Mystique Academy (chapter 5)
Posted November 17th, 2020 by Mystique
November 17th, 2020
Werden's foot touched down on the soft dewy grass of the Ancient Gardens. Jaida was already walking around, talking to the locals. He wondered how they felt about two kids flying into their region. They must have been pretty defensive against outsiders and intruders.. If he had a home like this, he knew he would be too.
Tall white pillars stretched upwards, with vines and beautiful flowers wrapped around them. Exotic plants were dotted around the landscape, and colorful butterflies and birds flitted around. Each citizen had their own pure white one story house that all had a flat deck on top of them. Every deck had so many plants, it looked green rather than white. Even Werden, who had grown up in a forest, had troubled processing everything.
Jaida sighed and walked over to Werden. "Bad news." She said. "The locals refuse to give any information on Toros. They have some stupid superstition about saying his name."
"Oh." Werden's spirit sank. They had wasted an entire day flying here to defeat the dark lord, and the citizens were scared to say a name? "So what do we do now?" He asked dejectedly.
"Well, they did give me some leads." Jaida pointed to a house completely overgrown with flowers and leaves. "That's where Mjar lives." She pronounced it like ME-jar. "He's the ruler of the Ancient Gardens. He's supposed to be really wise and old. They said if anyone would know where Toros is, he would."
"Let's go, then." Werden strode towards the house. Jaida walked briskly after him.
He reached out to knock on the door, but it creaked open of its own accord.
"Ooookay." Jaida said nervously. "That's not creepy at all." She murmured, "Fasir." Instantly a small fire glowed to life on her palm. Jaida stumbled noticeably and fell. Werden jumped forward and grabbed her hand, pulling her back up. She leaned on him for support. "Ow. . . Sorry. I won't do any more spells. That flying spell really drained me."
"Keep the fire going." Werden told her. "Put your arm around my shoulder." Jaida did what he said.
"Thanks." She said wearily. "Maybe after this. . . We can. . . Rest." Her eyes started to close slowly.
"Jaida!" Werden chuckled. Her eyes popped open again. "Maybe Mjar can give us a place to sleep."
"Sleep." She agreed. "Sleep is good."
Werden advanced forward into the house. Mjar had closed all of the windows, for some reason. "Mjar!" He called. "We would like to request an audience!"
"An audience!?" A voice boomed from behind him. Werden yelped and spun around so fast, Jaida's firey hand smacked a tapestry and set it ablaze. He set her down gently but quickly and yanked the tapestry off the wall, stomping on it, desperately trying to extinguish the fire.
"Just leave it!" The voice snapped, and Werden guiltily shuffled away from the tapestry.
Someone edged into the light of Jaida's fire. "Wasí!" He said commandingly, and a jet of water shot out from his fingers and put out the fire. "That's better." He said with satisfaction. "You requested an audience, yes? Well, I am Mjar. What do you desire?"
Werden couldn't answer. Mjar was too strange looking.
He was about eight feet tall, with pale green skin and luminous green eyes. He wore a brown shirt with green suspenders and boots. He had placed a bright red flower on top of his head like a crown.
"Um." Werden managed to say. "We, uh, wanted to know where Toros is."
"Toros!" Mjar cried, and his eyes flashed dangerously. Werden's feet felt like they were sinking into the ground. Looking down, he saw Jaida's body becoming encased in dirt. "Why, that tree destroying flower eating monster! He-he-" Mjar couldn't seem to find the right words to fit his rage.
"Stop!" Werden yelled. The dirt was up to his knees now, and he could only see a sliver of Jaida left.
The rising dirt halted, then slowly sank down again.
"I am sorry." Mjar apologized. "I am afraid I lost control."
Werden rolled his eyes and picked up Jaida. Her head lolled. "Do you have a place where we can rest?" He asked.
"Yes." Mjar nodded to Jaida. "I will order a servant to get her some wheat germ."
"Yum." Werden tried to sound excited. He couldn't risk offending their host.
Mjar led them to a circular room with bright couches. Werden carefully laid Jaida on a couch and fixed his gaze on the ruler of the Ancient Gardens. "So you know where-"
"Hm!" Mjar stopped him. "We must have our wheat germ first!" He snapped his fingers and a servant rushed in, carrying a platter of small objects that looked like beans. The servant also had a plate of light brown wafers. "Delicious!" Mjar declared, and waved the servant away. "Are you going to want any wheat germ?" He asked Werden.
"No thank you." Werden said quickly.
Mjar shrugged. "More for me!" He picked up the platter and dumped all of the wheat germ into his mouth in one gulp.
"So, you know where Toros is?" Werden asked, trying to ignore the dribble of wheat germ dripping from the ruler's mouth.
"Mhm! Toros is in the Fields of the Dead!" Mjar smiled brightly, as if he had just delivered incredible news.
"The Fields of the Dead!" Werden exclaimed. "That can't be right!" Please don't let it be right! He added in his head.
Mjar nodded vigorously. "Oh, it is right! The very same place with undead spirits roaming around!"
Jaida chose that moment to wake up. "What'sgoingon?" She slurred.
"Apparently we have to go to the Fields of the Dead to defeat Toros!" Werden threw his hands in the air. Jaida gaped at him.
"You can't be serious." She said after a while.
"Oh, he's serious!" Mjar chimed in.
"I still need rest, though!" Jaida looked wild. "Please-just one more day here, and then we leave?"
"Fine." Werden exhaled. He was glad they had another day to prepare before they left for the Fields of the Dead. He still had nightmares about that place.
The place where his mother and father had died.
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