“Mom, I’ll help you dry the clothes.” A delicate seven or eight-year-old child strenuously hugged a large wooden bucket and unsteadily walked out of the courtyard to dry the clothes outside.
A beautiful, middle-aged woman stood in the courtyard as she looked at the figure of the youth, a gratified look in her eyes. She muttered to herself, “My Yuhao has truly grown up. He’s become more and more thoughtful.”
The little Yuhao carried the wooden bucket and left the courtyard with much difficulty. When he passed through the passage in front of him, he’d be about ten steps form the clothes-drying area.
Right at that moment, a large force suddenly slammed into his body from the side, viciously pushing his body, along with the bucket, to the ground, causing the clothes which had just been cleaned to immediately scatter on the ground.
“You bastard, do you not have any eyes? Didn’t you see that the young master has returned? Screw off.” An overbearing voice rang out. The little Yuhao endured the pain he was feeling, only to see eight strong-looking guards standing by either side of the pathway. The person who’d just knocked him down was a guard, and a youth-who was wearing a white robe embroidered with the pattern of a white python-walked towards him.
The youth looked extremely handsome, and he had two pupils in his eyes. In addition to that, he gave off a noble and aloof feeling. There was a stern look in his eyes, however he didn’t even spare a glance towards Huo Yuhao until he stepped on a piece of clothing that had been dirtied by the mud.
“Hmm?” The white robed youth stopped and glanced coldly towards Huo Yuhao. “Beat him up.” With that, he quickly walked away, as if he was scared of dirtying his eyes.
Two of the eight guards immediately ran towards the little Yuhao, then began to viciously beat him up.
Huo Yuhao had only been eight years old at the time, so how could he even have the energy to resist? Hearing the commotion going on outside, Huo Yuhao’s mother had rushed out from the courtyard and used her own body to shield her son while bitterly begging the guards to stop. However, the mother and son duo were beaten to within an inch of their lives before the two guards finally stopped.
Huo Yuhao was still young at the time, so his recovery ability was a bit stronger than his mother’s. However, his mother’s body was already weak from an illness that had accumulated over her many years of hard work. Furthermore, the beating she’d received this time had left her with extremely severe injuries. After two years, she fell gravely ill, and then eternally left the world.
Three years had passed, and he’d grown much older. However, even though this was the case, Huo Yuhao would never forget his pair of indifferent eyes, nor his cold voice from that time.
It was him; he was the main culprit who’d caused his mother’s death. Redness gradually filled Huo Yuhao’s eyes. He clearly saw those striking twin pupils that signified the direct descendants of the Duke’s Mansion. And that person was the youngest son of the Duchess. In other words, he was his half-brother; he was the person who’d caused the death of his mother. He was Dai Huabin.
Dai Huabin’s face was as cold as ever. Even as he stood before Dean Yan Shaoze, he didn’t lower his proud head. Unlike the other students who’d stood before the Dean, he was much calmer. Only his tightly clenched fists revealed the restlessness in his heart.
He’d clearly forgotten who Huo Yuhao was. That’s right! Even though he’d brought a calamity down upon Huo Yuhao and his mother at that time, he’d never recognised him as his half-brother.
“Team Dai Huabin, Lot Number 1.” After Du Weilun made his announcement, Dai Huabin returned to his team. Huo Yuhao’s emotions calmed down by quite a bit when he was no longer able to see Dai Huabin’s face. The current him needed Wang Dong’s support to even stand firmly on the ground.
Wang Dong was filled with shock. This was the first time that Huo Yuhao had ever been so emotional, and he was completely unsure as to what had happened to him. However, it was certain that this had something to do with that Dai Huabin.
“Yuhao, Yuhao, calm down. What happened to you?” Wang Dong softly consoled him.
As the lot-drawing continued, nobody noticed the change in Huo Yuhao’s expression. Only when the lot-drawing had ended did Huo Yuhao manage to regain his composure. However, Wang Dong could still feel his body trembling. Furthermore, this was the sort of trembling that only occurred when one’s emotional state had reached its limit!
“Can you still fight?” Wang Dong asked, concerned. There was no time left to ask ‘why’, as the semifinals were just about to start.
Huo Yuhao took a deep breath, then forcefully restrained the pain he had in his heart as he softly nodded. “I can. Just now, what number did Dai Huabin get?”
Wang Dong furrowed his brows. He didn’t even hear such a loud announcement? The change in his emotions was that great?
“He drew a one. If we fight against them, it’ll be during the finals. Earlier, I heard someone say that he was the last three-ringed Soul Elder left in the freshmen assessment.”
“A three-ringed Soul Elder?” A cold light flashed through Huo Yuhao’s eyes. “Right! A three-ringed Soul Elder? He’s had so much support and so many resources; why wouldn’t he be this outstanding? Come, let’s go finish our match.”
At this moment, Huo Yuhao seemed to have regained his composure. The trembling on his body and the violent emotional fluctuations he’d been experiencing completely vanished. Wang Dong felt as if everything that had just happened were just figments of his imagination. However, he knew that they definitely weren’t hallucinations! Chapter 28.1: Synergic Cooperation, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong Achieve Victory
Huo Yuhao had buried his hatred for Dai Huabin in the very depths of his heart. It had already turned into a driving force for him, and as such he was willing to go to any lengths to get revenge for his mother. However, this was Shrek Academy, and he wanted to stay here in order to become even stronger. The revenge he wanted wasn’t just a simple massacre either-he wanted to console his mother’s soul in heaven. He knew what his mother’s greatest wish was; it was something that she hadn’t even dared to hope to accomplish while she’d been alive. However, Huo Yuhao still aimed to complete it. Because of that, he couldn’t just throw everything away just for revenge. Regardless of whether or not he could defeat Dai Huabin, he couldn’t throw away his life’s greatest wish for a single person. If the truth were to be exposed, he might not be able to continue studying at Shrek Academy. Therefore, he could only endure; he could only bury his hatred and use his own method to obtain revenge.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s opponents during the semifinals were three Soul Grandmasters from Class 10. Moreover, they possessed somewhat strange martial souls.
Even though their opponents didn’t have any three-ringed Soul Elders on their team, they definitely still weren’t weak. After all, they’d been able to stand out from the masses and reach their current positions.
The three freshmen from Class 10 were all boys that had heroic and exuberant appearances.
“Class 10, Zhou Sichen. I’m an assault system Soul Grandmaster.”
“Class 10, Long Xiangyue. I’m an agility system Soul Grandmaster.”
“Class 10, Cao Jinxuan. I’m a control system Soul Grandmaster.”
Their resounding and forceful voices were a manifestation of their confidence. They didn’t have any traces of fear in their eyes as they faced Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong.
“Class 1, Huo Yuhao. I’m a control system Soul Master.”
“Class 1, Wang Dong. I’m an assault system Soul Grandmaster.”
Due to Wang Dong’s breathtaking performance during their previous match, the proctor-who could be considered the judge of the semifinal round-had been switched to a roughly sixty-year-old elder. He gave off an extremely strong aura simply by standing there, showing that he was an extremely strong existence. He was clearly an especially strong teacher that’d been sent out to prevent any accidents from occurring during the match.
“Match, start!” As soon as the proctor announced it, the semifinals officially began. At the same time, an intense clash had also begun in Arena 1, where Dai Huabin was.
Since it was only the two of them left, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong couldn’t move far away from each other; they clearly understood that they didn’t have any chance of victory in a 2v3 situation without using their Haodong Power.
This time around, Huo Yuhao stood in front, while Wang Dong stood behind him. Afterwards, the two of them simultaneously released their martial souls. Wang Dong then folded his wings around Huo Yuhao, enveloping him within them like a mat awning.
Their opponents had clearly done some research on their battle styles. Considering Wang Dong’s sudden explosiveness in yesterday’s match, they’d paid a large amount of attention to him. As such, their opponents instantly released all of their strength the moment the match started.
However, the agility system Long Xiangyue didn’t charge forwards straightaway. Instead, he quickly hid behind Zhou Sichen’s back. Surprisingly, Cao Jinxuan did the same as well, causing the three of them to stand in a straight line.
In that instant, their strange martial souls appeared.
A white light shone as as a book appeared within Zhou Sichen’s hands. At the same time, both of his hundred year soul rings lit up, causing the book’s pages to flutter open and release two rays of light in succession. These rays of light then congealed in front of him.
This was Zhou Sichen’s special Tool Soul, the Treasure Bible.
Normally speaking, book-type martial souls were trash souls that very few people had been able to successfully cultivate. However, Zhou Sichen had a variant martial soul; his Treasure Bible had even given him Rank 7 innate soul power. Furthermore, he could directly absorb the energy of any soul beast he killed for its soul ring, whenever his soul power reached a bottleneck. Most importantly, he had no attribute restrictions for his soul rings, so he could absorb and utilise the abilities of any soul rings he absorbed. In other words, he could use an ice-type soul skill one moment, before using a fire-type soul skill the next. It was an extremely unusual Tool Soul.
At that moment, he’d released two soul skills, which had in-turn formed two beasts. One of the beasts he’d summoned was a bear covered in yellow light, while the other was a fierce tiger covered in flames.
Ever since he’d obtained his Treasure Bible, Zhou Sichen’s goal had been to become an assault system soul master. Because of that, even though he could choose any soul beast to become his soul ring, he’d only chosen ones that had assault system soul skills. This was all for the sake of his dream of becoming an assault system soul master.
The bear and tiger duo hurriedly rushed in front of the three, then roared towards Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong.
However, the person standing behind him wasn’t the agility system Long Xiangyue, but the control system Cao Jinxuan. Cao Jinxuan had a look of concentration in his eyes, and was emitting a distorted halo of light. Even people standing next to him would think that he looked somewhat blurry. However, despite that, an exquisite clock had quietly appeared above his head.
The clock itself was horseshoe-shaped, and its white body was roughly half a meter tall. Its watch face was round, and a rotor engraved with golden patterns lightly swayed beneath it. After the clock appeared, both of Cao Jinxuan’s hundred year soul rings seemed to have become a part of his body, causing them to rhythmically sway in-sync with the clock.
Zhou Sichen’s Treasure Bible was already something rare, but Cao Jinxuan’s clock was a rarity amongst rarities; his martial soul was known as the ‘Time Elapsing Clock’, and its rarity amongst Tool Souls wasn’t inferior to Wang Dong’s Radiant Butterfly Goddess.
The three were simultaneously moving together, so naturally, Long Xiangyue couldn’t be lacking compared to the other two. He’d maintained a relatively large distance from Cao Jinxuan, but they were still in a straight line. Despite being an agility system soul master, he unexpectedly possessed a Tool Soul as well. After releasing his martial soul, an enormous boomerang appeared in his hand. One ‘side’ of the boomerang was more than a foot long, so it looked somewhat imbalanced in the hands of Long Xiangyue, who hadn’t even turned twelve.
After the boomerang appeared in his hand, Long Xiangyue paused slightly for a moment. Immediately afterwards, he bent his body backwards, then abruptly swung his body back towards the front as he sent the boomerang flying out. In the instant that he made his move, both of his soul rings lit up.
However, his expression suddenly changed the instant he made his move, as his originally clear judgement had suddenly turned vague.
Their three-man formation was undoubtedly specialised to fight against Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong; how could the two of them simply sit there and watch without doing anything?
Of the five people in the arena, the first person to have released their soul skill had actually been Huo Yuhao.
The instant he’d seen their opponents line themselves up, he’d known that they wouldn’t be able to pull off the same trick against them. Regardless of who he was fighting against, Huo Yuhao would always release his Spiritual Detection Sharing in the first possible instant that he could. It was practically undetectable, yet it was able to give them an extremely large advantage. Chapter 28.2: Synergic Cooperation, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong Achieve Victory
Because of that, the agility system Long Xiangyue was struck by Huo Yuhao’s soul skill the instant he threw out his boomerang. The skill he was struck by was one of the four soul skills that came from his first soul ring-Spiritual Interference.
His Spiritual Interference’s strength was much weaker than his Spiritual Shock’s, so much so that it could practically be disregarded. Even Wang Dong hadn’t sensed that Huo Yuhao had released it. In order to conceal the fact that he’d released an all-new soul skill, Huo Yuhao didn’t allowed Wang Dong to touch him, so that he didn’t use it with their Haodong Power. Instead, he’d made sure to release his Spiritual Interference with his strength alone.
The interference that occurred for a split second caused a his consciousness become somewhat blurry for a moment, however at that moment, Wang Dong had enveloped him within his wings, thus protecting Huo Yuhao.
The boomerang shot through the air, carving a beautiful arc through the air as it flew towards Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong. From the intense light released from the boomerang, as well as the two soul skills that had been added to it, it was obvious that it couldn’t be blocked easily. However, it was still disregarded by the two of them.
Wang Dong had revealed his strength in the previous match, but the main character in this match was now Huo Yuhao.
The instant Long Xiangyue threw out his boomerang, an intense purplish-golden light shot out from Huo Yuhao’s eyes, who was mostly concealed within Wang Dong’s wings.
Zhou Sichen only heard a muffled groan from behind him. Immediately afterwards, the Time Elapsing Clock that had just been released instantly disappeared; Cao Jinxue hadn’t even had the chance to release a soul skill. Under Long Xiangyue’s astonished gaze, Cao Jinxue collapsed to the ground unconscious.
However, Huo Yuhao was able to control the strength of his Haodong Power-boosted Spiritual Shock after his experience with it last time. Thus, Cao Jinxuan only fainted-he wasn’t injured like Ning Tian had been.
Cao Jinxuan’s martial soul had seemed rather unusual, and he was even a control system soul master. In Huo Yuhao’s opinion, he was the most dangerous of the three. Thus, he hadn’t hesitated to use Haodong Power to instantly take care of him. After all, not every soul master would possess a defensive martial soul as perverted as the Rubberdon. Cao Jinxuan wasn’t an exception to this. Defenseless, he instantly fainted.
“Pu–” The boomerang struck the ground a foot away from Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong. The sharp aura it emanated startled even Wang Dong, and even though he didn’t know what Long Xiangyue’s soul skills were, he was stupified to discover that it’d be extremely difficult to block it without taking any damage if he were to clash with it head-on.
Zhou Sichen glanced backwards and opened his mouth, astonished. He’d clearly been standing in front of Cao Jinxuan, but he’d still been knocked unconscious. Just how had their opponents done it? Naturally, he didn’t know of the existence of something like Huo Yuhao’s Spiritual Detection. As long as one was in his detection radius, they wouldn’t be able to hide from him; not even if they flew into the air or hid underground.
However, as a team leader, Zhou Sichen was able to remain extremely cool-headed. After being startled for a brief moment, he instantly knew that he couldn’t keep guarding himself. Both the Earthen Bear and Devilflame Tiger he’d summoned roared simultaneously before they charged towards Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong.
The boomerang that had landed beside the two of them disappeared, then reappeared in Long Xiangyue’s hand.
This time around, Long Xiangyue became more vigilant and concentrated as he prepared to throw the boomerang again. After covering himself with dense soul power, he threw it.
Huo Yuhao only had a single soul ring, and wasn’t willing to expose the fact that he possessed his Spiritual Interference soul skill. However, for him to disrupt a prepared soul master without the assistance of the Haodong Power would be an extremely difficult task. This time around, the boomerang had completely locked onto him.
This was Zhou Sichen’s original plan. From the understanding they had towards Huo Yuhao’s team, they were able to faintly guess towards the importance of this one-ringed soul master. Thus, he’d wanted Long Xiangyue to go all-out and take care of Huo Yuhao before they did anything else. As long as the referee sensed that Huo Yuhao wouldn’t be able to take his blow, he’d directly remove Huo Yuhao from the match. After that, they could join forces to fight against Wang Dong, which would practically be a definite win for them.
However, Huo Yuhao completely ignored his boomerang. Under the strength-amplifying abilities of the Haodong Power, the purplish-golden light shot out from Huo Yuhao’s eyes again, this time towards Zhou Sichen.
After Cao Jinxuan’s sudden fainting, how could Zhou Sichen not be careful? He’d done the same thing as Long Xiangyue; he circulated his soul power around his entire body, especially his brain. He did all of this just to protect himself from Huo Yuhao’s spiritual-type soul skill.
Unfortunately, he was fighting against a skill powered by Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong’s combined efforts. How could his Spiritual Shock-equivalent to an attack from a Soul Elder-be so easily defended against?
The instant that purplish-golden light shot out from Huo Yuhao’s eyes, Zhou Sichen’s head suddenly rocked backwards, as if he’d suffered a heavy blow. Immediately afterwards, his body followed suit.
From his Spiritual Detection, Huo Yuhao was able to tell that he’d guarded himself against spiritual-type attacks. Because of that, his Spiritual Shock this time was at full power.
Zhou Sichen knew what his opponent was intending to do, yet he’d still been unable to do anything about it. However, the defense of an assault system soul master was relatively strong, and although the attack was able to knock him down, he hadn’t yet fainted. He had, however, lost control of the two soul skills his Treasure Bible had released, resulting in the two beasts suddenly stopping in the middle of their charge towards Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong.
The instant he released his second Spiritual Shock, Huo Yuhao shouted, “Teacher, save me!”
The boomerang had already crossed half the distance between Long Xiangyue and Huo Yuhao, and it was just about to reach Huo Yuhao. However, Wang Dong didn’t protect him; he unfurled his wings instead. An intense, golden light began to appear on his dazzling blue wings. This was his second soul skill, the Light of the Butterfly Goddess. At that exact moment, the Haodong Power that had originally been in Huo Yuhao’s body, rushed into Wang Dong’s body, rapidly filling it up.
When he heard Huo Yuhao’s cry of help, the proctor naturally couldn’t simply ignore him. When a student cried out for help during the freshmen assessment, it signified that he’d given up and would no longer attack.
A black figure flashed, and the boomerang appeared in the hands of the proctor. Nobody saw the proctor release his soul power or a soul skill, yet the light from the boomerang had already vanished.
At that exact moment, Wang Dong released his Light of the Butterfly Goddess.
Right. After crying out for help, Huo Yuhao hadn’t even attempted to defend himself, so much so that he’d even withdrawn his martial soul, causing the single white ring around his body to disappear. Nobody could claim that he was breaking the rules, but in reality, he’d transferred all of the Haodong Power they’d created to Wang Dong.
Immediately afterwards, the orange tinted golden light devastated the entire arena.
The referee, who’d just caught the boomerang, had no choice but to make a move yet again. He released an enormous umbrella, which instantly expanded outwards. Only then was he able to block Wang Dong’s Light of the Butterfly Goddess, which was a bombarding attack that lasted for three seconds. He knew that both the collapsed Zhou Sichen and Cao Jinxue, along with Long Xiangyue-who’d just released his boomerang-were simply unable to block Wang Dong’s attack.
Team Huo Yuhao had won yet again, allowing them to advance to the finals. Chapter 29.1: The Two Deans
As the match going on in the other arena magnificently continued, the semifinal match in Arena 1 had already ended. The time it had taken for Team Huo Yuhao’s match to end was much shorter than anyone had expected.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong had won again. Even though they were lacking a team member, they’d still been able to win the two matches afterwards, allowing them to progress directly from the top 8 to the top 2.
Although this match had ended very quickly, they were still lacking a person, which had made it a very narrow victory. If it weren’t for their Haodong Power playing an extremely crucial role in their matches, they wouldn’t have even had a chance at winning. If this were a life and death match, it would be very hard to tell who would’ve won.
Huo Yuhao had used the rules to his advantage, which had allowed him to escape unscathed from the boomerang due to the proctor’s protection. However, what if there there hadn’t been a proctor? Wang Dong would’ve had to block Long Xiangyue’s attack for him. Furthermore, Huo Yuhao wouldn’t have been able to activate his Spiritual Shock on Zhou Sichen in a situation like that. Once his two summoned beasts joined the battle, it would’ve become hard to predict the outcome.
Their change in tactics, in addition to the appearance of Huo Yuhao’s four soul skills, had allowed them to barely eke out a victory. However, nearly all of their skills had been exposed. Huo Yuhao had already used his Spiritual Shock multiple times during the knock-out tournament, thus their future opponents would definitely be vigilant towards it.
The freshmen assessment was only designed to test the cultivation of a student’s martial soul. However, modern soul masters were always equipped with soul tools during combat, and there was no lack of extremely defensive soul tools. At many times, the advantages a martial soul had would actually become disadvantages because of this.
Despite this, a victory was still a victory. After defeating Zhou Sichen’s team of three, Team Huo Yuhao had formally entered the top 2. They were guaranteed to at least obtain second place, which also guaranteed them a prize.
As soon as the match ended, they immediately left the Assessment Area and went back to their dorm room. It was highly probable that their last opponent would be the team from Class 5 that Dai Huabin led. As to whether or not Xiao Xiao would recover in time for the match, Huo Yuhao wasn’t clear. However, a spark had already been lit in his heart; he had to win this next match.
Once they got back to their dorms, Wang Dong couldn’t help but ask, “Yuhao, what happened to you before the match? Did you recognise that Dai Huabin?” Huo Yuhao’s reaction when saw Dai Huabin had been extremely strange. The normally-calm Huo Yuhao had almost lost control of himself; how could Wang Dong not be baffled?