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Chapter 38.1: Huo Yuhao, a Class 1.5 Soul Engineer?

    Chapter 38.1: Huo Yuhao, a Class 1.5 Soul Engineer?

    Bei Bei nodded slightly. "Our little junior brother hasn't been in the academy for long, but he's definitely much calmer and more hardworking than his peers. His personality is warm yet stubborn, while his first soul ring's only a ten year one. However, if he can fully develop in the Soul Tool Department, he'll definitely play a crucial role in the revival of our Tang Sect...."

    Tang Ya interjected, "The Tang Sect's already fallen to this point in our generation. If it doesn't develop any further, it might really come to an end. If that were to happen, how would we face our ancestors? Wang Dong, since Yuhao's gone to the Soul Tool Department tonight, you should follow me and begin learning the secret techniques of our Tang Sect. Once I teach him the main principles and cultivation techniques of our hidden weapons tomorrow, his studies will improve enormously."

    Wang Dong looked towards Tang Ya and Bei Bei with a somewhat helpless expression on his face. He inwardly thought, I'm not a little bee that's as hardworking as Huo Yuhao! I'm being forced to work hard! When he realized that he'd be dragged into cultivating overnight with Huo Yuhao-without sleep-he couldn't help but smile bitterly.

    The next day, the teachers of the Martial Soul Department were informed that the first year students Dai Huabin, Zhu Lu, Huang Chutian, and Wu Feng would be transferred to Class 2 in order to continue their studies.

    They'd undoubtedly raised a few appeals. However, Shrek Academy was still Shrek Academy. Regardless of your identity, everyone would be treated equally while studying here. The academy would first and foremost respect the decisions of its teachers, not to mention how Teacher Wang Yan had explained the situation. A few students had been kicked out of Class 1, but they'd still remain in the academy. Furthermore, these core disciples were arrogant due to their outstanding talent, so suffering a setback like this wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

    After this incident, the atmosphere inside of Class 1 changed into one that was somewhat jittery. Though they didn't tremble the moment they saw Zhou Yi, nobody dared to disobey what she said. When he saw this, Wang Yan had no choice but to respect her; after a ruckus like that, the learning atmosphere in Class 1 had immediately transformed into the best he'd ever seen amongst all the classes he'd taught.

    Most of the students' lives in the academy became much calmer after this, but this was only true for a large majority of the students. To a 'diligent little bee' such as Huo Yuhao, his life was filled with vigor every day. Naturally, only he himself felt that it was full of vigor. In Wang Dong's opinion, he was practically a man made of iron...

    As soon as he woke up in the morning to train his Purple Demon Eyes, it would mark the beginning of another intense, yet fulfilling day. To Huo Yuhao, his classes in the Martial Soul Department during the day were actually the easiest things that he did during the day, as he only needed to use his brain. Under his teacher's guidance, he learned tactics, cultivation techniques, combination techniques, and all sorts of other things that soul masters used.

    He didn't even waste the free time he had during the afternoon. As soon as he finished lunch, he'd drag Wang Dong into cultivating with him for a period of time. Not only did this increase the energy he'd have available during the afternoon, it also improved his cultivation.

    This caused Wang Dong to feel that researching the Haodong Power alongside Huo Yuhao had absolutely been a mistake. He wouldn't even need to remember to cultivate, as once it was time, Huo Yuhao would drag him along to begin cultivating. Because of this, the normally-lazy Wang Dong was forced to begin working diligently as well, in turn causing his soul power to increase at a relatively fast pace.

    As soon as school ended, Huo Yuhao would rush over to the Soul Tool Department to study soul tools with Fan Yu. The four hours he spent there every night were, to him, the most exhausting period of the day. Fan Yu's way of teaching was extremely strict, and the standards that he held for his last disciple were so high that they were second to none, even in Shrek Academy. When He Caitou had been going through the first stages that Huo Yuhao was currently going through, he'd suffered untold hardships.

    However, Fan Yu was astonished by the fact that Huo Yuhao seemed to be a rubber ball filled with elasticity: No matter how hard he pushed him, he'd always bounce back. Not only did he complete the tasks that Fan Yu assigned him in an excellent manner, he was even meticulous to the point that there weren't any flaws in his work at all. Sometimes, Fan Yu even thought that Huo Yuhao was the one being too harsh on himself. However, in the end, Huo Yuhao still managed to conscientiously complete every task he was assigned without any complaints. Even when he was exhausted to the point that he couldn't even return to his room, he didn't grumble at all. There was many times when Fan Yu had to personally send him back, but even when that happened, he wasn't willing to sleep. Instead, he'd have Wang Dong help him into a cross-legged position in order to cultivate.

    Of the Tang Sect's secret techniques that were related to hidden weapons, the first that Huo Yuhao used was the forging technique-the Chaotic Wind-Splitting Hammer Technique. This technique borrowed the force generated by his lower body in order to move the hammer he held with his upper body, causing every single strike with a hammer to continuously increase in power. Not only did it save energy, it even managed to increase the quality of his forging. It was a secret technique that the Tang Sect that had never passed on.

    Huo Yuhao was entirely relying on his own intuition to learn and utilise the Chaotic Wind-Splitting Hammer Technique. Even though he continuously had the Mysterious Jade Hands active, blisters began to appear on his palms, and a layer of flesh was scraped off his palms as they formed calluses. Those calluses were then scraped off, forming new calluses. However, he didn't slack off for a single day, nor did he grumble. On the contrary, he took pleasure in it, assiduously working hard, like a true ironman.

    After three months, Huo Yuhao was able to chain together eighteen consecutive hammer strikes using the Chaotic Wind-Splitting Hammer Technique, and after five months, had increased to thirty six consecutive strikes. The highest realm that one could reach with the Chaotic Wind-Splitting Hammer Technique was only eighty one consecutive strikes, but by the time he could chain thirty six strikes together, he'd already passed the first stage of soul tool creation. In Fan Yu's own words, "The student has surpassed the master."

    He Caitou had taken a full year to pass this stage, yet Huo Yuhao had only taken five months. Admittedly, the Tang Sect's Chaotic Wind-Splitting Hammer Technique had played a decent part in this, but Huo Yuhao's fearless tenacity had been the main reason.

    In the blink of an eye, autumn had ended, and winter had arrived. And after that, winter ended, and spring arrived. At this point, eight months had passed since the beginning of Huo Yuhao's studies in the Soul Tool Department.

    Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao, as well as Dai Huabin and Zhu Lu, had already reached the end of their first year in Shrek Academy. After this, they had vacation time.

    Every year, Shrek Academy would have a month-long vacation. This month naturally wasn't meant for students to relax and tour around during. Instead, it was meant for them to completely digest the things they'd learned during the past eleven months, and for them to continuously cultivate. After this one month rest-period, they'd have to undergo their advancement test. Students that weren't able to pass their advancement test would directly be expelled. Because of that, the holiday period tended to be the most exhausting and busy time for the overwhelming majority of students. Who would dare to truly relax and rest during a time like this!?

    --

    Within the Soul Tool Testing Area's Laboratory #12.

    Fan Yu and He Caitou both stood beside Huo Yuhao-who was currently working on an enormous metal table-watching him very quietly. Fan Yu had clasped his hands behind his back, but he was watching every move that Huo Yuhao made very attentively. On the other hand, He Caitou had his fists clenched tightly, clearly somewhat nervous.

    Huo Yuhao was currently seated in front of the metal table, and was holding a hexagonal piece of metal that was roughly the size of a walnut in his left hand. His right hand gripped a slender, thin knife, which he was using to carefully carve an inscription on a piece of metal.

    His movements were extremely slow, but his hands were equally as stable. Every single movement that he made with his knife was made with extreme clarity.

    The piece of metal was bluish-gold in color, and released a somewhat peculiar aura. As Huo Yuhao continued to carve with his knife, complicated patterns began to gradually appear on it.

    Huo Yuhao's pupils shone with a pale gold luster, and even though he'd been focused for a long period of time, he hadn't blinked once. Time passed second by second, but his body remained unmoving, like a sculpture. Only his fingers-which were controlling the tiny sculpting blade-slowly moved alongside the guidance of his soul power. His tempo didn't waver in the slightest.

    An excited light gradually began to appear in He Caitou's eyes, and a strange light appeared in Fan Yu's eyes. Even his clasped hands couldn't help but slowly turn into fists.

    Finally, Huo Yuhao slowly carved one final cut, finishing a miniscule engraving on the piece of metal. Afterwards, he finally stopped.

    The golden light in his eyes slowly faded away, and a trace of exhaustion appeared on his face. However, a brilliant smile had already appeared on his face by the time he raised his head to look towards Fan Yu and He Caitou.

    "Teacher, senior brother, I've succeeded. From now on, I should be a Class 1.5 soul engineer, right?"

    He Caitou looked towards him with a blank look in his eyes. "Yuhao, you... you've really succeeded?"

    Huo Yuhao carefully raised the piece of metal with his right hand, and a gentle trace of soul power slowly flowed into it. Immediately, the metal piece shone with a clear, blue light, causing the soft halo of light it had originally had to turn into a foot-high pillar that rose into the air. The blue halo of light was straight yet sturdy, and had no signs of flickering. On the other hand, the metal piece itself shone with a penetratingly blue light.

    "Good, good, good!" Fan Yu finally said. From the excitement on his face, one could tell that his emotions had been roused.

    "Yuhao, good child. You aren't just a Class 1.5 soul engineer. Your cultivation hasn't reached the required level, but other than that, I can tell you that you've already become a fully fledged Class 2 soul engineer. You have an extraordinary amount of talent that ordinary people can't even begin to hope for, and you're incomparably hardworking on top of that. There were no coincidences in your success. This is your reward for the eight months of hard work that you've endured!"

    He Caitou cheered, then pounced towards Huo Yuhao. After grabbing ahold of him, he flung him into the air. Huo Yuhao's face was filled with happiness, but he pursed his lips tightly.

    Right, the small metal piece he'd just engraved was the core of a Class 2 soul tool!

    He'd completed the foundations of forging after five months of hard work, then had taken another month to learn molding, tempering, and polishing, as well as the other necessary procedures. Afterwards, he'd finally begun to learn how to engrave formation arrays. This was also the most important step in creating a soul tool.

    If Huo Yuhao's previous learning speed could be described as quick, the main reason behind that was because of his hard work and diligence. However, he'd begun to reveal his true genius in creating soul tools after he'd begun to learn how to engrave formation arrays.

    Huo Yuhao was much calmer than his peers, and also had an innate advantage compared to others-his Spirit Eyes. By relying on the Purple Demon Eyes alongside his Spirit Eyes, his visual acuity was several times greater than that of an ordinary person's.

    More often than not, students would fail while engraving a formation array due to miniscule errors they'd made. However, a situation like this would almost never occur with Huo Yuhao.
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