Xiao Ya jumped in fright from the sudden strange flame and turned in its direction.
Liu Yizhen smoothened his beard as he gave a chuckling apology to his fellow alchemists behind him, “Ha-ha-ha, terribly sorry, it is the finals and I must give it my all. Do forgive me if I offend anyone.”
No matter how polite he made it sound, his eyes couldn’t hide the pride he felt.
The alchemists swallowed dryly and eyed the towering flame and then, to their own lifeless Yuan Qi kindle, feeling more and more despondent.
How were they supposed to compete when another just snuffed out their efforts?
They watched him with hatred in their hearts but also envy. Just where did this old guy get that flame from anyways?
With that flame, his refining might reach the 6th grade!
Xiao Ya’s eyes lit up and cried, “Grandmaster Liu’s flame must be from a 4th level spiritual beast, the Sky Blazing Python’s heart fire. I heard the Sky Blazing Python spends its time moving underground and its core is influenced by the earth’s fire. It is so hot it can melt anything. No ingredient on this land cannot be refined with it. Grandmaster Liu must’ve been holding onto it for the final round.”
“Ha-ha-ha, you sure are knowledgeable, girl. No wonder you’re the judge. But besides a flame, one must also make use of an intricate refining skill. I have taken out this flame to increase my rank. However, I dare not aim for the crown.”
Liu Yizhen shook his hand with modesty, but his pride was no different from one who thought of himself as the next Pill King.
Cursed the crowd, in particular, the alchemists who only had Yuan Qi flames and were influenced by the mighty blaze.
He had a reason to be smug of course, with how strong his 4th level spiritual beast flame was.
It not only increased his refining but also slowed down the others’ – killing two birds with one stone. With such a flame, if two people were of equal levels, one would have his refining boosted by two grades.
His confidence was well placed.
[Even you, Vicious Pill King! My flame will lower you from 7th grade to 6th.]
Everyone could make this educated guess just from looking at the faltering flames around him.
Just when the crowd was focused on the battle between Vicious Pill King and Zhuo Fan, it had now gotten even more confusing to whom the crown would place their bets on.
Xiao Ya sighed and watched Liu Yizhen in admiration. He was the true black horse of the Hundred Pill Meeting.
[He hid it well.]
She couldn’t help asking this though, “Grandmaster Liu, I heard that Sky Blazing Python is very rare and strong as a Profound Heaven expert. May I ask how you obtained its core’s flame?”
“Ha-ha-ha, that time was truly dangerous. About a year ago…”
“Humph, you’re so cocky with just a stinking snake flame?”
Just as Liu Yizhen was about to retell his grand and historical venture, of the endless trials of hardship he had to go through, a snort stopped him short.
Then marked by a humming, a small bluish flame flickered into existence.
Its appearance cut the size of all Yuan Qi flames in half. What was even more astounding was the fact that even Liu Yizhen’s beast core flame shuddered as it turned lifeless.
Crying out in shock, Liu Yizhen turned to find Yan Fu holding a raging dark blue fire and sporting a condescending smile.
Xiao Ya cried, “Is this a 5th level spiritual beast flame, from the Fire Swallow?”
Yan Fu laughed coldly and mocked Liu Yizhen, “I have bested you in the imperial capital, Old Liu, and I will do it again today. Don’t get carried away in thinking the Pill King title is yours! Ha-ha-ha, how laughable. You think you’re the only one in this world with a special flame?”
Beet red, Liu Yizhen felt his anger boil but had no leeway to complain.
He had to admit that a top alchemist was more than capable of getting himself a 4th level spiritual beast flame. The least of all Yan Fu, who was Pill King Hall’s core disciple!
[Sigh, I was too naive.] In the end, who could compare with the Seven Noble Houses?
Liu Yizhen gave a wistful sigh. Before he could rise completely, another one came to knock him down to his place. Now recalling the smug look from before, it only worked to color his face red.
“Uh, young master Yan, Fire Swallow is a 5th level spiritual beast that even Radiant Stage experts have trouble defeating! How did you get its flame?” Xiao Ya’s eyes were riveted on the flame.
Grinning, Yan Fu swept his eyes over Tao Danniang and the rest of Drifting Flowers Edifice’s female disciples and laughed, “This flame was bestowed by Pill King Hall to me, the greatest of its disciples. As for how, humph, Pill King Hall needs only to want something and it will soon have it.”
His words didn’t reach the average disciple because of the competition’s noise, but Chu Qingcheng and her overseers heard it clearly, and glared at him.
Even Tao Danniang’s green face turned gloomy and terrifying.
But he couldn’t care less as he began introducing it in his arrogance, “Alchemy is the balance of yin and yang. Old Liu’s flame may perhaps be from a 4th level spiritual beast, but the earth fire is too violent, unfit for refining pills. My flame, on the contrary, is fire yet it holds some water, it is also water yet it contains fire. Thus fire and water combine and yin and yang intertwine. It is the most fitting flame for alchemy. And only Pill King Hall’s men know how to find such a flame, and so, the only ones who can be Pill King is…”
Suddenly, a green flame appeared before him.
The common Yuan Qi flames shrunk again, and Liu Yizhen with Yan Fu’s spiritual beast flames were also cut down to size.
Emerging like a beast king from deep in the mountains, the other flames prostrated before it.
Yan Fu squinted and looked at Tao Danniang’s green flame in shock, “Y-you… that…”
“Humph, your Fire Swallow flame is best suited for alchemy? You will first have to ask this 6th level spiritual beast flame of mine, the Moon Fire Falcon’s flame.”
[What, a 6th level spiritual beast?]
This caused widespread shock.
Not even a Radiant Stage expert would dare mess with such a being. Just how did Tao Danniang get hold of this marvel?
Xiao Ya grew happy inside. Tao Danniang was from Drifting Flowers Edifice, after all, and praised, “Aunt Tao, how did you obtain the flame of a 6th level spiritual beast?”
“Humph, girl, why ask when you already know. You think my old body has the skill to go pull the life fire from the belly of a 6th level spiritual beast?”
Tao Danniang cursed as she eyed Yan Fu, then the further away Vicious Pill King. [Trying to shake Drifting Flowers Edifice’s prestige?] Then she shouted, “This is a fire is passed down in the Drifting Flowers Edifice to its best alchemist.”
“Girl, remember, this is not a flame that can be sought. The Moon Fire Falcon flies thirty kilometers above and comes out at night to absorb the moon’s yin while eating the spiritual herbs in the mountains. This makes its flame have the essence of the moon. It can increase the grade of a pill in refining. How can a mere Fire Swallow’s flame compare to it?”
Under the guise of teaching Xiao Ya, Tao Danniang was in fact speaking loudly to jab at Yan Fu.
Yan Fu gnashed his teeth but kept silent. A 5th level beast flame was a cut short compared to a 6th level beast flame. Not to mention, the Moon Fire Falcon ate many spiritual herbs in its life, making it far stronger than Fire Swallow.
This ultimately made it unfit for comparison.
Tao Danniang stuck her chin out in pride and mocked, “Pill King title is only fit for Pill King Hall, is it? Humph, punk, be careful of making too big a boost and unable to back it up!”
Shuddering, Yan Fu glared at her as he barked, “Old hag, don’t get too happy. I am just a junior, not your match in alchemy. But don’t forget, I’m not the best alchemist in Pill King Hall. My master, Vicious Pill King is.”
Yan Fu turned to Vicious Pill King and shouted, “Master, open the eyes of these ignorant fools and let them see your true strength.”
The people turned their attention to Vicious Pill King, waiting for the best alchemist in the empire to let out his best skill.
Only the few grandmaster alchemists who used Yuan Qi flames felt like crying looking at the puny flames in their hands.
[Grandmasters, you’re all so rich you all have beast flames. But we are dirt poor, using the weakest flame made of Yuan Qi.]
[Have some mercy and don’t take out an even more amazing flame or our Yuan Qi flames won’t take it. We won’t even be able to cook rice, let alone pills…]