Chapter 554: First Elder Su Qian
Xiao Yan's heart pounded immediately when he heard the question that the black-robed old man posed in front of him. His eyes rotated a little while a thought swiftly crossed his heart, "If I were to reply that I had really seen it, will this old man commit a kind of dirty deed such as killing a person to silence them in order to keep a secret?" After all the importance of this 'Fallen Heart Flame' to the Inner Academy was really too great. Hence, it was little wonder that Xiao Yan had such thoughts.
Xiao Yan's palm was filled with sweat while the atmosphere was tense and pressuring. The pressuring feeling that the black-robed old man in front of him gave was not in the least bit weaker than Yun Shan from the Misty Cloud Sect. With Xiao Yan's given strength, it was likely that the other party would subdue him with a random wave of his hand if one excluded the possibility of Yao Lao lending a hand.
Xiao Yan finally made his decision after thinking over it for a long while. He intended to not admit that he had seen the exchange within the tower no matter what.
However, at this moment, the black-robed old man in front of Xiao Yan suddenly opened his mouth indifferently, "You should be Xiao Yan, right? It is rumored that there is an extremely vague connection between 'Heavenly Flames'. I think that the reason that you are able to sense the unusual situation is likely due to the 'Heavenly Flame' within your body, right?"
The words of the black-robed old man immediately caused Xiao Yan to be shocked. However, he was immediately relieved. There were quite a number of Elders within the Inner Academy who knew that he possessed a 'Heavenly Flame'. However, what caused Xiao Yan to be surprised was that this old man actually managed to discern his situation. Moreover, these words of his undoubtedly also meant that he had long ago known that Xiao Yan had already sensed the activity within the tower. Xiao Yan quietly sighed in relief as he watched the old man's face which was still calm. Fortunately, he had not voiced his denial. Otherwise, other people might think that he was feeling guilty.
"I have indeed sensed a little. However, there seems to be a layer of special seals on the 'Blazing Sky Qi Refining Tower'. That feeling appears to have become extremely vague outside the tower." Xiao Yan carefully replied.
"You need not be worried. I do not have any intention of condemning you of any wrongdoing." The eyes of the black-robed old man were filled with a faint smile as he appeared to have sensed the anxiety in Xiao Yan's heart. He waved his hand and said, "However, I want to remind you that you should not tell others about the matter within the tower."
"The matter within the tower will not reach a second person's ear." Xiao Yan hurriedly guaranteed.
"I am quite familiar with you. It is just that I have not had the opportunity to meet you. You are really a source of envy by being able to control a 'Heavenly Flame' at such an age." The black-robed old man laughed. The envy in his words was not false. The 'Fallen Heart Flame' was able to allow the Inner Academy to possess a kind of talent grooming equipment like the 'Blazing Sky Qi Refining Tower'. Yet the young man in front of him actually possessed a kind of 'Heavenly Flame' by himself. How could this not let one sigh?
Xiao Yan let out a dry laugh, but did not say anything else related to this topic. He cupped his hands and respectfully said, "May I know Elder's name?" Most of the Elders within this Inner Academy had strengths that were around the Dou Wang class. The strength of the old man in front of him had clearly far exceeded them. According to Xiao Yan's guess, if he was not the headmaster of the Inner Academy, who ultimately never revealed his face, he would perhaps be that mysterious First Elder...
"I am Su Qian, the chief among the Elders. Normally they address me as First Elder." The black-robed old man mentioned casually.
"As expected..." Xiao Yan muttered in his heart. Although he had already expected this, his face still could not help but move a little.
"Little friend Xiao Yan, you may perhaps be able to sense some unusual changes in the tower. I will honestly tell you that there is indeed quite some trouble brewing inside. We are currently still able to temporarily suppress it. However, this is not a long term solution. Hence, the old me hopes that little friend will lend the Inner Academy a hand in the future." Su Qian's face was suddenly serious as he spoke to Xiao Yan in a deep voice.
"Even the strength of all the Elders are unable to achieve the result of suppressing it. I merely possess the strength of a small Dou Ling, what use would I be?" Xiao Yan's faced was immediately stunned. He muttered a reply when he heard these words from Elder Su Qian which actually intended for him to act.
"Ke ke, the you who possesses a 'Heavenly Flame' is someone that one cannot measure based on ordinary strength." Su Qing laughed and immediately spoke, "You need not be afraid either. It is not yet certain whether we will let you act. It is just that I am searching for an additional path in the event the worst case scenario occurs in the future. At that time, I will naturally not force you if you are helpless to do anything."
Xiao Yan could only smile bitterly and nod his head when Su Qian spoke in such a manner. He said, "Alright, I will do my best at that time."
"Ke ke, These words of yours do indeed leave me assured." Su Qian smiled when he saw Xiao Yan's bitterly smiling face. He added, "The Inner Academy will not mistreat you if you are really able to suppress it. We will let you be satisfied with anything that you want, regardless of whether it is Qi Methods, Dou Techniques, medicinal formulas, etc."
"I want the 'Fallen Heart Flame'. Can you just give it to me?" Xiao Yan muttered in his heart. However, his face acted surprised as he hurriedly nodded his head.
"Currently the tower is starting to calm down, but there are many other efforts required to take care of the aftermath. I shall not continue to hold you here." Su Qing smiled and said, "Additionally, there is still another four days to the 'Strong Ranking' Grand Competition. You should work harder. You gain quite the great benefits if you are able to enter the top ten."
"The top ten are all people at the peak of the Dou Ling class. How can I enter with my strength of someone who has just entered the Dou Ling class?" Xiao Yan smiled awkwardly and replied.
"You cunning little fellow. Don't give me that confused look. I know very well just what your strength is like. Although there is quite some difficulty for you to beat Liu Qing and the others, other than Liu Qing, Lin Xiuya, Yan Hao, and a couple of countable people, I'm afraid that the remaining people would have difficulty contending with you in a true fight." Su Qian shook his head and laughed with a clear voice, "Moreover, you may have indeed advanced to the Dou Ling class for less than two months, but during this short period of time you have leaped to the level of a three star Dou Ling. This speed is something that even leaves me somewhat stunned."
Xiao Yan smiled in an embarrassed manner. His heart, however, was quietly shocked. It appeared that quite a bit of information about him was gathered in this old fellow's hand. With the sharp eyes of the latter, it was likely that the foundation of Xiao Yan's strength had already been more or less guessed by him. Otherwise, Su Qian would not say such words. Moreover, advancing to a three star Dou Ling was something that had happened two days ago when he was undertaking a retreat. It was unexpected that Su Qian was able to see his exact level with just one look.
"Little fellow, keeping a low profile may be a good thing, but you should not act foolish in front of people who know what is going on. This old me has been in the Inner Academy for many years. What kind of geniuses have I not seen?" Su Qian smiled when he saw Xiao Yan's embarrassed manner. He waved his hand and said, "Alright, I also have other matters to do and shall not delay your time. Remember, you must enter into the top ten of the 'Strong Ranking', and... the agreement between us."
The aged face revealed a smile toward Xiao Yan. Su Qian's body that was suspended in mid-air suddenly began to gradually become paler in a strange manner. A moment later, he completely disappeared from the air just like a ghost. This kind of strange situation caused Xiao Yan's skin to feel a chill.
Xiao Yan let out a breath like he had set down a heavy burden a moment after Su Qian disappeared. He relaxed his tightly clenched hand. It was drenched in perspiration, causing him to once again let out a bitter smile. This old man had simply showed himself and randomly conversed with him. Yet, it caused Xiao Yan to act in this manner like he was facing a powerful opponent. The gap between the two of them was really like that of a cloud and mud.
"It is really unexpected that this person's strength is actually this strong. From the looks of his aura, it is likely that even Yun Shan cannot be compared to him. He is indeed worthy of being the First Elder of the Inner Academy." Xiao Yan let out a soft sigh as he muttered in his heart, "The First Elder is already this strong. I really don't know just how terrifying the strength of the headmaster of the Inner Academy that no one can find. This Inner Academy is really a place with hidden dragons and tigers."
Xiao Yan sighed in this manner within his heart as he leaped down from the top of the tree. After which, he rushed to 'Pan's Gate' under the gradually darkening sky.
The 'Strong Ranking' Grand Competition was the most intense and most eye-catching competition for the top experts of the entire Jia Nan Academy. The extremely harsh participation condition meant that almost all of the participants were the most outstanding people in the school. Each of them truly possessed an outstanding talent. The top ten of the 'Strong Ranking' in the previous generations had all managed to become well known on the Dou Qi continent. The most useless among them would at the very least dominate an area with the strength of a Dou Wang.
Although the conditions to enter the 'Strong Ranking' Grand Competition were extremely harsh, they did not hinder the other students in the Inner Academy from wildly pursuing it. Just think, the experts one would hardly be able to see were actually grouped together in one place. The fiery hot fight that unfolded on the stage gave one a carefree and delightful feeling. This kind of situation had an attraction to the other students that did not lose to the crazed feeling of a man who had abstained for a couple of years and suddenly saw a naked beauty displayed in front of him.
Hence, during this period of time when the 'Strong Ranking' Grand Competition was approaching, the atmosphere within the Inner Academy had gradually soared. The topic of conversation everywhere circled around the Grand Competition. Moreover, as the time approached, the last thirty names on the 'Strong Ranking' repeatedly changed. Those fellows who usually tolerated and did not erupt had totally erupted at this moment. They wildly charged at the students on the 'Strong Ranking' who possessed a golden ticket to the competition.
However, no matter how the Inner Academy rolled and flipped, no one dared issue a challenge letter to Xiao Yan after the fights on the fighting stage the last time. Therefore, Xiao Yan was actually able to enjoy an extremely rare idle time during these final few days. This caused him, who was used to being pressed for time, to feel a little uneasy.
The four days slowly arrived under the anticipation of a countless number of people within the Inner Academy.
When the first ray of morning sunlight scattered down on the morning of the fourth day, an old 'gong' quietly sounded from the deep region of the Inner Academy and immediately spread throughout its entire boundary.
The instant the 'gong' sounded, numerous people with different appearances from different parts of the Inner Academy with extremely powerful auras, suddenly opened their tightly shut eyes. A glow that contained a fiery hot fighting intent swiftly soared under the old 'gong' sound!
A black-robed young man who was sitting cross-legged on a bed in a room gradually opened his dark-black eyes. He waved his hand and an enormous black shadow flashed and appeared. The enormous body of the ruler cut across the air and carried the whining rushing wind sound. Finally, it was sheathed on his back in a slanted manner.
The black-robed, young man gently patted the heavy ruler on his back. He turned his head slightly and his gaze was thrown out of the window. He sensed powerful auras that suddenly rose all over the Inner Academy at this instant. The corner of his mouth was slowly lifted into a slight smile. A boiling hot fighting intent surged within him.
"I, Xiao Yan, shall reserve one spot among the top ten..."