DK – Ch 39

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The Dark King – Chapter 39

Apprentice

Funny thing, as I translated chapter’s name – Donald Trump’s name popped up in my mind.

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“So much?” Jure was shocked.

Gray’s monthly salary was about two silver coins. As for Jura, her salary was slightly higher but only about three silver coins. Unless she visited some rich noble she wouldn’t get extra commission. Ten silver coins was equivalent to their two-month salary in total.

“What are you going to do with that much money?” Gray frowned.

“I need that for my mission needs. At the end of the task, I will give you back.” Dudian seriously said.

Juda and Gray looked at each other, reluctantly replied: “Well, it’s alright. But you have to promise us that you are not going to use this money to do bad things.”

Dudian was relieved. However he was also aware that Jura couple gave him the money because of his guard identity. If his occupation was something else he would not be provided with the money.

The next day.

Early in the morning Dudian went over to Southern Adventurers market in the residential district.

All districts, whether slums, residential or commercial districts, were divided into four regions. East and West regions were always vast in size compared to other regions. Dudian’s family lived in Lin Kang street which was located in southeast of the residential district. The so called Southern Adventurers market was a place for civilian to do free trade. Most of the goods that were sold in the area were brought from the outer edge of the giant wall.

The nuclear radiation was intensive in the outer zone in comparison to other areas. So only adventurers were willing to go there. That’s how the market was named, in honor of those adventurers. An adventurer was not a long-term career, most of them would retire after few times of risk-taking. They would earn enough money to support the erosion of their body for the rest of their lives.

Dudian was not worried about the nuclear radiation as he had check the information beforehand. Lead was extensively used in making his uniform. It was effective in resisting the radiation. Moreover he had free access to outer edge of the giant wall, it was just not worth for him to go alone to search for materials. Purchasing them was much more time effective.

The market was far away from his house and Dudian was not interesting in losing time.

He spent five copper coins to reach the Southern Adventurers market by carriage. It was a crowded bazaar. There were blankets and carpets covering the ground and were used as booths. Materials were neatly arranged on those carpets by the sellers. Their noisy voices and shouts of advertisement covered the entire market.

Dudian strolled down the aisle.

Half an hour later, Dudian finally found a few stalls which sold sulfur ore. He was searching for crystal saltpeter too. As for charcoal powder, he could make it on his own and didn’t want to waste money to buy it.

The seller was a middle-aged man with dark complexion. His hair was scattered, while there were some red spots on his hands. Most probably he was infected with some kind of a disease while adventuring in the outer edge of the giant wall. He was using long sleeved clothing for cover, but inadvertently his was exposing those red marks while raising his hands.

Dudian knew that man’s body radiation level was very high. Most probably he had few years of life left, unless he would get a treatment from Holy Church.
After bargain, they agreed on 1 silver and twenty copper coins. Dudian was going to but all the saltpeter and sulfur ore. Saltpeter was more valuable that costed a silver coin.

“Using all these materials I can make few packs of explosives at best. As I’m going to take food and basic weapons, there is ban to take additional things while I will be on task. Gunpowder isn’t that heavy so it should not be a problem. Anyway, there is no point in purchasing more raw materials, this should be enough. ” Dudian was calculating the possible outcomes in his mind.

“Little guy, these things are very heave. You should either call your family for help or get a carriage. Do you want me to help you get a carriage? ” The seller who had received the money said to Dudian.

“No need.” Dudian replied. Everything was put into linen bags. For a normal person it would be very hard to carry them but for Dudian it felt as heavy as feathers of a bird. He grabbed the linen bags and went away.

The middle-aged man was startled and stared at Dudian with wide eyes as he spoke away.

It was not long before Dudian bought basic tools at other stalls for use in refine the gunpowder. In the eyes of ordinary people the role of these tools were not related with alchemy. For example there was a apparatus used by doctors to grind materials into powder while making pills.

By noon Dudian had bought everything that he needed. He was strolling around the market to see if there was something extraordinary that could catch his eyes. He felt hungry so he turned to leave for dinner.

“Boss. Sell me for a coin, please! It’s just a broken stone.” Suddenly, a tender sound echoed in Dudian’s eyes.

Out of curiosity he turned to look sideways. He saw a boy half head shorter than him who was carrying a linen bag in his left hand while holding a rough black stone size of a large fist on his right hand.

The seller was a thin young man. He shook his head and said: “This is an iron ore. Although the weight is not much, you gotta pay at least twice the amount.”

“Boss, even if this is an iron ore, it is only an ore, not iron. It is so small that even after refining you won’t get much of an iron. ” Boy changed his strategy: “It is so small that smelting factory wouldn’t even need it. No one will buy it. It will just stay here. Sell it to me and you will have your copper coin.”

Thin young man hesitated for a while but ultimately said: “Well. Alright.”

The boy grinned, paid for it and the put the black stone into the linen bag. He turned to walk away.

Dudian was about to go when his eyes caught a small tattoo which was on boy’s wrist. A small black hook pattern was drawn.

“Alchemist’s apprentice?” Dudian did not expect to meet one in here. From Rosyard’s notes he had learn of lifestyle and habits of alchemists. The most impressing thing about them was that every alchemist would have a dedicated tattoo design on their body. It was a sign used by alchemists to identify each other. Without a tattoo no one would be accepted into their circle.

The tattooing method was very basic. They would use powder of some plants and mix it with black water. Afterwards a needle would be used to sketch out the pattern. Moreover even a small dot without no shape or line could be considered as a sign.
Although tattoo’s were not only exclusive to alchemists as nobles and Holy Church used them too. But they would avoid using black pigment.

If there was a black color on tattoos, even if you were a noble or member of Holy Church, you would be treated as an alchemist. It can be said that it was an absolute proof used to identify them.

Similarly, if you don’t have black tattoos even if you are true alchemists, you would not be recognized by the other colleagues.

Dudian glanced at the direction that boy left. Carrying the linen bags, he quietly went after him to catch up.

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3 comments

  1. That’s a pretty clear line to draw for an organization that’s supposed to stay in the shadows… but Dudian could use this to his advantage, I suppose. He can use a black pigment that washes away to blend in with the alchemists.

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