Book 6: Graduating
Chapter 33: Two Soul Bones
Du Weilun was extremely pleased with Huo Yuhao’s attitude. Nodding his head, the large red gem on his right hand ﬂashed, causing a leather bag to appear in his hands.
The leather bag seemed to be a soul tool, as there were a few dark-colored patterns inscribed on the brown bag, and Huo Yuhao was able to sense minute undulations of soul power from it.
Du Weilun said, “Children, seeing as how you were able to defeat three Soul Elders, and have become the champions of the freshmen assessment, I’ve requested that the Academy make an exception and give you another prize. However, there’s only a single prize—which means that you’ll have to choose who to give it to. At the same time, this is the most valuable prize that the Academy has given out in the past three hundred years. Take a look.” After he’d ﬁnished speaking, he handed the leather bag to Wang Dong.
Wang Dong reached out his hand and received the leather bag. At that moment, he was still feeling somewhat downcast due to Huo Yuhao’s inability to become a core disciple. As a
result of this, his excitement towards the reward had dulled greatly. When he’d received the leather bag, he subconsciously untied the string holding it closed.
A ball of yellow light was instantly released from the leather bag without any warning. Under the astonished gazes of Huo Yuhao’s trio, it slowly rose into the air.
It was a small yet exquisite bone that seemed to be about the size of one’s palm. It radiated a pale yellow light, which caused the heartbeats of Huo Yuhao’s trio to palpate the instant they saw it. The strong undulations of soul power it emanated caused the air within the ofﬁce to seemingly become viscous. This was the ﬁrst time that they’d experienced a strange feeling like this.
“This, this is… a soul bone?” Wang Dong asked, an astonished look on his face. Even though Du Weilun had hinted that their prize was extremely valuable, they’d never even thought that it’d be a soul bone. This was a soul bone! This was something that was a hundred times more valuable than a soul ring to a soul master!
A soul ring was an energy-based object that would always appear when a soul beast died, but the chances of a soul bone appearing were less than one in ten thousand. Even though higher ranked soul beasts had a higher chance to drop soul bones, only hundred thousand year soul beasts were guaranteed to drop soul bones.
If a soul master managed to obtain a soul bone, their strength would immediately go up a level, which would allow them to have an enormous advantage against other soul masters of the same rank. However, a soul master could only have six soul bones at most: The head bone, the torso bone, and the four limb bones. Of the six possible soul bones one could have, the most valuable one was the torso bone. However, it was also the rarest among the six. The head bone was the second most valuable, while the four limb bones were slightly less precious.
Even though that was the case, a soul bone would always be the most precious item at a country’s auction when it was present, regardless of which country the auction was held in. Furthermore, there wasn’t a market where one could simply buy a soul bone. One would need a hundred thousand gold soul coins, at the very minimum, in order to stand a chance at buying one in an auction. More often than not, one would need to barter to obtain a soul bone.
Regardless of how rich Shrek Academy was, they still didn’t have that many soul bones stored away. Only the most outstanding students, or students who’d performed extraordinarily meritorious deeds, would have a chance at obtaining a soul bone as a reward. When the Academy handed out a reward such as this, it signiﬁed that they thought that the beneﬁts and inﬂuence they’d gain in the future outweighed the cost of the soul bone.
Huo Yuhao still had some resentment buried deep in his heart from not being made a core disciple. However, the instant he saw the soul bone, both it and the threshold in his heart gradually disappeared. It wasn’t because it was something that he desired, but rather because it allowed him to realise how fair the Academy was.
He hadn’t been able to become a core disciple of the Martial Soul Department, yet could the Academy be blamed for being unfair? After all, he only had a single soul ring! Freshmen with higher cultivations than him were commonplace, and even though he was a member of the champion team, he had only been a bystander in the eyes of those watching. His ﬁrst soul ring was also only a white one. If he’d been placed in Du Weilun’s position, would he have been willing to let himself become a core disciple?
The knot in his heart had already begun to undo itself, thus Huo Yuhao’s expression began to relax more and more. Following that, his original stifﬂy respectful attitude became much more natural.
Du Weilun smiled. “Didn’t expect that, eh? Correct, your prize is a soul bone. However, you all should know just how valuable soul bones are. Because of this, there’s only a single one despite there being three of you. As such, you’ll have to decide who to give it to after you get back. However, don’t let this soul bone affect your friendship. Even though soul bones are hard to ﬁnd, good companions are even rarer than soul bones. Now then, I’ll give you guys a quick rundown of this soul bone.”
“This soul bone is something that I chose especially for you guys, as both assault-type and control-type soul masters can use it. It’s a left leg bone known as the ‘Emptybright Devil Leopard’s Left Leg Bone’. After fusing with it, a soul master will experience an increase in speed, as well as obtain an offensive skill that can be activated using their left leg. However, the greatest beneﬁt of this soul bone lies in the fact that it will produce different skills when fused with different martial souls. However, it’ll deﬁnitely be suitable for all three of you. I’ll give it to you now, along with this leather bag. The
leather bag can conceal the soul power undulations generated by the soul bone. You should fuse with it as quickly as possible as, even though the Academy grounds are extremely safe, a precious treasure can doom an innocent man. Also, you’ll have to keep this a secret for the Academy. Now then, I trust that
you’ll know what to do.”
After putting the soul bone away, Du Weilun sent them off. The trio respectfully bid him farewell as they left the school building.
The instant they stepped out of the building, they all simultaneously stopped walking. Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao all glanced towards one other, afterwich Xiao Xiao said, “Let’s give it to Yuhao.”
Wang Dong nodded. “I agree.”
After saying this, the two looked towards Huo Yuhao. Wang Dong had already placed the leather bag in front of him. In terms of individual strength, there was no doubt that Huo Yuhao was currently the weakest of the three. If he obtained this left leg soul bone, he’d ﬁnally possess an attacking skill. Combined with the increase in speed he’d receive from fusing
with the soul bone, Huo Yuhao would immediately have the strength to contend against the other core disciples.
However, Huo Yuhao resolutely shook his head. “No, I can’t have this soul bone. Wang Dong, have you forgotten the concept of ‘ladies ﬁrst’? We have to give this soul bone to Xiao Xiao. This is only our ﬁrst assessment in the Academy. So long as we work even harder and obtain even better results, we’ll deﬁnitely receive another soul bone as a reward. Of the three of us, Xiao Xiao is the only girl. You both recognise me as your team leader, so how could I take something as good as this away from the both of you?”
Although he was quite young, he could tell that Du Weilun hadn’t planned to give this soul bone to him. Furthermore, it was as he’d said. As a leader, how could he reap all the beneﬁts for himself?
Xiao Xiao was stunned. “Yuhao, you can’t be like this. You played the most important role in our matches. At the same time, you’re the person who needs this soul bone the most!”
Huo Yuhao simply smiled. “Xiao Xiao, you don’t need to say anything else. I’ve already decided. No matter what, I don’t
want this soul bone. Haven’t you at least thought about it? It’s true that I might be able to obtain an attacking-type skill when I fuse with this soul bone, but I’m a mental-type soul master; having a skill like that might not be a good thing for me! I need to work even harder, and use my own ability to become even stronger. Giving me a soul bone right now might unwittingly make me overly reliant on the attack power it gives me, but you’re a different story. Even though you have twin martial souls, an increase in speed is deﬁnitely the best beneﬁt you could receive right now, as an increase in speed would make it much safer for you to activate your two Tool Souls on the battleﬁeld. I’ve already thought it through; this soul bone is most suited for you, there’s no doubt about it. Ladies ﬁrst, you don’t have to be polite.”
Wang Dong looked at Huo Yuhao, then glanced at Xiao Xiao. Helpless, he said, “Yuhao, you’re valuing a lover over your friend!”
Xiao Xiao giggled. “Save it, you. To him, you’re the lover and I’m the friend. It’s ﬁne if a girl and a guy hug each other during a fusion skill, but you two guys hug each other for yours, hehe.”
Wang Dong immediately ﬂew into a rage and threw the leather bag that contained the soul bone towards Xiao Xiao. Xiao Xiao caught it and continued to laugh. “I won’t be polite then. If we get another soul bone as a team, one of you two can have it.”
After she’d ﬁnished speaking, she put the soul bone away in her storage-type soul tool. An inconcealable smile of excitement had appeared on her face.
Wang Dong turned to Huo Yuhao. “Yuhao, you weren’t able to become a core disciple. This….”
Huo Yuhao shook his head. “You don’t have to say anything, I’m ﬁne. I’ve already thought it through. Even though I might have the qualiﬁcations to be a core disciple when I’m together with you, what about when I’m alone? Would I still be able to defeat my enemies? If my opponent had an area of effect ability and was wary of my Spiritual Shock, I deﬁnitely wouldn’t even have a chance at beating him without your help. The Academy not choosing me as a core disciple was a fair decision. Thus, I need to work even harder to prove myself.”
“Well said.” A voice that was familiar, yet made them shudder, suddenly rang out. They turned to see Zhou Yi slowly approaching them.
“Teacher Zhou.” Huo Yuhao’s trio couldn’t help but feel astonished. Wasn’t Teacher Zhou supposed to have taken the students of Class 1 back to the school buildings with Teacher Wang? Why had she suddenly appeared here?
Zhou Yi looked deeply towards Huo Yuhao, then revealed a rarely-seen look of gratiﬁcation and satisfaction. “Yuhao, I came to see you. I didn’t think that you’d be able to ﬁgure it out by yourself. However, I’m very happy; you’re worthy to be called a disciple of mine. Oh, right. Since you guys were able to become the champions of the freshman tournament, I have a present for you as well.” After she ﬁnished speaking, the storage-type soul tool on her hand, which was in the form of a silver bracelet, ﬂashed. A leather bag appeared in her hands, and she passed it to Huo Yuhao.
The leather bag was virtually identical to the one that Director Du Weilun had given them, which instantly ﬂabbergasted Huo Yuhao’s trio.
“It can’t be?” The three said in unison.
Zhou Yi was stunned as well. “What can’t be?”
Xiao Xiao speechlessly took out the leather bag containing the Emptybright Devil Leopard’s Left Leg Bone that she’d just put away. They needed to keep it a secret from other students, but why would they hide it from the teacher in charge of their class?
Zhou Yi was instantly astonished. “This is...? Is this the prize the school gave you?”
Huo Yuhao’s trio simultaneously nodded.
A trace of excitement appeared in Zhou Yi’s eyes. “It’s no wonder that Director Du was being so secretive. He’d actually planned to give you something as valuable as this. What soul bone is this?”
Huo Yuhao gave her a brief explanation of its abilities, and told her that they planned to give it to Xiao Xiao.
Zhou Yi nodded. “You’re all good kids! You have to know, even Soul Emperor—or even Soul Douluo-ranked experts— would ﬁnd it hard to remain calm when they were facing a soul bone! I’m only giving you another soul bone because you deserve it. Do you still remember that match you guys had with Ning Tian, Wu Feng, and Nanmen Yun’er? During that match, I made a bet with their teacher; that’s how I won this soul bone. It’s a relatively poor quality soul bone, but it has the
ability to fuse with other soul bones. If you can ﬁnd two more soul bones that have similar attributes to this one, you can fuse them together with this one. It’s a priceless treasure to someone who needs it, but the chances of you being able able to obtain two other soul bones with similar attributes to this one are simply too small. Thus, I’d suggest you fuse with it right away. It’s a left arm bone, and it’s known as the Secret Law Soul’s Left Arm Bone. Actually... this can’t really be considered a true soul bone, as it wasn’t produced by a single soul beast.”
“This Secret Law Soul Bone was obtained through a special, yet brutal method. To obtain a single Secret Law Soul Bone, one has to kill a hundred soul beasts of the same type within an hour, then use a secret technique to activate all of their soul rings at the same time. Even then, there’s only a 10% chance that it will produce this soul bone. It’s a relatively simple method of obtaining a soul bone, but due to its low success rate and brutality, very few soul masters do it. If you directly fuse with it, it’ll increase your soul power by 5%. It doesn’t sound like much, but this increase will always be there, regardless of your cultivation rank. Once your cultivation rank has increased, its effects will become much more obvious.”
Huo Yuhao received the leather bag that Zhou Yi gave him, then turned to Wang Dong. However, Wang Dong immediately
faced away from him. “Don’t look at me, I don’t want it. Don’t you think that it’s a little bit too ordinary for me?”
Huo Yuhao felt touched when he saw Wang Dong’s seemingly arrogant expression. Naturally, he knew that Wang Dong was deliberately doing this to give the soul bone to him. It was just as he’d previously said to Xiao Xiao; it’d be no big deal to split it among themselves if they obtained one in the future. However, obtaining a soul bone was easier said than done! At the same time, who knew when they’d get another soul bone?
Wang Dong’s cheek became rosy under the rays of the sun, which added a faint layer of light to his face. Although he’d turned away, Huo Yuhao could still see the determination in his eyes. He could sense that Wang Dong was trying to make up for the injustices he’d suffered, thus he didn’t refuse the soul bone again. He carefully put the Secret Law Soul’s soul bone away while burying the feelings of brotherly love deep in his heart. Sometimes, the love between brothers wasn’t said out loud, but shown through actions.
“En, this soul bone will be quite useful. Let’s hang onto it for now, I’ll help you use it soon.” The Skydream Iceworm’s voice rang out in Huo Yuhao’s mind without any prior warning, jolting him.
“Brother Skydream.” Hearing its voice, Huo Yuhao immediately felt as if he’d seen a close relative of his. The grievances he’d suppressed for so long immediately exploded out, causing his eyes to turn somewhat red. However, Zhou Yi, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao naturally assumed that he’d been
moved by Wang Dong’s actions.
The Skydream Iceworm spoke unhappily, “Little Yuhao, don’t feel so down. You naturally have this brother supporting you. Those humans are so short-sighted, thinking that this brother’s soul ring is a ten year one. Humph, you don’t have to worry. In a few years, I’ll make them tremble when they see this ten year soul ring. I’m going to repeat this again—quickly raise your soul power to Rank 20. When that time comes, I’ll make sure that no one dares to look down on you.”
“En, I’ll deﬁnitely get to Rank 20 as quickly as possible. I’ll deﬁnitely get there before I graduate from Year 1.” The tension in his heart had disappeared, but he still felt a sense of urgency from not being able to become a core disciple. With his current cultivation, it was deﬁnitely hard to say whether or not he could continue his studies within Shrek Academy.
Zhou Yi said, “Wang Dong, go back with Xiao Xiao ﬁrst. I have some things I need to say to Huo Yuhao.”
Wang Dong looked towards Huo Yuhao, his large, beautiful eyes full of encouragement. He waved his ﬁst towards Huo Yuhao, then walked away with Xiao Xiao.
Zhou Yi walked over to Huo Yuhao and grabbed his arm with her right hand. Immediately afterwards, Huo Yuhao once again experienced the feeling of ﬂying through the clouds.
Not long afterwards, Zhou Yi stopped. To his astonishment, Huo Yuhao discovered that they’d arrived back at the Soul Tool Testing Area. This place had left a deep impression on him the last time he’d come here; it’d also solidiﬁed his wish to study the creation and utilisation of soul tools. At this moment, he naturally knew what returning here signiﬁed.
“Teacher Zhou, is Teacher Fan Yu willing to accept me as his disciple?” Huo Yuhao asked, a trace of surprise present in his voice.
Zhou Yi nodded slightly. “You’re a smart child. However, I must warn you. Because you’re a ﬁrst year, your current cultivation puts you in a very dangerous position. The minimum requirement to become a second year student is to have two soul rings, thus you’ll have to get your second one by the end of your ﬁrst year. I don’t have any objections towards you cultivating the art of soul tools along with you continuing your studies in the Martial Soul Department, but you still need to have a good foundation in the ﬁeld of martial souls, even if you decide to specialise in soul tools in the future. As such, you’ll have to manage your time rationally.”
Zhou Yi brought Huo Yuhao into the Soul Tool Testing Area as she spoke.
The sturdy-bodied Fan Yu quickly walked over to them when they walked in. Compared to the cold and stern face he’d had last time, the current Fan Yu had a much gentler expression on his face. He took the initiative to pat Huo Yuhao on the shoulder and said, “I watched the ﬁnals of your freshmen assessment. It was extremely brilliant, you did very well.”
Zhou Yi looked at Fan Yu with a somewhat stupeﬁed look on her face. Although she seemed like a strict person on the outside, she was actually a warm-hearted person on the inside.
On the other hand, she understood Fan Yu’s personality very well; he was a person who rarely complimented other people, and was also incomparably arrogant on the inside. Huo Yuhao was only a ﬁrst year student, therefore it was no small thing for him to be praised so highly by Fan Yu.
“Greetings, Teacher Fan Yu.” Huo Yuhao greeted Fan Yu respectfully.
Fan Yu nodded. “I’ve heard from Zhou Yi that your Spiritual Detection has improved a lot. Come, let’s try it out.” A person like Fan Yu, who’d devoted his entire life to research, was always straightforward when dealing with things.
“Alright.” As his pure white million year soul ring rose from his feet, Huo Yuhao’s pupils turned pale gold. An extremely minute amount of pale gold ﬂashed through his white soul ring, but nobody managed to notice it.
Huo Yuhao instantly released his Spiritual Detection, encapsulating everything within a ﬁfty meter diameter.
When he sensed the omni-directional three-dimensional image appear in his mind, Fan Yu nodded in satisfaction. “En, it’s actually improved by quite a bit. It’s no wonder you guys were able to become the champions of the freshmen assessment. With your Spiritual Detection, you guys would’ve deﬁnitely been able to predict all of your opponent’s movements. Eh…?”
As he spoke, Fan Yu suddenly realised that the image of the Spiritual Detection in his mind was changing. The originally omni-directional image had begun to shrink towards a single direction, but its range was gradually increasing. This strange feeling of having one’s senses extended was simply too magical.
Zhou Yi was also under the effects of Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection Sharing, thus she felt it too. Her eyes immediately widened, and she cried out involuntarily, “How are you doing this?!”
Huo Yuhao saw the astonished gazes of the two teachers, but didn’t reply; when he was focusing his Spiritual Detection towards a single direction, he had to concentrate intensely.
Finally, when the range of his Spiritual Detection had reached its limit, he stopped, then cancelled the activation of his soul skill.
Fan Yu looked at him, a ﬁerce gaze in his eyes. “A hundred and twenty one meters. Very good, you’ve done what I asked you to do. Yuhao, let me ask you this: Will the range of your Spiritual Detection continue to increase along with your cultivation?”
After hesitating for a moment, Huo Yuhao nodded.
“Good!” Fan Yu shouted loudly, jolting both Huo Yuhao and Zhou Yi.
Fan Yu patted Huo Yuhao’s shoulder again. “Follow me.” With that, he turned around and walked back towards the Testing Area with large strides.
“Caitou, come here.” Fan Yu waved his hand, causing He Caitou—who Huo Yuhao had previously seen—to quickly run over. The moment he saw Huo Yuhao, he immediately shouted in a surprised tone, “It’s you! Huo Yuhao, long time no see!”
Huo Yuhao smiled when he saw He Caitou’s simple face. “How are you, brother He? You look even sturdier today.”
It was true; the dark-skinned He Caitou basically had the physique of an adult at this point. His muscles were rugged, while his robust body wasn’t far off from Fan Yu’s.
Fan Yu continued, “Caitou, show Yuhao the power of soul masters from the Soul Tool Department. You don’t need to hold back.”
“Sure!” He Caitou clearly became somewhat excited. He quickly shed his upper garments, revealing his sturdy body. After doing so, he did something that ﬂabbergasted Huo Yuhao.
He Caitou’s hands ﬂew about his body as he slapped the belt on his waist unceasingly. This caused countless strange metal objects to ﬂy out from his storage belt, which he then equipped.
It took less than ten seconds for him to ﬁnish equipping himself with the strange metal objects. The current him was completely covered in pieces of black metal, however Huo Yuhao naturally had no idea what the black metal was or what it was used for.
Afterwards, He Caitou’s body glowed, and his three soul rings lit up. He had two yellow and one purple soul rings—the optimum combination of soul rings. Immediately afterwards, his ﬁrst soul ring lit up, causing a two or so centimeter long thick yellow object that was as long as an adult’s palm to appear in his mouth.
He casually raised his left hand, and a spark appeared on the black metal covering his hand. The thick, long object in his mouth lit up, in turn causing white smoke to rise into the air.
Huo Yuhao’s facial muscles twitched violently, but he forcefully stopped himself from laughing. The thing in He Caitou’s mouth was simply too similar to a freshly baked, piping hot… turd….
Naturally, the object seemed to have a much harder texture….
At that moment, He Caitou’s cheeks suddenly bulged, like he’d forcefully inhaled something. Afterwards, a cloud of smoke left his mouth. With the “turd” still in his mouth, he walked into the Testing Area.
Even though Huo Yuhao was stunned by the strange effect of He Caitou’s martial soul, he hurried to activate his Spiritual Detection to observe He Caitou’s movements more carefully, as the omnidirectional three-dimensional image allowed him to sense things around him much more clearly.
The instant he activated his Spiritual Detection, Huo Yuhao immediately sensed that something was amiss. He discovered that the testing area seemed to have come alive, as large metallic balls with diameters of at least half-a-meter had begun to appear from all directions.
“Brother He, be careful!” Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but cry out.
He Caitou turned towards him, then smiled and gave him a thumbs up. Immediately afterwards, He Caitou’s aura drastically changed.
The normally straightforward He Caitou’s gaze suddenly became sharp as he moved the ‘turd’ in his mouth to the side and breathed in deeply. Afterwards, his movements instantly became as vigorous as a cheetah.
Two large metallic balls had appeared beside him, and were rapidly ﬂying towards him. He Caitou swiftly ran to the side, then rolled forward, allowing him to dive out of the way. He immediately turned around afterwards, and the two black metal pieces he’d put on his shoulders opened up, revealing minuscule holes.
At this point, Huo Yuhao sensed that the soul power in He Caitou’s body had suddenly began to surge violently and was rapidly gathering in his shoulders. As soon as it had, he released two thin rays of white light from his shoulders, which accurately struck the golden balls hurtling towards him.
Huo Yuhao noticed that He Caitou’s shoulder muscles had slightly moved the instant he released the white ray of light;
most likely for the sake of adjusting the white laser’s direction.
The two metallic balls paused slightly for a moment, before unexpectedly melting midair.
This, this is the power of a soul tool? Huo Yuhao was stunned. He knew, based on his Spiritual Detection, that the two metallic balls were hollow on the inside. However, they were still relatively heavy! And yet, they’d instantly been blasted apart by the two thin lasers.
However, Huo Yuhao was even more astonished by what happened afterwards. The black pieces of metal on He Caitou’s shoulds rapidly extended to cover He Caitou’s arms, causing six foot-long metal tubes that were as thick as a child’s arm to appear on both of his arms. After the metal pieces had ﬁnished extending, Huo Yuhao was able to see He Caitou shift his soul power from his shoulders to his arms, which caused the six metal tubes to spit tongues of ﬁre. In that instant, He Caitou’s berserk soul power distorted even Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection.
The six huge metallic balls that were charging towards He Caitou were all struck violently, multiple depressions
appearing on them. He Caitou had only been ﬁring the six metal tubes for less than three seconds before the six metallic balls had been entirely blasted apart.
As soon as they disappeared, six more metallic balls appeared to both his left and right sides and shot towards him.
He Caitou angled the ‘turd’ in his mouth upwards, revealing a fearless smile. Then, the black pieces of metal all over his body started moving. Furthermore, it seemed like they’d all been activated by him moving his muscles. As soon as they ﬁnished moving, He Caitou’s soul power erupted outwards like an explosion.
Huo Yuhao had the assistance of his Spiritual Detection, yet he still wasn’t able to count the number of metal, tube-like objects that had appeared all over He Caitou’s body. Soon afterwards, he saw that He Caitou had been fully covered in light. Countless barrages of rays of light shot out wildly from him towards the metal balls. Beneath his terrifying undulations of soul power, the twelve enormous metal balls instantly disintegrated in midair.
This was simply too mind-blowing!
After doing all of this, He Caitou’s soul power had been almost entirely drained. The metal tubes on his body quickly disappeared and transformed back into the original shape of his black metal armor. At that moment, Huo Yuhao no longer thought that He Caitou looked strange; in his eyes, the gentle
and straightforward He Caitou had become a monster!
He’d seen quite a few three-ringed Soul Elders in the past, such as Dai Huabin, Ning Tian, his own senior brother Bei Bei, and Teacher Xiao Ya. They’d all had three soul rings, but in terms of combat strength… they weren’t even on the same level as the current He Caitou! The destructive power of those metallic tubes was simply too terrifying.
He Caitou walked over to the side and quickly removed the black pieces of metal from his body. The small object in his mouth had disappeared as well, but the faint scent of smoke still lingered around his body.
Fan Yu smiled and looked towards Huo Yuhao. “What do you think?”
Huo Yuhao subconsciously replied, “This, this is simply too powerful.”
Fan Yu replied, “Caitou’s cultivation level is still limited, thus he’s only able to release part of a soul tool’s power. Currently, he still can’t use any of the stronger soul tools. Other than the stationary soul tool you saw last time, all soul tools are activated via soul power. Because of that, cultivating soul power is also important to soul masters from the Soul Tool Department.”
“I know that you’re deﬁnitely curious as to how soul masters from the Soul Tool Department fare against those from the Martial Soul Department in a battle. Let me tell you this: Under the Soul Sage rank, our Soul Tool Department holds an absolute advantage against the Martial Soul Department in battle. On the contrary, the Martial Soul Department holds an absolute advantage against us in ﬁghts between soul masters above the Soul Sage rank. Our Douluo Continent focuses primarily on martial souls, but the armies of the other various countries focus primarily on soul tools. From another standpoint, soul tools are more helpful for ordinary people, as they can easily grant them a large amount of combat power in a short period of time.”
After listening to Fan Yu’s explanation, Huo Yuhao ﬁnally had a basic understanding of soul tools. He’d seen the power that He Caitou had shown, and could guarantee that, unless the abilities of his enemies martial soul were able to restrict him, not even four-ringed Soul Ancestors would be a match for him! This raised Huo Yuhao’s interest towards soul tools to an unprecedented high.
Fan Yu knew that the crucial moment had arrived. He lowered his tone, “Currently, the Soul Tool Department is weaker than the Martial Soul Department after the seven- ringed stage… but that’s not a certainty. Of the many research topics I have, the most important one of them all is to nurture a consummate soul master from the Soul Tool Department. I’m 46 years old this year, and the only disciple I’ve ever taken in is Caitou. If you’re willing, I’m also willing to take in another disciple.”
Huo Yuhao was relatively intelligent, and Fan Yu had already explained things so clearly; how could he hesitate? With a ‘Putong’, Huo Yuhao kneeled on the ground. “Teacher Fan Yu, please take me as your disciple. I’ll deﬁnitely work hard to study soul tools.” Afterwards, he kowtowed to Fan Yu three times.
Fan Yu nodded slightly as he allowed Huo Yuhao to pay his respects. After he’d kowtowed three times, Fan Yu helped him to his feet.
“I’ve heard of your diligence from Zhou Yi. From now on, you’re the second, and also last, disciple of mine. I’ll do my best to nurture you and Caitou. Someday, I’ll show the Martial Soul Department just what level our Soul Tool Department can reach. Yuhao, you aren’t just my disciple; from now on, you’re also a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department. I heard how the Martial Soul Department evaluated you; it’s their loss for not taking you in as a core disciple.”
I’m a core disciple now? This stroke of fortune was too sudden, to the extent that Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but stare blankly. The difference in treatment between the Martial Soul Department and the Soul Tool Department immediately caused the scales within his heart to shift.
Regardless of the facts, Huo Yuhao was still an eleven-year- old child. Because of his childhood, he was someone who held grudges. However at the same time, this made him cherish favors even more. The instant that Fan Yu said he would be a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department, Huo Yuhao felt warmth rise up from his heart. The grievances that he’d
suppressed immediately turned into a warm stream that surged towards his eyes.
“Teacher.” He couldn’t help but let his tears ﬂow freely.
Fan Yu spread his arms and held Huo Yuhao’s shoulders. “Good child, don’t cry. I know how aggrieved you feel, but I have to tell you this: no matter who it is, if you don’t want to feel aggrieved, and you want to be respected by other people, you can only rely on yourself. What you need to do is use your own strength to reject your grievances.”
“En.” Huo Yuhao nodded repeatedly as he wiped the tears from his face.
He Caitou walked over as well. Laughing, he hugged Huo Yuhao, then used his enormous strength to lift him up off the ground and spun him around in a circle.
“I have a junior brother now, hahaha! This is too good, I don’t have to be alone anymore. Yuhao, we’re brothers from now on.”
“Senior brother.” The feelings that came from He Caitou’s heart made Huo Yuhao feel something similar to the feeling that his senior brother Bei Bei had given him. As such, his inner emotions couldn’t help but surge up again.
Fan Yu said, “Yuhao, even though you’ve already become a core disciple of our Soul Tool Department, you still need to lay yourself a solid foundation as a soul master. Because of that, you’ll have to continue increasing your knowledge in the Martial Soul Department; at least until you graduate from your third year. Furthermore, you need to focus most of your energy towards cultivating your martial soul. Soul power is the foundation for everything we do; this is the case for the Soul Tool Department as well. At the same time, you have a special martial soul, so you have to pay attention to your soul skills too. I hope that you won’t just become an outstanding soul master of the Soul Tool Department in the future, but will also become an outstanding Control System Battle Soul Master as well.”
“I won’t hide this from you: Our Soul Tool Department has a rivalry with the Martial Soul Department. As such, you’ll have to keep the matter of you becoming one of our core disciples a secret for the time being, so that we won’t provoke a reaction from the Martial Soul Department. Also, you can’t become a core disciple of the Martial Soul Department. When you enter
the inner courtyard, you’ll enter our Soul Tool Department’s inner courtyard. Zhou Yi will help you ﬁll in the form that allows you to join our Soul Tool Department. Your classes at the Martial Soul Department normally end at around four in the afternoon, so after class you’ll have to come to me to study for two hours every day. The Martial Soul Department has a rest day every week, but you’ll have to come here and study on that day as well. Are you scared of hard work?”
Chapter 34: Taking on an Impossible Challenge
Huo Yuhao shook his head, a determined expression on his face. “I’m not afraid of such a thing.” Fan Yu’s attitude had completely won over Huo Yuhao’s heart. It only took him a few seconds to get over the regret he’d had from not being able to become a core disciple of the Martial Soul Department. This was because he wasn’t alone; he also had Brother Skydream within his body! The greatest advantage of joining the Martial Soul Department was that it would help its students obtain suitable soul rings. However, the Skydream Iceworm had already promised to obtain a soul ring for him. If he didn’t factor this in, the Soul Tool Department could practically give him everything that the Martial Soul Department could. Furthermore, he would still be able to temporarily enjoy the treatment of a core disciple from the Martial Soul Department.
Fan Yu continued, “If you’re not afraid of hardship, I’ll do all that I can to teach you. Our Soul Tool Department also has more resources than the Martial Soul Department.” He walked towards Huo Yuhao and placed a black necklace on his neck. The necklace was adorned with a tiny, dark-gold medallion made of some unknown metal, and there were a few complicated patterns on its surface.
“With this medallion, you can enter any of the areas within the Soul Tool Department’s outer courtyard as you wish. Now then, we’re done here for today, but you’ll need to come here every day from tomorrow onwards. You’ve just been put into your new class, so you should head back ﬁrst.”
“Yes. Thank you, Teacher Fan Yu.”
As Zhou Yi led Huo Yuhao away, a satisﬁed smile appeared on Fan Yu’s face. On the other hand, He Caitou’s excitement hadn’t diminished in the least. “This is too good, I have a junior brother now. Now Teacher can’t keep tormenting me by myself!”
Fan Yu grumpily hit He Caitou on his dark, bald head. “I’ve been tormenting you? Go do some work.”
With a downcast expression on his face, He Caitou obediently walked away. The instant he left, a tall ﬁgure suddenly appeared and walked towards Fan Yu. Unexpectedly, this ﬁgure was the Vice-Dean of the Soul Tool Department—Qian Duoduo.
“Not bad, it went quite smoothly. This Huo Yuhao has quite a sincere temperament; he’s a good seedling. I was quite happy when they won the ﬁnals with their fusion skill, but now that I think about it, I can’t help but regret it greatly. Fortunately, Old Yan wasn’t even able to recognise such a precious treasure, which allowed us to snatch him up a large bargain. Fan Yu, how conﬁdent are you that you’ll be able to successfully
implementing our Ultimate Soldier plan on him?”
Fan Yu replied solemnly, “I’m 40% conﬁdent if we use it on Caitou, but our chances of successfully implementing it with Huo Yuhao increase to 70%, at the very least. If the two of them work together, I’m 100% conﬁdent that I can produce a prototype of the Ultimate Soldier in ten to ﬁfteen years. Once they’ve cultivated to my age, we’ll have reached our true objective.”
“Good!” Qian Duoduo slapped his sturdy chest. “With this, the Soul Tool Department will dedicate all of its resources to you from now on. As long as we complete the Ultimate Soldier plan, I can guarantee that you’ll be the next Dean of the Soul Tool Department.”
A feverish gaze appeared in Fan Yu’s eyes, and he hurriedly replied, “Dean Qian, you should know that I’m not trying to
complete the Ultimate Soldier plan simply for the sake of a higher position.”
Qian Duoduo smiled. “Of course I know that, as this is a common dream we share. The moment we complete our objective, the Douluo Continent will turn a new page in its history.”
Fan Yu smiled. “If Huo Yuhao’s martial soul continues to grow at the same rate it’s currently growing, we’ll deﬁnitely succeed. The Martial Soul Department might not want someone with a Body Soul, but we do. Does it really matter if he has a ten year soul ring? So what if he’s had a late start? In my opinion, Huo Yuhao has a ten year soul ring that’s better than any hundred year soul ring. Furthermore, Zhou Yi told me that he’s increased his soul power from Rank 13 to Rank 18 in a mere three months. I’ve asked Zhou Yi to conceal this fact, but is it really possible for him to be trash with a growth speed like that? Fortunately, only class teachers have access to a student’s registration forms.”
Qian Duoduo said, “Your Zhou Yi is too strange; she insists on making herself look like an old woman. Don’t you care about that?”
Fan Yu was somewhat helpless as he replied, “With a temper like hers, do you think I can really control her? According to her, the only way for her to appear imposing in front of her students is to disguise herself. Whatever, it’s ﬁne as long as she doesn’t look like that in the house at night.”
After leading Huo Yuhao out of the Soul Tool Department’s Testing Area, Zhou Yi quickly returned to the Martial Soul Department with him. However, she didn’t bring him to the ﬁrst year’s school buildings.
After reaching the Martial Soul Department’s Assessment Area, Zhou Yi stopped and asked him, “Yuhao, when you saw Director Du Weilun earlier, did you ask him what effect your fusion skill had?”
“Nope.” Huo Yuhao replied.
Zhou Yi furrowed her brows slightly. “That won’t do. If you don’t even know what your fusion skill does, how would you be able to use it in a ﬁght next time? Let’s do it this way. After you head back, ask Wang Dong to ask Director Du for you.”
Ask Wang Dong to? Huo Yuhao was stunned.
Zhou Yi smiled. “You still don’t understand? You’ve already become a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department, so you should do your best to show your face around Director Du as little as possible. Also, Teacher Wang Yan seems to think quite highly of you, so you should try to keep a lower proﬁle when you’re normally cultivating. I know that you have a lot of doubts in your heart right now, but I promise you that Teacher Fan Yu wholeheartedly wants to raise you into an outstanding talent. I do as well. You might be wondering why I’m inclined towards the Soul Tool Department, even though I’m clearly a teacher from the Martial Soul Department. Let me tell you a secret: A woman should always go along with what her husband does, and Fan Yu is my husband. Thus, I have to support him.”
After she’d ﬁnished speaking, Zhou Yi raised her right hand and gently pulled something off of her face from the left side of her cheek. She slowly pulled of an elaborate face mask, revealing an extremely beautiful face that also seemed extremely youthful. Her eyebrows were as beautiful as the scenery in the spring, while her complexion was both graceful and touching.
Huo Yuhao was dumbstruck. Even in his wildest dreams, he’d never thought that the ‘Perverted Old Grandma’ Zhou Yi would actually be a beauty. Furthermore, how could her true appearance even look strict at all?
Zhou Yi quickly pulled the face mask back over her face and said helplessly, “Now you’ve seen what I look like. My original appearance can’t deter anyone at all, so I had to put on a disguise because of my philosophy of teaching. Now then, head back to Class 1. It’s still in our original classroom. Remember, you have to keep everything you’ve seen and heard a secret, especially the fact that you’ve become a direct disciple of Fan Yu. Also, I’ve heard that you’ve been selling roasted ﬁsh at night. You should stop, as you won’t have any time to in the future. Don’t worry though, the Soul Tool Department will take care of all of your expenses from now on. In the future, you’ll see just how well core disciples of the Soul Tool Department are treated.”
“Yes, Teacher Zhou.” Huo Yuhao had received too much information during this short hour, to the extent that he was even somewhat muddle-headed. However, there was no doubt that the injustice he’d felt from not being chosen as a core disciple of the Martial Soul Department had thoroughly vanished due to how highly the Soul Tool Deparment thought
of him, as well as the encouragement that Teacher Fan Yu had given him in addition to taking him in as a disciple.
The moment he got back to Class 1, Huo Yuhao shouted from outside the classroom, “Reporting in!”
“Enter,” Wang Yan’s voice rang out. After Huo Yuhao had entered the classroom, all of the students in the classroom’s gazes immediately gathered on him.
Of the four classes in Year 1, Class 1 was undoubtedly the strongest. Yet, they weren’t the largest class; that title belonged to the diverse Class 4. This was because the total number of assault-type and control-type soul masters amongst the freshmen didn’t exceed sixty.
The instant Huo Yuhao entered, he’d immediately attracted the attention of every student present. Wang Yan smiled. “Yuhao, you came at just the right time. We’re about to begin the selection of the class monitor. Come in and take a seat ﬁrst.”
Although their classes had been re-divided, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s seating arrangements hadn’t changed. On the contrary, Xiao Xiao now sat to Huo Yuhao’s left, which allowed the three to be seated in a single row.
Huo Yuhao noticed that Dai Huabin, Zhu Lu, and Cui Yajie were seated two rows behind them. The moment he’d entered the classroom, Dai Huabin had glared at him coldly.
As he stood behind the podium, Wang Yan said, “Next up, we’ll be electing the class monitor and assistant class monitor of our class. Our class consists of assault-type and control-type soul masters, so each monitor will be in charge of a single System. We’ll be re-electing both monitors each month. Now then, I’ll nominate a few people, then let everyone cast their votes into a ballot.”
With that, he turned towards the blackboard and wrote two rows of names on it. The ﬁrst row was titled ‘Assault System’, and the names below it were: Wang Dong, Dai Huabin, Zhou Sichen, Huang Chutian, and Wu Feng.
The second row was titled ‘Control System’, and the ﬁrst name he wrote down was Huo Yuhao’s. Afterwards, he wrote
down Cao Jinxuan, Lan Susu, and Lan Luoluo’s names.
A total of nine names had appeared on the blackboard, and one could tell what Wang Yan was thinking from the order he’d written the names down. Nobody objected to Wang Dong’s name being written at the top of the Assault System list; after all, his team had just become champions of the freshmen assessment, and Wang Dong had been the main force of his team. Even though he didn’t have a three-ringed cultivation, everyone had seen the power of his Radiant Butterﬂy Goddess.
However, Huo Yuhao’s name being at the top of the Control System list sparked a ﬂurry of whispers. The students who were originally from Class 1 were ﬁne with it, as Huo Yuhao had been their class monitor in the ﬁrst place. Moreover, they’d seen how hard he worked. However, the students who’d come from other classes all had disdainful expressions on their faces.
Huo Yuhao had been one of the members of the freshmen assessment’s champion team along with Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao, but many students had secretly talked about him behind his back, calling him the luckiest person amongst this year’s freshmen. The fact that a mere Soul Master—one with only a ten year soul ring—had been able to mingle his way into the
champion team, and was even able to enjoy the treatment of a core disciple, had aroused the envy and hate of several people.
“Teacher Wang, I have an objection to this.” Wu Feng, who was sitting near Dai Huabin, raised her hand.
Unlike Zhou Yi, Wang Yan had a warm personality. He smiled. “Wu Feng, do you have any problems with this?”
With a disdainful expression on her face, Wu Feng replied, “I don’t think that Huo Yuhao has the qualiﬁcations to be nominated as a candidate for the position of class monitor. He’s only a one-ringed Soul Master, and his soul ring’s even a ten year one. Even if he was one of the champions of the freshmen assessment, he only did that by tagging along with Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao. Why should he be nominated in this class monitor election?”
Ning Tian had already given voice to her doubts about Huo Yuhao’s extraordinary abilities once before, and after their recent battle, she’d reafﬁrmed her belief. That, in addition to the ﬁnal fusion skill they’d unleashed, resulted in everyone unanimously agreeing that Wang Dong’s skill had knocked Ning Tian unconscious; it was impossible for Huo Yuhao to have done it. Furthermore, the obvious conclusion was that Huo Yuhao’s martial soul fusion with Wang Dong was the only reason he’d been able to join the champion team.
Plus, Ning Tian’s team had been eliminated after they lost to Huo Yuhao’s team. The resentment she held from losing that match was why she’d immediately protested Huo Yuhao’s nomination.
Her words were immediately met with agreement, especially from students who were a part of the Control System. Because of her, the entire class’ emotions had been stirred up.
Wang Yan furrowed his brow and replied sternly, “Huo Yuhao was part of the freshmen assessment’s champion team
alongside Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao; they all have their own strong points. I’ve personally experienced his soul skill, and I can say that, within the same rank, there are very few control- type soul masters capable of comparing to him. The people I’ve nominated were all based off of the freshmen assessment rankings as well as their individual strengths.”
However, Wu Feng wasn’t willing to give up. “Teacher Wang, you’ve just stated what I have wrong with him. ‘Within the same rank, his soul skill is good.’ However, what rank is he again? He’s only a one-ringed Soul Master! Our class doesn’t lack two-ringed Soul Grandmasters—we even have three- ringed Soul Elders! What right does a one-ringed soul master have to participate in the election for class monitor? Can you even convince our class to listen to him?”
“Bang!” Wang Dong suddenly slammed his hands on his table and stood up. He turned towards Wu Feng and spat angrily, “Don’t go too far! Are you angry because you were eliminated by us last time? If you have the ability to, beat us fair and square during an assessment!”
Wu Feng replied angrily, “I’m still unhappy about our loss, but so what? Aren’t control-type soul masters supposed to have an advantage against assault-type soul masters? If he’s strong
enough to beat me, I’ll admit that he has the qualiﬁcations to be nominated as a candidate for class monitor.”
“You’re full of shit. I’ll ﬁght with you. If you dare, come with me to the Soul Duelling Arena.” Wang Dong’s clear eyes glared daggers at Wu Feng. The soul power in his body had already begun to stir.
“Enough.” Wang Yan’s imposing voice suddenly rang out, accompanied by a strong undulation of soul power. This forced the two to immediately shut up.
Only after Wang Yan interfered, did Wu Feng and Wang Dong unwillingly sit back down.
Wang Yan sternly said, “Since it seems like there are those with objections, let’s put it to a vote. If the number of students who disagree with Huo Yuhao being nominated exceeds half the class, I’ll rub his name off. Students who disagree, please raise your hands.”
Zhou Yi deﬁnitely wouldn’t have handled the matter like this. Instead, she would’ve stood her ground, or might have even directly appointed Huo Yuhao as the class monitor. If someone wasn’t happy with her decisions, she would’ve punished them with an iron ﬁst.
However, Wang Yan was different. He was a gentle scholar who excelled in theory, but he was much worse than Zhou Yi when it came to dealing with students.
Regardless of whether it was jealousy that the one-ringed Huo Yuhao had been able to become part of the champion team, or if it was due to the inﬂuence of Wu Feng’s words, two- thirds of the class ended up raising their hands once Wang Yan had ﬁnished speaking. Only the students originally from Class 1 and a few moderate students hadn’t raised their hands.
Anyone that had entered Shrek Academy could be considered chosen; this could be seen from the optimum combination of soul rings that most students had before the four-ringed rank. Of the students within Shrek Academy, how many of them weren’t proud and arrogant? How could they not be resentful and envious after they were forced to agree to a Soul Master, one who only had a ten year soul ring, being appointed as their class monitor?
Wang Yan had clearly never expected a situation like this to happen. He was left somewhat dazed for a brief moment.
In a ﬁt of anger, Wang Dong nearly stood up again. However, he was stopped by Huo Yuhao.
Somewhat satisﬁed, Wu Feng said, “Teacher Wang, over half the students in the class have disagreed. Please rub his name off the blackboard.”
Wang Yan had truly been put into a difﬁcult situation. He’d taught many students in the past, but this was the ﬁrst time he’d encountered a situation like this. Furthermore, he’d already given his word earlier. It was impossible for him to take back his word now. He could only look towards Huo Yuhao apologetically.
Just as he was about to remove Huo Yuhao’s name from those qualiﬁed to partake in the election, Huo Yuhao slowly raised his right hand.
On the outside, Huo Yuhao’s mood hadn’t changed at all, even when Wu Feng had started to object. He’d even stopped the enraged Wang Dong. However, was he truly as calm as he appeared on the inside?
Wang Yan said, “Yuhao, you can talk.”
Huo Yuhao slowly stood up without even sparing a glance towards Wu Feng. Using a calm tone, he spoke in a voice that was slightly slower than his usual voice.
“Teacher Wang, I understand Wu Feng’s objections. She’s questioning my qualiﬁcations to be chosen as one of the class monitors. Before you rub my name off, I want to say this: I’m willing to accept Wu Feng’s challenge. If I can beat her in a ﬁght, I’d like everyone to vote again.”
His voice was moderate, but the originally clamorous Class 1 instantly turned quiet.
Dai Huabin, Zhu Lu, and even Wu Feng herself were instantly stupeﬁed. They never thought that Huo Yuhao would actually accept Wu Feng’s challenge.
Wu Feng had the Red Dragon martial soul. In terms of quality, it was slightly inferior to Dai Huabin’s White Tiger and Wang Dong’s Radiant Butterﬂy Goddess, but there was only an extremely tiny gap between them. Moreover, she also had the most optimum combination of two hundred year soul rings. That, in addition to her tyrannical combat power, as well as her Rank 25 cultivation, made it so that she exceeded Huo Yuhao in all aspects! This could be seen from how she’d been able to become a core disciple, despite the fact that she didn’t have a high ranking in the freshmen assessment. Even Shrek Academy’s picky teachers had recognised Wu Feng’s relatively large amount of talent.
Even though Huo Yuhao was a spiritual-attribute control- type soul master, he was still only a one-ringed Soul Master, and his only soul ring was that of the ten year rank. No matter which angle you looked at it from, nobody believed that he’d be able to contend against Wu Feng.
And yet, Huo Yuhao had expressed his willingness to accept Wu Feng’s challenge. In addition to that, his calm voice didn’t seem impetuous in the least. Furthermore, the determination in his voice had surprised everyone.
Wang Yan’s pupils contracted slightly. Seeing the calm gaze in Huo Yuhao’s eyes, he became silent for a few seconds. Afterwards, he took a deep breath, then nodded. “Fine. Since that’s the case, I’ll allow you two to have a match in the Soul Duelling Arena. However, we’ll change the bets to make it fair
—if Wu Feng can defeat Huo Yuhao, he’ll be stripped of his qualiﬁcations to participate in the election. Conversely, Wu Feng will also be stripped of her qualiﬁcations if she loses to Huo Yuhao.”
Wu Feng didn’t raise any objections to the conditions of the bet. Either way, she was unlikely to be chosen as one of the class monitors, due to the presence of Dai Huabin and Wang Dong. At the same time, what were the chances of her losing to Huo Yuhao, who only had a ten year soul ring?
After being astonished for a brief moment, Wu Feng’s face became ﬁlled with disdain and contempt. As the other students from Class 1 left the class one-by-one, Wu Feng walked over to Huo Yuhao and whispered, “I’m gonna beat you to the point that you won’t even be able to take care of yourself.”
Huo Yuhao glanced coldly at the tomboyish Wu Feng, then took large strides out of the classroom.
He’d experienced a great deal of things today. He understood that, if he gave up like a gutless coward and lost his qualiﬁcations to become a class monitor, he’d never be able to hold his head up high in the class. An adverse effect on his mental state far surpassed the pain he’d receive from any physical damage to his body, so he chose to ﬁght. Even if he’d deﬁnitely lose, he still had to accept Wu Feng’s challenge. Even if he lost, he had to lose like a man. If he didn’t even have the guts to accept Wu Feng’s challenge, how would he obtain his revenge in the future?
After the students of Class 1 had arrived in the Soul Duelling Area, Wang Yan helped them pay the entrance fee. This was a Soul Duel where no one other than the students of Class 1 could spectate. In addition to that, this was the ﬁrst Soul Duel that Huo Yuhao was participating in since he’d entered Shrek Academy.
Wang Dong had walked to the Soul Duelling Area alongside Huo Yuhao, but he hadn’t said anything to him. He could understand how Huo Yuhao was feeling today; not only had he not been chosen as a core disciple, he’d even been called into question like this. Now, it seemed that Huo Yuhao could no longer endure things silently. Instead, he’d chosen to prove himself through a method such as this.
Xiao Xiao didn’t utter a word either. However, she silently ﬁxed her gaze on Huo Yuhao’s body. In her mind, her companion was no longer a mere youth; he was a man, a man who’d had the courage to take on a challenge. Not everyone had the courage to face an opponent who was clearly stronger than them. How many people could take on a challenge like this while fully knowing that it was impossible?
“Let’s bet, let’s bet! I’ll be the banker, does anyone wanna bet? Huo Yuhao’s odds will be 1 to 10, while Wu Feng’s odds will be 10 to 1.” Zhou Sichen stood and shouted. Teacher Wang Yan had accompanied Huo Yuhao and Wu Feng to the Soul Duelling Arena, but naturally didn’t bother to care about the other students.
“I’ll bet a hundred gold soul coins on Wu Feng.” Dai Huabin was the ﬁrst person to approach Zhou Sichen. He handed him a heavy coin pouch.
Zhou Sichen’s facial muscles immediately twitched. “You don’t have to be this cruel.”
Dai Huabin replied disdainfully, “If you want to be a banker, you should have the guts to take a bet. If you don’t, you should
keep your thoughts to yourself.”
Stirred up by Dai Huabin’s arrogant words, Zhou Sichen immediately spat out angrily, “I’ll take it! I’m just scared that you won’t give it to me. Even if you win, I’ll only owe you ten gold soul coins. I’ll take any bets.”
However, Zhou Sichen wanted to cry after the following scene unfolded. A large number of students ran towards him, with practically all of them betting on Wu Feng. The disparity in strength between both parties was simply too great, to the extent that nobody was optimistic towards Huo Yuhao’s chances. Betting on Huo Yuhao would give an extremely high payout, but nobody was willing to bet on him.
Zhou Yi’s expression was becoming uglier and uglier, but it was too late for him to take back what he’d said. Instantly, his expression had become as dark as the bottom of a pot.
At that moment, a voice that caused Zhou Sichen to become overjoyed rang out, “I’ll bet a thousand gold soul coins on Huo Yuhao.”
The person who walked up and handed him an exquisitely made gold banknote was precisely Wang Dong.
Immediately after Wang Dong handed his banknote to Zhou Sichen, Xiao Xiao also took out a golden banknote. “I’ll bet a thousand as well.”
Hearing these two voices, Zhou Sichen immediately took their bets. The other students had bet a total of around two thousand gold soul coins, yet Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao alone had just equalled that. In other words, he wouldn’t have to pay out of pocket if Huo Yuhao lost. On the whole, a crisis had been averted.
“We’ll bet ﬁfty gold soul coins on Huo Yuhao.” Two crisp voices rang out simultaneously, jolting Zhou Sichen. There were actually still more people who dared to bet on Huo Yuhao. After looking carefully, he realised that the two people betting on Huo Yuhao were actually the Lan sisters.
The sisters smiled at Wang Dong, then took out a total of ﬁfty gold soul coins.
“I’ll bet ﬁfty as well.” Another voice rang out. This time, Zhou Sichen was somewhat ﬂabbergasted. The person who’d placed a bet this time was actually his good brother, Cao Jinxuan. During their match with Huo Yuhao’s team, Cai Jinxuan hadn’t even been able to even release a soul skill
before he’d been knocked out by Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s combined Spiritual Shock.
“Jinxuan, what’re you doing?” Zhou Sichen asked suspiciously.
Cao Jinxuan smiled cunningly. “I know that a fella like you has a lot of money; why can’t I bet on an unknown gamble?”
Still somewhat suspicious, Zhou Sichen replied, “That can’t be right. You’ve never done something that doesn’t proﬁt you, nor have you done something that you’re unsure of.”
Cao Jinxuan replied in an easy-going manner, “That’s not your problem. Besides, I’m only betting ﬁfty gold soul coins. That isn’t too cruel. However, let me remind you: If Huo Yuhao does win, you’ll go bankrupt. With odds of 1 to 10, you’ll have to pay out twenty one thousand gold soul coins for these two thousand one hundred gold soul coins. Do you even have that much money?”
“Uh…” Cold sweat immediately began to drip off of Zhou Sichen’s face when he heard Cao Jinxuan. Right! In the
extremely unlikely chance that Huo Yuhao managed to win, what would he do? Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao had each bet one thousand gold soul coins! That, multiplied by ten, was an astronomical ﬁgure to him!
“Wang Dong, Xiao Xiao, can you guys lower your bets a bit?” Zhou Sichen had previously hoped that Huo Yuhao would cause an upset. However, his current attitude had completely ﬂipped around.
Wang Dong replied, “You said that you were willing to accept any bets, no matter how high they were. I’m conﬁdent in Huo Yuhao, and I’m not afraid of losing. What’re you afraid of?” With that, both he and Xiao Xiao turned around and found a place to sit.
Seeing their backs, Zhou Sichen mumbled unhappily, “Humph, let’s see how you start crying after you lose. It’d be weird if Huo Yuhao really was able to beat Wu Feng with such a large gap between them. Still, I’ve really dug a hole for myself with the odds I’ve set! If I’d known people would make such large bets earlier, I would’ve taken it easier, so as to guarantee that I’d still make a slight proﬁt.”
Cai Jinxuan patted him on the shoulder and replied in a sincere voice, “Being impulsive truly is the devil!”
As the spectating stage continued to buzz with activity, Huo Yuhao and Wu Feng proceeded to enter the Soul Duelling Arena. For the sake of safety, Wang Yan was personally acting as the referee for their match.
After entering the arena, Wang Yan said solemnly, “I’ll once again remind you that this is merely a sparring session between fellow classmates, so although you can go all-out, you absolutely cannot injure your opponent. Do you understand? Once one party gains an upper hand in the match, I’ll stop it immediately.”
Both Huo Yuhao and Wu Feng nodded at the same time. However, Wu Feng said offhandedly, “Teacher Wang, doesn’t that mean that you’ll have to stop the match after only a few seconds?”
After saying that, she turned around and walked towards her side of the arena. Wu Feng hadn’t even turned twelve, yet she’d clearly developed much faster than other girls her age. This was exempliﬁed by her extremely tall ﬁgure. Furthermore, her
feminine traits were very obvious; this was especially so for her ﬁery red hair, which had a peculiar beauty to it. Only, her tomboyish personality, which caused her to be even rowdier than boys, was clearly somewhat disharmonious with her beauty.
As Huo Yuhao slowly walked towards the other side of the arena, Wang Yan whispered, “Try your best, but don’t force yourself. Sometimes, patience is a form of strength.”
Huo Yuhao could see how concerned Wang Yan was for him. After nodding to him, he slowly moved backwards. He understood Wang Yan’s good intentions, but he’d already decided not to spare any costs when he fought against Wu Feng. He had no intentions of backing down.
Both sides were quickly separated by a distance of a hundred meters.
Wang Yan stood in the middle of the arena with his arms spread out. After ensuring that both parties had ﬁnished making their preparations, he suddenly raised his hands and shouted, “Begin!”
Wu Feng moved instantly. Her red hair ﬂuttered in the wind, resembling a red cloud as she charged towards Huo Yuhao at full speed. Her slender yet forceful legs caused her body to rapidly shoot forwards whenever her feet touched the ground, and in the blink of an eye, she’d already traversed several tens of meters.
As her tender body rushed forward, dragon scales began to cover half of her body. Though they were still a good distance away from each other, yet Huo Yuhao was already able to sense the valiant air coming off of her body.
Surprisingly, Huo Yuhao didn’t move at all. Instead, he simply shut his eyes and stood there, making it seem as if he was meditating while standing up.
The spectator’s stage had become completely silent; everyone’s eyes were currently focused on the Soul Duelling Arena. Naturally, the most attentive students were Wang Dong, Xiao Xiao, and Zhou Sichen.
Likewise, Cao Jinxuan was also looking concentratedly at the arena. However, he wasn’t following Wu Feng like many
people were. Instead, he’d ﬁxed his eyes on Huo Yuhao, and was observing his every move.
It was just as Zhou Sichen had guessed; Cao Jinxuan placing a bet on Huo Yuhao hadn’t been a moment of impulsiveness, nor had it been because he was trying to obtain a large proﬁt. Rather, he had his own motives for doing so.
The true core of Zhou Sichen’s team was actually Cao Jinxuan. His Time Elapsing Clock was an extremely rare control-type Tool Soul that had the ability to control time. Cao Jinxuan had contributed the most during their arduous journey to the top four. As an outstanding control-type soul master himself, Cao Jinxuan had a much greater understanding towards the similarly control-type Huo Yuhao.
During their match that time, he’d instantly been knocked unconscious without even being able to use a soul skill. Many people had assumed that it was the work of Wang Dong, but Cao Jinxuan was fully aware that it had been a spiritual-type attack. Even though he’d had Wang Dong’s assistance, the truth was that it had still been Huo Yuhao’s attack. More importantly, he‘d even been speciﬁcally guarding against a long-range attack like this. The time surrounding his body had been slightly distorted, which was extremely hard to see with
the naked eye. Because of this, he hadn’t been afraid of long- distance single-target attacks. However, even though his Time Elapsing Clock was able to distort time, it wasn’t able to distort Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection. Once Huo Yuhao’s attack had landed, Cao Jinxuan didn’t have the chance to do anything at
all. This had greatly increased Cao Jinxuan’s interest towards Huo Yuhao.
Cao Jinxuan was someone who had a strong desire for knowledge. He really wanted to know how Huo Yuhao had been able to do what he’d done. After all, Huo Yuhao only had a ten year soul ring! Could his soul skill be used in two different ways? Or did his soul skill have two different effects? With its detection and attacking abilities, could that still even be considered a ten year soul ring? Only hundred thousand year soul rings could have two skills!
Because of that, even though everyone else believed that Huo Yuhao would deﬁnitely lose to Wu Feng, Cao Jinxuan had a certain amount of conﬁdence in him. This conﬁdence was even stronger than that of even Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao’s. Sometimes, a person’s rivals can understand them more than their teammates.
The distance between the two parties gradually decreased. Facing the motionless Huo Yuhao, Wu Feng raised her vigilance. After all, Ning Tian had been knocked unconscious during their previous match. In their post-match research, they’d felt that the best way to protect themselves would be to
gather their soul power in their heads. If they protected their
spiritual seas, their opponent’s attacks wouldn’t be able to overcome their defenses.
Because of that, Wu Feng didn’t bother to use any soul skills. From her point of view, Huo Yuhao had no chance of winning in a direct competition of combat power. As long as she was wary of his Spiritual Shock, everything would be ﬁne. In reality, none of the students present—other than Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao—were aware that Huo Yuhao’s main soul skill was his Spiritual Detection.
Currently, the distance between the two had shrunk to a mere ﬁve meters. Stamping the ground with her left leg, Wu Feng shot towards Huo Yuhao like a sharp arrow that had been released from a bow.
At that moment, Huo Yuhao ﬁnally made a move. The instant Wu Feng moved, he shifted his feet. As a result, he was
able to quickly sidestep to the left. At the same time, he sent a kick ﬂying straight towards Wu Feng’s abdomen.
The instant that Wu Feng had leapt out, her arms had been raised up high, while her palms had slashed towards Huo Yuhao’s shoulders. By relying on his Spiritual Detection, Huo Yuhao had grasped the trajectory of her movements perfectly. Because of this, Huo Yuhao had sidestepped her attack the very moment she’d begun moving. At the same time, he’d sent a kick ﬂying towards an area that was very hard for Wu Feng to defend against.
Even though she was extremely conﬁdent in herself, it was extremely uncomfortable for Wu Feng to deal with Huo Yuhao’s attack. However, she wasn’t willing to get kicked by Huo Yuhao. Helpless, she could only twist her body in midair in an attempt to dodge Huo Yuhao’s kick. However, the fact that she was in a leaping position couldn’t be changed.
Unexpectedly, Huo Yuhao suddenly stopped his kick in midair, then jumped forward using his left leg. After jumping half a meter off the ground, he changed his right leg’s sweeping kick into a regular kick. This allowed him to perfectly kick Wu Feng’s slightly deﬁned and perky round buttocks.
One’s buttocks practically represent a person’s center of gravity. If someone’s buttocks were to be kicked midair, their balance would immediately be broken. Just as Wu Feng twisted her body to the side, she felt a large amount of force transmitted through her buttocks. She immediately let out an alarmed cry when this happened, and used her left hand to push against the ground in an effort to seize an opportunity to control her own body.
After kicking Wu Feng’s butt, Huo Yuhao immediately used a follow-up move. Landing his right foot on the ground, he suddenly rushed towards Wu Feng. Up to this point, his eyes had remained shut. However, his perception of the outside world was far clearer than it would’ve been if he’d been using his eyes.
As Wu Feng pressed her left hand onto the ground, the speed of her fall decreased slightly. However, Huo Yuhao arrived at that point again. Stamping his right foot on the ground, he rushed forwards and used his left leg to strike Wu Feng’s slender waist.
Naturally, Wu Feng wouldn’t just let him have his way with her. She hurriedly raised her left knee and angled it towards
Huo Yuhao’s left leg. At the same time, she exerted some strength with her left arm, borrowing the strength of her physique to forcefully turn around and send a vicious kick towards Huo Yuhao with her left leg.
As a result of the embarrassment she was feeling, Wu Feng had put all of her strength into this kick. Even though she hadn’t used a soul skill, the all-out kick of a Soul Grandmaster that was using her martial soul couldn’t be underestimated.
However, Wu Feng made another miscalculation. Huo Yuhao suddenly pulled his left leg back mid-kick, then went down into a squat, allowing him to dodge Wu Feng’s kick. Immediately afterwards, he nimbly shot forwards and ﬁrmly slapped Wu Feng’s lower back with his palms.
Chapter 35: I Haven't Lost Yet!
At this moment, Huo Yuhao had no intentions of going easy on Wu Feng. His palms became jade in colour as he unleashed Controlling Crane Capturing Dragon on Wu Feng.
With a “bang”, Wu Feng was shoved more than ﬁve meters away from Huo Yuhao. This time around, she couldn’t maintain her balance. As a result of this, Wu Feng fell down and rolled on the ground.
Huo Yuhao’s cultivation wasn’t as high as Wu Feng’s, but he was still someone with Rank 17 soul power; he was a true soul master. His all-out Controlling Crane Capturing Dragon and Mysterious Jade Palm had still been relatively heavy blows.
Wu Feng couldn’t help but shake slightly as she got up. With an “ah” she spat out a mouthful of blood. She’d clearly been injured.
The students standing in the spectator’s stage were all left ﬂabbergasted.
Before the match, who would’ve predicted an outcome like this? Who could have!?
Huo Yuhao had actually managed to gain the upper hand! Beneath his relentless attacks, Wu Feng hadn’t even had a chance to counterattack.
Both Dai Huabin and Zhu Lu were astonished, Xiao Xiao’s eyes had widened in surprise, and Zhou Sichen was chewing on his ﬁnger nervously. The only exception to all of this was Cao Jinxuan, who was currently staring at Huo Yuhao with sparkling eyes.
From their outer appearances, it seemed like both sides hadn’t used any soul skills yet. Yet somehow, an assault-type soul master had actually lost to a control-type soul master in hand-to-hand combat! Furthermore, this was with such a disparity in cultivation between the two.
Wu Feng, who had the Red Dragon martial soul, was deﬁnitely much stronger than Huo Yuhao in terms of physique alone. Her speed, power, and ﬂexibility were all greater than Huo Yuhao’s; what had happened?
It didn’t matter that she’d been kicked in the bum, yet Huo Yuhao’s palms had sent her ﬂying and forced her to cough up blood. Her defense had been strengthened considerably under the effects of her Red Dragon martial soul, yet she’d actually been forced to cough up some blood. Since when did Huo Yuhao have the ability to do something like this?
Huo Yuhao basically hadn’t participated in any direct confrontations throughout the entire freshmen assessment, except for the time that he’d used the Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track against Dai Huabin’s team. Because of that, his hand-to- hand abilities had been entirely overlooked. Only now did everyone realise how wrong they’d been about him. This was especially so for those that weren’t at the two-ringed rank yet. They couldn’t help but ask themselves: if they were to ﬁght against Huo Yuhao in a close-combat ﬁght, could they win? Had Wu Feng’s loss truly been due to carelessness alone?
Wang Dong couldn’t help but stare blankly. He’d thought of many ways for Huo Yuhao to stave off Wu Feng, but he’d never considered the possibility of hand-to-hand combat. Huo Yuhao had actually decided to use his own weakness against his opponent’s strong point… yet he was winning?
The most astonished person present was Wu Feng herself. She hadn’t expected Huo Yuhao to ﬁght her like this, not even in her wildest dreams. The Spiritual Shock she’d been constantly wary off hadn’t come either, yet she’d suffered a huge loss in a close-combat ﬁght.
She also felt a burning pain coming from her back. Huo Yuhao’s palms were like two chunks of metal when they’d viciously smashed into her back. Furthermore, she’d felt two gentle forces surge through her body as soon as his palms hit her. These forces that had seeped into her body could be described as ‘gentle’, but they had seeped directly into her internal organs. Unexpectedly, Wu Feng wasn’t able to remove them in a short period of time, even with her tyrannical soul power. Thus, she had had no choice but to cough up a mouthful of blood in order to slow down the progression of her injuries. However, her internal organs had still been badly shaken.
Huo Yuhao’s kick hadn’t hurt that much, as there was a large amount of ﬂesh on her bum. However, this had been done in front of the entirety of Class 1! Furthermore, a man had never touched her buttocks before. And, as soon as he’d kicked her, a strange feeling had begun to spread throughout her buttocks; this was the main reason that she’d stumbled after getting up.
“Bastard, I’m going to kill you!” Wu Feng roared angrily, then pounced towards Huo Yuhao like an enraged lioness. This time around, she didn’t hold anything back. She instantly activated her ﬁrst soul skill, Dragonﬁre.
The person who had the strongest self-augmenting soul skill amongst Class 1’s assault-type soul masters was deﬁnitely Dai Huabin and his White Tiger Vajra Transformation. However, Wu Feng was the strongest person after Dai Huabin. Her Dragonﬁre and Dragonfury had extremely strong self- augmenting abilities in addition to the increase in attack power they gave her. Because of this, Wu Feng was deﬁnitely an expert in close-quarters combat. If Dai Huabin didn’t use his third soul skill, the two of them would deﬁnitely end up locked in a stalemate during a close-combat ﬁght. And yet, she’d just suffered a loss to Huo Yuhao, and it hadn’t been a small loss either!
Huo Yuhao continued to keep his eyes shut, but his expression became serious. He’d been able to injure Wu Feng in their close combat ﬁght by catching her unaware and using of the Tang Sect’s secret techniques in addition to his Spiritual Detection’s foresight. At the same time, it was also because Wu Feng hadn’t used any of her soul skills yet.
Wu Feng’s burning Dragonﬁre instantly scorched everything within a foot of her. Because of this, the scorching stream of air struck Huo Yuhao in the face before she’d even arrived. Huo Yuhao was a spiritual-type soul master, thus his Spirit Eyes weren’t able to strengthen his body in any way. He could predict all of her moves, but he wasn’t able to break through Wu Feng’s defensive soul skills!
However, Huo Yuhao didn’t choose to retreat. He knew that he hadn’t had much of a chance in the ﬁrst place, and that being able to take advantage of his opponent’s lack of awareness was already an extremely good result for him.
However, Huo Yuhao didn’t want to admit defeat. Even if he only had a sliver of hope left, he didn’t want to give up.
As such, Huo Yuhao chose not to retreat. As he withstood the high temperatures that were assaulting him, he used his Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track to rush towards Wu Feng.
This time around, Wu Feng didn’t choose to jump into the air. Instead, she rushed towards Huo Yuhao on foot. The moment that Wu Feng was close enough to strike Huo Yuhao,
she stopped and sent her left hand towards Huo Yuhao’s stomach while ﬁrmly balanced.
As a core disciple, even though Wu Feng had a ﬁery disposition, she deﬁnitely wasn’t an impulsive person. After suffering a loss to Huo Yuhao, she’d deﬁnitely pay attention to his attacks.
Facing Wu Feng’s palm strike, Huo Yuhao suddenly leaned to the left and dodged her attack. Making sure not to enter the one-foot area around Wu Feng, he crouched down and side- stepped to her right side.
Like a bolt of lightning, Wu Feng sent a kick ﬂying straight towards Huo Yuhao with her right leg. Her kicking speed was extremely fast, and her leg reached Huo Yuhao’s chest in the blink of an eye.
However, at that moment, Huo Yuhao unexpectedly slipped. He seemed to fall down, as if he’d lost control of his body. Wu Feng’s kick brushed past his chest as if it were stuck to it, instantly charring the front of Huo Yuhao’s shirt. At the same time, the scorching hot temperatures from Wu Feng’s Dragonﬁre enveloped his body.
Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection wasn’t omnipotent, as his physical speed couldn’t follow the speed of his thoughts. He’d used up the of his energy in order to dodge Wu Feng’s last attack.
Wu Feng had missed, which resulted in her back being exposed to Huo Yuhao. Whilst leaning backwards, Huo Yuhao grabbed onto Wu Feng and—enduring the the high temperatures caused by her Dragonﬁre—viciously kicked Wu Feng’s back, causing her to stumble forward.
However, Huo Yuhao immediately let go after grabbing ahold of her. With her Dragonﬁre, the temperature surrounding Wu Feng’s body in a one foot radius was simply too high. Furthermore, he’d felt that something was amiss after he’d grabbed her.
He’d grabbed ahold of two extremely elastic yet ﬁrm mounds, which had instantly tightened the moment he’d touched them. However, his hands had actually bounced off them. Huo Yuhao had only grasped hold of Wu Feng’s clothes; no, it would be more accurate to say that he’d grabbed her dress...
Huo Yuhao was dazed in that instant, and in turn had unconsciously lowered the direction of his kick.
When Wu Feng stumbled forward, she unconsciously held onto her skirt. In a state of embarrassment and anger, she rapidly entered a half-squatting position after sweeping her right leg backwards.
This guy! After doing such a shameful deed, one would deﬁnitely be distracted for a brief moment, and Huo Yuhao was no exception. Though he hadn’t seen them with his eyes, the three-dimensional image he’d seen in his mind wasn’t too far off from the real things.
Just as he blurted out the words, “I didn’t see anything”, Wu Feng’s kick arrived in his face.
Dodging Wu Feng’s kick was impossible. Thus, Huo Yuhao could only helplessly block Wu Feng’s attack with the Mysterious Jade Hands.
Wu Feng was extremely strong, and she’d even used her soul power to strengthen her attack. Wu Feng’s kick resembled an enormous, burning piece of iron as it viciously slammed into Huo Yuhao, who was forced to the ground from the force.
Huo Yuhao wasn’t scalded from Wu Feng’s attack due to the protection of the Mysterious Jade Hands. However, her kick had simply been too powerful; he wasn’t able to withstand it by merely relying on the strength of his arms. As the back of his arms smashed into his face, Huo Yuhao felt his mind go faint, while his nose began bleeding intensely.
Wu Feng had ﬁnally managed to protect her skirt from being torn off after she kicked Huo Yuhao away, and could feel herself getting madder and madder as the ﬁght went on.
“Huo Yuhao, you son of a bitch!” The intense red light surrounding Wu Feng’s body instantly turned dark red as she activated her second soul skill, Dragonﬁre. Her entire body now resembled a genuine Red Dragon as she pounced towards Huo Yuhao; it seemed like she wouldn’t be able to rest without killing him.
In that instant, Huo Yuhao ﬁnally opened his eyes. Just as Wang Yan was about to save Huo Yuhao from Wu Feng’s attack, he couldn’t help but pause his footsteps.
Even with the scarlet ﬂames surrounding Wu Feng, the trace of gold within Huo Yuhao’s eyes couldn’t be concealed.
In her enraged state, Wu Feng had forgotten to defend herself against Huo Yuhao’s true attack.
Wu Feng felt as if her brain had been gently pricked by a needle, which instantly caused her to become dazed for a moment. Following that, the dark-red light on her body dimmed slightly. She subconsciously buried her head within her hands because of the pain caused by Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Shock.
Taking advantage of the opportunity, Huo Yuhao jumped into the air and shot towards Wu Feng. He grabbed onto Wu Feng’s clothes with his hands in an attempt to throw her to the ground.
However, even though Huo Yuhao’s calculating abilities were extremely precise, there were still times when even he made a mistake. He’d underestimated the strength of Wu Feng’s Dragonfury, and neglected the injury that his arm had suffered from Wu Feng’s kick.
He managed to grab ahold of Wu Feng’s clothes, but he was immediately engulfed by a boiling stream of hot air afterwards.
The intense waves of heat struck him in the face and made it seem like he’d touched the sun itself. His sleeves instantly turned to ash, and he subconsciously loosened his grip right as he was about to pull his arms back due to the extreme pain that had suddenly spread from his hands.
Even though Wu Feng had been struck by Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Shock, she still had her basic combat instincts. While she was still struggling subconsciously, she slammed her right arm into Huo Yuhao’s chest and forcefully ﬂung him away.
Wu Feng’s blow was simply too heavy. Though his bones didn’t shatter due to the soul power protecting his body, Wu Feng’s blazing ﬁre energy still madly surged into his body. As he ﬂew through the air, he couldn’t help but cough up a mouthful of blood. When he ﬁnally landed on the ground, everything in front of his eyes turned dark and he nearly fainted.
At the same time, Wu Feng kneeled on the ground with her head buried in her arms and let out painful groans. Having stored up so much energy, Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Shock wasn’t something that could be easily endured. There were traces of blood ﬂowing from Wu Feng’s nose, but she was still in slightly better condition than Huo Yuhao.
It’s ﬁnally ended. Wang Yan sighed inwardly. Though Huo Yuhao had lost, it could be considered a glorious defeat. For him to be able to injure Wu Feng in a close-combat ﬁght, with his current cultivation, was already something he could be proud of. After all, he was a soul master that specialised in the control and auxiliary systems! Wang Yan had never expected him to be so skilled in close-combat ﬁght.
However, was it truly over?
Still hugging her head, Wu Feng slowly stood up. However, she wasn’t able to stabilize her footing due to the intense pain coming from her head. Humiliation, this was an enormous humiliation!
After alleviating the intense headache she had with much difﬁculty, Wu Feng discovered that Wang Yan was standing between the two of them. She knew that she wouldn’t be able to make a move against Huo Yuhao for the time being, but the anger in her heart caused her to hysterically yell out, “Huo Yuhao, you just wait! As long as you stay within Class 1, I’ll keep targeting you till the day you screw off from Shrek Academy!”
As everyone gazed on, Huo Yuhao began to crawl back up with great difﬁculty. To the astonishment of the onlooking students, a slight hint of red had appeared in Huo Yuhao’s eyes the instant he raised his head. He gazed coldly at the nearby Wu Feng, making it seem as if he were a blood-thirsty tiger that was about to devour its prey. The hysterical Wu Feng felt as if she’d suddenly been stung by a poisonous scorpion, and a chill ran up her spine.
“I haven’t lost yet!”
Huo Yuhao’s voice was somewhat hoarse, but it was ﬁlled with decisiveness. Right, he hadn’t lost yet. As long as he had a trace of energy left in him, Huo Yuhao would never admit defeat. With obstinance and perseverance in his heart supporting him, both the suffering his body had experienced and the humiliation he’d suffered from her insults instantly caused the resentment he’d suppressed for so many years to erupt like a geyser.
At that exact moment, his body suddenly trembled. Immediately afterwards, the pale red in his eyes once again changed color, becoming a terrifying grey ﬁlled with the aura of death!
Chapter 36: The Awakened Gray Color!
Surprisingly, Huo Yuhao had actually stood up! Furthermore, he’d used a hoarse yet determined voice to express his wish to continue ﬁghting.
The students who’d originally thought the battle to be over immediately quieted back down and stared at Huo Yuhao with stupeﬁed gazes. They were unable to fathom what could be helping him stand back up since he’d been struck by Wu Feng’s powerful attack. Was the position of class monitor this important to Huo Yuhao?
To Huo Yuhao, whether or not he became a class monitor didn’t really matter. However, his honor was something extremely important to him; he couldn’t allow anyone to tarnish it. This was the reason he’d accepted Wu Feng’s challenge in the ﬁrst place—even though he knew he’d probably lose. It was also the same reason he was standing back up now.
Wu Feng’s hysteria immediately diminished the second that she saw the red glow in Huo Yuhao’s eyes. However, the instant
that Huo Yuhao’s eyes turned gray, she felt as if an enormous hand had grasped hold of her neck and was strangling her.
This was the ﬁrst time that Wu Feng had felt dread from Huo Yuhao. Regardless of how strong she actually was, she was still a young girl no older than twelve!
Wang Yan was also dumbfounded by Huo Yuhao’s current appearance. He hurriedly took a few steps back, while his heartbeat began to accelerate uncontrollably. The only explanation he could come up with for Huo Yuhao’s sudden change was a reason related to Body Souls. Thus, instead of interrupting their Soul Duel, he ﬁxated his eyes on Huo Yuhao’s body whilst doing his best to sense the changes occurring within it.
Huo Yuhao had truly transformed in some way. As his had eyes turned bloodshot, his heart ﬁlled with an unyielding will to ﬁght and resentment surging throughout his body, a refreshing feeling had suddenly spread silently throughout his Spiritual Sea. This refreshing feeling instantly covered the entirety of his Spiritual Sea, causing even the Skydream Iceworm to let out a bewildered cry.
Gray—Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Sea instantly turned gray. However, the dormant gray pearl that had always silently resided in his Spiritual Sea had vanished.
The refreshing feeling quietly calmed down Huo Yuhao’s surging resentment and allowed Huo Yuhao to quickly regain his senses. However, his eyes had turned gray due to the changes in his Spiritual Sea.
“Hatred will cloud your eyes.” A wise yet clear voice rang out in Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Sea. When it did, even the Skydream Iceworm was able to clearly hear it.
Ten balls of golden light simultaneously lit up in an attempt to expel the gray stream of light that had appeared, but it didn’t react at all. It was as if it was incorporeal. No matter how strong the Skydream Iceworm’s origin power was, it didn’t seem to affect the gray light; it hadn’t even been scratched.
“You should use your spiritual power like this.” Huo Yuhao discovered that he’d lost all control of his body, but he could still clearly see everything that happened. Immediately afterwards, he felt his soul power boil. The Mysterious Heaven
Technique’s soul power—identical to his in terms of power, quantity, and intensity—had also had its control wrested from him.
Afterwards, his gray Spirit Eyes lit up as his Spiritual Shock was activated again. To his astonishment, this Spiritual Shock moved slower than normal as it left his eyes—as if it was a viper slowly extending its tongue.
At the same time, the original ball-like Spiritual Shock had been shrunken down to the width of a strand of hair as it gently ﬂew towards Wu Feng.
In the eyes of the spectating students, Huo Yuhao’s eyes had suddenly lit up and turned crystal clear, rather than the muddy gray they’d been before. The gray light in his eyes had ﬂickered slightly, after which Wu Feng had let out a sharp cry.
Wu Feng had gathered her soul power around her brain the second the feeling of dread had appeared in her heart. However, at this moment, she suddenly sensed a gray needle slowly arrive in front of her. It pierced through the layer of soul power she’d created, then gently tapped her brain.
Wu Feng’s ﬂowing red hair ﬂew into the air as her eyes turned gray as well. Immediately afterwards, she fell backwards with a sharp cry and directly lost consciousness.
The battle had ended, but the students of Class 1 had fallen completely silent, as if their necks had been strangled just like Wu Feng’s earlier.
Huo Yuhao’s body shook slightly, and the hint of gray in his eyes slowly faded away. However, he continued to stand as straight as a ramrod. After sweeping his already-normal eyes across the spectating students, he slowly left the arena without sparing a glance towards Wu Feng.
Wang Yan hurriedly walked towards Wu Feng and made sure that she hadn’t suffered any true injuries. However, he still decided to carry her to the inﬁrmary.
Whilst running towards the inﬁrmary, Wang Yan felt a passionate ﬁre ignite in his heart. Right, that was deﬁnitely the second awakening of a Body Soul. It must’ve been! Otherwise, why would his eyes suddenly change color? Why else would he be able to beat Wu Feng? Huo Yuhao won, he won! This won’t
do, I have to ﬁnd Elder Xuan and have him select Huo Yuhao as a core disciple.
As Huo Yuhao was quickly approaching the resting room, Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao had just left the arena, allowing them to bump into the grave-faced Huo Yuhao.
“Yuhao, you’re awesome!” Xiao Xiao excitedly cried out. However, Wang Dong walked towards Huo Yuhao after realizing that something was off.
Huo Yuhao looked deeply at Wang Dong. Afterwards, he directly collapsed onto Wang Dong’s body, passed out. Moreover, his breath was scorching hot.
In reality, Huo Yuhao’s injuries were even more serious than Wu Feng’s. Wu Feng’s dual-soul skill augmented attack had seriously injured him. However, he’d forced himself to stand upright in front of all the other students. With deep breaths as he persevered, he’d carried himself all the way to the resting room.
Wang Dong secured him tightly to his back with Xiao Xiao’s help, then rushed outside with only one thought on his mind, Yuhao didn’t want anyone else to see him like this, so I have to fulﬁll his wish. He ran towards the dorms with quick strides.
Only after Wang Dong had left did Xiao Xiao react. She hurriedly chased after Wang Dong, stopping only after they’d reached the dormitory area.
Huo Yuhao’s physical body had fainted, but his consciousness had been dragged back into his Spiritual Sea. Moreover, he was exceptionally clear-headed.
“Old fella, just who are you? Why do you want to ﬁght over territory with me?” The Skydream Iceworm grumbled.
The gray light didn’t withdraw, nor did it encroach upon the Skydream Iceworm.
“This old man, ﬁght with you over territory? Who do you think you are? You’re just a ﬂeshy worm. If it weren’t for the fact that I currently only have a trace of my divine sense left,
I’d turn you into fertiliser in mere moments.” The aged voice wasn’t willing to submit.
The Skydream Iceworm spat, “Bullshit. If you think you’re strong enough, come on! Let’s see who’ll get rid of who! Don’t think that this Brother can’t see that you only have a strand of divine sense left. You don’t even have any power left! Do you really think that you can beat me in a ﬁght by yourself?”
The aged voice replied disdainfully, “You’re right; this old man only has a strand of divine sense left. However, this old man’s divine sense is on a much, much higher level than yours. Can you even do anything to me? Even though my divine sense has been shattered, you can’t even take on this single strand of it. Think about it: If I were to gradually recover strength and memories, what would happen then? I’d crush your ﬂeshy body, then slowly squeeze you until all of your juice had squirted out."
“You…” The Skydream Iceworm evidently couldn’t beat the old man in a war of words. He was infuriated to the point that all ten golden balls of light had unceasingly begun to surge with light.
“This, what happened?” Huo Yuhao was ﬂabbergasted. Why had his Spiritual Sea become so lively in this short period of time?
The aged voice spoke to him in a much warmer tone, “Little fella, this old man didn’t belong to your world in the beginning. I only remember that, when I was about to die, I broke through the barriers of space and entered your world with only a strand of my divine sense remaining. I don’t know why that happened, but it might’ve been because of my overly strong soul power. When that large worm fused with you, it created intense undulations of energy that guided me towards you. Thus, my strand of divine sense entered your Spiritual Sea. Don’t worry, I don’t harbour any evil intentions. However, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to leave you, even in the future.”
“I’ve only been left with this single strand of divine sense, so I’m extremely weak. I need time to slowly recover all of my memories, but the resentment that appeared in your heart earlier gave me a familiar feeling that ﬁnally woke me up. I don’t remember what happened in my past, but I can deﬁnitely tell you that you shouldn’t let hatred cloud your eyes. Once you do something unredeemable, you’ll regret it till the day you die. Furthermore, you won’t be able to do anything to make up for it. Something similar seems to have happened to me in the past. Fortunately, you’re still young, and you’re not too strong
yet. There’s still time for you to gradually dispel the hatred in your heart.”
Huo Yuhao’s voice changed. “You’re saying that I shouldn’t get my revenge?”
The aged voice replied indifferently, “That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that you shouldn’t take out your anger on people who don’t deserve it. You can still get your revenge, but don’t harm the innocent. For example, let’s say that the chief of a village harms you. Would you slaughter the entire village if you were strong enough? Did those innocent villagers commit any sin?”
Unhappy, the Skydream Iceworm cried out angrily, “Oi, Yuhao’s my host. He doesn’t need you to teach him anything! Do you think that this Brother is just air?”
The aged voice replied in an extremely disdainful tone, “You’re naturally not air, you’re just a little bug. This old man’s too lazy to bother with you, I’m going to continue restoring my divine sense.” After saying this, his attention shifted back towards Huo Yuhao. “I scanned through your memories. You have too much hate built up in you. You can do as you wish and
vent your hatred, but you can’t let this hatred ferment. Once I’ve recovered enough of my divine sense, I’ll do my best to help you out. Let me see what I can remember... Oh… other than a few blurry bits and pieces, it seems that I can only remember a single phrase: My hand grasps the sun and moon and plucks the stars from the sky; this world has no one else like me. Haha, hahahaha.”
Amidst the loud laughter, the gray light within Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Sea receded like a tide. After a few seconds, everything around him had returned to normal, and the gray pearl had returned to its original position.
“My hand grasps the sun and moon and plucks the stars from the sky; this world has no one else like me.” Muttering these domineering yet somewhat sorrowful words, Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but be left stunned for a moment.
The Skydream Iceworm cursed in rage, “Bastard, bastard! That old fella actually dared to ignore this Brother. He even cursed at me! I want to kill him, I really want to kill him!”
Huo Yuhao was jolted by the Skydream Iceworm’s voice, and said somewhat helplessly, “Brother Skydream, you should calm down a bit. That old mister didn’t seem to have any evil intentions.”
The Skydream Iceworm unhappily replied, “What do you mean ‘no evil intentions’? Weren’t you listening when he said
that he wanted to crush me to death? This won’t do. Yuhao, you have to quickly raise your strength. He’s a parasite in your Spiritual Sea, thus only you can drive him out using your spiritual power. Even though his divine sense is at an extremely high level, he can’t hurt you since he’s a foreign object in your Spiritual Sea. Once your divine sense reaches his level, you’ll be able to easily deal with him.”
Huo Yuhao was somewhat helpless. “Brother Skydream, you just said that his divine sense was at a very high level. How long do you think I’ll have to cultivate in order to reach his level?”
“This… let me make a few calculations.” The Skydream Iceworm fell silent.
Right now, Huo Yuhao was extremely curious. The fact that an intelligent soul ring was in his body already allowed him to stand out from the masses, but he hadn’t expected to absorb a strand of divine sense when he’d fused with the Skydream Iceworm. This was his Spiritual Sea, and though he was far inferior to the Skydream Iceworm and the old man, he’d clearly been able to sense everything going on in here. When that old man had spoken to him, he’d been able to sense the vicissitudes and sincerity in his voice. From that, he’d been
able to tell that he truly had no intention of harming him. Furthermore, that strand of divine sense was extremely weak, so much so that it was even weaker than his spiritual power.
However, was he truly as weak as he’d seemed? Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but think of everything that had just occurred. That seemingly-weak gray divine sense had taken control of his soul power, then activated the attack that had defeated Wu Feng. Even though it had been a Spiritual Shock, the gray light had been able to condense his spiritual power into something the thickness the strand of a piece of hair, which in turn had pierced through all of Wang Yan’s defenses and defeated her without actually harming her. Was this level of control something that he was able to compare to?
If he possessed this level of control over his spiritual power, the strength of his spiritual-type soul skills would increase, as would the level of his soul power fusion with Wang Dong—to the point that it’d even be slightly excessive!
This was true control. However, how could he increase his level of control over his spiritual power?
“Aih…” The Skydream Iceworm let out a long sigh, “I’ve done a quick estimation. With your current cultivation speed, even if I were to wholeheartedly help you out, you’d still need around three thousand years for your divine sense to catch up to his.”
“What?” Even though Huo Yuhao already a high estimation of the nameless old man, he’d mostly been trying to pacify the Skydream Iceworm when he’d said that he wasn’t as good as the old man. However, he never expected the Skydream Iceworm, who resented the old man, to give him an answer like this. As he wasn’t on good terms with the old man, it deﬁnitely couldn’t be a lie!
The Skydream Iceworm was extremely helpless. “Why else would I be powerless to do anything to a mere strand of divine sense? I don’t know where that old fella came from, but his divine sense is on a much higher level than mine. He’s very weak now, but the level of his divine sense has already reached a level I’m incapable of comprehending. He’s already surpassed the level of all living beings on this continent. It truly seems like I can’t do anything to him! Only, I don’t know whether he’ll have any combat strength once he’s recovered. We’ll see, but he shouldn’t have any. His divine sense is this weak now, thus even if he does repair it, it’s still just a strand.”
Huo Yuhao murmured, “Then, how strong was this old mister before his divine sense shattered?”
The Skydream Iceworm sulkily replied, “A level that you can’t even begin to fathom right now.”
Huo Yuhao said, “Brother Skydream, this old man has no evil intentions, and we can’t do anything to him anyway. Since that’s the case, why don’t we all just live together peacefully?”
“Hmph!” The Skydream Iceworm snorted angrily, clearly unhappy.
“You’ve made a mistake; his Body Soul hasn’t had a second awakening.” Elder Xuan moved his oily hand away from Huo Yuhao’s chest.
Wang Yan asked suspiciously, “That can’t be. If he didn’t have a second awakening, why did his Spirit Eyes turn gray? Furthermore, I clearly sensed a different aura from him! Even
more so, he defeated a two-ringed assault-type soul master. Elder Xuan, why don’t we try it out again once he’s woken up?”
After sending Wu Feng to the inﬁrmary, Wang Yan had dismissed Class 1. He’d then rushed over to the inner courtyard and found Elder Xuan, then explained the situation of Huo Yuhao’s possible second awakening to him.
This time around, even Elder Xuan had been left somewhat stunned. One of the many advantages a Body Soul had over other martial souls was its second awakening. A Body Soul that could achieve a second awakening was a peak existence among Body Souls. Moreover, a Body Soul that achieved a second awakening would immediately reach a new level. Because of this, he’d hastily followed Wang Yan to Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s dormitory in order to see Huo Yuhao’s condition for himself.
Somewhat impatient, Elder Xuan replied, “There’s no need to bother. Little Wang! I know you’ve been studying Body Souls, but you can’t be content with such a shallow understanding. Do you even know what happens when a Body Soul achieves its second awakening? He hasn’t even reached the most basic level of a second awakening. His soul power is still Rank 17, meaning that it hasn’t changed at all. If he’d truly had a second
awakening, his soul power would’ve reached the bottleneck of Rank 20 at the very least. This kid can be considered to be quite talented, but he’s still too old. He won’t reach Rank 30 by the age of twelve, so there’s still a gap between him and the most outstanding students amongst the freshmen. In the future, don’t waste my time with him.” With that, he drank a mouthful of wine and left.
With a downcast look on his face, Wang Yan told Wang Dong to take care of Huo Yuhao, then proceeded to leave as well.
It was already late into the night when Huo Yuhao awoke. The pain in his body had already diminished by a large amount. Moreover, Wang Yan had also brought some healing medicine over. His injuries weren’t light, but his bones and internal organs hadn’t been injured. With the help of Shrek Academy’s top-ranked medicines, his injuries weren’t much of a problem.
What a soft and warm feeling. To his astonishment, Huo Yuhao discovered that he was sleeping soundly atop Wang Dong’s bed. On the other hand, Wang Dong was soundly asleep with his upper body leaning on the bed.
This wasn’t the ﬁrst time that Huo Yuhao had been on Wang Dong’s bed, but it was the ﬁrst time he’d slept there.
Huo Yuhao was greatly touched by Wang Dong's actions. He clearly understood how mysophobic Wang Dong was. Normally, Wang Dong wouldn't even let him sit atop his bed. Yet, he'd actually allowed him to sleep on his bed, despite his body being covered in dust from the Soul Duel.
After quietly getting up from the bed, he carefully picked Wang Dong up and placed him on the bed. Turning his head, he glanced towards his wooden bed that didn’t even have a mattress. He gently placed Wang Dong on the fur-coated mattress and shufﬂed him around before lying down next to him.
The two of them were slightly cramped, being together on the same bed, but they were still kids. They weren’t as fat as Xie Huanyue, so squeezing together was still possible, though only barely.
Huo Yuhao then pulled the cover over both of them. With a warm feeling in his heart, he fell asleep again. It had been a long time since he’d had such a relaxing night of sleep without
cultivating. At that moment, he completely relaxed from the various emotions he’d experienced during the day.
Morning. The sky outside slowly brightened.
As Wang Dong slowly woke up from his sleep, he slowly came back to his senses with his eyes still closed. How comfortable! What a nice sleep I had.
After being dragged along by that fella to cultivate every night, it’s been such a long time since I’ve had such a nice night of sleep. It feels so nice to snuggle this warm and cozy pillow, and to sleep so soundly. Holding this pillow is so warm. Nice... Nice….
Filled with contentment, Wang Dong nearly fell back asleep.
Suddenly, his mind shook, remembering something.
That’s not right! Huo Yuhao was injured yesterday, so I should’ve been taking care of him! How did I manage to sleep so comfortably?
Remembering the injured Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong immediately woke up and opened his eyes.
The ﬁrst thing he saw was the shape of a face. Soundly asleep, Huo Yuhao's cheeks were ruddy under the morning sunlight. A strong aura of warmth slowly emanated off of him.
Wang Dong was thoroughly stunned. He discovered that his head was currently leaning against that person’s shoulder. His arm, on the other hand, was latched onto his chest, and it was even gripped tightly. His thigh was over that person’s leg, and he’d even hooked his heel onto his outer thigh in order to prevent himself from falling.
This, was this a body pillow?
His mind turned blank. Three, two, one...
“AH—” An ear-piercing screech suddenly rang out through the ﬁrst year dorms.
This screech was simply too loud. Even though the dorm rooms had extremely good soundprooﬁng, it instantly jolted a large amount of ﬁrst years who were cultivating or sleeping awake.
“Aiyah, you’re gonna make me fall to death.”
Humans were always defenseless when they were asleep, and Huo Yuhao was no exception to this. He’d been sleeping very soundly, and he’d only felt a warm, soft ‘pillow’ that released a fresh odor sticking to him. With the soft yet thick fur-coated mattress he’d slept on, he’d slept very soundly. Normally, he’d already be awake in order to cultivate the Purple Demon Eyes. However, he’d slept especially soundly today.
However, he suddenly felt like he’d soared into the sky. The originally warm feeling he’d had suddenly became chilly.
“Putong!” The warm sensation that Huo Yuhao had felt from the blanket suddenly turned into that of the cold, hard ﬂoor as he was shoved out of the bed. He hit the corner of his bed followed by the ground. The soundly sleeping Huo Yuhao only felt the world suddenly invert as he fell to the ground, confused, and let out a yell.
However, his yell was drowned out by Wang Dong’s sharp screech. As he woke up, he felt a cold shiver run up his spine. He looked up, only to see Wang Dong—his blanket tightly clutched against his chest—glaring at him with a vicious light in his eyes. His large eyes seemed almost like they could spew ﬁre, just like Wu Feng yesterday.
“What’re you doing?” Huo Yuhao massaged his sore chest as he got up from the ﬂoor.
Wang Dong’s chilly voice seemed to be forced through the gaps in his teeth as he enunciated each word he said, “Why. Were. You. Sleeping. In. My. Bed?”
Huo Yuhao stared blankly. He immediately realised what had gone wrong: Clearly, Wang Dong hadn’t been willing to sleep together with him. However, his good sleep from the previous night had caused his mind to be especially clear.
“Ah? How would I know? Wasn’t I ﬁghting with Wu Feng yesterday? The only thing I remember after that is being kicked awake by you.”
“Ah?” Wang Dong was left ﬂabbergasted at this as well. Right! Huo Yuhao had fainted after his match with Wu Feng, and had continued to sleep all the way until now.
“Why’d I end up in your bed in the ﬁrst place?” Huo Yuhao looked at Wang Dong, a dumbstruck expression on his face.
Wang Dong’s expression reddened, and he sulkily said, “Naturally, because of my good intentions! I was worried that
you’d catch a cold since you were injured!”
Huo Yuhao rolled his eyes. “Then why did you kick me out of it?”
“I…” Wang Dong hadn’t expected Huo Yuhao to blame him. However, he truly wasn’t clear as to what had happened. The only thing he remembered doing yesterday was looking after Huo Yuhao. After that, he’d gotten tired as well, then had fallen asleep. However, he didn’t remember climbing into his bed! Furthermore, he’d even gone under the blanket and hugged Huo Yuhao! This was simply too embarrassing...
Huo Yuhao humphed and turned to look at the sky outside. Ignoring Wang Dong, he opened the window. It was just about time for him to begin cultivating the Purple Demon Eyes for the day.
Wang Dong grew increasingly bewildered as he sat up on his bed. Did I subconsciously climb up into my bed and go to sleep after I got tired?
This seemed to be the only logical explanation to Wang Dong.
That kick was quite hard. Is he really okay?
After thinking to this point, he jumped off the bed. Somewhat embarrassed, he said, “Yuhao, sorry! I forgot that you were sleeping in my bed last night when I woke up. You know how mysophobic I am. When I saw that there was someone next to me when I got up, I subconsciously… please don’t be angry! Does your injury still hurt?”
Huo Yuhao didn’t utter a word in response. Instead, his gaze was ﬁxed on a distant patch of white in the eastern sky. He took a deep breath, then exhaled slowly.
Because of this, Wang Dong was under the impression that Huo Yuhao was truly angry. He silently stood in the corner and waiting for Huo Yuhao to ﬁnish cultivating the Purple Demon Eyes. Though he’d already entered the Tang Sect, he hadn’t yet begun cultivating the Tang Sect’s secret techniques alongside Huo Yuhao.
After ﬁnishing his cultivation of the Purple Demon Eyes, a purple glow brieﬂy surged through Huo Yuhao’s eyes as he stood up. Of all the techniques he was currently cultivating, the one that he’d improved the most in was deﬁnitely the Purple Demon Eyes; his progress in it was comparable to traversing a thousand miles in a single day. His Spirit Eyes and the Purple Demon Eyes complemented each other extremely well, which allowed him to improve a large amount every day. This had held even truer ever since he’d entered the Totality realm of the Purple Demon Eyes. Because of this, his four soul skills’ strength had also increased along with the Purple Demon Eyes. This was the main reason why the distance, precision, and judgement of his Spiritual Detection had improved so quickly.
“What? You still aren’t showering yet?” Huo Yuhao walked outside unhappily.
“Yuhao, don’t be angry! I really didn’t do it on purpose.” Wang Dong said, a pitiful expression on his face.
Huo Yuhao was inwardly joyous, but he put on a magnanimous appearance and said, “Whatever, it’s not like it’s the ﬁrst time I’ve experienced this bad habit of yours. You call yourself a guy, but why do you have to be so clean? You even
have that sweet smell on you. Look, where you kicked me doesn’t hurt anymore. Quickly shower, we’ll cultivate for a while after we eat breakfast since we wasted last night’s cultivation time.”
The issue had smoothly been swept away because of Huo Yuhao’s words. After the two showered, they put on a set of clean uniforms, then ate breakfast.
After becoming a core disciple, one would receive a badge specially meant for core disciples. The badge was dark green and had a golden border. Even though Huo Yuhao was currently only able to enjoy the treatment of a core disciple, he’d still been given a badge. Only, he had to return the badge once the school year had ended.
With the core disciple badge, they were treated completely different within the academy. As an example, they were able to eat the best type of food in the canteen. The nourishment and nutrition provided by this food was guaranteed, and even provided a certain amount of help towards their cultivations. The two of them ate a hearty meal, then returned to their dorm room to cultivate for a while. Afterwards, they headed towards Class 1.
There were already quite a few people already in the classroom by the time they arrived. However, the entire classroom instantly turned silent when the two of them entered. Everyone present’s gaze had instantly focused on Huo Yuhao, who acted as if nothing had happened.
In turn, Huo Yuhao’s gaze was aimed towards Wu Feng’s seat. However, Wu Feng hadn’t shown up yet. He calmly walked toward his seat alongside Wang Dong and sat down. Afterward, he discovered that a trace of reverence was now present within the gazes of many of the students looking towards him.
The facts had already presented themselves. Yesterday’s ﬁght had shaken practically all of the students; even Dai Huabin hadn’t been an exception. Of the four classes within Year 1, Class 1 had the highest level of strength. In turn, the strongest students within Class 1 would naturally be the core disciples.
The person that Huo Yuhao had defeated was a core disciple! In other words, his strength was comparable to a core disciple’s, at the very least. Moreover, he was still only a one- ringed Soul Master. What if he became a two-ringed Soul Grandmaster? Advancing from the one-ringed rank to the two-
ringed rank was much easier than from the two-ringed to the three-ringed rank. At that time, wouldn’t he be even stronger?
The students who’d previously looked down on his ten year soul ring had become much more well-behaved today. At the very least, no one had looks of disdain present in their eyes as they looked towards him.
Huo Yuhao had wanted an effect just like this. Even if he’d lost yesterday, he still would’ve been able to awe a large number of students by injuring Wu Feng to such a degree. He wanted to study in Shrek Academy for at least six years, hopefully even more. If everyone held him in contempt, his mental state would deﬁnitely be affected. If that happened, how would he even cultivate with peace of mind!?
The class bell rang, and the two teachers, Wang Yan and Zhou Yi, walked in just in time for class to start.
Zhou Yi’s aged face seemed very serene, but her gaze was as sharp as a blade as she coldly swept it across the class. The students who were originally from the other classes didn’t think much of it, but the original students of Class 1 inwardly
shuddered; they knew that this perverted old grandma was about to show her authority.
The facts proved to be just as they’d predicted. When Wang Yan had told Zhou Yi about the previous day’s incident, he’d been showered with a barrage of reprimands. Wang Yan’s status within the Academy was higher than Zhou Yi’s, yet she didn’t seem to care at all. After she’d ﬁnished cursing at Wang Yan, she personally left to check up on the bed-ridden Huo Yuhao, and only left after verifying that he was ﬁne. However, Huo Yuhao had still been asleep at the time.
Wang Yan stood next to the classroom’s entrance, but didn’t walk towards the podium. Zhou Yi walked towards the podium by herself. She swept her cold gaze across the entire classroom, which caused even the students that were unfamiliar with her to quiet down underneath her sharp gaze.
Wang Yan had never held a class together with Zhou Yi. Rather, he’d only heard of her style of teaching in passing. After being scolded by her yesterday, he’d been inwardly annoyed. He thought to himself, I want to see how you’ll take care of these students, who’re all Chosen.
“Everyone, stand up!” Zhou Yi shouted coldly.
As if there a heated iron had suddenly been placed in their chairs, the original students of Class 1 instantly stood up. The other students stood up as well; some of them quickly, some of them slowly. In their opinion, this old lady wasn’t as large of a deterrence as Wang Yan. Even Wang Yan had been forced to agree to Wu Feng’s suggestion after being pressured by her yesterday. Just what could this old lady do to them?
Zhou Yi icily said, “Very good. There are a total of 67 students within this class, while one person hasn’t arrived yet. 36 of you stood up as soon as I ordered you to, while the other 30 or so students procrastinated. If I call your name, stand in the corridor as punishment.”
“Huang Chutian.” The ﬁrst person she’d called out was Huang Chutian, who was also currently receiving the treatment of a core disciple like Huo Yuhao.
Huang Chutian was ﬂabbergasted. He laughed. “Teacher Zhou, you don’t need to be this serious. Isn’t it just standing up a bit late?”
Zhou Yi didn’t bother with any superﬂuous words. With a ﬂash, she appeared in front of Huang Chutian and grabbed ahold of his collar. Afterwards, she directly ﬂung him out a window. Other than a brief shriek that rang out from outside the window, Huang Chutian’s voice could no longer be heard.
Not only were the students ﬂabbergasted, even Wang Yan himself was astonished by Zhou Yi’s actions.
Zhou Yi continued coldly, “Ye Yulin, Yu Ling, Tang Xiaoxiao, Ouyang Haiya…” The other 30 students who’d stood up late were all quickly called out.
After learning from Huang Chutian’s mistake, nobody dared to object to Zhou Yi’s actions. The offending students obediently left the classroom, one look at the six ﬂickering soul rings around Zhou Yi’s body being all they needed to know how little of a chance they had.
Zhou Yi indifferently said, “I’ll now announce two pieces of information. Number one: I’ll be choosing the class monitors of the class. The monitor from the Assault System will be Wang Dong, and the monitor from the Control System will be Huo Yuhao. Number two: From today onwards, anyone who dares to question a teacher’s decisions will directly be expelled.”
“Teacher Zhou, wasn’t the class monitor supposed to be elected?” Dai Huabin suddenly asked.
Zhou Yi looked at him coldly. “I just said that anyone who dares to question a teacher will be expelled. Since you’re a core disciple, I’m unable to expel you. However, I will request that the Academy transfer you out of Class 1. Dai Huabin, stand up and leave this class.”
Chapter 37: The Protective Hegemon Flower
Dai Huabin was stunned. He hadn’t expected Zhou Yi to be this harsh, and he could only stare blankly for a moment. Before he was able to react, Zhou Yi had appeared right in front of him. Despite Dai Huabin being the strongest individual amongst the freshmen, he was still completely powerless in front of the six-ringed Zhou Yi. He followed in Huang Chutian’s footsteps as he was immediately thrown out the window by Zhou Yi.
Zhu Lu’s voice was intermingled with both anger and astonishment as she cried out, “Teacher Zhou, I can’t accept this!”
Zhou Yi grabbed ahold of her and ﬂung her out of a window as well. “If you aren’t able to accept it, you can scram too.”
The class had been shaken when Huang Chutian was thrown out, but now the entirety of Class 1 had become so silent that even a pin hitting the ﬂoor would be heard. Even the students who’d been told to stand outside in the corridor had been able to hear the commotion, and everyone had momentarily been
overwhelmed with shock. This caused the atmosphere in the room to instantly turn grave.
Wang Yan eyes widened in astonishment as he ﬁnally realized why Zhou Yi had never been promoted to a high- ranked teacher. Her, her temper was too...
“Teacher Zhou!” Wang Yan hurriedly shouted.
Zhou Yi appeared in front of him in a ﬂash, shocking the students, who thought for a moment that she was about to throw Teacher Wang out. However, Zhou Yi only said icily, “Teacher Wang, you’re the main teacher in charge of Class 1, while I’m the assistant teacher. However, I have the qualiﬁcations to carry out my personal teaching philosophies. As such, I’ll have to trouble you to make a report to the Academy stating that the students ‘Huang Chutian’, ‘Dai Huabin’, and ‘Zhu Lu’ have severely violated class discipline. Seeing that they’re either core disciples of the outer courtyard or temporary core disciples, I’m unable to expel them. However, I’d like the Academy to transfer them out of this class, as I refuse to teach these types of students. At the same time, Wu Feng hasn’t attended the ﬁrst day of class, and hasn’t given a reason for her absence. Thus, I’d like to request that the Academy transfer her to another class as well.”
Wang Yan hurriedly replied, “Teacher Zhou, calm down.
They’re core disciples!”
Zhou Yi glared at him icily. “In my eyes, there are only obedient and disobedient disciples; outstanding and trashy disciples. There are no core disciples. I’ve already decided that they need to screw off. Now then, you can go ahead and teach the students in the classroom. I’m going to teach the students outside.” With that, she turned and left the classroom.
Xiao Xiao whispered, “Yuhao, see that? Teacher Zhou’s helping you out for the injustice you’ve suffered. I like her protection.”
Wang Dong’s evaluation of her was even more succinct, “Her domineeringness has been exposed!”
Zhou Yi was truly domineering. In only a short three minutes, she’d expelled three core disciples, as well as one temporary core disciple. If it were any other teacher in the Academy, they never would’ve done this. At this moment, even Wang Yan felt that she was a lunatic.
However, it was true that Zhou Yi’s actions had stunned the students of Class 1. Every single student present suddenly felt an extremely intense sense of crisis.
Core disciples couldn’t be directly expelled by a teacher, but the other students could be! After core disciples had been used to set an example, who would dare to go against Teacher Zhou’s authority?
At this moment, the students both within and outside the classroom all suddenly became extremely obedient.
The original students of Class 1 were already having a moment of silence for the students that’d been left outside with Teacher Zhou. They understood Teacher Zhou’s methods of teaching all too well. However, not only did they feel joyous towards this matter, they even felt a sense of closeness. They all felt that she’d vented some anger for Huo Yuhao; this was equivalent to venting some anger for the entirety of the original Class 1!
Wang Yan began his class with a heart full of depression. Even if he wanted to accuse Zhou Yi of misconduct, he’d have
to wait until after class to do so. However, Wang Yan quickly discovered that the class’s atmosphere had changed.
Compared to yesterday’s lax atmosphere, the remaining thirty or so students in the class were extremely serious, to the point that they seemed to basically be thirsting for knowledge! Moreover, the discipline in the class had become so good that he basically couldn’t ﬁnd anything to even be fussy about.
He couldn’t help his way of thinking gradually shifting because of this. It seems like being somewhat strict isn’t that bad after all!
Naturally, Huang Chutian, Zhu Lu, and Dai Huabin—who were currently crawling up from the ﬁeld they’d landed in— didn’t feel the same about Zhou Yi’s strictness. The three of them were somewhat dumbstruck; never in their wildest dreams had they expected a situation like this to occur.
Dai Huabin had felt like he had the qualiﬁcations to be a class monitor, as Wang Dong wasn’t his equal in terms of strength. However, he’d never expected Zhou Yi to not care about his cultivation or his identity, nor had he expected her to literally
throw him out of class. Furthermore, she’d even kicked him out of Class 1.
Of the four classes in Year 1, Class 1 was the strongest, and was also the class that specialised in teaching control-type and assault-type soul masters. If Class 1 didn’t want him, where could he go? The only answer to that was Class 2. However, Class 2 taught defense-type and agility-type soul masters! What could he learn there? More importantly, this was simply too embarrassing. As the son of the White Tiger Duke, he’d actually been kicked out of his class! If it hadn’t been for his status as a core disciple, he would’ve had to simply pack his bags and leave. For a brief moment, Dai Huabin was so ﬁlled with hatred that he clenched his ﬁsts, ready to explode.
However, where was he again? This was Shrek Academy, the continent’s number one academy. As a three-ringed Soul Elder, he was deﬁnitely an excellent ﬁgure amongst his peers. However, in a place like Shrek Academy, where experts were like stars in the sky, he was worth a fart! Even if his father, the White Tiger Duke, were to personally come, he’d have to kowtow in front of the upright sculptures of the ﬁrst generation Shrek’s Seven Monsters. What could he do?
“Huabin, what should we do?” Zhu Lu was somewhat agitated. As an agility-type soul master, she should’ve gone to Class 2 in the ﬁrst place. However, she’d been specially placed into Class 1 because of the martial soul fusion she had with Dai Huabin. However, they’d been expelled together. At the same
time, her arrogant temper was no less than Dai Huabin’s!
Dai Huabin clenched his teeth tightly. “We’ll follow the Academy’s arrangements. I’ll remember this humiliation. There’ll be a day, hmph….”
In the end, Wang Yan didn’t accuse Zhou Yi of misconduct. Furthermore, he decided to stand by Zhou Yi’s decision. At the end of the day, the remaining students in Class 1 had all ended up being extremely obedient. Their learning efﬁciency was also much higher than any class Wang Yan had ever taught.
Wang Yan had no choice but to accept the facts that had been placed in front of him! He admitted that, even though Zhou Yi’s teaching methods were somewhat rough, she was extremely efﬁcient. With a partner like her, he’d deﬁnitely be able to produce a good batch of students. Because of this, he decided to have a private conversation with Zhou Yi before he went to the Academy to report the issue that had occurred at the end of the day. He only had one condition: He wanted to
continue teaching Class 1 beside Zhou Yi all the way up until they’d graduated from the outer courtyard. Zhou Yi agreed.
“You’re making trouble. Is there anything good that I can say about you, Zhou Yi? The classes have only just been divided, yet you’ve already caused such a large ruckus. Are you scared that they don’t know who you are? The freshmen that you taught were cumulatively able to obtain the best results in the freshmen assessment, thus the Academy was going to promote you to a high-ranked teacher. And yet now, you’ve gone and done this. Don’t you think…” With an angry expression on his face, Du Weilun looked towards Wang Yan and Zhou Yi, who were seated in front of him.
Zhou Yi indifferently replied, “This is the way I teach my students. If I can’t become a high-ranked teacher, so be it. Either you get rid of me, or I’ll continue to teach like this.”
“You—” In a moment of anger, Du Weilun almost decided to actually get rid of her. However, he wasn’t Zhou Yi, nor was he as impulsive as her. It was widely known that there was a problem with Zhou Yi’s way of teaching, but one had to admit that the way she taught was extremely efﬁcient. The number of inner courtyard students that Zhou Yi had nurtured was much higher than an overwhelming number of high-ranked
teachers. Naturally, the number of students she’d expelled was also the highest in the Academy.
Wang Yan hurriedly tried to smooth things over. “Director Du, please don’t be angry. Actually, Teacher Zhou wasn’t really wrong in doing what she did. These new students were overconﬁdent because of their talent, which made them somewhat rebellious. They’ll now be much more obedient after today’s lesson, which in turn will be extremely advantageous for both their and our future classes. Furthermore, none of the students that Teacher Zhou removed were actually expelled in the end. They still have their identities as core disciples, so they’ll still be able to receive pointers from inner courtyard teachers. Moreover, they’ll still be able to continue studying in the Academy, so it won’t affect them too much. As such, I support Teacher Zhou’s strict way of producing brilliant students.”
After hearing Wang Yan’s words, Du Weilun’s expression became much better to look at. He pointed towards Zhou Yi, and an exasperated expression appeared on his face. “Is there anything good to say about you? When will a hegemon ﬂower like you become any softer?”
Zhou Yi, her eyes as calm as before, replied, “When Fan Yu thinks that I’m not soft enough.”
When Du Weilun heard this, he felt like he’d go crazy if Zhou Yi stayed there any longer. He hurriedly said, “Fine then, you two can leave. Zhou Yi, from now on I won’t care about any ruckus you make. However, this time, you’ll have to follow this class all the way from Year 1 until they graduate. If, by that time, you haven’t produced ﬁve inner courtyard disciples, I’ll ﬁre you.”
If Dai Huabin, Zhu Lu, Wu Feng, and Huang Chutian were still in Class 1, Wang Yan wouldn’t have thought much of this request. However, he felt uncertain about this since they lacked these four core disciple-level students.
However, Zhou Yi didn’t reveal any weaknesses as she replied, “There will only be more than that, not less.” After saying that, she turned around and left. Everything had smoothly been settled.
As Zhou Yi and Wang Yan were making their report to Du Weilun, Huo Yuhao was walking over to the Soul Tool Department by himself for the ﬁrst time.
Since he could no longer sell his roasted ﬁsh anymore, there was now a two hour gap between the end of class and dinnertime. After saying farewell to Wang Dong, he headed straight for the Soul Tool Department.
From today onwards, he would have to learn from Teacher Fan Yu in the Soul Tool Department.
With the golden badge Fan Yu had given him in-hand, Huo Yuhao entered the Soul Tool Department unimpeded. Afterwards, he went directly to Testing Area 12. As soon as he opened the door, he saw He Caitou busily messing with something atop metal table while Fan Yu stood beside him, guiding him.
“Teacher Fan Yu, senior brother He.” Huo Yuhao hurriedly walked over, only to see He Caitou ﬁddling with a few metallic parts.
Fan Yu smiled. “You’ve come? I heard about what happened yesterday. Nice job, real men can’t surrender. Caitou, be a bit more careful. You’ll have to handle it by yourself for a little while.”
After He Caitou greeted Huo Yuhao, Fan Yu led him over to another metal table.
Fan Yu pulled over a chair, looked towards Huo Yuhao, and said, “You’re my last disciple, so I’ll deﬁnitely teach you in a way that’s different to the other Academy teachers. At the same time, our schedule’s going to be much tighter. You’ll have to come over here for at least two hours after dinner before you can head back and rest. Do you have any problems with that?”
Huo Yuhao replied without any hesitation, “No problem, teacher. I’m not afraid of hard work; I’ll deﬁnitely study hard.”
Fan Yu nodded. “You don’t need to keep telling me that you’re hardworking. Show it to me with your actions. Let me ask you this: What are Soul Tools?”
Huo Yuhao was stumped; his understanding of soul tools was limited to the two trips he’d made here.
Fan Yu didn’t seem to have any hopes of Huo Yuhao answering his question. He directly answered his own
question, “Soul tools are weapons that soul masters activate using soul power. Each and every soul tool is intimately linked to a soul master’s soul power. Even a stationary soul tool, which needs very little soul power, isn’t an exception to this. Today, I’ll be teaching you some basic knowledge about soul tools, which you’ll have to remember all of.”
“It’s impossible to tell when soul tools were ﬁrst created, but the true development of soul tools began when the Sun Moon Continent collided with our Douluo Continent. You should know the history of our continent; the enormous collision that caused a massive war between our two continents. Though we were able to win in the end, the Sun Moon Continent inﬂicted enormous losses on the various empires within our Douluo Continent by relying on their soul tools.”
“Why then, was the Sun Moon Empire able to develop their soul tools to such an extent? Other than their painstakingly hard work, the main reason that they were able to do so was because of their resources. There are many precious metals available within the Sun Moon Empire, and it’s precisely because of these precious metals that they were able to create exceptionally high quality soul tools. Over these past few
thousand years, the level of their research into soul tools has gone more and more in-depth. Moreover, the strength of the Sun Moon Empire’s Soul Tool Army has already exceeded that of a few of our Douluo Continent’s empires. As such, the main reason that they were able to do this was because of their resources. In turn, the conﬂict between their various empires will never end precisely because of their natural resources. However, the strength of the Sun Moon Empire has unceasingly increased due to their soul tools. If it weren’t for their lack of consummate experts, they would’ve already begun an all-out war.”
“Because of that, soul tools are strategic weapons for the various empires on the continent. However, the fact that a soul tool requires a soul master to utilise it stops an army from being able to use them on a large-scale basis. Otherwise, the conﬂicts that would’ve occurred would’ve been even more terrifying.”
“You should know that our Shrek Academy is the number one academy on the continent. That, however, refers only to our Academy’s Martial Soul Department; our Soul Tool Department isn’t the highest ranked on the continent.”
After saying this, a light seemed to ﬂicker through Fan Yu’s eyes.
“Ah? We’re not? Is the number one Soul Tool Department in the Sun Moon Empire?” Huo Yuhao asked.
Fan Yu nodded. “You’re correct. The top ranked Soul Tool Department belongs to the Sun Moon Empire. It’s known as the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, and it’s specialised in both nurturing soul engineers and researching soul tools. Because of both the early start they got, and the precious metals they have access to, they have a large advantage over us. For example, they were the ﬁrst ones to create stationary soul tools.”
“We’ve always been chasing after the footsteps of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, but we’ve never caught up with them. However, I believe that this sort of situation won’t last forever. We have our own advantage over the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, which lies in the fact that we have far more talented soul masters.”
“The heavens are fair. They gave the Sun Moon Empire an abundant amount of resources, but they didn’t give them too
many talented soul masters. However, it’s different for the countries that originally belonged to our Douluo Continent. There’s always been a saying in the world of soul engineers: The stronger a soul tool is, the stronger the soul master required to utilise it. However, at the same time, you need stronger soul masters to create stronger soul tools. This is the path that we’re currently following.”
“Now then, I’ll give you a simple explanation of the ranks soul engineers have and what types of soul tools there are.”
“Soul masters that follow the path of researching, creating, and using soul tools are collectively called soul engineers. Soul engineers have different levels, but their titles aren’t as complicated as ‘Soul Grandmasters’, ‘Soul Elders’, ‘Soul Ancestors’, and such that soul masters have. Instead, we simply separate them by class. As such, we have Class 1 through Class 10 soul engineers. Currently, the strongest soul engineer on the entire continent is Class 9; there aren’t any Class 10 soul engineers. Do you know why that’s the case?”
Huo Yuhao shook his head blankly.
Fan Yu continued, “The difference in class between soul engineers is determined by the class of the corresponding soul tool they can control. I’ll give you an example so that you can understand what I mean: If you can create and control a soul tool suitable for soul masters that are Rank 10 and below, you’ll be a Class 1 soul engineer. If you can create and use soul tools that are suitable for Rank 10 to 20 soul masters, you’re a Class 2 soul engineer. Following this rule, Class 9 soul engineers need to be Titled Douluo as well. As for Class 10 soul engineers, the ﬁrst step is having a cultivation of at least Rank 95.”
“There’s a limit to the amount of energy a person has. A soul master’s cultivation is extremely arduous; even people with an absolutely heaven-defying amount of talent have to go through an untold number of difﬁculties and an extremely large amount of hard work in order to simply become a nine-ringed Titled Douluo expert. Let’s not even mention the time they’d have to use to study and research soul tools as well. Because of that, while soul engineers are common, high-ranked soul engineers are extremely rare. From what I know, there are only three Class 9 soul engineers within the Sun Moon Empire. However, the highest ranked soul engineer within the Heavenly Soul Empire, Spirit Ling Empire, and Star Luo Empire is only at Class 8.5.”
Huo Yuhao asked in astonishment, “There are even half ranks?”
Fan Yu replied, “That Class 8.5 soul engineer actually belongs to our academy; he’s the Dean of our Soul Tool Department. He’s already reached the Titled Douluo rank, but he’s currently unable to create a powerful soul tool that only Titled Douluo can use. That’s why we call him a Class 8.5 soul engineer. The reality is, we don’t have a single Class 9 soul engineer throughout all three of our empires. Ever since the high-speed development of soul tools, a Class 10 soul engineer has never appeared on the continent before; it’s only there in name. If a Titled Douluo manages to reach Rank 95, he reaches a totally different level. There might not even be a single Rank 95 expert amongst ten Titled Douluo, much less one who’s also a soul engineer.”
“Now that you know about the different ranks that soul engineers have, let’s talk about the different types of soul tools. After several thousand years of development, soul tools have become increasingly mature. As such, soul tools have been separated into three different categories: close-combat soul tools, long-range soul tools, and stationary soul tools.”
“As the name implies, a close-combat soul tools focus on close-combat, and allow a powerful offensive or defensive skill to be unleashed via soul power. Speaking relatively, there are very few soul engineers who use close-combat soul tools. A large majority of soul engineers don’t have martial souls that are good for combat, so they’re somewhat timid in a close- combat situation. Though close-combat soul tools aren’t weak, it’s hard to ﬁnd a chance to use them against other soul masters at a similar rank. Because of that, most close-combat soul tools are used by combatants from the Martial Soul Department. On the other hand, a majority of soul engineers use long-range soul tools.”
“You’ve already seen Caitou’s demonstration; he was using a long-range soul tool. Long-range soul tools drain much more soul power than close-combat soul tools, but if they’re used skillfully, they can be equivalent to an additional soul skill with an extremely large amount of destructive power. With Caitou’s current level of control and skill, even a four-ringed Soul Ancestor might not have the upper hand in a ﬁght against him. Nobody at the three-ringed rank can compare to him.”
“Lastly, let’s talk about stationary soul tools. Stationary soul tools are the most difﬁcult of the three to create, with their material requirements and creation techniques able to be described with the phrase ‘to perfect something that’s already
outstanding’. Extremely complicated formation arrays have to be carved onto the soul tool when it’s created, and you also need to use soul power as a source to power it. It has the largest amount of power and range, but it drains the greatest amount of resources amongst the three types of soul tools. Furthermore, it has another problem: Unlike a long-range soul tool, where you can use your soul force to lock onto your opponent, you have to manually aim a stationary soul tool. This is the main reason that I was so interested in your Spiritual Detection.”
“Ever since the advent of the use of stationary soul tools on the battleﬁeld, the gap between our three great empires and the Sun Moon Empire has been decreasing, so much so that it’s practically become nonexistent at this point. If it weren’t for them being afraid of the fact that we have even more consummate experts than them, the Sun Moon Empire deﬁnitely wouldn’t have endured for so long. Because of that, the main focus of my research is on stationary soul tools. Once we can accurately launch long-distance attacks with stationary soul tools, it’ll play a crucial role in any future conﬂicts we have.”
“Other than close-combat, long-range, and stationary soul tools, there’s also subdivisions of soul tools. For example, the attack-type, defense-type, illumination, and other such soul
tools that I’ll gradually teach you how to create and use in the future. Now then, we’ll be moving on to the last section of today’s crash course: The components of a soul tool.”
With that, Fan Yu stood up and retrieved a rectangular metal box. The box was black, roughly a foot long, and as wide as a ﬁst. It was square-shaped at the top, but arc-shaped at the bottom.
Fan Yu fastened the metal box to his left forearm then made sure it was snug. Afterwards, he tapped it in an unknown fashion, causing the black box to immediately begin changing.
A series of clangs rang out as the black box began to completely cover his left forearm. Three protrusions as thick as a thumb appeared above it.
“This soul tool’s known as a Sleeve Cannon. It’s a relatively common long-range soul tool, and it’s activated by soul power. Here, watch.”
With that, Fan Yu raised his arm. Three rays of white light immediately shot out from the three metal tubes that had
appeared, and a strong undulation of soul power immediately shot towards the distance. They struck the distant metal wall, instantly causing halos of light to appear in it.
“The principles behind a soul tool are in fact, extremely simple. Using special methods and techniques, they turn soul power into destructive energy. The most common technique we use is compression, and the way that we do that is by using Formation Carving.”
As Huo Yuhao carefully observed him, Fan Yu removed the Sleeve Cannon from his left arm and slowly dismantled it. While doing so, he explained, “A soul tool is mainly split into three portions: the outer shell, the inner shell, and the core. The outer shell is what you can see on the exterior of the soul tool. You need to use the most durable and heat-resistant metals to create the outer shell, so as so prevent them from being easily destroyed in the long term. On the other hand, the inner shell is different; the inner shell’s most important feature is its ability to magnify and conduct soul power. Because of that, it has to be created using extremely precious conductive metals such as crystal-silver. At the same time, the inner shell’s ability to magnify soul power allows the user to reduce their consumption of soul power whilst using the soul tool. It’s because of this that soul engineers below Class 7 are stronger than soul masters in a drawn-out ﬁght. Lastly, the core of a soul tool is the most important part. It needs to be created using the most precious types of metals and gems. Different types of formation arrays have to be activated using different levels of soul power, and correspondingly, we have to change the materials used for the inner and outer shells of the soul tool. The core can be considered the most important part of the soul tool, and the carving of a formation array is the most important step for a soul engineer.”
“When we determine the rank of a soul engineer, the most important step is to look at the formation array they carve. If you can carve a formation array of a certain rank, and your own soul power has reached that rank as well, you can then be considered a soul engineer of that rank.”
“There aren’t any shortcuts in learning how to carve a formation array. Once you’ve ﬁnished memorizing the formation that our predecessors racked their brains to create, you’ll simply have to continuously experiment with a few ordinary metals. That’s the only way that you’ll be able to constantly improve. Once you’ve learned the various theories of formation array carving, you’ll ﬁnally be able to create something that can be considered your own. When that happens, you can graduate.”
“The most important parts of our research are reﬂected through formation array carving, as it’s much easier to pair an inner and outer shell with a formation array as the base. Caitou has a lot of talent in this ﬁeld. Despite how relaxed he appears to be, he has a special characteristic that his peers don’t have. That characteristic is his concentration. If you want to carve an extremely detailed formation array, you can’t lack concentration.”
“It’s not as if you can’t make any mistakes while carving formation arrays. However, the fewer mistakes you make, the more durable your formation arrays will be.”
After saying this, Fan Yu ﬁnally stopped. Huo Yuhao, who seemed to be deep in thought, made him feel extremely satisﬁed, as he could feel a level of concentration from Huo Yuhao that was comparable to He Caitou’s. Furthermore, Huo Yuhao’s facial expression showed that he’d been able to absorb the information very quickly; he seemed to already have a certain level of understanding towards soul tools.
A short period of time later, Fan Yu asked, “Do you understand now?”
Huo Yuhao nodded. “Teacher, I understand.”
Fan Yu smiled. “These are the most basic things that you’ll have to learn from now on. Now then, what you’ll ﬁrst need to do is build a solid foundation in preparation of creating soul tools. This will take quite a long time to do, but it’s a fundamental part of being a soul engineer. The only way that you can become an outstanding soul engineer is by laying a solid foundation. You should know that, as a soul engineer,
you’ll have to personally create every single soul tool that you’ll use. This is because only you can understand yourself the best, and because you have the most conﬁdence in yourself. We’ll start by teaching you how to forge metal. If you want to become an excellent soul engineer, you’ll ﬁrst have to become an excellent blacksmith.”
After he’d ﬁnished speaking, he gave Huo Yuhao a set of blacksmithing equipment that contained a funnel, a furnace, an anvil, a forging hammer, and more. Afterwards, Fan Yu began to teach him the art of forging, step by step.
Forging was separated into four main steps, as was more or less the case for all precious metals. Even the base of a formation array followed this principle.
The ﬁrst of these steps was material puriﬁcation. By unceasingly hammering a metal at high temperatures, one would be able to expel the impurities within it, in turn causing it to become more compact. The higher a material’s purity, the better it would perform. However, different metals had slightly different methods of puriﬁcation.
The second step was molding. While some metals could be poured into a pre-made mold, a large majority of metals had to be molded by hand.
The third step was tempering. Tempering was a somewhat complicated process, but more than anything else, it’s something that requires experience.
The last step was polishing. Meticulously polishing and inscribing metal was the last step in creating a soul tool; it was the process that perfected an already outstanding item. However, once a core formation array had been polished, a formation array would have to be carved on the base.
Once these four steps were performed, and all the necessary parts were assembled, a soul tool would be created.
It seemed simple on paper, but every single step had extremely stringent requirements. And right now, Huo Yuhao was starting from the very ﬁrst step of forging—material puriﬁcation. The sound of a forging hammer smashing against metal began to ring out from Laboratory #12.
At dinnertime that evening, Wang Dong noticed that Huo Yuhao’s hands were visibly shaking.
“Hey, why’re your hands shaking?” Wang Dong asked, puzzled.
Huo Yuhao replied sulkily, “You go and smash a metal hammer into a metal block for over an hour, see what happens. If I hadn’t had my Mysterious Jade Hands, my hands would currently be full of blisters.”
As they ate, he gave Wang Dong a concise explanation of the basics of soul engineering that Fan Yu had taught him.
After he;d ﬁnished listening, Wang Dong had a disapproving look on his face. “Aren’t you just creating more trouble for yourself? That Teacher Fan Yu said it as well; once we’ve reached the seven-ringed Soul Sage rank, soul engineers simply aren’t a match for us soul masters. Why bother? You’re already lagging behind in terms of cultivation, yet you’ve decided to take time off to train as a soul engineer. Won’t this slow down the rate of your improvement even more?”
Huo Yuhao shook his head. “No. I have to become a soul engineer.” He had his own thoughts in mind. There were many characteristics of a soul engineer that he needed. Furthermore, Fan Yu had informed him that soul engineers were beginning to become even more popular than soul masters on the continent, even at the higher ranks. A single soul master only had the combat power of a single person, while a powerful, peak-level soul engineer could create a terrifying army.
His enemy was currently the White Tiger Duke and his wife, which was equivalent to making half of the Star Luo Empire his enemy! Even if he managed to reach the Titled Douluo rank, would he safely be able to win solely by relying on the strength of a soul master? Because of this, he didn’t just want to become a pinnacle-ranked soul master; he wanted to become a pinnacle-ranked soul engineer, so that he could forge the strongest soul tools for himself.
This goal of his was still very far, far away from coming to fruition. However, Huo Yuhao still had his own sense of pride and conﬁdence. He wasn’t afraid of suffering, and in turn was willing to put in twice the effort of an ordinary person. On top of these things, he also had the Douluo Continent’s ﬁrst ever million year soul ring. The Skydream Iceworm had also told him that the strength of his million year soul ring would increase along with his cultivation.
After eating the top-ranked dinner that core disciples could eat for free, Huo Yuhao’s body felt comfortably warm; an indescribable sense of relaxation had ﬁlled his body.
Wang Dong wiped his mouth and said, “Let’s head back and rest for a bit.”
Huo Yuhao replied, “I still have to see Teacher Fan Yu and train for another two hours, you can head back ﬁrst. We can meditate once I’m back.”
Wang Dong rubbed his forehead. “Huo Yuhao, you know, sometimes I think that you’re a madman.”
Huo Yuhao chuckled. “A cute madman?"
Just as the two were leaving the canteen, they bumped into Tang Ya and Bei Bei. Seeing Huo Yuhao, Tang Ya patted her increasingly conspicuous chest like she was sighing in relief. “Little Yuhao, I thought that something had happened to you. It’s good that nothing’s happened, it’s good.”
It turned out that Tang Ya and Bei Bei had also heard about Huo Yuhao’s match with Wu Feng yesterday. Since he hadn’t left to sell any roasted ﬁsh, they’d assumed that he’d suffered serious injuries. After the two had thought about it for a bit, they’d realised that it was dinnertime. Thus, they decided to head over to the canteen and try their luck... just in time for them to bump into Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong, who’d just ﬁnished their meals.
Huo Yuhao said, “Teacher Xiao Ya, senior brother, I apologize, but I need to head to the Soul Tool Department’s Testing Area to continue training! I don’t have time to explain everything to you right now. You can ask Wang Dong about yesterday’s incident since he knows what happened.” As soon as he’d ﬁnished speaking, he hastily walked away. The ﬁrst steps of one’s journey would always be the toughest ones, and he wasn’t willing to give up on his training in the Martial Soul Department. Thus, he naturally had to make the most of his time.
Suspicious, Tang Ya asked, “What’s happened to Little Yuhao?”
Wang Dong laughed. “Him? He’s a madman. Well, using his own words, he’s a ‘cute’ madman. When he cultivates, he has
so much enthusiasm that he isn’t even human anymore.”
Wang Dong explained yesterday’s issues, as well as the matter of Huo Yuhao becoming Fan Yu’s last disciple, to Tang Ya and Bei Bei. However, he decided to keep the matter of Huo Yuhao becoming a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department a secret out of consideration for him. After all, the Martial Soul Department could immediately withdraw his temporary core disciple treatment if they were to ﬁnd out.
After they’d ﬁnished listening to Wang Dong, Tang Ya and Bei Bei looked towards each other.
Bei Bei smiled bitterly. “I didn’t think that our many years of hard work wouldn’t even amount to our junior brother’s three months. It seems that Teacher Fan Yu has actually taken him in as a disciple. Xiao Ya, perhaps the responsibility of reviving our Tang Sect will fall onto the shoulders of our little junior brother.”
Tang Ya nodded, somewhat relieved. “That’s ﬁne to. I wasn’t really talented at creating soul tools in the ﬁrst place, so I wouldn’t really be able to accomplish much, even if I
continued. It’d be better if I focused on our Tang Sect’s traditional hidden weapons.”
With a puzzled expression on his face, Wang Dong asked, “Senior brother, Teacher Xiao Ya, what are you two talking about?”
Bei Bei said, “Both the rise and fall of our Tang Sect were because of our hidden weapons. Ever since the high-speed development of soul tools began, our Tang Sect began to decline in turn. Because of that, we lost a lot of income. After thinking it over, Tang Ya and I realised that the only opportunity we have to revitalise the Tang Sect is to fuse our hidden weapons with modern soul tools. Because of that, both of us entered the Soul Tool Department. However, I’m a core disciple of the Martial Soul Department, while my classes in the Soul Tool Department are all electives. Right now, I’m only a Class 1 soul engineer. Xiao Ya is able to spend more of her time over there, but her personality makes it so that it’s hard for her to focus while she’s studying and researching. She’s only a Class 2 soul engineer right now, and it will be hard for her to advance to a Class 3 soul engineer.”
Tang Ya interjected, “But Teacher Fan Yu’s different! Teacher Fan Yu is the number one genius of the Soul Tool Department,
as he’s one of very few Class 8 soul engineers that are rarely seen throughout the entire continent! He’s second only to the two Deans of the Soul Tool Department, and he’s widely accepted as the only person in our academy’s entire history capable of becoming a Class 9 soul engineer. He’s also the current candidate to succeed the Dean. In essence, if you can become his disciple, you’ve basically entered the inner circle of
the Soul Tool Department. Not only will you receive the best education, you’ll also obtain the all-around backing of the Soul Tool Department. Little Yuhao’s truly capable! He’s unwittingly done something that we’ve been yearning for. Bei Bei, I think that we can teach Yuhao the Hidden Weapon Hundred Separation.”
Chapter 38: Huo Yuhao, a Class 1.5 Soul Engineer?
Bei Bei nodded slightly. “Our little junior brother hasn’t been in the academy for long, but he’s deﬁnitely much calmer and more hardworking than his peers. His personality is warm yet stubborn, while his ﬁrst soul ring’s only a ten year one. However, if he can fully develop in the Soul Tool Department, he’ll deﬁnitely play a crucial role in the revival of our Tang Sect….”
Tang Ya interjected, “The Tang Sect’s already fallen to this point in our generation. If it doesn’t develop any further, it might really come to an end. If that were to happen, how would we face our ancestors? Wang Dong, since Yuhao’s gone to the Soul Tool Department tonight, you should follow me and begin learning the secret techniques of our Tang Sect. Once I teach him the main principles and cultivation techniques of our hidden weapons tomorrow, his studies will improve enormously.”
Wang Dong looked towards Tang Ya and Bei Bei with a somewhat helpless expression on his face. He inwardly thought, I’m not a little bee that’s as hardworking as Huo Yuhao! I’m being forced to work hard! When he realized that
he’d be dragged into cultivating overnight with Huo Yuhao— without sleep—he couldn’t help but smile bitterly.
The next day, the teachers of the Martial Soul Department were informed that the ﬁrst year students Dai Huabin, Zhu Lu, Huang Chutian, and Wu Feng would be transferred to Class 2 in order to continue their studies.
They’d undoubtedly raised a few appeals. However, Shrek Academy was still Shrek Academy. Regardless of your identity, everyone would be treated equally while studying here. The academy would ﬁrst and foremost respect the decisions of its teachers, not to mention how Teacher Wang Yan had explained the situation. A few students had been kicked out of Class 1, but they’d still remain in the academy. Furthermore, these core disciples were arrogant due to their outstanding talent, so suffering a setback like this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.
After this incident, the atmosphere inside of Class 1 changed into one that was somewhat jittery. Though they didn’t tremble the moment they saw Zhou Yi, nobody dared to disobey what she said. When he saw this, Wang Yan had no choice but to respect her; after a ruckus like that, the learning atmosphere in Class 1 had immediately transformed into the best he’d ever seen amongst all the classes he’d taught.
Most of the students’ lives in the academy became much calmer after this, but this was only true for a large majority of the students. To a ‘diligent little bee’ such as Huo Yuhao, his life was ﬁlled with vigor every day. Naturally, only he himself felt that it was full of vigor. In Wang Dong’s opinion, he was
practically a man made of iron...
As soon as he woke up in the morning to train his Purple Demon Eyes, it would mark the beginning of another intense, yet fulﬁlling day. To Huo Yuhao, his classes in the Martial Soul Department during the day were actually the easiest things that he did during the day, as he only needed to use his brain. Under his teacher’s guidance, he learned tactics, cultivation techniques, combination techniques, and all sorts of other things that soul masters used.
He didn’t even waste the free time he had during the afternoon. As soon as he ﬁnished lunch, he’d drag Wang Dong into cultivating with him for a period of time. Not only did this increase the energy he’d have available during the afternoon, it also improved his cultivation.
This caused Wang Dong to feel that researching the Haodong Power alongside Huo Yuhao had absolutely been a mistake. He
wouldn’t even need to remember to cultivate, as once it was time, Huo Yuhao would drag him along to begin cultivating. Because of this, the normally-lazy Wang Dong was forced to begin working diligently as well, in turn causing his soul power to increase at a relatively fast pace.
As soon as school ended, Huo Yuhao would rush over to the Soul Tool Department to study soul tools with Fan Yu. The four hours he spent there every night were, to him, the most exhausting period of the day. Fan Yu’s way of teaching was extremely strict, and the standards that he held for his last disciple were so high that they were second to none, even in Shrek Academy. When He Caitou had been going through the ﬁrst stages that Huo Yuhao was currently going through, he’d suffered untold hardships.
However, Fan Yu was astonished by the fact that Huo Yuhao seemed to be a rubber ball ﬁlled with elasticity: No matter how hard he pushed him, he’d always bounce back. Not only did he complete the tasks that Fan Yu assigned him in an excellent manner, he was even meticulous to the point that there weren’t any ﬂaws in his work at all. Sometimes, Fan Yu even thought that Huo Yuhao was the one being too harsh on himself. However, in the end, Huo Yuhao still managed to conscientiously complete every task he was assigned without any complaints. Even when he was exhausted to the point that
he couldn’t even return to his room, he didn’t grumble at all. There was many times when Fan Yu had to personally send him back, but even when that happened, he wasn’t willing to sleep. Instead, he’d have Wang Dong help him into a cross- legged position in order to cultivate.
Of the Tang Sect’s secret techniques that were related to hidden weapons, the ﬁrst that Huo Yuhao used was the forging technique—the Chaotic Wind-Splitting Hammer Technique. This technique borrowed the force generated by his lower body in order to move the hammer he held with his upper body, causing every single strike with a hammer to continuously increase in power. Not only did it save energy, it even managed to increase the quality of his forging. It was a secret technique that the Tang Sect that had never passed on.
Huo Yuhao was entirely relying on his own intuition to learn and utilise the Chaotic Wind-Splitting Hammer Technique. Even though he continuously had the Mysterious Jade Hands active, blisters began to appear on his palms, and a layer of ﬂesh was scraped off his palms as they formed calluses. Those calluses were then scraped off, forming new calluses. However, he didn’t slack off for a single day, nor did he grumble. On the contrary, he took pleasure in it, assiduously working hard, like a true ironman.
After three months, Huo Yuhao was able to chain together eighteen consecutive hammer strikes using the Chaotic Wind- Splitting Hammer Technique, and after ﬁve months, had increased to thirty six consecutive strikes. The highest realm that one could reach with the Chaotic Wind-Splitting Hammer
Technique was only eighty one consecutive strikes, but by the time he could chain thirty six strikes together, he’d already passed the ﬁrst stage of soul tool creation. In Fan Yu’s own words, “The student has surpassed the master.”
He Caitou had taken a full year to pass this stage, yet Huo Yuhao had only taken ﬁve months. Admittedly, the Tang Sect’s Chaotic Wind-Splitting Hammer Technique had played a decent part in this, but Huo Yuhao’s fearless tenacity had been the main reason.
In the blink of an eye, autumn had ended, and winter had arrived. And after that, winter ended, and spring arrived. At this point, eight months had passed since the beginning of Huo Yuhao’s studies in the Soul Tool Department.
Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao, as well as Dai Huabin and Zhu Lu, had already reached the end of their ﬁrst year in Shrek Academy. After this, they had vacation time.
Every year, Shrek Academy would have a month-long vacation. This month naturally wasn’t meant for students to relax and tour around during. Instead, it was meant for them to completely digest the things they’d learned during the past eleven months, and for them to continuously cultivate. After this one month rest-period, they’d have to undergo their advancement test. Students that weren’t able to pass their advancement test would directly be expelled. Because of that, the holiday period tended to be the most exhausting and busy time for the overwhelming majority of students. Who would dare to truly relax and rest during a time like this!?
Within the Soul Tool Testing Area’s Laboratory #12.
Fan Yu and He Caitou both stood beside Huo Yuhao—who was currently working on an enormous metal table—watching him very quietly. Fan Yu had clasped his hands behind his back, but he was watching every move that Huo Yuhao made very attentively. On the other hand, He Caitou had his ﬁsts clenched tightly, clearly somewhat nervous.
Huo Yuhao was currently seated in front of the metal table, and was holding a hexagonal piece of metal that was roughly the size of a walnut in his left hand. His right hand gripped a slender, thin knife, which he was using to carefully carve an inscription on a piece of metal.
His movements were extremely slow, but his hands were equally as stable. Every single movement that he made with his knife was made with extreme clarity.
The piece of metal was bluish-gold in color, and released a somewhat peculiar aura. As Huo Yuhao continued to carve with his knife, complicated patterns began to gradually appear on it.
Huo Yuhao’s pupils shone with a pale gold luster, and even though he’d been focused for a long period of time, he hadn’t blinked once. Time passed second by second, but his body remained unmoving, like a sculpture. Only his ﬁngers—which were controlling the tiny sculpting blade—slowly moved alongside the guidance of his soul power. His tempo didn’t waver in the slightest.
An excited light gradually began to appear in He Caitou’s eyes, and a strange light appeared in Fan Yu’s eyes. Even his clasped hands couldn’t help but slowly turn into ﬁsts.
Finally, Huo Yuhao slowly carved one ﬁnal cut, ﬁnishing a miniscule engraving on the piece of metal. Afterwards, he ﬁnally stopped.
The golden light in his eyes slowly faded away, and a trace of exhaustion appeared on his face. However, a brilliant smile had already appeared on his face by the time he raised his head to look towards Fan Yu and He Caitou.
“Teacher, senior brother, I’ve succeeded. From now on, I should be a Class 1.5 soul engineer, right?”
He Caitou looked towards him with a blank look in his eyes. “Yuhao, you… you’ve really succeeded?”
Huo Yuhao carefully raised the piece of metal with his right hand, and a gentle trace of soul power slowly ﬂowed into it. Immediately, the metal piece shone with a clear, blue light, causing the soft halo of light it had originally had to turn into a
foot-high pillar that rose into the air. The blue halo of light was straight yet sturdy, and had no signs of ﬂickering. On the other hand, the metal piece itself shone with a penetratingly blue light.
“Good, good, good!” Fan Yu ﬁnally said. From the excitement on his face, one could tell that his emotions had been roused.
“Yuhao, good child. You aren’t just a Class 1.5 soul engineer. Your cultivation hasn’t reached the required level, but other than that, I can tell you that you’ve already become a fully ﬂedged Class 2 soul engineer. You have an extraordinary amount of talent that ordinary people can’t even begin to hope for, and you’re incomparably hardworking on top of that. There were no coincidences in your success. This is your reward for the eight months of hard work that you’ve endured!”
He Caitou cheered, then pounced towards Huo Yuhao. After grabbing ahold of him, he ﬂung him into the air. Huo Yuhao’s face was ﬁlled with happiness, but he pursed his lips tightly.
Right, the small metal piece he’d just engraved was the core of a Class 2 soul tool!
He’d completed the foundations of forging after ﬁve months of hard work, then had taken another month to learn molding, tempering, and polishing, as well as the other necessary procedures. Afterwards, he’d ﬁnally begun to learn how to engrave formation arrays. This was also the most important step in creating a soul tool.
If Huo Yuhao’s previous learning speed could be described as quick, the main reason behind that was because of his hard work and diligence. However, he’d begun to reveal his true genius in creating soul tools after he’d begun to learn how to engrave formation arrays.
Huo Yuhao was much calmer than his peers, and also had an innate advantage compared to others—his Spirit Eyes. By relying on the Purple Demon Eyes alongside his Spirit Eyes, his visual acuity was several times greater than that of an ordinary person’s.
More often than not, students would fail while engraving a formation array due to miniscule errors they’d made. However, a situation like this would almost never occur with Huo Yuhao.
His Spiritual Detection could create a clear, three- dimensional shape of the metallic core in his mind. Because of this, he would basically never make a mistake, regardless of how deeply he had to cut, or how many cuts he had to make. This, combined with Huo Yuhao’s seriousness, allowed him to only need a month to ﬁnish engraving his ﬁrst formation array from the time he started memorizing it from theory and putting it into practice.
In other words, Huo Yuhao had taken seven months to formally become a Class 1 soul engineer.
At that time, Fan Yu had told him that, although he wasn’t clear what the record in the Sun Moon Empire was, Huo Yuhao was deﬁnitely the fastest person to become a Class 1 soul engineer in all of the Heavenly Soul, Dou Ling, and Star Luo empires. He Caitou taking one year and four months to do this had already been considered breathtaking by Fan Yu, but Huo Yuhao had only needed half that!
Huo Yuhao had been extremely concentrated on his studies and practice. In Fan Yu’s opinion, he didn’t seem to know the meaning of ‘dry and dull’ at all. Even if it was the exact same Class 1 formation array, he would engrave several hundred of them onto an ordinary piece of metal with gusto.
After another month, Huo Yuhao had attempted to engrave a Class 2 formation array onto a true core. And he’d succeeded; he’d actually succeeded! Though Fan Yu had already predicted it to some extent, he couldn’t help but tear up at the sight of his disciple truly succeeding in front of him.
Strong teachers were hard to ﬁnd, but talented students were just as hard, if not harder to ﬁnd! That’s not mentioning a talented disciple that was also willing to give 200%. Fan Yu was an extremely harsh teacher, but even he hadn’t been able to ﬁnd a single fault with Huo Yuhao.
It should be known that a Class 2 formation array is at least three times more complicated than a Class 1 formation array. Moreover, the requirements towards the usage of soul power are extremely high. Huo Yuhao’s success had had no element of luck to it at all; he’d truly controlled everything perfectly.
After Fan Yu waved towards He Caitou, he ﬁnally let Huo Yuhao go. Fan Yu couldn’t help but be ﬁlled with pride when he saw his pleased disciples.
Huo Yuhao had just passed his twelfth birthday, and was now half a head taller than when he’d entered the academy.
The top-ranked food that he’d received from the Martial Soul Department had provided him with more than enough nutrients. Combined with his ﬁve months of forging training and enormous activity level, Huo Yuhao’s body had become much sturdier. Though his muscles weren’t as exaggerated as He Caitou’s, he had still become relatively rugged-looking. The lines drawn by his muscles were evident, but they were ﬁlled with ﬂexibility. If he were to take off his clothes, he’d look like a small leopard ready to pounce. His gaze had also become much calmer and much more resolute, while his back was naturally straight as he stood there.
Fan Yu beckoned towards his two disciples. “You guys can sit down. Yuhao, give me your completed core. This is the ﬁrst Class 2 soul tool you’ve made, so I’ll assist you with creating its outer and inner shell as a graduation present for you.”
“Thank you, teacher.” Huo Yuhao didn’t decline as he replied with a smile, then handed the core over to Fan Yu.
Fan Yu continued, “The holidays are about to start. What do you two have in mind?”
He Caitou smiled in a silly manner. “Teacher, I’m an orphan, so I’ll just stay in the academy and continue training. My little junior brother’s improved too quickly; I already feel threatened by him. I want to become a Class 4 soul engineer by next year. In my opinion, I don’t think he’ll need long to catch up with me.”
Fan Yu smiled. “You don’t have to be so humble. The journey of a soul engineer gets tougher and tougher as you move forwards. Your junior brother truly has a monstrous level of talent in the aspect of formation array engraving, but his cultivation is still lacking. If he wants to engrave higher- ranked formation arrays, he’ll have to ﬁrst increase his cultivation rank. If he doesn’t, he won’t have enough soul power to ﬁnish an engraving. Yuhao, this is also something you have to do. You need to work hard to increase your cultivation. If I’m not mistaken, your soul power should’ve already reached Rank 20. I’ll take you to the Great Star Dou Forest, as you need a suitable soul ring to improve even more."
Right, Huo Yuhao’s cultivation had already reached Rank 20. Moreover, he’d reached it two months ago. During these past eight months, he’d cultivated incessantly. With the Haodong Power’s assistance, the rate at which his soul power increased was no less than his rate of improvement in the creation of soul tools.
When he’d reached Rank 20, there had still been some time left until the holidays. Because of that, Wang Yan had suggested that he not rush to obtain a soul ring. Instead, he’d asked Huo Yuhao to continue cultivating diligently. According to a grandmaster from Shrek Academy’s ﬁrst generation, a soul master’s cultivation wouldn’t simply halt because of their inability to obtain a soul ring. Instead, the bottleneck would naturally restrict it from exploding upwards. In other words, although Huo Yuhao wouldn’t increase in rank after hitting Rank 20, his latent cultivation would still continue to improve. Once he’d obtained his second soul ring however, it would immediately explode upwards.
Because of that, Huo Yuhao had continued to cultivate. Wang Dong’s cultivation speed was also extremely quick. Cultivating with the Haodong Power alongside Huo Yuhao had caused his cultivation speed to double. In the past eight months, his soul power had risen by an impressive three ranks; he’d already
reached Rank 28. According to Wang Dong’s calculations, he’d be able to break through to the three-ringed rank by summer at the latest. This cultivation speed was already fast enough to astonish many people.
Huo Yuhao being treated as core disciple of the Martial Soul Department naturally wasn’t limited to food alone. Teachers from the inner courtyard would come over every week to provide them with some pointers as well. Even though a person like him—as someone who could only enjoy the treatment of a core disciple—was only a side character, the number of things he’d learned absolutely wasn’t any less than the others.
“Teacher, there’s no need. I was one of the champions of the freshmen assessment, and one of the prizes I received was for a teacher to help me obtain the most optimum soul ring I could withstand. You’re still busy with your research, so there’s no need to trouble yourself.”
Fan Yu chuckled. “Right! I forgot about that. You can go ﬁnd Director Du directly then; he takes care of these things. When do you plan on going?”
Huo Yuhao replied, “The day after tomorrow. I’ll leave in the morning. Please don’t worry, I’ll do my best to come back early. I’ll head back as soon as I get my soul ring.”
Fan Yu nodded. “Yuhao, if you’re just trying to upgrade your martial soul, I suggest that you get an attack-type skill. However, I suggest that you diligently train in your Spiritual Detection if you want to increase your abilities as a soul engineer. However, I can’t give you any speciﬁcs as to what soul ring you should obtain. Furthermore, the soul ring you obtain also depends on fate. Thus, it’ll be up to you to create your soul tools.”
“Yes. I’ll take note of that, teacher.” Huo Yuhao nodded seriously. However, this was the ﬁrst time he’d told a lie to Fan Yu. He didn’t have any plans to ask the Martial Soul Department to help him obtain a second soul ring for his Spirit Eyes. He wanted to do it by himself, as he had the Skydream Iceworm.
Once he thought about how he was ﬁnally going to become a Soul Grandmaster, and how he’d formally awaken his second martial soul with the help of the Skydream Iceworm, he couldn’t help but inwardly turn fervent.
Fan Yu continued, “We’re about to begin vacation, so you don’t need to continue working anymore today. Go on, head back to your dorm and pack up. Rest for a bit too.”
He Caitou couldn’t help but widen his eyes. This was the ﬁrst time he’d ever heard his teacher say the word ‘rest’.
By the time he’d left the Soul Tool Department’s Testing Area, the sky had already darkened. The weather today honestly wasn’t that great. A light drizzle gradually fell, and the sound of the pattering rain brought a slight chill to the spring night.
However, Huo Yuhao didn’t feel that the rain was bad at all. On the contrary, he felt somewhat carefree, as if it were washing away his exhaustion. Just as he was about to step out into the rain and experience this refreshing feeling, he suddenly shifted his gaze towards the left.
An umbrella had already been opened, and beneath it was someone wearing a Year 1 uniform. His short, pinkish-blue hair gave off the beauty of a fairy beneath the rainy night, while his similarly large pinkish-blue eyes were ﬁlled with both ingenuity and a slight trace of astonishment.
“Even the ironman is gooﬁng off?” He said as he smiled towards Huo Yuhao.
Astonished, Huo Yuhao looked towards him. “Why’d you come?”
“It’s raining. We’re gonna be splitting up the day after tomorrow, so I came to get you.” The youth ﬂipped his short, pinkish-blue hair, the gaze in his eyes somewhat peculiar.
Huo Yuhao chuckled. “You can’t bear to part with me? There’s only a month before we’ll all be back together. Let’s go. We’ll head back to our room ﬁrst. And I’m not gooﬁng off; Teacher Fan Yu specially allowed us to leave early.”
The person who’d come to get him was Wang Dong. After eight months, the still-developing Wang Dong had also grown slightly taller. Only, he hadn’t grown as much as Huo Yuhao had. Huo Yuhao was now taller than him by a little bit.
The two people slowly walked across the wet ground as they returned to their dorms. Normally, Huo Yuhao would’ve
walked through campus as quickly as possible. Today however, he’d slowed down. With the scenery being as rainy as it was, he’d immediately felt that something was different. Thus, the two of them had deliberately slowed down as they walked back to their dorm.
“Did the Soul Tool Department agree to help you get a soul ring?” Wang Dong asked.
Huo Yuhao nodded. “Of course. I’m a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department after all.” He couldn’t help but feel somewhat apologetic as he said this. In order to keep the Skydream Iceworm a secret, he had no choice but to tell a white lie to both parties.
Wang Dong replied, “I’ll be heading back home too. I’m also leaving earlier than you. Thus, you’ll have to take care of yourself. It’s a pity that I haven’t reached Rank 30. Otherwise, I’d come with you to hunt a few soul beasts. That would’ve been nice.”
Huo Yuhao chuckled. “Don’t be so discontented. Ever since we got the Haodong Power, hasn’t our cultivation speed increased by a large amount? Go ask the other students; who
else do you think could improve as much as you after reaching Rank 20? After we get back and pass the advancement test, you’ll be able to reach Rank 30 after two or three months at most. I haven’t obtained my second soul ring yet, but I reckon that I’m about Rank 22 or so right now. As time passes, the advantage that we get from our Haodong Power will become more and more obvious. Let’s try and catch up to Dai Huabin in soul power by the time we’re in Year 4.”
During the past eight months, Huo Yuhao had dedicated as much of his energy to cultivating as he could. With his current rank, he could calmly face Dai Huabin. However, this didn’t mean that his hatred had dissolved; on the contrary, he’d buried it even deeper inside of himself. His hatred had already been deeply rooted inside of him, thus how could he erase it so easily?
He wasn’t clear as to just how high Dai Huabin’s soul power was compared to his, but he safely estimated it to be around Rank 33 or so. Although the rate at which a person’s cultivation improved drastically decreased after crossing the Rank 30 threshold, going up three or four ranks in a year wouldn’t be much of a problem with Dai Huabin’s level of talent, plus his previous cultivation. Furthermore, it seemed that he’d cultivated diligently after he was kicked out of Class 1.
Wang Dong smiled, but didn’t say anything, as a large amount of conﬁdence had begun to emanate from his gaze.
The route they’d taken could easily have been taken in around ten minutes, but they purposefully took much longer. Just as they were about to reach their dorm room, Wang Dong suddenly said, “Let’s go sit next to the Sea God’s Lake for a while. It’s not very easy to ﬁnd you gooﬁng off. It’s also been a long time since I’ve tasted your roasted ﬁsh.”
Huo Yuhao was somewhat embarrassed. “I didn’t prepare anything. If I’d known you wanted some, I deﬁnitely would’ve roasted some for you.”
Wang Dong smiled devilishly and shoved the umbrella into Huo Yuhao’s hands as he said, “Just wait here.” After saying that, he ran back to their dorm room as fast as he could. A few moments later, he reappeared and gestured with the bright blue bracelet in his left hand towards the Sea God’s Lake. “Let’s go.”
Huo Yuhao’s eyes widened. “You planned this in advance!”
Wang Dong didn’t deny it. “I was originally planning to wait for you to ﬁnish at night and drag you out for a little midnight fun, but I didn’t think that you’d ﬁnish early. It’s perfect timing; we’re about to go on vacation, and it’s hard to indulge
for a bit. In any case, don’t even think of sleeping tonight if you don’t ﬁll me up.”
Huo Yuhao chuckled. “Alright. As long as you have enough ingredients, I’ll keep feeding you until you can’t move.”
Beneath the eaves of the dormitories, the old grandpa who was normally always sleeping couldn’t help his eyes from widening slightly. The corner of his mouth curved slightly as he gazed towards Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong, who were running into the distance. He thought aloud, “Back then, how many girls said that to me!? And every time they’d say that, I’d be the one to feed them until they were full… These two fellas sure are interesting.”
After excitedly running towards the Sea God’s Lake, Wang Dong held up the umbrella so that Huo Yuhao could start a ﬁre. The rain wasn’t very strong, thus the umbrella was able to cover the entire area they’d chosen. After only a moment’s worth of work, a ﬁre had been lit. The unique smell of charcoal began to slowly rise into the air, but didn’t disperse due to the rainy weather.
Mist began to appear atop the Sea God’s Lake, and slowly enveloped the distant Sea God’s Island. The misty lake in turn gave off a cool yet damp feeling, while the now-bonﬁre gave Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong waves of warmth. The two of them looked towards each other at practically the same instant, their cheeks ﬂushed from the reﬂection of the bonﬁre. As they smiled towards each other, a warm feeling seemed to bore into their hearts.
After setting up his stove and placing the raw ﬁsh on it, Huo Yuhao began to roast them with his full attention. The concentration on his face was no less than when he’d engraved formation arrays onto the cores of soul tools.
Wang Dong stood next to him, holding the umbrella up. However, instead of looking at the ﬁsh that were being roasted, he looked at Huo Yuhao’s serious face. The cool air, the hot furnace, and the golden mackerels—which had begun to release a fragrant smell—sketched a moving image as they combined. As Wang Dong gazed at Huo Yuhao, he instinctively knew that he’d never forget this scene. He also quite enjoyed the thought of Huo Yuhao roasting ﬁsh for him, and him alone.
Finally, Huo Yuhao ﬁnished roasting the ﬁrst piece of ﬁsh. Huo Yuhao immediately handed it to Wang Dong and said, “Eat
it while it’s hot.”
“Yup.” Wang Dong took the ﬁsh from Huo Yuhao, and ate the ﬁsh carefully. The fragrance of Huo Yuhao’s roasted ﬁsh, which he hadn’t tasted in such a long time, caused his eyes to turn somewhat red.
As he roasted some more ﬁsh, Huo Yuhao said, “Speaking of roasted ﬁsh, we should call Teacher Xiao Ya, senior brother, and Xiao Xiao over. They enjoy it as well.”
“No way! You belong to me today!” Wang Dong blurted out.
Astonished, Huo Yuhao raised his head to look towards Wang Dong. When he did, he saw a somewhat stubborn look in Wang Dong’s pinkish-blue eyes.
“I mean that your roasted ﬁsh belong to me,” Wang Dong hurriedly interjected. The contrast between the dark sky and the bonﬁre caused his face to appear extremely ﬂushed.
Afterwards, they continued to eat roasted ﬁsh for so long that they didn’t even know how long they’d been eating. Only after they’d gotten full did they return to their dorm room.
Once they got back to their dorm room, Huo Yuhao laid down on his hard, wooden bed. “Ah… it feels so nice to ﬁll myself up. I’ve decided to just be lazy for the entire day tomorrow, and to have a nice sleep tonight. You’re right, we should take a break once in awhile.”
“No, get up and cultivate.” Wang Dong walked over to him and pulled him up as a sarcastic smile appeared on his face.
“You can’t be serious.” Huo Yuhao wailed. “It’s been so hard for me to rest lately!”
Wang Dong replied, “We’re separating the day after tomorrow, thus we should make the most out of the rest of our time left to cultivate together. You can go goof off by yourself when you don’t have the Haodong Power. Come on, get up.”
“Alright….” With a helpless look on his face, Huo Yuhao slowly got up. Just as he was about to sit down in a cross-legged
position on his wooden bed, Wang Dong suddenly said, “Come over here. Seeing that we’re about to separate, and that you just roasted so much ﬁsh for me, I’ll let you sit over here while you cultivate.”
“Huh?” Huo Yuhao was stunned. Afterwards, he smiled cunningly as he looked towards Wang Dong’s fur-covered mattress, then obediently jumped onto Wang Dong’s his bed without any reservations.
“Who said that you could get up here now? Go change into a clean set of clothes!” Wang Dong hurriedly shouted.
However, Huo Yuhao had already sat down in a cross-legged position. “You need to stop having so many bad habits. Quick, the sun’s gonna come up if we don’t start soon.”
Only after hearing Huo Yuhao say this did Wang Dong sit across from Huo Yuhao, a somewhat unwilling expression present on his face. Afterwards, the two pressed their palms against each other’s and began to circulate the Haodong Power. The moment they closed their eyes, a faint smile appeared on both of their faces.
The morning of the next day.
Once they got up, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong felt that their minds had been completely refreshed, possibly due to the peaceful night they’d had. Today was the last day of their Year 1 classes, as Shrek Academy’s holidays would ofﬁcially start tomorrow.
After eating breakfast, they headed towards their classroom early. Fan Yu had already begun Huo Yuhao’s vacation, thus he didn’t need to go and train his soul tool creation today. Eleven months had passed since he’d entered Shrek Academy, yet he’d never been as relaxed as today. The relaxing feeling that enveloped his entire body made him feel warm and comfy.
Huo Yuhao decided that he wouldn’t bother with anything else today; he’d have a good rest today.
Zhou Yi and Wang Yan walked into the classroom together. Whenever Zhuo Yi was there, regardless of what time it was, the atmosphere in Class 1 could only be described using the word ‘solemn’. Today was no exception, even if the holidays began tomorrow. At this point in time, nobody dared to provoke the hegemonic ﬂower known as Zhou Yi! In the event
that her old mind suddenly blew up, none of them would be able to handle it.
Wang Yan walked up to the stage, while Zhou Yi walked towards the back of the classroom and sat down in an empty chair.
“Students, this will be your last day in Year 1. The academy hasn’t arranged any assignments for you. I’ll be giving you all some parting words, then you can head back and pack up your things.”
Once Wang Yan said this, the entire class immediately erupted into cheers. They didn’t even care that Zhou Yi was there. Since the holidays were about to start, everyone had their hearts set on going home. After all, who wouldn’t want to go home and see their relatives!? Naturally, those with no relatives were an exception to this.
Wang Yan smiled. “We’ve all worked hard this year. I can say with pride that you’ve been the most outstanding class I’ve ever taught. On behalf of Zhou Yi and myself, we thank you all for working hard. Your hard work will bring glory to those of us in Class 1.”
“However,” Wang Yan said, suddenly shifted the topic of discussion, “unlike the other academies, Shrek Academy doesn’t have any ﬁnal exams. As to why this is the case, I’m sure that everyone already knows. We’ll be testing whether or not you’re qualiﬁed to become a second year student at the start of the next year. Because of that, you can’t relax at all, even when you go back home. You’ll have to work even harder during the next month. This is the only way that you can
continue to study in Shrek Academy next year. I’m fond of every single one of you, thus I hope that we don’t have to say farewell to anyone next year.”
“Now then, I’ll tell you all a few of the main points regarding the advancement test. You’ll have to remember this: The ﬁrst part of the advancement test has no skill requirements. It tests your absolute strength, or in other words, your soul power. If you want to get into Year 2, you’ll have to be Rank 20. If you haven’t gotten two soul rings by the time we take the advancement test, I suggest that you not bother coming next year. Regardless of how well you perform during the other assessments, it won’t be of any use if you haven’t gotten two rings. The academy won’t change its rules for anyone. As such, if you’re a student who hasn’t reached Rank 20 yet, you’ll have to cultivate for your lives. At the same time, you’ll also have to get a second soul ring in order to prove that you’ve reached the Soul Grandmaster level.”
“However, having a two-ringed cultivation doesn’t mean that you’ll deﬁnitely pass the advancement test. Even Teacher Zhou and I don’t know the speciﬁcs of the advancement test at this point in time. However, I can tell you my advancement test was like. That year, the Year 2 advancement test had every single student challenge a hundred year soul beast under the supervision of a teacher. Remember this—you’ll have to do it alone, without any outside assistance. If the supervising teacher makes a move, the assessment will be over. This test is the academy’s most-often used assessment. You should be happy if you get this test, as it tests your pure, unadulterated strength. However, there’s a chance that they could give you an even more difﬁcult test that requires luck, strength, and intelligence, but these tests normally only appear in upper year tests. At the same time, this advancement test isn’t just related to every single one of you; it’s related to our class, as Class 1 also has to undergo an advancement test. This assessment is an extra one that you’ll have to ﬁnish as well.”