Book 9: Escape
Chapter 61.1: Icy Domain and the Golden Light (Preview)
Regarding the fact that there’s no chapter 60: The Author omitted it, thus we have too.
Core disciples were entitled to a sumptuous breakfast. Furthermore, Huo Yuhao was now a core disciple of both the Martial Soul Department and the Soul Tool Department at the same time.
Normally, he'd only eat the food supplied by the Soul Tool Department, as it was more exquisite and precious than the Martial Soul Department's. However, he was extremely famished today, and his body was in dire need of a large quantity of nutrients. As such, he devoured both of the breakfasts he was provided with today.
Just as he was about to finish his meal, Wang Dong walked in in a dispirited and downcast mood. The moment he walked through the doors, Wang Dong spotted Huo Yuhao, who was pigging out. When he saw him, he immediately began to take large strides towards Huo Yuhao.
"Yuhao, are you alright? Ma Xiaotao didn't do anything to you, right?" Wang Dong ran over to him and questioned him impatiently.
Huo Yuhao kept a natural expression on his face as he replied, "I'm alright! In fact, I'm doing quite well. I simply accompanied senior sister Xiaotao to cultivate. You should know just how extraordinary the nature of her martial soul is. With my help, she's managed to suppress that demonic fire of hers."
When he'd left the Sea God's Island and returned to the lakeside, he'd firmly made up his mind: No matter who it was that questioned him, he wouldn't say what had really happened, even if he was beaten to death. It was too embarrassing!
Wang Dong gazed at him and felt a bit apprehensive. His nose twitched and he asked, "What's that fragrance?"
As a person who could normally control his desire very well, Huo Yuhao was used to controlling everything to the best of his ability. As such, he'd already thought of a countermeasure for this situation a long time ago. Without the slightest bit of hesitation, he sighed and replied, "It's because it was extremely exhausting when I cultivated with senior sister Xiaotao. That phoenix flame of hers is really strong, thus I ended up sweating all over. When I was done, I borrowed her washing liquid to wash my clothes. I never expected her to use such a fragrant washing liquid with that fierce personality of hers."
Wang Dong couldn't find a single mistake in what Huo Yuhao said, thus he gradually heaved a sigh of relief. However, he still bore a little resentment and said, "You actually needed a whole day to cultivate. Ma Xiaotao is too overbearing! What happens if it end up interfering with your studies? Oh right, Teacher Zhou asked for us to see her in her office today before class starts. It seems like there's something going on, as we weren't the only ones called. All of the core disciples have to go and see her. It seems that they're giving us special attention now."
Huo Yuhao nodded and said, "This is a good thing! What was Dai Huabin reaction?"
Wang Dong shook his head and replied, "Nothing. I haven't even seen that fellow since back then. Gosh, are you a pig? How much have you eaten?!" He'd only just now noticed that the table had been filled with empty plates.
Huo Yuhao laughed sheepishly and said, "I exhausted quite a bit of energy cultivating yesterday. However, what senior brother Xu Sanshi said at back then was correct. Even though it's painful to cultivate with senior sister Ma, the increased speed of cultivation I get is pretty good. I even asked her to help me melt that Whale Rubber so that I could eat it. Oh right, has your soul bone arrived yet?"
Wang Dong immediately became excited when he mentioned the Golden Light Left Arm Bone, and nodded repeatedly as he said, "Yep, it's already arrived. Can you protect me tonight so that I can fuse with it? I've already gotten permission from Teacher Zhou for a leave of absence. It won't be a problem even if it takes me more than a day to fuse with the soul bone."
Huo Yuhao nodded and replied, "Then I'll ask Teacher Fan Yu for some materials tonight so that I can remodel my soul tool in our dorm room while I'm watching over you."
Once he'd finished his breakfast, Huo Yuhao returned to the dormitory to freshen up. Afterwards, he changed into a new school uniform before heading off to find Zhou Yi with Wang Dong.
It was still both extremely sunny and cloudless today. Moreover, a new school term had begun in Shrek Academy. Students from every year group were all facing different levels of pressure. The new students had the Freshmen Examination, while students from higher year groups had both their Advancement Examination and courses to study for.
Huo Yuhao lightly knocked on the office door a few times.
"Enter." Zhou Yi's ever ice-cold voice rang out.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong pushed opened the door and entered.
The room was already full of core disciples from Class 1. Besides Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong, Xiao Xiao, Lan Susu, Lan Luoluo, Chao Jinxuan and Huang Chutian, who had officially become a core disciple, were all present in the room. As such, there were a total of eight people from their class present.
Zhou Yi intentionally glanced towards Huo Yuhao. When she saw that his expression was normal, she didn't ask any questions. With a cough, she directed everyone's line of sight towards herself. "The reason I called you guys here today is because I have a special situation that I need to inform you guys about: In three days time, the outer courtyard will be organizing a core disciple qualification match. Originally, it didn't have anything to do with second years, but the academy suddenly decided to let the Year 2 core disciples participate in the match as well. As a result of this, you guys will need to prepare yourselves."
Feeling somewhat curious, Zhou Sichen asked, "Teacher Zhou, what's this qualification match for?"
Zhou Yi replied, "However, you guys don't need to be too worried about it. There won't be any sort of punishment if you lose this qualification match. Those participating are all core disciples from the outer courtyard who are fifteen years old and under. People from the Soul Tool Department will also be attending. According to my calculations, there are around thirty people participating in the match. We'll be choosing seven from this group to take part in a mission. As for what sort of mission it is, only the students who win will know what sort of mission it is. It's worth noting that these places would normally belong to students from the third, fourth, and fifth years. However, you guys are lucky to be able to participate in this match. You guys should do your best. We have eight core disciples from our class; at least try not to be completely wiped out."
Hearing Zhou Yi speak as though she didn't think of the matter as very important, everyone immediately heaved a sigh of relief. They'd even silently cursed at the academy in their hearts for having a bit too many examinations. The Advancement Examination had just ended! What was the deal with a Core Disciple Examination now?
"Alright, you guys head back to the classroom first. Huo Yuhao, stay behind for awhile. The rest of you can head back first."
"Yes." Everyone uniformly replied. As they left, Zhou Sichen shot Huo Yuhao a glance that said that he was rejoicing in his demise. Afterwards, he took the lead and left the office with Cao Jinxuan.
Wang Dong said in a low tone, "Xiao Xiao and I will wait for you outside."
Once the others had left the room, Huo Yuhao obediently closed the door. He then turned around and faced Zhou Yi as he asked, "Teacher Zhou, do you still have something to tell me?"
Zhou Yi indifferently replied, "I'm only relaying a message from Dean Yan and Dean Xian. Both of them mentioned that it would be fine, even if the others don't enter the top seven. However, they said that if you fail to do so, you'll suffer the consequences."
"Um…" When he heard her say this, Huo Yuhao suddenly felt that the pressure weighing down on him was as great as a mountain! "Teacher Zhou, that's impossible! If the students from the outer courtyard were to compete with the core disciples in terms of strength alone, I would definitely be ranked amongst the top! However, there will be senior students participating in this match as well!"
A hint of a smile appeared in Zhou Yi's eyes when she heard this. She stood up and replied, "It's useless to talk to me about this, as I'm simply relaying their message to you. If you have the guts to do so, reason it out with Dean Yan and Dean Xian. Now then, get going, you still have a class to attend."
"I…" Huo Yuhao immediately became crestfallen. Even though he felt confident about his abilities, that still depended on the circumstances! He'd be competing against a bunch of senior core disciples; how could it be that easy?! Disregarding the other students, Bei Bei, Xu Sanshi and Jiang Nannan alone were bound to be within the fifteen-year-old category, along with the many core disciples he'd never seen before. All three of them had four soul rings! He definitely didn't think that he could fight against his seniors with four soul rings—even if he did have an Ultimate martial soul.
Once he left the room, he noticed Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao waiting for him.
"Why did Teacher Zhou ask you to stay behind?" Wang Dong asked curiously.
This wasn't something that he could hide, thus Huo Yuhao told them what Zhou Yi had told him with a depressed look on his face. By the time he'd finished, Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao couldn't help but look at each other in dismay. They then simultaneously patted him on the shoulder. "You'd best rely on yourself, rather than on us."
Huo Yuhao was full of lament and resentfulness as he replied, "Are you guys even human?! You're not even comforting me!"
Wang Dong laughed mischievously and said, "Who asked you to become a core disciple of two departments? Who asked you to show such an outstanding performance in the Advancement Examination, and to even have an Ultimate martial soul?! We'll cheer for you. Oh right, I keep forgetting to ask you. What was the skill you used the other day called? The one that sucked all of our soul power away and released that dark green light."
The reason that both of them had been able to escape their predicament that day was because Huo Yuhao had decisively used that move. It was mainly because he'd used that skill in the nick of time, which had prevented the three flying Soul Kings from pursuing them. They'd then able to escape to Shrek City's northern gates and had managed to wait it out until Ma Xiaotao and Bei Bei came to save them.
Huo Yuhao snorted and replied, "I'll just let you guys rejoice in my misfortune. This elder brother isn't telling you." As soon as he finished speaking, he turned around and headed towards the school building.
Elder Lin's guess that night had been spot on; the skill he'd used back then belonged to the domain-type. Domain-type skills were just as uncommon as Ultimate martial souls. A domain-type soul skill was a skill that affect everything within a certain area based on the user's domain. It could also be regarded as the highest ranked control-type soul skill.
Huo Yuhao's domain-type skill came from the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion's torso bone. It was one of the skills she'd bestowed to him, which was known as the 'Domain of Perpetual Ice'.
Based on Huo Yuhao's current cultivation, it was still extremely difficult for him to properly use the Domain of Perpetual Ice. He'd still only been able to use a fraction of the skill, despite having borrowed Wang Dong's power that day. If he wanted to fully unleash the potential of this soul skill, he'd have to wait until he'd managed to obtain seven soul rings at the very least.
When the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion had been known as the Tyrant of the Extreme North, her Domain of Perpetual Ice could freeze over a thousand miles in an instant. As such, it was the one of the highest ranked origin skills. If Huo Yuhao wanted to use the skill at the same level that the Ice Empress had, he'd have to cultivate to the stage that she had been at.
Huo Yuhao was immersed in his anxiety the entire day during his classes. Regardless of how much he mulled the matter over, he couldn't think of a way to rise above a bunch of core disciples. However, he didn't complain about anything in his state of depression. Besides, he'd received preferential treatment from the academy during the Treasure Appreciation Auction; he couldn't say anything, even if he was currently facing pressure!
In the end, Huo Yuhao came to the conclusion that he'd just have to stake it all in the match.