Pain was the thing that had caused Xiao Yan to wake up from his unconscious state. A searing, bone deep pain!
Xiao Yan opened his somewhat blurry eyes with difficulty. A bright redness that was like fresh blood was captured by his eyes. He slowly widened his eyes. Only then did he manage to clearly see that this bright redness was countless magma flows slowly drifting about.
Xiao Yan was startled for a moment, but then he suddenly became alert. With a sweep of his gaze, he was suddenly stunned to discover that his body was currently in the vast magma. Moreover, the position he was in was clearly deep within the magma. This was because no matter which direction he looked, all that he could see was bright-red magma.
Xiao Yan’s gaze looked all around him and immediately discovered that there was a cluster of invisible flame at a spot around ten feet away. A cluster of invisible flame was burning turbulently. Moreover he himself… appeared to be within the stomach of this invisible flame?
Xiao Yan shook his head with all his strength. His somewhat blurry head slowly recovered its sharpness. Only then did Xiao Yan clearly remember that he appeared to have been struck by the ‘Fallen Heart Flame’ and subsequently lost his attention… then, where was this place?
“This is somewhere deep underground, the place where the ‘Fallen Heart Flame’ was born.” A somewhat weak old voice suddenly sounded within Xiao Yan’s heart.
“Teacher? How are you?” Xiao Yan suddenly heard this familiar voice when he was at a loss. Xiao Yan immediately appeared to be like a person who had been grasping at straws after falling into water as he hurriedly asked in his heart.
“I can still endure for a period of time. Little fellow, it has been nearly half a month since you have been dragged here by the ‘Fallen Heart Flame’. It has been trying to refine you during this period of time, or perhaps it should be the ‘Green Lotus Core Flame’ within your body. I have been using the ‘Bone Chilling Flame’ to protect you during this period that you were unconscious. However, it is too exhausting. I am unlikely to hold out for much longer. At that time, you can only rely on yourself.” Yao Lao’s voice was anxious because it was weak.
Xiao Yan was startled when he heard this. He swept his gaze around. Only then did he realize that his body was covered by a layer of dense white-colored flame. A large cluster of invisible flames outside the flame was lingering like small snakes. Despite being isolated by the ‘Bone Chilling Flame’ the frightening temperature was still able to cause Xiao Yan’s skin to transmit waves of intense searing pain. The thing that had woken him from his unconscious state earlier was this deep bone-searing pain.
Panic surged in Xiao Yan’s heart. Immediately, he tried to calm himself as his voice asked dryly, “What can I do to escape from this place?”
There was a silence after these words sounded. It was a long while later before Yao Lao’s similarly bitter voice sounded, “I don’t know. This place is deep underground. In here, the ‘Fallen Heart Flame’ basically has never ending strength. If I recovered the strength at my peak, I might be able to break its seal… Moreover, the current place we are in is definitely deep within magma. If the ‘Fallen Heart Flame’ was to release the surrounding flame, it is likely that you would be immediately swallowed by this hot magma. Even though you have a ‘Heavenly Flame’, it is unlikely to support you until you can exit the magma.”
“… In that case, we can only wait to die?” Xiao Yan’s body trembled as he muttered. Even with Yao Lao’s ability, he was unable to do anything in such a desperate situation. Won’t it mean..
Yao Lao softly sighed, but was unable to give a reply. Were it not because of the existence of the ‘Bone Chilling Flame’ Xiao Yan would have been incinerated by the ‘Fallen Heart Flame’ until the point where not even ashes would remain the moment he fell unconsciousness.
Xiao Yan tightened his fist. An unwillingness flickered in his dark-black pupils. There were many things that he still needed to do. The humiliation of the Xiao clan required him to cleanse and he needed to search for his missing father. Moreover, the promise he had given to a young lady, to become a strong person and appear in front of her… therefore…
“I cannot die here!”
Words that were filled with stubbornness and determination slowly spat out from the young man’s mouth. What kind of hardship had he not endured during these many years? Would he not have suffered all those hardships for nothing if he were to give up? The hard training he had undergone all these years to raise his strength had allowed him to possess an extremely tough character and backbone!
“Ke ke…” Yao Lao also laughed softly as he sensed that strong determination to live. He spoke, “Little fellow you are always able to rouse such fighting spirit. Since this is the case, I will lend you a hand even if I have to risk these old bones of mine.”
“Remember, my ‘Bone Chilling Flame’ may be able to endure for only three more days. After three days, I will completely pour my remaining Spiritual Strength into you. After which, I will descend into a slumber because of the exhaustion of my Spiritual Strength. Everything else will be up to you. I hope that I will be able to see a lively student when I reawaken.”
Xiao Yan was silent. A moment later, he clenched his teeth and nodded. His eyes became slightly red as he whispered, “Teacher, relax, this disciple has promised you that I will refine a body that can accommodate your spirit. How can I throw my life here?”
“Ke ke, little fellow, make the most of the time to recuperate. You can only rely on yourself for everything after three days…” Yao Lao laughed as he spoke softly.
Xiao Yan nodded heavily. He ceased speaking any nonsense as he crossed his legs. He was just about to enter his training state when he mused for a moment and took out an extremely beautiful green-colored lotus platform from within the storage ring and sat on it with a twist of his body.
The searing hot pain was greatly reduced after Xiao Yan sat on the green-colored lotus platform. It appeared that this lotus platform that was birthed from the ‘Green Lotus Core Flame’ was quite effective in isolating the temperature.
“I have forgotten you still have this treasure. With this lotus platform, the chances of you escaping alive might increase a little.” Yao Lao gave a strange laugh as he sensed the temperature which had quietly reduced a little. He immediately mused for a moment before speaking, “If you are unable to endure any longer after I fall into a slumber, you can consume the ‘Ground Spirit Pill’. It will allow you to resist a little longer. Originally, this thing is supposed to be used to refine the ‘Fallen Heart Flame,’ but from the looks of the situation, no one can tell who will end up refining who…”
Xiao Yan smiled bitterly and nodded. After which, he slowly shut his eyes and began to absorb the surrounding fire affinity energy to allow his body, which had been weakened after the great battle, to recover.
Yao Lao was silent for a long after as he watched Xiao Yan who had gradually entered the training state. Only then did he let out a soft sigh.
“Little fellow, this is perhaps a catastrophe that you have to undergo. I have a premonition that if you are able to successfully flee from this place, you will shed your cocoon and become a butterfly. At that time, you will become a truly strong person!”
Over half a month had passed since the earth-shaking battle that day. The Inner Academy, which had originally turned into a complete mess during that battle, had gradually been straightened out. The ‘Blazing Sky Qi Refining Tower’ still remained opened. What caused everyone to be most joyous about was that this place still possessed the effect of allowing one to raise the speed of one’s training. Such a reward was something that caused everyone, including Su Qian, to be extremely joyous about. However, when they recalled that there was a young man who might have already been turned to dust in the deep region of the tower, the joyous heart was covered by a layer of sorrow.
Although the great battle was already over, that name, that young man, was like an imprint that everyone had difficulty forgetting as Su Qian had said. Perhaps, after many years, when the students graduated and became the strong people of an area, they might still occasionally recall the earth-shaking battle that had erupted in the Inner Academy back then as well as that figure. He had saved all of them.
Although ‘Pan’s Gate’, which had lost Xiao Yan, was covered by a layer of dark atmosphere, the strength of this faction became like a snowball. Despite having lost their leader, Xiao Yan, ‘Pan’s Gate’, this faction, which had not even been established for a year, could already be compared with the factions of Lin Xiuya and Liu Qing after the announcement by Zi Yan that she would join them. From that kind of special atmosphere of ‘Pan’s Gate’, this young faction may perhaps become the top of the entire Inner Academy as time flowed by, and there would no longer be any factions that could contend with it.
Of course, the current ‘Pan’s Gate’ was naturally managed by Wu Hao, Hu Jia, and the others after having lost Xiao Yan. Ultimately, however, the two only occupied the position of deputy leader. Each member who entered ‘Pan’s Gate’ would be clearly told that the true leader of ‘Pan’s Gate’ was that hero who had rescued the entire Inner Academy. He was called Xiao Yan!
This custom continued with the passage of time. Perhaps many years later, there would be people who had forgotten the instructors of the Inner Academy. However, this name would be like an imprint in their hearts that was difficult to forget.
The eighth level of the ‘Blazing Sky Qi Refining Tower’.
A large group of Elders who held extremely high positions in the Inner Academy were gathered here. Leading them at the front was an Elder who was seated on a wheelchair. His white hair caused him to appear extremely old.
“First Elder, this place has been completely sealed according to your instruction. This door which leads to the last level has already been sealed. There will no longer be anyone who can charge in.” An Elder bowed to the old man who was seated in a wheelchair and spoke respectfully.
From the form of address, that old man whose head was covered in white hair was actually First Elder Su Qian. Although his current appearance was exceptionally old compared with his previous self. Were it not because of the occasional stern cold glint that would flash across his eyes, anyone would have thought that he was an old man who did not have any strength to retaliate.
“Have you investigated all the backgrounds of those experts from the ‘Black-Corner Region’ who participated in the attack on the Inner Academy?” Su Qian’s gaze paused on the black metallic door that led to the last level as his hoarse voice slowly sounded.
“We have clearly investigated all of them.”
“Give the instruction. Gather everyone in one month’s time. We will go and look for them one at a time. We will slowly return the humiliation of the Inner Academy.” Su Qian waved his hand and spoke in a cold and indifferent voice.
“Yes sir!” All the Elders responded in unison. A fury flashed across their eyes. The sneak attack by the experts from the ‘Black-Corner Region” back then had not only been spread throughout the ‘Black-Corner Region’, but had also spread throughout the rest of the continent. If they did not retaliate, how would the Jia Nan Academy survive in the future?
Su Qian nodded slowly. The indifference on his face suddenly but slowly became less icy. His shriveled fingers crossed each other as he muttered, “All of you, do you think… he is still alive?”
Everyone faced one another, but no one dared to open their mouths. After being swallowed by the ‘Fallen Heart Flame’ and being dragged deep underground. The odds of survival were against even someone who was an elite Dou Zong…
Su Qian also sighed softly, appearing to clearly understand what everyone was thinking. He said, “I heard that Xiao Yan still has a second brother who had once come to the Jia Nan Academy, After that, he seems to have gone to the ‘Black-Corner Region’. Send someone to investigate and quietly protect him. Treat it as repaying that little fellow’s favor…”
Su Qian waved his hand after saying this. The wheelchair turned automatically and carried a slight moving noise as it slowly disappeared into the darkness…
All the Elders sighed as they watched Su Qian’s back disappear. Their gazes shifted toward the dark-black door before they slowly turned their bodies to leave…
As they left, none of them knew that at an unknown depth under their feet, the dense white flame on the surface of a young man was quietly weakening. The true torment and tempering was slowly arriving.
Perhaps no one knew that deep under the magma, the young man was transforming and struggling amid destruction. Whether it was to shed his carcoon and transform into a butterfly or to turn into dust… was something no one knew. This was because that place was a place filled with despair.