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“Two parts blood, one part semen, three parts oil… failure…” I muttered to myself as I scribbled into my notes.

My joyous morning with Peers had to unfortunately come to an end. It wasn’t like I had a particular schedule to abide by. However, for the moment I was still treated as something akin to a flight risk. Other than Mary and Peers, I had been cut off from the rest of the Cambions. As Peers had mentioned, he had become my secretary and bodyguard, however it was more accurate to call him my parole officer. He was my only contact with the outside world, and he was under pressure to get me to produce a product. Although his laid back personality prevented him from pressuring me directly, I could see a bit of the strain in his eyes.

I looked down at the product in my hand, using examine on it a second time to make sure I didn’t overlook anything. Although my manipulation ability had consumed the standard skill of examine, it still functioned in the same exact way. That is to say that the information I gleamed from it was not particularly subject to change and was typically very accurate.

{Vial of Seed – Rank B – Creator: Aria – Life in a vial – Quantity – Small}

Of course, this wasn’t the only information I obtained from examine. As the creator, the vial revealed the contents I had put in when making it. I also knew something of it’s duration and effectiveness.

“A Rank B, you’ve already made an improvement. I think Matriarch Mary will be very excited by these results. How is this a failure?”

I smiled wryly as the bored Peers was glancing over my shoulder with interest. He had an examine ability as well, although his skill was called identify. Apparently, whether the skill was called examine, identify, or analyze was a bit of a regional thing. It also appeared that those with magic-associated classes injected magic into something when they identified it, and it was thought that they were able to glean more accurate results. Looks can be deceiving, so while I could tell a high-quality sword from a low-quality sword, it’d take someone with a more discerning eye or better magic to tell the difference between which of two high quality swords was the better. The world of analysis had these kind of rules. For me, my examine skill was geared toward manipulation, so I learned more from people than from objects.

“It has moved from very small to small. This progress will be insufficient for the future of the colony.” I explained lightly.

“The fact you were able to reproduce it at all was the original worry. Not to say we didn’t trust your word!” Peers raised his hands defensively. “Even with the original stuff, we could expand our population to thousands before we’d need to start taking lives. That alone would be enough to properly defend ourselves and keep back the local raids.”

“Yes… but if the raids came and failed, do you think the humans and demons will give up?” I asked before shaking my head. “A thousand Cambions isn’t enough to survive a war, especially if half of them are children.”

Peers gave a carefree laugh. “Well, I’m sure the council has thought of that. It’ll be fine. You should be proud in what you’ve accomplished. We didn’t expect you to be able to produce anything for a week yet. We haven’t even managed to gather all the supplies you’ve requested.”

If Peers had any particular flaw, it was that he wasn’t much of a thinker. He blindly trusted in other people figuring it out. He lived a relatively care free life and rarely thought much farther than his sword. Sword being both the one he held at his hip, as well as his penis.

I gave him a comforting smile until he leaned down and kissed me. Finally, he pulled away with just a tinge of regret in his eyes. One thing I was set on with Peers was no sex in the lab. I still wasn’t quite sure how my Enchantress powers worked and having sex while in the proximity of potions slightly concerned me. Other than the basic lab safety protocols that had been forced into me in college, I also worried that some kind of sex magic might be emanating from me. I did keep a couple bottles in the bedroom as test samples, but I wasn’t willing to risk the entire stock just because I got horny.

Peers finally pulled away, casually lying back on a pile furs with a content look on his face. I looked down at the young man who seemed so innocent. Mary had casually mentioned that the population of Cambions would explode to over 1000 in just a decade from current group of sixty. That likely meant that Cambions had very short periods as babies and likely grew up fast. I was a little worried as to how young Peers actually was. Although demi-humans couldn’t be compared to humans as far as life-spans, maturity, and knowledge… I had examined Mary. The so-called Matriarch of this family was only 30, just a decade older than me. I told myself her young age had to do with the human and demon raids and not because Cambions had a very short lifespan. Either way, Peers was selected as my fuck buddy for the moment, so Peers’ age was just one more thing I decided to be willfully ignorant of.

The other thing I tried not to think too much about was the people that they consumed. As harsh as this world had shown itself to be, the Cambions were still undoubtedly a culture of rapists. Yes, they had to do so to survive, but that didn’t stop the fact that they regularly raped and murdered human beings in order to perpetuate their species. Even if the humans were partially willing, I still recalled my cell neighbor Eva. I couldn’t even pretend that at least she enjoyed it. I had been their listening to her cry and struggle as her Cambion mate forced her down and took her lifeforce unwillingly. I couldn’t pretend it was anything but brutal, systematic rape.

Yet, the Cambions weren’t particularly at fault either. Was a wolf at fault for killing and eating a bunny? They did it because they had to, and even if their callousness was severe, even the naïve Peers thought nothing of absorbing the life away from someone until they died, I still wanted to make them change.

What Peers didn’t know was that the rise in rank from C to B was almost purely a result of Lifebringer, the skill I gained after making those semen potions when I classed up. I had personally not perfected the recipe at all. In fact, the recipe I used this time involved more materials of a higher grade, and in the end only netted me a slight gain. That is why I wrote fail on the sheet.

When someone is developing a new drug, whether the drug works or not is meaningless. It doesn’t matter if the drug works so much as it matters whether the drug works better than the current form of treatment. No matter how many B class potions I made, unless they were cheaper to produce or more effective in life gain, they were a complete waste to me.

I wasn’t looking for a slight boost in potion making, I was looking to make a replacement to the current Cambion way of life. Mary had said that once their population had a few thousand, they would be able to capture humans for meals without worry of repercussion. I wasn’t so sure about this. However, even if they could manage to protect themselves, that wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to Cambions to no longer have to eat people at all.

Mary imagined a world where they could break free from their restraints imposed by humans and demons, freely taking from the world as they pleased. I imagined a world where they were free from the constraints of Cambions, free to live their lives as any other demihuman could. They never imagined I could produce enough potion to sustain a population over a thousand, but I came from a world with manufacturing where we could produce enough product to serve millions. First, I’d perfect my recipe, and then… I’d create the first potion factory this world had ever seen.

As for ingredients, sperm banks were already a thing in my world, and without the needs for genetic testing or STD concerns, it’d be very easy to pay commoner men to jackoff for a few coppers. Hell, in a world with limited pornography, simply providing men with a place where they can view sex acts induced by illusion magic while touching themselves and they’d be willing to pay us! While the Cambions merely wanted to survive, in my mind I had already given them a place in the future porn industry!

However, for the moment, I couldn’t even get a moderate strength life potion. Every day, Eva and people like her were being raped, and there was nothing I could do about it. It wasn’t that I didn’t care, it was just that there was nothing I could do. For a world that existed so much like a game, its harsh realities were sometimes too bleak, even for my mental resistance.

“Like a game…” I muttered, an idea suddenly starting to form.

“Hmm?” Peers jerked up from his half-sleeping position at the first words I had spoken in some time.

“It’s… like a game.” I said, the excitement in my eyes growing.

“What is?”

“No… that is to say… there is a sort of… a trick, an alchemy trick…”

Peers furrowed his brows in concentration as he tried to follow my line of thought. “A trick?”

“Yes! Um… how do I put this, let’s say I enchant a ring that improves my alchemy.”

“A ring that improves alchemy? I’ve never heard of such a ring…”

“Just go with me on this.” I interrupted as I stood up and paced. “If I created a ring that helped me do alchemy, I could then perform better alchemy. I could then use that alchemy to produce a potion that improved my enchantment.”

“Enchantment?” Peers seemed to be having some trouble.

“With improved enchantment, I make a better ring to improve alchemy, and with the better alchemy, I create a better potion to improve enchantment. Round and round it goes, until I have the best ring to make the best alchemy, and the best potions to make the best enchantments.”

Peers scratched his chin thoughtfully for a second. “It sounds unbelievable. I’m not aware of either a recipe that improves enchantment nor an artifact that improves alchemy.”

I nodded at Peer’s words. These kinds of things were to be expected. Spells and enchantments in this world were not like special skills, where they enhanced and multiplied specific abilities. A few boosted stats and resistances, while others created environmental effects like warmth, vibration, or a skinlike texture. If I only had Sandor and Pratter here I might be able to come up with something with them.

“Do you have anyone who can enchant items?” I asked.

Peers’ eyes widened for a second before he shrugged. “One of ours tries his luck at enchantments. He was trying to replicate something that has been spreading through the human nobility lately. They call it a dildo. He thought it might be able to be used to enhance our extraction of life force.”

Although my eyes flashed a bit in surprise at first, they narrowed a little as I realized that he couldn’t even make a dildo. Well, I had taken Sandor and Pratter for granted. I had no idea how difficult it was to create my sex toys. I had heard that they were an expensive commodity, but I never saw the price tags. Either way, a novice enchanter would have to do.

“Can you get permission to take me to him?” I asked.

Peers frowned at the question before slowly nodding. “I don’t think it’d be a problem if I show the improve potion as collateral, but I already said, something like an alchemy enhancing jewelry sounds like the stuff of legends. What are you talking about enchanting?”

I gave him a simple smile, pulling the man over for a simple kiss to dispel his worries, then picked up one of my alchemy beakers. An enchantment that prevents the dissipation of heat, or immediately cools a sample, or sonicates the sample to break apart molecules, or puts the sample into a high-pressure environment. These were all things possible with enchantments.

I simply remembered that this world was a game. When you couldn’t get your character up another level, the best way to make him more powerful was by getting better equipment. I just planned to up my alchemy game, that was all.

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