Volume 28, Chapter 346.3: Racing Against Time

Just as Elder Xuan had said, Radiant City was now under martial law as throngs of soldiers swarmed into the city. Everyone knew that these armies couldn’t do much against powerful soul engineers and soul masters, but having them around was better than nothing. At the very least, these soldiers could restrict their movements and breathing space.

The journey out of the city wasn’t overly perilous; they readily exploited Radiant City’s lack of walls. Zhang Lexuan helped everyone out of the city, and they met up with Elder Xuan and the others.

Huo Yuhao had already informed everyone earlier on that there were many powerful evil soul masters at the tournament arena. Therefore, Elder Xuan arranged for everyone to rest in a small forest several kilometers out. Elder Xuan personally embarked on some reconnaissance duties, since it was hard for most people to discover him with his abilities.

This kid is starting to look like an Ultimate Soldier, Elder Xuan thought to himself approvingly, as he watched Huo Yuhao on the competition stage from afar, still hard at work. Huo Yuhao had made a great contribution this time, and Elder Xuan could cancel Huo Yuhao’s punishment from last time when they returned to the academy.

It’s a pity that Du Busi and the others are not reliable. Otherwise, we might have gained so much more if I had guided them here.

Elder Xuan’s eyes flowed with hostility and murder as he continued to think.

If he could have besieged and eliminated the three underground organizations, the Holy Ghost Church’s people, and those soul engineer judges, the impact to the Sun Moon Empire would probably have been comparable to assassinating Xu Tianran.

But Elder Xuan was aware that it was just a fantasy.

There were five evil soul masters who were also Titled Douluo there, along with several other Class 9 soul engineers. There were far too many exceptionally powerful individuals there, and Shrek Academy’s people who were currently here wouldn’t emerge unscathed even if they could defeat this group. Furthermore, a great battle like that needed time, while the Sun Moon Empire clearly knew that Elder Xuan and the others were heading towards the western side. It was clear that the Sun Moon Empire was prepared.

The Sun Moon Divine Needle hovering in the sky made someone even as powerful as Elder Xuan feel very threatened.

Fortunately, Huo Yuhao had informed them in time, and Wang Dong’er and the others told Shrek Academy’s company that the Holy Ghost Church’s vice-founder and several of its elders were there. Otherwise, Elder Xuan would probably have led everyone into an ambush. They had been separated from the Body Sect at this moment, and if their enemies and their enemies’ reinforcements managed to surround and entrap them, the Academy was certain to sustain heavy losses.

Elder Xuan weighed the pros and cons, and chose to hold back in the end. His goal right now was simple; he wanted to ensure that Huo Yuhao and He Caitou returned safely! Their operation would be considered completed once that happened. Afterwards, they would have to wait and see what pleasant surprises Huo Yuhao’s green signal would bring them.

------

The cannon barrels that had been protruding from the structures within the Sun Moon Empire’s royal palace had all been retracted, while cleaning and repair works were being carried out in perfect order.

Xu Tianran was still standing in the pile of rubble that was his study, while the Holy Ghost Church’s founder and Jing Hongchen stood to either side of him. The evil soul masters had all disappeared; nobody knew where they had vanished to. The Dragon Emperor Douluo was likewise nowhere to be seen.

A servant clad in golden warrior robes ran up to Jing Hongchen and whispered something in his ear.

Jing Hongchen nodded and walked over to Xu Tianran. “Your Highness, the northern, eastern, and southern sides have been placed on the highest alert, and the respective Class 9 stationary soul cannons have been properly established. They will be instantly struck by our strongest firepower if they dare to break through from one of those sides. According to our scouts’ reports, they separated a while ago. The group that Shrek Academy was leading went over to the western side, while the Body Sect, the Heavenly Soul Empire, the Star Luo Empire and the others entered a viscount’s mansion towards the east. They haven’t done anything after entering the mansion. They seem to be hiding and waiting for an opportunity.”

“Hiding?” Xu Tianran frowned slightly as his eyes closed into slits. “Get someone to monitor them as closely as possible. We have to force them to choose the western side, and I don’t think they’re just hiding. If they have separated from Shrek Academy’s group, then they definitely won’t break through from the western side. Imperial Tutor, can you send some people from your side over there?”

“Alright.” The Holy Ghost Church’s founder nodded and turned as he disappeared into the darkness. It didn’t take long before he returned.

“I’ve sent some people over. Without Shrek Academy’s people, they will have to pay a bloody price if they want to force their way out with the people I’ve sent and the empire’s soul engineer legions working together. Why didn’t you let us unleash everything we had when they were here before this, your Highness? If we fought with our full strength and if you had also participated, we could probably have taken down more than half of their entire company.”

Xu Tianran’s eyes changed a little as he smiled and said, “We are inside the empire’s capital, and we are also inside Radiant City’s imperial palace. If we fight them with our full strength, we will make them pay a bloody price, certainly…. but we will also sustain heavy losses ourselves. Furthermore, they have so many Titled Douluo, and if they disregard the unspoken rule and attack the city, the entire city will be laid to waste. How am I to explain it to my citizens if that happens? We have to deal them a heavy blow this time, while making sure that we avoid as many losses as we can on our side. It’s not easy for you and your church to nurture youngsters and talents either, no?”

He knew very well why the Holy Ghost Church’s founder suggested fighting here. The man didn’t care about death and destruction, and the deaths of so many citizens was actually greatly beneficial for evil soul masters. Xu Tianran wanted the rest of the world to descend into chaos, but how could he let the Holy Ghost Church do something like that here? 

The truth was that Xu Tianran wasn’t that afraid of Shrek Academy and the Body Sect disregarding the Titled Douluo’s unspoken rule of battle. Rather, he was more afraid that these evil soul masters would take this opportunity to stir up trouble, and that they would murder throngs of his citizens!

The Holy Ghost Church’s founder grunted coldly and said, “I can’t let those little scoundrels from the Tang Sect escape. I will turn every single one of them into zombies under my control.” He hated the Tang Sect’s company to the core, as the deaths of several outstanding young soul masters had dealt a heavy blow to him. His heart ached for them!

Xu Tianran answered, “Don’t worry, Imperial Tutor. Shrek Academy’s company went towards the western side, and that means they will be leaving from there. Furthermore, they will never give up the glory that they have held onto for so long. Shrek Academy is facing off against the Tang Sect in tomorrow’s finals, so they won’t leave until the tournament ends. They have left the city for now, but they will probably return after a little while because they can’t bear to leave those elite youngsters behind. I can guarantee that they will all remain if they continue towards the western side, and we can keep them here forever by paying a very small price.”

The Holy Ghost Church’s founder tilted his head and said nothing more.

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Time was almost up.

There wasn’t much sand left in the hourglass, and even Ye Yulin was starting to feel a little nervous. Huo Yuhao’s hands were still working, and it would appear that his final three-in-one formation was about to be finished.

Could he make it on time?

Huo Yuhao was the focus of every single person’s attention, and countless people felt anxious for him.

Those who were most concerned about the outcome of this tournament were naturally those who had wagered and placed their money on this round. Everyone’s mouths and throats were dry at this point. Of course, not many people had placed their bets on Huo Yuhao, and many people were secretly jeering him. They didn’t know that Huo Yuhao was crafting a human-shaped soul tool, but this thing looked so much like a person, and it seemed quite formidable no matter how they looked at it.

Ye Yulin withdrew the soundproofing soul tool beside him as he lowered his voice and said, “The hourglass is almost finished. I will count down from ten after the last grain of sand drops before this round will end.”

The only thing he could do was give Huo Yuhao a little more time, as much as he could.

Huo Yuhao’s hands stopped moving for a single moment when he heard Ye Yulin’s voice, but he quickly resumed his work.

His knife sliced through and created three impeccable curved arcs. Huo Yuhao’s Life Guardian Blade flickered continuously, as touching and enchanting as ever, while the formation array in front of him now shone with gentle light.

It was complete!

Ye Yulin, the other judges, and the other contestants’ eyes were all wide open; Huo Yuhao’s final formation array was finally finished at the most crucial moment!

And it was at this time that the last grain of sand dropped from the hourglass.

“The countdown has begun. Ten–” Ye Yulin raised his voice, but also deliberately slowed his countdown.

Huo Yuhao exhaled deeply after he completed his formation array. He nearly forgot that his legs weren’t working, and he actually subconsciously attempted to stand up. His legs didn’t support him, of course, and his body swayed as he almost fell to the ground.

Ye Yulin felt his heart sink as he watched Huo Yuhao. Yes! He has continuously crafted so many formation arrays, and in addition to what he made before this, he must be exhausted and spent. He had no idea that Huo Yuhao wasn’t acting right because he was too concentrated…

Huo Yuhao supported himself on the table to keep himself from falling. He hurriedly picked up two formation arrays and turned towards his human-shaped soul tool.

“Nine!”

“Eight!”

“Seven!”

No matter how much Ye Yulin wanted to be biased towards Huo Yuhao, he couldn’t make it too obvious on the surface. This tournament was important for the three underground organizations’ reshuffling.

“Six!”

“Five!”

Huo Yuhao’s movements were quick, and he used reality to prove to Ye Yulin that his human-shaped soul tool’s design was proper and rational. Huo Yuhao installed nine formation arrays within these few seconds, and he was working hard to fit the remaining nine formation arrays.

“Four!”

“Three!”

“Two!”

“One!”

“Time’s up. Stop what you’re doing, everyone.” Ye Yulin had really tried his best, and even his last sentence was slightly more draggy than usual.

Snap!

Huo Yuhao didn’t disappoint in the end, and he attached the final formation array into the human-shaped soul tool’s chest as Ye Yulin uttered the last three words.

Huo Yuhao planted his hands on the crafting desk in front of him as he stopped, and it was clear that he was panting a little. Huo Yuhao was tired, and he even felt a little fatigued despite his formidable spiritual power.

He had given far too much compared to everyone else over the past six hours. He had split his spiritual avatar and journeyed into that underground warehouse. That endeavor had consumed his energy continuously. He had also channeled his heart and soul into crafting this soul tool, and had entered the Body and Mind as One state after his spiritual avatar had returned!

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Translated by: cy
Edited by: GNE and RED

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