The Human Emperor - Chapter 116: Change in the Royal Court!
“I truly don’t understand why gongzi is so persistent on this matter. Given the Wang Clan’s standing, aren’t you taking too big of a risk?”
Six-fingered Zhang took a deep breath. For a person like Wang Chong who knew of their secret, it wasn’t an option to simply let him go, and killing him was out of the question. The only solution was to bring him into the organization.
Even though the secret alchemist organization wasn’t open to strangers, and outsiders were rarely inducted, the situation wasn’t completely hopeless.
“Wang Chong, I don’t have any way for you to join the organization. However, if you only wish to obtain a few pills, there’s an opportunity for you. However, the price will be slightly expensive, so the choice is up to you.”
Six-fingered Zhang sighed.
“What opportunity is it?”
Wang Chong’s eyes lit up, and he spoke almost instantaneously.
At the very least, he didn’t waste so much time and money for nothing, having earned himself a shot at this matter.
“The alchemist organization always has some slots reserved for outsiders. However, these slots aren’t for true collaborators so the holders of these slots won’t be considered as members of our organization, and at the very most, they can only be thought of as external partners.”
“We call these slots ‘Shadows’. The number of Shadows is always fixed but a vacancy has appeared recently. I can find a way to put you in, but the price for the slot of a Shadow is expensive, and very possibly, the price may be beyond your expectations. Are you sure that you want it?”
Six-fingered Zhang asked doubtfully.
“How much does it cost?”
Wang Chong asked.
“Two hundred thousand taels! Gold taels!”
Six-fingered Zhang answered seriously.
At this moment, Wang Chong’s face slightly darkened. He knew that there was a steep threshold to enter the organization but he didn’t expect for it to be that high.
Two hundred thousand gold taels was a huge sum for most powers. Even for some of the prestigious clans, it was a price they were unable to bear.
Even if an alchemist was willing to induct them, most people wouldn’t be able to afford the entrance fee of two hundred thousand gold taels.
If not for Wang Chong earning a huge sum of money off the Hyderabad ores, he would have never been able to utilize the organization.
This was something way beyond the reach of ordinary people.
The threshold of this organization consisting of alchemists from the royal palace and the kings’ residences was so high that most could only look at it from afar.
“… Furthermore, this two hundred thousand gold taels only grants you the right to purchase pills. It won’t make you a member, and if you wish to purchase pills, you will have to fork out more money.”
Six-fingered Zhang said.
“Furthermore, if you were to buy pills as a Shadow, the price will be significantly higher than the market price. Even so, do you wish to go ahead with it?”
The secret alchemist organization had much stricter rules than anyone could have expected. Just like the royal palace, every single pill forged had an initial number, and as such, even Six-fingered Zhang wasn’t able to circumvent the system.
If he was caught trying to play the system, what would await him was a plight worse than death. The powerful influence that these alchemists were connected to was more than sufficient to make him die a thousand times over.
Thus, Six-fingered Zhang didn’t recommend Wang Chong to do so.
A determined voice sounded in the room.
Six-fingered Zhang trembled violently as he stared at Wang Chong in shock.
“I said that I’m fine with it!”
Wang Chong smiled. There wasn’t the slightest hesitation in his expression.
“It’s two hundred thousand! Furthermore, if they find something wrong with your identity, they can strip you of your qualifications anytime they wish. Even so, you wish to go ahead with it?”
Six-fingered Zhang was shocked.
“Of course! Why should I reject the slot?”
Wang Chong smiled.
If it was his previous self, he would have never agreed to paying two hundred thousand gold taels. This was almost like a scam. He was spending an astronomical sum to buy himself an outer seat which could be taken away from him any moment.
However, knowing about the impending catastrophe, Wang Chong knew that no matter how much money he had, it would just become a pile of useless metal that couldn’t even be eaten in the future.
How he could best utilize this ‘metal’ to maximize his profit was what he should be thinking of.
“I will hand you two hundred thousand gold taels tomorrow. Also, Shen Hai and Meng Long will pass you thirty thousand gold taels later for your effort.”
Wang Chong smiled.
Six-fingered Zhang couldn’t say a single word more. Wang Chong’s reaction completely differed from his expectations. He realized that he might have severely underestimated this youngster from the very start.
“Since gongzi has already made up your mind, I won’t say anymore. Give me a few days, I will settle this matter for you. Also, upon becoming a Shadow, you can request for a pill of your choosing. As long as it isn’t too much or too valuable, we will try our best to satisfy you.”
“Have you already thought of what pill you want?”
Six-fingered Zhang asked.
“Tiger Bone Divine Pill!”
“I see. I understand.”
Six-fingered Zhang was stunned for a moment before nodding his head:
“I will inform gongzi once I receive any news on the matter.”
Six-fingered Zhang swiftly left, bringing away two hundred and thirty thousand gold taels along with him.
Six-fingered Zhang was much more efficient than Wang Chong had expected. On the night of the second day, Six-fingered Zhang sent a servant to deliver him news:
The two hundred thousand gold taels has been accepted, and Wang Chong is officially acknowledged to be a Shadow!
As a Shadow, he couldn’t contact any alchemist; only the alchemists could contact him. Also, Shadows could only buy a maximum of three pills every month, but they had to meet a quota of purchasing six pills every year or else their qualification as a Shadow would be revoked.
The purpose of this was to limit the pills a Shadow could buy while testing their financial ability. If a Shadow couldn’t even buy six pills in a year, he wouldn’t be a collaborator worth working with.
“I’ve finally succeeded! To think that I spent nearly three hundred thousand gold taels just for this small card!”
Wang Chong stared at the purplish-gold card before him. It was around two fingers wide, and it was exquisitely made. On one side, there was a picture of purple flames accompanied with black shadows.
This was the mark of a ‘Shadow’.
Wang Chong had heard of this mysterious organization in his previous life, but this was his first time coming into contact with it.
Despite paying so much money, he only became an outer member whose qualification could be stripped at any moment.
The threshold and security of the organization were truly frightening!
“At least it wasn’t for nothing!”
Sitting in his study, Wang Chong glanced at a wooden box on the table. A concentrated aroma of a pill drifted from the box.
Different from the Body Tempering Pill and Bone Forging Pill, this pill was extremely fragrant. If one were to take a closer look, one could even see faint purple mist coming out from the box.
Instead of scattering into the surroundings, the mist lingered around the pill.
Even in his previous life, the Tiger Bone Divine Pill was an extremely famous pill. It would be impossible to find it anywhere else other than the royal palace and the kings’ residences.
Opening the box, Wang Chong took out a round pill cloaked with a purple aura. Gudong, he swallowed it. In an instant, a strong gale blew in the study, and vaguely, the roar of a tiger could be heard. Then, everything fell silent.
After an unknown period of time, pilipala, the sound of bone creaking could be heard from Wang Chong’s body.
“I’ve finally succeeded!”
Wang Chong abruptly stood up and opened his eyes. A fearsome light emanated from his eyes, and a significantly stronger aura could be felt from his body.
This aura was savage, majestic, and proud, as though a ferocious tiger prowling for its prey.
When one’s root bone reached Tiger Bone, one’s strength and endurance would increase immensely. One wouldn’t run out of strength quickly after a swift burst movement, unlike with Panther Bone.
The chase of a tiger would never stop at just hundred meters. It would continue pursuing its prey ceaselessly.
Even though a Tiger Bone cultivator couldn’t match up with a true ferocious tiger, and there was a huge difference between the resilience of the bones as well, it was still an immense improvement from the Panther Bone.
Wang Chong could feel strength filling his entire body, and without a doubt, it had increased by a substantial amount.
“I can finally start cultivating Ire of the Barbaric God!”
Wang Chong exhaled deeply.
It was just the most fundamental Tiger Bone 1-dan but it was sufficient for Wang Chong to start cultivating Ire of the Barbaric God.
The sutra for Ire of the Barbaric God flashed across Wang Chong’s head and he sat on the floor crossed-legs.
——The first step to cultivating Ire of the Barbaric God, kneading energy!
Just when Wang Chong was immersed in cultivating Ire of the Barbaric God, in the Great Tang royal court, the Consort Taizhen incident was causing a huge uproar. Nearly all of the officials of the Great Tang were roped into the affair.
“No! No matter what, I must stop His Majesty!”
Early in the morning, King Song slammed on his table and abruptly stood up. The Consort Taizhen incident was at a crucial point but contrary to his expectations, there didn’t seem to be much development on the matter in the royal court.
Despite countless memorials from the officials, including several myriad character appeal, had been delivered, His Majesty seemed to be adamant on this affair, refusing to listen to anyone’s advice.
Whenever an official brought up this affair in the royal court, the Sage Emperor’s complexion would immediately turn incredibly awful. The Sage Emperor had displayed astonishing determination in the matter regarding Consort Taizhen.
This was unprecedented.
In the past, even if His Majesty disagreed with the opinions of the officials, he wouldn’t make a stand easily. However, he seemed to be bizarrely adamant on this matter.
“Lu Ting, prepare yourself. Later, during the morning assembly, help me contact the other officials to prepare another petition. No matter what, we have to change His Majesty’s mind!”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
Lu Ting replied calmly, but his eyes reflected worry. The current situation was getting more and more disadvantageous toward King Song, but the person in question seemed to be oblivious to it.
However, the matter regarding Consort Taizhen involved the fundamental responsibility of a subordinate. Even Lu Ting was unable to persuade him on this.
“The imperial edict arrives! ——”
Just when King Song had finished dressing up and was preparing to head for the royal palace for the morning assembly, a change abruptly occurred. Right when he was walking toward the entrance of his residence, a high-pitched voice sounded.
In the blink of an eye, a pale-faced, white-haired, beardless, middle-aged eunuch with an inexplicable feminine aura walked toward him with a golden scroll in his hands.
The middle-aged eunuch glanced at King Song, and there was clear scorn in his eyes.
Upon seeing this eunuch, King Song’s face darkened. He immediately bowed.
“King Song, receive the imperial edict!”
“In place of the heavens, the emperor proclaims: King Song has been too worried about national affairs and overexerted himself so he is specially excused to rest well at home. Thus, there is no need for him to attend today’s morning assembly! End of the edict.”
As though a bolt of lightning had struck his head, King Song’s face turned pale. He stood blankly in front of his residence, unable to speak a single word!