Following Paninya through the barren mountains outside of Rush Valley, Edward, Winry and, Alphonse recall the recent events that led them to this path.

While they had been back in town, Winry had examined the captured Paninya's automail legs, discovering that their design includes aspects of engineering and metal tempering that are beyond her own abilities, and demanded that the young pickpocket introduce her to the mechanic who built them in exchange for letting her theft of Ed's watch slide. After Ed begrudgingly repaired the damage he had done to the town, the quartet headed out for the secluded mountain home of Paninya's reclusive engineer, Dominic.

Paninya explains that her friend Dominic lives alone both to avoid the noise of the city and mine iron ore from the mineral-rich mountains, but when the party arrives, they are met by Dominic's son Ridel and Ridel's pregnant wife Satella as well. The gruff Dominic takes a quick liking to Winry due to her own high level of expertise while Ed and Al take to Satella, marveling over her impending childbirth. After examining Edward's automail limbs at Winry's request, Dominic approves of her design, but notes that the limbs are too heavy for the young man and may be the reason he is so small for his age. Taking his expertise to heart, Winry requests a position as Dominic's apprentice, but he promptly refuses, citing his unwillingness to take apprentices. He asks that Paninya and her guests leave, but a sudden rainstorm strands them all at the house for the time being.

While they wait for the rain to stop, Paninya explains to Winry that she had lost her legs and her parents in a train accident during her childhood and that Dominic had found her mired in depression and fitted her with new automail legs free of charge, giving her the will to live. Though she attempted to pay him back, Dominic refused Paninya's money but she stubbornly began pickpocketing in order to raise enough funds for a proper repayment. Winry, however, disapproves of Paninya's method, suggesting instead that Paninya earn her money honestly in order to match Dominic's honest desire to help her. Taking her advice, Paninya decides to start her new path by returning Edward's pocket watch, but when she takes it out to examine it, Winry realizes that Ed has sealed it alchemically. She pries it open with her handy tools, expecting to see something Ed consider embarrassing, but instead sees a message hand-etched into the inside of the cover: "Don't forget 3.Oct.11". Sobered by this esoteric note, Winry resolves once more to ask Dominic for an apprenticeship. But before she can reach him, she rushes back to Paninya and Ridel to tell them that Satella has collapsed. The three rush to the woman's side to see what is wrong only to be told that the baby is on its way. While everyone panics, Dominic prepares to ride out and get the doctor, but returns in mere moments alone; the rope bridge to town has been struck by lightning and collapsed.

Ed, Al and, Winry accompany Dominic back to the bridge to see if it can be repaired with alchemy, but Ed's attempt fails because the gorge is too wide and the water below is moving too fast to build something more sturdy. Dominic decides to take the long way to town while Edward laments his powerlessness and, when the Elrics and Winry return to the house, Paninya informs them that Satella's water has broken. Averting yet another panic, Winry decides that, in the absence of the doctor, she will have to deliver the baby herself.

Chapter Notes

  • In this chapter, it is revealed that the dog that attacked Edward in the previous chapter was named Julie.
  • Dominic's examination of the steel used in Ed's automail determines that it is 17% chrome and 1% carbon.
  • While on the rope bridge to Dominic's house, Alphonse displays apprehension, either over the long drop to the river below or due to a fear that his weight will be too much for the structure to bear.
  • Like Edward, Paninya's joints ache when the barometric pressure changes during a rainstorm.

See Also

Manga Chapters

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