Chapter 875: Method
Everyone sat in different seats within the hall as Xiao Yan smiled and looked at the two people across from him. He had seen Wu Hao once in the 'Black-Corner Region' and he had not changed much. Hu Jia, however, had transformed from the little witch of the past to a refreshingly capable appearance. Her short hair caused her to lack the delicate feeling of a woman. Instead, it gave her a heroic aura. Everyone had undergone varying degrees of change during these two years.
After having been separated for a long time, it was naturally unavoidable that they engaged in a lively conversation. The smile on Wu Hao's face had never been reduced during their chat. He had always held respect for Xiao Yan in his heart. This respect had already been faintly present since Xiao Yan had defeated Hu Jia, Bai Shan, and him without help during the Outer Academy's examination. This respect greatly increased in the days that followed.
Hu Jia, on the other hand, was different from him. Her words were forthright, and she did not hide her displeasure with Xiao Yan being an owner who threw everything to others. On the whole, however, she was still quite excited to be able to see Xiao Yan again.
"You have all become expert Dou Wangs during these two years. Congratulations." Xiao Yan lifted his teacup, smiled and sighed. He recalled the crazy things that their young group had done back then. At that time, they had merely been some small fish at the Da Dou Shi class.
"How can we compare with you..." Hu Jia curled her mouth. She sensed the vague presence of a powerful pressure seeping out of Xiao Yan's body the moment she entered the room. She naturally knew that the latter's strength had likely far surpass them.
Xiao Yan smiled and softly inquired, "How is the current 'Pan's Gate?'"
"It is naturally many times better than back then." A pride surfaced on Hu Jia's face when she mentioned this. She continued, "Wu Hao is currently an Inner Academy Elder. I also have the qualification to be promoted to an Elder. However, after considering that 'Pan's Gate' still needs to be managed, I do not have any plans on leaving. After all, once one becomes an Elder, one cannot intervene too much in the matter between students."
"There has not been much change with the members compared to back then. The numbers have fell significantly. If one were to count, it is likely that there are less than 300." Wu Hao by the side smiled and said. "Currently, the recruitment requirements of 'Pan's Gate' are extremely harsh. Normally, no more than fifty people are recruited every season. However, don't underestimate these two hundred people. Most of the top people within the Inner Academy are included among them. Their potential is extraordinary."
Xiao Yan nodded slightly upon hearing this. He smiled and said, "Quality is more important than quantity. It is also good this way. The harsher recruitment requirements cause the members of 'Pan's Gate' to put in a greater effort. They will do it for their honor. This point is extremely important."
The current Xiao Yan was no longer that novice who did not know anything back then. The current him has established two large factions known as 'Pan's Gate' and the Yan Alliance. He was also quite rich in experience.
"How many members of 'Pan's Gate' will enter the Xiao Gate after they graduate now?" Xiao Yan's finger tapped on the table as he asked an important question. Back then, the most important reason for his establishment of Xiao Gate was that 'Pan's Gate' possessed too much hidden potential. The students who were able to enter the Inner Academy had quite the great training talent. This kind of talent would be groomed by any faction with all their might. Currently, Xiao Gate and 'Pan's Gate' were connected. With the latter as a provisioner of potential, Xiao Gate would be able to obtain the support of new blood. Moreover, such new blood were those that were extremely extraordinary.
The reason that Xiao Gate's position within the 'Black-Corner Region' rose by the day during these two years was largely because of the existence of 'Pan's Gate.'
"Quite a few. Every member who is selected to enter 'Pan's Gate' is informed about the relationship between 'Pan's Gate' and Xiao Gate. Moreover, with the increase in trust, we will also allow some members to enter Xiao Gate in advance in order to increase the adaptability. Other than some special circumstances, there are twenty or so members of 'Pan's Gate' entering Xiao Gate every year." Hu Jia voiced her thoughts.
"Moreover, the current relationship between 'Pan's Gate' and Xiao Gate is also something that the Jia Nan Academy is aware of. They not only did not oppose it but instead seemed to support this. In this way, it caused the Xiao Gate to become more of a normality. Both support one another and obtain the greatest safeguard in this chaotic place." Wu Hao laughed.
Xiao Yan nodded slightly. A smile that seemed to have put down a heavy burden also surfaced on his face. The proper functions of 'Pan's Gate' had somewhat exceeded his expectations. As long as 'Pan's Gate' existed, the strength of Xiao Gate would greatly increase every year. Given enough time, likely no other factions would be able to contend with it in the 'Black-Corner Region' in the future.
"It has been tough on all of you during these two years..." Xiao Yan sighed. He faced Hu Jia and Wu Hao and sincerely thanked them. If it had not been for Hu Jia and Wu Hao, it was likely that 'Pan's Gate' would have difficulty functioning in such a manner. At that time, it was likely that his plans for Xiao Gate would have been completely dashed.
"Chi, don't give me all this. If you really feel guilty, this can be managed by you in the future..." Hu Jia curled her mouth and replied.
Xiao Yan involuntarily let out a bitter laugh and sighed when he heard this. "I also wish to stay safely here... however, there are too many things on my shoulders."
"Ke ke, she is merely complaining. That's right, how long will you stay in the Inner Academy this time around?" Wu Hao smiled and said.
The gazes of everyone in the hall were immediately thrown to Xiao Yan when they heard this question.
"I shall not stay for long. Once I resolve the matters in this place, I plan to head to the continent to search for 'Heavenly Flames'... it will likely consume an endless amount of my time. After all, it is too difficult to find a 'Heavenly Flame'..." Xiao Yan mused for a moment before slowly explaining.
"A 'Heavenly Flame' huh?" A glow flickered in Xin Lan's eyes by the side after she heard Xiao Yan's words. However, she did not open her mouth to say anything.
"You always have such busy life..." Hu Hao bitterly laughed. He immediately said, "Since you are back, you should also meet the brothers from 'Pan's Gate.' They are extremely curious about you. All of them view you as their idol. That position is something that even Hu Jia and I cannot compare with."
Xiao Yan smiled when he heard this. He stood up and heartily said, "That is only natural. Since I have returned, how can I not meet my own brothers?"
Xiao Mei looked at the somewhat skinny back after Xiao Yan stood up. She smiled a little. After having not seen the latter for two years, this person in front of her had matured and was able to give one a peaceful mind. The current him was just like a bright star that was emitting a brilliant light.
Xiao Yan met with the many brothers from 'Pan's Gate' as he had promised after he had smiled and chatted a little more with Wu Hao's group. After which, he beat a hasty retreat in front of Wu Hao's and the others comical gazes. He had not expected that these fellows would actually be so crazy to the point of wanting to pull off his clothes to be kept as a souvenir...
After having caught up with Wu Hao and the others, Xiao Yan hurried over to the Inner Academy Elder's compound. After which, he met First Elder Su Qian, who was waiting in the Meeting Room alone for him.
Su Qian, who was reading an old book in the room, raised his head upon hearing the sound of a door being opened. He only saw Xiao Yan fleeing in with messy clothes. Immediately, he teased, "Are you now aware of the degree of popularity that you possess within the Inner Academy? In so many years, I have never seen any student receive such treatment."
Xiao Yan involuntarily and bitterly laughed when he heard the teasing note in Su Qian's words. He found a chair in front of Su Qian and sat down before speaking in a helpless fashion, "First Elder, you should stop teasing me."
Su Qian smiled. He immediately withdraw a little of the smile on his face as he looked at Xiao Yan and said, "There should be some other reason than to help release the Heart Flame in the 'Blazing Sky Qi Refining Tower' during this trip of yours to the Jia Nan Academy, right?"
Xiao Yan's expression became much more serious when he mentioned the important matter. He nodded his head, hesitated a little before speaking, "First Elder, the headmaster is not in the Inner Academy, right?"
"Yes, his elderly self has always liked to roam all over the place. He has not been back for more than a decade. If someone did not periodically deliver news, it is likely that even I would have thought that he had met some mishap. Why? Are you looking for him?" Su Qian helplessly explaines.
Xiao Yan sighed. He slowly parted his black robe and revealed the strange black spot on his chest that caused one to feel a chill. There were some mysterious lines around the black spot which appeared to be like a cage that firmly sealed it.
Su Qian's expression changed immediately when he saw the black spot on Xiao Yan's chest. With his eyesight, he was naturally able to see something. He quickly asked in a deep voice, "You are poisoned?"
Xiao Yan smiled bitterly and nodded. After which, he briefly explained the matter from the start to the end.
"An elite Dou Zun..." Su Qian's expression also gradually became solemn after he heard what Xiao Yan had said. A moment later, he shook his head and sighed, "There are no other elite Dou Zuns within the Inner Academy other than the headmaster. The Jia Nan Academy does indeed have a couple of hidden old demons. However, they have yet to reach the strength of a Dou Zun. Perhaps, they would be able to reach that level for a short period of them if they join hands. However, it is impossible to get them to act. Their mission is to guard the Jia Nan Academy. Unless the Jia Nan Academy is about to meet a situation that threatens its survival, they will not appear, much less help anyone expel poison. Even I do not have the right to command them on this."
Xiao Yan could only sigh when he heard this. He did not place much hope on the old hidden demons. Back then, the Inner Academy had nearly been destroyed by Han Feng, but these old fellows never appeared. Even less need to be said about helping him expel poison...
"If there is no elite Dou Zun to help, I might be only able to use another method..." Xiao Yan exhaled softly and slowly responded.
"Find another 'Heavenly Flame!'"
Xiao Yan's eyes suddenly revealed a hot glow as he spoke with a deep voice.