Chapter 553 - Willful Spirit Soul

Chapter 553 - Willful Spirit Soul

If it had been anyone else besides the Heavenly Phoenix Douluo standing before him, Tang Wulin would have felt nervous. Instead, he felt at ease. It wasn’t because he trusted Leng Yaozhu, however. It’s because he trusted Gu Yue, her disciple. Gu Yue would step in to help him if needed. 

While the staff members rushed to run diagnostics on the spirit ascension platform, Leng Yaozhu took her time leading Tang Wulin and Gu Yue to her office. She sat down behind her desk then gestured for them sit as well. 

“We’ve already seen what happened to you two in the platform, and it was our mistake that you encountered the Tyrant Dragon. It’s one of the guardians for the path between the intermediate and advanced platform. The strongest one, actually. Due to our carelessness, it wandered to away from its designated zone.” 

She sighed. “To be honest, there wasn’t much we could have done to control a soul beast of its level anyway. At most we could have tried to lure it in the direction we wanted.” She tapped the desk with a finger. “And now it’s been absorbed by you.” Leng Yaozhu glanced at Tang Wulin and furrowed her brows. It was the Spirit Pagoda’s mistake to let the Tyrant Dragon out on a rampage, and normally they would have had to compensate any soul masters who suffered from it. However, the boy before her had absorbed the Tyrant Dragon whole. When the Spirit Pagoda staff members first caught wind of this situation, they had been shocked silly.

The moment Leng Yaozhu had heard that her disciple, Gu Yue, was in the spirit ascension platform and in the vicinity of the rampaging Tyrant Dragon, she rushed over prepared for the worst. She had made it just in time to watch on the monitoring screens the Tyrant Dragon dissolving into mist, fusing with Tang Wulin. 

Tang Wulin let out a strained smile. “Your Eminence, would you believe me if I said I don’t know what happened either?” 

“I would. Just tell me what you felt,” Leng Yaozhu said, not an ounce of doubt in her mind. She couldn’t imagine such a bright teenager, especially one kind enough to help his friends obtain spirit souls, to dare deceive her. Furthermore, she had already investigated his relationship with Gu Yue and found him quite favorable.  

Tang Wulin scratched his chin, eyes wandering as he gathered his thoughts. “I have a draconic bloodline, but it didn’t awaken as a true martial soul. I guess you could say it’s a sort of unconventional awakening?” He shrugged. “When I use my bloodline’s power, I emit a draconic aura that suppresses most draconic soul beasts. And when I encountered that Tyrant Dragon, I immediately realized it was impossible to defeat it. But I figured since I was in the spirit ascension platform, I might as well try.” Without hiding a single thing, Tang Wulin recounted the rest of the events to Leng Yaozhu, from what his plan of attack to the lack of changes within him after absorbing the Tyrant Dragon. 

Leng Yaozhu placed a hand on her chin. “Wulin, I’m embarrassed that you had to go through all that because of our mistake. However, the situation is a bit special this time. I’m afraid we’ll need you to cooperate for some medical examinations.” 

Before Tang Wulin could get a word in, Gu Yue frowned and stepped forward. “Teacher, why do we need to do that? Our trip into the spirit ascension platform this time was interrupted, and you admit that it was the fault of our Spirit Pagoda. So why does Wulin need to be examined?”

Leng Yaozhu glared at her, sharp and cold. “If the situation were so simple, then we’d just compensate you two and call it a day. But don’t forget that every soul beast in the spirit ascension platform was created from something.” 

She chuckled at Tang Wulin’s expression. His eyes were wide as realization dawned on him. “You don’t have to worry. It’s just a routine inspection,” Len Yaozhu said. “And actually, many powerful soul masters already know the truth behind the spirit ascension platform. So it’s fine if you know too. The majority of the soul beasts in the platform are spirit souls either crafted of cloned by the Spirit Pagoda. The guardians, however, are real spirit souls that once roamed the world. Using technology, we send just your minds into the platform along with a mark. When you kill soul beasts, their energy is absorbed by your mark, and that mark transfers that energy back to your physical body once you exit the platform.

“The Spirit Pagoda’s greatest source of income is our creation of spirit souls. But in the process of creating spirit souls, there are sure to be some defective ones. The defects aren’t suitable for soul masters to fuse with. Instead, we put them through a special process then release them into the spirit ascension platform. Those are the beasts you encounter in the platform. When you kill them, their soul power and physical abilities are converted into pure energy capable of nourishing your soul rings. That’s the truth behind the spirit ascension platform. 

“But not all of the soul beasts in the platform are defective products. For the sake of the system’s stability, especially in the intermediate and advanced sections, we have added some complete spirit souls to improve system performance.” 

Following this wealth of new information, Tang Wulin now saw the Spirit Pagoda in a new light. Awe filled him. Although the Heavenly Phoenix Douluo spoke lightly of such secrets, he understood that the technology required for such a system was far more advanced than anything he had previously heard of. It was technology refined over thousands of years of research, finally culminating as the spirit ascension platform. 

Battle armor, artificial spirit souls, and the spirit ascension platform were all technological advancements that marked the advent of a new era. Each of these technologies brought humanity to a new level of existence and had enabled humans to push soul beasts to the brink of extinction. And the Spirit Pagoda had played a central role in the creation of all three. To say Tang Wulin had gained more insight into the strength of the Spirit Pagoda would not be a lie.

“Your Eminence, then the Tyrant Dragon we encountered is…” Tang Wulin did not dare to voice his complete thoughts. 

Leng Yaozhu’s narrowed eyes pierced him. “It was authentic. One of our willful spirit souls.”

“Willful spirit souls?” Tang Wulin asked, curious of this new term. 

Leng Yaozhu nodded. “In order to answer your question, we have to first go over the permanence of spirit souls. Generally speaking, spirit souls begin dissipating the moment a soul beast dies. The Spirit Pagoda uses many unique technologies to preserve those spirit souls so we have enough time to find a suitable soul master for them. Right now we’re even researching how to recycle spirit souls. That way when a soul master dies, as long as they’re delivered to the Spirit Pagoda within three days, we’ll be able to extract their spirit souls and preserve them for reuse. If we can get this system working, then we’d save a lot of resources. Of course, such cutting-edge research takes time to verify the viability. And we need soul masters willing to volunteer to help us, which is really rare since it’s inevitable to suffer some degree of damage when a spirit soul is extracted. 

“Now when talking about willful spirit souls, there are more things to consider. Willful spirit souls are extraordinarily resilient and strong. They last longer. Simply storing them drains a significant amount of the Spirit Pagoda’s resources. Fortunately, after we created the spirit ascension platform, we discovered a way to put them into the platform. This both improved the system stability of the spirit ascension platform and provided us with a cost-effective way of storing the willful spirit souls.”

“And the Tyrant Dragon is a willful spirit soul?” Tang Wulin asked. 

Leng Yaozhu nodded. “Yes, and it’s one of the most powerful and haughty. There are few soul beasts that can boast its level of arrogance. Once, a rank 90 soul master was attracted to its domineering attitude and tried to fuse with it for their final spirit soul. But it broke free, the backlash killing the soul master.” She sighed. “We’ve been holding onto its spirit soul for so long that it was already on the verge of disappearing for good. Not to mention it was the last of its kind. It was the epitome of ill-behaved, always rampaging and devouring herds of other soul beasts. We even considered euthanizing it, but couldn’t bear to extinguish such a rare historical spirit soul. Saying that we were at an impasse as to what to do with it would be an understatement. Saying that the Tyrant Dragon’s unyielding will has never been tamed before would be an undeniable truth.  At least, until you came and absorbed it today. We’re really curious how this happened, so we want you to stay for a bit and let us gather some data.” 

“Like I said earlier, willful spirit souls are incredibly hard to fuse with and cost us an enormous amount of resources to preserve. We need to get some data on it to present to the Spirit Pagoda’s council. You don’t have to worry about the examination. It’ll be just like a routine medical checkup. And we’ll share our data with you too. I’ve already informed Shrek Academy, so some teachers will be coming over to monitor your physical examination.”

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