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Chapter 310.3: The Adjudication Shield

    Frightening lightning tore the air open as it thundered towards He Caitou's opponent. The bluish-purple lighting caused the air to twist and contort, and 85 had just evaded his own enfeebling cannon charge when his face changed.

    Class 6! That's a Class 6 lightning cannon! My protective soul barrier can't handle that!

    He hesitated for a single moment before he shouted, "I admit defeat!" He did have an option against this attack. He could use his Invincible Barrier to defend himself, but doing so was no different from admitting defeat. Almost every soul engineer above Class 5 was equipped with an Invincible Barrier, but this item was so outrageously expensive that nobody would ever use it unless the circumstance was a matter of life and death. This was especially so when the tournament prohibited using soul tools that were not crafted during the tournament, and this meant using an Invincible Barrier was equivalent to admitting defeat.

    Boom!

    The Lightning Cannon was withdrawn after just one shot. But even so, 85 was immediately thrown backwards from the impact, and his Class 5 protective soul barrier instantly shattered. His soul power was almost entirely smashed away by the impact, and his entire body was burned black. He puked out a mouthful of blood when he dropped back to the ground.

    Ajin couldn't help but exclaim, "85 loves wealth more than he loves his life! I believe he has an Invincible Barrier with him, but he couldn't bear to use it. I would have done the same thing if I had been in his shoes. It's a pity I'm not a soul engineer..."

    The battle was over, and victory had been determined. He Caitou was actually quite merciful and generous. Otherwise, if he had unleashed his Lightning Cannon's strength to its fullest extent, 85 would have been heavily injured, or instantly killed!

    "Thank you for showing me mercy." 85 climbed to his feet and immediately bowed respectfully to He Caitou. Even though he had lost this round, his opponent had instantly stopped attacking after he admitted defeat. He was full of goodwill towards his opponent.

    He Caitou remembered everything that Huo Yuhao had told him. He didn't make a sound, but nodded in his opponent's direction before he departed the competition stage to claim his prize.

    ---

    Two matches out of three were over. 96 was very powerful and dominant, and He Caitou's last Class 6 soul tool was equally strong and impressive. Both of them gave the audience a deep and lasting impression.

    Soul engineers typically resolved their combats very quickly, and rifts in strength and standards were quickly presented in a fight. The highlight of the show was about to begin, and the contestants that had bet against one another were about to fight!

    Everyone in the audience began to take shorter and quicker breaths. Some were pleased and others upset about the result of the previous two matches, but the third and final match had the best odds. This was especially true for those who had placed their bets on Huo Yuhao; every single one of them could feel butterflies in their stomach. Even though they knew their chances of winning their bets were slim, they still had to hold on to that thread of hope until the very end. The odds were one to three... these was considered very good odds, and they would make windfall profits if they won this bet!

    Those who had placed their bets on 98 weren't worried at all. Six soul tools versus one... unless his opponent had a trump card that ensured his victory, 98's advantage was just too evident. There was nothing they had to be worried about at all.

    Huo Yuhao smiled,but his smile felt a little chilly. Officials pushed his wheelchair onto the competition stage, and 98 stepped onto the stage on the other side, fully equipped with his six soul tools.

    Their gazes met, and the corner of 98's mouth curled into a smile. "Do you feel the pressure now, little fellow? Give it up. I won't kill you, considering you've given me such a nice present. I'll let you keep your life because of that."

    Huo Yuhao's face was black. "We haven't even fought yet. How are you so sure that you'll win? Let me tell you, I have a lot of soul power. Hmph!"

    98 laughed heartily and said, "That means you want to use that shield of yours to grind me down until I have no soul power left? Do you think that's realistic? I have at least a hundred ways of breaking through your defenses. You're so outrageous and arrogant even though you're sitting on that wheelchair. Now I understand why you are crippled."

    Huo Yuhao felt a knot form in his heart. Even though he was intentionally showing weakness to his opponent, he still didn't feel very happy when his opponent labelled him as an outrageous and arrogant cripple.

    "We'll see during the match. I hope you won't cry after losing the battle. The Darkness Green Dragon, huh? It's already mine," Huo Yuhao grunted coldly, but he didn't seem like he had any substance to back up his words.

    "My Darkness Green Dragon is right here. I'm afraid you can only look at it. Hahaha!" 98 waved his right hand, and a dark green light waltzed around his fingertips like a spiritual serpent that had come alive. Huo Yuhao had to admit that 98 was quite accomplished with soul tools, and he had his own attainments.

    "Judge!" Huo Yuhao suddenly shouted.

    All three judges turned towards him confusedly.

    Huo Yuhao said, "I've already given my stake to you before this. The crafting phase is over, so shouldn't 98 give his stake to you just like I have? That's only fair!"

    98 felt his face freeze for a moment, but he quickly returned to normal. He generously revealed the Darkness Green Dragon in his hands and said, "Take it away, then. It will come back to me in a moment's time, anyway."

    Huo Yuhao could clearly tell that 98 couldn't bear to part with his carving knife when the judges took it away.

    All soul engineers at every class were as intimate with the carving knife they always used as if it were their own child. It was natural that any soul engineer would feel a little out of place without their favorite carving knife in their possession.

    ---

    They entered the competition stage and took their sides. They had the soul tools that they had crafted earlier on them.

    Huo Yuhao placed his shield flat down on his legs and gently caressed its surface. The unsettled expression on his face gradually disappeared, and he finally displayed a self-confident smile.

    He was absolutely certain that this shield was one of the most successful soul tools that he had crafted over his entire life, and had named it the Adjudication Shield.

    "Are you guys ready?" the judges inquired from their elevated seats.

    "I'm ready!" Both Huo Yuhao and 98 responded at the same time.

    "Alright. Bring up the protective barriers!"

    The pale yellow protective barriers rose up and formed a hemisphere that encompassed the entire competition stage. The barriers were there to prevent the soul tools unleashed from damaging the Golden Hall.

    Huo Yuhao raised the shield in his hands. 98 seemed as casual as ever on the other side, and he raised a strange-looking soul cannon with his right hand.

    "Begin!"

    The round of six's final match began with the judge's announcement.

    Huo Yuhao raised his shield in front of him. However, not a single soul ring could be seen on his body.

    On the other side, whistling sounds could be heard beneath 98's feet as two yellow, two purple, and two black soul rings rose up, one after another. Dense soul power undulations immediately rippled from his body.

    He wasn't at all hasty to attack. Instead, he took a few steps forward as he placed his soul cannon on his shoulder.

    Of the other six soul tools that he had created, other than his Invincible Barrier, he took the longest to craft this one.

    This soul cannon looked like it was embedded into his shoulder, and it gave the audience the feeling that it was part of his body. This was a quality that an outstanding soul engineer had to possess, and every soul tool he created had to have chemistry with the soul engineer's body.

    This soul cannon was silver-white in color, and faintly radiated green light. The cannon's mouth was flat and rectangular, and the entire cannon seemed a little peculiar. The black, flat opening began to flicker with light.

    98 channeled his soul power, and a soul tool on his waist behind his back erupted with light. He also had an energy-gathering soul tool, but his energy-gathering soul tool was a little gentler than the one that belonged to 85. At least, the soul power undulations didn't seem as strong.

    However, once this soul tool was activated, the soul cannon on his shoulder erupted with green light. There appeared to be black streaks of air circulating around the cannon's mouth.

    Huo Yuhao hid his body completely behind his shield. Blue light sparkled on his shield, and a faint wheel of light could be seen that increased the shield's defensive area of effect. The hemispherical protrusion in the shield's center didn't change much, while the silver-white regions at the shield's center and on its edges shone with relatively more intense white light. The shield had quite an impressive outward appearance to the naked eye.

    However, the gamblers who had placed their bets on Huo Yuhao felt their hopes dwindling to nothing. Could he really grind down his opponent's soul power with this shield?

    They witnessed Huo Yuhao's soul rings at this moment. He had two yellow, two purple, and one black soul ring. This was the optimal soul ring combination, but he only had five. He was a Soul King, so how he could win a war of attrition against a Soul Emperor? A Soul Emperor's soul power was at least two or three times more plentiful than a Soul King's.

    Huo Yuhao rarely revealed his soul rings' true colors to outsiders so that he could hide his identity. He was using Imitation to mask their actual colors!

    98's soul cannon fired, and a dark red beam stretched through the air, sweeping towards Huo Yuhao.

    ---

    Inside the central guest lounge, the third elder muttered under his breath, "I want to see how this fellow is going to defend himself against Mo Ke's corrosive decomposition cannon. With the Darkness Green Dragon's amplifications, this corrosive decomposition cannon would be considered very powerful even among Class 6 soul tools. It's very explosive, but its continuous destructiveness is its strongest attribute. No matter what deflective and absorptive effects that shield possesses, it can only take effect on material entities. How is he going to defend himself?"

    Huo Yuhao proved how he could defend himself on the competition stage. He placed his shield in front of him, and began to chant something under his breath. The shield blocked everyone's vision, and his eyes suddenly turned grey.

    The audience watched as the corrosive decomposition beam was about to reach his shield. A grey streak suddenly burst from Huo Yuhao's body and condensed into a sphere of smoky fog that blocked the beam's forward movement, just like that.

    A series of crackling sounds could be heard as steam rose up from the competition stage. Huo Yuhao didn't move at all, but a black skeleton suddenly appeared before him. This skeleton seemed to have been called from nowhere, and the gray fog blocked the light beam for one moment before this black skeleton forcefully intervened.
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