He gave me books about Alchemy, and about some dumb rock.
In order to help you with your reading, here are some images/maps of the locations I used in this chapter.
ALL ARMS WE NEED.
"Where did you say you were from, France?" Alphonse asked the SP Alchemist, who was currently enjoying the rapid autumn breeze in Central.
"Well, my mom's from Creata and my dad's from Amestris. My dad met my mom in Creata on some form of work he had, I don't really remember. He took her home to East City and then they had me."
"So you're from East City?" Edward asked, a map of Amestris in one of his hands. France looked over to him and nodded. Alphonse took a look at the map held in between Ed's fingers.
"East City is near Resembool, brother. Look!" Alphonse exclaimed, pointing at the small red dot which represented Resembool. France stood walked over to them and looked at the map the brothers were currently engaged in looking at.
"I've been to Resembool, it's really peaceful." France commented. Edward looked up from the map and smiled. "That's where Al and I are from."
"Really?" She asked in amazement. "We should go there!"
"Sure, after we visit East City," Edward replied. "You need to go home too, of course."
France stopped and stood back. "My dad might not want any visitors..."
"Why not?" Edward asked.
"It's a looooong story." France answered. Edward stood up from the park bench he and Al had been occupying in order to plan for their trip. He stretched and folded the map he had in his hand.
"Let's talk about it over lunch." Edward told her. Alphonse looked at France and nodded. Ed began marching in the direction of the Central Market; most of the restaurants and food joints were located near the Central Market.
"And desert?" France asked, a hint of hope and pleading towards Fullmetal. Edward shrugged. "Why not?"
France lightened up, as she followed Edward towards their destination, and so did Alphonse.
- - - - -
The noodle shop that they were eating at wasn't very large compared to the fancy restaurants in Central. It was a stand with chairs by the counter, and there were a few tables in front of it. The people who ate there were mostly travelers, and the people who decided to eat lunch after buying their groceries.
France and Edward were currently stuffing their faces with Ramen noodles while Alphonse watched them eat. After lunch, the brothers took her to a nearby delicacy shop to pick up her desert; but she decided she wanted Ice Cream instead.
"France, remember what you said about your father not wanting any visitors?" Alphonse asked the young girl now currently very busy eating a strawberry ice cream cone.
"Oh yeah, you were supposed to tell us about that." Edward agreed. France stopped and turned to them after wiping her lips of the ice cream with her sleeve.
"Well, I don't really know why you want to know about my dad, but he's not exactly the fatherly type ever since..."
"Ever since?" Alphonse asked.
"Ever since my mom left us," France storied. "When they talked about my parents before everything, they would always say that they were the picture of a young couple, madly and desperately in love with each other."
"Then what happened?" Edward asked, piquing interest in the topic.
"My mom was baby-faced, they say. She had the prettiest smile I'd ever seen, and she looked more like she was stuck in her twenties than a woman who'd had a child at thirty," France continued. "One day, my dad just happened to walk into our house, lugging me with him, catching my mom with another man."
"Why would she do that?" Al asked, scratching the back of his metal head.
"The other man... who was he?" Edward questioned. France looked at him and shrugged. "My dad never really liked talking about it, but when the opportunities came and I asked about it, he'd tell me that he was my mom's ex-boyfriend. I think my mom was supposed to marry that other man, but her parents forbade it; probably because they thought he was a skunkbag or something. That's all I could remember from my dad's stories,"
"Your dad might have thought that he was a skunkbag too, though." Alphonse commented. France nodded. "He said that that man was a good-for-nothing bastard who ripped his heart out and took his life away,"
"He told you that?" Edward said, raising an eyebrow. "That's not something a parent should tell his kid... at least that's what I think."
"He was drunk," France laughed. "He's always drunk."
"So what does he do for a living, now?" Edward asked. France avoided his questioning eyes and looked at the pavement. "He never told me," She said, and then continued.
"I couldn't tell what he was doing, but he was always at home. Barely would he go out. If he went out of the house, he'd be at the bar in East City, drinking with his buddies. He always locked himself up in his study; sometimes, I could even hear him laughing maniacally inside all by himself. He gave me the strangest books to read."
"What kind of books?" Asked Edward, intrigued.
"Books about Alchemy, and about something else, I couldn't remember. It was about a rock or something," France uttered. "And then he sent me to Central. He said I should test what I've learned. I've been repetitively taking the State Alchemist test, and I just passed a day ago--"
"Books about a rock?" Alphonse snapped. France nodded. "It had a fancy name that I couldn't remember."
"The Philosopher's Stone." Edward said huskily under his breath.