There were two main types of soul barriers in a soul engineer's defensive arsenal - one was soul rays and shells that were similar to soul power attacks, and the other was soul barriers that could defend against physical attacks. Both could be used at the same time, but soul engineers would typically only choose one when they were engaged in battle. In the end, it was rare for soul engineers to use physical attacks; this was the case even for close-combat soul engineers.
The golden light barrier released by the handsome youth was meant to defend against physical attacks. This tiny young girl didn't have the same accurate judgment, and this took Huo Yuhao by surprise, so his large hands immediately clamped onto her neck.
Everything happened far too quickly. The time needed for two breaths was all it took for Huo Yuhao to make a move to the point when he closed his fingers around the girl's neck. Both parties had tremendously quick reactions, but it was undoubtedly Huo Yuhao who came out on top.
The tiny young girl was unexpectedly strong. She was still struggling and twisting her neck in resistance to Huo Yuhao's Ice Empress' Pincer while she pushed backwards with her hands and her right leg sprung out at the same time to kick Huo Yuhao's vital points.
Unfortunately, it was to no avail. The soul barrier on her body blocked off the tall youth's soul tool barrage, but that was it - she felt an intense chill on her neck before a wave of numbness came over her body, and she collapsed onto the ground like a ragdoll.
Purplish-golden light immediately erupted from Huo Yuhao's eyes. He hated it when people dragged in his mother when they were insulting him, and the "little bastard" that the tall youth had just called him was one of the main reasons why he was infuriated and immediately launched an assault. Therefore, this formidable Purple Demon Eyes' Spiritual Shock was naturally intended for that tall and lanky youth.
The most frightening feature of spirit-type attacks was that the defensive barriers previously mentioned were entirely useless against them, and those struck by such an attack could only use their own spiritual power to protect themselves.
These four students from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy were five-ringed Soul kings, but their spiritual power absolutely paled in comparison to Huo Yuhao's.
Blood gushed from the tall youth's mouth, nose, eyes and ears as he grunted and crashed onto the ground. His eyes rolled back into his head, and he fainted straightaway.
Huo Yuhao's movements didn't stop because of this. His right hand flickered with dark golden light and he sliced directly towards the handsome youth. This was because the handsome youth's sharp sword stabbed at him just as he unleashed his Spiritual Shock.
The handsome youth's hands were as stable as ever even under the effects of Huo Yuhao's Mass Weakness. He stabbed out with his sword and projected three sword shadows into the air. They were like three blooming roses as they covered all of Huo Yuhao's vital points.
Huo Yuhao made the right judgment in this split-second that he was inferior to his opponent in terms of close-combat techniques. However, this didn't mean that his opponent's close-combat strength was more powerful than his - therefore, he gave the handsome youth a complete Darkgolden Terrorclaw.
An enormous dark golden blade slashed down from the sky and crashed against the soul barrier that the handsome youth quickly released. The Class 5 soul barrier instantly crumbled, and the "roses" he had formed were the next to break apart.
Huo Yuhao punched out with his left fist after he slashed out with his right hand. His right foot took a step forward, and Huo Yuhao punched forward simply without any special effects. However, this punch wasn't simple at all in this handsome youth's eyes.
It felt as if all of Huo Yuhao's spiritual power was concentrated onto this fist. In the handsome youth's eyes, this fist was all that was left of Huo Yuhao - a fist that sparkled with diamond brilliance.
A golden shield appeared in the handsome youth's hands. He held the shield up with both hands and infused his Soul King-level soul power inside. Dense soul power rippled, and the shield erupted with golden luster.
"I cannot possibly lose this!" The handsome youth could not longer maintain his composure. Two yellow and three purple soul rings sparkled on his body. However, the peculiar three ring combination had already disappeared from Huo Yuhao's body.
Huo Yuhao's fist connected with the shield, and what the handsome youth felt in that moment could only be described as wretched and shattering.
He felt as if his shield wasn't the only thing that was being destroyed. His mind was breaking apart at the same time as a defenseless sensation burst from the bottom of his heart, and he felt as if his entire world was being torn apart.
He puked out a stream of blood. The handsome youth followed in the tall youth's footsteps, and collapsed onto the ground. Blood trickled from his nostrils like miniature snakes, but the shield in his hands didn't actually break apart.
Huo Yuhao's eyes erupted with golden radiance, and he turned towards his last remaining adversary - Ju Zi. At this point, her eyes were a little lackadaisical, and her face was completely pale.
"What are you doing?!" An astonished voice could be heard right at this moment, and a figure appeared in the lab with a flash and stood in front of Ju Zi. The golden radiance in Huo Yuhao's eyes vanished at the almost the same time, and his previous frightening aura, as if he reigned supreme over the entire world, also receded.
Supreme Reign! Yes, this was Supreme Reign. This was the name of his ability, and it was invented by the Ultimate Douluo, Elder Mu. It was a terrifying ability that combined both physical and spiritual attacks, and Huo Yuhao was the only person in the entire world who had inherited this ability.
Supreme Reign wasn't a soul skill - it was more, and it could be used with any soul skill. However, it could only be used to infuse spiritual power into physical attacks. In other words, this ability's foundations were still in physical attacks. Huo Yuhao could inject his formidable spiritual power into his physical attacks, but he couldn't flip the process around. In the end, the creator of Supreme Reign wasn't a spirit-type soul master.
Elder Mu had commented to Huo Yuhao before that if he could find out how to reverse the process, then he would have succeeded in life.
Of course, this was still quite a distance away from Huo Yuhao's current standard. There were just too many things that he had to learn, and even though the Ultimate Soldier Plan was starting to bear fruit, the path ahead of him was still extremely long.
Xuan Ziwen was overcome with a haze of terror as he stood before Ju Zi, who was ghastly pale at this point. He would have taken another fifteen minutes to reach the lab, but he was alarmed by the security sirens. He had remote control over his door's access control soul tool, so he was as bewildered as could be when he realized that the incident was coming from his own lab, and he came as fast as he could.
Xuan Ziwen was flabbergasted as he watched his three students unconscious on the ground. Huo Yuhao had mentioned to him before on the first day that they met each other that he was confident of perishing together with him within a fixed distance. He didn't pay much attention to that then, but how could he not be shaken to his very roots by the scene before him now?
These four students had been his personal students ever since they had entered Year 6, including Ju Zi. He was naturally acutely aware of his students' abilities - they were all Soul Kings and Class 5 soul engineers, and were considered the best of the best amongst their batch. Yet, Huo Yuhao didn't even have his fourth soul ring, and three of them were actually defeated. He had no doubt that Ju Zi would also hit the deck if he had arrived just a second later.
"This child is so fearsome and outrageously powerful at such a young age? No wonder…"
Xuan Ziwen had perused his files and records since the first day he met Huo Yuhao, especially his experience during the Continental Advanced Academy Soul Dueling Tournament.
His files detailed Huo Yuhao's performance during several key battles, and it was remarked that he had been mentored by the Dragon God Douluo, Mu En, before his passing. He was one of the absolute elites amongst the younger batch of students from Shrek, and he was definitely in line to participate in the next season's Continental Advanced Academy Soul Dueling Tournament.
Xuan Ziwen didn't have much of an impression after browsing through his records. He could see that Huo Yuhao's records mentioned that he had twin martial souls, but the records mentioned that Yuhao's soul power rank was only a little more than twenty during the competition, and he only had two soul rings. Even though nobody knew his soul rings' exact level, his files had clear records of his abilities. One of the more salient ones featured his martial soul fusion skill with Wang Dong, and Xuan Ziwen was more interested in the fact that the two of them could use martial soul fusion skills rather than in Huo Yuhao's personal battle prowess, and so he paid less attention to the latter.
Xuan Ziwen suddenly realized that he was wrong. Huo Yuhao's personal battle prowess was weak…? Then, what's the deal with these three guys lying on the ground?
Huo Yuhao crushed three Class 5 soul engineers even without his fourth soul ring, and the last one wasn't even fit to continue the battle. This caused Xuan Ziwen to lose all his faith and confidence in his previous experiences.
"Teacher Xuan, these guys hacked the access control and barged into the lab. I was afraid they were intruders, so I made the first move, and I was going to take them down and hand them over to you. Ju Zi brought them here, and I suspect they are accomplices in this act. Please take care of this." Huo Yuhao spoke as if he were recounting the truth. His face of sincerity was totally disproportionate to the ferocious aura that he had emanated during the battle before this.
Ju Zi had recovered by now. Her face was still as pale as ever and she exclaimed, "Nonsense! You intentionally attacked us!"
Huo Yuhao shrugged and replied, "If you guys hadn't hacked the access control, and if you guys hadn't insulted me, why would I treat you like intruders? Did I say something wrong? Teacher Xuan, you can inspect the access control soul tool. They deceived me after barging into the lab to step out, and they hacked it afterwards. I had to force my way in to ensure the lab's safety, so that I could take them down. They have only lost their autonomy and ability to move, and some are slightly injured. It's not a big a deal."
Xuan Ziwen was immersed in soul tool research, but he wasn't a fool. He could tell from Huo Yuhao's description that Ju Zi and the others had bullied Huo Yuhao, who was new to this place. Huo Yuhao was infuriated, and found an excuse to retaliate.
The process wasn't that important - what was more substantial was that the four of them fell before Huo Yuhao one after another, and Huo Yuhao was just standing there without even a speck of dirt on his body.