Chapter 318: Failure
The strange scene that had suddenly appeared on the open ground was also out of Xiao Yan's expectations. He eyed the numerous stunned gazes that were shot toward him and could only helplessly shrug his shoulders. With a shake of his hand, he threw the green colored flame into the medicinal cauldron. Only at this point did the flames in the competitor's hands return to normal.
"This fellow." The Little Princess softly mumbled. She was a little depressed. Having never witnessed the strength of a 'Heavenly Flame', she had always thought that her 'Dry Blue Water Flame' was not much weaker than it. However, with the supernatural display of her flame just now, any observant person would be able to tell on sight that it was far beneath the 'Heavenly Flame'. Otherwise, it would not display this kind of subservient manner.
Compared to the Little Princess dispiritedness, Liu Ling's face was slightly ugly. The brown colored flame was something that his teacher had invited numerous strong people in order to obtain from a rank five Magical Beast's body, which was similar to a human of a Dou Wang class. It was really unexpected that before it gained any limelight after being displayed today, it actually saluted another person's flame. This really caused him to be speechless.
"Humph. What is the use of having a good flame? If one is unable to control it, one would only end up incinerating himself by playing with fire." Yan Li let out a soft cold laugher as he placed the black colored flame on his hand into the cauldron.
As the strange phenomenon disappeared on the open ground, all the competitors also gradually pulled back their minds, returning them to focusing on the examination question they were facing. The flames on their hands were poured into the medicinal cauldron. After which, all of them took out their medicinal ingredients and began the first step of refining medicinal pill, purifying.
Xiao Yan's gaze stared intently at the medicinal cauldron. Occasionally, he would wave his hand and throw one or two medicinal ingredients from the stone table into the medicinal cauldron. After which, he controlled the temperature of the flame and slowly refined the necessary essence needed to refine the medicinal pill according to the information that was recorded on the medicinal formula.
Although there was a very detailed medicinal formula in his mind, Xiao Yan did not dare to be even the slightest bit careless. There were only three sets of medicinal ingredients that had been prepared this time around. If he lost a medicinal ingredient because of a careless mistake, it would significantly raise his chances of failure in refining. This was something that Xiao Yan could not accept. Therefore, he did not dare to throw in all the medicinal ingredients in at once despite his ability to control the 'Green Lotus Core Flame'. Instead, he chose the safest method of refining only two medicinal ingredients at a time.
There were quite a number of people who shared Xiao Yan's thinking. This included Little Princess, Liu Ling. Even that Yan Li, who had always been arrogant, was currently adopting a serious expression as he carefully controlled the flame, meticulously refining each medicinal ingredient. Everyone clearly knew just how heart breaking it would be to lose a medicinal ingredient at such a moment.
All the competitors on the open ground maintained silence. Only a crackling sound was emitted as the flames refining the medicinal ingredients reverberated throughout the open ground.
Being infected by this kind of quiet atmosphere, the originally somewhat noisy seats on both sides also gradually quietened down. All their gazes roamed over the alchemists on the open ground below.
"They have indeed all hid something. The young people these days..." Nalan Jie, who was seated on the VIP seats, eyed the rising flame on the open ground below and could not help but smile as he said, "But seeing the strange phenomenon just now, it looks like little friend Yan Xiao is better than the rest."
"A 'Heavenly Flame' is a strange object that even elder Gu He never possessed. Its power is naturally something that those flames of Little Princess and the others, which were obtained from Magic Beasts. could not be compared with." Nalan Yanran by the side smiled as she replied.
"Ke ke, that's right." Nalan Jie nodded his head. After which, he abruptly turned it to Nalan Yanran and said with a frown, "Was the person from the Misty Cloud Sect who came this morning asking you to return?"
"Yes." Nalan Yanran nodded slightly.
"Ah." Nalan Jie sighed gently. His voice was somewhat low, "Is it because the Three Year Agreement is approaching?"
Hearing this, the wrist which Nalan Yanran used to push aside her black hair abruptly stilled. She pursed up her red lips and softly said, "That should be part of the reason."
"Xiao Yan has already vanished for nearly two years. I have told you before that when he left Wu Tan City, he had already agglomerated and formed his Qi vortex and become a Dou Zhe. This was done in less than a year. You should also clearly know how difficult it is to raise one's Dou Qi before one becomes a Dou Zhe. Yet, he once again rose suddenly in a lightning like manner in less than a year. In other words, the training talent that had strangely disappeared back then has once again appeared." Nalan Yanran let out a long sigh. He said in a deep voice, "During these two years, there has been no information about him. However, I think that according to his training talent, I'm afraid that he would at least be at the Dou Shi class."
Nalan Yanran nodded her head.
"Ah, I don't want to say anymore. You won't listen even if I said them. However, I hope that you will apologize to him regardless of who wins or loses in the Three Year Agreement." Nalan Jie rubbed his forehead and said somewhat tiredly.
"Apologize?" Hearing this, Nalan Yanran knit her eyebrows slightly together. Immediately, she stared at Nalan Jie somewhat stubbornly. "I did no wrong! Why should I apologize."
"You could have easily privately went to the Xiao clan and nicely ask Xiao Zhan if he could cancel the wedding engagement. Perhaps, all of these problems would not have happened if you did that, but you deliberately chose to borrow the strength of the Misty Cloud Sect and forcefully pressured the Xiao clan into cancelling the engagement. You clearly know just how great a blow this was to the Xiao clan's reputation. It is just that as your status grew increasingly prominent during these few years, you were unwilling to open your mouth and apologize." Nalan Jie looked at his granddaughter indifferently and said, "But do you know that if things continue on like this, it will only deepen the gap between you and Xiao Yan."
"Even if the gap did not deepen, he and I can never be together. Since it is impossible, then it does not matter if the gap deepens." Nalan Yanran frowned and waved her hand to stop Nalan Jie. She softly said, "Grandfather, you don't need to bother about my matter. In any case, once the Three Year Agreement is over, he and I will no longer have any interactions from then on. It is not as though no one is interested in your granddaughter, why do you repeatedly think about him? Alright, you should stop talking. Let's relax and watch the competition."
Once she said those words, Nalan Yanran turned her head and threw her gaze onto the open ground. A faint Dou Qi covered her ears, clearly not wanting to hear Nalan Jie's nagging.
Seeing this manner of hers, Nalan Jie was helpless even though he was somewhat furious. Moreover, since this was a public place thus, he could only glare angrily at her before helplessly turning to gaze at the open ground.
At this moment, nearly half an hour had passed since the start of the examination. Some of the alchemists on the open ground who needed to refine less medicinal ingredients had already completely refined all of them. Additionally, they had also began preparing for the next step.
Xiao Yan ignored those participants who had completed their refination and was totally focused as he stared at his medicinal cauldron. His left hand would occasionally throw a medicinal ingredient in while his right hand hurriedly sucked out the ingredients in the medicinal cauldron that had been refined before storing them into jade bottles.
While Xiao Yan was kept busy this way, some perspiration gradually appeared on his forehead. He did not bother to wipe it off as he threw in the last medicinal ingredient on the stone table into the medicinal cauldron. Over ten minutes later, he carefully took out the last ingredient that had been refined and stored it into his jade bottle.
Seeing that the refining process was this smooth, Xiao Yan finally heaved a long sigh of relief. He turned his head and looked around. With some surprise, he discovered that Little Princess, Liu Ling, and Yan Li had actually not completed their refinement.
"Tsk tsk, looks like the tier of the medicinal pills that they want to refine isn't going to be low. Although the quantity of the medicinal ingredients does not represent the tier of a medicinal pill, those that required more ingredients to be refined and more complex in nature usually belong to a higher tier." Xiao Yan shook his head slightly and rested for a moment. After which, he adopted a serious expression as he began the next step to fuse the ingredients into a pill.
The green colored flame slowly rose within the medicinal cauldron. His pupils stared intently at the leaping flame seedling. A moment later, his hands abruptly began dancing. One bottle after another, the ingredient essences that he had refined earlier were being orderly thrown into the medicinal cauldron by him. The flame seedling immediately pounced forward, wrapping those medicinal ingredients in an instant.
Closing his eyes, Xiao Yan's turbulent Spiritual Strength was emitted from between his eyebrows. At this moment, his Spiritual Strength appeared to be out in force, each of the subtle reactions from any portion of the fusing ingredients within the medicinal cauldron would be instantly transmitted into his mind. After which, he would swiftly compare it with the reaction recorded on the medicinal formula to decide if the direction of the refining process was correct.
As Xiao Yan began to merge and form a pill, the Little Princess, Liu Ling, and Yan Li had also completed refining their ingredients one after another. Without any rest or unnecessary words, they quickly placed the ingredients that they had refined into the medicinal cauldron and similarly began the step of fusing them into a pill.
There were some soft muffled sounds being occasionally emitted on the large open ground. These sounds were something that alchemists were very familiar with. This was because each time they failed in refining a medicinal pill, this kind of vexing sound would appear. Following which, there would occasionally be some dejected faced competitors leaving the competition ground. Therefore, the original hundred plus competitors on the open ground was gradually being reduced.
This Grand Meeting was like a sieve with quite a large hole, eliminating those small sized and weak competitors. Those who had the qualification to remain after being filtered for a couple of rounds were naturally among the top of the younger generation.
Time slowly passed by. Some of the competitors on the open ground who originally had calm expressions also began to pant a little. Such a huge burden and consumption really caused people to become tired.
"Can you see which of the medicinal pills that they are refining are of a higher tier?" Hai Bodong slowly walked to a spot behind Fa Ma, eyed the open ground and inquired softly.
"I can't tell now." Fa Ma shook his head and voiced his thoughts, "However, it is still possible to spot some clues when the pills are about to be formed. When a tier four medicinal pill is taking shape, it will emit its own unique pill fragrance. The more concentrated the pill fragrance is, the higher the grade of the medicinal pill being refined. When a tier five medicinal pill is about to be formed, a substantive energy ripple will appear out of nowhere due to the large energy that is being contained within the pill."
Hai Bodong nodded his head slightly and ceased questioning. His hands were placed behind his back as he quietly waited for the results of the competition.
Half an hour passed by under the expectations of countless of people. On the high platform, Fa Ma's expression suddenly changed and a joy surfaced on his old face. His gaze eyed the direction Xiao Yan was at. At that spot, a faint pill fragrance was being emitted and spread from the dark red cauldron.
"This little fellow is so fast in forming the pill? The 'Heavenly Flame' is indeed extraordinary."
The faint medicinal fragrance that was being spread from within Xiao Yan's medicinal cauldron was also sensed by Little Princess, Liu Ling, and Yan Li not far away. The first two appeared slightly surprised. However, Yan Li laughed coldly with disdain after smelling the pill fragrance. According to the density of this kind of medicinal fragrance, it could not be compared with the medicinal pill that he was refining this time around. If this was the foundation of that fellow, then the champion spot this time around would undoubtedly belong to Yan Li.
Xiao Yan's gaze stared intently at the green colored medicinal pill that was ceaselessly rolling within the medicinal cauldron. He sniffed the pill fragrance that drifted around and shook his head slightly. An ordinary 'Three-Line Green Spirit Pill' would have difficulty attaining victory.
"I can only go all out," Xiao Yan sighed softly. He suddenly inhaled a deep breath that contained some of the medicinal fragrance in the air. His right hand then swiftly took out a pale purple Danwan from his storage ring. After which, he squeezed it into his mouth and chewed. At the same time, he abruptly withdrew the Spiritual Strength controlling the green colored flame. As he did so, the originally turbulent green colored flame quietly became small with a 'puff' sound. The instant when the green colored flame was about to disappear, Xiao Yan opened his mouth and a cluster of purple colored flame flew out, finally pouring into the medicinal cauldron.
"This little fellow is actually thinking of refining the second line?" Seeing Xiao Yan's action, Fa Ma, who had just sighed in relief, suddenly felt his heart become tense. He also knew that if Xiao Yan wanted to obtain victory, an ordinary 'Three-Line Green Spirit Pill' was insufficient. However, when refining the 'Three-Line Green Spirit Pill', the most difficult point to grasp was the time when the flame needed to be changed. It should be known that even when Fa Ma refined it back then, he had failed two to three times before succeeding. Xiao Yan, on the other hand, had merely obtained the medicinal formula for one night. There were many crucial details that were impossible for him to thoroughly understand and grasp. After all, regardless of how much talent he had, it was impossible for him to completely study a tier four medicinal formula in such a short time.
"Little fellow, be careful. You don't have many chances."
Fa Ma softly muttered In a certain instance, his expression abruptly changed. He suddenly sensed that the originally calm flame within Xiao Yan's cauldron had suddenly become disorderly. This was the mistake that most easily appeared as well as most difficult to avoid during the change between flames.
Fa Ma's gaze stared intently at the middle of the open ground. At that spot, the medicinal cauldron's purple colored flame appeared to be about to rush out of the containment of the cauldron's cover. The temperature of the surrounding air around the stone table had also been grilled until it became somewhat illusionary.
After creating such a big activity, countless gazes from the audience seat immediately turned over. When they saw Xiao Yan's perspiration filled red face, they all took soft breaths.
"Ah, it has failed." Fa Ma sighed softly after a while as he felt that increasingly violent fluctuations. His old face had some bitterness.
After Fa Ma's sound fell, a muffled ear-piercing sound was suddenly emitted from the medicinal cauldron in front of Xiao Yan. The purple colored flame were suddenly extinguished. Faint black colored ashes came pouring out of the medicinal cauldron.
"Ah." Hearing that muffled sound, the audience on the seats at both sides let out a wave of regretful sighs.