The woman smiled, "Of course. Follow me."
As the woman showed them around the peaceful town of Lotus, Ed and Al noticed something rather...strange. It was a quiet town, but a little too quiet to be normal. Nobody seemed to be out. Just two or three people stopped to say 'hi'.
"Oh, how silly of me," the woman stopped, "My name is Sally, and i hope you don't mind, but i have a fifteen year old daughter who is obsessed with alchemy. So don't mind her."
"Alchemy? Really? Well, we're alchemists, maybe we can teach her a few things about the equivalent exchange - " Al started but Ed elbowed him in the tin (stomach).
"You guys also believe in that nonsense, even though i don't aprove of alchemy, I may consider allowing you to teach her a thing or two. You see, alchemy has been in our generation for centuries. I just wanted our family to be like everyone else's. Ever since my husband died, Kelsea continued to carry out his dream and become a state alchemist."
"What's so bad about becoming a state alchemist," Al inquired.
"Well, it's just that, for the longest time, I only wanted what's best for Kelsea. But she's so determined to become a state alchemist for her dad, that i just gave in," a hint of sadness was detected in Sally's voice, "I just hope she knows what she's doing."
"Don't worry, we'll teach her everything we know," Ed nodded, "After all, I'm also a state alchemist."
Sally nodded in relief, "Ok, but i don't want her becoming too involved. One day she could get seriously hurt."
"Mmhmm..." Ed replied.
"Kelsea, there are some people here who i think you'll be interested in," Sally shouted as they all entered the house.
"Who is it," she asked as she rounded the corner and stopped. Jaw dropped and all, "You're the Elric brothers, aren't you?"
"Yup, that's us," Al laughed a little.
"Oh my gosh, why me? Out of all people, why me?"
Ed didn't know what just came over him but it was the best feeling in the world. The moment he saw Kelsea round the corner, he felt his heart beat faster and faster. What was so special about her that made him feel this way? Could this be...love, he thought.
"Kelsea? I have to get back to my job or I'll get fired. You take care of our guests, ok, and I'll be back soon," Sally said, and left.
"Okay, mom," she turned to Edward, "I've read all about you. You two are well known throughout this town," she smiled which made Ed's heart beat faster.
"Say, why don't we discuss more about alchemy over dinner tomorrow night," Ed finally got the guts to say something, that wasn't stupid, to a girl.
"Yeah, I'd like that. But I want to get started right away, as soon as possible," she blushed a bit.
"Curse?!" Al exclaimed, as they all sat around the table.
"Yeah, my grandpa was killed by our family curse," Kelsea responded, grabbing glasses from the pantry.
"What kind of curse are we talking about here," Ed inquired.
"Well, after my grandpa studied about five years of alchemy, he died, just like that," she paused, then went on, "Same thing with my dad, and," Kelsea lowered her head, "And with my brother, but he died in a battle against the Ishbalins. That's what my mom told me."
Ed leaned back in his chair, "I'm sorry to hear that. So, why are you becoming an alchemist? Aren't you scared that you'll die too?"
"Nah, I'm not afraid of dying that much, I just want to break the curse and fulfill my grandpa's, father's, and brother's dream," Kelsea declared, carefully placing the glasses of water on the table.
Edward found that quite brave coming from a girl, then he relaxed and said, "Well, your not going to die whilst I am here to protect you."
"Thanks, but I think that I can take care of myself on this one," Kelsea requested, "Besides, I'm a girl. I don't know if the curse even works on the girls of the family. So I saw fit to try it out."
"Yeah, well, just in case, I want to make sure that you are safe," Ed was stuck to protecting Kelsea.
"The main reason why I am studying alchemy is because I've been trying to find ways to bring my brother back," she clenched her fists as tears formed in her eyes.
Ed suddenly spit back the water he had just drank.
"What?! Kelsea, using human transmutation is only for the professional alchemists. We know from experience." Al lowered his head.
"You mean, you tried using alchemy to bring someone back too?" A look of shock grew on her face.
"Yes. A long time ago. We thought that we had all the contents of the human body. Then we tried the experiment out, and all went wrong. But back then, we didn't understand the concept of the equivalent exchange that well yet," Ed explained everything that had happened that one dreadful night.
"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry," Kelsea covered her mouth with her hands.
"Yeah. And that's why Al is the way he is. His soul is now sealed inside because of what we did. As for me, I had my arm and leg ripped clear off. That's why I have automail," he revealed his metal arm and leg, "And I don't think that you want to make the same mistake we did. So promise me that you won't try human transmutation."
Kelsea's eyes started swelling with tears but refused to allow them to flow. She nodded without uttering a word.
"Okay, now that that's clear, is there anyone else in town who is also in to alchemy," Ed asked, on a more possitive note.
"Actually, everyone else is against the usage of alchemy. They think it's some kind of curse," she replied.
"Well did you tell them that it's not," Al exclaimed.
Kelsea shrugged her shoulders, "Yeah, I've tried plenty of times, just no one would believe me."
"Do you use alchemy anyway," Al asked.
"Of course, but I just don't let anyone catch me doing it."
As time flew by, the clock finally chimed twelve in the morning.
"Well, I got a big day tomorrow, I'd best be going to bed. Oh yeah, by the way, we have an extra guest bedroom if you'd like to spend the night," Kelsea smiled, as Ed blushed a bit.
"Yeah, ok. Sure," he grinned.