Ajin hurriedly made sure he knew everything there was to know about the situation. He immediately picked up his speaker-type soul tool and announced on stage, “Everyone placing your bets, please wait a moment. There’s a minor interlude that I have to tell everyone about so that everyone can make better judgments. Just a few moments ago, 98 and 66, who are both mighty soul engineers, have announced their own wager! 98 will use his own carving knife as the stake, and 66 will use a powerful soul tool as his! We will invite the tournament’s chief judge to assess these two items so that we can confirm their value. Of course, the wager has been announced and completed, and both parties cannot take anything back anymore.”
98 grabbed the speaker-type soul tool from his hands and said loudly, “My stake is a carving knife. It’s the same one that will be used later on in the competition.”
He stuffed the speaker-type soul tool back into Ajin’s hands after this sentence. When he turned around at Huo Yuhao, he could see that Huo Yuhao’s head was lowered, and there seemed to be sweat dripping down from his temples.
“Why don’t we let it go, brother?” He Caitou whispered into Huo Yuhao’s ear.
“Let it go? No, it’s too late. The announcement has already been made.” His ears were pretty good, and 98 could clearly tell what they were going on about.
At this moment, the three judges that the Duskwater Alliance had sent forth stepped onto the competition stage. The judges had changed once more because this was the round of six, so the judges that came forward today were all Class 7 soul engineers. These three mighty Class 7 soul engineers had veils draped over their faces, as it was clear that they had some reputation in the outside world, so they were afraid that people familiar with them would recognize them.
The three judges stepped onto the competition stage and quickly arrived before them.
98 directly retrieved his carving knife and handed it over. He wasn’t afraid of people pining after his carving knife, as the world seemed to look on. Furthermore, he had quite a background to back himself up.
His dark green carving knife was a tad bigger than most carving knives. The blade seemed to have rust marks, but they didn’t seem like actual rust. It seemed ancient and unornamented, and there were two dragon-shaped engravings on both sides of the blade. It emanated chilly sensations, and even the naked eye could tell that this carving knife was extraordinary.
The middle judge among the three took the carving knife carefully. He was immediately overcome with a look of astonishment. “This… Darkness Green Dragon?”
98 answered proudly, “Yes, it’s my Darkness Green Dragon.”
The judge turned around and took Ajin’s speaker-type soul tool. He deepened his voice and said, “98 has chosen his Darkness Green Dragon as his stake. This is a ranked carving knife, the Darkness Green Dragon is ranked 59th on the Carving Knife Leaderboard. It carries darkness and wind elements, and any soul tool that it creates will carry these two elements. It’s three times heavier than typical carving knives, and is well-known for its stability. Using this carving knife with suitable soul tools will create formidable effects, and it will have a ten percent increase in success rate when forging soul tools above Class 7.”
Yes, this was a formidable ranked carving knife. Ranked carving knives were almost priceless to soul engineers.
The three judges turned towards Huo Yuhao when they finished introducing 98’s carving knife. Huo Yuhao was grasping his Hongchen’s Blessing as tightly as he could with his right hand, and his eyebrows were tightly knit together, but he didn’t make a sound at all.
96 came over beside 98 and asked him a few questions inquisitively while he glanced at Huo Yuhao from time to time.
98 whispered some explanations to him with a smile on his face. 96 frowned slightly, and he responded as if he were chiding his friend.
“What are you betting with?” The judge stepped up to Huo Yuhao.
Huo Yuhao hesitated for a moment before he over his Hongchen’s Blessing.
“My teacher gave this to me. Don’t spoil it.” The look of reluctance on his face was undeniable as he spoke.
The leading judge examined the soul tool’s formation arrays as he took Huo Yuhao’s Hongchen’s Blessing. His body trembled as he blurted out, “This is the Illustrious Virtue Hall’s…”
“Shut up!” Huo Yuhao interrupted him with an angry shout.
The judge seemed to realize something, and he hurriedly closed his mouth as he continued to inspect the soul tool. The other two judges came over, and all three of them inspected it for a long time as their eyes flowed with astonishment and shock.
This was a soul tool that Jing Hongchen, the Illustrious Virtue Hall’s Hallmaster, had created himself. Even though they weren’t sure if this was a Class 9 soul tool, they could tell that this was an incredible soul tool from how complex it was and from the materials that were used to craft it.
The three judges exchanged looks, but 98 was a little impatient. He walked over and said, “Can you make the announcement? You guys can’t be biased. Otherwise, hmph!”
The chief judge nodded. He picked up the speaker-type soul tool and said, “66 has chosen a high-level soul tool as his stake. For some special reasons, we cannot describe this item, but we can attest that its value is comparable to the Darkness Green Dragon. Alright, we have finished assessing their stakes, and the Darkness Green Dragon will temporarily be given back to 98 for use in the tournament. This soul tool will be kept with us, and it will be given to the victor after this round. The wager has been established, and the Duskwater Alliance will treat either party that goes back on his word at enemies. We will do our best to make sure that this wager goes through.”
The three judges kept the Hongchen’s Blessing after the announcement and returned to their seats. The judges were sitting on three elevated chairs three meters above the ground, so they could watch everything that was going on with the contestants from their vantage point.
Ajin took the speaker-type soul tool back and said loudly, “Alright, the interlude is over. I trust that the wager between these two soul engineers has influenced your bets in some way, my dear guests. You have ten minutes left, hurry up and make your bets! The booths will close once time is up.”
The gamblers were indeed a lot livelier after this interlude’s excitement and stimulation.
Huo Yuhao’s face seemed to glow with ice-cold light as he hit himself softly on the left shoulder. An amused smile broke out across his face.
He’s taken the bait in the end!
He Caitou escorted Huo Yuhao to the second region’s crafting desk before he patted him on the shoulder and returned to his own side.
98 walked over to his own crafting desk opposite Huo Yuhao. There was a bright smile on his face as he said, “So, this soul tool is from the Illustrious Virtue Hall. It’s quite impressive… looks like you’re committed quite a bit to this gamble.”
Huo Yuhao answered coldly, “You still have a chance to regret your words. Otherwise, won’t you be devastated if you lose your ranked carving knife to me?”
98 laughed out loud. “I wouldn’t be so sure that I’ll be the one that will be devastated after this round. You’re daydreaming if you want me to retract my wager. Weren’t you so arrogant and outrageous before this? Why are you cowering now? Enough bullshit, we’ll see who wins this wager with our abilities. Don’t worry, even though I have absolute confidence that I will win, I will not underestimate you. I will use the soul tools that I’m most adept and familiar with against you today, and I won’t give you a single thread of a chance at all.”
Huo Yuhao’s face changed slightly, but he said nothing more. He closed his eyes and began to conserve his energy and mentally prepare himself.
The rare metals and the myriad of refined metals that were to be used in this round were sent up. This round was ten hours long, so a lot more metals had been prepared for today. Some were placed on the crafting desks, while a rack specially given to each contestant was placed next to each of them for their own convenience.
The fifteen minutes allotted for betting quickly passed, and the gamblers returned to their seats one after another. After the lots had been drawn, the audience knew that the most attractive and interesting faceoff would be between the two soul engineers who had made their own individual bet. The other two were conspicuously unbalanced, and the odds were pathetically low. The odds for the match between Huo Yuhao and 98 were relatively higher, while Huo Yuhao’s odds were the highest. This was because he was against 98, and nobody could see how he had any advantage at all. Without talking about anything else, the judges estimated him as a Class 5 soul engineer, while 98 was a Class 6 soul engineer. 98 also possessed a ranked carving knife, the Darkness Green Dragon!
Huo Yuhao’s odds were at 1:3, while his opponent’s odds were at 5:4. The other two matchups were more evenly split.
“Begin!” The soundproof barriers rose right after the chief judge’s announcement. The emcee was already outside the competition stage, and was responsible for narrating today’s competition. He quickly got onto a tall structure outside the competition stage, and took a seat five meters above the stage. His seat was equipped with a speaker-type soul tool and a telescopic soul tool. The emcee could clearly see what the six soul engineers were doing on stage.
All six soul engineers began to move once the announcement was made. This round had no limit as to the number of soul tools that each contestant could create. That also meant that every contestant was allowed to create as many as they wanted within the stipulated time. The choice that each contestant had to make with regards to the volume and power would be up to them.
Huo Yuhao’s eyes were especially focused and serious today. He had the same faith that he would definitely be victorious, but he also understood that 98 wasn’t easy to deal with. The man had a ranked carving knife, and he was also a Class 6 soul engineer, so his standards were comparable to Huo Yuhao’s own abilities. The only thing that guy didn’t have was Huo Yuhao’s Spirit Eyes, which gave him an advantage.
A dash of golden light glowed beneath Huo Yuhao’s eyes. He waved his right hand over his forehead, and a green blade charged with life energy appeared in his hands: his Life Guardian Blade! His opponent had a ranked carving knife, so how could Huo Yuhao match up to his opponent if he didn’t use his own?Previous Chapter Next Chapter