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The Very Antithetical Alchemist (4)
The sun was setting, an eventful day at Llyod village was ending. The atmosphere of the village became calm.
“Douglas, are you sleeping?”
Inside the shabby hut Ledio was lying on a hard wooden bed. Although he was lying on the bed, he hadn’t fallen asleep.
Douglas was lying on a small bed on the other side. He couldn’t fall asleep, like his father.
“Barton told me that a mage came to our village.”
“Well, he seems similar in age to me.”
“I heard you risked your life again.”
“…… I just wanted to find the flower.”
“So you risked your life. Don’t you know how dangerous the outside is?”
At his father’s rebuking, Douglas stood up. He seemed to be upset.
“Then what should I do! The mage told me. You will be fine for just a short period. Soon, you will suffer again!”
After he awoke from the sleeping magic, he couldn’t think about anything, except the worry he had about his father, and the fear that he would be left alone.
“I’m okay. Now, we just need to find the flower of Randor….”
“Yet we haven’t found it. We’ve spent more than a year looking already!”
It was true. To cure mana addiction they moved to the northern side of the country a year ago, to find the flower of Randor.
“Are you even sure that you can be cured with the flower?”
“Well, does it even exist?”
Ledio couldn’t say anything. He understood his son’s concerns. But he couldn’t give his son a clear answer.
Somewhere, someone answered. It wasn’t Ledio’s voice.
They looked around their house. The voice didn’t come from inside, but outside.
“W-who is it?”
Ledio asked carefully. With his sick body, he stepped closer to the door. While grabbing an ax with his hand.
“The flower of Randor.”
“I heard that you are seeking it.”
Ledio didn’t reply. He opened the door slowly.
The rusty hinges of the old door made an uncomfortable sound. The owner of the voice was standing by the wall of the hut. It was a young boy.
“What are you talking abo…..”
The boy came into the house smoothly.
“Who are y…..?”
Then Douglas recognized the boy.
Suddenly, as if he misspoke something, he covered his mouth.
“Douglas? Do you know this boy?
“H- He is the ma- mage I told you-”
That was why. The reason Douglas covered his mouth. He spoke without any respect unconsciously, because the mage was a similar age to him.
“So- so- sorry, Sir! I made a m- mistake!”
“It is okay. By the way,”
After he calmed Douglas, Ian addressed Ledio.
“I am Ian Page.”
Ian put something on the closest table, while he was speaking. It was a fist-sized ice ball.
“W- what is it?”
“You may need it.”
By his instinct, Ledio stepped closer to the stuff. He investigated the ice closer.
Ledio opened his eyes wide. With shaking hands, he picked up the sphere of ice. He saw something which was caught in the ice. There was a violet flower that was frozen.
“The flower…. of Randor?”
Douglas was surprised as well by Ledio’s murmuring. The flower that they had never found, even though they had searched for a year. Did Ian bring them a flower which could be doubted to even exist? This mage?
“The flower, I will give it to you.”
Ledio’s eye started to shake.
“Before, I just want to ask one thing.”
Ledio was ready to answer whatever he asked. He suffered from mana addiction for too long. His life was ticking away. He couldn’t just die while leaving Douglas alone.
“How did you know?”
“Its effect wasn’t known.”
With Ian’s question, Ledio barely cooled down his head. It wasn’t an answer that he could speak easily
The herb which was fatal to mages. A mage was asking about it. His life was at risk.
“Please don’t spend your time on meaningless thinking.”
Ian read Ledio’s mind. He spoke quietly.
“I can find out whenever I want.”
Ian threatened Ledio indirectly, for young Douglas. Ledio understood the intention of Ian. What would happen if a mage decided to harm Ledio? That would be the end of Ledio. There were no ways to prevent it, nor run away. The answer was an important matter.
“Of course, I dare not to.”
This mage saved his life twice. From the hands of the thief and from his mana addiction.
“……. The illustrated book.”
Ledio spoke out as he decided.
“I saw it in this illustrated book.”
Ledio walked to an old bookshelf. Most of the books were about alchemy. There were a few children’s books as well.
Ledio didn’t pull out the book from the shelf. Instead, he took off a cover piece from the bottom of the shelf. There, was a hidden space.
Ledio pulled out a book from the hidden space. It was a very thick and old book. Its cover was worn out badly. Its pages were withered to yellow, which showed how old the book was.
“It is an illustrated herb book which I inherited from my father.”
Ian opened the book. It was filled with small letters. It was all about the name and information of herbs. Their effects and the region they grew. Illustrations of them, and how to gather them.
Ian was impressed. It was an essence of herbalism.
“Here, would you look at this page….”
Over there, he saw the flower of Randor section. Because of its rarity, there was not much information about it.
[It can neutralize mana.]
[Only can be found on the northern side of the continent.]
[A 12 petaled flower with an unclear violet colour.]
[Its blue leaf and stem are poisonous.]
[It withers instantly whenever it is removed from the soil it grows in.]
[It can’t be gathered as of current knowledge.]
Even though its written information was precise, how did they know, and who wrote this book?
“Was your father an alchemist too?”
“It was our family profession.”
“So this book is an heirloom.”
A house which chooses alchemy as its family job. It was a rare case. Furthermore, the quality of the book was a surprise. Douglas inherited such a bloodline. Ian wanted Douglas more.
“That was the answer I wanted.”
The ice which contained the flower of Randor. While holding it, Ian spoke.
The ice started to thaw quickly. Soon, only its wet soil and flower were exposed to the air.
“I am sorry.”
The flower withered quickly as it was exposed to the air. Precisely, it wasn’t just withered, but completely dried. Even with a small movement, its body was cracked to dust.
“I had no choice, either. I am only able to freeze it so that it keeps its shape.”
He didn’t lie. It was exactly the same as the book illustrated. Whenever it was removed from its soil, it turns to dust.
“Did you lie to me?”
“I showed you the proof, first.”
“What kind of proof …..”
“The proof that I can find the flower of Randor whenever I want to.”
The flower which can’t be found by Ledio and Douglas for a year. It took only half of a day for Ian to find it. Thanks to his ultimate magic application and conjuring magic.
“Let’s make a deal.”
Ian jumped into the main topic.
“Travel with me.”
“What do you mean-”
“I will inject you with mana periodically.”
The life which was threatened by mana addiction. It meant Ian would own Ledio’s life.
“The way of how to use the flower as a medical herb. I will find it for you as well. By searching through every record of the Royal and Ivory tower.”
There must be some kind of record about it. As Ragnar and Douglas in his former life found it.
It was a perfect condition to Ledio. However, it was a deal. There must be something he needed.
“What do you want to have in return?”
“Research, and brewing.”
“What sort of things?”
“An elixir that is focused on my body type, mana type and all other details of myself. A custom elixir that is only for me.”
The custom elixir for one man. Ledio asked suspiciously.
“If you want, you can ask any famous other alchemist, can’t you? I am not such a great alchemist.”
It might sound offensive to Ledio. However, Ian didn’t stop.
“Sometimes, the power of desperation is stronger than talent.”
“Do I look that desperate?”
“You won’t like to die while leaving your young son alone.”
Ledio couldn’t say anything. Of course, Ian’s word hit the nail on the head. However, what surprised him more than Ian’s word was;
‘He is not a kid.’
They weren’t words that a child was able to speak. There was no exception for mages. Mages that Ledio had met before, they treated him, a mana heart-less man, as their toy.
‘They were all arrogant.’
Of course, they were far from wise. The power which was given at young age, it was like a loaded crossbow, the crossbow held by a young kid.
‘But he is different. Who is he?’
Ledio felt that something wasn’t natural, which caused him to hesitate. After short thinking, Ledio said.
“Would you give…. some time to think?”
“As long as you want.”
Ian respected Ledio’s thinking. Ian took off the mask of a child. Ledio must have felt something unnatural. He would need some time.
‘This time, it will be different.’
Ian thought while looking at Douglas.
‘He won’t lose his father, nor become a slave.’
The boy was frozen at this sudden suggestion. His face contained no hatred, which Douglas of his former life had.
‘Especially, I will try to save your father.’
Ledio’s life was just a tool for Ian. Ian wanted the talent of Douglas.
‘To possess your talent.’
Re-Edited by Flawfinder May 7th 2020
Re-Editor’s Note: As I edit this I’m taking out a lot of periods from words that contain vulgar words. For example, ‘assassin’ is constantly being written as ‘a.s.sa.s.s.in’. ‘Analyze’ is a.n.a.lyze. For some reason God is ‘G.o.d’. Noble is ‘n.o.ble. But this chapter introduced my favorite. “il.u.s.tration”