Huo Yuhao estimated that with his current cultivation speed he'd need five more years to reach Rank 50, should everything go smoothly. He would need ten years before he reached Rank 60. As for becoming a Rank 70 soul sage, it would require twenty years. The progression of an Ultimate Element soul master was indeed fraught with difficulties.
However, could his cultivation speed really be appraised as normal? Elder Mu had already helped him find the most suitable path. Although this path was difficult to tread, it was already a shortcut. He even had another shortcut for himself. However, it wasn't the time for him to fully activate his potential yet.
Huo Yuhao wondered whether he could fulfil his true mission here in the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. When he thought of this point, a streak of blinding light flashed through his eyes.
Ju Zi managed to capture that light in his eyes, and she discovered that her heart throbbed a little when she saw it. How was it possible for someone his age to have such a look in his eyes? Why did she feel like she was looking at the cold eyes of a huge soul beast?
They flew up once again, but Ju Zi didn't remain at the front with Ke Ke, instead choosing to fly alongside Huo Yuhao.
"Huo Yuhao, the Jing Yang Mountain Range is located in the northern region of the Sun Moon Continent. It's around a thousand miles away, so it'll be another six hours for our flight. The Jing Yang Mountain Range covers a wide expanse, and is engulfed by thick vegetation. There are many valuable resources located there, but there are also many metal-type soul beasts. Even spiritual-type soul beasts have been known to appear, Teacher Xuan asked me to tell you that. He told me to let you use your own judgement. Don't miss the opportunity if a suitable soul beast appears. Ke Ke and I will help you too."
Huo Yuhao nodded and said, "Thanks, senior sister." Ju Zi's kind gesture removed the disdain he held her in previously, and his tone of voice also became much gentler. However, he remained quiet. It was impossible for him to not be wary of them.
Ke Ke twisted her lips beside Ju Zi and didn't make a sound. She didn't hold any less contempt for Huo Yuhao, and she vividly recalled how Huo Yuhao had strangled her. When that happened, she felt as if she was going to die. Her entire body turned numb from the struggle, and she even felt that she would never wake up again.
They flew for another two hours before resting again.
"Let's eat before we continue our journey. With our current speed, we'll reach the Jing Yang Mountain Range before evening." Ju Zi looked at the sky and instructed them to rest.
She was fully prepared for this trip. She brought out a large quantity of food from her storage-type soul tool, which she had since she was a lady who loved to eat. There were vegetables, fruits, frozen meats and even condiments. Needless to say, she was well prepared, she even brought her own kitchen cutlery.
Ju Zi was delighted when she saw Huo Yuhao staring at her in a daze. "I'm going to show off my skills now and let you two taste my outdoor-grilled food. It's definitely delicious. Be careful not to eat your tongue too."
As she spoke, she set up the grill and started a fire to prepare her food.
Huo Yuhao was a little stunned as he watched. He had a weird feeling in his heart, because he was always the one who grilled meat for others. However, it was the reverse now, an entirely new experience for him. He didn't say much, and just watched quietly.
"You're in luck. Sister Ju Zi's cooking is the best. Even Zimu and Wang Shaojie rarely get to try it." After flying for four hours, Ke Ke seemed to have forgotten the conflict between her and Huo Yuhao. Although still as petty as ever, the contempt in her eyes had dissipated.
"Haha." Huo Yuhao laughed even though he thought it seemed a little silly.
Ke Ke snapped, "What're you laughing at? Oh right, what type of a soul engineer are you?"
"Type?" Huo Yuhao was a little puzzled as he looked at her.
Ke Ke seemed as if she were looking at a freak and said, "That can't be right. Don't tell me that Shrek is so backwards that it doesn't categorize its soul engineers? Soul masters must tend towards a certain aspect. No soul engineers can excel in all areas, unless you're a research-type soul engineer like Teacher Xuan, who puts research as his priority, and is not inclined towards any certain aspect. You must be a close-combat type of soul engineer, since your close-combat skills are so honed. However, I haven't seen you use a close-combat soul tool before."
Huo Yuhao felt the illusion of something that had been confusing him for along time instantly being blown to pieces in his brain. A light appeared in his head.
All this while, he and He Caitou had been cultivating tirelessly because of the Ultimate Soldier Plan. They practically tortured themselves every day. How couldn't he feel tired? Wasn't he human too? Even though his memory was shockingly good, and his spiritual power was superior to that of most others, he would still be fatigued when he tried to meditate at night. This was also why his mind became unstable when Elder Mu passed away.
In Shrek Academy, the Soul Tool Department was undergoing rapid development. The Ultimate Soldier Plan's goal is to nurture an invincible soul master and soul engineer. This was a great motivational plan for Huo Yuhao, but also a great source of mental pressure!
Ke Ke's words jolted him awake, especially when she mentioned that 'no soul engineer could excel in all areas'.
Yes! No wonder he felt as though his improvements didn't match up with that of He Caitou's even though his soul engineer rank increased. This was the problem!
He Caitou had managed to find his path, which was in the area of stationary soul tools. What about him? Besides stationary soul tools, he learned everything. The immense knowledge that he had been assimilating caused him to become incredibly exhausted.
She was right. He needed to make a choice. To decide on a path suitable for him. If he continued like this, he might be unable to become the Ultimate Soldier. If things went wrong, he might even be overwhelmed in the complex and advanced knowledge of soul tools.
Huo Yuhao felt very free when he figured all this out. He stood up and bowed towards Ke Ke.
Ke Ke jumped in shock. "Hey, are you okay? Are you sick in the head? I don't want to train with a mentally-ill person."
Huo Yuhao was in a good mood now. The sense of unhappiness that he'd had earlier disappeared, "I'm fine. I just thought of something that made me happy. You're right. But I'm not a close-combat soul engineer. I'm a war-type soul engineer to a certain degree."
Ke Ke was stunned, "A war-type soul engineer? It's my first time hearing that. What do you mean?"
Huo Yuhao replied, "A war-type soul engineer researches soul tools that exist solely for the purposes of war. Mainly using close-combat and certain long-range soul tools, but it's effects are more for close-range." He wasn't slow-witted. He had been giving his all for the Ultimate Soldier Plan. After he figured out this all-important question, he immediately found his direction. However, he couldn't tell Ke Ke everything. He had chosen close-combat as his main direction. As for long-range attacks, he would need He Caitou to back him up. With their chemistry, the title of a war-type soul engineer should technically belong to the both of them.
Ke Ke said, "Be careful of being overzealous."
Huo Yuhao asked her, "Senior, what path did you choose?"
Ke Ke seemed to be in a better mood after Huo Yuhao called her senior. She proudly said, "I chose to be an explosive medium-range combat-type soul engineer. If I wasn't concerned about ruining the laboratory, do you think you would have won? Otherwise, when I fire a cannon at you, you won't be able to take care of yourself for the rest of your life."
After digesting her words and recalling the huge cannon she'd brought at that time, Huo Yuhao vaguely understood what her direction was.
Huo Yuhao sighed in his heart. Shrek Academy's Soul Tool Department didn't make any clear distinctions like this. Soul engineers were classified just like soul masters! He had to pass this news back quickly. His entire trip out here made worthwhile by this discovery.
As he was thinking, a thick aroma wafted over. He and Ke Ke were attracted to it.
"Wow, it's so fragrant." Ke Ke rushed towards Ju Zi. Her eyes brightened up, surprisingly her drooling face looked rather cute.
Ju Zi's grilling technique was indeed amazing. The two pheasants she cooked turned a golden yellow from the grilling.
Huo Yuhao's nose twitched, and he could immediately tell that Ju Zi had used more than ten different types of spices on the grilled pheasants, and her could tell her grilling method was slightly different from his. However, he could ascertain that the taste of the pheasants would be good from its aroma and crispy, golden-yellow appearance.
Ju Zi glanced at Ke Ke and laughed. "They always laugh at me for being a glutton, but you're not much different from me. It's just that you're good at hiding it."
Ke Ke laughed. "I'll put up with anything you say now. Faster! I'm dying of hunger. As long as you feed me right this instant, I'll let you say anything."
Ju Zi glared at her before glancing at Huo Yuhao, who didn't react. She joked, "You're spouting so much nonsense. Are you sure he won't misunderstand you?"