Book 8: Advancing to the Second Year
Chapter 52.1: The Ice Empress’ Armor
The referees had arrived in the arena, but there wasn't anything they could do at this point. The battle had already ended, and as if to mock them, a purple ring of light rose from the Wind Tiger's body.
There had only been a single collision between Dai Huabin and the Wind Tiger, yet Dai Huabin had savagely overwhelmed the Wind Tiger—a thousand year soul beast—with brute force, and had torn its body in half. Dai Huabin's body was drenched in the Wind Tiger's blood. The students from both Class 1 and Class 2 had all become pale-faced, while some female students couldn't even bear to continue looking.
Only Zhu Lu had an extraordinary splendor in her eyes. After all, this was the man whom she most admired! She loved to see how valiant Dai Huabin was.
"Dai Huabin, didn't you hear me tell you to stay your hand?" Du Weilun's angry voice rang out. The death of a thousand year soul beast wasn't exactly a small loss to the academy. It wasn't easy for them to capture a thousand year soul beast and domesticate it, nor was it easy to soothe Gong Changlong.
Dai Huabin indifferently replied, "A battle between soul masters and soul beasts is always one of life and death. Since it wanted to kill me, why couldn't I kill it? Besides, I couldn't stay my hand. If I had, its counterattack could've injured me. In order to obtain full marks, I needed to avoid the error that Wang Dong made. I didn't have the 30% chance of failure that he did. As for the academy's loss, I'm willing to compensate the academy for it."
Du Weilun furrowed his brows tightly. Even though Dai Huabin was powerful, he was still too vicious. Furthermore, the personality of a rebellious student like him would grow stronger and stronger as his power increased, which would make it harder to control him.
Du Weilun glanced towards Yan Shaozhe, who nodded slightly and whispered a few words to him.
Du Weilun sat back down and spoke in a low voice, "Dai Huabin, you have obtained a hundred marks as your base score for choosing a thousand year soul beast during the advancement test. The way you met force with force also embodied the strong points of an assault-type soul master. However, your technique was somewhat lacking. You've obtained 45 marks for your battle technique. You will also have to compensate the academy's loss within ten days. If you don't, the academy will strip you of your status as a core disciple."
"Yes." Dai Huabin had somewhat regained his composure by this point. He naturally wouldn't go against Du Weilun's word. He bowed slightly, saluted, then walked back towards his class with large strides.
He'd obtained a total of a hundred and forty five marks! This was an outstanding result that neared perfection! A score like this had never appeared within the Year 2 advancement test in the past—at least in Wang Yan, Zhou Yi, and Mu Jin's memories.
In reality, Dai Huabin's performance truly had neared perfection. Though his hands had been injured, he'd retained his fighting strength. Moreover, he'd valiantly killed a thousand year soul beast in battle despite being only twelve years old! Having such a cultivation at his age was extremely rare, even in the history of Shrek Academy; this was the main reason that Dean Yan Shaozhe had still given him such a high score.
Yan Shaozhe could tell that a student like Dai Huabin was different from Wang Dong: Though he had a steadfast personality, Dai Huabin could break too easily. He couldn't try to control him by giving him a setback like he had with Wang Dong. He could only guide him slowly. Giving him a high score would benefit his confidence in himself. That, and Yan Shaozhe was confident that he could control his rebelliousness. After all, he'd taught many other students who'd been even more rebellious. Furthermore, Shrek Academy was proud of its ability to train monsters. It wasn't worried about people with bad personalities; it was only worried that they wouldn't have the ability to back said personality up.
When Mu Jin saw the blood-drenched Dai Huabin walking towards to her, she furrowed her brows. "Huabin, head back and clean yourself up. You've already passed."
However, Dai Huabin shook his head. He towards Class 1, then raised his right hand's index finger and pointed at Huo Yuhao.
Huo Yuhao was currently gazing straight at him. At that moment, Dai Huabin realised that Huo Yuhao's gaze was extremely calm—so calm that it almost icy. He didn't seem to have any intentions of cowering in front of his blood-drenched, savage appearance. On the contrary, he didn't relent at all when their gazes met.
Huo Yuhao knew that Dai Huabin was telling him, 'It's your turn now.'
"Indeed, it's my turn now." Huo Yuhao clenched his fists tightly once he'd finished speaking. He nodded towards Wang Dong, then strode towards the arena with large strides.
It took a few minutes for the arena to be cleaned up. Once it had been, the referee sent Huo Yuhao's test form to the tall stage.
"Class 1, Huo Yuhao." Huo Yuhao reported his name calmly. As he did so, he stood tall and straight. Not only was he much more robust compared to a month ago, he was also quite a bit taller. Suddenly, the referee noticed that he was somewhat similar to Dai Huabin. Was it in his appearance? They seemed to be slightly similar. However, it had more to do with the confidence they both exuded; the confidence that they would definitely win.
"Are you still going to choose a hundred year soul beast?" The referee's impression of him was still fresh in his mind; this was the student who'd alerted even the Beast King two days ago.
Huo Yuhao shook his head. "I choose a thousand year soul beast."
"A thousand year soul beast?" The referee was stunned. "Huo Yuhao, you need to carefully think about this. You're only a two-ringed Soul Grandmaster; a thousand year soul beast is still a bit too much pressure for you. You saw what just happened! Even if we wanted to help you out, in a close-combat fight like this, it'd still take time for us to reach you."
Despite his warning, Huo Yuhao confirmed his decision unhesitatingly. "Teacher, I've decided to take on the test's highest-ranked opponent, a thousand year soul beast."
He spoke very loudly, thus those atop the tall stage, as well as the other students, were all able to hear him clearly.
Dai Huabin's pupils contracted as a trace of astonishment appeared in his eyes. He's choosing a thousand year soul beast? What could he be relying on? He can't even use his second soul skill… is he just relying on his Spiritual Shock? That skill's not too bad, but it's nowhere near enough to take on the likes of a thousand year soul beast. Could he even manage to break its defences if it were to simply lie down and let him attack it?
He's courting death! Does he think that they're pushovers because Wang Dong and I were able to defeat them?
Dai Huabin had obtained 145 marks, while Wang Dong had obtained 100 marks. In other words, Huo Yuhao just needed to obtain more than 45 marks to win the bet. At the same time, the academy had requested that he not use his second soul skill during the test. In exchange, they had guaranteed that he would score at least 30 marks in order to ensure that he passed the advancement test.
Du Weilun had undoubtedly made a decision like this in order to see what he was capable of. If he hadn't, Huo Yuhao would be able to pass the test solely by relying on his Imitation, just like his performance the other day!
"Let him." Du Weilun's voice rang out from atop the tall stage.
"Alright." The referee responded. The arena had already been fully cleaned up by this point.
"Huo Yuhao, are you ready?" The referee asked.
The referee gestured towards the arena, then reminded him, "Pay attention to your safety. If you don't think that you can beat your opponent, do your best to protect yourself."
Huo Yuhao nodded slightly, but he didn't reveal any emotions on his face, as he was currently fully concentrated on the upcoming battle. As such, he couldn't even spare the effort required to say a word of thanks.
He was just a two-ringed Soul Grandmaster after all. Furthermore, he couldn't even use his second soul skill. In a situation such as this, the difficulty of taking on a thousand year soul beast could be imagined. Of course, he naturally understood that he was somewhat inferior to Wang Dong and Dai Huabin in terms of direct fighting strength. The only reason he dared to take on a thousand year soul beast was because of his confidence in his Spiritual Detection and the Ice Empress' two soul skills.
A pale golden light flickered as two soul rings rose from beneath his feet.
Wang Dong and Dai Huabin's three rings hadn't surprised any of the other students, but the students from Class 2 immediately cried out in surprise the moment his soul rings appeared.
Both of them were white, which represented two ten year soul rings! Yet, would anyone truly dare to underestimate these ten year soul rings? Two days ago, they had both been blood-red. At this point, almost no one who could tell what rank his soul rings truly were.
Yan Shaozhe's gaze was fixed on his body, and his eyes flickered slightly. Even though he didn't have a martial soul like the Spirit Eyes that could enhance his eyesight, his spiritual perception and vision weren't any less than Huo Yuhao's when he was using his Spiritual Detection due to his cultivation.
"What a strange skill. When he activates it, even I can't sense the intensity of the aura from his soul rings. Is his second soul ring truly a ten year soul ring?" Du Weilun furrowed his brows.
Yan Shaozhe shook his head. "There's no way it's a ten year soul ring. We've seen thousands upon thousands of soul rings. How could a soul ring that's capable of imitating the aura of a hundred thousand year soul ring possibly be a ten year soul ring? If it were only a ten year soul ring, could he really have scared hundred or thousand year soul beasts? If I were to make a guess, it's very likely that his soul ring is a thousand year one, just like Wang Dong's."
Du Weilun was stunned. "That can't be right. His first soul ring's only a ten year one; how could his second one be a thousand year one? His body shouldn't have been able to withstand absorbing one."
Yan Shaozhe shook his head. "Don't forget that he has twin martial souls. Furthermore, it's extremely likely that his second martial soul had a late awakening. Though this occurs very rarely, it could've changed his physique. However, you mentioned that he left the academy by himself, and that he's an orphan. There's almost no chance that he'll be able to kill a thousand year soul beast by himself. Is there anyone outside the academy who could help him out?"
At that point, their conversation stopped for the time being, as Huo Yuhao's opponent had appeared.
Surrounded by an intense aura of heat, a fire-wreathed lion charged out from the beast cage.
It was no wonder they were the highest-ranked opponents a student could challenge during the advancement test. Not only were the soul beasts Wang Dong, Dai Huabin, and Huo Yuhao faced thousand year ones; they were all tyrannical existences such as lions, leopards, and bears too.
Huo Yuhao felt somewhat strange when he saw the Flaming Lion King. He thought back to his match with Wu Feng. It was that match that had resulted in him obtaining stable footing in Class 1 and in sending Wu Feng to Class 2.