Chen Rui’s calm attitude made Dior feel relieved, and he said quickly, “I’ve already arranged a room. Sir, please take a rest first. If there’s any need, please order the maid.”
Although Dior lacked ability, he was by no means a fool. He clearly knew that the Dark Moon’s support for him wasn’t so simple, but it was the right time to make use of Dark Moon’s power to help himself fighting for the heir.
Once he controlled the family’s power, even if he wanted to change his mind and turn against the Dark Moon, the little lord far from the Fallen Angel Empire couldn’t do anything to him.
“Resting isn’t urgent. I plan to go to the Mechanics Association first.” Chen Rui asked Kia, “Kia, do you know where the Mechanics Association is?”
“Let’s not wait. We’ll go now. I need to first pass the certification as a mechanic, then I’ll observe the situation.”
“It must have been hard for sir.” Dior quickly took out a space ring, “Here is a bit of kindness, please accept it, sir. There are still a lot of things that require your help later.”
Chen Rui took the space ring and examined it with his mind. It was filled with black crystal coins, estimated as much as 100,000. He was indeed the young master of the top business family for being so generous. Chen Rui nodded, “Mr. Dior, thank you for your kindness. I’ll take this with pleasure.”
After leaving the alternative residence, Chen Rui followed Kia out the door, took a chaise, and headed for the Mechanics Association.
The Mechanics Association was a well-known organization that had been recognized by the three empires. Together with the Potioneer Alliance, it was collectively called the Alchemist Association. It didn’t belong directly to any country. Only the capital of the three empires had a corresponding organization responsible for various affairs, especially the certification of potioneer or mechanics and masters.
The Mechanics Association of the Dark Shadow Empire was located in the northern part of the outer city. It was a large building occupying a large area. The Mechanics Association was affected by the royal wars. After Catherine the Great succeeded the throne, she deliberately renovated and rebuilt it, so it was a scene of prosperity now.
Due to the mechanics contest, it seemed rather lively here. Everyone was discussing about the contest.
“This time is different from the past. The top three winners will not only receive rare alchemy materials awarded by the association, but they also have the qualifications to become the senior masters’ disciples!”
“I’m afraid that the winner of the contest 10 years ago, Robert, seems to be participating again.”
“The previous winner? Why hasn’t he become a master yet?”
“What do you know?! Do you think that mechanic and mechanic master are merely one word apart? Countless mechanics have never reached the threshold of a master in their lifetime! For a senior mechanic to become a master in 10 years can already be regarded as an amazing genius.”
“I heard that Robert’s strength is almost approaching master-level. He must be trying to use this contest to become famous, then certify as a master.”
“Master Leo’s disciple Savice is a rising genius of the capital. Master Leo is also one of the judges this time, so I think Savice’s hope is quite high too.”
“I’m still optimistic about Robert. Savice’s arrogant look is annoying. I heard that this guy offended a lot of people with his usual outrage.”
“Lower your voice! I just saw Savice walked in. That guy’s very petty. It’ll be troublesome if he hears us.”
There were icons at the lobby on the first floor. Alchemy material store was on the second floor, exchange center was on the third floor, and the mechanics certification was on the fourth floor. As for the fifth floor, it was a special place where only internal staff could enter. Many masters were inside.
Chen Rui and Kia went all the way to the fourth floor. There were few people on the fourth floor. A succubus on duty asked, “Are both of you going through the mechanic certification?”
Chen Rui asked, “It’s just me who’s getting the mechanic certification. How do I get certified?”
“Head toward the left passage and walk straight into it. Master Xhosa is in the innermost room. After paying 50 black crystal coins, he’ll give you a test for certification.” The succubus took a glance with jealousy at the woman of the same race who was prettier than her, “As for this lady, if you’re not here for certification, please head to the right passage and wait inside the lounge.”
It takes fifty black crystal coins to certify a mechanic?! That’s so expensive! Chen Rui secretly complained that they were “black merchants”. After asking Kia to wait in the lounge, he walked straight to the left passage.
Master Xhosa was an old-looking lich. He was napping lazily with the smell of alcohol. Beside him were two young Great Demons who looked like assistants.
When an assistant saw Chen Rui in an apprentice attire, he immediately asked, “Are you here to get mechanic certification? First, pay the certification fee of 50 black crystal coins.”
Chen Rui nodded, took out the prepared black crystal coins and handed them in. After the assistant had counted them correctly, he said, “You can fill out this form now. Master Xhosa will tell you the content of the certification. If you pass, there’ll be a mechanic’s attire and badge for you. If you fail, you’ll not be able to take the assessment again within a year.”
Chen Rui took the form and saw that it was nothing more than name, race, age, specialization, etc. This reminded him of filling in countless resumes when applying for a job in another world. After filling out the form with Arthur’s information, the assistant woke up Master Xhosa.
“Are you here to participate in the certification?” The lich master who was awakened seemed a little dissatisfied. His slanted, sleepy eyes took a look at the Great Demon in front of him.
Chen Rui, who had always been a little anxious during university’s exam, was inevitably a little nervous. He nodded, “This is my first time participating in the certification. If there’s any rules that I’ve broken, I hope master can forgive me.”
“Stop the nonsense.” Xhosa yawned, “First, answer my three questions. The first question is, how many ways can you remove the impurities of a purple garnet?”
Chen Rui thought about it and answered, “There are two ways.”
The two assistants behind him shook their heads in unison. The first problem is the easiest. There are a lot of cyan crystals on the surface of the garnet that affects purity. There are three ways to get rid of them. The standard answers are: (1) direct removal with a tool, (2) soaking in an acidic solution, and (3) using a rare crystal-eating ant.
Chen Rui’s answer was completely different from the above three methods. One method was to use molten solution supplemented with a stony solution. The second method was to leave it in a low temperature environment. Then, used the separation drops and goat’s cheese to refine.
Master Xhosa’s lazy eyes were flashing slightly, and he actually nodded, “The answer is correct.”
The two assistants behind were both surprised. Although they weren’t top, senior mechanics, they were still formal mechanics that had passed the certification. How could it be correct? Is there a problem with the standard answers?
Master Xhosa asked a few more questions. Some were fine, but some of them were confusing even for the two mechanic assistants. One of them was actually asking how to prevent negative attributes in three enchantments. It made both assistants cold sweat. Three enchantments without negative attributes? Is that still a mechanic?
Chen Rui noticed that it was more than three questions for a long time. Yet, he didn’t mention it due to respect. Master Xhosa looked at him with an odd smile and said, “Which master is your teacher?”
The two assistants behind were stunned. It turns out that it was difficult or even unknown methods that can only be used by mechanics masters! This apprentice must be studying under a master for him to know these advanced methods.
“My teacher is just an old man who asked not to be named. I don’t even know if he’s a master too.” Chen Rui vaguely answered with a habitual lie.
“Okay. You’ve passed the oral exam. The result is A. The second part is a written exam.” Master Xhosa didn’t continue to ask. He gestured to his assistant to take out a pen and paper for Chen Rui, “Draw a fire enchantment magic array for me. The higher the level of enchantment, the higher the accuracy, the higher you’ll score.”
That was a piece of cake for Chen Rui. Using data from [Deep Analysis], he quickly completed a magic array with additional fire damage and gave it to Xhosa.
“So fast?” Xhosa took a look at the paper. It wasn’t the easiest light of flame in his expectation, but a complex additional fire damage! Not only was it accurate, but the key parts were also marked. It was just like the textbook. If he hadn’t been watching this apprentice, and the paper and pen were also provided by himself, he would’ve thought this apprentice used some cheating device.
Actually, Chen Rui was still reserved. If he drew the improved magic array he learned from Master Xingxing, Master Xhosa’s eyes would probably pop out.
Is this still an apprentice? Even Xhosa himself couldn’t draw it so fast. Perhaps his teacher has specially trained him on this. Xhosa glanced at the apprentice badge in front of Chen Rui’s robe and it seemed unusually unpleasant to his eyes. He simply threw the paper and pen to his assistants and said, “Erm… it’s considered a pass for your written exam. The result is A.”
The assistants took a look at the magic array, and they were also taken aback. They secretly despised Xhosa: What do you mean by “considered” a pass?
“The last round is equipment crafting.” Xhosa picked up his resume and looked at it. “Arthur is… I see that you wrote both accessories and metal specialization. You actually wrote two. Young man, you need to know that being greedy won’t be good for you… So, we’ll go to the crafting room beside. You have three chances. If you make high grade equipment once, you can become a formal mechanic.”
High grade equipment? Chen Rui was troubled. After integrating the basic and advanced knowledge en route, and the function of the refinery, his craftsmanship had made a qualitative breakthrough. Now, he could easily craft excellent grade equipment. In other words, he was already a master, so a mere high-grade equipment shouldn’t be a problem.
Chen Rui followed the Xhosa and his two assistants to the crafting room. It was an accessories crafting room with complete tools. Xhosa signaled his assistant to take out a pile of materials and said, “Don’t think that the 50 black crystal coins you paid for are expensive. In fact, the materials needed for assessment account for a considerable portion.”
If you succeed on your first trial, 10 black crystal coins can be refunded to you. Certainly, if you have extra money, you can apply for higher-grade materials and the possibility of making high-grade equipment will be greater.”
“No thanks. It took a lot of effort to save these money.” Chen Rui rejected Xhosa’s suggestion. Certainly, that was purely a lie. The black crystal coins in his storage were taller than the building of the Mechanics Association. The key was that he didn’t want to come up with an excellent grade or quasi-excellent grade equipment that would catch attention.
After Chen Rui finished speaking, he selected the necessary materials and started crafting. As soon as he got started, the two assistants looked odd. This apprentice’s proficiency is quite considerable. His accurate ways of dealing with the materials are even incomparable for both of them. It seems that Arthur has no problem getting certified this time.
What these two people saw was only the superficial level. Master Xhosa saw more things. He looked indifferent on the surface, but his heart was filled with stormy waves: This feeling, this kind of qi, let alone an apprentice, even if an experienced mechanic can’t achieve. Chen Rui was crafting a magic ring that enhanced water power. The crafting of the main body at the beginning was smooth, but there were some flaws in the engraving of the magic array. Fortunately, the deficiency was finally made up with inlaid gems.
The attribute of the ring was that the magic casting speed of the water magic increased by 5 folds, the magic damage of the water magic increased by 1.5 fold. It was a standard high grade equipment.
“Master, I’m done.” Chen Rui wiped the sweat off his head. It wasn’t easy since it could’ve been at least a quasi-excellent grade equipment.
Master Xosa carefully looked at the ring in his hand and he felt an indescribable awkwardness. It was like a piece of rat’s shit was thrown into a pot of delicious soup. He said with an annoyed tone, “Crafting of high grade equipment has completed. The result is A. Arthur has passed the mechanic certification!”
Three As! The two assistants couldn’t help but to look at this new mechanic differently. Master Xhosa took a deep look at Chen Rui and suddenly added, “This mechanics contest, you can also participate.”
The assistants were stunned: No matter how good he is, he is just a freshly promoted mechanic. What does he have to participate in the mechanic contest? Besides, Master Xhosa even asked him to participate!
An assistant thought of something and reminded him, “Master… the preliminary round will start in three days. Registration seems to have expired.”
Master Xhosa stared at that assistant and threw something to Chen Rui, “This is for you. The 10 black crystal coins won’t be refunded, but you can participate directly with this!”
Chen Rui took a look and it was a badge which was exactly the same as that given by Master Rumminge. Master Rumminge was so much more modest for giving it free directly. This Master Xhosa scammed 10 black crystal coins instead. Is he stuffing his pocket to buy alcohol?
The two assistants’ eyes widened when they saw it. That badge represents the recommendation of a master in the alliance. The participants can skip the first preliminary round! Each master can only recommend one person! If it’s taken out, people will fight for it even for 1000 black crystal coins, but Master Xhosa actually gave it to this new mechanic with 10 black crystal coins!
“You two, take him to complete the formalities! I’m going to drink!”
After finishing that sentence, Master Xhosa took out a wine bottle from his space ring and took a sip, ignoring the three. He walked out of the crafting room staggeringly while murmuring in dissatisfaction, “This guy can at least make quasi-excellent grade equipment, but he intentionally wasted materials. I wonder which old monster taught him…”
Hmmm… it should be which old monsters….
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