Lu Xiaoxiao lifted her wrist and pressed He Caitou's jaws together. The "snot" was swallowed just like that, with a gurgle.
He Caitou's face turned from black to white, from white to green, and then from green to purple, and then… he fainted.
A day's worth of taxing lessons had already made him both mentally and physically exhausted. He couldn't take this torturous experience, and his body reacted naturally - he just collapsed onto the ground.
Lu Xiaoxiao frowned and grumbled, "Useless."
She snapped her fingers again as she spoke, and Huo Yuhao regained his ability to move. He was infuriated and blurted out, "You should try it yourself! This isn't something for humans to eat!" He was just about to toss the teacup away as he raged.
Lu Xiaoxiao raised her wrist and caught Huo Yuhao's hand, and she muttered coldly, "I really do want to try, but I can't. The Spiritcharm Sea Urchin truly doesn't taste nice at all, but good medicine always tastes bitter. You think the academy is trying to harm you by allowing me to set a dinner table for you guys? The academy has expended so many resources on you two, but you two are just going to crumble from something that tastes bad? So much for the academy treating you two like gifted elites. I won't force you to eat - if you don't eat it, then scram. However, don't count on me to select foods for you anymore. You have to choices: eat the Spiritcharm Sea Urchin, or throw it at my face. I am giving you this opportunity."
Lu Xiaoxiao let him go as she spoke and took a step back.
Huo Yuhao glanced at the teacup in his hands, and then at the ice-cold but composed Lu Xiaoxiao. He took a deep breath and decisively raised the teacup to his mouth, used the spoon to scoop the thing inside into his mouth, and swallowed forcefully.
He suddenly felt as if there was an inexplicably terrifying smell that coursed over his entire body in an instant. All the sweat glands on his body seemed to open, and the vigorous sensations stimulated his body until he started to shiver and quiver involuntarily. He gritted his teeth and forcibly resisted that disgusting and revolting feeling that made him feel like throwing up.
This shuddering lasted for almost twenty seconds. Then the repugnant sensations were suddenly gone, and a breeze of cold air rushed through his brain.
He had originally felt as drowsy and exhausted as could be, but now his brain felt as if it had suddenly been splashed by a bucket of cold water, and he shivered from the chilly sensation. Huo Yuhao immediately felt as if vitality had returned to his body, and his senses were fresh once again. His spirit felt smooth, and all the abhorrent emotions became a lot better than before. Furthermore, he realized that his second mental sea's spiritual power was recovered at a much higher speed than before, and the exhaustion in his mind was alleviated to an incredibly large extent.
"I'm sorry, Teacher Lu. I was wrong." Huo Yuhao bowed respectfully toward Lu Xiaoxiao. This wasn't just because of the Spiritcharm Sea Urchin's magical effects - it was also because of what Lu Xiaoxiao had said to him before that.
The academy had given so much for them, and he couldn't take this trivial suffering? If that was the case, then were they still worth the academy's attention and resources?
Lu Xiaoxiao woke He Caitou, and he immediately felt the changes happening in his body. The revolting sensations had disappeared during his brief moment of unconsciousness.
"The second dish - the Peony Lobster. This dish is also best eaten when still raw. However, it can also be eaten after killing it, and eating it alive isn't necessary. I will prepare it, and you guys will finish it immediately."
Lu Xiaoxiao opened two golden covers as she spoke, and both white porcelain plates had a lobster that was about as long as a palm. They were still struggling and moving around, but some unknown force was restricting them, and they couldn't leave the plate.
A small and nimble silver dinner knife suddenly appeared in Lu Xiaoxiao's hands - and then, Huo Yuhao and He Caitou witnessed a brutal sight.
From their perspectives, the two living lobsters looked like they were shedding their own shells, and their bodies swiftly broke apart into pieces, before piece after piece of thin lobster meat landed on the meal plates before Huo Yuhao and He Caitou.
"Finish them immediately. You will feel the magical effects of this exquisite delicacy."
Huo Yuhao had learned his lesson. He didn't hesitate at all as he immediately impaled a piece of meat using his fork and placed it in his mouth.
The thin lobster meat was pink in color, and its appearance had an inexplicable allure. The meat melted in his mouth, and was converted into a clear and sweet juice that carried the fresh tastiness of seafood as it slid into his stomach.
If the Spiritcharm Sea Urchin was incredibly unpalatable, then the Peony Lobster was extremely delicious. A warm feeling coursed through his body from his innards as the lobster meat entered his stomach. His pores opened once again, but this was a smooth and comfortable release, as if his entire day's exhaustion and fatigue were gradually receding.
He Caitou hesitated a bit more compared to Huo Yuhao, but he ate his food in the end. The two of them started to enjoy their dish, and didn't seem like they were getting tired of it. The two Peony Lobsters suddenly became part of their nutrients in the blink of an eye.
"The Spiritcharm Sea Urchin is only produced in a tiny patch of ocean within the Dou Ling Empire's East Coast, and it's not considered a soul beast. However, it's a delicacy that's coveted by all soul beasts. Soul beasts can unlock their intelligence and be inspired after eating it, and cultivating will become a lot smoother and more efficient. Legend has it that if a soul beast can eat a hundred Spiritcharm Sea Urchins, this soul beast will have the intelligence of a ten thousand year soul beast. For human soul masters, Spiritcharm Sea Urchins can nourish our souls and increase our ability to absorb and understand. Simply put, it boosts your spiritual power and helps you to resist spiritual fatigue so that you can become smarter."
"In comparison, the Peony Lobster got its name because its fresh red tail is beautiful when it opens, and looks like a peony flower. Even though it's also a top-tier ingredient, it's actual value is nothing compared to the Spiritcharm Sea Urchin. It contains clean and enriching nutrients, and can be absorbed directly. It helps with restoring your physical strength, and also refines and boosts your physique. You guys should be able to eat one every day from now on, but I only have ten Spiritcharm Sea Urchins left in storage, so we'll see if you guys get lucky."
The two Peony Lobsters were gobbled down just as Lu Xiaoxiao finished her explanation. Huo Yuhao and He Caitou look on with astonishment - both Peony Lobsters were suddenly complete again. They had devoured the lobster meat, but the shell had been pieced back together, as if the lobsters were still alive. The shell was just sitting there in the center of the plate, vivid and lifelike. This teacher Lu was obviously a perfectionist!
"The third dish…"
The subsequent dishes gradually became Huo Yuhao and He Caitou's food while Lu Xiaoxiao explained them to them. The two of them were not used to it at first, but they gradually adapted to their dinner. Not everything was unpalatable, but there were quite a few dishes that just tasted terrible… The two of them felt in awe after consuming every single dish on the table. They had eaten so many things, yet they didn't feel bloated at all. Their spirits were as high as ever, and their bodies had recovered to their peak condition, and perhaps even a little more than that.
Lu Xiaoxiao said, "Different areas produce different foods. Not all exotic foods are ridiculously expensive. When you find yourselves in a dire situation, you need food to restore your strength. This is when nutritional knowledge will be extremely beneficial - I hope you guys will remember that. Alright, come back tomorrow evening."
"Thank you, teacher Lu." From their initial anger to their delightedness and submission at the end, both Huo Yuhao and He Caitou faintly felt as if they were in a different world.
Shrek Academy's exemplary qualified teachers were proven to them one step at a time.
The two of them departed the special canteen prepared for them. Fan Yu was already waiting outside, and he said, "I'm sure you have regained your energy. Learn with me for another hour, and then I will send you two back to consolidate what you have learned. I forgot tell you that it's extremely difficult to meditate after eating so many top-tier foods, so you need to consolidate your knowledge while you still feel nourished and invigorated, so that you can master the subject and integrate what you have learned tomorrow."
Reality proved that Fan Yu wasn't exaggerating. Huo Yuhao tried as hard as he could, but he couldn't meditate at all after he returned to the Sea God's Pavilion. He ended up contemplating what he had learned today for over an hour, and only started cultivating with Wang Dong at around midnight.
Huo Yuhao's life suddenly became enriched, fulfilling, and wholesome from this day onwards. His studies in the outer courtyard were the most stressful, and he would have to absorb large volumes of information three days every week. He Caitou was worse off, and he was immersed in the same level of strenuous studies all seven days of the week.
Elder Mu's teachings were different. Elder Mu didn't ask them to memorize anything, instead placing greater emphasis on guidance and advice. Most of the time, Elder Mu would make some ambiguous description and explanation, enough to bring out the crux of the issue before he left Huo Yuhao to ponder by himself. Elder Mu's intentions were clear - he believed that only things that you deliberated by yourself would be most easily absorbed, and these things would truly become part of you. Elder Mu had accumulated over two hundred years of knowledge, and subconsciously influenced Huo Yuhao over this process of guidance while helping him raise his own abilities.
Time flew by during this stressful but enriching life. Huo Yuhao made rapid progress in all aspects, and even he could feel that he was improving every single day.
The Soul Tool Department would conduct an assessment every week for him and He Caitou. As the assessors became increasingly familiar with their abilities, the respective assessments became more specific and targeted. Every single instance was torturous for these two brothers, but every assessment made them more masterful of their entire weeks' worth of knowledge. A single lapse of effort would be revealed during the assessment, and every assessment was targeted at the content they had covered in the past week. The Soul Tool Department's authorities could be said to have gone to painstaking lengths and effort for the two of them.
Huo Yuhao's spiritual power grew at the fastest rate. With his second spiritual sea, his spiritual sea expanded at a speed conspicuously faster than before, and his spiritual power also became more compact and condensed. The first of the Skydream Iceworm's ten seals was finally opened to Huo Yuhao, and he allowed Huo Yuhao to absorb the vast spiritual power contained within.