Chapter 116: Fire Affinity
Xu Min was astonished he could touch and control the flame; nevertheless,t he was still not capable of creating his flame so far. If he wished to control or have access to fire, he needed a fireplace or some flame which he could feed with his Qi.
Quickly releasing the flame back into the fireplace, he once more focused on his two friends. They were no longer sweating as profusely, and their bodies no longer trembled. They laid down as if they were asleep but ripples of energy still left their bodies.
Seeing this, he quickly relaxed. Originally he had planned on sitting by the bed and merging with the fire element all around him in the surroundings, but now that he had felt the fire he knew that cultivating by the flame's side was the best solution.
Closing his eyes, he felt small specks of red lights surrounding him. Xu Min breathed these specks of light in. When they entered his body, these specks of light all traveled throughout the meridians before they ended up within the dantian where the Qi pool was. They greedily sucked up every single speck of light.
The Qi pool within the dantian cave already had some colors to it. Green specks of light were visible within the Qi pool, but as the red ones were absorbed they too appeared within the Qi pool and mixed with the green specks.
Although there were both red and green specks of light within the Qi pool, only a fraction of these specks were red. The majority was green, but this did not frighten Xu Min. In fact, it made sense for him.
He had already comprehended the wind domain and could control the wind as he pleased, so it was natural he had absorbed a major amount of the wind specks of light. Whereas, he was a complete beginner when it came to the fire element. He was still unable to create even the simplest of flames.
Xu Min was not unhappy with this. The fact that he was capable of controlling an already created flame was already a great step. Now to control it further, he needed two things.
One of these things was time. He needed time to absorb as many of these red specks of light as he could. Secondly, he needed to comprehend what the flame was.
There were some profound secrets within the flame, much like they had been within the wind. He had been reasonably quick at absorbing and understanding the wind element because he had absorbed all of the fairy’s energy within the Blood Pagoda. Consequently, he had reached the number of green specks of light needed to reach the Wind domain quickly.
Furthermore, he needed to comprehend the flame. He needed to understand what fire was and what profound secrets were hidden within it. Fortunately, Xu Min's ability to comprehend was rather good.
Xu Min was certain that he would be capable of controlling the fire soon, and while the two companions were busy refining the beast cores that they had consumed, Xu Min was busy greedily absorbing every single red speck of light in his surroundings.
Day after day went past in a blur. Within the cabin nothing happened, the beasts and Xu Min did not move from their respective seats. The fireplace which at first had been burning wood was now being sustained solely by Xu Min's Qi. He was trying to improve his control over flames alongside his absorption of red specks of light.
He hoped to understand some of the fire’s profound mysteries. The more he could comprehend, the sooner his fire domain would reach the level of his wind domain.
While Xu Min and his two companions were busy cultivating and stabilizing the energy gains they had gotten from their first mission, the grounds outside were filled with shocking talks.
No one was questioning whether or not Xu Min was the student of Mu Jianyao any longer and instead; their interest changed to the soon upcoming Heavenly Rankings. The ones who ranked the highest on the Heavenly Rankings were all direct disciples of the Immortals at the academy.
The Heavenly Rankings top five had been the same for the last three years. All of them being personally been taught by outstanding Immortals. Amongst all the immortals, Mu Jianyao was considered the strongest since she controlled both the Spiritual Energy and Elemental Affinity.
Everyone would at some point in their life dream about becoming her student. It was an impossible dream since Mu Jianyao never took in a student
Now that Xu Min had been taken as her personal disciple, it proved he had something the others did not. All of them felt increasingly resentful at this unacknowledged fact.
"He might have become the student of Miss Mu, but he is still a human. He will be trashed during the Heavenly Ranking. When he does, Mu Jianyao will realize just how bad a decision she made. Of course, then she will find another student to make her personal disciple and trash this lowly human."
"I look forward to when he gets knocked off his high horse. This human is nothing more than a cultivator who has had some lucky encounters in his life. Someone relying solely on luck is not worthy of Miss Mu's time!"
"I agree! That disgusting human must have eaten some miraculous herb which made his strength soar in a moment. Now that he no longer has this herb to rely on in the future, his strength will not soar any longer. Becoming stronger will be impossible for him!"
Many different theories were everywhere in the academy. Although some of the students believed in Xu Min's ability and thought he would do good, now he became Miss Mu’s disciple, the majority of the students believed he would fail miserably.
"He might turn into a dark horse in this tournament. Do you remember back when Mu Jianyao entered the Heavenly Ranking for the first time? She reached top five in one go; it was simply outstanding. Now she has taken a student, I can't help but expect something outstanding from him as well," one of the Immortals said to another Immortal as they were discussing the Heavenly Rankings.
The Heavenly Rankings was very important to the academy for more than one reason. The amount of resources that the students would gain was based upon one's rank the received in the Heavenly Rankings, not to mention the ability to be noticed by an Immortal and thus become a direct disciple.
It was also important for the sake of hierarchy amongst the students. The higher one's rank was, the more respect one would be met with. Also, special missions were only available when one had gained a specific ranking in the Heavenly Rankings.
"I would be surprised if he doesn’t do good," Another Immortal joined in the conversation, "We all know that he is the student of that lunatic, and now he is becoming the student of Mu Jianyao. It is only natural that he has some outstanding talents. Copying Mu Jianyao's performance should not be impossible for him."
The immortals were all of the same belief that Xu Min had some power that was hidden beneath his calm exterior that he was not as simple as he seemed. He was a human who had joined the ranks of fairies and elves; he had to be mysterious.
The week went by swiftly. Even though Xu Min was not present, the gossip continued to flourish. By the time Xu Min left the cabin, he had found that the glances that were thrown his way had changed.
Everyone was looking at Xu Min no matter where he went; they would group together to start talking about him. Some looked gloating when they imagined how he would be defeated time and time again within the tournament, proving he was nothing special.
Others would look at him with jealousy. Jealousy for the amazing materials he had gotten his hands on before and being a disciple of Mu Jianyao.
Xu Min completely ignored everyone as he focused on the things that Mu Jianyao had told him to. He had spent seven days to get his foundation stabilized and even better; he was very close to being able to create a flame. He had absorbed plenty of red sparks of light, but he was still a long way from the fire domain.
This week of training not only benefitted Xu Min, Cao Cao and Ye Ling had benefitted as well. Ye Ling had reached the peak of the sixth rank while Cao Cao had reached the early stages of the sixth rank. Both of them had changed, not just in their levels of strength but also in size and intelligence.
Cao Cao which used to be able to lay around Xu Min's neck was now unable to do so. He was no longer a small snake but a four-meter long snake as thick as a tree.
Ye Ling's size had also grown but nowhere near as much. The two beasts had sparred against each other. Although Ye Ling was the highest ranked of the two, he was just incapable of defeating Cao Cao in direct combat and even more so when they used their ultimate attacks.
Both beasts were so massive that when Xu Min walked the academy grounds, they took up the entire road. The elves and fairies had to step out of their way.
Seeing the two formidable beasts, many felt jealousy. No one knew exactly which kind of snake Cao Cao was, but even immortals treated it politely. It was clear that he was no ordinary beast.
Reaching the medicinal garden, Xu Min saw that there were multiple students standing in a queue. Xu Min, feeling slightly confused, decided to also stand in a queue. Everyone here was there for the sake of seeing Mu Jianyao. Xu Min was already very disliked and moving in front of everyone would be considered incredibly arrogant.
The queue moved slowly as the people who were queued spent every single moment possible together with Mu Jianyao.
While waiting, Xu Min had closed his eyes and sensed all the red specks of light around him as he absorbed them one by one.
He looked rather silly as he was standing there, eyes closed and swaying slightly from side to side, but the energy ripples which left his body made everyone understand that he was not sleeping but practicing. The fact that he could practice while standing in line was utterly unexpected.
The time went by slowly, but finally, the queue in front of Xu Min had vanished. He walked into the garden and looked around. He found his master, Mu Jianyao standing cloaked in her robes, hiding her entire figure and head. The only thing which could be seen was her pearl white and elegant hands which were gently touching plants.
Hearing the door open, she turned around only to see not a customer but her student instead.
Underneath the cloak, a wry smile could be seen on her face. However, it was covered by the cloak no one would ever know.
"Took you long enough!" she said with her cold voice. Xu Min bowed deeply, "Your student apologizes, but I was unaware of whether or not I should skip the queue. I am already rather disliked, showing such arrogance would make me seem even more disliked." he said honestly. His words only caused Mu Jianyao to snort.