I returned to my room to see Brendan already up and sitting on the bed.
"Well, you're up fast," I noted with mild amusement. "I thought you might stay unconscious for the entire day."
He flashed a wry smile at me, "It isn't the first time I passed out after practicing alchemy, though it is the first time I had passed out in a while from quark deficiency."
First time in a while? Does that mean his Cultivation Point grows every time he empties it? Usually that growth is extremely slow and a normal Practitioner might take decades before their Cultivation Point even expands a little after their Cultivation Point matures.
That's why it was such a big deal when I realised those Monster Cores actually helped expand mine the way they did, though I have yet to figure out exactly why.
I stretched out my hands, palm facing up, "Let me see your hands for a moment."
Brendan obliged without a second thought, allowing me to scan his Cultivation Point with my senses.
It wasn't exceptionally large, but it wasn't small either. At least it is much larger than anyone his current experience ought to have.
I took note of the concentration levels of his Quarks before letting go of his hand.
"That was Well... Weird. Is my body supposed to feel hot?" He asked me.
I raised an eyebrow at him, "All I did was check your Cultivation Point. Are you sick?"
"Ah No, not at all. Sorry, must have been a placebo effect or something."
I shrugged, "Anyway, I want you to help me test something. You should have just enough Quarks left to make a few more stamina potions. Try making a few of it and I will check your Cultivation Point again. I have a feeling you have quite an interesting constitution."
He nodded and set himself to work, using the mortar and pestle to start grinding some of the herbs to paste.
I noticed that the way he was handling the tool was rather awkward, it's no surprise since he hadn't had a proper alchemy teacher show him the basics from the start.
Well, since he's helping me in my little experiment, I could at least teach him a little.
I moved myself behind him, holding both of his hands in mine.
He jumped a little at the contact, most likely surprised at my movement since he was fully concentrated in his grinding.
"Here, you need to twist them this way or you'll spend much more time than you should doing this. Can you feel my grip on you?"
"Ye Yes" He gasped softly.
"Good, now pound it deep in here, make sure you get everything inside or it will make a mess."
"This Isn't it a little too hard?"
"Relax your body, you're tensing up too much. Focus on your hands and feel how I move. You just need to follow my lead."
And so I guided him on how to properly grind herbs with the mortar and pestle. He was a rather quick learner so I only needed to show him the steps and he could handle the rest by himself.
Kind of reminded me of Lian Li.
I stood watch over him as he made the potions, this time carefully guiding him on the steps on how to make them.
I had left him to create the healing pill on his own earlier without guidance just to see if he could do it, so I hadn't really been paying attention to what he had been doing. Now that I knew of his capabilities as an alchemist, there's no reason not to help him now.
Alright, that wasn't the whole truth, I had been too distracted with fluffing Manami and Kiyomi when he was creating the healing pill back then to notice any mistakes he might have been making. Now that he has my undivided attention, I just had to point them out to him when I see them.
"It seems I still have much to learn, Master," he chuckled, pouring his Elemental Quarks into the cauldron he was currently stirring. "To think that I fancied myself an alchemist before this, how laughable."
"Well yeah, you're just starting out so it would make sense. I'm more surprised you got to this stage without any help."
"Ahahaha, that's not true. I've always been following your guidance, Master, even through your book."
"Heh, already claiming me to be your Master already, quite sneaky aren't you?"
Surprised by my words, Brendan dropped his ladle into the cauldron.
Panicking, he made a hasty grab for it by leaning into the cauldron. But since the edge was wet, he predictably slipped and fell right into the pot full of stamina potion, head first.
I managed to grab him by his collar and pull him out before he fully submerged in it, though it was obvious that he had already drunk several mouthfuls of it from how he was coughing and spluttering the liquid out.
If you were already exhausted and drank one sip of a stamina potion, the potion would re-energise you and nothing more. But if you were already full of energy and drank several mouthfuls of it
"Mas Master My body's Burning up! It's so hot!"
Brendan began tearing away at his clothes, stripping himself out of it as he began to sweat copiously.
He looked at me with fervent eyes, silently begging me to help quench the fire within him.
What else could I do but oblige him?
I held his shoulder with a hand and pulled him close, my eyes looking deep into his as I confirmed that this was what he wanted.
He nodded, and all hesitation left me as I steeled my resolve.
I chopped the back of his neck and rendered him unconscious. Working fast, I circulated my Quarks to create Ice Quarks and send it into his body, purging the effects of the stamina potion from his pores.
No, it is not what you think it is. When you drink too much of it, your body literally starts burning from the insides as your organs go into overdrive. If left without help, one would die a rather painful death akin to being burned alive.
The pain one experiences from it can be quite excruciating so I made the decision to knock Brendan out first like what he wanted.
Yeah, I know, the potion is quite dangerous actually. Well, that's one reason why there are so few alchemists too, since most things they create can be used for nefarious purposes. Even the mostly beneficial ones can be used as poison if one was creative enough.
I think I might be the only other certified alchemist that isn't part of an association that is being monitored closely over.
I suppose there's not really any point in suspecting me in poisoning someone if I held the power to simply erase their existence already.
Not like any group can control me as they wished in the first place anyway.
Oh right, if Brendan becomes a full fledged alchemist, the Alchemist Association might come after him too. No way am I handing such a good assistant over to them.
Well, he's already started calling me Master anyway, I supposed it wouldn't hurt to take him in too. It'll help me greatly in my future projects too and having another guy around might be a good idea, though I hope my disciples wouldn't mind it.
I think there shouldn't be any problems, my disciples are all well-behaved after all.