Volume 18, Chapter 158.1: Senior Sister Ju Zi

Xuan Ziwen could tell that Huo Yuhao’s eyes had changed a little after their three high-fives. Huo Yuhao was no longer a child in his eyes, as he could clearly feel that Huo Yuhao wasn’t just saying all this for the fun of it. The determination and self-confidence in his eyes was truly stunning and remarkable.

“Alright, then we shall start today’s lesson. Hopefully, I can give you even more pleasant surprises today. However, I have to say that you can’t take too long to devise ten different research breakthroughs,  or I may no longer have that hysterical passion to achieve my dreams when I’m too old.”

Xuan Ziwen was stubborn and passionate about soul tools, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t rational and intelligent about other things. Huo Yuhao’s research was enough to move him, but it wasn’t enough to pull him over without conditions and prerequisites.

Huo Yuhao nodded and smiled. “Let’s begin our lesson, teacher Xuan. I have already passed your assessment, and I am your student now.”

Xuan Ziwen nodded and said, “Alright then, let’s start. I can tell that your foundations are solid and reliable, and you are a unique spirit-type soul master. I want to discuss some principles and concepts before I elaborate more about techniques in forging soul tools. Once your principles and concepts are right, you won’t digress from the right path so easily when you’re doing deeper research.

“Tell me... what is a soul tool?” Xuan Ziwen’s face was serious and solemn.

Huo Yuhao replied, “They are tools activated and directed by a soul master’s soul power. They can be used as weapons, or tools to support people's’ daily lives or their work.” This should be the model answer, and he had known that ever since he started learning how to forge soul tools.

However, Xuan Ziwen shook his head disappointedly when he heard these words.

“I have to say that Shrek’s views and perception of soul tools is simply too backward. I will give you a new definition – you must memorize it. What are soul tools? Soul tools have nothing to do with soul masters. The meaning of the existence and advancement of soul tools lies in catalyzing human society’s evolution.

“That means research and development in soul tools is intended to advance and further societal development, so that humans can enjoy a stronger and more fulfilling existence. I have always believed that, one day in the near future, humankind will be able to use soul tools to dominate and subdue all other species, perhaps even other worlds that are not our own. Our vision may be too insignificant and trivial for now, but humans are also constantly growing and evolving in tandem with our advancements in soul tools. Do you believe that one day, humans without even a thread of soul power can use soul tools to hunt and kill ten thousand year soul beasts?” 

Huo Yuhao paid attention and remembered everything that Xuan Ziwen said to him. His current impression of Xuan Ziwen was similar to the same awe and amazement that Xuan Ziwen had felt when Huo Yuhao had forged the Zhuge Divine Crossbow.

Xuan Ziwen had flipped his knowledge and understanding of soul tools with just a few simple words, and this was entirely because of the gap in their standards.

“Human evolution and development has been extremely slow over the past few thousand years. I believe that the Douluo Continent’s sluggish development would have continued if it hadn’t collided with the Sun Moon Continent. Even now, the three empires native to the Douluo Continent haven’t entirely taken soul tools seriously. Without considering top-tier soul masters, I dare say that the Sun Moon Empire is entirely capable of using soul tools to dominate and unify the entire continent. There is already a rift in the levels of civilization.” Xuan Ziwen’s speech gave the impression that he couldn’t stand not saying staggering and startling things.

“However, our research and development in soul tools has reached a bottleneck. The reason is simple: soul masters are the bottleneck.

“That is because research in soul tools began with the notion and purpose of  soul masters using them, so soul power was required to activate them. Over the past few thousand years, every single piece of research has been channeled and focused on this aspect. This has created a worldwide malady, in that soul tools cannot be used on a large scale. Soul masters are ultimately the elites among humans, but they are still the minority, and normal citizens are still the majority. If soul tools cannot enter normal citizens’ lives, then we will never truly realize the dream of advancing humankind and transcending generational boundaries. Mightier soul tools required stronger soul masters to use them, and this moronic logic has led to the stagnation of soul tool research. Our current research direction is ‘how do we enable normal citizens to use soul tools?’ This is the reason why I was so amazed and bewildered when I saw the soul tool that you just created!

“Even though you haven’t completely solved the problem, you have allowed soul masters to act as a vector for charging the soul tool. Once it’s charged, the soul tool that you have forged can be used by normal citizens. This is what I’m most concerned about, and not your soul tool’s force. In other words, this soul tool’s most important technology is about using gears and buttons so that the Charge array can be used as a primer, instead of soul power. Therefore, you should do everything you can to explore and research soul tools for civilian use if you wish to move me. The relatively more successful examples are currently limited to stationary soul tools. The only problem is that stationary soul tools are simply too expensive, and even the Illustrious Virtue Hall rarely forges high-level stationary soul tools. To this day, the Sun Moon Empire has only equipped a single stationary soul tool regiment.”

Xuan Ziwen suddenly seemed to realize that he had misspoke, and he forced a laugh in exasperation. “Pretend you didn’t hear that last sentence.”

Huo Yuhao smiled in understanding but said nothing, and only listened intently to Xuan Ziwen’s explanation.

Xuan Ziwen’s mood and interest had been completely triggered by now, and he went on and on about his knowledge and understanding of soul tools, as well as some principles and concepts. Huo Yuhao was like a dried-up sponge, and constantly absorbed all this information. He could imprint everything into his mind with impeccable accuracy due to his supernatural memory.

Xuan Ziwen’s research in regards to soul tools truly flabbergasted Huo Yuhao. He was a Class 8 soul engineer, but the feeling he gave Huo Yuhao was different from what he felt with Fan Yu. Fan Yu’s style was stability, and Huo Yuhao’s foundations had become extremely sturdy under his guidance.

Xuan Ziwen was the complete opposite. His mind was like a heavenly steed soaring through the skies, bold and imaginative; he was a soul engineer filled with creativity and vigor. His research was mostly unrelated to war, and certain principles and concepts gave Huo Yuhao a sudden flash of insight. Some things that he didn’t understand about soul tools, or some things that he just couldn’t wrap his head around, were smoothed out and resolved by Xuan Ziwen’s guidance in principles and concepts. Even though it couldn’t be considered a complete resolution, he could at least see a clear path before him.

This was also a soul engineer curriculum, but the gap had become increasingly conspicuous. Huo Yuhao’s learning in Shrek Academy was more about memorizing blueprints of soul tool formation arrays, yet Xuan Ziwen didn’t produce a single blueprint for him! He was merely explaining the innovative principles of soul tools. In Xuan Ziwen’s words, a soul engineer teacher should never give his or her students rules and boxes to follow. Soul engineer teachers should be giving their students principles and concepts, and once their students obtained a sufficient foundation, they would use their understanding in principles and concepts along with their personal creativity to create soul tools that belonged to themselves.

This was the main reason why Huo Yuhao amazed Xuan Ziwen when he made something of his own during the assessment.

Huo Yuhao felt as if he was re-learning everything he knew about soul tools under Xuan Ziwen’s guidance. His brain had been completely rewired at this point, and he would ask some questions from time to time, which Xuan Ziwen answered immediately without exception. Time seemed to flash by as an hour passed just like that. Xuan Ziwen spoke until even he was a little exhausted, but Huo Yuhao was still as excited and lively as ever – one of the major advantages of being a spirit-type soul master.

Creeeeak... The lab door suddenly opened with a jarring creak and shook Huo Yuhao out of his immersion in the ocean of knowledge as he subconsciously glanced towards the door.

It was just a glance, but his eyes suddenly seemed to freeze, and he could no longer withdraw his gaze.

There was a young woman standing by the door. She seemed a little drowsy-eyed, but her beauty made Huo Yuhao lose his focus even though he had seen many pretty girls before.

This young lady had long,flowing black hair. She looked to be between seventeen and eighteen years of age, her large and nimble eyes appearing a little nebulous. Her complexion was just too impressive, as not a single pore could be seen on her soft and tender skin, as if he could squeeze water out of her with just a single pinch. She wore a school uniform like everyone else, which brought out her relatively attractive figure. Perhaps she wasn’t as pretty as Jiang Nannans, but her lazy and naturally cute demeanor was riveting.

“You’re early, teacher! What a rare sight!” The young girl acted like she didn’t see Huo Yuhao at all, addressing Xuan Ziwen lazily. She walked over and sat down on the lab desk before she laid down on top of it, as if she wanted to take yet another nap.

“Ahem, ahem!” Xuan Ziwen coughed dryly and said, “Stop sleeping, Ju Zi. Can’t you see there’s someone new here?”

The young girl referred to as “Ju Zi” was still lying down. She waved her right hand lazily, as if she were swatting flies and said, “Stop talking and let me sleep for a little while. You know what I was doing last night when I burned the midnight oil.” Her soft and silky voice gave people a strange and tickly sensation in their hearts.

Xuan Ziwen was a little exasperated and said, “Forget it. Don’t mind her, she’s just like that. Her name is Ju Zi, and she’s also one of my students. You can call her senior sister from now on, or you can just address her by her name. She was researching soul tools last night, and she kept at a single experiment until midnight. That is the reason why she’s only up at this hour. I only have four students. The other three are out to gain experience, and will probably only be back after a few days.”

“Experience? Soul engineers also have to venture outside for experience? What kind of experience is that?” Huo Yuhao asked curiously.

Xuan Ziwen replied, “Of course they need to have experience! Simply doing experiments inside a lab is not enough, and some research has to be tested in real life so that it can be improved, and better results obtained. I guided them through forging some soul tools before this, and they brought their soul tools out for experiments. You will have similar experiences in the days to come.”

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Translated by: cy 
 Edited by: GNE and RED

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