234. Potion of Regeneration
The tournament sounded stupid. And I wasn’t going to participate in it. End of story.
There were other things that I could put my focus on. I had to study, I had to work on my Potion of Regeneration, and I had to deal with the Devil. So, I didn’t sign up for it. I didn’t even care to think or look at it after Valda mentioned it.
That was it.
I proceeded with my next few weeks in school, studying and readying myself for my finals. It wasn’t eventful. But it didn’t have to be eventful. Months had passed, and the school term was now coming to an end. To be honest, my first few weeks in school were far too eventful for what I had signed up for. I thought it’d be relaxing. And I’d been late for many of my classes on the first day, before finally picking up the slack later on.
But then, Saffron discovered that I was actually a Demon. Which then led to a ton of annoying events which finally let her accept me for who I was. After that, there was the auction, there was the date, and there was the hunt for the [Lux Golmi]. All of that was on top of everything I was obligated to do for school, and the things I had to do to uphold my reputation.
That was not to mention my lessons with Lily before I went to Mavos Academy. And again, the Devil.
Sure, maybe I wasn’t as busy in Mavos Academy as I was in, say, the Plaguelands. But that was a different thing. In the Plaguelands, I could just kill wild undead and level up without care. It was fulfilling. Every level I gained made me feel like I was something more. But in Mavos Academy, I was… not leveling. At least, not as much as I wanted to.
It didn’t matter to me. I could flip through textbooks all day if necessary. As long as it got me what I wanted. I didn’t seek out a certificate or even to learn most of the things they taught. I did absorb it all because I found that having access to a wealth of information wasn’t a bad thing. However, I wanted two things. The first was a way to return to the Netherworld— so that I could find my companion, Haec.
And the second was… to make a Potion of Regeneration.
“What are you doing?”
The Devil prodded me from behind as I worked on my alchemy station. There was a glow— a red, almost pink glow— that was exuded from the vial so carefully held up for me to inspect. I glanced back at the red-skinned man.
“I’m doing what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks.”
“And that is?”
He cocked a brow. I scowled.
“Making my Potion of Regeneration.”
“Hm. That’s odd. I thought you’d be done with it by now.”
I ignored him as he sauntered away from me. I was almost finished with this concoction. The deadline for me to submit a Potion of Regeneration for testing by [Alchemist] Raymond was coming up soon. And by soon, I meant a week.
I wanted to finish it before then and submit it so I wouldn’t have to deal with it during my finals week. But the Devil kept pestering me— he bothered me every single day with his pranks and with his annoying jokes and questions. So, my progress slowed.
Shaking my head, I poured a single droplet of tempest-fused blood into the vial. I waited with bated breath, hoping it wouldn’t explode. And it didn’t. Instead, it seemed to diffuse into the rest of the mixture. Not in the way ink would spread throughout water. But instead, its dark crimson instantly faded away, becoming one with the potion.
“Alright, I just have to…”
The Devil spoke simply. I frowned.
“What is it now?”
“I said: I’m bored.”
“And I think you’re being annoying. I’m trying to focus here.”
I waved a hand at what I was doing as the Devil lay on a stack of jewelry. I didn’t even know where he acquired all of that; he simply pulled it out one day and I accepted it as that. There was no point questioning him and his weirdness.
The Devil tilted his head back as I returned to focusing on my Potion of Regeneration.
“I’m gonna go and take a look around.”
His voice took a second to reach me, then another second to actually reach me. I blinked, nearly dropping a tap of sagetree sap. I spun around and stared at the Devil.
“You’re finally leaving?”
I brightened, and he shook his head.
“I’ll be back in a week. I just want to take a look around— teleport to a few places around the world, maybe even see what’s going on at the Endlands. Then I’ll be back.”
The Devil chuckled as I deflated.
“What, did you think I’ll leave you so soon? You’re my daughter! I’m not a bad father who’ll leave to buy some milk and never return.”
I cocked my head, and he snorted.
The Devil leapt to his feet, bouncing as excitedly as ever.
“Anyway, the point is, I’m leaving for a week. So, don’t get into too much trouble while I’m gone.”
“Sure, sure, whatever. Are you going to go now?”
I gave him an expectant look. His shoulders slumped.
“Aw, my rebellious teenage daughter doesn’t want me here. Fine, I’ll leave then.”
He feigned a pout as he started for the door. I beamed, watching him leave. Then he paused right at the entrance of my Lair, he looked back at me, smirking.
“But before I go, always remember: do your chores, eat your veggies, and most importantly—”
I groaned as he waggled a finger.
“Just leave already!”
The Devil left. He’d return, but for now, he was gone. And with him, he took his antics, which gave me a lot of time to finally get back to work.
I left my Lair, no longer needing to entertain the Devil. I met up with my friends— those I hadn’t spoken to in a while.
The first I met up with was Nolan. I decided to tell him about the progress I made with the Potion of Regeneration. He was impressed— he admitted that he’d been slightly dubious about my chance of success with producing one.
“So, you’re at the final stages of making a Potion of Regeneration, are you?”
“Yep! I followed all the steps and am close to finishing it.”
“That’s… wow, I’m shocked. How’d you turn the High Grade healing potion into an Elixir of Healing? That step should’ve taken a non-[Alchemist] years!”
“With my Skills, of course.”
I grinned, crossing my arms triumphantly. Also, I had a little help from Saffron. A lot of the ingredients I procured weren’t the raw ingredients, but expensive refined ingredients to the base form I needed them to be. I also cheated, buying some potions like an Elixir of Endurance which needed to be mixed with a mana potion to create an Elixir of Enhanced Endurance. And that was another base ingredient needed for my Potion of Regeneration.
All these things were expensive. And a regular [Alchemist] probably couldn’t afford them— or if they could, they were high enough leveled to make them quickly enough— let alone non-[Alchemists] who weren’t even Platinum Ranked.
So, yes, I cheated. But this class was designed with that in mind. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be an alchemy class for non-[Alchemists].
Nolan gave me an approving look.
“Good job, Salvos. Honestly, you should celebrate.”
“Celebrate? But I’m not done yet.”
“But you’re almost done. Surely you’d want to treat yourself to a nice dinner meal— clear yourself of some of the stress?”
He winked at me, and I blinked. My eyes narrowed.
“Wait, are you flirting with me?”
I stared at him. Nolan scratched the back of his head.
“You know, for someone others call charming, you’re pretty awkward.”
He took a step back, sputtering.
“I am not awkward.”
“You kind of are.”
He hesitated. I shrugged.
“I don’t know. Maybe it’s because this is your first time dealing with actual ‘love.’ And hey, me too. But that’s just what I think. And you know—”
I thought about the [Lux Golmi]. About the way others saw me; how my reputation wasn’t really true to me. I shook my head.
“Maybe what others think of you doesn’t really define who you are. But it does matter. So, stop being awkward!”
I pointed a finger at him, and Nolan drew back. Then I paused. I took a step back.
“Also, thank you, but as I said before, I’d rather we just be friends.”
Nolan stared at me. He fixed his gaze at me for a moment. He waved a hand off.
“Alas… I had to give it a try. And perhaps you are right. I was indeed awkward. But in the off-chance that you’d change your mind, the offer still stands.”
I smiled at him.
“Sorry, but I don’t think I’ll ever change my mind.”
Even despite that, he did offer me some tips to finish the Potion of Regeneration— specifically, so I wouldn’t screw up. Not especially so soon to the deadline.
“What do you want to show me, Salvos?”
Three days later, Saffron followed me to my Lair as I excitedly ushered her forward. I didn’t say anything, even until she entered the cave and the notification sounded in her head.
She looked around, narrowing her eyes.
“He’s gone… for now.”
I shrugged it off, instead bringing my companion to my alchemy station. I felt my lips curling up as I pointed at it.
And there, on the desk, was a flask that shone with iridescent light. A mixture of colors— a rainbow poured into a glass. It sparkled and illumined the cavern, sending rays of light around in hexagonal shapes.
Above it, a pink crystal was held under an ice-cold ember. It didn’t burn brilliantly, instead slowly hugging the shard of the Enigmatic Heart with its warmth, melting it away slowly so that droplets of its liquified magic would drip into the mixture slowly.
“It’s almost done.”
I turned to Saffron as she stared at it.
“You actually did it, Salvos.”
“Yep. Worked really hard on it. Just a few more hours, and then… it’ll be done.”
I leaned forward, peering into the flask. I saw my reflection on it. I was grinning from ear to ear. I couldn’t wait until it was complete.
Saffron placed a hand on my shoulder, smiling.
“I’m proud of you, Salvos, you actually managed to do it.”
I turned back to her. Then I looked back at the nearly complete potion. It could still go wrong, but at this point, I was confident it wouldn’t. So, I spoke softly in response to Saffron.
And finally, with that final ingredient— a piece of an Enigmatic Heart— I completed my Potion of Regeneration.