Bai Xiaochun was immersed in the depths of augury. However, as for everyone else in the audience, when they saw the sixteen-colored sea of fire surrounding him, they erupted into pandemonium.
“A sixteen-colored sea of fire! All Bai Hao has to do is finish the last step, and he’ll have a second tongue of sixteen-colored flame!!”
“This is completely fantastic. He's breaking new ground! I never would have thought that someone would do something so spectacular with flame conjuring!!”
“Is that… wait, don’t tell me that’s the legendary Flame Harmony?”
The clamor wouldn't stop; people really were completely and utterly shaken by what they were witnessing.
Tens upon tens of thousands of voices all clamored together, creating a rumbling sound that was as loud as thunder. Thankfully, Bai Xiaochun was in a little world of his own, surrounded by a sea of fire and completely immersed in augury. Otherwise, the thunderous sound would likely have distracted him.
Zhou Hong’s eyes shone with mysterious light. Even Little Wolfgod and the other chosen could tell that something odd was going on. They even considered doing something to interrupt Bai Xiaochun, but knew that doing so would provoke too much public outrage. Besides, who knew whether or not Bai Xiaochun would do something drastic in response. Therefore, they were forced to simply watch broodingly.
“Dammit,” Li Tiansheng said through gritted teeth. “Since when did we have to be so worried about making a move on someone!?” However, he could do nothing but sit there bitterly. Based on the glint in Zhou Hong’s eyes, Li Tiansheng could tell that he had already decided it wasn't worth it to try to interrupt Bai Xiaochun.
“This guy is crazy,” Zhou Hong murmured inwardly. “I could do something to interrupt this session of enlightenment, but for all I know, he might disregard all propriety and do something unspeakable….” Gritting his teeth, he shook his head. The truth was that virtually all of the Wildlands had been shaken by what Bai Xiaochun did in the Necromancer Kettle, and all of the chosen who had been part of it had been profoundly affected.
Meanwhile, Sun Yifan and Sima Tao both had looks of despair in their eyes. As celestial necromancers, they had more insight into the situation than anyone else present, and could tell that, given the current state Bai Xiaochun was in, there was no way they could compete with him.
When everyone else looked at the sixteen-colored sea of fire around Bai Xiaochun, they assumed he was preparing to form it down into a sixteen-colored flame. However, Sun Yifan and Sima Tao could both tell that Bai Xiaochun’s level of control over the sixteen-colored flame had reached an unimaginable level. They knew that all it would take would be a single thought on his part to form that flame!
“How do we compete with this…?” That was what both of them were thinking. At the same time, neither of them were willing to just give up. Eyes crimson, they each looked down at the four fifteen-colored flames they had conjured up to this point, and knew they only had one chance.
To throw caution to the wind!!
If they went all out, they might get lucky and succeed in transforming their current batch of fifteen-colored flames into sixteen-colored flames, all in one shot!
Although there was only a minimal chance of success, it was their only hope.
“Time to go for broke!!” Sun Yifan murmured through gritted teeth. Sima Tao’s eyes were just as bloodshot as his. Both of them seemed ready to put their lives on the line to come out on top in the wager.
However, even as they made up their minds, Bai Xiaochun suddenly looked up and started laughing like a maniac. He threw his hands up above his head in delight, and his eyebrows danced with joy as he shouted, “I understand! I get it now! This technique will work!! I'm gonna try it out. I have to try it out!!”
His mind was currently filled with the two different methods his apprentice had come up with regarding the formula for eighteen-colored flame.
One method involved getting a large collection of seventeen-colored flame and transforming them into something new. With that method, the focus was not on vengeful souls, but on the seventeen-colored flame itself.
The other method was to take a seventeen-colored flame and spread it out into a sea of fire, and slowly add another color by using flame itself. When the eighteenth color appeared in full, then the sea of fire could be formed back into a tongue of flame.
The second method was actually very shocking, and was something that had never been done before. It went completely contrary to the traditional way of conjuring flame.
After all, the formula for eighteen-colored flame was very rare. Not even the Giant Ghost King had it. Anyone who succeeded in conjuring eighteen-colored flame… would instantly become an earthly necromancer! And earthly necromancers were the rare among the rare in the Wildlands!
All earthly necromancers occupied incredibly high positions that were no weaker than the heavenly kings. In fact, the Wildlands currently only had three earthly necromancers in total. They were even more rare than demigods.
Bai Xiaochun was bursting with excitement, and yet he forced his breathing under control. At the moment, he had completely forgotten about the competition, and was completely focused on flame conjuring. With that, he waved his right hand, causing the surrounding sixteen-colored sea of fire to rapidly form down into a true sixteen-colored flame!
Before any exclamations of praise could be heard, and before Sun Yifan and Sima Tao could even begin to try to conjure sixteen-colored flames, Bai Xiaochun turned his attention on them, and the fifteen-colored flames which hovered around them.
Eyes shining, and mind abuzz with the new technique, he completely ignored Sun Yifan and Sima Tao as he waved his sleeve, causing the power of his Heaven-Dao Nascent Soul to sweep out. He instantly created a windstorm that Sun Yifan and Sima Tao were completely unprepared for, and sent them tumbling backward out of the competition area.
“What are you doing, Bai Hao?!?!”
Blood oozed out of the corners of their mouth as they reeled in confusion about what was happening. As for the audience, they were shouting in alarm, completely stunned by Bai Xiaochun’s actions. Only Bai Hao seemed to know what his Master was thinking, and his eyes shone brightly as a result.
Bai Xiaochun didn’t even hear the words uttered by Sun Yifan and Sima Tao. Instead, he focused on the eight tongues of fifteen-colored flame they had left behind. Waving his sleeve again, he collected them up, even as Sun Yifan and Sima Tao shouted out in rage.
Countless eyes went wide with disbelief as people tried to figure out what was happening.
“What are you doing, Bai Hao!?”
“What’s… what’s… what’s going on?!”
“Isn’t this a competition? What are you suddenly stealing our flames for?! What kind of a competition is this…?” Although Sun Yifan and Sima Tao were yelling angrily, secretly they were breathing sighs of relief. Bai Xiaochun’s impulsive action had actually resolved any feelings of embarrassment they had before, and gave them plenty of ammunition with which to attack him later.
Zhou Hong and the other chosen were immediately bursting with joy. That was especially true of Miao Lin’er, who knew that this stupid move on the part of Bai Hao would definitely give people plenty of ground to talk about him negatively, no matter what he did from this point out.
Chen Manyao looked on nervously. However, there was no way to take back what had been done, nor any way for her to resolve the current situation. Even as everyone was completely shocked by Bai Xiaochun’s actions, all of a sudden… his two sixteen-colored flames suddenly spread out and then combined.
It was one giant sea of sixteen-colored fire, which sent blistering heat out in all directions as it rose high into the sky. Everyone in the audience was backing away in fear.
“I need ten tongues of sixteen-colored flame….” he murmured, eyes shining with madness. Based on the inspiration he had just received, he tossed the eight tongues of fifteen-colored flame into the sixteen-colored sea of fire.
Instantly, intense rumbling sounds exploded out, sounds that could be heard quite a distance away. Furthermore, the way the flame filled the sky ensured that everyone could see it!
Cries of alarm could be heard as people scrambled away. Sun Yifan and Sima Tao were no longer beside themselves with joy, and their scalps were tingling with fear.
“What is he going to do?!?!”
“Heavens! If that sea of fire destabilized, something very, very bad would happen!!”
The city guards seemed the most nervous of all as they spread out, not only trying to quiet people down, but also setting up a spell formation to contain the area Bai Xiaochun was in.
The guards knew that Bai Xiaochun could not be disturbed. If he did, and the sea of fire exploded, mass chaos would ensue. As they tried to contain the situation, they all sent messages to their superiors.
Zhou Hong’s eyes flickered malevolently, but he quickly abandoned any ideas of trying to interfere. The trouble that would happen as a result was too much for even him to be able to handle.
As everyone watched nervously, Bai Xiaochun remained in the middle of the spell formation, hands flashing in a double-handed incantation gesture as he controlled the sea of fire. It was almost as if the sea of fire had a spirit that was meekly responding to all of his orders. As he fed the eight tongues of fifteen-colored flame into the sixteen-colored sea of fire, they unexpectedly became… part of the sixteen-colored sea of fire!!
The sight of so much sixteen-colored fire was completely and utterly unbelievable.
“Sixteen-colored fire…. I can’t believe all those fifteen-colored flames became part of a sixteen-colored sea of fire!!”
“If he formed that sea of fire back down into tongues of flame, then he would have… ten tongues of sixteen-colored flame! Heavens! How is this even possible!?!?”
Sun Yifan and Sima Tao were as ashen as death as they stood there, gazing blankly at the shocking sixteen-colored sea of fire.
Of course, things weren’t over yet!