Book 6: Graduating
Chapter 37.2: The Protective Hegemon Flower
Fan Yu pulled over a chair, looked towards Huo Yuhao, and said, “You’re my last disciple, so I’ll definitely teach you in a way that’s different to the other Academy teachers. At the same time, our schedule’s going to be much tighter. You’ll have to come over here for at least two hours after dinner before you can head back and rest. Do you have any problems with that?”
Huo Yuhao replied without any hesitation, “No problem, teacher. I’m not afraid of hard work; I’ll definitely study hard.”
Fan Yu nodded. “You don’t need to keep telling me that you’re hardworking. Show it to me with your actions. Let me ask you this: What are Soul Tools?”
Huo Yuhao was stumped; his understanding of soul tools was limited to the two trips he’d made here.
Fan Yu didn’t seem to have any hopes of Huo Yuhao answering his question. He directly answered his own question, “Soul tools are weapons that soul masters activate using soul power. Each and every soul tool is intimately linked to a soul master’s soul power. Even a stationary soul tool, which needs very little soul power, isn’t an exception to this. Today, I’ll be teaching you some basic knowledge about soul tools, which you’ll have to remember all of.”
“It’s impossible to tell when soul tools were first created, but the true development of soul tools began when the Sun Moon Continent collided with our Douluo Continent. You should know the history of our continent; the enormous collision that caused a massive war between our two continents. Though we were able to win in the end, the Sun Moon Continent inflicted enormous losses on the various empires within our Douluo Continent by relying on their soul tools.”
“Why then, was the Sun Moon Empire able to develop their soul tools to such an extent? Other than their painstakingly hard work, the main reason that they were able to do so was because of their resources. There are many precious metals available within the Sun Moon Empire, and it’s precisely because of these precious metals that they were able to create exceptionally high quality soul tools. Over these past few thousand years, the level of their research into soul tools has gone more and more in-depth. Moreover, the strength of the Sun Moon Empire’s Soul Tool Army has already exceeded that of a few of our Douluo Continent’s empires. As such, the main reason that they were able to do this was because of their resources. In turn, the conflict between their various empires will never end precisely because of their natural resources. However, the strength of the Sun Moon Empire has unceasingly increased due to their soul tools. If it weren’t for their lack of consummate experts, they would’ve already begun an all-out war.”
“Because of that, soul tools are strategic weapons for the various empires on the continent. However, the fact that a soul tool requires a soul master to utilise it stops an army from being able to use them on a large-scale basis. Otherwise, the conflicts that would’ve occurred would’ve been even more terrifying.”
“You should know that our Shrek Academy is the number one academy on the continent. That, however, refers only to our Academy’s Martial Soul Department; our Soul Tool Department isn’t the highest ranked on the continent.”
After saying this, a light seemed to flicker through Fan Yu’s eyes.
“Ah? We’re not? Is the number one Soul Tool Department in the Sun Moon Empire?” Huo Yuhao asked.
Fan Yu nodded. “You’re correct. The top ranked Soul Tool Department belongs to the Sun Moon Empire. It’s known as the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, and it’s specialised in both nurturing soul engineers and researching soul tools. Because of both the early start they got, and the precious metals they have access to, they have a large advantage over us. For example, they were the first ones to create stationary soul tools.”
“We’ve always been chasing after the footsteps of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, but we’ve never caught up with them. However, I believe that this sort of situation won’t last forever. We have our own advantage over the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, which lies in the fact that we have far more talented soul masters.”
“The heavens are fair. They gave the Sun Moon Empire an abundant amount of resources, but they didn’t give them too many talented soul masters. However, it’s different for the countries that originally belonged to our Douluo Continent. There’s always been a saying in the world of soul engineers: The stronger a soul tool is, the stronger the soul master required to utilise it. However, at the same time, you need stronger soul masters to create stronger soul tools. This is the path that we’re currently following.”
“Now then, I’ll give you a simple explanation of the ranks soul engineers have and what types of soul tools there are.”
“Soul masters that follow the path of researching, creating, and using soul tools are collectively called soul engineers. Soul engineers have different levels, but their titles aren’t as complicated as ‘Soul Grandmasters’, ‘Soul Elders’, ‘Soul Ancestors’, and such that soul masters have. Instead, we simply separate them by class. As such, we have Class 1 through Class 10 soul engineers. Currently, the strongest soul engineer on the entire continent is Class 9; there aren’t any Class 10 soul engineers. Do you know why that’s the case?”
Huo Yuhao shook his head blankly.
Fan Yu continued, “The difference in class between soul engineers is determined by the class of the corresponding soul tool they can control. I’ll give you an example so that you can understand what I mean: If you can create and control a soul tool suitable for soul masters that are Rank 10 and below, you’ll be a Class 1 soul engineer. If you can create and use soul tools that are suitable for Rank 10 to 20 soul masters, you’re a Class 2 soul engineer. Following this rule, Class 9 soul engineers need to be Titled Douluo as well. As for Class 10 soul engineers, the first step is having a cultivation of at least Rank 95.”
“There’s a limit to the amount of energy a person has. A soul master’s cultivation is extremely arduous; even people with an absolutely heaven-defying amount of talent have to go through an untold number of difficulties and an extremely large amount of hard work in order to simply become a nine-ringed Titled Douluo expert. Let’s not even mention the time they’d have to use to study and research soul tools as well. Because of that, while soul engineers are common, high-ranked soul engineers are extremely rare. From what I know, there are only three Class 9 soul engineers within the Sun Moon Empire. However, the highest ranked soul engineer within the Heavenly Soul Empire, Spirit Ling Empire, and Star Luo Empire is only at Class 8.5.”
Huo Yuhao asked in astonishment, “There are even half ranks?”
Fan Yu replied, “That Class 8.5 soul engineer actually belongs to our academy; he’s the Dean of our Soul Tool Department. He’s already reached the Titled Douluo rank, but he’s currently unable to create a powerful soul tool that only Titled Douluo can use. That’s why we call him a Class 8.5 soul engineer. The reality is, we don’t have a single Class 9 soul engineer throughout all three of our empires. Ever since the high-speed development of soul tools, a Class 10 soul engineer has never appeared on the continent before; it’s only there in name. If a Titled Douluo manages to reach Rank 95, he reaches a totally different level. There might not even be a single Rank 95 expert amongst ten Titled Douluo, much less one who’s also a soul engineer.”
“Now that you know about the different ranks that soul engineers have, let’s talk about the different types of soul tools. After several thousand years of development, soul tools have become increasingly mature. As such, soul tools have been separated into three different categories: close-combat soul tools, long-range soul tools, and stationary soul tools.”
“As the name implies, a close-combat soul tools focus on close-combat, and allow a powerful offensive or defensive skill to be unleashed via soul power. Speaking relatively, there are very few soul engineers who use close-combat soul tools. A large majority of soul engineers don’t have martial souls that are good for combat, so they’re somewhat timid in a close-combat situation. Though close-combat soul tools aren’t weak, it’s hard to find a chance to use them against other soul masters at a similar rank. Because of that, most close-combat soul tools are used by combatants from the Martial Soul Department. On the other hand, a majority of soul engineers use long-range soul tools.”
“You’ve already seen Caitou’s demonstration; he was using a long-range soul tool. Long-range soul tools drain much more soul power than close-combat soul tools, but if they’re used skillfully, they can be equivalent to an additional soul skill with an extremely large amount of destructive power. With Caitou’s current level of control and skill, even a four-ringed Soul Ancestor might not have the upper hand in a fight against him. Nobody at the three-ringed rank can compare to him.”
“Lastly, let’s talk about stationary soul tools. Stationary soul tools are the most difficult of the three to create, with their material requirements and creation techniques able to be described with the phrase ‘to perfect something that’s already outstanding’. Extremely complicated formation arrays have to be carved onto the soul tool when it’s created, and you also need to use soul power as a source to power it. It has the largest amount of power and range, but it drains the greatest amount of resources amongst the three types of soul tools. Furthermore, it has another problem: Unlike a long-range soul tool, where you can use your soul force to lock onto your opponent, you have to manually aim a stationary soul tool. This is the main reason that I was so interested in your Spiritual Detection.”
“Ever since the advent of the use of stationary soul tools on the battlefield, the gap between our three great empires and the Sun Moon Empire has been decreasing, so much so that it’s practically become nonexistent at this point. If it weren’t for them being afraid of the fact that we have even more consummate experts than them, the Sun Moon Empire definitely wouldn’t have endured for so long. Because of that, the main focus of my research is on stationary soul tools. Once we can accurately launch long-distance attacks with stationary soul tools, it’ll play a crucial role in any future conflicts we have.”
“Other than close-combat, long-range, and stationary soul tools, there’s also subdivisions of soul tools. For example, the attack-type, defense-type, illumination, and other such soul tools that I’ll gradually teach you how to create and use in the future. Now then, we’ll be moving on to the last section of today’s crash course: The components of a soul tool.”
With that, Fan Yu stood up and retrieved a rectangular metal box. The box was black, roughly a foot long, and as wide as a fist. It was square-shaped at the top, but arc-shaped at the bottom.
Fan Yu fastened the metal box to his left forearm then made sure it was snug. Afterwards, he tapped it in an unknown fashion, causing the black box to immediately begin changing.
A series of clangs rang out as the black box began to completely cover his left forearm. Three protrusions as thick as a thumb appeared above it.
“This soul tool’s known as a Sleeve Cannon. It’s a relatively common long-range soul tool, and it’s activated by soul power. Here, watch.”
With that, Fan Yu raised his arm. Three rays of white light immediately shot out from the three metal tubes that had appeared, and a strong undulation of soul power immediately shot towards the distance. They struck the distant metal wall, instantly causing halos of light to appear in it.
“The principles behind a soul tool are in fact, extremely simple. Using special methods and techniques, they turn soul power into destructive energy. The most common technique we use is compression, and the way that we do that is by using Formation Carving.”
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