Chapter 875: Method
Everyone sat in different seats within the hall as Xiao Yan smiled and looked at the two people across from him. He had seen Wu Hao once in the 'Black-Corner Region' and he had not changed much. Hu Jia, however, had transformed from the little witch of the past to a refreshingly capable appearance. Her short hair caused her to lack the delicate feeling of a woman. Instead, it gave her a heroic aura. Everyone had undergone varying degrees of change during these two years.
After having been separated for a long time, it was naturally unavoidable that they engaged in a lively conversation. The smile on Wu Hao's face had never been reduced during their chat. He had always held respect for Xiao Yan in his heart. This respect had already been faintly present since Xiao Yan had defeated Hu Jia, Bai Shan, and him without help during the Outer Academy's examination. This respect greatly increased in the days that followed.
Hu Jia, on the other hand, was different from him. Her words were forthright, and she did not hide her displeasure with Xiao Yan being an owner who threw everything to others. On the whole, however, she was still quite excited to be able to see Xiao Yan again.
"You have all become expert Dou Wangs during these two years. Congratulations." Xiao Yan lifted his teacup, smiled and sighed. He recalled the crazy things that their young group had done back then. At that time, they had merely been some small fish at the Da Dou Shi class.
"How can we compare with you…" Hu Jia curled her mouth. She sensed the vague presence of a powerful pressure seeping out of Xiao Yan's body the moment she entered the room. She naturally knew that the latter's strength had likely far surpass them.
Xiao Yan smiled and softly inquired, "How is the current 'Pan's Gate?'"
"It is naturally many times better than back then." A pride surfaced on Hu Jia's face when she mentioned this. She continued, "Wu Hao is currently an Inner Academy Elder. I also have the qualification to be promoted to an Elder. However, after considering that 'Pan's Gate' still needs to be managed, I do not have any plans on leaving. After all, once one becomes an Elder, one cannot intervene too much in the matter between students."
"There has not been much change with the members compared to back then. The numbers have fell significantly. If one were to count, it is likely that there are less than 300." Wu Hao by the side smiled and said. "Currently, the recruitment requirements of 'Pan's Gate' are extremely harsh. Normally, no more than fifty people are recruited every season. However, don't underestimate these two hundred people. Most of the top people within the Inner Academy are included among them. Their potential is extraordinary."
Xiao Yan nodded slightly upon hearing this. He smiled and said, "Quality is more important than quantity. It is also good this way. The harsher recruitment requirements cause the members of 'Pan's Gate' to put in a greater effort. They will do it for their honor. This point is extremely important."
The current Xiao Yan was no longer that novice who did not know anything back then. The current him has established two large factions known as 'Pan's Gate' and the Yan Alliance. He was also quite rich in experience.
"How many members of 'Pan's Gate' will enter the Xiao Gate after they graduate now?" Xiao Yan's finger tapped on the table as he asked an important question. Back then, the most important reason for his establishment of Xiao Gate was that 'Pan's Gate' possessed too much hidden potential. The students who were able to enter the Inner Academy had quite the great training talent. This kind of talent would be groomed by any faction with all their might. Currently, Xiao Gate and 'Pan's Gate' were connected. With the latter as a provisioner of potential, Xiao Gate would be able to obtain the support of new blood. Moreover, such new blood were those that were extremely extraordinary.
The reason that Xiao Gate's position within the 'Black-Corner Region' rose by the day during these two years was largely because of the existence of 'Pan's Gate.'
"Quite a few. Every member who is selected to enter 'Pan's Gate' is informed about the relationship between 'Pan's Gate' and Xiao Gate. Moreover, with the increase in trust, we will also allow some members to enter Xiao Gate in advance in order to increase the adaptability. Other than some special circumstances, there are twenty or so members of 'Pan's Gate' entering Xiao Gate every year." Hu Jia voiced her thoughts.
"Moreover, the current relationship between 'Pan's Gate' and Xiao Gate is also something that the Jia Nan Academy is aware of. They not only did not oppose it but instead seemed to support this. In this way, it caused the Xiao Gate to become more of a normality. Both support one another and obtain the greatest safeguard in this chaotic place." Wu Hao laughed.
Xiao Yan nodded slightly. A smile that seemed to have put down a heavy burden also surfaced on his face. The proper functions of 'Pan's Gate' had somewhat exceeded his expectations. As long as 'Pan's Gate' existed, the strength of Xiao Gate would greatly increase every year. Given enough time, likely no other factions would be able to contend with it in the 'Black-Corner Region' in the future.
"It has been tough on all of you during these two years…" Xiao Yan sighed. He faced Hu Jia and Wu Hao and sincerely thanked them. If it had not been for Hu Jia and Wu Hao, it was likely that 'Pan's Gate' would have difficulty functioning in such a manner. At that time, it was likely that his plans for Xiao Gate would have been completely dashed.
"Chi, don't give me all this. If you really feel guilty, this can be managed by you in the future…" Hu Jia curled her mouth and replied.
Xiao Yan involuntarily let out a bitter laugh and sighed when he heard this. "I also wish to stay safely here… however, there are too many things on my shoulders."
"Ke ke, she is merely complaining. That's right, how long will you stay in the Inner Academy this time around?" Wu Hao smiled and said.
The gazes of everyone in the hall were immediately thrown to Xiao Yan when they heard this question.
"I shall not stay for long. Once I resolve the matters in this place, I plan to head to the continent to search for 'Heavenly Flames'… it will likely consume an endless amount of my time. After all, it is too difficult to find a 'Heavenly Flame'…" Xiao Yan mused for a moment before slowly explaining.
"A 'Heavenly Flame' huh?" A glow flickered in Xin Lan's eyes by the side after she heard Xiao Yan's words. However, she did not open her mouth to say anything.
"You always have such busy life…" Hu Hao bitterly laughed. He immediately said, "Since you are back, you should also meet the brothers from 'Pan's Gate.' They are extremely curious about you. All of them view you as their idol. That position is something that even Hu Jia and I cannot compare with."
Xiao Yan smiled when he heard this. He stood up and heartily said, "That is only natural. Since I have returned, how can I not meet my own brothers?"
Xiao Mei looked at the somewhat skinny back after Xiao Yan stood up. She smiled a little. After having not seen the latter for two years, this person in front of her had matured and was able to give one a peaceful mind. The current him was just like a bright star that was emitting a brilliant light.
Xiao Yan met with the many brothers from 'Pan's Gate' as he had promised after he had smiled and chatted a little more with Wu Hao's group. After which, he beat a hasty retreat in front of Wu Hao's and the others comical gazes. He had not expected that these fellows would actually be so crazy to the point of wanting to pull off his clothes to be kept as a souvenir…
After having caught up with Wu Hao and the others, Xiao Yan hurried over to the Inner Academy Elder's compound. After which, he met First Elder Su Qian, who was waiting in the Meeting Room alone for him.
Su Qian, who was reading an old book in the room, raised his head upon hearing the sound of a door being opened. He only saw Xiao Yan fleeing in with messy clothes. Immediately, he teased, "Are you now aware of the degree of popularity that you possess within the Inner Academy? In so many years, I have never seen any student receive such treatment."
Xiao Yan involuntarily and bitterly laughed when he heard the teasing note in Su Qian's words. He found a chair in front of Su Qian and sat down before speaking in a helpless fashion, "First Elder, you should stop teasing me."
Su Qian smiled. He immediately withdraw a little of the smile on his face as he looked at Xiao Yan and said, "There should be some other reason than to help release the Heart Flame in the 'Blazing Sky Qi Refining Tower' during this trip of yours to the Jia Nan Academy, right?"
Xiao Yan's expression became much more serious when he mentioned the important matter. He nodded his head, hesitated a little before speaking, "First Elder, the headmaster is not in the Inner Academy, right?"
"Yes, his elderly self has always liked to roam all over the place. He has not been back for more than a decade. If someone did not periodically deliver news, it is likely that even I would have thought that he had met some mishap. Why? Are you looking for him?" Su Qian helplessly explaines.
Xiao Yan sighed. He slowly parted his black robe and revealed the strange black spot on his chest that caused one to feel a chill. There were some mysterious lines around the black spot which appeared to be like a cage that firmly sealed it.
Su Qian's expression changed immediately when he saw the black spot on Xiao Yan's chest. With his eyesight, he was naturally able to see something. He quickly asked in a deep voice, "You are poisoned?"
Xiao Yan smiled bitterly and nodded. After which, he briefly explained the matter from the start to the end.
"An elite Dou Zun…" Su Qian's expression also gradually became solemn after he heard what Xiao Yan had said. A moment later, he shook his head and sighed, "There are no other elite Dou Zuns within the Inner Academy other than the headmaster. The Jia Nan Academy does indeed have a couple of hidden old demons. However, they have yet to reach the strength of a Dou Zun. Perhaps, they would be able to reach that level for a short period of them if they join hands. However, it is impossible to get them to act. Their mission is to guard the Jia Nan Academy. Unless the Jia Nan Academy is about to meet a situation that threatens its survival, they will not appear, much less help anyone expel poison. Even I do not have the right to command them on this."
Xiao Yan could only sigh when he heard this. He did not place much hope on the old hidden demons. Back then, the Inner Academy had nearly been destroyed by Han Feng, but these old fellows never appeared. Even less need to be said about helping him expel poison…
"If there is no elite Dou Zun to help, I might be only able to use another method…" Xiao Yan exhaled softly and slowly responded.
"Find another 'Heavenly Flame!'"
Xiao Yan's eyes suddenly revealed a hot glow as he spoke with a deep voice.
Chapter 876: News of a Heavenly Flame
"Finding another 'Heavenly Flame?'"
Su Qian was immediately startled when he heard Xiao Yan's words within the Meeting Room. His face was stunned. He was naturally aware of the rarity of a 'Heavenly Flame.' Had it not been by chance and the reliance on the strength of the headmaster, it would naturally would have been impossible for the Jia Nan Academy to find the 'Fallen Heart Flame' and seal it within the Inner Academy.
Xiao Yan expression became increasing solemn as he studied Su Qian's stunned face. He said in a deep voice, "That's right, perhaps First Elder should also be aware that the Qi Method that I practice is able to obtain some strength from the 'Heavenly Flame.' Therefore, if I am able to obtain a kind of 'Heavenly Flame,' I should be able to rely on the wonder of the 'Heavenly Flame' to completely resolve this 'Demon Poison Spot.'"
"'Heavenly Flame…' it is easier said than done when it comes to obtaining this thing… the attraction of the 'Heavenly Flame' in the Dou Qi continent is even greater than the so-called Bodhisattva Body Transformation Saliva. Basically, if some rumors were to spread, it would invite a countless number of experts to look into it. Moreover, the 'Heavenly Flames' that exist on the Dou Qi continent are so few that they are countable. Forget about obtaining one, even just searching for one would require an endless amount of time and effort."Su Qian smiled bitterly, and shook his head as he replied.
Xiao Yan also sighed. He softly said, "However, I currently only possess this method. Therefore, regardless of how difficult it is, I must still go and look for it. The reason I have come to the Jia Nan Academy this time around is to inquire if you know any information regarding other 'Heavenly Flames.' After all, First Elder's understanding of the Dou Qi continent is much greater than me."
Su Qian also helplessly shook his head as he watched Xiao Yan's anticipating gaze. He mused, "Why don't you ask your teacher, Yao zun-zhe (Dou Zun), about this? With him being an alchemist grandmaster, his understanding of the 'Heavenly Flames' is far from what I can compare with. I think that he should be aware of something."
Xiao Yan's eyes shrank slightly when he heard this. He softly said, "Teacher has already fallen into the hands of the 'Hall of Souls.' One of the reasons that I am so anxious to search for 'Heavenly Flame' is because of the poison within my body. The other is that I wish to obtain strength from the 'Heavenly Flame' and rescue teacher from the hands of the 'Hall of Souls.'"
"Yao zun-zhe (Dou Zun) has fallen into the hands of the 'Hall of Souls?'" Su Qian involuntarily cried out loud. His expression changed slightly when he heard Xiao Yan speak.
Xiao Yan nodded his head bitterly. The fist under his sleeve slowly tightened.
Su Qian also sighed softly as he looked at Xiao Yan's manner. He frowned and said, "I wonder just why that mysterious faction needs so many powerful spiritual bodies. They are a group of stealthy fellows. Back then, the headmaster did have some conflict with them and had a big fight with an expert from the 'Hall of Souls' who had become a Zun Elder. However, he did not manage to gain much of an upper hand.
"Zun Elder?" The corner of Xiao Yan's mouth lifted when he heard this term. He knew that the 'Hall of Souls' had people who possessed this form of address and that there were some ultimate experts at the Dou Zun class. The current him did not have the slightest ability to resist an expert at that class now.
"Currently, you can also be considered to have become enemies with this mysterious faction. You should be more careful in the future. Before you have absolute confidence, it is best that you do not easily head to find Yao zun-zhe. Otherwise, it is likely that you will just deliver yourself to be killed. This 'Hall of Souls' has an extremely great strength. Even the headmaster was extremely fearful of this mysterious organization when he mentioned them to me back then." Su Qian reminded in a deep voice.
Xiao Yan nodded slightly. He was naturally aware of just how strong the 'Hall of Souls' was. Just some protectors were already able to turn him into a miserable state. If the stronger so-called Zun Elder were to arrive, it was likely that Xiao Yan would have no other choice but to turn around and flee.
"However, Yao zhu-zhe had many friends back then. Quite a number of powerful fellows on the Dou Qi continent that had some relationship with me. Although these people might not oppose the 'Hall of Souls' because of you, they are still a hidden strength. Of course, if it is possible, it is best that you find someone. This person would be a great help to you when you attempt to rescue Yao zun-zhe." Su Qian crossed his fingers and slowly explained.
"Who?" Xiao Yan asked in a startled manner.
"Feng zun-zhe." Su Qian spoke in a deep voice. His tone contained a little respect when he spoke these three words.
"Feng Zun Zhe?" Xiao Yan's heart leaped slightly after hearing this name again. This was not the only time that he had heard this name. He didn't know much about the owner of the name. However, there were two things that he was aware of. The first was that this person's relationship with teacher was extremely deep. The second was that this person was a genuine Dou Zun.
"That's right. Feng zun-zhe… He is your teacher, Yao zun-zhe's, close confidant. Back then, Yao zun-zhe had disappeared for no reason and Han Feng announced that he had burned to death while refining a pill. However, Feng zun-zhe adopted a doubtful attitude toward this kind of far-fetch reason. During these years, he has roamed all over the continent searching for information relating to Yao zun-zhe. It was because Han Feng was worried that Feng zun-zhe would discover something that he ended up hiding in the 'Black-Corner Region' for so many years. During Feng zun-zhe's search all over the place, he fought quite a number of times with the 'Hall of Souls.' However, I am not very clear about the exact reason…"
"If you are able to find him, he would definitely treat you like his own disciple given your status as Yao zun-zhe's disciple. The treatment might even exceed this. Honestly speaking, a person who is not involved is really not certain why Yao zun-zhe and him have such a deep relationship. It is likely that even some blood related brothers are not at this level." Su Qian sighed before immediately saying with a smile, "I have said all of this in order to tell you that if you are able to find Feng zun-zhe, he would definitely be a great help. Moreover, this help comes from someone whom you can completely trust."
Xiao Yan nodded slightly. He immediately bitterly smiled and said, "The Dou Qi continent is so huge. It is easier said than done if one wishes to find an elite Dou Zun from nowhere."
"This will depend on your luck… Feng zun-zhe is extremely strong. Even the headmaster praises him highly. It will be quite beneficial to you if you find him. You would not need to worry about the 'Hall of Soul' seeking revenge in the future." Su Qian spread his hand. He did not have an exact method to allow Xiao Yan to swiftly find Feng zun-zhe. If he had released some information, it was likely that before Feng zun-zhe could hurry over, the omnipresent 'Hall of Souls' and some of Yao zun-zhe's enemies would have arrived first…
"I will try my best…" Xiao Yan helplessly shook his head. His eyes looked to Su Qian as he said, "However, I feel that I should inquire about a little more information related to the 'Heavenly Flames' before this. Regardless of what kind of help I can find, I feel that raising my own strength is the most important thing.
"First Elder, you have extraordinary experience and would more or less know some of the issues on the Dou Qi continent. If you have any clues related to a 'Heavenly Flame,' please inform me regardless of how low the chances of success are. This is extremely important to me."
Although Xiao Yan had three 'Purifying Demonic Lotus Flame' map fragments within his Storage Ring, he did not take them out to ask Su Qian about them. It was that he could not trust First Elder Su Qian, it was just that the allure of this Purifying Demonic Lotus Flame was really too frightening. Back then, when he had obtained the first map fragment Yao Lao had solemnly told him that he must definitely not allow anyone to know about this matter. Hence, Xiao Yan had kept this a secret even when he had obtained the map fragment from Hai Bodong's hands back then, Until now, he had tried to hide this matter in his heart and not allow anyone to know about it unless he was forced to reveal it.
Su Qian sighed softly as he looked at Xiao Yan's sincere face. His body leaned against the backrest of his chair. He narrowed his eyes slightly as his finger gently tapped on the table. This continued for awhile before he managed to pick out a memory from his mind that had been buried by time, "I do indeed know something related to other 'Heavenly Flames.'"
Hearing this, the eyes that Xiao Yan used to look at Su Qian immediately became extremely heated.
"I wonder if you have heard of a faction called the Burning Flame Valley?" Su Qian raised his eyes and asked.
"Burning Flame Valley?" Xiao Yan immediately became momentarily startled when he heard this name. This faction's name was not something that he had heard for the first time. This was because the 'Sky Fire Three Mysterious Flames' that he practiced was a Secret Technique, unique to this faction. Moreover, he also faintly recalled something. It seemed that Yao Lao had said back then that this faction on the Dou Qi continent was in control of a kind of unknown 'Heavenly Flame.'
"This faction has a kind of 'Heavenly Flame' in its lineage since ancient times. This kind of 'Heavenly Flame' is called the 'Nine Dragon Lightning Flame.' It is ranked twelfth on the 'Heavenly Flame Ranking.' If one were to discuss it, it is even higher than the 'Fallen Heart Flame' in the ranking. However, I am not too certain about its exact use. Nevertheless, it is definitely not weaker than the 'Fallen Heart Flame' by virtue of it possessing a higher ranking on the 'Heavenly Flame Ranking.'" Su Qian slowly explained.
Xiao Yan curled his lips slightly when he heard this. He remembered that Yao Lao mentioned that the Burning Flame Valley possessed a 'Heavenly Flame.' However, he had been unaware of the exact details. Moreover, he also clearly understood that the strength of this Burning Flame Valley was extremely strong. Attempting to obtain the so-called Nine Dragon Lightning Flame from them would definitely not be an easy matter.
Su Qian laughed bitterly as he looked at Xiao Yan's changing face, "This is the only information of a 'Heavenly Flame' that I know about a little more in detail. If you have the ability, you can indeed target it. However, you must definitely be careful. The people from the Burning Flame Valley are all people with hot tempers. If you are caught, you would definitely form an enmity with them that would be difficult to resolve."
Xiao Yan nodded slightly. That Nine Dragon Lightning Flame could basically be considered the lifeblood of the Burning Flame Valley. If he were to snatch it away, they would definitely not rest until they died. However… in order to rescue Yao Lao and his father… there are somethings that he could not avoid even if they were unethical!
Xiao Yan inhaled a deep breath and a dense coldness suddenly rose within his dark-black eyes. However, before he was about to nod his head, a cool and indifferent voice suddenly sounded within the room.
"Although the Nine Dragon Lightning Flame is a 'Heavenly Flame,' an extremely special blood spiritual imprint had been placed on it after the repeated refinement by the Burning Flame Valley over a couple hundred years. Unless one is someone who practices the Burning Flame Valley's Qi Method, it is impossible for one to truly possess it as his own even if one were to obtain the Nine Dragon Lightning Flame.
Xiao Yan's and Su Qian's expressions changed slightly upon hearing this voice that had suddenly appeared. The Xiao Yan suddenly turned around and curled his hand which was facing the door. A wild suction force surged out. The door burst apart and a blue-clothed lady was forcefully sucked into the room amid an exclamation. Finally, her delicate neck was firmly held in Xiao Yan's hand.
Xiao Yan's gaze, which was filled with some killing intent, shot to the lady's face as his hand firmly grabbed the lady's snow-white neck. After which, he became stunned.
"Why is it you?"