An Alchemist's Studio
Updated: Apr 13
Part XX | The Lotus Elixirs | White Castle Mystery
Dziko in her orange ball gown and Zakiya in her Blue Cloak greeted Levi and Zoe in the Alchemist's Studio. Levi and Zoe surveyed the scattered potion bottles on the floor and spotted a Gold Engraving of Egypt's king   in the porthole window.
"Ah ha!" Levi exclaimed, one long finger pointing at Dziko.
"You are the ones hiding the Gold King!"
Dziko turned and grabbed the engraving off the window seat and handed it to Levi.
"Is this the King you were looking for?" Dziko looked puzzled. "Are you sure?"
Zoe stepped closer to Levi so she could see the engraving. Just then, Levi stepped on something slippery and rubbery. He looked down at his feet and saw something brownish-orange and squishy on the Alchemist Studio's floor.
"Why is there an octopus in your studio?" Levi was irritated, but the octopus slithered away as quickly as it had come leaving a few potion bottles in its wake.
"Can't you see we're at sea?" Dziko tried to explain but the ship suddenly lurched one way and then the other, causing Dziko's guests to tumble this way and that. When everyone had regained their footing and the ship reached smoother waters, Dziko introduced Zakiya.
"This is Zakiya. The name 'Zakiya' means 'pure' in Arabic. Zakiya has brought us our potions from a far away place and she cannot stay with us long. She has promised to teach us only a little with Aquene's Purple Scepter. Hopefully this will help you find your Wheel-Turning King."
"Welcome Guests and Travelers", Zakiya announced.
We will start with "Indra's Net," or the "Jeweled Net"
Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra, there is a wonderful net which has been hung by some cunning artificer in such a manner that it stretches out infinitely in all directions. In accordance with the extravagant tastes of deities, the artificer has hung a single glittering jewel in each "eye" of the net, and since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number. There hang the jewels, glittering "like" stars in the first magnitude, a wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that there is an infinite reflecting process occurring.
Indra’s Net is a metaphor for the profound cosmology and outlook that permeates Hinduism. Indra’s Net symbolizes the universe as a web of connections and interdependencies among all its members, wherein every member is both a manifestation of the whole and inseparable from the whole. This concept is the foundation for Vedic cosmology and it later went on to become the central principle of Buddhism. The metaphor of Indra’s Net originates from the Atharva Veda (one of the four Vedas), which likens the world to a net woven by the great deity Shakra or Indra. The net is said to be infinite, and to spread in all directions with no beginning or end. At each node of the net is a jewel, so arranged that every jewel reflects all the other jewels. No jewel exists by itself independently of the rest. Everything is related to everything else; nothing is isolated. 
Zakiya handed Levi and Zoe two potion bottles each.
"Take these with you. They might help you find what you are looking for."
Levi glanced over at the spot where the Gold engraving was and saw only the wooden wheel of a pirate's ship.
"What does this mean?" Levi looked at Zoe for an answer. Zoe pulled the piece of sliced, green agate from her cloak and handed it to Levi.
"Maybe it has something to do with our Note. It looks like it's a message from a Purple Octopus." Zoe looked questioningly at Zakiya,
"Do you know anything about a Purple Octopus?" Zakiya replied directly to Zoe,
"No, but the waters are rising again and it might be time for me to leave the ship."
Levi finished reading the Note inscribed on the slice of Green Agate and handed it back to Zoe.
"How confusing!" Levi exclaimed to Dziko. "We traveled all this way, only to find an engraving of an Egyptian king and a pirate ship!"
Dziko stepped up to the Pirate's Wheel and grabbed the wheel with one hand.
"Let's change course. We can bring Zakiya back after she turns over her potion recipes by order of Azura."
Levi was cleaning seaweed off the slimy bottom of his boot while Zoe hung up her cloak in the corner.
"By the way," Dziko turned to look at Levi.
"Whatever happened to that Orange Octopus?"
1. https://www.designtoscano.com/ Based upon the Cedar seat found by Howard Carter in King Tutankhamun's Antechamber, this wall plaque is a representation of Heh, god of Eternity, kneeling and carrying the ankh symbol.
2. https://egypt-museum.com/ Tutankhamun’s Chair with Carved Back
3. Cook, Francis H. (1977), Hua-Yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra, Penn State Press