"Oi, elder brother, how can you forget me?" Jing Ziyan said unhappily.
Bei Bei thought for a while, and then said, "Alright, you can come along, too. It's decided then. Nannan, Xiao Xiao, and Na Na shall stay behind. The Academy has its own arrangements for Mo Xuan. Dalou, stay behind with Teacher Xuan to continue the work of our Soul Tool Hall."
"Elder brother," Huo Yuhao said suddenly.
"Yes?" Bei Bei said as he looked at Huo Yuhao.
Huo Yuhao said, "This operation is important, but we still need someone from the Tang Sect to manage everything. You should stay too. This time, second elder brother and third elder brother shall lead us. Stay at home and look after the sect. We'll feel more at ease like this, too."
Bei Bei frowned and said, "How can I do that? I…"
Xu Sanshi said, "Huo Yuhao is right. Bei Bei, you should stay. The Tang Sect has enough things for you to take care of already. If you give them all to Nannan and Xiao Xiao, they'll be under a lot of pressure. Orders from the Heavenly Soul Empire, the Star Luo Empire, and the Dou Ling Empire are coming in like snow during a blizzard. Do you want Teacher Xuan to take care of them personally? If Yuhao had not ended his closed-door training, you would have had to go. But now that we have Yuhao, what's the point in you going? Once Huo Yuhao recovers fully, he'll be stronger than you in all aspects. So I advise you not to go."
Bei Bei laughed and replied, "While I know you're speaking the truth, you should think about my feelings too, right? Looking at it, I really should try and work harder. Yuhao, you…"
Huo Yuhao could tell what his elder brother was worried about. He nodded and said, "Don't worry, elder brother, I'm fine. After I come back from the rescue operation, I'll look for Dong'er. Then I'll resume my closed-door training."
Bei Bei was not someone who was prone to hesitation. He also knew that the Tang Sect needed him to stay behind. This rescue operation could not be allowed to affect the overall development of the sect!
"Okay, it's decided. This time, Yuhao shall lead. Yuhao, don't shirk from your role. I can only be at ease if I hand everyone over to you. Bring all of them back to me safely."
"Yes, elder brother," said Huo Yuhao. He did not refuse the role. A clear, smooth light shone in the depths of his eyes. The cold light flashed and disappeared.
If not for the Sun Moon Empire, we would not have entered the Yin-Yang Love Querying Valley. If we hadn't entered the valley, how would Dong'er…
Regardless of whether it was because of national or personal reasons, he stood firmly against the Sun Moon Empire. He could not imagine what it would be like for the Sun Moon Empire to rule the continent while following the religion of evil soul masters. He was already a youth, but he was fighting for the ones he loved. He wanted revenge for Dong'er, and he sought to increase his own strength. The words of the leader of the Clear Sky Sect, Niu Tian, were seared into his mind. As a man, if he could not even protect his own woman, what right did he have to be with her?
Dong'er, wait for me! After I rescue them, I'll look for you! It's been almost three months, are you awake yet?
When he thought of Dong'er, Huo Yuhao could feel his heart burning. Fighting intent blazed fiercely inside him.
Jiang Nannan and Xiao Xiao looked unwilling, but Bei Bei had already made up his mind. There was nothing else for them to say. Originally, Bei Bei did not even want He Caitou to take part. However, once he thought about the dangers of this operation, he realized that he needed the extra firepower He Caitou could provide, and allowed him to go.
"Yuhao, come over." Right after the meeting, Xuan Ziwen called Huo Yuhao over.
"Do you still want to study soul engineering? Don't tell me you've decided to give up on it completely!" Xuan Ziwen said angrily. He had not seen Huo Yuhao working in the Soul Tool Hall for many months.
Huo Yuhao scratched his head and said, "Teacher Xuan, I don't intend to give up on soul engineering. However, I can't research the latest technology in soul engineering with you anymore, I…"
"It's alright. Say no more. We all have our own aspirations, and I won't force you. Before you go, however, pop over by my table. I've helped you do some maintenance and made some tweaks to your human-shaped soul tool. Look at what you've done. Everything is a mess! How much material did you waste? Hmph!" After he said that, Xuan Ziwen turned to leave.
As he watched Xuan Ziwen walk off, Huo Yuhao felt his heart grow warm. While Teacher Xuan might be strict, he cared for Yuhao deeply. Before he commenced his closed-door training, he had passed his human-shaped soul tool over to Xuan Ziwen. When he made it, he did use many rare metals, but that was so that he could bring more types of rare metal back, and Xuan Ziwen definitely knew that!
Of course, his human-shaped soul tool was still rough and unpolished, as he had not had a lot of time to make it. Since Xuan Ziwen said that he had made some tweaks to it, it was likely that he had come up with a revolutionary new design for the human-shaped soul tool! Even the Sun Moon Empire, which did not have the mechanical technology of the Tang Sect, could not come up with such a perfect design.
Everyone went back to pack. Of course, the two couples also said their goodbyes to each other. After two hours, they gathered in the Sparring Arena of the Tang Sect.
Huo Yuhao, He Caitou, Xu Sanshi, Ji Juechen, Jing Ziyan, Ye Guyi, and Nan Qiuqiu, seven of them in total. Six were Soul Emperors, plus Huo Yuhao, who could be said to be a pseudo-Soul Emperor.
Bei Bei walked over in front of Huo Yuhao and said, "Little junior brother, this trip is dangerous. I'm entrusting you with everyone's safety. There's only one instruction from me, and that's to come back alive no matter what happens. Do it for the Tang Sect, and for yourselves."
"We of the Tang Sect will always be unrivaled! Elder brother, I'll bring everyone back safely, even if I…"
"Alright, go!" Bei Bei did not wait for him to finish. He slapped his shoulder and walked ahead of everyone in the direction of the main door.
Huo Yuhao and his partners caught up quickly. Under Bei Bei's leadership, they walked out in the direction of Shrek Academy.
Shrek Academy was still the same. Due to the rapid development of soul tools, Shrek Academy was in a new stage of prosperity. The expansion of the Soul Tool Department meant the school had added three new classes for soul engineering across all grades.
When Huo Yuhao arrived at the door of the Academy, it was already noon. The students had ended their lessons, and were streaming out the doors. Outside the Academy, hawkers sold their food and merchandise to the students. It was a lively sight.
Xu Sanshi squeezed Huo Yuhao's shoulder, sighed, and said, "Every time I see this scene, I'll think back to the moment when we first met. At that time, weren't you one of them?" As he said that, his expression turned to anguish. "Little junior brother, when was the last time you made grilled fish for us? This time, you must cook grilled fish for us!"
"Alright," said Huo Yuhao. He looked forward, and noticed that Bei Bei's body stiffened visibly when Xu Sanshi mentioned grilled fish. He sighed in his heart. He knew that this scene filled elder brother with memories. How could he not think of Teacher Xiao Ya?
Xu Sanshi was smart. When he saw Huo Yuhao's gaze, he too noticed the change in Bei Bei's emotions.
"Oh right, Bei Bei, do you mind showing your drawing to little junior brother? He went to the Icefire Yin Yang Well before, right? Perhaps what you need is over there."
Bei Bei stopped and turned around. He slapped his forehead in self-remorse and said anxiously, "Oh right! How could I have forgotten? Sanshi, you finally did something right! Little junior brother, have you seen these two types of plants? When I was in the Yin-Yang Love Querying Valley, it gave me this hint. I believe we need these items to save Little Ya."
As he said that, Bei Bei carefully took a manual out from an inner pocket. He opened it, revealing two exquisite drawings.
The first one was a huge, pink flower. Its alluringly-pink petals were in full bloom, and the very sight of it was astounding.
The second one was a blade grass that looked crystal-blue.
"Is this… the Delicate Silk Immortal?" Huo Yuhao asked in shock.
When he heard him say this name, Bei Bei's body froze, and he said, "Little junior brother, you recognize it?" Since his return from the Sun Moon Empire, he had used his prize to find the best artist. He described this image, and got the artist to draw it. However, while he did manage to get an image for it and prepared the money for it, not a single soul master or shop in Shrek City knew what these two items were.
After a few months, even Bei Bei had lost hope. He had never expected that Huo Yuhao would be the one with the answer.
Huo Yuhao nodded and said, "I should be right. I saw this plant in the Icefire Yin Yang Well, and it left a deep impression on me, too. I named it the Delicate Silk Immortal, as it was an extremely rare and expensive type of plant. In the Icefire Yin Yang Well, one of them had even become sentient. Elder brother, after we come back, I'll search for it with you. Furthermore, the Delicate Silk Immortal's knowledge of plants is superb. Even if we don't recognize the second one, it will."
Bei Bei's breathing quickened. After a long while, he nodded and said, "Alright, we'll speak upon your return." It took a lot of self-restraint to prevent himself from dragging Huo Yuhao off to search for the Delicate Silk Immortal immediately. No matter how much he loved Tang Ya, no matter how much he wanted to find the medicine to cure her, he had to place the interests of the sect above his own.
Huo Yuhao noticed his frustration. "Elder brother, we'll come back soon!"
As he said that, they were already at the gate of the school. Facing them, a group of young students was walking out. The two groups bumped into each other, as the road was obstructed on both sides by hawkers.
At the back of the student group was a young student in a purple uniform. He should be in the fourth grade in the outer yard. His hair was deep blue, and he looked energetic, with a proud expression.