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Chapter 155: A Completely New World of Soul Engineering

    When he heard Yan Shaozhe's words, Jing Hongchen's expression turned gloomy, but he smiled and said, "Alright."

    "I didn't know Dean Yan was such a reliable person. I hope you can take good care of my students."

    Yan Shaozhe laughed and said, "At least I can guarantee that the things they learn learn while they're at Shrek will be useful. Shrek Academy's inner courtyard will be open to them; I hope that Hallmaster Hongchen can reciprocate this sincerity during the exchange."

    Jing Hongchen laughed and replied, "Of course. Your elite students will receive the best possible guidance in the Illustrious Virtue Hall."

    Yan Shaozhe laughed slightly and said, "Since that's the case, let's make this a promise." He then lifted his right hand.

    Jing Hongchen also lifted his palm and give Yan Shaozhe a high-five. The two of them laughed, but only they themselves knew what they were thinking.

    The students from both academies switched positions under the guidance of the teachers. When Xiao Hongchen and Huo Yuhao brushed past each other, Huo Yuhao clearly heard Xiao Hongchen say, "In the next tournament, I'll personally be the one to crush your balls."

    Huo Yuhao smirked. "I'm so scared."

    They exchanged heated gazes, neither backing down from the challenge. However, unlike Xiao Hongchen, Meng Hongchen was in a good mood, which was quite a surprise to Huo Yuhao. She even had a smile on her face, and only nodded her head slightly when she saw him. Huo Yuhao didn't feel any contempt in her gaze, which left him a bit perplexed.

    In fact, even Xiao Hongchen didn't know what his sister was currently thinking.

    Meng Hongchen smiled and her face even turned a little red. She looked into the distance and thought to herself, He isn't a part of this exchange. Does that mean that he's in Shrek Academy? I wonder what he looks like now; I bet he's even more handsome. I'm going to see him soon! His pinkish-blue eyes are really beautiful.

    Apart from Yan Shaozhe and Jing Hongchen, everyone from both academies had switched positions.

    Yan Shaozhe smiled gently and said, "Hallmaster Hongchen, I shall bid you farewell for now."

    Jing Hongchen said, "Dean Yan, take care."

    Their gazes met again, then Yan Shaoze flew up into the air. He didn't even need to use a flying-type soul tool. Rather, an invisible staircase seemed to be present in the sky and lead all the way up.

    Under Teacher Ma's guidance, everyone from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy took out their flying-type soul tools and started to activate them. However, they were shocked when they saw Yan Shaozhe glide into the air. Was this the power of a Transcendent Douluo?

    Jing Hongchen didn't rush to leave. He watched as Yan Shaozhe left with the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy's students, somewhat pensive.

    He could also fly on his own, since he was also a Titled Douluo. However, he couldn't do what Yan Shaozhe was doing. After all, Yan Shaozhe hadn't even used any soul power! Even though Elder Mu had passed on, Shrek Academy was still a powerhouse!

    Jing Hongchen grinned and then turned around. He looked at Fan Yu and the Shrek Academy students before saying, "Guys, let's go. I'm the Hallmaster of the Illustrious Virtue Hall, Jing Hongchen. On behalf of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, I welcome you all."

    Jing Hongchen also leapt up into the air once he'd finished speaking. Two thin streaks of golden light slowly rose behind his body.

    Huo Yuhao observed the flying-type soul tool that he used carefully. It seemed like a pair of wings that was both very thin and very soft. The wings didn't appear to be made of metal at all. Even though the golden lights on the wings surged, no soul power could be felt from it. Jing Hongchen flapped his wings lightly and rose into the sky with ease.

    Soul tools were usually made from metal, but what kind of metal could be described as soft? At most, metals were generally considered malleable, yet Jing Hongchen's flying-type soul tool actually gave off a feeling of softness.

    Fan Yu was a Class 8 soul engineer himself, but his shock was even greater than Huo Yuhao's. He muttered to himself as he flew into the air, "The Illustrious Virtue Hall's research into soul tool bionics has reached such a level?"

    Shrek Academy's Soul Tool Department had developed rapidly over the past two years. However, Fan Yu could clearly sense the difference in quality between the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy and Shrek Academy. As far as soul tools go, the gap was exceedingly large!

    Huo Yuhao couldn't help but ask, "Teacher, what do you mean by 'soul tool bionics'?"

    Fan Yu said, "It refers to imitating the form of a living being with a soul tool. The soul tool will then adopt some of the common characteristics found in the being it's imitating."

    Jing Hongchen's voice could be heard as soon as Fan Yu finished speaking, "Little fellows, we need to be quicker. Else we won't reach our destination before dark."

    As he spoke, the flying-type soul tool behind him started to shine with golden light. It was like a golden screen of light had descended from the heavens, and they were all engulfed in it.

    Some of the students attempted to resist out of surprise, but Fan Yu stopped them.

    Afterwards, everyone started to move upwards. They realized that Jing Hongchen had expanded his flying-type soul tool a thousand times over, and engulfed them in the aforementioned film of light. They ended up behind Jing Hongchen's back, his more than ten meter-wide wings flapping lightly.

    Jing Hongchen turned around and smiled at them. The golden light became even more intense soon afterwards, and the surrounding scenery began to blur.

    Huo Yuhao groaned, only managing to stabilize himself with He Caitou's help, and then unleashed his Spiritual Detection to analyze the light film. However, attempting to do so ended with his spiritual power simply being shredded by the air current outside of the film. Luckily, he stopped his Spiritual Detection fast enough that he wasn't hurt.

    Everything outside had become blurred, but even so, the students from Shrek Academy felt nothing; it was almost like they were in a quiet room. They couldn't even hear the sound of the wind outside. In fact, they might not have even realized that they were moving if it wasn't for the fact that they could see the scenery zooming by.

    Fan Yu's expression hardened. He was well aware that Jing Hongchen was showing off, but he also understood that his flying-type soul tool was the highest calibre on the entire continent. The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy's understanding of bionics must've reached a considerably high level, considering the fact that they were able to use it on flying-type soul tools. Conversely, Shrek Academy was still in the dark on soul tool bionics.

    Elder Xuan had once carried everyone as he flew, but Jing Hongchen was on an entirely different level.

    Huo Yuhao began to ponder as well. He'd discovered early on that streaks of golden light would shine near Jing Hongchen's back; they were most likely the soul tool's origin. But what about the film of light surrounding them? Had it also been formed through the soul tool with soul power?

    No, definitely not.

    Huo Yuhao reached out to touch it, and felt a smooth texture. He couldn't tell what it was made of, but he was certain that he'd never seen anything like it before.

    Originally Huo Yuhao had been feeling down from his separation with Wang Dong, but now he was fascinated with this magical soul tool. For the next two and a half years, he would be learning in the same place that this soul tool had been made.

    "Guys, are you alright?" Jing Hongchen's voice resonated through the light film.

    Fan Yu nodded and said in awe, "Hallmaster Hongchen, your flying-type soul tool is quite impressive. I didn't expect your academy's research in this aspect to have reached such a level."

    Jing Hongchen replied, "It's never enough. I won't consider it a major breakthrough until I can be within the light film at the same time as I pilot it. To be honest, even though this soul tool expended quite a lot of valuable resources, it was primarily made for research purposes. One goal of the Illustrious Virtue Hall is to create a flying-type soul tool that can carry many people without using too much soul power. Of course, we're hard at work in achieving this goal, but it's not something we can achieve in the short-term."

    Fan Yu sighed and said, "At least your academy has a lofty goal like that. When that day comes, the masses will be able to fly across the continent with ease; everything will change."

    Jing Hongchen laughed and said, "That might be possible many years from now, but I doubt I'll live to see it."

    Fan Yu didn't know how much he was leaving out, but he was certain that the gap in technology between their academies was smaller than the gap in training their soul masters had.

    Elder Mu decision to develop soul tools before he passed on was undoubtedly the correct decision, and the opportunity to pursue that goal was right in front of them.

    The Sun Moon Empire's capital was called Sun Moon City or The Radiant City. It was the hub of the Sun Moon Empire's administration and economy. The city was very large, completely beyond what the Shrek Academy students had imagined.

    Jing Hongchen only slowed down once they entered the Radiant City. When he did so, everyone could clearly see what was beneath them.

    "We've already arrived in The Radiant City. All of you will live in this place for the next two and a half years. I hope that you all find it to your liking."

    "The Radiant City is the pride of the Sun Moon Empire. I'm certain that even if one were to place Star Luo City, Heaven Dou City, and Dou Ling City together, they'd still be outclassed in size by The Radiant City."

    It was already nightfall when they arrived, but the time only served to make the city appear more shocking. As Huo Yuhao looked down on the city, he could only see buildings in every direction; there didn't seem to be end to the city. The majority of the buildings were five stories tall, but some were more than ten. This was extremely rare in Shrek City and Star Luo City. However, this wasn't what caused the city to look shocking; many buildings were lit up, and shone brightly, like the stars in the sky.

    Many large streets and avenues snaked between the buildings, some of which were as large as thirty meters in width. Huo Yuhao seemed to sense a soul power fluctuation amidst the bright lights.

    Fan Yu couldn't help but ask, "Hallmaster Hongchen, why are there no city walls?"

    Jing Hongchen replied, "The Radiant City doesn't need walls." His voice sounded very calm, yet was also full of assurance. His words were thought-provoking, but they didn't divulge any of the Sun Moon Empire's secrets.

    Jing Hongchen led everyone as they flew towards the south. As they flew, Huo Yuhao noticed some star-shaped golden lights emerging from Jing Hongchen's flying-type soul tool and spreading outwards that seemed to maintain a special frequency.

    Even though Huo Yuhao didn't know what the point of it was, but he knew it had to have a point. He quickly found the rhythm with his spiritual power, then recorded it.

    Jing Hongchen's words weren't an exaggeration. While they weren't flying very fast, it still took them fifteen minutes to reach the Radiant City's southern edge. Huo Yuhao could tell that even if they really did combine all of the capitals, it would still be less than half the size of the city beneath them. While he might not have seen the Heavenly Dou Empire and Dou Ling Empire's capitals in person, he still knew that this was the case. This city's sheer scale left them in shock.

    Not too far in front of them, a hexagonal region outlined by lights appeared. This region alone was comparable to a medium-sized city. There were several buildings inside of it, but the region mostly contained empty plots of land. Jing Hongchen informed everyone that this region was property of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy.

    The golden light scattered, and Jing Hongchen landed with everyone in an enormous plaza. The light film dispersed, and the magical flying-type soul tool disappeared before any of them realized.

    Some people were awaiting their arrival in the plaza and had come to welcome them. Among them, a short and plump middle-aged man walked towards Jing Hongchen and said respectfully,  "Hallmaster, everything's been arranged."

    Jing Hongchen smiled and said, "Let me introduce this man to you all. He's the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy's teaching director, Lin Jiayi. All of you will be learning from him over the next two and a half years. Jiayi, please make the proper arrangements for these students. Teacher Fan Yu, please follow me."

    Once he'd finished speaking, Jing Hongchen led Fan Yu somewhere else. Fan Yu didn't even look at Huo Yuhao or He Caitou as he left. As of this moment, the exchange had officially begun.

    Lin Jiayi's face was as chubby as Jing Hongchen's, it was just younger looking. He waved his right hand, and the people behind him stepped forward. They each held a tray and stood in front of a different Shrek student.

    "Welcome everyone, to the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. For the next two and a half years, each and every one of you will be considered students of our Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. To ensure the success of this exchange, we'll be providing you all with the best learning environments. As such, the Illustrious Virtue Hall will be open to you two days week. Additionally, you'll have the opportunity to take part in the Illustrious Virtue Hall's tests. If you manage to pass, you'll become members of the Illustrious Virtue Hall until the exchange is over.

    Within these trays you'll find a map of the academy and the academy's handbook, as well as the keys to your room. As it's a bit late right now, the academy's teachers will conduct a few simple tests so that you can receive your proper uniforms tomorrow. Once your physical conditions have been recorded, you can find me if you need help with anything."

    Everyone received their things, while Ye Xiaosheng cemented his role as their leader by stepping forward first. He Caitou and Huo Yuhao, along with the rest of the students, followed him. He Caitou and Huo Yuhao stayed near the back of the pack as they were led by the teachers to a nearby area.

    As they walked, Huo Yuhao took out the map that he'd just received. The darkness didn't affect his vision much. The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy was much larger than Shrek Academy, even if one included Sea God's Island.

    The map simply showed that the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy was divided into three regions-the teaching area, dormitories, and the testing area.

    The testing area covered two-thirds of the academy, and many regions within the testing area were circled. Huo Yuhao could vaguely recall that there were many buildings within these regions, but their purposes weren't written on the map.

    There was a particular region in the center of the testing area that was circled in red called the Illustrious Virtue Hall. While the Illustrious Virtue Hall was a part of the testing area, everyone present knew just what it meant to the Sun Moon Empire and their academy.

    The teaching area and dormitory area had more details on the map. There were a total of twelve teaching blocks divided into six grades of students-two blocks for each grade. It was clear that the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy accepted far more students than Shrek Academy.

    Elder Xuan had given them a brief overview of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy before they'd come, which included its students.

    The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy's six grades weren't classified by age. Instead, the requirements to join the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy were to be a Rank 10 soul master with at least one soul ring, and to not be over twelve years in age. However, age wasn't an important divider once one joined the academy.

    In the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, one could enter the second grade when their abilities reached the standard of a Class 1 soul engineer. Following this rule, they would enter the third grade at Class 2. The learning atmosphere at the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy seemed to be much more relaxed than Shrek Academy's, as there were only tests to determine the grade of a soul engineer. Of course, the soul engineer tests given at the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy were much different than the tests given out at Shrek Academy, but Huo Yuhao was unsure how this difference would manifest.

    There was still a cut-off point in the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. If one was unable to become a Class 3 soul engineer by the time they turned eighteen, they'd have to leave the academy and fend for themselves. But if one could live up to their standards and become a Class 5 soul engineer by twenty-five, then they'd qualify to enter the Illustrious Virtue Hall. Similarly, if they didn't reach Class 5 by twenty-five, then they'd have to leave.

    At this point, the teachers brought Huo Yuhao and the others to a school building for first-grade students.

    The building was massive, and the vast corridors extended far into the distance. Lin Jiayi informed everyone that the quantity of students in each grade varied a lot because of the promotional criteria in the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. There were thirty-two classes of forty students each in the first grade, which fell by a third once one entered the second grade. The sixth grade students, on the other hand-all of whom Class 5 soul engineers-were no longer separated into classes, and all cultivated together in order to prepare for the Illustrious Virtue Hall's tests.

    Huo Yuhao noticed that there were many soul tools all throughout the school building, all of which looked exquisite. While he could tell what some of them were used for, most of them he couldn't.

    Lin Jiayi brought them all the way to the end of the first level and stopped in front of a room. There was a sign on the door that read 'Measurement Room.'

    Lin Jiayi retrieved a badge from his neck and placed it in front of a circular, disc-like object embedded in the door.

    A beep sounded, and the metal door silently opened to both sides. Lin Jiayi then led everyone inside .

    The room wasn't very big, only around a hundred square meters in size. Inside, there were several large-scale soul tools.

    There were some large-scale soul tools inside Shrek Academy's Soul Tool Department's testing area, but they were mainly used for handling metal, sculpting, and punching holes during the process of creating other soul tools. However, the large-scale soul tools here were much more compact, and soul power undulations they emitted were much stronger.

    Lin Jiayi clapped his hands, attracting everyone's attention to him. "This is the academy's measurement room. All students must complete their physical measurements here. Don't worry, the soul physique measuring scale won't do any harm to your body. Now then, I'll need all of you to temporarily put your soul tools away to prevent any interference. Pass your storage-type soul tools to your friends first, then ensure that there's no other metals on your bodies."

    Soul physique measuring scale? This was a new term to the Shrek students. Huo Yuhao was also very curious. Was this soul tool supposed to scan their bodies and display what abilities they possessed? Although they were guessing in their hearts, they followed Lin Jiayi's instructions and put their soul tools away.

    He Caitou looked at Huo Yuhao and asked, "Little junior, will we be harmed?"

    Huo Yuhao shook his head lightly. If the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy wanted to deal with them, they didn't have to go through so much trouble.

    "Which student is going first?" Lin Jiayi asked as he saw the group of Shrek students quickly putting their things away.

    "Let me go first." Ye Xiaosheng volunteered by raising his hand. He turned back to look at the other students and nodded at them.

    Initially, Huo Yuhao didn't have a good impression of this Brother Sheng. However, he didn't seem to be stealing the limelight by volunteering to go first. As a stranger in an unfamiliar place, his courage earned Huo Yuhao's respect.

    A teacher led Ye Xiaosheng to a measuring scale and said, "Don't be nervous and relax your body. There will be a beam of light scanning your body from the top down. The entire process won't harm you. It'll only record your body condition, as well as your height and weight."

    "Okay." Ye Xiaosheng acknowledged readily, and didn't speak any further.

    The rest of the students focused their attention on him. They were both curious and nervous.

    This measuring scale was a tall, circular pillar. A crystal beam extended from top to bottom of the front of the scale. The pillar was about three meters tall, with a circular platform in the front of it. Ye Xiaosheng faced the crystal beam as requested by the teacher.

    The teacher walked in front of the measuring scale and pressed his hand against a palm outline depression on the side of the pillar. At the same time, another teacher walked to the other side. He was holding a book and pen for recording purposes.

    "Relax. It's about to start," that teacher said. Everyone felt a wave of soul power coming from his body. It was the most obvious around his arm, where they could clearly see a white glow flashing. Following that, the top of the measuring scale lit up with a fan of white light, covering around a square meter. It descended slowly from the top of the pillar.

    Ye Xiaosheng couldn't possibly not be nervous. But he still tried to relax at this point. When he saw the white light descending, he stiffened up, and didn't move in the slightest.

    Lin Jiayi nodded as he watched from one side. He indeed lived up to the name of a Shrek student. He wasn't even a little afraid as he was scanned by a soul tool from Shrek's rival academy. His courage was indeed commendable.

    The white light slowly moved from his head down as it scanned Ye Xiaosheng.. It took some time before the light reached his chest. The teacher on the other side had already started recording, and reported the results.

    "Physical strength - Rank 54. Physical tenacity - Rank 61. Soul power undulation - Rank 62. Height- 1.82 meters. Weight - 81 kilograms. Left arm length... no added soul bones. Evaluation: Soul Emperor."

    The ranks referred to in this measurement were related to one's soul power. In Ye Xiaosheng's case, he was a Rank 62 soul emperor who had a physical strength that corresponded to a Rank 54 soul king, and a physical tenacity that corresponded to a Rank 61 soul emperor. However, only the Sun Moon Empire knew their own evaluation standards.

    Throughout the entire scanning process, the teacher that was responsible for recording actually reported more than 30 statistics related to Ye Xiaosheng's body. Ye Xiaosheng was shocked. Evidently, the statistics accurately revealed his body condition. He felt as if he had been stripped and measured at this point.

    Huo Yuhao was equally shocked. This soul tool was actually so capable? This was too scary. Did this mean that his own hidden abilities would be exposed? In terms of physical strength, he was far superior to the others! What should he do?

    Huo Yuhao furrowed his brows as he stood there. He didn't know what to do. The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy's advances in the area of soul tools might thwart their plan.

    He Caitou thought of the same problem and turned around to look at Huo Yuhao. He asked Huo Yuhao how they should proceed using his eyes.

    Ye Xiaosheng's body measurements had been completed and recorded. Lin Jiayi gestured for the next student to take their measurements.

    It would take around a minute to scan each student. Although Huo Yuhao and He Caitou were at the back, they didn't have much time to think.

    Could he use Imitation to imitate the body condition of someone else? This was the first possibility that Huo Yuhao thought of. However, he refuted that possibility almost immediately. That's because he couldn't possibly imitate someone else's entire body. He couldn't possibly change himself to become the other person. He would be exposed that way. Furthermore, there would be soul power undulations if he used his soul skill. The measuring scale was so advanced; how could it not tell?

    He Caitou looked at Huo Yuhao anxiously as he started to perspire.

    Huo Yuhao touched his arm lightly and said softly, "Second senior, it'll be fine. We'll find a way out. It's fine if they find out. Let's take it step by step. Since they're not going to let me remain low-profile, then..." As he spoke till here, he squinted his eyes, and a cold light flashed across them.

    The students took their measurements one by one. Lin Jiayi's expression also started to turn serious. The students that Shrek had sent over were indeed superior to the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy's students in terms of their physical strength. Even the Illustrious Virtue Hall's disciples couldn't compare. It was important to note that they were Shrek Academy's Soul Tool Department students! Their bodies were already so strong! Just how strong were the Martial Soul Department students?

    Lin Jiayi sighed in his heart. Shrek Academy indeed lived up to its name as the top academy on the continent!

    "Wow, this student is huge." Lin Jiayi's eyes brightened up as he watched the next student that walked up to the soul physique measuring scale. This student was the ninth one. His complexion resembled the members of the Sun Moon Empire's nobility!

    He Caitou's tanned skin caught Lin Jiayi's attention. Although not all members of the Sun Moon Empire's nobility possessed a tanned complexion, almost all the subjects of the Sun Moon Empire with a tanned complexion were members of the Sun Moon Empire's nobility. That was why a dark skin color was the most elegant in the Sun Moon Empire.

    He Caitou was now more than two meters tall. When the light from the measuring scale scanned him, the voice of the teacher recording the results reached a higher pitch.

    "Physical strength - Rank 70! Physical tenacity - Rank 64. Soul power - Rank 51..." As he spoke till here, the teacher lifted his head to look at He Caitou. He was a Rank 51 soul king, but his body was as strong as a seven-ringed soul sage? Although a soul master's strength was not as important as his soul power, it was still very important for a soul engineer to possess a strong body. This would at least give him the ability to carry heavier soul tools. When using offensive soul tools, he would also be able to bear the recoil better than other soul engineers.

    Lin Jiayi's pupils shrank. Was this guy a freak? Where did Shrek Academy find this guy? From his statistics, it seemed as if he was custom-made to be a soul engineer.

    "Age - 17. Height - 2.02 meters. Weight- 110 kilograms. Added soul bone and skeleton. Little fellow, you're like the human form of a soul beast!" The teacher doing the recording exclaimed. It wasn't his first day doing such tasks, but it was his first time seeing someone He Caitou's age possessing such a great physical condition. He possessed the powers of a soul king, but the other aspects of his body were at least at the level of a soul emperor. It was extremely shocking!

    Not only were the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy's teachers shocked, but even the Shrek Academy students were stunned as they all looked at He Caitou.

    They wouldn't be so shocked if He Caitou was an inner courtyard disciple. But they were clearly aware that he was Teacher Fan Yu's inheriting disciple! He was a seventeen-year-old soul king, and clearly had the ability to enter the inner courtyard.

    Ye Xiaosheng's expression changed drastically. His eyes flashed a little as he looked at He Caitou. He seemed to be thinking of something.

    Lin Jiayi stared at He Caitou, certain that he was the main student sent by Shrek Academy. Furthermore, his soul engineer badge showed that he was a Class 6 soul engineer!

    A soul king's soul power. Class 6 soul engineer. Seventeen years old. These three statistics were already enough. Lin Jiayi nodded towards the teacher recording the results, and that teacher marked He Caitou's name down.

    He Caitou stepped down from the measuring scale and retrieved his storage-type soul tool, which he had passed to Huo Yuhao. After that, Huo Yuhao handed him his own storage-type soul tool. He Caitou was a little worried as he looked at his junior.

    Huo Yuhao smiled confidently and nodded his head. After that, he walked towards the soul physique measuring scale. He took in a deep breath, while a golden light shone in his eyes.

    "Student, relax your body," the teacher in charge of the measuring scale advised Huo Yuhao.
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