Chapter 10 – Alchemy
Brendel was basking in the warm sun in between two fir trees, when he saw the riders bringing one person —
[Hmm? There’s one whole group of people behind that man.]
The man and his group followed the mercenaries and slid down from a slope and walked towards Brendel. Two of them took the long way and led their horses down the slope. They either wore thick leather armor, or had chain mails on them, and a few of them were bandaged. WIth a painted shield and long sword, they looked like they were mercenaries just like Mano.
They were not far from Brendel, and he could see a gigantic man beside Gaspard, which appeared to be the leader.
[Probably a man from Arreck in the north, or at least he has that lineage from that area.]
That man had an eye-catching crimson beard, a squarish face, and a sword scar across his brow. He wore a shirt with a broad opening in the center, showcasing incredible muscles with apparent striations on them, and his sleeves were folded back to his elbow.
[This man must be confident in his own prowess, otherwise he wouldn’t have worn only a leather shoulder guard… Other than a row of axes on his belt, there’s no other weapons on him. That’s an Arreck weapon used by the native warriors, sometimes used as a throwing weapon.]
That barbarian-like giant took off his head and bowed respectfully. “I greet you, respected lord knight, I represent the Crimson Wolves Mercenaries, and I am their leader, Batum.”
[Batum? That’s certainly Arreck’s word for red or crimson.]
His hand lowered closer to his sword, but it was subtle enough that Batum did not notice it. Brendel merely nodded and wait for his response.
Right at this moment, the refugees had spread rumors about Brendel’s identity. At this point of time, holding the status of a noble had an advantage, so Brendel did not deny or admit that he was one, instead displaying an ambiguous response to create a mysterious air about him.
Batum’s heart grew conflicted as Brendel did not say anything. He inquired carefully.
“Respected Lord knight, are you bringing these refugees to escape from Madara’s army?”
Brendel took a look at him and nodded.
“If I may be so bold, do you still lack men?”
“Why, do you intend to join us?” Brendel was surprised, but he immediately realized these mercenaries were most likely chased all the way from the River of Sharp Rocks. Their group must be completely exhausted and needed someone to offer them protection.
[Just as expected, Luc Beson was defeated. The White-Mane army and Medes, Kabias has just ended.]
Brendel looked up and check the mountains that were in a distance away.
[It seems that even more refugees and the White-Mane army will join us… The scale of our size is going to become bigger.]
Batum saw that the young noble was holding on to his sword, and he stared ahead in a daze. His heart was becoming anxious. He quickly nodded: “Yes, respected Lord Knight, we just need a little food and medicine and a bit of rest, and we can fight for you.”
“What happened there?” Brendel suddenly said.
Batum looked at him in confusion.
“I’m talking about the River of Sharp Rocks. How many Madara undead did you see.”
“Countless, Lord Knight, there were countless troops of skeleton riders, and they kept chasing endlessly during the night time. They forced the refugees to flee constantly, and that fucking son of a whore Luc Beson did not even managed to defend against them even once. He had lost battle after battle, then finally they got ambushed by a large group of fucking monsters, and the entire army was nearly wiped out!”
Brendel was not surprised at this outcome. Even though the ‘tiger’ Luc Beson was indeed a considerably impressive leader, he was unable to escape from this tragedy, and failure was a given.
“— Wait, a group of monsters? What kind of monsters?”
“These creatures are as tall as humans, their skin was completely smooth and their bodies are of a dark green color. They wore long steel claws and there was a terrible rotting smell on them. They climbed up the boulders around the river and suddenly ambushed us. We did not prepare ourselves for their attacks and the survivors were only two or three out of ten men.”
[Ghouls. Were there wights that appeared as well? These ghouls are one rank higher than the skeleton riders, and one rank lower than the black warriors and pale knights, but their numbers are great… How many are there? One hundred? Two hundred? They are level 20 creatures and each of them has the strength of a low Iron-ranked fighter… It’s not surprising that the White-Mane army would lose, especially when they ambushed them.]
“Lord knight?” Batum once again troubled when Brendel fell into silence.
Brendel finally nodded. “If you want to join my group, you have to observe my rules. I will hire you, and besides the money, I will also give you a place to rest. Gaspard, bring them some food, medicine and bandages.”
He patted Batum’s shoulder. “Rest well. You have to prepare yourself for the upcoming battles.”
“Thank you for you generosity, Lord Knight!” Batum bowed deeply. Brendel’s terms were beyond his expectations. He had been to many places, but he had never such a kind noble.
Another mercenary rider who escorted Batum asked: “What about you, my lord?”
“The rest of you return to your posts. I need to be alone and rest for a while.” Brendel answered while he looked at his surroundings.
[This place is suitable.]
Brendel did not need to rest, but he wanted to use alchemy. Alchemy in Vaunte was not a mysterious art, and the people in most workshops knew at least a little of it. But to raise it a level where it was of use, required a vast experience and knowledge.
In game terms, there were two set of different usage before level 5 and after level 5. Artisans used this technique to gather different materials, and before level 5 it appeared like chemistry.
After level 5, it becomes a mysterious art. Wizards would use alchemy to extract pure crystals and magical reagants. They would then use it to transmute things and even create magical potions.
By combining them with blacksmithing, technology and enchantment, they would be able to create the legendary magic armor. There were many blacksmiths and apprentices working in a workshop, and Brendel was able to obtain ‘Basic Alchemy’ after asking a few questions.
Raising the alchemy skill set required 122 AP, but this did not prove to be a problem for him, as he had leveled up enough to get 164 AP.
[The ideal situation for me is to get level 6 Alchemy so I can make magic potions, but my true status is a ‘Commoner’. As a NPC commoner, I can only learn up to level 5 Alchemy, a noble – level 7, an alchemist specialist – level 15. If I want to go up any higher, I need to change my status. The same goes for learning side skills from other professions…]
After waiting for Batum and the other riders have left, he continued to wait a while and confirming there was no one else, he came to an empty area, and carefully swept away the leaves. He drew out his sword and draw a simple magic circle.
[Energy Transmutation. Blood Transmutation.]
Magic circles came from level 4 alchemy, with artisans using them to extract energy and crystalize them. However, the Blood Transmutation was the true reason why he wanted to avoid everyone. This technique actually came from Madara, and the Holy Cathedral of Fire strictly forbade the usage of this spell. This was because it harmed the user and went against their basic rules.
However, this was incredibly useful as a skill because it ignored the need for materials, and under any circumstances, the user would be able to transmute simple materials into something useful.
But the players in Aouine, Kirrlutz used it freely as they only wanted effectiveness. The price for using it was merely dropping a level if they were discovered.
However, Brendel was a little anxious here. It was a scenario of ‘Off with his head!’ instead of just dropping a level, since doing it in the open was challenging the authority of the Holy Cathedral of Fire. Even though he had Ciel as a lookout, he really did not want to do this in the open.
He sighed and took out the teeth that was taken from the lich, then pierce his thumb with the sword. A blood of drop formed and he turned it over the center of the magic circle. A flash of red light appeared, and the teeth had became grey crystals with the size of a thumb.
When it was completed, Brendel felt his heart jump once. He had received -1 damage.
He wiped away the cold sweat on his forehead, then picked up the crystals. These crystals were made from spirit energy, and were different from soul gems. If someone tried to absorb the these impure crystals, they would immediately become poisoned and die.
[These things are going to become the most important tools tonight…]
But he did not stop there. He took out 32 teeth and 4 fingers, and a Number 5 potion.
However, after transmuting half of them and around 5 minutes later, Ciel’s voice could be heard. “Who’s there?”
Brendel’s heart jumped. He quickly wiped away the magic circles and kept all ingredients, picked up the Thorn of Light and ran out.
As he walked out of towards the Fir trees, he saw a middle-aged man standing in front of Ciel. He furrowed his brows for a moment, before recalling that he was the man who was knocked onto the carriage’s wheel.
[Why is he here?]
In Brendel’s memory, this man was quite brave as he fought back against Markov’s men, except it was not a wise thing.
But he did not expect the words that came from his lips.
“My lord, are you using Blood Transmutation circles? Please take care of your body—”
Brendel and Ciel’s minds went completely blank.
[How did he know? He stood here for a long time? That’s not possible!] Ciel did not believe that he could not even detect this commoner. The squire was ready to use magic.
But the middle-aged man saw that their puzzled faces and he bowed. “My lord, I have not had the opportunity to thank you for saving me. My name is Tamar”, an alchemist.
“Tamar…? Y-you’re Tamar!?”
Brendel felt the name was familiar at first, but he suddenly recalled the name of Madara’s Grandmaster alchemist who was prominent in the 380th year. His mouth fell open, then carefully observed him. He looked at him carefully to ensure if it was that Tamar, and he definitely appeared to be like him.
[Shit… It’s because of that fucking bastard Markov. Tamar must have been turned into an undead after Madara occupied this place. And his hatred must be due to his son’s death… Shit, that makes fucking sense.]
But Brendel believed he was that person because of his familiarity with alchemy. Tamar was able to see there was a backlash on Brendel and determined the exact alchemy circle, and this was not any alchemist can do.
The Tamar in history was an incredibly powerful undead. Majority of the high level undead was because of him, Mesut and Serylen. The famous ability of Tamar was to convert a corpse directly into a skeleton, which practically doubled Madara’s forces.
[Mother Marsha above, hahaha, looks like it would be pretty difficult for Madara to use that ability.] Brendel beamed when he looked at the human Tamar.
“M-my lord?” His smile frightened Tamar. He had heard dirty rumors about nobles acquiring a ‘different taste’, but he was confused since he was already old. He was a little fretful. (TL: Seriously?)
It was Ciel who had to cough loudly to wake Brendel, who quickly explained: “Are you the Grandmaster alchemist Tamar in Fortress Riedon?”
[Grandmaster Alchemist? But that’s a title reserved for the best, when did I become so famous?] Tamar was confused and quickly shook his head. “My lord, I’m just an unknown alchemist working for some nobles, and I have no successful inventions at all—”
[You’re still unknown? Hahaha, I picked up a great treasure!] Brendel was delighted.