"What's wrong? Is Ju Zi in some kind of trouble?" Huo Yuhao asked.
Ke Ke shook her head and said, "I'm sorry, Yuhao. You saved our lives, and we should be repaying you in kind. But Ju Zi's emotions are unstable, so she wants me to pass on her gratitude, and she has requested that I escort the two of you out when you want to leave. She doesn't want to see you anymore."
"Okay." Huo Yuhao already understood this sentiment. He heaved a sigh inside and said, "So be it, then. Can you help me pass a message to her as well? Tell her to take care of herself."
"That's it?" There was a strange look in Ke Ke's eyes as she stared at him.
Huo Yuhao forced a laugh and said, "What else can there be?"
Ke Ke lowered her voice and said, "Do you not know how Ju Zi feels about you? I don't believe that."
Huo Yuhao quivered. "I'm sorry, I don't understand what you're trying to say."
Ke Ke's eyes were overflowing with displeasure. "Why are the two of you acting like that? It doesn't have to be this way."
Huo Yuhao sighed and said, "Ke Ke, you have to understand nobody can decide other people's fates, everyone's fate is in their own hands. I only saw the path that Ju Zi has chosen with more clarity after meeting you guys again. The two of us are destined to be two parallel lines."
Ke Ke asked, "Ju Zi said you like somebody else. Is that true?"
Huo Yuhao was momentarily stunned. "I like somebody else?" The Goddess of Light's image surfaced in his mind, and he paused before he replied, "You can say that, I guess."
Tears seemed to well up in Ke Ke's eyes. "Ju Zi's life is so tough, Yuhao. I really want to help her."
Huo Yuhao said, "I'm sorry, Ke Ke. There are some things that you can't help with even if you want to. Ju Zi has made her decision, and nobody can help her. Furthermore, feelings can't be forced...I admit that I like her, but that's all it is; plus, she is now the Sun Moon Empire's prince's fiancee."
Ke Ke grew silent. She felt as if she had matured a lot in this instant, and she could sense the exasperation in Huo Yuhao's words.
"Do you know that Ju Zi joined the military the day the two of you separated? She has relied on her status as a soul engineer to reach where she is today. She didn't rely on the crown prince's influence and power; she made her own way, and had consistently accumulated exemplary accomplishments. She is incredibly talented at strategy and battle tactics, and she's currently the soul engineer regiment's number-one staff officer cum team leader. She will probably receive a promotion after this victory. She's a general on the battlefield with impeccable planning and calculations, and the dire situation we were in was because of a spy within our camp. However, I can tell that she isn't happy at all. She is reserved, and she hides her unhappiness well, but I can tell. I only discovered Ju Zi's background after joining the military… It was the crown prince who rescued her back then, and it was also the crown prince who sent her into the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. Her future is bleak."
Huo Yuhao stared into Ke Ke's eyes and asked, "What do you want me to do?"
Ke Ke shook her head blankly and said, "I don't know either, all I wanted to do was to tell you everything about her. Promise me, Yuhao - if you guys meet again in the future, and she is in need, will you please help her?"
Huo Yuhao nodded gently and said, "You're a kind and caring girl, Ke Ke. Ju Zi is lucky to have a friend like you. The two of you will always be my friends, just like this time, when we came to you without second thoughts. When you guys are in danger or trouble, I will definitely help you if I'm around. However, I want you to pass a message to Ju Zi - the Sun Moon Empire is ambitious, and she has also been blinded by vengeance and hatred. I do not wish for the day to come when we meet on the battlefield. If she's willing, the Tang Sect will always be open to her. Even the Sun Moon Empire's crown prince can't reach or threaten her inside Shrek City."
Ke Ke's eyes sparkled as she nodded lightly. She knew that Huo Yuhao's answer was already extremely satisfactory.
"Thank you, Yuhao. I will pass your message to her. The only thing is that her stubbornness and obstinacy has taken root deep inside her, and I can only slowly influence her from the side."
Huo Yuhao smiled. "The Tang Sect will always welcome you too. If you guys are willing to give everything up and join us, I can cook for you too. I can make all the delicious food that you guys love to eat."
"Alright." Ke Ke answered heartily as she swallowed despite herself. She had been overthinking the entire morning, and hadn't eaten breakfast.
Ke Ke sent Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong out of the camp discreetly, and avoided attracting anyone's attention. If not for Ju Zi's status as the crown prince's fiancee, the military would have tried everything to keep Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong at whatever cost after their formidable display of abilities in front of everyone. Such powerful soul masters would be an unstoppable force on the battlefield if they joined the army. They were powerful enough to kill mighty Soul Sages - how incredible was that?
Ju Zi didn't report Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong's identity as students from Shrek Academy, and she only said that they were her classmates from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. She was the crown prince's consort, so she held everyone back, and didn't allow them to disturb Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong.
A pair of pretty eyes gazed far into the horizon from an observatory tower that was almost thirty meters high and watched as two figures walked out of the camp and gradually disappeared into the distance. Her vision was blurry as tears dripped from her eyes, and her red lips twitched as she mouthed, "Take care." She didn't make a real sound at all.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong didn't hurry along after leaving the military camp. After all, the wounds on Huo Yuhao's back had yet to completely recover, and they were afraid of tearing them open again. However, he had another idea - he attached soul thrusters to his feet and skated forward, while Wang Dong followed closely by his side, so their movement speed wasn't that slow.
They had requested a map from Ke Ke before they left. They wouldn't get lost again, and they proceeded east as they went straight for the Sun Moon Empire's eastern border, connected to the Heavenly Soul Empire.
Not being able to use flying-type soul tools was ultimately more troublesome. They travelled for a day, but realized that their movement was simply too slow. They decided to find a place to rest, while Huo Yuhao used the materials that he carried with him to forge another soul tool.
It took him two days to recreate another soul tool that was identical to the one before, and Huo Yuhao recovered from his injuries completely in that time.
They returned to their path, and they could finally soar through the skies. Their speed was greatly boosted as they quickly rocketed across the border and entered the Heavenly Soul Empire's territory.
Wang Dong became the navigator once they entered the Heavenly Soul Empire. They flew deep into the Heavenly Soul Empire with the help of the map, and it seemed like their destination was the Heavenly Soul Empire's capital, Heaven Dou City.
"Wang Dong, is your home actually inside Heaven Dou City?" Huo Yuhao asked curiously.
Wang Dong leaned against a tree to rest after eating some roasted meat that Huo Yuhao had made when they stopped to rest.
Wang Dong shook his head and chortled, "I told you before, my home is hidden somewhere deep in the clouds. Where are the clouds in Heaven Dou City? You'll know if you just follow me. However, my house is indeed not far from Heaven Dou City."
Huo Yuhao said, "It's my first time visiting your house. Do I have to buy something for your family? You still haven't told me what it is that your family actually does, even now. Are you even a bro?! You can't possibly be waiting for me to embarrass myself, can you?"
Wang Dong giggled and said, "Yes! You guessed even that. You have some standards, after all."
Huo Yuhao said angrily, "What's in it for you if I embarrass myself? I'm your friend, and it will look bad for you if I embarrass myself. Furthermore, you still have to introduce your sister to me. If I leave a terrible impression on your family members, how will I continue mixing with them in the future?"
Wang Dong laughed and said, "Oh, please. Don't worry, my family members are friendly, and they don't really have many traditional formalities. All you have to do is be there. However, my sister is the pearl of the family. I talked about you when I last returned home, and I think they will evaluate you a little while you're there. You should keep your spirits up."
Huo Yuhao nodded and said, "Definitely. I'm not that bad."
Wang Dong said seriously, "Yuhao, if you want to marry my sister in the future, your performance must be stellar, as my family members are extremely picky. I gave you a 'vaccination', so don't be afraid or show weakness when the time comes. My family members are also soul masters, so I imagine they will also test your abilities and your fighting strength. Of course, they are more concerned about your personality."
Huo Yuhao became more confused the more Wang Dong talked. He wanted to ask more questions, but Wang Dong refused to say anything more, so he decided to stop, as they would be arriving soon anyway.
They flew through the sky at an amazing speed. Huo Yuhao was quite a distance away from Wang Dong in cultivation level, but his soul power was incredibly resilient. Otherwise, he wouldn't have been able to chase Wang Dong for so long back then. The two of them rested for a while every two hours and strolled for a bit to recover their soul power before they continued to fly. They were taught a painful lesson when they met Ju Zi, so they maintained their soul power at seventy percent as they flew so that they would have enough to face any unexpected circumstances.
Just as Wang Dong had remarked, his house was inside the Heavenly Soul Empire, and it wasn't far from the Heavenly Soul Empire's capital, Heaven Dou City.
An enormous mountain appeared in the distance. This peak was majestic, and the mountain's topography seemed steep and perilous. From a distance, the mountain appeared to have three sides that stretched upward vertically, as if they had been carved by a knife. Only one side was relatively flatter, but that was only relative to the other three sides. Normal people would have a very difficult time climbing this mountain. Only the relatively gentler slope had layers of vegetation growing along its surface.