Book 7: The Extreme North
Chapter 39.2: The Three Emperors of the Extreme North
The Skydream Iceworm replied, “My home’s not the only place with spiritual-type soul beasts; the Great Star Dou Forest definitely has some as well. The problem is, you’re not getting something as simple as a soul ring. The most important thing you need to do is awaken your second martial soul, and to do that, you’ll have to get your second soul ring from the Extreme North. I’ve already planned it all out for you. If you have the energy to talk nonsense, why don’t you speed up a little bit more? The earlier we get there, the more time you’ll have. If everything goes smoothly, it won’t be a problem for us to get back to Shrek Academy in a month.”
Huo Yuhao, who’d originally thought that he had an ample amount of time to obtain his soul ring, suddenly felt a pressing sense of urgency. Afraid of wasting any more time, he hurriedly sped up. As he adjusted his breathing, he continued taking large strides towards the north.
He’d asked the canteen for two days worth of food the day beforehand. As such, he didn’t need to worry about food for the next two days. Fan Yu had also given him a hundred gold soul coins which, combined with his original savings, should be enough for his journey.
A year of bitter cultivation had formed Huo Yuhao’s unyielding personality. Being able to cultivate in a solitary environment was definitely not something that just any soul master could do. Huo Yuhao calmed down and discarded any distracting thoughts in his mind as he wholeheartedly rushed towards the north. After running for between four and six hours, he’d stop to take a break, as he’d drained nearly all of his soul power. The instant he recovered his soul power, he’d start running again.
Considering the situation he was in, he ran without any restraints on his speed. Perhaps even a three or four-ringed expert might not be able to run as far as he had in a single day.
In the blink of an eye, three days had passed. Huo Yuhao was already able to sense the air around him getting colder and colder. However, the frigid cold didn’t slow him down at all. He entered a city, bought a thick set of clothes, and replenished his supplies. Most importantly of all however, he bought a map.
He was currently within the Heavenly Soul Empire. As long as he continued to head north, he’d reach the northern borders of the Heavenly Soul Empire; at that time, he’d have reached his destination. Shrek Academy lay on the southeastern border of the Heavenly Soul Empire and the Star Luo Empire. Thus, Huo Yuhao’s journey would take him from the southernmost part of the Heavenly Soul Empire to the northernmost part. From this alone, the exhaustion he’d suffer throughout his journey could be imagined.
However, Huo Yuhao didn’t feel tired in the least. On the contrary, he treated it as experience for the future. Other than the first city he’d entered, he didn’t enter any other cities before reaching the northern border; he rested in the wilderness. Of the many things he’d purchased, one them had been a small, foldable tent made of leather. The tent itself wasn’t large; it was roughly 2 meters long and 1.2 meters wide. However, it was enough for him to rest in. This, added to the warm sleeping bag he’d brought, gave Huo Yuhao a good rest. Moreover, he’d always cover himself with his sleeping bag when he entered a meditative state, making it so that he didn’t even need to lie down or sleep.
Huo Yuhao had lived in the Duke’s Mansion his entire life, prior to entering Shrek Academy. Thus, he’d never experienced a harsh winter before. However, the one year of bitter cultivation he’d endured had caused him to gain an extremely sturdy physique. After adapting to it for a few days, he was much more comfortable in the cold. For the sake of saving money, he chose not to buy a fur cloak; he only bought a heavy cotton shirt.
After running at his top speed for eight days, Huo Yuhao finally neared the northern border of the Heavenly Soul Empire. Upon reaching this point, his location on the map had simply become a patch of white.
Pausing his footsteps, Huo Yuhao stopped to take a small breather. The white mist that left from his nose instantly turned into fragments of ice that dispersed into the air.
Huo Yuhao pulled his hood over his head to block the frigid wind from digging into his face. However, the freezing air still managed to pierce into his body like miniscule daggers via the small holes in his clothes.
Water would instantly freeze into icicles where he was now. As if to prove this point, a layer of frost had already covered Huo Yuhao’s eyebrows.
Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but feel somewhat depressed as he carefully looked at his map. Based on his current position on the map, he’d reach an empty void if he continued to head northwards. There was a small warning above that void:
“The Extreme North, an area forbidden to humans. Soul beasts roam about freely here. Danger, danger, danger!”
The three ‘danger’s were written in red.
“Brother Skydream, stop sleeping. We might’ve reached our destination, thus I’ll need you to lead the way from now on.” Huo Yuhao inwardly called out to the Skydream Iceworm.
“Lead the way? Lead what way?” The Skydream Iceworm’s stuporous voice rang out. After coming to his senses, the only million year soul beast on the Douluo Continent stared blankly for a brief moment, then said, “I don’t recognise this place!”
“What?” Huo Yuhao was astonished. “Brother Skydream, please don’t joke around here! I followed your instructions and ran north for a full eight days to get here. If you don’t recognise this place, what should we do?”
With an extremely innocent voice, the Skydream Iceworm replied, “I really don’t recognise this place. I used to live in the northeastern part of the continent, which is still extremely far from here. Later on, I drifted towards the south, before finally reaching the Great Star Dou Forest. This should be the north-central area of the continent, which was originally the northwestern area of the Douluo Continent. How am I supposed to know my way around here?”
Anxious, Huo Yuhao asked, “Then what should we do? Brother Skydream, you….”
The Skydream Iceworm let out a cunning laugh. “I made you worry for a bit. Fine, I won’t joke around with you anymore. Even though I don’t know what direction we need to head here, you’ve forgotten just how powerful my spiritual force is! I don’t even need to worry about what direction we need to go. As long as we follow my spiritual force, we’ll be able to find what we need. Isn’t that enough? Right, strip now.”
Huo Yuhao was instantly stunned. “You want me to take my clothes off? Brother Skydream, this is a world of ice and snow! You’re going to cause me to freeze me to death!”
The Skydream Iceworm grumpily spat, “Quickly do it, else you’ll really freeze to death if you don’t. And why did you call this a world of ice and snow? In the past, I’d be sweating from such high temperatures. This is still very, very far from the truly cold areas. On the other hand, the thing that we’re looking for is located in the very center of the Extreme North. You can’t even imagine how cold it is there. Quickly, take off your clothes so that I can help you out a bit. If you don’t, you’ll be finished in less than two days once we continue heading forward.”
At this point in time, Huo Yuhao could only choose to believe in the Skydream Iceworm. He simply didn’t have any other choice. Helpless, he removed the thick cotton shirt from his body.
As soon as he did, the biting cold of the freezing northern wind penetrated his entire body. This feeling was akin to him suddenly eating ten popsicles at once. Amidst this world of ice and snow, it was even possible to see steam rising from Huo Yuhao’s body.
Clenching his teeth, Huo Yuhao took off the rest of his clothing as quickly as possible, exposing his sturdy muscles. He couldn’t help but sway due to the extreme temperatures here. This feeling was definitely so ‘relaxing’ that he couldn’t even relax.
“Take your underwear off as well! Why did you even leave them on? If you don’t wanna let me help you out for a bit, don’t blame me when your little brother freezes to death.” The Skydream Iceworm let out a devilish laugh.
Huo Yuhao angrily replied, “Do it quickly, else it’s going to freeze to death right now!” His voice was currently trembling. Ignoring the Skydream Iceworm, he quickly took off his underpants.
As the bitingly cold wind slammed into his body, Huo Yuhao’s body turned bright red, causing him to resemble a boiled shrimp.
However, the Skydream Iceworm didn’t utter a word. Even though Huo Yuhao repeatedly called out to it, it didn’t respond at all.
Feeling that he was about to freeze to death, Huo Yuhao immediately prepared to jump towards his clothes. However, his surroundings suddenly transformed as a layer of pale gold light slowly spread out from his head. As the golden light dispersed, it expelled the cold from his body. Immediately, a warm feeling began to spread throughout his entire body.
“Ah—” Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but let out a groan from the pleasure. He even nearly began to cry. This feeling was simply too stimulating...
Afterwards, a gentle lump of white light suddenly shot out from his chest. To Huo Yuhao’s surprise, he discovered that the lump of light seemed to be more like a lump of flesh that had grown from his chest. The light began to quickly expand in midair, until it had become as large as Huo Yuhao. Afterwards, it slowly began to spread itself over his body.
As the white light slowly glued itself to Huo Yuhao’s body, he felt as if a layer of film had been applied to his skin. The white light gradually vanished along with the warm feeling. However, the frigid cold he’d felt didn’t come back despite the disappearance of the warm feeling. As the bitingly cold wind swirled around him, it seemed to simply glide past him. Though he still felt the impact of the wind hitting his body, it didn’t feel cold in the slightest.
“Brother Skydream, this…” Huo Yuhao had a look of astonishment on his face. Everything that had just occurred had undoubtedly exceeded the range of his understanding.
The Skydream Iceworm’s lazy voice rang out, “This is my shedded skin from my original body that you saw previously. Previously, didn’t it stick to your chest? I’ve made it cover your entire body now. Since I grew up in such a place, how could I be scared of the cold? The skin I shed is extremely good at ventilation, and can resist the elements. In addition to that, it can also hide your aura. Otherwise, rashly entering the Extreme North with your measly bit of strength would just be courting death. Now then, quickly put on some clothes. Do you think that you look good naked?”
Huo Yuhao was left speechless. He inwardly thought to himself, You’re the one who made me strip naked! However, he had to admit that the Skydream Iceworm was being considerate. After putting his clothes back on, he no longer felt cold at all. Moreover, the layer of shedded skin from the Skydream Iceworm didn’t feel like it was there at all. Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but feel somewhat more confident in entering the Extreme North with the aid of this mystical ability.
At this moment, the Skydream Iceworm suddenly spoke with an extremely serious tone, “Yuhao, you have to listen to my commands at all times from now on. You can’t make any careless mistakes. If you don’t listen to me, not only will you have to stay in the Extreme North forever, you’ll cause me to get into trouble as well.”
“Okay.” Huo Yuhao nodded. He’d naturally listen to the Skydream Iceworm’s instructions. If he didn’t, he’d be groping around in the dark.
“Continue heading northwards. We’ll talk once you reach the central area of the Extreme North. Did you make sure to bring enough food? I reckon that we’ll have to stay here for over ten days, as this place doesn’t have any water or food for you to eat or drink.”
Huo Yuhao patted the Twenty Four Moonlit Bridges on his waist and replied, “No problem, I’m all prepared.” After saying that, he equipped the few soul tools that he’d previously created. Since the cold had disappeared, he was able to keep himself in peak condition.
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