Volume 23, Chapter 203: Devil's Frown

However, this hesitation only appeared in his mind for a moment before he rejected the proposition. Because while the importance of the Sealed Milk Bottles was high, he needed Xuan Ziwen. He was too proficient in soul tool research.

“Do you want to exchange?” Xuan Ziwen was a little anxious. “Do you think my research is inferior to yours? I can tell that your human-shaped soul tool is incomplete, it’s only a prototype. If you let me work on it, I can make it a complete human-shaped soul tool in less than three years.”

Huo Yuhao smiled and replied, “Of course I hope that you can finish it. But I don’t think you’ll just want this soul tool. Don’t forget that I’m showing you two products today.”

Xuan Ziwen’s eyes widened. “Are you saying that you have another item that can reach that level of research?”

Huo Yuhao shook his head and replied, “They belong to different categories. However, this second item is also the essence of all my hard work. You were right just now. The human-shaped soul tool is only half done. If I want to complete it, I’ll still need to experiment and innovate. However, the second item I’m showing you is completed.”

“Take it out then.” Xuan Ziwen said hurriedly.

Huo Yuhao nodded and lifted his right hand. The Starlight Sapphire ring that Xuan Ziwen had seen in the projection was on Huo Yuhao’s index finger.

When Xuan Ziwen saw the ring, his eyes flashed with greed. However, Huo Yuhao’s creativity was too important to him, and he quickly retracted his greed and channeled positive energy into his heart.

The item that Huo Yuhao retrieved was quite huge, and extremely heavy. Even with his cultivation and physical strength, it was still terribly strenuous for him to lift this item.

It was a gigantic stationary soul cannon shell!

When this soul cannon shell appeared, Xuan Ziwen took a few steps back, as if he had seen a ghost. Compared to the excitement when he saw the human-shaped soul tool, he was fearful now.

Yes, fearful.

This cannon shell was entirely fiery-red. It looked very dazzling, and carved on it were many complex patterns. However, these patterns didn’t belong to its formation arrays. There were some that even Xuan Ziwen couldn’t recognize even though he was a Class 8 soul engineer.

The front of the cannon shell was conical, while the back was circular—the standard structure. On its body was a dim white halo. Xuan Ziwen was fearful when he saw this halo.

Such a soul cannon shell that was more than a meter in length and a foot in diameter would require at least a Class 8 stationary soul cannon to fire it. Theoretically speaking, this was a Class 8 stationary soul cannon shell.

Even in the Sun Moon Empire where extremely powerful soul tools existed, Class 7 and above stationary soul cannon shells were considered resources to be tapped on in the event of a war. They were very lethal and even more rare. Although a stationary soul cannon shell was very powerful, the amount of raw materials needed to construct it was also terrifying. It was also very complex to craft such a cannon shell, making the rate of failure extremely high.

If one failed in crafting, it was different from when one failed at making other soul tools. That was because the likeliest consequence of failure was an explosion!

No matter the class of a soul engineer, they couldn’t escape death if an explosion occurred as they constructed a stationary soul cannon shell of the same class. That was why most soul engineers were unwilling to create high-level soul cannon shells. Even if one was willing to create one, they had to be extremely careful and focused.

Currently, the three strongest Class 9 stationary soul cannon shells that Xuan Ziwen knew of were hidden in the most tightly-guarded area of the Sun Moon Empire, the arsenal. Even with Jing Hongchen’s status as the Hallmaster of the Illustrious Virtue Hall, he could only deploy the use of one soul cannon shell. Only those at the highest level in the empire were clear on how many Class 7 and Class 8 stationary soul cannon shells they had.

That was why Xuan Ziwen hadn’t expected Huo Yuhao to take out a Class 8 stationary soul cannon shell. It didn’t matter what element the power of this cannon shell was categorized under, it was able to take down the entire Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. No wonder Huo Yuhao was daring enough to show him his human-shaped soul tool. He possessed such a lethal weapon.

Disregarding safety, there were at least seven or eight ways of detonating a stationary soul cannon shell. It didn’t just have to be fired using a stationary soul cannon.

Xuan Ziwen was shocked as he asked, “You, you made this?” Even he couldn’t be sure that he could create a Class 8 stationary soul cannon shell. He wouldn’t try either. Although he was very invested in his research, he still treasured his life a lot.

Huo Yuhao nodded his head and smiled. “Teacher Xuan, do you think this is just a shell?”

Xuan Ziwen groaned, “Are you questioning my professional knowledge? You can fake the appearance, but not the aura. A soul tool above Class 7 has a spirit and aura of its own. The aura of this soul cannon shell is very strange, yet powerful. I even suspect that it could be Class 9. But how is that possible?”

Huo Yuhao smiled and replied, “Nothing is impossible. This is the essence of my hard work, though it wasn’t completely created by me. If it were only me, I wouldn’t even have completed the design or the entire blueprint of this soul cannon shell. I obtained some help from my sect. Don’t worry, you can analyze it. I’m more pleased with it than my human-shaped soul tool.”

As he spoke, Huo Yuhao lifted the cannon shell from the ground and took a few steps back before letting him get closer.

Xuan Ziwen didn’t stand on ceremony either. He took a few quick steps forward and observed it seriously. He also used his hands to touch it.

He trembled when he touched the cannon shell at first. As he lifted his head to look at Huo Yuhao, he was appalled as he said, “What a strong and inauspicious aura. It’s volatile. If this thing detonated, it would take countless lives! Aren’t you afraid of causing mass destruction by creating such a lethal weapon?”

Huo Yuhao laughed coldly and replied, “Does that stop the Illustrious Virtue Hall from producing such weapons? A truly powerful weapon can be used to ensure peace. That’s because no one dares to attack or start a war against someone with such weapons. The lethality of a weapon isn’t scary; it’s the people who use it that are scary.”

Xuan Ziwen didn’t say anything else. He only looked at the cannon shell seriously.

The cannon shell was entirely fiery-red, and the white halo it exuded had weird undulations of spiritual energy. It was almost like it was alive. Very soon, Xuan Ziwen was drawn to an image on the cannon shell.

It was a blooming lotus flower. It didn’t seem to have anything to do with the formation arrays, but it was an exquisite carving nonetheless. The lotus flower was black, and was a nice contrast to the fiery-red cannon shell. This also made it more obvious. The center of this lotus flower wasn’t the pistil, but an image of a black skull. The eerie and inauspicious aura was also the strongest at this point.

Xuan Ziwen lightly caressed the carving patterns. He seemed to be slightly intoxicated, and he cautiously tapped it lightly with his finger. He didn’t dare to exert too much force, and didn’t have any intention of disassembling it.

Every stationary soul cannon shell had a self-destruct mechanism. An attempt to disassemble it would only lead to a detonation. Xuan Ziwen was clearly aware of this.

After fifteen minutes, Xuan Ziwen stood straight and said honestly, “I can’t tell how you created it.” Xuan Ziwen’s gaze changed. It was a gaze that suggested they were on equal standing. They weren’t interacting as teacher and student anymore.

“It seems like I underestimated your soul engineering talent. You’ve really given me a huge surprise!”

Huo Yuhao extended two of his fingers and said, “It’s two surprises. I gave this soul cannon shell a name—the Devil’s Frown. I hope that it will never appear on a battlefield.”

“I hope so too.” Xuan Ziwen concurred with him. Through his previous observation, he had realized that this cannon shell was different from any other cannon shell that he had ever seen before. It was a completely new existence to him. He couldn’t discern its internal structure through its echoes. This was an entirely new type of stationary soul cannon shell. He had no way of judging its power, but he could tell that the spiritual and inauspicious aura that came from it wasn’t false. It was at least a Class 8 stationary soul cannon shell.

“Is it Class 8 or 9?” Xuan Ziwen’s breathing was evidently very quick.

Huo Yuhao thought for a moment before replying, “If you were to fire it at a building, then it’ll at most be classified as Class 8. However, I can tell you that it’s undoubtedly a Class 9 soul tool if you fire it at an army. To create it, I researched it for more than a year. After that, I kept on carrying out small-scale experiments and some other basic experiments. I only assembled it after I returned from my holiday.”

“You were busy with this over the past few months?” Xuan Ziwen asked.

Huo Yuhao nodded and replied, “I don’t even know if I can make a second. I can tell you honestly that there are some things in this cannon shell that you won’t understand. Or rather, I don’t think any soul engineer will understand, including a Class 9 soul engineers.”

Xuan Ziwen revealed a bitter smile on his face. “I’ve got to say that you moved me. These two surprises are indeed too huge for me to take in all at once. I need to consider first.”

Huo Yuhao smiled and said, “Of course you can. The Tang Sect’s doors will always be open to you. If you’re willing to join, you can choose whatever position you want. I can reveal some stuff to you too. Ten thousand years ago, the Tang Sect was prosperous under the leadership of its first sect master. He eventually cultivated into godhood and created a legend in the continent. The sect’s development was based on hidden weapons back then. It was only when soul tools appeared that hidden weapons met their decline. My research all comes from the Tang Sect’s hidden weapons. I combined their designs with soul tools. By fusing the ingenuity of hidden weapons into soul tools, I can create many magical things.

I can also tell you honestly that these two items are the product of targeted research. My proficiency as a soul engineer will never compare to yours. If you become a part of the Tang Sect, I’m sure you’ll do this better than me.”

Xuan Ziwen took in a deep breath and said, “Keep this soul cannon shell hidden and never take it out again. I’m leaving.” After he finished speaking, he turned around and left. He didn’t even look back.

Huo Yuhao put the Devil’s Frown away and heaved a sigh of relief in his heart. In fact, it was also only a half-completed product. The true core wasn’t complete, as it was too complex. With his current cultivation, he couldn’t possibly complete it. He needed to wait till he obtained seven rings first. It wasn’t easy to make a Class 8 stationary soul cannon shell!

Why was Xuan Ziwen unable to tell? That was because Huo Yuhao had fused the necromancy that Electrolux had imparted to him into this Devil’s Frown. He incorporated a magic that didn’t exist in this world into the soul tool. Even if Jing Hongchen were here, he would also be unable to tell. In fact, it was only useful for scaring people right now.

However, Huo Yuhao wasn’t lying. If it were truly completed, its power could easily compare to a Class 9 stationary soul cannon shell in a war, and might even be stronger. However, there wasn’t any way to test its effects. As with any weapon—the only way of knowing its power was to use it. Otherwise, no one would understand its true power.

Huo Yuhao wasn’t in the least bit worried even though Xuan Ziwen had left. He knew that Xuan Ziwen was already tempted. How would he not be attracted given his love of soul tools? His designs and creativity could expedite Xuan Ziwen’s research by at least ten years. Along with Xuan Ziwen’s own creativity, soul tools might be walking towards a new era.

After consuming a simple dinner, Huo Yuhao continued on to sleep. Even though it was only a half-completed item, he had still expended a lot of energy to make it! He was very fatigued now.

He slept all the way till daybreak.

He opened the window and breathed in the cool morning dew. He felt very refreshed after that. Relaxing at times was a good feeling. He looked at the marble-white sky and purple rose in his eyes again. His cultivation of the Purple Demon Eyes had never stopped in all these years.

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Translated by: cthd
Edited by: GNE and George McDuck

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