A quick run to the pantry and several of the linen and liqueur cabinets was all Edmund needed to acquire everything else for his experiment.
He placed the large collection of ingredient miscellany on one of the fourth-floor library balconies. One of the library’s gaslights with the glass globe removed served Edmund well as a burner. He had to use a chair to reach it though, which resulted in a lot of hopping up and down with different liquids and powders, double checking the recipe, and pouring things in and out of all the containers he had swiped.
Tunansia’s notes told him to put liquids over the flame until they smoked with a spiraling motion, or until the bubbles burst slowly, rather than sharply; powders were to be burnt until they were purple-gray, but not purple-white; and spoonfuls of other odd ingredients were to be added if it was winter, but not summer, or if there had been rain recently.
It was exactly like poetry, he reflected. He was following recipes with liquids and powders like he would with consonants and rhymes.
Finally, Edmund was finished–a small amount of thick luminescent blue liquid sat at the bottom of a tall glass. Edmund had burned himself twice on the gaslight, and was beginning to feel dizzy from the climbing up and down–although it could have been the fumes, he supposed. He giggled as he looked at the description of the resulting liquid in Tunansia’s notes.
Once you have mixed this solution well, a luminescence of bluish hue will emanate from the Mechanus Vitae. It shall pour as syrup in spring, and the odeur shall be that of a damp bloodhound from an autumn shower. If the smell is more of a doberman after a spring rain, the tincture is flawed, and should be disposed of into the nearest rosebush as hastily as polite company will allow.
Edmund didn’t know what a damp bloodhound smelled like, but he didn’t know what a doberman smelled like either, so he decided to risk it. The concoction seemed to pour like syrup, although Edmund had to admit to himself that he had never seen syrup pour. He continued to quietly laugh with excitement as he picked up the vial, and made his way through the tapestry to the statue.
His cousins had been so sure that he was nothing–that he wouldn’t be able to hold his own against them. Well, he wasn’t so useless after all, was he? He had brewed his own elixir. Eaten alive, indeed! They all thought he was useless, or helpless…well he knew he could be better than they thought he was, and now he had proof. He had created a bit of Mechanus Vitae all on his own!
He’d show them how useless he was. He’d show them all!