Montage mode engaged. Speed Learning enhanced to 85%. Potion ingredients and recipes unlocked.
I read through the entire book six times, just to make sure that I was getting the ingredients right. I had even found the recipes for the ten potions that I knew and I discovered something.
The ones in the book were wrong.
Barely half of the actual ingredients were the same as the potions I made, which surprised the heck out of me. In fact, some of the ingredients I couldn't pronounce, let alone find, and I had been all over a good portion of this marsh. I always avoided the more dangerous parts, though. Maybe these ingredients were there and I just never saw them before.
I looked at the healing potion and wished that I had something other than a piece of charred wildwood to write with. And paper. I needed paper. There was a loud gust of wind from outside and that reminded me that I wasn't going anywhere, let alone all the way to the village in a patched up boat at the start of winter. That meant I was going to have to make do with what I had.
I did my best to copy out the recipe on half of the piece of paper that I had used to mark the size of the dry area, since the other side was only the sketch of the boat that I wasn't going to have for the spring. On the other half of the page, I wrote down the potion I made from memory, using the words from the book and the alphabet song.
When I was done, I closed the book and checked each ingredient of the book recipe and read what it did, then drew a line to the ingredient in mine that did the same thing, only it was a different ingredient. The number of ingredients was a lot smaller in mine, so I had multiple lines going from one side of the paper to the other.
“No wonder I don't recognize the book ingredients! It takes two and three of them to make up one of these ingredients that I use!” I said and sat back as I stared at the two potions.
The instructions in the book for the potion were long and complicated, where mine were simple, straightforward, and required a lot less work and time. I looked at the single ingredient in my potion recipe that was not in the book and no lines were drawn to it from the other recipe. My gland extract.
Maybe that makes up for the smaller amount of ingredients? I asked myself. The Hag did say that it was a catalyst and the potions would only be marsh water soup without it.
I looked at the book potion and wondered why that one would work without the gland extract and mine wouldn't. I thought about the magic infusion and read the instructions from the book again. It was the same process, so I didn't understand why both potions would work and do the same thing, when they were very different.
I looked at the page and all the markings I had made on it. “Now I know those ingredients are unnecessary.” I tapped the written out book recipe. “I think I need to check the other recipes and find out if the ingredients for them are just as repetitive.”
By the time I had checked the other ten recipes, the other two paper sheets of plans had the backs filled with marks of all the differences. The general health potion was ridiculously easy for me to make in comparison to the one in the book, which took four times the ingredients and twice as long to brew. I shook my head at the waterproof potion, because it had almost ten times the ingredients.
“What a waste.” I said and went through the book to look at the recipes that I didn't know.
There were three different types of health potions, five different healing potions that depended on how hurt you were, ten different poison antidotes that were too specific to bother with, and a bunch of odd ones that I didn't think anyone would ever use. Eyesight restoration, plant killing, hair restoration, sleeping potions, wake up potions, various beauty potions, an endurance potion and a truth potion.
It wasn't until I was near the end of the book that I found three potions that made my eyes bulge. A cleaning potion that would clean anything it touched, a purification potion you added to water or poison to make it drinkable, and a regeneration potion.
The last one was unthinkable. I stared at it and didn't wonder why it took up three pages of writing for the ingredients and how to prepare and brew the thing. It was the biggest and most complicated potion I had ever seen. In fact, it had other potions as ingredients, including two of the health potions and three of the healing ones.
I chuckled at that, since I could easily replace them with the simpler potions I had. I checked the whole thing over and once again wished that I had more paper to work out the differences. There were way too many for me to do it all in my head and keep it straight. I closed my eyes and also closed the book. I recognized some of the ingredients in all three potions as the ones I had used up in the strength potion and I wasn't getting any more of them until the middle of spring. At least.
“Well, there's nothing I can do about it now.” I said and put the book back on the shelf.
You have a choice to make. What do you want to do now?
A) Keep reading. B) Relax. C) Make more potions. D) Sleep. E) Take a walk outside. F) Eat.
G) F&A. H) B&A. I) F&B&D. J) Cook. K) Do something else.
I think I've crammed as much as I can into my head for today, so I'll take the triple option. I'm going with I. Eat, relax, and sleep.
I decided I was a bit hungry, so I went to grab a bite to eat, went to my bedroom and relaxed on the bed as I read one of the two non-learning books, then I drifted off to sleep.
The next morning, I woke up rested and refreshed. I sat up in bed and I had a huge home to spend my time in and not the cramped little hut. I had gotten into so much trouble over the years as I banged into and knocked over so many things. The problem was, I only got bigger and the space didn't. I grew a lot more careful, though. Even now, with all this room, I still walked carefully when bringing cases of vials into the kitchen to make potions.
I made potions for a day, since I didn't want to use up all of my ingredients and do all of the work so quickly. I had a long time to go before winter was done and I was going to be very bored if I did everything at once.
You have a choice to make. It will only change the order in which you do things.
A) Make potions. B) Read the potions again. C) Try another book. D) Play with the melding potion.
That's a little tough to choose, especially if I'm going to do them all anyway. I thought and read the options. Okay, reading the potions again won't do anything for me, since I don't have paper to work on them or even a proper thing to write with. I also don't want to do more potions right now.
I looked at the other options and debated them.
Playing with the number ten potion would be fun, so I better save that for when I think I'm going to be really bored. I thought with a bit of a laugh. I guess I'm going with C.
I grabbed a bite to eat and washed off my hands, then went into my work room and over to the shelf. I picked up the next book and sat down on the chair and put it on the desk. It was just as fancy as the potions book and I used the locking charm dispel and the magic popped and faded away. I opened the cover and did my best to read it.
It was hard going, since a lot of the words were long and I couldn't make sense of them, even when sounding them out and trying to cross them with the words I already knew. I skipped a lot of them and made it about a third of the way through the book when I flipped a page and saw the colored drawing of an intricately carved wooden coin.
I couldn't make sense of what it did, even with the description, because it used really big words and all I could make out were 'and', 'this', 'to', 'protect-ion', and a few others. I flipped more pages and saw more wooden coin drawings with similar words, then I found the one that the Hag used and hung on the hut. It was the one that I had made much more powerful and hung on the walls. Mine didn't look as nice and pretty as the drawings, though.
I spent a lot of time trying my best to read this page, because I knew what a lot of the effects were and I mentally made the connections between the words I knew and the words on the page. I lamented not having paper and something good to write with, because this had numbers and everything mixed in, just like the potions. Once again, I did not see any mention of the extract potion that the Hag had taught me to use to fill in the grooves of the engraving.
Now that I thought about it, I didn't remember seeing the potion for it in the potion book. I glanced at the other books and wondered if it was in one of them. I sighed and went back to the engraving book and flipped more pages. It took me a while to find the movement and weight engravings, only they were a little different than what I used. I wasn't sure why, until I read that I needed to look in another book and showed me the weird name that I couldn't read.
That was new, since the other book didn't say anything like that. I went to the shelf and brought the other three books over and looked at the weird writing under the engraving and looked at the books. The second book was the one I was looking for, so I put the others back. When I unlocked the second book and opened the cover, I near jumped out of my chair.
The very first line said that it was a teaching book!
I let out an inarticulate shout and started reading. I didn't go fast, even though I was eager to read all about carving wood with enchantments. It was so amazing that things like that worked and it used your own magic to do it.
I spent the next week going over everything in the book. Then I spent a week playing with the things it taught me while reading it at the same time. The more I read it, the more I understood. I wasn't stupid enough to use the actual wooden coins I had painstakingly made, though. I used firewood, since I was only practising carving the wood. I even started to understand some of the bigger words, once it showed me what a compound word was.
My mind started automatically cutting up the longer words and let me make better sense of them, because then they became smaller words. I still couldn't read the funny written ones, though. They didn't make sense at all, even just trying to say the letters, one after the other. Those words I just skipped.
After that, I took a break for a couple of days and cooked for a while, relaxed in bed, and made some more potions. I was about a third the way through my potion ingredients and I was only a quarter of the way though the winter. I really needed to pace myself or I was going to have nothing to do for the last month or so.
I did some more reading of the potions book and it started to become easier for me to make the substitutions for actual ingredients that I had and not the odd and hard to find ones. My mind kind of filled in the blanks of the potions with the proper ingredients.
After that, I started to play with the number ten potion. The first thing I did was try to make more wildwood. I still didn't know how to make things round, so I used one of the stone block molds I had made and put a single wildwood coin into it, then filled it with number ten potion to the height of the coin. I let it sit for however long it was going to take for the potion to take on the wildwood properties, and went back to practice wood carving while I waited.
I was getting really good at it, especially since I had the proper tools and the book showed me how to use them the right way to achieve the best results. It took me a lot longer to make the same engraving that I used to do quickly. On the plus side, it was much cleaner, held the imbuing potion with my gland extract much easier without spilling anything, and it took my magic easier when I reproduced the ward enchantment.
I was definitely going to make them properly from now on.
- Creator of L.I.F.E. Begins and Bookworld
It's all up! Morbid (200 full chapters) is on Scribblehub and is currently on hiatus.
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I have a new one called Bookworld Online: Marsh Man! New chapters will be posted daily.