Even though that didn’t include the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy’s treasured and exotic soul tools, Huo Yuhao’s contributions were enough to advance the research of Shrek Academy’s Soul Tool Department’s by at least a hundred years.
Elder Xuan had mentioned before in one of his reply letters that Huo Yuhao was already considered a true hero in the academy, and nobody could rival his contributions to Shrek. He had even proposed to the Sea God’s Pavilion that Huo Yuhao be given a seat on the council, and that motion had subsequently passed. Even though he wasn’t back at the academy yet, Huo Yuhao was actually a part of the Sea God’s Pavilion. His status was equal to Fan Yu, who was the Soul Tool Department’s Vice-Dean—he was perhaps even higher.
Fan Yu was a Class 8 soul engineer, and he naturally understood how difficult it was to design formation arrays or create blueprints, even though Huo Yuhao had a spiritual-type martial soul, and held a considerable advantage. The downside was that he could only design and innovate at night, as he had to forge soul tools and conduct research in the day. It could be said that it was considered fortunate if Huo Yuhao could enjoy four to six hours of rest every day, and even those hours were spent in meditation.
Huo Yuhao’s soul power didn’t improve that much over the past two years. But Fan Yu knew him too well, and he could sense that Huo Yuhao was drastically different, to the point where even he felt a little confused and dumbfounded when Huo Yuhao talked about some principles and concepts regarding soul tools. Xuan Ziwen once said that Huo Yuhao would be a Class 7 soul engineer if he had enough soul power.
How would Jing Hongchen of the Illustrious Virtue Hall feel, if he had known that this exchange program brought Shrek so many benefits?
This was the reason why Fan Yu agreed to Huo Yuhao’s request to travel outside with Wang Dong without hesitation. His only wish was for Huo Yuhao to relax a little bit with Wang Dong, so that his tightened nerves over these few years could loosen up. Huo Yuhao had entered Shrek Academy when he was eleven, now he was seventeen, and Huo Yuhao had accomplished feats of research and study that normal individuals couldn’t do in twenty years. Just six years. Not only was Huo Yuhao a genius, but he was also a hardworking student with unwavering determination and fighting spirit.
Dinner ended with a jovial atmosphere. The sky was already dark by the time they walked out of the restaurant.
Fan Yu asked, “Have you found a place to stay yet, Wang Dong?”
Wang Dong shook his head and said, “No. I came to the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy as soon as I reached The Radiant City.”
Fan Yu frowned and said, “It’s late, and I don’t think the academy will allow you inside. It won’t be easy to find a place to stay the night.”
He Caitou chuckled and said, “You don’t have to worry about that, teacher. With junior brother around, the guards will be none the wiser. Let Wang Dong stay with him overnight.”
Fan Yu was stunned momentarily. His main focus was soul tool research, so he was only really familiar with Huo Yuhao’s mastery over soul tools.
Huo Yuhao laughed along and glanced at Wang Dong. “My Imitation soul skill has improved a lot. Take a look, teacher.” Huo Yuhao didn’t even release his martial soul, but the air beside him contorted subtly as he spoke—and Wang Dong vanished into thin air.
Fan Yu was astonished. “That… that’s your Imitation? How did you make him disappear?”
Huo Yuhao laughed. “I didn’t make him disappear, I simply transformed him into my shadow. Simply put, I used spiritual power to tweak the refraction of light so people can’t see him. However, the effective range is limited, and he can’t be touched, otherwise he will be discovered.”
Fan Yu said, “That’s incredible enough. It’s the art of stealth!”
Huo Yuhao said, “It’s not enough, because his aura is still there. A powerful enough adversary can detect Wang Dong’s existence just by perceiving their surroundings—however, this is definitely enough to deceive the guards.”
The four of them returned to the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, and, of course, Wang Dong went completely undetected. They returned to the dorm, and Huo Yuhao withdrew his soul skill.
They closed the door, but the excitement on Huo Yuhao’s face was still there. Today could be considered his happiest day over the past two years, and the soul tool research that he toiled over day in and day out was instantly tossed to the back of his mind.
“Wang Dong, do you feel like we’re reliving our days back at the dormitory in Shrek?”
Wang Dong turned back towards him. The sky was completely dark at this point, and Huo Yuhao had only switched on a single light, so the room was a little dimly lit. Two pairs of eyes stared at each other, but Wang Dong seemed to be subtly avoiding his gaze for some reason.
“It’s getting late, we should sleep soon. We’ll leave in the early morning tomorrow—my home is quite far away.”
Huo Yuhao nodded and said, “I’m sorry, but you’ll have to sleep on the same bed as me tonight. You can bathe first, though.”
Wang Dong glowered, “In your dreams, nobody’s going to sleep on the same bed as you tonight. You’ll sleep on the floor and I’ll sleep on the bed. Do you even know how to treat your guests?”
Huo Yuhao laughed and said, “That’s enough, you. I wonder who was it that bawled their eyes out and cried profusely when I left back then, and insisted that we sleep on the same bed that night? What, have you forgotten that over the past two years?”
Wang Dong blushed and said, “Nonsense! Nobody was bawling or crying. Move aside, I want to sleep alone. We are grown up now, what would people say if they saw two grown men sleeping on the same bed?” He dashed into the bathroom to bathe as he spoke.
Huo Yuhao mumbled under his breath exasperatedly, “Has his mysophobia gotten worse?” Still, he was truly elated that Wang Dong had come to visit him today, so he would accommodate him no matter what requests he had. He didn’t lack blankets or mattresses, and he pulled one from his storage-type soul tool that he typically used when travelling outside and spread it out next to the bed. He arranged his own bed, changed the bedsheets, the pillowcase, and the quilt, and made everything clean and smooth.
Wang Dong took a long time in the shower. He was dirty and unkempt from his long journey here, and Huo Yuhao also knew that he was a clean freak. He wasn’t in a hurry, so he laid down on the mattress on the floor, but he suddenly thought of something when he leaned back.
Why would they sleep? It had been a long time since they’d last met, and he’d almost forgotten. Wasn’t it a good idea for them to cultivate with the Haodong power at night?
Wang Dong finished bathing at this moment. He was holding a blue towel in his hands, that he’d clearly brought with him, and used it to dry his damp blue hair.
“Eh, you are quick!” Wang Dong exuded a clean and crisp smell after changing into clean clothes and he sauntered over next to the bed. His pajamas were loose and relaxed, and everything just seemed so comfortable.
Huo Yuhao was still lying down on the ground as he said, “I regretted it immediately after making the bed for you. Why were we going to sleep? We should be cultivating with the Haodong power. Your soul power has reached the Rank 60 bottleneck, and you’re much stronger than I am. You should guide me in cultivation, I think my cultivation speed will increase greatly if you do.”
Wang Dong slid down from the edge of the bed and sat down beside Huo Yuhao. Huo Yuhao subconsciously turned around and said, “You should sit on the bed. This is a mattress I typically use when I’m travelling outside, so it isn’t that clean. I changed everything on the bed, and I set these out in the sun a few days ago.”
He finished talking, but he realized that there was something wrong with Wang Dong’s eyes, so he asked subconsciously, “What’s wrong?”
Wang Dong raised his hand and rubbed Huo Yuhao’s head. “Promise me that you won’t cultivate tonight, and you’ll get a good night’s worth of sleep. Aren’t you happy that I’m here? I hope you can carry this excitement into your sleep. Not to mention, I’m exhausted after the trip. There are two people I know that look much older than they should—one is Bei Bei, who lost teacher Xiao Ya, and then there’s you. You have been exhausting and exerting yourself too much, it’s not good if you don’t give yourself time to rest. There is no limit for soul power cultivation and soul tool research, but you will collapse sooner or later if you don’t give yourself enough rest and relaxation. This is also a reason why I came to find you, and why I asked you to accompany me home—I hope that you will take a break. Who knows, it might even be beneficial for your cultivation.”
Wang Dong’s hand was extremely warm as he placed it on Huo Yuhao’s head, and it felt comfortable for Huo Yuhao. More importantly, Huo Yuhao could feel deep-seated concern and worry in Wang Dong’s words.
“Alright, I’ll listen to you and we won’t cultivate tonight. I’ll get a good night’s rest—I’m going to take a shower.” Huo Yuhao leapt to his feet as he spoke and strode into the bathroom.
Huo Yuhao shut the door then leaned against the wall, and tears poured forth uncontrollably as he physically suppressed his voice so that he didn’t cry out loud.
Yes! Only he knew the immense pressure weighing down on his shoulders. He had entered a half-crazed state ever since Elder Mu had died, and put too much pressure on himself to improve. He seemed no different from anyone else on normal days, but the pressure that he felt was just so tiring and exhausting.
Wang Dong’s arrival, and his words of consolation finally released the bottled up tension in Huo Yuhao’s heart. The tightly-wound knot inside Huo Yuhao was finally melted and softened by the warmth of kinship and love.
Even men cried, but their emotions usually remained trapped deep inside their labyrinth-like hearts, only to be loosed when no one else could see their weakness. Huo Yuhao was still a youth, he wasn’t a grown man yet. However, he was precocious and had matured a lot faster than normal people did.
He bawled for a brief moment more, before he took off his clothes and stepped under the shower. He let the warm water rinse over his body and course over his skin. Both his physical and mental fatigue seemed to dampen and dissolve as the warm water trickled down.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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Translated by: cy
Edited by: GNE and George McDuck
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