Eyeing Han Yue, who had actually temporarily placed aside her obsession for cleanliness and shook Xiao Yan’s hand, Elder Liu also felt a little stunned. He recovered a moment later and shot a glance at Han Yue with a gaze that had a deeper meaning. He laughed, “Xiao Yan ah, you should be privileged to be one of the few male students in the Inner Academy who has ever shaken Yue girl’s hand.”
“Then I am really honored.” Xiao Yan smiled slightly. Although holding that delicate jade-like hand was very comfortable, he merely held it in a courteous manner before releasing it and spoke with a smile.
“Junior Xiao Yan, under your leadership, this year’s new students could be considered to have truly stolen the limelight.” Han Yue also withdrew her hand as she softly replied.
“If I had known beforehand that there was going to be such trouble in the future, this limelight… it would have been fine even if we didn’t have it.” Xiao Yan sighed and spoke with a bitter smile.
“Looks like there are already older students who have gone to find trouble?” Han Yue could not help but be a little surprised when she heard this. She immediately came to an abrupt understanding as she nodded her head. A faint, smiling arc appeared at the corner of her mouth.
Xiao Yan helplessly nodded.
“Junior Xiao Yan should know a little about the matters within the Inner Academy, right? You should also know the benefits of having the protection of a faction right? May I know if you have any intention of joining a faction?” Han Yue’s bright pupils stared intently at Xiao Yan, as if randomly asking.
Xiao Yan could not help but spread his hands when he heard this. He smiled bitterly and said, “I’m afraid I cannot enter any. This is because this batch of new students have a heavy reliance on me, and got me to form a new faction called ‘Pan’s Gate.’ Hence, I can only accept Senior Han Yue’s good intentions in my heart.”
“You have formed your own faction? And the members are actually all new students?” Han Yue’s face could not help but be stunned as Xiao Yan’s words sounded. Even Elder Liu threw an extremely shocked gaze toward Xiao Yan.
“Yes.” Xiao Yan laughed dryly and nodded when he saw their expressions.
“Junior Xiao Yan. This matter…. might attract a lot of trouble.” Han Yue’s eyebrows were tightly knit together. She finally spoke in a deep voice a while later.
“Uh? The Inner Academy doesn’t seem to have a rule that one cannot form a faction that is made up of new students, right?” Xiao Yan was startled when he heard this. He could not help but furrow his brows a little when he saw the serious expression on Han Yue’s face.
“Ah… there is indeed no such rule. However… the new students who enter the Inner Academy each year occupy sixty percent of all the new blood in the Inner Academy each year. Hence, many factions in the Inner Academy absorb these new students each year, using this method to increase their strength. It has been so all these years and has nearly become a tradition.”
“However, now you have roped together all of the new students this year. This results in the other factions being unable to get new recruits this year. This action would definitely invite the dissatisfaction of a lot of factions. After quietly offending so many factions, this ‘Pan’s Gate’ of yours might be marginalized. This is why I say that you will invite a lot of trouble…” Han Yue helplessly shook her head and helped explain the situation to Xiao Yan.
Elder Liu also nodded his head slightly, signaling that what Han Yue said was true.
Hearing Han Yue’s explanation, Xiao Yan’s face had also gradually become a lot more solemn. Since he was not familiar with the Inner Academy’s customs and traditions, it had resulted in him actually forgetting this stubble. Now that ‘Pan’s Gate’ had just formally been formed, it was really unexpected that it had offended nearly half of the factions in the Inner Academy. With the strength of the current ‘Pan’s Gate’, it was insufficient to handle so many potential enemies.
“Ah. I have been reckless…” Xiao Yan sighed gently. He mused for awhile before he smiled and continued speaking to Han Yue, “However, matters have already developed to this point. I, too, have no solution. We can only block the soldiers that come with generals and pile the soil to block the water that arrives. If there really is a faction that wants to destroy ‘Pan’s Gate,’I, Xiao Yan, would not just wait to die, that’s all I can say.”
TL: block the soldiers that come with generals and pile the soil to block the water that arrives – to react to the situation when it happens.
Han Yue sighed and nodded. She did not expect that Xiao Yan would actually form his own faction so quickly. This caused her to swallow her thought of roping him in. Even though Xiao Yan’s potential may be quite good, he had just entered the Inner Academy. His current strength was only at the Da Dou Shi level. Acting in this manner would undoubtedly create many enemies. However, this ‘Pan’s Gate’ faction of theirs was insufficient to handle this many opponents.
“If there is anything that you need help with in the future, you can come and find me. I will do my best to be of assistance.” Han Ye was quiet for a moment before she lifted her eyes and slowly spoke to Xiao Yan.
“Ke ke, in that case, thank you very much, Senior Han Yue.” Xiao Yan smiled and nodded when he heard this. No matter how one put it, being able to say such words when their ‘Pan’s Gate’ was in this kind of isolated situation, she was at the very least a person that he could befriend superficially speaking, even though he did not know if these words were simply just perfunctory or not.
“Don’t be in a hurry to thank me. There may be not much that I can do. Moreover, this is all on the account of your potential.” Han Yue shook her head and said in a cool voice.
“I understand. If I were just an ordinary new student of the Inner Academy, I’m afraid that I would not be treated this courteously by the two of you.” Xiao Yan smiled faintly. He was not a fool. There are some things that he saw clearer than anyone else. If it were not because of his talent and potential, Elder Liu, who had the position of Elder and Han Yue, who possessed quite a great amount of strength within the Inner Academy, would definitely not give him special respect. This was the Inner Academy. The rule of strength being supreme penetrated through everyone and everything!
Although Xiao Yan’s words were direct, Han Yue and Elder Liu both nodded slightly. Everyone was sensible. It would be inferior if they were to still speak in a secretive manner.
“Alright, Junior Xiao Yan, you should first wander around the ‘Blazing Sky Qi Refining Tower’ with Elder Liu. I still need to go to the sixth level, and shall not linger about much longer. We can chat if we have the opportunity to do so in the future.” Han Yue bowed slightly toward Xiao Yan before she immediately turned around and slowly walked to a certain spot of the ancient tower.
Xiao Yan smiled and nodded. His gaze sent Han Yue off. Only after her back disappeared at the edge of the warm light did he withdraw his gaze.
“Hee hee, Xiao Yan, what do you think of that Yue girl?” From the side, Elder Liu smiled as he watched Xiao Yan withdraw his gaze and asked.
“Not bad. I think that those pursuing Senior Han Yue in the Inner Academy are in large number.” Xiao Yan smed as he replied. With Han Yue’s appearance and disposition, she definitely did not lack suitors.
“There are indeed quite a number of suitors. However, there are extremely few that her eyes fancy. Her attitude toward you seems to be quite a good start. With your training talent and adding the training in the ‘Blazing Sky Qi Refining Tower,’ I’m afraid that in one year’s time, you will be able to enter the Dou Ling class. At that time, you might be able to become the best suited suitor.” Elder Liu teased.
“Ke ke, Senior Han Yue is indeed not bad, but I don’t have that kind of intention…” Xiao Yan smiled and shook his head. He eyed Elder Liu’s strange expression and did not continue to be entangled on this problem. With a smile, he pulled away from the question, “Elder Liu has yet to introduce this ‘Blazing Sky Qi Refining Tower’ to this student.”
“Oh. I nearly forgot about that. Ke ke… fellow me.” Elder Liu hurriedly patted his head after being reminded by Xiao Yan. He smiled apologetically and immediately turned around to lead the way. Xiao Yan followed close behind.
This ‘Blazing Sky Qi Refining Tower’ was buried underground, revealing only the peak of the tower. The interior of the tower was so spacious, that it was beyond Xiao Yan’s expectations. As he walked along the way, Xiao Yan realized that it was likely that the space in this first level of the tower was sufficient for five hundred people to train simultaneously.
Training rooms of varying sizes were built within the rounded space of the interior of the tower. However, most of the training rooms were occupied at the moment. Moreover, there were some small red tags hanging above the doors of these rooms. However, the words written on the tags were actually not all the same. Xiao Yan came to a stop and took a look. The words High Grade, Middle Grade, and Low Grade were actually written on these red tags. These were probably the distinction between the grades of the training rooms within the ‘Blazing Sky Qi Refining Tower’ that Atai had mentioned.
As he walked from the east to the west, Xiao Yan realized that it seemed that all the high grade training rooms were close to the middle of the tower. Distributed around them was the middle grade training rooms and the low grade training rooms were the furthest from the center.
“In the ‘Blazing Sky Qi Refining Tower,” these High, Middle, and Low grade training rooms are usually fought for with one’s strength. Those who are strong will be able to obtain the best training conditions. Those whose strengths are weaker can only go to the low grade training room at the outermost regions to train.” Elder Liu pointed at a training room where a High Grade tag was hung as he spoke with a faint smile.
“At the same level, no matter what grade the training room is, their training fee is all the same. For example, in the first level, a low grade training room requires a ‘Fire Energy’ to train for one day and this is also the same for a high grade training room…”
“The fee that one must spend is the same but the effects that one obtains are worlds apart. Won’t this result in a situation the strong becoming stronger and the weak having difficulty catching up?” Xiao Yan asked doubtfully.
“Without facing adversity, it is very hard for someone’s potential to be completely unleashed. What we need is this kind of different oppression. As long as they are oppressed to the limit, there would be some students who would completely erupt and swiftly catch up with the strong people they would have had difficulty reaching in the past. Until now, this kind of matter has basically appeared every year in the Inner Academy…” Elder Liu shook his head and spoke with a smile.
Xiao Yan nodded slightly. His advancing footsteps suddenly paused. If one followed his gaze and looked over, one would realize that they had already walked to the middle of the tower.
Xiao Yan was slightly startled to watch the bottomless black hole that had appeared in front of him. He slowly took two steps forward and came to the edge of the black hole to carefully glance at the bottom. The darkness continued to extend all the way to the edge of one’s sight. That strange darkness that did not even have the slightest bit of light caused Xiao Yan to have a sort of giddy feeling in his head.
This black hole appeared to penetrate the entire ‘Blazing Sky Qi Refining Tower.’ If it was not because of the top of the tower covering it, one might be able to clearly see this dark black, deep hole with a glance from the sky.
If one was to carefully sense this black hole, one would seemingly be able to feel that the air coming from this place was much hotter than other places. That feeling… it appeared that there was something at the bottom of the deep hole that was continuously emitting and supplying a hot energy to the entire ‘Blazing Sky Qi Refining Tower.’
Xiao Yan extended his palm and grabbed at the illusionary hot air. There was something within his body which suddenly leaped once.
Xiao Yan’s throat rolled slightly. He extended his head slightly forward as his eyes stared intently at the deep darkness. A long while later, green-colored flame from within his body suddenly swarmed up into his pupils. In an instant, his dark, black eyes turned into green-flaming eyes.
As the green flame swarmed into his eyes, that bottomless darkness below began to become fainter in an extremely strange manner.
However, just as the darkness was becoming increasingly faint, all the hairs on Xiao Yan’s body suddenly stood erect.
Under the focus of that pair of green flamed eyes, some slight distortion began to form in the space of the endless darkness. Quickly following this, the distorted space was like an invisible python as it began to climb toward the entrance of the hole at an extremely frightening speed.
“Xiao Yan, move aside!”
Just as the distorted space was about to climb up, a cry suddenly sounded next to Xiao Yan’s ear. Immediately, a shriveled hand grabbed his shoulders and pulled strongly, bringing him far away from this dark hole.
Not long after Xiao Yan was pulled away from the hole, he suddenly felt the temperature swiftly rising around him. After which, he heard an extremely sharp hissing sound that came spreading out from the deep hole. He hurriedly raised his head and took a look. However, his face suddenly solidified. His mouth shivered as a hoarse voice spilled out from the gap between his teeth with great difficulty.
“This… this… what is this… thing?”