Book 14: The Finals!
Chapter 123.3: Dark Phoenix Transformation!
What was happening? Everyone was shocked. No one expected Ma Xiaotao to be so powerful. Even the Heavenfiend Lonestar was not entirely able to resist Ma Xiaotao's black flames.
After Huang Jinxu announced the end of the competition, a figure burst out from Shrek Academy's waiting area and came to the competition stage.
"Xiaotao, calm down." Elder Xuan's deep voice rang out.
Ma Xiaotao seemed to shiver before her body started to tremble quickly. It seemed as if she was in a lot of pain.
Elder Xuan lifted his palm and slapped her neck. Ma Xiaotao's hands moved a little, as if she was trying to resist. But in the end, she didn't lift them, and Elder Xuan slapped her to the ground.
Elder Xuan grabbed ahold of her, and an intense yellow radiance shot out from his body. Ma Xiaotao was engulfed by this yellow radiance, but the black flames on her body's surface continued to surge tremendously. It resisted Elder Xuan's soul power and wouldn't allow itself to be suppressed.
Elder Xuan's face turned serious as he jumped down from the competition stage and returned to the waiting area.
Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong and Wang Yan went up to him.
Huo Yuhao wanted to take Ma Xiaotao from Elder Xuan, but Elder Xuan released a layer of yellow light that blocked him.
Huo Yuhao was stunned, "Elder Xuan, I'm the one who suppresses the evil fire for elder sister every time!"
Elder Xuan shook his head and he looked dismal. "It's not just the effect of the evil energy. Her martial soul was greatly agitated, and a serious transformation has occurred. I'm afraid…"
Wang Yan was horrified, "Elder Xuan, are you saying that Xiaotao…"
Elder Xuan nodded his head slightly, and a look of lamentation flashed across his face.
Wang Yan said frantically, "What do we do then? Is it because of the Sun Moon team's soul tool? Do we settle the score with them?"
Elder Xuan shook his head and said, "It's useless. Although the transformation in Xiaotao's martial soul was sparked by their soul tool, their soul tool couldn't have affected her after the transformation. Xiaotao is in a really unstable condition now. I can only help to suppress her transformed martial soul using my soul power. We can only wait until we return to the academy. Let's see if Elder Mu has any other methods."
Huo Yuhao was confused, and he asked in a panic, "Elder Xuan, what's wrong with elder sister? I'm the Ultimate Ice. Can I help her?"
Elder Xuan looked at him and sighed, "If your cultivation were around Xiaotao's level, there might be a chance. But you're too far away from her. You'll be engulfed by the black flames if you try. Xiaotao is in big trouble now. She may even become an evil soul master if things go awry."
"What?" After hearing the words 'evil soul master', Huo Yuhao realized how serious things were. Ma Xiaotao's phoenix flames had actually experienced such a huge transformation. No wonder Elder Xuan couldn't help her even though he was extremely powerful.
Elder Xuan was filled with torment. "The Evil Phoenix is already a top-ranked martial soul. This transformation is indeed very great. However, the evil energy in her body has completely evolved after being stained by the power of darkness. But this evolution is also towards darkness. Her mind has also been greatly affected by this evolution. Her black flames have already risen to the level of Ultimate Fire, but it's one that is filled with darkness and evil. Her cultivation has been propelled to at least Rank 70 too. If she really becomes an evil soul master, she can't be stopped by an ordinary Titled Douluo with her current cultivation and the black flames.
Huo Yuhao was stunned, and he could not help but moan, "Elder Sister." He had only acknowledged Ma Xiaotao as his elder sister for a few days. After losing his mother, he'd always believed himself to be an orphan. Now that he had finally found himself an elder sister, his elder sister was about to become an evil soul master. He was filled with sorrow and fury.
The Heavenfiend Douluo did not rush both parties to start the next round of the competition. That's because the damage done to the competition stage was too great. Ma Xiaotao's black phoenix flames burned for a whole minute before disappearing. If repairs weren't made, the competition couldn't continue. A few extraordinary earth-type soul masters were carrying out the repairs right now.
After this battle, the tragic aura had become thicker and thicker. Everyone who had watched the fight had difficulty breathing. Although Shrek had emerged victorious, their strongest soul emperor was in trouble. The last round between both sides with limited team members left was about to begin too. If Shrek lost, they would likely lose the glory of champions too.
Elder Xuan sighed and said, "Forget it, let's forfeit."
Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong and Wang Yan were all shocked when he said that.
Tears streamed down Elder Xuan's aged face, "Kids, all of you have contributed greatly to the academy. How can we send the both of you to die? Xiaotao is the strongest, but even she's hurt. If something happens to the both of you, it'll be a catastrophe for Shrek! We can't let the both of you continue fighting for the academy's pride and glory anymore."
"No, Elder Xuan. We want to fight." Huo Yuhao said determinedly. As he looked at the unconscious and tormented Ma Xiaotao before turning to the rest of his team members who were hurt, Huo Yuhao's eyes burned with a strong fighting will.
"Elder Xuan, we were all conflicted when we first came to Star Luo City to compete. None of us were even from the official team then. The entire squad was made up of preparatory team members. Shrek's glory has supported us in our journey, and supported us in the tough times that we've faced. We're all filled with the will to fight. This glory doesn't belong to the academy alone; it belongs to every one of us too. As long as Shrek's glory remains, Shrek's camaraderie remains too. Many of our seniors have sacrificed themselves for this glory. Our partner has also collapsed for Shrek's glory. They're all without any regrets. We've given our all for this glory. If we forfeit, we'll be safe, but our hearts will not be satisfied. For Shrek's glory, for the Tang Sect's glory, for all of our team members who came to compete, and for ourselves, we must fight this battle. We must even win it."
Huo Yuhao was resolute and decisive when he said those words. His face even turned pale because he clenched his fists so hard as he spoke.
Wang Dong's eyes flashed with a resolute and determined radiance as he stood beside Huo Yuhao. Both of them had the same thought. What Huo Yuhao said was exactly what he felt.
Elder Xuan opened his eyes again. As he looked at this pair of lovely kids, he took in a deep breath. He even bowed to the both of them. "I understand now. I don't have the right to stop the both of you. But the you need to know that you are Shrek's pride and heroes no matter the result. Once we return, the academy will confer this glory to all of you. All of you have left an important mark in Shrek's history. I only have one request, that is to protect yourselves. If I sense any potential dangers that might incapacitate the both of you, I won't hesitate to stop this match."
"Yes!" Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong cheered. Huo Yuhao lifted his hands, and Wang Dong lifted his hands to grip Huo Yuhao's. It was not just Haodong Power that circulated through their bodies at this instant. A strong fighting will and resolve also filled their bodies.
Wang Yan took in a strong, deep breath. He only stopped when his lungs felt a piercing pain. He tried his best to calm himself down.
He tried not to choke on his voice as he looked at Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong.
"Yuhao, Wang Dong, the two of you are about to face Xiao Hongchen and Meng Hongchen. You have already witnessed what they are capable of. The first thing to deal with is Meng Hongchen's poison. If you can't do that, I won't let you compete no matter how determined you are today."
Wang Dong was hesitant, but Huo Yuhao said decisively, "Teacher Wang, I can do it."
Wang Yan heaved a sigh of relief and nodded. "That's good. Although they are powerful, they are both still injured. Their fighting wills are definitely beneath yours. I have already presented a strategy for the both of you. You must believe in yourselves and try your best. Yuhao was right when he said that we can't lose at this stage. Just give everything you have. Come on."
As he spoke, Wang Yan extended his hand. Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong also stacked their hands above his.
There was nothing more to say at this point. At this stage of the competition, one's fighting spirit and will were even more important than one's power.
The competition stage was already prepared, and the Heavenfiend Douluo had also calmed down.
"The second match of the 2-2-3 round shall commence. Both teams, please send your competing members up."
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong looked at each other. They could see themselves in each other's eyes. They were about to compete in the most uneven final of the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament's history