Categories > Anime/Manga > Full Metal Alchemist > Ed's Nightmare

Chapter 4

by Crocodile-Kuro 0 reviews

While translating Marcoh's research notes, Ed and Al stumble across an unusual transmutation, which Al uses in battle against Lust and Gluttony. Unfortunately, this transmutation cause Ed and Lust ...

Category: Full Metal Alchemist - Rating: PG-13 - Genres:  - Published: 2014-12-08 - 2602 words

“Ah! Finally, I’m able to stretch out my limbs!” Al said as he started moving his limbs back and forth.

Ed stood by him watching on, trying to ignore the long-distance stares he was getting because of his red dress. “Well, can you stretch while we walk? I don’t want to be ogled at by these damn perverts!”

“Just a minute, Brother! I’ve been inside a box for a long time; I think I deserve a little time to take in everything!”

Ed sighed as he said, “Fine, but I’m walking ahead. Grab all the heavy stuff when you decide to catch up.”

“Wha…why do I have to carry those?”

Striking a very feminine pose, Ed said in a shy female voice, “Well, surely you don’t expect a dainty thing like me to carry them, do you?”

“You can’t get me with that, Brother. Any other man, maybe, but not me.”

With a huff, Ed pulled out a piece of paper and said, “Look, Bradley said so. As long as I’m posing as Miss Scarlett looking for a place to settle down, you’re supposed to be my butler. We can write off your armor as my passion for antiquities and chivalry. Now, come on. We’ve got business to do.”

Al grumbled a bit, but nonetheless picked up the large bags and suitcases and followed Ed from the train station into town. The town was their first stop on their hunt for former Colonel Loki Howitzer in order to reverse the alchemic formula that put Ed into Lust’s body.

As they walked toward the town, they noticed the spread-apart houses that bordered the main part of the village where the stores and markets were. Many had fields for farming and barns where large animals like horses and cattle were kept. “I guess this is a major farming village, eh, Bro—”

“None of that!” Ed sharply said. “Now that we’re this close to town, it’s ‘Miss Scarlett.’ Got it?”

“Right. Sorry, Miss Scarlett.”

Ed and Al continued until they saw a small group of people walking toward them. They were being lead by a middle-aged man and woman. The man had balding hair and wore a black suit. The woman tied her graying hair in a bun behind her head and wore a modest, floral-print dress.

“It’s an honor to welcome you to our humble little town, Miss Scarlett,” the man said. “My name is Dallas, the Mayor. My dear Ryan and I have heard from Colonel Mustang about your visit, and we hope your stay with us is more than exceptional.”

“Likewise, thank you,” Ed said. “It’s not often I receive a welcome party, especially from the Mayor himself; I don’t think it’s necessary.”

“Well, it’s not often we receive such a distinguished guest as yourself,” Ryan, Dallas’ wife, said. “We’d be happy to show you around town, if you wish.”

“Thank you, but I’d like some time to unwind from the train ride over first.”

“Of course,” Dallas said. “You may stay with us during your tenure here. I’m afraid we don’t have very posh settings like you’re probably used to, but—”

“It’s fine,” Ed said. He then turned to Al and said, “Alphonse, if you’d please?”

“Of course, ma’am,” Al said as he followed Ed toward their temporary home.

Along the way, Al noticed a figure working a small field. Though the sun behind the figure obscured it from Al’s vision, he could make out two small details: a blond ponytail and thin arms.

(The next day)

“This town was founded long ago as a farming community. We produce many of the dairy and wheat products that feed the military today. It is a great source of pride for us, I’m not ashamed to admit,” Dallas said with excited flair as he and his wife showed Ed and Al around town.

“There is also a rich theatrical background in this village. Our youths are more interested in dance and drama than anything else, so this theater is one of our proudest achievements,” Ryan added as they walked past said building.

“There’s definitely an element of the theatrical about this place,” Ed remarked. “Alphonse, would you like to see a play during our time here?”

“If there’s one going on, yes,” Al said, struggling to contain his excitement.

Dallas smiled and said, “Well, you’re in luck. We just so happen to be premiering a new production at the end of the week, just before you’re scheduled to leave.”

“Perfect. We’ll be looking forward to it.”

“Excellent! In the meantime, why don’t we grab something to eat? I’m sure you must be famished from all the walking you’ve had to do.”

With a nod from both Ed and Al, Dallas led them to a restaurant sitting right next to the theater. It had a welcoming feel to it that seemed to fit the town perfectly and made Ed and Al feel like they were back in Resembool.

The restaurant owner, who carried himself a tad fancier than other men, walked up and said, “You may order anything you wish; it’s on the house. Trust me, you’ve never had food like this before.”

“I’ll take you up on it,” Ed said, a mischievous grin on his face.

(One hour later)

Dallas and Ryan sat in awe as Ed finished off the last of the twenty plates he had ordered. “Are you sure you can handle all of that?”

“Don’t worry; I have a very fast metabolism,” Ed remarked, cleaning his mouth with a napkin so as to appear civilized. He then turned to the restaurant owner and said, “The food was delicious, thank you!”

“It was no problem, really. I’m just glad you enjoyed it,” the owner said with a nervous smile.

Al couldn’t help but think there was something wrong with the owner as he sat through the meal. He had seen the owner cleaning out his nails and dusting himself off rather frequently. Thinking little of it, though, he joined the Dallas, Ryan and Ed as they left the restaurant.

They had gotten out the door when they caught sight of a young woman talking with a shopkeeper. Al thought he recognized the blond ponytail poking out from under the woman’s straw hat, so paid close attention.

“What the hell is this? I thought potatoes were worth more; this can barely qualify as pocket change!” the woman’s voice rang out.

“That was before there was little demand for them and prices went down because of the surplus,” the shopkeeper explained. “I’m sorry, but this is all I can pay for potatoes.”

“Please, can’t you pay more? Otherwise, how am I supposed to help Jordan?”

“I’m sorry, Taylor. I wish I could help you.”

The woman threw the money back at the shopkeeper and said, “Forget it; I’ll try somewhere else.”

“Don’t be stupid! The nearest market is twenty miles away!”

“I’ll take my chances; I’ve got to earn more than this, if only for Jordan!”

The woman turned around, allowing Ed and Al a clear visual of her face. She was very beautiful, with blue eyes and nary a blemish on her skin. The clothes she was wearing, though, weren’t as flattering to her. Along with her straw hat, she was wearing a baggy white shirt and jean overalls, while large gloves covered her hands and black work boots covered her feet. Her thin arms were the only exposed skin she showed apart from her face.

The woman then turned to Ed’s group and asked, “Who are they?”

“This is Miss Scarlett and her butler Alphonse. They’re looking for a new place to set down roots,” Dallas explained.

“Well, I suggest going somewhere else. There’s nothing here that would interest a rich bitch like you,” the woman coldly replied.

“Taylor! That is no way to speak to our guests!” Ryan scolded.

“Ah, can it, Ryan! You and Dallas may be okay with what happened, but I’m not! I’m going to get Jordan out of this hellhole even if it kills me!”

“Hey, wait a—” Al tried to say, but Taylor had already started walking down the road, pulling her cart of potatoes away with her.

“What was that about?” Ed asked.

Dallas turned to Ed and said, “I’m sorry about that. Taylor’s still a little sore because of an accident that befell Jordan.”

“What accident? And who’s Jordan?”

“Jordan is Taylor’s lover,” Ryan said. “Three years ago, Jordan had a farming accident and got both legs broken horribly. They could be fixed, thank God, but the surgery was very expensive, and left a large bill on them. Taylor’s been trying to scrounge up the money for it for the last three years.”

“That’s awful,” Ed said, looking at Taylor’s direction with a concerned look.

Al also looked Taylor’s way but had different thoughts running through his head. These thoughts were only amplified by the behavior of both Ryan and Dallas, which he also noticed.

(That evening)

“What a day, huh, Al?” Ed asked as he changed into a nightgown and plopped on the bed Dallas and Ryan had prepared for him.

“I don’t think plopping on beds is very ladylike,” Al responded.

“Who cares? Ryan and Dallas have already gone to bed, so I doubt they can hear or see us. You can go back to calling me Brother now, Al.”

“Okay. Brother, have you noticed anything weird around here?”

“Well, besides the people being very friendly, apart from that Taylor lady, no.”

“That’s my point. Taylor wasn’t acting like any woman I’ve ever seen.”

“Well, can you blame her? Her boyfriend had both legs broken and she’s the only one who can get money to pay off the surgery. It’s gotta be hard on her.”

“That’s not what I’m talking about. She was acting more like a man than a woman.”

“Again, she’s had to—”

“That’s not all, though. The restaurant owner kept micromanaging his appearance the whole time we were in the restaurant. That’s something I’ve only seen a woman do. Also, didn’t you noticed how everyone’s avoided using pronouns to describe the people apart from ‘we,’ ‘they’ or ‘us?’ Even Mrs. Ryan described Jordan as Taylor’s lover, not her boyfriend. And when they introduced themselves, neither Mayor Dallas nor Ryan called each other husband or wife.”

“What are you saying, Al?”

“I’m saying there’s something fishy going on here. What if everyone isn't who they say they are?”

Thinking about it for a while, Ed got up and started pulling clothes out of his suitcase. Al asked, “Brother, what are you doing?”

“We’re going to pay this Taylor a visit and get some answers.”

“Why not ask Mayor Dallas or—”

“You’re right. They have avoided using pronouns describing individual people as much as possible. Taylor seems to be the only one who will be honest with us about what’s going on.”

(Outside Taylor’s house)

Ed and Al walked outside the gate leading to Taylor and Jordan’s house, hoping to get another talk with them. Ed had changed into a black midriff top and jeans in order to adopt a more casual look than the stylish and fashionable look he had been wearing thus far.

They managed to enter the front gate and made it all the way to a window. As they peeked inside, they saw a large bed with a man sitting in the middle. The man was slightly muscular with short, brown hair. He also had a depressed look on his face.

Before long, a door opened and Taylor came walking in, carrying a large bowl of water with a cloth dangling over the side. She set it down next to the bed and started rolling back the covers. “Time to clean your legs, Jordan,” Taylor tried to cheerfully say.

Jordan asked, “What’s wrong? You don’t seem as happy today.”

“It’s nothing. Don’t worry about it.”

“Taylor, don’t try to talk your way out of this. Let me know what’s wrong.”

Taylor sighed as she continued to carefully scrub Jordan’s legs. “No one’s buying our potatoes. I’ll have to go to the next town and try to sell them there.”

Jordan leaned forward and said, “Taylor, don’t! You won’t be able to make it twenty miles and back!”

“But I need to pay off our medical bill! I can’t just sit here and do nothing!”

Jordan got a pained look on his face and leaned back against the wall. Taylor looked up and, starting to shed tears, said, “I’m sorry, Jordan. I didn’t mean to—”

“No, Taylor, don’t apologize. I’ve agonized over not being able to help you for a long time before tonight.”

Taylor then slammed her fist against the table and shouted, “Damn it! If it wasn’t for that Howitzer bastard, this wouldn’t have happened!”

“Howitzer!” Al shouted, causing Taylor and Jordan to turn to the window.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Taylor screamed as she opened the window and reached for a shotgun that was resting by it.

“Take it easy!” Ed said. “We were just wondering if we could ask you a few questions, that’s all.”

“Like hell I’m going to talk to you after catching you sneaking around!”

“Taylor, let them in,” Jordan said from the bed.

“But they—”

“Let them in. I have a feeling they can be trusted.”

Taylor still had an unsure look on her face, but ultimately opened the door and said, “Get in, quick.”

Ed and Al quickly complied and entered the house. They saw some bars that were used for physical therapy in the living room and a wheelchair by the bedroom door. They also noticed several pictures of Jordan and Taylor dotting the walls. Most of them, however, had Taylor looking more feminine than how she was now and Jordan looking stronger than he seemed now.

“How are you feeling, Jordan?” Ed asked as they entered the room Jordan was staying at.

“I’m fine, thank you. Now why don’t you introduce yourselves?”

“Oh, right! I’m Miss Scarlett, and this is—”

“Don’t lie to me.”


“Sorry, I just have a gift for telling when people are lying to me. Would please tell us your real names?”

With a heavy sigh, Ed said, “Okay, my name is Edward Elric, and this is my brother Alphonse. We’re looking for an alchemist named Howitzer so he can reverse engineer an alchemic formula that put me in this woman’s body.”

“Really?” Taylor said, with an astonished look in her eyes. “You’re telling me you’re in the same boat as us?”

“What are you talking about?” Ed asked.

“You idiot! Haven’t you figured out yet that Jordan and I are in each other’s bodies?”

Before Ed could say it, Al said, “Wait, seriously?”

“It’s not just us,” Jordan calmly said. “All of the couples in this town swapped bodies three years ago, courtesy of the man you’re looking for.”
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