Chapter 67 – Opening Ceremony

Before Zilan, a grassland that could only be described as magical could be seen. Beautiful butterflies fluttered about and gigantic birds gracefully flew up above in the slightly pinkish sky.

It was almost like he had arrived in another world. Compared to the already rich in Universe energy Cauldron building, this ceremonial ground had energy almost twice as thick.
In the distance, there was a vast mountain range that stretched farther than the eye could see causing Zilan to wonder just how big this place was. From the three dimensional map he had seen, this ground was one of the few which didn’t display an overhead image. Only a vague sign could be seen thus leaving him guessing as to how big this place truly was.

“Wow.” Beside Zilan, stood Kifo who couldn’t help but exclaim at the exquisite sight before him.

As the two were lost admiring the ceremonial ground, the platform they were standing on suddenly flashed and a figure emerged from the blinding light.

“Follow.” was all he said.

This voice belonged to the goat who had led them to the platform. Apparently his job was not yet done.

The two exchanged glances before following behind the half-faced goat.

……………

They had only walked for fifteen minutes when suddenly they felt their bodies going through a screen of light. They hadn’t noticed it at all till the moment they were inside it.

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This greatly stunned Zilan who felt as if his body was being scanned as he passed through the light screen. The feeling lasted only for a split second but it was enough to cause him to frown.

“These things…what are they looking for?” he wondered.

After passing through the light screen, his vision blurred and in the blink of an eye his surroundings had once again changed.
Currently he was standing right below a slightly tall hill whose top was completely flat. It was almost as if a peerless sword had cut it, intending for it to look like that.
Around him were thousands of people. There were young children from ten years old to old men who gave the impression that they had generations’ worth of experiences.
It was quite a sight to behold and Zilan didn’t think too much about it. After all, why should he care about others circumstances when his own were yet to be made clear.
He needed to pass the test first before anything else.

On the flat surface of the hill, a large pitch black platform could be seen and standing on it currently were at least a dozen people.
They all wore green robes and had at least three cauldron pins on their bodies with the oldest of the dozen, having a shocking five pins on him.

The old white gorilla-man displayed a calm smile as he looked down on the people gathered below him. The long fur on his face blew in the wind giving people the feeling of an unrestrained wind blowing through a snow covered mountain valley.

Despite his eye catching appearance, Zilan was focused on another figure who was standing behind the White gorilla Elder.

“It’s actually him.”

Amani was among the twelve people standing on the hill. As if feeling someone’s gaze fixed on him, he turned and found that it was Zilan.
He casually smiled before turning to face the White Ape Elder.

“Welcome to the Alchemy Associations, Ceremonial ground.” stated the Elder as he addressed the gathered bunch below.
His voice sounded wispy and slightly hoarse however, the interesting thing was that despite not shouting, his voice was not only crisp and audible, it even echoed in the distance.

“This old thing has lived for many years but this is still the first time my Association has attracted so many people.”
When the old people who had come heard this, they couldn’t help but frown. It was almost like the white Elder was applying salt to their wounds.
Who didn’t know that in the outside world, a scramble for Alchemists and spirit masters was taking place? If they didn’t submit then their lives would be in extreme danger and who knew when they would be attacked. Thus, refusing to live out the rest of their lives running and looking over their shoulders, these usually reclusive old people had no choice but to swallow their pride and come ask for protection.

As long as they received an Alchemy Association pin, then no one would dare threaten their lives.

“Naturally, I’m aware of your situations and that is why this year the rules for the tests have been altered. With such a large mixture of people present, the standard test for admission of students is no longer suitable because some of you already have the qualifications to be a ranked Alchemist.
Therefore, the new rules will have a total of three tests. The first is the usual compulsory trials, set by the Chairman which all of you must participate in.
As for the second test, this will be for the people looking to attain a rank and a cauldron pin. The difficulty will obviously increase and it will mostly measure talent and comprehension.

The final test is not necessarily for Alchemists and will be for the young ones who wish to try out for the Fire Guardians. The rest of the details about it will be given to you by the Guardian in charge of the exercise.”


After speaking up to this point the Elder waved his hand for the dozen people behind him to step forward.

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“These people will select some of you for their respective camps. The benefits you’ll receive will depend on your luck.
The tests shall begin at dawn.
That is all!”

The White Gorilla’s body suddenly became shrouded in light and a moment later, the old man had disappeared.

Amani who was among the dozen or so people at the top of the hill, directly jumped down and walked towards a youth who resembled him quite closely but there was a distinct difference.
The youth, although he had the features of a Mountain lion, the fur around his neck was surprisingly multi-coloured. It looked like a dazzling puffy rainbow cloud had appeared on the youths neck.

“His nephew is a mixed blood?” wondered Zilan.

Mixed bloods were extremely rare among Beasts and that was because two species would never agree to mate with each other unless their bloodlines were either equally powerful or if the off spring would gain a great benefit as a result of the relationship.
Mixed bloods were not looked down on like the Half-bloods. In fact, it could be said that Mixed bloods were considered to have great potential in the future, especially if they came from large factions because that would mean that the parents had done sufficient research and were confident in their child gaining a lot.

After meeting up with his nephew, Amani then casually strolled towards Zilan while smiling.

Around him, similar scenes of three and above cauldron Alchemy masters were jumping down from the hill and selecting a few youths. Clearly, they had no intention of choosing the Seniors in the crowd.

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