Even after entering the competition venue, many participants were pointing at and talking about Huang Xiaolong.
There was nothing that could be done about this, there was practically a huge sign above his head that said 'Highgod Advancement Tournament Champion.' Wherever he went, once his identity was made known, he couldn't escape from being the center of attention.
Of course, the attention increased further after Huang Xiaolong displayed the Pill Refining Hundred Divine Beast technique during his alchemist assessment.
When Mo Su, standing amongst the participating disciples, saw Huang Xiaolong becoming the center of attention the moment he appeared and a cold light flitted in his eyes. He snorted, "This brat is really unpleasing to look at."
Jiang Lei who was standing next to Mo Su smiled with ease, "Don't worry, Brother Mo Su. I found out that Eminent Elder Sun Yi already made preparations to have his competition ingredients changed. At that time, as high as his skills are, there's no way he can succeed."
Hearing that, Mo Su's face relaxed into a smile, "If it's like that, it's truly a pity ah. I cannot let him taste defeat myself and open his eyes to this Devil Son's alchemical greatness."
Jiang Lei chuckled, "With Brother Mo Su's status, there's no need to act personally just to teach that Huang Xiaolong a lesson. He is someone who can't even pass the preliminary round, whereas Brother Mo Su is fated to win the grand competition's first place. That Huang Xiaolong is not even qualified to carry your shoes."
Laughter rose from Mo Su's chest: "You're right."
Because they were covered by a soundproof enchantment, neither of them was worried that their little talk would be heard by others.
As registered participants continued to trickle in, the sectioned off competition ground became increasingly packed.
Roughly an hour later, the Grand Competition overseer for the preliminary round appeared, an Elder called Wang Zhe. He then briefly explained the rules of the preliminary round and motioned a union supervisor to activate the transmission array.
When the transmission array finished activating, it would transfer all participants to individual alchemy refining chambers which contained ingredients and a cauldron prepared by the union. In the preliminary round, all participants were required to refine the same Divine Essence Pellet.
The Divine Essence Pellet was a pill that rapidly aided the godforce recovery of a Highgod Realm master, a low-level scared grade divine pellet.
This Divine Essence Pellet wasn't difficult to refine, however, according to the competition rules, only the first ten thousand participants who first completed refining would be considered as having passed the preliminary round, allowing them to move onto the semi-final. Standing out from a pool of 1.2 million disciples was quite a task.
For this preliminary round, the time given to the participants was three days.
Three days later, whether they were successful or not, they would be sent out by the array inside the chamber.
Shortly, like the other participants, Huang Xiaolong was sent into an individual refining chamber which wasn't very big, about thirty square meters.
Inside the chamber was an extremely common cauldron, and the over four hundred ingredients were placed on the table in front of the wall.
Huang Xiaolong's divine sense swept over the herbs and immediately noticed that, among the four hundred over ingredients, five of them had been replaced.
Seeing this, Huang Xiaolong sneered.
'As expected!' He already knew that Sun Yi would not let him pass the preliminary round smoothly, and the most obvious trick was tampering with the pill refining ingredients.
According to the competition's rules, if a participant noticed any problems with the provided ingredients, they could have the union disciples outside change them through the array inside the chamber.
It goes without saying, the disciple in outside should have received instructions from Sun Yi. Therefore, it was impossible for Huang Xiaolong to request another set of ingredients, it was nothing but deluding himself.
A bright light glowed from his palm as five different herbs appeared.
These were precisely the five ingredients that were changed by Sun Yi.
Two evenings ago when he was drinking with Wangu Yanhui and Wangu Ye, he found out from them that the preliminary round's task was to refine a Divine Essence Pellet. Thus, Huang Xiaolong himself had prepared a set of herbs for refining this pill.
Also, these individual chambers were monitored. If any participating disciple changed the prepared herb ingredients without authorization, their eligibility would be revoked. But for Huang Xiaolong, this monitoring function of the chamber was nonexistent, even if he changed all the ingredients in the chamber, the disciple outside wouldn't find out a thing.
After replacing the five herbs, the remaining ingredients flew toward him with a wave of his hand as Huang Xiaolong began refining.
Similar to the scene during his alchemist assessment, these herb ingredients danced in the air, gathering into the shapes of various divine beasts.
Huang Xiaolong continued to refine the impurities using the fire element energy around him and not his four divine fires, forming a long fire dragon that finally melted the divine beasts.
Then, following the Divine Essence Pellet's refining method, Huang Xiaolong continued to merge the herb essences together.
From the beginning until the end, his refining process proceeded smoothly, without any hindrance. It was seemingly easy, but the slightest mistake could result in failure during pill condensation.
Those divine beast images were refined following a certain sequence. Some earlier, some later, while a portion of them needed to wait until several others had blended before they could be added, otherwise a sudden conflict in the medicinal properties would cause everything to explode.
The crucial point was to stimulate all medicinal properties to their highest level before merging everything, or it would also result in failure during pill condensation.
Still, refining this Divine Essence Pellet didn't require Huang Xiaolong to use his full set of skills, so he went on using the Hundred Divine Beast Diagram.
As more and more herb essences merged together, they gradually emitted a bright glow.
Half an hour later, a crisp hum of pill condensation rang in the chamber Huang Xiaolong was at.
This humming was a sign of successful refinement, but more importantly, only a mid-sacred grade divine pellet and above could produce this type of sound during pill condensation.
Right at this time, outside the competition area on the square, a flickering light appeared as a figure walked out from one of the chambers. This figure was Mo Su.
When the spectating devil clan disciples saw this, their faces lit up, cheering for him.
The devil clan Elder Mo Zhenru stepped forward, congratulating, "Congratulations to Devil Son in obtaining first place in the preliminary round."
From the time the competition started, no other disciple had emerged yet.
Mo Su beamed, "It's merely the preliminary round and doesn't count for much, there's still the semi-final round's first place waiting for me."
"That is true, that is true!" Mo Zhenru laughed, "Winning this competition's first place, for Devil Son, is akin to taking something out from your own bag."
Mo Su was exceptionally pleased hearing that, then his tone changed, "I wonder how that brat Huang Xiaolong is doing..." sneering, he added, "He should be coming out very soon."
With incorrect ingredients causing conflicting medicinal properties, what Huang Xiaolong was refining was going to explode soon, resulting in him being disqualified from the competition.
In the meantime, a union disciple entered the chamber Mo Su was in to take out the Divine Essence Pellet he had refined and hand it over to the overseer for judging.
After the pill was assessed by the Elder, the Divine Essence Pellet that Mo Su had refined was determined to be a top sacred grade divine pellet; refinement time, thirty-one minutes and twenty-three seconds.
Just as Mo Su, Elder Mo Zhenru, and the present devil clan disciples were about to leave the square, another flickering light appeared on the square as a figure stepped out from the chamber.
When Mo Su saw the person's face, he smiled widely, for the second person who came out was none other than Huang Xiaolong.
Although he predicted that Huang Xiaolong would be coming out very soon due to failure, he did not expect it to be so soon.
He approached Huang Xiaolong joyously.
"Huang Xiaolong, I didn't expect you to be the second person to come out." Mo Su smiled was extremely wicked, "Just that little bit slower than me, but my result is a top sacred grade Divine Essence Pellet, what about you? Don't tell me you came out early due to failure!" By this point, Mo Su could no longer contain his laughter.