Book 8: Advancing to the Second Year
Chapter 54.2: Meeting at the Sea God’s Pavilion
Elder Xuan finally spoke up. He coughed slightly before he said, "I understand your intentions, and I examined this student Huo Yuhao in the past. At that time, the Martial Soul Department didn't want him mainly because of his ten year soul ring. Moreover, it'll be extremely difficult to obtain soul rings for his Spirit Eyes in the future as it's a spiritual-type martial soul. Thus, it'll be hard for him to perform to his fullest potential. Though it was a Body Soul, I investigated his body's condition. From the state of his body at that time, I saw that the possibility of him awakening his Body Soul a second time was very small."
"As we all know, the more important the location of a Body Soul is, the stronger it is. However, this only applies after the second awakening. The more important the location of a Body Soul, the smaller the chances of it awakening a second time. The eyes are the window to the spirit, making them the strongest spiritual-type martial soul among Body Souls. This means that it will be too hard for him to awaken it a second time. I've never heard of a Body Soul on this level, even within the Body Sect. Thus, I can guarantee that the origins of his second martial soul are unrelated to his Body Soul."
"This is somewhat strange. Where did his second martial soul come from? I feel that it'd be better for us to dig into this a little deeper."
Elder Lin who was seated opposite Elder Xuan smiled slightly. "Elder Xuan, you're straying from the topic at hand. We can investigate this child's situation later, but our current meeting is being held to decide the path of his future cultivation."
Elder Xuan laughed mischievously. "Naturally, it'd be better for him to remain with our Martial Soul Department. Regardless of where his second martial soul came from, as long as it's truly an Ultimate one, staying in the Martial Soul Department is clearly the best option for him. We have precedent in training soul masters with Ultimate martial souls, and we're still lacking a few men."
Elder Lin shook her head. "This isn't proper. What Qian Duoduo said makes sense; the Soul Tool Department has always been extremely lacking in talent. That child's already a core disciple of the Soul Tool Department. Making such a change in the academy's policy isn't conforming to the academy's rules."
Elder Xuan curled his lips, "What isn't conforming to the academy's rules? Let me ask you this: where does the Soul Tool Department recruit students from? At the very least, from the third years in the Martial Soul Department. But, what about this Huo Yuhao? He's just entered Year 2. The Soul Tool Department's the one who has broken the rules in the first place."
Yan Shaozhe was overjoyed. He inwardly thought to himself, The older generation is still more experienced than the younger one! Even if Elder Xuan was normally drunk, he wouldn't be vague in the least during important moments.
The elder seated beside Elder Lin shook his head. "Elder Xuan, what you're saying doesn't have any meaning at all. I understand soul engineers better than you, and this is the first time I've heard of a person becoming a Class 2 soul engineer within eight months. I'm afraid that even the Sun Moon Empire doesn't have a student on this level. Furthermore, all of us approved of the Ultimate Soldier Plan during a meeting here. Now that Xian Lin'er and Qian Duoduo are trying to realise this plan together, we should be encouraging them. In any case, this student is staying in our academy, so going to the Soul Tool Department gives the same results."
Elder Xuan snorted. "The same? How can it even be the same? Leaving him in the Soul Tool Department is an utter waste of his talent."
Xian Lin'er became angry, and stood up. "Elder Xuan, why is leaving him in my Soul Tool Department a waste? The Martial Soul Department keeps repeating over and over again that they have experience in training a soul master with an Ultimate martial soul, but from what I recall, Huo Yuhao has an Ice-type Ultimate martial soul. Do you have experience in nurturing an Ultimate Ice martial soul? Moreover, you're an elder. You shouldn't be favouring the Martial Soul Department. Since you keep siding with the Martial Soul Department, is there any point in our Soul Tool Department existing?"
Elder Xuan became angry as well. "You girl! I'm biased because a martial soul is the root of a soul master, as well as the root of our Shrek Academy. The Soul Tool Department is indeed important, and I don't want to keep helping the Martial Soul Department in this dispute either. Why don't we do this? Shaozhe, choose ten core disciples from the Martial Soul Department and let Lin'er choose three of them for an exchange. This should be fine."
Yan Shaozhe's eyes lit up, Right! This was a good plan. Didn't your Soul Tool Department say that you were lacking talents? Then, I'll use talents to barter with you.
He hurriedly declared his position, "This isn't a problem. Why don't we use five core disciples of the Martial Soul Department and trade them for Huo Yuhao? This can be considered to be us having very good faith. It's true that our Martial Soul Department hasn't been supporting the Soul Tool Department enough during these years. Why don't we do this? Dean Xian, Dean Qian, though we're in charge of different departments, we all have the same goals; that is, to develop and strengthen our Shrek Academy even more. Right here, I'll promise you two that from now on, our Martial Soul Department won't choose our core disciples before they enter Year 3. After Year 3, we'll choose them along with you guys, allowing these students to choose the future path of their cultivations. This way, I'm confident that we won't even need ten years for the Soul Tool Department to develop at a rapid pace."
The expressions of the originally furious Xian Lin'er and Qian Duoduo softened immediately after listening to Yan Shaozhe's words. They had no choice but to admit that he was a man who made very prompt decisions. Furthermore, his promise to the Soul Tool Department would be of tremendous benefit towards their future development. At the same time, this revealed his determination to obtain Huo Yuhao. Qian Duoduo's stinginess was in the form of money, but Yan Shaozhe's stinginess was in the form of talents. The fact that he could make a concession like that truly signified that he was extremely sincere.
Elder Lin, who was seated on the first seat on the right side of the long table, turned towards Xian Lin'er, "Lin'er, what do you think?"
Xian Lin'er revealed a pondering light in her eyes, but Qian Duoduo stood up slowly. "Dean Yan, Dean Cai, various elders. I'm declaring my position on behalf of myself. With regards to me alone, I'm not willing to accept this trade. No matter how many fine horses you give us, it won't be worth a single Thousand Mile Colt. A large number of talents coming into our Soul Tool Department will truly give us an opportunity, but it is very likely that a single Huo Yuhao can directly make us flourish. At that time, will we have any lack of talents? With the current situation of our Soul Tool Department, it's more suitable for us to pool all our resources on a single person. I'm very grateful for Dean Yan's sincerity, but I personally hope that we can keep Huo Yuhao."
Xian Lin'er slowly stood up after listening to his words. "I agree with Dean Qian's words. Our Soul Tool Department refuses the trade. He's already one of our core disciples, and we will absolutely not give in."
Yan Shaozhe's expression became grave. He'd already made such a large concession, but Xian Lin'er and Qian Duoduo were still unwilling to give in to him. His heart surged with flames of anger.
"As the Dean of the Martial Soul Department, I'll declare where I stand. The appearance of an Ultimate soul master occurs less than once in a thousand years, and our Martial Soul Department cannot give up on a talent like this. I am determined to obtain Huo Yuhao. Since we've convened here today, we'll put it to a vote to determine his final destination."
The lady beside him who hadn't spoken yet slowly rose to her feet, "I support Dean Yan. An Ultimate element must stay in our Martial Soul Department."
She was the Vice-Dean of the Martial Soul Department, a person called Cai Mei'er, who normally remained within the inner courtyard.
Both parties weren't willing to give way to each other, and the various elders had awkward expressions on their faces. Regardless of how they settled this matter in the end, they would leave one party unhappy. Furthermore, this matter would definitely cause an enormous conflict between the two parties. Even if the Martial Soul Department held an absolute advantage, the Soul Tool Department was still an irreplaceable part of the academy. If they were to suffer a setback again, it would be overly detrimental to its development. There was even a high possibility that an outflow of talent would occur.
Because of that, the various elders were extremely cautious in their actions; none of them took the initiative to declare where they stood.
"All of you, sit down." The warm voice coming from the person seated at the head of the table rang out once again. After hearing this voice, both opposing parties immediately curbed themselves a bit. They respectfully sat back in their original positions.
The warm voice said indifferently, "You've both expounded on your reasoning very clearly. However, haven't you all thought of a single possibility? Let me ask you this–when our Shrek Academy was founded at the very beginning, what was our original objective?'
"To nurture talented soul masters who are monsters. Shrek Academy only trains monsters, not ordinary people." Yan Shaozhe replied respectfully.
The warm voice said, "Correct, we only train monsters, not ordinary people. Since that's the case, why don't we be a bit more bold and train a true monster? This child Huo Yuhao has met the requirements to be considered a very gifted person. He's an orphan, and this means he won't be inclined toward any particular empire in the future. At the same time, it's very likely that he'll remain in the academy. Qian Duoduo."
"Present." Qian Duoduo stood up hurriedly, then said respectfully, "Elder Mu."
The warm voice said, "I ask you this: during the eight month period in which Huo Yuhao trained to become a soul engineer, were his studies in the Martial Soul Department interrupted at any time?"
"Never." Qian Duoduo replied immediately, "He trained for four hours with Fan Yu every night. It's because of this exact reason that I called him a genius! Even when he was distracted with his studies in the Martial Soul Department, he was able to become a Class 2 soul engineer within a mere eight months."
"Good. Then let me ask you all this: during the process in which Huo Yuhao became a Class 2 soul engineer, were his studies in the Martial Soul Department interrupted? Did his cultivation speed decrease?"
Yan Shaozhe said, "No. His second martial soul's awakened, and when I made a move earlier, I was able to tell that his soul power was around Rank 25. I've investigated this as well. This child was only at Rank 13 when he first entered the academy, but he was able to increase his soul power by 12 ranks within a short year. Regardless of whether he's innately talented or lucky, the facts are before us. Thus, your disciple thinks that he's more suited to stay in our Martial Soul Department. Even if his cultivation speed drops after he reaches Rank 30, a talent on this level shouldn't be affected by it too much."
The warm voice suddenly laughed, and his laughter was slightly coarse. "You're all confused by the situation at hand. Since this kid was able to study in the Martial Soul Department and the Soul Tool Department at the same time for an entire year without letting his studies fall, and instead displaying a genius-level performance, what are you fighting over? Why don't you just let him study in both fields at once?"
"Ah?" Yan Shaozhe, Cai Mei'er, Xian Lin'er, Qian Duoduo were all stunned.