"Everybody please stop what you are doing right now! The third phase is over and the prospective Alchemists have been passed. Our three new Rank 1 Alchemists are Shang Yang, Ye Xiu and Shen Xiu. Those that haven't passed the examination please retake it at the next opportunity."
"The three of you will now follow me, we'll be awarding you your Alchemist Badge in Public. This will help you get possible offers for apprenticeship or to raise your popularity for people that may want to buy your pills in the future." The man started leading the three of them to the next place they were supposed to go.
As they were moving to the next location, Shang Yang took the chance to talk with Ye Xiu. "Ye Xiu, you passed as well! I knew you would. Didn't I tell you that you shouldn't feel nervous over passing the exam? I bet your mentors knew exactly what they were doing so you should give them more trust in the future!"
Ye Xiu just smiled, "During the third phase, I realised that the exam truly was as east as my mentors had told me. Once I got that done and over with, I stopped worrying about my poor performance and instead completed the task like I would've usually done them together with my mentors."
"That's great! I saw you finish the earliest again for the third phase so you must be really talented at Alchemy to be better than everybody in the examination this time around!"
Ye Xiu was trying to be humble, "I don't think I'm that great. I mean you finished the second fastest in the three phases as well. I can say that you definitely would've taken the top spot if I hadn't come this time."
Shang Yang flushed at the blatant praise before she returned to talking, "You don't have to try to cheer m up! I know that I'm not as good as you and I don't mind that. Are you going straight back to your city after the exams or will you stay in the Capital for a while?"
"I'm not quite sure, I'll have to check with my guardian. He's on a work trip so I might be here for a couple of days. If I do have free time, I wouldn't mind hanging out with you. My friend can come with us, he's around the same age but we'd need an escort because we are all children and I doubt that we'd be able to take care of ourselves in the Capital."
"A friend?" Shang Yang's eyes dropped slightly. "It's not a girl, is it?"
"Nope, my friend is a guy. He was watching me take part in the examination, I'll introduce you to him later when we meet each other. I think you'll like him." Ye Xiu smiled brightly not even realising that Shang Yang was flirting with him.
She fluttered her eyelashes whilst smiling, "I'd love to meet your friend as well. If he's just as nice as you then he'd be amazing to talk to."
The two continued to chatter until the man stopped at one of the doors. "Be quiet when we enter, I'll inform the person who is introducing you guys about who passed. There will be a lot of people so try to look your best."
Ye Xiu looked at Shang Yang with a wan smile who returned it with a confident smirk. "Don't be nervous."
The trio entered the room which was dark. The presenter will be talking about some miscellaneous things such as updating the Association on things they need to know and some weekly updates. After that, it'll be the time for you guys to get on stage. Many Alchemists will be there so don't do anything foolish."
A few minutes of waiting passed before the presenter began to announce the Alchemist examination results. "We will now be welcoming our newest Alchemists to the Association this year! We have some very promising Alchemists this year. All three participants passed it on their first try! We'll be watching them for their achievements. Now let us give a round of applause for the new Alchemists!"
Applause rang out and the trio walked out onto the stage. They could see a huge amount of Alchemists in the seats in front of them. Shang Yang grabbed Ye Xiu's hand and forced him to bow with her. The presenter walked up to the three and took out three badges from his inter-dimensional storage before handing it out to them.
"This is the Alchemist Association Badge, it'll be linked to your Qi so nobody else will be able to use it. Try not to lose this otherwise it'll cost you a huge fine to replace it." The man spoke sternly to the two children especially before turning away back to his original position.
Xiao Tu was in the audience, glaring holes at Shang Yang. He clenched his fists tightly before leaving the event abruptly. He waited at the lobby where they had entered for the event to finish. He was trying to calm himself down and was in deep thoughts. 'Why do I feel so angry when I see them acting so friendly together? They're just friends aren't they?'
Whilst Xiao Tu was in his confused state, Ye Xiu was blushing hard because he had never held another girl's hand in both this life and his previous life. 'Her hand is so soft.' They were still standing on the stage and Ye Xiu could feel the stares on him and Shang Yang. Very few people were paying attention to the third participant because he was of a much older age compared to the two children standing on the stage.
Shang Yang was less conscious of the stares directed at them and was smiling proudly when she spotted her father with a wide grin on his face. When the announcer bade them leave, Shang Yang quickly dragged Ye Xiu to meet her father.
Shang Yang's father raised his eyebrows as he watched his daughter drag the boy that he had seen on-stage a few moments ago at a fast pace towards him. "Daddy! I made a new friend. He's super amazing at Alchemy!"
"Is that so?" Shang Yang's father narrowed his eyes at Ye Xiu. "My name is Shang Xian and I am Shang Yang's father. You don't have any ideas on my precious daughter, do you?
Ye Xiu shook his head quickly, "I don't have any feelings for your daughter."
Shang Xian nodded his head happily to that statement. "Good, my precious daughter doesn't need anybody besides me right now." He foolishly grinned as if he had the greatest treasure in the world.
"Daddy, you're embarrassing me!" Shang Yang pouted childishly as he picked her up and started to swing her around.
They started walking out of the hall and headed towards the lobby. When they got to the lobby, Ye Xiu spotted Xiao Tu standing at the side so he decided to run over to him and drag him over to introduce him to his new friends. Xiao Tu's mood wasn't very happy but he put on a fake smile so that Ye Xiu didn't notice anything was wrong with him.
He was dragged towards the entourage, "This is my friend, Xiao Tu! He came with me to watch me participate in the examination today. His father is the current guardian of the trip so I owe his father for bringing me here on such a busy schedule."
Shang Yang stuck her hand out, "It's nice to meet you Xiao Tu. I'm Shang Yang! I've become an Alchemist with Ye Xiu today." They crushed each other's hands as they shook them.
Ye Xiu could see sparks flying as his two friends stared at each other before finishing their shake. "That's great! You must be very talented to pass the examinations at such a young age like Ye Xiu did." The sarcasm was dripping from Xiao Tu's voice as he spoke.
A witty remark flew back at Xiao Tu, "At least I passed the examination unlike some plebian who didn't even take it. I'd bet that you are just hanging on to Ye Xiu's coattails!"
Having no comeback, Xiao Tu steered the conversation away from the topic, "Tsk, whatever, I won't argue with a child on such matters."
Noticing the tension, Ye Xiu quickly continued the conversation, "Shang Yang had an idea for the three of us to hang out together whilst we are still in the Capital. I think your father should allow us to go out as long as we have an escort right?"
Xiao Tu thought for a moment, 'If I don't agree he'll be alone with that vixen. I should just stay close to him for the entire time so that she doesn't have the chance to sink her claws into Ye Xiu.' Reaffirming his decision, Xiao Tu spoke out.
"Sure, we'll have to ask my father for permission for this though. We don't want what happened last time occurring again."
Shang Xian raised his eyebrows at the conversation before picking Shang Yang by the scruff of the neck. "An excursion out in the Capital? Why wasn't I informed about this. I'd have thought my precious daughter to be kind enough to inform me of something so interesting happening in the future."
Shang Yang used her puppy eyes to look at her father. "Ehh, I was planning to tell you when I got home! Daddy, may I go out with them on a trip? I promise that we'll be safe and that we won't do anything stupid."
He immediately stopped releasing his authoritative demeanour once he got hit by the puppy eyes. "I give up, you're just like your mother when it comes to persuasion. Fine, you may go out on the trip only if their guardian agrees to it. I'll also be coming with you during that trip so I can make sure that the three of you aren't being foolish."
He handed over a piece of paper to Xiao Tu. "Give this to your father so that he can contact me when he has agreed to the trip."
Xiao Tu stepped forward to take the paper before placing it into his breast-pocket. Shang Xian looked at the two boys before bidding them farewell.
"It's time to go, Shang Yang, we'll meet again." The father didn't look back as he held onto Shang Yang's hand. Shang Yang turned around and waved goodbye to Ye Xiu then stuck her tongue at Xiao Tu childishly.
Xiao Tu scowled at her but still waved goodbye. "Ye Xiu, we'll have to wait here for my father to pick us up after his meeting is finished."
"Sure, I don't mind waiting anyway"
- - - -
Xiao San was rushing towards the Alchemist Association Building because he knew he was incredibly late by the looks of how dark it was.
He stopped at the entrance and patted himself down to not look like he had rushed to the building like a madman. Once entering, he scanned the lobby for the two children and strolled over to them once he spotted Xiao Tu sleeping on the couch with Ye Xiu watching over him on a separate chair.
Xiao San picked Xiao Tu up with one hand very carefully before making a shushing motion to Ye Xiu. Ye Xiu nodded his understanding to what Xiao San wanted before following him out of the building to get back to their residence.
As they were walking, Xiao San asked Ye Xiu questions. "How did the examination go? Did you pass it? I'm sorry for being so late picking you two up today. The meeting had dragged on with everybody arguing on what they wanted before we decided to conclude it for the day."
Ye Xiu just flashed him his badge and smiled. "There's no need for apologies, Xiao San. The examination was pretty easy." Ye Xiu stopped speaking and hey made their way to the residence silently before resting.