Chapter 1154: Song Qing
Xiao Yan slowly raised his head upon hearing that elderly laughter. He coincidentally watched the white-clothed, old man slowly turn around. His hair was white, and his face was covered with deep wrinkles. Both of his eyes appeared tiny, being compressed by the wrinkles. However, his deep and unfathomable eyes contained a warm smile.
"Senior really knows how to joke..."
Xiao Yan cupped his hands together and respectfully spoke.
"Ke ke, I am not joking. You have reached the high grade seventh tier alchemist level at such a young age. The number of people who can achieve this across the entire continent can be counted on one's fingers..." The white-clothed old man's eyes swept back and forth over Xiao Yan as he warmly said, "The old me is called Xuan Kong Zi. If you do not mind, you can call me Old Xuan. Back then, I was a close friend of your teacher, Yao Chen. It is not overboard for you to address me as such."
"In that case... this young fellow shall defer to your judgement." Hearing this, Xiao Yan was happy to do as he was told. He cupped his hands together and laughed.
Xuan Kong Zi smiled. He placed the scroll in his hand onto the bookshelf before turning around and heading back to his study table. He said, "There is no need for you to feel that the matter of the Profound Xuan Sect is a blotch on your skin. The current Holy Pill City is in a chaotic and tense period because of the matter of the Pill Gathering. If things turn into problems, they might hinder the Pill Gathering."
Xiao Yan slightly nodded.
"The person from last night had hidden his aura and his appearance. My original self was not able to reach reach into that place. Therefore, I was unable to ascertain which honorable Elder of the Hall of Souls he was..." Xuan Kong Zi slowly apologized.
"He should be Old Mu Gu..." Xiao Yan hesitated for a moment before speaking.
"Oh?" Xuan Kong Zi was a little stunned when he heard Xiao Yan's words. However, he did not appear too surprised. He nodded slowly and said, "No wonder he has come looking for you. It is that old fellow. These people from the Hall of Souls really do not allow one to feel a peace of mind.
"Is Yao Chen currently in the hands of the Hall of Souls?" Xuan Kong Zi shriveled hands rubbed the surface of the table as he inquired.
Xiao Yan pulled the corner of his mouth and immediately nodded.
"Ugh... the old fellow always had a free and easy character. He usually does not like to form groups or factions. If he had listened to me back then and become a giant head of the Pill Tower, he would not have been targeted by the Hall of Souls..." Xuan Kong Zi sighed. He said, "I will tell the others to pay more attention to this matter, and I will inform you if I have any information on Yao Chen."
"Thank you Old Xuan." Xiao Yan hurriedly thanked him. The Pill Tower's influence spread across the Central Plains region. If they were to help Xiao Yan search, he would naturally be faced with a lot less trouble.
Xuan Kong Zi waved his hand and said, "The Hall of Souls is considered a hidden enemy of my Pill Tower. Unimaginable amounts of alchemists are captured by them every year. However, the Pill Tower is unable to announce war with the Hall of Souls. This faction is far from what you can imagine..."
Xiao Yan quietly nodded. The Hall of Souls had been able to survive in the Central Plains for many years. This survival would naturally be impossible if the Hall of Souls did not possess some foundation. However, the thing that was beyond expectations was that even the Pill Tower was afraid of this mysterious faction.
The door of the hall suddenly opened while Xiao Yan was contemplating the situation. Immediately, three figures slowly walked in. Xiao Yan turned his head, and surprise flashed across his eyes because the two people in front were surprisingly Cao Ying and the young lady from the Dan clan named Dan Chen...
There was a black-clothed man behind Cao Ying and Dan Chen. His appearance was quite handsome, and he was chatting and smiling with Cao Ying and Dan Chen when he entered the hall. A badge was present on his chest. On it were seven bright purple-gold stars.
Tier 7 high grade alchemist!
Cao Ying and Dan Xuan had noticed Xiao Yan when he saw them. Some surprise also flashed across their faces. Clearly, they were surprised that Xiao Yan would appear in this place.
"Teacher..." Cao Ying slowly stepped forward and respectfully greeted Xuan Kong Zi.
"Association head Xuan Kong..."
"Ke ke, the three of you have also arrived huh..." Xuan Kong Zi raised his head and smiled to the three of them. After which, his eyes slid back to Xiao Yan as he said, "This person is the champion of the five great clan test, Xiao Yan. I think that all of you already know that..."
"Ke ke, how can we not know. Mister Xiao Yan's name has recently become a hot topic in Holy Pill City..." Cao Ying covered her mouth and laughed in a lovely manner. Her enchanting and bewitching demeanor caused a fiery heat, that was difficult to discover, to flash across the eyes of the black-clothed man by her side.
Xiao Yan was unconcerned with Cao Ying's words. He courteously smiled to the three of them.
"Song Qing... I have already heard of the performance of mister Xiao Yan during the five great clans test. You really live up to your reputation now that we have met..." The black-clothed man slowly stepped forward, extended his hand to Xiao Yan, and complimented him with a smile.
"You have overpraised me." Xiao Yan smiled. Although this black-clothed man in front of Xiao Yan hid it well, Xiao Yan could still see faint resentment in the other party's eyes. The source of the animosity seemed to be due to Cao Ying.
"This witch really could bring disaster to a country and its people..." Xiao Yan could only bitterly laugh in his heart upon discovering the hostility. He had not even said anything, yet he had attracted enmity for no reason. This really caused him to feel a little speechless.
"Mister Xiao Yan, Song Qing is a disciple of the First Elder of the Pill Tower. Moreover, he is also the youngest Elder in the Pill Tower. In the future, he might even become the youngest eight great Elders of the Pill Tower. His ability is not any poorer than yours..." Cao Ying rolled her eyes and sweetly smiled.
Although Song Qing's face did not visibly change when he heard Cao Ying's words, a faint pride flashed across his eyes. With his achievements, he did indeed possess the capital to be proud.
"It is really the case of a renowned teacher producing an excellent student." Xiao Yan smiled, but he did not say much. This witch, Cao Ying, had an unpredictable character. If he was careless, he would be toyed with by her. With his character, he was not someone who liked to linger around the opposite sex. Moreover, this Cao Ying was not an ordinary woman...
"Alright, since all of you have gotten to know each other, I shall state my intention of calling all of you here..." Xuan Kong Zi slightly smiled. His gaze slowly swept over the few of them. His eyes appeared to be able to see through their hearts. Even with Cao Ying's evildoer character, she still appeared obedient in front of him.
"There are still a couple more days until the Pill Gathering selection..." Xuan Kong Zi spoke in a calm voice, "Due to the matter of the Three Thousand Burning Flame, this Pill Gathering has attracted quite a number of factions. Among them includes members from the Hall of Souls..."
"Hall of Souls?"
Cao Ying and the other two knit their brows and softly repeated this name when they heard it.
Xiao Yan's eyes slightly flickered, but he did not reply.
"Ugh, due to us having sealed the Three Thousand Burning Flame for a long period of time, it has formed a grudge against the Pill Tower. If it is released, it will definitely attack the Pill Tower in revenge. At that time, the Pill Tower will definitely suffer a great loss..." Xuan Kong Zi softly sighed. "This Three Thousand Burning Flame is already quite intelligence after a countless number of years. Moreover, its wildness is difficult to tame. My Pill Tower has used all of our tactics, but we are unable to subdue it. Moreover, due to it gradually absorbing the strength from the stars, our seal is losing its ability to restrain it. Therefore, we must resolve this trouble as soon as possible...
"The plan of the Hall of Souls this time around is perhaps to capture the Three Thousand Burning Flame. Of course, if they fail to do so, they will destroy the seal and release the Three Thousand Burning Flame. At that time, the Pill Tower will suffer a terrible loss. It would also end up being convenient for them to collect spiritual bodies...
"The Three Thousand Burning Flame is extremely powerful. Although it is not ranked in the top five on the Heavenly Flame Ranking, its strength is sufficient to be ranked among them..." Xuan Kong Zi's expression was a little solemn as he spoke. "Due to it gathering the strength of the stars, the Three Thousand Burning Flame is equivalent to an indestructible body. Therefore, we can only seal it and not destroy it... Whoever obtains the Three Thousand Burning Flame and subdues it will have the equivalent of an incomparably powerful recovery ability. If this kind of Heavenly Flame were to fall into the hands of the Hall of Souls, there would definitely be a great amount of trouble.
"The reason I have called all of you here is because of this. I hope that you will be able to stop the Hall of Souls from obtaining the Three Thousand Burning Flame." The interior of the hall descended into silence as everyone studied Xuan Kong Zi's grave of expression.
A moment later, Cao Ying finally knit her brows and said, "Teacher, since you are this afraid of the Hall of Souls, why don't you prohibit them from participating?"
"First, we do not know just who among the alchemists participating in the Pill Gathering are members of the Hall of Souls. Even if we know, it is impossible for us to find any reason to stop them because of the rules of the Pill Gathering over the generations. As long as one is an alchemist who possesses the qualification to participate, we cannot remove his or her right to do so even if he or she is part of a faction that is an enemy of the Pill Tower... this rule might give one a headache, but it is precisely this inclusive action of the Pill Tower that enabled the Pill Tower to grow to its level today. Therefore, there are some rules that cannot be touched..." Xuan Kong Zi explained somewhat helplessly.
Everyone slowly nodded upon hearing his explanation. Xiao Yan himself was sworn enemies with the Hall of Souls. Moreover, he intended to obtain the Three Thousand Burning Flame at all cost. He would naturally not object to this matter.
"There are still seven days left before the Pill Gathering selection will begin. All of you should try your best to stay within the Pill Tower during this period of time. The Hall of Souls might quietly use some tricks in order to obtain the champion spot. Therefore, all of you should be careful..." Xuan Kong Zi instructed.
Xiao Yan's group once again nodded.
"Ah, this matter is generally like that. Currently, the only thing you need to do is wait until the Pill Gathering begins..." Xuan Kong Zi smiled. His warm eyes turned to Xiao Yan. After which, he randomly picked out a scroll from the table and tossed it to Xiao Yan. He said, "I heard that you are quite interested in Ying-er's Spiritual Handprint. Take it and have a good look. Although this Spiritual Handprint is not considered something of a very high level, it is also an extremely rare item in the outside world..."
Xiao Yan received the scroll. Joy flashed across his eyes as he hurriedly cupped his hands together and said, "Thank you Old Xuan."
"Ke ke, it is only a small matter..." Xuan Kong Zi smiled. After which, he waved his hand at everyone.
Xiao Yan's group did not stay any longer upon seeing his dismissal They bowed before slowly withdrawing from the large hall...
Xuan Kong Zi finally smiled after watching everyone withdraw. He softly said, "Yao Chen, the result of our bet will be determined by whether Xiao Yan or Ying-er will be able to obtain the champion spot this time around. I wonder if you will still be able to beat me this time around?"