Sam closed his eyes as he started spreading his spiritual sense. He felt like his consciousness slipping into the platform and an illusory space came into his eyes. There was a human silhouette is in front of Sam's vision. 'The tower spirit' the thought came to his mind
"What is your name?" the tower spirit asked in a neutral voice.
"Imagine a suitable scenario to use your product and use it. Show its capability to its fullest. If you can't use your product yourself, you can imagine a cultivator with the requirements and use it. Test starts now." The tower spirit said and disappeared.
Sam looked at his hands. There is golden metallic object in his hands, it is clearly what he made moments ago. Sam closed his eyes and imagined a scenario............…..
It has been an hour since Sam has started his evaluation. But he didn't open his eyes. The crowd started growing impatient.
"How long is he going to take?" Someone said in the crowd.
"Yeah, it has been such a long time."
"Maybe he failed and just pretending." This time it is Leonard. But he himself didn't believe his words. He is dumbfounded from Sam's performance. He just hoped he would fail at last step. There is someone who also hoped he would fail. That is the receptionist. She forgot about the bet a long time ago. She is an Artisan of first rank and her cultivation is at peak of Acolyte. She became Artisan recently at 18 years of age. This is a great accomplishment. Generally, Artisans use take the test at late stages. But now she saw someone, who is at initial stage Acolyte and working with higher rank materials. The pride she had shattered into pieces. That is the reason, she wanted Sam to fail, so that her view of world would be proved correct. But there is a sense of foreboding that is saying her to give up the hope and it is correct.
The platform brightened suddenly as Sam took his hand. The screen on the wall near the platform, showed the result of the evaluation.
'Product name- Unknown
Product type- Weapon
Rank of the weapon- Rank 2' Below the writing there are nine golden stars.
Crowd went into uproar. The expressions of those who wished Sam to fail are burning with embarrassment. Sam's friends are jumping with joy. Sam passed and he is just not 15 yet. This is a major accomplishment to be a ranked Artisan at his age. All the knowledgeable persons are looking at the stars below the rank.
Sam understood what the stars meant. The weapons in the same rank are also divided in the quality and they are shown with the stars. The more the stars the more incredible the weapon is. The one star being the lowest and 10 stars being the highest. If a weapon has 10 stars it means its might can be compared to the next rank weapon. The badge of an artisan also contains the stars. For example, the tower head of this tower is a Rank 2 artisan with 6 stars. Just when Sam was deep in his thoughts, another string of letters came.
Rank - Pseudo Rank 2 weapon Artisan Rank 3 Scholar artisan.'
Looking at the result Sam let out an arrogant smirk. He wished for this result. The Pseudo rank 2 means, if an artisan of lower cultivation rank can create higher rank then he will get Pseudo rank title. That means, as long as he reached the required cultivation rank, then he can become a rank 2. Then with a blinding light a circular platform appeared on the rectangular platform on which Sam's weapon along with two circular badges which are 3 times larger than a normal coin, one is a golden badge with a symbol which indicates the number 3 in this world's language on it and under the 3 there is a scroll symbol. This is symbol of his Scholar Artisan. This is his Scholar Artisan badge. The other badge is black in colour. Normally, the weapon artisan badge is in silver in colour. The black indicates the pseudo rank. The badge has number 2 on it. There is a symbol of a hammer and a symbol of fire under the number. Back of the both badges, there is Sam's name.
Sam took the weapon and stored it inside the ring. Then he slowly took the badges and looked at them carefully. There are nine stars on the Weapon artisan badge. Indicating his position as a higher level among the other rank 2 artisans. Sam felt proud of himself. Sam slowly took the badges and walked back to the table.
Sam put on his vest and coat and started walking towards the moulds and started breaking them. There are several, glass tube like products and the small metallic products which he collected inside his storage. Sam tidied up the place slowly. Keeping the soil and scraps, he even cleaned the grinding stone. He cleaned until the room is back to its original way before he came.
Sam slowly walked outside the room and smiled towards Philip and his friends and walked near them. Sam took out the badges and asked Philip with a smile.
"I think this much of status enough. No?"
Philip didn't answer and just looked at Sam with grin as he gave him a thumbs up. All Sam's friends are shocked at excited. The thought having a pseudo rank 2 artisan made them excited even more.
"You hid himself too deeply." Philip finally said.
"Yeah. That is true." Paul said slowly.
"You better give me discount when I come to you." Marvin spoke.
"Damn it, Sam. How can you hide the fact that you are an Artisan from me? Don't worry, I will be magnanimous and forgive you if you…. hmph" Freya was about say something shameless again, but Haley shut her mouth with her hand.
Haley slowly looked towards and said in an extremely low voice. "Congratulations." That's it. No lengthy talks and only short and straight forward.
All the other spectators in the crowd just stared at them as they chatted. Nobody wants to interrupt; nobody wants to leave either. After all, it is not every day one would come across a prodigy and nobody wants to miss a chance to talk to him and try to make a connection. They are all Apprentice Artisans and rank 1 artisans. So, having a connection with a higher ranked artisan is always beneficial. But nobody has guts to interrupt. After all they all just stood and watched the show, when Sam was getting ill-treated at the reception. Not only they didn't interrupt, but also let the receptionist do and say whatever she wanted. Now they don't have any face to start a conversation.
"Excuse me, Sir." Somebody finally approached. The person is none other than the tower head. Sam turned and looked at him. He didn't reply at all. Seeing Sam's expression tower head didn't know what to say.
Of course, Sam wouldn't be courteous. He really didn't like the Artisan tower. Although, the mistake of one person being rude and unreasonable cannot represent the character of every person belonging to the tower, what bothered him most is the fact is nobody tried to stop the receptionist when she is being unreasonable. Even this tower head also came last and acted as a middle man rather than stop the lady being rude.
Sam directly ignored the Tower head and walked directly towards the receptionist and looked at her face. The change of the receptionist face can be really considered amusing. There is no trace of arrogance she showed a few hours earlier. Her head held down in embarrassment and she is gritting her teeth as she stared at the floor.
Sam stood in front of her. Sensing that someone is near her she looked up saw Sam slowly staring at her. There is an arrogant smirk on his face. His eyes stared at her directly without any trace of hiding the cold raw arrogance. He looked at her chest and saw a badge gold in colour and there is a number 1 engraved on it with a symbol of hammer and fire underneath. He looked at her eyes again and this time there is also disdain along with the arrogance in her eyes.
She saw the eyes filled with raw arrogance and disdain and felt her pride shattering. Nobody looked at her like that in all her eyes. It is her first time someone looking at her like that. From childhood all the people around her looked at her with adoring and admiring gazes. She was praised for her beauty and talents endlessly. Wherever she was, there are countless people looking at her with envy. But now there is a person right in front of him looking at her disdain. Endless disdain.
"I …." Just as she was about to say something Sam interrupted her.
"Pay up." Sam said as spread his hand. Everyone around was dumbfounded. They imagined countless scenarios, but never this one. The young lady also became fl.u.s.tered as she remembered the bet.
"Young sir, why don't we let bygones be bygones? So, please give some leeway." An elder from the Artisan tower said. Seeing that Sam is still young he wanted to mediate by smooth talking.
Sam looked at the elder and said with an amused expression. "Why should I?" Elder was stumped by the reply. 'Is he asking for a reason?' Elder thought and looked at the tower head with a look of hesitation. Then tower head himself spoke up.
"Sir, Sam. Kelly is my daughter and I failed to teach her properly. So, please give me some face." He said with a gentle tone. "Kelly, apologize." Then he shouted towards the receptionist.
Kelly felt her body shudder from his father's abrupt shout. Tears threatened to come out of her eyes. Looking at her expression, nobody could relate to her arrogant-self few hours ago. Every person felt their hearts tighten as they watched her beauty. Well, everyone except one.
Sam looked at her with the same cold look. When she looked at his handsome face and that cold expression, her mood became even more gloomy. Kelly wasn't able to speak. She wanted to say something, but she can't get the words out of her mouth. She, doesn't know if it was due to anger embarrassment.
"Hahaha. Did you see that? she doesn't even have anything to say. I am sick of waiting here." Sam said as he laughed coldly. He looked at Kelly and repeated. "Pay up." She still didn't reply.
"What? Do you really think I have all day? Pay up." Sam asked as his tone become harsh. Kelly almost broke into tears. He saw her face that was about to cry. Then he turned towards the tower head and spoke. "Aren't you the middle-man? Why are you staying silent for?" Listening to him everyone felt like he is not kidding. They first thought that he is just going to find some trouble to cleanse the humiliation and make a fuss here with his status a higher ranked Artisan. But it seems that he really is asking for money? But it is still trouble to them. Because even with the Artisan tower's income, it is not easy to pay 90000 spirit stones. They would need to explain it to their higher ups. So, the only outcome is to let her pay herself. And it is obviously impossible for a girl who recently became an Artisan. So, there is only one option left.
"Sir, Sam How about I pay it for her?" The tower head asked. Even though he said without hesitation, he felt his heart bleeding inside. He first thought that, since he had a conflict with his daughter and made her work at the reception, he would entertain her a little bit by just mediating the bet. He didn't really have any thought of making the bet. His initial assumption is that the young man is trying to bite off more than he can chew. So, after he failed, he would just take the entrance fee and give the rest back by convincing his daughter as well as teaching the guy a lesson on behalf of her. Even if the young man became a rank 1 artisan, he can directly use his seniority as a rank 2 artisan to mediate the conflict and put it off a joke. That is his initial plan. But the young man didn't follow the script. He just took the exam and out ranked him. These 90000 spirit stones are savings from past two years he has been making. Now all of them will be gone.
"Oh, did she use your mouth to act arrogant in front of me?" Sam asked a question which made him stumped. 'Now you are being completely unreasonable' The tower heard inwardly thought. But he forced a smile. Then Sam said again.
"Forget it. Just return my spirit stones back and send me a whole set of equipment that is in that room." Sam said as he pointed at the room in which he has just taken the test. Hearing this the tower head sighed in relief. The equipment is not an issue at all. Particularly for an Artisan who is in second rank there is a significant discount on the basic smithy equipment. Even though it will cost him some spirit stones, he wouldn't have to go broke. Sam took a piece of paper and wrote something and passed it to the tower head.
"This is the place where I live. Send it after the Starwood academy admissions are over. But you better keep the place a secret." Sam then turned around and started walking. Then he stopped and looked at Kelly and then continued to walk away. There is a look of disregard in his eyes. The intense disdain before was also gone. It was as if his eyes were saying to him. 'You don't even deserve my disdain.' This left her a bitter taste and finally broke into tears. Her father came forward and took her into his embrace. She just lost her head in an impulse. She never wanted to take it out on a random person who has nothing to do with her bad mood. But it happened on an impulsive decision of hers and now that random person trampled on her pride and even disregarded her existence. She was in awe with his performance and unique skills he displayed, but she never got a chance to express her admiration. All she got was an intense disregard in his eyes, first time in her life she wanted a person's acknowledgement. She wanted to own up to her actions, but she chickened out at last minute. She hated herself. Both father and daughter just stood there in each other's embrace as everyone left them alone.