Book 21: Reuniﬁed
Chapter 183: The Transformation That Occurred After Seclusion!
Fan Yu thought that he was seeing things when Huo Yuhao’s body slightly moved. After all, he had waited too long. It was half a year! Huo Yuhao had sat there without moving for half a year.
However, Fan Yu soon realized that he wasn’t seeing things.
That’s because he saw the dust on him falling to the ground.
He had sat there for half a year. No one dared to touch him either for fear of disrupting his cultivation. Huo Yuhao wasn’t just covered in dust. He was coated with an oxide layer.
He was like a clay ﬁgure.
Fan Yu stood up hurriedly and took a few steps forward. He stared at Huo Yuhao.
Huo Yuhao indeed moved. His body slightly trembled and dust kept on falling from him. The oxide layer on him also started to crack.
Fan Yu was a little nervous. He retrieved a jade bottle. It was his ﬁrst time seeing someone enter deep meditation for half a year. Elder Xuan once instructed him not to offer Huo Yuhao any food or water immediately after he awoke. He had to consume the medicinal ﬂuid contained within this bottle to strengthen himself ﬁrst as his body was at its weakest condition at this point.
His body starting to tremble more violently. He seemed to be trying to open his eyes but didn’t have the strength to.
Fan Yu didn’t dare to touch him. He could only hold his breath and watch. Huo Yuhao had grown much thinner after half a year such that he resembled a branch. After all, his body wasn’t nourished as he sat there. He could only deplete his body reserves like a wild beast that hibernated.
Huo Yuhao’s body became still after a while. Not only was Fan Yu astonished, he was also extremely anxious and didn’t know what to do. Huo Yuhao let out a slight groan. “Ah……” He groaned, and his body shook suddenly. The oxide layer on his body cracked and he ﬁnally opened his eyes.
Even though only a slit was formed, and dust ﬂew around his body, the tent suddenly surfaced with a layer of weird light.
That was a dim golden color. Fan Yu only heard a buzzing sound in his mind that resonated.
Huo Yuhao’s body moved again and he ﬁnally managed to lift his head slightly. Fan Yu managed to see his eyes now.
Beautiful eyes! Amidst the clear golden, his eyes emitted a gentle light. Although it was just a pair of eyes, Fan Yu felt as if he was looking at an ocean.
Fan Yu was completely shocked. He couldn’t help it as he said, “Yuhao.”
Huo Yuhao’s lips moved slightly. His lips had already stuck together after such a long time. He struggled a little before tearing them apart. A layer of dry skin was peeled off and revealed his ﬂesh.
“Teacher.” Huo Yuhao shut his eyes after muttering one word. His body also fell to the side like he was a statue.
Fan Yu couldn’t let him fall and quickly supported him. He could sense Huo Yuhao’s rigidity, but his cold body had developed some warmth by now.
Fan Yu rushed to break the jade bottle. He carefully poured the ﬂuid into Huo Yuhao’s mouth. While Huo Yuhao was very weak now, his mind was clear. He struggled as he swallowed the ﬂuid that reeked of a heavy medicinal smell.
The ﬂuid quickly circulated around his body. A wave of heat swept and caused Huo Yuhao to feel much better.
In fact, he had already awoken when his body ﬁrst jerked. It was just that he was in a tormented state then. Huo Yuhao felt extremely weak when his mind returned to his body. He was so weak that he couldn’t even lift a ﬁnger. His body was pitch-dark, and he couldn’t even see a shred of soul power. The blood in his passageways was circulating at an unbelievably slow speed. His muscles were also as stiff as a rock.
Deep meditation should have increased my abilities! However, why am I in such a pathetic state? Huo Yuhao felt very helpless now. It wasn’t his ﬁrst time entering deep meditation for a long time. The last time he did so was in the Sea God’s Pavilion. As he recalled now, the deep meditation that he did in the Sea God’s Pavilion didn’t cause any burden on his body. It was possibly because of the Golden Tree. With the nourishment of the Golden Tree, the internal courtyard disciples that underwent deep meditation didn’t experience such a problem.
Fan Yu also didn’t dare to pour his soul power into Huo Yuhao’s body to help him readjust. He knew that Huo Yuhao’s abilities had increased after seeing the expression in his eyes. It was just that his body wasn’t in good condition right now, but he could only rely on himself to readjust. Any external interference might lead to problems since his body was very weak. He carried Huo Yuhao as this wasn’t a suitable place for him to recuperate. Fan Yu carried him and left the place.
“Teacher……immerse…hot water…” Huo Yuhao’s lips moved slightly. After consuming the medicinal ﬂuid, a warm feeling soon engulfed his body. He managed to restore some of his energy and muttered a few words.
Fan Yu immediately understood what he meant. He quickly brought him back to his dormitory room and ﬁlled his bathtub with hot water. After that, he placed Huo Yuhao inside the bathtub without stripping him. It was only his head that was out of the water.
His body was soaked in the warm water and the oxide layer was slowly broken down. After a while, the water had already turned black. Huo Yuhao’s body seemed to soften as he soaked in the warm water.
Fan Yu changed the water before removing his torn and tattered clothes. Huo Yuhao was immersed in the water again. With the medicine circulating and warm water soaking his body, Huo Yuhao felt much more comfortable. His body wasn’t as stiff as before and he sat more relaxedly.
The water was changed ﬁve times. After an hour, Fan Yu fed Huo Yuhao another bottle of medicine again. This enabled him to lie straight in the bathtub and his breathing became more and more normal.
Fan Yu was also soaked in perspiration and snapped, “Rascal, you deep meditated for half a year. I was almost killed by the fatigue from taking care of you.”
Huo Yuhao could open his eyes now. The golden in his eyes had dissipated and was restored to black.
“Teacher, thank you.” Huo Yuhao’s voice was shaking slightly. Tears also started to stream from his eyes.
After half a year, Fan Yu appeared to have gone through a lot and his beard had grown in a disheveled manner. He seemed to have grown much older. Fan Yu chortled and said, “Alright, I’m just whining. I’m pleased since you’re awake. How are you? Do you feel better?
Huo Yuhao sobbed as he said, “I’m much better.”
“I’m just a little hungry.”
“Hungry? Even if you’re, you’ve to bear the hunger. Elder Xuan said that you can’t eat anything for three days after you awake from your deep meditation. You can only consume some medicinal ﬂuid and you can drink a little water tomorrow. You can only start a liquid diet after three days.”
Huo Yuhao laughed bitterly, “Teacher, I’m not that weak right?”
Fan Yu said, “Look at yourself. You’re almost a bag of bones now.”
Indeed, it was clear to see that Huo Yuhao had grown much thinner after the dirt on his body was scrubbed off. Fortunately, he was initially very developed. Even though he had become much thinner, it only made his muscle deﬁnition clearer. While he still couldn’t use his strength, his body wasn’t as stiff as before.
Fan Yu helped Huo Yuhao to clean his body. He lifted him out of the bathtub before drying him and putting him onto his bed.
“Alright, have a good sleep. I’m relieved that you’re awake.
I’ll also go and take a bath.”
Huo Yuhao couldn’t hang on any further and immediately entered deep sleep after Fan Yu left.
Fan Yu wasn’t lying to him. In the next three days, he wasn’t given any food. He was only offered some water and medicine. In the meantime, Fan Yu only told He Caitou about this. He didn’t tell anyone else that Huo Yuhao had awoken.
Huo Yuhao could ﬁnally sit up after three days. He sat cross- legged as he meditated. His soul power also slowly restored. Huo Yuhao immediately discovered that there was coagulation in his passageways. Not only did his cultivation not improve, it even seemed to have fallen. Fortunately, he already had four rings. At that level, he just needed to smoothen out his passageways before his cultivation could restore.
He took even longer to recover than what he expected. When he returned to his dormitory room secretly, it was already six months later.
After he smoothened out his passageways, he discovered that his body was different from before. The half a year’s worth of deep meditation wasn’t wasted. Although his soul power didn’t increase temporarily and only restored to half its peak six months ago, he realized that his passageways, muscles, bones and even ﬂuid were all coated with a layer of dim golden. This golden aura was similar to his Spiritual Sea.
This also meant that his Boundless Ocean had combined with his body once. The most evident change of this combination was that his soul power circulation had been boosted.
As Huo Yuhao’s second martial soul was the Ultimate Ice, the burden on his body was quite huge. Furthermore, it was much purer than ordinary soul power. That’s why his soul power circulation was greatly restricted during his cultivation process. This was also the reason why Huo Yuhao’s cultivation increased very slowly even though he had a stable foundation.
After Huo Yuhao's body was baptized by the Boundless Ocean, he seemed to have become a new person. Not only was his life power extremely great because of the Life Gold’s nourishment, he was also more resilient now. In this way, his cultivation speed during meditation increased as he circulated his soul power. Although it wasn’t comparable to the cultivation speed of a normal soul master, this enhancement was sufﬁcient to reduce the time taken for him to reach Rank 50 by a third with his twin martial souls and hard work!
As compared to the changes in his body, Huo Yuhao was most pleased with the increment in his spiritual power and the progress of his spiritual sea. He didn’t need to deliberately use his soul power anymore; his spiritual power was able to detect any movement around him up to a diameter of ﬁfty meters. Once he used his Spiritual Detection, this diameter increased to eight hundred meters. If he used it unidirectionally, he could detect up to three kilometers away. Even the slightest of things could be detected, which allowed him to reach the Totality stage of the Purple Demon Eyes. Huo Yuhao also discovered that three of his four soul rings had become much darker in color. The only exception was his million-year soul ring, which still remained white. The other three were now black. According to his judgement, they had all passed forty thousand years. This was evidently the beneﬁt of
absorbing thirty percent of Skydream’s spiritual origin.
The Skydream Iceworm knew that his body couldn’t withstand it if his soul rings were too high of a level. Otherwise, the three seals that were unsealed were powerful enough to increase three soul rings to the hundred thousand year level.
After half a year had passed, the crisis in the Illustrious Virtue Hall had already been averted. When Huo Yuhao found Xuan Ziwen and was brought into the Illustrious Virtue Hall again, he received a lot of attention in the underground base. However, he became much more low-proﬁle than before. He silently walked towards a new laboratory desk that he was assigned to and started to create and research on soul tools. To the others, he didn’t seem much different from how he was half a year ago. However, trouble still came……
Huo Yuhao left the Illustrious Virtue Hall after he completed one day of research. As he walked towards the dormitory, he thought over what he had gleaned today. He realized that his mental calculations and analytical ability had improved after his spiritual sea transformed. His understanding of soul tools had also deepened after his knowledge was enhanced. This was deﬁnitely good news. Even though he couldn’t research on the
metallic man now, consolidating his capabilities as a soul
engineer was much more beneﬁcial for his future research.
When he was about to enter the dormitory, he was alarmed by something. Huo Yuhao’s left toes pointed to the ground and he stopped. He turned his body towards another direction.
From the dark and quiet corner, Ji Juechen walked out slowly as he held the Extraterrestrial Meteoric Sword. He appeared as cool and aloof as ever. As compared to half a year ago, his aura seemed to be much sharper now.
“You can tell that it’s me?”
Huo Yuhao laughed slightly and said, “Your sword intent is unique.”
Ji Juechen nodded his head at Huo Yuhao and said, “Thanks.”
“For what?” Huo Yuhao asked.
Ji Juechen replied, “After that day, I entered deep meditation once I returned. My understanding of my sword has deepened because of you. That’s why I’m thanking you.”
Huo Yuhao was stunned as he asked, “You also entered deep meditation? I’ll have to congratulate you then. You don’t have to thank me though. I only just awoke from my deep meditation. Come to think about it, it’s fate. We both beneﬁted greatly from that ﬁght.”
Ji Juechen revealed a look of annoyance apart from his usual indifference, “My deep meditation only lasted for a month, but yours lasted for half a year. Today, I shall see how much you’ve improved after half a year.”
“Alright.” Huo Yuhao neither rejected his proposition nor asked any questions. There wasn’t any meaning in talking too much with someone like Ji Juechen. Furthermore, Ji Juechen was already grabbing his sword with both hands. It seemed like he didn’t care whether Huo Yuhao was going to follow along with his suggestion.
Huo Yuhao didn’t prepare. He watched Ji Juechen with his sparkling eyes as he walked step by step towards him.
A weird scene was revealed. Every time Huo Yuhao made a step, another layer of gold would be coated on his body. His eyes sparkled with gold too. He would even leave golden footprints everywhere he went.
Ji Juechen was indeed different from how he was half a year ago. His sword intent wasn’t all-engulﬁng anymore. It manifested only as a streak now, but this streak was much ﬁercer and vicious than before. It was an extremely strong sword intent now, as if it was a dragon.
However, this streak of sword intent couldn’t stop Huo Yuhao. It was only destroyed. Ji Juechen hadn’t even stabbed out his sword even when Huo Yuhao reached him. When the both of them were only two meters apart, Huo Yuhao stopped in his tracks. Right now, his entire person had already turned golden. There wasn’t any aura that came from him. No one would feel pressured as they stood beside him.
However, Ji Juechen’s forehead was already ﬁlled with perspiration. Beads of his perspiration started to stream down his cheeks. His hands that were holding onto the sword started to tremble slightly.
Huo Yuhao placed his hands behind his back and said, “You’re on the right path. You’re focused, and your entire life has been dedicated to your sword. You’ll achieve great success if you continue on like this. In terms of focus, even I’m not your match. However, I have an advantage in terms of talent and fortune. I have a great teacher. You’ll have to chase me your entire life if you want to defeat me.”
After he ﬁnished speaking, Huo Yuhao lowered his hands again. He turned and left. Every time he took a step, the golden light on his body would dim a little. When he reached where he'd stood originally, all the golden light had dissipated from his body. He slowly walked into the dormitory block.
When Huo Yuhao disappeared, Ji Juechen groaned. He stuck the Extraterrestrial Meteoric Sword in the ground and was perspiring profusely. His sword intent disappeared instantly.
The two of them didn’t physically clash. However, there was an intense clash between their intents.
Ji Juechen’s sword was all about its sword intent. Once he suppressed his opponent, his opponent would be easily defeated no matter how strong he was. While his seven-ringed cultivation was superior to Huo Yuhao and he even attained the Martial Soul True Body, he still lost to Huo Yuhao because he couldn’t suppress him in terms of his aura.
When Huo Yuhao walked towards him, he could clearly sense that he was like an imposing sovereign. Every step he took made him even more imposing. The sovereign-like aura managed to defeat his sword intent on the spiritual level. He couldn’t strike with his sword even when Huo Yuhao reached him. Huo Yuhao managed to use his spiritual power to suppress and control him. Huo Yuhao was aware of that, thus he placed his hands behind his back.
Ji Juechen knew that he had lost as Huo Yuhao stared at him silently. He even lost by a greater margin than the previous time. Huo Yuhao was far ahead of him in the pursuit of the intent that he desired.
“You’ll have to chase me your entire life if you want to defeat me.” This sentence was stuck in Ji Juechen’s head. His body started to tremble slightly as he thought of it.
He stood there quietly for ﬁfteen minutes. When he lifted his head up again, a determined look ﬁlled his eyes.
“I’m on the right path. Even if I’ve to chase my entire life, I’ll do so. He’s the target that I’m ﬁnding.” After he ﬁnished speaking, an excited ﬂame rose in his eyes. He took a deep look at where Huo Yuhao disappeared from. After that, he turned around and disappeared into the darkness.
Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but shake his head slightly as he entered the dormitory block. It wasn’t a relaxed encounter previously. He also realized that Ji Juechen had found a way of fusing his spiritual mind, sword intent and soul power. Although it’s different from the Descent of the Sovereign, it was still unique. If he continued like this, he might be able to produce another Descent of the Sovereign.
Ji Juechen didn’t appear to be very strong in terms of his talent. Huo Yuhao could clearly sense that, but Ji Juechen managed to carve out a path for himself using his own hard work, determination and resolve. Even the increase in his soul power might have something to do with his own cultivation method. Otherwise, it wasn’t possible for him to reach this level at such an age.
If they went all out to ﬁght, Huo Yuhao knew that it’s unlikely for him to emerge victorious. The gap in their cultivations was too great. Furthermore, Ji Juechen’s sword was extremely swift and ﬁerce. However, Ji Juechen was chasing something from him that was different. That’s why he conceded defeat twice. It seemed like he needed to work even harder. While he didn’t seem to be sacriﬁcing less than Ji Juechen, he was pursuing more goals than him. This meant that he had to work even harder so that he wouldn’t disappoint his unique talents! “It’s still not over?” Huo Yuhao furrowed his brows as he looked in the forward direction.
“Your senses are very acute.” A faint voice sounded. A lady walked out from the corner. It was Na Na, who once begged Huo Yuhao to return her spirit in his room.
Huo Yuhao knew why she’d come. He was a little apologetic as he said, “Sorry, I was in a special situation the last six months.”
“Follow me. I’ll return your spirit now.”
After hearing his words, Na Na appeared much more relieved. For some reason, she deeply trusted him. It might be because of his embarrassment the other time, but Na Na’s face turned hot as she thought of that incident. After she pondered the matter, she realized she had been too desperate. It was just that…
As her thoughts were a little messy, she followed Huo Yuhao to his room.
Huo Yuhao didn’t ask her to sit down. He was still reeling from that previous incident! He was awkward when he saw Na Na again. Huo Yuhao said, “As you suspected, your spirit was sealed by me. My martial soul is spiritual in nature, and your soul skill has some form of spirituality to it. That’s why I could repress it like this. Try to use your Avenging Spirit less frequently in the future. While it’s powerful, you’ll be in deep trouble if your opponent can do this to you. After all, it’s not going to be a simple spar when you ﬁght outside of the academy.”
“Okay.” Na Na nodded her head, looking very obedient.
Huo Yuhao didn’t want her to stay for too long, just in case he was reminded of what he shouldn’t have seen again. He shut his eyes and muttered an incantation. His right hand pressed against his head and a small ball of golden light was released from his forehead under the guidance of his index ﬁnger.
“Focus, relax, and don’t resist.” Huo Yuhao said.
Na Na quickly relaxed and shut her eyes. She waited quietly.
Huo Yuhao’s index ﬁnger pointed forward, and the ball of golden light shot into her forehead. She jerked suddenly, and couldn’t help but tremble. A layer of gold light stretched from her head down to her toes before it rose all the way to her head again.
Huo Yuhao retracted his right hand and took a careful look at her. Elder Yi had taught him this method to return her spirit, but it was still his ﬁrst time using it. He was also a little anxious.
Fortunately, Na Na recovered quickly. When she opened her eyes again, a golden glow ﬂashed across them.
“It’s done?” Huo Yuhao asked.
Na Na nodded hurriedly and excitedly. “My spirit feels much more condensed, even my martial soul feels stronger. Thank you. How did you do it?”
Huo Yuhao hesitated for a moment and replied, “That’s my secret. I can’t tell you.” He really couldn’t tell Na Na that her spirit was kept within his spiritual sea for some time, and thus it had transformed along with his spiritual power, and gained beneﬁts when he reached the level of the Boundless Ocean. Na Na didn’t probe further. However, she now looked at Huo Yuhao in a different light.
Huo Yuhao said, “Alright, I’ve returned your spirit. If there’s nothing else, go back and rest early. You must meditate and cultivate when you get back so that you can stabilize your spirit.”
“Okay.” Na Na acknowledged his words before moving to leave.
Huo Yuhao furrowed his brow slightly. After all, he had returned her spirit readily. However, she didn’t even say any words of farewell to him. Even so, it was still a good thing that she made herself scarce. He’d ﬁnally managed to settle this matter.
But he was quickly left wide-eyed.
That’s because Na Na didn’t leave the room when she got to the door. She shut the door that he’d intentionally left ajar, and even locked it. Huo Yuhao could clearly recall that she had stripped naked after doing that before!
“What’re you doing?” Huo Yuhao was frantic as he reached in front of Na Na and tried to grab her shoulder.
Na Na shook her body and stepped to one side, and Huo Yuhao grabbed nothing but air. Huo Yuhao wasn’t really Na Na’s match in terms of speed, since she was an agility-type Soul King from the Active Control Soul Tool Department. Her Specter was also very effective at increasing her speed.
Just as Huo Yuhao became alarmed and was ready to take action, Na Na did something unexpected.
As she avoided him, she quickly collapsed to her knees. Huo Yuhao missed as he tried to grab her shoulder again.
“What, what are you doing?” Huo Yuhao took two steps back, and was shocked as he looked at Na Na.
Na Na’s eyes turned red. “Huo Yuhao, please help me.” “Get up ﬁrst.” Huo Yuhao turned away from her, and implied that he wouldn’t accept her behavior.
Na Na shook her head forcefully. She also started to tear up, “Let me kneel as I plead to you. I…”
“If you continue acting like this, I’ll chase you out.” Huo Yuhao interjected decisively. As he spoke, he walked to the door.
“No!” Na Na grabbed hold of his legs and stuck her body to them. She sobbed as she said, “Don’t chase me out. I’ll stand up to speak.”
As she said it, she stood up, using Huo Yuhao as her support. She lowered her head in tears, like she had committed some kind of mistake.
Huo Yuhao’s heart softened, and he pointed to a chair on the side. “Take a seat.” Na Na walked towards the chair obediently and softly said, “Will you listen to my story?”
Huo Yuhao laughed bitterly. “Will you leave if I don’t let you tell it?
Na Na blushed and said, “I come from a noble family. My father was a baron of the Sun Moon Empire, it was considered the lowest rank of nobility. Although we didn’t have land, we had some estates and shops. We were quite well-off. My father’s innate martial soul had no soul power, so he couldn’t become a soul master.
“My parents met because of a coincidence. My father was out on a leisurely trip and bumped into my mother, critically injured after hunting soul beasts. My mother fainted just as she saw my father. He saved her and helped her to escape danger. However, he had no choice but to bring her home because her injuries were too serious.
“She recuperated for a month before she was fully recovered. My father’s meticulous care touched her, and on the day she was supposed to leave, he asked her to stay and expressed his love for her. However, she told him that she was an inauspicious character, and that letting her stay would only bring him harm. But he was stubborn, and told her he wasn’t afraid. He wasn’t a superstitious person.”
The look in Na Na’s eyes became obscure while she recounted memories of the past. Huo Yuhao was also listening seriously.
“My mother was moved after interacting with him for a month and experiencing his meticulous care. After hesitating, she decided to stay. Their relationship blossomed, and they got married three months later. After a year, I was born.”
“While my father was of nobility, he was a kind person. He was very nice to all our tenants. After my mother married him, she stayed at home. Before I was six, we led a happy life. Until someone…”
Na Na’s tears ﬂowed again as she reached this point.
“I was six. One day, my mother told my father that she was going somewhere. I was still small, and pestered my mom to let me follow her. I only found out later that she was going hunting for soul beasts again. Her soul power had reached a bottleneck, and she needed a soul ring to achieve a breakthrough. My mother was a born a commoner, and her cultivation was self-achieved. When she was small, she had attended an elementary soul master academy and learned some simple knowledge, but couldn’t continue her education
afterwards, because she was broke. However, she managed to
reach Rank 40 based on her own abilities when I was six years old, and became a Soul Ancestor. For an ordinary person, that was a very rare thing.
“My father encouraged my mother’s cultivation, but for half a year, we never heard from her. After six months, she returned with a dismal look on her face. My father was too delighted at her return back then, and didn’t realize anything was amiss. She managed to obtain her soul ring. My martial soul was also awakened by then. Like my mother, my martial soul was a Specter.
“Not long after she returned, a bunch of strangers came to our house one day. I don’t know what they said to her, but she had to leave with them. My father tried to stop them, but he couldn’t. From that day on, it became a nightmare for my family. My mother kept on leaving the house, and she left for a long intervals of time. She always looked very depressed when she returned, but her abilities kept getting stronger and stronger. Eventually, I was sent to a soul master academy to study. At the start, I wasn’t clear about what was going on at home. However, I realized some valuable items were missing from my home when I returned one day. My father seemed feeble and older, and my mother still rarely came home.”
“I asked him what had happened. However, he didn’t say anything, and only sighed. I tried to ask my mother, but I couldn’t even see her. When I was twelve, someone came to the academy… to tell me that my father… had passed away.”
As she spoke about it, Na Na was almost unintelligible from the crying. Huo Yuhao also couldn’t grasp all of what she was saying. He stood up and passed her some tissues.
After a moment, Na Na ﬁnally managed to calm down. She continued, “I ran home like a maniac, but it was too late. He died with his eyes open. Even though he had passed away, his eyes were still ﬁlled with disbelief. It was like he saw something he couldn’t understand.”
“‘Who? Who killed daddy?’ There was an obviously fatal wound on his chest. Who was so cruel to kill my father? I kept on shouting ‘Daddy, Daddy!’, but he couldn’t hear me. He didn’t wake up. ‘What about mummy?’ Where did my mother go? He was dead, but she wasn’t around.”
Chapter 184: The Holy Ghost Church
“Mommy returned right at that moment. I can still clearly remember that her face was exceptionally pale as she stumbled over to daddy’s corpse, before she leapt forward onto his body. She was still muttering under her breath, ‘I told you that I would bring you misfortune, I would bring you misfortune! Why did you have to choose an ominous woman like me? I hope I will be forgiven in another world.’
“I wasn’t even able to call out to her before she took out a small knife and viciously stabbed herself in the chest,” Na Na’s voice was shaking. “Mommy’s blood splattered all over daddy. She turned back towards me and raised her hand to touch me, but she seemed to lose all her strength, and she collapsed on daddy just like that.
“I was bawling at ﬁrst, but all of a sudden I couldn’t cry anymore. My daddy left me and my mother killed herself before my very eyes in one day – I felt as if the entire world was going to crumble around me.”
She paused for a while, and her eyes seemed to grow slack. “A stranger appeared right at that moment. He said insidiously, ‘You think you can escape by doing this? Death is nothing before us, and we can still inﬂict suffering upon you even after death.’
“After that, I felt a unique force coming from his body, and something seemed to ﬂy out from both mommy and daddy’s bodies. The man patted me on the head and said I would have to follow him if I wanted to see my parents again. I was still in a daze, and I followed him muddleheadedly. Another group of strangers took my parents’ corpses away and buried them when I left.”
Na Na’s breathing became a little rushed, as if she couldn’t continue the story. She was still struggling with her emotions, and her body quivered faintly.
Huo Yuhao walked over and patted her on the shoulder, hinting to her to that she should calm herself down.
Na Na suddenly hugged him across the waist. “I’m afraid, I’m truly afraid. I don’t know if telling you all this is the right thing to do. Perhaps I am a person of misfortune like my mother, I…” Huo Yuhao growled, “Fortune is relative. Everything is fabricated and empty when juxtaposed with destiny. Wake up.” His eyes sparkled with golden light as he spoke, and he ﬁred a subtle strike of Spiritual Shock into Na Na’s head.
Na Na shivered from the cold, and her body quivered violently as she let go of him.
“I… I must have entered that nightmare again. It must be.” She glanced at Huo Yuhao with a bitter smile on her face, before nodding in his direction and saying, “Thank you. I don’t recall how many times I’ve had the same dream, and I jolt awake with tears streaming down my face every time. I can’t take this torture anymore – if you’re not willing to help me, I will take my own life someday. I won’t be able to see my parents again in another world, but I can’t be bothered anymore.”
Huo Yuhao lowered his voice and said, “You have to tell me how I can help you, or what you need me to do.”
Na Na grew silent. Huo Yuhao wasn’t hasty or impatient either, as he could feel that Na Na’s emotions were running wild, and her mind was conﬂicted.
“I’m sorry, Huo Yuhao. I already regret this, as I cannot drag you down for selﬁsh reasons. I can tell that you’re a good person.” She played the classic Samaritan card before she stood up and walked towards the door.
“Stop.” Huo Yuhao blocked her path in ﬂash, and Na Na looked up at him with a ghastly pale face.
Huo Yuhao patted her on the shoulder again and said, “I can tell that you’re not trying to loosen the reins so you can grasp them better. Tell me what happened afterwards – what is the identity of these strangers?”
Na Na slowly answered, “They call themselves the Holy Ghost Church, and they are an extremely mysterious and secretive organization. They told me that they had imprisoned my parents’ spirits after they took me away, before they deliberately released daddy and mommy’s spirits for me to see. Daddy and mommy were in so much, too much pain! They told me that I would have to be obedient and listen to them if I wanted my parents to rest in peace. Otherwise, they would trap my parents’ spirits forever, and they would never be reincarnated.” “Spiritual imprisonment?” Huo Yuhao was taken aback. Electrolux had imparted part of his knowledge of Necromancy to Huo Yuhao, so he understood something about spirits. Imprisoning the spirits of the deceased was similar to a Necromancer’s ways. Pure Necromancy was used to investigate the spirit’s secrets, but these people weren’t that simple.
Na Na nodded her head vigorously and said, “You must understand now why I was so frightened when you sealed my spirit – I was afraid that I would end up like my parents, and someone else would control my spirit, and I would never be reincarnated.
“I had no choice but to obey their demands. They sent me into the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, and I joined the academy and started my lessons without any prior assessment. They told me that I would join their ranks ofﬁcially once my cultivation reached a certain level. They would release my parents’ spirits when that day came, so that they could be reborn.
“In order to put my mind at ease, they let me see my parents’ spirits once every two months. I lose all courage to defy them every time I see my parents’ agony, so I can only follow their instructions. Thankfully, they haven’t requested anything of me since, and only asked that I train hard, while giving me an assessment from time to time.
“Once, I came close to the place where my parents’ spirits were imprisoned when others weren’t paying attention, and I heard their voices. I only found out then how my family was ruined. My mother met these people from the Holy Ghost Church when she was hunting soul beasts at a place where soul beasts gathered. They wanted mommy to join them because mommy’s martial soul was unique, but mommy decisively rejected the offer. My family’s nightmare began from that day onwards, and mommy herself didn’t know how she ended up under their control. She was forced to join the Holy Ghost Church, and they would compel her to complete various tasks for them involuntarily. Mommy broke her shackles from time to time because of her love for daddy, so they ordered her to murder my father. My mother was extremely distraught after she killed him, to the point where she ﬁnally broke free from their grasp, and eventually committed suicide over my father’s corpse. Mommy said that the thing she regretted the most was not being able to rescue me, so that I didn’t have to care about them anymore, and I could be rid of the Holy Ghost Church’s control once and for all. Otherwise, I would only become their tool for the rest of my life.” Na Na’s lips trembled incessantly from the emotional strain, and her tears ﬂowed uncontrollably. “However, how can I just walk away? I am ﬁlled with so much hatred when I see the suffering that my parents’ spirits go through even after death – I hate myself for not being able to save them.”
Huo Yuhao had always thought that his own background was tragic enough, but his past couldn’t match up to Na Na’s misfortune. If everything that she said was true, she was like a puppet under someone else’s control, while her parents were dead and yet their spirits were still being tortured even after death.
Huo Yuhao lowered his voice and asked, “How do you want me to help you?” There was determination and decisiveness in his voice already.
Na Na lowered her head, but didn’t make a sound.
“Tell me. I can feel that everything you’ve said is true.” Huo Yuhao was a spiritual-type soul master, and his vast spiritual sea would be a complete waste if he couldn’t even tell truth from lies. Na Na muttered. “I was too hasty and impulsive, and I shouldn’t have sought you out. The Holy Ghost Church is so powerful, and I don’t even know what is it they do exactly. I’m afraid of pulling you down into the mud by boldly asking you for help.”
Huo Yuhao said, “You never thought about asking the academy for help? The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy is one of the best academies within the entire Sun Moon Empire, and Illustrious Virtue Hall is widely revered and respected.”
Na Na growled, “How can I not have considered that? The only problem is that my considerations are useless, because they are in cahoots. I am very sure that Illustrious Virtue Hall has something going on with the Holy Ghost Church, because I remember seeing a masked elder from the Holy Ghost Church walking into Illustrious Virtue Hall late at night with my own eyes.”
Huo Yuhao’s brow creased even more when she said this. The issue was more complicated and troublesome than he had thought, and ﬁguring out its complexities wasn’t going to be easy at all. Na Na suddenly raised her head and stared into Huo Yuhao’s eyes with a resolute and determined look. “I hate the Holy Ghost Church, and I hate this academy, and I even hate this country with all its hidden corruption. I am willing to serve you and become your slave, Huo Yuhao, if you can help me release my parents’ spirits. I am willing to do anything.”
Huo Yuhao shook his head. “I don’t need you to serve me or become my slave.”
Na Na’s body froze, and she muttered grievously, “Then you can just pretend I was never here.” With that, she turned around and started walking out once more.
Huo Yuhao grabbed her hurriedly and said, “I said I don’t need you to serve me, but I didn’t say I’m not willing to help you! You’re an orphan just like me, so I can empathize with your feelings. I don’t dare to guarantee success, but I will do everything I can. However, you have to tell me everything you know about the Holy Ghost Church ﬁrst.”
Na Na’s voice trembled as she said, “You… You’re really willing to help me?” Huo Yuhao heaved a faint sigh. “I actually want to ask – why should you trust me?”
Na Na stared at him with her swollen eyes. “I trust you because of your previous embarrassment, and because of my instincts. I can no longer take this stiﬂed life – there is nothing left for me in this world, anyway. I will take any opportunity, no matter how slim it may be! I know many people who are much stronger than you are, but not a single one of them knows much about spiritual power. I know that they won’t be able to help me, even if they want to. But you’re different – you controlled my spirit with extreme ease when I used the Avenging Spirit, but you didn’t hurt my spirit after so many days, and you instead strengthened my spirit. Your ability to manipulate and control spirits is the strongest of anyone that I am acquainted with.”
“This is the reason why I considered asking you for help. I don’t have anything to bribe you with, except everything that I am. I will honor my word – I am willing to do anything for you if you can help rescue my parents’ spirits and take them away from their suffering.”
Huo Yuhao said, “You don’t have to promise me anything and I don’t desire anything from you either. All I hope for it to help your parents’ spirits rest in peace.” His eyes warmed up as he spoke, because he suddenly thought about his mother – if his mother were alive, how happy would she have been to see that he was a Soul Ancestor and was part of the Shrek Academy’s inner courtyard?
He thought about that man. Mother, I will fulﬁll the wish you never uttered – I will avenge you!
Na Na said, “According to my understanding, the Holy Ghost Church is an enigmatic and mysterious organization. The entity that I've been constantly interacting with is only a part of it. There should be more than twenty people from the Holy Ghost Church in Radiant City. However, there should only be about three or four core members, and the rest are just outer members. However, these outer members are no lower than Soul Ancestors in cultivation.”
“What’s strange is that the Holy Ghost Church is inside the Sun Moon Empire, but there aren’t many soul engineers while most of them are soul masters. The strongest core member that I have seen before is roughly as powerful as a seven-ringed Soul Sage. Even though he only has seven rings, he gives me a feeling that there’s more to him than that.”
“This seven-ringed Soul Sage is addressed as Elder within this group. He is always wearing a black balaclava whenever I see him, and only his eyes can be seen. The other core members are referred to as Holy Ghost Disciples. The outer members are referred to as Holy Servants, and I am also considered a Holy Servant at this point in time. I have to mask my appearance every time I approach them, and that means that us Holy Servants won’t be able to recognize one another even if we meet each other on a normal day. Only the Elder knows how we look like, and the Elder has mentioned to me before that he will request to the Main Altar once I obtain six soul rings for me to become a Holy Ghost Disciple, and augment my spirit at the same time.” Huo Yuhao interrupted and asked, “Augmenting your spirit?”
Na Na shook her head. “I don’t know what spirit augmentation means. I asked the Elder before, and he said it’s some powerful divine ritual that would make us Holy Servants incredibly powerful.
Huo Yuhao said, “Since they call themselves a church, what is their church’s mission?”
Na Na replied, “Their church mission is very vague and abstract. It is, ‘Let holy light shine upon the world, let the Holy Spirit descend amongst humankind.’ The Elder remarked that my parents’ spirits would be released once my spirit was augmented. However, I can feel that I will no longer be myself if I actually go through that ritual. I will be like how I faced you before this, and my spirit will be arrested. I’m not strong enough for them at the moment, so they haven’t done anything to me yet.”
Huo Yuhao said, “Does this mean that the others Holy Servants’ situations are like you? Are they all people that the Holy Ghost Church is trying to nurture and prepare?”
Na Na shook her head once more. “I have no idea. The Elder and the Holy Ghost Disciples strictly prohibit us Holy Servants from interacting with each other outside.”
Huo Yuhao lowered his head slightly. He became more familiar with them, but this Holy Ghost Church was truly secretive and mysterious as Na Na didn’t know much about them even though she was a part of this organization.
“Where are your parents’ spirits sealed?” Huo Yuhao asked.
Na Na answered, “They are sealed within that group’s Holy Altar. That place is very sinister, and I can feel the chills every time I go there. Not only my parents’ spirits are sealed there – there appears to be many spirits contained within.”
Huo Yuhao said, “So you want to bring me to this Holy Altar and let me save your parents’ spirits. Am I right?”
Na Na nodded repeatedly and said, “Yes. I have seen my parents’ spirits there, but I can’t get too close to that place. The closer I get, the more my spirit feels like it’s being torn to pieces. Can you do it…?”
Huo Yuhao contemplated momentarily and answered, “I can only say that I will try my best. The only thing is – can I get close to this Holy Altar?”
Na Na said hurriedly, “My status amongst the Holy Servants is relatively high because my cultivation level is almost at Rank 60, and I am considered preemptively as a Holy Ghost Disciple. Furthermore, they know that I don’t have the ability to release my parents’ spirits, so they aren’t that wary around me. The Elder has recently returned to the Main Altar, and there are only two Holy Ghost Disciples guarding this Side Altar. The day that I can return to visit my parents’ spirits is almost upon us, and they won’t raise their guard towards me as most Holy Servants are in a similar situation. If you can pretend and make yourself up into a Holy Servant, we have a good chance of slipping in. If that doesn’t work…”
Na Na’s eyes ﬂowed with sharp coldness. “You have the power to defeat the Sword Fanatic Ji Juechen, and you have me. We may yet stand a chance against two six-ringed Holy Ghost Disciples.” Huo Yuhao tilted his head faintly and said, “Alright, then let’s discuss the plan of execution.” A substantial part of why he decided to help Na Na was because of what she had been through, and the rest was because of this mysterious Holy Ghost Church. They were a cult that consisted mostly of soul masters, while there was something nefarious going on between them and the Illustrious Virtue Hall, and even that was as mysterious as ever. According to Na Na’s description, the Side Altar’s Elders had at least seven soul rings, so that meant the main leader of this sect should be a powerful Titled Douluo. Any sect with a Titled Douluo could be considered large. Their movements and everything they did were just so dark and underhanded – he had to report this back to the academy, but he would do some scouting ﬁrst.
He was an Ultimate Soldier born from the Ultimate Soldier Plan, and he was trained to ﬁght a lonely battle anyway. There were times where his prowess wasn’t just displayed in terms of ﬁghting strength.
Three Days later.
A tall and slender ﬁgure sauntered into the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. Her dark-red long hair was combed into a neat ponytail, and her black warrior robe masked the elegance of her slender and harmonized ﬁgure.
The sentries responsible for guarding the main door glanced at her when she stepped in, and let her through with a grin on their faces. Everybody recognized this popular girl – Na Na of the Active Control Soul Tool Department! Rumor had it that her prowess was enough to represent the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy in the next season’s Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament, and she was currently bathed in limelight within the academy.
Most students weren’t allowed to enter and leave the academy as they wished, and they would require special permission from at least a director-level teacher. However, it was clear that Na Na was an exception, and she had long been given the permission to enter and leave the academy whenever she wanted.
Na Na’s footsteps became conspicuously faster when she departed the academy. She took a few turns before her eyes darted around at her surroundings and she slunk into a dark corner. A tall and burly shadow separated from her body. This person had tanned skin, a gleaming bald head, and shoulders so wide that it felt like he could carry the sky on his shoulders – it was He Caitou.
Na Na exhaled a sigh of relief and muttered, “This… This is just too incredible. You aren’t expending too much soul power, are you, Yuhao?”
Another voice came from a dark spot deﬂected from her body. “I’m not. Let’s deal with this as quickly as we can and return.”
Na Na wasn’t the only person that came out from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy – Huo Yuhao and He Caitou were also with her. Today was the day when Na Na was allowed to visit her parents’ spirits, and Huo Yuhao requested He Caitou’s help for safety reasons, so that they would succeed on their ﬁrst try.
The quality changes of his spiritual sea improved some of Huo Yuhao’s spiritual-type soul skills in the long run, and that included the mighty Imitation. He relied upon his powerful spiritual power to forcefully disguise himself and even He Caitou’s form as Na Na’s shadow. Only upon closer inspection would one realize that Na Na’s shadow occasionally became layered, but that nuance was undetectable under normal circumstances. Cover and concealment was an important part of the Ultimate Soldier Plan, and Huo Yuhao could use this ability for a prolonged period of time with his immense spiritual sea.
He Caitou gave Na Na a thumbs-up, and he didn’t interact with Huo Yuhao at all before he quickly vanished into the darkness.
Na Na took a deep breath and tried her best to calm her excited emotions, before she came out from the darkness and continued on to her original destination.
The Radiant City was the Sun Moon Empire’s capital, and it was an extremely vast patch of land. The giant city without walls was bustling and they were in the early evening when the lanterns were ﬁrst lit.
Na Na proceeded quickly, and she was familiar with the path. She was more than a meter and eighty centimeters tall and that gave her exceptionally long and slender legs. She was just walking, but her light footsteps made her seem like she was riding the wind and made her movement seem as fast as lightning.
Even with her speed, her brisk walk took more than thirty minutes before she began to slow down. She stared at an unassuming building quite a distance away from her as she mumbled under her breath, “We’re here. That courtyard, about three hundred meters ahead – the interior structure with the black ceiling.”
Huo Yuhao’s voice rang out, “Don’t worry, you have me.”
There were many different tall buildings and structures in Radiant City that one wouldn’t see elsewhere. They came from the widespread use of soul tools, and the Sun Moon Empire was the leading country in terms of architecture across the entire continent.
Na Na arrived at another corner of a street. This time, she wore a white headdress which she wore with another conical bamboo hat that draped around her head, before she quickly proceeded towards the location she just described. This courtyard appeared especially dull and plain amongst the various structures around it. Na Na raised her hand and tapped lightly on the door a total of ﬁve times, three long ones and two short.
A crack opened in the door, and Na Na zipped in through the crack in a ﬂash.
The person that came forward to open the door was a youth fully dressed in black, and he was wearing the same conical bamboo hat.
It was like an entirely different world inside the courtyard. The courtyard was like a labyrinth, and various plants were grown all around, while courtyard seemed a lot bigger than it did from the outside. Sprawling vines climbed over all sorts of plants and blocked off vision from above. This was a very typical arrangement inside the Radiant City, as there just too many skyscrapers and nobody wanted to expose their privacies, and so they used these plants to prevent people higher up in these skyscrapers from seeing them.
The man in the conical bamboo hat nodded subtly at Na Na before he moved to one side. Na Na returned the gesture, and she followed a small path towards the structure with a black and circular top in the center of the courtyard.
This structure was roughly a hundred square meters in surface area, and it wasn’t considered extremely spacious. The door was open, and Na Na opened her stride and stepped in.
There two individuals clad in white inside the room. They were not wearing conical bamboo hat, and they were all wearing balaclavas that matched the color of their clothes. They both watched Na Na step into the room and one of them raised an arm to stop her before he made a gesture towards her.
Na Na raised her hand and retrieved a circular token, and handed it over. It was a token that was completely black, and there seemed to be two skulls faintly engraved on its surface.
She deliberately deepened her voice and said, “Long live the Holy Emperor, and may the Holy Lady remain eternally young.”
The two white-robed individuals quickly bowed down, and they also deliberately deepened their voice before they repeated Na Na’s words. “Long live the Holy Emperor, May the Sacred Lady have eternal beauty.”
One of them said, “Sir, both the Great Holy Ghost and the Second Holy Ghost are here. Do you want to go down right now?
“Yes.” Na Na nodded her head.
The man returned the medallion back to her and made a gesture that signaled for her to proceed.
Na Na ventured deeper into the room. The room was arranged very simply and seemed like a normal family, and it didn’t have any special ornaments or decorations. Na Na came before a table and pressed down hard on its surface. The table’s four legs immediately sank into the ground, and sounds of gears crackling could be heard as an opening that was roughly one square meter cracked open on the surface. Thin traces of light could be seen coming from within.
Na Na entered swiftly and followed the vertical tunnel all the way down. The tunnel was about ﬁve meters deep, and she arrived into a vast hall that was much bigger and more spacious compared to what was above it, and it was at least three hundred square meters in surface area. However, it appeared a little sinister and barren.
There were two people seated at a table in the innermost region of the hall, and they were both dressed in white and wore balaclavas as well. However, there were silver patterns that ran through their white clothes, and they were enjoying a sumptuous and exquisite feast that was laid out across the table at this moment. Their balaclavas were pushed up to their nose.
Na Na took a few quick steps forward and said respectfully, “Greetings, Great Holy Ghost and Second Holy Ghost.”
The relatively more well-built man seated on the left said with a mufﬂed voice, “You’re here already? Go in yourself, there’s nothing much to see. You should work harder so that you can ofﬁcially become one of us, and everything will be resolved.”
Na Na answered respectfully, “Thank you for pointers, Great Holy Ghost.” With that, she started walking towards a small door beside the two Holy Ghost Disciples.
Right when she was about to approach the small door, the Second Holy Ghost sitting on the other side suddenly exclaimed, “Wait!” Na Na felt her heart skip a beat, but she still asked with a calm expression on her face. “What’s wrong, Second Holy Ghost?”
The Second Holy Ghost lowered his voice and said, “I think I smell a stranger in the midst.”
The Great Holy Ghost snapped, “Enough. Have you had too much to drink? Do you really think you have a dog’s nose?”
The Second Holy Ghost got to his feet and moved his nose vigorously. He suddenly shouted, “No! There’s a stranger inside. Seal the holy altar, big brother.” His body ﬂashed forward as he spoke, and he reached out with his right arm explosively and actually extended itself by more than a meter as he came right for Na Na.
Na Na retreated in shock as if she had no idea what to do or what was going on. She was still shouting, “Save me, Great Holy Ghost! I didn’t do anything!”
The Great Holy Ghost seemed to trust his brother far more than he trusted Na Na. He leapt forward and blocked off the tiny door, while the two yellow, two purple, and two black soul rings rose up at the same time.
However, a sphere of golden light glimmered beside him without warning right at this moment and slammed toward his head. The Great Holy Ghost shrieked in surprise when the golden sphere appeared, and he immediately transformed into a ball of smoke and dodged away into the distance.
The golden ﬁst bashed into space, and the entire underground hall seemed to shudder violently in response. The Great Holy Ghost’s body reappeared ten meters away, but he exclaimed agonizingly as he vomited out a pool of blood before he crumpled to the ground. Even though that ﬁst didn’t hit its target, it still managed to wound him.
Huo Yuhao’s ﬁgure revealed himself from the darkness. He had prepared for this moment for a long time, and this was the ﬁrst time he ofﬁcially launched his Sovereign’s Descent after his spirit’s quality change – however, it didn’t obliterate his opponent like he had expected.
Na Na stopped pretending on the other side. A streak of scarlet red light surged into the sky like a whip and slashed towards the Second Holy Ghost’s ink-black right claw.
“Clang!” The Second Holy Ghost actually used his own right hand to take on the Scarletﬂame Blade, which was a Class 5 soul tool. Six soul rings appeared on his body, and all six of them started to burn before they transformed into black ﬁre that enveloped his body inside. The Second Holy Ghost’s body jerked violently within the black ﬂames, and the clothes on his body immediately crumbled into pieces while his body grew to over three meters tall. All the ﬂesh on his body were completely gone, and he transformed into a tremendous black skeleton.
Huo Yuhao stared at the spiritual ﬁre dancing around in the Second Holy Ghost’s eyes and he growled, “An evil soul master?”
The Great Holy Ghost leapt to his feet on the other side. He roared into the sky as he stomped the ﬂoor with his right foot, and the wall inside hall cracked open just like that. The ﬁrst two soul rings on his body began to incinerate like those of the Second Holy Ghost, and six skeletons stumbled out from the cracks in the wall before they coordinated with the Second Holy Ghost and pounced at Huo Yuhao and Na Na. Huo Yuhao grunted indifferently. Evil soul masters were like nightmares for normal soul masters, but Huo Yuhao was different – he possessed the power of Necromancy. Evil soul masters that mainly played around with spirits were actually easier for him to handle.
A golden vertical eye cracked open on his forehead. Huo Yuhao had no intention to hold back against these evil soul masters, and radiant golden light ﬂickered in his golden eye before the Second Holy Ghost at the vanguard crumpled onto the ground with a stumble.
One could clearly see a green ball of ﬂame exploding forth from his skeletal head, before it transformed into a circle of green light and dissipated into the air.
The colossal black skeleton crashed onto the ground – one- hit knockout!
The ability to control spirits and immediately incinerate his soul rings was a unique evil soul master skill, and the Second Holy Ghost used this ability to raise his power to that of a seven-ringed martial soul true body. His physical body was so strong and tough that even Class 6 soul tools couldn’t ﬁght against it. He possessed immense strength and was also incredibly quick.
It was a pity that Huo Yuhao was his opponent. Huo Yuhao didn’t need to collide against the powerful skeleton at all – instead, he used the Spiritual Shock with his Eye of Destiny and targeted his opponent’s soul. The Second Holy Ghost was probably superior to Huo Yuhao in terms of battle prowess, but he paled in comparison to Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power. This was without taking into account Huo Yuhao’s knowledge regarding Necromancy, and the fact that he had understood a whole lot more about human spirits.
His eyes turned gray, and Huo Yuhao started chanting a curse under his breath. Na Na rushed forward to block the six skeletons, and Huo Yuhao took this chance to draw a punctuation in the sky before he pressed it forward ferociously.
The formless punctuation swiftly turned gray and immediately expanded in the sky. One could see spot after spot of green drifting in Huo Yuhao’s direction in the next moment. Huo Yuhao growled, “Coagulate!” The green light specks quickly coagulated to form an eerie green ﬂame that waltzed incessantly before him.
Huo Yuhao exclaimed coldly, “Let me cleanse you of your sins!” Intense brilliance erupted from the Eye of Destiny on his forehead, and a single pillar of golden light glowed as the eerie green ﬂame immediately turned golden. Agonizing and harrowing howls could be heard resonating through the entire underground cavern, and the eerie green ﬂame was completely consumed by the golden luster in no time. It was converted into a tiny speck of golden ﬂame that descended upon Huo Yuhao’s ﬁngertip.
The Great Holy Ghost turned pale with fright. “You… You burned his spirit! How is that possible? Are you… are you also an evil soul master? We are the Holy Ghost Sect, our Holy Emperor…”
“You’ll get your chance to talk.” Huo Yuhao swung his right hand and the speck of golden ﬂame ﬂew out, landing upon the large black skeleton. He pounced forward in a ﬂash as he slashed ferociously with his a complete version of his right hand’s Darkgolden Terrorclaw and dashed three skeletons called out by the Great Holy Ghost into dust. Na Na took care of two more, and the last one was no longer a threat.
The Great Holy Ghost was overcome with fear at this point. He could feel that the powers that Huo Yuhao had displayed were similar to his own, but there was something that this person possessed that was vastly different from them.
“Go to hell, both of you.” All six of the Great Holy Ghost’s six soul rings burned up at the same time, and his entire body erupted with a layer of white ﬂame.
Huo Yuhao raised his hand and pulled Na Na behind him as he blasted the remaining skeleton into pieces with an Ice Empress’ Wrath.
Evil soul masters typically had an extremely formidable and explosive skill – he couldn’t put Na Na in harm’s way.
The white ﬂames that surged from the Great Holy Ghost’s body seemed to contain harrowing and shrill howls that belonged to vengeful spirits. A small door exploded open in the next moment, before an overbearing and rippling wave of terrifying power poured forth from within that small door. Both Na Na and Huo Yuhao felt their bodies tighten even at with their cultivation level as they stumbled backwards.
They could see sphere after sphere of transparent light of varying colors ﬂying out from the small door. There seemed to be a human face on every single sphere, except these faces were violently twisting and contorting.
Chapter 185: Puriﬁcation? Master!
There was a ﬂag in the Great Holy Ghost’s hand. He appeared very ﬁerce as he looked at Huo Yuhao and Na Na. “I shall let you feel what’s it like to be devoured by thousands of souls. Your spirits will be torn apart and your bodies will become my puppets. Die.”
Huo Yuhao was horriﬁed. Was this the Myriad Soul Banner that Elder Yi mentioned?
Elder Yi had once mentioned that a necromancers’ control of undead creatures was restricted to a speciﬁc domain due to their limited spiritual power. However, they could use tools to enhance their control and transformation of spirits. The Myriad Soul Banner was such a tool. He mentioned that an extremely cultivated Myriad Soul Banner could contain tens of thousands of spirits. Against enemies, the avenging spirits could be commanded to launch large-scale attacks. All living matter affected by these avenging spirits would become carriers of these spirits. They would quickly be roped in as part of their Undead Legion. Once the bodies of these undead creatures were destroyed, their spirits would return to the banner and they would continue to devour the spirits of the living to evolve. It was rumored that they were as resistant as Gods when they evolved to their most highest form.
However, the Myriad Soul Banner was a tool that offended the heavens. Once a necromancer managed to successfully create it, he would deﬁnitely suffer the scourge of the heavens. It was like the negative repercussions of the Light of Destiny— it was only a matter of time before he was jinxed.
Was this evil soul master so strong that he could possess a Myriad Soul Banner?
While he was shocked, Huo Yuhao still naturally wouldn’t allow these avenging spirits to attack him. A ring of formless spiritual ripples spread; it was Spiritual Interference. The avenging spirits were instantly affected by his spiritual power, and they descended into chaos as they ﬂew like headless ﬂies. Their pathetic cries resonated throughout the underground hall.
Huo Yuhao’s astonishment was soon replaced by composure. Through Spiritual Detection and Spiritual Interference, he realized that there weren’t that many of these avenging spirits, at most four or ﬁve hundred of them. In addition, each of them was very weak individually. They were completely different from the powerful avenging spirits that Electrolux described, which couldn’t be overcome simply with his Spiritual Interference.
The Great Holy Ghost didn’t expect that the Holy Ghost Flag would be rendered ineffective. This ﬂag didn’t belong to him, it was the most important treasure of the elder from the Sub- Altar. Not only was it a Class 7 soul tool, but it also had to be used by an evil soul master skilled at controlling spirits. In the Sub-Altar, only he and that elder could control it. It was left in the Sub-Altar as a precaution. The elder once said that the Holy Ghost Flag was sufﬁcient as long as the opponent wasn’t an eight-ringed soul douluo. In addition, the Great Holy Ghost was equipped with powerful evil soul skills.
When he controlled this ﬂag, he didn’t use any soul skills. He only burned his six soul rings using a special method that belonged to evil soul masters. This provided him with enough spiritual power to control the ﬂag. He bit the tip of his tongue and spat out fresh blood into the air, which instantly turned into a blood-red avenging spirit in the air.
The avenging spirit blew apart as it ﬂew into the air, staining a large portion of the other avenging spirits. Suddenly, the powers of the avenging spirits soared, and Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Interference couldn’t fend them off any longer.
However, Huo Yuhao was already muttering an incantation when these amped avenging spirits appeared. His golden eyes turned grey, even his Eye of Destiny. Behind him, an elderly- looking ﬁgure subtly appeared, and there seemed to be an ancient voice chanting along with him.
If he were alone, he wouldn’t hesitate to attack and get rid of the Great Holy Ghost before snatching his ﬂag. The crisis would be averted as simple as that. However, Na Na was behind him.
The avenging spirits had become extremely ferocious under the Great Holy Ghost’s command. He couldn’t ensure her safety in the slightest if he rushed forward to attack. Dealing with these avenging spirits ﬁrst was essential.
Huo Yuhao pointed toward the sky with his right index ﬁnger and shouted mightily, “Purify these stained spirits.” A ring of white light was released from the Eye of Destiny. His boundless spiritual sea started to surge with waves, and his immense spiritual power was unleashed under the guidance of his incantation. The spiritual power was converted into a purifying force.
The blood-red lights from the bodies of the avenging spirits disappeared as the white light passed. They were forced to stay still in the air.
As the white light spread to every corner of the underground hall, all of the vicious avenging spirits were dyed white.
When that Light of Puriﬁcation reached the Great Holy Ghost, he let out a pathetic scream. Black smoke rose ceaselessly from his body.
He shouted pathetically, “This, this is a force that destroys spirits! Who, who are you? Only the Holy Emperor possesses such strength! You’re also an evil soul master, you’re also… but why did you…?”
He couldn’t continue any further as he spoke till here. That was because a huge ﬁgure had already arrived in front of him. His neck was grabbed by black, bony claws, and he was lifted up. It was an attack from the converted Second Holy Ghost’s skull.
However, the eyes of the black skull were dancing with dim- golden ﬂames. They were a type of spiritual ﬁre that carried a shred of Huo Yuhao’s spiritual awareness. The Second Holy Ghost had been completely puriﬁed, and submitted to Huo Yuhao.
The avenging spirits in mid-air appeared to be very weird. They weren’t nearly as ferocious as before, and they slowly formed corporeal faces.
“Tell me, what kind of organization is the Holy Ghost Church? Where is the Main Altar?” The black skull lifted the Great Holy Ghost in front of Huo Yuhao. After being cleansed by the Light of Puriﬁcation, the Great Holy Ghost’s cultivation had fallen to half its original level.
The Great Holy Ghost was in a daze as he looked at Huo Yuhao, “Holy Son? Are you the reincarnation of the Holy Son? Holy Son, you should ﬁnd the Holy Emperor. He’ll help us rule this world! Only those with holy powers like us are qualiﬁed to rule!”
Huo Yuhao furrowed his brow. “Answer my question.”
The Great Holy Ghost revealed a weird smile on his face. “Holy Son, the Holy Emperor will ﬁnd you one day. When that happens, it may be the best opportunity for us Holy Ghosts to rule. Long live the Holy Emperor!” As he spoke, his eyes dimmed, and his entire body turned into ash, which easily escaped the claw’s grasp before dispersing into the air. There wasn’t even a corpse left. Everything was very strange. The Holy Ghost Flag also fell in front of Huo Yuhao. Huo Yuhao picked the ﬂag up, but quickly crushed it with his soul power.
Na Na was dumbfounded. Although she knew that Huo Yuhao was very strong, she had already gone feeble long ago when she heard the cries of the avenging spirits, and couldn’t exert any soul power herself. At that point in time, she had thought that everything was over, and despaired. However, she was shocked by what followed.
He turned the tide right in front of her. She wasn’t even clear on how he had managed to pull it off. The crisis was destroyed, the Great Holy Ghost was dead, and the skull converted from the Second Holy Ghost was being controlled by him. Everything changed too suddenly.
“Na Na.” Na Na was jolted to her senses after Huo Yuhao shouted her name.
“Quickly, ﬁnd your parents. You don’t have much time. The evil stains on these avenging spirits have been cleansed under my Puriﬁcation Spell. Once they’re completely cleansed, they will be puriﬁed and rise to the heavens. If you have anything to say to them, tell them quickly. I’ll be waiting for you outside.”
As he spoke, Huo Yuhao was already headed outside, and quickly escaped. It was very weird, as the Holy Servants didn’t react even though the commotion inside the underground hall was quite loud.
After leaving the underground hall, Huo Yuhao bumped into eight of them. Their abilities were greatly inferior to Na Na’s. They collapsed under Huo Yuhao’s surprise attack, they didn’t stand a chance.
“The Great Holy Ghost and Second Holy Ghost are both dead, while the Sub-Altar has been destroyed. The spirits of your loved ones are being puriﬁed. If all of you still want to see them again, quickly go inside.”
Huo Yuhao stripped off their headgear, revealing young and pale-looking faces.
Huo Yuhao was enraged as he saw their dazed looks. “If I wanted to harm you, you’d already be dead. Why haven’t you gone inside yet? If you miss this opportunity, you’ll never see your loved ones again. This is your best, and only, opportunity to leave this evil organization and free yourselves from their restraints.” He added some spiritual power into his shouting, which jolted these Holy Servants to their senses. They rushed into the underground hall.
After letting out a breath, Huo Yuhao slowly walked out of the ordinary-looking room.
He shut his eyes as he leaned on the wall outside. A wave of weakness encroaching upon his body from his spent spiritual power. I didn’t expect this Holy Ghost Church to be formed by evil soul masters. No wonder they’re so mysterious. Weren’t evil soul masters supposed to operate by themselves?
He suddenly tensed up. He was reminded of what his teacher, the Dragon Douluo Mu En had said to him before. When Ma Xiaotao went missing, Shrek Academy was attacked by a bunch of soul masters of unknown background. There were many evil soul masters among them! Were those people related to the Holy Ghost Church?
The elder from the Holy Ghost Church’s Sub-Altar wasn’t here today, or Huo Yuhao might be the one ﬂeeing. However, it was a pity that Huo Yuhao was unable to obtain anything very useful from the Great Holy Ghost. The man’s spirit was destroyed as he committed suicide.
However, he managed to fulﬁl Na Na’s wish. At least he did something good. He had to report what he had learned regarding the Holy Ghost Church to the academy later. If this church was helmed by evil soul masters, they might be even more dangerous than the Body Sect.
The two six-ringed Soul Emperors he had met were stronger than the Envoy of the Death God that he had fought before. If he hadn’t gained the upper hand right from the beginning, and used the Eye of Destiny to destroy the spirit of the Second Holy Ghost, he would’ve been in huge trouble. If these two evil soul masters were placed in the outside world, they were bound to cause great harm without anyone repressing them. The hundreds of avenging spirits were a testament to that, they represented hundreds of stolen lives! This was even under the circumstance that the Holy Ghost Church was trying to remain mysterious and low-proﬁle, and thus they didn’t go too far with their actions. The harm that evil soul masters could bring was too terrifying. Shrek’s Guardians had to do something about this.
A crying howl could be heard from the tunnel leading out of the room. Evidently, the Holy Servants had found the spirits of their loved ones.
After thinking for a moment, Huo Yuhao left the courtyard quietly before sneaking back a few minutes later. He returned to his original position to wait.
Na Na was the ﬁrst to exit the tunnel. Her headgear was already off, and her eyes were red and swollen from the crying. She approached Huo Yuhao before kneeling down. Fortunately, Huo Yuhao was already prepared to lift her back up.
“Na Na, don’t be like this. My condolences. I guess your parents’ spirits have attained salvation and found peace.”
Na Na nodded her head slightly, “Thank you, Master. You have fulﬁlled my greatest wish.” “What master?” Huo Yuhao was in a daze.
Na Na looked at him with a resolute look in her eyes. “I mentioned that I’d serve you if you managed to save my parents’ spirits. You did so, and you even puriﬁed their spirits. I have no more worries. I can only repay this gratitude with my life. If you’re going to reject my offer, I won’t have any further yearnings in this world. I can only choose to leave this world forever.”
Huo Yuhao was stunned. He wanted to rebut her, but nothing came out of his mouth when he saw her determined look.
More and more ﬁgures with pale faces and swollen, red eyes also started to appear behind Na Na. They kneeled down at the same time, “We don’t know how to repay you. We’re willing to follow you for life and serve you with our spirits.”
Their predicaments were similar to Na Na’s. After seeing that the spirits of their loved ones were ﬁnally free from the restraints of the Holy Ghost Church, they had the same feeling towards him as Na Na did, even though they didn’t know him. “This…”
Na Na laughed bitterly. “Master, I didn’t want it to be like this either. However, we’ve been enslaved for too long. In addition, almost all of us are orphans. We no longer have any relatives in this world. If you don’t want to accept us, we won’t know what to do. I can’t return to the academy. Master, give us instructions, even if it’s just pointing out a path for us. There are four Soul Ancestors and four Soul Kings among the eight of us. Four of us are even soul engineers. If you won’t accept us, we’re unlikely to escape the pursuit of the Holy Ghost Church.”
Huo Yuhao laughed bitterly. “What makes all of you think that I can accept all of you? I’m just a student!”
“Because you’re from Shrek,” Na Na said with determination.
Huo Yuhao spoke after considering his options for a moment. “Let’s do it this way. I won’t decline your requests. If you’re willing, you can follow me. In that case, I shall issue all of you a token. Leave Radiant City and go directly to Shrek Academy to ﬁnd someone called Bei Bei. He’ll make the arrangements. However, all of you can’t enroll into Shrek Academy. If you’re willing, you can join my sect, which is called the Tang Sect. The headquarters of the sect is currently located in Shrek City. If you can reach there safely, I can guarantee your safety. You don’t have to be loyal to me. Once you join my sect, we’ll be fellow sect members.”
Na Na was delighted, but she continued to address him in the same way. Her body turned slightly illusory, and she escaped Huo Yuhao’s control. She was adamant on kneeling. “Thank you, Master.”
The other eight were also delighted as they bowed respectfully. “Thank you, Master.”
By saving their family members’ spirits, Huo Yuhao had also released them from the Holy Ghost Church. In addition, he had pointed out a path for them to take. For people like them who had pitiful backgrounds, they were immensely grateful towards him. They called him ‘Master’ with sincerity, and many of them were even tearing up. They could ﬁnally start anew!
This was also a good thing for Huo Yuhao. After Bei Bei’s attempts to ﬁnd Tang Ya were futile, he decided to rebuild the Tang Sect in Shrek City.
After all, that was within Shrek Academy’s territory, and they were still studying in the academy. It was much easier for them to take care of matters. Right now, the sect lacked manpower. However, it was very difﬁcult to recruit anyone in Shrek City. After all, the graduates from Shrek Academy didn’t join any sect easily. The Tang Sect also didn’t have many resources.
However, Bei Bei was given a huge privilege by the academy, as he was Elder Mu’s descendant, and also one of Shrek’s Seven Monsters that had entered the Tang Sect. They were given a small plot of land in Shrek City, as well as ﬁnancial help to rebuild the Tang Sect. Although the location was a little isolated, it was also very peaceful. Most importantly, it was in Shrek City!
These people in front of Huo Yuhao had rather good cultivations. There were even soul engineers, which the Tang Sect sorely lacked. They were a big reason Huo Yuhao didn’t decline their requests.
He said, “Time is tight. Strip and dump your clothes here before leaving immediately. In about an hour, this place will become nothing more than ﬂat ground. Try your best not to leave any traces behind. The faster you go, the better you'll be. Do all of you have ﬂying-type soul tools?”
Including Na Na, ﬁve of them had ﬂying-type soul tools. After thinking for a moment, Huo Yuhao said, “In this case, those with ﬂying-type soul tools will rush after leaving Radiant City. After ﬂying a certain distance, Na Na will gather the ﬂying-type soul tools and bring them back to fetch the rest. This will hasten your escape. After all, the Holy Ghost Church isn’t God. It won’t be easy for them to chase all of you.” As he spoke, he retrieved a token and gave it to Na Na.
“Yes, Master.” Na Na stood up with the other eight. Her sorrow had diminished slightly by now. There was a glow on her face that revealed her determination to start her life over. Everything was a new beginning from now on.
She wouldn’t have returned to the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy regardless of whether she succeeded or failed in this matter. She had brought all her stuff in her storage-type soul tool. After bowing once towards Huo Yuhao, she stripped off the Holy Ghost Church uniform, as did the other eight, before leaving quickly. Huo Yuhao had used his Imitation to imitate the Great Holy Ghost when he had left earlier. Now, he imitated the look of the Second Holy Ghost to sneak out of the courtyard before escaping quickly.
An hour later, he met He Caitou at a secluded corner hundreds of meters away from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy.
“Second senior, how is it?” Huo Yuhao asked softly.
He Caitou chortled, “Don’t worry. It’s settled. Nothing will go wrong, since we have the accurate location established by your Spiritual Detection. In two hours, dazzling ﬁreworks will be seen above Radiant City. I controlled the impact by choosing a penetrative stationary soul cannon shell. It won’t affect the surroundings. What about your girl?”
Huo Yuhao replied, “She’s left. The matter has been settled, but she won’t stay in the academy. I asked her to take some of the Holy Disciples I freed and ﬁnd eldest senior. I think I managed to get some manpower for the Tang Sect.”
He Caitou asked, “Then how do we return? We’re not going to climb walls, are we? There are soul tools everywhere. The security is rather tight.”
Huo Yuhao chortled and said, “Second senior, it seems like you haven’t fully comprehended the magical effect of my Imitation! I will imitate Na Na’s appearance, and you’ll be my shadow. As long as you don’t deviate more than ten meters from me, no one will be able to tell. We’ll just walk through the front door.”
“What the… it can even work like this? I don’t recall it being so strong!”
Huo Yuhao said, “It is the beneﬁt of being a spiritual-type soul master. Our soul skills will be enhanced along with our spiritual power.” Although it wasn’t the whole truth, he wasn’t wrong, either. Without the backing of the Skydream Iceworm’s spiritual power that had fused with him, his Imitation wouldn’t have reached such a high level. He Caitou was only witnessing a small portion of Huo Yuhao’s enhanced soul skill now.
After a minute, Huo Yuhao Imitated Na Na before openly entering the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy.
The guards were not suspicious at all. Furthermore, it now seemed that Na Na had returned to the academy! In this way, it would be even more difﬁcult for the Holy Ghost Church to track Na Na down, giving her and the others more time to escape.
After returning to his dorm room, Huo Yuhao immediately recorded everything that he had experienced today, before passing the report to Fan Yu.
Fan Yu was also shocked by the appearance of the Holy Ghost Church. He immediately thought of a way to get word of this out. If Illustrious Virtue Hall and Holy Ghost Church were colluding, it meant that the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy was working with with an organization formed by evil soul masters!
The strength of evil soul masters was something that had long been established on the continent. Furthermore, these evil soul masters were certain to cause widespread civilian deaths the moment they acted.
Just as Huo Yuhao and Fan Yu were discussing this matter, a mufﬂed thump came from afar. It was the sound of He Caitou’s stationary soul tool going off. No traces of the ‘dirty’ Holy Ghost Church’s Sub-Altar would be left over.
Huo Yuhao had beneﬁted greatly from this experience. Besides earning the loyalty of Na Na and the Holy Servants, he had also managed to obtain the black skull from the Second Holy Ghost. This black skull would be pretty useful in ﬁghts.
The undead aura from the black skull had been completely puriﬁed by Huo Yuhao after he returned. He preserved the Second Holy Ghost’s resolute defense and controlled it through his spirit after puriﬁcation. Huo Yuhao even made it seem a little divine. Huo Yuhao left a shred of his spiritual aura within the black skull’s spiritual ﬁre so he could control it with his thoughts. Although it couldn’t unleash any skills, it was still a powerful assistive force that could match up to a Soul Emperor in a ﬁght.
The Second Holy Ghost was completely under Huo Yuhao’s control now. Huo Yuhao didn’t feel bad at all using him as a secret weapon, considering the evil acts that the Holy Ghost Church had committed. He had used others, and was now being used heartlessly himself!
When news about the Holy Ghost Church reached Shrek Academy, there was quite a huge uproar. Shrek’s Guardians acted immediately. They started to seek out the Holy Ghost Church throughout the continent, especially in the Sun Moon Empire.
However, the Church hid well. No trace of them could be found. This Church didn’t seem to even exist at all, as if they had vanished into thin air.
The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy was very peaceful after the destruction of the Holy Ghost Church’s Sub- Altar, or at least that was what it seemed like on the surface. Huo Yuhao and He Caitou observed things around them, but didn’t notice anything amiss.
Bei Bei passed them news that Na Na and the rest had arrived safely, and had joined the Tang Sect. They became the ﬁrst batch of disciples of the Tang Sect, apart from the Shrek’s Seven Monsters.
Half a year passed very quickly. Huo Yuhao was now almost at the end of his second academic year in the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. More accurately speaking, he had been here for more than a year and nine months.
There was one thing that was similar between the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy and Shrek Academy. Vacation time! They started a little later here compared to Shrek Academy, but it also lasted for a month. Huo Yuhao was in deep meditation during this last break. He ﬁnally had some time off this academic year. Of course, he didn’t plan on resting. He came here to learn; he didn’t want to waste any time. There were very few in the academy who had the same mindset as him.
He had raised his proﬁle extremely high during the sparring competition, but his studies continued smoothly after he went through half a year of deep meditation, and kept a low-proﬁle afterward. Huo Yuhao worked hard to learn about soul tools. As he cultivated, he researched the profundity of soul tools. He spent his days fruitfully, even though they were mundane.
As the days passed, Huo Yuhao also matured physically. He was now seventeen years old, and his body was very developed now. He wasn’t especially burly, but he had a build that was ﬁlled with vigor and vitality.
It was very difﬁcult to imagine a seventeen-year-old youth possessing a demeanor as calm and composed demeanor as him. This was greatly connected to his cultivation of the Sovereign's Descent. He also tried to keep the look in his eyes moderated under normal circumstances. His cultivation speed had increased after his spiritual power nourished his body in deep meditation. He managed to reach Rank 43, and his cultivation speed seemed to increase along with his abilities. This was extremely good news for Huo Yuhao!
However, he didn’t manage to become a ﬁve-ringed Soul King. Jing Hongchen was relieved after hearing this. After all, the three years between the ages of ﬁfteen and eighteen were very important for a genius soul master. These three years were critical in establishing his foundation. Xiao Hongchen and Meng Hongchen had relayed news that their cultivations had reached Rank 60, becoming Soul Emperors. They were also Class 6 soul engineers.
Jing Hongchen admired Huo Yuhao’s ﬁghting capabilities. He had even beaten a six-ringed Soul Emperor, even though he only had four rings. However, a Soul Emperor was a Soul Emperor. If everyone had the same talent, a six-ringed Soul Emperor would completely dominate a four-ringed Soul Ancestor. Jing Hongchen didn’t believe that Huo Yuhao could challenge his grandchildren. The potential of a genius would fall as time passed. If Huo Yuhao couldn’t reach Rank 60 before he was twenty years old, Jing Hongchen wouldn’t call him a genius anymore. ------
“Little junior!” a rough voice sounded from outside his room.
“Second senior, why are you here?” Huo Yuhao opened the door and looked at the excited He Caitou standing outside.
He Caitou wore a mysterious look on his face. “Little junior, I have a surprise for you.”
“Surprise? For me? What new stationary soul tool have you successfully researched?” Huo Yuhao looked back at him in surprise.
He Caitou snapped, “Oh no, oh no! You’re getting dumb. Your life is only about the dormitory and Illustrious Virtue Hall. Aren’t you tired? You should relax when it’s time to do so. You’ll feel better then. You’re always so tense, which is not a good thing.”
Huo Yuhao was slightly moved, as he had heard something similar from someone else before. It wasn’t his ﬁrst time. As he thought of that person, there was a slight change in the look in his eyes. Ever since he came to the Sun Moon Empire, he had received letters from eldest senior and others of his compatriots. However, the person who was supposed to be sending him letters didn’t write any for him.
Wang Dong, how are you? Huo Yuhao was a little down as he thought of Wang Dong. Surely he hasn’t forgotten me after so long?
“Hey, little junior, I’m talking to you. Focus.” He Caitou was displeased as he shook Huo Yuhao’s shoulder.
Huo Yuhao hurriedly invited him in. He softly said, “Have you made progress on the Holy Ghost Church’s matter?”
He Caitou rolled his eyes and didn’t even bother entering the room. He stood at the door, and his towering ﬁgure made him seem like some sort of guardian.
“That bullshit organization has gone missing. I wonder if you were hallucinating. Otherwise, they’re covering themselves very well. Alright, follow me. Let’s go to the gate for a moment.”
“I’ll skip that. I’m busy with my formation array, and I’m at a critical point. I’m about to ﬁnish.” Huo Yuhao declined He Caitou’s proposition.
He Caitou was furious. “Have my words fallen on deaf ears?
Quick, you’ll regret it if you don’t go.”
As he spoke, He Caitou dragged Huo Yuhao out and forcefully ran him away.
Huo Yuhao was slightly annoyed, but he couldn’t bear to reject He Caitou’s good intentions. He naturally believed that his second senior wouldn’t harm him. However, he wasn’t in any sort of mood to receive any surprise.
He didn’t reckon that there would be any surprises for him, apart from achieving a breakthrough in his cultivation. This was the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, not Shrek Academy. Very soon, Huo Yuhao was dragged to a vast ﬁeld by He Caitou.
“Second senior, you don’t have to drag me. I’ll follow you.” Huo Yuhao had no choice but to compromise.
He Caitou stopped and looked at him with a weird expression. He said, “Don’t force it, either. I think it’s better if you don’t go. If you regret it, don’t blame me.” As he spoke, he released Huo Yuhao’s hand and turned away.
Huo Yuhao quickly rushed over and tried to placate him, “Second senior, don’t be angry! I’ll follow you. You’re right, I should change my brain. Otherwise, it’ll become a formation array.”
He Caitou laughed and replied, “Rascal, do you think I’m angry with you? I just ﬁnd it regretful for someone else.”
Just as they were conversing, they bumped into two familiar faces. “Aiyo, what are the two of you doing?” a middle-aged and harmless-looking Jing Ziyan asked as she smiled at Huo Yuhao and He Caitou. Ji Juechen was beside her.
Huo Yuhao’s facial expression was a little stiff as he saw the both of them. He glanced at He Caitou and seemed to be asking him something. Second senior, surely this isn’t the surprise you have for me?
If there was someone that Huo Yuhao feared the most in the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, it wasn’t Jing Hongchen, but the two of them.
Ever since Huo Yuhao awoke from his deep meditation, he was targeted by Ji Juechen and Jing Ziyan, who were indignant after losing to him. The two of them were always together. When they had nothing to do, they would come and approach Huo Yuhao to spar.
It was ﬁne if it happened only once or twice. However, they went overboard. How could Huo Yuhao not be vexed? Neither of them cared about where they were. There were a few occasions when they disrupted him just as he had some inspiration on ﬁguring out how to create formation arrays.
On one occasion, Huo Yuhao had used the Sovereign's Descent a little too strongly, as he was enraged. He gave Ji Juechen and Jing Ziyan a good whacking, as they didn’t use any other soul skills or tap into their soul power to repress him.
After that incident, the two of them stopped for a few days. However, they returned not long after. Ji Juechen even told Huo Yuhao that his understanding of sword intent became deeper after he was whacked by him!
Chapter 186: The Absolutely Surprising Radiant Butterﬂy Goddess
That was why the two of them continued to ﬁnd Huo Yuhao. Huo Yuhao couldn’t take it anymore, and thus he decided to hide from them. After all, they couldn’t possibly spar inside Illustrious Virtue Hall. As a result, Huo Yuhao often remained in Illustrious Virtue Hall until late at night before returning to his dorm room, avoiding trouble.
However, they were still some of the few friends that Huo Yuhao had at the academy. Of course, Huo Yuhao wouldn’t admit to this.
Jing Ziyan and Ji Juechen were also very picky. He Caitou did tell them that he wanted to team up with Huo Yuhao to ﬁght them, but they wouldn’t accept it. They were only interested in sparring with Huo Yuhao, who was skilled in close-combat and possessed the Sovereign’s Descent.
He Caitou shook his head at Huo Yuhao and said, “Of course it isn’t the two of them. How are they surprises? They’re more of a shock. Guys, we’ve things to deal with today. He can’t entertain you.” As he spoke, he quickly dragged Huo Yuhao away.
Huo Yuhao couldn’t wait to get away from them. He followed He Caitou willingly this time.
However, Jing Ziyan shifted and grinned as she blocked them. Ji Juechen was even more ruthless. He brandished his Extraterrestrial Meteoric Sword.
Jing Ziyan smiled as she said, “It’s fate that we meet. Yuhao, we haven’t looked for you in days. Since we’ve met, let’s spar. I’ve recently gained some enlightenment.”
Huo Yuhao’s facial muscles twitched a little, and he said, “I seemed to have fought the both of you two days ago. You call that days? Can’t you give me some breathing space? I concede defeat.”
Ji Juechen pointed his sword at Huo Yuhao and said, “Defeat me. Then I’ll give you breathing space.” “You…” Huo Yuhao glared. “Ji Juechen, do you really think I’m scared of you? Don’t make me beat you until you’re half- dead.”
Jing Ziyan chortled, “It’s okay. I’ll take care of him. Don’t give me face. You can whack him ﬁrst. If you’ve sufﬁcient energy after that, you can also whack me.”
He Caitou rolled his eyes and wanted to pull Huo Yuhao away. He said, “Little junior, you’re really stupid! If we can’t deal with them, why don’t we just run away!? Let’s go.” As he spoke, he grabbed Huo Yuhao’s waist and lifted him up. He made a half turn, and his thick arms ﬂung Huo Yuhao into the air.
They had great chemistry. Huo Yuhao ﬂipped in mid-air and initiated his soul thrusters.
A blinding light shone from his back before the two of them burst towards the academy’s gate. At this point, he ignored the academy’s rule that no soul tools could be used in non- experimentation areas. Ji Juechen and Jing Ziyan didn’t expect He Caitou to do this, and thus they were slow to react. However, they weren’t ones to give up. They quickly chased after them. Both of them were Soul Emperors, and they teamed up well with each other too.
Ji Juechen didn’t have a soul thruster. However, that was ﬁne, since Jing Ziyan had one!
Jing Ziyan quickly climbed onto his back, and her Class 6 soul thruster was immediately activated. The sudden thrusting force propelled both of them towards Huo Yuhao.
Ji Juechen had made signiﬁcant improvements over the past half year too. He was still able to hold onto his sword with both hands, even under such a circumstance. He unleashed his swift and vicious sword intent. Evidently, they didn’t really care about the school rules, either!
Huo Yuhao ﬂed. While he used Class 5 soul thrusters, there were several of them! The four Class 5 soul thrusters on his back could change direction based on the control of his intent and muscles. Not only were they very explosive, but they were also very adaptable. He was almost out of the gate. At such a high speed, even the guards at the academy’s gate couldn’t stop him, and could only watch as he escaped out the gate. However, the academy’s alarm rang soon after that.
Huo Yuhao was a little lost after he exited the gate. That was because he didn’t know where to go. So what if he ﬂed? At this speed, it was arduous for him to continue escaping! Furthermore, it was easier to spar than ﬂee! He Caitou had evidently come up with a bad idea.
After they burst out of the gate, Jing Ziyan and Ji Juechen also followed suit. Just as Huo Yuhao decreased his speed and was ready to turn back, a crisp voice that carried a sense of furious and vicious killing intent rose up. “Who dares to hurt him?!”
A ball of intense golden light mixed with a dazzling blue blew apart like ﬁreworks. It instantly changed into countless streaks of light that penetrated through the air, forcefully blocking Jing Ziyan and Ji Juechen.
Ji Juechen’s sword intent was initially targeted towards Huo Yuhao. However, he displayed his strength as he came under attack.
His vicious sword intent soared, and a streak of black sword light was unleashed. The further this sword light ﬂew, the bigger it grew. There was even a subtle draconic roar coming from it.
As the streaks of golden light met the immense sword intent, they were swept away. However, a strange scene appeared. The golden lights that were brushed aside didn’t disperse, but stuck onto the Extraterrestrial Meteoric Sword. After Ji Juechen’s sword managed to sweep all the blades away, a bluish-gold ball of light a foot wide was already attached to the back of it. Following that, a tremendous boom rang out as an aura of light was released.
Ji Juechen and Jing Ziyan were sent ﬂying as the wave of gold struck them. The intense aura of light spread, and the shockwave threw them off-balance as they were struck. Naturally, they stopped their pursuit of Huo Yuhao.
Where was Huo Yuhao now? He seemed to have been struck by a soul skill that turned him to stone. He stood there completely motionless, and his Spirit Eyes were ﬁxed in a certain direction… the direction the golden lights came from.
A dazzling bluish-gold light shone in the air, looking even more dazzling in the sunlight. A ﬁgure with medium-long, pinkish-blue hair that ﬂowed past his shoulders and a charming appearance was standing there. Although only his side proﬁle could be seen, Huo Yuhao could sense his aloofness.
A pair of blue wings ﬂapped open behind his face. A halo that ﬂashed with a complementary golden light pattern subtly appeared above the wings. It was like a small sun that bore down on the wings. One yellow, two purple, and two black soul rings shone.
Ji Juechen had another nickname in the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. His ﬁrst nickname was “Handsome Man”. However, he was too cold as a person, and hardly smiled at anyone or anything. The female students in the academy always nagged him for wasting his looks. However, this person that had surfaced was deﬁnitely not inferior to Ji Juechen in terms of his appearance. He was equally as handsome, but possessed a different aura. This slender youth was not as cold than Ji Juechen, as he carried a slight sense of gentility. His skin was also slightly whiter and smoother, the look in his eyes more vibrant. It didn’t possess the sharpness that Ji Juechen had, but there was
a sense of elegance there instead. Compared to Ji Juechen, his
looks were better able to attract the attention of girls.
Jing Ziyan wasn’t one to care about handsome guys, but she was astonished by how handsome he was. Ji Juechen squinted his eyes because of the light and aura that other party exuded. His sword intent also became more intense.
He possessed a pair of wings with golden stripes, and had such a charming face. He even helped Huo Yuhao block off Jing Ziyan and Ji Juechen’s pursuit. Yes, he was the surprise that He Caitou had mentioned.
“Wang Dong.” Huo Yuhao ﬁnally recovered from his daze. He was confused, and his eyes even turned blurry from the tears that had suddenly surfaced.
He increased his speed without using his soul thrusters and burst forward. He leapt forward and hugged this brother of his that had travelled so far to visit him.
Wang Dong was also emotional as he was hugged by Huo Yuhao from the side. However, he kept his cool. “Huo Yuhao, let’s deal with the enemy ﬁrst.”
Enemy? Huo Yuhao was momentarily dazed. He twisted his head to look at the wary Ji Juechen and Jing Ziyan. A teasing look also appeared on his face. Since he was always annoyed by the two of them, he was going to teach them a good lesson today.
“Ji Juechen, Jing Ziyan, haven’t the two of you always been very depressed that you can’t team up to ﬁght me? Today, your opportunity is here. This is my brother, his name is Wang Dong. Let’s ﬁght two-on-two here. We won’t use any soul tools. Are you up for it?”
Jing Ziyan laughed and replied, “Of course! He’s also from Shrek, right? Very well, let’s ﬁght for the glory of our academies.” Ji Juechen was as simple and direct as ever. Perhaps it was because he had met someone that could rival him in terms of looks, but he stared at Wang Dong with a burning look in his eyes. As he lifted his Extraterrestrial Meteoric Sword, his sword intent soared, and he shouted in a deep voice, “Come
Ji Juechen was extraordinary even among the most extraordinary soul masters. The rarity of his cultivation method – giving up soul skills and honing his ﬁghting skills – was comparable to twin martial souls. However, that was also because he used all his soul skills to enhance his soul power like a soul engineer, which was used to complement his ﬁghting skills.
He was practically the strongest person in terms of close- combat that Huo Yuhao had ever met.
Huo Yuhao tapped into his understanding of the Sovereign’s Descent to beat him in terms of intent. However, he was deﬁnitely at a disadvantage in a real ﬁght due to the gap in their soul powers.
Huo Yuhao tapped into his understanding of the Sovereign’s Descent to beat him in terms of intent. However, he was deﬁnitely at a disadvantage in a real ﬁght with the gap in their soul powers. However, Ji Juechen never took advantage of him. He restrained his soul power when they sparred so that they would almost be on the same level. He focused on challenging him in terms of their sword and ﬁst intent. This was the reason why Huo Yuhao beat him every time.
It wasn’t that Wang Dong’s true abilities were superior to Ji Juechen’s. It was just that his appearance caused Ji Juechen to feel a weird pressure, especially when Huo Yuhao stood beside him. There was something different in their auras, as if they were two different magnets with different polarities. They attracted, fused, and became a complete entity.
Both Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong landed on solid ground at this moment. Huo Yuhao grabbed onto Wang Dong’s right hand with his left. The two of them looked at each other, and an indescribable rapport rose in their hearts. Their soul power circulated, and their Haodong Power was connected again at long last after two years of wait. As the vigorous Haodong Power circulated through their bodies, they could sense the surprise they brought to each other.
Jing Ziyan grinned. “Why are you two lovebirds holding hands? It’s so embarrassing. Don’t waste resources.”
Wang Dong was stunned for a moment. “What about wasting resources?”
Jing Ziyan smiled and said, “There aren’t many good guys left. If the two of you get together and stay together, what will us girls do?”
Wang Dong blushed from her words. However, Huo Yuhao’s ﬁgure ﬂashed, and he blocked Jing Ziyan’s subtle approach.
Jing Ziyan was inching step by step towards them as she spoke. Huo Yuhao understood her very well. She wasn’t a nice person to make an enemy out of—she wasn’t one to care about rules. Indeed, a thick layer of purplish fog rose from Jing Ziyan’s body after Huo Yuhao stood in front of Wang Dong. She was engulfed by the fog.
Huo Yuhao was very familiar with her ﬁghting style.
Diamond ice crystals quickly covered his body.
As expected, a black ﬁgure crawled its way out of the purplish fog. However, Huo Yuhao wasn’t its target. This ﬁgure moved in an arc and aimed straight for Wang Dong’s ribs.
It was a quick move, but Jing Ziyan’s attempt to cause confusion was meaningless to Huo Yuhao, because he had Spiritual Detection. However, she still continued to practice it religiously every time they sparred. He was a little annoyed by that.
Thick purplish fog instantly swallowed Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong. Jing Ziyan’s ﬁghting style was similar to Huo Yuhao’s. They focused a lot on control and assault. She might not have twin martial souls, but she was a soul engineer—a close- combat soul engineer. She used her martial soul to control, and her soul tools to attack. Although she had only become a Class 6 soul engineer at the age of thirty, she was the best among all the Class 6 soul engineers Huo Yuhao knew in terms of ﬁghting capabilities. Of course, this was excluding Ji Juechen as a soul engineer.
Huo Yuhao reached his left hand towards the black ﬁgure, and his entire body shone with light. An azure light shimmered, suddenly shooting out from his body, causing the surrounding temperature to drop.
Jing Ziyan’s ﬁrst soul skill was called Illusory Fog, while her second soul skill was called Condensed Fog. The main effect of the Illusory Fog was to confuse and block the opponent’s vision. It could also cause the opponent to become disoriented. The Condensed Fog was very thick, and affected speed and judgment. They were both pretty effective mass control-type soul skills, and she unleashed them at this moment.
Huo Yuhao couldn’t let her gain an edge over Wang Dong, allowing his spiritual sea to reach an unprecedentedly excited state. His competitive will was greater than usual for these practice matches. He attacked boldly from the get-go.
The Domain of Perpetual Ice activated. Everything in a thirty square meter area was turned azure- green. Jing Ziyan’s fog completely condensed. Even the soul power within the tiniest particle of fog solidiﬁed in an instant. The fog disappeared as it fell. However, just as Huo Yuhao was familiar with their abilities, they were also familiar with his. Before the azure light shone, a layer of golden light was preemptively released from Jing Ziyan’s body. It was a Class 6 protective soul barrier.
Even though there was a layer of frost on the protective soul barrier that depleted Jing Ziyan’s soul power at an alarming rate, it didn’t freeze. She created several black ﬁgures which attacked towards Huo Yuhao at the same time, then retreated with haste.
Huo Yuhao accurately caught the black ﬁgure bursting towards Wang Dong. That was Jing Ziyan’s close-combat soul tool, the Explosive Nine-Tailed Whip.
This soul tool had a special ability. It would vibrate at a high frequency when it collided with something. Anything that was struck by it would face a powerful explosion. If struck against a person, their body would be blown to pieces, provided, without any defensive tools. However, this Explosive Nine- Tailed Whip was very effective at overcoming soul masters’ defensive soul skills and soul engineers’ protective soul barriers.
Huo Yuhao had once resisted it using his Ice Empress’ Armor and suffered quite a bit. The explosion that he had faced was powerful, and when it happened his skin and muscles were wounded.
Jing Ziyan was a little shocked when she saw Huo Yuhao reaching for the Explosive Nine-Tailed Whip. Usually, Huo Yuhao used his Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track to avoid it.
He used his left hand, covered with diamond ice crystals, to grab the whip, and a tremendous explosion rang out. However, Huo Yuhao still managed to grab hold of the whip tightly. He didn’t relax his grip at all. Only a portion of the diamond ice crystals blew apart, barely revealing the skin underneath.
The depletion of Jing Ziyan’s soul power was still great because she had unleashed her Class 6 protective soul barrier within the Domain of Perpetual Ice. She couldn’t sustain it. Huo Yuhao’s domain-type soul skill would last for some time, especially under the support of the Haodong Power. Presently, Wang Dong’s palms were pressed against Huo Yuhao’s back. His arms had turned completely golden.
The auxiliary capabilities of the Golden Light Left Arm Bone and Broken Devil of Light Right Arm Bone were completely brought forth at this point. Not only did Huo Yuhao receive the usual support of Haodong Power, but the restoration of his soul power was also faster by a few times compared to the past.
However, they were ﬁghting two on two. Just as Jing Ziyan was about to give up on her Explosive Nine-Tailed Whip to escape from the Domain of Perpetual Ice, Ji Juechen’s Extraterrestrial Meteoric Sword entered the fray.
It was a very simple… slash.
Ji Juechen slid towards Huo Yuhao as if he were on an icy surface. His greatest strength was focusing his sword intent no matter the situation. Before his attack even arrived, his vicious sword intent had already soared. Even Wang Dong could sense the sharp aura within that threatened to slice him in two.
Spiritual Detection connected their minds long ago.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong grinned at almost the same time. Following that, a dazzling scene that hadn’t appeared for two years was presented.
Wang Dong switched positions to hug Huo Yuhao, his entire body clinging to his back.
Jing Ziyan was stunned as she saw this scene. Are the two of them really together like that? This… However, she was soon shocked.
When Wang Dong’s wings ﬂapped open behind his back, everyone entered a momentary trance.
They were ﬁghting outside the academy’s gate, which attracted some attention. Fortunately, it was the holidays, so there weren’t too many onlookers. The main spectators were the guards at the gate. These guards hated those who disregarded school rules, but they kept silent after seeing Ji Juechen’s terrifying sword intent and the light from Wang Dong’s Butterﬂy Goddess Slash. In front, it was Huo Yuhao whose Spirit Eyes shone with a dim golden light.
At the back, it was Wang Dong, who unleashed his Radiant Butterﬂy Goddess and his dazzling pair of wings.
After they hugged and unleashed their martial souls, the area within a hundred meter radius lit up. A special light shone from their bodies.
Ji Juechen felt something. He was stunned to realize that the target that he’d locked onto earlier disappeared. Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong were deﬁnitely still standing there, but they gave him the feeling that they had turned illusory. His vicious sword intent also stalled. Even his speed was slowed for half a second.
A weird light encased the surroundings. It was a magical light that alternated between blue, purple and gold. An intense aura of light exuded from it, mixed with several strange undulations of soul power. A huge light projection appeared behind Wang Dong. The complete, charming, and resplendent, Radiant Butterﬂy Goddess.
The illusory projection of a huge vertical eye appeared behind Huo Yuhao. This vertical eye was completely bright gold, but emitted a dim ﬂash of purple.
In the air, these two projections seemed to fuse together. The projection of Huo Yuhao’s Spirit Eyes darkened, and eventually turned bluish-purple as the gold faded.
Wang Dong’s Radiant Butterﬂy Goddess started to combust as she got closer to the Spirit Eyes. She burned with a bluish- gold ﬂame.
Eventually, the fusion completed, it seemed extremely long, yet it was fast. The projections of their martial souls ﬁnally fused above Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong.
Now Wang Dong and Huo Yuhao’s fused Haodong Power erupted. The combusting Radiant Butterﬂy Goddess ﬂapped her dazzling wings and hugged the Spirit Eyes’ projection. Her projection disappeared, while the bluish-purple Spirit Eyes shone ridiculously bright.
The dazzling, bluish-gold light ﬂame shone brightly above the Spirit Eyes’ projection. It suddenly fell from the air and protected Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong.
The huge Spirit Eyes appeared very deep. On a closer look, it seemed to contain a boundless world. At this moment, a beam of light that was a combination of blue, purple, and gold shot out.
It shot straight, and everything that crossed its path became nothingness. That instant of brightness seemed to last an eternity. The tri-colored beam of light left a blurred trail behind as it shot forward. Ji Juechen’s sword contained a forward-moving, indestructible sword intent. That was why his attack would never change, even if his sword left his hand.
Huo Yuhao was too familiar with him. Along with the unparalleled detection capabilities of his Spiritual Detection, that bright light extended more than ﬁve meters in width and hundred meters in length. It extended all the way until it hit the walls of the academy.
Ji Juechen’s ﬁgure was swallowed by the tri-colored light. His forward-moving momentum didn’t change, but his sword intent was destroyed.
The light dispersed, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong re-appeared in Jing Ziyan’s view again. But, with Jing Ziyan ﬂabbergasted, she forgot to unleash her next attack even though the Domain of Perpetual Ice had disappeared.
She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. What did I just see? A blue, purple and gold beam of light that was ﬁve meters wide, three meters tall and a hundred meters long? My god! What soul skill is this? Even a seven or eight-ringed soul master could only match that power after they unleashed their Martial Soul True Body!
She was even more shocked that the tri-colored light left a gully that was almost ﬁve meters wide, shining with a bright- golden color.
A patch of gold had also formed on the wall of the academy. Furthermore, the wall, built with stainless steel, was melting at alarming speeds. A wide opening was revealed as a result of that. The golden ﬂuid that was formed after the wall melted was also very strange.
Ji Juechen stopped less than ﬁve meters away from Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong. He was still holding his sword, as if he wanted to strike. However, his sword looked a little out of shape. A strange glow was subtly revealed on its surface.
“What soul skill is this? No, it should be a martial fusion soul skill!” Jing Ziyan exclaimed. She had completely forgotten that it was a two-on-two ﬁght. She wasn’t the only one who was shocked. Ji Juechen was even more shocked than her. He felt that the streak of light was ten times the size of the Sovereign’s Descent. The terrifying spiritual shock caused his sword intent to collapse. In addition, there was even the intense aura of light from it. He felt as if his sword had gone soft, almost as if the extremely tough Extraterrestrial Meteoric Steel was cotton now. His soul power fell by almost half, and he was stuck in some kind of spiritual confusion. His thoughts were paralyzed, he couldn’t move.
Huo Yuhao pulled Wang Dong’s hand, and they smiled as they looked at each other. They said simultaneously, “A Golden Road Amidst Withering Resplendence.”
Jing Ziyan muttered repeatedly, “Golden Road, damned Golden Road.”
After being immobilized for three seconds, Ji Juechen’s body shook a little, and he ﬁnally regained his ability to move. However, there was still a layer of gold on his body. When he moved, his clothing looked like it was about to melt off.
Ji Juechen didn’t remain behind, he shook his body and vanished. The layer of gold evaporated, and only his voice was left echoing in the air.
“Huo Yuhao, I’ll never be done with you in my entire life.”
Jing Ziyan’s shock slowly disappeared. She scratched her head in a very manly manner and said, “Huo Yuhao, you’re a treasure that keeps giving! I’m honored to have you as a target to chase. Juechen’s right. We’ll never be done with you in our entire lives.”
Huo Yuhao rolled his eyes and said, “This exchange will be ending a few months after the holidays are over, and I’ll return to Shrek. Follow me to Shrek if you can. There are many people over there you can pester if you want.”
Jing Ziyan’s eyes brightened, and she said, “Right, that’s a great idea. In fact, I’m getting more and more interested in Shrek Academy after knowing you. No, I must seek approval from the Hallmaster to be in the next batch of exchange students right away.” As she spoke, she turned and ran off while Huo Yuhao watched her in shock. She disappeared very quickly. Huo Yuhao almost cursed, “Those rascals, surely they won’t actually follow us back to Shrek?”
Wang Dong glanced at Huo Yuhao and smiled. “Why? What’s going on? You didn’t seem like enemies.”
Huo Yuhao laughed bitterly. “They’re fanatics. They’re always pestering me to spar with them. Today’s another of my ‘lucky’ days… Second brother, you’ve given me a huge surprise!” As he spoke, Huo Yuhao suddenly turned around and hugged Wang Dong tightly once again.
“My brother, I’m delighted to see you again.”
Huo Yuhao’s direct and emotional words caused Wang Dong to tear up slightly. He hugged him back and muttered, “Me too.”
He Caitou stood there and was a little annoyed as he said, “The two of you can continue being intimate, I guess. I’ll return ﬁrst. We’ll eat together later. I’ll inform Teacher Fan Yu for now.” In fact, Wang Dong was barred from entering the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy when he came by this morning. He said that he was from Shrek and asked someone to help look for the exchange students. He had managed to locate He Caitou, who easily recognized him. He Caitou was surprised, and decided to give Huo Yuhao a surprise as well.
It was only now that the guards standing at the academy’s gates walked over. There were four of them. Their leader was brief as he said to Huo Yuhao, “Student Huo, you’ve breached the school rules today! Come with us to make a statement.”
Huo Yuhao relaxed his hug with Wang Dong. But, before he even said anything, he was interrupted by Wang Dong. “Why don’t you chase after the other two? Why’re you ﬁnding fault with us? Do you think we’re easy targets for bullying just because we’re from Shrek? We can make a statement if you want. However, you’ll need to ﬁght us ﬁrst!”
While he was very gentle when he was with Huo Yuhao, he was actually still very arrogant, just like when he had ﬁrst met Huo Yuhao. He was extremely displeased, as his reunion with Huo Yuhao was being disrupted. The guards were a little annoyed. “We won’t ﬁght. We’re not sandbags. Don’t put us in a spot. Student Huo, it’s not that we’re not giving you face. However, the damages are too obvious. If the academy asks, we can’t account for them!” As he spoke, he pointed to the results of the Golden Road.
Huo Yuhao wasn’t an unreasonable person. In addition, why would he be calculative against these guards? He was apologetic as he said, “I’m sorry, I’ll pay for the repairs needed for the walls and road.”
“However, it’s not exactly my fault. Ji Juechen and Jing Ziyan provoked us ﬁrst. You have seen everything. They were the ones chasing me. Please tell the truth when you report this to the academy. I’ll record a statement to help out.”
The guards were relieved with Huo Yuhao’s cooperation.
They got a better impression of him from that.
As guards of the academy, they naturally possessed some strength of their own. They at least had the required level of cultivation. But it was their ﬁrst time seeing something as dazzling as Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s martial fusion soul skill. They respected the two of them more because of that.
Within a few minutes, the statement was done. Huo Yuhao didn’t know that the guards made a lot of stuff up to push the problems onto Ji Juechen and Jing Ziyan. Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong were completely absolved of blame. They weren’t really all that loyal to the academy. One of them was impressed by Huo Yuhao, while another approved of him because Huo Yuhao had demonstrated his respect towards them by willingly recording a statement. They even made an exception, and allowed Huo Yuhao to bring Wang Dong into the academy.
Wang Dong caught too much attention. If it were anyone else standing beside him, they would be completely overshadowed. However, Huo Yuhao wasn’t overshadowed by Wang Dong. Even though his looks were inferior to Wang Dong’s, his aura wasn’t. To the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy students, his mature and elegant aura demonstrated his strength.
Fortunately, the academy was on a short break, and thus there were very few students left in the academy. Otherwise, Wang Dong would have attracted far more attention.
As Huo Yuhao walked, he sized up Wang Dong. Wang Dong glanced at him and said, “What’re you looking at?”
Huo Yuhao complimented, “You’ve gotten more handsome after two years. I feel so embarrassed standing beside you! Didn’t you see? There were a few female students looking this way just now. Their eyes couldn’t leave you.”
Wang Dong smiled and said, “This is called natural beauty.
Don’t worry, I won’t despise you for having boorish looks.”
Huo Yuhao laughed and said, “That’s for describing women. However, I think it should be ﬁne for you to impersonate one if you put on some makeup! Now that your hair is so long, you do seem more feminine.”
@Chapter 187: I Trust You've Been Well Since We've Last Met, and Love at First Sight
Wang Dong’s voice sounded a little strange as he asked, “Do you think my hair looks better longer or shorter?”
“Of course it looks better longer.” Huo Yuohao blurted almost instantaneously. When Wang Dong asked that question, Huo Yuhao recalled the time when they had unleashed the Raiment of Light together. The ﬂowing long hair that resembled tidal waves gave Huo Yuhao an overly strong impression.
“Oh.” Wang Dong stared at Huo Yuhao’s lackadaisical eyes and asked, “What are you thinking about?”
Huo Yuhao shook his head. He sighed and said, “I was thinking about the fourth martial soul fusion skill that we used during the last Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament, our Solitary Dance Amidst the Frost, Raiment of Light. Do you still remember? Do you remember the shadows that we projected? How nice would it have been if you were a girl! You would have been stunning. I feel like you were the blueprint for the ﬁgures that we conjured, except I have no clue why you became a female.”
Wang Dong’s face blushed faintly, and he said with a bashful voice, “So what if I was a girl? What does that have to do with you?”
Huo Yuhao was still reminiscing on the enchanting scene that was still vivid in his memory. He didn’t pay attention to the change in Wang Dong’s voice as he chuckled, “Of course it has something to do with me! The pavilion closest to the water enjoys the ﬁrst moonlight. It’s better that I beneﬁt from this, and not outsiders.”
Wang Dong laughed and said, “If you really think that way, I’ll introduce my sister to you after we ﬁnish this exchange program. She looks just like me, and she looks very similar to my projection during our Raiment of Light!”
Huo Yuhao’s eyes sparkled. “Really? That’s great! You’re such a good bro.” He hugged Wang Dong across the shoulder as he spoke, and passionate warmth ﬂowed uncontrollably from his eyes.
Wang Dong snapped, “I didn’t think you were so big on physical appearance as well. Is it that important for someone to be good-looking?”
Huo Yuhao rolled his eyes and snapped back, “Those that ask that question are either extremely good-looking or terribly ugly. Those who lack good looks also lack self-conﬁdence, and maybe they lack the bravery to try. And those like you are just arrogant.”
“Physical appearance is the ﬁrst thing people notice when they ﬁrst meet each other. How many people can get to know each other? That level of interaction requires time. Physical appearance is a way of choosing who to interact with – of course, looks aren’t absolute, but every person knows what he or she wants. This is probably why ‘love at ﬁrst sight’ exists.”
Wang Dong glanced at him and said, “Your theory is very persuasive. It seems like you’ve been getting your ﬁll of girls inside the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy – with abilities like yours, I’m sure many girls have a crush on you.”
“Let’s talk inside.” Huo Yuhao placed his index ﬁnger on his mouth. They were back at the dormitory, and Huo Yuhao opened the door before he dragged Wang Dong inside.
“You really do!” Wang Dong said, amused.
Huo Yuhao closed the door, pulled over a chair and pressed Wang Dong down into it. “Sit down. I know you are a clean freak, and I stay here alone, so it’s a little messy – I’m going to clean up.”
“There’s no need for that. Am I really that particular?” Wang Dong chuckled.
Huo Yuhao gave a serious nod in his direction, but he couldn’t help but laugh out loud as he said, “Yes.”
Wang Dong was furious. “Then go ahead and clean up by yourself. Can’t believe I was going to help you.”
Huo Yuhao said, “That’s alright. I can do it myself.” He went to work as he spoke.
He was the only one living here, just like he had said. He was also an exchange student, so teachers didn’t come to inspect the cleanliness of his dorm room. There wasn’t much clothing and whatnot in the room, but it was strewn with all sorts of materials for forging soul tools, to the point where there wasn’t much space to walk.
He was concerned about Wang Dong’s religious preference for cleanliness, so he hurriedly packed up his room. Thankfully, storage-type soul tools existed in this world, so cleaning up wasn’t that difﬁcult.
Wang Dong said, “I can tell from the situation of your dorm room that you have been rather hardworking over these past two years. Your spiritual power is also much more powerful, and even your soul power contains tinges of spiritual power.”
Huo Yuhao laughed. “Isn’t it the same for you? I can feel that you’ve reached the threshold.”
“Yes,” Wang Dong nodded his head faintly, “Let’s not talk about all that. You haven’t answered my question when we were still outside. We haven’t met for two years – do you really have something going on with the girls here? And do you still want me to introduce you to my sister?” Huo Yuhao shook his head and answered, “Something did happen, but it’s not what you think.”
He continued talking as he cleaned up his room. “I was assigned to a laboratory when I ﬁrst arrived, and several students were also part of it. I had a senior, and her name was Ju Zi.”
When he brought up her name, the deepest recesses of Huo Yuhao’s spirit quivered involuntarily. Even though he was well- aware that the two of them were like two parallel lines, he couldn’t deny that the young girl that that planted her ﬁrst kiss on his cheek left quite an impression in his memory.
“Ju Zi?” Wang Dong softly repeated her name as he watched the subtle changes in Huo Yuhao’s eyes. The two of them had been apart for more than two years, but he knew Huo Yuhao too well. He could tell from Huo Yuhao’s voice that this girl had left a deep mark in his heart. Wang Dong himself wasn’t like the proud youth that he was two years ago, and had become much more mature. He didn’t interrupt, but quietly listened to Huo Yuhao because he could feel that even though two years had passed, time hadn’t placed a wedge in his relationship with Huo Yuhao. Otherwise, why would Huo Yuhao conﬁde in him just like that?
“Yes, her name was Ju Zi. She was very pretty, and her complexion was stunning. That was the ﬁrst impression that she gave me. However, she was just so mysterious, and even now, I don’t even know where she’s gone, or what secrets she had.”
“She said that she was leaving, and she wanted to give me a present for our transient acquaintance.”
Huo Yuhao’s emotional voice paused momentarily. Wang Dong was listening intently, and the bottom of his eyes started becoming moist. “This girl was so pitiable. No wonder you have such chemistry with her – there are many similarities in your backgrounds and experiences. What present did she leave for you?”
Huo Yuhao whispered, “She kissed my cheek. She said that was the ﬁrst kiss that she had given, but she said she couldn’t kiss my lips without my permission. She said she hoped that I would leave my ﬁrst kiss for the girl of my dreams.” Wang Dong trembled, and a strange light pulsed from his eyes.
“She was so nice to you! Always thinking about you. Since you were clearheaded back then, why didn’t you consider getting together with her? I think age isn’t a problem for us soul masters at all. She’s so kind, and so pitiful – did you not feel anything for her, not even a little bit?”
Huo Yuhao lowered his head and stared at the ground. His brief acquaintance with Ju Zi was long gone, but he could vividly remember every detail.
“I thought I would be moved as well. In fact, I did feel something for her – but I realized that all I felt for Ju Zi was compassion and sympathy, and a little bit of pity. I want to thank her, because she helped me understand what a romantic relationship means. Wang Dong…”
“Eh?” Wang Dong responded, confused. “What’s wrong?”
Huo Yuhao stared into his eyes and said, “I want to say something, but you cannot laugh at me.”
Wang Dong said, “What is it?”
Huo Yuhao said, “When we used the Solitary Dance Amidst the Frost, Raiment of Light for the ﬁrst time, the projection that we conjured was heavily imprinted into my mind. Ju Zi moved me, so I ﬁnally understood what I felt inside. It may sound a little ridiculous, but I’m afraid I fell in love, at ﬁrst sight, with the projection that we created.”
Wang Dong’s eyes widened. “You…”
Huo Yuhao’s eyes ﬂowed with his memories. “When Ju Zi kissed me that day, I was truly touched, and I thought I was beginning to feel something for her. However, just when I wanted to ask her to stay, the projection from the Raiment of Light surfaced in my mind. I knew then that the projection had been occupying my heart this whole time, even though she was only a virtual entity. However, she dominated the space in my heart that was reserved for love, and I can no longer accommodate anything else. It was Ju Zi who helped me reconcile the feelings in my heart. Even if our lives hadn’t been two parallel lines, I don’t think I would have been able to accept her.” Wang Dong stared at Huo Yuhao in shock, and he seemed to phase out a little.
Huo Yuhao recovered and said with a smile on his face, “You’re a true brother, you didn’t laugh at me. Now that I think about it, it does sound a little incredulous. Sometimes, rationality and the human heart cannot be controlled. So, if you have a sister that looks just like our projection, I may indeed feel something for her! Of course, that’s assuming she can accept me, and I can like her as well. How about you? Have you been getting any action at Shrek? I remember that Xiao Hongchen’s sister, oh, Meng Hongchen, crushed on you at some point!”
Wang Dong didn’t open his mouth. He shook his head lightly, stood up, walked toward the dorm room’s window and opened it.
Fresh air immediately billowed into the room, and the dense and poignant smell of metal dissipated.
“Yuhao.” “Wang Dong, are you alright?” Huo Yuhao hurried came next to him. He had a feeling that something wasn’t right with Wang Dong’s emotions when he ﬁnished recounting his story with Ju Zi.
Wang Dong stared out the window, and a warm smile appeared on his face. “Your feeling is right, I have reached the bottleneck at Rank 60. However, I need a suitable soul ring. You’re my best buddy – I am here to visit you, and I am also here to ask you to follow me back home for a little while, because suitable soul beasts for me only exist near my home. You can keep me company, so let’s go together. You can return before the end of your school holidays, and we can meet again back at Shrek three months later. What do you think?”
Huo Yuhao was taken aback. “You mean, you want me to follow you back home? To ﬁnd a soul ring?”
Wang Dong spun around and stared at him with his big, powdery blue eyes. “Can you do that for me? We haven’t seen each other for so long, and I don’t want to part with you just like that. If I leave just like that, it will be another few months before we meet again. Furthermore, there will probably be more things and tasks waiting for you when you return to Shrek.” “Alright. I’ll accompany you.” Huo Yuhao agreed without hesitation.
Wang Dong smiled. This smile actually dazzled and stunned Huo Yuhao – it could be because Wang Dong had let his hair grow long, but in that moment, Huo Yuhao felt like the young girl projected during their ﬁrst Raiment of Light had appeared before his eyes once again.
“You’re so crazy about cultivation. I’m honored to have someone like you accompany me!” Wang Dong giggled as he spoke.
Huo Yuhao chortled and said, “They aren’t mutually exclusive. Do you actually think my cultivation speed will slow down when we are together? I understand a lot more about the Sovereign’s Descent, and I can take this chance and time to tell you all about it.”
The smile on Wang Dong’s face turned into a look of resentment. “Enough about that. Is there anything else on your mind besides cultivation? My sister may not like you if you keep on like this.” Huo Yuhao said, “Oh yes, will I be able to see your sister if I follow you back home?”
Wang Dong shook his head. “No, you won’t. My sister is travelling outside. You’ll have to wait until we return to Shrek; you may get a chance then. My sister says she wants to try for Shrek’s inner courtyard in the next academic year.”
Huo Yuhao said, “Oh. We’ll meet when the time comes, then.”
Wang Dong shot him a look and said, “You don’t seem so eager.”
Huo Yuhao shrugged and replied, “What’s the point of being eager? What makes you think that my appearance will deﬁnitely attract your sister? Furthermore, your sister doesn’t have the camaraderie and afﬁnity that we share. We’ll see where destiny leads us.”
Wang Dong continued pursuing the issue. “Does that mean that if my sister looks like our projection from the Raiment of Light, and she has camaraderie and afﬁnity with you, you will be moved?”
Huo Yuhao chuckled and said, “Of course. Alright, let’s not talk about these frivolous things. How have things been in the academy over these two years?”
Wang Dong said, “Everything’s normal. The Soul Tool Department is developing rapidly, and the Soul Engineering Institution is almost complete. Students from the Soul Tool Department have begun going through individual assessments since last year – their assessments regarding martial souls are a lot easier than those of the Martial Soul Department, while they are more focused on understanding of soul tools. Oh, the materials regarding soul tools that you sent back to the academy have been impactful, except I haven’t seen the Soul Tool Department create any similar soul tools yet. Dean Yan keeps saying that the Soul Tool Department has been eating too much of the budget over these past two years.”
“The Tang Sect has been ofﬁcially established! However, eldest senior brother and third senior brother are the only ones who have been working at it. Oh, both of them broke through Rank 60, and fourth senior sister and ﬁfth senior sister are a few ranks away, but I don’t think they can break through before the competition. How about you? I can feel that your improvement in soul power isn’t that big.”
Huo Yuhao answered, “My spiritual power has improved quite a bit, but my soul power improvements have paled in comparison. However, I know how to boost it when we return to the academy. You have been improving exponentially! You actually caught up with the others, and have surpassed even fourth senior sister and ﬁfth senior sister.”
Wang Dong laughed and said, “Our twin martial souls have an advantage later on in the cultivation process. I have been cultivating with you the whole time before this, and our Haodong power isn’t something that normal soul masters possess.”
Huo Yuhao asked, “How much has the Tang Sect developed at this point?” He was extremely concerned about the Tang Sect. This sentiment didn’t arise just because he practiced the Tang Sect Secret Techniques – it was also because Bei Bei and Xiao Ya took him to Shrek Academy so that he could join the Tang Sect. It could be said that his entire life had changed ever since that moment, and both Shrek Academy and the Tang Sect were very important to him, while he could even be leaning towards the Tang Sect.
Wang Dong said, “The framework has been established. We have enough space, but we lack the manpower. The people that you sent back have been pretty handy – eldest senior brother remarked that they are powerful and extremely hardworking, especially the girl called Na Na. Both eldest senior brother and third senior brother like her a lot! What’s your relationship with this girl anyway?”
Huo Yuhao forced a smile and said, “That’s enough, stop your weirdness. Na Na has also had a tough life, and if she can remain at the Tang Sect like she is now, then it will be a pretty good home for her.” He brieﬂy explained how he had met Na Na and the entire process to Wang Dong, and Wang Dong listened while he furrowed his eyebrows continuously.
“So, the information regarding the Holy Ghost Church came to us because of her. I’ve participated in the Guardians’ operations several times over the years, but I never once saw a trace of that Holy Ghost Church. They have been hiding themselves too well – furthermore, if they don’t commit a crime, it’s hard us for us to track them down.”
Huo Yuhao nodded and said, “The fox will always reveal its tail. Let’s continue discussing Tang Sect.”
Wang Dong said, “Once the framework was established, eldest senior brother gathered us around for a discussion. We had a consensus that the Tang Sect’s development would have to start from our ﬁnances and resources. No sect would be able to expand and develop without enough money and a source of income. Furthermore, we are just starting out, and our foundations are still thin. We will have to use soul tools to support our ﬁnances – the blueprints that you sent back to eldest senior brother are under development after eldest senior brother discussed the matter with the Soul Tool Department’s two Deans. The ﬁrst batch received extremely high praise after it was released, especially the Zhuge Divine Crossbow Cannon
– we received our ﬁrst purchase order, and we’re to manufacture forty Zhuge Divine Crossbow Cannons and set them up within Shrek City.”
Huo Yuhao said, “The Zhuge Divine Crossbow Cannon is based on our Tang Sect’s Zhuge Divine Crossbow, except I added some soul tool principles into the formation arrays. It’s pros are that it’s powerful and easy to control, while it can cover large areas. However, it’s weaknesses are equally conspicuous – the cannon shells are extremely expensive to make. We will have to use stationary soul cannon shells so that we can achieve the goal of allowing normal citizens to operate the soul tool. Highly explosive shells are the preferred choice. This isn’t a small investment!”
Wang Dong said proudly, “You don’t have to worry about all that. Firstly, the academy won’t throw themselves into war. Secondly, Shrek has many centuries of foundations, and can be considered incredibly wealthy. This bit of money won’t be a problem. Eldest senior brother treasures the blueprints that you sent back – he separated the manufacturing process into several parts, before he took everything back and assembled it himself. He’s extremely careful.”
Huo Yuhao smiled faintly and said, “He is indeed meticulous. The Tang Sect will deﬁnitely grow exponentially more powerful with his leadership.”
Wang Dong heaved a sigh and said, “But he isn’t happy at all. The smile on his face has disappeared ever since teacher Xiao Ya vanished, and he has become a lot skinnier. He’s almost twenty, but he looks a lot older than he actually is.”
Huo Yuhao rubbed the corners of his eyes and said, “That’s a big problem, indeed. Teacher Xiao Ya has been gone for so long, yet we have had no news of her whatsoever. Something must have happened to her – if not, she would have returned to ﬁnd us.”
Wang Dong’s face changed a little and said, “Don’t say that in front of him. Third senior brother mentioned that before and told him to keep an open mind, and that if it just can’t work out he can ﬁnd another person. Eldest senior brother’s temperament is so gentle, yet he almost fell out with third senior brother – they are best buddies!”
Huo Yuhao sighed and said, “Let’s help him search for her once we return. I know hopes are slim, but we still have to try our best. Where exactly are you, teacher Xiao Ya! You have to be alive. If not…”
They had spent two years away from each other, and there were just too many things to talk about. They discussed the Tang Sect and Shrek Academy, and their topic eventually changed to their own cultivation. The sky turned gray as they continued chatting away.
A knock on the door interrupted their conversation – it was He Caitou and Fan Yu.
They were enjoying their school holidays, and the exchange students from Shrek didn’t create much trouble or disturbance over the past two years, so the teachers from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy weren’t that strict with them anymore. The four of them left the academy that night, found a nice restaurant and ate a delicious meal.
Huo Yuhao asked Fan Yu for permission to let him and Wang Dong train in the outside world for a little while.
He initially thought Fan Yu wouldn’t agree so easily, or he would perhaps reduce the time they were allowed to spend outside. He didn’t expect Fan Yu to agree to his request without hesitation, and Fan Yu even told him that he didn’t have to be too worried about coming back on time. The exchange program was reaching its end anyway, and Huo Yuhao was due to return to Shrek in another three months after the holidays. However, he still had to come back so that he could ofﬁcially complete the exchange program and ﬁnish the necessary paperwork.
Fan Yu had always doted on Huo Yuhao. Teachers would typically be worried about their students’ lack of effort, but their relationship was the complete opposite; Fan Yu thought that this student of his was just too hardworking. Over the past two years inside the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, Huo Yuhao had sent back several thousand soul tool blueprints – that was without discussing the other things he had done. It could be said that Huo Yuhao had produced every soul tool they could recognize and had seen before on his blueprints.
Even though that didn’t include the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s treasured and exotic soul tools, Huo Yuhao’s contributions were enough to advance the research of Shrek Academy’s Soul Tool Department’s by at least a hundred years.
Elder Xuan had mentioned before in one of his reply letters that Huo Yuhao was already considered a true hero in the academy, and nobody could rival his contributions to Shrek. He had even proposed to the Sea God’s Pavilion that Huo Yuhao be given a seat on the council, and that motion had subsequently passed. Even though he wasn’t back at the academy yet, Huo Yuhao was actually a part of the Sea God’s Pavilion. His status was equal to Fan Yu, who was the Soul Tool Department’s Vice-Dean—he was perhaps even higher.
Fan Yu was a Class 8 soul engineer, and he naturally understood how difﬁcult it was to design formation arrays or create blueprints, even though Huo Yuhao had a spiritual-type martial soul, and held a considerable advantage. The downside was that he could only design and innovate at night, as he had to forge soul tools and conduct research in the day. It could be said that it was considered fortunate if Huo Yuhao could enjoy four to six hours of rest every day, and even those hours were spent in meditation.
Huo Yuhao’s soul power didn’t improve that much over the past two years. But Fan Yu knew him too well, and he could sense that Huo Yuhao was drastically different, to the point where even he felt a little confused and dumbfounded when Huo Yuhao talked about some principles and concepts regarding soul tools. Xuan Ziwen once said that Huo Yuhao would be a Class 7 soul engineer if he had enough soul power.
How would Jing Hongchen of the Illustrious Virtue Hall feel, if he had known that this exchange program brought Shrek so many beneﬁts?
This was the reason why Fan Yu agreed to Huo Yuhao’s request to travel outside with Wang Dong without hesitation. His only wish was for Huo Yuhao to relax a little bit with Wang Dong, so that his tightened nerves over these few years could loosen up. Huo Yuhao had entered Shrek Academy when he was eleven, now he was seventeen, and Huo Yuhao had accomplished feats of research and study that normal individuals couldn’t do in twenty years. Just six years. Not only was Huo Yuhao a genius, but he was also a hardworking student with unwavering determination and ﬁghting spirit.
Dinner ended with a jovial atmosphere. The sky was already dark by the time they walked out of the restaurant.
Fan Yu asked, “Have you found a place to stay yet, Wang Dong?”
Wang Dong shook his head and said, “No. I came to the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy as soon as I reached The Radiant City.”
Fan Yu frowned and said, “It’s late, and I don’t think the academy will allow you inside. It won’t be easy to ﬁnd a place to stay the night.”
He Caitou chuckled and said, “You don’t have to worry about that, teacher. With junior brother around, the guards will be none the wiser. Let Wang Dong stay with him overnight.” Fan Yu was stunned momentarily. His main focus was soul tool research, so he was only really familiar with Huo Yuhao’s mastery over soul tools.
Huo Yuhao laughed along and glanced at Wang Dong. “My Imitation soul skill has improved a lot. Take a look, teacher.” Huo Yuhao didn’t even release his martial soul, but the air beside him contorted subtly as he spoke—and Wang Dong vanished into thin air.
Fan Yu was astonished. “That… that’s your Imitation? How did you make him disappear?”
Huo Yuhao laughed. “I didn’t make him disappear, I simply transformed him into my shadow. Simply put, I used spiritual power to tweak the refraction of light so people can’t see him. However, the effective range is limited, and he can’t be touched, otherwise he will be discovered.”
Fan Yu said, “That’s incredible enough. It’s the art of stealth!” Huo Yuhao said, “It’s not enough, because his aura is still there. A powerful enough adversary can detect Wang Dong’s existence just by perceiving their surroundings—however, this is deﬁnitely enough to deceive the guards.”
The four of them returned to the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, and, of course, Wang Dong went completely undetected. They returned to the dorm, and Huo Yuhao withdrew his soul skill.
They closed the door, but the excitement on Huo Yuhao’s face was still there. Today could be considered his happiest day over the past two years, and the soul tool research that he toiled over day in and day out was instantly tossed to the back of his mind.
“Wang Dong, do you feel like we’re reliving our days back at the dormitory in Shrek?”
Wang Dong turned back towards him. The sky was completely dark at this point, and Huo Yuhao had only switched on a single light, so the room was a little dimly lit. Two pairs of eyes stared at each other, but Wang Dong seemed to be subtly avoiding his gaze for some reason.
“It’s getting late, we should sleep soon. We’ll leave in the early morning tomorrow—my home is quite far away.”
Huo Yuhao nodded and said, “I’m sorry, but you’ll have to sleep on the same bed as me tonight. You can bathe ﬁrst, though.”
Wang Dong glowered, “In your dreams, nobody’s going to sleep on the same bed as you tonight. You’ll sleep on the ﬂoor and I’ll sleep on the bed. Do you even know how to treat your guests?”
Huo Yuhao laughed and said, “That’s enough, you. I wonder who was it that bawled their eyes out and cried profusely when I left back then, and insisted that we sleep on the same bed that night? What, have you forgotten that over the past two years?”
Wang Dong blushed and said, “Nonsense! Nobody was bawling or crying. Move aside, I want to sleep alone. We are grown up now, what would people say if they saw two grown men sleeping on the same bed?” He dashed into the bathroom to bathe as he spoke. Huo Yuhao mumbled under his breath exasperatedly, “Has his mysophobia gotten worse?” Still, he was truly elated that Wang Dong had come to visit him today, so he would accommodate him no matter what requests he had. He didn’t lack blankets or mattresses, and he pulled one from his storage-type soul tool that he typically used when travelling outside and spread it out next to the bed. He arranged his own bed, changed the bedsheets, the pillowcase, and the quilt, and made everything clean and smooth.
Wang Dong took a long time in the shower. He was dirty and unkempt from his long journey here, and Huo Yuhao also knew that he was a clean freak. He wasn’t in a hurry, so he laid down on the mattress on the ﬂoor, but he suddenly thought of something when he leaned back.
Why would they sleep? It had been a long time since they’d last met, and he’d almost forgotten. Wasn’t it a good idea for them to cultivate with the Haodong power at night?
Wang Dong ﬁnished bathing at this moment. He was holding a blue towel in his hands, that he’d clearly brought with him, and used it to dry his damp blue hair. “Eh, you are quick!” Wang Dong exuded a clean and crisp smell after changing into clean clothes and he sauntered over next to the bed. His pajamas were loose and relaxed, and everything just seemed so comfortable.
Huo Yuhao was still lying down on the ground as he said, “I regretted it immediately after making the bed for you. Why were we going to sleep? We should be cultivating with the Haodong power. Your soul power has reached the Rank 60 bottleneck, and you’re much stronger than I am. You should guide me in cultivation, I think my cultivation speed will increase greatly if you do.”
Wang Dong slid down from the edge of the bed and sat down beside Huo Yuhao. Huo Yuhao subconsciously turned around and said, “You should sit on the bed. This is a mattress I typically use when I’m travelling outside, so it isn’t that clean. I changed everything on the bed, and I set these out in the sun a few days ago.”
He ﬁnished talking, but he realized that there was something wrong with Wang Dong’s eyes, so he asked subconsciously, “What’s wrong?” Wang Dong raised his hand and rubbed Huo Yuhao’s head. “Promise me that you won’t cultivate tonight, and you’ll get a good night’s worth of sleep. Aren’t you happy that I’m here? I hope you can carry this excitement into your sleep. Not to mention, I’m exhausted after the trip. There are two people I
know that look much older than they should—one is Bei Bei, who lost teacher Xiao Ya, and then there’s you. You have been exhausting and exerting yourself too much, it’s not good if you don’t give yourself time to rest. There is no limit for soul power cultivation and soul tool research, but you will collapse
sooner or later if you don’t give yourself enough rest and relaxation. This is also a reason why I came to ﬁnd you, and why I asked you to accompany me home—I hope that you will take a break. Who knows, it might even be beneﬁcial for your cultivation.”
Wang Dong’s hand was extremely warm as he placed it on Huo Yuhao’s head, and it felt comfortable for Huo Yuhao. More importantly, Huo Yuhao could feel deep-seated concern and worry in Wang Dong’s words.
“Alright, I’ll listen to you and we won’t cultivate tonight. I’ll get a good night’s rest—I’m going to take a shower.” Huo Yuhao leapt to his feet as he spoke and strode into the bathroom. Huo Yuhao shut the door then leaned against the wall, and tears poured forth uncontrollably as he physically suppressed his voice so that he didn’t cry out loud.
Yes! Only he knew the immense pressure weighing down on his shoulders. He had entered a half-crazed state ever since Elder Mu had died, and put too much pressure on himself to improve. He seemed no different from anyone else on normal days, but the pressure that he felt was just so tiring and exhausting.
Wang Dong’s arrival, and his words of consolation ﬁnally released the bottled up tension in Huo Yuhao’s heart. The tightly-wound knot inside Huo Yuhao was ﬁnally melted and softened by the warmth of kinship and love.
Even men cried, but their emotions usually remained trapped deep inside their labyrinth-like hearts, only to be loosed when no one else could see their weakness. Huo Yuhao was still a youth, he wasn’t a grown man yet. However, he was precocious and had matured a lot faster than normal people did. He bawled for a brief moment more, before he took off his clothes and stepped under the shower. He let the warm water rinse over his body and course over his skin. Both his physical and mental fatigue seemed to dampen and dissolve as the warm water trickled down.
Chapter 188: How Could It Be Her?
Wang Dong was already stretched out on the bed. The dry and cool smell from the blanket being basked in the sun helped him relax. He took a deep breath, and he felt as if he could smell a scent that belonged uniquely to Huo Yuhao.
“Silly boy. We aren’t that young anymore, I will deﬁnitely help you relax. However, do you know what it means for me to take you back home?” he muttered under his breath, and couldn’t help but blush. Fortunately, the sky was dark and helped him cover up, so it wasn’t so obvious.
Huo Yuhao took a little longer than Wang Dong in the shower. When he came out from the bathroom with a clean body and mind, he realized that Wang Dong had already fallen asleep. He’s sleeping so soundly. He must have been tired after journeying for the entire day.
He pulled up Wang Dong’s blanket gently and laid back on his own mattress. He placed his hands behind his head, and suddenly realized that quietly listening to Wang Dong’s rhythmic breathing was actually very relaxing. He recalled something that Xuan Ziwen had remarked about him some time ago: “Daydreaming must be the most luxurious thing for you on normal days, eh?”
Yes! Daydreaming was a form of luxury for him. If not for Wang Dong’s arrival, how could he just be laying here and listening to Wang Dong’s breathing? Huo Yuhao suddenly realized that he seemed to have fallen in love with this peace and tranquility.
He unknowingly drifted into dreamland while he counted Wang Dong’s breaths. The corner of his mouth was curled upwards, and there was a faint smile on his face from beginning to end.
One was sleeping on the bed, while the other was sleeping on the ﬂoor. These two youths had the same calm and balanced breathing, and all this became the night’s rhythm.
Huo Yuhao was still fast asleep when he suddenly felt something press down on his back. He shifted subconsciously, and the pressure on his back moved along with him. He opened his eyes in a daze before he discovered, to his surprise, that sunlight was already ﬂooding the entire room.
“Eh? What time is it?”
The answer came from the pressure on his back. “The sun is already burning your butt, and you’re asking about the time?”
Huo Yuhao was still lying on the mattress as he forced out a smile and said, “All I know is that if you continue sitting on my back, my shit is going to be squeezed out.”
“Tch, you’re so disgusting. I wouldn’t sit on others even if they wanted me to.” Wang Dong stood up proudly to hide his embarrassment and went into the bathroom to wash up.
Huo Yuhao reached behind and stroked his back as he muttered under his breath, “His butt is quite big. It didn’t feel so frightening when he sat on me.” He leapt off the mattress and suddenly realized that his brain was a little dizzy. He bathed himself in the sunlight that poured in through the window, and his entire body just felt so lazy. This must be what it feels like to relax.
He stood up, but he immediately collapsed back onto the mattress. His blanket wasn’t folded up yet and there was a fragrant and crisp smell emanating from it.
“Ugh. If only I could sleep like this and wake up naturally every day. Oh, wait, I was woken up by someone sitting on my back.” Huo Yuhao mumbled to himself, and he couldn’t help but laugh at his own words.
They bathed in succession and ate a meal that wasn’t really breakfast or lunch, before they leisurely sauntered out of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy.
Nobody could really stop Huo Yuhao if he wanted to leave. Furthermore, Jing Hongchen didn’t suspect him much – he only walked between the laboratory and the dormitory every day, he never strolled around the place, and he never really asked much of his teachers, either. What was there to doubt and suspect from his orderly behavior? The two of them proceeded out into the city once they left the academy. Wang Dong heaved a sigh of admiration as they walked and said, “I have to say the Sun Moon Empire’s Radiant City is magniﬁcent and wonderfully constructed. This Radiant City is quite unlike any other country I have seen. Soul tools are already pervasive among their citizens!”
Huo Yuhao said, “This is the Sun Moon Empire’s advantage, and it’s also because they have many precious minerals. Has eldest senior brother received the rare metals that I sent back?”
Wang Dong nodded. “We have given half to the academy and kept the remaining half for the Tang Sect, according to your instructions.”
Huo Yuhao said, “That’s good. Oh, yes, I haven’t asked you yet – where exactly is your home? We have known each other for so long, but I have never heard you bring up anything about your home. You only bring up your sister from time to time.”
Wang Dong grinned mysteriously and said, “My home is hidden away in the clouds. You’ll know when you reach it.” “Hidden away in the clouds?” Huo Yuhao repeated, amused. “Are you trying to be mysterious?”
Radiant City was big, but the two of them chatted happily and didn’t really feel the passage of time. They ﬁnally left the Radiant City, and Huo Yuhao suddenly stopped in his tracks.
“Let’s go!” Wang Dong urged him. He didn’t know what was going on.
“Wait. Come help me.” Huo Yuhao grasped Wang Dong’s slender and tender hands that resembled those of a girl, and connected them through the Haodong power. Wang Dong immediately felt Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection extending outward.
His awe made him forget to continue asking questions. He realized, to his surprise, that Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection could cover a much greater area than before – so much more! He could control his Spiritual Detection to incredible precision at a whim, and he could detect the most minute detail. With Wang Dong’s aid, Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power could reach more than three thousand meters in a single direction. He gradually turned his head, and his Spirit Eyes scanned the Radiant City like radar. He gradually withdrew his spiritual power only after he conﬁrmed that nothing was amiss.
“What are you doing?” Wang Dong asked curiously.
Huo Yuhao said, “Let me help you equip this.” He took out a soul tool from his Twenty Four Moonlit Bridges while he spoke.
It was a blue soul tool that was shaped like a fan. It wasn’t that big, and it wouldn’t protrude from either side if attached to one’s back. The metal buckle could control its size, and it stretched from the shoulder and under the armpit to secure the item, while there was even a piece of leather on the area attached to the user’s back.
“What’s this? A ﬂying-type soul tool?” Wang Dong asked in surprise. “Yes. I made this just for you – it’s a Class 6 ﬂying-type soul tool, and you can use it right now. I won’t explain the principles to you, because you won’t understand anyway. This item will allow you to change directions smoothly and agilely in the sky, and all you have to do is control the handle attached to the shoulder. When you’re more familiar with it, you can even infuse soul power into it to control it. It ﬂies extremely quickly, and is also very nimble. Even Class 6 soul engineers from the Illustrious Virtue Hall may not be able to achieve this standard.”
Wang Dong didn’t resist, and put the soul tool on with Huo Yuhao’s help.
He infused soul power into the fan-like soul tool, and a pair of folded wings sprang out from both sides. Each wing had three sections, and every section grew from the center and gradually extended outwards. There was a small opening at the end of each wing section– this tiny ﬂying-type soul tool actually had a total of six openings.
Huo Yuhao gave Wang Dong a brief explanation on how to use this soul tool. He had initially thought that Wang Dong was still a Soul King, so he had pieced six small Class 5 soul tools together when was forging this item, so a Soul King would be able to control it. His own soul power wasn’t inferior to that of a Soul King, so he had a similar model for himself, except it was white.
Wang Dong gave it a simple try, and immediately fell in love with his present. He used his soul power to control it nimbly, and it wasn’t difﬁcult at all to grasp this soul tool’s controls. It didn’t take long before he was extremely comfortable with it.
Even though his Radiant Butterﬂy Goddess’ wings let him ﬂy, it was far slower than this ﬂying-type soul tool, and they weren’t suitable for prolonged ﬂying, either. The ﬂying-type soul tool produced by Shrek’s Soul Tool Department that he had used on his way here was a little heavy and clumsy. Huo Yuhao’s product not only boosted his ﬂying speed, but his model’s agility and ease of control was much, much better. It was deﬁnitely the optimal item for travelling long distances.
“It’s impressive.” Wang Dong gave Huo Yuhao a satisﬁed nod.
Huo Yuhao chuckled and said, “I only hope that you don’t reject soul tools like you did before.” Wang Dong’s expression changed a little and he said, “Oh, I have to remind you that my family doesn’t really approve of soul tools, so you shouldn’t use them in front of them if you can help it.”
Huo Yuhao was momentarily stunned. “So, your dislike for soul tools came from your family. Alright, I’ll remember that.”
“Let’s go, then. Let me try this new thing’s ﬂying prowess.” Wang Dong was still a youth, after all, and he had just obtained an exquisite ﬂying-type soul tool. He was as excited as a little child that had just received a gift, and couldn’t wait to try it out.
Huo Yuhao stopped him and said, “Don’t be hasty. I have something else for you.” His face grew solemn as he spoke, and he scanned his surroundings subconsciously once more before he reached for something around his waist and produced a tiny ring.
The ring was entirely silver-white, and there were ﬁnely- drawn, simple patterns on its surface. Wang Dong stared at the ring, shocked. “Yuhao, you’re… you’re giving me a ring?”
Huo Yuhao snapped, “What are you thinking? It’s not a normal ring, it’s a storage-type soul tool.”
Wang Dong said unbendingly, “It’s still a ring.”
Huo Yuhao was a little taken back by his stubbornness. “Alright, take out the things inside.”
“Alright.” Wang Dong looked down at the ring, and carefully placed it on his left hand’s middle ﬁnger. The ring was a little big, and just when he frowned in response, the ring contracted when he infused soul power to extract the item contained inside. It closed around the base of his ﬁnger nicely.
Wang Dong was shaken by the item in his hands before he had a chance to gape at the soul tool.
It was an entity that was slightly bigger than his palm, similar to a round breastplate. It was ornamented with silver- white decorations around the item, and there was an enormous jewel that resembled the shape of a magnifying glass at the very center.
This jewel was pale-blue in color, and there were six sparkling lines across its surface. The peculiar hues gave people a dazzling and dizzying feeling, while the riveting radiance was extremely lifelike as sunlight shone upon it, reﬂecting a layer of blue back on Wang Dong’s face.
“Wow! It’s so beautiful!” Wang Dong’s eyes were ﬁlled with pleasant surprise. When he raised his head and looked at Yuhao, his eyes were completely different – it was a look that made Huo Yuhao feel something weird in his heart.
“When… when you did you ﬁnd out?” Wang Dong stammered shakily.
Huo Yuhao was perplexed. “Find out what? Help me keep this item for now. You have to be extremely careful, and you can’t let anyone see it. This is a starlight sapphire, and it’s the ﬁrst time I’ve seen a starlight sapphire this huge. It is also known as a Spatial Jewel, and it’s possibly the largest storage- type soul tool in the world. Don’t ever attempt to take out the item stored inside, and return it to me after we return to Shrek.”
Wang Dong stared at Huo Yuhao with wide eyes. “Does that mean this thing isn’t for me?” “Ah?” Huo Yuhao was confused. “Of course not. The ﬂying- type soul tool is my gift to you.”
“You…” Wang Dong’s face ﬂushed red, and the look in his eyes suddenly became extremely vicious. “Go and die. You wait…” With that, he returned the dazzling starlight sapphire to the ring and sprang into the air. He unleashed as much soul power as he could, and transformed into a beam of light as he soared into the sky.
“Hey! Wait for me! Where’s your humanity? This is the attitude you give me when I just gave you a present?!” Huo Yuhao didn’t know what was happening at all as he surged into the sky in pursuit.
Wang Dong was actually ﬂying with all his might. Huo Yuhao was still much weaker than Wang Dong in terms of soul power. His dense volume of soul power ensured that he could use his ﬂying-type soul tool for a prolonged period of time, but his explosiveness couldn’t compare to Wang Dong. He could never achieve Wang Dong’s burst of speed when raised to the maximum, and thus he had a really tough time chasing his friend. Huo Yuhao’s understanding was that they were supposed to ﬂy towards the east and enter the Heavenly Soul Empire’s borders. However, Wang Dong wasn’t changing directions at all as he ﬂew straight towards the north. Huo Yuhao had started only one step behind, but Wang Dong had already
become a tiny black dot in front of him.
Why is he throwing such a tantrum?! Huo Yuhao was exasperated. He would be happy to give any normal item to Wang Dong, but the starlight sapphire contained a tremendous secret! That item was considered top-secret even inside Illustrious Virtue Hall, and could be considered an enormous treasure trove. If he could decrypt and understand it thoroughly, he would be able to learn thousands of years’ worth of the Illustrious Virtue Hall’s soul tool techniques and knowledge! He thought it would be safer to let Wang Dong take it back to Shrek than keep it with him, but who knew that Wang Dong would misunderstand him? Wang Dong wasn’t avaricious, so why would he have such a vigorous and exaggerated reaction?
Wang Dong couldn’t really tell where he was going anymore. He didn’t know why he was so ﬂustered and angry as he continued soaring hysterically through the sky, and neither did he know how long he ﬂew – all he could feel was that things were moving beneath him with blinding speed. Huo Yuhao’s ﬂying-type soul tool was at least three times faster than Wang Dong’s original one, and the soul power required to operate it was only about twenty percent more. He had no clue how far he had gone after ﬂying for a good two hours.
He had consumed too much soul power, and it was time to rest. Wang Dong’s emotions had settled down quite a bit after ﬂying so frenziedly, so he slowed down and waited for Huo Yuhao to catch up. He was soaring through the sky, but he kept looking back to ensure that Huo Yuhao was still following him in the distance before he continued on his course – he didn’t want Huo Yuhao to lose track of him.
Huo Yuhao’s face was a little pale. He could feel that even though his soul power rivaled a Soul King’s, he was almost depleted. Furthermore, he was a four-ringed Soul Ancestor. Wang Dong also had twin martial souls, and so had much more soul power than other soul masters of the same level. Huo Yuhao had already used the milk bottle twice to replenish his soul power during the chase, and he was trying his best. His estimation was that they had ﬂown between four hundred and ﬁve hundred kilometers within two hours – if they were ﬂying towards Shrek Academy, they would’ve reached their destination after another four hours. “You…” Huo Yuhao caught up to Wang Dong in midair, but his breathing and aura was unbalanced, so he couldn’t really talk.
They had been ﬂying too quickly, so the air resistance billowed against them from the front to the point that they had to use soul power to protect themselves. Wang Dong’s method was simple – he released his martial soul, and the Radiant Butterﬂy Goddess’ wings closed up in front of him, naturally protecting his body. He only had to open up a small crack so that he could see the way forward. Huo Yuhao had to use his protective soul barrier or the Ice Empress’ Armor to continuously fend off the wind resistance.
His soul power had gradually diminished towards the end, so he had had no choice but to reduce his protective mechanisms for fear of losing Wang Dong. The surging wind blew against him until his face turned ghastly white. He was only able to tell the direction they were going with his Spiritual Detection because he couldn’t open his eyes in the strong winds.
“What’s wrong with me?” Wang Dong continued watching him, piqued, but his heart was aching. Huo Yuhao’s body shuddered in the sky, and his eyes suddenly closed before he plummeted straight down towards the ground.
Wang Dong was terriﬁed and he screamed, “Yuhao!” He plummeted down and released his ﬂying-type soul tool’s maximum capacity. He transformed into a beam of ﬂowing light and immediately caught up with the free-falling Huo Yuhao, hugging him tightly as he felt great regret ﬁll his heart. What am I doing? He only asking me to take care of something, and he even gave me a present. How can I do this to him? His life as an exchange student in the sinister Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy over the past two years has been hard enough. How can I make even more trouble for him ?
He continued hugging Huo Yuhao, and quickly channeled his remaining soul power into Huo Yuhao’s body as they gradually drifted down. It didn’t take long before they both descended to the ground.
“Don’t scare me, Yuhao! How are you feeling? It’s my fault, it’s all my fault! I shouldn’t have taken off like that! Nothing can happen to you!” Wang Dong could no longer be bothered about where they were, and he could no longer be bothered about his religious preference for cleanliness. He sat down on the ground and let Huo Yuhao rest on his thigh as he continued infusing soul power into him. He was so anxious and worried that his eyes turned red.
The truth was that he became a little irrational from excessive concern. With Huo Yuhao’s personality, how could he place himself in such a perilous and dire situation? He did consume a lot of soul power, but it was impossible that he didn’t have enough energy left to drift down to the ground. He wanted to scare Wang Dong and wait for him to come, and then he would ﬂick his head to vent his own frustration.
However, Huo Yuhao felt an unnatural feeling of comfort and ease in Wang Dong’s embrace. Wang Dong’s clean and crisp aura, and this unbelievably “comfortable” pillow behind his head meant Huo Yuhao could no longer bear to tease Wang Dong.
“I’m ﬁne. I have just consumed too much soul power. Next time, just tell me if you are unhappy about something – don’t do that again!” Huo Yuhao forced his eyes open and muttered feebly. “Let me rest for a while. Stop giving me soul power, you should rest too.” “Yes, yes.” Wang Dong hurriedly agreed, and his obedient manner was starkly different from how he had behaved earlier.
Huo Yuhao laughed a little inside as he continued lying lazily on Wang Dong’s thigh. He felt a cathartic elation when he relaxed after ﬂying frantically for such a long time. Perhaps he was just too exhausted, but he didn’t feel that resting on Wang Dong’s thigh was inappropriate.
This resting and daydreaming feeling is so enjoyable! He thought back to Wang Dong’s speech the previous night, and he felt extremely at ease at this moment. His tightly-wound emotions were smoothed and doused once again, and he unwittingly dozed off just like that.
Wang Dong watched Yuhao’s look of exhaustion and began to feel apologetic as he stroked and combed his hair, which was messy from all that wind, while he began to survey their surroundings.
They were in a hilly region, and there were small hills high and low all around them. These hills were barren, and it felt like they were in a desert. However, the hills were blocking his view, so he couldn’t see too far away. There was a gigantic mountain not far from them, which had blocked Wang Dong’s view even from the air, and made him decide to stop. He couldn’t just keep ﬂying aimlessly; he didn’t know where he would end up if he kept going.
The temperature was conspicuously colder than Radiant City. This meant they were near the northern regions, and that also meant they were quite a distance away from their original destination.
He raised his hand and stared at the silver ring on his left hand. Wang Dong shook his head and smiled faintly – he was picking bones from an egg. Forget it. I’ll return the blue jewel to him, but I’m keeping the ring. He can’t force it out of my hands – hmph!
Huo Yuhao was still fast asleep, and Wang Dong was thinking about his own things while they both gradually regained their soul power. Suddenly, the earth seemed to tremble, and faint sounds of thunder could be heard in the distance. Wang Dong was momentarily stunned. Was it going to rain?
But, how could thunder cause the ground to shake?
Huo Yuhao was still sleeping soundly when he was jolted awake, and he sprang up, giving Wang Dong a shock.
“What’s wrong, Yuhao?” Wang Dong asked.
Huo Yuhao placed his index ﬁnger on his lips as he began to listen intently. The Ultimate Soldier Plan’s training enabled him to maintain his vigilance under any circumstances, even when he was fast asleep. This wasn’t something that could change easily.
The rolling thunder accompanied by the tremors in the ground appeared once more, it was clearer than the previous instance, and it continued for a longer time.
“Those are soul cannons.” Huo Yuhao immediately stood up and pulled Wang Dong up from the ground. He had recovered some soul power in his deep sleep, and instantly connected with Wang Dong’s soul power, their Haodong power beginning to circulate swiftly.
Their chemistry was just too impressive. Huo Yuhao didn’t have to call it out, but Wang Dong’s Golden Light Left Arm Bone glowed with golden light as all the elements of light swiftly congregated toward him before they were quickly converted into soul power and infused into their Haodong power. Huo Yuhao retrieved two milk bottles that were ﬁlled to the brim with soul power, took one for himself, and gave the other to Wang Dong. They replenished their soul power as fast they could.
No matter what was happening, it was best for them to face it in their optimal state.
The rolling thunder continued to boom, and the sounds gradually became louder, as if they were coming closer and closer to them.
Huo Yuhao immediately made a calm but precise judgment. He raised a ﬁnger toward a side of the mountain in the distance and said, “The sounds are coming from that direction. I can judge from the scale that there are at least ﬁfty soul cannons over Class 4 ﬁring at the same time. However, the booms are shifting constantly, and it is likely that the person using the soul cannons is running for his or her life.”
He looked up at the sky in that direction. A speck of golden light appeared on his forehead before it stretched into a vertical line and gradually opened up – his Eye of Destiny had been activated.
The Eye of Destiny gazed into the horizon, and Huo Yuhao said with astonishment, “Wow, there are more than ten thousand people’s auras over there.”
Wang Dong glanced at him with a strange look and said, “Yuhao, you’re becoming more and more like a monster. You can see even that?”
Huo Yuhao chortled and said, “I wasn’t able to at ﬁrst, but my spiritual power was greatly boosted once again, and my Eye of Destiny evolved. The Eye of Destiny’s second mental sea was seamlessly connected with my body’s spiritual sea, so my spiritual power can move around in between them. I have also further developed the Eye of Destiny’s abilities.” They had a tacit understanding, and neither party talked about the game of catch they had just played. The episode was over, and it wasn’t a big deal anyway. Wang Dong corrected his emotions and mentality, and Huo Yuhao wasn’t the unforgiving kind or the kind to bear grudges.
“Let’s go. No matter who they are, this is the Sun Moon Empire’s business. Let them ﬁght amongst themselves.” Wang Dong said indifferently.
The Sun Moon Empire was now part of the Douluo Continent, but the tectonic plate collision several thousand years ago still proved that they were outsiders, which led the three empires that originally belonged to the Douluo Continent to reject them. This was also one of the main reasons why the Sun Moon Empire harbored thoughts of invasion.
Huo Yuhao chuckled. “Don’t be hasty – they’re still quite far away. With our speed, they cannot possibly catch up to us. I want to let you feel how mystical and incredible the Eye of Destiny is.”
“Eh? How can I do that?” Wang Dong’s curiosity was piqued. Huo Yuhao said, “Close your eyes. I will share my Spiritual Detection with you.”
“That far? Isn’t that out of your range? Oh wait, your Eye of Destiny can boost the Spirit Eyes’ soul skills.” Wang Dong ﬁnally understood what Huo Yuhao wanted to do. The sounds that were coming from the other side felt like they were only ﬁve kilometers away – could he still use Spiritual Detection at that kind of distance?
Huo Yuhao grabbed Wang Dong’s hands. They had recovered about sixty percent of their strength through their Haodong power and the milk bottles.
Huo Yuhao closed his eyes, and the Eye of Destiny on his forehead gradually opened and gazed far beyond the horizon. A layer of soothing golden radiance emanated from it, which permeated outwards before it slowly condensed into a pale beam of golden light that ﬁred into the distance.
Spiritual Detection Sharing with everything he had in the Eye of Destiny. Huo Yuhao could do it alone, but he was limited by his soul power, and he couldn’t afford to expend a lot of it, and thus he would normally never use this ability so extravagantly. However, he currently had a good partner in Wang Dong beside him, so he wasn’t worried about expending too much soul power, and he was also trying to show off.
The Eye of Destiny operated continuously.
Wang Dong felt as if uncountable images surfaced in his mind. These images were ﬂying past with blinding speed, to the point where everything seemed blurry. Their speed gradually eased, and he realized that he could see the clouds and mist in the sky. His perspective was from the sky roughly two hundred meters above the ground, and he could see everything very clearly as he looked down.
There were throngs of people in the distance. Just as Huo Yuhao had said, there were at least ten thousand pursuing soldiers. His vision became closer, but it became a lot slower, which probably meant that Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection was reaching its limit.
Wang Dong whispered, “Don’t force it.”
“Alright,” Huo Yuhao acknowledged. This was the ﬁrst time he was using Spiritual Detection at such an incredible distance, and he didn’t expect the effects to be this good. Even though his soul power and spiritual power were being consumed at alarming rates, probing at such a far distance made the consumption worth it. Reconnaissance duties were at the top of his responsibilities from his training in the Ultimate Soldier Plan.
They could see with a lot more clarity as their vision became closer and closer.
There were two batches of people. There were about a hundred people running in front, and they were extremely quick. All of them had soul tools, but not a single person was using a ﬂying-type soul tool.
This group’s cultivation levels seemed decent, and Huo Yuhao could tell from the glow of their soul rings that they all had at least three rings. However, the soul tools they were using were more mixed up and uneven. They continued to run while they unleashed their soul tools’ abilities from time to time to fend off their enemies. However, the biggest problem that low-level soul engineers faced when using soul tools was the effective range of their attacks. Even soul cannons that didn’t lock on to their targets couldn’t reach over ﬁve hundred meters before they became Class 4 soul engineers.
The army chasing them from behind were neat and orderly. They didn’t advance that quickly, but they extended in two wings that resembled an enormous pincer as they gradually clamped down on the group of people in front of them.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong quickly understood why people in the ﬁrst group didn’t use ﬂying-type soul tools – there were soul engineers amongst the group chasing them, and there were quite a few of them as well.
There wasn’t much difference in the soul engineers’ standards. However, in a situation like this, the group with the great army reinforcing them had the absolute advantage, and this was especially so as there were more than two thousand cavalry within the army. This made their pursuit much faster and deadlier. The soul engineers amidst the pursuing party were meant to assert control. They didn’t come to close, and only ﬁred their own attacks from time to time. Both parties had activated their protective soul barriers, and nobody let their guard down. At this point, anybody who used a ﬂying-type soul tool would immediately become the main target.
“This is the ﬁrst time I’ve seen a war between soul engineers on such a scale.” Huo Yuhao was immensely curious, but the escaping party was running right towards them, and maintaining his Spiritual Detection at such a great distance took a toll on him as well.
Just when he was about to withdraw his Eye of Destiny and Spiritual Detection, his body suddenly shuddered, and his eyes froze upon a certain location.
Wang Dong could naturally see what Huo Yuhao saw. The people that had caught Huo Yuhao’s attention were two young girls among the escaping group. One of them was wearing a white warrior robe, while the other carried an enormous cannon and wore a blue warrior robe.
“How can it be them?” Huo Yuhao exclaimed
“Who are they?” Wang Dong asked suspiciously.
Huo Yuhao said, “Do you remember Ju Zi and Ke Ke that I told you about? They are amongst the escaping group.” Huo Yuhao closed his Eye of Destiny as he spoke.
“What should we do? I’ll let you decide.” Wang Dong appeared especially calm. If he were alone with Huo Yuhao, he would probably throw a tantrum, but he displayed absolute trust and respect for his companion in crucial moments such as this.
Huo Yuhao’s eyes squinted as he stared at Wang Dong. “It’s very dangerous.”
Wang Dong smiled and said, “Have I ever been afraid of danger when I’m with you?”
Huo Yuhao laughed. “I will never let you get hurt for as long as I’m alive. Let’s go.” He grabbed Wang Dong’s hands as he spoke, and they ran forward while they activated the ﬂying- type soul tools on their backs. Six pillars of soul power burst out from each of their backs and propelled them explosively into the air, and they rose from the ground and immediately ﬂew forward.
Huo Yuhao deliberately controlled his movements, and they only ﬂew at about ﬁve meters above the ground. The soldiers pursuing from both ﬂanks were starting to close up, and the escaping party took the opportunity before they were about to be surrounded to break through the gap in front of them. Huo Yuhao could see from a distance that Ju Zi and Ke Ke were at the vanguard of the escaping party.
This group of soul engineers discovered their frantic ﬂight, and Ke Ke almost immediately raised the heavy cannon in her hands. If there were enemies blocking them off in front under such dire circumstances, their chances of survival would become even slimmer.
At this moment, a voice surfaced in both Ju Zi and Ke Ke’s minds.
“It’s me, Huo Yuhao!” Five simple words caused both young girls to shudder violently. Ke Ke’s eyes were ﬁlled with pleasant surprise as she shouted, “He’s friendly, he’s here to help us!”
Ju Zi didn’t speak. She bit down lightly on her lower lip, and there was an inscrutable expression in her eyes. How can it be him?
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong quickly closed the distance. Their ﬂying-type soul tools slowed, and they gradually landed beside Ju Zi and Ke Ke.
“Stop running – your enemies have completely surrounded you.” This was the ﬁrst thing that Huo Yuhao said when he touched the ground. At this moment, the group of soul engineers led by Ju Zi and Ke Ke had escaped onto a hill.
“How are you here?” Ju Zi didn’t even look at Wang Dong, who was much more good-looking than Huo Yuhao was. Huo Yuhao was the only person in her eyes.
They hadn’t seen each other for more than a year. Ju Zi was still so beautiful, except her complexion was a little darker than before. She appeared a lot healthier than she used to be, while her demeanor had a tinge of valiance.
Huo Yuhao smiled faintly and said, “Perhaps this is our fate.
What’s the situation?”
Ju Zi replied, “These are the soldiers rebelling against the empire. A duke in the north has rebelled, and he wants to establish his own country. We are here to quell the rebellion.”
This was their fate! Wang Dong had ﬁnally met Ju Zi! Heh, heh, heh…
Chapter 189: Mantra Amidst the Void
Huo Yuhao was a little amused as he said, “This is how you’re quelling the rebellion? You’re being chased like a stray dog.”
Ke Ke was displeased as she said, “Hey! Don’t point out our mistake ﬁrst thing after you arrive. Let me tell you, they’re falling for the trap. What’s this minor encirclement? These hundred thousand people are the main force of the enemy, and they have fallen into our bigger trap. Our people will arrive in less than an hour. When that time comes, they can only dream about escaping.”
Huo Yuhao snorted. “Do you think you can last for an hour and have the last laugh?”
Ju Zi nodded and said, “It’s my fault. I underestimated the number of enemies. I also didn’t expect them to be so determined in their pursuit. They even sent a hundred soul engineers to deal with us. We’re in trouble now, and we’re getting worn down. Let’s leave quickly.” “With your abilities, you should be able to break free from the encirclement without any soul engineers pestering you.”
Wang Dong was observing Ju Zi all this while. He admitted that she was indeed ravishing. Her skin was especially tender. It was different from his skin; her skin seemed to have a layer of moisture on it. After hearing Ju Zi’s words, he said coldly, “If we wanted to leave, we wouldn’t have rushed in before the enemy set their trap.”
A dim light ﬂashed. Huo Yuhao revealed an icy-cold light on his face. “Sister Ju Zi, tell me the classes of the soul engineers among the troops that are pursuing you. Appraise them according to the standards of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy.”
Ju Zi also revealed her fearsomeness and capability as a soul engineering commander. She repressed her emotions and said, “They are all Class 4 soul engineers. Their leader should be a Class 5 soul engineer. Their soul tools are mainly Class 4, and there are less than ﬁve Class 5 soul tools. We destroyed a few earlier. The total should be around eighty now.” After pondering for a moment, Huo Yuhao asked again, “Without the interference of these soul engineers, how long can your troops last?”
Before Ju Zi could say anything, Ke Ke said, “Our soul power has been greatly depleted. On average, less than thirty percent of our soul power remains. We don’t have stationary soul tools to back us up either. Under such a circumstance, our troops can only survive for ﬁfteen minutes even without the soul engineers’ interference.”
Huo Yuhao nodded and said, “I understand. Ju Zi, continue to command your troops. Use the top of this mountain as a barrier to protect yourselves. From now on, we only have one strategy – hang on until the reinforcements arrive. Are you certain that there will be reinforcements?”
“Absolutely certain,” Ju Zi replied, “I devised this strategy. We have thirty thousand troops waiting in ambush. This small group of soul engineers is here to bait the enemy to venture deeper in. The enemy is still unaware that our reinforcements have arrived. I gave a signal earlier. In less than an hour, our troops will reach us.” Huo Yuhao said, “Good. Then let’s continue with your strategy. With the current condition that you’re in, it’ll be hard for you to ﬁght your way out. You can only hold your ground to have any chance of escaping.”
A young soul engineer to one side of Ju Zi was furious. “Hold our ground? How do we do that? Our soul power is almost depleted. There are soul engineers in the enemy’s camp that are targeting us. Even before our protective barriers fail, the enemy’s troops will reach us!” At this point, the enemy’s troops were already gathering towards this side rapidly. They would reach them in around ﬁfteen minutes.
Huo Yuhao said, “Leave those soul engineers to us. Ke Ke, hand these out to everyone before the enemy comes.”
As he spoke, he continuously slapped his waist before performing a ﬂinging action. Soul tools ﬂew out of his waist and landed in the hands of the soul engineers.
They were all Class 4 Milk Bottles. After receiving a Milk Bottle, Ke Ke couldn’t help but ask, “Huo Yuhao, why do you have so many Milk Bottles with you? Are you becoming a nanny?”
Huo Yuhao’s face turned black. Ju Zi and Wang Dong couldn’t help but laugh even though the atmosphere was tense.
“What nanny? Milk Bottles are the most valuable among all soul tools in the same class. When I’m free, I make some of them to exchange for some money. At the same time, I can use them. When you ﬁnish using them, you still have to pay me. The rent will be calculated separately. Wang Dong, let’s go.”
As he spoke, he pulled Wang Dong by the hand. He peered into the sky and roared, before bursting towards the enemy soul engineers that had just arrived and surrounded the bottom of the mountain.
“Yuhao.” Ju Zi called, but both Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong were already gone.
The youth who had rebutted Huo Yuhao earlier said, “There are more than eighty soul engineers! Are they courting death?”
Ju Zi was instantly enraged, “Shut up! Courting death? Are you daring enough to do what they’re doing?!”
For some reason, she felt her blood boiling when Huo Yuhao grabbed Wang Dong’s hand and burst down the mountain slope using their ﬂying-type soul tools to face the enemy’s soul engineers.
Why was Shrek Academy’s Ultimate Soldier Plan devised? The goal of the Ultimate Soldier Plan was to have a single individual that could change the outcome of a war.
At this moment, Huo Yuhao was about to experience his ﬁrst battle!
It was always crucial to take down the leader ﬁrst. Undoubtedly, the soul engineers were the core of the enemy’s troops. It was only by getting rid of these soul engineers that the enemy’s long-range threat could be eliminated. This would buy more time for the soul engineers at the top of the mountain. Huo Yuhao’s eyes were ﬁlled with determination. He wasn’t afraid just because they were outnumbered. Wang Dong wore a frighteningly calm look in his eyes. He was so calm that he even appeared a little cold. As the two of them ﬂew forward, they were like two eagles. They instantly reached the enemy using their geographical advantage. The soul engineers were evidently unprepared, as they only unleashed their soul tools and were ready to attack at this point.
A distorted ripple was released from Huo Yuhao’s forehead. He and Wang Dong had to end the ﬁght quickly. His Spiritual Interference was activated at the very start.
After his spiritual power was enhanced, his Spirit Eyes’ soul skills were also enhanced. Under the effect of the powerful Spiritual Interference, these soul engineers who on average had four or ﬁve soul rings and a weak soul power foundation started to see things. They unleashed their soul tools slower, and were unable to identify their targets clearly.
“I’ll take the front, you’ll take the back.” Huo Yuhao’s ﬁgure ﬂashed, and he moved in front of Wang Dong. Wang Dong grabbed hold of his waist. Their bodies were tightly pressed against each other, and the rapid circulation of Haodong Power was maintained. Wang Dong’s arms ﬂashed with a golden light, which appeared like a golden belt around Huo Yuhao’s waist.
Huo Yuhao asserted his authority the moment he surfaced. He waved his right hand forward quickly, and his Darkgolden Terrorclaws expanded in the air. A dark-golden light that was almost six meters in length ﬂashed through the air before dissipating. At least ﬁve soul engineers were cut into pieces instantly. Blood sprayed everywhere.
At this point, an intense azure light shot out from Huo Yuhao’s body. Following that, the azure light started to expand outwards, and then ﬂashed before retracting instantly. The corpses were all frozen into ice cubes, and the soul tool cannons that had ﬁred towards Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong were solidiﬁed as the Domain of Perpetual Ice was unleashed.
Countless streaks of golden light shone from Huo Yuhao’s body. The Butterﬂy Goddess Slash was unleashed. With the help of Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection, each Butterﬂy Goddess Slash seemed to have eyes. They accurately struck the corpses that had become ice cubes, and newer, smaller ice cubes stained with blood ﬂew in all directions. Huo Yuhao lifted his left hand up high, and an icy-azure light ﬂashed. Countless booms instantly echoed from all directions.
Anything that was ice or covered in ice was about to be detonated by the Ice Explosion Technique. Even though all of the corpses weren’t contacted by Huo Yuhao’s left hand, they still exploded. It was just that these explosive forces weren’t comparable to the explosions that Huo Yuhao caused directly.
Huo Yuhao didn’t expect these series of ice explosions to cause enough damage. He performed this action so that both he and Wang Dong had an opportunity to get closer.
As the pieces of ice were blasted in all directions, he dragged Wang Dong in front of him with his right hand. He hugged him from the back tightly.
At this moment, Wang Dong felt as if Huo Yuhao wanted to fuse with his body forcefully. However, a strong thrusting force propelled both of them forward before he could even react. It was Huo Yuhao’s soul thrusters. From using the Darkgolden Terrorclaws to carve out a path, to the Ice Explosion Technique, to his coordination with Wang Dong, and then to his Spiritual Interference, Huo Yuhao was using all of this to make this burst forward.
Wang Dong was facing Huo Yuhao. He could clearly see the gold in Huo Yuhao’s eyes. On his forehead, the Eye of Destiny opened. Wang Dong knew what Huo Yuhao was going to do.
He was using a Class 6 soul thruster! After Huo Yuhao modiﬁed it, the powerful thrusting force sent them straight into the bunch of soul engineers.
Wang Dong’s wings were already completely open by now. His ﬁrst soul skill, the Guillotine Wings, had become the Blade of Asura. As the soul thruster propelled them forward rapidly, his blade left corpses behind wherever it passed. Even soul tools were slashed and destroyed.
As they burst forward in this manner, they had already forced their way into the center of the formation formed by over eighty soul engineers. The soul engineers now reacted. A few close-combat soul engineers quickly rushed towards Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong, trying their best to stop them. The rest of the soul engineers also retrieved their close-combat soul tools and readied themselves to attack.
However, would they really have an opportunity to do so?
If Huo Yuhao gave them such an opportunity, he wasn’t ﬁt to be called an Ultimate Soldier. He wouldn’t make such a choice, either.
On the mountaintop, Ju Zi observed Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s situation as she commanded her troops to absorb the soul power in the Class 4 Milk Bottles quickly. If anything happened to them, she wouldn’t hesitate to rush over to help them. Even if that meant death, she was willing to die with Huo Yuhao. He had risked his life for her once again.
At this point, her mind drifted with the memories that she shared with Huo Yuhao, and she couldn’t remain calm. It was also at this point that she witnessed an unforgettable scene.
Wang Dong’s wings disappeared, and the dazzling bluish- gold light also faded. Wang Dong and Huo Yuhao landed on the ground. At this point, there was a pitch-black hammer in his hand. It was his second martial soul, the Clear Sky Hammer.
A blinding light was released.
It was an indescribable light of illusion. Everything around seemed to have disappeared. What remained was only an illusory ﬁgure. This ﬁgure looked very strange. It was transparent, but its appearance couldn’t be made out. It formed a heart shape with its hands.
Time seemed to have stopped at this moment. The illusory ﬁgure that Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong had formed also experienced a change. Its eyes brightened.
Its eyes were much brighter, it appeared illusory and transparent at the same time. It was a pair of eyes that couldn’t be described with words. The bright gold within them seemed to have arisen after gathering the starlight in the sky. The strange golden glow caused the surrounding lights to dim as it appeared.
A strange vertical eye slowly opened on that illusory ﬁgure’s forehead. Golden light shone in the dark space. A bright golden hammer subtly appeared out of thin air. It was shattered above the illusory ﬁgure and converted into countless smaller hammers. After that, these hammers also turned into golden lights. In the next instant, a golden halo spread out from the forehead of the illusory ﬁgure.
The combination of the Spirit Eyes and Clear Sky Hammer: Mantra Amidst the Void, Spiritual Tempest!
Everything seemed to have slowed down. However, web-like cracks started to appear in the air as the golden lights passed. Space itself seemed to be on the verge of collapse. The intersecting cracks quickly separated the soul engineers.
The golden halo extended almost a hundred meters outward before it faded away. The small hammer also mysteriously disappeared. However, the soul engineers that were ready to attack stood in place like statues. Whether they were Class 4 or Class 5 soul engineers, they weren’t moving.
“Splat!” Seven streaks of bloody light blew apart near where Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong were. The heads of seven men had been blown apart! Their corpses collapsed to the ground instantly.
This series of explosions seemed to be contagious. The bloody lights expanded quickly, and the heads of the soul engineers that were still intact all started to blow apart, one by one. There were no exceptions.
Chapter 190: Martial Soul True Body
189.1: Martial Soul True Body
This weird yet frightening scene could be clearly seen from the sky. The heads that blew apart resembled blood-red ﬂowers. While they dazzled, they withered instantly. As they withered, it also meant that the lives of the soul engineers were about to end.
What skill did they use? There were several soul engineers! Each of them was at least a Soul Ancestor. However, they were all instantly killed by this strange yet terrifying soul skill.
Both parties were in shock as they watched the blood that ﬂowed and the heads that were blown apart.
The youth that had rebutted Huo Yuhao earlier turned pale from fright. His mind was completely blank now. The only thought that he had was how was it possible for Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong to possess such frightening abilities even though they were so young. What skill were they using? “Is it a martial fusion soul skill?” Ke Ke muttered.
Ju Zi bit her lips and watched as the two of them rushed over. She was thankful at this moment.
They had succeeded. There were more than eighty soul engineers! However, these soul engineers were all quickly killed! None of them survived. Not only was the greatest strength of the enemy eliminated, but the enemy was also intimidated. The troops that had surrounded the mountain were now advancing at a slower pace. This was especially so for the troops on the side of the soul engineers that were killed.
Is that his real strength? The strength that he unleashed with his partner? Shrek Academy is deservedly the best academy on the continent!
Huo Yuhao, you’ve saved me once again. Why is fate making a fool of me? Why am I seeing you again?
Tears streamed uncontrollably down Ju Zi’s cheeks. Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong quickly made their way up to the mountaintop. They didn’t utter a sound, but instead immediately sat cross-legged on the ground. Huo Yuhao’s right hand and Wang Dong’s left hand met. The Haodong Power circulated, and Golden Light Left Arm Bone was activated as they quickly restored their soul power. They also held onto Milk Bottles with their other hand to replenish their soul power.
At this moment, they fully demonstrated the difference between their martial souls and the martial souls of the soul engineers around them. They were consuming the same Class 4 Milk Bottles, but they managed to ﬁnish absorbing the soul power within them in half a minute. The two of them quickly took out more Milk Bottles and continued to absorb more soul power.
It wasn’t sufﬁcient to just absorb the soul power in the Milk Bottles. One’s body had to be strong enough to withstand the high rate of absorption. Otherwise, side effects might arise from absorbing it too quickly.
Ju Zi’s gaze turned cold as she shouted at the soul engineers around her, “What are all of you looking at? Take your positions and be ready for battle. Do you think the enemy will stop attacking us just because their soul engineers are dead?”
“Yes.” The soul engineers who were low on morale earlier started to become excited. They used the terrain to ﬁnd suitable offensive spots. They were defensively prepared.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s abilities didn’t just defeat the enemy’s soul engineers. They also boosted the morale of the soul engineers that Ju Zi commanded.
When they realized that it would be very difﬁcult for them to escape, and they were surrounded by the enemy’s troops, their morale was very low. They knew that their own troops would trap the enemy and get rid of them. However, just as Huo Yuhao had mentioned, how long could they survive? They couldn’t.
But Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s dominant performance ignited their hopes again. No one would want to die if they could survive. Moreover, the two of them who had just performed a miracle were on their side. If they were able to kill more than eighty soul engineers, the rest of the ordinary soldiers were nothing to them.
Their morale was high with such a belief, and the Milk Bottles to support them.
Ju Zi and Ke Ke looked at each other, and they both heaved a sigh of relief. They knew that their chances of survival had been greatly boosted.
Ju Zi didn’t look at Huo Yuhao again. She was afraid of affecting her emotions. She started to command her troops calmly and adjusted their positions. She also peered into the distance. Their reinforcements should be arriving soon!
Huo Yuhao shut his eyes. He was also astonished by such a scene. After all, it was his ﬁrst time killing so many people at one go. Even though this was the battleﬁeld, it still impacted him. He could maintain his composure during the battle. However, some emotional ﬂuctuations were inevitable after the battle. He still remembered that Elder Mu had told him that he needed to step onto a battleﬁeld if he wanted to realize the Ultimate Soldier Plan. Today, he had stepped onto a battleﬁeld. Against the thousands of enemy troops, he had to protect his partner and save someone who was once his friend. The pressure didn’t make him anxious, but fearful. It was a fear amidst excitement.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong weren’t superior to the over eighty soul engineers just because they had completed their move. This was the result of Huo Yuhao’s perfect grasp and control of the enemy’s mindset and condition. The psychological lessons of the Ultimate Soldier Plan were coming into use now.
His Spiritual Detection had allowed him to tell that the enemy soul engineers were relaxed after they had completed their encirclement. Furthermore, they were also depleted after their long pursuit. They didn’t expect anyone from Ju Zi’s camp to rush out to attack them so suddenly under such a circumstance.
Huo Yuhao had exploited the enemy’s complacency. He and Wang Dong rushed towards them at an alarming speed. When the soul engineers reacted, they were already able to unleash their strongest ﬁghting strength.
These calculations had formed in Huo Yuhao’s mind instantly. His instant-kill strike with Wang Dong was also built on his precise calculations. The enemy’s troops were tired and hurt. Along with Ju Zi’s intelligence, he had accurately estimated their enemy’s abilities. This had allowed them to succeed.
Of course, their martial fusion soul skill was very powerful! As their abilities continued to improve, their martial fusion soul skills grew along with their cultivations. This was the scariest part of their martial fusion soul skills.
For an ordinary soul master, the might of his soul skills was restricted by his cultivation and control. In addition, the age of his soul rings was also an important factor. However, a martial fusion soul skill would grow more powerful as one’s cultivation increased regardless of who he was. Of course, that was not including Huo Yuhao’s extraordinary situation.
Huo Yuhao was a Soul Ancestor, while Wang Dong was a Soul Emperor. Their combined martial fusion soul skill couldn’t even be resisted by a seven-ringed Soul Sage! Furthermore, the Mantra Amidst the Void, Spiritual Tempest they had unleashed earlier had been a spiritual power attack using a soul skill. The true meaning behind it was like the long-range attack version of the Sovereign’s Descent. It was even formed by the combination of Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s power. The Spiritual Tempest exhibited a terrifying lethality. Those Class 4 and Class 5 soul engineers had enhanced their soul power using medicine, thus their foundations weren’t stable. They also weren’t supported by stable spiritual power. All of them were struck once by Huo Yuhao’s complete Spiritual Shock mixed with the explosive force of the Clear Sky Hammer.
This strike was fast yet effective. The greatest threat was wiped out in one blow.
After remaining silent for a while, the enemies attacked again. However, their morale was greatly affected. This was especially so for those who had seen the soul engineers being wiped out. They moved extremely slowly.
Unfortunately, not everyone from the enemy’s troops had witnessed what had happened. Some of the soldiers that came from different directions burst up the mountain quickly.
The sounds of soul cannons and soul rays being ﬁred echoed repeatedly. With the Milk Bottles and their high morale, Ju Zi and her group resisted the enemy’s advance to the greatest of their abilities.
Lights could be seen shining from the mountaintop from afar. They reached all the way to the enemy’s camp, and caused intense explosive booms.
A soul engineer’s lethality on the battleﬁeld couldn’t be matched by soul masters at the same level. This was especially so against ordinary soldiers.
Soul cannon shells landed amongst the enemy’s troops and blew apart, releasing balls of intense light. The soldiers were completely blown apart. Blood spurted, and ﬂesh was strewn all over the place.
The explosive strength of a Class 4 soul cannon could cause massive destruction within a hundred square meters radius. Every blast was sufﬁcient to kill tens of soldiers. While soul rays were weaker, they were more accurate. As they complemented the soul cannons, the death toll of the enemy rose beyond ﬁve hundred in a matter of minutes. However, the repeated attacks also depleted the soul power of the soul engineers. The arrows the soldiers used were useless against these soul engineers. They couldn’t do anything against the soul engineers once physical protective soul barriers were used to block them.
The enemy’s ﬁrst wave of attacks was held off. Those on the mountaintop cheered.
Ju Zi’s calm command was very effective. She held the fort with Ke Ke at the center. They would rush to whichever side was under threat. They were both Class 6 soul engineers, the strongest after Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong on the battleﬁeld.
If their soul power were fully replenished, these hundred soul engineers could even hold off tens of thousands of soldiers. This was a massacre. However, that was because the enemy didn’t have any tools that could overcome their soul tools, and had already lost the soul engineers that could have repressed them.
Previously, they had been harrassed by the enemy soul engineers. This had diverted too much of their attention, which diminished the effect of their soul tools on the enemy.
Suddenly, someone exclaimed in surprise, “Look! Our reinforcements have arrived!”
Ju Zi gazed into the distance, and indeed, troops drifted into her view from afar. They were closing in from all directions. The sounds of killing resonated and shook the skies. Her strategy – bait the enemy before ambushing them – had ﬁnally succeeded!
The enemy was caught at a loss, as they were surrounded by an even larger army of soldiers. However, a bright yellow ﬂag was lifted high in the enemy’s camp at this moment.
A man leapt up and stood steadily on a huge steed. He waved the ﬂag in the air, and his voice reverberated throughout the battleﬁeld. “Men under the Glorious Lord, listen up! I’m the eldest son of the Glorious Lord and the heir to his position, General Zhao Yang of the duchy. I’ll lead everyone out of this danger. The commander of the troops at the top of the mountain is the ﬁancée of the Sun Moon Empire’s Crown Prince. If we catch her, the enemy troops will immediately surrender; they won’t dare to touch us. This is our only way out!”
As he spoke, the man leapt onto another huge steed. Holding the bright yellow ﬂag high, he burst straight towards the mountaintop.
This General Zhao Yang wasn’t supposed to command the troops in this expedition. His younger cousin was supposed to be commanding the troops. He specially came to hold the fort for his younger cousin. Seeing that the situation had gone awry, he had no choice but to personally attack. He quickly retrieved his golden helmet and armor from his storage-type soul tool. As he buckled his armor on and prepared to ﬁght, he also used his actions and voice to boost his troops’ morale. He had the aura of a general. Of course, his sound-amplifying soul tool played a big part too.
The soul engineers on the mountaintop were cheering after they noticed that their reinforcements had arrived. However, they also heard the general’s words.
Everyone’s attention was drawn to Ju Zi.
They weren’t stunned right now, but they were in utter disbelief. They didn’t expect that the person commanding them and ﬁghting alongside them at the frontline was the ﬁancée of the current Crown Prince.
Ju Zi had never revealed her identity to them. Ever since she had joined the military, she had worked her way up the ranks as a Class 6 soul engineer. She also didn’t know how this news was leaked, and how the other party knew her true identity.
She was the one who had devised the plan to trap the enemy! She had dared to take such a risk despite her status. These soul engineers felt that there was something choking their hearts.
Ju Zi’s eyes ﬂashed with a cold light. She knew that there must be a spy close to the Crown Prince. Otherwise, her identity wouldn’t have been exposed so quickly. She took a deep breath and looked at the soul engineers around her. She said in a deep voice, “He’s right. I’m the ﬁancée of the Crown Prince. However, I’m also a warrior of the empire. Today, I’ll live and die with all of you. The reinforcements are in front of us. We must ﬁght for our survival. We must win, and we must hang on until our reinforcements arrive!”
As she spoke, she led the charge towards Zhao Yang.
Ke Ke shouted, “What are all of you doing? The enemy is here. Even the Crown Prince’s ﬁancée is willing to give her all for us. Are we going to let them hurt her?”
“Protect the Crown Prince’s wife with our lives!” One young soul engineer shouted with all his might as he lifted his soul cannon. His eyes spurted with ﬁre as he ﬁred the soul cannon towards the enemy troops.
Their morale was lifted to an unprecedented level. They were doing it for Ju Zi’s bravery and their hopes of survival. It was just that none of them noticed that Wang Dong and Huo Yuhao had already opened their eyes at this point.
They looked at each other, and Wang Dong said softly, “Crown Prince’s ﬁancée?”
Huo Yuhao laughed bitterly. “I don’t know anything about that. However, this sort of explains why she’s so mysterious. No matter what, I owe her a favor today. As for the rest, let’s just wait until the future.”
Wang Dong nodded his head slightly. “Do whatever you want.”
Huo Yuhao laughed. Even though he was surrounded by enemy troops, he realized that he wasn’t nervous at all. It was because he had a brother and a partner that was willing to live and die with him beside him right now.
Under Zhao Yang’s call, the frantic rebel troops ﬁnally found their release. While the troops on the mountaintop needed to survive, so did they! They knew the consequences of being trapped by the empire’s troops. To survive, they needed to give their all.
The intensity of their attacks soared. The heavily-armored soldiers quickly reached the mountain slope with the help of steeds. They even gave up their weapons, instead choosing to lift giant shields that were each carried by two soldiers up the mountain slope.
After all, this mountain slope was less than two hundred meters high. The mountain didn’t have any particular geographical advantage either. The troops were about to completely surround the soul engineers on the mountaintop.
Although soul cannons were very powerful, they depleted one’s soul power greatly. A Class 4 Milk Bottle couldn’t last long. Moreover, Ju Zi and the others were also injured and fatigued! At this time, they relied on their will and courage to sustain themselves.
The giant shields couldn’t resist the attacks of Class 4 and above soul cannons. However, the destructiveness of the soul cannons was greatly reduced by the giant shields. The enemy troops were slowly making their way up the mountain.
“Move. I’ll do it.” Zhao Yang shouted. He was thirty-six this year. He was in the prime of his life. The Glorious Lord had rebelled and wanted to create a duchy because of Zhao Yang. If not for the fact that Zhao Yang was ambitious and the Glorious Lord’s territories were like fortresses, why would the aging Glorious Lord who wasn’t even a soul master make such a decisive call??
Zhao Yang was a genius. Although he was a part of the Sun Moon Empire, he had never liked soul tools. He was more interested in developing his own abilities. He had inherited his mother genes and possessed a rather strong martial soul, the Violent Goldbear. He was already a Soul Sage even though he was just thirty-six years old. In terms of abilities, he was always the strongest among everyone under the Glorious Lord.
The Glorious Lord was responsible for guarding the northern region of the Sun Moon Empire. His sudden uprising caused the empire to be caught at a loss. His explanation was also very simple. He just wanted to set up a duchy, and was even willing to double his tribute to the empire. He just hoped to receive its recognition. The Sun Moon Empire’s Emperor was plagued with illness, and had lost the sharpness he had once had. He didn’t rush to use military force against the Glorious Lord, as he was afraid of the reactions such an action might provoke from the Heaven Dou Empire and Star Luo Empire.
However, the Crown Prince continued to take a hard stance, and labeled him as a rebel that needed to be killed. That was the only way to intimidate the empire’s nobility that had been conferred land in the empire.
Eventually, the Crown Prince managed to obtain the Emperor’s recognition with the help of Jing Hongchen and a branch of direct descendants. The military, mainly composed of his own troops, was also sent out to quell the rebellion. Ju Zi, who had been in many wars and even fought against the soul masters in the Western Sea, also joined in the ﬁght against the rebels. She had earned enough merit to become the leader of a small group of soul engineers.
Her position couldn’t be underestimated. In the Sun Moon Empire’s military, there were four divisions of soul engineers. Each division consisted of roughly a thousand soul engineers. These four thousand soul engineers were the cornerstone of the Sun Moon Empire. To be able to command a hundred of these soul engineers, Ju Zi’s position was comparable to a leader of an infantry division. If the hundred soul engineers were suitably utilized, they could change the outcome of a war.
Ju Zi also realized why there was a group of soul engineers chasing them after listening to Zhao Yang. Those soul engineers were probably the ﬁnal remaining trump card of the Glorious Lord. Now that they had been destroyed, they were likely to achieve victory if they could hold out. The rebel troops were unlikely to have any further chips that they could use.
Zhao Yang’s thinking was also very simple. After the empire adamantly rejected their tribute, labeled them as rebels and even brought the military in against them, he realized that setting up a duchy in the Sun Moon Empire was a foolish thing. The Glorious Lord’s camp was a mess now. The reason why they had gone all-out today and sent out their soul engineers as well as the entire army was because they wanted to capture Ju Zi, who they had discovered was the Crown Prince’s ﬁancée from insider information.
He had never thought of hurting Ju Zi. He just wanted to capture her alive and use her as a chip to negotiate with the Sun Moon Empire. He naturally knew that Xu Tianran was in charge. He had already thought of an escape plan for himself. His demands weren’t too unreasonable either. He was willing to surrender and give up his military power. All he asked for was to keep his land and wealth.
However, all this was only possible if he could capture Ju Zi. Otherwise, there wasn’t any way that he could negotiate with the empire.
The empire’s military had also discovered Zhao Yang’s intentions. The surrounding troops quickly rushed over to Ju Zi’s aid. Right now, it was a battle of time for both parties.
As Zhao Yang shouted, he stuck the bright yellow ﬂag into the ground and exploited the reactionary elastic force of the ﬂagpole to shoot himself forward to the top of the mountain.
As he burst forward, he snatched a spear from a soldier beside him and ﬂung it forward. That long spear ﬂew up towards the mountaintop like a bolt of lightning. It managed to restrain a large amount of the ﬁrepower that came from the top of the mountain.
Zhao Yang didn’t possess some kind of sub-standard martial soul. He was a true seven-ringed Soul Sage.
He shouted suddenly, and he stripped his armor off his body. His body ballooned in size, and his height immediately soared to more than two meters and twenty centimeters. His developed muscles split his shirt apart. Two yellow, two purple and three black soul rings suddenly rose from his feet.
The morale of the Glorious Lord’s army soared when they saw his seven soul rings ﬂashing. They followed their general as they dashed up the mountain.
The immense pressure caused the soul engineers at the top of the mountain to start yielding. The enemy troops didn’t seem to care about their lives as they rushed up the mountain. The soul cannons and soul rays were unable to comprehensively repress the enemy troops anymore. There were already a few soldiers who had made it to the top of the mountain, and a few close-combat soul engineers were starting to ﬁght them. Zhao Yan managed to spot Ju Zi in her white warrior robe, continuously throwing out orange soul bombs.
Ju Zi naturally spotted him too. She looked a little pale at this point. Her soul power had been depleted too much, and she was completely spent now.
The reinforcements were charging over. They were already killing their way towards them from the back of the rebels, but there were too many soldiers from the Glorious Lord’s army. It was impossible to kill them all in one shot.
Zhao Yang was too quick. When he was around ﬁfty meters away from the top of the mountain, he started to receive a barrage of attacks from the soul engineers. However, he was very strong, holding a giant shield in each hand. As he blocked the attacks, his speed didn’t decrease.
“Let me do it.” Ke Ke shouted, and her Heavy Lightning Cannon aimed towards Zhao Yang. She poured in all her soul power, and an intense bolt of lightning gathered at the barrel of the cannon. Zhao Yang’s senses were very accurate as a Soul Sage. He could sense the imminent threat, and quickly ﬂung his shields towards the top of the mountain. They were aimed towards Ke Ke. At the same time, his ﬁrst and third soul rings lit up brightly.
A golden glow surfaced on his skin. Not only that, but he was expanding greatly in size. His developed muscles made him seem like a real Stormbear.
His ﬁrst soul skill was the Golden Body, and his third soul skill was Berserk.
The Violent Goldbear possessed a little of the Darkgolden Terrorclaw Bear’s lineage. It was also one of the strongest among all the bear-type martial souls. It was adept at defense and offense, and possessed great strength as well.
Ke Ke grit her teeth and ignored the two huge shields that he ﬂung at her. She ﬁred the Heavy Lightning Cannon!
A bluish-purple soul cannon shell a foot wide was ﬁred towards Zhao Yang. Bolts of lightning ﬂashed, and the air started to distort. The soldiers didn’t even have to contact the bolts of lightning before they died; as the lightning passed them, they were instantly turned to ash.
Zhao Yang snorted and reached out his right hand to his side. He grabbed hold of a heavily-armored soldier before ﬂinging him upwards.
He had unleashed his defensive soul skills to confuse Ke Ke. Why would he try to resist the Class 5 Heavy Lightning Cannon with his body?
A tremendous boom rocked the air, and many soldiers were instantly blown apart. A ball of bluish-purple light exploded in the air, and a powerful shockwave threw hundreds of people off their feet. As the lightning ﬂashed, the soldiers in the vicinity of the explosion were all turned to ash at the same time, or sent ﬂying limply into the air.
Zhao Yang didn’t retreat even in the face of the shockwave, resisting the shockwave forcefully. However, he was also stunned to discover that Ke Ke was still alive even after he ﬂung the shields at her. Two ﬁgures had appeared in front of her. The two giant shields were held steadily in the hands of a young man.
The teenager simply stood there, but he brought immense pressure down on Zhao Yang. This pressure didn’t come from his abilities, but from his spirit.
Zhao Yang had once been to Radiant City around six years before, and met Xu Tianran there. At that time, Xu Tianran had left a deep impression in his mind. Right now, this youth exuded an aura that was exactly the same as Xu Tianran then, but even more impressive.
Who was he?
Zhao Yang was on the other side of the mountain previously, and hadn’t seen his group of soul engineers being wiped out. When the news reached him, the empire’s army had already arrived. Zhao Yang didn’t know that there were two strong individuals on Ju Zi’s side that had wiped out his entire group of soul engineers. Yes, the person who had caught the two shields was Huo Yuhao.
The shields were heavy, and ﬂung with great force. However, they were thrown upwards, and their force was reduced with the distance. Moreover, Huo Yuhao had Wang Dong beside him. As they combined their Haodong Power and he unleashed his Ultimate martial soul, it was easy for him to catch the pair of shields.
The Ice Empress’ Pincers grabbed hold of the two shields steadily. Huo Yuhao took in a deep breath. He knew that he couldn’t hold back at this point, or they wouldn’t survive.
Four white soul rings rose from his feet. The soul engineers around him were shocked. Those were all ten-year soul rings?
Huo Yuhao ﬂung the two shields back towards the enemy troops. His right hand covered his forehead, and he shut his eyes. A strange-looking ring of white started to rise from his head into the sky. Only Wang Dong, who had moved behind him and was pressing his hands against his back, knew that Huo Yuhao was covering his forehead to cover the light that came from the Eye of Destiny.
The white halo rose around ten meters before it started to spread over its surroundings. After that, the halo descended again.
The white halo rolled almost a hundred meters down the mountain. As it washed past the rebel troops, they all collapsed like cut wheat. After that, they rolled down the hill weakly.
Only Zhao Yang was left on the battleﬁeld now!
That white halo also touched Zhao Yang, who felt a wave of weakness spreading through his entire body. He circulated his soul power at an intense rate before he managed to maintain his ﬁghting will and keep from being affected by this weakness.
What soul skill was that? It wasn’t a mass attack, but a mass control-type soul skill! Enfeeblement… it was so strong that the soldiers couldn’t even lift their own armor after being affected by it. Is he a control-type soul master? He was shocked as he looked at Huo Yuhao. He couldn’t understand how a four-ringed Soul Ancestor with only four ten-year soul rings was able to unleash a soul skill that could incapacitate thousands of soldiers, sending them rolling and falling down the hill. Huo Yuhao’s attack managed to make some breathing room for Ju Zi and the others.
The empire’s army was not to be triﬂed with. It wasn’t just Ju Zi and her team of soul engineers that were involved in this war, there were more than ﬁve teams involved. This was the greatest number of troops that Xu Tianran could activate, he wanted to accomplish this mission in one go. This was also a very important matter in his overall plan.
The senior management in the Sun Moon Empire’s military knew of Ju Zi’s identity, but were helpless, as she was adamant on leading her troops personally. After all, she was representing the Crown Prince. Furthermore, she was only his ﬁancée, and they were yet to be married.
While they acceded to her wishes, they still had to protect her! The Crown Prince’s direct descendants knew that no one was supposed to touch her except the Crown Prince, and she was also his most trusted conﬁdante. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have chosen her as his wife. She was even going to be his ofﬁcial wife, and the future Empress!
That was why the other four teams of soul engineers were part of the reinforcements that arrived. They came using ﬂying-type soul tools and threw automatic soul bombs downwards, blowing the rebel troops apart. This helped to alleviate the pressure on those atop the hill.
Zhao Yang knew that his chances were getting slimmer and slimmer. He could only rely on himself now. He needed to capture Ju Zi! Otherwise, the Crown Prince would never spare him. Time wasn’t going to wait for him!
He thumped his chest and let out a furious roar. His ﬁfth soul ring also started to shine brightly.
The soul engineers on the mountaintop lost their other targets after Huo Yuhao used Enfeeblement, so they were going to focus all their attacks on Zhao Yang. However, his roar caused all of them, apart from Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Ju Zi, to collapse to the ground. Even Huo Yuhao and the other two were a little dizzy when they were struck by his roar. A buzzing sound rang continually in their ears and they staggered. It was Huo Yuhao’s ﬁrst time experiencing a sonic soul skill like this. He was a little lost at the moment. When he used his Spiritual Detection, he'd only
sensed Zhao Yang’s soul power surging towards his head.
Zhao Yang took this chance to advance. He didn’t go straight for Ju Zi, but went after Huo Yuhao instead. He was clearly aware of how scary a control-type soul master was on a battleﬁeld. If he wanted to capture Ju Zi, he had to settle Huo Yuhao ﬁrst. As a seven-ringed Soul Sage, he realized that Huo Yuhao must have a way of concealing the colors of his soul rings after his momentary shock from experiencing his Enfeeblement earlier. But that wasn’t the important thing. The important issue was that Huo Yuhao couldn’t possibly be stronger than him, since he was so young. Moreover, he didn’t have an escape route now!
Seeing that he was getting closer to Huo Yuhao, he reached out his huge hand and struck towards the younger man, and a gust of foul wind swept across the stones. As he was using too much strength, Zhao Yang left two deep footprints in the rocks on the hill. However, he looked into a pair of golden eyes at this moment. That gold was turning purplish-gold at a frightening speed.
Chapter 191: Goddess of Light
Zhao Yang was indeed a strong Soul Sage, and had great senses. When he saw Huo Yuhao’s calm yet icy-cold eyes, he knew that his roar earlier hadn’t affected him for long. Furthermore, his sense of crisis also rose. Without any hesitation, he used his strongest soul skill.
His pitch-black seventh soul ring suddenly lit up. Just as Huo Yuhao’s Spirit Eyes unleashed the Spiritual Shock that had fused with the purplish-gold light of the Purple Demon Eyes, Zhao Yang’s size ballooned once again. He reached almost ﬁve meters tall, and bright golden fur covered his entire body. Apart from his face that still remained mostly human, the rest of him turned into a huge bear.
Yes, this was the change after a soul master obtained seven rings. This was also the divide between an intermediate-level soul master and an advanced-level soul master: Martial Soul True Body!
When a soul master reached a seven-ringed cultivation, his martial soul would change regardless of the age of his soul rings. Their martial souls would truly combine with their bodies, and could now exhibit the Martial Soul True Body.
Once their Martial Soul True Body was activated, their entire body would turn into the form of the martial soul, and their powers would soar. The power of their original soul skills could possibly double. After reaching the Soul Sage level, a soul engineer would ﬁnd it very difﬁcult to defeat a soul master unless he had special soul tools.
Zhao Yang’s martial soul resisted half the effect of the Spiritual Shock. His head only rocked backward slightly, and he regained his awareness after some momentary confusion. Whether it was his body or his spiritual power, they were enhanced greatly along with his martial soul.
However, his palm still struck air because of Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Shock. Huo Yuhao wasn’t the only one ﬁghting. A pair of dazzling bluish-gold wings ﬂapped open behind him and pulled him backward. He shifted back by ﬁve meters and avoided his opponent’s attack.
Huo Yuhao’s gaze was cold, yet calm. This was his ﬁrst time ﬁghting a Soul Sage and a Martial Soul True Body. It was even a critical moment. However, he wasn’t anxious. Rather, he was excited.
He cultivated tirelessly so that he could challenge his limits and ﬁght others who were strong. If he were alone, he would never be able to beat a seven-ringed Soul Sage, no matter how strong his twin martial souls were and what soul tools he had. However, he had Wang Dong with him now.
Huo Yuhao shouted, “Get out of the way! Ju Zi, stay back.” As he spoke, his eyes shone with bright golden light. A pair of hands were also wrapped around his waist.
Another shocking scene appeared once again. The bluish- golden wings folded together in front of him, and the golden light that Huo Yuhao emitted became even brighter.
The Golden Road Amidst Withering Resplendence was exhibited once again.
A blue, purple, and gold tri-colored light was converted into a unique ray. This ray of light appeared on a path that Zhao Yang had to cross. Even a Soul Sage couldn’t avoid this attack, as Huo Yuhao had his Spiritual Detection up to pre-empt him.
The terrifying part of the Golden Road wasn’t its offensive strength, but its ability to seal one’s soul skills. Aren’t you using your Martial Soul True Body? Then I shall seal it. A Soul Sage was much weaker without his Martial Soul True Body.
Zhao Yang’s shining golden body was engulfed by the Golden Road. He only felt a wave of scorching heat circulating through his entire body.
When Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong teamed up to ﬁght Jing Ziyan and Ji Juechen, they didn’t unleash the Golden Road fully. After all, they were only sparring. Right now, Zhao Yang was the ﬁrst to experience the complete version of the Golden Road after Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s abilities had increased.
An astonishing scene was instantly revealed.
Zhao Yang’s pace dipped considerably, and the golden hair on his body was melting at an alarming speed. The golden light that was shining from his body also became much brighter.
Huo Yuhao took in a deep breath. After this series of battles, he was also greatly spent. However, he had no intention of resting at this point. If Zhao Yang was allowed to unleash his full abilities, everyone on the mountaintop would die!
“Wang Dong, it’s up to you now.”
After they unleashed the Golden Road, they switched positions. Huo Yuhao pulled Wang Dong’s right hand, and Wang Dong detached from his back. Huo Yuhao lifted his right hand to guide Wang Dong’s movements. Wang Dong performed a remarkable dance move—he made a hundred and eighty degree turn on one foot.
Wang Dong immediately shifted from Huo Yuhao’s backside to his front. Countless streaks of light around their bodies shot out once again. The lights were blinding, and no one dared to look straight at them. Time seemed to have stopped at this instant.
The bluish-gold wings started to expand quickly. Instantly, they were already twice their original size.
The Radiant Butterﬂy Goddess initially had front and back wings only. However, there was an extra emerald middle wing now. It was smooth, bright, and translucent. A thick aura of life exuded from it, the essence of it composed of light and water. This aura of life complemented the aura of light.
The dazzling butterﬂy wings opened wide. The tri-colored light seemed to shine with other colors now. There seemed to be countless beads of water on the wings reﬂecting the light. As the light shone, layers of frosty gas were released from the ﬁgure’s feet, accentuating the elegance of her slender ﬁgure.
As the frost spread, her surroundings seemed to turn into a world of ice and snow. The icy chill also catalyzed shocking changes in Wang Dong and Huo Yuhao’s fused body. A tall, thin ﬁgure appeared in the tri-colored light. It was a lady, a young lady that seemed to have matured. She was more than one meter and eighty centimeters tall. Her slender ﬁgure was also very captivating.
She had long, pinkish-blue hair that ﬂowed all the way down to her legs, but her eyes were bright-gold. Even ‘perfect’ was insufﬁcient to describe her captivating ﬁgure. Her ravishing beauty overshadowed all the women present.
Every streak of light complemented every curve of her body. No one could describe how they felt when they ﬁrst saw her. However, everyone’s attention was drawn to her the moment she appeared.
She moved in the next moment. Her slender ﬁgure reached into the air, and her tri-colored wings beat to propel her upwards.
Thick icy fog spread from her legs, turning into streaks that surrounded her body as they rose.
A ray of sunlight fell from the sky and shot straight towards her.
A golden halo served as a foil for the birth of a goddess in the light.
She danced in the air. Every step she took was gentle and perfect. Her captivating looks were ﬁlled with the sparkle of life and hope. Her wings were a perfect embellishment. As she soaked in the warmth of the light, she danced to the Raiment of Light.
She danced alone within the icy fog as she faced the frightening Violent Goldbear. Her tri-colored wings extended and retracted, underlining her elegance.
On her forehead, a subtle golden rune appeared. However, no one could see it as she danced faster and faster.
As the golden rune ﬂashed, it emitted a gentle glow. The intense undulations of spiritual energy caused her to enter a magical state.
Yes! This was Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s last soul fusion skill - A Solitary Dance Amidst the Frost, Raiment of Light!
The lady formed by the Raiment of Light was the same as the one during the Elite Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament.
Everyone was stunned when they witnessed her ravishing beauty.
Ju Zi was always very conﬁdent in her appearance. However, she lowered her head unwittingly at this point. She felt slightly inferior.
Huo Yuhao was willing to call this lady the Goddess of Light. Her beauty was ﬂawless. Her hair didn’t sway in the wind, and her pinkish-blue eyes carried a gentle light. Her snow-white skin that was immersed in the light appeared very enthralling as it was covered by the pair of dazzling wings behind her.
Zhao Yang struggled to escape from the Golden Road, and was able to maintain his Martial Soul True Body. But even he was stunned when he saw her. If Huo Yuhao hadn’t used so many skills through his Eye of Destiny and had sufﬁcient soul power remaining, his best choice would have been to unleash the Blaze Amidst the Frost, the Heavenly Emperor’s Hammer, after Zhao Yang was attacked by the Golden Road. However, his energy was depleted, and he couldn’t sustain any more fusion skills. That was why he passed the reins to Wang Dong.
This was their second time exhibiting the Raiment of Light. Huo Yuhao was even more shocked now. Even though he had fused with Wang Dong in this fusion skill, he could see it clearly.
The Goddess of Light moved her feet slightly before she reached Zhao Yang.
Zhao Yang’s mind was completely clear at this point. He sighed in his heart, and was even tempted to bow to her. However, he could only throw everything to the back of his mind for the sake of his own survival.
He roared furiously and his huge bear-like palm swung towards the Goddess of Light. The Goddess of Light suddenly said, “You’re reluctant to bask in sorrow, yet you desire to accompany it for life. Start afresh, and advance!”
The Goddess of Light smiled and raised her index ﬁnger to intercept the Violent Goldbear’s huge palm.
“No—!” The soul engineers atop the mountain and the soldiers rushing up the mountain all shouted simultaneously. None of them wanted such a perfect goddess to perish like this! Even Zhao Yang’s bear palm slowed slightly. However, he still struck with full force; if he didn’t kill Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong, he’d die instead.
The instant that the huge bear palm and delicate ﬁnger collided, the Goddess of Light’s index ﬁnger suddenly turned a strange color.
It was still golden, but it was now somewhat translucent. Her entire right hand seemed to have suddenly become a golden crystal. It was such a beautiful scene that it was even suffocating for those looking at it.
This crystal-like ﬁnger managed to resist the huge bear palm. “Splat!”
Blood spurted out from the back of the bear palm. Zhao Yang screamed in pain. A hole was formed in the middle of his palm by the crystal ﬁnger.
The Goddess of Light brushed her left wing and viciously struck the Violent Goldbear in the waist. He staggered a few steps to the side after he was hit, and a wound that was three feet wide and several inches deep was formed.
The Goddess of Light’s right hand was extremely strong. Her ﬁnger contained the soul skill of Wang Dong’s Broken Devil of Light Right Arm Bone! All its power was focused on a single point. After the enhancement of the Raiment of Light, this destructive ﬁnger was the strongest strike Wang Dong could muster with his current abilities. Zhao Yang was in deep trouble as he tried to withstand the attack.
As the Goddess of Light’s wing struck Zhao Yang aside, a cluster of golden light was released from her body, engulﬁng him. Something weird occurred. The blood that had spurted out from Zhao Yang’s palm seemed to have frozen, and landed on the ground with a thud. Zhao Yang’s body also turned rigid. There seemed to be a layer of frost covering his body.
After this, the Goddess of Light struck out with her left hand. Her left hand was also golden, but the glow from it was different from the transparent gold that was emitted from her right hand. It resembled golden ﬂares that burned, and these golden ﬂares were icy-cold.
The golden light fog was the product of Wang Dong’s soul power and Huo Yuhao’s Domain of Perpetual Ice. It fused the power of light and Ultimate Ice. Her left hand was the fusion of Wang Dong’s Golden Light Left Arm Bone and Huo Yuhao’s Ice Empress’ Pincer. It seemed to be drifting in the air, but it was the strongest strike of the Goddess of Light after their abilities had improved.
The tremendous pain caused the Violent Goldbear’s eyes to turn blood-red. He turned around, and his body shone with bright golden light. His sixth soul ring ﬂashed, and a gigantic projection of a giant bear instantly appeared behind his back. This gigantic projection burst forward, and his left arm doubled in size once again. His hair also turned dark-golden.
This was Zhao Yang’s strongest offensive soul skill – the Darkgolden Terrorpalm. This palm tapped into the shred of the Darkgolden Terrorclaw Bear’s lineage in the Violent Goldbear. As it was used by his Martial Soul True Body, it was also his most destructive skill.
Golden ﬂares were already burning. The Goddess of Light’s aura changed again. The Sovereign’s Descent turned her sanctity into superiority, as if she were a queen that overlooked the mortal world. Her entire body turned illusory at this point. Only the golden ﬂares on her left arm still remained as bright and blinding as ever.
At this instant, everyone watching this ﬁght was praying in their hearts. They were praying for the goddess in their hearts.
No one hoped that Zhao Yang would win.
“Splat!” Just as both parties were about to clash, Zhao Yang’s left hand blew apart. The intense pain instantly diminished the might of his Darkgolden Terrorpalm.
His right hand had been infused with the aura of Ultimate Ice after it had encountered the Broken Devil of Light. The Domain of Perpetual Ice had also frozen his palm further.
It seemed like Zhao Yang had used his Martial Soul True Body to resist the Domain of Perpetual Ice. However, his blood circulation fell by a third of its original rate. His movements seemed to have stalled slightly too. The wound on his right hand was also frozen up to a few inches.
Anything that was ice could be detonated by the Ice Explosion Technique. Even though the Ice Explosion Technique didn’t mix with Zhao Yang’s soul power, the pain was still tremendous as his palm suddenly blew apart. The impact on him was huge.
“Boom!” The Darkgolden Terrorpalm and the Goddess of Light’s left palm collided.
The Goddess of Light ﬂew back like a broken kite. Her body was still in the air, but the light shining from her dimmed. As her ﬁgure ﬂashed, she was separated back into Wang Dong and Huo Yuhao, and they crashed to the ground. They were both bleeding profusely; they were evidently badly injured.
Huo Yuhao pulled Wang Dong in front of him just as they were about to land on the ground, protecting him from the fall. He crashed into the ground heavily, and slid for more than ten meters before he stopped. An intense pain engulfed his entire body. He blacked out immediately.
The Violent Goldbear quietly stood where he was. Golden ﬂares slowly but steadily spread across his entire arm before they proliferated to the rest of his body.
When his entire body was covered by golden ﬂares, a ﬂashing golden sun seemed to have appeared at the top of the mountain. This golden sun shone extremely brightly. Everyone subconsciously shut their eyes. They were at a loss, and didn’t know what was going on.
When the golden lights ﬁnally dimmed, and everything returned to normal, they realized that the Violent Goldbear had disappeared. Only a patch of ash was left behind.
Radiant Flare, Ultimate Ice, Raiment of Light, Sovereign’s Descent!
Everything had ended. Zhao Yang’s death also signiﬁed that the rebel troops had been defeated. The Sun Moon Empire’s troops killed all the enemy soldiers as they rushed up the mountain. Surrender wasn’t a choice anymore; all of them were mercilessly killed.
Perhaps they were motivated by the Goddess of Light, but the empire’s soldiers on the battleﬁeld were ebullient, as if they had taken stimulants.
Their commander had briefed them that the Crown Prince’s ﬁancée was stuck at the top of the mountain before they attacked, and that they were here to save her. They had witnessed the battle between the Goddess of Light and the Violent Goldbear, and ﬁnally emerged victorious.
Not all the soldiers knew who Ju Zi was. They thought that the Goddess of Light was the Crown Prince’s ﬁancée! Fighting for the Crown Prince’s wife motivated all of them. Even Huo Yuhao didn’t expect that the Raiment of Light would be able to increase the morale of the soldiers so effectively. The ﬁgure of the Goddess of Light was deeply imprinted in the heart of every soldier.
“Yuhao, Yuhao. How are you?”
Although Wang Dong was also injured, his cultivation was higher than Huo Yuhao’s. Huo Yuhao had unleashed the Sovereign’s Descent with all his might in the last strike, sapping all his spiritual power. Furthermore, Huo Yuhao had borne all the impact of the Violent Goldbear’s attack. That was why Wang Dong wasn’t critically injured.
Fresh blood ﬂowed out of Huo Yuhao’s nose. His entire face was very pale, and his breathing was very weak. Wang Dong regretted his willfulness. If not for his impulsiveness, Huo Yuhao wouldn’t have been brought to this battleﬁeld and met such a strong enemy!
When he lifted Huo Yuhao up, his palms were totally covered in blood. He lowered his head as he looked at Huo Yuhao’s back. His eyes turned red instantly.
The entire mountain was covered in rocks, and was completely barren. The ground was extremely hard, and ﬁlled with rocks of uneven sizes.
When the two of them were struck by the Darkgolden Terrorpalm, they were already spent. They had no soul power to unleash any soul skills or use any soul tools to protect themselves.
The ﬂying-type soul tool behind Huo Yuhao was crushed by the heavy impact and frictional force. The back of his shirt was covered in blood and broken pieces of the soul tool. His entire back had been grazed by the rocks as he slid after crashing to the ground, leaving bloody wounds behind. He had left a foot-wide trail of blood behind him.
Wang Dong felt as if there was a heavy rock on his chest, and the heartache made it difﬁcult for him to breathe. He didn’t have much soul power left, but he was trying his best to pour his soul power into Huo Yuhao’s body. He was squeezing every drop of soul power he had into Huo Yuhao.
Ju Zi also rushed over at this point. She was much calmer than Wang Dong. After all, she had experienced such a situation before. She retrieved a medicinal bottle and shouted to Wang Dong, “Lie him down on your legs. There’s no point in crying. Saving him is the important thing now.”
“Yes.” Wang Dong’s voice was trembling. He took in a deep breath and gritted his teeth. He allowed his tears to stream down. He sat on the ground ﬁrst before laying Huo Yuhao down carefully on his legs.
Ju Zi passed the medicinal bottle to him and said, “I’ll clean the wounds while you scatter the powder on them. It’ll help stop the bleeding.” Wang Dong said, “Let me clean the wounds.” He had calmed down at this point. Compared to Ju Zi, he was familiar with Huo Yuhao. He knew that Huo Yuhao’s recuperative abilities were very strong. While his injuries were critical, he wasn’t in any real danger. He was unwilling to let someone else treat Huo Yuhao, as he didn’t trust her.
Ju Zi was furious. “Are you going to ﬁght me on this?”
Wang Dong lifted his head and glared at her. He shouted, “Let me do it!”
Ju Zi was shocked when she heard him. She was surprised that Wang Dong’s voice was crisper and even more harmonious than her own.
For some reason, she didn’t persist. Wang Dong’s hands were already moving swiftly, and his ten ﬁngers shone with dim golden light, displaying his great dexterity. He managed to quickly remove all the dirt from Huo Yuhao’s back and stitched up his wounds. Then the bleeding was stopped.
Ju Zi was silent as she opened the medicinal bottle and scattered the powder on Huo Yuhao’s wounds. There was one thing in common between her and Wang Dong. They were both crying. Wang Dong had to wipe his tears off several times with his sleeves to keep his vision from blurring. However, some of his tears still dripped onto Huo Yuhao’s mangled body.
Different scenes played out in their minds. Ju Zi thought of how Huo Yuhao had saved her in the Jing Yang Mountain Ranges, and how he looked when he was grilling meat, whereas Wang Dong recalled how Huo Yuhao had pulled him into his arms just after the Raiment of Light ended. As the two of them crashed to the ground, Huo Yuhao’s eyes were ﬁlled with resolve even though he was in pain. He did his best to prevent them from switching positions, bearing the brunt of the attack himself with his body.
The war had ended, the rebel troops were exterminated. The empire’s army completed the encirclement, with the mountain that Huo Yuhao and the rest were on at the center. Right now, the soul engineers remained standing even though they were all extremely fatigued. None of them sat down to rest. They all looked in Huo Yuhao’s direction, who was pale and unconscious on the ground. They were watching Wang Dong as he treated Huo Yuhao.
All of them knew that they would have died on the battleﬁeld if not for the two of them. They were their benefactors!
Wang Dong and Ju Zi ﬁnally completed their treatment of Huo Yuhao. They looked into each other’s eyes and saw relief within them.
Ju Zi moved over to, and squatted down beside, Wang Dong.
She whispered something in his ear. Wang Dong’s body stiffened up, and he twisted his head to look at Ju Zi. Finally, he nodded his head determinedly.
Ju Zi shut her eyes and took in a deep breath. She said, “I know.”
Wang Dong didn’t look at her again, but lifted Huo Yuhao’s arms onto his shoulders before carefully lifting him.
When Huo Yuhao regained consciousness, he discovered that he was in a huge tent. He was in a prone position. Then he saw a handsome sleeping face with tear stains beside him.
Intense, prickling pain could be felt on his back, causing Huo Yuhao to recall everything that had happened earlier.
He revealed a self-deprecating smile on his face. Who did my back offend? Why is it always the thing that gets hurt? It seems like I’ll have to create something to protect my back the next time I create soul tools. He shut his eyes, and the battle that had ensued earlier replayed itself in his mind. As he recalled what had happened, he soon realized that something went wrong.
They were very fortunate to have won. After the Goddess of Light struck, they were out of ﬁghting strength. They were only able to win because Zhao Yang wasn’t familiar with them. Their martial soul fusion skill and soul skills played very important roles.
However, they could have won easily. That was because Huo Yuhao was also a Class 6 soul engineer, in addition to being a soul master! However, he forgot about his identity as a soul engineer when he teamed up with Wang Dong in that battle. He made a huge mistake.
“It seems like I’m still a soul master at heart!” Huo Yuhao sighed.
He also realized his lack of abilities compared to an advanced-level soul master. Huo Yuhao had always believed that he could challenge a seven-ringed Soul Sage if he could beat a six-ringed Soul Emperor. However, this battle was a huge blow to him. He knew he’d been arrogant as of late because he was too used to winning.
Yes, he had beaten many ﬁve-ringed and six-ringed soul masters in the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. However, they were soul engineers, and not soul masters. Soul engineers were indeed explosive and destructive. However, Teacher Wang Yan’s words were the most accurate. In the future, the strongest soul masters would be equipped with the best soul tools. That was the only way he could truly become strong.
The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Academy had also realized this point. That was why Xiao Hongchen and Meng Hongchen had appeared. The higher-level opponents he had beaten were either soul engineers or soul masters. In reality, he was a combination of soul master and soul engineer, which gave him an advantage. To put it into perspective, would he able to defeat his eldest and third senior if they were equipped with the best soul tools?
I’m only a Soul Ancestor! Huo Yuhao repeated these words three times in his mind. The arrogance that was ﬂaming in his mind disappeared. He also started to calm down.
It was important for one to balance their psychological mindset. This was especially important for those constantly under pressure. In this he did well.
Huo Yuhao was grateful towards Elder Yi. If he hadn’t allowed him to keep the Ominous Soul-Devouring Knife, enabling him to exhibit the Life Guardian’s Blade and fuse with the immense power of the Life Gold, he would have been stripped of his skin several times over, even if he didn’t die.
His injuries weren’t as serious now compared to the other time, but they weren’t light either. Huo Yuhao had borne most of the impact from Zhao Yang’s Darkgolden Terrorpalm, hurting his internal organs. The ﬁnal crash had also inﬂicted some pretty serious injuries. It had been some time after the battle ended, and he still felt intense pain in his back. However, his passageways and internal organs were healing well. This was the effect of his immense life power. He extended one hand and touched Wang Dong’s hand. Huo Yuhao slowly initiated his soul power and poured it into Wang Dong’s body. Wang Dong’s body jerked slightly as their Haodong Power circulated.
“Yuhao, are you awake?” Wang Dong lifted his head, but he was still a little hazy.
Huo Yuhao twisted his head to look at him, “I can’t sleep forever, now can I? Did you cry?”
“No!” Wang Dong was completely awake now, and replied loudly.
Huo Yuhao laughed, “Alright, alright, of course you didn’t. You’re a man though. A man can bleed but not cry. Don’t cry so much in the future. Don’t you know that I am stubborn? How can I be killed off so easily?”
Wang Dong rolled his eyes at him, “You’re already in this state. What’s there to brag about? How are you?” Huo Yuhao laughed bitterly. “Of course I’m suffering.”
Wang Dong revealed a look of heartache. “Why were you so foolish to bear the attack by yourself?”
Huo Yuhao chortled, “I couldn’t let you bear this pain. Look at your tender and delicate skin. Mine’s all old and thick compared to your skin. Don’t worry, I’m ﬁne. But you look quite fatigued. Let’s circulate our power.”
“Alright.” Wang Dong nodded and initiated the Haodong Power to complement Huo Yuhao’s circulating soul power.
Huo Yuhao said, “You’re a little too weird like this. Get up.” As he spoke, he shifted a little to the side. However, he accidentally strained the wounds on his back, and was suddenly struck by immense pain.
“Don’t move. I can do it myself.” Wang Dong stopped him. He didn’t think too much, and laid beside Huo Yuhao. Huo Yuhao was prone and his head was to one side. Wang Dong had no choice but to lie on his side since this place was narrow. He grabbed onto Huo Yuhao’s hands and initiated his soul power.
Huo Yuhao suddenly laughed.
Wang Dong sensed the aura from him, and a dim red glow appeared on his face. “What’re you laughing at?”
Huo Yuhao chortled, “Nothing. I just think it’s a little weird that we’re looking at each other like this.”
Wang Dong, “What’s weird? I’m not even despising your small eyes yet.”
Huo Yuhao laughed, “I’m not looking down on your long eyelashes either. But they’re so long that they’re going to brush across my face.”
“You!” Wang Dong’s eyes opened wider, and he was in a daze as he stared at Huo Yuhao.
Wang Dong didn’t get back at him, but only said furiously, “On account of your injuries, I won’t beat you. Circulate your soul power quickly. You’re already in this state, and you’re still joking.”
“I can only speak like this with you.” Huo Yuhao said leisurely. As he spoke, he shut his eyes and circulated his soul power.
Wang Dong made a clown face at him before shutting his eyes too. He circulated his soul powers too.
Neither of them realized that someone was watching quietly from a slit in the opening of the tent…
Wang Dong and Huo Yuhao cultivated all the way until night fell. Huo Yuhao managed to recover signiﬁcantly via his shocking recuperative abilities. While his injuries weren’t completely healed, he was at least able to move now. It was just that he couldn’t move around too actively.
When he saw Ju Zi again, Huo Yuhao could sense that she was exhausted. She came with Ke Ke and even brought a huge box of food. Eight dishes, one soup, two piping bowls of rice. The dishes were very exquisite, and didn’t seem that they could be whipped up from the mush commonly found in the military.
“How’s your body?” Ju Zi asked Huo Yuhao. For some reason, Huo Yuhao could clearly sense that she was concealing her emotions. There seemed to be a veil covering her body.
Huo Yuhao replied, “I can move freely. Do you still think there’s anything wrong with my body?”
Chapter 192: In the Depths of the Clouds
Ju Zi glanced at Wang Dong beside Huo Yuhao and nodded. “As long as you’re alright. You should eat while the food’s hot, it’s not nice when it cools off. It’s getting late—I’ll visit again tomorrow. The higher ups in the military wanted to thank you personally, but I considered your identity and rejected them for you. It avoids unnecessary trouble this way.”
“Thank you,” Huo Yuhao replied sincerely, “We only fought to help you and Ke Ke, not for the Sun Moon Empire to quell this rebellion. It’s best that we don’t meet them.”
Ju Zi said, “Yes. Enjoy your meal, we’ll take our leave ﬁrst.” She forced a smile at Huo Yuhao before she made for the exit with a heavy heart.
Ke Ke tugged at Ju Zi’s sleeves, but she just shot her a glare. Ke Ke was typically straightforward and casual, but she seemed a little meek as she stuck her tongue out and followed Ju Zi away. Huo Yuhao watched their shadows disappear into the distance. He was a little confused as he muttered, “Why doesn’t it feel like we saved them, but like we offended them instead?”
Wang Dong smiled and said, “Can’t you tell? She really likes you, and feels very conﬂicted. However, she’s the prince’s consort, so you must be careful. Don’t drag me down with you if something happens.”
Huo Yuhao snapped, “Eat, eat. Stop spouting nonsense.” He felt a little down when he saw the expression on Ju Zi’s face, and he almost wanted to stop her to ask about it. However, he remembered that Ju Zi was the Crown Prince’s ﬁancee, and their paths ahead were destined to never intersect, so he had to swallow his emotions. It was better this way, so that he wouldn’t cause any trouble when he was supposed to let go and didn’t. This sentiment was similar to what Ju Zi had said when she sobbed beside his bed, “We should never meet again.” Both he and Ju Zi recognized the unsurmountable rift between them, and they understood it was best that they didn’t interact too much.
The food was delicious, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong were a little astounded. Four meats and four vegetables dishes, and they were all warm. It deﬁnitely wouldn’t have been easy for them to put together a meal as sumptuous as this within their military camp. The soup was thick and rich, and Huo Yuhao knew with his experience in cooking that this was a taste that could only be achieved after prepping the food for an entire day.
Wang Dong found the food delectable, but Huo Yuhao could taste more than that. Even though Ju Zi didn’t say anything to him, Huo Yuhao could taste many different things in this meal
—out of the eight dishes, three were sour, and sour to varying degrees; two were sweet, and the rest were bitter, spicy, and salty.
He could taste a mix of ﬁve different ﬂavors in a simple meal, with an emphasis on sourness and sweetness. She was the daughter of a renowned chef, so she was surely able to make these dishes the way she intended.
There was a similarly large tent not far from Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong. Ke Ke stared at Ju Zi with a confused look on her face. “Why are you acting so weird today, Ju Zi? Are you…?”
Ju Zi shook her head softly. Ke Ke dashed to the entrance and poked her head outside. She made sure that nobody was nearby before she darted back beside Ju Zi and whispered, “Have you really fallen for Huo Yuhao?”
Ju Zi glanced at her, but she still said nothing. However, Ke Ke knew the answer from the look in Ju Zi’s eyes.
“Since you like him, why did you leave back then? Why did you have to agree to marry the prince?”
Ju Zi answered plainly, “You don’t understand. There are some things that I cannot decide—my life has been drastically changed ever since my parents passed away. Emotions like these shouldn’t even be appearing in me.”
Ke Ke glared at her and said, “Then why did you work so hard to make his food?”
Ju Zi said, “I’m just trying to repay him for saving my life.” Ke Ke raised her voice a little and said, “No, that’s absolutely untrue. It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen you so focused. When you were cooking for him, your entire aura felt different—it wasn’t just focus in your eyes, I saw warmth and tenderness!”
Ju Zi shuddered. “You’re talking too loud! Do you want the entire camp to hear you?”
Ke Ke softened and said, “Don’t be so hard on yourself, Ju Zi.
What’s the point?”
Ju Zi smiled, but there was a tinge of sadness in all that beauty. “You wouldn’t understand. Did you really think I’m suitable for him? Have you forgotten that I’m older than him by a few years? What kind of person is he, and what kind of person am I? You already know my status—I’m just one of the prince’s chess pieces, and a chess piece that will be completely destroyed until it can’t be used. All I can do is play my part as a chess piece. Do I have to drag him into this mess?”
Ke Ke leaned in beside her ear. “But you can run away!” Ju Zi smiled again, but her smile was now one of despondence. “You still don’t understand. Feelings cannot bring you happiness just from wishful thinking. Perhaps he has good feelings about me, but I can tell that someone else is already in his heart. That’s not something that I can just force myself into, and that is the crux of the issue. Even if I’m willing to give my all for them, they must accept me too. Furthermore, how can I do that? I will have vengeance for the death of my parents—when they passed away that day, I swore that revenge would be the only thing motivating me to live for the rest of my life.”
Ke Ke grew silent for a while, then said, “You’re too extreme. Besides, how do you know he has someone else? Did he tell you that?”
Ju Zi shook her head and said, “He doesn’t have to tell me, I just know. You don’t need to care about this anymore—I don’t want to see him anymore. Send them away when they recover from their injuries. It’s late, you should go and rest.”
“Ju Zi…” Ke Ke was about to keep going.
“That’s an order!” Ju Zi said decisively, “Go and rest.”
Ke Ke heaved a sigh. She could clearly see that Ju Zi’s eyes were ﬁlled with tears, but she didn’t say anything more, instead she came to Ju Zi and hugged her softly before she turned around and left.
Only when Ke Ke left did the tears welling up in Ju Zi’s eyes trickle down like pearls cut from a necklace; they slid down her soft and tender cheeks.
So, this is how it feels to truly love someone. Why, why did you have to come into my life? I would’ve rather died at Zhao Yang’s hands than see you again—did you know that?
Ju Zi was shouting internally. Even though she knew very well that this was against her interests she was still replaying the various experiences she had from when they were still together in her mind.
She could vividly remember the determination in Wang Dong’s eyes when he answered her question. Even though it was just a heavy nod, it had completely severed that one last strand of hope and desire that she was so vehemently in denial of but had always been there from beginning to end.
The night went by in silence.
In the early morning, when the sun ﬁrst peeked out from the eastern horizon, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong were standing outside their tent. They faced eastwards as they inhaled and exhaled the dawn’s purple energy.
The Purple Demon Eyes relied on consistent accumulation. Huo Yuhao revealed the strongest characteristics of his body; over just one night of cultivation, the ﬂourishing life energy in his body had caused the wounds on his back to scab over. He was in a daze for a day and a night from when he was injured before he awoke, and that meant that only two days had gone by. His regenerative ability could only be called unprecedented, utterly extraordinary, and never to be duplicated.
The purple energy dissipated as Wang Dong asked, “Yuhao, I’m not very comfortable here. We are ultimately in someone else’s territory. Can you walk?”
Huo Yuhao said, “It’s not a good idea to remain here for long, as I’m unwilling to interact with the Sun Moon Empire’s military too. I will be ﬁne—it’s a pity that my ﬂying-type soul tool is broken. If not, activating and controlling it wouldn’t have been a problem.”
Wang Dong asked, “When do we leave?”
Huo Yuhao answered, “I will bid my farewells to Ju Zi and Ke Ke after breakfast, and then we’ll leave.”
Wang Dong studied Huo Yuhao’s face solemnly. He could tell that there wasn’t a forced look in Huo Yuhao’s eyes at all, and the smile on his face became wider as he said, “Alright.”
Ke Ke delivered breakfast this time. It was much simpler compared to the previous night’s feast, consisting of steamed buns, salted vegetables, porridge, and sauced meat. The meal was simple, but sufﬁcient.
“We only have this stuff left in the camp.” Ke Ke said a little apologetically.
Huo Yuhao laughed. “We aren’t privileged commoners used to living like royalty. A full stomach is enough for us. When I was young, I couldn’t even ﬁnd bread to ﬁll my stomach sometimes. How can I be picky with a fragrant and enormous white steamed bun?” He started munching on a steamed bun that was almost the size of his palm as he spoke.
Formidable life energy was one thing, but life energy also needed replenishment, and food was the optimal choice for that.
Wang Dong had a lot gentler eating mannerisms compared to Huo Yuhao. He pushed more food in front of Huo Yuhao, spread open a steamed bun, and placed the marinated meat inside before he ate.
Ke Ke sat to one side. She seemed to have already eaten breakfast, so she didn’t touch the food at all, but Ke Ke didn’t leave either.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong quickly devoured the meal. “I’m full now. Ke Ke, is Ju Zi free? My injuries are much better now, and we have some things to do. I wish to bid her farewell.” Ke Ke frowned and said, “There’s no need for that, Yuhao.
She’s very busy.”
Huo Yuhao was stunned for a while, then said, “She doesn’t even have time for a goodbye?”
Ke Ke’s eyes seemed apologetic as she stood up and said, “Come with me, Yuhao. I have something to tell you.”
Huo Yuhao said, “Wang Dong is my best friend. There is nothing you can’t say in front of him.”
Ke Ke lowered her voice and said, “No, this is something that only you should hear.”
Huo Yuhao glanced at Wang Dong, and Wang Dong said calmly, “It’s alright, go ahead. Everyone has his or her own secrets, and I don’t want to know them.”
Huo Yuhao stood up and followed Ke Ke outside. Ke Ke didn’t slow down after coming out of the tent, and she walked ten meters out of the military camp before she stopped.
“What’s wrong? Is Ju Zi in some kind of trouble?” Huo Yuhao asked.
Ke Ke shook her head and said, “I’m sorry, Yuhao. You saved our lives, and we should be repaying you in kind. But Ju Zi’s emotions are unstable, so she wants me to pass on her gratitude, and she has requested that I escort the two of you out when you want to leave. She doesn’t want to see you anymore.”
“Okay.” Huo Yuhao already understood this sentiment. He heaved a sigh inside and said, “So be it, then. Can you help me pass a message to her as well? Tell her to take care of herself.”
“That’s it?” There was a strange look in Ke Ke’s eyes as she stared at him.
Huo Yuhao forced a laugh and said, “What else can there be?” Ke Ke lowered her voice and said, “Do you not know how Ju Zi feels about you? I don’t believe that.”
Huo Yuhao quivered. “I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you’re trying to say.”
Ke Ke’s eyes were overﬂowing with displeasure. “Why are the two of you acting like that? It doesn’t have to be this way.”
Huo Yuhao sighed and said, “Ke Ke, you have to understand nobody can decide other people’s fates, everyone’s fate is in their own hands. I only saw the path that Ju Zi has chosen with more clarity after meeting you guys again. The two of us are destined to be two parallel lines.”
Ke Ke asked, “Ju Zi said you like somebody else. Is that true?”
Huo Yuhao was momentarily stunned. “I like somebody else?” The Goddess of Light’s image surfaced in his mind, and he paused before he replied, “You can say that, I guess.” Tears seemed to well up in Ke Ke’s eyes. “Ju Zi’s life is so tough, Yuhao. I really want to help her.”
Huo Yuhao said, “I’m sorry, Ke Ke. There are some things that you can’t help with even if you want to. Ju Zi has made her decision, and nobody can help her. Furthermore, feelings can’t be forced...I admit that I like her, but that’s all it is; plus, she is now the Sun Moon Empire’s prince’s ﬁancee.”
Ke Ke grew silent. She felt as if she had matured a lot in this instant, and she could sense the exasperation in Huo Yuhao’s words.
“Do you know that Ju Zi joined the military the day the two of you separated? She has relied on her status as a soul engineer to reach where she is today. She didn’t rely on the crown prince’s inﬂuence and power; she made her own way, and had consistently accumulated exemplary accomplishments. She is incredibly talented at strategy and battle tactics, and she’s currently the soul engineer regiment’s number-one staff ofﬁcer cum team leader. She will probably receive a promotion after this victory. She’s a general on the battleﬁeld with impeccable planning and calculations, and the dire situation we were in was because of a spy within our camp. However, I can tell that she isn’t happy at all. She is reserved, and she hides her unhappiness well, but I can tell. I only discovered Ju Zi’s background after joining the military… It was the crown prince who rescued her back then, and it was also the crown prince who sent her into the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. Her future is bleak.”
Huo Yuhao stared into Ke Ke’s eyes and asked, “What do you want me to do?”
Ke Ke shook her head blankly and said, “I don’t know either, all I wanted to do was to tell you everything about her. Promise me, Yuhao – if you guys meet again in the future, and she is in need, will you please help her?”
Huo Yuhao nodded gently and said, “You’re a kind and caring girl, Ke Ke. Ju Zi is lucky to have a friend like you. The two of you will always be my friends, just like this time, when we came to you without second thoughts. When you guys are in danger or trouble, I will deﬁnitely help you if I’m around. However, I want you to pass a message to Ju Zi – the Sun Moon Empire is ambitious, and she has also been blinded by vengeance and hatred. I do not wish for the day to come when we meet on the battleﬁeld. If she’s willing, the Tang Sect will always be open to her. Even the Sun Moon Empire’s crown prince can’t reach or threaten her inside Shrek City.”
Ke Ke’s eyes sparkled as she nodded lightly. She knew that Huo Yuhao’s answer was already extremely satisfactory.
“Thank you, Yuhao. I will pass your message to her. The only thing is that her stubbornness and obstinacy has taken root deep inside her, and I can only slowly inﬂuence her from the side.”
Huo Yuhao smiled. “The Tang Sect will always welcome you too. If you guys are willing to give everything up and join us, I can cook for you too. I can make all the delicious food that you guys love to eat.”
“Alright.” Ke Ke answered heartily as she swallowed despite herself. She had been overthinking the entire morning, and hadn’t eaten breakfast.
Ke Ke sent Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong out of the camp discreetly, and avoided attracting anyone’s attention. If not for Ju Zi’s status as the crown prince’s ﬁancee, the military would have tried everything to keep Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong at whatever cost after their formidable display of abilities in front of everyone. Such powerful soul masters would be an unstoppable force on the battleﬁeld if they joined the army. They were powerful enough to kill mighty Soul Sages – how incredible was that?
Ju Zi didn’t report Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s identity as students from Shrek Academy, and she only said that they were her classmates from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. She was the crown prince’s consort, so she held everyone back, and didn’t allow them to disturb Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong.
A pair of pretty eyes gazed far into the horizon from an observatory tower that was almost thirty meters high and watched as two ﬁgures walked out of the camp and gradually disappeared into the distance. Her vision was blurry as tears dripped from her eyes, and her red lips twitched as she mouthed, “Take care.” She didn’t make a real sound at all.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong didn’t hurry along after leaving the military camp. After all, the wounds on Huo Yuhao’s back had yet to completely recover, and they were afraid of tearing them open again. However, he had another idea – he attached soul thrusters to his feet and skated forward, while Wang Dong followed closely by his side, so their movement speed wasn’t that slow.
They had requested a map from Ke Ke before they left. They wouldn’t get lost again, and they proceeded east as they went straight for the Sun Moon Empire’s eastern border, connected to the Heavenly Soul Empire.
Not being able to use ﬂying-type soul tools was ultimately more troublesome. They travelled for a day, but realized that their movement was simply too slow. They decided to ﬁnd a place to rest, while Huo Yuhao used the materials that he carried with him to forge another soul tool.
It took him two days to recreate another soul tool that was identical to the one before, and Huo Yuhao recovered from his injuries completely in that time.
They returned to their path, and they could ﬁnally soar through the skies. Their speed was greatly boosted as they quickly rocketed across the border and entered the Heavenly Soul Empire’s territory. Wang Dong became the navigator once they entered the Heavenly Soul Empire. They ﬂew deep into the Heavenly Soul Empire with the help of the map, and it seemed like their destination was the Heavenly Soul Empire’s capital, Heaven Dou City.
“Wang Dong, is your home actually inside Heaven Dou City?” Huo Yuhao asked curiously.
Wang Dong leaned against a tree to rest after eating some roasted meat that Huo Yuhao had made when they stopped to rest.
Wang Dong shook his head and chortled, “I told you before, my home is hidden somewhere deep in the clouds. Where are the clouds in Heaven Dou City? You’ll know if you just follow me. However, my house is indeed not far from Heaven Dou City.”
Huo Yuhao said, “It’s my ﬁrst time visiting your house. Do I have to buy something for your family? You still haven’t told me what it is that your family actually does, even now. Are you even a bro?! You can’t possibly be waiting for me to embarrass myself, can you?”
Wang Dong giggled and said, “Yes! You guessed even that.
You have some standards, after all.”
Huo Yuhao said angrily, “What’s in it for you if I embarrass myself? I’m your friend, and it will look bad for you if I embarrass myself. Furthermore, you still have to introduce your sister to me. If I leave a terrible impression on your family members, how will I continue mixing with them in the future?”
Wang Dong laughed and said, “Oh, please. Don’t worry, my family members are friendly, and they don’t really have many traditional formalities. All you have to do is be there. However, my sister is the pearl of the family. I talked about you when I last returned home, and I think they will evaluate you a little while you’re there. You should keep your spirits up.”
Huo Yuhao nodded and said, “Deﬁnitely. I’m not that bad.”
Wang Dong said seriously, “Yuhao, if you want to marry my sister in the future, your performance must be stellar, as my family members are extremely picky. I gave you a ‘vaccination’, so don’t be afraid or show weakness when the time comes. My family members are also soul masters, so I imagine they will also test your abilities and your ﬁghting strength. Of course, they are more concerned about your personality.”
Huo Yuhao became more confused the more Wang Dong talked. He wanted to ask more questions, but Wang Dong refused to say anything more, so he decided to stop, as they would be arriving soon anyway.
They ﬂew through the sky at an amazing speed. Huo Yuhao was quite a distance away from Wang Dong in cultivation level, but his soul power was incredibly resilient. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been able to chase Wang Dong for so long back then. The two of them rested for a while every two hours and strolled for a bit to recover their soul power before they continued to ﬂy. They were taught a painful lesson when they met Ju Zi, so they maintained their soul power at seventy percent as they ﬂew so that they would have enough to face any unexpected circumstances.
Just as Wang Dong had remarked, his house was inside the Heavenly Soul Empire, and it wasn’t far from the Heavenly Soul Empire’s capital, Heaven Dou City. An enormous mountain appeared in the distance. This peak was majestic, and the mountain’s topography seemed steep and perilous. From a distance, the mountain appeared to have three sides that stretched upward vertically, as if they had been carved by a knife. Only one side was relatively ﬂatter, but that was only relative to the other three sides. Normal people would have a very difﬁcult time climbing this mountain. Only the relatively gentler slope had layers of vegetation growing along its surface.
The surrounding mountains meandered around this steeply sloped peak. However, even the tallest of the surrounding mountains only reached halfway up this kingly summit. An ocean of clouds drifted above the range of mountains, but an onlooker could only see the part of this peak that was below the sea of clouds; one would have to rise above the clouds to see what was above.
“We must be here. Truly hidden somewhere in the clouds!” Huo Yuhao exclaimed in awe. It wasn’t difﬁcult for him to guess that they were nearing Wang Dong’s home with a sight as spectacular as this. However, what was up with this family? They actually built their home on a peak as steep as this!
This was the ﬁrst time Huo Yuhao had ever come across something as magniﬁcent as this. Furthermore, Wang Dong’s home was also there!
Wang Dong giggled and said, “Bingo! Let’s ﬂy up. Do you think your ﬂying-type soul tool can go that far up?” Huo Yuhao said, “I don’t think it’ll be a problem. The only thing is that we will consume more and more soul power the higher we go. Why don’t we ﬂy to the mountain’s waist, and then climb up? It’ll be safer that way.”
Wang Dong nodded and said, “Alright, let’s go then. Time to go home!” He shouted the last four words excitedly.
They unleashed their soul power and surged straight towards the steepest peak in the mountains. The distance was truly hard to gauge; it seemed from a distance that they were quite near, but it took them ﬁfteen minutes just to reach it. Huo Yuhao could feel the immense pressure from the towering peak becoming stronger as they got closer. Its majesty and how tall it was made it seem like a sky pillar connecting the heavens to the earth.
They arrived on a smooth slope, and Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong withdrew the ﬂying-type soul tools on their backs. Huo Yuhao looked around, feeling as if the clouds were right above his head, and he could touch them if he reached up.
Even this place was probably two thousand meters above sea level, and he still had no idea how high this peak actually was above the ocean of clouds.
He couldn’t wait to reach the top and look down at the all the tiny mountains below him. Huo Yuhao felt a rising elation in his heart, and couldn’t resist howling into the sky.
This howl echoed through the clouds, and even caused the surrounding mists to quiver and dissipate. Huo Yuhao’s eyes unwittingly turned golden as he gazed at the shifting clouds, and he sat down subconsciously. He seemed to grasp something at this moment, and his spiritual sea was faintly stimulated – it started to imitate the ocean of clouds drifting around.
The boundless spiritual sea could also be an ocean of clouds!
He sat there with his legs crossed as he stared into the distance with sparkling eyes. His entire body stopped moving.
Wang Dong landed on the mountain one step after Huo Yuhao did, and he immediately detected Huo Yuhao’s sudden transformation. Others would probably urge Huo Yuhao to hurry up the mountain, but not him. He was too familiar with Huo Yuhao, and Wang Dong immediately realized after observing the look in his eyes and the soul power rippling through his body that something was happening to Huo Yuhao.
Sudden enlightenment? Is this the sudden enlightenment that our teacher talked about?
Wang Dong vividly remembered that Elder Mu had once said soul masters could gain more from a single moment of sudden enlightenment than from ten years of toiling cultivation. Such a thing wouldn’t boost your cultivation – it pushed the boundaries back. For spiritual-type soul masters like Huo Yuhao, pushing one’s boundaries and widening the ambit was slightly more important.
Why was he able to use Sovereign’s Descent to suppress Ji Juechen? Because the Sovereign’s Descent was in a far higher realm than Ji Juechen’s self-invented sword mantra.
Huo Yuhao had a great teacher, but Elder Mu didn’t guide him according to his own path. Instead, he had helped Huo Yuhao search for the path that was most suitable for him. And at this moment, he was experiencing sudden enlightenment. Wang Dong was a little exasperated, but he was more than happy for him. He would never risk disturbing or interrupting Huo Yuhao in a time like this, as one would never know when the next sudden enlightenment would come if he missed this opportunity.
The Radiant Butterﬂy Goddess’ wings unfolded, and Wang Dong turned around before he ﬂapped his wings and ﬂew through the layer of clouds. He turned back around after a moment, sat down beside Huo Yuhao, and followed his gaze, staring far off into the ocean of clouds.
After another moment, gray ﬁgures emerged soundlessly from within the clouds, and they formed a circle around Huo Yuhao at a distance when Wang Dong signaled to them. Every one of them looked high-spirited, and were between twenty- ﬁve to thirty-ﬁve years old. All of their eyes sparkled, and over twenty of them quickly formed a strict and orderly formation.
Wang Dong whispered, “Remain here to protect him. Don’t let anybody or anything disturb him, do you understand? I’m going to visit my eldest uncle and second uncle.” All the grey-cloaked ﬁgures bowed toward him respectfully, and didn’t make a single sound as they faced outward, their backs to Huo Yuhao.
Wang Dong glanced at Huo Yuhao one more time, and then soared away through the clouds only after he ensured that Huo Yuhao was all right.
Huo Yuhao himself didn’t know what kind of state he was currently in. All he could feel was that his mind was a complete blank, while his spiritual sea rippled faintly and rhythmically. His spiritual sea was originally liquid, but a golden mist now began to evaporate from its surface. The mist was pale and thin, but it imitated the ocean of clouds before him and gradually took its form.
The sea was boundless, and had no end. The transformation in his spiritual power wasn’t as vigorous as the last qualitative change, but it gave Huo Yuhao a different sensation. His sudden enlightenment was best described with two words: transformation and conversion.
He had always been using his spiritual power directly. Spiritual power had always been a force that was similar in nature to soul power to him. However, he now began to grasp another form of spiritual power at this moment as he experienced a fundamental change in his understanding of it.
Spiritual power was different from soul power. Spiritual power was at a higher level, but it couldn’t be used directly and activated like soul power could. The circulation of spiritual power was also empirically different from soul power circulation – soul power emphasized absorbing the vitality of heaven and earth for personal use, and it was a force that was born from a martial soul. On the other hand, spiritual power was a representation of the power of one’s spirit. It was something that every living thing possessed, and it was also one of the most empirical and original forces, while also the foundation for one’s ability to activate soul power.
His spiritual sea was converted into vapor from liquid form. The transformation wasn’t that great, because it seemed aqueous anyway. However, this transformation process was invaluable for Huo Yuhao. It meant that he would gradually have more control over his spiritual power, and he could better grasp the fusion between his spiritual power and his soul skills. This didn’t just represent using Sovereign’s Descent to merge them together. He would obtain a deeper understanding on a spiritual level, so that he could have more control over everything.
Wang Dong returned after about an hour to Huo Yuhao’s side. Just when he was preparing himself to wait for as long as he needed, Huo Yuhao’s body shifted, and the golden light in his eyes slowly receded.
Is it over? So fast? Wang Dong didn’t know that Huo Yuhao was in a meditative state for almost half a year because of his spirit’s qualitative change, so he didn’t know that Huo Yuhao’s spiritual power had already gone through a qualitative change. This sudden enlightenment only helped him better understand his spiritual power.
A layer of pale white mist rose from Huo Yuhao’s body. The winds billowing through the mountains were strong, but they couldn’t touch this mist coming from his body. The white mist slowly drifted upwards, and gradually took the form a clean and white ﬂower above his head.
Huo Yuhao raised his head and took in a deep breath. The enormous white ﬂower reverted to a misty sphere and ﬂowed in through his nose. “Hey!” Huo Yuhao suddenly roared into the sky. The layer of misty golden light ﬂowed out from his body in that instant – yes, from his entire body, and not just his head.
During the process of the golden light mist’s eruption, Wang Dong and the grey-cloaked ﬁgures on guard could feel their spirits go dim, as everything around them became murky and blurry.
Huo Yuhao withdrew his mind and heart, while his eyes ﬂowed with divine light. The Eye of Destiny on his forehead opened, and the permeating golden light mist instantly transformed into specks of ﬂowing light as they returned to his body.
He raised his head and gazed at the rolling clouds above him. He opened his eyes wide, as a purple-gold radiance ﬂickered once and disappeared. Light didn’t come out this time, but his Spirit Eyes were now a different color. A tremendous whirlpool appeared in the ocean of clouds in the distance and spun vigorously. The whirlpool caused the clouds and mist around it to surge through the sky, and went on for about ten seconds before it was swallowed by the sprawling ocean of clouds once more. “Oh…” Huo Yuhao reoriented himself, and there was only elation in his eyes. This sudden enlightenment undoubtedly gave him more control over his spiritual power, and that would be beneﬁcial for his cultivation. Having more control over his spirit meant he would have better control over using his spiritual power to manipulate soul power, and better control naturally meant a faster cultivation speed.
When he suddenly discovered the grey-cloaked people around him, he immediately felt everyone staring at him as if he were a monster. It was clear that they had no clue what had just transpired.
Not even Wang Dong, who was beside Huo Yuhao, knew what had happened.
“Are you alright, Yuhao?” Wang Dong’s voice lowered the alarm and guard that Huo Yuhao had just raised.
“I’m alright. I think I suddenly understood something – I think this is what our teacher referred to as sudden enlightenment,” Huo Yuhao scratched his head as he spoke with a little embarrassment. Wang Dong snapped, “Don’t you feel ashamed saying that? Your sudden enlightenment is ﬁne, but you made me so worried! Thankfully, it didn’t take very long.”
Huo Yuhao chuckled and said, “I have to grasp the opportunity when it comes my way. Sorry, sorry. Are these your family members?” He pointed at the grey-cloaked people around them as he spoke.
Wang Dong nodded and said, “Yes.” He turned towards the grey-cloaked people and said, “Thank you, everyone. You can go back now.”
“Yes.” The grey-cloaked individuals ﬁnally spoke, their voices were organized and uniform. Nobody asked any questions, and it was obvious that they were extremely respectful toward Wang Dong. They leapt into the sky and vanished among the clouds.