Chapter 1157: Two Great Hurdles
The location of Pill Gathering was in the northern part of the inner region. It had already been filled by a terrifying crowd of people for a few days. Hence, by the time Xiao Yan’s group had arrived, they only saw a densely packed, endless sea of human heads. An earth-shaking noise charged to the sky. After which, it transformed into a terrifying sonic wave that spread apart. One was able to clearly hear it within a fifty kilometer radius.
Xiao Yan’s group flashed and appeared on top of some buildings. Their eyes looked around them. Only then did they discover that this place was an enormous ten-thousand-foot-large square. The air above this open ground had many stone platforms suspended in it. The stone platforms had a faint light spreading out from them. From the looks of it, the platforms appeared quite mysterious. “Those stone platforms are the final seats of the competitors…” Ye Zhong pointed at the stone platforms floating in the air as he laughed. They were the focus of tens of thousands of eyes.
“The final seats?” Xiao Yan lifted his eyebrows when he heard this.
“Ke ke, the Pill Gathering is an extremely grand event. It is impossible for everyone to participate in this gathering to possess the qualification to step onto those platforms. Before entering the competition ground, there are, strictly speaking, two selection hurdles.” Ye Zhong smiled. After which, he pointed out an enormous square. He asked, “Do you see that deep-gray-colored space there?”
Xiao Yan’s eyes followed the direction Ye Zhong was pointing and did indeed see a patch of deep-gray space. When he looked carefully, he finally discovered that this space had been forcefully distorted and formed by someone. The interior of the distorted space was filled with a kind of deep-gray vapor that could block one’s sight.
“The basic requirement for one to participate in the Pill Gathering is for one to reach the tier 5 alchemist level. That deep-gray-colored space is the first hurdle. It is also known as the Fantasy Realm hurdle. That deep-gray vapor is something created from the body of the Magical Beast known as the Fantasy Soul Beast. Not only is it able to block one’s sight, but it is even able to hinder Spiritual Perception. Additionally, that space itself has another mystery within it. That space is filled with similar things, causing it to appear just like a maze. One will lose one’s sense of direction after entering it and end up lost within. Those who fail to walk out of it within the allocated time will lose the right to participate in the competition.” Ye Zhong smiled as he explained the first hurdle.
Xiao Yan slowly nodded. A strange expression flashed across his eyes. This Pill Gathering selection methods were extraordinary.
“Once one passes through this environmental hurdle, one possesses the qualification to enter the Pill Realm…” Ye Zhong’s expression had clearly become a lot more serious when he mentioned the Pill Realm.
“I mentioned to you some days ago that all the competitors will enter a strange place after the Pill Gathering begins. That strange place is the Pill Realm.” Ye Zhong nodded and slowly explained, “The Pill Realm is a space. It is rumored that an elite Dou Sheng from the Pill Tower created it long ago. However, for some reason, the Pill Realm gradually became ruined. However, the Pill Realm is definitely a treasure ground that a countless number of alchemists dream of. There are tons of natural treasures and rare medicinal ingredients, that one would have difficulty finding in the outside world, there. The alchemists who have the qualification to enter it will be given a list. The list will record some rare medicinal ingredients. All of you will need to rely on your own abilities to obtain all of the medicinal ingredients within the Pill Realm. Only then can you exchange them for a spatial stone at the exit area. After that, you can leave the Pill Realm and participate in the final competition!”
“The stone platforms in the sky are there for the people who have successfully completed this final hurdle. Not everyone has the qualification to step into them.”
“It is indeed worthy of being the Pill Gathering…”
Xiao Yan gently nodded and praised. After these two rounds of selection, it would be possible to eliminate those who had come to make up the numbers. Those who passed through the selection and remained would be the true elite of this Pill Gathering!
“The Pill Tower will usually not intervene with whatever happens in the Pill Realm, so as long as you are stealthy, no one will come to know about it. Although this kind of selection is extremely harsh, reality is even more merciless than the competition. If one is unable to even pass this kind of test, how can one survive on the continent and become a true alchemist guru?” Ye Zhong slightly smiled and softly said, “Therefore, if you meet Chen Xian from the Profound Xuan Sect in the Pill Realm, you can just attack as you like…”
Xiao Yan smiled. A cold glint flashed across his dark-black eyes. That Chen Xian had sold information about Xiao Yan to the people from the Hall of Souls. Xiao Yan needed to resolve this grude.
A loud and clear gong suddenly resounded over area while Xiao Yan and Ye Zhong were chatting. The gong sound spread in a mighty manner. Even the earth-shaking noise was suppressed by it.
This open ground became much quieter after the gong appeared. Innumerable eyes emitted a ‘swoosh’ sound as they paused on the towering stone stage on the eastern side of the square. That place would be the spot where the upper echelons of the Pill Tower would appear.
Wave after wave of the sound of rushing wind suddenly appeared soon after the gong was rang. Immediately, the space above the stone stage slightly distorted. Over ten figures slowly appeared there…
Xiao Yan’s eyes swept over the dozen plus human figures. After which, they paused on the three human figures in the middle. Among the three of them, Xiao Yan had already seen one of the giant heads of the Pill Tower, Xuan Kong Zi. On his left and right sides were two existences that he could not detect any aura from. The old man on the left had dark skin. His face was tensed up, giving him a stern, no-joke feeling. His eyes were just like bolts of lightning, piercing one’s soul to the point where it felt painful.
The one on the right caused Xiao Yan to feel extremely surprised because she was a beautiful woman in a cheongsam. Although Xiao Yan was certain that she was not younger than Xuan Kong Zi and the other man, her appearance was similar to that of a thirty year old woman. Her expression was indifferent, containing a faint charm that had been deposited over the years.
It was the first time that Xiao Yan had seen the dark, old man and that beautiful woman. However, from the way these two appeared beside Xuan Kong Zi, it was obvious that these two should be the other two giant heads of the Pill Tower!
The entire crowd had become much quieter following the appearance of these three people. The endless humans turned their gazes, which contained all sorts of emotion, to these three people. The three great heads of the Pill Tower. Forget about the Central Plains. These name were considered truly renowned across the entire Dou Qi continent. The three of them were usually existences that existed in legend. Now that they had revealed themselves, many people were in disbelief.
“Ke ke, the old me Xuan Kong Zi shall represent the Pill Tower here, by welcoming all the alchemists who have come here. During the time that follows, this place shall be a stage to display your skill…” A white-haired Xuan Kong Zi slowly stepped forward. His warm voice clearly sounded beside everyone’s ears.
The open ground was completely silent. Regardless of how rebellious or fierce one was, one could only control himself at this moment. No one dared to test these people even a little. After all, the three people on the stone stage were not far from peak existences on this continent.
“Everyone has traveled a great distance in order to hurry here. The old me shall not waste everyone’s time here. Ke ke, the Pill Gathering shall happen like it has in the past. It will be divided into three stages. Firstly…”
Xiao Yan quietly listened to Xuan Kong Zi’s introduction of the Pill Gathering selection. He discovered that it was similar to what Ye Zhong had mentioned. Clearly, these rules had been the standard rules of all Pill Gatherings.
“As long as one passes these three selections, the last one standing will be the champion of this Pill Gathering!”
Xuan Kong Zi looked at the sea of people that had formed a ripple due to the excitement of the word ‘champion.’ He involuntarily smiled and said, “The champion this time around will not only be able to obtain the position of the potential successor of the Pill Tower’s giant head, but will also be able to obtain a scroll containing a soul training method from ancient times. It will only be a matter of time for him or her to advance to eighth or ninth tier!”
Xuan Kong Zi’s words had just sounded when the densely packed sea of people immediately let out a soul-stirring roar. The eyes of a countless number of alchemists had turned red at this moment. Tier 8? Tier 9? This legendary level appeared to be as far from them as the heavens and the earth. If they were to obtain that ancient soul training method, this gap would undoubtedly be pulled closer! This possessed a fatal allure to all alchemists!
Even Xiao Yan was unable to to ignore this kind of attraction. After Xuan Kong Zi uttered those words, his breathing had quietly become a lot rougher. He clearly understood just how rare and precious a soul training method of the ancient times was. It would not be overboard to describe that kind of treasure as priceless!
“I must make an attempt for this champion position no matter what!”
Xiao Yan tightly clenched his fist. A heat flashed across his dark-black eyes. He was unconcerned about the status of the potential to be a giant head successor. However, this soul training method was something that he could not afford to easily ignore because he clearly understood that if he wished to become a tier 9 alchemist, the soul training method was something that he must not lack. Therefore, no matter what, he would have to put in all his effort just for this scroll of spiritual training alone!
Xuan Kong Zi looked at the eyes below, which had suddenly become blood-red, from the tall stage. He slightly smiled, looked at the sky before finally waving his sleeves. An invisible ripple spread, striking empty space and forming waves of long gong sounds.
“Time is up. The competitors who are tier 5 and above, please enter the first hurdle, the Soul Fantasy Realm!”
Xuan Kong Zi’s finger suddenly pointed to the enormous square. The deep-gray-colored space swiftly twisted, forming parts of a strange world and giving it a profound appearance.
Xuan Kong Zi’s voice had just sounded when numerous human figures suddenly rushed out of the endless sea of people. They acted like locusts as they rushed to the sky from all directions. After which, all of them entered the distorted space…
Xiao Yan inhaled a deep breath of air as he watched the human figures entering the distorted space like a storm. He slowly stepped forward.
“Do your best!”
Xiao Yan smiled when he heard the cheer from the Little Fairy Doctor’s group. After which, he suddenly stomped on the ground. His body transformed into a black figure that rushed into the deep-gray distorted space without any hesitation in front of many gazes! The intense competition of the Pill Gathering had officially begun at this moment!