Chapter 178: Specter Na Na

    Both soul masters and engineers knew what white meant - a ten-year soul ring!

    Even for the worst possible soul master, it was impossible to have only ten-year soul rings with a four-ring cultivation.

    Wan Yijun had the same thought, too. He was subconsciously stunned.

    However, Wan Yijun was much more agile than Xia Xuanchen, though both of them were Soul Kings and Class 5 soul engineers.

    While he was still in a daze, his arms had already lifted. More than ten streaks of colored light shot in Huo Yuhao's direction.

    Compared to other empires' soul engineers, the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy's superiority was demonstrated through this simple probing attack. Unleashing streaks of soul rays was something that almost all Class 5 soul engineers could do. However, Wan Yijun's soul rays contained four different elements. This wasn't something that everyone could do.

    Wan Yijun had two yellow and three purple soul rings. The lights from his five soul rings intersected where a soul tool was shining brightly behind his back, evidently gathering energy. His five soul rings also all contained auxiliary-type soul skills that helped to enhance his soul power. He could last longer in battle through his energy-gathering soul tool. He also retreated quickly as the soul thruster beneath his feet sent him backward, widening the gap between him and Huo Yuhao.

    This series of adaptations impressed all the academy's students, teachers, and even Xuan Ziwen. As a Class 5 soul engineer, this was already the best he could do.

    However, those who were complimenting Wan Yijun mentally were promptly shocked in the next moment.

    Huo Yuhao didn't dodge Wan Yijun's soul rays. He continued to hurtle forward, and the soul rays seemed to avoid him on purpose. They brushed past his body,

    none striking him.

    Soul rays were faster than soul cannons, but they were less powerful. However, they were very accurate! With Wan Yijun's abilities, it wasn't possible for him to completely miss his target like this.

    Wan Yijun's soul thruster was beneath his feet, he instead used his flying-type soul tool to hover in mid-air. Although he couldn't fly too high due to the restrictions that were in place, the flying-type soul tool still managed to help him change directions at will.

    However, he had only just risen into the air, he had yet to gather speed. He was moving much slower than Huo Yuhao. The gap between the two of them had been reduced to a hundred meters.

    Wan Yijun was also appalled that none of his soul rays hit Huo Yuhao. He even thought that he was seeing things. He tried to fire his soul rays once again, and expended a lot of his soul power doing so. He used the soul rays to form a web that engulfed Huo Yuhao. His goal was very simple - delay his opponent. In that way, he could unleash a barrage of attacks at his foe. He could then employ some of his soul tools that were more powerful.

    However, he was immediately shocked again. It wasn't just him who was seeing things, all the spectators were seeing things, too!

    Huo Yuhao had used his Spiritual Interference to avoid the soul rays previously. This time, he used the Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track!

    Using his Spiritual Detection as a guide, he slipped through the seemingly impenetrable web like a streak of smoke. He could find even the slightest gap and slip through it before advancing forward, still increasing his speed.

    Wan Yijun had no choice but to take a breather, as the depletion of his soul power was too great... and he discovered that Huo Yuhao was only thirty meters away from him! How was this possible?! No matter how calm he appeared, Wan Yijun was still frightened at this point. He couldn't bother to attack anymore. He quickly fled using his flying-type soul tool. His entire body turned to one side and flew in that direction.

    He didn't forget to fling out more than ten soul bombs, however. These bombs weren't too powerful, so their shockwaves wouldn't affect the user.

    They could be detonated using a little soul power, but they couldn't be underestimated, as there were a lot of them. Wan Yijun was only buying time for himself.

    Surprisingly, Huo Yuhao stopped. His left foot stomped on the ground, and he leapt up high. This leap allowed him to reach more than ten meters in the air, avoiding all the soul bombs. He then drew his limbs together in mid-air, and something appeared in his right hand.

    It was a short spear, around three feet long. The spear was sharp at both ends, the center as thick as a pigeon's egg. The bright silver spear exuded a metallic glow.

    Huo Yuhao straightened his gaze, spinning through a half-turn in mid-air. After that, he threw out the short spear in his hand.

    When the spear left his hand, a screeching sound suddenly rose. The spear caught up to Wan Yijun instantly.

    Wasn't he not supposed to use soul tools? This was the first thought in Wan Yijun's mind as he felt the threat, unleashing his Class 5 protective soul barrier.

    Wan Yijun jerked when the short spear stabbed straight through the protective soul barrier. His soul barrier turned extremely bright, before being crushed by the spear. Wan Yijun fell from the air as if he had been struck by a bolt of lightning.

    What was shocking was that the short spear didn't stab into him. It changed directions as soon as it touched Wan Yijun's body, and instead pierced through the wing of his flying-type soul tool. He was nailed to the ground as his body fell to the ground.

    Huo Yuhao quickly arrived atop Wan Yijun in a flash of motion.

    Wan Yijun's fighting will didn't disappear even after he fell from mid-air. He wanted to resist, but he was helpless. When the spear pierced his flying-type soul tool, he felt a wave of indescribable tyranny smash through his body. He couldn't even control his body anymore, and his martial soul was forced to retract.

    If he described this feeling to Zi Mu, Zi Mu would certainly understand, as he had been through it before. That was also why he didn't bother to resist Huo Yuhao anymore.

    What was in the spear? It contained a powerful fighting skill taught by Elder Mu that was a combination of spiritual power and soul power - the Sovereign's Descent.

    That's right, the Sovereign's Descent couldn't be used in a long-range attack. However, that didn't include weapons. When Huo Yuhao threw the spear out, he infused his spiritual and soul power into the throw.

    He wouldn't get the throw wrong. He used the Tang Sect's methods to change the spear's direction, since he couldn't kill here. Even Xuan Ziwen wouldn't give Wan Yijun a hand, because no one believed that his spear could overcome a Class 5 protective soul barrier. He wasn't even using a soul skill.

    Huo Yuhao chose the Tang Sect when he was still cultivating in the Sea God's Pavilion as a soul master. In terms of soul tools, he chose the close-combat route. As he combined both together, he slowly formed a path that belonged to him.

    He had created this spear for the sake of this competition. It wasn't a true weapon, but was very suitable for sparring purposes. Huo Yuhao didn't think that he could beat a Class 5 or 6 soul engineer in terms of speed if they had soul thrusters or flying-type soul tools. However, it was different if he attacked from long-range.

    He used his left hand to pull the spear out and pointed its tip at Wan Yijun's neck. After that, he lifted his right hand and stretched out two fingers.

    Second opponent down!

    He used very little time in these two rounds. While he held his short spear and walked back towards the waiting area, Wan Yijun struggled to crawl up from the ground. There was a complicated look in his eyes.

    He knew that he had lost. However, he didn't know how Huo Yuhao had won after he was struck by the Sovereign's Descent. His fighting will had been completely crushed.

    Jing Hongchen watched this fight seriously from the main spectator stand. Although he appeared calm, he was troubled internally.

    Those who were chosen to spar were the academy's elites. Initially, students from Illustrious Virtue Hall were restricted from competing. However, Huo Yuhao had asked for Class 6 soul engineers from Illustrious Virtue Hall to be included in the competition. They were going to compete the next day.

    Jing Hongchen wasn't shocked by Huo Yuhao's performance, but by the way he had beaten his opponent. It was undeniable that Huo Yuhao was capable, since he had represented Shrek Academy in the Elite Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament. But he only had a four-ringed cultivation! Even though he had twin martial souls, it wasn't easy to beat a Class 5 soul engineer. However, Huo Yuhao was completely beyond Jing Hongchen's imagination.

    He had already won twice, even though he hadn't used too many soul skills. No one even understood how he had gained victory in this round.

    Jing Hongchen had been observing Wan Yijun's performance throughout this match. Although Wan Yijun wasn't shockingly good, he had performed relatively well. At least he was much more outstanding than Xia Xuanchen.

    However, he didn't last much longer than Xia Xuanchen, even so! Huo Yuhao was just too ridiculous!

    Huo Yuhao was walking towards Xuan Ziwen. He passed him the short spear.

    Xuan Ziwen understood his intentions. He injected his soul power to analyze the spear. After that, he mentioned over the sound-amplifying soul tool, "Huo Yuhao is only using an ordinary weapon. It's not a soul tool. Do you need to rest?"

    Huo Yuhao nodded. He sat cross-legged beside Xuan Ziwen. He quickly entered deep meditation as everyone watched him.

    While the throw appeared very simple, he had used the powers of the Sovereign's Descent, Spiritual Detection and the Tang Sect's hidden weapon skills. This undoubtedly expended his spiritual and soul power. He needed to keep himself in the best possible condition for the many remaining fights.

    Jing Hongchen said to Lin Jiayi softly, "Send a Class 5 close-combat soul engineer in the next round. Choose someone defensively strong."

    Lin Jiayi acknowledged his instructions and nodded his head. He immediately left to carry them out.

    Huo Yuhao didn't rest for too long. After just ten minutes, he leapt up and nodded towards Xuan Ziwen. Following that, he walked to the waiting area.

    Two rounds had ended, and the commotion and noises from the crowd had died off. More and more students were puzzled when they looked at Huo Yuhao.

    Was this what a soul master was supposed to be like? Was this a soul master's fighting style? But he didn't even use a single soul skill!

    So soul masters were that strong... Weren't soul masters of the same level not supposed to be a match for soul engineers? But why were these soul engineers' attacks ineffective against Huo Yuhao?

    Some intelligent students were pondering in their minds. What Jing Hongchen wanted them to see was finally realized. Huo Yuhao wanted to at least influence their mindsets, because he hadn't been able to succeed in the other aspects of his plan.

    However, Huo Yuhao wasn't coming out of this with nothing. Firstly, he won rare metals and some gold soul coins. Next, he'd managed to boost Shrek Academy's reputation in the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. And most importantly, he had managed to fuse the results of his Ultimate Soldier Plan's training and his experiences with developing soul tools over the past six months.

    This was also a fusion of his paths as a soul master and soul engineer.

    Even though he couldn't use soul tools here, it didn't affect his thinking. The usages of different soul tools under different conditions surfaced in his mind, and his immense spiritual power ensured that he had enough thinking capabilities throughout the fights.

    The third student to spar with him had already entered by now. It was a female student this time.

    This female student couldn't be considered very pretty, but she had a healthy complexion. She had a slender figure, and was around a hundred eighty centimeters tall. However, her figure still seemed very proportionate. There was a sharp look in her eyes. She stared at Huo Yuhao, and there appeared to be sparks coming from her eyes.

    A Female soul engineer?

    Huo Yuhao had sensed a heavy pressure from this young lady. This female soul engineer was definitely stronger than the other two soul engineers earlier. Huo Yuhao had likely met a real match.

    The young lady rose while watching Huo Yuhao, and tied her long, dark-red hair up into a ponytail. She looked much neater this way. Her yellow uniform also made her look more valiant and formidable.

    "Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, Grade 6. Active Control Soul Tool Department, Na Na. Please advise."

    "Shrek Academy. Huo Yuhao. Please advise."

    Active Control Soul Tool Department? Huo Yuhao was flabbergasted when he heard her. As a soul engineer, he knew what that meant. He took lessons on it when he was still in Shrek Academy.

    The Active Control Soul Tool Department consisted of special close combat-type soul masters who strengthened themselves by using soul tools. They didn't know how to create soul tools at all, but they were very familiar with all kinds of soul tools. They used soul tools to increase their fighting strength and survivability.

    Currently, Shrek Academy's Soul Tool Department and Martial Soul Department were exploring how to train in this aspect. The Soul Tool Department would provide soul tools and guidance for the Martial Soul Department's elite soul masters. As Wang Yan put it, this was the future developmental direction of all soul masters.

    Soul masters that could create soul tools and soul masters that could use soul tools shouldn't necessarily be divided into different learning and cultivation paths. This was something Wang Yan had mentioned as he studied in the Library of the Sea God's Pavilion. This was also affirmed by the Soul Tool Department. Even Yan Shaozhe and Cai Mei'er from the Martial Soul Department were moved by those words.

    The Active Control Soul Tool Department signified that her fighting strength wasn't just in soul tools. Her martial soul was bound to be powerful too. While there were very few powerful martial souls in the Sun Moon Empire, it didn't mean that they didn't exist.

    "Let's go, Na Na. Let's go, Na Na!" Some spectating students stood up and chanted Na Na's name. She was apparently very popular among the student population.

    Na Na didn't seem to hear the cheering. She focused her gaze on Huo Yuhao.

    She too, was very curious about him. One reason why she was so curious about him was because he might be an opponent in future Elite Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournaments.

    Na Na wasn't part of the back up team in the last edition of the tournament, but she had managed to excel based on her own capabilities in the academy. After she managed to become a Soul King at the age of seventeen, she was finally confirmed as a member in the next tournament. She would compete along with the Hongchen siblings.

    Since Na Na didn't know how to create soul tools, she was definitely not as familiar with them as normal soul engineers. However, she was much stronger in her combination of soul tools and martial souls than most soul engineers. Furthermore, students from the Active Control Soul Tool Department truly lived to fight. With the academy backing them, they were always exposed to the newest and most suitable combative soul tools. They could also place more attention on fighting, rather than being distracted by the creation of soul tools.

    She was one of the best among all the Soul Kings in the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. She was far stronger than both Xia Xuanchen and Wan Yijun. Her soul power had reached Rank 54 already. In the next two years, she aimed to reach Rank 60, and become a Soul Emperor before the tournament.

    After learning that there was an opportunity to spar with a student from Shrek, she was one of the first few to sign up. Huo Yuhao's arrogance roused her fighting spirit, but she didn't think that Huo Yuhao was very strong. After all, he was only a four-ringed Soul Ancestor. She could certainly defeat him!

    Xuan Ziwen nodded in his heart as he observed the intense competitive spirit from both sides. This round was bound to be more intense than the previous two rounds.

    He also knew who Na Na was. That was because the academy had once asked him to create soul tools specially for Na Na. Although she couldn't enter the Illustrious Virtue Hall because she belonged to the Active Control Soul Tool Department, she was still highly valued by the academy.

    "Begin!" As Xuan Ziwen shouted, the third round of sparring began.

    Both contestants acted immediately. Huo Yuhao wasn't the only swift attacker now. Na Na immediately burst towards Huo Yuhao, unlike the two soul engineers before her.

    A close-combat soul engineer? Huo Yuhao was shocked. He also chose the close-combat path. While Na Na didn't know how to create soul tools, she was adept at using them. She was very likely to be strong too.

    Two yellow, two purple and one black soul ring drifted up from Na Na's feet. Her entire body transformed as her martial soul was unleashed.

    She looked a little illusory now. Her entire body looked very surreal. However, her speed soared as her martial soul was unleashed. She wasn't any slower than Huo Yuhao.

    Agility-type? This was Huo Yuhao's second judgment of her. She was indeed an active control soul engineer who didn't lose her abilities as a soul master. With her speed and destructive soul tools, she must be capable of high-frequency attacks.

    Huo Yuhao's guess and judgment were absolutely on point. Lin Jiayi wanted to find a Class 5 close-combat soul engineer that was defensively strong after being instructed to by Jing Hongchen, but Na Na happened to be third on the list. She wouldn't agree to being substituted no matter what, and with her position in the academy, Lin Jiayi couldn't persuade her either. Furthermore, Lin Jiayi really wanted to see how she would fare against Huo Yuhao. They were likely to be opponents in the near future! That was why he didn't substitute her.

    The hundred and fifty meter gap between them was quickly reduced. They were almost in front of each other.

    Both of them burst towards each other from the start. It was only when they were finally ten meters apart that the situation changed.

    A streak of fiery-red light flashed from Na Na's body. It was a blade only one foot and two inches in length. She grabbed the hilt of the very weird looking blade.

    This blade was different from ordinary blades. It was as wide as palm, and seemed blunt. There were elegant flower patterns carved on it, but Huo Yuhao was unable to tell what materials had been used to make it.

    The blade was dark-red, but an almost two foot long scarlet-red radiance flashed on its surface, which appeared to be very unstable. It was like a flame, one that chose its target carefully.

    After unleashing this blade, the surrounding air heated up. Na Na's surreal-looking body turned even more illusory as the heat caused the air around her to ripple.

    The blade instantly turned into a rainbow and the blade light extended from two feet to ten feet. Na Na disappeared amidst the blade light as she unleashed its power. Her body combined with the blade and she slashed at Huo Yuhao. At that moment, the blade light was like the rising sun. Regardless of whether it was her speed, strength, soul master type, or soul tool, she had reached the peak of a Class 5 soul engineer.

    When Na Na started her attack, Huo Yuhao started moving. A dark-golden light shone brightly and his Darkgolden Terrorclaws appeared. He stomped to cease all forward momentum. He stabilized himself in place, choosing not to advance further.

    The ten-foot-long scarlet-red blade light was extremely terrifying within that patch of red air. However, the scarlet-red light was concealed by Huo Yuhao's Darkgolden Terrorclaws as they appeared.

    They appeared as five enormous dark-golden blade lights. The huge terrorclaws exuded a terrifying killing aura that nearly covered twenty feet. When they came out, they swept aside everything in their path. Huo Yuhao was like a Darkgolden Terrorclaw Bear in human form. His right arm was dyed completely dark-gold.

    Both parties weren't using any flowery skills against each other when they collided. On one side, there was a combination of woman and weapon aided by a powerful soul tool. On the other side, there was the frightening offense of a person equipped with the Darkgolden Terrorclaws, a rare external soul bone from the overbearing Darkgolden Terrorclaw Bear.

    When these parties collided, a metallic clanging sound rung out. It sounded like gold and steel had struck each other head on.

    Following that, the illusory figure was thrown more than ten meters away.

    As this figure was flung back, it unleashed a golden light barrier. This light barrier forcefully dispelled those dark-gold blade lights that pestered Na Na so, but it was also crushed instantly.

    Na Na was the one who was flung. While her soul tools were strong, they weren't destructive enough to compete with the Darkgolden Terrorclaws.

    Huo Yuhao didn't even use all his strength, when he unleashed the Darkgolden Terrorclaws, as he didn't want to harm her. Otherwise, given his current cultivation, it would've been much more powerful had he injected all of his soul power into them.

    However, Na Na's soul tool was of great quality. Only a few flaws appeared after it was struck. But the automatic defensive soul tool barrier on her body had been completely destroyed.

    The students supporting Na Na cheered when her scarlet-red blade light appear. However, their cheers were stuck in their throats shortly afterwards, and they were devastated. Na Na, who gave off an extremely powerful seeming gaze, was forced back in one blow. It was evident that she was at a disadvantage.

    Na Na's illusory figure suddenly became a little more realistic. She lifted her head as she landed on the ground, and her eyes met Huo Yuhao's.

    She saw the intense competitive will in Huo Yuhao's eyes.

    Did I just lose to him in a direct confrontation? Na Na was very indignant. However, she managed to keep her cool even under such circumstances. Her body flashed, and she once more burst towards Huo Yuhao. She increased her speed again, then her first and second soul rings flashed sequentially.

    Na Na's figure divided into three, all of them illusory. These three figures separated from one another once they were less than five meters away from Huo Yuhao, before swiftly gathering in towards Huo Yuhao at the center. Three scarlet-red light streaks shot toward Huo Yuhao.

    Huo Yuhao grinned. He acted just as the Na Na figures grouped together. His body also turned illusory like Na Na's, but the illusionary aspect came from the Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track.

    In this fight, many of the spectators couldn't even see what was going on clearly. They could only see Huo Yuhao shuttling between the three figures, and hear clanging or knocking noises resonated continuously.

    Sitting in the main spectator stand, Jing Hongchen's expression turned serious. He naturally knew who Na Na was. He'd been the one to grant approval for her to compete in the next Elite Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament.

    However, he saw her inferiority compared to Huo Yuhao after just a short bout fighting him.

    In terms of absolute speed; Na Na was quicker than Huo Yuhao with the enhancements from her first and second soul skills. However, she was only fast. She wasn't nearly as accurate as Huo Yuhao.

    Huo Yuhao's Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track allowed him to appear at the weaker areas in Na Na's onslaught. While it seemed like Na Na had encircled him, he was the one attacking her incessantly with his Darkgolden Terrorclaws.

    Na Na's first soul skill increased her speed and made her body more illusory, which meant she would suffer less harm when she was attacked. Her second soul skill allowed her to form doppelgangers. With these abilities and her powerful close-combat type soul tool, she was fighting like an agility-type soul master with the strength of an assault-type.

    The doppelgangers weren't real; they were just her second soul skill. They didn't possess any offensive strength. They purely used speed to create illusions. These three figures were actually just the one person.

    But how could her doppelgangers trick Huo Yuhao, and his spiritual detection? Huo Yuhao could take the initiative easily even if he used less effort than her. While they appeared to be on par with one another, Na Na was actually being suppressed, and was at a disadvantage. This was clear from how relaxed Huo Yuhao was-he didn't even use his left hand, instead placing it behind his back.

    Na Na was panicked as the battle dragged on. She no longer underestimated Huo Yuhao.

    Did he really just become a Soul Ancestor? According to the academy's information, he should be more inclined towards a control-type soul master!

    However, she suffered every time she collided with him even though he was just a Soul Ancestor. The ScarletFlame Blade she was using, was a brilliant Class 5 close-combat soul tool. It contained a scarlet flame, which had a temperature of one thousand degrees Celsius. She tested it once on a wild beast, and the wild beast had been instantly cooked as she slashed it with the blade. However, the scarlet flames were dissipated before they even touching Huo Yuhao's body. They couldn't affect him in the slightest. This also meant that it was completely ineffective against Huo Yuhao.

    "Clink!" A crisp sound resonated. Na Na was forced back again. Huo Yuhao's strength numbed her right hand.

    "Wait a minute!" Huo Yuhao shouted. He stopped Na Na just as she was about to burst towards him again.

    "What?" Na Na stared at him warily.

    Huo Yuhao said, "This isn't fair for you. I suggest you change your weapon. I have twin martial souls. My first martial soul is spiritual-type, while my second martial soul is ice-type. Using fire-type or ice-type soul tools against me won't be very effective."

    Na Na was confused. "Why are you telling me this?"

    Huo Yuhao's eyes flashed with burning light. "Your close-combat strength is impressive. But I can also tell that you haven't given your all yet. Since this is the case, I want to spar with you in your best condition. That's the point of sparring, isn't it? You would've already lost if I simply wanted to defeat you."

    Na Na snorted furiously. "Don't be so arrogant. Let's go again." As she spoke, she burst towards Huo Yuhao again. But she didn't use her second soul skill this time. She only used her first soul skill to increase her speed.

    Although she was unconvinced, her soul tool had already changed while she made her move. The ScarletFlame Blade disappeared, replaced by a green blade.

    She seemed to fancy blades. Huo Yuhao was under greater pressure when this blade appeared.

    It was also a Class 5 soul tool, but it was a wind-type soul tool. The blade unleashed six wind blades towards Huo Yuhao, which came from different directions. Huo Yuhao found it tough to navigate even though he had both the spiritual detection and the Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track.

    Na Na inched closer to him. She wielded her 'Swift Blade', and six more wind blades attacked from different directions towards Huo Yuhao. She also got closer to Huo Yuhao with the speed boost from the blade. She wasn't slashing the blade anymore, instead she stabbed it towards Huo Yuhao's chest.

    He lifted both his hands, they were instantly covered in diamond ice crystals. He retracted his Darkgolden Terrorclaws and switched to the Ice Empress' Pincer with Mysterious Jade Hands. He did something else too, something weird. His left hand grabbed forward towards the Swift Blade, while his right arm started to make large revolutions like a huge windmill.

    Something even weirder happened. As he revolved his right arm, the six wind blades seemed to be attracted by something, and changed their direction. They all slashed towards a corner of the arena, leaving several marks. While his left hand touched the Swift Blade.

    Both of their bodies jerked. But the Ice Empress' Pincer couldn't compare to the Darkgolden Terrorclaws. Even though he managed to block the Swift Blade, there wasn't enough strength. Huo Yuhao's staggered two steps back. However, Na Na was forced back too.

    How did he deflect the wind blades? Na Na was shocked once again. But the blades were still useful, or at least they were better than the ScarletFlame Blade.

    Her attacks began anew after her discoveries. She kept on wielding the Swift Blade as she surrounded Huo Yuhao with attacks. Her assault continued swiftly.
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