Chapter XI: Spiritual Trickery (4/14)Mature

Though high up in the Whiteas building, the Alchemy classroom was rather dimly lit, possibly by the consistency of intermingling odours and steam. The place smelt smoky, as if a window hadn't been let open after an explosion for quite a while. At times the smell of burning wood was pleasant, at other times it was smothering and sickening.

The students seated themselves at circular tables, the surface covered in black tiles, six in all around the room to accommodate six each. In the middle of the tables were fire pits, and hanging hooked above were small brass cauldrons. A wall of the room was full of storage furniture, including several glass cabinets and high bookcases, stocking both ingredients in tightly sealed jars and old, preserved alchemical guides.

Alkimia was a naturally ostentatious character, happy to show off his achieved wealth through his long, fur-lined cloak which hung from his broad shoulders, and his bulky robes which padded him out in ruby red, woven with spools of gold. His facial hair had been combed pristinely, and he walked across the room to his overflowing desk with proud steps.

'Settle down,' he said, his gaze turning serious as conversation faded around him. Tayna grovelled at the table with Will, Andrel and Laguna about the amount of gold glittering on his person. 'It's a very exciting lesson today, we're finally past all of our health and safety revisions and can begin work.' Will was relieved, spending ten minutes hearing how to properly scrub a cauldron hadn't been very thrilling. 'Today, we attempt our first alchemical manifestation.' The faces of the children immediately lit up, even the stony eyes of the Twins brightened.

'This will involve both spellcasting and circle drawing,' explained Alkimia, 'as well as a lot of concentration, so please pay attention. In a moment, I'll dictate your instructions, but I must remind you that we are using potentially explosive ingredients. Therefore, you will need your goggles, and for extra protection, raise the Safety Seal that I taught you about last time.'

Tayna shoved a pair of glass goggles under Will's nose quickly, just as he was reaching for his wand to help erect the seal. She shrugged off her actions, but Will glanced at Laguna and Andrel, seeing their shared concern, he abandoned his wand at his waistband and slipped the goggles over his eyes.

The End

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