Chapter 114: Poison Session- First Assignment
(Training Camp- Poison Laboratory)
The lunch break had finally ended, and the students were all patiently waiting in their seats for the professor to arrive.
Not a single one of the students dared to be late.
“Welcome back class. I hope everyone is ready for the afternoon session,” Professor Macabre strolled casually back into the room.
New mechanical devices were attached to her right arm that bleeped ominously with flashing red lights.
She was also carrying a large briefcase which she then opened to reveal hundreds of vials tightly packed inside.
“I will hand you a weak poison along with a random set of twenty supplementary materials to enhance the mixture.”
“Your task is to raise the lethality of the base toxin to at least double its initial strength by the end of this afternoon.”
Professor Macabre believed in the importance of applying the information taught in lectures so that the students would gain a better sense of understanding.
She had already covered a basic overview of some processes that could enhance the lethality of a poison, but it was unlikely that many students would succeed today.
That was to be expected.
Students would get a feel for using the laboratory equipment and hopefully by the end of the training camp at least three students would qualify for slots in the elite class.
Sophie was feeling a sense of anticipation at the challenge ahead.
She may not have the highest talent in sword cultivation like her father, but Katarina had praised her as a poison genius.
She peeked at the other students and found that the expressions on their faces ranged from excitement to worry and concern.
There were five scientific devices on Sophie’s desk with each serving a different purpose.
The beginner poison detector would measure the lethality of different poisons using a relative scale of one to ten with one being the weakest and ten being the strongest.
The poison crucible was a device that facilitated the breakdown of poisons into separate components via heating to allow for mixing.
Sophie was not sure of the function of the other three devices as Professor Macabre had yet to cover their functions in the lectures this morning.
“I will now start passing out the materials. Good luck students,” Professor Macabre took the briefcase and walked table to table while handing out the vials.
“Thank you,” Sophie said politely when she received a purplish vial and twenty other vials of differing colours and smells.
Each vial was labelled properly with the name of the substance inside, so it was no problem to identify what was the base poison that she had been given.
The purple vial had tape attached to its glass outer surface with the name ‘Maixexidel’ scribbled down in pen.
Sophie first typed out the poison’s name in the virtual net search engine to look up information and then placed the vial inside the poison detector to measure its strength.
[Three minutes to analyse sample….] a line of text flashed across the device’s screen.
Maixexidel was a poison created from the blood of an alien beast species called the Qern.
They were small mammal-like animals with six arms, four legs and a thin tail that was almost the length of an average sized human.
Their poison was secreted as an effective deterrent against predators on their planet as the poison would cause mild hallucinations when ingested.
There was a surprising lack of information on the virtual net, probably due to the fact that their poison was hardly of use to most poison cultivators.
Even ordinary people would survive exposure.
The poison detector bleeped twice before presenting the results of its analysis.
[Poison Lethality – 1.4]
“Hmm,” Sophie mused thoughtfully as she glanced at the secondary materials.
On the surface this seemed like an easy assignment as she was only required to create a poison with a lethality of 2.8.
Well there was no use in overthinking and getting stressed out, so Sophie turned her attention to the vials on the table and started to read their labels.
Other students had already begun to add supplementary materials to their base poison, but Sophie took her time studying the materials.
There was no rush as the afternoon training session would last for about three hours.
Poison making was a much more complicated business than she had earlier anticipated.
The supplementary materials were all unique with varying properties that added strange effects to the poison.
Some materials would clash with one another and reduce the overall effectiveness of the poison mixture so careful research had to be done.
Professor Macabre had not forbidden the class from looking up data on the virtual net.
Cultivators tended to have an enhanced memory so any information presented could be quickly absorbed and understood.
Sophie had a couple of empty vials under her table, so she took out a few to begin her experiments.
Her first attempt created a poison with the lethality of 0.7 which was much lower than the desired amount, so she modified the formula and tried again.
“Maybe I should use thorn aniseed and heart moss,” Sophie muttered as she held two vials in her hand and eyed them carefully.
Minutes turned to hours, but Sophie had no clue that time was passing by so quickly.
Every thought in her head was strictly related to the fascinating world of poison creation and Sophie found herself lost in the mesmerizing process.
She eventually managed to create two vials with the lethality of 2.79 and 2.81 respectively which was barely at the mark of a pass.
Sophie was dissatisfied but when she checked the time on her communicator, there were only five minutes left.
She placed the vial with 2.8 lethality on the table and was going to place the 2.79 vial in the discarded bin when an idea occurred to her.
Professor Macabre was at the back of the class helping another student so she quickly uncapped the top of the vial and swallowed the contents before searching for a filter funnel and an empty vial.
The familiar burning sensation as the poison entered her mouth, but no hallucinogenic effect was felt.
It was an easy process to wrap her qi around the poison to direct it straight to the venom glands in her mouth.
Sophie’s fangs lengthened and her eyes shifted into a dark scarlet colour.
She bit down hard on the sides of a filter funnel and watched carefully as the modified venom produced by her glands dripped down the funnel and into the empty vial.
When her fangs eventually shrunk and retracted slightly, she placed the filter funnel to the side and placed the vial inside of the poison detector.
She was just about to press the analysis button when Professor Macabre announced that the assignment was over.
“I will now begin the evaluations from the front row and move back,” she said calmly.
Sophie was in the front row, so the professor walked towards her and held up the 2.81 vial in her hand with an approving nod.
“What was the finally score given by the poison detector,” Professor Macabre asked.
“A little over two point eight,” Sophie replied stiffly.
Professor Macabre was not worried about students being dishonest as the poison detectors kept a record of the poisons analysed during the session.
Any student caught cheating would automatically be expelled from the training camp.
Professor Macabre wrote down an evaluation on her tablet and turned to leave which caused Sophie to blurt out a frantic,
Sophie hurriedly explained as the instructor paused momentarily,
“Actually, I also made a poison with a higher lethality,” Sophie hesitantly spoke up and pressed the start button on the poison detector device.
[Analyzing Sample…. three minutes… two minutes….]
Her father did not forbid her from revealing her hybrid abilities in school as it was important to stand out to receive resources.
Duke Peterlor only warned her not to reveal any hint of her Insectoid origins.
As far as the general public was concerned, her mother was a member of an unknown alien species so any questions could be glossed over with superficial answers.
Sophie waited patiently with her professor for the results to appear on the device.
[Analysis complete…. poison of 7.4 lethality detected!]
Her venom glands had increased the lethality of the Maixexidel poison from 1.4 to a whopping 7.4 which was more than five times!
“How did you accomplish this?” the professor asked curiously.
“I have venom glands that can modify and enhance any poison I swallow,” Sophie explained proudly.
“Hmmm,” Professor Macabre leaned closer to Sophie’s body and the temperature begun to drop as the teacher narrowed her eyes into slits.
“Biological abilities are also part of your strength, but it is important to have strong theoretical knowledge.”
It was not uncommon for hybrid students or other alien races to possess the ability to create or modify toxins.
In fact, over her many years in the Imperial Army, Professor Macabre had killed many enemies with such biological advantages in the poison arts.
The biggest weakness of these individuals was that they would often neglect the theory behind creating poisons and simply rely on their innate abilities.
This may work in normal circumstances but if an enemy was able to counter their racial abilities then they were often left helpless.
Professor Macabre had good feelings for the hybrid girl who paid close attention to her lectures in the morning, so she decided to give her some extra work.
“I will accept this vial as well for today but in exchange for the rest of the week you will be required to complete assignments twice.”
“One poison must be made using your venom glands and the other poison must be made only using the knowledge you learn in class”
Professor Macabre smiled gently and placed a warm hand on Sophie’s shoulder. It was clear that this hybrid girl was a talent that needed strict nurturing.
What Sophie did not know was that she would come to deeply regret showing off in class.
In the following days, poor Sophie would be given twice the workload of her fellow students and also had to complete bonus assignments.