On a tip they got from Psiren in Aquroya, Edward and Alphonse arrive in Xenotime to look for the Philosopher's Stone. Ed has a theory that the run-down former gold-mining town is attempting to use the Stone to transmute gold. The Elrics come across a few villagers who are trying to save a little girl named Elisa who is trapped under a mine cart that tipped over. After Ed saves Elisa with alchemy, that night at a nearby tavern, Ed experiences the usual problem of being mistaken as the younger brother before Elisa's uncle Belsio arrives. Elisa's father is angry with him for endangering her life and doesn't want her to help him again with his farm work, but Elisa herself admits it is her fault before she starts coughing and Belsio, though sorry for what happened, leaves. When one of the villagers mentions that they can use the Philosopher's Stone to buy their own fruit once it is completed, they realize Ed might be there to assist Mugear complete it. However, once they identify themselves, the villagers throw the Elrics out of the tavern, mentioning that the real Elrics are assisting Mugear at his mansion.
Angry at this deceit, Ed and Al arrive at the mansion and sneak in hoping to find the impostors to find out any information on the Philosopher's Stone. However the impostors hear the transmutation Ed used and confront them. Russell Tringham (fake Ed) irritates the real Ed after he mistakes him as the younger brother and insults his height. Their fight is evenly matched, including Russell using alchemy without a transmutation circle (due to having a Philosopher's Stone), before the guards show up forcing the Elrics to retreat. Outside the mansion, Ed and Al talk it out, wondering who the impostors really are (though Al angers Ed about the older impostor possibly being older than him due to the height difference), the Tringham brothers talk and while Fletcher Tringham (fake Al) wants to give their scam up, Russell believes that its worth it to complete and take credit for the research their father started and that no one will believe what Elrics say. Down in the underground spring where the red water is stored, Mugear meets with Lust, and although he is confident for chasing the real Elrics away, Lust points out they are more stubborn than he thinks suggesting they pull out. Mugear pleads for more time on completing the Philosopher's Stone.
Belsio happens to come across the Elrics on the street and invites them to his house not caring about the truth of their identity and mentions that Mugear is manipulating the townsfolk due to the huge amount of wealth, though he is not interested in the Philosopher's Stone. The next day, Elisa arrives, and with Ed going out, Al is sent by Belsio to the local pharmacy by purchase medicine for Elisa. Fletcher arrives watching as Al is forced out of the pharmacy for being an impostor, and Fletcher helps Al obtain the medicine. The two talk privately with Al comparing what they have in common and Fletcher mentions that his elder brother is trying to carry on their father's work, Al points out that he should stop his brother if he knows that his brother is doing something wrong. Just as Al mentions about the children of Xenotime having an illness and the medicine, Russell shows up, forcing Fletcher to leave and reveals his true name as he leaves. After meeting with Ed, he decides to break into Mugear's mansion again, this time by using alchemy to burrow underground. After the tunnel leads them to the underground spring, Ed recognizes the red water from a book he read in Central, which is used to make an incomplete version of the Philosopher's Stone that someone discovered to refine the water and failed in his research.
As Ed is getting sick from the toxic effects of the smoke produced by the water, Fletcher comes to save him and once Ed regains consciousness, it becomes apparent that Fletcher knows something about this. Fletcher reveals that while the red water is necessary for a red stone, it is toxic to humans which is the cause of the illness. Before Ed can smash anything, Russell shows up, not wanting their father's research to go to waste, and fights Ed transmuting a sword for himself. However, when Russell is starting to be overpowered, he transmutes a pipe connected to the red water as a weapon forcing Ed to transmute his sword into a shield to block it. Just before Ed is defeated from the water pressure, Fletcher takes the blow. Fletcher reminds his brother that their father's research is meant to help the people and not cause the illness which is spreading, knowing their father would be ashamed of this. Just before anything else is discussed, a whistle goes off and the guards are on their way.
- The storyline for this episode is adapted from the franchise's first light novel: "Fullmetal Alchemist: The Land of Sand".
- Ed could have proven his identity by simply producing his Pocket Watch. It served that very purpose in the previous episode.
|Fullmetal Alchemist 2003 Anime episodes|
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