Chapter 812: Plans
The 'Heavenly Flame Ranking' contained the twenty-three kinds of 'Heavenly Flames' that everyone on the Dou Qi continent knew. Each type of 'Heavenly Flame' on this ranking list caused a countless number of people to flock over in doves. Any little news that was related to them would stir up an extremely big commotion. This point had already been proven many times over by many events.
Each of the 'Heavenly Flame' on the 'Heavenly Flame Ranking' had their own unique properties. Of course, just like how people had long and short hands, the 'Heavenly Flames' naturally had those that were stronger and those that were weaker when they were compared with each other. The first kind of 'Heavenly Flame' that Xiao Yan had was the 'Green Lotus Core Flame' which was ranked nineteenth on the ranking list. On top of possessing an extremely wild and violently high temperature, this kind of 'Heavenly Flame' seemed to also be able to ignite a volcanic eruption. Of course, until now, Xiao Yan had never done something like this. Hence, he was also unaware of whether this was really true.
The second 'Heavenly Flame' he possessed was naturally the 'Fallen Heart Flame' which was ranked fourteenth. This kind of invisible flame was similar to the 'Green Lotus Core Flame' in terms of strength. However, it was superior in its bizarre uses. Of course, it also possessed a unique ability that caused one's eyes to turn red with envy. That was the ability to help people refine the Dou Qi in their body to increase their training speed.
Ever since he had learned of the 'Heavenly Flame Ranking', the 'Heavenly Flame' with the highest ranking that Xiao Yan had seen was the 'Bone Chilling Flame' of Yao Lao, which was ranked eleventh on the 'Heavenly Flame Ranking'. This thing was far more powerful than Xiao Yan's two 'Heavenly Flames' in terms of destructive strength. Perhaps only the 'Glazed Lotus Heart Flame' that was formed from the merger of these two 'Heavenly Flames' could contend with it.
Xiao Yan had never seen any 'Heavenly Flame' ranked above that flame He was completely unaware of the names of those 'Heavenly Flames' and the special abilities that they possessed.
The eleventh ranked 'Bone Chilling Flame' already possessed such a frightening, destructive strength. It was difficult to imagine just how frightening the strength of the third ranked 'Purifying Demonic Lotus Flame'.
According to what Yao Lao had said back then, this 'Purifying Demonic Lotus Flame' was something that even he had never seen. There was no rumors of anyone having possessed this kind of 'Heavenly Flame' during these many years. A flame at this level seemed to basically be nonexistent. Xiao Yan really did not know just how the person who recorded the 'Heavenly Flame Ranking' had obtained news of these mysterious 'Heavenly Flames' and was able to rank their names from there.
Xiao Yan had occasionally heard Yao Lao mention that the top five 'Heavenly Flames' of this 'Heavenly Flame Ranking' were actually those kinds of things where one had only heard of but never seen. At the very least, he had never seen or heard any information that was related to the top five 'Heavenly Flames' during his era. Back then, he was extremely proud of his own strength. Originally, he had planned to obtain a 'Heavenly Flame' that was ranked within the top five in order to be worthy of his status and position. In the end, after spending endless amounts of time and plenty of effort, he had failed to obtain a 'Heavenly Flame' within the top ten, much less within the top five. Finally, he could only settle for a lower grade. He chose the 'Bone Chilling Flame' that was ranked eleventh. Even though this was the case, he had nearly suffered from a backlash while he was obtaining the 'Bone Chilling Flame'. From this, one could tell that the 'Heavenly Flames' on the 'Heavenly Flame Ranking' were indeed not things that were easy to find.
Back then, Yao Lao was so astonished when he had obtained the first fragmented map piece from the cave and identified just what the black lotus was. Who would have thought that the thing he had waited for so long without the slightest clue about would actually appear in such a secluded mountain cave.
Xiao Yan's face also let out a sigh as his heart recalled all the issues related to the 'Heavenly Flames'. He immediately leaped down from his bed and came to the side of the table. After which, he began to carefully join the ancient yellowish map fragments.
Some of the lines that were drawn on the map gradually began to merge as the maps were joined together. However, some of the things that were drawn on it left Xiao Yan completely clueless. Given his experience, he was totally unable to identify just where the location that was drawn on the map was.
Xiao Yan's hand gently caressed the map. His eyes landed on an empty corner. According to his guess, this map should have four parts. Currently, he already had three parts of it in his hands. If he was able to obtain the final piece of the map, he might be able to obtain the location of the 'Purifying Demonic Lotus Flame!'
Although… his words were spoken in this manner, this Dou Qi continent was spacious. The difficulty of attempting to obtain the final map fragment was not much lower than finding a needle in a haystack. Moreover, it was obvious that one could not find something like this openly. There were many experts on the Dou Qi continent and it was different from the secluded existence of the Jia Ma Empire where an ordinary person did not know what the map fragment was. Hence, should anyone discover that he possessed a clue to find the 'Purifying Demonic Lotus Flame,' it was likely that he would attract an endless amount of trouble.
Xiao Yan involuntarily let out a bitter laugh when he thought of this. The reason that he was able to obtain three pieces of the map fragments was because of luck. It was easier said than done if he wanted to go and get hold of another piece.
"Ugh, I have very little knowledge of the Dou Qi continent, and I am completely unaware of just what news is out there. I am basically clueless in my attempt to find the last remaining map fragment…" Xiao Yan mused to himself. "It seems that at the very least I will need to look for a trustworthy person who also understands the Dou Qi continent well in order to obtain some news… however, Cai Lin and the Little Fairy Doctor do not have a better understanding of the continent compared to me despite them being trustworthy. Ugh…"
Xiao Yan's finger gently tapped the table's surface. He descended into deep thought. This continued for quite a while before his finger suddenly paused. A joy surfaced within his heart as he stood up and softly laughed, "How could I have forgotten about First Elder Su Qian? Being the First Elder of the Jia Nan Academy's Inner Academy, it was likely that this esteem elder should be aware of many secrets given the special position that the Jia Nan Academy had on the continent. Looking for him should be the best choice if Xiao Yan wanted to find some news relating to the 'Heavenly Flame'."
"Moreover, even if I am unable to obtain news about the 'Heavenly Flame', it is rumored that the headmaster of the Inner Academy is also an elite Dou Zun comparable to teacher. If I am able to meet him this time around, it might be possible to invite him to lend a hand regarding this 'Demon Poison Spot' given his relationship with the Inner Academy…" Xiao Yan's eyes flickered. He immediately sigh in relief. He had left the Inner Academy for more than a year. It was likely that the incomplete 'Fallen Heart Flame' that he had left behind in the 'Blazing Sky Qi Refining Tower' had already been exhausted. If he did not go and help them replenish it, it was likely that the First Elder would become anxious.
"Looks like I will have to hurry over to the 'Black-Corner Region' after settling the matters here…" Xiao Yan laughed softly as he muttered to himself. The 'Black-Corner Region' was close to the middle of the Dou Qi continent. The chances of obtaining news about a 'Heavenly Flame' at that place were far higher than staying within the Jia Ma Empire. Therefore, Xiao Yan might have to plan another trip back there.
Xiao Yan's heart relaxed after having made this decision. He carefully stored the map on the table into his storage ring. With a wave of his sleeves, the flame light in the room was extinguished, and a quiet darkness covered the room.
"You plan to head to the 'Black-Corner Region?" Medusa inquired with some surprised. She was startled when she heard Xiao Yan's plans.
"Yeah." Xiao Yan smiled and nodded. He said, "The headmaster of the Inner Academy is an elite Dou Zun. If I am able to meet him, I might be able to ask him to help."
"Chi, that old fellow is always missing. In all my years at the Inner Academy, I have only seen him once. Even if you go, you might not be able to meet him." Zi Yan by the side curled her mouth when she replied.
"I must at least give it a try, right? Moreover, even if I am unable to meet him, I will also be able to inquire about some information relating to the 'Heavenly Flames' from the First Elder. If I am able to find another type of 'Heavenly Flame', I will not need anyone's help in undoing this 'Demon Poison Spot'." Xiao Yan vaguely smiled in an unconcerned manner as he responded.
"Alright, there is more trouble in the 'Black-Corner Region' than within the Jia Ma Empire. Do you need me to follow?" Medusa mused for a moment before nodding her head and asking a question.
"Although you will be of much help if you follow me, the Yan Alliance and the Snake-People Tribe will no longer be guaranteed their safety should you leave. Hence, I can only trouble you to help me protect the Yan Alliance and the members of the Xiao clan this time around." Xiao Yan hesitated for a moment before speaking with a solemn expression. The people from the 'Hall of Souls' seemed to have not given up their plans for the Xiao clan. If all of them left, it was likely that the members of the Xiao clan would be in danger should the people from the 'Hall of Souls' make their way to the Jia Ma Empire, which did not have the protection of an elite Dou Zong.
Medusa knit her brows when she heard this. She was not really reassure, especially allowing Xiao Yan to head to the danger-filled 'Black-Corner Region' alone. However, what Xiao Yan had said was true. The current Yan Alliance needed the presence of an elite Dou Zong…
"Why don't I accompany you? The Poison Sect no longer has any opponents within the Chu Yun Empire. It should not be much trouble for me to leave for a period of time." The quiet Little Fairy Doctor by the side suddenly suggested when she saw the worry on Medusa's face.
Xiao Yan was startled. He immediately became somewhat hesitant. He would naturally gain a lot of advantages if an elite Dou Zong like the Little Fairy Doctor followed him. However, she did have an enormous Poison Sect to manage…
"My 'Woeful Poison Body' might erupt any time. If you leave for too long, who will come and help me control it even if all the ingredients have been found?' The Little Fairy Doctor involuntarily smiled and continued to explain when she saw Xiao Yan's hesitation.
"This… alright. Thank you very much." Xiao Yan naturally ceased hesitating since the other party had spoken to such an extent. He immediately nodded, cupped his hands, and smiled to the Little Fairy Doctor. He naturally understood that the Little Fairy Doctor had the intention of protecting him by following him.
Medusa quietly sighed in relief when she saw that the Little Fairy Doctor had taken the initiative to say that she would follow Xiao Yan. The gaze she used to look at the latter was slightly gentler. She clearly knew that the Little Fairy Doctor possessed a strength that was similar to hers. Xiao Yan should not have too much trouble with her tagging along.
"Let me take this little girl too. I must at least let First Elder and the others see that I did not mistreat her since I will also be returning to the Jia Nan Academy." Xiao Yan patted Zi Yan's head only to end up being dodged by the unwilling girl.
Medusa faintly smiled and nodded. Although Zi Yan's strength was only that of a Dou Huang, that frightening strange strength of hers was something that even an expert Dou Huang would have difficulty contending against. She could also be considered quite the help.
"In that case, when will you be leaving?" Medusa looked at Xiao Yan as she slowly asked.
"We will leave tomorrow. Now…" Xiao Yan smiled. He immediately flicked his finger and a jade bottle with an invisible flame sealing its mouth appeared in his hand. He looked at the jade bottle. Some coldness flashed across his eyes as he slowly said, "Now, we should pry some information regarding the 'Hall of Souls' from this fellow's mouth."
Chapter 813: Information on the Hall of Souls
Medusa's and the Little Fairy Doctor's eyes swept over the jade bottle in Xiao Yan's hand, causing their eyes to slightly solidify. Immediately, they placed themselves with one at the front and the other behind, completely sealing the interior of this room. They felt some fear within their heart for that so-called Protector Tie of the 'Hall of Souls'.
Xiao Yan laughed upon seeing the reaction of these two people. His hand rubbed the bottle's mouth. The fluctuation of the invisible flame gradually became pale before finally disappearing.
An illusionary soul immediately rushed out following the scattering of the flame. Finally, he shot toward the ceiling without any care for his life.
An invisible fire wall suddenly appeared on the ceiling as Xiao Yan flicked his finger. That illusionary spiritual body knocked into it and immediately emitted a 'chi chi' sound. A sharp miserable cry subsequently appeared.
Xiao Yan observed the illusionary spiritual body, which was covering his head in panic. He smiled faintly as the seal on his hand moved. That invisible fire wall rushed down and accurately wrapped around the soul before slowly descending.
"Ke ke, Protector Tie, why do you need to run so quickly?" Xiao Yan spoke before he smiled and studied Protector Tie, who was carefully hiding within the flame. He did not dare allow his body to touch even a little of the surrounding fire wall.
"Just what do all of you want? Our Protectors from the 'Hall of Souls' have a spiritual imprint in the 'Hall of Soul'. They will definitely sense it if you kill me. At that time, the enforcement unit of the 'Hall of Souls' will definitely not let all of you off!" Protector Tie glared at Xiao Yan's group furiously as he roared.
"I am only asking a couple of questions. As long as Protector Tie replies honestly, I will naturally not kill you." Xiao Yan was noncommittal with regards to Protector Tie's threat as he spoke with a smile.
A light flashed across Protector Tie's eyes when he heard this. He immediately laughed, "What do you wish to ask?"
"Give me some information that is related to the 'Hall of Souls'." Xiao Yan sat on a chair as he softly asked.
"Information related to the 'Hall of Souls'?" Protector Tie was startled. His gaze was surprised as he looked at Xiao Yan. An ordinary person could not help, but want to avoid them. It was unexpected that this fellow had actually taken the initiative to inquire about information.
"Brat, you are really extremely bold. Don't think that you can be arrogant just because you have two elite Dou Zongs by your side. In the eyes of the 'Hall of Souls', eliminating you is merely something as easy as raising one's hands. If you are tactful, you will release me as soon as you can. Otherwise… ah!" The surrounding invisible flame suddenly shrank before Protector Tie finished speaking. Finally, it adhered to his soul. The hot temperature caused his body to repeatedly emit a 'chi chi' sound as a miserable sharp cry once again resounded throughout the room.
The flame grilled him for around half a minute before slowly withdrawing, leaving behind an extremely weary spiritual body.
Xiao Yan's eyes were indifferent as he glanced at Protector Tie. His voice was calm as he said, "This is not the answer that I want. Don't think that I won't dare to kill you. Moreover, I will let you suffer sufficient pain before I do so…"
"You…" Protector Tie's eyes were vicious as he stared intently at Xiao Yan before glancing at the burning invisible fire wall around him. Horror appeared in his eyes. A moment later, he finally asked in an extremely unwilling manner, "What information of the 'Hall of Souls' do you wish to know?"
"What is the strength of the 'Hall of Souls' like?" Xiao Yan tossed out a question that he paid great attention to. This mysterious organization was one that even Yao Lao was extremely afraid of. It was likely that its strength should be extremely frightening. Since he was planning to rescue Yao Lao and his father from them in the future, he would naturally need to have some understanding of their strength.
Ridicule surfaced in Protector Tie's eyes when he heard this. He said, "Aren't you afraid that asking this question will give you a blow to your confidence? The ranks within the 'Hall of Souls' are extremely well defined. The protector level itself is divided into three grades. I am but only a Human Grade Protector. On top of the protectors, there are the high-positioned Honorable Elders. With their strength, they can be said to have few opponents even in the entire Dou Qi continent… your so-called Poison Sect only requires a small branch hall to be sent out before it would be completely eliminated in the eyes of the 'Hall of Souls'."
A solemness flashed in Xiao Yan's eyes when he heard Protector Tie's words. A Dou Zong class expert was actually the lowest grade protector? Just what kind of strength did those above them possess?
"Do you know of a person called Protector Wu?" Xiao Yan's finger gently tapped on the table as he slowly asked.
" Wu Ying? You have met him?" This time around, it was Protector Tie's turn to be a little surprise.
"We have exchanged blows." Xiao Yan faintly replied.
Surprise flashed through Protector Tie's eyes. He once again examined the young man in front of him. A moment later, he finally said, "He is also a protector in the 'Hall of Souls'. However, his rank is higher than mine. He is an Earth Grade Protector."
"An Earth Grade protector huh…" Xiao Yan muttered within his heart. After which, he asked in a deep voice, "What kind of strength does the hall's chief of the 'Hall of Soul' possess?"
Protector Tie's face became somewhat strange when he heard this question from Xiao Yan. It was a long while later before he coldly laughed, "The chief is extremely mysterious and unpredictable. Forget about me who is merely a Human Grade Protector. It is likely that even a Heaven Grade protector rarely sees him. Other than the few Honorable Elders and a couple of other people, no one knows just what kind of strength the chief possess.
"Hee hee, however, by being able to develop the 'Hall of Souls' into such a large organization, you can even think with your buttocks to know just how frightening the strength of the chief is. I will say some unceremonious words. The few of you don't even have the qualification to come into contact with those extremely strong people who possess that kind of strength." Protector Tie mocked when he saw Xiao Yan frowning slightly.
"If you do not wish to endure the suffering from being grilled, all you need to do is answer the questions. Leave any other words to rot in your stomach." Xiao Yan's icy-cold eyes swept over him before he asked, "Do you know why the 'Hall of Souls' needs so many souls?"
"No. My mission is only to search for souls, capture them and bring them back to the 'Hall of Souls'. No one knows why the 'Hall of Souls' requires so many spirits. I am not lying. There is nothing I can do if you don't believe me." Protector Tie did not even think as he opened his mouth to reply. He hurriedly added another two sentences when he saw Xiao Yan's gloomy face after he spoke.
"Where is the headquarters of the 'Hall of Souls'?"
"This… I don't know this either." Protector Tie responded with a helpless face.
"In that case, where do you hand over the souls that you capture?" Xiao Yan's eyes were ice-cold as he studied Protector Tie. He only smiled coldly when he saw the latter's helpless expression.
"Normally, we will have a target number to meet and must complete our task within a specified time. Only then will we go back and hand them over. However, we will not return to the headquarters of the 'Hall of Souls'… the 'Hall of Souls' possesses quite a number of branch halls on the continent. They are the places where we hand over the souls."
"How many branch hall locations do you know of?" Xiao Yan pressed with his question.
"One. A Human Grade protector only has the qualification to know of the location of one branch hall each time he comes out to perform a task. An Earth Grade protector can know two of them, a Heaven Grade protector can know three of them… " Protector Tie indirectly looked at the fire wall that was surrounding his body. He sensed the heat within it and his spirit trembled slightly. All he could do was open his mouth and reply.
"Where is it?" Xiao Yan narrowed his eyes and slowly asked.
Protector Tie clenched his teeth when he heard this. However, he shook his head and said, "This is a secret of the 'Hall of Souls'. If I expose it, my ending will be many times worse than dying in your hands."
A cold glint flashed across Xiao Yan's dark-black eyes. He suddenly and tightly clenched his hand, and the invisible fire wall immediately shrank. An instant later it adhered to Protector Tie's body. A 'chi chi' sound once again appeared and Protector Tie's miserable sharp cry followed.
"You have two choices. One is to suffer the grilling of the flame and die while the other is to pray that your divulgence of a secret will not be known by the 'Hall of Souls'." Xiao Yan indifferently spoke to Protector Tie whose entire body was emitting a white smoke.
"You… bastard, ah… I will speak. Let me go!" Protector Tie cursed when that invisible flame temperature was suddenly raised. He could only hurriedly cry out loud under that intense pain.
The tightly shrinking fire wall slowly spread apart when Xiao Yan heard his voice. It revealed the former's extremely weary and miserable spiritual body.
"That branch hall I know of is extremely far from the Chu Yun Empire. It is in a place called the Burial Stream within Sky Heart Empire, which is on the border between the middle of the continent and the northwestern region." Protector Tie's soul trembled slightly before finally speaking in a desolate manner.
"Sky Heart Empire… Burial Stream?" Xiao Yan softly muttered. His gaze swept toward the Little Fairy Doctor and Medusa. The various big and small empires within the Dou Qi continent were as numerous as the amount of hairs on a goat. He had never heard of whatever Sky Heart Empire.
The Little Fairy Doctor mused for a moment when she saw Xiao Yan looking over. Only then did she uncertainly say, "I seem to have heard of this Sky Heart Empire… but I am not very certain if this empire really has this Burial Stream."
Xiao Yan vaguely nodded. He glanced at Protector Tie who still trembling before saying with a faint voice, "Hopefully, what you said is the truth. Otherwise, if I am unable to find that place when the time comes, your ending will likely not be good."
"You are actually still thinking of imprisoning me?" Protector Tie furiously roared. His face changed after hearing Xiao Yan's words.
"Don't tell me that I should just let you off in this manner?" Xiao Yan coldly laughed. He did not wait for Protector Tie to curse angrily before waving his hand. A suction force surged out and once again sucked the latter into the jade bottle. Finally, an invisible flame was poured into it, repeatedly emitting a high temperature while sealing the jade bottle. This caused Protector Tie's body to ultimately end up in a seriously injured condition.
Xiao Yan gently sighed after having once again sealed Protector Tie. His expression immediately became somewhat solemn. From what Protector Tie had said, he was only able to see a corner of the iceberg that was the enormous being known as the 'Hall of Souls'. However, this small corner caused him to feel shaken. It was indeed worthy of being a frightening faction that even Yao Lao was extremely afraid of…
"What do you plan to do now?" Medusa slowly opened her mouth and asked.
"I will first head to the 'Black-Corner Region' first and investigate some things at the same time that I am searching for the 'Heavenly Flame'. According to what Protector Tie said, my current strength is unable to pose any threat to the 'Hall of Souls'. Hence… I should raise my strength as quickly as I can." Xiao Yan softly sighed. He muttered to himself before immediately waving his hand.