The assistants around were expressing their overwhelmed excitement, as their eyes seemed to have been bewitched by the beauty of the Lavagold, they were intoxicated. And their eyes, when towards Ye Chong, were showing their highest regards and deepest respect.
Yes, you heard it right. There was more than one assistant, as the crew of Ye Chong had expanded from one single man called Sang Fan to a team of 5 members, whom the chief of the village selected from the young generation and all of them were intelligent and adaptive. Certainly Ye Chong knew the intention of the chief - he wanted more men of his to learn, whether they would learn a little bit or none, from this talented teacher of the outside world. Ye Chong would not reject this, considering having more assistants would do him no actual harm.
The 5 men of his team, despite having a rather weak foundation in their studies, possessed a one-of-a-kind diligence. They were the potential, a clay to be sculptured. Yes, one could agree that there would always be a difference in how talented a person would be compared to others, but that did not mean the innate talent could replace acquiring diligence. Though it did not mean Ye Chong would be motivated enough to teach them from the very first page of his textbook, he did not have the interest for that. Glad that Sang Fan was there to do the talking for him.
While they were progressing incredibly slow on metallurgy, they were learning fairly quick on alchemy, it felt somehow as if they were made for alchemy, which was shocking to Ye Chong. So Sang Fan explained, on one occasion when Ye Chong asked, that everyone here was very much exposed to the norm of distinguishing plants. And yes, the Guan’s approach of alchemy was a product of the ancient botanical knowledge, and most of Ye Chong’s alchemical processes were chiefly related to plants, so no doubt the men were progressing quickly.
And we did it!
Ye Chong gave a sigh of relief. Although he had probably been completely isolated from the modernity while being stuck without the tools to perform even the most fundamental process of mineral extraction, he made it anyway, as he extracted the fluid from Portabella and produced a reagent with it to extract the Lavagold from the ore instead. The joy faded away quickly however, as he calmed down, remembering the fact that… he was in a race of time, where Mu Shang would never be able to last for him in all eternity.
I wonder… if Mu Shang were doing fine… Thought Ye Chong, his mind sinking into a fact that seemed to be changing history anytime.
He bucked up and spoke to Sang Fan, "Bring the chief here."
Sang Fan responded agreeably as he set off sprinting excitingly.
The piece of Lavagold flowed from one assistant to another, and every one of them was more than enthralled to see their breakthrough.
Ye Chong was pondering at the side. Yes, they did extract Lavagold successfully but it remained as a problem if they could massively extract and produce these golds. He did inquire Sang Fan on Portabella, the Sang’s response was… Portabella was a common fungi indeed but not common enough in numbers, as it only grew within the gravity region. Assuming they had to go with the Lavagold option, the supply of Portabella would be an issue.
Noises poured from the outside suddenly, as a group of people flooded into the place, with the leading one, of course, the chief himself, while Sang Pu and Sang Ling tailed right behind.
"Did you get it sir?" Sang Pu could no longer hold his excitement, his voice was shaking, Sang Ling was also expressing that mesmerization towards Ye Chong.
"Mhm," nodded Ye Chong as he turned his head to the few assistants. And Sang De the really old shifted his sight along with Ye Chong’s head and landed upon that piece of glittering precious resting in one of the assistant’s hands. The old man’s eyes sure were large, as his breathing intensified. The assistant went to the chief and passed him the Lavagold with both hands solemnly.
Loud gasps were heard in the room, along with few waves of whispers.
The old chief reached his trembling hands over that piece of beauty. His hands were so shaky that Ye Chong was worried if the chief, at this rate, would have funeral a week from today.
He had to admit that, the Lavagold was truly a beauty to behold, even for someone who had seen countless jewels and mineralites like Ye Chong, as he could imagine himself bowing before this piece of gorgeous. So it would not be far-fetched to see one man isolated from the world like Sang De the chief dramatically reacting towards Lavagold. But well, Ye Chong was more concerned about its functionality rather than its beauty. Lavagold was limited in number within the 5 major galaxies, and so were the researches about it, even the information in Mu’s databank only contained a very vaguely described entry on it. Ye Chong did test out its functionality, briefly, of course. It could never be precisely accurate, but he believed in the excellence of this piece that it would surpass the alloys containing Black Gold.
Ye Chong learned a lot from the extraction process using alchemy’s approach this time. Lots of stuffs regarding alchemy suddenly made very much sense to him ever since.
"Sir…" Spoke Sang Ling, "Why does the metal look… a little different than the color of the mechs in shrine?"
"Why must the metal have the same colors as the mech from shrine?" asked Ye Chong, bewildered.
"Because… weren’t mechs from the Sanctuary made out of metals too?" The villagers could see Ye Chong slamming himself towards the ground.
Pure ignorance! Oh my Fal galaxy… Ye Chong looked at the breasts of Sang Ling. And one word, an odd terminology from Shang returned to his mind… what was it again? Dumb blonde? Wait, that was discriminative Shang said… Oh. Bimbo. Yeah. I guess it fits her."Brainless with great peaks!" Shang once said, hmmm... wow, first time a word from Shang that made logical sense, Shang actually wasn’t talking meaningless crap the whole time…
And out of sudden… he missed the artificial indulgence.
The inappropriate gaze of Ye Chong was sending blushes over her face.
"Well…" And Ye Chong whispered his explanation, "This metal is known as the ‘Lavagold’. The mech inside the shrine uses a metal known as the ‘Tritanium’, an alloy." The team of assistants, including Sang Fan, all took out a handy notebook from their pocket and jotted down the lesson of the day. And everybody else was stupefied by their synchronicity.
"So sir, what exactly is Tritanium? Which one is better? Lavagold or Tritanium?" asked Sang Fan courteously, while the other assistants were listening.
"Find it out yourself. The processor is there." Ye Chong was too lazy to elaborate, "For your information, Tritanium had been a goner since 300 years ago."
The diligence of the 5 young men was a satisfying sight to the chief, he spoke, "All of you shall learn something from your teacher. He is a very talented teacher and every word of his could count, learn even the tiniest bit of it and you would live with it for the rest of your life."
"Yes!" The group hurriedly showed their approval. The little instance resolved that awkward situation of Sang Ling just now.
Sang Pu received the Lavagold from the chief and exerted brute force on it. The piece did not change at all! Not even a mark of his fingerprint! "Great!" Exclaimed Sang Pu and the whispers brewed again among the villagers as they stretched their neck, desperately trying to have a better look at that piece of precious.
"Sir, would it be possible…" Sang Pu’s eyes were passionate, "for sir to turn this into a weapon?" The very question got everybody else as they held their respiration simultaneously, the hustle and bustled settled out of the blue.
Right, making a weapon had always been the primary concern of every Sang.
The eyes enlarged, the inhalation was intense.
"It’s very likely."
And everyone was hurrahing for the talent.
The old chief was delighted, very delighted, as his voice shook, "G-great… whatever sir did, shall never be forgotten among our tribe. All of us, from one generation to another, shall never disregard the bestow sir made!"
Ye Chong was not taking that compliment happily, since obviously that piece of Lavagold would hardly do something if it was never possible to be massively produced in the first place.
"Hmmm…" Ye Chong spoke to the chief, "I did not expect the supply of Lavagold could be this rich, but I would need more Portabella mushrooms if I were to produce weapons."
"Porta…bella?" asked the chief, certainly he did not get it.
"Yes, Portabella," nodded Ye Chong, "Its fluid would be the main material to extract Lavagold from its ore. But as far as I know, the amount of Portabella was not motivating here."
"Hmmm…" The chief pondered, "Now that is some problem."
"C-chief!" One hoarse voice rang from the crowd, "It’s not a problem!" A shriveled looking elderly walked to the front, the strands of beard were giving him some unfriendliness…
Ye Chong’s stare was strange so the chief quickly made an introduction, "This is our healer, Sang Ru Bei, also the most knowledgeable man regarding plants."
That pair of little eyes of Sang Ru Bing shone, "I had researched on Portabella mushrooms for some time. They do grow solely within the strong gravity boundary, but cultivating it would not be challenging. We could take a few gravity region as a cultivation for Portabella."
"Fair enough! I’ll have you do lead the job! You could take anyone in the village for you. Just make sure the Portabellas are coming!" the chief decisively stated.
"Yes chief," replied Sang Ru Bei politely.
"Sir…" asked the chief, "I wonder would it be possible to make one weapon with the Lavagold now…?"
Ye Chong hesitated a moment… "Hmm, this piece of Lavagold is a bit too small to make a full metallic weapon. I could make it into a few blades for your spear, just tie it on the bitterwoods."
"As you have suggested," responded the chief.
"Now…" Ye Chong turned to his assistants, "Reagent No.1 and No.3, Powdered Emerald and Powdered Zinc."
The assistants began moving. Swiftly they brought the reagents and powdered minerals to their teacher. Although they had yet mastered much on the theoretical part, they had much practical.
Sang Fan quickly placed every utensil on the table for Ye Chong.
The teacher would be actually producing something live! Everyone was interested and nobody was willing to leave, their necks extended, their eyes were glued upon the hands of the master, as they feared missing one moment of the show. They held the breath carefully, fearing their pointless breathing would disrupt the teacher’s production.
Ye Chong placed the Lavagold into a container and poured the reagents one at a time. Very soon after the solid gold melted into a splash of glittering yellow. It did not mix with the reagent however, it just reacted towards it. It felt like magic in the eyes of the villagers, even though it was merely another day of being an alchemist for Ye Chong.
Ye Chong discarded the reagents, leaving the liquid of Lavagold in the container. He then sprinkled Powdered Emerald thoroughly over the surface, which turned the liquid into a gluey texture, fluffy and tangible. It was another beauty… an adorable beauty… thought Sang Ling as she saw the gold dancing like cotton candy in Ye Chong’s hands.
Women could say no to cutesy things.
The other villagers were so amazed that they did not even blink their eyes.
Ye Chong’s expression remained unchanged, as he mumbled, "Mold," after 30 seconds.
Sang Fan passed the mold to Ye Chong immediately.
He took the mold and sprinkled the interior with Powdered Zinc, while his other hand lifted a piece of polished wood chip and sliced one piece of Lavagold jelly. He then took a pair of pliers, made out of wood of course, picked the jelly and stuffed it into the mold. A firm press was given and any portion beyond the mold was sliced off by the chip.
3 minutes passed, Ye Chong lifted the mold and gently tilted it over the table.
Klink! A blade fell out of the mold, giving a clear sound on the table. Ye Chong took the blade and wiped the zinc off the surface. The blade was glowing in Lava Gold.
"Done. Now, just give a nice polish on the blade itself."
The villagers were staring at the Lavagold spearhead, blatantly overjoyed but they behaved themselves when they turned their head over Ye Chong, blatantly respectful.
Humans… were always the frightened kind in front of the unknown.
"So…" Ye Chong looked at the remaining jellies, "Have a try too," he said to his assistants, asking them to be a part of the cycle of Lavagold, from solid to liquid, liquid to solid.