Volume 18, Chapter 158.2: Senior Sister Ju Zi

“Since you already have Rank 40 soul power, you should go out and get your fourth soul ring as soon as possible. Even though I’m unwilling to admit it, soul engineers will dread the stagnation of their soul power the most, as powerful soul tools require a powerful soul master to wield them right now.”

Huo Yuhao forced a laugh and said, “It’s not like I’m delaying in getting another soul ring. Suitable spirit-type soul beasts are just too rare, if that wasn’t the case, I wouldn’t have dragged it out this long.”

Xuan Ziwen contemplated momentarily, then said, “Rare doesn’t mean nonexistent. Even though the Sun Moon Empire’s overall soul beast quality may be inferior to that of the Great Star Dou Forest near Shrek Academy, it holds true that different regions will have different types of soul beasts. I can accompany you to find a suitable soul ring, you can get one as long as you find an appropriate soul beast.”

“Thank you, teacher Xuan.” Huo Yuhao thanked him sincerely. While he wasn’t wholly convinced that Xuan Ziwen could take him to find a suitable soul beast, he could still appreciate his teacher’s good intentions.

Xuan Ziwen glanced at the time and said, “Alright, it’s getting late. We will stop here for today, in the meantime you can think things over on your own. I can only teach you the principles, after that your subsequent inventions and innovations are yours alone.”

“Yes.” Huo Yuhao nodded.

Xuan Ziwen sauntered beside Ju Zi and suddenly shouted, “It’s time to eat!”

“Ah! Let’s go! The shrimp crackers will be gone!” This beautiful girl, who still had sleepy and dazed eyes just a moment ago, suddenly leapt to her feet. She raced out of the lab with a spring in her step while Huo Yuhao watched her, slack-jawed.

Xuan Ziwen laughed uncontrollably as he watched her mannerisms.

It didn’t take long before Ju Zi stomped furiously back into the lab. She raised her arm and hurled a sphere of yellow light towards Xuan Ziwen exclaiming, “You lied to me! You lied to me again. I’m going to kill you.” She tossed sphere after sphere of yellow light as she spoke.

Xuan Ziwen could catch a few at the start, but was quickly overwhelmed and guffawed, “Help me, Yuhao.”

Huo Yuhao could see everything from the moment Ju Zi raised her hands into the air. She was actually throwing out oranges, every single one was ripe and supple. It was apparent that she was a food-type soul master with an Orange martial soul.

Huo Yuhao’s movements were quite unlike Xuan Ziwen, while neither released their martial soul, Huo Yuhao seemed to grow innumerable hands, catching every single orange barreling through the air. Not a single orange could get by him, he simply dropped them on the ground beside him. 

“Eh?” Ju Zi finally realized there was someone else in the lab. She stopped what she was doing and asked, “Who are you?”

Xuan Ziwen walked towards Huo Yuhao and explained, “He is your new junior brother, and I will be mentoring him from today onwards.”

Huo Yuhao was relatively tall and lanky compared to others of the same age. He had a cool and composed demeanor, so he seemed more like a teenager closer to seventeen or eighteen years old.

Ju Zi waved at him indifferently before she rushed in front of Xuan Ziwen angrily and said, “You lied to me again, teacher Xuan. If you do that again, I’m going to request a change of teachers.”

Xuan Ziwen chuckled and replied, “Is it my fault that you were born a glutton? Everything would be okay if you didn’t react so dramatically. I leave you in charge of answering your junior brother’s questions when I’m not around. His name is Huo Yuhao.”

Huo Yuhao stepped forward a bit rushed and said respectfully, “Nice to meet you, senior sister Ju Zi.”

Ju Zi looked him up and down more carefully than before, then muttered, “I don’t have time for that, I still have to continue researching and studying my own things. Anyways, I’m leaving to find something to eat—I’m famished! I haven’t had anything to eat yet.” She waved her hands  as she spoke and departed the laboratory once more.

Xuan Ziwen explained sheepishly, “Our learning atmosphere is a little more relaxed. Ju Zi might seem reserved and isolated from her surroundings, but she has extraordinary talents with soul tools—she’s already a Class 5 soul engineer. The only thing she’s lacking is cultivation level.”

Huo Yuhao suddenly thought of something and asked, “I’ve seen many students from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy before, and I noticed that they typically possess a very formidable soul power from a young age—reaching Rank 60 before twenty years of age isn’t rare, is it? Have they achieved it by eating exotic foods or whatnot? That might be a little excessive.”

Xuan Ziwen sighed and answered, “They’re spoiling them with undue haste. The academy has employed some special and unnatural methods to aid students with a talent for forging soul tools, and the academy spends a myriad amount of exotic foods and precious resources to boost their cultivations. This method has side effects, which will affect their future development. I can’t tell you about that though—it’s classified.”

Xuan Ziwen quickly left, and Huo Yuhao was the only person left inside the lab. Huo Yuhao sat down on the ground crossed-legged, and started meditating.

He wasn’t just trying to understand and consolidate the things he learned from Xuan Ziwen—he was also trying to memorize the structure and formation arrays of the soul tools within the laboratory. But he didn’t dare to draw them onto paper right now, as he wasn’t quite sure if there wasn’t a soul tool spying on him or monitoring his actions.

He was about to head down to the canteen to eat after finishing up when the lab door opened again—Ju Zi was back.

“Senior sister Ju Zi.” Huo Yuhao was a little fatigued when he greeted Ju Zi.

Ju Zi raised one hand and tossed a card that looked like it was made of crystal to Huo Yuhao. Huo Yuhao caught it.

Ju Zi said, “How troublesome. Teacher Xuan wanted me to give you this access card. You’ll be able to go in and out of the laboratory when you like with it. We don’t really have any rules here, so you can carry on with your own research if you have any, and find teacher Xuan if you have something you don’t understand. Alright, I’m going to take a nap and continue my research in the afternoon.” She yawned as she spoke. She turned and began walking towards the exit.

She suddenly stopped after taking only a step or two and snapped her head around. “Huo Yuhao, right? How did you catch so many of my oranges awhile ago?”

Huo Yuhao answered, “It’s a technique from my sect.”

“What sect are you from?” Ju Zi asked curiously.

“The Tang Sect.” Huo Yuhao replied. 

Ju Zi was a little confused, and asked, “I’ve never heard of it before. Is it fun?”

Huo Yuhao felt a little speechless, but he still replied. “A sect shouldn’t be described as ‘fun’, senior sister.”

Ju Zi grunted and said, “Forget it, if it’s not fun, I’m out.” She pranced away just like that.

Huo Yuhao ate a simple lunch and returned to the lab in the early afternoon. Neither Xuan Ziwen nor Ju Zi were around.

He recalled Xuan Ziwen’s advice from the morning, and began to experiment with soul tools. He was trying to forge a commonplace, but extremely valuable, soul tool—a Class 4 Milk Bottle.

The Milk Bottle, and soul tools like it, were always in high demand. Only problem is that forging one is a troublesome process, with its formation arrays being especially sophisticated. Huo Yuhao was experimenting in simplifying these complex formation arrays.

After about thirty minutes of deep concentration, Ju Zi walked in. She wasn’t too concerned to see Huo Yuhao making a soul tool off to the side, she walked over to the other side of the lab desk and got down to work. She was also creating formation arrays.

Huo Yuhao’s senses were incredibly perceptive, he was aware of her presence the moment she entered. He discreetly activated Spiritual Detection and monitored his senior sister’s movements.

Even with his good impression of Xuan Ziwen, he still knew it would be difficult to pick up any core knowledge or bits and pieces of information, because he was from Shrek Academy. He had to learn whatever he could, however he could do it.

Huo Yuhao’s first impression of Ju Zi was that she seemed cute, she was pretty too, but also ignorant and obnoxious. He quickly realized that Ju Zi was almost like a completely different person when she walked in. She was extraordinarily focused, as if without a care in the world for anything else besides the formation array she was forging at the moment. It was far more complicated than Huo Yuhao’s Class 4 Milk Bottle’s formation array. Huo Yuhao couldn’t even tell what the formation array was for, despite his vast memory banks of formation arrays—of course, this was also because Ju Zi had just started carving.

Ju Zi appeared to enter a state of absolute concentration, as if she didn’t realize that Huo Yuhao was now right behind her. She grabbed a silver-white piece of metal with her left hand while she held a carving knife with unique colors in her right. This knife looked like it was made of clear and transparent crystal, and its handle was an orangish-red. The blade’s hues gradually became lighter and more plain from the handle all the way up to the tip, which was so clear and transparent that it was almost invisible.

The carving knife spun between her fingers, and waltzed like a sphere of flame.

Fan Yu had once remarked that different soul engineers had different preferences and varying carving knifes when creating formation arrays. Those who would eventually become top-ranked soul engineers all had their own unique techniques and style.

Huo Yuhao was still discovering his own style and preferences. However, he could see fragments of a style from Ju Zi.

Ju Zi gave onlookers a light and agile feeling when she handled her carving knife. The knife looked like a ball of flame, only briefly touching the metal piece before it was withdrawn, and didn’t stop moving for even a single moment. This natural movement made it seem like she was caressing the metal piece with her carving knife. Metal scraps continuously drifted to the floor, but none of them scattered outwards; the intricate textures made her work seem like that of uncanny and superlative craftsmanship.

One was sitting down while the other was standing up. One was carving in silence while the other observed quietly from the side. Like this, time unwittingly flew by.

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Translated by: cy
 Edited by: GNE and George McDuck

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