Chapter 48 – Inscription Master Examination
“Brother Lin, Brother Lin, quickly open the door!”
Lin Ming smiled when he heard this voice. It was Lin Xiaodong.
“Holy Crap! Brother Lin is my life’s idol! Dude, First place! You’re way to amazing!”
Lin Xiaodong had not been able to go to the second trial, therefore he didn’t know what sort of situation Lin Ming had been in, and had only just found out the good news.
“Mm. I was able to display some good results yesterday, and my recent progress was quite good, so I was able to attain first place.”
“Let’s walk, us brothers will drink.”
“Mmm, good idea! But now I don’t have time to have a meal, we have to go buy some things first.”
Lin Ming took out a piece of paper and began to write down the materials he needed for the medicinal inscription symbol. There were a great number and many different kinds of inscription symbols, but Lin Ming had decided on the simplest one, named the ‘Lower Spirit Cure Symbol’. This type of medicinal symbol could only be used on lower-grade pills. In the eyes of the ancient elder, the priceless Crimson Gold Dragon Marrow Pill and Golden Snake Scarlet Pill that could not be purchased anywhere in the entire Sky Fortune Kingdom could only be considered lower-grade pills.
With Lin Ming’s current ability, even drawing this ‘Lower Spirit Cure Symbol’ was already his limit. Beyond that, the many materials needed for higher quality medicinal symbols, Lin Ming had never heard of at all.
Even this ‘Inferior Spirit Cure Symbol’ had many materials that were exceedingly rare.
Although Lin Xiaodong did not know much about inscription techniques, as soon as he saw Lin Ming write an entire page of materials, he was able to recognize a few of them, for instance ‘fourth-grade vicious beast blood’.
“Brother Lin, you want to buy fourth-grade vicious beast blood? As if!”
It had to be known that the Crimson Gold Dragon was also a fourth-level vicious beast. Fourth-level vicious beasts were at least equal to a Houtian master. Although the rare vicious beast blood was not unable to be purchased in Sky Fortune Kingdom, it would be sold at an absolutely astronomical price. This sort of thing would only be shipped in from abroad, even one or two vials would be a thousand taels of gold.
Lin Ming continued to write, and the increasing numbers of materials made Lin Xiaodong feel increasingly fearful and apprehensive. He finally could not bear it and asked, “Brother Lin, do you have that much money?”
Lin Ming nodded. “Mister Muyi gave me 15,000 gold taels in banknotes a few days ago. It was early payment for future ‘Overwhelming Rune’ inscriptions. I just need to deliver them to him later.
“1…15,000….heavens!” Lin Xiaodong gulped down his saliva. The last time was 9000 gold taels, this time was 15,000. He suddenly felt numb; it was as if gold had just become a number.
There was one place in Sky Fortune City that sold the most inscription materials. It wasn’t the Hundred Treasure Hall nor was it any auction house. It was Sky Fortune City’s Inscription Association.
In there were many rare and precious materials that couldn’t be bought anywhere else, and the price was also a bit cheaper than the market price.
“What? Such a good place exists?” Lin Xiaodong felt this was inconceivable, even after hearing it straight from Lin Ming’s lips. “This is impossible, unless the person in charge of the Inscription Association’s trade union was crazy. If I were the one in charge, I would definitely hike the prices up.”
Lin Ming shrugged, “This is what I heard.”
They spent some time visiting several high-end shops and also the official auction houses, but really didn’t find the rare materials that they needed there.
“Then I guess we go to the Inscription Association.”
“Mm…seems like that’s the only plan left. Lin Ming suspected that shopping that the Inscription Association required the high status of an inscription master. Until his strength and cultivation had caught up to his inscription technique level, Lin Ming did not want to expose the existence of his skill at inscription. This might cause much trouble for himself and even place him in dangerous situations. Although he had Muyi’s protection, Lin Ming did not want to trouble him too much.
“Not only do I need an inscription master certificate, but I also need contribution points to purchase any items?” After Lin Ming arrived at the Inscription Association, he had inquired to an elder sister there about how to buy rare and precious materials, and had received this sort of reply.
“I knew it! There was no way such a good deal could exist! Lin Xiaodong crossed his arms in satisfaction. This was normal.
“What are contribution points?” Lin Ming asked.
“Mm…it seems your master is not an inscription master of Sky Fortune Kingdom,” said the elder sister who managed the reception desk, as she thought that Lin Ming was here to purchase materials for his master. “Contribution points are from contributions made by inscription masters that are recorded down at our office. For instance, if they completed some tasks, or duties, or missions that the Inscription Association issued, then you could obtain some contribution points. Or, you could hold a post or office such as association president and receive some points too. Certainly you could also give and trade contribution points with other inscription masters. There are also several different ways to obtain contribution points. If you would have a look at the rules of the Inscription Association you can see them. If your master intends to join the Inscription Association, he is welcome to.
The Inscription Association was a loose organization. Many inscription masters were old men who were only interested in learning and knowledge. They were usually recluses who did not have much contact with the outside and lived sheltered lives. If they had not set up a contribution points system, then the Inscription Association’s existence would be very dreary, and probably not have many inscription masters that would have joined. Even if they did join, very few would come to the trade market.
Lin Ming flipped through the Inscription Association’s rules. As long as he joined the Inscription Association, he would be able to immediately obtain 100 contribution points. There were also many other ways listed to obtain contribution points, such as selling rare and precious materials to the Inscription Association.
“Pfft. If there are rare materials then you would use them, why would you sell them to the Inscription Association.” Lin Xiaodong snorted contemptuously.
Lin Ming said, “Sometimes there are too many of some materials and they cannot be all used, and are just sitting around uselessly. In that case, it’s better to trade for something useful. But this way of getting contribution points doesn’t suit me. The only road possible seems to be completing some sort of mission.”
Lin Ming turned to the reception elder sister and asked, “This elder sister, where would I go to complete missions?”
“To find missions to complete, you have to go to the mission hall. But, you can only enter the mission hall if you have an inscription master qualification certificate. If your master has any interest in this, he could personally come to have a look. There are many benefits to joining the Inscription Association.” The reception elder sister said with a very warm smile.
Lin Ming thought about it and asked, “Does the Inscription Association keep member identities confidential?”
“This is certainly a possibility. If your master has need of privacy then we can guarantee that we can keep all information pertaining to him secret.”
“Mmm. That’s good. How is the examination, could you take me to participate?”
“Mm?” The reception elder sister stared at him with wide eyes.
Lin Ming shrugged and said, “I’m the inscription master.”
“….” The reception elder sister took a step back and sized Lin Ming up from head to toe. She slowly opened her mouth and asked, ”Could I… ask… what your age is?”
“15 years old…?” The reception elder sister heard this and was left speechless. She guessed that the boy in front of her was under the tutelage of some mighty inscription master and had a certain level of talent, and probably also many achievements. But a 15 year old inscription master was just a bit too exaggerated. In these 80 years of the Sky Fortune Kingdom’s records, the youngest had only been 18 years old.
The only ones who had any hope of breaking this record were Qin Xingxuan of the Martial Quarters and Wang Yuhan of the Inscription Association.
“This little brother, if you want to participate in the examination to be an inscription master, you need to prepare the treasure and materials.” The reception elder sister had only good intention as she kindly reminded him. Only after creating the inscription symbol could one see its quality and effects. Generally speaking, a new inscription master’s inscription symbols would have a very poor effect, and placing it on a rare treasure would be an utter waste of resources. The Inscription Association was wealthy, but they could not afford such a wanton waste of resources and materials. Therefore, the examination required that all examinees bring their own treasures and materials, as they did not want some random half-baked inscription apprentice to come and test his luck. After all, materials for inscription symbols were very pricey.
“Mm. I knew that. If possible I’d like to purchase some good rare treasure for this examination. I can disburse the costs of purchase.” As Lin Ming said this, he reached into his clothes and withdrew several shiny gold banknotes, all of which were worth 1000 gold taels.
Seeing Lin Ming casually bring out so many gold banknotes, the reception elder sister was astonished. This was an amount of gold that not even the juniors of aristocratic families would have.
She looked to Lin Ming and saw that he wasn’t treating this as some joke. The reception elder sister said, “Since you insist, please come along with me.”
Lin Ming followed the elder sister and entered the interior of the Inscription Association. Lin Xiaodong also followed along. As they passed through the halls, they saw all kinds of glowing and complex symbols and runes along the walls; Lin Xiaodong was very excited by everything he saw.
The decoration of the Inscription Association was not luxurious, but it had a very spacious atmosphere. There were no murals or ornaments on the walls. Instead, there were complex and unique runes dotted around everywhere. Each rune was a metal sculpture that was full of texture and seemed as if it had come to life; it gave off a very ancient and mystical feeling.
“We’re here.” The reception elder sister opened a door and waved them in.
Here was the Inscription Association’s inscription room, which also served as the examination space.
“Mmm, thank you elder sister.”
As Lin Ming walked in, he saw that the inscription room was about 100 feet long and wide. There were several stone platforms suspended in the room. In the center was a stone platform that was covered with many different materials. Above this one was a young girl of about 15 or 16 years of age who was drawing symbol after symbol in the air.
The young girl’s ten slender and jade-like fingers jumped and weaved in the air. The girl’s watery eyes were fully focused on each symbol as she traced them, and her full attention was devoted to her work. She simply did not notice Lin Ming and Lin Xiaodong’s arrival. The manner in which she drew the inscription symbol was extremely skilled. She was like a superbly skilled musician, and each symbol was a beat in the air that she was nimbly handling.
Near the young girl was also an old man. He sat behind her on a large round-backed wooden chair looking as if he were meditating with his eyes closed. But Lin Ming could see the reality of the situation; the older man’s soul force had been placed on the girl’s body to assist her, and each rune the girl drew was within the grasp of the old man.