Monday, April 30, 2018

The First Alchemist - Chap 55

Chapter 55 - The Fate of Jia Yixue

After everyone celebrated the alliance between Vera City and the Alchemist Association, Chem Al spoke to the City Lord. “By the way, whatever happened to that personal doctor of yours, Jia Yixue?”

The City Lord froze, remembering. He then turned to his guards. “Bring Jia Yixue to me this instant!”

“Yes, City Lord!” The guards saluted, then left.

An incense stick's worth of time later, the guards returned with Jia Yixue between them. “Sir, here he is. We caught him trying to escape.”

“C-City Lord, that’s not true. I was just preparing for a short trip to gather materials to make medicine,” Jia Yixue said.

The City Lord looked down at him. “Do you take me for a fool? You’re not the first doctor who had failed me, then tried to escape. I’ve had my guards watching your movements for the past few days now with specific instructions on what to do if you made your own attempt. Now… have you cleaned your neck for me?”

“City Lord! Please! I was honestly trying to find a cure for your son! I just needed a few more days, that’s all.”

“That’s what you’ve been saying for the past few months, and yet this little boy beside me had fulfilled my wish in merely one day.” The City Lord smiled at Chem Al.

“I... I don’t know how he did it, but he must have tricked you somehow. Yes, that’s it. He just used some sort of....”

“Enough! Take him to the castle’s executioner!”

“Wait!” Chem Al said. “Before you haul him away, I wish to ask him a few questions first.”

The City Lord paused, then nodded for his guards to halt.

Jia Yixue was just about to wail for his life, but then he stopped short when Chem Al spoke up. Perhaps this little kid was his savior! “Anything! Ask me anything!” he groveled.

“I would like to learn about your knowledge of medicine.” Chem Al was curious about the medicine of this era. The only other reference he had to go on was Sheng Yi. What knowledge does this city doctor know?

Jia Yixue felt relieved at Chem Al’s question. He must be trying to compare notes between practitioners of medicine. After all, even though he wasn’t able to cure the City Lord’s son, his knowledge of medicine was still extensive. If he shares what he knows, perhaps he could still get out of this with his life.

“What do you wish to know?” Jia Yixue said.

“How did you try to cure the City Lord’s son? What were your methods?”

“I used the most divine methods available to me. Knowing that Ba Re’s legs were being held down by earth-type spirits, I spent....”

Chem Al sighed, then pointed at one of the guards holding Jia Yixue. “You!”

“Me?” The guard looked flustered.

“Yes, you. Slap his face, please.”

The guard looked over at the City Lord, who nodded back to him. So the guard did what he was told.


A red hand print appeared on one of Jia Yixue’s cheeks. “What? Why? Why did you tell him to slap my face?”

“Because you said something stupid,” Chem Al answered. “Now continue….”

“Uh….” Jia Yixue had never been so humiliated before, but it was either this or losing his head. “To prevent any further spirits from invading, I drew some sigils on the walls using pig’s blood.”


Another red hand print appeared on his other cheek. “...I placed feathers on Ba Re’s legs to lighten them while dancing in a circle.”


“The celestial stars had to be aligned before using my next poultice.”


“I used my piss….”




By the time Jia Yixue finished speaking, his face looked like an inflated, red pig. Chem Al could only sigh. It looked like there was nothing to learn from this sham of a doctor.

Seeing the little alchemist satisfied with his questioning, the City Lord again relayed the order to have Jia Yixue executed.

Jia Yixue was dragged across the floor while wailing and groveling for his life, but seeing him like that brought some sympathy from Chem Al. Even though he knew from the history books that this was an era where even slighting a noble was a justifiable reason for death, he had come from a less chaotic future where there were less harsher punishments.

It wasn’t like he hadn’t seen death before. During his past life, working his way up to become the most powerful alchemist of his time, he had tried to save plenty of people from the jaws of death, only to fail. Death wasn’t a stranger to him, but what Jia Yixue did wasn’t bad enough to warrant execution.

And Jia Yixue wasn’t completely to blame. This was a time where most medicinal knowledge was based on guesses and luck. He was raised with idiotic so called knowledge about medicine. And killing someone for being an idiot didn’t sit right with Chem Al.

Of course, if Jia Yixue did something truly horrendous like attacking Chem Village or the body of The First Alchemist, then that was a justifiable reason for his death, but this….

“Wait,” Chem Al said with a sigh. “Instead of having him executed, how about just banishing him instead?”

Jia Yixue looked up, hope in his eyes.

“Banishment?” the City Lord said. Although it could be considered a lighter sentence, by no means was it a kind one.

“Yes. After all, your son has been healed, so there’s no need to go so far as having his head chopped off.”

The City Lord thought about it. This shitty so called doctor who had raised his hopes for the past few months, only to shatter them constantly; he hated this man. However, it was true that his son was now better, so he wasn’t as angry as the past few times this had happened. “Hmm, fine. I am in a good mood. It looks like the castle’s executioner will be bored today.” He waved his hand. “Guards! Give him thirty lashes and then banish him from the city!”

“Yes, City Lord!” The guards dragged Jia Yixue out.

Once he was gone, the other people in the room came forward. “Truly, the City Lord is magnanimous to let him off with a lighter sentence.”

“Not just him, but The First Alchemist is kind-hearted as well.”

“Yes, he truly values life, just like anyone who practices medicine should.”

Praises were heaped on Chem Al. Although he was a little annoyed by them, he allowed it to continue because people praising The First Alchemist could only be a good thing.

However, one of the Patriarchs asked, “Although that doctor was someone who couldn’t do anything, he was still someone who tried to pursue the profession of healing. Why didn’t you take him in and teach him alchemy?”

Chem Al sighed. “Because he was an idiot. It would have taken a long time to erase all the dumb knowledge he had and replace it with medicine that truly works. I would rather teach alchemy to fresh minds.”

At that moment, the Patriarchs resolved themselves to send young people from their clans to learn alchemy. After all, there were some disappointments from their clans that didn’t have the talent to practice cultivation to fight. Maybe learning alchemy would be more suited to them, and then they would be an asset to their clans.

Eventually, the City Lord stepped in. “Now that we’ve gotten rid of that sham doctor, tell me, since we’re all allies now, what can be done so that our plans can progress faster. Shall I have someone escort you around the city to find a building where you can one day sell your pills?”

Chem Al shook his head. “That can wait until later. I would first like to talk about what you’re going to give my big brother.” He waved his hand towards Chem Au, who was standing to the side.

“Give your big brother?” the City Lord made a questioning face as he looked over.

“Uh, did you forget that he won the tournament? Isn’t he suppose to get the championship prize?”

“Oh, oh right, of course.” The City Lord coughed into his fist to try to hide his embarrassed look. He had completely forgotten.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

The First Alchemist - Chap 54

Chapter 54 - A Splinter of Wood

Uhhh...... What was going on?

The cripple just pulled out a small, thin piece of wood the size of a needle, and he’s waving it around like it was the mightiest sword under the heavens.

Is… is he right in the head?

Then in front of everyone, Chem Al pointed the splinter of wood at his own eye. “This is the reason why you can’t take over our village.”

Yep, he’s definitely not right in the head….

“Now let me ask you something,” Chem Al continued while still holding the splinter near his eye. “What would you do if you found a village that was sitting on top of a large vein of jade stones? Of course, that was a rhetorical question. Obviously you’ll take over that village yourself and force the locals out or even kill them. But that right there lies the difference between the metaphorical village and my village. Why?” He paused for effect. “It’s because the moment I stab this splinter of wood through my eye and into my brain, that metaphorical vein of valuable jade stones disappear just like that. Poof!”

Just about everyone in the room started whispering to each other with questioning looks. What was this boy going on about?

“I’m the only one in the entire world that can make those valuable pills,” Chem Al lied. It was part of his plan. “I die, your supply of pills vanishes. It’s as simple as that.”

Everyone’s eyes widened. They just realized something. This wasn’t a situation where they could rob money from a weakling. They needed that weakling to make the money first.

What would happen if that weakling dies?

“Y-You’re bluffing!” Tan Lan shouted.

“Am I?” Chem Al smiled at him. “I am an eleven year old boy with no cultivation or experience in the outside world,” as far as you know, he thought. “Can I fool someone as great and wise as you?”

Tan Lan looked into his eyes, and he honestly couldn’t tell if that village kid was bluffing or not. Heavens, would he really kill himself right here?

“Ah, you’re starting to get it.” Chem Al was still holding the splinter close to his eye. “Of course, with your powerful profound strength, you’re probably thinking of rushing me and taking this super dangerous splinter of wood away. But sitting up in those high chairs of yours, I don’t think you’re close enough to get to me in time before I stab myself. Still, you can risk it….”

No one moved, although their bodies tightened, ready to spring over any second. This situation was throwing them for a loop. They have heard of people holding other people hostages before, but holding yourself hostage?

“No takers?” Chem Al said when no one moved. “Okay, then. Let’s continue with our oh so reasonable talk. Look, it’s not like I don’t understand where you guys are coming from. We live in a chaotic world where strength is respected, so I get it that you look down on my tiny village. But here’s the thing, you guys are tiny as well. A small city on the edge of the Continent. It would probably only take the power of half a clan from the Capital to wipe you out. ...I pity you.”

What? Someone who was a weakling and a country bumpkin was pitying us?

“That’s why you should learn to make friends,” Chem Al continued. “We can be friends. Together we can help build up each other’s strengths in this chaotic world. With my pills and your money and resources, it’s possible. Or you can watch this piece of wood go through my brain and stay as a weak city for all eternity.”

Everyone was staring at the splinter of wood with a horrified expression. It was just a common piece of wood; nothing special. Yet it decided the future of them and their entire city?

“Oh, don’t make such a sad face,” Chem Al said. “Tell you what, I’ll throw in another gift for you as well. How about I teach you how to make these pills?”


Everyone nearly fell out of their chairs. This kid … this kid … was really fucking confusing! First he asked to sell the pills in the city, then he threatened to take the pills away by suicide, and then he says he’s willing to teach us how to make the pills? Their minds were being thrown in turmoil.

“You… teach… pills… us?” one of the Patriarchs tried to make a coherent sentence.

Chem Al nodded.

“Why?” another Patriarch asked. That was the question on everyone’s mind. Going into this meeting, everyone assumed that such a miraculous way of making medicine would be held guardedly. It was what they would do. Yet this kid is willing to teach this secret?

They were all confused because they didn’t know Chem Al’s true goal. Although the profits was necessary to help him build up his Association, he didn’t want to hold a monopoly on his knowledge. His true goal was to continue what the real First Alchemist would have began: to spread alchemy throughout the world.

“No reason….” Chem Al shrugged his shoulders.

Ah, there was indeed something wrong with this kid’s head. That was everyone’s conclusion.

But this could be a good thing. If he really does teach us and our people his medicinal secrets, then we can sell the pills ourselves. We won’t need to live under his monopoly for long. All we need to do is work with him for a year or two, then we won’t need him anymore.

Seeing everyone’s greedy eyes, Chem Al knew exactly what they were thinking, and he could only scoff at them. Yes, he was willing to teach them all the secrets of alchemy, but do you really think you can learn all of it? In his past life, he was known as the Grandmaster. He could make pills all the way to the tenth tier. It would be impossible for anyone else to master such knowledge. After all, there have only been two people in a hundred thousand years of history that has mastered alchemy all the way to the tenth tier: him and The First Alchemist.

Well, they’ll find out soon enough.

While everyone else was silent in their thoughts, one Patriarch stood up. It was Li Qiao, the Patriarch of the Li Clan. “I for one think that it would be the height of folly if we didn’t join with such a genius doctor and his village.”

“Ah…,” Chem Al interrupted. “I would like to take this opportunity to announce that I’m not just any old genius doctor, I am something new: an alchemist. In fact, I’m the First Alchemist. That’s the title I go by, by the way. And you wouldn’t just be allying with a simple village, but my association: The Alchemist Association.”

Alchemist? What the heck is that? And what is this Alchemist Association is he talking about?

Everyone in the room gave each other confused looks, trying to seeing if anyone here had ever heard of this association before. The only one who looked calm was Li Qiao. He had talked about this with Chem Al during their earlier meeting, so he knew what part he had to play.

“If your association will make medicine for this city and my clan, then my Li Clan is happy to join with your Alchemist Association.”

The room turned to Li Qiao. The Li Clan was the second most powerful clan in Vera City, just under the City Lord’s. Even though they didn’t know what this Alchemist Association was, having the Li Clan as a backer gave it some legitimacy.

Li Qiao made some slight motions to his allies, indicating for them to do the same.

“Ahem, I too wish to become friends with your association.”

“So would I. Why bother to fight when we can help each other?”

“My clan and I will support you as well.”

More and more Patriarch rose up. Their words were the opposite of the treasurer, Tan Lan. It was obvious that they weren’t a part of his faction.

Even those who were on the fence about all this chose to stand up as well. After all, there was still that threat of losing the pills that could make their cultivators stronger and their city richer.

Tan Lan’s face grew more and more distorted as people stood up.

Are they all idiots? Not only will we lose control of the pill sales, we will only make a paltry sum in profits, while the weak villagers will haul most of it in. Why do we have to ally ourselves with them? With our strength, we can make them work under our thumbs!

Throughout all this, the City Lord was thinking. He had to admit that the allure of those pills was very powerful. He too felt swayed to try to get most of the profits out of this deal. After all, at the end of the day, he had to think about his city first. However, he soon realized that it wasn’t the pills that were valuable, it was actually the person that made the pills.

Finally, the City Lord stood up as well. “I have made my decision. Vera City will now ally itself with your Alchemist Association.”

Little did he know that he had made a decision that would bring a storm to Vera City. But if they were to survive that storm, their city will grow many times more powerful and with a brighter future.

As everyone was celebrating this new alliance, no one noticed Tan Lan slipping out of the room.

No one, that is, except Chem Al.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The First Alchemist - Chap 53

Chapter 53 - Chem Al’s Threatening Weapon

“Did I win?” was the first thing Chem Au said when he woke up on a big bed in a fancy room. “Wait a minute…. Where the hell am I?”

Not only was he lying in the most comfortable bed he has ever felt, he was also in the most richly decorated room he has ever seen. Everything in here was worth more than his entire village combined. Not only that but the profound energy here was denser than back in the village.

Chem Au felt so confused that he barely noticed the faint pain that was still coming from his injuries.

That was when the door burst open.

“You’re up.” Chem Al came striding in like he owned the place along with an escort of over a dozen guards behind him. “Let me check your wounds.”

While he poked around, Chem Au asked, “Little Al, where are we?”

“The City Lord’s castle.”

“What? How did we get here?”

“We were brought here after you won the tournament.”

“S-So…it wasn’t a dream. I really won the tournament?”

“Yeah, but you suffered some minor injuries. Nothing I can’t fix. Although they have mostly faded by now, they will still take a little more time to completely heal. But I think you’re healthy enough to walk around at least.” With that, Chem Al jumped on the bed. “Ah, this bed is so comfy.” And it was. He didn’t want to complain, because he does feel honored living the life of The First Alchemist, but he missed laying on comfy beds. He should remember to get one after he builds up Chem Village.

“So what happens now?” Chem Au asked.

“Now we wait for the City Lord. He is interested in my alchemy pills and will probably call us soon to discuss them.”

“Really? That’s great!” Chem Au smiled. “You will finally get some recognition. And this will be a great benefit for our village.”

“...I’m not so sure about that.”


“Au, there’s a big difference between our village and Vera City. If you’re too tiny, having a giant interested in you isn’t always a good thing.”

Chem Au thought about it, then realized that his little brother might be right. What’s to stop the powerful people of Vera City from just taking the pills? Why bother to discuss anything?

Seeing the worried look on his big brother’s face, Chem Al said, “Don’t worry, I have a plan.”

“You do? What is it?” Chem Au asked.

As an answer, Chem Al reached inside his ratty shirt, but before he could pull out whatever he had, there was a knock on the door.

“Honored guests, the City Lord wishes to see you,” the attendant that came in announced.

“Coming….” Chem Al said, then talked more about his plan with Chem Au before saying. “Do you feel like taking a walk?”

Chem Au grimaced as he got off the bed, but he smiled through the slight pain. “Even if I can’t, I’m still going with you. I’ll always be there to protect you no matter what.”

Chem Al returned his smile with gratitude. “Good. Now come on, let’s go meet with the City Lord.”

The attendant led them through the castle until they ended up in the large hall.

The City Lord was sitting in a high chair at the front, while the other powers of Vera City were nearby. They all stared at the Chem brothers walking in.

Chem Au felt shaken under the pressure of their gaze, while Chem Al simply strolled in nonchalantly. However, despite looking confident, he was actually also nervous. Not because of the City Lord and the Patriarchs staring down at him, it was because today’s discussion was crucial for the future of Chem City.

“Hey guys!”

“The proper response when meeting the City Lord is to bow,” one of the guards said.

“I bow to no one,” Chem Al said. Well, except for my Master, he thought. “Now let’s do away with the pleasantries, shall we? I seem to recall saying that you would do anything for me if I healed your son. And would you look at that, he can move his legs again! Plus he can cultivate and get stronger, and live his life again. So shall we start talking about a proper reward for me?"

The people in the room looked at each other, not knowing what to make of this village boy. Usually when country bumpkin villagers stumbled upon the powers of the city, they would practically be awed into submission, yet this boy didn't look that impressed. What's more, he was a weakling without any cultivation. Over a dozen people in this room could crush him with a mere thought. Yet this kid....

The City Lord coughed into his fist. "Of course, you deserve a proper reward. What is it that you wish? If it's within my power, I will put all of my effort into it."

"First off, I can produce these pills but I have no way to sell them, so I would like to open up a little store in Vera City. I hope you can provide me with a building and some start up funds."

"Oh?" The City Lord, and everyone else, was interested in this. Getting access to a market full of powerful medicine, some of which can actually increase your speed of cultivation, was definitely something they wanted.

Especially for Tan Lan, the Treasurer of Vera City. He could already imagine it. The tax from the sales of the pills alone would provide great profits for him... uhh, he meant, profits for the city.

"And another thing," Chem Al continued. "I would like for you to grant my village to own its own land so that we don't have to pay taxes on it or on anything that we sell in this city...."

"What?!" Tan Lan was surprised.

"...and this land ownership includes the surrounding land around my village."

"Are you being ridiculous?!" Tan Lan shouted. "That land belongs to the City Lord! A bunch of villagers owning their own land? And not paying your dues for being allowed to sell in our city's market? Who do you think you are?"

"Someone who is owed a reward from the City Lord. Now be quiet, you. Grown ups are talking," Chem Al said to Tan Lan before he turned to the City Lord. "Well?"

"Uhhh...." The City Lord paused. Allowing their village the land was nothing. That wasn’t much. That land was practically worthless anyway.

But not getting any money from selling the pills? That was a little more difficult. Although he was happy that the pills would be sold here, allowing the city cultivators to get stronger and lowering their fear of injury, but The City Lord could already imagine what would happen when those pills hit the market. How could his city not get any benefits from it?

"Don't worry," Chem Al said. "I'm willing to allow the city a fair percentage of the profits from the pill sales."

"And how is that different from paying your taxes?" Tan Lan shouted.

"...the percentage will be decided by me." Chem Al glared at Tan Lan.

Tan Lan glared back with tightened fists. This was not what he was hoping for.

As the city’s treasurer, he had the power to raise or lower the taxes on the people in the city and the surrounding land. And if they wanted to stay here under the City Lord’s protection, they would have to pay it. It was one of the benefits of being the treasurer; just as long as he didn’t go too far.

Chem Al then turned back to the City Lord. “Is that acceptable? The cultivators in your city will have access to pills that will make them stronger, and you’ll get some money along the way.”

The City Lord thought about it. There were no downsides, plus the one who was offering this deal was the person who had cured his son. If this was the reward that he was asking for, then it would be fine....

But before the City Lord could say anything, Tan Lan cut in, "City Lord! Do not make a deal with this kid! Why should our city have to obey him and his tiny village anyway?"

A few of the Patriarchs nodded at Tan Lan words. They were part of his faction.

"Sure he has some impressive medicine," Tan Lan continued. "But why can't he just work for us? Why can't we just acquire the pills from him and sell it ourselves?"

"Yeah, that's right. Why can't we decide the distribution of profits?"

"Even though he helped your son, it doesn't mean that we should lose out in this deal! We can just give him some other reward."

"City Lord, I beg you to think more before deciding!"

Chem Al could only sigh. Being greedy only lowers your intelligence. Just because his village was weak, they had already decided that the pills belonged to them. It seemed like he had to teach them a lesson after all.

While Tan Lan’s faction argued with the City Lord, Chem Al suddenly said, "Quiet."

Although his voice wasn't loud, it seemed to reverberate around the room as if he had a lot of experience talking down to annoying groups of people. The room quieted down with just one word.

"Thank you," Chem Al said. "Now... I get why you're arguing. Who is this kid? He comes from a small village so why should we listen to what he has to say? If he doesn't obey us, we can just banish them, enslave them, or maybe even kill them all. After all, you would only need the strength of half a clan to wipe out a mere village..."

Tan Lan and his faction glanced at each other. Those things weren't what they wanted to say out loud, but yeah, that was what they would do if the little village kid didn't comply with their wishes. They could even do it secretly without the City Lord's permission.

"...But you can't do that, you see," Chem Al said. "And why not, you might ask? It's because of this." He reached inside his ragged shirt.

The surrounding guards put a hand on their swords because it looked like the village kid was reaching for a weapon. Of course, the kid was extremely weak and his weapon would have to be pretty tiny to fit inside his shirt, so he didn't seem like a threat at all.

However, to everyone's surprise, what Chem Al pulled out was … a sharp splinter of wood.