"Such deep foundation in refinement path! He can actually do two tasks at once, he slowed down the refinement speed of the nine incomplete ghost fire Gu while restarting the refinement of the final ghost fire Gu with extremely high speed. Refining ghost fire Gu consumes a lot of mental energy, but he still seems energetic even now, could it be that he has cultivated soul path or wisdom path as well?" An Han was shocked and uncertain.
"First elder, first elder?" A disciple beside An Han reminded him in a soft voice.
"What is it?" An Han came back to his senses, he could not help but feel embarrassed. Unknowingly, he had stood up from his seat, such a loss of composure was really damaging to his reputation.
At this moment, Flying Frost Sect's leader looked at An Han.
This was the Refinement Path Convention, they naturally had to use refinement path to restore their reputation.
An Han's heart skipped a beat as he realized the sect leader's intention, he had no choice but to comply.
Seeing their first elder taking action, the spectating Flying Frost Sect disciples applauded loudly, they no longer had the earlier listless expressions.
Even outsiders could not help but cast optimistic gazes when they saw the famous An Han exiting the stage.
Among the crowd, however, were some people with discerning eyes.
An old Gu Master sighed softly: "This An Han's situation doesn't look good."
"Why is that the case, master?" A youth, standing beside the old Gu Master, asked with confusion.
This master and disciple pair was the same pair of lone cultivators who had been walking beside Fang Yuan during the registration at Five Virtues Sect, and had been pushed to the side by the burly men making way for An Han.
"That demonic path Gu Master, Fang Yuan, is extremely terrifying. He has a high refinement path attainment level, his method just now involved far more than just doing two tasks at once. To do what he did, even I could only accomplish it back when I was in my peak condition. Outsiders cannot see the difficulty in this, the more proficient the refinement path Gu Master is, the more they would be aware of it. This An Han also has extraordinary skills, but because of this, he understands even more that he cannot win against this demonic cultivator, Fang Yuan. Did you see how unsettled he looked when he stood up, it was because in his mind, he has already been intimidated by Fang Yuan."
The old Gu Master spoke with assurance, but with a soft voice: "In this state, if he tries to refine Gu, he might not be able to even show half of his true skills. Most crucially, Fang Yuan has already taken the first spot, even if An Han tries harder, this won't change. That is, unless he can use a new method to finish the task in far less time than Fang Yuan, then he can earn back the reputation that Flying Frost Sect lost. But if he had such talent, he would not have remained in Flying Frost Sect for so many years."
The young Gu Master nodded his head repeatedly in praise: "Master, you are right. The sect leader of Flying Frost Sect is not an expert in Gu refinement, the move he is making now is a mistake due to his thirst for success. It is like what master taught me, one cannot rush for quick results and be anxious when refining Gu. It seems that managing a sect also has the same logic."
The old Gu Master's eyes brightened and looked at his only disciple with satisfaction: "Not bad, disciple, you are truly talented, you have great ability in comprehension. The fact is, all paths lead to the Great Dao. You were able to use the logic of Gu refinement and look at other aspects, it looks like your refinement path attainment has already reached a certain mastery level, you can definitely achieve success in this second competition."
The young Gu Master smiled: "This is all because of master teaching me unreservedly. If I was not picked out by master, I would have already starved to death. My accomplishments today are all because of master nurturing me. Disciple had a well-thought out plan and could have captured first place by using just thirteen Gu refinement techniques. But now, first place is already taken by that demonic path Gu Master. Master, let disciple seize that green shine Gu for you."
"What?" The old master was greatly startled, quickly blocking him: "Disciple, don't!"
But it was already too late.
Youth knows no fear, the young Gu Master shouted loudly: "Senior Fang Yuan, may I be so bold as to request a duel with you!"
The entire conversation between the master and disciple seemed to have taken a long time, but only a few moments had passed.
Fang Yuan had just left the stage and had not gone far because he still needed to receive the first place reward from Flying Frost Sect. At the other end, An Han had stood up and was about to step onto the stage.
The young Gu Master's words caused a huge commotion that immediately attracted everyone's attention.
"There's a duel, they're going to duel!"
"Who is that young man, he actually dares to duel with that rank five demon?"
"I know him, he was second place at Five Virtues Sect, he is a genuine refinement path genius."
"A young tiger does not fear an old lion's might, this will be a good show to watch!"
The old master had a pale expression, he could no longer stop this and could do nothing, he was feeling extremely worried and regretful deep inside: 'I only made efforts to impart refinement path knowledge to my disciple and forgot to teach him the dangers of worldly affairs. This is my mistake, I should not have neglected it!"
Meanwhile, the young Gu Master, under everyone's gazes, walked slowly with his head held high, leaving the crowd and appearing in front of Fang Yuan with a shining gaze and firm expression.
The first elder, An Han, had just stepped into the spotlight, when such a situation occurred. All of the determination that he had just built up left him like a leaking balloon.
He normally was a famous person, his every move would attract attention. But today was really difficult for him, he had made a fool of himself and was now ignored by the crowd, he was furious and hateful.
"Duel? Who wants to duel me?" Fang Yuan smiled slightly and turned around to look at the challenger.
Central Continent's Refinement Path Convention was held once every hundred years, it was a grand event in all the five regions. Competitions were divided into large-scale and small-scale.
Fang Yuan was currently participating in the large-scale competition of the five regions, which was the competition of the largest scale. First, the registration spots everywhere in Central Continent would eliminate large numbers of Gu Master through various rounds, finally, only a handful of participants could participate in the final contest.
Small-scale competitions were often held in each region, according to past conventions, they were divided into Central Continent small-scale competitions, Southern Border small-scale competitions, Northern Plains, Eastern Sea, and Western Desert. These competitions were divided according to the geographical origins, and were rather official.
There were also many other small-scale competitions, for instance at the east coast which would be jointly held by Flying Frost Sect, Five Virtues Sect and others. The eliminated Gu Masters from the large-scale competition could participate in these small-scale competitions of east coast.
The largest number of small-scale competitions were held by small circles of people. For instance, three to five friends would set a time, put out wagers or simply have a friendly contest with no rewards.
The competitions could be further divided into open and private. Open battles could naturally be observed by others. But most of them sent invitations in advance, inviting limited number of distinguished guests to enjoy or evaluate. Private battles did not allow spectators and the results were also not publicized.
Large-scale competitions were the most open battles, they did not restrict anyone from viewing but forbid the spectators from using any Gu worms.
Every time Central Continent held the Refinement Path Convention, it would create a trend of Gu refinement flourishing everywhere in Central Continent. It was similar to the Earth's world cup, the grand event of football that was held every four years. Often, at this time, even those who did not play football would try to play a bit of it. Those who did not pay attention to football, would also give some attention to the matches.
In this world, Gu refinement was one of the three great aspects of Gu Master cultivation, it was much more significant than the sport for entertainment, football. Thus, the Gu refinement trend it created was even larger and lasted longer. In this time, experiences and insights related to Gu refinement were greatly interchanged, largely pushing forward the growth of refinement path, thus, almost every participating Gu Master would reap some benefits.
According to the different formats, the Refinement Path Convention could be divided into sect contests, duels, task contests, arena contests and so on.
Sect contests were contests where two or more sects sent similar numbers of refinement path Gu Masters to compete in Gu refinement. Generally speaking, sect contests were used to solve conflicts of interests.
In task contests, one side would give a difficult problem while the other side had to solve it.
In arena contests, the Gu Masters who were very skilled at certain areas of Gu refinement would set the arena and invite refinement path experts from all parties to compete. The arena organizer would put forward a wager, and each challenger also had to put up a wager. These arena contests often had plentiful amounts of rewards.
As for duels? They were what Fang Yuan was encountering right now.
"It is this junior who wants to duel." The young Gu Master walked towards Fang Yuan, his expression was neither haughty nor humble.
Fang Yuan sized him up, and felt some interest when he saw the youth in high spirits: "Lad, since you want to duel, then bet something that can interest me. Otherwise, I won't duel."
Fang Yuan naturally had the right to refuse the duel, the Refinement Path Convention allowed duels but did not have an unreasonable rule that said one had to accept duels no matter what.
The young Gu Master gave a serious nod: "I have a rank five Gu worm's recipe with me. Senior, you are a rank five expert, this Gu recipe will suit you. This junior wants to bet against the rank four green shine Gu you won."
Fang Yuan nodded: "Green shine Gu is a rare rank four Gu, its value is equal to normal rank five Gu. But lad, do you know what my path is? Are you certain the Gu recipe you are betting suits my path?"
The young Gu Master was stunned: "Senior, aren't you in refinement path?" Judging from his words, the Gu recipe he was betting was a refinement path Gu recipe.
Fang Yuan chuckled: "My main cultivation path is naturally not refinement path. Lad, you are actually using only one Gu recipe to bet against my rare rank four Gu. Do you not know that if the refinement of a rank five Gu fails, even people at my level can be injured. You are trying to harm me like this but still think I am stupid enough to agree to your conditions?"
The young Gu Master gulped a few times, but he could not say anything. For a while, he stood motionless on the spot.
His master quickly hurried over and gave a deep bow to Fang Yuan: "Since sir is refusing the duel, then we won't duel."
"What, no duel?" The spectators jeered, as they were going to miss a good show.
"The first place position holder of Five Virtues Sect competition, the mysterious demonic cultivator, Fang Yuan, and the second place position holder, the young Gu Master Zheng Shan Chuan, the battle between dragon and tiger is not going to be held because of insufficient betting capital? Come, come, let us all lend a hand, a pile of rocks can build a mountain." A nosy individual suggested.
"There is no need, it was my disciple's rashness. Thank you everyone, thank you." The old master was frightened and quickly bowed to everyone, cupping his hands to salvage this situation.
An Han's eyes flashed ominously, he immediately sent out his instructions in a quiet voice. Soon, someone among the crowd put forward some resources, many others responded and started to contribute one after another, urging this duel to continue.