1

'Speaking of the devil.'

The middle-aged man looked in the direction of the large door leading to the Hall, and an Old man could be seen walking into the place. There was nothing special about the man from a glance, however, anyone powerful enough could sense the hidden strength in the seemingly harmless body of the Old man.

The Old man didn't draw any attention as he appeared, he silently walked into the Hall, disappearing into the crowd. The next time he came to view, he was seated with the Elders of the Phoenix Faction.

"Flint is still inside?" The Old man inquired about his student.

One of the Elders pointed at one screen, and Flint could be seen trying to cross the lava.

"I knew he would make it this far." The Old man didn't seem surprised that his student made it that far.

In truth, other than the group of seven, only Grey's group managed to make it to the last level. The group of seven had the advantage of being from the Faction, and the young lady was given a few things that helped them through their journey. The fact that Flint could make it this far on his own showed that he was a top genius. In the entire Phoenix Faction, only the young lady who was the leader of the group of seven could achieve such a feat without any help.

"Did anyone else make it to that level?" The Old man asked.

When the Elders wanted to speak, the Old man added, "With the exception of your Faction's people."

The Old man knew the Elders of the Phoenix Faction wanted to use the chance to brag about their members already passing that stage, so he didn't give them the chance. As long as his student is the only one who gets to this level, he has all the bragging rights.

"Well… a group of four made it to this level. They completed it in a short time too." One of the Elders said, one could almost hear the gloating in his voice.

The Old man was taken aback when he heard this.

He knew that for anyone to get through this stage, said person needs to be at least a grade eight genius. Then being able to complete it in a short time meant that person must be a grade nine genius.

"Stop joking around, I know you don't want me to brag about my student's superior ability. But don't you think saying four kids passed it in such a short time is a bit too much?" The Old man found the Elder's words hard to believe.

If the Elder had said one person, he would've not argued since the possibility, although slim, is not impossible. But four friends? Impossible!

He would never believe such lies. To the Old man, this Elder was spewing lies.

The middle-aged man came in at this time. He overheard the entire conversation and said, "They're not lying. There truly is a group of four who passed this stage in less than ten minutes."

"They must have helped each other." The Old man said.

"I wish that was the case." The middle-aged man shook his head.

He, too, found it hard to believe, but he saw it with his own eyes, there was no way he could doubt that. What was worse was that Grey was currently seated in the cave, the core area of the formation.

He recalled Grey didn't want to enter the trial from the start, but after seeing and hearing about the array, his interest was piqued and he entered. The reason the middle-aged man could not chase him out was due to the fact that he told Grey he would be able to see the array if he entered. When he said this, he didn't believe Grey would be able to get to the last level, much less able to locate the array.

He started to worry when he saw how easy it was for Grey to get through each stage. He was thrilled at the thought of a grade nine genius appearing, and then once again, he was scared by the possibility of the Firelord's formation being figured out by a kid.

The Old man was short of words. He knew the middle-aged man well, and knew he wouldn't joke about such an event.

"Where are the kids, I'd like to see them." The Old man asked, looking around, trying to see if he would be able to fish them out on his own. Such outstanding individuals wouldn't be hard to pick out.

"They're still inside." The middle-aged man said.

"What are they doing inside? Haven't they completed the last level already?" The Old man was confused.

The middle-aged man explained, "One of them wanted to see the array. I didn't think they would be able to get to that level. So I told him he could see it if he entered the trial."

"In my defense, I didn't know they were grade nine geniuses at that time. After all, it's not written on their faces." The middle-aged man dropped his head.

The Old man processed what he just heard and burst out laughing. He couldn't believe the Phoenix Faction's most revered array was being studied by a total stranger.

"You really messed up. I wonder what that fellow will say when he finds out about this." The Old man laughed as he spoke.

"My brother will let it slide. It's not like this is an array that can be understood in a few days. Creating a tie with such geniuses at the expense of the formation isn't too bad." The middle-aged man said, even though his expression said otherwise.

"Why's your face black if you know he won't say anything?" The Old man asked with a laugh.

"What are you even doing here?" The middle-aged man felt annoyed that the Old man was poking fun at him.

"The Phoenix Faction is my benefactor. You guys tied me down to your Faction, just as you're planning to do to those kids. But unlike me, I believe they're already allied with powerful forces." The Old man shrugged.

He wasn't a member of the Phoenix Faction, but he had a very close relationship with them.

"Oh right, one of them beat up your precious student." The middle-aged man said with a smile.

The Old man raised a brow, "What?!"

"With a single punch. He sent Flint flying." An Elder said, emphasizing on the single punch.

The Old man's expression darkened, "I will like to see which force they are from for they to dare bully my student."

The Old man's reaction was as the others expected. He was erratic and a few times, he acted on impulse. Although he is old, he reacts to things however he likes.

Take nothing away from him, the reason he acts this way is not due to having the backing of the Phoenix Faction, but he was a powerful expert in his own right. A grade seven expert in his stage. Such a powerhouse isn't someone anyone wants to mess with.

Just like the Old man, Flint was also a grade seven powerhouse, this gave the Old man inexplicable joy. Now, he was hearing his precious student was bullied? He will never accept it.

While they were speaking, Flint had gone past the lava and was about to face off against the Phoenix.

….

Inside the volcano.

"A Phoenix. Teacher did say I would see one if I came here." Flint said.

"According to what I know, it's a grade eight expert on the same stage as me."

"Can I defeat a grade eight opponent?"

Flint was excited. He had never gotten the chance to fight against anyone who was in grade eight before. The only person he had fought with who was strong was the young lady leading the group of seven, and she was a grade seven genius, just like himself. Their spars occasionally end in draws. The few times he had lost against her was due to him either not taking it seriously or he was distracted.

"I want to see if I can fight it."

Flint charged at the Phoenix, attacking it.

On the other side of the lava waterfall.

Grey, who had his eyes closed for over one hour, finally opened them.

His expression was serious, "This will take a while."

"Does that mean we're going to stay here longer?" Klaus asked, he was frustrated.

"Nope. I've gotten the entire drawing in my head. I'll slowly decipher it on my own time." Grey shook his head.

"Good, let's go." Klaus said.

"I don't think they will allow us to pry into their secrets. The fact that we've been allowed to stay here and not leave is already showing benevolence, let's not take advantage of their kindness." Grey didn't agree to them exploring the place.

Besides, Void was back and according to Void, going past those tunnels was dangerous. Void wasn't able to get anything, he was noticed the moment he showed up and had to leave immediately.