Xiao Yan is the main protagonist of Battle Through the Heavens. He was once hailed as a genius as a child but was abandoned by almost everyone who praised him after losing his dou qi. This was because his Dou Qi was absorbed by the spirit of Yao Lao present in a ring which he received from his mother. Yao Lao absorbed Xiao Yan's Dou Qi for three years from when Xiao Yan turned 12 that resulted in the loss of his Dou Qi and causing him to drop to Dou Zhi Level 3.He then later sets out on a journey to become stronger. At first , his goal is just to be able to defeat Na Lan Yan Ran, but his final goal has risen much higher as his enemies are at the top of the "food-chain" and he realises he will have to surpass them. His aim, as of the current arc, is to reach Dou Di ( Dou God ), which is the highest rank.
Xiao Yan has dark blue hair, blue coloured eyes, and is considered handsome by some. He has a lean, muscular body from his intense training and ingestion of pills.
His appearance changes when Yao Lao's spirit controls his body. His hair becomes much longer, the color fades from blue into white and his eyes turn red as well as a barely noticeable raise in height.
In the chinese Manhwa, Xiao Yan's personality reflects that of strong willed person with an equally powerful sense of determination. It is because of this stubbornness to give up, even in the most extreme of odds against him that has allowed him to prevail time and time again. One such example being the time he faced with Bai Ya, an opponent who FAR exceeded his capabilities at the time.
This strong sense of pride, sometimes bordering on even sheer recklessness, has earned him respect from powerful figures all around. Examples include his teacher, Yao Lao, Hai Po Dong, Yun Yun and even the aloof Ling Ying (from the light novel)
His character is also quite comical in the manhwa as he is shown to be immature and greedy in some circumstances (to humorous effect). Xiao Yan deeply loves his family and is very loyal to them, even to the ones that humiliated him when he lost his Dou Qi.
In the past he was quite full of himself for being a genius however in the 3 years of him being taunted and treated badly he became very mature and developed quite a sharp tongue and a calm mind, even under pressure. He is quite ruthless if someone were to bully someone else or they were gonna harm someone dear to him. If someone were to try and kill him or someone he cares about then, he will have no qualm about killing them.
He also has a thirst for adventure and risk. If it was not for Na Lan Yan Ran humiliating him and his family he would have quite a lazy personality.
He is shown to not lust after any women, which is unlike many other males in the series. This is a result of his maturing during his drop from prodigy to trash and developing strong self-control.
[Light novel character]
His novel counter part retains the thirst for adventure, indomitable will and even devil-may-care attitude.
However, he is also much more ruthless and even feared in the light novel. This is proven many times later on in the light novel as shown when people who were far stronger than him immediately adopted a very wary and even cautious nature when suddenly forced to contend with Xiao Yan.
Xiao Yan also appears to be someone who is more than capable in killing in cold blood and is not one to give mercy to the enemies in the light novel. If he perceives an enemy would become a great hindrance in the future he has been shown to go to great lengths to eliminate them.
Xiao Yan is a genius that is considered by the people in his clan and town appeared once in a thousand years. At age 10, he became a Dou Zhe, the youngest known in history of Jia Ma empire.
However, after receiving a ring from his mother shortly before she disappeared he mysteriously lost his Dou Qi and was reduced to 3rd stage Dou Qi. This led to him being abandoned by almost all of the people who once praised him for his genius. The loss of his abilities caused him to be re-labelled as trash.
He was arranged to be married to Na Lan Yan Ran before birth, as their grandfathers were very good friends. Na Lan Yan Ran however, didn't see Xiao Yan as a worthy person for her, outright rejected him and thus creating a very strong motivation for Xiao Yan to get stronger, at least in 3 years.
After being rejected, Yao Lao had awaken from his slumber and asked if Xiao Yan wanted to be his apprentice. After he help Xiao Yan get to the ninth pre Dou Zhe stage, both of them left town and go to train in the Magical Beast Moutain. Yao Lao intended for Xiao Yan to ascend to from a Dou Zhe to a Dou Shi. While there, he obtained his Beast flame.
Plot (manhua) Edit
The Divorce, Meeting Yao Lao and The Return of a Genius
Xiao Yan's fiancée, Na Lan Yan Ran and Elder Ge Ye from the Yun Lan Sect arrived at the Xiao family household to announce the cancellation of the engagement between her and Xiao Yan that was decided by Yan Ran's grandfather when she was little due to Xiao Yan suddenly losing his talent and turning from genius to trash in an instant three years ago, much to the anger of Xiao Yan's father, Xiao Zhan. Xiao Yan, feeling his pride was wounded, stabbed his chest through Yan Ran's sword but was alive due to the sword not piercing his heart. Xiao Yan realised that he was not to die today and declared a divorce of Yan Ran. Yan Ran, frustrated, agreed to accept Xiao Yan's divorce if he could beat her on the Yun Lan Mountain three years after this day. She and Ge Ye then left, after which Xiao Yan collapses due to the lost blood from the stab wound.
When Xiao Yan recovered and woke, he heard the servants guarding him mock him and wished him be dead. Xiao Yan exclaimed that he never expected a former genius would fall to the extent that even mere servants can mock him. Xiao Yan held out the ring left to him by his late mother, stating that it was the only thing it could truly call his own. Suddenly, a person began talking from inside the ring, surprising Xiao Yan. The person, or ghost, was Yao Lao and he asked Xiao Yan if he wanted more power.
Xiao Yan dismissed this as a dream and went to visit his mother's grave and apologised due to being unable to fulfill the hopes she placed on him when he was young. He declared that he will not suffer the same humiliation a second time and Yao Lao appeared again at this. He told Xiao Yan that he was the reason that Xiao Yan lost his Dou Qi three years ago, as he was in the ring secretly absorbing his Dou Qi to gather enough energy to wake up from his "deep slumber". Xiao Yan threw the ring away in a fit of anger, and later cries out in regret because he threw the only thing his mother left him. However, the ring returned, and Yao Lao commended his temper. Xiao Yan then confronts Yao Lao, accusing him as the one who took away his talent and made him suffer all the humiliation over the years. Yao Lao told him that he can return his powers to him, and when Xiao Yan expressed disbelief, Yao Lao pulled out his essence flame, the Bone Chilling Flame, to prove his powers. Xiao Yan then told Yao Lao that he will forgive Yao Lao taking away his Dou Qi if he could help him break through to 7th stage Dou Practitoner, threatening to throw the ring away if he refused. Yao Lao offered to teach Xiao Yan the arts of a receptarier, which Xiao Yan, though initially did not believe, accepts and declared Yao Lao as his master. Yao Lao then told the impatient Xiao Yan to buy ingredients for an elixir.
To gather the expensive materials, Xiao Yan took Xun 'Er on a shopping trip in the marketplace. Xun 'Er agreed to lend Xiao Yan a thousand coins, which Xiao Yan used to buy the ingredients, bargaining with the merchants in the process. Xun 'Er then ran away because she was angry at Xiao Yan abandoning her to find the materials in the marketplace, much to the puzzlement of Xiao Yan. Then, Jia Lie Ao arrived at the marketplace and attempted to hit on Xun 'Er by giving her a bracelet with a monster core on it. Realising that the monster core was one of the items Xiao Yan needed, Xun 'Er let down her pride to take it, but was stopped by Xiao Yan who arrived and gave her a bracelet he bought, a bracelet Xun 'Er liked and wanted before, which Xun 'Er happily accepted. Jia Lie Ao, angry, proceeded to attack Xiao Yan, which was stopped by the head of security of the Xiao family territorries. Jia Lie Ao then began to mock Xiao Yan about the mishap with Na Lan Yan Ran, but Xiao Yan did not fight Jia Lie Ao over his provocations. Xiao Yan tricked Jia Lie Ao and his associates by stating a man Jia Lie Ao beat up before was a servant of the Xiao family, and Jia Lie Ao was forced to leave lest a declaration of war is made. Xiao Yan then found the core and a piece of metal with a Dou Qi skill inside, the latter mistaken for a regular piece of scrap metal. Knowing this, Xiao Yan bought the core and the scrap metal.
Yao Lao revealed that the hidden Dou Qi skill was Vacuum Palm, a Xuan Class Low Lever skill, which Yao Lao dismissed as useless but Xiao Yan greatly revered. Yao Lao then used the materials Xiao Yan bought to create the Elixir of Foundation Spirits, an elixir capable of increasing his power quickly. Xiao Yan was then told by his father that the Coming-Of-Age Ceremony of the Xiao Clan is starting in six months instead of a year, a scheme by the other Xiao Clan elders to force Xiao Yan out of the clan, and Xiao Yan realised that the elixir his master made for him may not be enough to increase his strengh to his original level in time. However, Xiao Yan declared he would not give up and will make the other clan members recognize his strength.
On the way of returning from taking several skill scrolls, Xiao Yan witnessed a duel between Xun 'Er and his cousin, Xiao Ning, who was the child of the first elder of the Xiao Clan, which Xun 'Er wins easily. Seeing Xiao Yan, Xiao Ning began to mock him of losing his talent and hiding behind the powerful Xun 'Er, and declaring that Xiao Yan was not worth Xun 'Er and that he will make Xiao Yan die of embarrassment at the Coming-Of-Age Ceremony, to which Xiao Yan replies that he looks forward to it. In the mountains, Xiao Yan begged Yao Lao to teach him a powerful skill, to which Yao Lao reluctantly obliges: the Xuan-Class Higher Level skill Octadic Smash, which would become his signature move later on.
Xiao Yan then undergoes hellish training with Yao Lao, in which the latter constantly blasts him with Dou Qi to train Xiao Yan's physical toughness to master the new move. When Yao Lao calls for rest, Xiao Yan refused, stating that he will make the ones who looked down on him repent. Yao Lao then continues the training throughout the night, stating that Na Lan Yan Ran has awakened a monster by challenging Xiao Yan's pride with the cancellation of the engagement.
Two months later, Xiao Yan had to buy new ingredients to make the Elixir of Foundation Spirits that was used up. Xiao Yan, too embarrassed to borrow money from Xun 'Er again, hatched a plan to auction lower-quality elixirs made by Yao Lao anonymously in exchange for the ingredients at the Miteer Auction House. There he met Mister Clooney, who was astonished that a receptarier of such skill was in town. The auction was held by the niece of Clooney, Ya Fei, that was curious about the anonymous receptarier. After the elixir and other items were auctioned off, Ya Fei brought in a Xuan-Class Higher Level skill Wind Swirl, which Yao Lao remarks as useless and told Xiao Yan that he would show him a true powerful skill when he had become stronger.
- He was reborn into the Xiao Family.
- His brothers are very protective of him and left the clan to protect him.
- When he was 3 he broke a precious vase.
- When he was 4 he was peeking at the love letter that Xiao Li was writing to Xiao Lei.
- When he was 5 he rubbed chili powder on to Xiao Ding underpants.
- Yan Xiao which was his fake name is just his real name flipped backward.
- His spirit is quite strong due to the fact that he was reincarnated and with a strong spirit this meant that he can absorb Dou Qi quick fast and in vast amount. This is the cause for his growth.
- He likes to pinches Xiao Xun cheeks.
- His name Yan means fire which represent the phoenix that will rises from the ashes which mean he will never give up.
- In the light novel he has a habit of brushing his nose.
- In the light novel he entered rank 8 and 9 pre Dou Zhe when he was asleep.
- Even though officially he is a 2nd Rank Receptarier, he has the ability to create high level pills.
Light Novel Edit
- In the light novel, the first potion Xiao Yan made without the help of Yao Lao was an aphrodisiac. When Xiao Yan was being nurtured by Yun Yun she accidentally put this aphrodisiac in the fish she cooked. Xiao Yan and Yun Yun almost had sex because of Yun Yun's loss of control due to her Dou Qi being sealed. Xiao Yan loses his first kiss to Yun Yun during this time.
- In the manhua it never really stated who Xiao Yan was in his past life however in the light novel it states "In his past life, Xiao Yan was a mediocre, average commoner. Wealth, fame and beauty seemed to run parallel to his life, never intersecting it." this suggest that in the past Xiao Yan was neither famous or rich he was just an average person.
- In the light novel its officially stated that he wore the ring that contained Yao Lao at the age of 4 and Yao Lao started absorbing Xiao Yan Dou Qi at the age of 12.
- In the light novel he had a whole year to prepare for the coming of age ceremony while in the manhua he only had 6 months. However like the manhua he only needed 6 months to reach the 7th rank however reaching the 8th rank took a lot longer.
- In the light novel, he didn't get robbed when he first entered black horn territory ,in fact Yao Lao told him that this place is not a place where kindness and mercy exist, only those with enough ruthlessness and resolve can survive here, and Xiao Yan agreed wholeheartedly.
- He started acting more flirty with Ya Fei after they became business partners and even defended her honor more than once. This left Nalan Yanran in shock as she thought he had a cold attitude towards her because of his personality.
- Even though he was cold to Nalan Yanran as Yan Xiao, he was a bit shocked on seeing her interact closely with Liu Ling. Liu Ling initially thought him as an opponent for Nalan Yanran's affection and tried to best him in the Alchemist Competition. After finding out his true identity, he was pleased as Xiao Yan would never hold out any feelings for Nalan Yanran.
- In the manhwa, the people who gathered for the Three Year Tournament identified that Xiao Yan was Yan Xiao due to the use of the Heavenly Flame. In the light novel, they found out because of the method for using the Purple Flame(He uses a Danwan created using the Heaven Swallowing Python's Saliva and Amethyst Essence and spits the flame onto his hand).
- Unlike the manhwa, Nalan Jie and Jia Lao did not help him escape Jia Ma Empire. Xiao Yan is even irritated at Nalan Jie especially after everything he promised Xiao Yan for helping him remove the Searing Poison.
- Using the Three-Line Green Spirit Pill, he promoted from Dou Shi to Da Dou Shi. However, he could not fully absorb the full effects of the pill. After the battle with Yun Shan, he increased his Da Dou Shi rank by two stars using the pill's leftover energy on Yao Lao's advice.
- The shift in Xiao Yan's personalities between light novel and manhwa is quite significant. However, this is a noticeable trend in most light novel which were later adapted on to become manhwa. The most common speculation as to why this is so is because xianxia light novels tend to portray practitioners and the world they live in as a very harsh one (where strength equals might and trickery plus deception the key way to overcoming opponents many times one's own strength). Manwha's however are usually tended for a younger audience and hence why a character's violence and actions are sometimes toned down, maybe even skipped altogether.
- Xiao Yan is mentioned and is the 'Flame Emperor' in the light novel The Great Ruler, one of the top powerhouses in the Great Thousand World where thousands of planes intersect in the centre and only the strongest whom reached the apex of their plane (world) can ascend to it.