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Chapter 156: Entering School and Taking Measurements

    Huo Yuhao nodded and relaxed. He had already made up his mind. If they wouldn't let him stay low-profile, then he was going to let them see true brilliance.

    The golden light in his eyes faded away. After a detailed analysis of the of the soul physique measuring scale from up close, Huo Yuhao had managed to record its entire structure in his head, including the development of its formation arrays.

    Huo Yuhao had already started to absorb the spiritual power in the Skydream Iceworm's second seal as his cultivation increased. Even Elder Xuan wasn't aware of this information, but Huo Yuhao's Spiritual Detection not only could improve in the range of its detection, it could also improve in its intensity. With his current cultivation, he could memorize the structure and formation arrays of a Class 6 soul tool not in use with his Spiritual Detection. This was his 'lethal weapon' in coming to the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. These records would be very important the future development of Shrek's soul tool department. This soul physique measuring scale was his first target for today.

    Huo Yuhao was certain that the soul physique measuring scale was a Class 6 soul tool through his detection and observation of its formation arrays. He didn't find any problems, and he had completely recorded the information on this soul physique measuring scale. As he stepped up to the soul physique measuring scale, he completed his record of its formation arrays.

    However, the amount of complicated information was too great to be memorized in the long-term. Huo Yuhao could at best commit it to memory for two hours before he'd forget it. So he had to draw what he could recall as soon as possible, or cement his memory even further.

    Huo Yuhao's spiritual power was depleted by almost ten percent just like that.

    The white light from the soul physique measuring scale lit up and scanned him from the top down. Huo Yuhao squinted as he retracted his spiritual power.

    "Physical strength-Rank 62. Physical tenacity-Rank 68. Soul power undulation-Rank 40. Height-1.80 meters. Weight-74 kilograms. Left arm length... Age-14. Added left and right arm bones. Final evaluation..."

    The series of numbers in front of them left everyone around shocked. The entire measurement room was in pin-drop silence.

    Even though He Caitou was evaluated to be a soul king based on the statistics that popped out, everyone was stunned to see Huo Yuhao's age and Rank 40 soul power.

    What did his Rank 40 soul power signify? It meant that he had yet to become a four-ringed soul ancestor. That being the case, then Huo Yuhao must be a soul elder, but he was a soul elder that had obtained over Rank 60 in more than one measurement. Besides lagging behind He Caitou in physical strength, he matched him in others. Most importantly, he had three soul bones, which was more than He Caitou!

    "Beep, beep, beep, beep..." Weird sounds came from the soul physique measuring scale. The teacher in charge of recording results was stunned. He said, "The numbers are a mess, the soul physique measuring scale has malfunctioned... Monster, this guy's a monster."

    When he looked at Huo Yuhao again, his eyes even showed traces of shock and fear.

    Huo Yuhao scanned him calmly. He stepped off the soul physique measuring scale and said gently, "I'm from Shrek Academy. The academy has another name: Monster Academy. Our school motto is: We only nurture monsters, not ordinary people. Thanks for your compliment."

    Ye Xiaosheng was shocked as he looked at Huo Yuhao returning to He Caitou's side. He couldn't help but mutter to himself, "There should be another measurement-for arrogance..."

    Lin Jiayi swallowed and looked at Huo Yuhao, astonished. He didn't know what to say.

    He'd seen many talented students in his role as the continent's top soul engineering academy's teaching director. But he had to admit that Huo Yuhao had one of the most abnormal body conditions he'd ever seen. Xiao Hongchen and Meng Hongchen couldn't even compare to him!

    When they were his age, both Xiao Hongchen and Meng Hongchen had better soul power ranks. However, their physical strengths paled in comparison. Fortunately, Huo Yuhao's soul power wasn't very great, it might've been shocking to see a soul king at age fourteen. Lin Jiayi tried to keep himself composed, he nodded at Huo Yuhao and smiled. "Little fellow, your body is quite strong indeed! No wonder you're in Shrek Academy." He complimented. Before this Huo Yuhao didn't catch his attention. He caught a glimpse of Huo Yuhao's Class 3 soul engineer badge and sighed in relief, at least Huo Yuhao's soul engineer class was normal.

    Lin Jiayi said, "Alright, we still have two more tests to do. We don't have much time left, so let's move it along. Allow me to introduce the subject of the second test. This test will measure you strength. You can't use soul tools for the test, but you can use soul power to boost your strength. Strength is vital to a soul engineer, necessary to control large-sized soul tools."

    The soul strength measuring scale. It was larger than the soul physique measuring scale, taking up around ten percent of the room. There was a striking point covered in leather within the soul strength measuring scale, this striking point was a square meter in size. No-one from Shrek Academy knew what this soul tool was made of. The strength test was very simple-one just needed to hit the striking point with all their might. Evaluations were determined in terms of soul power rank, in line with the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy's evaluating standards.

    "Boom--"

    "Boom--"

    ......

    Dull booms sounded repeatedly. These Shrek Academy students didn't excel in this test. After all, they were from the Soul Tool Department and were more focused on increasing their soul powers. Even their soul rings were focused on increasing their soul powers. None of them were evaluated above Rank 60 in this test, including Ye Xiaosheng.

    It was He Caitou's turn again!

    He Caitou and Huo Yuhao looked at each other. They didn't need use words to understand what the other was thinking.

    He Caitou walked up to the soul strength measuring scale and took in a deep breath. He compared the size of his fist to the striking point. Just as everyone thought he would punch the striking point, he suddenly shouted, "I have a large cigar!"

    "Bam!"

    Ye Xiaosheng slipped and fell to the floor. His head even hit the side of the soul strength measuring scale. Everyone stiffened up suddenly as they saw He Caitou holding his large cigar. He stuffed the cigar in his mouth and lit it with a speck of flame before taking in a deep breath.

    Strength-Amplifying Large Cigar! This was He Caitou's second soul skill.

    "Student, you can't smoke in the academy..."

    As a teacher tried to warn him, He Caitou's eyes shot open. He brought his left foot forward and punched out with his right fist, striking the soul strength measuring scale before him.

    "Bang--" A huge tremor spread, the entire room seemed to shake because of this fist. The numbers on the soul strength measuring scale quickly changed, and the scale even shifted more than three inches from its original position.

    "Strength-Rank 70." The teacher that was in charge of recording muttered the staggering number out. It was pertinent to note that this soul strength measuring scale could only record soul power up to Rank 70! This Rank 70 limit was set using a strength-type soul master as a benchmark.

    He Caitou shook his fist and jumped off of the soul strength measuring scale leisurely. He took out the cigar from his mouth and breathed out a swirl of smoke. He spoke to the teacher that warned him, "Sorry! Didn't mean to violate academy regulations on purpose. I'm a food-type soul master, the cigar is my martial soul. Teacher, do you wanna try my large cigar? How about my thick cigar?" He stretched his waist as he spoke.

    The teacher quickly rejected him. He was still completely stunned by He Caitou's strength. To teaching director Lin Jiayi's knowledge, no one else in the room but him could reach the limit on the soul measuring scale.

    He Caitou's strength was comparable to a soul beast's. At Rank 50 soul power he could actually unleash such a powerful force, whereas even an assault-type soul king with many enhancements from soul skills might not be able to reach such force.

    Huo Yuhao was the last to take the test. He had many things to consider at the moment. Should he go all-out? Should he hide his power? This soul strength measuring scale wasn't as thorough as the soul physique measuring scale. With his age, he had no doubt that no-one could see through his bluffs if he held back a bit. However, that previous test had revealed some of his figures, if he tried too hard to conceal his strength he might arouse suspicions. After a moment's thought, Huo Yuhao knew what to do.

    He took a deep breath while he stepped onto the soul strength measuring scale. Huo Yuhao lifted his right arm slowly, mimicking the action of hitting the striking point.

    All the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy teachers focused their attention on him. After all, they'd been shocked by his previous test.

    Huo Yuhao suddenly took in another deep breath. He gave off the impression that he was sucking all the air in the room into his lungs. He made a fist with his right hand, and pulled it back a foot before striking out!

    "Thud-" Huo Yuhao's strike was much more underwhelming compared to He Caitou's. The sound it made was also the softest among the ten students present.

    "Strength-Rank 55!" The teacher in charge of recording their results shouted another shocking number once again.

    Huo Yuhao was only average amongst the ten students despite his Rank of 55. However, as he was only fourteen years old, this was actually an extraordinary result. Furthermore, he'd released his strength using a different method than the others; he'd managed to unleash such a powerful force even though he was only a foot away. His strike hadn't made much sound, which further demonstrated his technique. He hadn't wasted any strength at all.

    Huo Yuhao hadn't used any soul skills to enhance his body either. The only thing he'd relied on was his own personal strength and a little of the Tang Sect's Controlling Crane Capturing Dragon. He was quite satisfied with his strength evaluation; it was neither too high nor too low. With this, he'd pass the test without drawing too much attention to himself. If he'd used the Ice Empress' Pincer and Mysterious Jade Hands, the result would've been completely different.

    After the strength test ended, everyone proceeded to the last segment. This time, it was a reaction speed test.

    The measuring scale was much smaller this time. It was a squarish platform that held sixteen boxes, each of which were the size of a fist. These boxes would light up at random, after which one was supposed to slap the lit boxes in order to deactivate them. The test would end when one box was missed.

    This test had nothing to do with one's abilities; it was a simple test of one's reaction speed and the coordination between one's mind and body.

    Ye Xiaosheng didn't act as arrogant as he had before when they arrived. The two tests that they'd just taken had revealed how inferior he was to He Caitou. The only lead he had was his soul rank. Although he didn't think that he'd lost face, he still felt a bit awkward.

    The last test was like a game. In the beginning, Ye Xiaosheng wasn't very bothered by the test, and even became slightly complacent. However, he paid the price for his complacency very quickly.

    When the test started, the boxes only lit up one by one and remained lit for around a third of a second. If one hit the boxes before the time was up, they'd pass and the test would continue.

    Ye Xiaosheng managed to breeze through the test while the boxes lit up one by one. However, a pair of boxes lit up after a while, which temporarily stunned Ye Xiaosheng. He managed to hit one of them, but he was slightly too slow to reach the other.

    With this, his test was over.

    "Reaction-slow." When the teacher in charge of recording the results gave him this evaluation, Ye Xiaosheng felt like hiding himself in a hole.

    The rest of the students learned from Ye Xiaosheng's mistake and were much more cautious. Even though they were all inner courtyard disciples from the Soul Tool Department, they had still once been part of the Martial Soul Department. Shrek Academy often trained the reactive abilities of their students, thus they weren't too bad at it.

    When He Caitou's turn came, he fully demonstrated his great reaction speed and managed to survive for five full minutes. It was only when eight boxes lit up at the same time that he couldn't react in time.

    Huo Yuhao was the last to take the test. He was rather curious about how the test functioned. However, he found it difficult to focus. While the others had been taking the test, he'd attempted to memorize the structure and formation arrays of the three measuring scales using his spiritual power, which had depleted him greatly.

    This caused him to be eliminated rather quickly. He only managed to reach six boxes, thus his reaction speed was evaluated as average.

    "Alright, the tests will end here. The teachers will bring you all to your dormitory in a little while. The academy has arranged a single room along with a washroom for each of you. I hope that all of you like this place for the next two and a half years. Your uniforms will also be delivered tomorrow."

    The dorm area was located behind the teaching area, and was much larger than Shrek Academy's. The map clearly detailed the various amenities in this area. Huo Yuhao was extremely interested in a place called the auxiliary cultivation room. However, it looked like an exorbitant fee had to be paid in order to use it.

    They were all allocated rooms on the top floor of the sixth-grade dormitory region. The floor was rather quiet, and just like Lin Jiayi had mentioned, they'd each been allocated a twenty square meter dorm room equipped with a washroom. Even though their rooms weren't luxurious, they were still neat and tidy, and were better than the dorm rooms at Shrek Academy.

    However, Huo Yuhao had no energy to deal with any of this right now. The moment he entered his room, he quickly locked his door and walked to one side. A golden light flashed from his forehead, and his third eye slowly opened.

    He shut his other two eyes, then solely used his Eye of Destiny to observe the world around him. He unleashed his Spiritual Detection, which reached a nuanced state under the influence of the Eye of Destiny. Even the smallest dustmite wouldn't escape his detection.

    The entire process lasted for about a minute. When his Eye of Destiny finally shut, Huo Yuhao couldn't help but nod his head in satisfaction. The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy hadn't installed any monitoring devices in their rooms, which could be considered quite magnanimous.

    He didn't dare to delay any longer, and quickly sat in front of a table in the room. He retrieved a paper and pen from his storage-type soul tool and then started to record the details of the three soul tools that he'd seen.

    This was Huo Yuhao's huge responsibility. He was aware that by recording the structure and formation array of every single soul tool that he saw, he was helping Shrek Academy improve.

    The structure of a soul tool was rather complex, hence he couldn't make any mistakes in his recording. The soul physique measuring had been the most advanced of the three soul tools that he'd seen today, followed by the soul strength measuring scale. They were Class 6 and Class 5 soul tools respectively. The last soul tool had only been Class 4, and was much simpler than the other two.

    Their complex structures and formation arrays were slowly recorded by Huo Yuhao. He took two hours to record everything, and even included his own evaluation of the three soul tools.

    Huo Yuhao also managed to develop a deeper understanding of them as he recorded their structures and formation arrays. He sighed when he realized that they weren't even the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy's greatest works. However, he could already sense the enormous gap between Shrek Academy and the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. Despite the deeper understanding he'd gleaned from them, Huo Yuhao could barely understand a third of the three soul tools he'd just recorded. Yet, according to Shrek's standard, he was already at the level of a Class 6 soul engineer!

    Despite his large quantity of spiritual power, he was still fatigued once he'd finished writing, thus he went to his bed to meditate.

    "What's the situation like?" Jing Hongchen asked Lin Jiayi.

    Lin Jiayi said, "The most outstanding of them is He Caitou. His strength has reached Rank 70. Furthermore, he stated that he was a food-type soul master, and his martial soul should be a cigar. His body has reached the level of a soul emperor despite him only being a soul king. He ranked first in all three tests."

    "What about Huo Yuhao?" Jing Hongchen asked.

    Lin Jiayi answered, "He's quite extraordinary. During the physique test, his strength and tenacity were rather outstanding. His reaction speed was normal, however. I observed him carefully, and I don't believe that it was intentional. Furthermore, he actually has three soul bones. When our soul physique measuring scale tried to analyze them, the numbers got messed up. I thus suspect that he has an external soul bone. He's not like a soul engineer, but more like a talented soul master. His soul power has reached Rank 40, yet he hasn't obtained his fourth soul ring to attain a breakthrough yet. This is also quite suspicious."

    Jing Hongchen smiled and said, "That's normal; Huo Yuhao is from Shrek's Martial Soul Department. He's mainly here as collateral. However, we can't underestimate him. After all, he's still Elder Mu's personal disciple. My sources claim that he's an orphan, and that his background is unclear. Continue to observe their movements. During class, try to pay attention to He Caitou. I'll send someone else to watch Huo Yuhao."

    Lin Jiayi asked, "Hallmaster, do we...?"

    Jing Hongchen shook his head and said, "There's no need to. Just follow the normal procedures. The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy can't go back on its word. So what if they manage to learn? The gap between our academies in terms of soul tools is simply too great; it can't be closed with just a few exchange students. They won't possibly be able to figure out our core secrets either. More importantly, Shrek is only an academy. However, we're the research facility of the Sun Moon Empire. With the Dragon God Douluo Mu En dead, the continent will belong to the Sun Moon Empire within twenty years. The Douluo Continent will be renamed to the Moon Continent when that happens." When he reached this point, an excited look flashed through his eyes.

    Lin Jiayi acknowledged his words respectfully and then retreated.

    "Jiayi, wait a minute."

    "Yes, do you have any other instructions?" Lin Jiayi asked.

    Jing Hongchen asked, "How's the progress on Plan One?"

    Lin Jiayi said, "It's a little problematic. The main problem lies in the formation arrays. Based on our design, even a Titled Douluo runs the risk of having his soul crushed by the intense spiritual shock of the formation arrays. That is, unless we can find a spiritual-type Titled Douluo to try it, which will give us a thirty percent chance of success. Hallmaster..." As he reached this point, he seemed a little hesitant to speak.

    "What?" Jing Hongchen squinted, "What do you want to say? Tell me. Don't tell me that I'll blame you if you tell me what you want to say."

    Lin Jiayi replied, "Yes. Hallmaster, I've always reckoned that Plan One is proceeding too quickly. Even if our research is successful, we won't be able to form a proper military that's big enough. But we have expended a lot of human resources, material resources, and money on Plan One. I believe that our chances of success will be greater if we lower our standards. After all, forming a large-scale force is scarier than creating a top-ranked military force."

    Jing Hongchen furrowed his brow and replied, "I've never considered that before. However, the chance of success is still very low even if we lower the standards. The key lies in the design of the formation arrays. I've always emphasized high standards because they can be extended to other aspects if they're achieved, which will increase our probability of success in other areas. It seems like we're rushing too much. Pass on my instructions - allow the Class 9 soul engineers to rest for a few days. I must consider the future of Plan One before proceeding. Let them work their brains too.

    "Whoever has a good idea must inform me immediately."

    Lin Jiayi was delighted when he saw that Jing Hongchen had listened to his advice. "Hallmaster, you are indeed wise."

    Jing Hongchen laughed, "Wise my foot. I've been under a lot of pressure because of Plan One, and His Majesty has asked me about it a couple of times. We need to hand something up soon. Otherwise, I believe his patience will become limited."

    ......

    Huo Yuhao's three eyes opened together, and he watched as the sun rose. He let out a refreshed breath, and a gust of white fog came out from his mouth. It slowly took shape and surrounded his body. As he breathed in again, the fog turned into two streaks of white gases that entered into his body through both of his nostrils. The entire room was filled with a clear aura.

    Although there weren't any plants, there was a strong sense of life.

    His fatigue ceased to exist after a few hours of meditation. Huo Yuhao's improvements in the Mysterious Heaven Technique were slow but steady.

    He wasn't in a rush to obtain his fourth soul ring. He had enough soul skills, unlike other lower-level soul masters who possessed limited soul skills. His first soul ring had given him four useful spiritual-type soul skills. He also had two other soul skills from the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion, as well as five soul skills from his four soul bones. Even a soul sage might not have as many soul skills as he did!

    If he absorbed another soul ring he could increase his own power and add another soul skill. Furthermore, he had also realized after he added his third soul ring that his spiritual-type martial soul needed some luck in finding a suitable soul ring. That was why he wasn't rushed at all, and instead calmly focused on increasing his own cultivation. He also aimed to improve his knowledge on soul tools over the next two and a half years, and enhance his own abilities. In addition, he also aimed to steal the research results of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy!

    He took in three more deep breaths and adjusted his soul power. Huo Yuhao felt a warmth coming from his body. He shut his Eye of Destiny and it disappeared. The light within his Spirit Eyes also slowly faded away.  While he was only fourteen years old, when he placed his hands behind his back he already looked very mature.

    ---

    Every dormitory block in the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy had its own canteen. The higher the grade, the nicer the food in the canteen of the dormitory block. Huo Yuhao and the others stayed in the sixth-grade dormitory block, which meant that the food in the canteen there was the best.

    However, the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy couldn't compare to Shrek Academy in terms of its food. Huo Yuhao and He Caitou had been enjoying delicacies in Shrek Academy over the past two years. The food here in the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy was too plain for their liking.

    Huo Yuhao and He Caitou met Fan Yu in the canteen.

    "How are the two of you feeling?" Fan Yu wore a slight smile as he looked at the both of them.

    He Caitou laughed bitterly, "The gap is really huge."

    Huo Yuhao nodded.

    Fan Yu smiled and said, "We wouldn't be here if there wasn't a gap. Everything here regarding soul engineers is worth learning. I spoke with the Hallmaster of the Illustrious Virtue Hall yesterday. They're more sincere than I thought they would be. Just do your best to learn and don't worry about other things. The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy won't do anything to the both of you before these two and a half years are up. As for how much you'll learn, that depends on you."

    Huo Yuhao didn't mention the fact that he had recorded the three soul tools. There were too many people around, and it was best to be prudent.

    The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy's efficiency was indeed great. After they finished their breakfast and returned to their rooms, their uniforms had already been delivered. They were also told to gather at the first level of the sixth-grade teaching block.

    ......

    The sixth-grade teaching block was not smaller than the first-grade teaching block that they saw yesterday. However, they knew that there were only a handful of students in the sixth grade. These students were at least Class 5 soul engineers. What could they do by occupying two huge teaching blocks?

    The teaching director, Lin Jiayi, was already waiting here. There were ten teachers of various ages standing behind him.

    "Students from Shrek, you'll be learning from our teachers from today onwards. I hope that you'll treat this as your room for the next two and a half years. To facilitate your learning of more advanced soul tool knowledge, your learning arrangements will be as follows...

    "All of you will follow the ten sixth-grade teachers who are standing behind me now. They are the most capable teachers in the academy. They're all at least Class 7 soul engineers. Each of them is in charge of a few sixth-grade students.

    "The sixth-grade testing area will be open to all of you, too. All the materials that you need for experiments will be provided by the academy. Of course, you'll need to pay a certain fee for the materials if you want to bring the soul tools that you've created back with you. However, the experiments will be completely free.

    "In the first month, you'll all be learning here. Once you possess a certain foundation, you'll take a test administered by a teacher from the Illustrious Virtue Hall. The results of that test will determine your frequency of participation in the Illustrious Virtue Hall's lectures and practicals. The best you can achieve is to enter the Illustrious Virtue Hall directly to learn. The worst is that you'll only be able to enter once every ten days. You'll also be offered the opportunity to take the test again as you learn. As long as the results of your test are satisfactory, your time in the Illustrious Virtue Hall will be increased."

    "Principally, the academy doesn't wish for any of you to leave unnecessarily. That's because we can't guarantee your personal safety outside of the academy. As exchange students, we'll be heavily accountable if anything happens to any of you. That's why it's important for you to apply for leave and report to me if you want to leave the academy for leisure purposes. You'll need to sign an indemnity form, too. Basically, that is all. If there are any questions, you can ask your assigned teacher directly, or you can find me."

    Lin Jiayi explained the future learning process to Shrek's students. Besides the Illustrious Virtue Hall's test that caught Huo Yuhao's attention, he was also piqued that they were all going to be separated. There were ten teachers standing behind Lin Jiayi, meaning that each one of them would take one student.

    "To ensure fairness, the teachers will use a lot-drawing method to choose which student they'll be guiding. The lot-drawing will start now."

    As he spoke, Lin Jiayi received a tray from one of the working crew. There were folded pieces of paper on the tray. The ten teachers streamed towards the tray and each took a piece of paper.

    The first teacher to draw his lot was the youngest among the ten teachers. He appeared to be around thirty or so, and was even younger than Fan Yu.

    "Huo Yuhao." He read out the name on his piece of paper.

    Huo Yuhao's brow furrowed a little, but he still walked out quickly. He replied, "Present!"

    This young teacher looked very cold. After seeing Huo Yuhao's Class 3 soul engineer badge, he said coldly, "Follow me." After he finished speaking, he turned around and walked away. He didn't wait for the other teachers.

    Huo Yuhao didn't say anything else, and followed him out. He proceeded to the second teaching block of the sixth grade as he followed this young teacher.

    He had furrowed his brow earlier because this teacher was too young. He was capable of becoming a Class 7 soul engineer even though he was only thirty or so years old. However, he should be placing all his focus and energy on his cultivation and research on soul tools at such an age. Could he teach well? Furthermore, he could sense that this teacher didn't like him. That's because the teacher also furrowed his brow when he saw Huo Yuhao.

    "I hope that I can learn something from him," Huo Yuhao sighed. He had hoped for an older teacher.
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