Huo Yuhao’s feelings for Ju Zi were complicated. He was guarded against her, he pitied her, and he liked her too—particularly when she was taking care of him. He had to admit that in his heart, he saw traces of Ma Xiaotao in Ju Zi. However, Ma Xiaotao was a bad-tempered and straight-talking big sister, while Ju Zi was a warm and quiet older (but younger than Ma Xiaotao) sister.
Through their interactions, he gradually realized that Ju Zi had stopped trying to cover up who she really was in front of him. Huo Yuhao could see that this girl’s heart was filled with hatred. Her innate kindness was still there, but it was deeply concealed.
“Yuhao, do you know that when I first ate your grilled meat, I was completely taken by its taste. Your food reminded me of my father again. I once said that if I were to marry and love someone with all my heart, I would love someone who was a talented chef like my father.
“While you are much younger than me, I’m not afraid to admit that I like you. However, I kept this feeling in the depths of my heart, because there is no future between us. Regardless of age, experience, or anything else, there is no way we can be together.
“I can tell that you are akin to a prodigy in Shrek Academy. With only four rings, you are able to face off against a Soul Emperor. Furthermore, soul beasts with tens of thousands of years of cultivation could not resist you. You are the most distinguished soul master I have seen. In the future, you will be a powerful entity on the continent. However, do you know that you have a weakness, too? Looking at you objectively and coldly, I can see it better. Your problem is that you are too outstanding, and even if you try your best to hide it, how can you conceal your vast potential as a genius? Sometimes, you have to wait for the waves to quiet down. A step back may give you the peace you want. This is what I want to tell you. If you can do that, then your path in the future will be even more brilliant.
“I hope this is the last time I will cry. Soon, I will leave the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. I don’t know if we will ever meet again in the future, but I hope not. Because I don’t want to face you on the battlefield. I just hope that you can live a good, peaceful, and happy life. Find someone you love and marry her. Have pretty and adorable kids. A normal life. I know that this peace is impossible for you, but I still wish it for you. How I want to be that woman! But alas, I can’t!
“I have to go.” Ju Zi turned her back to him. “Despite our short time together, I still want to give you a present.”
Here, she became quiet. Every single one of her words was imprinted on Huo Yuhao’s heart, particularly that line “a good, peaceful, and happy life”. It almost made Huo Yuhao cry. He did not dare to open his eyes, because he did not know how he should face her. His breathing became rougher and deeper.
He suddenly felt a fresh and clear gush of air. It was clear, but warm and moist, too. Ju Zi’s supple lips landed on his face as she kissed him gently. That kiss brimmed with warmth, as well as an indescribable sadness.
When her lips left his face, tears rolled uncontrollably from Huo Yuhao’s eyes. At that moment, Ju Zi had left an imprint of herself on Huo Yuhao’s heart. Even if it was not love, it was a permanent mark.
Ju Zi wiped her tears, looked at Huo Yuhao and said softly, “This is my first kiss. I wanted to kiss your lips, but I did not obtain your consent. Hence, I decided to kiss your face. Leave your first kiss for your fated girl. I’m going, don’t let me see you again.”
He gently wriggled his body while Ju Zi stood up. Her upper teeth bit down on her lower lip as she tried hard not to cry. Turning her back to him, she dashed out of the ward.
The moment she entered, she knew that Huo Yuhao was awake. Huo Yuhao had a special trait. Even though he did not know it, the top of his ears would be stuck tightly to his head when he was awake. When he was meditating or sleeping, there would be a slight gap.
Even Wang Dong had not noticed this change. However, Ju Zi, who had been taking care of him for the past few days, noticed.
He could hear the doors closing. Huo Yuhao slowly opened his teary eyes, and suddenly realized how helpless he was. He wanted very much, from the bottom of his heart, to help her. However, he knew that it was impossible.
Her enemy was his country. Her path was the opposite of the one he wanted to take. He could not ask her to abandon her vision and force her to be with him. If she did, would she still be Ju Zi?
“Sister Ju Zi, don’t you know that I want you to have a peaceful and normal life, too?” Huo Yuhao sighed as he calmed himself.
He could still clearly remember that when he was in Shrek Academy, there was a special lesson on psychology in the Ultimate Soldier Plan. Their teacher had taught them that those who wanted to achieve great things must be cold and unfeeling. Great emotional turbulence would affect one’s chances of success.
Huo Yuhao tried to control his emotions. While he thought that he did a good job, as did his teachers, it was apparent that he was not there yet.
Who could be truly emotionless? Furthermore, he was not even 15. Most people of this age would undergo mood swings and emotional instability. After all, thoughts of love and romance would start setting in, further upsetting one’s emotional stability.
He took a few deep breaths and finally, he was able to calm himself down. Losing control of his emotions could not help him solve anything. His solution for himself was simple. In his heart, he told himself that the only way to change the world would be to further strengthen himself. Only then could he control everything.
With this thought in mind, Huo Yuhao slowly fell asleep. Tonight, he would not cultivate.
The next day, at noon, Huo Yuhao received news from Ke Ke that Ju Zi had withdrawn from school. No one knew where she went.
Even though Huo Yuhao was mentally prepared, he was still stunned for almost 15 minutes. Slowly, he came back to his senses.
“Stop being shocked! Where do you think she went?” Ke Ke asked in a depressed tone.
Huo Yuhao shook his head and said, “I don’t know, but I think she is working for her vision.”
Huo Yuhao recovered quickly. Three days later, he left the ward and returned to his dormitory to rest. In reality, his wounds were almost fully recovered.
He did not give much more thought to Ju Zi. Instead, he devoted all his energy to cultivation. With Jing Hongchen’s tricks, he could soon study in the Illustrious Virtue Hall. That was his objective.
To avoid arousing Jing Hongchen’s suspicion, Huo Yuhao cultivated in the dormitory for five days before he went to look for Xuan Ziwen. He told his teacher that his wounds had completely healed, and he could now study in Illustrious Virtue Hall.
Xuan Ziwen looked at the youth before him. While it had only been a few days, for some reason, Huo Yuhao looked more mature all of a sudden. This feeling was strange and indescribable. However, he knew that he was right.
“Yuhao, do you know that, from a national perspective, I don’t want to bring you inside? The Hallmaster has underestimated your intelligence,” Xuan Ziwen frowned as he shook his head.
Huo Yuhao smiled slightly and said, “Teacher Xuan, you are not a politician, but only a researcher. I believe that I can help you further refine your research. After all, I remember our promise at the start. You must remember it too!”
Xuan Ziwen laughed. “Of course I remember it! Okay, don’t forget that the Hall is not like here. Your every word and action will be under surveillance. Listen more, study more, look more, think more, and talk less. Try not to interact so much with the other Shreks. Stay by my side, and you will be fine.”
“Yes, sir,” Huo Yuhao said respectfully.
“Come with me,” Xuan Ziwen told him, standing up and bringing Huo Yuhao out.
In the lab, Zi Mu took a look at the youth accompanying Teacher Xuan and seemed shocked. Ke Ke, however, was excited. She seemed happier than the time she had first entered the Illustrious Virtue Hall.
Illustrious Virtue Hall was the core of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. From the outside, it appeared to be an ordinary building. Once he entered, however, Huo Yuhao realized that the Hall was much bigger than he had first thought.
Illustrious Virtue Hall, like the extravagant auction hall of the Star Luo Empire, were both underground. However, in terms of size, they were simply incomparable.
After he entered the ordinary-looking building that was no greater than five hundred square meters in size, Xuan Ziwen brought him through three checkpoints, each guarded by a soul master and a soul tool.
When he entered the interior of the building, Huo Yuhao could see twenty elevators that formed the shape of an arch. Every single elevator looked metallic, and could fit more than ten people.
Xuan Ziwen brought Huo Yuhao into the first elevator and scanned his ID card on a soul tool. Then, he gripped the metal pole in the center of the elevator and inserted his soul power. Slowly, the elevator descended.Previous Chapter Next Chapter