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Chapter 345.1: Steamed Buns

    Elder Xuan didn't hesitate as he heard Zhang Lexuan's words. "No. Did you not see his signal? Green means he was successful, and red means danger. You guys should hide outside the city for a little while, and go back when dawn breaks. We will hide somewhere in the western suburbs, and prepare to reinforce Huo Yuhao. If something happens to him at the Radiant City Elite Soul Engineering Tournament, it will be convenient for us to escort him away." Huo Yuhao was still participating in the competition in the western suburbs, and this was one of the most important reasons why Elder Xuan didn't want to leave with Du Busi and the others. Huo Yuhao was Shrek's future!

    Zhang Lexuan was a little worried and anxious. "What about Bei Bei? He's still at the hotel. Should I look for him?"

    Elder Xuan heaved a faint sigh and said, "You're not thinking straight because you're too concerned, Lexuan. Do you really think, with Huo Yuhao's meticulousness, that he didn't think about Bei Bei? The signal that he just sent out means danger, but they have just left from there. Furthermore, he has to continue in the Radiant City Elite Soul Engineering Tournament, so he will only reappear after the competition ends, no matter what happens in the city. There's more than enough time for him to send someone to fetch Bei Bei between now and then."

    Zhang Lexuan bit down on her lower lip. It was true, she wasn't thinking straight because she was too concerned. Even though that fellow...

    She stared at Elder Xuan with a pair of bright and spirited eyes. "Elder Xuan, I'm still not assured. I..."

    Elder Xuan felt a little helpless. "Alright, you can go... but be careful. I'm afraid the city might be under martial law very soon, and you should take Bei Bei out of the city as soon as possible once you meet him. Rendezvous with us at the western suburbs."

    "Yes." Zhang Lexuan's voice had barely dropped before she flew out and disappeared in the blink of an eye.

    Elder Xuan wasn't that worried about her safety, as Zhang Lexuan was strong enough to challenge even a Titled Douluo. Furthermore, she was one of the people leading a finalist team in the Continental Elite Youth Soul Master Tournament. It would be easier for her to deal with things if she wasn't masked when she entered the city.

    ------

    In the western suburbs...

    Ye Yulin's tightly knitted eyebrows finally relaxed. The colors in the skies above Radiant City changed continuously. Normal people couldn't understand what was happening, but a powerful individual like him could. This especially true because he was the Starsky Douluo, so he was naturally more sensitive about everything that happened in the skies.

    The other side had finally settled down, and it seemed like the empire was in control of the situation.

    Ye Yulin supported Xu Tianran. Furthermore, he was one of the main committee members when the royal palace was being designed, so he was very well-versed in the royal palace's defensive capabilities. He had absolute faith that even if an Ultimate Douluo arrived above the Radiant City's royal palace, he or she wouldn't have a good time against the royal palace's defense mechanisms all going off at the same time.

    The royal palace's main defense mechanisms hadn't even been activated yet, which meant that the intruders were not worth activating their fortifications. Even though the intruders were in the sky, the royal palace would still create an enormous disturbance if they fired countless Class 8 and Class 9 soul cannons heavenwards, possibly instilling panic into the citizens. But everything had settled down by now, which meant the issue had been resolved.

    The furor in the city had settled down, but the tournament was starting to pique Ye Yulin's excitement.

    More than half of the round's stipulated time had passed at this point. The fellow named Tang Wu hadn't begun on a single formation array, and his movements even seemed to slow, as if he were a little fatigued. He was still working on some miscellaneous components.

    Ye Yulin observed him for a little while. Those components gave him a refreshing feeling; the springs, the mechanical joints, and everything else gave him quite some inspiration. This youth was clearly very familiar with these things from the way he worked.

    The only problem was, no matter how intricate and exquisite these things were, soul tools needed formation arrays to work.

    Ye Yulin was a Class 9 soul engineer, and he could naturally understand some of Huo Yuhao's intentions after observing him for so long. This youth wanted to use certain unique mechanical joints and components to substitute for certain formation arrays. Yes, that must be it. But even so, human-shaped soul tools require far too many formation arrays. More than half of the given time has passed, so can he finish his soul tool if he hasn't started on them yet?

    Ye Yulin liked this youth's speed, stability, and technique. This was especially true because this youth was crippled; his body was weak, but his will was strong, and this made Ye Yulin even more moved about taking him in as his disciple.

    Even though he didn't know where Huo Yuhao had learned his skills, Ye Yulin was a giant among men in the soul engineer world. He wasn't afraid that Huo Yuhao would be unwilling to be his disciple.

    But he was starting to worry for this young man as time continued to pass. Can it be that this youth will be eliminated from this round, even though he possesses such impressive standards, because he can't complete his soul tool?

    Ye Yulin began to feel a little regretful after he understood what Huo Yuhao was trying to do, because he hadn't been watching Huo Yuhao too closely from the beginning. Therefore, he could only partially understand the delicate mechanical parts that Huo Yuhao was working on.

    Huo Yuhao was also very sly. He was crafting all kinds of miscellaneous components, and these components were placed randomly all around him. Only somebody with his level of spiritual power wouldn't feel confused, or find everything chaotic. Huo Yuhao would do all the stitching, splicing, and assembly of the various mechanical parts at the end of everything.

    He's really making me worry. When exactly is he going to start creating formation arrays? He's making a few too many mechanical parts, is he not? He has more than two hundred components. Is he really going to be able to stitch everything into a human-shaped soul tool?

    I'm glad that I decided to come here today. I hope this youth can show me a miracle.

    Ye Yulin stood up so that he could observe Huo Yuhao's crafting process a little better.

    Ye Yulin wasn't the only one watching him. Of the seven judges, there were three of them who were observing this crippled youth, who had metal parts lying around his crafting desk and on the ground around him.

    The Holy Ghost Sect's vice-founder was sitting quietly inside the resting area beneath the competition stage. She seemed like she had no idea what was happening within Radiant City, and her expression didn't change at all.

    She only grunted softly when news of what had happened reached her. Her grunt was full of disdain.

    A faint smile appeared on Nangong Wan's face. Seems like some people have tucked tail and ran. If they choose the western side, then so be it.

    This tournament was extremely important to them, but it wasn't important enough that the vice-founder and the four elders had to hold down the fort. Their presence was to continue giving the soul masters who were trying to break out an impression that the western front was still defended, except it was a little weaker than the other sides. The Holy Ghost Church's basic responsibility would be complete if the soul masters attempted to break through the western side.

    Huo Yuhao's forehead was starting to sweat. His spiritual avatar had been separated from his body for far too long, and the side effects of this separation were finally starting to show.

    Spiritual power that was separated from the spirit was bound to be intimately connected to his original body. This connection would become weaker with the passage of time, and once this connection was completely severed, the separated part would never return to his body, and simply dissipate.

    The Skydream Iceworm had mentioned that this wasn't enough to threaten Huo Yuhao's life, but he would definitely be severely hurt if such a situation did happen. It would also mean he wouldn't be able to compete anymore.

    But some things couldn't be hurried. There were many things that could only be done after making sufficient and necessary preparations.

    Quick, quick, quick!

    Huo Yuhao was almost done with his mechanical components, and he was preparing the rare metals that he would need for his formation arrays. However, he couldn't start engraving and sculpting his formation arrays in his mentally weak state. All he could do was wait.

    The tournament was still ongoing, and he would definitely raise suspicion if he stopped doing anything. The Holy Ghost Church's vice-founder and the four elders were watching everything on stage from beneath it, and they were all evil soul masters and Titled Douluo. Nobody could predict what their reaction would be once they realized that something was wrong with him, and his only choice if his second senior brother and he were attacked was to hide inside the specter demiplane. But if that happened, Huo Yuhao's spiritual avatar would be unable return to his body, and he would be seriously injured. How then could he arrange and work out the things that were to happen afterwards?

    Quicker, quicker!

    He had already prepared the best materials that he would need for his formation arrays. There were eighteen different rare metals of all sorts of colors arranged in front of him, while the mechanical components that he had completed before this were strewn all over the ground.

    Yes, Huo Yuhao and Xuan Ziwen had made a breakthrough in their research. They had managed to simplify the Tang Sect's mechanical hidden weapon's principles, and the simplest human-shaped soul tool they could create only needed eighteen formation arrays!

    Huo Yuhao's hands didn't dare to stop, and he could only use his carving knife to start sculpting these rare metals into their rough shapes and sizes. The detailed stuff would have to wait.

    Eighteen pieces of rare metal were quickly sculpted.

    I can't stop, I can't stop right now. Huo Yuhao had insisted on this idea because he couldn't let anyone see through anything he was doing, and he couldn't reveal any loopholes or weaknesses. Otherwise, problems would irrevocably arise even when his spiritual avatar returned to his body. Those evil soul masters were adept in dealing with all kinds of spirits.

    What else could Huo Yuhao do without crafting his formation arrays? He could only start assembling his human-shaped soul tool.

    Huo Yuhao pointed his palms toward the ground, and seven to eight components flew in front of him. He quickly pieced them together and assembled a small and agile joint in no time before he sucked up several other components and continued assembling everything.

    The assembly process was a lot simpler than crafting those mechanical pieces. There were just so many pieces that other people felt a little dazed looking at them. However, Huo Yuhao didn't even need his eyes to see, and he used his Capturing Crane Controlling Dragon technique to suck those components to him and piece them together continuously. He would place each relatively larger mechanical piece neatly on the crafting desk before moving on, and it didn't take long for him to assemble one hundred larger parts.
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