Book 7: The Extreme North
Chapter 44.3: Perfect Fusion, The Red Soul Ring
Huo Yuhao was at a loss. “Brother Skydream, I don’t understand.”
The Skydream Iceworm replied in a mysterious tone, “You’ll naturally understand once you’ve gotten your second soul ring. Now then, do you really think you look that good butt-naked? Quickly clothe yourself so that we can get going. Time’s not moving any slower while you’re standing here. You should probably know that your school’s about to re-open. In fact, I’m not particularly clear as to how long we actually have left until it does. I lost of track of time in the outside world while I was helping the Ice Empress fuse with you.”
When he heard this, Huo Yuhao immediately became astonished. According to his calculations, more than fifteen days should’ve passed since the holidays had started. It would take him quite a while to get back as well, thus he couldn’t afford to not rush.
A pale gold light flashed through Huo Yuhao’s eyes as he withdrew the Ice Empress and released his Spiritual Detection. However, he nearly jumped from shock the moment he released his Spiritual Detection.
As his cultivation had increased in the academy, the range of his Spiritual Detection had also continued to increase. When he’d left, it had surpassed eighty meters in all directions. If he were to focus it in a single direction, it could surpass two hundred meters.
However, the moment that he released his Spiritual Detection, Huo Yuhao immediately felt his eyes release an indescribable flow of air. Immediately afterwards, the ground in a two hundred meter radius around him—including a meter deep into the snow and some parts of the mud underneath—were encapsulated within the range of his Spiritual Detection. As soon as it did, a large amount of information surged into his mind. How could the large increase in the range of his Spiritual Detection and the amount of information he received not astonish him?
“How... how could this have happened?” Huo Yuhao asked blankly, having managed to find the nearby Twenty Four Moonlit Bridges using his Spiritual Detection.
“You didn’t just suffer that pain for nothing. Haven’t you realized that your spiritual sea has nearly doubled in size? If you’d followed the usual routine of obtaining your second soul ring, your spiritual sea would only be this big once you reached three rings. However, you relied on your own willpower to withstand that pain. As such, your spiritual sea has evolved. Of course, I’ve also used my spiritual origin to help you out a bit. Congratulations. As of now, you can release power equivalent to that of a five thousand year soul ring, while your body’s endurance now permits you to both obtain and perfectly absorb a three thousand year soul ring.”
When he heard the Skydream Iceworm’s words, a single emotion was left in Huo Yuhao’s heart: Happiness.
After experiencing such an extreme amount of pain, a few shadows had been left in his heart. At this moment however, the pain and bitterness were over, while the rewards he’d gained were just beginning to show themselves. He finally felt that everything was worth it. After receiving the proper reciprocation for his efforts, the shadows in his heart naturally shrunk by a large amount.
He took a set of clothes out of the Twenty Four Moonlit Bridges, but decided to only wear a regular shirt, as he didn’t feel cold at all.
What a joke. With an existence such as the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion connected to him, the number of things in the entire world that could even make him feel cold was practically zero. His own body was basically a representation of extremely cold ice!
“Go!” The Skydream Iceworm shouted, jolting a certain person who was foolishly giggling to himself back to their senses. This certain someone then hurriedly scrambled to his feet.
The originally-cold climate was no longer a problem to Huo Yuhao, as the soul ring and soul bone he’d obtained from the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion made it so that the quality of his physique now far exceeded what it had previously been. He wildly rushed through the snow, leaving only a few shallow traces behind him. In fact, he wasn’t hindered by the snow at all anymore.
The soul power in his body continued to circulate, but it didn’t seem like it was being drained at all. Right now, Huo Yuhao was unexpectedly relying only on his physical strength to maneuver through the snow. He didn’t know how long it had been since he’d eaten or drank anything, yet he didn’t feel hungry or thirsty at all. At this very moment, he only felt that everything within the boundless, vast plains of ice was extremely beautiful.
Within Shrek Academy.
The start of the new term had now arrived, which was the most important period of time every year. A large stream of people had already arrived outside of Shrek Academy by dawn. Besides the returning students, there was also an overwhelming number of parents who’d brought their children to register for the newcomer’s assessment.
No matter what background you had, or who you were referred by, you’d still have to go home if you didn’t pass the newcomer’s assessment.
A few of the upperclassmen were outside the school gates, helping the teachers conduct the assessment. Although they were only students, they were still able to represent Shrek Academy, as they were all at least at the three-ringed Soul Elder rank. Since they’d reached the rank of Soul Elder, they held considerable status within the continent. The lowest requirement for a student to graduate from Shrek Academy’s outer courtyard was to become a four-ringed Soul Ancestor. If you weren’t able to become a Soul Ancestor, you wouldn’t be able to become a Year 6 student. In the end, you’d only be eliminated during the assessment.
Twenty-eight days of the vacation had passed by, and the new school year would begin in just two days. Even though the newcomers were rushing to participate in the academy’s entrance test, the older students weren’t just lazing about; their advancement assessments were about to start too. They would only be able to truly advance to a higher year group once they’d passed their advancement assessments. If they didn’t, they’d have to do the exact same thing that the newcomers who weren’t able to pass the entrance exam had to—return home.
At least two-thirds of the older students in the academy had returned by thise point. They hadn’t dared to relax at all during their vacation period. Seeing that school was about to start, they’d naturally come back earlier in order to ask their teachers about the contents of their various assessments. In addition to this, they’d also asked their teachers for extra pointers. Students who were strong enough naturally weren’t scared of the assessments; on the contrary, they enjoyed them. Through them, they could truly test the fruits of their cultivation. However, every single assessment would be an extremely difficult barrier to the vast majority of students. Thus, why wouldn’t they grasp every opportunity they had?
A figure rushed past the Sea God’s Lake’s lakeside path with astonishing speed, and quickly passed through Shrek Plaza. When he arrived at the Year 1 dorms, he muttered to himself, “Aih, I’m late, I’m late. He’s definitely come back early and is probably waiting impatiently for me. Aih, it’s all my fault! Why’d I have to go and go all-out! Whatever, I’ll definitely give that guy a big surprise, haha.”
With that, the youth arrived at the door to the dorm. The elder that was always present by the dorms was still lying on his recliner in an easygoing manner when, giving off an indescribable sense of leisureliness when he arrived.
“Grandpa, hello.” The youth excitedly blurted out as he rushed into the dormitory.
A funny look appeared on the elder’s face, but he quickly returned to normal. Squinting his eyes, he comfortably immersed himself in a half-sleep state.
“Peng, peng, peng.” The youth rushed back towards his room, then forcefully knocked on the door, causing dust to fall off of it.
“Eeh?” The youth hurriedly ducked away from the dust. Feeling that something was off, he said, “Huo Yuhao, quickly open the door. Just look at how lazy you’ve become! You truly only know how to cultivate. There’s already enough dust on the door to bury someone, yet you haven’t even cleaned it.”
Right, the youth who had hastily rushed over was Wang Dong. He didn’t seem to have changed much compared to one month ago. He was still wearing the Year 1 uniforms, but his short, pinkish-blue hair had grown slightly. His large, bright eyes were also slightly livelier, and were filled with excitement,.
They’d been separated for almost an entire month, however Wang Dong had been held up because of a few issues on his way back. He’d only managed to arrive three days before school started with great difficulty, which was much later than the time that he and Huo Yuhao had previously agreed on. He thought that Huo Yuhao would definitely have arrived earlier. After all, the quickest way they could cultivate was by being together. Having returned late, he was extremely apologetic. He was just about to apologize to Huo Yuhao and say a few good words to him; that was why he hadn’t used his own key to unlock the door and enter on his own.
No response? Wang Dong couldn’t help but be dazed when the dorm remained silent.
“Hey, don’t be petty. Are you still angry at me? I didn’t come back late on purpose. I was held up by something.” Wang Dong knocked on the door again, however there was still no response.
“Huo Yuhao, you little miser. If you don’t open the door, I’m going to open it myself.” Wang Dong said fiercely.
There was still no response.
At that moment, Wang Dong couldn’t help but feel stunned. He felt that, even though he’d arrived late, with the relationship between him and Huo Yuhao, combined with Huo Yuhao’s character, he wouldn’t stoop so low as to ignore him like this!
Wang Dong took out his key and unlocked the door.
The dorm was quiet on the inside. Everything was identical to when they’d left; there weren’t any changes at all. Wang Dong’s mattress had been rolled up and covered in a white bedsheet to shield it from dust. On the other hand, Huo Yuhao’s bed was still empty. A layer of dust had already appeared on the ground and the table, as if nobody had recently been in the room at all.
Wang Dong rushed into the dorm room. After looking at his own bed and then Huo Yuhao’s bed, he felt his heart sink with a “thunk”. His face immediately turned somewhat pale.
He didn’t come back. He actually hasn’t come back yet. Wang Dong instantly felt a wave of goosebumps travel from his feet to his head. He would’ve preferred to have Huo Yuhao waiting for him in advance to scold him the moment he saw him rather than the scene in front of him. The feeling of his heart being emptied caused his breathing to become rushed all of a sudden.
“How is it possible that he hasn’t come back yet? Didn’t he say that there was a teacher waiting for him outside the Great Star Dou Forest? He only left to get his second soul ring; there was even a teacher accompanying him. Why hasn’t he returned after so long? He’s an orphan, where else could he have gone?”
Wang Dong immediately became anxious. He violently took in a few deep breaths of somewhat dirty air from the dorm room, then suddenly turned around and rushed back towards the dorm entrance.
When he reached it, he instantly kneeled beside the reclining elder. “Grandpa, have you seen Huo Yuhao? He’s living in a room with me; he’s the guy who always comes back with me.”
The old man squinted his eyes and shook his head.
Wang Dong bit his lower lip and stood up. Afterwards, he immediately dashed towards the faculty buildings.
Once he reaching the faculty buildings, he headed directly towards Zhou Yi’s office. The door to her office was wide open, and inside a few students were talking to her.
Wang Dong was extremely anxious, thus he didn’t even bother to knock on her door. Like a gust of wind, he rushed inside. “Teacher Zhou, Teacher Zhou.”
The students standing in front of Zhou Yi’s desk were all first year students, and they were all jolted by Wang Dong’s hurried entrance. They were all aware of the fact that Zhou Yi hated students who broke the rules the most. Even though Wang Dong was a class monitor, he was still acting too gutsy.
However, they were astonished by the fact that not only had Zhou Yi not flown into a rage when she saw Wang Dong, she’d even stood up. The two of them then spoke in an impatient voice at the exact same time.
“Where’s Huo Yuhao?”
“Teacher Zhou, have you seen Huo Yuhao?”
The instant they finished speaking, both of them simultaneously became stunned. Afterwards, they spoke at the exact same time again, “You’re also looking for Huo Yuhao?”
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