A few breaks later, they concluded the lesson, leaving Kisaik to his own devices, while Mauro excused himself to whatever accomodations awaited him at home. The lad seemed perturbed by something, although Kisaik couldn't quite put his finger on what it might be. Probably just his imagination, the tunawa shrugged.
Kisaik spent some time in the back of Gwenum's lab, trying different things with the antidote that Gwenum had taught him to make. The bud of the berries that might become an antidote grew from the lichen of his scalp. Tomorrow or thereabouts, they would bloom, and thus bring about the next stage in their lesson. He was eager to know the cure for the toxins that the castor bean held. From all Gwenum had told him, the toxin within those beans were some of the most potent known to man. Yet it took a master to handle them without danger. This was one of the reason he as a tunawa was so valuable as a student. He could handle certain substances risk free, while also growing a bit of antidote from his hair. He was, in Gwenum's words, 'the ideal pupil'.
He cleaned up after himself once he had satisfied his curiosity with poisoncraft and the various implements that Gwenum used. There were all manner of syringes, flasks, phials, and rubbing pads. All the many methods of application of poison seemed to have similar approaches when it came to the curing of them, the application of antidotes.
In any event, he was out of there, and on the way to the door when Gwenum interrupted him, "Kisaik!" She shouted after him, "Kisaik! Wait a moment!"
Having heard her, he stopped, and began climbing up the counter to face the woman. Once atop the counter, he looked up, and blinked expectantly. "Kisaik... I have an offer for you..."
"Oh, and what might that be, Madam?"
She gave him a wicked smile, which he found unsettling but didn't say so out of fear of appearing rude. He knew well enough she didn't mean him harm at this point, despite having placed him in a cage upon their first meeting.
"I need you to distill the oil of castor beans... You know how to use an alembic?"
"Aye, that I do... although... I'll never get used to your tall folk's use of fire in the pursuit of alchemy..."
"Well, such is the price of excellence." She replied, as they conversed in Xanthean. "Fire is the most transformative phase of matter, you know? The changes it can wrought upon any material is unparalleled."
Kisaik nodded, he couldn't help but agree. Yet that transformation was not always to the good. Say you thrust a tunawa into the fire? It would not end well. Even so, he had best get used to the proper application of flames, as it's heat source was easy to produce. One need only burn some dead wood or other form of fuel, and poof, you had fire!
"Well, bring me to the materials, and I will see what can be done!"
Having given his assent, Gwenum placed her hand palm up on the counter, to which he stepped. Then she brought him back to the laboratory, which was far more well appointed than her backroom lab, where much of her secondhand equipment got foisted to, for her apprentices to learn from.
She placed him at the counter, and then bowed lightly, "I must excuse myself. The fumes are quite poisonous, so don't let anyone in in the meantime, until it has cleared, alright?"
Kisaik nodded up at her, and then went to work, stuffing dead twigs, charcoal and other solid fuel into the calcinator. Once he shut the door to the calcinator's furnace, it began roaring to life, as the flames automatically lit up. The heat from the calcinator was conducted to various apparatus through the use of conductive wires bearing water. These heated up the alembic.
However, not before Kisaik poured the oil of castor into the flask. He attached the flask to the tin tube that led into the other container connected to the alembic. Before long, the heat from the calcinator brought the oil of castor to a boil, making it bubble up. Soon enough, the water and oil began separating from each other, creating a potent spirit of castor oil. Kisaik watched with fascination as the fluid within the glass lowered in its levels, until at last it formed a thin ichor on the bottom of the flask.
Once the spirit of castor oil was distilled down to a centimeter of depth into the flask, he went over toward the calcinator, and shut it off from air supply. Within a few bits, the fires died down from lack of fuel and oxygen. Once the flask had cooled, and the vapors dispersed, Kisaik carefully sucked the fluid out of the bottom of the flask with a long glass straw. The fluid filled the straw up until it made contact with his lips. One straw-full at a time, he transferred it to a small phial that was properly labeled on a nearby rack. One straw full by the next, he transferred the spirit over, until the flask was cleaned, and replaced back in its position.
He waited only a few more moments, testing the heat on the calcinator. Once he was satisfied that it would not reignite, and perhaps burn down Gwenum's shoppe, then he left.
The buds of antidote grew ever larger on his head through the coming days...