After arriving at The Swans Nest, Thomas placed his new portable Alchemy kit inside of his room before heading back to the ground floor to enjoy a much-deserved dinner. He planned to head to the bank tomorrow to deposit the alchemy kit. For the time being, he had no real use for the kit and instead just wanted to make sure it was safe. He was positive it would come in handy in the future, he just wished it wasn't so large that it would make carrying it around a pain in the ass. He needed to find some time to look for something with spacial storage so that he could easily carry his items on himself without having to worry about them. He intended to go shopping after finishing his Alchemy training, given his current rank he figured he could get to rank 25 today easily.
After a nice warm dinner that, surprisingly, was comprised of boar for the main course, Thomas retired to his room to relax. Though his body still felt energetic, his mind was in a quagmire and demanded that he get some sleep. Not one to argue with the demands of his body, Thomas closed his eyes and used 'Serenity' to help himself drift off to sleep more easily. He was just too tired to spend time staring at the ceiling, besides he had practiced using his 'All Seeing Eyes' ability enough during the day.
The following morning, Thomas enjoyed his breakfast before lugging the alchemy kit over to the bank to deposit it with the goblins there. The process was simple and straightforward. After paying the five gold fee for the deposit of the item the goblin made a record of it on his bank card and deposited it in, Thomas assumed, their vault. After the deposit was made the goblin teller informed Thomas that he could retrieve his item at any bank location.
Thomas was fascinated by that and wondered what the principles behind it were, but he didn't have time to grill the goblin to see if he could glean any information. He wanted to finish training up his Alchemy skill today. Today was the first day of week four in the game and his pod would soon run out of nutrients to feed his body. He needed the time to log out of AoG and swap out the module before ordering a replacement to be delivered to his home. He also really wanted to take a break, eat some normal food, get some exercise, and, most importantly, take a real bath! The dirt in AoG might not be real, but it sure as hell felt real and just wiping himself down with a wet towel wasn't doing it for him.
After arriving at Ricktor's Potions, Thomas was greeted by the same disgruntled young man as the day before. Ignoring the man, Thomas made his way into the back room and greeted Ricktor. Inside of the room was another individual, a woman. She was wearing a robe similar to Ricktor's and was busy making a potion of some sort at one of the spare tables. Thomas only took a quick glance at her and noted that she appeared to be in her late twenties to early thirties and had a nice figure. Not quite his type, but still rather nice. Thomas didn't really get much of a look at her face as he was distracted by her long and fiery red hair.
Ricktor gestured to the woman as she worked, "That's Esmy, another otherworlder, like yourself, who came here to learn how to create potions." Ricktor leaned forward and whispered in a conspiratorial voice, "Sadly she's not as talented as you are."
The woman spun around and glared at the two men, her face coloring red with rage, "I am plenty talented! It's only taken me three days of work to get my Alchemy skill up to rank twenty!"
Thomas frowned and retorted to Ricktor on top of Esmy, "I'm not talented, just lucky. Anyone summoned with the same abilities as me would be able to do just as good, if not better."
Thomas really didn't believe he was talented, instead, he believed in his experiences and previous knowledge. Once upon a time he had been a complete newbie like anyone else and had worked hard to get to where he had arrived. He disliked terms like 'talent' and 'genius'. Even people who could be labeled like that still had to work hard and using those labels denied them their hard work.
Ricktor looked between Thomas and Esmy before frowning and nodded, "I understand."
Esmy huffed and went back to her work. Thomas kept his attention on Ricktor and nodded, "So, what am I working on today?"
Ricktor stroked his long beard and then smiled, "Given your capabilities, let's have you make some mana potions today."
Hearing the words 'mana potions', Thomas facepalmed himself hard. How the hell could he forget something as simple as mana potions?! If he'd just bought a few of those he could have saved himself a lot of time yesterday and maybe even finished his Alchemy quest in a single go! Thomas groaned at his own stupidity and shook his head in exasperation. He'd been doing mundane professions non-stop and had just simply forgotten the basics in his desire to get everything done. Thomas decided to slow down and think more before he acted, to remember what he needed to remember and take advantage of the money he'd earned from Rock's sales.
With a sigh at his own stupidity, Thomas nodded to Ricktor, "Let's do it."
Ricktor grinned at Thomas's reaction to his words. Ricktor had noticed that Thomas could use some mana potions yesterday, however, he decided not to say anything. Part of teaching someone was allowing them to make their own mistakes and learning from those mistakes. Ricktor walked over to the ingredients cupboard and selected a few things before placing them down on the same work table Thomas had used the previous day. Ricktor gestured for Thomas to come over and explained the ingredients and process to make a mana potion. He pointed to a small container that contained a bundle that looked like grass covered in dew, "This is Everdew Grass. It contains a fair amount of mana within the dew that clings to it."
Next to the bundles of Everdew Grass were more of the familiar mana crystals that Thomas had worked with the day before. Ricktor continued to explain, "Making a mana potion is rather simple. Start by powdering the mana crystals and placing them inside of the large container."
Ricktor picked up a smaller glass beaker and set it next to the larger one, "Once you do that, fetch some water from the well and add it to the powder, then add the Everdew Grass last. Once you do all of that, just use the formation plate and purify it. The purification process will remove the unusable parts of the Everdew Grass. That's all there is to it. I'd like a batch of twenty. If you can make an improved version like you did yesterday then I will increase your pay accordingly."
|System Notice: New Quest!|
|Ricktor Helstan has requested that you make 20 mana potions. The higher the grade of the potions, the higher your reward per potion will be.
Rewards: 20 experience per potion, gold reward varies according to resulting potions.
Failure: You must pay 15 gold for each potion that fails to meet Ricktor's standards.
Time Limit: 1 day
Thomas looked over the quest and materials that Ricktor had provided for him. Thomas nodded and smiled at Ricktor, "Don't hold your breath, I honestly think I was just lucky yesterday."
Ricktor chuckled and nodded in a 'knowing' fashion before heading back to his table to work on his own potions. All three people in the room had their own work to do so there was no talking going on between them. Thomas examined the materials and nodded to himself. First, he would follow the recipe exactly and see what he could figure out from his observations.
Thomas placed a mana crystal into the mortar Ricktor was letting him use and smashed it into powder. Picking up the smaller beaker that Ricktor had indicated, Thomas went into the back yard of the shop to a small well and collected some water. Thomas thought life would be a lot easier if there was plumbing so he could just use a tap to collect the water. After returning inside, Thomas poured the water into the beaker with the mana crystal powder. Lastly, he placed the portion of Everdew Grass into the mixture of powder and water.
With the main work done, which was frankly a lot less labor intensive than making a health potion. Thomas set the larger beaker into the center of the formation plate and placed both of his hands on it. After he began to channel his mana into the formation plate, Thomas activated his 'All Seeing Eyes' and focused on the beaker as much as he could while maintaining the formation with his mana.
The reaction he observed inside of the beaker was a little different this time. The mana that had passed through the formation still did the same thing as before to the powdered mana crystal, wrapping around it an extracting the impurities. However, it behaved differently for the Everdew Grass. The mana surrounded the dew covered grass, the dew could still be seen as a distinctly different substance within the water. Once the mana surrounded the grass it began to pull the dew off of the green stalks and infuse it into the water. Once the dew was removed from the surface of the grass stalk it would float to the top of the mixture where the mana would dissolve it and expel it as the smoke-like expulsion of impurities.
Watching the grass dissolve, Thomas could see particles freed from the break down of the fibrous material sink back into the water and mix with the other ingredients. Thomas was unsure if the particles seeping back into the mixture were a good thing or a bad thing. As the process continued and more impurities were removed from the mixture it slowly began to turn into a blue color and grew deeper and darker as the process came closer to its conclusion. Once the black smoke finished leaking out of the mixture the potion had become a beautiful deep ocean blue color that glittered just like the health potion had.
Once the process was finished, Thomas examined himself to feel how much mana he had remaining and discovered the process of purifying the potion while using his 'All Seeing Eyes' had used approximately ten percent of his total mana. He had no reference point for how much mana that might be, but if he figured that he had thirty mana points, because of his thirty Magic attribute points, then he'd used three points to make a single potion. With that, he could process ten mana potions, half a batch, before he would completely run out of mana. While contemplating creating his own version of a mana point system in his mind, Thomas retrieved the beaker and an empty vial to pour the completed potion into. Once he corked the potion he received the results of his first completed mana potion.
|System Notice: You have completed a Normal Basic Mana Potion. Quality: Average. You have gained 60 Alchemy experience.|
Looking at the result, Thomas could clearly see the difference in experience gained when he didn't put forth his absolute best efforts. He'd gotten almost a hundred experience more for each of the health potions he'd created the day before. As he focused on the potion he got another information window that made him want to facepalm once more. He'd been so distracted by the fact that he'd made such great potions that he'd never actually examined the final product to see what it could do! Thomas was starting to feel like a complete newbie!
|Item Name:||Basic Mana Potion|
|Description:||A basic mana potion that will help recover expended mana. Made with common materials using a common method it provides enough mana recovery to refill the mana of an individual with less than 20 in their Magic attribute. Provides diminishing returns for anyone with a Magic attribute above 20.|
Thomas tilted his head as he read the description, then shrugged. It kind of made sense, since there were no solid numbers about how much mana an individual had, that mana potions wouldn't recover a fixed amount of mana. Instead, it was just effective on individuals with a Magic attribute at or below a certain threshold while becoming less effective the higher above that limit a person was.
Thomas placed the potion down and walked over to Ricktor, "I have a question."
Ricktor finished what he was doing before turning to look at Thomas. Seeing that Ricktor was ready and paying attention Thomas explained, "When I was making the mana potion I noticed that when the Everdew Grass stalks were floating on top of the mixture that some particles were breaking off of it and sinking into the potion. Are those particles beneficial to the potion or a byproduct that isn't needed?"
Ricktor crossed his arms over his chest while he stroked his beard, "Those grains, or particles as you call them, are neither good nor bad. They add nothing to the potion, but also take nothing away from it. The only part of the Everdew that really matters is the ever-present dew on the grass that gives it its name. If all of that dew is removed and the heart extracted it would greatly improve the quality of the potion."
Thomas listened closely and nodded along as Ricktor explained. Once Ricktor was done speaking, Thomas thanked him and moved back over to his work table. Thomas crossed his arms over his chest and looked at the remaining nineteen sets of ingredients he had to work with for the potions. Thomas still didn't have much experience using his 'Transmutation' ability, but he was contemplating using it once more to see if he could improve the quality of the mana potions, and maybe even push them up to the Magical grade.