Book 8: Advancing to the Second Year
Chapter 55.3: A Soul Engineer! Huo Yuhao’s True Strong Point
The biggest problem with the Tang Sect's hidden weapons didn't really lay in their power. There were some that truly had extremely powerful attacks. The main reason they'd declined over the course of time was their short attack range. However, if you were able to add the attack range of a soul tool to the attack pattern of a hidden weapon, wouldn't you create a brand-new soul tool? Huo Yuhao had designed this miniature Stationary Soul Crossbow based on this idea. It didn't consume too much soulforce, but it was still quite powerful. Like a Soul Light Ray, its attack range was a hundred meters. Furthermore, it could even break a Class 2 Soul Shield. But its might wasn't the main point; its biggest advantage lay in its high flexibility. At the same time, just how many different kinds of soul tools could be researched with the help of this prototype? This was a world-shaking matter for Shrek Academy's Soul Tool Department. Of course, they obviously needed many more theoretical and practical experiments to further research this subject. But with this prototype, they at least knew which direction to go in!
Fan Yu gazed at Huo Yuhao, who'd arrived in front of him, and couldn't help but sincerely say, "Kid, you're truly the hope of the Soul Tool Department! Er, rather, I meant to say that the coordination between your soul tools and your martial soul were absolutely perfect. You pass the test."
Ling Xue was still shivering in Fan Yu's embrace when he said this. Even though she'd only been in contact with the Ice Empress' Pincer for a short moment, the extreme cold had almost turned her into a block of ice. The ice crystals on her body made it impossible for her to move for the time being. She did her best to revolve her soulforce. With Fan Yu's help, she managed to regain her strength. She gazed towards Huo Yuhao, and besides curiosity, fear was present in her eyes. This was the first time she'd ever felt such a terrifying cold. She felt like her snow could almost be considered warm compared to it.
The Ice Empress' Pincer was a powerful soul skill that the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion had bestowed onto Huo Yuhao. Even though he couldn't display its full might, the special characteristics of the skill were still present.
The Ice Empress' Pincer's primary effect would strengthen both of his hands and forearms, making them as hard as a ten thousand-year-old block of thick ice. In addition to this, the diamond-like ice crystals on his body had a powerful refractive ability. The Ice Empress' Pincers themselves could be regarded as a powerful weapon. One need to realize that the strongest parts of the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion's body were her pincers and her tail! The Soul Light Ray hadn't been able to harm Huo Yuhao for this exact reason; it had been reflected by the crystals.
Besides making his body extremely sturdy, the skill also granted him great strength. The Ice Empress' Pincer also had the ability to increase Huo Yuhao's arm strength by a extremely large margin, to the point that it wasn't one whit inferior to Dai Huabin when he was under the influence of his White Tiger martial soul.
At the same time, these two skills were very similar to the Mysterious Jade Hands from the Tang Sect. As such, they could complement each other. Anybody that made the mistake of treating the Ice Empress' Pincers as a regular first-ring soul skill would end up exactly like Ling Xue and Ye Canying.
Aside from these two special characteristics, there was also the extreme cold. As an Ultimate ice martial soul, the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion had also bestowed an attribute of 'extreme cold' to every single skill Huo Yuhao possessed. This extreme cold had in-turn inherited the overbearingness of the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion. Moreover, its power would increase along with Huo Yuhao's cultivation and his body's capabilities.
Ling Xue also had an ice element martial soul. However, as it was incomparable to the Ice Empress' martial soul, it had immediately been suppressed. Huo Yuhao's Ice Empress' Pincer even had the ability to instantly freeze energy, which had allowed him to throw back the Concentrated Soul Cannon shot. It could be imagined what kind of power it held from this. If he'd wanted to, he could've broken Ling Xue's neck at that time.
After this battle, all of the students of the Martial Soul Department were extremely curious about Huo Yuhao. Was this really the power of a student with a mere ten year white soul ring? Moreover, from beginning to end, his soul tool had done nothing other than increase his speed!
Fan Yu looked towards the students and said, "All of you should've seen the fight just now. Ye Canying, Tang Suifeng and Ling Xue, even though the three of you lost, Huo Yuhao's circumstances are also a bit special. Therefore, you'll be given an opportunity to retake the test later, and your score will be reset. Now then, let me give you a brief introduction."
Fan Yu then pulled Huo Yuhao in front of him and continued, "His name is Huo Yuhao, and he's my personal disciple, just like He Caitou. Furthermore, he's exceptionally talented at creating soul tools. For this reason, he's also a core disciple of our Soul Tool Department. However, due to special circumstances, he'll still be studying at the Martial Soul Department for now. Yuhao, all of these students are the same as you, Class 2 soul engineers."
Huo Yuhao hurriedly bowed and greeted them, "Everyone, I'm pleased to meet you."
The students also greeted him one after another. Those that were jealous of him far surpassed those that admired him, mainly due to his young age. From the battle just now, they'd discovered that he was the strongest amongst all of the Class 2 soul engineers. Even a Soul Elder hadn't been his match.
This battle just now had also been a great inspiration for Huo Yuhao. Soul tools could greatly help him overcome his shortcomings. Deep in his heart, he thought that, if he had enough time to create some Class 2 soul tools, he wouldn't even need to be afraid of facing someone like Dai Huabin in a one-on-one battle.
At that moment, he'd also begun to realize the might of the four skills the Skydream Iceworm had bestowed upon him.
On first sight, the four spiritual-type skills he'd received seemed very ordinary. However as his cultivation rose, these skills had also begun to show their might. The easiest and most useful one was surely the Spiritual Detection, while next was the Spiritual Interference. A moment ago, he'd relied on his Spiritual Interference to avoid the enemy's crossfire when he'd been encircled by three of them. Two spiritual skills that could complement each other with soul tools; this was basically the best thing he could ask for! Furthermore, he could already use a Stationary Soul Tool with his current cultivated level. If he were to combine his Spiritual Detection with a Stationary Soul Tool, he was confident that he could hold his own against a soul master with four, or even five soul rings! Of course, that was only if he had enough ammunition and there was a great enough distance between them.
The more he studied and used soul tools, the more Huo Yuhao could feel how much more advanced they were than the Tang Sect's hidden weapons.
If you were to compare them, one had the power of a purely mechanical device; it was precise and accurate, just like a piece of art. On the other hand, soul tools were powered by soulforce, which was a more advanced type of energy. Moreover, it could be used in conjunction with formation arrays.
No matter what materials were used, the power of a mechanical device would always be limited. However, soulforce was different, as soulforce would increase alongside the cultivation of the soul master. As such, the power of soul tools would also keep increasing. Furthermore, with the increase of one's soulforce, the process involved in the design and creation of soul tools would also change accordingly, which would cause the power of the soul tool to become greater and greater. This was also one of the reasons that first-class soul engineers were such terrifying existences.
However, even if a Class 9 soul engineer could dominate a Rank 9 Titled Douluo in a long distance battle, the same couldn’t be said of a short-range battle. At the same time, there had never been a Class 9 soul engineer who'd surmounted Rank 95. Because of this, soul masters were still recognized as the strongest existences on the continent. This was also one of the reasons that Shrek Academy had such a high status.
After introducing him, Fan Yu let Huo Yuhao go. He also gave him a day of rest. They would meet the day after tomorrow in the evening, where they would continue studying together in the Testing Area.
After bidding Fan Yu and He Caitou farewell, Huo Yuhao returned to his dorm room. As soon as he opened the door, he saw Wang Dong looking at something with a very excited look on his face.
"What's up? How come you're so happy?" Huo Yuhao moved closer.
Wang Dong raised his head and shot Yuhao a look. "Did you pass the Soul Tool Department's advancement test?"
Huo Yuhao giggled as he said, "Of course I did. In fact, I discovered that fighting with a soul tool is much easier than without one. The consumption of soulforce is also smaller compared to purely using soul skills. What're you looking at?"
He moved closer when he was done speaking, then snatched a bronze-like red paper from Wang Dong's hand.
"Treasure Appreciating Auction? What's that?" Huo Yuhao glanced over the red paper. On it, Huo Yuhao saw that Shrek Academy's core students were invited to the Treasure Appreciating Auction to take a look at the goods that would be on display.
Wang Dong smiled, then turned and sat down. He excitedly explained, "I did some research. This Treasure Appreciating Auction is something that was created for our Shrek Academy. However, it's been divided into different categories. For example, this section is specifically aimed towards us core disciples."
Huo Yuhao ill-humoredly replied, "Explain yourself clearly. I didn't understand anything you just said."
Wang Dong stared at him blankly and said, "That's because you're stupid. This Treasure Appreciating Auction is a run by a big merchant organization in Shrek City. Isn't our Shrek City a huge business center? It's not uncommon for merchants of different nations to come here to carry out transactions. When the merchants living in Shrek City get ahold of something good, they'll auction it at our Shrek Academy's Treasure Appreciating Auction. To put it bluntly, we get to choose first, and the leftovers will be auctioned off later on."
Huo Yuhao was surprised as he asked, "For real? Do those merchants even gain anything from this? It's not like everyone in our academy is rich."
Wang Dong snorted and replied, "Of course they gain something. They gain the academy’s goodwill! Not everyone in the academy is rich, yet how do you think Shrek City came to exist? It was all thanks to our Shrek Academy. Our academy isn't only the number one academy on the continent—it also has a terrifying military force. As long as Shrek Academy is here, Shrek City will never fall. Even if all the nations on the continent were to wage war against each other, none of them would dare to wage war here. Because of this, building a good relationship with our Shrek Academy is in the best interest of those merchants."
Huo Yuhao's interest was aroused when he heard this. "So what kind of good things are auctioned at this Treasure Appreciating Auction?"
Wang Dong said, "The Treasure Appreciating Auction is mainly divided into three categories. The first one is directly reserved for the academy. For example, if your Soul Tool Department needs some rare metals, they can buy them directly from there. The same goes for the teaching articles of the Martial Soul Department. The academy can also order things such as precious ingredients. However, these are just a few examples. Aside from the things sold to the academy and the teachers, there won't be many other high quality goods."
"Afterwards, there are the other two categories. These categories are reserved for us, the students, and you can find several good things here. One of these categories is aimed at inner courtyard students, and the goods there are pretty high quality. According to the rumors, soul bones are sold there all the time. However, only inner courtyard students are qualified to enter that auction. There's not really anything we can do about it. After that, there's the place written on this invitation letter. Only the core disciples of the outer courtyard are allowed to enter."