Chapter 48: The Former Sage

Disclaimer: Same triggers as chapter 46. No swearing in this one though!

The cave wasn’t particularly large, but it had a second entrance on the other side, one that opened into a clearing surrounded by waterfalls. And in the middle of it all, a small rickety house. One that definitely looked like somewhere an old magic sage could be hiding away from the world, Micah thought.

“You think this is it?” Cordelia asked him uncertainly.

 “Only one way to find out.” He shrugged.

He accelerated to the small porch using his vampire speed to make sure he got to the entrance before Cordelia did, to shield her just in case there was anything nefarious on the other side of the door.

Nobody answered his knock, and the door was locked. But they couldn’t have come all this way for nothing. Micah concentrated his focus on the lock.

The door swung open in front of them as soon as the burst of crimson vampiric energy left his body.

“You’ve done this before.” Cordelia noted. “In the catacombs.”

“Yes,” he nodded. Opening locked doors was an essential skill for most vampires needing to feed on unsuspecting prey, but Micah knew better than to share that with Cordelia. “Make sure you stay behind me.” He told the girl instead.

The small room they entered did seem like something fit for a spellcaster, or at least, someone rather eccentric. Micah heard footsteps above them. Cordelia hadn’t realised yet.

He stepped before her – of course she didn’t listen when he asked her to stay back. Just as he did, an old woman descended from the stairs before them. She didn’t look like he expected, not like the woman from Morgyn’s memories. Had she altered her appearance, Micah wondered?

“Well then, it’s not often an old sage gets visitors, all the way up here, especially not at this time of the night. What do I owe the pleasure?”

She was smiling and did not comment on them clearly having broken in, but that alone made Micah’s guard shoot right up. There was something off about her. Then again, perhaps that was the case with all sages.

“Sorry to disturb you,” Micah told her. Why was it that he kept finding himself apologising to strangers for trespassing these days? “We bring urgent news from the magic realm.”

“Is that so?” Her smile did not waiver. Micah wasn’t sure if she was even interested.

“The sage of untamed magic is dead.” He explained, unsure if she was aware of who held the position.

“Morgyn died? What a pity.” The woman’s hand motioned to her chest as if to express grief, but the smile hadn’t left her face. Her tone didn’t seem to match her words either.

“You knew Morgyn, right?” Cordelia asked her, although it seemed she already knew the answer.

“Why of course,” The former sage nodded nonchalantly, motioning towards the armchairs. “Have a seat, make yourselves comfortable. Would you like some tea?”

Like hell was Micah going to agree to him or Cordelia ingesting anything from this peculiar woman. “That won’t be necessary.” He glared at her as he sat down.

“Yes, I suppose tea is not a substance of your choosing, is it?” She studied his face with that fake grin of hers.

“I don’t see why my dietary preferences are relevant.” Micah shut the topic down. “We came to discuss the dead sage. I understand you may be able to help bring them back to life.”

“And why would I ever do that?” The woman sat down on the couch facing them.

“Why wouldn’t you?” Cordelia interrupted. “I… I understand you and Morgyn have a past, but is it really so bad that you want them dead? L Faba said you would help us….”

The former sage looked Cordelia up and down, as if to evaluate her. “A plea of a foolish girl in love, I see.”

Cordelia looked like a deer in headlights for a moment, but then she composed herself. “Maybe I am that, but what does that matter?”

“Perhaps the girl does not understand what she’s asking for.” The woman replied with a light shrug.

“Why do you keep speaking about me as if I wasn’t here?” Cordelia snapped at her.

Micah evaluated the situation. Clearly emotions and sympathy were not the card to play here. “I’m sure you are aware that the magic realm needs three sages present to stay stable.” He tried to appeal to the former sage’s past with the information he’d learned from Cordelia earlier that night.

“I would imagine Simeon and Luella will deal with the matter of recruiting a new sage promptly, yes.” She sounded unenthused.

“Wouldn’t reviving the existing sage be the promptest solution?” Micah tried and failed to keep his temper under control.

“Perhaps.” The woman replied non-committedly.

“So it is possible?” Cordelia interrupted. “Morgyn can be brought back to life?”

“Just because something can be done doesn’t mean it should.” The old sage said sweetly.

“Clearly you weren’t fond of Morgyn,” Micah tried to calm down. “But don’t you want to help for the sake of the magic realm? As a former sage, surely its fate must matter to you.”

“I haven’t had any involvement with the magic realm for quite some time.” She informed them. “This issue is for the current sages to deal with. It’s not my place.”

“But I already told you it was L Faba that sent us here!” Cordelia cried out.

“I heard you the first time, dear.” The woman nodded with a condescending smile. “And what does Simeon have to say about the matter?”

Neither Micah nor Cordelia were able to respond.

The woman smirked. “I thought so. Now, if you excuse me, I would like to get back to sleep for however little is left of the night.”

Another dead end. Micah looked away from Cordelia; the girl looked like she was about to burst into tears. Perhaps they have just been clinging on to false hope.

The former sage did have a point though, the night wasn’t going to last much longer.

“Come on Cordelia, let’s get out of here.” He stood up, heading for the door.

“Micah… do you seriously just want to leave?”

“What else is left to do?”

Micah could already feel the sun on the horizon when they got back outside. He felt a tingling sensation in his skin.

“What now?” Cordelia looked at him helplessly.

“The sun will rise soon.” He told her. “I’ll stay back in the cave, to take cover from the sun. You should head home.”

The truth was he wasn’t particularly planning on hiding out in the cave. It was time he stopped being a coward. The sky was clear, promising a sunny day. The waterfalls surrounding the clearing were beautiful. Seemed like as good a place as any.

“I’ll stay with you.” She told him. Of course she wasn’t going to make this easy. Typical.

“Why? There’s no reason for you to do that. There’s no reason for me to stay in Glimmerbrook now, either.” He tried to talk some sense into her. “The house is yours. Maybe you can start over.”

Cordelia stared at him, apparently adamant to make this as difficult as possible. “Where will you go?”

“I don’t know. Not really your concern.” He hoped he sounded indifferent.

“I guess not.” She said quietly. It worked.

Out of nowhere, she swayed in the spot. Micah barely managed to catch her. Looked like the events of the night finally caught up to her.

“Are you ok?”

She just shook her head in response.

“You did push yourself too hard.” He frowned. Running on no sleep and less blood than normal. Recipe for disaster. He shouldn’t have let her get to this state. They’d both gotten carried away.

“Maybe you should stay in the cave.” He sighed. His plans would have to wait. “You’d pass out if you went back in this state.”

The two of them stumbled back into the cave passage. Micah let Cordelia find herself a spot to crash in, and made sure to go to the other side of the cave. He couldn’t exactly hibernate without his coffin, but he could watch over her. From a distance. It was going to be a long day.

He heard her quiet sobs from across the cave. In spite of himself, Micah walked back to her.

“I’m sorry.” He told her softly. “There’s nothing else we could have done.”

His words seemed to just make things worse.

“I had no right to judge you.” Cordelia managed to say through the tears.

“What?”  Micah sat on the ground next to her. She was making no sense. Had to be the exhaustion.

She turned to him, teary-eyed. “Do you know why I was so set to keep going through the night?”

That much was obvious. “You were determined.” He said softly.

But Cordelia just shook her head. “No. I couldn’t face what I’ve done. I killed Morgyn.”

She hadn’t really told him what went down in the temple, but Micah highly doubted that was the case. Still, he let her carry on.

“It’s my fault they are dead. I was distracted. I wasn’t listening. Stepped right into a trap. They pushed me out of the way. It should have been me.”

She burst into tears again, and then, to Micah’s surprise she curled up in his lap, like a child.

“It’s all because of me.” She sobbed. “Morgyn, my mother… all I bring is death.”

Micah had no idea what to do. He patted her head awkwardly. “Shh.” He tried to sooth her.

“I’m so sorry.” She went on.

She was so human… he was jealous of the intensity of her emotions. Of course, she was utterly wrong.

You didn’t kill anybody. It’s not your fault.” He told her firmly.

But she wasn’t listening, sobbing softly. So he stroked her hair until she cried herself to sleep. He wished there was something he could do to take the pain away. But he had nothing.

14 thoughts on “Chapter 48: The Former Sage

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  1. Poor Cordelia. Now my heart crackled again 💔
    Obviously I’m not a vampire because I do not lack emotion 😭

    Micah is so sweet. His care for Cordelia. My heart melts completely 💗
    Now he may well forget his suicide plans for he must realize yet another death will destroy Cordelia completely.
    She needs him….. and he needs her.

    I completely forget to mention the retired sage of untamed magic. She’s really weird 🥴
    She seems kind …. but her glued smile and lack of reactions.
    I have no idea what’s going on?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww I’m sorry ❤️

      I guess this is the second time Cordelia foiled Micah’s plans. Hopefully they can help each other as you say.

      The old sage is definitely quite odd. I suppose it may make more sense once we find out more about her. Then again, maybe not 😆

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, that’s someone else entirely, yeah. Unless the woman got old and began preferring pastels over whatever shades of green and black she used to have 0.o She seems very very powerful. No wonder Cordelia’s approach isn’t working and Micah’s only got a slight response – those two probably have nothing that the woman could want 0.o

    T.T oof… they’re both so low and broken. Can I wrap both of them in a blanket and take them to the cinnamon roll pocket realm? They need to be hugged and kept safe before they actually end themselves my gods T.T

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely does not seem like the same person, unless she had plastic surgery, and like you said, prefers a vastly different style now 😆 We’ll learn a bit more about her as we go along. But you’re right, she is powerful.

      Aww bless. They could use that, yes 💔

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so liking Micah’s vampiric blast of red energy. So ominous! Clearly I don’t play the vamp pack much if at all.

    Also glad Cordy confessed to Micah, at least she finally expressed herself. Micah though, maybe it might compel him to stay a little longer. Cordy is in no state to care for herself at all, neither is he. If Micah actually carried out his plans, I can’t even imagine what Cordy will think of herself.

    I still think this lady might be the same one in Morgyn’s flashback. Style preferences can change, looks can change. There’s not much to go on except appearances tbh, so I guess we’ll have to wait. :<

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be fair I only know some of the vamp powers myself – and the blast of red energy is technically not what I use it for, but I like the visual too, and felt that there should be some visual representation of when he uses his powers 😊

      Yes, Cordelia has finally allowed herself to acknowledge Morgyn’s death and to grieve, which has resurfaced some feelings she likes to ignore. Micah’s plan was for her to return without him and him “leaving” so she wouldn’t necessarily know, but you’re right, they need each other right now, no way either of them can make it alone in their respective mental states.

      Everything’s possible at the moment! We’ll get confirmation on if it is or isn’t flashback lady soon 😊

      Like

  4. Dear Plumbob: Are you trying to give me a heart attack!?!?!?!!?!?!?!

    I thought that if I waited until the end, I would be able to put my thoughts into some kind of order, but I cannot because you broke me with these chapters (in a good way but also I’m completely in denial about Morgyn AND EVERYTHING IS FINE, WHY WOULD YOU ASK?).

    :: deep breaths:: Let me start with Micah. I really felt it when he was lying in bed, letting himself waste away. He was calling himself a coward for not being will to meet the sun and end his existence which was just heartbreaking but also felt so real. I never thought of Micah as a self-centered character. Not selfish, mind you, but focused on himself. But these past few chapters really brought out the pain and self-loathing he struggles with and his desire to punish himself or else and be free of this thing he considers a curse. The whole time, I was reminded of this saying: “If you can’t be happy anywhere, you can’t be happy anywhere.” All this time, I don’t think Micah gave real thought to what it would mean not to be a vampire anymore. How would that change his life if he still hated himself?

    And here’s the kicker: he needs other people. Once he had Cordelia to think about and worry about, he was able to shove those feelings aside. And sure, it started as a “necessity,” but his lack of hope and Cordelia’s over-abundance of it really balance each other out. More than anything, I think being around someone else and taking care of them gives him a break from what’s going on inside his head.

    Something, ahem, I believe Morgyn mentioned when they desired that their two lovers might be friends and support each other. But more on that, and my theory, later.

    Next is Cordelia. OMFG, I wanted to crawl out of my own skin things were so awkward going into the temple. All she could think about sexy times with the Sage and Morgyn is like: can we focus, please? I felt so bad like we were cruising for a really embarrassing relationship moment and then BAM! You flipped the script, and I actually gasped out loud, which is FINE, BECAUSE THE SAGE OF UNTAMED MAGIC WILL BE FINE AND I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY YOU KEEP HINTING OTHERWISE.

    Anyways, I’m not convinced that Cordelia came with “no magic.” And I am trying to decide if she is under the influence of a potion gone wrong or just getting it together to be the badass I know is inside of her. I mean, its been easy to forget that Cordelia is a survivor. She is scrappier than she comes off. In the face of Morgyn and all these spell casters, she has always appeared meek and unsure of herself. But…what if this was inside her and the potion just brought it out?

    And now, I come to Morgyn. I’ve been working with this theory that we don’t know their age. How long have they been casting this youthful glow spell?

    But I think that’s just a distraction.

    What if Morgyn knew what was going to happen to them? Maybe not in detail but broad strokes? It’s never been clear to me exactly what they are searching for or what their endgame is. They pretend to just like novelty, but that ain’t it. I think meeting Cordelia and seeing the sprites was a signal. Maybe they didn’t plan to die (I think their decision to save Cordelia was heartfelt), but I think they have some bigger force that gives them clues and drives them towards something they think is their destiny.

    Oh man, this was SO GOOD. I need the next chapters immediately.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry! I didn’t really plan to have such a stream of emotionally charged depressing chapters, it just kind of happened… Err, I mean, everything is fine, like you said! Totally!

      Micah… He’s not necessarily inherently self-centred, but it’s very hard to look outwards when someone is as low as he is right now. You’re right, not being a vampire would not magically fix all the guilt and pain he’s carrying around. He got a bit of a taste of that when he discovered Sylvan Glade and Dandy offered him that fruit and he couldn’t handle it. He’s now confronted with things he’s not prepared for, including Morgyn not being here anymore to somehow magically flip a reverse switch (of course, Morgyn never said that was something they were capable of in the first place).

      Yes, definitely. Focusing on helping Cordelia gives him some kind of purpose, however brief.

      Morgyn did mention that, yes.

      Yep, Cordelia got completely swept up in the sexy times and didn’t focus on much of anything else in the temple. She definitely wishes she hadn’t done that now, but you know, hindsight…

      Interesting theory about Cordelia. She definitely is quite scrappy, and has her weird resilience, she’s almost so determined to be resilient that she’ll do it at any cost.

      We don’t really know how old Morgyn was, yes. Actually, we don’t really know how old anyone is, with the exception of Cordelia, and perhaps Micah (since we know he became a vampire in his twenties and has been a vampire for 13 years). Other than that, who really knows?

      I can’t really say anything to confirm or deny your theory about Morgyn, other than that whatever happens now, we will get a bit more clarity on what it was that Morgyn was seeking in the temple.

      Thank you! ❤️ Chapter 49 is out already (I just need to stop procrastinating and actually update my index) – though I guess you read that already based on bits of your comment! Chapter 50 is coming Thursday or Friday, I think 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Glad you agree, everything is fine!

        Oh dang, I didn’t even think about the fact that we don’t know how old anyone is. My poor theory! Falling apart before my eyes! Lolololol

        These chapters were awesome though.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I definitely don’t think the sage in the woods is Morgyn’s ex-mentor. I guess she could be disguising herself, and I could be wrong, but this lady didn’t give me the same vibes as Morgyn’s ex-mentor. I actually kind of sympathize with her. She’s just trying to enjoy her time alone in the woods, and some random people (not to mention a vampire) break into her house and just start asking her questions about the magic realm and bringing back a sage from the dead. I’m guessing there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes that Cordelia and Micah don’t understand, so it makes some sense that she isn’t very forthcoming. Maybe there are costs associated with bringing back a sage from the dead and the cost would be too great to justify. Or maybe she was wronged in some way and she doesn’t care if the realm gets torn apart. Not to mention, it seems like she also wants Simeon’s approval before she helps out.

    I am liking ferosha’s theory in that Morgyn might have known this would happen or that their time was limited.

    I do feel bad for Cordelia in that she blames herself for every one that dies in her life. But Micah is right, it isn’t her fault. And Micah likes to think he is unemotional and doesn’t know what to do in situations like this, but that’s probably the best thing he could do for Cordelia. Just listen to her and comfort her. I think he has a bigger heart than he lets on, but his self-loathing gets in the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find this perspective on the old sage very refreshing. You’re not wrong, they did just break into her (secluded) house in the middle of the night and demanded that she goes back to her old place of work she retired from to perform some kind spell that not all of the current sages are particularly on board with, all the while not even knowing what’s involved or what tradeoffs there might be. Why would she be compelled to just go along with that request?

      Yes, Micah claims to be jealous of Cordelia’s capability of that raw emotion here, meanwhile his own pain possibly runs even deeper than hers.

      Liked by 1 person

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