Book 8: Advancing to the Second Year
Chapter 54.3: Meeting at the Sea God’s Pavilion
One needed to realize that the person in the reclining chair was Shrek Academy’s real boss. At the same time, he was also Xian Lin'er and Yan Shaozhe's teacher. This man was the Master of the Sea God’s Pavilion; his word was absolute within the academy. Even old veterans like Elder Lin and Elder Xuan were lower than him in seniority. There hadn’t been a single person that had dared to object to his decisions in the past.
Xian Lin’er couldn’t bear it anymore and said, "Teacher! It doesn't matter whether it's our Soul Tool Department or the Martial Soul Department; the more one studies a subject, the more energy one needs to reach a higher level in it. Studying in both departments at the same time will have a negative impact on the student! He'll have a broader range of knowledge, but he won’t be an expert in either of them. Isn’t this the same as wasting his talent?"
The Master of the Sea God’s Pavilion faintly smiled, then said, “Why are you so sure that he won’t be able to study both subjects properly? Actually, all of you have made a mistake. All of you think that the Martial Soul Department and the Soul Tool Department’s fundamentals are opposed to each other. However, let me ask you a question: Can either of your departments do without soulforce or martial souls? The only difference between the Martial Soul Department and the Soul Tool Department lies in the methods used to attack and defend oneself; their fundamentals are still the same. Thus, you don’t really need to think about this that much.”
“Lin’er. If you truly hope for Huo Yuhao to become a first-class soul engineer, you must realize that he'll also have to become a first-class martial soul master as a prerequisite. How will he create and control powerful soul tools without enough soulforce if he doesn't? At the same time, the rate at which his soulforce increases will drop drastically once he gets past Rank 30, due to the fact that he possesses an Ultimate martial soul. Thus, if he lacks a proper technique from the Martial Soul Department to cultivate his Ultimate martial soul, won’t his growth be impacted?
“Shaozhe, the same goes for you. As you can see, Huo Yuhao is extremely talented at creating soul tools. He can create powerful weapons to protect himself because of this. A soul master won't become strong in just a year or two, but at the same time, you can’t truly stay by his side all the time, right? When you encounter something dangerous, relying on yourself to survive is the best option. This being the case, why don’t you let him become a soul engineer too? Besides, our Shrek Academy currently lacks a first-class soul engineer.
Now then, I've decided to let this child cultivate in both schools and to treat him as a special existence inside of the academy. You shouldn’t force the child to choose. Rather, you should create a comfortable environment within the academy in order to let him cultivate in peace. All of you have ignored an important fact: What're Huo Yuhao's thoughts? After all, he’s only twelve years old. If you pressure him too much, it'll only have a negative impact on his future growth.
“The best thing to do—at least for now—is to leave things the way they are. Let him keep studying as he was before. The two departments will spend an equal amount of resources on him. As for the future, we’re not really in a rush. If he continues to receive excellent marks in both departments' tests, then we'll have truly trained an exceptional ‘monster’: An Ultimate Soldier that's close to perfection!”
Once they heard the Master of the Sea God’s Pavilion, all of the veterans nodded one after another. Their complexions became much better as well.
Xian Lin’er said, “Teacher, what should we do if Huo Yuahao’s grades start dropping?”
The Master of the Sea God’s Pavilion smiled faintly and said, “Isn’t it obvious? If that happens, simply let him choose a department. He’ll join the department he likes the most. If that happens, we won’t need to do anything else. However, Elder Xuan, don’t inquire about the boy’s second martial soul. Though I'm curious as well, I can say for sure that this child has a very kind and resolute heart. As such, no matter what his second martial soul is, there's no need for us to pry into this secret.”
“I understand, Pavilion Master.” Elder Xuan nodded in assent.
Yan Shaozhe and Xian Lin’er looked at each other, their tense expressions now much looser than they had been. Since both parties had been in a deadlock, this outcome seemed to be the best one.
The Master of the Sea God’s Pavilion said, “If there are no further objections, this meeting can be considered over. Shaozhe, Lin’er, you two shouldn’t get in touch with that boy again. At his age, it’s best if his heart is focused on diligently cultivating. The less he’s distracted by the outside world, the better.”
As far as Shrek Academy was concerned, this meeting had settled everything. Huo Yuhao’s fate had also been decided.
Huo Yuhao received the news from Fan Yu soon afterwards: The academy had decided that Huo Yuhao was now both a core disciple of the Martial Soul Department and the Soul Tool Department. With this, he'd become the first person in the history of the academy to become the core disciple of both departments.
As for Yan Shaozhe’s other promise, he decided to not bring it up. Fan Yu urged Yuhao to keep cultivating with dedication. After all, he now had to attend class in the Martial Soul Department during the day, then study in the Soul Tool Department in the evening. He also reminded him that tomorrow evening he had to go and take the Soul Tool Department’s advancement test.
This outcome gave Huo Yuhao some breathing room. Not having to choose was the best choice for him.
The advancement test for the Martial Soul Department’s Year 2 students hadn’t ended yet. After all, the students of both classes combined amounted to more than a hundred. It would take quite a while, considering the fact that they had to be tested one at a time.
Huo Yuhao was happily cultivated in the dormitory with Wang Dong the next day. They cultivated the entire morning.
After lunch, they took a short break. Afterwards, before the afternoon bell rang, Yuhao headed towards the experimental area of the Soul Tool Department.
He noticed from afar that He Caitou was waiting at the gate to the experimental area, waving towards him.
“Senior brother He.” Huo Yuhao hurried over to where He Caitou stood.
He Caitou laughed as he hugged Huo Yuhao and and twirled him around him once. “I’ve heard that you’ve become the academy's center of attention Yuhao! It seems that several deans almost got into a fight because of you. Not bad, not bad!”
Huo Yuhao was surprised. “Senior apprentice, how did you know?”
He Caitou giggled. “Teacher told me. I was forbidden from revealing it to anyone else though.”
Huo Yuhao relaxed a bit. He didn't want everyone to know about what had happened. If they did, he'd be criticized by everyone in the outer courtyard. His only wish was to cultivate in peace, nothing more.
“Come, let’s head inside. The teacher said that you’re going to take our Soul Tool Department’s advancement test. Are you ready?” He Caitou threw an arm over Huo Yuhao’s shoulders and pulled him inside.
Huo Yuhao asked, “Senior brother, what's the Soul Tool Department's advancement test about?”
He Caitou replied, “It's a battle as well! We have to agree with the Martial Soul Department on this: Only actual combat can properly assess our abilities. The teacher has already prepared everything. As for the details of your test, I’m not quite sure.”
As they spoke, the two of them entered the experimental area. They soon arrived at the 12th laboratory.
The laboratory wasn’t as peaceful as it usually was. There were currently around twenty students inside, all around the the same as He Caitou. Most of them were older than fourteen, with some even being eighteen or nineteen.
The testing area was inside of the battle area, which currently held two students in the midst of battle.
It was completely different from the Martial Soul Department's advancement test. The Soul Tool Department's advancement test was mainly based on the usage of soul tools. The students' bodies were wrapped in a layer of radiant light, which seemed like it was coming from some sort of defensive-type soul tool. The two were attacking each other while wrapped in this light. The sky was also littered with several balls of light; it looked like they were keeping an eye on the students below.
The current Huo Yuhao wasn’t the ignorant youth from before who didn’t know anything about soul tools; he was aware that the balls of light suspended in the sky were also a type of soul tool. They were Portable Soul Shields, which were a type of defensive soul tool that could be controlled from a distance. One needed to be at least a soul master of the fourth rank to control this sort of soul tool. It definitely wasn't something that these students could achieve. The function of these soul tools was pretty obvious: If the defense of the students who were fighting were to be breached, these Portable Soul Shields would immediately fly into action to protect them from any oncoming attacks. They were present in order to guarantee the safety of the students.
When Huo Yuhao and He Caitou entered, the battle between the two students had already reached a critical juncture. Beams of light had intertwined in the sky and were emitting a dazzling radiance.
Huo Yuhao unconsciously activated his Spiritual Detection. However, he didn’t even have time to observe the beams before the battle had ended.
“Peng--” The shield of the student on the left broke and shattered into a myriad of lights that filled the sky. When it did, the Portable Soul Shield immediately appeared in front of him and blocked the other student's remaining attacks.
“Zi Feng has defeated Mo Ke. Their score has been increased by 1 mark.” A teacher standing to one side of the testing area said as they noted something down.
“Next.” The teacher hinted for the next couple of students to step forward.
“Wait a moment.” Fan Yu’s heavy voice echoed out. He walked over from another side of the testing area and said, “Yuhao, come here. You’re next.” He'd been the one controlling the Portable Soul Shields in the previous battle. He was able to make them react in the shortest time possible considering his cultivation level. Moreover, he'd been controlling all of the Portable Soul Shields simultaneously. Because of this, he'd been able to keep an eye on the students from all directions.
“Oh!” Huo Yuhao nodded and hurried over.
At that moment, the students that had been planning to take the advancement test saw Huo Yuhao. A surprised look appeared in their eyes when they saw him. He was normally always studying with Fan Yu, thus this was the first time they'd seen him. However, this guy looked like he was only twelve or thirteen years old, yet he wasn’t even a student of the Soul Tool Department! Why was Teacher Fan Yu letting him take the advancement test?
Fan Yu said, “This test is very simple: You just have to fight. Everyone will have their soul tools carefully examined by the teachers, which must be self-manufactured. As long as you manage to destroy your opponent's defenses, you’ll have won. I'm using these Portable Soul Shields to protect everyone.”
Huo Yu Hao pondered for a bit, then asked, “Teacher, is it possible to fight without the protection of a Portable Soul Shield?”
Fan Yu was surprised when he heard this. “Hm?”
Huo Yuhao said, “Since this is supposed to be a real battle, having a Portable Soul Shield will impact my performance. Furthermore, I’m sure that I won’t injure my opponent.”
Fan Yu asked, “And what about your own safety?”
Huo Yuhao replied without the slightest hesitation, “Teacher, I have faith in my abilities.”
Fan Yu smiled faintly, then said, “Fine. With this being the case, we’ll do things as you like. Remember to call for help if you can’t block the attack. With your Spiritual Detection, you’ll surely be able to tell if you can't. Now then, go ahead and take the test.”
“Yes.” Huo Yuhao entered the testing area with large strides. As he did so, he began to adjust the soul tool he'd personally manufactured.
At that time, the students of the Soul Tool Department finally noticed the badge on Huo Yuhao’s chest that showed his status as a second rank soul engineer.
Was this for real? He was really a second rank soul engineer?