Chapter 169: Gu Te
"Ice Spirit Cold Fountain?"
Hearing the name that Xiao Yan spat out, Frank and Ao Tuo clearly stilled for a moment. An instant later, they said in a surprised voice, "Little boy, the Ice Spirit Cold Fountain is an extremely rare and precious Spiritual ingredient. With your current ability, it seems like you should not need this kind of thing."
With a smile, Xiao Yan vaguely said, "I really need this thing. Grandmasters, do you know anyone in the Alchemist Association who possesses it? If you do, I can pay a large sum in exchange for it."
"A large sum? Xiao Yan, you should know that this 'Ice Spirit Cold Fountain' is something extremely rare that cannot be measured with gold coins. Moreover, even if someone had this thing, you would be hard pressed to take something out to exchange for it." Frank shook his head and said.
"Hehe, of course I know this. Can you grandmasters please help me check? If there is really someone who possesses it, I may be able to take out something that would satisfy him." Xiao Yan politely said as he smiled and nodded.
Seeing Xiao Yan's insistence, Frank pressed his old eyebrows together. He then exchanged a glance with Ao Tuo before helplessly nodding his head.
"Please wait for a moment." Ao Tuo got up and told Xiao Yan before he turned around and walked into the inner part of the study.
"This old man is the deputy chairman of Black Rock City's Alchemist Association. Although he is often extremely lazy and seldom bothers to do the work at the association, he's usually the one in charge of things like business deals." Frank smiled at Xiao Yan as his gaze followed the Ao Tuo's departing figure.
Xiao Yan nodded his head with a grin and gently rested his hand on the armrest of the chair. His finger could not help but lightly drum on it. His calm face had a faint trace of urgent expectation.
Slowly lifting his tea cup and taking a sip, Frank casually lifted his eyes and watched Xiao Yan pretending to be calm. He could not help but be curious, "Is that 'Ice Spirit Cold Fountain' really so important to him?"
Xiao Yan waited for a long while before Ao Tuo hugged a thick, ancient-looking book and walked out from the inner room. He gently placed it on the table, turned around and shook his head as he faced Xiao Yan. With a helpless voice, he said, "I'm sorry. I've searched all the most recent records of the exchanges, but I did not find anyone with the 'Ice Spirit Cold Fountain'."
"This thing is really very rare and the requirements needed to preserve it are extremely strict. I remember that there was once a tier four Alchemist that luckily found some 'Ice Spirit Cold Fountain' from an extremely cold place. However, due to the inappropriate preservation method, it turned into a white vapor and disappeared..." Ao Tuo felt a little pity as he spoke.
Hearing this, Xiao Yan sighed again, his face filled with disappointment. After lightly shaking his head, he lifted it and smiled bitterly, "If there really isn't any, then forget it. I have troubled the two of you."
Upon noticing the disappointed expression on Xiao Yan's face, Frank helplessly waved his hand. He turned around and softly asked Ao Tuo, "There really isn't any?"
Ao Tuo patted the thick book in his hand and shook his head, "There really isn't any."
"If it isn't here, I suggest that you go to the auction house to take a look. If you are lucky, you might coincidentally find it." Frank said in an attempt to comfort Xiao Yan.
Xiao Yan bitterly smiled and nodded. In his heart, he was very certain that if it was something the Alchemist Association did not have, he would be hard pressed to find such a rare treasure at the auction house.
"Ugh, since there isn't anything that I need, I will be taking my leave." Standing up in a disappointed manner, Xiao Yan cupped his hands together and gestured at the two before turning around and walking out of the study.
Seeing Xiao Yan's disappointed appearance, Ao Tuo helplessly shook his head. He mused for a while before he suddenly called, "Wait!"
"Yes?" Xiao Yan was stilled for a moment before he turned around and watched the Ao Tuo who was deep in thought.
"Do you really need that Ice Spirit Cold Fountain?" Ao Tuo asked with a frown.
"Yes, I really need it." Xiao Yan nodded gravely. Looking at Ao Tuo who was deep in thought, his heart pounded slightly. His voice carried a little joy as he said, "Grandmaster Ao Tuo, do you have the Ice Spirit Cold Fountain?"
Beside Ao Tuo, Frank was also staring in a puzzled manner at the former. Clearly, he was also out of the loop.
"Haha, I really don't have that thing." Ao Tuo smiled and shook his head. When he saw that Xiao Yan was once again disappointed he could not help but laugh, "But I seem to have seen that thing before at the home of some strange man."
"Oh?" Hearing this, Xiao Yan's eyes suddenly brightened. He hurriedly asked, "Who is he? Where is he?"
"Uh... I must remind you first that if you are not prepared to pay an extremely heavy price, it is not likely that you'll get what you need from that guy." Ao Tuo said with a smile.
"Oh... I'll try my best... " Xiao Yan replied hesitantly. Without knowing what kind of conditions might be imposed, he naturally did not dare to appear too confident.
"Old man... you aren't talking about Gu Te, that old man who values treasure like his life, are you?" Frank, who was pressing his eyebrows tightly together, suddenly said with astonishment.
"Yes, it is that weird old man. The last time I went over to his place, I think I heard him mention the Ice Spirit Cold Fountain. But that old man is really too petty; he was not even willing to let me take a look..." Ao Tuo said with a face full of smiles.
"... If he really does have the Ice Spirit Cold Fountain, I don't think that Xiao Yan would be able to successfully exchange for it from his hands." Frank helplessly shook his head. The gaze he used to look at Xiao Yan carried some pity.
"Who is this Gu Te?" Feeling a little uneasy after being stared at by Frank with that gaze, Xiao Yan asked in a perturbed voice.
"That guy is also an alchemist. Although he is only tier three, his exuberant collection is sufficient to attract jealousy from any alchemist in the Jia Ma Empire." Ao Tuo shook his head and clicked his tongue as he praised.
"He isn't a member of the Alchemist Association?" Xiao Yan asked with surprise.
"No, that guy's character is far too weird. His talent for refining medicine is quite good, but he prefers to indulge in collecting various rare and strange ingredients, causing him to remain as a tier three alchemist. The extent of his indulgence has somewhat reached a mentally unsound level. Once he discovers that someone has something good, Gu Te will repeatedly pester the owner, resulting in others becoming very frustrated and getting a terrible headache." Frank bitterly laughed. From his manner, it appeared that he had personally experienced this.
"Hehe. Back then, it was your fault for being so bored and actually taking out the Purple Blood Ganoderma that took you so much effort to obtain, and brag to others about it. Tsk tsk, but that old man Gu Te is really patient. He actually spent an entire year pestering you. Ha ha..." Seeming to have remembered something interesting from the past, Ao Tuo gloated at Frank's misfortune.
"Ugh." Frank's head was filled with gloomy thoughts as he helplessly shook it.
"Uh... your tier is higher than him but he dares to be so insolent?" Looking at the helpless expressions on their faces, Xiao Yan asked in a doubtful manner.
"Our tier is indeed slightly higher than his, but that guy has an incredible brother. In the whole of the Jia Ma Empire, who would dare offend him?" Frank bitterly laughed.
"Brother? Who?" Hearing Frank's explanation, Xiao Yan felt very curious. Who in the Jia Ma Empire possessed such an ability that even two tier four alchemists did not dare provoke his brother?
"Who else... Pill-King Gu He." Rolling his eyes, Ao Tuo curled his lips and said, "If he did not have his brother to support him, all the treasures of Gu Te would have been stolen by people countless times over."
"Ohh... Gu He? No wonder." After being stilled momentarily, Xiao Yan nodded his head as realisation struck him. In the Jia Ma Empire, Pill-King Gu He did indeed possess such an enormous ability.
"Luckily, although that old man may be very irritating, his character isn't bad. It is only that he is extremely stubborn and he hates people who mention Gu He in front of him the most. Although he knows that the reason he is able to survive till now is related to Gu He's help, if someone mentions Gu He in front of him, he will immediately chase that person away. Thus, you must be very careful not to infuriate him. Otherwise, even if you take out an extremely rare and unique ingredient, you would have a difficult time exchanging it for the 'Ice Spirit Cold Fountain'." Frank warned.
"Is he in Black Rock City?" Xiao Yan anxiously asked.
"Ah, yes." Nodding his head and smiling, Ao Tuo glanced at Xiao Yan and asked, "You really intend to visit him?"
"No choice. I really need the Ice Spirit Cold Fountain. Even if he is going to ask for an exorbitant price, if it is something that I can take out, I'm afraid I will have to be cheated by him." Xiao Yan helplessly nodded his head and smiled bitterly.
"What a pitiful fellow. Other people want to avoid him like the plague but you are going to his front door." After patting Xiao Yan's shoulder with sympathy, Ao Tuo turned his head, faced Frank and said, "Then I will bring Xiao Yan to visit that old man. I doubt you're very willing to see him."
"Go. Just go. When you see him, please pass along a message: It would be best that he does not come to our Alchemist Association. I don't want the branch under my charge to lose every single person because of his habits. If that happens, I will find fault with him, even if he is protected by Gu He..." Waving his hand, Frank mumbled. Obviously, he was still a little afraid of that irritating guy.
"Hehe." Ao Tuo smiled in a gloating manner before he said, "Let's go. Follow me, I will lead you to that guy. However, whether you can succeed or not depends on you."
Hearing this, Xiao Yan hurriedly nodded. He rejoiced in his heart. Luckily, he had conveniently come to take the test for an alchemist. Otherwise, he may have ended up searching all over the place for the Ice Spirit Cold Fountain. Who knows how long that would have taken?
After Ao Tuo left the Alchemist Association, there were many people who respectfully greeted the indifferent looking Grandmaster Ao Tuo along the way. When their gazes reached Xiao Yan who was following closely behind, they slightly stilled. Their gazes swept across the black robe that represented a tier two alchemist, before finally becoming a little shocked as they landed on the young face of Xiao Yan. Clearly, their hearts were stunned when they saw such a young, tier two alchemist.
Ignoring the shocked gazes along the way, Xiao Yan followed Ao Tuo as they took over ten turns on the confusing streets of Black Rock City. Eventually, they arrived at one isolated corner in the southern part of the City where a strange looking building stood.
Ao Tuo raised his head to face the strange building in front of him before sighing. He turned his head around and said to Xiao Yan, "This is the place where Gu Te lives. Before we enter, I will remind you again: You'd better be prepared to pay an exorbitant price."
Hearing this, Xiao Yan could only smile bitterly and nod his head.