Chapter 291: Advance to Seven Star, The Final Test
Xiao Yan was seated cross-legged on the bed. At this moment, the natural energy within the room was fluctuating somewhat intensely. Numerous energy ripples that were visible to the naked eye were surging and rolling out from within Xiao Yan's body. His clothes had swollen until they were bulging. On his grave face, a faint green glow was partially visible.
As the surrounding natural energy was poured into Xiao Yan's body, wave after wave, the green glow on his face also grew increasingly dense. In the end, the green colored glow almost covered his entire face. The force within his body was also gradually being raised.
When the rising force reached a certain level, the surrounding fluctuating energy suddenly came to an abrupt stop. The swollen clothes on Xiao Yan's body appeared to have stiffened and did not move anymore.
This strange, quiet pause continued for nearly ten seconds. Xiao Yan, who had his eyes tightly closed, suddenly opened them. The green colored flame instantly rolled and surged up before immediately and swiftly disappearing. A fierce glow suddenly shot out from within his dark eyes.
With his body maintaining its training mode, Xiao Yan opened his mouth. A somewhat black colored turbid air was spat out. The black air wreathed upward. Anything that touched it was completely corroded. It continued to rise until it corroded a small hole in the roof before it finally gradually turned into nothingness under the sunlight.
After exhaling the turbid breath. The fierce glow in Xiao Yan's eyes also quietly withdrew. The stiffened clothes once again became soft as they nestled close to Xiao Yan's skin. The imposing force that was lingering within the room was also withdrawn into his body.
"Seven star Dou Shi..."
As he gently tightened his fist, the feeling of his body being filled with strength caused Xiao Yan to be a little intoxicated. Although he knew that according to the pace at which he was advancing from before, he would sooner or later advance into the seven star level. However, he did not expect that by merely absorbing the 'Searing Poison' in Nalan Jie three times would be sufficient enough for him to raise a level.
"The energy within a Dou Wang's body is really vast and surging. I have only absorbed it three times, but the energy was sufficient enough to let me raise a level..." Xiao Yan muttered softly. His body twisted strangely. Hearing the waves of clear bone cracking sound from within his body, he could not help but smile with satisfaction. "This transaction seems to be quite a good bargain."
Xiao Yan placed both his palms on the bed and used a little energy. His body shot upward in a supple manner. After which, he somersaulted in the air and landed gently on the ground. He clapped his hand, looked around and mumbled with a frown, "Why is he still not back?"
Xiao Yan mused for a moment and could only helplessly shake his head at the futile effort. He then opened the door and walked out. Tomorrow was when the Grand Meeting would begin. He needed to go to the association to inquire about the different kinds of competitions in the Grand Meeting and the method in which the tests were conducted now or else he'd start on the wrong foot.
After exiting the inn, Xiao Yan stood on the street and took a look all around him. He then lifted his footsteps and walked toward the towering building of the Alchemist Association where one would at least be able to see a corner of it from afar.
During the walk there, Xiao Yan was stunned to realize that some of the main roads in the city already had completely armed knight units patrolling. Clearly, this was due to the Alchemist Grand Meeting which was about to begin. After all, if a commotion were to occur at such a large grand meeting, it would have many different large impacts to the empire. Therefore, the imperial family needed to prevent any such possibilities.
TL: Yes, knights. People with horses + armor + aren't cavalry (army). Correct me if wrong but pretty sure the only word for them is knights
After slowly walking passed a few wide streets, the large Alchemist Association finally appeared in Xiao Yan's sight. Eyeing the entrance which was even more packed compared to two days ago, he could not help but shake his head. It appeared that there were many alchemists who wished to reveal their brilliance at this Grand Meeting.
With both his hands behind his back, Xiao Yan slowly crossed his footsteps and entered the association. He turned his footsteps and squeezed through the human crowd. He had just followed the human flow and entered the association when a disturbance occurred not far behind him. The surrounding gazes were thrown over.
The human flow at the front had stopped entering and Xiao Yan was plugged up at the middle. He helplessly sighed, frowned slightly and turned his head around to watch the source of the commotion.
The source of the commotion was a horse carriage that had a great noble aura. In front of the horse carriage, there were two horses which had snow white hair without the slightest impurities quietly pulling it. A strange beast which had a blue colored flame rising from its body was drawn on the golden yellow brocade surrounding the horse carriage. The strange beast was of a large size and it had a ferocious appearance, emitting a feeling that would faintly frighten the hearts of those who looked at it.
"The imperial crest..." Staring at the strange beast crest whose name eluded him, Xiao Yan softly muttered. As a citizen of the Jia Ma Empire, he was able to identify the Jia Ma Empire's imperial crest.
Surrounding the horse carriage, there were over ten people wrapped entirely in black robe accompanying it. Xiao Yan's gaze swept across these black robed people and his eyes shrunk. From his senses, these ten plus black robed people actually gave him a feeling of danger.
"It is really indeed worthy of being the Jia Ma Empire's imperial family. Its strength really cannot be underestimated." Xiao Yan exclaimed slightly in his heart as his gaze was thrown to where the carriage curtain was.
A black robed person stepped forward and respectfully lifted the carriage curtain. When the black robed person did this, Xiao Yan could clearly sense the other black robed people had already swifty formed a steady circle during the slight movement, guarding the horse carriage in the middle of them. At the same time, numerous gazes that were as sharp as an eagle shot out from the black robed people as they swept back and forth in front of the surrounding packed human crowd.
Under the watch of the surrounding people, a snow white jade like delicate hand was extended out from the carriage. It gracefully held the handle of the carriage door. After which, a beautiful figure slowly walked out and appeared in everyone's sight.
The person who appeared was wearing a purple colored dress that had silver colored lines embedded in it. Her exquisite appearance, under the influence of the imperial family, faintly seeped out a noble imposing presence that was her birthright. A purple colored belt was worn on her narrow and delicate waist, displaying the small waist vividly and incisively. Her age did not appear to be very old, appearing similar to Xiao Yan's before he had changed his appearance. Her pretty face contained a smile, appearing elegant and serene. However, each time her gaze swept across the surroundings, Xiao Yan was able to discover that this young lady who looked very ladylike had some quirky and strange smile flashing across her watery eyes. Clearly, this was different from the surface she showed which seemed to like quietness.
"A woman really cannot be judged by her appearance..." Xiao Yan bitterly smiled and shook his head. He withdrew his gaze and no longer looked at this very extraordinary young lady.
"Tsk tsk, what a beautiful girl..." Watching the young lady which had appeared, a wave of cheers was immediately erupted from the surrounding human crowd. A number of heated gazes were swiftly thrown over. Although the lady's status was extremely noble, it did not appear to be inappropriate to take advantage of the large crowd and allow their eyes to be a little impudent.
"Hee hee, this is the little princess within the Jia Ma Empire imperial family. I heard that her teacher is the deputy chairman Grandmaster Qie Mi Er. Since she has appeared here this time around, I think that she must have come because of the Alchemist Grand Meeting." There were quite a number of well informed individuals within the human crowd who managed to identify the young lady upon seeing her appearance.
"She doesn't seem to be that old, yet she is actually here to compete in the Grand Meeting?"
"Che, the little princess' refining talent is something that even the chairman had praised non-stop. Don't just look at her young age. I have heard that half a year ago, she had already stepped into a tier three alchemist..."
"Uh..." Hearing this, there was an immediate uproar in the surrounding crowd. Some of the older middle-aged alchemist lifted their hands with somewhat red faces and covered the tier badge on their chests in embarrassment.
Being squeezed in the human crowd, Xiao Yan heard the conversations of these people and a shock flashed across his face. He once again turned his gaze to the purple dressed young lady who was walking to the association with the support of the black robed person. He said quietly in his heart, "Indeed, there is always someone who is better. It is really unexpected that this young lady who appears so weak is actually a tier three alchemist..."
Although Xiao Yan was shocked in his heart, Xiao Yan did not feel that this was very unexpected. With the rich foundation of the Jia Ma Empire's royalty, as long as this little princess possessed the basic talent needed to become an alchemist, they could use those ingredients that could be piled into mountains to easily build her into a high tier alchemist. Moreover, from the looks of things, this little princess' talent for refining medicine was quite good. Therefore, having such an achievement was within expectations.
Under the protection of the group of black robed people whose bodies were shrouded by a dark and cold aura, that purple dress young lady passed through the packed human crowd without meeting any obstruction. After which, she swaggered into the Alchemist Association.
As the back of the young lady which appeared elegant disappeared from his sight, Xiao Yan shrugged his shoulders and twisted his body slightly. Like a loach, he squeezed passed the surrounding human crowd without leaving a trace as he swiftly leaped into the interior of the association.
After pushing aside the last layer of the human flow, the surrounding area finally became spacious. He eyed the vast hall and exhaled a long breath of air. Wiping off the perspiration on his forehead, Xiao Yan walked toward the western area of the hall as though he had walked there countless times.
The two guards from the last time were still present at the entrance to the western area. When they saw Xiao Yan arrive, they did not stop him like they did before. After bowing and greeting him, they did not bother him when he entered. Looking at this situation, it appeared that Ao Tuo had already gave them specific instructions for Xiao Yan.
Seeing that the guards did not stop him, Xiao Yan was happy to save some trouble. He walked into the corridor and slowly climbed up the stairs. Finally, he stopped outside Ao Tuo's room from the last time. He knocked softly on the door, waited for Ao Tuo's voice from inside before pushing it open and entering.
Only Ao Tuo was seated in the room. At that moment, he was watching Xiao Yan who had entered with a smile. "Little Fellow, you are quite punctual."
Xiao Yan smiled and sat on the chair beside Ao Tuo. He lifted a teacup and took a sip as he laughed, "Haha, I shall not say anything unnecessary. My purpose for coming here this time around is to inquire about the format of the competition. Is it done by drawing lots or by other means?"
TL: Drawing lots = having one random person go up at a time
"There are so many competitors who participate in the competition. If the competition were to rely on drawing lots one at a time, just how long would it take?" Ao Tuo shook his head with a smile. His finger drew a very large rectangle on the table's surface as he continued with a smile on his face, "All of the alchemists in the competition will be participating at the same time on a huge platform. There, you will have quite a few rounds and the requirements for the competition will gradually become harder. When that time comes, it would be like a sieve sieving away the sand particles, swiftly removing those that do not qualify. Those who are able to stay the longest are all the best among the participants. Whoever is able to stand out among the cream of the crop, will be the final victor."
"Oh..." Xiao Yan nodded his head slightly. The scene of hundreds or thousands of alchemists raising their flames and refining medicine on the same platform must be extremely spectacular.
"Hehe, you really want to see that kind of scene, don't you? Don't be frightened when that time comes. Back then, when I first participated, I was also shocked." Grandmaster Ao Tuo laughed, appearing to know what Xiao Yan was thinking.
"That's right. There is a namelist here. Why don't you take a look. These are all the competitors with great ability who will be participating in this Grand Meeting." Ao Tuo picked up a paper scroll from the table and handed it to Xiao Yan. He immediately added, "This is an internal document. According to the rules, I cannot leak it to others."
Xiao Yan was somewhat curious as he received the paper scroll. He smiled and nodded as he slowly pulled it open. The long namelist had at least twenty to thirty people with abilities that were not bad. Xiao Yan swept his gaze over it and his eyebrows were suddenly raised. He realized that Liu Ling was actually on the namelist and it was very close to the top. Clearly, the name of the Pill-King successor was not simply something that was obtained from bragging about.
"This Little Princess should be the one from the imperial family right?" Xiao Yan pointed at the Little Princess who was ranked fifth and asked.
"Yes, have you seen her?"
"I have seen her for a moment at the entrance just now. I didn't expect that her name is so close to the front." Xiao Yan smiled, feeling a little surprised at the ranking.
"Don't look down on that girl. Under the support of the imperial family strength, she has so many hidden cards that would dazzle people." Ao Tuo smiled and reminded.
Xiao Yan nodded slightly. He looked through the information on the namelist carefully before returning it to Ao Tuo. "The competitors are indeed very strong. Just counting the tier three alchemists, there are already thirteen of them."
"It is indeed a little troublesome and you can only rely on yourself for this. I can only help you this much." Ao Tuo nodded his head and helplessly said.
Xiao Yan smiled and nodded his head. He asked, "Is the Grand Meeting starting tomorrow? Do I still need to do something now?"
"Haha, indeed, you still need to do something. Consider this the last test before the competition. Outsiders do not have this round of test but the competitors who are recommended by us, the branch heads, must pass this round... This can be considered a kind of test in advance where the association judges our ability to pick people. If one cannot pass this test, then our recommendation would lose effect." Ao Tuo stood up, smiled and said, "Follow me. At this place, you will be able to see some of the strong opponents on the namelist."
"Yes." Xiao Yan nodded his head, stood up and followed Ao Tuo. The two of them walked out of the room and walked along a quiet corridor for a short while. Once they were at the end, they pushed opened a door by the side and slowly entered.
A strong light suddenly shot over as they walked through the door, causing Xiao Yan to involuntarily narrow his eyes. He finally opened them once he adapted to the light.
Appearing in front of them was a spacious inner hall which was decorated in quite a classical manner. At the moment, the inner hall had some people standing in twos and threes. Xiao Yan's gaze swept across these people and was somewhat stunned to discover that many of these people, who appeared quite young, were actually at the level of a third tier alchemist. The empire's little princess whom he had saw at the main entrance some time ago was also among them. His gaze rotated once again and with raised eyebrows, finally stopped on a handsome looking young man who was conversing with a few tier three alchemists.
Hearing the sound of the door opening, everyone in the hall who was whispering privately ceased their conversations. Their gaze turned toward the door. When they saw Xiao Yan entered, they were all momentarily stunned. Their gazes then drifted toward the tier two alchemist badge on his chest and their expressions carried some ridicule.
The Little Princess, who was leaning on the wall, was surrounded by a few alchemists in a manner similar to stars arching around the moon, also glanced at Xiao Yan. However, after she saw the tier badge on the his chest, she completely lost interest. She lazily stretched and her curves hooked the gazes of the surrounding men.
Liu Ling's gaze lazily stared at Xiao Yan. The latter's entrance had also caused Liu Ling to be a little surprised. Quickly following this, however, a dark mild smile surfaced on his face, appearing to harbor malicious intentions.
Xiao Yan lowered his eyebrows slightly. The different gazes in the large hall did not affect him. His hands drooped in front of his sleeves. The indifferent face of his was like an old monk. However, a faint cold laughter quietly surfaced within his heart.