The Dark King – Chapter 90
On an ordinary alley near the marketplace.
A handsome boy was walking on the street holding a piece of black bread. Accidentally the bread dropped to ground from his hand. He was surprised as he quickly bent over to pick it up. Dust covered the side of the bread that had fallen onto the ground. He was hesitant to pick it or not.
Pedestrians were rushing to work past by the street. Few of the passer-by took a quick glance at him but nobody gave too much of an attention.
It seemed that boy was distressed about the bread but no one saw the his nose was sniffing the odors.
It was Dudian and his attention was focused on the sense of smell. He was taking gentle and short breath so that he could identify the details more precisely.
There were all kinds of complex smells in the street. But tracking the smell was like a physical instinct to him such as moving his arms. He didn’t need to study it to be able to grasp it. Dudian concentrated his senses towards the odors coming out from the secret room in the back-alley. Various types of smells floated, showing a vague outline of the chamber.
“Sulfur smell, yellow phosphorus taste … … Someone? Three people? One of them has a light smell, it should be a girl.” Dudian was surprised as he did not expect anyone to be in this secret chamber at the moment. Are these alchemist apprentices doing experiments in here every day?
Dudian thought a little before concentrating on the rooms above the street. There was a pale smell coming from above. Most probably no one lives there and it had been like that for a long time.
“Alchemy lab is below the house… The owner of the house must be the master of the lab… Or maybe he was killed by the alchemists…” Dudian secretly thought. He picked up the bread and patted the dust above it. He slowly walked down the street. There were no hidden sentries checking out passerby’s nor the house in front of the secret lab had anyone in it.
Nevertheless, he had to be prudent at all times or face the consequences.
He left to another street and found a small tailor shop. Without wasting any more time he went inside.
Tailor’s apprentice was the first to come up to Dudian and spoke in polite manner: “Guest, May I know what you need?”
Dudian glanced at the clothing products hanged on the walls but didn’t find anything that was similar to his needs: “I need a spacious black robe and a mask.”
Tailor apprentice boy looked at him puzzled, but did not say anything:” What time do you want? ”
“When can I get it?” Asked Dudian.
“OK, this time tomorrow, I’ll come and collect.”
“No problem. You have to choose materials now. We have flax fiber, silk… …”
“A solid cloth,” said Dudian, “how much is the deposit?”
Tailor apprentice thought about it before replying: “If you want it to be strong, then the best material would be linen fiber. It shall cost you seven copper coins. Deposit is usually half which is 3 copper coins…”
Dudian immediately took out a three coins and gave it to him: “Robe should be slightly larger.”
“Well,” the tailor apprentice smiled and agreed. He took take a ruler to measure the body proportions of Dudian, wrote them down and gave Dudian another note, “Tomorrow.”
Dudian took the note, left the tailor shop and murmured: “The next is the tattoo problem.”
He must prove that he is an alchemist so that he can get into the base. The most credible way is having an alchemy tattoo.
However, there are no lasers in this era so once tattoo is made it would be difficult to wash away. His body will be thoroughly checked up to prevent the viruses entering inside, every single time he comes back from the hunting. There will be no way to hide the tattoos.
He pondered a moment, eventually decided to take a risk.
There was a small raw material factory for ink at the eastern outskirts. It was in a remote location near the radiation zone.
Dudian came here and showed his guard medal to guards who were blocking the way: “I’m here to do business and check your routine production environment.”
They stared at him, before one of them turning to other and winking at him. Afterwards, that one turned to Dudian and said: “Please wait in here. I’ll help you by informing the higher-ups.”
Dudian nodded and stood by the door to wait.
A moment later, a stout middle-aged man trotted out with the previous guard. Middle-aged man was stunned as he saw Dudian because he didn’t expect to see such a young guard. He piled up a smile and politely spoke: “Hello. You should have said in advance that you will be coming to check the factory. Isn’t Guike in control of check-ups?”
Dudian waved his hand: “I’m here looking for you do to business. Do you have iron gall ink in here?”
The middle-aged man was relieved as he heard Dudian: “The gall nut ink? That component was not very popular so it has been discontinued. Now, we all use carbon ink.”
“That’s good.” Dudian nodded and said: “Give me raw materials for a bottle of gallic ink.”
“Uh … …” middle-aged man suddenly choked, looked up and down at him, said: “A bottle?”
Dudian coughed in embarrassment. After all, it was a factory not a shop. But it was very difficult to find a shop that sold raw materials for the gallic ink so he had to come to the source.
“How much money?” Dudian asked the price directly and did not give him the opportunity to refuse.
Middle-aged was silent but still maintained the polite manner: ” Tell me the address and it will be sent to you.”
Dudian bluntly continued: “I’m tight on time so I would like to get it now. ”
“No problem.” Middle-aged man looked at him and said: “Money is not necessary … … what else you need?”
Dudian smiled and said: “Just that.”
Middle-aged was relieved as he knew it was a false alarm: “Alright, I’ll tell someone to bring it now” Then, turned and walked away. A moment later, a slim young man brought a bottle of dark ink to Dudian.
Dudian does not need to open the cap to be able to smell the ink. It was a gallnut ink. It was used by the people inside the wall but later they learned to use coal to produce carbon ink. The gallnut ink had high costs of production so it was expensive. That’s why gradually fewer people preferred it.
Dudian left with ink and went to the store to pick up a bottle of men’s fragrance. Afterwards he went back home and locked in his small room.
Gallic ink’s smell was much lighter than carbon ink. Carbon ink was widely used by the people so it’s smell was familiar. That was why Dudian took the trouble to buy gall nut ink.
“Unfortunately, there is no activated carbon or I could completely eliminate the smell inside.” Dudian thought. He poured out part of the ink into a small bowl and added the light perfume inside it. The smell didn’t become weird so he was relieved. Then he stripped the clothing on his body, revealing a wheat colored health body.
Dudian looked down at the magic marks on his chest: “I’m not sure if those alchemist apprentices would recognize the magic marks. In any case, I should as well hide them.” He dipped the quill into the ink and began to paint the magic marks on his chest. As the cold ink fall on the magic marks, the section on his chest began to smear to dark.
“I got to cover up the dagger scars too. ” Dudian used the quill to paint it along the dagger’s scar. Magic marks were sideways while the dagger’s scars were vertical. Soon, Dudian found out that there was a black cross on his chest.