Volume 16, Chapter 143.1: Entering the Star Dou Forest's Hybrid Region

They exited the tent at the same time. Huo Yuhao’s eyes were sparkling golden, and two soul rings rose up from beneath his feet, projecting his Spiritual Detection towards a certain direction. He could detect more than six hundred meters in a single direction, and his senses were highly accurate.

Xiao Xiao and Wang Dong darted out from the tent. The campfire was lit in between both tents, and it shielded them from the coldness of the night. The flames shone on their faces and flickered with a pale red luster.

Huo Yuhao reported his findings softly, “Eight people—six male, two female. I can’t figure out one of the male’s cultivation level, and I think he has at least seven rings. There’s a Soul Emperor and four Soul Kings between the other five men. The two females are probably Soul Elders, at or around our level. They’re walking towards us right now.”

Wang Dong asked, “Shall we hide?”

Huo Yuhao shook his head and replied, “No need. They’re definitely not coming here for us, and they’ll be here very soon. The tents and the campfire remnants can’t be erased quickly, it’ll raise suspicion instead. We just have to act natural and wait for them to come to us. I think they’re probably here to hunt soul beasts, just like us.”

Voices could already be heard while they were discussing.

“Eh, there’s a campfire here.”

A lofty silhouette appeared before Huo Yuhao and the others before the voice arrived. It was a tall and skinny man, and he was so scrawny that he resembled a bamboo stick. However, he moved with an astonishing speed, his gaze landed right on Huo Yuhao and the others beside the campfire the moment he appeared. Huo Yuhao and the others stared at him as if they had been startled.

There was no doubt that this tall and skinny man was an agility-type soul master. He took the lead and scouted the path ahead for his party, and he relaxed the moment he realized that Huo Yuhao and the others were children. They were barely over ten years old. He raised one hand, and a beam of yellow light sparkled in the center of his palm. This light beam surged about five meters into the sky before it transformed into a yellow circle of light that permeated outwards.

Huo Yuhao and the others sprang to their feet. They could tell from the other party’s movements that he was highly disciplined, and it was made apparent that this wasn’t a normal team.

“Who are you?” Huo Yuhao asked warily but didn’t step forward.

The skinny man smiled faintly and replied, “We’re just passing by. We saw your campfire, so we came to take a look. What about you? Who are you guys?”

There was a smile on his face, but it was tinged with his arrogance.

Huo Yuhao answered, “We’re here in the Great Star Dou Forest to hunt soul beasts and collect soul rings.”

“Oh? You’re here by yourselves to hunt soul beasts?” The scrawny man stared at the three of them suspiciously.

Xiao Xiao grunted coldly and retorted, “What? Is that not allowed?”

The scrawny man chuckled and shook his head with amusement. There was a look of condescension and indifference on his face. Even though the night was dark and dusky, how could the subtleties of his expression escape Huo Yuhao’s Spirit Eyes?

Figure after figure appeared beside the skinny man at this moment. The lineup was just like Huo Yuhao’s had said—there were six males and two females, including the skinny man.

A middle-aged man that was about forty years old lowered his voice and said, “What’s the situation, Bei Tang?”

The skinny man replied respectfully, “Big brother—they’re three young fellas that claim that they’re in the Great Star Dou Forest to obtain soul rings. They don’t have any seniors following them. I’ve checked the surroundings, and only the three of them are here. Two males and one female, and they don’t even look like they’re over fifteen years old.”

“Oh?” The middle-aged man turned towards Huo Yuhao and the others, while he did that Huo Yuhao and the others were also scrutinizing them.

It was apparent that this middle-aged man was the leader of the group, and he was also the seven-ringed Soul Sage that Huo Yuhao had identified earlier. His soul power was so exuberant that Huo Yuhao couldn’t judge his cultivation accurately.

Besides this middle-aged man, the other males were all normal-looking people with average builds, the kind of look that wouldn’t be easily recognized in a crowd. Of course, their cultivations weren’t normal at all—their abilities were enough to support a mid-level sect.

The two girls in the party attracted Huo Yuhao’s attention. They were both wearing warrior robes, and one of them had flowing green hair draped behind her. This girl was enchantingly beautiful, almost at Jiang Nannan’s level. She looked extremely tender, and her pretty eyes shifted like flowing water; one could feel her faint gentleness even from afar. She looked like she was around fifteen or sixteen years old—this was the age when girls were full of adolescence. Her yellow warrior robe was extremely riveting even in the blackest darkness of night. It was slightly bigger than her frame and enveloped her figure nicely, but it wasn’t all that visible.

The other girl beside her looked around the same age. However, she was a little taller, and her expression was ice-cold. Her long black hair was combed neatly and tied into a ponytail, while her white warrior robe was a little more fitting and her long legs were especially alluring. She was almost as tall as Huo Yuhao, who stood at just over one meter and seventy centimeters tall. This girl wasn’t as good-looking as the other one, but her aura felt more elegant and dignified. These two girls stood next to each other, and the two of them were equally brilliant and attractive in their own ways.

“My three little friends—please come here for a moment.” The middle-aged man waved at Huo Yuhao and the others.

Huo Yuhao whispered to Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao, “Wait here. I’ll go take a look.”

“Alright.” Wang Dong nodded immediately. Xiao Xiao wanted to follow, but she held back when even Wang Dong decided to stay behind.

Huo Yuhao stepped forward quickly and came before the row of people. He was neither obsequious nor supercilious as he said, “What do you need?”

The middle-aged man scrutinized Huo Yuhao for a moment and said, “Little man, you guys are inside the Great Star Dou Forest to hunt soul beasts?”

Huo Yuhao nodded and replied, “Yes.”

The middle-aged man’s eyes were piercing, and carried traces of obscurity. It felt as if he was locked onto Huo Yuhao, and could launch an attack at any moment. However, Huo Yuhao was calm and unperturbed while he stood before him and wasn’t on guard at all.

The middle-aged man smiled and said, “My name is Mo Feiyun, and these are my associates. We are heading into the Great Star Dou Forest as well. We traveled throughout the night, and it seems like we’re almost there, but everyone's a little exhausted. We can see that you have a nice campfire started here—I wonder if you can share it with us and let us rest for the night?”

Huo Yuhao agreed heartily, “Alright.” He understood that speaking too much might mess things up. This group of people actually did appear travel-worn, and it was clear that they had been on the move for a long time. This middle-aged man who claimed to be Mo Feiyun was a little wary of him, but Huo Yuhao couldn’t feel much hostility. His spiritual power was superior to most others, and Huo Yuhao’s judgment of emotions was usually keenly accurate. His Spiritual Detection had been activated this whole time, but it was being handled with immense subtlety and ingenuity, and even powerful Soul Sages like Mo Feiyun wouldn’t realize it was active even if that Soul Sage used their soul power to survey their surroundings. The people before them didn’t reveal any intentions of making a move against them.

The two young girls looked Huo Yuhao up and down. The yellow-cloaked girl smiled at him, while the girl clad in white glanced at him coldly—there was a clear distinction in their personalities.

Huo Yuhao guided the entire group to the campfire, and two people quickly set up tents, which were much larger compared to their own. The tent closest to the campfire was a relatively small black tent, which was apparently made from cowhide. These two people swiftly set up two fairly bigger tents with their agile hands and feet afterwards.

Mo Feiyun and a few others sat down beside the campfire. It was obvious that their eyes paused on Wang Dong and Xiao Xiao for a longer period of time compared to Huo Yuhao. This was especially so for Wang Dong; he immediately attracted everyone’s attention when they arrived at the campfire.

His short hair was powdery blue, his eyes were the same color, and he exuded a dense light aura. Wang Dong was extremely handsome, and he appeared full of youthful energy. In terms of looks, the yellow-robed and white-robed girls lost all their radiance beside him.

The yellow-robed girl was evidently a little taken aback, and her pretty face flushed a little when she glanced at Wang Dong. The white-robed girl’s cold face appeared slightly surprised as well, and her eyes paused on Wang Dong for a long moment before she turned away slowly.

Huo Yuhao and the others sat on one side of the campfire. The three of them said nothing at all, and just silently warmed themselves next to the fire. Returning to their cultivation wasn’t a good idea with strangers around, especially when all of them were incredibly powerful.

Mo Feiyun seemed the most affable. He smiled and said, “My three little friends—how may I address you?”

Huo Yuhao smiled and replied, “My name is Yuhao, and this is Xiao Dong and Xiao Xiao.” He didn’t reveal either his or Wang Dong’s full name, but Xiao Xiao’s name couldn’t really be masked with a nickname, so he just said it.

Mo Feiyun said, “You guys are still young, and your soul power is quite strong. However, venturing into the Great Star Dou Forest isn’t really a good idea. Have you been inside before?”

Huo Yuhao answered, “We’ve roamed around in the outer regions. Thank you for reminding us—we won’t venture too deep inside the Great Star Dou Forest. We will leave once we find suitable soul beasts for ourselves.”

Mo Feiyun continued to ask, “Where are you guys from? Are you guys from a sect or an academy?”

Huo Yuhao replied, “We are from the Star Luo Empire, and we are members of the Star Luo National Academy.” He wouldn’t have been able to name another academy before his participation in the Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament. However, he knew a lot more names now. He himself was from the Star Luo Empire, so his accent was more natural, and thus using the Star Luo National Academy to hide their true identities was the most appropriate. He had also become familiar with the Star Luo National Academy’s standards during his battle against their official team, which was led by Princess Jiu Jiu. Furthermore, part of the Great Star Dou Forest was located inside the Star Luo Empire anyway. 

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Translated by: cy
Edited by: GNE and George McDuck

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