Volume 18, Chapter 162.2: The Mysterious Ju Zi

“Currently, the technology is not fully explored. Research into weaponizing soul tools like it can only get more complex, and they expend huge amounts of soul power. Even a Titled Douluo cannot control it for long, furthermore, its powers cannot compare to that of the Titled Douluo themself. This is not what we want at all. We hope that with our research, we can even let an ordinary person control the soul tool, till the point where even civilians can use it. This is what Teacher Xuan has been researching.”

Huo Yuhao inhaled deeply. Ju Zi’s exposition changed his perception of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s research. Did they just want civilians to operate their soul tools, or…? Ordinary soldiers would be able to operate these machines. With that, who could resist an invasion from the Sun Moon Empire?

While he had yet to try the all-terrain exploration soul tool for himself, he had the feeling that this item’s success would significantly impact the future of the Douluo Continent.

“Come, you try it.” Saying that, Ju Zi walked over to the all-terrain exploration soul tool and climbed in with the help of the handles by the side.

Ke Ke looked at Ju Zi, speechless. She thought to herself, “Isn’t this top secret information in our school? He can try it out, but why did Sister Ju Zi tell him about its origins, and the research the school is working on? Did his food really loosen her tongue?”

Huo Yuhao didn’t say much. He entered the machine straightaway.

The inside of the all-terrain exploration soul tool was extremely simple, crude even. The three seats were simple and metallic, and they were secured in a small space within the ball, also the seats had seatbelts. There was a metal stick in front of the first seat, but Huo Yuhao didn’t know what it was for. When they entered, Huo Yuhao noticed a few windows. Other than the four main windows, the ball also had a crystal window directly above the seats, and one in the center that seemed to hold the two halves of the ball together.

Before Ke Ke entered the ball, Ju Zi explained to Huo Yuhao, “Our all-terrain exploration soul tool’s original objective was to transport and protect soul engineers. When soul engineers need to fight, they can be directly ejected from the seat. The crystal glass above will split in two, and the person will launch out from the ball. Every seat has this function. To the right of your seat, there is a red button. If you hit it, you’ll be ejected.”

“Such a good design,” Huo Yuhao said in admiration.

Ke Ke had climbed in as well, and she sat next to Huo Yuhao. Ju Zi chose a function from the control stick and tugged it gently. Instantly, the window closed, and the three of them were sealed inside a two-meter wide ball.

“Be careful, I’m going to start.” As she said that, an orange-red layer of light shone from Ju Zi’s body. Two yellow and three purple soul rings appeared. With her left hand, she grabbed the thickest metal bar and injected her soul power into it.

Instantly, the all-terrain exploration soul tool started to move. As its engines purred to life gently, the ball started to rise. Huo Yuhao activated his Spiritual Detection. He could sense that its six legs started to lift the ball up, allowing him to see through the windows clearly.

“Ke Ke, you take charge of the soul barrier.” As she said that, she pressed down on a button to her left. Then a metal stick appeared before Ke Ke as well, who grabbed it tightly and prepared to channel her soul power into it.

“Let’s go!” Ju Zi shouted excitedly. She pushed the metal bar in her left hand forward a little, and in turn, the six thick metal legs started to move forward slowly. The entire all-terrain exploration soul tool began vibrating.

Huo Yuhao fully activated his Spiritual Detection. He could clearly sense that, all throughout the all-terrain exploration soul tool, at least thirty formation arrays were operating. The soul tool was completely propelled by Ju Zi’s soul power. Hence, a great deal of her soul power was being siphoned, particularly when she first started the machine. When that happened, Ju Zi’s face turned pale from the exertion.

As its speed increased, Huo Yuhao took the time to quickly record the inner structure of this soul tool. The all-terrain exploration soul tool had too many formation arrays, and he could not remember all of them at present. But it was far more important for him to remember its structure instead, something which took the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy thousands of tests and trials to come up with.

In a short time, Huo Yuhao had gauged the soul tool’s abilities. However, from one perspective, this soul tool did not appear to have much usefulness. While its defensive powers were decent, it would extort a huge amount of soul power for a Class 5 soul master. Once attacked, its huge size meant that it was just a massive target. While it was moving faster and faster, it still couldn’t compare to a flying-type soul tool. Its six metallic legs would not let it become faster than this.

One could say that this soul tool was full of deficiencies, but Huo Yuhao was completely certain that Shrek Academy absolutely could not make a soul tool like it. In other words, the Star Luo Empire, the Heavenly Soul Empire, and the Dou Ling Empire had yet to make any soul tools with its ability. The technology required to make this soul tool was too advanced. The inter-connected formation arrays and its inherent concealment technique prevented him from fully understanding the soul tool, even with his Spiritual Detection.

Looking at it now, the soul tool appeared to have very little use. With its huge soul power consumption, it was less useful than a Class 5 soul engineer. Even he could easily destroy this machine should he wish to. However, what if one day the Sun Moon Empire found a replacement for the soul power source? What if the new source could support a soul cannon? What would the situation be then? It was hard to imagine, but what if it became the main weapon of all wars? How useless would ordinary soldiers be next to it?

In just a short while countless thoughts and possibilities flashed through Huo Yuhao’s mind. The impact of this soul tool was indeed extraordinary.

He implicitly understood that while Xuan Ziwen did not have any well-defined teaching syllabus, that he wasn’t too guarded against Huo Yuhao, as he allowed him to partake in this experiment with Ju Zi and Ke Ke. However, he understood Xuan Ziwen’s intentions too. If he could combine the Zhuge Divine Crossbow with the all-terrain exploration soul tool, then it would possess offensive potential! While it would require complex preparational procedures, it could at least bestow it attacking capabilities. This research would significantly improve this soul tool.

While a stationary soul tool could be placed on it, from Huo Yuhao’s understanding of a stationary tool, almost all the projectiles fired by a stationary soul tool were propelled by the formation array. While the energy-gathering formations could definitely gather a certain amount of energy, it still required soul energy to operate. Compared to the Zhuge Divine Crossbow, which was mechanical, a concentrated soul tool was vastly different.

Simply speaking, should the internal workings of the Zhuge Divine Crossbow be implanted into the all-terrain exploration soul tool, it would reduce its overall energy consumption. This was what Xuan Ziwen wanted the most.

Naturally, Huo Yuhao would not give him the mechanical secrets of the Zhuge Divine Crossbow. With the current technological level and research behind the Sun Moon Empire, if he helped them by divulging any of the secrets of the Zhuge Divine Crossbow, then the three other countries would be in deep trouble!

Ju Zi did not know what Huo Yuhao was thinking, partly because she was giving all her attention to controlling the all-terrain exploration soul tool. As she expended her soul power, she also had to adjust according to the type of terrain.

Inside the sealed ball, it was indeed uncomfortable. The main problem was its shakiness. While the all-terrain exploration soul tool was relatively shock-proof, the path wasn’t smooth at all. In the hard seat, the motions were extremely uncomfortable. After fifteen minutes, Ju Zi had to stop to rest. At last, they had arrived at one of the outlying branches of the Jing Yang Mountain Range. Moving forward, they would be climbing the mountains.

Huo Yuhao made some quick calculations, and he realized that since the all-terrain exploration soul tool started operations, its speed was almost as fast as his highest running speed.

“Yuhao, share your feelings.” Ju Zi, who was visibly pale, turned her head to look at Huo Yuhao. She’d switched positions with Ke Ke, who was piloting now.

Huo Yuhao thought about it for a while and said, “Clumsy and lacking agility. I feel that what we see now is the result of its materials. For such a huge contraption, it’s amazing enough that you can make it move at such high speeds just with your soul power. When compared to ordinary soul tools, which can only attack or only defend, it is already extremely complicated. I would say that it’s a Class 8 soul tool in terms of complexity, but in terms of usefulness it’s ordinary.”

Ju Zi nodded and said, “That’s right, it’s still full of problems, and all we can do is continually improve it. With our current progress, it will be awhile before we refine it any further. Right now, there are some people in the empire who believe that we should devote more energy to the stationary soul tools. After all, they can already be operated by lower level soul masters, and they have very powerful offensive abilities. Furthermore, the expenses put into the production of a soul tool like this are extreme…”   

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Translated by: Chevrons
Edited by: GNE and George McDuck

Weekly chapter count will be pinned and updated every post in the UTS channel of the official WW discord.

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