True to his word, the master shared a portion of the profits with Santulím, and the amassing of his fortune began in earnest.
Santulím did not stop with one discovery, though many of his experiments proved to be the fruits of looking at an accident in a new way. This formed such an important part of Santulím’s method that he later said.—Failure is success without sight.—
One such accident proved to have important consequences to the future of the Alchemist’s apprentice. Santulím had grown tired of spending so much time in the Alchemist’s back-room peering at objects through the dirty light of candles and lamps, which made his eyes sore and dim. To fix this problem, he attempted to direct the light of Celem into the narrow and dark room with the help of a mirror. He positioned the mirror in a corner to reflect the light, but, try as he might, Santulím could not position the angle correctly.
Driven to anger, Santulím struck the mirror.
To his surprise, the mirror did not break, but gave into his wishes and remained bent in the shape of an arc, like a bowl. In this shape the mirror no longer cast Celem’s power in a new direction, but rather collected it into a point. Santulím discovered this point by admiring the floating dust in the air. Holding his hand in front of the mirror he felt a shock: His hand was burning as if it had been placed in a fire.
With great excitement Santulím brought his bent mirror out to confront Celem in earnest. Facing it directly towards Celem’s light, Santulím produced objects to test the heat of the focused light. It proved as strong as the strongest fire inspired by the strongest wind, burning parchment, plants, and wood. It left marks on larger objects and even succeeded in making water boil in a cup.
Santulím peered into his powerful mirror and with great shock discovered his visage was turned upside down.
–What power is this? Capable of capturing the power of Celem, it turns the apparent upside down!—said Santulím.—I must present my findings to the Court of the Eagles.—
Santulím went to his master to demonstrate his newest discovery.
–It is my opinion that some things were never meant to be tampered with.—replied the master, upon seeing the mirror.—do what you plan to, and your life will never be the same.—
–All the same, I must go.—said Santulím.
–I will keep an account open for you here.—said the master, a sad look on his face like someone who had lost a wager.—and if you send me any new products, our arrangement will continue to stand.—
–I thank you for your generosity.—and Santulím left.
The next passage of Celem he approached the Court, his bent mirror in hand.
At first the Court Guard laughed at the slim and badly dressed Alchemistic’s apprentice when he asked for an audience with the King. But their laughter quickly disappeared when Santulím lifted his mirror and set alight dried grass on the side of the path.
–What magic is this?—asked the King, when much later Santulím stood in the Eagle Courtyard.—I hear you are trying to set my house on fire?—
–Your Lordship— Santulím spoke nearly prostrate, shaking and quivering like a child.—I come bringing a gift, an object which can concentrate the power of Celem…–
–Stop shuddering and show me this… instrument.—replied the King.—we will need to move to an area controlled by Celem. Follow me.—
The King took Santulím down a series of passage ways and up a series of stair cases, until they had reached the battlement, bathed in the light of Celem.
The King produced a parchment from his pocket.
–This is official Court Correspondence.—he said solemnly to Santulím.—destroying this is punishable by death.—
Santulím swallowed with a dry mouth.
–I desire you to destroy it using your Celem Catcher.—continued the King.—and I will pardon you the offence of ridding this Kingdom of another prating official’s trivialities.—
Santulím took the parchment in one hand, directed the rays of Celem to focus upon it. Within a moment the parchment was ashes blowing in the wind.
–Unless my eyes had not seen this…miracle, I would not have believed it.—said the King.—Can you explain it?—
–Your Lordship, I believe it is able to take particles sent by Celem, and direct them all to one place.—said Santulím, carefully.—but I am far from certain. It has been merely one passage since my discovery and I have yet to continue the process…–
–Enough. I will ask no more questions until you have found answers.—replied the King.—Fylum! Find this subject suitable quarters to rest and work. He will be joining the Court as a junior Alchemistic…–