"It's alright, Wang Dong. Let's listen to him."
Wang Dong murmured unhappily, "They just don't trust me. Hmph!"
Huo Yuhao chuckled and said, "It's alright as long as you treat me like a brother. I'm sure I will be nice to your family. Take me around the castle, and then we'll find a place to stay."
"Alright." Wang Dong took Huo Yuhao into the castle.
There weren't many extravagant decorations or ornaments inside the castle. Everything was mainly black or grey in color, with occasional traces of green. There were two flights of stairs on each side, and leading to higher levels. The castle's structure wasn't complicated, having only three levels, but every level covered a great deal of space.
Wang Dong introduced things to Huo Yuhao. "The people from my sect reside in the Clear Sky Castle. The second level is for hosting guests, and is also where the sect's elders stay. Eldest uncle, second uncle, and me stay on the third level. Oh yes, my sister also stays on the third level."
"Sect? Clear Sky Castle? Clear Sky Sect!" Huo Yuhao shuddered. He finally understood why the name felt so familiar. Yes! Clear Sky - doesn't that mean it's the Clear Sky Sect?
He had seen the Clear Sky Sect's information in detail before in the Sea God's Pavilion's archives. In Shrek Academy's collection of information regarding sects, the Clear Sky Sect was ranked at the forefront, along with the Body Sect. It was clear that they were a powerful sect.
According to the archives' introduction, the Clear Sky Sect had been around even before Shrek Academy. It was an ancient sect that had existed for at least ten thousand years, with a history even longer than the Body Sect. Ten thousand years ago, the Clear Sky Sect was touted as the number-one tool soul sect, and even the reputable Seven Treasures Glazed Sect was inferior to them. Huo Yuhao had never even imagined that his best buddy was from the Clear Sky Sect. Since that was the case, Wang Dong's second martial soul must be the Clear Sky Sect's principal martial soul, the Clear Sky Hammer!
According to the records, the leader of Shrek Academy's first generation of Shrek's Seven Monsters, who was also the Tang Sect's founder, Tang San, came from the Clear Sky Sect. His father was known as the Clearsky Douluo, and was extremely powerful! Tang San also had twin martial souls, and one of them... was the Clear Sky Hammer!
However, Shrek Academy's archives also recorded that the Clear Sky Sect had gradually disappeared about a thousand years ago. It was said that people from the sect were no longer seen on the Continent, and were thought to be gradually approaching extinction. However, not only was the Clear Sky Sect still around, but they also possessed this miraculous castle deep in the clouds.
Wang Dong looked him, amused, and said, "You only guessed that now? You're slow enough."
Huo Yuhao forced a laugh and said, "You've never given me any hints at all, so how could I have guessed that? You're from such a powerful sect that's been around for a long time - I feel very pressured! We -"
Wang Dong interrupted him unhappily and said, "Why are you like all the rest? Are statuses and whatnot that important to us?"
Huo Yuhao chortled and said, "It's alright that I'm just a pathetic loser. If you don't think that's important, then it's not important."
Wang Dong giggled and said, "Pathetic loser doesn't sound nice at all. You should stop using those two words in the future. Let's go, you're staying on the second floor."
Huo Yuhao chuckled and replied, "Alright, I'll stop saying it."
People clad in grey cloaks occasionally walked past them as they walked through the castle. Huo Yuhao could tell from their auras and their soul power fluctuations that the grey-cloaked individuals that he had encountered earlier were at the lowest level. Several grey-cloaked individuals possessed power that was unimaginably great; they were at least Soul Sages. The Clear Sky Sect truly has many hidden greats and mighty beings! However, how can they live in such a steep and perilous mountain range? Huo Yuhao had been full of questions ever since he had entered Clear Sky Castle.
Wang Dong took Huo Yuhao to the second level, and arranged a room for him.
The room couldn't be considered big or spacious. The bed frame, tables, chairs, and even the wardrobes were made of stone. The furniture was extremely simple.
"It's like that around here, conditions are a little simple and modest. I hope you don't mind!" Wang Dong said apologetically.
Huo Yuhao laughed and said, "You don't have to get all polite with me. It's an honor to stay in the Clear Sky Sect, a place hidden deep in the clouds. You should go meet your family since you've just returned. You don't have to worry about me, I want to rest for a bit."
"Alright. I'll send you a bedsheet and a blanket in a while," Wang Dong said as he turned and left.
Huo Yuhao started to inspect his room once Wang Dong left. The room was about twenty square meters, and had its own bathroom, with a water basin filled with clear water. Huo Yuhao reached out to scoop out some water to wash his face, but he got a shock when placed his hands in the water.
The water was freezing. Even with his Ultimate Ice, he still shivered from the cold, and a lot of the water spilled out of his hands.
It's so cold! What kind of water is this? Huo Yuhao hesitated, but splashed the clear water on his face anyway. A clean coldness that seemed to reach into his bones instantly coursed through his entire body, and his entire being was energized and invigorated. He shivered from the cold once more, and felt as if the fatigue and exhaustion in his body were being washed away; it just felt unbelievably comfortable. The Ice Jade Empress Scorpion was also excited by this splash of cold water, and her enormous tattoo soon shimmered on his back. Huo Yuhao was astonished at what was happening - his golden-red soul ring rose from his feet and immediately reflected off the walls as it caused the entire room to turn golden.
On the Clear Sky Castle's third level...
Wang Dong pouted as he stepped into a large room with a look of displeasure. His second uncle was sitting in the room, while another middle-aged man sat in the main seat.
The middle-aged man in the main seat had a head full of long green hair that was draped over his broad shoulders. His eyes were green as well, and though seemingly simple, they carried a special, indescribable quality when he blinked from time to time. It felt as if he had trouble suppressing the immense power contained in his body.
He was clad in a white warrior robe that covered his tall and sturdy frame. He was currently conversing with the other middle-aged man, who had short black hair that resembled steel needles.
"What's going on, eldest uncle, second uncle? He's a guest from a faraway land. What was that, second uncle? What if you've scared him?" Wang Dong began speaking furiously as soon as he walked into the room.
The short-haired man laughed heartily and said, "Xiao Dong'er, you haven't been home for so long, yet you're already throwing your temper around at eldest uncle and me, that's not right. As for your friend, if he couldn't even pass my test, he wouldn't have been worthy to enter Clear Sky Castle. He does have some standards, but he's still far from our Xiao Dong."
Wang Dong immediately disputed his words unhappily. "What? You guys don't understand him at all. Huo Yuhao is very outstanding - he also has twin martial souls, and his second martial soul is one of Ultimate Ice. I thought I said this before when I came back the last time? Are you guys still doubting my choice?"
The man in white on the main seat smiled faintly. He lowered his voice and said, "Don't fool around, Xiao Dong. It's not that we don't trust your choice. We still have to look out for you, right? Besides, your second uncle didn't overdo it, no?"
Suddenly, both of their faces changed, and surprise flowed from their eyes as they glanced at each other. The man in white asked Wang Dong, "What room did you arrange for your friend to stay in?"
Wang Dong said, "The Icejade Chamber! I said before that he has an Ultimate Ice martial soul - that place will be beneficial for his cultivation."
The short-haired man's eyes sparkled. He squinted faintly and contemplated for a moment before he said, "How much do you know about this friend of yours, Xiao Dong? How much do you know of his identity?"
Wang Dong replied, "I told you everything I know last time. You interrogated me as if you wanted to know his ancestors eight generations before him. What else can I keep from you?"
The short-haired man said, "Your friend is very sophisticated. Do you know that he has a hundred-thousand year soul ring? Furthermore, it's not just any hundred thousand year soul ring. If I'm not wrong, that soul probably had about four-hundred thousand years of cultivation. Can a Soul Ancestor that's a little over Rank 40 possess a soul ring like that? This is the first time I've come across something as peculiar as this."
"Four-hundred thousand years?" It was Wang Dong's turn to be surprised. "That's not possible. I know Huo Yuhao harbors certain secrets, and he can probably guess that I have some of my own. We have a tacit understanding, and we don't normally interrogate each other about them. But how can he have a four-hundred thousand year soul ring? Are you sure you're correct, second uncle?"
The man in white said, "Even if your second uncle is wrong, can it be that I'm also wrong? It is four-hundred thousand years. Perhaps he was stimulated by the coldness of the Icejade Chamber, so he released his martial soul. This martial soul may only have one ring, but that ring does indeed have four-hundred thousand years of cultivation."
"He's only a youth that's not even twenty years of age, and he's barely above Rank 40. There is only one explanation for how he can possess a four-hundred thousand year soul ring, and that is a four-hundred thousand year soul beast was sacrificed. Furthermore, the soul beast would have to suppress its own soul power and form a seal within his body, so that he could fuse itself with him. You really do know how to choose!"
Wang Dong's eyes were full of doubt and surprise. "But, eldest uncle and second uncle, I am very sure that Yuhao is true and sincere to me. He has never known my identity, and he knows nothing even at this point. He will do nothing to harm me, so what if he has a four-hundred thousand year soul ring? I…"
The man in white waved his hand and interrupted him. "You have to listen, Xiao Dong. Your parents made us responsible for taking care of you, so we must be responsible. We can't let you be with such a mysterious person - at least, we have to be sure of his abilities. Alright, you don't have to bother yourself with this anymore. I will handle it with your second uncle. Your cultivation has reached a bottleneck, so second uncle will escort you to the Ascension Chamber to find a suitable soul ring later."