Chapter 672, Grand Boulder City
At the edge of Snow Mountain sat Grand Boulder City.
This was the only major city within a few thousand kilometers, with so many cultivators passing through it they seemed like flowing water, the various businesses and stalls reaping large amounts of profit.
Bright Thunder Spirit Religion wasn’t the only Sect near Snow Mountain Range. There were two or three other Sects that resided in the nearby area, so Grand Boulder City had become a natural transit point for these forces where exchanges between their disciples and Elders could take place, making it a veritable commercial and social hub.
Cultivation was not simply about dedicated self-torture in a secluded retreat, supplementary aids were also a necessity.
Pills and artifacts belonged to the category of supplementary aids and provided an indispensable boost both during combat and cultivation. Since there was a need to acquire or sell such things, a transaction market naturally came about.
After separating from Ji Meng and Zhu Ying Yue, Yang Kai took four days to arrive at Grand Boulder City.
Yang Kai showed a happy smile when he saw the flowing crowds as he had spent quite a lot of time wandering alone by now.
It’s not that he was specifically looking for someone to talk to, but that staying in the Snow Mountain Range, with no one and nothing around for tens of thousands of kilometers had made him feel somewhat gloomy.
At the gates of the city, there were several cultivators wearing guard uniforms, performing checks on the passing pedestrians. When it was Yang Kai’s turn, having learned from the people who had entered before him, he quickly stuffed a Crystal Stone into the guard’s hand.
Quickly collecting the Crystal Stone without exposing himself, the guard faintly nodded to Yang Kai and motioned him inside.
“Many thanks!” Yang Kai smiled and strolled into Grand Boulder City.
It wasn’t just cultivators from the local forces that patronized Grand Boulder City, but also those from far off lands. Snow Mountain Range produced a great deal of Ice Attribute spirit grasses and spirit medicines, so any cultivators in need of such items would come here seeking them. As such, many people would pass through here in order to acquire special local merchandise.
Grand Boulder City welcomed all visitors, but if you didn’t want to answer too many questions, you’d have to pay some Crystal Stones. This was also one of the ways Grand Boulder City made money, unofficially that is.
The various shops in the city were the real breadwinners of Grand Boulder City though.
The owners of these shops were mainly disciples of the several nearby Sects, and few outsiders managed to take roots here in Grand Boulder City.
Yang Kai strolled through the streets at a brisk pace; purchasing a number of herbs he needed as he passed through.
Although he had left most of his Crystal Stones to Ancient Demon Clan before leaving the Mysterious Small World, he still had quite a lot on him, at least enough for him to be considered quite a wealthy individual considering his cultivation realm.
Yang Kai also paid especially close attention to the materials needed to refine the Saint Grade pill the Ancient Demon Clan required.
Before leaving, Li Rong had told him this information, but what Yang Kai hadn’t expected was that the pill they needed was actually a Saint Grade Top-Rank pill.
Currently, he could barely refine Spirit Grade Low-Rank pills, so there was still a massive gap for him to cross before he could refine Saint Grade Top-Rank pills.
Along the way, having swept through a dozen or so shops, Yang Kai managed to haul in a decent harvest, piling up all kinds of herbs inside his Black Book Space.
When he came to a particularly large-scale shop, Yang Kai spent a lot of Crystal Stones to purchase many of the materials he needed.
“Little brother doesn’t look familiar, are you perhaps buying so many herbs to perform Alchemy yourself?” The grey-haired shopkeeper with an Immortal Ascension Eighth Stage cultivation sized up Yang Kai with great interest, stroking his beard gently as he asked.
“Old shopkeep, are you here to do business or inquire about news?” Yang Kai stared at him and asked with a smile.
The other party suddenly saying such words had inevitably made him a little vigilant, but in Grand Boulder City, law and order was relatively well maintained, so there wouldn’t be any disputes suddenly breaking out. Even if there was some kind of friction between cultivators, the dispute would generally be resolved outside the city.
As such, Yang Kai wasn’t the slightest bit worried.
“I was simply asking. If little brother doesn’t want to answer, you don’t have to,” The shop owner replied somewhat awkwardly, seemingly cognisant of Yang Kai’s vigilance. Not wanting him to misunderstand, he quickly continued, “But if little brother is an Alchemist, you can buy herbs here at a discount.”
“Discount? Why can I get a discount?” Yang Kai heard the words and became somewhat interested.
He had never heard at any of the other stores that Alchemist could receive a special discount.
Before the shopkeeper could answer, a nearby cultivator who was picking out herbs suddenly spoke up, “Because this shop was opened by the Alchemist Guild. As long the one purchasing things is an Alchemist, they can receive all kinds of preferential treatment. You didn’t know?”
As he spoke, he walked over and handed his chosen herbs to the shop keeper along with a Jade Token.
When Yang Kai snuck a peek at this Jade Token, he saw the word ‘Pill’ (丹) clearly engraved on it.
The shopkeeper took a look at the herbs and calculated the sale price before picking up the Jade Token and pouring a thread of True Qi into it. The Jade Token lit up and the shop keeper nodded slightly, “Spirit Grade Low-Rank Alchemist, according to the rules of the guild, you can receive a 20% discount.”
The man paid the required Crystal Stones to the shopkeeper and concluded the transaction.
After buying his herbs, the man left without looking back.
Yang Kai was dumbstruck.
“The Alchemist Guild is a force established by the world’s Alchemists. Only Alchemists are eligible to join but as long as one is a member of the guild, they will receive preferential treatment in any store owned or operated by the guild. On top of that, the guild’s stores are spread all over the world, so one can receive support from them in most major cities,” The shopkeeper explained with a smile.
“How did you know I was an Alchemist?” Yang Kai asked. The shopkeeper obviously knew he was intending on refining pills himself or he would not have asked such a question.
Now Yang Kai was somewhat curious, wondering how this Immortal Ascension Boundary Eighth Stage old man had seen through his status.
“Alchemists are unlike general cultivators. I’ve been tending this store for many years now and have seen plenty of Alchemists come and go. As such, I’ve developed a keen sense for this kind of thing,” The shopkeeper slowly shook his head, appearing a bit inscrutable. “Little brother is quite young, but from the herbs you’ve chosen so far, you should at least be a Mysterious Grade Low-Rank Alchemist, yes?”
Yang Kai neither confirmed nor denied this guess.
The old shopkeeper nodded in appreciation, “This old master has been studying Alchemy for many years but is still just a Mysterious Grade Top-Rank Alchemist. I really envy you.”
How far one could go in the Alchemic Way had a lot to do with natural aptitude.
“Grand Boulder City has a branch of the guild. If you want to buy herbs at a discount in the future, you should go there and get a Jade Token. Not only will you save Crystal Stones, but you’ll also be safer when you travel. Alchemists are highly valued everywhere, so as long as you can prove your status basically no one will find trouble with you,” The old shopkeeper said with a smile.
“Many thanks for your advice.” Yang Kai cupped his fists.
Outside the shop, Yang Kai became lost in thought.
The old shopkeeper’s words had undeniable interested him, buying herbs at a discounted price was quite attractive. Although he had a lot of Crystal Stones right now, even if he had enough to pile into a mountain, there would always come a day when he would exhaust his supply. Saving a little here and there would allow him to continue his studies that much longer.
However, what he was most concerned with was the influence the Alchemist Guild possessed, something that far exceeded any other force.
He had come to Tong Xuan Realm in order to find Su Yan and his Little Senior Sister.
However, this world was incredibly vast and he had little hope of finding them on his own.
It wasn’t like back in the Central Capital, where he had a large number of allies and subordinates who he could issue orders to in order to expedite the process.
Here, he could only rely on himself.
When Shui Ling and Yun Xuan invited him to join Water Spirit Temple or Bold Independent Union, Yang Kai had directly turned down their kindness.
At the time, Yang Kai had wanted to rely on his own strength to find Su Yan.
But now he realized that idea was somewhat impractical.
Using his identity as an Alchemist, couldn’t he find a force to join and then get that force to help him in his search?
Inside an inn, Yang Kai thought over the issue for a long time before eventually deciding to go to the Alchemist Guild to get a Jade Token. In any case, possessing this Jade Token would save him a lot of trouble in the future so regardless of anything else Yang Kai wanted to acquire one
Asking around Grand Boulder City, Yang Kai quickly found the location of the Alchemist Guild branch.
Standing in front of a magnificent Alchemist Guild building, it took a while before Yang Kai managed to come to his senses, shaking his head wryly.
Although he had long known that Alchemists were a group of super-wealthy people, Yang Kai hadn’t expected them to be rich to this extent.
The Alchemist Guild’s building, even just its exterior, was quite different from the other buildings in Grand Boulder City. One could literally see an aura of wealth radiating from it.
On the outside of the building, various images of ancient beasts were carved out of rare ores and infused with subtle energy fluctuations; obviously, these engravings comprised a powerful Spirit Array.
If someone dared to have any malicious intentions towards this building, they would undoubtedly suffer a big loss.
Glancing towards the interior, Yang Kai saw that the floors were all covered in thick red carpets and the walls were inlaid with various gemstones that glittered brilliantly.
The Alchemists who occasionally entered and exited all had faces filled with pride and arrogance as if they couldn’t wait for people to look up to and venerate them.
A top-rank Alchemist not only possessed incredibly wealth but also had a venerable status, this wasn’t just idle talk but an actual fact.
In the Central Capital, Alchemists and Artifact Refiners all had noble identities, and in Tong Xuan Realm, this status was only magnified not diminished.
“Little brat, what are you doing sneaking around here?” An angry voice suddenly rang out as a man glared at Yang Kai and questioned, “Which force do you belong to? Don’t you know where this is?”
“Hello,” Yang Kai’s expression remained unperturbed as he calmly explained, “I’m actually here to acquire a Jade Token.”
“Acquire a Jade Token… Are you an Alchemist?” Hearing these words, the big man glanced over Yang Kai and scanned him with his Divine Sense, soon nodding his head slightly, “En, good, the True Qi in your body has a strong Yang Attribute, but you seem a bit too young, did you just start practising Alchemy?”
“Haha, I indeed haven’t been learning for that long,” Yang Kai smiled and nodded.
“Good, come in,” The big man waved his hand and walked inward, motioning Yang Kai to keep up.
Along the way, Yang Kai couldn’t help feeling amazed. Just from glancing around at the outside of the building he knew that the Alchemist Guild was quite rich, but upon entering and really seeing the interior he knew this place was far wealthier than he had initially anticipated.
After learning that Yang Kai was also an Alchemist, the big man’s contempt for him decreased significantly and began to converse with him in an easy-going manner, “Since you want to be certified as a member of the Alchemist Guild, you must first pass our test. After doing so, you can receive a Jade Token that corresponds to your rank, but keep in mind that once you become a formal member of the guild, you must not take any action that could be deemed harmful to our Human Race. If you dare perform Alchemy for the Demon Race or Monster Race, don’t blame the guild for tidying you up.”
“*Cough*, of course, of course,” Yang Kai hurriedly nodded.