Huo Yuhao grunted coldly and said, "Is that something you should be asking?" A peculiar aura suddenly emanated from his body, and a contorted white projection subsequently appeared before him.
Chen An could vaguely tell that the white projection portrayed a human figure, but the room became a lot eerier and more sinister when it appeared. The projection was twisting and contorting vigorously, as if it were struggling against something.
Huo Yuhao said plainly, "This is the end of your life. Looks like you had it easy. Go, be purified." White light lit up in his eyes as he spoke, and the twisting light projection immediately paused and became a lot clearer than before.
"The Great King?!" Chen An exclaimed; the projection looked exactly like King Wan!
The light projection shone with white light circles as it gradually dissipated, and King Wan's expression finally became one of peace and acceptance as he swiftly vanished into thin air.
Chen An's face was ghastly pale at this moment, and his body quivered as well.
Huo Yuhao said, "Do you want to test me again?"
Chen An wiped the cold sweat from his forehead, and he bent down as he replied respectfully, "No, there's no need."
Huo Yuhao continued, "You have to keep the two of us being here a secret. You can't tell anyone at all. Do you understand? The truth is we are here of our own accord, since it's nice to earn some money while claiming some rare metals for ourselves. Of course, you guys can make some money at the same time… we will only survive if we both reap benefits at the same time, don't you think?"
"Yes, yes!" Chen An hurriedly followed Huo Yuhao's lead.
Huo Yuhao nodded and said, "Then you should give us what we are owed today. We will return for the next round."
Chen An asked, "Do you need us to do anything else?"
Huo Yuhao waved his hand and said, "I don't need you to do anything else. What we eventually achieve in the contest is entirely up to our own abilities. You've seen what happened to King Wan. If someone else tries to mess around with me or provoke me, that person's outcome won't be as easy as what happened to King Wan. I believe most people haven't had their spirits tortured before. Whoever has to find out will probably remember the sensation on their shattered spiritual imprint for eternity."
Chen An shivered involuntarily and said, "Don't worry, I will restrain my subordinates to the best of my ability, and I will definitely adhere to your requests. We won't pass this on within the Duskwater Alliance, and everything will go according to your command."
Huo Yuhao nodded his head satisfactorily. "Looks like you're a smart one. Intelligent people tend to live longer."
"Thank you for the compliment, sir." Chen An's expression became a little more relaxed, but he was still radiating fear and trepidation.
Huo Yuhao said, "Alright, my people have returned. We'll make a move first."
Knocking sounds could be heard before he finished his sentence. The door opened, and one of Chen An's subordinates led Wang Dong'er and Na Na into the room. Wang Dong'er heaved a sigh of relief when she saw Huo Yuhao in the room.
Huo Yuhao said to Chen An, "We won't claim our money today, but we will take everything when we return. I can reveal some things to you… my brother and I are both Class 6 soul engineers, and I believe we can be considered some of the very best in this wretched place. Therefore, you can do whatever you like with the wagers to make your profits, but I want my share. I don't care about the money, but those hundred thousand golden soul coins are my capital, and you will be responsible for changing my money into rare metals. The more the better."
"Yes, yes!" Chen An acknowledged once more.
"Alright, let's go."
Wang Dong'er came forward hurriedly to take Huo Yuhao's wheelchair from He Caitou's hands, and began to push him outside. Huo Yuhao raised his hand for her to stop when they were almost at the door, and he said without turning around, "Chen An! If everything goes according to plan, and if you do everything properly, I will reward you after this contest is finished. If you're willing, it's even possible if you wish to become a part of us. Of course, there's a price to pay, but the returns that you shall receive will be worth a lot more."
Chen An was a little taken aback, but he became elated in the next moment as he took a few brisk steps forward and knelt down with one knee beside Huo Yuhao. "Thank you for the link-up, sir!"
"I will find you again before the contest. You will collate the inventory of metals that will be used for rewards in every round, and you will also give me a list of the bets that have been placed."
Huo Yuhao waved his hand once more, and Wang Dong'er pushed him out at once. Chen An escorted him out personally, and he directed them all the way to a set of escalators that brought them back to one of the Green Hotel's simpler levels.
"Alright, that's enough. You don't have to send me any further. Remember what I've told you. If my father finds out about me… you know the rest. If that happens, then you will become part of my strength."
"Your wish is my command. I will definitely follow your orders!" Chen An acknowledged hurriedly.
"Let's go." Huo Yuhao waved his hand, and the company exited the Green Hotel.
Once they were past the main door, He Caitou couldn't help but ask, "What were the two of you talking about so mysteriously back there?"
"We'll talk about it when we get back, brother." Huo Yuhao hurriedly interrupted He Caitou's words, and a voice appeared in He Caitou's head.
He Caitou felt his heart skip a beat, and he quickly shut his mouth and said nothing more. The four of them gradually disappeared into the night.
Huo Yuhao relied on his Imitation and brought everyone back into the Brilliant Delight Hotel. His expression became a lot more relaxed, and Wang Dong'er helped everyone remove their makeup once they returned to his room.
He Caitou said, "You can speak now, little junior brother. You actually gave me a scare when you lashed out just now."
Huo Yuhao said ponderously, "We didn't waste our efforts today, and I've figured some things out. It's no wonder that the academy could never find traces of the Holy Ghost Church after they appeared. It seems like they've been hiding themselves like that."
He Caitou was momentarily stunned. "Are you saying it's likely that the Duskriver Alliance has something to do with the Holy Ghost Church?"
Huo Yuhao answered, "It's not just likely, they definitely have something to do with the Holy Ghost Church! Actually, their name had already aroused my suspicions. According to Elder Xuan's description, one of the Holy Ghost Church's most powerful individuals has a similar name. That's the reason why I had my suspicions, and the probing that I did before was also because of that. I imitated an evil soul master's abilities, and that frightened Chen An. You saw how reverent he was to me after that, and it's obvious that he believes we're from the Holy Ghost Church. That respect is also for the Holy Ghost Church, and this proves the Duskwater Alliance's connection with the Holy Ghost Church. It's no wonder that the Holy Ghost Church hid themselves so well, what with Radiant City's number-one underground organization covering them. With the Duskwater Alliance's power and influence, they are definitely one of the Holy Ghost Church's most important branches, if they aren't part of the Church's core existence."
Wang Dong'er frowned and said, "Doesn't that mean it's too dangerous for us to continue on in the competition?"
Huo Yuhao shook his head with a smile on his face. "No, it doesn't. This contest is aimed at raking in profits, and it doesn't mean much to the Holy Ghost Church's core existence. The church is focused on the Continental Elite Youth Soul Master Tournament. Haven't you guys seen the people that they've sent to participate in the tournament? Their energies aren't channeled toward the Duskwater Alliance, so it's natural that they aren't paying much attention to their events. We are quite safe. Furthermore, the Duskriver Alliance is ultimately one of the church's branches, and they are just a front for earning money and covering their identities, so the Holy Ghost Church won't send high-level individuals to watch over the alliance. The Green Hotel is quite important to the Duskriver Alliance, but the hotel's supervisor is just a Soul King, and he's not even an evil soul master."
Wang Dong'er became a little more relieved as she listened to Huo Yuhao's seamless analysis. She nodded and said, "So, we're still participating in the subsequent rounds?"
Huo Yuhao tilted his head and said, "Of course. We have to get our rare metals from this contest, and we don't even have to become champions. Isn't it fun and interesting to stir things up within Radiant City's underground organizations? Don't worry, Dong'er, I will make sure that I return safely; not just for myself, but also for you guys."
He Caitou stood up and patted Huo Yuhao on the shoulder. "It's getting late, little junior brother. Your body isn't in good shape, so you should hurry up and get some rest."
Na Na also stood up to take her leave.
Wang Dong'er helped Huo Yuhao onto the bed after everyone left, and she brought some warm water to wash his hands and face. Huo Yuhao's body was overflowing with ice-type origin energy of heaven and earth, so the parts of his body that were immobile didn't get dirty at all, so there was no need for her to wash those areas.
"You're too exhausted, Yuhao." Wang Dong'er slipped into his embrace, and felt the chilly aura emanating from his body as she whispered to him.
Huo Yuhao smiled and said, "The main reason why you don't want to me to continue on in the competition is because you're concerned about me, right? Actually, how can you not tell how safe we are with your intelligence and our abilities?"
"Yes," Wang Dong'er agreed softly.
Huo Yuhao said, "I promise you, Dong'er, that I will have a good rest when we go back. I will make sure my body recovers completely before I set off to do anything else. However, our journey to Radiant City is very important to the academy, to the Tang Sect, and even to how the Continent's political backdrop is going to turn out over the next few years. I need to be at my best to deal with everything, and it's worth it even if I get a little tired in the process."
Wang Dong'er was slightly taken aback. "I understand if you say that you're doing this for the academy and for the Tang Sect. But aren't you exaggerating a little about the Continent's political situation?"
Huo Yuhao shook his head and said, "I keep feeling as if something's not right. The Sun Moon Empire has expanded the people allowed to participate in the competition, and I've been feeling a little more stifled than the last competition, as if something is about to happen. Ever since my spiritual power ascended into the concrete-immaterial realm, I've developed a sort of clairvoyance. If I'm not wrong, the Sun Moon Empire will definitely carry out some operation during or after the competition. The only problem is that I can't tell anything yet at the moment, but I'm sure they will drop clues as the tournament progresses. I'm not sure what we can do for now, but anything that's not good for the Sun Moon Empire is beneficial for us."
Wang Dong'er nodded and replied, "But… your body..."
Huo Yuhao smiled and said, "You don't have to worry about my body. I have a secret weapon."
Wang Dong'er was momentarily stunned. "Secret weapon? What is it? Why don't I know about it?"
Huo Yuhao grinned mysteriously and said, "That's a secret. I'll tell you if you kiss me ten thousand times."