Thomas lifted the vial of healing potion and examined it closely. He had to honestly admit to himself that it was rather beautiful. The blood-red juices of the Blood Root had transformed into a ruby red color that glittered as if specs of metal were swirling within the thick liquid of the potion. Ricktor examined the potion as well and nodded in approval, "Not bad young man."
Ricktor pulled out more of the same ingredients and set them on the table, "Now, make me nineteen more."
|System Notice: New Quest!|
|Ricktor Helstan has requested that you make 19 health potions for him.
Rewards: 20 experience, 5 gold per potion of average rank or higher
Failure: You must pay 20 gold for each potion that fails to meet Ricktor's standards.
Time Limit: 1 day
Ricktor had set out nineteen sets of materials on the table for Thomas to work with and left the formation plate out for Thomas to use. Thomas nodded to Ricktor and got to work right away. It didn't take him more than fifteen minutes to make the first potion so making nineteen more wouldn't be an issue. Well, that was as long as he didn't mess up any of the potions.
Thomas started by peeling every single Blood Root first. He discarded the thin layers of bark as he piled up more and more of the root on the table. It took him less than an hour to meticulously skin all nineteen pieces. Thomas was rather surprised to realize that each bit of root, though in different shapes, was nearly the exact same amount. With all the Blood Root peeled, Thomas began by tossing in five of the pieces into the mortar and pestle. Ricktor watched Thomas silently for a bit, before moving over to a different table to work with other materials and ingredients to make different potions.
After juicing the roots by crushing and grinding them into pulp, Thomas poured the juice into a larger beaker and discarded the pulp. He next mashed up and extracted the sap from five Mending Flowers and added the sap to the Blood Root's juice in the beaker. After cleaning the pestle and mortar he smashed one mana crystal at a time and added them to the mixture as well. Once the mixture was mixed with a thin metal rod he placed the beaker in the center of the formation plate.
Once the beaker was in place, Thomas stopped for a moment to look over the formation to see if he could glean any information off of it that might relate to his transmutation. Unfortunately for him, the formation plate made absolutely no sense to him. He could easily discern that it was a magic circle and he was relatively certain that it pertained to transmutation, but that was it. His knowledge of the subject within AoG was clearly lacking. Frustrated with not being able to learn anything, Thomas instead focused on feeding his mana into the formation while simultaneously activating his 'All Seeing Eyes' to observe the beaker.
Thomas's eyesight zoomed in on the beaker as his mana began to drain at a relatively faster pace. Within his sight, he could see the formation feeding his mana into the potion mixture. The formation allowed his mana to work within the mixture to pull the impurities away from the ingredients making up the potion. There was no sign of any heat but the motion of the mana caused the potion to writhe within the beaker as if it was boiling. Thomas could see his mana surrounding the impurities and pulling them apart from the good material. Once separated his mana moved to the surface of the liquid and released the impurities into the air in a form that looked like smoke.
As he observed the process, Thomas realized that the majority of the impurities came from the mana crystal shards floating within the mixture. As the impurities were removed from the mana crystals it freed the mana within the shards while the mana from the formation infused it into the liquids. Thomas could clearly see the difference between his mana and the mana from the mana crystals. His mana had a soft blue color after going through the formation while the mana from the mana crystals was pure white.
Thomas found all of it rather fascinating and increased his focus as much as he possibly could to observe as much detail as he could. With his vision zoomed in as far as he could get it, Thomas could see the individual ingredients. The Blood Root juice and the Meding Flower sap were like oil and water while the mana from the mana crystals acted as a catalyst to force the two to merge together. Thomas couldn't help but wonder if his Transmutation ability would allow him to do what the formation plate was doing someday.
Although it felt longer, it only took five minutes for the formation plate to agitate the potion mixture and remove the majority of the impurities and turn the raw potion into the glittering ruby red finished product. Thomas released his 'All Seeing Eyes' and went about filling the vials with the finished product. Each vial got approximately thirty milliliters of the potion before he began to cork them one at a time. He got five system notifications for finishing the five potions.
|System Notice: You have created a Normal Basic Health Potion. Quality: Above Average. You have gained 64 Alchemy experience.|
All five potions gave him the same amount of Alchemy experience, which made perfect sense since they were all the same batch and would have the same quality. With the first five potions completed, Thomas began the process of completing the next five potions. Though this time, he wanted to try something different. Thomas started by juicing just one Blood Root and closely observing the juice as he forced it out of the remaining pulp of the root. Observing it closely with his 'All Seeing Eyes', Thomas realized that the liquid wasn't quite as thick as blood as his initial impression had implied.
Thomas poured the juice into a beaker and observed the pulp left in the mortar. He could see there was some of the juice still trapped in the pulp, but the pestle just couldn't press the remains of it out. Thomas recalled how his mana, through the formation, had been used to pull the impurities out of the mixture. Thomas decided to experiment. If this failed he would only owe Ricktor for a single failure, but he couldn't help but wonder what would happen if he succeeded.
With his sight focused on the pulp, Thomas took a deep breath and began to urge the mana that still remained within his body towards his right hand. He specifically moved the mana to his right index finger which he gently touched the pulp with. Thomas recalled how the mana had moved within the mixture and tried to emulate it himself. He gently pulled the mana out of the tip of his finger and urged it into the root pulp. As his mana tried to seep into the pulp he lost control of the majority of it but managed to retain control of a small portion. What he was attempting was a lot harder than he had initially expected.
With the mana he retained control of, about twenty percent of what left his body, he surrounded the juice remaining within the pulp with the mana and began to urge it to come out. Still emulating what he had seen in the beaker, he slowly pulled out what remained of the juice in the root until all that was left was pure white root pulp.
Letting out a deep sigh and wiping sweat from his brow, Thomas poured the tiny amount of juice he'd managed to squeeze out of the remaining pulp into the beaker. As he watched the few drops he'd squeezed out with all his focus drip into the beaker, Thomas noticed that the few drops he'd gotten were a lot thicker and darker than what he'd gotten just from mashing the root up.
Curious if he made any progress he opened his character sheet to check for any changes.
|Transmutation ( A ) // Rank 2 // 3/30 Exp|
|Mana Control // Rank 2 // 23/30 Exp|
Seeing that his transmutation had ranked up and that he had unlocked a new ability, Thomas couldn't keep from grinning in joy. He had maybe twenty percent of his overall mana remaining, so the claims that transmutation was draining seemed rather accurate. As a comparison, he'd used maybe five percent of his mana to purify the large batch of potion previously. He'd done very little but had spent a rather large chunk of his mana. He expected that as his Transmutation and Mana Control abilities ranked up it would become easier and less draining, but that seemed like it would be a long time from now.
Thomas felt he had enough mana left to finish the batch of potions he was working on but after that, he would need to take some time to use 'Serenity' to recover his mana. Thomas discarded the stark white pulp and placed four more pieces of the root into the mortar and ground out the juices within it to add to the beaker. Once that was done he pulped five of the Mending Flowers and added their sap to the beaker and finished it with five powdered mana crystals.
With the mixture mixed, Thomas placed it on the formation plate and fed his mana into it to remove the impurities. He was tempted to observe the process again, but his lack of available mana prevented him from risking the possibility of running out of mana in the middle of the process. As the last of the impurities were removed from the mixture the liquid flashed with a bright white for a very brief moment.
Ricktor reacted instantly and came rushing over to Thomas's side to stare at the beaker, "What did you do?!"
Thomas, surprised by the flash of light and Ricktor's reaction, turned to the man in question and explained, "When I was summoned I gained the Transmutation Innate Ability. I used it for the first time on one of the Blood Root pieces to extract every last drop of juice from it. It only added a couple of drops. I mostly did it to practice and see what I could do."
Ricktor's eyes widened marginally in surprise, "Transmutation without a transmutation circle? Amazing! Hurry up and pour the potion into the vials. I want to examine them right away!"
Thomas nodded and did as instructed, filling each vial with the same amount as previously. Obvious just a few extra drops weren't going to add a huge amount so each of the five vials was filled with the same amount as the first five he completed. As he stuck the cork into the first vial he stopped to stare at the system notices.
|System Notice: You have created a Magical grade Pure Blood Health Potion. Quality: Average. You have gained 129 Alchemy experience and 32 experience.|
|System Notice: Your title 'Magical Blacksmith' has evolved into 'Magical Crafter'. When you craft a Magical grade, or higher, item you gain a bonus 10% experience for the associated profession. Additionally, you gain 25% of the experience for that item as regular experience.|
Thomas swallowed loudly at the two notifications. This was insane! He'd only done a little extra work, how the hell did it turn out like this? Not to mention the evolution of his title. Just making a magical item in two professions had evolved the title? Shouldn't that have been a lot harder? He had no idea, but he had no intention of complaining about it to anyone.
With slightly shaking hands, Thomas handed the potion vial to Rickton and watched to see what his reaction would be. Thomas was not disappointed as Ricktor's eyes widened in shock and his hand began to shake violently. After looking at the potion for a few moments his eyes shifted to Thomas, "Y... Y... You are a genius! A once in a millennium genius!"
Ricktor carefully set the vial down before turning to Thomas and grabbing his shoulders hard enough to dig his fingers in, "Do you have any idea what you've done?!"
Thomas could only shake his head in reply, he really had no clue what he had done. Ricktor took in a deep breath and spoke in a trembling voice, "All things have a 'heart' within them. This applies not only to living beings but inert beings too. When you used your ability you extracted the 'heart' of the Blood Root and added it to the potion. Taking the 'heart' out and placing it into the potion greatly increased its efficacy and power, bumping it from just a simple potion up into a magical grade potion!"
Ricktor's whole body shook in his excitement, "Normally only a really powerful alchemist with a properly made formation plate could extract the heart out of an ingredient to add to a mixture. But such an alchemist would never do something like that to a beginner ingredient like the Blood Root. You're probably the first in history! If you had done it to all five pieces I'm sure the quality of your potion would have risen dramatically!"
Thomas carefully extracted himself from Ricktor's grip and looked at the remaining portions in the beaker. He picked the beaker up and carefully poured it into the funnel to fill the remaining four vials and complete the potions. He gained an additional 516 Alchemy experience and 128 experience. The regular experience didn't matter much, but his Alchemy skill had skyrocketed to rank thirteen instantly! It was absolutely insane to Thomas that his rank had grown so high and he was only halfway through the first quest.
After all the potions were completed, Ricktor snagged all of them up and looked them over, confirming that the remaining four were the exact same as the first one. Ricktor shook his head and looked at Thomas, "If you can complete the last nine in the same fashion as these five I will give you a bonus."
|System Notice: Quest Update!|
|Ricktor Helstan has requested that you make 19 health potions for him but after seeing your 'Pure Blood Health Potions', he has requested that you finish the remaining 9 in the same fashion.
Rewards: 20 experience, 5 gold per potion of average rank or higher. 50 experience, 25 gold for each 'Pure Heart Health Potion'.
Failure: You must pay 20 gold for each potion that fails to meet Ricktor's standards.
Time Limit: 1 day