Hearing the question from Zilan, Amani’s body trembled for a moment. He then strangely looked at Zilan before suddenly breaking into hearty laughter.
The air within the carriage shook, evidence that Amani’s cultivation was not weak.
“What is the Alchemy Association, eh?….Unfortunately, that is a question that I am unqualified to answer. The only thing I can tell you is that if you earnestly pursue the ‘way’, then the Association can be whatever you want it to be.” Amani then paused to see the reactions of the two kids before continuing. “In the words of my Master, if you wish for the Association to be a shield then a shield it will be, it can become your greatest weapon and it can also be used as a tool or even a mere stepping stone. As long as you earnestly pursue the secret of the ‘truth’ and have the corresponding talent, anything is possible.”
After saying those words Amani simply continued to smile, not speaking anymore. Whether or not they understood his words was not a concern for him.
As a child those words had inspired him and caused him to dream but in the end after reaching his current rank, he felt that even those words did not do the Association justice.
After all, these words were not spoken by someone at the top but rather, someone aiming for the top. Only the Grand Alchemists could answer Zilan’s question perfectly.
Zilan quietly pondered on Amani’s words in silence and pretty soon the carriage landed on a stone paved road that had hundreds of air ships much like the one they were in now, all neatly parked to the side.
Amani didn’t bother parking the carriage. He directly controlled it to move to the entrance of a large building whose shape could only be described as , “Interesting”.
“Some people truly are talented, to even make something like this..” sighed Zilan inwardly.
Before him was a gigantic black cauldron shaped building that exuded a strong yet non-harmful pressure that forced people to raise their heads and admire it, in all its glory.
Faint barely visible inscriptions could be seen all around the monstrous building. They resembled a colony of ants marching along and around a giant tree.
Very few people could actually figure out that the giant black cauldron was not just a mere building but in reality a spirit tool.
Naturally, Zilan was aware of it the moment he laid eyes on it. To him, it was a work of art and at the same time a symbol of power. What were castles and majestic towers of the human kingdoms when compared to this cauldron? Nothing more than bricks, and the occasional fine materials were used in construction, extremely pitiful!
It was like an Emperor facing a beggar.
The carriage stopped right in front of the entrance causing many peoples gazes to fall on it. Today was the day of the Opening ceremony and many clans and factions had brought their most outstanding youths in the field of Alchemy to come and get their credentials however, none of them could directly park outside the entrance.
Even they though were powerful they were nothing in comparison to the behemoth that was the Alchemy Association.
“Who does this person think he is?” sneered someone from one of the influential clans.
Unfortunately for him, the moment Amani stepped out of the carriage the man regretted ever opening his mouth. He quietly retreated back into the crowd with the youth he had come with.
“Damn it, to think it was the genius of the ‘Purple Heart, Two flames Camp’ Amani. My luck is too bad!” Initially, he had wanted to show off a bit, in front of the Alchemists present but how stupid did he look now. Trying to enforce laws on someone who was basically the law, made him appear retarded.
Many people began to distance themselves from the man.
In truth, if it had been someone less ranked and not Amani, the man really did come from a place that demanded face but did not show it to others easily. He was also an Alchemist and had come to the Alchemy Association this time, in order to attain a ranking pin and not to study.
Amani navigated the large hallway, leading two people to the registration counter. This scene came into the eyes of many people, who were especially curious as to who Zilan and Kifo were as well as who they were to Amani.
“Could they be his disciples? But…isn’t that a Half breed?” exclaimed someone among the crowd.
Zilan was quite shocked seeing so many youths here with the aim of getting credentials before their trials. These people probably had a certain level of confidence but nevertheless, he could not help but sigh. The world truly was unfair, at first he thought he was an exception because of Amani but now he understood that these big clans and factions had their own sway as well.
Many among the crowd frowned upon seeing Zilan, they were not bold enough to speak out. They were privileged from birth due to their bloodlines therefore to them there was nothing more precious. How could a Beast destroy their descendants path by mating with a human? They couldn’t understand it but that didn’t mean they wouldn’t feel disgust upon seeing Zilan.
Amani brought them to the counter and spoke to the lady behind it,
“Prepare two environment arrays for the Bronze sector badges and arrange for someone to guide these boys to the Ceremonial ground.”
The lady immediately nodded and with a slight bow stood up and left for one of the inner most rooms.
Amani calmly smiled as he surveyed the surroundings. Many people were still staring at him in awe while others were glaring at Zilan.
Suddenly the crowd parted in two as they made way for two people to pass. The taller and much older one looked to be in his early forties and was wearing green robes with three cauldron pins on his chest. The man had a body similar to that of a man however, it was completely covered in feathers. His head was that of a crow and was strangely small, on his back two large midnight-black wings the size of large doors could be seen.
Beside him, stood a youth who looked at people as if they were roaches that were far below him. His entire body was covered in rock like scales and his eyes in particular shone with a cold unique energy, which only appears in highly evolved blood-lines. His hair was dark red and seemed to be giving of faint sparks of flames with every step he took, causing all eyes to be locked onto him.
The crow-man walked up to Amani and first looked at the four cauldron pins before giving his greetings,
“It looks like I was a step behind you, Brother Amani. It looks like while you were outside you experienced some fortuitous event that aided you in your insights, congratulations!” It was only now that he took notice of Zilan and Kifo’s presence. “Oh! Did you finally take on a disciple, although this one……..”
Before the crow could finish speaking, Amani smiled towards him before turning away and completely ignoring him.
To others who didn’t know much, this act may seem arrogant or even overbearing but to the people who knew the real story which was that Amani and the crow were great rivals and could even be called enemies, this act was too normal.
“Ndege, you talk too much.” stated Amani, calmly.
He knew first-hand how poisonous of a person this bird was. Now that he’d broken through earlier, their enmity could only grow stronger and not weaker.
“Ah! Don’t be like this, we’ve both come to let our disciples experience the Association, how about it, let us make a bet?”
Amani continued to smile even after hearing this. This was his nature, he would seldom speak unless necessary but there was an exception and that was, ‘only if something interests me will I voluntarily speak.’
This bet did indeed intrigue him.
“What kind of bet?”
Ndege smiled mysteriously before pointing to his Disciple and declaring,
“I’ll bet that this kid outperforms yours. If I lose then I’ll give you the Purple Five refinement flower.”
Amani’s smile instantly disappeared. His eyes fixed onto Ndege and started radiating intense killing intent however, that was all he did because he was well aware of the consequences of fighting in the Registration building.
“Something you originally stole from me and now you want to give it back?”
“Come on, it’s just a bet. No need to get so worked up.” The people around could feel the air becoming more and more hostile, making people wonder if those two were actually going to battle.
It was at this time that a soft feminine voice travelled to Amani’s ear.
“This one has prepared everything. There’s a person waiting to guide them to the Ceremonial ground.”
Amani calmed himself. He then grabbed a few vials from the lady at the counter and walked off but just as he was about to leave he said,
“That bet, I’ll accept it! If I lose, I’ll allow you to pick one item from the camps Treasury.”