Chapter 30: Out of Hand

Disclaimer: This chapter alludes to domestic abuse (and by this I am not referring to the vampire coven portion), although this is not directly shown or described. If this is a triggering theme for you, you may wish to click off once the characters reach the magic realm duelling grounds. Also, parts of this chapter are generally kind of disturbing.

“Well, all these visits sure took a turn.” Delphine managed to say as the vampire duo stared at the gnomified mistress.

Micah hesitated. “Is there a way to undo it?” He asked her. She was far older than him, had centuries of experience. If any of the vampires in the house could figure out a way to bring Verena to her former state, it would be her.

Oh god, Alba was going to flip, he realised.

“Micah, focus.” Delphine snapped her fingers at him, prompting him to remove his hands from his face. “Let me assess the situation…”

Delphine’s body slowly lifted into the air. She concentrated all of her vampiric energy at Verena, or rather, the gnome that had been Verena just a moments ago.

Nothing happened. Oh, this was bad…

Somehow, Delphine didn’t look that concerned. “I can’t break the spell.” She told Micah. “But from what I gather, it’s temporary.”

“Temporary.” He repeated her words. His body felt stiff.

“Yes, it appears to be. She’ll stay like this for a couple of hours, but I reckon she’ll turn back to her normal self before sunrise.” Delphine said dismissively.

“Or if not by sunrise, definitely by tomorrow. I kind of hope it’s the latter. Just imagine us putting a gnome in Verena’s coffin…” She added, breaking into laughter.

Micah couldn’t believe she was giggling. This was no joke…

“She will not let this slide when she’s back to… herself.” He whispered.

“Always with the doomsday scenarios.” Delphine said brightly. “Why do you have to be so sombre all the time? Don’t you see how funny this is? So she’ll be a little cranky when she’s back to normal. Maybe she needed to scale down a notch, don’t you think?”

“Right. I’m gonna go check on Alba.” He made an excuse, even though Alba was the last person he wanted to see right now.

“Now that’s guaranteed to put you in a better mood,” Delphine’s voice was dripping with sarcasm, but he ignored it.

Of course Delphine wasn’t worried about Verena’s reaction. The two of them were practically equals, with Verena only being just a little bit older, just a little bit more powerful; though a whole lot more menacing.

Micah, on the other hand… Not only was Verena in a position of authority over him, but more importantly, this whole ordeal was entirely his fault. He was the one who lured the sages over. What was he expecting?

And even before he dragged the sages into their lives, he was the one to cause the conundrum in the first place. If he hadn’t been a weakling and just fed on the girl like Verena told him to, none of this would have happened. Cordelia would simply be gone. Cordelia. He wished he hadn’t learned her name. Or that she had weird fairies following her. And liked cannoli.

Micah knew two things for certain: One; when Verena back to normal, she’d be livid with him, and she’d make him pay. And two; he would never be in this mess if he had just listened to his mistress all along and simply viewed Cordelia as the prey she was.

It was clear to him what he had to do.

Alba, being the damn bat she was, heard him descend into the catacombs even before he opened the door or stepped on the rickety staircase. She let out a sharp hissing noise.

Micah propelled himself towards her. There was no point trying to be sneaky. All of the vampires in the house were so much older than him, always onto his every move.

“What do you want, brother?” She enunciated the last word in exaggerated way. How he couldn’t stand the woman…

“I think you know.” He said simply.

“She’s no longer yours to claim.” Alba informed him. “Verena instructed me to guard her down here. Said the girl is very important…”

“And before that, she instructed me that the girl is my meal.” Micah retorted. “So I’m here to claim my prey, as instructed.”

“I’m afraid I can’t let you do that,” Alba stared directly into his eyes, baring her fangs.

“Fine. Verena did want me to finally grow up.” His eyes narrowed. “I guess that includes dealing with you.”

Alba’s body ejected into the air, lunging away from him swiftly. Her laugh made her sound like a demon. Micah knew all too well that she too was only waiting for an excuse to finally come to blows with him.

“You think you can take me on?” She screamed, her voice echoing through the room.

“I’ll damn well try!” Micah hissed, revealing his teeth as he sprung into the air as well.

The truth was, he wasn’t all too sure if he could, but he was in too deep now. There was no going back.

Alba’s body dropped to the floor with a loud thud. It didn’t feel real. Had he really managed to overpower Alba? He was in a dream. Of course, Micah hadn’t had any dreams in over a decade. He could barely recall what dreams felt like.

But now was not a time to get distracted. Alba may have been temporarily knocked out, but she’d regain her consciousness any minute.

Micah hurried to the door. It wasn’t difficult to figure out which of the doors Cordelia was behind. He could sense her life force through the walls. Her life force, and her fear.

He used his vampiric energy to unlock the door. It was easier than he expected. Either Alba had been overly confident in her ability to keep unwanted intruders at bay, or the rush of the duel amplified his powers.

Seeing the red glow erupt all around him as the lock cracked open, the latter seemed to be far more likely.

The heavy wooden door released without him even having to lay his hand on it. And just like that, he had reached the prisoner.

The girl looked terrified. She must have heard the duel, and his exchange with Alba – human hearing was only a fragment of that of vampires, but they’d been far from discreet. Micah couldn’t help but feel sorry for her.

“Please,” she whispered. “Don’t hurt me… Micah…”

And then she passed out. All of the heightened adrenaline of the last two days, along with the limited food and rest must have taken its toll.

He looked at her unconscious body lie on the ground. Humans were so weak. It took so little to break them. Being one of them was harder and harder to remember each day, even though he was a young vampire by any standards.

Micah couldn’t help but wonder; what would he become in the centuries ahead of him, once he reached Verena’s age?

***

“We have to go back!” Dandelion yelled at L Faba.

“Are you crazy?” She snapped at him. “We barely got out of there in time!”

“Maybe I’ve lost my mind, but you’ve lost your heart!” His words stabbed right through her. “Cordie’s still there, and she needs our help!”

“What do you expect me to do? Turn all of them into gnomes?” L Faba exclaimed. In the corner of her eye, she saw Morgyn approaching with Simeon in tow.

“Yes!” Dandelion cried out. “I know you have enough power to do that… or whatever it takes!”

“Whatever it takes to save her!” She parroted his words. “Like she is worth that! Do you have any idea of what she’s capable of? Of her true darkness!?”

“L Faba, what is this nonsense?” Morgyn interrupted her.

Dandelion wasn’t having any of it, lashing out at the untamed magic sage. “You! This is all your fault! Why do you always have to ruin everything!?”

Morgyn did not hold back either. “Oh I ruin everything?” Their arms gestured around wildly. “I tried to get her back as soon as I learned the vampires had her!”

“Tried and failed!” Dandelion reminded them. “And she wouldn’t even be there if it wasn’t for you! The only reason she was in Forgotten Hollow in the first place was because she went after you!”

Surprise flashed across Morgyn’s face, but it was soon replaced with something else. “Did she now? Interesting, because I never told her that’s where I was going… Perhaps you should ask your darling friend L Faba how Cordelia learned that information!”

“That is enough!” Simeon’s voice erupted through the hall. “Look at the lot of you, arguing about some woman! Morgyn, L Faba, have you lost your minds? Don’t you realise what you’ve done!? All your petty bickering has had the Magic Realm near declare a war on vampires! This has to stop now, or there will be consequences for the entire realm!”

Nobody said a word. HQ fell silent. The sages stared at each other, possible consequences of the night’s events flooding their minds. Dandelion opened his mouth, about to say something, but it wasn’t him that got to break the silence.

Morgyn placed Cordelia in their bed gently and walked over to their wardrobe, looking for an empty coat hanger.

The elf had followed, and was clearly not happy. “What are you doing? This is no time to go through your clothes! Is she ok!?”

 Morgyn couldn’t help but chuckle softly at Dandelion’s agitation.

“There’s no such thing as a bad time to deliberate on fashion choices.” The sage teased, unable to help themselves. They took off their coat, placing it into the wardrobe.

“You…” Dandelion seemed to be struggling to form a sentence.

“She’ll be fine.” Morgyn helped him out. “Stay with her, little elf.”

“DON’T call me that!”

But the sage had little time for the elf’s protests, leaving the room without another word.

Naturally, the outcries for attention weren’t going to stop.

“Morgyn, what is the meaning of all this?” Simeon’s called out after them as they traversed the hall. And Morgyn could practically feel L Faba’s glare on their back.

“The vampire, Morgyn! He’s still in the realm.” Morgyn suppressed the urge to roll their eyes at Simeon stating the obvious. “If they all know where to find us…”

“Relax, Simeon. It’s only this one that knows how to reach the realm.” The sage of untamed magic said calmly. “And I’m handling it.”

“Morgyn? Morgyn!”

Morgyn ignored the further calls. It was typical of Simeon; the practical magic sage resolved nothing, and demanded answers after everything had been dealt with, simply because he didn’t consider the solution ‘clean.’ But who had brought results? Morgyn.

The sage opened the door, finally breathing in some air. They needed that.

The vampire didn’t even glance in their direction, but he was obviously aware of the spellcaster’s presence. “There’s no way I can go back to my coven now.” Micah said. “This better be worth it.”

Morgyn smiled to themselves. At least someone around here was focused on results. “I’m sure I can make it worth your while. Follow me.”

“Where the hell are we going?” Micah asked as they approached the portal.

“The duelling grounds.” Morgyn said coolly.

The vampire hesitated. “Are you planning to duel me?”

“Of course not.” Although the proposition made Morgyn wonder. How would that kind of duel go down? “Just step into the portal.”

Morgyn had to give it to Micah, the vampire was suitably on guard when they emerged on the other side. Probably readying themselves to lunge at the sage if things suddenly got out of hand.

“So… why did you bring me to the duelling grounds?” Micah asked.

“It’s quiet around here. Not many magical duels going on in the realm these days.” Morgyn said. “And I’ve always felt this place had more charge than anywhere else in the realm. All the fallen spellcasters, I suppose.”

There was slightly more to it than that, but Morgyn wasn’t planning on elaborating.

“Charge?” Micah raised an eyebrow.

“Think of it as magical energy. It’s what gives us our powers, although too much charge… let’s just say it’s all about balance.” Morgyn said. “Anyway. I’m glad you changed your mind.”

“I guess I could say the same.” Micah looked at them. His expression was slightly disconcerting, but it was too late for doubts now.

“Let’s get this over with, then.” Morgyn extended their arm to the vampire. “I even took my coat off to give you easy access…” They added jokingly to ease the tension.

Micah snickered lightly, but then grew serious as he grabbed onto the spellcaster’s wrist. He looked hungry. But there also appeared to be a hint of worry in his eyes. Morgyn wondered why. Was he scared of what he’d find in the sage’s blood? Or that he wouldn’t be able to stop himself, in spite of what he had claimed about taking every precaution?

Either way, Morgyn was about to find out.

 “Morgyn, go to your room!” There was fear in the woman’s voice, even though she was clearly trying to hide it.

“No, wait! You don’t understand, I can help you!” The child protested with urgency. “I’ll protect you! I can… do things! I won’t let him hurt you!”

“I said, go to your room! Now!” The woman said frantically, looking over her shoulder.

18 thoughts on “Chapter 30: Out of Hand

Add yours

  1. Can I just say how much I love Verena being turned into a tiny gnome reaper, of all things? ❤ ah, I just, *grabs the gnome to take home*
    And I completely agree with Delphine. Putting a gnome in Verena’s coffin is hilarious. I so want to see the look on her face when she changes back.

    Serious props to Micah here, too. Of course he’s lived with her for decades and probably knows inside and out, but he just predicted what Verena was going to do to take revenge, and exactly how she was going to punish Micah in her anger. I’d like to think that he was planning to set her free from the moment Verena got turned into a gnome. He’s a good guy ❤

    Hmm. What on earth does L Faba mean with “her true darkness”? Is she projecting herself onto Cordelia here, I wonder, and is that why she stayed away from Dandy for so long? Or did she truly see something dark in Cordelia of all people? Something tells me it might be the former.

    I loved that picture with Morgyn carrying Cordelia up the stairs and Dandy running behind. I wonder if he wanted to be the one to carry her.

    “But who had brought results? Morgyn.”
    Sure, love. Suuuuuuure. It wasn’t Micah that actually brought her to safety or anything. Of course, go ahead, take full credit for Cordelia’s rescue because you gave the man a marble. Typical.

    Oof… that’s not a good backstory to have. I don’t want to say “poor Morgyn”, but poor Morgyn. Not only living in an abusive family, but accidentally setting your house on fire and, from the looks of it, causing the death of at least one parents because of your magic. That’s a tough hand to be dealt at such a young age.

    Is that a young L Faba showing them the way to the Magic Realm? =O

    Ouch, and Morgyn even had to physically shove Micah off of them to keep him from draining them dry. If the blood is more delicious the more interesting the person is, then Morgyn’s must have been irresistible too vampy.
    Hmm. How does drinking Morgyn's blood save Micah from an angry vampire coven though, I wonder? This was probably a quid pro quo thing, maybe even a thank-you for bringing Cordelia back. But… Unless that gnomification is permanent, Verena is about to come back with a hell of a grudge against all of them – a grudge that now includes Micah 0.o

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha well if Verena was going to be a gnome, it had to be the spooky reaper one obviously. 😉 Delphine has a great sense of humour. I haven’t had a chance to show her personality off too much since she only interacted with Cordelia at the Von Haunt ball, but even there she was very amused by what Cordelia was saying.

      Yes, Micah (likely correctly) assumed Verena’s reaction to all this would not be particularly favourable to him. Whether this works out better for him in the long run remains to be seen.

      What *does* L Faba mean by that indeed… Either of what you said could definitely be plausible.

      Of course Dandy followed right behind them ❤

      Please, would you expect any less of Morgyn than to claim all the credit here? 😀

      You’re right, Morgyn’s backstory is even worse than Cordelia’s. Ever wonder why Morgyn is so obsessed with having power and control over everything and everyone?

      That is indeed a young L Faba showing them the way to the Magic Realm.

      Yes, the blood of a sage is probably a lot more tempting than any other blood Micah’s tasted before.

      Like

  2. Ahh, Micah you soft-hearted idiot. I feel this will not end well for you.

    The true darkness in Cordelia and what she’s capable of… interesting…

    “I won’t let him hurt you!” I’ll just kill you myself. Thanks for that, Morgyn. Much better outcome.

    What’s in the jungle? Vampire cure?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So pessimistic! Micah may have a point that things would not turn out great for him had he stayed either… of course, he could be wrong on that account. But I guess we’ll never know now!

      Probably some random gibberish L Faba is spouting…

      Poor kid, that’s harsh 😀 Make sure you let Morgyn know, I’m sure they’re not aware of that 😛

      What is in the jungle… Micah would definitely like to know. Does Morgyn even know? Who knows…

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  3. Yesss! I love flashbacks. 🙂

    I’m glad we got to see Morgyn’s backstory, though it was a very sad backstory. It explains a lot though, and it made them pretty vulnerable to Micah. Though Micah is a good guy and I don’t know if he would use this knowledge against Morgyn, well let’s hope not. I’m definitely a lot more sympathetic to Morgyn after seeing their backstory.

    I’m guessing that was Morgyn’s mentor, and it looked like she was ripping the realm apart, so I get why Morgyn fought with her.

    Omniscan ruins, I wonder what that means? Did Morgyn banish their mentor to the ruins? Or did Morgyn visit the ruins for some reason? Or does Morgyn even know anything about the ruins? And L Faba’s warning about Cordelia, I wonder what that means? I’m starting to think that Cordelia might have elf blood. She has that key necklace like L Faba and her mother was involved in strange magic rituals. Oh man, more things to ponder. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve had mixed feelings about sharing Morgyn’s backstory, but it does play such an important part in why they are the way they are. Some of what we saw today was actually hinted at in the Morgyn POV chapter, but of course not enough for you to fully know what went down in Morgyn’s past.

      You’re right, out of all the vamps in the story, it’s definitely for the best that it’s Micah that has all this information.

      I can’t really comment on the rest, other than that most of your questions will get answered eventually 😊 Some really good theories there!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh man how sinister! I love your screenies this chapter. So beautiful! Sorry I know its a super sad chapter but I can’t help but admire your screenshots. Also love how you set up Morgyn’s childhood home. Wow. Poor little thing.

    What does that red pulsating vamp thing do? I don’t know much about vampires so that red stuff is all new to me.

    I’m surprised Micah let her go. I really didn’t think she stood a chance there. I’m surprised his reluctance to be a vampire is that strong. I hope he gets his cure. But I can’t see any good going his way. Even if he manages to turn human, there’s no way they’ll let him walk free. And he’s right. In the first place, Cordelia wasn’t the vamps to claim, so the sages have somewhat of an argument to defend themselves and their actions, but Micah’s was downright betrayal. I feel sorry for him.

    Morgyn giving up his memories made me soften up to him a little. Clearly it’s something very important to him and to have him share himself like that is a pretty big sacrifice.

    Please for the love of higher beings out there, change Micah out of his dang clothes. Give him a horrible makeover, or whatever. He’s the literal definition of too hot to handle! I might just have to keep reading your story from my phone so the pictures stop distracting me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m definitely not mad about you appreciating the screenshots, that’s why I’ve put so many in this chapter in the first place, for people to enjoy – regardless of it being a sad chapter 🙂 (I mean, in a way it’s a happy chapter, since Cordelia is free now, but I totally get what you mean!) I actually almost prefer what the flashback screenshots looked like without the red filter, they were taken during a heatwave in the game, so they already had a pretty tint to them without alterations, so it almost felt like a shame to manipulate them, but I feel like Micah would have seen the memories play out through that blood lens, so so do we.

      Honestly, I’m not that well-versed in vampire gameplay so I don’t even remember how I did it, I keep messing with the various vampire abilities and being surprised by the results 😀 But in the context of the story, it’s supposed to be surplus vampiric energy “leaking” out of Micah after the duel and forcing the door open. My thought process there was since vampires can’t overcharge the way spellcasters do in the game, perhaps they just release the energy when they’ve used up a lot of it. I find it interesting to think about the differences between vampiric energy and spellcaster charge, so that’s something I may explore in the story.

      You’re right that it’s a huge risk and Micah is definitely very aware that it will be seen as a betrayal – but I suppose for him, the possibility of becoming human again is something worth taking the risk for.

      Not that I want to discourage people softening up to Morgyn, but I do have to point out that Morgyn probably didn’t know it would be those memories Micah would access. Or indeed, what exactly would happen. But then again, not knowing what exactly would happen, giving up control, that’s precisely the kind of thing that’s very difficult for Morgyn, so you are not wrong there, it would have likely felt as a big sacrifice to them.

      Oh, you mean you want Micah to get into his underwear again? I’m sure I can arrange that 😛 Lol! Hmm well being a vamp I don’t see any major makeovers happening for Micah. He does have a few different outfits though, so there’s hoping you’ll find those less distracting (probably not haha)

      (Sorry this reply is so long! You’re getting rambly me today apparently!)

      Like

  5. It’s time for another good idea, bad idea:

    Good idea: Yay! Cordelia’s free!
    Bad idea: Whoops, she’s at death’s door or close to it.
    Good idea: Woot! Go Dandy for standing up for what you believe.
    Bad idea: Uh… what he believes in has darkness?
    Good idea: Morgyn took the credit for Cordie’s rescue.
    Bad idea: Morgyn took the credit for Cordie’s rescue.
    Good idea: Morgyn saved the realm by destroying and/or banishing a power-mad mage.
    Bad idea: Morgyn shared that memory.
    No, wait that might be a good idea too.
    Good idea: Morgyn was in a sharing mood.
    Bad idea: And just about had their arm bit completely off. Uh… yum?
    Good idea: Letting us know what the hell the jungle pics is for.
    Bad idea: Keeping us in the dark.
    No, wait. That might also be a good idea.
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m lowkey proud of chapter 30, I think it’s my favourite one I did so far. Some reveals that have been teased before finally coming into play, so I was simultaneously really excited to post this and terrified about the reception because it’s kind of dark. I may have gone slightly overboard on pictures in this chapter, but I thought it was worth it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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