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 Chapter 1043: Meeting Old Friends

The familiar soft laugh caused Liu Qing's body to momentarily stiffen. A moment later, he finally recovered. His face was filled with disbelief as he looked at the unknown young man, "You... you are Xiao Yan?"

Liu Qing's words had just sounded when Liu Fei's lovely body behind him suddenly trembled. Xiao Yan, a name that had left behind an impression in heart that was difficult to remove. This true genius of the Inner Academy back then was someone even her cousin brother, whom she was proud of, could not catch up to...

Her pretty eyes secretly observed the young man in front of her. She was slightly startled when they paused on the somewhat foreign face. Her cautious eyes discovered some clues and her hands slightly shook under her sleeves. Her eyes began to dodge him. Back then, she had developed a small grudge with Xiao Yan. It was due to this grudge that Xiao Yan had exchanged blows with Liu Qing. The result, however, had caused the support within her heart to completely collapse. Until now, Liu Fei could not forget that skinny figure that stood proudly in the Fighting Arena back then. At that time, Xiao Yan was merely a young man who had just arrived at the Inner Academy. However, his achievements had attracted the eyes of the entire Inner Academy.

"Is it... really him?" The back of Liu Fei's teeth bit her lower red lip. Beauties had always liked heroes since ancient times. In this world there were many people stronger than her cousin brother, whom she thought of as seemingly undefeatable in her heart. This also caused her to hold back her unruly self and learn to treat others gently.

"He looks somewhat different, but his voice is still the same..." Xiao Yan smiled and waved his hands. His eyes swept over Liu Qing as he spoke with an involuntary surprise, "Seven star Dou Huang? Not bad. You are much stronger than Lin Yan."

Liu Qing was finally able to confirm the identity of the person in front after hearing this familiar tone. An excitement surged into his eyes. His eyes also swept over Xiao Yan and the expression on his his face became slightly dull. He bitterly laughed, "It is likely that you have already broken through to the Dou Zong class right?" He had clearly watched Xiao Yan walk through the air earlier.

The faces of the people behind Liu Qing changed a little upon hearing his words. Their eyes were surprised as they swept over Xiao Yan's body. It was really rare to find such a young expert Dou Zong.

"I was merely lucky." Xiao Yan slightly smiled, but did not deny it.

"Ugh, I am still unable to catch up with you. You are indeed worthy of being the person with the most outstanding talent in the Inner Academy. I have no choice but to admit it..." Liu Qing sighed. Back then, when he had half a foot into the Dou Wang class, Xiao Yan was merely just a Dou Ling, yet within a short few years, Xiao Yan had already reached a level that he could only look up to. This extreme change was really a little difficult to accept.

Xiao Yan smiled. His eyes swept over Liu Fei's face behind Liu Qing and smiled as he nodded to her. Under his smile, a bright redness rose onto her face. Her pretty eyes swiftly turned away.

"All of you did not wait for me when you left back then. I thought that something had happened to you." Xiao Yan's eyes slide back to Liu Qing as he spoke with a smile.

"Lin Yan said that you had already taken your revenge and it was pointless for us to stay any longer. Hence, we had formed a group and left the Jia Ma Empire. That's right, why are you here?" Liu Qing spoke with a smile. The greenish color on his face had greatly diminished. Clearly, his heart felt extremely happy at being able to meet Xiao Yan here.

"I need to head to the Pill Region. Tianhuang City possesses a Wormhole that leads to the Pill Region, so I came to visit you along the way." Xiao Yan smiled. His eyes swept over the people from the Cheng clan not far away without leaving a trace.

Liu Qing nodded his head when he heard this. He immediately laughed in an unconstrained manner, "After today, the Wormhole will be opened once again. I will help you get things ready. Leave this small matter to me."

"It is already the Cheng clan's turn to manage the Wormhole. They have always viewed our Liu clan as an eyesore. Cousin brother, they will only make things difficult if you were to show yourself." Liu Fei, who was behind Liu Qing, muttered.

Liu Qing's expression sank and Liu Fei ceased speaking.

"What has happened? Do you need my help?" Xiao Yan appeared to have not seen Liu Qing's face. His eyes moved to Liu Fei as he asked with a smile.

"Nothing, it is only some small trouble. Let's go back first. Since you have arrived in Tianhuang City, I will have to properly receive you no matter what." Liu Qing waved his hand, pulled Xiao Yan's shoulders, and laughed.

"I have never said such words when you followed me to the Jia Ma Empire back then." Xiao Yan looked at Liu Qing and softly chuckled.

Liu Qing's hand stiffened in mid-air. His eyes landed on Xiao Yan before he let out a bitter laugh. He sighed, "This is not the Jia Ma Empire. Just the strength of a Cheng clan is stronger than the Misty Cloud Sect. If you were to intervene, it is likely that you will end up attracting some trouble."

"Ha ha, Liu Qing, you have really underestimated Xiao Yan. He has just fought his way out of the Wind Lightning Pavilion. Even the chief of the Wind Lightning Northern Pavilion, Fei Tian, could not do anything to him. Just what is a small Cheng clan?" Lin Yan by the side curled his mouth as he blurted out.

Liu Qing and the two Elders behind him were stunned when they heard this. Their faces immediately changed a little. Fighting his way out of the Wind Lightning Pavilion?

"Don't listen to the nonsense this fellow is sprouting. I have only just come down from the Lightning Mountain and had some grudge with the Wind Lightning Pavilion. However, it has already been settled." Xiao Yan waved his hand and smiled as he downplayed the story. His tone might appear like a light breeze, but the danger hidden within was something that Liu Qing and the others could vaguely sense.

Liu Fei's eyes contained an unusual flicker as they slowly swept over Xiao Yan.

Liu Qing let out a shocked exclamation before beginning to struggle a little. Finally, he sighed, "It is a trouble that is caused by this Wormhole. Originally, it should be my Liu clan's turn to control this Wormhole this year. However, the Burning Flame Valley has used this as a bargaining chip in order to find a high tier alchemist. That Cheng clan has found a tier 6 alchemist from somewhere. However, the highest tier alchemist in my Liu clan is only a tier 5..."

"Why is the Burning Flame Valley searching for a high tier alchemist? With their ability, it is not possible for them to not possess any alchemists, no?" Xiao Yan asked with some doubt.

"I am not too certain about this. However, it is rumored that the Valley Chief of the Burning Flame Valley wants to refine a medicinal pill that requires the help of some high tier alchemists." Liu Qing shook his head and replies.

Xiao Yan slightly nodded. His eyes were suddenly thrown onto the proud face of the purple-robed, old man a short distance away as he said, "In other words, as long as you have an alchemist whose tier is higher than that of the old fellow, this Wormhole will be returned to the Liu clan to manage?"

Liu Qing nodded. Some hope involuntarily rose in his heart when he looked at Xiao Yan. He was aware that Xiao Yan was also an alchemist. Moreover, he had already been able to refine a tier 5 medicinal pill when he was at the Inner Academy back then. With his talent, it was impossible for Xiao Yan not to have any improvement. According to his guesses, the current Xiao Yan should be a tier 6 alchemist. Although Xiao Yan might not surpass that purple-robed, old man, he would at the very least not be much weaker...

Xiao Yan smiled when he saw this. He slowly stepped forward and cupped his hands toward the red-robed, old man. With a smile, he said, "This senior, the Liu clan has yet to admit defeat. Please wait for a moment before handing the Wormhole over."

Elder Chi Huo had discovered Xiao Yan the moment he had appeared. He was similarly shocked that Xiao Yan was able to reach the Dou Zong class at such an age. It was likely that among the same generation, there was hardly anyone who could reach such an achievement.

"If the clan has yet to admit defeat, please invite the alchemist. Should the alchemist that the Liu clan find be stronger than grandmaster Xiu, the management rights of this Wormhole will belong to the Liu clan." Perhaps it was because Elder Chi Huo was aware of Xiao Yan's current strength, but his tone was much more polite when he spoke.

Xiao Yan grinned and nodded when he heard this. After which, he turned his eyes to the purple-robed, old man, cupped his hands together, and smiled as he said, "In that case, please allow the little me to compete with this grandmaster Xiu. What do you say?"

"You are the alchemist that the Liu clan has invited?" Elder Chi Huo was stunned when he heard this. His eyes slowly swept over Xiao Yan's body. He involuntarily felt some disbelief. Xiao Yan's status as a Dou Zong at his age had already shocked Elder Chi Huo greatly. If he possessed an alchemist status, would he not be a little too terrifying?

Dou Qi training and pill refinement skills were two extremely profound paths. It was extremely difficult for one to become outstanding in any one of the two categories. There were very few who could successfully obtain great achievements on both paths!

These words of Xiao Yan had also started a commotion among the crowd below. However, most people scoffed at Xiao Yan's words. Although this young man was quite strong, it did not mean that he had the qualification to challenge an alchemist like Grandmaster Zeng Xiu...

Being one of the party involved, Zeng Xiu was also startled. However, a cold smile flashed across his shriveled face. He looked at Xiao Yan and said, "Perhaps the old me might really be unable to compete with you in terms of Dou Qi, but in terms of alchemist skills... I shall say something that you may not like to hear. You do not possess the qualification!"

Xiao Yan ignored this cold laugh of Zeng Xiu. His eyes turned to Elder Chi Huo as smiled and said, "May I know how are we going to compete? Should we refine a medicinal pill on the spot?"

"There is no need for such trouble. The old me does not have much time to waste with you." Zeng Xiu replied instead. He coldly laughed and said, "Since you are also an alchemist, you should also be aware of the importance of one's Spiritual Strength. In that case, we shall compete in terms of Spiritual Strength! On account of you being from a younger generation, the old me shall allow you to attack first. As long as you can force me back with your Spiritual Strength, it will be considered your victory!"

One could not blame Zeng Xiu for being this arrogant. The greatest gap between an alchemist and an ordinary Dou Practitioner was their Spiritual Strength. A tier 6 alchemist's Spiritual Strength was comparable to an expert Dou Zong!

Xiao Yan was initially stunned when he heard Zeng Xiu's words. His expression swiftly became a little strange. Competing Spiritual Strength?

Zeng Xiu waved his sleeves and stood with his hands behind him after speaking. His eyes glanced at Xiao Yan indifferently. The demeanor of a grandmaster was fully displayed.

"Begin."

Xiao Yan slightly widened his mouth. Immediately, it turned into a soft sigh. He slowly raised his hand in front of a countless number of gazes. After which, he gently swept it down from some distance away.

When his hand was swung, a majestic, vast Spiritual Strength immediately swept down from the sky like a storm.

The calm-faced Elder Chi Huo expression drastically changed at this moment.

The indifferent expression of Zeng Xiu had also instantly paled...

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