Book 8: Advancing to the Second Year
Chapter 48.2: A Terrifying Deterrence!
The Beast Duelling Area also had an underground portion. Originally, right after it had been built, there were also more than a hundred soul engineers helping the artisans and smiths. Thanks to various powerful Soul Tools, they were able to restrict the various soul beasts inside cages. However, powerful soul masters and soul engineers were required to guard the place year-round. According to the rumors, there were even some ten thousand year soul beasts imprisoned as well. However, there weren't any hundred thousand year soul beasts captured. Although capturing a hundred thousand year soul beast alive was extremely difficult, it wasn't impossible. However, a hundred thousand year soul beast was equivalent to an unimaginable amount of wealth to any soul master. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that just one hundred thousand year soul beast could instantly cause a soul master to soar into the sky. A hundred thousand year soul ring and soul bone would provide four soul skills together! Just how terrifying was that?
At the same, there was still the Beast Dueling Arena. It was specially provided to the students of Shrek Academy in order to allow them to conduct combat training, as well as to assess their abilities. Currently, the Year 1 students had just entered the Beast Dueling Arena in order to take their final test.
The Beast Dueling Arena was an oval-shaped building; its longest side had a diameter of roughly 190 meters, its shortest side had a diameter of roughly 160 meters, and it was approximately 60 meters tall. If one were to look at it from the outside, they would see that it was divided into four layers. The first three layers were built in a multi-arched style, and every single arched entryway had stone columns on both sides that acted as supports. On the other hand, the fourth layer had a decorated rampart that faced four narrow paths with four great arched entrances, which led directly to the spectator's stand inside of the Beast Dueling Arena. The spectator's stand inside of the Beast Dueling Arena was also divided up into four sections, and under special circumstances, Shrek Academy could conduct special area differentiations. The building looked extremely grand, and could be described as both glorious and magnificent.
The enormous Beast Dueling Arena was capable of accommodating up to ten thousand spectators, though a large part of its enormous space was taken up by the interior of the Beast Dueling Arena. Like the Soul Dueling Area, one could both fight against a single soul beast or against several soul beasts simultaneously. Senior students of the Martial Soul Department were definitely familiar with the Beast Dueling Arena, as students with a higher cultivation base would often come to it in order to hone their combat skills. At the same time, it was a nightmare to those with lower cultivation bases.
After the fourth year, every single class would come to the Beast Dueling Stage once a week for a lesson, the cumulative results of which would influence the score of the students' final test.
When Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao walked into the great Beast Dueling Arena together, they almost couldn't believe their eyes. Despite whatever background they had, the building in front of them was definitely the most magnificent construction they'd ever seen.
"Yuhao." The Skydream Iceworm's voice suddenly echoed inside of Huo Yuhao's mind. Even though Huo Yuhao had become used to Brother Skydream appearing and disappearing on a whim, he was still nearly frightened to death by his sudden appearance.
"What's the matter, Brother Skydream?"
The Skydream Iceworm said, "You want that boy to kowtow in front of you and admit that he was wrong, right? I'll teach you the easiest way to do so. This will also become one of your future fighting styles."
When he heard this, Huo Yuhao became very happy. "Tell me," he replied.
The Skydream Iceworm began to explain, "Alright, you have to…"
All of the Year 1 students needed to retrieve their forms for their final test first, which would in turn tell them the order they'd need to follow to go on stage. Places for their scores and their rank were also on the form they received.
Everyone lined up to receive their form. While they were doing so, Wang Dong looked around for Dai Huabin, until he noticed him standing a short ways away from them. He nudged Huo Yuhao with his elbow and said, "Look, Dai Huabin and the others are here."
Huo Yuhao nodded, then walked over to where Dai Huabin was currently standing.
Wang Dong was dumbfounded. What is Yuhao trying to pull? How could he be so impulsive? However, he and Xiao Xiao didn't waste any time trying to guess Huo Yuhao's motive; they both immediately followed behind him.
Dai Huabin had also been paying attention to them, thus he naturally noticed when Huo Yuhao suddenly approached them. He didn't reveal any weaknesses as he simply gave Huo Yuhao a cold look as he approached.
The other students that were in line didn't know about the bet between them, but they did know that these two groups had were the final contenders during the freshmen test. At the same time, Dai Huabin and Zhu Lu's expulsion was already widespread. It was clear that the two groups held a grudge against one another. Thus, the six of them had become the focus of every single student.
Huo Yuhao stopped around three meters from Dai Huabin, and after pausing briefly, he said, "Dai Huabin, today is the day of our bet. I want to know, do you regret making the bet?"
Dai Huabin instantly became speechless when he heard this, then thought, This Huo Yuhao must have gone crazy… After thinking this, he coldly replied, "I, Dai Huabin, have never gone back on my word. Today, our two parties of three will participate in the several phases of the final test; the party that has the lowest cumulative score will kowtow and admit their fault to the other."
Huo Yuhao nodded and said, "Good, then I ask everyone present to act as a witness for today's bet. What do you think, Dai Huabin?"
Dai Huabin subconsciously replied, "That's fine. However, if you regret decision, you and Wang Dong better kowtow and admit your mistakes right now. Xiao Xiao's a girl however, so I can make an exception for her."
Huo Yuhao sneered and said, "I'll wait for you here once the test is over." He turned around as soon as he'd finished speaking and left.
The conversation between them attracted the attention of the students from both the first and second classes of Year 1, who were in the process of receiving their final test forms. They immediately began to gossip in low voices, which caused Dai Huabin's complexion to became uglier and uglier, until he coldly stated, "You only have yourself to blame for invoking this disaster. Since you want to lose even more face, I'll be more than happy to help you do so." The way he saw it, Huo Yuhao had purposely said those words in front of so many people simply because he'd wanted the entirety of Year 1 to know about the bet between them. Now that he'd done so, the loser of the bet would forever be unable to lift their head inside of the academy. Where did his confidence come from? Even though he knew that Huo Yuhao probably had a few tricks up his sleeve, Dai Huabin had complete confidence in his own abilities. He'd trained extremely hard over the past year!
Once everyone had received their forms, the students followed their respective teachers into the great Beast Dueling Arena one after another.
Since they had to take the final test, they didn't head towards the spectator's stands. Instead, they lined up inside of the Great Beast Dueling Arena's Beast Dueling Arena in an orderly fashion as they waited for their turn to take their test.
The total number of Year 1 students that were present to take the test equaled over a hundred. Furthermore, as it was their first time taking a test in the Great Beast Dueling Arena, the academy had attached a lot of importance to their safety. As such, twenty teachers were waiting for the students when they arrived. They were in charge of taking care of the soul beasts, protecting the students, and assessing their abilities. The number of participants was quite high, but in the interest of letting everyone familiarize themselves with the way that things were done, the Great Beast Dueling Arena hadn't been divided into separate arenas; the students would take the test one at a time. Doing it this way would allow the teachers to see things more clearly, and in turn would let them assign grades more accurately.
Du Weilun had also come, and would be the head examiner today. He, along with the other four teachers in charge of grading the students, were all sitting atop a tall platform that they could clearly observe the Beast Dueling Arena from.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong, as Class 1's two well-known leaders, naturally stood in the front, while in Class 2's group, the ones standing in front were Dai Huabin and Xie Hanyue. There wasn't much of a difference between Xie Hanyue and Dai Huabin's cultivations, but the former's defensive ability was extremely strong—it was at the point where Huo Yuhao and the others could only take notes.
As Mu Jin stood beside Dai Huabin, she gazed towards Zhou Yi with an icy gaze full of evil intentions.
Zhou Yi whispered, "Yuhao, you've already been accepted as a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department. Just try your best here. Make sure not to choose a soul beast that's too strong to be your opponent; you should simply maximize your chance of victory. However, you also don't need to hold back. You've already seen the order in which you'll participate. In order to give the students some encouragement, the academy has decided to have the leaders of the two classes be the first to go on stage. Once our class has sent a person to take the test, Class 2 will send their leader to take the test. Wang Dong, it will be your turn in a short while. You absolutely have to be successful. If you're confident, I advise you to choose the soul beast with the highest rank. This way, even if you lose, as long as you manage to resist for a long enough period of time, your score won't be terrible."
"I understand. You don't need to worry, teacher." Wang Dong made a gesture with his somewhat delicate fist.
"Hold on, Teacher Zhou. Let me go first," Huo Yuhao suddenly said.
"Hm? Yuhao… This will affect the reputation of our class." Zhou Yi said after a pause.
Huo Yuhao nodded. "Teacher Zhou, I won't disappoint you."
When she saw the resolute look in Huo Yuhao's eyes, she hesitated for a moment, then gritted her teeth and nodded. "Good, you can go first." Even though she wanted to exceed Mu Jin, she still wasn't willing to extinguish the enthusiasm of her disciples.
Du Weilun's voice suddenly echoed from the tall platform, "The test is starting. Year 1 Class 1 will send its student out first. Afterwards, Class 2 will send out a student from their class."
Huo Yuhao grasped his test form as he entered the Beast Dueling Area with long strides. He immediately got an indescribable feeling—as if all the blood in his body had suddenly begun to seeth from excitement. Maybe it was because there had been many, many battles in this place. Coming here produced an intense fighting desire in every student of Shrek Academy. Only by fighting could one truly understand what they'd studied. This was also why the Beast Dueling Arena existed, and was also why the students that had graduated from Shrek Academy would become outstanding soul masters that every great empire would fight over.
Once Huo Yuhao had handed his form over to the teacher in charge, the teacher placed it atop the ascending platform right below the Judge's Stand. Huo Yuhao's assessment form almost immediately arrived in Director Du Weilun's hands.
The first examinee that Du Weilun had to assess was exactly Huo Yuhao. Du Weilun immediately focused; he was impatient to see how outstanding this student—someone who the Soul Tool Department hadn't been able to wait to take under their banner—was. Fighting soul beasts and fighting other students from the academy were two completely different things. Soul beasts were innately hostile towards human beings; they wouldn't show any mercy when they fought. As such, this would give the students the feeling of a life and death crisis. Huo Yuhao was only 12 years old. Would he really be able to go all-out?
Huo Yuhao arrived in the middle of the stage. Two teachers would act as referees here, in order to assure the complete safety of the students.
The referee on the left asked him, "What do you cultivate in?"
Huo Yuhao respectfully replied, "The Control System."
The referee continued, "Choose the soul beast that you would like to take the test with. Remember, a Control System Soul Master has to do their best to focus on the word 'control'. You'll only have a single chance to assess your abilities. Don't waste it. Soul beasts are divided into hundred year intervals, ranging from a hundred year soul beast to a thousand year soul beast." The students from both Class 1 and Class 2 were focused on Huo Yuhao, who would be fighting a soul beast alone. For most of them, it would be their first time fighting a soul beast on their own, thus they would be lying if they said they weren't nervous. Of course, they all hoped to gain some valuable experience from those who would be taking the test before them. This final test would decide whether or not they could keep studying at the academy!