“It’s not that hard!” Bai Xiaochun said proudly, looking at the one-colored flame. Conjuring flame and concocting medicine really were similar in a lot of ways.
Although the specific techniques were different, there were plenty of commonalities. For example, when conjuring flame, one mixed together certain types of souls, and then made adjustments based on the subsequent transformations.
The main difficulty lay in the fact that all the adjustments needed to be made in one fell swoop, when the souls were crushed together into the palm. The slightest mistake at that point would lead to a failure.
Of course, the process also required the use of one’s cultivation base. Both spiritual power and soul power counted as energy of heaven and earth, and were a required element.
To a novice, all of those different factors would require time to get used to. But Bai Xiaochun’s first failure had only been because he didn’t make the proper adjustments in the necessary moment. Afterward, he had analyzed the situation, and then decided to simply think of the souls as medicinal plants with unique properties, his hand as the pill furnace, and his spiritual power as the fire to heat the furnace!
After that, everything became clear.
Therefore, he succeeded on his second try!
The sight of the one-colored flame in his hand got him very excited, as if a huge door had been opened, leading to a new road to follow.
“Necromancers are like the direct descendants of heaven and earth! And I'm a necromancer!” He laughed heartily, aware that his ability to conjure one-colored flame made him an initiate necromancer in the Wildlands.
“Next up, two-colored flame....” Eyes glittering, he produced some more souls from his bag of holding, then followed the formula. Treating the souls like medicinal plants, he combined them according to the required ratios, adjusted his spiritual power, and then closed his hand over the souls to act as the pill furnace.
It might have seemed complicated, but Bai Xiaochun had been concocting medicine for years, and was very familiar with such tasks. His eyes shone as he immersed himself in his work, and soon, the one-colored flame and the various souls combined, and a second color appeared within the flames.
Zhou Yixing couldn’t help but rise to a sitting position, his eyes wider than ever as he stared at the two-colored flame forming in Bai Xiaochun’s palm. He almost couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
“Impossible! It took me a full three years to succeed at conjuring two-colored flame!!” Zhou Yixing almost looked like he’d seen a ghost, and the disappointment in his heart was very uncomfortable.
“Well, it's not like it’s that amazing. It’s just two-colored flame, right? Not really a big deal. This Bai guy is just really lucky, that’s all!!” Even as Zhou Yixing stewed in his irritation, the two-colored flame finished forming.
However, things weren’t over yet. Bai Xiaochun pulled out some more souls, roughly fifty this time, and used what seemed to be an even more complicated method to feed them into the two-colored flame. Gradually, a third color appeared, and he had a three-colored flame!
Bai Xiaochun didn’t seem very impressed with the three-colored flame. Without even pausing, he waved his sleeve to produce a few hundred vengeful souls. Then, eyes glittering, he fed the souls into the three-colored flame, which roiled like a sea of fire. Although it seemed like he was simply throwing them in, he actually put them in according to a very specific order, making adjustments the entire time. However, the overall process happened in a flash.
A moment later, the sea of fire shrank back down into a tongue of flame, this time... with four colors!!
“How is this possible?!?!” Zhou Yixing exclaimed inwardly, his eyes wider than before as he stared at the four-colored flame. Before, he had chalked everything up to luck, but by now, he couldn’t continue to convince himself that it was mere chance.
The fact that Bai Xiaochun had produced four-colored flame in almost one smooth action indicated to Zhou Yixing that he was actually dealing with a journeyman necromancer!
However, everything was happening so quickly that Zhou Yixing began to wonder if this was someone from his clan that he didn’t know....
But he quickly quashed the idea. Glaring at Bai Xiaochun, he gritted his teeth, unable to conceal the envy which flickered in his eyes.
“I refuse to believe that this guy is really this amazing. That’s nothing but a trifling four-colored flame. There’s no way he’s going to be able to conjure a five-colored flame using Zhou Clan techniques. After all, when trying to conjure five-colored flame, there is an extremely difficult factor that most people--” Before he could finish that thought, Bai Xiaochun produced over a thousand vengeful souls, combined them, and fed them into the four-colored flame. The flame danced wildly as though it were about to wink out, and yet, Bai Xiaochun somberly closed his hand over it. Then, moments later, he opened his fist to reveal... a fifth color!!
Zhou Yixing was struck numb, and his scalp started tingling madly.
“I don't care how amazing his guy is, there’s no way he can conjure nine-colored flame!! He can’t! I don’t care how awesome he thinks he is, or how talented, he still needs time to stabilize the flame!”
Bai Xiaochun had no way of knowing that Zhou Yixing was virtually going crazy. Had he known, he would have been very pleased, but at the moment, he was fully focused on the five-colored flame in his palm. Instead of continuing on to try to conjure more flames, he spent time pondering why the five-colored flame had almost winked out earlier.
After a bit of time passed, he reached a conclusion....
“There was a conflict with the soul ingredients. The formula isn’t perfect! When five-colored flame forms, some of the souls clash with each other. If the disturbance is contained, the flame is conjured. If not... then it's a failure.
“So, it seems that I can’t really trust the formulas after all.” After some more thought, he proceeded to try to conjure six-colored flame, and did just as the formula required, which was produce 3,000 souls.
Generally speaking, it was very important to maintain the proper ratio of souls, and also mix them together at the right time. For many journeyman necromancers, that was a very difficult thing to do, but for Bai Xiaochun, it was a simple thing, even with 3,000 souls.
Before long, the 3,000 souls were all arranged and adjusted properly, and were pouring into the five-colored flame. Before long, he had his six-colored flame!
Next was seven-colored flame. By this point, Zhou Yixing couldn’t have been any more shocked, and was in fact wracked with feelings of intense jealousy, and at the same time, despair.
It was simply impossible for him to imagine how someone could be so talented that they could use his clan’s flame formulas to conjure everything up to a seven-colored flame in one single session.
It was simply inhuman.... What was even more amazing was that Zhou Yixing had been the one to tell him the formulas, and yet, hadn’t mentioned the most important things to pay attention to. One example was how important it was to contain the disturbances that arose in five-colored flame. And yet, despite leaving such things out, this Necromancer Bai had figured everything out on his own. Zhou Yixing couldn’t help but be a bit terrified.
When eight-colored flame appeared in Bai Xiaochun’s palm, Zhou Yixing felt a bit numb, and simply stared in shock, unsure if he was seeing things or not....
But then, rumbling sounds echoed out as a nine-colored flame appeared, and Zhou Yixing shrieked involuntarily. Leaping to his feet, he pointed at Bai Xiaochun, his face as ashen as if he had just seen a ghost, his heart filled with such astonishment that he was about to faint.
“This is impossible!” Zhou Yixing shrieked hysterically. “It’s simply impossible.... You failed on your first try at one-colored flame, but after that, succeeded with everything up to nine-colored flame! I... I don’t know a single master necromancer who would dare to claim to be able to do that. Only terrestrial necromancers are capable of such a thing!! Just who exactly are you!?!?”
The miraculous performance he had just witnessed seemed unbelievably preposterous.
Bai Xiaochun frowned at being interrupted, and looked over at Zhou Yixing with an angry glare. Of course, at the same time, he was feeling very pleased at having just conjured nine-colored flame.
“Pipe down!” he said in his best imitation of someone from the Senior generation. Trying to suppress his excitement at having a nine-colored flame in his palm, he calmed himself and pulled out 30,000 souls. Then he opened his fingers, allowing the nine-colored flame to transform into a sea of fire. Carefully arranging the 30,000 souls, and pouring in his spiritual power in just the right way, he began to feed the souls into the fire. Some went in alone, others in groups of three to five. Before long, they were all inside.
Of course, the speed at which he did all of that defied description. Within about ten breaths’ of time, the souls were merged into the fire, whereupon Bai Xiaochun extended his hand and closed his fist.
His hand became like a black hole that sucked in all the surrounding flame. Then, when he opened his fingers, he saw... a ten-colored flame!!