Yan Shaozhe was the last to leave. He patted Huo Yuhao on the shoulder and said, "Yuhao, you should take this time to find suitable soul beasts. We can start our trials once you do. You have to be prepared, we have to try our best to prevent any dangers. Even though I can imagine the inner courtyard's students will be enthusiastic, this is ultimately just a trial."
"Yes." Huo Yuhao nodded his head seriously. The danger with contracting Spirits was self-evident, and the most important part would be the soul master's spiritual power that the pact would absorb when it was being formed. They would have to be extremely careful.
Huo Yuhao suddenly felt something at this moment, and he glanced sideways. He saw Wang Dong'er, who was looking around as she walked in his direction from the staircase.
Huo Yuhao felt a wave of warmth course over his body when he saw her, and his gaze met those huge powdery-blue eyes as he pointed outside.
The Sea God's Pavilion wasn't a place for billing and cooing. The elders' senses were extremely powerful, and they would probably be aware of any disturbance, no matter how minor.
Wang Dong'er nodded in understanding, and tiptoed out of the Sea God's Pavilion first.
Yan Shaozhe was naturally aware of this, and he smiled as he said, "Go. Wang Dong'er is powerful, she's the future heir to the Clear Sky Sect, and that's enough to match you. You have to be good to her."
Huo Yuhao blushed a little, and he nodded hurriedly before bidding farewell and stepping outside.
Wang Dong'er was waiting at the entrance. She wore a long light-blue dress today, which matched her flowing blue hair. Her exceptional beauty caused the Sea God's Pavilion's originally enchanting scenery to lose its splendor. She was like the brilliant and riveting sun, and even just standing there, she could dim all the light in the world.
"You're just so pretty, Dong'er," Huo Yuhao blurted out in admiration.
Wang Dong'er rolled her eyes and said, "Did you only realize that today?"
Huo Yuhao chuckled and replied, "Of course not, except you've been calling yourself a guy before this, so how could I have such reveries? It's different now."
"Here." Wang Dong'er took out a small cloth bag from somewhere. The outer layer was white, and it was clean and spotless.
Huo Yuhao took the bag, and realized it was warm. He opened it and saw two steamed buns inside, along with two deshelled eggs. The eggs were from a bird-type soul beast, with completely transparent egg-whites, looking like frozen water crystals. They were extremely nutritious, while the two steamed buns had vegetables and pieces of meat inside.
"Go ahead. I know you haven't eaten yet," Wang Dong'er whispered.
Huo Yuhao didn't restrain himself, and he picked up an egg and popped it into his mouth. What he ate wasn't important; it was the thought that was important. Wang Dong'er's scrupulousness made him warm all over, and whatever he ate tasted as delicious as could be.
They gobbled down the food in a few mouthfuls, and drank some water from a waterskin Wang Dong'er handed him. Huo Yuhao immediately felt better and more relaxed with food in his stomach.
"You're so nice, Dong'er."
Wang Dong'er giggled and said, "Why do I feel like you're so stupid?"
Huo Yuhao said indifferently, "It doesn't matter if I'm stupid, as long as you don't turn your back on me because of that."
"No, no, I won't. Let's go." Wang Dong'er grasped his hand and started walking away.
"Where are we going?" Huo Yuhao asked, confused at the sudden switch.
Wang Dong'er said, "We are going to look for that Wang Qiu'er! I asked about it when I woke up this morning. Today is the reporting day for the new batch of inner courtyard students who have just passed the examination, so she will definitely show up if she managed to pass the assessment."
"Ugh… You still remember that? I'd already forgotten about it." Huo Yuhao actually had forgotten about it; Wang Dong'er was all that was in his mind last night. He had then been called out early in the morning for a conference, so he couldn't really be bothered about anything else.
Wang Dong'er replied, "You can't just forget about something like that. We have to figure it out before anything else."
Huo Yuhao naturally followed her, and the two of them walked on. Wang Dong'er lowered her voice and asked as they strolled along, "You guys were talking about Spirits during the conference held inside the Sea God's Pavilion?"
"Yes," Huo Yuhao nodded as he answered. "I discussed and detailed the identity of Spirits during the conference, and I gave the Spirit Pact Sealing Spell to the academy."
"You passed it on to the academy?" Wang Dong'er was taken aback, but she quickly recovered and nodded. "It's better if you pass it to the academy. Our academy is trustworthy, and I think it will help lift the pressure off your shoulders."
Huo Yuhao stared at her with a look of pleasant surprise. "You're really the roundworm inside my stomach! How did you know that was what I thought, too?"
"Psh, you're so disgusting. You're the roundworm!" Wang Dong'er smiled radiantly, and the dimples on her face bloomed like flowers. Her bright smile was filled with pride.
Huo Yuhao gasped in amazement "This is chemistry! What more can a husband ask for in his wife?"
"Who's your wife?"
"Who do you think?"
They were bickering, but their hands had been tightly wound around each other from the beginning to the end. Huo Yuhao hadn't slept properly last night, but neither had Wang Dong'er. After the night, they still felt a little unfamiliar with their current statuses, but they were starting to get closer to the chemistry that they used to have. Their bodies were becoming closer, and so were their hearts. The feeling where the results flowed naturally when circumstances were right seemed to have arrived.
The new inner courtyard students were supposed to report to the outer courtyard rather than the inner courtyard. In the end, only those students whose identities had been confirmed could be brought into the inner courtyard.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong'er didn't need the ferry. They soared into the sky, and the wings of Wang Dong's Radiant Butterfly Goddess extended outwards while Huo Yuhao stepped on the lake's surface and pushed off from it to propel them forward.
What made him a little surprised was that the ice formed from last night's Snowy Dance of Ultimate Ice hadn't melted completely, and the two of them crossed the Sea God's Lake in no time. However, Huo Yuhao's expression became a little dull.
They were just starting out in their relationship, so their thoughts and senses were the most sensitive. Wang Dong'er immediately detected the change in his emotions and asked, "What's wrong?"
Huo Yuhao heaved a faint sigh and said, "Do you still remember when we met her on the shore? She flew across Sea God's Lake from the inner courtyard just like that, and now we have the same ability. She's been missing for such a long time. There're still no news about her."
Wang Dong'er's expression grew a little sullen when she heard Huo Yuhao mention Ma Xiaotao. She sighed and said, "Yes! I wonder how she's doing. I'm afraid she…"
Huo Yuhao raised his hand to signal her to stop talking. He had the same intense anxiety and worry in his heart, but he truly didn't want to hear about that possibility.
Wang Dong'er knew where the new inner courtyard students were supposed to report, and she brought Huo Yuhao to the outer courtyard's senior grade school block, where they proceeded straight to a large classroom.
It was already lesson time. The outer courtyard looked extremely tranquil, and most of the students were currently taking lessons. However, there were some who were still outside.
There was a class currently having a sparring session in Shrek Plaza. As Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong'er held hands and walked across the plaza, the students that were only twelve or thirteen years old stared and ogled Wang Dong'er.
"Wow, she's so pretty! She's so pretty! Guys, look!"
"Eh, why are they holding hands? They must be seniors."
"She's just so beautiful. The color of her hair is so nice."
Huo Yuhao could naturally hear their discussions, and he chuckled as he said, "Dong'er, I think you should wear a veil over your face the next time you come out. You're already so stunning and enchanting inside the academy. If we go outside, we might even attract some trouble."
Wang Dong'er laughed and said, "You'll be around even if there's trouble, no? What, you don't like that I'm so pretty?"
Huo Yuhao stared at the mischievous smile on her face, and he really wanted to kiss her.
"Stop right there! I'm talking about the two of you!" A deep and serious voice suddenly rang out, which actually shocked both Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong'er. When they looked up, they could see a teacher that was about fifty years old blocking their way, and he was currently glaring at them with a draconian expression.
"Greetings, teacher. What's the problem?" Huo Yuhao hurriedly asked politely.
The male teacher pointed at their connected hands and lowered his voice as he said, "What year are you from? What class are you from? Look at you guys, what is this? We're still inside the academy, and this is the example you want to set for the younger students? What if you teach them the wrong things? I will report this to the teachers, so that you will be punished accordingly."
"Uh!" Both Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong were rooted to the spot. They were still bickering like lovebirds before this, and hadn't noticed this point at all. Yes! Most of the outer courtyard's students were still kids.
Huo Yuhao hurriedly released Wang Dong'er's hand and bowed respectfully to the teacher before he wore an apologetic look and said, "I'm sorry, teacher. We are in the wrong, and we promise that this won't happen again in the future. Please forgive us."
The teacher's dark and gloomy face regained some color as he said, "You guys are too brazen. This is Shrek Academy, and I imagine it's not your first or second day at the academy judging by your age. How can you be so unruly? You have to be punished. Tell me, what class are you two from? Send someone to find your teacher, and only then can you leave. Your teacher will bring you back."
Perhaps it was because of teacher Zhou Yi, but even though this male teacher was strict and unforgiving, Huo Yuhao could feel an unspeakable closeness. Furthermore, this teacher was right. He didn't talk further about punishment after Huo Yuhao's apology, so that meant he was cold on the outside, but warm on the inside.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong'er hadn't had any lessons in the outer courtyard since the last big competition. They felt extremely nostalgic when they suddenly "felt" the outer courtyard once again.
Wang Dong'er touched Huo Yuhao and asked, "I'll go?"
Huo Yuhao nodded, and made a gesture with his chin. Wang Dong'er immediately understood, and she bowed lightly to the male teacher before she walked away briskly.
The male teacher noticed that their attitudes were not bad, and his temper had calmed down considerably. He shouted at the students watching the show from the side. "What are you looking at?! Continue sparring! Don't let me catch anyone slacking off!"