Chapter 37: Alchemist
Translated by: Chua
Edited by: I and Elkassar
One has their schemes, but the other their stepping stones. Blind Matt was oblivious to Sheyan merely using his crew head position as a springboard, he had no intentions of retiring on this ship. Therefore, his suggestion clicked with Sheyan, after Sheyan paid a fee of 10 pounds, he earned 1 hour of basic footwork lessons every morning for the next 3 days. Every lesson would result in a 30% chance of raising his basic footwork level, however the highest advancement would not exceed Blind Matt’s grasp of basic footwork lvl 3.
Blind Matt was very nervous, because he knew that he wasn’t Sheyan’s match in terms of fighting as well as managing, therefore, this practice of footwork was a rare opportunity to showcase his capabilities which exceeded Sheyan’s. Although the number of pirates left guarding the ship wasn’t a lot, he still requested Sheyan to train for an hour in the morning. Sheyan was also extremely proactive to his request, therefore, its conclusion was to everyone’s delight and satisfaction. Sheyan succeeded in raising his basic footwork to lvl 2 from the first 30% training. On the other hand, Blind Matt succeeded in contrasting his nimble footwork against Sheyan’s clumsy one, winning the envious gasps of the observing pirates.
After raising a level in basic footwork, finally Sheyan had made up for that particular shortcoming in his personal close combat capability. The 3 most crucial attributes regarding close combat are strength, agility and physique. Strength determined your might and suppressive abilities during combat, agility determined reaction and speed, while physique determined how long one could last in battle. Based on the difficulty of this world, Sheyan’s 12 points in strength (not inclusive of the title bonuses, due to limitations) was counted as above average. His impressive 170 HP could be hailed as extremely outstanding, the only flaw was his mere 8 points in agility.
There is a philosophical wooden pail theory in the present world which was: “the amount of water a pail can store is not dependant on the longest wooden plank but determined by the shortest one”. Currently, Sheyan raised his basic footwork to lvl 2, it was equivalent to upgrading his total power by one bound. Furthermore, he still had two more training opportunities with Blind Matt, if he could grasp it and raised his basic footwork lvl again, this would no doubt be a great boost to Sheyan’s future plans.
After settling these trifling issues, Sheyan once again went up to test-fire a musket in an attempt to see if he could nurture any sort of long range combat abilities. Unfortunately, it was obvious that he had no talents whatsoever in that aspect, any target beyond 5 metres would post a high probability of missing. It seemed like even if he wasted all the resources aboard the Bell and Mug completely, he would still not make half a level of improvement. Chris snuck up to his side wanting to sneakily test a few shots to satisfy his hand itchiness. Instead, the vice officer Robben immediately stood out, strictly opposing such wastage of resources behavior even though a minute ago he was the one who assisted Sheyan in loading up the musket.
To the pirates, this sort of stormy and gloomy weather was akin to them taking an annual paid leave during the new year. Most pirate captains would station their ships within the port, and allow their crew to indulge to their hearts content. Of course their activities included prostitution, drinking and gambling their entire fortune to the last penny. Therefore, once the weather clears up, these pathetic trash where some even sold off their pants would be complaining and once again give their all when plundering merchant ships.
Even the disciplined Ammand only enforced his subordinates to practice for about 1 hour in the morning before allowing them to rush in ecstasy to the bars and gambling dens. If not, these savages and uncouth bastards would never tolerate such regimes and flee to other ships. Furthermore to the pirates, they were still experiencing a sort of ‘recovering economic phase’, therefore, every ship will actively recruit manpower which led veteran pirates who dared to fight would easily be welcomed to the other ships.
Staying on a deserted pirate ship alone had no meaning, Sheyan decided to patron a bar to test his luck, at the same time try to mingle with any pirates who had high compatibility with him and who knows he may even receive a hidden mission. Sadly after wasting an entire 2 hours, he realized that this sort of coincidental attempts had the same chance to winning a lottery ticket. Yet he suddenly recalled that worn out cross that he exchanged from Old Bill, remembering that item was an invitation by a certain alchemist. At the point he had a little scepticism towards this, because Old Bill that bastard was not an honest person, in addition, his unreasonable pressuring left a very bad impression of him. Therefore, Sheyan did not harbour any high hopes towards this so called alchemist, but since he had spare time now, Sheyan could afford to spend it on this as a way to pass time.
Under directions from a pirate, Sheyan followed the motley flagstones as he walked towards the east end of the port. Due to the low visibility from the storm, the pleasant and flat flagstone pathway had turned into a rocky and dense swamp. If he was not careful, stepping on a loose flagstone would cause a splash of muddy water to spurt up from the yellowish puddles, splashing uncaringly onto the entire pants, it was even worse when a carriage passed by.
From the profound cracks grinded out on the flagstones, one could tell that the main route of the port had not been maintained for at least the past 20 years. It was obvious that the owners of this free port, the Fokke family, placed no concerns on carrying out maintenance of the port. Therefore, it was evident that the decline of their power within Tortuga port was not by random, it was a miracle that the foundations laid by the former generations could even last until now.
Although an alchemist gave an impression of only dealing with minerals and medicines, but actually their skills also comprised of purifying metals. Alchemy was created because people had a thirst of precious metals like the beautiful but rare gold. Therefore, every alchemist had the ultimate dream of researching how to make cheap metals like lead, iron and copper transform into gold. Gradually on this path of alchemy, they established the modern time chemistry foundation.
Ahead of Sheyan lies a typical house that an alchemist would stay in. Its covered with dense windows which would allow the poisonous gas to rapidly disperse outside through it. The pointed roof which provided an enlarged attic which almost certainly where the materials were stored. The surrounding mottled and chaffed walls suggested that fire was common here, but it seemed that the fire was extinguished as fast as starting it up.
Sheyan knocked on the sliding, rugged and thick wooden door. No reply, except for a burst of fluttering wing sound. Then the door opened silently, it produced no such creaking sound that Sheyan was expecting, welcoming him was an owl inside a beech wooden birdcage hung in front of the door. It tilted its head, using a pair of emerald pupils to stare at Sheyan. Sheyan noticed that the interior was spacious, the nearby table supported various used crystal beakers, test tubes, other olden distilling apparatus, a half-filled cup of coffee and even a remnant of suspiciously dried up tray with meat sauce….luckily there wasn’t any flies buzzing around or he had to pay respect to this staunch appetite landlord.
An old man wearing a pointed black hat was sitting 5 metres away on a experiment platform at the back. Hearing the sound he raised his head, he looked through the filthy test tubes which contained dark green sediments, assisted by the combusting spirit lamp, he glanced at Sheyan’s face. Naturally Sheyan’s pathetic charm did more harm than good as this wrinkled face old man harshly scolded out.
“Get out! This place doesn’t welcome any crude or foolish brats!”
Sheyan quickly flashed out that worn out cross, swaying it with his hand. This old man dazed out, reaching out his hand, he seemed like he wanted to examine the authenticity of this cross. After a moment, he impatiently said.
“Looks like Old Bill owed you a favour….. However he did not tell you, he still owes the grand alchemist, Mr Peigan, 10 pound sterlings right?”
The astounded Sheyan replied.
“What has that got to do with me?”
Peigan coldly issued.
“Since Old Bill has gifted this cross to you, that means that he will not frequent my business anymore, that debt is considered a dead debt and thus it falls on you to repay it.”
Sheyan wanted to argue but he very swiftly realized it would be useless, this strange old man provided two options. One was to turn around and leave, the other was to obediently hand him 10 pounds. If he continued arguing, even the opportunity from this 10 pounds may be destroyed. After forking out a payment, Sheyan finally received the rights to enjoy this alchemist’s services.
Under Peigan’s instructions, Sheyan sat on a stool at the side. A weird painting was nailed onto the wall beside him. The mural had a sun with an outstanding beard smiling wickedly, on the lower right angle was a crescent moon with a small bell hanging on at the bottom. In an alchemist world, the sun was like gold, and moon represented silver. The underlying meaning of that painting referred to an alchemist’s two ultimate goals. As the bored Sheyan wasted his time daydreaming on the stool, a black fog emerged from the terrible looking table as though something combusted, it then scorched out characters one by one on the table top.