Lu Wen looked at fatty with disdain as he asked
''Fatty you only have 3000 sect points?''
Fatty Fu replied embarrassingly
''Ah I'm almost out of sect points for this month but I will definitely have more next time. At least this much'' he said as he then raised all 10 fingers proudly showing off.
Shun Long understood that both Fatty Fu and Lu Wen were both very willing to help him. Shun Long's relationship with Lu Wen had only started because of his father's goodwill to gift him a good cauldron, but it evolved into something much purer.
It was something that Shun Long had never experienced before.. this unconditional friendship... this... was also what brotherhood actually felt like.
Things were the same with Fatty Fu.
He was a simple-minded man. If he liked you then you would know it, whereas if he hated you.. he wouldn't even hesitate to kick you twice when you are down and struggling.
Shun Long now genuinely understood that from today onwards he would have 2 people by his side who could very well be called his brothers. Although this wasn't a brotherhood forged between a life and death situation, Shun Long knew that they genuinely treated him like a brother, and he would do the same.
Shun Long and fatty Fu could both accept Lu Wen paying for the wine this time, and they would pay the next time, be it in the 'Mystifying Fragrance pavilion' or in some other place. This kind of thing wasn't calculated by sect points between brothers, sometimes you pay for them when you go out, while sometimes they pay for you.
However, Shun Long would never accept charity from anyone, not even from his friends or his brothers. Especially because something like that could damage their relationship.
A relationship involving profits was never pure after all.
Therefore Shun Long said
''Right now I only want to know whether I'm suitable to practice alchemy or not, not to actually train to become an alchemist. I can see how my refinement process goes and decide in the future if I truly want to become an alchemist. Also, don't speak about giving me money again. What I want to know is this:
I need 'Honey Fruit', 'Blue stripped grass', '5-leafed giant flower', and 'Grisly growing root', 10 sets of these how much would they cost in the 'Treasure Pavilion'? Don't even think about lying to me or when I find out, we will definitely not call each other 'brother' by then.''
Fatty Fu sighed and then he calculated for a bit with his hands before saying
''These are all rank 1 medicinal ingredients and incredibly common at that. Therefore 10 sets of these would originally cost you 140 sect points, however if we buy them on my name we will get an extra 40% discount since I'm an employee in the 'Treasure Pavilion', which would reduce the overall cost to 84 sect points.''
Fatty Fu stayed silent for a bit before saying again
''But if you don't try enough times during pill refinement, how will you know whether you are really suited to practice alchemy or not? There is no way you can succeed with such a low amount of medicinal ingredients.''
Lu Wen also nodded as he had already experienced this first-hand, but they both didn't try to persuade Shun Long further to accept their help as they both understood his thoughts clearly. They too didn't want this brotherhood that they had formed between them, to turn into a material relationship, that's why they accepted his decision.
Shun Long calculated for a bit before saying
''Then for 3 sets it should be 25.2 sect points right?''
''There is no 0.2 sect points in the sect. If the number is closer to 10 than to 0 then it is calculated as one point. Since '2' is closer to '0' then it is calculated as 0 points which brings the sum to 25 sect points.'' Fatty Fu answered
Shun Long thought for a bit before saying
''Then brother help me buy 3 sets of those ingredients, here are the 25 points.''
Shun Long took out his sect identifying jade as he transferred 25 points to fatty. They all kept drinking merrily for an hour until they had finished their wine and left the 'Mystifying Fragrance pavilion'. Shun Long had already told fatty Fu and Lu Wen the name of the inn he was staying at, and fatty Fu promised him that he would have someone deliver the medicinal ingredients in less than 3 hours.
Shun Long decided to stay in his room and read the alchemy books that Lu Wen had given him.
Shun Long eventually found some information that he hadn't learned from the golden book.
''So medicinal ingredients are categorized in 9 different grades and each grade corresponds to each alchemist's ranks and abilities. For example, a rank 1 bronze grade alchemist would only be able to refine pills from rank 1 medicinal ingredients, whereas a rank 1 silver grade alchemist could use medicinal ingredients from anywhere between rank 1 to rank 4 for his concoctions.''
Shun Long mumbled to himself.
Unknowingly almost 3 hours had passed and Shun Long had lost himself into studying, when a voice coming from outside woke him up from his thoughts
''This guest, a person from the 'Treasure Pavilion' has delivered some goods for you.''
Shun Long collected the goods from the inn-keeper before returning to his room and spacing out for a bit as he looked at the medicinal ingredients in his hands.
Then he sighed as he thought
''This is make or break now. I already spent 25 of my 30 sect points for these 3 sets, and I have also already paid the inn-keeper 3 sect points, to reserve this courtyard for the rest of the month. If I fail this gamble I would probably have to go and work in the mines for at least a month. Although I am absolutely confident that I can do this, I only have these 3 sets of ingredients and I can't afford to waste them.''
Shun Long then tried to calm his mind before starting his first attempt in pill refinement, when the triangular-shaped stone in his spiritual space quieted down.
His consciousness was once again flooded with images just like it had been in the past before three words appeared in Shun Long's mind. The characters were unknown to Shun Long, he had never seen them before, but he could sense an ancient aura from them and Shun Long could understand what these words meant as if their meaning was engraved directly in his soul.
'Monarch's Eternal Body'