Huo Yuhao smiled and said, "The Beast God can imprison me, but he cannot stop me from taking my own life. He can't let me die, so naturally, he has no choice but to let me leave." He didn't talk about how Di Tian gave him the Black Dragon's reverse scale. The conflict between Shrek and the Great Star Dou Forest was just starting to soften and settle down, and he didn't want any new problems that could complicate things after he departed.
"I knew you always had an idea. Everything's fine, as long as you're back! You're already a Soul Sage, you should remain at the Sea God's Pavilion and rest up. You've almost finished handling matters with the Spirit Pagoda, and I won't let them disturb you if there are no special circumstances."
"Elder Xuan, can I speak to you in private? Sorry, elders." Huo Yuhao bowed respectfully at the other elders once more.
The elders smiled amicably before they nodded at him and left the two of them alone.
Elder Xuan's expression changed slightly as he sat down at the long table that the Sea God's Pavilion used for meetings and conferences. He pointed at a chair nearby and gestured for Huo Yuhao to sit down as well.
"Elder Xuan," Huo Yuhao called out softly after he sat down.
Elder Xuan smiled faintly and said, "If you intend to apologize to me, there's no need for that. The beast wave can't be entirely blamed on you. You're a smart kid, so stop wasting time on an insignificant issue. The Auspicious Beast's death was just a fuse, and even if this fuse wasn't there, the Great Star Dou Forest would probably have made a move within a few years anyway. Therefore, you don't have to blame yourself.
"Furthermore, your experiments with Spirits have given the Academy and Shrek City unprecedented opportunities for development. I trust that it won't take long for Shrek City to become one of the most famous cities on the Continent. Your contributions have been substantial! When that happens, we will be much more influential in the Continent, and we will be able to do so much more. This time, our main priority will be to expand the Academy and the Tang Sect, besides adding numbers to the city defense army. We will inject large amounts of manpower, resources, and money into the development of these projects. This will be a great positive force for the Tang Sect's future development!"
"Thank you." Huo Yuhao lowered his head and continued, "But no matter what, if not for what happened between Qiu'er and me, the beast wave wouldn't have come so early. If it had come after a few more years, and after our soul tools developed further, we wouldn't have suffered such heavy losses. I am responsible for this. Furthermore, you should know that I summoned an undead army to attack the beast wave in order to save and reinforce Shrek City."
When he said these words, a layer of gentle spiritual undulations emanated from Huo Yuhao's body and enveloped them both, blocking any sound from traveling out of it.
Elder Xuan's expression changed slightly. He hadn't expect Huo Yuhao to take the initiative in discussing this issue.
"Yuhao, I only hope that you understand one thing: no matter what, the Academy has unconditional trust in you. Don't hold any burdens in your heart. Those circumstances were special, and you only did that in order to rescue the Academy, and you did that to target soul beasts."
Huo Yuhao forced a laugh and said, "But that cannot change the fact that I possess an evil soul master's abilities. However, Elder Xuan, I can promise you that these abilities that I possess are different from those of an evil soul master. I will never be affected by these abilities."
Elder Xuan stared deeply at Huo Yuhao. He was full of admiration inside, This child is just different!
Huo Yuhao continued, "These abilities of mine don't belong in the boundaries of our world. Therefore, they are not considered abilities of an evil soul master. Instead, these abilities come from another plane. These abilities, along with the contract of equals, were passed down to me by that teacher of mine whose divine sense remnants I unintentionally fused with."
Huo Yuhao no longer hid anything as he detailed everything that had to do with the Calamity Necromancer, Electrolux. His explanation was much different from what he told the soul beasts. He detailed everything from when he first fused with Electrolux, to the end after Electrolux had given him multiple things. Huo Yuhao's explanation was very thorough.
Elder Xuan listened to his narration very intently, and surprised looks flashed across his face from time to time.
"Because of my fusion with the Snow Empress' Spirit, my teacher used the last of his power and left this world forever. He left behind that spectral demiplane and his Necromancy, but I will never use these powers unless I have no other choice. Furthermore, my teacher's Necromancy utilizes the Element of light. Therefore, it doesn't contain any other evil powers in itself."
Elder Xuan said, "Since that's the case, then you don't have to think about this anymore. I will keep your secret, and I will not leave any record about this in the Sea God's Pavilion. Just as you've said, all you have to do is avoid using these powers in the future as much as possible."
Huo Yuhao exhaled deeply and smiled as he said, "I feel so much better after telling all the secrets hidden in my heart."
Elder Xuan patted him on the shoulder and said, "I know what you're worried about, my child. The truth is, doubt has surfaced in my heart before, but my doubts disappeared since I returned to the Sea God's Pavilion. Do you know why?"
"Why?" Huo Yuhao asked curiously.
Elder Xuan answered, "Because you have been chosen by Elder Mu."
Huo Yuhao eyes turned red when Elder Xuan mentioned Elder Mu. He pursed his lips, and he tried his best not to let any tears fall from his eyes.
Elder Xuan smiled and said, "You're a good child, and you've done enough for Shrek already. Do you know that Shaozhe came to me half a month ago and told me that he wanted to give up his opportunity to take over as the Master of the Sea God's Pavilion, and he wanted to let you take over directly instead of letting you take over in the subsequent generation."
"What?" Huo Yuhao was astonished, and he hurriedly waved his hands in the air and said, "That's not going to work! I'm still so young, how can I become Master of the Sea God's Pavilion?"
Elder Xuan smiled and said, "Don't be hasty. Shaozhe's suggestion is very reasonable. I worked together with Elder Mu and sealed Di Tian away, and even though he managed to break out in the end, I've gained a deeper understanding of a Titled Douluo's strength after the experience. I will enter closed-door cultivation once these worldly and mundane affairs have been settled."
Huo Yuhao's eyes lit up. "Elder Xuan, you have a chance to try and break through into that level?"
Elder Xuan chuckled and said, "Yes! I can't let Elder Mu's painstaking efforts go to waste."
"That's fantastic!" Huo Yuhao exclaimed excitedly.
Huo Yuhao was naturally referring to the level of an Ultimate Douluo. Elder Xuan was a Rank 98 Transcendent Douluo, one step away from reaching humanity's limit. Even though Ultimate Douluo had differences in strength, Shrek Academy would once again possess a powerful individual who was at the pinnacle of the Continent. This was great news for the Academy and for Shrek City.
Elder Xuan smiled and said, "If I'm successful, and according to an Ultimate Douluo's circumstances, I predict that I can live for another hundred years or more. I will not remain as the Master of the Sea God's Pavilion for the rest of my life, but I should have no problem staying in this position for another several decades. When that happens, you'll be all grown up. With your current prospects, you can definitely become a Titled Douluo within ten years, and you should have no problem becoming a Transcendent Douluo within twenty years. I will help you hold on for a little while more.
"As for Shaozhe, he's had some revelations and understandings because of the development of Spirits. He's passed the Martial Soul Department's reins over to Mei'er, and entered closed-door cultivation. He's given up his position as successor to the Master of the Sea God's Pavilion, and that's equivalent to him letting go of the greatest burden in his heart. This is great news for him. Shaozhe is extremely talented, and I hope that he can achieve something after his closed-door cultivation."
"But, Elder Xuan, how can I become Master of the Sea God's Pavilion? I…" Huo Yuhao said with some concern.
Elder Xuan waved him away and said, "Why are you worrying about this now? I'm not asking you to take up this responsibility right away. You should work hard at improving yourself, and we can talk about who gets to succeed me as Master of the Sea God's Pavilion in the future. Did you look for me to open your heart to me?"
Huo Yuhao said, "I'm here to say goodbye." A thread of grief flickered in his eyes when he said the last word of his sentence.
"Goodbye? You're leaving?" Elder Xuan was taken aback. Huo Yuhao had become a Soul Sage, and his spiritual power had improved exponentially, so he did have the ability to protect himself. However, he was far too important to Shrek Academy's future. Elder Xuan didn't want to let Huo Yuhao out of his sight if he could help it.
Huo Yuhao nodded and continued, "There are some things I need to do. I might leave for a relatively long time this time around, so I'm coming here especially to bid farewell to you."
Elder Xuan lowered his voice and said, "If this is because you've summoned the undead army, then that is very unnecessary. I've said before that this matter ends here, and nobody will talk about this publicly. We will all keep your secret."
Huo Yuhao shook his head and said, "No, I'm not doing this because of that. There are some things that I must do. Furthermore, I want to visit Dong'er and see if she's awake."
Huo Yuhao's emotions changed a little when he mentioned Dong'er. After Wang Qiu'er sacrificed herself for him back then, the first thing he wanted to do as quickly as possible was visit Dong'er! Dong'er had been in a coma for so long, and he didn't know what circumstances she was in. One could say that the fact that Wang Dong'er was still alive, even though she was in deep slumber, was Huo Yuhao's emotional support. There was nothing more important than Dong'er to him.
Elder Xuan couldn't help but nod when Huo Yuhao talked about Dong'er. Yes! I can't just forbid him from visiting Dong'er.
A smile appeared on his face. "I'm really getting old, and I can't bear for you to leave. Furthermore, some things are bound to happen every time you leave, and I'm really afraid of hearing any more bad news that concern you."
Huo Yuhao scratched his head sheepishly and said, "Don't worry, that won't happen this time. I will be very careful about everything. After I visit Dong'er, I will bring her back if she's awake, but if she's still sleeping, I want to…"