“Let’s draw the lots!.”
When the emcee uttered these four words, 98 deliberately glanced at Huo Yuhao in his wheelchair, who was a head shorter than everyone else. His lips moved, and he seemed to be mouthing, “Pray!”
Huo Yuhao smiled a strange smile. Yes! Pray, but it’s you who has to pray that you won’t be matched with me...
The lot-drawing process was simple. There was a large crystal ball, and six tiny balls inside with magnets on them. There were two magnets in each of three different areas inside the crystal ball, and the tiny balls that were drawn to the magnets in these respective areas when the crystal ball began to rotate would face each other today.
The balls with 96 and 98 were already attached to two different regions, which meant the two wouldn’t meet each other in this round. The four other balls were still at the bottom.
“Alright, I will commence today’s crystal lottery. Spin!” The emcee pressed a button beneath the crystal, and the crystal ball gradually started to rotate.
The four balls at the bottom were gradually tossed into the air as the crystal began to spin faster and faster. The three grooved areas with magnets attached to them didn’t move.
The first ball was quickly sucked away to one of the remaining empty regions.
“Alright, number 88 into the third region. I have to say that you’re quite fortunate, mysterious soul engineer 88. You’re lucky that you’re not up against the two of them, who we have estimated as powerful Class 6 soul engineers.”
He Caitou’s number was the first to be drawn. 98 glanced at Huo Yuhao once more, as if he was saying, Your chances of meeting us are a lot higher now.
Another tiny ball was sucked into one of the regions with a whistle right at this moment. This time, this ball was sucked into the region with 96 inside.
“37 versus 96, inside the first region.”
37 was instantly overcome with despair. He knew that he had a chance against He Caitou, but he had no chance against 96. 96 was confirmed to be a Class 6 soul engineer, and he possessed a ranked carving knife as well!
“Alright, the fifth one has been retrieved. 66 versus 98, in the second region.”
Both 98 and Huo Yuhao’s eyes immediately became a little peculiar. Their gazes met, and Huo Yuhao saw a sardonic smile, while 98 saw a look of exasperation and helplessness.
There was no suspense with the last draw. 85 versus 88, in the third region. He Caitou was practically given a walkover.
“Alright, the lottery has been completed. Everyone will be given fifteen minutes to place their bets. Only you who are here will be able to take advantage of this treatment. The opportunity will never return if you let it slip... the fifteen minutes begins now! May I invite the three contesting pairs to move to your respective seats? The next ten hours will be tiring and exhausting, but the ultimate winner can take the rare metals that have been prepared for you at the center of the competition stage. It’s very difficult to evaluate these metals, because they can’t be purchased on the market. Every winner will win fifty-four different kinds of rare metals, five kilos of each!”
The lottery had been completed, and the entire Golden Hall began to hustle and bustle. Everybody had their own guesses and estimations from the lottery, and everyone would undoubtedly have the most confidence making their bets at a time like this. Of course, placing their bets within the allotted fifteen minutes also meant that their odds were a lot lower than before. Even so, the entire place still descended into chaos, and all thirty-six betting booths were packed with people.
He Caitou came over to Huo Yuhao and pushed his wheelchair into the second region, while 98 tagged along.
“You’re finished, little fellow. Your only chance to live is if you admit defeat right now,” he continued proudly, “This is what it means to say ‘God knows what you did’. You’re too arrogant, so you ended up having to face me! Hahahaha!”
Huo Yuhao turned around and looked at He Caitou. He frowned and said, “Am I that arrogant? 98, are you that confident of gobbling me up?”
98 grunted coldly and replied, “If I can’t beat someone like you, hmph!”
Huo Yuhao laughed. “Why don’t we place a bet? This tournament exists for wagering anyway!”
A suspicious look flashed across the other soul engineer’s face. “You still dare to wager with me, young man? What are the stakes?”
Huo Yuhao said, “I’ll take your carving knife. If you lose, then that carving knife will belong to me, and I won’t take your life. See, I’m such a conversationalist, and I’m so amiable and generous.”
“You want my carving knife?” 98 wasn’t a fool. He could tell from Huo Yuhao’s smiling face that he wasn’t anxious or worried at all, and he felt alarm bells go off in his head. Has he been hiding his abilities this entire time?
“What about you? Unless you have your own ranked carving knife, you’re not worthy of making this bet with me.”
Huo Yuhao answered, “I don’t have a ranked carving knife, but I have a soul tool. What do you think?” He reached inside his pocket and took out a soul tool that resembled a chest plate. It was the Hongchen’s Blessing that Jing Hongchen had given him.
“Take it and let him feel it, brother.” Huo Yuhao passed his Hongchen’s Blessing to He Caitou beside him.
He Caitou’s took Huo Yuhao’s Hongchen’s Blessing and stepped over to 98. They were all soul engineers, so everyone was relatively discerning about soul tools. He Caitou revealed the Hongchen’s Blessing’s formation arrays to 98 for a single look before he infused his soul power into it and released a thread of the soul tool’s aura. He then passed it back to Huo Yuhao.
98’s eyes grew slack. That was… a miniature formation array?
Soul tools weren’t necessarily more powerful as they got bigger, and this was especially true with regards to their formation arrays. Smaller soul tools were easier to carry, too. For instance, Hongchen’s Blessing was only several centimeters thick. How could Huo Yuhao carry it with him everywhere he went if the formation arrays inside were too big?
Creating miniature formation arrays was ten times harder than the same normal-sized formation arrays. Typically, only soul engineers above Class 7 would attempt something like this. 98 had only been given one look at it, but he realized that the soul tool that he had just seen possessed at least five miniature formation arrays, and every single one seemed exceedingly complex. This soul tool was definitely not a prototype, and was undoubtedly Class 8, at the very least! It also possessed a dense and intense aura. The miniature formation arrays inside were already incredibly valuable by themselves, because every high-level soul engineer crafted formation arrays with their own unique methods. Learning something about these unique methods was priceless to mid-level soul engineers!
98 hadn’t expected Huo Yuhao to wager something as precious as this against him. Of course, he was confident that his ranked carving knife’s value wasn’t inferior to this soul tool.
Greed began to stir in his heart. His eyes closed into slits as he stared at Huo Yuhao, and Huo Yuhao stared back at him. Huo Yuhao’s eyes were calm, and there even a tinge of condescension in them.
Is this a trick? Has he been hiding his abilities this whole time? He wants to bait me and win my ranked carving knife!
98 was a little arrogant, but he wasn’t an idiot. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have become the soul engineer that he was today before the age of thirty! He pondered long and hard, and decided that he would reject this wager. Even though his aura would be beaten back because of this, it was better than actually losing his ranked carving knife that was too precious to him.
However, he noticed a fine detail right at this moment. Huo Yuhao was using his right hand to grip the wheelchair’s armrest, and it seemed a little strong. Even his finger’s joints were a little greenish-white.
Soul engineers all had good eyes. Otherwise, how could they craft intricate and delicate soul tools? A thought flashed through his mind as he stared at Huo Yuhao’s right hand, which was still gripping the wheelchair’s armrest tightly. Maybe he doesn’t have the confidence to defeat me at all, and he simply wants to use this wager to beat back my grandeur?
98 began to scrutinize Huo Yuhao closely when he thought about that possibility. He quickly found another fine detail; Huo Yuhao’s other arm seemed to be quivering, the arm that he had never used before. Huo Yuhao’s calm eyes were flickering with something, and those eyes seemed to betray a little anxiety and discordance. These details weren’t obvious, but 98 managed to pick up on these clues as he observed Yuhao closely.
“Okay, I’ll take the bet.” A confident smile surfaced on his face.
Huo Yuhao was momentarily stunned. “You’re really betting with me? I’m lacking a ranked carving knife anyway. Many thanks to you, then!”
98 stared back mischievously and said, “Do you really have the confidence to defeat me? I don’t think so. Since you want to die, little fellow, I will fulfill your wishes today.”
Huo Yuhao answered coldly, “We’ll have that bet, then. If you’re not afraid, we can make this bet public, and the Duskwater Alliance can be our witness. Otherwise, what if you lose and you deny that this bet exists?”
98 was full of avarice, and his mind was already made up. No matter how he looked at Huo Yuhao, he felt as if he was trying to put up a strong front. A cold smile appeared on his face as he said, “Alright, the Duskwater Alliance will witness our wager. They will see how you lose that soul tool to me. You, come here.” He reached out and hollered at the emcee on stage not far from where they were.
Akin walked over hurriedly. He was just an emcee, and he didn’t dare to offend the Sun Moon Empire’s soul engineers. Soul engineers were the most highly regarded profession in the country!
“What do you need, sir?” Akin sounded a little fawning.
98 grunted coldly and said, “I want to wager with my opponent, and we are betting on who will be the eventual winner. I want the Duskwater Alliance to lay witness to this wager.”
“Ah? Okay!” Akin’s eyes sparkled. He was the Golden Hall’s top-rated emcee, and he knew all too well what the audience loved to watch. Exciting things were a lot better for the gambling atmosphere, and this was especially true when everyone was still placing their bets!Previous Chapter Next Chapter