Chapter 29: The Sprout’s Will

“Just tell me where she is!” The elf demanded. “I know that you know.”

L Faba put on her best comforting smile, the kind that would have soothed him and stopped him from asking stupid questions when he was little.

“It’s late, Dandy. Calm down, stay over if you like. We can talk it over tomorrow.” She said. “I mean, look at me, I’m in my nightgown. Let’s rest. I know I need my beauty sleep…”

“No, you don’t.” He said firmly. His words surprised her. It wasn’t like him to be this defiant with her. She let out a sigh. Something was telling her she wasn’t going to get much sleep at all that night.

“If you don’t want to help me look for her, that’s fine, but tell me where she is.” Dandelion continued, ignoring her diversions. “She’s in trouble, I know she is.”

L Faba suppressed a groan. For some inexplicable reason, Dandelion had to latch on to her, of all people. It made no sense, and yet, as the sage of mischief, L Faba knew it made perfect sense. But that didn’t mean she was willing to accept it.

“It’s her own damn fault.” She told him, forcing herself to stay calm. “I’m sure she’ll be just fine. Morgyn’s sorting it out.”

“And you trust them with that?” Dandelion retorted “What’s Morgyn got to do with her being missing anyway?”

“Do you have to ask? Morgyn’s got everything to do with it. Off on another one of their ridiculous self-indulgent adventures in pursuit of what they call love.” L Faba scoffed, briefly forgetting her audience. “If she chose to follow them, that’s on her. How was I to know Morgyn was stupid enough to get tangled up with vampires?”

She regretted her words immediately. Especially after seeing Dandelion’s shocked face.

“Vampires?” He looked at her, wide-eyed. “Vampires have her? Lulu, we need to go help her, now!”

“Do you think she’d do that for you, if your roles were reversed?” She snapped at him.

“Of course she would!” Dandelion burst out. The delusional fool. “And that’s beside the point! She could die! Where are these vampires!?”

“If you think I’m letting you go into a vampire den, you’ve got to be mad!” L Faba ‘s voice jumped up a few octaves.

“So you’ll just let her die? Why do you hate her so much!?” Dandelion yelled back at her. “You know what, it doesn’t matter. Just tell me where these vampires are. If something happens to her, I… I… I’ll never forgive you!”

“And you’ll do what? What do you think you can possibly do for her that Morgyn can’t?” L Faba fully lost her temper, screaming at the top of her lungs. “You think you’ll just show up at their lair and somehow win the vampires over? This is not a joke, and she is not worth risking your life over! Stop trying to insert yourself into things you haven’t got the slightest idea about! Even if the vampires do kill her, maybe it’s justice!”

“Will you two keep it down?” Simeon’s voice was quiet, but stern. “Your screaming alone will rip the realm apart.”

L Faba breathed out. The practical magic sage had brough her back to reality, but it wasn’t him she was concerned about. The look on Dandelion’s face hurt like a thousand daggers.

“I’m sorry, sprout.” She told the elf softly. “I got carried away. I… I’ll help you get your friend back.”

“What in the two realms are you talking about?” Simeon frowned at her. “You’re not going on the same wild goose chase Morgyn is, prodding some ancient vampires, all because of a human.”

“Does everybody in the magic realm always only think of themselves?” Dandelion interrupted him.

“I, for one, am dedicated to putting the realm above all personal selfish impulses. Although maybe I am the only one.” Simeon said coldly, directing his second statement at the mischief sage. “It’s bad enough one sage is at risk, losing two would have catastrophic consequences for the realm. There is no way I’m allowing you to go chasing after some girl with Morgyn gone, L Faba!”

“Oh, so I have to ask for your permission now?” L Faba felt her anger rising again. Perhaps it was wrong to direct it at Simeon, but she didn’t care. “Last I checked, we were equals! I can do as I damn please!”

“You’re being reckless, just like Morgyn. I expected better from you, Luella.” The practical magic sage told her.

L Faba felt her entire body shaking. “Stop acting like you’re my father!” She screamed.

“Then stop acting like a child!” Simeon snapped back. “You’re not going anywhere while Morgyn’s gone, and that’s the end of it.”

“You-“

“Uh guys?” Dandelion interjected, looking down over the railing. “You don’t need to argue. Morgyn’s back.”

The three of them watched the untamed magic sage materialise at the bottom of the hall, looking dissatisfied.

L Faba couldn’t help but smirk. “Back so soon?” She called out into the foyer, leaning over the railing. “And without either one of your so-called loves. What a shock…”

Her smile fell as soon as she saw Dandelion’s expression.

“Well, Morgyn’s back.” Dandelion said stiffly. “That means we can go, right?”

***

The elves approached the gothic looking manor just off the main park in Forgotten Hollow. It was exactly the kind of house one would expect to find creatures of the night. Hiding in plain sight, it would appear, L Faba thought.

She still couldn’t believe she let the sprout drag her here. To save her. But what was the alternative? There was no chance a sweet little soul like Dandelion would survive this visit if he were to go on his own.

“Now listen to me, Dandy.” She turned to him, hoping he couldn’t notice her nerves.

“What? We’re here.” He interrupted impatiently. “Let’s go get Cordie.”

“We have to be smart about this, ok?” She tried to reason with him. “We don’t even know how many vampires are inside. But we do know they’re dangerous. So don’t do anything hasty. Just stay behind me, don’t say a word and let me take the lead.”

“Fine.” He said begrudgingly, looking unimpressed. L Faba let out deep sigh, and knocked on the sturdy door in front of them. Here goes nothing, she thought.

A pale woman appeared in the doorway. She already looked agitated. Not the best start, L Faba lamented.

“More non-humans at our doorstep… let me guess, more visitors from the magic realm?” She hissed at them, baring her fangs.

“You’re all the rage in the magic realm right now,” L Faba said sweetly. Which, technically speaking, wasn’t untrue, she commended herself.

“Can’t let Morgyn hog you to themselves, can we? I trust they didn’t give us a bad name…” She tried to gauge the vampires’ disposition. With Morgyn involved, one could never know what kind of impression they left.

“The sage of untamed magic was quite charming,” the vampire admitted. “Although I’m still unsure why they’d possibly want that common girl.”

That was a relief.

“You and me both.” L Faba smirked, ignoring Dandelion’s glare. “Perhaps we could all talk this through, as friends.”

“Why not,” the vampire grinned. “It would appear tonight is just one big party…”

She led them through to the living room, joining two other vampires. L Faba recognised the man. Morgyn’s newest object of desire. He was playing chess with a vampire child.

“Check mate, Micah. You should know by now that you can never beat me.” The little girl said in an eerie way that did not sound like a little girl at all. She looked up. “Delphine? Who is it now?”

“It would appear we have more visitors from the other realm.” Their vampire host explained. “Pardon my manners, in all the excitement of tonight I didn’t even catch your names…”

“I’m L Faba, sage of mischief magic.” She introduced herself.

The vampire child looked up. “So many sages in a single night… such honour for this humble coven.” Nothing about her tone implied honour or humility. Her piercing eyes turned to Dandelion. “Who is he? Your servant?”

“He’s far too unimportant for you to concern yourself with him.” L Faba said quickly.

The child gave her a look that made her feel uneasy. L Faba couldn’t shake the feeling that she could see right through her. “Very well. Please, have a seat.” The girl gestured to the couch.

“My name is Verena, and I am the mistress of this house.” The child informed them. Of course she was. L Faba suppressed a frown. She didn’t have a good feeling about this. Thankfully, at least Dandelion was playing along and staying quiet.

“You’ve already met my associate Delphine. And this here is one of my children, Micah.” Verena finished the introductions. “Now, if you would indulge me, we’ve already learned a little bit about untamed magic from your colleague tonight. Would you be so kind and enlighten us on mischief magic? With the name alone, I can’t help but feel it would pale in comparison…”

L Faba kept her composure. The vampire brat was trying to get to her. She would not let her.

“Morgyn likes to big themselves up.” She told her. “But the sages are equal. In truth, there is nothing they can do that I can’t.”

“Is that so?” The girl tilted her head, seemingly in thought. “Or do all sages have the same tendency to exaggerate?”

The mischief sage took a deep breath. “Mischief magic is in no manner weaker than the untamed school.” She reiterated. “It simply has a stronger focus on tormenting others. Something perhaps someone of your disposition may appreciate.”

“I have no need for additional methods of torment.” Verena laughed. The sound was hearty and sinister at the same time.

“That’s enough!” Dandelion erupted. “Where is Cordie?”

“Ah, so you are after the girl as well,” Verena’s face grew long, although there appeared to be no surprise in her expression. “How disappointingly predictable. Tell me, what is it about this human that makes her so vital to the magic realm?”

“She holds no significance to the realm whatsoever,” L Faba frowned. “Certainly isn’t of any importance to me!”

“Truly? And yet here you are, trying to obtain her.” Verena pointed out with a sly grin. “She must mean something to you. I detect no fondness in her voice, but there’s something… perhaps you’d like to watch her suffer. You did say your school focuses on torment, after all…”

L Faba couldn’t manage a single word. Just calm down, she told herself.

“I’m in a good mood, so why don’t we come to an arrangement…” The vampire child spoke again, breaking the silence. “I’ll give you the girl, in exchange for your elven servant. His blood would be impeccably delicious, I can just tell…”

“Not a chance in any of the realms!” The words flew out of L Faba before she could stop herself. She should know better than to give away her game like that. But it was too late.

Verena just laughed. “You sages are more alike than you care to admit. So unnecessarily sentimental. And so senselessly averse to compromise…”

“Morgyn and I are nothing alike.” L Faba gritted through her teeth.

“Then I’ll make you the same offer I made them, and I’m sure you’ll be far more reasonable.” The girl said. “Bestow the gift of magic on me, teach me what you know. Make me a spellcaster. If it is true that mischief magic is just as powerful as the untamed, I’ll gladly let you walk away with the girl, and your little servant…”

“No!” Dandelion leapt up, screaming at the top of his lungs.

“We don’t have to negotiate with you! You give us Cordie right now!” He yelled. L Faba sighed. Damn the foolish sprout.

“You should be more cautious, elf servant.” Verena said coolly. “You have nothing of value to give me. Other than the obvious, of course. Perhaps I will try how sweet your blood is after all…”

Verena had moved fast, launching right at Dandelion in a dark puff of smoke.

But L Faba was faster. On her feet in an instant, she drew her wand out, aiming it at the vampire child.

“Morphiate!”

The other vampires arose too, but stopped in their tracks at the sight of their mistress turning into a gnome in front of their very eyes.

Of course, it wouldn’t take them long to recover, and clearly, they were not amused by the sight of what happened.

“Dandy, come here!” L Faba yelled at him.

Thankfully, he was in too much shock to protest, and obeyed her without question. She grabbed on to him before he had a chance to do something stupid again.

“Transportalate!” She cried out. Time to get the hell out of there.

14 thoughts on “Chapter 29: The Sprout’s Will

Add yours

  1. Oh holy cow Dandy O.O T.T that could have ended so badly for our little cinnamon roll… my heart T.T I’m so glad Faba was there to save him.
    I had to snicker when she turned Verena into a gnome, though. Is it permanent? Can I have her? I think I’ll just take her off their hands. One can never have enough gnomes.

    One thing that does stand out about the sages – none of them know how to keep their cards close to their chest. Even with them being hundreds of years old. Except maybe the practical magic sage. As they are now, Verena can just bowl them over… well, unless Faba turns her into a gnome, that is. *snicker*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dandy’s heart is in the right place, but he does not do strategy…

      Hmm, gnome or not I don’t think Verena would take kindly to someone telling her what to do. So her chances of joining up your gnome army may be slim, unless you make her a general or something. I suppose if your intent is to march on magic HQ, she’d probably be down for that!

      The sages actually aren’t hundreds of years old, so Verena does have that on them. I think normally they manage, but they are used to getting their way so much they are simply not prepared for this, especially when Verena is so good at picking out exactly what they care about. She can read the room very well, our little Verena.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Second-in-command it is. Half the army goes to her after we take magic HQ, granted she leaves Dandy and Cordelia in peace. Aaaaaaah I should not have tried out those scythes. xD

        Oh really? I totally thought that they stopped aging after becoming a sage. In that case, that explains a lot. xD

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh no, they still age (at least in my universe for sure), though both Morgyn and L Faba are older than they look – Faba because she’s an elf, so she ages slower/has a longer lifespan, but I guess that also affects her maturity (same could be said for Dandy), and Morgyn uses untamed magic to halt aging, but that’s a manual spell that has to be done every so often to keep working. There you go, bonus lore for you 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I love bonus lore =D the more bonus lore the better! So the practical magic sage is the only one that’s currently aging normally, huh? There’s something ironic about him being the most mature and responsible one. Though I guess that’s a given when comparing practical to mischief and untamed. xD

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I’d say Simeon may have used the odd potion to prolong his life at some point, but doesn’t do anything of that sort on a regular basis – if he has done it before, it would have been for a clear purpose rather than just to keep himself alive longer. Age-wise he is older than Morgyn, and probably a little bit older than or a similar age to L Faba, I’m not entirely sure about that, the elven aging is very odd. But in any case definitely more mature than either of them.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hahaha I’m imagining Simeon having to clean up L Faba and Morgn’s mess. Now it looks like the sages were in the wrong, encroaching on the vamp’s hospitality twice in one night and instigated a fight by turning their MASTER vamp into a gnome. Lololol.

    I’m surprised L Faba and Dandy didn’t sit down and talk things through with Morgyn before venturing to the vamp’s residence. It’s the right thing to do since Faba knows Morgyn went ahead first / is fratenising with the vamps. But I suppose she might not want to give away that she sent Cordy to Forgotten Hollow.

    I knew bringing Dandy was the absolute worst idea. Aw Dandy. I find it pretty realistic though and a pretty fair trade that she wanted Dandy over Cordy. It’s certainly better than an entire branch of magic for one girl.

    Fuh! I wonder what the repercussions are for Cordy. They just made her situation 10x worse. xD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Simeon is pretty frustrated with the other two sages, yes 😀 And yes, the situation definitely wouldn’t look great from the vamps’ perspective, would it? After they were so civil with the sages…

      You’re 100% right that that would have been the sensible thing to do. There’s a few reasons why it didn’t happen – one of which being what you mentioned. The others may or may not be connected to the fact that Dandelion was far too impatient and rearing to go right then and there, and of course you have the added layer of Morgyn and L Faba’s relationship being kind of complicated, so sitting down for a rational, logical talk about what to expect was just not on the cards on a night with such heightened emotions.

      Question is, was Verena really willing to trade Cordelia for Dandy instead of becoming a spellcaster? Or did she have ulterior motives for saying that…

      Like

  3. I was wondering what Dandy was up to. And I’m glad he wanted to find Cordelia and was able to convince L Faba, but that didn’t go well at all. Poor Dandy, his heart is in the right place, it’s just Verena is too smart and manipulative and L Faba and Dandy had no plan going into that situation. It was bound to fail.

    I feel bad for Simeon; he has a point, that the other sages are selfish and impulsive. He probably is tired of being the logical, practical one of the three.

    Oh, this can’t end well. Now L Faba angered Verena, and if the spell wears off, I can imagine she won’t be in a good mood. But it’s hilarious she is a gnome now, lol. Hopefully, she doesn’t take her anger out on Cordelia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, poor Dandy, he meant well, but the way he went about things wasn’t very smart. It would have definitely been wiser if the two of them held off a bit and formulated a plan, perhaps tried to get some intel from Morgyn to know what they were getting into… I guess Dandy’s main thought was that if they were too late he would always regret it. Hindsight makes anyone look wise, I suppose.

      Yes, Simeon may seem a little harsh with his lack of interest in helping Cordelia, but he definitely has a point.

      Yes, I can’t imagine Verena will be too happy.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dandelion’s heart is in the right place, but he certainly doesn’t know how to plan well. I guess the same could be said, surprisingly, about the sages. What they all need to do is figure out what they could give Verena in exchange that doesn’t involve her becoming a spell caster. Know thy opponent. Time for some brains here. Simeon, help!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha no, he does not, though I suppose he’s never been in a situation like this before. The sages do know how to plan, but alas, here, they clearly haven’t – Morgyn acted on an impulse (what a shock 😆) and underestimated the situation, and L Faba didn’t really get involved on her own volition, she was dragged there so all she could do was act as damage control for Dandelion (which of course resulted in doing far more damage, as we saw).

      Simeon’s interests lie with the magic realm, not with Cordelia – at this rate he might just tell the vamps they should keep her as a gesture of the realm’s apology… So I’m not sure if I’d place that much faith in him where Cordelia’s concerned.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m not sure who’s going to be able to save Cordelia now. Everyone seems incapable of communicating. I can’t see this going well for Cordelia in the near future. Either Verena becomes de-gnomified and takes it out on her, or she stays a gnome and the other vamps feast on her as they run riot. I wonder if she’ll befriend Micah or maybe she ain’t no damsel in distress and she’ll save herself somehow…
    Dandy’s angry little face throughout this was so darn cute. Reckless, but adorable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes, Dandy… bless him. Haha yes, the people who are technically one the same “side” are having major issues communicating amongst themselves. Ironically, the only person that’s communicated well is Verena, but ultimately, where did all that go… you’re right, either way her gnomification will have consequences.

      Liked by 1 person

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