Shrek Academy's company began to move after their temporary astonishment. Elder Xuan's face was as gloomy as could be while he took everyone and raced toward the horizon.
Most of Shrek Academy's powerful individuals didn't know what had happened, and nobody knew why this scene had occurred.
A handful of people, including Zhang Lexuan, could faintly guess that the Tang Sect had catalyzed and caused that apocalyptic episode in some way.
Wang Dong'er, Wang Qiu'er, and Xiao Xiao were the clearest about the entire process. They were the ones who had installed the timed explosive bomb!
Huo Yuhao had deliberately damaged the elevator and the first floor's gate before they exited the underground warehouse, so that the inevitable inspection to come would take as long as possible. Everything had been within his calculations. He didn't make a single mistake, and he was extremely precise even with their timed explosive bomb.
The only thing he hadn't predicted was the final explosion's force and impact.
The timed explosive was placed beneath all the stationary cannon shells. There had been at least tens of thousands of stationary cannon shells, possibly more, that they hadn't been able to take away.
Huo Yuhao's goal had been simple; he wanted to destroy the underground warehouse, and he wanted the explosion to vaporize all the rare metals that they couldn't take away, along with all the low-level soul tools. That way, the Sun Moon Empire's invasion plans would be delayed by the tremendous losses.
According to Huo Yuhao's estimations of the stationary cannon shells, the explosive impact would only spread for one kilometer because the detonation was one hundred meters beneath the surface. The explosion would trigger an enormous earthquake, and the Illustrious Virtue Hall would take the full force of this disaster, as they were located right next to it!
The Sun Moon Empire would suffer unimaginable losses if this underground warehouse and the Illustrious Virtue Hall were destroyed at the same time, and that had been enough for him.
What Huo Yuhao didn't know was that there was another underground warehouse, dug out beneath the Illustrious Virtue Hall. This warehouse was even more protected and guarded than the one they had found, and a total of sixteen Class 9 stationary cannon shells were stored there. The explosion he had triggered awakened these tools of destruction slumbering deep beneath the ground.
Sixteen Class 9 stationary soul cannon shells, in addition to tens of thousands of stationary soul cannon shells below Class 5… everything compounded to create this calamity within Radiant City.
The Lightless Day of Destruction.
It was a day that the Sun Moon Empire would remember forever.
Shrek Academy's team finally escaped into the western mountains. However, everyone felt as if their legs were going soft. They couldn't imagine how anybody could survive the core of that frightening explosion.
"Let's take a break," Elder Xuan ordered with a black look on his face.
Elder Xuan was still holding Huo Yuhao, who seemed as lifeless as a zombie iniside his soul tool, and quickly pulled him to one side. He lowered his voice and said, "Everyone from the Tang Sect, come here. Wang Qiu'er, Lexuan, come here as well."
Everyone lowered their heads and walked over briskly as they heard Elder Xuan's solemn voice. The other powerful individuals from the academy had the same thought. It can't be. The explosion within Radiant City was actually caused by…
Nobody could stop this thought from flooding their minds, and everyone's eyes turned slack.
Elder Xuan placed Huo Yuhao's soul tool on the ground. He lowered his voice and said, "Open it and come out."
Huo Yuhao opened his human-shaped soul tool like a robot and revealed his ghastly pale face. Wang Dong'er hurriedly came forward and helped him out.
Elder Xuan stared at Huo Yuhao, and then at the others around him. His face seemed as solemn as could be as he said, "Who's going to tell me what happened? Speak now."
The lifelessness look in Huo Yuhao's eyes vanished, and his eyes became focused once more. He raised his head determinedly and said, "I did it, Elder Xuan. I was the one who set everything up. We discovered one of the Sun Moon Empire's underground warehouses, and there were a lot of rare metals stored inside, along with hosts of soul tools and stationary soul cannon shells. I buried a timed explosive bomb beneath the stationary cannon shells."
Elder Xuan drew a cold breath. He had already guessed it, but he could still feel the immense impact when he heard it from Huo Yuhao's mouth. He couldn't help but say, "Yuhao, Yuhao! Do you know how many lives will have been lost, how many innocent citizens have died? We have to be the Continent's guardians, not its executioners. You… you…"
Huo Yuhao lowered his head and clenched his fists tightly. "This was all my fault, Elder Xuan. I will not push away my responsibility, and you can punish me in any way you wish. But can we settle that after we leave the western mountains? My Spiritual Detection should still be useful for everyone."
"Huo Yuhao can't take all the blame, Elder Xuan," Wang Dong'er held Huo Yuhao tightly in her embrace, and sounded very emotional. "We didn't know this would happen. Huo Yuhao discovered that underground warehouse with his Spiritual Detection, and he risked damage to his own spirit by separating his spiritual avatar today so that he could lead us into that underground warehouse, even though he was in a perilous situation himself. He did all that so that we could collect enough rare metals for the Tang Sect and the Academy's future development. At the same time, he wanted to see if we could set the Sun Moon Empire back in some way so that we could disrupt their invasion plans in the future.
"Huo Yuhao led us after we entered the underground palace, and we found where the rare metals were stored. There was just too much in there, so much that the Sun Moon Empire could easily mass produce soul tools for war. We went deeper inside, until we reached the third floor, where the manufactured soul tools were. We took the high-level stationary soul cannon shells and left everything else. Only those things could have detonated.
"Huo Yuhao calculated it carefully. That place was one hundred meters below the surface, and its structure was exceptionally reinforced. The explosive impact wouldn't be that great even if an explosion was triggered inside the warehouse. Yuhao estimated that a small earthquake would occur, and the surface would tremble a little intensely, at most. Our main goal was to destroy the soul tools stored within that warehouse, and it would be great if the explosive force could destroy some of the rare metals outside. At the same time, the sounds produced by the explosion would give him an opportunity to escape the western suburbs.
"Thus, we went ahead with the plan. We don't know why the explosive force suddenly became so powerful. Everything has far exceeded our expectations, while the outcome was also very abnormal. Huo Yuhao just wanted delay the Sun Moon Empire's invasion plans. Think about it, Elder Xuan. This incident that has led to so much bloodshed and so many lives lost is truly an accident. However, such a circumstance only happened because some other unknown explosives were triggered. If those explosives, along with the soul tools and stationary cannon shells that we destroyed, were used in their invasion, so many more people would have died. I'm afraid that number might have been ten times or even one hundred times more than the lives that were lost today. Therefore, I don't think Yuhao did anything wrong. If you wish to punish him, then punish me too. I support everything that he's done."
Wang Dong'er's voice was unwaveringly determined as she clasped Huo Yuhao's right hand tightly.
Suffering bred true intimacy. Dong'er is standing with me at such a crucial moment. She wasn't terrified by that frightening explosion, and she hasn't chided or scolded me at all. She's supporting me!
Huo Yuhao's astonishment, agony, guilt, helplessness, self-blame, and all his other negative emotions receded conspicuously in the face of her stubborn support. His psychological and mental strength had always been superior to the average person's, and his lover was standing with him at a time like this. Huo Yuhao's eyes were already determined, but now they began to flare with even more perseverance and fortitude.
Wang Qiu'er walked out and stared at Elder Xuan as she said, "Even if you insist on blaming someone, Huo Yuhao can't take all the blame. He was only in his spiritual form at the time, and he couldn't do anything at all. Dong'er, Xiao Xiao, and I were the ones who installed that timed explosive bomb, so we are the perpetrators. And if we are, then so be it. Things have already turned out this way, so there's no point talking about it anymore."
Wang Qiu'er's words displayed her unswerving toughness, in contrast to Wang Dong'er's reasonable argument. Her personality didn't change one bit, even though she was speaking to Elder Xuan.
Xiao Xiao nodded and said, "Yes, Qiu'er is right. The three of us are the perpetrators. This has nothing to do with Huo Yuhao. He was just helping us calculate, and only the three of us could execute any actual operations. We were the ones who made the final decision."
Huo Yuhao forced a laugh and said, "You guys don't have to help me carry this responsibility. A mistake is a mistake, and now that I think about it, triggering an explosion in that warehouse probably triggered an explosion in another warehouse. Those explosives were likely to be high-level soul tools stored within Illustrious Virtue Hall. I should have thought about that. Our explosion was so close to the Illustrious Virtue Hall, after all! Destroying the Illustrious Virtue Hall was part of our plan, but I was too eager to accomplish that, and being eager for success led to this disaster. Many innocent citizens are probably dead, especially so because the Continental Elite Youth Soul Master Tournament was still ongoing. There were surely many travelers in Radiant City."
He pressed his lips tightly together after this sentence. Even though he didn't like the Sun Moon Empire, the empire's citizens were innocent, and the consequences of this disaster were unimaginable. He had no idea what the actual death count was like inside Radiant City.
Elder Xuan's emotions had settled down a little. He was about to say something when an amiable, but somewhat authoritative voice rang out.
"Elder Xuan, this matter has nothing to do with them at all. Yuhao and I were the ones who planned the whole thing, and I am the Tang Sect's eldest senior brother, so I was the one who had the final say in whether we carried out this operation. All this would never have happened if I hadn't made that decision. I am no longer worthy of staying in the inner courtyard, and I request the Academy expel me as punishment."
Bei Bei's voice was calm, but determined. His face was still a little pale, but he could move now. Bei Bei slowly walked in front of Huo Yuhao and stood between him and Elder Yuan.
Elder Xuan's eyes shone as he stared at Bei Bei and waited for him to continue.