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Chapter 180: A Sovereign-like Victory

    Bang! Huo Yuhao couldn't help it as he shut the door to his room. After that, he quickly ran to the washroom to clean his face.

    Na Na couldn't help but laugh as she stood outside his room. It seemed like dealing with him was just this simple! She had been overthinking things. How bad could such an innocent young man be?

    Suddenly, her body jerked. Since he can restrain my spirit, it means that he can also... As she thought of this point, she started to become excited. She turned around and wanted to knock on his door again.

    She lifted her hands, and her breathing became a little rapid. She muttered to herself, "Don't be anxious, don't be anxious. I'll find him when the competition ends. I hope that he can really do it." As she spoke, she clenched her fists tightly. However, the excitement on her face couldn't be concealed.

    Huo Yuhao sat on his bed for half an hour before he entered his meditative state. He wondered whether he was the one punishing Na Na, or if she was the one punishing him!

    ------

    Morning. Huo Yuhao awoke from his meditation.

    He was filled with energy. He opened his windows, and clear air flowed into his room, refreshing him.

    After a night of rest, his energy had been restored, and he was in his best condition. His soul power circulated, and streaks of white gas rose from his body before he inhaled them again. Huo Yuhao was delighted to discover that his overnight cultivation was equivalent to ten days of normal cultivation. It seemed like sufficient pressure was beneficial to his cultivation.

    I should be under greater pressure today! Let it come then.

    The golden light in Huo Yuhao's Spirit Eyes shone at this moment as the first ray of sunlight shone down. A dim purple appeared in the sky, and Huo Yuhao used his Purple Demon Eyes to absorb this color.

    The Soul Tool Experimentation Arena was just as packed as yesterday, but it was much quieter and more peaceful today. Many of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy students sacrificed sleep to watch the competition, and hadn't had a good night's rest. Huo Yuhao had shocked them too much with the difference between a soul master and soul engineer's fighting styles. It was also their first time witnessing the abilities of a powerful soul master. They now understood why Shrek Academy was so dominant on the continent.

    The increased use of soul tools represented progress, but soul masters had been around for many generations. It would take a long time before soul tools could suppress soul masters in a battle. At the very least, soul engineers couldn't do it now.

    The Class 6 soul engineers from Illustrious Virtue Hall were going to compete today. Could Huo Yuhao maintain his winning streak?

    Wagers were still being accepted, but there was only one choice. The odds were still five to one. However, the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy students didn't think they had a chance to win.

    Jing Hongchen also arrived at the main spectator stand early. He had been greatly affected by the competition yesterday. Huo Yuhao was only fifteen years old, but was shockingly rich with actual combat experience. Although he didn't think Huo Yuhao was that strong, there wasn't anyone the same age that could match up to him. Were his grandchildren even that capable at his age?

    Perhaps the only problem with Huo Yuhao was that his soul power increased very slowly. This was something that Jing Hongchen was slightly comforted by. Otherwise, he would need to come up with ways of dealing with the young man before he became a serious danger to the empire.

    After a period of set-up and resolution, the matter regarding the attack on the base of Illustrious Virtue Hall was finally suppressed... but it had also forced Jing Hongchen to join the Crown Prince's side. With his support, the Crown Prince had now gained an absolute advantage. The two remaining competing princes lost ground immediately. The Sun Moon Empire Emperor's condition was worsening, and no one knew how much longer he would live.

    Jing Hongchen's only wish was to restore Test Subject One. After all, it was incomplete. No one besides him knew the password to activate it. Without the password, it was only a stack of rare metals. While dismantling the stack of metal and selling it would definitely be valuable, it was still better than exposing Illustrious Virtue Hall's greatest secrets.

    A dim light flashed, and Huo Yuhao revealed a faint glow on his face. He was much calmer when he arrived at the Soul Tool Experimentation Arena for the second time in two days. He also didn't provoke anyone today, as he just wanted to use this sparring competition to enhance himself. Since he couldn't leave, he would use these two years to become even stronger.

    In yesterday's competition, he had intended to suppress his skills to prevent being exposed. But after a night of cultivation, this intention had already disappeared. That's because he believed that he could only benefit if he gave his all to the fight. There were still two and a half years left until the next Elite Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament. Shouldn't he be trying to become stronger and more capable in these two and a half years? Moreover, most of his capabilities couldn't be understood by mere visual observation.

    To ensure greater improvement, Huo Yuhao set his mind to not to hold back in today's competition, he wanted to go all-out. In addition, he also knew that his competitors today were the elites. The Class 6 soul engineers weren't just one class above Class 5 soul engineers, they were all from Illustrious Virtue Hall. Their understanding of soul tools and excellence in soul tool production was far superior to the students that he sparred with yesterday.

    Huo Yuhao was unsure of how many of them he could beat today, but he was determined to give his all.

    The referee was still Xuan Ziwen. As he watched Huo Yuhao, he felt slightly envious.

    He was young once. When he was young, he was also an outstanding talent. However, he seemed to lack something compared to Huo Yuhao. He lacked the sharpness, as well as the stability to wield that sharpness. His student was only fifteen! However, why did he feel as if he were interacting with someone of the same age throughout their entire exchange? What price did the young man pay to attain such maturity?

    Xuan Ziwen smiled as he asked, "Yuhao, how was your rest last night?"

    The first thing that popped up in Huo Yuhao's mind was Na Na's body. He forced a smile and replied, "It was rather good."

    Xuan Ziwen said, "That's great. Today, your opponents are going to be stronger. After discussing things with the Hallmaster yesterday, we've agreed to let you use soul tools today. After all, you only have four soul rings. If you're restricted too much, it'll be unfair. This isn't the academy's style. Do your best to strut your stuff today and unleash your full abilities."

    Huo Yuhao was stunned for a moment. "I'm allowed to use soul tools? The Hallmaster must be interested in how I combine soul tools with my martial souls."

    Xuan Ziwen replied "I don't know that about that. If you're absolutely confident in yourself, you don't have to use them."

    Huo Yuhao laughed, "Why not? It's nothing anyway. Since we're sparring, I have to live up to the meaning of it. I just hope that my competitors don't disappoint me today."

    Xuan Ziwen looked at him with a meaningful gaze and said, "You won't be disappointed. Go and prepare yourself."

    Huo Yuhao nodded and shut his eyes. He focused, and circulated his Mysterious Heaven Technique. He quickly adjusted his body to its best condition.

    In truth, he didn't think that he could beat twenty-six Class 6 soul engineers from Illustrious Virtue Hall. It was unrealistic to think that he could defeat all of them in one day unless his Light of Destiny could be used continuously. That might give him a glimmer of hope.

    But Xuan Ziwen's words gave him hope again. If he could use soul tools, it was a different matter! In terms of soul tools, Xuan Ziwen recognized his abilities in soul tool use and production, even though his soul power wasn't up to par yet. This also meant that he wasn't that inferior to the soul engineers from Illustrious Virtue Hall.

    Perhaps this was the first test he had to take after choosing the close-combat path. Huo Yuhao started to become excited as his competitive will was piqued. Fighting was the best way to test his abilities. He became extremely focused now.

    After getting approval from Jing Hongchen, Xuan Ziwen returned back to the stage.

    Lin Jiayi was still the emcee for the sparring today. His voice boomed out through the sound-amplifying soul tool. "Teachers and students, today is the second day of the sparring against Shrek Academy! It will still be Huo Yuhao competing on behalf of Shrek! After yesterday's competition, I'm sure all of you have witnessed the difference in fighting style between a soul master and a soul engineer! I hope that all of you can use this chance to discover your own problems, and enhance your real-life experience with soul masters! At the same time, I hope that all of you can work hard and be like Huo Yuhao, achieving glory for your academy!"

    "Today, we'll be sending out Class 6 soul engineers from the Illustrious Virtue Hall. We have twenty of them with us today. We'll carry out as many rounds as we can until dinnertime. The competition's about to start. Please observe carefully, and reference what you see with your own abilities. If you can learn something from this, this sparring competition will be a success. Due to the gap in cultivation, Huo Yuhao will be allowed to use his own soul tools today. All of you must also carefully watch how he combines his martial souls with soul tools. This is especially pertinent for students from the Active Control Soul Tool Department. Alright, the competition's going to start."

    Huo Yuhao was still the center of attention, but he wasn't treated like an enemy anymore. Whether it was in the world of soul masters or soul engineers, one's abilities were the most important. Huo Yuhao had already proven that he had true ability by being able to win thirty consecutive rounds against Class 5 soul engineers. Those with true ability were always respected, even in the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. Many of the other students were wondering how far Huo Yuhao could progress as he faced the Class 6 soul engineers from the Illustrious Virtue Hall.

    Many continued to wager today, but very few wagered on Huo Yuhao. It was just like how Huo Yuhao lacked self-confidence. No one believed that he could win all the way against the Illustrious Virtue Hall's Class 6 soul engineers. At least, he couldn't win twenty consecutive rounds.

    But there were exceptions. For example, Ke Ke wagered ten kilos of rare metal on Huo Yuhao. Besides her, another female student also bet on Huo Yuhao. She was Na Na.

    Even Na Na didn't understand why she did that. She wasn't exactly wealthy, and thus she only staked a hundred gold soul coins.

    Xuan Ziwen gestured for the first Illustrious Virtue Hall's Class 6 soul engineer to enter.

    He was a youth that looked to be around twenty-five or twenty-six years old. He was burly. His short hair was brown, and he had a tanned complexion. It was obvious that he was somehow related to the imperial family. His arms were slightly longer than normal, and were thick. As he slowly walked into the Soul Tool Experimentation Area, his aura had already swept over Huo Yuhao. But Huo Yuhao wasn't fearful. He watched his opponent calmly, and was ready to enter his fighting mode.

    "Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy's Illustrious Virtue Hall. Shen Musu."

    "Shrek Academy. Huo Yuhao."

    Xuan Ziwen looked at both parties. He lifted his right arm before slamming it down, "The competition begins."

    As he proclaimed the start of the match, both parties made their move. Shen Musu burst forward just like Huo Yuhao. The gap between them was shrinking quickly.

    Shen Musu's hands were held at his side as he burst forward. He held a long dagger in each hand. These two daggers were the same - they were four inches long, their hilts were thick and their blades were wide.

    A dirt-yellow radiance was released. As his soul power was unleashed, there was an overwhelming sense of power.

    Earth-type, close-combat soul tool!

    Huo Yuhao didn't unleash any soul tools. He acted the same way he had yesterday. There was helmet on Shen Musu's head with a colorless ruby mounted on it. This ruby shone weakly under the sun.

    There were bound to be heavy sparks in this clash between two close-combat soul engineers.

    Both parties were getting closer and closer to each other. Shen Musu shouted, and his third soul ring started to shine. A layer of purplish light engulfed his body, and his aura became even more overwhelming.

    He stopped suddenly before leaping forward. He slashed his daggers towards Huo Yuhao.

    The yellow daggers didn't seem to release any force. The air around Shen Musu's center also started to distort.

    Huo Yuhao squinted his eyes. His toes touched the ground, and he sprang up from the ground in a swifter manner compared to Shen Musu. The Darkgolden Terrorclaws appeared once again.

    Just as both parties were getting closer and closer to each other, a wing flapped open from Huo Yuhao's back. After that, he dodged to one side, avoiding Shen Musu's daggers. This happened instantly, and his Darkgolden Terrorclaws had already clawed towards Shen Musu's shoulder.

    He used this half of his flying-type soul tool to displace his position. The wing of the flying-type soul tool even flashed before disappearing. He must possess immaculate control!

    Even a Class 6 protective soul barrier couldn't resist the destructive force of the Darkgolden Terrorclaws.

    But Shen Musu wasn't an easy target to deal with. He didn't panic. His sixth soul ring suddenly lit up, and a Boulder Armor surfaced in front of his body.

    The appearance of the Boulder Armor greatly increased his weight. He immediately landed back on the ground as he was dragged down by the increased weight. He even bore the attack of the terrorclaws.

    Several rocks were peeled off from the armor as a screech was heard. But Shen Musu wasn't hurt. Huo Yuhao was surprised that Shen Musu's daggers continued to slash down in the same trajectory. They stabbed into the ground.

    "Bang" A deep rumbling sound was heard, and Huo Yuhao felt a huge rocking motion beneath his feet. This rocking motion sent his body flying through the air. Following that, countless sharp spikes shot out from Shen Musu's body.

    These spikes were shot upwards to a height of three meters. Huo Yuhao couldn't possibly avoid them. He was in great danger now.

    Lin Jiayi had pondered carefully before sending Shen Musu out to spar first. Shen Musu's helmet had a protective effect against spiritual power, and was designed to withstand attacks like Huo Yuhao's Spiritual Shock, while his martial soul was a Boulder, which wasn't easily curbed by Huo Yuhao's Ultimate Ice. In addition, it was especially useful in close-combat. Shen Musu was both offensively and defensively resolute. He was one of the best among the Class 6 soul engineers in the Illustrious Virtue Hall.

    However, they had still underestimated Huo Yuhao.

    When he was jerked into the air, Huo Yuhao could already sense the undulation from the ground. His Spiritual Detection accurately sensed the surge of his opponent's soul power.

    Huo Yuhao could sense an immense force from the yellow daggers. Perhaps their speed couldn't increase by much, but their aura gave off an irresistible feeling.

    Huo Yuhao had to be decisive under such a circumstance.

    That was why he unleashed the Ice Empress Armor as he was sent flying. He tried to reduce the impact on him. Following that, everyone could see his body lighting up.

    An azure-green radiance surged from his backbone. He opened his arms wide and braced his chest. An indescribable, mighty aura was exuded from his body.

    No soul rings lit up yet. But one could see the air around Huo Yuhao distorting. After this, an azure-green beam of light shot out from his belly.

    Right now, Huo Yuhao was at Shen Musu's side. Shen Musu couldn't dodge this strike. He was struck directly.

    The heavy impact propelled Huo Yuhao's body upwards. He avoided the spikes that came towards him, whereas Shen Musu's body had turned azure-green.

    One of the soul skills of the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion's skeleton, the Ice Empress' Wrath!

    Huo Yuhao had had two choices. Either he unleashed the complete version of the Darkgolden Terrorclaws, or he used the Ice Empress' Wrath. He made his decision quickly.

    These two skills expended roughly the same amount of energy and power, but the Darkgolden Terrorclaws were half a beat slower than the Ice Empress' Wrath, as he needed to wield his arm.

    Huo Yuhao tapped into the impact generated by the Ice Empress' Wrath to make a revolution in mid-air. When his body unfolded again, his right hand was already out. The complete Darkgolden Terroclaws! He swept it toward his opponent, who was frozen still.

    Shen Musu's Boulder Armor was his sixth soul skill, and was even a ten thousand year soul skill! But Huo Yuhao's Ice Empress' Wrath was a four hundred thousand year soul skill. While Huo Yuhao couldn't unleash its full strength, he had no trouble freezing Shen Musu on the spot.

    "Stop." A golden barrel lit up in Xuan Ziwen's hands. A cannon shell accurately landed on Shen Musu's body and turned into a golden light barrier that protected him.

    Huo Yuhao's terrorclaws didn't really strike him. They disappeared as a light projection flashed. His toes touched the golden light barrier, and he landed on the ground after he deflected himself into the air.

    Xuan Ziwen was astonished. How's he able to retract his attack so easily after unleashing it so furiously? How good is his control?

    He didn't know that Huo Yuhao couldn't retract his terrorclaws if he unleashed the complete version. But it was another matter if he used Imitation to imitate his terrorclaws!

    He was going to face a series of tough battles today. Why would he waste his soul power? He could decide victory with the Ice Empress' Wrath. Since Xuan Ziwen intervened, it meant that he had won.

    After ten seconds, Shen Musu's Boulder Armor was crushed, and his face turned pale. He staggered and almost collapsed to the ground. A layer of golden light flashed continuously on his body. It was evident that some protective soul tool had been activated.

    In truth, it was impossible for Huo Yuhao's Ice Empress' Wrath to overcome Shen Musu's Boulder Armor and Class 6 protective soul barrier.

    While Shen Musu's armor was able to Huo Yuhao's attack, it also restricted his own strength at a critical moment. After the armor was frozen, he couldn't break free even if he wanted to. Huo Yuhao then used the Darkgolden Terrorclaws to force Xuan Ziwen into intervening. Shen Musu could only concede defeat.

    Shen Musu's brows furrowed as he looked at Huo Yuhao. He was also shivering because of the extreme chill he had felt earlier, "You've won. But I'm not convinced."

    Huo Yuhao nodded his head and said, "I know that, I can sense it. Your daggers are indeed powerful, and aren't easy to deal with. If I'm not wrong, the spikes were supposed to come at me relentlessly after they forced me to divulge my flaws. That's why I didn't give you the opportunity to unleash your full fighting strength. Let's hope I have another opportunity to spar with you again."

    Huo Yuhao was also much more courteous against a worthy opponent. He was indeed impressed by Shen Musu's abilities.

    Shen Musu nodded at Huo Yuhao before turning around. He told himself that he needed to place a protective soul barrier outside the Boulder Armor the next time he sparred with Huo Yuhao. In that way, his defense would be even greater.

    Yet another victory? Another commotion ensued. This fight had been very short, and the spectators' stand was very far away. It was difficult to make out small events.

    While Huo Yuhao seemed to win the fight quickly, it wasn't easy for him. He won because of his Ultimate Ice. The Ice Empress' Wrath froze his opponent's earth-type ten-thousand year soul skill. In addition, he had also tricked Xuan Ziwen. Even if he had really used the complete Darkgolden Terrorclaws, he might not even have been able to crush the Boulder Armor.

    ---

    Huo Yuhao sat cross-legged on the ground and meditated as he returned to the waiting area. Although the Ice Empress' Wrath had depleted some of his soul power, he had no problem continuing.

    However, he realized how powerful the Class 6 soul engineers were after fighting Shen Musu. Although he was confident of going against them, he might lose if his focus and energy weren't at their best.

    After fifteen minutes, Huo Yuhao leapt up and nodded towards Xuan Ziwen.

    The second soul engineer from the Illustrious Virtue Hall was an ordinary-looking woman with an average figure. She looked to be almost thirty years old.

    "Illustrious Virtue Hall, Jing Ziyan." This woman was the most concise among those who had competed against Huo Yuhao.

    "Shrek, Huo Yuhao." Huo Yuhao was also concise.

    "The competition begins!"

    Huo Yuhao burst forward as usual... but this time, he let everyone witness his top speed.

    As he burst forward, four semi-circular soul tools appeared behind his back. They revealed four nozzles as they flipped out. The four nozzles started to spurt fire backwards. Four streaks of flames shot out, and Huo Yuhao's body burst forward like a shooting star.

    Those with keen eyes realized that Huo Yuhao was now covered by a layer of diamond ice crystals as the four streaks of bright flames shot out. He had no choice, as without the Ice Empress' Armor's protection his body couldn't tolerate the incredible thrusting force or the wind resistance.

    However, Huo Yuhao managed to reach a frightening speed with the explosive thrusting force. He covered a hundred and fifty meters almost instantly, arriving right in front of Jing Ziyan with a terrifying aura.

    Jing Ziyan was very calm when she appeared. But when Huo Yuhao's speed soared and he burst straight towards her, she was slightly surprised.

    Huo Yuhao gave off a feeling like he was a powerful soul beast now. The Sovereign's Descent seemed almost unstoppable as Huo Yuhao's speed increased dramatically.

    What greeted Jing Ziyan was Huo Yuhao's fist. It was covered by diamond ice crystals and combined both the Ice Empress' Pincer and the Mysterious Jade Hands.

    He didn't use the Darkgolden Terrorclaws because he couldn't combine both the Sovereign's Descent and Darkgolden Terrorclaws perfectly at such a high speed.

    But he still managed to control the speed, strength, intent, energy, angle, and timing of this fist precisely. This was Huo Yuhao's true ability, as he unleashed an ultimate strike!

    Jing Ziyan drifted back instantly, and a layer of intense golden light shone from her body. It was an Invincible Barrier that could last for three seconds. Not only that, but a layer of thick purplish fog also surged up from her body. More accurately speaking, her entire body seemed to change into a ball of fog. Following this, her fifth soul ring lit up.

    She was much stronger than Shen Musu. She had two yellow, two purple and two black soul rings - the perfect combination of soul rings for a Soul Emperor. Huo Yuhao had felt a sense of crisis, thus he unleashed such a powerful attack.

    Huo Yuhao's fist struck the Invincible Barrier heavily. The collision caused the lights in the Soul Tool Experimentation Arena to dim a little. Did the weather change?

    The resolute Invincible Barrier started to crack after Huo Yuhao's fist struck it. This crack started to extend, with his fist at the center of it. But it still looked like it had managed to resist Huo Yuhao's strike.

    But did it really manage to resist his strike?

    The purplish fog instantly gathered within the Invincible Barrier and re-adopted human form. Jing Ziyan looked pale.

    Yes, the Invincible Barrier could withstand Huo Yuhao's all-out strike. However, it couldn't resist the intent of his Sovereign's Descent. Jing Ziyan was forced back into her human form by this intent, and was even spiritually impacted.

    Kacha! The Invincible Barrier broke completely.

    A purplish light flashed in Huo Yuhao's eyes before disappearing.

    Jing Ziyan groaned. The back of her head seemed to have hit by something extremely strong. Fresh blood started to flow from her nose.

    In the next instant, Huo Yuhao's Darkgolden Terrorclaws were already in front of her. However, he stopped one inch away from her, and watched her as she collapsed to the ground.

    She didn't pass out. She covered her head with her hands and groaned in pain. More blood started to flow out of her eyes, ears, and mouth.

    Huo Yuhao braced his chest as he let his Darkgolden Terrorclaws down. The entire place went silent at this point. He was just like a sovereign as he stood there.

    "Tyrannical! He only has four rings?" Jing Hongchen muttered these words. Right now, he was in a daze.

    Absolute speed, absolute strength, and absolute dominance.

    Huo Yuhao didn't even give Jing Ziyan a chance to counterattack before he ended the battle.

    He returned to the waiting area without uttering a word. He sat where he was originally and started to meditate. Only Xuan Ziwen noticed that he was breathing heavily, and his right arm was trembling slightly. It seemed as if he could collapse.

    That strike...

    Huo Yuhao must have had suffered a huge price to unleash such a powerful strike.

    It wasn't a speed that a Class 5 or Class 6 soul engineer could reach. With Huo Yuhao's standard in soul tool production, he couldn't possibly create a Class 7 soul thruster. But he had used four Class 6 soul thrusters, allowing him to reach a speed equivalent to that of a Class 7 soul thruster.

    The impact on his body was very heavy at such a high speed. Moreover, he hadn't held back at all when he struck the Invincible Barrier. It was no surprise to him that he felt as if he was going to collapse.

    It was also no wonder Jing Ziyan lost to him!

    Xuan Ziwen was very familiar with Jing Ziyan. That's because Jing Ziyan was his junior, and was once touted as a genius. The reason why she was only a Class 6 soul engineer now was because she got too greedy. She had researched all types of soul tools without choosing a path for herself. That was why she stagnated as a Class 6 soul engineer. But she still managed to enter Illustrious Virtue Hall, a testament to her talent. She was recognized as the Queen of Class 6 soul engineers in Illustrious Virtue Hall.

    Illustrious Virtue Hall sent out Shen Musu and Jing Ziyan first in a bid to regain the face they had lost yesterday. However, both of them had now lost to Huo Yuhao. They even lost very quickly.

    Xuan Ziwen was shocked to realize that Huo Yuhao had quickly entered a stable meditative state and stopped trembling after a while. Everything seemed to become calm again. The huge burden and pressure that he was under earlier seemed to have disappeared. His aura and soul power undulations returned to normal once again.

    Yes, this was how quickly Huo Yuhao could heal. The immense life power of the Life Gold ensured that his body was very tough. Otherwise, he would've died when he saved Ju Zi and Ke Ke. The Ultimate Soldier Plan had proceeded smoothly because of his ability to fight continuously for long periods of time.
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