“Teacher Zhou.” Huo Yuhao arrived before Zhou Yi and bowed to her respectfully.
It had been more than three months since they had left the academy. Zhou Yi looked at Huo Yuhao and the two others. The suffering that they had endured over the past three months had clearly made them calmer, and it even felt like they had grown taller. The determined look in their eyes astonished Zhou Yi even more – that was an expression of unwavering faith and unshakable belief! She had only seen this kind of look from inner courtyard disciples before.
Her amazement was amplified because they were familiar. Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao seemed to have transformed in Zhou Yi’s eyes. They had shed their youth and inexperience, and they had truly become restrained and mature. Even though they were only children who were not even thirteen years of age, Zhou Yi could see the embryonic shadows of top-ranked soul masters in them.
“Glad to see everyone back.” Zhou Yi realized that her voice was a little shaky when she said these words. Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao had been the most outstanding students she had ever mentored since she became a teacher in Shrek’s outer courtyard. Zhou Yi placed a lot of hope and faith on the three of them – but greater hope meant greater disappointment. Zhou Yi was far too worried during the three months that they weren’t around, but her position inside the academy was not high enough, and she couldn’t possibly know too many secrets.
She only heard about their bewildering performance from Fan Yu after the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament’s conclusion. She was filled with pride – she was one who had taught them, and they were her students! She longed for their return, and even the thought that the academy could take them into the inner courtyard crossed her mind.
The three of them had finally returned. When Fan Yu told Zhou Yi that Elder Xuan had decided to let the three of them continue learning in the outer courtyard, Zhou Yi was so excited that she didn’t sleep for the whole night. However, their subsequent closed-door cultivation would take nearly two months. The relationship between Zhou Yi and the three of them wasn’t just a normal teacher-student relationship anymore; there was a special emotional attachment involved. She felt as if she were a mother watching her children grow up.
Zhou Yi was exhilarated, but Mu Jin’s expression was a little dark. The initially proud look in her eyes had clearly changed. She could tell that Huo Yuhao and the two others’ personalities and demeanors were quite different from before, and her confidence in absolute victory immediately took a hit.
Dai Huabin stepped forward and whispered in her ear, “We will definitely emerge victorious, Teacher Mu. We will win even if we have to sacrifice everything.”
Mu Jin’s eyes sparkled as she glanced at him, and Dai Huabin nodded his head forcefully. Mu Jin could see roaring flames in his eyes – how incredible was that fighting spirit?
Dai Huabin had never accepted Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong. Their appearance completely unleashed every ounce of his fighting spirit.
Mu Jin grunted coldly and said, “Honesty is the best policy, Teacher Zhou. It seems like you are preparing a trump card especially for me. It is truly unexpected that Teacher Zhou is starting to employ battle tactics.” Huo Yuhao and the two others had been back for quite a while from her perspective, but Zhou Yi had hidden them away.
What was Zhou Yi’s temperament? She wouldn’t explain anything to Mu Jin as she answered plainly, “Didn’t you just say that we would meet in the Soul Dueling Area? I believe my students will prove to you that soul power rank isn’t everything.”
“Hmph.” Mu Jin grunted indignantly before she took Dai Huabin and the six others, as well as the rest of Class 2’s students, directly towards the Soul Dueling Area,
“You’re finally back, big brother Huo.” Zhou Sichen pounced on Huo Yuhao and immediately gave him a bear hug. He had been the interim class monitor, and he had felt the pressure from this contest most acutely. Huo Yuhao’s return made him feel like the onset of spring, and both his mental and psychological pressure immediately vanished into thin air.
The other Class 1 students swiftly circled around and began to ask about everything. Morale was initially low, but it immediately skyrocketed. When everybody entered the academy as freshmen, everyone witnessed Huo Yuhao’s toils and utmost efforts in cultivation, and his subsequent improvements, with their own eyes. Huo Yuhao had never let them down ever since he became the class monitor. Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao’s return instantly gave them all a mainstay.
If one described a class as a constructed room, then Huo Yuhao and the other two were its toughest pillar. The three of them could carry the entire class on their backs.
Huo Yuhao and Zhou Sichen hugged and he chortled, “The academy only gave us a single task. It was delayed because of some things. Let’s go – we shall go in first, so we don’t keep Class 2’s students waiting.”
Zhou Sichen hammered his fist on Huo Yuhao’s shoulder and said, “Are you confident in taking them out, big brother Huo? You have no idea – Dai Huabin and the others have been stomping around as if their victory was assured when you weren’t around. I have been patient with them for far too long. You have to lead us and teach them a lesson.”
Cao Jinxuan never forgot to tease his buddy. “Some people are just so shameless. Someone was just anxious like a lady about to enter a marriage sedan, and now he’s become an eager pervert.”
“Will you die if you shut up?” Zhou Sichen shot him a glare.
Cao Jinxuan chuckled, “Yes.”
Huo Yuhao guffawed and said, “Confidence isn’t something that hangs from our mouths. We have to prove it with actual substance. Come, let’s proceed.” He waved one hand and followed closely behind Zhou Yi as he led Class 1’s students into the Soul Dueling Area, and everyone behind him walked in with grandiose majesty.
Class 3 and Class 4 were enjoying the show from one side before this. The person standing at Class 3’s forefront was their class monitor, Ning Tian, who possessed the Seven Treasures Glazed Pagoda martial soul.
A small girl with a dainty frame beside Ning Tian whispered, “Sister Tian’er, Huo Yuhao and the others actually returned on time. Who do you think will win?”
Ning Tian’s eyes had been following Huo Yuhao this whole time till his shadow disappeared from sight. “It’s hard to say. Huo Yuhao’s true strength is a little mysterious, and his spiritual-type soul skills are also very unique. However, Class 2 are still stronger in terms of battle prowess, unless Huo Yuhao and Xiao Xiao obtained their third rings. Huo Yuhao has become Class 1’s absolute core, and he can even be said to be their spiritual leader. Class 1’s morale is a lot different with him around, and the participants’ fighting strength will thus naturally be fully unleashed.”
The dainty girl giggled and said, “Spiritual leader? Just like you and Class 3? It’s a pity that fighting is not our forte. If not, how interesting would it be to face them in battle?”
Ning Tian’s eyes squinted a little and she replied, “Don’t worry, that day will come. Come, let’s go inside.” Class 3 and Class 4’s teachers were not around, as both classes weren’t directly involved in the contest. Ning Tian waved her hand and led both Class 3 and Class 4 inside. These two classes’ fighting strengths couldn’t be compared to Class 1 and Class 2, as the latter’s main curriculum was fighting. However, especially with an extraordinarily powerful class monitor like Ning Tian, Class 3 and Class 4’s cohesiveness was still quite impressive.
Over a hundred students from Class 4 quickly entered the Soul Dueling Area. Everybody stepped onto the spectator’s grandstand, other than the two participating parties.
Zhou Sichen and Cao Jinxuan both wanted to participate. If not, they would have immediately opened a gambling ring or something of the sort in the spectator’s grandstand, even though it was just for entertainment purposes, and wouldn’t be for money. They would unquestionably stake everything on Class 1 if they were betting. This had nothing to with relative strength – it was about team honor and glory.
“Arrange our battle strategy, big brother Huo.” Zhou Sichen handed the mantle of class monitor back to Huo Yuhao without hesitation once the three of them returned, as if it were a burden. The seven participants representing Class 1 were Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, Xiao Xiao, Zhou Sichen, Cao Jinxuan, Lan Susu, and her sister, Lan Luoluo.
Zhou Sichen, Cao Jinxuan, Lan Susu and her sister had fire in their eyes, while Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao shared the same expression.
Their performance during the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament was exemplary, but that stage was still too immense for Huo Yuhao and the others. That competition was far too challenging, and it wasn’t a competition that they should be participating in at their level. The truth was that luck had played a substantial part in their stellar performance and them bringing back the championship in the end.
If both Xiao Hongchen and his sister weren’t injured before the last round – and Xiao Hongchen was actually severely wounded – they wouldn’t have emerged victorious even if they had unleashed their two martial soul fusion skills.
It was different this time. They were back, and they had returned to Shrek Academy, and they were still Year 2 students. What they had to do now was fight against others of the same age group. They had been through the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament. How could they feel even an inch of pressure now? Huo Yuhao had become the absolute dictator, and the three of them would have an absolute impact on the outcome of the battle. They were at the pinnacle of their age group, and their current circumstance weren’t something that could be compared to the pressure they felt during the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament. This battle was exhilarating to them, if it could be described with one word.
“There’s no need to arrange anything. Just follow my instincts during the contest,” Huo Yuhao said with a smile on his face.
Zhou Sichen was a little taken aback. If these words came from someone else’s mouth, they would have given others a condescending or arrogant feeling. However, Huo Yuhao spoke as if it was a matter of fact. Huo Yuhao himself didn’t feel anything special after saying those words.
Lan Susu covered her mouth and giggled. “Your dominance is overflowing, class monitor.”
Huo Yuhao chuckled and replied, “It’s good to let it leak out a little.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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Translated by: cy
Edited by: GNE, Kidyeon
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