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Chapter 168: Return, Captured

    Huo Yuhao served as their chef, just as Ju Zi requested. Ke Ke was responsible for hunting, while Ju Zi took care of them. Apart from cooking, Huo Yuhao only used his time to cultivate and recover.

    Three days passed in a flash.

    Huo Yuhao's potentially fatal injuries managed to completely heal within six days. Even his cultivation increased slightly. The soul power increase was negligible, but his overall abilities and soul skills were enhanced considerably, including his spiritual power.

    Dawn.

    The moist morning dew made the day especially refreshing as one breathed in nature. Huo Yuhao exhaled, and white gases revolved around his body before entering through his nostrils. He felt especially refreshed.

    His back injury had completely recovered now. More shockingly, the scars on his back had started to vanish. His skin was getting smoother and smoother by the day. After some time, all his scars would likely disappear, which only made Ju Zi and Ke Ke more intrigued.

    Huo Yuhao couldn't possibly tell them that he'd absorbed Life Gold before. He acted foolish and ignorant in the face of their suspicions.

    Huo Yuhao lifted his right arm and a light flashed in his eyes. He mimicked a grabbing motion, and a gust of chilly air spread out. Gigantic Darkgolden Terrorclaws appeared, an estimated six meter-long claw projection swept through the air. A piercing sound was heard, and black tears were created, as if the air had been slit open.

    A dark-golden radiance flashed before disappearing. Huo Yuhao looked at his right hand, satisfied.

    His Darkgolden Terrorclaws had been enhanced when he had become a Soul Ancestor. Not only had his Terrorclaws become larger, but now they were more tangible. The pain he'd experienced absorbing the Darkgolden Terrorclaws wasn't for nothing! The Darkgolden Terrorclaws became Huo Yuhao's favorite skill. The Ice Empress' Pincer, when paired with the Darkgolden Terrorclaws, allowed him immense close-combat abilities as a control-type soul master.

    His Eye of Destiny also evolved. Huo Yuhao wasn't sure how much it evolved, but the sealed spiritual power left in his body by the Skydream Iceworm had been substantially absorbed again. His Spiritual Sea and second mental sea also expanded. His Spiritual Detection could now scan a radius of up to seven hundred meters, and his one-directional detection now reached more than a thousand two hundred meters.

    The greater his cultivation, the more Huo Yuhao could sense the dominance of the million year soul ring given to him by the Skydream Iceworm. It possessed four soul skills, which were the best of the best, and became the foundation for his Spirit Eyes. Although the subsequent three soul rings gave him Imitation, Enfeeblement and Spiritual Confusion, the practicality of these three skills couldn't hold a candle to Skydream's million year soul ring.

    His soul skills experienced a change in quality as his soul power reached Rank 40. Huo Yuhao simply possessed too many powerful soul skills, but if not for the fact that some of his soul skills could only be unleashed using his spiritual power, he wouldn't even be able to unleash half them using his soul power before he reached this stage. After his soul power increased, he managed to get some relief in this aspect.

    Huo Yuhao wished that Wang Dong was here. He only realized how important Wang Dong was after leaving Shrek Academy. Wang Dong already passed Rank 50 and become a soul king. His twin martial souls made his soul power extremely vigorous, and if the two of them used their Haodong Power and four martial soul fusion skills, Huo Yuhao had confidence they could face off against a seven-ringed soul sage.

    Huo Yuhao started missing Wang Dong as he thought of him. He looked in the direction of Shrek Academy and seemed a little out of sorts.

    "What's wrong? You miss Shrek?" Ju Zi's voice sounded.

    Huo Yuhao twisted his head to look at her and smiled. "A little. I miss my partner."

    "A girl?" Ju Zi asked a sensitive question.

    Huo Yuhao shook his head.

    Ju Zi walked beside him and looked in the direction of Shrek too. She said slowly, "Yuhao, I don't want to meet you in battle in the future."

    Huo Yuhao spoke in a dreary tone, "You're a girl. Must you go to war?"

    Ju Zi replied, "What's war got to do with gender? Don't tell me that the enemy will be merciful just because I'm a female? I've told you before that avenging my parents is my only motivation."

    Huo Yuhao furrowed his brows. "Is there only hatred in your life?"

    Ju Zi hesitated for a while before shifting her gaze away from his body. However, she was still confident when she said, "Yes."

    Huo Yuhao was silent. He revealed a pensive look of regret on his face, "I'm not able to change your mentality, and I may not be qualified to even attempt to do so. Because I have the same hatred in my heart."

    Ju Zi's voice turned a little weird, "What if we meet on the battlefield?"

    Huo Yuhao was silent for a while before he replied, "I'll spare you three times before killing you."

    Ju Zi smiled. Her smile was very bright. "Are you that confident? How do you know that I won't be the one sparing you?"

    Huo Yuhao smiled too. "You want me to beg for mercy?"

    Ju Zi shook her head. "If you try to beg for mercy, I'll kill you immediately. I don't want you to bend your knees. That's not the Huo Yuhao that I know."

    Huo Yuhao answered, "Such a day won't come."

    "I know that." Ju Zi smiled. "If we meet on the battlefield and you land in my hands, I'll spare you four times before killing you. I even gave you one more chance than you gave me. Aren't I magnanimous?"

    Huo Yuhao laughed and said, "You want to compete in this too? We don't even know what's going to happen. Let's return to the academy. I came here to learn how to make soul tools, this is wasting too much time!"

    As he spoke, he turned and walked towards the tent to pack his stuff.

    Ju Zi revealed a dreary look in her eyes as she watched his back. She

    muttered to herself, "Will it really not happen soon? Battlefield, battlefield!"

    She suddenly shouted, "Yuhao, prepare a meal for us!"

    Huo Yuhao regained his composure and revealed a smile. "Alright."

    ......

    Xuan Ziwen didn't know what to say when he looked at the three students in front of him.

    "Not even some shattered pieces were left behind?"

    Ju Zi lowered her head and said, "No..."

    They had only returned an hour earlier. But the all-terrain exploration soul

    tool had been completely destroyed. Thus, they didn't even bother to neaten themselves up and they came to find Xuan Ziwen.

    Xuan Ziwen was silent for a while. He became depressed as he said, "Do you know how valuable that all-terrain exploration soul tool was? The academy spent a lot of time money and effort on it. If not for the fact that more than one-third of its formation arrays were created by me, do you think the three of you would have had the chance to experiment with it? Are you sure that nothing, especially the formation arrays, was left in the mountain range?"

    Ju Zi was certain as she replied, "Teacher, nothing was left. Everything was blown to pieces. The huge crater is still there."

    Xuan Ziwen scratched his forehead and glanced at Huo Yuhao. He snapped, "Huo Yuhao! Tell me why I'm facing so much trouble since you came."

    Huo Yuhao was a little embarrassed as he replied, "I don't know!"

    Ke Ke puffed out her chest and said, "Teacher Xuan, you can't blame them for this matter. I caused all the problems this time. I will stand up for my mistakes. If I didn't connect the formation arrays together out of desperation, all this wouldn't have happened. But if not for Yuhao, both Sister Ju Zi and I would've perished. If you want to punish someone, punish me. Regardless, I'm broke, so there's nothing much I can be punished for."

    Xuan Ziwen couldn't help but laugh in the face of Ke Ke's petulance and determination.

    "Enough, enough. Don't try to team up together against me. Go wash yourselves up before changing into clean clothes. I smell the stink on your bodies. Scram."

    Ke Ke laughed impishly and leapt towards Xuan Ziwen. She grabbed his neck and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "Teacher Xuan, you're really nice." After she finished speaking, she grabbed Ju Zi and ran off.

    Huo Yuhao was stunned as he realized that Xuan Ziwen's face turned red. He was even blushing!

    "Teacher Xuan, are you okay?" Huo Yuhao asked.

    Xuan Ziwen lifted his leg and kicked his butt. He said embarrassedly, "Get lost."

    Ju Zi and Ke Ke were waiting outside. Ju Zi continued to say, "Teacher Xuan is really nice."

    Huo Yuhao was puzzled as he asked, "What do you mean?"

    Ju Zi lowered her voice and said, "With his attitude it shows that he's going to tank this matter for us. The all-terrain exploration soul tool was completely destroyed! He's really too nice taking responsibility for such a serious matter like this."

    Ke Ke laughed, "Why do you think I rewarded him with a kiss? Teacher Xuan is really cute when his face turns red like that. While he looks quite old, I think he's still a virgin. I've never heard any gossip about him."

    Huo Yuhao was speechless. He thought to himself, "That was a reward? She was clearly seducing Teacher Xuan!"

    "Alright ladies, you two should rest. I'm going to shower. I think that there's some lice on my body. I'll see the both of you tomorrow."

    After speaking, Huo Yuhao returned to his dormitory with haste.

    He took a shower and changed his clothes, after his shower he felt really refreshed. Then he sat cross-legged on his bed. He unleashed his Spiritual Detection, and he started to cultivate.

    After leaving for so many days, he should pay a visit to his second senior brother now that he'd returned. He also wondered what He Caitou had been learning all this while.

    However, Huo Yuhao was surprised to find out that He Caitou still hadn't returned even though it was very late in the afternoon. Anxious, he rushed to ask some of the other Shrek students learning at the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy with them. Through them, he found out that He Caitou managed to make his way into the Illustrious Virtue Hall and earned his right to cultivate while learning there.

    Huo Yuhao was delighted and surprised. His mastery of soul tools had been increasing over the past two years, but he knew that he was still inferior to his second senior brother. After all, he too had much to learn and a dedicated focus on researching and creating soul tools like He Caitou. However, He Caitou had identified his direction from the beginning, which was to research stationary soul tools. Furthermore, Huo Yuhao shared his research findings with He Caitou. He Caitou was even catching up to Fan Yu in terms of his knowledge and research on stationary soul tools.

    Teacher Fan Yu appeared to have gotten into the Illustrious Virtue Hall as well, and was learning there with He Caitou.

    Huo Yuhao suddenly felt pressure after his surprise faded away. His second senior brother had already entered the Illustrious Virtue Hall, but he'd only just discovered his path.

    However, his experience in the Jing Yang Mountain Range did allow him to reflect on his progress in the Ultimate Soldier Plan over the past two years. He detected some problems, and needed to rectify them right now. At the same time, he needed to modify his soul tools.

    His fatigue disappeared after a night of rest.

    Huo Yuhao walked out of his dorm room after his routine morning cultivation. He was mentally prepared to reach the laboratory early and try to create the soul tools he had in mind.

    He was very cheerful after figuring out that he wanted to pursue a close-combat route. He believed that he would improve even faster with this newfound sense of direction.

    However, he stopped once he walked out of his dorm room.

    "It's him. Capture him." A pale Wang Shaojie was standing not far away. He was pointing his finger at Huo Yuhao. With him were six middle-aged men who looked to be somewhere between thirty to forty years old. They all wore the same vest. They immediately unleashed their martial souls-Two Soul Emperors and four Soul Kings.

    The leader walked up to Huo Yuhao and revealed a writ to him. He said coldly, "Royal Stewards. You're Huo Yuhao?"

    Huo Yuhao knew that he was in trouble. Although he was unafraid of them, it was impossible to conceal his full powers if he wanted to deal with them. He would also need to kill some or all of them to escape. His mind moved quickly as he calculated the pros and cons of retaliating.

    Their leader said coldly, "You stand accused of assaulting a member of the imperial family. You need to come with us to assist in our investigation." He revealed golden handcuffs as he spoke. His soul power was very strong. Should he dare to resist, the six Royal Stewards would team up to attack him.

    He didn't expect that he would have to face Wang Shaojie after being gone for so long. While he looked strong and developed, he was actually a petty person at heart.

    Huo Yuhao smiled and extended his hands. "I'm an exchange student from Shrek Academy. Please help me inform my teachers. Otherwise, I don't think you'll be able to bear the responsibility of your actions."
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