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Book 12: The Strength of the Preparatory Team
Chapter 104.3: Reaching the Semifinals

In the quarterfinals, Shrek Academy was fortunate enough to obtain an excellent pairing. They were selected to go against the weakest of the top eight teams, who was not unfamiliar to them. The team was from Justsky Academy, who had once created much trouble for Huo Yuhao and the rest.

The final results were to be expected. Even without Ma Xiaotao, Dai Yueheng, and Ling Luochen, Shrek had been able to obtain victory. Now, with two soul emperors and a soul king, there was no question about the results of this round. Justsky Academy was completely trashed, as Shrek trampled over them and entered the top four.

At this point, the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament was nearing its end, which was also its high point.

In the room, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong were cultivating through meditation. They were becoming increasingly skilled at using their Haodong Power, and the effects of the Golden Light Left Arm Bone were further amplified by their Haodong Power.

The soothing yet vast Haodong Power would first pass through Huo Yuhao's body, and then through the Mysterious Heaven Technique, it would enter Wang Dong's body. The entry point into Wang Dong's body was his left arm.

The Golden Light Left Arm Bone, upon being triggered by the Haodong Power, would immediately give off a powerful absorptive energy. This allowed the element of light to enter Wang Dong's body and the Haodong Power. Then, as it passed from Wang Dong's body, it would follow his cultivation method and exit after cycling through his body into Huo Yuhao's body.

The entire process was like the Yangtze River, slow but never once stopping. With each cycle of cultivation their soul power completed, their cultivation would increase.

As Wang Dong had surpassed Rank 30, his overall soul power was much stronger than Huo Yuhao's. Hence, his soul power increased more compared to Huo Yuhao's. Both of them could feel that if they continued cultivating like this, their soul power would catch up to Dai Yueheng's in just one or two years.

As the Haodong Power circulated, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong's bodies would emit a pale, golden glow. Ever since the two of them had experienced the various combinations of their martial souls, their ability to cooperate as a team was further perfected. Now, as the Haodong Power circulated, it was as if the two of them had become one.

"Knock, knock, knock." Suddenly, a knock could be heard on the door, which jolted Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong from their cultivation.

Wang Dong frowned unhappily and said, "Who is it? Why have they disturbed our cultivation?"

Huo Yuhao inhaled and together with Wang Dong, he retracted his soul power. "I'll take a look," he said. Then, he leapt off the bed and opened the door.

It was Wang Yan. The moment Wang Yan opened the door and saw Huo Yuhao, he was startled too. This was because he could clearly see that Huo Yuhao's eyes shone with a clear golden light. Despite him being a soul king, he felt as if he Huo Yuhao could see through him.

"Sorry for disturbing your cultivation," Wang Yan apologized.

When Huo Yuhao saw that it was him, he rushed to the side and said, "Teacher Wang, please come in."

Wang Yan replied, "There's no need for that. Come with me, Yuhao." With that, he turned and left.

Wang Dong naturally heard the exchange between the two of them. He jumped off the bed and said curiously, "I wonder why Teacher Wang's looking for you. Go with him!"

"Aren't you coming?" Huo Yuhao asked.

Wang Dong said, "Teacher Wang saw me just now, but he only called you. Evidently, he does not want me around. Go by yourself, I'll rest."

The two of them exchanged a gaze, and an amused look crossed their eyes. After cultivating together for so long, the camaraderie between the two of them had become increasingly obvious. Sometimes, they knew what the other was thinking with only a single glance.

However, both Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong could feel that there was a forbidden zone in their counterpart's heart. No matter how close they became, they could never touch on these taboos.

Huo Yuhao waved to Wang Dong and left the room. Wang Yan was waiting for him in the corridor. When he saw him, he led him to his room.

After he closed the door, Wang Yan summoned Huo Yuhao to the study table in the room and then said in a low voice, "Look."

On Wang Yan's study table, there was a carving knife etched with ancient patterns. Next to the carving knife, there was a ring that had already been sliced in half.

Huo Yuhao had seen this ring before. Normally, Wang Yan wore it on his finger. This was his storage-type soul tool. However, right now, it was completely destroyed. Huo Yuhao, with his eyes of a soul engineer, could see that its formation arrays had been destroyed. As for the carving knife that was giving off an icy aura, wasn't it the Soul-Devouring Carving Knife that was Rank 99 on the Carving Knife Leaderboard?

"Teacher Wang, this…" Huo Yuhao said in shock.

Wang Yan said, "My storage-type soul tool was a Rank 4 soul tool. However, I didn't expect that it couldn't take the power of the Soul-Devouring Carving Knife. Earlier, I could feel a violent aura from the Soul-Devouring Carving Knife coming at my storage-type soul tool, but I didn't give it much thought. However, this morning, I found it split in half, completely destroyed. The carving knife continued to give off a brutal, terrifying aura. I felt a dark, gloomy aura enter my body when I touched it. I was only able to expel it after circulating my soul power for half a day."

When he said that, Huo Yuhao suddenly understood why Wang Yan had such a terrible expression. A Class 4 soul tool was not cheap! No wonder he felt a pain in his heart when he saw that it had been destroyed. However, this Soul-Devouring Carving Knife was powerful indeed, till the point where even a storage-type soul tool couldn't take it.

"Yuhao, last time you said that you had a way of subduing it. Try it. If you succeed, it's yours. However, you must be careful. I will protect you, but you have to stop if you feel that something is amiss."

A Class 4 soul too was the best item that Wang Yan had on him. The Soul-Devouring Carving Knife was indeed evil, and the impact of carrying it oneself directly was too great. Helpless, he could only look for Huo Yuhao, who had previously sworn that he could take care of it.

"Alright, I'll try," Huo Yuhao said gleefully. Despite Electrolux's personality, he had already asked him more than once to retrieve this Soul-Devouring Carving Knife. This was a testament to its importance. Originally, he had thought that he would have to wait until he returned to the Academy. However, he did not expect Wang Yan to give him a chance now.

"Electrolux, Electrolux," Huo Yuhao tried to wake Electrolux, who was in his Spiritual Sea. However, right now, all three inhabitants of his Spiritual Sea were asleep. None of them responded to his call.

Huo Yuhao felt a sense of helplessness. If he did not try now, he did not know when would he next have the opportunity to do so. A smile crossed his face. If Electrolux would not wake up, then he would force him to get up.

As he thought about that, Huo Yuhao had already released his spiritual detection toward the Soul-Devouring Carving Knife. However, this time, he did not act rashly. Instead, he was cautious, but not fearful. He wasn't afraid of the backlash from the Soul-Devouring Carving Knife. While his own powers were nothing remarkable, as he was just a two-ringed soul master, his spiritual power was respectable. While his own spiritual power was nothing much, he had a million year soul beast with the spirit attribute, a powerful person from another world, and one of the Ten Great Savage Beasts in his Spiritual Sea.

If the three of them couldn't help him overcome the spiritual backlash, very few people in the world would be able to help secure his Spiritual Sea.

The spiritual power of any soul master was greater than that of an ordinary mortal. However, only seven-ringed soul masters and above could control their own spiritual power, or use their spiritual power directly. The exception were soul masters like Huo Yuhao, who naturally had the spirit attribute.

His spiritual detection carefully landed on the Soul-Devouring Carving Knife. The moment it touched it, Huo Yuhao felt his body tremble violently. Everything before him turned black, and the Soul-Devouring Carving Knife appeared to have turned into an endless black hole. A crazy energy devoured his spiritual power, and an extremely dark and cold aura, brimming with terror, penetrated his Spiritual Sea through his spiritual detection.

The moment the terrifying aura entered, Huo Yuhao could feel his spiritual power being dissected. It was as if someone had cut it in half. It was a terribly uncomfortable feeling, as if his head were being forcefully sliced open.

If Huo Yuhao were acting alone, then this powerful aura would have injured him severely as it entered his Spiritual Sea. In fact, his Spiritual Sea might even have be damaged. However, he was not fighting alone.

The first to react was the Skydream Iceworm, who was the closest to Huo Yuhao.

Skydream woke up from his sleep, and while he did not know what had happened, he immediately rushed to defend his turf.

Huo Yuhao's Spiritual Sea was like his home, and he had a wife and kids in his home. The invasion from the Soul-Devouring Carving Knife was like someone kicking down his front door to steal his wife. How could he not be enraged?

Wang Yan stood by the side. His heart almost missed a beat when he saw Huo Yuhao's body trembling violently, and he almost acted to interfere. However, he quickly noticed that Huo Yuhao's two eyes shone with a dazzling gold light. Quickly, his two soul rings appeared on his body. The second one currently gave off the purple glow of a thousand year soul ring, while the first one was a glossy white with an intense golden halo at its center.

The terrifying aura that had sought to barge into Huo Yuhao's brain hit a stone wall. Immediately, it rebounded, and the knife itself made a pathetic whimper. It was vibrating slightly, and giving off a green gas.

Wang Yan stopped himself as he stared in shock at the gold on Huo Yuhao's first soul ring. He had never seen anything like this before, but he could feel the vast, unbridled spiritual power that Huo Yuhao gave off, which exceeded that of a soul king.

Book 12: The Strength of the Preparatory Team
Chapter 105: Purifying the Ominous Soul Devouring Knife

Huo Yuhao's pupils had become filled with golden light and translucent; it was as if they were 2 golden crystals.

"What's wrong? Who dares attempt to snatch my territory?" The Skydream Iceworm asked furiously.

After being provoked by the Ominous Soul-Devouring Knife, the Ice Empress' mind also cleared up. A streak of azure light flashed across Huo Yuhao's golden pupils, and an aura that was 100 times more ferocious than that of the Ominous Soul-Devouring Knife's was unleashed. It viciously slammed into the Ominous Soul-Devouring Knife.

This time, the knife cried out in sorrow and the green gaseous light it was emanating was dispersed.

The Skydream Iceworm and Ice Jade Empress Scorpion were both partially fused with Huo Yuhao's body, thus their own true powers were sealed as well. However, their spiritual origins were both in Huo Yuhao's spiritual sea. Even though Huo Yuhao couldn't unleash their power, they could still definitely protect Huo Yuhao's spiritual sea!

What kind of temper did the Ice Empress have? If the Ice Empress and Skydream Iceworm could be described as a married couple, then the Skydream Iceworm was the henpecked one, while she was the tigress in the family…

The Skydream Iceworm had gone into defense mode the moment he felt that he was being attacked, but she had immediately counterattacked.

Huo Yuhao mind immediately cleared up. The combined spiritual powers of the Skydream Iceworm and the Ice Empress gave him the feeling that they could devour a person forcefully. It was only at this point that Electrolux finally woke up.

"Oh? It’s Life Gold. Little worm and scorpion, both of you quiet down please."

Even though Electrolux, the self-proclaimed 'Calamity Necromancer' who followed the Divine Law of Necromancy, only had a shred of divine sense left, the Skydream Iceworm and Ice Empress were still afraid of him. They were also clearly aware that Electrolux didn't harbor any ill intentions towards Huo Yuhao; his spiritual sea was a common interest that all three of them shared.

Wang Yan noticed that the ferocious gaze in Huo Yuhao's pupils changed once again: His azure-golden eyes rapidly turned grey, while his aura seemed to greatly transform.

The first time that Wang Yan had seen Huo Yuhao's eyes turn grey was back when his soul power had only been Rank 17 and he'd been fighting Wu Feng. Even with all of his special powers, Huo Yuhao had only managed to win once his eyes turned grey.

However, he'd been quite far away back then, and hadn't been able to sense things clearly. However, right now, Wang Yan was very close to Huo Yuhao. The only thing he felt was that Huo Yuhao's grey eyes were filled with a boundless mysteriousness. But within this mysteriousness, he could sense an unprecedented divinity. It was even more divine than the Angel he'd once seen before.

Huo Yuhao's youthful face even exuded a tinge of holiness when the layer of grey appeared in his eyes.

Suddenly, Huo Yuhao turned to look at Wang Yan. Wang Yan had never felt that he needed to be cautious against him before, but the moment he saw the boundless grey in the depths of Huo Yuhao's eyes, his mind became blurry. No matter what he did, he couldn't bring himself to resist it.

If anyone else were present, they would see that Wang Yan's eyes had become filled with emptiness the moment Huo Yuhao looked at him; he was akin to a walking zombie.

Once this was done, Huo Yuhao then turned back to the Ominous Soul-Devouring Knife, and focused his attention on it. The dim greyish radiance from his eyes seemed to become an entity with form as it shot out and landed on the knife.

After a moment, Huo Yuhao's consciousness retreated to his spiritual sea, and Electrolux took back control of his body. From his own perspective, Huo Yuhao was helpless. Who'd asked him to be so weak? Regardless of if it was the Skydream Iceworm, the Ice Empress, or Electrolux, Huo Yuhao was quite a lot weaker than all of them by a significant amount. How else could his body be controlled by them at any time? However, this thought only flashed across his mind. After all, Electrolux was doing everything for him.

The Ominous Soul-Devouring Knife shook violently and released a mournful groan the instant that the greyish spiritual power Electrolux released struck it. If someone wasn't resolute enough, his emotions would be greatly affected by this groan.

Electrolux's thoughts then echoed through Huo Yuhao's spiritual sea, "Injecting evil thoughts and curses into the Life Gold is only something that an evil creator could think of. He simply sensed the immense strength that this Life Gold has, but he didn't know how to let it unleash its truly miraculous effects. Life Gold, cleanse yourself! I'll let you return to your original state, and shall remove all the stains on you. Your purest life aura can be unleashed once again."

Huo Yuhao's pupils experienced a change once again. His previously grey pupils suddenly turned white—a white that was as flawless and pure as jade. It was as white as snow. The greyish spiritual power also turned into a white, Purifying Light instantaneously.

This time, the Ominous Soul-Devouring Knife had stopped shaking. As it resisted, an intense green light was suddenly released from it's blade. The green light formed a ferocious-looking face and roared madly. It seemed to want to devour the white light that Electrolux was emitting.

However, even though the Purifying Light seemed extremely thin, it was akin to boiling oil being poured onto a pile of snow when it struck the Ominous Soul-Devouring Knife: The green light from the fierce-looking face was blurred by half in an instant. The originally ferocious look that the face had also turned blurry. However, the green light revolving around it was still very strong, but gust after gust of black gas was evaporating and dissipating beneath the effect of the Purifying Light. The green light that the Ominous Soul-Devouring Knife was emitting began to become both purer and gentler as this continued.

The entire cleansing process was very short and quick. The moment that the last streak of black gas dissipated, the green light that the knife's blade was emitting became as clean as spring water. There were no longer any impurities on it, thus the originally black blade also turned into a greenish crystal-like entity.

Electrolux sighed heavily. "I didn't realize I'd become so weak. I feel so tired and weak despite just using a bit of the Purifying Light. Alright, you'll have to tell your teacher that you need to keep the knife on you. I'll need some time to fuse the two of you together."

Once he'd finished speaking he made Huo Yuhao look at Wang Yan. After that, the whiteness in Huo Yuhao's eyes disappeared. Huo Yuhao regained control of his own body, while Wang Yan's empty eyes regained their focus.

"What?" Wang Yan immediately noticed the obvious change in the Ominous Soul-Devouring Knife once he'd regained focus. The originally-deadly sense of ferocity that it had possessed had ceased to exist. Currently, the crystal-like knife gave him a burning feeling of life.

Wang Yan was very confused; he didn't even remember Huo Yuhao turning to look at him. He was quite shocked by what had happened. "This… this is? Yuhao, how did you do this?"

Huo Yuhao only choice was to make up a lie. "Teacher Wang, I felt spiritual fluctuations coming from this knife the moment that I saw it. They weren't very strong, and were only based on the strength contained within the knife's blade. From the perspective of us soul engineers, this is known as a sealing of one's soul. In other words, a shred of evil will from an evil soul master had been sealed inside of this carving knife, which is why it was so ferocious. I simply used my spiritual power to open the seal, which wasn't very powerful, and remove the shred of evil will from the knife. This has allowed the knife to return to its normal state. It shouldn't pose a threat anymore. As for whether it's ready to use, we can only bring it back to try."

Wang Yan was very knowledgeable in regards to the research into soul masters, but he wasn't very clear about soul engineers. He could only nod when he heard Huo Yuhao's words. He then tried to pick up the knife.

Indeed, the knife had lost all traces of its ferocious aura. Instead, the knife felt very smooth in his hand. In fact, it didn't seem to have an aura at all. It seemed like had been carved from some sort of crystal. If not for the unchanged, simple patterns on the knife, he would've thought that Huo Yuhao had switched it out.

He lifted the knife and handed it to Huo Yuhao, then said, "Keep it then. We'll let Fan Yu take a look at it when we return to the academy. I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to soul tools."

"Thanks, Teacher Wang." Huo Yuhao felt elated when he received the knife. He had the same feeling as Wang Yan when he held the knife: It seemed like the knife was made of ordinary crystal—that was it.

After obtaining the knife as he wished, Huo Yuhao was extremely delighted. However, he also knew that he owed the academy a lot. The academy had nurtured him, thus he would need to repay their contributions in the future.

After returning to his room, he relayed everything to Wang Dong. Of course, he only told him the same version of what had happened as what he'd told Wang Yan; he couldn't let anyone know about the secret in his spiritual sea.

Wang Dong was also awed when he saw the knife. "Is it really that good? It's a pity that there's not a suitable environment around. If there was, you could try to create a soul tool with it."

Huo Yuhao replied, "There's no rush. Come, let's continue cultivating together." He'd already leapt out of bed by the time he'd finished speaking.

Wang Dong was annoyed and replied, "You aren't human! Don't you ever feel bored or fatigued? Why not go out and play? I'm gonna die of boredom!"

Huo Yuhao chuckled and said, "If you're not talented, you have to be one step ahead of others. My cultivation is the weakest of everyone present; if I don't work harder than everyone, how will I live up to the academy's expectations?"

Wang Dong snorted and said, "Fine, cultivate by yourself first. I'm heading back to my room and shower first. You have to achieve balance in your cultivation; you can't always be so tense."

Huo Yuhao was delighted when Wang Dong left. He was still waiting for Electrolux to tell him how miraculous the Ominous Soul-Devouring Knife was.

After Wang Dong left, Huo Yuhao immediately pulled the green, crystal-like knife out.

Electrolux's slightly weak voice rang out, "Press it against your forehead. Yuhao, remember not to panic no matter what happens. Remain calm and leave everything to me. Do you understand?"

"Alright." Huo Yuhao acknowledged, then pressed the knife to his forehead.

When the knife came into contact with his skin, he felt a surge of warm energy. Immediately afterwards, a strange aura streaked from his spiritual sea into the knife.

In an instant, the knife shone with green light, and a stream of vigorous life aura surged into Huo Yuhao's body through the center of his forehead.

In that instant, Huo Yuhao's body turned the same color as the knife. Even his spiritual sea was no exception. As the intense green light spread, the spiritual origins of the Skydream Iceworm and the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion were temporarily suppressed.

An unprecedented comfort flowed throughout his body, causing Huo Yuhao to feel as if every minute area of his body was moaning in happiness. His body greedily sucked at the vigorous life energy being released by the knife.

He seemed to be able to see everything inside his body: Everything turned green and were filled with the same life aura. His passageways became more flexible, his organs became tougher, his bones were strengthened… His entire body seemed to its quality raised.

The most obvious change he sensed was in his passageways. Even though they hadn't dilated, Huo Yuhao was sure that his passageways could definitely withstand a greater flood of soul power due to their increased resilience.

As the green light cleansed his entire body, all of the impurities within his body were rapidly expelled through his pores.

Huo Yuhao had once consumed pills and medicine that had solidified his foundations. In the process, they had cleansed his body from the inside out after as he digested it. However, it was different this time. The strong powerful aura contained within the Ominous Soul-Devouring Knife was like the water of life; it cleansed every single corner of his body.

This didn't increase his cultivation, but Huo Yuhao was able to sense that his body had become as transparent as the Ominous Soul-Devouring Knife. All of the cultivation that he'd accumulated over the past few years was also cleansed under the nourishment of this wave of vigorous life aura. He felt that his body had finally become whole; even things that he hadn't understood in the past became clear to him as his mind cleared up.

Was this the miraculous effect of the Life Gold? Huo Yuhao was astonished. He'd been exposed to many things as he cultivated and learned: Even though his abilities hadn't been increased, he was well-aware of what this change meant to him.

The benefits he'd received from body being cleansed were immediately apparent. His state of weakness had turned into strength, and his cultivation speed had been greatly increased. Only a tough body could accommodate an abundance of soul power, which in turn would allow him to better absorb it and increase his cultivation faster.

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