Huo Yuhao had never expected the activity that Bei Bei was talking about to be a blind date, thus his heart unwittingly began to beat faster. Will that Wang Qiu'er be attending this blind date too?
He was experienced in terms of battle, but he was like a blank piece of paper when it came to relationships. He actually became exactly what that Xu Sanshi had described earlier, as he descended into silence and began to blush.
Xu Sanshi walked up next to Huo Yuhao and wrapped his arm around Huo Yuhao's shoulder. "Don't worry, Yuhao, it's easy to get girls! I'll teach you three moves: Be courageous, be meticulous,, and be thick-skinned. We're all adults at this point, and the academy has given us permission. If you see someone that you like, just go ahead and chase her. Remember that we aren't inferior to anyone, and good luck!"
"Yes," Huo Yuhao nodded, but the Goddess of Light's image echoed in his mind. The first person that popped into his mind when he thought about girls was the woman of his dreams, and occasionally the feeling of awe he'd felt when he saw Wang Qiu'er's elegance and gracefulness.
"When will Wang Dong be back, eldest senior brother?" Huo Yuhao asked Bei Bei. It'd be nice if Wang Dong was around. Wang Qiu'er should be his twin sister, thus he should be able to give me some pointers.
Bei Bei exchanged a look with Xu Sanshi and then said, "He should be back in time to participate in the event, as it'll be hosted tomorrow night. Eldest senior sister and I will be hosting the hosts of the Sea God's Fate, thus we'll explain the rules to you tomorrow during the day. This event belongs to the inner courtyard's students, and is a good chance for everyone to interact with one another. The teachers will make guest appearances and watch from the side, but they will not interfere. You don't have to worry, little junior brother, because we have prepared for bashful people like you and Caitou, and I guarantee that you will be eased into the event when the time comes. Furthermore, you have to remember that being together with the person you like isn't that easy, as there are far fewer girls in the inner courtyard than guys! There will be a contest of abilities when the time comes, so you have to be mentally prepared for that!"
We still have to fight during the blind date? Huo Yuhao exchanged a look with He Caitou. There was a tinge of eagerness in all his anxiety, but he also felt a little distressed and awkward.
"Eldest senior brother, can I choose not participate in this event?" Huo Yuhao asked feebly.
Bei Bei replied firmly, "No way! You're part of the Sea God's Pavilion, and you're part of Shrek's Seven Monsters! You will ruin our reputation if you don't participate! Furthermore, you won't have this fantastic opportunity whenever you want it. Even though it's hosted every year, if you don't make a move on the girl you like, then perhaps she'll become someone else's girl the following year. You can't let this opportunity go, as it may never come back to you."
Huo Yuhao watched Bei Bei's sincere and honest expression, but Huo Yuhao felt as if there were butterflies in his stomach. He started to hope for Wang Dong's return in his mind again. Wang Dong was much more experienced than he was with things like this.
They departed Shrek City, and it didn't take long before they returned to Shrek Academy.
Sea God's Island hadn't changed much. Even before he stepped on the island, Huo Yuhao could feel that there were quite a few people in boats hustling about on the lake.
Bei Bei told him that they were making preparations for tomorrow's Sea God's Fate.
"Let's grab a bite to eat. I'm famished." Xu Sanshi patted his stomach and strode towards the canteen the moment he stepped on the island.
Huo Yuhao was astonished when they arrived at the canteen.
The Sea God's Pavilion's canteen was bustling. He could see about thirty students eating when he surveyed the place, and the food seemed a lot more sumptuous than before. What made him even more surprised was that there were two barrels of red wine by the side, which students could drink if they wanted to.
"What's this, eldest senior brother? The academy allows alcohol now?" Huo Yuhao asked in shock.
Bei Bei answered, "The Sea God's Fate will be hosted tomorrow, and tonight is called Singles Night. Have you realized that the people eating are all guys, and there isn't a single girl? Everybody has been frustrated and nervous during their day-to-day cultivation, and most of the students in the inner courtyard are already adults. Having a little wine is nothing, and this is expressly permitted by the academy so that everyone can relax a little. It isn't allowed on typical days. Come, let's have a drink!"
This was the first time Huo Yuhao had ever tasted wine. He savored the delicious food prepared by the academy's top-tier chefs and sipped on dark red wine the color of a rose. He gazed into the night above the Sea God's Lake in the distance, and he suddenly felt a little surreal.
The wine tasted a little sour when it entered his mouth, and it smelled like ripe apricots. He didn't feel much when he had the first mouthful, but the crisp fragrance of the wooden barrel and the wine's various aromas came back as an aftertaste, and Huo Yuhao instantly felt his face starting to heat up. He had never been tipsy before in his entire life, and he felt as if his entire body had been submerged in the savory wine.
"Huo Yuhao?" A deep and slightly unfamiliar voice rang out from behind him.
Huo Yuhao turned around and stared at the person who had called out his name. His eyes were relaxed and a little dazed before this, but they instantly became as sharp as could be.
This person was a tall young man, slightly taller than Huo Yuhao, with broad shoulders and a wide back. His short golden hair was especially neat and clean, but his face seemed a little gloomy and overcast, and he was staring at Huo Yuhao with cold eyes. He was also holding a cup of wine in his hand, and his pupils sparkled with a chilly light.
"Dai Huabin," Huo Yuhao called out the other person's name calmly.
They hadn't seen each other for more than two years, but the hatred in Huo Yuhao's heart had never disappeared, not even for a single moment. He had gotten better at hiding this hatred at the bottom of his heart. At least, now wasn't the time to take his revenge.
Dai Huabin walked up beside Huo Yuhao and looked towards the vast mist-covered Sea God's Lake. He sipped his wine and his eyes narrowed as he asked, "When did you return?"
Huo Yuhao drank his wine in similar fashion and replied, "I came back a few days ago."
Dai Huabin asked, "Are you participating in tomorrow's Sea God's Fate?"
Huo Yuhao answered, "Yes."
Dai Huabin said, "I didn't want to participate at first, as Zhu Lu hasn't entered the inner courtyard yet. However, since you're going to participate, I'll participate as well. Shall we make a bet?"
"Nope." Huo Yuhao's answer was clean and decisive.
"You're afraid?" Dai Huabin raised an eyebrow, and the glow in his eyes became stronger than before.
Huo Yuhao turned towards him, and his eyes were still as limpid as before. "No."
"Then why don't you want to bet with me?" Dai Huabin's tone was overbearing and menacing.
Huo Yuhao smiled and replied, "Because you're not worthy." He was smiling, but the chill in his eyes was filled with provocation.
Dai Huabin was ilent, and his cheeks tensed up. The cup of wine in his hands remained unnaturally stable, however.
Huo Yuhao thought he was going to attack, but Dai Huabin regained his composure and muttered coldly, "We'll see if I'm worthy enough at the Sea God's Fate tomorrow." With that, he turned around and strode away.
Huo Yuhao was a little surprised as he watched Dai Huabin walk away. His words were meant to infuriate Dai Huabin. The hatred and vengeance between the two of them was irreconcilable, but this was Shrek Academy, after all, and Huo Yuhao couldn't just murder him here even if he had the ability to do so. Therefore, he had to trick Dai Huabin into making a mistake, and when Dai Huabin did something outrageous when he was angry… well, the outcome would be hard to say.
However, Dai Huabin displayed his calm and composed side, and he wasn't as impulsive as he was back then. He actually restrained himself even when Huo Yuhao tried to provoke him. He turned and left just like that, something that would have been unimaginable for Huo Yuhao if they were in the past.
He's grown up too!, Huo Yuhao thought to himself. He stared at Dai Huabin, and couldn't help but think about Dai Yueheng, who he had fought along side by side before. Dai Yueheng had already left the academy, and he was probably fighting on the battlefield with the White Tiger Duke. In terms of blood relations, they were both Huo Yuhao's older brothers.
Brothers, what a strange thing to call them. Huo Yuhao laughed at himself.
Xu Sanshi came beside Huo Yuhao, and he drained the wine in his cup as he asked, "What did that Dai Huabin fellow want with you?"
Huo Yuhao explained, "He says we shall meet at the Sea God's Fate tomorrow."
Xu Sanshi said, "Seems like he wants to stir up trouble for you! Huo Yuhao, you can't be complacent. Dai Huabin has improved rapidly over the past two years."
"Eh?" Huo Yuhao glanced at Xu Sanshi, surprised. He knew that his third senior brother had always thought highly of himself, so he didn't expect Xu Sanshi to give such a high evaluation of Dai Huabin.
Xu Sanshi said, "Your batch has many prodigies and talents, indeed. You, Wang Dong, and even Xiao Xiao have entered the inner courtyard, and several students jumped levels to enter the inner courtyard as well."
"Several? Who else besides Dai Huabin?" Huo Yuhao asked curiously.
Xu Sanshi replied, "There are three others. The Seven Treasures Glazed Pagoda's auxiliary-type soul master Ning Tian, the Red Dragon assault-type soul master Wu Feng, and the Rubberdon defense-type soul master Xie Huanyue. Yea, isn't that him over there?"
Huo Yuhao followed Xu Sanshi's eyes, and saw Xie Huanyue.
Xie Huanyue was much taller compared to a few years ago, but his body seemed to have grown even pudgier, while his looks were quite different as well. After all, everyone had gone through puberty. Dai Huabin walked up next to him and said something to him, and Xie Huanyue's eyes coincidentally turned towards Huo Yuhao.
Their eyes met, and Huo Yuhao raised the wine glass in his hands as a gesture. He didn't have any vengeance or hatred with Xie Huanyue, after all.
Xie Huanyue responded with a nod.
Xu Sanshi said, "Did you expect the few of them to be able to join the inner courtyard?"
Huo Yuhao asked, "They must have broken through Rank 50?"
Xu Sanshi nodded and replied, "They can be described as extraordinary prodigies even within Shrek Academy, just like you and Wang Dong. Even though they don't have twin martial souls, their martial souls are exceptionally powerful. This is especially so for Dai Huabin, and his performance in the past few years has been rather dazzling and stunning."