His eyes discerned a piece of microchip laying on the table nearby. That should be it, the gift which Lunatic Guan left for Ye Chong, as mentioned by Shang. He grabbed the chip and inserted it into the processor sitting at one spot of the room. A visual of Lunatic Guan was projected on the hologram after that.
"Oh, my Little Ye, my Ye boy, *Zzt* I simply did not foresee these much of surprise from you. Mhm, I had gotten what I wanted to know from your mouth. *Zzt* Thank you again, Ye my boy. If it wasn’t you, I would have taken forever to find my beloved sister. *Zzzt* The good old me is in search of my younger sister now! *Zzzzt*
*Zzzt* Hehehe, Ye, my sweet, my lovely, you are greater than I had ever expected. Looks like I had really underestimated you way too much. *Zzzt* Kekeke, you know it by heart, that I always have something for potent men like you. *Zzzt*
Regarding that necklace, don’t worry, *Zzzzt* I’ll have it, in exchange for a little~gift~ I left~ for my s-w-e-e-t Ye boy~ You would love it! *Zzzt* Yes, yes, I finally got some clues on my sister’s whereabouts and I’m not letting it slip through my fingers. *Zzzt* Also, Ye, again, thank you for saving my sister, even though you did not intend to save her.
*Zzzt* Lastly… Hmmm, what should I say to conclude this love letter to my boy? Okay.
Take care, my juicy fruity pie! *Zzzt* Oh, I almost forgot, I hope that you would learn from your lesson after this. Always be alert when you’re facing ones from the Alchemy, *Zzzt* be it like an old but charming lady like me, promise me, okay? Kekekekekekekekekekeke!"
Lunatic Guan was holding her glass in the visual, cheekily she swung her glass, a gesture for her version of "cheers" to end her regards. The visual was immediately terminated afterwards. And right when Ye Chong was going to leave, Zzzt! The processor prompted, "More data has been discovered, perform Reading?"
Ye Chong was stupefied at first and he quickly regained himself, "Yes. Perform Reading!"
1% ))))) 15% ))))) 40% ))))) 75% ))))) 100%
Ye Chong finally understood what the so-called "gift" from Lunatic Guan was after the processor had done playing everything. The chip generally contained the ent
ire syllabus of the Alchemy course for Ye Chong, with every single section prepared wholeheartedly by Lunatic Guan herself. And Ye Chong, without doubt, could master the course all by himself with the help of this chip, although… "Man, this is quite a long course…" The size of the syllabus was beyond his expectation, it was large… larger than Trash Planet Ye Chong assumed, for one second. He hurriedly skimmed through the course structure and he reached for the eject button, "Hold up!" Lunatic Guan’s visual jumped at him.
What else does she want to tell? Ye Chong’s head was jammed with bewilderment.
Unlike the visual before, the Lunatic Guan in the hologram this time was sterner than her usual self, "Little Ye, technically, I actually did not have the intention of providing you the following information… but you are my only student, my only apprentice to my succession while you seemed to be in quite a sticky situation. Thus, I decided to keep this for you, although I’m not certain if it would be useful for you, hopefully it would at least. However, there’s one thing you have to remember by heart, likewise to my other advice before, this is equally important - do not, never ever be overly dependent on it. The only thing you could depend on is the knowledge you mastered all by yourself, no aid, no shortcut, nothing else. You have great talents, I must admit. If you keep up the good works, you would one day indeed, surpass me and become the best chemist in history of alchemy. Kek… though I don’t think I’ll live to witness that…" Her smile was bitter, bitter than the white wine on a funeral night.
"I know, Ye my boy, you want to leave the Orbits. Kekekeke, wonder why would I know? Well, you would know it after learning everything I have tailored for you. If you got out successfully, yes, Ye my boy, ‘if’ you got out, could you please… do this good old me a favor, head to L. Shaft City on Planet Guang Hua for me? It’s Line Shaft City in full… And remember! It must be done only after you finished my course. While… for me… I don’t think I would ever be able to leave this place… My only last wish was to see my sister again. Mhm, Little Ye, may the odds be with both of us! Oh yeah, please don’t forget to tell your master the formulae of the strengthening liquids he wanted, that was probably what he really expected you to learn from me anyway! Don’t disappoint him!"
The voice of her last syllable trailed off as the visual vanished instantly. Beep. A window prompted on the processor, "The Guan’s Automatic Analysis Mechanism has been activated. Please insert the main ingredient and final request."
Ye Chong’s eyes were fixed at the demonstration on the hologram in blank dismay.
"Fantastic! Magnifique! Ye, this Lady Guan is marvelous! See! Ye, like what I had told you earlier, Lady Guan is absolutely a beauty who wields both appearance and wisdom! Tsk, tsk, tsk, I can’t believe there are humans able to produce such a self-analytical system. Genius I must say! And very gorgeous too! Ye, how many times have I suggested you before? You should have hooked up with her! But did you listen to me? Nooooo! Great, guess what? Such a bright and demure lady had gone to nowhere! Tell me where are you going to find a replacement?" Shang sounded truly agonized in his tone…
The words obviously did not go through Ye Chong’s mind. In actuality, he was utterly dumbfounded by the invention, as never once in his life he would see someone being able to make something like this, especially when it was based on expertise of alchemy. And no chemist gain their skillfulness from text books, they have and always have been gaining it from experience, since a majority of the concept behind the working of alchemy was unknown to mankind, they could solely depend on their experience to identify a certain kind of pattern, formula, combination that would work in consistency. And this was why those ancient families of aristocrats stood a better chance to dig much deeper into this profession than the folks, as their forebears had accumulated much more experience as well as expertise throughout the ages.
The program before Ye Chong however, had broken the thumb rule of the field. Ye Chong could be a total illiterate towards the workaround of processor but for the basic fundamentality of it, he knew it better than anybody else. This program was unquestionably the outcome of a kind of calculation, with basis on a kind of known theory, an identified pattern, a string of formula and they were clear, clear enough to run a program. If it was a fuzzy theory founded by experience, there would be no way for a motherboard-and-circuits to process it and provide calculated judgement based on requests.
How would such innovation not shock our Ye Chong? Right when everyone else in the galaxy assumed how a chemist was built upon experience than knowledge, this half-drunken, half-mad, half-conscious drinker namely Lunatic Guan had already hit the core of the whole profession!
"Mhm… Ye. So she wanted you to go to Planet Guang Hua. By common sense, that should be where her home was located. Well, Ye, how about we just hit the road, get to her place and see if there were any close relative like her sisters for instance, be them younger or elder, you could consider taking them if they were not bad. Sigh… By the way, such a perfect lass isn’t something you could see on the street everyday, Ye… Gosh, my heart, my pitiful heart, all shattered into a milky way of depression," he carried on his own play, Shang cried out in pain.
"Hmm, so how does this mechanism work? I wonder…"
Those cheesy lines did not reach Ye Chong though.
Ye Chong was excited after the shock. He could not wait to validate the capability of the mechanism, as he connected the processor to the analysis system as instructed by the manual.
"There’s always one thing I wanted to know," muttered Ye Chong as he pulled out the Do-Kun stone from his belongings. As what Mu Shang had stated before, this stone was certainly rare and chances were Lunatic Guan might had never come across such piece before. Only an unknown sample could effectively trial the applicability of the Guan’s automatic analysis mechanism.
The moment he took the stone out, the room was tinted by its ever-changing color and glow with a kind of fluidity.
He carefully placed it into the machine and he selected Cultivation with Presets at the Cultivation Methodology section, with the final request being "to achieve growth".
Tick. Tick Tick! Beep!
The machine started running as few mechanical sounds were heard, a variety of data were refreshing rapidly. Sadly like Lunatic Guan had mentioned, he had yet mastered the very gist of alchemy, he only managed to recognize the meanings of a few variables shown in the data. The mechanism was running and morphing… And Ye Chong had the slightest idea on what was going on. "The only thing you could depend on is the knowledge you mastered all by yourself, no aid, no shortcut, nothing else," Lunatic Guan’s voice echoed in his head. Well it seemed like there was assuredly a need to master the syllabus in the chip. Ye Chong made up his mind.
Beep Beep Beep. Beep.
10 minutes or so had lapsed, the morphing process in the program finally ended. A result was projected on the screen along with mechanical voices briefing the content, "Request achievable. Ingredients required : Kong Stone, Milles Radices(grass), Sand of Rolling Tides, Softening Factor #13, Fique Crystal…"
Ye Chong had no idea what he had just heard, as his eyes went large like saucers. Other than the softening factor, the remaining materials sounded alien to him. No way he would be able to validate the reliability of the machine under a scenario like this.
Nonetheless, the fact that the mechanism was able to produce such result was convincing enough to Ye Chong.
After a bit of pondering, he was still keen to insert the entire content of this chip right into Mu Shang. Imagine if he accidentally dropped it somewhere someday, there would be no cure for him to remedy his tormenting regrets.
Judging by Lunatic Guan’s words, it seemed like she had known quite a few stuffs about Ye Chong himself. The heck happened? Ye Chong was left in the dark. He was only sure of the fact that that bottle of Red Liquor had something to do with Lunatic Guan. She said she was in search of her sister… Could that Zhu Ling, the girl he met that day be her younger sister? Ye Chong tried to recall the impression she left in his mind… but then… "Man, it’s like two different persons from a total different corner of galaxy… are you sure they are related…?"
Ye Chong deployed Shang and rolled into the cabin. He inserted the chip right into the processor next, since to Ye Chong, there was no other safe place like Shang’s databank in this world.
"So Shang…" Ye Chong initiated, "What had happened when I was unconscious?"
Mu Shang had always been conscious all times, everything in Ye Chong’s surrounding would never escape their detection.
"See it yourself. I can’t explain it," said Shang as he played back the imagery he detected.
The hologram was of high-definition, crystal-clear it was in recording everything that had happened to Ye Chong. In the visual, Ye Chong suddenly collapsed… That was the moment Lunatic Guan stormed into the room and had produced a very strange kind of purple reagent. And Ye Chong was very confident that he did not recognize that reagent. He then saw Lunatic Guan hung the tube of reagent right below his nose.
And that was when the creepiest moment happened. Ye Chong, despite being unconscious, sat up, in the state of trance, his eyes were soulless and Lunatic Guan began asking a few questions. Ye Chong answered all her inquiries sincerely and immediately. Throughout the process, Ye Chong looked empty on his expression, his eyes zoned out completely, literally like a puppet on strings. His mouth would utter the answer obediently.
Creepy! This is too creepy!
The visual sent chills down to his spines. He could blatantly feel goosebumps came rolling all over his body uncontrollably, while his head was running cold.
This is too scary!
[*] Translator's Note:
Milles Radices literally meant Multiple Roots in Latin, which was the original name of the plant in Chinese 多根草 (Many-Roots-Grass). As most of the terms in science today are made in Latin, we decided to stick to Latin naming too.