Chapter 873: Xin Lan
There was still quite some distance between the Jia Nan Academy and Peace Town. Hence, by the time Xiao Yan's group had arrived, it was already noon time. Xiao Yan did not stay for too long in the Outer Academy. He only paused for a moment before hurrying without stopping to the Inner Academy of the Jia Nan Academy, which sat in the deep mountains behind.
With the speed of Xiao Yan's group, they passed through the vast deep mountains, that appeared quite dangerous in their eyes back then, within just half an hour. When that extremely familiar mountain stream appeared within Xiao Yan's sight, he knew in his heart that he had arrived at the Inner Academy.
Under Su Qian lead, the group entered the Inner Academy, which was covered by that distorted space, without any obstruction.
After they passed through the silver main gate, a vast lush-green forest appeared in front of their eyes. Xiao Yan's heart felt somewhat moved, and he felt nostalgic. Back then, he had entered the Inner Academy from this place. That so called 'Fire Energy Hunting Competition' had also allowed him, this newbie, to gain some reputation within the Inner Academy.
"Ke ke, the record that you created back then is something that no new students can beat. The new students every year still suffer a so-called blow from the older students. Something like new students snatching Fire Energy has never happened again." Su Qian by the side laughed.
Xiao Yan involuntarily smiled slightly when he heard Su Qian mention some of his deeds. He softly exhaled a breath of air and smiled as he said, "Let's go…" His body moved after those words sounded and he drifted gently toward the forest. Su Qian and the others followed close behind.
After exiting the forest, the Inner Academy that, occupied an extremely large ground, once again appeared in Xiao Yan's group's sight.
Xiao Yan stood on the top of a slope and looked down on the Inner Academy that was filled with life from a high vantage point. Currently, the size of the Inner Academy was a little bigger than it was two years ago. Due to the entry requirement of the Inner Academy being relaxed a little during these few years, the Inner Academy was currently filled with even more liveliness. Of course, the intense competitions had also increased.
Those who could enter this Inner Academy were not ordinary people, and those who possessed the ability were naturally unwilling to have another step above their heads. A 'Strong Ranking,' which was not considered special, was the target that they were worked hard toward. In order to enable oneself to advance in ranking, quite a number of students went all out to train…
The group paused outside of the Inner Academy. However, Xiao Yan did not immediately follow Su Qian and the rest in. He really wanted to take a look at 'Pan's Gate' to see just how the first faction that he had ever established had transformed…
Su Qian did not stop Xiao Yan when he saw the situation. He smiled and nodded before saying, "You can just find a random person and inquire about the location of the headquarters of 'Pan's Gate.' After you have caught up with everyone, you can come to the Inner Academy Elders Compound to look for me." Su Qian did not wait for Xiao Yan's reply after he spoke. He turned around and led the Little Fairy Doctor, Xiao Li and everyone else to the deeper parts of the Inner Academy, leaving Xiao Yan alone where he stood.
Xiao Yan sent the backs of Su Qian and the rest off with his eyes. After they had disappeared, he finally let out a slow breath. A somewhat energetic smile gradually surged onto his young face. This kind of smile had not appeared on Xiao Yan's face for quite some time. All this time, he had been pressured to advance by various matters. Sometimes, he himself would forget that he was merely a young man in his early twenties and not a white-haired, old man.
However, under the Inner Academy's atmosphere that was filled with vitality, Xiao Yan's mood had become much more relaxed. The current him looked like a young man who matched his age and not a young-old man.
Xiao Yan's hand rubbed his other hand as he slowly walked within the spacious Inner Academy. Along the way, he randomly grabbed a student and inquired about the location of 'Pan's Gate.' Only after the other party informed him with a surprised face did he thank the former before turning around and leaving.
"This little fellow… is he new? He is actually unaware of the location of 'Pan's Gate''s headquarters?" That student finally softly muttered as he watched Xiao Yan's back become distant.
Xiao Yan followed the route that the student had indicated, and finally appeared outside of 'Pan's Gate's' headquarters after ten plus minutes. When he stopped and looked at the villa that occupied an extremely spacious ground, he involuntarily became somewhat stunned despite his calmness. Was this Inner Academy a little too generous? They actually gave a student faction such luxurious headquarters. Compared to the situation in the past where they could only use their hostel as a base, it was really the difference between clouds and mud.
Of course, Xiao Yan, who had been away from the Inner Academy for over two years, naturally did not know the ridiculous amount of strength the current 'Pan's Gate' possessed within the Inner Academy. Over half of the most valued top fifty of the 'Strong Ranking' wore a 'Pan's Gate' badge on their chest. Even quite a few newly promoted Elders of the Inner Academy wore the title of 'Pan's Gate' on them. Due to the current 'Pan's Gate' becoming more strict, resulted in the increase in the solidarity of its members. Thus, this academy faction became more controlled and constrained. This was completely different from the original and somewhat loose academy faction.
Xiao Yan clicked his tongue and let out a praise in his heart before he walked into this enormous manor. His eyes glanced at the four cold and stern looking men at the entrance. Looking at the aura of these four people, they would definitely not be considered weak even if placed within the entire Inner Academy. Getting a member with such skill to stand sentry was something that had never happened when Xiao Yan was still around back then.
Xiao Yan's body moved as he glanced at the cautious gaze of the four cold, stern-looking men who were patrolling to and fro. A faint silver light flickered and he charged into the interior of 'Pan's Gate' in a ghost-like manner without anyone realizing. After which, he smiled and patted his hands together before walking toward the deeper part of 'Pan's Gate.'
Xiao Yan once again felt the spaciousness of this manor as he walked around. He randomly found a path and walked along it. A moment later, his sight became more spacious as a tidy ground appeared in front of him. Waves of suppressed cheers were also being transmitted from this location.
When he heard the cheer, Xiao Yan raised his head and looked at the large crowd of black masses. He involuntarily smiled and steadily walked over. He had sensed a somewhat familiar aura from that spot.
Upon coming closer to the crowd, Xiao Yan discovered that there was a tall platform in the middle of the congregation. A pale-blue-clothed lady was seated cross-legged on this platform. The lady's appearance was extremely beautiful. Her lovely well-proportioned body, under her clothes, revealed an alluring curve that caused one to be attracted. However, a thread of cold indifference kept others far away and the diffusion of this lady's demeanor caused some people to feel somewhat regretful. At a glance, one could tell that she was quite a cold woman. These kinds of women were the type that men had an extremely great difficulty subduing. Therefore, a person who did not have much ability could only adopt an attitude of watching her from afar without attempting to fondle her.
Of course, the thing that interest Xiao Yan the most was not this woman's appearance. Instead, he was interested in the medicinal cauldron that was placed in front of her. At this moment, the flame within the medicinal cauldron was churning rapidly and a faint medicinal fragrance was being emitted. Clearly, this woman was an alchemist!
Xiao Yan's gaze revealed some surprise as it swept over the interior of the medicinal cauldron. He gently sniffed with his nose and the surprise in his eyes grew even denser. He softly muttered, "It is actually a tier 4 medicinal pill, Sky Qi Pill. It is unexpected that this young woman already possesses the ability to refine this kind of medicinal pill at such a young age. Her pill refining talent is not inferior to Gu He's disciple, Liu Ling."
At this moment, the blue-clothed woman's attention was clearly placed on the medicinal cauldron. Some crystal clear perspiration would occasionally form on her smooth forehead. Eventually, a droplet would follow her somewhat skinny oval face and drip down.
Although her face was perspiring, the blue-clothed lady clearly possessed some remaining strength. Her Spiritual Strength controlled the flame and carefully conceived the medicinal pill. Waves of rich medicinal fragrance were repeatedly being transmitted, causing the surrounding observers to repeatedly swallow their saliva. Some soft conversation were also being transmitted.
"Senior Xin Lan's medicinal refining skill has really become superb. Being able to refine a tier 4 medicinal pill at such an age, her achievements in the future will definitely be extraordinary."
"Hee hee, that's right. Whoever marries her in the future will never need to worry about not having medicinal pills to eat…"
"Chi, you are daydreaming again. Senior Xin Lan has set her sights very high. There is basically no man in this Inner Academy who can catch her sharp eyes. Moreover, she personally said that the only condition that needed to be met in order to go out with her was to surpass her in medicinal refining skills. In this Inner Academy, other than some of the Elders of instructors in the Alchemy Department, who else could surpass her?"
"Hei, who says there isn't anyone? Back then, our chief refined a tier 5 medicinal pill when he competed with medicinal refinement against someone else in the Inner Academy!"
"*Cough*… move away from me. The chief has already left the Inner Academy for two years. How can that be counted…"
Xiao Yan felt somewhat funny as he heard the surrounding conversations. It seemed that he had really become a legendary figure.
While Xiao Yan was quietly feeling that things were comical, the blue-clothed lady on the platform had suddenly let out a lovely cry. She beckoned with her hand and a round medicinal pill with rich medicinal fragrance flew out of the medicinal cauldron. It finally landed on her smooth jade-like hand
Those under the platform immediately let out waves of cheers after seeing the lady's successful refinement. Numerous bootlicking voices were delivered to the blue-clothed lady without their owners' faces turning red. However, this did not appear to have any effect on her. Her pretty face remained cold and impassive. Her long pretty eyes swept once around and those who were shouting and cheering immediately shut their mouths in embarrassment.
"It's a pity…" Xiao Yan's gaze swept over the medicinal pill in the lady's hand, shook his head slightly, and spoke aloud.
Xiao Yan suddenly felt his surroundings becoming a little quiet the moment his voice sounded. He involuntarily raised his head in surprise, only to see a pair of cold and bright eyes looking indifferently at him.
The blue-clothed lady looked down at the somewhat-familiar-looking black-robed, young man. Her cold voice was slowly transmitted.
"Tell me what is there to pity?"
Chapter 874: Meeting
Xiao Yan looked at the blue-clothed woman, whose cold gaze was locked on him. After which, he turned his head and looked at the many gazes around him. He involuntarily became a little embarrassed. Immediately, he let out a dry cough and laughed, "If you had been more precise with your control of the flame when you had refined the medicinal pill and had lengthened the time that you use to form the pill, the quality of this Sky Qi Pill would have been a little better. Therefore, I could not help but say that it's a pity."
The surrounding people involuntarily turned into an uproar when they saw that Xiao Yan had taught this blue-clothed lady a lesson in such an unceremonious manner. They gaze were immediately stunned as they looked at this bold fellow. The number of people who were qualified to give the latter an opinion did not exceed five. Moreover, these five were mostly the Elders from the Alchemy Department. This black-robed man, who appeared quite young, clearly was not among them.
The blue-clothed lady on the platform was also stunned because of Xiao Yan's words. Although she faintly sensed that the quality of the medicinal pill might be better if she did as Xiao Yan had said, she was still a somewhat cold and proud character. If the other party was an Elder from the Alchemist Department, she might be inclined to carefully listen and learn. However, Xiao Yan's age clearly appeared to be similar to hers. Therefore, it made it difficult for her to accept his advice. Her pretty face had also turned somewhat ugly, "Who are you?"
"Don't tell me that the act of simply saying some random words actually depends on who one is? If you feel that what I just said is wrong, you can simply choose to ignore it." Xiao Yan smiled slightly and casually replied.
Xin Lan was momentarily at a loss after hearing these calm words by Xiao Yan. She was clearly dull. There were very few people in the Inner Academy who would speak to her in this manner. She immediately grit her silver teeth slightly and said, "This is the headquarters of 'Pan's Gate'. Only 'Pan's Gate' members are allowed to enter. You are randomly walking around without even wearing a badge. This is against the rules. Which subsection are you attached to?"
After hearing Xin Lan's words, the surrounding members of 'Pan's Gate' had also discovered that Xiao Yan was not wearing a badge. Their gazes immediately became much more cautious. 'Pan's Gate' had a strict rule that those who were walking within it must wear a badge. This rule was something that all of the members of 'Pan's Gate' knew. Hence, there would seldom be a matter similar to what was happening now.After all, the current 'Pan's Gate' was no longer as loose as it was back then.
"I have come to look for someone." Xiao Yan was somewhat helpless as he sensed those cautious gazes. Having not returned to the Inner Academy for two years, he had not expected to actually be faced with such an embarrassing interrogation.
"Looking for someone? If an outsider enters the 'Pan's Gate' to search for someone, there must be someone escorting them. Randomly barging in will not end being a good thing." Xin Lin walked down the tall platform and immediately carried a faint serene fragrance as she appeared in front of Xiao Yan. Her eyes swept over the latter's face. That familiar feeling became even denser. Even her originally cold tone had warmed a little. "You should be careful next time. Who are you looking for?"
"Hu Jia and Wu Hao. Ask them to come and see me." Xiao Yan rubbed his head and smiled as he responded.
Xin Lan and the surrounding people's face involuntarily became somewhat strange after hearing his words. Currently, Wu Hao and Hu Jia's position within the Inner Academy were extraordinary. Even the members of 'Pan's Gate' seldom got to see them. Yet, this black-robed, young man had actually opened his mouth and asked those two to come out and see him?
"Senior Hu Jia and Senior Wu Hao are usually extremely busy. It is not easy to see them. Moreover, you are not the only one in the Inner Academy who wishes to see the two of them." Xin Lan shook her head. Her delicate hand parted the black hair in front of her forehead as she spoke in a calm tone. She was currently treating Xiao Yan as an ordinary student who had secretly snuck into 'Pan's Gate.' It was not the first time that such a person had appeared.
Xiao Yan laughed bitterly upon hearing these words from Xin Lan. He immediately lifted his feet and walked toward the crowd. The people parted as he did so and a young lady wearing a red-colored dress stood in a transfixed manner. A pair of large watery eyes stared intently at the black-robed, young man who was walking over.
The young lady was wearing a red dress and had a figure that would not be considered tall. Instead, it gave one the feeling of being small and beautiful. Of course, despite the size of the young lady, who appeared small and lovely, her voluminous chest would rarely be seen. Her exquisite face emitted a tread of alluring enchantment amid its purity. This prettiness was not much poorer than that blue-clothed lady. This could be seen from the admiring looks that were repeatedly shot over.
Xiao Yan's footsteps paused in front of the red-dressed, young lady. He looked at her face which had descended into a dull state after having seen him and involuntarily smiled. Immediately, he extended his hand and patted the latter's head in front of everyone's stunned gazes before speaking with a smile, "You have grown quite a bit in the two years that we have not met."
The lady was suddenly woken up by Xiao Yan's somewhat affectionate action. She looked at the warm smile on the latter's face and moisture immediately churned in her large watery eyes. Two crystal clear tears flowed down her face and fell. Ever since that matter back then, the person in front of her seemed to never show such affectionate action toward her…
The young lady, whose eyes had suddenly revealed a moistness, immediately stirred the fury of the surrounding flower protectors. Numerous furious gazes quickly shot toward Xiao Yan.
"Xiao Mei, what happened to you? Are you alright?" A blue-colored figure swiftly appeared beside the red-dress-wearing, young lady. She hurriedly inquired after seeing her pear blossom in a rain-like manner. At the same time, she stared at Xiao Yan while her eyebrows became vertical. She was just about to reprimand when she was held back by Xiao Mei. A timid voice was immediately transmitted from behind her.
"Xiao… cousin brother Xiao Yan. Is that really you?"
Xin Lan involuntarily knit her eyebrows after being held back by Xiao Mei. She was just about to speak when her expression slowly solidified. Her pure pretty eyes widened as she looked at the black-robed, young man in front of her in a stunned manner, "Xiao… Xiao Yan?"
Cousin brother Xiao Yan?
Everyone present knew that Xiao Mei was the cousin sister of the founder of 'Pan's Gate.' Who could be called cousin brother by her and possess the name Xiao Yan… who else could it be other than that founder of 'Pan's Gate,' who possessed an incomparable reputation within the Jia Nan Academy?
The noisy open ground suddenly became quiet. Sunlight scattered down from the sky and shone on the many stunned faces. At this moment, a kind of absurd strange feeling of disbelief rose in everyone's heart.
'Pan's Gate's' founder, who had only existed in legends, had just appeared in front of them from out of nowhere?
As they looked at the face that contained a smile, everyone knew that 'Pan's Gate' would likely simmer today because of this…
The atmosphere within the spacious and well lit hall was somewhat pressuring and exciting. A couple of gazes that contained various emotions were gathered on the black-robed, young man who was on a chair seated in the hall.
There were not many people in the hall. Only a couple of people that could be counted with one's fingers were present. Moreover, all of them were familiar faces. Other than Xiao Mei and Xin Lan, the remaining few were old friends who had entered the Inner Academy at the same time as Xiao Yan and had followed him when 'Pan's Gate' had been established.
Xiao Mei stood docile beside Xiao Yan. The tea pot in her hand was tilted and a line of water came out, carefully landing in the teacup in front of her. Due to her bending her body slightly, an alluring snowy-whiteness was carelessly revealed, attracting people's eyes.
Xiao Yan looked steadily forward. Only after Xiao Mei finished pouring the tea and straightened her body did his gaze drift as he smiled to her. Immediately, his gaze swept over the couple of people in the hall and laughed, "Everyone, please sit. We are all close. Why do you need to be so polite?"
"Hee hee, chief, we have waited for you to return. The group of people outside appear to have become crazy…" A strong-built man rubbed his head and laughed in a simple and honest manner. Xiao Yan remembered him, Atai, a simple and straightforward name. Back then, it was this fellow who had initially instigated the formation of 'Pan's Gate.' However, after having not met for many years, the current him had become somewhat formal and restrained in front of Xiao Yan. After all, there were quite a lot of rumors regarding Xiao Yan during these years. The gap between the two of them had also been quietly pulled apart. The friendship of the past also had gained an additional hint of respect and fear.
Xiao Yan smiled slightly and let out a deep sigh in his heart. After having not returned for such a long time, he began to feel like the people had hanged despite the structure being the same.
"You… you are really the chief?" Xin Lan, who was using an unusual gaze to stare at Xiao Yan finally could not help but ask while he was sighing emotionally.
"Why? Do I not look like him?" Xiao Yan looked at this beautiful alchemist of the Xiao Gate and involuntarily teased.
Xin Lan's face became slightly red. Her gaze did not reveal too much embarrassment as she once again sized Xiao Yan carefully. She replied in a graceful manner, "You are much better looking compared to the statue. Therefore, I failed to recognize you earlier. Please do not blame me."
Xiao Yan could not help but smile and shake his head when he heard this. He was just about to speak when the tightly shut door let out a 'bang' and was violently pushed open. A lovely snort reverberated around the large hall.
"Hmph, brat, you are finally back. You have left for two years in one go. You are really enjoying being an irresponsible owner, no?"
Xiao Yan could not help but smile when he heard this familiar voice. He raised his head and could only see sunlight shining in from the outside. A short-haired lady with a lovely figure stood under the permeating sunlight, and a pair of bright unruly eyes viciously stared at Xiao Yan.
A man with a blood-colored, heavy ruler on his back stood beside the woman. That normally cold and stern face of his was also currently filled with a joy that came from his heart.
A heartwarming smile also gradually surfaced on Xiao yan's face as he looked at the two familiar figures in the doorway.