Chapter 47: Over My Dead Body

The magic realm looked nothing like Cordelia had seen it before. The air was filled with static, and several lightnings would strike all around them, seconds apart, or even all at the same time.

She looked at Micah, almost feeling his tension.

 “This isn’t normal, even for here.” He said with a frown, scanning the area.

She shook her head. For once, she actually knew more about something than he did. “The magic realm needs three sages living in it at all times, to stop it from getting ripped apart.” She explained.

“Oh.” The vampire paused. “I suppose that should make them cooperative, then.”

The headed up the stairs and into the HQ building as quickly as possible to avoid the storm.

It was a strange sight that greeted them. The two sages stood in the middle of the circle in the entrance hall, back to back, profusely casting a series of spells, one after the other. They were probably trying to hold off insane storm outside, Cordelia figured.

It took the sages a moment to realise they had visitors. L Faba took notice of them first.

“Ah, lovely, Morgyn’s toys.” The mischief sage’s eyes narrowed at the sight of them.

“I’m sure you can appreciate we don’t have time for visitors right now.” Simeon interjected. “Unless you have any useful information on where Morgyn is, I must insist that you leave now.”

Cordelia couldn’t bring herself to say the words out loud again, but thankfully she didn’t have to. Micah took the lead on the conversation.

“Dead.” He said flatly. “Morgyn’s dead.”

To Cordelia’s shock, Simeon didn’t even hesitate. “Well. That certainly explains the situation.” The practical magic sage scoffed. “Brilliant. Suppose it was a matter of time till Morgyn got themself killed.”

Surely that couldn’t be all Simeon had to say about the death of a fellow sage…

“Morgyn believed they would come back from… wherever they are.” Cordelia told them. She noticed how shaky her voice sounded.

“Of course they believed that.” Simeon sneered. This could not be happening.

“So there is no way?” Micah jumped in, the aggravation in his voice clear. “I thought untamed magic can bring the dead back, as long as the death is recent.”

“The untamed magic sage can in revive people in some instances, yes.” Simeon sounded a bit calmer now. “But seeing as our current predicament is that we are a missing an untamed magic sage, that’s obviously not an option.”

“We recovered a relic in Selvadorada, from an old temple. Morgyn thought it was important. Would that be of any help?” Cordelia pleaded with Simeon.

The two sages exchanged looks, but they looked more perplexed than anything else, as far as Cordelia could tell.

“I’m afraid I have no idea how a relic from Selvadorada would be relevant.” Simeon finally replied.

There had to be more, something the sages were not telling them, but clearly they didn’t want to elaborate…

It seemed Micah shared Cordelia’s sentiment. “So you’ve got nothing? Nothing at all? And you’ll do nothing?” His voice echoed through the hall.

“On the contrary, we have our hands full.” Simeon’s tone was cold. “Clearly, we need to ensure a new sage of untamed magic ascends as quickly as possible, before the realm becomes entirely unstable.”

Cordelia couldn’t believe it. Sure, the practical magic sage never took a particular interest in her, but he never seemed unkind to her. How could he be so indifferent to Morgyn’s fate?

“Do you really think we can just conjure a new untamed magic sage out of thin air?” L Faba’s high-pitched voice pierced through the hall as she addressed Simeon.

Come to think of it, this was the first time the mischief sage had spoken since acknowledging their arrival.

“There’s nothing else that can be done.” Simeon told her sharply. The two sages glared at each other for a brief moment, but Cordelia couldn’t decipher what was going on between them.

L Faba’s face turned stiff. “Do you have anyone in mind?” She asked. “Morgyn didn’t exactly name a successor.”

“Darrel Charm has shown a great deal of promise in multiple schools.” Simeon’s voice lacked the enthusiasm his words seemed to imply.

“Darrel Charm?” L Faba repeated, her tone condescending. “What exactly screams untamed about that man? He’s been tamed to such a level it surprises me he can find his way to the HQ from under Emilia’s thumb.”

“Do you have any better suggestions?” The practical magic sage snapped back at her.

Micah cleared his throat loudly in an obvious attempt to remind the sages of their presence. Simeon turned back to him, distracted.

“We appreciate your visit.” The practical magic sage said curtly. “If you could please bring the relic you mentioned back to the realm. I will examine it once we’ve made arrangements for the more immediately pressing issues.”

Was that really it? “Do you not care about Morgyn at all?” Cordelia couldn’t help the words escaping her lips.

Simeon remained unphased. “If someone continues to play with fire, eventually they get burnt.”

“Thanks for nothing.” Micah hissed.

Everything was a haze to Cordelia as they made their exit. She could barely see all the lightnings surrounding them when they walked out of the door. Micah was looking at her, but she barely saw him either.

Tears rushed into her eyes. She hadn’t cried in the ruin, or when she returned to Glimmerbrook. But now… Morgyn was gone. Really gone.

“Wait.” A shrill voice called out from behind them.

Cordelia tried to compose herself at the sight of L Faba. She knew seeing her cry would just give the mischief sage satisfaction. But she was unable to speak without breaking into tears again.

“What now?” Micah grunted in the sage’s direction impatiently.

“There might be a way.” L Faba said, not really looking at them. “Simeon is right, master spells like dedeathify can only be performed by the sage of the school in most cases, but exceptions… are possible.”

Exceptions? There was hope after all? Cordelia stared at the sage, bewildered.

“At a time like this, when a sage has been lost, a former sage can join forces with the remaining ones in order to cast the spell using their cumulative charge.” L Faba continued.

Former sage. Cumulative charge. What on earth did that mean? Cordelia’s head was spinning.

“What are you saying?” Micah asked, apparently equally confused.

“A retired sage lives deep within the Granite Falls woods. The woods right outside of Glimmerbrook?” She added impatiently when she saw their blank faces. “Shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours to get there.”

“Convince the old sage to come here, and perhaps with her help, Simeon and I may be able to revive Morgyn.”

“Simeon didn’t sound like he was exactly on board with that.” Micah pointed out.

“Let me worry about Simeon.” L Faba shrugged his words off.

It was bizarre. The mischief sage was the last person Cordelia had expected favours from.

“Why are you helping us?” She asked the sage.

“Helping you? I’m just trying to do what’s best for the realm. Look around you.” L Faba motioned to the lightning-filled sky. “Clearly, we need a sage of untamed magic. But having the likes of Darrel Charm ascend would be an insult to our status. Over my dead body… and of course, we really can’t afford any more dead sages, so… off to Granite Falls with you.”

Cordelia hesitated. The last time she took a trip somewhere on the mischief sage’s recommendation, things did not exactly go as planned. Was it really a good idea to listen to her? But then, what other choice did they have?

Micah didn’t appear particularly convinced either. “How do we know it’s not a trap?”

L Faba smirked. “You don’t, I suppose. But what else are the two of you going to do all on your own, without your precious puppeteer?”

***

“Are you sure you’re up for this hike?” Micah turned to Cordelia. “I get that this needs to be done quickly, especially with the state of the magic realm, but you should stay at home. You lost a lot of blood, and it’s late. You really need to sleep. I can just go alone.”

Perhaps he had a point. They only returned home briefly, but Cordelia had insisted they left as soon as she got changed. She did feel lightheaded, and it was the middle of the night, but she refused to stop. How could she just go to sleep now anyway?

“And convince the sage to help us? What if she doesn’t want to come with a vampire?” She retorted.

“I think you’ll find vampires can be quite convincing.”

A heaviness washed over Cordelia. She may have pushed their earlier talk aside, but she had not forgotten.

“You mean you would convince her by threatening to kill her.” She said quietly.

“If I have to. If I have to threaten her, not kill her.” He added when he saw Cordelia’s look.

She stopped, unable to keep her emotions contained any longer. “But you have killed! You killed someone who loved you, no less.”

“Thanks for the reminder.”

She felt dizzy. The whole conversation was making her sick. “How can you live with yourself?”

 “I don’t know.” Micah paused. There was a hollowness to his voice.

“Look, I’m sure your time in Forgotten Hollow has given you a pretty solid indication of what vampires are.” He carried on eventually. “We are monsters. Everybody in that house wanted every last drop of your blood. It is what it is.”

He was right, of course. So why was there still a part of her that desperately wanted to believe he was a good person, in spite of all reason pointing to the contrary?

“But you didn’t…. that’s what I don’t understand. You didn’t hurt me. You saved me. You say you don’t kill now. So why did you do it before?”

“You think it’s just a simple matter of deciding not to?” Micah’s face turned into an ugly grimace. “Do you have any idea what it’s like to fight what you are every single night!? To tear yourself away from the very blood flow that keeps you alive? Do you think I knew how to do that from the start? That the faces from those early days don’t haunt me? That it’s easy to control even now?”   

His voice broke off all of the sudden, and his anger seemed gone.

“I’m sorry.” He shook his head. “I shouldn’t have yelled. You’re right. About everything. About me. I agree with you. I shouldn’t be able to live with myself. I shouldn’t live at all. Let’s just… find this damn sage.”

Cordelia’s emotions were all over the place. It was clear he regretted what happened. That he was in pain. But that didn’t make things right. And yet, she wanted to understand. She caught up to him.

“What is it like? Drinking blood.”

“What?” He stared at her in disbelief. “You were there. You see what I see.”

Cordelia’s mind wandered back to earlier in the night. Him feeding on her had been a strange trip down the memory lane, her life flashing before her eyes, somehow amplified. “So all of my memories… you saw that?”

“Yes.” He gave her a small nod. “That’s how it works. Vampires drain life itself. Life… is pretty addicting.”

The words sent an unpleasant shiver down her spine, but she had to know more. “Addicting?”

Micah sighed, clearly not wanting to get any deeper.

“You don’t really get much of a life as a vampire.” He told her reluctantly. “But when you drink blood, see the memories of those who do live… you feel alive, through them. That’s why it’s hard to stop. Especially with people like you.” He added, his voice bitter.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“When I feed, the memories that pour out are the ones with the strongest emotions attached to them.” Micah explained. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t get the impression you’ve had an easy life. But apart from your mother’s death, your memories, the strong ones… they were all good ones. You look for the good in life. In people. Even when you shouldn’t. She was like that. Carys.”

His words stunned her. She didn’t know what to think anymore. All of her thoughts had turned into a conflicting jumbled mess. But why was she conflicted? Clearly, the sane response to him comparing her to that girl should be to run. Didn’t that admission alone mean that she wasn’t safe with him?

You mean how Morgyn wasn’t safe with you in that temple? A little voice at the back of her head said.

She couldn’t bear to think about that.

“I… I think we’re at a dead end.” Cordelia noted weakly, changing the subject. The path before them did seem to end, nothing but a rocky mountain covered in shrubs ahead. 

Micah shook his head. “We’re not. There’s some sort of a cave. Through those branches.”

He walked closer to the cave opening. “Deep in the woods…. That’s got to be it.”

“You think the old sage lives in a cave?” Cordelia hesitated. But Micah wasn’t paying attention, already clearing the branches in the way.

“Why not?” He said, not bothering to turn back. “Doesn’t your elf friend live in a tree?”

13 thoughts on “Chapter 47: Over My Dead Body

Add yours

  1. The magic realm is about to crack after Morgyn is gone. Their carelessness has had major consequences.
    Micah and Cordelia’s news is not kindly received. They are both losing all hope. Cordelia mourns and Micah is angry. Their personality is evident.

    Suddenly, L. Faba tells them about a possible solution. Now they are embarking on an unknown journey, to look for a retired sage of untamed magic ….
    Micah and Cordelia’s relationship is quite ambivalent, but they have a common goal that keeps them together, despite the danger of Micah’s bloodlust.

    I love how you take advantage of all the secret areas of the game. I’m really excited about what they meet in Deep Woods ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely some serious consequences for the magic realm, yes!

      I like what you’ve pointed out about Cordelia and Micah’s different responses. And yes, they sure have some mixed feelings about each other now, Cordelia more so (I mean, Micah has mixed feelings about himself too, let’s be honest – poor dude). But for now they’re sticking things out.

      Thank you! I tend to forget about the hidden lots, but they are all so pretty and offer something a bit different from the usual scenery, so I hope to use them all 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved the opening scene with all the lightning. It definitely feels like the story is starting to pick up the pace from here, like they are on a timer to find a sage so the realm doesn’t get torn apart. And Darrell Charm? Yeah, I have to agree with L Faba on that one. I’m surprised Simeon didn’t suggest Tomax since he trained with Morgyn, but maybe he’s not as good of a spellcaster as Darell.

    I am wondering who this sage in the woods is? It can’t be Morgyn’s past mentor, it seemed like he did something to burn her to death, unless that’s what they wanted us to believe and somehow she survived. I can’t wait to see what’s (or rather who’s) on the other side of the cave. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Some changes to pace happening, yes. And consequences bigger than just Cordelia and Micah’s fate. The magic realm is in trouble, that’s for sure.

      Well, Tomax is not that experienced of a spellcaster, so to be considered as the next sage, he’d have to be extremely talented. Darrel has both a natural talent and quite a bit of magical training under his belt, and comes from a well-respected long lineage of spellcasters. But yes, not particularly untamed as a person.

      All we really saw in Morgyn’s memory about his old mentor was that they duelled, and of course there are rumours flying about the magic realm about what exactly went down between the two of them… I suppose we may find out!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. First ima say I loveeeee what you did to the magic realm. I’m assuming it’s photo manipulation? Really pretty! Am kinda worried for that tree on the right. I’m pretty sure if it wasn’t a magical land it’ll be on fire now. xD

    Maybe it’s the cumulation of me thinking about Cordy and Dandy throughout but didn’t comment, waiting to see if she would change as a person and Dandy’s reveal. According to Micah’s interpretation of her rainbow world, she hasn’t. And I’m not sure whether to shake my head or sigh. I get Morgyn’s attraction, I personally like that trait given the field I’m in, and as do many parents who sigh at their children growing up and recounting simpler days. But the danger that comes with it is too high a price to bear, and the cost that comes with it is in how their loved ones pay for it. Anyway, I’ll stop being a Faba lol.

    Super excited to see what happens with the previous sage. Are we finally meeting whoever Morgyn fought with? Would be interesting to see if the hermit would help them even.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yeah it’s some Photoshop tweaking, though a mod allowing weather in the magic realm would be sick!

      Hah, Dandy reveal, and Dandy didn’t even appear in this chapter 😅 I will say that Cordelia and Dandy are not necessarily the same – but given Micah and Dandy’s last interaction, it’s unlikely Micah will have a taste of Dandy’s blood to give you a comparison 😄 I get what you’re saying though! I guess we shall see what cost will be paid by who, after all, so far, ironically it was Morgyn who paid the highest price.

      We’ll learn more about the sage in the woods soon 😂

      Like

  4. Yes, yes, yummy lore!

    Hmm, the sages do seem rather unconcerned. I’m sure everything will therefore be fine. I like this ticking clock you’ve created. Not because the magic realm is about to explode, but because Morgyn is probably being pulled to bits by all those snakes and spiders back in Selvadorada by now; can’t imagine tomb dwellers get a lot of fresh meat. Rooting for Zombie Morgyn. 😁

    Poor Micah. We’ve all got to get on with life/unlife and not dwell on all those people we killed in our wild youths, dude. If he needs a brain wipe, I can recommend someone. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, more lore about sages to come… at some point 😀

      Everything is totally fine, yep. No cause for concern at all. I mean, this is actually very stressed for Simeon’s levels. Poor Simeon. All he wants is to be sensible and yet everything keeps blowing up lol. Zombie Morgyn and Zombie Sandy would have a whale of a time together I’m sure.

      Hah. Oh goodness, imagine Micah and Seth interacting. Oof. I feel like it wouldn’t go very well haha. But yes. Doesn’t help all his brooding and dwelling on the past that Cordelia is asking about it all so much.

      Like

  5. Ehehe I love Faba. She’s a bitch, but a boss bitch 😎
    She may not like Cory or Micah but she’s reasonable enough to take all chances she got to save the magic realm.
    From Darrel 😂🤣
    And tbh she’s not wrong in calling Cory & Micah Morgyn’s puppets. They did manipulate their toys as they liked, after all. I hope calling the kids out on it will make them at least think a little, at least Micah. I almost gave up on Cory, though 😅

    Cory is still so confused and all over the place with her mind v.v but it is good to see her come alive a little more- well, emotionally xD Anyway she clearly hasn’t made much effort yet to try and understand Micah, or she wouldn’t blame him now, after all the time they spent together. Buuut I’m glad she finally does. Maybe it will help her get out of her victim role.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This pleases me ❤ I actually love L Faba and I really wish I could give her more screentime. Her time will come though, but not yet. And yeah, I mean clearly Darrel Charm is the worst threat to the magic realm right now lol 😀

      Cordelia sure has a lot of work she needs to do on herself. She's all over the place, but you're right, at least she's kind of responding now, even though blaming Micah is not exactly an answer. Then again, she has a lot to process!

      Liked by 1 person

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