Unrivaled Tang Sect Volume 8

Book 8: Advancing to the Second Year

Chapter 45: You're Still Alive?

The seemingly tacit understanding between Zhou Yi and Wang Dong sent the students standing in front of Zhou Yi’s desk into a daze. They had no diea what had happened.

Zhou Yi waved towards them, “You guys can go back and prepare first.”

“Yes.”  Though the three students were very curious as to what had occurred, they didn’t dare to stay behind. They hurriedly left Zhou Yi’s office, cleverly closing the door as they did so.

Wang  Dong  spoke  impatiently.  “Teacher  Zhou,  has  Huo Yuhao not come back yet? If you haven’t seen him either, why don’t we go over to the Soul Tool Department and ask them about it?”

Zhou Yi furrowed her brows, and a hint of anger appeared in her eyes, “No need. I’ve already gone there to ask them about it. Just what is that brat Huo Yuhao doing? He told me that the teachers from the Soul Tool Department were accompanying
him to get a soul ring, but when I asked Fan Yu about it, he said that Huo Yuhao had told him that the teachers from the Martial Soul Department were taking him to get a soul ring. Isn’t he just lying to both parties? In the end, nobody went with him. Don’t tell me this brat just entered the Great Star Dou Forest alone?”

Hearing her words, Wang Dong immediately became even more anxious, “No way. He doesn’t even have any attacking soul skills, so how in the world is he going to go hunt a soul beast by himself? That’s too dangerous. No way, no way. Why would he be that dumb? When we left each other, his mood was still very normal!”

Zhou  Yi  spoke  in  a  low  voice,  “He’s  definitely  hiding something from us. Let’s do this. Immediately go to the upperclassmen’s dorms and bring Bei Bei and Tang Ya over here. If they’re not here either, then that’s what must’ve happened. Huo Yuhao belongs to the Tang Sect, so they might know what happened. If Bei Bei and Tang Ya followed him to the Great Star Dou Forest, then it’s explainable.”

“Okay.” Wang Dong turned away and left. Right now, he was only praying that Bei Bei and Tang Ya weren’t back yet. They must’ve followed Huo Yuhao to help him get his soul ring.

However, reality wouldn’t just change due to a person’s willpower. Within a few moments, Bei Bei and Tang Ya appeared inside Zhou Yi’s office. Though they’d just arrived, they’d truly returned!

After hearing that Huo Yuhao hadn’t returned, they were both astonished. Bei Bei said, “Teacher Zhou, our little junior brother was still fine the last time we saw him. He can’t possibly have gone to hunt a soul beast by himself. Though we saw him kill a soul beast the first time we saw him, he was injured. Furthermore, the soul beast he killed was of the ten year rank. This time around, he’s looking for his second soul ring. With his combat strength, even with a low-ranked Soul Tool and the martial arts of our Tang Sect, it’s still going to be very difficult for him to take on a hundred year soul beast. After all, his cultivation’s still too low. Our little junior brother’s very smart, so why would he act so foolishly?”

They all looked at each other. No matter how they thought about it, they just couldn’t understand why Huo Yuhao had lied to everyone when he left the academy.

He hadn’t returned, and there was no use in panicking. Zhou Yi was anxious, but Fan Yu was even more anxious than she
was.

It had been so hard for him to find such a good disciple who even revealed such an astonishing amount of talent in the field of soul tool creation. However, he had actually hatched such a wicked plan. It’d be strange if he wasn’t feeling anxious. Like the others, he wasn’t completely sure as to why Huo Yuhao was doing this. However, with his understanding of Huo Yuhao, he knew that he wasn’t an unreliable person! He definitely had a predicament that gave him no choice but to do this.

Every person who was close to Huo Yuhao had their own different thoughts. Some of them were angry, some were remorseful, and some were puzzled. However, none of them could think of the true reason why Huo Yuhao had hidden the truth from them. But, time didn’t stop for anyone.

Within the blink of an eye, one day passed.

Within another blink of an eye, the second day ended.

It was finally time to re-enroll in Shrek Academy. The students from the various year groups were all reporting in
and registering their names. The entrance exams had already ended, and the newcomers had already entered the school. However, the students from the other year groups were still waiting for the coming advancement test.

The registration period started in the morning and went on all the way till the afternoon before ending.

Wang Dong had already completed his re-enrollment. After that, he anxiously stood by the entrance to Shrek Academy and gazed outwards, waiting.

Why? Why hasn’t he come back yet? Why?

Shrek Academy’s rules were very stringent. If you weren’t able to register in time, you would be forced to leave the school!

The sky gradually darkened, but he still hadn’t returned yet.

As Wang Dong looked towards the distance, his gaze was already somewhat dazed. He was only twelve this year, and he
was slightly younger than Huo Yuhao. During his twelve years of life, this was the first time he’d thought so much about anyone.

His legs had already gone numb after standing for so long, but scenes of his activities and studies with Huo Yuhao in the same dorm room during the past year floated up in his mind unceasingly. They had gone to class together, cultivated together, participated in the freshmen assessment together, become champions together, eaten roasted fish together, and completed their first year in Shrek Academy together.

I’ve already come back, so where are you?

The sky gradually turned dark, and the sunset left a pale red at the edge of the horizon. The glow of the sunset was very beautiful, but it was unable to illuminate the haze in Wang Dong’s heart.

Late, he’s already late. He’s already gone past the registration time. He won’t make it, he won’t make it!
Bei Bei, Tang Ya, and Xiao Xiao had also walked over to the academy’s entrance. Their expressions darkened as they looked toward the gradually dimming sky.

Wang Dong didn’t even know how he’d returned to his dorm. By the time he got back, the outside sky was completely black. In the end, Huo Yuhao hadn’t managed to make it back in time for him to register. At this moment, however, Wang Dong didn’t blame him at all.

As long as you can come back alive, that’s fine!

The thing he was most scared of was Huo Yuhao being buried in the Great Star Dou Forest! If that occurred, he wouldn’t even have a corpse to bury.

While thinking, Wang Dong slowly sat on Huo Yuhao’s bed, which was still covered with dust. At this moment, he seemingly forgot about his own mysophobia.

Huo Yuhao, are you still alive? Wang Dong couldn’t help but clench his fists tightly. His eyes gradually reddened, and an anxiety that could drive one mad appeared in his heart.

At this very moment, the sound of rushed footsteps sounded out from the outside. This was accompanied by the sounds of a person’s somewhat heavy breathing.

Wang Dong raised his head, somewhat stunned. Right after that, a person suddenly charged inside with a bang.

“I’m screwed, I’m screwed! I’m late! I ran over as quickly as I could, but I was still late. How in the world is this supposed to be good!?”  The youth who rushed in had an anxious look on his face as he muttered gloomily to himself. Raising his head to look at Wang Dong, he smiled, “You’re back! Is today the day when registration ends? I’m screwed, I’m late. This won’t do, I have to quickly find Teacher Zhou and think of a way to go about this during the night.”

With that, the youth turned around, about to leave.

“Huo-- Yu-- Hao!!!” An extremely loud screech suddenly rang out, causing the leaving Huo Yuhao to feel his back sink. He felt a large force strike him, immediately slamming him to the ground. Then, his back was struck by a series of typhoon-like fists.

Right. Was the youth who’d rushed into the room not the owner of the empty bed, Huo Yuhao? Though he’d exhausted all of his energy, he had still arrived late. He’d simply wasted too much time fusing with the Ice Empress, and he didn’t even know how much time he had actually wasted. After the
Skydream Iceworm helped him obtain his second soul ring, he left the icy plains. After asking someone what time it was, he was struck dumb. He did all he could to rush back, but he was still late by a day.

“Uhh…” Huo Yuhao wrapped his hands around his head, feeling somewhat dazed after being beaten up by Wang Dong. He felt two soft lumps of meat on his butt moving non-stop, causing his weary buttocks to feel a sense of relaxation that didn’t feel bad at all...

“You still remembered to come back? You bastard, you still remembered to come back?” A stream of tears fell from Wang Dong’s eyes. This was the first time he’d actually worried about someone other than his family. The instant he saw Huo Yuhao, he felt something in his heart shatter. This caused his repressed emotions to explode out uncontrollably.
His fists gradually lost their power, and he suddenly starting crying while sitting on Huo Yuhao’s back.

Huo Yuhao was originally feeling somewhat gloomy after being beaten up by Wang Dong, but now he was struck dumb by the latter’s crying. As he was being pressed down onto the ground, he wasn’t able to get up even if he wanted to. For a period of time, Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but feel that he was at a complete loss.

“Wang Dong, what are you crying for! Why’re you acting like a girl?” Huo Yuhao was very speechless.

“Bastard, don’t you know how worried everyone is? I even thought that you’d turned into a pile of shit from a soul beast in the Great Star Dou Forest. Why’d you have to lie to us and tell us that a teacher was accompanying you to go kill soul beasts? Why’d you go by yourself?”

Wang Dong was sitting on Huo Yuhao, his hands holding onto his shoulders firmly as he spoke angrily.
“This… the teachers can’t have found out, right?” Huo Yuhao asked somewhat guiltily.

“What a load of rubbish. You didn’t even come back. Is it even possible for them to not have found out?” Wang Dong gnashed his teeth with anger, itching to bite Huo Yuhao a few times to vent his anger.

Huo Yuhao smiled bitterly. “I say, why don’t you get up before we start talking. You’re not heavy, but you can’t just keep pressing down on me like that.”

Only then did Wang Dong react. As if he’d been electrocuted, he shot straight up, his face already blushing.

Huo Yuhao turned over and got up. Looking at the tear-filled Wang Dong, he knew that the latter had been worried about his safety. He couldn’t help but feel moved. Scratching his head, he said apologetically, “I’m sorry! I’ve made you worry. I didn’t think that I’d take this long. It’s actually because I lost track of time.”
After wiping off his tears, Wang Dong glared at him fiercely. “You lied to all of us. If you don’t give me a logical explanation to this, we’re not settled.”

Huo Yuhao smiled mischievously. “Just look at you, you look like a little weeping woman. Just where did the imposing might of an assault-type soul master go to!”

Wang Dong was astonished. The tone of his voice immediately  turned  deep.  “Just  who  did  you  call  a  little woman? Aren’t you going to look for Teacher Zhou? Quickly go. I’ll follow you. Teacher Zhou’s also very angry. You’d better pray for luck.” While speaking, he pushed Huo Yuhao out the door in a somewhat impatient manner.

Huo Yuhao was truly anxious to find a teacher and explain the situation. After all, he didn’t want to get expelled just like this! Thus, he didn’t notice how embarrassed Wang Dong was.

After leaving their dorm, Wang Dong finally calmed down. The dim light of the night was everywhere, and he suddenly felt peace of mind as he looked at Huo Yuhao, who was in front of him. At this moment, all of his worries had vanished from the face of the earth. The release of the baggage from his heart even caused him to feel tired.

“Just what in the world were you doing? You even lied to a teacher.”  Taking  two  steps  forward,  he  caught  up  to  Huo Yuhao. Wang Dong then walked along with him side by side.

Huo Yuhao smiled bitterly, “It’s hard to explain everything. I’ll talk about it once we find Teacher Zhou. I can’t explain everything right now.”

Wang Dong said, “In any case, be a bit more careful. I feel that being late won’t be much of a problem. Though the
academy’s rules are quite stringent, they’re much more relaxed for core disciples like us. In any case, you’re a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department. Problem is, you’ll now have to explain the reason why you were lying to the teachers in order to stop them from pursuing the matter. As long as Teacher Fan Yu and Teacher Zhou are willing to protect you, there won’t be any big problems. I’m sure you’re aware of Teacher Zhou’s temper. Teacher Fan Yu hasn’t said anything about it, but he’s definitely very worried.”

Huo Yuhao had already thought of a plan during his journey back. Nodding, he said, “I’ve truly got a special reason for why I did what I did. I believe they’ll definitely understand it.”

As the two continued to speak, they arrived at the teacher’s office area. The teachers from the outer courtyard were living within the office block. The lower floors were the office blocks, while the higher floors were the teacher’s homes.

However, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong had never been to Zhou Yi’s house. Thus, they could only try their luck at the office.
Their luck wasn’t bad at all; the light in Zhou Yi’s office was still on.

Before they’d even reached the door to Zhou Yi’s office, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong heard the sounds of Zhou Yi’s roaring...

“Fan Yu, what the heck did you just say that brat Huo Yuhao wanted to do? We’ve done all we could to cultivate him, but he actually lied to us and ran away. He hasn’t even returned yet. Just what reason do you think he had to lie to us? Don’t tell me that a teacher helping him to obtain a soul ring won’t be useful to him? I really didn’t think that I’d actually make a mistake. Originally, I thought that he was an extremely honest student who was willing to work hard. I didn’t think that he’d be an ungrateful brat like this. This really pisses me off. Don’t let me see him again. If I do, I’m going to flay all of his skin off.”

Hearing Zhou Yi’s words, Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but shiver instinctively. He felt his scalp go numb. With a somewhat pleading look on his face, he looked towards Wang Dong.

Wang Dong looked towards him with a smile that wasn’t a smile, then made a gesture that said ‘You’re on your own now’.
Just who asked you to lie to everyone here? Who asked you to come back too late? Serves you right!

Bracing himself, Huo Yuhao carefully shifted towards Zhou Yi’s office. At this moment, Fan Yu’s voice rang out.

“Okay, stop being so angry. Do you think I’m any less anxious than you? Don’t you know how hard it is to find an inheriting disciple? Yuhao is more talented than Caitou. Don’t you know how much hope I’ve placed on him? Now that he’s lost, I’m even more worried than you. But, I feel that you’ve said something incorrect. After being in contact with him for so long, I understand him quite well. Though he’s made a lot of plans, he’s a very kind and steady person. He definitely won’t do anything silly. Since he’s lied to us in order to go by himself, I believe that he definitely has a reason for doing so. Now, we can only wait for him to come back. That way, I believe that he’ll give us a logical explanation.”

Zhou Yi unhappily said, “He’s already late, so what damn use is there for him to come back? Won’t he get expelled anyway?”

Fan Yu said, “That might not be the case. As long as he has a reasonable explanation, we can reveal the fact that he’s a core
disciple of the Soul Tool Department to let him remain in the academy. His treatment as a core disciple of your Martial Soul Department is already coming to an end, so he’ll definitely be stripped of his privileges if he can’t give an astonishing performance during the assessment. Since that’s the case, we can just reveal it. In any case, Dean Qian’s already fallen for our trick.”

Huo Yuhao felt moved as he listened to the husband-and-wife duo. He had lied to his teachers, but they were still worried about him. An intense sensation of guilt flooded his heart, and he wanted to reveal the truth to them right there.

The Skydream Iceworm’s faint voice rang out in his mind, “If you don’t want to be used as a guinea pig, you’d better control your mouth.”

Huo Yuhao immediately regained his senses after listening to the Skydream Iceworm’s reminder. Right! No matter what, he couldn’t reveal the truth. A million year soul beast, in addition to one of the Three Emperors of the Extreme North, had become his intelligent soul ring. This situation couldn’t even be described using the word ‘astonishing’ anymore.
Clenching his teeth, Huo Yuhao quickened his footsteps, reaching Zhou Yi’s office door.

Zhou Yi’s office door wasn’t shut, and there was no longer anybody left within the teacher’s office buildings at this time. Huo Yuhao peeked his head in just in time for him to see an extremely gentle scene.

Zhou Yi didn’t have her mask on, and her beautiful face was filled with rage. However, she was sitting on Fan Yu’s thigh, while her hands were cradling Fan Yu’s neck. Fan Yu’s arms were wrapped around her waist.

“Cough, cough. Teacher, Teacher Zhou, I’m back.”

Fan Yu and Zhou Yi were both stunned by Huo Yuhao’s appearance. Zhou Yi subconsciously jumped up from Fan Yu’s thigh.

Wang Dong was right behind Huo Yuhao, and he was stunned to the point of being flabbergasted by this scene. Though he’d heard about Zhou Yi’s mask from Huo Yuhao, this was still the first time he’d seen Teacher Zhou’s true
appearance. Furthermore, this had happened in a situation where she hadn’t concealed herself at all.

“Huo Yuhao, you still know how to come back!” Zhou Yi shot towards him angrily.

It had to be said that Huo Yuhao was truly lucky. The flabbergasted Wang Dong subconsciously blurted out, “Teacher Zhou, you’re really pretty.”

The overbearing Zhou Yi was stunned for a brief moment. In an instant, the flames of anger within her heart diminished by over 30%. Pausing her footsteps, she glared fiercely at Huo Yuhao, “Follow me in and close the door.”

At this moment, Huo Yuhao completely understood why Zhou Yi normally had to keep her old grandma mask on her face. Not only was she beautiful, her facial features were extremely gentle and soft. Though she was currently filled with anger, it was simply too hard for her to keep a deterrent effect up for the other students. On the contrary, the others would think that she was a beauty who was throwing a tantrum.
Fan Yu sat there unmoving, his gaze fixed on Huo Yuhao. Though he had just exonerated the disciple he was proud of, could he truly be not angry at all?

Lowering his gaze, Huo Yuhao obediently entered Zhou Yi’s office. On the other hand, Wang Dong shut the door after entering.

Huo Yuhao walked up to Fan Yu, falling to his knees with a “putong”, “Teacher, I’ve done wrong.”

Fan Yu’s heart was originally filled with the flames of anger. Huo Yuhao had returned, and he was waiting for the disciple he was proud of to give him an explanation with an extremely stern look on his face. However, Huo Yuhao hadn’t given a reason to exonerate himself. Instead, he’d immediately fallen to his knees in order to admit his wrongdoing. The stiff lines of Fan Yu’s face immediately softened slightly.

It had to be said that any teacher would be slightly more lenient towards the students they were fond of. Zhou Yi and Fan Yu weren’t an exception to that case. Zhou Yi was extremely strict towards her students, but she didn’t utter a
word with Fan Yu there. Instead, she stood behind Fan Yu, giving the initiative to her husband.

“Why?” Fan Yu said indifferently.

Huo Yuhao raised his head, giving a reply filled with guilt, “Teacher, I’ve done wrong. I shouldn’t have lied to you and Teacher Zhou. However, I- I was scared that you’d be worried about me. That was why I had to concoct a lie before I could leave. This was because I wasn’t even sure whether I would be able to come back when I left.”

He’d already thought of many ways he could give this apology. With the Skydream Iceworm’s help, there were basically no holes in his excuse. His guilt-filled tone wasn’t fake, but he couldn’t tell the truth. Regardless of whether it was for him or his two teachers, telling the truth might not necessarily be a good thing!

“Huh?” Hearing Huo Yuhao’s words, Fan Yu, Zhou Yi, and Wang Dong’s interest were piqued.
Zhou  Yi  couldn’t  help  but  say,  “Is  there  anything  the academy can’t help you settle? Did you absolutely have to do this by yourself? Are you telling me that we wouldn’t be able to help you if you’d told us the truth?”

Huo Yuhao shook his head softly, “You wouldn’t have been able to help me. A problem came up with my martial soul. Teacher Zhou, do you remember? During Teacher Wang’s class, he told us that the most terrifying thing to a soul master was the shattering of their martial soul.”

Zhou Yi was greatly astonished, “What? Your martial soul…”

Huo Yuhao nodded, “When the school year had just ended, I noticed a problem with my martial soul. I occasionally felt absent-minded when I was using my Spirit Eyes, and there were even signs of my martial soul fracturing. At that time, I thought about what Teacher Wang said. He said that if a martial soul didn’t have enough talent, and if a person who had relatively low innate soul power tried to forcefully cultivate, there was a very small chance that a martial soul could shatter. Moreover, the shattering of a martial soul was a catastrophe to a soul master. If they were lucky, they would lose all of their soul power, and their martial soul would
shatter and disappear; if they were unlucky, it could even endanger their lives.”

At this moment, even Fan Yu’s expression had changed. If Huo Yuhao’s martial soul was truly shattering, then there was truly nothing that could save him. Even a Titled Douluo wouldn’t be able to do anything.

A martial soul was the internal core of every soul master. If any problems arose within that internal core, then not even heavenly treasures could do anything about it. That was equivalent to a death sentence!

“Yuhao, then, you…” Right now, Fan Yu didn’t even care about how angry he felt anymore; his voice was filled with concern.

Zhou Yi said unhappily, “Since he’s able to properly kneel here, there’s clearly nothing wrong anymore. Yuhao, continue.”

Huo Yuhao said, “During the few days before the academic year ended, those feelings were getting increasingly clearer. I
was starting to be afraid. I was afraid for my martial soul, and I was afraid that I’d be unable to live up to the love you two have shown me. I thought about it carefully, and I decided not to tell you two about it. If my martial soul truly shattered, then talking about it would be of no use; if it didn’t shatter, I’d definitely come back. Thus, I lied to both of you. I didn’t want you to worry about me.”

“You…  what  can  I  even  say  about  you!?”  Fan  Yu  sighed. Bending down, he placed his hands under Huo Yuhao’s armpits and propped him up. This child was simply too thoughtful.

The anger that was originally between Zhou Yi’s brows had eased by a large amount. Only, Wang Dong’s anger didn’t decrease in the slightest. He inwardly thought to himself, This bastard. He lied, and he’s lying again.

Huo Yuhao’s lies could get past Zhou Yi and Fan Yu, but they couldn’t trick Wang Dong. They had a perfect martial soul fusion, and they had cultivated together just before Huo Yuhao had left the academy. If anything had happened to his martial soul, Wang Dong would’ve sensed it immediately. However, he hadn’t felt anything!

At this moment however, Wang Dong couldn’t expose Huo Yuhao’s lies. He could only bury his doubts in the bottom of his heart.
Zhou Yi said, “Then how are you feeling now? Did the signs of your martial soul shattering disappear?”

Huo Yuhao nodded.

Zhou Yi furrowed her brows tightly, “That’s also a problem. Not only did you arrive late, you didn’t even obtain a second soul ring. I’m afraid that the academy will…”

Huo Yuhao blinked, “Teacher Zhou, I’ve gotten my second martial soul!”

“Huh?” Zhou Yi looked towards him, astonished. Fan Yu interjected, “Let Yuhao finish what he has to say.”

Huo Yuhao said, “When I left the academy, I felt that I didn’t really have much hope anymore. In addition to that, there seemed to be an unseen force that was guiding me towards the north. The absent-mindedness from my martial soul was getting increasingly stronger, and I could sense that my Spirit Eyes were releasing traces of ice. It seemed to be guiding me towards the north. Under an absent-minded state like this, I didn’t even know long I’d walked for, but I unexpectedly
arrived at a world of ice and snow. That place was very, very cold, and I felt that I was going to be frozen alive. However, the sensation of shattering coming from my martial soul was becoming increasingly intense, as though it could shatter at any time. I didn’t really know what was going on, but I fainted
in that icy land. Just before I fainted, I felt that I wasn’t going
to be able to wake up again. I didn’t know how long I fainted for, but it was because of this that I came back late.”

Fan Yu and Zhou Yi glanced at each other. Though the area Shrek Academy was in was getting chilly, it was still late spring. If he spoke about a world of ice and snow, wasn’t that the desolate and uninhabited Extreme North? Unexpectedly, Huo Yuhao hadn’t gone to the Great Star Dou Forest; he’d gone to a place that was that far away. Furthermore, it was even under a situation in which his martial soul that had signs of shattering was guiding him. This was simply too fantastical.

Huo Yuhao continued, “By the time I woke up, it was still daytime. I didn’t know how much time had passed, but my body was already buried in the snow. When I opened my eyes, my vision was filled with a dark white object. I thought that I was already dead, but I realized that something wasn’t right after a moment. The condition of my body was still very normal, and I could even sense the flow of my soul power.
Furthermore, my Spirit Eyes had completely stabilised; they no longer had any problems.”

“I climbed out from the snow, astonished. Only then did I realise that I was still in my original location. More astonishingly, an extra burst of power seemed to be within my body. I found a dead scorpion that was longer than a meter near my body. Its entire body was pure white, while its tail was jade-green. There were many crystalline objects on the surface of its shell, and though it was already dead, I could still sense how powerful it was.”

“An Ice Jade Scorpion?” Zhou Yi took a deep breath, while Fan Yu’s eyes were filled with astonishment.

Wang Dong couldn’t help but ask, “Teacher Zhou, what’s an Ice Jade Scorpion?”

Zhou Yi said, “It’s an extremely strong soul beast that lives in the Extreme North. They have an enormous population, and they’re the true rulers of that bitterly cold land. They possess an ultimate ice attribute, and normally speaking, they only live within the core regions of the Extreme North. Even to us soul masters, that area is a forbidden place. It is a truly forbidden
area to humans. Even Titled Douluo-ranked experts wouldn’t dare to easily tread within that extremely cold place. Yuhao, you were actually able to survive after encountering an Ice Jade Scorpion.”

Originally, Zhou Yi and Fan Yu still had some doubts towards Huo Yuhao’s words. However, their suspicions immediately dropped by a large amount after Huo Yuhao described the appearance of the Ice Jade Scorpion. Though there were a large number of soul beasts within the Extreme North, human soul masters would rarely have the chance to encounter them. Furthermore, the outer courtyard had never taught them anything about the Ice Jade Scorpion from Year 1 to Year 6. If he hadn’t truly seen an Ice Jade Scorpion, how would Huo Yuhao be able to describe a soul beast like it?

Huo Yuhao said, “I don't know how I did it, but when I discovered some energy inside of its body, I tried to interact with it using my soul force. In the end...”

With that, Huo Yuhao slowly raised his hands. A trace of white light flashed through his originally deep-blue eyes, and the temperature in Zhou Yi’s office dropped right after that.
The strong chilliness caused even Wang Dong to involuntarily shiver instinctively. Fan Yu and Zhou Yi clearly saw a translucent and sparkling luster on Huo Yuhao’s hands, as if he was wearing a set of diamond gloves that had a moving radiance to them. The temperature within the office dropped suddenly.

Fan Yu could no longer sit; he suddenly stood up. As he looked at Huo Yuhao, he unconsciously widened his eyes. Right after that, the two of them saw a purple soul ring slowly rise from Huo Yuhao’s feet. It was a halo that flickered with a noble purple, and it slowly undulated rhythmically around Huo Yuhao’s body.

“A   thousand   year   soul   ring!”    Wang   Dong   cried   out immediately.

Purple, didn’t that represent a thousand year soul ring? However, how was that possible? Just what situation was this!?

Huo Yuhao quickly took off his jacket and removed his shirt, revealing his naked upper body.
“Ah--”  Because Wang Dong was standing right behind him, he was able to instantly see the sparkling tattoo of the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion. The vivid and lifelike portrayal of the enormous scorpion gave him a jump.

Huo Yuhao slowly turned around, showing his back to Fan Yu and Zhou Yi.

During the journey back, when he and the Skydream Iceworm had gotten to this point, Huo Yuhao had asked him whether the teachers would notice that the Ice Empress’ tattoo was different when compared to ordinary Ice Jade Scorpions.

The Skydream Iceworm then replied using the simplest words it could, “Other than you, every human who has seen the Ice Empress has died!”

“The  Ice  Jade  Scorpion,  it’s  really  the  Ice  Jade  Scorpion! Yuhao, you, you, this… this is impossible!” Zhou Yi’s eyes were filled with a look of inconceivability, as was Fan Yu. The husband-and-wife duo looked at Huo Yuhao as if they were looking at a monster.
After putting his clothes back on, Huo Yuhao withdrew his martial  soul  and  stood  there  obediently,  “Teacher,  Teacher Zhou, I don’t understand what happened either. Can the two of you explain this doubt of mine? In any case, I’m no longer afraid of the cold after I obtained this power. It seems as though I’ve already become a part of that world of ice and snow.”

Suddenly, Zhou Yi’s eyes lit up. She looked towards Fan Yu, “Do you think it’s related to his Body Soul? Yuhao’s Spirit Eyes should be a Body Soul. I’ve heard Teacher Wang Yan say that powerful Body Soul soul masters will have a second awakening of their martial soul. If that’s truly the case, although the situation he’s in right now seems extraordinary, it isn’t fully unexplainable. Why don’t I go find Wang Yan now and ask him about it?”

Zhou Yi was always the type of person who would act immediately. Just as she said that she was about to leave, Fan Yu grabbed her by the arm, “No, you can’t go. Quiet down a little. If you let Wang Yan know about this, do you think the Martial Soul Department will let Yuhao go?”

Zhou Yi was stunned. As she looked towards the determined gaze in Fan Yu’s eyes, she immediately understood what he
meant. She remained silent after that.

Fan Yu sat back down, then looked towards Huo Yuhao, “Yuhao, this situation that’s occurred to you is an extremely rare occurrence among us soul masters. This is the first time we’ve encountered a situation like this. Therefore, we’re unable to give you a full explanation. However, according to our estimations, it should be something related to your martial soul. Body Souls have always been an extremely mysterious existence. There’s a mysterious sect within the continent called the Body Sect, and they’ve always been doing their best to collect and cultivate soul masters who possess Body Souls. Perhaps they’re the only people who could understand what’s happened to your body. Teacher can tell you that this isn’t a bad thing. From what you’ve shown us, you should have a second martial soul now. Moreover, this martial soul has a thousand year soul ring. It could’ve been given to you by the dead Ice Jade Scorpion you found beside you. As for why you were able to obtain an Ice Jade Scorpion as your second martial soul, we can’t explain this. However, this is absolutely a good thing for you. The Ice Jade Scorpion ranks among the apex of assault-type martial souls belonging to the ice attribute, and it’ll have extremely large benefits towards your future cultivation. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

Huo Yuhao nodded, “Teacher, then what should I do now?”

Fan Yu said, “Let me settle the issue of you being late. I’ll formally announce the fact that you’re a core disciple of the Martial Soul Department. In addition to that, I’ll give a report to the academy that the reason why you were late was because you were helping me complete a task I assigned to you. However, if we do it like this, you won’t be able to become a core disciple of the Martial Soul Department in the future. Teacher isn’t willing to force you, so you’ll have to make a choice by yourself. However, I can guarantee you that the moment the Martial Soul Department discovers that you’re a twin-souled soul master who has a thousand year soul ring as your second martial soul’s first soul ring, they won’t expel you. Because of this, you have to decide by yourself whether you want to study alongside me or remain in the Martial Soul Department as a core disciple.”

“As for your future cultivation, I personally believe that you should focus on your Spirit Eyes regardless of whether you stay in the Martial Soul Department or fully transfer to the Soul Tool Department. The greatest advantage of twin martial souls lies in the fact that you can add soul rings to your second martial soul once your cultivation’s strong enough. At that time, the advantage of a twin-souled soul master can be fully displayed. However, you’ve already walked the path of your Spirit Eyes, so it’d be better for you to not easily change your style of fighting. Earlier, you said that you’d obtained a second
soul skill for your Spirit Eyes. Since that’s the case, you should continue to cultivate your Spirit Eyes, and not this new martial soul you’ve just obtained. It’s strange how you obtained this new martial soul, so we should observe it for a bit more before doing anything. Let us see your second soul ring first.”

Chapter 46: The Spirit Eyes' Second Soul Skill

Huo Yuhao nodded. A pale golden light flickered through his eyes as he released his Spirit Eyes. When he did, a white and purple soul ring rose up from his feet.

Astonishment once again appeared on Fan Yu, Zhou Yi, and Wang Dong’s faces,

A thousand year soul ring, another thousand year soul ring. The second soul ring of Huo Yuhao’s Spirit Eyes was actually another thousand year soul ring. Just what had he done during the past month!? Under a situation in which he didn’t even have a single attacking soul skill, he’d actually obtained a thousand year soul ring. This was simply too inconceivable.

“A thousand year soul ring? You, how did your body endure it?” A puzzled look filled Zhou Yi’s face, “If it was already somewhat fishy that you were able to obtain a soul ring for your second martial soul, just how in the world did you get that thousand year soul ring for your Spirit Eyes? Don’t tell me that you also got it after sleeping for a while. If that’s the case, I’ll go run to the North and sleep there every day.”

Somewhat embarrassed, Huo Yuhao said, “I didn’t get it just by sleeping. I killed a soul beast, then discovered that it had a spiritual attribute to it. After that, I absorbed its soul ring. I didn’t even know that it was a thousand year soul ring. As for why I could endure it, it seems to be because I’ve obtained a soul bone…”

The trio’s facial muscles twitched simultaneously.

Two thousand year soul rings and a soul bone? Did Huo Yuhao fall into a treasury?

Fan Yu said, “Carefully explain everything to us. Just what in the world happened?”

Huo Yuhao nodded obediently. “I really got that soul bone after waking up. It seems to be related to the Ice Jade Scorpion; it’s a torso bone. I discovered that after I pour soul power into my backbone, I can emit an extremely intense chilliness. However, this can only be maintained for a very short time before my soul power’s fully drained. After killing that soul beast, I directly started to absorb it. This was because I didn’t know it was a thousand year one. By the time I noticed that the
soul ring coming from its body was a purple one, it was too late. In the end, I finished absorbing it without feeling much pain. Could it be because the soul bone strengthened my physique?”

Zhou Yi nodded. “It’s possible. Tell us the important part of this story; tell us how you killed that thousand year soul beast. Even three-ringed students might not be able to easily kill a thousand year soul beast, but you were only a one-ringed Soul Master at that time.”

Huo  Yuhao  said,  “The  soul  beast  I  encountered  was  very strange. When I first bumped into it, it was a fierce, snow- white tiger. It seemed extraordinarily strong, and I knew that it wasn’t something to be trifled with at first glance. I didn’t even have any thoughts of fighting with it! Thus, I turned around and ran away. After I ran a long distance away, I turned around. I discovered that it hadn’t chased after me; it was only looking at me. At that time, I felt that it was very strange, as tiger-type soul beasts are extremely aggressive. This point was especially emphasized during our classes. However, why didn’t it take the initiative to attack me? Because of that, I mustered some courage to quietly return and observe it. In the end, I discovered that the tiger was still looking at me, but it didn’t have any intentions of making a move. Then, I tried using a long-range soul tool to attack it. But, who would’ve predicted
that the tiger’s body would suddenly turn illusory, causing my attack to miss? Right after that, it charged towards me.”

“At that time, I felt that I was definitely screwed. I didn’t even have enough time to regret my actions, and I ran away again. However, that tiger was much faster than me. Within a few moments, it caught up to me and pounced towards me viciously. Panicked, I released that Scorpion martial soul and blocked it with my hand. My body sank, and I fell down. Because I thought that I was finished, I subconsciously grabbed the throat of that tiger. That white tiger also attacked me, and it even released a spiritual attack. However, I had my Spirit Eyes! Though I felt waves of dizziness from its spiritual attack, I didn’t suffer any real injuries. By the time I woke up from its spiritual attack, I discovered that the soul beast I’d grabbed was actually not the white tiger; instead, it’d turned into an enormous worm. It was a full meter long, and its entire body was snow-white and translucent. Oh, right. It was just like an especially large silkworm. After using that Scorpion martial soul, I felt that I’d become extraordinarily strong. That large silkworm seemed to have been crushed to death by me. I didn’t think much of it then. After all, spiritual-type soul beasts aren’t easy to find in the first place. Since I was able to bump into one, I hurriedly absorbed it. Then, I obtained this thousand year soul ring.”
Wang Dong asked, suspicious, “What you’re saying is too farfetched. Why was it a tiger, then a large silkworm all of a sudden?”

Huo Yuhao gave a mysterious smile, “Originally, I thought the same as you. However, I understood everything after trying out the new soul skill I obtained. Teachers, please take a look at this.”

With that, the hint of golden light in Huo Yuhao’s eyes suddenly intensified. Instantly, the purple soul ring around him blossomed with a dazzling light. He quickly took a step backwards, arriving next to Wang Dong. Right after that, Fan Yu and Zhou Yi astonishedly discovered that there were unexpectedly two Wang Dong’s in front of them; there was no longer a Huo Yuhao.

Turning towards the ‘Wang Dong’ beside him, Wang Dong was immediately gobsmacked, “This, what is this skill?”

A distorted halo of light flickered slightly on ‘Wang Dong’s body, and he turned back into Huo Yuhao. Right after that, Huo Yuhao revealed another astonishing scene. The
rhythmically undulating soul rings around his body transformed yet again.

The originally white and purple soul rings instantly transformed into two blood-red soul rings which were filled with a terrifying aura. The pressure that suddenly appeared caused even Fan Yu and Zhou Yi to subconsciously release their own soul rings while quickly retreating backwards.

“Hundred, hundred thousand year soul rings?”  Wang Dong blurted out involuntarily. His reaction wasn’t as violent as those of the two teachers. The martial soul fusion that he had with Huo Yuhao caused him to be unable to sense any danger from the two hundred thousand year soul rings.

The lights changed yet again, and the two terrifying blood- red soul rings transformed again. This time around, they turned into a weak white color that represented the white of a ten year soul ring.

The gap between a hundred thousand year soul ring and a ten year soul ring was quite large.
Huo  Yuhao  smiled  mischievously.  “This  is  my  all-new spiritual-type skill; my thousand year soul skill: Imitation. By using my spiritual undulations, it can bend space and allow me to imitate various shapes. However, the range of my Imitation can’t exceed a diameter of three meters. Imitation gives me another special ability--that is, the ability to change the color of my soul ring as I wish. Though it doesn’t possess any attacking abilities, it should be quite useful if I use it well.”

Right, this was the second soul skill of Huo Yuhao’s Spirit Eyes. The story he’d just told wasn’t a full lie; the way he’d obtained this second soul ring wasn’t much different from how he’d narrated it. Only, the Iceworm he’d killed had been found by the Skydream Iceworm. Moreover, it was the Skydream Iceworm who’d exposed the other Iceworm’s illusory imitation.

The race the Skydream Iceworm was most familiar with was undoubtedly his own race! This Imitation skill seemed powerless, but it was the Iceworm’s best life-protecting measure. This skill was especially important to the current Huo Yuhao. With his Imitation, he could arbitrarily change the colors of his soul rings, allowing him to reveal the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s first soul skill without being scared of anything. This was also why the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s soul ring had been purple when it had appeared earlier.
“Nice, nice imitation.”  In what was practically an instant, Fan Yu’s eyes lit up. As a powerful soul engineer, he immediately thought of a few effective uses of this skill within the domain of soul engineers. More importantly, he could conceal Huo Yuhao’s abilities to an even greater degree with this skill!

At this moment, Huo Yuhao was astonished as well. This was because of the number of soul rings surrounding Teacher Fan Yu.

There were two yellow rings, two purple rings, and four black rings, totalling eight soul rings. The merely forty-or-so year-old teacher was unexpectedly a powerful Soul Douluo, an eight-ringed Soul Douluo! With his teacher’s age, it wasn’t an impossibility for him to charge towards the Titled Douluo realm.

Fan Yu spoke with a low voice. “Yuhao, Teacher needs you to give me an answer right now. Will you choose to remain in the Martial Soul Department, or will we announce that you are a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department?”
Without any hesitation at all, Huo Yuhao knelt down again. Respectfully, he said, “A teacher for one day, a father forever. Teacher, I am willing to continue studying soul tools with you.”

“Good, good.” Fan Yu was overjoyed. Stepping forward, he propped Huo Yuhao up. “Good child. Since that’s the case, your teacher has to issue you a command. Since you have this soul skill, you should use it. From now on, regardless of whether you are participating in the academy’s assessments or interacting with the other students, you have to use your Imitation to change the color of your soul rings to white.” With that, the hint of a naughty smile appeared in his eyes.

Zhou Yi said unhappily, “Are you teaching him how to eat a tiger by disguising himself as a pig?”

Fan Yu smiled slightly, “Is there anything bad about that? Those old fellas from your Martial Soul Department are each shrewder than the other. If they were to learn the truth, would they not try to steal him from us?”

Zhou Yi asked, doubtful, “Didn’t Dean Qian win his bet with Dean Yan? Would Dean Qian renege on his deal?”
Fan Yu laughed coldly. “Is there anything he won’t do? In front of an outstanding student, what do bets count for? Even if Dean Yan always has a solemn appearance, he can twist his words from black to white for the sake of the Martial Soul Department’s strength. You’ve always thought that Dean Qian was very crafty, right? But, Dean Qian is still a ways off from Dean Yan. Caution is always the path to safety. Wang Dong, you have to keep this a secret as well. Otherwise, you’ll be making enemies, even within our Soul Tool Department. Let’s do it this way; you two can go back to your dorms first, and let me take care of this matter. Yuhao, you’ll have to remain in the Martial Soul Department and learn some foundational knowledge until you graduate from Year 3, at the very least. Because of this, even if I announce the fact that you’re a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department, you can’t be arrogant. You have to continue learning in a steadfast manner in the Martial Soul Department.”

“Yes, Teacher.”

This ordeal could be considered to have been crossed. Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but inwardly let out a long sigh.

Fan Yu rushed out the door, while Zhou Yi brought Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong back to their dorm room and told them to report to Year 2’s Class 1 tomorrow morning to take the advancement test. It didn’t matter how Fan Yu handled things; Huo Yuhao would still have to take the advancement test. If a student wasn’t able to pass their advancement test, not even the dean would be capable of allowing that student to remain; the rules weren’t so easily changed.

Once Zhou Yi left, Huo Yuhao let out a sigh of relief. He’d rushed the entire way to the academy, and was extremely tired. He didn’t even wipe his bed off before he laid down on it and stretched his body.

Wang Dong angrily said, “Huo Yuhao, get up.”

“What do you want!? You can’t be diligent enough to the point that you’ll drag me into cultivating with you as well, right? Just forget about it for today, I’m exhausted. Let me sleep.”  After  speaking,  he  rolled  over,  and  almost  instantly began to snore.

Wang Dong couldn’t help but be startled when he saw this.
How could this guy just fall asleep like this?

Despite what he’d said, he’d still come back in the end, and had even become a twin-souled soul master in the process. However, a mist seemed to surround him; what sort of person was Huo Yuhao?

Originally, Huo Yuhao had just been an orphan to Wang Dong, but now it seemed that Hu Yuhao had changed. An air of mystery surrounded him. His story was extremely bizarre and nigh unbelievable, but the facts still stood: He now had twin martial souls and two thousand year spirit rings. With these facts before them, his bizarre story really didn’t seem to have any flaws at all. The only person who knew he was lying was Wang Dong; there was no way that his soul would show signs of shattering! Could it be that he hadn’t noticed it because he was hallucinating?

In the end, even though his mind was full of doubt, Wang Dong still decided not to wake Huo Yuhao. He sat down on his bed, still covered with a fur mat, and thought, Forget it, doesn’t everyone have a few secrets? Am I not the same? Why
should I be so inquisitive? At least the sincerity he shows towards me hasn’t changed, and that’s enough for me.

Once his thoughts reached this point, Wang Dong couldn’t help but reveal signs of fatigue on his face. Even this villain is asleep. Why should I cultivate if he’s sleeping? I’m going to sleep as well! He quickly lay down and pulled the quilt over him. However, he soon got up, took another quilt from his storage soul tool, and covered Huo Yuhao with it.

“When I get up tomorrow, I need to wash these sheets… Hmph, your bed’s covered in dust. I’ll give you the mat later.” When he came back, he’d made sure to bring another set of bedding with him.

After doing this, Wang Dong climbed back into his bed and soon fell asleep. This was the first time that he’d managed to sleep soundly in the last few days.

Huo Yuhao woke up early the next morning. He looked towards Wang Dong, who was still asleep in his bed, and couldn’t help but smile.
It sure felt good to be back!

The day had just started as he carefully opened his window without making a sound. Afterwards, he gazed into the distant eastern sky.

When light gradually began to appear over the horizon, Huo Yuhao took a deep breath and immediately began to cultivate the Purple Qi from the East.

His Spirit Eyes finally had their second soul ring, thus both his martial soul and eyesight had increased in strength. The four soul skills his first soul ring gave him had also increased in power due to the Skydream Iceworm; every single one of them now had the power of a thousand year soul ring. Even though he was only a two-ringed Soul Grandmaster, in terms of both his ability and number of skills, he could match a three or even a four ringed soul master.

His Purple Demon Eyes had also been strengthened alongside his Spirit Eyes. Purple light would now appear when Huo Yuhao used his Spiritual Shock, akiu to when he’d used it before, with the help of Wang Dong and their Haodong Power.
His trip to the north had gone just as the Skydream Iceworm had said it would; Huo Yuhao’s overall power had increased, and he finally had a certain degree of fighting ability.

Purple light rippled in his eyes as he cultivated, which he did until the sky outside had become quite bright.

Huo Yuhao patted Wang Dong a few times through his quilt and said, “Hey, lazy pants, it’s time to get up.”

“Don’t be noisy, let me sleep a bit more.” Wang Dong covered his head with his quilt and refused to get up.

Hu Yuhao mischievously smiled, then reached into the quilt. He proceeded to touch Wang Dong’s neck and activate his ice martial soul.

“Ah!” Wang Dong shouted and almost jumped out of his bed. A pair of slender legs were revealed as his quilt flew off of him.

“Bastard, you almost froze me to death! I’ll fight you to the death  Huo  Yuhao!”  The  coldness  he’d  felt  on  his  neck  had
caused him to immediately wake up. When he saw Huo Yuhao standing over him with a mischievous smile, he immediately knew what had happened, and pounced on Huo Yuhao.

Huo Yuhao naturally wouldn’t just wait for him. He used his Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track to quickly run away. Since his body had been improved by the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion, it was now even even stronger than Wang Dong’s, and in turn his speed was much faster than before. He retreated straight out the door of their room.

“I’m gonna wash up first, then we can eat breakfast together.”

“So cold…” Wang Dong touched his neck and shivered. He looked towards the door and couldn’t help but laugh. “Huo Yuhao, just you wait!”

However, Wang Dong never got his revenge, as before they even reached the cafeteria for breakfast, Tang Ya, Bei Bei, and Xiao Xiao all come looking for them.
When the five of them met, things naturally became very lively. Huo Yuhao recounted the events of last night again, but he didn’t mention how old his new soul rings were, as he was still waiting for news from his teacher Fan Yu.

“Since teacher Fan Yu has decided to help you stay, it seems we can relax. Little Yuhao… if you do this again little Yuhao, I’ll kick you out the door!” Even though Tang Ya’s words were fierce, the worry in her eyes showed her true feelings.

Huo Yuhao apologized, “Teacher Tang Ya, senior brother, I promise that I won’t do this again. If I have any issues, I’ll discuss them with you guys first from now on.”

Bei Bei looked at him with a meaningful look as he patted his shoulder, then said, “Junior brother, though this is a good thing… As brothers, I shouldn’t need to say any more. You should first focus on passing your advancement test.”

“Yes, senior brother.” Hu Yuhao respected Bei Bei even more than Tang Ya.
Bei Bei chuckled and said, “Let’s go eat breakfast together.” There were only two cafeterias in the outer courtyard, both divided by year: one for the the Martial Soul Department and one for the Soul Engineering Department. Since they were all currently in the same department, they all ate in the same
cafeteria.

Being promoted from Year 1 to Year 2 meant that the building Hu Yuhao studied in would change as well. Originally, they’d been first years, and thus had studied in the white building meant for Year 1 students. Now they’d be studying in the yellow building meant for Year 2 and Year 3 students. Huo Yuhao hadn’t come to register yesterday, but both Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao knew where to go. Thus, the three of them arrived before the yellow school building, then walked directly towards the Year 2 Class 1 classroom.

As they walked, they met three people that they knew.

Dai Huabin seemed to have grown taller, while his original cold demeanor seemed to have become more gloomy. He didn’t look like a twelve or thirteen year-old teenager at all anymore. Rather, he seemed far more mature than his fellow peers.
Next to Dai Huabin was Zhu Lu; her body had begun to mature as well. Girls developed earlier than boys, and she was now almost as tall as Dai Huabin. She possessed the Netherworld Civet beast soul, thus she made no sound when she walked.

The third person with them was naturally the young girl who owned the Ninetailed Fox soul, Cui Yajie. Compared to Dai Huabin—who was an Assault System Soul Master—and Zhu Lu
—who was an Agility System Soul Master—she was different.
Her abilities were a bit mixed, as her Charm was considered a control type ability, while her second skill, the Foxtail Needle, was considered to be between the assault and agility systems. When Dai Huabin and Zhu Lu had been sent to Class 2, she’d followed them. After all, they’d been a group during the freshmen assessment.

Huo Yuhao’s group of three saw them, thus Dai Huabin’s group naturally also saw them. The six of them stood facing one another.

When he saw Huo Yuhao’s group, Dai Huabin’s expression sank. The two groups could be considered to have a feud with each other. First, Huo Yuhao had beaten them during the freshman assessment. Afterwards, Dai Huabin and Zhu Lu had
been expelled by Zhou Yi simply because Huo Yuhao ran for class representative.

Dai Huabin could endure losing their battle in the freshmen assessment; after all, it had been director Du Weilun’s decision in the end. No matter what objections he had, he could only endure. At the same time, he also believed that, in terms of individual strength, he was still above both Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong.

However, to be expelled from Class 1 by Zhou Yi was a huge disgrace to him. Dai Huabin had never experienced this sort of humiliation in his life. As the son of the White Tiger Duke, not only had he received a strict education, he’d also developed a temperament like he was above others. If he hadn’t, he wouldn’t have ordered someone to beat Hu Yuhao up when he’d blocked the road at such a young age, and thus caused a tragedy for Huo Yuhao and his mother.

As the son of the White Tiger Duke, Dai Huabin naturally wouldn’t be so shocked by this humiliation that he would stay down forever. In fact, it instead stimulated his morale. Not only had he become the class representative of Class 2 through his own efforts, he’d also spent a lot of effort cultivating during the past year. His diligence hadn’t been any less than Huo
Yuhao’s, and his efforts, on top of the fact that he was already a gifted person, had allowed his cultivation to take great strides. His soul force was now Rank 36. He was definitely the strongest amongst the Year 2 students; there was no one who could match him.

It was just like the saying: ‘When enemies meet, their eyes turn red’. Zhu Lu’s eyes became cold, and she mockingly said, “Isn’t this Huo Yuhao? Oh wait, I heard that you didn’t register yesterday. Have you come to wrong place, or don’t you know that the rules of the school state that students who don’t register on time will directly be expelled.”

Huo Yuhao smiled, his eyes still locked onto Dai Huabin, and replied, “What does this have to do with you?”

“Of course this has something to do with me,” Zhu Lu said, “as a student of Shrek Academy, I naturally must defend the rules of the academy. This isn’t a place you should be in, so get the hell out of here.”

The relationship between the two groups had already become irreconcilable, and now that she had an excuse, she definitely wouldn’t be polite.

Wang Dong replied disdainfully, “Who do you think you are? What makes you think that you can take the place of the academy in order to uphold its rules? If you two hadn’t relied on your statuses as core disciples, you both would’ve screwed off already.”

Wang Dong had pricked Dai Huabin’s soft spot. An angry glint flashed through his eyes, and he snorted coldly. “You’re courting death.” He took a step forward and sent a palm strike straight towards Wang Dong.

At that moment, a ball of black light suddenly appeared between the two parties. It was Xiao Xiao’s Threelives Soulcrush Cauldron.

Dai Huabin didn’t stop his attack, and allowed his palm to slam into the Threelives Soulcrush Cauldron. At this moment, the gap in their cultivations fully manifested itself. With a muffled noise, the Threelives Soulcrush Cauldron flew uncontrollably towards Wang Dong.
At that moment, Xiao Xiao only had two choices: she could either withdraw her martial soul and expose Wang Dong to Dai Huabin, or she could allow her Threelives Soulcrush Cauldron to careen uncontrollably towards Wang Dong.

While Xiao Xiao was hesitating, a figure flew forwards and grabbed onto the Threelives Soulcrush Cauldron, stopped it, and placed it on the ground. This then separated the two parties.

The person who’d made a move wasn’t Wang Dong, but Huo Yuhao.

Dai Huabin hadn’t activated his martial soul, nor had Huo Yuhao. Even though Dai Huabin had only used a single hand, and though Huo Yuhao had used both of his hands, he was still able to stop the Threelives Soulcrush Cauldron in an extremely stable manner.

Dai Huabin was inwardly astonished. He’d fought Huo Yuhao previously, and his impression of Huo Yuhao from then was that, even though he was extremely crafty, and even though his martial soul was somewhat unpredictable, he definitely wasn’t on par with him in terms of physical strength. Dai
Huabin’s physical strength was considerably astonishing; if it wasn’t, he wouldn’t have been able to swat Xiao Xiao’s Threelives Soulcrush Cauldron away like he had. However, he’d been stopped by Huo Yuhao this easily. In other words, even though Huo Yuhao wasn’t his equal in strength, he wasn’t
that far off. How could this be?

Xiao Xiao was similarly astonished. Though she’d heard the bizarre story of how Huo Yuhao’s second martial soul had awakened, she still thought that Huo Yuhao was a control-type soul master. She’d never expected him to be this strong.

Huo Yuhao indifferently said, “Dai Huabin, if you wish to fight, we’ll gladly welcome you in the Soul Duelling Arena at any time. However this is a school building. Don’t you know the school rules?” Once he finished speaking, he motioned for Xiao Xiao to withdraw her Threelives Soulcrush Cauldron.

After a brief moment of rage, Dai Huabin regained his composure. He coldly replied, “There’s no need to wait for us to go to the Soul Duelling Area Huo Yuhao. We’re about to start the advancement test. Do you dare to make a bet with me?”

“What' bet?” Huo Yuhao asked.

Dai Huabin replied in a low voice, “We’ll bet on the results you three get compared to the results that we three get in our advancement test.”

Wang Dong asked in an arrogant tone, “Stakes?”

Dai Huabin replied, “If you lose, I want the prize that you won during the freshmen assessment.”

The moment he finished speaking, the expressions on all three of Huo Yuhao’s trio changed. Other than the privilege to ask the academy to help them obtain a soul ring, the most important reward they’d obtained from the freshmen assessment was the left leg bone of the Emptybright Devil Leopard, which Xiao Xiao had already fused with.

Soul bones weren’t like soul rings that could only follow a single soul master; when a soul master died, their soul rings would naturally dissipate. However, soul bones could be passed on. As long as the soul bone itself wasn’t broken, it could still be re-absorbed by another person if its original owner had passed on, or if they’d had the limb possessing the soul bone broken.

Though Huo Yuhao and the rest didn’t know whether or not Dai Huabin truly knew what the reward they’d obtained from the freshmen assessment was, this stake was equivalent to breaking off Xiao Xiao’s leg!

When Zhu Lu saw the change in the trio’s expression, she became very pleased and said, “What? Scared? If you’re scared, just screw off with your tails between your legs.”

“Bet, take the bet.”  Xiao Xiao said as she flew into a rage. Even though she normally had a decent temperament, how could she endure being coerced by their opponents like this?

However, Huo Yuhao shook his head. He looked towards Dai Huabin and said, “Change the stakes.”

“I don’t want to,” Dai Huabin said coldly, “you can either bet or scram.”

A fierce light flashed through Huo Yuhao’s eyes. “If you lose, then what will you do?”
Dai Huabin replied, “If we lose, we’ll naturally bring out something of equivalent value.”

Huo Yuhao took a deep breath, then said in a low voice, “Fine. Then, I’ll just confirm the stakes of this bet; The reward we got from the freshmen assessment was a soul bone, a left leg bone. Xiao Xiao’s already fused with it. If we lose, then we’ll follow your request and cut off Xiao Xiao’s left leg and give you her soul bone. On the other hand, if you lose, I want one of your legs and a soul bone of the same rank. This shouldn’t be too excessive. As long as you can bring out a soul bone of equivalent value, we’ll bet with you.”

At this moment, the expressions of Dai Huabin’s trio changed. They hadn’t known what Huo Yuhao’s trio had gotten as a prize from the freshmen assessment. It was no wonder that Huo Yuhao had asked him to change the stakes; this unexpectedly involved the severing of a limb. However, a fervent look appeared in Dai Huabin’s eyes when he heard the words ‘soul bone’.

“Fine, I…”
“Shut your mouth!” Just as Dai Huabin was about to reply, a shout suddenly rang out, interrupting him.

Wang Yan charged over angrily and shouted in a deep voice, “Just what are you lot doing?! You’re all so young, yet you’re actually using your bodies for a joke like this! Dai Huabin, why haven’t you registered at Class 2 yet? Just what do you think you’re doing by blocking this corridor? Are you trying to get disciplined?”

Huo Yuhao naturally wouldn’t take any chances due to a something as simple as a momentary impulse; this was Xiao Xiao’s leg! He’d deliberately trapped Dai Huabin when he noticed Wang Yan approaching them. Furthermore, he’d purposefully spoken in a very loud voice so that Wang Yan would hear him.

“Teacher  Wang,  Dai  Huabin  is  blocking  our  way,  thus rendering us unable to enter the class and register. Furthermore, they’ve insisted on making a bet with us; they were also the ones who suggested this bet. We had no choice but to take on their challenge, please forgive us.”  Huo Yuhao respectfully said to Wang Yan, saluting as he did so.
Wang Yan snorted coldly. “I don’t object to you using the results of your advancement test as a bet, as it can serve make you work harder. However, I absolutely don’t agree to the stakes of this bet. Even if you don’t care about yourselves, have you even thought about your families? If you sever your leg, what sort of future would you even have left? I’ll be the witness to this bet for you guys. The loser of this bet will have to bow down to the winner, apologize to them, and admit that they were wrong.”

“Bowing won’t do; that’s too soft! You need to make them kowtow and admit that they were wrong!” Zhu Lu screeched.

Wang Yan was just about to reply, but Wang Dong quickly followed up, “Fine then. You were the one who suggested it. If we lose, we’ll kowtow and admit that we were wrong. What about if you guys lose?”

After being suppressed by Wang Yan, Dai Huabin already felt somewhat dejected. Without any hesitation at all, he replied, “We’ll kowtow and admit that we were wrong as well.”

“It’s settled then.”  Huo Yuhao raised his hand and slapped his palm against Dai Huabin’s three times. Their bet was now
considered to have been properly made. Even if Wang Yan wanted to change it, it was now too late.

Though kowtowing wouldn’t mutilate anybody, there was no doubt that, regardless of who won, a large grudge had been formed between the two parties. Both parties had core disciples of the Martial Soul Department, but enmity like this was clearly detrimental towards the unity of the Martial Soul Department’s freshmen. As such, Wang Yan couldn’t help but furrow his brows slightly. However, the situation had already reached this point. Both parties had already agreed on the bet, thus he could only let it go on like this.

Dai Huabin’s trio opened up a path for them, and Huo Yuhao followed Wang Yan to Class 1 beside Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao.

The students of Class 1 couldn’t help but feel greatly astonished when they saw Huo Yuhao return. Though Huo Yuhao wasn’t considered too strong in the eyes of a large majority of students, his match with Wu Feng had left a long- lasting impression on everyone present. Furthermore, even though he was the class monitor, he’d actually missed the registration date yesterday. However, he’d still re-appeared today. Some of the students who were friendlier with Huo
Yuhao couldn’t help but feel worried for him, while some of the students who had enmity towards him felt schadenfreude.

Huo Yuhao sat down in the same seat he’d originally sat in during Year 1. However, just as he was sitting down, Zhou Sichen, who was sitting in the row behind him, asked curiously, “Boss Huo, why’d you come back? Reporting in late is very troublesome.”

The person who’d been left in the most wretched state after Huo Yuhao’s match with Wu Feng had been Zhou Sichen. He’d lost almost twenty thousand gold soul coins in one go after betting with Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao. Even he couldn’t afford to take out that much money in one go!

After that day, Zhou Sichen and Cao Jinxuan had been considered friends with Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao. They’d also maintained a relatively decent relationship with Huo Yuhao’s gang. When Dai Huabin, Zhu Lu, and Huang Chutian were expelled from Class 1, the most conspicuous students in Class 1 had naturally been Huo Yuhao’s trio, in addition to Zhou Sichen, Cao Jinxuan, and the Lan sisters. Moreover, Lan Susu and Lan Luoluo were extremely friendly towards Huo Yuhao’s trio. These powerful students were all amicable towards one another, thus, in addition to the
cohesiveness of the original students of Class 1, it naturally resulted in the Year 1’s Class 1 being extremely united. Only a small number of envious students had disassociated themselves from the rest. However, there was definitely a limit to the number of accomplishments envious people could achieve. It was still hard to say whether or not they could pass the advancement test.

Huo  Yuhao  whispered,  “Let’s  just  listen  to  our  teacher’s arrangements. There shouldn’t be too big a problem if we do.”

Zhou  Sichen  laughed  mischievously.  “That’s  fine.  In  the event that you’re screwed, you’ll just end up helping that brat surnamed Cao.”

Right! Amongst the control-type soul masters, disregarding Huo Yuhao who’d personally been appointed by Zhou Yi, Cao Jinxuan was the strongest individual in terms of personal strength. Though the Lan sisters had a fusion skill, they were still two separate individuals. If Huo Yuhao hadn’t been there, it was extremely likely that the class monitor in charge of the control system would’ve been Cao Jinxuan.
Cao Jinxuan was seated beside Zhou Sichen. When he heard what was said, he immediately became angry. “Zhou Sichen, return the money you owe me! When are you going to return the two hundred gold soul coins that you owe me? You actually dare to insult me, despite knowing that you owe me money?
Pay me back right now, interest too!”

“Ah!   I   forgot.”    Zhou   Sichen’s   expression   immediately changed when he heard this. With a fawning look on his face, he  turned  towards  Cao  Jinxuan.  “Brother  Cao,  come  now. What sort of relationship do us brothers have!? I was just kidding! I was only praising you! If it weren’t for your strength, how could you succeed Boss Huo’s position?”

“You’re just trying to drive a wedge between us. Cut the crap and return my money!”  Cao Jinxuan jumped up and grabbed Zhou Sichen by the neck.

When they saw the two buffoons horsing around, Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao couldn’t help but laugh. Even though they were fiercely arguing with each other, the two of them were actually very close friends with each other. They, along with Long Xiangyue who’d gone to Class 2, had all grown up together. They had a relationship that was essentially familial.

Chapter 47: The Badge of a Class 2 Soul Engineer

“Teacher  Zhou’s  coming!”  Xiao  Xiao  shouted.  When  Cao Jinxuan and Zhou Sichen heard this, they immediately became frightened. They both shivered, then quickly returned to their seats and quickly sat down. However, it was unknown whether or not Xiao Xiao had really gained the ability to see the future, as before she had the chance to make fun of them, Zhou Yi actually walked into the room.

Zhou Sichen and Cao Jinxuan couldn’t help but turn towards Xiao Xiao and give her a thumbs up.

“This…”   Xiao  Xiao,  who’d  only  intended  to  tease  them, didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Zhou Yi walked in wearing the mask she always wore, showing the same expression. She swept the room with her cold gaze. Forget about the students, even teacher Wang Yan felt a chill on his back.
Wang Yan quickly walked up to Zhou Yi and whispered, “Teacher Zhou, Huo Yuhao came today.”

Zhou Yi glanced towards Huo Yuhao, then whispered, “Teacher  Wang,  what  do  you  think  we  should  do?”   She naturally would not admit to the fact she already knew what was going on.

Wang Yan frowned and replied, “Quite a few people already know that Huo Yuhao wasn’t here yesterday. At the same time, Huo Yuhao’s group had a verbal clash with Dai Huabin’s group this morning. At this point, it’s impossible for us to cover this up. We’ll just have to shoulder the responsibility for it. The two of us will simply have to work together; no matter what, we can’t allow Yuhao to be expelled. Even though the academy’s rules are strict, Yuhao did enjoy the treatment of a core disciple before this. If both of us insist that he stay, the academy will definitely have to consider our opinions.”

Zhou Yi couldn’t help but reveal a look of admiration after hearing him say this. Wang Yan didn’t even know why Huo Yuhao had been late, yet the first thing he’d done was try to think of a way to prevent Huo Yuhao from being expelled. He’d done this without even asking any questions! Even Zhou Yi felt somewhat ashamed when she compared herself to Wang Yan
on this matter. Once she did so, she couldn’t bear to hide the truth  from  him  anymore.  She  whispered,  “Teacher  Wang, were you aware of Yuhao taking elective classes at the Soul Tool Department last year?”

Wang Yan nodded and replied, “I’m aware. However, I’m not sure how his studies there are going.”

Zhou Yi said, “His grades are very good. In fact, Fan Yu has already taken him on as his disciple. Fan Yu decided to take him in as a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department, thus you don’t have to worry, Yuhao won’t be expelled.”

“What?!”   Wang  Yan’s  pitch  immediately  elevated  as  he exclaimed, “How can this be?”

Earlier, when they’d just been whispering to one another, the students hadn’t been able to hear them. However, when Wang Yan raised his voice, he caught the attention of all the students.

Wang Yan realized that he’d lost control of his voice for a moment  and  said,  “Teacher  Zhou,  let’s  talk  outside.”   He quickly left the classroom once he’d finished speaking.

Zhou Yi let out a sigh. Sorry Teacher Wang. I did all of this for my husband. All I can do is not lie to you. When her thoughts reached this point, she turned and looked at the shocked students, then proceeded to follow Wang Yan out of the classroom.

“Teacher Zhou, what’s going on? How come I didn’t hear of this? I know that you’re Fan Yu’s wife, but don’t forget that you’re still a teacher for the Martial Soul Department! This isn’t possible, it absolutely can’t be possible! I won’t allow it!” Wang Yan was somewhat agitated.

Zhou Yi let out a sigh, then said, “Teacher Wang, please don’t get so worked up. Please, listen to me first. In our eyes, Yuhao is an extremely good student. He can even be described with the words ‘unlimited potential’. However, do the higher-ups of the academy see him like this? Whether it’s Dean Yan, Director Du, or even old Xuan, who you found to examine him…none of them think that Yuhao has enough future prospects to be worth investing in. As such, they refused to give him the position of a core disciple. What sort of thoughts do you think he had? He was the team leader of the team that won the freshmen exam, yet he wasn’t even given the position of a core disciple in the Martial Soul Department. If you were the same
age as him, and the same thing happened to you, would your heart be at peace?”

When he heard her question, Wang Yan immediately became silent. Zhou Yi’s words may have been the truth, but Director Du also had his reasons.

Zhou Yi continued, “If that had been the only thing, it wouldn’t have been too big of a deal. With the two of us taking care of him, I believe that, with Yuhao’s talent and diligence, he definitely would’ve had the chance to showcase his abilities in the future. In a few years, he could’ve still become a core disciple, and maybe even an inner courtyard disciple. However, he decided to study soul tools. I’ve heard from my husband that his performance within the Soul Tool Department can only be described as astonishing. His talent even managed to catch the attention of Dean Qian. In fact, Dean Qian has personally approved Huo Yuhao becoming a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department.”

Wang  Yan  was  still  a  bit  anxious  and  replied,  “That’s impossible. He’s only been in contact with the Soul Tool Departement seven to eight months, right? Normally. only Year 4 students or higher can become core disciples of the Soul Tool Department! Besides a handful of students who were
specially recruited by the Soul Tool Department, there’s never been an exception to this! Yuhao’s only been going there to study after school; how great could his achievements truly be?”

Zhou Yi let sighed yet again and said, “Wang Yan, you know my personality. It’s true that I favor Fan Yu in my heart; he is, after all, my man. However, what you’ve said is correct: I’m still a teacher of the Martial Soul Department. If our Martial Soul Department had paid enough attention to Yuhao, I never would’ve agreed to Fan Yu’s request for Yuhao to become a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department. However, what has our Martial Soul Department done to him? We broke that child’s heart. Do you know how hard Yuhao has worked? Every day, in addition to his classes, he spent two hours studying at the Soul Tool Department, rain or shine. Look, I won’t lie to you. Before the school year ended last year, before Yuhao even had his second soul ring, he’d already managed to become a Class 2 soul engineer. You know how strict Fan Yu is, yet it was Fan Yu who personally rated him as a Class 2 soul engineer. He attained this in eight months. Even at Yuhao’s young age, he only needed eight months to become a Class 2 soul engineer. He’s set a new record within the Soul Tool Department. Do you really think that the Soul Tool Department wouldn’t be in a rush to accept him as a core disciple in this sort of situation?”
Once he heard this, Wang Yan suddenly became speechless. The Martial Soul Department was the one that had refused to give Huo Yuhao a core disciple position. In addition to this, Huo Yuhao had displayed an amazing amount of talent in the Soul Tool Department. As such… what reason did he have to
stop him? He clearly remembered the powerful sadness and
disappointment that had appeared in Huo Yuhao’s eyes when he realized that he hadn’t been announced as a core disciple. After thinking back to that moment, he didn’t know how to refute Zhou Yi’s words.

It was also at this moment that, on Sea God’s Island, two crafty old men were discussing a similar topic.

Qian Duoduo sat down on a large leather couch and said to Yan Shaozhe, who was currently behind a large desk, “Old Yan! You can pay me back for the bet you lost now.”

Yan Shaozhe placed a hand on the desk and leaned slightly forward. He revealed a shocked expression as he said, “I lost a bet against you? What bet? How come I don’t remember this?”

“What? You forgot?” Qian Duoduo’s eyes suddenly widened, “Old Yan, do you still have any face? You’re too thick-skinned.
Last year, during the freshmen exam, we bet on which team would win in the end. Have you forgotten about how you lost to me? Do you really believe that I won’t turn this place upside down to remind you?”

Yan Shaozhe looked towards Qian Duoduo, who looked like someone had stepped on his tail, and said with a smile, “Fine, fine. However, did you really need to personally come all the way here for such a small matter? I’m extremely busy, thus why should I remember such a trifling matter? Speak, which student of my Martial Soul Department has caught your eye? I must remind you, our agreement was that you couldn’t take any core disciples. Those students are precious to this dean, so don’t even think about it.”

Qian Duoduo sat back down on the sofa angrily when he saw Yan  Shaozhe  own  up  to  the  bet  and  said,  “As  long  as  you remember. You’re such a miser. If I really tried to take a core disciple from you, wouldn’t you fight me to the death? Don’t worry, it’s only an ordinary student.”

Yan Shaozhe suddenly became more vigilant. The more indifferent Qian Duoduo acted, the stranger he felt. “Old Qian, don’t use your nickname to describe me. I’m definitely not as stingy as you. Your Soul Tool Department has so much money,
yet you still haven’t forgotten to exploit me. Tell me, who did you discover with your expert eyes?”

Qian Duoduo looked helpless as he said, “What do you mean ‘discover with your expert eyes’?! When you say it like this, I feel somewhat depressed. This is an internal matter of your Martial Soul Department, but it seems that I’ll have to use this bet that I finally won against you. It seems that I’ve lost big time this time.”

“Oh?” When he heard Qian Duoduo say this, Yan Shaozhe became somewhat interested and asked, “What’s going on?”

Qian Duoduo replied, “You know Zhou Yi from your Martial Soul Department? That girl who always make herself look like an old woman? She’s Fan Yu’s wife, and there’s a student in her class that she likes who was late in registering for his classes. According to the academy rules, that student would normally be expelled. You know Du Weilun’s shitty personality; he treats the academy rules like they’re his father, thus it’s impossible to discuss this matter with him. Zhou Yi, that girl, went home last night and complained about it. Fan Yu originally didn’t intend to deal with this matter, but he couldn’t handle the fact that his wife wouldn’t let him sleep in his own bed! As such, he came to me. He wanted me to use the bet that I won against
you to bring that kid over and make him a core disciple of our Soul Tool Department. You know that Fan Yu is the candidate to be the next Dean, and as such, I can’t simply ignore his request. In any case, since it’s been a while since I won our bet, if I don’t make you pay up now, you really might not be able to play in the future. That’s why I came over.”

Yan Shaozhe looked towards Qian Duoduo with a puzzled expression. “A late student is enough for you and Fan Yu to make such a fuss? What’s this student’s name?”

Qian Duoduo sincerely replied, “His name is Huo Yuhao.”

Yan Shaozhe’s eyes flickered. “I seem to remember that name.”

Qian  Duoduo  smiled  cunningly.  “He’s  a  brat  from  the champion team of last year’s freshmen assessment. His teammates are core disciples now, and he’s the only one who’s not because of his ten year soul ring. When Fan Yu came looking for me just now, I felt that he was somewhat undeserving of becoming a core disciple. However, after I thought about it, this brat still did help me beat you in a bet. Beating you in a bet isn’t easy for this daddy! If I’m able to see this kid in my Soul Tool Department, I’ll remember how I beat you. That’d feel really good. Thus, I reluctantly agreed. I just came over to say hi to you. I don’t care about the specifics of this event; I’ll let Fan Yu handle it. Whatever, I’m going back. I still have a lot of things to do.”

With that, he stood up and left, slapping his butt as he did so.

Yan Shaozhe used his eyes to follow Qian Duoduo as he left, inwardly feeling that something wasn’t right. Picking up a microphone-type soul tool from his table, he pressed a button and poured his soul power into it.
“Weilun?” Yan Shaozhe spoke in a low voice.

Du Weilun’s voice rang out from the telephone, “Dean Yan, it’s me.”

Yan  Shaozhe  said,  “Help  me  check  something.  Is  there  a student called Huo Yuhao who registered late?”

Somewhat astonished, Du Weilun said, “What a coincidence. There were a few students who just made a complaint to me, saying that this Huo Yuhao entered the classroom in a grandiose manner even though he came in late. I was just about to take care of this matter.”

Yan  Shaozhe  said,  “Tell  me  what  you  know  of  this  Huo Yuhao. What’s his talent like?”

Du Weilun said, “He has a bit of talent. Last year, he was one of the champions of the freshmen assessment, along with Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao. His martial soul is called the Spirit Eyes, and his soul skill should be something similar to a spiritual attack. His abilities can be considered to be ordinary, but he has the signs of possessing a Body Soul. Because he was
one of the champions of the freshmen assessment, he was able to enjoy the temporary treatment of a core disciple last year. However, it’s been withdrawn from him this year. His being late has violated the academy’s rules, so he will be expelled.”

Yan Shaozhe said, “If memory serves me right, he only has a ten year soul ring. Am I right?”

Du Weilun said, “Right. He was able to enter the academy due to the Tang Sect specially inviting him, and not because he was able to pass the entrance exam. Reportedly, his soul power was only at Rank 13 when he entered the academy. Right now, it isn’t clear as to whether he’s reached Rank 20. It’s very possible that he hasn’t reached it. And if that’s the case, he’ll be expelled anyway. As for his Body Soul, Wang Yan went over to Elder Xuan, who personally inspected this student. In the end, Elder Xuan was very disappointed. He said that this student had no talent, and that he wasn’t worth cultivating. After that, this student was able to reveal a fusion skill with Wang Dong during the freshmen assessment; this is his only strong point. Because of this, Wang Yan went over to Elder Xuan again. After taking another look at him, Elder Xuan verified that there was no chance he could awaken his Body Soul. After that, we didn’t pay much attention to this student.”
Heraing Du Weilun’s words, Yan Shaozhe immediately revealed a hint of a smile. Du Weilun’s abilities were still worthy of recognition. Huo Yuhao was such an ordinary student, but he was able to immediately speak about his abilities in addition to a few of his experiences after entering the academy. He was definitely qualified to be the Director of Studies.

“Fine, then let’s do it this way. You don’t have to take care of this matter anymore. Earlier, Qian Duoduo came over to talk to me. He wants to use that time I lost to him to bring this student called Huo Yuhao into his Soul Tool Department. Supposedly, Zhou Yi requested this from Fan Yu, who then brought it up with him. Since this student’s so ordinary, let’s just give him to the Soul Tool Department. I can stop Qian Duoduo from bothering me about this.”

“Qian Duoduo wants a student from you? This is truly somewhat strange. Why don’t we wait until the advancement tests to verify his abilities?” Du Weilun asked cautiously.

Yan Shaozhe said, “Whatever. It’s hard to say whether he’ll even be able to pass the advancement test. Even if he has the strength of a two-ringed Soul Grandmaster, with his spiritual attribute, his second soul skill won’t be too strong. His first
soul ring’s only a ten year one, so he isn’t worth training. Let’s just give him to Qian Duoduo to stop him from nagging me next time. Our Martial Soul Department has to show a bit of magnanimity. Let’s just do it this way.”

“Yes, Dean.” Du Weilun replied, and the two simultaneously hung up.

Just as Yan Shaozhe didn’t attach much importance to Huo Yuhao, neither did Du Weilun. There were many outstanding geniuses in Shrek Academy, and the ability Huo Yuhao had revealed on the surface wasn’t enough to attract their attention.

However, they didn’t know that Qian Duoduo had immediately erupted into uproarious laughter after leaving the Sea God’s Island to go back to the Soul Tool Department’s outer courtyard. A pleased look filled his face, so much so that it even exceeded the expression he’d shown when he’d beaten Yan Shaozhe in their previous bet.

“Old Yan, Old Yan. I really feel bad for you; you’ve been tricked again. I didn’t think that my Soul Tool Department would actually have a day when we’d get a twin-souled student.
This Huo Yuhao really is my lucky star; he’s allowed me to take advantage of Old Yan again. He took eight months to become a Class 2 soul engineer, has twin martial souls, and a top-ranked Ice Jade Scorpion, which is at the pinnacle of the ice attribute. Perfection, perfection. Wahahaha…”

Huo Yuhao had no idea that he had been quibbled over by the Soul Tool Department and the Martial Soul Department. At this moment, he was seriously listening to Zhou Yi explain the rules of the advancement test. Other than the freshmen who’d just entered the academy, the advancement test was of utmost importance to every single student of the outer courtyard. If they couldn’t pass it, they’d have to pack their bags and leave. Even core disciples weren’t an exception to this. Naturally, the situation of a core disciple failing to pass the advancement test had never occurred in the past.

Zhou  Yi  stood  behind  the  podium  as  she  spoke,  “The advancement test for Year 1 students entering Year 2 is relatively easy. When compared to the advancement tests the upper year groups have, your test is much more simple. The test we’ll be undergoing is identical to Class 2’s test. As for Classes 3 and 4, they’ll have a different test due to the strengths of their martial souls.”
“Our test will be held in the academy’s Beast Duelling Area. I’m sure that many of you still don’t know where that is. Now, I’ll tell you guys where it is. The Beast Duelling Area is to the south of the Soul Duelling Area, within the tall, castle-like gray walls. The Beast Duelling Area contains many different-ranked soul beasts that have been captured by the academy throughout the years. It’s specialised in helping the upper year groups cultivate. If you’re able to enter Year 4 in the future, you’ll be able to train yourselves in the Beast Duelling Area. The live combat classes that are held there will be the most important tests you guys will take for the sake of your future accomplishments.”

“For the advancement test this time, you’ll have to fight against a soul beast in the Beast Duelling Area. At the same time, you’ll also be able to choose the soul beast you’ll be fighting against. Different soul beasts will have different points assigned to them, and the stronger the soul beast you challenge, the higher the chance you’ll be able to obtain a high score in the test. This test will be graded by teachers from the Martial Soul Department’s upper year groups. It’ll have a maximum score of a hundred, and the people who are able to obtain more than sixty points will be able to pass the advancement test.”
“Now, I have a few things I want to warn you guys about. Number one, don’t be too cautious. If the soul beast you choose is too weak, you might not be able to pass even if you’re able to defeat it. Number two, don’t be overly impetuous. If the soul beast you choose is too strong, in the event the proctor can’t make it in time to save you during a fight, then…”

With that, a cold light flickered through Zhou Yi’s eyes, causing the students present to feel a shiver up their backs. They had all seen soul beasts in the past, but not everyone had faced a soul beast in single combat. They were still young, and practically all of them had had the assistance of their teachers when they had obtained their soul rings. A prodigy like Huo Yuhao, who had obtained his rings through his own power, couldn’t be seen everywhere.

“Number three, you have to keep in mind that losing the battle doesn’t automatically eliminate you. If the soul beast you’re fighting is strong enough, and your performance during the battle is worthy of praise, your final score might not necessarily be low. Furthermore, the standards required for control-type and assault-type soul masters are different. During a 1v1 test like this, assault-type soul masters will have higher requirements; your aim will be to defeat the soul beast you challenge. On the other hand, control-type soul masters
will aim to control the soul beast. How long you’re able to keep fighting will determine how many marks you obtain.”

Huo Yuhao was listening very seriously; he had to listen seriously! After all, they had made a bet against Dai Huabin. The stakes of this bet were for the losing party to kowtow and admit that they were wrong. Although this only involved a matter of face to other people, this had a completely different meaning to him. If he were able to make Dai Huabin kneel in front of him and kowtow, it was equivalent to him having completed a tiny part of his revenge. Therefore, he had to win this bet no matter what.

Right at this moment, the sound of knocking on the door being suddenly rang out.

Normally, disruptions wouldn’t occur during class time unless the academy had certain special arrangements. Wang Yan and Zhou Yi were stunned. Wang Yan, who was standing by the door, turned to open it.

A teacher stood outside the classroom. She was a very unfamiliar person to the students, and even Huo Yuhao didn’t know that it was this teacher who’d given him the Secret Law
Soul. Right, the teacher who’d come was exactly the Teacher Mu Jin who’d lost a bet against Zhou Yi. Furthermore, there were two teachers in charge of the Teaching Department standing behind her.

Zhou Yi’s face sank. “Teacher Mu, why aren’t you teaching in your Class 2? What are you trying to do by coming to our Class 1?”

It was unknown whether she was deliberately setting herself up against Zhou Yi, but after Zhou Yi became the teacher in charge of Year 1’s Class 1, Mu Jin became the teacher in charge of Class 2.

Mu Jin laughed indifferently. “I’d heard that there was a student from your class who turned up late, but still came in for class. I specially came over to see who it was. I didn’t come over to find you; it was these two teachers from the Teaching Department who were looking for you.”

A cold light flickered through Zhou Yi’s eyes as she walked towards the door. The two teachers from the Teaching Department had already walked into the class, and the middle- aged male teacher on the left said, “Teacher Zhou, Teacher
Wang, we received the student reports. A student called Huo Yuhao from your class didn’t manage to register yesterday, but he turned up to class today. You two should know the academy’s rules as well. We now have to take this student away and handle his leaving procedures.”

Wang Yan looked towards Zhou Yi, who laughed indifferently. “Teacher Li, Teacher Lu. What you say is indeed the case. However, this student, Huo Yuhao, is a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department. Though he reported in late, he was completing a task assigned to him by the Soul Tool Department. The Soul Tool Department will explain this matter to you.”

The two teachers from the Teaching Department were stunned.  “A  core  disciple  of  the  Soul  Tool  Department?” Teacher Lu asked disbelievingly.

Mu Jin was already itching to interject. “Zhou Yi, if you’re going to make up excuses, at least make up realistic ones. Since when has our academy had a core disciple from the Soul Tool Department who’s only been a Year 1 student? Who doesn’t know that the Soul Tool Department only takes in core disciples once they’ve completed their Year 3 advancement tests in the Martial Soul Department? Who do you think you’re fooling with such an excuse!?”

The two teachers from the Teaching Department were briefly stunned. Teacher Lu then turned to Mu Jin and said, “Teacher Mu, we’ll take care of this matter. You should return to Class 2 and look after your students.” Zhou Yi’s excuse was so inconceivable that they actually suspected it to be the truth. At the same time, having Mu Jin fan the flames of conflict would clearly be detrimental to the harmony between teachers.
Mu Jin snorted resentfully. “I hope the academy will notify me of the results once everything has been settled.”

“I’ll tell you the the results right now. Huo Yuhao is my disciple and he’s also a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department.”   A  tall  figure  appeared  by  the  door  to  the classroom, it was Fan Yu who was even accompanied by Director Du Weilun.

“Director.” The two teachers from the Teaching Department hurriedly greeted Du Weilun.

Du Weilun entered the classroom and spoke with a solemn voice, “With the approval of both Dean Yan Shaozhe and Dean Qian Duoduo, Huo Yuhao will no longer remain a temporary core disciple. Instead, he will now formally assume the role of a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department. The reason for his tardiness was due to a task assigned to him by Teacher Fan Yu. Hence, this matter concludes here. Huo Yuhao will stay in Class 1 and continue to learn the various types of foundational knowledge in the Martial Soul Department until Year 3, at which point he will transfer to the Soul Tool Department.”
Upon hearing Du Weilun’s announcement, the other teachers remained silent. Mu Jin’s eyes were filled with an incredulous look. From her perspective, even if Fan Yu had wanted to help Zhou Yi out, he would never have used a method like this! Furthermore, he’d actually managed to convince Du Weilun.

“No, this can’t be right. Director Du, which of the qualifications to becoming a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department does Huo Yuhao meet? Becoming a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department requires one to be extremely talented and experienced in the various aspects of soul tool creation!” Mu Jin said, unwilling to concede.

Fan Yu snorted coldly, then shouted, “Huo Yuhao, stand up and come here.”

Huo Yuhao immediately stood up and strode forwards. Although he was confused as to why Mu Jin was targeting him, he wasn’t nervous in the slightest when facing so many teachers. On the contrary, he felt inwardly warm. Zhou Yi, Wang Yan, and Fan Yu were all protecting him, causing him to be filled with confidence.
Fan Yu flipped his wrist, causing a octagonal blue badge to appear in his palm. The badge had two diamond-like stars embedded within it.

“Huo Yuhao has learnt the art of soul tool creation under me ever since the freshmen assessment ended. After eight months, he was able to pass the test required to become a Class 2 soul engineer under my guidance. In accordance with the academy’s status within the world of soul engineers, I asked Vice-Dean Qian Duoduo from the Soul Tool Department for help. With his confirmation, I awarded him the badge of a Class 2 soul engineer. All it took him was eight months of time to advance from an ordinary soul master to a Class 2 soul engineer. This level of talent has already created history within Shrek Academy’s Soul Tool Department. Thus, how could we not take him in as a core disciple?”

At this moment, even Du Weilun was astonished. He hadn’t known a thing about Huo Yuhao’s involvement in the Soul Tool Department!

He had only taken eight months to become a Class 2 soul engineer? Even the word ‘genius’ was insufficient to describe this level of talent. After all, Huo Yuhao was still only twelve years old! Even in the Sun Moon Empire, which highly valued
soul engineers, a twelve-year-old Class 2 soul engineer was an incredibly rare existence.. How was this possible?

However, it was already too late for him to try to stop the Soul Tool Department from taking Huo Yuhao as a core disciple, they had just announced it to the world. Du Weilun was certain that Fan Yu couldn’t have made all this up. But the more he believed this story, the more depressed he felt. He could only console himself with the fact that that Huo Yuhao was only talented in the matter of soul tools No wonder Dean Qian had personally gone to fetch Dean Yan; there was actually a foreshadowing like this! A mistake, they had made a large mistake! If they had known about this earlier, they would’ve told Dean Yan about it earlier. Even if he still agreed to Huo Yuhao becoming a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department, he might have at least been able to obtain a few more advantages from Dean Qian.

Even if Shrek Academy’s Martial Soul Department had a status that far surpassed that of the Soul Tool Department, their financial state was incredibly pathetic. Oftentimes, the Martial Soul Department had to rely on the Soul Tool Department in order to increase the funding they got.
Zhou Yi coldly swept her eyes towards Mu Jin, “Director Du, Mu Jin is the teacher in charge of Class 2, but nonetheless she has come over to my Class 1 to stir up trouble. Doesn’t this seem inappropriate?”

Du Weilun immediately woke up from his regret. Since the situation had already reached this point, there was no longer any use for regret. He spoke in a solemn voice, “Teacher Mu, return to your class immediately. You will not receive a second warning.”

Mu Jin looked at Zhou Yi hatefully, then glanced at the expressionless Fan Yu before finally stamping her foot and leaving.

Zhou Yi said indifferently, “Director Du, I honestly feel that Teacher Mu’s attitude isn’t too suitable for a teacher in charge of a class. We wouldn’t want her wasting the time of those outstanding students.”

Du Weilun furrowed his brows, “This is a matter for the academy to decide. Okay, you can continue with your class. The advancement test will start in the afternoon, and I shall personally attend and observe how the test goes for your Year
2.”  With that, he nodded towards Fan Yu and left along with the two teachers from the Teaching Department.

Fan Yu patted Huo Yuhao’s shoulder before following Du Weilun away. He’d finally been able to announce that Huo Yuhao was a core disciple, and he had even done this with the approval of Dean Yan Shaozhe. This matter was already settled and now the Martial Soul Department couldn’t renege on their words even if they wanted to. After leaving the classroom, the hint of a faint smile appeared on the corners Fan Yu’s mouth. Even if the Soul Tool Department wasn’t able to have a rise to glory in his generation, it would definitely be able to do so in Huo Yuhao and He Caitou’s generation.

Under the awestruck gazes of the other students, Huo Yuhao sat back down in his original seat. Other than Xiao Xiao and Wang Dong, who’d known in advance, today’s events had had stunned the entire class.

Having studied together for a year, everyone knew that Huo Yuhao was an orphan who didn’t have any background to rely upon. However, it seemed as though he’d been treated generously by everyone ever since he had entered Shrek Academy. First, Zhou Yi hadn’t hesitated to expel two core disciples for him. This time around, the Soul Tool Department
had taken him in as a core disciple and had even given him the badge of a Class 2 soul engineer. Just with his qualifications as a Class 2 soul engineer, Huo Yuhao would be able to be hired for a generous salary in any country on the continent. A soul engineer was a talent that was desperately required by every
country, so much so that they could be referred to as strategic resources.

……

“What?!  A  Class  2  soul  engineer?”   Yan  Shaozhe  looked disbelievingly at Du Weilun. Various thoughts flashed through his mind and he couldn’t help but furrow his brows for a moment.

After leaving Class 1, Du Weilun had immediately rushed back to report to him.

“Dammit, we were tricked. We were tricked by that old bastard Qian Duoduo.” Yan Shaozhe smacked his table violently, a look of regret on his face.
Du Weilun said, “Dean Yan, it isn’t that serious. If that kid Huo Yuhao’s only talented in the field of soul tools, allowing him to become a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department can be considered to be making full use of our resources.”

Yan Shaozhe waved his hand. “No, it can’t be that simple. You’ve forgotten something; if it’s just as you said, why would the Soul Tool Department be so impatient to take him? It would be fine for them to just announce that they’re taking him as a core disciple by the time he reaches Year 4. A student who’s outstanding in the field of soul tool creation definitely won’t attract our attention. As for why he was late this time, Zhou Yi and Fan Yu could’ve found another excuse to settle this matter. However, Qian Duoduo personally came over to deal with this matter with me, and he even used the bet that I lost to him last time. Haven’t you realised what this means?”

Du Weilun was astonished as well, “You’re saying that, other than the strong points the Soul Tool Department values highly, he also has a few areas which we of the Martial Soul Department value?”

Yan Shaozhe nodded, “That’s definitely the case. Otherwise, Qian Duoduo wouldn’t have come over to look for me
straightaway. It’s no wonder I felt something was off. I didn’t think that I’d be schemed against by that cheapskate.”

Du Weilun smiled bitterly. “Dean, the matter’s already done and dusted. The Soul Tool Department has already announced that he’s one of their core disciples, so we can only acknowledge that. In the end, he’s only a single student. There are many outstanding talents among their generation, so we should just pay a bit more attention in the future so as to not be taken advantage of by the Soul Tool Department.”

“Yup.”   Yan  Shaozhe  nodded,  “Let’s  do  it  this  way.  This afternoon, participate in the entirety of their advancement test. Other than checking up on a few core disciples, pay special attention to this Huo Yuhao. In the event he really performs exceptionally, let me know immediately. Right, we can’t renege on our deal via normal means, but what if this kid reneges on it by himself and chooses to leave the Soul Tool Department?”

With that, Yan Shaozhe couldn’t help but reveal the hint of a crafty smile on his face. I can’t directly take him in as a core disciple, but what if he takes the initiative to request it from us? Then that’s a different story. This matter isn’t something that’s completely non-manipulable!

……

For once, the afternoon class ended before the bell rang. After explaining the various important topics regarding the afternoon’s advancement test, Zhou Yi dismissed the class. This was to allow them to go back and prepare, adjusting the conditions of their bodies to their most optimum states for the sake of taking their test in the Beast Duelling Area in the afternoon.

Placing the badge of a Class 2 soul engineer on his shirt, Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but feel a strong feeling of success in his heart. The workmanship of the blue, octagonal badge was extremely exquisite, and the two diamonds embedded on it were even more brilliant.

“Stop showing it off shamelessly.” Wang Dong couldn’t help but tease him, “You’re grinning from ear to ear.”

Huo  Yuhao  chuckled,  “Supposedly,  having  this  thing  is considered to be the same as receiving the approval of the Soul Engineering Association. You’ll be able to get a decent job
wherever you go with this. At the very least, I won’t have to worry about food and clothing in the future.”

Wang Dong unhappily said, “Just look at how much you’re bragging. Let’s go back and cultivate now.”

Huo Yuhao had an amazed look on his face. “Has the sun risen from the west? When have you become this hard- working?”

Wang Dong snorted, “I’ve always been very hard-working, alright?”

Chapter 48: A Terrifying Deterrence!

Huo Yuhao stifled a smile. “Right, you’re so hardworking. In fact, you’re so hardworking that you cover your head with your blanket every day so as to not get up in the morning. I wonder who this ‘hardworking person’, the one who’s asked me not to wake him up every morning, is.”

“Humph!” Wang Dong snorted and pushed Huo Yuhao away as he took large strides towards the dorms. Huo Yuhao laughed as he hurried after him. When they arrived back at their dormitory, they greeted the old man who was reclining near the entrance, then headed to their room.

“Come here, let me take a look. Let me see just how much your cultivation’s increased now that you’ve obtained your second soul ring and a second martial soul.” Wang Dong said as he plopped himself down on his bed.

Huo  Yuhao  laughed.  “You’re  so  anxious.  Could  it  be  that you’re trying to prepare for the bet that we have in the afternoon? Since it’s a score-based test, I reckon that we’ll add all of our scores together and compete against their combined score. Don’t tell me that you’re not confident in yourself?”

Wang Dong glanced at him. “Of course I’m confident in myself. I’m just not confident in a person who’s holding us back like you.”

Huo Yuhao was left speechless when he heard this. He immediately took off his shoes and sat down on Wang Dong’s bed in a cross-legged position. “Here, I’ll let you experience just  how  awesome  this  brother  of  yours  really  is.”   After hearing the Skydream Iceworm refer to himself as his brother everyday during their journey, Huo Yuhao had learned to use the phrase as well.

Wang Dong unhappily spat, “Didn’t I give you a set of bedding? Why’re you sitting on my bed?”

Huo Yuhao replied, “Come on, stop that bad habit of yours.
Hurry up.”

Wang Dong didn’t press the issue. He turned to face Huo Yuhao, then pressed his palms against Huo Yuhao’s. Immediately afterwards, a look of astonishment appeared on both of their faces.
They were both able to sense that their soul power fusion had formed a powerful soul power, which had in turn substantially increased both of their soul power. Furthermore, it wasn’t a simple quantitative change; it was such a substantial improvement that it could be considered a qualitative change. When they’d separated one month ago, their Haodong Power could be described as a tiny brook. Their fused soul power now however, was practically akin to a small river. As the turbulent soul power flowed throughout their bodies, they both were able to clearly sense that their soul power was circulating at 150% its original speed.

The majority of what Huo Yuhao felt was the explosive increase in Wang Dong’s soul power, but Wang Dong felt something different; he discovered that not only had Huo Yuhao’s soul power increased by a substantial amount, but the width of his passageways had doubled as well. The amount of Haodong Power the two had created was relatively enormous, yet it wasn’t inhibited at all when it circulated through Huo Yuhao’s passageways. It managed to complete an entire revolution without any difficulty at all. In fact, Huo Yuhao’s circulation speed even exceeded Wang Dong’s. It was as if a heavenly treasure had been used on Huo Yuhao’s body, causing an astonishing transformation to occur to it. When the Haodong Power had finished flowing through Huo Yuhao’s body, Wang Dong sensed a formidable burst of power from his body.

Though the two felt astonished, they’d already started cultivating. As such, they didn’t dare to be careless at all. They hurriedly guarded their minds and gradually entered a meditative state.

They cultivated all the way until lunchtime before stopping. When they finally slowly withdrew their palms and opened their eyes, both of them had a somewhat strange gaze in their eyes as they looked at one another.

They’d only cultivated for two hours, yet they both felt that their soul power had distinctly increased. With this sort of cultivation speed, they could potentially raise both of their soul powers by a single rank in less than a month! This cultivation speed was simply too astonishing.

“You’re simply a freak!”  Wang Dong couldn’t help but blurt out.

Huo  Yuhao  unhappily  retorted,  “Then  what  about  you? Aren’t you one as well? This was a combination of me being well-prepared and my good fortune.”
Wang Dong smiled mischievously. “It’s no wonder that you were so confident when you made that bet with Dai Huabin. Don’t worry, as long as your score in the advancement test is higher than Zhu Lu’s or Cui Yajie’s, our chances of winning will be extremely high. I’ll definitely work hard in order to beat Dai Huabin’s score.”

Huo Yuhao nodded, then asked, “Are you saying that the proctor will be able to notice if we cheat?”

Their minds were practically connected at this point, as Wang Dong naturally understood what he was thinking. “I’m afraid that it’ll be extremely difficult. However, I can sense that your control has increased by a substantial amount, so it should be fine if you’re careful. We have to make Dai Huabin and the rest kowtow before us. Let’s see whether he’ll dare to be so unbridled after that.”

When he and Wang Dong reached the canteen, they learned that Huo Yuhao’s lunch quality hadn’t dropped, despite him being stripped of his privileges as a core disciple of the Martial Soul Department. A thirty-or-so-year-old chef was already waiting for them outside. When he saw Huo Yuhao, he immediately approached them.
“You’re Huo Yuhao?”

“And you are?” Huo Yuhao could guarantee that this was his first time meeting this man.

The middle-aged man who was dressed as a chef smiled. “I’m Master Fan Yu’s personal chef. From here on out, I’ll personally  be  bringing  you  your  food.”  Once  he’d  finished speaking, he handed Huo Yuhao the box of food he was holding.

Huo Yuhao stared blankly. Once he came back to his senses, a warm feeling immediately spread through his heart; his teacher was truly too thoughtful. He thanked the chef and accepted the box of food. Once he had, he and Wang Dong entered the canteen together.

Wang  Dong  said,  “You’re  really  great!  You  even  have someone to deliver food to you. The core disciples of the Soul Tool Department are truly treated in an extraordinary manner.”

Huo Yuhao chuckled. “Go and order your food.”

When Huo Yuhao opened the box of food he’d received and saw the food inside of it, he couldn’t help but feel astonished. This meal was simply too sumptuous!

To Huo Yuhao, the food that the core disciples of the Martial Soul Department had been able to eat had already been of the best quality. However, the food that Fan Yu’s personal chef had given him exceeded that by more than a single level.

Inside of the box were two dishes, a bowl of soup, and large bowl of rice. They seemed extremely simple at a glance, but the ingredients that had been used to make them could be described as precious treasures.

There was a piece of paper that labeled the food inside of the box as well, with instructions written on it that detailed which food should be eaten in which order so as to obtain maximum efficacy from the ingredients as well.

Firstly, he needed to drink the soup that had been made from a hundred year jade ginseng stewed together with the essence of a gastrodia elata. Huo Yuhao was no longer the previously ignorant kid that he had been; after enjoying the benefits of a
core disciple of the Martial Soul Department for an entire year, he had a certain level of understanding towards these top-level ingredients. He could also roughly calculate that the cost of this bowl of soup alone exceeded fifty gold soul coins.

The Martial Soul Department’s canteen served a similar dish, but it contained a mere ten year jade ginseng instead of a hundred year ginseng. As such, its ingredients were very inferior when compared to the dish in front of him. This bowl of soup could nourish the brain and body, and was considered an exceptionally good type of nourishment.

Of the two dishes, one of them contained the simmered muscles of a hundred year Earth Dragon. These Earth Dragon muscles had been obtained from a genuine Earth Dragon. The combat strength of a hundred year Earth Dragon was absolutely at the pinnacle of hundred year soul beasts, as it was the representative of power-type soul beasts. Its muscles could nourish both the muscles and bones of a human being, thus its benefits were especially great for a teenager like Huo Yuhao.

When Huo Yuhao opened the dish, he found out that the Earth Dragon muscles had unexpectedly been turned into a soft stew. It would’ve had to have been cooked for at least three
full days to reach this degree of softness! Not only was it incredibly delicious, it was also incredibly beneficial to eat.

The other dish contained the marrow of an Azure Bird, and was served with bean sauce. The Azure Bird supposedly had a trace of the Phoenix bloodline, and not only was its marrow delicious, it was also extremely nourishing to the bones of a human being.

These three dishes altogether could be referred to as the Dragon Muscle Phoenix Marrow Jade Ginseng, and regardless of if you were talking about its nourishing effects or its price, all three of them were first-class dishes.

Even the rice was special; it was known as Crystal White Jade Rice and it seemed to be filled with tiny pearls. It could replenish one’s Qi and would nourish one’s body, thus increasing one’s physical strength.

The material price along for this meal surpassed a hundred and fifty gold soul coins!
When Wang Dong returned from ordering his food, he took a look at his own food, then looked back at Huo Yuhao’s. A strange light appeared in his eyes once he did so. “Yuhao, I’m jealous now. I want to go to the Soul Tool Department as well. When did the Soul Tool Department’s food become that good? I heard that the food that their core disciples eat in their canteen is far inferior to what we of the Martial Soul Department get! However, it seems like the Martial Soul Department needs more nutritious food.”

Wang Dong’s information wasn’t wrong, but that only applied to ordinary core disciples of the Soul Tool Department. Was Huo Yuhao ordinary? Not only was he Fan Yu’s direct disciple, he was also the Soul Tool Department’s first-ever core disciple with twin martial souls. The Soul Tool Department had placed all of their hope on him, but even Huo Yuhao didn’t know this.

Huo Yuhao chuckled, then pushed some of his food towards Wang Dong. “Here, we’ll split it fifty-fifty. Give me half of your food. We can taste many different things this way.”  He didn’t even wait for Wang Dong to reply before he impolitely shoved a large amount of Wang Dong’s food onto his plate and began to eat it with large mouthfuls.
Wang Dong silently gazed at him when he saw this. However, in the end, he didn’t refuse Huo Yuhao’s offer. Thus, he and Huo Yuhao ate the two different dishes available for the core disciples of the Martial Soul Department and the Soul Tool Department together.

------

The Beast Duelling Area.

As the largest specialised area within Shrek Academy, it was also the largest building within Shrek Academy. The space that the Beast Duelling Area occupied was as large as all of the buildings and dorms within the Martial Soul Department, including Shrek Plaza, combined.

Within the entire Douluo Continent, academies that could use their power to actually capture and raise soul beasts were as few and far between as phoenix feathers and qilin horns. Of them, Shrek Academy was the one and only academy that could achieve such a scale as the Beast Duelling Area; even the royal families of the various empires were unable to do something create something like it. Capturing and raising soul beasts wasn't easy. One had to maintain the wild nature of a
soul beast whilst keeping track of the different diets and habits different soul beasts had. At the same time, one also had to ensure their own safety whilst ordering them about. Investing in something this huge was something that ordinary soul master academies simply wouldn’t dare to even dream of.

The taxes obtained from Shrek City every year all went to Shrek Academy. And of this enormous sum of money, an entire third of it went into the Beast Duelling Area. It was obvious what sort of investment the Beast Duelling Area needed.

Students who’d just entered the academy would generally feel that the school fees alone were expensive, but students who managed to enter the Beast Duelling Area wouldn’t have this feeling. The amount of money they paid as school fees compared to the investments that Shrek Academy made was akin to comparing the glow of a firefly to the radiance of the moon.

Other than the taxes received from Shrek City, another form of income that Shrek Academy received came from the Soul Tool Department. Every year, the soul tools created by the Soul Tool Department would be sold outside of the academy. However, these sales were limited to the Heavenly Soul Empire, the Dou Ling Empire, and the Star Luo Empire; they
didn’t include the Sun Moon Empire. This was also the reason that Yan Shaozhe had said that Qian Duoduo was rich.

The Beast Duelling Area also had an underground portion. Originally, right after it had been built, there were also more than a hundred soul engineers helping the artisans and smiths. Thanks to various powerful Soul Tools, they were able to restrict the various soul beasts inside cages. However, powerful soul masters and soul engineers were required to guard the place year-round. According to the rumors, there were even some ten thousand year soul beasts imprisoned as well. However, there weren’t any hundred thousand year soul beasts captured. Although capturing a hundred thousand year soul beast alive was extremely difficult, it wasn’t impossible. However, a hundred thousand year soul beast was equivalent to an unimaginable amount of wealth to any soul master. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that just one hundred thousand year soul beast could instantly cause a soul master to soar into the sky. A hundred thousand year soul ring and soul bone would provide four soul skills together! Just how terrifying was that?

At the same, there was still the Beast Dueling Arena. It was specially provided to the students of Shrek Academy in order to allow them to conduct combat training, as well as to assess their abilities. Currently, the Year 1 students had just entered the Beast Dueling Arena in order to take their final test.

The Beast Dueling Arena was an oval-shaped building; its longest side had a diameter of roughly 190 meters, its shortest side had a diameter of roughly 160 meters, and it was approximately 60 meters tall. If one were to look at it from the outside, they would see that it was divided into four layers. The first three layers were built in a multi-arched style, and every single arched entryway had stone columns on both sides that acted as supports. On the other hand, the fourth layer had a decorated rampart that faced four narrow paths with four great arched entrances, which led directly to the spectator’s stand inside of the Beast Dueling Arena. The spectator’s stand inside of the Beast Dueling Arena was also divided up into four sections, and under special circumstances, Shrek Academy could conduct special area differentiations. The building looked extremely grand, and could be described as both glorious and magnificent.

The enormous Beast Dueling Arena was capable of accommodating up to ten thousand spectators, though a large part of its enormous space was taken up by the interior of the Beast Dueling Arena. Like the Soul Dueling Area, one could both fight against a single soul beast or against several soul beasts simultaneously. Senior students of the Martial Soul Department were definitely familiar with the Beast Dueling Arena, as students with a higher cultivation base would often
come to it in order to hone their combat skills. At the same time, it was a nightmare to those with lower cultivation bases.

After the fourth year, every single class would come to the Beast Dueling Stage once a week for a lesson, the cumulative results of which would influence the score of the students’ final test.

When Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao walked into the great Beast Dueling Arena together, they almost couldn’t believe their eyes. Despite whatever background they had, the building in front of them was definitely the most magnificent construction they’d ever seen.

“Yuhao.” The Skydream Iceworm’s voice suddenly echoed inside of Huo Yuhao’s mind. Even though Huo Yuhao had become used to Brother Skydream appearing and disappearing on a whim, he was still nearly frightened to death by his sudden appearance.

“What’s the matter, Brother Skydream?”
The Skydream Iceworm said, “You want that boy to kowtow in front of you and admit that he was wrong, right? I’ll teach you the easiest way to do so. This will also become one of your future fighting styles.”

When he heard this, Huo Yuhao became very happy. “Tell me,” he replied.

The Skydream Iceworm began to explain, “Alright, you have to…”

-------

All of the Year 1 students needed to retrieve their forms for their final test first, which would in turn tell them the order they’d need to follow to go on stage. Places for their scores and their rank were also on the form they received.

Everyone lined up to receive their form. While they were doing so, Wang Dong looked around for Dai Huabin, until he noticed him standing a short ways away from them. He nudged Huo Yuhao with his elbow and said, “Look, Dai Huabin and the others are here.”

Huo Yuhao nodded, then walked over to where Dai Huabin was currently standing.

Wang Dong was dumbfounded. What is Yuhao trying to pull? How could he be so impulsive? However, he and Xiao Xiao didn’t waste any time trying to guess Huo Yuhao’s motive; they both immediately followed behind him.

Dai Huabin had also been paying attention to them, thus he naturally noticed when Huo Yuhao suddenly approached them. He didn’t reveal any weaknesses as he simply gave Huo Yuhao a cold look as he approached.

The other students that were in line didn’t know about the bet between them, but they did know that these two groups had were the final contenders during the freshmen test. At the same time, Dai Huabin and Zhu Lu’s expulsion was already widespread. It was clear that the two groups held a grudge against one another. Thus, the six of them had become the focus of every single student.

Huo Yuhao stopped around three meters from Dai Huabin, and after pausing briefly, he said, “Dai Huabin, today is the day
of our bet. I want to know, do you regret making the bet?”

Dai Huabin instantly became speechless when he heard this, then thought, This Huo Yuhao must have gone crazy… After thinking this, he coldly replied, “I, Dai Huabin, have never gone back on my word. Today, our two parties of three will participate in the several phases of the final test; the party that has the lowest cumulative score will kowtow and admit their fault to the other.”

Huo Yuhao nodded and said, “Good, then I ask everyone present to act as a witness for today’s bet. What do you think, Dai Huabin?”

Dai Huabin subconsciously replied, “That’s fine. However, if you regret decision, you and Wang Dong better kowtow and admit your mistakes right now. Xiao Xiao’s a girl however, so I can make an exception for her.”

Huo Yuhao sneered and said, “I’ll wait for you here once the test  is  over.”   He  turned  around  as  soon  as  he’d  finished speaking and left.
The conversation between them attracted the attention of the students from both the first and second classes of Year 1, who were in the process of receiving their final test forms. They immediately began to gossip in low voices, which caused Dai Huabin’s complexion to became uglier and uglier, until he coldly stated, “You only have yourself to blame for invoking this disaster. Since you want to lose even more face, I’ll be more than happy to help you do so.” The way he saw it, Huo Yuhao had purposely said those words in front of so many people simply because he’d wanted the entirety of Year 1 to know about the bet between them. Now that he’d done so, the loser of the bet would forever be unable to lift their head inside of the academy. Where did his confidence come from? Even though he knew that Huo Yuhao probably had a few tricks up his sleeve, Dai Huabin had complete confidence in his own abilities. He’d trained extremely hard over the past year!

Once everyone had received their forms, the students followed their respective teachers into the great Beast Dueling Arena one after another.

Since they had to take the final test, they didn’t head towards the spectator’s stands. Instead, they lined up inside of the Great Beast Dueling Arena’s Beast Dueling Arena in an orderly fashion as they waited for their turn to take their test.
The total number of Year 1 students that were present to take the test equaled over a hundred. Furthermore, as it was their first time taking a test in the Great Beast Dueling Arena, the academy had attached a lot of importance to their safety. As such, twenty teachers were waiting for the students when they
arrived. They were in charge of taking care of the soul beasts, protecting the students, and assessing their abilities. The number of participants was quite high, but in the interest of letting everyone familiarize themselves with the way that things were done, the Great Beast Dueling Arena hadn’t been
divided into separate arenas; the students would take the test
one at a time. Doing it this way would allow the teachers to see things more clearly, and in turn would let them assign grades more accurately.

Du Weilun had also come, and would be the head examiner today. He, along with the other four teachers in charge of grading the students, were all sitting atop a tall platform that they could clearly observe the Beast Dueling Arena from.

Huo  Yuhao  and  Wang  Dong,  as  Class  1’s  two  well-known leaders, naturally stood in the front, while in Class 2’s group, the ones standing in front were Dai Huabin and Xie Hanyue. There wasn’t much of a difference between Xie Hanyue and Dai Huabin’s cultivations, but the former’s defensive ability
was extremely strong—it was at the point where Huo Yuhao and the others could only take notes.

As Mu Jin stood beside Dai Huabin, she gazed towards Zhou Yi with an icy gaze full of evil intentions.

Zhou Yi whispered, “Yuhao, you’ve already been accepted as a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department. Just try your best here. Make sure not to choose a soul beast that’s too strong to be your opponent; you should simply maximize your chance of victory. However, you also don’t need to hold back. You’ve already seen the order in which you’ll participate. In order to give the students some encouragement, the academy has decided to have the leaders of the two classes be the first to go on stage. Once our class has sent a person to take the test, Class 2 will send their leader to take the test. Wang Dong, it will be your turn in a short while. You absolutely have to be successful. If you’re confident, I advise you to choose the soul beast with the highest rank. This way, even if you lose, as long as you manage to resist for a long enough period of time, your score won’t be terrible.”

“I  understand.  You  don’t  need  to  worry,  teacher.”  Wang Dong made a gesture with his somewhat delicate fist.
“Hold  on,  Teacher  Zhou.  Let  me  go  first,”   Huo  Yuhao suddenly said.

“Hm? Yuhao…  This will affect the reputation of our class.” Zhou Yi said after a pause.

Huo Yuhao nodded. “Teacher Zhou, I won’t disappoint you.”

When she saw the resolute look in Huo Yuhao’s eyes, she hesitated for a moment, then gritted her teeth and nodded. “Good, you can go first.” Even though she wanted to exceed Mu Jin, she still wasn’t willing to extinguish the enthusiasm of her disciples.

Du Weilun’s voice suddenly echoed from the tall platform, “The test is starting. Year 1 Class 1 will send its student out first. Afterwards, Class 2 will send out a student from their class.”

Huo Yuhao grasped his test form as he entered the Beast Dueling Area with long strides. He immediately got an indescribable feeling—as if all the blood in his body had suddenly begun to seeth from excitement. Maybe it was
because there had been many, many battles in this place. Coming here produced an intense fighting desire in every student of Shrek Academy. Only by fighting could one truly understand what they’d studied. This was also why the Beast Dueling Arena existed, and was also why the students that had graduated from Shrek Academy would become outstanding soul masters that every great empire would fight over.

Once Huo Yuhao had handed his form over to the teacher in charge, the teacher placed it atop the ascending platform right below the Judge’s Stand. Huo Yuhao’s assessment form almost immediately arrived in Director Du Weilun’s hands.

The first examinee that Du Weilun had to assess was exactly Huo Yuhao. Du Weilun immediately focused; he was impatient to see how outstanding this student—someone who the Soul Tool Department hadn’t been able to wait to take under their banner—was. Fighting soul beasts and fighting other students from the academy were two completely different things. Soul beasts were innately hostile towards human beings; they wouldn’t show any mercy when they fought. As such, this would give the students the feeling of a life and death crisis. Huo Yuhao was only 12 years old. Would he really be able to go all-out?
Huo Yuhao arrived in the middle of the stage. Two teachers would act as referees here, in order to assure the complete safety of the students.

The referee on the left asked him, “What do you cultivate in?”

Huo Yuhao respectfully replied, “The Control System.”

The  referee  continued,  “Choose  the  soul  beast  that  you would like to take the test with. Remember, a Control System Soul Master has to do their best to focus on the word ‘control’. You’ll only have a single chance to assess your abilities. Don’t waste it. Soul beasts are divided into hundred year intervals, ranging from a hundred year soul beast to a thousand year soul beast.” The students from both Class 1 and Class 2 were focused on Huo Yuhao, who would be fighting a soul beast alone. For most of them, it would be their first time fighting a soul beast on their own, thus they would be lying if they said they weren’t nervous. Of course, they all hoped to gain some valuable experience from those who would be taking the test before them. This final test would decide whether or not they could keep studying at the academy!

A ray of light flashed through Huo Yuhao’s eyes as he said in a low voice, “I choose a hundred year soul beast.”

“A hundred year soul beast? Are you sure?”  The teacher in charge of assessing his skills thought he had misheard him; the first students to go on stage were usually the most outstanding of the bunch, but choosing a mere hundred year soul beast… this was a bit too strange. Even if he was a control-type soul master, he shouldn’t have made a choice like this!

Huo Yuhao nodded and said, “Yes, I choose a hundred year soul  beast.”  His  voice  was  very  loud;  all  the  teachers  and students, even the ones standing far away, could hear him.

Zhou Yi felt everything in front of her going black, and wondered in her heart, ‘What is Huo Yuhao trying to do?’

On the other hand, Mu Jin had the look of someone taking pleasure in another’s misfortune. Dai Huabin, who was at first taken aback, immediately regained his senses, showing a disdaining look.

Under Huo Yuhao’s insistence, the referee nodded and said, “Then we’ll choose a hundred year soul beast to conduct your test. Are you ready?”

“I’m  ready,”  Huo  Yuhao  replied  without  the  tiniest  bit  of hesitation.

“The test will now commence.” The referee gestured toward a distant place, immediately giving rise to a mechanical sound. In the distance, a huge hydraulic gate was slowly opening, and the sound of something dashing about madly could be heard from the pitch-black corridor behind it. All the students that were busy laughing at Huo Yuhao immediately went silent. It was their first time being in this kind of situation, and they started to feel an indescribable pressure weighing down on them.

A streak of green light burst out from the depths of the corridor. Its speed was incredibly fast, and it traveled dozens of meters in an instant, directly pouncing toward Huo Yuhao.

Its body was two meters long and one meter tall. It had green fur that swayed in the wind, and a pair of pale-brown eyes that
were full of excitement. This was a very common agility-type soul beast, the Wind Spiritwolf.

At this moment, Huo Yuhao’s body had a sudden change. Under the astonished gazes of the surrounding people, two blood-red rings of light suddenly emerged from under his feet, both with four pale-gold glittering lines on them. When they appeared, even Huo Yuhao’s eyes changed to a crimson red.

It seemed as if a terrifying aura from ancient times had suddenly appeared. Everyone around him saw a blood-red light spreading from the center of Huo Yuhao’s body. At this moment, they found his small body to be as frightening as a demon from ancient times.

“Awoo–––” The Wind Spiritwolf called out pitifully; that body that was dashing about madly suddenly stopped in midair. After that, it rolled on the ground like a gourd, lying weakly on the floor. Even excrement and urine could be seen here and there.

At the same time, a large number of yells could be heard from that faraway cave inside the great Beast Dueling Arena.
What did a red soul ring represent? It represented a hundred thousand year soul beast, it was the soul ring of a first-class soul beast. Every hundred thousand year soul ring was a rare existence; forget the students, even the teachers present on the scene didn’t have one.

And at this moment, Huo Yuhao had not only displayed a red soul ring, but two of them. No matter if it was the visual impact or the terrifying aura, under that oppressive power, every part of the great Beast Dueling Arena was shrouded in a deadly silence.

But those caged soul beasts inside the great Beast Dueling Arena were not the only one to be affected. Even the students and the teachers were greatly affected. It was as if they were facing a terrifying wild beast that had no equal. Under this fearful aura, they unconsciously released their martial souls, immediately assuming a defensive posture.

A certain number of not-so-courageous female students started to cry copiously, and even the teachers’ faces went pale from fright when they saw that silhouette in the middle of the stage that was neither big nor tall.
Du Weilun had stood up from his seat long ago, the radiance of eight soul rings emanating from his body. Facing the aura of a hundred thousand year soul beast, he was no exception to the crowd; he had immediately released his martial soul.

“I… Impossible. He’s just 12 years old, how can he have a hundred thousand year soul ring? But this aura… is precisely that of a hundred thousand year soul beast! Moreover, that burst of aura just now… was much stronger than that of the hundred thousand year soul beasts I’ve seen in the past. Just how did he do it?”

The red light slowly started to disappear. First it was the red color in his eyes, then the two red soul rings on his body. Then, the terrifying aura also slowly disappeared without a trace, and everything finally returned to normal. The oppressive aura emanating from Huo Yuhao’s body hadn’t spread too far; it had only affected those inside the great Beast Dueling Arena.

A bad smell started to spread in every direction from that faraway dark cave, a stench that got stronger as time passed.

Huo Yuhao turned toward the two teachers that were still dumbfounded, and said while respectfully bowing, “Teachers,
I’ve finished my test.”

Indeed, the test had concluded. That Wind Spiritwolf was nothing but a hundred year soul beast, and it had taken the terrifying presence of a hundred thousand year soul beast head-on, while being the sole target of its wrath. Therefore, it was not only so scared that it had wet itself, but it was also lying on the ground, twitching, with foam coming out of its mouth. What fighting spirit would it even have left?

“T-this…”  The referee was speechless. He had assessed the abilities of god-knew-how many students in this final test in the arena, but this was his first time dealing with something like this.

Although Shrek Academy was famous for producing monsters, they still shouldn’t be this monstrous! A Year 2 student with a hundred thousand year soul ring? And two of them to boot?

After the initial great shock had passed, everybody’s first thought was clearly, ‘What had happened?’ The only exceptions were Zhou Yi and Wang Dong, because they had already been shocked last night, but last night’s shock was
nowhere near comparable to the impact created by the scene just now.

Although Zhou Yi had heard Fan Yu saying that Huo Yuhao’s imitation skill could do wonders… never would she have expected it to have such a terrifying effect. He hadn’t even had to use his twin martial souls to win this battle.

That’s right, Huo Yuhao’s opponent was a soul beast that had cultivated for merely a hundred years. However, he hadn’t moved from start to end, and had won this battle just by releasing his martial soul. How could this result be considered bad? This was simply the pinnacle of control! Now, Zhou Yi was finally clear on why Huo Yuhao had selected a hundred year soul beast instead of a stronger one. He wanted to have complete assurance. Had that soul beast been stronger, would he have been able to make it lose its fighting capacity with just the aura of a hundred thousand year soul ring? Even if he could, it wouldn’t have had as great of a reaction as the hundred year soul beast before them.

The visual and mental impact of Huo Yuhao’s display had really been too strong. As a result, not only were the two classes shocked, even all of the teachers were shocked! At this moment, everyone in the Beast Duelling Arena was dead silent,
looking stupidly at Huo Yuhao, who was returning to his place with the other Class 1 students.

Zhou Sichen swallowed a mouthful of saliva and whispered, “Old Huo, that isn’t the reincarnation of some hundred thousand year soul beast or something, right? That was just too terrifying. I almost wet myself.”

Cao Jinxuan said, ill-humored, “I almost shat myself too.”

After that short moment of surprise, the referee in the middle of the arena, as well as the other members of the committee on the tall platform, all looked toward Director Du Weilun. The meaning of their looks was very clear: ‘What should we do now?’

Exactly! What should they do now? This situation was out of the ordinary, to say the least. How should they proceed? No matter how unbelievable it seemed, a student had used two hundred thousand year soul rings to scare a hundred year soul beast to death. Huo Yuhao had naturally passed the test, but how should they decide the score?
But right at this moment, several forms suddenly emerged from the side door of the great Beast Dueling Arena’s beast cage. In front of them was an old man with a red face, a tall stature and an even more eye-catching head of red hair. Rushing forward, he howled, “What happened? Who the hell did it? All soul beasts under ten thousand years were so scared that they shat themselves, and all of them are incredibly weak right now. Du Weilun, was this your doing?”

Du Weilun forced a smile and said, “Old Gong, it wasn’t me.” While speaking, he descended from the tall platform, landing near that old man and explaining what had just happened to him in a low voice.

This old man with red hair was named Gong Changlong, and he was the person in charge of this great Beast Dueling Arena. He had a high status inside Shrek Academy, and his research regarding soul beasts was very thorough. Even Du Weilun had to be polite to someone like him.

“Hm? Something like that happened? Impossible. Absolutely impossible. No matter what kind of natural talent he has, or how many heavenly treasures he relies on, it’s impossible for a 12-year-old to assimilate a hundred thousand year soul ring. Which boy did you say it was? Call him and bring him here, I
need to take a look at him.” Gong Changlong was a hot- tempered guy, and he immediately started shouting out loud.

Somewhat embarrassed, Du Weilun said, “Old Gong, we’re in the middle of the final test, I was wondering if you could wait for the test to be over to…”

Gong Changlong interrupted him with ill-humor and said, “Test, my ass. Were you even listening to me? All the soul beasts under ten thousand years old shat themselves from fright, and all those under a thousand years shared the same fate. How exactly are you planning to continue your test? These soul beasts need at least two or three days of rest to recover. Do you have any idea how long it will take for my men to clean up this awful stench? It was so difficult for us to train them to not shit wherever they wanted to, but now, all our efforts have been wasted.”

Even Du Weilun hadn’t expected things to become serious to this degree. Right now, they were unable to continue the final test. This seemingly unimportant affair would actually have an impact on the students’ studies.
“Fine, old Gong. I’ll give everyone a short explanation. Wait a moment.”

Du Weilun turned around and arrived near the students of the two classes. After pausing for a moment, he said, “Due to certain circumstances, today’s final test will be suspended. The teachers will now bring the students back to their classrooms to take lessons.”

Zhou Yi quickly asked, “Chairman Du, what about Huo Yuhao’s test?”

Du Weilun frowned and said, “Let’s say that he passed. Huo Yuhao, come with me.” After finishing his sentence, he turned and returned to old Gong.

However, Huo Yuhao didn’t immediately follow behind him. Instead, he went toward the front of Class 2, looked coldly toward  Dai  Huabin  and  said,  “Remember  to  wait  for  me outside. If I’m not mistaken, according to our bet, the one with the higher score will be the winner. You’ve lost, I’ll be waiting for you to kowtow and admit that you were wrong!”

Chapter 49: The Claw of the Ice Empress

“I’ll be waiting for you to kowtow and admit that you were wrong!”  These words struck Dai Huabin like a hammer blow and left him stunned. His already ice-cold countenance turned even paler as the blood seemed to drain out of his face.

He remembered now that just before they’d entered the large Beast Duelling Arena, Huo Yuhao had specifically emphasized that their bet would be settled today. However, never in his wildest dreams would Dai Huabin have expected Huo Yuhao to actually pass the advancement test with such an overbearing method. As if that wasn’t enough, Huo Yuhao had also revealed his dual hundred thousand year soul rings.

No matter how much he tried to deny it, the facts were right in front of him! Furthermore, the presence of the hundred or so students from the two classes along with the presence of Teacher Wang Yan made it difficult for him to renege on his bet.

For a moment, Dai Huabin felt as though there was a mouthful of air stuck in his chest. His throat tasted sweet and with a ‘wa’, he spat out a mouthful of fresh blood.

He was simply too competitive. However, the more competitive one was, the harder it would be for one to bear losses or humiliation.

Zhu Lu let out an astonished cry and hurriedly rushed over to support him only to be roughly shoved aside by Dai Huabin. Traces of blood had already appeared in his eyes as he glared fiercely at Huo Yuhao who had already left alongside Du Weilun. Suddenly, he dropped to his knees and shouted out loud, “I was wrong!”  As he said this, he fiercely smashed his head into the ground. Then, he stood up and ran away.

Huo Yuhao paused his footsteps when he heard Dai Huabin’s loud voice. His gaze was somewhat dazed, but his nose ached.

Mom, did you hear that? Dai Huabin admitted he was wrong. He’s the son of that man and that woman. And this is just the beginning, I will definitely make them pay for the eleven years they made you suffer.

Huo Yuhao didn’t turn back to look at Dai Huabin. After pausing for a brief moment, he strode forward and continued following Du Weilun to meet with Gong Changlong.

Dai Huabin crawled to his feet and ran away immediately while Zhu Lu and Cui Yajie hurriedly chased after him. Huo Yuhao’s target was only Dai Huabin, so naturally Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao wouldn’t go over to trouble the two girls. This time, not only had they won but they had done so by using an inconceivable method that had astonished the entire audience.

Du Weilun walked over to Gong Changlong with Huo Yuhao in tow, “Elder Gong, I’ve brought the person over. Look…”

Before he could finish his sentence Gong Changlong let out a cold snort. Suddenly, his body flashed and he sent a palm flying straight towards Huo Yuhao’s head.

Instinctively, Huo Yuhao’s body flashed as he moved backwards using the Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track. However, the enormous attractive force that suddenly came from Gong Changlong’s fan-like palm forcibly halted his movement, causing his body to stumble forward as his footsteps became chaotic. Furthermore, a terrifying wave of heat appeared within the force of attraction, causing water-like ripples to instantly form in the air around Huo Yuhao’s body.
Du Weilun didn’t stop him since he knew that Gong Changlong was only trying to test Huo Yuhao. In reality, he was extremely curious too and if it wasn’t for the situation occurring in front of him, he would’ve verified Huo Yuhao’s abilities himself. A milky-white light suddenly flashed across
Huo Yuhao’s eyes as he forcefully stood his ground with a stamp. A spotless white soul ring instantly rose from his feet, since he couldn’t evade Gong Changlong’s blow his only option was to take it on forcefully. As if he was supporting the heavens, he moved his palms to block Gong Changlong’s palm.

Even though it was currently the middle of the day and there was still ample sunlight. When Huo Yuhao raised his hands to block Gong Changlong’s palm, the nearby teachers could clearly see that his palms were flickering with a dazzling light almost as if he was wearing a pair of diamond gloves. At the same time, all of them suddenly felt an intense chill spread through them. The arrival of this chilliness was not only sudden but also ferocious, it was so powerful that it seemed to have the ability to pierce into one’s bones. This dense cold aura even caused someone of Du Weilun’s cultivation to instinctively shiver. The three palms connected and Gong Changlong’s right palm suddenly turned fiery-red as if it was a burning hot piece of coal. A ‘chichi’ sound rang out the instant he collided with Huo Yuhao’s palms. Large billowing waves of white mist burst forth from the point where the two collided,
so much so that their entire bodies were hidden within the mist.

The clash caused Huo Yuhao to retreat a few steps before falling onto the ground with a thump. Although, his butt had landed on the ground and he had a somewhat astonished expression on his face. His appearance clearly showed that he hadn’t suffered any injuries.

Gong Changlong’s astonished face was clearly seen once the white mist has dispersed. “What a good brat,” he said, “You possess the Ultimate Ice attribute which allowed your martial soul to suppress this old man’s. What bothers me however, is how a one-ringed Soul Master like you possesses soul power comparable to that of a Rank 20 Soul Grandmaster? Also, where’s the hundred thousand year soul ring you were supposed  to  have?”  No  one  saw  this  but  despite  dispersing rapidly, an icy mist still lingered about the right hand he hid behind his back.

Huo Yuhao stood up. He naturally understood that this elder was only trying to test his cultivation. He replied respectfully, “Teacher, I don’t have a hundred thousand year soul ring. That was only a special soul skill of mine. As for my soul power being above Rank 20, that is because I have two martial souls.
My first martial soul has two soul rings. Earlier, I sensed that you had a fire-attribute martial soul and since it just so happens that my second martial soul is an ice-attributed one. I decided to use it in the hope that I’d be able to retaliate better. ”

Du Weilun was already widening his eyes when Huo Yuhao revealed his ice-type martial soul. Especially after he saw that singular white soul ring appear. Upon also hearing Huo Yuhao personally say that he had twin martial souls, he felt everything in front of him go black. Depression took him over and he nearly spat out blood like Dai Huabin.

Even if Huo Yuhao’s Class 1 had both him and Xiao Xiao that possessed twin martial souls, in reality, they were the only ones in the entire outer courtyard who had twin martial souls! People with twin martial souls were absolutely gifted and talented existences. Even in the extremely harsh Shrek Academy, all the previous students with dual martial souls had become core disciples and entered the inner courtyard.

The thing that depressed Du Weilun the most was the fact that he thought that Huo Yuhao had wasted his twin martial souls! As a student of Shrek Academy, a ten year soul ring was already a disgrace and Huo Yuhao had a ten year soul ring on not one but both of his martial souls. Speaking of which,
hadn’t he mentioned that the hundred thousand year soul ring he had revealed earlier was a skill? The curiosity in his heart wasn’t one bit less than Gong Changlong’s.

Gong Changlong nodded seriously. “Very good, it’s a very powerful skill. Both its power and attribute have reached the pinnacle. If I’m not mistaken, you definitely have a soul bone within you. Moreover, it’s a power-type soul bone. There is no other way for you to have been able to burst out with so much power otherwise.

Earlier, he had been extremely furious towards the person who’d sent his soul beasts into a mess. It was due to this anger that he had been prepared to discipline Huo Yuhao using that palm attack of his. After sensing Huo Yuhao’s soul power, the strength contained within his palm should’ve easily sent him flying according to common sense. At the very least, he should’ve tumbled head over heels across the ground. However, Huo Yuhao had only retreated a few steps backwards and landed on his butt, as if nothing serious had occurred to him.

This wasn’t just the might of soul power, but the manifestation of his physical strength. Gong Changlong couldn’t help but feel astonished by this. After all, it had to be known that he was one of the top ten experts in Shrek Academy as cultivation rank went.

Huo Yuhao said, “Yes. Thanks to a fortunate encounter, I obtained a torso bone.”

Du Weilun felt like he was going to go blind; everything in front of him was going dark again! A torso bone? They’d only had a one month holiday, but he went and got himself a torso bone? Since when were torso bones this inexpensive? Didn’t he say that he was an orphan? The Soul Tool Department, it must’ve  been  them!  The  Soul  Tool  Department  actually invested so much in him? Wait, Gong Changlong praised the skill that came from that ten year soul ring of his?

Du Weilun couldn’t hold in his curiosity anymore, “Huo Yuhao, just what in the world happened to you? Just what soul skill did you use earlier to make all the soul beasts within the Beast Dueling Arena go limp from fright? Don’t you know how
hard it is to train these soul beasts? Either you tell us what happened or you’ll have to compensate us for our loss.”

Gong Changlong’s face sank. “Little Du, what are you doing? He’s just a kid and an an outstanding student on top of that. You’re called Huo Yuhao, right? Tell me, this old man is also very curious about you.”

In such a situation, Huo Yuhao naturally wouldn’t try to conceal anything. He replied obediently, “My first martial soul is my Spirit Eyes, and its second soul ring gives me a skill called ‘Imitation’. This Imitation skill can let me change the shape of my body to imitate various things, and can fake the age of my soul rings as well. Earlier, I made both my soul rings imitate the shape and aura of hundred thousand year soul rings. However, I wasn’t able to fully imitate their auras due to my lacking cultivation. Otherwise, its effects would’ve been even better.”

He wasn’t trying to boast. He had been trying to imitate the aura of the Ice Empress and if a four hundred thousand year old soul beast had suddenly appeared in front of a group of soul beasts who had far inferior cultivations, just the pressure from its aura would have been enough to flatten them all.
After hearing Huo Yuhao’s explanation, Du Weilun and Gong Changlong suddenly understood everything. Gong Changlong couldn’t  help  but  reveal  a  strange  light  in  his  eyes,  “Good, good, this is an interesting soul skill. This Imitation is really good! If you had this skill in the Great Star Dou Forest, you would have been able to avoid a large number of conflicts. This would then be extremely useful when you’re hunting soul beasts. This old man’s called Gong Changlong also known as the Beast King. I have another question for you. What’s your second martial soul? I know that it’s advisable for you twin- souled soul masters to keep your second martial a secret and so this old man won’t expect you to reveal your secret for free. How about this? I’ll promise to do everything in my power to help you obtain a soul ring in the future if you’re willing to tell me about your second martial soul. Do we have a deal? ”

Huo Yuhao was overjoyed. A spiritual-type soul beast was simply too rare and this teacher was evidently in charge of the Great Beast Duelling Arena. His assistance would undoubtedly save Huo Yuhao a lot of time and effort.

He  nodded  hurriedly  and  replied  respectfully,  “Teacher Gong, I’m willing to tell you about my second martial soul.”
Du Weilun and the other teachers by the side all had curious expressions on their faces but Huo Yuhao clearly wasn’t planning to satisfy their curious minds. A golden light flickered through his eyes as he immediately activated his Spiritual Detection.

A three-dimensional image of the surrounding 100 meters immediately appeared in Gong Changlong’s brain, and then image quickly focused on Huo Yuhao’s back. It entered his shirt, and the tattoo on his back appeared fully in Gong Changlong’s mind.

This was also Gong Changlong’s first time experiencing the wondrous Spiritual Detection, and he couldn’t help but click his tongue in wonder, “What a good skill! Even among the world of twin-souled soul masters, your combination of martial souls is absolutely at the peak. Very good, very good. So, your second martial soul is that thing. It’s no wonder your ice attribute is at such an Ultimate level. The academy’s truly picked up a treasure this time. Don’t worry, this old man will keep this secret for you. I’d never thought that I could see a martial soul like this within my lifetime.”

The more Gong Changlong spoke about it, the more curious Du Weilun became. However, the second martial soul of any
twin-souled soul master was an extremely important secret; they wouldn’t easily divulge it unless it was absolutely necessary. Due to Xiao Xiao’s Ninephoenix Worshipping Flute being a Tool Soul, it was too easy for it to be exposed. Thus, she didn’t bother concealing it. However, Huo Yuhao’s second martial soul clearly wasn’t easily distinguishable. However, Gong Changlong had said that it was an Ultimate martial soul. Thus, it absolutely wasn’t bad at all.

Furthermore, another question had popped up in Du Weilun’s mind. Huo Yuhao’s second soul skill was his Imitation. Then, was the soul ring he’d unleashed from his ice- type martial soul a real one? Was the soul skill even Gong Changlong praised a mere ten year soul skill? Even if he was beaten to death, he wouldn’t believe it!

Huo Yuhao said obediently, “Teacher Gong, Director Du, if there’s nothing more to say, I’ll be going back first.”

Gong Changlong nodded, “You can go back. If you have any spare time in the future, you can come over here and play for a bit. However, I’m forbidding you from imitating a hundred thousand year soul ring here. Otherwise, I’m going to make you go and clean up the beast cages.”
Huo Yuhao smiled mischievously and ran off.

Du Weilun didn’t stop him. What good would stopping him do? He was already a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department! The current Director Du only felt everything in front of his eyes going black. Even in his wildest dreams, he’d never thought that he’d let the Soul Tool Department pick up such a good deal. Furthermore, this was something that he and the Dean had forsaken.

In reality, Du Weilun couldn’t really be blamed. Huo Yuhao’s previous performances had simply been nothing spectacular. However, his trip to the Extreme North had caused his strength to experience a qualitative leap.

After bidding farewell to Gong Changlong, Du Weilun left hurriedly. The advancement test of the second year students hadn’t gone smoothly, and he had to go back and rearrange it. At the same time, he had to report the day’s events to Yan Shaozhe.

After Huo Yuhao walked out of the Great Beast Duelling Arena, he was instantly surrounded by a large number of students.

“Boss Huo, explain yourself clearly. Just what in the world happened with that hundred thousand year soul ring of yours?” Lan Susu called out, standing by the side.

“Yeah.  Boss  Huo,  you  have  to  compensate  me  for  my trousers. I almost pissed myself because of you.” Zhou Sichen stood by the side, fanning the flames. Immediately, he caused his fellow students to erupt into laughter.

“Then you didn’t piss in the end, right? If you take a piss in front  of  everyone  here,  I’ll  pay  you  back.”  Huo  Yuhao  said unhappily.

Zhou Sichen was immediately forced to shut up.

Huo Yuhao spoke in a loud voice, “I’m sure that everyone can guess that those hundred thousand year soul rings of mine were definitely fake. I can only say that it’s a new soul skill I’ve obtained that doesn’t have any other practical uses. I won’t talk about any further details! Let me keep a few secrets.”
The advancement test had just started and wouldn’t just end due to such a matter. Just as Huo Yuhao and the other students were returning to their classes in a lively manner, Dai Huabin stood in a shadowy corner not far away from them. As he wiped away the bloodstains at the corners of his mouth, a cruel light appeared in his eyes.

“Huabin, are you okay?” Zhu Lu asked worriedly.

Dai Huabin replied coldly, “Help me request Teacher Mu for a leave of absence. I’m going out for a bit.”

“What are you going to do?”

“Mind your own business” Dai Huabin said coldly. With that, he turned away and left.

Chapter 50: Ancestor Tang San...

Due to the advancement test being cancelled, Class 1 and Class 2’s students had to return to their respective classrooms to take lessons.

After a short discussion, Wang Yan and Zhou Yi called Huo Yuhao over to ask him a few questions. Afterwards, they finally began their afternoon class. However, Huo Yuhao didn’t return to his seat. Instead, he was told go to and stand on a nearby platform. Then, Zhou Yi was called over by the teachers of the Teaching Department, as Director Du Weilun was holding a meeting.

“Due to special circumstances, the advancement test will be delayed for two to three days,” Wang Yan told the students of Class 1, “This will give you a bit more time to train. Today, you all saw the battle between Yuhao and the Wind Spiritwolf. Soul beasts are not affected by emotions, and the first thing you need to do to fight them is maintain your composure. You must display everything you’ve learned. Soul beasts aren’t scary. Most of the time, they only fight by relying on their natural instincts. Firstly, you’ll have to overcome that psychological block in your mind, as fear will weaken your combat strength by a large amount. Let go of your hesitation. Only then will you
be able to give it your all.”  He glanced at the students. “Ask yourselves, were you scared when that Wind Spiritwolf appeared?”

A large number of students immediately lowered their heads in shame.

Wang Yan continued, “It didn’t happen because you were weak; it happened because you don’t have any experience fighting soul beasts. If you were to fight against a fellow classmate with the same strength, would you still be afraid? Of course you wouldn’t. That’s because you believe that your fellow classmates won't actually hurt you. Then, do you think soul beasts or we soul masters are stronger? I can give you a definite answer to this. Under a situation in which both parties have identical cultivations, we soul masters will definitely come out on top.”

He  raised  his  hand  and  pointed  toward  his  head.  “That’s because we human beings possess wisdom. You fear soul beasts because they have low intelligence. Furthermore, they won’t think twice before killing. However, just wait till you get used to the fighting style of those soul beasts. At that point, you’ll discover that the ones that are truly formidable are us soul masters. We can use our martial souls and soul skills to come
up with many different kinds of tactics. But you have to remember this: no matter how outstanding the tactic, or how powerful the soul skill, only those who have courage will be able to show their true power. This advancement test will decide if you’ll be able to keep studying at the academy. In a
certain way, you can say that it will also decide your future.
Today, we’ll have a last minute lesson to improve your courage. Yuhao has the ability to change the color and aura of his soul rings. I ask everyone to not unconsciously release your martial souls. No matter how strong the pressure you’re feeling is, try to keep your calm. Yuhao, you can start.”

Huo Yuhao nodded, and a golden light flickered in his eyes. At the same time, two white soul rings slowly emerged from under his feet. They seemed to be ten year soul rings.

Just now, when Wang Yan had pulled him aside to ask him a few questions, it was about this; whether he was willing to use this method to help the other students. Huo Yuhao had already briefly explained how his soul skill worked. Otherwise, Wang Yan wouldn’t have asked him something like this. Huo Yuhao didn’t hesitate, and immediately complied. He was the class leader, after all. Thus, he was willing to help his fellow classmates. Moreover, at this point, he was unable to conceal his imitation skill. Thus, there was no need to hold back. He had managed to scare many soul beasts to death by relying on
the Skydream Iceworm’s instructions. In addition, this had allowed Huo Yuhao to experience some of the myriad possible variations of this skill.

These white ten year soul rings weren’t going to have a great effect on the nearby students. Their color quickly changed from white to yellow.

Looking at the soul rings that had suddenly changed color, the students of Class 1 were astonished; this skill was really mysterious! It really could change the color of Huo Yuhao’s soul rings at will.

Wang Yan said in grave tone, “The white color represents a ten year soul ring. It’s the lowest ranked soul ring that we soul masters can fuse with. The yellow color represents a hundred year soul ring. The color of a soul ring will change according to its age, do you know why that is? Because there is a great amount of energy compressed inside it. And every soul skill will use this energy in a different way. Therefore, it’s not a given that a lower ranked soul ring will definitely have a bad effect.”
The yellow soul rings then changed into purple ones. As these purple thousand year soul rings each made their appearance. Huo Yuhao’s body started to emit an invisible pressure, making the Class 1 students somewhat nervous. After all, the only one that was known to possess a thousand year
soul ring in the class was Wang Dong.

“Everyone,  be  careful.”  Huo  Yuhao  said  loudly.  The  two thousand year soul rings on his body transformed once again, the purple color suddenly becoming darker, until it slowly changed to black.

This classroom wasn’t as big as the great Beast Dueling Arena. The appearance of two ten thousand year soul rings immediately created a heavy oppressive feeling that spread everywhere from Huo Yuhao’s body. At this time, Huo Yuhao was drawing support from the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion's aura. It was a very ferocious soul beast, and when Huo Yuhao suddenly channeled its aura through those two ten thousand year soul rings in such tight quarters, its tyrannical aura gave the students the feeling of being crushed into smithereens.

Immediately, the students with a weak cultivation base felt their soul rings come out of their bodies. Even their appearances became pale.

Wang Yan furrowed his brows as he told Huo Yuhao, “No need to increase the output further. Just keep this level of intensity.” He had the feeling that all these students would wet themselves if Huo Yuhao were to release the power of a hundred thousand year soul ring in this small and narrow place. And he absolutely didn’t want that; keeping the level of intensity at ten thousand years was the best thing for the students.

“After cultivating for ten thousand years, soul beasts will experience a qualitative leap. Generally speaking, if a human being wants to deal with a ten thousand year soul beast alone, he will need the strength of at least six rings. If he wants to deal with a thirty thousand year soul beast, he will need the strength of seven or more rings; and even then it would only be something he could try after obtaining a martial soul true body. Earlier, I said that soul masters would generally be stronger than soul beasts of the same rank. However, in the history of our Douluo Continent, there is only once instance of the strongest soul master surpassing the strongest soul beast. That happened when the first generation of Shrek’s Seven Monsters was still around. The best example among them is exactly the founder of the Tang Sect, the Asura Tang San. Except for that period of time where our human race was stronger than the soul beasts, we have always been unable to contend with the strongest soul beasts.”

“As  for  soul  beasts  that  have  cultivated  for  a  hundred thousand years, even a Titled Douluo would find it hard to fight against them alone. That’s because soul beasts who are able to cultivate for a hundred thousand years will definitely have a powerful inherited bloodline. And to suppress a
hundred thousand year soul beast, one will need to be at least a Titled Douluo of the 95th rank or possess a sufficient number of soul bones.”

“A tide of soul beasts once emerged from the Great Star Dou Forest, attacking our Shrek Academy. That time, the academy suffered severe losses. Inside the Great Star Dou Forest were some soul beasts who had even exceeded the hundred thousand year rank. The hundred thousand year rank isn’t actually the limit for soul beasts. There are some soul beasts that are particularly gifted by the heavens, and by relying on their cultivation, they can break through the limit of the hundred thousand year rank, reaching a completely new realm. These soul beasts that can surpass the hundred thousand year rank are called transcendent soul beasts. I can guarantee you that the Great Star Dou Forest still hides some transcendent soul beasts. For us soul masters, a hundred thousand year soul beast is a first-class treasure. It will give us a hundred thousand year soul ring and a soul bone, totalling four soul skills. However, transcendent soul beasts are akin to a calamity. Even if we pay a huge price to kill them, it will be
very difficult to obtain something valuable from their bodies. This is because the soul ring produced by a transcendent soul beast is not something we can absorb so easily. The body of the soul master that tries might be unable to withstand its power.”

Zhou  Sichen  couldn’t  help  but  ask,  “Teacher  Wang,  even Titled Douluo can’t absorb it? Didn’t you say that after surpassing the 90th rank and becoming a Titled Douluo, one’s body will undergo a qualitative leap?”

After he finished his sentence, his expression changed, and he paled slightly. Huo Yuhao was continuously releasing the oppressive aura of a ten thousand year soul beast, and this aura was incessantly attacking the minds of the students. They needed to keep their concentration up; only then they would be able to suppress the fear in their hearts.

Wang Yan replied ill-humoredly, “You are going against common sense with these questions. Had this been the advancement test, they would have sent you home already. Tell me, how many rings does a Titled Douluo have?”

Zhou  Sichen  promptly  replied,  “Nine  rings!  Ah…”   After speaking, he finally understood.

Exactly, a Titled Douluo already had nine rings. They were existences of the highest level. How could they have another soul ring?

Wang Yan said with faint smile, “You finally understand your mistake. If you do your best and manage to resist this fear inside your hearts, teacher will tell you a secret. This secret is about the top-ranked soul ring.”

The students were attracted by Wang Yan’s words, and the fear inside their hearts diminished a bit. The students that had already released their martial souls also made an effort to withdraw them.

Wang Yan said in a grave tone, “What Zhou Sichen said just now was against common sense. However, I’ll tell you this: in the history of our Douluo Continent, it’s not like there haven’t been soul masters with ten rings. This secret piece of information was recorded in our Shrek Academy.”

Ten ring? After hearing those words, all the students were shocked. The fear in their hearts was also reduced a little more.

Wang  Yan  said,  “The  main  subjects  of  my  research  are martial souls and soul rings. After doing a lot of research, I can guarantee you that it is possible to have ten rings, and having ten soul rings almost equates to becoming a God. In the records of our academy, there was some information about a
person possessing ten soul rings; a God-ranked powerhouse. And this person is exactly the one I mentioned a while ago, the founder of the Tang Sect--Ancestor Tang San. Among his twin martial souls, his main martial soul, the Blue Silver Emperor, possessed ten soul rings. Researchers from later generations decided to call it a God-ranked soul ring.”

Of all the of students in the class, Wang Dong was the person who had to face the least amount of pressure. He was extremely familiar with Huo Yuhao, and the two of them were able to fuse their martial souls! It didn’t matter what ability Huo Yuhao used, he wouldn’t feel too great of a threat from any of them. When he heard Wang Yan’s words, he couldn’t help but ask, “Teacher Wang, then what color are God-ranked soul ring?”

Wang  Yan  replied,  “Even  I  don’t  truly  know.  Based  on historical documents, the ninth soul ring of Ancestor Tang San’s Bluesilver Emperor was bluish-gold. His second martial soul—the Clear Sky Hammer—also had a different colored ninth soul ring; it was dark-gold. It’s very possible that it was also a God-ranked soul ring. Based on this, we can deduce that God-ranked soul rings will all have different, unique appearances.”

Wang Dong asked, “Didn’t you just say that one’s tenth soul ring would be a God-ranked one? How was Ancestor Tang San’s ninth soul ring able to become a God-ranked one?”
Wang Yan smiled slightly. “We’ll first have to talk about a legendary soul beast that once existed on our Douluo Continent. Even among the teachers within the academy, only a few of them know about this secret. This legendary soul beast was known as the Deep Sea Devilwhale Emperor, and its
cultivation had supposedly neared the million-year rank. However, nobody is clear as to whether or not it actually surpassed a million years of cultivation. According to our historical documents, however, once Ancestor Tang San absorbed its soul ring, it fused with some sort of energy in his body, which caused it to become a dark-gold God-ranked soul ring. Ancestor Tang San had already broken through the pinnacle of cultivation at this point, meaning that his soul power had reached Rank 100 and that he’d become a God. Only
with the help of his main martial soul’s tenth soul ring—the
Bluesilver Emperor—was he able to kill the Deep Sea Devilwhale Emperor.”

When Wang Yan finished speaking about Ancestor Tang San’s God-ranked soul ring, Huo Yuhao was left in a daze. After hearing about the possibility of a million-year soul beast who might have appeared in the past, he was stunned speechless.

At that moment, he couldn’t help but ask, “Teacher Wang, did the Deep Sea Devilwhale Emperor really reach a million years of cultivation?”

Wang Yan shook his head. “What really happened is more complicated. According to the large amount of research conducted over tens of thousands of years by powerful soul masters, a soul beast is normally limited to a hundred thousand years of life. When they hit this limit, they’ll encounter a calamity of sorts, at which point they’ll have to choose between attempting to break through this limit, or transforming into a human. Earlier, I said that soul beasts able to break through this limit are known as transcendent soul beasts. However, all of them will still have to face a calamity like this every hundred thousand years. Once they break through ten calamities, they’ll become existences close to that of a God. If they can leap through the golden gate and transform from a carp to a dragon, they’ll be able to become true Gods. As far as I know, however, a soul beast has never been able to complete this step. Even the Deep Sea Devilwhale Emperor wasn’t an exception. As such, regardless of whether or not it was able to reach a million years of cultivation, it would still only remain a transcendent soul beast so long as it wasn’t able to become a God. Of course, only a God can force these terrifying transcendent soul beasts to surrender. If one doesn’t have as much as power as someone like Ancestor Tang San, even someone with the ability to kill a transcendent soul beast like the Deep Sea Devilwhale Emperor wouldn’t be able to completely absorb its soul ring and soul bone.”
Huo Yuhao asked, “Teacher Wang. Before Ancestor Tang San became a God and left our world, did he have any other martial souls than his Bluesilver Emperor and his Clear Sky Hammer?”

Wang Yan shook his head. “There shouldn’t have been any more. When Ancestor Tang San had his last battle with the Martial Soul Hall, the two opponents he faced were both God- ranked experts. According to the historical documents at least, a situation in which Ancestor Tang San possessed three martial souls didn’t appear. Yuhao, why would you ask something like this?”

Huo Yuhao scratched his head. “I was just casually asking something random. The God rank is simply too far away from us, thus I was just wondering whether or not we’d obtain a third martial soul if we reached the God rank.”

Wang Yan smiled slightly. “Your train of thought is very good. Our research into the field of martial souls is precisely because we want to explore more of their secrets. One should definitely make bold hypotheses and verify them carefully. Alright, let’s stop for now.”
His last sentence was directed towards Huo Yuhao. The other students instantly felt their bodies loosen up, which immediately causing the soul power in their bodies to undulate intensely, and in turn caused them to feel and incredible sense of relaxation. Only then did they recall the the pressure that Huo Yuhao had been releasing since he’d imitated the aura of a
ten thousand year soul ring.

When Wang Yan saw the students act as if they’d been relieved of a large burden, he smiled slightly. “The menacing aura that a soul beast emits and the pressure that a soul master emits are actually just two different types of intimidation of your spirit. As long as your spiritual power is stable enough, you’ll be able to stand unmoving like a reef near the seaside no matter how intense the pressure is. Earlier, your minds were captivated by my story, thus you completely forgot about the pressure Yuhao was emitting. Head back and have a good rest. Afterwards, prepare yourselves as best as you can for the advancement test. We’ll end class here. Tomorrow, we’ll continue to train in the same way.”

Every single student within the classroom—including Huo Yuhao—had resolute looks in their eyes as they looked towards Wang Yan. Indeed, Zhou Yi couldn’t compare to a scholarly teacher such as Wang Yan when it came to theoretical knowledge. However, Zhou Yi was much better than him at
controlling her students. Since they were both simultaneously in charge of the class, they even complimented each other. At the very least, Class 1 no longer had a single student under the two-ringed rank after the past year’s worth of study.

At this moment, there was still a period of time before dinnertime. As such, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong decided to head directly towards their dorm. At Huo Yuhao’s strong behest, they began to cultivating as soon as they arrived.

Huo Yuhao wasn’t truly trying to be hardworking today, however, he had a few questions for the Skydream Iceworm. The only way he could have a conversation with the Skydream Iceworm currently was by entering a state of cultivation with Wang Dong and calming down.

As the Haodong Power circulated through their bodies, the dense undulations of soul power they emitted strengthened at a rapid rate. Both of them had experienced a qualitative leap in their cultivations during their vacation, thus the advantage they had in terms of cultivation speed since they’d fused their soul power was becoming more and more distinct.
“Brother Skydream, Brother Skydream.” Once he’d entered a meditative state, Huo Yuhao immediately began to circulate his soul power in a controlled manner while calling out to the Skydream Iceworm.

The Skydream Iceworm responded to him quite quickly. Its lazy voice rang out, “What’re you doing? Is this about that Deep Sea Devilwhale Emperor?”

Huo Yuhao said, “Yeah! Brother Skydream, was that Deep Sea Devilwhale Emperor really a million year soul beast?”

The Skydream Iceworm smiled mischievously. “Don’t you already have an answer to this?”

Yes, the reason that Huo Yuhao had asked Wang Yan if Ancestor Tang San had had a third martial soul was precisely to verify whether or not the Deep Sea Devilwhale Emperor was a million year soul ring.

Huo Yuhao said, “Since you’ve answered me like this, it truly wasn’t one?”
The Skydream Iceworm replied, “I’ve already told you: I’m the only soul beast on the continent who’s been able to break through to the million year rank. The moment I broke through the boundary of the million year rank, I felt something deep in my heart. It’s impossible to describe what that feeling was, but I instinctively knew that I was the first soul beast to reach this level. There hasn’t been anyone else able to. The number of soul beasts that reside in the ocean outnumber the soul beasts on the continent, thus it isn’t surprising for powerful soul beasts to appear there. However, I can guarantee that there are no million year soul beasts among their ranks.”

Huo Yuhao said, “Brother Skydream then, then… shouldn’t you be a God?” He still had an enormous amount of doubt within his heart. Once he’d obtained his second soul ring for his Spirit Eyes, he’d immediately discovered a secret. The Skydream Iceworm had always disguised the true color of his Spirit Eyes’ first soul ring. Lazy as he was however, the Skydream Iceworm had immediately delegated this task to Huo Yuhao once he’d obtained the ability to conceal his abilities. In truth, the first soul ring that the Skydream Iceworm had given him—his intelligent soul ring—was an impressive gold color. It was completely different from the regular white, yellow, purple, black, and red colored soul rings. When Teacher Wang Yan had talked about Ancestor Tang San’s God-ranked soul ring, a thought had immediately popped into Huo Yuhao’s
mind. Wasn’t the first soul ring of his Spirit Eyes a God-ranked soul ring as well?

The Skydream Iceworm unhappily replied, “Stop dreaming. If I’d truly become a God, would I really have been bullied by those fellas in the Great Star Dou Forest? True, the soul ring that I gave you has the foundations of a God-ranked soul ring, but it absolutely isn’t one. It’s currently lacking two things: One, it needs a Godly Imprint that belongs to you. Only when you’ve obtain the cultivation of a God and have branded it with your imprint will it truly become a God-ranked soul ring. The other thing you require is a Godly Seat. Do you really think that it’s so easy to become a God? It’s definitely impossible to succeed without experiencing innumerable trials. However, it’s still too early for you to be thinking about these things. All you need to know is that this Brother is a unique and genuine million year soul ring in the truest sense of the word. Understood?”

“Oh,” Huo Yuhao replied, “Brother Skydream, don’t go back to sleep yet. I still have another question to ask you. Earlier today, I used one of the soul skills that the Ice Empress gave me. Why was I suddenly so enormously powerful?”
The Skydream Iceworm immediately flew into a rage, “Aren’t you just full of crap now! Who do you think the Ice Empress is?! She’s one of the most powerful soul beasts who currently exists. You’ve received her soul ring and soul bone, and even though you only absorbed a very small amount of her power, your physique was strengthened by an enormous amount. Furthermore, the two soul skills that she gave you are both power-type skills. These two things—her terrifying amount of power and her Ultimate Ice attribute—culminated into the soul skill you released earlier: The Ice Empress’ Pincer. However, you have to remember that the Ice Empress’ Pincer can only be utilised at its maximum in a close-combat situation. On the other hand, you have to try your best not use the two skills her torso bone gave you. They simply require too much soul power; you wouldn’t be able to endure it. Oh, right. When you’ve fused your soul power with this little fella in front of you, you should be able to barely release a trace of the power those two skills possess. In reality, you should feel proud of yourself. The person who tested you just now is one of those people you humans call a ‘Titled Douluo’.”

Huo  Yuhao  was  astonished.  “Brother  Skydream,  you’re saying that Teacher Gong is a…”

“My intuition is never wrong,” The Skydream Iceworm said, “Whatever, if you have nothing else to say, Brother is going to sleep. Continue cultivating diligently.”

After having a conversation with the Skydream Iceworm, the doubts in Huo Yuhao’s mind had cleared up. Having gone through today’s affairs, his self-confidence had increased even more.

News of Huo Yuhao’s stunning performance in the Great Beast Duelling Arena quickly spread throughout the entirety of the outer courtyard. However, under the conjectures of a few brainy people, the other students were able to surmise that he had used an aura-imitation skill. Because of that, he didn’t cause too large a ruckus.

The advancement test for the Year 2 students was postponed for two days. Furthermore, Zhou Yi brought another piece of news to Huo Yuhao after the meeting the teachers had. The academy’s Teaching Department had requested that he retake the advancement test without using his Imitation this time around. They guaranteed that he would obtain the minimum
marks required to pass, but they still hoped that he would do all he could to display his own strength in order to obtain even higher marks.

Du Weilun wasn’t willing to resign himself to the truth! After the advancement test had ended, he had organised a meeting with the other teachers before going over to see Dean Yan Shaozhe. Yan Shaozhe then gave him a single order--that was, for him to clarify what Huo Yuhao’s second martial soul was, in addition to his soul skill.

……

“Second young master, this is too risky. Shrek Academy is the continent’s number one academy, and experts are extremely common there. The number of Titled Douluo they have exceed that of our empire. Rashly killing someone within Shrek Academy will be extremely inconvenient for the Duke.”

“Then what if it’s outside Shrek Academy?”

“If it’s sufficiently far away from Shrek Academy, we can try. Second young master, you have to calm down. If you really
can’t take it anymore, you can ask the eldest young master for guidance.”

“No need, I’ve already thought it through. I was clouded by my anger. I’ll think of a way by myself first. If I really can’t do anything about it, I’ll draw them out for the sake of the White Tiger Duke’s honor. At that time, you are not allowed to dissuade me anymore.”

“Yes.”

……

“Haha, that old fella Yan Shaozhe must be foaming with anger in his office. How delightful, it’s really so satisfying!” Qian Duoduo was lying on his wide sofa, his mighty body taking up almost half the space of the sofa, which could normally fit three people. He had a pleased look on his face.

Fan Yu, who was sitting opposite him, said sincerely, “Dean Qian, thank you.” He was truly grateful to Qian Duoduo. He had made a timely move, allowing them to thoroughly bring Huo Yuhao over to the Soul Tool Department at the most
crucial moment. Moreover, Yan Shaozhe couldn’t do anything at all now.

Qian Duoduo waved his hand, “What’re you thanking me for? This is all for our Soul Tool Department. However, that old fella Yan Shaozhe is very crafty. We still have to be alert.”

Fan Yu was stunned. “Be alert for what? Yuhao’s already a core disciple of our Soul Tool Department!”

Qian Duoduo said, “You can’t think this way. I understand that old fella Yan too well; he’s not a person who gives up easily. He won’t do something like threaten us, but he’s extremely good at tempting someone. You still need to have a good conversation with that little fella Yuhao so he won’t be fooled by any means. Tell Yuhao that our Soul Tool Department can give him anything that Yan Shaozhe offers. I simply don’t believe that Old Yan will just let me snatch away the meat I’ve obtained. Humph. Two martial souls, hahaha. I just need to imagine Old Yan’s current expression to feel extremely happy.”

Fan Yu smiled slightly. “I don’t think that you need to worry. After interacting with this child Yuhao for so long, I have
confidence in him. I can guarantee you one thing--as long as he gets his rank as a soul master up to the required rank, he’ll definitely become a soul engineer of the same class. Within five years, before he graduates from the outer courtyard, I’ll work hard to make him a Class 5 soul engineer. When he then enters
the inner courtyard, we’ll be able to have him and Caitou implement the Ultimate Soldier plan.”

“The   Imitation   skill   that   Yuhao’s   just   obtained   has eliminated a large obstacle to our Ultimate Soldier plan. This skill has no offensive uses, but it’s absolutely the strongest ability that a person can use to conceal themselves! The heavens above are truly thinking about our Soul Tool Department. Yuhao’s practically made for our Ultimate Soldier plan.”

Qian Duoduo nodded. “Fan Yu, I have a proposal. This kid Yuhao has an extraordinary amount of talent as a soul engineer, and we can’t restrict him too much using conventional ways. I feel that He Caitou shouldn’t continue being cultivated for the Ultimate Soldier plan. If Huo Yuhao can become the Ultimate Soldier we nurture, then He Caitou can be the Armory of the Ultimate Soldier.”
Somewhat concerned, Fan Yu said, “But Dean, isn’t this too risky? In the event we fail…”

The smile on Qian Duoduo’s face vanished, and he spoke in a grave voice, “There isn’t an ‘in the event’. If a person with twin martial souls can’t make our plan succeed, then that only proves that our plan doesn’t hold any water. If we go with the mentality of staking it all on one person, our chances of success are much greater.”

Fan Yu furrowed his brows. “Then I’ll have to think about it for a while. I need to ask Caitou for his opinion on this as well.”

Qian Duoduo smiled. “Yup. This issue isn’t urgent. They’re still young, so we have to establish their foundations well. Right, when is Huo Yuhao coming over?”

Fan Yu said, “The Martial Soul Department’s having their advancement test. I’ll get him to come over after his test.”

Qian Duoduo said, “He’s already a core disciple of our Soul Tool Department now. After the Martial Soul Department’s advancement test ends, bring him over and let him participate
in our advancement test as well. I want to see his capabilities in live combat.”

“Okay,” Fan Yu replied, filled with confidence. He had absolute confidence in the disciple he was pleased with.

Two days later.

The Great Beast Duelling Arena. Outside the Arena.

“Huo Yuhao, do you dare to make another bet?” Dai Huabin blocked Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s paths.

Without even waiting for Huo Yuhao to open his mouth, Wang Dong interjected, “What? You can’t accept it? The only reason why you’ve dared to come again is because you’re fully aware that Huo Yuhao’s been restricted from using his soul skill. Losing is losing, and you’ve already forgotten the pain that came from that scar of yours, eh? You’ve already kowtowed and admitted that you were wrong.”
A  cold  light  flickered  through  Dai  Huabin’s  eyes,  “What’s wrong with seizing an opportunity? I lost, and I admitted it. I’m only asking as to whether you dare to make another bet with me. This time, I’ll bet against you two by myself. I’m betting that I’ll be able to exceed the total of your scores by
myself.”

The moment he spoke, Wang Dong immediately raised his brow, “Dai Huabin, you’re being too arrogant.”

Dai Huabin said icily, “Do you dare, or do you not?”

Wang Dong said angrily, “Since you wanna bet, we’ll bet. We’ll use the same stakes as before. The losing party will kowtow and admit that they were wrong, but three times this time.”

Dai Huabin turned towards the silent Huo Yuhao, “What do you say?”

Huo Yuhao said indifferently, “Seeing that you were willing to accept your loss last time, fine. We’ll take your bet.”
Dai Huabin squinted his eyes. After coldly sweeping his gaze over the two, he turned away and left.

As Wang Dong looked on at Dai Huabin’s leaving figure, he suddenly let out a laugh. Keeping his voice low, he turned towards  Huo  Yuhao,  “Sure  enough,  it’s  exactly  as  you predicted. That fella has well-developed limbs, but the brain of a moron. He actually dared to make a bet like this for the sake of revenge. He’s really thinking too highly of himself, and he’s looking down on us too much.”

Huo Yuhao smiled slightly. “Actually, he’s not looking down on us. It’s just that we have too many secrets that the others don’t know about. If he makes a decision based on common sense, it’s natural for him to be fooled by us.”

The Haodong Power was their greatest secret. Without the Haodong Power, it would’ve been impossible for their cultivation to increase so quickly. Huo Yuhao even had two martial souls in addition to the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s torso bone and soul ring. These weren’t things that others would know about.
Other than that, he still had an even greater secret, a secret that even the teachers didn’t know about.

Earlier this morning, Wang Dong had finally tested Huo Yuhao’s soul power after they had cultivated at an astonishing pace for two consecutive days. In the end, he was stunned all the way from breakfast till they reached the Great Beast Duelling. It was because Huo Yuhao’s soul power had already reached Rank 26.

When Huo Yuhao had entered Shrek Academy at the very beginning, he had only been at Rank 13. One year later, he was now Rank 26. It could be said that within the entire academy, Huo Yuhao’s leap in power was something that the other students were completely unable to compare with.

Soul power couldn’t be measured using simple numbers. If the soul power needed to bring someone up from Rank 0 to Rank 13 was considered one unit, then the soul power needed to bring someone from Rank 13 to Rank 26 was at least five units. In other words, Huo Yuhao’s soul power had quintupled within a year! This was completely inconceivable!
Even among the students of Class 1, his current soul power placed him in the top ten of the class. However, only Wang Dong knew about this secret. Moreover, Wang Dong himself had secrets! Furthermore, it wasn’t just limited to a single secret...

The process of the advancement test was identical to that of two days ago; Du Weilun personally came over to oversee the test again. Furthermore, it wasn’t just Du Weilun who’d come over this time. The proctor and the refereeing teacher were both stunned by the fact that the Martial Soul Department’s Dean Yan Shaozhe had actually come in person. Furthermore, he had replaced Du Weilun as the main judge.

Just when was an advancement test of a lower year group belonging to the outer courtyard able to move an important person like the Dean? And yet, nobody would've guessed that Yan Shaozhe had actually come for a single student.

As the Dean of Shrek Academy’s Martial Soul Department, Yan Shaozhe had an esteemed status. If he was willing to hold a post in any country, he would definitely receive the treatment of a state advisor. However, Yan Shaozhe had always remained within Shrek Academy. The thing he enjoyed most was seeing
many outstanding geniuses being nurtured by himself, making Shrek Academy even more powerful.

From the others’ point of view, a single student wasn’t worth him appearing in person. From Yan Shaozhe’s point of view, however, this was extremely worth it. This was an extremely rarely seen twin-souled soul master!

Not only had he come, he had arrived extremely early. Before the advancement test had begun, he had found the Beast King Gong Changlong and had a simple conversation with him for a period of time. Though Gong Changlong hadn’t revealed what Huo Yuhao’s martial soul was, he said the word ‘Ultimate’ to Yan Shaozhe. This word solidified Yan Shaozhe’s confidence even more. A series of plans had already formed in his heart.

Seeing the students who had already entered the arena, a faint smile appeared on the corner of Dean Yan Shaozhe’s mouth. Qian Duoduo, ah Qian Duoduo, I want to see which of the two of us will have the last laugh.

Chapter 51: The Butterfly Goddess Slash and the Berserk White Tiger

“Year 2, Class 1. Wang Dong.” Wang Dong strode forward and handed his test form to the referee.

That’s right. This time Wang Dong was the first to take the field instead of Huo Yuhao. However, the other students had all expected this sort of change. After all, Huo Yuhao had previously used his special soul skill to intimidate the soul beast, not harm it. This time around, his soul skill had been restricted. Thus, he naturally couldn’t be Class 1’s opening act. Class 1 needed an opening that would stun their opponents.

In Dai Huabin’s eyes, however, Huo Yuhao was a coward. The thought of him kowtowing and acknowledging his mistake to Huo Yuhao turned the intense humiliation he felt into bitter resentment, which wrecked havoc in his mind. Revenge. I want revenge! I will first trample them beneath my feet, then find an opportunity to eradicate them all. No, I want to see them kneel before me, wailing and begging me for mercy! Only then will I kill them!
Dai Huabin, who wasn’t even thirteen years old, had long since seen bloodshed. There was already a merciless look in his eyes!

“I choose a thousand year soul beast.”  Wang Dong’s voice drew Dai Huabin out of his reverie. He couldn’t help but be taken aback when he heard Wang Dong’s selection. Despite his thousand year soul skill, Wang Dong’s cultivation was only that of a Soul Grandmaster. He actually dared to choose a thousand year soul beast, the highest ranked opponent in this examination?

The two referees were also shocked.

Two days ago, Huo Yuhao had shocked them. He’d been the first to take the field, and had chosen a soul beast with a cultivation of a hundred years. This was a soul beast reared in the Great Beast Duelling Arena, yet Huo Yuhao had managed to scare it witless with the aura of two hundred thousand year soul rings, an event which had stunned everyone present. This time around, Class 1 had sent out someone else, who’d immediately chosen a thousand year soul beast. Were these kids really intending to corroborate Shrek Academy’s slogan, that they only bred monsters?
However, the referee didn’t dare to delay the matter any further with Dean Yan Shaozhe in the audience. “Wang Dong, are you ready?”

“I’m ready.” Wang Dong nodded with a serious expression on his face as brilliant blue rays of light enveloped him. He didn’t waste any time in releasing his martial soul. Even he wasn’t sure of himself when it came to confronting a thousand year soul beast.

“Ah!”  Cries of surprise rang out as all of the students and even several teachers became gobsmacked by what they saw.

They weren’t taken aback by Wang Dong’s martial soul, the Radiant Butterfly Goddess, but rather by the three soul rings that had gradually risen from beneath his feet. That’s right. There were now three soul rings. This was Wang Dong’s secret.

When they’d had to report back to the academy, Huo Yuhao had been late, while Wang Dong had rushed back with only two days to spare! Just what had he been up to? In the short span of just a month, he’d succeeded in breaking through his cultivation bottleneck of Rank 30 with the help of his clan and had even managed to obtain his third soul ring.

Yan Shaozhe’s eyes shone as he sat on the Spectator’s Stand. With a slight nod of his head, he said, “Good. He has one yellow soul ring and two purple soul rings. This kid’s talent and martial soul has far surpassed those of his peers. He’s definitely going to be a great asset in the future. However, the Radiant Butterfly Goddess…” A hint of a playful smile lifted the corners of his lips when he mentioned that point.

Wang Dong’s third soul ring was also a purple soul ring, which meant that it was a thousand year soul ring. Thus, the Soul Elder-ranked Wang Dong already had two thousand year soul rings.These weren’t imitation soul rings but the genuine article.

Dai Huabin would never have thought that Wang Dong would  give  him  such  a  huge  “surprise.”   That’s  right,  his cultivation in soul power was truly stronger than Wang Dong’s by a large margin. But they were both Soul Elders wielding three soul rings! On top of that Wang Dong overpowered him in terms of the ranks of their soul rings. This meant that if they were to compete purely based on their soul skills, Wang Dong would still be able to hold the upper hand in their battle. Thus, the gap between their cultivations would be closed.
Dai Huabin’s face sank and the expression on his face immediately turned vile, however, his confidence didn’t waver. From his point of view, Huo Yuhao didn’t have the ability to directly injure soul beasts without using his second soul ring and could only rely upon his spiritual shock of his. Dai Huabin believed that Huo Yuhao could only follow his teacher’s advice and pass the examination by accumulating the minimum amount of points required. He also believe d that he would perform even better than Wang Dong. However, he couldn’t help but feel nervous despite his complete confidence in himself.

At this moment, a tyrannical aura seeped out from the open metal gates located some distance away from Wang Dong. A tall figure slowly walked out of the beast pen.

Even though it didn’t have the speed of that Windspirit Wolf Huo Yuhao had fought the last time, the pressure its aura emitted was far superior.

The soul beast was three metres tall and walked out on its hind legs like a human. There was a faint fishy smell coming from its light brown fur. On its chest was a huge patch of white fur in the shape of a check mark that resembled the veined
patterns on the wings of Wang Dong’s Radiant Butterfly Goddess. The sheer size of the bear was truly impressive.

The most eye-catching feature of this massive bear was its eyes. It had faintly red eyes that were filled with callousness towards its prey.

Even if they were all similarly aged thousand year soul beasts, the natural strength that gnus, goats, and cows possessed could not be compared to that of lions, tigers, leopards, and bears. Moreover, the probability of these carnivorous soul beasts having cultivated for over a thousand years was also very high.

The thousand year soul beast that Wang Dong was going to face off against was called the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear, a powerful earth attributed soul beast.

Wang Dong spread his wings and took flight the moment he saw his opponent’s appearance. However, an enormous formless pressure immediately pushed him down to the ground before he could fly more than five meters into the air. The referee’s voice rang out in his ear, “You are not allowed to
fly more than five meters above the ground in this advancement test.”

The Bloodthirsty Demon Bear didn’t appear to be very fast as it slowly walked towards Wang Dong on its hind legs and with an ominous glint in its eyes. However, the stifling aura that came along with it secretly startled Wang Dong. This was his first time facing a thousand year soul beast alone, but nevertheless he was still confident in his strength.

It was also at this time that a three-dimensional image quietly appeared in his mind. Huo Yuhao sat not far off at the edge of the arena, with a faint golden glow already visible in his eyes.

If it wasn’t for the bet with Dai Huabin, he definitely wouldn’t have chosen to cheat. But this time the stakes were high and he couldn’t lose to one of his enemies that had been the cause of his mother’s death. In any case, he could also better protect Wang Dong with his Spiritual Detection, so that no harm came his way.

Wang Dong raised his shoulders, clasping his front wings together as he similarly moved forwards. He only took small
steps as advanced in the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear’s direction. Just like the bear, he wasn’t quick at all. Rather, his steps were extremely steady and reflected the calm state of his mind.

The two were slowly approaching one another. The two referees were also attentively observing their movements from a close vantage point. They needed to immediately take action if they felt that Wang Dong’s strength had been depleted too far. After all, humans were not like soul beasts. It wasn’t as though there weren’t any casualties from such events. They’d seen Wang Dong’s test form just now and has noticed his status as a core disciple. That fact alone made it all the more important that they not lose him in an accident.

The Bloodthirsty Demon Bear looked a little stupid as it stood up and walked like a human. Not only was it slow, but it was also swaying unstably. However, when it was about thirty metres away from Wang Dong, its front limbs suddenly dropped down. Now, all four of its limbs were touching the ground.

The sudden change shocked Wang Dong, and he unconsciously stopped in his tracks. He then moved a few metres to the side in anticipation.
The Bloodthirsty Demon Bear continued approaching him as though nothing had happened. A mocking expression even seemed to peek through its faint red eyes. When a soul beast reached a thousand years of cultivation, it would obtain some limited form of intelligence. It was only when soul beasts reached a cultivation of ten thousand years or more that they developed intelligence not inferior to that of humans and so were also able to interact in human speech.

Wang Dong hesitated at the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear’s appearance, and it was in that moment of hesitation that the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear suddenly sped up. A thick layer of bloody light shrouded its whole body, making it look like a red cloud as it sprinted in Wang Dong’s direction. It moved so quickly that for a moment its speed was comparable to that of the Windspirit Wolf that Huo Yuhao had fought the other day.

The changes in its speed along with the sudden utilisation of all four limbs, these were all classic strategies used in psychological warfare! It was no wonder thousand year soul beasts were experts among the same rank. The strength displayed by this thousand year Bloodthirsty Demon Bear couldn’t be compared to a hundred year soul beast at all.
In the time it took to take two breaths, the bear had already closed the distance between them and was now within thirty metres of Wang Dong. Wang Dong seemed be standing there in a daze as the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear swung its huge paw at him with a ball of bloody light trailing behind its movements.

The judges had been waiting for some action after the slow movements from the two of them. The judges sitting in the Spectator’s Stand couldn’t help but frown too. They had earlier been pleasantly surprised by a Year 2 Soul Elder student who had three soul rings and was also a core disciple. How could his experience in real combat be so bad that he was terrified to the point of uselessness?

Was Wang Dong terrified? Obviously not. Seeing the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear’s huge paw already in front of him, he suddenly slid down on one foot and made a half turn. The Bloodthirsty Demon Bear’s slap seemed to brush dangerously close to his body but Wang Dong was already behind the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear.

He unfurled his front wings and made a criss-cross scissoring movement as he swept them across the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear’s neck.
The thousand year Bloodthirsty Demon Bear was an exceptional beast. It had immediately sensed that something was amiss the moment its paw came in contact with nothing but air. The bloody light surrounding its body gradually turned yellow and its light brown fur instantly turned as hard as steel.

The instant Wang Dong’s Guillotine Wing grazed its tough fur, a series of sparks flew out along with an ear-piercing screech.

Being an earth attribute soul beast, the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear was naturally extremely good at defending. Unfortunately, it had still been a half beat too slow in responding to the situation. The bear thought that Wang Dong had been duped by the psychological warfare it had used against him. Therefore, the bear had pounced rather abruptly under such circumstances. But now, although it had been able to react in time, Wang Dong had taken a huge chunk of meat from its neck with his Guillotine Wings.

Who didn’t know how to wage psychological warfare against their opponent? Wang Dong let out a cold laugh. His attack had hit the mark but he didn’t follow up on it. With a flap of his wings, his body suddenly retreated five metres back, dodging the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear’s frantic counterattack.

Without Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection Sharing, he would’ve gained quite an advantage even if he hadn’t been duped by the bear. However, the Spiritual Detection could help him clearly identify the blood vessels and circulation of soul power within the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear’s body, as well as its attack patterns. How could he not utilise this great opportunity?

Sure enough, a stunned look crossed the eyes of all the judges sitting in the Spectator’s Stand after witnessing this attack from Wang Dong. Included amongst them were Dean Yan Shaozhe and Director Du Weilun.

Wang Dong had remained calm in the face of the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear’s attack and had even used his opponent’s stratagem against him. His calm demeanor as he fought against a thousand year soul beast in such close proximity impressed the judges. The judges hadn’t even seen such high level battle tactics from students in higher year groups!

The Bloodthirsty Demon Bear roared in both pain and anger as it rose up on its hind legs. Its pale-red eyes flashed with a bloody light as its immense frame swelled with power and began to emit a savage aura. This was the beast's innate skill, Bloodthirst.

The reason it was called the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear was due to the existence of this innate skill. On top of that, its earth attribute and bloodline skill further boosted its strength.

Even the fur on it’s body was stained with a red layer once it activated Bloodthirst. An intense stench of blood began to emanate from its body and it pounced towards Wang Dong, its front claws releasing an intense yellow light.

Wang Dong unfurled his wings and forcefully waved them forward, which caused his own body to slide backwards. It seemed like he was trying to increase the distance between himself and the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear.
However, the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear’s speed had explosively increased after activating Bloodthirst. Moreover, Wang Dong’s retreat was half a second too slow. Although its front claws didn’t strike him, they dealt a heavy blow to the ground in front of him. Immediately, an intense yellow light blossomed from the point of impact.

This was the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear’s earth-type skill, Seismic Wave.

There was a notable difference between the abilities of thousand year soul beasts and hundred year soul beasts. While there was only a possibility for hundred year soul beasts to possess long-range attacking abilities, thousand year soul beasts would undoubtedly possess long-range or area of effect- type soul skills.

Seismic Wave was the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear’s specialty. The skill would not only cause its opponent lose their balance due to the strong vibrations, but would also cause them to feel dizzy to a certain extent. As long as the effects of its Seismic Wave remained active, the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear would savagely devastate its opponents soon after.
Because of that, the two referees quickly approached Wang Dong as soon as the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear released the Seismic Wave. They were ready to interrupt the match the moment they felt that Wang Dong was trapped within its Seismic Wave.

Oftentimes during a battle between a soul master and a soul beast, the outcome of the match would hinge on a single soul skill. The situation in which a single soul skill was able to change the situation of the entire match after landing was incredibly common.

Wang Dong’s rear wings rose up the instant the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear’s paws struck the ground and released the Seismic Wave. Simultaneously, he tilted his front wings downwards as his second soul ring lit up.

He’d flapped his wings forward previously, which had created a backwards stream of air. However, he now only adjusted his actions by a hair’s breadth, which immediately caused his retreating body to fly up into the air by borrowing the stream of air, resulting in him instantly rising three meters into the air. Furthermore, his body remained parallel to the ground and was thus able to dodge the rumbling Seismic Wave just in time. As if that wasn’t enough, the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear
who’d struck the ground was currently right below Wang Dong, its sturdy back completely exposed.

All of the golden patterns on the dazzling blue wings of his Radiant Butterfly Goddess martial soul instantly lit up. A series of terrifying explosions immediately rang out amidst the flickering golden lights.

This was Wang Dong’s second soul skill, his thousand year soul skill - the Light of the Butterfly Goddess.

The tyrannical yellow light from the Light of the Butterfly Goddess mercilessly rained down without pause onto the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear’s back. Even the sounds that rang out due to the violent explosions were painful! The Bloodthirsty Demon Bear had just released its attack which had left its body slightly sluggish for a brief period. Thus, it wasn’t able to dodge Wang Dong’s attack. From the moment it was struck by the first ball of golden light, it could only try its best to curl up and use its thick back to endure the bombardment from the Light of the Butterfly Goddess.

The violent explosions lasted for a full three seconds before they finally ended. Wang Dong slowly floated upwards as his
dazzling blue wings suddenly turned an intense golden color. He moved his hands back to his chest and his palms touched his chest. Following which, his third soul ring released a large amount of light.

A ball of pure golden light appeared between Wang Dong’s palms and then started to expand at an astonishing rate amidst the light surrounding him. In the blink of an eye, the ball was already a foot wide. The ball of golden light was surrounded by golden electricity that illuminated Wang Dong’s entire body.

The golden wings on Wang Dong’s back unceasingly flickered as they released curved golden shadows that fused with the pure gold ball of light, causing its volume to further increase.

Under the series of explosions caused by Wang Dong’s Light of the Butterfly Goddess, the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear was already sprawled on the ground. Although it had gone put everything into its defense, how could a thousand year soul skill be so easily defended against? The flesh on its back had been lacerated and its entire back was stained with fresh blood. The damage has been so severe that even its Bloodthirst had been interrupted.
As an earth-type thousand year soul beast, however, the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear’s defensive abilities were extremely powerful. Despite the violent bouts of pain coming from its back due to the Light of the Butterfly Goddess, it hadn’t yet lost all of its combat strength. But since two of Wang Dong’s blows had struck one of its rear legs, its speed had dropped a large margin which had greatly reduced its ability to move.

Sensing the terrifying aura above it, the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear forced itself to turn around. It couldn’t help but let out a lament when it saw the terrifying golden ball of light in front of Wang Dong’s chest. Raising its front limbs, it managed to barely congeal a ball of yellow light in Wang Dong’s direction. The yellow light then turned into a small shield that barely protected its body.

“Alright, the test is over. Wang Dong, withdraw your soul skill.” Du Weilun’s voice rang out from the tall stage.

However, a soul skill wasn’t easy to withdraw. Wang Dong hurriedly moved his hands outwards and the golden ball of light in front of his chest rose into the air. Since the Great Beast Dueling Arena was located outdoors, the golden ball of light shot a hundred meters into the air before numerous golden crescent moon-like shadows blossomed out from it.
They looked just like the petals of a flower as they flew into the air and turned into motes of golden light before they finally exploded, instantly creating a spectacular screen of golden light.

The two referees simultaneously made a move and subdued the Bloodthirsty Bear before they declared the end of this round of the advancement test.

There was simply no need for the judges to speak. All the students understood that Wang Dong had passed the test with the highest possible score.

After releasing his third soul skill, Wang Dong’s body swayed slightly and his face was clearly pale too. If it weren’t for their bet with Dai Huabin, he would have no need to use his third soul skill in this test. However, his aim right now was to do everything in his power to obtain the highest possible score he was capable of.

His third soul skill was called the Butterfly Goddess Slash. It looked like a ball of light, but was actually a slash that contained a hundred and eight blades of light within it. The
moment it struck its target, the hundred and eight blades within it would burst outward and rip their target to shreds.

The Light of the Butterfly Goddess was an area of effect attack and though it was very powerful, it lacked explosive power. However, the Butterfly Goddess Slash was different. It sacrificed the lock-on ability and range that a long-distance attack would normally have for unparalleled attack power. The Butterfly Goddess Slash had no way of locking onto a target and the blades of light contained within it would automatically start to leak out once the attack was more than five meters away from the user until it was completely depleted of power. This was also the reason behind the marvelous scene that had occurred earlier.

A major reason why Wang Dong had chosen this skill as his third soul skill was because of Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection Sharing. Only when he had the assistance of Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection could he unleash the full might of this skill.

After talking to each other for a bit, Du Weilun and Yan Shaozhe completed their evaluations.
Du Weilun spoke in a solemn voice, “Wang Dong, who chose to face the highest-ranked thousand year soul beast for his test has obtained a hundred marks for his base score. Considering the attack power of his final soul skill, there was a 70% chance that the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear would’ve been killed instantly. Thus, he has obtained full marks for his foundations. His performance during the battle can be considered perfect and for that he has obtained the full fifty marks for battle technique.”

During the advancement test, differently ranked soul beasts would give different base scores. The lowest-ranked hundred year soul beast would only give ten marks, and only by displaying an extraordinary amount of battle technique and defeating it would a student be able to pass the advancement test. However, the thousand year soul beast Wang Dong had chosen gave a hundred marks as its base score. In addition to the fifty marks he had been given for his battle technique, he had obtained a total of a hundred and fifty marks. In comparison, the advancement test for the Year 2 students only required thirty marks for one to pass. In other words, even if he hadn’t been able to defeat the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear, he would’ve been able to easily obtain over thirty marks.

Wang Dong was overjoyed to learn that he had obtained a perfect score. Huo Yuhao didn’t even need to intervene for
them to win the bet. He had obtained full marks by himself, which meant that Dai Huabin couldn’t even put up a fight against them anymore.

However, before he could rejoice, Du Weilun’s next words shot him down.

“However, the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear is an earth-type soul beast. Its defensive abilities rank amongst the top within thousand year soul beasts, which meant that it still had a 30% chance of blocking your final attack. Meanwhile, your soul power was almost completely drained after releasing that attack. Under such circumstances, there would have been no way for you to contend against it again. If that had happened, you could’ve been injured by its last-ditch attack or maybe even have been killed. As a soul master, carelessly staking everything on a single attack is an unwise decision. After talking to Dean Yan, we have decided to deduct fifty marks from your score. This puts your final score for this test at a hundred marks. You pass the advancement test.”

“Ah?”  Wang Dong was flabbergasted, “That’s way too many penalties. After all, I beat a thousand year soul beast!”
Yan Shaozhe replied warmly, “As an outstanding soul master, your first priority in a battle must be your own safety. Only after you have guaranteed your safety should you think of how to beat your opponent. How long have you cultivated for? If you end up exchanging your life for the death of just a single soul beast, what meaning would your cultivation have? The reason

we deducted fifty marks from you is because you’re a core disciple of the academy. Core disciples receive better treatment than ordinary students, but at the same time they have to fulfill much more stringent requirements. Do you understand?”

Wang Dong was extremely dejected, but there wasn’t much he could do. He had no choice but to step down from the stage with his head lowered. Despite his disappointment however, 100 points in the advancement test was already an extremely high score. Not many students received such a score, even from previous years. On top of this, he’d defeated a thousand year soul beast! Indeed, Yan Shaozhe and Du Weilun had been severe on the surface, but they were still very pleased in their hearts. They had only deducted so many points from Wang Dong’s score because they didn’t want him to become too arrogant.

Wang Dong returned to Huo Yuhao’s side, then said with a dejected look, “That was too unfair. I can’t believe they actually deducted so many points from my score.”

Huo Yuhao replied in a low voice, “Forget it. Your score is more than enough to guarantee that we won’t lose the bet. Leave the rest to me; don’t worry about a thing. Moreover, it wasn’t really that unfair. What do you think your chances of victory would’ve been if you hadn’t had my Spiritual Detection?”

Wang Dong stuck his tongue out at Huo Yuhao, then said, “Probably less than 30%. That big fellow wasn’t just difficult to deal with, he was also extremely sly. Hmph, you only need 30 points to pass this test. In other words, Dai Huabin will have to get a score of at least 130 points in order to have a shot at
victory. I refuse to believe that he’ll be so much better than me.”

One must know that Dai Huabin didn’t have someone like Huo Yuhao that could secretly aid him! Wang Dong also knew that, in a one-on-one fight, he was no match for Dai Huabin. From another point of view, his Radiant Butterfly Goddess martial soul was a combination of the assault and agility systems, while Dai Huabin’s White Tiger martial soul was both the purest and the strongest assault type martial soul. In a direct fight, unless he had something such as Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection Sharing that could help him foresee his enemy’s actions, he wouldn’t stand a chance.

Of the freshmen this year with the highest battle prowess… Dai Huabin—the son of the White Tiger Duke—was certainly one of the most talented.
“Year 2 Class 2, Dai Huabin.”  Dai Huabin’s powerful voice suddenly echoed outwards. The advancement test had yet to begin, yet his body had already begun emitting a firm, steely aura. As such, he seemed like a volcano about to erupt.

Yan Shaozhe’s eyes lit up up when he saw this. He said to the nearby Du Weilun, “Is this the strongest student in Year 2?”

Du  Weilun  nodded  and  replied,  “The  White  Tiger  Duke’s posterity is truly outstanding. His natural talent is actually even a bit higher than his older brother’s, who didn’t have this level of cultivation at his age. Furthermore, I’ve heard from Mu Jin that he’s put much more effort into cultivating than his peers. Based on his current cultivation speed, it’s extremely likely that he’ll break through to the Soul Ancestor level in one to one-and-a-half years. If that really does happen, he’ll go down in history within the academy.”

“It’s not that easy to become a Soul Ancestor,” Yan Shaozhe said   with   a   faint   smile,   “however,   this   child   truly   is outstanding. Let’s keep an eye on his performance.”

Dai Huabin didn’t wait for the referee as he announced, “I choose a thousand year soul beast.”

Based on Wang Dong’s precedent, the referees weren’t surprised by Dai Huabin’s choice. Once they’d asked Dai Huabin if he was ready, they immediately sent out his opponent.

Coincidentally, Dai Huabin’s opponent was extremely similar to his martial soul.

A low roar echoed as a nimble, two meter-long, tiger-like soul beast leapt out of the beast cage.

Once it had leapt out of the iron cage and landed, it began to carefully observe the nearby Dai Huabin. Its body was pale- yellow, and had long, dark-green stripes running through its fur. Its figure was a bit smaller than the Flaming Demon Tiger that Huo Yuhao had seen, but it appeared to be more agile. Its two eyes emitted a dark-green radiance as it observed Dai Huabin. It was a Wind Tiger—one of the fastest amongst wind- attributed tiger-type soul beasts.

The Wind Tiger seemed to realize that there was a dangerous aura coming from Dai Huabin’s body, as it didn’t move forward, but instead began to move laterally. It was obviously
planning to use its speed in order to probe its enemy’s abilities and strength. Its four paws trailed along the ground as if it were cotton; they didn’t make a single sound.

The dangerous aura emanating from Dai Huabin’s body suddenly lessened, which caused the Wind Tiger to charge. However, Dai Huabin didn’t even release his White Tiger martial soul when he saw this. This action left the referees surprised. What was this student trying to do?

After gauging the situation, the thousand year Wind Tiger judged that the threat represented by Dai Huabin wasn’t all that great. A green light flickered through its eyes as its four paws were suddenly pressed flat against the ground. Afterward, its body suddenly accelerated towards Dai Huabin like an arrow. It looked like a green bolt of lightning as it pounced towards Dai Huabin, as its speed was much faster than other, similarly wind-attributed soul beasts. Needless to say, its attack power was also many times stronger as well. Wolves and tigers were already on two different levels, let alone a hundred year soul beast and a thousand year one.

The distance between the two parties was almost instantly reduced. The Wind Tiger’s two front paws opened in midair as it flashed forwards, which revealed its sharp claws. The tiger
shot proceeded to shoot ten foot-long blades of wind towards Dai Huabin as it shot towards him. Its trailed behind the blades it had sent towards Dai Huabin, as its body was the strongest weapon it had at its disposal. The sharp claws at the end of the tiger’s palms glittered with green glint as it approached Dai
Huabin as well, which caused a large amount of wind-type soul
power to fluctuate as they cut through the air. This in turn made its claws gain even more penetrating power.

Despite being faced with the attack of a thousand year Wind Tiger, Dai Huabin still didn’t evade. Instead, the roar of a tiger suddenly echoed; he had at last released his White Tiger martial soul. Once he had, he immediately attacked the Wind Tiger fearlessly. His fighting style was different from Wang Dong’s, however. What he relied on wasn’t skill, but absolute strength, as both his first and third soul rings simultaneously lit up.

Dai Huabin’s body suddenly began to emit the aura of a White Tiger now that he’d released his martial soul, which caused the thousand year Wind Tiger to involuntary show a panic-stricken expression. The White Tiger stood at the apex amongst tiger-type soul beast; wild White Tigers were considered kings amongst tiger-type soul beasts. This Wind Tiger, however, was now in midair. Even if it were faster, it still wouldn’t be able to dodge in its current situation. It would
have to wait until the end of its attack to display its superior speed.

Dai Huabin’s thousand year soul skill caused his body to suddenly expand; it reached its peak condition instantaneously. Under normal circumstances, when he used his third soul skill, he would require a certain amount of time in order to complete this transformation. Despite this, he had reduced that time to the minimum; one could imagine what kind of toll this had on his body. If one were to look at his outward expression however, they wouldn’t notice anything amiss.

Dai Huabin's White Tiger Shield began to emit a layer of white light now that he’d activated his White Tiger Vajra Transformation, while his tiger-like claws turned golden.

The spectators all thought that Dai Huabin should’ve first tried to resist the thousand year Wind Tiger’s attack before he attempted to counterattack. He didn’t plan on doing that however. What he planned to do was something that the average person would never attempt.
Dai Huabin didn’t pay any attention to the ten wind blades approaching him. He also ignored the two powerful tiger claws filled with destructive power closing in on him. Instead, he aimed at the Wind Tiger’s head with both of his claws. If one were to see this, one would simply think that it was suicidal!

Even the widely-experienced Yan Shaozhe and Du Weilun were greatly surprised by his actions. Was this really the fighting style of a twelve-year-old? He looked even more ferocious than a soul beast!

At this point, the Wind Tiger had already been influenced by the White Tiger’s aura released by Dai Huabin. Because of this, it had become somewhat scared.

The wind blades it had flung towards Dai Huabin struck his body one after another. Even though the White Tiger Shield had been strengthened by the White Tiger’s Vajra Transformation, it wasn’t able to completely nullify ten successive strikes from a thousand year soul beast. Bloodstains appeared on Dai Huabin’s shoulders and chest, yet this didn’t even cause him to flinch; it was as if he couldn’t feel any pain. After they were weakened by his White Tiger Shield, the Wind Tiger’s wind blades were only able to leave a few superficial wounds on his body.

Both Dai Huabin and the Wind Tiger’s claws closed in on each other at the same speed. However, based on the time they’d attacked and their arm’s lengths, it seemed like the Wind Tiger’s claws would reach Dai Huabin first.

This was a battle of brute force! Who would win?

When two tigers meet each other, the most valiant will win!

The Wind Tiger was already somewhat scared. When it saw that it was about to collide with Dai Huabin, it promptly retracted its claws and tried to grab ahold of his arms; It wanted to stop its opponent’s attack.

However, Dai Huabin had already displayed this sort of reckless fighting style. How could he possibly be scared? He suddenly released a deafeningly loud roar. This roar contained the dignity of the king of the beasts, and if one were to look into the Wind Tiger’s eyes, they would notice that its pupils had instantaneously widened. Under the effect of his mental counterattack, the speed of its claws immediately slowed down by a bit. At the same time, Dai Huabin suddenly infused his
legs with strength, which caused his body to shoot forwards like an arrow.

By doing this, he made it so that the Wind Tiger’s claws would only hit his shoulders, while at the same time making it so that his own claws would gain even more speed.

“Peng––” The Wind Tiger’s claws smashed into Dai Huabin’s shoulders. At the same time, its pupils shrank as Dai Huabin’s two golden claws ruthlessly smashed towards the Wind Tiger’s head from both sides.

At that moment, their fearful fight had reached its peak. The Wind Tiger’s muffled groan echoed outwards. The moment it was about to be hit, it suddenly opened its jaws wide in a last ditch attempt to bite Dai Huabin’s palms.

However, Dai Huabin was determined to win; would this really make him stop? He recklessly smashed his claws into the Wind Tiger’s mouth, ripping apart the Wind Tiger’s cheek muscles, the Wind Tiger’s sharp teeth piercing his palms in the process. Despite this, he managed to grab hold of the Wind Tiger’s long, sharp teeth and break its jaw so that it couldn’t close its mouth.

At this time, his second soul ring suddenly lit up, which caused a ball of white light to ruthlessly explode inside of the Wind Tiger’s open mouth. This was the White Tiger’s Fierce Light Wave!

“Stop.” Du Weilun’s voice echoed from atop the high platform. The two had fought for only a short time, yet the victor and the loser were already clear.

However, Dai Huabin was already brimming with killing intent. In his mind, what he was fighting wasn’t the Wind Tiger, but Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong. He took advantage of the fact that the Wind Tiger was still in a daze in order to arch his body backwards and cut open its soft abdomen, while at the same time, he used his claws to tear the tiger’s lower jaw apart with a cracking sound. Its stomach was cut open at the same instant as he tore apart its jaw.

As the Wind Tiger’s body lay atop of Dai Huabin with its belly cut open, Dai Huabin immediately became drenched in blood.

Chapter 52: The Ice Empress' Armor

The referees had arrived in the arena, but there wasn’t anything they could do at this point. The battle had already ended, and as if to mock them, a purple ring of light rose from the Wind Tiger’s body.

A kill!

There had only been a single collision between Dai Huabin and the Wind Tiger, yet Dai Huabin had savagely overwhelmed the Wind Tiger—a thousand year soul beast—with brute force, and had torn its body in half. Dai Huabin’s body was drenched in the Wind Tiger’s blood. The students from both Class 1 and Class 2 had all become pale-faced, while some female students couldn’t even bear to continue looking.

Only Zhu Lu had an extraordinary splendor in her eyes. After all, this was the man whom she most admired! She loved to see how valiant Dai Huabin was.

“Dai Huabin, didn’t you hear me tell you to stay your hand?” Du Weilun’s angry voice rang out. The death of a thousand
year soul beast wasn’t exactly a small loss to the academy. It wasn’t easy for them to capture a thousand year soul beast and domesticate it, nor was it easy to soothe Gong Changlong.

Dai Huabin indifferently replied, “A battle between soul masters and soul beasts is always one of life and death. Since it wanted to kill me, why couldn’t I kill it? Besides, I couldn’t stay my hand. If I had, its counterattack could’ve injured me. In order to obtain full marks, I needed to avoid the error that Wang Dong made. I didn’t have the 30% chance of failure that he did. As for the academy’s loss, I’m willing to compensate the academy for it.”

Du Weilun furrowed his brows tightly. Even though Dai Huabin was powerful, he was still too vicious. Furthermore, the personality of a rebellious student like him would grow stronger and stronger as his power increased, which would make it harder to control him.

Du Weilun glanced towards Yan Shaozhe, who nodded slightly and whispered a few words to him.

Du Weilun sat back down and spoke in a low voice, “Dai Huabin, you have obtained a hundred marks as your base score
for choosing a thousand year soul beast during the advancement test. The way you met force with force also embodied the strong points of an assault-type soul master. However, your technique was somewhat lacking. You’ve obtained 45 marks for your battle technique. You will also have
to compensate the academy’s loss within ten days. If you don’t, the academy will strip you of your status as a core disciple.”

“Yes.” Dai Huabin had somewhat regained his composure by this point. He naturally wouldn’t go against Du Weilun’s word. He bowed slightly, saluted, then walked back towards his class with large strides.

He’d obtained a total of a hundred and forty five marks! This was an outstanding result that neared perfection! A score like this had never appeared within the Year 2 advancement test in the past—at least in Wang Yan, Zhou Yi, and Mu Jin’s memories.

In reality, Dai Huabin’s performance truly had neared perfection. Though his hands had been injured, he’d retained his fighting strength. Moreover, he’d valiantly killed a thousand year soul beast in battle despite being only twelve years old! Having such a cultivation at his age was extremely rare, even in the history of Shrek Academy; this was the main
reason that Dean Yan Shaozhe had still given him such a high score.

Yan Shaozhe could tell that a student like Dai Huabin was different from Wang Dong: Though he had a steadfast personality, Dai Huabin could break too easily. He couldn’t try to control him by giving him a setback like he had with Wang Dong. He could only guide him slowly. Giving him a high score would benefit his confidence in himself. That, and Yan Shaozhe was confident that he could control his rebelliousness. After all, he’d taught many other students who’d been even more rebellious. Furthermore, Shrek Academy was proud of its ability to train monsters. It wasn’t worried about people with bad personalities; it was only worried that they wouldn’t have the ability to back said personality up.

When Mu Jin saw the blood-drenched Dai Huabin walking towards to her, she furrowed her brows. “Huabin, head back and clean yourself up. You’ve already passed.”

However, Dai Huabin shook his head. He towards Class 1, then raised his right hand’s index finger and pointed at Huo Yuhao.
Huo Yuhao was currently gazing straight at him. At that moment, Dai Huabin realised that Huo Yuhao’s gaze was extremely calm—so calm that it almost icy. He didn’t seem to have any intentions of cowering in front of his blood-drenched, savage appearance. On the contrary, he didn’t relent at all when their gazes met.

Huo Yuhao knew that Dai Huabin was telling him, ‘It’s your turn now.’

“Indeed,  it’s  my  turn  now.”  Huo  Yuhao  clenched  his  fists tightly once he’d finished speaking. He nodded towards Wang Dong, then strode towards the arena with large strides.

It took a few minutes for the arena to be cleaned up. Once it had been, the referee sent Huo Yuhao’s test form to the tall stage.

“Class 1, Huo Yuhao.” Huo Yuhao reported his name calmly. As he did so, he stood tall and straight. Not only was he much more robust compared to a month ago, he was also quite a bit taller. Suddenly, the referee noticed that he was somewhat similar to Dai Huabin. Was it in his appearance? They seemed to be slightly similar. However, it had more to do with the
confidence they both exuded; the confidence that they would definitely win.

“Are you still going to choose a hundred year soul beast?” The referee’s impression of him was still fresh in his mind; this was the student who’d alerted even the Beast King two days ago.

Huo Yuhao shook his head. “I choose a thousand year soul beast.”

“A  thousand  year  soul  beast?”  The  referee  was  stunned. “Huo Yuhao, you need to carefully think about this. You’re only a two-ringed Soul Grandmaster; a thousand year soul beast is still a bit too much pressure for you. You saw what just happened! Even if we wanted to help you out, in a close-combat fight like this, it’d still take time for us to reach you.”

Despite his warning, Huo Yuhao confirmed his decision unhesitatingly.  “Teacher,  I’ve  decided  to  take  on  the  test’s highest-ranked opponent, a thousand year soul beast.”
He spoke very loudly, thus those atop the tall stage, as well as the other students, were all able to hear him clearly.

Dai Huabin’s pupils contracted as a trace of astonishment appeared in his eyes. He’s choosing a thousand year soul beast? What could he be relying on? He can’t even use his second soul skill… is he just relying on his Spiritual Shock? That skill’s not too bad, but it’s nowhere near enough to take on the likes of a thousand year soul beast. Could he even manage to break its defences if it were to simply lie down and let him attack it?

He’s courting death! Does he think that they’re pushovers because Wang Dong and I were able to defeat them?

Dai Huabin had obtained 145 marks, while Wang Dong had obtained 100 marks. In other words, Huo Yuhao just needed to obtain more than 45 marks to win the bet. At the same time, the academy had requested that he not use his second soul skill during the test. In exchange, they had guaranteed that he would score at least 30 marks in order to ensure that he passed the advancement test.

Du Weilun had undoubtedly made a decision like this in order to see what he was capable of. If he hadn’t, Huo Yuhao
would be able to pass the test solely by relying on his Imitation, just like his performance the other day!

“Let him.”  Du Weilun’s voice rang out from atop the tall stage.

“Alright.” The referee responded. The arena had already been fully cleaned up by this point.

“Huo Yuhao, are you ready?” The referee asked.

He nodded.

The referee gestured towards the arena, then reminded him, “Pay attention to your safety. If you don’t think that you can beat your opponent, do your best to protect yourself.”

Huo Yuhao nodded slightly, but he didn’t reveal any emotions on his face, as he was currently fully concentrated on the upcoming battle. As such, he couldn’t even spare the effort required to say a word of thanks.
He was just a two-ringed Soul Grandmaster after all. Furthermore, he couldn’t even use his second soul skill. In a situation such as this, the difficulty of taking on a thousand year soul beast could be imagined. Of course, he naturally understood that he was somewhat inferior to Wang Dong and Dai Huabin in terms of direct fighting strength. The only reason he dared to take on a thousand year soul beast was because of his confidence in his Spiritual Detection and the Ice Empress’ two soul skills.

A pale golden light flickered as two soul rings rose from beneath his feet.

Wang Dong and Dai Huabin’s three rings hadn’t surprised any of the other students, but the students from Class 2 immediately cried out in surprise the moment his soul rings appeared.

Both of them were white, which represented two ten year soul rings! Yet, would anyone truly dare to underestimate these ten year soul rings? Two days ago, they had both been blood- red. At this point, almost no one who could tell what rank his soul rings truly were.
Yan Shaozhe’s gaze was fixed on his body, and his eyes flickered slightly. Even though he didn’t have a martial soul like the Spirit Eyes that could enhance his eyesight, his spiritual perception and vision weren’t any less than Huo Yuhao’s when he was using his Spiritual Detection due to his
cultivation.

“What a strange skill. When he activates it, even I can’t sense the intensity of the aura from his soul rings. Is his second soul ring truly a ten year soul ring?” Du Weilun furrowed his brows.

Yan Shaozhe shook his head. “There’s no way it’s a ten year soul ring. We’ve seen thousands upon thousands of soul rings. How could a soul ring that’s capable of imitating the aura of a hundred thousand year soul ring possibly be a ten year soul ring? If it were only a ten year soul ring, could he really have scared hundred or thousand year soul beasts? If I were to make a guess, it’s very likely that his soul ring is a thousand year one, just like Wang Dong’s.”

Du Weilun was stunned. “That can’t be right. His first soul ring’s only a ten year one; how could his second one be a thousand year one? His body shouldn’t have been able to withstand absorbing one.”

Yan Shaozhe shook his head. “Don’t forget that he has twin martial souls. Furthermore, it’s extremely likely that his second martial soul had a late awakening. Though this occurs very rarely, it could’ve changed his physique. However, you mentioned that he left the academy by himself, and that he’s
an orphan. There’s almost no chance that he’ll be able to kill a thousand year soul beast by himself. Is there anyone outside the academy who could help him out?”

At that point, their conversation stopped for the time being, as Huo Yuhao’s opponent had appeared.

Surrounded by an intense aura of heat, a fire-wreathed lion charged out from the beast cage.

It was no wonder they were the highest-ranked opponents a student could challenge during the advancement test. Not only were the soul beasts Wang Dong, Dai Huabin, and Huo Yuhao faced thousand year ones; they were all tyrannical existences such as lions, leopards, and bears too.

Huo Yuhao felt somewhat strange when he saw the Flaming Lion King. He thought back to his match with Wu Feng. It was
that match that had resulted in him obtaining stable footing in Class 1 and in sending Wu Feng to Class 2.

Wu Feng, who stood near Dai Huabin, gazed towards Huo Yuhao, her eyes filled with anger. She couldn’t understand why a sense of fear towards him had welled up in her heart after their match, despite him clearly being much weaker than her. It was because of this feeling that, during the months that followed their match, she hadn’t issued him another challenge.

Wu Feng didn’t know why this had happened, but the unyielding look in Huo Yuhao’s eyes would frequently pop up in her mind.

He’s actually going against the Flaming Lion King. This is gonna be a nice show to watch. Vicious thoughts popped up in Wu Feng’s mind. It’d be good if it burned him to cinders.

The Flaming Lion King charged out of the beast cage and roared towards the sky. The lion’s distinctive mane spread outwards and its fire-red fur looked even more formidable due to the fire surrounding it.
It was much more robust than the Wind Tiger that Dai Huabin had faced; its body was a full three meters long and its shoulders were one and-a-half-meters wide. Its muscles were outlined distinctly and its light brown eyes had a grim look to them. After letting out a roar, it shot through the air towards Huo Yuhao.

The flames around its body rose unceasingly as it charged towards Huo Yuhao. The flames were so hot that they began to distort the air around them.

Could Huo Yuhao really take on a thousand year Flaming Lion King? It was even stronger than the Bloodthirsty Demon Bear and Wind Tiger that Wang Dong and Dai Huabin had faced.

Dai Huabin did not not believe for a second that such a miracle would occur. In his opinion, Huo Yuhao wouldn’t even be able to take a single blow from it.

Huo Yuhao stood unyieldingly as he faced the Flaming Lion King’s charge. He released his Spiritual Detection and locked it onto its body. Despite having faced a thousand year soul beast in the past, it would be a lie to say that he wasn’t nervous. This
was still his first time facing a soul beast of its level by himself. However, he let out a mental sigh of relief once he sensed his opponent’s attribute.

By this time, it had already reached within fifty metres of Huo Yuhao. A large majority of the audience was now focused on its body. Yet, due to their focus on the Flaming Lion King, they didn’t notice that a change had occurred to Huo Yuhao’s soul rings.

This time, the change wasn’t the color of his soul rings, but rather the number of them. His two soul rings had suddenly become a single one, though they still remained white.

That single white soul ring emitted a weak and feeble light as a layer of translucent crystals silently covered his body. Every crystal was about the size of a fingernail, and didn’t hinder his movements even though they had covered his entire body. On the contrary, they formed a suit of armor made of ice.

These crystals of ice were all hexagonal and multifaceted. Thus, any light that shone on these ice crystals would result in dazzling reflections.
After the crystals of ice covered Huo Yuhao’s body, the Flaming Lion King suddenly stopped. The blazing flames around its body converged and turned into a fiery light identical to its body which then shot straight towards Huo Yuhao.

This was the Flaming Lion King’s innate skill, Flaming Clone Strike.

The fiery light surrounding its body vanished as soon as it released this attack. However, the speed of its charge didn’t diminish in the slightest as it continued to charge towards Huo Yuhao.

The referee had been following the entire situation closely. He felt somewhat surprised when the layer of ice crystals appeared on Huo Yuhao’s body. Just what was his martial soul? Furthermore, the audience had just noticed that his two soul rings were now just a single soul ring.

This strange phenomenon sent the two referees into a daze for a brief moment. Naturally, this wasted some of their time; by the time they came back to their senses and realised that
Huo Yuhao might not be able to withstand the Flaming Lion King’s attack, it had already reached him.

Du Weilun had already risen to his feet with his right hand pointed downwards. He could naturally see that the two referees wouldn’t be able to make it in time to help Huo Yuhao.

Yan Shaozhe flicked his sleeve and blocked Du Weilun’s hand. He smiled slightly and said, “No need.”

At that moment, the Flaming Clone Strike had already struck Huo Yuhao.

Astonished cries began to ring throughout the entire stadium, both Zhou Yi and Wang Yan rushed into the arena simultaneously. However, they suddenly stopped after taking three steps; they had just witnessed a miraculous scene.

Right when the lion’s Flaming Clone Strike had collided with Huo Yuhao’s body, a layer of white mist surged from his body. Immediately after that, an illusory shadow flashed behind his body. Following which, the lion’s skill vanished without a trace. It was as though it had never occurred in the first place.

After the white mist disappeared, Huo Yuhao’s body returned back to its normal state. He clasped his hands behind his back and glared at the lion coldly. “Scram!” he shouted with a stern voice.

The huge lion had unexpectedly shivered before it turned around and ran away with its tail between its legs. Its terrified appearance was as though it had seen something extremely terrifying. Yet, it was only Huo Yuhao who stood there, with a completely nonchalant attitude.

The two referees were left dumbstruck. Last time, a hundred year soul beast had been paralyzed from fear and this time, a thousand year soul beast had been scared to the point of fleeing. Furthermore, he had withstood its attack without releasing a hundred thousand year soul ring!

Just what had happened? All the teachers within the arena were baffled.

Yan Shaozhe slowly rose to his feet, turned towards Du Weilun and spoke, “I’m going to head back now. Huo Yuhao gets full marks for his advancement test. I want this kid.”

With that, he took a step forward and left the tall stage.
Then, he flashed through the sky and disappeared.

Of all the spectators observing the match, the only person who had clearly seen what Huo Yuhao had done was Yan Shaozhe.

After he was struck by the lion’s Flaming Clone Strike, a white mist had poured from Huo Yuhao’s body. At the same time, the crystalline ice armor he wore had turned jade-green. Furthermore, an illusory image had appeared behind him as the white mist floated upwards.

It was a meter-and-a-half tall scorpion and Yan Shaozhe had clearly seen the scorpion coldly glare at the Flaming Lion King with its crystal-yellow eyes. At that exact moment, the lion… had pissed itself...

This wasn’t the sense of fear caused by his Imitation skill, but a true intimidation caused by the attribute of his martial soul. It was just like the intimidation Dai Huabin’s White Tiger released towards the Wind Tiger.
Yan Shaozhe’s emotions surged violently as he hurriedly left. It had already been 76 years since he’d entered Shrek Academy, but this was the first Ultimate element martial soul he’d seen.

Ultimate Ice, this was the Ultimate Ice attribute!

The fire-type Flaming Lion King was frightened to the point of fleeing by Huo Yuhao’s Ultimate Ice-type martial soul. This was the absolute suppression that stemmed from their attributes!

Only Yan Shaozhe had been able to see through everything clearly and he had made many decisions as a result. The skill Huo Yuhao had just released was called the Ice Empress’ Armor, and it was the other skill that the Ice Empress’ four hundred thousand year soul ring had given him. The Ice Empress’ Pincer and the Ice Empress’ Armor were absolute godly skills. Only, the current Huo Yuhao wasn’t able to reveal their true strength. However, the strength required to send a fire-type opponent fleeing through elemental suppression posed no problem to him.

Yan Shaozhe had left earlier because he had seen what he had come to see. Now, all he needed to do was figure out a way to
make Huo Yuhao stay in the Martial Soul Department without losing face.

A slight sinister smile appeared on Yan Shaozhe’s face. Qian Duoduo, ah, Qian Duoduo. I was taken in by your scheme this time, but let’s see who gets the last laugh. My Martial Soul Department is the true number one department on the continent and we have certain things that your Soul Tool Department doesn’t. If this Dean doesn’t hesitate to spare no expense, hehe… it’s all worth it for an Ultimate element!

The silence in the arena vanished following Yan Shaozhe’s departure, and the spectators all flew into an uproar.

Just what in the world had occurred?

Dai Huabin’s earlier feat of killing a thousand year soul beast was already enough to astonish them, but Huo Yuhao hadn’t even made a move. Yet, he’d sent his opponent fleeing by merely withstanding a single blow from it. This was even more stunning than a direct kill!
But, just what did he use to achieve this? After all, he wasn’t allowed to use his Imitation!

Dai Huabin’s confident eyes turned somewhat dazed. He muttered to himself, “Just how could this happen, how could this…?”

At this moment, Du Weilun’s voice boomed across the arena, “Huo Yuhao’s test is over. According to the Dean’s evaluation, Huo Yuhao has obtained 150 marks. He passes with full marks.”

“Ah” The astonished cries of various students immediately rang out. They didn’t even know that the Dean had been watching this round of the advancement test. Without a doubt, Du Weilun’s announcement of Huo Yuhao’s score had been made even more persuasive with his use of the Dean’s name.

Huo Yuhao slowly walked back to the area where the rest of the Class 1 students were waiting. In reality, even he didn’t know that a situation like this would occur. It hadn’t even been his own intention to yell out the word ‘Scram’; in that instant, the Ice Empress had awakened. The Ice Empress had urged him to yell that out and as a resultthe grand Flaming Lion King
was actually scared witless…. The might of the Ice Empress Jade Scorpion was truly terrifying.

Without even waiting for Huo Yuhao to return, Wang Yan instinctively ran up to him. Though his eyesight wasn’t as good as Yan Shaozhe’s, his research in the field of martial souls was extremely profound. Moreover, he more-or-less understood Huo Yuhao’s abilities which resulted in him obtaining a few ideas as to what had really happened.

“Yuhao, you, just now, the soul skill you used just now, what happened? Your two rings became a single ring… don’t tell me you have two martial souls? Your second martial souls belongs to the Ice element?”

Wang Yan’s words rang out like a string of cannon shots.

Huo Yuhao might’ve been able to conceal the truth from other people, but Wang Yan had always treated him extremely well. Furthermore, he had always been extremely concerned about Huo Yuhao’s growth. The heartfelt respect that Huo Yuhao held towards Teacher Wang was no less than the respect he held for Fan Yu and Zhou Yi. He nodded softly, affirming Wang Yan’s guess.

Wang Yan’s eyes lit up. “This… were you were late because of your second martial soul? Is it because it just awakened? Come, follow me. There are some questions I’d like you to answer for me.”  He grabbed Huo Yuhao’s arm as soon as he’d finished speaking and left. Zhou Yi had an odd expression on her face when she saw him leave, but she couldn’t leave since he had! In order to guide their students through the advancement test, a teacher was required to be present at all times.

Huo Yuhao had been dragged away, but Wang Dong was still there! Even though he had been just as surprised by Huo Yuhao’s performance, Huo Yuhao was still his martial soul fusion companion. The stronger Huo Yuhao was, the stronger their combined combat strength would be. Thus, although he was stunned, he was also greatly excited. He turned and looked towards Dai Huabin with a look of disdain, whose face had begun to alternate between shades of green and white. He ridiculed, “How about it, Mr. Dai? It seems that you were full of shit this time around. Whaddaya mean ‘taking on both of us by yourself’. Huo Yuhao’s score alone is enough to beat yours. Remember to honor your promise later. Aih, the feeling of looking down on you from above truly feels good.”
“You—!”  When he heard this, Dai Huabin became so angry that his entire body began to shiver. His blood-drenched body caused him to look even more sinister. Zhu Lu almost rushed towards Wang Dong, while Xie Huanyue simply had an astonished look on his face.

Dai Huabin grabbed ahold of Zhu Lu; he’d unexpectedly managed to calm himself down after such a short amount of time. He looked towards Wang Dong and said indifferently, “Since I was willing to make a bet with you, I’m also willing to admit my defeat. I’ll naturally honor my promise when I see Huo Yuhao later.” After he said this, he turned towards Mu Jin. “Teacher Mu, I’m heading back to clean myself up first.” With that, he let go of Zhu Lu and glanced towards her with a deep look before leaving.

The rancor and killing intent within Dai Huabin’s eyes surged out like a waterfall as he left the Great Beast Duelling Arena.

Wang Dong lips curled as he watched Dai Huabin’s distant figure. “He’s actually quite a man; he still knows how to pay up when he loses.”  However, he didn’t realize that Dai Huabin’s loss today had thoroughly transformed him into a crazy madman who would disregard the consequences of his actions.

Wang Yan dragged Huo Yuhao all the way to his office, then shut the door once they’d entered. As soon as he’d shut the door, he impatiently inquired, “Yuhao, did you just awaken your second martial soul?”

Huo Yuhao nodded, then proceeded to give Wang Yan the same explanation he’d given to Zhou Yi and Fan Yu.

Wang Yan became somewhat tongue-tied as he listened to his story. Once he’d finished listening, he asked, puzzled, “Why would this happen? Just what in the world could cause this!? This can’t be right! Even if your Body Soul were to have a second awakening, a brand new martial soul shouldn’t have appeared. Twin martial souls are born at the same time; how in the world could a second one appear after the first? Was your second martial soul hidden from the very beginning? However, a situation like this has never occurred in the annals of history…”

The current Teacher Wang was a completely fanatical scholar. He continued to ponder unceasingly as he talked to himself.
“Yuhao, what exactly is your second martial soul?” Wang Yan looked towards him, an urgent tone in his voice.

Huo Yuhao replied, “I heard Teacher Zhou say that it’s the Ice Jade Scorpion.”

Wang Yan sharply inhaled when he heard this. Perhaps the other teachers wouldn’t recognize the Ice Jade Scorpion, but he did. He had always devoted his efforts to the research of martial souls, thus he had naturally done research on soul beasts that solely belonged to the Extreme North. He naturally knew about the terrifying existences that lived in that place.

“I understand, I understand.”  Wang Yan’s eyes lit up. “No wonder that Flaming Lion King ran with its tail between its legs. Your second martial soul is actually an extremely rare Ultimate martial soul! Heavens… it’s actually an Ultimate martial soul!”

Huo Yuhao scratched his head. “Teacher Wang, I think I’ve heard Teacher Fan Yu mention this as well. What does an ‘Ultimate martial soul’ mean?”
Currently, Wang Yan was looking at Huo Yuhao the same way he’d look at a lover in a dream. Huo Yuhao felt somewhat guilty when he saw this.

“What is an Ultimate martial soul? How should I explain this to you… Let’s put it this way. As you know, there are various ranks within the world of soul masters.”

Huo Yuhao nodded.

Wang Yan continued, “Within these ranks, it’s appropriate to say that twin-souled soul masters are existences who stand at the top of the pyramid. Regardless of what their martial souls are, they’re definitely much stronger than ordinary soul masters, due to the fact that they can add soul rings to their second martial soul after they reach a certain level of strength. However, twin-souled soul masters are extremely rare. You’re one of them, and Xiao Xiao is too. It’s the first time in the outer courtyard’s history that two twin-souled soul masters have appeared at the same time.

“Besides a unique situation such as this however, there are certain differences between martial souls. There are Beast Souls, and then there are Tool Souls. All martial souls have
characteristics that belongs to them alone; its existence is worth something as long as soul power appears when it awakens. Due to this fact, it’s often very hard to differentiate strong and weak martial souls. Under different circumstances, or perhaps I should say, ‘different domains’, there won’t be just one ‘strongest’ martial soul. However, even though that’s normally the case, there are a few martial souls publicly recognised as extremely powerful ones.

“The first of these are Body Souls. Body Souls are extremely powerful due to the fact that they’re a part of a soul master’s body. A soul master’s trained body is naturally more accommodating to their wishes when compared to a martial soul created after its awakening. Furthermore, a second awakening can occur in a Body Soul. This second awakening can both occur during the initial awakening of the Body Soul, or at higher ranks. I’ve been paying a lot of attention to your Spirit Eyes, in the hopes that I would be able to see it undergo a second awakening. A Body Soul will experience a qualitative leap when it undergoes its second awakening, and will become an existence that lords over ordinary martial souls. It’s just like a hundred thousand year soul beast that’s broken through its limits; we can use the word ‘transcendent’ to describe martial souls that have achieved this.
“When a martial soul can be referred to as transcendent, it’s obvious that it will definitely be much stronger than a normal martial soul. Besides Body Souls that have undergone their second awakening, there is another type of martial soul that can be classified as a transcendent martial soul: Ultimate martial souls. An example of this would be your second martial soul.”

Huo Yuhao conscientiously listened to Wang Yan’s explanation. He’d never expected Ultimate martial souls to be evaluated this highly.

The more Wang Yan spoke, the more excited he got. His face turned slightly red as he continued, “The strength of Ultimate martial souls is reflected in the word ‘Ultimate’. There are several different types of Ultimate martial souls, and they can belong to any element. However, for a martial soul to reach the pinnacle of any element is easier said than done. If it’s lacking even a little bit, it can’t be considered to have reached the pinnacle. You’ve seen Wu Feng’s Red Dragon; it’s a relatively top-ranked martial soul within the fire element. However, her fire isn’t Ultimate Fire. In fact, there’s a large gap between her fire and Ultimate Fire. Because of that, we say that her martial soul is a Fire Dragon, not a True Fire Dragon. When a True Fire Dragon appears, it’s capable of scorching everything within a thousand miles. However, your Ice Jade Scorpion is a
true Ultimate Ice martial soul! Ice Jade Scorpions are soul beasts that live within the Extreme North. The Extreme North is an area that we humans simply cannot enter; soul beasts are the absolute masters of that place.”

“According to the legends, there are three extremely powerful ice-type races who live within that extremely frigid world. They are known as, respectively, the Titan Ice Devils, the Ice Jade Scorpions, and the Snow Ladies. The kings of their respective races are known as the Three Emperors of the Extreme North. I can guarantee that these Emperors are transcendent soul beasts.”

A sense of admiration spontaneously arose in Huo Yuhao’s heart when he heard Wang Yan say this. His description of the Extreme North was identical to what the Skydream Iceworm had said. In a situation where there was no way for them to collect any information from that place, Teacher Wang somehow possessed this much knowledge about it. The amount of dedication he’d put towards the research of soul beasts could be seen from this. Even the newly awakened Ice Empress couldn’t help but praise that he was somewhat knowledgeable.

Wang Yan naturally didn’t know what Huo Yuhao was thinking.  He  continued  excitedly,  “The  Snow  Ladies  are
supposedly the strongest race within the Extreme North. Nobody’s clear about their origins, but I strongly suspect that they have human blood; their appearance resemble those of humans as well. They’re definitely Ultimate martial souls. Other than the Snow Ladies, there’s the Ice Jade Scorpions, who have also reached to the pinnacle of the ice element. However, the Titan Ice Devils, who are likewise one of the three strongest races in the Extreme North, can’t be considered to have achieved transcendence in terms of their element. As far as I know, I’ve never heard of a Snow Lady or an Ice Jade Scorpion appearing as a human’s martial soul. I didn’t think that I’d actually be able to see one during my lifetime. Furthermore, it even turned out to be one of my students.”

Huo Yuhao was somewhat embarrassed. “Teacher Wang, I’m not even clear as to what happened myself.”

Wang  Yan  replied,  “Ultimate  martial  souls  are  extremely rare. The academy’s entrance contains the sculptures of the first generation Shrek’s Seven Monsters. They were extremely powerful. Even the founder of your Tang Sect—Ancestor Tang San—was one of them. However, none of them had an Ultimate element. In the ten thousand year history of our academy, an Ultimate element martial soul has only appeared thrice before. They were, respectively, Ultimate Wind, Ultimate Fire, and Ultimate Wood. This is the the first time the
Ultimate Ice element has appeared. In the past, the three of them all managed to achieve extreme fame amongst their contemporaries. Of them, the most famous is the possessor of the Ultimate Fire martial soul. It was under his leadership that the three original empires of our Douluo Continent were able to defeat the Sun Moon Empire. Later on in his life, he created an extremely powerful clan. However, the martial souls that his descendants inherited didn’t have the word ‘Ultimate’
attached to them.

“Do you know why Ultimate martial souls are so rare?”

Huo Yuhao shook his head blankly.

Wang Yan continued, “It’s because it’s extremely hard for our bodies to endure an Ultimate martial soul. Think about it. Regardless of whether it’s your Ultimate Ice or that ancestor’s Ultimate Fire, the extreme amount of power that appears once it awakens could easily blow a soul master’s body apart. Without an unusual amount of innate talent, a person simply couldn’t withstand it. Because of this, the chances that an Ultimate element will appear on the continent are miniscule; they’re exponentially rarer than Body Souls. Based on what you’ve said, I’m going to make an outrageous hypothesis: Your second martial soul had already appeared when you first
awakened your martial soul, but a mutation occurred and it gained a shred of intelligence. Its element was too tyrannical, thus it must’ve restrained itself.”

Chapter 53: Irrefutable Benefits?

“In order to withstand it, your soul power must’ve needed to reach at least rank 20; only then did it fully awaken. Now that it has, your body should be able to bear its load. I know that what I’m saying right now might sound inconceivable, but I think that this is the best way to explain your situation.”

It might sound inconceivable? Huo Yuhao felt like his back had become drenched in cold sweat when he heard Teacher Wang’s explanation. Teacher Wang was just too amazing… simply too amazing! His Ice Empress martial soul obviously hadn’t appeared when he’d awoken his Spirit Eyes, but besides that, there hadn’t been a single mistake in what Wang Yan had said! His martial soul truly was sentient!

Wang Yan took a deep breath. “Yuhao, let me give you a piece of advice. Even though you’ve become a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department, you’re still someone who has an Ultimate martial soul. As such, the Martial Soul Department is the best place for you to study. Only in the Martial Soul Department will you be able to properly raise your Ultimate martial soul. To tell the truth, your innate talent is the highest I’ve ever seen. I never could’ve imagined that, not just twin
martial souls, but both a Body Soul and an Ultimate martial soul could coexist inside of the same person.”

“You aren’t that strong right now. However, given enough time and assuming you continue to cultivate properly, your strength will continue increasing at an extremely fast pace. At the same time, your Spirit Eyes martial soul can still awaken twice! Heavens! I’m already incapable of imagining the heights you’ll reach in the future. However, you’ll have to pay close attention to your cultivation. An Ultimate element is extremely strong, but even an Ultimate martial soul has its disadvantages, which is related to the speed of your cultivation. According to the academy’s records, the three ancestors who possessed the Ultimate element all felt their cultivation speeds drop dramatically once they reached Rank 30.”

Huo Yuhao was startled. “A drop in cultivation speed? To what extent is this drop?”

“You don’t need to worry,” Wang Yan said with a faint smile, “even  though  your  cultivation  speed  will  drop  by  a  large margin, a soul master with an Ultimate martial soul will still be much stronger than other soul masters of the same rank. Furthermore, a slower cultivation speed is definitely acceptable when it’s for the sake of strengthening both your body and
your Ultimate element. After all, it’s not like you won’t make any progress at all. Actually, progressing slowly isn’t necessarily a bad thing for an Ultimate martial soul; you won’t encounter any bottlenecks since you have an Ultimate element.”

Once Huo Yuhao had finished listening to Wang Yan’s explanation, he realized just how much of an advantage his martial soul granted him. Moreover, Wang Yan didn’t know that he also had both a million year intelligent soul ring and a four hundred thousand year intelligent soul ring inside of his body.

Just like Wang Yan had said, Huo Yuhao was weak right now.
At the same time however, his prospects were limitless.

“So, what do you think? You should seriously consider transferring to the Martial Soul Department. If you’re willing to, I’ll personally notify the Dean. He’ll surely give you the position of a core disciple this time. Furthermore, I can assure you that, with your level of talent, you’ll definitely advance to the inner courtyard.”
Huo Yuhao furrowed his brows slightly. However, in the end, he shook his head. “Thank you, Teacher Wang. I appreciate your good intentions. However, when I was in a pinch, it was the Soul Tool Department that accepted me. Now that I’ve become a core disciple of that department, I can’t go back on my word.”

Wang Yan sighed. “The Martial Soul Department is also at fault for being so short-sighted! When you and Wang Dong placed first in the freshmen assessment, I went ahead and asked Elder Xuan to take another look at the two of you. However,  they…”   Wang  Yan  sighed  again.  “An  Ultimate martial soul can’t be wasted. Yuhao, even if decide to specialize in soul tools in the future, you absolutely can’t neglect the cultivation of your martial soul. I’ll do my best to convince the Martial Soul Department to help you obtain your future soul rings. You definitely must cultivate this Ultimate element of yours properly.”

Huo Yuhao’s eye sockets became somewhat red when he heard this. “Teacher Wang, I’ll remain your disciple forever. You don’t have to worry about me. I’ll definitely cultivate diligently and live up to your expectations.”
Wang Yan patted him on the shoulder and said, “You should head back to your dorm room and rest for now. The advancement test will continue for the rest of the day; there aren’t any more classes today. I’ll go and look for the Dean; he should’ve seen your performance just now as well. In fact, I bet he’s already paying quite a bit of attention to you. However, you don’t need to be in a hurry to choose. Dean Yan is always looking for people with outstanding talent. Now that he’s found someone like you, there’s no way that he’ll give up on
you.”

“Hm.” Huo Yuhao nodded, then turned to leave.

When he did so, a gentle voice suddenly echoed from all directions. “Teacher Wang, you live up to your reputation of being one of the most outstanding teachers in our Martial Soul Department. I have to thank you for all the work you’ve done for the academy. There’s no need to look for me, as I’ve decided to come of my own volition. Please open the door.”

This gentle voice was like a warm breeze; it was extremely pleasing to the ear. When he heard it, Huo Yuhao immediately felt his spiritual sea fluctuate slightly.
The Skydream Iceworm and the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion both simultaneously exclaimed from inside of Huo Yuhao’s spirit sea, “This human is extremely powerful!”

Wang Yan became delighted when he heard these words, and immediately moved to open the door to his office. The person waiting outside was the Dean of the Martial Soul Department, Yan Shaozhe.

Dean Yan had held a meeting with all of the core teachers when he’d returned to the inner courtyard. After a simple discussion, he’d left once again and had returned to the test area to look for Huo Yuhao as fast as he could. He then heard that he’d been led away by Wang Yan. When he’d learned this, he decided to come to place directly. With his cultivation, he could hear the sound made by flies and mosquitos flapping their wings from several kilometers away; listening in on the contents of Wang Yan’s speech had been a piece of cake for him.

“Dean.”  Wang  Yan  greeted  Yan  Shaozhe  respectfully.  He admired Dean Yan from the bottom of his heart.
Yan Shaozhe smiled faintly. “Teacher Wang, I heard what you said. In my capacity as Dean, I thank you on behalf of the academy. You’ve done your best to convince this talented youth to enter our Martial Soul Department. No matter what, once Huo Yuhao and the others graduate from their class in the outer courtyard, you’ll be allowed to teach in the inner courtyard. If I’m not mistaken, you’ve always wanted to read the books held within the secret library. Look for me when you’ve entered the inner courtyard. I’ll give you clearance to enter the secret library.”

Wang Yan was overjoyed. “Thank you, Dean. This is incredible! Really… this is just incredible!” If it weren’t for the fact that Yan Shaozhe was there, he would’ve immediately begun to jump for joy. Becoming a teacher of the inner courtyard and being able to read books from the secret library… these were things that Wang Yan had always hoped for! He hadn't expected that his lifetime goal would be achieved just like this. How could he not be happy?

Yan Shaozhe stepped into Wang Yan’s office. Once he had, the door to the office closed of its own accord.

Huo Yuhao, who was near Wang Yan, also hurried to greet him respectfully.

Yan Shaozhe arrived in front of Huo Yuhao and said with a faint smile, “Student Huo Yuhao, I came specifically to talk to you this time. First things first, I would like to apologize to you on behalf of the entire Martial Soul Department.”  Once he’d finished speaking, one of the true members of Shrek Academy
—the majestic Dean who possessed an enormous amount of prestige within the world of soul masters—bowed slightly to Huo Yuhao.

Huo Yuhao couldn’t stop him; he’d been in a daze from the moment that Yan Shaozhe had entered the room.

The moment that Yan Shaozhe had appeared, he’d already guessed that he’d come here for him, in the hopes that he’d enter the Martial Soul Department. Huo Yuhao had planned to reject his offer, but he hadn’t expected Yan Shaozhe to use a trick like this.

Let alone Huo Yuhao, even the nearby Wang Yan had become so shocked that his mouth was wide open. He’d never seen Dean Yan bow to anyone.
There had once been a time when a king had come to visit the academy. Yet, this king had been the one to bow in front of Dean Shaozhe! This was because the king in question had studied at the academy once. Even though he hadn’t been able to graduate from the outer courtyard and had been dismissed
from the school, he’d still been full of respect for the academy. This was more than enough to show what level of authority the academy held.

And yet, Dean Yan Shaozhe, one of the two leaders of the academy, was currently bowing to a twelve-year-old second year student. If this matter were to be publicized, it would shock every single soul master on the continent.

After bowing, Yan Shaozhe straightened his back. He was still smiling like before, and didn’t seem to be even the slightest bit embarrassed. He gently said, “Student Huo Yuhao, because of our negligence, the Martial Soul Department nearly lost someone as talented as you. I sincerely apologize for this. The blame rests with us; we were unable to properly assess your skills. We almost lost an outstanding student.”

Huo Yuhao was only able to react now: His small face had become entirely red, and gestured again and again. However, he couldn’t say anything.

The difference between him and Yan Shaozhe was comparable to that of heaven and earth. Yan Shaozhe had unexpectedly bowed to him; this alone had left him dumbfounded! His mind had been thrown into confusion, thus he didn’t know how to reply. He had already forgotten the
words he’d prepared in order to refuse his offer.

Yan Shaozhe continued, “I saw your martial soul today. When you used your soul skill, your martial soul also manifested itself. If I’m not mistake, it should be an Ice Jade Scorpion, right? An Ultimate martial soul of the ice element. I know that you’ve already become a disciple of the Soul Tool Department. However, this isn’t a problem. I can go and have a talk with their department. If you were to specialize in soul tools whilst being the owner of an Ultimate martial soul… I can only say that it would be a huge waste. I dare say that, throughout the entirety Douluo Continent, the only soul masters capable of providing the proper guidance to someone with an Ultimate martial soul are those of our Martial Soul Department. If you’re willing, from today onwards you’ll become a disciple of the inner courtyard of the Martial Soul Department. I’ll teach you personally, and will become your academic advisor. Given your innate talent… even with your cultivation speed slowed by your Ultimate martial soul, I’m confident that you’ll become a Titled Douluo in less than 40
years under my tutelage. A Titled Douluo with an Ultimate martial soul, do you know what that means?”

Huo Yuhao unconsciously shook his head.

Yan Shaozhe smiled faintly. Then, he continued in a firm tone, “It means that you’d be invincible and unmatched in the world.”

These words spoken by Yan Shaozhe were like a bomb. Huo Yuhao’s body swayed, and he had to take a step back. Luckily, his will was much stronger than that of the average person’s. If it weren’t, he might’ve fallen down, which would‘ve caused him to lose a large amount of face.

Yan Shaozhe said, “Soul Tools have been rapidly developing during these past few years. However, the power of soul masters still lies deep within ourselves. If you like soul tools, it’d be fine for you to try them out when you reach the rank of a Titled Douluo in the future. I hope that you’ll think about this carefully and won’t let this chance slip by. If you’re willing to join our Martial Soul Department you’ll receive a large amount of resources from the inner courtyard. At the same time, I can pledge three things to you, to compensate for our past misjudgement.”

“The  first  is  regarding  Wang  Dong  and  Xiao  Xiao.  Wang Dong can fully utilise your fusion skill, and has worked together with you this entire time. Xiao Xiao has also worked together with you, and is also a soul master who possesses twin martial souls. I can guarantee that they’ll definitely become inner courtyard disciples of the Martial Soul Department like you in the future. You need to realize that core disciples and inner courtyard disciples are entirely different. Not all core disciples can definitely enter the inner courtyard. Furthermore, you’d get more resources from the academy if you become an inner courtyard disciple ahead of time.”
“Secondly,  with  my  position  as  Dean  of  the  Martial  Soul Department, I can assure you that the academy will do everything in its power to give you a complete set of soul bones. I’ll do my best to give you soul bones of the highest quality to ensure that you have the highest possible fusion rate with the soul bones. I can also guarantee that there will be at least one soul bone from a hundred thousand year old soul beast included within this set.

Thirdly, I can guarantee that you’ll be given a hundred thousand year old soul ring, at the very least.”

Wang Yan became dumbfounded when he heard everything that Yan Shaozhe had to say. His first reaction to the Dean’s proposal was that the Dean had gone crazy...

Even though Shrek Academy was extraordinarily wealthy, the three things that Yan Shaozhe had promised Huo Yuhao were all similarly extraordinary things! A hundred thousand year soul ring and a hundred thousand year soul bone meant that the powerhouses from Shrek Academy would have to set out to kill a hundred thousand year soul beast just for Huo Yuhao! These rewards were unprecedented in the history of the academy. Not to mention the fact that Yan Shaozhe had added a complete set of soul bones to the deal!

Yan Shaozhe was especially cunning however, as he’d also proposed letting Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao enter the inner courtyard together with Huo Yuhao. Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao were both Huo Yuhao’s best friends. With this condition present, Yan Shozhe was certain that Huo Yuhao wouldn’t reject him without a good reason.

If it wasn’t for the competition with the Soul Tool Department, or if the Martial Soul Department had discovered the talent known as Huo Yuhao earlier on, Yan Shaozhe wouldn’t have had to promise such things so early on, even if he’d wanted to go all out and snatch him over. However, things were different now; Huo Yuhao had already become a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department, and one of Fan Yu’s personal disciple. Yan Shaozhe thus understood that he needed to present real benefits if he truly wanted Huo Yuhao to change his mind. More importantly, he needed to carry out his overt plot to steal Huo Yuhao over to their side in a just and honorable manner so the Soul Tool Department wouldn’t be able to say anything.

The Soul Tool Department might be wealthy, but could they find a top-ranked soul bone? Could the Soul Tool Department help Huo Yuhao hunt down a hundred thousand year soul
beast? It was evident that both of these things would be impossible to them!

Yan Shaozhe had returned to the inner courtyard before he’d come over and had had a discussion with a few of the teachers in charge of the core disciples. In the end, they’d decided that they definitely had to keep Huo Yuhao in the Martial Soul Department, no matter the cost.

If someone were to ask him if Huo Yuhao was worth this incredible cost, Yan Shaozhe’s answer would be that he definitely was.

That’s right, the Martial Soul Department was going to huge lengths just for the sake of obtaining Huo Yuhao. However, when Huo Yuhao became an adult, Shrek Academy’s position as number one on the continent would definitely be solidified for at least the next three hundred years with him around.

It was normal for a person who’d cultivated to the rank of a Titled Douluo to live for three, or even five hundred years. Furthermore, there was already considerable veiled criticism towards Shrek Academy circulating due to their influence. These criticisms had reached both the Sun Moon Empire, and
even the three original empires of the Douluo Continent. This was evident due to the fact that the three empires no longer sent children from the royal family to Shrek Academy to study.

Yan Shaozhe saw the potential in Huo Yuhao. There was a possibility that he would become a powerful leader in Shrek Academy in the future. Huo Yuhao wouldn’t necessarily remain in Shrek Academy, but so long as he was able to nurture him into a formidable powerhouse, Shrek Academy would definitely be able to stand tall in the face of any adversity it faced.

What could their investment now amount to, when faced with a few hundred years of honor for Shrek Academy? Besides, an academy was an institution where students were taught; a place that sought out talented individuals. Was it truly that easy to come across an Ultimate martial soul? This encounter was a first for both Wang Yan and Yan Shaozhe!

That didn’t mean that his Ultimate martial soul was definitely the strongest martial soul currently, but it did mean that it had the possibility to at least become one of the strongest. Furthermore, Huo Yuhao possessed twin martial souls.
These elements combined were enough for Yan Shaozhe to come to his current decision. Hence, he’d gone to look for Huo Yuhao at the first possible moment.

When he heard what Yan Shaozhe had to say, Huo Yuhao didn’t know how to reply—the weight of his words were just too much to bear. No matter how smart or calm he was, Huo Yuhao was still a twelve-year-old child. As the Dean of the Martial Soul Department, Yan Shaozhe’s aura was just too powerful. For a moment, Huo Yuhao actually felt a little bit speechless.

At that moment, a hurried shout suddenly rang out. It was so sudden that both Huo Yuhao and Wang Yan trembled in shock.

“Yan Shaozhe, have you no shame?”

“Bang——” Someone forcibly pushed the office door open. Qian Duoduo immediately took large strides into the room with a furious look on his face, Fan Yu trailing closely behind him.
Yan Shaozhe had been observing the advancement test, but had left once he’d given Huo Yuhao a perfect score on his test. Zhou Yi had felt that something was amiss when Wang Yan pulled Huo Yuhao away afterwards. Thus, while the test was still going on, she’d written a note for Wang Dong to give to Fan Yu.

When Fan Yu saw the note, he immediately knew what was going on. For what reason had Yan Shaozhe personally observed the advancement test? It was undoubtedly for Huo Yuhao’s sake! When his thought process had reached this point, he hadn’t dared waste another second; he immediately began searching for Qian Duoduo.

Actually, they had already arrived a few minutes ago. Yan Shaozhe had also realized this when was standing inside of the room. As such, it was only natural that they’d heard what Yan Shaozhe had said a moment ago. A flurry of verbal abuse rapidly left Qian Duoduo’s mouth as both anger and shock intermingled inside of him.

Yan Shaozhe smiled and replied, “Old Qian, how’d you manage to get enough free time to come over to the Martial Soul Department’s office building?”
Qian Duoduo exasperatedly said, “Yan Shaozhe, do you still want your face? Ah? What did we agree on? You promised to give Huo Yuhao to the Soul Tool Department—for him to be a core disciple. This is what was agreed upon when I won the bet at that time!”

Yan Shaozhe replied, “Indeed, I did promise that. However, even I am human, and humans will always have times where they make mistakes, right? There’s an old saying: ‘One can only reform oneself after recognising one’s mistakes.’. Am I not correcting my mistakes right now?”

Qian Duoduo became furious. “Rubbish! Are you saying that you can shove shit back inside after you’ve excreted it?! If you dare to steal him from me, I’ll have to fight you.”

Yan Shaozhe expression remained beaming as he replied, “You wanna fight?! Sure! We fought a lot when we were younger. Now that we’re old… it really has been a long time since we’ve learned fighting techniques from each other! Sure, let’s go and find a place to fight at. If I win, Huo Yuhao stays inside of my Martial Soul Department, and you can’t fight me over him anymore.”
Qian Duoduo almost fainted from anger. “Yan Shaozhe, I’ve met shameless people. However, I’ve never seen you behave so shamelessly before. You don’t keep your word. You’re shameless!”

Yan Shaozhe felt like he’d been wrongly accused, and it showed on his face. “I didn’t keep my word? How so? How am I shameless too? I did what I promised you! Huo Yuhao is already a core disciple of your Soul Tool Department. I didn’t stop that from happening, right? I’m only proposing something to him now. If he chooses to abandon the Soul Tool Department and return to the Martial Soul Department, then I‘ll naturally need to welcome him back wholeheartedly. This isn’t about me not keeping my word. Yuhao, you should make your decision soon. I can tell you with utmost certainty that the Soul Tool Department can’t achieve all of these promises that I’ve made to you. One can’t just kill a hundred thousand year soul beast just because they say they can. If you’re not a Titled Douluo ranked 95 and above, it’s definitely impossible for you to kill a hundred thousand year soul beast. However, it just so happens that I’ve cultivated to rank 95. You’ll understand what I mean by this when I give you an example. If I were to swap pointers with the vice-dean of the Soul Tool Department, this Qian Duoduo standing before you wouldn’t stand a chance against me, even if I were to let him make the first move in a one-on-one battle. He’s also a Titled Douluo like
me. You can ask him whether or not he has the ability to kill a hundred thousand year soul beast yourself.”

Qian Duoduo felt like his lungs were going to explode. Yan Shaozhe had always overpowered, ever since they were young. This fact had remained true this time around too. However, he truly wouldn’t be Yan Shaozhe’s opponent if they ended up fighting. Even though Yan Shaozhe’s words were harsh, he’d only spoken the truth. However, Qian Duoduo became even angrier than before because of this. It had never occurred to him that Yan Shaozhe would personally look for Huo Yuhao, nor that he would pledge so many conditions in order to steal Huo Yuhao away from him.

However, he couldn’t argue with Yan Shaozhe, thus he turned towards Huo Yuhao. “Huo Yuhao, you’re already a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department, as well as Fan Yu’s direct disciple. Fan Yu will be the Dean of the Soul Tool Department in the future. You’re also extremely talented at making soul tools. You’re well aware of how the Soul Tool Department treats you. As such, I hope that you’ll consider this matter carefully.”

Consider? Consider what? Huo Yuhao’s mind had become a sticky mess; he’d lost all of his ability to think.

The honorable Dean of the Martial Soul Department stood on one side, while the vice-dean of the Soul Tool Department stood on the other. Both of them were Titled Douluo powerhouses, with Dean Yan Shaozhe being a Transcendent Titled Douluo who’s soul power was rank 95. Huo Yuhao was
only a student! What could he even say in such a situation? He
wouldn’t dare to offend either party!

Fan Yu looked towards Huo Yuhao and saw that he had become completely flushed and couldn’t say a word. He immediately rushed to Huo Yuhao’s side and patted him on the shoulder in a comforting manner. He then said, “Deans, you shouldn’t bother Yuhao anymore. Dean Yan, you’re truly the one in the wrong regarding this matter; Yuhao has already become a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department. In order to maintain the unity of both departments, please let sleeping dogs lie.”

Yan Shaozhe’s attitude changed as he faced Fan Yu. He said indifferently, “Fan Yu, you should already know that Huo Yuhao has an Ultimate element. Do you think your Soul Tool Department can nurture an Ultimate element better than our Martial Soul Department? Do you know what an Ultimate soul master means to our academy? During the past ten thousand years, our Shrek Academy has become the continent’s number one academy by taking one step at a time. Other than the extreme leap we experienced under the leadership of Ancestor Tang San and the original Shrek’s Seven Monsters, our academy has had three glorious batches. Those three batches were all created through the leadership of an Ultimate Douluo. This was how we solidified our status. Thus, Huo Yuhao’s Ultimate element has great significance to us. Under ordinary circumstances, I wouldn’t have used a method like this to request that he return to the Martial Soul Department. However, this matter is no longer negotiable. I’d rather not be so thick-skinned but we have to make him stay in the Martial Soul Department for the sake of the academy’s glory.”

Fan Yu tightly furrowed his brows. He didn’t think that Yan Shaozhe would be this stubborn and troublesome.
“Yan Shaozhe, shouldn’t you ask me first before stealing one of  my  students?”  A  clear  and  melodious  voice  rang  out  as another person walked into the room, making Wang Yan’s office much more congested.

The rage on Qian Duoduo’s face immediately dissipated the moment he saw this person. “Lin’er, I’m glad you finally came. Otherwise, I’d die from anger due to this old bastard.”

The newcomer was a woman, about 1.7m tall. She looked like she was in her early fifties. Her skin was white, her black hair was neatly bundled up, and her gilded clothes made her look extremely experienced. Though she was aged, one could still tell that she was definitely an absolute beauty in her youth.

Fan Yu bent down to Huo Yuhao’s ear and whispered, “This is our Dean, Xian Lin’er.”

Huo Yuhao had calmed down much more with Fan Yu by his side. He knew that remaining silent at this moment was for the best. When the gods were fighting, it was better for a lowly student like him to stay out of the way.
Yan Shaozhe furrowed his brows upon seeing Xian Lin’er, “Lin’er, you’re…”

Xian Lin’er said icily, “When we were young, you never kept your word. Now that we’re over eighty years old, you’re still the same. You’re bullying my men to their breaking point. Didn’t you say that you were very good at fighting? Come on, I’ll duel you right now. Let’s go to the Soul Duelling Arena.”

Yan Shaozhe, who previously had a clear advantage over Qian Duoduo and Fan Yu, had an embarrassed look on his face now. “Lin’er,” he said, “why are you doing this? I truly regret what I’ve done regarding this matter. However, you should understand what an Ultimate soul master means for the future of our academy. This isn’t something that a simple bet can change. I’ve already talked it over with the teachers from the inner courtyard; Huo Yuhao must stay in my Martial Soul Department.”

Xian Lin’er said icily, “And what are you relying on in order to pull this off? Is it just because your Martial Soul Department is the top-ranked one in the continent? Does that mean that our Soul Tool Department has to give you our core disciples? How do you know that this child won’t become someone outstanding by staying in our Soul Tool Department? I admit
that what you’ve said isn’t wrong; if your Martial Soul Department nurtures him well, it’s very likely that he’ll become your department’s future pillar, and in turn will allow you to maintain your position as the number one martial soul department on the continent. However, you haven’t thought
about what happens if our Soul Tool Department manages to nurture him well, he might be able to bring our Soul Tool Department to the number one spot in the entire continent, allowing us to be free from the suppression of the Sun Moon Empire? I’ve explicitly stated that you won’t be able to snatch
any student from my department. You don’t need to force this
child either; he belongs to my Soul Tool Department. You were talking about a hundred thousand year soul beast? When the time comes, I’ll help him hunt one. If worst comes to worst, I’ll just hand my life over to the Great Star Dou Forest. Then, I’ll have been forced to death by you.”

Qian Duoduo’s expression became somewhat strange. He was slightly embarrassed and yet not. However, the anger on his face had completely vanished.

This time around, Yan Shaozhe’s face alternated betweens shades green and white. He had a myriad of forms of sophistry, yet he couldn’t use any of them in front of Xian Lin’er. He had a guilty conscience regarding her, due to certain things he’d done during his youth. However, an Ultimate twin-souled soul
master was something that might not even occur once in a millennium for the Martial Soul Department. Thus, as the Dean of the Martial Soul Department, he couldn’t simply give up because of his personal feelings.

Yan Shaozhe took a deep breath. “Lin’er, here’s how I see it. This matter has already reached the point where we can’t settle it through a simple conversation. Why don’t we decide it with a meeting in the Sea God’s Pavilion? What do you think?”

Xian Lin’er didn’t hesitate to reply, “Fine. A meeting at the Sea God’s Pavilion it is. I’m just afraid that you won’t show up. No matter what way you word it, our side’s more logical. Come, we’ll go and gather the elders from the Hall of Consecration and start the meeting. I want to see how why you think you can steal my student.”

Yan Shaozhe furrowed his brows tightly, then turned to Huo Yuhao and revealed a warm smile. “Huo Yuhao, this matter is also related to your own interests. You should consider it carefully. As for us, we’ll have to discuss the matter first.” With that, he turned around and left.
Xian Lin’er’s expression turned grave as she turned to face Huo Yuhao. “Child, ignore him. You don’t need to pay this matter too much attention. Continue to cultivate diligently; the academy will make everything clear soon.” With that, she left as well. Qian Duoduo hurriedly chased after her, leaving Fan Yu and Wang Yan in the office.

Wang Yan was somewhat speechless. “It seems that this matter’s gotten noisy. Aih…”

Fan Yu patted Huo Yuhao on the shoulder. “Yuhao, head back and rest first. Dean Xian’s right; you don’t need to worry too much about this matter, nor should you feel any mental burdens over it. No matter what the Academy decides, in the end, it won’t be a bad thing for you. Work hard and continue cultivating. Increasing your cultivation is the most important thing for you right now.”

Once the Deans had left, the pressure that Huo Yuhao felt in his heart lessened by a large amount. He hurriedly nodded and replied,   “Yes,   teacher.”    The   smartest   thing   he’d   done throughout the situation was to not show where he stood on the matter. Though his heart was naturally inclined towards the Soul Tool Department, it would be a lie if he said that Wang Yan and Dean Yan Shaozhe’s words hadn’t moved him.

The thing that had moved him most hadn’t been Yan Shaozhe’s promises, as he already had two extremely powerful and intelligent soul rings. He wasn’t worried about his chances of obtaining powerful soul rings and soul bones in the future either. What Wang Yan had said about the Martial Soul Department being best qualified to teach a student with an Ultimate martial soul, however, had moved him. Furthermore, Yan Shaozhe had apologised to him with his status as a Dean, and had even promised to allow Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao to directly enter the inner courtyard. Even if he didn’t think about himself, it wasn’t as if he could simply not care for his companions. For him to make such a decision right now was simply too difficult for him. As such, he’d simply decided to remain silent and allow the academy to make the decision for him. He’d already thought it through; no matter what the academy’s final decision was, he’d fully comply with it. In the deepest recesses of his heart however, he didn’t truly wish to give up on either side, nor was he able to.

When left the faculty building, he saw Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao waiting for him. They immediately rushed over to him the instant they saw him.

Wang  Dong  spoke  in  a  low  voice,  “What’s  the  situation?
What did Teacher Wang call you over for?”

Huo Yuhao didn’t conceal anything in front of them. He recounted the events that had occurred in Teacher Wang Yan’s office. Both Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao’s eyes went wide when they heard that the three Deans had fought over him.

Wang Dong was astonished as he said, “Truly capable! You’ve become so popular so quickly. Dean Yan seems really sincere, too! However, the Soul Tool Department’s treated you well. What do you think?”

Huo Yuhao smiled bitterly. “What’s there to think about? There’s nothing I can change; I’m merely a student. Do you really think that I get to decide anything? I’ll just comply with the academy’s arrangements. Dean Yan, Dean Xian, and Dean Qian have all left to have a meeting. I reckon that they’ll have a result shortly. However… I’d prefer to not give up on either side.”

Xiao Xiao was somewhat worried. “Wouldn’t you not get anything good from both parties then? Yuhao, you don’t have to worry about us. I’m confident that I’ll be able to enter the inner courtyard with my own hard work. It’s fine if you make your own choice.”
Huo Yuhao was greatly moved when he heard her words. He looked at her small, pretty face and sincerely said, “Thanks, Xiao Xiao.”

Wang Dong’s expression tensed up, but then quickly relaxed. “Let’s head back first. You’re right, it’d be best for the academy to make the decision.”

Huo Yuhao suddenly asked, “Right, Xiao Xiao. How’d you do in your test?”

Xiao Xiao giggled. “110 marks. I’m a control-type soul master, and I also chose a thousand year soul beast. Even though the soul beast and I fought for quite a while, it couldn’t do anything to me until my soul power had been fully drained. The judges gave me a high score when they saw this.”

Wang Dong said, “Right, that Dai Huabin lost to us again.
When will we settle our bet?”

Huo Yuhao truly wasn’t in the mood to deal with Dai Huabin. Furthermore, he felt somewhat regretful. If it hadn’t been for their bet, he wouldn’t have had to reveal his abilities during
their advancement test. If not for that, he naturally wouldn’t have to deal with the predicament he was currently in.

“We’ll ignore him for now,”  Huo Yuhao replied, “let’s just head back to our dorm rooms and wait for the academy’s decision. It’d be best to simply be a bit more obedient for the time being.”

Wang Dong nodded. “That’s that then. Let’s head back and cultivate.”

“It’s  rare  for  you  to  be  this  diligent!”  Huo  Yuhao  replied jokingly.

Wang Dong snorted. “How could I not feel endangered now that you’ve become so popular? Speaking of which, that Ultimate martial soul of yours is really magical. Even a thousand year soul beast was scared to the point that it tried to flee from it.”

Huo Yuhao replied, “I was simply relying on my elemental advantage. If it were a true 1v1, you and Dai Huabin are much
stronger than I am. I’m definitely not a match for you guys. Right, Xiao Xiao, what soul rank are you at now?”

Xiao Xiao said, “I’m at Rank 28 now! I reckon that I’ll be able to reach Rank 30 by the end of the year.”  When she’d first entered the academy, her soul rank had been at around Wang Dong’s level. However, she didn’t have the Haodong Power that Wang Dong and Huo Yuhao had. As such, the difference in their cultivation speed was apparent now.

“Let’s head back,” Huo Yuhao said “the most important thing we have to do right now is to work hard and increase our strength. We’ll be considered to have established ourselves in the academy once we become disciples of the inner courtyard.”

------------

Sea God’s Island.

Sea God’s Island had several buildings on it, but one among them was unquestionably the tallest and grandest. This building was the Sea God’s Pavilion, situated in the heart of the island.

Sea God’s Pavilion was six floors tall, and every floor was more than ten meters high, which resulted in an extremely grand structure. In turn, the mist that pervaded the island year-round made it so that Shrek Academy’s outer courtyard was unable to see it clearly.

Sea God’s Pavilion was the most important place within Shrek Academy, as the Hall of Consecration was located within it. The secret library that Yan Shaozhe had spoken to Wang Yan about was also located here. There were also a few secrets not known to anyone located here as well. Thus, there was no lack of extremely valuable treasures here.

Chapter 54: Meeting at the Sea God's Pavilion

Of course, a place that held treasures would always attract thieves. Numerous arrogant experts who’d thought highly of themselves had secretly tried to infiltrate Sea God’s Island in the past, in hopes of stealing the items within. However, none had ever been able to leave once they entered the island.

Meetings would be held at Sea God’s Island every time a major event happened within Shrek Academy. These meetings were of the highest importance to the academy. Only the Deans and Vice Deans of the Martial Soul Department and Soul Tool Department, along with the resident elders of the Hall of Consecration, had the right to take part in these meetings. Important matters would be resolved through a show of hands.

The Dean and Vice Dean of both departments had one vote each in these meetings.

Currently, the grand conference hall was completely silent. Inside of the room, ten people sat around a long oval table. A recliner had been placed at the innermost section, where the head of the long table sat. The light around the recliner was
extremely dim; one could only faintly see that a person seemed to be lying on it. Compared to the ten people sitting around the round table, his posture caused him to appear particularly unusual.

Xian Lin’er and Qian Duoduo sat on the right hand side of the long table, at the very end, while Yan Shaozhe and a woman who looked to be around fifty years old sat at the end of the table on the left hand side. The woman looked like she’d been extremely beautiful when she was young. Though they were both women, she didn’t even glance in Xian Lin’er’s direction. She instead maintained a stern appearance as she sat next to Yan Shaozhe. Just like Qian Duoduo, they sat opposite one another.

Besides the four of them, the six people who were sitting closer to front of the table were all Elders. Every single one of them were old, gray-haired individuals. Of course, their forms were different, a fact that could be seen through the way each of them sat.

Xian Lin’er, Qian Duoduo, Yan Shaozhe, and that woman that looked fifty years old sat in a comparatively proper manner, while the Elders all sat in various postures. Present amongst them was the Elder that Wang Yan had called Elder Xuan. He
was seated near the front of the table and to the right of the chairperson. This also meant that he was currently seated in the first seat at Yan Shaozhe’s end of the table.

At that moment, Elder Xuan had a drumstick in his left hand and a wine calabash in his right. He looked extremely relaxed as he continued to eat and drink at the table.

“Now that everyone has arrived, let’s begin the meeting. Shaozhe, take charge of the meeting.” A gentle voice rang out. Hearing this voice would cause one to feel as if their soul and mind had been cleansed, yet it wasn’t enough to discern the owner’s age. This voice came from the head of the table—from the one lying on the recliner that was hidden within the darkness.

“Yes, teacher.”  Yan Shaozhe stood and bowed towards the person sitting at the head of the table.

If any outsiders were to hear the way Yan Shaozhe addressed that person, they would jump in shock. One had to realize that Yan Shaozhe was famous for being over sixty years old, but in reality, he was over ninety years old. Furthermore, his teacher
was actually still alive and in good shape! This was really shocking news!

Even Elder Xuan put his drumstick and wine calabash down when he heard the gentle voice rang out. He rubbed his oily palms on his clothes, then proceeded to sit relatively straight. The other resident Elders also assumed rather proper sitting positions; only the person lying down kept their posture.

Yan Shaozhe bowed slightly toward the Elders in front. “Teacher and fellow resident elders, Lin’er and I have gathered everyone here today and initiated a Sea God’s Island meeting for a matter that will decide whether or not our academy will continue to prosper in the centuries to come.”

“Bang!” Xian Lin’er violently slammed his hand down on the table. “Cut the chit chat and stop trying to scare people Yan Shaozhe. Get to the point.”

The elders became somewhat shocked when she slammed her hand down on the table. The looks in their eyes turned somewhat strange as well. The old woman who was sitting to the right of the chairperson frowned and said, “Lin’er, this is a
meeting on Sea God’s Island. If you’re going to make a ruckus, get out.”

There was a slight change in Xian Lin’er’s expression when she heard this. She snorted, but didn’t say anything else.

The old woman’s hair was as white as snow, but there weren’t many wrinkles on her face. An extremely gentle glow was also present within her eyes. No matter what way one looked at it, she looked like an amiable old grandmother. She then turned towards Yan Shaozhe, gave him a small smile, and said, “Shaozhe, continue.”

“Yes, Elder Lin.”  Yan Shaozhe looked towards Xian Lin’er. Even though a somewhat apologetic look was present in his eyes, his determination shone through even more. As the Dean of the Martial Soul Department, he definitely couldn’t let his personal feelings affect his decisions.

Xian Lin’er turned her head to the side, refusing to look him in the eyes.
Yan Shaozhe lowered his voice and said, “To all the resident elders,  the  matter  is  as  follows…”  As  he  spoke,  he  didn’t conceal the truth. He began with the bet he’d made with Qian Duoduo, then narrated Huo Yuhao’s performance without missing a single detail.

“...When this student returned from the holidays, not only did he have a second martial soul, it was also an Ultimate martial soul. Even though his first martial soul isn’t that good, as an Ultimate type soul master, he’s bound to become a pillar for the academy in the future—if he’s nurtured with care. Furthermore, this child is an orphan. There’s a possibility that we could also fight for him to stay within the academy.

“I lost the bet with Dean Qian, but it must be stated that only the Martial Soul Department has the experience to properly raise and teach someone with an Ultimate element. It’s also the only way he’ll reach his full potential.”

Yan Shaozhe’s words were simple, but he spoke in a very natural manner as he exposed the way that Qian Duoduo had laid a trap by using a stratagem in order to ensure that Huo Yuhao could become a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department.
When they heard what he had to say, surprised looks on all of the resident elder’s faces. Elder Xuan in particular had knit his eyebrows closely together—as if he could no longer see the drumstick before him.

There were two ways a Sea God’s Island meeting could be held. One was the periodic meeting that was held annually, while the other was an interim meeting. The periodic meetings were normal, but when an interim meeting was held, it implied that something major had happened in the academy. The few times that an interim meeting had been held throughout the course of history had decided the direction that the continent would head towards.

It was definitely worth hosting a interim meeting for an Ultimate attribute soul master. However, when the resident elders realized that the Martial Soul Department and the Soul Tool Department were fighting over the student, their expressions relaxed quite a bit. This was an internal problem; it should be relatively easy to settle compared to other matters.

As soon as Yan Shaozhe had finished speaking and had sat down, Qian Duoduo immediately stood up.
“Fellow  elders,  I  don’t  completely  agree  with  Dean  Yan’s narration. Sure, we made a bet. However, when we did so, even the Soul Tool Department didn’t know that Huo Yuhao would gain a second martial soul. It goes without saying that this is an extraordinarily rare occurrence. Anyway, what we saw in him was his talent towards soul tools.

“Huo Yuhao had been formally declared as Fan Yu’s disciple. In the short span of eight months, he’s gone from a normal soul engineer—someone who’d never once touched a soul tool in his life—to a Class 2 soul engineer. This rate of improvement is a new record in the academy’s history. This child is both hardworking and endures hardship. He has no small amount of Fan Yu’s praise. When we learned of this, we had already decided to take him in as a core disciple; how could we let such a talent slip through our fingers? Furthermore, the Martial Soul Department chose not to make him a core disciple, despite him leading his team to win the freshmen test. However, just as luck would have it, Dean Yan discovered his second martial soul, thus he is now fighting us over him. What happened to the academy’s rules? I stand here as a representative of the Soul Tool Department: No matter what happens, the Soul Tool Department absolutely won’t give up on such a talented person. Furthermore, the Soul Tool Department has already decided to put all of our resources into nurturing this child. We shall strive to nurture him into Shrek Academy’s first Class 9 soul engineer within thirty years.

“In order to nurture Huo Yuhao, Dean Xian, Fan Yu, and I have talked things over. We’ve decided that the Ultimate Soldier Plan will rest on his shoulders. As such, He Caitou— who was originally tasked with carrying out this plan—will act as an auxiliary soul engineer and will help educate him.

“Fellow resident elders, I can understand Dean Yan’s feelings; an Ultimate-type martial soul is indeed extremely important to the Martial Soul Department. However, is it not important to the Soul Tool Department as well? Their department has already become the number one martial soul department on the continent, yet ours hasn’t. We’re always striving to do our best in the hopes that we’ll make a breakthrough. Yet, what do we lack the most? Talent! Fellow resident elders, please think this through. Ever since our department was established, when have we not accepted the rejects of the Martial Soul Department? How are we supposed to compete with the Sun Moon Empire under such circumstances? We aren’t lacking in money, nor are we lacking in resources now. What we are lacking in is talent! Huo Yuhao has displayed extraordinary talents towards being a soul engineer. Furthermore, he now has twin martial souls, one of which is an Ultimate attribute. I’m absolutely confident that I can nurture him into an extremely powerful soul engineer. As such, we definitely will not, and are not willing to, part with this student.”
Qian Duoduo went straight to the point without beating around the bush. His words were far more direct than Yan Shaozhe’s had been. In reality, the Soul Tool Department was actually being reasonable about this matter.

Xian Lin’er said, “Dean Qian’s intentions are my intentions. The Soul Tool Department is willing to stake everything on this child. If he’s unable to fulfill the Ultimate Soldier Plan, I’m willing to resign from my position as Dean of the Soul Tool Department.”

Yan Shaozhe and the woman sitting beside him were shocked when they heard her say this. This was too cruel! Xian Lin’er really was being ruthless when she made this move.

It was true that the Martial Soul Department had held absolute dominance within the academy ever since Shrek Academy had been founded. However, when both departments were aligned side by side, Xian Lin’er and Qian Duoduo were on par with them in soul rank. Even though most of the resident elders were from the Martial Soul Department, they couldn’t disregard the opinions of both Deans from the Soul Tool Department. This was even more true since the Soul Tool Department were actually being reasonable about the matter.
For a moment, Yan Shaozhe couldn’t help but feel that things really had become more difficult for him. If they continued to fight like this, the conflict between both parties would really spiral towards an all-out explosion. This wasn’t what he hoped to see.

Elder Xuan finally spoke up. He coughed slightly before he said, “I understand your intentions, and I examined this student Huo Yuhao in the past. At that time, the Martial Soul Department didn’t want him mainly because of his ten year soul ring. Moreover, it’ll be extremely difficult to obtain soul rings for his Spirit Eyes in the future as it’s a spiritual-type martial soul. Thus, it’ll be hard for him to perform to his fullest potential. Though it was a Body Soul, I investigated his body’s condition. From the state of his body at that time, I saw that the possibility of him awakening his Body Soul a second time was very small.”

“As we all know, the more important the location of a Body Soul is, the stronger it is. However, this only applies after the second awakening. The more important the location of a Body Soul, the smaller the chances of it awakening a second time. The eyes are the window to the spirit, making them the strongest spiritual-type martial soul among Body Souls. This means that it will be too hard for him to awaken it a second time. I’ve never heard of a Body Soul on this level, even within the Body Sect. Thus, I can guarantee that the origins of his second martial soul are unrelated to his Body Soul.”
“This is somewhat strange. Where did his second martial soul come from? I feel that it’d be better for us to dig into this a little deeper.”

Elder Lin who was seated opposite Elder Xuan smiled slightly. “Elder Xuan, you’re straying from the topic at hand. We can investigate this child’s situation later, but our current meeting is being held to decide the path of his future cultivation.”

Elder Xuan laughed mischievously. “Naturally, it’d be better for him to remain with our Martial Soul Department. Regardless of where his second martial soul came from, as long as it’s truly an Ultimate one, staying in the Martial Soul Department is clearly the best option for him. We have precedent in training soul masters with Ultimate martial souls, and we’re still lacking a few men.”

Elder  Lin  shook  her  head.  “This  isn’t  proper.  What  Qian Duoduo said makes sense; the Soul Tool Department has always been extremely lacking in talent. That child’s already a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department. Making such a change in the academy’s policy isn’t conforming to the academy’s rules.”
Elder Xuan curled his lips, “What isn’t conforming to the academy’s rules? Let me ask you this: where does the Soul Tool Department recruit students from? At the very least, from the third years in the Martial Soul Department. But, what about this Huo Yuhao? He’s just entered Year 2. The Soul Tool Department’s the one who has broken the rules in the first place.”

Yan Shaozhe was overjoyed. He inwardly thought to himself, The older generation is still more experienced than the younger one! Even if Elder Xuan was normally drunk, he wouldn’t be vague in the least during important moments.

The  elder  seated  beside  Elder  Lin  shook  his  head.  “Elder Xuan, what you’re saying doesn’t have any meaning at all. I understand soul engineers better than you, and this is the first time I’ve heard of a person becoming a Class 2 soul engineer within eight months. I’m afraid that even the Sun Moon Empire doesn’t have a student on this level. Furthermore, all of us approved of the Ultimate Soldier Plan during a meeting here. Now that Xian Lin’er and Qian Duoduo are trying to realise this plan together, we should be encouraging them. In any case, this student is staying in our academy, so going to the Soul Tool Department gives the same results.”
Elder  Xuan  snorted.  “The  same?  How  can  it  even  be  the same? Leaving him in the Soul Tool Department is an utter waste of his talent.”

Xian Lin’er became angry, and stood up. “Elder Xuan, why is leaving him in my Soul Tool Department a waste? The Martial Soul Department keeps repeating over and over again that they have experience in training a soul master with an Ultimate martial soul, but from what I recall, Huo Yuhao has an Ice-type Ultimate martial soul. Do you have experience in nurturing an Ultimate Ice martial soul? Moreover, you’re an elder. You shouldn’t be favouring the Martial Soul Department. Since you keep siding with the Martial Soul Department, is there any point in our Soul Tool Department existing?”

Elder Xuan became angry as well. “You girl! I’m biased because a martial soul is the root of a soul master, as well as the root of our Shrek Academy. The Soul Tool Department is indeed important, and I don’t want to keep helping the Martial Soul Department in this dispute either. Why don’t we do this? Shaozhe, choose ten core disciples from the Martial Soul Department and let Lin’er choose three of them for an exchange. This should be fine.”
Yan Shaozhe’s eyes lit up, Right! This was a good plan. Didn’t your Soul Tool Department say that you were lacking talents? Then, I’ll use talents to barter with you.

He hurriedly declared his position, “This isn’t a problem. Why don’t we use five core disciples of the Martial Soul Department and trade them for Huo Yuhao? This can be considered to be us having very good faith. It’s true that our Martial Soul Department hasn’t been supporting the Soul Tool Department enough during these years. Why don’t we do this? Dean Xian, Dean Qian, though we’re in charge of different departments, we all have the same goals; that is, to develop and strengthen our Shrek Academy even more. Right here, I’ll promise you two that from now on, our Martial Soul Department won’t choose our core disciples before they enter Year 3. After Year 3, we’ll choose them along with you guys, allowing these students to choose the future path of their cultivations. This way, I’m confident that we won’t even need ten years for the Soul Tool Department to develop at a rapid pace.”

The expressions of the originally furious Xian Lin’er and Qian Duoduo softened immediately after listening to Yan Shaozhe’s words. They had no choice but to admit that he was a man who made very prompt decisions. Furthermore, his promise to the Soul Tool Department would be of tremendous
benefit towards their future development. At the same time, this revealed his determination to obtain Huo Yuhao. Qian Duoduo’s stinginess was in the form of money, but Yan Shaozhe’s stinginess was in the form of talents. The fact that he could make a concession like that truly signified that he was extremely sincere.

Elder Lin, who was seated on the first seat on the right side of the long table, turned towards Xian Lin’er, “Lin’er, what do you think?”

Xian Lin’er revealed a pondering light in her eyes, but Qian Duoduo stood up slowly. “Dean Yan, Dean Cai, various elders. I’m declaring my position on behalf of myself. With regards to me alone, I’m not willing to accept this trade. No matter how many fine horses you give us, it won’t be worth a single Thousand Mile Colt. A large number of talents coming into our Soul Tool Department will truly give us an opportunity, but it is very likely that a single Huo Yuhao can directly make us flourish. At that time, will we have any lack of talents? With the current situation of our Soul Tool Department, it’s more suitable for us to pool all our resources on a single person. I’m very grateful for Dean Yan’s sincerity, but I personally hope that we can keep Huo Yuhao.”

Xian Lin’er slowly stood up after listening to his words. “I agree with Dean Qian’s words. Our Soul Tool Department refuses the trade. He’s already one of our core disciples, and we will absolutely not give in.”

Yan Shaozhe’s expression became grave. He’d already made such a large concession, but Xian Lin’er and Qian Duoduo were still unwilling to give in to him. His heart surged with flames of anger.

“As the Dean of the Martial Soul Department, I’ll declare where I stand. The appearance of an Ultimate soul master occurs less than once in a thousand years, and our Martial Soul Department cannot give up on a talent like this. I am determined to obtain Huo Yuhao. Since we’ve convened here today, we’ll put it to a vote to determine his final destination.”

The lady beside him who hadn’t spoken yet slowly rose to her feet, “I support Dean Yan. An Ultimate element must stay in our Martial Soul Department.”

She was the Vice-Dean of the Martial Soul Department, a person called Cai Mei’er, who normally remained within the inner courtyard.

Both parties weren’t willing to give way to each other, and the various elders had awkward expressions on their faces. Regardless of how they settled this matter in the end, they would leave one party unhappy. Furthermore, this matter would definitely cause an enormous conflict between the two parties. Even if the Martial Soul Department held an absolute advantage, the Soul Tool Department was still an irreplaceable part of the academy. If they were to suffer a setback again, it would be overly detrimental to its development. There was even a high possibility that an outflow of talent would occur.

Because of that, the various elders were extremely cautious in their actions; none of them took the initiative to declare where they stood.

“All of you, sit down.”  The warm voice coming from the person seated at the head of the table rang out once again. After hearing this voice, both opposing parties immediately curbed themselves a bit. They respectfully sat back in their original positions.

The warm voice said indifferently, “You’ve both expounded on your reasoning very clearly. However, haven’t you all thought of a single possibility? Let me ask you this--when our
Shrek Academy was founded at the very beginning, what was our original objective?’

“To nurture talented soul masters who are monsters. Shrek Academy  only  trains  monsters,  not  ordinary  people.”   Yan Shaozhe replied respectfully.

The warm voice said, “Correct, we only train monsters, not ordinary people. Since that’s the case, why don’t we be a bit more bold and train a true monster? This child Huo Yuhao has met the requirements to be considered a very gifted person. He’s an orphan, and this means he won’t be inclined toward any particular empire in the future. At the same time, it’s very likely that he’ll remain in the academy. Qian Duoduo.”

“Present.”   Qian  Duoduo  stood  up  hurriedly,  then  said respectfully, “Elder Mu.”

The warm voice said, “I ask you this: during the eight month period in which Huo Yuhao trained to become a soul engineer, were his studies in the Martial Soul Department interrupted at any time?”
“Never.”  Qian Duoduo replied immediately, “He trained for four hours with Fan Yu every night. It’s because of this exact reason that I called him a genius! Even when he was distracted with his studies in the Martial Soul Department, he was able to become a Class 2 soul engineer within a mere eight months.”

“Good. Then let me ask you all this: during the process in which Huo Yuhao became a Class 2 soul engineer, were his studies in the Martial Soul Department interrupted? Did his cultivation speed decrease?”

Yan Shaozhe said, “No. His second martial soul’s awakened, and when I made a move earlier, I was able to tell that his soul power was around Rank 25. I’ve investigated this as well. This child was only at Rank 13 when he first entered the academy, but he was able to increase his soul power by 12 ranks within a short year. Regardless of whether he’s innately talented or lucky, the facts are before us. Thus, your disciple thinks that he’s more suited to stay in our Martial Soul Department. Even if his cultivation speed drops after he reaches Rank 30, a talent on this level shouldn’t be affected by it too much.”

The warm voice suddenly laughed, and his laughter was slightly coarse. “You’re all confused by the situation at hand. Since this kid was able to study in the Martial Soul Department
and the Soul Tool Department at the same time for an entire year without letting his studies fall, and instead displaying a genius-level performance, what are you fighting over? Why don’t you just let him study in both fields at once?”

“Ah?” Yan Shaozhe, Cai Mei’er, Xian Lin’er, Qian Duoduo were all stunned.

One needed to realize that the person in the reclining chair was Shrek Academy's real boss. At the same time, he was also Xian Lin’er and Yan Shaozhe’s teacher. This man was the Master of the Sea God's Pavilion; his word was absolute within the academy. Even old veterans like Elder Lin and Elder Xuan were lower than him in seniority. There hadn't been a single person that had dared to object to his decisions in the past.

Xian Lin'er couldn't bear it anymore and said, “Teacher! It doesn’t matter whether it’s our Soul Tool Department or the Martial Soul Department; the more one studies a subject, the more energy one needs to reach a higher level in it. Studying in both departments at the same time will have a negative impact on the student! He’ll have a broader range of knowledge, but he won't be an expert in either of them. Isn't this the same as wasting his talent?”

The Master of the Sea God's Pavilion faintly smiled, then said, "Why are you so sure that he won't be able to study both subjects properly? Actually, all of you have made a mistake. All of you think that the Martial Soul Department and the Soul Tool Department's fundamentals are opposed to each other.
However, let me ask you a question: Can either of your departments do without soulforce or martial souls? The only difference between the Martial Soul Department and the Soul Tool Department lies in the methods used to attack and defend oneself; their fundamentals are still the same. Thus, you don't really need to think about this that much."

"Lin'er. If you truly hope for Huo Yuhao to become a first- class soul engineer, you must realize that he’ll also have to become a first-class martial soul master as a prerequisite. How will he create and control powerful soul tools without enough soulforce if he doesn’t? At the same time, the rate at which his soulforce increases will drop drastically once he gets past Rank 30, due to the fact that he possesses an Ultimate martial soul. Thus, if he lacks a proper technique from the Martial Soul Department to cultivate his Ultimate martial soul, won't his growth be impacted?

"Shaozhe, the same goes for you. As you can see, Huo Yuhao is extremely talented at creating soul tools. He can create powerful weapons to protect himself because of this. A soul master won’t become strong in just a year or two, but at the same time, you can't truly stay by his side all the time, right? When you encounter something dangerous, relying on yourself to survive is the best option. This being the case, why don't you
let him become a soul engineer too? Besides, our Shrek Academy currently lacks a first-class soul engineer.

Now then, I’ve decided to let this child cultivate in both schools and to treat him as a special existence inside of the academy. You shouldn't force the child to choose. Rather, you should create a comfortable environment within the academy in order to let him cultivate in peace. All of you have ignored an important fact: What’re Huo Yuhao’s thoughts? After all, he's only twelve years old. If you pressure him too much, it’ll only have a negative impact on his future growth.

"The best thing to do—at least for now—is to leave things the way they are. Let him keep studying as he was before. The two departments will spend an equal amount of resources on him. As for the future, we're not really in a rush. If he continues to receive excellent marks in both departments’ tests, then we’ll have truly trained an exceptional 'monster': An Ultimate Soldier that’s close to perfection!"

Once they heard the Master of the Sea God's Pavilion, all of the veterans nodded one after another. Their complexions became much better as well.
Xian Lin'er said, "Teacher, what should we do if Huo Yuahao's grades start dropping?"

The Master of the Sea God's Pavilion smiled faintly and said, "Isn't it obvious? If that happens, simply let him choose a department. He'll join the department he likes the most. If that happens, we won't need to do anything else. However, Elder Xuan, don't inquire about the boy's second martial soul. Though I’m curious as well, I can say for sure that this child has a very kind and resolute heart. As such, no matter what his second martial soul is, there’s no need for us to pry into this secret."

"I understand, Pavilion Master." Elder Xuan nodded in assent.

Yan Shaozhe and Xian Lin'er looked at each other, their tense expressions now much looser than they had been. Since both parties had been in a deadlock, this outcome seemed to be the best one.

The Master of the Sea God's Pavilion said, "If there are no further objections, this meeting can be considered over. Shaozhe, Lin'er, you two shouldn't get in touch with that boy again. At his age, it's best if his heart is focused on diligently
cultivating. The less he's distracted by the outside world, the better."

“Yes.”

As far as Shrek Academy was concerned, this meeting had settled everything. Huo Yuhao's fate had also been decided.

Huo Yuhao received the news from Fan Yu soon afterwards: The academy had decided that Huo Yuhao was now both a core disciple of the Martial Soul Department and the Soul Tool Department. With this, he’d become the first person in the history of the academy to become the core disciple of both departments.

As for Yan Shaozhe's other promise, he decided to not bring it up. Fan Yu urged Yuhao to keep cultivating with dedication. After all, he now had to attend class in the Martial Soul Department during the day, then study in the Soul Tool Department in the evening. He also reminded him that tomorrow evening he had to go and take the Soul Tool Department's advancement test.
This outcome gave Huo Yuhao some breathing room. Not having to choose was the best choice for him.

The advancement test for the Martial Soul Department's Year
2 students hadn't ended yet. After all, the students of both classes combined amounted to more than a hundred. It would take quite a while, considering the fact that they had to be tested one at a time.

Huo Yuhao was happily cultivated in the dormitory with Wang Dong the next day. They cultivated the entire morning.

After lunch, they took a short break. Afterwards, before the afternoon bell rang, Yuhao headed towards the experimental area of the Soul Tool Department.

He noticed from afar that He Caitou was waiting at the gate to the experimental area, waving towards him.

"Senior brother He." Huo Yuhao hurried over to where He Caitou stood.
He Caitou laughed as he hugged Huo Yuhao and and twirled him around him once. "I've heard that you've become the academy’s center of attention Yuhao! It seems that several deans almost got into a fight because of you. Not bad, not bad!"

Huo Yuhao was surprised. "Senior apprentice, how did you know?"

He Caitou giggled. "Teacher told me. I was forbidden from revealing it to anyone else though."

Huo Yuhao relaxed a bit. He didn’t want everyone to know about what had happened. If they did, he’d be criticized by everyone in the outer courtyard. His only wish was to cultivate in peace, nothing more.

"Come, let's head inside. The teacher said that you're going to take our Soul Tool Department's advancement test. Are you ready?" He Caitou threw an arm over Huo Yuhao's shoulders and pulled him inside.

Huo Yuhao asked, "Senior brother, what’s the Soul Tool Department’s advancement test about?"

He Caitou replied, "It’s a battle as well! We have to agree with the Martial Soul Department on this: Only actual combat can properly assess our abilities. The teacher has already prepared everything. As for the details of your test, I'm not quite sure."

As they spoke, the two of them entered the experimental area. They soon arrived at the 12th laboratory.

The laboratory wasn't as peaceful as it usually was. There were currently around twenty students inside, all around the the same as He Caitou. Most of them were older than fourteen, with some even being eighteen or nineteen.

The testing area was inside of the battle area, which currently held two students in the midst of battle.

It was completely different from the Martial Soul Department’s advancement test. The Soul Tool Department’s advancement test was mainly based on the usage of soul tools. The students’ bodies were wrapped in a layer of radiant light, which seemed like it was coming from some sort of defensive- type soul tool. The two were attacking each other while wrapped in this light. The sky was also littered with several
balls of light; it looked like they were keeping an eye on the students below.

The current Huo Yuhao wasn't the ignorant youth from before who didn't know anything about soul tools; he was aware that the balls of light suspended in the sky were also a type of soul tool. They were Portable Soul Shields, which were a type of defensive soul tool that could be controlled from a distance. One needed to be at least a soul master of the fourth rank to control this sort of soul tool. It definitely wasn’t something that these students could achieve. The function of these soul tools was pretty obvious: If the defense of the students who were fighting were to be breached, these Portable Soul Shields would immediately fly into action to protect them from any oncoming attacks. They were present in order to guarantee the safety of the students.

When Huo Yuhao and He Caitou entered, the battle between the two students had already reached a critical juncture. Beams of light had intertwined in the sky and were emitting a dazzling radiance.

Huo Yuhao unconsciously activated his Spiritual Detection. However, he didn't even have time to observe the beams before the battle had ended.

"Peng––" The shield of the student on the left broke and shattered into a myriad of lights that filled the sky. When it did, the Portable Soul Shield immediately appeared in front of him and blocked the other student’s remaining attacks.

"Zi Feng has defeated Mo Ke. Their score has been increased by 1 mark." A teacher standing to one side of the testing area said as they noted something down.

"Next." The teacher hinted for the next couple of students to step forward.

"Wait a moment." Fan Yu's heavy voice echoed out. He walked over from another side of the testing area and said, "Yuhao, come here. You're next." He’d been the one controlling the Portable Soul Shields in the previous battle. He was able to make them react in the shortest time possible considering his cultivation level. Moreover, he’d been controlling all of the Portable Soul Shields simultaneously. Because of this, he’d been able to keep an eye on the students from all directions.

"Oh!" Huo Yuhao nodded and hurried over.
At that moment, the students that had been planning to take the advancement test saw Huo Yuhao. A surprised look appeared in their eyes when they saw him. He was normally always studying with Fan Yu, thus this was the first time they’d seen him. However, this guy looked like he was only twelve or thirteen years old, yet he wasn't even a student of the Soul Tool Department! Why was Teacher Fan Yu letting him take the
advancement test?

Fan Yu said, "This test is very simple: You just have to fight. Everyone will have their soul tools carefully examined by the teachers, which must be self-manufactured. As long as you manage to destroy your opponent’s defenses, you'll have won. I’m using these Portable Soul Shields to protect everyone."

Huo Yu Hao pondered for a bit, then asked, "Teacher, is it possible to fight without the protection of a Portable Soul Shield?"

Fan Yu was surprised when he heard this. "Hm?"

Huo Yuhao said, "Since this is supposed to be a real battle, having a Portable Soul Shield will impact my performance. Furthermore, I'm sure that I won't injure my opponent."

Fan Yu asked, "And what about your own safety?"

Huo Yuhao replied without the slightest hesitation, "Teacher, I have faith in my abilities."

Fan Yu smiled faintly, then said, "Fine. With this being the case, we'll do things as you like. Remember to call for help if you can't block the attack. With your Spiritual Detection, you'll surely be able to tell if you can’t. Now then, go ahead and take the test."

"Yes." Huo Yuhao entered the testing area with large strides. As he did so, he began to adjust the soul tool he’d personally manufactured.

At that time, the students of the Soul Tool Department finally noticed the badge on Huo Yuhao's chest that showed his status as a second rank soul engineer.

Was this for real? He was really a second rank soul engineer?

Chapter 55: A Soul Engineer! Huo Yuhao's True Strong Point

Fan Yu had a kind look in his eyes as he watched Huo Yuhao enter the field. After all, a teacher would always hope for their disciples to be outstanding. It was hard to find a good teacher, but finding a genius student was just as hard! Regardless of whether he was talented or diligent, the strict Fan Yu was extremely pleased. Even if he’d spent a longer period of time teaching He Caitou, Huo Yuhao’s status in Fan Yu’s heart had already exceeded He Caitou’s. He could tell that Huo Yuhao’s future achievements would far surpass He Caitou’s.

“Ye Canying, Tang Suifeng, Ling Xue.” Fan Yu turned around and called for the next batch of examinees.

Two male and one female student walked up hurriedly and respectfully greeted Fan Yu.

Fan Yu said, “You three, go up together. Your objective is to defeat him. If you can defeat him, you’ll pass this year’s advancement test.”
The three students were all around fifteen to sixteen years old. They couldn’t help but look at each other in confusion and dismay after what they just heard, Ye Canying blurted, “Teacher Fan Yu, are you sure? This fellow classman…”

Fan Yu furrowed his brows tightly. “Did you not hear me?”

Fan Yu was a special teacher in the Soul Tool Department. After the two Deans, he possessed the greatest authority within the department. Though the three students were bewildered, they didn’t dare to say anything more. They immediately entered the Testing Area with their soul tools fully equipped.

The proctor revealed a doubtful look in his eyes and shot an inquiring gaze towards Fan Yu.

Fan  Yu  walked  over  to  him,  then  whispered,  “That’s  my inheriting disciple. I want to test his current limits. Don’t worry, this is appropriate. Start.”

“Okay.” The proctor naturally didn’t argue with Fan Yu’s decision. “Both sides, prepare yourselves.”
Huo Yuhao was startled when he heard Fan Yu send three students into the Testing Area. He could tell by their ages that they were at least third year students and maybe even fourth years. Although a portion of the Soul Tool Departments students were those who had been eliminated from the Martial Soul Department, they consisted mainly of auxiliary-type soul masters. However, this was still Shrek Academy! There were no weak students among those who had been able to last till Year 3 or 4. Huo Yuhao felt like his teacher’s confidence in him
was slightly excessive.

Though he was inwardly astonished, Huo Yuhao didn’t plan on retreating. He closely observed these three students as he began to formulate a plan.

All three students all bore badges signifying their soul engineer ranks, they were all Class 2 soul engineers just like him.

“Start!”

Following the teacher’s shout, the three students facing him made a move simultaneously, and their soul rings rose from their feet. The eldest of the three, Ye Canying, had three yellow
soul rings, whilst the other two had two yellow soul rings each. They quickly raised their arms as they released their martial souls and a flash of light erupted as they activated their soul tools.

In his current situation where he was fighting against a team of three people—which included a Soul Elder—by himself, Huo Yuhao wondered whether he had any chance at all. In a situation like this, he could only win if he had the element of surprise.

Two white soul rings suddenly rose from his feet, and his second soul ring flickered slightly. Afterwards, his body noiselessly became somewhat illusory, but the three students he was facing didn’t notice. Immediately afterwards, a scene that astonished them occurred.

A black, one-and-a-half meter-long metallic tube appeared on Huo Yuhao’s shoulder, then instantly shot out an intense ray of white light.

Not to mention the three students Huo Yuhao was facing, even the proctor was stunned by the scene in front of him. He was about to call for them to stop, but Fan Yu placed his hand
on his shoulder, causing him to swallow the words he’d been about to say.

What was the metal tube? All of the students in the Soul Tool Department had seen it before, but none of them had used it besides He Caitou. It was a stationary soul cannon! Stationary soul tools were renowned for their might, and though they didn’t need too much soul power to be activated, it was extremely hard to control them. Because of this, even two- ringed Soul Grandmasters were able to use them, albeit with difficulty. However, each cannon shell was extremely expensive; a single shot cost over a hundred gold soul coins. The academy hadn’t even implemented a course for using it.

However, even if a person had never eaten pork before, they still would’ve seen a pig in real life in the past. When students entered the Soul Tool Department, the first lesson they had to attend involved observing the might of a stationary soul tool.

The stationary soul cannon that had appeared on Huo Yuhao’s body was identical to the one they’d seen in the past. They still clearly remembered the terrifying ten meter long, three meter deep ditch that had destroyed the ground when the cannon had been fired. Afterwards, their teacher had explained that soul masters who possessed less than six rings
would definitely die if they received a head-on blow from a stationary soul cannon.

As such, how could the three of them not be stunned when they saw the white ray of light from the black tube? The white burst of light signified the firing of the stationary soul cannon; it was something irreversible! This wasn’t something that the Portable Soul Shield could block. Furthermore, they hadn’t even seen their Portable Soul Shields appear!

The only thing that they could do now was give up on their assault and run away. They also knew the problems that stationary soul tools possessed: They had to be manually aimed by someone, they couldn’t automatically lock onto an enemy.

The three of them simultaneously ran in three different directions. At this point in time, they no longer cared that they were undergoing their advancement test. Their lives were more important than that!

The quickest of the three was Tang Suifeng. His second soul ring flickered as a shadow suddenly appeared beside him. Immediately afterwards, he sped up and crossed the distance of ten meters with a single leap.

A faint smile appeared on Huo Yuhao’s face when he saw this. Beneath the astonished gazes of the spectating students, the stationary soul tool that had clearly begun its firing sequence soundlessly disappeared. Afterwards, he slid forwards in a specter-like manner towards the quick Tang Suifeng. Two blue lights appeared on his ankles as he sped up, causing his speed to quickly reach Tang Suifeng’s.

Tang Suifeng suddenly threw himself to the ground and curled himself into a ball. He then pushed his soul power to the limit, causing a layer of light to envelop him; this was the Portable Soul Shield he’d personally created in order to defend himself.

However, the explosion he’d expected didn’t arrive, leaving him astonished. Everything behind him seemed to be completely silent.

Tang Suifeng was stunned. Just what was that? Why didn’t the stationary soul cannon make any noise? At that moment, he subconsciously raised his head in order to see what had happened. As soon as he did so however, he saw a warm and smiling face in front of him.
Though the defensive abilities of the Portable Soul Shield wasn’t bad, it was better suited towards long-range attacks; in other words, it was better used to defend against soul power. Its defensive capabilities against physical attacks weren’t very good.

A dagger that flickered with an incandescent light noiselessly penetrated Tang Suifeng’s shield. The instant he finished raising his head, the blade of the knife reached his eyes and softly tapped his head.

Afterwards, the smiling face disappeared.

“Tang  Suifeng,  eliminated.”  The  proctor’s  voice  rang  out. This was just the way it was. If Huo Yuhao had taken advantage of the opportunity he’d had to attack him, he would’ve been cleanly stabbed by the White Tiger’s Dagger.

When they heard that Tang Suifeng had been eliminated, the other two knew that they’d been duped.

As students of Shrek Academy, they’d trained in the academy for many years. Their battle experience was relatively
plentiful, thus they didn’t bother to think about how Huo Yuhao had tricked them. On the contrary, they simultaneously launched attacks towards him.

The soul tools they used to attack him were both placed on their arms, and were both similar. There was a golden box on each of their arms, which when activated, three thin, golden tubes would simultaneously spit out a ray of white light.

This was a Class 2 soul tool known as the Soul Light Ray. The principle behind it was to compress the user’s soul power via the use of the formation located within the core of the soul and then fire it out. It had a relatively decent amount of destructive power.

There were many ways to examine the strength of a soul tool, but the most important factors taken into consideration were its destructive power, attack range, and attack radius.

The Class 2 Soul Light Ray’s attack could reach a hundred meters, and its destructive power was roughly equal to that of a long-range soul skill from a Soul Grandmaster.
Ye Canying and Ling Xue simultaneously made their move as they fired six light rays each. Though they weren’t very well coordinated with each other, they were both extremely familiar with they way a soul engineer fought. The twelve light rays encapsulated an extremely large area and sealed off Huo
Yuhao from evading their attacks.

However, the instant they fired their Soul Light Rays, they felt themselves go absent-minded for a brief moment. This caused their attacks to deviate from their intended targets slightly.

At this moment, they were about thirty-or-so meters away from Huo Yuhao. Though their attacks had only deviated by slight amount, it exponentially increased the time they took to reach him.

Huo Yuhao immediately activated the Ghost Shadow Perplexing Tracks, which caused his figure to flash slightly. He accurately found a place where the twelve light rays wouldn’t reach him, thus causing their attacks to harmlessly pass him.

At the same time, Huo Yuhao raised his arms. The soul tools on his arms were identical to those of Ye Canying and Ling
Xue; they were both black, wristguard-like pieces of metal that had been fastened to his arms. The metal boxes opened following his muscle-movements, which caused three tiny tubes to reveal themselves on each of the two wristguards.

Yan Canying and Ling Xue’s immediately released their Class 2 Portable Soul Shields in order to defend themselves. Once a Soul Light Ray had been fired, it would enter a short cooldown period that would prevent it from being fired repeatedly.

However, just like the stationary soul cannon that hadn’t caused an explosion to ring out, Huo Yuhao’s Soul Light Ray- like soul tools didn’t cause any rays of light to appear. On the contrary, they released an ear-piercing screech.

Six bolts of lightning shot towards Ye Canying and Ling Xue.
However, they didn’t have trails of light following them.

When the six white streaks of light struck their shields, an astonishing scene occurred: White ripples began to appear on their shields, until immediately afterwards something actually drilled through them. The two of them felt their arms shake before the hands they’d raised were suddenly forced away. At the same time, they heard a snap, followed by a gray mist that covered their eyes and blocked their line of sight.

Just what sort of soul tool was this? Ye Canying and Ling Xue were simultaneously flabbergasted. However, as soul masters, they didn’t just possess soul tools; they also had their own soul skills.
Ling Xue hurriedly retreated while simultaneously releasing a large patch of snow from her body that both blocked Huo Yuhao’s line of sight and dispersed the gray mist around her.

Her martial soul was Snow. Snow was different from ice in that ice’s toughness made it so that a soul master who possessed it could become a battle soul master, while snow could only be used for assistance. As such, Ling Xue was considered an auxiliary-type soul master. Her specialty was using her Snow to change the environment and hiding herself, then using her soul tools to attack. It was only because her martial soul had been suited towards letting her become a soul engineer that she’d joined the Soul Tool Department.

Ye Canying’s reaction wasn’t slow either. His second soul ring lit up, which caused his body to shake and three shadow clones to appear. His martial soul was his Shadow.

Their arms had been knocked away, thus they couldn’t fire their Soul Light Rays for a brief period of time. Furthermore, their Soul Shields had been broken. Because of that, they chose to defend themselves while they attempted to confuse their opponent.
In the span of their short collision, Huo Yuhao had actually managed to dominate the entire field, despite being placed in a 1v3 scenario. Who would’ve expected this before the test had started?

The light beneath Huo Yuhao’s feet lit up again, which caused him to shoot forward. At the same time, a ball of light on his back lit up, which caused the light beneath his feet to grow more intense.

A Class 2 Thruster could instantly increase a soul master’s speed in a single direction for a brief moment, and the soul tool below his feet was a Speed-varying Thruster.

He hadn’t even been a soul engineer for a full year yet. In fact, he’d mainly directed his efforts towards creating soul tools that increased his speed in order to combine them with his Spiritual Detection. Because of this, the soul tool on his wrist didn’t have sufficient attack power.

At that moment, Huo Yuhao took advantage of the fact that his two opponents were currently going all-out to both defend themselves and dodge his attacks to rush out at full speed. At
the same time, the two soul rings around his body suddenly changed to a single one.

The Speed-varying Thruster he wore had a relatively low propulsion force. He could use it to speed up, but the extent to which he could speed up wasn’t large; its advantage lay in the fact that he could use it to quickly change directions. The Class 2 Thruster, on the other hand, was the soul tool he used to largely increase his speed in a single direction. Though he could only minorly change what direction he was headed towards while using it, the short-distance explosiveness it gave him allowed him to catch up with the all-out sprint of a three- ringed agility-type soul master.

The two parties had originally had a distance of thirty meters between them, yet Huo Yuhao was able to appear right in front of them in the blink of an eye using this explosive burst of speed.

Ye Canying and Ling Xue had been put into a somewhat sorry state by Huo Yuhao’s gray mist. Before they were able to vanish completely amidst Ling Xue’s snow, he’d already reached them.
The two were greatly astonished when he appeared in front of them, revealing the weakness that was their unfamiliar cooperation. Ye Canying hurriedly dashed to the left, while Ling Xue quickly retreated backwards. They were instantly separated because of this.

All of the snowflakes that Ling Xue had released instantly fell to the ground without any prior warning, astonishing her. As a result, the barrier between her and Huo Yuhao completely vanished. At the same time, the full-speed Huo Yuhao appeared in front of her and reached for her with his crystalline, diamond-like hands that shone with splendor.

Ling Xue subconsciously lifted her hands. In her moment of panic, she was only able to release her Soul Light Ray.

Six rays of light shot immediately shot towards Huo Yuhao like bolts of lightning.

At that moment, a strange scene occurred. The six blazing beams of light from Ling Xue’s Soul Light Ray unexpectedly scattered in four different directions.
As it turned out, his hands had been in just the right place to block Ling Xue’s Soul Light rays; the six rays of light had instantly been reflected the moment they’d come into contact with his hands.

Afterwards, Huo Yuhao grabbed Ling Xue’s hands.

A spotless shade of white instantly spread outwards from Ling Xue and Huo Yuhao loudly shouted, “Teacher, catch!” As soon as he’d finished, he sent Ling Xue soaring through the air. Astonishingly, her body was now covered in a white layer of frost. When Fan Yu caught her, he couldn’t help but shiver instinctively.

Huo Yuhao instantly turned around once he’d thrown Ling Xue into the air, just in time for him to see a white light appear on Ye Canying’s chest, who’d split into three shadow clones. He fired a white, palm-sized ball of light from all three of his chests towards Huo Yuhao from three different directions.

Concentrated Soul Cannon!
This was the strongest soul tool available to low-ranking soul engineers. After focusing their soul power into a formation array for a short period of time, a soul engineer could release a powerful attack. Unlike the Soul Light Ray, the Concentrated Soul Cannon had a siphoning effect. In other words, it would expedite the absorption of a soul master’s soul power. Thus,
though it was powerful, its soul power consumption was just as
large. Normally speaking, a single shot from the Concentrated Soul Cannon would drain a soul master by a third of his soul power at the very least.

The Concentrated Soul Cannon had a single disadvantage, which lay in the fact that it had a short attack range. It could only normally only lock onto an opponent within a ten meter range. If they were any further away, both its strength and accuracy would progressively deteriorate.

Ye Canying’s martial soul was his shadow, which made it an extremely strange martial soul. A martial soul like his was relatively decent at assisting him as a soul engineer, but it was unfortunate that his opponent was Huo Yuhao, who’s martial soul perfectly countered his.

Huo Yuhao’s Spirit Eyes’ Spiritual Detection would cause all illusions to vanish. Huo Yuhao didn’t even bother with the
Concentrated Soul Cannon shots to his left and front. He immediately charged towards Ye Canying with his right hand raised, then grabbed the genuine Concentrated Soul Cannon shot with his right hand.

Afterwards, Ye Canying unexpectedly lost control of the left cannon shot. It didn’t explode, but rather was flung by Huo Yuhao towards him. Furthermore, he’d even used the Tang Sect’s Arrow Throwing Technique.

Stunned, Ye Canying was only able to activate his Class 2 Soul Shield in time to block Huo Yuhao’s attack. At the same time, he released his third soul skill, causing a black shadow to emerge from his body and attempt to help him withstand the Concentrated Soul Cannon shot.

Despite this, Ye Canying’s body was flung away with a violent explosion, but was caught midair by the proctor. The intense vibrations that came from the attack caused Huo Yuhao to retreat a few steps backwards before he was able to regain his footing.

Huo Yuhao was inwardly astonished. This Concentrated Soul Cannon’s so powerful…it seems that I should make one for
myself. Ye Canying had clearly sent out a shadow clone to block the blow in addition to his Class 2 Soul Shield, yet he’d still been sent flying. Furthermore, he’d unexpectedly fainted as soon as the proctor caught him. The might of this attack was comparable to the all-out blow of an assault-type Soul Elder.

Huo Yuhao was so astonished by the power of the attack that he hardly realized that the spectating students were all looking at him with flabbergasted expressions on their faces.

Just how had a twelve or thirteen-year-old student pulled this off? He was only a Soul Grandmaster, and he was still a Class 2 soul engineer. He wasn’t even that much stronger than his opponents! However, he’d still been able to defeat all three of them by himself. Not only had he won, he’d done it in a spectacular manner. The entire battle had gone smoothly, and he’d seemingly made no errors; this had clearly been a flawless victory.

Even Fan Yu hadn’t expected Huo Yuhao to deliver such a perfect performance in his test.

In reality, a Class 2 soul engineer’s participation in the advancement test was a mere formality. Their regular tests—in
other words the creation of their soul tools—were more important to them. This was especially true for their achievements in the field of formation array carving.

It had been a 1v3 match, yet he’d achieved a flawless victory. He’d started the match off by using his Imitation to fake the activation of a stationary soul tool, had suppressed Ling Xue’s Snow, then blocked the Soul Light Ray using the tyrannical Ice Empress’ Pincer, before finally freezing and reflecting Ye Canying’s Concentrated Soul Cannon back towards him. Regardless of whether it was his achievements in combat, his decision-making skills, or his usage of his martial soul and soul tools, Huo Yuhao was truly flawless. Furthermore, the soul tools that he’d fired from his arms had caused Fan Yu to smile slightly. When Huo Yuhao had first made it, he’d given Fan Yu a big surprise due to the brand-new philosophy of soul tool creation that he had created. The soul tools on his arms that resembled Soul Light Rays were actually miniature Stationary Soul Crossbows he’d made. The reason he’d been able to shatter a Class 2 Soul Shield was actually extremely simple: He’d used an attack that was half physical and half energy. This allowed him to fire them using his soul power. Because this had only been a note-comparing session, he’d fired ball bearings instead of crossbow bolts. The ball bearings that had been released by both crossbows had struck Ye Canying and Ling Xue’s arms and released a gray mist that blocked their line
of sight. This sort of move had absolutely reached the pinnacle of accuracy.

Huo Yuhao’s reasoning was actually very simple. Why did a Stationary Soul Tool always have to release a powerful cannon shell? Doing it that way would indeed generate a powerful attack, but its production costs would be extremely high. If he could combine the creation techniques of soul tools and the Tang Sect’s hidden weapons to create a Stationary Soul Crossbow, he’d be able to incorporate both the driving force of a soul tool and the mechanics of a crossbow into his attacks. Doing this would allow him to fuse material attacks and energy-based attacks together, and would let him use different arrows based on the situation. Wouldn’t that make his attacks much more flexible?

His line of reasoning was extremely beneficial to the Soul Tool Department. This was also the reason that Fan Yu liked him so much, and was also the main reason why the Soul Tool Department was as adamant as they were on having him stay with them. He was simply too talented in the field of soul tool creation.

The biggest problem with the Tang Sect’s hidden weapons didn’t really lay in their power. There were some that truly had extremely powerful attacks. The main reason they’d declined over the course of time was their short attack range. However, if you were able to add the attack range of a soul tool to the attack pattern of a hidden weapon, wouldn’t you create a brand-new soul tool? Huo Yuhao had designed this miniature Stationary Soul Crossbow based on this idea. It didn’t consume too much soulforce, but it was still quite powerful. Like a Soul Light Ray, its attack range was a hundred meters. Furthermore, it could even break a Class 2 Soul Shield. But its might wasn’t the main point; its biggest advantage lay in its high flexibility. At the same time, just how many different kinds of soul tools could be researched with the help of this prototype? This was a world-shaking matter for Shrek Academy’s Soul Tool Department. Of course, they obviously needed many more theoretical and practical experiments to further research this subject. But with this prototype, they at least knew which direction to go in!

Fan Yu gazed at Huo Yuhao, who’d arrived in front of him, and couldn’t help but sincerely say, “Kid, you’re truly the hope of the Soul Tool Department! Er, rather, I meant to say that the
coordination between your soul tools and your martial soul were absolutely perfect. You pass the test.”

Ling Xue was still shivering in Fan Yu’s embrace when he said this. Even though she’d only been in contact with the Ice Empress’ Pincer for a short moment, the extreme cold had almost turned her into a block of ice. The ice crystals on her body made it impossible for her to move for the time being. She did her best to revolve her soulforce. With Fan Yu’s help, she managed to regain her strength. She gazed towards Huo Yuhao, and besides curiosity, fear was present in her eyes. This was the first time she’d ever felt such a terrifying cold. She felt like her snow could almost be considered warm compared to it.

The Ice Empress’ Pincer was a powerful soul skill that the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion had bestowed onto Huo Yuhao. Even though he couldn’t display its full might, the special characteristics of the skill were still present.

The Ice Empress’ Pincer’s primary effect would strengthen both of his hands and forearms, making them as hard as a ten thousand-year-old block of thick ice. In addition to this, the diamond-like ice crystals on his body had a powerful refractive ability. The Ice Empress’ Pincers themselves could be regarded as a powerful weapon. One need to realize that the strongest
parts of the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s body were her pincers and her tail! The Soul Light Ray hadn’t been able to harm Huo Yuhao for this exact reason; it had been reflected by the crystals.

Besides making his body extremely sturdy, the skill also granted him great strength. The Ice Empress’ Pincer also had the ability to increase Huo Yuhao’s arm strength by a extremely large margin, to the point that it wasn’t one whit inferior to Dai Huabin when he was under the influence of his White Tiger martial soul.

At the same time, these two skills were very similar to the Mysterious Jade Hands from the Tang Sect. As such, they could complement each other. Anybody that made the mistake of treating the Ice Empress’ Pincers as a regular first-ring soul skill would end up exactly like Ling Xue and Ye Canying.

Aside from these two special characteristics, there was also the extreme cold. As an Ultimate ice martial soul, the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion had also bestowed an attribute of ‘extreme cold’ to every single skill Huo Yuhao possessed. This extreme cold had in-turn inherited the overbearingness of the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion. Moreover, its power would increase along with Huo Yuhao’s cultivation and his body’s capabilities.

Ling Xue also had an ice element martial soul. However, as it was incomparable to the Ice Empress’ martial soul, it had immediately been suppressed. Huo Yuhao’s Ice Empress’ Pincer even had the ability to instantly freeze energy, which had allowed him to throw back the Concentrated Soul Cannon shot. It could be imagined what kind of power it held from this. If he’d wanted to, he could’ve broken Ling Xue’s neck at that time.

After this battle, all of the students of the Martial Soul Department were extremely curious about Huo Yuhao. Was this really the power of a student with a mere ten year white soul ring? Moreover, from beginning to end, his soul tool had done nothing other than increase his speed!

Fan Yu looked towards the students and said, “All of you should’ve seen the fight just now. Ye Canying, Tang Suifeng and Ling Xue, even though the three of you lost, Huo Yuhao’s circumstances are also a bit special. Therefore, you’ll be given an opportunity to retake the test later, and your score will be reset. Now then, let me give you a brief introduction.”

Fan Yu then pulled Huo Yuhao in front of him and continued, “His name is Huo Yuhao, and he’s my personal disciple, just
like He Caitou. Furthermore, he’s exceptionally talented at creating soul tools. For this reason, he’s also a core disciple of our Soul Tool Department. However, due to special circumstances, he’ll still be studying at the Martial Soul Department for now. Yuhao, all of these students are the same as you, Class 2 soul engineers.”

Huo Yuhao hurriedly bowed and greeted them, “Everyone, I’m pleased to meet you.”

The students also greeted him one after another. Those that were jealous of him far surpassed those that admired him, mainly due to his young age. From the battle just now, they’d discovered that he was the strongest amongst all of the Class 2 soul engineers. Even a Soul Elder hadn’t been his match.

This battle just now had also been a great inspiration for Huo Yuhao. Soul tools could greatly help him overcome his shortcomings. Deep in his heart, he thought that, if he had enough time to create some Class 2 soul tools, he wouldn’t even need to be afraid of facing someone like Dai Huabin in a one- on-one battle.
At that moment, he’d also begun to realize the might of the four skills the Skydream Iceworm had bestowed upon him.

On first sight, the four spiritual-type skills he’d received seemed very ordinary. However as his cultivation rose, these skills had also begun to show their might. The easiest and most useful one was surely the Spiritual Detection, while next was the Spiritual Interference. A moment ago, he’d relied on his Spiritual Interference to avoid the enemy’s crossfire when he’d been encircled by three of them. Two spiritual skills that could complement each other with soul tools; this was basically the best thing he could ask for! Furthermore, he could already use a Stationary Soul Tool with his current cultivated level. If he were to combine his Spiritual Detection with a Stationary Soul Tool, he was confident that he could hold his own against a soul master with four, or even five soul rings! Of course, that was only if he had enough ammunition and there was a great enough distance between them.

The more he studied and used soul tools, the more Huo Yuhao could feel how much more advanced they were than the Tang Sect’s hidden weapons.

If you were to compare them, one had the power of a purely mechanical device; it was precise and accurate, just like a piece
of art. On the other hand, soul tools were powered by soulforce, which was a more advanced type of energy. Moreover, it could be used in conjunction with formation arrays.

No matter what materials were used, the power of a mechanical device would always be limited. However, soulforce was different, as soulforce would increase alongside the cultivation of the soul master. As such, the power of soul tools would also keep increasing. Furthermore, with the increase of one’s soulforce, the process involved in the design and creation of soul tools would also change accordingly, which would cause the power of the soul tool to become greater and greater. This was also one of the reasons that first- class soul engineers were such terrifying existences.

However, even if a Class 9 soul engineer could dominate a Rank 9 Titled Douluo in a long distance battle, the same couldn't be said of a short-range battle. At the same time, there had never been a Class 9 soul engineer who’d surmounted Rank
95. Because of this, soul masters were still recognized as the
strongest existences on the continent. This was also one of the reasons that Shrek Academy had such a high status.
After introducing him, Fan Yu let Huo Yuhao go. He also gave him a day of rest. They would meet the day after tomorrow in the evening, where they would continue studying together in the Testing Area.

After bidding Fan Yu and He Caitou farewell, Huo Yuhao returned to his dorm room. As soon as he opened the door, he saw Wang Dong looking at something with a very excited look on his face.

“What’s up? How come you’re so happy?” Huo Yuhao moved closer.

Wang Dong raised his head and shot Yuhao a look. “Did you pass the Soul Tool Department’s advancement test?”

Huo Yuhao giggled as he said, “Of course I did. In fact, I discovered that fighting with a soul tool is much easier than without one. The consumption of soulforce is also smaller compared to purely using soul skills. What’re you looking at?”

He moved closer when he was done speaking, then snatched a bronze-like red paper from Wang Dong’s hand.

“Treasure Appreciating Auction? What’s that?”  Huo Yuhao glanced over the red paper. On it, Huo Yuhao saw that Shrek Academy’s core students were invited to the Treasure Appreciating Auction to take a look at the goods that would be on display.

Wang Dong smiled, then turned and sat down. He excitedly explained, “I did some research. This Treasure Appreciating Auction is something that was created for our Shrek Academy. However, it’s been divided into different categories. For example, this section is specifically aimed towards us core disciples.”

Huo Yuhao ill-humoredly replied, “Explain yourself clearly. I didn’t understand anything you just said.”

Wang Dong stared at him blankly and said, “That’s because you’re stupid. This Treasure Appreciating Auction is a run by a big merchant organization in Shrek City. Isn’t our Shrek City a huge business center? It’s not uncommon for merchants of different nations to come here to carry out transactions. When the merchants living in Shrek City get ahold of something good, they’ll auction it at our Shrek Academy’s Treasure
Appreciating Auction. To put it bluntly, we get to choose first, and the leftovers will be auctioned off later on.”

Huo Yuhao was surprised as he asked, “For real? Do those merchants even gain anything from this? It’s not like everyone in our academy is rich.”

Wang Dong snorted and replied, “Of course they gain something. They gain the academy's goodwill! Not everyone in the academy is rich, yet how do you think Shrek City came to exist? It was all thanks to our Shrek Academy. Our academy isn’t only the number one academy on the continent—it also has a terrifying military force. As long as Shrek Academy is here, Shrek City will never fall. Even if all the nations on the continent were to wage war against each other, none of them would dare to wage war here. Because of this, building a good relationship with our Shrek Academy is in the best interest of those merchants.”

Huo Yuhao’s interest was aroused when he heard this. “So what kind of good things are auctioned at this Treasure Appreciating Auction?”
Wang  Dong  said,  “The  Treasure  Appreciating  Auction  is mainly divided into three categories. The first one is directly reserved for the academy. For example, if your Soul Tool Department needs some rare metals, they can buy them directly from there. The same goes for the teaching articles of the Martial Soul Department. The academy can also order things such as precious ingredients. However, these are just a few examples. Aside from the things sold to the academy and the teachers, there won’t be many other high quality goods.”

“Afterwards,  there  are  the  other  two  categories.  These categories are reserved for us, the students, and you can find several good things here. One of these categories is aimed at inner courtyard students, and the goods there are pretty high quality. According to the rumors, soul bones are sold there all the time. However, only inner courtyard students are qualified to enter that auction. There’s not really anything we can do about it. After that, there’s the place written on this invitation letter. Only the core disciples of the outer courtyard are allowed to enter.”
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