Volume 4: Number One Alchemist
Chapter 31 Ten Years
Under the lure of a Heavenly Flame, countless battles were fought in Fallen Spirit Ice Source. Despite the many layers of obstructions, there were still over a hundred powerful alchemists that had heard word of the Heavenly Flame and come. Each one was surrounded by terrifyingly powerful experts. Dou Wangs were absolutely nothing. Dou Huang's were barely worth looking at. Only peak Dou Huangs and Dou Zongs had the ability to speak here.
Each day, several intense battles would erupt in Fallen Spirit Ice Source. Some people joined hands, while some betrayed their allies.
A month passed…
No one had expected that after the Bone Chilling Flame's aura had exploded out tens of thousands of miles that its trace would actually completely disappeared!
Over this month, countless experts, including thousands of Dou Lings and over a hundred Dou Wangs, had looked over every inch of Fallen Spirit Ice Source. Even dozens of Dou Huangs and twelve Dou Zongs had joined hands to search without finding anything.
This day was their final attempt. Thirty-two Dou Zongs, a hundred Dou Huangs, and over a hundred seventh tier alchemists with powerful souls all temporarily paused their battles, joining hands to form a heaven-encompassing Dou Formation net. Their power completely enveloped Fallen Spirit Ice Source. Even a small insect hundreds of meters underground could not hide from this formation.
Yao Chen and Feng Xian were also caught and forced to provide Dou Qi to this formation. Of course, Yao Chen had been intentionally caught. If he wasn't close then how could he grab his one in a thousand chance?
The great formation unfurled. The energy from Dou Huangs, Dou Zongs, and seventh tier alchemists exploded out. Their spiritual energy looked over every inch, carefully checking each place without overlooking anything.
They started in the morning and continued all the way late into the night. The experts in control of the formation still had no intention of giving up. However they still couldn't find the Bone Chilling Flame; in fact, they hadn't even found the slightest trace the Bone Chilling Flame ever being there.
It was if that explosion a month ago had been just an illusion.
Early the next morning, those experts in charge of the formation erupted into an intense argument. Shortly after, the formation broke down and a huge battle broke out in the air above Fallen Spirit Ice Source. Over a hundred Dou Zongs' killing attacks caused space to be destroyed. Dou Wang were simply cannon fodder, falling one after another. Only Dou Huangs could just barely survive.
This huge battle lasted a full day and night before ending. Thirty Dou Zongs had died during its course. Although the Dou Huangs hadn't been directly involved, just from being implicated by wide-ranged attacks, twenty-six of them died. As for Dou Wangs, no one bothered counting just how many had fallen. Amongst the seventh tier alchemists, five were killed…
As for the amount of people injured, that wasn't even worth counting.
And this was the result of not even finding the Heavenly Flame. The pent up frustration of the Dou Zongs had erupted after not finding it for a month. Only the heavens knew just what kind of cruel death battle would have occurred if they had truly found the Bone Chilling Flame.
Yao Chen and Feng Xian had been extremely lucky. They had been placed at a part of the formation that was on the very edge, so they hadn't run into many aftershocks from the battle. The trusted people of the experts in charge of the formation had naturally been placed into the center of the formation so that they could fight the moment they found the Heavenly Flame's tracks.
After that battle, almost half of the alchemists left in disappointment. But there were still people who were completely determined and stayed nearby Fallen Spirit Ice Source. Moreover they also extended the perimeter of their search.
However, a year passed…
They were still unable to find anything. Even more alchemists left with the experts they had brought along.
And yet there were still alchemists who didn't give up. They continued to search in Fallen Spirit Ice Source. Opportunities and chances were given to those who didn't give up.
Another year passed…
There were no longer that many alchemists who continued searching. Even if they wanted to stay, the experts protecting them didn't. Having been in a cold lifeless place like this with no resources, those experts had basically not advanced their training at all in the past two years.
The third year…
Almost all the seventh tier alchemists had left by now. Only one of them remained remained: Qing Hua!
He was originally the strongest seventh tier alchemist within this area and from the start he had blocked other alchemists from entering Fallen Spirit Ice Spring. During that battle two years ago, his biggest loss was that his two most trusted Dou Zongs had been severely injured. Although they hadn't died, they had no choice but to back out of this place. Despite that, Qing Hua didn't have any intention of giving up. The Bone Chilling Flame was a very special Heavenly Flame. Even having gained consciousness, it wouldn't leave a place of extreme Yin and extreme cold. The reason they couldn't find it was definitely for some reason no one had guessed yet. It was still definitely in some corner of this icy land!
The leaving of those other seventh tier alchemists was absolutely perfect for him. Now there was not another soul in this area that could contend with him.
The Bone Chilling Flame would definitely be his in the end!
Other than Qing Hua, there were also a great number of third to fifth tier alchemists lingering around. Most of them had been ordered there by other seventh tier alchemists to report back to them. Of course, some were also like Yao Chen and planned on making a profit.
After that huge bloodbath, Fallen Spirit Ice Source became comparatively tranquil. Although the battles weren't settled, another chaotic battle like last time didn't occur.
Yao Chen and Feng Xian continued to survive within a crack in the ice. After two years of struggling, Yao Chen had reached the three star Dou Wang realm, becoming one of the more powerful fifth tier alchemists. As for Feng Xian, he had also advanced to the Dou Wang class.
The two of them were now already quite influential in Fallen Spirit Ice Source. Everyone knew that while Yao Chen might just be a fifth tier alchemist, he had many amazing secrets arts and could refine sixth tier medicinal pills. He could even jump two levels and refine a seventh tier medicinal pill. Although his success rate wasn't high, he had truly succeeded before.
There were once three fifth tier alchemists who invited a Dou Zong to take action against the two of them. No one knew what had happened between them, but the result was that that Dou Zong swore an oath to never step half a foot into Fallen Spirit Ice Source again and immediately left. As for Yao Chen and Feng Xian, they continued on as if nothing had happened.
As for those three fifth tier alchemists, in one night they were all killed, their heads mounted atop an ice cliff. Although there wasn't necessarily any proof, everyone knew it was definitely Yao Chen and Feng Xian's revenge.
Within Fallen Spirit Ice Source, all morality was gone. Only power allowed one to live on. If you weren't able to inspire fear, then countless people would plot against you, wanting to devour you during the night.
Despite the time passing, new alchemists continued to come to Fallen Spirit Ice Source. But by the fourth year, fewer and fewer experts continued to remain. It had been four years without anyone even catching a glimpse of the Bone Chilling Flame. There was even a rumor that the Bone Chilling Flame had already been taken by someone back when it had erupted out.
However, there were still more people unwilling to accept that. Even into the fifth year there were still alchemists coming to Fallen Spirit Ice Source. The lure of a Heavenly Flame was simply too great to alchemists.
In the end though, every person who came with high hopes left tired and covered in wounds.
The sixth year…
Fallen Spirit Ice Source had become completely tranquil. No new alchemists came this year. Within the alchemist world there was a rumor going around that the true Bone Chilling Flame had long since been secretly taken away by someone.
Yao Chen and Feng Xian had yet to give up though. Only they were certain that the Bone Chilling Flame was definitely hiding somewhere. Only the two of them had ever come into contact with the Bone Chilling Flame. There was no way someone could silently take it away without anyone noticing. It was absolutely impossible for even a nine star Dou Zun.
Yao Chen passed his days by cultivating like a madman. In order to capture it he prepared all kinds of medicinal pills that could be used to increase his sensitivity and resistance to the Bone Chilling Flame.
It could be said that Yao Chen's preparations were completely perfect. However whenever he thought back to the Bone Chilling Flame that had transformed into a huge ancient beast, Yao Chen couldn't help feeling fear. He couldn't figure out just how he had forced the Bone Chilling Flame to retreat last time. It seemed that it was related to his ancient Dou Di bloodline… most likely it was the aura of the trace of Dou Di inheritance within him that had startled it back.
However the Dou Di bloodline was extremely mysterious and strange. Everyone knew that by tapping into that bloodline's power it was possible to erupt with a terrifying strength. However even a divine genius could only tap into that power now and then. No one was able to find a set method for using it, and even if you were able to tap into it once, you wouldn't be able to use the same method to tap into it a second time.
Yao Chen didn't dare feel guaranteed that the next time he met the Bone Chilling Flame he would be so lucky.
The only person who also didn't give up was the seventh tier alchemist Qing Hua.
The thirst for a Heavenly Flame was just like a poison that had completely corroded Qing Hua. He had lost far too much in an effort to gain one. Of his two good Dou Zong friends, one had both hands crippled to the point that even a sacred medicine would find it difficult to cure them, while the other would have to recuperate in seclusion for at least ten years before regaining his original strength.
Over these six years, Qing Hua had never set even half a step out of Fallen Spirit Ice Source. Due to the constant erosion of the wind and snow, his formerly handsome face had become a bit frightening to look at, and no spiritual air could be seen around him anymore. Instead there was just a profoundly fierce aura.
By the seventh year, there were only two alchemists continuing to bitterly endure.
Yao Chen and Qing Hua.
Qing Hua had attacked Yao Chen many times. With his Dou Zong strength, he had pushed Yao Chen and Feng Xian into desperation each time.
But each time it would cause Yao Chen and Feng Xian to break through. There were always able to grasp the slightest opening to escape from his grasp.
Fallen Spirit Ice Source shook as the ice layer received a huge impact. Thousands of ice swords appeared in the sky and quickly stabbed towards Yao Chen.
Yao Chen's mouth was actually covered in frozen blood. This time Qing Hua had gone completely mad. He was using his full power, even taking a medicinal pill that increased his Dou Qi!
A five star Dou Zong actually used a medicinal pill to handle a Dou Wang!
However Yao Chen relied on his advantage, which was that his Spiritual Strength had already reached past the level of a Dou Wang. In fact it had already surpassed the realm of a Dou Zong! No matter how fierce Qing Hua's attacks were, he was always able to grasp the weakest point to escape from them.
And as long as he was able to escape, his body which was pushed to the breaking point could be rebuilt. Having taken countless medicinal baths, Yao Chen and Feng Xian's bodies were just like blazing iron within a furnace, and Qing Hua's violent attacks were just like the blows of a hammer, tempering them into polished steel.
Qing Hua darkly and silently watched Yao Chen escape once more. He had already used up all his energy yet had still failed. He could only accept that Yao Chen and Feng Xian truly were destined not to die by his hands.
Another year passed. This was already the eighth year since the Bone Chilling Flame had erupted out.
Within a canyon in the black ice death zone, a large fire was burning intensely, forcing back the cold air. Yao Chen, Feng Xian, and even Qing Hua were taciturnly eating roasted meat in front of the fire.
After fighting and fleeing so many times, Yao Chen and Feng Xian had already reached the peak of the Dou Wang class. If the two of them joined forces they were actually able to fight on even ground with the five star Dou Zong. Of course, this was under the condition that Qing Hua didn't explode out with his full force. But even if he did, Yao Chen and Feng Xian would still be able to escape.
Since fighting had lost any meaning, he could only cooperate with them. Fallen Spirit Ice source had returned to its deathly silence. If a person was alone in that deathly silence he would be driven mad, especially since this was the core of the black ice death zone.
"Yao Chen, are you really still persevering?"
Qing Hua suddenly spoke out. He had already taken enough of this. After not battling for this long, he had also seemed to have awoken.
Moreover, that Dou Zong whose hands had been crippled had ended up in some unforeseen circumstances so he had to rush over to refine some healing medicines for him. Although he wouldn't be able to restore his hands to their original state, however preserving his Dou Zong strength was doable.
As for this Bone Chilling Flame, he could only give up. Perhaps the rumors really were true and the day it had erupted it had already been taken by someone. As for them, they had merely ended up wasting eight years.
Yao Chen nodded. "I trust my gut. The Bone Chilling Flame is definitely still here."
Qing Hua shook his head. He actually threw out a couple medicinal ingredients that were treasures used to suppress the Bone Chilling Flame. "Since it's like that, I'll give these to you in trade for a Yin-Yang Mysterious Dragon Pill. How's that?"
The Yin-Yang Mysterious Dragon Pill was something Yao Chen had come up with while in Fallen Spirit Ice Source. It was a seventh tier medicinal pill, and was the one seventh tier pill he had succeeded in refining while at the fifth tier. It had many marvelous uses, most importantly that when the body received serious damage, the medicinal energy that was stored within the body could appear and allow one to recover and advance.
Qing Hua had asked for this for his crippled friend.
Yao Chen smiled and took out a Yin-Yang Mysterious Dragon Pill, throwing it into Qing Hua's hand. He had already reached the sixth tier alchemist realm, and his success when refining the Yin-Yang Mysterious Dragon Pill was already thirty percent, so he naturally wasn't stingy. Also, the reason why he and Feng Xian were able to reach the peak of the Dou Wang class in such a few short years was also partly due to Qing Hua.
As for his fights against him, they could understand why he did so. They were alchemists, and with the lure of a Heavenly Flame, it was completely reasonable for you to become completely crazy.
"I'm leaving. Do your best." Qing Hua took the pill and flew into the air, quickly flying away.
Feng Xian watched Qing Hua's back become smaller and smaller. He was somewhat moved by this. Even the most resolute person had left now. Did he and Yao Chen really have a chance at finding the Bone Chilling Flame?
"Ah, the Bone Chilling Flame!"
Just at this moment, Feng Xian heard Yao Chen's startled cry.
"Brother Chen, don't joke with me. I'm not a kid…uh…"
Feng Xian shook his head, thinking Yao Chen was playing a joke on him. However as soon as he turned his head, he saw a snow white spiritual flame suspended right in front of Yao Chen. Icy chilliness and blazing heat came from it, an extremely strange fluctuation.
Eight years! It had been eight years! Countless experts and countless alchemists had come, almost turning over all of Fallen Spirit Ice Source without anyone finding the Bone Chilling Flame. They hadn't even found the slightest trace of it.
Feng Xian had an urge to roar crazily!
Yao Chen's gaze roamed over it, his heart suddenly becoming tranquil. Within his eyes, all that remained was that snow-white Bone Chilling Flame. According to what he remembered, the Bone Chilling Flame from eight years ago had had countless years of experience and had accumulated an extremely great energy. But this Bone Chilling Flame gave off a weak feeling as if it was newly born.
Perhaps this was a misperception since he had only been a Dou Ling back then…
Whereas now he was a peak Dou Wang!
Yao Chen reached out his hand with his Dou Qi circulating. All kinds of ingredients that could suppress Heavenly Flames were taken out into a large Dou Formation by him, and a mysterious energy immediately locked onto the Bone Chilling Flame. A tiny bit of resistance was present, but under his power, the Bone Chilling Flame's resistance quickly collapsed. It weakened and became smaller, in the end leaving behind only the core, a small flame seed which landed into his hand.
Looking at the pure flame seed, Yao Chen's mind was shaken. He remembered again how terrifying it had been the first time he met it. If his spirit had been even a bit weaker then he would have been consumed by it.
But now he was about to place the Bone Chilling Flame's flame seed into his body, making it become a part of his own power.
"Brother Chen?" Feng Xian's face was pale. He was excited and nervous. They had stayed eight years in this terrible land. They had met danger and attacks countless times…
In the end, the Bone Chilling Flame's flame seed still ended up landing within their hands.
Yao Chen heard Feng Xian's cry and his heart shook. Eight years of his work would be paid off here in one move. Using his Dou Qi to wrap around the flame seed, he swallowed it right into his stomach!
The entire Fallen Spirit Ice Source's sky once more became enveloped by the Bone Chilling Flame's aura!
Chapter 14 of the BTTH manga shows Yao Chen capturing the Bone Chilling Flame. However it's pretty much completely different from this story.
Qing Hua's appearance in BTTH:
Information about the Yin-Yang Mysterious Dragon Pill in BTTH: