Added: November 13, 2011
Colonel Maes Hughes shows Mustang the paperwork concerning the McDougal incident, which states that McDougal used a Xingese art known as alkahestry; neither Hughes nor Mustang have heard of it. As the Elrics depart for Liore by train, Ed reminisces his and Al's childhood. They learn rudimentary alchemy from their father's books, and, after their mother's death, attempt to revive her by performing taboo human transmutation. During the alchemical reaction, a dark shadow emerges, grabbing hold of Al and Ed, completely breaking down Al's physical body. Ed awakens before a mysterious gate and meets a disembodied figure, referring to itself as "all," "one," and "you." In order to show Edward "The Truth," the door opens and shadows embrace Ed, filling his mind with information. However, he is pulled back from the gate just before he learns the secret behind perfect human transmutation. As a "toll" for this knowledge, the disembodied figure removes Edward's leg as payment, taking it for itself. Back in reality, Ed curses his actions in causing his brother's disappearance, and the disfigured humanoid the Elrics created in the center of the transmutation circle cries out before shortly dying. Using his own blood as an anchoring point, Ed bonds Al's soul to a suit of armor, losing his arm to equivalent exchange. Ed's skill in both surviving the attempted human transmutation and anchoring his brother's soul attracts the attention of Mustang, who suggests Ed become a State Alchemist. Edward accepts, and, after passing the state exams, is given the title "Fullmetal Alchemist."