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After staring at the ingredients for a good five minutes, Thomas came to the conclusion of his plan. His first step, buy a bunch of mana potions! Thomas left the back room and entered the storefront to select a full batch of twenty mana potions. He found it kind of silly that he was going to use mana potions to make mana potions. After setting the potions on the sales counter, the young man behind it holds out his hand, "That will be three hundred gold."

Thomas forked over the gold and made his way back into the workroom. Each mana potion had cost him fifteen gold, which Thomas noted was the penalty fee for each potion he failed to make for Ricktor. It looked like Ricktor was not only going to charge Thomas the price of the materials to make the potions, but also the expected profit from selling a completed potion!

After returning to the backroom, Thomas stopped near Ricktor to ask him, "Why do you have such an unfriendly guy working for you? Shouldn't you have someone nice working your counter so people actually come back?"

Ricktor gave Thomas a somewhat rueful smile, "Jarrek wants to become an Alchemist rather badly so he tends to be a little jealous and rude to people that I choose to teach. Normally I make people prove themselves before I am willing to teach them." Ricktor gestures to Esmy, "I did the same for Esmy over there. Once someone is able to pass my test, then I teach them. Jarrek hasn't been able to pass the test in over a year and with me just accepting you instantly... well I think you get the idea."

Thomas tilts his head to the side in confusion, "Why didn't I have to take any tests?"

Esmy turns around to add in, "Yeah! Why didn't he have to take the test?!"

Ricktor looks between the two before replying, "Four reasons. Or more specifically, four people." He addresses Esmy while answering them both, "Thomas has already worked for Rock, Zella, and Hyde in the artisan district getting his Blacksmithing, Tailoring, and Leatherworking all to rank twenty-five over the last three weeks. Thomas has proven himself to be a hard worker that doesn't shy away from anything. He's even gone so far as to teach otherworlder techniques to Rock and greatly improved his business. As for the fourth person", Ricktor looks towards Thomas and says a single name, "Hekrin."

Esmy looks at Thomas in surprise, "Have you really only been working on professions since the...", she pauses for a moment to change what she was going to say, "... summoning?"

Thomas looks over at Esmy and nods, "The first day I arrived here I saw something interesting and decided I wanted to learn how to make things like it. The guy who made it is Hekrin, a Magitech Engineer. But he refused to teach me until I got specific professions up to rank twenty-five within a week. Alchemy is the fourth profession he's sent me to so I haven't really had time to do much else. I've only been out of the city once for a single day."

Esmy shakes her head and gets back to what she was working on while muttering, "That's just stupid."

Thomas had no argument for that. He just hoped that learning Magitech Engineering would be worth all this effort. The start of a new game was one of the most important phases for players. It's when new things would be discovered when new achievements were the easiest to unlock and the only time that special one-time rewards would be available. And during this most important phase, Thomas was spending all of his time in the workrooms of various professions all to learn yet another profession. He hadn't even had the time, or inclination, to spend the money he had earned from Rock. Fortunately, he didn't have to yet. So he was content to let it sit in the bank for the time being.

Feeling like he had to get a few things to make his life a little better, namely an item with a spacial property that he could store things inside of. Thomas decided that after he finished getting Alchemy to rank 25 and had logged back in from ordering replacement modules for his pod that he would spend some time exploring the city and do a little shopping.

Thomas arrived back at his work table and decided that it was time to get to work on trying to upgrade the mana potions using his 'Transmutation' ability. Thomas started as he had been instructed and quickly turned four mana crystals into powder. He intended to finish the first batch of five potions in a single go. If he failed it would increase his costs, but he felt that unless he failed big time he would at least be able to produce regular mana potions. Once the powdered mana crystals were inside of the larger beaker he turned his attention to the Everdew Grass.

Ricktor had said the most important part of the Everdew Grass was the ever-present dew on the green stalks. With that in mind, Thomas picked up one small bundle of the stalks and focused his 'All Seeing Eyes' onto it. Looking closely, Thomas could see that the 'dew' on the grass was almost fused with it and covered in a thin membrane that kept the dew from evaporating.

While holding the bundle of grass stalks, Thomas urged his mana in the manner he had been taught and used it to surround one of the drops of dew in the manner he had observed from the formation plate earlier. He still lost the majority of his mana into the atmosphere, but the little bit he managed to maintain control of surrounded the droplet. His white mana clung to the droplet and slowly pried it off of the grass stalk. Once freed the droplet fell into the beaker and landed on the mana crystal powder.

The moment the drop of dew contacted the mana crystal powder it reacted, violently. The dew flashed with a bright white light an instant before the entire beaker exploded with enough force to throw Thomas backward and knock him onto the floor. The sound of the explosion shook the room and filled it with thick black smoke. Ricktor, having experienced several potion failures in his life, reacted quickly. His hands flew into the air and were immediately surrounded with mana that spread throughout the room and captured all the smoke to compress it into a small ball that floated in the air.

Esmy ran over to check on Thomas who lay sprawled out on the ground. The entire front of his body completely covered in black soot that was only marred by a few small streaks of blood caused by glass shrapnel. Thomas groaned before falling into a coughing fit as Esmy helped him sit up and asked in a moderately concerned voice, "Are you alright?"

Seeing that Thomas was alive and not too badly hurt, Ricktor stepped outside to release the gathered ball of smoke before checking on Thomas. The entire upper half of Thomas's body was covered in pitch black soot and his clothing, chest, and face sported a few minor cuts. After making sure Thomas wasn't going to die or in need of emergency care, Ricktor erupted, "What in the name of all the gods were you doing?!"

After a small coughing fit, Thomas wiped some of the soot off of his face, which didn't really help much, before replying, "I just added some Everdew to the mana crystals. I didn't even do anything really strange yet."

Ricktor looked startled for a moment before his glare intensified, "You added the Everdew directly to the mana crystal powder?! You idiot! I specifically told you to add water as the second step! The liquid on the Everdew grass is almost entirely concentrated mana! Adding liquid mana directly to solid mana causes a violent reaction! You're supposed to add the water first to dilute the Everdew and prevent it from exploding!"

Ricktor turned to look at the table Thomas had been working at. The tables were thick and sturdy allowing them to survive relatively minor explosions like the one Thomas had just instigated. Thomas, meanwhile, was berating himself. He'd just decided to remember the things he needed to do and had already fucked that up by doing the steps for making the mana potion out of order. Ricktor examined the large black soot covered mark on the table before turning to glare at Thomas again, "It doesn't look like you managed to add too much of the Everdew. How much material did you just waste?"

Thomas, looking and feeling ashamed of himself, answered honestly, "Four sets."

Ricktor sighed and shook his head, "I will be charging you seventy-five gold for the wasted materials and fifteen gold for the two destroyed glass containers. I will take it out of whatever pay you manage to earn today, or you will pay me yourself if you make nothing."

With a huff, Ricktor left Thomas on the floor with Esmy still crouched next to him and made his way back to his work table while shaking his head. Esmy, for her part, checked Thomas over once more before returning to her work as well. She was no friend of Thomas so she had no reason to console or comfort him, she just wanted to make sure someone wasn't dying in front of her.

Thomas carefully checked himself over. Luckily for him, the explosion hadn't been too violent and hadn't propelled the glass shards with enough force to penetrate his skin deeply. This left him with only a few minor cuts, some of which he pulled small shards of glass out of and discarded in the waste bin. Thomas felt that if he had been prepared for the explosion that it would have only knocked him back by a step but the surprise had caught him off guard and knocked him off balance.

After cleaning up the mess he'd made and discarding the ruined equipment and materials, Thomas got back to work. He once again reaffirmed his decision to not make mistakes as he powdered five more mana crystals and added them to a new beaker. One minor explosion was more than enough for Thomas to learn his lesson so after the powder was added he added five parts water for the five parts mana crystal before picking up a new bundle of Everdew stalks.

By the time he was ready to work with the Everdew again all of his wounds had healed leaving just his face and clothing covered in soot. Thomas once again urged his mana and covered a droplet of dew to pluck it off of the stalk of Everdew grass and drop it into the water-filled beaker. As the droplet of dew fell into the water, Thomas braced himself in case there was another explosion. Thomas heaved a sigh of relief when nothing happened this time.

Thomas focused his sight with his 'All Seeing Eyes' and continued to urge his mana to pluck off every bit of moisture clinging to the Everdew grass with his 'Transmutation' ability. Drop after drop of liquid fell into the mixture until he'd pulled every scrap of it off of the bundle of grass. With the exterior dew removed it was now time for Thomas to really push his limits. Thomas firmly wrapped his mana around the stalks of grass and carefully mimicked the transmutation formation plate to extract whatever moisture still remained within them.

The process was arduous and consumed not only Thomas's mana but his time as well. It took him a full ten minutes to extract all of the moisture in the grass and add it to the mixture. When he was done the grass was brittle and dry. Thomas discarded the bundle of grass and picked up the next one. He still had four more left and it took him nearly forty minutes and a mana potion to complete the process. The mana potion had an earthy taste to it and once he drank it, Thomas could feel a warm current flowing through his body and recovering his expended mana. Since his Magic attribute was above twenty the potion didn't fully recover his expended mana and instead only recovered a large portion of it.

Thomas placed the mixture onto the formation plate and began to channel his mana through it. As the formation plate lit up, Thomas focused his attention on the mixture to see what would happen. He also may have been keeping an eye out for any more explosions. The mana from the formation plate began to purify the ingredients, however, this time there was far less of the 'smoke' coming out of the mixture as Thomas hadn't put in the stalks of grass. Still, he had to remove a fair portion of the impurities from the mana crystals. As the process continued the color of the mixture slowly began to change until it became a transparent and glittering bright sky blue.

Thomas noted that it took far less mana to remove the impurities this time because of the lack of grass stalks that needed to be dissolved. He also noted that there was no sign of the particles he'd seen the first time he made the mana potion, which he considered to be a good thing. With the potion complete he poured it out into five small glass vials and stuck corks into all of them to finish the product.

System Notice: You have completed a Magical grade Morning Dew Mana Potion. Quality: Excellent. You have gained 150 Alchemy experience and 37 experience.

After the five system notices that granted him a total of 753 Alchemy experience and 185 experience. The last three potions had granted him an extra one Alchemy experience point each for some reason. With the potions completed Thomas was just 23 experience points away from rank 25 in his Alchemy. He could easily get that much experience just by making a single regular mana potion. However, he still had ten sets of materials to work with so he intended to finish the days work to gain as much experience as he could. But before that, Thomas focused on one of the Morning Dew Mana Potions to see its properties.

Item Name: Morning Dew Mana Potion
Rarity: Magical
Quality: Excellent
Description: A magical mana potion that has taken common materials and processed them beyond the standard. With the addition of the hearts of Everdew Grass, this potion is far more effective than a Basic Mana Potion made with the same ingredients. This potion will completely recover the mana of someone with a Magic attribute of 34 or less. Provides diminishing returns for anyone with a Magic attribute above 34.
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A note from thomasdarkrose

Just to clarify. The explosion was small, akin to a large firecracker going off. It was enough force to shatter the beaker and surprise Thomas into falling down but not enough force to greatly wound him with his 20 Endurance.

For those curious how 20 became 34 it's simple. The base effect of the potion with average quality is Magic attribute 20. Upping it to magical adds 50%, so it becomes 30. Each quality rating above Average adds 10% more from the base, so another 20% of the base for being Excellent quality and it becomes 34. By the way, a Below Average quality rating gives a -10%, so a below average Normal potion would only be effective up to Magic attribute 18.

Total = Base + (Base * 0.5) + (Base * 0.2)
Total = 20 + (20 * 0.5) + (20 * 0.2)
Total = 20 + 10 + 4
Total = 34

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Bonus chapter to follow this one!

Spoiler: Character Sheet

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About the author

thomasdarkrose

  • Georgia, USA

Bio: Just your average self-employed American with some spare time that enjoys reading, and now writing.

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