138. The Key Ingredient
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Envy slowly walked inside the tunnel that led to the place his Father was; he was in a happy mood as he just finished burning down the Central Library, preventing the Elric Brothers from getting any information regarding the Philosopher's Stone.

However, as soon as he entered the room, he saw that everyone was looking at Lust and Gluttony with a somewhat somber tone.

"Lust? Did you already get back? Where is the little human girl, or the strange alchemist?" asked Envy.

"I did not capture any of them. The entire situation was a trap."

"What do you mean?"

"The Alchemist seemed to know about our existence and was waiting for us. Gluttony and I were lucky to escape after dying more than a hundred times.."

"He's that powerful?"

"More than you can imagine."

"How strong can a human be?" said Pride with a sneer. "You're just trying to use excuses for your failure."

"Brother Pride, you are more than welcome to go after him yourself," said Lust nonchalantly.

"Tell me his location and I will gladly do so."

"There is no need to bicker, children," said Father. "The Current issue we are facing now is whether this alchemist knows about our plan? Will he stop it? Finally, how did he know about it?"

Only a few people in this room know about the entire plan, and Father did not believe that his children would betray him.

"There might be some leaks from the military," said Pride, then he looked at Bradley. "Wrath, you might want to check your subordinates."

"Although some military commanders knew about our existence, they did not know our complete plan. So, if this alchemist manages to gather some information from them, then we will still have some advantages," replied Fuhrer Bradley.

"Father, there is still the possibility of Greed betraying us and revealing our plans," said Lust.

"Indeed, that's a possibility," replied Father. "Envy, I need you to go check on him. As for you Lust and Gluttony, go deal with Scar; he's been causing too much trouble in central lately."

Meanwhile, inside his laboratory, Edward had gloves on. In front of him, three bodies had their bodies opened from the middle, displaying their organs. These three bodies were the three homunculi: Lust, Gluttony, and Greed.

The odd thing was that these guys were still alive, witnessing this process. However, they were unable to move.

Edward looked at the red stone that served as their cores with a calm look on his face.

"Interesting. The Philosopher's Stone has completely replaced their essence. All the bones, muscles, and organs are nothing but decorations. They are the stone, and the stone is them. As long as the stone remains intact, they will live.

"Even if all their body parts were destroyed, it can be reconstructed if the stone is intact. However, if something happens to the stone, they will die."

Edward paused for a moment, then he said" Morgana, are you done searching for their memories?"

"Yes, master. The process took longer than needed as there were too many souls inside the stone, so I had to go through all their memories before finding the main one."

"Is that so? Then send me the important information and your analysis."

"Yes, sir."

Edward then began to analyze the process of these people turning into Homunculi. Essentially, a Philosopher's Stone was liquified and injected into the bloodstream of a human, along with one of the 7 deadly sins that served as a fusion material.

Then, all the souls in the stone fought together to be the final one that got to fuse with the deadly sin of Father. Meanwhile, during the process, the energy of the stone will destroy and reconstruct the body.

The intense pain is enough to make the majority of souls give up, but if one has a will strong enough, he or she will be the final victor, fused with Father's Sin and become the main personality of the homunculi,

After reviewing that information, Edward muttered: "Well, I was right to be cautious and not immediately fuse the Philosopher's Stone with my magic core."

After studying alchemy for a while, he did come up with a feasible plan to fuse the stone with his magic core. However, he wanted to be safe, so he decided to wait and study Homunculi first.

And after seeing the result, he knew that his bet was correct.

Soon after that, Edward continued to gather more data. Soon, both Lust and Greed will not have much help to him, so he wanted to get as much value from them as possible.

As for the Homunculi, they wanted to scream because of the pain, but their throats were blocked by something. All they wished for was that they had some anesthesia.

Meanwhile, little Morgana looked at the process while thinking to herself:

'Master seems extremely cruel this time; I wonder why he hates these homunculi so much."

--Scene Break--

Ed and Al sat with a bunch of books around them; it appeared that they have not moved out of this room for quite some time now. And their faces were one of horror and despair.

They have just learned what the key ingredient for a Philosopher's Stone was: human lives.

Ed clenched his hand in anger, then he remembered the warning that Edward gave him regarding the stone. He suddenly stood up.

"Brother?"

"Al, do you remember the Alchemist with the same name as us?"

"You mean Edward Bones?"

"Yes, him. He is probably the most talented Alchemist we've met."

"So?"

"So, why is he so powerful? He could create a miracle like Human Transmutation, but he did not have to use a Philosopher's Stone. But, look at us, we could not even save a little girl; without him, we would be powerless and watch Nina live a life worse than death."

"What are you saying, brother?"

"I'm saying that if we can find the reason he's so powerful without a Philosopher's Stone, then maybe, we can use that method ourselves to get our bodies back."

Al paused for a moment, "That's indeed a good way, but how do we find him? For all we know, he could be heading to Xing already."

"I know where he lives," replied Ed.

"How come?"

"The day after we met him, I found a card in my hotel room with his address on it."

"Brother, why didn't you tell me?"

"I forgot."

"How can you be so irresponsible with something so important."

"We were so busy dealing with Scar at that time, so it slipped my mind. Plus, there was a note that said not to reveal his whereabouts."

While arguing, the two Elric brothers departed to find Edward's house.

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Next Chapter Title: Human

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