Bitter 241

“Do you really not mind me using your ingredients?” said Britta.

“Hey, no problem. Although, you know, if it’s something really cool, you could maybe give me some.”

That actually sounded like a fair compromise. She’d know what the recipe was for, and Diana would get a useful item.

“Okay. You can have whatever comes out.”

“Great. Unless it’s a bottle of dye. Then it’s all yours.” Diana looked at the pink bottle of dye she’d just received. She leaned back and sent it into the air, arcing high and smashing onto the roof of the building opposite, which Britta noticed was splattered with many colours already.

“So how do I make the potion? Do I have to boil all the ingredients together?”

“Ah,” said Diana as she rummaged through her inventory. “You’ll need a few basics. A pot-pot, for a start.”

“A what-what?”

Diana pulled out some more steel carrots. A lot more. She had a bushel in each hand. “How many of these was it? Four?”

Britta nodded and was handed a bunch; clearly more than four.

“A pot-pot. A potion pot. It’s a little black cauldron. Dirt cheap. Ten coppers, I think. Something like that. You can get more expensive ones if you have the money to spare. An epic pot-pot will set you back about 250 gold.”

“What’s the difference?”

“How long it takes. Your basic pot-pot can take up to a week, depending on what the potion is. A rare one will take a few days. An epic will take maybe a day. And a legendary pot-pot can cut that down to a few hours.”

Britta recalled how long it took to order potions from the vendors. She would be even slower. “How much does a legendary one cost?”

Diana shrugged. “They’re super rare. Never seen one for sale. Thousands probably. Let me see that list? Hmm, dung weed. Not sure I have that. Think I saw some growing by the road on the way to the mine, though. It’s dirt cheap, anyway. You can buy most of this stuff off the Auction House.”

“Really?” said Britta. “I looked, but…”

“There’s a separate section for crafting materials.”

“Oh, is that what ‘mats’ means?” Britta had seen that section when she was checking out the Auction House, but didn’t bother to look assuming they were selling mats in there, not materials.

“Yeah, but you tend not to see the really common stuff that you can find everywhere, or the super rare stuff that’s in high demand. Ah, cloud salt. Here you go.” She gave Britta a small glass vial of what looked like smoke. “I got that out of another of those boxes. Level 10, I think.”

“So, I put everything in a pot-pot, and then…?”

“You throw in the recipe, close the lid, and leave to simmer in your inventory.”

“I put this piece of paper in with the ingredients?”

“Yep. First time with the recipe should be instant. Once it works, you can make more without the recipe, just stick the mats in the pot. That’s when you have to wait.”

At least the process was quite simple. If it did turn out to be a good potion, she’d be able to make some money out of it. If.

“Where did you say you got the recipe? Some monster you killed?”

“No, I got it from Marj at the ranch.”

Diana looked blankly at her. “Who?”

“Marj? She’s Jasper’s wife.”

“Jasper who sells horses? He has a wife does he? I did not know that.”

“Yes, she keeps the less conventional mounts at a ranch outside of town.”

Diana didn’t know about the ranch either. If no one else knew about it, there might be a good chance no one ever got the same recipe off her. It could be unique, and she’d be the only supplier. It was unlikely, but still quite exciting.

“Okay, that’s the corn on the keb and the rice water.” She handed over something that looked like a grey pine cone, and another vial, this one with a murky liquid in it. “Hmm. No liver flower petals. Might have to buy some of those. We should go to the Auction House, you can grab a pot-pot while you’re there.”

“Okay, sounds good.” Even if the recipe turned out to be a dud, it wouldn’t be much of a loss if a pot-pot only cost ten coppers. That was well within her budget.

They crossed the street, heading for the Auction House. The crowds parted for the large barbarian, and Britta jogged along behind to take advantage of the open space. Crossing the street was usually more of a dance for her.

They stopped on the steps of the Auction House and Diana turned to look back the way they’d come.

“What is it?” asked Britta, looking around and not seeing anything.

“We’re being watched.”

Britta looked again, more carefully. Alleys, windows, rooftops. She still didn’t see anyone, but Diana was Level 15 and had much more heightened senses. If she said someone was watching them, she was probably right.

Diana shrugged. “Deal with it later. Let’s go shopping.”

They went inside.

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