Greetings, Automata Maid
CHAPTER 26: NO MORE HANDHOLDING
It’s been a while since I was in Ophelia’s room, and it’s also been a while since I last sat on this chair.
Ophelia is teaching me alchemy today.
I saw it for the first time during the fight with the Tyrannoghavial, but it looked really useful so I want to learn it.
“Alchemy is a skillset to infuse items with magic power, changing their shape and properties.”
“So I can’t do alchemy if I don’t have any magic power?”
“Yes, that’s correct.
But the amount required is minimal, so there’s no need to worry about running out of it.
The most important part is your tools and how you use them.”
There are tools and materials ready on the table.
“First, the quintessential alchemy cauldron.
Some are made from iron, others from silver, but they all help contain the flow of magic and ease the alchemy process.”
As she speaks, Ophelia throws a multitude of herbs and water she created with magic into the cauldron, then puts a glass lid on it.
She holds her hands against the cauldron.
“And then you infuse your mana into the cauldron.
The quantity isn’t too important, you just have to make sure it’s uniform throughout the entire cauldron.
That mana turns into magic power that dissolves the materials and reconstructs them.”
If I recall, you didn’t use any of these tools when fixing my arm or crafting Mir’s sword, right?”
From what I saw, she had just used some liquid those times, and not a cauldron or similar tool.
“Yes, I’m adept at controlling magic power, so I don’t need tools to help me mold it better.
Also, a cauldron limits the size of the products.”
I see, so with the necessary skills one can increase the reach of alchemy.
Now that I think about it, every magic tool in the house was built by Ophelia, including my gun Black Hawk.
There’s a lot of things that would never fit in a cauldron, though trying to picture that is quite surreal.
“This is the most basic healing potion.
The most basic starting point.”
All the herbs had lost their shape, giving the water a green hue.
But it doesn’t look like the herbs had gotten dissolved or anything, since the liquid is clear.
Ophelia pours the liquid into test tubes, and gives me the empty cauldron.
“Give it a try.”
I really feel like Ophelia has a rather spartan teaching method.
This also happened with magic, she taught me the basics, and then sent me to practice instantly.
I guess she wants me to get used to it rather than just study it.
I repeat what Ophelia did before, putting the herbs in the cauldron and making water with magic, then I get magic power into it.
But there is no change in the cauldron, the herbs just float inside.
“Don’t focus your magic on the cauldron itself, channel through it and permeate everything inside.”
Ah, I see.
The cauldron isn’t the target, just a vessel.
So I have to picture mana leaving my body to a larger area, probably similar to my magic blade? The cauldron’s contents seem to react to my mana, glowing softly.
“Try using less mana, that’s too much.”
This is like a third of the mana I use for the magic blade, but it’s still too much?
“Yes, much better.
Don’t pour more mana into it now, instead try to focus on getting what you have into every fiber of the materials to take them apart.”
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Into every fiber.
Thinking of it like roots spreading in the ground should be good enough.
I just need minute control over my mana, and slowly get it everywhere.
It feels like each of my fingers is split into many tendrils, filling every space they can find in the water and herbs.
All the ingredients fall apart, and fully dissolve.
“Good, you’re done.”
Hearing Ophelia I come back to my senses.
I had been focusing too much.
The cauldron in front of me contained a green liquid.
But unlike Ophelia’s potion, mine still had pieces of leaves and other muck floating around.
“If your magic power doesn’t penetrate enough, the ingredients won’t mix entirely like this.”
So I have to be even more precise.
This is way harder than the magic blade.
“This should still be good enough to heal all sorts of cuts though.”
So at least it has healing properties and can be considered medicine.
“Also, when making liquids you just need to mince everything finely, but when creating metal objects or other tools, you need to fully comprehend the physical structure of the finished product, and how to reconstruct it.
So that’s even harder.”
So first learning, taking apart, and finally reconstructing.
“Then Mistress, shouldn’t I prepare healing potions for every time I go hunting?”
“No harm in that, though I don’t see why you’d need them?”
“You’re a monster, yes, but you’re not a living being.
Healing potions won’t fix your injuries.”
Medicine doesn’t have an effect on automatons.
“What was that liquid you used to fix my arm then?”
“Ah, that was just a liquid with the materials used to build you dissolved in it.
I used them with alchemy to seal the cracks in your arms, and to activate the self-repairing features built in you.”
“I have self-repairing features?”
I was never told.
“You didn’t notice? Though you never really got hurt before so I guess there was no reason to know about it.”
Now that she says that, the wound on my shoulder when one of the kidnappers that took Olivia swung his sword on me disappeared without me noticing.
There was no scar from that, and I was afraid of having disobeyed orders afterwards so I had no time to think about it, but now it makes sense.
“Though rather than a feature, it’s an innate property of the orichalcum and World Tree Bark I used to build you.”
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Mistress, you just said something completely unbelievable, even after knowing you for this long.
Am I really made with that?”
“Oh, you’ve heard of those materials before? Orichalcum and World Tree Bark, I had a lot of trouble sourcing both of them.”
‘Trouble’ doesn’t cut it.
In most fantasy stories those are the highest level materials in existence.
“But regardless of that, if you want to be able to repair yourself, you’ll have to properly learn to reconstruct things with alchemy first.”
So there’s a long way to go.
But considering regular medicine won’t help me, practicing and getting to that point is of utmost importance.
It would be terrible if I get hurt and can’t move while Ophelia isn’t around.
“You can have this alchemy cauldron, and I’ll give you the recipes for potions that can be made with the garden’s herbs.
Make sure you practice it all.”
I’ll really have to do my best learning this.
It’s important enough that I might need to sacrifice some of my magic and gun training time for it.
Though actually, I still haven’t made any progress with offensive magic, and my gun can take care of anything at range, so giving up on that might be for the best.
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