On his way to The Swans Nest, Thomas stopped at Zella's Fashions to buy some cotton, cotton cloth, a needle, and some thread. Since he still had a couple of hours left in the day, Thomas intended to sew up some cushion inserts for his boots to make them marginally more comfortable to wear. After spending eleven gold on the supplies he continued to The Swans Nest and made his way to his room. He still had tomorrow night paid for, so tomorrow he would just pay for another week up front. He had more than enough money and wouldn't have to worry about that for a good long time.
After entering his room, Thomas got to work making the cushions for his boots. It was extremely simple work that didn't take him very much time at all. All he had to do was cut the cotton cloth into shape and place two layers of cotton together with a layer of fluffy cotton in between. He made sure the layer of fluffy cotton was as uniform as possible so lumps would be less likely to form. After that, he stitched the layers together by sewing along the edges. He even stitched a small pattern into the interior of the cushion to help keep the cotton from shifting around. For his efforts, he earned 74 Tailoring experience which was more than enough to overcome the two experience he needed to rank Tailoring up to 26.
Thomas slipped the inserts into his boots and tried them out. They were nowhere near as comfortable as a good set of memory foam molded inserts in the real world, but they were a hell of a lot better than nothing! Thomas lay down on his bed for a bit to stare at the ceiling with his 'All Seeing Eyes' focused to the maximum. To his surprise, his vision felt like it had gotten a little sharper and a little clearer. He also felt his mana draining a little faster than before, he couldn't say exactly how much faster though. When he felt his mana falling dangerously low he stopped his efforts and relaxed letting his mind drift into the state of 'Serenity'. He kept himself awake for a couple of hours until he felt it was time to sleep, then drifted off for the night.
After waking up refreshed the following morning, Thomas enjoyed his breakfast and paid Martha 189 gold for his room and laundry service for the next week. With that, his on-hand funds dropped to just 152 gold coins. He'd blown through about 400 gold in just two days, the majority of it on a single meal. However, yesterdays meal had been completely worth the price so Thomas wasn't the least bit disappointed. Besides, by the time he finished working on his Alchemy rank, Rock would have another payment for him.
Thomas got directions from a guard to Ricktor's Potions and wasn't surprised to find it on the same street as all the other places he had worked at. Hekrin seemed to know all the artisans on the main boulevard. After stepping into the shop, Thomas was surprised by the sheer variety of items for sale. Despite being called Ricktor's Potions there were other items that Thomas was having trouble identifying for sale as well.
Behind the sales counter was a young man appearing to be in his late teens. He had short brown hair and light hazel eyes. Thomas walked up to the counter and introduced himself with a smile, "Hi there, I'm Thomas and I am looking for Ricktor. Hekrin sent me over to learn Alchemy from him."
After listening to Thomas the young man's expression turns slightly disgruntled. The young man looks Thomas up and down before speaking in a flat tone, "Wait here."
The young man turned around and opened a door leading into the back room. As soon as the door opened Thomas's nostrils were assaulted by several different scents all mixing together. Medicinal scents, earthy scents, and foul scents all combined into something ridiculously weird and disturbing. The young man stepped into the room for a moment before exiting while accompanied by a man that could only be described as a stereotypical wizard!
Ricktor was over six feet tall with straight white hair hanging down to the middle of his back and a long white beard that hung all the way down to his waist. He even wore a freaking robe! However, the robe was modified to have tight sleeves, which made sense. No one would want to have their sleeves dipping into what was being mixed. Ricktor looked over Thomas with grey colored eyes. The look was intense, like he was trying to discern everything about Thomas with his look. When he finally spoke his voice was a deep baritone that rumbled with power, "So, you're the boy Hekrin has been sending up and down the street. Rock, Zella, and Hyde have all spoken well of you when I have seen them these last few weeks." Ricktor's eyes brightened as he smiled broadly, "Rock even informed me about what you've done for him. Being able to make magical weapons without even using magic. Truly phenomenal indeed. I look forward to seeing what you can do with Alchemy."
As Ricktor spoke to Thomas, the young man's look turned more hostile towards Thomas. Like the young man resented him for something. Thomas chose to ignore the young man, his goal was to learn Alchemy from Ricktor, not to make friends with the sales clerk of the store. Ricktor gestured for Thomas to follow him and led Thomas into the back room. The room was filled with all kinds of beakers, tubes, and apparatuses that Thomas wasn't familiar with. Ricktor closed the door and smiled at Thomas once more, "Tell me what you know of Alchemy."
Thomas thought for a moment before speaking, "You will have to understand that I have not studied Alchemy in this world so what I am going to say comes from previous experiences in my original world."
Ricktor nodded and gestured for Thomas to continue, so he did, "Alchemy is a profession that takes various things, such as herbs, and combines them with mana to create potions." Thomas frowned for a moment, it was actually harder than he thought to describe everything Alchemy was capable of. Taking a breath he continued, "Alchemy can cause subtle, or extreme, changes to the properties of materials. Such as the Hardening Solution making leather harder than it could become through traditional means. If I had to say, I would say the ability of Alchemy to cause transmutation is the most powerful, and important, part of the whole profession."
Ricktor listened to Thomas and nodded along with his words, "Well, you're not entirely wrong. Or entirely right. While potion making is an integral part of Alchemy it's merely the beginning. High-rank Alchemists can change the very foundation of the world!" Ricktor's eyes glowed brightly as he spoke with passion in his deep voice, "At a high enough rank an Alchemist can completely change one material into another. That is the realm all Alchemists dream of reaching."
Ricktor focused back on Thomas, "Come, I will teach you how to make a basic potion that will help heal wounds. A health potion."
|System Notice: Alchemy Tutorial. Follow Ricktor's directions to unlock the Alchemy skill.|
Ricktor led Thomas over to a cupboard and pulled out three things. After setting them on a table Ricktor explained to Thomas while picking up an item that looked similar to ginger root, "This is a Blood Root." Ricktor picked up a small knife to carefully peeled off some of the roots wrinkly bark to reveal a blood red interior, "When eaten Blood Root helps the body produce blood at a faster rate than normal." Ricktor set it down and picked up a flower with a thorny stem, "This is the Mending Flower, its sap revitalizers people and helps wounds close faster." He set down the white flower and picked up the final item, a small purple crystal, "And this is a magic crystal from a monster. It's crystalized mana."
Thomas examined each and every item and committed their appearance to memory. Ricktor turned to look at Thomas, "If these three items are combined properly they will make a blood-red potion capable of greatly increasing a person's natural healing. Follow my directions exactly." Ricktor gestured to a mortar and pestle as well as the knife, "Skin the Blood Root completely then grind it in the mortar and pestle to extract as much of the roots juices as possible."
Thomas picked up the root and began to peel off the light grey bark with the knife until he'd exposed the entire blood red interior of the root. He dropped it into the mortar and picked up the pestle to pound, crush, and grind the root to extract the juices from it. The juices of the Blood Root were as thick and red as actual blood. It only took Thomas a few minutes to completely pulp the root and extract all the juices from it. Ricktor examined Thomas's work and smiled, "Well done." Ricktor pointed to a medium-sized glass container, "Pour the juice in there and discard the pulp."
After pouring the blood-like juice into the beaker and discarding the pulp into a trash can, Ricktor instructed, "Now do the same with the Meding Flower. Extract as much sap as possible from it by pulping it in the mortar with the pestle."
Thomas carefully smashed, pulped, and ground the flower to extract as much of the sap as he could from it. The amount was actually rather minuscule, but Ricktor seemed happy with it and nodded to Thomas, "Add the sap to the Blood Root juice. Once you have, wipe out the mortar and grind the mana crystal into powder to add to the mixture."
Thomas did as instructed, emptying and then cleaning the mortar and pestle. Grinding the mana crystal was actually rather hard work. It was a solid hunk of hard material that he had to pound with a fair bit of force to break apart. Thinking about it, Thomas was actually kind of impressed with Hekrin, even if he didn't want to admit it. If Hekrin had told him to do Alchemy first, he wasn't entirely sure he would have had enough Power to smash the mana crystal. As he worked to turn the crystal into powder he started to suspect that Hekrin had a reason behind every quest for each profession he made Thomas work. It annoyed Thomas to think like that.
Once the crystal was turned completely into powder, he poured it into the mixture of the Blood Root juice and Mending Flower sap. Ricktor handed Thomas a thin metal rod, "Mix the ingredients together until they've blended fairly well."
Thomas quickly and easily mixed the ingredients together until they became a murky red color. While Thomas was mixing, Ricktor fetched a metal plate that was a good 25cm by 25cm and carved with a mystical pattern that could only be called a magic circle. It was covered in square, circular, and triangular lines as well as various runes. In the center of the formation was a circular blank area. Ricktor set the plate down and spoke to Thomas, "Place the container in the center of the plate."
After setting the beaker into the center of the metal plate, Ricktor pointed to two specific spots on the plate, "Place your hands on the plate and channel your mana into it. The plate will use transmutation to purge the impurities out of the mixture and transform it into a proper healing potion."
Thomas looked slightly embarrassed as he spoke to Ricktor, "Uh... I don't exactly know how to channel my mana."
Ricktor laughed lightly, "I suppose that's something all of you otherworlders have to deal with. It's really not all that hard. Can you feel the mana within your body?
Thomas nodded, "I can."
Ricktor continued, "Since you can feel it the rest isn't very hard. Place your hands on the plate and close your eyes. Focus on the mana within your body and gently try to guide it towards your hands. If you do it properly your mana should begin to flow from within your body and into the formation plate. The plate will take care of the rest."
Thomas stepped up to the formation plate and placed his hands where Ricktor had indicated. Following the directions he was given, Thomas closed his eyes and focused on the mana within his body. He focused his mind and tried to gently guide the mana toward his hands. He'd used mana in other games, but they all tried to be different from each other which made it annoying as he had to learn how to channel mana over and over again. It took Thomas several minutes of focusing before he finally managed to get the hang of gently guiding his mana from the core of his body, through his arms, and into his hands. As soon as the mana entered his hands the formation plate began to gently consume his mana.
Opening his eyes, Thomas watched as the lines and runes on the formation plate began to glow and channel his mana into the mixture inside of the beaker. As his mana entered the mixture through the formation the mixture began to swirl gently while black smoke began to flow out of the top of the beaker. As the smoke leaked out the mixture the murky red color began to brighten. The black smoke was made of the impurities contained within the materials being purged. As the smoke flowed the mixture became brighter and shrank as more material was lost.
After a good five minutes, the smoke came to a stop and the potion glowed with a bright red light. The formation stopped extracting mana from Thomas and ceased glowing. Ricktor nodded and picked up the beaker to examine it. Ricktor turned to Thomas and nodded, "Well done." He held the beaker out to Thomas, "For the last step you need to pour the potion into vials."
Ricktor grabbed a set of vials and set them down accompanied by a funnel and corks. Thomas carefully poured the completed potion into the first vial. The completed potion only filled a single vial, about thirty milliliters of liquid. Once the vial was filled Thomas stuck a cork into the vial and smiled.
|System Notice: Tutorial complete. You have unlocked the Alchemy skill.|