Many of the people watching frowned sadly when they saw what was happening.
“Well, there’s not much suspense now about how this will end. Although Bai Hao is good at flame conjuring, he obviously doesn’t have much experience!”
“Although I can’t personally conjure sixteen-colored flame, I’ve heard that the best way to do it is to get a large collection of fifteen-colored flames, and then proceed. You’ll lose a few of the flames in the process, but once you find the sweet spot and get into a rhythm, you’ll succeed instantly. That way, the overall chances of success are improved.”
“Yeah, that’s right. If you just try with one flame, and then fail, you have to start again from the very beginning. How will you ever find the sweet spot that way?” Everyone else was sighing, but Bai Hao was off to the side, looking on with complete approval. He knew that his Master’s choice was the correct one. Now that he was working with Bai Hao's improved sixteen-colored flame formula, there wasn’t a need to rely on luck or sweet spots.
Bai Hao's improved formula broke down the steps involved with sixteen-colored flame into tens upon tens of thousands of specific steps. Every successful step in the right moment built upon itself, so as long as Bai Xiaochun followed the exact routine and didn’t slip up, then theoretically speaking, his success rate should be one hundred percent!
Of course, following those steps correctly required a very draining usage of augury techniques and divine sense. Although it seemed simple, it involved a level of difficulty that was almost impossible to describe. Even Bai Xiaochun could only do it because of his Heaven-Dao Nascent Soul, and divine sense that bordered on the level of a deva's.
“You can do it, Master! You’ve followed all of the steps perfectly so far!” Of course, Bai Hao had been paying very close attention to everything that Bai Xiaochun had been doing the entire time.
As for Sun Yifan and Sima Tao, it was with very casual motions that they placed their recently concocted fifteen-colored flame off to the side and started to work on new tongues of one-colored flame. Their goal, of course, was to build up enough fifteen-colored flame to be completely confident in conjuring sixteen-colored flame.
Another two hours passed. By this point, Sima Tao and Sun Yifan had both taken their second tongue of flame to the fourteen-colored level. As for Bai Xiaochun, sweat poured down his face as his fifteen-colored flame continued to consume vengeful souls. He was now down to the very last step.
Not bothering to wipe the sweat off of his face, he looked at the flame with glittering eyes and then let out a shout. His right hand then clamped down, causing a blast of heat to spread out. People shouted in surprise as the sea of fire sank down into Bai Xiaochun’s palm and then disappeared between his fingers.
Zhou Hong was feeling very nervous. Little Wolfgod, Li Tiansheng, Miao Lin’er, the second prince, and all of the other chosen craned their necks forward to look. Even Chen Manyao was covered with a sheen of sweat because of her nervousness.
Sun Yifan and Sima Tao were both visibly shocked, and were looking over in nervous expectation. As for Bai Hao, his eyes were wild with joy. He was the only one who knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that his Master had not made any mistakes.
Tens of thousands of eyes were glued to Bai Xiaochun as he slowly opened his fingers!
The instant he did, fiery light exploded out, and the silence erupted into pandemonium.
“Sixteen-colored flame!! Heavens! This Bai Hao did it in a single shot!!”
“What kind of luck is that!? He did it on the first try!!”
“Awesome! This guy is awesome!!”
Countless expressions of praise rang out. However, unsightly expressions could be seen on the faces of Zhou Hong and the other chosen. The only exception was Chen Manyao, who was smiling broadly.
As for Sun Yifan and Sima Tao, the blood drained from their faces as they stared at the sixteen-colored flame in Bai Xiaochun’s hand. After a moment passed, though, they gritted their teeth.
“Well, he certainly got very lucky. However, I refuse to believe that he’ll be lucky enough to do that a second time!!” That was how both of them tried to comfort themselves. And yet, the pressure was mounting, and as such, they didn’t hold back any of their secret magics as they continued their conjuring work.
Bai Xiaochun breathed a sigh of relief, and a smile broke out on his face. He really had gone all out, and thankfully, hadn’t slipped up a single time. Finally wiping his forehead clean of sweat, he produced some more vengeful souls and then started working on a one-colored flame.
Time passed. Although watching people conjure flame wasn’t the most exciting thing, everyone was still completely wrapped up in what was going on. Some people were just enjoying the commotion, others were taking advantage of the situation to learn a bit about flame conjuring. By the time Sun Yifan and Sima Tao finished with their third tongue of fifteen-colored flame, Bai Xiaochun had his second!
Once that happened, everyone began to watch with even more excitement. Even Sun Yifan and Sima Tao looked over to watch, wondering if he would do the same thing he had last time, and go straight from a one-colored flame all the way to a sixteen-colored flame.
Before long, more excited shouts split the air, and the eyes of Sun Yifan and Sima Tao went as wide as saucers.
Just like last time, Bai Xiaochun had chosen to go straight to sixteen-colored flame!
“This guy is crazy!”
“Dammit! Why is he doing this? What does he hope to accomplish!?”
There was no way that Sima Tao and Sun Yifan couldn’t be gripped with anxiety by this point. Although his previous success had been shocking, they were both ninety-nine percent sure that he would fail the second time, but they still had to wonder: what if he succeeded?
Zhou Hong’s heart was racing as he looked down at Bai Xiaochun. He felt like his head was swelling from the pressure, just like it had back in the Necromancer Kettle. Little Wolfgod and the other chosen all had similar reactions. The fact that this Bai Hao went about things differently from everyone else was actually completely terrifying.
What if he actually succeeded in the end…?
“There’s no way he’ll succeed a second time in a row!!” Sun Yifan shouted inwardly, his eyes bright red as he put down his third fifteen-colored flame and started with a fourth one-colored flame!
Sima Tao could hardly control his own breathing, and yet he gritted his teeth and also started working on a one-colored flame. However, neither of the necromancers could stop from glancing over occasionally at Bai Xiaochun and cursing him.
Unfortunately, their cursing seemed to be very ineffective. Bai Xiaochun was working even faster than before, and actually felt less pressure than with the previous flame. He was more familiar with all the complicated steps, and also understood the augury technique even better. Even Bai Hao was stunned by how smoothly he worked.
“It seems Master is even better with sixteen-colored flame than he was before.”
Nobody understood Bai Xiaochun’s flame conjuring techniques better than Bai Hao, and in this situation, he was completely correct. Bai Xiaochun had indeed improved. Perhaps it was the pressure of the occasion, or perhaps it was some measure of enlightenment he had received due to his study of seventeen-colored flame. Either way, he was definitely much better at working with sixteen-colored flame than he had been in the past.
In this second flame of the competition, he was completely lost in his work, and had even forgotten where he was. He was completely focused, reveling in the feeling, his hair disheveled and his eyes completely bloodshot.
He seemed to be descending into madness, much the way he would when concocting medicine back in the Heavenspan River region. It was a state he had not often entered here in the Wildlands, but the current circumstances were perfect.
The fifteen-colored flame in his palm almost seemed alive, as if the flame had a spirit. It seemed to be dancing in high spirits as it consumed numerous vengeful souls. As the flame swirled around him, Bai Xiaochun began to exude an indescribable air, as if he were somehow the sovereign of all flame!
As for the audience, everyone held their breath as they watched. Not a single person spoke a word, as if they were worried that doing so would end the spectacular scene they were beholding.
Sun Yifan and Sima Tao were shaking as they looked at the maddened Bai Xiaochun, their eyes shining with the utmost level of disbelief.
“Flame Harmony….” hissed Sun Yifan. From the look in his eyes, he was clearly completely shaken.
In the Wildlands, there were different realms of flame conjuring, and Flame Harmony was one of them. It was a state in which one’s mind became one with the flame, in much the same way that a deva would become one with all creation. In fact, the various secret magics employed by necromancers were all imitations of this very realm.
Sun Yifan and Sima Tao had never heard of celestial necromancers who could achieve Flame Harmony; according to their understanding, it was something that only earthly necromancers could do!
As of this moment, the sky grew dim, almost as if all light in the area were fading away because of Bai Xiaochun. He was the focus of all creation as the dancing flame converged into his palm. In the blink of an eye, another color appeared. It was now a sixteen-colored sea of fire!
However, Bai Xiaochun didn’t converge the sea of fire into a sea of flame. His eyes were currently sparkling with the light of augury as he contemplated the formula for seventeen-colored flame. All of a sudden, he was focused on the two different possibilities his apprentice had mentioned regarding the formula for eighteen-colored flame!Previous Chapter Next Chapter