Four shadows quietly flashed under the night sky, shrouded in silence.
“Hei, Old Man Fa, we have wasted an entire night. Now you want to just leave empty handed?” Hai Bo Dong finally could not resist opening his mouth to speak as his toes pressed gently against the rooftops.
On one side, Jia Lao also nodded his head. With his character, he would naturally not leave empty handed.
“In what way is this empty handed? Don’t we already know the true identity of that fellow? Now, we at least have some foundation in our hearts.” Clearly knowing Hai Bo Dong’s and Jia Lao’s bad mood, Fa Ma could only helplessly shake his head as he replied.
“What use is there to just know? Won’t he still participate in the competition tomorrow? With that ability of his and his many years of experience refining pills, becoming the champion will not be very hard for him.” Jia Lao knit his eyebrows together as he said.
“Ke ke, don’t we still have Yan Xiao and the two other little fellows? Who among the three of them doesn’t have some trump cards? There might be something unexpected that will happen tomorrow.” Fa Ma glanced at Xiao Yan behind him before saying with a smile.
“You stop pretending to be muddled. Yan Xiao and the other two little fellows may have quite great talent, but that fellow is after all the deputy chairman of the Chu Yun Empire’s Alchemist Association. Moreover, he has come prepared this time around. The chances of the three of them obtaining victory is very small.” Jia Lao said in a deep voice, “If that fellow were to become the champion, not only will your association’s reputation decline greatly, but the Jia Ma Empire will also be ridiculed in the continent for a while.”
“The most important thing is that once he becomes the champion, that fellow will increasingly become the focus of attention. When that time comes, it would be very problematic even if you wanted to kill him along the way.” Hai Bo Dong added.
Xiao Yan was behind everyone, quietly listening to the three people argue in front of him. He understood clearly that it was best not to interrupt at such an instance.
“Do you think I don’t know the ability of that girl Yue-er? Although obtaining the top three may not be considered too difficult, there would still be some difficulty for her to become champion even without the sudden appearance of that fellow. As for Liu Ling, he has indeed learned many things from Gu He, but he loses out in terms of age and his experience is far from that of Yan Li.” Jia Lao frowned as he analyzed the situation , “Among the three of them, only Yan Xiao can barely contend with that fellow. However, I can be certain that Yan Li had hidden a lot of his ability today. In the final round of the competition tomorrow, I’m afraid that Yan Xiao will end up at a disadvantage.”
Fa Ma was quiet. His face was volatile and his eyes repeatedly flickered.
“Ah, Old Man Fa, you should think of some solutions. That fellow’s participation in the competition is already against the rules so you need not bother continuing to guard those useless things. Just do what you need to do. All is well if you don’t let that fellow become champion.” Hai Bo Dong sighed.
“Hu.” Fa Ma heaved a long sigh and inhaled some of the somewhat icy cool night air. His moving speed suddenly slowed down as he nodded slightly and whispered, “That’s right. We should do something. The tradition of the Jia Ma Empire’s Alchemist Association has lasted for so many years and cannot be discredited in my hands.”
“Hee hee, it’s good that you know this.” Seeing Fa Ma finally opening his mouth, Hai Bo Dong and Jia Lao also sighed in relief as they both spoke with a smile.
Fa Ma frowned for a moment before suddenly turning around. He eyed Xiao Yan, smiled and said, “Little fellow, the strength that you have displayed today is not your limit, right?”
Hearing this, Xiao Yan was momentarily at a loss. He raised his head and looked at the smiling Fa Ma before replying hesitatingly, “Old Fa, why are you asking this? I have indeed hid a little.”
“Ha ha, I just knew it. Why is it that all the young people these days like to play it this way?” Fa Ma laughed out loud. He then let himself fall back, patted Xiao Yan’s shoulders and smiled yet again as he said, “During this Grand Meeting, I’m afraid that I will have to rely on you to fight for the champion spot with Yan Li.”
“Old Fa must be joking. Although I do not like to say good things about the other person, you should also know that the fellow is a deputy chairman of an association. An inexperienced young fellow like me will have great difficulty surpassing him.” Xiao Yan shook his head and sighed.
“Naturally, we cannot simply rely entirely on you. Since that fellow broke the rules first, then I cannot be blamed.” Fa Ma smiled faintly and said. Immediately, he threw his gaze toward Hai Bo Dong and Jia Lao, “Both of you should return first. I will bring young friend Yan Xiao back to the association, There are some things that I need to discuss with him.”
Hearing Fa Ma’s words, Hai Bo Dong and Jia Lao were at a loss. They immediately exchanged a glance and nodded slightly. After which, they cupped their hands toward Fa Ma before they headed to the east and west respectively, disappearing from Xiao Yan’s sight in the blink of an eye.
Xiao Yan watched the two of them disappear and turned his gaze toward Fa Ma. In an uncertain voice, he asked, “Old Fa, what are you planning?”
“Ke ke, follow me.” Fa Ma smiled, moved his body and flashed toward the middle of the city where the Alchemist Association was located. Behind him, Xiao Yan hesitated for a moment before following closely.
With one person at the front and one at the back, the two of them quickly flew through the city sky. Ten minutes later, they stopped at the Alchemist Association without alerting anyone.
“Let’s go.” Fa Ma said to Xiao Yan before leading the way into the interior of the association.
Although it was currently late in the night, the Alchemist Association was still brightly lit, making it appear like daytime. At the entrance, cold looking guards were monitoring everyone entering and exiting without knowing what being tired meant. When their gazes suddenly swept over an old man who was striding toward the association, they were first startled before their bodies immediately and abruptly tensed. Their eyes were filled with respect and reverence as they stared at Fa Ma who was slowly walking over.
Fa Ma smiled carelessly at the guards at the door. He turned around and hastened Xiao Yan before lifting his legs and walking into the association.
Hearing Fa Ma hurrying him, Xiao Yan helplessly shook his head. He immediately followed closely under the surprised gazes of those guards. Since they had first become guards at this place, they had not seen Fa Ma treat a young person in this manner before.
Xiao Yan walked into the association and followed Fa Ma as he swiftly passed through a few large rooms. During this period, the many alchemists, who saw Fa Ma, displayed a reverence on their faces as they bowed and retreated to one side. Following beside Fa Ma, Xiao Yan borrowed Fa Ma’s glory and enjoyed this kind of treatment.
When the two of them walked up the stairs, those alchemist within the large hall immediately began to whisper privately among themselves.
“That young person appears to be that Yan Xiao from the Grand Meeting today, right?”
“It looks like the chairman views him with great importance.”
“Che, what unnecessary words. He is one of the few people who can compete with that gray robed young man from the Chu Yun Empire. Would he not be paid attention to?”
“If he is able to become champion this time around, he would likely become the youngest Elder of the Jia Ma Empire’s Alchemist Association, no?”
“Ah, most heroes are born young. The old me has muddled on for an entire lifetime in order to merely obtain a supervisor level in the association.”
Xiao Yan followed Fa Ma all the way until the highest floor of the association before stopping outside a room. Fa Ma then pushed opened the door and entered while Xiao Yan followed behind. The latter’s gaze swept around and he felt a little astonished. The room’s size was very spacious, but it appeared somewhat old fashioned. A few bookshelves leaned against the walls and an ancient looking table stood alone in the middle of the room.
“Take a seat.” Fa Ma sat down behind the table and said with a smile toward Xiao Yan.
“Yes.” Xiao Yan nodded his head and carelessly drew out the chair before sitting down. He quietly stared at the smiling Fa Ma and it was a while later when he finally spoke with a smile, “Old Fa, if you have something to say, please do. If it is within my ability to help, I, Yan Xiao will not refuse you.”
“Ke ke, I think you can also guess that the main reason for me asking you to come over is to talk about helping you become champion.” Fa Ma smiled and replied.
“I also really hope to take the champion spot. but…” Xiao Yan smiled bitterly and waved his hand.
“I know.” Fa Ma nodded his head. He fondled his beard and voiced his thoughts, “During the competition round tomorrow, there’s not much trick to the examination question. One basically has to rely on one’s own ability and trump cards.”
“In that round of the competition, free reign is completely given. All the things, including the medicinal ingredients must be prepared by oneself. In other words, it means that in the examination tomorrow, the association will not give any medicinal formula. The competitors must rely on their own collection and go to the limits of their abilities to find suitable medicinal ingredients. At the same time, assuming that you have prepared a medicinal formula, you must also have the sufficient ingredients in order to refine the medicinal pill. If you don’t have it, then you can only consider yourself unlucky.” Fa Ma waved his hand as he spoke with a smile.
Xiao Yan’s mouth opened slowly. Some time later, he could not resist letting out a curse. If he did not have Fa Ma to reveal the information before hand, the highest tier medicinal formula that he could refine during the examination tomorrow would be those tier three medicinal formulas that Yao Lao had occasionally transmitted to him. However, a medicinal formula of this tier would clearly be very difficult to win against Yan Li, Little Princess and Liu Ling, whose collections were incomparably vast.
“Although this kind of examination had a part which leaned toward luck, luck is also one kind of ability. Therefore…” Fa Ma smiled and continued, “According to my prediction, that Yan Li should have a tier four medicinal formula in his collection. With his identity as the deputy chairman, he should have the ingredients completely prepared.”
“Tier four? With his ability, he should be able to refine a tier five medicinal pill, right?” Xiao Yan frowned and said.
“Yes he can, but the chances of failure are too high. Therefore, it is clearly unsuitable for this kind of competition.”
“But even if it is a tier four, it looks like there’s nothing I can do. I’m not afraid of you laughing at me for being shabby, but the medicinal formulas I have on me that are within my ability to refine are only at most a tier three. What’s more, many of the medicinal ingredients are not completely prepared.” Xiao Yan sighed.
“Ke ke, I was able to guess this.” Fa Ma smiled and nodded his head. He eyed Xiao Yan and said, “I have called you over naturally because I need to to win over Yan Li. Thus, I can help you solve the problem regarding medicinal formula and ingredients. However, this is only on the premise of you being confident to refine it!”
“In that case, I need to roughly see what tier the medicinal formula is and what its requirements are.” Hearing this, Xiao Yan felt somewhat secretly pleased. With the wealth of the Alchemist Association, the medicinal formula that would be taken out would definitely not be anything ordinary. If he were able to get his hands on it for free, it was naturally a windfall.
“The medicinal formula will definitely not disappoint you. This medicinal formula may only be tier four, but if one were to talk about its value, it would certainly not be lower than that of a tier five medicinal formula. It might even surpass it.” Fa Ma smiled faintly, stood up and walked behind the bookshelves. After a while, he carried a scroll that was as black as ink as he slowly walked out.
“Well, take a look. I think that you should like it.” Fa Ma rubbed the ancient surface of the scroll and handed it over to Xiao Yan.
Xiao Yan received the scroll with both hands and carefully pulled it open. His gaze slowly scanned the little information that was recorded on the surface of the scroll. A while later, he gently inhaled a breath of cool air.
“It’s far too valuable.”