He made his decision without Urim and Thummim, but keeps them near him to remember Melchizedek. In this section, however, he begins to feel that a whole world exists which he has not seen, and though Santiago may be something of an adventurer compared to his parents and the people around him, he may still resemble his sheep. For generations, the tribesmen from that area would tell the story of the boy who was able to turn himself into the wind, and who in the process almost destroyed the military camp. The children had been camped at the other side of the oasis, and they do not witness the battle. Melchizedek says that sometimes he appears in the form of a solution or a good idea at a crucial moment, just when somebody is about to give up on his or her Personal Legend. He has not lost his introspective nature or his closeness to the world around him.
Instead, he stands far on the other side of camp. The young man points out that to cross the Sahara desert, one needs money, and he needs to know beforehand if Santiago has enough money. The wind feels like Santiago demeans what it already knows how to do. But he is now on the other side of the camp. Instead of reading, Santiago reflects that when he had decided to seek out his treasure, he actually ended up working in the crystal shop. The Englishman is changed even by his brief encounter with the alchemist.
He reflects that one needs to be prepared for change. He tells Santiago that he focuses on the activity that he is doing in the moment, and on the fact that he is alive. Santiago figures he might as well try, what with being captured, so he sits down, concentrates on the desert, and finally he … becomes the wind. The elder chieftain turns to Santiago and explains that all of the chiefs know that whoever believes in dreams also knows how to interpret them. He realizes that he loved Fatima even before he knew her. As he prepares their dinner that night, the alchemist explains that he learned the procedures of alchemy from his grandfather, who learned from his father, and so on.
One of these lessons is that both sheep and people are often focused on their basic needs and unwilling to think about the bigger picture. Santiago feels that there's no danger, but the alchemist reminds him that even while he trusts in his heart, he is still at risk in the desert. This is why Melchizedek cautions Santiago about using the stones—because making his own decisions is so important. In the story, a shopkeeper sends his son to learn the secret of happiness from the wisest man in the world. The crystal merchant explains that it's the thought of Mecca that keeps him alive. Fatima says that she used to look to the desert with longing, but know she will look with hope. The desert asks him why he is back, after spending all of the previous day gazing at it.
Santiago does not say he simply wishes to visit the pyramids, as he initially told the crystal merchant, but now specifically says that he is pursuing his Personal Legend. In the desert the only sound is the wind and the movements of the animals. It turns out that the old man not only knows how to read but has read the book that Santiago is struggling through. He doesn't live in his past or his future. Before he goes though, he tells Santiago not to be so stupid, that he himself had dreamed of a treasure right on that spot.
On their first day in the oasis, the travelers sleep. The alchemist reminds Santiago of the role of God in the continued existence of the world another idea that suggests pantheism , and the importance of the process of alchemy to matters beyond mere metals. The Emerald Tablet is a direct link to the Soul of the World. The young man takes Santiago to buy a camel and manages to escape with all of Santiago's money in the confusion of the marketplace. The sun, unlike the desert and wind, does understand love, because it can see the Soul of the World and it understands creation as a whole almost. Santiago tells the truth about his quest to the stranger—not because he especially trusts the stranger, but rather because he has grown more confident in himself. This foreshadowing leaves open the identity of the pupil—and the question of whether it will be the Englishman or Santiago.
As the alchemist works, he and the monk talk about the wars in the desert. Santiago looks out to the desert and it speaks to him. The Englishman sees complexity as a necessary gatekeeper to the secrets of alchemy. During the dream, a child tells him to seek treasure at the foot of the Egyptian pyramids. The wind says that Santiago had better ask his question of heaven. She will send kisses to him on the wind, and the desert will represent her hope for his return. One time it hid the rifle Santiago had taken from his father.
The alchemist finally uses the practical skills of alchemy in the Coptic monastery. The Englishman seems to trust Santiago alone and no one else in the oasis. He is tempted, however, to use these powers, acquired in order to pursue his Personal Legend, for short-term gain. The two embrace for the first time. He had a happy life as a farmer, and had made at the pilgrimage to Mecca with his family. After hours of waiting, the guard asks Santiago to enter the tent. Both the boy in the story and Santiago are beginning a quest, and along the way they will learn from a wise man currently Melchizedek himself, but Santiago will later encounter the alchemist who will serve as a mentor.
Awaking the next morning, he sees the marketplace coming together. The next time he sees Fatima, she explains that women of the desert are used to departures. He falls to his knees and cries, praying and thanking God for leading him on this journey. He also thinks, although he does not say this aloud, that it is also because he knows about the Soul of the World. The alchemist explains that everything on the earth evolves, and that in the minds of men, gold is the highest evolution of metal.