The unusual sound was like flashing lightning that repeatedly spread and resounded within the black hole. An instant later, the somewhat dark environment suddenly brightened. The temperature in the air also rose swiftly. An extremely frightening and ancient aura slowly surfaced from within the black hole. Finally, it appeared to be like the lightning which tore open the dark night, erupting from the nearly endless profound darkness.
Xiao Yan’s face stiffened as he eyed that exit of the hole. His throat involuntarily rolled once.
At this moment, the area that was two meters above the hole had become extremely distorted. Although the space had become extremely distorted, one could not see anything using the naked eye. Other than that distorted space and the repeated hissing sound, the entire area turned slightly strange because of this scene.
Elder Liu’s face was also extremely solemn. He repeatedly pulled Xiao Yan and stepped back. When his eyes looked at the distorted space, fear flashed across them. Although he could not see what exactly was there, he had also heard some things after being an Elder in the tower for so many years. Hence, he also knew just how terrifying the thing within the deep darkness was…
The naked eyes could not see anything, but Xiao Yan’s pair of pupils, which was covered by the ‘Green Lotus Core Flame,’ was able to clearly see the frightening thing that sprang from within the dark hole. Immediately, his body, which was being dragged back by Elder Liu, suddenly stiffened.
With those pupils that contained the green-colored flames, Xiao Yan clearly saw that the thing that had violently surfaced from the endless darkness was actually an enormous fire python, which was shockingly over ten meters thick and had an unknown length…
The body of the fire python was covered by twisted flames. It widened its large mouth. Fangs, that were as large as Xiao Yan’s thigh, carried a distorted ripple. A pair of enormous triangular eyes had invisible flames being repeatedly spit out of them. These flames were no stranger to Xiao Yan. This was because he had tasted the bitterness of this flame earlier. Of course, the thing that appeared in his heart had been just a wisp of shapeless flame. Compared to this enormous python, which appeared to be completely agglomerated from fire, what he felt before was undoubtedly the difference between a firefly and a bright moon. As he felt the strength of the fire python, Xiao Yan did not doubt that even an elite Dou Huang would likely be instantly turned into ashes should his body come into contact with it!
The fire python carried a ferocious roar as it shot out from the darkness. However, just as it was about to reach a spot, five meters above the entrance of the black hole, the surrounding space abruptly began to fluctuate. With the help of the green flame, Xiao Yan could vaguely see that the space surrounding the black hole appeared to become extremely distorted as it formed a spatial cage at this very moment. The invisible fire python may have massive strength, but when it collided with its spatial restraints, it merely caused the cage to ripple a little. There was no other effect.
Realizing that it was hopeless to attempt to break free, the fire python could not help but become a little crazed. Invisible flames were spat out from its enormous mouth in all directions and it repeatedly incinerated the spatial cage. Unfortunately, no matter how it burned, that space cage still stood very firmly!
After wildly struggling for a while, the invisible fire python was finally exhausted. It faced the sky, and let out a hissing sound that contained its furious rage. After which, one could only see that the space repeatedly distorted as the fire python once again became meek and drilled back into the deep dark hole.
As the fire python disappeared, the space cage finally became thinner and eventually disappeared.
Elder Liu heaved a sigh of relief when he sensed the surrounding temperature falling. He muttered, “That was close, but why did this thing suddenly awaken?”
Beside him, Xiao Yan also gradually recovered from the shock. The green-colored flame in his eyes swiftly withdrew as he asked in a hoarse voice, “Elder Liu. That… what is that thing?”
Recovering from Xiao Yan’s question, Elder Liu’s face became solemn as he watched the former. He said in a deep voice, “Do not tell anyone else about what you saw today. Originally, students are not allowed to come this close to the middle region of the tower. Today, I have neglected my duty. Fortunately, it was my turn to be on duty today. Otherwise, there would definitely be some unavoidable trouble.”
Xiao Yan nodded when he saw Elder Liu’s solemn face. He spread his hand innocently, “I did not see anything. It is just that I suddenly felt the temperature rise a lot. Additionally, there was some noise coming from the black hole.”
“It is naturally for the best if you did not see anything. There are some things which you are better being ignorant about. It is best that you do not come here in the future. Otherwise, if you are discovered, you will be punished along with the Elders on duty.” Elder Liu sighed in relief. He did not doubt Xiao Yan’s words. After all, even he himself, could not see that frightening thing. He could merely rely on his perception of the distortion and curvature of space in order to judge just what form this invisible being had.
Hearing the sternness in Elder Liu’s voice, Xiao Yan’s expression also involuntarily changed. Immediately, he hurriedly nodded.
“Alright, let’s go…” Elder Liu’s expression became a little warmer when he saw Xiao Yan nod his head. He once again glanced at the bottomless deep pit with a lingering fear before turning his body and walking away.
Xiao Yan once again nodded. After which, he followed him. When he was about to turn the corner, he tilted his head and looked at the bottomless black hole, which had once again descended into silence. His heart carried a faint shock as he muttered softly, “What exactly is that thing? That aura… it’s too strong. That space cage is also too overwhelming. It actually did not have the slightest reaction under the destruction caused by this frightening thing. This ‘Blazing Sky Qi Refining Tower’ is indeed filled completely with mysteries…”
After exiting the middle region, Elder Liu also recovered his earlier calm. He once again brought Xiao Yan to carefully stroll along the first level within the tower. Wherever he passed, he would repeatedly speak about some of the rules within the tower and other things which he needed to watch out for. Many things were trivial, causing him to appear like an ordinary old man.
As they walked, they would occasionally meet some students. When they saw Xiao Yan, who was having an enjoyable talk with Elder Liu, they were all a little shocked. Due to the status and identity of these tower guardian Elders, they were usually very stern toward the students. Hence, many students were respectful and afraid of them. Other than some older students, who had quite great strength, seldom did they see any Elders treating a new student this politely.
All of these shocked gazes along the way also caused Xiao Yan to understand the deterrence that this Elder Liu had here. As the saying goes, one would be able to work better if one had someone in the imperial court. Now that he had just arrived, it would naturally be for the best for him to be able to form some connections. No matter how great his potential was, at the very least, he was merely a Da Dou Shi. This kind of strength really did not have anything commendable in the eyes of Elder Liu, who had already reached the Dou Wang class.
“Xiao Yan, your ‘Pan’s Gate’ faction has just been formed. I recommend that when you all enter the ‘Blazing Sky Qi Refining Tower,’ for now you should not attempt to snatch any high grade training rooms…” Elder Liu suddenly said with a faint smile when they walked to a spot and saw that there were much less people.
Xiao Yan was startled when he heard this, but immediately nodded his head. He also had such thoughts. During this little time that he had entered the Inner Academy, it would undoubtedly cause even more people to be dissatisfied with this ‘Pan’s Gate’ of theirs if they wanted to occupy the best training areas. It was likely that when the group of them entered the place, there would be some factions who would come and expel them. Compared to those older factions, other than Xiao Yan and a few Da Dou Shi, most of the others did not have the strength to contend with older factions. Moreover, in this kind of fight between factions, just relying on the few of them would undoubtedly fail to obtain the effect of turning things around.
“As the Academy has some rules, us, these tower guardian Elders cannot interfere in the fight between students for training rooms. Hence, as long as no fatalities occur, we will not intervene most of the time.” Elder Liu mused for awhile before he smiled and said, “However, as long as one Dou Ling can swiftly appear in that ‘Pan’s Gate’ of yours, you would have the qualification to be ranked among the second tier factions of the Inner Academy. At that time, you can go and participate in the fight for training rooms. I think that this should be very soon, given your potential.”
“Having a strong Dou Ling is only a second tier faction? Then does that not mean that there must be an elite Dou Wang present in order to be considered a top tier faction?” Xiao Yan asked in a stunned manner.
“Ke ke, that is not really the case. Normally, if three or four strong Dou Ling appear within a single faction, it can be considered a top tier faction…” Elder Liu shook his head as he replied.
Xiao Yan quietly sighed in relief after hearing this. With Xun Er’s and the other two’s talent, it was likely that they would similarly not need much time. It appeared that the future ‘Pan’s Gate’ needed to keep a low profile for a short while. As long as they waited until the four of them advanced to the Dou Ling class, everything would improve. Before this, however, they could only quietly huddle up.
As they conversed and walked, Xiao Yan and Elder Liu arrived at the entrance. Wu Hao, who was still at this spot, had also woken up from his unconscious state. He was standing at a loss in the spot, and only sighed in relief when he saw Xiao Yan’s figure.
Seeing Wu Hao walking over swiftly, Xiao Yan smiled to Elder Liu, cupped his hands and said, “Elder Liu, thank you very much for your lessons. Let’s stop here for today. If I have time in the future, I will come again to seek your advice.”
“Ke ke, weren’t you planning on training here for awhile today?” Elder Liu smiled and asked.
“‘Pan’s Gate’ has just been established. I need to go back and help manage it.” Xiao Yan smiled as he rejected Elder Liu’s good intention.
“Yes, that’s true. A new faction is very weak. You are indeed going to be busy.” Elder Liu smiled and nodded without insisting. His gaze swept around him as he spoke with soft laughter, “The next time you bring people to the first level to train, I will help you find the best place among the Middle Grade Training Rooms. Training at that place will not be much worse than training in a High Grade Training Room.”
“There is also good and bad training rooms of the same grade?” Xiao Yan was somewhat surprised when he heard this.
“Ke ke. That is only natural. However, an ordinary student would have great difficulty discovering these things. Only us, the Tower Guardian Elders, understand the difference…” Elder Liu laughed in a proud manner.
“In that case, thank you very much, Elder Liu…” Xiao Yan nodded his head in surprise. He once again cupped his hands toward Elder Liu before turning around, and stepping toward Wu Hao before he walked out, supporting the latter.
Elder Liu fondled his beard as he eyed the two backs that had disappeared from the entrance of the tower. He muttered, “‘Heavenly Flame’… it is really unexpected. The rise of the Inner Academy relies on that kind of thing… but now, a little fellow, who isn’t even twenty years old, already possesses this kind of mysterious object for himself. Ah, he really is a fellow who is so lucky that it causes one to be unable to help but be jealous.”