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Chapter 400: Adepts in the Dark
"Looking for someone," replied Ye Chong concisely, as usual.
"I see," responded Caravan Leader Yu, with his eyes squinted as he observed Ye Chong's flimsy body, "Alright," said a young man looking for someone in Line Shaft City, he must be either an apperentice in search of a teacher or a young businessman in search of fortunes.

Leader Yu had visited the city frequently enough to learn the fact that it would take tremendous effort to remain standing inside the city. Well, what kind of place L.Shaft City was, you asked? It was the true city of alchemy and about 30% of the alchemist population would prefer squeezing themselves in this tiny city.

Well, the boy sure sounded persistent in his search. He must be looking for an actual somebody in this city. Maybe! Maybe if I get him along, I'll be able to learn somebody great in this city.

Leader Yu knew the underlying value of this better than anybody else. The chances might look slim but it would be a fair deal with little to none investment.

The wise merchant had caught the flipping coin, as he made up his mind.

"The merchant team is leaving in 3 days," smiled Leader Yu, "You would need to make your way here early 3 days later though. I need to do some arrangements after all."

"Arrangement?" Ye Chong was finding the term odd.

See, a greenhorn, as expected. Thought Leader Yu, his expression remained the same, as he began explaining patiently, "The journey there is long and tiring. For everyone's safety and an easier time maintaining the course, we would need to arrange everyone into different teams."

"I see."

Ye Chong then spent the next two days at Zhao Ying's place. Ye Chong was growing fond of this modest man, that he eventually taught a few cultivation methods of sprouts in the end. The cultivation of sprouts was

the primary technique an alchemist was ought to master. But well, different branch would have different techniques regarding cultivation, especially when a certain kind of sprout was involved.

Regarding baking, it had way higher demand on factors like the control of heat and tossing of woks. The materials produced by the Bakers were very welcomed by the alchemists. So an advanced Baker would be a highly respectable figure, since they created the flow of fortune with their baking. Their products were sold at a much higher price in the market too.

Whatever Ye Chong had learned might be incomparable to those advanced techniques by standard Bakers, but his skills were still effective even though complicated, including the methodology of his baking. He knew some baking but these techniques would not suffice a standard license, anyway it would suffice for Zhao Ying's family living.

"You all should be getting home," said Ye Chong calmly as he stopped by the merchant's place.

Zhao Ying, in accompaniment of his wife and the little girl, sent Ye Chong to the place. With a heavy heart he said, "Take care..."

Zhao Ying's wife then handed Ye Chong some food, "You are a good man, my lord!" Said she appreciatively, "God will watch over kind men like you! I had prayed with my girl yesterday, you would have a safe journey ahead!"

Ye Chong gave a nod, took the food with him and turned to join the merchants.

He was not the kind who would be chattering on a farewell.

The merchant's place was very busy.

"Are you all set? Bear in mind that the journey is very long ahead, and you would be very sorry if you are unprepared. Take more of those medium sacks. Don't forget to place the silicas in every sack!" Shouted the leader with his hands on his waists.

Leader Yu was looking drunk two days ago

ago but he looked great today. "Oh?" And he saw Ye Chong, "If it wasn't that bright young man that day, are you all set?" Said he passionately, like welcoming a friend.

"All done," nodded Ye Chong.

That was when a large crowd flooded into the place. Taken a few steps back, Ye Chong shifted himself away from the scene intuitively.

The caravan leader was not a slow person too, as he reacted as soon as Ye Chong, though he took a brief sprint towards the group instead. His wrinkles held a raised smile on his face, "Holy Merchy, what have brought my fellow VIPs here? Please, be my guest, do join us." The snobbish caravan leader had been all sincere and humble, his back remained low ever since.

The leading person of the group was an elderly who looked gentle with his fair white beard in his seventies. Somehow he exuded a sense of solemn superiority even by just standing there. The servants had their backs lowered, anticipating a new order from the lord. Of course, he was a known figure, who would not know the owner of this city himself?

Except Ye Chong maybe, as his eyes rested upon the followers, instead of the wise old man.

The few followers, somehow sensed Ye Chong's gaze, moved their sight onto Ye Chong.

Those were sharp eyes!

Ye Chong's pupils shrunk drastically! His right foot hit the front, putting himself in a battle stance.

All was part of Ye Chong's self-defense mechanism upon his survival instinct.

It had been quite some time since he felt such intensity off someone, not even Ye Luo could make him this alert.

5. There were 5 of them, 5 adepts in the dark. Ye Chong squinted his eyes, his heart raced, upon realizing how there were 5 hidden beasts waiting to devour humanity through the threatening gazes of theirs.
of theirs.

Right when Ye Chong went into his stance, the 5 followers also moved and positioned themselves!

Their eyes focused upon Ye Chong. The one at the front overreacted slightly as his body was fully straightened towards Ye Chong, almost sending fists.

There was one middle-aged man standing right next to the 5 adepts. He was wearing a green apparel, having a goatee, and was apparently astonished by the sudden change in atmosphere.

The actions were taken at microlevel, soundlessly, that no one had noticed the brewing storm.

Ye Chong's mind ran wild but he took no hostile action at the moment.

Who were these five adepts? Ye Chong could sense their hostility that was almost as close as those from the Sanctuary. They would be pure horror at a place without mech like this. And Ye Chong could recognize the goatee man being an alchemist, an adept too.

Ye Chong stood still, and he did not want to stir up anything. Ye Chong could already imagine himself deploying Moon King if he were to fight these 5 men at once. There would be no way this would turn out to be a mere street fight - it would be a war.

Ye Chong's decision was fair, as the followers withdrew their hostility, though their eyes remained sharp.

It was a quick fight in the dark, through gazes.

"Hah! Yu, my old pal, your business seems well!" said the lord on top of his lungs, as he gave a friendly chuckle.
"It is all thanks to your brilliant leadership, my lord," caravan Leader Yu was shocked by the sudden compliment as he spoke, "As you can see, the place is very organized, if it was not your generosity, little merchants like us wouldn't be able to survive."

If there would be a perfect time to butter up the authority, it would be now.

"You're so modest, pal," so modest, pal," the lord laughed, "Your business has expanded great enough, I've already heard of it before this." And his tone changed, "Brother, I'm here for a request this time."

"Look at what you've said. Keep those courtesy, how would I ever reject your request my lord? If you want anything, just send men to inform us, you don't even have to take the trouble to come all the way by yourself. All merchants would give their fullest to help the lord!" His smile was twitching however...

Dang please don't tell me he's here for money...

"It's simple really. These few friends of mine would like to pay Line Shaft City a visit and I just so happened to know that your merchant group is heading to the city as well, so I thought of bringing them here, see if you could make some arrangement."

"Hah! My lord, again, it's only a small request, you don't have to be so formal. As long as you made the order, we would achieve it by hook or by crook. In this case, yes, certainly yes, no problem!" Leader Yu was probably thanking god that it was a simple request, as he quickly nodded at it. His eyes wandered upon the few followers and his experience told him that these were some figures that he should try fawning on, especially when they came under the accompaniment of the lord himself.

The lord gave few nods satisfyingly and whispered the followers.

Then he left under the escort of his guardsmen.

Yup, those 6 persons whom Ye Chong took alert of remained.

The leader welcomed the 6 new members with great hospitality. They were cold towards his passion however, that Leader Yu assumed they must be some great figures who had experienced worldliness.

Before Ye Chong noticed, he got assigned to the same team as the 6 new rascals.

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