Book 7: The Extreme North
Chapter 39: The Three Emperors of the Extreme North
Everyone had been able to understand Wang Yan’s ﬁrst words, but some of them became somewhat confused when he started talking about a class advancement test. What was a class advancement test?
Wang Yan indifferently continued, “Every single class acts as a whole body. As such, if that whole body can’t advance to Year 2, what use would there be in the students advancing? From another standpoint, the class advancement test is a test for Teacher Zhou Yi and I. During the class advancement test, we’ll choose three to seven students to participate in a special test. The advancement level of our class will be determined by how well we do in this assessment. If we complete this assessment perfectly, then 100% of Class 1 will advance; every single student that can pass the individual assessment will be able to continue their studies in Year 2. However, if we can’t complete it perfectly, we’ll have to expel a percentage of students from Class 1, despite them passing their individual tests. In other words, even if every single one of you passes the individual assessment, if we only end up getting 90% on the class advancement test, the last 10% of students in the Class 1’s assessment ranking will be expelled.”
Once he’d ﬁnished his explanation, the entire class immediately understood what he meant, which in turn caused them to be dumbstruck. The students that had thought they could relax and take a short break during the holidays were astonished to the point that their mouths were wide open. This
was especially true for those who had higher cultivations, as they’d thought that they could breeze through the advancement test. They’d never expected the possibility of there being a class advancement test.
Wang Yan smiled. Though it seemed warm, it actually contained an ominous feeling. “I think that, if any of the students who’ve been chosen to participate in the class assessment make a mistake that causes the evaluation of the class to drop, the entire class will remember that person.”
“I’m also a student who’s graduated from Shrek Academy, so I’ll tell you about what my experience was like. Realistically, the period of time after you pass your advancement test and begin your studies again is actually the happiest and most exciting time you’ll experience in Shrek Academy. Contrarily, the holidays are hell for an overwhelming majority of students. Unless you’re unwilling to continue studying here, you should know what you all have to do once you get home.”
“That’s all I have to say. Class is dismissed, you can head back and pack up your things.” Wang Yan waved his hand as he dismissed the class.
The students of Class 1 were dumbstruck; their original excitement and enthusiasm had vanished from the face of the earth. Was it really possible for a two-ringed student to take on a hundred year soul beast by themselves? Although a large majority of them possessed hundred year soul rings, how many of them had actually been the one to hunt the soul beast that they’d obtained their soul ring from? Not to mention the class advancement test that they’d have to pass afterwards.
Wang Dong had a bitter smile on his face as he asked Huo Yuhao, “Say, do you think that I’ll be chosen for the class test?”
Huo Yuhao glanced at him. “What do you think, class monitor Wang?”
Depressed, Wang Dong stood up. “Whatever, there’s no use talking to you! Let’s head back to our room and cultivate. An extra day of cultivating is still an extra day. Since we’ve only got one month, I’ll try to reach Rank 30 as quickly as possible, even if it means that I have to eat pills everyday.”
Huo Yuhao smiled. “If you can manage to reach Rank 30 before we take the advancement test, I strongly believe that it will be much easier for you. Don’t worry, I’ll volunteer to participate in the class assessment so that I can be a strong support for you.”
“Wang Dong, Huo Yuhao. You two stay behind for a bit.” Zhou Yi’s cold voice rang out.
The two of them hurriedly paused their footsteps. After the other students had left, Wang Yan and Zhou Yi had called the two of them over to the stage.
“What are your thoughts on the class assessment that Teacher Wang mentioned?” Zhou Yi asked.
Helpless, Wang Dong replied, “What can I say? The two of us will just have to go together. Oh yeah, we’ll have to get Xiao Xiao as well.” Xiao Xiao had already fused with the soul bone she’d received, causing her strength to increase dramatically. Moreover, she was someone that possessed twin martial souls. Even though her soul power cultivation speed wasn’t as fast as
Wang Dong and Huo Yuhao’s, she was still one of the quickest within Class 1.
Wang Yan nodded. “The two of you deﬁnitely have to participate together when the time comes. We don’t know the speciﬁcs of the assessment, but you’ll still have to work hard during the next month. Yuhao, are there any problems regarding your second ring?”
Huo Yuhao immediately shook his head. “There aren’t any.” He was still afraid of Wang Yan questioning him, as that would expose his lie. Fortunately, Wang Yan didn’t follow up with any further questions. He’d clearly been reassured by Huo Yuhao.
Zhou Yi said, “Your studies here will be even more intense next year. I won’t bother talking too much about other things, as you two should head back early. As class monitors, I hope that the two of you can come back somewhat earlier. The earlier you come back, the better, as Teacher Wang and I will be informed of the contents of the assessment around ten days or so before we begin school. Following this, you two will be able to prepare for it if you come back early.”
“Yes.” Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong nodded simultaneously.
Zhou Yi replied, “Go on.”
“Teacher Zhou, Teacher Wang, goodbye.” Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong respectfully said goodbye to the two teachers. Although they were about to begin their holidays, they were still somewhat unwilling to leave the academy.
In the end, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s original plans—to make the most of their time to cultivate—didn’t succeed, as Xiao Xiao, along with Bei Bei and Tang Ya, were waiting for them outside. Thus, the words that Huo Yuhao had said last night became a reality; he ended up roasting some ﬁsh for everyone.
Their meal wasn’t just limited to the ﬁve of them, as Huo Yuhao also called over his senior brother, He Caitou. After the six of them had gathered, it became rather lively; they continued messing around like crazy until it was night time. Huo Yuhao didn’t tell anyone where he was going to obtain his soul ring, and in the end, his white lie wasn’t exposed.
Another morning began.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong walked across the Sea God’s Lake’s lakeside path. Since they had storage-type soul tools, they naturally didn’t need to carry a backpack with them. The two of them remained silent as they slowly walked forwards.
Mist proceeded to slowly cover the Sea God’s Lake, while the damp air blown by the lakeside wind battered their bodies, causing their uniforms to become somewhat moist.
Though the lakeside path was rather long, it still had an end. As the morning sun slowly rose, the water vapor surrounding them gradually evaporated.
“I’m leaving now, but I’ll come back early. See me off.” Wang Dong said as he turned towards Huo Yuhao. When Huo Yuhao saw Wang Dong, he could clearly see the trace of liquid sparkling at the corners of his eyes.
During the past eleven months, the two of them had practically been together all the time, cultivating day and night. Though they weren’t inseparable, they’d become best friends. Just as they were about to separate from each other, a strong feeling of reluctance seemed to clog up their throats.
Though this feeling didn’t last long, it caused them to feel the pain of separation temporarily.
Afterwards, Wang Dong ran out of the academy like he was escaping from Huo Yuhao. He didn’t turn around, but he couldn’t help the tears in his eyes from ﬂowing uncontrollably. He muttered to himself inwardly, Huo Yuhao, you big dummy!
Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but rub his eyes as he watched Wang Dong’s slender ﬁgure gradually disappear. Afterwards, he turned towards the doorplate of Shrek Academy.
Teacher Xiao Ya, elder senior brother, senior brother He, Teacher Zhou, Teacher Fan Yu, Teacher Wang… I’m leaving now. I’ll deﬁnitely give you all a big surprise when I get back. I’ve never forgotten the oath I made back then; I’ll deﬁnitely make those that looked down on my white soul ring feel terriﬁed whenever they see the color white in the future. I’ll come back as soon as possible.
After taking a deep breath to calm his surging emotions, Huo Yuhao made sure that he was headed in the right direction as he left the academy. In the blink of an eye, he’d vanished as he ran along Shrek City’s ofﬁcial road to the north.
To the twelve-year-old Huo Yuhao, the melancholy that he felt from separation was still very easy for him to control. After madly running for two hours beneath the caress of the cool breeze, he opened his mind and felt an indescribable sense of delight.
A year ago, he’d been a beggar-like youth who’d just left the White Tiger Duke’s Mansion.
One year later, today, he was a control-type soul master that only needed to obtain a soul ring in order to advance to the level of a Soul Grandmaster. Furthermore, he was even a Class 2 soul engineer. At the same time, he simply had too much information inside of his mind right now.
Huo Yuhao might not have improved the most out of the students within Shrek Academy this year, but he had deﬁnitely transformed the most. It had only been year, but it seemed like he’d shed his mortal body and bones. This was something that nobody could deny.
“Brother Skydream, how far to the north do we need to head?” In the past, the Skydream Iceworm had been very fond
of sleeping. In fract, It wouldn’t be uncommon for it to not speak to Huo Yuhao for over a month. Only after Huo Yuhao’s soul power broke through to Rank 20 did it ﬁnally awaken from its dreams. Somewhat unexpectedly, the elder that had previously appeared had been abnormally silent. The gray pearl was exceptionally silent, and other than the ripples it had made last time, it hadn’t changed in the slightest. The Skydream Iceworm had even maliciously said that its strand of divine sense must’ve been thoroughly destroyed.
However, Huo Yuhao didn’t know that, if its strand of divine sense truly had disappeared, the gray pearl deﬁnitely wouldn’t have remained inside of his Spiritual Sea.
The Skydream Iceworm’s lazy voice rang out, “Just keep heading north, you’ll deﬁnitely be on the right track. This road is quite long. Didn’t you constantly practice running around with a heavy load on your back in the academy? This time, you don’t even have to carry a heavy load. Based on your current speed, it’ll take at least ten days to reach where we’re headed.”
“Ah? Ten days?” Huo Yuhao asked, ﬂabbergasted. “Brother Skydream, where are we headed? Why do we have to travel so far north? My current speed isn’t slow at all! If I go all-out and run forwards for a full day, even if I don’t manage to cross a
thousand miles, I’ll hit 800 miles at least! If I were to run for ten days, that’s eight thousand miles!”
“Yep! That’s about how far it is from here. We’re heading to my old home—the Douluo Continent’s Extreme North,” The Skydream Iceworm said in a tone that seemed completely natural. “Don’t forget, that’s the place that I’m most familiar with.”
Puzzled, Huo Yuhao asked, “Brother Skydream, isn’t that too far? I still have to participate in the advancement test once I get back. Won’t it be too late for me to get back in time? Is this the only place you know of that has a spiritual-type soul beast?”
The Skydream Iceworm replied, “My home’s not the only place with spiritual-type soul beasts; the Great Star Dou Forest deﬁnitely has some as well. The problem is, you’re not getting something as simple as a soul ring. The most important thing you need to do is awaken your second martial soul, and to do that, you’ll have to get your second soul ring from the Extreme North. I’ve already planned it all out for you. If you have the energy to talk nonsense, why don’t you speed up a little bit more? The earlier we get there, the more time you’ll have. If everything goes smoothly, it won’t be a problem for us to get back to Shrek Academy in a month.”
Huo Yuhao, who’d originally thought that he had an ample amount of time to obtain his soul ring, suddenly felt a pressing sense of urgency. Afraid of wasting any more time, he hurriedly sped up. As he adjusted his breathing, he continued taking large strides towards the north.
He’d asked the canteen for two days worth of food the day beforehand. As such, he didn’t need to worry about food for the next two days. Fan Yu had also given him a hundred gold
soul coins which, combined with his original savings, should be enough for his journey.
A year of bitter cultivation had formed Huo Yuhao’s unyielding personality. Being able to cultivate in a solitary environment was deﬁnitely not something that just any soul master could do. Huo Yuhao calmed down and discarded any distracting thoughts in his mind as he wholeheartedly rushed towards the north. After running for between four and six hours, he’d stop to take a break, as he’d drained nearly all of his soul power. The instant he recovered his soul power, he’d start running again.
Considering the situation he was in, he ran without any restraints on his speed. Perhaps even a three or four-ringed expert might not be able to run as far as he had in a single day.
In the blink of an eye, three days had passed. Huo Yuhao was already able to sense the air around him getting colder and colder. However, the frigid cold didn’t slow him down at all. He entered a city, bought a thick set of clothes, and replenished his supplies. Most importantly of all however, he bought a map.
He was currently within the Heavenly Soul Empire. As long as he continued to head north, he’d reach the northern borders of the Heavenly Soul Empire; at that time, he’d have reached his destination. Shrek Academy lay on the southeastern border of the Heavenly Soul Empire and the Star Luo Empire. Thus, Huo Yuhao’s journey would take him from the southernmost part of the Heavenly Soul Empire to the northernmost part. From this alone, the exhaustion he’d suffer throughout his journey could be imagined.
However, Huo Yuhao didn’t feel tired in the least. On the contrary, he treated it as experience for the future. Other than the ﬁrst city he’d entered, he didn’t enter any other cities before reaching the northern border; he rested in the wilderness. Of the many things he’d purchased, one them had been a small, foldable tent made of leather. The tent itself wasn’t large; it was roughly 2 meters long and 1.2 meters wide. However, it was enough for him to rest in. This, added to the warm sleeping bag he’d brought, gave Huo Yuhao a good rest. Moreover, he’d always cover himself with his sleeping bag when he entered a meditative state, making it so that he didn’t even need to lie down or sleep.
Huo Yuhao had lived in the Duke’s Mansion his entire life, prior to entering Shrek Academy. Thus, he’d never experienced a harsh winter before. However, the one year of bitter
cultivation he’d endured had caused him to gain an extremely sturdy physique. After adapting to it for a few days, he was much more comfortable in the cold. For the sake of saving money, he chose not to buy a fur cloak; he only bought a heavy cotton shirt.
After running at his top speed for eight days, Huo Yuhao ﬁnally neared the northern border of the Heavenly Soul Empire. Upon reaching this point, his location on the map had simply become a patch of white.
Pausing his footsteps, Huo Yuhao stopped to take a small breather. The white mist that left from his nose instantly turned into fragments of ice that dispersed into the air.
Huo Yuhao pulled his hood over his head to block the frigid wind from digging into his face. However, the freezing air still managed to pierce into his body like miniscule daggers via the small holes in his clothes.
Water would instantly freeze into icicles where he was now. As if to prove this point, a layer of frost had already covered Huo Yuhao’s eyebrows.
Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but feel somewhat depressed as he carefully looked at his map. Based on his current position on the map, he’d reach an empty void if he continued to head northwards. There was a small warning above that void:
“The Extreme North, an area forbidden to humans. Soul beasts roam about freely here. Danger, danger, danger!”
The three ‘danger’s were written in red.
“Brother Skydream, stop sleeping. We might’ve reached our destination, thus I’ll need you to lead the way from now on.” Huo Yuhao inwardly called out to the Skydream Iceworm.
“Lead the way? Lead what way?” The Skydream Iceworm’s stuporous voice rang out. After coming to his senses, the only million year soul beast on the Douluo Continent stared blankly for a brief moment, then said, “I don’t recognise this place!”
“What?” Huo Yuhao was astonished. “Brother Skydream, please don’t joke around here! I followed your instructions and ran north for a full eight days to get here. If you don’t recognise this place, what should we do?”
With an extremely innocent voice, the Skydream Iceworm replied, “I really don’t recognise this place. I used to live in the northeastern part of the continent, which is still extremely far from here. Later on, I drifted towards the south, before ﬁnally reaching the Great Star Dou Forest. This should be the north- central area of the continent, which was originally the northwestern area of the Douluo Continent. How am I supposed to know my way around here?”
Anxious, Huo Yuhao asked, “Then what should we do?
Brother Skydream, you….”
The Skydream Iceworm let out a cunning laugh. “I made you worry for a bit. Fine, I won’t joke around with you anymore. Even though I don’t know what direction we need to head here, you’ve forgotten just how powerful my spiritual force is! I don’t even need to worry about what direction we need to go. As long as we follow my spiritual force, we’ll be able to ﬁnd what we need. Isn’t that enough? Right, strip now.”
Huo Yuhao was instantly stunned. “You want me to take my clothes off? Brother Skydream, this is a world of ice and snow! You’re going to cause me to freeze me to death!”
The Skydream Iceworm grumpily spat, “Quickly do it, else you’ll really freeze to death if you don’t. And why did you call this a world of ice and snow? In the past, I’d be sweating from such high temperatures. This is still very, very far from the truly cold areas. On the other hand, the thing that we’re
looking for is located in the very center of the Extreme North. You can’t even imagine how cold it is there. Quickly, take off your clothes so that I can help you out a bit. If you don’t, you’ll be ﬁnished in less than two days once we continue heading forward.”
At this point in time, Huo Yuhao could only choose to believe in the Skydream Iceworm. He simply didn’t have any other choice. Helpless, he removed the thick cotton shirt from his body.
As soon as he did, the biting cold of the freezing northern wind penetrated his entire body. This feeling was akin to him suddenly eating ten popsicles at once. Amidst this world of ice and snow, it was even possible to see steam rising from Huo Yuhao’s body.
Clenching his teeth, Huo Yuhao took off the rest of his clothing as quickly as possible, exposing his sturdy muscles. He couldn’t help but sway due to the extreme temperatures here.
This feeling was deﬁnitely so ‘relaxing’ that he couldn’t even relax.
“Take your underwear off as well! Why did you even leave them on? If you don’t wanna let me help you out for a bit, don’t blame me when your little brother freezes to death.” The Skydream Iceworm let out a devilish laugh.
Huo Yuhao angrily replied, “Do it quickly, else it’s going to freeze to death right now!” His voice was currently trembling. Ignoring the Skydream Iceworm, he quickly took off his underpants.
As the bitingly cold wind slammed into his body, Huo Yuhao’s body turned bright red, causing him to resemble a boiled shrimp.
However, the Skydream Iceworm didn’t utter a word. Even though Huo Yuhao repeatedly called out to it, it didn’t respond at all.
Feeling that he was about to freeze to death, Huo Yuhao immediately prepared to jump towards his clothes. However,
his surroundings suddenly transformed as a layer of pale gold light slowly spread out from his head. As the golden light dispersed, it expelled the cold from his body. Immediately, a warm feeling began to spread throughout his entire body.
“Ah—” Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but let out a groan from the pleasure. He even nearly began to cry. This feeling was simply too stimulating...
Afterwards, a gentle lump of white light suddenly shot out from his chest. To Huo Yuhao’s surprise, he discovered that the lump of light seemed to be more like a lump of ﬂesh that had grown from his chest. The light began to quickly expand in midair, until it had become as large as Huo Yuhao. Afterwards, it slowly began to spread itself over his body.
As the white light slowly glued itself to Huo Yuhao’s body, he felt as if a layer of ﬁlm had been applied to his skin. The white light gradually vanished along with the warm feeling. However, the frigid cold he’d felt didn’t come back despite the disappearance of the warm feeling. As the bitingly cold wind swirled around him, it seemed to simply glide past him. Though he still felt the impact of the wind hitting his body, it didn’t feel cold in the slightest.
“Brother Skydream, this…” Huo Yuhao had a look of astonishment on his face. Everything that had just occurred had undoubtedly exceeded the range of his understanding.
The Skydream Iceworm’s lazy voice rang out, “This is my shedded skin from my original body that you saw previously. Previously, didn’t it stick to your chest? I’ve made it cover your entire body now. Since I grew up in such a place, how could I be scared of the cold? The skin I shed is extremely good at ventilation, and can resist the elements. In addition to that, it can also hide your aura. Otherwise, rashly entering the Extreme North with your measly bit of strength would just be courting death. Now then, quickly put on some clothes. Do you think that you look good naked?”
Huo Yuhao was left speechless. He inwardly thought to himself, You’re the one who made me strip naked! However, he had to admit that the Skydream Iceworm was being considerate. After putting his clothes back on, he no longer felt cold at all. Moreover, the layer of shedded skin from the Skydream Iceworm didn’t feel like it was there at all. Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but feel somewhat more conﬁdent in entering the Extreme North with the aid of this mystical ability.
At this moment, the Skydream Iceworm suddenly spoke with an extremely serious tone, “Yuhao, you have to listen to my commands at all times from now on. You can’t make any careless mistakes. If you don’t listen to me, not only will you have to stay in the Extreme North forever, you’ll cause me to
get into trouble as well.”
“Okay.” Huo Yuhao nodded. He’d naturally listen to the Skydream Iceworm’s instructions. If he didn’t, he’d be groping around in the dark.
“Continue heading northwards. We’ll talk once you reach the central area of the Extreme North. Did you make sure to bring enough food? I reckon that we’ll have to stay here for over ten days, as this place doesn’t have any water or food for you to eat or drink.”
Huo Yuhao patted the Twenty Four Moonlit Bridges on his waist and replied, “No problem, I’m all prepared.” After saying that, he equipped the few soul tools that he’d previously created. Since the cold had disappeared, he was able to keep himself in peak condition.
Huo Yuhao set out once again, headed towards the north. Though the biting cold wind no longer posed a threat to him, the frost that had gradually accumulated on his body still managed to slow him down. As he continued to travel northwards, the advantage that his Spiritual Detection gave him became more and more pronounced: Whenever he encountered an unfamiliar area, he could simply use his Spiritual Detection to continue travelling and avoid any possible dangers.
As Huo Yuhao travelled, the Skydream Iceworm stayed awake, which was an extremely rare thing for him to do. The reason he’d stayed awake was so that he could make sure to tell Huo Yuhao when to change directions. As he continued to travel northwards, Huo Yuhao was able to faintly sense that the Skydream Iceworm had been releasing some of its spiritual power in front of him. Compared to the Skydream Iceworm’s terrifying spiritual power, he was like a grain of rice adrift in an ocean. However, despite being able to sense it, he didn’t know what the Skydream Iceworm was looking for.
In the blink of an eye, two days had passed. By this time, Huo Yuhao had already fully entered the desolate and uninhabited Extreme North. He’d encountered a few soul beasts, but due to the guidance of the Skydream Iceworm, he’d yet to meet an existence that actually posed a threat to him.
As he continued onwards, the snow became thicker and thicker. Once it was higher than his knees, Huo Yuhao had no choice but to chop down a tree and create two wooden planks, which he tied to bottom of his feet. Though they weren’t much, they were able to reduce the stress on his feet. And, whenever he reached a downhill slope, he was able to use them to slide down. In the end, he’d found a pretty decent method to travel through the snow with.
Two days later.
Even though he’d slowed down quite a bit, he was already 400 miles into the Extreme North. The frequency at which the Skydream Iceworm told him to change directions had become much higher as well.
Suddenly, the Skydream Iceworm’s voice rang out as he anxiously said, “Quickly lie ﬂat on the ground and bury
yourself beneath the snow. Don’t move an inch once you’ve done so. You can’t move no matter what—even if something touches you.”
Huo Yuhao was shocked when he heard this. Afterwards, he laid down as fast as he could, covered himself with the surrounding snow, and held his breath.
Not even ten breaths of time had passed before Huo Yuhao’s body began to shudder uncontrollably. Even though he’d buried himself beneath the snow, he was still aware of his surroundings! By relying on his Spiritual Detection, he was still able to sense the outside world to a certain extent.
He was shuddering because he’d suddenly sensed an incomparably terrifying aura outside. However, the instant that this aura had appeared, the trace of spiritual power he’d left outside had instantly shattered. He hadn’t even been able to tell what the newcomer looked like.
From what Huo Yuhao could tell, the newcomer was extraordinarily large, and the terror brought about by its aura had reached the apex. In fact, it seemed like it could wipe him off the face of the earth with a mere breath. Immediately after
sensing this, he felt a heavy pressure weigh down on his back and viciously shove him even deeper into the ground.
Originally, he’d been holding his breath. However, the instant this heavy pressure appeared, the oxygen he’d been holding instantly disappeared. Afterwards, his entire body sank so deep into the snow that he reached the soil beneath it.
Huo Yuhao felt a hard shell cover his body the instant the heavy pressure appeared. Even though he’d been forced into the ground, he’d only been shoved in. Other than the suffocating pressure he felt, he hadn’t suffered any injuries.
Were it not for the Skydream Iceworm’s previous command, Huo Yuhao deﬁnitely would’ve made a noise. Due to the pressure and the command he’d received, he didn’t even dare to move at the moment. Instead, he forcefully endured the pain that came along with being suffocated.
The enormous pressure that was weighing down on him suddenly disappeared, while the terrifying aura he’d felt began to move further and further away from him. As he continued to choke, Huo Yuhao felt his chest burning up.
However, he couldn’t move before the Skydream Iceworm told him that it was alright. He could only endure. If he didn’t, there was a large chance that he’d encounter a calamity that could kill him as easily as breathing.
After another ten or so seconds had passed, the terrifying aura disappeared completely. Once it had, the Skydream Iceworm indicated that he could get back up.
After getting to his feet with difﬁculty, Huo Yuhao immediately gasped for air. Even though he wasn’t afraid of the cold, inhaling the cold air still caused him to instinctively shiver. He hurriedly lowered how much air he was taking in with each breath, but his chest continued to move up and down violently.
Even though he hadn’t seen what exactly had crushed him, he was certain that he’d just escaped from the gates of hell! The outer shell that he’d felt suddenly harden had been the Skydream Iceworm’s shedded skin. If it hadn’t been for that, he would’ve been squashed into a meat patty.
He continued to inhale and exhale for quite a while before managing to recover somewhat, albeit with difﬁculty. The
moment he stood back up, astonishment involuntarily appeared on his face. The ﬁrst thing that he’d noticed were the enormous footprints around him, and he was in the middle of one of these footprints.
Each footprint was around ﬁve meters long and two meters wide. In contrast, Huo Yuhao’s imprint in the ground wasn’t even a third of a single footprint. He was able to see the enormous footprints headed towards the distance.
After everything was said and done, Huo Yuhao was still just a kid. After encountering a situation like this, how could he not be scared?
“Brother Skydream, wh-what was that... thing just now?
How could its footprints be this big?”
The Skydream Iceworm’s somewhat nervous voice rang out, “We nearly gave away our location. That fella’s also a spiritual- type, thus he was actually able to block my Spiritual Detection. Fortunately, my spiritual power vastly exceeds his in quality. Because of this, I was able to notice him while he was still a certain distance away from us. You’re really lucky, kid. You were actually able to meet the Titan Ice Devil King, one of the
Three Emperors of the Extreme North. Luckily, we were able to hide from that fella. If we hadn’t, only one thing awaited us: death. Even if it was me when I was at my peak condition I would’ve died, let alone you.”
“The Titan Ice Devil King? What species does it belong to? Is it also a soul beast?” After the anxiety and palpitations in his heart had died down, the curiosity of a young man quickly won over Huo Yuhao’s heart.
The Skydream Iceworm replied, “The Three Emperors of the Extreme North are equivalent to the kings in the Great Star Dou Forest. They’re the rulers of the Extreme North, as well as the true consummate experts here. They’re practically unparalleled existences in a cold environment such as this. In terms of overall strength, those fellas from the Great Star Dou Forest most likely wouldn’t be able to beat the soul beasts of my Extreme North, even if they all happened to work together. Only, the Extreme North has too large of an area and range. This, combined with the few soul beasts present, makes it much harder for them to gather.”
“The Extreme North has a large number of hundred thousand year soul beasts, so many in fact, that the amount exceeds the amount within the Great Star Dou Forest. After all,
the environment here is extremely harsh, and very few humans dare to intrude. In addition to this, the Three Emperors all share a common characteristic—their cultivations all exceed a hundred thousand years.”
Huo Yuhao was stunned. He was no longer the ignorant kid he’d been when he met the Skydream Iceworm. After studying in Shrek Academy for more than a year, his knowledge towards both soul masters and soul beasts had drastically increased.
“Brother Skydream, if I’m not mistaken, soul beasts have no ways of growing after they’ve cultivated for a hundred thousand years. Once they reach that point, their life force will begin to deteriorate. Your situation is an extremely unique one, such that even our academy’s Director Du hasn’t ever seen anything like it before. However, not all hundred thousand year soul beasts are able to constantly eat the best heavenly treasures like you were! How did the Three Emperors do it? Are you one of them?”
“Hai… they naturally don’t include the likes of me. If I were really one of the Three Emperors of this place, why would I need to go so far as to run away!? At that time, I was forced to run away because of one of the Three Emperors. The lands beneath the heavens are vast, and are ﬁlled with extraordinary
things; I’m not the only soul beast who’s had a lucky encounter. Isn’t it possible for someone else to have a lucky encounter as well? Indeed, the Three Emperors are different from me. We Iceworms can only be considered lower ranked soul beasts within the Extreme North. Most of the time we’re just considered food. On the other hand, the Three Emperors of the Extreme North all have noble origins; the blood of the Ice God ﬂows through their bodies. To begin with, they belong to the strongest races in this freezing place. As such, their ability to gather heavenly treasures is deﬁnitely not weak. Combined with the secrets that they know, it’s deﬁnitely not impossible for them to have a cultivation breakthrough.”
“But now that I think about it, it really is extremely hard to break through the hundred thousand year barrier by solely relying on cultivation. In the million years that I’ve been alive, the number of soul beasts that I’ve seen succeed doesn’t exceed ten. And of those ten, only three of are still alive. The others all died while trying to make a breakthrough to an even higher cultivation realm. The hurdle that soul beasts have to cross every hundred thousand years is an extremely arduous task.”
“That guy who passed by just now was a descendant of the Titan Giant clan, which was supposedly visited by the ancient Ice God. He belongs to the Titan Ice Devil clan. If you want to talk about race alone, they’re undoubtedly the strongest race in
this freezing place. They currently only have several hundred clansmen left. However, despite this, when they gather together, they become an unparalleled existence. Titan Ice Devils are over ten meters tall at birth, while adult Titan Ice Devils are over ﬁfty meters tall. The Ice Titan Devil King who
just passed by was over a hundred meters tall, and he’s
deﬁnitely the largest living creature on the Douluo Continent. Furthermore, we’re not talking about a ‘one of a kind’ thing. Even within the ocean, soul beasts that can compare to it in size alone are as rare as phoenix feathers and qilin horns.”
Huo Yuhao was ﬂabbergasted. “A hundred meters tall? That’s too scary. Isn’t it an unparalleled existence then?”
“Unparalleled?” The Skydream Iceworm snorted disdainfully. “That’s obviously not the case. Not to mention the entire continent, it’s not even unparalleled in the Extreme North. It’s ranked last amongst the Three Emperors. Of course, the chances of a human being able to beat it here in single combat is naturally basically zero.”
Astonished, Huo Yuhao said, “It’s only ranked third with such a terrifying body? Then the other two Emperors….”
The Skydream Iceworm replied, “Having a larger body isn’t always better. Contrarily, there are some times where it’s more advantageous to have a smaller body. The other two Emperors aren’t nearly as big as that guy, but they’re both stronger than him. According to what I know, this Titan Ice Devil King should’ve only managed to break through the two hundred thousand year bottleneck with quite a bit of difﬁculty. I reckon that it won’t be able to breakthrough to the three hundred thousand year level. One of the other two fellows has already passed the three hundred thousand year bottleneck, while the other has passed the even more terrifying ﬁve hundred thousand year bottleneck. Other than myself, it’s currently the oldest soul beast on the Douluo Continent. If you were to determine the strongest soul beast on the continent, the leader of the Extreme North’s Three Emperors is deﬁnitely a powerful contender for that position.”
Chapter 40: Skydream, Ice Emperor
Hearing the Skydream Iceworm’s words, Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but swallow a mouthful of saliva. “Brother Skydream, stop it. If you continue talking about the Three Emperors, you’ll destroy the little bit of conﬁdence I’ve ﬁnally built up. The Three Emperors of the Extreme North are still too far away from me. Let’s be a bit more realistic now. When can I get my second soul ring? Also, I have to awaken my second martial soul.”
“They’re too far away from you? No, no, they’re not at all.” The Skydream Iceworm said mysteriously, “Yuhao! Haven’t you heard the phrase ‘the rewards of your harvest are only as big as your guts’? Our target this time is the 2nd ranked Emperor!”
“What?” Huo Yuhao was practically struck by lightning. As the corner of his mouth twitched, he said in all earnestness, “Brother Skydream, don’t you think we’ve traveled a bit too far just for us to give it some free food?”
The Skydream Iceworm spat unhappily, “What do you mean, free food? You good-for-nothing, just see how cowardly you
are. Aren’t they just the Three Emperors of the Extreme North? What’s there to be scared of?”
Huo Yuhao had an indignant expression on his face as he said, “There’s nothing to be scared of? If there’s nothing to be scared of, why’d you run away?”
“I…” The Skydream Iceworm ﬂew into a rage, “It’s different now. I’m no longer the person I was. Since I dared to bring you here, I naturally have a way to deal with that fella. What good does it do for me if I get you killed? Could I even continue living then? With your weak body, how’re you gonna take revenge for me and let me stand with my chin held high if we don’t take some desperate measures?”
After feeling astonished for a brief moment, Huo Yuhao calmed down. Feeling somewhat helpless, he said, “Fine. In any case, I’m trusting you with my life. Even if you sell me away, I can only count the money you’ll get. Let’s go. The earlier I die, the earlier I’ll reincarnate. Where do we go?”
“Continue heading northward. That guy only lives within the core regions of the Extreme North. From now on, you have to slow down. You’re about to enter the borderline of the Extreme
North’s core regions, and it’s extremely cold here. However, it houses the strongest soul beasts within the Extreme North, like that fella earlier. Even my Spiritual Detection was tricked by it. Moreover, there are some especially quick soul beasts, so we’ll have to be even more careful. Otherwise, we’re deﬁnitely screwed if we meet one.”
“Yup.” Huo Yuhao could be considered to have understood the Skydream Iceworm. It deﬁnitely had a certain amount of assurance in what it was doing, but it wasn’t a hundred percent certain; there was still a chance of failure. However, according to his knowledge of the Skydream Iceworm, something that could make it risk its life would deﬁnitely yield great results if it were to succeed. It was very possible that it would reach a completely astonishing degree.
For the sake of concealing himself even more, Huo Yuhao removed the planks of wood from his feet. After that, he slowly trudged through the half-meter deep snow. Right now, he was completely certain that were it not for the Skydream Iceworm’s shedded skin, he’d turn into an ice statue after a mere ten minutes in a place like this.
In a crazy place like this, even the snowﬂakes were hard. When the biting wind stirred up the snow on the ground, the
layer of frost that formed could even resist an omni-directional soul skill. When the wind got stronger, Huo Yuhao had no choice but to crawl about on the ground. He wasn’t scared of the cold now, but that didn’t mean that he wasn’t scared of the wind.
Because of the overly low temperatures here, he sometimes felt the light on the horizon twisting somewhat. However, this place had a beautiful multicoloured radiance that other places didn’t have.
After continuing forward for two more days, Huo Yuhao began to feel somewhat exhausted. It wasn’t because of a lack of physical energy, but a lack of food and drink.
Though he wasn’t afraid of the cold, he couldn’t do without food! No matter what rations he took out of the Twenty Four Moonlit Bridges, it would immediately freeze into a popsicle the moment it came out. Even chewing was a strenuous activity now, but he could only use his teeth to crush his food. The Skydream Iceworm wasn’t willing to let him set up a tent for fear of attracting the attention of other soul beasts.
There was no need to even talk about drinking water. He had no way of drinking the water he’d brought at all. The instant he took it out, it was frozen solid. He simply had no way of pouring it out of his water ﬂask. Thus, he could only eat the snow on the ground that had accumulated over god knows how many years. Whenever he swallowed a mouthful of snow, the coldness from it went straight to his heart. His internal organs had no defenses, and the moment he swallowed a mouthful of snow, his body shivered for a long period of time before he was
able to recover.
Under a situation like this, he could only do his best to reduce his consumption of food and drink. However, trudging through the snow consumed an extremely large amount of physical strength. When this was combined with his lack of nutrition, he was gradually unable to withstand it any longer.
As he sat within this snowy land, there was nothing but thick piles of snow all around him. Gasping for breath, Huo Yuhao said, “Brother Skydream, I can’t go on like this! I’m already at the point where I don’t think I can hold on any longer. Even if we meet that soul beast you’re looking for, how will I have the energy to kill it and fuse with its soul ring!? Even if I succeed, I might not even have the energy to go back out. I don’t think I can withstand it any longer.”
With that, he lowered his head and shoved it into his cotton shirt. He took a bite from the rations he had stored within his shirt. He was originally planning to use his bodily warmth to soften his rations a bit, but he simply wasn’t able to do so due to the Skydream Iceworm’s shedded skin. His rations remained as hard as ever, so he could only nibble off a bit with much difﬁculty. After waiting for it to soften a little in his mouth, he slowly chewed on it and swallowed it.
“Okay, okay. You don’t have to keep whining anymore. We should be just about there. Next up, we’ll have to wait for an opportunity to come.” The Skydream Iceworm continued, “Take a rest for a while. After that, listen to my instructions.”
After hearing that he wouldn’t have to continue walking any further, Huo Yuhao let out a large sigh of relief. He had completely entered the core regions of the Extreme North. Not only was it extremely cold here, he had even encountered a few soul beasts from time to time. With the amount of power those soul beasts possessed, merely looking at them from a distance was enough to make Huo Yuhao feel a chill run up his spine! Though they couldn’t compare with the Titan Ice Devil King he had bumped into previously, they were still existences above the ten thousand year rank. In a god-forsaken place like this, he couldn’t even ﬁnd any thousand year soul beasts.
After resting for ﬁfteen minutes or so, Huo Yuhao’s original location was buried in snow. Only then did he stand up.
The Skydream Iceworm’s voice rang out in his mind with an unprecedented seriousness, “Yuhao, I need you to make a quick estimation. If you didn’t have the protection of my shedded skin, how long could you last in conditions like this?”
Huo Yuhao was stunned. Thinking about it for a moment, he said, “If I use all of my soul power, I should be able to last for ﬁve minutes. But I deﬁnitely can’t last for more than ten minutes.”
The Skydream Iceworm said, “I’m going to go bring that fella over, so I’ll have to release my aura. After that, my shedded skin will play a decisive role that will determine whether or not it will be willing to become your soul ring. Because of that, you must remain in a motionless state for a period of time after I bring it over. During this period of time, not only will I have to trap it, I’ll have to negotiate with it. Your job is to remain still, otherwise all our previous efforts will have been for naught.”
With a bitter look on his face, Huo Yuhao said, “Boss, why didn’t you tell me this earlier? If you had, I’d brought a few more cold-resistant clothes!”
The Skydream Iceworm snorted coldly, “Do you think that clothes can block out the low temperatures here? You’re already overestimating yourself by saying that you can last here for ﬁve minutes. Next up, you’ll have to make a temporary residence underneath the snow. I’ll leave some of my shedded skin here and suck out the soul power within it. You’ll have to light it up with a match and draw heat from it. After that, no matter what happens, you must not do anything rash if I don’t give you the signal. This time around, we’re either going to make it or break it. You can use your Spiritual Detection to observe everything outside, but you must not make any rash moves. Understand?”
Huo Yuhao nodded hurriedly.
Building a house made of ice underneath the snow wasn’t an easy task! The ice underneath the ground was as hard as steel, and even after pouring his soul power into the White Tiger Dagger, it took Huo Yuhao a full day to barely carve out a small ice house which could contain his curled up body. After doing
this, he was tired to the point where even breathing was strenuous.
“Now, I’m going to start. Yuhao, you have to do three things for us to succeed this time. Firstly, you’ll have to endure the freezing cold for a short period of time. Secondly, luck; we’ll have to see whether I have the luck to defeat the soul beast I’m calling over. Lastly, we’ll have to rely on your willpower. You’re the person I’ve chosen, so we’re both screwed if you don’t succeed. If you succeed, on the other hand, I dare say that you’ll immediately become the number one genius in the entire Douluo Continent. Now, let’s give it our all.”
At that point, the Skydream Iceworm’s voice had turned somewhat frenzied.
What could Huo Yuhao even say now? After getting all the way here, he could only follow the Skydream Iceworm all the way till the end; there was no other path he could take. There were no beneﬁts to talking more, so he nodded forcefully, indicating that he would fully support the Skydream Iceworm.
An intense undulation of soul power slowly began to appear within his mind, and Huo Yuhao felt waves of dizziness
overcome him. By relying on the walls of the ice house, he was able to prevent himself from collapsing.
His only soul ring had already ﬂoated up into the air noiselessly, and the pure white soul ring released a brilliant luster. It slowly moved rhythmically into the air, hovering around his body as it did so.
The pale gold light in Huo Yuhao’s eyes began to gradually transform, and he was very aware that he had lost control of his body.
At this moment, he felt his consciousness spreading outwards rapidly, expanding towards the distance. It felt as if he was overlooking the earth from the sky above, and it was an entirely different feeling from when he normally used his Spiritual Detection.
The vastness of this Spiritual Detection exceeded the more- than ten thousand square kilometers of the core regions of the Extreme North. However, the ray of light suddenly darkened, just as if daytime was transitioning to nighttime. An invisible pressure instantly spread outwards from Huo Yuhao’s body
along with the extremely terrifying amount of spiritual power that came from him.
To his astonishment, he discovered that he actually felt a pleasure akin to that of a sovereign descending upon the world. The feeling of having the earth and snow completely serving him, and having everything within the grasp of his palm, was simply too wonderful. It seemed as if he could destroy everything with the ﬂip of a hand, and that he could judge everything within the reach of his eyes.
Mufﬂed sounds of thunder started to ring out in the gloomy sky, but Huo Yuhao astonishedly discovered that his body had completely turned bright-gold in colour.
The pure white halo of light surrounding Huo Yuhao slowly began to change color, as his originally white soul ring gradually changed from white to pale gold, then from pale gold to bright gold. The golden luster coming from it was deﬁnitely much brighter any soul rings Huo Yuhao had seen in the past.
There were white ten year soul rings, yellow hundred year soul rings, purple thousand year soul rings, black ten thousand year soul rings, and red hundred thousand year soul rings. And yet, all of them would only be able to submit in front of the boundlessly imposing golden luster of this golden soul ring.
This... this was the true color of the Douluo Continent’s unrivalled, and only, million year soul ring! It was also the ﬁrst time that the Skydream Iceworm had released the true color of its soul ring into the world.
The astonishing golden luster immediately caused a strange feeling to rise in Huo Yuhao’s heart.
One day, I will no longer let the Heavens cover my eyes— where I will no longer let the Earth bury my heart. I want everything in the world to submit to me, just like that man who could grasp the sun and moon in each hand, and could pluck the stars from the sky.
At that moment, not only did the Skydream Iceworm show how powerful he was, he’d even buried a seed of faith inside of Huo Yuhao’s heart; the faith that he could become the sovereign of the entire world. This was the ﬁrst time that Huo Yuhao had a dream even loftier than his wish for revenge.
As if he could sense the change in Huo Yuhao’s mental state, the Skydream Iceworm seemed gratiﬁed. Right! Since he’d been able to become the main body for a million year soul beast, there’d be a day where he would become the true master of the Skydream Iceworm. If he didn’t have any lofty ambitions, wouldn’t he that be akin to covering a precious pearl with a layer of dust?
Golden balls of light began to emerge from Huo Yuhao’s forehead. As each golden ball left his body, Huo Yuhao began to feel more and more hollow. By the time the ninth ball of light had left his body, he’d even begun to feel somewhat tottery.
In the beginning, the Skydream Iceworm had entered his body with a total of ten balls of light. This was the Skydream Iceworm’s spiritual origin, as well as the nucleus of its strength. Now that nine balls of light had left his body, only one ball of light—the one that Huo Yuhao had already absorbed
—remained within his body. That was the only connection left
between Huo Yuhao and the Skydream Iceworm.
The nine golden balls of light slowly descended from the air. Once the ﬁrst ball of light had landed on the snowy ground, the second ball landed on top of it. The other seven balls followed suit as they stacked on top of each other. Afterwards, the total volume of the nine balls of light gradually began to decrease, while the golden light that they were emitting became increasingly tangible. At that moment, Huo Yuhao was clearly able to sense how strong the Skydream Iceworm was. It had such a terrifying amount of spiritual power that it could even cause a meteorological phenomenon.
Once the nine golden balls of light had ﬁnished stacking atop one another, they gradually began to form a shape. Unexpectedly, they solidiﬁed into the shape of a golden man made of light. More astonishingly, its appearance was completely identical to Huo Yuhao. Even the golden clothes it wore were identical to Shrek Academy’s uniform. Huo Yuhao didn’t know whether to cry or to laugh when he saw this.
Once the Skydream Iceworm’s spiritual body had taken shape, he sent a thought outwards with his spiritual force, “Ice Emperor, I know that you’ve already sensed that I’m here. I, Skydream, have come to take my revenge. Do you dare to come out and meet me?”
As soon as the Skydream Iceworm had begun speaking, an unfathomably strong wave of spiritual power had instantly covered Huo Yuhao’s body, thus shielding his presence within the ice house.
However, the Skydream Iceworm and Huo Yuhao were still a single entity. Because of that, Huo Yuhao could still tell what was going on outside via the Skydream Iceworm’s spiritual power after he came in contact with it. When the Skydream Iceworm enlarged the range of his spiritual power, he was still able to sense every single detail within a thousand meters. However, the more magical thing was that, this time around, his perception had entirely replaced his eyes. He could truly see everything outside through his perception, not just shapes.
After ﬁnishing his sentence, the Skydream Iceworm quieted down. However, the golden luster his body emitted continued to shine brightly. The bright golden light he was emitting was
extraordinarily clear within the pure-white world. Black clouds began to appear in the air as the sky grew darker and darker, which caused the atmosphere to become increasingly grave. However, the golden luster emitted from the Skydream Iceworm’s body remained as brilliant as ever beneath the dusky sky.
The Skydream Iceworm didn’t seem to be worried at all as he quietly stood there. The violent winds continued to thrash about around him, but he stood there mightily, unmoving.
Huo Yuhao was able to sense all of this. However, in an area outside of the range of his perception, an innumerable amount of soul beasts had scattered in all directions, terriﬁed.
There was a chance that the Skydream Iceworm wouldn’t even be able to defeat a ten thousand year soul beast in direct combat. However, there wasn’t a single soul beast on the entire Douluo Continent that could contend with him in terms of pure spiritual power.
The Skydream Iceworm’s biggest problem lay in its bloodline. Even though he’d cultivated for a million years, in the end he was still a low-ranked Iceworm. With a background
like this, even though he’d been able to become stronger due to the constant evolutions he’d undergone, and had obtained an enormous amount of energy due to the Ten Thousand Year Ice Pith’s unceasing nourishment, he had become akin to a mountain full of treasure; he had treasures, but he didn’t know how to use them. If you were to describe it in soul master terms, he was an expert who possessed a terrifying amount of soul power, yet didn’t have any soul rings or soul skills.
When there was a large gap in cultivation between him and his opponents, he could still rely on the absolute strength of his spiritual power to defeat them. However, when he met an opponent that possessed at least a certain level of strength, he would be completely out of luck. Regardless of how strong his spiritual power was, if he didn’t have a way to concentrate it into a terrifying spiritual skill, his killing power would always be limited. After becoming Huo Yuhao’s million year soul ring, he’d become extremely envious of the four soul skills that Huo Yuhao had received. Only, the Skydream Iceworm was someone who’d always cared about face; he ‘d never admit how envious he was.
If, when the Skydream Iceworm had had a tyrannical million year cultivation level, he’d only had a single soul skill, almost every single soul beast on the Douluo Continent wouldn’t have been able to pose a threat to it.
At this very moment, he’d released all of his spiritual power. It extended out and covered basically everywhere that he wanted it to. A third of the Extreme North’s core regions, at the very least, had been encapsulated within his Spiritual Detection.
Although the Skydream Iceworm appeared extremely carefree on the surface, his current actions were deﬁnitely not simple at all, as he hadn’t used his own aura to release his spiritual power. At the very least, soul beasts that were unfamiliar with him deﬁnitely wouldn’t think that this was something done by someone who possessed no attacking skills at all.
The Skydream Iceworm had used his terrifying spiritual power to imitate the aura of a certain soul beat that lived within the Extreme North. Faced with this aura, the other soul beasts didn’t dare to have any thoughts of resisting at all. This was the aura of the leader of the Extreme North’s Three Emperors. This was the aura of the soul beast who possessed a cultivation of ﬁve hundred thousand years along with its noble bloodline.
Furthermore, he’d purposely evaded the territory of the leader of the Extreme North’s Three Emperors. Due to his meticulous control over his Spiritual Detection, he wasn’t scared of being discovered by the person he was imitating. As such, the soul beasts in the area that he’d wanted to intimidate had immediately scuttled away after being frightened. They simply decided not to bother him and Huo Yuhao anymore.
On the other hand, the second-ranked Ice Emperor who he was looking for was also encapsulated within the range of his spiritual power. Having known him for a long time, the Ice Emperor naturally wouldn’t mistake his aura for someone else’s. Besides, he’d also said such unbridled words.
With the Skydream Iceworm’s understanding of the second- ranked Ice Emperor, he believed that it would deﬁnitely come. This was because he himself was an extremely beneﬁcial supplement that would tempt all soul beasts. Furthermore, this Ice Emperor was a soul beast whose cultivation exceeded the three hundred thousand year rank, yet couldn’t break through the four hundred thousand year barrier.
The Skydream Iceworm understood himself well, and understood the Ice Emperor just as well. At that time, the Ice Emperor had nearly died not long after its cultivation had
broken through to the three hundred thousand year rank. Currently, it probably wasn’t too far away from reaching the four hundred thousand year rank. Previously, when breaking through to the three hundred thousand year rank, the Ice Emperor had said that it had reached its limit. Moreover, it had injured its origin energy, thus making it impossible for it to reach the four hundred thousand year rank. The only way that
it could break free of its fetters was for it to absorb the Skydream Iceworm’s enormous yet pure energy. If it were to do this, it would even overtake the ﬁrst ranked Emperor in one fell swoop.
The Skydream Iceworm’s only stroke of luck was that the ﬁrst ranked Ice Emperor wasn’t aware of his existence. Otherwise, he believed that it would have deﬁnitely caught him
—even when he was still in the Great Star Dou Forest.
Having been lured by something related to its survival, the Ice Emperor had no other choice. It deﬁnitely wanted to come, and it deﬁnitely would come. When the Skydream Iceworm was clearly able to sense its aura, a crafty smile appeared on his face.
Time continued to pass second by second, but the Skydream Iceworm didn’t seem to be panicked at all. Even though it was
hard for the hiding Huo Yuhao to endure his stiffening body, he didn’t even dare to breathe too loudly, just in case. He wasn’t sure when the so-called Ice Emperor would appear, but this was undoubtedly a life-and-death trial for both him and the Skydream Iceworm. He still wasn’t sure what the Skydream Iceworm was relying on in order to kill a super- expert like the Ice Emperor, who even Titled Douluos were terriﬁed of.
As Huo Yuhao continued to wait in his shelter, he felt his heartbeat slowly speeding up. At the same time, he felt both anxious and afraid, as his body began to stir with excitement. Just as this began to occur however, he suddenly felt the outside world change.
The originally pitch-black sky suddenly shook violently, and immediately afterwards, a jade green light instantly appeared in the distant northern horizon.
In the blink of an eye, the dusky sky had turned a penetrating yet alluring jade green. This touching shade of color made it seem like the aloof sky had suddenly turned into an enormous jade green gem. In an instant, the originally oppressive aura within the sky had vanished into thin air.
When the jade green light entered the Skydream Iceworm’s thousand meter range, Huo Yuhao ﬁnally become able to sense it. He couldn’t help but inhale a deep breath of icy air. It’s coming, it’s really coming.
“Skydream, you’re actually still alive. It’s no wonder that you’re the longest-living soul beast from our Extreme North.” A crisp voice rang out in all directions. The appearance of this voice was followed by a terrifying sound wave. The snow on the ground instantly rose by three meters as the sound wave struck it, akin to a wave suddenly passing through an ocean. Only the hundred meters around the Skydream Iceworm’s body remained calm, as it had been protected by the enormous spiritual power coming from his body.
“Ice Emperor, you haven’t died yet, so why can’t I be still alive? Don’t you remember what I said that year? ‘If I don’t die, there’ll be a day when I’ll become your partner.’” The Skydream Iceworm’s voice suddenly turned gentle. This somewhat overly-sentimental voice even gave Huo Yuhao a few goosebumps.
In this exact instant, Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but widen his eyes after thinking of a certain possibility.
With their current combination, coming to the Extreme North would undoubtedly pose an enormous danger to them. Though the Skydream Iceworm was powerful, he was currently attached to Huo Yuhao after becoming his ﬁrst soul ring. Even if he was an intelligent soul ring, he was still a part of him. He still relied mainly on Huo Yuhao’s strength to determine whether they were strong or weak.
Under a situation like this, the Skydream Iceworm’s best option should’ve been to make Huo Yuhao stronger by obtaining his other soul rings ﬁrst. Once he was strong enough, they could’ve come to the Extreme North to ﬁnd this so-called Ice Emperor in order to awaken his second martial soul!
However, the Skydream Iceworm had impatiently decided to come here and ﬁnd the extremely terrifyingly strong Ice Emperor right after he’d gotten to Rank 20. Was it even possible for there to be no danger involved in this journey?
Regardless of how meticulously the Skydream Iceworm had planned everything out, he and Huo Yuhao might be buried eternally in the Extreme North if he made a single mistake.
Just what made the Skydream Iceworm insist on him coming here, even if there was an enormous risk involved in doing so? Was it just to make him become even stronger? After hearing its gentle voice, it really didn’t seem like the case!
After this thought ﬂashed through Huo Yuhao’s mind, he unexpectedly went silent. He didn’t have any other choice but to believe in the Skydream Iceworm. More than that, he prayed that the Skydream Iceworm hadn’t come here due to the reason he’d thought of. Right now, he could only patiently wait and observe silently.
“Skydream, you’re courting death.” The Ice Emperor’s clear voice was suddenly ﬁlled with killing intent, and the jade green sky instantly turned dark green. An intense killing intent descended from the sky, and the originally protected hundred meter diameter around the Skydream Iceworm’s body instantly shrank to a diameter of ten meters.
However, the Skydream Iceworm wasn’t scared of the Ice Emperor in a simple contest of spiritual power. Smiling, he spoke in a very unhurried and graceful manner, “No, I’m just expressing my true feelings. I’ve lived for a million years, and I’ve spent a large majority of them sleeping. However, the only thing within the depths of my heart that I can’t control is you. Ice Emperor, do you know why I’ve chosen to come back at a
time like this? It’s because I’ve calculated that you’re about to reach your limit and reach a dead end within a hundred years. At that time, you won’t be able to break through to the next rank. Then, you’ll disappear in this icy world. That’s why I’ve come back. I can’t wait anymore, and an endless life has no more meaning to me. I don’t have much longer to live anymore. I’ve come back to let you continue living and let us
truly be together.”
Inwardly sighing, Huo Yuhao shut his eyes. Sure enough, that was the case! The Skydream Iceworm had really tricked him; he truly had his own motives for coming here.
From the moment he’d met the Skydream Iceworm, Huo Yuhao had trusted him unconditionally from the bottom of his heart. The Skydream Iceworm had given him a million year soul ring in addition to four soul skills, which was equivalent to giving him a brand new life.
In Huo Yuhao’s heart, the person he’d felt the most grateful to was this fellow, this intelligent soul ring of his. The Skydream Iceworm had a higher position in his heart than Tang Ya, Bei Bei, and even Wang Dong.
At this moment however, Huo Yuhao felt as if something within his heart had shattered. The emotions he’d repressed since his youth suddenly exploded out like a dam bursting. He lied to me, he actually lied to me!
An unprecedented amount of grievance turned into a river of teardrops that ﬂowed down his cheeks before rapidly freezing into chunks of ice that gathered by the corners of his eyes. After all, Huo Yuhao was only twelve. Just as he’d believed that everything in front of him was ﬁlled with hope, the Skydream Iceworm’s betrayal had instantly shattered his tenacious heart.
Huo Yuhao wasn’t scared of hardships, nor was he scared of any difﬁculties. As long as he saw hope in front of him, he was willing to give it his all.
His one year in Shrek Academy had changed his personality drastically. In Shrek Academy, he had friends, teachers, and companions. From another standpoint, this had all been given
to him by the Skydream Iceworm. It was precisely because of the Skydream Iceworm’s existence that he had conﬁdence and faith in his heart. However, the Skydream Iceworm’s betrayal had practically cut off the root of his faith, brazenly uprooting the tall, conﬁdence-ﬁlled tree from his heart.
This feeling could no longer be described using the word ‘painful’. Huo Yuhao’s hope had been completely obliterated.
Though the Skydream Iceworm’s spiritual power was extremely powerful, he had focused all of his energy on the Ice Emperor’s reaction; he didn’t notice the heaven-shaking, earth-shattering transformation in Huo Yuhao’s heart.
Hearing the Skydream Iceworm’s words, the Ice Emperor turned silent. As if the Skydream Iceworm had precisely called out the worries in its heart, it pondered silently.
Somewhat nervous, the Skydream Iceworm said, “I’ve come back, Ice Emperor. We haven’t seen each other for so many years, but you’re not even willing to come and see me in person?”
The Ice Emperor’s cold voice rang out again. “Skydream, don’t you know that my tribe is a predator of your tribe?”
The Skydream Iceworm laughed indifferently, “I know that of course, but why does that matter? Is there a rule that states that one can’t like their own predator? And it’s precisely because of that that I like you even more.”
The Ice Emperor said disdainfully, “Unfortunately, you don’t have the qualiﬁcations to like me. However, I’m very touched. You’ve actually agreed to bring yourself back as food for me to eat. How could I not help you accomplish your goal to fuse our bodies together like this? You should be able to sense that I’m approaching you right now. Just wait for me, I’ll get to you within ﬁfteen minutes. I’ll take all of your love, and I’ll treat you well. I’ll slowly eat your body and energy bit by bit and make you a part of my body.”
The Skydream Iceworm seemed to already be familiar with the Ice Emperor’s way of speaking. Somewhat helpless, he said, “Can’t you be a bit gentler? You’re always so cold and overbearing. It’s no wonder you’re still single. Right, I’ve always wanted to ask you this: is that joke going around the Extreme North true? Did you like the Snow Emperor back then?”
“Skydream, I’ll deﬁnitely rend your body into ten thousand pieces!” The Skydream Iceworm’s words seemed to have touched upon the Ice Emperor’s most sensitive feelings, causing its voice to instantly become hysterical. At that moment, the dark green sky suddenly turned a deep black.
The smile on the Skydream Iceworm’s mouth had never disappeared, as if it was purposely trying to rile up the Ice Emperor. On the other hand, there were no longer tears ﬂowing from the eyes of the hiding Huo Yuhao. Only, he felt his heart go somewhat cold.
From their conversation, it was obvious that the Skydream Iceworm and the Ice Emperor had many grudges and emotions between them. It was deﬁnitely not as simple as the Skydream Iceworm had said. The Skydream Iceworm had purposely riled up the Ice Emperor, which meant that he deﬁnitely had his own motives; he deﬁnitely had a move he was planning to unleash.
However, did this really matter to him? Was the Skydream Iceworm still deserving of his trust? He had lied to him, bringing him to this danger-ﬁlled Extreme North. Was his only
objective to help him awaken his second martial soul? No, that was deﬁnitely not the case. In the end, he had still lied to him.
Taking a deep breath, Huo Yuhao’s face gradually turned chilly. The grief in his heart had caused a violent change to occur in his mental state. His nervousness and excitement had disappeared, and only a patch of ice remained in his heart.
As if it had sensed the change in Huo Yuhao’s emotions, the gray pearl located within the depths of his mind shook lightly. However, it quickly returned to normal.
A voice that Huo Yuhao couldn’t hear muttered to itself within the gray pearl, “The personality this kid’s cultivated since his youth goes to extremes too easily. His greatest weakness is his own heart. To him, this could be considered a form of training. Otherwise, how will he be able to mature? It’s better for me to not interfere. However, that large worm’s made me look at him with a completely new light than before!”
The gray pearl then quieted down. In this exact instant, the Skydream Iceworm’s voice rang out in Huo Yuhao’s mind, “Yuhao, the preparations are all ready. When I give you the
signal, you’ll have to endure the cold. You’ll have to persevere, got it?”
“I will.” Huo Yuhao replied coldly.
Possibly due to the nervousness he felt, the Skydream Iceworm didn’t notice the change in Huo Yuhao’s mental state.
After ﬁfteen minutes passed, the Ice Emperor who said that it’d take ﬁfteen minutes to appear ﬁnally showed itself.
The dark sky turned jade green, and a jade green light streaked across the sky. With that ﬂash of jade light, another soul beast appeared in front of the Skydream Iceworm.
Huo Yuhao was also concentratedly observing what was going on. Though he hadn’t personally seen the third-ranked Titan Ice Devil King, he’d seen its terrifying footsteps before. In his opinion, the Ice Emperor who was also a member of the Three Emperors shouldn’t be much smaller than the Titan Ice Devil Emperor.
However, Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but feel somewhat stunned when the Ice Emperor ﬁnally appeared in his perception. He couldn’t help but inwardly sigh in admiration, It’s really too pretty.
Right, the Ice Emperor was very beautiful. Though it was just a soul beast, Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but sigh in admiration.
The Ice Emperor was roughly 1.5 meters long, which meant that it wasn’t even as big as the Skydream Iceworm’s previous body. Huo Yuhao had made lots of predictions towards the Ice Emperor’s race, but they were all wrong. The Ice Emperor was a scorpion, a scorpion whose beauty had reached the pinnacle.
Could the words ‘scorpion’ and ‘beautiful’ even be used together? Huo Yuhao was now certain of his answer to this question.
The 1.5-meter-long Ice Emperor had two colors on its body.
One was the color of ice, and the other was a jade green color.
The front end of its body had four layers stacked above each other, and each layer was longer than the previous one by a
third of a meter. Its head lay on the frontmost layer, and its silver-white mouth shone with an ominous, cold light. The front of its body was covered a type of special scale that Huo Yuhao had never learned of in Shrek Academy. No, instead of call it a scale, it was more accurate to say that it was protruding outwards.
Chapter 41: Ice Jade Empress Scorpion
They were shaped like hexagons and shone with an incomparably bright luster, and were akin to a diamond in shape. They covered the front section of its body, and its six slender legs. Beneath the green sky, they emitted an incomparably brilliant luster. It was almost as if they’d become another source of light as it reﬂected all a myriad of rays of light.
Its two pincers were both a meter long, and they were both covered with the strange diamond-like hexagonal protrusions. Only, the foremost parts of its pincers were covered in a mirror-like silverish-white color just like its mouth.
However, the things Huo Yuhao paid the most attention to were its eyes. Its eyes were yellow, as if two yellow diamonds had been embedded within its sockets. They were also hexagonal, and the ﬂickering of their crystal-like yellow light gave off a feeling similar to that of a gem glistening.
If its upper body could be considered sufﬁciently resplendent, its lower body--the long, yet upward pointing tail, was the core that dazzled everything around it.
Unlike the ﬁnely segmented tail of an ordinary scorpion, the tail of the Ice Emperor only had ﬁve segments. Each segment shone with an alluring jade-green light that was ﬁlled with luster. Its ﬁve segments were identically colored, and the segment nearest to its upper body was the widest of the ﬁve; the further away from its body, the narrower it got. The last segment was also inlaid with the diamond-like protrusions, and the very tip of its tail similarly ﬂickered with a mirror-like, silverish-white luster.
How could a soul beast with a gem-like resplendence like this not be deserving of the title of ‘beautiful’? Furthermore, merely describing it with the word ‘beautiful’ didn’t seem to do it justice.
As the Ice Emperor appeared, the Skydream Iceworm unconsciously let an intoxicated look appear on his face. Staring at the Ice Emperor with a passionate gaze in his eyes, he said, “You’ve come.”
Seeing the Skydream Iceworm’s bright-gold body which was created by spiritual power, the Ice Emperor seemed to be taken somewhat aback. A trace of astonishment appeared in its crystal-yellow eyes.
“Skydream, did you think that I’d be unable to ﬁnd your true body just because you hid it and used your spiritual power to create a virtual body to come see me? Even if your spiritual power’s strong enough to create a body for yourself, you’re still using the appearance of a human. You can’t be too far away from your true body.” The Ice Emperor said icily.
The Skydream Iceworm smiled slightly. His eyes were ﬁlled with an infatuated look, and he nearly started drooling, “You’re still as charming as ever. I remember the last time I saw you, you still had six segments on your tail. However, they’ve already fused to ﬁve segments! I just love this attractive shade of green that you have. It seems like I wasn’t wrong; you’re not too far away from your limit.”
Snorting disdainfully, the crisp, female voice of the Ice Emperor rang out again, “Useless words like that will only hasten your death. You’ve been hiding so well all these years, but you’ve suddenly come back now. Did you only come here to get yourself killed?”
With an adoring voice, the Skydream Iceworm said, “I’ve naturally come to let you live on! My suffering from the one- sided love I’ve had will ﬁnally come to an end. During these
long years, I’ve always dreamt of you during my deep sleep. My beloved, we can ﬁnally stay together forever.”
The Ice Emperor was no longer able to tolerate the Skydream Iceworm’s infatuated appearance. Her tall, pointed tail suddenly lit up, and a spotlessly white beam of light instantly pierced through the Skydream Iceworm’s body.
Huo Yuhao felt the Skydream Iceworm’s spiritual power surging violently, and even his vision became somewhat fuzzy.
“I don’t know what plans you have, but since you’ve come all the way here, you have to die. After absorbing your energy, I’ll become the strongest soul beast in the entire continent.”
After piercing through the Skydream Iceworm’s body, the white ray didn’t disappear. On the contrary, it started spreading through the Skydream Iceworm’s golden body, destroying it in a berserk manner.
However, the Skydream Iceworm didn’t reveal any signs of pain. Somewhat regretfully, he said, “I was originally planning to chat with you for a while, since I didn’t want to be so
heartless. However, I’ll have to start it now, so that we can truly be together.”
Having cultivated to its current level, the Ice Emperor could discern danger very well. She instantly felt that something was wrong, because the Skydream Iceworm’s body had suddenly turned blurry. Right after that, he suddenly appeared right in front of her.
There was no need to doubt the Ice Emperor’s speed, but she suddenly felt herself slowing down in this instant. The air around her seemed to have suddenly turned viscous, and the Skydream Iceworm’s terrifying spiritual power had become a vast ocean that trapped her within it.
The Ice Emperor’s gaze instantly turned ferocious. Forcefully waving her jade green tail, it erupted with a brilliant light.
“Skydream, you’re courting death. You actually dare to use spiritual power in this manner? Aren’t you scared of being unable to return to your original body? Moreover, regardless of how hard you try, it won’t change the fact that you’re trash. How long can you even keep me here for? One or two seconds?”
The Skydream Iceworm said gently, “Not much! One second’s more than enough!”
At this moment, a membrane made of a pale white light slid across the ground noiselessly. No matter how strong the Ice Emperor was, she hadn’t noticed it.
On the other hand, the hidden Huo Yuhao felt his body shake violently. Clenching his teeth, he concentrated all his soul power to defend against the extreme cold that had abruptly arrived.
Though he had the ice room, which was able to block out the outside cold, as well as the warmth created by the Skydream Iceworm’s ignited shedded skin, he was still frozen solid instantly. He didn’t know how low the temperatures here had reached, but it seemed as if his heart could stop beating at any time. He could only urge his soul power as if his life depended on it, maintaining the trace of warmth in his heart.
Right, a single second was enough for the Skydream Iceworm. The Ice Emperor was releasing all of her strength in preparation for the Skydream Iceworm to waste all of his
spiritual power, but she suddenly felt her body tighten. Unexpectedly, she had lost the ability to move.
Astonished, the Ice Emperor immediately twisted about madly. White and green intertwined and ﬂickered as she released all of her tyrannical skills without holding anything back.
However, this powerful several hundred thousand year- ranked soul beast who’d roamed about the Extreme North unhindered felt fear in the next instant. No matter how hard she struggled, it was unexpectedly to no avail.
The sensation of constriction was strengthening at an astonishing rate, unexpectedly causing a gurgling sound to ring out. Regardless of how she struggled, the strength of her bindings continued to strengthen unceasingly. Unexpectedly, she had no way to resist it.
The frontal pincers she’d raised up into the air were gradually pushed downwards, and her raised tail was pressed up against her body. The Ice Emperor, one of the Extreme North’s Three Emperors, had actually been constricted this rigidly.
“No, no! This isn’t possible. Skydream, how could trash like you be able to tie me up? What skill is this? Why can’t I use my energy?”
The golden light vanished, and the Huo Yuhao-shaped Skydream Iceworm reappeared in front of her. With an indifferent smile on his face, he said, “I’ve truly waited for this day for too long already. You don’t know what’s happening? Right, I’ll give you an explanation, but not now. Once we’ve left this area, I’ll have a good chat with you. Right now, we should be on our way.”
With that, he raised his right hand and pointed towards the Ice Emperor. Amidst the ﬂickering golden light, the Ice Emperor’s body vanished into thin air.
Facing the sky, the Skydream Iceworm let out a sigh. “I didn’t think that I’d be able to use the few abilities I wouldn’t have dared to use in the past after losing my body. Unfortunately, that was my only chance to use them. Ice Emperor, oh Ice Emperor, I really hope you won’t disappoint me.”
The pale white membrane reappeared, but the Ice Emperor had already vanished. The membrane slowly fell through the ground, re-entering Huo Yuhao’s body, which was located within the ice room.
The extreme cold was instantly isolated from the ice room, but Huo Yuhao’s body remained as hard as steel. A layer of frost had covered the surface of his body.
The golden light vanished into his forehead, and the Skydream Iceworm called out to him softly, “Yuhao, Yuhao, how are you? I’ve succeeded.”
Though Huo Yuhao’s body was frozen solid, he was abnormally clear-headed.
“Why?” Within his spiritual world, Huo Yuhao asked coldly.
Puzzled, the Skydream Iceworm asked, “Why what?”
Huo Yuhao’s icy voice rang out, “Why did you lie to me? Did you really come here just to awaken my second martial soul? If
so, how can you explain what you just did?”
The Skydream Iceworm fell silent.
His voice ﬁlled with grief, Huo Yuhao said, “Skydream, you know, after leaving the Duke’s Mansion, you’re the ﬁrst partner in my life who’d given me hope. I considered you as a teacher, as well as my closest friend. You’re the person who’s ﬁnally given me a target I can work towards, but why did you have to lie to me? Why? Did you just want to use me as a puppet to come here? I used all of my energy to come here, but the only thing I saw was the love you had towards the Ice Emperor. I don’t mind taking risks with you. If you had told me in advance, I would’ve been willing to follow you all the way, even if I had to climb through mountains of blades or swim through seas of ﬁre. However, you shouldn’t have lied to me.”
The Skydream Iceworm let out a long sigh, “Sorry, Yuhao. I did lie to you. I didn’t fully trust you. I didn’t know whether you’d still be willing to follow me if I told you everything. You’re not wrong, I had my own selﬁsh motives. I hope to be with the Ice Emperor forever. Ever since I was born, the only person I’ve liked is the Ice Emperor. It’s just like the ‘love’ you
humans have. Even if she only treats me as food, I’ll still love her without any second thoughts.”
“I didn’t realize that doing things this way would hurt you. I don’t wish for you to look down on me. It’s just as she’s said, I’m a piece of trash and a coward. The Ice Emperor’s full name is the Ice Jade Emperor Scorpion, and she’s one of the true rulers of this freezing earth. The Ice Jade Scorpion tribe she belongs to takes my Iceworm clan as food, but I’ve loved her incorrigibly since I the ﬁrst time I met her two hundred thousand years ago.”
“I know what you’re going to ask me: Why do I love her, even though we’re from completely different races? Realistically speaking, a difference in race doesn’t really matter at our level. Besides, what I’m pursuing is more of a spiritual relationship. You’ve seen what she thinks of me. To tell the truth, one of the main reasons that I was so eager to become your soul ring was because I simply couldn’t wait any longer. I was scared that she’d reach her limit early, and that she’d pass away. Even though I love her, I won’t force her to love me. However, I’ll do everything I can in order to ensure that she stays alive, no matter what. It’s my selﬁsh wish that I can live with her beside me. Even if she ends up cursing me everyday, I’ll still be willing to listen to her voice. Do you understand what I’m saying? This is love.”
The Skydream Iceworm’s voice was ﬁlled with several emotions. An intrinsic transformation seemed to have occurred in his usually lazy voice, so much so that even Huo Yuhao was gradually swayed by his words. Huo Yuhao was only twelve after all, thus it was natural for him to not understand what exactly love was. However, he had unwittingly been moved by the Skydream Iceworm’s words.
“What if an accident had happened before we found the Ice Empress? What if you hadn’t been able to restrain her?” Huo Yuhao blurted out.
The Skydream Iceworm calmly replied, “There was basically no chance of that happening with my Spiritual Detection. Furthermore, there’s no chance that she wouldn’t have been restrained by me. When I died, my corpse became the strongest weapon that a soul beast has ever produced in the world. Not to mention her, I’m conﬁdent that I could’ve trapped the ﬁrst-ranked Snow Empress if it had been within ﬁfty meters of us. Unfortunately, I could only use it one time. This was the ﬁrst time that I’ve fought outside your body after fusing with you, and it will also be the last. The strength of my spirit won’t allow me to do this again. After all, I’m your soul ring; I’ve already completely fused with you. The dangers that you’re worrying about couldn’t have happened either, as I have a last-ditch skill that allows me to instantly teleport you several hundreds of miles away. As such, I wouldn’t have had any problems making sure that you were safe. Yuhao, you need to remember this: Even though I was somewhat vigilant towards you this time, we’re still a single entity. We share both our glory and our losses.”
Huo Yuhao fell silent. The Skydream Iceworm’s lie had hurt him quite a lot, but he felt the sadness in his heart gradually
disappear when he heard the Skydream Iceworm’s explanation. Afterwards, another feeling took its place.
“I can only do what I do best. Even if there hadn’t been any feelings between the Ice Empress and me, I still would’ve brought you to this place, as this is the only place where I could utilize all of my abilities to help you ﬁnd a good choice to awaken your martial soul with.”
Huo Yuhao took a deep breath, then muttered, “Brother Skydream, is my heart too fragile?”
The Skydream Iceworm replied, “No. I can’t blame you for how you reacted. A person’s mental state is truly determined by one’s past experiences. You just rely too much on me. Haven’t you realized it? Whether you’re cultivating, undergoing an assessment, or even whenever you encounter danger. Every single time, you subconsciously tell yourself, No matter what, I still have Brother Skydream, or something like, As long as I cultivate diligently, Brother Skydream will help me become even stronger. Am I right?”
Huo Yuhao nodded subconsciously. By this point, the stiffness in his body had more or less receded. His blood had
begun to ﬂow quicker as he circulated his soul power, which in turn gradually caused a warm feeling to rise from his body.
The Skydream Iceworm continued, “This reliance can sometimes be a good thing for you, but it can also sometimes be a bad thing. Relying on me too much will cause you to lose your way. You are yourself; you are Huo Yuhao, a human soul master, and a human soul engineer. I, on the other hand, am the Skydream Iceworm. I’m currently an intelligent soul ring. And who do I belong to?”
“Me, ” Huo Yuhao replied.
The Skydream Iceworm said, “That’s right. I’m your soul ring. Even if I’m an intelligent soul ring, I’m still your soul ring. Therefore, you have to remember that, while I am a part of you, you aren’t a part of me. You’re my master, and as such, you’re the person who rules this body that we share. Because of that, I should be the one who’s relying on you; you shouldn’t be the one relying on me. If you keep thinking this way, you won’t have any feelings of doubt towards me. If it continues like this, I’ll have to consider whether or not any of my actions will affect my relationship with you. I’ll only be ﬁne if you’re ﬁne. Do you understand?”
After hearing the Skydream Iceworm’s words, Huo Yuhao suddenly felt his mind clear up. He ﬁnally understood what he’d just felt—it was maturity.
In this short period of time, his heart had matured. The hatred he’d accumulated over the past several years seemed to have dulled by a large amount while, more importantly, his heart had matured. His fragile heart had ﬁrmed up, and the constant self-reﬂection he’d done had caused him to discard his resentment.
Once he realized this, his eyes became full of conﬁdence once again.
I’m the master here. I’m the one who will grab the sun and moon, and who will pluck the stars from the sky in the future.
After digging his way out of the ice room, Huo Yuhao climbed out from underneath the snow. Suddenly, Huo Yuhao felt an urge to let out a shout towards the heavens.
“Don’t make any noise. Immediately run in the direction I tell you to. The Ice Empress’s clansmen are coming, as they’ve
more than likely sensed her aura disappear. If we don’t leave, they’ll deﬁnitely ﬁnd us quickly. Now then, we need to quickly leave this place. We can handle the issue regarding the Ice Empress once we reach a safe place.”
“Okay.” Huo Yuhao didn’t waste any time as he immediately began running towards the direction they’d come from. His mind had cleared up, thus his footsteps had become extraordinarily swift. The Skydream Iceworm’s powerful spiritual power concealed all traces of his aura, and there wasn’t any need for Huo Yuhao to worry about leaving any footsteps behind. In this freezing world of wind and ice, all traces of his presence were wiped away with a single gust of wind.
As he ran, Huo Yuhao spoke to the Skydream Iceworm, “Brother Skydream, I was wrong. I shouldn’t have doubted you. However, I’m still angry as, in the end, you still lied to me.”
The Skydream Iceworm replied, “Okay, please don’t be angry. You’ll be able to see how beneﬁcial this adventure was to you once we’ve taken care of the Ice Empress.”
Huo Yuhao said, “What’s the Ice Empress got to do with me? She’s your lover. Don’t tell me that you truly have the heart to kill her and make her into my soul ring?”
“Hehehe….” The Skydream Iceworm laughed. “You’ll see, but not right now. However, I promise that I’ll never lie to you again. You’ve passed my test.”
“What test?” Huo Yuhao asked, a somewhat blank look in his eyes.
The Skydream Iceworm replied, “Your heart, of course. Although your small heart’s somewhat fragile, and even though your emotions are affected very easily, I’ve still felt the complete trust and dependence you have in me. I did say that it wasn’t a very good thing for you to do, but it’s destroyed the last barrier between us.”
Somewhat helpless, Huo Yuhao replied, “That doesn’t really make me feel very good.”
The Skydream Iceworm chuckled. “What’s not good about it? Every experience always has its beneﬁts. This isn’t really a bad
thing for you. Besides, you’ll trust your friends more in the future, and you won’t doubt them as easily.”
Huo Yuhao replied, “If you won’t tell me how you plan to deal with the Ice Empress, then at least tell me the story between you and her. I want to hear what this ‘love’ is all about.”
“Alright, I’ll tell you a little story. Run a bit faster; if we’re discovered, all our previous efforts will have been for nought….”
“I’m already running as fast as I can.” Huo Yuhao brought his soul power to the maximum as he ran along the surface of the snowy ground using the Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track. Because of both his speed and the packed snow of the Extreme North, he left a trail of shallow footsteps in the snow without actually sinking into it. This was the quickest way he could move forward.
The Skydream Iceworm said, “I’ve been in love with the Ice Empress for two hundred thousand years. I’d just woken up from my sleep back then, and I was about to ﬁnd another place to continue sleeping. But then, she suddenly appeared. She’d
been looking for the Ten Thousand Year Ice Pith. Unfortunately, this Brother had already eaten all of it. The ﬁrst time we met, we were both astonished. You’ve seen my original body; it’s beautiful, it’s big, it’s round, and it has a golden luster to it. Well, she was very beautiful too. The ﬁrst time that I saw
her resplendent body and her large, jade-green tail, I was deeply captivated by her. In particular, I was charmed by her cool temperament. She looks the most beautiful whenever she’s cursing at me. To me, it doesn’t matter even when she wants to kill me; her personality’s just that perfect.”
Huo Yuhao was left somewhat speechless when he heard this. “Brother Skydream, I don’t think you need to continue anymore. I just can’t sympathize with the love between you soul beasts. Also, I can’t help but say that you’re really infatuated with her. Even when she’s trying to kill you, you still ﬁnd her perfect! Hahahaha…”
Enraged, the Skydream Iceworm yelled, “Huo Yuhao, how dare a stinky brat like you laugh at me. Do you really think that I wouldn’t dare to destroy your spiritual sea!?”
“I don’t believe you. If you have the ability to do it, do it. However, if you destroy my spiritual sea, you’re screwed as well. And if that happens, you won’t be able to see your Ice
Empress ever again. Are you really willing to go through with that? If you are, come at me! I’m not scared of you.”
“You…” Huo Yuhao’s words had struck the Skydream Iceworm’s soft spot. He indignantly replied, “Getting too intimate really isn’t good for me! Now that we’ve gotten closer, you’re no longer afraid of the consequences for insulting me! I feel like I’ve lost out on this deal….”
Huo Yuhao snorted. “Haven’t you heard the phrase ‘being put at a disadvantage sometimes gives you an advantage’? Whatever, quiet down a bit. I don’t wanna get distracted.”
This time around, Huo Yuhao had truly unleashed the entirety of his potential. In his current situation, one where he couldn’t guarantee when he would even get to eat, he dashed wildly onwards in a way that seemed to overdraft his body. Only when his soul power was fully drained would he stop, shove two mouthfuls of snow into his mouth, then meditate.
He didn’t even consider eating the frozen food that he’d brought with him.
The drain on his physical energy by merely relying on water to replenish his energy could be imagined, but he didn’t have a choice. Repeatedly urged on by the Skydream Iceworm, he continued to run for twenty-eight hours straight. By that point, he’d ﬁnally left the core regions of the Extreme North and had arrived back at the border.
“Pu—” Huo Yuhao fell to the ground atop the thick snow. He wasn’t able to crawl back up no matter what the Skydream Iceworm said.
The excessive overdrawing of his physical strength had caused him to enter a state of extreme tiredness. Fortunately, the surrounding temperature had increased considerably once he’d reached the outer areas of the Extreme North. At the very least, it had become a bit easier for him to hydrate himself by eating snow.
“I can’t do this anymore, Brother Skydream. I just can’t run anymore. I have to rest. If I don’t eat any longer, I’m going to die.” Huo Yuhao muttered inwardly.
Huo Yuhao gasped for air as he lay atop the snow, which caused bursts of white mist to unceasingly emerge from his mouth. His vision had become blurry, and waves of dizziness were assaulting him. Currently, he was weak to the point that he wasn’t even able to activate his Spiritual Detection. The only thing he wanted to do right now was sleep. He’d never felt
like this before, even during the most difﬁcult moments of his training in Shrek Academy.
The Skydream Iceworm replied, “Let’s do it here then. I just did a quick search. It’s relatively quiet for around a hundred miles around us. As such, there shouldn’t be any soul beasts roaming about. However, Yuhao, you can’t rest yet; your true test is coming now.”
“Ah? You still want to test me? Just let me die.” After his last conversation with the Skydream Iceworm, their relationship had evidently improved by a signiﬁcant amount. At the very least, Huo Yuhao had less misgivings when he conversed with the Skydream Iceworm.
The Skydream Iceworm replied, “Are you sure you don’t want to take this test?”
“What test?” Huo Yuhao asked, speechless.
The Skydream Iceworm smiled mysteriously. “Why did we come to the Extreme North in the ﬁrst place?”
“To awaken my martial soul! What, are you saying that you want to take care of the Ice Empress right now?” Huo Yuhao ﬁnally came back to his senses. However, he really didn’t have any strength left. Just attempting to sit up took half of the little energy he had left, thus he chose to lie back down.
The Skydream Iceworm replied, “Right. I’m going to use my shedded skin to trap the Ice Empress’ body, then use my spiritual power to create a spiritual prison that’ll trap her temporarily. However, even though my spiritual power is my origin energy, I won’t be able to maintain it for too long. The Ice Empress’s so strong that I can’t truly trap her for long.”
Curious, Huo Yuhao asked, “What’s a spiritual prison?”
The Skydream Iceworm replied, “It’s a skill that’s activated by spiritual power. After I gave up my body in order to fuse with you, the origin of my spiritual power became independent from my body, allowing me to use a few skills. Unfortunately, my spiritual brand fused even further with you after I left your body. As such, I won’t be able to do this again. As of now, I can truly only be your subordinate. You need to prepare yourself as well, as there’s a prerequisite for the Ice Empress to fuse with you and become your martial soul—she has to do it of her own accord. However, even if she willingly agrees, you’ll still have
to withstand an enormous amount of pressure. It won’t be as easy as it was when I fused with you in the Great Star Dou Forest. At that point in time, I was fully drained of my energy. All I had left was my spiritual origin. Contrary to myself, she’s a true three hundred thousand year soul beast; her cultivation is even at the 399,000 year rank. You deﬁnitely won’t be able to absorb such a terrifying amount of power by yourself. As such, I’ll have to seal her energy up in order to make sure that you won’t explode. However, this will still come as an enormous shock to your body. Thus, you’ll have to persevere no matter what. If you don’t, all three of us are screwed. Do you understand?”
Huo Yuhao nodded. “I understand. But… will the Ice Empress really agree?”
The Skydream Iceworm smiled mysteriously. “Even though we’ve lived for so many years, we’re actually more afraid of death than you humans. After all, is anyone truly willing to give up an extremely long life? No matter how much she looks down on me and how unwilling she is, preserving her own life is still more important! The reason that I created a situation like this was to force her; besides, those descendants of hers won’t even be able to ﬁnd us. Just watch me. You just need to lie down and stay still.”
Huo Yuhao’s eyes slowly lit up, while a strong golden light ﬂickered within them. Immediately afterwards, he felt the mind-numbing cold. Even though it wasn’t as intense as the freezing cold parts of the Extreme North, he shivered instinctively, and his body curled up subconsciously. The Skydream Iceworm had evidetly taken his shedded skin away.
A ball of golden light emerged from in between Huo Yuhao’s brows, then slowly rose into the air. It was only a golden dot when it emerged, but it gradually expanded as it rose. In the blink of an eye, it had become a disk of light with a one meter diameter.
The light that the golden disc had suddenly began to become illusory. If you were to look directly at it, your gaze would be sucked into a seemingly bottomless abyss.
A light ﬂashed, and a ﬁgure emerged from the golden disc. The instant it appeared, the golden light in the air disappeared. A ﬁst-sized ball of golden light surged out from Huo Yuhao’s forehead and proceeded to ﬂoat in midair. The trapped ﬁgure within was the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion.
Currently, she’d already been trapped by the Skydream Iceworm’s shedded skin. No matter how hard she struggled, she couldn’t get free. After all, the Skydream Iceworm’s shedded skin was the crystallisation of his million years of cultivation. Even though his energy—which he’d accumulated
after many years—had been continuously sucked out by the powerful soul beasts of the Great Star Dou Forest to the point where he’d almost dried up, he’d deliberately nourished his body with his energy during the extraction process. If it hadn’t been for his durable body, he would’ve died god knows how
many times already.
After choosing to give up his body in order to fuse with Huo Yuhao, the Skydream Iceworm’s shedded skin had become an extremely valuable treasure. Even with the Ice Empress’s terrifying level of energy and soul power, she had still been unable to break free from it. Its durability could be seen from this. Only, Huo Yuhao’s current cultivation was far too weak to control it, thus only the Skydream Iceworm himself could do so. However, the drain on his spiritual origin would be extremely large whenever he used it, and as such, he could only use it at extremely important moments.
“Ice Empress, stop resisting. You’ve already tried so many times, you should know that it’s useless by now.” The Skydream Iceworm said in its distinctively lazy voice.
The Ice Empress replied coldly, “What do you want?”
The Skydream Iceworm gently said, “I only want to stay with my beloved forever.”
“This is your way of showing me your love?” After thinking it over for an entire day or so, the Ice Empress had already come to the understanding that she’d been duped. At that time, if she hadn’t been so close to the Skydream Iceworm, his plans would deﬁnitely have failed. Unfortunately, there was no use in her crying over spoiled milk. She’d already fallen into the Skydream Iceworm’s hands, and she wasn’t able to escape from this strange power. An existence like the Ice Empress, someone who had lived for almost four hundred thousand years, naturally wouldn’t give up easily. Thus, she could only rely on her other abilities to escape from this strange power that she couldn’t seem to resist.
The Skydream Iceworm smiled slightly. “Don’t be so impatient, listen to me.”
The Ice Empress replied coldly, “What did you say? You said that you loved me? If you really love me, then why haven’t you
released your true body? I’ve already fallen into your trap, so what do you have to be afraid of?”
The Skydream Iceworm sighed. “I’m naturally not afraid of you, it’s just that there’s no way for me to let you see my true body! My true body no longer exists. Haven’t you realised that you’ve been looking at my spiritual origin all this time, not a virtual body? After ruling over your domain for so long, you’ve lost your cautiousness. If you hadn’t, I deﬁnitely wouldn’t have succeeded so easily.”
The Ice Empress was stunned. Astonished, she replied, “What? You only have your spiritual origin? So your body…” At that moment, she ﬁnally noticed Huo Yuhao, who was lying on the ground. Because of the cold, Huo Yuhao’s face had already turned somewhat pallid. Fortunately, his resistance to the cold had increased by a large amount after his journey to the core regions of the Extreme North.
“You couldn’t be referring to this human, right? Even though you’ve trapped me, I can easily tell how insigniﬁcant he is, just by using my eyes. Is he your puppet?”
“No, no, of course that’s not the case. He’s my host, or rather, he’s my master. The current me is a soul ring that belongs to him; you should know about the soul rings that these humans have. On the other hand, I’m the continent’s ﬁrst ever intelligent soul ring.”
The Ice Empress cried out involuntarily, “What? You’ve actually become a human’s soul ring? How can this be?! Even though you’re a piece of trash, you’ve still lived for this long. How could a human’s fragile body withstand your enormous energy?!”
The Skydream Iceworm smiled bitterly. “Don’t bring that up. My tragedy began with you. At that point in time, you were so persistent on eating me… there was no way that I wouldn’t run away! I still needed a body to continue loving you, thus I drifted along the ocean and reached an area down south…”
The Skydream Iceworm used the most miserable voice he could muster as he recounted his experiences from the past hundred thousand years. Huo Yuhao had already heard his story, but the Skydream Iceworm used a much more sorrowful tone as he explained it to the Ice Empress. Moreover, he described himself with a much more miserable tone,
describing how he’d been ‘beaten up till he was a mass of bruises’, and how ‘death would have been preferable to living’.
“...You know how terrifying limits are to us. You also know that no soul beast has lived longer than me. Even though I’m only a piece of trash in your heart, I’m still an old piece of trash who’s lived long enough. My energy’s foundation had been drained, and I was about to reach my next limit soon. However, I’ve already lived for this long—I naturally didn’t want to die! I believe that you feel the same as I do. I can sense that your limit will arrive within a hundred years. Because of that, you’re extremely worried.”
“You and me, we both don’t want to die. We’ve already lived this long; how could we be willing to simply turn into pile of dust? As such, I’ve found the best way to get past this.”
The Skydream Iceworm’s story ﬁnally aroused the interest of the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion. She subconsciously asked, “How?”
The Skydream Iceworm replied in a low voice, “By creating God.”
“Creating God?” The Ice Empress was stunned. She immediately became even more curious. “What do you mean by creating God?”
The Skydream Iceworm replied in a low voice, “My beloved, let me ask you this: Which race on this continent has the highest potential of all?”
After becoming ensnared in the Skydream Iceworm’s words, the Ice Empress subconsciously followed his train of thought. “Are you referring to humans?”
Chapter 42: Creating God?
The Skydream Iceworm nodded forcefully. “Right, humans. Even though there are some noble soul beasts like you, who are innately born with a powerful physique, you have to admit that we’re much worse than humans in terms of talent. Although a human’s body can’t even be described as insigniﬁcant in the face of your Ice Jade Scorpion clan, they can still compete with your ten thousand year, or even hundred thousand-year-old clansmen after cultivating for several decades. Why is that? It’s because they have a different amount of potential than us. Humans have frail bodies and short lifespans. However, their potential has allowed them to obtain the blessings of the heavens; they’re incomparable. This is the advantage the humans have, and yet is also something we lack.”
“Most importantly, we can’t even hope to strive for the peaks that humanity can reach. Do you still remember that incident that happened ten thousand years ago?”
The Ice Empress replied, “The Heavens and the Earth changed color; a God was suddenly born.”
The Skydream Iceworm said, “Right. At that time, I sensed the appearance of at least ﬁve Gods. Moreover, two of the Great Star Dou Forest’s Great Beast Kings fell. They were both powerful existences who resided within the core regions of the Great Star Dou Forest, and even though they were somewhat inferior in terms of cultivation to those sleeping fellas who absorbed my energy, the races that they belonged to were extremely domineering. One of them had the same Titan bloodline that the Titan Ice Devil King has, while the other had the bloodline of dragons. Despite this, they both still fell. However, they didn’t fall because they were killed by their enemies, but because they were used to complete the most powerful human who existed ten thousand years ago—the person who later became the most powerful God.”
At that point, the Skydream Iceworm stopped for a moment. Afterwards, he continued in an even deeper voice, “Ice Empress, we both know the truth. Only Gods have an unlimited lifespan!”
The Ice Empress fell silent. Striking while the iron was hot, the Skydream Iceworm continued, “Whenever we soul beasts
reach a hundred thousand years of cultivation, we can choose to re-cultivate as a human. However, there are an extremely small number of us who actually dare to re-cultivate. This is because we simply have no way of guaranteeing that we can cultivate and break through to the Titled Douluo stage in a short hundred years of time. Even if we did manage to break through, it would be very hard for our lifespans to exceed ﬁve hundred years. To us, becoming a God is a mere fantasy. The
Douluo continent has been around for over a hundred million years, and we soul beasts were around before humans even existed. However, how many of us were actually able to use the method of re-cultivation to achieve an unlimited lifespan as a God?”
“This is also the main reason why soul beasts like you who have noble bloodlines are unwilling to re-cultivate into a human, am I right?”
“I’m not willing to try that vague and unreliable method, nor am I willing to die a premature death during the process of re- cultivation. I’ve chosen another method as the next best option. That is, to create a God. By creating a deity, even though I won’t be a God, I’ll still be able to follow this God, and will possess an unlimited lifespan by becoming part of this God. As such, I’ve chosen to become a soul ring. Not just any
soul ring either, but an intelligent soul ring. I want to use my power to help him become a God, step by step.”
“You’re right. I’m just a piece of trash in your eyes, but I still have my million years of cultivation. Once I became an intelligent soul ring, I was able to give him a total of four soul skills, double that of you hundred thousand year soul beasts. Even though I wasn’t able to give him a soul bone, I was able to give him a martial soul, making him into a person with innate twin martial souls. This young man is only twelve, but he’s been gradually revealing his talent with my help. He has a much calmer attitude than his peers, along with the willpower to cultivate assiduously. If he has my help, why can’t he become an existence like that person ten thousand years ago. Why can’t he become a God?”
At this point, the Ice Empress was ﬁnally moved. She solemnly asked, “How conﬁdent are you?”
The Skydream Iceworm replied, “By myself, 30%. After all, I’m not good at attacking. As such, I can’t give him the ability to protect himself. However…”
When he reached this point, he suddenly paused.
“‘However’ what?” The Ice Empress asked, doubtful.
The Skydream Iceworm said, “I know what you’re thinking right now. You’re thinking of ﬁnding another human and trying to create a God like me. And you’re right to think like that. There are many areas in which you’re stronger than me. If you tried to create a God, you’d deﬁnitely be more successful than me. However, you’ve forgotten one thing: Your spiritual power isn’t anywhere near as strong as mine. More importantly, do you even have time to do the research that I’ve already done? You don’t even have a hundred years left, but I’ve already spent several tens of thousands of years thinking about this feat. Furthermore, it took me several experiments before I was ﬁnally able to succeed. You don’t have time to even do a single experiment. Even if I were to let you go, the path I’m going down isn’t suitable for you.”
“Then what are you bullshitting about with me for!?” The Ice Empress immediately ﬂew into a rage. The trace of hope that had just appeared in her heart had instantly and mercilessly been obliterated by the Skydream Iceworm. It would’ve been strange if she hadn’t been infuriated.
“I’m naturally not bullshitting you. My beloved, how could I be willing to let you die? Since I’ve told you about this method, I naturally have a way to help you! It’s true that it isn’t realistic for you to create a God by yourself, as you wouldn’t be able to ﬁnd a human able to withstand fusing with you, much less guarantee that you’ll be able to maintain your consciousness and your complete spiritual origin. However, I have experience in this! I’ve already done it! Moreover, your chances of success
will be multiplied by ten, at the very least, with the protection of my powerful spiritual origin. Right now, if I do it by myself, I only have a 30% chance of creating a God. However, if you were to work with me, our chances would increase to 50%, minimum! Isn’t a, minimum, 50% chance to live forever worth us ﬁghting for?”
The Ice Empress was left slightly blank. She ﬁnally understood the Skydream Iceworm’s motive for explaining so much to her. A pair of crystal-yellow eyes fell upon Huo Yuhao’s body, a somewhat astonished look in them.
Huo Yuhao had silently listened to the Skydream Iceworm and the Ice Empress’ conversation. His body felt extremely cold due to the weather, but he felt extremely passionate inwardly. He couldn’t help but admit that the Skydream Iceworm’s words were very inciting. This was especially so to the Ice Empress, who was nearing her life’s limit. The dawn of this
hope was simply too attractive to her. It was no wonder that he’d brought the Ice Empress here; he knew that he’d be safe with his knowledge. He was simply poking the Ice Empress’ weak spot!
Would the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion really become his second martial soul, and his second martial soul’s ﬁrst soul ring? This… she was the second-ranked Empress of the Extreme North’s Three Emperors!
Even though Huo Yuhao didn’t expect to simply soar into the heavens with a single step because of this, he would still no longer be a simple control-type soul master who had no combat strength once the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion became his martial soul. On the contrary, he would become a powerful dual-attributed control and assault-type soul master. It didn’t matter what soul skill the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion gave him, as it would deﬁnitely be a tyrannically offensive skill! After all, her strength had allowed her to become one of the Three Emperors of the Extreme North. Furthermore, since she was a hundred thousand year soul beast, she was also guaranteed to give him a soul bone.
How could Huo Yuhao not feel excited about this?
The Skydream Iceworm struck while the iron was hot, “How about it? You have to clearly think this through. You also can’t miss this opportunity, as this chance deﬁnitely won’t come again. I’m also no longer the original me. However, if you don’t agree to my suggestion, I’ll have no choice but to turn you into a regular soul ring, both for the sake of my own immortality, and to make my master stronger. Only, if that happens, you’ll lose your intelligence. You should know that I have several
different ways to kill you now that I’ve trapped you. At most, I’ll just have to waste some time to do so. On one hand, you have a chance at immortality. On the other hand, you have deﬁnite destruction. You’d best think carefully about which path you want to take.”
His words undoubtedly carried a threat within them. However, the world of soul beasts was different than that of humans. More often than not, directly threatening the other party would bring about better results in a negotiation between soul beasts. The Skydream Iceworm had lived for a million years, and even though the ﬁrst nine hundred thousand years of his life were as blank as sheet of paper due to his slumber, the amount of ﬁghting and scheming he’d undergone due to the powerful soul beasts within the Great Star Dou Forest wasn’t small. He’d undergone god-knows how many tribulations while attempting to escape with his life intact, all of which had strengthened his craftiness and intellect.
“Do I have any other choice?” The Ice Empress replied in an indifferent tone. Despite her tone however, her dense killing intent and chilliness had already decreased by a large amount. She was clearly trying to reach a compromise. Although she’d have to give up her freedom in for this chance at achieving immortality, living was still much better than dying—
especially to a soul beast like her, who’d already lived for nearly four hundred thousand years.
The Skydream Iceworm let out a large sigh of relief. “It’s no wonder that you’re the Bingbing I love the most. In the future, you’ll deﬁnitely be delighted by the choice you’ve made today.”
The Ice Jade Empress Scorpion angrily replied, “Skydream, if a piece of trash like you dares to take advantage of this old woman, I’ll see to it that you two follow each other to the grave, even if it means risking my life to do so. I don’t believe that I won’t be able to destroy this cage of yours if I self- destruct. If that happens, you two will have no choice but to accompany me to my death. I’m ﬁne with creating a God with you, but I have a request: Don’t speak so much bullshit.”
“Err… you don’t have to be this merciless. I really came here just for you….”
The Ice Empress looked at him coldly, but remained silent.
“Alright ﬁne, I agree. Release your spiritual origin for me. You can’t just hope that I’ll release you like this. That temper
of yours doesn’t reassure anyone.”
Even though the Skydream Iceworm had been shooting his mouth off, he was still an extremely careful person. The Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s strength ranked her second in the entire Extreme North—how could releasing her be an option? The risks were too high if he did that. At the same time, the Skydream Iceworm wasn’t worried about the her self- destructing like she’d mentioned earlier. A soul beast would almost always choose the path of survival, so long as there was even a trace of a chance that they would.
A trace of hesitation appeared in the Ice Empress’ eyes. The second she released her spiritual origin, with the disparity in spiritual power between her and the Skydream Iceworm, there would be no way for her to back out. If the Skydream Iceworm was lying to her, she’d have no hope of turning the tables.
When he saw the doubt in her eyes, the Skydream Iceworm solemnly said, “Almighty Ice God, I, the Skydream Iceworm, vow on the name of Ice that I shall be stripped of all my Ice if I lie to the Ice Empress and don’t help her become an intelligent soul ring once she releases her spiritual origin.”
This vow didn’t seem to hold much meaning to Huo Yuhao, but the Ice Empress didn’t have the same view; in the Extreme North, this was the most important vow a soul beast could make.
“Fine, I believe you.” As someone who had become one of the Extreme North’s Three Emperors, the Ice Empress was capable of killing without sparing a second thought. After hesitating for a brief moment, she decided. After all, the current Skydream Iceworm had already lost his body. Besides, it was just like he’d said: It wasn’t an impossibility for her to be reborn from the ashes. Furthermore, she’d always known that the Skydream Iceworm liked her. After considering several factors, she ﬁnally conﬁrmed her decision.
Her crystalline yellow pupils gradually turned jade-green, while her long, jade-green tail suddenly rose into the air. This was something that she was only able to do after the Skydream Iceworm had loosened her bindings.
A soft, jade-green halo began to undulate from the root of her tail, then moved backwards and gathered at the tip of her tail. In a ﬂash of jade-green light, small, jade-green balls of light began to separate from one another as they slowly rising
into the air. At the same time, the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s eyes immediately lost their luster and dimmed.
This was her spiritual origin.
Even though the process of releasing one’s spiritual origin seemed simple, not just any soul beast could do it. Only when a soul beast broke through their limits and reaching the hundred thousand year rank could they do such a thing. Of course, it naturally didn’t pose any problems to unrivalled experts such as the Skydream Iceworm and the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion.
After letting out a large sigh of relief, the Skydream Iceworm’s own golden ball of light immediately glided forward and glued itself to his shedded skin. The golden light increased in size the instant the jade-green ball of light made contact with it as it swallowed the jade-green ball of light like a whale swallowing its food. After swallowing the jade-green ball of light, it returned to Huo Yuhao’s body and re-entered it via his forehead. Afterwards, the Skydream Iceworm’s shedded skin rapidly retreated back into Huo Yuhao’s semi-frozen body.
After losing her spiritual origin, the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s main body fell to the ground. With her spiritual
origin no longer controlling it, her body immediately began to release an extremely terrifying amount of murderous might, while a jade-green luster simultaneously appeared in the sky. It could be imagined how terrifying the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion was from this.
“I’m freezing to death.” Huo Yuhao involuntarily shivered.
“Skydream, you really made a poor choice. He’s just as trashy as you. Do you actually want him to receive my power with such a weak body? Do you really think that such a thing is possible?” The Ice Empress’ disdainful voice rang out after she appeared in Huo Yuhao’s mind.
Huo Yuhao suddenly had a strange thought in his mind. With the Skydream Iceworm, the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion, the gray elder, and himself… there were now enough people to set up a mahjong table in his spiritual sea. It would be really lively in his spiritual sea!
The Skydream Iceworm chortled. “Ice Empress, there’s no need to be so impatient. If you’d died, it would’ve naturally been impossible for him to absorb your martial soul. With his current body, even a thousand year soul ring could cause his
body to explode, not to mention someone like you who’s nearly reached four hundred thousand years of cultivation. However, the situation is completely different since you and I are helping him out! Will we really let him fail just like that?”
Chapter 43: An Ordeal of Extreme Pain
When she heard the Skydream Iceworm’s words, the Ice Empress couldn’t help but hesitate. “Are you sure?” Once she made her decision, she’d naturally have to work hard for it. If she failed, even if she could let her spiritual origin return to her main body, she still wouldn’t be able to escape her next bottleneck. As such, how could she not be cautious?
The Skydream Iceworm replied, “If you work together with me, we’ll have at least a 90% chance at success. The remaining 10% will depend on Yuhao himself. Here, I’ll introduce you two. Yuhao, this is Bingbing. Er… I meant to say Ice Empress. Anyway, this is the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion who is the second-ranked Empress of the Extreme North’s Three Emperors. Ice Empress, this is Huo Yuhao. He has the spiritual- type Spirit Eyes, as well as the foundation for an ice-type martial soul that I laid the groundwork for. Currently, his ice- type martial soul needs a main soul ring. Or, to put it better, it needs another intelligent soul ring like me. You could say that his ice-type abilities are currently blank slates, thus he needs you to fuse with him to gain them. Once you’ve fused with him, you won’t just become the ﬁrst soul ring of his ice-type martial soul; you’ll become his martial soul. As such, his second martial soul will be you, the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion!”
“Hello, Ice Empress.” Huo Yuhao said. His voice was extremely moderate as he tried not to excessively reveal the emotions he was currently feeling.
The Ice Empress hesitated for a moment, then said, “Hello. I hope that you’ll be able to persevere through this process. If you can’t, all of our efforts will have been for naught, and we’ll all have to face the consequences.” Unlike when she spoke to the Skydream Iceworm, she was much gentler to Huo Yuhao. Perhaps it was because she would soon become a part of Huo Yuhao’s body that she was naturally willing to be friendly towards this tiny human.
When the Ice Empress had made her choice, she had done so somewhat begrudgingly. However, despite her choice being as such, she had immediately changed her position on the matter after making her decision. Huo Yuhao inwardly admired the speed at which she’d changed her attitude. Even though the Ice Empress hadn’t formally become his martial soul and soul ring, he already felt that she was somewhat more reliable than the Skydream Iceworm.
The Skydream Iceworm said, “We’ve already reached the outer regions of the Extreme North. With the Ice Empress’
body as a deterrent, only the Snow Emperor would dare to approach us. Even the Titan Ice Devil King himself will avoid this area once he senses the Ice Empress’ aura. As such, there shouldn’t be any issues regarding our safety here. Now then, we need to discuss how the fusion will proceed. Ice Empress, I’ll tell you the method with which you can fuse with Huo Yuhao, so let’s talk over it for a bit.”
Huo Yuhao’s spiritual sea quietened down. In order to avoid affecting his mental state, they didn’t want him to know how the fusion would proceed. Thus, the Skydream Iceworm and the Ice Empress communicated with each other using some other method.
After a short period of time passed, Huo Yuhao heard the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion let out a long sigh, “If we do it this way, it’s true that there’s a high chance we’ll succeed. However, Huo Yuhao’s body is still somewhat fragile and weak, so we’ll need to change the order of the fusion. We’ll ﬁrst need to strengthen his physique before completing the entire fusion. Since I’m going to become an intelligent soul ring, I want to transfer as much of my strength as possible to him.”
The Skydream Iceworm said, “Are you saying that you want to transfer your bone, your soul, then your ring last?”
The Ice Jade Empress Scorpion said, “Right. If we use your method, we’ll have an 80% chance of succeeding at most. You’re still underestimating the amount of power I have. My soul power is extremely tyrannical, and even if I restrain it whilst continuously sealing it, some of it will still leak out. I’m
afraid that Huo Yuhao won’t be able to withstand this spillover. Thus, I think it’s better to be a bit more careful.”
The Skydream Iceworm’s voice changed, turning gentle as he said, “Bingbing, so you do trust me even this much. If we do this, we’ll directly destroy your body, leaving you with no room for escape at all. I’m really moved!”
“Just die, will you?” The Ice Empress’ cold voice rang out. “When have I ever left a path of escape for myself when I’m doing things? Since I’ve made my decision, I’ll have to go all- out. If I’m scared of the slightest thing, I’ll only let my opportunities run away. Stop dawdling about with me. Skydream, don’t forget that all of my power will appear in Huo Yuhao’s body once I’ve fused with him. At that time, hmph, hmph.”
“Uhh…” Hearing the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s words, the Skydream Iceworm immediately turned more moderate than
Huo Yuhao was somewhat puzzled, “Ice Empress, what do you mean by ‘bone then soul’?”
The Ice Empress had a much better attitude towards him. Patiently, she said, “According to Skydream’s method, I’ll directly become your martial soul by molding the ice-type martial soul he gave you. After that, the energy within my body will become your soul ring. You’re a human soul master, so you should know that we hundred thousand year soul beasts will deﬁnitely produce a soul bone. I’m not an exception to that. Though I’ve already cultivated for nearly four hundred thousand years, I can’t turn my ﬂeshy body into even more soul bones. However, the soul bone I’ll drop will be much more powerful than one dropped from an ordinary hundred thousand year soul beast. Furthermore, I can decide its shape, turning it into any soul bone you choose. Because of that, I’ve decided to ﬁrst help you fuse with your soul bone. This way, your physique will be strengthened by an extremely large amount. After that, I’ll assimilate my soul power with your body, and because you already have my soul bone, the fusion process will be much easier.”
Now Huo Yuhao thoroughly understood what she had meant. It was no wonder the Skydream Iceworm had said that the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion would have no room for retreat by doing this. Right! Her body would have to be sacriﬁced in the ﬁrst step in this scenario, and if she failed, she might die. Sure enough, it was a method that left no ways out. This also gave Huo Yuhao an extremely favourable impression of her. Solemnly, he said, “Ice Empress, how do you need me to help you out?” At this moment, he didn’t say any words of gratitude. This was because both parties were mutually beneﬁting from each other in the ﬁrst place. To the Ice Empress, fusing with her would be the most successful outcome.
The Ice Empress said, “Because I’m doing this of my own volition, there won’t be any problems with you fusing with my soul bone. Under my control, the energy contained within my soul bone won’t leak out. However, there’s a problem with that. You’ll have to withstand an enormous amount of pain. I’ve already thought about it, and to you, the most suitable soul bone I can give you is the spine. Due to my four hundred thousand years of cultivation, I’m conﬁdent in replacing your entire spine, your ribs, and your sternum. Due to the overly enormous amount of energy my soul bone contains, your entire skeleton will be remoulded by my soul bone. This process will be relatively long, and extremely painful. You’ll feel as if all your bones are being disassembled and
reconstructed. Can you withstand this amount of pain? My energy can protect your body, but it can’t protect your mind. If you’re unable to endure the pain and your mind collapses, everything will all be wasted.”
Huo Yuhao’s knowledge of soul bones wasn’t lacking after his studies in Shrek Academy. Of the six soul bones, the most valuable bones were the skull and torso bone, followed by the four limb bones. What was referred to as the torso bone was in reality the spine, and not all the bones within the torso. For example, there were the ribs and the sternum, which were referred to as additional soul bones if a soul master found and fused with them. These additional soul bones had value comparable to that of a hundred thousand year soul ring, and they would give special and powerful abilities to their users.
Though the Ice Empress was only giving him a single soul bone, this soul bone was already equivalent to a torso bone and two additional soul bones! Regardless of what soul skill he obtained from her, it would possess an incomparably large amount of strength. Furthermore, hundred thousand year soul rings and soul bones would give him two soul skills each. It was no wonder the Skydream Iceworm had emphasised that as long as he was able to break through to Rank 20, he would experience a world-shaking transformation in strength!
“Ice Empress, I can endure it. No matter how painful it gets, I’ll be ﬁne.” Huo Yuhao’s voice was very sincere. After all, strength couldn’t be obtained with mere empty promises. If one didn’t give up anything in return, how could you gain a harvest? During this past year, he had cultivated with
practically twice the effort of the other students. This was the reason why he had his current level of power. When such an opportunity was placed in front of Huo Yuhao, he would absolutely not cower regardless of how intense the pain would be.
The Ice Jade Empress Scorpion said, “Okay. Since that’s the case, let’s not waste any more time.”
The Skydream Iceworm said, “Yuhao, we’ll be starting your fusion with the soul bone. Take your Secret Law Soul out. We’ll be using it as a medium to help you fuse with the Ice Empress’ soul bone. This way, the process will go a little quicker and you’ll feel much less pain. You’ll even be able to prevent unnecessary leakages of energy during the fusion process.”
Huo Yuhao hurriedly retrieved the Secret Law Soul from his Twenty Four Moonlit Bridges. So the Secret Law Soul was actually meant to be used in this way.
With a deep voice, the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion said, “Huo Yuhao, are you ready?”
Huo Yuhao nodded forcefully, “Start!”
The instant the word echoed out, a chilly sensation immediately blossomed in his mind. Huo Yuhao instinctively shivered, feeling as if he had fallen into a cavern of ice. This was somewhat different from how he had felt in the ice room in the Extreme North. At this moment, the chilly sensation had appeared in his soul itself, making it seem as if his mind had been frozen solid.
The Ice Empress’ voice rang out, “I’ll use the cold to numb your pain, so as to reduce the pain you’ll feel to the very minimum. However, your body isn’t fully developed yet, so I’ll have to be extremely careful while fusing with your original skeleton. Because of this, this process will go on for a very long time. For the sake of attaining maximum effectiveness, you can’t pass out. The only way I can make a few adjustments based off your body’s instinctive reactions is if you remain conscious.”
At this moment, Huo Yuhao was no longer able to respond. The Ice Empress didn’t leave any ways out for herself, so there was naturally no way she could change her plan.
A jade-green light ﬂourished in Huo Yuhao’s mind, and his Spirit Eyes instantly turned jade-green accordingly. The Skydream Iceworm appeared to have gone completely silent, allowing the Ice Empress to carry out the fusion process.
Two rays of jade-green light shot out from Huo Yuhao’s eyes, accurately landing on the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s body. This, in turn, caused her 1.5 meter-long body to immediately shake violently. This was especially true for her long tail, which undulated unceasingly and violently with a jade-green halo. The diamond-like hexagonal protrusions on her body released an even more dazzling luster.
Huo Yuhao faintly heard the Ice Empress let out a long sigh. Right after that, he felt an immense sensation of cold that instantly numbed his body and soul.
The ground Huo Yuhao was lying on suddenly shook, and he ﬂoated into the air, supported by a jade-green light. On the other hand, the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s main body rapidly ﬂew over to his body.
An intense jade-green light wildly ﬂuctuated towards the tip of her tail. When the jade-green light turned dark-green, the Ice Empress suddenly swung her tail, viciously stabbing it into Huo Yuhao’s tailbone.
Huo Yuhao’s body shook violently for a bit. He only felt as if his tailbone had instantly been run through by something. That sharp and pointed object pierced through his skin, muscles and ﬂesh, and buried itself ﬁrmly into his skeleton.
This sort of pain that came from one’s mind was something that humans were simply unable to withstand. Huo Yuhao
instantly widened his mouth, and his eyes protruded as if they were about to pop out of his eye sockets. His body started trembling violently, and the Secret Law Soul he held in his hands instantly tumbled to the ground.
Though Huo Yuhao had already prepared himself for the arrival of this pain, he was still a human! Even if his body was already numbed somewhat by the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s extreme cold, he instantly lost the ability to breathe.
In this exact moment, a golden dot of light suddenly lit up between Huo Yuhao’s eyebrows. The gentle golden light instantly covered his head, turning his spiritual sea gold as well. Gently and rhythmically, the golden light protected Huo Yuhao’s spiritual sea, which had started undulating violently. It resembled a mother’s hand as it gently paciﬁed his soul, which was experiencing an amount of pain that had reached the limit.
The Skydream Iceworm had made his move. With the Skydream Iceworm’s help, Huo Yuhao’s body softened a little bit. However, the Ice Empress had already started the process of fusing her soul bone with Huo Yuhao’s body.
Another ray of jade-green light lit up, covering the Secret Law Soul. Immediately, the soul bone turned jade-green before dissolving at an astonishing pace. After turning it into a ﬁst- sized globe of liquid, the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion opened her mouth and inhaled it.
Originally, the Ice Empress had planned to harmonize her soul bone using the Secret Law Soul. That way, the amount of pain Huo Yuhao suffered would be greatly reduced. However, she now chose not to do so. This was because she wanted to test how much a measly human like Huo Yuhao could endure.
The results of that test astonished her. Though Huo Yuhao’s body had instantly reached the limits of what he could endure, the Ice Empress could tell from his body’s reaction that Huo Yuhao’s body was unexpectedly extremely durable, soft, with very few impurities within it. Most importantly, though his spiritual sea was ﬂuctuating violently, it showed no signs of collapse. Even if the Skydream Iceworm hadn’t made a move, he would not have have been destroyed because of the pain.
A trace of admiration appeared in the Ice Empress’ heart. The amount of talent and potential humans had was truly incomparable, even to that of a noble soul beast. Naturally, she only felt feelings of admiration. If she were given the choice to
become a human, she would deﬁnitely not be willing to do so. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have chosen to break through her limits during her hundred thousandth year of cultivation. Instead, she would’ve chosen to transform into a human and re-cultivate.
After all, no matter how talented humans were, their lifespans were just so. Even the strongest human beings had no way at all to compare with soul beasts in terms of lifespan.
After the liquid formed by the Secret Law Soul was absorbed by the Ice Empress, it was ﬁltered into a wisp of green light that ﬂowed into Huo Yuhao’s body. He only felt a gentle feeling of warmth resembling the Skydream Iceworm’s shedded skin that had previously protected his body, causing the previously intense pain to immediately decrease drastically. The spasming pain was still there, but he was feeling much better than before.
As this occurred, Huo Yuhao’s chest started moving up and down vigorously. He greedily gasped for the surrounding cold air in big mouthfuls. At this moment, his body started sweating profusely, even in this freezing cold region of the Extreme North, so much so that he nearly pissed and shat himself. It was obvious how intense that surge of pain was.
After Huo Yuhao’s cotton clothes absorbed the sweat secreted by his body, they were instantly torn to pieces by the jade- green light. Only the Twenty Four Moonlit Bridges escaped the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s power, due to the Skydream Iceworm’s earlier warning.
Huo Yuhao’s naked body was very sturdy; his one year’s worth of bitter training in Shrek Academy hadn’t gone to waste. However, his current skin was astonishingly white, making it practically identical to the snow on the ground. More astonishingly, amidst his deathly pale skin, traces of jade- green light were slowly pouring into his spine, spreading throughout his torso.
The ﬁrst place the jade-green light went to was naturally his spine. After that, the liqueﬁed jade-green light slowly made its way upwards, causing Huo Yuhao’s ribs to turn into branches of jade-green light. Then, it slowly headed further up.
The terrifying, spasming pain in Huo Yuhao’s body followed wherever the jade-green light went. He did all he could to endure it, but his body’s reaction to it was still extremely violent. Only, he was simply unable to move due to the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s control.
Huo Yuhao unceasingly told himself, Persevere, persevere. No matter what, I can’t give up. It was difﬁcult for him to endure the pain, but he was currently completely focused on numbing his senses. The Ice Empress had told him that the thing she was most afraid of was his mind collapsing the moment he could no longer persevere. If that happened, all of their previous efforts would have been for naught. Since that
was the case, all he had to do was to protect his mind. As for his body, he would just leave it to the Ice Empress; she wouldn’t just let him die, after all.
With this thought in his mind, Huo Yuhao stubbornly continued to numb his mind unceasingly. Astonished, the Skydream Iceworm discovered that the few tools he’d created to help Huo Yuhao protect his mind hadn’t been needed at all. The spiritual origin of the Ice Empress was currently residing in Huo Yuhao’s body, and she naturally noticed this miraculous scene. This was the ﬁrst time that she had a whole new level of respect towards the Skydream Iceworm. Though the human the Skydream Iceworm chose was young, and his strength wasn’t worth mentioning, he actually had a willpower that was this tenacious. This was an immensely good thing!
The Skydream Iceworm stealthily revoked the inﬂuences he’d made towards Huo Yuhao’s spiritual sea, silently guarding
him by the side. Huo Yuhao being able to withstand this pain by himself was naturally for the best, as this was an extremely good grindstone for his spiritual power. This would strengthen his willpower, causing enormously large beneﬁts towards his future cultivation and growth.
By the time the jade-green light covered all the bones in Huo Yuhao’s torso, the jade-green light on the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s body began to dim.
The soul bone created by the Ice Empress’ main body was naturally the quintessential part of her strength. Though this process of reconstruction was painful, the future effects of this soul bone would vastly exceed that of Huo Yuhao’s other soul bones. This would bring enormous beneﬁts to his growth.
Though the Skydream Iceworm was a million year soul beast, in terms of who could give Huo Yuhao the most well- rounded beneﬁts, he would deﬁnitely lose out to the Ice Empress. The Ice Empress had a noble bloodline, and she was a natural monarch. Moreover, she had cultivated for such a long time. Thus, the increase in strength she could give Huo Yuhao would deﬁnitely be a comprehensive one. Naturally, Huo Yuhao could only withstand an extremely miniscule amount of her total strength, so a large amount of it had to be sealed
away. As Huo Yuhao’s tolerance increased, the amount of strength she released would progressively increase. However, Huo Yuhao’s potential would reach an extremely astonishing degree. To many soul masters, increasing one’s soul power during the later soul ranks would prove to be very challenging. However, the issue of having insufﬁciently strong soul skills would absolutely never occur to him. As for what he would grow to be in the future, even the Skydream Iceworm and the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion didn’t know.
Their method of creating God was completely unprecedented, even on the entire Douluo Continent. It had to be known that the Skydream Iceworm had used a full hundred thousand years of time to complete the basic preparations of this plan. Even if he had easily fused with Huo Yuhao, he had actually sealed up his spiritual origin and divided it into many pieces. This process had been completed at a much earlier time. Moreover, there were even more minute preparations he had to make. Even now, he was giving instructions and assistance to the Ice Empress while she fused with Huo Yuhao by relying on his powerful spiritual power. All of this had to be accomplished for the fusion to succeed.
Huo Yuhao’s body trembled incessantly. A layer of ice beads had already formed on his skin; that was created by his sweat freezing up. Traces of blood had already started seeping out
from his seven apertures, causing the layer of skin underneath the ice beads to be completely red. The speed at which the blood within his body was circulating had already reached an astonishing degree. If this were anyone else, they would’ve already exploded and died. However, the powerful spiritual origins of the Skydream Iceworm and the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion were currently protecting Huo Yuhao’s body.
The speeding up of his blood circulation was something that inevitably occurred due to him fusing with the Ice Empress’ soul bone. On the other hand, the two of them were protecting Huo Yuhao’s internal organs, meridians, ﬂesh, and bones. This was equivalent to them covering his inner body with a layer of ﬁlm. No matter how quickly his blood circulated, it couldn’t break through the defensive perimeter the two of them had created.
The intense undulations caused by Huo Yuhao’s blood, his pale skin, and his jade-green bones which could be seen from the outside sketched a terrifying image. Only, Huo Yuhao’s eyes were still golden. Though the Skydream Iceworm didn’t help him protect his spiritual sea, he still had to protect his martial soul.
As an intelligent soul ring, the Skydream Iceworm was the main martial soul of Huo Yuhao’s Spirit Eyes, as well as the person who would control everything related to the future Spirit Eyes. After the Ice Empress fused with him, she would control the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion martial soul. All in all, Huo Yuhao would become a true wielder of twin innate martial souls.
In the beginning, the jade-green lights were merely strands of string that covered his spine, sternum, and ribs. As time passed, however, these strands of jade-green light started gradually expanding and widening, creating an outline of Huo Yuhao’s entire skeleton.
The pain Huo Yuhao felt began to change yet again. The previously spasming pain gradually transformed, and an alternating feeling of extreme cold and extreme hot began to spread throughout all of the bones in Huo Yuhao’s torso.
That was truly an amalgamation of ice and ﬁre! The ﬁrst moment would be so cold as to make him shiver, but the moment right after that was so hot that it evaporated all the ice beads off his body. The qi and blood in his body was starting to surge like a tide. During the extreme cold, his entire body would freeze up; during the extreme heat, the blood within his body would boil up, causing tiny beads of blood to form on his skin.
The extreme cold changed to extreme heat, and the extreme heat changed to extreme cold. The violent changes in Huo Yuhao’s body temperature made it seem like it was being smelted. Although his willpower was extremely strong, he gradually began to hallucinate. This was entirely different from the unadulterated pain he’d gone through earlier. This was as if he had been thrown off an extremely tall building before being violently smashed onto the ground. He was simply unable to withstand this feeling.
It could be said that Huo Yuhao was basically the person who’d endured the most violent bouts of pain during fusion with a soul bone, even in the entire history of humanity. One reason behind this was due to his excessively low cultivation,
and another reason was due to the overly high quality his soul bone had.
Even if the Ice Empress was already controlling it to the best of her ability, her soul bone was still an existence older than three hundred thousand years! She had sealed an overwhelming majority of her power within it, but it still had an extremely large effect on the still-developing Huo Yuhao.
Huo Yuhao was even starting to become somewhat muddle- headed. No matter how strong his willpower was, he was still unable to continue resisting such violent bouts of pain. At this exact moment, the Skydream Iceworm’s spiritual power surged into his body, rousing him back to his senses. At the same time, he shielded Huo Yuhao’s spiritual origin, reducing the pain he was suffering by a slight amount.
The Skydream Iceworm wished to temper Huo Yuhao’s willpower, but he would never just stand idly as he walked towards the path of ruination. Sensing that Huo Yuhao was about to reach his limit, he made a move immediately to give him a buffer.
Though Huo Yuhao had been tortured to the point where even dying was preferable, he immediately and acutely sensed the Skydream Iceworm’s actions. He was now extricated from the extreme pain he had been feeling, and though the alternating hot and cold feelings were still there, he was now feeling much better. Composing himself, his nearly-collapsed spiritual power immediately began to gather.
By the time he’d gathered nearly all of his spiritual power, the Skydream Iceworm’s protection disappeared. The extreme level of pain began to descend upon Huo Yuhao’s body again.
Huo Yuhao inwardly let out a sorrowful roar, Brother Skydream, are you playing with me?!
A long time passed, but Huo Yuhao was simply unable to even think. Whenever his mind was about to collapse, the Skydream Iceworm would appear in a timely manner and relieve him of his pain to a certain extent. Comparatively, this made it somewhat easier for Huo Yuhao to endure it.
If the Skydream Iceworm had made his move at the beginning, lowering the pain Huo Yuhao had to withstand, then the amount of pain he withstood would have been
maintained at a certain baseline from the start till the end. However, that didn’t mean that he wouldn’t collapse. And if he did collapse, the Skydream Iceworm’s hands would have been tied. Even if he was able to persevere in a situation like that, maintaining one’s mind at a consistent level of pain would do him no good at all.
However, the current situation they were in was slightly different. Though he would suffer an even greater amount of pain, the Skydream Iceworm only acted as a buffer whenever he made a move, relaxing Huo Yuhao. At the very least, Huo Yuhao would be able to recover a certain amount of strength during this buffer period.
After going through this cycle of pain and relief for a few times, Huo Yuhao understood what was going on. His Brother Skydream was clearly using this as an opportunity to temper his willpower! If this were any ordinary person, they might be unceasingly waiting for the Skydream Iceworm’s help. However, Huo Yuhao was different from them. Training in Shrek Academy for a year had cultivated a ‘when the going gets tough, the tough gets going’ kind of mentality in Huo Yuhao. He clearly understood that the more he worked during cultivation, the more he would get in return.
Because of this, even though the Skydream Iceworm’s protection gave him a certain amount of safety when he needed it, it also gave him an extra amount of conﬁdence. As his body continued to withstand the pain, his willpower continued to increase. The gap of time between the Skydream Iceworm’s every action got increasingly longer, and Huo Yuhao’s willpower became increasingly stronger as well.
This discovery involuntarily stunned the Skydream Iceworm and the Ice Empress. A feeling of admiration towards a small human like Huo Yuhao had arisen in these two pinnacle existences. Even consummate-level soul beasts like them might not be able to persevere under such an intense level of pain. However, Huo Yuhao was able to do so. With the Skydream Iceworm’s limited help, he had actually persisted the whole time.
Day became night, and night became day again. The jade- green light on Huo Yuhao’s body was becoming increasingly intense, and the alternating colors of red and white on the surface of his skin began to weaken more and more. However, the qi and blood within Huo Yuhao’s body was much, much stronger than when he had originally started the fusion process.
Though the Ice Jade Empresss Scorpion had only fused an extremely miniscule part of her energy with Huo Yuhao’s qi and blood, it was an extremely beneﬁcial supplement to him. That was the origin energy of an Empress whose cultivation neared four hundred thousand years!
Through this nourishment, a transformation started to occur in Huo Yuhao’s muscles, bones, and internal organs. Even if he didn’t receive any limb or skull bones, Huo Yuhao’s physique was comprehensively strengthened at this moment. Following the strengthening of his physique, the amount of pain he suffered now gradually decreased.
Currently, the Skydream Iceworm no longer needed to make a move anymore. Huo Yuhao could now withstand the pain caused by the alternating heat and cold by relying on his own willpower. He could even sense his qi and blood strengthening increasingly, and his body becoming more and more sturdy. As his soul power was stuck at the bottleneck of Rank 20, he was unable to determine how much his soul power had increased. However, there was no doubt that with his currently weak cultivation, the amount he would be strengthened by would deﬁnitely not be small, even if the Ice Empress had sealed her own power. At the very least, there would be no problem with him increasing his soul power by one or two ranks.
“Yuhao, you have to be careful now. Right now, the fundamentals of your fusion with the soul bone have been completed. The only thing that’s left is the complete fusion between it and your bones. I’m going to seal the power of the soul bone in your skeleton, allowing you to progressively absorb it in secret. It’s very possible that the pain you’ll suffer during this last step will exceed that of the previous parts of the fusion. You’ll have to persevere. Even Skydream might not be able to give you any help during this process, and it’ll take two hours or so. If you can endure it, you’ll be able to possess this soul bone I’m giving you.”
The Ice Empress’ voice had become much gentler. The way she addressed Huo Yuhao had changed slightly as well, and her exhaustion could be heard in the tone of her voice. After all, she was fusing her own body with Huo Yuhao’s! This was equivalent to ripping out her own bones and fusing them with Huo Yuhao’s body. Though her cultivation was immensely strong, the amount of pain she had withstood was deﬁnitely not less than Huo Yuhao’s. Only, the amount of willpower she’d obtained after cultivating for several hundreds of thousands of years far exceeded anything that Huo Yuhao could even compare to.
Huo Yuhao took a deep, deep breath. As he continued to endure the pain coming from the fusion, he no longer spoke.
Right now, all he could do was convey a stubborn and resolute conviction towards the Ice Empress.
Was the Skydream Iceworm truly unable to protect Huo Yuhao’s spiritual sea? The answer was naturally a deﬁnite no. The Ice Empress only said this in order to strengthen Huo Yuhao’s willpower by another level. Only in a situation with no way out would he be able to stimulate his potential to its greatest possible extent.
However, the very instant the last bout of pain started, Huo Yuhao’s body suddenly jolted. His spiritual sea surged violently, nearly collapsing in an instant.
He was able to endure pain, and he was also able to withstand the alternating hot and cold. At this moment, however, what he suffered was a kind of pain he was nearly unable to withstand. That was, an itch.
The instant the Ice Empress made her move, Huo Yuhao felt a violent itch come from every part of his torso. It was as if there were an innumerable number of ants that were crawling about his veins and bones. This itch dug all the way to the bone, and it was omnipresent.
In that instant, Huo Yuhao’s only thought was to thoroughly destroy his own body and scratch it ferociously, stopping this bout of pain.
Huo Yuhao’s body was convulsing and shaking violently, but he was simply unable to control it. This acute bout of pain was causing the bones in his entire body to unceasingly release sounds of cracking.
The Skydream Iceworm was solemnly lying in wait; he had already prepared to make a move at any time. Once Huo Yuhao’s spiritual sea showed any signs of collapse, he would not hesitate to intervene.
The Skydream Iceworm clearly understood that at this moment, the Ice Empress was also enduring the same pain that Huo Yuhao was. Even the spiritual power of one of the Extreme North’s Three Emperors was shivering and ﬂuctuating violently. From this, it could be seen how intense this pain was. However, the foundations of its transformations would only be completed after Huo Yuhao ﬁnished fusing with the Ice Empress’ soul bone. It wasn’t hard for her to become Huo Yuhao’s martial soul and soul ring, but maintaining her consciousness and all of her intelligence was a difﬁcult task.
The Skydream Iceworm didn’t worry about the Ice Empress; the only thing he worried about was Huo Yuhao not being able to persevere!
Huo Yuhao’s pale gold spiritual sea surged violently, occasionally trembling, occasionally rumbling like a sea wave. His jade-green bones gradually turned dark-green, then went back to jade-green. During this continuous process of transformation and fusion, he felt the most violent bouts of pain.
It’s itchy, this itch is killing me. Huo Yuhao felt as though he wouldn’t be able to continue enduring this pain anymore. This inhuman amount of pain was truly stronger than the two previous tortures he’d previously experienced.
In the end, a few cracks started to appear in Huo Yuhao’s spiritual sea. If these cracks continued to grow larger, they would deﬁnitely cause an explosion in the end. The instant his spiritual sea was thoroughly destroyed, Huo Yuhao’s brain would die.
The Skydream Iceworm unhesitatingly made a move, causing an intense golden light to rapidly surge towards Huo Yuhao’s spiritual sea.
However, it was at this exact moment when Huo Yuhao’s nearly hysterical voice suddenly rang out in the Skydream Iceworm’s mind. “Don’t help me! I can do it, I can do it!”
The Skydream Iceworm was left staring blankly for a moment. He could hear the stubbornness in Huo Yuhao’s voice. On the other hand, Huo Yuhao’s roar seemed to signal his counter-attack. The cracks that densely covered his spiritual sea miraculously started to close.
Chapter 44: Perfect Fusion, The Red Soul Ring
“Yuhao, you’ve grown… up. You must… become… an unrivalled hero… like… your father. But, mother… might not be able… to see that day… come. Mom has… to go, and you… have to take… care of yourself… Good child… don’t cry… Mother’s going to heaven, and… I’ll always… be watching you. I don’t… hate your father, truly. If… there’s a single person… I don’t hate within this White Tiger Duke’s Mansion… it’s actually… only him…”
“Mom… wasn’t lucky, I had… no way… to continue… living on… with your… father. I… wish that… I could have… stayed by his side… and seen him everyday… like how it… was in the past! Maybe… I never had a spot… in his heart… but… I don’t regret it. Yuhao… you look… a lot like me… If you can’t… become a… soul master… in the future, then… learn a craft. As long as you’re safe… your mom can also… smile… in the underworld…”
“Mom, mom——” Yuhao howled inwardly. A stubborn conviction suddenly rose up in his heart, and in this instant, it was covered by the longing and grief he felt. Mom, there will
be a day when I’ll complete your wish. I will make that man kneel in front of your grave and beg you for forgiveness.
Mom, for mom, I must become strong, I have to become strong. No matter what, I have to hold on. I’m not a coward, I’m Huo Yuhao. I’m my mom’s son, and for mom, I must bravely live on. I can’t become a person like the White Tiger Duke, I have to surpass him!
This inward howl became an indescribable energy that suddenly exploded within his spiritual world. All the cracks that had appeared due to him approaching his limit were healing at an astonishing rate, and his spiritual sea was re- coalescing. Though it was still undulating violently due to the pain he was feeling, its core was abnormally sturdy. It was much sturdier than it previously was.
The Skydream Iceworm was utterly astonished. Huo Yuhao had actually endured the pain that even the Ice Empress found difﬁcult. Just how much willpower did he need to do this?! In this instant, not only did the Skydream Iceworm feel admiration towards Huo Yuhao, he even felt a trace of fear. He knew that he had chosen the right person, but this small Huo Yuhao might not be someone he could control in the future. He might only be able to serve as his intelligent soul ring.
Two agonizing hours slowed passed, and the alternating jade-green and dark-green gradually stabilised. Finally, the color of Huo Yuhao’s bones ended up an abstruse jade-green that was identical to the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s tail. However, an earth-shaking, heaven-ﬂipping transformation had also occurred in Huo Yuhao’s body.
Nourished by a large amount of nutrients, Huo Yuhao’s bones had grown noticeably. His shoulders had widened somewhat, and he had grown by a little bit. Furthermore, his muscles, tendons, fascia, veins, and internal organs had become much sturdier. A jade-like luster had appeared on his skin, radiating a noble aura within this snowy world.
His eyes had been open the whole time, and now the jade- green light within them faded slowly. His deep blue pupils had become even more abstruse following this.
If you were to use a word to describe the current Huo Yuhao, then ‘metamorphosed’ couldn’t be any more ﬁtting.
When he had left the White Tiger Duke’s Mansion in the beginning, he had only been a low-ranked soul master with an
ordinary amount of talent who wasn’t taught by a teacher. You simply couldn’t see any prospects from him. However, he was now a full-ﬂedged super-genius who had the number one torso bone in the world. Furthermore, he was about to become a young soul master who had twin innate martial souls.
As the pain gradually faded, Huo Yuhao’s body loosened up. The Ice Jade Empress’ tail which was stabbed into his spine slowly pulled back, placing Huo Yuhao on her back.
The abstruse light in Huo Yuhao’s eyes gradually became one of exhaustion. Having been devastated by pain for such a long time, his body and mind had already reached their limit. The only thing keeping him up was the stubborn conviction within the depths of his heart. Now that his fusion with the soul bone had ended, the most important foundations had been laid. Following that, a strong wave of exhaustion swept towards him, and a sleepy feeling overcame him. Just like that, Huo Yuhao fell into a deep sleep while still on the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s back.
After nearly a full hour had passed, the Ice Empress’ exhausted voice rang out slowly, “Skydream.”
“I’m here. How are you feeling?” The Skydream Iceworm asked, deeply concerned.
The Ice Empress snorted, “I’m ﬁne. Although a fella like you is a piece of trash, you have good eyesight.”
“Hehe.” The Skydream Iceworm was already used to being scolded by the Ice Empress, “To tell the truth, I didn’t think that Yuhao would be this strong. He was able to persist due to the stubborn convictions he holds in his heart. This experience has opened up a brilliant road for his future growth. Let’s quickly start fusing your martial soul with his body. Now that you’ve discarded the most important origin of your body, your spiritual origin will get damaged if we waste too much time.”
“En. Protect me.” To Huo Yuhao, the crucial moment had already passed. After fusing with the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s torso bone, he had crossed a difﬁcult level. With the torso bone as a foundation, his coming fusion with the Ice Jade Empress’ martial soul and soul ring would be much easier. This would mainly rely on the Ice Empress and the Skydream Iceworm’s strength in order to seal her energy and fuse it with Huo Yuhao. Thus, the most important task for the Ice Empress had just begun. Fusing her martial soul with Huo Yuhao while protecting her spiritual origin in order to not have it
completely assimilated with Huo Yuhao so she could maintain her intelligence was the foundation of her plan to create God and attain immortality. She had never thought about a situation like this before, and it was simply impossible for her to have done any experiments in the past. It would be a lie to say that she wasn’t nervous. If she did anything wrong, she
would lose her sense of self, and her consciousness would
“Don’t worry, I’ll help you out. Ice Empress, I truly do like you. Don’t worry, for the sake of my own happiness, I’ll do all I can to help you. Come, let’s start.”
Strangely, the Ice Empress didn’t make a retort this time around. Right after that, a thick halo of white light blossomed from Huo Yuhao’s body, sweeping upwards and covering his body within it. The crystal-like sphere on the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s body dissolved quietly, turning into threads of icy mist that entered Huo Yuhao’s body through his skin.
Huo Yuhao was in too deep of a sleep. Furthermore, the Skydream Iceworm had already responsibly guarded his spiritual sea, ensuring that he remained in his sleeping state so as to not wake him up. The previous events had already
tempered him enough, and the following stages of the fusion needed to be completed by him and the Ice Empress.
Huo Yuhao’s presence quickly vanished within the icy mist. In addition to that, the Ice Empress underneath him also vanished without a trace.
If an ordinary human were to have witnessed this scene, they would deﬁnitely have assumed that the Ice Empress’ body had melted. To the Ice Empress, however, this wasn’t a melting, but an combustion of her own body. Only by burning the origin of her body could she create an effect like this. Otherwise, with the toughness of her body, even the strongest weapons in the entire world couldn’t damage her easily.
A golden halo of light appeared noiselessly, drawing the white halo of light into Huo Yuhao’s body. The Skydream Iceworm was actually doing all he could to help the Ice Empress. While protecting Huo Yuhao’s spiritual sea, he even protected the Ice Empress’ spiritual origin. Furthermore, he was even helping the Ice Empress suppress her own power. He was multitasking, doing all three things at once. Due to the Skydream Iceworm’s powerful spiritual power, the Ice Empress’ fusion with Huo Yuhao went much more smoothly. However, this process still took a long time.
The cold wind was still as bitingly cold as ever. Large snowﬂakes covered everything as far as the eye could see within the icy plain.
Suddenly, a soft ‘Pu’ rang out. An arm jutted out from the thick snow, and right after that, a completely naked body crawled slowly up from underneath.
The contours of his body were extremely well-deﬁned, and although his muscles weren’t especially big, they were ﬂawless. After his white, gem-like skin dug out from the snow, it radiated with a unique luster due to the parallelism created by the surrounding white.
As he slowly opened his eyes, two different colors instantly ﬂashed through his deep blue pupils. It was gold at ﬁrst, but then it turned jade-green before settling on a somewhat terrifying white that completely covered the original blue.
A strange scene then occurred. The falling snowﬂakes suddenly moved away from a three-feet radius around his body the moment they approached him. Unexpectedly, a clean patch of earth around him had appeared within the world of ice and snow.
As the white within his eyes slowly faded away, an abstruse dark-blue gradually resurfaced within them. His pupils had changed color three times; this was quite miraculous.
He clenched his ﬁsts tightly, and immediately, his taut muscles released a sensation ﬁlled with power. He suddenly leapt into the air, reaching an astounding twenty feet. When he reached the peak of his jump, he let out a long, resounding roar towards the sky.
The rumbling sound waves caused by his roar reverberated through the air, scattering the falling snowﬂakes. His breathing immediately became unhindered, and under the circulation of his soul power, he was able to clearly see that his sternum, ribs, and spine were emitting a jade-green glow.
This scene seemed beautiful, yet terrifying. A person’s bones were suddenly emitting a light that could be seen through the
skin; this was somewhat strange. At this moment, however, a halo of jade-green light suddenly spread out from his body, covering a ten-meter diameter around him in a jade-green light. It seemed as though the snowﬂakes within this area had increased in weight, causing them to fall to the ground with a
crash. The moment they fell onto the piled-up snow, they cut out tiny holes, as if they were tiny knives.
However, that jade-green light only remained for an instant before vanishing quietly. Following that, his body collapsed to the ground.
A soul ring that ﬂickered with a dazzling light rose up from the youth’s feet. This soul ring was simply too bizarre; it shone with a terrifying blood-red light. This noble, cold soul ring that shone with a luster resembling a bloody sea emitted a boundless amount of might from it. There were also four golden patterns which were faintly discernible on the blood- red soul ring. The interwoven colors of red and gold were extremely dazzling amidst the snowy plains of ice. The instant this soul ring appeared, a suddenly transformation occurred to the youth’s aura. A desolation that seemed to come from the ancient times appeared on his body.
There were no obvious changes to his body, but there was now an enormous tattoo on his back. There was a pair of pincers that ﬂickered with a dazzling light, and a captivating, jade-green tail. Was that not the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion?
This tattoo was extremely large, practically covering his entire back. Its six limbs hugged his ribs, and its pincers were located on the back of his shoulders. Its long tail was followed his spine, continuing all the way till his backbone before it slanted to the right, ending on his right buttock.
Other than the enormous tattoo, the youth’s greatest transformation was in his hands. His hands were now covered in a layer of extremely detailed diamond-like hexagons, which were about the size of a bean. If you looked at him as a whole, the resplendent luster coming from his arms also brightened the enormous tattoo on his back. Naturally, all of these changes, other than the one that had occurred to his hands, would be hidden if he had clothes on.
“I’ve succeeded.” The youth murmured to himself. At this moment, tears were ﬂowing uncontrollably from his eyes. He had endured far, far too much pain for the sake of succeeding. After ﬁnishing everything, how could he not let tears of joy out? Something that was not easily obtained would make one cherish it more. After sensing the powerful feelings that were unceasingly spreading throughout his body, he nearly couldn’t control his emotions.
Right, this youth was Huo Yuhao. Huo Yuhao, who had ﬁnally completed his fusion with the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion of the Extreme North’s Three Emperors.
The blood-red soul ring ﬂickering with four golden patterns was the ﬁrst soul ring of his Ice Empress martial soul. It was a
soul ring that had reached the four hundred thousand year rank.
Yes, four hundred thousand years, not three hundred and ninety nine thousand nine hundred years! During the fusion process, the Skydream Iceworm had used his origin energy to help the Ice Empress out. Due to this, she was able to break through her bottleneck during the fusion and strengthen her soul ring into a four hundred thousand year one. Although it was only a difference of a hundred years, it was a qualitative difference that was as different as the sky and the earth. That also represented the difference between a hundred thousand year soul ring with three golden patterns and one with four golden patterns!
“We’ve ﬁnally succeeded. All of my hard work wasn’t wasted after all.” The Skydream Iceworm’s exhausted, yet relieved voice rang out.
“Brother Skydream.” Huo Yuhao yelled out. Tears started to spring out from his eyes, “Thank you.” He naturally knew that from this moment on, he was no longer the weak, bottom- feeder soul master from Shrek Academy who could only rely on his hard work to barely catch up with everyone else while having no attacking soul skills at all. Everything he had at this
moment had been given to him by the Skydream Iceworm! Thus, how could he not feel moved?
The Skydream Iceworm chuckled. “It’s good that you’ve succeeded. We’ve crossed the most substantial step now. With the torso bone the Ice Empress’ given you, the strength of your body has increased by at least ﬁvefold. Your endurance has also increased by a large amount, so you’re now able to withstand the soul ring of a three thousand year soul beast at the very least. This is also the main reason why I got you to fuse with the Ice Empress before getting you your second soul ring. The Ice Empress has formally become the main soul ring of your second martial soul, as well as the main part of your second martial soul. She’s strengthened you by a large amount, so much so that it’s even more than what I’ve done. Your current cultivation is still weak, so you can only use a very small part of her power. However, as your cultivation continues to increase, the power she’s given you will deﬁnitely give you a nice surprise.”
“At ﬁrst, I gave you four soul skills and a martial soul. Though the Ice Empress’ cultivation is inferior to mine, the legacy of her race is much more powerful than mine. Furthermore, according to the strength of a hundred thousand year soul beast, she’ll also give you four more soul skills in addition to the torso bone which has already fused perfectly
with your body. The reason why you’re receiving four soul skills is because her soul ring will give you two skills, and her soul bone will give you another two. Though the fusion used up that Secret Law Soul you originally had, it’s absolutely worth it. Without the Secret Law Soul, the pain you received would’ve increased by at least 20%, and the fusion might not have been this perfect.”
It would’ve increased by 20%? Hearing the Skydream Iceworm’s words, Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but shiver. Though he’d already endured it, he didn’t want to even remember the fusion. This was especially so for the last two hours; the moment he thought about it, he felt his body itch incomparably.
“Four soul skills, another four soul skills!” Exuberant, Huo Yuhao asked impatiently, “Brother Skydream, what soul skills did the Ice Empress give me? How is she now? Was she able to retain her consciousness?”
An intelligent soul ring was much stronger than a regular soul ring that only gave him some strength. Let alone that, with the Ice Empress’ status in the Extreme North and her intelligence, anything Huo Yuhao wanted to do here would be much simpler. On the other hand, Huo Yuhao’s second martial
soul was Ice. As a result of that, it was probable that he would have to return here in order to obtain more soul rings. Furthermore, the Ice Empress had done everything she could for him. If she couldn’t retain her spiritual origin, that would be extremely regretful.
“The Ice Empress is ﬁne. Only, she’s just fused with your body. She had my protection, but she was still extremely exhausted. Right now, she’s in a deep sleep. After all, this was different from my fusion with you. When I fused with you, I didn’t really have much of my soul power left. It was a simple fusion with my spiritual origin. Moreover, I’m a spiritual-type soul beast, making it much easier. However, the situation was very troublesome with her. Fortunately, we succeeded. She’ll wake up in a while.” The moment he spoke about the Ice Empress, the Skydream Iceworm was evidently pleased.
“Then what about the four soul skills? What are they?” Huo Yuhao asked again.
The Skydream Iceworm smiled mischievously, “I don’t know either! I’m not the Ice Empress. You’ll slowly understand what they are. Go, head towards the east and we’ll go ﬁnd your second soul ring.”
Huo Yuhao was extremely happy. Now that he thought about it, he was still a Soul Master. His soul power was still limited to Rank 20. There was nothing he could do about it. Though he’d obtained another soul ring, it was still the ﬁrst soul ring of his second martial soul! Thus, he was still a one-ringed soul master. If he wanted to continue to increase his cultivation, he had to obtain another soul ring.
“Brother Skydream, should I get another soul ring for my Spirit Eyes or the Ice Empress’ martial soul?” Huo Yuhao asked. Both of his martial souls were one-ringed ones, and he was faced with a choice now. Would he choose to continue strengthening the Spirit Eyes or the Ice Empress’ martial soul? These were undoubtedly two different paths.
Normally, soul masters possessing two martial souls wouldn’t obtain soul rings for both of their martial souls at once, because that would erase the greatest advantage of having two martial souls. The truly powerful twin-souled soul masters would do their best to increase their soul power while cultivating and adding soul rings to a single martial soul. When they cultivated to a certain level, they would begin to add soul rings to their second martial soul. This way, it was very likely that a situation in which their second martial soul was ﬁlled with high-ranked soul rings would occur. In that
case, they would be much stronger than the other soul masters of their rank.
However, this required a process. Normally, twin-souled soul masters would add soul rings to their martial soul when they were at the seven-ringed rank, at the very least.
For example, Xiao Xiao. She had had no choice but to add a soul ring to her second martial soul in order to claim a place in Shrek Academy and give her a certain advantage over the other students. This was why she had chosen to add a soul skill to her second martial soul. Other than giving a soul skill, a soul ring would also increase the comprehensive physical ability of a soul master. After much consideration, and wishing to increase her cultivation as quickly as possible, Xiao Xiao decided to add a soul ring to her Ninephoenix Worshipping Flute. However, that was only her ﬁrst soul ring. Before reaching the seven-ringed rank, she would deﬁnitely not add any more soul rings to her Ninephoenix Worshipping Flute.
If Huo Yuhao decided to continue adding soul rings to his Spirit Eyes, he would walk the path of a control-type soul master for a very long time; if he chose to add soul rings to the Ice Empress, he would switch to the path of an assault-type soul master. There was no doubt that he would deﬁnitely
become the number one attack-type genius in Shrek Academy if he chose to switch to the path of an assault-type soul master, having a four hundred thousand year soul ring. There was absolutely no need to doubt this. However, how would he explain the appearance of a four hundred thousand year soul ring?
The Skydream Iceworm said, “Yuhao, I’m guessing that you’re already thinking about it. It’s true that the Ice Empress is very powerful, but from my experience, you’ll have to hide your abilities as much as possible if you want to live for a long time. Moreover, even if you choose to cultivate the Ice Empress, you’ll have to ﬁnd a second soul ring for your Spirit Eyes right now. It’s because the ﬁrst soul ring of your Ice Empress is too eye-catching. You have to conceal it, otherwise you’ll just be studied in a research lab.
Huo Yuhao nodded in agreement, “Brother Skydream, I’ve made a decision. I’m going to continue cultivating my Spirit Eyes. Once my cultivation’s high enough, I’ll continue to add soul rings to my Ice Empress martial soul. In the future, I’ll do my best to not use the Ice Empress. This way, other people won’t be able to see how special my soul ring is.”
The Skydream Iceworm smiled mischievously, “Why won’t you use it? If you don’t use it, how are we going to go awe the others? That Shrek Academy of yours isn’t simple! If you want to stand stably, you’ll have to show off some of your strength. If you’re going to use the Ice Empress, you don’t necessarily need to be very subtle about it.”
Huo Yuhao was at a loss. “Brother Skydream, I don’t understand.”
The Skydream Iceworm replied in a mysterious tone, “You’ll naturally understand once you’ve gotten your second soul ring. Now then, do you really think you look that good butt-naked? Quickly clothe yourself so that we can get going. Time’s not moving any slower while you’re standing here. You should probably know that your school’s about to re-open. In fact, I’m not particularly clear as to how long we actually have left until it does. I lost of track of time in the outside world while I was helping the Ice Empress fuse with you.”
When he heard this, Huo Yuhao immediately became astonished. According to his calculations, more than ﬁfteen days should’ve passed since the holidays had started. It would take him quite a while to get back as well, thus he couldn’t afford to not rush.
A pale gold light ﬂashed through Huo Yuhao’s eyes as he withdrew the Ice Empress and released his Spiritual Detection.
However, he nearly jumped from shock the moment he released his Spiritual Detection.
As his cultivation had increased in the academy, the range of his Spiritual Detection had also continued to increase. When he’d left, it had surpassed eighty meters in all directions. If he were to focus it in a single direction, it could surpass two hundred meters.
However, the moment that he released his Spiritual Detection, Huo Yuhao immediately felt his eyes release an indescribable ﬂow of air. Immediately afterwards, the ground in a two hundred meter radius around him—including a meter deep into the snow and some parts of the mud underneath— were encapsulated within the range of his Spiritual Detection. As soon as it did, a large amount of information surged into his mind. How could the large increase in the range of his Spiritual Detection and the amount of information he received not astonish him?
“How... how could this have happened?” Huo Yuhao asked blankly, having managed to ﬁnd the nearby Twenty Four Moonlit Bridges using his Spiritual Detection.
“You didn’t just suffer that pain for nothing. Haven’t you realized that your spiritual sea has nearly doubled in size? If you’d followed the usual routine of obtaining your second soul ring, your spiritual sea would only be this big once you reached three rings. However, you relied on your own willpower to withstand that pain. As such, your spiritual sea has evolved. Of course, I’ve also used my spiritual origin to help you out a bit. Congratulations. As of now, you can release power equivalent to that of a ﬁve thousand year soul ring, while your body’s endurance now permits you to both obtain and perfectly absorb a three thousand year soul ring.”
When he heard the Skydream Iceworm’s words, a single emotion was left in Huo Yuhao’s heart: Happiness.
After experiencing such an extreme amount of pain, a few shadows had been left in his heart. At this moment however, the pain and bitterness were over, while the rewards he’d gained were just beginning to show themselves. He ﬁnally felt that everything was worth it. After receiving the proper reciprocation for his efforts, the shadows in his heart naturally shrunk by a large amount.
He took a set of clothes out of the Twenty Four Moonlit Bridges, but decided to only wear a regular shirt, as he didn’t
feel cold at all.
What a joke. With an existence such as the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion connected to him, the number of things in the entire world that could even make him feel cold was practically zero. His own body was basically a representation of extremely cold ice!
“Go!” The Skydream Iceworm shouted, jolting a certain person who was foolishly giggling to himself back to their senses. This certain someone then hurriedly scrambled to his feet.
The originally-cold climate was no longer a problem to Huo Yuhao, as the soul ring and soul bone he’d obtained from the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion made it so that the quality of his physique now far exceeded what it had previously been. He wildly rushed through the snow, leaving only a few shallow traces behind him. In fact, he wasn’t hindered by the snow at all anymore.
The soul power in his body continued to circulate, but it didn’t seem like it was being drained at all. Right now, Huo Yuhao was unexpectedly relying only on his physical strength
to maneuver through the snow. He didn’t know how long it had been since he’d eaten or drank anything, yet he didn’t feel hungry or thirsty at all. At this very moment, he only felt that everything within the boundless, vast plains of ice was extremely beautiful.
Within Shrek Academy.
The start of the new term had now arrived, which was the most important period of time every year. A large stream of people had already arrived outside of Shrek Academy by dawn. Besides the returning students, there was also an overwhelming number of parents who’d brought their children to register for the newcomer’s assessment.
No matter what background you had, or who you were referred by, you’d still have to go home if you didn’t pass the newcomer’s assessment.
A few of the upperclassmen were outside the school gates, helping the teachers conduct the assessment. Although they
were only students, they were still able to represent Shrek Academy, as they were all at least at the three-ringed Soul Elder rank. Since they’d reached the rank of Soul Elder, they held considerable status within the continent. The lowest requirement for a student to graduate from Shrek Academy’s outer courtyard was to become a four-ringed Soul Ancestor. If you weren’t able to become a Soul Ancestor, you wouldn’t be able to become a Year 6 student. In the end, you’d only be eliminated during the assessment.
Twenty-eight days of the vacation had passed by, and the new school year would begin in just two days. Even though the newcomers were rushing to participate in the academy’s entrance test, the older students weren’t just lazing about; their advancement assessments were about to start too. They would only be able to truly advance to a higher year group once they’d passed their advancement assessments. If they didn’t, they’d have to do the exact same thing that the newcomers who weren’t able to pass the entrance exam had to—return home.
At least two-thirds of the older students in the academy had returned by thise point. They hadn’t dared to relax at all during their vacation period. Seeing that school was about to start, they’d naturally come back earlier in order to ask their teachers about the contents of their various assessments. In
addition to this, they’d also asked their teachers for extra pointers. Students who were strong enough naturally weren’t scared of the assessments; on the contrary, they enjoyed them. Through them, they could truly test the fruits of their cultivation. However, every single assessment would be an extremely difﬁcult barrier to the vast majority of students. Thus, why wouldn’t they grasp every opportunity they had?
A ﬁgure rushed past the Sea God’s Lake’s lakeside path with astonishing speed, and quickly passed through Shrek Plaza. When he arrived at the Year 1 dorms, he muttered to himself, “Aih, I’m late, I’m late. He’s deﬁnitely come back early and is probably waiting impatiently for me. Aih, it’s all my fault! Why’d I have to go and go all-out! Whatever, I’ll deﬁnitely give that guy a big surprise, haha.”
With that, the youth arrived at the door to the dorm. The elder that was always present by the dorms was still lying on his recliner in an easygoing manner when, giving off an indescribable sense of leisureliness when he arrived.
“Grandpa, hello.” The youth excitedly blurted out as he rushed into the dormitory.
A funny look appeared on the elder’s face, but he quickly returned to normal. Squinting his eyes, he comfortably immersed himself in a half-sleep state.
“Peng, peng, peng.” The youth rushed back towards his room, then forcefully knocked on the door, causing dust to fall off of it.
“Eeh?” The youth hurriedly ducked away from the dust. Feeling that something was off, he said, “Huo Yuhao, quickly open the door. Just look at how lazy you’ve become! You truly only know how to cultivate. There’s already enough dust on the door to bury someone, yet you haven’t even cleaned it.”
Right, the youth who had hastily rushed over was Wang Dong. He didn’t seem to have changed much compared to one month ago. He was still wearing the Year 1 uniforms, but his short, pinkish-blue hair had grown slightly. His large, bright eyes were also slightly livelier, and were ﬁlled with excitement,.
They’d been separated for almost an entire month, however Wang Dong had been held up because of a few issues on his way back. He’d only managed to arrive three days before school
started with great difﬁculty, which was much later than the time that he and Huo Yuhao had previously agreed on. He thought that Huo Yuhao would deﬁnitely have arrived earlier. After all, the quickest way they could cultivate was by being together. Having returned late, he was extremely apologetic. He was just about to apologize to Huo Yuhao and say a few good words to him; that was why he hadn’t used his own key to unlock the door and enter on his own.
No response? Wang Dong couldn’t help but be dazed when the dorm remained silent.
“Hey, don’t be petty. Are you still angry at me? I didn’t come back late on purpose. I was held up by something.” Wang Dong knocked on the door again, however there was still no response.
“Huo Yuhao, you little miser. If you don’t open the door, I’m going to open it myself.” Wang Dong said ﬁercely.
There was still no response.
At that moment, Wang Dong couldn’t help but feel stunned. He felt that, even though he’d arrived late, with the relationship between him and Huo Yuhao, combined with Huo Yuhao’s character, he wouldn’t stoop so low as to ignore him like this!
Wang Dong took out his key and unlocked the door.
The dorm was quiet on the inside. Everything was identical to when they’d left; there weren’t any changes at all. Wang Dong’s mattress had been rolled up and covered in a white bedsheet to shield it from dust. On the other hand, Huo Yuhao’s bed was still empty. A layer of dust had already appeared on the ground and the table, as if nobody had recently been in the room at all.
Wang Dong rushed into the dorm room. After looking at his own bed and then Huo Yuhao’s bed, he felt his heart sink with a “thunk”. His face immediately turned somewhat pale.
He didn’t come back. He actually hasn’t come back yet. Wang Dong instantly felt a wave of goosebumps travel from his feet to his head. He would’ve preferred to have Huo Yuhao waiting for him in advance to scold him the moment he saw him rather
than the scene in front of him. The feeling of his heart being emptied caused his breathing to become rushed all of a sudden.
“How is it possible that he hasn’t come back yet? Didn’t he say that there was a teacher waiting for him outside the Great Star Dou Forest? He only left to get his second soul ring; there was even a teacher accompanying him. Why hasn’t he returned after so long? He’s an orphan, where else could he have gone?”
Wang Dong immediately became anxious. He violently took in a few deep breaths of somewhat dirty air from the dorm room, then suddenly turned around and rushed back towards the dorm entrance.
When he reached it, he instantly kneeled beside the reclining elder. “Grandpa, have you seen Huo Yuhao? He’s living in a room with me; he’s the guy who always comes back with me.”
The old man squinted his eyes and shook his head.
Wang Dong bit his lower lip and stood up. Afterwards, he immediately dashed towards the faculty buildings.
Once he reaching the faculty buildings, he headed directly towards Zhou Yi’s ofﬁce. The door to her ofﬁce was wide open, and inside a few students were talking to her.
Wang Dong was extremely anxious, thus he didn’t even bother to knock on her door. Like a gust of wind, he rushed inside. “Teacher Zhou, Teacher Zhou.”
The students standing in front of Zhou Yi’s desk were all ﬁrst year students, and they were all jolted by Wang Dong’s hurried entrance. They were all aware of the fact that Zhou Yi hated students who broke the rules the most. Even though Wang Dong was a class monitor, he was still acting too gutsy.
However, they were astonished by the fact that not only had Zhou Yi not ﬂown into a rage when she saw Wang Dong, she’d even stood up. The two of them then spoke in an impatient voice at the exact same time.
“Where’s Huo Yuhao?”
“Teacher Zhou, have you seen Huo Yuhao?”
The instant they ﬁnished speaking, both of them simultaneously became stunned. Afterwards, they spoke at the exact same time again, “You’re also looking for Huo Yuhao?”