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Storage-type soul tools and Milk Bottles were typically considered the most complicated soul tools among others of the same tier. This storage-type soul tool was made from steel, and that meant it wouldn't be so durable, but its complexity and the difficulty of crafting something like this was the same as it would have been if another material had been used. It wasn't worth much, but the craftmanship was undeniable. If there had been better metal available, this storage-type soul tool would be considered an exquisite item compared to other Cla.s.s 3 soul tools.
Two Cla.s.s 3 soul tools were crafted within such a short period of time. What did that mean? This meant that these two brothers, who had only joined the compet.i.tion when it was nearing its end, were at least Cla.s.s 4 soul engineers. It was likely that they were even better; could Cla.s.s 4 soul engineers craft soul tools with such smoothness and agility? The old man knew the answer to this question very well.
"The two of you have pa.s.sed the qualifying round, and we will begin the first official round tomorrow. We will directly enter elimination rounds, and every elimination round will cut the total headcount by a third, until a champion is crowned. Here, these are your proofs for pa.s.sing the qualifying round. The two of you can use them to claim your prizes for this round!"
The old man pa.s.sed over two badges made from pure gold as he spoke. There were numbers on each badge; Huo Yuhao's number was seventy-one, while He Caitou's number was seventy-two.
He Caitou pushed Huo Yuhao's wheelchair and they departed under the old man's watchful and respectful gaze.
"Eh? How can it be over so quickly? Have they withdrawn from the contest because they know they can't pa.s.s?" Some people were annoying and irritating, especially if they were born with a snickering and sneering face. The middle-aged man that was throwing shade at Huo Yuhao before this took the opportunity and popped out of nowhere…
Huo Yuhao smiled and opened his right hand. "I just want to know where I can redeem my prize."
The middle-aged man noticed the golden badge in Huo Yuhao's hand just as he was mocking him sarcastically. He seemed like a duck that was grasped by the neck, and his voice stuck in his throat.
"That… that's impossible! How long did you guys take? You... you guys cheated!"
Huo Yuhao answered solemnly, "You have to be responsible for your words."
The old man in yellow came over hurriedly at this moment. "I'm terribly sorry, my two honored guests. This is a misunderstanding. Hurry and apologize to them, Great King."
"Great King? That's a great name!" Huo Yuhao spoke with a faint grin on his face.
The middle-aged man's expression didn't look so good, and it appeared to change color again and again. He grunted coldly and turned around to leave.
"Don't go! There's something else I want to discuss with you!" Huo Yuhao suddenly spoke to him.
Great King was momentarily stunned. He turned around and forcefully suppressed the complicated emotions riling up his mind as he asked, "What else needs to be said?"
Huo Yuhao continued, "I imagine I'm going to lose the wager that I've just made. Do you remember what I said to you before this?"
Great King's face instantly changed. He hadn't thought too much of it when Huo Yuhao had threatened him before with a smile on his face, as he didn't believe that this fellow in the wheelchair could pa.s.s this round of the compet.i.tion. However, the yellow-clothed old man had confirmed that the two brothers had both pa.s.sed this round within such a short period of time. He was very clear about what this meant; even though he was arrogant, sneering, and sarcastic by nature, he wasn't a fool. He was sharply aware that Huo Yuhao wasn't a person that he could afford to offend, and he himself was only a Soul Elder after all.
"The contest isn't over. How… how do you know that you can't win the wager?" Great King's voice was a little shaky and fearful.
Huo Yuhao smiled and said, "I know I can't win just by looking at your face. Are you telling me that you haven't done something to my wager? I remember I saw you walk out before this."
Great King took a few steps back subconsciously.
Huo Yuhao lowered his head instead as he muttered under his breath, "My best virtue is that I always honor my word."
Huo Yuhao suddenly looked up as he spoke, and he pushed out his right hand towards Great King.
"Don't do it, sir!" The old man called out hastily, but he was too late in the end.
A flower that resembled some of the red and white decorations around the Green Hotel bloomed, and Great King's head instantly split open like an exploding watermelon.
Huo Yuhao was behaving as if he hadn't done anything at all. He wore a pitiful and regrettable expression on his face as he said, "I hope you can be the king of Great Kings in your next life."
The sudden incident immediately triggered intense and vigorous gasps of astonishment. This was one of the Duskwater Alliance's strongholds, and it was unimaginable that anybody would have the courage to murder someone in a place like this. Furthermore, this murder was executed in such a brutal and barbaric fashion.
The other guests descended into hysteria, and numerous men dressed in black quickly surrounded Huo Yuhao. The yellow-clothed invigilator and the manager that led them from the hotel door were also part of this group. It didn't take long before they surrounded Huo Yuhao and He Caitou, forming a very tight circle around them.
Huo Yuhao grunted coldly and said plainly, "Do all of you wish to die?" Huo Yuhao began to chant incomprehensibly as he spoke. He Caitou took a step horizontally, and a series of metal clanging sounds could be heard as he transformed into a frightening metal fortress. Several hundred soul cannons were coldly pointing all around him, and the aura he released was so terrifying that it immediately caused the thugs that were about to close in on them to retreat in fear.
"Stop! What's happening?" A deafening shout broke the silence. A human figure descended from the sky immediately afterwards, three yellow and two purple soul rings sparkling as this person landed in the middle of everyone.
The wings from the soul tool on his back folded up. He drew a cold breath when he witnessed the soul cannon fort that He Caitou had transformed into. He was a Cla.s.s 5 soul engineer, and he was all too clear as to what he was looking at. He realized that even typical Cla.s.s 6 soul cannon forts weren't as formidable as this one in front of him.
"Calm down, everyone. I'm Chen An, the Golden Great Hall's supervisor. Can someone tell me what just happened?"
The old man that had watched Huo Yuhao and He Caitou came forward hurriedly and whispered something into Chen An's ear.
Chen An's face turned black as he turned towards Huo Yuhao, and then his expression changed once more. He saw that Huo Yuhao's eyes were ghastly grey in color, as if there wasn't an ounce of life and vitality at all, and he felt as if his spirit was being sucked away when their gazes met. His body trembled vigorously as he took a few steps backwards in horror.
However, when he looked at Huo Yuhao again, he realized that his eyes had become clear once more, as if everything that he had seen in the previous instant was but a hallucination. A voice suddenly appeared in his head.
"If you want this place to be riddled with bodies, so be it. Otherwise, you know what to do."
This voice disappeared as soon as it appeared. In the next moment, a scene surfaced in his head: Chen An saw the exploding heads of the men in black around him, and he seemed to descend into a mountain of corpses and an ocean of blood. The headless corpses slowly got to their feet, and swiftly transformed into zombies as they crazily a.s.saulted everyone around them. It didn't take long before there wasn't a single other living soul besides the terrifying youth in the wheelchair and the muscular man standing beside him.
The intense fear caused Chen An's body to quiver uncontrollably, but the image that surfaced in his mind receded in an instant. His eyes widened, but all he could see were his subordinates' doubtful gazes, and the youth in the wheelchair that was still staring at him with a pair of bright and clear eyes.
"You are…" Chen An blurted.
Huo Yuhao answered plainly, "Great King went after my wager with underhanded methods, and his words were provocative and condescending. Did he bring his own death upon himself?"
Chen An chomped down on the tip of his tongue and instantly cleared his mind. He had outstanding composure, mental quality, and stability to be able to direct the Golden Great Hall, and his expression changed once again. This time, he was a lot more respectful than before.
"You're right, my dear guests. Great King violated the Duskwater Alliance's rules, and he attacked you foolishly. He has committed a crime, and he cannot be forgiven. Someone take his body away and feed his corpse to the dogs. Don't stand around, everyone! Go back and do what you're supposed to be doing!"
Chen An withdrew the soul rings on his body as he spoke, but he didn't dare to look Huo Yuhao in the eyes anymore.
The Duskwater Alliance was an underground organization, and these underground organizations were sometimes much more efficient and versatile with their operations compared to other, more legitimate corporations. Chen An was the Golden Great Hall's supervisor, and he was also a relatively powerful Soul King. He wielded extraordinary authority and influence in this place, and he was also the qualifying round's chief judge. His subordinates began to move right after he finished his sentence, some people moving to keep things in order, while some other people went ahead to clean up the mess.
It didn't take long before Great King's body and the mess around it vanished without a trace.
Chen An lowered his voice and asked Huo Yuhao, "Can we speak somewhere in private?"
"Alright," Huo Yuhao's answer was simple and straightforward. "I have two other servants. Can you ask someone to call them over?"
"I'll arrange for that immediately." Chen An whispered something to one of his subordinates, and that person hurriedly turned around and left.
"Follow me, my valued guests." Chen An turned around to lead the way as he spoke. Huo Yuhao nodded his head gently, and He Caitou pushed the wheelchair as they followed behind Chen An.
Huo Yuhao's eyes closed into squints, and his Spiritual Detection swiftly expanded around him and covered almost the entire place in an instant. There were several relatively formidable auras within the Golden Great Hall, but they were not enough to threaten his life. This was only the qualifying round after all, and high-level soul masters and soul engineers couldn't be found just anywhere. They weren't inside Shrek Academy, after all.
Chen An led them to a small door at the side and exited the Golden Great Hall. They moved through a magnificent walkway, but they didn't have to travel for long before Chen An opened another door on the side and invited the two of them in.
The room was several hundred square meters in surface area, and the walls were covered in solid wood. The room's golden style and layout was not at odds with this underground world.
"Please sit," Chen An spoke as he stood beside a luxurious sofa.
Huo Yuhao answered, "There's no need for that. You can just say whatever you want to."
Chen An's eyes shifted as he lowered his voice and said, "If I may ask, are you guys from…?" He paused without finishing his sentence.