Chapter 35 Alchemy
Across the swamp there was a forest that gradually expanded from the foot of the mountain to top of the hillside was the dragon’s lair.
Just before they wanted to go on their way, Ada suddenly stopped on his track and looked around before quickly bypassing a big tree. Then, he suddenly stared at the ground while being lost in thought.
Wondering what was going on, Shaar walked next to Ada and looked at where he was staring to, surprisingly find a corpse lying on the ground!!
The corpse actually looked similar to the torched Shaar. The whole body was burned black and it was charred beyond all recognition. No one would be able to recognise its original appearance anymore.
Judging from this fellow’s appearance, he had also crossed this swamp and suffered from the flames. Afterwards, he died from the grave injuries.
When Ada made a somewhat strange expression, Shaar looked at him and asked: “Do you know him?”
“He was one of the magicians I meet.” Ada unexpectedly sighed and his eyes showed a hint of sadness in them: “He was the one who proposed to bury me in the ground.”
Shaar suddenly exclaimed: “You can still recognize him after he was burned to this degree?!”
Ada snorted and looked at Shaar with a disdain look and pointed at the charred corpse: “First, although the clothes were mostly burnt, one can still identify the quality of the material. Only magicians would wear this type of fur lined robe. Secondly, beside the corpse there is a charred wooden stick made of walnut wood. This kind of wood is specifically used to make magic wands for magicians. Third, his right hand has only four fingers and these kinds of characteristics are easy to remember.”
When Ada suddenly smiled, his eyes seemed to radiate an outwardly passive but inwardly evil-hearted aura as he said with an indifferent tone: “Fourth, anyone who did some bad things to me, I would recognize them even when they turned to ashes.”
The look that Ada made while saying those words gave Shaar a small fright in his heart. He unexpectedly shuddered and felt that this Ada was giving him a strange stare. Not backing down, he quickly returned a fierce and firm stare back towards Ada.
Ada did not continue this staring contest, but smiled and walked next to the corpse. He squatted down and put his hand into the charred body while searching for something.
When Shaar saw what Ada was doing, his eyes immediately lit up!
That’s right! Magicians were mostly rich people. Perhaps this dead guy had some valuable things on him. Just when he thought about this, he suddenly saw Ada fishing out a sheepskin bag from this corpse’s bosom.
This sheepskin bag was placed close to his body. Although this guy was scorched, the position covering his chest and belly had not been completely burned. Some of the sheepskin bag’s outer layers had some burn marks, but when they opened it, the things inside were still intact.
Just when Ada opened two layers of the bag, Shaar immediately snatched the bag from him and gave Ada a fierce stare while shouting: “Hey! You are my soso now and everything that you discover belong to me!”
Not fighting back, Ada smiled a little and loosened his hand then stood at the side.
After opening all the sheepskins, Shaar found a yellowing booklet inside. It probably had dozens pages and was bind together by a leather cover. In addition, there was a thumb-sized transparent ball inside, which could be either made of glass or crystal.
Shaar decided to open that booklet first and immediately discovered that those yellowing pages were filled with dense texts. Some of the writings even had a charts labelled next to them – Not being able to recognize any of this writing, Shaar stared at it dumbstruck.
Ada who was standing nearby saw the distress in Shaar’s eyes and swept a look over the booklet in Shaar’s hand while smiling with disdain: “This is ‘Magic language’ and it is specially used by magicians of the Byzantine Empire. This language can only be taught by the church and therefore it is also called the language of god. Generally speaking, this language records notes of magicians, magic incantations and many classical religious doctrines of the church. An average person would not be able to learn this language.”
Shaar blushed a bit, but still stared at Ada with sceptical eyes: “Do you recognize it?”
“Hmpf.” Uncle Ada only gave back a grunt and decline to reply.
This guy could actually read it…… Shaar was somewhat annoyed while thinking about it, but right now he could not help but bite the bullet and to humiliate to the opposite party said:”You can read it so what. I have never studied before, but if I had, I would be able to read it as well. What’s so special about it.”
During that moment, the pitiful creature next to them finally calmed down and timidly interrupted their conversation: “The…… Magic language, I can read it a little bit.”
“Oh?” Shaar’s eyes immediately lit up and smiled happily while patting the pitiful creature’s shoulder: “Hahaha, very good. You are really worthily of being Uncle Shaar’s soso.”
Pitiful creature hesitated a bit and said embarrassed: “I can only read a little, since I have not read any books written about the magical aspect. I have only read some religious classics of the church when I studied it in the past.”
Forcefully pushing the book into the pitiful creature’s hand, Shaar generously replied: “Don’t worry, take a look first and let’s see what is written inside.”
The pitiful creature looked at the title on the front page and said hesitantly: “Ehm, the title seems to be “Magic Material refining techniques ……refining techniques……” stopping mid sentence, the pitiful creature’s face became somewhat flushed and she obviously had some difficulties to read it.
“”Magic Material refining techniques manuscript – Alchemy Special-purpose Material Third Volume” replied Ada while standing there leisurely with his arms folded.
“What is alchemy?” Shaar asked excited with two shining eyes: “Is it a method to refine gold with magic?”
Obviously, this hillbilly’s perception of magic was quite lacking……
Not even giving the pitiful creature time to reply, Ada already could not bear it anymore and burst out laughing next to her: “Gold? Haha! If your words were heard by a magician that practice alchemy, he would kill you out of anger.”
Pausing for a bit, Ada sighed and looked at Shaar with a pitiful look: “Alchemy is a type of magic where gold was used as one of the magical metal ingredients. Generally speaking, ordinary metals were repellent against magic elements and only metal that had gone through a special refining technique could store magic inside. Broadly speaking, alchemy is used to refine or create various types of useful magic items. For example, giving metal a special magical enchantment that in the end result would create magical weapons or armors.
On even more generalized terms, the concept of current alchemy has expanded. Now every method of all manufacturing magical items is called alchemy. Such as making a magic cloaks, a magic rings and even creating a magic scrolls would be now called ‘alchemy’. Since 200 years ago, even ‘potions’ were included within the scope of alchemy. According to the legends, if an alchemist reached the pinnacle of knowledge, he would become an Elemental Archmage and could make the magic equipments of such powerful force that their ranks would be beyond comparable to normal magical items. Unfortunately, I heard that there hasn’t been a powerful Elemental Archmage on the continent for a very long time.
Alchemy is amongst the most difficult to study in magic. One must practice alchemy, have learned all magic elementary theories and be very proficient in all the other types of magic. Only after having learned the foundation of all basic magic, one could use various magic materials to create all kind of magic items. In a general sense, a qualified alchemist must be theoretically skilled in several types of magic. At least he had to know all the characteristics and usefulness of magic materials. Therefore, this branch of magic is very difficult to study, currently I heard that the alchemists on the continent were getting fewer and fewer.
Most importantly, an alchemy master was generally speaking spending his entire energy on researching magic materials in the faculties so therefore do not possess strong combat capability. Moreover, if you cannot reach a profound rank, you are unable to produce powerful magic equipments. Just to learn all the theories of magic in the different faculties would normally need the energy and the period of a lifetime for an ordinary magician. To be skilled is easier said than done and only someone with astonishing talents could achieve it, otherwise it is certainly difficult to become an advanced practitioner.
Another important factor is, even if you can endure the loneliness and work hard to study alchemy, unless you reach the advanced level, you would not be able to manifest the true value of alchemy – If you cannot make powerful magical weapons and items you can only be regarded as a learned scholar of magical theory at most.
Right now there are fewer and fewer alchemy masters on the continent, because this magic is just too impractical. The time of investment is high, but the return is low. I heard that now only a few alchemy masters exist in the Royal Capital’s church headquarters teaching magic. Since they do not have strong fighting capabilities, they can only stay at the headquarters and becoming professors guiding the training of disciples in magic.
Currently, there are only some alchemy masters on the continent that can enchant some ordinary weapons with magic while creating some preliminary magic attribute weapons or equipments. They also make some low end magic scrolls and so on. However, those have no actual value for real magicians and those enchanted magic weapons are often astonishingly expensive. Only a rich man and no ordinary warrior can afford it.”
When Shaar saw Ada speaking with such a high confidence, he could not help but become dumbfounded and subconscious asked: “Then, doesn’t it mean that alchemy would have no future anymore? Are there even people who are willing to study it?”
Ada looked at Shaar with an “idiot” look and said: “There will certainly be a future if the alchemist can practice until he becomes a true master. You can create powerful magic weapons and unleashing terror on its opponent. However ……This is kind of like an illusion, resembling……
Resembling a maiden’s **. Everybody knows that such thing exists, but only a few people manage see it……”
Those words made the pitiful creature nearby blush.