Volume 20, Chapter 176.2: Extortion and Sparring

Huo Yuhao smiled slightly and said, “I have enough combat experience, and I don’t need anymore. Hallmaster, please ask someone else. I’m here to study, not to fight.”

Jing Hongchen’s face instantly turned foul as he said, “Fine, state your conditions.”

Huo Yuhao chuckled and said, “You understand me so well.”

Jing Hongchen looked at Huo Yuhao’s change in attitude, and didn’t know if he should cry or laugh. However, he could not deny that this young man was exceptional indeed. Compared to his grandson and granddaughter, he did not think that Huo Yuhao was better than them in terms of battling abilities. However, his people skills surpassed theirs completely.

“Just state your conditions, but you can’t ask for more allotments. Our school’s budget is rather tight,” Jing Hongchen forewarned Huo Yuhao.

Huo Yuhao said, “Hallmaster, is this acceptable to you? You aren’t a stingy person, and I can assure you that in these spars, I will neither severely injure nor kill anyone. If I win, all I want is a prize. I am willing to take on challengers who are Class 6 and below. If I win, you must give me a kilogram of precious metal. I choose the type. What do you think?”

A kilogram of precious metal for a single victory? This condition was indeed not harsh. After all, many precious metals had high densities, and a small chunk would easily weight one kilogram.

After some thought, Jing Hongchen said, “Okay, we shall proceed as you wish. If you lose, I don’t want anything from you. Just don’t ask me for anything.”

Huo Yuhao puffed up his chest and said, “Of course, of course. As long as you keep your promise, I am willing to battle as many rounds as you want. I am very poor, and can only become rich through this. Oh right, I almost forgot. Shouldn’t you return the Hongchen’s Blessing to me?” As he said that, he extended a hand to Jing Hongchen.

Jing Hongchen really did not want to give it to him. However, when he looked at the greedy and uncompromising young boy before him, he found it hard to reject him. After all, he did not bring up that embarrassing incident. Furthermore, as a Titled Douluo and the Hallmaster of the Illustrious Virtue Hall, how could he take back something he had already given out? Elder Mu was generous indeed. He had given Huo Yuhao Shrek Academy’s only Class 9 soul tool.

Jing Hongchen returned the Hongchen’s Blessing to Huo Yuhao. He had a new level of understanding of Huo Yuhao’s position in Shrek Academy. If they could afford to give him a Class 9 soul tool, his importance could not be understated!

“Thank you, Hallmaster. Let me know after you setup the location for the spar. If you decide to sell tickets to outsiders, you don’t need to worry about me asking for a cut.”

Jing Hongchen almost kicked him out of his office as he chided, “Get out!”

Huo Yuhao laughed as he walked out.

“Wait.” Just when he reached the exit, he was called back by Jing Hongchen again.

Huo Yuhao stopped, turned his head and asked, “Hallmaster, didn’t you ask me to get out? Is there something else?” In his heart, he thought, “Are you trying to scare me to death? There’s no end to this!”

Jing Hongchen said seriously, “Yuhao, if you are willing to come over, the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy will double whatever Shrek Academy offers you. Think about it.”

Huo Yuhao was stunned. He could see the sincerity in Jing Hongchen’s eyes. However, they had different aims, and there was no chance this could work! He shook his head gently and said, “Thank you for this recognition. However, I can’t.” Right after he said that, he finally managed to leave Jing Hongchen’s office. This time, a look of disappointment crossed Jing Hongchen’s face, but he did not hold him back.

“Hallmaster, I think it’s a good idea to sell tickets. In our school, no one actually lacks money. Recently, not only has Huo Yuhao been extorting us, but our expenditures have gone up too. Do you…?” Lin Jiayi asked probingly.

Jing Hongchen’s eyes shone as he nodded and said, “You make the arrangements.”

“Yes.” Lin Jiayi was full of admiration for Jing Hongchen. This time, despite the incident and the fact that Jing Hongchen was forced by circumstances, he still had the future development of the school in his mind. By allowing Huo Yuhao to compete with their students, it superficially seemed to be giving in to Huo Yuhao’s demands. However, in reality, if the spar was properly organized, they could divert the students’ attention and increase their understanding of soul masters. Not only could it increase their experience against soul masters, but they could further understand Huo Yuhao’s abilities and prepare for the next Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament, which would be held in the Sun Moon Empire. There were many benefits to this arrangement, and making money was just one of them.

After Huo Yuhao returned to his dormitory, he plonked down on his bed immediately. The psychological pressure was too much to bear. Even then, his heart continued to thump loudly against his chest, as if it wanted to break out from his chest.

Right after he woke up from his sleep, he was faced with an immense challenge. In the end, he was able to turn the situation around. He could more or less guess the reason why Jing Hongchen wanted him to spar with soul engineers from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, but he still agreed to it. He needed to obtain more precious metals, and he needed a chance to release his pent-up emotions.

Ever since he had entered the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, he had been in a state of constant alertness. Regardless of whether it was in his studies or his secret drawing of the map, he was under immense pressure, further exacerbated by this incident.

The Ultimate Soldier Plan had special psychology lessons. His teacher taught him that once his mental pressure reached a certain level, he would need to find a suitable location to vent. If not, it would create psychological problems, especially for someone of his age.

“Knock, knock, knock.” Someone was knocking on his door.

Huo Yuhao stretched out on his bed. In doing so, he allowed himself to calm down. Only then did he walk to his door to open it. Just as he expected, Fan Yu and He Caitou were outside.

When they noticed that he was fine, they evidently became calmer. Quickly, they entered his room. He Caitou closed the door behind him.

“Little Junior, you almost scared teacher and me to death! I heard from other members of our academy that the situation that day was extremely dangerous. You were out for a few days. While the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy allowed us to pay you a visit, we could not tell what was wrong. Luckily, you are fine.” While the Shrek’s Seven Monsters were all ranked, He Caitou was still willing to call Huo Yuhao ‘Little Junior’. After all, only the two of them were soul engineers.

Huo Yuhao shook his head and said, “I don’t know how I was knocked unconscious. It was really dangerous that day. The Body Sect was too powerful, and they appeared to be very familiar with the interior of the Illustrious Virtue Hall. As the attack came too suddenly, the Illustrious Virtue Hall suffered heavy casualties.”

Then, he recounted the incident of that day simply. However, he did not talk about him entering the interiors of the Illustrious Virtue Hall through the tunnel.

Huo Yuhao had his considerations too. The metal man was extremely important, and it was best for as few people as possible to know about it. It might not be a good idea to tell Teacher Fan Yu and Second Senior. Furthermore, he was also afraid that it would expose his connection to the Snow Lady. All he said was that the Snow Lady blew up and nothing else. As for the metal man, he decided to tell no one before he returned to Shrek Academy. He would say everything back at Shrek Academy.

After he heard Huo Yuhao’s recounting of the events, Fan Yu frowned and said, “Something is wrong here. The price of a hundred thousand year soul beast embryo rivals that of entire cities, but one could only benefit two soul masters at most, and that’s under the condition that the soul ring and the soul bone are separated. This attack by the Body Sect was almost lethal to the Illustrious Virtue Hall, and their losses cannot be calculated. At the same time, they now have a vendetta against the Illustrious Virtue Hall. Is it really worth sacrificing so much for this treasure? After all, the Body Sect does not need money. I don’t think they are doing it for the 100 million golden soul coins.”

He Caitou said, “Teacher, regardless of what their reasons were, it doesn’t hurt us. The more the Illustrious Virtue Hall loses, the more the Sun Moon Empire loses. Perhaps it’ll delay the onset of war.” When He Caitou talked about the future war, an odd light shone in his eyes. When he mentioned the Sun Moon Empire, it was as if it did not concern him.

Huo Yuhao sighed in his heart. Did Second Senior really manage to emerge from the shadow of hate? Or was the hate buried in an even deeper place? He did not want anything back, all he wanted was to destroy! Ever since he met Ju Zi, Huo Yuhao’s understanding of the hatred in humans’ hearts had increased.

From Ke Ke, he occasionally heard some news about Ju Zi. She seemed to have joined the military, but he did not know what her role was. All he knew was that she went with the military to West Sea of the Sun Moon Empire, where she battled against oceanic soul beasts. Since then, she had not returned.

Fan Yu nodded and said, “That’s right, but as students of Shrek we are in a precarious position. It’s best for us to understand the ties between the two sides. Yuhao, with your analysis, what do you think is going on?”

Huo Yuhao knew that his teacher was testing him by asking this question. He replied after a moment of silence, “The Body Sect attacked suddenly, but they came entirely in black and their faces were masked. They did not reveal their identities. By doing so, while the Illustrious Virtue Hall could guess who did it, the Body Sect could deny their allegations, as they had no solid proof. After keeping silent for so many years, the Body Sect’s sudden action could only have a few objectives.”

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Translated by: Chevrons
Edited by: GNE

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