While Edward has realized how helpless and small he truely is, he moves forward in order to keep true to his own purpose and goals. Edward, a State Alchemist once again, receives his first mission from Lt. Colonel Mustang.
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While accompanying Winry on a shopping spree through Central City, Ed is called back to military headquarters and given his first mission as a State Alchemist. He is to inspect the Youswell coal mine.
They arrive at the City at the East End of the country where the Youswell Coal Mine is. The mining town has lost all of its energy and livelihood. While standing around, Ed and hit by a beam and introduced to a young chap and his father, who runs the local inn and tavern.
Ed and Al are shocked to learn that a night at the inn will cost them two hundred thousand. In order to make up for the deficiet, Ed begins to fix the mining tools using alchemy. Upon learning that Ed is a State Alchemist, the locals throw Ed out of the inn.
Inside, Al learns that much of the hate stems from a man named Yoki who is the military commander in the area. That same night, Halling, the innkeeper, is visited by Yoki who has come to collect taxes. It is clear that Yoki has abused his power as a military officer and lowered saleries and raised taxes.
When a miner attempts to attack Yoki, Ryla defeats him easily while Ed and Al watch through the window. When Kayal throws a wet mop at Yoki, Yoki decides to make an example of his rebellious nature and hurt him. However, Ed steps in and saves Kayal.
Back at Central, Mustang has recieved a promotion to Colonel and is asked to take command of the East Headquarters.
At Yoki's mansion, Yoki tries to bribe Ed so that he may recieve a promotion. Late that night, Ed is awaken by an explosion in the town. Ryla has demolished the tavern. In the morning, Ed has arrived on the scene and is begged by Kayal to transmutate gold to save the people and the city. However, Ed refuses because committing such an act would be a felony.
Ed still decides to do something about the situation and heads back to Yoki's mansion to ask Yoki if he can buy the coal mine offering gold in exchange. Yoki happily agrees and signs a contract that states that control of the mine was transferred for free.
Back at the town, Ed trades the rights of the mine for a night's stay at the inn which Ed has reconstructed. Yoki arrives and claims fraud as all the gold that was traded for the rights of the mine have turned to stone. He calls upon Ryla to defuse the situation, but she is easily defeated by Ed. Having disposed of the corrupt military officials, Ed, Al, and the rest of the town enjoy themselves at the tavern.
Ed's reputation has begun to spread in the East as a State Alchemist who sides with the public.