Chapter 305: First Round, Begin!
Fa Ma stood in front of the VIP seats and eyed the bustling plaza. A while later, he softly said, "Now, I would like to invite all the competitors to move to their assigned positions."
Although the plaza was currently bustling about to the point that the ring of the bell could hardly be heard, Fa Ma's voice managed to still sound in everyone's ears. From this, it could be seen that this dying old man possessed extremely extraordinary strength.
Hearing Fa Ma's words, many alchemists in the VIP seats immediately stood up. There, the alchemists were mostly groomed by or roped into some of the more powerful groups. Due to having a powerhouse to support them, the tier of these alchemists was slightly higher as a whole compared to those "free" alchemists.
The high platform was tens of meters higher than the open ground below. With such a height, these young people, many of them whose strength was merely that of a Dou Shi or perhaps even a Dou Zhe, would naturally not dare leap down. Therefore, on the walkway by the two sides of the VIP seats, there were staircases that exclusively led to the open ground below. Currently, they were successively walking down under countless gazes.
"Ke ke, Liu Ling, Little Yue Er, Yan Xiao, you should also go to your respective positions... as your results in the internal test were the most outstanding, the stations over there belong to the three of you. Those three seats will make you the focus of the crowd's attention." Fa Ma's finger pointed at a place located in the middle of the open ground. That place had over ten huge green tables and not only were these green tables larger than the others, they also seemed to be elevated higher than the res. Such a special position that stood out would naturally be able to cause the people standing there to become the main attraction.
When the gazes of the three people followed the direction that Fa Ma pointed and saw the special spot, their expressions were different from each other: Liu Ling was a little excited, on top of being surprised; Little Princess was curious and eager; while Xiao Yan was blank for a moment before he knit his eyebrows slightly together. Given Xiao Yan's character, he really did not like such a special position that placed him in the spotlight.
Fa Ma's gaze slowly drifted over the faces of the three people and finally stopped on Xiao Yan. He appeared to be able to see through what Xiao Yan thought as he gently said with a smile, "It is naturally a good thing for a young person to know how to keep a low profile. However, there are some things in this world that are made to be impossible to keep a low profile in. Since you are participating in the Grand Meeting, you must be thinking of obtaining the best result. In order to obtain the best result and be at the forefront of these two thousand plus people, you cannot escape being the focus of attention. Since you will eventually be discovered, then what is the difference of it happening now rather than later?"
"If you don't do some rash and arrogant things while you are young, you will not have fun memories to recall in the future..." Fa Ma said with a smile.
"Chairman Fa Ma is right." Xiao Yan smiled bitterly and nodded his head. He did not continue to be entangled over this matter.
"Ke ke, alright. The few of you please proceed down..." Fa Ma smiled and said.
"The two of you, I will go first."
Liu Ling responded to Fa Ma first before laughing at Xiao Yan and Little Princess. Immediately, he pressed the ground lightly and his body charged to the edge of the high platform. He glanced at the huge open ground below. Then he leaped, diving forward and elicited countless sounds of shock from those in the VIP seats.
His body swiftly descended and just as he was about to reach the ground, two Dou Qi columns, that could be seen with the naked eye, appeared out of Liu Ling's heel. Borrowing the opposing force from the Dou Qi columns, he landed on the ground without any injury. After which, he smiled and swiftly walked up to the middle spot of the plaza under gazes that were filled with a fiery heat.
"This fellow really likes to show off, but does he think that only he knows how to jump?"
Eyeing Liu Ling who had received attention from everyone by directly leaping down, the Little Princess smack her lips together. Her lovely body leaped forward and also shot off of the high platform. Like a falling leaf, her body gently and elegantly descended. Her beautiful posture was like that of a goddess.
"*Roar*, *roar*..." This beautiful action of the Little Princess had undoubtedly stirred the hearts of those observing more than Liu Ling's earlier performance. Moreover, due to her tender and cute matter, it had not only caused a howl to sound from the VIP seats, but also a deafening roar to be emitted from the audience seats on the opposite side.
"Ke ke, old man Jia. I did tell you before that your agility Dou Technique 'Flying Floc' was more suited to women, but I never did expect that you would ever teach it to this little girl." Eyeing the Little Princess's body which had totally ignored gravity as she floated, Fa Ma could not help but turn around and smile as he spoke to Jia Lao.
"She had only learned a tiny bit of this agility Dou Technique. However, since she has only pursued beauty, she will easily become a target for the other party, if she were to meet an enemy." Jia Lao shook his head. Although the words from his mouth were spoken as such, when one looked at the smile on his face, he was clearly satisfied with the skill that the Little Princess had revealed.
"Hey, Little Fellow. Why don't you leap down as well. You cannot lose to them in this entrance parade..." Seeing Jia Lao's slightly pleased face, Hai Bo Dong could not help but roll his eyes as he urged Xiao Yan.
"...I think I will walk down." Sensing the countless of gazes that were gathered on him, Xiao Yan shook his head. He turned around and began walking along the walkway to head down. However, Hai Bo Dong abruptly waved his hand and an invisible force blew out, fanning Xiao Yan down, who did not have the time to defend himself.
"Ha ha, you better not make me lose face. Go down..."
"You old bastard..." Being pushed, Xiao Yan's palm swiftly danced around. He had just cursed when his body began wildly descending under everyone's gazes.
The wind whistled passed Xiao Yan's ears. Due to him being forcefully pushed off by Hai Bo Dong, he had actually ended up falling head first. Xiao Yan helplessly sighed as he heard the intense sound of the wind in his ears. Both his hands did not move as he allowed his body to fall straight down head first.
In the plaza, countless gazes were stunned as they saw that Xiao Yan still did not have any reaction despite becoming increasingly closer to the ground. Some of the more cowardly young ladies had already hurriedly shut their eyes, afraid that they would see an extremely bloody scene.
Just as countless people widened their eyes, wanting to see if this little fellow, who appeared to have some ability, would turn into a pile of meat paste on the spot, Xiao Yan, who had remained still, finally moved his hands. He aimed them at the ground and an instant later, an incomparably fierce shapeless force swarmed out, violently smashing into the hard green rock surface. Immediately, a crack line began spreading out on the surface of the rock.
Borrowing the force of the push, Xiao Yan's sharply falling body became much slower. His body was like a spiralling ball in midair, beginning to swiftly spin. Each time the force was about to fade away, Xiao Yan's palm would carelessly smack downward, borrowing the rising airflow created from the force to cancel out the downward force on his body, forming a perfect equilibrium. Under everyone's shocked gazes, Xiao Yan's body was like a helix, rotating as he moved toward the center of the plaza.
"Tsk tsk, what an exquisite airflow control. At such an age, he can actually move freely in the air without using a pair of wings. This is something that even some Dou Wang could not achieve." Eyeing the human figure which was swiftly spiraling as he moved through the open space, some shock surfaced involuntarily on Jia Lao's and Fa Ma's faces as they praised.
"Hei, this fellow is really unpredictable. I had originally thought that he would use the flying Dou Technique. It is really unexpected that he actually still had this type of skill hidden away as well..." Hai Bo Dong's face was similarly filled with shock. Although he knew that this method of Xiao Yan's was impractical when it came to real flying, it would however, in this current occasion, be undoubtedly flashy enough to cause many people to be shocked.
Under the stunned gazes of the few thousand competitors, Xiao Yan's body swiftly moved to the middle; the rotation of his body gradually weakened. With a gentle tap of the tip of his feet in the empty space, his body flipped in the air and rolled down like a gourd. A long while later, his body was gently bent and he landed smoothly with one foot supported on the ground. He gently patted the dust on his hands and slowly stood up, eyeing the dense mass of human heads in the audience seats, which he could see no end to.
"He's too handsome!"
A deafening clapping sound instantly sounded from the somewhat quiet audience seats. Sharp yells suddenly reverberated throughout the entire plaza. The Grand Meeting had yet to begin, but this young man had already given them an eye-opening entrance performance.
With merely just this perfect entrance performance, there was already numerous young ladies who were fascinated by this young man wearing a black alchemist robe.
On the VIP seats, Ya Fei rubbed her cheeks with her hands. Her pretty eyes stared directly at the young man standing at the most conspicuous spot, receiving the attention of everyone. Her enchanting and moving face was slightly absentminded. A splendid glint appeared in her pupils. This little fellow appeared to no longer be that immature young man...
"He really does have some ability. No wonder great-grandfather praised him so highly..." Yao Ye softly muttered as she eyed the young man who was quietly enjoying the countless cheers.
Nalan Yanran sat lazily on a soft comfortable chair. The beautiful outline that was formed under the bundle of the spacious moon-white dress caused many gazes behind her to secretly sweep over. The current her had similarly paused her gaze on Xiao Yan who was on the open ground below. Watching the latter's indifferent manner as though he had heard nothing as he stood in the middle of the countless cheers, her pretty face could not help but become much gentler. Perhaps it was because she had stayed with her teacher, who was viewed like a god in her heart, for a long time, but Nalan Yanran had a good impression regarding this imposing presence that was similar to her teacher's.
Mu Chen narrowed his eyes. He stared at Xiao Yan in the competition ground. A long while later, he tilted his head and said to Mu Zhan, "Is he that person who you have mentioned?"
"Yes, this fellow actual dares to be so close to Ya Fei. Yesterday, was it not for Nalan Yanran stopping me, I would have taught him a lesson!" Mu Zhan spoke evilly.
Mu Chen's finger gently tapped on his shrivelled back of his hand. He shook his head slightly and slowly said, "In the future, don't go and offend him. If you really like that girl Ya Fei, you can use ordinary methods to pursue her. It would be best if you do not provoke this fellow called Yan Xiao... if you really were to fight him, you may not be his match."
"But..." Hearing this, Mu Zhan became anxious. He was about to say something when he saw Mu Chen's face which had sunk. Mu Zhan's head sank and he could only helplessly agree.
Xiao Yan quietly stood in front of a clean green rock table. He realized that a set of medicinal ingredients was orderly placed on the rock table and in front of those was a thin piece of paper peacefully sitting. Additionally, a jade mirror was embedded at the front of the rock table with a weak green-red light flickering in it.
As Xiao Yan conveniently picked up the thin paper and swept his gaze over it, he was somewhat stunned to realize that it was actually a medicinal formula for a tier two medicinal pill. However, the thing that caused Xiao Yan to be speechless was that only some of the medicinal ingredients and other things were carelessly written onto this medicinal formula. Its format, in no way, complied with the orthodox method of creating a medicinal formula.
As mentioned earlier, an orthodox medicinal formula required the use of Spiritual Strength to read. Only through this method could the formula relay all the necessary information that the reader needed to grasp in order to refine a medicinal pill in the shortest amount of time. The things that were recorded on this thin sheet of paper simply gave a vague refining method. All the remaining details actually completely required the reader to grasp by himself. This undoubtedly would cause the number of failures in refining this medicinal pill to be raised to a terrifying extent.
The thing that really caused Xiao Yan to be utterly speechless was the amount of medicinal ingredients placed on the rock table. The quantity was clearly only enough to allow one to refine the medicinal pill twice. In other words, it meant that each person had only one chance of failure. If the medicinal ingredients were completely exhausted and there was not a medicinal pill that had been refined, then it was clear that the person had failed... the result of failure was removal from the competition.
"It is certainly a Grand Meeting held every eight years. This kind of difficulty... it is really great." Xiao Yan held the thin piece of paper, smiled bitterly and shook his head. He then lifted his head and glanced in all directions, only to realize that there was some bitterness on many of the alchemists' faces. Tilting his head, he eyed the Little Princess and Liu Ling on his left and right. The both of them appeared much calmer. However, they were still both frowning slightly as they recognized some of the problems with the formula recorded on the thin paper.
Xiao Yan gently inhaled a breath of air. He could only turn his focus towards the thin piece of paper. This kind of strange examination was something that he had never tried before, therefore his heart felt a little uneasy.
During the time that Xiao Yan withdrew his gaze, Liu Ling turned his gaze over. He saw the bitter smile on the former's face that had yet to disappear and could not help but softly give a cold laugh. He whispered, "Humph. So what if you are outstanding in refining the medicinal ingredients. I have already said that the examination during the Grand Meeting is not simply competing on that front. Next, let me see how you embarrass yourself in front of Nalan Yanran... country bumpkin..."
Having received Gu He's extremely orthodox teachings, Liu Ling had extremely great confidence in himself for this Grand Meeting. Therefore, he wanted to obtain the champion spot for the Grand Meeting. After which, he would have the qualification to pursue the goddess in his heart, Nalan Yanran...
On the enormous open ground, all the competitors were holding the thin paper with both hands. They displayed many different expressions as they read. In an instant, the entire plaza was totally silent.
The quiet atmosphere continued for nearly five minutes. A clear bell then sounded abruptly within the open ground.
Hearing the bell ring, all the competitors spontaneously placed the things in their hands down. They beckoned with their hands and instantly, thousands of cauldrons of different colors and shapes suddenly appeared on the green rock tables.
Following the ringing of the bell, Fa Ma, who had his eyes closed also opened them. He swept his gaze under him as his slow voice sounded by everyone's ears, "I think that all of you should have understood something. During this first round of the competition, all of you need to follow this incomplete medicinal formula to refine a medicinal pill that is a finished product. Each of you have two tries. If the medicinal pill is not successfully refined after two attempts, the jade mirror behind the green table will automatically display a red light. When the red light flicks on, that person will exit the competition ground..."
"On the wall opposite all of you, there is a huge hourglass. That is the time limit for the competition. Those who still fail to refine the medicinal pill before all the sand in the hour glass falls will similarly fail."
"Do you all understand?" Fa Ma said with a smile.
"Yes!" The sound that was projected forward from the ground below was like a muffled thunder that roared upward.
"Since it's like this, then... the first round of the examination shall now begin!"
Fa Ma slowly lifted his palm as he smiled. He abruptly swung it down. At this moment, thousands of flames suddenly appeared in the large open ground like fireworks. The spectacular scene caused peoples' fiery blood to boil!