Chapter 67 – Alchemy King
Amidst Godslayer of Yore and Nie Yan’s farewell, two players near the entrance of the Alchemist Guild erupted into a heated argument. One of the quarrelers, a young man who looked barely twenty, wore plain cotton clothing and the Alchemist Guild’s badge on his chest. His level was low, so most likely he was only an apprentice in the guild. The other quarreler, an Elementalist who looked to be in his thirties, wore equipment of much higher quality. Tall and robust, he dwarfed his opposition so much that the Apprentice Alchemist seemed like a child.
“The failure in concocting isn’t my fault this time!”
“Not your fault? Are you implying it’s mine!?”
“Yes! They set me up to fail when I was concocting!”
“Peh! Our captain provided you with so many ingredients, yet they were all turned into useless garbage. We can’t even recoup our losses! I heard you got lucky and learned some sort of hidden skill. Good, get lucky and get out of my sight before I make you eat shit too!” Obscenities and curses poured out of the Elementalist’s mouth. The moment he finished speaking, he slapped the Apprentice Alchemist in the face and knocked several alchemy tools and other items to the ground.
The slap sent the Apprentice Alchemist tumbling down the guild entrance staircase. As he lay sprawled out, he lifted his head and hatefully glared at the Elementalist.
“Ahhh!? What the hell are you staring at? You got something to say? Keep staring and I’ll make you eat the dirt even harder! Get lost!” The Elementalist’s eyes bulged out of their sockets as he glared threateningly at the Apprentice Alchemist.
The Apprentice Alchemist glanced at the Elementalist once more. Eventually, he lowered his eyes and silently collected his tools off the floor.
“Bitch!” The Elementalist stamped on the Apprentice Alchemist’s chest and knocked him back to the ground. The Apprentice Alchemist didn’t retaliate; he remained silent, simply staggering back to his knees and continued picking up his things.
“Isn’t he too much of a pushover? After being kicked, he didn’t even make a sound!” Godslayer of Yore couldn’t help voicing his opinion. The scene had left a bad taste in his mouth.
“The way he dealt with the situation isn’t wrong. Right now, he probably has no choice but to endure. I believe by the time he rises in standing, it still won’t necessarily be too late for him to retaliate,” Nie Yan said with a peculiar expression in his eye. Despite taking on the abuse, the determination still hadn’t faded from the Apprentice Alchemist’s eyes. Those who could patiently tolerate were especially terrifying.
Godslayer of Yore tilted his head back to look at Nie Yan. Those words took him by surprise. Nie Yan was likely someone similar to himself, a person who refused to be on the short end of the stick. If anyone were to offend him, then they would definitely be met with an appropriate retaliation. However, Godslayer of Yore suddenly saw Nie Yan’s expression change to pleasant surprise. He was gazing at the apprentice Alchemist like he found some kind of treasure.
“So it was him… It really is true; be they enemies or friends, both are bound to be met on a narrow path!” Nie Yan muttered to himself in a low voice. He recognized this Apprentice Alchemist, but it wasn’t because they were friends. No, rather they were enemies. If things stayed on course, this person would eventually become one of Victorious Return’s most faithful dogs. In his original timeline, over a tenth of Victorious Return’s various high-level potions, pills, tonics, and other concoctions were prepared by this one person; several of which could only be concocted by him.
Nie Yan had suffered heavily due to the oppressive manpower Victorious Return possessed, but those vile concoctions were also one of the factors that led to his many defeats. While in the wilderness, he had once encountered a squadron of Victorious Return members. At that time, he was unaware those players were escorting this Alchemist on a quest, and usually, he and his friends wouldn’t be at a disadvantage when facing off against such a group. However, beyond their imaginations, each and every one of those players had taken out some crafty, eccentric pill that bolstered their combat power by many times. Under the effects of those pills, he and his friends were beaten to a wretched state.
The Apprentice Alchemist before him was called Bird Leaves No Eggs. Owing to the fact that his name was unpleasant to the ears, as the “Bird” in his name could also be read as “Penis,” the members of Victorious Return didn’t feel comfortable addressing him directly by name. Thus, they gave him the nickname of Alchemy King. This title was rather suitable, considering the numerous contributions his concoctions brought to the guild.
However, at this moment, Bird was merely an Apprentice Alchemist. He had just been kicked, both literally and figuratively, out of the Dark Hero guild. In a month’s time, Victorious Return would recruit and attach great importance to him due to their guild leader showing him kindness and recognizing his worth. This was the reason for his unwavering loyalty and dedication to the guild. In other words, he was a person who did have somewhat of a moral compass.
Even if he’s the Alchemy King, he’s only an Apprentice Alchemist right now… Whether he’ll be worth the investment remains to be seen. Nie Yan pondered for a while. Bird’s success wouldn’t have been possible without Victorious Return’s generous support. They had supplied him with an ample amount of alchemic ingredients and slowly nurtured him until he became the Alchemy King in both title and ability, to the extent his name resounded throughout the entire Atlanta continent.
After considering his current financial resources, Nie Yan decided fostering the Alchemy King would pose absolutely no problems. If he wished to succeed in the future, he needed to slowly build up his influence in the present. He wanted to set up his own line of businesses in the game: an alchemy store, equipment shop, auction house… he couldn’t lack a single one. However, what he was in most urgent need of was talented people, and fortunately, an opportunity to recruit one such person had presented itself. He felt taking Bird under his wing would undoubtedly be the correct choice.
The Elementalist departed after abusing Bird a few more times, his mouth still spitting out obscenities as he walked away.
While Bird picked up his tools, he lifted his head and coldly swept his gaze over the Elementalist’s back.
A few moments later…
“Hey! What was that Elementalist’s name?” Nie Yan asked as he walked up to Bird’s side. He slightly bent his knees and overlooked Bird who was still tidying up the mess.
“Razor. Why does this concern you?” Bird glanced at Nie Yan.
“It concerns me because it concerns you. Tell me, don’t you feel humiliated? Don’t you want revenge? However, you’re powerless, and those without power are destined to walk down the path of being disdained by others. Follow me, and I can have them see you in a different light. I can make them regret ever offending you with today’s actions.”
“Why should I trust you?” Bird replied in a suspicious tone. He raised his head and stared at Nie Yan with sharp focus. He couldn’t comprehend such a sudden appearance. A stranger had just walked up to him and wanted to recruit him after a single exchange. Wasn’t that just a little bit too conspicuous and bizarre?
“My intuition is telling me you’re not some sort of useless waste. After being kicked out of your guild, you probably feel quite resentful, correct? Well… I just wanted to see if you had the determination and ability to confirm that assessment. Besides, you’re broke and have nothing to your name. From the moment I approached, I had nothing to gain in scamming you, no?” Nie Yan finished his speech, turned around, and began walking away.
During his departure, he anticipated the moment when Bird would run up from behind and catch up. If this was the Alchemy King he knew from the past, then Bird wouldn’t let this opportunity slip by once it presented itself in front of him.
Nie Yan faintly smiled.
Bird had resolved himself when he saw Nie Yan’s back farther and farther away, his expression betraying the conflicting emotions in his heart. He had just been miserably humiliated and shunned by the Dark Hero guild. This was a disgrace he would never forget. He held an extreme wariness towards Nie Yan, because he wasn’t completely clear on his intentions. Moreover, the sudden appearance was rather odd. Despite this, one point remained certain—he was completely broke and penniless. Even his funds in real life were barely enough for him to live for two or three more months before being kicked out. Those who walked in bare feet didn’t fear others in shoes; in other words, he had nothing to lose so he wasn’t afraid. So what if he was swindled? What other choice did he have?
Belonging to the lowest rung of society, he was a cockroach who held the will to survive. As long as someone gave him a lifeline to hold onto, he would continue to live on.
Bird struggled back onto his feet and followed Nie Yan.
Godslayer of Yore witnessed all the entire course of events while still sitting beside his items laid on the ground. He stared pensively at their receding silhouette and felt that Nie Yan’s ambitions couldn’t be satisfied by merely forming a team. However, this was good as well. There would be plenty of shade under a big tree. Increased influence also came with increased benefits.
“What do you want me to do?” Bird asked, while following Nie Yan’s footsteps. Besides concocting, there was nothing else he was good at. Even then, he would still end up messing up the simplest of recipes when creating medicines. He couldn’t count how many materials he ended up squandering. If not, why else would he have been kicked from his guild?
“Naturally, it’s still concocting. Out of curiosity, what was that hidden skill that Elementalist mentioned?” Nie Yan asked, while continuing to walk.
“After successfully concocting a potion, pill, tonic, or other medicines, there’s a two percent chance of strengthening its effects.” Bird quickened his footsteps. As he followed from behind, he didn’t know why but he had a strong premonition, from the moment he decided to chase after Nie Yan, that his destiny had subtly changed. He didn’t know what the future held, whether it was good or bad, but he was sure of one thing… He had already made his choice, and he was going to walk down the path he chose.