Chapter 164: The Alchemist Association
Entering the Alchemist Association, a faint medicinal scent pounced out, giving people a refreshed feeling.
The interior of the hall did not have many people, with only a few people quietly performing their own work. Appearing to have heard the sound of footsteps, some of them lifted their head and swept their gazes toward the young man who was carrying a huge black ruler on his back that seemed to be almost dragging him to the ground. After confusion flashed in their eyes, they began to once again bury themselves in their work. They did not think that anyone had the courage to create a disturbance in the Alchemist Association.
Standing in the somewhat deserted large hall, Xiao Yan helplessly shook his head. He was about to find someone to inquire about the procedure for obtaining an Alchemist tier badge when a young lady in a pale green dress hurriedly came from behind a counter and swiftly strided toward Xiao Yan.
"This... mister, seeing your unfamiliar face, this should be your first time coming to our Black Rock City's Alchemist Association, no?" She quickly walked to the front of Xiao Yan with a smile, the green clad lady's eyes completely scanned Xiao Yan before she asked with a smile.
"Yes." Xiao Yan sized up the lady in green. Her beautiful bright eyes and white teeth were quite lovable. Xiao Yan smiled and said, "It is indeed my first time. I hope to obtain an Alchemist Tier Badge."
"Oh? You are also an alchemist?" Hearing Xiao Yan's words, the green clad lady was obviously startled. Her beautiful eyes swept over Xiao Yan as she spoke in a stunned voice.
"Yes, can you please tell me what procedures there are?" Without taking the shock in the lady's eyes to heart, Xiao Yan smiled and nodded,
"This way please." Seeing Xiao Yan nod his head in acknowledgement, the lady in green appeared slightly discomposed. Her pretty face was clearly more respectful as she took a few steps back and came to the front of a counter while smiling at Xiao Yan.
From the counter, green clad lady took out a pale yellow ancient looking parchment made of goat skin. Then her hand elegantly held a pen brush and raised her head. She gave Xiao Yan a full smile. "Sir, please tell me your name, age and teacher's name. I need to register for you."
"Xiao Yan, nineteen, teacher... Yao Lao." Xiao Yan thought quietly for a while before replying with a smile.
"Mister is really young and promising."
When she heard Xiao Yan's age, Ya Han could not help but sigh with shock in her heart. She smiled as she flattered him. Her eyebrows suddenly creased together as she paused the pen brush in her hands. After thinking for a long time, she embarrassingly said, "Sir, your teacher's name does not appear to be in the records of our Alchemist Association."
"He likes to live in isolation so he has never come to register. Why? Do I need him to be in the record for me to get the badge? If that's the case, then let's forget about it." Xiao Yan frowned and shook his head. He turned around and prepared to leave; it was unexpected to him that the process was so troublesome.
"Sir, please wait." Seeing that Xiao Yan was about to leave, Ya Han hurriedly said, "Although your teacher isn't in the record, if you manage to pass the test, you can still obtain a tier badge."
Hearing this, Xiao Yan finally paused his footsteps and let out a sigh of relief in his heart. He turned around and smiled at Ya Han.
After quickly tidying up the things on the table, Ya Han held Xiao Yan's registration form in her hand and gestured with her other hand to lead the way as she said, "Sir, please follow me. If you pass the test for a tier, you will be able to successfully obtain a badge for that tier. Ah... you should be here to take the test for the first tier alchemist, aren't you?" Ya Han's delicate hand flipped through the information that Xiao Yan gave as she randomly asked with a smile.
"No. Tier two." Xiao Yan shook his head and softly replied with a smile.
Ya Han's footsteps suddenly paused, causing Xiao Yan to nearly knock into her body which had come to an abrupt stop. However, it was fortunate that he stopped in time. Immediately, he doubtfully eyed the gentle and beautiful figure of Ya Han in front of him.
"You said... You are here to take the test for a tier two alchemist?" Turning her head, Ya Han widened her small, moist, red mouth. She stared at Xiao Yan with shock. Nineteen years old and he wants to take the test for a tier two alchemist? This was a first in the Alchemist Association of the Jia Ma Empire!
"Yes, are there any problems?" Xiao Yan nodded as he asked faintly.
"No... not at all." Recovering, Ya Han quickly shook her head. The respectfulness in the gaze she gave Xiao Yan grew as she softly said, "Mister Xiao Yan..."
"Just call me Xiao Yan." Xiao Yan shook his head as he interrupted with a smile.
"Haha, alright." After working in the Alchemist Association for some time and coming across quite a number of big shots, Ya Han wasn't one to use extra courtesies. Hence, hearing Xiao Yan's words, she also saved the mouthful of an address. With a smile she inquired, "You have never received an alchemist badge before, have you?"
"Since it is like this, you must first take the test for the tier one alchemist. Only if you are successfully promoted, can you continue to take the test for a tier two alchemist." Ya Han smiled as she explained the procedure of the test to Xiao Yan.
"Oh, then I'll take them one at a time." Hearing the explanation, Xiao Yan was a little startled before he helplessly nodded.
The smiling Ya Fei gradually slowed. A moment later, she stopped in front of a huge door. Outside there were four large and fierce men who were fully armed and guarding it.
When Xiao Yan's eyes swept across the chest of the four burly men, he felt a slight awe in his heart. He realized that these four men were all nine star Dou Zhes. Moreover, from the long and steady breathing of one of them, it was obvious that he had stayed at the level for a long time. Seeing the occasional glint that appeared in his eyes, it appeared that he would soon enter the grade of a Dou Shi.
"Uncle Te Ya, has the examination inside started?" Ya Han handed over Xiao Yan's information in her hand to the strongest man as she smiled and asked.
"Hehe, not yet, but it would soon start. Have you brought another new person here? Looks like he's quite good." The one who was addressed as Te Ya swept his gaze on Xiao Yan's body and felt a surprise rise in his heart. With his strength, he actually failed to see the true strength of the young man in front of him.
"Oh, alright. Let's go in."
After carefully studying the information and stamp on the registration form, Te Ya finally took out a black armband. On the armband was the number '5' written in a large font. "This is your testing number. Don't lose it."
After receiving the armband, Xiao Yan wrapped it around his arm and smiled as he thanked Te Ya.
"Xiao Yan, you will have to go in by yourself. According to regulations, we cannot carelessly walk into the room." Seeing that the administrative procedure had completed, Ya Han said softly.
"Ah, thank you very much!" Xiao Yan nodded his head while smiling. He then cupped his hands together before stepping up to open the large door. The spacious large hall was so brightly lit that it appeared like it was daytime. There were quite a number of people clustered in the hall and many whispers and laughter would occasionally appear in the hall.
Xiao Yan's gaze swept across the chest area of these people and was surprised to find that most of them were true alchemists.
Among the crowd, Xiao Yan had also found two Tier Four alchemists. One of them was Grandmaster Ao Tuo whom Xiao Yan had seen earlier. The other was also an elderly person. Hearing the way the surrounding people addressed him, Xiao Yan realised that this old man was the chairman of the Black Rock City Alchemist Association, Fu Lan Ke.
At the center of the hall, there were over ten meticulously arranged stone tables that were separated from each other. On the stone tables, many different instruments for refining medicine were neatly placed. At this moment, around seven or eight anxious young people were at these stone tables; the girl called Lin Fei was incidentally among them.
"Fu Lan Ke, where is Xue Mei? Why has she not appeared? The examination is about to start!" Ao Tuo swept his eyes toward the hourglass on the table before tilting his head as he asked Fu Lan Ke beside him who was chatting with someone else.
"Don't worry, don't worry. This is Xue Mei's first test. Naturally she wants to be completely prepared." Waving his hand, Fu Lan Ke eyed the impatiently waiting Ao Tuo, a smile appearing on his old face.
Hearing this, Ao Tuo curled his lips and snorted, "There's still ten minutes. If she's still not here, you cannot delay the start of the examination for her, even if you are the chairman."
With a smile, Fu Lan Ke turned his head and swept his gaze across the large hall. Finally, he paused and stared at the young man who had unknowingly arrived. After glancing at the armband on his arm, Fu Lan Ke involuntarily asked in a surprised voice, "Kid, are you also here to take the alchemist test?"
Seeing so many people in the same occupation for the first time, Xiao Yan was a little excited. When he heard Fu Lan Ke's question, he was a little surprised but he quickly nodded his head.
When he saw Xiao Yan nodding his head, Fu Lan Ke's eyes were filled with even greater amazement. He asked with a smile, "How old are you?"
"Nineteen." Not understanding what this person, who obviously held a high position, was thinking, Xiao Yan could only answer honestly.
"Oh?" Having heard Xiao Yan's answer, not only did Fu Lan Ke let out a shocked sound, even Ao Tuo also turned his gaze over. When he noticed Xiao Yan, he was momentarily stunned. An instant later, he laughed, "I said that I felt something different from this kid before. So you're actually an alchemist. But why did I not feel it just now? Normally, it should be very difficult for someone who is weaker than me to hide their identity."
Hearing Ao Tuo words, Xiao Yan could only display a loose face and shook his head pretending not to understand. With Yao Lao's protection, how could a tier four alchemist discover the true extent of Xiao Yan's alchemy abilities? Luckily, Ao Tuo did not attempt to get to the bottom of the matter. When he saw Xiao Yan's ignorant manner, he ceased his questioning.
"Tsk tsk. Nineteen? Old Ao Tuo, this young man's age is quite a bit younger than both of our disciples." Fu Lan Ke praised while clicking his tongue.
"You should praise him after he successfully passes. Although these words may sound mocking but two years ago didn't Lin Fei come and take the test when she was nineteen?" Ao Tuo said as he shook his head. He did not have any intention of looking down on Xiao Yan but attempting to get an alchemist badge at the age of nineteen was something that had never happened in the Alchemist Association of Black Rock City.
"That girl of yours was here to purely create trouble. The her then nearly caused the medicinal furnace to explode." Fu Lan Ke shook his head as he scolded with a smile. Although he had said those words just now, he also understood that taking the Alchemist test at nineteen was difficult.
After all, in order to become a true Alchemist, other than having innate Spiritual Perception, one must become a true Dou Zhe. Additionally, after becoming a Dou Zhe, one must begin to learn about the art of alchemy under the close guidance of a teacher. This step would require at least a year of time!
In summary, for a nineteen year old to become a tier one alchemist, he must become a Dou Zhe at eighteen or even seventeen. This kind of terrifying training talent may be even more rare when compared to the uncommon Spiritual Perception that an alchemist required.
Hence, even though Fu Lan Ke had vast experience, it was difficult for him to imagine the young man in front of him would successfully pass the test.
"Please. Don't think that I don't know about the time that you privately gave Xue Mei an alchemy test where she also blew up the medicinal cauldon."
Seeing the two old men who were exposing each other's secrets, Xiao Yan could only helplessly shake his head. He was about to open his mouth to inquire when a faint voice that was slightly icy suddenly sounded from behind him.
"Teacher, I'm sorry that I'm late,"
The sudden icy but lovely voice was like the clear sound of snow rocks on a snow mountain tapping on one another, unleashing an extremely moving sound. At the very least, after the voice sounded, Xiao Yan found that over half of the young men in the hall turned their slightly heated gazes toward the area behind Xiao Yan.
Xiao Yan pursed his lips as he slowly turned around curiously to watch a lady in a silver dress elegantly walk in from the huge doorway. His eyebrows straightened as an obscure amazement flashed across his gaze.