“It’s already been a month?” Long Chen was surprised. The time had passed too quickly. He had only comprehended a dozen flame magical arts.
But that kind of speed would cause chaos if the outside world learned of it. Magical arts were not ordinary Battle Skills. They required profound comprehension skills to use. Furthermore, they were still very dangerous to use. If you were unable to control it well enough, you would end up injured by your own attack.
Although it was said that magical arts were for Xiantian experts and above, it was better to say that they were for Sea Expansion experts and above. Most Xiantian experts did not dare to use them.
Only once they reached the Sea Expansion realm would they have high enough comprehension of heaven and earth, and only then would they dare to use them. Furthermore, even Sea Expansion experts had to be careful with magical arts. The slightest mistake would cause a backlash. That was the heartlessness of the Heavenly Daos.
They could bestow you with great strength, or they could exterminate you. Different from Battle Skills, the majority of magical arts were released outside the body.
Back in the chaos region, those Corrupt Sea Expansion experts had released an immense black hand to attack him. That had been a magical art. It had used their energy to control natural energy, and it was exceedingly powerful.
Long Chen had been completely submerged within the profundities of these flame magical arts. He was like a drunkard who could not escape from his infatuation.
His control over his Pill Flame could be said to be unrivaled. Therefore, these incomparably profound magical arts weren’t difficult for him to learn. But he still needed some time to understand them, and they were so profound that he found himself completely absorbed.
“Long San, you really are a pill fanatic. There are only five more days until the preliminaries, but you’re working so hard that you forgot to sleep or eat,” said Fang Chang.
After leaving Long Chen here, he hadn’t heard any further news of him. He had come over a few times, only to see Long Chen staring at a tome in his hands, completely absorbed.
In truth, Long Chen was only acting that way for him. Once he left, Long Chen would immediately switch to studying magical arts.
“Sorry,” laughed Long Chen.
“There’s nothing to be sorry about. With your work ethic and talent, if you don’t have any accomplishments in the future, it really would be a defiance of natural order. But the preliminaries are soon, so you shouldn’t keep studying here. You should refine some pills to get yourself into a refining state. Let’s go. I’ll get you a good pill furnace.”
Fang Chang brought Long Chen to a storeroom and had him pick a pill furnace.
These pill furnaces were all quality goods. But the fifth tier pill furnaces were clearly not as good as the one he had. After all, Huo Wufang only used the best of the best.
In the end, Long Chen picked a furnace that looked comparatively thicker. He liked ones that looked more sturdy.
After that, he returned to his residence. Fang Chang had him refine a furnace of pills in front of him.
Long Chen knew that was because he was worried he wouldn’t be able to control his new Pill Flame, which would make him fail in the preliminaries.
To refine a fifth tier pill, Long Chen not only could do it with his eyes closed, but he could even refine it with his feet. It was too easy.
But there was one thing that was true: using the Blazing Python Scale Flame did cause some flaws. After all, it was his first time using it. Then adding on Long Chen’s intentional mistakes, he only refined a single three-ring pill.
Seeing that three-ring pill, Fang Chang sighed with relief, and he gave Long Chen a thumbs-up. He had to admit that Long Chen was a genius amongst geniuses.
He saw that Long Chen wasn’t used to the Blazing Python Scale Flame. There were some flaws when the flame’s temperature changed. But Long Chen could use his powerful soul energy to minimize those flaws.
Furthermore, Long Chen said this was his first time using it to refine pills. If he wasn’t familiar with him, he would think he was lying.
When using a beast flame for the first time, it was all too common to fail several refinements. The fact that Long Chen could succeed his first time, and even refine a three-ring pill, was already amazing.
“Long San, I won’t disturb you these days. Familiarize yourself with your beast flame by refining pills. As long as you can refine a three-ring pill in the preliminaries, you’ll definitely pass,” said Fang Chang before leaving.
Once he left, Long Chen used the rest of the medicinal ingredients to refine a few pills. After familiarizing himself with the Blazing Python Scale Flame, he didn’t waste any more time.
He looked at the leftover medicinal ingredients. Just now, he had tactfully told Fang Chang that while he was familiar with the fifth tier pill formulas, he hadn’t refined them. He wanted to enter the storehouse and pick out some medicinal ingredients.
Of course, the truth was that he wanted to look for the Enlightenment Palace Pill’s ingredients.
But Fang Chang was too nice, and he directly gave him a pile of fifth tier pill formulas and a spatial ring of their ingredients. Furthermore, he said the preliminaries weren’t difficult according to the past years. So the matter of going to the storehouse could only wait until after the preliminaries.
Long Chen saw that Fang Chang trusted him completely, which moved him. In truth, there were many holes in his identity as Long San, and there were many questions that could be asked about his alchemy arts. How could a Pill Master who lived in some random mountains have taught him his alchemy? Long Chen had already thought of many ways to explain all this.
But Fang Chang hadn’t even asked those questions of him. It was clear that he trusted his own eyes.
Whether it was because he trusted that he hadn’t misjudged him, or whether he was confident in the Pill Tower’s strength and that no one could trick them, Long Chen still owed him a debt.
“Fine, because of your trust, I’ll help you get rid of the Huo family. Hmm, wasn’t that my original goal all along? Is this being a bit too shameless?”
Long Chen felt a bit guilty, but then thinking of how the three families were like water and fire, this could count as a collaboration. His guilt about tricking them also vanished. The main thing was to help them exterminate the Huo family.
Five days passed. The location of the preliminaries was the same as the opening round. But there was a large platform that was filled with seated people.
These people were the experts from the Huo, Fang, and Chai families. They had come as guests of honor. After all, they were the masters of the Pill Tower. But for fairness, they were not in charge of the Pill Emperor Competition.
These guests of honor were the core of the three families. Even the three families' heads had come. The Huo family’s head was a square-faced elder with thick, sword-shaped eyebrows. He appeared quite imposing.
His name was Huo Changsheng. He was also Huo Wufang’s great-grandfather. His cultivation base was at the peak of Sea Expansion, and he was also a Pill Ancestor. It was said that he could refine seventh tier medicinal pills, but because he couldn’t refine ringed seventh tier pills, he couldn’t be called a Venerate.
Pill Apprentice, Pill Adept, Pill Master, Pill King, Pill Emperor, Pill Ancestor, Pill Venerate, Pill Saint, Pill God. These alchemist ranks corresponded to one to ninth tier pills. The ranks were extremely clear.
These alchemist tiers didn’t necessarily have a relation to cultivation base. Cultivation base was just an assistance. A Sea Expansion alchemist would still forever be a Pill Master if they were only able to refine third tier pills.
However, such people would have long since given up their alchemist status to become martial artists, or it would be too embarrassing.
There was a lean elder beside Huo Changsheng. He was also a late Sea Expansion expert. This was the Fang family’s head, Fang Mingyuan.
And beside Fang Mingyuan was a bald elder, the Chai family’s head, Chai Gaoyang, who was also a Sea Expansion expert.
“In the previous Pill Emperor Competitions, my Huo family always took up seven or eight of the top ten spots, while the top three were always ours. Hehe, how boring. We can’t even find an opponent. In this world, the strong are respected, while the weak have to retreat. That is an irresistible trend that can’t be reversed. What do you two think about that principle?” asked Huo Changsheng.
Currently, the Fang, Chai, and Huo families’ struggles had already become open ones. They were already used to saying such hostile words.
“Hehe, the Heavenly Daos are hard to fathom. It’s impossible to say that any trend is irresistible. In fact, speaking of which, it seems Huo Tianxiong hasn’t appeared in the past few days? It couldn’t be that he was cut down in his prime?” said Chai Gaoyang, his eyes locked onto Huo Changsheng.
This Huo Tianxiong was Huo Wufang’s father and one of the experts of the Huo family. Whether it was in terms of cultivation base or alchemy, he was one of their top people.
“Hmph, don’t concern yourself. Tianxiong is fine,” said Huo Changsheng. But his words were clearly a bit unnatural.
How could that possibly escape the other two family heads’ eyes? Chai Gaoyang said, “I heard more trouble has come for your Huo family? It seems the Xuantian Dao Sect came to see you. I wonder whether they were sending you a gift, or whether they were asking about any bribes you might have done.”
Huo Changsheng’s expression sank. “Chai Gaoyang, there was no such thing. Don’t spread your lies for others to hear.”
“Haha, it was just a joke. Brother Changsheng, don’t get angry.” Chai Gaoyang glanced at Fang Mingyuan. They had both seen through some clues about the Huo family’s current problems.
They were already old opponents, and there was no way to keep things completely secret. It was still possible to see clues.
That was especially true considering that the matter with the chaos region had completely blown up. Later, the Xuantian Dao Sect had come to find them. It would be strange if no one saw the connection.
Furthermore, a few days before that, the Huo family had suddenly sealed themselves off for a while. While nothing was certain, it seemed something had happened with Huo Tianxiong. That had made Chai Gaoyang probe Huo Changsheng, and this probing really did give results.
Although there was no way to determine the exact truth, they knew that the Huo family’s interior was not as calm as it appeared. That was enough.
Just at this moment, a clamor erupted from the crowd. The alchemists participating in the Pill Emperor Competition had arrived.
Long Chen slowly walked to his stage. Raising his head, he saw Fang Mingyuan and the others.
Fang Chang had told Long Chen about Fang Mingyuan. Seeing Long Chen look at him, Fang Mingyuan nodded slightly to him, expressing his encouragement.
Just at this moment, the icy and stern tower administrator also walked in.
Long Chen bowed slightly toward Fang Mingyuan’s nod. After all, this was a senior who was in the same generation as Fang Chang’s grandfather. He couldn’t be too arrogant toward him.
Long Chen then glanced at Huo Changsheng. Huo Changsheng was also looking at him, and he smiled. But this smile was full of disdain.
Seeing that enraged Long Chen, and he suddenly pointed at him, shouting, “Tower administrator, I wish to report that there is a shameless old man wanting to prostitute himself to me! He’s trying to affect my performance during the competition!”