Chapter 33.1: Two Soul Bones

    Book 6: Graduating

    Du Weilun was extremely pleased with Huo Yuhao's attitude. Nodding his head, the large red gem on his right hand flashed, causing a leather bag to appear in his hands.

    The leather bag seemed to be a soul tool, as there were a few dark-colored patterns inscribed on the brown bag, and Huo Yuhao was able to sense minute undulations of soul power from it.

    Du Weilun said, "Children, seeing as how you were able to defeat three Soul Elders, and have become the champions of the freshmen assessment, I've requested that the Academy make an exception and give you another prize. However, there's only a single prize-which means that you'll have to choose who to give it to. At the same time, this is the most valuable prize that the Academy has given out in the past three hundred years. Take a look." After he'd finished speaking, he handed the leather bag to Wang Dong.

    Wang Dong reached out his hand and received the leather bag. At that moment, he was still feeling somewhat downcast due to Huo Yuhao's inability to become a core disciple. As a result of this, his excitement towards the reward had dulled greatly. When he'd received the leather bag, he subconsciously untied the string holding it closed.

    A ball of yellow light was instantly released from the leather bag without any warning. Under the astonished gazes of Huo Yuhao's trio, it slowly rose into the air.

    It was a small yet exquisite bone that seemed to be about the size of one's palm. It radiated a pale yellow light, which caused the heartbeats of Huo Yuhao's trio to palpate the instant they saw it. The strong undulations of soul power it emanated caused the air within the office to seemingly become viscous. This was the first time that they'd experienced a strange feeling like this.

    "This, this is... a soul bone?" Wang Dong asked, an astonished look on his face. Even though Du Weilun had hinted that their prize was extremely valuable, they'd never even thought that it'd be a soul bone. This was a soul bone! This was something that was a hundred times more valuable than a soul ring to a soul master!

    A soul ring was an energy-based object that would always appear when a soul beast died, but the chances of a soul bone appearing were less than one in ten thousand. Even though higher ranked soul beasts had a higher chance to drop soul bones, only hundred thousand year soul beasts were guaranteed to drop soul bones.

    If a soul master managed to obtain a soul bone, their strength would immediately go up a level, which would allow them to have an enormous advantage against other soul masters of the same rank. However, a soul master could only have six soul bones at most: The head bone, the torso bone, and the four limb bones. Of the six possible soul bones one could have, the most valuable one was the torso bone. However, it was also the rarest among the six. The head bone was the second most valuable, while the four limb bones were slightly less precious.

    Even though that was the case, a soul bone would always be the most precious item at a country's auction when it was present, regardless of which country the auction was held in. Furthermore, there wasn't a market where one could simply buy a soul bone. One would need a hundred thousand gold soul coins, at the very minimum, in order to stand a chance at buying one in an auction. More often than not, one would need to barter to obtain a soul bone.

    Regardless of how rich Shrek Academy was, they still didn't have that many soul bones stored away. Only the most outstanding students, or students who'd performed extraordinarily meritorious deeds, would have a chance at obtaining a soul bone as a reward. When the Academy handed out a reward such as this, it signified that they thought that the benefits and influence they'd gain in the future outweighed the cost of the soul bone.

    Huo Yuhao still had some resentment buried deep in his heart from not being made a core disciple. However, the instant he saw the soul bone, both it and the threshold in his heart gradually disappeared. It wasn't because it was something that he desired, but rather because it allowed him to realise how fair the Academy was.

    He hadn't been able to become a core disciple of the Martial Soul Department, yet could the Academy be blamed for being unfair? After all, he only had a single soul ring! Freshmen with higher cultivations than him were commonplace, and even though he was a member of the champion team, he had only been a bystander in the eyes of those watching. His first soul ring was also only a white one. If he'd been placed in Du Weilun's position, would he have been willing to let himself become a core disciple?

    The knot in his heart had already begun to undo itself, thus Huo Yuhao's expression began to relax more and more. Following that, his original stiffly respectful attitude became much more natural.

    Du Weilun smiled. "Didn't expect that, eh? Correct, your prize is a soul bone. However, you all should know just how valuable soul bones are. Because of this, there's only a single one despite there being three of you. As such, you'll have to decide who to give it to after you get back. However, don't let this soul bone affect your friendship. Even though soul bones are hard to find, good companions are even rarer than soul bones. Now then, I'll give you guys a quick rundown of this soul bone."

    "This soul bone is something that I chose especially for you guys, as both assault-type and control-type soul masters can use it. It's a left leg bone known as the 'Emptybright Devil Leopard's Left Leg Bone'. After fusing with it, a soul master will experience an increase in speed, as well as obtain an offensive skill that can be activated using their left leg. However, the greatest benefit of this soul bone lies in the fact that it will produce different skills when fused with different martial souls. However, it'll definitely be suitable for all three of you. I'll give it to you now, along with this leather bag. The leather bag can conceal the soul power undulations generated by the soul bone. You should fuse with it as quickly as possible as, even though the Academy grounds are extremely safe, a precious treasure can doom an innocent man. Also, you'll have to keep this a secret for the Academy. Now then, I trust that you'll know what to do."

    After putting the soul bone away, Du Weilun sent them off. The trio respectfully bid him farewell as they left the school building.

    The instant they stepped out of the building, they all simultaneously stopped walking. Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao all glanced towards one other, afterwich Xiao Xiao said, "Let's give it to Yuhao."

    Wang Dong nodded. "I agree."

    After saying this, the two looked towards Huo Yuhao. Wang Dong had already placed the leather bag in front of him. In terms of individual strength, there was no doubt that Huo Yuhao was currently the weakest of the three. If he obtained this left leg soul bone, he'd finally possess an attacking skill. Combined with the increase in speed he'd receive from fusing with the soul bone, Huo Yuhao would immediately have the strength to contend against the other core disciples.

    However, Huo Yuhao resolutely shook his head. "No, I can't have this soul bone. Wang Dong, have you forgotten the concept of 'ladies first'? We have to give this soul bone to Xiao Xiao. This is only our first assessment in the Academy. So long as we work even harder and obtain even better results, we'll definitely receive another soul bone as a reward. Of the three of us, Xiao Xiao is the only girl. You both recognise me as your team leader, so how could I take something as good as this away from the both of you?"

    Although he was quite young, he could tell that Du Weilun hadn't planned to give this soul bone to him. Furthermore, it was as he'd said. As a leader, how could he reap all the benefits for himself?

    Xiao Xiao was stunned. "Yuhao, you can't be like this. You played the most important role in our matches. At the same time, you're the person who needs this soul bone the most!"

    Huo Yuhao simply smiled. "Xiao Xiao, you don't need to say anything else. I've already decided. No matter what, I don't want this soul bone. Haven't you at least thought about it? It's true that I might be able to obtain an attacking-type skill when I fuse with this soul bone, but I'm a mental-type soul master; having a skill like that might not be a good thing for me! I need to work even harder, and use my own ability to become even stronger. Giving me a soul bone right now might unwittingly make me overly reliant on the attack power it gives me, but you're a different story. Even though you have twin martial souls, an increase in speed is definitely the best benefit you could receive right now, as an increase in speed would make it much safer for you to activate your two Tool Souls on the battlefield. I've already thought it through; this soul bone is most suited for you, there's no doubt about it. Ladies first, you don't have to be polite."

    Wang Dong looked at Huo Yuhao, then glanced at Xiao Xiao. Helpless, he said, "Yuhao, you're valuing a lover over your friend!"

    Xiao Xiao giggled. "Save it, you. To him, you're the lover and I'm the friend. It's fine if a girl and a guy hug each other during a fusion skill, but you two guys hug each other for yours, hehe."

    Wang Dong immediately flew into a rage and threw the leather bag that contained the soul bone towards Xiao Xiao. Xiao Xiao caught it and continued to laugh. "I won't be polite then. If we get another soul bone as a team, one of you two can have it."

    After she'd finished speaking, she put the soul bone away in her storage-type soul tool. An inconcealable smile of excitement had appeared on her face.

    Wang Dong turned to Huo Yuhao. "Yuhao, you weren't able to become a core disciple. This...."

    Huo Yuhao shook his head. "You don't have to say anything, I'm fine. I've already thought it through. Even though I might have the qualifications to be a core disciple when I'm together with you, what about when I'm alone? Would I still be able to defeat my enemies? If my opponent had an area of effect ability and was wary of my Spiritual Shock, I definitely wouldn't even have a chance at beating him without your help. The Academy not choosing me as a core disciple was a fair decision. Thus, I need to work even harder to prove myself."

    "Well said." A voice that was familiar, yet made them shudder, suddenly rang out. They turned to see Zhou Yi slowly approaching them.

    "Teacher Zhou." Huo Yuhao's trio couldn't help but feel astonished. Wasn't Teacher Zhou supposed to have taken the students of Class 1 back to the school buildings with Teacher Wang? Why had she suddenly appeared here?

    Zhou Yi looked deeply towards Huo Yuhao, then revealed a rarely-seen look of gratification and satisfaction. "Yuhao, I came to see you. I didn't think that you'd be able to figure it out by yourself. However, I'm very happy; you're worthy to be called a disciple of mine. Oh, right. Since you guys were able to become the champions of the freshman tournament, I have a present for you as well." After she finished speaking, the storage-type soul tool on her hand, which was in the form of a silver bracelet, flashed. A leather bag appeared in her hands, and she passed it to Huo Yuhao.

    The leather bag was virtually identical to the one that Director Du Weilun had given them, which instantly flabbergasted Huo Yuhao's trio.

    "It can't be?" The three said in unison.

    Zhou Yi was stunned as well. "What can't be?"

    Xiao Xiao speechlessly took out the leather bag containing the Emptybright Devil Leopard's Left Leg Bone that she'd just put away. They needed to keep it a secret from other students, but why would they hide it from the teacher in charge of their class?

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