear that they didn’t have the status to sit down at this table. There were several other elders sitting on either side of the table. Huo Yuhao didn’t recognize most of them, and only the inner
courtyard’s Dai Yueheng and Ling Luochen could recognize some of them.
Huo Yuhao and the others stood before the table and couldn’t help but feel a little nervous. Yet, they were also a little excited. This was the Sea God’s Pavilion, and the elderly people sitting before them were the most powerful existences in the academy. This overwhelming feeling and astonishment was ampliﬁed when they realized that the four Deans were sitting beside the last seat.
Yan Shaozhe smiled and said, “Welcome back, children. Whether or not you’ve heard this before, I will explain it to everyone again. The Sea God’s Pavilion is the supreme place for ofﬁcial business and meetings, and conferences held within the Sea God’s Pavilion will determine the academy’s future direction and path. Everyone here, besides the four Deans, are Elders from the academy, and they have each contributed greatly to the academy.”
“You represented the academy and emerged as champions in the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament with an incomplete team. We have heard of the entire process. Giving everyone the opportunity to come here is the academy’s way of showing our gratitude and rewarding
you guys. We hope that you will continue to work hard and not be overcome with pride by what you have achieved.”
Everybody immediately bowed respectfully toward the Elders sitting around the table. They were slightly surprised that Yan Shaozhe didn’t introduce the Elders to them.
This wasn’t because Yan Shaozhe had forgotten – this was the Sea God’s Pavilion’s rule, and giving Huo Yuhao and the others the permission to come in was already an exception. Everything inside the Sea God’s Pavilion could be said to contain Shrek Academy’s core secrets, and anybody that wasn’t part of the Sea God’s Pavilion wasn’t allowed to know.
“I will announce the rewards,” Yan Shaozhe said with a deep voice, “Dai Yueheng, Ling Luochen.”
“Here.” Dai Yueheng and Ling Luochen bowed respectfully.
Yan Shaozhe continued, “Both of you are inner courtyard disciples along with Ma Xiaotao, and you guys weren’t able to protect your comrades while executing your surveillance task. Your teammates were severely wounded as a result, and this
affected our participation in the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament. That’s a grave mistake.”
“Eh?” Dai Yueheng and Ling Luochen hadn’t seen this coming at all, and both of them turned pale with fright.
Yan Shaozhe’s face turned black as he continued, “What? You wish to dispute that? Ma Xiaotao and Dai Yueheng were the team’s main assault-type soul masters. What are assault-type soul masters supposed to do? They have to push forward in the face of danger and protect their teammates. Did you guys do that? Ling Luochen, you are the team’s main control-type soul master, but have you been pulling your weight in controlling battles? If not for Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection that gave you a timely reminder, you wouldn’t even have been able to come back in one piece, no? I can tell from the situation during that time that your comrades were hurt because of your complacency, and because you underestimated the enemy. You are Shrek Academy’s inner courtyard disciples, and was that the battle prowess that you should have displayed? Even the outer courtyard students know the principle that you have to give your best even if you’re stronger – but what about you guys?”
Dai Yueheng and Ling Luochen lowered their heads from Yan Shaozhe’s chiding. They didn’t dare to retort against his intimidating speech, and it didn’t help that the Dean was speaking the truth.
Yan Shaozhe’s voice became a little more amiable. “You guys followed the team to participate in the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament afterwards. You managed to exercise enough ﬁghting strength due to the sufﬁcient time given by the reserve team’s exemplary performance for you to recover and tend your wounds, and ultimately helped the team to win the championship. The academy is well-aware of this achievement. However, you are inner courtyard disciples, and you are also part of the ofﬁcial main team, so you guys will receive comparatively smaller rewards. Your achievements will cancel out your mistakes, and we will not include that in your records and our case ﬁles. We hope that you will learn your lesson from this, and bear in mind that life is precious – nobody can have another one.”
“Thank you, Dean.” Dai Yueheng and Ling Luochen heaved a sigh of relief. It would become a serious blemish to their lives if their mistakes were recorded in Shrek Academy’s case ﬁles.
The difference between the inner courtyard’s disciples and those from the outer courtyard was that the inner courtyard’s disciples were bestowed with all kinds of resources, and they received the best mentors and teachings. The academy would naturally expect more from them in comparison to the outer courtyard’s students. This was the main reason why Yan Shaozhe declared that they would receive fewer rewards than the reserve team, even though everybody was part of the team that won the championship.
Chapter 129: Shrek's Seven Monsters
Yan Shaozhe nodded his head and said, “It’s been tough on the both of you this time. Go back and rest. Remember to keep everything you’ve seen in the Sea God’s Pavilion a secret. Yueheng, you’ve completed sufﬁcient policing work. You can start preparing for the inner courtyard test.”
“Yes.” Dai Yueheng and Ling Luochen left the Sea God’s Pavilion after they respectfully bade their farewells.
The two of them only relaxed after they had left. Although the elders present didn’t say anything, they still felt the immense pressure at the long table. They were clearly aware that all the elders were Titled Douluo! And most of them were even…
Although they didn’t really receive any important rewards, they weren’t really punished either. At least the tournament was over. As for Dai Yueheng, it also meant that he was going to graduate from Shrek Academy’s inner courtyard since Yan Shaozhe told him to prepare for the test. He could return to his empire after that. After cultivating tirelessly for more than 10
years, he could ﬁnally embark on a new journey. He was extremely anxious now.
Only Wang Yan, Bei Bei, He Caitou, Xu Sanshi, Jiang Nannan, Xiao Xiao, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong were left in the Sea God’s Pavilion right now.
Their excitement had died down after Yan Shaozhe reprimanded both Dai Yueheng and Ling Luochen. They were even a little discomforted now.
Yan Shaozhe turned to them and smiled. He said, “What’s wrong? Do all of you think that the academy is being too strict on them? I have to say that these are the academy’s requirements of all our inner courtyard students. The academy has used various forms of resources to nurture the inner courtyard disciples, thus it’s natural that our requirements are high too. You’re also going to be part of the inner courtyard in the near future. All of you will understand then. Alright, it’s time for your rewards. Teacher Wang.”
“Dean Yan.” Wang Yan stepped forward and bowed respectfully.
Yan Shaozhe said sincerely, “Although we didn’t have all our team members around… four ofﬁcial team members couldn’t compete, and three of the others were even injured, and yet you still managed to lead the team to victory in the tournament. All of us can see how capable you are. You shall be promoted to Shrek Academy’s top-ranked teacher of the inner courtyard.”
Wang Yan said hurriedly, “Dean, I don’t want any reward. It’s not really my effort that won us the tournament. It’s all because of these kids’ hard work. They gave their all and came back from the dead more than once. If the academy really wants to reward someone, they should reward all of them handsomely.”
Dai Yueheng and Ling Luochen’s treatment left Wang Yan frightened that the academy would neglect these kids’ hard work!
Yan Shaozhe smiled slightly and answered, “They’ll be rewarded too. So will you. What I just mentioned wasn’t even considering your reward yet. It’s only just a normal promotion. The real reward for you is that the Sea God’s Hidden Beach will be open to you for a year. You are allowed to read anything you
want within this year, but you can only read and research within the Hidden Beach.”
“What?” After hearing his reward, Wang Yan didn’t conceal his emotions in front of all the elders. He was so excited that he jumped up, and his face turned red from agitation.
What was in the Sea God’s Hidden Beach? There were countless solitary copies of books, out-of-print collections and resources. At least in Wang Yan’s eyes, it was the greatest wealth that Shrek Academy possessed! Even the Sea God’s Pavilion elders had to go through complicated administrative processes to enter the Hidden Beach to read. One year of access to the Hidden Beach was extremely valuable to Wang Yan.
Yan Shaozhe smiled upon seeing Wang Yan’s excited behavior. He said, “Teacher Wang, this is the reward that you deserve. We can see your contributions to the academy, as well as your persistence and hard work in your research. I hope that you can learn more from the Sea God’s Hidden Beach over the next year.”
“Thank you Dean, thank you elders.” Wang Yan was so excited that he almost bowed all the way to the ground. He
would’ve never have imagined that he would be given access to the Sea God’s Hidden Beach!
All the elders smiled and nodded their heads at him. In Shrek Academy, only the best were valued. This was applicable even in the aspect of theoretical research, which was considered crucial in the academy. There was one seven-ringed elder in the Sea God’s Pavilion who specialized in theoretical research. But he didn’t have such a long lifespan compared to the Titled Douluo. That was why such individuals tend to be lower in numbers in the Sea God’s Pavilion.
Yan Shaozhe turned to Huo Yuhao and the rest and he said, “It’s all of your turns.”
“Kids, I can only express my astonishment and awe regarding your performances. Shrek Academy has emerged champions in the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament several thousand times. But I am certain that this is one of the most meaningful triumphs that we have achieved, and it deserves to be recorded in our history. Shrek will remember the contributions that all of you have made. All of you are the academy’s true heroes.”
Everyone was moved when they heard Yan Shaozhe’s words. They didn’t expect such an appraisal from the academy. It was glorious to be recorded in Shrek’s history! Everyone suddenly started to feel passionate.
Yan Shaozhe said, “The academy’s senior management are aware of what all of you have done. All of you have shouldered Shrek’s shining glory. In a tournament that was supposed to merely be training for all of you, you fought unyieldingly, and attained the championship through your efforts. Your brilliance has left all of us astounded. After a conference here in the Sea God’s Pavilion, we’ve decided to award two different rewards to all of you. The academy was given three soul bones and one extra one as the champions. The extra one is suitable for Huo Yuhao. The academy has also decided to offer three more soul bones, so that each one of the rest of you can receive one soul bone each. All of you will be allowed to choose based on your abilities and special characteristics too.”
Another three soul bones? Everyone was delighted. If each of them was given a soul bone each, there wouldn’t be much of a choice anyway. The reward offered by the academy was comparable to the Star Luo Empire’s!
But they would be even more shocked by what was to come.
Yan Shaozhe said in a deep voice, “The soul bones are used to encourage all of you for your efforts in the tournament. But the academy is also going to credit all of you for protecting the academy’s glory. From this moment onwards, the academy shall name the seven of you Shrek’s Seven Monsters.”
He stopped for a moment before saying seriously, “For life.”
Huo Yuhao and the others couldn’t help but exclaim in shock after they heard those last two words. They stared at Yan Shaozhe with their eyes and mouths wide open. They felt as if their spirits had left their bodies at this moment.
Shrek’s Seven Monsters. While these words sounded simple, they held a deep meaning to Shrek Academy, and even the entire Douluo Continent! Ever since the glory held by the ﬁrst generation of Shrek’s Seven Monsters, this name continued to represent greatness up till now. There were only two instances so far in Shrek’s history that anyone possessed this name for life. They were only conferred to inner courtyard disciples that had contributed greatly to the academy. The soul bones were
already a huge surprise to all of them, but this lifetime Shrek’s Seven Monsters title conferred onto them was much more meaningful!
The glory that belonged to Shrek would be imprinted onto their bodies and spirits from this moment onwards. They were going to shine for life under this glory that had been shared with them.
This reward brought such a shock to all of them that it couldn’t be described in words. Huo Yuhao and the rest were all speechless. They ﬁnally understood why Yan Shaozhe was so determined to let Xu Sanshi and Jiang Nannan follow them to the Sea God’s Pavilion. He didn’t just want to censure them, but to give them the opportunity to claim their rewards personally! This was an extremely important moment in all their lives. They would regret it for life if they missed this moment!
Yan Shaozhe said in a deep voice, “The Sea God’s Pavilion discussed the matter for an entire day before we came up with this reward. It was only decided after a round of voting by the elders and a ﬁnal decision by the Master. But I must clarify one thing ﬁrst. To ensure the smooth progression of your studies in the academy, this will not be publicized. It will even only be
recorded in our history. Before all of you graduate, only all of you will be privy to this. Please don’t make it public.”
They could understand this restriction they had to face. If news of this spread, they would be put into the limelight. This would then affect their normal cultivation and studies.
As their team leader, Bei Bei could not help but ask, “Dean Yan, does lifetime refer to the time we spend in the academy or…”
Yan Shaozhe smiled and replied, “What? Is it so difﬁcult to understand? It’s called lifetime because it’ll be with all of you for your entire lives. Furthermore, this title will not be given to anyone else as long as one of you is still alive. That’s why all of you need to work hard at your cultivation and try to live longer. This glory will then stay with all of you for a longer period of time.”
Bei Bei was delighted, and used his eyes to gesture to the rest. He bowed respectfully towards the four deans and the elders present.
The others understood him and followed his lead, as they bowed respectfully too.
Yan Shaozhe stepped to one side and said respectfully to someone at the head of the table, “Teacher, do you have any other instructions?”
Everyone just now realized that there was someone half- lying on the other side of the table. They couldn’t see what he looked like because of their perspective.
“Kids, your performances were beyond what I expected.”
“That’s why these rewards are what all of you have earned. But it’s important to realize that this doesn’t mean you will be forever successful. All of you must live up to the name of Shrek’s Seven Monsters. I hope that all of you can work hard to preserve Shrek’s glory just like you did before. Bei Bei, Xu Sanshi, Jiang Nannan and He Caitou, the four of you are already beyond soul ancestors. I grant special permission to the four of you to go take the inner courtyard test after this academic year ends. After passing the test, the four of you shall continue to learn in the inner courtyard. The difﬁculty level of your tests will remain the same.”
Bei Bei and the other 3 looked at one another. Right now, they were all nervous. The test choked many external courtyard disciples, and there were very few who could really be admitted to the inner courtyard. It was impossible for them not to feel anxious, as they were about to undergo the test earlier than was required.
The frail, elderly voice continued, “Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao, the three of you shall remain on the Sea God’s Island temporarily and cultivate alongside me. The three of you will only return to the external courtyard when I think that it’s time. Bei Bei and Xu Sanshi shall be guided by Little Xuan, while Jiang Nannan shall be guided by Cai Mei’er. More effort has to be placed on Lin Er, Duo Duo, Fan Yu and He Caitou too. If they don’t pass the test, you will be punished as teachers.”
Although this elderly voice sounded very gentle and benevolent, his words left everyone convinced, and no one doubted his words. All the Sea God’s Pavilion elders and four deans stood up together and bowed towards Elder Mu respectfully.
“Meeting dispersed.” Elder Mu’s voice became more peaceful.
All the elders seemed to instantly disappear. The new Shrek’s Seven Monsters didn’t even notice their movements clearly.
Elder Xuan, the four deans and Fan Yu remained.
“All of you can go too. It’s ﬁne if only Huo Yuhao and the other 2 remain here.” Elder Mu waved his hand.
“Yes.” Yan Shaozhe replied respectfully and left with everyone quietly. Bei Bei and He Caitou lifted both Xu Sanshi and Jiang Nannan as they left too. They all glanced at Huo Yuhao as they left. They gave him an encouraging look.
The Sea God’s Pavilion quieted down. Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao were nervous. The Master of the Sea God’s Pavilion who was half-lying on the main seat was even Dean Yan Shaozhe’s teacher! He was the greatest authoritative ﬁgure in Shrek Academy.
“Kids, come over.” Elder Mu gestured towards the three of them.
Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao walked around the long table quickly and came beside Elder Mu. They all lowered their heads slightly and looked a little nervous.
“Why? Did the three of you managed to defeat your opponents like this in the tournament? What’s there to be
nervous about in front of me when all of you are fearless in front of your opponents? Lift your heads. We’re old friends.” Elder Mu’s gentle voice sounded very inspirational.
Huo Yuhao and the others lowered their heads subconsciously. All they saw was an elder who was in his declining years, but had a face that wore a slight smile and was ﬁlled with tenderness.
“It’s you?” The three of them exclaimed at the same time.
They even stared at him directly.
They wouldn’t have gotten it right even if they had 10,000 guesses. The elder who always laid down leisurely in front of the freshmen dorm was actually the Master of the Sea God’s Pavilion in Shrek Academy! The three of them were so shocked that they became speechless.
Elder Mu smiled and said, “It’s weird, isn’t it? All of you are right, I am that old man! Although I control the Sea God’s Pavilion, I’m unwilling to stay here. It’s too boring. How can it be as bustling as your freshman dorm? I can feel the youthful aura, which makes me feel younger too. Sensing all of your vitality and vigor can also prolong my lifespan by a few years.”
“You, you…” Huo Yuhao discovered that he was stuttering. Whether it was him, Wang Dong or Xiao Xiao, they couldn’t draw the connection between this frail elder and his identity as Shrek’s master.
Elder Mu lifted one hand and said, “Help me up.”
Huo Yuhao rushed forward and lifted Elder Mu’s hand. Elder Mu’s actions were very slow, just like an old man who had one foot in his grave. He stood up from his lying position slowly. But his back continued to be bent at a 90 degrees angle, which was a sorrowful sight.
Elder Mu’s arms were very delicate. While they felt very warm, they were extremely bony and rigid.
Elder Mu chortled and said, “I’m not trying to be ostentatious by lying over here. When I was younger, I was injured, and I never recovered from that injury. That’s why I can only bend my back like that. They felt bad for me, so they prepared a reclining chair for me.” As he spoke, he lifted his hand and pointed in a direction. Huo Yuhao carefully supported him as they advanced. Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao
followed behind. Even now, their eyes were still ﬁlled with surprise.
Elder Mu laughed slightly as he walked, “Huo Yuhao, I noticed you the ﬁrst time you entered the freshman dorm. That’s because you are one of the rare few kids who greeted me actively. You’re very courteous. Every time you entered the freshman dorm, you greeted me. That’s very good.”
“That’s what younger ones like me should do.” Huo Yuhao replied in a low voice. Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao lowered their heads in guilt. They were normally all so focused on learning and cultivating in the external courtyard. How could they be bothered to notice an elder in front of the freshman dorm?
Huo Yuhao supported Elder Mu all the way to the front of a wall. Elder Mu lifted his hand and pointed out. A streak of golden light suddenly lit up, and everything around them seemed to turn illusory. An intense golden halo surrounded Huo Yuhao and the other two instantly. They only felt that it was extremely bright in front of them. They quickly shut their eyes. There was nothing beneath their feet. When they stepped forward in the next moment, the surrounding golden light had already disappeared.
The Sea God’s Pavilion had disappeared. To their horror, they discovered that they were in a vast hall. This hall seemed to be 100 meters long, and was squarish in shape. Its surface area was similar to the competition stage of the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament.
There were several tunnels at the sides of the hall that led to unknown places. There were no windows and everything was enclosed, but the air was very fresh. There was several statues erected inside the hall. They were similar to the ones in Shrek Academy after one entered the academy. Shrek’s founder, the Golden Triangle, and the ﬁrst-generation Shrek’s Seven Monsters. But there were more statues here, and these statues seemed to be made of wood.
Elder Mu smiled, “Aren’t you all curious as to why the Sea God’s Pavilion doesn’t seem grand? But did any of you realized that the Sea God’s Pavilion wasn’t constructed, but carved out?”
“Carved out?” Huo Yuhao and the other 2 were stunned.
They didn’t understand the meaning behind those 2 words.
Elder Mu said, “The Sea God’s Pavilion was originally a huge tree, a golden tree that was rarely seen in the world. It was a tree that contained an aura of light and life. The earlier generations used this golden tree as the foundation, and carved out the Sea God’s Pavilion without affecting the life of the golden tree. That’s why the Sea God’s Pavilion doesn’t seem to have been put together, while the various decorations and statues in the Sea God’s Pavilion were made by the wood that was dug out during the carving process. This golden tree can be said to be the root of Shrek Academy. The three of you will understand its signiﬁcance in the future.”
“Wang Dong, go to the ﬁrst tunnel on the right. At the 10- meter mark, there should be a door. Push the door open and enter the room behind it. Sit on the prayer mat and cultivate there.”
Wang Dong was stunned and hesitated for a moment. Huo Yuhao nodded his head at him hurriedly, and he then followed Elder Mu’s instructions. He naturally knew that Elder Mu’s instructions were for his own good, but he was unwilling to be separated from Huo Yuhao.
“Xiao Xiao, take the third tunnel to the left and enter the second door. Cultivate there too. Whenever the two of you
recover from your ﬁxed state, you can return to the external courtyard.”
“Yes.” Xiao Xiao answered hurriedly. Her huge eyes blinked, and she walked to the other side.
Only Huo Yuhao was left with Elder Mu after the two of them left.
Elder Mu smiled and said, “You can go too. Walk to the end of the ﬁrst tunnel to the right. There will be a door to a room. Enter the room and start to meditate. You’ll have your answer when you come out.”
“Yes. Thank you, elder.”
Elder Mu smiled and said, “My surname is Mu. You can call me Elder Mu.”
“Alright, Elder Mu.” Huo Yuhao answered. But he didn’t leave. “Elder Mu, do you need me to take you somewhere to rest ﬁrst?”
Elder Mu was a little stunned as he twisted his head to look at him. He could only see Huo Yuhao’s sincerity and naturalness from his eyes. There was no deliberate intention at all.
After patting Huo Yuhao’s hand, he smiled and said, “I can still walk. Go. This closed-door cultivation will be important to all of you. Relax and go over everything that has happened. I believe that you will gain something from this.”
“Yes.” Huo Yuhao only let go of his hand now and walked towards the ﬁrst tunnel to the right. When he reached the opening of the tunnel, he stopped in his tracks subconsciously and turned back to look at Elder Mu. Elder Mu was also looking at him. Huo Yuhao didn’t know that Elder Mu was sure this concerned look of his proved that his words previously didn’t contain any other intentions.
Wang Dong was the ﬁrst to reach his destination - the ﬁrst door at the end of the ﬁrst tunnel to the right.
The door was wooden, and appeared to be made from the golden tree wood that Elder Mu had mentioned. As he lifted his
hand to push at the door slightly, the door opened easily. It was as if it had just unlatched.
Wang Dong felt a strong aura of light engulﬁng him as he opened the door, which almost caused him to suffocate. In the next moment, a wave of suction force appeared and dragged his body into the room.
Wang Dong’s gaze turned lifeless as he walked into the room. The room was around 10 square meters large. Countless rhizomes hung from the ceiling and covered the entire four walls, as well as the ﬂoor. He wouldn’t be so shocked if they were just stems. He was shocked because these rhizomes were entirely yellowish-golden. The strong aura of life came from these rhizomes.
In the center of this room, there was a circular mat that subtly shone with a golden radiance. The strong aura of light spread out from above it.
The concentration of the light element was so great that it almost assumed liquid form.
Wang Dong only felt that his heart had been cleansed. He even had the same feeling he had experienced when he had ﬁrst bathed in the golden light before he came to the Sea God’s Pavilion. He understood that the golden light he was being bathed in belonged to the power of the golden tree! But he
didn’t know who guided it.
This wasn’t just a stroke of luck, but fortune. Wang Dong was also very intelligent. He walked forward rapidly and sat cross-legged on the mat.
A strong wave of light aura suddenly soared up from underneath him. His entire body instantly turned a smooth gold. His soul power circulated, and he didn’t even need to do anything before he entered meditation. He wasn’t absorbing the light element now, but the light element was surging into his body.
His head became unprecedentedly clear. The light element ﬂowed naturally, and his soul power circulated at high speed. His spirit was ﬂushed with vigor, and all types of thoughts now seemed very clear in his mind. Different types of sentiments also arose. In just a matter of breaths, he entered the deep meditative state that he once admired Huo Yuhao for.
It was different from an ordinary meditative state. His mind was working at great speed now, and he began to master the various abilities and experiences that he had as he understood them.
“Wang Dong.” A gentle voice rang in Wang Dong’s heart just as he was experiencing the brilliance of this deep meditative state. The sudden appearance of this voice caused his senses to be jolted.
“Elder Mu?” Wang Dong thought to himself.
“Continue to meditate without messing up your thoughts. Listen to me, you just need more time to comprehend things. Your twin martial souls are the Radiant Butterﬂy Goddess and the Clear Sky Hammer. They’re two outstanding martial souls. The former is more of an element-type, while the latter is more of a strength-type. Both martial souls are suitable to be your main martial soul. It seems like you chose the former. You should have learned in the external courtyard that different martial souls will lead to different results when mastered in different environments. It’s more beneﬁcial to a soul master if he cultivates in an environment most suited to his martial soul.”
“All of you are in the Sea God’s Pavilion Underground World. There are 108 rooms here, and they cover almost all the environments suited for all types of martial souls. Every inner courtyard disciple has a chance to undergo deep meditation here. Although the few of you aren’t inner courtyard disciples yet, I’ve granted permission for the few of you to undergo deep meditation here beforehand on account of your contributions to the academy, sufﬁcient experience in the tournament and your gifts of twin martial souls. Your efforts will reap greater rewards here, and this experience will be be very valuable to your future cultivation. But it’s not just about your cultivation here. More importantly, you have to ﬁnd your path here.”
Wang Dong was jolted once again as he heard Elder Mu’s words. He seemed to understand some things.
Elder Mu said, “Every soul master has a path he needs to take. Assault, agility, control, auxiliary – these are only the shallowest things. Achieving more requires one to ﬁnd his path accurately and precisely. No one can tell you how to walk this path. You can only discover it for yourself. For individuals with twin martial souls like yourself, it’s even more important to discover your own path. Never hesitate, or doubt the path you chose. Try your best to ﬁnish walking that path. You’ll succeed no matter what the path is if you can do this.”
Elder Mu’s guidance stopped here, and his voice also disappeared completely. In the other 2 rooms, Xiao Xiao and Huo Yuhao also heard the same things.
Xiao Xiao was in a special room. There were no rhizomes in this room. There was only a huge bell. Firstly, Xiao Xiao felt a heaviness that almost suffocated her. When she made an effort to sit down on the mat, she only heard a loud boom. Everything around her disappeared, and the only thought in her head was that she was trapped in a bell.
Huo Yuhao was in the most special room. When he entered, it was pitch-black. The entire room was silent.
He subconsciously wanted to unleash his martial soul when he entered the room. With his Spirit Eyes and Purple Demon Eyes, he could see everything clearly even if there wasn’t any light.
But he suddenly felt a great distortion in the space where he was standing at this moment. It was as if the entire area around him had twisted tremendously, and his mind seemed to enter a trance.
He staggered forward two steps, and countless yellow spots lit up around him. It was as if many pairs of eyes were staring at him. A quiet chamber that was also 10 square meters in size also lit up.
What was this?
When Huo Yuhao looked at what was on the walls around him, he was shocked. He wanted to escape immediately. But he soon found out to his horror that he couldn’t locate the door. Even though he unleashed his Spirit Eyes and used his Spiritual Detection to search for the door, he still couldn’t ﬁnd it.
The same type of bone was hung on the four walls and the ceiling. This bone didn’t belong to a human, but was instead a triangular skull that was. There was a huge gap for the eyes, and the bottom of the skull was sharp. The yellow lights were shining from the eye sockets, which appeared to be balls of ﬂames.
“Ah.” Huo Yuhao groaned. His body shook, and he almost fell to the ground. He only felt like a huge cage formed by immense
spiritual power was trapping him within, and it was even caving in towards him.
He did not just feel tormented. He was even fearful. His Spiritual Sea also started to writhe tremendously, as if it was about to be torn apart by the frightening spiritual power outside.
But the Skydream Iceworm, Ice Empress and Electrolux didn’t react at this point. He was the only one bearing all this.
If this was Huo Yuhao before the tournament, he wouldn’t have been able to do anything except panic. His Spiritual Sea would even be on the brink of collapse. But torment and pain allowed one to grow. Furthermore, he was even nourished by the Life Gold before.
After panicking momentarily, he calmed himself down. He resisted the strong spiritual power and sat down on the mat in the room. He gathered his mind and focused so that he could calm down. He also controlled his own spiritual power and skin to act as defensive barriers. He laid layers and layers of spiritual barriers around and on himself to resist the violation of the external spiritual power.
His Spiritual Sea had become extremely resilient after he had trained it for so long. He quickly calmed down and stabilized his condition. The external spiritual power also became less intense at the same time.
Elder Mu’s voice resonated at this moment.
“Huo Yuhao, tell me: what is spiritual power?”
Huo Yuhao was different from both Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao in that he was already used to spiritual interaction. He immediately used his Spiritual Sea to reveal his answer.
“Spiritual power is will.”
Elder Mu said, “That’s right, spiritual power is will. And the key to training one’s spiritual power is through resistance and pressure. Your spiritual power is much stronger than I had imagined. There’s no other way to describe it other than the fact that you have an unusual gift. Since you have twin martial souls and the Ultimate Ice as one of them, can you tell me why
you didn’t choose the Ultimate Ice to be your main martial soul, but instead chose your Spirit Eyes?”
Huo Yuhao replied, “That’s because the Ice Jade Scorpion is too powerful. Its powers can only be fully unleashed when the soul rings on it are stronger. That’s why I hope to use the Spirit Eyes to accumulate sufﬁcient strength, and ensure that the soul rings on the Ice Jade Scorpion are at least ten thousand years and above.”
Elder Mu laughed suddenly. “Little fellow, what’s the level of your Ice Jade Scorpion’s ﬁrst soul ring?”
“This…” Huo Yuhao turned anxious. He realized that he couldn’t lie to Elder Mu.
“Hundred thousand year soul ring, am I right?” Elder Mu’s words were like a Class 9 soul tool cannon shell as they struck Huo Yuhao.
Elder Mu said, “In fact, you’ve concealed it very well. You managed to conceal your second martial soul’s ﬁrst soul ring
with your Spirit Eyes’ second soul ring’s Imitation. Others can’t tell, but it’s different for me. Do you know why?”
Huo Yuhao didn’t say anything. He was only very tense at this moment. The Skydream Iceworm and Ice Empress were the two most important secrets on him! He was ﬁlled with fear at this moment.
Elder Mu followed with, “That’s because the domain-type soul skill that you displayed before exposed the capability of your Ice Jade Scorpion’s ﬁrst soul ring. I have a domain-type soul skill too. They are usually hundred thousand year soul skills, unless there are special circumstances involved.”
Chapter 130: Finding One's Path
It was actually the Domain of Perpetual Ice that exposed his soul ring. Huo Yuhao looked at him quietly. He was calmer now. Since Elder Mu was too powerful, he couldn’t resist no matter how he dealt with him. After realizing this point, he didn’t try to correct anything, and allowed Elder Mu to deal with him. His calmness also made him much more composed. He could subtly feel that Elder Mu didn’t harbor any ill intentions towards him though he had exposed him.
Elder Mu exclaimed, “I have cultivated for my entire life, and roamed the continent for more than 200 years. I have seen countless soul masters and even more martial souls. But it’s my ﬁrst time seeing a situation like yours.”
“I sensed the special characteristic of your second martial soul. I even went to the Extreme North for it and caught an Ice Jade Scorpion. It’s indeed different. Although your martial soul is similar to an Ice Jade Scorpion, there were no Ice Jade Scorpions that possessed the azure-green, ﬁve-joint tail like your martial soul. After a period of observation, I discovered that stronger Ice Jade Scorpions had greener tails. That’s why I’m certain that if your second martial soul belongs to an Ice Jade Scorpion, it must be the king of the Ice Jade Scorpions. It
may even be the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion, the second among the Three Heavenly Kings of the Extreme North and the top among the Ten Great Savage Beasts.”
A deep fear rose from Huo Yuhao’s heart. Elder Mu actually went to the Extreme North to verify his martial soul, and even conducted research on the Ice Jade Scorpions in the Extreme North. He had made an accurate analysis. Elder Mu was indeed too brilliant. Huo Yuhao felt as if he was entirely exposed in front of Elder Mu.
Elder Mu continued saying, “When I returned, I analyzed this condition that appeared on your body. The only answer that I have is that you possess a hundred thousand year soul ring and a hundred thousand year soul bone. To better observe your condition, I watched the tournament in Star Luo City, especially the few important rounds. Your abilities were revealed when you faced strong opponents, especially when you unleashed your domain-type ability. I can clearly feel that your bones have surpassed normal conditions. This has also further veriﬁed my judgement. But your Imitation skill was good, and you concealed it well. Even I couldn’t get the complete picture.”
“It’s been at least 50 years since something has aroused my curiosity. But you’ve aroused it now. I wondered then how was it possible for a teenager like you to fuse with an Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s soul ring and soul bone? And this Ice Jade Empress Scorpion must have had a cultivation of at least two hundred thousand years. You even made it your martial soul. I am certain that less than ﬁve people in Shrek Academy can bear the fusion of that kind of optimal soul ring, and those people already have nine rings to themselves. Nine rings is the limit of an ordinary soul master, and we don’t have twin martial souls. The fact is that even if we could ﬁnd and kill an Ice Jade Empress Scorpion, we couldn’t put its soul ring to use.”
“I discovered later on that the power of the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion should exist in your body. But it’s just that this power has been sealed. How did this seal come about? You’ve indeed piqued my curiosity! I thought for a good 6 months before coming up with a forced guess. Before you went to the Extreme North and planned to obtain the second soul ring for your Spirit Eyes, you met the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion, who couldn’t break through its bottleneck. The Ice Jade Empress Scorpion couldn’t bear for its formidable strength to disappear before it passed on, thus it sealed its powers and gave them to you. That’s how you got your second martial soul. You were also given its soul ring and soul bone. It seems like this is the only logical explanation.”
“But here comes the question: why did you go to the Extreme North to hunt for soul beasts and soul rings even though you possess a spiritual-type martial soul? Even though the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion sealed your powers, it’s not something that someone as small as you should be able to bear! And how did the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion become your martial soul directly? I can’t ﬁnd the answers to these.”
Huo Yuhao pursed his lips and did not speak. Elder Mu’s guess wasn’t entirely correct, but it was close to the answer.
Elder Mu smiled and said, “There are too many peculiarities on your body. If I didn’t observe your body and verify that you were human, I might really suspect that you were a soul beast reborn. Everyone has their own destiny. I can’t fully tell your condition, but I can see steadiness and sincerity on you. Your performances in the tournament left me extremely comforted too. If you’re willing to, I hope to play the role as your listener before I leave this world. But I won’t force you.”
“Aren’t you going to ask me?” The unexpected turn of events left Huo Yuhao feeling incredulous.
“I won’t. I believe that my guess is not far from the truth. Since you have such a destiny, I am delighted for you as your senior. Before I veriﬁed that you were human, I really hoped that you really had such a destiny. Don’t forget that you’re now part of Shrek’s Seven Monsters. Shrek’s imprint has been
carved onto your body. How? An elder’s train of thought is different from a young person’s, am I right? Haha.”
Huo Yuhao took in a deep breath after remaining in a daze for a moment. He said seriously, “Thanks for your belief. I won’t let you down.”
Elder Mu said, “You saw those hanging skulls. These are skulls from soul beasts called Terrifying Demon Dragons. The Terrifying Demon Dragons are earth and evil dragons, but are not very powerful. But they are a rare spiritual-type dragon species. After a Terrifying Demon Dragon passes on due to natural causes, its skull will retain some of its spiritual power that won’t diminish over time. It’s not difﬁcult to kill a Terrifying Demon Dragon, but it’s difﬁcult to obtain the skull of a Terrifying Demon Dragon after it dies of natural causes. There are 1001 Terrifying Demon Dragon skulls in this room, and it took the academy 800 years to gather them. I will stimulate their spiritual auras later on, and you’ll feel an immense pressure amidst their auras. For your spiritual power to grow, you’ll have to bear the immense pressure. It’ll be very
beneﬁcial to your Spirit Eyes. I hope that you can comprehend more in the process of cultivation. There’s only one chance like this.”
After he ﬁnished speaking, Elder Mu’s aura disappeared. But the pressure of the spiritual power earlier that had weakened grew stronger. Ripples appeared in Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Sea, and an intense undulation of spiritual power caused him to resist it with all his might.
Elder Mu was still in the center of the hall. But he had laid back onto his reclining chair. Yan Shaozhe and Xian Lin’er stood beside him.
Yan Shaozhe asked in a low voice, “Teacher, are you really not going to clarify things?”
Elder Mu shook his head and said, “There’s no need to. He’s a human, and his bloodline is obviously not from the Sun Moon Empire. With these two premises, the rest is unimportant. He’s
still young, and can still be molded. We can’t chill his heart because of our doubts.”
Yan Shaozhe creased his brows slightly and said, “If he’s a spy sent by the other side…”
Xian Lin’er suddenly snorted coldly, “If it were you, would you send someone with an Ultimate martial soul to be a spy? Furthermore, I analyzed Huo Yuhao’s progress and experience after he entered the academy. His powers only soared after he graduated from ﬁrst grade. He must have met with that weird encounter during the holidays. If it were you, would you tell anyone if you had such an encounter?”
Yan Shaozhe wasn’t infuriated because of Xian Lin’er’s tone. He only replied as if something was on his mind, “Lin’er, I understand what you’re saying. But don’t you ﬁnd it a coincidence that the Spirit Eyes’ second soul ring came to possess Imitation at the same time he gained the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion as his martial soul? It’s so coincidental that it seems everything was planned.”
Xian Lin’er said coldly, “I only know that I would recall my spy if he obtained an Ultimate martial soul from some
miraculous opportunity and nurture him with all my strength. At the same time, I would not send an 11-year-old kid into my enemy’s camp. How unpredictable are kids? Yan Shaozhe, you’re always so narrow-minded and lack magnanimity.”
“You…” Yan Shaozhe turned red and white from Xian Lin’er’s censure. But he didn’t dare to ﬂare up in front of Elder Mu.
Elder Mu smiled and interrupted, “Alright, the both of you have squabbled for many decades already. I’ve already made my decision on Yuhao. This kid deserves to be nurtured by the academy. Even Tang San, the true core of the ﬁrst-generation Shrek’s Seven Monsters, had his own secrets.”
Yan Shaozhe nodded his head and said, “Teacher, regarding their future arrangements…”
Elder Mu said, “They will be in closed-door cultivation here for some time. Once they’re ﬁnished, allow them to return to the outer courtyard. After all, they’re still young, and it’s not good for their development if we put too much pressure on them. The two of you need to monitor the other four and give them the best aid and guidance. You must ensure that they enter the inner courtyard, but don’t make the test easier for
them. After entering the inner courtyard, they can come here once. That’s why I let them return ﬁrst. The Body Sect came to ﬁnd trouble during the tournament. I estimate that peace will not reign in the short-term. The two of you must be wary.”
Tang Ya packed her things and looked at the weather outside. Her normally smiling face revealed a sense of loneliness. She seemed to be bothered by many thoughts, and she lowered her head as she walked out of the classroom.
She had been living an entirely boring life in this period of time. Classroom, dormitory, dormitory, classroom. She never stayed outside or left the academy.
After leaving the classroom block, she returned to the dormitory quickly. She seemed to be thinking of something as she walked.
“Pretty lady, give me some face and have a meal with me.” At this point, a ﬁgure blocked her way. As she was walking very quickly, she almost walked into that person.
“Scram.” Tang Ya was enraged, and lifted her head. Everyone knew about her relationship with Bei Bei. Did someone from the outer courtyard just try to take liberties with her?
However, her eyes never shifted once she lifted her head. That handsome face that appeared gentle and reﬁned wore a slight smile on it as it ﬁlled Tang Ya’s gaze.
“You still remembered to return!” Tang Ya’s voice trembled a little.
Bei Bei laughed slightly. “How could I not return when my wife’s here? What if she runs away with someone else?”
“Who’s your wife?” Tang Ya reprimanded him, “You’re so rude. I’m the head of the Tang Sect, your teacher!”
Bei Bei extended his arms and the smile on his face didn’t change, “Come teacher, give me a hug.”
Tang Ya pursed her lips lightly and glared at him. After that, she rushed into his arms and hugged his waist tightly. She started to bawl.
Bei Bei hugged her slender ﬁnger and was a little stunned, “What’s wrong? Did someone really bully you?” In his heart, Tang Ya had always been like a cheerful angel. Although she had the heavy burden of rebuilding the Tang Sect, she was still a very cheerful person. Although Bei Bei had been away from her for a long time, she should have at most censured him with a few words. She wouldn’t wail uncontrollably like this!
Tang Ya didn’t reply, and only hugged him as she cried. She cried until Bei Bei’s shirt was drenched with her tears. She then lifted her swollen, red eyes and said, “I’m ﬁne.”
Bei Bei lifted his hand uncourteously above her head and knocked it, “Why would you cry so hard if nothing was wrong? Let’s return to the dormitory ﬁrst.”
Tang Ya’s dormmate was Jiang Nannan. Jiang Nannan was not around, as she had followed Xu Sanshi to the pharmacy and wouldn’t return anytime soon.
It wasn’t Bei Bei’s ﬁrst time sneaking into the ladies’ dorm. Although the academy had rules, they couldn’t possibly catch every trespasser. Tang Ya opened her door and entered before opening the window for Bei Bei to climb in. He wasn’t spotted. But even if he was, who in the outer courtyard would dare to expose him?
Tang Ya and Jiang Nannan’s room didn’t have too many decorations. It was simple and pleasant. Jiang Nannan’s mattress even had patches.
Tang Ya dragged Bei Bei onto the bed to sit down. She leaned into his arms and hugged him tightly. “There was no news even though all of you were gone for so long. How was the tournament?”
Bei Bei gazed at her deeply and didn’t pursue the doubt in his heart. He recounted his experiences to her.
He had always been someone who could control his temperament and was patient. That’s why he recounted everything in detail, and only ﬁnished when it had already turned dark outside.
“What? The academy rewarded all of you by making all of you Shrek’s Seven Monsters?” Tang Ya was stunned and she sat up. She opened her eyes wide and looked at him as if she didn’t recognize him.
Bei Bei nodded and said, “I’m very surprised too, but I’m also delighted. Why? Are you not delighted? You need to know that 5 of us out of the 7 hails from Tang Sect.”
Tang Ya furrowed her brows and shook her head slightly. “I’m elated for all of you. But can all of you still do anything for Tang Sect now that all of you have become Shrek’s Seven Monsters? Too many of the academy’s imprints have been carved onto your bodies.”
Bei Bei laughed uncontrollably, “Why not? The academy won’t restrict our freedom. Furthermore, the relationship between the academy and Tang Sect has always been quite good!”
“How is it good?” Tang Ya was furious as she shook her head. Her eyes even ﬂashed with a tinge of hostility. “Where was the academy when the Tang Sect was going downhill? I was chased out of my own home. Where were they when the Tang Sect ended? Did they ever help us as the continent’s top academy?”
Bei Bei was a little stunned as he looked at Tang Ya’s expression, “Xiao Ya, are you ﬁne? Your emotions are…” It was his ﬁrst time seeing Tang Ya revealing such an expression.
Tang Ya threw her head down forcefully, as if she was trying to wrench something to the ground. She lowered her head and said, “Sorry, I’m ﬁne.” Bei Bei couldn’t see that a shred of dim
purple had ﬂashed across Tang Ya’s bright, wide eyes. It wasn’t the glow of the Purple Demon Eyes, but a dim purple that carried an aura of death.
Bei Bei hugged her once again and said, “Xiao Ya, don’t waste your time! The Tang Sect declined due to its own actions. Besides the lack of advantage of secret weapons, the Tang Sect’s past leaders also had all sorts of problems. These led to the fall of the Tang Sect, which was once prosperous. But you should be seeing a glimmer of hope now! There’s Yuhao, He Caitou, Wang Dong, Xiao Xiao and me by your side. We can help you rebuild the Tang Sect, help it become prosperous again when our powers grow. We’re still young, and we’ve time to work hard for the Tang Sect’s rise.”
Tang Ya laughed bitterly and said, “But have you ever thought of what I’m capable of doing for Tang Sect as its leader? All of you are already Shrek’s Seven Monsters, but I’m getting further and further from all of you. I’m also aware that I won’t make it into the inner courtyard. I’m not that capable, and the inner courtyard won’t let me in just because I’m the Tang Sect’s leader.”
“No, don’t think like that,” Bei Bei said hurriedly, “why can’t you make it if you’re willing to work hard? We’ll try our best to
get you into the inner courtyard.”
Tang Ya shook her head and said, “Bei Bei, don’t be like this. I don’t want to become your burden. Do you understand? You should be cultivating tirelessly now and get into the inner courtyard next year. Do you know why I was crying just now? That’s because I’ve decided to leave Shrek.”
“What?” Bei Bei was shocked upon hearing her words. His smile also disappeared instantly. “Xiao Ya, what’s wrong?” He could clearly feel the change in Tang Ya after more than a month without seeing her. He even felt a sense of unfamiliarity from her, as her personality had changed greatly. He hadn’t even seen her smile ever since he had returned.
Tang Ya lifted her head to look at Bei Bei, and her eyes were ﬁlled with sorrow. “I don’t want to leave, but staying here no longer holds any meaning for me. I’ll only tie you down. Since I can’t get into the inner courtyard, I need to try my best to carve out a path for the Tang Sect’s future. I cried because I can’t bear to leave you. Bei Bei, do you know that I’ll really miss you?”
“Stop speaking.” Bei Bei interrupted her rather violently and hugged her tightly in his arms. “You can’t go, do you hear me?”
Tang Ya replied faintly, “You know my character. I won’t ever change my mind.” Tears streamed down her cheeks, but she never cried out. But the sorrow in her eyes wasn’t simply because of her impending departure.
“Xiao Ya, listen to me,” Bei Bei said gently, “we’re still young!
Why do you have to be so impatient?”
Tang Ya buried her face in his arms, “Stop persuading me. You don’t know how hard it was for me to make this decision. I must leave. I’ve already tended my leave from the academy. I hesitated on whether I should wait for you to return. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to make my decision when you return. But I was more afraid that my sudden departure would be too much for you to bear and affect your studies. That’s why I decided to bear the pain of my departure and tell you about it clearly.”
Bei Bei’s body shook. “Xiao Ya, have you really made up your mind?” He understood her, and knew the stubbornness that was deeply rooted in her bones.
Tang Ya nodded slightly.
Bei Bei took in a deep breath and tried to calm himself down forcefully. “Where are you going then? At least tell me the place so that I can ﬁnd you during the holidays.”
Tang Ya replied softly, “I will return to the Heavenly Soul Empire where the Tang Sect originated. I will rebuild the Tang Sect in the Heavenly Soul Empire’s capital. Our Tang Sect’s family is also there. Heaven Dou City was named to remember the Heaven Dou Empire that once existed. The Tang Sect will always be tied to this city. While the Tang Sect may not be around temporarily, they’re still connected. I will go back and contact them. I’ll at least ﬁnd a place for the Tang Sect.”
Bei Bei creased his brows. “Must you go to Heaven Dou City? The Tang Sect’s former address was there. I’m afraid they will do something bad to you.”
Tang Ya answered, “I won’t let them discover me. This is unless I can push them into a corner and regain the Tang Sect’s territory one day.”
Bei Bei saw the hostility in Tang Ya’s eyes once again, and was ﬁlled with discomfort, “What if I don’t let you go?”
Tang Ya’s gaze turned tender again. She gently caressed his face, “Bei Bei, you’re the one who understands me the best in this world. I can’t do anything for the Tang Sect in terms of my abilities. If you don’t let me contribute to the rebuilding of Tang Sect, I won’t be happy. I will wait for you in the Heaven Dou City as I set up the Tang Sect’s foundation. We’ll seize the Tang Sect’s estate and rebuild the sect one day when you, Huo Yuhao and the rest achieve something. This is something I have to do.”
Huo Yuhao was like a small boat amidst a spiritual windstorm as the immense spiritual power exerted pressure on him. He maintained himself as the windstorm raged. While the windstorm was very frightening, he never submitted.
Huo Yuhao was also unsure of how much time had passed. His Spiritual Sea seemed to be hammered into shape as it was assaulted repeatedly.
His Spiritual Sea had shrunk by a third from the start till now. But he realized that his spiritual power had become more condensed at the same time.
Based on the total spiritual power in the quiet chamber, it would be impossible for Huo Yuhao to bear if they were all in an offensive state. They could tear his Spiritual Sea apart instantly. But the spiritual power was scattered in this enclosed space. Some of them exerted pressure, but didn’t attack him. That’s why Huo Yuhao could still hold on.
The external assault became weaker as Huo Yuhao condensed his spiritual power. He also calmed down.
He was comprehending the changes in his body and the new capabilities he possessed. Every soul skill and all the strength
in his body was growing as he comprehended his body and everything within it.
Huo Yuhao realized why Electrolux had told him to enter closed-door cultivation as soon as possible then. His thoughts were much more agile under such an entirely quiet condition where he wouldn’t be disrupted. Furthermore, the strength that he possessed fused greater with his body and made him feel as if he was growing.
The Mysterious Heaven Technique was still circulating, but its enhancement had reached a bottleneck. This bottleneck stemmed from his soul power, which had reached Rank 30.
This also meant that Huo Yuhao could advance from a soul grandmaster to a soul elder if he could obtain a soul ring. He would then reach Rank 30.
But the increase in his soul power couldn’t keep up with the pleasure he felt in comprehending his own strength. It was a profound change.
His tireless mastery and the live experiences he had gathered so far caused him to experience changes in his body after the immense pressure he bore in the tournament. There was also the fusion of the Life Gold.
He had never had the opportunity to comprehend all this quietly in the past. But the opportunity had arrived now.
Huo Yuhao could recall that Elder Mu once told him to ﬁnd his own path. It was only through ﬁnding his own path that his future road to mastery would become smoother, and he would not be lost.
But what was his path?
Soul master? Soul engineer?
Assault-type, Ultimate Ice soul master? Control-type, Spirit Eyes soul master?
Everything he learned seemed a little heterogeneous now,. and didn’t seem to come together. The path he was supposed to
ﬁnd was supposed to teach him how to fuse all his strengths together.
The external pressure sparked the enhancement of his spiritual power, and he also became more and more composed. He wasn’t anxious at all. He tried to painstakingly sense all the capabilities in his internal world and slowly ﬁnd the path that belonged to him.
“What’s your path?” Elder Mu laid quietly on the recliner chair and looked at the young lady in front of him with a gentle gaze.
Xiao Xiao had grown thinner. She wasn’t fat in the ﬁrst place, but was even thinner now. She even seemed a little bony. But her eyes had become brighter.
“My path is auxiliary.” Xiao Xiao answered without hesitation.
“Oh?” Elder Mu was a little stunned, “Why did you choose auxiliary?”
Xiao Xiao answered conﬁdently, “I have two martial souls. They are the Threelives Soulcrush Cauldron and the Nine Phoenix Worshipping Flute. The Nine Phoenix Worshipping Flute is a sound-type martial soul, and can turn into either a control-type or auxiliary-type martial soul. My ﬁrst soul skill is the auxiliary-type, and I don’t wish to waste it. That’s why the Nine Phoenix Worshipping Flute can only be an auxiliary-type, whereas my Threelives Soulcrush Cauldron can be a control- type or defense-type. It can even be used offensively. It belongs in the category of Ten Thousand Gold Oil. So from what I see, the abilities that it has can be used for auxiliary purposes. I’m conﬁdent in becoming a top-ranked auxiliary-type battle soul master if it’s paired with my Nine Phoenix Worshipping Flute.”
Elder Mu laughed, “This is a new term to me. I’ve only heard of auxiliary-type tool soul masters.”
“I’m a battle soul master,” Xiao Xiao said conﬁdently, “my aid will be active. This is my path.”
Elder Mu looked at her, “Are there any other reasons why you’ve made this choice?”
Xiao Xiao nodded slightly, “Because Shrek’s Seven Monsters need someone in that role.”
Elder Mu smiled. Although the smile on his frail and elderly face didn’t look nice, it was ﬁlled with benevolence and comfort. “Very well, you’ve found your path. I’m happy for you.”
Xiao Xiao laughed too, “But, how long will I be here? Elder Mu, I’m hungry. I feel as if I haven’t eaten for 3 days.”
Elder Mu smiled more radiantly, “Silly kid, your deep meditation lasted 34 days and 12 hours. Get something to eat ﬁrst. After that, you can fuse the soul bone you got as a reward.”
He opened his eyes slowly. His huge, purplish-blue eyes were clear and bright. His body was smooth and translucent, like a golden ruby. A gentle, golden light shone from his body.
“I never expected my path to be like this. But I’m conﬁdent that I’m right.”
Wang Dong got up, and the golden radiance around his body suddenly soared up like ﬂames. He was ﬁlled with a divine aura under the support of the ﬂames.
He understood many things through his deep meditation. He even completed his second fusion, or rather a true fusion, with his Golden Light Left Arm Bone. He only understood what the strength of the Golden Light was now.
What was more important was the increase in his soul power. Where was this place? It was the stem of the golden tree. It contained the purest power of light. Those with light- type martial souls would experience the most obvious and greatest increase in soul power here.
Rank 36. This was Wang Dong’s current soul power. It was a rank even he wouldn’t have expected. More importantly, the increase wasn’t followed by any side effects. In this period of time, his body quality also soared, and his understanding of the true meaning of light was far greater than what it was before.
Wang Dong stood up as he let out a long breath. His body was extremely light. Even when he breathed, he seemed to swallow
and spit out light elements. His complexion had also become smooth and clean. The dim pink on his skin was ﬁlled with the taste of healthy sunlight.
Wang Dong’s golden radiance slowly retracted as he pushed the door open, and his soul power circulated smoothly. His mind also seemed to be isolated from his cultivation state as he walked out the door.
“Yuhao, how are you? I’ve improved. What’ll happen when we form the Haodong Power again?”
He seemed to sense something at this point. He turned his head suddenly and looked towards the end of the tunnel. He saw someone walking out from the innermost door.
It wasn’t well-lit here. But Wang Dong saw a pair of shining, bright eyes.
“Yuhao.” Wang Dong exclaimed in surprise before bursting towards him.
Yes, it might or might not be a coincidence, but Huo Yuhao walked out at the same time that Wang Dong ﬁnished his cultivation.
“Wang Dong.” Just like how Wang Dong was shocked when he saw him, Huo Yuhao was equally shocked when he saw Wang Dong bursting towards him.
Wang Dong had grown taller, and was now almost his height. His ﬁgure was slenderer and straighter. His purplish-blue hair ﬂowed freely behind him, and his facial lines appeared gentler. His handsome face seemed to be better described with the word ‘beautiful’, and it felt as if he had become more similar to the lady that danced in the Rainment of Light. Huo Yuhao might have thought that Wang Dong was a girl if he didn’t interact with him much.
Huo Yuhao opened his arms, and the two of them hugged. Their soul power surged into each other’s body at this instant, and the Haodong Power also circulated at this point.
There was a clear, white halo that surrounded Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong in the center. This led to the formation of a whirlpool. The intense undulation of their soul power burst
forth as they surged, which made the both of them feel as if they were ﬁlled with strength.
He became stronger.
This was the same thought that went through Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s minds. But they didn’t simply become stronger. Their strength had soared.
Compared to the increase in soul power, it was more important that they could feel a sense of all-roundedness on each other that wasn’t there before. It’s as if their entire strength had been perfectly fused. Their soul master rankings seemed unable to restrain their true abilities anymore.
Wang Dong relaxed his arm and asked Huo Yuhao, “Have you found your own path?”
Huo Yuhao smiled and asked him back, “What about you?”
Wang Dong proudly said, “Of course I did. I’m so talented, of course I managed to ﬁnd it.”
Huo Yuhao laughed, “Then I would have found it naturally too. Since you’re a talent and I’m better than you, I must be the talent among all the talents?”
Wang Dong snorted and said, “How are you better than me?”
Huo Yuhao chortled and compared their arm muscles. He said, “At least I’m more robust than you. Your body is so soft. While it’s nice to hug, it lacks manliness.”
Wang Dong turned red. “I can’t be bothered with you. Tell me, what’s your path?”
Huo Yuhao, “I found…”
As he spoke till this point, a gentle voice resonated in both their ears. “Come out and speak.”
“Elder Mu?” The two of them were stunned as they looked at each other. They didn’t expect Elder Mu to be waiting for them.
They walked out of the tunnel quickly, and saw the elder lying on the reclining chair in the middle of the hall.
“Elder Mu.” The two of them bowed respectfully.
Elder Mu looked at Huo Yuhao before looking at Wang Dong. He revealed a comforted laugh. “It seems like the two of you have also found your paths.”
Wang Dong was surprised as he asked, “Also? Has Xiao Xiao found hers too?”
Elder Mu nodded and said, “She came out earlier than the both of you. Tell me, what are your paths?”
Chapter 131: The Tang Sect
Wang Dong rushed to speak ﬁrst, “Let me go ﬁrst.”
Elder Mu suddenly said, “Why don’t the both of you write your paths on my hand at the same time?” As he spoke, he smiled while extending both his hands.
Elder Mu’s hands appeared extremely youthful, unlike his face. His palms were slender, and his skin was clear like jade. A sparkling radiance subtly ﬂashed, but it was different from Wang Dong’s glossy skin. There was a sense of simplicity to his palms.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong stared at each other. They acted with great chemistry, and came to Elder Mu’s side.
Elder Mu smiled and said, “You can begin.”
They lifted their hands and extended their index ﬁngers at the same time. They wrote the paths that belonged to them on
his palms. These were the paths that they would walk for their entire lives.
Elder Mu’s smile widened. He clenched his palms into ﬁsts when they both stopped.
“The two of you have indeed found the paths that belong to you. Very good. I’m very comforted.” As he spoke, he lifted his hands, and they intersected. His palms faced towards Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong.
There were two words on both his palms, and they shone with a dim golden color.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong exclaimed together. They were shocked as they looked at each other. They were momentarily stunned.
Was this chemistry? It couldn’t be simply described using chemistry anymore. The paths they chose were exactly the same.
Elder Mu smiled and said, “Wang Dong, tell me ﬁrst why you chose this path. What does it mean to you?”
Wang Dong replied, “I’m actually not very sure myself. Both my martial souls are assault-type. Without a doubt, my path should be assault-based. But during the process of deep meditation, the words ‘Tang Sect’ popped up for no reason. I also realized that my strength is closely related to the different capabilities of the Tang Sect. Besides being unskilled in secret weapons, the rest of the Tang Sect’s methods are aligned with my skills. They include the Controlling Crane Capturing Dragon, Purple Demon Eyes, Mysterious Jade Hands, Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track, etc. Both the Radiant Butterﬂy Goddess and Clear Sky Hammer require offensive tactics. The most accurate soul master just unleashes his soul power, whereas a stronger soul master unleashes his soul power cleverly. I hope to become a soul master that combines my soul skills with the Tang Sect’s techniques. This is the path that I want to take.”
Elder Mu nodded his head and said, “Very good. Huo Yuhao, what about you?”
Huo Yuhao looked at Wang Dong and said, “My situation is more complex than Wang Dong’s. But I think that the Tang Sect is more suitable for me.”
“I have two martial souls. One is a control-type, and the other is an assault-type. While I can use both of them at the same time, their effects are unleashed on their own. It’s extremely crucial for my future cultivation to organically combine both my martial souls. At the same time, I’m not just a soul master, but also a soul engineer. If I only cultivate my martial soul, I will only be a pure soul master. But I don’t wish for it to be so. I’m unwilling to give up my soul tools. That’s why I thought of the Tang Sect.”
“I’ve learnt all of Tang Sect’s Six Great Secret Techniques – the Purple Demon Eyes, Mysterious Jade Hands, Controlling Crane Capturing Dragon, Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track, Hidden Weapon Hundred Separation and Mysterious Heaven Technique. I’m more skilled in the Mysterious Heaven Technique and Purple Demon Eyes among these six techniques. I only have brief experience with the other four techniques.”
“But when I thought of the Tang Sect, I found to my surprise that all of my capabilities can be related to the Tang Sect. My Spirit Eyes are greatly connected to the Purple Demon Eyes. I only managed to possess a spiritual-type ability like the Spiritual Shock because of the Purple Demon Eyes. My Spirit Eyes’ attainments in the aspect of spiritual control can also help me to use many of the Tang Sect’s secret techniques. This includes the Tang Sect’s secret weapons. And that’s not even mentioning the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion. An ice-type soul skill combined effectively with the Tang Sect’s capturing techniques and footwork. Just like Wang Dong said, it’ll increase my abilities greatly.”
“When I ﬁrst studied secret weapons in the Tang Sect, eldest senior told me that the only way to rebuild the glory of the sect was by combining soul tools and secret weapons. I’m more and more inclined to believe that this will work. That’s why my future path will combine the Tang Sect’s secret techniques with my own capabilities. This is my choice.”
Elder Mu nodded repeatedly as he heard Huo Yuhao’s words. “Very good. The two of you have made good choices. The Tang Sect’s secret techniques once prospered under Tang San, the founder of the Tang Sect. Tang San managed to save the world of soul masters using the Tang Sect’s Six Great Secret
Techniques and break through the bottleneck, achieving rapid progress. The collapse of the Tang Sect doesn’t equate to the collapse of the Tang Sect’s secret techniques. It’s just that no one suitable has been able to master the Tang Sect’s secret techniques. Both of you have extraordinary talents. I hope that you can continue to walk this path and complete it. You shall inherit the Tang Sect’s ancestors’ immense strength and write your own legends.”
Elder Mu turned his wrists around, and something else appeared in both his palms.
In front of Huo Yuhao was the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s left arm bone that he had once seen at the top-ranked auction in the Starlight Auction house. A thick, icy fog caused the temperature in the hall to dip quickly.
There was a right arm bone in Elder Mu’s other hand. This right arm bone presented itself in bright gold, and the radiance that came from it carried an intense aura of sharpness.
“Yuhao, I’ve analyzed this left arm bone before. It’s a soul bone that came from at least a ten thousand year soul beast. Although soul bone absorption won’t be as tremendous as a
soul ring’s reaction, the Ultimate Ice aura contained within this soul bone is extremely domineering. I believe the saying about the Ice Explosion Technique is real. Are you conﬁdent?”
Huo Yuhao’s eyes lit up, and he nodded his head with strength.
Elder Mu smiled and passed him the Ice Jade Scorpion Left Arm Bone. He said, “Then you can start fusing it here.”
“Wang Dong, this right arm bone is called the Broken Devil of Light. I obtained it when I was young, but it’s a pity that I already had six soul bones then. Otherwise, you’d have had no fate with it. This Broken Devil of Light came from an extremely rare element-type soul beast. This strong presence can only be nurtured in a place where the light element is in abundance. I’m still not sure what soul skill the Broken Devil of Light carries, and I can only tell when it combines with you. But I’m certain that it carries a powerful offensive soul skill. It also has a strong restraining effect on all dark and evil powers. I believe evil soul masters will be afraid when they see it.”
“When soul bones are being paired, it’s best to pair the corresponding soul bone to an existing soul bone that you
possess. Since you already have the Golden Light Left Arm Bone, the addition of this Broken Devil of Light will greatly enhance all your soul skills. You can also start fusing it here. I shall protect the both of you.”
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong were both surprised, especially Huo Yuhao. After Elder Mu exposed his Ice Jade Empress Scorpion, he was still anxious, although he had completed his deep meditation. But Elder Mu had passed the Ice Jade Scorpion Left Arm Bone to him now, which made him more assured and enabled him to understand that Elder Mu’s words were true; that the academy wasn’t bothered about the origin of his second martial soul.
Both of them received their respective soul bones and sat cross-legged on the ground to either side of Elder Mu.
Wang Dong gently caressed the Broken Devil of Light’s smooth surface. At the same time, his left arm also lit up with an intense, golden ﬂame. The golden light seeped into the Broken Devil of Light slowly, and caused the right arm bone to light up with the same light too. An intense aura of light caused Wang Dong’s body to become transparent again. The Radiant Butterﬂy Goddess’ wings ﬂapped open behind his back before
stretching forward to cover his entire body. Bright, golden halos started to spread from his body.
This soul bone that Elder Mu gave him was the academy’s treasure, and not a reward from the tournament. Since the soul bone was personally picked out by Elder Mu, it was guaranteed to be compatible.
Amidst the undulation of the light aura, the Broken Devil of Light started to fuse with Wang Dong’s right arm. Wang Dong only felt a patch of warmth on his right arm, and didn’t experience any pain.
It was easy for Wang Dong to absorb this Broken Devil of Light with the golden light in front of him because the Radiant Butterﬂy Goddess was once baptized by the golden tree’s aura of light. But he was still inferior to Huo Yuhao in terms of compatibility.
Huo Yuhao felt an indescribable sense of closeness that came from the Ice Jade Scorpion Left Arm Bone when it entered his hand.
If this soul bone had appeared in front of other soul masters, they would immediately be affected by the ultimate chill released by the soul bone. Even Elder Mu had to use his own power of light to suppress it.
But Huo Yuhao only felt a sense of closeness. To him, there was no sense of chill to speak of.
An azure light lit up Huo Yuhao’s chest and back. The Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s skeleton seemed to have been awakened by this left arm bone. The aura of a ruler that belonged to the Ice Jade Scorpions was gradually exuded, while the left arm bone in Huo Yuhao’s hands seemed to come alive. It trembled slightly, then leapt up like a child that had seen his mother. It turned into a streak of white light before penetrating Huo Yuhao’s left arm.
Huo Yuhao felt the chill this time. The ice-cold ﬂow of gas rose rapidly along his left arm and penetrated his shoulder. Then, it reached his chest and clavicle. An intense, azure light also shone from his body.
The power sealed within the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s skeleton was stimulated and rapidly connected with the Ice Jade Scorpion Left Arm Bone. Huo Yuhao’s left arm was also dyed an azure green. An intense undulation of soul power surged maniacally. The pain that he felt when he had once fused the skeleton appeared again.
Ultimate ice and heat alternated with each other.
Fortunately, it was only on his left arm this time.
“What, again?” Huo Yuhao laughed bitterly in heart. But he couldn’t do anything except tolerate it at this point.
In fact, it was not that the Ice Empress wanted to train him. It was that the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s skeleton was modifying this Ice Jade Scorpion Left Arm Bone.
No matter how strong this Ice Jade Scorpion was, its cultivation was only around ten thousand years or so, whereas the Ice Empress had cultivated for four hundred thousand years!
The skeleton was the core of the body, and the spine was the most important of the six soul bones. The rest of the soul bones connected to it. If it were any other soul bone, the Ice Empress might not be bothered. But this Ice Jade Scorpion Left Arm Bone came from the same origin as her, and thus the modiﬁcations were very smooth. The key lay in the sense of familiarity!
The immense power sealed within the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s skeleton started to surge into the left arm bone. Huo Yuhao wasn’t in any danger, but the pain he once felt came back…
Shrek Academy. External Courtyard. Second grade, Class 1.
“Why is everyone silent? Have all of you become dumb?” Zhou Yi suddenly slammed the table and revealed an infuriated look.
The students under her kept quiet out of fear; no one dared to speak.
While Zhou Yi’s teaching method was simple and crude, it was quite suitable if she wanted to intimidate these talented youths. In the past year or so, the students from Class 1 maintained strong camaraderie and achieved signiﬁcant progress under her. The crucial thing was that they listened to her! No one dared to defy Zhou Yi, and all of them diligently completed the tasks that she gave them.
While Zhou Yi had expelled many in the ﬁrst academic year, not one student had yet been expelled in the second academic year. She would at most reprimand them if they made mistakes, or even give them two kicks. They would be motivated to cultivate harder through this.
However, the current atmosphere in the classroom was very tense, and all the students lowered their heads.
Zhou Yi scanned everyone before she ﬁxed her attention was on Zhou Sichen. “Zhou Sichen, stand up.”
Zhou Sichen lamented in his heart and knew that he couldn’t escape. If he had known this would happen, he wouldn’t have become the class monitor after Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong left.
Zhou Yunchen bit the bullet, stood up and answered, “Teacher Zhou.”
“Did you not eat?” Zhou Yi raged, “you don’t seem to have any guts! You’re a man. Puff up your chest.”
“Yes!” Zhou Sichen acknowledged her words and puffed up his chest.
“Tell me,” Zhou Yi said indifferently, “as the class monitor, what are you going to do with regards to the competition suggested by the Class 2?”
Zhou Sichen’s lips moved a little, and he shouted in his heart, “Go for it!”
“I’ll go.” He replied loudly.
Zhou Yi’s eyes lit up. “Good. This is how my students should be. So what if you lose? I don’t expect you to win. But we must have the aura. As the class monitor, I will give you full authority to choose your team members. Choose another six to compete with you.”
The second academic year was already halfway done, and the mid-term exams had ended. Class 1 had tipped Class 2 to become the most outstanding class in the level. This was achieved even without Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao.
Class 2 was unconvinced! That’s why the teacher of Class 2, Mu Jin, proposed to Zhou Yi for both classes to have a friendly competition. Both classes would choose 7 members each to form a team. The losing team had to sweep the level where all the second grade classes were held for the rest of the academic year.
The punishment for losing was nothing. Sweeping and maintaining hygiene were nothing to these young soul masters. They were ﬁghting for glory in this competition. The losing team would lose the glory of their class!
Class 3 or 4 wouldn’t participate in this competition. If they weren’t auxiliary-type soul masters, they possessed miscellaneous martial souls. They weren’t in a position to challenge the assault-type, control-type, defense-type and agility-type soul masters in the ﬁrst and second classes.
Zhou Yi and Mu Jin were rivals in love in the past. Zhou Yi also had a hot temper. After being provoked by Mu Jin, she accepted the challenge impulsively. But she immediately regretted agreeing to the challenge. She would naturally be unafraid if Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao were in the academy. Since Class 2 had Dai Huabin, Xie Huanyue, Zhu Lu and the others, Class 1 would have an absolute advantage only if 7 members were selected to compete. But she had lost three of her most outstanding students, negating her advantage in this competition. It was rumored that Dai Huabin’s soul power had reached Rank 39 after a period of tireless cultivation. He might become Shrek Academy’s youngest soul ancestor ever.
Dai Huabin was very strong himself. No one from Class 1 could win against him in a one-on-one situation. In addition, he and Zhu Lu possessed the Netherworld White Tiger. In a 7 v 7 team battle, it would take a miracle for Class 1 to win.
But Zhou Yi couldn’t take back her words. With Zhou Yi’s temper, she couldn’t back off even if she regretted her decision! That’s why she could only try to relieve the pressure. She ﬁgured that losing the competition wasn’t the end of the world, and it was enough if her students managed to unleash their rightful abilities. She would keep an eye on the competition and prevent her students from getting hurt.
Zhou Yi heard from Fan Yu that Huo Yuhao and the other two were back, but they were taken to Sea God’s Island. Fan Yu was also unclear why they hadn’t returned to class. He only told Zhou Yi that it was a good thing for the three of them.
Zhou Yi had asked about them several times over the past few days. While Fan Yu’s status wasn’t low in the Soul Tool Department, he still didn’t have the right to inquire about news from the Sea God’s Pavilion. The competition was coming soon, and she couldn’t hesitate any further. That’s why she had to start picking her members.
Zhou Sichen revealed a cheeky look on his face after he heard
Zhou Yi’s words. He scanned the class, and there was a myriad of expressions from the other students. Some dodged his gaze, while some begged him to spare them. They were not afraid of competing, but who was willing to throw their own face knowing that they were bound to lose?
Zhou Sichen lifted his hand and tapped on Cao Jinxuan beside him. He said with an awe-inspiring look on his face, “Brother, we might not have been born on the same day or at the same time. But we hope to die on the same day and time. Follow me into battle.”
Cao Jinxuan’s lips trembled a little as he lifted his head to glare at Zhou Sichen. He seemed to subvocalize something to him. Zhou Sichen could only subtly make out that Cao Jinxuan was cursing his father. He tried his best to withhold his laughter before looking at the rest.
Zhou Yi seemed to relinquish her authority and allowed Zhou Sichen to choose as he pleased. She also approved of Zhou Sichen in her heart, as he was quite capable. He made a conscious decision to choose Cao Jinxuan. Cao Jinxuan was his best friend, while this competition didn’t bode well. By choosing Cao Jinxuan ﬁrst, what could the others say if they were chosen next?
“Lan Susu, Lan Luoluo. The two of you shall come along too. The two of you shall complement Little Cao, who will be the main controller.”
Lan Susu and Lan Luoluo nodded their heads lightly. They were well-liked in class, and they were also very good- tempered, which made them close to the rest. Although everyone was still young, there were many male students who had already developed a liking towards them. Once they were picked up, there were immediately a few who volunteered themselves to be their chaperone.
Zhou Sichen very quickly picked out the strongest three. They were all assault-type soul masters. Thus, their team of 7 was formed.
There were 4 assault-type and 3 control-type soul masters. This was a rather good combination of assault-type and control-type soul masters.
Zhou Yi nodded and said, “Alright, the 7 of you shall practice in the afternoon. Tomorrow’s competition shall depend on the 7 of you. There’s no punishment for losing, but the reward for
winning is being relieved of your cleaning duties in the class. Class has ended. Everyone is free to do what you want. The 7 of you, follow me.”
After she ﬁnished speaking, Zhou Yi turned around. While she wasn’t conﬁdent in tomorrow’s competition, she didn’t want to give up either. She was making her last-minute preparations and giving tips on how her students should work with one another. Zhou Sichen, Cao Jinxuan, Lan Susu and Lan Luoluo were all the academy’s core disciples even though their overall strength was inferior to their opponents’. They were not that bad themselves either! They were all close to Rank 30.
Class 2 was also choosing their team, although the atmosphere was different from Class 1. They managed to pick their choices much more easily.
Mu Jin stood behind the podium and chose her team members directly, “Dai Huabin, Zhu Lu, Xie Huanyue, Wu Feng, Huang Chutian, Cui Yajie and Long Xiangyue. The 7 of you shall compete tomorrow. I won’t say too many motivational words. If all of you don’t want to continue living in Class 1’s shadow, then give it your all. I want to see if Zhou Yi still dares to be complacent in front of me.”
Dai Huabin sat quietly in the last row. He appeared much steadier now, and had lost some of the arrogance that he had had in the past. A greater sense of gloominess was revealed in his eyes as he blinked. He also seemed to be less magnanimous compared to his elder brother, Dai Yueheng.
But one couldn’t deny his talent in cultivation. He was even better than his seniors. His Rank 39 soul power wasn’t a joke; that was his true cultivation. Although it wasn’t easy to rise from Rank 39 to Rank 40, Dai Huabin was determined to do so before he entered the third year. He wanted to obtain his fourth soul ring.
Dai Huabin was deeply convinced that his superiority in cultivation to Huo Yuhao meant that Huo Yuhao couldn’t beat him even if he possessed twin martial souls or was extremely gifted.
Dai Huabin believed that he was never inferior to Huo Yuhao before. It was more of a coincidence. If it were a pure one-on- one battle, he believed that Huo Yuhao wouldn’t be his match.
Dai Huabin was ﬁlled with jealousy and hate as he thought of how Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao took part in the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament even though they weren’t as powerful as him. It was just that they had left for so long, but hadn’t returned. Did they perish in the tournament? After he humiliated Class 1 tomorrow, it would be time for him to make a trip and inquire about the tournament results.
He had been keeping a low proﬁle ever since it was known that he had instructed someone to attack Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong. He cultivated tirelessly, and rarely made any contact with the outside world. On the other hand, Dai Yueheng was
instructed not to reveal any information about the tournament after he returned to the inner courtyard, and went into retreat in the inner courtyard due to pressure from his upcoming graduation. That’s why no one from the outer courtyard knew anything about the academy in the tournament. The academy
only announced that they had returned as champions, but didn’t reveal any of the details of the process. There was nothing extraordinary about Shrek becoming champions in many of the students’ eyes.
In reality, it was not only Dai Huabin from Class 2 that resented Class 1. Zhu Lu, Xie Huanyue, Wu Feng and Huang Chutian – who used to be the Lan sisters’ partner, but was also chased out like Wu Feng – all possessed hatred towards Class 1. Class 1 only had assault-type and control-type soul masters, but they had defensive-type and agility-type soul masters in addition to those two. Although they lacked any auxiliary-type soul masters, they still formed a rather powerful team. The importance of an auxiliary-type soul master had also dwindled due to the development of soul tools. There were fewer and fewer auxiliary-type soul masters in the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament.
The weather was a little hazy, but the air was very fresh. It carried a slight moisture from Sea God’s Lake. When inhaled, it left one feeling relaxed and refreshed.
Many students were already gathered at the Soul Dueling Area within Shrek Academy’s outer courtyard in the early morning. They were all from the second grade of the outer courtyard, and it wasn’t just the students from the ﬁrst and second classes. Students from the third and fourth classes were also gathered here. Their reason was very simple – they were here to observe and learn.
Zhou Yi gave off a very cold and rigid look when she wore a mask. It was as if she was warning everyone not to come close to her. Zhou Sichen and the others were already prepared beside her, but it was obvious that they were still a little anxious from the looks on their faces.
The students from Class 2 were a little late. Under Mu Jin’s leadership, Dai Huabin and the rest were all feeling very competitive. Even the rest of the students behind them were all in high spirits, and looked very proud.
It wasn’t a surprise that they were like that. The ﬁrst class of every grade in the outer courtyard was always the strongest, and they were always superior to the other classes. But it was a little special for Class 2 in the second grade. Class 2’s abilities were greatly increased because Dai Huabin, Huang Chutian, Wu Feng and the other core disciples that had been chased out of Zhou Yi’s class. This also developed their competitive streak. Although their overall abilities were still incomparable, Class 2 still possessed an advantage in today’s competition.
Many of Class 2’s students reckoned that Class 1 wouldn’t be able to match up to them even if Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao were present. That’s because only 7 team members could be selected. After all, Huo Yuhao and Xiao Xiao only had 2 soul rings. In Class 2, it was not only Dai Huabin who had managed to reach an astounding Rank 39 soul power. Xie Huanyue was slightly lousier at Rank 35, but was still commendable. The two of them were the top two in the second grade. Wu Feng and Huang Chutian had crossed the Rank 30 mark, whereas Zhu Lu and Cui Yajie were only slightly off from Rank 30 at Rank 29. Zhou Sichen and Cao Jinxuan managed to reach Rank 28, and were among the top few agility-type students. They were also chosen to compete this time. The depth of Class 2’s strength was obvious.
On the contrary, the greatest strength of Class 1 was that the average cultivation of the entire class was above Rank 25. But none of them were above Rank 30 as of now. Zhou Sichen, Cao Jinxuan, Lan Susu and Lan Luoluo were all Rank 29, while the other 3 were Rank 28. There was a huge gap in both team’s
abilities. Wang Dong, Huo Yuhao and Xiao Xiao would make it
better if they were here. After all, Wang Dong had crossed the Rank 30 mark, and Huo Yuhao and Xiao Xiao both had twin martial souls. They would have a ﬁghting chance.
Class 1’s morale was extremely low, which was a stark contrast from Class 2. All of them lacked energy, which revealed their despondence.
Zhou Yi’s expression couldn’t be seen, as she wore a mask. But she already regretted her decision. She was naturally aware of the disparity in the abilities of both classes. She regretted her impulsiveness for agreeing to the challenge after Mu Jin provoked her. She wasn’t afraid of losing, but the impact on the students’ ﬁghting spirit if they lost. However, she wasn’t fully devoid of conﬁdence. She recalled Fan Yu mentioning that Xiao Xiao had ended her retreat. She had asked him to ﬁnd her in the inner courtyard yesterday. But why were they not back?
“Teacher Zhou.” Mu Jin brought her 7 team members in front of Zhou Yi at this point. She appeared calm, but the complacency in her eyes couldn’t be concealed.
“Teacher Mu.” Zhou Yi answered indifferently.
Mu Jin looked at the 7 behind Zhou Yi and revealed a slight smile on her face. “Eh, there should be a few students with decent cultivations in Teacher Zhou’s class if I remember correctly. Where are they? Were they expelled because they made some mistakes?”
Zhou Yi revealed a cold look in her eyes. Mu Jin was asking an obvious question, “Teacher Mu, you don’t have to worry about this. How my students are is my problem .”
Mu Jin smiled and replied, “You can’t put it this way. Teacher Zhou, the students in every class across all grades are the most brilliant talents that have been picked out. Their development is extremely crucial. Although I’m in charge of Class 2, it’s also necessary for me to be concerned about the academy’s future. However, our grade is a little special. In terms of overall abilities, Class 1 is strongest. But Class 2 is better in terms of high-end combat strength. There are already
4 students in my class that are Rank 30 and above. It seems like Teacher Zhou is still incomparable to me in terms of nurturing outstanding students.”
Behind Zhou Yi, Zhou Sichen couldn’t help but say, “Teacher Mu, Dai Huabin and the rest…”
“Shut up.” Zhou Yi interrupted him.
Zhou Sichen was shocked, and didn’t dare to speak anymore. His eyes were ﬁlled with indignance. Teacher Mu’s skin was extremely thick. Out of the 4 students from Class 2 that were Rank 30 and above, 3 of them came from Class 1. The only exception was Xie Huanyue. It was just that these 3 were chased out by Zhou Yi.
Mu Jin laughed uncontrollably. “Teacher Zhou, your teaching attitude is undesirable. How can you stop your student from speaking? This would not happen in my class. We have to preach democracy. If your students cannot adapt to your teaching style, they can ﬁnd me in Class 2. The doors to Class 2 are always open.”
Zhou Yi turned more and more dismal under the mask, and she said coldly, “Teacher Mu, you’re full of nonsense. As Shrek Academy’s teacher, aren’t you aware that soul power rank doesn’t represent everything?”
Mu Jin straightened her look, “Good, I was waiting for you to say that. We shall meet in the Soul Dueling Area. I want to see how your students can prove to me that soul power rank doesn’t represent everything.”
“They will prove it to you. We’ll prove this point to you, Teacher Mu.” A crisp voice rang out at this moment. The students behind Zhou Yi stood aside and created a path. Three people walked towards them with big steps.
Zhou Yi’s fury that was about to erupt instantly turned into a bellyful of surprise when she saw the 3 of them. She couldn’t help but scream, “You three rascals still know when to return!”
Three students wearing second grade uniforms quickly walked over as they were surrounded by excited Class 1 students. They were led by Huo Yuhao, while Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao followed behind.
Xiao Xiao had only undergone her retreat for slightly more than 30 days, but Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong had been secluded for more than 60 days. That’s why their abilities had increased so signiﬁcantly.
Xiao Xiao hadn’t left after she ﬁnished her retreat. She had remained on Sea God’s Island to absorb her soul bone. She was supposed to return to the outer courtyard after she ﬁnished absorbing the power of the soul bone, but she was retained by Elder Mu. He invited the strongest auxiliary-type soul master in the Sea God’s Pavilion to guide her personally in her cultivation. Since she had chosen to be an auxiliary-type soul master, she had to learn vastly different things from what she did before.
There was another reason why Elder Mu kept her in the inner courtyard. That was because both her and Huo Yuhao’s cultivation had reached a bottleneck. After Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong ended their retreat, Elder Mu was going to instruct someone to bring them to hunt suitable soul beasts to enhance their soul rings.
After Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong ended their retreat, they both absorbed their respective soul bones before reuniting with Xiao Xiao outside of the Sea God’s Pavilion. Elder Mu gave
them a few days to rest and allowed them to readjust themselves. They went to obtain their third soul rings after that. It was also at this point that Fan Yu reached the inner courtyard and found Xiao Xiao.
Fan Yu didn’t tell Zhou Yi that Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong had ended their retreat, as he wanted to give her a surprise. At this point, Zhou Yi’s best students had ﬁnally returned.
Chapter 132: Class Stand-off
“Teacher Zhou.” Huo Yuhao arrived before Zhou Yi and bowed to her respectfully.
It had been more than three months since they had left the academy. Zhou Yi looked at Huo Yuhao and the two others. The suffering that they had endured over the past three months had clearly made them calmer, and it even felt like they had grown taller. The determined look in their eyes astonished Zhou Yi even more – that was an expression of unwavering faith and unshakable belief! She had only seen this kind of look from inner courtyard disciples before.
Her amazement was ampliﬁed because they were familiar. Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao seemed to have transformed in Zhou Yi’s eyes. They had shed their youth and inexperience, and they had truly become restrained and mature. Even though they were only children who were not even thirteen years of age, Zhou Yi could see the embryonic shadows of top-ranked soul masters in them.
“Glad to see everyone back.” Zhou Yi realized that her voice was a little shaky when she said these words. Huo Yuhao,
Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao had been the most outstanding students she had ever mentored since she became a teacher in Shrek’s outer courtyard. Zhou Yi placed a lot of hope and faith on the three of them – but greater hope meant greater disappointment. Zhou Yi was far too worried during the three months that they weren’t around, but her position inside the academy was not high enough, and she couldn’t possibly know too many secrets.
She only heard about their bewildering performance from Fan Yu after the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament’s conclusion. She was ﬁlled with pride – she was one who had taught them, and they were her students! She longed for their return, and even the thought that the academy could take them into the inner courtyard crossed her mind.
The three of them had ﬁnally returned. When Fan Yu told Zhou Yi that Elder Xuan had decided to let the three of them continue learning in the outer courtyard, Zhou Yi was so excited that she didn’t sleep for the whole night. However, their subsequent closed-door cultivation would take nearly two months. The relationship between Zhou Yi and the three of them wasn’t just a normal teacher-student relationship anymore; there was a special emotional attachment involved. She felt as if she were a mother watching her children grow up.
Zhou Yi was exhilarated, but Mu Jin’s expression was a little dark. The initially proud look in her eyes had clearly changed. She could tell that Huo Yuhao and the two others’ personalities and demeanors were quite different from before, and her conﬁdence in absolute victory immediately took a hit.
Dai Huabin stepped forward and whispered in her ear, “We will deﬁnitely emerge victorious, Teacher Mu. We will win even if we have to sacriﬁce everything.”
Mu Jin’s eyes sparkled as she glanced at him, and Dai Huabin nodded his head forcefully. Mu Jin could see roaring ﬂames in his eyes – how incredible was that ﬁghting spirit?
Dai Huabin had never accepted Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong. Their appearance completely unleashed every ounce of his ﬁghting spirit.
Mu Jin grunted coldly and said, “Honesty is the best policy, Teacher Zhou. It seems like you are preparing a trump card especially for me. It is truly unexpected that Teacher Zhou is starting to employ battle tactics.” Huo Yuhao and the two
others had been back for quite a while from her perspective, but Zhou Yi had hidden them away.
What was Zhou Yi’s temperament? She wouldn’t explain anything to Mu Jin as she answered plainly, “Didn’t you just say that we would meet in the Soul Dueling Area? I believe my students will prove to you that soul power rank isn’t everything.”
“Hmph.” Mu Jin grunted indignantly before she took Dai Huabin and the six others, as well as the rest of Class 2’s students, directly towards the Soul Dueling Area,
“You’re ﬁnally back, big brother Huo.” Zhou Sichen pounced on Huo Yuhao and immediately gave him a bear hug. He had been the interim class monitor, and he had felt the pressure from this contest most acutely. Huo Yuhao’s return made him feel like the onset of spring, and both his mental and psychological pressure immediately vanished into thin air.
The other Class 1 students swiftly circled around and began to ask about everything. Morale was initially low, but it immediately skyrocketed. When everybody entered the academy as freshmen, everyone witnessed Huo Yuhao’s toils
and utmost efforts in cultivation, and his subsequent improvements, with their own eyes. Huo Yuhao had never let them down ever since he became the class monitor. Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao’s return instantly gave them all a mainstay.
If one described a class as a constructed room, then Huo Yuhao and the other two were its toughest pillar. The three of them could carry the entire class on their backs.
Huo Yuhao and Zhou Sichen hugged and he chortled, “The academy only gave us a single task. It was delayed because of some things. Let’s go – we shall go in ﬁrst, so we don’t keep Class 2’s students waiting.”
Zhou Sichen hammered his ﬁst on Huo Yuhao’s shoulder and said, “Are you conﬁdent in taking them out, big brother Huo? You have no idea – Dai Huabin and the others have been stomping around as if their victory was assured when you weren’t around. I have been patient with them for far too long. You have to lead us and teach them a lesson.”
Cao Jinxuan never forgot to tease his buddy. “Some people are just so shameless. Someone was just anxious like a lady
about to enter a marriage sedan, and now he’s become an eager pervert.”
“Will you die if you shut up?” Zhou Sichen shot him a glare.
Cao Jinxuan chuckled, “Yes.”
Huo Yuhao guffawed and said, “Conﬁdence isn’t something that hangs from our mouths. We have to prove it with actual substance. Come, let’s proceed.” He waved one hand and followed closely behind Zhou Yi as he led Class 1’s students into the Soul Dueling Area, and everyone behind him walked in with grandiose majesty.
Class 3 and Class 4 were enjoying the show from one side before this. The person standing at Class 3’s forefront was their class monitor, Ning Tian, who possessed the Seven Treasures Glazed Pagoda martial soul.
A small girl with a dainty frame beside Ning Tian whispered, “Sister Tian’er, Huo Yuhao and the others actually returned on time. Who do you think will win?”
Ning Tian’s eyes had been following Huo Yuhao this whole time till his shadow disappeared from sight. “It’s hard to say. Huo Yuhao’s true strength is a little mysterious, and his spiritual-type soul skills are also very unique. However, Class 2 are still stronger in terms of battle prowess, unless Huo Yuhao and Xiao Xiao obtained their third rings. Huo Yuhao has become Class 1’s absolute core, and he can even be said to be their spiritual leader. Class 1’s morale is a lot different with him around, and the participants’ ﬁghting strength will thus naturally be fully unleashed.”
The dainty girl giggled and said, “Spiritual leader? Just like you and Class 3? It’s a pity that ﬁghting is not our forte. If not, how interesting would it be to face them in battle?”
Ning Tian’s eyes squinted a little and she replied, “Don’t worry, that day will come. Come, let’s go inside.” Class 3 and Class 4’s teachers were not around, as both classes weren’t directly involved in the contest. Ning Tian waved her hand and led both Class 3 and Class 4 inside. These two classes’ ﬁghting strengths couldn’t be compared to Class 1 and Class 2, as the latter’s main curriculum was ﬁghting. However, especially with an extraordinarily powerful class monitor like Ning Tian, Class 3 and Class 4’s cohesiveness was still quite impressive.
Over a hundred students from Class 4 quickly entered the Soul Dueling Area. Everybody stepped onto the spectator’s grandstand, other than the two participating parties.
Zhou Sichen and Cao Jinxuan both wanted to participate. If not, they would have immediately opened a gambling ring or something of the sort in the spectator’s grandstand, even though it was just for entertainment purposes, and wouldn’t be for money. They would unquestionably stake everything on Class 1 if they were betting. This had nothing to with relative strength – it was about team honor and glory.
“Arrange our battle strategy, big brother Huo.” Zhou Sichen handed the mantle of class monitor back to Huo Yuhao without hesitation once the three of them returned, as if it were a burden. The seven participants representing Class 1 were Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, Xiao Xiao, Zhou Sichen, Cao Jinxuan, Lan Susu, and her sister, Lan Luoluo.
Zhou Sichen, Cao Jinxuan, Lan Susu and her sister had ﬁre in their eyes, while Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao shared the same expression.
Their performance during the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament was exemplary, but that stage was still too immense for Huo Yuhao and the others. That competition was far too challenging, and it wasn’t a competition that they should be participating in at their level. The truth was that luck had played a substantial part in their stellar performance and them bringing back the championship
in the end.
If both Xiao Hongchen and his sister weren’t injured before the last round – and Xiao Hongchen was actually severely wounded – they wouldn’t have emerged victorious even if they had unleashed their two martial soul fusion skills.
It was different this time. They were back, and they had returned to Shrek Academy, and they were still Year 2 students. What they had to do now was ﬁght against others of the same age group. They had been through the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament. How could they feel even an inch of pressure now? Huo Yuhao had become the absolute dictator, and the three of them would have an absolute impact on the outcome of the battle. They were at the pinnacle of their age group, and their current circumstance weren’t something that could be compared to the pressure they felt during the Continental Advanced Soul
Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament. This battle was exhilarating to them, if it could be described with one word.
“There’s no need to arrange anything. Just follow my instincts during the contest,” Huo Yuhao said with a smile on his face.
Zhou Sichen was a little taken aback. If these words came from someone else’s mouth, they would have given others a condescending or arrogant feeling. However, Huo Yuhao spoke as if it was a matter of fact. Huo Yuhao himself didn’t feel anything special after saying those words.
Lan Susu covered her mouth and giggled. “Your dominance is overﬂowing, class monitor.”
Huo Yuhao chuckled and replied, “It’s good to let it leak out a little.”
Zhou Yi stood by the side and watched the youthful and adolescent children. She had no intention of interrupting them, as she was acutely aware of what Huo Yuhao and the two others had done in the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament. The contest they were about to participate in was not a big deal to them at all. Mu Jin, heh heh.
“It’s about time. Let’s go.” Wang Dong was overﬂowing with ﬁghting spirit, and he bounced on the tips of his toes as he spoke.
The teachers from both classes led their respective participants into the Soul Dueling Area. The clamorous commotions on the spectator’s grandstand instantly quieted down.
There was no doubt that this contest represented a battle at the highest level amongst all of Year 2’s classes. With the return of Huo Yuhao and the others, both classes’ standards didn’t appear all that different. Everybody wanted to see which class had made faster progress after half a year of cultivation.
Nobody noticed several people slinking into a dark corner inside the spectator’s grandstand – were they not the Martial Soul Department’s Dean, Yan Shaozhe, and the teaching director, Du Weilun?
Du Weilun knew about everything that went on within the Martial Soul Department. If Du Weilun knew about everything, that naturally meant that Yan Shaozhe was aware as well.
The reason that Yan Shaozhe had placed so much emphasis on the outer courtyard’s Class 1 was undoubtedly because of Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao. Dean Yan was here to witness the results of their closed-door cultivation.
Du Weilun whispered, “Dean, why don’t we just watch the battle from the podium?”
Yan Shaozhe shook his head and replied, “Forget it. The children may be spooked if we come out ofﬁcially. I don’t want to affect Huo Yuhao and the others’ daily training in the outer courtyard. I want to take them to the Great Star Dou Forest
after this contest, and hopefully they will beneﬁt from the expedition.”
Du Weilun heaved a sigh and said, “I didn’t see that coming!”
Yan Shaozhe smiled. Yes! He had never expected Huo Yuhao to grow at such dazzling speed over the course of a little more than a year. He hadn’t thought much of Huo Yuhao before, but now even his own master held Huo Yuhao in high regard.
Both parties had arrived on stage at this point.
Mu Jin said, “Teacher Zhou, shall the two of us be the judges for this competition? We will rescue our own students if something unfortunate happens during the contest.”
Zhou Yi nodded and answered, “Okay.”
Mu Jin’s eyes sparkled. “We are deﬁnitely going to win.”
Zhou Yi said plainly, “I wonder if you will be personally present when we clean up the Year 2 teaching block.”
“We shall see.”
These two competitive teachers ordered their students to retreat and distance themselves from each other.
Dai Huabin stood at the forefront of Class 2’s seven participants. His eyes were ﬂaring with hysterical belligerence as he stared at Huo Yuhao.
Huo Yuhao didn’t match his gaze. He closed his eyes, as if he were contemplating something.
The Soul Dueling Area’s arena was a lot bigger than the one in the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament. The stage was circular, and this enabled the competition to develop more smoothly.
The seven people from Class 2 had clearly been through teamwork drills that boosted their chemistry. Dai Huabin stood at the very front, while Wu Feng was on his left side and Huang Chutian stood on his right. Three assault-type Soul Elders stood shoulder-to-shoulder, and created a powerful and invisible form of pressure.
Zhu Lu, Cui Yajie, and Long Xiangyue stood behind them, and they were all agility-type soul masters. Xie Huanyue, who was a defense-type soul master, was positioned at the back to anchor the lineup.
The formation was a little peculiar – a 3-3-1 formation was a rare sight. However, one couldn’t disregard their overall ﬁghting strength.
Huo Yuhao and company walked back side by side as well. Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao stood beside Huo Yuhao, while the others calmly awaited Huo Yuhao’s orders.
Both parties retreated to the Soul Dueling Area’s borders.
Mu Jin and Zhou Yi raised their right hands at the same time. Their gazes met as they exclaimed in unison, “Begin!”
Seven people lunged forward from Class 2. Dai Huabin was at the vanguard, and he released his martial soul as he pounced forward. White fur mixed with black patterns covered his entire body, and a black “King” character appeared on his forehead, making him unnaturally ferocious – he suddenly became a lot more intimidating and overbearing. One couldn’t fail to mention that he was the White Tiger Duke’s son, and he was an outstanding student in terms of both talent, ﬁghting spirit and determination. Huo Yuhao had defeated him many times, but each defeat made him even more determined and resolute, as if defeat consistently fueled and triggered his ﬁghting spirit.
Two yellow soul rings and one purple soul ring sparkled as soul power surged and rippled across his body. It felt as if his soul power could transform three soul rings into four at any time.
The dragon scales on Wu Feng’s body were conspicuously more numerous. Two yellow soul rings and a purple soul ring glowed as ﬁre seemed to pour directly from her eyes, while dense and ﬁery-red soul power circled around her body and
burned vigorously. The hate she harbored towards Huo Yuhao was second only to Dai Huabin. Of course, this hatred only came from her unconvinced attitude and her unwillingness to submit, rather than Dai Huabin’s intense feeling of humiliation.
Huang Chutian’s soul power was black. The Herculean Ape martial soul made his body extremely strong. He wasn’t inferior to Dai Huabin in terms of size and volume, and three soul rings sparkled at the same time. Unlike the others, he shot a ferocious gaze towards Zhou Yi. Never in his life would he forget the time when Zhou Yi had chased him from the class, and it was because of this that he cultivated as much as he could inside Class 2, and ﬁnally broke through Rank 30. From his perspective, his opportunity for vengeance was here, and he wanted Zhou Yi to see that expelling him from her class back then had been a dreadful decision.
The seven participants from Class 1 released their respective martial souls as Huo Yuhao roared, “Go!”
Class 2’s students felt a chill run down their spines as they watched Huo Yuhao’s two white soul rings glow. Ten year soul rings represented weakness on other people, but were Huo Yuhao’s white soul rings really ten year soul rings?
Class 1 was originally formed up in one row, but their formation started to change in the blink of an eye. Huo Yuhao was a control-type soul master, but he led the entire pack with Wang Dong while the other ﬁve instantly experienced the wonders of Spiritual Detection Sharing.
Nobody needed Huo Yuhao to give out instructions – everybody’s positions were already in place.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong stood in front of everyone. Zhou Sichen, Cao Jinxuan and Xiao Xiao formed the second row, while Lan Susu and Lan Luoluo were at the back; it was a 2-3-2 formation.
Class 2’s overall strength was formidable, but they had an obvious weakness – they didn’t have a control-type soul master. Huo Yuhao’s party had four control-type soul masters, and that was excluding Xiao Xiao.
Mu Jin and Zhou Yi didn’t sit around idly. They released their respective martial souls and followed their students closely. Their students were extraordinary prodigies, and most of them were the outer courtyard’s core disciples. How could
they answer to their superiors if something happened to these children? Mu Jin was a six-ringed Soul Emperor, just like Zhou Yi.
Both parties retreated at a normal pace, but their forward movement was as quick as lightning. Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong pushed forth side by side, while his left hand grabbed onto Wang Dong’s right hand right before their opponents’ watchful eyes. Thick and violent soul energy instantly rippled from their bodies.
Both sides were within ﬁfty meters of each other at this point. Huo Yuhao swung his left hand, and Wang Dong’s body ﬂew into the air with the force of his toss. The Radiant Butterﬂy Goddess’ wings closed inwards, and he immediately hugged Huo Yuhao.
Brilliant radiance exploded within a sphere of ﬁve meters in diameter with the two of them as the center. Their bodies released a unique glow, and it was a peculiar luster that phased between blue, purple and gold.
An enormous light appeared behind Wang Dong. It was a complete, elegant and impeccable Radiant Butterﬂy Goddess.
A large shadow of a vertical eye shimmered behind Huo Yuhao. The vertical eye’s entire body was golden, but its pupils emanated a plain purple hue.
Two gigantic lights glimmered at the same time and lunged forward.
“Move away!” Dai Huabin howled without hesitation, and his forward movement immediately transformed into a ﬂank.
This wasn’t the ﬁrst time such a peculiar transformation had occurred with Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong. They had relied on this transformation during the freshman’s assessment back then to defeat Dai Huabin, Zhu Lu, and Cui Yajie with this single strike, and eventually became the ultimate freshman champions. It was natural that Dai Huabin reacted like he did when the two of them used the same technique once again.
However, just as he was feeling astonished, Dai Huabin felt that Huo Yuhao was insane. The competition had only just begun, and Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong had already unleashed their martial soul fusion skill. Furthermore, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s Golden Road fusion skill was formidable, but it
was only one strike, and it only attacked in a straight line, and most of their soul power would be consumed afterwards. Who fought like that? Was he insane? Did he really think that they would maintain their original positions for him to hit us?
Dai Huabin’s movement was swift, but Class 2’s participants weren’t slow either. Seven ﬁgures darted to the side almost at the same time, and everyone gave up their central positions. Everyone was afraid to be hit by that radiant Golden Road.
The lustrous three-colored golden light had appeared, but it only surged out for two meters before it dissipated in midair.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong returned to their original form. They weren’t using a martial soul fusion skill at all, and both of them didn’t even connect to each other to channel the Haodong power. They blitzed past half the entire arena within that tiny period of time, and his team’s current position was where Dai Huabin and the others had quickly dispersed and before they leapt towards different spots.
It was a perfect Imitation. Huo Yuhao had become much more adept with Spirit Eyes’ functions and applications as his spiritual power increased. He completely understood his soul
skills’ powers after they were boosted beyond their maximal year after his closed-door cultivation, and his Imitation’s area of effect was increased from a diameter of three meters to ﬁve meters.
When Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong unleashed the Golden Road, the initial radiance could cover an area up to 10 meters in diameter. But Dai Huabin and the others naturally wouldn’t know the exact ﬁgure.
The best way to avoid the Golden Road was to leap to either side. This was what Dai Huabin and the others did.
Dai Huabin, Wu Feng, Zhu Lu and Xie Huanyue all leapt to the left, while Huang Chutian, Cui Yajie and Long Xiangyue leapt to the right. The 7 of them were separated now, and acted freely on their own. What formation was there to speak of now?
An intense blue halo was emitted from behind Class 1. Countless blue streaks turned into a huge net that stretched towards one side. The net covered Huang Chutian, Long Xiangyue and Cui Yajie. This was the Hairnet unleashed by Lan Susu and Lan Luoluo.
Class 1 managed to unleash their full strength under Huo Yuhao’s dispatch. Cao Jinxuan’s Time-Elapsing Clock rose up silently behind him. His second soul ring ﬂashed with a yellow light. The light distorted and landed on Huang Chutian. It was the Time Lock.
Huang Chutian was very familiar with Lan Susu and Lan Luoluo. The Hairnet was this pair of sisters’ ﬁrst soul skill. Although it was very restrictive, it could still be overcome with enough force. But everything around him seemed to go still just as he was about to unleash his power. He stood there in a daze without moving too. Cao Jinxuan’s Time Lock had locked time.
Cao Jinxuan was able to become a core disciple of the outer courtyard because of his magical Time-Elasping Clock’s special time-type soul skill. It couldn’t be shaken off easily. Even though Huang Chutian’s cultivation was above his, he was still paralyzed for two seconds in front of the Time Lock.
These two seconds were enough for the Hairnet to be put to use.
Long Xiangyue and Cui Yajie seemed to have become dazed, and the Hairnet descended on them. They were both agility- type soul masters, and didn’t possess Huang Chutian’s strength. They were helpless after they were covered by the Lan sisters’ Hairnet. It was even too late for Huang Chutian after he was trapped. Countless needle-like strands of hair also quickly blocked their sensitive areas. It was the Lan sisters’ second soul skill, Pierce. Huang Chutian might be very strong, but he was a strength-type soul master, and not a defense-type soul master. He didn’t dare to use his body to test the close- range, all-around attack of the Pierce.
3 out of the 7 were already down, including a Soul Elder. It couldn’t be much simpler than this.
Mu Jin was totally stunned. What was going on?
Huo Yuhao’s actions didn’t stop. He used Imitation to scam his opponents ﬁrst before using the Spiritual Detection Sharing to help the Lan sisters’ Hairnet to determine their precise location and enable Cao Jinxuan to use the Time Lock to paralyze Huang Chutian. He unleashed his Spiritual Interference to affect Long Xiangyue and Cui Yajie. He did all this in one shot without stopping.
As he was doing all this, he burst towards Dai Huabin and the others along with Wang Dong, Xiao Xiao and Zhou Sichen.
Dai Huabin let out a tiger’s roar. He twisted his head and burst towards Huo Yuhao. Zhu Lu chased after Dai Huabin hurriedly, whereas Xie Huanyue and Wu Feng stayed close to the both of them. Although 3 of them had lost their ability to ﬁght, the remaining 4 of them were the core of the team’s abilities. They were not totally helpless if they banded together. After all, this was just a competition, and their lives were not at stake. Class 1 had also used 3 members to control Huang Chutian and the other two. They believed that they still had a ﬁghting chance.
Xiao Xiao’s Ninephoenix Worshipping Flute sounded at this point. The four of them reduced their speed quickly. Following that, a huge cauldron appeared and divided into 3 parts instantly. It was the Threelives Soulcrush Cauldron.
Even Wang Dong couldn’t use both his martial souls at the same time in the past. Only Huo Yuhao could control the appearance of both his martial souls using his Spirit Eyes’ immense spiritual power. However, Xiao Xiao managed to do so now.
Perhaps her limelight was always taken by Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong. But she still possessed twin martial souls.
The three cauldrons were positioned in the worst possible positions for Dai Huabin and the other 3. They were completely separated from one another because of the 3 cauldrons, and the cauldrons were also accurately placed in the paths that they had to cross to reach one another.
They had to stop, as they were intercepted at high speed. In addition, Xiao Xiao had grasped the precise timing to make her move because of Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection Sharing.
Dai Huabin burst forward on his own, while his 3 teammates behind him stalled for a second and were stopped by the Threelives Soulcrush Cauldron.
It seemed as if he was purposely left on his own, and he wasn’t even aware of it.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong advanced together. While Huo Yuhao used the Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track to advance
towards Dai Huabin, Wang Dong had already disappeared behind him.
Dai Huabin might possess a strong ﬁghting will, but he was still petriﬁed when he had to face Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong. He roared and unleashed both his ﬁrst and third soul skills— the White Tiger’s Shield and White Tiger’s Vajra Transformation, causing a sharp aura to instantly arise.
Dai Yueheng and Dai Huabin possessed the same ﬁrst 3 soul skills. But Huo Yuhao didn’t feel any pressure against Dai Huabin now.
Dai Huabin’s aura was even more acute than Dai Yueheng’s, but it lacked the steadiness and reservation of Dai Yueheng’s aura, which resembled a suppressed volcano.
Dai Huabin’s second soul ring also lit up as he roared at a distance of 3 meters from Huo Yuhao. The White Tiger’s Fierce Light Wave surged towards Huo Yuhao.
However, he couldn’t conceal any of his actions with the Spiritual Detection Sharing around. Huo Yuhao slipped 3 feet
laterally and avoided the White Tiger’s Fierce Light Wave. He also inched closer to Dai Huabin.
Dai Huabin sensed an abrupt, sharp aura and subconsciously lifted his right arm quickly.
A golden light ﬂashed before disappearing. Dai Huabin felt his right arm turning numb, and his body shook until he stopped moving.
Wang Dong’s Guillotine Wings?
An ominous feeling suddenly rose in his heart. He couldn’t see Wang Dong’s actions with Huo Yuhao’s Imitation concealing him. How could he continue to ﬁght? He was outnumbered, and Wang Dong was even a three-ringed Soul Elder. His will to win was crushed. He also discovered that Wang Dong’s soul power was much greater than before. He had put himself at a disadvantage amidst his haste.
His thoughts ran quickly as the battle continued.
When the Guillotine Wings stopped Dai Huabin, Huo Yuhao also slapped both his hands towards Dai Huabin. His palms ﬂashed with a diamond glow, as if he were wearing a pair of diamond gloves. A streak of ultimate, chilly air rose up.
Ice Empress’ Pincer
Dai Huabin used his right arm to block Wang Dong’s attack. He lifted his left arm and his claws opened wide. He didn’t dodge as he stretched his left arm forward to claw at Huo Yuhao’s chest.
His arm wasn’t much longer than Huo Yuhao’s arm, but it was different with the tiger’s claw. If Huo Yuhao continued to attack him, his own chest would also be pierced by the tiger’s claw.
Dai Huabin’s choice was right. He reckoned that Huo Yuhao couldn’t challenge him in terms of strength, even with Wang Dong’s help. Huo Yuhao had no choice but to dodge this strike. There was no other way out for him. Once Huo Yuhao stepped
back, Dai Huabin could also retreat rapidly and gather his teammates again before attacking once more. He had no more conﬁdence in ﬁghting Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong by himself.
However, Huo Yuhao didn’t hide. He clasped his palms before his left hand slapped the outer area of Dai Huabin’s left wrist. His right hand also slapped the inner area of Dai Huabin’s right arm.
Dai Huabin was delighted. He thought to himself how Huo Yuhao couldn’t blame anyone but himself for seeking death. He concentrated his soul power in his left arm. With the White Tiger’s Shield and White Tiger’s Vajra Transformation’s enhancements, the strength of his strike couldn’t be blocked easily, even by a four-ringed Soul Ancestor.
But his delight only lasted for an instant.
“Kacha, kacha.” The crisp sound of bones being crushed was very obvious in the Soul Dueling Area. Dai Huabin’s left arm was instantly distorted, and changed shape. His tiger claw was wrenched away before it could claw at Huo Yuhao’s chest as his arm was snapped.
Dai Huabin was stunned at this instant. He didn’t believe what had just happened in front of him. Furthermore, he didn’t feel an intense pain. That’s because an ultimate chill was injected into his arm as soon as it snapped, freezing his broken arm and nerves.
Huo Yuhao trampled on Dai Huabin’s body to lift himself into the air. His right shoulder knocked heavily into Dai Huabin’s chest. Dai Huabin was sent ﬂying into the air as a bang was heard. A layer of frost also covered his body instantly.
All of this happened instantly.
Who would have expected that Dai Huabin, the strongest among the Year 2 and even Year 3 students, didn’t even manage to last 3 seconds against Wang Dong and Huo Yuhao.
At this point, Zhu Lu, Wu Feng and Xie Huanyue all burst out from the trap laid by the Threelives Soulcrush Cauldron.
Zhu Lu rushed towards Dai Huabin in shock. Wu Feng rushed towards Huo Yuhao, inspired by her hatred. Xie Huanyue hesitated for a moment instead. But the three of them
were stopped by the Threelives Soulcrush Cauldron, which blocked their paths.
Class 2 appeared very disorganized. They collapsed under Class 1’s attack.
Wu Feng’s hatred towards Huo Yuhao was not any less than Dai Huabin’s. Her conﬁdence was at an all-time high after she obtained her third soul ring. A sharp dragon’s roar sounded from her mouth, and she leaped forward. She appeared in front of Huo Yuhao in the blink of an eye.
Chapter 133: A Powerful Enemy Suddenly Descends
Scorching dragon ﬂames were unleashed by her ﬁrst soul ring ability Dragonﬁre. At the same time, she unleashed her Dragonfury soul skill. This caused Wu Feng to look like a ferociously burning piece of coal.
Huo Yuhao was expressionless as he went to face Wu Feng’s charge head on. His right hand slapped forward quickly, the Ice Empress’ Pincer active again.
This seemingly simple palm strike produced a myriad of changes as it approached Wu Feng. While Wu Feng was somewhat impulsive, she was still akin to a weaker version of Ma Xiaotao; her wits weren’t lacking despite her recklessness. Much to her horror however, she realized that she couldn’t dodge Huo Yuhao’s palm strike no matter what she did. Thus, she sent a punch towards Huo Yuhao’s right palm with both of her hands in order to block his strike.
Something strange happened when she did so; Huo Yuhao’s palm suddenly disappeared, causing her ﬁsts to hit nothing but
air. After her ﬁsts had lost their power, Huo Yuhao’s palm re- appeared out of nowhere and struck her ﬁsts.
The sound that rang out was akin to a red hot coal being thrown into a basin of ice water. Steam rose up from her body, while the red glow from Wu Feng’s body retreated at a shocking speed. As things were, she couldn’t use her third soul skill now even if she wanted to.
A streak of golden light ﬂashed and struck her from the side, sending her ﬂying. This second strike had been unleashed by Wang Dong. He’d attacked Wu Feng and Dai Huabin in different manners. This was only a competition after all, which was why he hadn’t used his Guillotine Wing on Wu Feng.
Huo Yuhao turned his head and a purplish-golden radiance shone brightly from his eyes. An almost tangible ray of light ﬂashed from his pupils before disappearing. Not far from Huo Yuhao, Zhu Lu screamed in horror and collapsed to the ground, fresh blood ﬂowing from her mouth and nose.
Dai Huabin’s hopes of unleashing the Netherworld Tiger with her were dashed the moment Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Shock hit; Zhu Lu had no chance of resisting Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Shock with her Rank 29 cultivation.
Huo Yuhao’s gaze turned to Xie Huanyue, who’d burst out of the Threelives Soulcrush Cauldron’s trap. With a suggestive expression in his eyes, he asked, “Do you still want to continue?”
Xie Huanyue looked at Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong, then swallowed his saliva with difﬁculty and laughed bitterly while shaking his head.
How could they continue?
Behind Huo Yuhao, Zhou Sichen had been watching ﬁercely, but hadn’t made his move. Both Dai Huabin and Wu Feng were three-ringed Soul Elders, yet they’d been taken down before they’d even had the opportunity to unleash a second attack towards Huo Yuhao. While Xie Huanyue thought highly of himself, he didn’t think that he was stronger than Dai Huabin.
Huo Yuhao seemed to have become a new person after his disappearance; it was as if he’d transcended their age level. Xie Huanyue had thought that they’d be evenly matched, yet the match had ended in a ﬂash.
Teacher Mu Jin fell into a daze after watching the match. Huo Yuhao had not only displayed his abilities, but also his calmness and composure. Even as a teacher, she’d been petriﬁed when she saw Huo Yuhao’s gaze in battle.
It was a look ﬁlled with wisdom and farsightedness, seemingly as if everything on the battleﬁeld was under his control. And indeed, the entire match had been entirely under his control. Class 2 hadn’t even had a chance. Class 1’s seven members had held an absolute advantage over the weaker members of Class 2 throughout the match; Dai Huabin hadn’t even managed to block a single attack from Huo Yuhao throughout the whole match.
Dai Huabin’s soul power had reached Rank 39, and his White Tiger enhancemed his body. Yet, his White Tiger couldn’t overcome the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion no matter how strong it was.
The Ice Empress’ Pincer was a pure strength-type soul skill that was supplemented by the elements. Now that Huo Yuhao’s body had been enhanced by the ten thousand year Whale Rubber, Life Gold, and other such treasures, he was no longer inferior in strength to Dai Huabin. More importantly, Wang Dong was backing Huo Yuhao.
Wang Dong’s soul power had reached Rank 36, and wasn’t far off from Dai Huabin’s, while Huo Yuhao’s had reached Rank
30. The combination of their Haodong Power was overwhelmingly powerful. Even a Soul Elder wouldn’t have an easy time against Huo Yuhao’s Ice Empress’ Pincer. However, Dai Huabin had regarded himself so highly that he thought his arm capable of resisting Huo Yuhao’s Ice Empress’ Pincer. Basically, he’d sought death.
The match had ended even faster than Huo Yuhao had expected. He looked at Wang Dong, then turned to Xiao Xiao, who put away her Threelives Soulcrush Cauldron and Ninephoenix Worshipping Flute. The three of them felt that this match had been too simple; it had ended before they’d be able to unleash their full powers. Their opponents had even been the elites amongst those in their grade.
The more that this happened, the more that they understood the beneﬁts they’d obtained from participating in the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament, as well as the inﬂuence and change the closed- door cultivation had on them by letting them ﬁnd their own paths.
Zhou Sichen, Cao Jinxuan, and the Lan sisters didn’t look excited now. Rather, they were stunned. The four of them looked at one another, then turned to face Huo Yuhao, more than just friendship in their eyes. A tinge of admiration was also present.
Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection Sharing had had a magical impact on how they’d been dispatched. They’d just had to unleash their soul skills and follow the rhythm and speed that Huo Yuhao set.
Cao Jinxuan was awed more than the others, as he was a control-type soul master himself. This was true control! The key wasn’t just controlling one’s opponents; it was being able to control one’s teammates too. With such a godlike team leader, he was even more conﬁdent in ﬁghting others above his level.
The Lan sisters let go of their Hairnet after Huo Yuhao gestured for them to, releasing Huang Chutian, Cui Yajie, and Long Xiangyue.
Zhou Yi came beside Huo Yuhao and looked at the distant Mu Jin, who was in a daze. She wasn’t excited, but proud! How could she not be proud with such a disciple?
“Teacher Mu, I hope that you and your students will take care of our class’s hygiene in the future. If your students can’t take it, don’t bother challenging my class to a match anymore.”
Once she’d ﬁnished speaking, Teacher Zhou turned around, lifted her head and walked away proudly, whereas Teacher Mu turned pale.
Huo Yuhao revealed a slight smile on his face.. He actually liked this part of Teacher Zhou; she’d guided him with this temperament and strictness of hers. He could sense the passion behind her strictness as well. Even though she was harsh on her students, she was also very protective of them. Those who truly knew her wouldn’t forget her.
It wasn’t just Zhou Yi who walked out of the Soul Dueling Area with her head held high. All of the students from Class 1 did the same. They all felt exalted!
They hadn’t just won this match. They’d won it ﬂawlessly! This exhilarating feeling made the students from Class 1 feel tempted to rush into the venue and battle alongside their classmates.
In a dark corner of the stands, the director, Du Weilun, was in a daze as well.
“Does he really only have two rings, dean? Why can’t I recognize Huo Yuhao anymore?”
Yan Shaozhe revealed a smile on his face. “It’s not just you that got surprised, even the teachers were awed by his abilities. More importantly, this kid doesn’t just possess talent, but a desire to improve that’s even more outstanding. He’ll become a leading ﬁgure of the younger generation given another 3 to 5 years. I don’t think he used even half of his power when he teamed up with Wang Dong earlier.”
Du Weilun was awed. “Fortunately, you fought for him. Otherwise, such a large talent would have been snagged by the Soul Tool Department…”
Yan Shaozhe interrupted him with a sigh. “I owe the Soul Tool Department a favor because of this. From this year onwards, we shall let the Soul Tool Department choose from our third-grade students and above once they pass the advancement examinations. This is provided that said students are willing to go to the Soul Tool Department of course. We’ll grant them permission to leave as long as they’re willing.”
Du Weilin was shocked. “Dean, we’ll lose many geniuses this way!”
Yan Shaozhe sighed, then said, “Teacher was right: I’m not generous enough with my actions. I’ve also ﬁgured things out over time—that the Martial Soul and Soul Tool departments are a family. In addition, I have to admit that I agree that the world of soul masters will continue to change as soul tools continue to develop. Especially after hearing Wang Yan’s detailed analysis of the tournament. If we continue to remain stuck in our ways, we’ll be surpassed one day. It’s time to change things.”
Du Weilun still seemed a little lost, thus Yan Shaozhe patted his shoulder and said, “Just follow my instructions. Go and ﬁnd Wang Yan and see what he has to say. You’ll understand what I’m saying once you have.”
Wang Yan had remained cooped up in the inner courtyard after he’d led the team back from the tournament. The only thing he did was occupy the Library of the Sea God’s Pavilion like a thirsty sponge as he continued to absorb the knowledge that he’d yearned for in the past.
As they were conversing, a weird voice suddenly resounded. “Little Xuan, come out!”
This voice didn’t seem very loud, but it echoed through one’s ears. It was akin to a clap of thunder when it echoed through one’s head. More frighteningly, this voice had engulfed the entire Shrek Academy. These few words also seemed to cause the atmosphere to suddenly become more gloomy around the Academy..
Yan Shaozhe’s expression immediately changed, and he said in a deep voice, “This isn’t good; there’s a powerful enemy coming. Weilun, instruct all students to remain in their
classrooms. I’ll make the ﬁrst move.” As he spoke, Yan Shaozhe’d body shook and shot forwards from where he was. He didn’t advance towards the direction where the voice came from, but rather straight towards Huo Yuhao, who was currently in the Soul Dueling Arena.
Fortunately, Huo Yuhao had only just left the area. However, he was also startled when he heard this voice, which caused his Spiritual Sea to shake. He said in shock, “What strong spiritual power. He’s here to ﬁnd Elder Xuan? Who is this?”
Wang Dong’s expression also changed greatly, and a glimmer of golden light ﬂashed slightly from the depths of his eyes.
The rest of the students were far more horriﬁed compared to the two of them. They turned pale, while those with lower cultivations had even begun to shake.
“Yuhao, be careful. The owner of this voice is at the same level as that elder in the Sea God’s Pavilion.” The Skydream Iceworm’s voice was very stern. It wasn’t just him who’d felt this; the Ice Empress and Electrolux seemed to have awakened too. Huo Yuhao could even feel a slight tension in his Spiritual Sea.
At this point, a gentle white light suddenly surrounded Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao.
“Don’t resist. I’m bringing the three of you to the Sea God’s Island.” Yan Shaozhe’s voice rang in their ears. The next moment, they felt as if they were ﬂying among the clouds, and everything was white around them. Zhou Yi and the Class 1 students who were next to them only sensed a white light ﬂash and they’d disappeared. Only Zhou Yi had been informed of the situation by Yan Shaozhe.
“Everyone, don’t panic,” she said hurriedly, “follow me back to the classroom immediately!”
Where was the safest place in Shrek Academy? The Sea God’s Pavilion.
“Old freak Du, it’s you?” Elder Xuan’s sonorous voice resonated above Shrek Academy, and a streak of bright, yellow light shot into the sky. The blinding radiance instantly covered the entire academy in an instant. Furthermore, an immense aura came from within the academy, shooting into the sky like waves of billowing air.
“What ‘honor’ of Shrek Academy? Are you going to bully us with your greater numbers? Let’s see about that.” Several intense lights and ﬂames shot up towards the sky from outside Shrek Academy. There were more than 20 beams of light that didn’t fade from within the ﬂames as they rocketed into the
sky. They were led by a dark green beam of light that was large enough to almost completely cover the rest of the beams behind it.
Elder Xuan stood in the air above Sea God’s Island, took a sip of wine and said coldly, “What? Old freak Du, are you planning to wage war against Shrek Academy?”
A ﬁgure slowly appeared from within the dark green beam of light.
It was a huge old man, who’s dark green hair ﬂowed freely behind his back. But the funny thing was that he didn’t have hair on top of his head—he was bald.
This elder’s complexion was ruddy and smooth like a baby’s, and didn’t have many wrinkles either. The only way one could
tell his age was through the look in his dark green eyes, which seemed as if they’d experienced the vicissitudes of life.
The twenty-or-so beams of light behind the elder lined up, gradually revealing the ﬁgures within them. They took different shapes and sizes, but they were all undoubtedly top- ranked individuals in the world since they could ﬂoat in mid- air through the power of their own cultivations.
Chapter 134: The Sect Master of the Body Sect, Du Busi
It was important to know that non-ﬂying-type soul masters could only ﬂy in the air for a short period of time even if they were seven-ringed Soul Sages. It was only with eight rings that one could ﬂoat in the air like this. At the Titled Douluo level, they were then able to ﬂy for long periods of time using their soul power. This meant that the twenty-or-so people in the air right now had at least eight rings.
One had to have sufﬁcient ability to provoke Shrek Academy and ﬁnd trouble with them. These people were obviously here with ill intentions.
Over on Shrek Academy’s side, ﬁgures also started to rise into the air. Many students looked into the distant sky from the windows of the teaching block. Their gazes were all stiff. Such a confrontation between top-ranked individuals was not something commonly seen. This was even the ﬁrst time that the inner courtyard disciples had seen something like this.
The inner courtyard students from Shrek Academy soon realized that there were more than 30 people from the
academy in the air. They outnumbered the intruders, and were led by Elder Xuan.
Elder Xuan seemed neither anxious nor worried. He said indifferently, “Old freak Du, what do you want with this lineup of yours today? Your Body Sect wants to re-appear in the continent and we’re your ﬁrst target?”
When the words ‘Body Sect’ came from Elder Xuan’s mouth, some of the younger teachers behind Elder Xuan looked petriﬁed. No wonder the other party had intruded into Shrek Academy so fearlessly – they were powerful individuals from the Body Sect.
Shrek Academy and the Body Sect were equally matched on the continent. The other party had their own history too.
The elder with green hair that was called old freak Du by Elder Xuan snorted and rolled his eyes. “Little Xuan, you’re asking the obvious. Why? Have you forgotten what you’ve done?”
Elder Xuan laughed. “Forgotten what? Didn’t I just lecture two rascals under you? Ask them what they did. They dared to attack me. If not for the fact that I was giving you face, do you think they would have returned alive?”
Old freak Du snorted furiously. “Nonsense, nonsense. You beat up my sect members, and you’re still acting so upright. I won’t let the matter rest. I want you to show me where your conﬁdence is coming from.” As he spoke, he roared furiously, and a thick dark-green radiance shot into the sky. This radiance caused half the sky to be dyed a dark-green color. His body ballooned in size and became 10 times bigger in the blink of an eye. His dark-green skin turned into huge muscles, and only the shorts that he wore that covered his sensitive area survived. Of course, those shorts were custom-made. Otherwise, they would have been torn apart by his expanding body.
The most frightening part was still his soul rings. There were
2 yellow, 2 purple, 2 black, and 3 red soul rings. He had 3 hundred thousand year soul rings. Once he unleashed his martial soul fully, he almost crushed the air with his arrogance.
Elder Xuan turned serious and roared too. He shot up into the sky, and an intense yellow radiance was released from his body. An overbearing aura erupted, and the dense yellow radiance supported the sky above Shrek. Yellow and green were clearly separated in the sky high above.
However, Elder Xuan’s soul rings were slightly inferior to old freak Du’s soul rings. He had 2 yellow, 2 purple, 4 black, and 1 red soul ring. But he only had 1 hundred thousand year soul ring. This also signiﬁed that he needed to have at least 2 more hundred thousand year soul bones than old freak Du.
Elder Xuan experienced huge transformations too. Under the light of the yellow radiance, he let out a deep groan in the air that forced the individuals from the Body Sect to retreat a hundred meters.
Elder Xuan’s appearance changed completely as the intense yellow radiance spread.
He had the body of a sheep, and his eyes were below his armpits. He had the teeth of a tiger, and human hands. A pair of huge, weird horns appeared too. His body was more than 30 meters in length, and he even seemed stronger than old freak Du. The intense yellow radiance continued to advance, and the nine soul rings turned into circles of light that moved up and
down between the huge horns that were around 5 meters in length.
Huo Yuhao and the other two had arrived outside the Sea God’s Pavilion through Yan Shaozhe’s guidance at this point. Yan Shaozhe was worried as he watched what was happening above him. He said to Huo Yuhao and the other two, “Enter the Sea God’s Pavilion quickly. Don’t come out no matter what. Do the three of you understand?”
“Yes.” The three of them answered him hurriedly. They were all shocked by what was happening.
This was also their ﬁrst time seeing Elder Xuan unleashing his full abilities.
“Don’t bother entering the pavilion. Just watch from the door.” A gentle voice sounded, and was heard by Yan Shaozhe, Huo Yuhao and the other two. Yan Shaozhe heaved a sigh of relief as he heard this voice. After bowing in the direction of Sea God’s Pavilion, his toes touched the ground, and he changed into a white light that instantly rose into the sky. As the Martial Soul Department’s Dean, how could he be absent when Shrek Academy was under attack?
The gentle voice undoubtedly belonged to Elder Mu. Huo Yuhao and the other two were naturally safe from danger since Elder Mu was around.
Wang Dong said softly, “Elder Mu, it should be a Martial Soul True Body that’s just been unleashed. It’s something that can only be done with at least a seven-ringed cultivation! It seems very strong! But why is that green giant in a human form? Did his martial soul come from some type of ancient giant?”
Huo Yuhao naturally couldn’t answer Wang Dong’s question, but Elder Mu could! Elder Mu’s gentle voice rang out again, “What you’re seeing is not just a simple Martial Soul True Body anymore. It’s a powerful force that’s revealed when soul power that’s at least Rank 95 is injected into a Martial Soul True Body after a fusion of one’s pure understanding of his martial soul. It’s a technique that only a Transcendent Douluo can use. That person is called Du Busi, the Sect Master of the Body Sect. His martial soul is himself.”
“Body Sect? Don’t tell me…” After hearing the words ‘Body Sect’, Huo Yuhao was shocked. He also remembered what had happened to him in Star Luo City.
Elder Mu replied, “Yes. Without a doubt, they’ve come for you. It’s worth it to make a trip for someone with a Body Soul and an Ultimate martial soul. I think they’re also here for some other purpose. Yuhao, I shall not hide it from you. The Body Sect has researched Body Souls for ten thousand years. No one can rival them in this aspect. I believe that they have a way of making your Spirit Eyes experience their second awakening and make them stronger. The academy will not blame if you choose to leave. But if you stay, I’m sure you can tell that the academy will do our best to nurture you. The academy should be better at nurturing your Ultimate martial soul. You have to tell me your decision, so that I know how to account to the Body Sect.”
After hearing Elder Mu’s words, Huo Yuhao answered him without any hesitation, “Elder Mu, the academy is in trouble because of me. But I won’t leave the academy. I’m already one of Shrek’s Seven Monsters. I will always be a part of Shrek as long as the academy doesn’t give up on me. Furthermore, I have a sect. I’m a Tang Sect disciple. How can I change my sect again? I wouldn’t have entered the academy if not for Teacher Xiao Ya and eldest senior. I might have even died in Star Dou Forest. I won’t join any other place apart from Tang Sect and Shrek Academy.”
“Good kid.” Elder Mu’s voice became gentler. There was also a sense of resolve within this gentleness.
A reverberating boom sounded in the sky at this point. Both Du Busi and Elder Xuan had started to make their moves.
The entire sky changed because of their battle. One side was dark yellow, while the other side was a domineering dark green. They both occupied one half of the sky. At the point where they intersected, they surged as Elder Xuan and Du Busi fought. This was an extremely frightening duel!
Elder Xuan’s Godly Taotie Bull burst forward in mid-air. The yellow radiance behind him struck towards Du Busi.
The dark-green giant converted from Du Busi sprinted in the air with huge steps. He was fearless as he went straight for Elder Xuan.
The two of them collided in mid-air amidst reverberating booms.
At this point, both Shrek Academy and the Body Sect cultivators that were in the air initially all descended rapidly. They returned to the ground.
A frightening pressure was exerted from the sky, and it only disappeared when one was around a hundred meters from the ground. This was a result of intentional control by both parties. After all, neither side wanted their own people to be struck by the aftermath. It also seemed like Du Busi had no intention of ﬁghting Elder Xuan to the death.
Even so, Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao still shook as they stood on the ground. They turned pale too. It was as if the sky was collapsing.
Was this a duel between top-ranked individuals? Human strength was actually able to reach such a frightening level.
Huo Yuhao was completely shocked. Before today, he hadn’t expected a soul master’s strength to reach such a standard. This was already beyond his understanding of what a soul master was capable of.
He had witnessed the top-ranked, six-ringed Soul Emperor cultivations of Ma Xiaotao and Dai Yueheng before. While they were much stronger than him, he could still see the gap between him and them. But the abilities that Elder Xuan and Du Busi displayed were beyond his understanding, such that he couldn’t appraise them at all. He couldn’t even sense the
presence of their levels.
Elder Mu’s voice didn’t resonate again. Neither did he explain anything to them. He left the three of them staring into the sky silently.
He left them outside and didn’t allow them to enter the Sea God’s Pavilion because he wanted them to watch this earth- shaking battle. Such a huge battle was rarely seen on the continent. To young soul masters, this was also an extremely valuable experience for them!
The sudden collision of Elder Xuan and Du Busi in mid-air caused the sky to blow apart, as if ﬁreworks had been ignited. The dark green radiance behind Du Busi formed a huge whirlpool-like patch in the air. The yellow radiance behind Elder Xuan instantly formed countless huge circles of light. After that, they changed into a huge meteor shower that struck towards the whirlpool-like patch.
Huo Yuhao had seen many meteor shower-type soul skills. The strongest that he had ever seen were Ma Xiaotao’s Phoenix Meteor Shower and Dai Yueheng’s White Tiger Meteor Shower. But those meteor showers were soul skills that imitated meteor showers. They only covered a few hundred square meters at most. But the meteor shower that Elder Xuan unleashed was truly mighty! It engulfed the entire area and was boundless. It was as if the sky was being torn apart.
But Du Busi was very powerful too. The huge, dark green whirlpool-like patch formed a funnel-like shape and allowed the meteor shower to strike it. The yellow light disappeared as it entered the funnel.
The two of them were at a stalemate right now. The green giant formed from Du Busi used its hands to grip Elder Xuan’s horns tightly. While both competed to see who was better, neither could gain the upper hand over the other. The lights on their body also alternated between brightness and dimness, while their bodies were half-still.
Streaks of black light ﬂashed past their sides. The light of stars could be subtly seen amidst the black light. They were spatial cracks!
The longer they fought each other, the more frequently the black lights appeared. A black circle soon formed around them, and began to expand outward.
“Du Busi, you’re really mad.” Elder Xuan’s voice rang in the air.
Du Busi laughed loudly and said, “You’re the mad one. I don’t want to die with you. Let go and we’ll go again.”
A piercing, tearing sound could be heard in mid-air. The black circle dispersed and turned into countless streaks of
black lights that snaked out in all directions. Wherever the black lights passed, Elder Xuan’s yellow meteor shower and Du Busi’s dark green whirlpool dissipated. The black lights reached extremely far before they disappeared.
Du Busi and Elder Xuan had separated at this point. There were more than a thousand meters between them. They gathered their powers once again, and the confrontation between yellow and dark green started again.
“Little Xuan, you’ve improved greatly after all these years of not seeing you!” Du Busi snorted.
“The same goes for you,” Elder Xuan replied coldly, “why are you still not dead yet, old freak?”
Du Busi seemed to have been triggered. “Nonsense, why would I die? And you still call me old? How many years younger are you? At most 20 years. If you’re not dead, why would I be? I can still survive another 100 years.”
“If you’re capable, live for another 1000 years,” Elder Xuan replied disdainfully, “you’ll be a thousand year tortoise then.
Oh, I think this name suits your skin color.”
“You’re looking for death.” Du Busi raged and ﬂipped his hands. He mimicked a lifting action, while the dark green whirlpool behind him retracted. It was rapidly gathered within his body. The dark green of his body also started to turn transparent, and his size increased even further. His height reached more than a hundred meters instantly, and a similar black from earlier appeared around his body. It was smaller than the spatial cracks created by him and Elder Xuan earlier, but seemed denser.
Elder Xuan seemed awed, and the yellow radiance behind him also retracted. His Godly Taotie Bull’s size also ballooned and instantly turned into an extremely domineering presence.
Du Busi glared at Elder Xuan furiously. His hands suddenly mimicked a wrenching action, as if he were smashing something onto the ground. A huge dark green ball of light with diameter of over 30 meters penetrated through space and crashed down towards Elder Xuan from above.
Elder Xuan didn’t cower away either. A white light that shone as brightly as a diamond ﬂashed between his horns. It stabbed
into the dark green ball of light like a bolt of white lightning.
A piercing boom resonated for more than a thousand miles, and the dark green light ball turned into a light ring that dispersed in the sky.
Du Busi snorted and clasped his palms together. The space around Elder Xuan suddenly started to distort, and dark green lights appeared around his body like smudged stains. Several huge black holes started to appear too, and the frightening spatial cracks were seemed to be trying to tear Elder Xuan’s body apart.
Elder Xuan grunted in disdain. The bright yellow radiance turned into a barrier of light that burst out. The black holes were all mended just like that.
Du Busi was slightly shocked. “Mending the sky, what a move! Little Xuan, you’re indeed worthy as my opponent. But you’re still lacking a little.”
Du Busi absorbed all the dark green back into his body. As he spoke, his eyes suddenly lit up, and an azure light shone from
his entire body. The intense light shone unprecedentedly brightly, and made him seem like an azure-green sun. The entire Shrek City below was covered in this azure-green light.
Du Busi clasped his palms before his chest, and a small dark green whirlpool formed. This whirlpool seemed to only have a diameter of one meter, and was extremely incompatible with his huge size. But the whirlpool seemed to contain boundless strength, causing the expression in Elder Xuan’s eyes to change greatly.
A bright yellow shone from Elder Xuan’s body. His Godly Taotie Bull’s body turned back into human form, and only his horns still appeared obvious. His palms clasped together, and a strong will could be sensed from Elder Xuan’s body. Both his hands probed forward, and his nine soul rings lit up as if they were being burned. A ball of yellow light gradually grew bigger on his hand and turned into a weird-looking weapon.
The weapon was thick at the top but narrow at the bottom. Elder Xuan’s body shrank back to his normal size so that the weapon’s power was at its greatest. On a closer look, Elder Xuan’s weapon seemed to have a similar shape to a chicken drumstick.
Du Busi shouted, and the dark green whirlpool in his hand turned into a ball of light that shot out. The ball of light shrank as it moved in the air. It left deep gorges in the air as it moved. It was as if its presence couldn’t be tolerated in space.
Elder Xuan bellowed, and his muscles swelled. His entire body seemed to have distended, and he wielded the chicken drumstick weapon to tackle the dark green light ball that came his way.
“Puff——” When both parties collided, the dark green light ball stuck onto the ‘chicken drumstick’ and instantly seemed to stagnate. An immense pressure suddenly descended from the sky.
The powerful individuals from Shrek Academy and the Body Sect teamed up together to unleash a powerful aura. Many colors mixed together to form a light barrier that resisted the frightening will that came down.
A crisp sound resonated in the sky. There was no release of any frightening force. The dark green light ball and Elder Xuan’s ‘chicken drumstick’ disappeared at the same time, while Elder Xuan was sent ﬂying as his body was stained dark green. It was obvious that he had been struck.
Du Busi was extremely delighted, and laughed, “Little Xuan, your soul rings are weaker than mine even if your cultivation is the same. I even possess a special Body Soul. You’re still inferior to me in terms of your level. Concede defeat. If not for the fact that I’m afraid I’ll lose an opponent like you, I would kill you now.”
Elder Xuan only stabilized his body after ﬂying for more than a thousand meters. It seemed as if nothing great had changed after the dark green subsided. Even his aura remained very powerful. However, his eyes revealed his greater impatience.
“Du Busi, stop sugar-coating your words. Do you dare to ﬁght to death with me? I’ll bring you along with me even if I die. At least I’ll make you unable to provide for yourself.”
Du Busi snorted, “Why won’t I dare to? I’ll at most be heavily injured if I kill you. You’re still not powerful enough to make
me perish along with you. But don’t forget that this is Shrek’s territory. If you ﬁght to the death with me here, I’m afraid that Shrek Academy will disappear from the face of this continent.”
Elder Xuan’s expression changed. “I dare you!”
“There’s nothing in this world the Body Sect is afraid of doing,” Du Busi said arrogantly, “don’t tell me you’ve forgotten who started the wave of beasts in Star Dou Forest?”
Elder Xuan was furious. “Shameless fellow. You still have the cheek to mention that incident? I don’t think you ﬁnd it a humiliation. Rather, you treat it as your glory. Many people lost their lives because of the Body Sect. If Shrek Academy didn’t resist the wave of beasts, it would have been a full-blown massacre.”
Du Busi groaned and said, “What do you mean Shrek Academy resisted the wave of beasts? It’s as if you’re hinting we didn’t do anything.”
“Don’t forget what the Body Sect promised after the wave of beasts receded.” Elder Xuan said coldly, “Are you reneging on
your promise by coming here so boldly today?”
Du Busi replied, “Promise? So much time has passed. I don’t remember anything. Even if I renege on my promise, what can you do?”
Elder Xuan twisted his lips and said, “I never expected that you’d become so shameless.” While he spoke in this way, he was shocked in his heart. Du Busi’s words seemed to foreshadow the appearance of the Body Sect in the world! In addition, they were likely to have a ploy.
Du Busi said, “Alright, we’ve already fought. The Body Sect and Shrek Academy still have some ties. We’re not here to target Shrek Academy. I’m here today not just to demand an explanation. There’s something more important. If you return our Body Sect member, I will turn around and leave immediately.”
Elder Xuan snorted, “What Body Sect member? I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Du Busi said, “Stop acting ignorant. Soul masters with Body Souls are automatically recognized as Body Sect disciples. Don’t you know that? Where’s that little fellow who took part in the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament? Hand him over now. Otherwise, don’t blame me for being unkind. Don’t forget what my name is. If I release my Body Soul’s poison, how much of it can you resist? When that happens, your Shrek Academy will… hehe!”
Elder Xuan laughed coldly. “I knew you came here for Yuhao. Aren’t you just trying to ﬂaunt your strength by going about it in such a roundabout manner? Let me tell you. If you dare to release your lethal poison, at least half of your Body Sect members will remain here today, you included.”
The expression in Du Busi’s eyes changed. He revealed his ferocity. “Little Xuan, do you really think that I don’t dare to make a move on your academy? What’s risking everything if I can continue my sect’s legacy?”
Elder Xuan’s smile became gentler. “Old freak, you can only talk big if you have the ability to walk your talk. Do you really think the Body Sect can threaten Shrek Academy?”
“What? Du Busi argued, “Do you think you can stop me? Better hand him over quick, or don’t blame me for going in directly to ﬁnd him. It won’t be so nice when it comes to that.”
He did have his misgivings about Shrek Academy. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have bothered with Elder Xuan for so long, given the Body Sect’s hard-headed approach. Although Elder Xuan was slightly inferior to him, the gap wasn’t too huge. Du Busi was unwilling to bear the consequences of an all-out ﬁght.
“Little Xuan can’t stop you. But what about me?” A gentle voice sounded quietly at this point. A gentle halo was unleashed from Shrek Academy after the voice was heard. More accurately speaking, it came from the Sea God’s Pavilion. A gentle, golden light spread quickly, even though it seemed very gradual. It reached a high altitude in an instant. As this magical scene appeared, both Elder Xuan and Du Busi’s auras were diminished under the engulfment of the golden light. The immense pressure from the sky also disappeared. Not only did the gentle, golden light engulf Shrek Academy, but it also
covered all of Shrek City. Shrek City looked like a golden city from the outside now.
Du Busi’s expression changed greatly after he saw this scene, “Sea God’s Light? How is this possible? How is there still someone who’s able to unleash the Sea God’s Light in Shrek?”
“Busi, it’s been awhile. It seems like you’ve forgotten about me.” The gentle voice rang out once again. But only Du Busi could hear it.
“You, you are…” Du Busi was shocked as he looked at the shining, golden Sea God’s Pavilion. His dark green forehead instantly started to glimmer with beads of perspiration.
“I can still remember what you left for me,” Elder Mu said slowly, “your brother has the same temper as you. Recklessness is the devil. If your brother wasn’t reckless then, he might still be alive now.”
Du Busi conﬁrmed his guess when he heard till this point. He was stunned as he asked, “You, you aren’t dead yet? How is this possible? Didn’t you…?”
Elder Mu replied gradually, “If I’m dead, you’ll bully Shrek Academy?” His words were simple, but they struck Du Busi hard. The intense, golden light instantly ﬂashed in the air and Du Busi’s dark green body shortened by a meter. An intense, dark green radiance was also emitted from his body.
Du Busi was a little vexed as he said, “Dragon God Douluo, the battle then wasn’t simply about personal feelings. Why did my elder brother have to take a step back?”
“You know the full details of what happened.” Elder Mu replied, “I won’t debate it with you. You just need to know that the Master of the Sea God’s Pavilion is still me. I’ve already asked Huo Yuhao and told him about the Body Sect. He expressed his will to remain in Shrek. Please return. I won’t hold today’s matter against you on account of your brother. But if there’s a next time, or if the Body Sect tries to scheme against this disciple of mine in the future, don’t blame me for demanding an explanation from the Body Sect personally.”
Du Busi’s expression changed. “That fellow has become your disciple?”
Elder Mu answered coldly. “That’s right. Why? Do you think that you’re more suitable than me to guide him?”
Du Busi took in a deep breath, “Dragon God Douluo, I shall give you face and let the matter rest. An honest man doesn’t deal underhandedly. I must also tell you that we won’t give up on this kid. You’re older than me, thus you should know that we’re almost reaching our end. But the Body Sect still doesn’t have a successor.”
Elder Mu was a little stunned. “Why don’t you have a successor? Isn’t the Body Sect’s Seed of Inheritance on you?”
Du Busi was a little vexed as he explained, “But no one new has appeared in the sect for almost 20 years. Furthermore, do you think that the Seed of Inheritance can just be passed on to anyone? I shall end it here today. I won’t touch that kid as long as he’s in Shrek Academy. But once he’s out, we’ll compete fairly. Dragon God, I don’t believe that my elder brother didn’t leave anything on you even though you’re still alive. I’m not your match, but you’ll still pay the price even if you kill me. The Body Sect isn’t the only opponent of Shrek Academy either. We’ll meet again someday.”
After he ﬁnished speaking, Du Busi’s dark green radiance ﬂared up and burned a hole in the Sea God’s Light. He waved his hand after he escaped, “Body Sect, retreat.”
The twenty-or-so ﬁgures he had brought with him escaped rapidly and disappeared in an instant. The golden light in the air also retracted slowly back into the Sea God’s Pavilion.
It was not only the Shrek Academy that was restless now. All of Shrek City was also drowned in a commotion over what had happened earlier.
Elder Xuan landed in the Sea God’s Pavilion. The four deans also arrived.
Elder Mu’s voice drifted out from the Sea God’s Pavilion. “Shaozhe, go and appease the people in the city. The rest of you can return. Little Xuan, bring the 3 kids in.”
“Yes.” Yan Shaozhe acknowledged his words and left immediately.
Shrek City was still Shrek Academy’s territory. It was also the foundation of Shrek Academy. All that had happened earlier was too strange, and someone had to handle the situation.
Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao hadn’t recovered from their shock yet.
First was the collision between Elder Xuan and Du Busi. That was followed by the intense, golden light. Although only Du Busi could hear Elder Mu’s voice, they could roughly guess that Elder Mu had engaged him.
Even the powerful Body Sect had to retreat in front of Elder Mu. This was Shrek Academy’s true power. Elder Mu didn’t need to ﬁght, but still managed to force the enemy’s troops back. Elder Mu’s position in the three of their hearts rose once again. It was as if it was almost beyond them to even worship him.
Huo Yuhao now realized why he had felt so relaxed when he had fought Class 2’s team.
He had been under immense pressure in almost every round of the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament. He managed to hang on along with his partners even under such immense pressure, and even became the champions. Every opponent they faced in each round was stronger than them by a lot. Although Dai Huabin and the others were also gifted, they were still very young. They were still lousier than the top-ranked students that had an average age of 19 years and above from the various academies in the tournament.
The closed-door cultivation that Huo Yuhao and the rest had experienced after they had returned had also been extremely crucial. Their experiences and outlook were now different from what they were before.
It’s important to note that Huo Yuhao and the others had almost participated in the tournament as ofﬁcial team members. They weren’t like most preparatory team members that hardly featured.
But they realized how lousy they were after they witnessed this top-ranked duel, even though it hadn’t exploded into a full-blown conﬂict. They were still far off from the top-ranked soul masters. But Huo Yuhao wasn’t as impatient as he was
before. He was much more mature now. He had to walk his path step by step, which he had already laid the foundation for. His achievements wouldn’t be low as long as he worked hard. There would be a day when he would reach Elder Xuan and even Elder Mu’s level.
Elder Xuan looked a little dismal. It seemed as if he was unhappy that he had been suppressed by Du Busi. He brought the three of them to the Sea God’s Pavilion’s second level.
Elder Mu lay quietly in his chair. He appeared as frail as ever. Who would have expected that he was the one who had chased the entire Body Sect away?
“Elder Mu.” Elder Xuan was a little depressed as he greeted Elder Mu.
Elder Mu smiled and asked, “Why are you depressed? You didn’t lose. It’s nothing to be repressed by Du Busi. If I wasn’t fortunate, I would have died along with Du Busi’s elder brother. Even though I preserved my life, I’m still disabled. I may not be much stronger than you even if I fought. After all, the Dragon God now is no longer like the Dragon God then.”
“No, Elder Mu. You can’t put it that way,” Elder Xuan said hurriedly, “you’re Shrek’s anchor!”
Elder Mu sighed. “My spine was snapped, and Du Busi’s elder brother’s – Du Bisi’s - lethal poison entered my passageways. Although I preserved my life, I can’t straighten my back anymore. But it’s only through that clash that I managed to attain a breakthrough and escape a catastrophe. Du Bisi wasn’t as fortunate as I was. He died of his injuries after hanging on for a while. It’s a pity! He was also a hero of his time.”
@Chapter 135: Hallmaster of the Illustrious Virtue Hall, Jing Hongchen
Elder Mu revealed a look of disappointment on his face and said, “A person’s life is limited, even for Titled Douluo like us. I can feel that my time is coming. After I go, the academy will have to be supported by you and the various elders. Little Xuan, you’re too headstrong, and not composed enough. You must remain calm when you meet with something in the future and think of the academy.”
Little Xuan was shocked and replied, “Elder Mu, you…”
Elder Mu chuckled, “Don’t worry, I won’t die so soon. I must hang on for a few more years until these little fellows mature before I’m relieved enough to go.” As he spoke, his benevolent gaze landed on Huo Yuhao and the other two.
“Huo Yuhao, come over here.” Elder Mu waved toward Huo Yuhao.
“Yes.” Huo Yuhao hurried towards Elder Mu and came to his side respectfully.
Elder Mu smiled slightly and said, “Good kid, I’m pleased with your answer just now. You’re not old, but you’re very resilient. I was especially shocked by your development after you returned from the tournament. A soul master can be nurtured in all areas except attitude. You are good, very good.”
Huo Yuhao lowered his head and said, “Elder Mu, you overestimate me. I’m an orphan. I have no more kin since my mother passed away. I was only ﬁlled with hatred then. I met Teacher Xiao Ya and eldest senior in Star Dou Forest, and they sent me to Shrek Academy using the Tang Sect’s slot. I grew up with my mother in that freezing place since I was young. All I felt was humiliation and indifference. It was only after entering Shrek Academy that I feel a familial sense. The academy gave me warmth, fed and clothed me, and even educated me to become a soul master and a person. This is my family. Everything except family can change. I can do anything to protect and preserve the glory of my family.”
His words were emotional. His eyes turned red as he spoke.
Elder Xuan was a little shocked as he looked at him. Elder Mu grabbed onto Huo Yuhao’s right hand and said, “When I ﬁrst saw you, I knew that you were a kid with a story. That’s
because the expression in your eyes was different from most others. Your eyes might have been very clear, but they concealed your pain. Your pain has only disappeared recently. As you said, Shrek is your family. It’s also our family. I told Du Busi when I conversed with him earlier that you’re my disciple. He told me that he won’t target you as long as you’re in Shrek. I understood what he meant. When you graduate from Shrek, he may target you again.”
Huo Yuhao was stunned. He didn’t expect that the Body Sect still hadn’t given up on him.
Elder Xuan couldn’t take it anymore. “Stupid kid, quickly acknowledge your teacher.”
“Ah!” Huo Yuhao only reacted now. He knelt down immediately and bowed to Elder Mu respectfully. “Elder Mu, please accept me as your disciple.”
Elder Mu laughed and said, “Good kid, stand up.” He grabbed Huo Yuhao’s right hand and pulled gently. A gentle strength was injected into Huo Yuhao’s body and lifted him up.
Elder Mu was all smiles when he saw the sincere look in Huo Yuhao’s eyes. The more he looked, the more pleased he was.
He couldn’t make the proposal to Huo Yuhao to become his disciple with his current status. He could only hint. Fortunately, Elder Xuan reminded Huo Yuhao from the side, so he didn’t miss out on such a great opportunity.
Huo Yuhao tried to test the waters by asking, “Elder Mu, are you agreeable?”
Elder Mu laughed. “Silly kid, it’s time for you to say it.”
Huo Yuhao was delighted, and hurriedly said, “Teacher.” He wanted to kneel down again as he said it. But Elder Mu didn’t let him do so this time by using his gentle soul power to lift Huo Yuhao up.
“You will be my closed door disciple from today onwards. I’m not very particular about the formalities. You don’t have to kneel in the future. A bow will do.”
“Yes.” Huo Yuhao was still very respectful even though Elder Mu wasn’t very particular about formalities. If Elder Mu and Elder Xuan were not around, he would have jumped in excitement.
Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao were envious as they saw this scene, and walked up to congratulate him hurriedly.
Elder Mu smiled. “The two of you are good too. Xiao Xiao, learn from Elder Xuan in the future. Let him analyze you – a special auxiliary-type battle soul master. As for Wang Dong, you’re a light-type soul master too. You can be my disciple in name temporarily.”
Wang Dong stuck out his tongue and said in a slightly brazen manner, “Elder Mu, this is unfair. I’m a light-type soul master just like you, but you accepted Huo Yuhao as your disciple although he isn’t the light-type. How can you be so discriminatory? I want to be your closed door disciple too.”
Elder Mu couldn’t help but laugh as he saw Wang Dong’s indignant look. He said, “You little fellow! You’re the ﬁrst person to make such a request in front of me. There can only be one closed door disciple.”
Wang Dong moved closer as he saw that Elder Mu wasn’t angry. He said almost naturally, “It’s okay! With your status, you can set a precedent! Who will dare to doubt you? Moreover, both Yuhao and I possess martial fusion soul skills, and are one together. Just take the both of us as the same person.”
Elder Mu’s smile turned a little cheeky, “Oh? One together?”
Wang Dong blushed as he saw Elder Mu looking at him. He grabbed onto Elder Mu’s other hand and said, “Just accept me too. Otherwise, he will bully me in the future when he’s an ofﬁcial disciple but I’m just a disciple in name.”
Elder Xuan was stunned as he saw this scene. In his memory, no one, including Yan Shaozhe, had ever dared to be so brazen in front of Elder Mu! But Wang Dong didn’t only just do this. He didn’t seem vexed as he looked at Elder Mu. On the other hand, he appeared delighted.
Elder Mu smiled as he said, “Alright, alright. I can’t outtalk you. I shall accept you too.”
Wang Dong was elated, and knelt down hurriedly before bowing to Elder Mu.
Elder Mu lifted his left hand, and a wave of soul power dragged him up. Elder Mu said, “Little Xuan, did you see this? I was forced to accept two closed door disciples. Haha.”
Elder Xuan chuckled and replied, “I see that you quite enjoy it. This is not bad either! Both these fellows are good. Since this is the case, I shall accept a closed door disciple myself too. I’m not much younger than you anyway!”
Xiao Xiao was quick-witted, and knelt down in front of Elder Xuan hurriedly. She bowed to him, “Teacher.”
Elder Xuan lifted her up and chortled, “Little fellow, you must be outstanding when you’re under me. Don’t lose to those two fellows.”
Xiao Xiao laughed and replied, “Teacher, I will do my best.
Just give me all the items that can enhance my strength.”
Elder Xuan laughed, “Wow, did I accept a closed door disciple or a little troublemaker? You’re deﬁnitely not standing on ceremony!”
Xiao Xiao laughed, “We’re on the same side. What’s there to stand on ceremony between us, right? I bought you a chicken drumstick too.” After she ended her retreat, she had been cultivating with Elder Xuan, and was already very familiar with him. She was naturally extremely excited now that their relationship had been conﬁrmed.
Elder Mu revealed a stunned look on his face at this point and said, “Du Busi just left, but someone just came. It seems like it’s a good day today.”
Elder Xuan squinted his eyes, and a sharp radiance ﬂashed across them. He was about to make his move.
Elder Mu lifted his hand and stopped him. He said, “The visitor is a guest. Just invite him in.”
Elder Xuan was shocked and asked, “Into the Sea God’s Pavilion?”
Elder Mu smiled and replied, “Yes, into the Sea God’s Pavilion.”
Although Elder Xuan was shocked, he wouldn’t go against Elder Mu’s instructions. But he never recalled any outsiders being allowed into Sea God’s Pavilion before.
Elder Xuan had already disappeared from where he was as a radiance ﬂashed. He arrived outside the Sea God’s Pavilion at the next moment. He looked into the distance and said coldly, “Since you’re already here, you don’t have to sneak around anymore. Come out.” As he spoke, he grabbed at the air, and a huge citrine hand appeared in the air. The hand opened wide and grabbed in one direction. Suddenly, countless thin black cracks appeared in air in that direction.
Although these cracks couldn’t compare to Du Busi’s, they still existed.
“Elder Xuan, this is not a way to receive your guest.” A dim golden radiance lit up. As a halo spread instantly, it rippled, and the distorted light rays canceled out Elder Xuan’s huge hand. A ﬁgure also appeared in that direction.
The person that appeared wasn’t tall, but he was plump. His long, elegant robe was embroidered with gold patterns. He placed his hands behind his back and smiled at Elder Xuan. Wasn’t he the Hallmaster of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s Illustrious Virtue Hall, as well as the person in charge of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy?
“It’s you? Jing Hongchen.” Elder Xuan was also shocked. Although he could sense his strong presence, he didn’t expect it to be the Hallmaster of the Illustrious Virtue Hall.
Jing Hongchen smiled and said, “Elder Xuan, you shouldn’t be surprised. Since you want something from the Illustrious Virtue Hall, I’ve come to personally pay a visit to Elder Xuan and Shrek Academy.”
Elder Xuan’s eyes ﬂashed with a divine light as he thought to himself, “This Jing Hongchen came at such a coincidental timing! Did He come with the Body Sect, and only show himself at this point, or is it really a coincidence?”
Elder Xuan didn’t reveal his thoughts, and spoke indifferently. “You’re a guest, please come in.” As he spoke, he turned around and walked into the Sea God’s Pavilion.
Jing Hongchen was the one who was shocked now. He was already shocked when he had been discovered. With the concealment-type soul tool that he had created himself, he believed that he was undiscoverable as long as he didn’t move. But Elder Xuan managed to trace him. He was even more surprised that Elder Xuan invited him into the Sea God’s Pavilion.
Jing Hongchen hesitated. The Sea God’s Pavilion was probably a place that was easy to enter, but not easy to leave! After all, this was Shrek Academy. Although he had sufﬁcient cards in his hands, Shrek Academy had been established for many years, and was ever-present on the Douluo Continent. It was also because of Shrek that the Sun Moon Empire had many misgivings and proceeded cautiously. They didn’t dare to act recklessly even though they had sufﬁcient resources.
Sea God’s Pavilion. What a Sea God’s Pavilion!
Elder Xuan walked in front of the Sea God’s Pavilion before turning around and joking, “What? As the Hallmaster of the
Illustrious Virtue Hall, you don’t dare to enter the Sea God’s Pavilion? Why are you here since that is the case?”
Jing Hongchen pricked his brows. His haughtiness was even greater than Du Busi’s. He had only appeared now because he didn’t want to mix with the Body Sect and affect his reputation. After being provoked by Elder Xuan, he laughed loudly before walking into the Sea God’s Pavilion with big steps.
Elder Mu revealed a slight smile on his face and was in awe of Elder Xuan in his heart. Elder Xuan was indeed an expert in human psychology! The simple action of inviting Jing Hongchen into the Sea God’s Pavilion greatly diminished his mighty aura.
After entering the Sea God’s Pavilion ﬁrst level, Jing Hongchen’s gaze moved around the entire level. He was slightly stunned. It was obvious that he could tell that the Sea God’s Pavilion was extraordinary.
Elder Xuan walked to the golden tree seats at one side of the ﬁrst level before sitting down. He also gestured for Jing Hongchen to take a seat.
Jing Hongchen didn’t stand on ceremony either. He smiled at Elder Xuan before sitting opposite him.
Neither of them spoke ﬁrst, and they only stared at each other as they sat there. But the air around them was about to solidify because of their auras.
Elder Xuan and Jing Hongchen had similar auras – they were very pressing. But the difference was that Elder Xuan’s aura appeared foundationally stable like the earth, whereas Jing Hongchen’s aura originated from a suppression that might be unleashed at anytime.
“It seems like soul tools can help a soul master to a certain standard. Your cultivation is only around Rank 93, but you can stabilize yourself in front of me.” Elder Xuan said slowly.
Jing Hongchen smiled and replied, “I believe that soul tool research is only in its preliminary stage. The world belongs to soul tools in the future. When the day comes when soul tools no longer rely on soul masters’ soul power as a motivation, soul masters will be eliminated. I wonder if Elder Xuan is convinced by this belief.”
Elder Xuan replied coldly, “It doesn’t matter whether I believe it or not. Anyway, you won’t live to see that day.”
“It’s not important whether I’ll live to see that day,” Jing Hongchen said very casually, “it’s enough if it happens in the Sun Moon Empire, and it will happen in the Sun Moon Empire. Star Luo, Heavenly Soul, Dou Ling and even your Shrek Academy are too far off in the aspect of soul tools.”
Elder Xuan laughed, “Oh? Are we that far off? I don’t think so. Since when were you able to exploit this gap to defeat Shrek Academy? We only sent half of our main forces for the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament that just ended. But we still won. This proves that your advantage in soul tools is not decisive yet.”
Elder Xuan was surprised that Jing Hongchen nodded after hearing his words, “You’re right. I received news from your academy that expressed your interest to hold an exchange with the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. I was very happy then. But for some reason, your academy changed its mind. If it’s because of the tournament, I don’t think it’s necessary. The Sun Moon Empire is magnanimous. A
tournament is a tournament. We won’t develop a hatred because of accidents during the tournament.”
Elder Xuan asked, “Is this your reason for coming today?”
Jing Hongchen answered, “Partly. There’s another reason too. I want to get the Judgement Sword back. It’s one of my best creations, and holds great signiﬁcance for me too. I hope that you can return it to me.”
Elder Xuan nodded his head seriously and said, “I can return it. I will return it to you as long as you can allow Ma Xiaotao to fully heal.”
Jing Hongchen turned dismal and replied, “Elder Xuan, you can’t put it this way. Many of our elite students have also died under your students’ hands. But we never asked for any compensation.”
Elder Xuan said indifferently, “Can your students compare to Xiaotao? Ma Xiaotao will succeed the role of Dean of the Martial Soul Department of our academy. She’s not even 20 years old, but she’s already a seven-ringed Soul Sage.
Furthermore, she has a top-ranked martial soul. No one in the continent can match up to her in a one-on-one ﬁght. Shrek Academy won’t seize your things forcefully, but Xiaotao’s condition is special. Her martial soul has transformed negatively, and she’s been in a coma till now. After we ﬁnd a treatment for her using that sword, we’ll return it to you.”
Jing Hongchen furrowed his brows and asked, “Is there no room for negotiation?”
Elder Xuan didn’t speak and only looked at him calmly.
After pondering for a moment, Jing Hongchen said, “What if I exchange something of equal value for it?”
“I’ve told you that we’re keeping the sword to research Xiaotao’s transformed martial soul,” Elder Xuan replied coldly.
Jing Hongchen stiffened a little, then said in a deep voice, “Can I take a look at her?”
Elder Xuan was the one who hesitated now.
Elder Mu’s voice rang out at this point, “Yes, you can. Bring him to the second level.”
Jing Hongchen’s expression became terriﬁed as he heard this voice. He quickly stood up.
Although he hadn’t appeared with the Body Sect earlier, he had clearly witnessed the ﬁght between Elder Xuan and Du Busi, as well as how Du Busi was deterred by Shrek Academy’s golden light.
Jing Hongchen was very sharp even though he had not reached the level of a Transcendent Douluo. He immediately recognized that the external world’s understanding of Shrek Academy was erroneous. The strongest in Shrek Academy wasn’t the Taotie Douluo Elder Xuan, but someone else. Even Du Busi had to retreat in front of this guy. How powerful was he? That’s why he sneaked into Shrek Academy after the Body Sect left, and didn’t appear as uprightly as the Body Sect.
Jing Hongchen said in a deep voice, “Elder Xuan and unknown elder, I have at least 3 automatic Class 9 soul tools with me now. If I’m attacked, these soul tools are powerful
enough to destroy the all of Shrek City. They can’t be stopped either.”
He was around Yan Shaozhe’s age. It was normal for him to call Elder Xuan and Elder Mu his elders. It was an obvious showing of his weakness to boast about
This was Shrek Academy. There were more than 5 Transcendent Douluo from what Jing Hongchen knew. Regardless of how strong his soul tools were, he was only Rank
93. He wasn’t a match for so many Transcendent Douluo at such close distance. But he came prepared. He also believed that Shrek Academy wouldn’t really attack him. It wouldn’t ﬁt their standards.
“You’re our guest now that you’ve entered the Sea God’s Pavilion,” Elder Mu said indifferently, “if I really wanted to touch you, your soul tools may not be able to unleash their full might.”
Jing Hongchen didn’t retort, but revealed a sense of relief. He laughed and said, “It’s my honor to be a guest of the Sea God’s Pavilion.”
He came to the second level quickly under Elder Xuan’s guidance.
Elder Mu laid in his reclining chair, while Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao stood behind him.
Huo Yuhao was very anxious. Before he underwent his retreat, he had once asked Elder Mu about Ma Xiaotao’s condition. Elder Mu had told him then that Ma Xiaotao was ﬁne, which gave him peace of mind as he retreated into cultivation. But it seemed like she was in grave condition from what Elder Xuan and Elder Mu said! How could he not be anxious?
Jing Hongchen was drawn to Elder Mu. Elder Mu might look like a frail elder and didn’t unleash any of his powerful aura, but Jing Hongchen was certain that he was the one who had previously forced the Body Sect away! Elder Mu’s abilities and cultivation couldn’t be seen just by using one’s eyes. It was unexpected that Shrek Academy had such a powerful ﬁgure. He felt surer and surer that he was right to have been cautious.
“Greetings, may I know elder’s name?” Jing Hongchen bowed slightly to Elder Mu.
Elder Mu smiled and said, “My name is Mu En. I believe there’s not many in this world who still remember my name.”
Jing Hongchen was entirely lost as he heard Elder Mu’s name. He couldn’t recall such a name from his memory or investigations into Shrek Academy. He was warier of Elder Mu because of this.
Elder Mu said to Elder Xuan, “Little Xuan, bring him to take a look at Xiaotao’s condition. Yuhao, the three of you shall come along too.”
“Yes, Teacher.” Huo Yuhao represented the rest and acknowledged Elder Mu. He quickly walked towards Elder Xuan.
Jing Hongchen’s gaze changed direction as he heard Huo Yuhao’s name. His name appeared the most in the reports of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. He appeared even more frequently than both Shrek’s team leader Ma Xiaotao and vice-team leader Dai Yueheng.
Twin martial soul? And it was likely that one was an Ultimate martial soul with a cultivation of around two rings. But he was likely able to conceal his own cultivation and abilities.
During the last battle, he and his partner had unleashed a series of powerful martial soul fusion skills that earned them victory. He had a partner that also possessed twin martial souls which were compatible with his.
This series of information popped up in Jing Hongchen’s mind and made him view Huo Yuhao in a different manner. He even obtained a useful piece of news – Huo Yuhao calling Elder Mu teacher. He was the disciple of a mysterious old man.
Huo Yuhao and the other two came beside Elder Xuan and greeted Jing Hongchen slightly by nodding their heads. They disliked those from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, and thus they weren’t very formal with their greeting either. Elder Xuan and Elder Mu acted ignorant of the matter.
“Follow me.” Elder Xuan walked towards the higher steps and brought them to the third level, whereas Elder Mu remained where he was and shut his eyes. It seemed like he was resting.
Jing Hongchen looked at Huo Yuhao interestedly as he walked. He said, “You’re Huo Yuhao? These two must be Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao.” All of their appearances were described in detail in the Illustrious Virtue Hall’s ﬁles.
Huo Yuhao nodded but didn’t speak. He was only worried about Ma Xiaotao now.
Jing Hongchen wasn’t vexed even though he was being ignored. He only looked at Huo Yuhao seriously. No one knew what he was thinking.
Sea God’s Pavilion third level. The ﬁrst thing that could be seen on this level was a small hall that was around 20 square meters in area. There was a tunnel on each of the two sides that led somewhere deeper. Elder Xuan walked into the left one and stopped at the ﬁfth door.
The entire space turned golden as their surroundings ﬂashed instantly at this point. Jing Hongchen’s hands trembled subconsciously, but he soon calmed down. But the intense yet pure undulation of light left him shocked. A sense of peril rose in his heart. He was knowledgeable, but he knew nothing about the mysterious Sea God’s Pavilion. The pure light didn’t seem to be unleashed by someone, but emitted from the wood that surrounded them. What exactly was the Sea God’s Pavilion built from?
The door in front opened as the golden light ﬂashed. They walked into a quiet chamber one by one.
“Elder sister.” Huo Yuhao saw Ma Xiaotao, who lay ﬂat on the Manifold Mysterious Ice Bed. He was so anxious that he wanted to rush over, but he was stopped by Elder Xuan.
Ma Xiaotao looked a little pale, while her originally-red lips were now purplish-black. They carried a sense of evil to them. Her entire body surged with black ﬂames as she was engulfed by the golden light. Although they were repressed by the golden light as soon as they surged slightly, they still appeared to be unyielding.
Elder Xuan shook his head at the anxious Huo Yuhao. Huo Yuhao bit his lips and his ﬁsts clenched unwittingly.
It had already been two months since the tournament had ended. He hadn’t expected his elder sister’s condition to be so disastrous. She could only lie on the ice-cold bed, and had to be sealed by the powers of light. Huo Yuhao’s eyes turned red as he looked at Ma Xiaotao’s face and reminisced about her usual shrewishness.
Elder Xuan gestured to Jing Hongchen, who stepped forward. He stopped before the light that engulfed Ma Xiaotao and took a careful look at the black ﬂames. After a moment, he said in a deep voice, “Can I get closer to sense the change in her soul power?”
“Yes.” Elder Mu’s voice resonated. Following that, everyone was shocked as a golden ﬁgure appeared beside Jing Hongchen. This ﬁgure belonged to Elder Mu, but it was only an illusory projection of him.
Elder Mu’s back wasn’t bent over now, but straight. His entire body shone a bright gold. Although it was only a projection, it seemed very real. Everything around him turned
golden as he stood there calmly. The intense light circulated in the air and caused Wang Dong’s light-type martial soul to ﬂow out unwittingly. Even his arms that contained soul bones lit up.
Jing Hongchen couldn’t control his emotions, and exclaimed, “What soul skill is this?”
Although he wasn’t a Transcendent Douluo, he was still a Rank 93 Titled Douluo! But Elder Mu’s current avatar was already beyond the boundaries of his understanding of soul masters. As the best soul engineer in the world, he was certain that this wasn’t achievable using soul tools. Elder Mu was more than just a simple light projection. Jing Hongchen was awed by the immense power that he possessed.
A soul master actually possessed such a power? It was an eye- opener for Jing Hongchen. But he was more horriﬁed. He suddenly realized that Elder Mu’s claim that he could stop him from unleashing his soul tools wasn’t a joke.
Elder Mu lifted his right hand, and a door appeared in the halo that covered Ma Xiaotao’s body. It could squeeze in one person. Ma Xiaotao’s ﬂames didn’t surge violently because of
this door either. That was because the entire room was a like a giant light seal that suppressed the black ﬂames in her body.
Jing Hongchen took in a deep breath and tried to compose himself. He walked two steps forward to Ma Xiaotao and used his hands to test the black ﬂames that surged from her. After that, he pressed his hand to Ma Xiaotao’s wrist and sensed the condition of her body. He then took two steps back and quickly exited the halo.
No one noticed that when he pressed his hand to Ma Xiaotao’s wrist, his ﬁngernails shook slightly. That change wasn’t even noticed by Elder Mu.
“I am helpless. This is the backlash of a mutated ﬁre. If I’m not wrong, this young lady already possessed a weird force within her martial soul that affected her. When she was provoked by the Judgement Sword’s dark power, she couldn’t suppress this force in time and unleashed it. This mutated ﬁre that’s ﬁlled with darkness and violence took control of her body, and it couldn’t be stopped. It’s already close to the strength of Ultimate ﬁre. If it’s forcefully suppressed or broken down, her body may collapse. Sealing her is the best solution so far. Unless a gentle force can be found to tackle this mutated
ﬁre, she’s likely to be controlled by the ﬁre, and her mind will never be clear again once she wakes up.”
A cold radiance appeared on Huo Yuhao’s face. He detested that he wasn’t strong enough. He could help his elder sister if he was strong enough. She wouldn’t be in such a state then. There was also the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. A vicious radiance ﬂashed across his eyes as he looked at Jing Hongchen.
“Since you’re helpless too, you don’t have to ask us for anything,” Elder Mu said gradually, “the tournament was a chance for us to interact and exchange tips. We won’t be petty over the damages we suffered during the tournament. Please return to the second level. We can converse there.”
After his voice subsided, the surrounding golden light disappeared, and the halo also returned to normal. Elder Mu’s golden illusory projection ﬂashed before disappearing. He naturally wouldn’t explain where this magical avatar of his appeared from to Jing Hongchen.
The light in Jing Hongchen’s eyes faded greatly as they returned to the second level. He only felt his head getting
heavier. He always reckoned that he could resist Shrek Academy with his soul tools. But he only now realized that the Sun Moon Empire was still inferior in terms of top abilities after he saw Elder Mu.
Huo Yuhao and the other two returned to Elder Mu’s side again. Elder Mu laid there and wasn’t any different from before. He still didn’t unleash his powerful aura, and just laid there quietly. But he brought great pressure on Jing Hongchen. This caused Jing Hongchen to start perspiring. He only now realized why the Body Sect left so quickly after seeing Elder Mu.
Elder Mu said gradually, “Can you tell me which is better in your opinion – the Illustrious Virtue Hall or Sea God’s Pavilion?”
Jing Hongchen was slightly stunned. Elder Mu’s question might seem very vague, but he understood immediately. He was asking about the advantages and disadvantages of soul masters and soul engineers, as well as a comparison between the Illustrious Virtue Hall and Shrek Academy.
After pondering for a moment, Jing Hongchen said, “I don’t dare to comment, as I don’t know much about the Sea God’s Pavilion. Let’s take Elder Xuan and I as examples. Elder Xuan will beat me within a hundred meters. But I can perish along with him. If the distance between us is expanded to a thousand meters, I can escape. If it’s ten thousand meters, I am conﬁdent of beating Elder Xuan if he doesn’t leave the battleﬁeld of his own accord. In a war, my side will win.”
Jing Hongchen sounded very resolute and unhesitant as he got to his last sentence. Elder Mu was even a little moved.
“It seems like you are very conﬁdent.” Elder Mu laughed slightly.
Jing Hongchen laughed bitterly. “I believe that you can tell that I lack conﬁdence. Soul tools have an advantage in a war, but Shrek’s position on the continent can’t be shaken in more higher-end battles. Neither the Illustrious Virtue Hall nor the Body Sect can shake Shrek Academy.”
Elder Mu stole a glance at him. It was obvious that he could tell the meaning behind his words. If the Illustrious Virtue
Hall and Body Sect couldn’t do it themselves, what if they combined their power?
“Jing Hongchen, I once went to the Illustrious Virtue Hall. Your development in soul tools is indeed beyond my imagination. I agree with one point of yours. When soul tools no longer rely on soul masters’ soul power one day, soul masters will be eliminated. Just like how soul tools replaced the Tang Sect’s secret weapons. But I have to add something. Even if that day really comes, soul masters will still be the most powerful. That’s because only powerful soul masters can unleash the greatest might of even more powerful soul tools. Do you agree?”
Chapter 136: The Sea God's Pavilion has an Entrance Fee
Jing Hongchen nodded his head and said, “Yes, you’re right. The stronger the person using the soul tool, the higher the limit of the soul tool.”
“We’ve yet to develop soul tools that are powerful enough to be used without a soul master apart from stationary soul tools. I can’t predict any future developments. But the rise of soul engineers can’t be stopped, just like how soul tools replaced cold weapons.” He sounded very sincere, but he was actually very bafﬂed in his heart. Had Elder Mu gone to the Illustrious Virtue Hall before? “If such an unpredictable, Transcendent Douluo has gone there before…” He broke out in a cold sweat.
Elder Mu smiled and said, “You can’t bring the Judgement Sword with you. You can tell me what you’re here for. If you point soul tools towards Shrek City from outside Shrek Academy again, I will pay a visit to the Sun Moon Empire’s capital.”
Jing Hongchen’s expression ﬁnally changed. Why was he daring enough to enter Shrek Academy? He didn’t only possess
Class 9 automatic soul tools. He also had his setup outside. But he didn’t expect Elder Mu to know about this. As he recalled Elder Mu’s avatar, he became fearful for the ﬁrst time since he took up the position of Hallmaster of the Illustrious Virtue Hall.
“Elder Mu, you’re indeed admirable.” He bowed slightly and tried his best to repress the shock that he felt. “I’m here for another reason. Many months ago, Shrek Academy agreed to an exchange between our academy’s students. But it was put aside for some reason. Both the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy and Shrek Academy are top-ranked academies in the continent now. I believe that this exchange is necessary, and I feel that it will improve integration and learning between both parties.”
Elder Mu answered, “It’s ﬁne for us to have an exchange, but can you ensure the safety of my students? In addition, what can my Shrek students learn from your academy?”
Jing Hongchen seemed to have expected this question, and answered without any hesitation, “I can ensure their complete safety, and I’ll swear to that by the Illustrious Virtue Hall’s honor. During the exchange period, your students will receive
the best guidance. If they’re capable enough, they can even enter the Illustrious Virtue Hall to learn.”
Elder Mu replied, “There’s no evidence to prove your words.”
Jing Hongchen said, “If you’re worried, you can send Shrek Academy’s teachers with them. You can even send many of them to tag along.”
Elder Mu shook his head and said, “That’ll be unnecessary. The exchange is ﬁne. Send Xiao Hongchen and Meng Hongchen to my academy before bringing my students to your academy. I can guarantee that they’ll learn in my academy’s inner courtyard. You shall personally send my students back and bring your students back to your academy once the exchange is over.”
Jing Hongchen shook his head immediately. “That wouldn’t be appropriate. Although I believe in your character, I think it’s best to be cautious. What if, when I send your students back, Shrek…”
Elder Mu smiled and asked, “What’s your proposal then?”
Jing Hongchen replied, “There’s no rush to have an exchange now. I suggest that we hold a three year long exchange two years from now. That way, it will be the start of the next Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament. You can send your academy’s teachers to observe the tournament. When it’s over, they can bring your students back. At the same time, they can send my students back too.”
Elder Xuan couldn’t help but ask, “How will you settle the same problem?” The suggestion that Jing Hongchen gave was similar to Elder Mu’s previous proposition. The only difference was in the identity of the host.
Jing Hongchen replied, “The Sun Moon Empire is organizing the tournament, and everyone will be watching us. We’ll become a laughingstock if we do anything behind your backs. I’m willing to come to Shrek Academy to act as collateral, and I’ll only return once the tournament is over and your students are back safely. However, the Illustrious Virtue Hall shall be blameless if anything happens to them during the tournament.”
“Alright. That’s a promise. You shall bring them here 2 years from now. I will ask Little Xuan to send my students to the Sun
Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, including Huo Yuhao.” Elder Mu said.
“That’s a promise.” Jing Hongchen was also elated. Although he had been demeaning soul masters and elevating the status of soul engineers, he was clearly aware that the development of soul masters was very crucial to the growth of the Illustrious Virtue Hall. Especially since Shrek had been around for years, learning even a little from them was beneﬁcial to the overall enhancement of the Illustrious Virtue Hall. Perhaps Shrek Academy could also gain some knowledge of soul tools from the Illustrious Virtue Hall. But it was pertinent to note that Shrek Academy didn’t belong to any empire, while the Illustrious Virtue Hall belonged to the Sun Moon Empire. This difference was bound to beneﬁt the Illustrious Virtue Hall more greatly, and allow them to accumulate more long-term proﬁts.
There was another reason why Jing Hongchen agreed so readily. It was that Elder Mu proposed for Huo Yuhao to go to the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. He wouldn’t have to worry about Xiao Hongchen and Meng Hongchen’s safety with Huo Yuhao as an exchange student. The statuses and potential of the students sent out by both academies were equal. In addition, Huo Yuhao had twin martial souls. He had to expend a lot of effort to master his
martial souls. Even if he specialized in soul tools too, he wouldn’t be able to focus much on them. At least to him right now, Shrek Academy would be sending Huo Yuhao to ensure that the students both academies sent out were of equal standing.
Elder Mu smiled. “Since things are settled, you can leave now.”
Jing Hongchen bowed once again and said, “Thank you, elder, for your kind treatment. I want to ask you something before I leave. Can Shrek have an even deeper exchange with the Sun Moon Empire?”
Elder Mu picked his brows, “Shrek Academy is Douluo Continent’s Shrek Academy.”
“The Sun Moon Empire is also the Douluo Continent’s Sun Moon Empire.”
Jing Hongchen was slightly moved. “Alright, I understand.” He turned around and left after he ﬁnished speaking.
“Wait a minute.” Elder Mu stopped Jing Hongchen.
Jing Hongchen asked, “Do you have something else for me, elder?”
Elder Mu smiled and said, “You’re the ﬁrst outsider to enter the Sea God’s Pavilion in all these years. It’s also not a place that one can come in and leave easily. Leave a Class 9 soul tool behind and teach us how to use it. Think of it as your admission ticket into the Sea God’s Pavilion.”
“Admission ticket…” Jing Hongchen was stunned as he looked at Elder Mu. He didn’t expect him to suggest something like this. This was an obviously blackmail! Furthermore, this ‘admission ticket’ was a little too pricey.
“Elder, you’re bullying me!” Jing Hongchen laughed bitterly. He might be a little more headstrong if he hadn’t seen Elder Mu’s avatar. But he was a little hesitant and fearful in foreign territory and inside the unpredictable Sea God’s Pavilion.
Elder Mu smiled without saying anything. He remained calm as he looked at Jing Hongchen. Jing Hongchen discovered to
his horror that the walls, ﬂoor and ceiling all started to exude a dim golden light. It was as if a formless hand had gripped his throat.
“Elder, you invited me into the Sea God’s Pavilion.” Jing Hongchen laughed bitterly. He was trying to hint at Elder Mu’s lack of scruples for demanding an admission fee.
Elder Mu smiled slightly and said, “I invited you into the Sea God’s Pavilion, but I didn’t invite you into Shrek Academy. Although it isn’t some secret territory, I have to think of the students’ safety too. If you’re unwilling to pay the admission fee, I won’t force you. But you’ll have to stay here with me until the exchange 2 years later.”
“Remain here for 2 years?” Jing Hongchen’s expression stiffened. The Illustrious Virtue Hall and Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy would be a mess if he stayed here for 2 years. Without him holding the fort, the soul engineers under him couldn’t be repressed easily by anyone. Elder Mu might seem very friendly, but he exerted great pressure on Jing Hongchen. Although he was conﬁdent that he had a ﬁghting chance if he went all-out, there was no doubt that he would remain here.
Jing Hongchen took a deep breath and nodded his head. He said, “Since this is the case, I shall follow your orders. It’s my fault that I entered Shrek Academy without permission. I shall leave behind soul tool as a gift.”
As he spoke, Jing Hongchen lifted his hand and fumbled around his chest. A metal chip that looked extremely thin appeared in his palm.
This metal chip was circular in shape and very thin. It released a gentle, golden halo. The most special part of it was a carving on its surface. The carving pattern was very ﬁne and neat, but it was ﬁlled with a sense of creation and imagination. No undulation of soul power came from it, but it had a special feel like a solid mountain as it appeared on the chip. A dim golden halo ﬂashed across it subtly. The radiance wasn’t intense, but it was very distracting.
Jing Hongchen said, “I made this soul tool myself. I call it Hongchen’s Blessing. It’s an automatic defense-type soul tool. Placing it at the chest area will allow it to stick close to a soul master’s body and absorb the soul master’s soul power to become a single entity. It will mount a defense when the soul master is under attack. It can be initiated and shut down with the soul master’s mind. I’m quite satisﬁed with a few parts of
this Hongchen’s Blessing. Firstly, it places no restrictions on its user’s cultivation. Even a one-ringed or two-ringed soul master can use it. Its defensive effect is equal to the strongest attack unleashed by the user with all of his soul power without initiating any soul skills. But the soul power depleted is only 1/5th of that strongest attack. It’s suitable for all soul masters. In the hands of a Titled Douluo, it has the defensive strength of a Transcendent Douluo.”
“Furthermore, it has a unique activation method.
“It can only form an Invincible Barrier capable of lasting a full 15 seconds when its core formation is activated using this method. The defensive strength of this barrier can reach up to three times the user’s cultivation. The reason that it’s classiﬁed as a Class 9 soul tool is because of this Invincible Barrier. However, it can only be activated like this once before it needs to be recharged, but it doesn’t have to be manually charged. When the user cultivates, it will naturally charge itself with the required soul power over time—around three days. Of course, the user can also charge it deliberately. Doing so will take an entire day and night of meditation, during which the user will have to inject all of their soul power into the soul tool.”
Elder Xuan was shocked when he heard Jing Hongchen’s introduction. He realized that Jing Hongchen truly had the ability to get out of almost any dangerous situation with this Class 9 soul tool, despite his cultivation only being Rank 93. No wonder he’d dared to sneak into Shrek Academy.
Elder Mu nodded, and Jing Hongchen felt that the weight in his hands disappear as Hongchen’s Blessing appeared in front of Elder Mu. Elder Mu squinted his eyes and lifted it in front of him. He then said, “You’re able to adapt well; no wonder the Illustrious Virtue Hall is improving every day under your leadership. You may leave now. However, if you intend on coming here without permission again, I hope that you’re fully conﬁdent. If you aren’t, your entrance fee won’t be as simple as just one Class 9 soul tool.”
Jing Hongchen revealed a smile on his face. Even though it was bitter, it was also ﬁlled with stubbornness. He bowed slightly towards Elder Mu, then turned to leave.
Once he’d left the Sea God’s Pavilion, he leapt up into the air, and a pair of dark golden wings opened behind his back. He disappeared almost instantly; he wasn’t willing to remain in Shrek Academy even a second longer.
Jing Hongchen had wanted to get back what belonged to him, yet had ended up suffering even more losses. He hadn’t managed to get back the Class 8 Judgement Sword, and had even lost a Class 9 soul tool. It’s important to know that Shrek Academy hadn’t had a Class 9 soul tool prior to this, as Class 9 soul tools were only utilized for strategic purposes even in the
Sun Moon empire. Even though the Class 9 soul tool that Jing Hongchen had given Shrek wasn’t the best, it wasn’t the worst either. He’d chosen Hongchen’s Blessing because it wasn’t offensive at all; its core formation was very resilient, and wouldn’t be overcome easily.
However, Jing Hongchen wasn’t exactly returning empty- handed. He’d seen Elder Mu, and had gained an even deeper sense of Shrek’s background. This had been his greatest reward. Furthermore, he’d made other arrangements; failure was the mother of success. He wasn’t afraid of being repressed for once. Despite how depressed he felt, Jing Hongchen had several other ideas.
However, he almost spat blood when he reached the soul tools that he’d set up beforehand.
Jing Hongchen had set up eight automatic soul tools over a thousand meter distance before he’d entered Shrek Academy. Four of them were Class 9 soul tools, while the other four were Class 8 soul tools. With them in place, he could remotely mount an attack on Shrek Academy and Shrek City with the push of a button. Even the most powerful individuals wouldn’t be able to resist an attack of such a magnitude without sufﬁcient preparation. They might be able to escape, but
ordinary soul masters and all of the buildings present would be destroyed.
But when he reached the locations where he’d placed these Class 8 soul tools, he realized that only traces of them were left behind—all of them had disappeared. He immediately realized that Elder Mu must’ve done something to them. He used his remote to test them out, but didn’t get a reaction. It was obvious that their receivers had been destroyed.
“Bastard, I knew I should’ve had that old man equip them with self-destruct devices. Damned Shrek Academy.” Jing Hongchen cursed in fury. He didn’t act like how he had in the Sea God’s Pavilion.
However, his temper disappeared as quickly as it’d come. He turned around to look at Shrek Academy, an evil radiance appearing in his eyes. He snorted coldly, then turned around again and quickly left.
“Elder Mu, we’ve succeeded.” Xian Lin’er and Qian Duoduo reported the good news to Elder Mu.
Where had Jing Hongchen’s soul tools disappear to? They’d taken them away of course! Elder Mu had stalled Jing Hongchen in the Sea God’s Pavilion in order to buy them enough time.
Elder Mu smiled and said, “I hope that your Soul Tool Department will be able to make some progress this time. However, take due caution; it wouldn’t be a good thing if such powerful soul tools were to explode.”
Xian Lin’er said, “Elder Mu, please rest assured. We’ll only research the core formations for now. We won’t take them apart without understanding them. Even when we do, we’ll only do so in the academy. Fan Yu’s already taken them back to the academy so that we can begin researching them.”
Huo Yuhao was stunned as he listened from one side. He only barely managed to piece together that Elder Mu had most likely instructed the two Soul Tool Department deans to gather up some powerful soul tools.
Qian Duoduo looked at Huo Yuhao and couldn’t help but laugh. “Little Yuhao, you must be curious. Well, Jing Hongchen snuck into our academy and was discovered by Elder
Mu. Elder Mu also sensed what he’d setup outside the academy, and told us to go and gather up his soul tools. Of the soul tools he set up, four are Class 8 and four are Class 9. No matter how deep the Illustrious Virtue Hall’s coffers are, this will deﬁnitely be enough to make them feel a pinch for some time.”
Huo Yuhao was stunned. He clearly remembered the auction prices for the top-ranked soul tools sold at the auction house. The Illustrious Virtue Hall had deﬁnitely suffered a heavy loss since they’d relinquished these 8 soul tools alongside the Hongchen’s Blessing that Jing Hongchen had left behind for Elder Mu.
Elder Mu passed the Hongchen’s Blessing to Xian Lin’er and said, “Study this soul tool too. I tried it out just now; Jing Hongchen wasn’t lying when he explained its usage. But don’t ruin it—I have other uses in mind for it.”
“Yes.” Xian Lin’er excitedly received it. Even though she wasn’t young anymore, she was still as excited as a little girl right now.
Shrek Academy’s Soul Tool Department had been making slow progress all these years; this was a great opportunity for
them! Researching the soul tools that they’d obtained today would deﬁnitely help Shrek Academy’s Soul Tool Department make signiﬁcant progress. It wasn’t easy for one to obtain top- ranked soul tools from the Illustrious Virtue Hall.
Elder Mu gestured and said, “Go on then. Yuhao and Wang Dong, help me up to the third level. Xiao Xiao, follow Little Xuan and learn well from him. Little Xuan, take them to Star Dou Forest ﬁrst thing tomorrow morning.”
“Yes.” Elder Xuan acknowledged.
Huo Yuhao and Xiao Xiao’s eyes brightened when they heard that they were going to the Star Dou Forest. Their cultivations had already reached the Rank 30 bottleneck, thus heading to the Star Dou Forest could only mean one thing: They were going there to obtain their third soul rings! Becoming a Soul Elder represented a signiﬁcant step forward in one’s cultivation.
Only after one had overcome the barrier at Rank 30 would they be considered to have advanced from the beginner stage to the intermediate stage of cultivation.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong helped Elder Mu up from his chair slowly, then helped him up to the Sea God’s Pavilion’s third level again. Beneath Elder Mu’s guidance, they entered the left tunnel and walked all the way to the room at the end of it.
Golden light shone, and the door to the room opened, afterwich they entered the room.
The room wasn’t big; it was only around 30 square meters in size. There was a simple wooden table, a chair, a bed, and a bookshelf that covered one of the walls. The interior design was very simple, and the natural scenery of Sea God’s Island could be seen through the window.
“Eld… Teacher.” Huo Yuhao almost addressed Elder Mu incorrectly, as he still wasn’t used to the new way he had to address him since he’d just accepted Elder Mu as his teacher. “How’s elder sister? Is there any way to heal her? My second martial soul is Ultimate Ice. I’ll do my best to help heal elder sister so long as I’m able to and you tell me how.”
Huo Yuhao was more concerned with Ma Xiaotao’s condition than becoming a Soul Elder. He’d only just established a
relationship with Ma Xiaotao, yet she’d suffered such an enormous injury. It had taken him a great deal of effort to gain kin!
Elder Mu replied, “Don’t be too anxious. Xiaotao’s condition right now is special. It’s not entirely a bad thing for her martial soul to have transformed. Once I sealed her, the Dark Phoenix ﬂames began to lead her body in the direction of Ultimate Fire. It’s just that the aura of darkness within her is like a parasite— it can’t be neutralized so easily.”
Huo Yuhao continued to probe, “How can we make the aura of darkness disappear?”
Elder Mu smiled and replied, “I’ve thought of a way, but we can’t do so now. She needs to remain asleep in my seal for a longer period of time. It might be two, three, or even four to ﬁve years. It’ll depend on what destiny has in store for her. I’ll truly need your strength when the time comes however. For now, just remember what you said.”
“I’ll save elder sister no matter the price, so long as I’m able.” Huo Yuhao answered resiliently.
Elder Mu said, “Yuhao, Wang Dong, let me ask you this: Do the two of you know why I let Jing Hongchen enter the Sea God’s Pavilion today?”
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong looked at each other, then Wang Dong said, “Are you trying to stamp your authority on the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy and the Sun Moon Empire? I’ve heard from Teacher Wang that the Sun Moon Empire’s development in soul tools has been extremely rapid. It seems that the beginnings of a war are brewing.”
Elder Mu didn’t judge Wang Dong’s analysis and turned towards Huo Yuhao. He asked, “What do you think?”
Huo Yuhao answered, “I have the same general idea as Wang Dong. However, I also think that you seem to value the exchange and interaction between us and their students that you discussed.”
Elder Mu nodded and said, “Both of you are right. Stamping my authority, scaring him, and reaping the beneﬁts. These were some of the reasons that I let him enter. However, the main reason was to ﬁght for time—time for all of you.”
“For us?” Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong were stunned.
Elder Mu replied, “My existence is Shrek Academy’s greatest secret. Only the elders of the Sea God’s Pavilion currently know about me. Yet, I revealed myself in order to ﬁght for more time so that you young people will have time to develop. This is because I can’t protect Shrek for much longer.”
“Teacher, you…” Huo Yuhao was shocked.
Elder Mu smiled and said in a carefree manner, “All people will eventually die, unless they manage to overcome that barrier. But doing so is simply too difﬁcult. I’ve already been alive for over 200 years; death isn’t scary to me. Both Du Bisi and I suffered critical injuries back then, but I managed to ascend to Rank 99 because I overcame my limits in that life and death battle. That’s also what has allowed me to stay alive until now. Just this makes me very fortunate compared to Du Bisi.”
“I’ve clearly been able to feel my body’s degradation over these past few years; it’s irreversible. I’m not exactly sure how long I have left though. At the very least, I have three years, while at the most, I have ﬁve to six years. I can’t protect Shrek for much longer. That’s why I need to use what limited time I have left to do something for Shrek.”
“If I were still in good shape, it’d be best for me remain in the dark. In that case, I’d be able to use my power to greatly rock the Sun Moon Empire even if I can’t decide the result of the
war. However, I can’t do so now; my body’s on the decline. The only thing I can do is instill fear in them by letting them know of my presence, in order to stall them from doing anything for now.”
In fact, the reason that Elder Mu had allowed Jing Hongchen to enter the Sea God’s Pavilion wasn’t as simple as he’d said. There had also been a deeper meaning behind his actions.
“The next two years will be very important to you all. There won’t be any time for you rest. Yuhao, you must go to the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy in two years. Wang Dong, what about you?”
Wang Dong was dazed, and hesitated. “Teacher, I don’t really like soul tools. I don’t have any talent in them either. However, Yuhao and I…”
Elder Mu nodded slightly and said, “Your martial soul fusion won’t disappear simply because you’re distanced from one another. You aren’t inferior to Yuhao in terms of talent, but your paths of development will still differ in some ways. As such, I hope that you’ll remain in the academy in order to
further your learning while he goes to the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy.”
Wang Dong hesitated, as he was still unwilling to part with Huo Yuhao. Furthermore, it would be an entire three years of separation. However, he didn’t say anything against it, as it would still only happen two years from now.
Elder Mu squinted. “Jing Hongchen was right. Soul tools will enter every household in the future as they continue to develop. They’ll inevitably replace the cold weapons that we have now. This is also one of the reasons that the war is inevitable. The other three empires are also developing soul tools much slower than the Sun Moon Empire. I’ll only be able to ﬁght for up to ten years of time from now. After that, many things will change when the war comes.”
Wang Dong asked, “Teacher, why didn’t you kill Jing Hongchen today?”
Elder Mu replied, “Killing him would only cause the Sun Moon Empire to go all-out. Furthermore, he wasn’t lying. Many of the soul tools on his body were very threatening. Both parties would’ve suffered if we weren’t careful. In addition to
this, we couldn’t afford to put Shrek’s many years of foundation at risk. Jing Hongchen is extremely powerful and adaptable. He’s able to make accurate choices decisively when he’s forced to; he’ll become a huge enemy of Shrek in the future.”
Early the next morning.
The weather was a little gloomy, which caused the mist above Sea God’s Lake to be more concentrated than usual.
Four ﬁgures left Shrek Academy, but stopped after they’d gone through the gate.
Elder Xuan hugged his wine gourd and looked at the two young men and the young lady in front of him. He said intoxicatedly, “It’s alright, you three can head forwards on your own. You’re all young. If I keep following you, I’ll only be a pain in the ass. You should know where Star Dou Forest is. Go and ﬁnd suitable soul beasts for yourselves. I’ll follow all of you secretly. However, you’ll be deducted 10 points from your
outer courtyard test this semester if I have to intervene while you’re getting your soul rings.”
The three of them were naturally Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao. Only Huo Yuhao and Xiao Xiao needed to obtain their third soul rings, but Wang Dong had volunteered to accompany them. His reasoning had been simple: Huo Yuhao would be twice as strong with him around. Their martial soul fusion skills were able to achieve crucial effects at critical times. It wouldn’t be a problem for the three of them to deal with a thousand year soul beast if they were to team up. Furthermore, Huo Yuhao and Xiao Xiao only needed to obtain thousand year soul rings.
After Elder Xuan addressed the three of them, his ﬁgure ﬂashed, and he disappeared. However, they were still conﬁdent despite the fact that Elder Xuan wasn’t directly following them. With a Rank 98 Transcendent Douluo secretly protecting them, they were bold enough to even enter the core regions of the Star Dou Forest.
The three of them determined the direction to head, then rushed towards the Star Dou Forest that was located to the south of Shrek Academy.
Shrek Academy was quite close to Star Dou Forest. Otherwise, the wave of soul beasts from the Star Dou Forest wouldn’t have swept over Shrek City ﬁrst back then.
They arrived outside Star Dou Forest in less than two days.
The air along the way had become much fresher, and their breathing had in turn become smoother as they’d neared the forest. The three of them were feeling quite good even though they’d rushed along the road for two days.
They’d been very busy with learning and cultivating ever since they’d entered Shrek Academy; they’d hardly had any time to relax. Once their ﬁrst year had ended, Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao had managed to return home and rest. However, Huo Yuhao had gone to the Extreme North. Even though he’d managed to obtain the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion, he’d still undergone tough training and many ordeals. He’d then continued to cultivate tirelessly once he returned to the academy, and had competed in the tournament afterwards. His
mind hadn’t been able to calm down since he’d entered Shrek Academy.
They were extremely excited to ﬁnally be getting their their third soul rings. They all felt like they’d changed after their closed-door cultivation, thus they were incredibly conﬁdent right now. They were excited to use their skills in the Star Dou Forest.
That was why they weren’t fatigued despite rushing for two days straight. They were both thrilled and in their peak conditions.
As they walked, Huo Yuhao asked Xiao Xiao, “Xiao Xiao, what’s your plan for your soul ring?”
Xiao Xiao answered, “I have a plan. However, teacher mentioned that a lot of luck is involved when it comes to obtaining a soul ring. If I see a better alternative, I’ll take it. I’ll even consider fusing with a soul ring that’s extremely suitable for my Ninephoenix Worshipping Flute. To be honest, I’m raring to go right now. If I wait for my ﬁrst martial soul to get all nine soul rings before I start cultivating my second martial soul, the advantage of my twin martial souls will be realized
too slowly. I’m planning to add three or four soul rings to my Ninephoenix Worshipping Flute while I cultivate the Threelives Soulcrush Cauldron. If I don’t, I won’t be able to keep up with the two of you.”
Since there were only the three of them present, Xiao Xiao didn’t hide what she really thought.
Xiao Xiao could clearly sense the gap between her and both Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong after the tournament. Huo Yuhao had more than caught up with the both of them; he was the one in the lead now. Meanwhile, Wang Dong’s Radiant Butterﬂy Goddess and Clear Sky Hammer were both rather powerful martial souls. Her martial souls were slightly inferior in comparison to theirs, thus she didn’t want to lag too far behind them, regardless of whether she chose to be an auxiliary-type battle soul master or to add a soul ring to her second martial soul beforehand. She was intelligent; she sensed that she wouldn’t have a chance to catch up to them if she lagged too far behind them now.
Wang Dong asked, “Xiao Xiao, what’s your second soul bone?”
Xiao Xiao laughed and replied, “It’s a secret; I’m not telling. However, I know that Yuhao’s second soul bone is the Ice Jade Scorpion’s Left Arm Bone.”
Wang Dong laughed. “It’s ﬁne if you don’t tell us. You’ll still have to use it when you hunt soul beasts anyway. You haven’t revealed what type of soul ring you want for your Threelives Soulcrush Cauldron though.”
Xiao Xiao answered, “I chose to be an auxiliary-type battle soul master. As such, my soul ring naturally needs to have an auxiliary effect and be able to display my special trait. My plan is to use a control-type soul skill as my main soul skill, or to enhance the defensive strength of my Threelives Soulcrush Cauldron. After the tournament, I had the feeling that, so long as my Threelives Soulcrush Cauldron is defensively strong enough, it will achieve unprecedented effects when coupled with its ability to separate itself and my enemies. Furthermore, I still have the Cauldron Quake and Cauldron Sweep.”
Huo Yuhao was awed when he heard this. “Xiao Xiao, you’ve analyzed your martial soul very thoroughly. I also think that a defense-type soul ring suits you. Your Threelives Soulcrush Cauldron is indeed very outstanding in separating your
enemies. When we fought Class 2, we wouldn’t have won so easily without that skill and control of yours.”
“What about you?” Xiao Xiao asked, “What’s your plan? It won’t be easy to ﬁnd a soul ring to add to your Spirit Eyes. Spiritual-type soul beasts aren’t common. Furthermore, they’re good at concealing themselves.”
Huo Yuhao concurred and nodded. He replied, “We can only take it step by step and see how our luck plays out. Besides, we’re only circling the Star Dou Forest’s perimeter. We’ll hunt when we ﬁnd suitable ones. Contrarily, we need to kill as few of them as possible.”
Xiao Xiao agreed, “Yes! To a certain extent, soul beasts are resources that soul masters like us need. If we kill too many of the lower-level soul beasts, future generations will ﬁnd it difﬁcult to obtain soul rings.”
Wang Dong creased his brows and said, “You shouldn’t put it that way. Soul beasts are also living beings. How could you call them resources? We’re already preying on the weak by hunting them.”
Xiao Xiao was a little stunned and looked at Wang Dong. She commented, “I never realized that you were actually so kind.”