A huge, golden, palace-like building stood shining brilliantly under the sun. With a golden rooftop and a red gate, this ancient style gave people a sense of solemnity. It stretched out into the distance with no end in sight. Hanging on the front gate were three big characters: Duke’s Estate. This mansion, which covered more than three thousand acres, did not belong to any city. Instead, it was a separate entity located eighty kilometers northwest of the Star Luo capital, Star Luo City. From this, you could see that the owner of this mansion had a truly respected status within the empire.
At noon, the brilliant sunshine reflected on the crystal glazed tiles, such that all of Duke’s Estate was covered with a dazzling gold layer; a sight visible even from the edge of the city.
The back gate quietly opened and a thin figure discretely slipped out. He looked like an eleven or twelve year old young man. Average build. Dressed in a simple, clean, gray, commoner’s outfit, carrying a medium sized bag. His short, black hair looked clean and neat. His handsome, little face showed a hint of determination way beyond his age.
Closing the door lightly, the youngster quickly walked out, then suddenly stopped. He turned around and looked at the mansion. Within his dark blue eyes was a deep hatred.
“Mom, are you watching from heaven? No matter how much effort is needed, there will be a day when I will come back and crush everything under my foot. From now on, I will take your last name, changing my name to Huo; Huo Yu Hao.” After saying this sentence, he gazed at this mansion and turned, walking away with a strong determination.
He did not walk southeast towards the city, but rather ran towards the north. His small figure slowly disappeared into the blazing noon sun. Although he was thin and small, as he left, he never gave anyone a sense of helplessness.
No matter which direction you go from Duke’s Estate, there are broad roads. As he ran, his eyes turned red.
“Mom…” In his mind, he subconsciously replayed the scene in which his mother unwillingly passed away. He couldn’t help but grit his teeth tightly.
“Be strong. I must be strong. Mom taught me before that we can only depend on ourselves. Only if we are strong can we live a better life.” Flashes of memory continuously replayed in his mind.
Huo Yuhao’s mom was the duke’s maid. She grew up with the duke and lived for him. However, one night twelve years ago, Huo Yuhao secretly appeared in his mother’s womb. After ten months, he was born.
It didn’t matter what status his mom was, he was still the duke’s son. Although he never received the best treatment in the house, it was never horrible. Mom was no longer a maid. She even received her own courtyard. Everything should have been fine from then, but no one could have imagined that a catastrophe was about to occur.
The duke went to war representing Star Luo Empire. All decisions within the mansion were given to the duke’s wife. The duke’s wife had one son and one daughter. She controlled everything that could have affected her offspring. When the duke was there, the mansion was fine. However, once he left, the mansion became the wife’s world. This wife was also the emperor’s favorite daughter.
Because Huo Yuhao’s mom grew up with the duke, the duke had always liked her a lot and the duke’s wife was always jealous of her. With the duke’s absence, his mom became her target.
Using the excuse that his mom had an infectious disease, the duke’s wife kicked them to the woodshed in the back of the servant’s quarter. She also took away all of their sources of income. At that time, Huo Yuhao was only two.
It was inevitable that this harsh life would take a toll on his mom’s health. Over time, she couldn’t take the pressure anymore. When he was ten, she fell ill and passed away.
Due to the continental collision four thousand years ago, the continent’s size increased dramatically, but this also increased the frequency of war. Ten thousand years ago, Douluo Dalu only had two countries: Sky Dou and Star Luo. In the present, there are now three countries. Within them, Star Luo Empire still existed, but the royal family changed often. Fortunately, they had already dominated the other powers and united the kingdom under one force. However, the Sky Dou empire was split into the Sky Spirit Empire and the Dou Ling Empire.
The Sun-Moon continent from the west was slightly smaller than the Douluo continent, but still vast and bountiful. However, there was only one country, named: Sun-Moon Empire.
After the continental collision, war began immediately. Due to a common enemy, the three countries on the Douluo continent formed a coalition army. After about twenty years of war, they finally defeated the Sun-Moon Empire and unified the continent under the name of Douluo. Sun-Moon continent no longer existed. There was only Sun-Moon Empire now.
Although the Sun-Moon Empire was defeated, they were never completely wiped out. Using conflict between the three countries, the four opposing forces gradually formed a stable stalemate, but wars were still a common occurrence.
Because the duke was often on the battlefield, he was rarely within the mansion. Under the deliberate concealment of the duke’s wife, Huo Yuhao’s mom was slowly forgotten. Whenever the duke asked questions about his mom, the duke’s wife would respond by saying she was suffering from diseases.
Huo Yuhao’s mother put up with numerous hardships and brought him up. When he was six years old, he underwent his spirit awakening.
Battle Spirit was an ability that everyone on Douluo Continent possessed. Although the Sun-Moon Empire had a different direction of development from the other three countries, the Battle Spirit was still a common foundation.
Everyone was born with a Battle Spirit which would be awakened upon reaching six years old. The spirit could be anything, such as tools, animals, and so on. Animal type Battle Spirits were usually called Beast Spirits. Besides Beast Spirits, other types were known as Tool Spirits. Of course there were also unique variant spirits.
After the awakening, only a small percentage of Battle Spirits would bring forth a special power, called Spirit Power. Only the people who had Spirit Power could cultivate into the most noble profession, Spirit Master.
Spirit Masters were divided into ten levels. From low to high, they were: Spirit Scholar, Spirit Master, Spirit Grandmaster, Spirit Elder, Spirit Ancestor, Spirit King, Spirit Emperor, Spirit Saint, Spirit Douluo and Title Douluo.
The higher the level, the higher the power. Upon reaching the Title Douluo level, one could have the terrifying strength to move mountains, fill oceans, or change the course of stars.
Spirit Power ranging from one to ten is within the limits of a Spirit Scholar. During spirit awakening, the greater the innate Spirit Power, the more potential one will have after becoming a Spirit Master. Even the future cultivation will be faster. At awakening, if the innate Spirit Power is already at level ten, one will have the greatest potential and be called a genius Spirit Master. As long as the Battle Spirit itself is not too bad, that person will accomplish great feats.
Although Huo Yuhao is the son of the duke, he did not inherit the powerful Battle Spirit of the duke. Otherwise, even if the duke’s wife didn’t like him, she will still have to report it. In that case, Huo Yuhao and his mother’s destiny would have been different.
Unfortunately, Huo Yuhao’s Battle Spirit had a very unique variation.
Huo Yuhao’s Battle Spirit is the Spirit Eye.
In the different categories of Battle Spirits, there is a small category that does not belong to either Tool Spirits or Beast Spirits. It is a spirit of one’s own body. Which means after awakening, the Battle Spirit could appear as a hand, foot, and so on.
Almost all the Body Battle Spirits are extremely strong. However, they rarely appear. It could be said that they are even greater than Tool and Beast Spirits. So, as long as it appears, it will be highly valued.
Unfortunately, Huo Yuhao’s Battle Spirit was an exception.
The place where his Battle Spirit appeared was his eyes. Not only that, it is among the rarest type of mental attribute Battle Spirit. Under normal circumstances, Huo Yuhao would have received a lot of attention. Unfortunately, there were two points restricting his development. At the time of his awakening, he only had an innate Spirit Power of one, which indicates the worst potential. His cultivation would be even slower than average. Not only that, his second problem is even worse. Not only is the mental attribute rare for a Battle Spirit, it is also rare to find a mental attribute Spirit Beast. However, every Spirit Master will need to kill a Spirit Beast of his own attribute once reaching the tenth level bottleneck of each spirit grade to break through to the next level.
Not only is a spirit ring needed for a breakthrough, it can also give the Spirit Master a new ability. This is essentially where the power of a Spirit Master comes from.
With these two limiting factors, it could be said that it would be impossible for Huo Yuhao to make something of himself.
However, as the duke’s son, he was still able to learn the basic methods for cultivating his Spirit Power. But after a long period of time, it was proven that his potential is simply too lacking.
Within Duke’s Estate, even a servant’s child would reach a Spirit Power of ten within three years of training and break through from Spirit Scholar to Spirit Master.
Today, Huo Yuhao is already eleven years old. After five years, his Spirit Power could only reach ten by using three times as much effort as his peers.
After his mother died, he stayed in Duke’s Estate for another year. Even though he wanted to leave, he was still young and had no source of income. The only thing he could do was hide all his hatred and grievances in his heart. Under such stress, his heart matured much faster than his peers.
His mother once told him that if he wants to succeed, the only way is to become a Spirit Master. Even the most common Spirit Master would have a higher position than the average person.
Under the worst conditions, Huo Yuhao had finally reached a Spirit Power of ten yesterday. And this is the day he had decided upon when he would leave Duke’s Estate.
Now, he needs a spirit ring. Even the lowest grade of the ten-year spirit rings will be okay. As long as he obtains one, he will be able to become a true Spirit Master and have his own ability.
On the Douluo continent, Spirit Beasts of different levels are divided by years. There is a close connection between the quality of the spirit ring, the years lived by Spirit Beasts, and their abilities.
In general, Spirit Beasts are divided into ten-year, hundred-year, thousand-year, ten-thousand-year, and hundred-thousand-year Spirit Beasts.
A Spirit Master must personally kill the Spirit Beast in order to obtain a spirit ring.
If Huo Yuhao stayed in Duke’s Estate, there would have been no chance to obtain a spirit ring. No one would have ever helped him. Because of this, even if he knows there is a high chance of dying if he went alone, he still went with the virtue of a fearless courage.
Going directly north, he quickly stepped onto the main road. Even though he was still young, he still made many preparations to obtain a spirit ring. In his little backpack, there is a set of clean clothes, some dry food, money his mom had worked hard for, and a short blade. Other than these, there is the most important thing: a simple map of the continent.
Duke’s Estate and Star Luo City both lie to the northern region of Star Luo Empire. Similarly, the place Huo Yuhao chose to find a Spirit Beast, Star Dou Forest bordering Sky Spirit Empire, is also in the north. In this vast forest, which almost occupies the area of an entire province, there lives a wide variety of Spirit Beasts, without a lack for powerful creatures.
People would be shocked to learn that the eleven year old Huo Yuhao was heading into the Star Dou Forest without a teacher accompanying him.
Huo Yuhao ran quickly on the straight road. Although he is young, he is still a tenth level Spirit Scholar who is much stronger than normal people of his age.
As he went forward, his deep blue eyes glowed with clarity.
Since his spirit awakening, Huo Yuhao has had eyesight above the ordinary. Up close, he can discern details impossible for the common eye. Far away, he can see twice as far as the normal person.
With the rise of his Spirit Power, his eyesight will improve even more. As he cultivates, his body will change more. This made him even more determined to heed his mother’s words: *Spirit Master, I must become a Spirit Master.*
“Mother said that if I can obtain a spirit ring, I will be a control system Battle Spirit Master. My Battle Spirit isn’t that bad. However, my potential is bad, so I will need to spend more time and effort cultivating.”
With this firm belief, Huo Yuhao cultivated as he moved forward. When thirsty, he drank from mountain springs. When hungry, he ate the biscuits he brought. Other than traveling, he spent the rest of the time meditating. For his young age, the fact that he traveled more than one hundred fifty kilometers in a day can only be called miraculous.
He is only carrying seven silver coins and five bronze coins, and spends very little.
Since the war between the two continents ended, the currency was unified. One gold coin equals ten silver coins equals one hundred bronze coins.
When he was little, his mother would slip out of Duke’s Estate to find fruits and wild vegetables so that he can eat better. Because of this, Huo Yuhao could recognize many types of vegetation. Frequently, he would not even buy the cheapest coarse food to save money. Instead, he would go into the forest by the side of the road to scavenge for food.
After all, this is the first time that Huo Yuhao has gone traveling. Even with the map, he still went the wrong way several times. He had to constantly ask people passing by for the right direction.
He learned many things as he traveled over the period of a few days, just as the famous saying says, traveling a thousand miles is better than reading a thousand books. Without the constant pressures and bondage, his mood improved greatly. He was often excited as he saw fantastic things while traveling. No matter what, he is still young. He recovers quickly from traveling. He is more like a little bird who finally escaped from a cage. Since the death of his mother, this is the first time that he experienced happiness.
“I have been walking for six days already. I should be there soon,” Huo Yuhao said as he carefully looked at the map and the direction of the road surrounded by the shadows of the trees. He determined that he is already very close to Star Dou forest.
Wiping off the sweat on his forehead, he headed into the forest and found a shadow to recover his energy. Suddenly, the gurgling sound of water traveled to him. Excited, he jumped up.
There is water! This means that he can finally change how he had been living.
Closing both eyes, Huo Yuhao quietly listened for the direction the sound of water was coming from. Being one possessing a mental attribute Battle Spirit, his sixth sense is much stronger than normal. Especially when he closes his eyes, his other five senses could increase somewhat.
Soon, he determined the direction and carefully went into the forest. His carefulness is not only because of the uneven ground but because he feared thorns that can pierce his clothes. This was made personally by his mother.
He found his target less than two hundred meters away. It was a creek with a width of three meters. Its water was crystal clear and brought a sense of refreshing coolness.
Huo Yuhao cheered as he quickly took his clothes off and jumped into the shallow stream. The last time he had a bath was two days ago. After two days of travel, he was glad to be able to enjoy the cold water.
After his bath, he felt refreshed and headed toward the forest for a good night of rest. He washed all his dirty clothes and hung them on the branches. Then he broke off a branch about one meter in length.
In his right hand, he held a dagger with a dark green handle. He doesn’t know what type of leather the sheath is made of. All he knows about the dagger is that it is the only gift his father had given to his mother. When his mother died, this precious gift was then given to him.
The comfortable handle is about twelve centimeters long; simple with no decoration. When the dagger is pulled out, no sound can be heard. The eighteen centimeter blade almost seems transparent and gives off a dense cold feeling that even made Huo Yuhao shudder.
The name of the dagger is the White Tiger Dagger. As Huo Yuhao stares at the dagger, he felt a sense of sadness almost as if seeing his mother’s figure.
Huo Yuhao sharpened the branch that he picked up earlier with ease and put the dagger back onto his back. He arrived at the stream with the sharpened stick.
His eyes suddenly lit up as he took a deep breath. Suddenly, all the details from the stream are enlarged in his eyes. Even subtle changes like tiny shrimps under the small river rocks can not escape his Spirit Eyes’ gaze. Furthermore, everything that enters his eyes is slowed down.
As fast as lightning, the branch in Huo Yuhao’s hand flew into the water. Catching fish can be said to be difficult for most. However, for someone like Huo Yuhao possessing the Spirit Eye, it is a piece of cake. This is another reason why he was so excited when he heard the water. Other than catching fish himself, he had not had any other kind of meat in the last six days.
A small fish like this will not be enough for him. After a short while, he had already caught more than ten fish.
“This is great. It should be enough to last me two days. If I cook it, it would last longer, too.”
Huo Yuhao happily crouched beside the stream and cleaned the fish with his White Tiger Dagger. The sharp dagger scraped off the scales and cut out the innards easily. This type of work was easy for Huo Yuhao since he had worked with his mother since he was young. In a quarter of an hour, he had already prepared more than ten fish.
He put the cleaned fish on large leaves from the forest and found some dry sticks to make a bonfire. In a short period, a small bonfire started beside the stream.
Even though he only had salt on him, it was enough for the roasted fish. He skewered the fish with thin sticks and salted the inside of their stomachs. He also took out some purple leaves from his backpack and stuffed them into the fish’s bellies. Afterwards, he made a small shelf from branches lying around and put the fish on top of the shelf to cook.
After a while, a flavourful smell rose from the fire. It smelled very strong and was full of allure. As Huo Yuhao turned the fish, they changed from green to a golden yellow color accompanied by that alluring smell, making the fish especially attractive
For the first time, he only cooked two fish even though he had prepared many more. If he grilled more, he wouldn’t have been able to control the process.
“It smells so nice!”
Just then, a sweet and crisp voice surprised Huo Yuhao.
He looked in the direction in which the sound came from and saw two people walking along the stream. In the front was a young girl around fifteen or sixteen with long dark hair in a ponytail hanging behind her. She wore a tight, pale blue outfit that outlined her figure.
She had big and clever eyes, a high nose ridge and a near perfect oval face. Her blushing face showed a hint of pleasant surprise as she stared directly at Huo Yuhao’s freshly cooked fish.
Following her is a young man around the same age. He had a tall and slender body with a head full of short, deep blue hair which shone under the sun with a jewel-like luster. He is not very old but gave off a feeling of elegance. His handsome face held a lazy, warm smile as his hands support the back of his head. He also looked over at Huo Yuhao with interest. However, he looked at the person instead of the fish.
The girl walking in the front skipped joyfully in front of Huo Yuhao with a mouth-watering look. “Little brother, are you selling this roast fish? It smells so good. How did you make it?”
Huo Yuhao had seen many beautiful girls in Duke’s Estate before, but never had a girl come so close to him. Furthermore, not a single girl in the mansion could compare with the young girl in front of him. This girl was not perfect, but had a delicate and fairy-like appearance.
Huo Yuhao said while blushing, “I.., why don’t I treat you!”
The young girl smiled and responded, “Little brother, you’re so shy. I will treat myself then.” As she said that, she reached out and grabbed the roast fish Huo Yuhao held out to her and sat down casually, trying to eat the fish while yelling hot.
At this time, the young man who came with the girl walked over to greet Huo Yuhao with a face full of resignation. Then he turned to the girl and said, “Xiao Ya, this little brother hasn’t even eaten yet, but you’re already indulging yourself.”
Xiao Ya stared back at him with wide eyes and said angrily, “What did you just call me?”
The young man raised his hands in surrender, “Okay, okay. Teacher Xiao Ya. Is that better?”
Xiao Ya flicked him a glance and said, “That’s better. Remember your place.” Although she isn’t much older, she had a seductive look. Any young man looking at her would have been dumbstruck. Huo Yuhao sitting on the side was too afraid to even look and could only hand the other cooked fish to the young man. “Big brother, I will treat you as well.”
The young man gave a slight smile and said, “A gentleman does not take the love of another. You haven’t eaten yet, little brother. Were you the one who caught these fish?”
Huo Yuhao nodded, “No problem, I can cook more.” As he said this, he stood and gave the cooked fish to the young man. With skilled movements, he set up another two fish on the wooden frame to continue cooking.
The young man smiled warmly, “I am Beibei. She is Tang Ya. What is your name, little brother?”
“I am Huo Yuhao,” Huo Yuhao responded as he carefully cooked the fish. On his journey, he had met a lot of people who helped him as he camped along the way. Because of this, when Tang Ya asked for his fish, he did not even hesitate before giving the fish to her. In the last few days, he learned that those away from home need to help each other.
Beibei sat down beside Tang Ya. The way he ate was much more elegant than Yang Ya. At least, he won’t be covering his entire hand with oil.
When the second batch of fish finished cooking, Tang Ya was already staring at it, waiting. Under Beibei’s helpless look, she took another one.
However, this time, she was reluctant to eat it and beckoned for Huo Yuhao to eat first. Actually, Huo Yuhao had been hungry since a while ago. He finally got to eat one while cooking more.
Even though the only spices were basil and salt, the fish tasted extremely delicious. They were not that big, but considering the amount these three youngsters just ate, it was still a huge amount.
“Too delicious! I had never eaten roasted fish this good. Little brother Huo Yuhao, why don’t I hire you as my chef? What do you think?” Tang Ya said as she stretched on the grass, showing off her curves but not giving a thought to it. Beibei shook his head as he looked at her helplessly.
“Do you have money, Teacher Tang Ya?” Beibei asked, destroying her dreams.
“Uh… I will have it later.” Tang Ya gave him a dissatisfied look as she sat up embarrassedly.
Huo Yuhao also stood up and said, “Brother Bei, Sister Tang, I need to go now.”
Beibei asked, “Brother Huo, why are you in this wilderness? We’re very close to the dangerous Star Dou Forest. Are you going there?”
Huo Yuhao shook his head and retrieved the dried clothes from the tree branches. After packing his clothes into his bag, he smiled at the two and waved good bye. With Tang Ya’s surprised look, he turned and left.
“He isn’t really going to Star Dou Forest, right?” Tang Ya said thoughtfully as she watched Huo Yuhao’s shadow disappear.
Beibei shook his head and said, “It’s hard to say. I can faintly feel that he has Spirit Power. But it’s very weak. He is also by himself. It really is a bit strange.”
Tang Ya extended her tongue a bit, “Hmm. He has Spirit Power. Why don’t we invite him to join our Tang Clan?”
Beibei responded snappily, “You aren’t inviting him because you liked his roasted fish, right?”
Beibei had guessed the exact thought that was going through Tang Ya’s mind. Tang Ya blushed and stuck out her tongue at Beibei.
Beibei said, “This Brother Huo must have experienced some significant event. You can see how mature he is from the light in his eyes. It’s too bad we don’t know his potential.”
Tang Ya’s face filled with happiness. “That means you agree?”
Beibei smiled bitterly, “The almighty master of Tang Clan, Miss Tang Ya, was all alone before you took me as a disciple. If you want to boost the clan’s power, you will need to accept any suitable individual. This Brother Huo looks very reliable. If his potential is okay, he would be a good candidate. From his clothes we can see that his situation probably isn’t very good. If our Tang Clan is to accept disciples now, then we should be looking for candidates like him.”
Tang Ya curiously looked at Beibei. “Looks like you’re pretty cunning huh.”
Beibei stood up and straightened his clothes. “This is called smart. Or I can also accept wise.
“Come on, let’s go. After eating so many of his fish, even if we don’t accept him into Tang Clan, we should still protect him in case a Spirit Beast shows up.”
Tang Ya stood up too and laughed. “You’re smart this time because we thought of the same thing. Let me wash up and we can go.”
Huo Yuhao didn’t know about the conversation they had after he left. He had planned to take some fish with him, but did not want to reveal he was a Spirit Master, so he decided not to catch more fish. His mother had taught him that one shouldn’t reveal too much to strangers. Even if he had a good feeling about Beibei and Tang Ya, he still decided to leave them after eating.
Even though Huo Yuhao is still young, he could see that Tang Ya and Beibei were not normal people. Just like Tang Ya said, this is a wilderness. But they did not even carry bags with them. Because of these suspicions, he decided it was better to quickly leave their company.
After eating a good meal, Huo Yuhao’s fatigue had been restored. He marked the location he was just at on the map in case he wanted to come back in the future.
Not far ahead, a wooden sign grabbed his attention: “Fifty Li ahead is the entrance to the Star Dou Forest. Spirit Beasts may appear. Be careful.”
He had finally reached his destination. In this instant, he felt both excitement and anxiety. He touched the White Tiger Dagger on his waist to calm himself and proceeded ahead.
The only way to succeed is to be a Spirit Master. This was the only thought running through his heart. He will never regret this decision.
Gradually, the air became cooler. Other than the coolness, there seemed to be a special pressure. Star Dou Forest was like the mouth of a beast, waiting for a young life to enter. Opportunity or…. to be swallowed!