1.7 Alchemy


I carefully unstuck the pages of the notebook and turned them, one by one. The paper was yellowed and brittle, and made a heart-lurching crack as the pages separated. Still, the writing was legible. Barely.

“What are you reading?”

I jumped, startled. Yuki stood behind me, leaning forward to read the writing on my notebook.

“Goodness Yuki, you surprised me,” I said with a little laugh.

Yuki didn’t reply, instead she leaned forward further and said, “It’s a recipe to make the potion of youth.”

“You can read this?” I asked, staring at her in wonder.

Her cheeks coloured. “I may know a thing or two about the subject, yes. Alchemy, that is. Silly, I know…”

“No, not at all,” I said hastily. “I’m fascinated in it myself. Case in point.”

“May I?” she asked, pointing to the notebook.

“Be my guest.”

She sat down across from me and carefully turned the pages. She somehow managed to do so with much more ease than me, her fingers delicately playing over the fading ink. “These are so old,” she said. “It’s a shame how all the alchemists died out.”

“Is that what you think?”

“Yes. I think these old alchemists were really onto something, but after a while the something got lost.”

If only she knew. “Could you help me read these?”

“Sure. But where are they from? And why do you need them?”

“They’re antiques I found in my old family basement. I’m just reading them because… because research purposes.”

“Research purposes,” she repeated. “I should just call you alchemist from now on.” Smiling, she turned back to the page I had been on and began to read.

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