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Chapter 379.1: Ma Xiaotao

    Huo Yuhao's spiritual power could only reach thirty meters away from the city wall. There were already people shouting, cursing, and chasing people away from the top of the city wall, while patrols began to pay attention to Huo Yuhao and the others.

    The three of them hurriedly switched directions, and put on a submissive demeanor as they followed the southern city wall towards the east.

    Huo Yuhao relayed what he had just observed to Xu Sanshi and Ye Guyi as they walked.

    "What do you plan to do?" Xu Sanshi asked.

    Huo Yuhao answered, "We have to go inside and take a look. We will use the same method as we did back at Radiant City. Afterwards, you guys will book a room in a nearby inn, while Guyi will go back and relay our plans to the others. Third senior brother, you will protect me. Tonight, I will release my spiritual avatar so that I can take a look inside."

    Xu Sanshi frowned and said, "Isn't that too dangerous? There are evil soul masters inside, and every evil soul master is adept at controlling souls and spirits. Furthermore, there are so many surveillance soul tools. Will those things affect you?"

    Huo Yuhao shook his head and said, "Surveillance soul tools can't deal with spiritual power, so it's safest if I send my spiritual avatar inside. I will be as careful as I can, and I will immediately pull out and run away if something is amiss."

    Investigating and scouting with Huo Yuhao's spiritual avatar was drastically different from using Spiritual Detection. Spiritual Detection could be withdrawn in an instant, and Huo Yuhao would have nothing to fear even if he was discovered. After all, his enemies could only lock onto his location if they were very close, or if they possessed formidable spiritual power, like that evil soul master he had dispatched the other day. Huo Yuhao could just open his Eye of Destiny to shake off his enemies even if they had locked onto his location.

    However, he could reach a lot further with his spiritual avatar, and he would have a lot more flexibility. However, his spiritual avatar was formed from his spiritual power and part of his spirit, and that entity wasn't something that he could withdraw at a whim. Huo Yuhao would definitely be heavily injured if his enemies were able to restrain or destroy his spiritual avatar. This endeavor was a lot more perilous.

    Of course, his spiritual avatar would give him the best investigation and reconnaissance results. The Tang Sect didn't have a better alternative solution for now.

    Xu Sanshi deliberated for a moment before he patted Huo Yuhao on his shoulder and said, "Be careful, then. Let's go and find a place to stay. Guyi, come back after you return to inform others, and you will join me to protect Yuhao. It'll be a lot safer if we have one more person protecting him."

    "Alright." Ye Guyi agreed straightforwardly and happily.

    ------

    Sunrise City wasn't a large, vibrant, and bustling city, so searching for a small inn wasn't too difficult. They quickly found an inn that was more decrepit than the one that they had stayed in on city's northern side and booked three rooms.

    Huo Yuhao immediately began to meditate in the center room after everyone settled down. He tried to recover the spiritual power that he had expended before, while Xu Sanshi watched the landscape and their surroundings, and Guyi returned to the city's northern side. The three of them worked together as they made their preparations nervously.

    Time always passed rapidly during meditation, and the sky was now darkening. Huo Yuhao didn't have anything to eat, but he was back to his full strength and energy. He informed Xu Sanshi before he immediately released his spiritual avatar.

    Huo Yuhao released his spiritual avatar a lot more smoothly than back then. Furthermore, Huo Yuhao released a lot more spiritual power and more of his spirit, so that he could accomplish as much as he could on this reconnaissance mission.

    Xu Sanshi was full of awe and admiration as he watched a faint golden projection that looked identical to Huo Yuhao appear in front of him.

    "Third senior brother." Huo Yuhao's original body was just sitting there while his spiritual avatar greeted Xu Sanshi.

    Xu Sanshi sounded a little helpless as he said, "Go, quickly. I'm afraid that your spirit will split."

    Huo Yuhao chortled and said, "You don't understand us spiritual-type soul masters' control over spiritual power. I'll be fine. Just wait and see what I can do. Here I go." Huo Yuhao's spiritual avatar drifted into the air as he spoke, and he sipped out the window quickly. The pale golden hues disappeared from the air at the same time.

    Huo Yuhao could attach even more abilities to his spiritual avatar after his spiritual power and his ability to control it were enhanced. Of course, he could only attach abilities that belonged to his Spirit Eyes.

    Huo Yuhao activated Imitation, and his spiritual avatar vanished into the night sky as he left the inn. He was in spiritual form, but his spiritual avatar was a product of his concrete-immaterial spiritual power, similar to his original body. Huo Yuhao could only fly at a certain height above the ground. Otherwise, he would be affected by the winds in the sky, and he would expend a lot more spiritual power. He could even run the risk of shaking and damaging his spirit.

    Huo Yuhao's spiritual avatar was completely concealed at this moment. Just as Huo Yuhao had said, the surveillance soul tools on top of the city wall were useless against him.

    Huo Yuhao's spiritual avatar quickly scaled the city wall, and he arrived by the city's moat.

    ---

    Inside the city, Huo Yuhao was still sitting inside the inn with his legs crossed. He gestured to Xu Sanshi to signal that everything was alright before he entered meditation right away and focused all his strength and energy on controlling his spiritual avatar as he disappeared into the river water.

    Huo Yuhao's spiritual avatar trembled conspicuously as he entered the turbid river water. Huo Yuhao had to consume a lot more spiritual power when his spiritual avatar was inside the water, but he had already found the right place before this, so his expedition was still relatively smooth for now.

    Huo Yuhao went right through the iron fencing beneath the water and swam forward swiftly. His spiritual avatar activated Spiritual Detection at the same time and searched around in front of him.

    The river water behind the iron fence was still as turbid as before. Huo Yuhao controlled his spiritual avatar and swam forward for several dozen meters, and felt he had swum back into the city from under its walls. Abruptly, everything in front of him changed, and he could hear some sounds.

    Huo Yuhao's spiritual avatar emerged from the water's surface and immediately witnessed a shocking sight.

    Feng Lin was right - this place was a water prison. The entire place was constructed from tough granite, while row after row of steel cages were neatly arranged. The water prison covered an incredibly large surface area.

    There were between eight to ten people imprisoned inside each cage, and each cage was filled with water that was at least one meter deep, so the turbid water soaked everyone. Almost every single prisoner trapped inside had ghastly pale faces, and their auras were extremely weak. The prisoners inside this water prison almost couldn't rest, and they could only lean to one side.

    Huo Yuhao vaguely identified these prisoners as the team members and leaders that belonged to the various academies and sects who had gone to Radiant City to participate in the Continental Elite Youth Soul Master Tournament.

    Huo Yuhao and the Tang Sect had even crossed paths with some of these people during the tournament. However, their auras were all very weak at this moment, and not a single soul power undulation appeared on their bodies.

    Huo Yuhao withdrew his Spiritual Detection after a brief scan of the area. He was sure that evil soul masters stood guard in this place, and he had no idea if there were more spiritual-type evil soul masters present. Furthermore, his spiritual power was too strong, so even normal evil soul masters could easily detect him if they were a little more sensitive.

    Huo Yuhao began to inspect and survey those cages and recognized more and more familiar faces inside them. Huo Yuhao didn't know most of their names, but he had impressions of them to varying extents. He heaved a faint sigh inside. These people are all elites and prodigies of their generation! They could represent their respective academies and sects for that tournament. Which of them isn't one of the most outstanding individuals of the younger generation?

    The Sun Moon Empire risked universal condemnation by imprisoning them. They had thoroughly and completely antagonized the Douluo Continent's three native empires while using these hostages to suppress and restrain the academies and sects that belonged to the Douluo Continent's three native empires so that they wouldn't join a war or conflict between the empires so easily. The Sun Moon Empire was treacherous and scheming at the same time.

    There were two main rows of water prisons. There was a stone platform about one meter above the water's surface in the middle of these two rows. This stone platform stretched straight forward, and several guards in black cloaks paced and patrolled back and forth.

    Huo Yuhao didn't have to deliberately survey those patrols to feel the evil and chilly auras that emanated from these evil soul masters.

    This water prison was located within the city's walls, and this meant that Feng Lin's information wasn't entirely accurate. The water prison borrowed the city's moat, but it was located within the city walls, not outside. Furthermore, Huo Yuhao could tell from how the water was directed and diverted that there was undoubtedly an entrance within the city that led into this water prison.

    Huo Yuhao had an exceptionally strong sense of direction. It only took him a moment of thought to roughly determine this entrance's position. What rendered him a little speechless was that this entrance was actually located inside a bunker beside the southern city wall.

    Bunkers were specifically designed to accommodate soldiers so that they could rest temporarily when they were defending the city. This bunker was located next to the city gate, and soldiers inside it could swiftly reinforce the city gate if they went down, while they could rapidly ascend to the top of the city wall if they went up. What a great arrangement, indeed; bunkers were always guarded by soldiers at any point in time. Adding on the countless surveillance soul tools that were located near the city gate, and infiltrating this bunker without being discovered was almost impossible.

    Huo Yuhao was about to make his judgment when he suddenly saw several evil soul masters walk over to his position. The evil soul masters who had been patrolling before this separated respectfully to both sides of the stone platform. Every single one of these patrols bent down and looked very respectful and reverent.

    The evil soul masters who were strolling over didn't have cloaks covering their bodies, and Huo Yuhao was actually familiar with them.

    Those walking in front of everyone else were the Third Elder and the Fourth Elder. Huo Yuhao had seen them before at the Radiant City Elite Soul Engineering Tournament. The Third Elder had considered taking him in as his disciple then.

    Huo Yuhao was even more familiar with those who followed behind these two elders - they were the three evil brothers; Zhong Litian, Zhong Lidi, and Zhong Liren. All three of them were eight-ringed evil Soul Douluo, and they were adept at manipulating all kinds of beast souls to fight for them. Huo Yuhao had rescued two infant Darkgolden Terrorclaw bears from their evil clutches back then, and the Tang Sect had been taking good care of them. The bears were growing very quickly, and Bei Bei had even requested specialists from Shrek Academy's Beast Dueling Division to procure a diet so that the Tang Sect could feed them better. The bears were still young, but their strength was increasing at an alarming rate. Right now, they were strong enough to stand guard at the Tang Sect's main gate. The bears had been most intimate with Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong'er before this, but Huo Yuhao didn't have much time for them now because there were just so many things he had to do.

    Huo Yuhao had already decided that he would bring those bears with him when he ventured into the Setting Sun Forest to help his eldest senior brother search for medicinal herbs to treat Teacher Xiao Ya!
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