Cordelia heard the chimes as she shut the till after she’d finished counting the cash. Typical. Grace had already dolloped off for her hot date tonight, and Cordelia was just wrapping up.
“Sorry, we’re closed!” She called out. Whoever entered should really know from the sign on the door…
“Even for an urgent order for the Magic Headquarters?”
Her eyes shot up from the till. Not that she needed to check. As if she wouldn’t recognise Morgyn’s voice anywhere.
No. Don’t do this to yourself again, she tried to reason with herself.
“I’ve processed the last order myself, the HQ is good for everything we carry.” She said stiffly. “If there’s anything else that’s needed, we don’t have it in stock at the moment. But we both know don’t handle any of the HQ orders yourself anyway.”
“You got me.” Morgyn smiled. “Perhaps my visit is a bit more personal in nature.”
Personal in nature. Cordelia pleaded with her stupid heart to calm down. Do not fall for it. It will just hurt more in the end…
“Then I’m afraid I can’t help you.” She managed. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to lock up.”
“Very well, I’ll take my leave.” The sage nodded. “But aren’t you even the least bit curious to know why I came here?”
And before she could react in any way, Morgyn left the shop.
Of course she was curious. But she couldn’t just follow them out. That was exactly what the sage wanted her to do, wasn’t it? Nope, nope, nope…
If only her feet listened to her head. But she was through the door already. And of course, Morgyn was still lingering around.
“What did you want, Morgyn?” Rats. Why was she so weak?
“Maybe I just missed you.” The spellcaster beamed at her. She’d been dying to hear those words. But Morgyn knew that, she reminded herself.
“I doubt that. I’m sure Micah’s been keeping you… occupied.” She stressed the last word.
“Why don’t we set Micah aside for a moment,” the sage said quickly.
Good one, Cordelia thought. Ignoring Micah’s existence was not exactly easy when he lived under the same roof as her. Surely Morgyn had to realise that. So why were they here, messing with her head even more?
“How would you like to travel to Selvadorada with me?” The sage asked.
Out of all the things she could have imagined them saying, this was not one of them. “Selvadorada?” She’d never even heard of the place.
“A destination known for the vast jungles, ancient Omniscan culture, delicious food and of course, sensual music.” Morgyn’s eyes twinkled.
“What? I don’t understand.” Cordelia’s head was spinning. Did Morgyn just come here to taunt her? “Wouldn’t that be the kind of place you’d go to with your boyfriend?”
“Micah is not my boyfriend.”
“Well, whatever you call it,” She insisted, praying that Morgyn would not get into the finer details of their relationship with Micah. All of this was too painful and awkward as it was already.
“There’s a temple deep in the Belomisia Jungle that holds an ancient power lost in time,” the sage explained. Except their words were just making her understand less and less. Belomisia Jungle? Ancient power?
Cordelia couldn’t even think of what to ask anymore. She just stared at Morgyn, waiting for them to start making sense.
“I believe the temple might be a source of knowledge allowing me to gain deeper control of raw untamed magic, and well, the world around us in general.” The sage concluded.
“Right… um… good for you?” She was less and less confident in what it was the spellcaster wanted by the minute. It just seemed like a sick joke of some kind. “You should go. I do really need to lock up.”
“I haven’t forgotten about the last thing you said to me.” Morgyn said quietly. “And you were right, I never did make good on my promise to help you with your sprite predicament.”
She was taken aback. “You think that whatever is in the temple could help with the sprites?”
The sage’s response was evasive. “Even I don’t know everything.” Was this Morgyn’s way of saying they didn’t have a clue, Cordelia wondered? “But it’s worth a try to explore options, don’t you think? Worst case scenario, it will be a pleasant little getaway, just for the two of us. There is still that Selvadoradian food and music, after all.”
Just the two of them, in some exotic country far away. And maybe even a chance to finally get rid of the sprites once and for all… no, it had to be too good to be true, didn’t it?
“I… I don’t think Darrel would let me take any more time off work.” Cordelia used the last bit of willpower she had to reason with Morgyn, and more importantly, with her dumb heart. “With the time I missed at the beginning of the year…”
“I’m sure I can come to an agreement with him.” Morgyn interrupted her. “You don’t need to answer straight away. You’re apprehensive, I understand. It is a bit of a long shot. The ruins may not have any answers for you. Whether you want to find out or not is your own decision to make. But Cordelia, do not make that decision on the account of someone as insignificant as Darrel Charm.”
She was speechless. Not that the sage really waited for a response. “Anyway, that’s all I had to say. I won’t keep you.” Morgyn turned around and headed down the stairs.
The sage knew exactly what they were doing, didn’t they? If she really thought about it, Cordelia realised that. But if she was fully honest with herself, she was also well aware that her mind had lost the battle with her heart already.
“Morgyn?” She called after the sage. The spellcaster only partly turned around, stopping at the bottom of the steps. “I will go.”
“Splendid.” Morgyn offered her one of their smiles. “I’ll arrange your leave with Darrel, you just focus on getting packed. I’ll pick you up at the house tomorrow morning.”
And with that, Morgyn disappeared with a flash.
Tomorrow morning. That was a lot sooner than Cordelia expected. Her emotions were all over the place. She felt anxious, curious, and above all, confused.
And to top it all off, her stupid heart also insisted that a small fraction of her should feel at least a little excited in spite of everything too.