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Chapter 254.1: Invading a Territory?

    Xu Sanshi didn't dare to be sarcastic after looking at Wang Dong'er's worried expression. He hurriedly got up from the sofa and said, "I'm leaving too. Don't worry, Dong'er, Yuhao knows what he's doing. He must've had something urgent come up if he left in such a hurry."

    Xu Sanshi's words reminded Wang Dong'er. Perhaps Elder Xuan has assigned him something?

    The group appeared before Elder Xuan a few minutes later.

    "Mission? No, I haven't assigned him with anything. Didn't you guys come back together yesterday? What's wrong? Has Huo Yuhao vanished?" Elder Xuan was equally astonished. It was quite a big deal for Shrek Academy if a student went missing, and this was especially alarming because Huo Yuhao was a member of the Sea God's Pavilion. Huo Yuhao could be said to be Shrek Academy's future cornerstone.

    "Don't worry. I'll help you guys look." The entire academy began to move with Elder Xuan's announcement, and everyone started to look for Huo Yuhao.

    ------

    Two hours later, inside the Sea God's Pavilion...

    "Nothing-we've searched everywhere. He's not in the academy. I've sent people over to Shrek City, and nobody's seen Huo Yuhao recently." Elder Xuan lowered his voice as he spoke.

    Six of Shrek's Seven Monsters were gathered at this moment. Huo Yuhao had gone missing, and this was a big deal to everybody.

    Elder Xuan's eyes descended on Wang Dong'er as he said, "Did he say anything to you yesterday, Dong'er? What did he do?"

    Wang Dong'er had been worried for the entire morning, and her eyes were long since red. Huo Yuhao was still nowhere to be seen even though they had been searching for more than two hours, and she couldn't be any more worried than she already was. She was just anxious in the beginning, and then she was incensed, but all that was left in her heart right now was nervousness. She was even thinking that she wouldn't pursue anything about what had happened between him and Wang Qiu'er yesterday if he could just return safely. What a kind-hearted girl!

    She tossed her head from side to side and said, "He was still asleep when I escorted him back to rest. However, his vitals had returned to normal. I... I should have stayed by his side. This is all my fault, all my fault!" Wang Dong'er's voice was starting to break, and she was about to cry.

    Elder Xuan said, "Don't be hasty. There's something odd about all this. We have discovered from our preliminary investigations that Huo Yuhao isn't the only person that has gone missing. Someone else has disappeared."

    "Ah?" Everyone was astounded. Was it possible that this other person was the key to finding Huo Yuhao?

    Elder Xuan glanced at Wang Dong'er and said, "The other missing person is Wang Qiu'er."

    Wang Dong'er felt as if a lightning bolt struck down on her when she heard that name. Her eyes turned black, then she stumbled forward, and would have fallen if Jiang Nannan hadn't been supporting her. Huo Yuhao had gone missing, and he had actually gone missing at the same time as Wang Qiu'er. They, they...

    Wang Dong'er didn't dare to follow that train of thought.

    Xu Sanshi's eyes widened as he muttered softly under his breath, "Was I right? Maybe they really eloped."

    Bei Bei kicked him and whispered, "Shut your filthy mouth! Huo Yuhao isn't an unaccountable person. I think something is wrong."

    Elder Xuan stared at Wang Dong'er's face, which had lost all color. "Bei Bei is right, I think something is wrong. Have you guys considered the possibility that Wang Qiu'er has kidnapped him?"

    Elder Xuan's words were like a lifeline to Wang Dong'er, and she immediately recovered as she stared at Elder Xuan with widened eyes.

    Elder Xuan said ponderously, "I've found it a little strange ever since she joined the academy because she simply looked too much like Dong'er. In fact, they look almost identical, and their names are equally similar. Dong'er is also positive that they are not related by blood, while Wang Qiu'er's martial soul is of Ultimate strength, something that I have never seen before. All these factors raised my suspicions. However, she has relied on her own abilities to join the inner courtyard, so we cannot reject her. Furthermore, her abilities are quite formidable.

    "My suspicions were greatly allayed ever since your hunting expedition into the Great Star Dou Forest. However, something must be wrong, since she vanished along with Huo Yuhao at the same time. Even though outsiders are unaware of how important Huo Yuhao is to Shrek, he has participated in the tournament before, and his twin martial souls are no secret to anyone. It's not impossible that one of our rivals has sent Wang Qiu'er to us with Huo Yuhao as the target. Don't panic, everyone, I have already gathered all the academy's teachers, and we will head out to search for him. I hope that Huo Yuhao is safe. You guys can start moving and head elsewhere to look for him."

    "I'm going right now." Wang Dong'er couldn't wait any longer as she turned around and disappeared in a flash.

    Everyone bid their farewells to Elder Xuan and departed one after another, until only Bei Bei remained.

    "Why aren't you going?" Elder Xuan turned towards Bei Bei.

    Bei Bei frowned and said, "Elder Xuan, do you really believe that Wang Qiu'er has kidnapped him? I don't think that's right. Shrek wouldn't be the number one academy on the Continent if someone could kidnap him from the Sea God's Pavilion. Nobody knows how senior sister Xiaotao left all those years ago, but we were under attack from powerful enemies back then, and our academy was emptied out as a result. However, you were here with the other elders inside the Sea God's Pavilion to hold down the fort. How could you guys let Wang Qiu'er, who's just a Soul Emperor, kidnap him?"

    Elder Xuan tilted his head and said, "You're still coolheaded. The others' minds were a mess. You're right... it's unlikely that Wang Qiu'er has kidnapped him. However, you saw how dejected Dong'er was just now, and I had to find a way to stabilize her before anything else could be done. We don't know why Huo Yuhao has decided to leave, and we don't even know if he left together with Wang Qiu'er. But we can't have any internal problems. I did feel him leave after I got up in the morning. He left by himself, but it felt as if he was in a hurry. I didn't think much about it back then, but it seems he must have run into something. Think carefully, has anything important happened to Huo Yuhao recently?"

    Nobody would ever think, not even in their wildest dreams, that Huo Yuhao's emergency originated from the pouch that Wang Dong'er had given him.

    ......

    Inside Clear Sky Castle...

    "Eh?" Niu Tian was tasting the fragrant wine in his cup when his eyes suddenly froze.

    "What's wrong?" Tiu Tian glanced at him curiously.

    Niu Tian frowned and said, "That's strange! How has the seal been opened so quickly? That's really strange."

    Tiu Tian was also surprised as he said, "Are you referring to that pouch that you gave her? It's probably Huo Yuhao if it's been opened."

    Niu Tian nodded, but he shook his head immediately afterwards and said, "It's not strange that Dong'er has given the pouch to him. Could you not tell when they returned the last time? Dong'er's heart is locked onto that fellow. What I find strange is, how does Yuhao have the ability to open that spiritual seal? Does that mean he sought someone else's help to open it?"

    Tiu Tian drank a mouthful of wine and said, "If it's open, then so be it. He will have to face our final test whether or not he found someone else to help him open it. In the end, the assessment doesn't just test his abilities. More importantly, it tests his love for Dong'er."

    Niu Tian said, "I'm not worried that he found someone to help open the seal,  nor am I worried that he's found someone to help him find the Yearning Heartbroken Grass. What I'm worried about is that he may have opened the seal by accident, and if that's the case, that place is simply too dangerous for him with his current cultivation. I'm afraid something might happen to him."

    Tiu Tian was a little confused. "I don't think so. That fellow is quite intelligent. Can he not retreat and run away if he realizes something is amiss? Besides, can your spiritual seal really be opened by accident? I think we should be more concerned about this fellow showing the letter's contents to Dong'er."

    Niu Tian heaved a faint sigh and said, "Forget it. We weren't the ones who came up with this test, anyway. Since the test has already begun, we will submit to fate."

    "Fate?" Tiu Tian gazed at the distant sky through the window, and an understanding smile appeared on his face.

    Niu Tian was momentarily stunned as he watched his brother's expression. Then he seemed to understand as well, and he smiled faintly as he stared at the clear blue skies outside. "Yes! Fate."

    ......

    Huo Yuhao and Wang Qiu'er flew for five hours, and the Heavenly Soul Empire's Heaven Dou City was finally peeking out over the horizon.

    "Hey, let's take a break!" Wang Qiu'er exclaimed softly.

    "Alright." Huo Yuhao nodded and glided downwards.

    They had been travelling for full speed for five hours, and he was so exhausted that all his strength seemed to have left his body. Soul power could be replenished with a Milk Bottle, but he had to rely on soul power and his own body to defend against the air resistance from high-speed flight. His body was sore from five hours of flight, and he felt as if his entire skeleton was falling apart. He wouldn't be able to take it anymore if he didn't rest.

    They found a small patch of open ground and landed. Huo Yuhao's expression was as calm as water. He withdrew the flying-type soul tool behind his back, crossed his legs, sat down on the ground, and immediately began to meditate.

    "Hey, aren't you going to eat?" Wang Qiu'er could clearly see that there was something wrong with Huo Yuhao's current behavior. The frustration and worry that seemed to come from his bones had made him a little irrational.

    "I'm not too hungry. You go ahead." Huo Yuhao's storage-type soul tool always carried some food and water; this was one of the Ultimate Soldier Plan's main requirements.

    He handed some food and water to Wang Qiu'er before he immediately continued to meditate.

    Wang Qiu'er didn't push further, and she took the food and water and began to eat. She quietly stared at the cross-legged youth sitting before her as she ate.

    Am I going to venture with him into another world of soul beasts? It's only me and him this time. What does he want, exactly? The Setting Sun Forest? How can that compare to the Great Star Dou Forest? The quality of soul beasts in that area is far inferior to the even Great Star Dou Forest's Hybrid Region. Perhaps we won't find a single hundred thousand year soul beast over there.
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