“This is the reason why I considered asking you for help. I don’t have anything to bribe you with, except everything that I am. I will honor my word – I am willing to do anything for you if you can help rescue my parents’ spirits and take them away from their suffering.”
Huo Yuhao said, “You don’t have to promise me anything and I don’t desire anything from you either. All I hope for it to help your parents’ spirits rest in peace.” His eyes warmed up as he spoke, because he suddenly thought about his mother – if his mother were alive, how happy would she have been to see that he was a Soul Ancestor and was part of the Shrek Academy’s inner courtyard?
He thought about that man. Mother, I will fulfill the wish you never uttered – I will avenge you!
Na Na said, “According to my understanding, the Holy Ghost Church is an enigmatic and mysterious organization. The entity that I've been constantly interacting with is only a part of it. There should be more than twenty people from the Holy Ghost Church in Radiant City. However, there should only be about three or four core members, and the rest are just outer members. However, these outer members are no lower than Soul Ancestors in cultivation.”
“What’s strange is that the Holy Ghost Church is inside the Sun Moon Empire, but there aren’t many soul engineers while most of them are soul masters. The strongest core member that I have seen before is roughly as powerful as a seven-ringed Soul Sage. Even though he only has seven rings, he gives me a feeling that there’s more to him than that.”
“This seven-ringed Soul Sage is addressed as Elder within this group. He is always wearing a black balaclava whenever I see him, and only his eyes can be seen. The other core members are referred to as Holy Ghost Disciples. The outer members are referred to as Holy Servants, and I am also considered a Holy Servant at this point in time. I have to mask my appearance every time I approach them, and that means that us Holy Servants won’t be able to recognize one another even if we meet each other on a normal day. Only the Elder knows how we look like, and the Elder has mentioned to me before that he will request to the Main Altar once I obtain six soul rings for me to become a Holy Ghost Disciple, and augment my spirit at the same time.”
Huo Yuhao interrupted and asked, “Augmenting your spirit?”
Na Na shook her head. “I don’t know what spirit augmentation means. I asked the Elder before, and he said it’s some powerful divine ritual that would make us Holy Servants incredibly powerful.
Huo Yuhao said, “Since they call themselves a church, what is their church’s mission?”
Na Na replied, “Their church mission is very vague and abstract. It is, ‘Let holy light shine upon the world, let the Holy Spirit descend amongst humankind.’ The Elder remarked that my parents’ spirits would be released once my spirit was augmented. However, I can feel that I will no longer be myself if I actually go through that ritual. I will be like how I faced you before this, and my spirit will be arrested. I’m not strong enough for them at the moment, so they haven’t done anything to me yet.”
Huo Yuhao said, “Does this mean that the others Holy Servants’ situations are like you? Are they all people that the Holy Ghost Church is trying to nurture and prepare?”
Na Na shook her head once more. “I have no idea. The Elder and the Holy Ghost Disciples strictly prohibit us Holy Servants from interacting with each other outside.”
Huo Yuhao lowered his head slightly. He became more familiar with them, but this Holy Ghost Church was truly secretive and mysterious as Na Na didn’t know much about them even though she was a part of this organization.
“Where are your parents’ spirits sealed?” Huo Yuhao asked.
Na Na answered, “They are sealed within that group’s Holy Altar. That place is very sinister, and I can feel the chills every time I go there. Not only my parents’ spirits are sealed there – there appears to be many spirits contained within.”
Huo Yuhao said, “So you want to bring me to this Holy Altar and let me save your parents’ spirits. Am I right?”
Na Na nodded repeatedly and said, “Yes. I have seen my parents’ spirits there, but I can’t get too close to that place. The closer I get, the more my spirit feels like it’s being torn to pieces. Can you do it…?”
Huo Yuhao contemplated momentarily and answered, “I can only say that I will try my best. The only thing is – can I get close to this Holy Altar?”
Na Na said hurriedly, “My status amongst the Holy Servants is relatively high because my cultivation level is almost at Rank 60, and I am considered preemptively as a Holy Ghost Disciple. Furthermore, they know that I don’t have the ability to release my parents’ spirits, so they aren’t that wary around me. The Elder has recently returned to the Main Altar, and there are only two Holy Ghost Disciples guarding this Side Altar. The day that I can return to visit my parents’ spirits is almost upon us, and they won’t raise their guard towards me as most Holy Servants are in a similar situation. If you can pretend and make yourself up into a Holy Servant, we have a good chance of slipping in. If that doesn’t work…”
Na Na’s eyes flowed with sharp coldness. “You have the power to defeat the Sword Fanatic Ji Juechen, and you have me. We may yet stand a chance against two six-ringed Holy Ghost Disciples.”
Huo Yuhao tilted his head faintly and said, “Alright, then let’s discuss the plan of execution.” A substantial part of why he decided to help Na Na was because of what she had been through, and the rest was because of this mysterious Holy Ghost Church. They were a cult that consisted mostly of soul masters, while there was something nefarious going on between them and the Illustrious Virtue Hall, and even that was as mysterious as ever. According to Na Na’s description, the Side Altar’s Elders had at least seven soul rings, so that meant the main leader of this sect should be a powerful Titled Douluo. Any sect with a Titled Douluo could be considered large. Their movements and everything they did were just so dark and underhanded – he had to report this back to the academy, but he would do some scouting first.
He was an Ultimate Soldier born from the Ultimate Soldier Plan, and he was trained to fight a lonely battle anyway. There were times where his prowess wasn’t just displayed in terms of fighting strength.
Three Days later.
A tall and slender figure sauntered into the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. Her dark-red long hair was combed into a neat ponytail, and her black warrior robe masked the elegance of her slender and harmonized figure.
The sentries responsible for guarding the main door glanced at her when she stepped in, and let her through with a grin on their faces. Everybody recognized this popular girl – Na Na of the Active Control Soul Tool Department! Rumor had it that her prowess was enough to represent the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy in the next season’s Continental Advanced Soul Master Academy Soul Dueling Tournament, and she was currently bathed in limelight within the academy.
Most students weren’t allowed to enter and leave the academy as they wished, and they would require special permission from at least a director-level teacher. However, it was clear that Na Na was an exception, and she had long been given the permission to enter and leave the academy whenever she wanted.
Na Na’s footsteps became conspicuously faster when she departed the academy. She took a few turns before her eyes darted around at her surroundings and she slunk into a dark corner.
A tall and burly shadow separated from her body. This person had tanned skin, a gleaming bald head, and shoulders so wide that it felt like he could carry the sky on his shoulders – it was He Caitou.
Na Na exhaled a sigh of relief and muttered, “This… This is just too incredible. You aren’t expending too much soul power, are you, Yuhao?”
Another voice came from a dark spot deflected from her body. “I’m not. Let’s deal with this as quickly as we can and return.”
Na Na wasn’t the only person that came out from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy – Huo Yuhao and He Caitou were also with her. Today was the day when Na Na was allowed to visit her parents’ spirits, and Huo Yuhao requested He Caitou’s help for safety reasons, so that they would succeed on their first try.
The quality changes of his spiritual sea improved some of Huo Yuhao’s spiritual-type soul skills in the long run, and that included the mighty Imitation. He relied upon his powerful spiritual power to forcefully disguise himself and even He Caitou’s form as Na Na’s shadow. Only upon closer inspection would one realize that Na Na’s shadow occasionally became layered, but that nuance was undetectable under normal circumstances. Cover and concealment was an important part of the Ultimate Soldier Plan, and Huo Yuhao could use this ability for a prolonged period of time with his immense spiritual sea.
He Caitou gave Na Na a thumbs-up, and he didn’t interact with Huo Yuhao at all before he quickly vanished into the darkness.
Na Na took a deep breath and tried her best to calm her excited emotions, before she came out from the darkness and continued on to her original destination.
The Radiant City was the Sun Moon Empire’s capital, and it was an extremely vast patch of land. The giant city without walls was bustling and they were in the early evening when the lanterns were first lit.
Na Na proceeded quickly, and she was familiar with the path. She was more than a meter and eighty centimeters tall and that gave her exceptionally long and slender legs. She was just walking, but her light footsteps made her seem like she was riding the wind and made her movement seem as fast as lightning.
Even with her speed, her brisk walk took more than thirty minutes before she began to slow down. She stared at an unassuming building quite a distance away from her as she mumbled under her breath, “We’re here. That courtyard, about three hundred meters ahead – the interior structure with the black ceiling.”
Huo Yuhao’s voice rang out, “Don’t worry, you have me.”
There were many different tall buildings and structures in Radiant City that one wouldn’t see elsewhere. They came from the widespread use of soul tools, and the Sun Moon Empire was the leading country in terms of architecture across the entire continent.
Na Na arrived at another corner of a street. This time, she wore a white headdress which she wore with another conical bamboo hat that draped around her head, before she quickly proceeded towards the location she just described.
This courtyard appeared especially dull and plain amongst the various structures around it. Na Na raised her hand and tapped lightly on the door a total of five times, three long ones and two short.
A crack opened in the door, and Na Na zipped in through the crack in a flash.