Huo Yuhao looked at him out of the corner of his eyes, which were brimming with rage, and said angrily, "Does this mean you don't trust me?"
Lin Jiayi spread his hands open and made a helpless gesture. He said, "It's not that I don't trust you. However, reality states otherwise, and that is what we must deal with. Don't worry, I will inform Teacher Fan Yu. However, you must explain yourself clearly right now."
Huo Yuhao nodded coldly and said, "Right, since you don't want 'face', there's no need for me to cover up for you. Let's go. Bring me to the Hallmaster, and I shall explain it in front of him."
Lin Jiayi was helpless before Huo Yuhao. Jing Hongchen had told him of his importance many times. Furthermore, Xiao Hongchen and Meng Hongchen were still at Shrek Academy. While he already had Hongchen's Blessing as evidence, he could not truly lose his temper at Huo Yuhao or do anything drastic to him! All he suspected was a possible connection between Huo Yuhao and the surprise attack by the Body Sect.
"Alright, I shall bring you to the Hallmaster." In the end, Lin Jiayi decided to let Jing Hongchen take care of Huo Yuhao.
First, this was because his status was too sensitive. Second, Jing Hongchen had been in a foul mood recently. He had been heavily punished by the imperial family, and that was before news of the loss of Test Subject 1 leaked out.
Right now, in Lab No. 1, some of Jing Hongchen's confidantes were trying to rebuild Test Subject 1. With their experience, their progress was rather quick. However, the once-vast resources of Illustrious Virtue Hall had been greatly reduced.
In cuffs, Huo Yuhao walked out of the infirmary with his back straight and head held high. A cold smile was plastered on his face. His self-righteous appearance made Lin Jiayi's heart pound. However, the Rank 9 soul tool, Hongchen's Blessing, was not something that Shrek Academy could have produced. Furthermore, there were still traces of Jing Hongchen's aura on it. Those traces could not be faked. Lin Jiayi would never believe that Jing Hongchen would gift a Rank 9 soul tool to an outsider!
He also could not imagine that the revolutionary Test Subject 1 of the Illustrious Virtue Hall was currently located in the Twenty-Four Moonlit Bridges around Huo Yuhao's waist. Right now, the teenager's face was both relaxed and infuriated.
Jing Hongchen's office was no longer in Virtuous Illustrious Hall out of safety considerations, since the underground facility had not yet been fully reinforced. While the new location was not suited for work, Jing Hongchen had no mood to carry out research on soul tools at the moment.
When Huo Yuhao followed Lin Jiayi into Jing Hongchen's office, he was resting with his eyes closed. In just the span of a few days, the Hallmaster, who previously looked impeccable, appeared to have aged ten years. His face appeared much colder, too.
"What happened?" When he saw Lin Jiayi bringing Huo Yuhao into his office in handcuffs, a suspicious look crossed Jing Hongchen's face.
Lin Jiayi said respectfully, "Hallmaster, this was what happened. Today, Huo Yuhao woke up in the infirmary and per regulations, we interrogated him and searched him. While nothing appeared to be amiss, we found a Rank 9 soul tool on him that belonged to you. Hence, our suspicions were aroused, and we decided to let you decide his fate."
"A Rank 9 soul tool that belonged to me?" Jing Hongchen paused momentarily. Then, his eyes fell on the Hongchen's Blessing that Lin Jiayi passed him.
When he saw the round soul tool, along with Huo Yuhao smiling coldly, Jing Hongchen felt as if he had been slapped before a crowd by one of his own people.
"Did he not tell you how this Rank 9 soul tool came about?" Jing Hongchen asked in a voice that was a few octaves higher than his normal one, glaring at Lin Jiayi.
When Lin Jiayi saw his face, he knew that something was amiss. He said apologetically, "Yuhao did not want to say, but instead demanded that we bring him to you for interrogation."
Jing Hongchen slammed his table and cursed, "Bastard, what did I tell you? Not only is he an exchange student from Shrek Academy, but he is also a closed door disciple of the Master of the Sea God's Pavilion, the Dragon God Douluo, Elder Mu! Elder Mu is a senior whom I respect. This Hongchen's Blessing was something I personally passed to him when I was still with him. How can you interrogate Huo Yuhao like any other person?! Is your brain damaged?!"
Lin Jiayi was stunned by the scolding. The Hallmaster had given it away, a Rank 9 soul tool!
However, as a confidante of Jing Hongchen, he understood what was going on from his tone when he mentioned Elder Mu, the Dragon God Douluo. The last time he met Elder Mu, it was in the Sea God's Pavilion in Shrek Academy. Could it be…
"Heh… so that's the case. It's all my fault. Hallmaster, I am wrong. I was too brash, but there are really too many things going around recently. Furthermore, I did not dare to act rashly since it was so important! Yuhao, it's all my fault, please forgive me, please forgive me!"
As he said that, Lin Jiayi walked in front of Huo Yuhao to apologize.
Huo Yuhao stared at him coldly and said, "Director Lin, what mistake did you make? You were doing it for the good of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy.
"After all, this is not the first time I've had to wear these handcuffs. What a pity Shrek Academy does not have them!"
An ugly looked crossed Jing Hongchen's face. The last time, he was forced by Huo Yuhao to grant him permission to study in Illustrious Virtue Hall. Over the past few months, he'd heard that Huo Yuhao had used up all of the rare metals that were allocated to him. This time, as Huo Yuhao had been treated unfairly, he would have to make it up to him again.
However, there was really not much he could do. After all, his precious granddaughter and grandson were exchange students at Shrek Academy. A smile crossed his face as he walked in front of Huo Yuhao and said, "This is a mistake they committed in the line of duty, and it is a mistake on my part, too. I will personally un-cuff you. How about this? I shall double your allotment of precious metals every month from now on. What do you think?"
Huo Yuhao did not dare to continue maintaining this façade. Who knew what high-level soul tools capable of detecting the contents of storage-type soul tools the Hallmaster possessed? If his secret was discovered, he had too much to lose.
Immediately, his face softened as he said, "Please, Hallmaster." As he said that, he extended his arms.
Jing Hongchen took the key from Lin Jiayi and personally un-cuffed him while saying, "Jiayi, please remember that you must give Yuhao special treatment. If a problem like this emerges again, you can forget about being a teaching director."
"Yes, yes." Lin Jiayi could only chuckle bitterly in his heart. Why was it so difficult to deal with this rascal? He really had to be more careful next time.
Huo Yuhao said, "If there's no other matter, Hallmaster, I shall head back. Today is the last day of the month, so there's no need for you to double my allotment for this month." In the outside world, the monthly allotment of the Illustrious Virtue Hall was no small sum. Some of the materials could not even be sold on the market.
Jing Hongchen's facial muscles twitched as he said, "It has to be counted."
With that, Huo Yuhao nodded in satisfaction and said, "Then I shall leave." As he said that, he turned to walk out, his tension finally starting to relax. Just because he could control his heartbeat did not mean that he was relaxed! Instead, he was worried sick. If he could not pass this round, he would be in deep trouble.
He made it to the door of the office and was just about to leave when he heard Jing Hongchen say suddenly, "Wait a moment."
Oh, no. Huo Yuhao felt his pores constricting. He was struck by fear! He almost dropped everything and ran.
Fortunately, he was very mature for his age, probably more mature than some adults. Could he actually run away? Not only was Jing Hongchen a Rank 9 soul engineer, but he was also a Titled Douluo. How could he escape?
All he could do was turn around and ask, "Do you have a request, Hallmaster?"
Jing Hongchen fell silent for a while, and then said, "Yuhao, if I remember correctly, you were part of the main team in the last Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament, right?"
Huo Yuhao shook his head and said, "Not the main team. I was only a stand-in."
The corners of Jing Hongchen's eyes twitched. A stand-in? A stand-in beat my grandson and granddaughter? Was this not a slap on his face? However, he could not react. He coughed and said, "It's like this. The incidents a few days ago have affected me greatly. The reason our facility was invaded and we suffered such heavy losses was that our soul engineers did not have a lot of battle experience against soul masters. Normally, they are surrounded by other soul engineers, and hence they will only battle other soul engineers. So I've had an idea."
When he heard that, Huo Yuhao calmed down, thinking, Whatever you say, it's fine. Just don't search me.
He walked back into Jing Hongchen's office and asked obligingly, "What idea did you have, Hallmaster?"
Jing Hongchen said, "Shrek Academy is the premier academy on the continent, particularly for soul masters. Our Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy is the best school on the continent in terms of soul engineering. You were able to represent Shrek Academy previously, which demonstrates your ability in battling other soul masters. Hence, with you as the lead, I want to let the soul masters and soul engineers in our school spar. This will let our students understand how soul masters fight. Don't worry, I will only pick opponents whose ages are similar to yours. At best, they would be Rank 5 soul engineers. What do you think?"
Huo Yuhao shook his head and said, "No, I am not interested."
"Why not?" Jing Hongchen asked, curious. "This is a good chance to increase your combat experience!"