Chapter 10: Disciplining the Brat
Long Chen recognized the old man, and it wasn't just Long Chen who would recognize him. In the imperial capital, there would be very few people who wouldn't recognize him. He was the alchemist guild's chairman, grandmaster Yun Qi.
"Senior Yun Qi, this brat suddenly ran over to make trouble. I was just about to expel him," the old man hurriedly explained when he saw grandmaster Yun Qi.
Long Chen rolled his eyes and feigning an extremely grateful expression, he said, "You are grandmaster Yun Qi? Wonderful, Long Chen thanks you for the favor of saving his life."
Originally Yun Qi's expression was displeased, but hearing Long Chen say this he couldn't help but become distracted, asking, "Child, are you misrecognizing me as someone else?
"Misrecognizing? No, definitely not." Long Chen shook his head. Pointing towards the old man, he said, "Through this grandmaster, my mom paid several thousands of gold coins to buy a Tiger Bone Pill from you. Only through this was I able to recover from my wounds. This little one truly cannot thank you enough."
Hearing Long Chen recount this affair, the old man's expression immediately changed and Yun Qi's expression turned cold. Looking at the old man he said, "Guan Cheng, what is this about?"
"Senior chairman, don't listen to his rubbish…." Guan Chang hurriedly tried to explain.
"Huh, why aren't you acknowledging it? To think that the people of our alchemist guild are of such a noble character than they don't even put their names on the good deeds they do. Only, the matter of you selling my mother a defective grade Tiger Bone Pill is very well known." Long Chen coldly smiled.
Although Guan Cheng was continuously shooting Long Chen meaningful glances, Long Chen continued to act as if he hadn't noticed. Did you really think my Long family's money was so easy to swindle?
Guan Cheng was currently a senior member of the alchemist guild. Originally he was taught a bit by grandmaster Yun Qi, however he wasn't some extremely gifted talent.
However after Guan Cheng had carefully and attentively followed by Yun Qi's side for a couple decades, Yun Qi had felt some pity on him and given him the position of attendant with some low-grade random jobs to do in the alchemist guild.
Occasionally when he refined a garbage pill he would hand it over to Guan Cheng to handle. Normally these garbage pills would have their useful portion extracted out for some medicinal liquids; they definitely would not be allowed to be sold on the market.
This was related to the profession's personal integrity. If it was leaked that grandmaster Yun Qi had actually sold a garbage pill then he would become a joke amongst his fellow alchemists.
Grandmaster Yun Qi sighed. Looking at Guan Cheng he said, "You've followed me for several decades so you already understand my character. Leave and don't ever come back."
Guan Chen's old face became deathly pale. His eyes holding a trace of unwillingness, he begged, "Senior, I…."
"Go." Yun Qi indifferently responded as he waved his hand.
Guan Cheng nearly became paralyzed and fell to the floor. Yun Qi's declaration was equivalent to expelling him from the alchemist guild.
An originally high and aloof attendant in a flash became someone completely lacking anything. Guan Cheng appeared like he had aged several decades.
"Hey, I'm talking to you; stop faking. You've cheated and swindled people for so many years outside this guild that you've earned so much evil money you won't even be able to spend it all before dying. Why are you acting like you're deserving of pity?" Long Chen disdainfully said.
As an attendant of the alchemist guild, this old man had become extremely close to quite a few noble families. After muddling along for so many years, he had definitely obtained many benefits. Looking at his face caused Long Chen to feel sick and disgusted.
Guan Cheng's expression became furious, his eyes filled with bitter resentment. However he didn't say anything and merely slowly walked out with his head down.
Watching Guan Cheng go away, grandmaster Yun Qi shook his head. Towards Long Chen he said, "Thank you young man. Otherwise this old man would still be completely in the dark."
"Hehe, that old man was someone who had cheated my family of one of our fortunes. I purposely came for revenge; there's no need to be so courteous." Long Chen laughed.
Contrary to one's expectations, grandmaster Yun Qi replied, "Haha, not bad. This young fellow is actually so straightforward and is clearly not suited for a treacherous and deceitful life."
"Haha, how could this youngster's intentions and manner be concealed for a whole lifetime? Since it's impossible to conceal, I might as well act like a good person." Long Chen spread out his arms as he replied.
Grandmaster Yun Qi couldn't help laughing. Over the many years everyone would treat him with reverence; this was the first time someone would speak to him in such a joking manner, so now it was quite an enjoyable experience.
"Little fellow, surely you didn't come to my alchemist guild just to report this complaint."
"Of course not. I came here to take the alchemist exam." After saying this, Long Chen held out his right hand.
A tiny flame leapt out of his fingertips. In order to leave a deep impression onto the grandmaster, Long Chen's hand trembled, and the flame started to act like a wild monkey, playfully jumping around.
"Not bad control."
Originally when he saw the flame Yun Qi had only faintly nodded his head. Being able to agglomerate a Pill Flame at that age could be considered not bad. But Long Chen's following actions caused him to actually be somewhat moved.
The ability to control the flame relied mostly on the amount of spiritual energy one had. Long Chen's ability to control it in such a lively manner demonstrated that his spiritual energy had surpassed an ordinary person by quite a bit.
What he didn't know was that Long Chen was still holding back. If he were to bring out the Secret Arts from within his memories then it might completely terrify this grandmaster.
"Very good, your spiritual energy is at least twice as strong as an ordinary person, making you a good sapling to learn refining." Yun Qi nodded.
Hearing Yun Qi say this, a stone fell inside Long Chen's stomach. Being able to hold as much hidden strength back as possible was still best.
"Come, I'll bring you to do the test." Saying this, grandmaster Yun Qi brought Long Chen away.
Looking at the two people leave, everyone who had previously been in the hall refining medicines with their Pill Flames couldn't help from being stunned.
"What? He didn't need to take to be appraised before directly going to do the test?"
"How is this possible; is he a relative of grandmaster Yun Qi?"
"Nonsense, he's not a relative. Isn't that kid the imperial capital's famous trash, Long Chen?"
The ten plus people in the hall were all there in order to take the alchemist exam, but according to the usual convention they had to meet the requirement of refining a certain herbal medicine first to show they met a certain level before advancing to take the exam.
But Long Chen immediately skipped over this step, causing them to be incessantly furious. But there was no alternative for them. This was the alchemist guild, a supreme existence. No one would dare do a thing; they could only swallow their anger into their stomach.
In an underground room of the alchemist guild, grandmaster Yun Qi pointed towards a water crystal in front of them. "Use your flame on it."
Long Chen nodded. Extending a finger, he condensed a flame, slowly placing it on top of the water crystal. Several veins appeared on the water crystal when the flame touched it.
Grandmaster Yun Qi faintly said, "Your Pill Flame has reached the Huang class low rank, just barely meeting the standard."
Pill Flames were split into Tian, Di, Xuan, and Huang class, with each class also having three ranks. Long Chen's Pill Flame was agglomerated from himself and was not a beast flame or a heaven and earth flame. Therefore being Huang class low rank was very normal.
Grandmaster Yun Qi then brought Long Chen to a shallow water pool. The water pool was only half a foot deep and the bottom was covered with hundreds of sparkling, pure pearls.
"Circulate your spiritual energy and see if you can cause the pearls to float up."
Obviously this water pond wasn't a real water pond. Close examination revealed that the water was clearly spiritual mercury water. When Long Chen carefully touched it he discovered that the water magnified his spiritual energy by greater than ten times.
This immediately relieved him, as his current spiritual energy was not strong enough to move objects without touching them. Apparently he had been worrying too much.
Circulating his spiritual energy, he immediately found a dozen or so pearls being influenced by his spiritual energy as they slowly floated up.
Suddenly Long Chen noticed that grandmaster Yun Qi expression was completely bewildered and shocked as he looked at those pearls.
Damn, I'm about to be exposed!
Long Chen hurriedly released the spiritual energy. Circulating his energy he changed his face to become extremely pale like he was about to collapse in order to fake that his spiritual energy was overdrawn.
"Grandmaster… what rank do I count as?" Long Chen gasped for breaths as he asked.
"Xuan class...." Grandmaster Yun Qi murmured. It was as if he hadn't even noticed Long Chen's current overdrawn state.
Only a while later did Yun Qi notice that Long Chen was already weakly lying on the ground. If one had to give Long Chen's acting skills a rank, he would be 'God of Acting'.
Not only was his face as white as paper but his eyes seemed weak and listless, giving him the appearance of someone who had excessively overexerted himself.
"Excellent, your spiritual energy is exceptionally strong. Your talent is definitely mouldable; I've definitely found a good sapling this time." Yun Qi smiled.
Long Chen's eyes brightened when he heard this. "Grandmaster Yun Qi, this little one very much wishes to study the Dao of the Pill. Is it possible for me to become your official disciple?"
Yun Qi shook his head, "I can't. Go carefully train and later I will present an opportunity for you that will let you jump to the peak of the Pill Dao."
Hearing Yun Qi refuse, Long Chen laughed with embarrassment, "Actually the main thing is I want a higher reputation so that when I go out no one would dare to bully me again."
Yun Qi stared blankly before bursting into laughter. Someone like Long Chen who spoke so directly caused him to not know whether to laugh or cry. How many years had it been since he had met such an interesting youngster? However Long Chen's abnormal spiritual energy did cause him to have an excellent opinion of him.
"Don't worry. Later I'll give you a Pill Apprentice identification plate; who would dare continue to bully you?" Yun Qi laughed.
Long Chen became excited. Normally if a person wanted to join the alchemist guild, they had to first pass the exam to become a medicinal expert, and after that they had to wait another year before they could obtain the qualifications to take the test to become a Pill Apprentice.
Medicinal expert was just an entry level rank, but it still caused countless people's eyes to turn red in envy. As for Pill Apprentice, it was the actual start of pill cultivation.
"With your current Pill Flame and spiritual energy, it's still quite difficult for you to refine a pill. However within a year you will definitely be able to refine pills, so this can't count as violating rules; I'm simply giving it to you a bit early," smiled Yun Qi.
Long Chen was extremely grateful. Although in terms of technique and skill he was strong enough to look down on anyone, Yun Qi was definitely a senior who was worthy of respect.
Grandmaster Yun Qi personally made a Pill Apprentice identification plate for him, and then in addition he also gave him a medicinal cauldron and a set of pill robes. The pill robe was extremely luxurious, and on the abdomen was a single embroidered pill star, the sign of a Pill Apprentice.
The medicinal cauldron was made of fire copper and pure gold, and its design was very elegant. It was many levels higher than the old cauldron he had bought.
Other than these two things, what pleasantly surprised Long Chen was that grandmaster Yun Qi had even gave him a spatial ring.
This was a miraculous kind of ring. As long as you sent your spiritual energy into the ring you could open up an interior space connected to the ring and store any random things.
As for its value, it was an extravagant commodity worth hundreds of thousands of gold coins. Before, Long Chen didn't even dare to dream about obtaining one. Inserting his spiritual energy into the ring, he found that the space inside was at least three metres wide, causing him to be extremely grateful.
Under grandmaster Yun Qi's advisement, Long Chen used his identification plate to buy medicinal ingredients for half price. He could also study the senior generation's pill refining experiences free of charge.
Long Chen suddenly had a feeling like he had jumped from being a chicken to a phoenix. Within the alchemist guild he bought a large amount of the FengFu Pill's medicinal ingredients and some other herbs.
By the time Long Chen left the alchemist guild, he felt like a completely different person than when he entered; previously he had been worthless but now he was now he was worth millions. Even his back was held completely straight. In the future he could look down his nose on others.
When Long Chen had collected his vast harvest he returned home. Just as he entered he saw Bao-er at the entrance. As soon as she saw Long Chen she straightaway brought him towards Mrs. Long's room.
As soon as he entered he became dumbstruck, his heart wildly jumping in chagrin.