Was he an alchemist? Wang Meng looked at Ye Chong’s slender physique, and believed that it must be so.
"Do you have any alchemy apparatus here?" Ye Chong turned to Wang Meng and asked. "As I thought," Wang Meng thought to himself. The guy was really an alchemist. That seemed to explain why he was the leader of this group.
He considered the examined information for a moment, but replied the man quickly, "Yes, I’ll bring you to them when we get back."
Alchemists might not be as popular as combat experts or mentalists here, but it was still a respected occupation. Almost all medicine were produced by them. A group with an alchemist would have better odds surviving.
In the free space zone, alchemists were much scarcer than combat experts and mentalists. Knowledge succession in alchemy was also more stringently conducted compared to combat experts and mentalists. An established alchemist would never take more than five students in their life. Only the longstanding aristocratic families of alchemy would have special education programs, which led to a larger number of alchemists. This was why all powerful tribes would try to recruit capable alchemists.
"What are you trying to synthesize?" Fei Si was curious. This was the first time she had spoken after so many days. Unlike Ye Chong, she was a professional alchemist with years of experience. She had wanted to stay in the starship to continue her research on the H virus. After all, the chips that Ye Chong brought from the underground base had enough content to keep her occupied for a long while. However, under Old Jalopy’s insistence, she had followed the group to the shore. She took a glance at the item that Ye Chong had bought. While she was not familiar with the Guan Family’s alchemy, the basic principles of alchemy remained the same.
Fei Si realized then, "Are you going to do thermal contraction?" The principle of thermal contraction was relatively obscure in modern alchemy. If she was not as knowledgeable as she was in all matters of alchemy, she would not have been able to come to this conclusion. The field of alchemy in He Yue galaxy was in many ways more similar to that of the Five Galaxies.
Ye Chong nodded, "Yes."
Their conversation made Wang Meng’s heart leap in surprise. Who were these people? How could they have two alchemists with them? He could not tell how good these two alchemists were, but it was still rare to find two alchemists in the same group, much less from different schools.
Wang Meng led the group, turning left and right, before finally reaching a straw hut. The hut looked simple, but it had a refreshing scent. Ye Chong was surprised when he recognized it as the smell of whitegrass, as recorded in Lunatic Guan’s chip. The smell of whitegrass had a refreshing effect. Alchemists preferred to have some in their laboratories. However, he scoured through his memories and found that whether it was the laboratories in the Five Galaxies or the He Yue galaxy, he had never seen this whitegrass that Lunatic Guan had described as commonly found.
Now, he had finally found them here.
Wang Meng knocked on the wooden door of the hut for a few times.
The wooden door creaked open, revealing a very ordinary face of a man.
Wang Mang bowed to the man. "Master Yan, I’m so sorry to disturb you. These friends are guests who just arrived yesterday. This friend here hopes to borrow some alchemy apparatus, so I had brought them here. I hope you won’t mind, Master Yan.
This Master Yan studied Ye Chong, and Ye Chong did the same to him. The man looked simply ordinary. A face like that would be hard to notice in the crowd. However, Ye Chong was not fooled by the facade. He could see that his face was also treated, just like his own. This face he saw was only a disguise. However, it was a much more cunning one compared to his own crude treatment.
The other party seemed to realize that Ye Chong’s face was also treated. He smiled and said, "Oh, I didn’t expect to meet someone with similar interests. Please come in." It was impossible to tell his age, and his body looked weak, wrapped in plain clothing. However, an indescribable aura emanated from him. His words also had double meaning, referring both to their profession as alchemists and Ye Chong’s intention of staying hidden.
"Thank you!" Ye Chong nodded in reply and stepped inside, leading the group. Ye Chong knew from his days studying under Lunatic Guan of the many taboos and unwritten rules for alchemists. However, before they entered the free space zone, the relationship between alchemists was nothing like what Lunatic Guan had said, as they were all quite easy to get along with.
Here, however, Ye Chong noticed that those weird things about alchemists that Lunatic Guan had spoken about were actually quite fitting.
Was Lunatic Guan actually from this place? Ye Chong was struck with this thought.
However, he quickly dismissed it. Now was not the time to think about these things.
The straw hut was larger than it seemed from outside, housing all kinds of equipment and apparatus. The brightly colored chemicals in the test tubes had a unique smell, hinting at their strange powers. The field of alchemy seemed shrouded in mystery.
Fei Si stared with a gaping mouth. This was the first time she had seen such primitive alchemy apparatus. There were no photon processors, no fine control devices, no vacuum seal incubators; there was only the simplest of glassware. The ingredients here were also unlike any she was familiar with. There were no purified chemicals, only plants and minerals.
"This is impossible!" She thought to herself, speechless. She knew the history of alchemy like the back of her hand. Alchemy was long separated from alchemy, and had become a field in its own right. But this? This was alchemy in its earliest stages, still fused with botany!
"Feel free to peruse the apparatus here. As for the ingredients," Master Yan glanced at the things that they had bought earlier and continued, laughing, "I believe you’ve brought them yourselves."
The apparatus here were too outdated. Fei Si thought that Ye Chong would definitely reject him, since she cannot imagine doing any real alchemy here.
It was a surprised to her when Ye Chong said, "Thank you!"
He must be crazy! Fei Si stared at Ye Chong in astonishment.
Ye Chong took out the brown nut from his bag. Master Yan was excited to see it. "The brown mistletoe nut, a wonderful thing. Haha, this must be from the Pavilion of Treasures. I’ve had my eyes on it for a long time, but I never had anything the owner’s interested in to exchange for it. He’d rather keep it for himself forever, but I see that you have it now." He sighed a little, envious of Ye Chong.
Wang Meng interrupted, "Master Yan, what’s this brown mistletoe nut used for?" This question was shared by everyone else in the hut. They all knew that the nut was something good, but not what it was good for.
"The brown mistletoe nut is an extremely rare kind of ingredient to produce medicine. One as large as this is even harder to find. It is used to produce top class medication for wounds," Master Yan explained succinctly.
Top grade medication for wounds was highly valuable in the free space zone, where fights often occurred. Here, one could not find the technologically advanced medical treatments available in the Five Galaxies or He Yue galaxy. Having first grade medication would often mean saving one’s life. This was something that every combat expert wished to have with them.
Master Yan noticed that Ye Chong had not began working yet, and was reminded of his own insensitivity. There was an unspoken rule between alchemists, dictating that no alchemist should observe another alchemist working without explicit permission. After all, every school of alchemists had different specializations, and many secret formulae were considered highly valuable.
Master Yan smiled self-consciously and said, "Let’s all wait outside then, so that we do not disturb him." With Ye Chong’s signal of approval, Rui Bing brought everyone else outside. Fei Si was actually very interested in seeing how Ye Chong could do alchemy with the primitive apparatus available, but she never did speak up about it as she quietly followed the rest of the group out of the straw hut.
The brown mistletoe nut was indeed a good ingredient to make medicine for healing wounds, but this was not its only use. Another potential of the nut was to make a strong knockout agent. Once, Ye Chong was on the receiving end of this weapon, as Lunatic Guan had used it to make Ye Chong unconscious in a matter of seconds. The short time for its effects to kick in made it an extremely powerful weapon, and an alchemist’s tool of defense. However, Ye Chong was thinking of something else. If the amount of knockout agent was enough, it could make anyone within a large effective radius unconscious.
The brown mistletoe nut had a unique scent. Ye Chong had a sharp sense of smell. That was why he could smell it from the streets, and entered the Pavilion of Treasures to obtain the brown mistletoe nut. However, he never expected it to be so hue.
Ye Chong stared at the brown mistletoe nut, thinking through everything he knew about the ingredients and steps to synthesize this knockout agent.