The Search for the Alchemist

All though the doctors said it would take Rowan at least a week to get back to full strentgh, she fought that and decided that she needed to get moving right away. Hyde also disagreed with her notion and even now as he stood outside the door to let her get dressed, he was telling her that he could handle it, and that it was ok if she just rested for the time being.

"Hyde, you know I'm as stubborn as a mule. Once I put my mind to something, nothing can stop me,"

"I know that, I mean I learned that the first day we met, but your putting your health at risk," Hyde said.

Rowan could just picture him leaning against the wall beside her door a frown etched on his face. Buttoning her pants she pulled on her cloak. She took one last look at her self in the mirror, before sliding into her boots and then opening the door. Hyde pushed himself from the wall and looked at her with pleading eyes. She sighed before shaking her head and walking down the hall.

"So, I guess nothing can stop you huh?"

"No, not really,"

"Then promise me something?"

"Ok, what?"

"If we have to fight anything, you let me do the fighting, ok?"

"Considering I all ready said ok, all right, you can do all the fighting," Rowan said, hiding the annoyance her voice as best she could, "So, does the chief know about the situation?"

"No, but he stopped by to check on you. To tell you the truth he was more concerned about me, and I barely did anything,"

"Bastard," Rowan said under her breath, "Well I still have to tell him what I found there and explain what happened to their daughter,"

"Was she?"

"Yeah, she's long gone. But they have their facts wrong I think,"

"What do you mean?" Hyde questioned.

"Anabelle said that the Chiefs daughter made her way into the forest and too the hole and begged that she stop killing the people. Anabelle then killed her because she learned she was the Chief's daughter. I guess Anabelle really must have hated him,"

"Anabelle, who the hell is Anabelle?" Hyde asked, as they walked up the stairs to the Chiefs home.

Rowan stayed silent before knocking on the door. This time it opened all most immediately and she found the Chief looking at her with wide eyes. Without saying a word, he opened the door all the way and let herself and Hyde enter. They seated themselves on the couch, and just as the Chief was closing the door, Miriam bounded into the room.

"Please, tell me you found my daughter...or what is left of her,"

"There wasn't anything left of her, I'm sorry Ma'am," Rowan said.

Miriam seemed to expect this, so she lowered her head and then turned around and entered the kitchen. The chief took his seat once again and then looked at Rowan, still a bit confused.

"I thought you were still suppose to resting?' he asked.

"No, I have more important things to, and I have a very short amount of time do them. Sir the creature is gone, but I fear that the real culprit is still here in the city,"

"Explain,"

"The creature I faced in the forest used to be a woman named Anabelle. A man known as the Alchemist promised her eternal beauty and she took up his offer. But instead she was turned into a monster that craved revenge. Once I freed her soul from that body she explained to me that I had to find the Alchemist before the pure festival or everything was lost,"

"You believe in what the spirit says?"

"Yes, I do,"

"Then you are a fool. There are no alchemist in Englante, and probably no where else. That spirit lied to you girl,"

"I don't think so. She also told me that your daughter wasn't kidnapped, but that your daughter went to the forest and begged for Anabelle to stop killing the women and children,"

"Listen to me girl, I will not hear your lies. You've done your job and now  as the chief who holds his part the deal, I grant you permission to read the books from the Old Times, but once you've finished you are never to speak with me again, do you understand?"

"No, you have to cancel the Pure Festival!"

"I will not, that is out of the question. The pure festival is a time for the people of Englante to purify themselves in the name of the Gods. We have done this for generations. We cannot just halt it because a girl like you believes in the spirits!"

"You don't understand-"

"I do. Now woman I suggest you just take this key and head to the library, before I change my mind. Understood? And I forbid you from looking into the alchemist. If you do you, I shall have you arrested,"

Rowan didn't say a word. She rose to her feet, before taking the key from the chief's hand and heading towards the door.

"Learn how to control her. Women like her need to..."

Rowan opened the door and stepped out slamming it behind her. She stormed down the stairs, before turning and heading towards the library. Behind her she could hear Hyde calling after her, but she wasn't going to stop. A frown on her face, she just continued to trudge down the street. It wasn't until Hyde took hold of her arm and turned her around did she stop.

"What?" she asked sternly.

"Don't pay him any mind. Men like that..their wrong...about everything. I know what your capable of and I'm proud to have a partner like you. But you have obey the chiefs rules and-"

"But Hyde people could die!"

"You didn't let me finish," Hyde said, "As a Royal Regiment Solider you are ordered to listen to the chief of whatever village you are in. But if you believe that the village is in mortal danger, then you may go against those orders and act on your own,"

"Hyde..."

"I believe you. So let's go look at these Old Times and see what we can find," he said.

Rowan nodded before she broke into a run towards the library, Hyde following after her.

They showed the librarian their key once they arrived and she hesitantly lead them towards the Old Times. She motioned for them to hand her the key and she unlocked the large sturdy wooden door, that held the Old Times on the other side. With a turn of the key, the door popped open and Hyde and Rowan entered.

The room was dusty and had that old person smell to it. Rowan coughed before she turned towards Hyde who was covering his mouth.

"You look up the Chimera, while I look up Alchemist. I need to learn as much as I can about them," Rowan said as she made her way over to  a stack of books and began to look on the covers.  The first pile held nothing of importance but once she got to the third pile she found the words Alchemy and took it into her hands. Looking around she saw that there were no tables. Sighing she sat down the floor and opened the bookd gently.

The pages within the book were yellow with age, and she was careful not rip any of the pages as she turned them. The words were hand- written and fading away right before her eyes. She coughed a few times before she arrived on how Alchemy works.

"The use of alchemy is to transmutate one substance into another. In the times of the beginning, alchemy was used to transmutate regualr iron and other metals into gold. But now we are able to transmutate anything. In all since of the word, transmutate may even mean to combine one substance with another. In short have enough iron and coal and you could make a sword. In tense, you could litterally make stronger humans, called Humonculous..."

"Humonculous....." Rowan repeated to herself, as she flipped through pages.

"Humonculous, are the result of a human being reborn from the grave into a stronger more sturdier body. Failed Humonculous are known as Sin. When a Sin is created, they take on a truly ugly form, and become blood thirsty. But they are not to be confused with Chimera, which are humans that have been transmutated with animals. This type of transmutation never really works...it usually results in the death of such creature..."

Turning the page she found that the section talking about making the circles for Alchemy was gone. Continuing to flip through she found that every page that contained information about transmutation circles were toorn out. She went for another Alchemy book and found that the same thing had happened to it. Figuring that every other book would be the same, Rowan joined Hyde by the door who was looking through a book, filled with failed Chimeras.

"Find anything?"

"Yeah, that the Alchemy books have been damaged. Evry page that talks about transmutation circles have been damaged. bBut I did learn that the creature that I face was a Humonculous, well at least that is what failed, so it was a Sin,"

"And that Chimera's are humans fused with animals,"

"Exactly, but those usually fail big time,"

"In most cases yes, but if you have the right ratios, then it'll work. Alot of Alchemist believed that the human portion had to be equal to the animal portion. Not exactly, they found if you fuse more than one animal with a human, it is more likely to survive. These are the true Chimera's," Hyde said closing the book and getting to his feet.

"So what to do know? I still don't understand how this is suppose to bring us any closer to finding the Alchemist,"

"It did, even if you didn't notice. The only person who has the keys to this room is the Chief, right?"

"Yeah, I would think so, so wouldn't that make him a prime suspect?"

"Yes, but we still don't have enough proof to say that he is the Alchemist,"

"Which is why we've got to search is house,"

"Are you nuts?" Hyde questioned, "He won't let you in after the show you did,"

"Your forget that I am a powerful sorceress and that we all ways have a back up plan, didn't you,"

"And just what is this back up plan?" Hyde asked, raising an eyebrow.

Rowan through on her hood, before pulling her cloak closed, and she slowly watched as Hyde's eyes went wide. Looking down she no longer saw her hands or boots, heck she couldn't see anything. She was completely invisble. Removing the hood she looked back at Hyde who was as pale as a ghost.

"Your a floating head..."

"No, my body is still here. Just invisible. My father gave me this..."

"Your father...isn't he..."

"My other father...that's a story for a different time," Rowan said, as she opened the cloak and returned to being visble.

"So, I guess you'll hit his house once it get's dark, right?"

"Of course, it's to risky doing it during the day time. Now the question i where do you hide a Transmutation Circle?" Rowan asked.

"Try in the biggest building of the city," Hyde said, motioing towards a window.

Rowan walked over to it, and found herself staring at the large church that was several stories high. Looking down she saw that guards were posted int front of the doors and one seemed to walk the perimeter every few minutes.

"Great, just great, so how are we going to get past that?" she asked, looking back at Hyde.

"If I am correct, I believe teh question is how am I going to get inside,"

"Ok, how are you going to get in?"

"I'll use a little of my sune-kin magic of course,"

"Sune-kin can use magic?"

"Yeah, but very little. I'll tell you about later, but something like this is my specialty. Looks I'll be moving at about the same time as you,"

"I guess so. So, what do we do until then?"

"We learn as much about this festival as we can, that is the only thing we can do,"

"Alight so where do we start?

"The bar?" Hyde proposed.

"Oh yeah, we're sure to get alot of information out of a couple of drunks,"

"Please, that is like the information station of any city. Just trust me ok?"

Hyde lead the way out the room, locking it behind him. He slipped the key into his pocket and together the two made their way over to the bar. It was quiet and empty, with a few men and women spread out across the whole building.

A young woman was just getting to her feet as they were entering and Hyde saw his chance. He walked over to her and then tapped her on the shoulder.

"Excuse me Ma'am me and my companion over there are new here, and we'd like to know more about the Pure Festival,"

"Oh, it's so nice to see Young'uns like you getting involved with this tradition. Tomorrow is the pure Festival, and it is when people from, not only Englante but from all the cities of Delanin come and wash away their sins and offer part of their souls to the gods," the woman said.

"How does it work?"

"First, each person writes a sin that they have commited and sets it ina burning fire. Then once everyone has written, each person puts their blood into the fire. You only need one drop from each person. Then from their, the fire turns ruby red, and you can feel apart of your soul leave. It's quiet the feeling,"

"Couldn't you just pray?" Rowan asked.

"Of course, but this is a way to make sure that npthing horrible ever happens to Englante or it's citizens,"

The clock in the twonsquare chimed loudly and the woman bid them good bye, saying she was late for a meeting with her friends. Rowan and Hyde asked a few more peole, but continued to get the same asnwers. Rowan had to admit that Hyde was right and that the bar did hold alot of answers. She also asked about the Alchemist to a few of the men and women, but they justs tared at her and turned the other way.

I really am starting to hate this place with a passion, Rowan thought to herself as she rejoined Hyde outside.

"Now, you go and rest,"

"Hyde,"

"No if ands or buts. As your surperior that is an order," he said, looking at her sternly.

"Fine,"

"I all ready rented out a room for you,"

"And what will you do?"

"I'm going to read more of the Old Times,"

"No fair,"

"Life isn't fair, that's a lesson as an officer that you have to learn," Hyde said turning her around and pushing back into the bar, "And please try not to drink all right?"

"Fine," Rowan said makin her way upstairs and to her room.

Why does he have to be bossy?

The End

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