Atelier Tanaka Volume 1 &2 Chapter 21 Part 1
Dorm Life 3
The alchemy test was a practical exam.
It seems I need to make a mana potion. This potion is something that recovers mana.
“a mana potion?”
I don’t think it’s possible.
I can’t make something like that.
I don’t remember ever seeing it in Edita Sensei’s book.
I remember the noble mage drinking something like that during the dragon extermination party. I remember it was a thick liquid with a blue colour. If it’s something like that, I’d never had any need for it.
What does it feel like to recover mana by drinking something?
My automatic mana recovery skill seems to be working against me here.
I’ve never even tasted it.
Following the voice of the instructor, all of the students began working.
I’m currently on one of the many floors of the school building in a classroom that looks similar to a home ec room. The test itself is pretty similar to a cooking exam in school. However, even if I describe the room as a ‘home ec room’, the room itself is pure white and looks rather modern.
It’s fairly reminiscent of a luxury hotel room. There are glossy, beautiful wood cabinets on either side of the room and two rows of thirty highly polished silver sinks set into counters.
If I look around to the rest of the students, they’re all moving things around. They’re all working diligently. While I’m just standing here with no idea what I’m supposed to do.
“Tanaksan? Is something wrong?”
The instructor noticed me pretty quickly.
This person, I remember meeting her on my first day here. I think her name was Lydia Nannuzzi and she looks like she’s in her mid-thirties. Her gentle eyes are distinctive.
Based on what she’s wearing I’m guessing she’s also a noble. She’s wearing a grey robe with gold embroidery. Her long brown hair is loosely tied up around her shoulders. The robe she’s wearing is actually pretty revealing and my eyes can’t help but be drawn to her large chest.
Is she married? She’s probably married. She’s definitely married.
I’ll work on conquering married women once I unlock the Yarichin cheat.
That will be my bonus challenge after clearing this game.
“Ah, no. There’s nothing wrong. I’m just trying to think of how to start.”
“Alright. Please, tell me if you’re not feeling well.”
“Sorry about that. Thank you for your concern.”
“I’ve heard a lot of good things about you from Fahren-sama. He’s told me that you’re an extraordinary mage. I have high expectations for you. In fact, when you’re finished I’d like to use your potion as an example to the rest of the students.”
“N-No, you’re expecting too much.”
“There’s no way that’s true. This is the first time I’ve ever heard Fahren-sama praise someone else so much. If possible, I’d like to be able to sit down and talk about magic with you someday.”
“i-is that so? Thank you for saying that.”
“Sure. Then, I’ll get back to supervising the rest of the students.”
So it’s like that.
The noble mage seems to have made my life more difficult once again.
What should I do?
“Let’s do our best on the exam.”
Ester-chan is also sitting in the seat next to me.
What a uselessly nice smile.
She even said she wasn’t taking any alchemy classes for her major.
On top of the attention I’ve drawn from what the lecturer said, the fact that Ester-chan is sitting here has drawn even more attention from the surrounding students.
It would be impossible for me to even cheat like this.
There’s no reason for me to start panicking so soon. I just need to calm down. It’s true that I have no idea what the recipe for a mana potion is, but I do have several recipes in my mind that I learned from Edita Sensei’s book.
As long as I follow the basic alchemy procedure of evaluate, dissolve, boil, and repeat; I should be able to create something that can restore mana. Even if what I create isn’t a mana potion, it should be able to be used in a similar way.
If I’m able to at least create a similar effect I should be able to pass this exam. Though, Edita Sensei was working on next-generation potions so I may risk accidentally creating something completely unexpected.
“ah, that’s right.”
I decided to get on with it.
When I occasionally look over at Ester-chan, I can see her measuring out water in different containers. She seems to be the only one taking this exam seriously right now.
Alright, I’ll do it.
I’ll do my best.
When I think about it, this will be the first time that I’ve ever used the knowledge I’ve gained for anything related to alchemy.
On top of the counters, there are many different items and equipment used for alchemy. This entire room really resembles Edita Sensei’s atelier. Most of the items on the counter are things Ive never seen before.
I’ll just ignore all of the stuff I don’t recognize.
I’m not skilled enough to mix in things I don’t recognize.
Let’s just take things slow.
“this will be the main dish.”
I pushed everything I didn’t recognize to the corner of the desk and picked up an herb that I’d use as the main ingredient. It was a purplish plant that resembled garlic chives. It’s a medicinal herb that’s grown throughout the world. It’s little more than a weed and even has the nickname ‘Poor People’s Salad.’
For convenience sake, I’ll call it a purple chive.
It’s a widely known fact that the purple chive has no real nutrients. However, according to Edita Sensei’s book ‘Poverty and You,’ by using a special procedure, you can use the purple pigment of the chive to restore trace amounts of mana.
“How would I go about doing that?”
Anyway, I just need to try it.
I place it in a vial with water and began to heat it using my fireball. I extracted the coloured water into one of the bottles on the counter. I used to do something similar to this when I was a child. I’d use morning glories and soak them in water to make coloured water. It’s actually quite nostalgic.
Now I need to distil this chive soup mixture.
Edita Sensei wrote that the way to extract the magical properties of this plant is to apply a strong light to the coloured water. By doing this, the mana stored inside the liquid is discharged.
And so, I once again activated my fireball but this time it was to be used as a light source.
A large fireball around the size of a volleyball appeared before me.
All of the surrounding students looked at me in shock.
This chive-like plant has a tendency to absorb loose particles of mana that are in the soil and store this mana in it. Sensei hypothesized that the pigment of this plant is due to the mana that it absorbs through the soil. She was able to come up with this method of extraction while she was verifying this. As expected of my Sensei. I want to have sex with her.
In total, I was able to make about the equivalent of three Yakults of this purple liquid. (TN: A Yakult is a milk drink from Japan)
Still, how much exactly is a ‘trace amount of mana?’
I’m a little worried.
I dipped the tip of my finger into the liquid and tasted it.
“wow, that’s terrible.”
It tastes like aojiru mixed with semen. (TN: Aojiru is another Japanese drink)
The amount of mana recovered isn’t amazing, but, either way, as it is now there’s no way anyone can drink this. That time on Mount Pepe, I remember seeing both the noble mage and Ester-chan drinking a mana potion easily.
I definitely need to find a way to improve its taste.
“I’m sure there was something like that in Edita Sensei’s works.”
I remember there being something by her that listed various ways to improve how drinkable a potion is. I think it was in her book called ‘Gourmet and You.’
Based on my basic understanding of alchemy, there should be a way for me to convert this purple liquid into powder form. Considering I am also able to use magic in this world, it should be even easier for me to find a way to convert this into tablet form.
For now, I’ll do that and convert the powder into a tablet.
If it goes directly into your stomach before dissolving, you won’t be able to taste anything.
“Still, even in tablet form, this is really unpleasant.”
I think it would be best to cover it with something to mask the taste. I set out some materials that I thought might work on the countertop. A fruit that looks similar to a walnut called Cass is what I decided to use. I cracked open the shell to find it contains a thick, oil-like substance that resembled cheese.
It’s possible to just eat this as is and it can also be used as a catalyst when diluted in water. I’ll use it as something similar to a cheese fondue to coat the tablets.
It’s rather similar to coating baked goods in chocolate. With this, the disgusting flavour is completely covered up. It’s also child-friendly and works well as a gift for that special woman in your life.
Alright, this looks good.
I’m beginning to think I can actually pass this exam.
It’s been a while since the start of the test, and most students are now entering the final stages.
Lydia was walking around the classroom for most of that time but, after checking the time on the clock, she had now returned to the front of the class and sat down at her desk.
And she looked over the students and gave out her instructions.
“It’s about time to finish. Please, add your mana to the potion now.”
What does that mean?
I guess I can add mana to this somehow.
How does that work?
“What’s the matter, Tanaksan?”
“N-No, it’s nothing.”
I unintentionally let my voice slip.
Because I’ve never heard of anything like that.
I was confused by her instruction but she continued anyway.
“As I explained repeatedly during the lecture, mana potions supplement the natural mana recovery that everyone possesses. We add mana to the potion in order to aid the body in recovering mana after drinking it.”
This is the first I’ve heard of anything like that.
I’ve never used a mana potion before.
“Powerful mages have the natural ability to rapidly recover their mana, but most mages need the assistance of a mana potion to properly recover magic when needed. Therefore, the quality of a mana potion is determined based on its ability to quickly enter the body of whoever drinks it.”
I looked around at the surrounding students once more.
They all placed a flask containing their liquid on the counter.
All of their liquids are blue.
I held both hands in front of me and said a small prayer.
“The action of adding mana to the potion is possible even for a low-level user. There are two points to consider when making potions. First, is to make the potion as easy for the body of the user to absorb as possible. Second, is to make a potion that can increase the natural mana recovery rate of the user as much as possible.”
Basically, a mana potion is used to increase the natural mana recovery of someone in a safe way. I should have been thinking about it as more of an aid rather than a medicine itself.
It was a huge misunderstanding on my part. I thought the purpose of the mana potion was to directly increase the amount of mana one has available, but it just increases the natural recovery rate. I don’t remember reading anything like that in Edita Sensei’s works.
Maybe that’s just basic knowledge in Alchemy.
That has me worried about how they go about mass producing these potions. Do they just hire a lot of mages and set them up along a factory line? Or do they just have mages in retail shops that charge the potions? I don’t understand.
There are several things I’m doubting.
However, there wasn’t a lot I could do to figure this out now.
Right now, my own situation is worrying me.
What should I do?
What’s most important for the potion is its ability to quickly enter the body of the user. Also, how much the user’s natural mana recovery ability is increased is also important. I need to study a lot more. Thank you for this information. I’m pretty sure I have no chance now. That’s why the rest of the students all have their potions in liquid form.
It’s only now that I noticed something so important.
If I had just been paying attention to those around me I would’ve noticed this much earlier. The task was to make a potion, and yet I managed to create something that in no way resembles a potion. What I managed to make is something like a strange candy.