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The middle-aged man could naturally also hear the deep booms in the distance, and he glanced up at the sky from time to time as faint fear flowed from his eyes. He was a soul engineer, and that meant he was fundamentally a soul master as well, but this was the first time that he had ever heard something as frightening as that. Furthermore, he had no idea what was going on, and it was happening while there was something else on his mind. He glanced at his screen a lot more than before.
Right at that moment, shadows rose into the sky from another courtyard behind this one. An old and hardy voice said, "Li Chong, guard the courtyard. We'll head to the royal palace to see what's going on."
Eight shadows surged into the air, and transformed into flowing light as they bolted toward the deep booms echoing across the horizon, and the royal palace beneath them.
Everyone looked on as those shadows disappeared beyond the horizon. w.a.n.g Dong'er, w.a.n.g Qiu'er, Ji Juchen, Jing Ziyan, and Xiao Xiao all glanced at Huo Yuhao with a little more admiration in their eyes.
They had waited for only a short while longer, but this had greatly reduced the dangers that they originally could have faced.
Huo Yuhao smiled, though he didn't admit that his prediction had been correct. "We're lucky. You can go, Qiu'er. The key is tied to Li Chong's waist. Try to be as silent and discreet as possible. The room behind him and to his left is empty; take him in there."
"Okay." w.a.n.g Qiu'er acknowledged, and Huo Yuhao expanded his Imitation's area of effect as she leapt gently into the courtyard.
Li Chong felt his heart skip a beat when he heard that old and hardy voice. He had a guilty conscience, and there was something else on his mind, so he was especially sensitive to external stimulus and what was happening in the outside world. The voice eventually said that they were heading to the royal palace to take a look, not that they had discovered something, and only then did Li Chong, who was also the manager, immediately relax. He even felt as if his entire body were going soft and weak.
The soul communicator's screen finally lit up in his hands at this moment. A sign to represent that the deal had been successfully closed appeared, and Li Chong's heart finally relaxed completely, while his eyes appeared immensely relieved.
Unfortunately, he didn't know that Huo Yuhao's Spiritual Detection was monitoring everything that he was feeling and doing. w.a.n.g Qiu'er took this opportunity to strike through the guidance provided by Huo Yuhao's Spiritual Detection.
w.a.n.g Qiu'er darted forward like a lightning bolt as her figure flickered through the air. She was moving too quickly, and she even emerged from Huo Yuhao's Imitation because of her incredible speed.
However, she was simply too fast. It was too late for Li Chong to react when alarm rose in his heart.
He was still a soul engineer, however, and a Cla.s.s 5 automatic protective soul barrier emerged from his body in an attempt to block w.a.n.g Qiu'er's attack.
Unfortunately for him, he was facing a person that was touted as the strongest dragon-type soul master in the entire Continental Elite Youth Soul Master Tournament, the golden dragon girl! Breaking through fortresses and defenses was w.a.n.g Qiu'er's forte!
w.a.n.g Qiu'er's Golden Dragon Spear pierced through the soul barrier as if it were punching through a piece of paper. w.a.n.g Qiu'er had charged up for this attack, and it included her frightening strength and soul power, along with her spiritual power. The dash of golden light that erupted caused Ji Juechen's expression to change, even though he was already a Soul Sage.
The sharp tip accurately impaled Li Chong's throat, and the soft sound of cracking bones rang out once before everything went silent.
Li Chong's eyes were as wide as they could be. He had relaxed completely before this, and his mind had been filled with the luxurious and fortunate life that he would have in the future. However, his life turned upside down in that moment - he was motionless and lackadaisical, and he stared in disbelief as Imitation closed over him. He was not resigned to his fate as he watched the twisting and contorting figure in front of him.
Li Chong's life energy flooded through the Golden Dragon Spear, and not a single drop of blood was shed. w.a.n.g Qiu'er kept his corpse impaled on her spear as she dashed into the room that Huo Yuhao had pointed out to her in a flash.
It only took a few seconds to complete this ambush. When w.a.n.g Qiu'er came back out from that room and gently shut its doors, w.a.n.g Dong'er, Ji Juechen, and the others had already arrived inside the courtyard.
Huo Yuhao gave w.a.n.g Qiu'er a thumbs-up and said, "Brother Ji, you'll stay here with sister Ziyan to keep a lookout for us. If powerful enemies come, release the signal, break through the onslaught by yourselves, and return to the hotel right afterwards. You don't have to wait for us. Third senior brother and fourth senior sister will be waiting for you on the other side of the alleyway. Xiao Xiao, Dong'er, Qiu'er… let's go."
There could only be one voice in the team at a time like this, and Jing Ziyan and Ji Juechen nodded softly.
Huo Yuhao brought everyone into a room in the center according to what he remembered from his reconnaissance efforts the last time, finding this room also empty. Ji Juechen and Jing Ziyan found a window each and hid beside them as they watched everything that was happening outside. Huo Yuhao brought the other three girls to a large wardrobe inside the room.
"Open it," Huo Yuhao said.
w.a.n.g Dong'er and w.a.n.g Qiu'er took a step forward at almost the same time. They exchanged a look, and w.a.n.g Qiu'er stepped back and let w.a.n.g Dong'er open it.
Huo Yuhao facepalmed. It seems like I have to make things a little more specific next time.
"Qiu'er, insert the purple key into the keyhole on the hinge at the left side of the wardrobe." Huo Yuhao's instructions were now a lot clearer.
w.a.n.g Qiu'er retrieved a purple key from the set of keys that she had stolen, found a discreet keyhole at the hinges, and inserted the key.
A series of faint cracking sounds could be heard, and the board behind the wardrobe began to open slowly to one side. An entrance was revealed, faint light flickering inside.
w.a.n.g Qiu'er was about to enter, but Huo Yuhao stopped her.
Huo Yuhao lowered her voice and said, "We will have to face all kinds of b.o.o.by traps after we go inside. This place is exceptionally important for the Sun Moon Empire, and there will be many soul tool traps and whatnot. Dong'er will take point, Xiao Xiao will be in the center, and Qiu'er will be at the back. Everyone has to follow my instructions, and please don't make any mistakes. Otherwise, we will all be doomed. I don't care what other thoughts and opinions you guys have right now… stow them."
"I'm okay with that," w.a.n.g Dong'er answered forthrightly.
Xiao Xiao stared at the two other girls amusingly before she nodded.
Fortunately, only Huo Yuhao's spiritual avatar was here, so he wouldn't blush even when Xiao Xiao was staring at him with a strange look.
w.a.n.g Qiu'er took a deep breath and said, "Okay, we'll listen to you."
"Let's go! Dong'er goes first." Huo Yuhao didn't waste any more time, and immediately gave his orders.
w.a.n.g Dong'er leapt softly and nimbly entered the entryway within the wardrobe. She didn't make a single sound, and Xiao Xiao and w.a.n.g Qiu'er followed closely behind.
The insides of this tunnel gave everyone a very s.p.a.cious feeling. This tunnel didn't go directly down, but pointed forward instead. There were stone walls on both sides at least a meter thick. It was difficult for Huo Yuhao to pierce through such thickness even though he possessed formidable spiritual power.
They pushed forward for about ten meters before they came across three doors. Every door had a keypad with numbers from zero to nine, and a keyhole as well.
If Huo Yuhao hadn't used his spiritual power to follow Li Chong into this place, there would be nothing he could do against a mechanism like this, no matter how smart he was.
These doors were this place's second firewall!
Right when they arrived in front of these doors, waves of crackling sounds suddenly rang out, and small holes appeared in the walls around them. Barrel after barrel of metal soul ray cannons protruded from the holes, locking down every possible angle that the few of them could dodge to.
w.a.n.g Qiu'er was about to react instinctively, but Huo Yuhao growled at her to stop. "Don't move!"
Perhaps due to the deep-seated trust that she had in him, her tensed body immediately stopped moving.
Huo Yuhao lowered his voice and said, "If we find the right door, and if the pa.s.scode is right, these things won't attack us. Qiu'er, go to the door on the left. The code is: three, seven, six, four, five, one, six, nine…" Huo Yuhao went on to quote a sixteen digit pa.s.scode.
w.a.n.g Qiu'er entered the pa.s.scode on the leftmost door.
"Insert the yellow key and turn it clockwise, two and a half rounds."
w.a.n.g Dong'er followed his instructions.
The door bounced three inches out after three clangs, and the soul ray barrels that poked out swiftly disappeared.
The door bounced open, as if it were releasing some pressure.
"What a skillful and delicate soul tool setup," Xiao Xiao muttered admiringly, "This barrier would have been very difficult to pa.s.s if we hadn't known about it beforehand."
Huo Yuhao smiled and said, "This is not a big deal; the things that are waiting for us afterwards are even more frightening. In the end, a barrier like this can only be used against soul masters who aren't Soul Emperors, and actual powerful individuals could break in with brute force. You guys have seen how these b.o.o.by traps are, so we have to be a lot more careful when we're inside. Let's go."
w.a.n.g Dong'er nodded, and was still in front as she entered the door.
The three girls were surprised to find that after walking in they were inside a hermetic s.p.a.ce about twenty square meters in surface area. There were no paths leading anywhere but back where they came from.
Huo Yuhao said to w.a.n.g Qiu'er, "Qiu'er, there are three rectangular yellow bricks on the wall to your left. You have to knock on them; knock three times on the first one, five times on the second one, and once on the third one."
w.a.n.g Qiu'er was incredibly fast, and finished the job in the blink of an eye.
The sealed room suddenly trembled, and the door that they had just entered from gradually closed up. A dim yellow circle lit up on the ceiling.
The entire sealed room began to shake and tremble subtly, and everyone suddenly felt their stomachs drop.
"This… we're going down?" w.a.n.g Dong'er turned to Huo Yuhao.
Huo Yuhao nodded and said, "This place's defenses and firewalls are a lot more powerful than those inside Ill.u.s.trious Virtue Hall. We are going several hundred meters beneath the ground, and all kinds of automatic soul tools are set up several thousand square meters around us. If we don't use this enormous elevator, not even Cla.s.s 9 stationary soul cannon sh.e.l.ls can break through the defenses on top!"