Chapter 685: And If You Lose?
Not wanting to attract attention, Huang Xiaolong chose to use the Transfiguring Hand of the Dragon because amongst the many alchemy refining techniques he was versed in, the Transfiguring Hand of the Dragon was the most 'ordinary.'
When Huang Xiaolong's hands began moving, employing the Transfiguring Hand of the Dragon, it still drew the crowd's attention, causing sounds of exclamation to be heard. From the beginning, Huang Xiaolong was a point of focus for many due to his identity, so even if he wanted to keep a low-profile, it was not meant to be. Moreover, although the Transfiguring Hand of the Dragon technique was only ordinary in Huang Xiaolong's eyes, to everyone else present it was a long-lost high level alchemy technique belonging to the ancient Dragon Clan.
Hearing the crowd's loud exclamations, Xiang Mingzhi couldn't resist turning to look in Huang Xiaolong's direction. Watching the herb ingredients in front of Huang Xiaolong flying into the air and arranging themselves into the shape of a dragon, Xiang Mingzhi issued an audible cold harrumphed.
The Vermillion Bird Institute's He Feifan, the White Tiger Institute's Wan Zhenxing, Ancestor Mountaingoat, and the several other old monsters each revealed various expression watching Huang Xiaolong's Transfiguring Hand of the Dragon.
Ancestor Mountaingoat looked like he was smiling whilst not, appearing quite sinister.
Huang Xiaolong ignored the reactions around him, focusing on the herbs in front of him. Both of his hands continued moving. The herb dragon weaved in the air, emitting a mixture of the herbs' fragrance as he refined the impurities contained within the herbs.
A short while later, the herb ingredients flew into the furnace and Huang Xiaolong summoned the Asura Fire from his body, but the crowd was stupefied in the next second watching Huang Xiaolong slamming his fist onto the furnace!
This action shocked and baffled those watching, none of them could guess what Huang Xiaolong was planning to do.
Struck by the force of this punch, all the herbs inside the furnace probably exploded into dust! What was he going to refine then? They had never heard of anyone refining pills using this method!
Even Elders of the Alchemist Grandmaster Association such as Lin Pinghai were startled. Only the Ascending Moon Old Man and their Chief Chen Ye showed a calm expression.
After the first punch, Huang Xiaolong landed a second strike on the furnace.
Before everyone's agape faces, Huang Xiaolong made thirty-six consecutive strikes at the furnace, dull 'dang' sounds echoing in the square. Although the noises weren't loud, all the other participants looked in Huang Xiaolong's direction.
Some of them even snickered audibly in contempt.
What was this? To them, Huang Xiaolong looked like more he was forging the furnace than refining divine spirit pills.
"That kid, is he thinking of reforging the furnace because its grade is too low? To increase the furnace's quality a little?" Standing behind Qin Yi, the Azure Dragon Institute Principal's eldest disciple, Ceng Chu mocked.
But the Azure Dragon Institute Principal Qin Yi did not respond, his eyes gleamed as he continued to watch. Although he had no idea what Huang Xiaolong's purpose was, he could tell that each of Huang Xiaolong's punches contained depth and profoundness. Moreover, every strike was made with the exact same force!
Thirty-six punches, neither harder nor weaker, all landed accurately without the slightest deviation!
Clearly, Huang Xiaolong was not playing around.
A rank six godhead was one of the rewards for this term's first place winner, no one would take this competition lightly.
Just as the Azure Dragon Institute Principal Qin Yi suspected, Huang Xiaolong was not playing around. His thirty-six punches were used to shake up the herbs' properties inside the furnace until they were well integrated. After Huang Xiaolong's thirty-six punches, the herbs inside the furnace were equally divided into thirty-six portions.
This was a technique that Huang Xiaolong had derived from his own comprehension. A self-created alchemy refining technique.
Time gradually passed, and very soon half an hour was gone.
All of a sudden, the sound of an exploding furnace rang in the square, originating from the front of the square. A participant's furnace exploded in the midst of refining, black smoke was curling out from the furnace's mouth.
Moments later, another similar noise rippled in the air.
As time continued to flow, the noise of exploding furnaces sounded like morning tide waves, one after another.
By the one hour mark, more than ten thousand participants had been disqualified. More than half failed!
However, according to the competition rules, participants that failed within the stipulated three hours time were not allowed to leave the square. They must wait until three hours ended, therefore these participants could only remain on the square and watch the other participants continuing forward.
Another half an hour passed.
On the quiet square, a silvery cry resounded, followed by a brilliant light shooting up to the sky.
Turning toward the source, Xiang Mingzhi's furnace was seen floating high in the air as round pellets resembling luminous jade beads flew out from the furnace. Immediately, the scent of medicinal pills permeated the square, intoxicating many masters all around.
In a few seconds, all the spirit pellets that Xiang Mingzhi refined had flown out-a total of twenty-two pellets!
Moreover, each pellet emitted a luster. Just from that, no one doubted that these pellets were of the highest quality and grade.
An Alchemist Grandmaster Association disciple hurried to collect those twenty-two pellets from Xiang Mingzhi, bringing them to the host stage.
After verifying them, Lin Pinghai announced, "Twenty-two Potent Spirit Pills, all top grade, time: one and a half hours!"
The crowd was in an uproar.
He actually successfully refined twenty-two Potent Spirit Pills, and each pellet was top grade!
Hearing the gasps and exclamations, a trace of complacence showed on Xiang Mingzhi's face. He did not use the Azure Dragon Divine Fire just now, merely a fire transformed from his god battle qi. Integrating with the Azure Dragon Divine Fire triggered a transformation in his god battle qi, becoming stronger many times over compared to before.
Xiang Mingzhi cast a taunting glance at Huang Xiaolong, who was still refining.
A short while later, another dazzling light burst into the sky.
The second person who succeeded the task was Ancestor Mountaingoat. Ancestor Mountaingoat also managed to produce top grade Potent Spirit Pills, but only twenty-one pellets.
Two hours passed, and the number of successful participants increased, but then again, even more people failed.
At two and a half hours mark, Huang Xiaolong finally succeeded in refining his Potent Spirit Pills. To Huang Xiaolong, two and a half hours was just right, neither too fast, drawing too much attention, nor too slow that he was the last person.
Seeing that Huang Xiaolong only managed to finish refining his batch of Potent Spirit Pills after two and a half hours, the satirical smile on Xiang Mingzhi's face deepened.
Soon, the three-hour time limit reached the end.
At the final count, no more than one hundred and forty participants passed the preliminary stage.
Around twelve thousand people participated in the competition, but no more than a hundred and forty people made it through. This ratio was horrifying.
However, the Alchemist Grandmaster Association seemingly expected this result, hence the furnace and ingredients prepared for the final stage did not exceed two hundred sets.
With the failures of the preliminary stage leaving, the square was even more empty.
The final stage of the competition did not begin immediately. Instead, it was scheduled half an hour after the preliminary stage ended. The half an hour was a break for the participants who succeeded to readjust their conditions.
When the time came, Lin Pinghai once again spoke from the host stage, "I explained the final round's rules earlier, and I believe everyone is clear. If there are no questions, then the competition shall begin!"
"Wait!" Just as Lin Pinghai finished his sentence, someone shouted. Turning toward the origin of the voice, the person who shouted was none other than Xiang Mingzhi.
Lin Pinghai's eyebrows rose to his forehead.
Xiang Mingzhi looked at Huang Xiaolong, coldly saying, "Huang Xiaolong, competing this way is not interesting. How about the two of us make a bet? If you lose, then you must give me the Five-colored Divine Banner, the Innumerable Fortune Kasaya, and the rest of twenty-five ancient treasures as well as the Hailstone Treasure vault! Other than that, kneel before me, kowtow one thousand times as repentance for your sins! When you see me in the future, you're to respectfully call me Ancestor!" Though his voice wasn't loud, all the people presence heard every word loud and clear.
A cold light flickered in Huang Xiaolong's eyes, his gaze fixed on the other party, a cold expression on his face, "And if you lose?"
Xiang Mingzhi blanked for a second hearing this, then burst into laughter, "Huang Xiaolong, you think you can win over me? Looks like you don't understand what the Azure Dragon Divine Fire represents. Didn't your Master Ascending Moon tell you?" Xiang Mingzhi's laughter was arrogant to the extreme.