Flames roared to life within Bai Yunfei's cauldron as he concentrated on the meteorite within it. It was only the meteorite in the cauldron and nothing else. He only needed to refine the chaotic energy within the meteorite so other materials were unnecessary.
Since he wasn't crafting a soul armament or had to do any other superfluous things, this fourth attempt was much easier than the last three. There was however the detriment that the refined form of the meteorite was basically incompatible for soul armament crafting. He could probably make some sort of simple metallic tool, but nothing comparable to a soul armament. Had not for the chaotic energy, Bai Yunfei probably wouldn't have been able to live with such a result…
Having been keeping up with every single fluctuation in his fireseed, Bai Yunfei could start to feel a very faint amount of chaotic energy start to come out from the meteorite. Something from his fireseed was seemingly attracting the energy to it—just like Xiao Fang expected. As long as he tried to refine the chaotic energy, the energy would gather around his fireseed.
Once that fragment of the meteorite was done, Bai Yunfei placed the second one into the cauldron to repeat the process. The flames roared even higher than before to burn away at the first meteorite with such intense flames that it was soon reduced to black ash and blew away with the wind…
He felt pained by such a loss. It was in his hopes that the meteorite could be reused at a later point in time, but it seemed that his hopes wouldn't come true.
Now wasn't the time for him to be lamenting over the loss of the meteorite though. Refocusing, Bai Yunfei had another piece of the meteorite thrown in.
Time went on in this fashion with Bai Yunfei throwing in another meteorite when needed. Strand by strand, chaotic energy circled around his fireseed with increasing strength…
There didn't seem to be any problems with Bai Yunfei extracting the chaotic energy so far…
Bai Yunfei was in the middle of throwing in another meteorite fragment when at last, he felt a shift take place within his fireseed.
It came in the form of a buzzing sound coming from the cauldron. The flames started to flicker and dance irregularly as the cauldron started to shake. Bai Yunfei could sense that something in the fireseed was irritating it.
That wasn't quite right.
It wasn't his fireseed that was undergoing a change, but the chaotic energy around it. Because of the changes happening to the chaotic energy, his fireseed was reacting to it.
The initial strand of chaotic energy he got earlier was just a partial strand since it had been the result of him crafting a soul armament. Extracting the chaotic energy from the meteorite without using it for crafting meant more chaotic energy for him to deal with. The result of having more chaotic energy meant the substance was far more visible to Bai Yunfei's eyes now. What used to be a faint transparent glow was now a hazy-gray layer of light that flickered intermittently around his fireseed.
"This is the critical point! Yunfei, prepare to refine the chaotic energy and compress it into the fireseed. Use the fireseed to refine it!"
Xiao Fang's voice spoke out to Bai Yunfei at this point.
The iris in Bai Yunfei's eyes dilated in concentration. Stopping the process of extracting chaotic energy, Bai Yunfei immediately started to focus on his fireseed instead. Doing as Xiao Fang said, he started to slowly compress the chaotic energy into his glowing-red fireseed.
He made sure to be as careful as he could. The danger alerts he got last time when his finger was about to touch the chaotic energy was starting to resurface now that the chaotic energy was drawing closer to his fireseed. Preparations were made this time, though, and Bai Yunfei was very cautious with what he was doing. Slowly, he brought the chaotic energy closer and closer to the elemental fire and fireseed.
A faint popping sound alerted Bai Yunfei to something happening between his fireseed and chaotic energy. The chaotic energy was acting as if it was being stimulated into action to shatter apart the elemental fire touching it!
This wasn't what Bai Yunfei was hoping for, but he didn't pause to think about what to do. Another wave of elemental fire surged forward from his fireseed to suppress the chaotic energy from all angles.
The result was having his elemental fire crumble at once. Thinking hard, Bai Yunfei tried again to use another layer of elemental fire.
"Bang! Bang! Bang…"
Attempt after attempt, Bai Yunfei was failing to compress the chaotic energy anymore into his fireseed. If anything…it was getting even harder to do anything to it.
Xiao Fang had said that it was vital to refine the chaotic energy as soon as it reached a critical level. Otherwise, the chaotic energy would start to collapse.
What Bai Yunfei was currently trying to do was experiment with the frequency of his elemental fire to see if that could do anything to suppress the chaotic energy.
Those of the Crafting School were perhaps the best in the world at regulating the frequency of their elemental fire. The undulations of their elemental fire served as the most basic of knowledge for them to craft a soul armament, and the many different frequencies ranged in the hundreds and even in the thousands. It was the only thing Bai Yunfei could really do to try and succeed.
It was perhaps after the hundredth attempt that Bai Yunfei finally saw one attempt where the chaotic energy didn't immediately shatter the elemental fire. The chaotic energy didn't even react to the specific frequency and was fully encircled by the elemental fire now.
Bai Yunfei was elated! Focusing as much as he could now, Bai Yunfei renewed his efforts to cover the chaotic energy and suppress it.
Things were going smoothly for a while before Bai Yunfei noted that the chaotic energy was unbudging now. Before, the energy was practically free-flowing, but now it was like an impregnable fortress that refused to move even with the elemental fire trying its best to do so.
He stared at the cauldron, wondering about what to do next. If he couldn't bring the chaotic energy closer to his fireseed, then he'd have it go up to meet halfway! From the bottom of the cauldron, the fireseed floated up and into the flames!
He was using one of the processes of crafting a soul armament to forcibly compress the chaotic energy into his fireseed now!
This was a revelation that was bringing Bai Yunfei to a whole new table of options to choose from. Pressing his hand against the cauldron, he had the flames within it swell to even higher degrees as he began to 'refine' the fireseed inside.
Happy with the success so far, Bai Yunfei realized that he could make progress this way! The chaotic energy was already giving way to his efforts and turning smaller!
Armed with a more suitable method now, Bai Yunfei redoubled his efforts. Things were going slow still, but the chaotic energy was definitely compressing in on itself so that it was now the size of his fireseed. In one last push, Bai Yunfei managed to bring the chaotic energy into his fireseed after another reduction in size!
It was no longer surrounding the fireseed, it was now inside of it!
And then at that moment…!
The fireseed, which had been quiet up to this point, immediately started to kick into action. Flames started to leap from the fireseed all at once! The chaotic energy was starting to fight against its restraints to escape from the fireseed.
This was the hardest part of the process, the part of 'refinement'!
Bai Yunfei bit his lip. His soulsense was completely locked onto the fireseed within his cauldron. While carefully maintaining the flames, he started to refine the chaotic energy.
The sweltering heat in the area was starting to pool sweat onto Bai Yunfei's forehead. He was looking hurried now with his soulforce spiking more and more frequently as he worked.
Despite having been previously prepared for it, the refinement of the chaotic energy was still so ridiculously hard to refine! It was also extremely painful!
If the chaotic energy was like a beast, then the fireseed was the cage it was trying to struggle against. Each proverbial slam against the cage sent a wave of pain through his organs in ways far more painful than when he went into Berserk Mode. His experience with pain wasn't at all helpful here in this one moment, but Bai Yunfei had to try his best to endure it. To do elsewise would be mean failing to refine the chaotic energy.
His herculean efforts to resist the pain was still not enough to stop the chaotic energy from rampaging though! It was just far too strong and his fireseed was unable to suppress it, let alone refine it!
"It's not enough? I really can't refine the chaotic energy…"
The increasing surges of power from the chaotic energy was shining through the fireseed, filling Bai Yunfei with disappointment and reluctance.
Xiao Fang's hurried voice spoke into his ear then.
"Crap! It looks like you can't refine it! Yunfei, don't get careless! Be prepared to cut your connection with the fireseed, I'll send it off into a different dimension!"