Book 12: The Strength of the Preparatory Team
Chapter 87.1: Crazy for Shrek
The four shield wielders had resisted with all of their might, yet had only barely managed to block the power of the Frost Dragon's Fist. At this point, all of their fighting spirit had been expended. All of them stared, dumbstruck, at the god-like youth before them, as blood dripped from their wounds. Afterwards, they turned to look at their team leader, Shen Ce.
As Huo Yuhao stood there, the red hue gradually fading from his eyes. His teammates left the stage, which caused him to appear as an all-dominating god as he remained on the tournament stage.
This was his second time making an appearance at the Continental Advanced Academy Soul Dueling Tournament. The first time, he'd been with Wang Dong. This time however, he'd been on his own.
The conclusion of Shrek Academy's first tournament match—when he'd first appeared—had had a sobering effect on all of the the other academies. All of them immediately attempted to investigate Huo Yuhao, who seemed to possess six hundred thousand year soul rings; not only because of the appearance of his inconceivable soul rings, but also because Shrek Academy represented the strongest, most advanced soul masters on the continent.
However, none of the academies, including the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, were able to come up with a satisfactory answer. Right now, Shrek Academy was like a dense cloud of fog to them.
How could a youth who was obviously not yet fifteen years old have become a Soul Emperor? Moreover, how could he posses six hundred thousand year Soul Rings? This was an existence that defied the heavens. Almost everybody realized that it was a diversion; it was just that nobody knew how this diversion was being used.
As such, they were all waiting for Huo Yuhao's next move; the first match had simply been finished too suddenly, but it was impossible for every match to be finished as fast as the first.
Sure enough, this mysterious youth finally made another appearance during Shrek Academy's third match. However, he yet again shocked the entire audience.
An Lengye’s attack that had been activated using the power of her skull bone had reached around the Soul King level of power. Yet, when he casually destroyed it along with her martial soul projection, all of the audience’s doubts immediately turned into astonishment.
Soul Emperor or not, he shouldn't have had such an easy time. However, the key issue was that nobody had been able to tell what soul skill he'd used.
Just like how the Thousand Spirits Academy members wanted to describe him as 'dominating', he had dominated the tournament as soon as he'd appeared.
Could it be that he was truly a Spirit Emperor? One with six hundred thousand year Soul Rings? Several academies began to doubt their previous judgements. If this youth had really attained that rank, who would be able to compete against Shrek Academy in this tournament? And what about the next one?
Bei Bei turned his nose up at Shen Ce, who was seated across from him, and said in a low voice, "Shall we continue?"
Shen Ce looked at his burned-out comrades beside him, then looked at the unconscious An Lengye who was currently lying on the ground. He sighed, then said, "We concede."
Huo Yuhao had almost entirely outshone his teammates. As for Shen Ce, even though he had long ago prepared to fight and was standing in front of them, he was able what his situation was clearly. As things stood right now, even if he were to explode out with the power of a soul king, he still wuoldn't be unable to resist He Caitou and his soul tool fort. Nor would he be able to resist Xu Sanshi, who'd used the power of a Soul Ancestor to forcefully block the all-out attack of a Soul King and a fire-type Soul Ancestor working together.
As for the Thousand Spirits Academy's side, they'd lost the fighting strength of their deputy team leader, An Lengye. Shen Ce himself had nearly expended himself well. Even if that mysterious youth didn't make a move, they'd still lost all chance of victory. It was completely pointless to fight anymore.
"Shrek Academy wins!"
The seven members of Shrek Academy team stood in a line when they heard the referee's announcement. After giving a slight bow to their opponents, they walked off the stage one after another. Once Huo Yuhao had stepped off the stage, he pressed his palm to An Lengye. The air twisted slightly, then she gave a gloomy groan as she regained consciousness. However, when she saw Huo Yuhao, her eyes filled with fear.
Shen Ce hurriedly moved forwards to help An Lengye stand up. "Lengye, are you alright?"
"How terrifying, how very terrifying. That was definitely a real hundred thousand year Soul Ring, I swear it. I've felt that terrifying ice-type pressure somewhere before."
"What?" Shen Ce was gobsmacked. As he helped her up, he whispered, "Are you sure?"
An Lengye, face was devoid of color as she nodded. She said, "When I was sixteen, I went with Grandfather to the Extreme North in order to find a suitable third Soul Ring. However, we accidentally went too far, and in the distance, we suddenly saw a dark green silhouette flash by. The speed of that silhouette was terrifyingly fast, and Grandfather's only reaction at the time was to push me to the ground and protect my body with his own. A full fifteen minutes passed before Grandfather slowly stood back up. It was only then that I realised that a layer of frostbite had formed on a portion of Grandfather's back.
"At that time, Grandfather told me that we'd met one of the most terrifying existences in the Extreme North. That was definitely a hundred thousand year soul beast. After that, Grandfather grabbed me and we swiftly left the region. When we got back, it took him over a year for him to recover from the frostbite he'd received. Ever since then, Grandfather has never mentioned anything about taking me to the Extreme North to hunt for Soul Beasts."
"Even though several years have already passed, I'll never forget that soul beast's aura; it's the same one that that youth's Frost Bear gave off. Back then, once I'd returned with Grandfather, he said to me that the reason we were able to return alive wasn't because that hundred thousand year Soul Beast hadn't noticed us, but rather because we were too weak, and that it didn't care to bother with us. We're lucky to be alive."
Shen Ce inhaled a breath of cold air, then turned to gaze at Huo Yuhao's back, who was currently walking away from the waiting area. Without a hint of discontentment on his face, he said, "Come on, let's go. We can talk about this once we get back. Shrek Academy is indeed an existence that we can't even dream of beating! I really regret not having attended Shrek Academy's entrance exams back in the day."
He didn't harbor even an inkling of doubt towards what An Lengye had said, as not only was she his girlfriend, but also because she was usually quite quiet and reserved. This was the first time he'd seen her say so much in one go. From this, it was obvious that that mysterious youth from Shrek Academy had given her a great shock.
However, unbeknownst to them, everybody at Shrek Academy was breathing a sigh of relief.
Based on overall strength, Shrek Academy's current Seven Monsters weren't actually stronger than the Thousand Spirits Academy's team. Of Wang Dong, Xiao Xiao, and Huo Yuhao, two had two Soul Rings, while only one of them had three. They were useless in team battles at such a level, thus the reason that Xiao Xiao and Wang Dong hadn't acted wasn't because they hadn't wanted to, but rather because they wouldn't have had much of an effect even if they'd to act. It was better for them to act as a deterrent at the rear.
If one were to observe them closely, they would notice that when Huo Yuhao and Xu Sanshi had swapped places with Xu Sanshi's Mysterious Underworld Displacement. When they'd done so, Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao had both quietly withdrawn their six Soul Rings. At that moment, Huo Yuhao had been extremely worried, as the spear hurtling towards him had the potential to be fatal. Furthermore, since he appeared to have six hundred thousand year Soul Rings, even the referee wouldn't step in to save him. It could be said that Xu Sanshi had saved his life. Even if he'd somehow still been able to avoid it on his own, Huo Yuhao would've been equally stressed.
Going back to the beginning of the match, if it hadn't been for He Caitou exploiting the Thousand Spirits Academy's passive fighting style in order to rapidly construct a soul tool fort and break the enemy's defense in one go, as well as directly suppress their strongest opponent—Shen Ce, as well as Huo Yuhao's possession of the Spiritual Detection and Spiritual Shock, then it would've indeed been difficult to determine who the victor would've been.
All four of the shield wielders' independent defensive ability were even weaker than that of Xu Sanshi. However, when they worked together, even Xu Sanshi, as talented as he was, couldn't compare. But in this match, Shrek Academy hadn't won through sheer force alone. They'd won through superior tactics, as well as because of their superior focusing of their abilities.
In the end, Huo Yuhao had replaced his teammates at the front, and his suppression of An Lengye's ice attribute had sealed the deal. If An Lengye hadn't been an ice-type Soul Master, then it was likely that the match would've continued. Even if they would'e still won, it wouldn't have been as Huo Yuhao had made it seem.
As such, it could be said that Shrek Academy had yet again achieved a lucky victory. Not only had they win, but they'd maintained their previous degree of mysteriousness, as they'd kept each of their true strengths, a secret, and a major advantage in upcoming matches. However, Wang Yan was beginning to worry – that Thousand Spirits Academy wasn't the strongest opponent in the round-robin tournament. How long would their luck hold out?
Like the previous two matches, the members of Shrek Academy didn't linger; they left almost immediately. Huo Yuhao calmly walked into the center. No matter how loudly the audience cheered, no matter how intently they stared at him, he showed no signs of responding. Thanks to today's match, his mysteriousness would cause any opponent facing him to be terrified.
However, Huo Yuhao wasn't feeling excited, but rather quite worried. Prior to today's match, Wang Yan had warned them that their next opponent would be the strongest one they'd face in the tournament. On that team, there were a total of three five Soul Kings who had entered the top eight in the previous tournament.