Francisco had to wait four days until the potion was ready. He had only heard of potions being made in history in rare cases. Kesmal normally fulfilled a philosopher’s every need. However, this was a special case: Francisco couldn’t do kesmal. That was what the potion was for.
Francisco had read of cases in which a philosopher had permanently transferred the ability to do kesmal to someone else, through a series of injections in the jugular veins. However, this procedure was very dangerous and almost always went wrong. The subjects of this experiment were often incapacitated in some way. Sometimes they had seizures on a permanent basis, and their kesmal was unpredictable.
The potion was much safer.
“Ah, but how does it taste?” Francisco said curiously as Adelphia measured it into a phial and one wooden bowl.
“I have never had it,” Adelphia said, staring at the liquid in the bowl. It was a shimmering silver that gave off pungent fumes. “But I have heard it tastes like the fat from the stomach of the Ruyan sea cow.”
“Ah,” he said.
“This bowl is for you to have immediately,” Adelphia said, “as there will be patrols on the way down.”
“If I drink this, it will possibly drive me mad,” she had told Francisco. “It will only work for those who have absolutely no kesmal in their blood.”
In bygone ages, the occasional philosopher had permanently transferred supernatural abilities to someone else through a series of injections in the jugular veins. However, this dangerous procedure often went wrong, handicapping its subjects. Sometimes they developed chronic seizures. Even if their health survived, their kesmal was always unpredictable.
The potion was safer.
“Ah, but how does it taste?” Francisco said curiously while Adelphia measured it into a phial and one wooden bowl. The shimmering silver liquid gave off pungent fumes. Four days had passed while it brewed.
“I have heard it tastes like the fat from the stomach of the Ruyan sea cow,” Adelphia said.
“This bowl is for you to have immediately,” she went on, “as there will be patrols on the way down.”
I made a number of types of changes in this scene, and I've given them two broad categories below. This excerpt is from Consort to the Shadows, book five of The Fledgling Account. I'm not under contract for this book yet, but I am for the previous four. I'm getting this one ready to go places eventually.
Change one: edits for concision and flow.
I chopped various unnecessary words, combined sentences for flow, and tried to cut back on words that I use too often (eg: 'always' and 'as').
Overall plot/character issues
You'll notice I added in information in version two, because I had not adequately explained why Adelphia - who is a much more capable warrior than Francisco - did not take the potion herself and go on the mission she intends for Francisco. Here, I give a brief explanation that makes sense in the context of the whole book. She already has supernatural abilities (albeit, not the particular one this potion will give to Francisco, which will ensure the success of his mission).
I'm off back to work now!