"Alchemy is used to create gold, cure-all potions and immortality pills. This is what I think of alchemy!" Kieran said, emphasizing each and every word.
"Is that so?" Charles took a puff from his pipe.
Sparks shone and dimmed as he smoked.
The rising smoke shrouded Charles face, blurring Kierans vision.
The elderly master was silent. He looked neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.
The atmosphere felt somewhat suppressed. Kieran was looking at Charles, waiting quietly for his answer.
"Is this a word trap for those who seek to be taught by him? Does one need to tell the truth to pass? Does one fail if their answer is a flattering one? What kind of pastime is this?"
Schmidt, who had been the driver for the first half of the journey, stuck his tongue out when he heard what Raul and Cidney had said.
If this was him, he would definitely have given a flattering answer to pass. Instead, he would have ended up failing the test.
"What a cunning old geezer! I hope 2567 can pass the test!" Schmidt muttered, wishing Kieran luck in passing.
"2567 will be fine. He is the one Rei made a prophecy about." Raul sounded very confident.
"You are really the young man from Reis prophecy! When did you realize it?"
Charles finished smoking his pipe, but he still detected no uneasy feelings on Kierans face. In the end, he just sighed helplessly, as if he had missed something big.
"If you showed more anticipation and less mockery, I would have fallen into your trap! Of course, I have Reis books to thank. Otherwise, my brain would have gone blank when you asked your question," Kieran said with a shrug.
"What a sharp young man! Alchemy is used to create gold, cure-all potions and immortality pills Its been many years since I last heard that! Do you know when I first heard those words?"
Kieran made a pleasing gesture, signalling that he was all ears.
"It was Rei! When she was 12, she told me the same thing. Then when she was 13, she succeeded in turning copper into gold. It was a pity that, just as we were waiting for her to finish the cure-all potions and immortality pills, she suddenly stopped her experiments and sealed away her creation. The Philosophers Stone"
Charles let out a heavy sigh again.
"So it was Rei!" Kieran thought silently.
To be honest, when Charles had asked him to guess, he had had a hunch that it was Nikorei. He had been through similar scenarios too many times to count.
The abilities of the God of Earth were overwhelming.
As for her gifts? Kieran could only catch a glimpse of the dust Nikorei left behind her.
"The alchemy I can teach you could help you learn the basic entry-level stuff. If you want even deeper knowledge, Rei is the real master!" Charles told Kieran.
"Thank you for the lessons!" Kieran bowed in respect. It was something he had to do.
Charles accepted his respect without hesitation. He had accepted the position of Kierans teacher after all.
From that night onwards and throughout their five-day journey to Forende Town, Kieran submersed himself into learning the basics of alchemy.
Through Charles lessons, Kieran gained knowledge that was not written in books, as well as the experience of a veteran. At least now he could tell apart a magical circle and an alchemy one.
Both had the same basic structure as a base, and even their conversion circles acted similarly. Their runes and incantations were slightly different though. The biggest difference was the adminicle.
"The core of alchemy is the rule of equal exchange. I hate to admit this, but I cant deny it either, because the adminicle of an alchemy circle is everything!"
Just as Charles explained, alchemy circle adminicles provided the basic structure of energy. The stronger and purer the energy was, the most suitable it was.
Soul Shards were a good example of this.
They were the trading currency of most veteran players. Some of the natives traded in Soul Shards as well, but that was usually only master alchemists.
Kieran was not sure what type of materials a new alchemy apprentice would use with the energy provided, but Charles handed him a hand-made electric generator.
Kierans task was to transform the soft pelt before him into something harder.
It wasnt some attribute-adding enchantment. He would only be altering the properties of the pelt.
This was a piece of cake for Charles. It only took him about four minutes to complete the demonstration for Kieran.
Kieran failed four times.
[Alchemy experience has increased a little through experimenting]
Glancing over at the burned pelt, Kieran checked the system notification. He couldnt help but rub his aching head, forcing himself to calm down.
"What went wrong? Was it the basic structure of the alchemy circle and the conversion circle? Or the unstable energy transfusion?"
As a beginner, Kieran had too many questions. However, as Charles had said very clearly, he would only teach Kieran the rest when he completed the first assignment by himself.
Kieran took a deep breath, trying to control his emotions as he got ready to try again.
He wanted to observe the process more carefully and find out what he had done wrong.
Before he could begin, Schmidt interrupted him.
"Pardon me, sir, but weve reached Forende Town!"
Schmidt was acting weird as he opened the limo door for Kieran apologetically.
"What is it?" Kieran looked at Schmidts strange expression in confusion.
"I think you should see for yourself..." Schmidt opened the door wide.
Instantly, the smell of dirt mixed with the aroma of flowers and wood drifted into the limo. There were birds chirping and animals growling, as if they had reached a primitive forest.
Kieran walked out with a shocked expression, his eyes wide in surprise.
"What What the?" He was staring at the scenery before him in shock.
They had indeed entered a primitive forest.
"Are you sure we didnt get off course?" Kieran couldnt help but ask Schmidt, even though he knew he wouldnt make such a mistake.
"This is This was Forende Town! Except now there is only the 100-year old forest before us, and some animals and plants found only in books"
Charles finished Schmidts sentence for him, his face sharing the same puzzled expression.
"Fortunately, it is only as big as Forende Town. It will be a hassle searching every inch, but its not impossible! If it was as big as the West Coast, we would have to spend our whole lives here!" Charles joked.
"So lets start searching then!" Schmidt said eagerly.
"Sure!" Charles nodded.
Raul and Cidney took the lead, since they had been to the town before, Schmidt and Charles were walking in the middle, and Kieran was bringing up the rear with a deep frown.
He was satisfied with their formation. Although the Black Knights had been missing ever since the incident with the mist, this didnt mean that they would not appear again.
Kieran would never suggest spreading out to search for clues. This place was neither too safe nor too dangerous, but no one would have said anything if Kieran had insisted on taking the lead.
The reason he was frowning was because he felt like he was being watched.
The gaze he felt on him had no clear malicious intent, but he still couldnt locate its source.
It was very unsettling for him. He felt as if he was walking in the woods and had suddenly stepped on a slippery venomous snake.
I am back!