Unrivaled Tang Sect Volume 9

Book 9: Escape

Chapter 56: The Treasure Appreciation Auction

“The Treasure Appreciation Auction for the core disciples will commence tonight. Even though this Treasure Appreciation Auction of ours isn’t as good as the inner courtyard’s auction, I’ve heard that there are many good items there. For example, medicine pills, herbs and even custom- made soul rings! There are also soul tool-related items. In any case, all of the items there are all high quality goods. Are you going?”

Huo Yuhao let out a bitter laugh and said, “I’m not going. I barely have any money so what’s the use in going? Since there are only going to be good items there, they’re naturally going to be expensive. It would be okay if I didn’t fancy anything, but just in case I do fancy something, wouldn’t I just be bringing suffering upon myself?”

Wang Dong felt pleased as he replied, “I’m sure you don’t know this, but didn’t you mention a moment ago that not all of our seniors are rich? What meaning would this Treasure Appreciation Auction have then? The truth is that we can buy the items on credit. This is also the reason why the auction is not open to normal students.”

His curiosity peaked, Huo Yuhao asked, “Buying on credit?
Tell me more about this.”

Wang Dong said, “Don’t look down on our identity as core disciples. The probability of a core disciple from the outer courtyard graduating is above 95 percent. Moreover, each and every student capable of graduating from the outer courtyard is an outstanding talent in extreme demand, regardless of country or industry. That’s because the main requirement in order to graduate from the outer courtyard is becoming a Soul Ancestor!”

“Therefore, what these businesses are doing is investing in us and our potential. They’ll arrange a date for us to sign an agreement with them. We would then repay them in yearly installments. We can even defer repaying them till after we graduate, but in that case they’ll collect a small amount of interest from us.”

“I know you don’t understand how they benefit from this, do you? First, since we are in their debt; if they have something to ask of you or if they encounter something problematic, how could you not help them? If they want to employ you, could you reject them? Taking a step back, there’s no harm in
forming a good relationship with a powerful Soul Ancestor is there? In any case, at the very least they can boost the chances of you shopping in their store. You may not have money now but that doesn’t mean you’ll always be poor in the future.”

“These businesses are very shrewd and would never conduct transactions that would end in a loss for them. If we core disciples can enter the inner courtyard, the payment will increase further, and all the interest on the loan would be waived off. All we’d need to do is repay the capital within the deadline via one of the many repayment schemes.”

After his thorough explanation, Huo Yuhao finally saw the light, “There are actually so many ways of doing things here. Then does that mean we can also buy things on credit?”

Wang Dong nodded and said, “But of course! We’re core disciples, after all! Moreover, you’re a core disciple of two departments. If they heard about this, I’m sure they’d give you an even greater discount.”

Huo Yuhao shook his head and replied, “There’s no need for that. I’d have to return the favor if I accepted their discounts. We’d better not do that unless we had no other choice.”

Wang Dong was excited, “Of course! Despite being in the academy for so long have you been to Shrek City?”

Huo Yuhao naturally hadn’t been to Shrek City. From his point of view, the biggest hurdle was his first year in the academy. During that time, he knew that he could be expelled at any time. Other than giving it his all in cultivating, how could he have the time and energy to go window shopping?

“You’ve never been out there, right? We’re going to start lessons very soon. It’s such a rare occurrence that we’ve got free time, so let’s take a stroll. Even if we don’t buy anything, we can increase our knowledge. We can’t always ignore what’s going on in the world outside even if we want to.”

Huo Yuhao saw how excited he looked and couldn’t bring himself to say no to him. He felt slightly helpless as he replied, “It’s tonight, right? Then before we finish eating, you have to accompany me in cultivation. You’re not allowed to slack off.”

Wang Dong smiled as he replied, “Deal!”
They then spent the remaining hours cultivating. Huo Yuhao had originally been under the assumption that his soul power was increasing rapidly and that he had already caught up to most of the other students. However, he started to panic when he heard Teacher Wang Yan and Dean Yan mention that the speed at which a person with an Ultimate marital soul could cultivate would decrease after Rank 30. Moreover, he was different from the other students. As per the academy’s
instructions, he had to momentarily maintain his position as a
core disciple of two departments. He had to multitask and study in both departments at the same time. This wasn’t an easy feat. Hence, he didn’t dare to relax for a single moment despite having already established himself in the academy. On the contrary, he had to work even harder.

Huo Yuhao also had his own opinions on the situation. His plan of singlehandedly seeking revenge on the Duke’s Residence was a pipe dream. Even if he had the ability to do so in the future, how many years would he have to wait? Twenty, thirty, or maybe even fifty years? At that time, things would remain the same, yet people would’ve changed. What would be the point of seeking revenge anymore? The target he gave himself to complete his revenge in was twenty years. This required him to be even stronger and even more powerful than he was currently. Shrek Academy was undoubtedly the best place for him to take flight. Thus, he had to do his best and
learn as much as he could so while he was here so he could become stronger.

Time always passed very quickly when cultivating. The sky was already darkening by the time the two finished cultivating. After they finished eating a top-notch, scrumptious meal, they took the invitation letter and quietly left the school.

Naturally, they weren’t the only two to receive the invitation letter. The core disciples in the outer courtyard were spread across all year groups. For example, Dai Huabin, Zhu Lu, Zhou Enchen and Chao Jinxuan from their year had also received invitations. However they would all go at different times as they had been taking their exams for the past two days.

Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong set off considerably later than the others. As they walked out of the academy’s gates, Huo Yuhao suddenly stopped in his tracks.

“What’s wrong?” Wang Dong asked, puzzled.

Huo Yuhao answered, “Do you know how to get to the Treasure Assembly Pavilion? I’ve never been to Shrek City
before. You’ve never been there either, right?”

Wang Dong raised his hand and knocked Huo Yuhao on his head. “Stupid, look at the back of your invitation letter.”

As a core disciple, Huo Yuhao had naturally received his own invitation letter. He took it out and flipped it over. Sure enough, there was a detailed map stamped in gold which indicated the location of the Treasure Assembly Pavilion within Shrek City.

Although Shrek Academy was located within Shrek City, they weren’t connected to one another. This also meant that there wasn’t a back door connecting the academy to the city.

As a result of that, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong had to walk out of the academy, head round to either the south or north gate of the city and then enter through that gate. The Treasure Appreciation Pavilion seemed to be closer to the north gate on the map, so they naturally headed to that gate.

Shrek City was very large so the duo started to run as soon as they left the academy. They only stepped through the north
gate after running for close to an hour.

As one of the busiest cities and most integral cities on the Douluo Continent, Shrek City was the liveliest in the evening. Once they passed through the city gates, they were greeted by a noisy place that was bustling with activity. Huo Yuhao was shocked by what he saw since neither had he ever been to such a big city,nor had he seen so many people before in his life.

Everything as far as the eye could see was filled with a densely packed stream of people entering or leaving the city. On top of that, the sounds of vendors peddling their goods made everything even more chaotic.

“There   are   so   many   people   here!”    Huo   Yuhao   said, astonished.

Wang  Dong  said,  “That’s  obvious.  As  one  of  the  most flourishing economic centers on the continent, Shrek City is extremely bustling. The city boasts a population of nearly five million people, that’s almost as much as some empires. Hey, don’t tell me that you’ve never been in a city before?”

Huo Yuhao nodded, “Yeah! This is the largest city I’ve ever been in.”

While looking around curiously, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong walked through the wide city gates. Shrek City’s main roads were extremely wide and allowed eight carriages to ride
through them at the same time. The vast atmosphere within the city made Huo Yuhao gasp in surprise as he felt his worldview widen.

“How about it? Our trip was not in vain was it?” Wang Dong smiled. He had a similar curious expression on his face; after all, this was also his first time entering Shrek City.

The descriptions of Shrek City on the map were extremely accurate and its roads were extremely orderly. As a result, it wasn’t hard to navigate around the city. After walking for about fifteen minutes or so, they arrived at the Treasure Gathering Pavilion.

The Treasure Gathering Pavilion was a large store that dealt with items relating to soul masters and soul engineers. If looked upon from afar, one could see that it was an enormous four-floored building that was over twenty meters tall. The building itself took up a large amount of space. It was a dazzling sight to behold from the outside, as it resembled a cornucopia.

A building this luxurious had already exceeded Huo Yuhao’s range of understanding. And so, he couldn’t help but widen his
eyes when he saw the four cheongsam-wearing girls standing beside the door to the Treasure Gathering Pavilion.

The girls who were in charge of receiving customers of the Treasure Gathering Hall were only seventeen or eighteen years old, they had sweet appearances and slender bodies. Their fair skins looked even more charming when contrasted with the dazzling Treasure Gathering Pavilion. Huo Yuhao was immediately flabbergasted.

“Ouch. Wang Dong, what’re you pinching me before?”  An acute sensation of pain brought Huo Yuhao back to his senses. He turned around and saw that Wang Dong was glaring at him fiercely.

“What’re you looking at? Be careful of growing a sty if you look at something you’re not supposed to.” Wang Dong said angrily.

Huo Yuhao put an innocent expression on his face as he looked into Wang Dong’s large beautiful eyes. “Being attracted to someone beautiful is only human. I’m just taking a look. These older sisters are really pretty.”
“Hmph! Very pretty?”  Wang Dong had a look of disdain on his face. He was somewhat hesitant to respond, but he managed to not say anything.

Huo Yuhao rubbed his aching waist and said helplessly, “Whatever, I won’t look. You don’t even like looking at pretty women, you’re still such a child.”

Wang Dong ignored him and strode towards the Treasure Gathering Pavilion as Huo Yuhao hurriedly chased after him.

Before they could reach the door leading to the Treasure Gathering Pavilion, one of the eight girls who were standing by the door walked over to them with a faint smile on her face. “Are  you  two  soul  masters  coming  to  participate  in  the Treasure Appreciation Auction?” she inquired respectfully,

Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong had both worn their Shrek Academy uniforms, which made them stand out in the crowd. As a result, they had received a large number of glances on their journey here.
The two of them took out their invitation letters and handed them over to her. The smile on the girl’s face immediately became much more gentle when she saw their invitation letters, “Soul masters, please follow me.” she said as she led the way

Even among the core disciples of Shrek Academy, there were very few students around Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s age who could attend the Treasure Appreciation Auction. Hence, they received curious looks as they walked past the group of girls beside the door.

Wang Dong was still fine, but Huo Yuhao’s face was completely flushed.

After entering the Treasure Gathering Pavilion, a luxurious atmosphere immediately assaulted all of their senses. The golden hall was extremely extravagant and was illuminated by a crystal light that hung from the ceiling. The two sides of the hall were similarly lined with two rows of women.

When compared to the eight cheongsam-wearing girls who were on the outside, the young ladies within the hall who wore short golden skirts were even more eye-catching. These young
ladies were slightly younger and the material used in their skirts was extremely thin, revealing their fair slender legs. All of their appearances were stunning and their bodies were extremely beautiful. A person would feel as if he had walked into heaven on earth after entering this golden hall.

“We welcome our distinguished guests.” The young ladies in the hall bowed and greeted them, immediately startling Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong. They couldn’t help but feel bewildered as they looked at the girls who were all bowing towards them.

Huo Yuhao was still young and didn’t know much of the differences in terms of status and wealth that different people had. However, he began to slowly understand that concept. Would an ordinary person be granted entry to such a luxurious place?

At that moment, Huo Yuhao suddenly felt his vision go dark; his eyes had been covered. Wang Dong’s voice rang out, “You’re not allowed to look. I wouldn’t have brought you here if I’d known that it was gonna be like this. I won’t let you be corrupted by bad things like this.”
Huo Yuhao was filled with helplessness. “Why would I be corrupted by the sights here? Aren’t you seeing them as well? Doesn’t that mean that you’ll be corrupted too?”

Wang Dong subconsciously justified his actions, “I’m different, I…” He suddenly stopped and continued in a fierce voice, “In any case, you should just close your eyes and not look at  anything  here.”  With  that,  he  moved  his  hands  off  Huo Yuhao’s eyes.

As the two spoke, they passed the corridor filled with beautiful women. The white-clothed young lady guided them up a golden flight of stairs to the second floor of the Treasure Gathering Pavilion.

The second floor was much quieter than the first floor. It seemed extremely messy on the inside but everything was arranged in an extremely logical manner. Exhibition booths were all installed in the most eye-catching parts of the room and each booth was covered with an enormous piece of crystal- glass. Every booth had a wide variety of diverse and unique items.
The  white-clothed  lady  stopped.  “Greetings  to  the  two distinguished guests who are attending the Treasure Appreciation Auction held within the Treasure Gathering Pavilion. Please head towards the western area to register yourselves. You can get a credit evaluation if you wish to buy
things on credit. The results of this evaluation will determine the discounts available to you as well as your credit limits.”

Chapter 57: The Golden Left Arm Bone

Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong glanced at each other when the white-haired girl had finished. Huo Yuhao then turned back towards her and asked, “Are there different credit limits? If so, what are the different limits?”

The white-clothed girl smiled. “If I’m not mistaken, this should be the first time you’ve visited the Treasure Appreciation Auction. It’s like this: Our Treasure Gathering Pavilion will set different credit limits based on the personal situations of the distinguished guests who participate in the Treasure Appreciating Auction. We mainly judge your current cultivation, age, soul rank, and a few other factors in order to form a comprehensive evaluation. Don’t worry, our Treasure Gathering Pavilion will maintain a level of secrecy over this information; we absolutely won’t reveal any of your secrets. At the same time, we won’t ask what your background is. Your credit limit is based off of your ability alone. As such, we have a set of detailed confidential measures. Since it’s your first time coming to the auction, I recommend that you go and receive an evaluation first. That way, we’ll be able to confirm your credit limits, and you’ll also have a good estimate as to what you’ll be able to buy inside our Treasure Appreciation Auction. If the two of you wish it, I can take you there right now.”
Huo Yuhao glanced inquisitively towards Wang Dong, who nodded.  “That’s  fine.  It  seems  I’ll  have  to  trouble  you  to evaluate us.”

As the white-clothed girl lead the two of them to the east, they were occasionally drawn to the exhibition booths near them.

Wang Dong suddenly tugged on Huo Yuhao’s sleeve and pointed towards a booth; impressively, there was a soul bone within the booth. The soul bone was reddish-gold, and it was surprisingly floating within the booth. It looked to be an arm bone, its five delicate digits pointed upwards. Each of its fingertips released a faint, reddish-gold light. It wasn’t just them; almost everyone who walked past it would find their gazes drawn to it. Furthermore, the booth that the soul bone was located within was at least twice the size that of the other booths. Furthermore, the enormous crystal cover on it caused its reddish-golden light to glisten and cover the entire room.

There was a sign underneath the soul bone with a few words on it, but the two of them couldn’t clearly see what the words on it since they were were still walking.
Huo Yuhao turned to look towards Wang Dong, only to see an intense brilliance in the latter’s eyes. Wang Dong was also looking at him, and he whispered, “I can sense that it suits me.”

Huo Yuhao nodded. “However, its price…”

A resolute light flashed through Wang Dong’s eyes. “We’ll talk about it later.”

Naturally, there wouldn’t just be one good thing within the auction. Just like Wang Dong had seen the soul bone, Huo Yuhao had seen quite a few treasures that had filled his heart with thirst.

Wang Dong mainly paid attention to things that were related to a soul master’s cultivation, but Huo Yuhao also cared about certain precious metals and things that were related to soul engineering. For example, he’d seen a set of schematics that had been created by a Class 7 soul engineer. Though he didn’t know what kind of soul tool it was for, the words ‘Class 7’ were already sufficient.
Even though his teacher was a powerful Class 8 soul engineer who was as rare as phoenix feathers and qilin horns among soul engineers, the latter had told him that every single soul engineer had a different inclination within their research— every single soul engineer who’d reached Class 6 would definitely have their own specialties. It would be extremely beneficial for a low-ranked soul engineer to see the blueprints of a higher-ranked one. There were many commonalities between different blueprints, but no high-ranking soul engineer would easily let another person see his or her schematics. If they were to do so, it would become highly likely that certain features within their blueprints would be leaked. If that happened, the experience they’d gained after researching for many years would be free to study by other soul engineers.

For this reason, most high-ranking soul engineers would only rarely give their blueprints to someone that wasn’t their inheriting disciple.

Unfortunately, Huo Yuhao didn’t even need to ask to know that that set of schematics would very likely be comparable to a soul bone in price. That set of schematics wasn’t just some basic one written by a Class 7 soul engineer—it was a carefully written one; it was a schematic for a self-created Class 7 soul tool.

A Class 7 soul engineer might not necessarily be able to create a Class 7 soul tool. Upon reaching Class 7, the restrictions that limited a soul engineer would increase dramatically. Oftentimes, a Class 7 soul engineer would only be able to create a set of blueprints for a Class 7 soul tool once in their entire lives.

A highly ranked soul tool would contain special characteristics of the soul engineer who’d created it, but to create a soul tool such as this was enormously difficult. For example, a soul tool created by a Class 9 soul engineer would typically be an existence ranked as a strategic weapon to any country. There was a chance that even its creator wouldn’t be able to activate it. As such, the main reason soul engineers were still inferior to soul masters was because there were simply too few high-ranking soul engineers. Class 7, on the other hand, was the basic threshold required for a soul engineer to call himself a high-ranking one.

Though the two of them had already predicted that there would be relatively precious treasures here even before arriving, they realised that they’d still underestimated the power of the Treasure Gathering Pavilion once they saw the exhibitions present.
In reality, it wasn’t easy for the Treasure Gathering Pavilion to gather so many items. However, they didn’t know that. Though a Treasure Appreciation Auction on this level was still inferior to those that disciples of the inner courtyard could participate in, it wasn’t too far off. The two items that they’d seen had previously appeared within a Treasure Appreciation Auction held within the inner courtyard, but the price of a treasure of this level was naturally high… Because of this, no one had been able to afford it, and it had thus appeared within this auction for them to admire.

After walking for nearly a hundred meters, they finally came to the end of the western area. There was a light groove under the long desks which flickered with a crystal-yellow light; the gentle rays of light coming from it weren’t gaudy in the least, but filled with a sense of realism.

The white-clothed girl brought the two of them to the left side of the front desk, and a girl behind it rose to her feet immediately and said respectfully, “Greetings to the two soul masters. I’ll have to trouble the two of you to fill in this evaluation form. We’ll be able to calculate your credit limit within a few minutes.”
Two evaluation forms, along with delicate ink brushes, were given to them. The contents of the form weren’t complicated in the least.

Name and surname, gender, age, soul rank, martial soul, and past achievements.

There were only these six simple items that were required; the age of their soul rings wasn’t required at all.

Because of this, they felt much more at ease whilst filling in these forms. Huo Yuhao only gave his Spirit Eyes for the ‘martial soul’ field, and not his Ice Jade Empress Scorpion. Even in Shrek Academy, the number of people who knew that he possessed the Ice Empress were few in number.

After filling in their respective forms, they handed them in.
Quickly, their evaluations were released.

The girl who was in charge of registration and calculating credit limits was somewhat stunned. The white-clothed girl who’d brought the two to the desk whispered to her, “Little Red, quickly.”

The lady behind the desk had a round, charming face along with a pair of small eyes, but her facial features were cute, making her look seventeen or eighteen. The instant she was urged on by the white-clothed girl, she looked towards Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong with a completely different look in her eyes; a somewhat intense light had appeared in them.

Huo Yuhao had seen this kind of gaze in the past; he would frequently see the female students in the academy look towards Wang Dong with a look like this in their eyes. Just who made him more delicate and prettier than a girl? However, the girl called Little Red wasn’t looking towards Wang Dong this time around; her intense gaze was unexpectedly directed towards the twelve-year-old Huo Yuhao.

She used an extremely respectful and gentle voice to speak to him, “Respected Sir Huo, I would like to welcome you to our Treasure Gathering Pavilion. I just did a quick investigation, and you do not have a credit limit within our auction.”

“Ah?” Huo Yuhao was stunned, “Why?” He barely had any money himself, and if he couldn’t use credit to purchase items here, he’d have to leave empty-handed.
Little Red could naturally see how he’d misunderstood her, and said hurriedly, “Mr Huo, please don’t be worried. You’ve been upgraded to a top-ranked VIP in our Treasure Gathering Pavilion, so you don’t need a limit. According to your current limit, you’ll have the qualifications to take away a single item
from the Treasure Appreciation Auction every year without paying anything.”

“This…”  Huo Yuhao was immediately stunned. He glanced towards Wang Dong, clueless as to what had just occurred.

The white-clothed girl also had a look of astonishment on her face. Little Red ignored her, and instead whispered a few words to the girl beside her. That girl, in turn, hurriedly rose to her feet and walked towards the back.

Little Red had already placed two cards on the table. One of them was red, and the other was purple.

Little Red handed the purple card to Wang Dong. “Mr Wang, your credit is a hundred thousand gold soul coins. You can only use it once this year, and you’ll have to go through another evaluation next year. At your current age, a purple evaluation is already the highest you can receive. You will receive a 10%
discount on any items you purchase, and our prices here are cheaper than what you can find in the outside world, so they’re already extremely low.”

Wang Dong took the card and nodded, but he was still extremely stunned with regards to Huo Yuhao’s situation. According to common sense, even if the latter had performed extraordinarily after returning, he shouldn’t have a status that exceeded his own! After all, he was a control-type soul master. However, he could tell that that was precisely the case from the girl’s expression.

The red card had a golden streak on it, and Huo Yuhao unexpectedly felt a faint warmth come from it after receiving it. It was extremely comfortable to hold it.

This is...

Red Spirit-warming Jade? This is too extravagant!

Huo Yuhao had a look of astonishment on his face as he looked at the card in his hand. Only a small piece of Red Spirit- warming Jade was needed for a person to withstand the harsh
winter. Naturally, this referred to ordinary winter, and not the one that existed within the Extreme North. More importantly, it was an extremely stable gem. Using it to carve a formation array was enough to the withstand soul power of anyone below a Class 6 soul engineer. It was a relatively uncommon material that was used for formation arrays. Though the card wasn’t
large, it was worth a hundred gold soul coins at the very least.
Furthermore, there was only an extremely small quantity of Red Spirit-warming Jade in existence!

The card had the words ‘Treasure Gathering Pavilion’ engraved on it, but it was otherwise unadorned.

Little Red gazed at the red card in Huo Yuhao’s hand with jealousy. She then said, “Mr Huo, this VIP card allows you a 40% discount within our Pavilion, which is the highest discount we can give anyone. Furthermore, you can also redeem any item you wish from our Treasure Appreciation Auction once a year with it.”

Wang Dong asked curiously, “How many cards like this does your pavilion have?”

Little Red shook her head. “I’m sorry, but I’m not very clear with regards to that. Every single person in possession of a top- ranked VIP card is an extremely honoured guest of our pavilion. Moreover, all VIP cards have slight differences. For example, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of something like Mr. Huo’s privilege, where he’s allowed to choose a single treasure for free every year.”
Suddenly, a warm voice rang out in Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s ears, “There’s no need for you to feel astonished. Go and pick what you need. The Treasure Gathering Pavilion is a part of the academy, thus it’s naturally aware of your situations. The academy was the one who chose to give Huo Yuhao a top-ranked VIP card. However, you two have to keep this a secret; you can’t reveal the relationship between the academy and the pavilion to others, nor can you reveal your VIP ranks. If you do, you’ll be stripped of your privilege to enter this place.”

This was the first time they’d ever heard this voice, yet they felt an immense sense of pressure as soon as they did. Just this person’s voice had been nigh unbearable for the two of them. They naturally didn’t dare to ask any more questions and hurriedly turned to leave the front desk.

A figure slowly appeared in front of the front desk soon after the two of them had left. The workers present all bowed respectfully when they saw him.

The newcomer was an old woman who had a head of white hair and a ruddy complexion. She’d recently attended the conference held in the Sea God’s Pavilion. She was Elder Lin,
who’d sat next to Xian Lin’er, and was also the Pavilion Master of the Treasure Gathering Pavilion.

She hadn’t lied when she’d said that the Treasure Gathering Pavilion was a part of academy, as the Treasure Gathering Pavilion was still a business that belonged to Shrek Academy. However, she’d intentionally left out one thing: the Treasure Gathering Pavilion didn’t belong to the academy itself; rather, this action was one of the points that had been discussed during the conference held at the Sea God’s Pavilion. She would normally be the only person who would control everything within the pavilion.

It was of course normal for a student like Huo Yuhao— someone who could trigger a conference at the Sea God’s Pavilion—to obtain a top-ranked VIP card from the Treasure Gathering Pavilion. This was also deluded by the conference. The academy didn’t say anything on the surface, but they naturally hoped that Huo Yuhao would rapidly mature and be of use to the academy. The academy would absolutely not be miserly to a talent on this level. This was also a reason why Shrek Academy, not only had outstanding students, but a group of powerful elders and teachers. Practically all of them had gone through the same process that Huo Yuhao was now going through. Only, the treatments they’d received at his age weren’t as high as this.

Giving him help via the Sea God’s Pavilion was equivalent to concealing everything from the other students within the academy. After all, only the top-level figures who could participate in the meeting held within the Sea God’s Pavilion knew of the relationship between the Treasure Gathering Pavilion and Shrek Academy. This way, even if the academy tried to rope in and help Huo Yuhao, it wouldn’t give rise to dissatisfaction from core disciples of the outer courtyard, or even students of the inner courtyard. Thus, why wouldn’t they do it this way?

However, Shrek Academy wouldn’t bet all of its resources on a single student. Regardless of how special a student was, he would only be a piece of trash if he lost his ambition and drive. Because of that, Huo Yuhao would only receive a single free item each year. Yet, he simply had too many treasures he needed as a person who dual-cultivated in the Martial Soul and Soul Tool Departments. The choice of this item would be left up to him, but he would have to rely on his own hard work if he wished to obtain any more items.

“Let’s go and take a look at that soul bone.”  Without any hesitation at all, he headed towards the soul bone that Wang Dong had seen earlier.
Wang Dong hurriedly tugged at his sleeve. “Yuhao, you don’t need to. I can buy it myself.”  He naturally understood Huo Yuhao’s intentions. There was no doubt that he was going to use his privileges to help Wang Dong get that soul bone.

Huo Yuhao turned around and looked at Wang Dong in a very serious manner.

Wang Dong gradually felt somewhat awkward under his gaze. “What’re you looking at me for?”

Huo Yuhao said, “Wang Dong, do you still remember when Teacher Zhou gave me that soul bone? I used it, but I didn’t fuse with it. Instead, I used it as a medium to fuse with another high-ranked soul bone. I can’t tell you how I got that soul bone, but I definitely wouldn’t have been able to fuse with it without the use of the Secret Law Soul. Xiao Xiao and I already have soul bones, but the attack-type soul master in our team, you, doesn’t have one. It’s definitely in the team’s best interests that you be our first choice when we get another one.”

With that, he paused for a moment before continuing, “Moreover,  the  friendship  between  us  definitely  can’t  be measured using any benefits or money whatsoever. We’re
partners who can use a fusion skill! From another standpoint, the two of us are a single entity. If you get stronger, our strength as a whole will similarly increase. If you think of me as a brother, don’t say anything else. Go.”

As he spoke, he walked towards the soul bone while holding onto Wang Dong’s hand.

The reddish-golden soul bone had attracted a lot of attention. Anyone who could participate in the Treasure Appreciation Auction was a core disciple of the outer courtyard, and there were many of them that the two of them recognized.

“Senior brother.” Huo Yuhao immediately saw the gentle and cultured Bei Bei, but he didn’t see Tang Ya beside him. Evidently, Tang Ya wasn’t a core disciple of the academy. However, the person standing beside him was someone that they both recognised; it was Xu Sanshi, who possessed the Xuanwu Turtle. He was currently speaking to Bei Bei with a hand on his shoulder.

The two of them simultaneously looked up after hearing Huo Yuhao’s cry. It turned out they weren’t looking at the soul bone, but another item beside it.

“Juniors, you’ve come as well.”  Bei Bei walked up to them with a smile on his face.

Xu Sanshi’s eyes immediately lit up after he saw Huo Yuhao. With a look of faux-anger on his face, he said, “Yuhao, I haven’t eaten your roasted fish for a long time. I’ve heard that you’ve been shining extraordinarily for a while, and even Dean Yan wants you. But why’d you run over to the Soul Tool Department?”

Huo Yuhao chuckled. “Big Brother Xu, you ask too many questions. I don’t know how to answer all this at once. In any case, nothing has changed; I’m training in both the Soul Tool Department and the Martial Soul Department.

Xu Sanshi said, “It’s good that you two have come. Help give this guy some advice. I’ve just told Bei Bei that I’ll definitely join the Tang Sect as long as you guys can get Jiang Nannan to join. How about it?”

The two of them were both astonished after hearing that. Like Bei Bei, Xu Sanshi was a core disciple. Moreover, Xu Sanshi was already a sixth year student who wasn’t far away
from Bei Bei in terms of cultivation. In reality, he was even younger than Bei Bei as a result of having entered the academy at a young age.

The Xuanwu Turtle was a top-ranked defensive martial soul, and though it wasn’t as powerful as an Ultimate one, it could be considered at the peak of the defense system. Furthermore, Xu Sanshi definitely had some sort of background since he had been able to inherit a martial soul like this. All of this would definitely be of enormous use to the Tang Sect.

Yet, Bei Bei turned a blind eye to this. “What do you think the Tang Sect is? A tool to help you chase after girls? Go away.”

Instead of becoming angry, Xu Sanshi laughed mischievously. “Who asked Nannan to be on such good terms with your Little Ya? Just go and ask Little Ya to get Nannan to come here. A person with Nannan’s personality won’t easily leave the Tang Sect after she enters it. At that time, I’ll come in. Won’t my chances be much better then?”

Bei Bei sighed lightly. “Although you’re not a good fella, I have to admit that you’re practically infatuated. For the sake of Jiang Nannan, you’ve actually stayed in Year 5 and refused to
enter Year 6. If it weren’t for the fact that you were a core disciple, you would’ve already been expelled from the academy.”

Xu Sanshi made a long face. “I have no choice! Who asked her to be my first love? I’m willing to do anything for her.”

Xu Sanshi had actually decided to stay behind for Jiang Nannan’s sake? Shrek Academy actually had a person as strange as this.

“Even this is possible?” Huo Yuhao blurted.

Xu Sanshi smiled cunningly. “Why wouldn’t it be possible? It was even Bei Bei who inspired me to do it. Why do you guys think he’s in a year lower than mine even though he’s older than me? Isn’t it all for the sake of staying with Little Ya? Did you guys think he was praising me? He was clearly praising himself. That’ll be good; Little Ya, Bei Bei, Nannan and I will all be in the same class. However, Bei Bei, your Little Ya isn’t in a good position! Looking at her cultivation, she’ll have some difficulty graduating from the outer courtyard, much less entering the inner courtyard.”
Bei Bei sighed. “She’s already been working hard these two years. But you know how hard it is to cultivate Bluesilver Grass. After all, she doesn’t have the Bluesilver Emperor like the Tang Sect’s Ancestor. She can only do her best. I’ve already thought it through; if Little Ya can’t enter the inner courtyard,
I won’t enter either. I’ll follow her travelling around the continent.”

Xu Sanshi immediately felt nothing but respect for him. “Good! You’re worthy of being called a man that I, Xu Sanshi, have witnessed it! You’re righteous in your love.”

“You… scram.” Bei Bei said unhappily, and stamped his foot.

Bei Bei clearly hadn’t used much force, but Xu Sanshi let out a miserable shriek, and he flew outwards fiercely. Just as Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong felt astonished, they saw Jiang Nannan appear in the direction that Xu Sanshi had flown towards.

Jiang Nannan wore the black uniform that fifth year students wore, making her beautiful curves even more moving. She was calm and composed as she looked at Xu Sanshi, who was suddenly flying towards her. With an icy look on her face,
she fiercely raised her right foot and smashed in down in a cutting motion towards him.

“Ah!” Xu Sanshi was truly sent flying this time around. His body directly moved five meters horizontally, and he flipped around and stabilised himself by placing his hands on the ground.

“Nannan, you’re really heartless! Didn’t you see Bei Bei kick me? It would have been fine if you didn’t help me, but you even kicked me.” Xu Sanshi had a mournful look on his face.

However, Jiang Nannan didn’t even spare him a glance. She walked directly towards Huo Yuhao’s group of three with a smile and nodded at them; it was as if Xu Sanshi didn’t even exist in her eyes.

Xu Sanshi also hurriedñy made his way over. However, Jiang Nannan suddenly turned around, revealing a murderous look. “If you keep following me, I’ll leave Shrek Academy.”

“Ah…” Xu Sanshi immediately stopped. It seemed that he had really no chances of conquering Jiang Nannan.

Looking at Jiang Nannan’s disappearing silhouette, Bei Bei exclaimed, “Junior brother, you have a long way to go!”

Xu Sanshi had an ugly complexion as he said, “Bei Bei, you’re my senior brother. Can you teach this junior brother a few tricks? I’ve tried everything in my power, but she won’t give me a single chance.”
Bei Bei was also curious as he said, “I’m surprised too. If we consider looks, talent and strength, you’re actually quite good among the students. If Jiang Nannan wants to look for someone stronger than you in our grade, it won’t be easy! Of course, I’m an exception. And I’m already booked anyway. By
the way, why is she so unwilling to talk to you? Looking at the two of you, you should have known each other before coming to the academy. And after all these years, you’re still like this. What exactly happened between the two of you before you came here?”

“Ah…” Xu Sanshi had an awkward expression. His face was still a bit red when he said, “I can’t say it, I absolutely can’t say it. I’m going to take a stroll now.” After saying these words, he quickly slipped away.

Bei Bei shook his head helplessly. He had always been curious about what had happened between Xu Sanshi and Jiang Nannan.

“Junior brothers, what are you going to buy? There are many good things at the Treasure Appreciation Auction. The two of you should take a look around, I’ll also go for a walk.” Saying this, he also left.
Wang  Dong  said  heartily,  “As  I  see  it,  Senior  Brother  Xu Sanshi is a very good person. He’s very dedicated and resolute when it comes to his feelings. I don’t understand what Senior Sister Jiang dislikes about him. You should learn from them.”

Huo Yuhao was dumbfounded. “Learn what? I don’t even know what happened between them.”

Wang Dong snorted as he said, “Except for cultivating, what can you even think of? You’re a complete blockhead.”

Huo Yuhao scratched his head. “We’re students, what should we think of besides studying properly? Anyway, take a look at this soul bone and tell me if it’s suitable for you or not.”

As he spoke, he arrived beside the golden-red arm bone and inspected it earnestly.

Wang Dong kicked the air behind his back when he left.
Then, he resentfully followed behind him.
The arm bone was completely enshrouded in its own reddish-gold radiance. Underneath it was a plate with a detailed description.

Golden Left Arm Bone.

This arm bone had come from a ten thousand year Golden Earth Dragon King that had an affinity with the light element. It was speculated that it could use light-type attacks. This bone was very suitable for soul master with an affinity for the light element. And the skill that came with it was likely to be an assault-type skill.

Although a bit diluted, the Golden Earth Dragon King still possessed the pure bloodline of the light dragon race. Moreover, that was now concentrated completely in this soul bone. This arm bone contained the essence of a ten thousand year Golden Earth Dragon King. The word ‘pure’ was the key here, because, although diluted, it had still inherited more characteristics of the light dragon race than those with mixed bloodlines. It was a pity that it had been killed when it was only ten thousand years old. Had it reached the hundred thousand year rank, it would have become an existence akin to a king of beasts.
The soul bone was priced at 9.5 million Gold Soul Coins.

When Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong saw this price, their pupils immediately shrank.

As time passed, the worth of Gold Soul Coins also kept increasing. For example, the expenses of a family of three amounted only to a few dozen Gold Soul Coins per year. So what could you do with 9.5 million Golden Soul Coins? You could take ten thousand cavalrymen and arm them to the teeth, horses included.

As expected, soul bones were one of the most expensive things on the continent. Moreover, it wasn’t even a hundred thousand year soul bone. Had it been a hundred thousand year soul bone, it wouldn’t even have a price, because it would truly be a priceless treasure. However, a soul bone of that rank had never been auctioned or traded by anyone, because they were treasures that would attract even Titled Douluo. Even shops like the Treasure Gathering Pavilion, which dared to exhibit a ten thousand year soul bone, were extremely few in number. This was because they had confidence in being able to protect their goods.
Huo Yuhao smiled bitterly and said to Wang Dong, “Can you still afford it?”

“Why  is  it  so  expensive?”   Wang  Dong  said,  astonished, “From what I remember, although expensive, the price of a soul bone will rarely surpass 3 million Gold Soul Coins!”

Huo Yuhao said, “I reckon it’s so expensive due to that ‘pure’ word. A soul bone with a pure dragon bloodline can’t be cheap, right? The stuff here is really good, but the prices are also very high. I wonder if I can get it through my VIP card. This soul bone is probably the most expensive thing in this Treasure Appreciation Auction. No wonder it’s still here and no one’s bought it, the price is just too high.”

Wang Dong turned his head and looked to Huo Yuhao, “Yuhao, it’s too expensive. I think I understand what the academy wants. The academy’s giving you these privileges because you have great talent and an Ultimate martial soul. The more precious the thing you take from here is, the more you’ll feel indebted to the academy. And in the future, you’ll surely need a lot of these things. With that, you’ll be tied down to the academy. Yuhao, if you want to be free, you can’t take things from here as you wish.”
Huo Yuhao shook his head lightly as he said, “When I heard that voice just now, I was already clear about the situation. However, you also know that I don’t have a choice. According to what Teacher Zhou said, no matter if it’s a soul master or a soul engineer, the only way they have to get stronger is by relying on a huge amount of resources. Without enough money, how are you going to buy soul bones? How are you going to buy those precious materials to build soul tools? Even if a soul master can get stronger by himself, the road he’ll have to walk will be more difficult, and he will have a greater chance of meeting hardships that will break his will. If I didn’t have this enmity that I bear, perhaps I would have chosen that path. But the current me can only rely on the academy… Anyway, it’s still better than relying on countries or powerful families. Also, I like our academy. For the first time after my mother died, I felt the warmth of home by staying here. Today, I’ll receive something from the academy. But in the future, I’ll be sure to repay it.”

Wang Dong looked carefully at Huo Yuhao. He knew that this guy that seemed nothing more than a blockhead was actually more mature than his peers. Under that gentle face, he had a blazing heart.

Wang Dong finally gave up and replied, “Fine, I’ll take this soul bone. You can go and make the exchange; I still want to
take another look at it.”

A smile immediately blossomed on Huo Yuhao’s face. He patted his shoulder and walked toward the counter on the western side.

Wang Dong looked at his back, and his expression turned gentle. “What you said is right. Today, I’ll receive something from you. But in the future, I’ll be sure to repay it.”

The deal was sealed more quickly than he had imagined. After a short while, Huo Yuhao returned to Wang Dong’s side. He whispered in his ear, “Let’s go! The Treasure Gathering Pavilion will keep the identity of the buyer secret. After a while, this soul bone will be picked up and delivered directly to the academy. It’s not safe to take something so precious with us.”

Wang Dong said, “Do you want to buy something? I can still buy things on credit. If you need something, I’ll buy it for you.”

Huo Yuhao was about to shake his head when he suddenly heard the cold voice of the Ice Empress. “You absolutely can’t
miss that thing on the third stand to your left.”

Huo Yuhao was surprised. He said to Wang Dong, “Let’s take a look around.” With that, he moved toward the third stand on the left as the Ice Empress had told him.

The article displayed on this stand hadn’t attracted their attention earlier because it was really too unremarkable. It was just a black crystal. Its surface was uneven, and the color was dim and lacked any luster. Compared to that Golden Left Arm Bone from before, there was a difference between heaven and earth.

Above  it,  there  was  also  a  description,  “Thousand  Year Whale Rubber. Whale Rubber is a special material that is only produced in the brains of whale-type soul beasts. It’s a very good tonic for soul masters. It can strengthen the body, enhance the muscles and bones, and also increase the capacity of one’s meridians. This piece of Whale Rubber was bought by the pavilion in the past, and according to the seller, it came from a thousand year Devilwhale. Generally speaking, the Whale Rubber of a thousand year Devilwhale should be golden, and worth a lot. This amount of Whale Rubber is capable of thoroughly remoulding a soul master’s body. However, this piece of Whale Rubber is black. And according to the pavilion’s
analysis, it decayed over time, and was partially ruined. It can still be used as before, but the effect might be somewhat weaker.”

The price of this Thousand Year Whale Rubber wasn’t high; it was only six thousand Gold Soul Coins.

Somewhat puzzled, Wang Dong said, “Yuhao, are you really interested in this thing? I’ve seen Thousand Year Whale Rubber before. It was bright gold, and looked like a golden crystal. That was some real high-quality Whale Rubber. Such a large piece of Whale Rubber should be worth at least fifty thousand Gold Soul Coins. If they’re selling this one for only six thousand, it shouldn’t be very high-quality.”

“Oh?  You  know  about  Whale  Rubber?”  Huo  Yuhao  asked curiously.

Wang  Dong  nodded  and  said,  “Whale  Rubber  is  a  very precious material. However, you can only consume it after melting it over a flame with a very high temperature. Eating it will improve a soul master’s body. For example, right now, you can absorb at most the soul ring of a thousand year soul beast. However, if you eat a big piece of Whale Rubber, your body’s
capacity for soul rings will increase by at least five hundred years. Or at least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. Whale Rubber is indeed beneficial for us soul masters, but there are some problems. After all, we can’t judge a soul beast’s cultivation with absolute precision, nor can we judge whether
or not a particular product is suitable to absorb. Moreover, if you meet a soul beast that’s suitable for you, you’ll hardly check if its age is above the limit or not. Therefore, although good, Whale Rubber’s worth is somewhat inferior to its price. And I’m not even talking about this low-quality Whale Gel. If you eat this, you’d be lucky to not get diarrhea…”

Huo Yuhao was at a loss. However, he still hurriedly said, “Wang Dong, help me buy this piece of Whale Gel. Quick.”

Chapter 58: The Boundary Between Life and Death

“Do you really want to buy that Thousand Year Whale Rubber?” Wang Dong looked at Huo Yuhao, feeling puzzled by his decision.

Huo Yuhao leaned over and whispered in his ear, “Quickly. There won’t be a second chance. This definitely isn’t Thousand Year Whale Rubber, but Ten Thousand Year Whale Rubber. That’s why it’s black. Quickly, pay up! If someone else notices this item, we won’t have a chance to buy it anymore!”

Wang Dong was stunned. He naturally wouldn’t question Huo Yuhao further with the mutual trust they both had with one another. He immediately turned around and paid up at the sales counter located at the western end of the room.

That’s right, this Whale Rubber was ten thousand years old just as Huo Yuhao had said. Naturally, it was impossible for him to discern this with his own experience and knowledge. The Ice Empress was the one who had told him the answer.
Throughout the course of human history, Ten Thousand Year Whale Rubber had been extremely rare. Thus, it was no wonder that no one in the Treasure Appreciation Auction recognised this item.

The sea was another haven for soul beasts. Rumor had it that the number of soul beasts in the sea was more than ten times those on land. Moreover, the soul beasts in the sea were ranked as well and whale-type soul beasts were unquestionably one of the overlords among sea soul beasts.

When humans entered the sea, they were practically like meat on a chopping board. No human had dared venture into the depths of the sea. As a result of that, though it was still possible to kill a thousand-year soul beast if one depended on a powerful soul master. The devilwhales were more than ten thousand years old and lived in the deep sea. On top of that, every single one of them was extremely powerful. Who would dare to make contact with their poisonous heads?

However, as luck would have it, this Whale Rubber came from a ten thousand year devilwhale. While normally Ten Thousand Year Whale Rubber was dark yellow, this one was black. The difference in color was due to long-term changes in
the weather. That was why no one had recognised it for what it really was.

To Huo Yuhao, this Whale Rubber was practically the best thing he could have found here. His biggest problem now was his body’s capacity to withstand more power from the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion and Skydream Iceworm.

Even though the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion couldn’t completely transfer her hundreds of thousands of years of cultivation into Huo Yuhao’s body, she had managed to compress and seal the most quintessential bit of her power in him. As long as Huo Yuhao’s body had enough strength to withstand it, she could help Huo Yuhao accelerate his cultivation efforts.

The Ice Empress was anxiously looking forward to the day when Huo Yuhao became powerful, so she naturally couldn’t let such a good item as this Ten Thousand Year Whale Rubber slip through her fingers.

Wang Dong quickly returned after paying, and only then did Huo Yuhao show a relaxed look on his face. The Whale Rubber was not as eye-catching as the soul bone. A member of the staff
from the Treasure Appreciation Pavilion retrieved the Whale Rubber from the display stand and handed it to Wang Dong. When he got it, Wang Dong immediately shoved it into Huo Yuhao’s hands.

“I hope we really didn’t make a mistake with this.”  Wang Dong couldn’t help but think that they’d lost out as he looked at that black gooey item. This black Whale Rubber wasn’t fragrant at all. It was truly difficult for one to believe that it had come from a ten thousand-year-old devilwhale.

Huo Yuhao laughed mischievously and said, “Let’s go. We’ve already gotten the items we wanted. When I get back, I’ll get Teacher Zhou to find a teacher with a fire attribute martial soul to help us. We’ll automatically know whether it was worth it or not once we’ve eaten it.”

Wang Dong shook his head. “If you want to eat it, you can do so yourself. I’m not going to eat such a sticky thing. I have eaten a lot of this when I was younger because I was forced to do so by my family. After I fused with a thousand-year soul ring, I swore that I would never eat this sticky thing for the rest of my life.”
Huo Yuhao felt a light bulb go off in his head and said, “It’s no wonder your second soul ring is a thousand years old! Your family is really rich!”

The two chatted as they headed out. When they passed Bei Bei, they greeted their senior martial brother. Bei Bei asked them to head back first since he wanted to wait for Xu Sanshi who was still nagging Jiang Nannan in every possible way he could.

……

Sea God’s Island, Shrek Academy.

“What? It was that small guy, Huo Yuhao?” Ma Xiaotao looked at Yan Shaozhe with an incredulous look on her face.

Yan Shaozhe nodded and replied, “That’s right. It is highly likely that the cold soul power shock you received at that time came from Huo Yuhao. However, it’s also possible that he did so unconsciously. His second martial soul was still hidden at the time, so I reckon it protected its host of its own accord when it felt the attack from your Evil Phoenix Fire.”

With excitement written all over her face, Ma Xiaotao said, “That’s great! This is really great! Teacher, the demonic fire inside of me is driving me crazy. Xu Sanshi’s Mysterious Martial Turtle is after all only water-attribute and not an ice- attribute technique, so the effects are naturally worsening. With Huo Yuhao’s Ultimate ice-attribute, won’t I be able to break free from my current predicament? If that’s the case, I can represent the academy and attend the Continental Advanced Academy Soul Dueling Tournament, right?”

Yan Shaozhe nodded with a faint smile and said, “It just so happens that you’re not yet over twenty years old. If you can stabilise your martial soul, you’ll definitely be the winner in this year’s academy competition. I have no doubt about it.”

“That’s great! I can finally participate! I must look for Huo Yuhao now and make him suppress the demonic fire inside my body.” As she spoke, Ma Xiaotao turned around and ran outside.

Yan Shaozhe laughed and said, “You rascal, slow down. Huo Yuhao ought to have gone to Shrek City to attend the Treasure Appreciation Auction today.”
“I know.” Before her voice could be heard, Ma Xiaotao’s silhouette had already disappeared into the night sky.

Yan Shaozhe shook his head as he felt a little helpless. “It really is impossible to change your impetuous temperament. Who’s going to be daring enough to court her in the future?! There are so many outstanding disciples in the inner courtyard and yet not a single one dares to woo her. Other than Le Xuan, Xiaotao is the most gifted student amongst the female students. I hope that Yuhao’s Ultimate martial soul can gradually quell the demonic fire inside her body and allow her to become a true fire phoenix, like her ancestors.”

……

Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong left Shrek City feeling rather pleased. Even though they didn’t know what soul skill Wang Dong would get from the golden right arm bone, they could clearly see that this was an impressively powerful soul bone from its price!

It had cost them a whopping 9.5 million gold soul coins. Huo Yuhao had been somewhat nervous when he’d paid for it as he hadn’t expected his transaction with the Treasure Gathering
Pavilion would be this easy. The favor he owed them this time was too great. Even Wang Dong owed the academy a large favor now.

Huo Yuhao always made sure to clearly remember the favors and insults he received. He’d never forgotten for a second the debt he owed Shrek Academy.

“Fuse with that Whale Rubber tonight when you get back. I’ll protect you when I get the soul bone tomorrow. With this soul bone, I’m now confident that I compete with Dai Huabin on even footing even if I were to face him alone.”  Wang Dong waved his fist as he spoke. Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but smile when he saw Wang Dong in such high spirits.

Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao were all currently growing at an astonishing speed. Once Wang Dong fused with his soul bone, their collective strength would take another huge step forward. At that time, they would really deserve the title of being the strongest group in Year 2.

With regards to Dai Huabin, Huo Yuhao had already gradually buried his hatred towards the other party. Dai Huabin had been defeated twice and had been made to
kowtow, acknowledging his defeat. That had gone a long way to liberating the stifling feeling he had in his heart.

At that moment, the Skydream Iceworm’s voice rang out within Huo Yuhao’s mind, warning him of danger. “Yuhao, there’s a murderous aura directed towards you.”

Even though Huo Yuhao was still young, he’d accumulated a considerable amount of combat experience. Hence, he didn’t react in an obvious manner after he heard the Skydream Iceworm’s warning. It was at times like these that he had to remain calm.

He didn’t change his walking speed and even retained the smile he had on his face. The only difference was that he had already quietly spread his Spiritual Detection Sharing to Wang Dong.

Wang Dong was slightly startled at first but immediately understood something was amiss due to the tacit understanding he had with Huo Yuhao. He stopped talking for a moment and glanced at Huo Yuhao.
Huo Yuhao quickly released his Spiritual Detection to its maximum range. Sure enough, he felt a hidden killing intent not far away from him. However, the range of his Spiritual Detection wasn’t great enough and thus he wasn’t able to accurately determine who his opponents were.

Huo Yuhao took the initiative and pulled Wang Dong’s hand back. He tightly clasped Wang Dong’s hand which was softer and more tender than that of a female’s. When he did so, the Haodong Power immediately connected in their bodies.

Huo Yuhao’s expression didn’t change, but he spoke under his  breath,  “There  are  people  in  front  who  are  waiting  to ambush us. We are further from the academy than we are Shrek City, so when I count to three, we’re going to turn around and run back towards Shrek City as fast as we can. Understand?”

Wang Dong spoke in a low tone, “Do you have any idea who they might be??”

“I don’t know, but they’re emitting a murderous aura. Let’s hide in Shrek City first and discuss it later. Get ready.”
The killing intent grew increasingly dense as they walked forward. Huo Yuhao carefully sent his Spiritual Detection towards the root of the killing intent and immediately increased the range of his detection. Two hundred meters away from them, a group of six people was quietly lying in wait. From the thick soul power on their bodies, Huo Yuhao could tell that they were opponents that the two of them could not go up against.

“One!”  Huo Yuhao spoke in a low tone, but he didn’t slow down. At this moment, he definitely couldn’t let the enemy discover the changes in their movements.

“Two…”

“Three! Run!”

Huo Yuhao let out a low roar and abruptly carried Wang Dong as he ran in the opposite direction. At the same time, he quickly placed a metal plate on his back. A ball of dazzling white light lit up and Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong were immediately propelled forwards. They were just like a white shooting star as they made a beeline for the northern gate of Shrek City.

It was evident that the six people who had been fully prepared to ambush the duo had never expected the two of them to suddenly take a detour. Seeing their prey getting away, the six were taken aback. It was in this short time span that Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong dashed far into the distance with all their might. A gorgeous mixture of blue and gold from the Radiant Butterfly Goddess’ wings burst forth in the sky. In that
moment, the scene had already changed to one in which Huo
Yuhao was hugging Wang Dong’s legs.

However, the thruster he’d equipped was only a Class 1 soul tool. It instantly overheated when it was activated with their combined Haodong Power. Despite the thruster reaching its maximum possible speed, they were stuck in an embarrassing situation where it would explode after continued use. Huo Yuhao had no choice but to stop. Wang Dong, on the other hand, took the opportunity to unfurl his wings and fly into the air with the support of Huo Yuhao’s soul power.

Their six assailants reacted, then broke cover. Soul rings lit up on all six of their bodies, and five of the six had five soul rings on them, while the sixth was actually a six-ringed Soul Emperor. Three of them instantly rose into the air, releasing their respective flying techniques, and all six of them rapidly chased after Wang Dong and Huo Yuhao.

The disparity in strength between the two parties was simply too great. Though the two of them had taken a sudden head start by taking advantage of their unawareness, the distance between the two parties rapidly closed as their assailants sped up.
Their Haodong Power was extremely powerful, but it could only allow their fused strength to reach the three-ringed level of strength at most. They simply had no chance of winning against their assailants in a direct confrontation.

Their three enemies that had taken flight were rapidly approaching, and all three of them were five-ringed Soul Kings. However, Wang Dong had already flown fifty or so meters into the air, so it wouldn’t be easy for their enemies to attack them at this distance. Furthermore, Wang Dong’s current speed wasn’t much slower than that of the people who were chasing them on the ground.

They were currently several thousand meters from Shrek Academy’s northern gate.

Huo Yuhao raised his hand, causing a ball of red light to soar several hundred of meters into the sky before exploding and turning into countless reddish-gold dots that spread through the sky.

The six-ringed Soul Emperor immediately had a change in expression. They were all dressed in black, and their faces were all covered. He couldn’t help but let out a low roar after seeing
this reddish-golden light. “Didn’t he say they were just core disciples? This is clearly Shrek Academy’s inner courtyard’s distress signal. Quick, hurry up and kill them. We’re leaving immediately!” His last roar was amplified by his soul power.

Though this was the outskirts of Shrek City, Shrek City’s foundation was Shrek Academy!

Just who were in Shrek Academy? As long as a single one of those peak existences came out, they could easily crush them all to death. They simply had no time to waste here.

One of the three midair assailants immediately activated a powerful soul skill after hearing his roar.

Of his five soul rings, one was white, two were yellow, and two were purple. He’d activated his fourth soul ring, which was a thousand year purple soul ring.

A dense purple light shone from his wings, and he suddenly flapped them and sped up, charging towards Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong like a meteor.
He was confident in his ability to kill the two of them in one strike as long as he was able to catch up to them.

However, he was simply too overconfident. Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong were young, but they were still core disciples of Shrek Academy! Furthermore, the former was even a rarely- seen student who’d caused a meeting in Sea God’s Pavilion.

The enemy was rapidly approaching them, but there was only a single person. In a situation like this, the two of them completely relied on their instincts to work together. Wang Dong continued flying forward at full speed, while Huo Yuhao continued to climb up his legs to his body. He used his left hand to hug Wang Dong tightly, while pointing his right towards their assailants.

They were simply in too great of a rush, and Huo Yuhao could only equip a miniature Stationary Soul Crossbow in time.

After he raised his right hand, the three tubes on its surface immediately came out. He poured his soul power into them, causing three bolts of lightning to shoot out.
These three crossbow bolts were pitch-black, and they wouldn’t reflect light in this darkness. Furthermore, Fan Yu had specially taught him how to install a silencer during their creation. Because of that, they didn’t make any noise as they flew through the dark night.

This was another advantage of a stationary soul tool. An ordinary soul tool would directly emit the light of soul power, which would practically be a lamppost in the dark night. Only a stationary soul tool could release a completely traceless attack.

However, it was evident that nobody else would be able to aim a stationary soul tool in a situation like this. Only Huo Yuhao, by relying on his Spiritual Detection, could do this.

Wang Dong’s midair figure paused slightly; he’d completed the transfer of soul power between him and Huo Yuhao.

A purplish-gold light shot out from his eyes; for the sake of survival, he’d held nothing back in this attack. After releasing his attack, he immediately transfered his soul power back to Wang Dong, who continued speeding up.
Their assailant had clearly never predicted that the two of them would actually pause to release an attack at him. He’d reached the Soul King rank, but he wasn’t a pinnacle Soul King like those that Shrek Academy produced. His strongest soul ring was merely a thousand year one, and he didn’t have any outstanding points in the field of spiritual power.

When Huo Yuhao had been a one-ringed Soul Master, his combined Spiritual Shock with Wang Dong had even affected Ma Xiaotao for a brief period of time. However, their current strength had experienced a qualitative leap.

The accelerating Soul King felt his head collide with a rigid wall, and he immediately let out a muffled groan. He started bleeding from his nose and mouth, resulting in him being unable to control his flying body. The soul skill that had allowed him to accelerate was also interrupted.

At this exact instant, three pitch-black terrors arrived in front of him soundlessly. With a ‘peng’, they exploded simultaneously. Immediately, a wave of black mist covered him, blocking his entire line of sight.
Huo Yuhao knew that even if he were to strike a Soul King head-on, he would be unable to cause real damage with his Class 1 soul tool. Because of that, he had chosen to interfere with him.

The Soul King paused for a moment, causing the distance between the two parties to increase somewhat. Furthermore, Huo Yuhao had instructed Wang Dong to not only fly forwards, but upwards in order to increase the distance between them and the three experts on the ground. After all, there was a Soul Emperor commanding them down there.

However, their airborne assailants were still five-ringed Soul Kings! Even if their combination of soul rings was subpar, they were still at the Soul King rank. The two Soul Kings who had initially been left behind quickly caught up to the stunned Soul King, and the three of them accelerated together, decreasing the current distance between them and the duo to fifty meters.

“Wang Dong, fly straight up!”  Huo Yuhao shouted. At the same time, his two soul rings transformed into a single one, and the enormous crystalline and green tattoo on his back slowly emerged with an incomparably tyrannical aura.
Wang Dong, who had the help of Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection, could naturally sense the speed that their pursuers were moving at. He was already somewhat despairing.

After all, there was simply too large a gap between the two parties. They had one person with two soul rings, and another one with three. Even if they were even more talented than they already were, there was no chance they could go against three five-ringed experts. Moreover, they would immediately face even more enemies once they fell to the ground. The academy would send some men out after receiving his distress signal, but there was no way they could arrive in time at such short notice. At this moment, they were still two thousand meters from Shrek City.

It was precisely because he was completely blank, and because he trusted Huo Yuhao, that he unhesitatingly followed the latter’s words. He suddenly flapped his wings downwards, then shot straight into the air. For the sake of rising even higher, he aimed the Light of the Butterfly Goddess downwards in order to produce a thrusting force. At this exact moment, the cooldown of Huo Yuhao’s thruster had ended, and he instantly fired it downwards. The two of them moved simultaneously, causing their speed to instantaneously reach the level of their assailants. They flew straight up, resulting in
them rising a hundred meters into the air in the blink of an eye.

At this moment, they had already risen more than three hundred meters into the air. From their current position, they could see a patch of light when they looked towards Shrek City.

However, Wang Dong was somewhat exhausted after breaking through the three hundred meter barrier. Huo Yuhao’s thruster had also overheated again, causing their speed to decrease dramatically.

“Unfurl your wings horizontally.” Huo Yuhao commanded Wang Dong.

Wang Dong was stunned. Won’t spreading my wings horizontally decrease my speed even further? I’ll only be able to float in the air!

The absolute confidence that the two of them had in each other finally showed its use at this moment. Though Wang Dong had some doubt in his heart, he still trusted Huo Yuhao’s words unconditionally. He unfurled his wings, causing the
speed of his ascent to drop drastically. At this exact moment, the three Soul Kings below them were approaching quickly.

“Five, four, three, two, one…” Huo Yuhao inwardly counted to himself, and Wang Dong suddenly discovered that their fused Haodong Power was pouring towards the former at an incredible rate.

Nothing seemed strange on the surface, but Wang Dong could tell that the current Huo Yuhao was like a filled balloon that was compressing unceasingly.

What’s he doing?

Their three enemies were now only twenty meters away from them, and their soul rings had lit up.

Fifteen meters. Their soul skills were already locked and loaded, but the frequency and ways they attacked were all encapsulated within Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection.
Just as the three Soul Kings were about to release their attacks, they suddenly felt something strange. The targets in front of them had suddenly lit up.

A jade-green light suddenly appeared within the pitch-black sky. This light took the form of a single line which instantly spread outwards, outlining the figure of a person, including his spine, ribs, and sternum, as well as all the bones within his torso.

The emerald jade-green light was enchanting, but this alluring sensation only lasted for an instant. Right after that, an eye-piercing jade-green light spread outwards, trapping them within it.

An extreme coldness.

The three Soul Kings instantly felt the terrifying effects of the Ultimate Ice element. For a moment, they felt as though the blood in their veins had frozen. They lost complete control over their bodies and were suspended midair in their previous positions as they tried to make their move.

However, they were suspended three hundred meters above the ground. And once airborne, if you don’t go up, you fall down. Therefore, the three Soul Kings soon began to fall from the sky like meteors after remaining suspended for a bit.

The green light had only flickered through the sky for a moment, but as soon as it disappeared the Soul Kings began to fall. At the same time, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s expressions turned pale.

Even though the green light released from Huo Yuhao’s body hadn’t targeted Wang Dong, just being near it had caused
Wang Dong to be afflicted with a terrifying feeling of coldness. He still felt his wings go somewhat numb despite not being in direct contact with it. Luckily, his wings were already wide open when he was hit by the terrifying coldness. As such, they kept flying straight.

On the other hand, Huo Yuhao’s face had turned pale due to his excessive consumption of soul power. At the same time, his body had to withstand the burden of all that soul power. However, he couldn’t relax yet. He knew that, even though it was strong, that attack just now was nowhere near enough to deal with someone as strong as a Soul King. Furthermore, a fall from their height wasn’t enough to kill them either.

The thruster in his right hand turned jade green in color. Afterwards, it began to emit a dazzling red light as he poured his remaining soul power into it. When he did so, it released a streak of white flames and they were immediately propelled towards Shrek City from their current altitude of three hundred meters.

Huo Yuhao had begun to plan how to run away as soon as the Skydream Iceworm had told him about the enemies lying in ambush. Luckily he’d been warned ahead of time, thus he’d had a lot of time to think.

They would normally die for sure against people as powerful as their opponents. As such, fighting them head-on hadn’t been an option. Thus, they could only rely on something out of the ordinary.

Huo Yuhao’s plan had started the moment they’d turned around to run away. He’d since done everything in his power to achieve their current state.

Now that they were flying at an altitude of three hundred meters, even a Soul Emperor —so long as they couldn’t fly— wouldn’t be able to easily reach them with an attack from the ground.

It wasn’t that a high-ranked soul master couldn’t fly, but one still needed to be at least a Soul Sage to do so. Only then would one be able to use their powerful soul power to fly for a short amount of time. As such, a Soul Emperor still fell short in this field.

Because of this, they would only be relatively safe at a high altitude. However, they still needed to be lucky; if that Soul Emperor also had a soul skill that enabled him to fly, they
wouldn’t stand a chance. However, at this critical moment, the goddess of luck had favored them.

Just as Huo Yuhao had predicted, the three Soul Kings that fell from the sky were only able to recover from their frozen state once they’d descended over a hundred meters. They opened their wings with great difficulty and slowed their fall. Even though they were flustered, they’d still been able to regain their composure before they hit the ground. However, they were now unable to reach their two targets that were still soaring through the sky.

The Soul Emperor, who was in hot pursuit, suddenly increased his speed and headed towards the place where Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong would land. At this point, he knew that his chances of success were already quite low; his mission would end in failure if he couldn’t catch and kill them before they entered Shrek City. However, he still wanted to make one final attempt. If he wasn’t able to succeed after this, he would have to flee as fast as possible.

The speed that a Soul Emperor could achieve wasn’t something that Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong could even imagine with their shallow cultivations. Furthermore, the sixth soul
ring of this Soul Emperor was an awe-inspiring ten thousand year black soul ring.

The Soul Emperor ran as fast as he could until he reached the Shrek City’s northern gate. Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong were still around two hundred meters from the city walls when he reached the gate. As soon as he reached the gate, he put the tip of his foot into the city wall and began to climb it at an astonishing speed. It only took him an instant to reach the top.

Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong had consumed most of their soul power by this point. Furthermore, Wang Dong’s wings were still under the effect of the green light that Huo Yuhao had released a while ago, and Wang Dong definitely wasn’t a Soul King! Most of his qi and blood had been frozen, thus he couldn’t release any more power to fly upwards. Thus, they could only helplessly watch as the Soul Emperor standing atop the city walls soared into the sky and charged directly towards them.

The Soul Emperor suddenly lifted his right hand in midair; he was pointing a broadsword enshrouded in pitch-black flames at them. The pitch-black flames seemed to originate from his ten thousand year soul ring. There was no doubt that
it would be impossible for Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong to defend against this kind of attack.

At this time, three forms were running at an incredible speed atop the city’s walls. The one in front was Bei Bei; his body was already covered with dragon scales, and his Blue Lightning Tyrant Dragon martial soul was on full display. Following him were Xu Sanshi and Jiang Nannan.

The number of soul rings on Bei Bei and Xu Sanshi’s bodies wasn’t three, but four. Two of their soul rings were yellow, while the other two were purple. This clearly meant that they had both already become Soul Ancestors.

However, even when the pair saw them, Wang Dong felt that they were so close, and yet so far. They wouldn’t make it in time…

“Wang Dong!”

Huo Yuhao suddenly shouted. Afterwards, he hugged Wang Dong tightly in his arms. His Spiritual Detection Sharing had also suddenly disappeared. Wang Dong was immediately
startled awake, as the Haodong Power in their bodies had begun seething with excitement.

The area ten meters around them then began to light up, as it had been permeated with a very peculiar radiance from their bodies.

This radiance was extremely strange. It varied between blue, purple, and gold in color. Moreover, many strange and different fluctuations of soul power were blending inside of the intense light.

A huge form appeared behind Wang Dong’s back: It was a complete and absolutely magnificent Radiant Butterfly Goddess.

On the other hand, the image of a large, vertically-pupiled eye appeared behind Huo Yuhao’s body. The eye was pale gold, but its pupil emitted a faint purple radiance.

Those two huge forms then proceeded to overlap in midair.
As soon as they did, they began to merge together.
The manifestation of Huo Yuhao’s Spirit Eyes was becoming more and more profound. It had become a purplish-blue color, while the golden color it had previously had had completely disappeared.

On the other hand, Wang Dong’s Radiant Butterfly Goddess manifestation began to burn with goldish-blue flames as it approached Huo Yuhao’s Spirit Eye.

As it burned, the Radiant Butterfly Goddess opened her beautiful wings and slowly wrapped them around manifestation of the Spirit Eyes. Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong were also held together and protected in its embrace.

The huge Spirit Eye seemed extremely mysterious; if you were to look into it, it would almost seem as if there were an endless world inside. As soon as the Soul Emperor got within thirty meters of them, blue, purple, and golden bolts of lightning shot toward him.

These streaks of light seemed almost illusory; the places that the light passed through were illuminated by a radiance that seemed to have come from ancient times. It left a dim and twisted, yet dazzling luster behind.

Both the Soul Emperor and Soul Kings were shocked when they saw this. Even the rapidly approaching Bei Bei, Xu Sanshi, and Jiang Nannan were shocked.

The scene in front of them was just too magnificent! The illusory radiance had left a golden road in the sky.

The skill displayed just now had been Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s mighty martial soul fusion, and was also their final trump card.

The Golden Road Amidst Withering Resplendence!

The last time they’d displayed this skill, Huo Yuhao had had one ring, while Wang Dong had had two. But now, they both had two and three rings respectively. Both their cultivation and the strength of their bodies were much stronger than last time. When they’d displayed their martial soul fusion skill, they’d thought that the soul power inside of their bodies was depleted. However, they still managed to squeeze out some latent energy and finally execute their strongest move.
The pitch-black flames on the Soul Emperor’s warblade began to burn even more fervently now. He wasn’t blind, and he could easily tell their cultivation from their soul rings. Even if the scene before his eyes was magnificent, in his mind, one hit from his sword would be enough to put an end to this light, Huo Yuhao, and Wang Dong.

However, he quickly realized his mistake. As soon as his black sword came into contact with the dazzling light, the Soul Emperor’s mind went blank.

The feeling he got was marvelous; he didn’t feel any pain. In fact, he felt like someone dirty stepping into the bathroom and then being thrown into a pool after they’d been stripped naked.

It seemed like everything in his possession had disappeared. His powerful soul rings, sword, and soul skills were all gone. The only thing left was his body, which now resembled a golden statue. However, it immediately fell from the sky towards the city walls.

Nevertheless, the Soul Emperor could still move. However, he felt as if his surroundings were suddenly covered in a golden
hue. His soul power was normal, but he felt a burning sensation all over his body, as if he were about to melt. Moreover, he’d unexpectedly lost contact with his martial soul.

Actually, he should consider himself lucky, as he was the first enemy that had withstood the power of an all-out Golden Road.

The power of the Golden Road wasn’t enough to kill a Soul Emperor. However, its terrifying restrictive ability had still been able to momentarily stop him. In fact, this restrictive ability was actually the deprivation of his martial soul.

However, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s remaining strength had also been completely consumed when they launched this final attack. Their soul power wasn’t even enough to maintain their soul rings. Having lost the support of the Radiant Butterfly Goddess, they also fell from the sky towards the walls of the city.

However, a fiery red figure suddenly dashed towards them from a very distant place. Its speed was so fast that it left dozens of afterimages in the sky. It arrived and seized the two of them before Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong could reach the
ground, and before the Soul Kings could catch up to them. As soon as it did, it threw the two of them towards Bei Bei, Xu Sanshi, and Jiang Nannan, who’d just jumped down from the city walls.

“I really want to see who’s so bold as to attack the students of my Shrek Academy!” A fierce voice suddenly echoed outwards from the red figure. Ma Xiaotao was wreathed in flames and resembled a fire goddess as two phoenix wings stretched behind her back. She looked on with disdain towards the crowd of enemies before her.

Chapter 59: The Berserk Flamedevil Ma Xiaotao!

Right, Ma Xiaotao had arrived. She’d left the academy from Shrek City’s northern gate the moment she saw Huo Yuhao release the inner courtyard disciple distress signal. With her level of speed, she was able to make it just in time to save Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong.

Though there were a total of six enemies, Ma Xiaotao wasn’t afraid in the least. Despite being a girl, she gave off the air of a general as she stood there.

Bei Bei caught Huo Yuhao while the speedier Jiang Nannan caught Wang Dong. The latter was actually a four-ringed Soul Ancestor making her cultivation no less than Bei Bei’s and Xu Sanshi’s. This surprised Huo Yuhao somewhat. No wonder she was a core disciple of the outer courtyard.

“Junior disciple, are you okay?” Bei Bei asked in a low voice.

This was the first time Huo Yuhao saw a fierce killing intent in his senior brother’s eyes; there was a true fire in his eyes. If
Ma Xiaotao hadn’t made it in time when they’d fallen from the sky earlier, they would’ve suffered severe injuries, if not died.

“We’re fine senior brother. We just overexerted ourselves a little.” Huo Yuhao whispered.

Bei Bei nodded and gently placed him on the ground. Over on the other side, Jiang Nannan was also putting Wang Dong down.

Their six opponents were all gathered together. The golden light on the Soul Emperor who’d been struck by the Golden Road had finally disappeared by now but his clothes were burnt apart and his facial expression was extremely unsightly.

Within the blink of an eye, he was forced to waste over thirty percent of his soul power in order to take on the Golden Road. He was a Soul Emperor! He’d actually been put into such an embarrassing position by the teamwork of a Soul Grandmaster and a Soul Elder. How could he not be angry?

Hidden within his anger, however, was fear. A deep sense of fear.

Sure enough, they’re worthy of being called core disciples of Shrek Academy! A Soul Elder and a Soul Grandmaster were actually able to escape with their lives from an encirclement consisting of a Soul Emperor and five Soul Kings. If this were to be leaked out publically, who’d believe it? That golden light is probably a mysterious fusion skill.

Although he was inwardly furious, the Soul Emperor already had thoughts of retreating. Ma Xiaotao and the other students behind her wouldn’t be able to take them on, but at the end of the day they were still students of Shrek Academy. It wouldn’t be possible to defeat all of them within a short period of time. On top of that, Shrek Academy was so close to them and in the event one of their experts came...

With that, the commander made a prompt decision. He suddenly waved his right hand, turned around and ranoff with his subordinates.

“You want to run? If I let even one of you escape, this momma can’t be called the Berserk Flamedevil Ma Xiaotao!” The moment she noticed that they were about to flee, Ma Xiaotao immediately flew into a rage. In the past hundred years, nobody had been presumptuous enough to kill a disciple
of Shrek Academy while being this close to Shrek City. As a disciple of the academy’s inner courtyard, her sense of pride towards the academy was extremely intense. Moreover, she had wanted to find Huo Yuhao to help her do something in the first place, so it was natural that she would spare nothing to help her underclassmen.

Ma Xiaotao shouted, “Xu Sanshi, protect these two students! Bei Bei and Jiang Nannan, you two flank me on the right! If we let even a single one escape, I’ll hold you personally accountable!”

With that, the six soul rings around Ma Xiaotao’s body shone with a bright light. Of these, her second and third soul rings lit up simultaneously. An intense golden-red flame exploded out from her body like a geyser as she flapped the wings behind her fiercely, which then propelled her body towards the six like a fiery meteor.

She was clearly trying to take on six enemies by herself!

Was this fierce? Yes, this was definitely fierce! However, this was also a symbol of strength.
They were both Soul Emperor-ranked experts, but Ma Xiaotao’s six soul rings weren’t ordinary! Two yellow rings, two purple rings, and two black rings, this was the optimum combination for a soul master. On the other hand, her opponent had three yellow rings, two purple rings, and one
black ring. This was a relatively decent combination among normal soul masters but he was still completely outclassed by the inner courtyard disciple Ma Xiaotao.

Her six opponents were very quick but Ma Xiaotao was still quicker than them after using her second soul skill, Phoenix Baptism, and her third skill, Soaring Phoenix. Furthermore, she’d activated another soul skill the instant she’d flown out to intercept her opponents. Although it was more accurate to say that they were two soul skills but not skills that came from a soul ring.

Ma Xiaotao’s legs lit up and reddish-golden patterns started to revolve around them. Following which, reddish-golden flames shot out from her legs.

Due to her rapid acceleration, a series of explosions and whistles erupted behind her as she moved.
Although Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong were somewhat tired, they were still extremely clear-headed and couldn’t help but widen their eyes at this scene.

They naturally knew that disciples of the inner courtyard were strong, but now they finally understood just how strong they were from this battle. She’d actually used four soul skills in a row to chase after an opponent. The speed she’d reached wasn’t something they even dared to think about. Even seven or eight-ringed experts wouldn’t be able to compare with her current speed. Furthermore, the last two skills she’d unleashed had come from her soul bones. In other words, she had fused her legs with soul bones. To be precise, an identical set of soul bones.

The whistling and rumbling Ma Xiaotao shot viciously into her enemies like an artillery shell. Only two or three seconds had passed since she’d activated her Phoenix Baptism and Soaring Phoenix to speed up and her soul bone’s skills to explosively accelerate. She instantly into their formation and didn’t leave them any time to react, causing them to be caught completely off guard.

Ma Xiaotao’s target was the enormous warblade-wielding Soul Emperor and she shot straight towards him.

The Soul Emperor’s perception naturally exceeded that of the Soul Kings beside him. But at that moment he felt something off and turned around to find that Ma Xiaotao was already in front of him.

When facing a life-and-death crisis, the first reaction of an overwhelmingly large majority of people would be self- preservation and this Soul Emperor wasn’t an exception to that rule. He tried his best to lean to the side while he charged forward in order to dodge Ma Xiaotao’s attack.

The spectacular aura coming from her attack simply wasn’t something he could take head-on.

However, it no longer mattered if he dodged or not since Ma Xiaotao had already forcefully entered the nucleus of their formation.

“Hong”

Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong only saw Ma Xiaotao charge into the enemy formation and release a terrifying explosion. Her
golden-reddish flames formed an enormous pillar of flame that was over ten meters high and released a sonorous phoenix cry. The figure of a fiery phoenix circled around that enormous pillar of flame.

Four figures simultaneously flew out in four different directions. The instant the pillar of flame vanished, only these four of their six opponents remained.

Huo Yuhao swallowed a mouthful of saliva and mumbled, “Wang Dong, I’m very suspicious as to how we escaped from this senior sister of ours at that time…”

Wang Dong couldn’t even reply.

Xu Sanshi, who was responsible for them, smiled bitterly. “That’s because senior Xiaotao’s been suppressing the demonic fire within her, so she won’t use all of her strength in a normal situation. Today, however, she’s truly enraged. That’s why she’s using all of her strength. Senior Xiaotao’s a girl, but where’d you think the title of ‘Berserk Flamedevil’ came from…”
During the short period of time in which their conversation occurred, Ma Xiaotao’s figure reappeared. Her four soul skills hadn’t been used just to allow her to chase after her opponents but had the added purpose of raising her strength to to its limits. Her previous attack was already comparable to that of a seven-ringed Soul Sage.

As a student of Shrek Academy, she not only possessed enormous strength but also an extremely refined amount of control over her soul skills. There were many different ways of using soul skills that were secrets of Shrek Academy and only students who’d signed confidentiality agreements would be able to learn them.

The four enemies who’d been sent flying including the Soul Emperor all had reddish-golden flames enshrouding their bodies. Their bodies swayed and collapsed to the ground as they had all been similarly affected by her attack.

Ma Xiaotao didn’t immediately follow up since her previous attack had drained her soul power by a large amount. She looked towards the sky and then spread her arms and wings wide.
She took a deep breath as a large number of faint red dots of light immediately began to gather towards her at a noticeable rate. She was actually recovering her soul power during battle.

At this moment, Bei Bei and Jiang Nannan had just caught up to her. The two of them simultaneously made a move, taking on an enemy Soul King each.

The higher one’s cultivation was, the faster one’s rate of recovery would be. The enemy Soul Emperor was already filled with astonishment, was she even human? A single Soul Emperor had instantly obtained an overwhelming advantage against six opponents. He no longer dared to even try to resist the terrifyingly hot flames that surrounded her body and soul power.

Without even daring to waste any more time, he turned around and fled. At this moment, he no longer cared about his teammates. He knew that Shrek Academy students were very powerful but had never expected them to be this strong. All of them hadn’t even been able to face a single Soul Emperor.

Ma Xiaotao’s eyes had by now turned a fiery red. A trace of disdain appeared at the corners of her mouth as she saw the
fleeing Soul Emperor. She flapped her wings once more, causing her body to move horizontally. Her target wasn’t the Soul Emperor but the other living Soul King who Bei Bei and Jiang Nannan hadn’t taken on.

The Soul King was astonished and spared no cost to activate a soul skill in order to block Ma Xiaotao. However, her fiery wings suddenly vanished and were replaced by a red light that severed the sky before vanishing without a trace. Suddenly both the Soul King’s body and his soul skill froze in midair.

Ma Xiaotao didn’t even spare him a glance. Her slender body rose into the air while a sonorous phoenix cry rang out. A countless number of magnificent feathers had appeared on her body before forming a beam of red light with an incomparably beautiful tail that shot towards the Soul Emperor as it left behind dots of reddish-golden starlight in the sky.

At that moment, her last black soul ring finally lit up with a dazzling light,

The golden-reddish light devoured everything and the Soul Emperor and his falling comrades were no exception. He was unable to put up a fight against Ma Xiaotao despite them both being Soul Emperors.
Over on the other side, Bei Bei and Jiang Nannan hadn’t disappointed her.

When a Soul Ancestor fought against a Soul King, the former would normally be suppressed by the latter. However, the two of them were both core disciples of Shrek Academy. It would be hard to determine the victor even if the two parties were at their peak conditions, let alone when the two Soul Kings had already been injured by Ma Xiaotao’s attack. When Bei Bei and Jiang Nannan rushed over, the Soul Kings hadn’t even recovered their strength yet.

Bei Bei was an explosive assault-type soul master while Jiang Nannan was an explosive agility-type soul master. The results of their respective matches were obvious.

By the time Ma Xiaotao finished her match, one of the two Soul Kings had been electrocuted till he was a block of coal while the other had been sent flying ten meters into the air by Jiang Nannan’s attack before being stomped on in midair.

Only a minute had passed since Ma Xiaotao had started her onslaught when it ended; all six of their enemies had fallen in this short period of time.

When she realized that all of them had been killed, Ma Xiaotao scratched her head somewhat embarrassedly. “I forgot to leave someone alive…”

Bei Bei and Jiang Nannan could only stare at her helplessly. Knowing how fierce she was, Bei Bei and Jiang Nannan naturally had to go all-out the moment she said that she ‘wouldn’t let a single one escape’. Their opponents were Soul Kings, so they naturally had to be vicious.

“Whatever.  I’ll  let  the  academy’s  guardian  team  examine their corpses once we’re back. I’m sure they’ll be able to find a few hints.”  Ma Xiaotao waved her hand and brushed off her mistake.

Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s eyes were filled with nothing but admiration towards Ma Xiaotao; Ma Xiaotao’s earlier performance could only be described using the phrase ‘as swift as wind, as aggressive as fire’.

Even though they were both soul masters, Ma Xiaotao’s six soul rings seemed to have come alive. They’d flickered one after another, and whenever she’d alternated between them,
she’d always used the soul skill most suitable to the situation. Huo Yuhao and the rest could barely use their soul skills this quickly with a single soul ring, yet she’d seemed entirely uninhibited by the number of soul rings she had!

This was the main reason that her opponent had had no chance against her, despite them both being Soul Emperors.

Of course, Ma Xiaotao was also an extraordinarily talented soul master who possessed the Evil Phoenix. Her powerful martial soul and soul bones already made her much stronger than an ordinary six-ringed Soul Emperor.

By this point, seven or eight prominent figures had appeared atop Shrek City’s city walls, and a large number of soldiers stood behind them respectfully.

Elder Lin and Yan Shaozhe were included in this group of seven or eight people.

The distress signal of an inner courtyard disciple was an extremely important matter to Shrek Academy. In truth, they’d
already arrived earlier on; with their cultivation levels, it was natural that they’d arrive earlier than Ma Xiaotao.

However, as teachers, they hadn’t instantly made a move, as they wanted to see what their students were capable of.

And their students hadn’t disappointed them. The word ‘remarkable’ could be used to describe everything that had happened, regardless of whether it was Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s escape, or if it was Ma Xiaotao, Bei Bei, Jiang Nannan, and Xu Sanshi’s timely rescue. The intruders had all fallen, with their only mistake being that they hadn’t left anyone alive.

Yan Shaozhe was somewhat speechless. “This Xiaotao girl is too explosive. She becomes an entirely different person the moment she enteres combat.”

Elder Lin smiled slightly. “Though that’s mainly dictated by her temperament, it’s also because of her martial soul. However, this child’s cultivation has increased by quite a large amount. In fact, I reckon that she’ll be able to break through the seven-ringed stage within three years.”
Yan  Shaozhe  chuckled.  “Elder  Lin.  I  didn’t  have  any assurance of my plan back then. However, it seems that I can now give a definite answer to your question because of Huo Yuhao’s appearance. Haven’t you sensed that the most astonishing part of this entire event was their escapade?”

They naturally hadn’t seen everything that had occurred. However, the person who’d been closest to the battle had been Elder Lin. The instant she’d appeared atop the city walls after discovering the distress signal had been the same instant that Huo Yuhao had unleashed the jade-green light that had caused the three Soul Kings to lose their ability to move.

Even though Yan Shaozhe had been somewhat late, he didn’t arrive from the city. Because of this, his line of sight hadn’t been obstructed, which had allowed him to vaguely witness that scene. The level of speed that these consummate-level experts had couldn’t be compared to that of ordinary soul masters. Their escape however, combined with the stunning Golden Road that they’d fired off, had given these two members of the academy’s upper echelon—and the experts beside them—a deep impression.

Ma Xiaotao’s performance had admittedly been outstanding, but she was already a disciple of the inner courtyard. Thus,
there simply hadn’t been any suspense in her victory over her six-ringed opponent. However, it was a different case for Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong. A Soul Grandmaster and a Soul Elder had actually managed to escape from a formation of five Soul Kings and a Soul Emperor. This was enough to illustrate the doubts they had.

If Ma Xiaotao hadn’t made it in time, though they still would’ve been bruised from their fall, the possibility of their death was extremely small. At that time, Bei Bei, Xu Sanshi, and Jiang Nannan had already arrived, at which point temporarily staying alive would’ve posed no problem to them. It could be said that their escape had been entirely successful.

Yan Shaozhe and Elder Lin were both members of the Sea God’s Pavilion, yet they couldn’t find any faults with Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s earlier performance.

“Shaozhe, were you able to see what skill Huo Yuhao used when he was being chased in the air?” Elder Lin smiled slightly.

Yan Shaozhe was still somewhat stunned by what he’d seen, thus he shook his head. “I was too far away from them, thus I
wasn’t able to see it clearly. Elder Lin, you must’ve seen it. Just what sort of soul skill did he use? It was actually able to cause three Soul Kings to lose their ability to fly.”

Elder Lin smiled. “My heart was still aching after those two fellas took away a precious soul bone from my pavilion, but I now think that it was extremely worth it now that I’ve seen this skill. If I’m not mistaken, he used a domain-type skill, which should’ve come from his soul bone. Perhaps this soul bone of his is related to the awakening of his second martial soul.”

Yan Shaozhe was flabbergasted. “Elder Lin, are you sure that it was a domain-type skill?!”

Elder Lin glanced at him, but didn’t reply. She turned around and walked into the city as she unhurriedly said, “Someone had a lot of guts. To think that he’d bully one of our students all the way until they reached the academy… do as you wish.”

Yan Shaozhe knew that it was a slip of the tongue. He bowed towards Elder Lin, then stood back up, his eyes filled with killing intent. He turned towards someone beside him and said, “Take all of the corpses back to the academy. Spare no
expenses; discover just who dared to attack one of our students in Shrek Academy’s territory.”

“Yes.”

----------

Within the city.

“Thank  you,  senior  sister.”  Even  though  Huo  Yuhao  and Wang Dong had overdrafted their soul power, there wasn’t anything wrong with their physical bodies. They respectfully bowed towards Ma Xiaotao, their eyes full of admiration.

Ma Xiaotao waved them off. “You don’t need to thank me. These fellas must’ve been tired of living. To think they’d dare to cause a ruckus in our Shrek Academy… have you offended anyone recently?”

“No!”   The  moment  Huo  Yuhao  said  this,  however,  he suddenly thought of something, and immediately turned towards Wang Dong.

Wang Dong was also looking at him. Both of them felt a sense of chilliness in their hearts when their gazes met.

There was only a single person that they could have offended recently: Dai Huabin. Dai Huabin had lost to them twice in a row, which had resulted in him having to kowtow to them. He was from the White Tiger Duke’s Mansion, and was therefore capable of mobilising several people to serve him. A Soul Emperor and five Soul Kings weren’t forces that ordinary powers would possess.

Before Huo Yuhao could even speak, Bei Bei walked up to him. “Two junior brothers, this place isn’t safe. Let’s head back to the academy before we continue this conversation.”

In reality, there was no way they could be in danger anymore. Huo Yuhao’s distress signal had directly summoned the top powers of Shrek Academy. After a brief moment, even Fan Yu arrived.

There was no doubt that Huo Yuhao’s distress signal had been given to him by Fan Yu, who’d added something special to
the signal flare so that he’d also know to immediately rush over the moment Huo Yuhao released it.

Because of this, even though only Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong had originally gone to the auction, their returning party turned was much larger. The corpses left behind were all taken away by Yan Shaozhe’s men.

Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong weren’t able to sleep well that night. They were only allowed to return to their dorms early in the morning after the academy’s unceasing interrogation. Although the academy hadn’t given them a definite answer, they clearly had their own conjectures.

Huo Yuhao wasn’t worried about how the academy would deal with this matter. He and Wang Dong had truly been too careless this time. They’d never thought that Dai Huabin would use a tactic like this in an area so close to Shrek Academy.

The corpses gave them no leads. They had indeed been sent over by Dai Huabin, but they’d wiped away all traces of their identities before going to ambush Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong. This wasn’t done just to avoid anything troublesome for Dai
Huabin, but also to prevent any suspicion falling upon the White Tiger Duke’s Mansion!

The fury of Shrek Academy was something that even the White Tiger Duke’s Mansion, who controlled over ten thousand men in the Star Luo Empire, couldn’t endure.

The academy didn’t escalate the situation due to the lack of proof, but they were only suppressing their anger for the time being.

The next morning. Dai Huabin’s expression greatly changed when he saw the somewhat dispirited Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong come to class, but he was still a son of the White Tiger Duke. Though he was greatly astonished, he quickly masked any overt changes on his face.

He hadn’t received any information as to what had occurred last night and had hoped that the final outcome wouldn’t be too messy. As long as his men hadn’t been injured, all would be fine. Otherwise, he wouldn’t even be able to explain himself to his father!
Cold sweat imperceptibly began to drench the back of Dai Huabin’s shirt. A Soul Emperor and five Soul Kings together were not enough to kill the two of them. Remorse began to blossom in the depths of his heart.

“Dai Huabin.” Huo Yuhao’s eyesight was extremely good, and thus he was able to instantly see Dai Huabin, who had been staring at them with a bewildered look in his eyes. He then pulled Wang Dong along with him and took large strides towards him.

Dai Huabin’s face was somewhat pale. At the end of the day, he was only a youth around the age of ten and thus couldn’t conceal his emotions very well.

Wang Dong’s eyes turned cold as he saw Dai Huabin and was just about to charge straight towards him when Huo Yuhao hurriedly held onto him.

“What do you want?” Dai Huabin asked coldly.

As he tightly held onto Wang Dong so as to not let him fly into a rage, Huo Yuhao spoke in a deep voice. “Didn’t you lose
that bet we made the other day? Come on, fulfill your promise now.”

It was now time for students to go to class, and so there was an endless stream of students walking past their classroom. They were all second year students and were naturally aware of the grudges between Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Dai Huabin. A large number of students had already stopped by the side to watch the proceedings.

Dai Huabin gritted his teeth and clenched his fists tightly, making the veins on his forehead pop out.

Zhu Lu walked out from Class 2 and stood in front of Dai Huabin as she yelled, “Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong, don’t be too excessive!”

Wang Dong replied icily, “We’re being excessive? Go ask him what he did last night. I’m just not sure whether or not he’ll have the guts to reveal what he did.”

Dai Huabin gritted his teeth as he responded, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Wang Dong snorted disdainfully. “I knew you were a scaredy- cat. Regardless of whether or not you admit to what you did. You have to kowtow towards us now since you lost, man up and admit your loss.”

Zhu Lu was about to confront them but she was shoved from behind by the flustered Dai Huabin. He didn’t dare to confirm whether or not his men had been exposed. This matter was simply too important and was even related to the White Tiger Duke’s Mansion. No matter what, he absolutely couldn’t reveal that he was guilty. Otherwise, it would affect the relationship between Shrek Academy and the White Tiger Duke’s Mansion and might even cause hostility between the former and the Star Luo Empire.

He took a deep breath as shoved the rancor and humiliation he felt into the depths of his heart. He abruptly dropped to his knees and kowtowed three times towards Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong while shouting, “I was wrong.” Following which, he stood up and returned to his class.

The rancor in Zhu Lu’s eyes was no less than in Dai Huabin’s. After all, the person who’d been humiliated was her future
boyfriend! She pointed her slightly trembling finger towards Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong, “You just wait, just wait…”

Huo Yuhao acted as if he’d heard nothing as then turned back to Class 1 along with Wang Dong. Right now, he wasn’t feeling elated but vigilant. He’d made Dai Huabin kowtow in front of so many students but the latter still hadn’t flown into a rage. An enemy like this was much more terrifying, especially so given Dai Huabin’s relatively astonishing growth. Unfortunately, he didn’t suffer any sort of punishment after the ambush he’d planned.

What Huo Yuhao didn’t know, however, was the fact that Dai Huabin had been put on the academy’s blacklist due to the ambush he’d set up. Though they didn’t have any concrete proof, just who was Shrek Academy have? From the mere scraps they had, they were able to deduce a lot of things. However, they were still afraid of the consequences of their actions; making the Star Luo Empire an enemy for the sake of two students was clearly an unwise decision. Furthermore, when all was said and done, this was something that’d been organised by Dai Huabin alone. Because of this, the extraordinarily talented Dai Huabin was destined to not enter the inner courtyard the instant he failed to kill Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong.
The advancement test had already ended, and every single person who could continue going to class had passed it. Students who hadn’t passed could retake the test three days later but they would be forced to leave the academy if they failed that test too.

The class that Wang Yan and Zhou Yi taught, Class 1, had an astonishing 95% pass rate. The facts had shown that putting the two of them together was extremely effective.

Zhou Yi could manage her students well while Wang Yan had a vast amount of knowledge and a warm teaching style. Combined with the truly outstanding batch of students that came this year, there were only a few people who weren’t able to pass the advancement test. Moreover, they still had the chance to retake the exam.

Comparatively, there were far more students from the other classes who had been eliminated.

“Yuhao, why didn’t you let me settle my grudges with him?” Wang Dong asked Huo Yuhao furiously.
Huo Yuhao said, “The academy didn’t deliver a verdict, so what can we do ourselves? We’re all in the academy so there won’t be a conclusion to this matter even if we try to settle our grudges with him. Let’s just stay quiet and keep a watch on him. It’s still more important for us to work hard and increase our strength. When we can reach senior sister Xiaotao’s level of strength, we won’t need to be afraid of any ambushes anymore.”

The battle yesterday had stimulated him greatly, but it clearly wasn’t possible for him to increase his cultivation by a large amount within a short period of time. However, soul tools could increase his survivability. Thus, he had already planned to use the next few days to modify his set of soul tools. At the very least, he wanted to make sure that all of them were Class 2 tools. If he and Wang Dong had possessed a Class 2 thruster when they were ambushed, they wouldn’t have been left in such a miserable state.

“Wah, I really can’t help but think about it!”  Wang Dong stared at the classroom door.

Huo Yuhao subconsciously followed his gaze to see a red- clothed Ma Xiaotao standing outside the classroom and waving to him.

Ma Xiaotao’s physical state didn’t seem right. Her charming face was flushed red and there was even a faint red light shining from her body.

Huo Yuhao questioningly pointed towards himself and Ma Xiaotao nodded before turning around and leaving.

There was still some time before class began so Huo Yuhao hurriedly turned towards Wang Dong, “If I come back late, help me out. I’m going to see why senior sister Xiaotao’s looking for me.”

“Oh.” Wang Dong also felt that something about Ma Xiaotao wasn’t quite right. If this was before yesterday, he definitely wouldn’t have allowed Huo Yuhao to go alone. However, he wasn’t wary towards Ma Xiaotao since she had saved them yesterday.

Huo Yuhao quickly left the class. The moment he walked out of the door, he felt a wave of red light surge towards him. Regardless of how precise his Spiritual Detection was, he wasn’t able to dodge it at all. A wave of heat immediately engulfed his entire body.

The source of that heat was Ma Xiaotao’s body.

The twenty-or-so-year-old Ma Xiaotao was at the most beautiful period of her life, and she was also extremely beautiful from the start. At this moment, her flushed cheeks made her even more of a radiant beauty.

She let out a sweet moan as she hugged Huo Yuhao,, “Huo Yuhao, I can’t... I can’t hold it anymore. Quickly.”

Her voice was relatively loud and not only did the students who were passing by hear her but even the students from Class 1 did as well. Furthermore, Huo Yuhao was currently in front of the classroom door. As he was hugged by the fiery Ma Xiaotao, it was absolutely impossible for him to struggle free.

A red light flickered and Ma Xiaotao suddenly accelerated and disappeared from the end of the corridor with Huo Yuhao in tow.

Wang Dong immediately felt that something was off. He hastily ran outside, but he could only see the back of Ma
Xiaotao’s body by the time he got there.

There were still a few students in the corridor who were looking at each other.

Wang Dong’s expression became pale. He was just about to chase after them, but an arm suddenly stopped him the moment he took a step forward.

“Unhand me!” Wang Dong flew into a rage. However, he was immediately sent into a daze when he turned around. The person who’d grabbed him was Zhou Yi.

“What’s the matter? Why’re you being so impatient?” Zhou Yi spoke in a low voice. Though she liked the two of them, in accordance with her philosophy of teaching, she definitely wouldn’t allow her students to go against her.

Wang Dong said urgently, “Teacher Zhou, Huo Yuhao has been taken away by Ma Xiaotao. Please go rescue him quickly! I feel that there’s something wrong with her. In the event he’s harmed by her…”
Zhou Yi pulled him back to the classroom, “Don’t worry. Nothing will happen. Dean Yan has already notified me of this. Ma Xiaotao’s martial soul is rather special, and Yuhao’s second martial soul can help her cultivation. Furthermore, this will be somewhat useful for him. Go back to your seat, we’re about to
start class.”

With that, Zhou Yi shut the door to the classroom.

Wang Dong’s sense of urgency didn’t subside as a result of Zhou Yi’s explanation. On the contrary, it became even more intense. He naturally knew that Huo Yuhao wouldn’t be injured by Ma Xiaotao but the worry he felt intensified exponentially when he saw the image of Ma Xiaotao hugging Huo Yuhao in his mind.

At that moment, Huo Yuhao’s mind was blank. He naturally knew that Ma Xiaotao wouldn’t hurt him, and moreover, he had seen her berserk appearance before. Only, he was somewhat embarrassed due to the big beauty hugging him out of the blue.

Ma Xiaotao didn’t have any perfume on her, but she nonetheless smelled rather refreshing. She smelled like sun-
dried blankets, relaxing and clean. Unfortunately, she wasn’t warm like a blanket but somewhat scalding instead.

Ma Xiaotao was extremely slender and she continued to run as she hugged Huo Yuhao. The latter only saw the scenery around him alternating unceasingly while the blank feeling he felt in his heart only grew stronger.

Within the blink of an eye, they’d left the school building. Ma Xiaotao rushed towards Sea God’s Lake with Huo Yuhao in tow where she finally took a breather. “Yu… Hao… quickly… help me. I… can’t hold it anymore… I need… your Ice element… help… me suppress… my Evil Fire… Quickly…” she stammered.

Chapter 60(???)

The fury of Shrek Academy was something that even the White Tiger Duke’s Mansion, who controlled over ten thousand men in the Star Luo Empire, couldn’t endure.

The academy didn’t escalate the situation due to the lack of proof, but they were only suppressing their anger for the time being.

The next morning. Dai Huabin’s expression greatly changed when he saw the somewhat dispirited Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong come to class, but he was still a son of the White Tiger Duke. Though he was greatly astonished, he quickly masked any overt changes on his face.

He hadn’t received any information as to what had occurred last night and had hoped that the final outcome wouldn’t be too messy. As long as his men hadn’t been injured, all would be fine. Otherwise, he wouldn’t even be able to explain himself to his father!
Cold sweat imperceptibly began to drench the back of Dai Huabin’s shirt. A Soul Emperor and five Soul Kings together were not enough to kill the two of them. Remorse began to blossom in the depths of his heart.

“Dai Huabin.” Huo Yuhao’s eyesight was extremely good, and thus he was able to instantly see Dai Huabin, who had been staring at them with a bewildered look in his eyes. He then pulled Wang Dong along with him and took large strides towards him.

Dai Huabin’s face was somewhat pale. At the end of the day, he was only a youth around the age of ten and thus couldn’t conceal his emotions very well.

Wang Dong’s eyes turned cold as he saw Dai Huabin and was just about to charge straight towards him when Huo Yuhao hurriedly held onto him.

“What do you want?” Dai Huabin asked coldly.

As he tightly held onto Wang Dong so as to not let him fly into a rage, Huo Yuhao spoke in a deep voice. “Didn’t you lose
that bet we made the other day? Come on, fulfill your promise now.”

It was now time for students to go to class, and so there was an endless stream of students walking past their classroom. They were all second year students and were naturally aware of the grudges between Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Dai Huabin. A large number of students had already stopped by the side to watch the proceedings.

Dai Huabin gritted his teeth and clenched his fists tightly, making the veins on his forehead pop out.

Zhu Lu walked out from Class 2 and stood in front of Dai Huabin as she yelled, “Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong, don’t be too excessive!”

Wang Dong replied icily, “We’re being excessive? Go ask him what he did last night. I’m just not sure whether or not he’ll have the guts to reveal what he did.”

Dai Huabin gritted his teeth as he responded, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Wang Dong snorted disdainfully. “I knew you were a scaredy- cat. Regardless of whether or not you admit to what you did. You have to kowtow towards us now since you lost, man up and admit your loss.”

Zhu Lu was about to confront them but she was shoved from behind by the flustered Dai Huabin. He didn’t dare to confirm whether or not his men had been exposed. This matter was simply too important and was even related to the White Tiger Duke’s Mansion. No matter what, he absolutely couldn’t reveal that he was guilty. Otherwise, it would affect the relationship between Shrek Academy and the White Tiger Duke’s Mansion and might even cause hostility between the former and the Star Luo Empire.

He took a deep breath as shoved the rancor and humiliation he felt into the depths of his heart. He abruptly dropped to his knees and kowtowed three times towards Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong while shouting, “I was wrong.” Following which, he stood up and returned to his class.

The rancor in Zhu Lu’s eyes was no less than in Dai Huabin’s. After all, the person who’d been humiliated was her future
boyfriend! She pointed her slightly trembling finger towards Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong, “You just wait, just wait…”

Huo Yuhao acted as if he’d heard nothing as then turned back to Class 1 along with Wang Dong. Right now, he wasn’t feeling elated but vigilant. He’d made Dai Huabin kowtow in front of so many students but the latter still hadn’t flown into a rage. An enemy like this was much more terrifying, especially so given Dai Huabin’s relatively astonishing growth. Unfortunately, he didn’t suffer any sort of punishment after the ambush he’d planned.

What Huo Yuhao didn’t know, however, was the fact that Dai Huabin had been put on the academy’s blacklist due to the ambush he’d set up. Though they didn’t have any concrete proof, just who was Shrek Academy have? From the mere scraps they had, they were able to deduce a lot of things. However, they were still afraid of the consequences of their actions; making the Star Luo Empire an enemy for the sake of two students was clearly an unwise decision. Furthermore, when all was said and done, this was something that’d been organised by Dai Huabin alone. Because of this, the extraordinarily talented Dai Huabin was destined to not enter the inner courtyard the instant he failed to kill Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong.
The advancement test had already ended, and every single person who could continue going to class had passed it. Students who hadn’t passed could retake the test three days later but they would be forced to leave the academy if they failed that test too.

The class that Wang Yan and Zhou Yi taught, Class 1, had an astonishing 95% pass rate. The facts had shown that putting the two of them together was extremely effective.

Zhou Yi could manage her students well while Wang Yan had a vast amount of knowledge and a warm teaching style. Combined with the truly outstanding batch of students that came this year, there were only a few people who weren’t able to pass the advancement test. Moreover, they still had the chance to retake the exam.

Comparatively, there were far more students from the other classes who had been eliminated.

“Yuhao, why didn’t you let me settle my grudges with him?” Wang Dong asked Huo Yuhao furiously.
Huo Yuhao said, “The academy didn’t deliver a verdict, so what can we do ourselves? We’re all in the academy so there won’t be a conclusion to this matter even if we try to settle our grudges with him. Let’s just stay quiet and keep a watch on him. It’s still more important for us to work hard and increase our strength. When we can reach senior sister Xiaotao’s level of strength, we won’t need to be afraid of any ambushes anymore.”

The battle yesterday had stimulated him greatly, but it clearly wasn’t possible for him to increase his cultivation by a large amount within a short period of time. However, soul tools could increase his survivability. Thus, he had already planned to use the next few days to modify his set of soul tools. At the very least, he wanted to make sure that all of them were Class 2 tools. If he and Wang Dong had possessed a Class 2 thruster when they were ambushed, they wouldn’t have been left in such a miserable state.

“Wah, I really can’t help but think about it!”  Wang Dong stared at the classroom door.

Huo Yuhao subconsciously followed his gaze to see a red- clothed Ma Xiaotao standing outside the classroom and waving to him.

Ma Xiaotao’s physical state didn’t seem right. Her charming face was flushed red and there was even a faint red light shining from her body.

Huo Yuhao questioningly pointed towards himself and Ma Xiaotao nodded before turning around and leaving.

There was still some time before class began so Huo Yuhao hurriedly turned towards Wang Dong, “If I come back late, help me out. I’m going to see why senior sister Xiaotao’s looking for me.”

“Oh.” Wang Dong also felt that something about Ma Xiaotao wasn’t quite right. If this was before yesterday, he definitely wouldn’t have allowed Huo Yuhao to go alone. However, he wasn’t wary towards Ma Xiaotao since she had saved them yesterday.

Huo Yuhao quickly left the class. The moment he walked out of the door, he felt a wave of red light surge towards him. Regardless of how precise his Spiritual Detection was, he wasn’t able to dodge it at all. A wave of heat immediately engulfed his entire body.

The source of that heat was Ma Xiaotao’s body.

The twenty-or-so-year-old Ma Xiaotao was at the most beautiful period of her life, and she was also extremely beautiful from the start. At this moment, her flushed cheeks made her even more of a radiant beauty.

She let out a sweet moan as she hugged Huo Yuhao,, “Huo Yuhao, I can’t... I can’t hold it anymore. Quickly.”

Her voice was relatively loud and not only did the students who were passing by hear her but even the students from Class 1 did as well. Furthermore, Huo Yuhao was currently in front of the classroom door. As he was hugged by the fiery Ma Xiaotao, it was absolutely impossible for him to struggle free.

A red light flickered and Ma Xiaotao suddenly accelerated and disappeared from the end of the corridor with Huo Yuhao in tow.

Wang Dong immediately felt that something was off. He hastily ran outside, but he could only see the back of Ma
Xiaotao’s body by the time he got there.

There were still a few students in the corridor who were looking at each other.

Wang Dong’s expression became pale. He was just about to chase after them, but an arm suddenly stopped him the moment he took a step forward.

“Unhand me!” Wang Dong flew into a rage. However, he was immediately sent into a daze when he turned around. The person who’d grabbed him was Zhou Yi.

“What’s the matter? Why’re you being so impatient?” Zhou Yi spoke in a low voice. Though she liked the two of them, in accordance with her philosophy of teaching, she definitely wouldn’t allow her students to go against her.

Wang Dong said urgently, “Teacher Zhou, Huo Yuhao has been taken away by Ma Xiaotao. Please go rescue him quickly! I feel that there’s something wrong with her. In the event he’s harmed by her…”
Zhou Yi pulled him back to the classroom, “Don’t worry. Nothing will happen. Dean Yan has already notified me of this. Ma Xiaotao’s martial soul is rather special, and Yuhao’s second martial soul can help her cultivation. Furthermore, this will be somewhat useful for him. Go back to your seat, we’re about to
start class.”

With that, Zhou Yi shut the door to the classroom.

Wang Dong’s sense of urgency didn’t subside as a result of Zhou Yi’s explanation. On the contrary, it became even more intense. He naturally knew that Huo Yuhao wouldn’t be injured by Ma Xiaotao but the worry he felt intensified exponentially when he saw the image of Ma Xiaotao hugging Huo Yuhao in his mind.

At that moment, Huo Yuhao’s mind was blank. He naturally knew that Ma Xiaotao wouldn’t hurt him, and moreover, he had seen her berserk appearance before. Only, he was somewhat embarrassed due to the big beauty hugging him out of the blue.

Ma Xiaotao didn’t have any perfume on her, but she nonetheless smelled rather refreshing. She smelled like sun-
dried blankets, relaxing and clean. Unfortunately, she wasn’t warm like a blanket but somewhat scalding instead.

Ma Xiaotao was extremely slender and she continued to run as she hugged Huo Yuhao. The latter only saw the scenery around him alternating unceasingly while the blank feeling he felt in his heart only grew stronger.

Within the blink of an eye, they’d left the school building. Ma Xiaotao rushed towards Sea God’s Lake with Huo Yuhao in tow where she finally took a breather. “Yu… Hao… quickly… help me. I… can’t hold it anymore… I need… your Ice element… help… me suppress… my Evil Fire… Quickly…” she stammered.

Chapter 61: Icy Domain and the Golden Light

Core disciples were entitled to a sumptuous breakfast. Furthermore, Huo Yuhao was now a core disciple of both the Martial Soul Department and the Soul Tool Department at the same time.

Normally, he’d only eat the food supplied by the Soul Tool Department, as it was more exquisite and precious than the Martial Soul Department’s. However, he was extremely famished today, and his body was in dire need of a large quantity of nutrients. As such, he devoured both of the breakfasts he was provided with today.

Just as he was about to finish his meal, Wang Dong walked in in a dispirited and downcast mood. The moment he walked through the doors, Wang Dong spotted Huo Yuhao, who was pigging out. When he saw him, he immediately began to take large strides towards Huo Yuhao.

“Yuhao, are you alright? Ma Xiaotao didn’t do anything to you, right?” Wang Dong ran over to him and questioned him impatiently.

Huo Yuhao kept a natural expression on his face as he replied, “I’m alright! In fact, I’m doing quite well. I simply accompanied senior sister Xiaotao to cultivate. You should know just how extraordinary the nature of her martial soul is. With my help, she’s managed to suppress that demonic fire of hers.”

When he’d left the Sea God’s Island and returned to the lakeside, he’d firmly made up his mind: No matter who it was that questioned him, he wouldn’t say what had really happened, even if he was beaten to death. It was too embarrassing!

Wang Dong gazed at him and felt a bit apprehensive. His nose twitched and he asked, “What’s that fragrance?”

As a person who could normally control his desire very well, Huo Yuhao was used to controlling everything to the best of his ability. As such, he’d already thought of a countermeasure for this situation a long time ago. Without the slightest bit of hesitation, he sighed and replied, “It’s because it was extremely exhausting when I cultivated with senior sister Xiaotao. That phoenix flame of hers is really strong, thus I ended up sweating all over. When I was done, I borrowed her washing liquid to
wash my clothes. I never expected her to use such a fragrant washing liquid with that fierce personality of hers.”

Wang Dong couldn’t find a single mistake in what Huo Yuhao said, thus he gradually heaved a sigh of relief. However, he still bore a little resentment and said, “You actually needed a whole day to cultivate. Ma Xiaotao is too overbearing! What happens if it end up interfering with your studies? Oh right, Teacher Zhou asked for us to see her in her office today before class starts. It seems like there’s something going on, as we weren’t the only ones called. All of the core disciples have to go and see her. It seems that they’re giving us special attention now.”

Huo Yuhao nodded and said, “This is a good thing! What was Dai Huabin reaction?”

Wang Dong shook his head and replied, “Nothing. I haven’t even seen that fellow since back then. Gosh, are you a pig? How much have you eaten?!” He’d only just now noticed that the table had been filled with empty plates.

Huo Yuhao laughed sheepishly and said, “I exhausted quite a bit of energy cultivating yesterday. However, what senior brother Xu Sanshi said at back then was correct. Even though
it’s painful to cultivate with senior sister Ma, the increased speed of cultivation I get is pretty good. I even asked her to help me melt that Whale Rubber so that I could eat it. Oh right, has your soul bone arrived yet?”

Wang Dong immediately became excited when he mentioned the Golden Light Left Arm Bone, and nodded repeatedly as he said, “Yep, it’s already arrived. Can you protect me tonight so that I can fuse with it? I’ve already gotten permission from Teacher Zhou for a leave of absence. It won’t be a problem even if it takes me more than a day to fuse with the soul bone.”

Huo Yuhao nodded and replied, “Then I’ll ask Teacher Fan Yu for some materials tonight so that I can remodel my soul tool in our dorm room while I’m watching over you.”

Once he’d finished his breakfast, Huo Yuhao returned to the dormitory to freshen up. Afterwards, he changed into a new school uniform before heading off to find Zhou Yi with Wang Dong.

It was still both extremely sunny and cloudless today. Moreover, a new school term had begun in Shrek Academy. Students from every year group were all facing different levels
of pressure. The new students had the Freshmen Examination, while students from higher year groups had both their Advancement Examination and courses to study for.

Huo Yuhao lightly knocked on the office door a few times.

“Enter.” Zhou Yi’s ever ice-cold voice rang out.

Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong pushed opened the door and entered.

The room was already full of core disciples from Class 1. Besides Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong, Xiao Xiao, Lan Susu, Lan Luoluo, Chao Jinxuan and Huang Chutian, who had officially become a core disciple, were all present in the room. As such, there were a total of eight people from their class present.

Zhou Yi intentionally glanced towards Huo Yuhao. When she saw that his expression was normal, she didn’t ask any questions. With a cough, she directed everyone’s line of sight towards herself. “The reason I called you guys here today is because I have a special situation that I need to inform you guys about: In three days time, the outer courtyard will be
organizing a core disciple qualification match. Originally, it didn’t have anything to do with second years, but the academy suddenly decided to let the Year 2 core disciples participate in the match as well. As a result of this, you guys will need to prepare yourselves.”

Feeling  somewhat  curious,  Zhou  Sichen  asked,  “Teacher Zhou, what’s this qualification match for?”

Zhou Yi replied, “However, you guys don’t need to be too worried about it. There won’t be any sort of punishment if you lose this qualification match. Those participating are all core disciples from the outer courtyard who are fifteen years old and under. People from the Soul Tool Department will also be attending. According to my calculations, there are around thirty people participating in the match. We’ll be choosing seven from this group to take part in a mission. As for what sort of mission it is, only the students who win will know what sort of mission it is. It’s worth noting that these places would normally belong to students from the third, fourth, and fifth years. However, you guys are lucky to be able to participate in this match. You guys should do your best. We have eight core disciples from our class; at least try not to be completely wiped out.”
Hearing Zhou Yi speak as though she didn’t think of the matter as very important, everyone immediately heaved a sigh of relief. They’d even silently cursed at the academy in their hearts for having a bit too many examinations. The Advancement Examination had just ended! What was the deal with a Core Disciple Examination now?

“Alright, you guys head back to the classroom first. Huo Yuhao, stay behind for awhile. The rest of you can head back first.”

“Yes.” Everyone uniformly replied. As they left, Zhou Sichen shot Huo Yuhao a glance that said that he was rejoicing in his demise. Afterwards, he took the lead and left the office with Cao Jinxuan.

Wang Dong said in a low tone, “Xiao Xiao and I will wait for you outside.”

Once the others had left the room, Huo Yuhao obediently closed the door. He then turned around and faced Zhou Yi as he asked, “Teacher Zhou, do you still have something to tell me?”
Zhou Yi indifferently replied, “I’m only relaying a message from Dean Yan and Dean Xian. Both of them mentioned that it would be fine, even if the others don’t enter the top seven. However, they said that if you fail to do so, you’ll suffer the consequences.”

“Um…” When he heard her say this, Huo Yuhao suddenly felt that the pressure weighing down on him was as great as a mountain! “Teacher Zhou, that’s impossible! If the students from the outer courtyard were to compete with the core disciples in terms of strength alone, I would definitely be ranked amongst the top! However, there will be senior students participating in this match as well!”

A hint of a smile appeared in Zhou Yi’s eyes when she heard this. She stood up and replied, “It’s useless to talk to me about this, as I’m simply relaying their message to you. If you have the guts to do so, reason it out with Dean Yan and Dean Xian. Now then, get going, you still have a class to attend.”

“I…” Huo Yuhao immediately became crestfallen. Even though he felt confident about his abilities, that still depended on the circumstances! He‘d be competing against a bunch of senior core disciples; how could it be that easy?! Disregarding the other students, Bei Bei, Xu Sanshi and Jiang Nannan alone
were bound to be within the fifteen-year-old category, along with the many core disciples he’d never seen before. All three of them had four soul rings! He definitely didn’t think that he could fight against his seniors with four soul rings—even if he did have an Ultimate martial soul.

Once he left the room, he noticed Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao waiting for him.

“Why did Teacher Zhou ask you to stay behind?” Wang Dong asked curiously.

This wasn’t something that he could hide, thus Huo Yuhao told them what Zhou Yi had told him with a depressed look on his face. By the time he’d finished, Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao couldn’t help but look at each other in dismay. They then simultaneously patted him on the shoulder. “You’d best rely on yourself, rather than on us.”

Huo Yuhao was full of lament and resentfulness as he replied,   “Are   you   guys   even   human?!   You’re   not   even comforting me!”
Wang Dong laughed mischievously and said, “Who asked you to become a core disciple of two departments? Who asked you to show such an outstanding performance in the Advancement Examination, and to even have an Ultimate martial soul?! We’ll cheer for you. Oh right, I keep forgetting to ask you. What was the skill you used the other day called? The one that sucked all of our soul power away and released that dark green light.”

The reason that both of them had been able to escape their predicament that day was because Huo Yuhao had decisively used that move. It was mainly because he’d used that skill in the nick of time, which had prevented the three flying Soul Kings from pursuing them. They’d then able to escape to Shrek City’s northern gates and had managed to wait it out until Ma Xiaotao and Bei Bei came to save them.

Huo Yuhao snorted and replied, “I’ll just let you guys rejoice in my misfortune. This elder brother isn’t telling you.” As soon as he finished speaking, he turned around and headed towards the school building.

Elder Lin’s guess that night had been spot on; the skill he’d used back then belonged to the domain-type. Domain-type skills were just as uncommon as Ultimate martial souls. A domain-type soul skill was a skill that affect everything within
a certain area based on the user’s domain. It could also be regarded as the highest ranked control-type soul skill.

Huo Yuhao’s domain-type skill came from the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion’s torso bone. It was one of the skills she’d bestowed to him, which was known as the ‘Domain of Perpetual Ice’.

Based on Huo Yuhao’s current cultivation, it was still extremely difficult for him to properly use the Domain of Perpetual Ice. He’d still only been able to use a fraction of the skill, despite having borrowed Wang Dong’s power that day. If he wanted to fully unleash the potential of this soul skill, he’d have to wait until he’d managed to obtain seven soul rings at the very least.

When the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion had been known as the Tyrant of the Extreme North, her Domain of Perpetual Ice could freeze over a thousand miles in an instant. As such, it was the one of the highest ranked origin skills. If Huo Yuhao wanted to use the skill at the same level that the Ice Empress had, he’d have to cultivate to the stage that she had been at.
Huo Yuhao was immersed in his anxiety the entire day during his classes. Regardless of how much he mulled the matter over, he couldn’t think of a way to rise above a bunch of core disciples. However, he didn’t complain about anything in his state of depression. Besides, he’d received preferential treatment from the academy during the Treasure Appreciation Auction; he couldn’t say anything, even if he was currently facing pressure!

In the end, Huo Yuhao came to the conclusion that he’d just have to stake it all in the match.

However, when he went to the Soul Tool Department in the evening to study with Fan Yu, he finally received good news. This time, the core disciples of the Martial and Soul Tool Departments would jointly participate in the test. In other words, the two departments wouldn’t be separated. In the Soul Tool Department, the number of core disciples under the age of fifteen was scarce. The only ones that could participate and had some hope of being selected were He Caitou and Huo Yuhao. Thus, Fan Yu had directly removed all those students that didn’t have any chance of passing the preliminary round. With that, the number of participants had dropped even more. And since he was a core disciple of both departments, Huo Yuhao could use soul tools during the test! This was a great boost to his fighting capability.

After consulting with the professors and receiving some pointers from Fan Yu, Huo Yuhao started to create a Class 2 soul tool that would suit him. He had only three days to improve his equipment.

For the sake of saving time, as soon as he finished his class, he decided to bring all the parts back to the dormitory. He was
planning to assemble his soul tool while acting as a protector for Wang Dong, who would absorb the soul bone from the auction in the meantime.

As soon as he opened the dormitory door, he was welcomed by a burst of warm and comfortable golden light that almost made him jump out of his skin. He quickly closed the door behind him.

In the middle of their dorm room, Wang Dong was earnestly inspecting the Golden Light Left Arm Bone, which was hovering in mid-air. He seemed completely engrossed by it and didn’t even spare any attention to Huo Yuhao’s return.

Huo Yuhao sat beside him and also carefully observed the bone. Without the barrier of the stall, one could completely experience the awesomeness of this bone just by being near it.

It hadn’t been priced at 9.5 million Gold Soul Coins for nothing! It looked like an artificial sun as it hovered in the middle of the room. It’s warmth filled light had spread to every corner of the room and dispersed every shadow from every corner and nook. Apart from it’s warmth, the golden halo also radiated a faint pressure.

The most eye-catching parts were the fingertips. They was a pulsating strange reddish-gold light surrounding them which was continuously emitting a sharp ‘chi chi’ sound.

Huo Yuhao arrived behind Wang Dong and placed his hands on his vest. After that, he slowly poured his soul power into Wang Dong, activating their Haodong Power.

Wang Dong’s whole body shook as he finally came back to his senses.

“I’m here. You can start.” Huo Yuhao whispered.

“Fine.” Wang Dong didn’t waste time. He raised his left arm and activated the Haodong Power.

He had already examined the Golden Light Left Arm Bone for more than two hours. The more he looked at it, the more incredible it felt. The bone also seemed to have felt his gaze. The energy within it had started to rhythmically pulse in sync with Wang Dong’s breath. This made Wang Dong slowly enter a strange meditative state.

If he had to describe his relationship with this soul bone, the most apt description would be ‘like attracts like’.

When the soul power of his left arm came in contact the left arm bone, the reddish-gold light rushed toward him and started to twine around his arm.

Immediately, Wang Dong’s entire body was covered with the shining reddish-gold light. A rich, dense aura of warmth rose and surged about while Wang Dong exhaled deeply. Following which, he closed his eyes and stood there calmly, enjoying the fusion.

At this point in the fusion process, the Haodong Power was irrelevant. Therefore, Huo Yuhao slowly stopped pouring his soul power into him. After stepping around in front of Wang Dong, he looked at his satisfied face and felt that it was somewhat unfair.

They had both fused with a soul bone. But why was the difference so big?
“Idiot. This is called compatibility. This soul bone has a very high compatibility with his body. Therefore, the fusion will also be very simple and quick. On the other hand, what was your cultivation level when you merged with me? Moreover, I was still alive when we combined. It’s already a miracle that you succeeded at all.”  The Ice Impress said in a dissatisfied manner.

Huo Yuhao was startled, “Ice Impress! Skydream! Where did the two of you go?! Didn’t you hear me when I was calling you earlier? Why did the two of you keep ignoring me?”

Be it when he and Wang Dong were in danger or when he was in that awkward situation with Ma Xiaotao, these two intelligent soul rings had acted as if they didn’t exist.

The Skydream Iceworm said lazily, “If you rely on us for everything, how are you ever going to become strong? We can help you raise your strength but at the end of the day, the one that has to make the breakthroughs is you. Moreover, the more your cultivation rises, the more you’ll need to rely on yourself. If you can resolve the situation on your own, we’re unlikely to intervene. And you have to remember that we’re only soul rings, not your bodyguards. Our strength has long since merged inside your body. If you encounter a dangerous
situation, we’re as powerless as you in dealing with it. In the worst case, we’ll die together with you! That’s why you have to rely on your own power, and not on us.”

Although Huo Yuhao had already left them very satisfied, nonetheless the Skydream Iceworm and the Ice Empress knew that he would have to do way better if he wanted to become stronger and shock even them.

Huo Yuhao hadn’t really blamed them for their actions. Therefore, he immediately said in a somewhat ashamed manner, “I’m sorry. I didn’t think that someone would ambush us. I’ll be more careful from now on.”

The Skydream Iceworm said, “We have good news for you. You didn’t suffer in vain yesterday. Although that girl’s phoenix flames weren’t very pure, their temperature was still quite good. In addition, the benefits your body received from that Ten Thousand Year Whale Rubber were greater than what we had imagined. Therefore, we unsealed some more of our power and merged it with our soul rings and soul bones. Your soul power also increased a bit thanks to the Ice Impress giving you a part of her power. According to our calculations, all of your soul rings can now put out around 4200 years of power. The power of your skills has also slightly increased. However,
you’ll need to train even more now. The stronger the soul skill, the larger its consumption of soul power. If you don’t have enough soul power, it will all be for naught.”

As expected, it was very good news. Huo Yuhao was very happy. It was also the greatest benefit that these two sentient soul rings had brought him. Maybe, if he kept cultivating like this... one day, he wouldn’t need to use his imitation skill to have red soul rings! No one else could raise the strength of their soul rings, but he could!

“Awesome, thank you very much. I won’t slack off. However, I can’t cultivate tonight since I need to act as a protector for Wang Dong.”

The fusion between Wang Dong and the Gold Light Left Arm Bone went more smoothly than he had imagined. The entire process from start to finish was completed in less than six hours. The process came to an end as the last thread of reddish-gold light merged into his left arm.

Huo Yuhao didn’t sleep for the whole night. While acting as a protector for Wang Dong, he had also been assembling his Class 2 soul tool. Since acting as a protector was distracting, he
didn’t engrave the formation arrays. However, he still made a few accessories.

“Huuuu” After a long exhale, Wang Dong slowly opened his eyes. The reddish-gold light wasn’t flickering through his eyes anymore.

Huo Yuhao felt that Wang Dong’s disposition had changed a bit. Before, he had given off a gentle and refined feeling. But now, he seemed somewhat aggressive. It was rather similar to the feeling Ma Xiaotao gave off.

“How is it?” Huo Yuhao asked quickly.

Wang Dong nodded and replied, “I’ve succeeded.”

“Why don’t you try out your soul skill?”  Huo Yuhao asked curiously.

Wang Dong said, “First, tell me about your soul skill. I’ll try mine afterward.”
“You still remember!”  Huo Yuhao said with a smile, “Fine, I’ll tell you. The name of this skill is Domain of Perpetual Ice. It can reduce the temperature within a certain range. That day, those guys were frozen and fell from the sky as a consequence of this skill. What about yours?”

Wang Dong glared at him and responded, “It’s better if you look.” With that, he excitedly raised his left arm. The wings of the Radiant Butterfly Goddess tore the back of his shirt and slowly spread out. Then, his left arm was completely covered in a reddish-gold radiance.

The reddish-gold light was accompanied by a dragon’s roar as it pushed forwards. Afterwards, a layer of reddish-gold flames started to cover his wings. It seemed as if those already beautiful wings now had an additional outer garment, making them look even bigger. The entire room was filled with the aura of the Radiant Butterfly Goddess.

“It’s called ‘Golden Light’, and it’s an auxiliary-type skill. It can be used with any of my soul skills. I’m also unaware of its concrete ability. I’ll need to test it out. But it should have the ability to increase the destructive power of my light element.”
Huo Yuhao’s eyes lit up. “This soul bone skill can give you an overall power up. I think I’ve heard Teacher Wang say that an ability like this was very rare!”

Wang Dong, who was releasing the golden light, had an even more surprised look right now. “The restoration rate of my soul power seems to have increased as well. Just like you can feel your soul power slowly reducing when you release your martial soul, right now, I can feel my soul power slowly increasing. Although it’s not very clear, I can still feel it.”

Huo Yuhao grabbed Wang Dong’s hand. Their soul power mixed, transforming into Haodong Power. Immediately, Huo Yuhao also felt a dense light aura entering Wang Dong’s body, slowly helping him recover his soul power. At this time, his soul power was abundant. Therefore, it was difficult to feel the recovering soul power clearly.

Huo Yuhao manipulated his soul power and released several skills, such as Spiritual Detection, Spiritual Sharing, Spiritual Shock, and Spiritual Interference, to consume their Haodong Power.
Under these circumstances, the feeling became clearer. That dense light aura started to quickly pour into Wang Dong’s body. What made them even more surprised was that after once this light energy had poured into his body, no matter what skill it was, they all had an overall increase in power. The soul power of Huo Yuhao’s Mysterious Heaven Technique was fairly calm and didn’t cause any trouble either. Moreover, after mixing his power with Wang Dong’s and activating the Haodong Power, Wang Dong was also able to directly make use of this power. And now, under the effect of the Golden Light, they could even recover their Haodong Power.

This surprise was simply too pleasant for them. Regardless of how much the Golden Light amplified Wang Dong’s offensive capabilities, the simple fact that it could simultaneously restore their soul power was an enormous gain for them! Their combat strength in a prolonged battle would drastically increase now that they had this. Coincidentally, the Skydream Iceworm had brought up the issue of his soul power consumption in battle earlier.

“This is great news!” Huo Yuhao cheered, then immediately gave Wang Dong a big hug.

Wang Dong was dumbstruck when Huo Yuhao hugged him. His face reddened, but he didn’t resist, nor did he hug Huo Yuhao back.

Huo Yuhao didn’t feel that it was strange at all and smiled mischievously.  “Quick,  let’s  cultivate  together  to  see  if  this golden light has any effect on our cultivation.”
However, the facts proved that they hadn’t been possessed by the God of Luck. The golden light was only capable of helping them restore their soul power; it didn’t benefit their cultivation whatsoever. Despite this, their excitement didn’t diminish in the slightest. The core disciples’ qualification match would begin in two days, thus any increase to Wang Dong’s strength would be incredibly helpful.

The following two days were undoubtedly both tense and busy for Huo Yuhao. Besides his daily cultivation and studies, he also had to dedicate all of his energy to soul tool creation. For the sake of helping him progress faster, Fan Yu personally helped him create a few simple yet time-consuming components for a few of his soul tools. However, the formation arrays of the soul tools would still have to be personally done by Huo Yuhao. Fan Yu was very specific on this point. Even though he favoured Huo Yuhao, he was still a strict teacher.

Nobody knew how the core disciples’ qualification match would be carried out. Despite this, it was inescapable for all of the core disciples. Fortunately, they wouldn’t receive a punishment if they lost this match.

“Ding—” The class bell rang, signifying that their classes for the day had ended. The students from Class 1 immediately
began to relax when they heard the bell.

In Shrek Academy, managing to rise to second years from freshmen was equivalent to managing to pass through a strict filter; every single student left was of sufficient strength. Furthermore, now that they’d finished their studies as a first year student, they truly understood just how hard they’d have to work to remain students. Because of this, every single student was serious about their studies. If they didn’t work hard, it would only signify their expulsion.

Graduates from Shrek Academy were extremely popular on the continent, however graduating from Shrek Academy was easier said than done. Furthermore, this only referred to the outer courtyard.

Wang Yan tidied up his lesson plans, then said, “Those of you who are core disciples stay behind. I need you all to follow me to the Soul Duelling Area for a while.”

It’s  come!  The  spirits  of  the  core  disciples  present  were instantly aroused. They all knew that the qualification match was about to start. However, they hadn’t expected the test to be
held after class had ended. Since it was, their class time hadn’t be wasted at all.

The number of core disciples in Huo Yuhao’s generation was extremely high; it was slightly higher than the previous generations. Class 1 alone had eight, while Class 2’s Dai Huabin, Xie Huanyue, Zhu Lu, and Wu Feng—as well as Class 3’s Ning Feng—made for a total of twelve core disciples. This was an extremely rare sight in Shrek Academy’s outer courtyard.

The combined total of third year and fourth year core disciples was around this number.

When they left the classroom, Huo Yuhao immediately saw Dai Huabin, Xie Huanyue, Zhu Lu, and Wu Feng leaving their class together as well. Their teacher in charge, Mu Jin, lead them as they left.

Dai Huabin naturally saw Huo Yuhao as well, and a cold light flashed through his eyes when he did. He concealed his own emotions very well however, as he simply looked away from Huo Yuhao as they left. He didn’t even spare him a second glance. Though his status as a core disciple hadn’t changed,
he’d still received a strict warning from the college. He’d also just found out that the corpses of the six experts who’d died in battle had been sent back to the White Tiger Duke’s Mansion. Furthermore, this had all been done in the past two days. Fortunately, his father hadn’t returned yet, thus his mother had been able to keep everything under control. If she hadn’t, he’d have had to suffer his father’s wrath.

Due to this, even though the rancor in his heart had deepened, his only choice was to hide it in the depths of his heart and not reveal any of it. Shrek Academy had already given the White Tiger Duke’s Mansion quite a bit of face, despite not possessing any concrete evidence. Considering the academy’s power, did the fact that they didn’t have any concrete evidence really matter? At the very least, having him expelled wouldn’t trouble the academy in the slightest.

Dai Huabin was similarly terrified once he realized the consequences of his actions. He couldn’t afford to affect his future prospects just for the sake of some petty revenge.

Ning Tian—who hadn’t been seen in ages—glanced at Huo Yuhao the moment she came out from Class 3 just like Dai Huabin.
The twelve core disciples of Year 2 left the teaching building as they followed the three teachers and headed towards the Soul Duelling Area.

Huo Yuhao saw a few familiar faces when they neared the Soul Duelling Area.

His senior brother Bei Bei, Xu Sanshi, and Jiang Nannan appeared in his line of sight; all of them were Year 5 core disciples. The most conspicuous of them were still the twin stars, Bei Bei and Xu Sanshi. The core disciples of Year 5 naturally weren’t limited to the three of them, but they were the only ones who hadn’t had their fifteenth birthday yet. They were, without a doubt, the strongest amongst the core disciples of the outer courtyard.

Soul Elders were very common in the outer courtyard, but there were very few students below Year 5 capable of reaching the four-ringed rank.

Advancing from a Soul Elder to a Soul Ancestor was much more difficult than advancing from a Soul Grandmaster to a Soul Elder. This point alone was enough to demonstrate Dai Huabin’s extraordinary talent. He hadn’t even turned thirteen,
yet he’d already reached Rank 37. He was absolutely at the forefront of Shrek Academy. This was also one of the main reasons the academy hadn’t been willing to give up on him so easily. However, his path to the inner courtyard had temporarily been sealed away. It would depend on whether or not he could explode out with an even greater amount of strength, such that it moved the academy’s upper echelon, if he wanted to reopen this path. Shrek Academy wasn’t owned by Huo Yuhao, and while it was true that his Ultimate martial soul had attracted the academy’s attention, it wasn’t as if the academy would give up on other talents because of him. Of course, Dai Huabin still had to suffer punishment for doing something malicious. As such, it had become much harder for him to enter the inner courtyard.

In reality, there weren’t any other four-ringed core disciples besides Bei Bei’s group of three. The third and fourth year core disciples began to arrive in succession, but He Caitou was the only core disciple of the Soul Tool Department to arrive. The final number of students participating in the match was twenty-seven, but the second year students occupied half of these spots.

Students from different classes stood behind their teachers in charge and waited silently. Though this test had come about somewhat mysteriously, and even though there wasn’t any
punishment if they did badly in it, anyone who could become a core disciple was quite gifted amongst their peers. Naturally, the more talented one was, the more confident one would be. None of them were willing to give up easily.

Dai Huabin stood there, eager to give it a go. He’d reached Rank 37, thus he wasn’t really afraid of the core disciples from the higher year groups. From his point of view, this was an opportunity he could use to prove himself. Even though the teachers hadn’t explained the benefits they’d receive if they entered into the top 7, the academy definitely had its own motives.

At that moment, a swaying figure slowly walked towards the Soul Duelling Area. His swaying appearance gave the impression that he could fall down at any time.

Huo Yuhao revealed a trace of astonishment on his face when he saw him. Wasn’t that Elder Xuan? Even though a large portion of his face was covered by his messy hair, the signature calabash of alcohol in his left hand and the chicken leg in his right immediately revealed who he was. Besides Elder Xuan, Huo Yuhao had never seen a person within Shrek Academy act like this.
Elder Xuan unsteadily walked towards the group of students, then raised his head with an intoxicated look in his eyes. “Little Wang.”

“Elder  Xuan.”   Wang  Yan  hurriedly  stepped  forward  and bowed respectfully.

“Is everyone present?” Elder Xuan asked.

Wang Yan replied, “Everyone’s arrived. There are a total of twenty six core disciples from the Martial Soul Department between Year 2 and Year 5, while only a single person has come from the Soul Tool Department.”

“Oh.  Let’s  head  in  then.”   With  that,  Elder  Xuan  turned around and wobbled his way into the Soul Duelling Arena.

Most of the core disciples had never seen Elder Xuan before. Because of this, a large number of them had doubts in their heart. Dai Huabin couldn’t help but whisper to Xie Huanyue, who was beside him, “Who’s this drunkard?”
Xie Huanyue shook his head, but didn’t reply.

The Soul Duelling Arena looked like it usually did, except for the fact that there were no other teachers or students present.

Elder Xuan walked all the way to the middle of the Area before he stopped. The core disciples also stopped, along with their teachers.

Elder Xuan spoke in a muffled voice, “Listen up you brats. The test you’re about to take is extremely simple. I call it the Collective Chaotic Battle. It will be held in this Soul Duelling Area, and you’re free to attack whenever and however you wish. There are no rules in this competition. If you surrender or are rescued by a teacher, you’ll be eliminated. The last seven people will be the victors of this battle. Alright, I’m done explaining. Teachers, get ready. Once this old man gives the signal, you can start fighting.”

“Even this sort of thing is possible?”  The students present couldn’t help but look at each other in shock when they they heard Elder Xuan’s words. They’d never seen a test like this before. There were twenty-seven people here! Furthermore, everyone here had different cultivations and specialties! How
would they be able to test anything on a chaotic battle like this?

The teachers naturally wouldn’t disobey Elder Xuan’s order, thus they left the Soul Duelling Arena one by one.

Elder Xuan didn’t wait for the students within the Area to react as he suddenly raised the bottle gourd in his hand and shouted, “Begin!”

With a ‘whoosh’, Elder Xuan’s figure vanished, which left only the twenty-seven core disciples of the outer courtyard in the Soul Duelling Arena

The sudden change in events truly happened too fast, thus the students present momentarily paused when they heard Elder Xuan’s shout. Immediately afterwards, all of them made a different decision.

Huo Yuhao’s reaction was extremely quick: He immediately stretched his hands out and grabbed both Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao’s hands. Afterwards, a light erupted from his back, and he shot towards Bei Bei with the two of them in tow.

Chapter 62: The Chaotic Preliminaries


How exactly could a chaotic battle involving several tens of people be conducted? Considering that the participants ranged second- to fifth-year students, there was inevitably a large gap in their cultivations. This difference wasn’t something that could just be made up with numbers.

Even if five or six people were to simultaneously attack Bei Bei, Xu Sanshi, and the rest, they still wouldn’t be able to take them down! As such, almost everyone began to form alliances once the battle had started.

Huo Yuhao didn’t form a team with the other Class 1 students. First off, they couldn’t be considered to be well coordinated. Second, all of them were only second year students. In a chaotic battle such as this, they wouldn’t have any chance at winning even if they all teamed up.

Huo Yuhao’s first choice was to find his senior brother, as it was cooling to rest under a large tree.
Bei Bei naturally understood Huo Yuhao’s intention, as he growled, “Sanshi, Nannan, let’s work together.”  All three of them were fifth year students with four soul rings; it would be extremely easy for them to be attacked from all sides. Furthermore, their relationship was extremely subtle. A large number of people thought that Bei Bei and Xu Sanshi were rivals, yet in reality they were extremely good friends. At the same time, even though Jiang Nannan didn’t have a deep connection with them, she naturally wouldn’t make a bad decision considering their situation. Moreover, she was good friends with Tang Ya.

Other than Huo Yuhao’s group, who’d decided to make do by themselves, the other students had all looked for companions that were near them. Dai Huabin, Xie Huanyue, and Zhu Lu naturally decided to form a team together. Afterwards, they dragged their classmate Wu Feng and the nearby Ning Tian into their team in order to form a small, five-man team.

The other third and fourth year students formed their own teams, while the Lan sisters naturally formed a team with Huang Chutian. On the other hand, Zhou Sichen and Cao Jinxuan decided to follow Huo Yuhao’s trio, and rushed towards Bei Bei. The two of them were extremely clever; when they’d witnessed Huo Yuhao reveal his astonishing amount of talent, they’d naturally understood that, at the very least, no
harm would come from following him. Unfortunately, they weren’t him, nor did they possess something like his soul thruster. The two of them were immediately left behind as soon as he accelerated with the use of his soul thruster.

Of everyone present, the only person who hadn’t found a team was the tall and sturdy He Caitou, who was also the only core disciple from the Soul Tool Department participating in the event.

While the others scrambled to form teams, he stood there like a steel machine. A large number of tube-shaped pieces of metal began to appear all over his body, which caused him to resemble an enormous steel hedgehog. Despite the many tubes that had appeared, the most terrifying things on his body were still the two enormous, thigh-sized cannons on his shoulders. Even if some of the students from the Martial Soul Department didn’t know that they were stationary soul tools, they were still able to sense a terrifying sensation of crisis from them.

He Caitou had followed Fan Yu for a long period of time, as Fan Yu was the who’d brought him to Shrek Academy. The instant that the large number of soul tools appeared all over his body, two yellow and two purple soul rings rose up from
beneath him and simultaneously lit up. Impressively, he’d managed to become a Soul Ancestor-ranked expert.

After all of the metallic tubes had emerged from his body, He Caitou mercilessly launched a volley of attacks towards the area that held the largest number of people...

Over twenty beams of light suddenly emerged from his body towards his target, and the ripples of soul power that instantaneously exploded outwards stunned everyone present.

Zhou Sichen and Cao Jianxuan were the most unlucky of those he’d targeted, as they had to bear the brunt of the terrifying volley of light. The barrage of attacks he sent towards them came too suddenly, and moved too fast for them to dodge. Furthermore, as an attack launched from a soul tool, it hadn’t had any starting signs. This was also their first time facing one, thus they were somewhat stunned for a brief period of time.

The moment they were about to be hit, the two of them felt their bodies suddenly lighten. Immediately afterwards, they felt themselves soar into the sky and vanish from the battlefield.

“The  two  of  you  are  eliminated.”   The  smell  of  alcohol assaulted their noses as Zhou Sichen and Cao Jianxuan’s found that, to their astonishment, they were now hovering in the air beside Elder Xuan, and a faint halo of light had covered their bodies.

A loud explosion then rang out from the ground beneath them.

The might of twenty soul tools was simply astonishing. Amidst the violent explosions, everyone other than Zhou Sichen and Cao Jianxuan—who’d been directly eliminated— hastily dodged to the side.

He Caitou hadn’t launched his attack for nothing. In fact, he’d done it for the sake of his little junior brother. If he hadn’t, why would his attack have perfectly collided with Zhou Sichen and Cao Jinxuan? Huo Yuhao made use of He Caitou’s covering fire to smoothly reach Bei Bei’s group of three with Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao.

“Senior brother He, this way.” Huo Yuhao waved towards He Caitou once he’d reached Bei Bei, then immediately began to
release his powerful auxiliary abilities.

Huo Yuhao’s eyes lit up with a faint golden color as his Spiritual Detection Sharing instantly enveloped Wang Dong, Xiao Xiao, Bei Bei, Xu Sanshi, Jiang Nannan, and He Caitou.

Of the six of them, Xu Sanshi and Jiang Nannan were the only ones who hadn’t experienced Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection before. As such, the two of them were immediately astonished when they were enveloped by it.

It had to be known that his Spiritual Detection would grow even stronger as his cultivation increased. Even though it couldn’t yet envelop the entire battlefield, it could still cover a large portion of it. A three-dimensional image appeared in all of their minds, afterwhich every single action their surrounding opponents were taking or were about to take was transmitted into their minds via the analysis of Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection. This wonderful sensation of total control was something that no soul master would refuse.

Bei Bei gave Huo Yuhao a big thumbs up, then took a large step forward. He stamped the ground with his right foot, which caused a loud ‘boom’ to ring out. The sonorous cry of a
dragon rang out from his body as he activated the mighty Blue Lightning Tyrant Dragon.

Xu Sanshi also took a step forward, and a dense flow of black air swirled around his body as he raised his enormous Shield of the Xuanwu Turtle. However, when he did so, his expression suddenly became strange.

“Bei Bei, did you use this when you won that Mysterious Water Pill from me? I was wondering how you’d become that fierce. You were cheating.”

Bei Bei shot a glance towards the indignant Xu Sanshi, then replied  indifferently,  “Either  way,  my  junior  brother  has already eaten it. What’re you gonna do about it?”

“I’ll settle things with you once we’ve finished this up,”  Xu Sanshi retorted angrily.

Next to Bei Bei, who was standing in front alongside Xu Sanshi, stood Jiang Nannan. On the other hand, He Caitou stood behind Bei Bei, while Xiao Xiao and Wang Dong stood next to each other behind him. The last in line was Huo Yuhao.

“We only have seven people, just the right amount.”  Huo Yuhao’s quiet voice rang through the ears of everyone near him. The meaning behind his words was clear; only seven people could pass, and they had seven people in their team. As such, they wouldn’t have to distract themselves with any infighting.

“Make your move!”  Bei Bei let out a low shout, then took large strides forwards. He had a plentiful amount of battle experience, and it would be impossible for the four Soul Ancestors on their team to not attract any intention. As soon as the others noticed that they’d teamed up, they’ld undoubtedly gather all of their strength in order to attack them. Right now was the best time for them to strike in order to gain the upper hand.

However, every single participant was a core disciple. As such, none of them were dumb. The instant that Bei Bei took a step forward, a fourth year core disciple let out a loud shout, “Everyone, let’s combine our strengths to deal with that team of four-ringed seniors!”

The words ‘four-ringed seniors’ were extremely effective towards getting the other eighteen student’s attention. When
they heard that person’s reminder, all of them immediately came to their senses and rapidly closed in on Bei Bei’s team.

Seven versus eighteen? Everyone present was a core disciple! Even though Bei Bei’s team had four Soul Ancestors, Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao were still slightly weaker than them. They simply didn’t have any chance of winning.

Bei Bei immediately made a quick decision, stopped his charge, and shot to the right. When he did so, Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection transmitted Bei Bei’s intention to all of the members in their team.

There were a total of six students from two teams to the right, all of whom were third year students. At that moment, they simultaneously released their martial souls. All of them were three-ringed experts, and all of them had an optimum combination of two yellow soul rings and one purple soul ring.

Their reactions were extremely quick, as each of them attempted to release their respective soul skills concurrently. However, they suddenly felt their minds go blurry for a second, which caused their movements to slow by half a beat.
They couldn’t tell who’d made a move, but Huo Yuhao’s companions—who were under the effect of his Spiritual Detection Sharing—could sense that he’d released a soul skill.

Bei Bei took the lead and charged mightily into the six soul master’s formation, but he was immediately met by two assault-type soul masters.

The long hair of the person on the left turned orange, and his body doubled in size. His martial soul turned out to be the King of the Beasts: The Lion. Immediately afterwards, a pair of enormous palms met Bei Bei’s charge. The martial soul of the person on the right was a lance, which turned into a ray of light as it shot towards Bei Bei’s chest like a viper. Evidently this wasn’t their first time working together. With one person standing in the front and the other person attacking from behind, they were extremely well coordinated. The lance- wielding soul master who was in the back made his move last, but his attack arrived first; his sharp lance shot straight towards Bei Bei’s body.

Bei Bei wasn’t afraid in the slightest as he faced their attacks. He let out a shout, and countless electric serpents surged from his body. They didn’t just envelop the two soul masters in front
of him, they also enveloped the other four soul masters behind them.

At the same time, the poignant sound of a flute rang out, which caused the speed of everyone that wasn’t on Huo Yuhao’s team to decrease. Xiao Xiao had chosen to release her Ninephoenix Worshipping Flute at the most appropriate time.

Bei Bei grabbed the sharp lance that was approaching him with his left dragon claw, which created an intense flurry of sparks. He then swept out with his right claw and sent the three-ringed assault-type master with the Lion martial soul flying.

Jiang Nannan jumped into the air soundlessly as this happened. She was simply too quick, such that even her figure couldn’t be seen. She chose to make her move, aided by Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection, at the perfect time. The instant that the soul master who possessed the Lion martial soul flew into the air, his neck was clamped between her legs. She then twisted her waist and sent him flying away from their team.

The most important combatant among the six soul masters was naturally the one with the Lion martial soul. He was in charge of taking on Bei Bei’s attacks in order to win some time for his teammates to surround them. However, he didn’t think that a group of Soul Ancestors would be this strong. He’d been sent flying after trying to use just a single soul skill. Moreover, Jiang Nannan had shown mercy. Otherwise, she could’ve easily snapped his neck due to the difference in their power. Despite that, he flew into the air and joined the ranks of people standing next to Elder Xuan after being thrown by Jiang Nannan.

Xu Sanshi chose this moment to make his move. He entered the fray from Bei Bei’s other side, and his enormous Shield of the Xuanwu Turtle suddenly grew in size and simultaneously blocked the skills of two agility-type soul masters and a control-type soul master. This was done in order to let Bei Bei focus all his power on attacking.

At the same time, the outcome of the battle between the lance-wielding Soul Elder and Bei Bei was revealed. In front of Bei Bei’s Thunderous Dragon Claw, his opponent could only
last for three seconds before being forced to join his teammate by Elder Xuan’s side.

The soul masters in the rear naturally wouldn’t just sit and watch while Bei Bei and the rest continued their onslaught. And out of them, the fiercest team was Dai Huabin’s temporary team.

The effectiveness of Ning Tian’s Seven Treasures Glazed Pagoda revealed itself again. With her support, the strengths of Dai Huabin, Xie Huanyue, Wu Feng, and Zhu Lu were all raised by a single tier. The four of them charged simultaneously, shooting towards Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao like an arrow, with Dai Huabin and Xie Huanyue spearheading the attack while Wu Feng and Zhu Lu flanked them.

Huo Yuhao and the rest were all at the back, while Bei Bei and Jiang Nannan were currently fighting. As a result, a hole had naturally formed in the rear of their formation.

Huo Yuhao paused, then revealed a brilliant smile towards Dai Huabin and the other people who were charging towards him. Right then, several dozen rays of intense white light shot out to intercept them.

With the accurate aim of Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection, every Soul Ray perfectly intercepted the movements of Dai Huabin and the rest of his team.

Among the ranks of these core disciples, the person who was the strongest in terms of combat strength and offensive power wasn’t Bei Bei, nor was it Xu Sanshi. Rather, it was the person who’d just stepped through the threshold of a Class 4 soul engineer, He Caitou.

Under the Soul Emperor rank, soul engineers would have an advantage over soul masters of the same rank. Moreover, He Caitou was Fan Yu’s first inheriting disciple and was hence one the best among his peers in terms of his attainments in the field of soul tool creation. This could easily be seen from the might of his soul tools. His soul tools were at least 20% stronger than those made by soul engineers of the same rank in both offensive and defensive capabilities.

Even Xu Sanshi wasn’t confident that he could survive He Caitou’s all-out barrage of attacks head-on. When facing a soul engineer, a similarly ranked soul master could only do one thing, that was, to do their best to consume their opponent’s soul power in order to have a chance of winning.

The instant Bei Bei, Xu Sanshi, and Jiang Nannan released their attacks, He Caitou was already aware of them due to Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection and had changed his strategy accordingly. Because of this, they weren’t worried about the rear of their formation at all. At the very least, for the time being, there was no chance of anybody breaking through the barrage of He Caitou’s firepower.

Naturally, he wasn’t omnipotent. With his current cultivation, he didn’t dare to rashly release long-range attacks. Otherwise, the drain on his soul power would be too large. A soul engineer who had no soul power was equivalent to a tiger with no fangs.

A stationary soul tool was naturally an exception to this but if He Caitou actually dared to use one of them in a test, Fan Yu would definitely not forgive him.

“Form  a  line  and  charge!”  A  fourth-year  student  made  a quick decision and shouted as he took the lead. He was also a defense-type Soul Elder, and he pushed his arms forward, causing them to immediately expand and become unusually thick. A purple thousand year soul ring around his body
flickered, and thick scales began to form on his arms. He strode forward and blocked He Caitou’s barrage of attacks.

Though this was their first time working together, they were elites of Shrek Academy’s outer courtyard. Even a single warning would be sufficient to make them change their plans. The panicked group of people who hid behind the defense-type Soul Elder formed an orderly line and charged forward.

This defense-type Soul Elder naturally wasn’t comparable to He Caitou, but he was able to temporarily block the latter’s attacks by relying on his defensive skills. All he needed to do was help the people behind him approach Huo Yuhao’s group.

He Caitou reacted in a composed manner, and proceeded to stop his attacks in a composed manner. As he did so, an enormous cauldron blocked the path of the defense-type Soul Elder.

One of the advantages of advancing in single file was the fact that the range of attacks a team had to withstand would be greatly diminished. Even if He Caitou launched an arced attack, the destructive power of that attack would be greatly decreased. However, advancing in single file had its
disadvantages as well. For example, the situation they were in right now. The moment the person at the front of the line was blocked, everyone behind him would have to stop as well. Moreover, a chaotic situation involving collisions of the people behind him could occur.

The people who charged forward felt a slight amount of dizziness flood their minds, and it seemed as though their surroundings had become somewhat illusory.

Huo Yuhao had activated his Spiritual Interference once more.

Spiritual Interference was absolutely not a useless skill. Although it wasn’t especially effective, the slight dizziness caused by it could often change the situation of a battle. Furthermore, the greatest advantage of this skill lay in the fact that the user wouldn’t suffer any backlash no matter what.

An enormous vertical eye soundlessly appeared at the other end of the orderly line and began to flash with a dazzling golden light. As the enormous Radiant Butterfly Goddess embraced and fused with the vertical eye, the golden light blossomed outwards.

The fusion of blue, purple, and gold formed a horizontal halo of dazzling light that left a brilliant Golden Road wherever it passed through. Following that a fantastic scene occurred, the orderly row of twelve core disciples were instantly dyed gold as the golden light passed through them.

Right, they had fallen into Huo Yuhao’s schemes from the very start. As a spiritual control-type soul master, merely releasing his Spiritual Detection wasn’t enough, he was controlling the flow of the entire match.

Regardless of whether it was Dai Huabin, Xie Huanyue, Wu Feng, Ning Tian and the others who were familiar with him, or the third and fourth-year students who were unfamiliar with him, absolutely none of them had thought that the two-ringed and three-ringed duo would be able to pose a threat.

Their attention had been drawn towards the four Soul Ancestors, Huo Yuhao had relied on this, in addition to He Caitou’s powerful offensive capabilities, in order to lure them into a single line. Then, he and Wang Dong released their powerful fusion skill without any hesitation at all.
A Golden Road Amidst Withering Resplendence.

Even the six-ringed Soul Emperor who’d tried to kill them the other day had fallen into his trap, so naturally these core disciples who hadn’t even reached the four-ringed rank didn’t stand a chance.

As the twelve golden statues stood there, some of the students with weaker cultivations such as the Lan sisters and Huang Chutian began to fall into a critical condition.

The astonished Elder Xuan descended from the air and waved his right hand, causing a pure-white ray to envelop the bodies of every frozen student. Every student the ray landed on softly collapsed to the ground one by one.

The three-ringed students were comparatively better off as they were only left in an extremely disheveled state with their clothes corroded and their martial souls temporarily sealed. A large amount of their soul power had been consumed by the corroding Golden Road. However, the other two-ringed Soul Grandmasters had all fainted. If it weren’t for Elder Xuan reacting in time, there was a chance that their lives would’ve been at risk.

Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong never thought that their Golden Road would be this effective and were briefly stunned by its effects. Over on the other side, Bei Bei, Xu Sanshi, and Jiang Nannan had also dealt with their six opponents. Impressively, the Soul Duelling Arena was only left with the seven of them.

He Caitou had his mouth wide open from astonishment, and so was Bei Bei’s group of three.

The four Soul Ancestors had never thought that the test would actually end like this. The most decisive move in this battle had actually been Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s.

Furthermore, there was even a pair of twins among their opponents who could release a fusion skill. However, their glory had all been overshadowed by Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s ‘A Golden Road Amidst Withering Resplendence’.

Dai Huabin was rendered speechless.

Ever since he’d lost to Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao in the finals of the freshmen assessment, he felt very
unresigned. He’d always felt that he was much stronger than the three of them.

However, only now did they realize that Du Weilun’s initial evaluation after blocking both of their fusion skills had been impartial. The Golden Road formed by Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong was truly something that their Netherworld White Tiger was unable to compare against. Though Dai Huabin didn’t understand why this was the case, he still knew that he had thoroughly and completely lost after experiencing the evaporation of half of his soul power.

Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong glanced at each other. Other than happiness, what else could they see in each other’s eyes?

The strength of a fusion skill was intimately related to the synergy between the two parties. Their Golden Road wasn’t stronger than the Netherworld White Tiger in terms of the soul skills used, but rather in terms of the compatibility rate their martial souls had. The rarity of a 100% compatible fusion skill was even rarer than an Ultimate martial soul! Only, nobody had asked them about it.
Their cultivations had been steadily rising. Every single one of Huo Yuhao’s soul rings had quietly risen to the 4200 year rank while Wang Dong had obtained the Golden Light soul bone. When compared to the day they’d been ambushed, their cultivations had increased by another level. Furthermore, the cooldown period between each use of the Golden Road had decreased to three days. Though all of their soul power would be drained with each use of the skill, the recovery ability of the Golden Light Left Arm Bone was currently helping the two of them recover their soul power as they held hands.

With his cultivation, Elder Xuan only needed a glance to assess the current state of affairs. When he confirmed that no one had been severely injured, he relaxed. He then waved towards the people on the edge of the stage.

Wang Yan, Mu Jin, and rest of the teachers immediately came over.

All of the teachers had witnessed the battle just now. When they gazed at Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong, they felt as if like they were looking at two monsters. Even in this academy of monsters, there shouldn’t be someone so monstrous. One of them had two rings, while the other had three. And yet, somehow they’d been able to defeat twelve opponents whose cultivation weren’t inferior to their own.

“Those that have been eliminated can head back. You seven, stay behind.”  Elder Xuan took a bite of his chicken leg when he’d finished. Behind the mass of chaotic hair that covered his face, a strange light flickered through his eyes. He carefully observed Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong.
The students that had fainted were able to regain consciousness with the help of the teachers. Many of them revealed dissatisfied expressions on their faces when they came to. Indeed, many of them hadn’t even had enough time to display their full potential before they’d been eliminated.

Therefore, even when they heard Elder Xuan’s words, none of them left. Instead, they all silently gazed at him.

Elder Xuan took another bite from his chicken leg, then snorted and said, “Are you all not convinced yet? If you're not convinced of something in the future, you’d better show it with your strength. Do you think that this chaotic battle was unfair? Do you think that it was unfair that you couldn’t display all of your abilities amidst all those people, and that you therefore lost in an inconceivable way?”

None of the core disciples replied, but their answer was clear.

Elder Xuan curled his lips and continued, “Was it really that unfair? In a chaotic battle, everyone has to fight for themselves. When you’re on the battlefield, do you have the luxury of picking the number of opponents you have to face, or the conditions of the battle? No, you don’t. However, in a
chaotic battle like this, you all do at least have the same starting point. As such, you won’t find yourself in an immediately hopeless situation. With your current mindsets, none of you are qualified to become inner courtyard disciples. To tell you the truth, this ‘unfair’ chaotic battle is the best way to assess your actual strength. In this short chaotic battle, I was able to see how well each of you collaborates with others, your individual strength, and even your moral character. The saying that ‘those that act in accordance to justice and morality will be widely supported’ is utter bullshit. If you want someone’s help, you’ll need to have good relationships with others. Of course, you’ll still need enough strength. However, a person who can’t communicate is bound to be unsuccessful.”

“A test that consists of a chaotic battle is an extremely common thing in the inner courtyard. If you can’t even adapt to the situation, what qualifications do you possess to an inner courtyard disciple? Do you know what the most difficult situation encountered the inner courtyard disciples have faced is? Once, twelve inner courtyard disciples encountered a hundred thousand year soul beast when the teacher wasn’t present. Eight of them died in battle. However, the four that survived now stand at the peak amongst the inner courtyard disciples. One of them even obtained the soul ring and soul bone of that hundred thousand year soul beast. Don’t make mistakenly think that everything will be fine just because you’re studying at Shrek Academy. If you want to become

strong, you’ll have to face life and death situations several times, even while inside the school.”

Elder Xuan’s tone was very flat. However, his words contained a formidable amount of spiritual power, which pounded into the hearts of the core disciples like a hammer.

“You should stop thinking that you’ll become inner courtyard disciples just because you’ve managed to become core disciples of the outer courtyard. Even if you do manage to become one, don’t think of it as something great, as that’s just the starting point; a starting point that can decide your life and death. Do you know what the first thing students do when they become inner courtyard disciples is? They sign a contract of life and death. The only way you can become capable of making the impossible possible is by throwing away all regard for your life and your death. Only then will you be able to become a top-level soul master. Regardless of your family background, once you became an inner courtyard disciple of the academy, you’ll become a real member of Shrek Academy. That means that, for your entire life, you’ll carry Shrek Academy’s mark. However, at the same time, it also means that you’ll also face mortal danger every day. You might lose your life at any time. While you’re still in the outer courtyard, your security can essentially be guaranteed. However, if you manage
to enter the inner courtyard, you’ll face all kinds of terrifying tests.”

“Do you know how Shrek Academy managed to become the number one academy on the continent and how it managed to not fall over the past ten thousand years? It’s all thanks to the efforts of the inner courtyard disciples. It’s extremely rare for there to be more than fifty inner courtyard disciples. This is because every year, someone dies. Now then, does anyone still have any questions?”

Elder Xuan’s voice had become even colder than normal towards the end. Based on his speech, the core disciples of the outer courtyard had come into contact with the world of the inner courtyard for the first time. It didn't give them hope, but rather somewhat stirred them up and gave them a solemn feeling when they thought about Shrek Academy's glory.

All of their previous resentment had vanished into thin air. Afterwards, all of the core disciples who’d been eliminated lowered their heads and left the Soul Dueling Area one after another. Every single word said by Elder Xuan had been deeply engraved in their hearts; they wouldn’t forget any of them for the rest of their lives.
Wang Yan bowed deeply towards Elder Xuan and said, “Thank you for teaching these disciples an important lesson.”

Elder Xuan took a swig of alcohol and faintly said, “I only explained to them how the world works.” At that time, no one noticed that his eyes had teared due to the mass of chaotic hair that covered his face.

When those twelve disciples of the inner courtyard had faced that hundred thousand year soul beast alone, he had been the teacher leading them! Eight of them had died in that battle. This was both one of the saddest and one of the most heroic moments in Shrek Academy’s history. Even now, he couldn’t help but blame himself for the accident. From that moment on, he’d begun to drink heavily, and had given in to despair. He, who had once been Shrek Academy’s number one genius, had fallen into despair. Originally, he was supposed to take over the positions of Dean of the Martial Soul Department and Master of the Sea God’s Pavilion. However, given his circumstances, the Sea God’s Pavilion had remained under Elder Mu’s command.

Even after so many years had passed, the pain he felt was still buried deeply in the depths of his heart.
No one blamed him for the accident. However, he simply couldn’t forgive himself.

Currently, only Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, Xiao Xiao, Bei Bei, He Caitou, Xu Sanshi and Jiang Nannan were left inside the Soul Dueling Arena.

The seven of them quietly stood in a row. None of them bothered Elder Xuan, as they’d all been deeply affected by the sad atmosphere. Even though they’d prevailed over the others, their hearts felt extremely heavy at the moment.

Up until now, Shrek Academy’s glory had never had anything to do with the outer courtyard disciples, which a lot of people felt was strange. However, they now realized why that glory belonged exclusively to the inner courtyard: The inner courtyard disciples had used their blood to gain their glory. Currently, a fire had begun to burn in their hearts. This was the so-called ‘passing of the torch’. They too hoped to inherit a portion of the inner courtyard’s glory.

Bei Bei, Xu Sanshi, and Jiang Nannan—who were already Year 5 students—had all fallen deep into thought. After all, they were very close to entering the inner courtyard.

Elder Xuan slowly turned around and said to the seven, “Every  one  of  you  should  have  heard  about  Shrek’s  Seven Monsters, right? In the front door of our academy, you can find the sculptures of the founders of the academy, and those of the original Shrek’s Seven Monsters. Do you know how the original Shrek’s Seven Monsters gained their reputation?”

At that time, none of them even thought of interrupting Elder Xuan. They chose to keep listening in silence.

“At that time, the head of the Golden Iron Triangle, the Four- eyed Eaglecat Flanders, had just established Shrek Academy,” Elder Xuan said in a grave tone, “however, there weren’t many teachers, and the number of students was even fewer than the number of teachers. As such, Dean Flanders proposed that the academy only accept monsters, and that they should disregard the average person. Later on, this became the academy’s slogan. Nonetheless, finding monsters wasn’t an easy task. It was only when the original Shrek’s Seven Monsters appeared that the academy had the opportunity to rise.”

“They gained the title of Shrek’s Seven Monsters for several reasons. One of them was because they were monstrous geniuses that hailed from Shrek Academy. Furthermore, they
were also the only students of the academy at the time. However, the most important reason, and also the reason that caused our academy to become famous, is because they represented the academy at the Elite Continental Soul Master Tournament. When the tournament began, nobody thought much of Shrek Academy. Back then, the academy was still unknown. However, Shrek’s Seven Monsters relied on their
strength to defeat all of their opponents and to barge into the
finals. The opponents they faced in the finals came from the then-powerful Martial Soul Hall. And then, even though they were weaker than their enemy, Shrek’s Seven Monsters still managed to obtain the final victory under Ancestor Tang San’s lead. That day, the foundation that would lead our academy towards becoming the number one academy on the continent was finally laid down. At the same time, the first generation of Shrek’s Seven Monsters became famous.”

“To thank the first generation of Shrek’s Seven Monsters for their contributions, the academy chooses a new group of Shrek’s Seven Monsters every five years. These seven will then represent the academy in the Continental Advanced Academy Soul Duelling Tournament, which is held every five years. The Elite Tournament part was changed to Soul Dueling Tournament alongside the appearance of soul tools. However, this great event has a different meaning from the past.”
“Originally, the Sun Moon Empire was defeated due to the coalition of our three great empires. However, our three empires also suffered heavy losses. For several thousand years now, the Sun Moon Empire has done its best to research and develop new soul tools. As such, their strength has continuously risen as a result. At the end of the day, the three empires are exactly what their names imply: Three different
empires. The three of them aren’t of the same mind. If the Sun Moon Empire hasn’t made any moves yet, it’s because they can’t completely assure themselves that they’ll win. As long as our Shrek Academy remains standing, they won’t dare to act rashly.”

“I'm absolutely not bragging when I say this. If the Sun Moon Empire really wants to dominate the continent, the one they’d need to deal with isn’t the Star Luo, Heavenly Soul, or Dou Ling Empire, but rather our Shrek Academy. This is because only our academy has the power to rally the three empires together, and to make them resist the Sun Moon Empire. Only we have enough power to deal with the Sun Moon Empire’s top-ranked soul tools.”

“The Sun Moon Empire wouldn’t dare launch a full-scale war just to test our strength either. However, they’re constantly trying to probe it. And the best method for them to do so is exactly through the Continental Advanced Academy Soul
Duelling Tournament. Therefore, our real opponent in this tournament is the Sun Moon Empire’s Imperial Soul Engineering Academy.”
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