Chapter 309: The Source of The Problem
On the huge square, most of the alchemists were joyful once they inspected the formula and immediately lit their Dou Qi flames and began preparing measures to refine the pills.
Of course, among so many alchemists, there were naturally some cautious ones who upon looking at the simple test were surprised and hesitated. But upon discovering nothing wrong, they could only helplessly shake their heads, and light their fires...
Xiao Yan firmly observed the rising purple flames in the cauldron. After the temperature of the flame had reached a sufficient temperature, he slowly began to throw in the medicinal ingredients one by one. His pupils constricted as he slowly began to refine.
Right after Xiao Yan began refining, Liu Ling and the Little Princess on his sides, slightly frowned, and also started refining. They had the orthodox formula, and with their capabilities, as long as they were careful, refining should not be too difficult. That is, unless they suffered a stroke of extremely bad luck. After all, no matter what, it was impossible to have a success rate of 100% when it came to refining.
As the refining of the medicine once again began, the noise from the two seating galleries at the sides also gradually decreased. Numerous gazes swept over the alchemists in the open square, eyeing those within the open ground with envious faces as the latter released essence like flames with the raise of their hands.
In front of the VIP seats, Fa Ma stood with his hands held together. His gaze was directly locked onto the gray robed young man at a remote spot on the open ground. Seeing that the methods the gray robed man used while refining medicine was as well versed as some of the elders within the association, he knit his eyebrows slightly. With a soft voice, he muttered, "This kind of extremely practiced skill is something that one could not possibly have without decades to train... this person is indeed very strange. But why is it that I have not heard when such a high tier alchemist had appeared in the Chu Yun Empire? Don't tell me that he is new to the scene?"
"Let's first see if he can pass this round..." Fa Ma sighed and once again threw his gaze back toward Xiao Yan's three-man group. He softly said, "Hopefully, these three fellows can also pass... please don't be too careless."
As the time slowly flowed by, some of the competitors within the open ground, whose abilities were quite good, had already refined all the necessary quantities of medicinal ingredients needed. After hesitating for a moment, they clenched their teeth and poured all the essence components into the medicinal cauldron, beginning the final part of the refinement.
Xiao Yan's gaze focused on the medicinal ingredients that were writhing within the Purple Flame. As he was worried about the possibility of some problems suddenly arising, his refining speed this time around was extremely slow. This resulted in him still refining carefully at a steady pace while many other competitors had already refined all the essential components of medicinal ingredients.
"It appears that there isn't any problem..." After some time, Xiao Yan eyed the pile of pale-purple that had been formed from the grilling of a medicinal ingredient with the Purple Flame. He muttered to himself, opened the cauldron cover and sucked out the pale-purple powder before storing it within a jade bottle.
iao Yan's gaze slowly swept across the nine jade bottles in front of him. The necessary ingredients to refine this 'Wind Walking Pill' had already been completely refined by him. Next was the last step of merging them together.
Xiao Yan slowly rubbed the warm surface of the jade bottle as he mused for a moment. Finally, he ceased hesitating. With a wave of his hand, he threw all the ingredients within the jade bottle into the medicinal cauldron. At this time however, a soft muffled sound was suddenly emitted from a green table not far away from him. Xiao Yan raised his eyes to take a look. At that spot, an alchemist was foolishly staring at the pile of black ashes that was discharged from the medicinal cauldron. Clearly, this was a product from a failed refining attempt...
"How can it be? Didn't I completely follow the medicinal formula? Why did I fail?" The alchemist mumbled in a soft and doubtful manner. A moment later, the him who did not have any answer could only attribute the failure this time around to his failure of controlling the flame. Therefore, he swiftly cleared out the ashes and began to throw in the last set of medicinal ingredients into the medicinal cauldron as though he had done it a thousand times before and began to proceed with the refinement.
Xiao Yan narrowed his eyes as he watched the alchemist's action. His hand, which was lifting a jade bottle was slowly placed down. His gaze stared at the latter's every action. This alchemist was someone whom Xiao Yan had seen previously at the internal test. Logically speaking, the him who possessed the ability of a tier three alchemist should not make an extremely low level mistake like improper control of the flame when refining a tier three medicinal pill. Although it was said in this manner, the true event that had appeared in front of him was that he had indeed failed in the refining...
"Something is a little off..." Xiao Yan muttered softly. He tried his best to calm himself down. When he glanced at his two sides, he realized that Little Princess and Liu Ling had already began merging the medicinal ingredients.
As more and more time passed, numerous soft muffled sounds from the medicinal cauldrons occurred one after another on the large open ground. The alchemists who failed stared at the dark black soot that came scattering out of the cauldrons with completely stunned faces. Their perplexed eyes let everyone knew that they did not appear to know where the problem came from.
The people on the audience seats began to whisper privately amongst themselves as they watched the alchemists who had suddenly become foolish looking.
"Bang, bang..." Another two soft muffled sound was emitted by Xiao Yan's two sides. He turned his head to take a look. Upon seeing the ugly expressions of Liu Ling and Little Princess, he slowly exhaled.
"It seems there's something wrong." On the VIP seats, Ya Fei softly said. As she did so, her astonished eyes watched all the alchemist on the open ground turning into fools exchanging glances with each other.
"Something is indeed wrong... Although I am not an alchemist, I also know that one's success rate in refinement would greatly increase if one refined according to the medicinal formula. However, those below, including Liu Ling and Little Princess... all seem to have failed..." Nalan Yanran knitted her eyebrows together and said.
"This examination question... seems to have concealed a mystery." Yao Ye's long right leg was crossed over her left one. She watched the open ground which had a strange atmosphere and spoke.
"Bang..." Another muffled sound was suddenly transmitted from a spot a short distance in front of Xiao Yan. The tier three alchemist who had failed earlier still ended in failure during the merging portion this time around. The current him was eyeing the dark black soot spilling out from the bottom of the medicinal cauldron with a green face.
After this sound rang, a red glow suddenly lit up from the jade mirror in front of the tier three alchemist. Evidently, he had lost his last chance after consuming both portions of medicinal ingredients.
On the open ground, numerous gazes eyed this alchemist who was the first to be knocked off. Seeing his ending, some of the people who were impulsively planning to immediately refine again were frightened. They calmed down and no longer dared to carelessly waste their last portion of medicinal ingredients.
That alchemists entire body trembled as he picked up his medicinal cauldron with a green face. After which, he angrily walked out of the place while being filled with fury and incomprehension. While he was walking passed Xiao Yan, the latter could vaguely hear him muttering to himself in an unresigned manner, "Bastard. How could I have fail again? My control over the flame was clearly very good. Why is it that they wouldn't merge?"
Xiao Yan sent the alchemist off with his gaze. He rubbed the warm and moist jade bottle as he narrowed his eyes. A long while later, he suddenly poured the ingredients within the bottle into the medicinal cauldron. The current him needed to personally sense exactly what the reason that caused so many participants to be unable to successfully refine the medicinal pill.
Xiao Yan's gaze stared intently at the writhing purple colored flame. In a systematic manner, he placed the ingredients contained within the nine jade bottles into the medicinal cauldron one at a time. After which, he controlled the Purple Flame and separated them. Finally, he inhaled a deep breath and began to carefully merge them...
As he had witnessed the many people before him, Xiao Yan was almost more cautious than anyone else this time around. His Spiritual Strength spewed out, covering every inch of the Purple Flame. He did his best to store all the reactions created when each type of medicinal ingredient was merged and precisely sent them to his mind.
When Xiao Yan began to raise his flame and perform the merger, some of the alchemists around him including Liu Ling and the Little Princess threw their gazes over. Under the circumstances where they did not have any other solution, they could only hope that this young man who obtained the best result in the internal test could solve this difficult problem...
Xiao Yan ignored the surrounding gazes as he put all his attention into controlling the Purple Flame. Under the grilling of the Purple Flame, the ingredients were gradually and successfully being merged one after another.
"Three-tailed Wing Leaf... successfully merged!"
"Cloud Grass... successfully merged!"
"Off-ground Fruit... successfully merged!"
One by one, the ingredients were successfully merged without the slightest resistance under the sensitive senses of Xiao Yan's Spiritual Strength.
"Thick-soil Ganoderma..." Xiao Yan's eyebrows suddenly knit slightly together. His expression suddenly and immediately changed. The flame that was rising within the medicinal cauldron writhed intensely. Instantly, a soft muffled sound was emitted from within it and some black colored soot was spilled out.
"Ah..." Hearing the muffled sound, the people around sighed in disappointment..
Xiao Yan slowly opened his eyes and eyed the dark black soot on the rock table. He was silent for a moment. His finger dipped and scooped up a little of it and rubbed it with the tip of his fingers. Quick flashes of the somewhat unnatural ripple that was transmitted to him through his Spiritual Strength during the merging process earlier appeared in his mind.
After being silent for a while, Xiao Yan's rubbing hands abruptly stiffened. His gaze suddenly paused on that medicinal formula scroll on the rock table. He pursed his lips up slightly, tightened his fist and softly muttered, "Dammit... there is something wrong with the medicinal formula..."
"Heh, what a group of useless people..." On the quiet open ground, a soft, ridicule-like laughter suddenly resounded, causing everyone to stare angrily.
As his gaze followed the voice and drifted over, Xiao Yan realized that the person who emitted the voice was actually the gray robed young man at a remote corner. The current him also had a pile of black colored soot on the rock table in front of him. From the looks of it, it appeared that he had similarly failed in his first attempt.
The gray robed young man ignored those gazes that were filled with fury. The corner of his mouth contained a cold smile as he suddenly threw the last medicinal ingredient on the table into the medicinal cauldron. The faint laughter reverberated in the open ground, "Looks like I am leading in this round. The alchemists in the Jia Ma Empire are only so-so..."
As he spoke, the gray robe young man's speed was not reduced by the slightest. One after another, the medicinal ingredients were swiftly being refined within the flame. Seeing his manner, it appeared that he was also clear of where the source of the problem was during his previous failed attempt.
With a frown, Xiao Yan watched the gray robed young man that did not hide his wild arrogance before he suddenly smiled coldly. His calm voice similarly reverberated in the air above, "That may not be so..."
Hearing this voice, the gray robed young man's hands abruptly paused. He raised his head and stared at Xiao Yan with icy cold blue colored eyes. The corner of his mouth twitched, giving off an extremely dense ridicule.
Ignoring the displeased gaze of the gray robed young man, Xiao Yan suddenly turned his body around. He waved his hand and the remaining medicinal ingredients were all thrown into the medicinal cauldron. Immediately, he lifted his right hand slowly. He mused for a moment, then an elegant green-colored flame suddenly appeared in front of a countless number of shocked gazes...