Chapter 53: Fixation

No matter how many times Micah had visited the magic realm, it seemed there was always a new portal he hadn’t gone through yet.

He looked around as they emerged on the other side of the field. It seemed awfully quiet. From what he’d been told, Spooky Day was supposed to mean a huge fair would take place in the magic realm, but there was nothing of that sort in sight.

“So, where are we? I was expecting fairgrounds.”

“The Spooky Day fair is a bit of a gimmick. I like to show my face there, it’s good for appearances… but not much more.” Morgyn shrugged. They seemed impatient. Excited, almost. “The real power of today lies elsewhere. But I suppose Cordelia wouldn’t know that – I assume it was her who told you about it?”

“It was Dandelion, actually.” Micah corrected the sage.

The elf seemed to think very highly of the fair, even though this year, he wasn’t going – apparently him and Cordelia were playing dress up in the glade. Micah was glad they were reconnecting again.

Morgyn raised an eyebrow. “You’ve been spending a lot of time with Dandelion.”

Strange observation, Micah thought. Morgyn never seemed to care much for what Micah did in his own time. He wasn’t sure why this would be any different.

“Why wouldn’t I?” He looked at Morgyn.

“He’s very young.” The sage didn’t elaborate, forcing Micah to keep digging.

“How old is Dandelion, exactly?” It was something he’d wondered before, but he never got a straight question out of the elf.

“To my knowledge, he’s around 30 years younger than L Faba.” Morgyn tilted their head, doing the math. “Which would make him 58 years old, 60, at most.”

Micah hadn’t expected that. That would make the elf much older than him, even though he’d been frozen in time for the last 14 years. “And that’s young?”

“For an elf, yes. Their lifespan is significantly longer than that of humans, which means their aging is… proportionate. Most of them don’t fully mature until their seventies. Of course, some never do, if the mischief sage is anything to go by…” Morgyn sneered, trailing off.

“My point is, he still has the mind of a child, a young adolescent boy, perhaps.” The sage concluded.

“That… explains a lot.” Micah thought out loud.

“Doesn’t explain how the two of you could possibly hold a stimulating conversation. Him and Cordelia, I can maybe understand, but you?”

Micah felt strangely offended – he wasn’t sure if it was on Cordelia’s behalf or Dandelion’s, but the spellcaster’s tone didn’t sit right with him either way.

“He has a good heart.” He told the sage stiffly.

Morgyn smirked. “Ah, yes. A pure heart, would you say?”

So the sage was aware about the Sylvan Glade protective spell, then, Micah concluded. He tried to downplay his reaction. “You know much about the whole ‘only the pure of heart’ business?”

“About having a pure heart? Have you met me?” Morgyn chuckled. “Anyway, here we are.”

The tall gate opened before them. The path was lined with tombstones, winding around two large crypts.

“A cemetery?” Micah looked at the sage.

“You’re the one always fixating on the dead. Who better to bring?” Morgyn said casually. “I thought this might be a good experience for you. To show you what the dead are actually good for. A lesson, if you will.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Micah snapped. Did the sage just bring him here to mock him? “My fixation on the dead worked out well for you, don’t you think?”

Morgyn ignored his question. “Just follow me.” Their tone was calm.

Micah sighed. He couldn’t help but wonder about the place, though. “Who gets buried of the magic realm?”

“Spellcasters, of course. Powerful ones, typically. Mostly sages. It’s considered an honour to be buried here… make no mistake, I have no intentions of being buried here. I have no intentions of being buried at all.”

That wasn’t particularly surprising to Micah.

“Almost got your wish then, rotting away in some temple in the middle of Selvadorada instead.” He said sarcastically. “Much better than being buried.”

Morgyn gave him a strange look. “I don’t want to fight, Micah. I meant what I said. I thought you might find this useful to get some perspective.”

“Care to tell me why we’re here, then?”

“It’s an old tradition to draw power from the graves of deceased spellcasters. Using their magical energy for the present. Instead of getting lost in the past.” Morgyn emphasised the last few words.

Micah hesitated. Did he misinterpret the sage’s words? Morgyn always seemed to have an agenda. This was probably no different.

They followed the path until they reached a large marble tombstone towards the back of the cemetery. Neither of them said anything for a moment.

“Who’s buried here?” Micah asked, breaking the silence.

“Aine, the former sage of the untamed.” Morgyn said. “You’ve had the pleasure of meeting her, in a way.”

“The spectral woman from the ritual. The one from your memories.”

“The one and only.” The sage confirmed. Micah could detect an undertone in Morgyn’s voice, but he couldn’t place it. Resentment? Admiration? Both? The woman was their mentor, after all, from what the vampire understood.

It was unusual for Morgyn to pause this much. No doubt there was plenty on their mind, but as per usual, they weren’t sharing it.

Micah opted for the question that he found would be most useful to him. “You know what I don’t understand? You said all dead move on fairly quickly. The memory I saw… seemed like quite some time ago. But her ghost…”

Because if this woman could still come back after such a long time, than surely…

“Her ghost has very much not moved on?” Morgyn finished the sentence. “Yes. I suppose some ghosts refuse to let go, if they feel they have a strong enough reason to stay, unfinished business. But that is not the norm.”

“What exactly classes as unfinished business?” Micah asked. “I’m assuming her unfinished business was with you.”

“Clearly. I suppose our little duel that you saw was long overdue.” Morgyn nodded distractedly. “In a sense, you could almost say, I helped her move on.”

“Ever the altruist.” Micah laughed under his breath. The sage didn’t respond. Instead, they knelt down beside the grave, muttering something to themselves.

An eerie mist lifted from the grave and absorbed into Morgyn. It enveloped Morgyn for a moment, and then it disappeared. The spellcaster stood up.

“Looks to me as if you’re making sure she’s definitely gone.” Micah said sarcastically.

“Perhaps.” Morgyn replied quietly, not taking their eyes off the tombstone.

“Cordelia said there’s rumours around the magic realm that you killed Aine.” Micah couldn’t help himself but comment.

The sage’s reply was noncommittal. “Oh yes, they do say that.”

“Is it true?”

Morgyn turned around to Micah. “Why would I tell you that?”

Typical. “I’ve told you about those I killed. Seems fair.” Micah pointed out, trying to stay as calm as possible.

“What if the answer doesn’t help you?”

Of course Morgyn’s reply was not a reply at all.

Micah let out a sigh of frustration. “Whatever. Guess I saw enough of the memory to fill in the blanks.

The sage looked into his eyes. “You were right when you said that your inability to move on was in my favour. But it’s not in yours. You need to let go of the dead, Micah.”

Micah suddenly wasn’t sure what to do with himself. He looked away from Morgyn. “How did you do it?”

“Do what?” Morgyn frowned. “Kill Aine? I didn’t.”

Not what he was asking, but there it was. Perhaps Micah was the only monster in the graveyard after all. “Oh.”

“I suppose, in a sense you could say I killed her during the duel you witnessed, but can you really kill someone who is already dead? In any case, I told you the answer won’t be of any use to you.”

“What I actually meant was how you let go of the dead.” The vampire clarified. “If not her, then your parents.”

He knew it was below the belt to bring that up, but Micah couldn’t help himself. He needed… something.

“Micah, no.” Morgyn stopped him. “You don’t want to be like me.”

Micah finally allowed his frustrations to air. “A cop out answer, as per usual.” He hissed. “You talk about all these grand lessons you want to teach me, but then you never really share, so what do you expect me to learn?”

The sage didn’t reply immediately, turning away from him instead.

“Perhaps the lesson is that you shouldn’t look to me for answers.” The said slowly. “Because sometimes… I may not have them.”

At first Micah was shocked that Morgyn would admit to something like that. That they’re not always as in control as they’d like to claim. A strange, almost inappropriate relief washed over him, the corners of his mouth curling up. He suddenly felt light.

“Hang on. The sage of the untamed, the all-brilliant Morgyn, the well of infinite wisdom… are you actually saying that you don’t have it all together?” He teased, wrapping his arm around Morgyn.

Morgyn looked up at him conspicuously. “It can be our little secret.”

14 thoughts on “Chapter 53: Fixation

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  1. A perfect chapter in time for Halloween. 🙂

    Some interesting information about elves. So Dandy is basically an adolescent. I still wonder about L Faba’s and Dandy’s past together, and if the glade has always been in Glimmerbrook. That’s sweet that Micah got offended about Morgyn’s comment about Cordelia being friends with Dandy and Micah even stood up for him.

    Well, Morgyn didn’t reveal a lot, but they did reveal something, so that’s a start. 🙂 But Morgyn is still shady. I wonder why they were going to the graveyard? I feel like there is more to it than just checking that Aine is gone. I still wonder if them dying in Selvadorada was a way to bring Aine back just so Morgyn could fully rid her from the realm.

    And now I wonder if Carys has fully moved on and if there is still hope of bringing her back? Micah’s probably thinking the same thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes, it was mentioned early on that elves live longer than humans, but apparently it took me till chapter 53 to explain it more properly, haha. There’s definitely plenty more to discover about Dandy and Faba’s past, and we will be get into it eventually, I promise.

      Morgyn definitely wasn’t particularly clear on what exactly they were doing, although you’re right, they did open up slightly – or for their baseline levels, a lot.

      I’m sure Micah is wondered the same, though Morgyn did say Aine was more of an exception. I suppose it depends on whether you think Carys would have had a reason to linger for 14 years.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmm, I knew that Dandy and L Faba are much older than Cordelia and Micah (being elves, of course) but never considered their age comparison towards each other. And how old might Morgyn be compared to them anyway? Haha… interesting age timeline here.

    I wonder what Cordelia would think of this date (I think)? She knows much less than Micah does about everything, it seems, so I’m kind of worried for her, lol.

    Hmm, what is Morgyn afraid to tell Micah? Usually people with regrets get anxious when trying to lie to others, so I wonder what happened in his past? I think it might be interesting… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good question! I do have a chart of everyone’s ages because it isn’t totally straightforward with some people aging differently and some not at all, lol. But yes, we don’t really know how old Morgyn is, apart from older than they look.

      Cordelia does know a lot less than Micah, yes. Then again, Micah did sort of have a different starting point, thanks to accessing Morgyn’s memories when he fed on them. Though perhaps there’s more to it than that.

      Morgyn generally does not love getting vulnerable, as we know. Micah probably already knows more about them than most. But definitely not everything, that’s true.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ooh I’m liking the novelty here. Dandy’s age/maturity. Using magic of deceased spellcasters. Morgyn not annoying me for once. 😛 Makes me wonder if one day Dandy may mature and change in perception, maybe he’ll leave Slyvan Glade. Since L Faba was there with him in her adolescence (I think) Then there’s the magic of deceased spellcasters that are left behind even if they’ve passed on. How does that work? Is it because the body is still there so living spellcasters can use the magic that is still contained within the body? Isn’t that dangerous? Say you get ahold or learn how to control that magic that is still contained in the corpse and thus births the power to make zombies? Is the magic finite? Infinite? Haha I’m impatient after all. Feel free to ignore the questions if they’re spoilers or not the right time for reveal. I’m just curious! Liking the new world. Aine’s mist is strangely weak looking. Does that indicate her spirit’s passing? It’s green too! I’ve been noting the colors ever since you say they meant something 😀

    Morgyn’s humility here is surprising. And I suppose it could be viewed as inappropriate, but I thought Micah’s relief made sense to me. He needed to see that Morgyn is not ‘superhuman’ after all and is just as flawed as he is. Their bond is definitely growing deeper. Am liking Morgyn’s fashion, not so much their steel boots but it looks nice!

    Am also wondering if the size of the tombstone correlates with spellcaster’s rank, or power, or if Aine simply liked grandeur like Morgyn. Or whoever (Morgyn?) that prepared her grave liked grandeur? haha I’m so random. 😆

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve always found it curious that people kept looking for a reason why Dandelion acts so young and innocent, but the speculations never included the simplest explanation possible – that he actually still is young and innocent.

      Woah, Morgyn didn’t annoy you? Wow! I’m pretty sure it won’t last, but I’ll consider it an accomplishment, haha.

      That’s a lot of good questions! I’m not sure how much detail will be included in the future, but at the same time I’d like to give myself the option to get more into it later, so I will refrain from answering most of it, but I like the way you think! I will say that the magic is finite, and yes, Aine’s mist is pretty weak.

      Morgyn would hate more people knowing that they might just be capable of a touch of humility, so don’t get too used to it 😀 But yeah, for Micah that definitely gave him a sense of relief even though it was technically some heavy topics they discussed, so I’m glad that came across 🙂 Hah, I guess this wasn’t an occassion for heels.

      Those are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Aine was a powerful sage, so she does have a stone reflecting her power and status, but she also wasn’t a modest person. May have even influenced Morgyn’s own penchant for grandeur, though there’s probably also another reason why Morgyn seeks out all the grand and flashy things.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. xD I completely forgot that elves live longer in your story. I’m not too familiar with elf lore if they do live longer in other stories too haha. I always thought all races mature the same rate as humans and have bonus adult/young adult years lolol.

        Sure! I’m sure I’ll love finding out the answers as we go along with the story. You’ll probably have to endure a lot of repetitive questions on my end if I forgot I asked them already.

        Y’know. I’m worried of myself too. Am I getting used to Morgyn’s that I find them amiable here? Ooft.. noo.. I’m going to cling onto this for as long as I can. 🙂

        Heels. At a gravesite. Lol I’m glad Morgyn chose steel toed boots. At least washing will be easy.

        Ah yes of course.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It was only mentioned briefly at the beginning, and not really explained, so easy to miss/forget 🙂 It’s definitely common for elves to live longer in fiction (erm, that kind of sounds like I believe in elves outside of fiction, but you know what I mean, haha). At least, the elves I’m familiar with, which would be Tolkien’s elves or Elder Scrolls elves 😀 Not sure how the aging process itself is typically handled, but in my mind it made sense to make it proportionate to humans, just a lot longer. 🙂

        Not to worry, ask me again later if I don’t end up answering it in the story and you’re still curious, haha.

        Hah. I’ll set a timer till the next time Morgyn irks you, but I’m liking the optimism.

        Like

  4. Okay, I have done all the math and now I know how old everyone is and I’m freaking out! Gah, Dandy’s character makes so much more sense now! I love this world-building, even this many chapters in, and we’re still getting new bits of information. I have to say though, this made me even sadder for Dandy. They are so early in their lives to already be struggling with loneliness. What’s going to happen in like 50 years?

    I still find it so interesting that Micah is the character that brings out the vulnerable side of Morgyn. In some ways, even though Micah is struggling to let go of the past (Morgyn is right), he is the most well-adjusted out of all of them.

    I see how that so much of this story is about the complicated relationships people have with each other. Sure, there are magic and sprites and mystery but at the end of the day—they are still a bunch of people just trying to have love and friends and a little happiness.

    This was the perfect Halloween treat!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, we now know how old Dandy and L Faba are, or thereabouts 🙂 I actually keep a chart of how old everyone was at what point because it’s a bit of a minefiled, haha. Thank you! And you’re right. Even if/when Dandy makes friends, they will age much faster than him. I suppose he’s now establishing a friendship with Micah, who could in theory be around indefinitely, so there’s that. (Providing you believe Micah would choose to stay around indefinitely, but let’s not get into that…)

      The fact Morgyn was in a way “forced” to let Micah in helps. But you’re right, in spite of his own demons, Micah has been pretty good to everyone and often has the most sensible outlook on a given situation.

      Absolutely. It’s in a magical setting, and I do throw in some action and suspense every now and again, but it really is just a story about people and what drives them, what makes them become a certain way and how they connect (or don’t, haha). Granted that might not be the most thrilling at times, seeing as this chapters is basically just two people having a conversation in a cemetery, but hopefully for those who have stuck this far, that’s not boring, haha.

      Yay! Worked out seasonally appropriate for once, with my history of Winterfest in July and such 😆

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “That… explains a lot.” It actually does! Ah this piece of information was vital, why did you wait so long to share it 😀

    anyway; I don’t have much to say besides what was said already, but I did enjoy this graveyard conversation a lot.
    And also I think you write conversations really well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha it wasn’t really a deliberate decision. Dandelion briefly mentioned that elven aging works differently and that L Faba will be “young for a long time” way at the beginning of the story, but because he’s been on his own for quite some time and sort of lost track of time, he doesn’t really know his exact age either. So it just never really came up. I sort of assumed it would be somewhat obvious – especially after the Dandy POV chapter (and I mean, let’s face it, Dandy doesn’t exactly look like all full blown “grown-up” either). But apparently, it wasn’t, and the elven aging in general is quite relevant to the story timeline overall, so I always needed to explain it a bit more eventually. And I finally found a reasonable spot to fit it in, haha.

      Thank you! I really like writing dialogue, so I’m glad it shows 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, we do not have any male elves to compare him to, so his youthful look may have just been like, genetic? XD But yes, he did come of as somewhat immature.
        Which, honestly makes it even sadder that he is alone. An abandoned child is worse than a hermiting adult 😦
        I wonder what happened with the other elves? Are there more around?

        Liked by 1 person

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