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Book 12: The Strength of the Preparatory Team
Chapter 97.3: The Conjecture Regarding Multiple Fusion Skills

The seven people from Longpeace Academy who had just released their martial souls immediately felt that something was amiss, because they could feel a rapid fall in temperature. Then they saw the icy-blue halo of light opposite them starting to expand.

“That crazy woman is using her ten thousand year soul skill straightaway. Everyone, be careful,” their team leader cursed in a low voice. He immediately released his soul skill as he prepared to resist carefully. From his perspective, a soul skill with such a large areof-effect could not be too powerful. If they could withstand it, they would counter-attack. After all, there was strength in numbers.

However, he soon saw something that made his gaze pause. In his field of vision, the judge of the competition, who was swiftly moving away from the center of the arena, suddenly stumbled.

Then, this unlucky judge turned into an ice statue. He was frozen in a retreating position.
What was going on?

Before the people from Longpeace Academy could react, they all felt an immense, frigid chill at the same time. It appeared to be coming straight for them. Then, their vision started to blur. While they were still conscious, their martial souls, soul power, and even their soul skills were frozen in the ice and snow.

In an instant, there were eight sculptures in the arena.

Ling Luochen retracted her staff and turned to Huo Yuhao and said, “Go, kick them all down. Remember, use only your legs and not your hands. These foul-mouthed scoundrels don’t warrant such respect.”

Huo Yuhao’s heart missed a beat. He thought, “The seniors from the inner courtyard are so strong!”

The strategy that Ling Luochen had just used was very simple. With the help of Huo Yuhao, her ice-elemental attack had turned into Ultimate Ice, and then she had used her fifth soul skill, the Icebrilliant Halo.

While it was Ultimate Ice, with her powerful control of magic and elemental mastery, she was able to freeze her opponents for a while. Coupled with Huo Yuhao’s Ultimate Ice, even if her opponent were a Soul King, he would be unable to escape for at least ten minutes.

This was the terrifying aspect of an Ultimate martial soul. If aided by the same element, the power of Ultimate Ice would become abnormally terrifying.

The audience and representatives from the various schools were all dumbfounded.

The moment Huo Yuhao walked past the unfortunate judge, the ice cracked, and the judge was able to break free from it. However, his entire body shivered for a while because of the cold. He seemed to have something to say, but in the end, he swallowed his words, which were likely a warning against beating the judges.

If a Soul Sage could be frozen for a period of time, what was there to say about a Soul King?
Subsequently, the ‘battle’ chiefly became a scene where all Huo Yuhao did was kick the seven ice sculptures that enclosed the members of Longpeace Academy’s team. The teacher in charge of the academy was deathly afraid that his team would be injured from the impacts, and rushed down to catch his students as Huo Yuhao kicked them out of the arena. Fortunately, Huo Yuhao was generous enough to give that teacher enough time to catch each of his students.
The judge had recovered from his shivers too. In shock, he stared at Ling Luochen, who had already withdrawn her martial soul, and proclaimed, “Winner, Shrek Academy.”
The entire audience was stunned.
Just as everyone thought that Shrek Academy was out of the fight, Ling Luochen used her powerful ice-manipulation skills to tell them that Shrek Academy was still number one in the continent! They were the invincible Shrek Academy!
The faces of the students from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy appeared to have frozen over. They seemed to have lost their ability to think.
In the earlier rounds of the competition, no matter how excitingly Shrek Academy battled, no matter how strong their will, they would show them respect at most, and never caution. After all, a preparatory team was ultimately a preparatory team. If they had so much difficulty resisting the onslaught from Justsky Academy, what more could be said about them? Even Ma Rulong, their captain, believed that victory would ultimately be theirs.
However, just as their hearts were filled with hope, Ling Luochen appeared today. She was able to control all her opponents in the blink of an eye. This was not enough to shock everyone from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. After all, they had been careless when dealing with her. What shocked them was that the judge, a Soul Sage, was frozen by her too. Even though the judge was only frozen for five seconds, and he had not released his martial soul, it was a testament to Ling Luochen’s powerful ten thousand year soul skill.

Who dared to say that they would not be immobilized by her powerful soul skill? In a battle, even if one was immobilized for a single second, the consequences on the outcome of the battle would be dire! Shrek Academy only deployed a single Soul King, but was able to stun everyone with her prowess. This was testament to the awe of Shrek Academy.

When Ling Luochen and Huo Yuhao left the arena, the others from Shrek stared at each other. They knew the power of this icy-cold soul master, who was also a member of the official team.

Ling Luochen was able to maximize her own elemental powers with the help of Huo Yuhao’s Ultimate Ice. However, the power of her ten thousand year soul skill was equally terrifying too! Skills with an areof-effect coverage were the hardest to control. Yet, they were able to see that when the Icebrilliant Halo appeared, it did not spread out in all four directions, but instead went straight for her opponents. This was enough to illustrate her mastery over ice, which she could control as well as any other part of her body.

Wang Yan exhaled, and his body evidently relaxed. With the return of Ling Luochen, Shrek Academy regained its status as a powerful team. As the teacher in charge of this team, the pressure on him had been greatly reduced. Ma Xiaotao and Dai Yueheng would soon return too. The upcoming rounds would be easier for them.

Ever since he had brought the team here, he had been under a huge amount of pressure. The responsibility on his shoulders was heavier than that on the shoulders of his students. At this point, he could truly take a breather.

Like before, the team from Shrek Academy did not linger long. After the competition, they quickly returned to their hotel to rest. Everyone who stayed behind were from the other academies, who were discussing Ling Luochen’s elemental control with great interest. The hot topic of the day was how to counter her.

The round robin portion of the competition entered its fourth round, which was also its mid-phase. Shrek Academy was in the first group, which was comprised of eight other teams. Every team had to take part in seven rounds of competition to complete a cycle.

In the next three rounds, Shrek Academy did not meet any opponent who posed a serious threat to them. They were on a winning streak. After two rounds consisting of a one-on-one deathmatch and a group battle, they were able to defeat their opponents. Finally, they were able to emerge victorious in their group with zero losses, drawing closer to the cruel elimination round.

Unexpectedly, the other team that was able to progress to the next round from their group was Justsky Academy, who had caused so much trouble for them before.

As the other groups had nine teams each, they were able to obtain three full days of rest after this round-robin cycle ended.

Ma Xiaotao and Dai Yueheng had by now fully recovered from their injuries. However, they did not participate in the round robin portion of the competition. They did not even go down to the arena. This was part of Wang Yan’s strategy. Concealing their true power would be immensely beneficial to the subsequent rounds of the competition.

In these few days, Shrek Academy received a lot of good news. Xiao Xiao had more or less recovered completely, and after that difficult battle, she was able to break through her Rank 30 bottleneck. All she needed was a third soul ring.
After experiencing many arduous battles and relentless sessions of cultivation, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong both experienced an increase of a single rank in soul power. Wang Dong’s soul power was now at Rank 32, while Huo Yuhao’s was at Rank 28, bringing him a step closer to Rank 30.

What was even more delightful was their experimentation with the martial soul fusion skill. However, they did not know what their rate of success was. Only Wang Yan knew that. At least, they had experimented with the other three combinations, and they had been able to achieve breakthroughs as they tried out these three combinations.

Xu Sanshi remained in bed for five days before Bei Bei finally kicked him out of it. He was shameless indeed. To receive Jiang Nannan’s care, he had remained persistently in bed as he moaned about his predicament non-stop. He thought that this would improve Jiang Nannan’s attitude toward him, but everyone knew that it was a one-sided affair. Jiang Nannan still treated him coldly.

As everyone recovered from their injuries, Shrek Academy returned to peak condition. Their power might not yet be comparable to the original official team, but it was not too far off.
After all, the two Soul Emperors and main control-type soul master of the original official team were still present. Coupled with Bei Bei, whose martial soul could evolve into the Golden Holy Dragon, and Xu Sanshi, whose martial soul could evolve into a Xuanwu, a powerful Soul Ancestor, and the exceptional powers of the rest, their overall strength was still terrifying.

“The pairing for the elimination round is out,” Wang Yan said in a deep voice. He had just returned from the Star Luo Empire’s palace, where he had drawn lots. Afterwards, he gathered everyone for a briefing.

“For the Round of 16, our opponent is a familiar one. They are the premier academy from the Dou Ling Empire, the Dou Ling Imperial Soul Academy.”

When they heard the name ‘Dou Ling Imperial Soul Academy’, a look crossed the faces of Ma Xiaotao, Ling Luochen and Dai Yueheng.

Ma Xiaotao arched her brows and asked, “Why did we meet them so early on?”

Xiao Xiao asked curiously, “How powerful is the Dou Ling Imperial Soul Academy?”

Ma Xiaotao said, “They were in the top four in the previous tournament, that’s how powerful they are. They are much stronger than the Justsky Academy who you met earlier on. Teacher Wang, how powerful are the members of their delegation this time?”

Wang Yan said, “The Dou Ling Imperial Soul Academy’s official team is comprised of five Soul Kings and two Soul Ancestors. They are powerful indeed. Furthermore, they are not inflexible in their approach. While they are an advanced soul academy, they are also the premier soul engineering academy. Through my observations, I have realized that every single one of their delegation possesses a soul tool, and they are able to wield them efficiently in battle. At least two of them are soul engineers, which means that they are Soul Kings with soul tools. This is a difficult opponent.”

Book 12: The Strength of the Preparatory Team
Chapter 98.1: A Top-ranked Auction

“Teacher Wang, we qualified from the round-robin round in first place, and with their strength, the Dou Ling Imperial Soul Academy should’ve done the same as well. If that’s the case, why are we fighting them? Aren’t the number one teams supposed to only get the second place teams in the round of 16?” Dai Yueheng asked suspiciously.

Wang Yan said, “In terms of overall strength, the Dou Ling Imperial Academy should’ve been first place in their group. However, that wasn’t the case. A black horse which also had a streak of consecutive wins and no losses appeared in their group. Yet, the Dou Ling Imperial Academy forfeited their match with that black horse for no reason. That’s why they qualified in second place. I didn’t think that we’d meet them.”

“Was there a problem?” Ma Xiaotao asked, “The Dou Ling Imperial Academy is also a well-known school. They must’ve known the importance of the group matches, and what first place signifies. Just what would make them give up that first place spot? Are they trying to preserve their strength for a single attack?”

Wang Yan replied, “I’ve also thought about this. The only difference between first and second place in the qualifier rounds lies in the round of 16. It doesn’t hold any significance after this match. The Dou Ling Imperial Soul Academy must’ve done this for a reason, and they must’ve concealed it well. We’ll only be able to see why in the match. Fortunately, we’ve kept the fact that you and Yueheng are participating in this match a secret as well. With you guys leading the team, there shouldn’t be too big of a problem. Okay, I’m going to explain the rules of our next elimination round.”

“Over the ten thousand years that the Continental Advanced Soul Duelling Tournament has been held, its rules have never changed. This is especially so for the final elimination rounds. To make the tournament more interesting, as well as to better display the comprehensive strengths of the participating academies, the tournament format will change slightly from previous matches. The elimination rounds won’t be decided using lot-drawing as per previous matches. Each match will be held over two days, and both a team battle and an individual knockout round will be held. Winning the team fight doesn’t mean that you’ll definitely proceed to the next round; if you can defeat all seven of your opponents using only three members, you’ll be able to overturn the outcome of the team match. On the other hand, the team that wins the team fight can guarantee their advance into the next stage by defeating three of their opponents using seven team members.”

“These tournament rules both illustrate the importance of a team’s overall strength and give a chance to teams which have strong individuals. For example, our team has Soul Emperors like Ma Xiaotao and Dai Yueheng. Even if we lose the team fight, they might be able to shine in the individual matches and defeat all seven of their opponents by themselves. In that case, we could still win the elimination round. Because of that, although the elimination round tests our strength as a complete whole, it gives a great chance to strong individuals. Truly powerful academies will definitely try extremely hard to nurture their best students, and one reason for that is to allow them to turn the tides in the elimination round’s individual matches.”

The fact that the elimination round was actually held in a way like this was something that nobody had imagined. Huo Yuhao asked, “Teacher Wang, then what happens in the 1v1 fights if a team member is injured or over-exhausted from the team fight?”

Wang Yan replied, “Then it’ll depend on the strength of that team’s bench. Every academy that’s participating in this tournament has to have a preparatory team, just like what you guys originally were. If something like what you’ve just said occurs to an official team member, a member from the preparatory team will have to take their place.”

“Bei Bei, Xu Sanshi. The two of you should’ve recovered already. Would it be possible for the two of you to use your abilities if you were to participate in the elimination round?”

Wang Yan was naturally referring to Bei Bei’s Golden Holy Dragon and Xu Sanshi’s Xuanwu.

Bei Bei nodded. “I should be able to. My martial soul doesn’t get strengthened as much as Xu Sanshi’s. However, it all depends on whether I can make it come out. After using it once, I’ll have to wait three days to use it again, just like the fusion skill my junior brothers use. Also, I’ll only have the power to unleash a single attack. I’ll only be able to stabilise this power once I become a seven-ringed Soul Sage.”

Xu Sanshi had a bitter look on his face as he said, “I can’t say for sure, because I can’t control it. A variation like that only occurs to my martial soul when I receive an especially intense stimulation. However, I’m the same as Bei Bei. Once I become a Soul Sage, everything will be fine.”

Wang Yan nodded slightly. “I understand. Now, I’ll make arrangements for the team members who are participating in tomorrow’s match. Once we enter the elimination round, we can’t be sloppy at all. Our upcoming opponents were within the top 4 of the last tournament, and so we’ll definitely have to go all-out. Ma Xiaotao, Dai Yueheng, Ling Luochen, Bei Bei, Xu Sanshi, Huo Yuhao, and Wang Dong. The seven of you are participating in the team fight tomorrow. Ling Luochen and Huo Yuhao will be the main controllers in the team, and everyone else will launch frontal attacks to smash our opponents with our strength. Caitou, you’ll have to go make a few cigars and distribute them to everyone so they’ll be able to use them during the match.”

“Yes.” He Caitou answered.

Xiao Xiao curled her lips and said, “It’s got nothing to do with me then.”

Wang Yan smiled slightly. “Seeing that we’re near the end of the tournament, nobody can guarantee that we won’t suffer any injuries. As benchwarmers, you guys are also important. You all have already performed very well during the earlier parts of the tournament. You, Nannan, and Caitou also have to make preparations to go out and fight at any time. Now, I’ll talk about the strategies we’ll use in tomorrow’s team fight. No matter what that Dou Ling Imperial Academy has prepared, we’ll have to give them a show of strength.”

With the return of the two Soul Emperors, the current Wang Yan was filled with confidence to win. They still had to go through four more elimination rounds to secure their spot as champions, and although the following matches would be very tough, it wouldn’t be as tough as the preparatory team facing off against Justsky Academy.

At this exact moment, someone suddenly knocked on the door to the conference room.

Wang Yan furrowed his brows and shouted in a low voice, “Didn’t we tell the service staff to not disturb us?”

A pleasant, female voice rang out from outside the door. “Sorry for the interruptions. I’m not a member of the service staff; I’ve come from the Starlight Auction.”

The Starlight Auction? Wang Yan couldn’t help but feel stunned for a brief moment after hearing this somewhat familiar voice. The person who was nearest to the door–Bei Bei–stood up and shot Wang Yan a questioning look. After seeing Wang Yan give him a nod of assurance, he walked towards the door and opened it.

A woman wearing a black cheongsam was standing outside the door. Being twenty-eight to twenty-nine years old, she possessed a mature charm and an occasional air of youth.

Huo Yuhao and the rest all recognised her; she was the auctioneer who had held the auction they’d participated in that day, Qing Ya.

Qing Ya’s gaze directly landed on Wang Yan as she smiled and greeted him, “Hello, Teacher Wang Yan. I have to apologise for taking the liberty to disturb you.”

Wang Yan’s gaze softened somewhat as he saw that the intruder was Qing Ya. He asked in a low voice, “Do you have something for us, auctioneer Qing Ya? Also, how did you find us here?”

Book 12: The Strength of the Preparatory Team
Chapter 98.2: A Top-ranked Auction

Qing Ya apologised, “When you came to the auction last time, you used Shrek Academy’s account to settle the bill. Thus, we naturally guessed at your origins. After making a few inquiries, we were able to find where you were. Our Starlight Auction is hosting a top-ranked auction tonight, and an auction like this will only be held once or twice a year. Only our most respected honorable guests receive an invitation from us to attend. Last time, we didn’t know that you came from the continent’s number one academy–Shrek Academy–and thus we mistakenly neglected you. Our auction’s boss has asked me to deliver this invitation card to you. If all of you have some free time tonight, you are welcome to participate in our auction. I believe that there will definitely be a few interesting things at tonight’s auction.”

As she spoke, she placed an invitation card on the table. Then, she held her smile as she bowed and said, “Then, I won’t disturb all of you anymore. Once again, I apologise.” With that, she slowly moved backwards and closed the door after her.

Wang Yan squinted his eyes as he saw the beautiful, golden invitation letter, “This Starlight Auction is impressive. Eleven invitation letters, and not one less. They were even able to ignore the Star Luo Empire’s blockade around this hotel to deliver this letter. They’re truly skilled!”

Dai Yueheng took an invitation letter and glanced over it. “It’s actually a top-ranked auction. That auctioneer wasn’t wrong–an auction like this is only held once or twice a year. In the past, even I didn’t have the qualifications to participate in it. Only my dad, the members of the royal family, large businessmen, and top-ranked soul masters and engineers were allowed to participate in them. There definitely won’t be a lack of good things sold there, but they’re extremely expensive. The Starlight Auction should just be trying to establish a good relationship with our academy; they shouldn’t have any ulterior motives. Teacher Wang, what do you think about this?”

Wang Yan looked briefly at everyone, and saw a hopeful light in all of their eyes. They were indeed the most outstanding soul masters among their peers, but they were still a bunch of kids. They were similarly interested in new things. Moreover, a top-ranked auction like this couldn’t be easily entered!

“Okay. Since everyone’s been competing all this while, we should relax for a bit. However, we should keep our eyes open and our mouths shut to avoid trouble. Tomorrow’s match is of the utmost importance. Once the auction ends, we’ll immediately head back to the hotel to rest.”

“Long live Teacher Wang!” Xiao Xiao was the first person to jump to her feet. Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and the others all had excited expressions on their faces.

They had been filled with curiosity the last time they had gone to the Starlight Auction. Moreover, the last auction they had attended was merely a low-ranked one which only sold a single soul tool. The auction they were about to attend was different; it was a top-ranked one. What kinds of goods would appear in it? They contrarily had no hopes of obtaining anything from this auction, and wished to participate merely to gain some knowledge.

Wang Yan chided them with a smile, “You rascals! Get your minds back to the topic at hand. I’m going to organise our strategy for tomorrow’s match.”

The strategic planning they underwent didn’t take too much time. After that, they returned to their respective rooms to cultivate all the way till dinner time, when they switched into a set of ordinary clothes. With the invitation letters from the Starlight Auction in hand, the eleven of them went back to the auction house, with Wang Yan leading them.

Astonishingly, auctioneer Qing Ya was already waiting for them by the entrance. Clothed in a black cheongsam, she looked even more elegant and noble under the night lights. Her charming face was filled with a warm smile.

Wang Yan met her gaze, then nodded slightly. “Hello, auctioneer Qing Ya. We meet again.”

Qing Ya had a delighted look on her face as she said, “Distinguished guests, welcome.”

“How did you know that we’d definitely come?” Wang Yan asked.

Qing Ya shook her head. “I didn’t, but I was tasked to receive all of you. Regardless of whether you turned up, I would’ve waited here until the auction formally started. Guests, please follow Qing Ya.”

With that, she shot a sweet smile towards Wang Yan and elegantly led them forward.

Xu Sanshi, who was standing behind them, whispered to Bei Bei with a quiet laughing, “If this lady auctioneer smiles at Teacher Wang a few more times, I’m afraid that his soul will be taken away by her. She truly has a very mature charm!”

Bei Bei glanced at him. “Stupid.”

As the two of them spoke, they had already entered the Starlight Auction.

The interior of the Starlight Auction was identical to their previous visit. There was no information about today’s top-ranked auction that had spread to the public. Led by Qing Ya, they walked towards its inner parts, quickly passing by the auction hall they had entered last time.

After reaching the end of the corridor, two young ladies who were clad in golden cheongsams walked up to them. They bowed in Wang Yan’s direction and greeted him, then exchanged a few words with Qing Ya. After that, a girl turned toward the wall and pressed on it with her right hand.

Immediately, a bizarre scene occurred. Wave-like ripples started to appear on the wall, and a few layers of light gradually stabilised on it.

As the girl pressed her hand on the wall, a pattern of light swept horizontally across it. After that, the wall slowly split into two with a buzz, revealing a path within.

Unlike the dazzling gold outside, this path was pure white. It didn’t have the coldness of white, but a unique feeling that was filled with softness and realism.

The floor, roof, and walls were tiled with a semi translucent white jade, below which could be seen faintly hidden patterns. However, these hidden patterns couldn’t be seen clearly. Yet, this room was clearly much more refined than the outside passage.

The soft, white light permeated the corridor from all directions, while the two sides of the room had halos of blue light that converged to form a line.

Qing Ya explained softly, “This is the Number One auction that we use to conduct top-ranked auctions. Only our most distinguished guests will be invited here to partake in an auction. I’m only here because of you distinguished guests. Otherwise, there’s no way that I’d have the qualifications to enter this place with my auctioneer rank.”

Wang Yan didn’t bat an eyelid as he said, “Looking at what you’re wearing now, it seems like you’ve been promoted!”

Qing Ya smiled. “I also have to thank all of you for that. I was able to accumulate enough merits to become a black-ranked auctioneer by selling the Ominous Soul-Devouring Knife last time. Everyone, please come inside.” With that, she slowly led the way. Two girls in golden cheongsams, who looked to be around eighteen or nineteen, came up to greet them.

After walking a short distance forward, doors started to appear on either side of the walls. Qing Ya took them into one that was numbered seven.

Book 12: The Strength of the Preparatory Team
Chapter 99.1: Top Quality Goods & The Princess

This was a room that was roughly two hundred square meters in surface area, and the decorations were as posh and extravagant as they could be. There were exotic wood and jade stones, along with other furniture and decorative items that people could tell with one look were highly valuable. The ornaments around the room were filled with garishness, yet they gave off a feeling of elegance that one simply couldn’t help but praise.

This was inside the first auction hall of the great Starlight Auction, in the seventh room, and it was ostentatious.

The entire room was rectangular, and the longer side of the wall was crystal clear with a radiant white hue. This was the only wall without a single decorative element.

The sprawling sofa was made from the skin of an unknown beast, and the long white fur was incredibly soft and tender. Anyone sitting on the sofa would enjoy the comfortable feeling of sinking into the whole thing, and yet there was enough support.

The sofa was large enough to accommodate twelve people. There were also all kinds of refreshments and condiments laid out on the jade table stand at the side. Huo Yuhao quickly realized that he had never even seen the things laid out on the table before, not even a single kind of fruit.

Everybody was just comfortably spreading out on the long sofa. Qing Ya, the auctioneer, and the two other young girls clad in flowing golden dresses stayed back. Qing Ya was standing by the side of the sofa and grinned as she said, “I will explain the rules of our top-ranked auction.”

As she spoke, she signaled to the two young girls beside her.

One of the girls stepped over to the smooth wall and tapped lightly on its surface. Instantly, a layer of gentle light started to radiate from the entire wall, which gradually became stronger until the entire wall eventually transformed into an enormous screen.

All this fell into Huo Yuhao’s eyes as he turned towards He Caitou with an astonished look. He Caitou was the first to speak as he couldn’t help but ask, “Is this a soul tool?”

Qing Ya nodded her head and replied, “This is a custom-made soul light screen that we specially obtained from the Sun Moon Empire. It can display images via an esoteric method, but its formation arrays are not activated by soul power – instead, they’re activated by a kind of ore from the Sun Moon Empire.”

It wasn’t just Huo Yuhao and He Caitou who reacted in shock at her statement – the other members of Shrek shared the same confoundment.

What did using ores to activate soul tools suggest? It implied that soul engineers no longer needed to expend any soul power to use soul tools! The value of this to the world of soul tools was simply too great.

Qing Ya was adept at reading people’s emotions, and it was only natural that she picked up on the befuddlement from her audience, because she quickly tried to explain. “Don’t be too hasty everyone, and wait for me to finish my explanation. Even though this light-directing screen is activated by ore, this kind of ore emanates an extremely weak and gentle energy, and there’s no way it can activate offensive or defensive soul tools. All it can do is carry out the lighter tasks of weak soul tools.”

Qing Ya gave a most logical and sensible explanation, but the confusion and bewilderment in the hearts of her audience had not been fully dispelled yet.

Perhaps it was true that the Sun Moon Empire had yet to discover a method to activate soul tools without using Soul power. However, this soul light screen was evidence of how advanced the Sun Moon Empire was in terms of the development of soul tools. Wang Yan’s speech about the future drifted to the forefront of everyone’s minds, and everyone started to feel heavy in their hearts. Times were ever-changing, civilization was always advancing, and soul tools were continuously being developed as well. The Sun Moon Empire had never been too keen about interacting with other nations, so nobody really knew the exact extent to which the Sun Moon Empire had made advancements in their research on soul tools. Before long, they would be facing the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy.

The Light-Transmitting Screen was becoming clearer. Some images were displayed on either side, while an auction station was presented in the middle. The auction didn’t seem very big, but was presented on the screen with extreme clarity.

Qing Ya continued, “In order to protect the privacy of the participants of this top-ranked auction, all valued guests will have their own designated rooms, just like the one everyone is in right now. All viewing and the contest for items up for auction will be carried out inside this room, and I will be responsible for introducing the items up for auction in detail. These two girls will report the quotations during the auction.”

“All you have you do is quote the price. Everything in here – the food and refreshments – are complimentary. After the auction, the items will be sent into the room as soon as possible and will be settled with a final overall bill at the end of everything. As our guests, you can grab something to eat before we officially begin the auction.” Everybody had just had a meal not too long ago, and nobody was too interested in the foodstuffs. However, the alluring drinks were too tempting to resist, and some of them reached out to try them.

The top-ranked Starlight Auction was worthy of its name. The drinks were not only delicious, they were as nutritious as the food provided to the core disciples of Shrek Academy itself. Huo Yuhao only had a single glass of fruit punch and he could already feel a comfortable warmth coursing through his body.

Wang Yan said to Qing Ya, “Auctioneer Qing Ya, please have a seat as well.”

Qing Ya didn’t reject this offer, and after tilting her head with a wide smile on her face, took a seat beside him. Wang Yan hurriedly shifted to the side to create some space between the two of them before his face flushed red. He wasn’t young anymore, but he didn’t yet have a family, and he had never really interacted with girls before – his heart and soul were dedicated to the research and development of soul masters. At this moment, there was a mature and enchanting beauty sitting so close to him and this made him a little uneasy.

Qing Ya covered her mouth as she giggled at the sight of his reaction. Yet, instead of teasing him, she asked softly, “Is this your first time in Star Luo City?”

Wang Yan shook his head and replied, “I’ve been here before, but every trip was completed in a hurry.”

Qing Ya said, “You must be very busy with your work at Shrek Academy.”

Wang Yan answered, “It’s better if I’m busy with my work. If it’s just normal teaching, it won’t be so tiring. After all, the members of our academy are all outstanding students, and they don’t need too much worrying from us teachers.” As he said this, a look of pride flashed across his face, and this was naturally due to Year 2’s Class 1.

He had said before, more than once, that Year 2’s Class 1 was the most talented class he had ever taught. This was also extremely compatible with his teaching style, which was purely skill-based, and he was also strict and firm with his students.

His students were not only prodigious, one was more hardworking than the other. According to his own estimations, when they ascended to Year 3, the entire class could reach the third ring in mastery. How impressive would that statistic be? His greatest wish at this moment was to have the honor of taking his entire troupe of students to the end, and to ensure that everybody successfully graduated from the academy.

Qing Ya smiled faintly and said, “One look, and I can tell you’re a great teacher. The moment you mention your students, there is an obvious exhilaration in your emotions.”

All this small talk caused Wang Yan to unwind a little, and his emotions became a lot less tense. “It’s because my students are too cute. In reality, as a teacher, my greatest wish is to see my students succeed. As of now, my students haven’t disappointed me.”

Qing Ya bowed her head a little and said, “I hope you can produce even more extraordinary students.”

“Many thanks.” Wang Yan returned her well-wishes politely, but he failed to detect the slight unnatural sparkle in Qing Ya’s eyes as she stared at him.

Qing Ya giggled as she asked, “Teacher Wang, the Starlight Auction wishes to expand our business into Shrek City. What suggestions do you have for me?”

Wang Yan was slightly taken aback. “The Starlight Auction wants to go to Shrek City as well? That’s a good thing! However, there seem to be multiple auctions in Shrek City already, and thus the competition is bound to be pretty vigorous.”

Qing Ya chuckled and replied, “The Starlight Auction has never been afraid of competition, as we believe in our own strengths. If we ever have a chance to venture into Shrek City, I wonder if I can contact you?”

“Of course you can.” Wang Yan answered her question almost subconsciously.

Qing Ya raised her hand and produced a small gold box. “Do accept this gift from me then. This is a sound-amplifying soul tool, and they are produced in pairs, so I have one as well. As long as we are within fifty kilometers of each other, we can communicate using this. If you need anything from me during your stay in Star Luo City, feel free to contact me!”

Wang Yan accepted this little gift and glanced at Qing Ya. He suddenly noticed that Qing Ya was staring at him with a piercing gaze, and it instantly gave him mixed feelings, so he hurriedly nodded and put the sound-amplifying soul tool away.

Right at this moment, the entire room was abruptly plunged into a layer of golden light, and everybody turned toward the soul screen.

A gentle golden light that wasn’t hurtful to the eyes emanated from the screen that had previously blocked everyone’s field of view. Pale rays of golden light also shone from the every corner of room, and the calm and comfortable atmosphere was instantly transformed into something more dignified and elegant.

Qing Ya announced, “My honorable guests, our auction is about to begin.”

The golden light coming from the screen gradually receded as a charming voice rang out from within. “Welcome to the top-ranked Starlight Auction. Today, we are placing nine exotic items up for auction. These items will be shown to you, our honorable guests, by their value from the lowest to the highest. We do hope you will enjoy yourselves.”

The soul screen cleared up again, and the platform that had appeared before was now covered with another layer of pale white light. In the middle of the platform was a young girl clad in a lengthy red dress.

This girl appeared to be no more than eighteen, and she was enchantingly pretty – to the point where she rivaled even the looks of Jiang Nannan. Furthermore, she was a few years older than Jiang Nannan, and her body was much more mature. The combination of her flowing red dress and her pale white skin gave onlookers a feeling of perfection – the only strange thing was that the auction station had yet to appear on the platform.

“Greetings, valued guests. I am today’s auctioneer, and my name is Jiu Jiu. I am honored to be here today to host this top-ranked auction. Your time is valuable to us, so we shall begin the auction right away. Subsequently, do feast your eyes upon the first item of the day.”

As she spoke, she flashed a glamorous smile and made an extremely exquisite greeting as she gestured with her right hand. The scene switched right away, and the soul screen on the wall presented the first item up for auction.

Book 12: The Strength of the Preparatory Team
Chapter 99.2: Top Quality Goods & The Princess

No wonder there wasn’t an auction station – the item itself was a magnified projection! It was displayed across the ten-meter-long wall, down to its most intricate details.

Dai Yaoheng asked inquisitively, “Why is this auctioneer following the formalities of the royal palace of the Star Luo Empire?”

Qing Ya glanced at Dai Yueheng with a look a of faint shock and answered, “Fine eyes you have, valued guest. Auctioneer Jiu Jiu is the lead auctioneer of the Star Luo Auction, and its only gold-ranked auctioneer. However, only when the value of the item is over hundreds of millions of gold coins will she don the golden auctioneer’s uniform. At the same time, Auctioneer Jiu Jiu is the youngest sister of the current emperor of the Empire. She has remarked that her status in the auction is as an auctioneer, which is the reason why we don’t address her as ‘Your Highness’.”

Everybody exchanged looks with each other, as this was surreal for them. Even though they had already guessed that the Starlight Auction had an extraordinary background, they never thought it would reach such a level.

A princess from the royal palace as an auctioneer. What did this mean? This meant that the entire Starlight Auction probably belonged to the royal family of the Star Luo Empire.

Still, while they were boggled by what they had just discovered, everybody’s attention was diverted to the item that was presented before them, and Princess Jiu Jiu’s voice could be heard.

The Tyrannical Tiger Soulblade is a Class 8 close-combat soul tool. Its components are extremely valuable, including the right arm bone of a ten thousand year Tyrannical Tiger. It also contains a soul bone skill called the Tyrannical Slash. At the same time, it can boost the offensive powers of compatible soul skills by fifty percent.”

“Do take note, honorable guests, that every strike using this precious close-combat soul tool will produce the effect of a Tyrannical Slash, and this effect will add onto the effects of any related soul skills. At the same time, through the sophisticated workings and direction of the formation arrays, and in addition to the inherent energies contained within the soul bone, the amount of soul power required to use the Tyrannical Slash is only a third of what it normally is.”

“Lastly, the Tyrannical Tiger Soulblade originates from the Sun Moon Empire’s Illustrious Virtue Hall. I think these three words – Illustrious Virtue Hall – are enough to prove its quality. Seven-ringed Soul Sages can use this weapon, and they will be able to challenge a Soul Douluo. You will have five minutes to inspect the item.”

Once Princess Jiu Jiu completed her introduction, deep breaths could be heard being drawn across the room – this was only the first item up for auction!

It was a Class 8 soul tool, and even though both Huo Yuhao and He Caitou were from the Soul Tool Department, they had never seen this before. Several simple and crisp sentences were enough to bring out the most powerful and attractive aspects of this item.

Even the more experienced Ma Xiaotao, Dai Yaoheng and Ling Luochen betrayed looks of amazement. They had seen Class 8 soul tools in past auctions that they had participated in before, but they were few and far between. Normally, the appearance of a Class 6 soul tool in an auction was already a rare sight. Once in a blue moon, a Class 8 soul tool would be revealed, but even then, they would be the anchoring item to close off the entire auction. Today, the first item was already a Class 8 soul tool, and it was the item with the lowest value in the list of items that were in store – how could all this not overwhelm them with bewilderment and excitement?

One couldn’t underestimate the Tyrannical Tiger Soulblade just because it was a close-combat soul tool. In reality, for high level soul masters, close-combat soul tools were more important than long-range soul tools and stationary soul tools, as they were more complementary to their skills.

The students were unable to help themselves as they got up from the comfort of their seats and stepped up to the screen to inspect this eighth-ranked war blade.

There was a comprehensive description of the item on the screen. The Tyrannical Tiger Soulblade was four feet six inches long, while the blade itself was at least an inch wide. It was modeled like a saber, the hilt extending to the handguard, and it was shaped like a bone. The handguard itself was ten centimeters wide, and was a caricature of a tiger’s head – there was no doubt that this soul tool’s formation arrays were located there. The tiger’s head radiated with a crystal yellow hue, and seemed to have been made from a special jewel.

He Caitou was the most knowledgeable amongst the entire group regarding soul tools. He took but a few glances before a look of awe came over his face. “These… not only do these formation arrays draw from the power of the soul bone, but the entire body is made from Amber Gold! Such extravagance! Besides, it’s quite a large piece of Amber Gold! No wonder they can solidify the energy from the soul bones. Items produced in the Illustrious Virtue Hall are indeed extraordinary.”

Huo Yuhao was beside He Caitou, and he too was observing it intently. Even though it was just an image, he could feel a faint aura of ferocity drafting towards him. The broad blade seemed to shimmer with a terrifying layer of blood.

Huo Yuhao lowered his voice and asked, “Senior brother, what kind of place is the Illustrious Virtue Hall?”

Before He Caitou could respond, Wang Yan lowered his voice as well and answered, “The Illustrious Virtue Hall has connections with Shrek that run very deep, and they hold the highest status in the Sun Moon Empire. Put more accurately, they are a part of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. Much like our own inner courtyard, only the most outstanding students from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy are allowed to enter for cultivation and studies. At the same time, they are the cardinal authority in forging and manufacturing soul tools. All the soul tools produced by the Illustrious Virtue Hall overflow with excessive demand the moment they hit the market. Thus, the Illustrious Virtue Hall is also a substitute representation of a soul tool’s quality.”

Qing Ya smiled faintly and chimed in. “Teacher Wang is right. There are more teachers than students within the Illustrious Virtue Hall, and the most powerful soul engineers are concentrated there as well. Over the years, most of the epoch-making soul tools originated from the Illustrious Virtue Hall. One can well say that the Illustrious Virtue Hall is like the most important ivory tower of the Sun Moon Empire. Their technologies regarding the development of soul tools are also the most advanced on the continent.”

Bei Bei appeared behind Huo Yuhao like a ghost. He was also listening attentively to Qing Ya’s explanation as he tapped Huo Yuhao on the shoulder and whispered, “Keep it up, little junior.”

Only five simple words fell into Huo Yuhao’s ears, but it instilled in him an overflowing feeling of hope. Huo Yuhao thought to himself – how incredible would it be if the Tang Sect could one day receive such exalting praise?

Huo Yuhao hadn’t been so sensitive back when he was still cultivating and studying inside the academy, but following his expedition out of the academy and into Star Luo City for the competition, he had picked up and learned so many things in the process that he would never have been exposed to in the academy. He gradually began to understand the substantial importance of soul tools, and that the manufacturing of soul tools by the Sun Moon Empire were far greater than that of other nations – more than he had imagined.

The thing that staggered Huo Yuhao the most wasn’t the Class 8 Tyrannical Tiger Soulblade before him, but the soul screen that could be operated without the injection of soul power, in spite of Qing Ya’s previous explanation about the weakness of these external sources. However, the Sun Moon Empire had already produced a soul tool that didn’t require soul power to be activated – in that case, what was the difference between the weak and the powerful? It wouldn’t take more than a few years before the Sun Moon Empire would be able to produce soul tools with offensive and defensive capabilities that could be activated without consuming soul power. When that day arrived, the structure of the entire continent would change drastically.

“I have to work harder and become stronger,” Huo Yuhao made a mental note to himself.

“Time’s up. The Tyrannical Tiger Soulblade’s opening price is six hundred thousand golden soul coins, and every bid cannot be less than five thousand golden soul coins. All of you, my honorable guests, are experienced with this, and I trust that we won’t need Jiu Jiu to explain too much. If a bid is unanswered after a minute, the deal is done – let’s begin.”

The screen started to transform into a pale white color. The image of the Tyrannical Tiger Soulblade gradually grew more obscure as it faded into the background, while a giant number that read “six hundred thousand” flashed on the surface of the screen.

“Six hundred and fifty thousand.” Dai Yueheng was the first to bid, before he turned towards Wang Yan. “Teacher Wang, this is my personal decision.”

Wang Yan didn’t say anything, and simply nodded in his direction.

The students in the inner courtyard of Shrek Academy had never had any issues with their finances, and they would also bring their savings with them when carrying out similar tasks. Dai Yaoheng himself was the eldest son of the White Tiger Duke, who had been passing down the position for at least ten thousand years – this naturally meant that the amount of money he could use was plentiful.

The moment he quoted his bid, the golden-robed servant girl immediately executed a simple action on the soul screen, and the giant numbers on the screen subsequently changed to six hundred and fifty thousand.

The reason why Dai Yueheng was so moved was that this Class 8 soul tool had something to do with the tiger, and could be used by a Soul Sage. Dai Yaoheng wasn’t too far from his seventh ring, and he could probably break through to that level in the next three to five years. Furthermore, a Class 8 soul tool such as this that was complementary to his abilities didn’t come around too often.

Ma Xiaotao snapped at once. “You think you’re big just because you’re rich?”

Dai Yueheng wasn’t angry at all. He flashed her a faint smile and said, “You are stronger than me, Xiaotao, and you will definitely advance to the seventh ring before I can. How about this – when you become a soul sage, you can use the Tyrannical Tiger Soulblade first and return it to me once I reach the seventh ring. How’s that? If not, it will just be rotting in my possession anyway.”

Ma Xiaotao shot him a look and said, “Why do I need your stuff? Besides, it’s still uncertain whether you can win the bid in the end.”

Indeed, the numbers on the screen were already starting to flicker.

Huo Yuhao was a little perplexed. When he was at the Treasure-Appreciation Conference at the Treasure Pavilion with Wang Dong, Wang Dong’s Golden Light Left Arm Bone had been valued at nine million five hundred thousand golden soul coins. This Class 8 soul tool’s opening price was only six hundred thousand golden soul coins, and it even included a tiger-type right arm soul bone – how could the price disparity be so great?

Wang Dong understood him very well, and instantly detected the doubts in his mind. He lowered his voice and said, “Are you thinking about the Golden Light Left Arm Bone? That’s incomparable. Even though soul bones are all precious, a tiny distinction in quality can lead to vastly different values. The description of this blade’s power seems fine, but it probably means that the quality of the soul bone infused within it isn’t too great – otherwise, why would it be used to forge a soul tool? A soul master could just absorb it. As for the Golden Light Left Arm Bone, it gives my abilities an overall boost. Furthermore, I can feel that the reason why its effects on me are still limited is because my level of mastery isn’t high enough, just like your soul skills. Otherwise, it would be because I am not yet familiar with handling it. Do remember that the presence of the bone enhances our cultivation speed when we use the Haodong Power. You have to know that an increase of even ten percent in our cultivation speed is already difficult to gauge with money. Besides, this Class 8 soul tool’s opening price may only be six hundred thousand, but who knows how much its final price will be?”

Book 12: The Strength of the Preparatory Team
Chapter 99.3: Top Quality Goods & The Princess

“Although my Golden Light Left Arm Bone can’t compare to a hundred thousand year soul bone, it’s still a rather formidable presence among soul bones. It was also the item with the highest value at the Treasure Appreciation Auction held in the Treasure Pavilion. While there are many items in this Starlight Auction house, not all of them can supersede it in terms of value in such a top-ranked auction.”

As the two of them spoke, the number on the soul screen had already changed rapidly.

The golden soul coin figure soared and crossed the 1 million mark very quickly. However, the figure increased at a slower rate upon crossing the 1 million mark.

Qing Ya said, “Distinguished guests, this Tyrannical Tiger Soulblade has a rough value of six hundred thousand golden soul coins based on its own quality and without consideration of the craftmanship of the soul engineer. This is according to careful analysis by our auctionplace. This is also the reason why we raised the starting bid for this item. A conservative estimate of its actual value would be at least 1.3 million golden soul coins. That piece of Tyrannical Tiger soul bone from which it was carved has a slight flaw, but the Class 8 soul engineer that produced it has already removed this flaw during the process of carving the blade. If that piece of soul bone were perfect, this blade might have been even be more powerful. However, this would also mean that its price would have been even more astronomical. Personally, I feel that the price of this Tyrannical Tiger Soulblade is very reasonable.”

How many of those who came to this top-ranked auction were fools? Just like Princess Xingyun said, they were all connoisseurs, and were clearly aware of the right price of the items. The auction house did not overprice the starting bids, but it was also almost impossible for anyone to obtain any item at a steal.

Dai Yaoheng eventually made up his mind and used 1.56 million golden soul coins to bid for this Tyrannical Tiger Soulblade.

The price of the blade didn’t change for a minute. After the bidding ended, golden lights in the entire room burst into bright fireworks. This signified a successful bid.

Dai Yaoheng was also feeling the pinch in his heart. After being a member of the Shrek Guardians for such a long time, his personal savings were barely over a few hundred thousand golden soul coins. However, Star Luo City was his headquarters. Thus, it was not too difficult for him to raise this sum of money.

Princess Jiujiu, who wore a long red dress, appeared on the screen once again. She smiled sweetly as she bowed slightly. She said, “I’d like to thank the guest who won the bid for the Tyrannical Tiger Soulblade for his support of our auction today. Below, we shall present the second auction item now. Although they can only be expended once, they are very rare. It’s not easy to gather this entire set. Distinguished guests, please take a look.”

The soul tool screen changed once again, and the screen on the wall was divided into 12 sections. The items in each of the 12 sections looked very similar to one another.

They were all cylindrical objects. One end was cone-shaped, and the other end was the base of the cylinder. This applied to all 12 items. The only difference that they had were in terms of their color. They seemed to be carved from different types of metal.

“Stationary soul cannon shells.” He Caitou muttered almost instantaneously, his voice filled with shock.

Princess Jiujiu’s voice echoed within the room, “These 12 stationary soul cannon shells are products of the Illustrious Virtue Hall. It took us quite some effort to gather them. Each of them has a different effect and their sizes are according to the standard format. When used appropriately, these 12 shells have the power to threaten the life of a Soul Douluo.”

“Using the class of a soul tool to measure them, each one of them contains a precise formation array. The formation arrays are not inferior to a Class 6 soul tool in terms of complexity. Their elements include water, fire, earth, wind, light, darkness, poison, lightning, frost, metal, explosion and paralysis. At least a Class 6 stationary soul cannon shell is needed to fire the cannonballs. For repeated firing, at least a Class 7 stationary soul cannon will be needed. I shall give all of you 5 minutes to appreciate this set of 12 items.”

Before she had even finished speaking, He Caitou had already leapt forward quickly. Huo Yuhao followed closely behind him. Although they had not encountered a soul tool of this class, it was still good if they could just admire it!

This was especially so for He Caitou, as he had used a stationary soul tool before. He was more aware of the importance of a stationary soul cannon shell. Thinking about it, the effect of the stationary soul tool in battle must be very immense given that even the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament did not permit the use of it by its participants.

Princess Jiu Jiu’s description was not exaggerated. If these shells were all at the Class 6 level, they could certainly threaten the life of a Soul Douluo, and even cause problems for a Titled Douluo.

“They’re too exquisite. Little junior brother, the formation arrays are at the tails of the cannon shells. There are accelerator circuits on the surface of the formation arrays, too. Furthermore, these circuits are so huge. Once the cannon shell is released, its speed will be frightening. No wonder a Class 6 and above stationary soul cannon is required to fire them, so as to prevent the bore from exploding.”

He Caitou looked at these shells and jumped around in excitement.

Wang Yan walked beside him and asked softly, “Caitou, do you know the value of these shells?”

He Caitou nodded his head without any hesitation and said, “Of course. I’ve researched them very heavily! Teacher Wang, we must get them. These few years, our soul tool department has focused our research on stationary soul tools. The might of a stationary soul cannon is a huge problem that has stumped us. Right now, our academy can only produce stationary soul cannon shells that are Class 5, at most. This item is pricey and expendable, but they’re something we haven’t been able to produce. These shells, will be very useful in our research of higher class shells.”

“Alright, I understand.” Wang Yan nodded his head.

Qing Ya reminded them softly, “Distinguished guests, these cannons are all equipped with the encrypted formation schematic of the Illustrious Virtue Hall. If any of you is buying them for research purposes, please take due care. If the encrypted formation is touched, it may induce an explosion.”

“Of course I know that.” He Caitou said without any hesitation, “No matter who created such a high-level soul tool, the same logic applies. However, we can reap some information just by looking at the clues on their surfaces…”

He wanted to continue on, but Wang Yan coughed and blocked out his words. He Caitou also realized that he was getting too excited, and quickly refrained from speaking further.

The price of these 12 shells was indeed astonishing, and were true to the idea that every succeeding auction item was more expensive than the preceding item. The starting price for these 12 shells was actually 650,000 golden soul coins.

“Distinguished guests, I don’t think that this set of cannon shells from the Illustrious Virtue Hall is too expensive for all of you. Not only can they be used in battle, they can also be kept as souvenirs. It’s also not easy for the Illustrious Virtue Hall to produce such a set like this. The most important thing is that they are very rare. The Starlight Auction house can guarantee that this is the first time a set of Class 6 stationary soul cannon shells from the Illustrious Virtue Hall has appeared in our auction house.”

The bidding started. Wang Yan did not rush to make a bid, and only watched the screen quietly.

It was not his first or second time taking part in an auction. Even for the most specific auctions, not all the auction items would be able to be auctioned out successfully. There would be situations where a second auction would be held.

Perhaps the value of these 12 shells might be greater than the Tyrannical Tiger Soulblade earlier. However, that was attributed more to their rarity. There were very few who were willing and able to use these shells. Furthermore, the price of the entire set of 12 shells was too high. They were not like close-combat soul tools or long-range soul tools. Once the shells were used, they could no longer be used anymore.

Indeed, Wang Yan’s steadiness was rewarded. The figure of 650,000 golden soul coins did not increase. No one was willing to make a bid.

After a minute, Princess Jiujiu regretfully said, “It seems like these 12 shells will not have an owner today. I shall count down the last 20 seconds. If no one makes a bid, this auction item will be put for up for a second auction.”

Wang Yan twisted his head towards Qing Ya and asked in a low voice, “How many seconds does it take to make a bid?”

“Bids are processed instantly.” Qing Ya replied.

Wang Yan nodded his head slightly, and his eyes flashed with a wise and far-sighted radiance.

“5, 4, 3, 2, 1.”

When the countdown reached 2 seconds, Wang Yan shouted, “I will bid 655,000 golden soul coins.” The smallest raise was 5000 golden soul coins. He did not bid the starting price, but added 5000 golden soul coins.

The price was entered in immediately. At the very last second, the illusory 650,000 figure jumped to 655,000 instantly after it froze.

Qing Ya was stunned as she covered her small mouth. Following that, she raved, “Teacher Wang, you are brilliant!”

Huo Yuhao also understood what had happened. At the very last moment, it was not only Wang Yan who had made a bid. However, the other person had offered the starting price. Under such a circumstance, the increase that Wang Yan had added to his bid had a decisive impact.

Wang Yan smiled before saying, “I was just taking precautions. I’m lucky to have obtained this set of stationary soul cannon shells by bidding a little higher.”

Qing Ya laughed slightly as she congratulated him; she seemed elated too. The Shrek Academy that she was in charge of hosting managed to succeed in their bid for two auction items consecutively. Not only would she gain a commission, but it would also greatly help her assessment score in the auction house.

However, Shrek Academy did not bid on any of the next 5 auction items. They included a left arm bone, a right arm bone, a right leg bone, a piece of rare metal and a long-range Class 8 soul tool.

What was worth mentioning was the long-range Class 8 soul tool. As a Class 8 soul tool, it required a Titled Douluo to use it. Its name was the Heavensplitting Cannon, and it also came from the Sun Moon Empire. However, it was not a product of the Illustrious Virtue Hall. It was made by a Class 9 soul engineer.

Book 12: The Strength of the Preparatory Team
Chapter 100.1: A High Quality Ice Bomb

The powerful Heavensplitting Cannon was similar to the super soul cannon that He Caitou used. However, it was much more powerful, and could only be used once per day. Its full power was the equivalent of a full-force blow from a Rank 95 Transcendent Douluo.

The only reason why it was judged to be a Class 8 soul tool and not a Class 9 one was because it was made from inferior materials. This limited the amount of times one could use the Heavensplitting Cannon to only once per day. At the same time, it needed a long time to recharge, and could only hit a single target. In a battle between combatants of the same class, it was rather useless. In the words of Princess Jiu Jiu, it was a Class 8 soul tool that possessed Class 9 formation arrays.

In the end, this Heavensplitting Cannon was bought by some other buyer at the high price of 7 million golden soul coins.

It was not that Wang Yan did not want to intervene. However, at prices like the ones on display, he did not dare to make the call without serious consideration. After all, his power within the academy was limited. As for the students, none of them could use this item, neither did they have the money to buy it. All they could do was spectate.

Other than the first two items, the rest of the items in the auction were sold at increasingly higher prices. Since they were not particularly enthralled with these items, they decided to keep silent.

Qing Ya, the auctioneer, did not provide any additional prompts. All she did was fairly and impartially explain the functions and abilities of every single item up for auction.

Princess Jiu Jiu appeared for the eighth time on the screen as she said with a smile, “The following two items will be the main stars of today’s auction. I believe that every single one of you will be interested in them, so seize this chance. You may only see these items once, and you may not find a second chance to see them on the entire continent. Our eighth auction item is one such example. While it’s still a soul bone, it is different from the rest. Please, take a look.”

Light flashed, and the image of a soul bone, which was maximized many times over, appeared on the soul screen.

This soul bone was completely emerald green. An emerald green halo swirled and pulsed around it, as if it were filled with emerald-green liquid.

From its external appearance, it appeared to be a left arm bone. On top of its emerald green body, it gave off a faint, white mist.

As it had been magnified many times over, everyone could feel that it was something special. The surface of this jade green bone appeared to be dotted with small crystals. These crystals were clear, and they looked as if they had been carved from some precious metal. The other soul bones that had appeared earlier paled in comparison to this one. Evidently, they were not in the same category. Even Wang Dong’s Golden Light Left Arm Bone might not be as powerful as this one, superficially.

“How is this possible…?”


Two voices rang out simultaneously in Huo Yuhao’s brain. The first one belonged to the Skydream Iceworm, and the second one naturally belonged to the Ice Empress.

Huo Yuhao was startled by their sudden reaction, particularly that of the Ice Empress. He could feel her rage.

“What’s the matter, Ice Empress?” Huo Yuhao asked quickly.

The Ice Empress did not respond. Huo Yuhao could feel her rage increasing exponentially.

At this moment, Princess Jiu Jiu’s alluring voice rang out. Compared to before, it was a bit deeper and more moving. The allure in her voice was stronger too. “Honored guests, I am proud to introduce this soul bone to everyone. Everyone knows that, to a soul master, the most valuable item is either a hundred thousand years soul ring, or a hundred thousand year soul bone. It is extremely rare for these two items to appear at the same time during an auction. Even for our Starlight Auction, such premium items have yet to exist. After all, no matter who possesses these items, he or she will not choose to auction them off, but instead use them to create an elite.”

“The bone that is before everyone is the most premium bone to have appeared in our Starlight Auction in recent years. After we obtained it, we planned on keeping it. Originally, we did not plan to auction it off, because it was too precious and too rare.”

“I believe that everyone can see that this soul bone is an ice-type bone. Before I elaborate any further on its pros, I want to introduce to everyone to its con. Some guests may be curious: why would we introduce the cons of an object as auctioneers? This is because the Starlight Auction values trust above everything else. Furthermore, the downside of this object can also be said to be a strength.”

“The most important downside of this soul bone is that it’s an ice-type bone. Everyone knows that most soul bones do not have elemental requirements. Most of them can be used by all soul masters. Their accompanying soul skill will change according to one’s martial soul. This applies even to hundred thousand year soul bones. This type of soul bone is mainstream among soul bones. Other than these mainstream soul bones, there are some special exceptions. These types of soul bones have elemental requirements, and soul masters that do not fit these elemental requirements can never fuse with them. Forcing it will hurt oneself, which can even be fatal. Hence, of the eight items up for auction today, this bone is one such object. Hence, its first downside is its elemental requirement. Only ice-type soul masters can use it.”

When the auction reached its eighth item, Princess Jiu Jiu became evidently more vocal. Her voice, perfect in its intonation and pitch, was even more alluring. Naturally, many were drawn by her description of the object.

“The ice-type elemental requirement is already very restrictive. After all, less than 1% of all soul masters specialize in the ice element. Hence, I must say that while this soul bone is good, it is only good for those who can meet its requirements.”

“Its second flaw is very clear too. However, I believe that it’s actually one of its strengths. Its soul skill is set. The Starlight Auction has invited many soul bone specialists to verify it, and our conclusion is that the soul skill of this soul bone is set. No matter what the martial soul of the ice-type soul master that fuses with it is, its soul skill will never change. This is a strong limitation.”

“As for its final flaw, it’s its age. According to our analysis, this soul bone is between 50, 000 to 70, 000 years old. This is one of its strengths, but at the same time, please don’t try to fuse with it if you do not possess the calibre. If not, you will likely die from it. So these are its three flaws.”

“Are these really flaws?” Wang Yan’s thoughts were evident from his twitching face.

What flaws? These were evidently its strengths. While it was true that its elemental requirement was a severe limitation, all soul bones with elemental requirements were more powerful than those without these requirements. Once a soul master fused with one, its effects would vastly exceed those of one without elemental requirements.

For example, Wang Dong’s Golden Light Left Arm Bone was only so valuable because it could only fuse with a light-type soul master. After fusion, its effects were vastly superior to any ordinary soul bone.

As to its second ‘weakness’, the fact that its soul skill was set was a humongous advantage. Only exceptionally powerful soul bones would have set soul skills!

As for its final flaw, when had the age of a soul bone ever been a flaw? With a few sentences, Princess Jiu Jiu was able to elucidate every single strength of this emerald ice type soul bone under the guise of listing its ‘flaws’.

“Now that we are done with its flaws, we shall now talk about its strengths,” Princess Jiu Jiu said as her voice turned sincere in an instant.

“As the main auctioneer of the Starlight Auction, and as a princess of the Imperial Household of the Star Luo Empire, I give my solemn word that everything I say is true. Firstly, I want to say that this soul bone is the most perfect one I have seen. Its rarity can be compared to a hundred thousand year soul bone because it did not originate from our continent or any particular country. Instead, it comes the Extreme North, an area forbidden to us humans. Furthermore, it comes from the core regions of the Extreme North. The owner of this soul bone is a transcendent soul beast of the bitterly cold extreme north, the Ice Jade Scorpion.”

The moment Princess Jiu Jiu said the three words ‘Ice Jade Scorpion’, everyone’s gaze fell onto Huo Yuhao. Everyone looked surprised, as they all knew what Huo Yuhao’s second martial soul was. No one, however, thought that the eighth item up for auction would be the same as Huo Yuhao’s martial soul. Doubtlessly, if Huo Yuhao obtained the soul bone, he would be its best fit.

Huo Yuhao was struck by a sudden realization. No wonder the Skydream Iceworm was shocked, and the Ice Empress was filled with rage. This left arm bone came from her fellow tribesmen!

Princess Jiu Jiu continued, “The Ice Jade Scorpion may not be a familiar name for everyone here. However, I believe that everyone is familiar with something else. The leader of the Ice Jade Scorpions is the Ice Jade Scorpion King, otherwise known as the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion. Among the Ten Great Savage Beasts, it is ranked eighth. Any beast that could enter the ranks of the Ten Great Savage Beasts is top class. Even if we don’t take into account its age, the Ice Jade Scorpion is at the top of the pecking order among all soul beasts.”

“This soul bone comes from an Ice Jade Scorpion. As they live in groups, it’s a miracle that someone could kill one from a pack of them. This is more difficult than killing a hundred thousand year soul beast from the Great Star Dou Forest. What makes this feat even more difficult was that the slayer obtained a soul bone after killing an Ice Jade Scorpion.”

Book 12: The Strength of the Preparatory Team
Chapter 100.2: A High Quality Ice Bomb

“According to the ancient records, the power of ice is determined by its temperature. The lower the temperature of ice, the scarier and tougher it is. The Ice Jade Scorpion King is recognized as the one who possesses ice of the lowest temperature in the world. Although its clan members are not as outstanding as it is, there are very few others who are able to match up to them in the domain of ice. Hence, I would like to tell all of you that once this left arm bone is infused, there will be an elemental amplification of the martial soul of ice-type soul masters. Regardless of what soul skill is employed, the temperature will be lower than before. This is basically a major benefit, an all-round amplification. It’s not too much to claim this as the first advantage of this piece of Ice Jade Scorpion Left Arm Bone, is it?”

“Secondly, the Ice Jade Scorpion is naturally powerful beyond measure. After obtaining this left arm bone, the strength of the left arm of the soul master will increase significantly. As for the magnitude of increase, I’m unsure. This can only be tested by the fortunate, distinguished guest that receives it.”

“Next is the third benefit of infusing this piece of soul bone. Once it’s infused, the solidified skill of this soul bone will also be possessed by the soul master. I shall not beat around the bush any further. This solidified skill is called Ice Explosion. I mentioned earlier that the solidified skill is its weakness and lacks changes. However, I also must clarify that this is also its greatest advantage. Even to the Ice Jade Scorpion, this skill could be considered a divine skill. As long as there’s ice, the might of the Ice Explosion will exist.”

“I have clearly stated all three huge weaknesses and advantages. An ice-type soul master will not regret possessing it. Now, I shall give all of you 10 minutes to appreciate it.”

After speaking for so long, everyone was stunned as Princess Jiu Jiu’s voice disappeared. Only Wang Yan remained sober and in full command of his senses. He turned his head rapidly to look at Qing Ya, asking, “Qing Ya, are there many ice-type soul masters among those who are here to bid?”

Qing Ya’s pretty face flashed with a tinge of awkwardness. However, she did not deny his words, and nodded her head slightly, “Apologies, it’s necessary for our auction house to do this. The items for auction in this top-ranked auction are treasures. Thus, they are naturally allocated to the distinguished guests that need them the most. In fact, the first 7 items on auction are like the appetizers, while the last two items are the main course of this auction. While our auction house does have our own strategy, there was no exaggerated content in Jiu Jiu’s introduction. This soul bone is indeed the most exquisite item.”

Wang Yan nodded slightly as he twisted his head towards Huo Yuhao and Ling Luochen. Then, he said in a deep voice, “There’s only one soul bone. If the two of you can achieve a consensus, I can give it a shot for the both of you.”

Huo Yuhao and Ling Luochen naturally understood what Wang Yan meant. For such a top-ranked ice-type soul bone, it was no longer about money. It was an item that was extremely desirable but difficult to obtain! No matter how many golden soul coins one had, they were just irrelevant numbers without the items that one wanted to get.

There was no need to doubt the value of the Ice Jade Scorpion Left Arm Bone to Huo Yuhao. But similarly, it carried immense value for Ling Luochen too. It was even fair to say that Ling Luochen’s powers would be able to rise a level if she possessed it. She could then reach the level of both Ma Xiaotao and Dai Yueheng. It would also be ideal for her future progress.

An ice explosion sounded very simple. However, as a soul master, how could Ling Luochen not understand its significance? Simply put, this ice explosion was comparable to the corpse explosion unleashed by that Envoy of the Death God that they had met. This Ice Explosion might even be more powerful. To an ice-type soul master, it was nothing to conjure a little bit of ice. If this Ice Explosion move was controlled well after it was set to explode, its might would render it a divine skill!

Huo Yuhao’s spiritual sea was a mess. After a brief moment of resentment, the Ice Empress demanded that Huo Yuhao obtain that soul bone by hook or by crook upon hearing the words ‘Ice Explosion’. The reason was very simple, but not even the Starlight Auction House knew about it. To the Ice Jade Scorpion clan, this Ice Explosion skill was rarely seen. Even As the Ice Jade Scorpion King, the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion did not possess such a skill among her gifts.

Huo Yuhao immediately understood when the Ice Empress explained the strength of this skill using one sentence. The Ice Empress said that she could challenge the leader of the Three Heavenly Kings if she possessed this skill.

However, could Huo Yuhao really say so? He couldn’t.

As he saw the radiance of hope in Ling Luochen’s eyes that was very difficult to mask, Huo Yuhao’s words stuck in his throat.

This soul bone was comparable to a hundred thousand year soul bone to an ice-type soul master. No one would be able to give it up so readily! Ling Luochen definitely wanted it. Without a doubt, this soul bone must be extremely costly. Besides its price, Huo Yuhao was also unwilling to let the mood of his senior change because of him. They were comrades, and still needed to fight alongside each other in the following competition.

After sensing Huo Yuhao’s hesitation, the Ice Empress gradually calmed down as well. “Idiot, just give it to her first.”

“What?” Huo Yuhao was stunned, “Didn’t you ask me to obtain this soul bone at all costs?”

The Ice Empress laughed coldly and said, “I was feeling gloomy just now, and my thoughts were not clear. Do you think that the soul bones produced by Ice Jade Scorpions can be absorbed so readily by anyone? Everything in that auctioneer’s introduction was just conjecture. How is anyone clearer than me about the special characteristics of Ice Jade Scorpions? Although she’s right in most of her description, there are some parts that were wrong too. This is also why this soul bone is a great problem to ordinary soul masters. Her mistake lay in her claim that fusing with this soul bone can increase the ice-type power of one’s body. Do you know why she’s wrong?”

Huo Yuhao laughed bitterly. “You are making me anxious. Look at Senior Ling’s eyes. Stop beating about the bush.”

The Ice Empress snorted before saying a few words to Huo Yuhao.

“What? So this is it?” Huo Yuhao was appalled. Following that, he became much more relaxed from his initial uneasiness and said, “This is much easier then.”

“Qing Ya, I have a question.” Huo Yuhao did not look at Ling Luochen’s shining gaze, but instead looked towards Qing Ya.

Qing Ya smiled and nodded at him without despising him at all. They had dug deep into the profiles of all the students from Shrek Academy who were here to compete. Among all the students, Huo Yuhao was one of the few that they monitored closely. Qing Ya was fully aware of his brilliant performances during the competition. With the strength of his ice-type martial soul, he had relied on his strength as a two-ringed Soul Grandmaster to achieve decisive impacts during the competition. He was also touted as the future hope and star of Shrek Academy.

“Please feel free to ask, my distinguished guest.”

Huo Yuhao said in a deep voice, “Can you halt this auction temporarily? There’s something wrong with your auction item.”

After he spoke, everyone present was stunned. They did not expect him to raise his suspicions with the auction house instead of discussing how they should share the spoils if they obtained the soul bone with Ling Luochen.

Qing Ya creased her eyebrows slightly and replied, “My distinguished guest, that’s impossible. All our auction items have been through stringent checks and tests. They are all problem-free for sure. Which auction item are you referring to anyway?”

Huo Yuhao said, “I’m referring to the Ice Jade Scorpion Left Arm Bone that was just presented. I’m also doing this for the name of your auction house. If such an item is auctioned out for an exorbitant price, it won’t do any good for the reputation of your auction house. If you can’t make a decision, please ask someone who has the authority to come out now.”

Qing Ya furrowed her brows even further and turned to Wang Yan, as if she was looking for his help.

Wang Yan laughed gently and said, “Qing Ya, you don’t have to look at me. I trust in the judgement of my students. Furthermore, if there’s anyone who has the right to claim that this 8th auction item is flawed, it’s him. We won’t put you on the spot either. Yuhao, please let Qing Ya take a look at your martial soul.”

Huo Yuhao nodded and turned around. He stripped his jacket off and passed it to Wang Dong. After that, he removed his top and revealed his firm upper body.

As his soul power surged, a white soul ring rose from beneath his feet. The temperature in the entire room dipped at an alarming rate. Following that, a tattoo of a huge scorpion appeared on his back.

This tattoo was too big, such that the curled part of the scorpion’s tail was hidden underneath his pants. However, most of the tattoo could be seen on his back. Wasn’t it the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion?

Of course, it was needless to say that Qing Ya was unable to tell what the tattoo was. Even for Wang Yan, who had decades of experience in the research of martial souls, he could not differentiate between the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion and an Ice Jade Scorpion.

“This, this is…” Qing Ya was stunned as she looked at Huo Yuhao’s back.

Wang Yan said, “Qing Ya, the martial soul of this student of mine is the rare Ice Jade Scorpion. It originates from the same soul beast as the soul bone that is on auction. Hence, I believe his judgment when he says that this soul bone is flawed. For the sake of the reputation of this auction house, I think it’s best for you to ask for advice from your superiors.”

Qing Ya did not hesitate any further, and nodded her head. She said, “All distinguished guests, please wait for a moment.” After she finished saying that, she turned and walked out. It was no longer under her authority to make any decisions if there were problems with the auction items. After Huo Yuhao revealed his martial soul, she was convinced, but needed some time to seek advice from her superiors.

After less than a minute, Princess Jiu Jiu’s voice rang out on the big screen again, “Due to the value of this auction item, our auction house has decided to extend the time for it’s appreciation by a further 10 minutes. This will allow all of you to make a more informed choice.”

Ling Luochen walked up to Huo Yuhao and whispered, “Is there really something wrong with this soul bone?”

Book 12: The Strength of the Preparatory Team
Chapter 100.3: A High Quality Ice Bomb

Huo Yuhao nodded his head slightly and said a few words to her in a low voice. Ling Luochen was dazed for a moment. Following that, her expression changed. Finally, she sighed in exasperation and mumbled, “What’s meant to be yours will be yours. What’s not meant to be yours won’t be yours. We can’t force things.”

Huo Yuhao comforted her, “Senior, I am not 100% confident either. If we are able obtain this soul bone, you can try it first. If it doesn’t work out for you, you can then pass it to me.”

Ling Luochen shook her head and touched Huo Yuhao’s head. She said, “There’s no need to. I was just being greedy. I believe your words. If possible, you can cultivate a few times with me in the future when you have the time.”

Before Huo Yuhao even opened his mouth, Wang Dong forced his jacket towards him. “Put it on. What are you trying to achieve by being naked? Do you want our eyes to suffer?”

As he interrupted, they deviated from the subject that they were on.

At this moment, the door opened, and Qing Ya returned to the room. What was unexpected was that the person who followed her was Princess Jiu Jiu, the chief auctioneer of the Starlight auction House, who still wore her long, red dress.

Upon seeing her, everyone stood up. As she was a princess and this was the Star Luo Empire, everyone had no choice but to accord her the respect she deserved.

At close range, the beauty of this princess was astonishing. Her almost flawless face left everyone dizzy. Fortunately, this room already had a ravishing beauty in Jiang Nannan, which relieved a little of the amazement that everyone felt.

Princess Jiu Jiu bowed slightly to everyone, then asked anxiously, “Who is the distinguished guest that claims that our Ice Jade Scorpion Left Arm Bone is flawed?”

Huo Yuhao nodded and said, “It’s me.”

Princess Jiu Jiu sized him up for a moment before saying, “What’s the problem? You are an Ice Jade Scorpion soul master?”

Huo Yuhao nodded his head and said, “Yes. There’s nothing wrong with this soul bone.”

“Oh?” Princess Jiu Jiu’s huge beautiful eyes flashed with a chill, and she said in a low voice, “Why is there nothing wrong with it again?”

Huo Yuhao said, “I am referring to the soul bone when I say that nothing is wrong. The person absorbing the soul bone is the one with the problem. This soul bone can’t be absorbed by just anyone.”

As the royal princess and chief auctioneer, Princess Jiu Jiu was a very restrained person. But now that she was pressed for time, and this concerned the success of the auction, she could not help but feel anxious. Her tone hardened. “I know that not everyone can absorb this soul bone. Only ice-type soul masters and those with a cultivation capable absorbing soul bones of 50,000 years and above can try. Are you pointing out this problem?”

Huo Yuhao said, “The limitations of this soul bone don’t end there. I believe that Your Highness doesn’t really understand the Ice Jade Scorpion clan. As the strongest species in the Extreme North, the Ice Jade Scorpions have always been very proud. Furthermore, they currently possess the strongest ice available. Hence, there is always a special requirement in order to absorb everything that they produce, including soul rings and soul bones.”

As he spoke till this point, Huo Yuhao reviewed what the Ice Empress had said to him earlier, “To absorb the soul bones of us Ice Jade Scorpions, you humans will need Ultimate Ice, regardless of what type of soul bone you want to absorb. Without the Ultimate Ice physique, it’s impossible to absorb a soul bone produced by an Ice Jade Scorpion. This is the pride of the Ice Jade Scorpions!”

He had also related this reasoning to Ling Luochen, which had dispelled her desire for this soul bone.

“What is the special requirement?” Princess Jiu Jiu calmed down. Before entering, she had already known who was inside the room. The members of Shrek Academy never spoke without thinking.

Huo Yuhao said in a deep voice, “Ultimate Ice. Without an Ultimate Ice physique, it’s impossible to absorb this soul bone.”

“That’s impossible.” Princess Jiu Jiu reacted almost instantly, “Since when have the requirements for a soul bone been so high? Doesn’t this mean that no one can absorb it?”

Huo Yuhao calmly said, “This is the pride of the Ice Jade Scorpions. Furthermore, it doesn’t mean that no one can absorb it just because it’s difficult to. I’m saying all this out of goodwill, as I don’t want the credibility of your auction house to be undermined. Whether you believe me or not is up to you. I have said my piece. Your Highness, you can continue with the auction.”

Princess Jiu Jiu creased her brows and clenched her fists subconsciously. One could see her internal struggle at this point.

It was true that Huo Yuhao’s words were one-sided. However, Qing Ya did mention to her that Huo Yuhao’s martial soul was an Ice Jade Scorpion. It was normal that he would know a lot about the soul bone of an Ice Jade Scorpion. However, this would spoil her original plan. Moreover, it would be a major flaw in this top-ranked auction.

Not forgetting her status as the chief auctioneer, she took in a deep breath and calmed down. After greeting Huo Yuhao with a palace formality, she said, “Thanks for telling me all this. Time is tight, and I will deal with this matter immediately. If I’m being rude, I hope that everyone can forgive me.” After she finished, she turned around and left in a hurry.

Qing Ya only returned to the room after seeing Princess Jiu Jiu out. She wore a gloomy expression.

Wang Yan smiled and tried to comfort her. “Qing Ya, this has nothing to do with you. Don’t fret too much.”

Qing Ya shook her head and said, “This concerns the credibility of our auction house! It’s also a very big thing. The starting bid for this soul bone was initially going to be set at over 10 million golden soul coins. There has never been a case of anyone having any problems with our auction items that cross the 10 million mark.”

Wang Yan replied, “It’s better to discover earlier than not to discover it at all. At least there’s still room to rectify the problem, since it’s yet to be auctioned out,.”

On the other side, Princess Jiu Jiu went further in after she exited the previous room. She came before a door that was numbered 1 at the very end of the hallway. Without even knocking on the door, she pushed with her right hand, and the door slid open to one side. She walked in hurriedly.

“Brother, we have an issue.”

There was only one man seated in this room. He was tall and upright, and he wore a long, black robe. Besides him, there were no other people around, not even maids. However, if one saw the appearance of this man, he would be horrified. That’s because this man was the Star Luo Emperor.

After he saw Princess Jiu Jiu entering the room, the Star Luo Emperor said in a low voice, “I know that something has gone wrong. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have extended the time for the guests to appreciate the item. What’s wrong?”

Princess Jiu Jiu repeated Huo Yuhao’s words to him.

After hearing her words, the Star Luo Emperor shook his head and laughed after a momentary daze. “I still wanted to deliver them a favor, but who knew that this favor would be lacking? Go and settle it. In a while, I will go to meet them, and deliver this favor properly.”

Princess Jiu Jiu nodded as she understood his hint. “Brother, are they worth it? If we do it this way, the auction house will sustain considerable losses.”

“Of course they are. We can even kill two birds with one stone. It’s necessary to improve our ties with Shrek Academy. In recent times, the Sun Moon Empire has not been very attuned to peace. The Illustrious Virtue Hall has also produced items that have invoked a sense of crisis within me. Once there’s movement by the Sun Moon Empire, we’ll be the first on the receiving end. When that time comes, Shrek Academy will be the first to be able to help us. Furthermore, the youth that I noticed even once sparked a conference within the Sea God’s Pavilion. He has twin martial souls and an ultimate ice martial soul. Doesn’t that make it necessary for us to build up our ties with him? More importantly, he is under the rule of our empire as indicated in his registration information in Shrek Academy. For such a talent, I believe that he’ll grow closer to us even if we don’t use him. Go, we don’t have much time left.”

“Alright.” Princess Jiu Jiu’s eyes flashed with radiance, and her mind floated with the image of Huo Yuhao’s confidence earlier. She couldn’t believe that he wasn’t even 13 years old. But he was very calm earlier!

After the 20 minutes of appreciation time was up, Huo Yuhao was surprised that the auction was not affected by his words earlier. It continued to be held.

The starting price of the Ice Jade Scorpion Left Arm Bone reached over 12 million. Every increase had to be no less than 50,000 golden soul coins. For such a high price, everyone from Shrek Academy was stunned.

After Wang Yan gritted his teeth and made 2 bids, he couldn’t carry on anymore, and had to give up. While Shrek City was wealthy, the taxes that it collected in a year was only a mere few hundred million golden soul coins. For such a treasure that was priced in the millions, it could be the treasure of a city. The amount of money involved meant that Wang Yan was not exactly in a position to make any calls.

The greatest source of money for Shrek Academy did not come from the taxes collected from Shrek City. They came from the monetary rewards obtained when the powerful individuals from Shrek Academy carried out missions or hunted soul beasts outside. For example, if the Sea God’s Pavilion in Shrek Academy was willing to act, it was not difficult to hunt and kill a hundred thousand year soul beast. The value of a hundred thousand year soul beast was very difficult to measure in terms of money.

However, in the past thousand years, Shrek Academy had toned down this aspect of their work. The most important reason for doing so was because they did not want to rile up the Great Star Dou Forest. If it did, the situation would be dire. Even if Shrek City could be preserved, the surroundings cities and villages around the Great Star Dou Forest would still be destroyed. Hence, Shrek Academy did not hunt and kill soul beasts in the Great Star Dou Forest even though it was lucrative. They would only do so to help increase the soul rings of their students if they needed one.

The price of the soul bone soared. It indeed attracted a lot of attention. When the price of the soul bone reached 15 million, the sudden shout of a figure caused everyone to be appalled.

30 million!

The number 30 million had appeared on the soul screen. Who said numbers were simple? By looking at this frightening number, all of the Shrek’s Seven Monsters started to breathe more anxiously. This figure was enough to buy a mid-sized city! The number referred to golden soul coins too, and not silver or bronze soul coins. The purchasing power of a golden soul coin was enough to buy 150 loaves of bread. It was not simple for even a country to fork out such a sum, but right now, this figure was used to bid on a soul bone. Who could be so wealthy?

Book 12: The Strength of the Preparatory Team
Chapter 101.1: The Embryo Of A Hundred Thousand Year Soul Beast (Preview)

“Teacher Wang.” In a rare occurrence, Ling Luochen spoke. She appeared to be irritated. “Isn’t the Starlight Auction House being deceitful, knowing that the soul bone they are auctioning is flawed?” She had been moved by Huo Yuhao’s words earlier too. She was wondering about the prospect of being able to fuse with this soul bone. If this soul bone was flawed, it would be in the best interest of the Starlight Auction House to sell it to them. After all, Huo Yuhao possessed an ultimate ice martial soul, which was very uncommon.

Wang Yan waved towards her and said, “Don’t fret.”

Qing Ya came towards Wang Yan and whispered a few words to him.

Wang Yan laughed slightly and said, “I’ve guessed that it’d be like this already. We’ll wait here. Isn’t there a last auction item? Let us take a look at it and see what can be more valuable than the Ice Jade Scorpion Left Arm Bone.”

Upon seeing Wang Yan’s expression, Ma Xiaotao and Dai Yaoheng were both relieved. They seemed to have understood something too. Bei Bei, He Caitou and Xu Sanshi all grinned too. Xu Sanshi even took the initiative to answer Jiang Nannan’s doubts.

Wang Dong was initially as irritated as Ling Luochen. Only when Huo Yuhao muttered a few words into his ear did he seemed to be enlightened. Xiao Xiao was at a loss though. Ling Luochen continued to furrow her brows, but did not say anything.

As this Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament continued, Wang Yan was gaining further recognition from his students based on his profound knowledge and hard work.

“Next, we have our final auction item.”

The image on the soul screen turned golden. As the golden light receded, Princess Jiu Jiu appeared on the screen wearing a long, golden skirt.

Her milky-white skin didn’t lose its beauty and elegance when paired with the graceful and luxurious golden palace skirt. The tailoring of the skirt fitted her body to a tee, and even managed to accentuate her curves.

Qing Ya had already said before that wearing the golden auction attire signified that the auction item that was about to be presented next could potentially achieve a bid of over 100 million golden soul coins.

Although no one knew what that auction item was going to be, they were excited upon seeing Princess Jiu Jiu’s change of attire. In this top-ranked auction, she was indeed capable of getting everyone to their feet!

“Distinguished guests, we can tell how valuable this final auction item will be just by looking at Princess Jiu jiu’s dress. Honestly speaking, it’s also my first time seeing this auction item in my entire life. From my viewpoint, the value of this item can no longer be judged using money.”

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