Chapter 339: Exposed
Nalan Yanran was startled as she watched Xiao Yan below from her position high in the sky. The familiar action of spitting Purple Flames which he had displayed earlier as well as the green-colored flame in his hand caused the young man called Yan Xiao, who had left an extremely deep impression in her mind, to slowly surface.
The somewhat skinny figure of the two of them gradually began to come into contact within her mind. Immediately, they merged perfectly.
Other than that face, the expression or presence of the current Xiao Yan did not differ with the young man who had beat the young alchemist from the Chu Yun Empire with his own strength at the Imperial family square back then.
"Yan Xiao, Xiao Yan. Yan Xiao, Xiao Yan." A soft mutter was emitted from her mouth. At this moment, Nalan Yanran had appeared to come to a sudden realization. She abruptly understood some things. The mysterious young person who had used the Alchemist Grand Meeting to become the leader of the younger generation of the Jia Ma Empire, and the very person who had even caused Nalan Yanran to involuntarily feel an admiration for despite her haughty character; was actually this young man whom she had viewed as trash three years ago!
The back of Nalan Yanran's teeth bit on her bottom red lip. The expression on that pretty face of hers repeatedly changed while her hands covered her mouth. That stiffened body of hers appeared to have been struck by lightning and was numb to the point where it was almost detached from her control. This sudden discovery had caused Nalan Yanran's calm mind to instantly become a cluster of glue. Her originally indifferent face had become somewhat pale at this moment.
This was the first person of similar age and opposite gender who had caused an admiration and unusual emotion to form in Nalan Yanran's heart in all these years. Yet he was actually the young man whom she had viewed as useless and stepped on his pride back then.
This kind of gap which appeared to be of two different worlds caused Nalan Yanran to have a giddy feeling as though she were dreaming.
"He is Yan Xiao."
The sudden discovery also caused Jia Xing Tian, Fa Ma, Nalan Jie, and the others on the tops of the trees to descend into a dull state. Perhaps, the first two had a faint feeling since the beginning of the fight, but they still felt somewhat absurd when the truth was revealed in front of their eyes.
"Yan Xiao, Xiao Yan. Ah, we are really muddled in our old age." Fa Ma shook his head and sighed. He eyed the skinny figure of the young man on the battleground. With a bitter smile, he said, "It is really unexpected. Not only does this fellow have such an outstanding talent for refining pills, even his training talent is also this terrifying. Ah, indeed most heroes come from among the young."
"He is indeed a young man who has extraordinary talent. This time around, the Nalan clan and the Misty Cloud Sect have really chosen the wrong party to suppress. They have really suffered a great loss." Jia Xing Tian's expression was a little strange. Having seen Xiao Yan's performance at the Alchemist Grand Meeting, it was only natural that he clearly understood just what kind of enormous potential this young person possessed. As long as one gave him sufficient time, Jia Xing Tian believed that even with the Misty Cloud Sect's strength, they might have to be afraid of him.
"This time around, this Nalan clan has really poured their regret all the way into their intestine (feel a great sense of regret)." The faces of Mu Chen, Primer Tengshan along with the others on the huge trees were similarly filled with shocked. A moment later, their gazes all swept toward Nalan Jie who had become completely stunned. Their faces could not help but reveal some pity.
"Hu." Nalan Jie exhaled a long breath before he immediately, violently, inhaled another one. After repeating this for a couple of times, Nalan Jie finally relaxed that comical dull expression on his face. His hands were forcefully acting calm as he patted his sleeves. However, the repeatedly shaking leaves near the peak of the tree just under his feet, exposed the panic and loss he felt within his heart.
"Xiao Yan is that Yan Xiao?" Nalan Jie's gaze stared intently at the young man in the battleground. In his mind, the back of that figure wearing an alchemist robe gradually covered over Xiao Yan, finally merging perfectly together.
The corner of Nalan Jie's mouth involuntarily quivered a little. The expression on his face currently had a brilliance which one could not describe with words. If the ability that Xiao Yan had displayed earlier had already caused Nalan Jie to feel bitterness, the other identity which had suddenly appeared truly caused Nalan Jie's heart to abruptly tighten.
A young person who not only had outstanding training talent, but also possessed a terrifying talent when refining pills, that one could not stop praising, was someone that any huge faction would fight over. Whoever had him would basically have an extremely strong person in the future. His Nalan clan, however, had actually pushed this young man, with an extremely frightening talent, out the main door.
During the period of time that Xiao Yan adopted the identity of Yan Xiao, Nalan Jie could be considered to have become quite familiar with him during their contact with each other. It was also due to this that he could sense the impressiveness of this young person even more clearly. Among the younger generation whom he had met over the many years, the former was definitely the leader regardless of whether it was in terms of talent or mental strength. With Xiao Yan possessing these two things, Nalan Jie did not doubt that the level which this young person could reach in the future would surpass many of the strong people at the peak of the Jia Ma Empire.
This person who should have become a thick shield for the Nalan clan as well as a strong person with limitless potential, had already been thrown out from the Nalan clan's camp in the most hurtful manner by Nalan Yanran. This resulted in the current situation where they held their weapons against each other. The two completely different situations had caused waves of throbbing pain to spread from his heart.
"Ah." Nalan Jie let out a long breath. At this moment, he could not say anything more. With the hard feelings Xiao Yan had for Nalan Yanran, did Nalan Jie really think that he could cause Xiao Yan and Nalan Yanran to reconcile just because of his words? For this Three Year Agreement, Xiao Yan had undergone tough training for three years. Even though Nalan Jie did not have exact news of Xiao Yan during these three years, anyone could imagine that it was impossible to swiftly rise to Xiao Yan's current level, within three years, without undergoing a lonely hellish training which an ordinary person would have difficulty receiving regardless of how outstanding one's talent was!
Nalan Jie let out an intense cough and his originally sleek red face had turned pale and dark without him noticing. Due to his complicated emotions, he currently appeared to have suddenly become much older. His sickly manner caused everyone around him to understand that the blow this time around was really too large for this person helming the Nalan clan. After all, who could maintain being calm when they saw a useless son-in-law who was originally abandoned by their clan suddenly change into someone who had an identity that was enough to stun everyone? This was especially so when this son-in-law would have originally become the thickest shield of the Nalan clan and help them block the blows from a wild storm. Unfortunately, this shield had already become a sharp spear which was pointed toward them. The tip of the spear even reflected a denseness that caused Nalan Jie to feel a chill within his bones.
"Yan Xiao. This Xiao Yan is actually Yan Xiao?" On the other side, Liu Ling's face was also filled with shock and he let out an involuntary cry as he stared at Xiao Yan in the battleground.
"Yan Xiao? That young person who had become the champion of this season's Alchemist Grand Meeting?" Hearing this, Gu He frowned slightly, turned his head and asked.
"Yes." Liu Ling nodded his head and said with a bitter smile, "It is really unexpected that he is actually Xiao Yan. All of us have been deceived by him." As he spoke these words, Liu Ling finally heaved a heavy sigh of relief in his heart. Since Yan Xiao was Xiao Yan, it was likely that he would not have any feelings for Nalan Yanran. Since this was the case, the person whom he originally viewed as his strongest competitor had abruptly disappeared. This was undoubtedly a happy thing for Liu Ling.
"According to what I know, the Xiao Yan three years ago did not know how to refine medicine (alchemy skills). From then until now, only three years have passed. Yet he is actually able to refine a 'Three-Lines Green Spirit Pill', a tier four medicinal pill of such grade. If this is true, then isn't his talent in refining medicine a little too terrifying." Gu He said in a deep voice.
"Although it is a little embarrassing to say this, he is the only person among the younger generation whom I admire. His talent in refining pills is really very frightening." Liu Ling seriously said.
"You will also admit defeat? Looks like your failure in the Grand Meeting this time around was somewhat beneficial to you. At the very least, you are no longer as arrogant as you were in the past." Gu He said as glanced at Liu Ling, feeling a little surprised. With his knowledge of this disciple of his, he naturally clearly knew of the haughtiness in the latter's bones. It was really unexpected that Liu Ling would feel respect for this Xiao Yan who was clearly a little younger than him.
Hearing this, Liu Ling laughed awkwardly. He did not dare continue the conversation with knowledge that his past arrogance had given Gu He a headache along with a feeling of helplessness.
"The green-colored flame in his hand should be a kind of 'Heavenly Flame' while the purple-colored flame seems to be a type of 'Beast Flame', which he likely obtained from some sort of high tier Magical Beast's body." Ge He was undoubtedly an alchemist grandmaster. With one glance, he managed to identify the background of the 'Green Lotus Core Flame' and the Purple Flame.
"To be able to control two kinds of flames with such familiarity... the Spiritual Strength of this Xiao Yan isn't weak. It's no wonder that even you have lost to him. Being able to control two flames at the same time is something that even some tier four alchemists have difficulty doing." The ignorant just simply watched the excitement while the experts observed the essence and skills. With just a mere rough glance, Gu He was able to see some of the unique points of Xiao Yan.
Liu Ling hurriedly nodded his head by Gu He's side.
"But why does this green-colored flame give me a sort of familiar feeling?" Gu He suddenly knit his eyebrows together and said in an uncertain soft voice.
"Green-colored 'Heavenly Flame'." Gu He slowly muttered from his mouth. His expression suddenly flickered between being bright and dark as it changed. Suddenly, he recalled how he had spent a great amount of effort in the Tager Desert back then and even broke into the deep regions of the desert, coming into conflict with Queen Medusa. At the very end, all of it seemed to be for a kind of green-colored 'Heavenly Flame', no?
After returning from the desert, Gu He had also clearly thought out some things. In their journey to the Tager Desert this time around, they seemed to have been plotted against by someone else. The group's effort had finally ended up benefiting that mysterious person.
His eyes slowly narrowed. Ge He stared intently at Xiao Yan's face. For some unknown reason, he kept feeling that this face appeared to belong to someone whom he had met. He continued frowning. At one instance, his eyes suddenly strunk. He had finally remembered!
The person whom they had unintentionally rescued from the hands of the female Snake-person chief at the desert back then was Xiao Yan!
This thought began to stir in a lightning like manner within Gu He's mind. All the doubts he had back then appeared to have fallen into place at this moment and everything made sense now. No wonder his group's trail was so clearly grasped. No wonder there was someone who took the lead, secretly sneaking into the city while they were held off by Queen Medusa and obtained the 'Heavenly Flame'.
One by one, all the mysteries began to intertwine with each other. Finally, the delicate and handsome face of the young man suddenly appeared.
Gu He let out a deep breath. He had come to a sudden realization. Back then, the person who had become the beneficiary during the time they were entangled with Queen Medusa definitely had some relation to Xiao Yan which the latter could not shrink from, even if it were not Xiao Yan himself.
"What a 'good' fellow. He actually played us all." Gu He inserted his hands into his sleeves. With narrow eyes, he watched Xiao Yan in the battleground. His heart suddenly had a feeling of not knowing whether to laugh or cry. The line-up of that group of his back then could basically dominate the entire Jia Ma Empire. However, they ended up falling for the plans of a young man who was not even twenty.
"Although I don't know how exactly you did it, but now, you should first settle this difficulty in front of you. Nalan Yanran's 'Wind's Peak' is not something that can be easily ignored."