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Fullmetal Alchemist

Chapter 2: The Price of Life

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The Price of Life
Book-1
Volume 1
Chapter number 2
Title The Price of Life
Japan Release Date September, 2001
U.S.A. Release Date May 3, 2005
Preceded by Chapter 1: The Two Alchemists
Followed by Chapter 3: The Mining Town

SummaryEdit

Cornello, realizing now why Edward was granted such a fearsome moniker as "Fullmetal", chastises the boys for clearly having committed alchemy's greatest taboo - Human Transmutation. Alphonse explains to Rosé that he and his brother had performed Human Transmutation several years ago in an attempt to resurrect their late mother, but when the ritual failed, Ed's left leg as well as Al's entire body were lost - broken down by the alchemical forces of whose control they had lost. Alphonse had lost consciousness after that, but when he awoke, he found himself a mere soul housed inside a suit of armor, the result of a rushed transmutation that Edward had sacrificed his right arm to perform. Edward informs Rosé that their current state was the result of trifling with the powers of life and death, warning her not to become involved with such things.

Father Cornello attacks with the power of the Philosopher's Stone, but the Elrics manage to escape the hall with Rosé, defeating many of Cornello's guards in the process. While fleeing, however, Edward comes across Cornello's broadcast room and devises a fiendish plan. While he stays behind, Al heads outside with Rosé to transmute a makeshift loudspeaker. Rosé asks if the sacrifices they had made resulted in the resurrection of their mother, but Al responds that the creature that had been born from the ritual hadn't even been human. He explains that they have given up on trying to resurrect their mother, but that their new goal is to find a way to restore each other's bodies. Cornello comes across Edward seated casually in his broadcast office and Fullmetal advises the faux clergyman to give up, as his plans will be spread to the town through Rosé anyway. Cornello resists, however, ranting madly about how he has managed to brainwash the people of Reole into believing his every phony word and false miracle and that, when he is finished molding them into faithful adherents without even the fear of death, he will use them to conquer the entire country. Ed reveals that the broadcast microphone has been on since the beginning of the rant and that Alphonse has been outside transmitting their conversation to the entire town over the loudspeaker. Fullmetal begins his counterattack, transmuting the outer plating of his automail arm into a blade to destroy the prophet's weapon, but when Cornello attempts to fight back, his arm is mangled in an alchemical rebound and the Stone on the ring crumbles to dust, causing Edward to understand that the prophet's stone was a fake. Enraged by this new development, Edward transmutes a giant statue of the god Leto to knock Cornello unconscious. Edward informs Alphonse of the false Stone's destruction and laments that they must continue their search somewhere else, but Rosé demands to know what she is supposed to believe in now that the Elrics have destroyed her last chance for happiness. Edward states simply that she must stand up walk forward of her own power, grateful that she has two strong legs with which to do so.

As the people of Reole riot around the church, Cornello marches back to his secluded hall, intent on saving face and taking revenge. He is met by Lust and Gluttony who scold him for letting his elaborate plan fall apart right at the end, but reveal that they were only using him and gave him a Philosopher's Stone so he would stir up trouble in the region. Cornello, furious with the two mocking him, charges Lust, but is killed instantly when her razor-sharp fingernails extend and impale him through his skull. While Gluttony eats Cornello's body, Lust laments that their Father will not be pleased.

Chapter NotesEdit

  • In this chapter, we are first introduced to the Ouroboros mark - one on Lust's collarbone and one on Gluttony's tongue.
  • Due to Edward's lack of knowledge of real Philosopher's Stones at this point in the story, he takes the disintegration of Cornello's Stone to mean that the priest possessed an imitation, even though "true" Philosopher's Stones disintegrate in very much the same manner when their energy is depleted.

See alsoEdit

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