The Human Emperor - Chapter 113: Mysterious Alchemist Organization!
“I have already reached Origin Energy Tier 6 and my root bone has also reached Panther Bone 3-dan pinnacle. However, it probably won’t be an easy task for me to achieve a breakthrough to Tiger Bone 1-dan!”
Wang Chong thought.
There were many martial art techniques which have a prerequisite on one’s root bone. The more formidable a technique was, the higher the requirement on one’s root bone. If one’s root bone was unable to meet the prerequisite, it might result in dire consequences.
Wang Chong’s current root bone had yet to reach the Tiger Bone level, so it wasn’t suitable for him to practice Ire of the Barbaric God yet.
“But it’s not that there is no way for me to raise my root bone to Tiger Bone…”
Standing by the fake hill, Wang Chong was immersed in his thoughts. It wasn’t impossible for one to strengthen one’s root bone swiftly, and the Xu Clan’s Bone Forging Pill was one of such means.
Wang Chong also knew a few others means that could raise the cultivation of his root bone. However, there weren’t many that were both practical and suitable for him.
Suddenly, a thought popped into Wang Chong’s mind and he recalled something.
In the Central Plains, the place where most pills were centered was, without a doubt, the royal palace and the kings’ residences.
Especially for the royal palace, there were a bunch of alchemists hired exclusively to forge pills for the Sage Emperor, princes, princesses, and consorts.
There was a huge amount of alchemists and they were strictly controlled by the royal family. The pills they forged would go into the vault of the royal family and bestowed to the imperial army, kings, and important officials.
Every single pill forged was strictly monitored, to the point that there were even initial numbers marked on them, making it difficult for anyone to obtain it from the market.
Other than the royal palace, another location where pills were forged, was the residences of the various kings.
Every single king had a personal group of alchemists who would forge pills exclusively for them. Some of these alchemists had approached them on their own accord while some were bestowed to them by the royal family.
The number of alchemists in the kings’ residences was significantly lower than that of the royal family, numbering a handful of people up to a maximum of two dozens. However, without a doubt, these alchemists were an important strategic resource to the kings.
Thus, every single king regarded their alchemist team highly and they wouldn’t allow any outsiders to come into contact with them. Thus, it was impossible for pills to flow out from there either.
Due to these privately hired alchemists, almost all kings of the royal family were top-notch experts, be it King Song or King Qi.
The rate of consumption of pills of every single king was already as though a huge abyss, but on top of that, they still had to bestow some to their guards, aides, children, comrades… Thus, there wasn’t a single king who had excessive pills to spare.
Thus, even though the royal palace and the kings’ residences were the top producers of pills, none of these pills were leaked to the market.
To an outsider, the pills from these two locations were far out of their grasp.
However, Wang Chong knew of a secret route to obtain pills that leaked out from those places.
To speak of it, Wang Chong had to bring up his previous life.
The catastrophe back then had nearly destroyed the entire Central Plains, causing the people from all walks of life to gather together.
Be it the lofty royal family and kings, the brutal bandits and brigands, or the honest farmers and fishermen… In times of calamity, everyone was equal.
Before the threat of death, everyone would feel fear, and this fear would make them reveal their greatest secrets. Rather, it would even become the best way for them to relieve their stress and fear.
It was there that Wang Chong met a distressed alchemist, and from him, Wang Chong learned that there was a mysterious group among the alchemists among the royal family and kings’ residences.
They would falsely report on their production and forge additional pills and hide them. Then, these pills would then be smuggled out from the royal court and the kings’ residences, taken to the outside market, and sold to earn a hefty sum!
Such actions were present in the past eras and the current one wasn’t an exception either.
Even so, this didn’t mean that outsiders could easily purchase their pills or join their organization.
Be it in the royal palace or the kings’ residences, it was illegal for alchemists to make a false report on their pill production. In order to make a strict warning about this matter, the alchemists caught would be subjected to severe punishment.
As this was a matter of life and death, many alchemists were extremely secretive about this matter. Thus, the organization became something out of reach for those without connections.
If not for that catastrophe, it would have been impossible for Wang Chong to know about this secret organization.
“Falling Jade Pavilion!”
Wang Chong rummaged through his memory, and soon, he recalled the location that the alchemist told him of. It was a secret residence which one of the alchemists in the organization bought for the organization to conduct its operations.
It looked ordinary on the surface, but it was the secret gathering point for these alchemists. There were many of such gathering points in the capital.
Every single gathering point was operated by an alchemist, and if trouble were to occur to one, it would be swiftly abandoned so as to ensure the survival of the organization.
The reason why Wang Chong remembered the Falling Jade Pavilion of all other gathering points was because of a unique alchemist in it. If Wang Chong wanted to join this organization to purchase pills, this alchemist was his only chance.
“I should go and take a look!”
Making up his mind, Wang Chong beckoned for Shen Hai and Meng Long to tag along. Then, he dived into a carriage and headed to the Falling Jade Pavilion.
The ‘Falling Jade Pavilion’ was neither a tavern nor a teahouse. It was a private residence on the outskirts of the capital, surrounded by many other ordinary houses.
Looking out of the window, Shen Hai saw a huge residence. Tightly-shut crimson gates and blemished walls, not a single sound of life could be heard from within. It seemed as though it had been abandoned for a very long time.
“Young master, are you sure that this is the location? It doesn’t seem like anyone is living within.”
Shen Hai turned to the young master and asked.
The residence was desolate and eerie, and it induced discomfort in one.
“Don’t worry, this is the location.”
Wang Chong tried to remember the interesting news that the alchemist told him about back then. Opening his eyes, he glanced at the spotted plaque on top of the entrance of the residence and saw words ‘Falling Jade Pavilion’ on it. Then, he nodded his head seriously.
The alchemists were secretly smuggling pills from the royal palace and kings’ residences. Given the illegal nature of their business, they couldn’t do it openly. This residence was cold and remote, but it was actually suitable for the alchemists to conduct their operations.
“I wonder if there is anyone inside…”
Wang Chong thought.
The alchemists in the royal palace and kings’ residences were extremely busy, and there was no such thing as rest for an alchemist. Thus, these gathering points were deserted most of the time. Only when the need comes would the alchemists appear here to conduct trade or communicate with other members.
‘Falling Jade Pavilion’ was a gathering point for the alchemists, but Wang Chong couldn’t say for sure whether there were people inside and whether they were conducting trade or not.
Just when Wang Chong was hesitating, the doors suddenly opened. Five figures walked out swiftly with lowered heads, as though trying to conceal their appearance.
Even from afar, the trio could smell the deep scent of pills from the five.
There must be an alchemist among them!
The same thought popped up in the trio simultaneously.
“Young master, which one is it?”
Shen Hai and Meng Long glanced at Wang Chong. Wang Chong said that they were going to find an alchemist, but there were five of them. Even if each of them were to tail a person, it still wouldn’t be enough.
Meeting with such a dilemma, Wang Chong frowned in anxiety.
These people were extremely wary of their surroundings. As they walked, they would scan their surroundings prudently. Furthermore, they walked extremely quickly, as though they were in a hurry for something.
If Wang Chong didn’t find the person in his memory swiftly, it wouldn’t be long before the five of them disappear.
“Which one? Which one is it?”
Wang Chong was conflicted. All alchemists in the secret organization were extremely guarded. Under normal circumstances, regardless of what method you used, they would be unwilling to accept you.
In fact, they wouldn’t even allow you to get close to them.
The moment they realized that something was amiss, accompanied with multiple occasions of harassment, it was highly probable that the alchemists would possibly make use of the influence of the kings’ residences and the royal palace against you.
Back then, the alchemist had told him about this matter.
Once an alchemist felt threatened, he would immediately report the matter to the secret alchemist organization. By then, it would be no longer the entire secret alchemist organization that was against you. It would be the entire royal court and the various kings’ residences that were against you.
If the royal court or the kings were to suspect that someone was harboring unwanted thoughts about their alchemists, a whole string trouble would ensue.
If it was just the guards dealing with it, it would still be a small matter. However, it wouldn’t take long before the princes and princesses got involved.
Nothing involving alchemists was a small affair.
Thus, Wang Chong didn’t stand a good chance in this matter.
The five of them walked very quickly. While Wang Chong was hesitating, the five had already reached a junction.
Just when Wang Chong was in a severe dilemma, a creaking sound echoed in the air. The gates to the Falling Jade Pavilion opened, and a green-robed middle-aged man with a peculiar appearance walked out.
He briefly scanned his surroundings before heading to the east.
Different from the others, he walked extremely slowly and casually.
“He’s the one!”
Noticing that the middle-aged man was hiding his right hand in his sleeves, a thought flashed across Wang Chong’s mind. He suddenly realized that the middle-aged man was the one he was looking for.
‘Six-fingered Zhang’, this was the alchemist that Wang Chong was looking for!
As the saying goes, ‘Nine sons of the dragon, same but different’. Most of the alchemists of the mysterious organization were cautious, making it impossible for one to get close to them. However, there were always exceptions.
There were always some who differed from the flock, and these were the ones who Wang Chong was looking for. ‘Six-fingered Zhang’ was one of these people.
The name of this alchemist was Zhang Zhongshu, and ‘Six-fingered Zhang’ was just his nickname. Even though he looked normal on the surface, it was common knowledge among the alchemists that he had six fingers on his right hand.
When he was younger, he was addicted to gambling and he borrowed from the loan sharks. This ended with a finger of his being chopped off, leaving his six-fingered right hand with just five. As such, in terms of outer appearance, he was no different from an ordinary human.
Even though outsiders didn’t know about this secret, Six-fingered Zhang was extremely sensitive to this matter. Thus, he would hide his right hand in his left sleeve whenever he walked about, unwilling to show it to anyone.
This had already become his habit!
‘Nine sons of the dragon, same but different’
It means that even twins can be different in terms of hobby and personality.
It is based off a story which a dragon bore nine sons, but each of them had a different personality.