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157 Kinley’s New Life I

 Players with sharp eyes would notice a new shop in town. Its sign which read 'Golden Rose' made it clear that it was an alchemist's atelier.

Naturally, the owner was Lady Kinley Ainsworth, who had come to the Unnamed Town chasing Angora.

Angora had been prepared to chase off this uninvited guest at first, only to be stopped by Xi Wei throwing down an oracle from his Divine Kingdom.

In the first place, Xi Wei was curious about alchemy-as the God of Games, his power with alchemy was basically nothing more than conjuring Coca-Cola.

It was only perfect timing that Kinley would appear in the Unnamed Town now.

As mentioned before, divine grace from the gods was not distributed equally amongst all believers, and was instead bestowed upon high-ranked leaders of their faith and a few selected believers.

Although all alchemists worshipped Alchemie, the God of Alchemy, their faith was based on the teaching that 'the essence of alchemy is only seen through unrestrained thinking'. It was not a religion in the orthodox sense, but instead a loosely established organization called the Tower of Wisdom.

In turn, that group basically had no rules and did not implement any major movements, and was basically a platform that provided opportunities for exchange.

Kinley's mentor was one such member of the Tower, and one of the three remaining Wise Lords of the Tower. Although he did not embody actual authority like the leaders of other faith, to hold that position alone was no different being the pope of a church.

And Kinley was the apprentice of that pope, and Xi Wei would never believe that the kid wasn't special.

If his hunch was right, she was a Chosen One even if she wasn't an equivalent to a Saintess of another religion! There was certainly no other explanation for how the top alchemist of the continent would take her in as an apprentice all those years ago.

And that certainly proved true: Xi Wei hadn't noticed it back in Tunaya, but he could clearly detect the power of another god when Kinley arrived in his domain.

***

It was only natural that the presence of other gods was virtually undetectable for ordinary believers, nor would there be useful information.

In that respect, things were different for special believers.

That was the same thing as how Rotten Bones had schemed to kidnap Princess Leah and reverse-trace the location of Xi Wei's Divine Kingdom-only she would work, and capturing guardsmen was useless.

Hence, with Kinley settling down at the Unnamed Town, Xi Wei would have the time to slowly study Alchemie's power that enveloped her.

Xi Wei certainly had no intention on trying to stir trouble with the God of Alchemy. Indeed, Alchemie was far inferior in combat compared to the Ocean Goddess, and on the same level as Aslan the Great Lion-with Aslan dominating in the case of direct confrontation, but Xi Wei was a ball with tentacles and definitely not a worthy opponent...

He only wanted to study Alchemie's divine nature and divine power through his own divinity as the God of Games, and see if he could obtain more powers in alchemy...

On the other hand, Kinley was quite happy with her present circumstances.

Angora had set the ground rules with her, literally agreeing to three laws[1]:

Firstly, she must never betray the God of Games and His believers at any given time, or leak information about the God of Games to others. In return, believers of the God of Games would never be able to harm her in any way without a divine oracle.

Secondly, she could leave the Unnamed Town any time she wished, but she was to produce alchemy merchandise as long as she was around to facilitate the God of Game's believers, or instruct them in basic alchemy for any willing to learn. In return, Kinley could commission the believers and have them go on farming quests for alchemy materials in her stead.

Thirdly, it was no issue for her to study any facilities and equipment found in the various base of the Church of Games, but permission must be obtained from the head of respective bases, and she must never spread any alchemy knowledge she gained through such studies to believers of other faith, although she could teach the Players. In return, Kinley would not have to spend game coins to directly teleport to other bases equipped with Lifestones.

In retrospect, the first rule was quite basic. No church would want to let others know about their secrets, just as having someone from a different faith staying in their own base was an easy way to reach the other church's secrets. As such, no church would allow anyone from another church to stay in their own base without an agreement of secrecy.

The second rule was not too hard to accept either, since from Kinley's perspective trading between the God of Games' believers was much more akin to a barter system. As such, creating some alchemy items for sale if she was to live in the Unnamed Town was normal.

As a matter of fact, the Players actually traded with game coins, but since the System granted the capacity for digitalized payment or fund transfers, Kinley was no different from a boomer who still carried around a beeper in modern times. She therefore could never imagine how advanced their technology actually was, much less keep in touch with the times.

Naturally, Kinley wasn't aware of that.

Still, being an alchemist, she needed an atelier for experiments. Hence, from what she could see, not only did the Church of Games provided her with one, she could even get the believers to work for her-what could she possibly argue against such joy?

It was true that in her mind, it was the same as working for the Church of Games be it teaching the Players alchemy or commissioning them to obtain materials. That said, she also believed that most people were not convinced that alchemy was an easy subject. Why else would alchemists be so rare on the continent?

Nonetheless, she absolutely would not reject the third rule since it was essentially the reason Kinley had come to this town.

She had a hunch that there must be some spatial magitek when Angora and his retainers suddenly disappeared from Tunaya. Even so, what she assumed to be a secret item reserved exclusively for military-use was placed right in the open at the center of town, even made available to her.

There could not have been a greater ecstasy for her! After all, one should know that aside from the portal technology preserved by lost tribes in their subterranean cities, portals that existed on the surface were either ancient relics or natural portals!

Although she couldn't teach people of other faith what she had learned which limits her ability for full exchange of skills with other alchemists, being able to learn the wondrous alchemy tech of the Unnamed Town was worth the cost!

***

[1] -an idiom, meaning to agree to a set of three rules.