After completely settling Xiao Li’s matter, Xiao Yan was finally able to return to the Inner Academy with his heart at ease and prepare for the ‘Strong Ranking Grand Competition’ that was about to arrive in the Inner Academy. However, he also met with Xiao Yu, Xiao Mei, and Xiao Ning before he left. Now that the Xiao clan had suffered extremely great losses with an unknown number of clan members having died in the hands of the Misty Cloud Sect and the ‘Hall of Souls’. Xiao Yan was much gentler when compared to before when faced with these three relatives who had a blood relationship with him. Given his character, he would naturally not care aboutsome of the grudges from when they were young. No matter how one put it, they belonged to one clan. Moreover, it was undoubtedly easier to give trust to relatives with a blood relationship compared to outsiders.
The Inner Academy Qualifying Competition this year would once again begin after another half a year. This time around, it was not difficult for Xiao Yu to enter given her strength. It was a little more risky for Xiao Mei and Xiao Ning. However, this kind of risk was naturally not much of a trouble in front of Xiao Yan who was a tier five alchemist. During the time that Yao Lao had refined some medicinal pills with mysterious and unique effects, Xiao Yan had also obtained quite a number of medicinal formulas. These medicinal pills may not be able to let Xiao Ning or Xiao Mei take the champion spot in one go, but it should not be too difficult for them to enter the top fifty as long as their luck was not too terrible.
Xiao Yan also became completely at ease after arranging all these troublesome matters. He bid the three of them goodbye before once again riding a Griffin with Xun Er and the rest to hurry back to the Inner Academy.
By the time that Xiao Yan and the rest had hurried back to the Inner Academy, there was less than twenty-five days until the Inner Academy’s ‘Strong Ranking’ Grand Competition. As the grand competition was approaching, the conversation topic of the entire Inner Academy had basically turned toward this competition that was called the most intense and energy-filled competition and was solely for the experts on the ‘Strong Ranking’.
The people who were able to enter into the top fifty of the ‘Strong Ranking’ were all basically the top people within the Inner Academy. A fight between them naturally possessed a great attraction to many people’s eyes. Thus, although only the students with names on the ‘Strong Ranking’ were qualified to be competitors of this kind of grand competition, this did not hinder the focus and anticipation the students of the Inner Academy had for it.
As everyone began to spread the news to each other in this nearly crazy manner, the atmosphere of the entire inner academy ascended into a high greater than the last couple of years. After all, as long as one successfully entered the top ten, one would be able to successfully become a potential Elder candidate of the Inner Academy. This kind of special status would basically allow one to walk unhindered without fear among the students of this Inner Academy. The Elders and the students were two totally different identities. Countless numbers of people had fought until their heads were broken while desiring to take that step. However, that harsh criteria caused most people to quietly withdraw.
Of course, the reason for the position of an Inner Academy Elder being so greatly coveted was naturally not because one would be able to act triumphantly among the students. The most important reason was that only an Elder had the qualification to enter the lowest levels of the ‘Blazing Sky Qi Refining Tower’.
The benefit of the ‘Blazing Sky Qi Refining Tower’, being able to raise one’s training speed, was something that the people in the Inner Academy had already experienced. Therefore, many people naturally coveted the qualification to enter the last few levels of the tower that the students were not allowed to enter. It was likely that one could save the time one took to enter the Dou Huang class if one trained there. Of course, this was if one also possessed such a talent… after all, attempting to advance to the Dou Huang class was definitely not an easy matter even if one had the help of the ‘Blazing Sky Qi Refining Tower’.
Hence, as long as it was someone who had some ability, he or she would have a fiery hot desire for the top ten ranking of the ‘Strong Ranking’. That position and the special treatment was sufficient to allow one to completely become a strong person!
Additionally, due to the issue of the qualification to participate in the ‘Strong Ranking’ Grand Competition, the Inner Academy had currently descended into a wild wave of challenging one another. The strong people who had usually buried their heads and trained bitterly had erupted and turned into an overnight success at this moment. In a short while, the Inner Academy became turbulent. The fiery hot atmosphere had reached an unprecedented high. During this nearly wild challenging tide, batches after batches of dark horses, that shocked people, surged out in an unceasing manner.
The surging appearance of these dark horses naturally and inevitably caused an extremely intense competition for a name on the ‘Strong Ranking’. During these short few days, with the exception of the top twenty on the ‘Strong Ranking’ which did not have much movement, there were people among the last thirty positions who were forcefully pulled down by people who usually kept a low profile everyday, attracting countless number of exclamations.
In this kind of wild wave, Xiao Yan, who was the 34th rank on the ‘Strong Ranking’ was clearly unable to stay out of it. Moreover, perhaps it was because he had consumed a medicinal pill during his victory against Bai Cheng, but the challenge letters that he received were basically a couple of times more than any other experts on the ‘Strong Ranking’. Clearly, these people were all thinking of stepping on Xiao Yan’s head and snatch away his qualification to participate in the competition.
Faced with these flocks of unceasing challenges, Xiao Yan would definitely find an excuse to hide given his somewhat lazy character in the past. This time around, however, perhaps it was due to the change that had occurred to his clan but Xiao Yan, who had become a little colder, had unexpectedly not rejected any challenge. Instead, he had stunned everyone by building his own fighting stage at the entrance of ‘Pan’s Gate’. Everyday, he would choose five people from those challenge letters and face each one of them head on in a fight.
These actions of Xiao Yan at such a crucial juncture naturally stimulated an uproar within the entire Inner Academy. In an instant, the entrance to ‘Pan’s Gate’ was basically blocked until nothing could pass through. This was the first time that Xiao Yan had openly accepted challenges after defeating Bai Cheng and obtaining the 34th rank on the ‘Strong Ranking’. Naturally, there were a countless number of people who swarmed over to see whether he could maintain a strength that was similar to the last time.
Of course, there were naturally some people with ill intent who hoped and cursed that Xiao Yan would be utterly defeated in front of a countless number of people on the fighting stage.
Unfortunately, those that carried a certain anticipation that this dark horse Xiao Yan would be defeated in this way would not realize their dream. The final battle result shocked the surrounding audience until they were completely silent.
The fighting stage was conducted for a total of three days.
There were five challengers on the first day. Four of them were two star Dou Lings and one three star Dou Ling. All five of them were defeated.
There were five challengers on the second day. Three of them were three star Dou Lings and two were four star Dou Lings. All five of them were defeated.
There were five challengers on the third day. One of them was a four star Dou Ling, three of them were five star Dou Lings and one was a six star Dou Ling. The fight continued from morning until night. All five were… defeated! Moreover, the strongest final six star Dou Ling ended up with serious injuries!
Xiao Yan did not lose even one of the fights in the fifteen matches during the three days. He sat tight on this 34th rank on the ‘Strong Ranking’ in front of everyone. His ranking even rose a little. This was because the last six star Dou Ling was ranked 31st.
A fighting result with complete victory shocked the surrounding curious audience until they did not dare to emit the slightest unusual sound. The moment when the body of the six star Dou Ling smashed on the ground outside of the arena, only the thunder-like wild cheers of the members of the ‘Pan’s Gate’ lingered for a long time in the night sky…
As they watched the black-robed young man whose clothes appeared messy and tattered after fighting for an entire day, some of the people who had originally issued a challenge letter began to shift their eyes away somewhat guiltily under the gaze of those dark-black pupils that were as cold as the night. For some unknown reason, the fighting style of Xiao Yan when he fought with others during these three days was undoubtedly much more vicious compared to when he fought with Bai Cheng back then. Moreover, due to the five high intensity battles each day, not only did Xiao Yan’s attacking style swiftly become skilled and sharp under everyone’s eyes, but his aura had also become increasingly more powerful…
Only at this moment did some of those with sharper minds came to a sudden understanding. These actions of Xiao Yan were not just because he wanted to put an end to the unceasing number of challenges. A greater part of it was perhaps the intention to borrow the strength of others to hone himself! From the current situation, it appeared that these actions of his had obtained a great success. Under this ferocious result of winning all fifteen matches, not only was there no longer anyone who issued challenges to him, thinking that Xiao Yan was a softie among the last thirty of the ‘Strong Ranking’, but Xiao Yan’s strength had also advanced quite a lot. Some of the sharp-eyed people even suspected that Xiao Yan strength had appeared to have gradually entered into the level of a two star Dou Ling. Although his true fighting strength… had long since far exceeded this level.
The top thirty experts of the ‘Strong Ranking’ may have heard a little about Xiao Yan’s act of building a fighting stage and accepting challenges but as the grand competition drew near, these people, who were in a rush for time, were basically undergoing tough training all the time. Hence, other than that six star Dou Ling, there were no other opponents who were difficult to deal with coming to tear at Xiao Yan’s stage.
Hence, following the end of the fifteenth battle, Xiao Yan, who had obtained fifteen consecutive victories, did not stay on the fighting stage any longer. His cold gaze swept all around him. No one dared to receive his gaze wherever it passed. Immediately, Xiao Yan turned around and left.
The sky had just become bright on the morning of the fourth day when the ferocious battle results of Xiao Yan’s fifteen consecutive victories were being carried by various different rumors. They spread throughout the entire Inner Academy like the wind. In an instant, the name of Xiao Yan had once again become the focus of attention of the entire academy. ‘Pan’s Gate’ was just like a boat rising with the rising tide of Xiao Yan. The reputation of this faction had already begun to show signs of faintly catching up with the top factions that had been established by Lin Xiuya and the other experts at the top of the ‘Strong Ranking’.
However, just as Xiao Yan had once again become the focus of attention of the entire Inner Academy, he, as the main character, once again strangely disappeared. This caused those who wanted to pay tribute to this top alchemist of the Inner Academy and the person occupying the 31st rank on the ‘Strong Ranking’ to return with disappointment.
Of course, it was difficult to keep any movement a complete secret. This was especially so in the Inner Academy which was filled with numerous kinds of people. Hence, not long after some people were uncertain about where Xiao Yan had gone to, news suddenly began to spread around.
“I heard that Xiao Yan appears to have gone to the sixth level of the ‘Blazing Sky Qi Refining Tower’ to undertake a retreat and train…”