Huang Xiaolong didn't begin refining immediately like the rest, for the Hundred Thousand Divine Beasts Pill Refining Diagram required extremely fine control. Before starting, he needed to adjust his mind and mood to peak condition.
His divine sense slowly expanded outward, the tiniest changes in the airflow and energy, down to the trajectory of floating dust particles, the faces of each disciple in the crowd and their movements; everything was clearly displayed in his mind.
As seconds went by, he gradually entered an ethereal state of mind.
Half an hour passed yet Huang Xiaolong stood still.
"Why is that kid standing there like a fool? Could it be that he's scared silly after seeing Senior Sister Tian's Ten Thousand Divine Beast Pill Refining Diagram?" A disciple in the crowd couldn't resist the chance to throw insults at Huang Xiaolong.
"Hehe, maybe he's a real hidden expert in alchemy that's higher than Senior Sister Tian, right now he's only adjusting his condition. He hasn't made any move, but when he does, he'll frighten the lot of you to death!" Another disciple chimed in, the ridicule in his tone was obvious to everyone present.
The crowd laughed as if in agreement.
Mo Zhibai sneered inwardly looking at the unmoving Huang Xiaolong.
Right at this moment, Huang Xiaolong opened his eyes and moved. Two groups of radiant flames burst out, blinding the crowd's sight for a moment.
His hands began moving in the air, and every movement seemed to contain a trace of heaven and earth's force.
The pile of ingredients in front of Huang Xiaolong rose into the air, each of them adhering to unknown rules. Some herbs flew faster than the other, some slow, while a few herbs' speed was intermittent, even the heights of these ingredients varied.
The same disciple in the crowd spoke again, "Look, look, see that? Didn't I say that once that kid makes a move, it'll frighten the lot of you to death? How is it? His performance isn't too bad, right?"
His words turned Huang Xiaolong into a monkey that was performing various tricks to entertain them.
"His performance is indeed not bad, the way those herbs flew up is quite pretty to look at." Another disciple agreed enthusiastically.
Some disciples in the crowd were already laughing loudly, unrestrained.
Mo Zhibai shook his head after sparing a glance in Huang Xiaolong's direction.
Nothing could be made out of Huang Xiaolong's calm expression, as he was fully focused on controlling the herbs' movements.
Due to the difference in speed with which he was managing the herbs' ascension into the air, it took Huang Xiaolong a full hour before all of his ingredients were floating. With several hundred herbs floating in midair, Huang Xiaolong began compiling and segregating them. Some herbs were already emitting a soft glimmer as they came together, taking the form of different divine beasts.
By now, those with keen eyesight noticed that Huang Xiaolong's alchemy refining skills were not subpar, hence the insults and ridicule gradually weakened before stopping altogether.
Even Mo Zhibai's face stiffened watching him.
Finally, Huang Xiaolong's herbs formed one thousand divine beasts.
"This Tang Hong has actually grasped the Thousand Divine Beasts Pill Refining Diagram." A disciple in the crowd exclaimed.
"So what if it's the Thousand Divine Beasts Pill Refining Diagram? Even I can do it." A disciple snorted.
Then again, this disciple wasn't exaggerating. Among the Golden Dragon Gate's core disciples, the majority of them were quite skilled in executing the Thousand Divine Beasts Pill Refining Diagram, therefore Huang Xiaolong showing such skill wasn't really that shocking.
"Look, Senior Sister Tian's Ten Thousand Divine Beasts Pill Refining Diagram is starting to integrate!" A sudden loud shout directed everyone's attention onto Tian Juaner, completely forgetting about Huang Xiaolong.
"From the time the competition started until now, it hasn't even been two hours, yet Senior Sister Tian's Ten Thousand Divine Beasts Pill Refining Diagram is already starting to integrate. Senior Sister Tian's alchemy refining skills are truly brilliant!"
"Not only brilliant, I dare say that even Wei Chao's alchemy skills pale in comparison to our Senior Sister Tian!"
Wei Chao was one of the Berserk Lion Sect's Three Swords, accepted as the disciple with the best alchemy skills among the younger generation disciples.
Wei Chao? Huang Xiaolong heard this name being mentioned, but continued to focus as he controlled each of his thousand divine beasts to divide.
This also followed a certain rhythm. At different points of time, there might only be a single kind of herb dividing, or a few different kinds, up to a dozen different herbs at once.
This time, it didn't take long for the herbs to finish dividing, but soon after the first division was completed, the second one started.
Again and again!
Finally, a disciple in the crowd noticed the situation on Huang Xiaolong's side and was stupefied with his mouth agape. Soon, more and more disciples' attention fell on him
Watching Huang Xiaolong control his herbs to divide again and again gave these disciples an inconceivable feeling.
"They're dividing again!" After numerous division processes, Huang Xiaolong's herb divine beasts actually began to divide again, causing a disciple to exclaim out loud in shock.
"His soul force is too strained to control so many herbs, so these herbs are getting out of control, that should be the reason why they are dividing so many times..." One of the disciples who ridiculed Huang Xiaolong in the beginning suggested with contempt. "Having divided until now, all those herbs' medicinal properties have been completely destroyed. Even if an Ancient God Realm master were to come to his aid right now, his herbs still wouldn't condense into a pill!"
But Mo Zhibai's expression had grown increasingly solemn in the last hour.
With his eyesight, he could naturally see that those herbs did not get out of control. Instead, Huang Xiaolong's control over the division process was praiseworthy.
More importantly, Mo Zhibai discovered that the surrounding area's energy flow changed according to the movements of Huang Xiaolong's hand, but he could not explain the mysteriousness of these changes.
At this time, Tian Juaner who noticed the atmosphere's subtle changes was looking at Huang Xiaolong, astonished.
After going through over an hour of numerous division processes, those herbs had finally stopped dividing and started to gather, rearranging themselves into a diagram.
Soon, a great diagram was formed right in front of everyone's eyes.
Looking at the divine beasts diagram high in the air, the spectating disciples were stupefied.
"There's... one hundred thousand!"
The number of divine beasts forming the great diagram was exactly one hundred thousand!
The legendary Hundred Thousand Divine Beasts Diagram!
In the whole Golden Dragon Gate, only their Ancestor and Gate Chief were known to able to execute this technique!
The crowd was dumbstruck.
Tian Juaner had turned away earlier, but after hearing undulating exclamations all around, she turned to look in Huang Xiaolong's direction again and was stunned silly.
All of sudden, without any indication, the whole Hundred Thousand Divine Beasts Diagram lit up in a blazing fire. The divine beasts made from herbs burned as they slowly began to integrate. Notably, the rate of integration was ten times faster than Tian Juaner's Ten Thousand Divine Beasts Diagram.
A short while later, Huang Xiaolong's herbs left behind glistening liquid essence before merging into one. A refreshing herbal scent permeated the air, one of the early signs of pill condensation.
The waves of ridicule and mockery from the beginning disappeared like a receding tide. Especially the disciple who claimed that even an Ancient God Realm master wouldn't be able to save Huang Xiaolong's herbs, he was feeling a burning pain in his face at the moment, which became redder than a super ripe pepper.
As waves of humming rang clear in the square, round pellets of glimmering golden color formed right before the crowd's eyes, the Hundred Scales of the Golden Dragon Divine Pills.
On the surface of the round golden pellets were minuscule patterns that looked like dragon scales, extremely life-like. They numbered exactly one hundred.
No one spoke.
A long time later, Mo Zhibai regained his senses, but he was glaring coldly at Huang Xiaolong with an ugly expression on his face, questioning sharply, "Speak, how did you achieve this level in alchemy? How could you possibly execute the Hundred Thousand Divine Beasts Pill Refining Diagram?!"