Ling Yao, a traveler from Xing, insists that the Elric brothers tell him what they know about the Philosopher's Stone while sitting at a small cafe in Rush Valley. Edward and Alphonse attempt to get up and leave, but are stopped by Ling's two bodyguards, who seemingly appeared from nowhere. Ling wants to know how to gain immortality and claims it is simply for family matters, but Edward chooses to resist. He tries to punch the warrior holding a knife at his throat, but ends up getting kicked in the face. The warrior with a sword to Alphonse tells him to learn some manners, calling him a "serf." Alphonse tries to grab the sword blade, telling the warrior to watch where he was pointing that. He takes it as a threat, despite Al's attempts to calm him, and ends up getting knocked on the ground. Ed and Al both get back up, and begin to understand that this is not the fighting style they are accustomed to, but also state that the two warriors are not as strong as their teacher. They once again engage Ling's bodyguards, sending the brothers in two separate directions. Ling watches them leave, stating that they are all such hotheads and orders dessert.
The fighting launches a series of events that would cause temporary destruction to Rush Valley. Edward follows the hooded warrior through what appears to be a factory. Ed finally catches him on the roof, where Ed fights with a transmuted staff, but the warrior soon snaps it in half. Ed's arm is almost broken, but he manages to push the warrior off of him. Ed begins to try and explain the reason for the violence, then proceeds to insult Ling. The warrior reacts by trying to gouge Ed's eyes out, but Ed quickly dodges and discovers the warrior loses his composure when he insults his master.
At the same time, the other warrior chases Alphonse across rooftops, and Al accidentally falls into a warehouse, leaving a gaping hole in the roof. Paninya investigates the hole from above, jumping into the warehouse and finding Al in a pile of rubble. The warrior jumps in after Al, and the two begin running out the door and down the street. Paninya states that she thinks she understands, and saves Alphonse the trouble of explaining. While running, the two of them begin to form a plan to attack the warrior. The warrior begins to think that the suit of armor may possibly be empty. At that moment, Al and Paniniya quickly stop and turn to face the warrior. He yells that "bringing others to your side will not help" and continues to charge.
At the same time, Ed is still fighting the hooded warrior with a slight advantage now that he has angered his opponent. After exchanging melees and punches, Ed quickly uses alchemy to destroy the warrior's mask, revealing that he is actually female. With Ed stunned, the warrior uses the opportunity to throw her kunai at his exposed automail arm, severing the wires and disabling it. She then primes a small bomb and throws it at Ed. Across town, Paninya also pulls up the left leg of her overalls and prepares to fire her concealed carbine. The older warrior is surprised by this, and two deafening explosions ring out from across town.
The warrior is able to jump out of the way and hang on to the Rush Valley sign, avoiding the worst of the blast. He begins to think that he should not underestimate the Amestrians. At that moment, Alphonse rockets upward on top of a transmuted pillar, transmutes coils from the sign and traps him in place.
A pile of rubble surrounds Ed's automail arm. The warrior investigates, thinking she overdid it. As soon as she pulls out the arm, a trap springs and pulls her off the ground. Edward emerges from behind and scolds her for using an explosive in a populated area. He explains how he set up a trap since he was used to catching rabbits as a child. She does not seem fazed, but instead demands Ed to return the mask he broke. Alphonse, with Paninya accompanying him, comes to Ed. Alphonse is carrying the older warrior, still tied up. Soon Ling comes to find them, and Ed quickly becomes angry. Ling asks if they would like to become his servants, saying that they could rule a country together, but Ed yells at him and tells him to go back to Xing. An angry mob confronts them and demands that they fix all the damage they caused, as well as pay for the enormous dining bill. Ed and Al begin to say that Ling will pay for it, but Ling runs away by claiming he can't understand their language. Al turns to see that the warriors in black have also escaped. Since Ed can't transmute anything with a broken automail arm, Al agrees to repair the damaged landscape. Ed quickly realizes that Al can now transmute without a transmutation circle, and becomes distressed now that his younger brother is as good or better than him.
The brothers return to Atelier Garfiel, only to discover that Ling is there as well. Ed and Ling start a commotion at the shop, but Winry returns. Seeing Ed's destroyed arm, she beats him to a bloody pulp and then becomes acquainted with Ling over tea. Ed then demands Winry to fix his arm so they can return to Central City. Ling overhears him and wishes to go as well, but Ed vehemently refuses to be accompanied by him.
- Alphonse performs his first transmutation without a circle in this chapter.
- This chapters title page represents Alphonse's love for cats as well as Ed's dislike.
- The question of Scar's name is introduced in this chapter.
|Fullmetal Alchemist Manga chapters|
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