I could feel the tension grow between us as I entered the shop thinking that I only need to last a few moments here to grab the potions that I need and get out. I hear the bell as we walked into the shack. A huge caldron was off to the side in one corner bubbling with a huge batch of some sort of potion while there were several mini mixers that were on display behind the counter that was to my right. Lots of ingredients were lining the shelves with glass where or anything else that someone might need for a starter pack for alchemy.
“Hello, I am in back watching a potion change to the correct color! Please don’t hesitate on asking anything though even if it is gossip!” I hear the head shopkeeper Alba call out and I thought that that would be typical of her to be doing another set of potions when she has a huge batch that Is cooking in front unless that is a show spell that is running in the pot.
“All right Al! I’ll just help myself to a few potions and charms you can put it on my tab later!” I yelled back as I started to glance around the shop. Every ingredient was tempting to me but what I was after was her charm collection to see if there was any foreshadow charms or anything that could be used for fighting. I also snatched up some of the Manna potions for me to use magic a bit longer.
“Wait, Mistele? Is that you I hear?” Alba chimed when suddenly I heard an explosion come from the back section of the store where a cloth raised up and I heard a bunch of commotion before I rushed back to see what happened.
The back were Alba normally dose her Alchemy was pitch black is some sort of soot. There was glass all over the floor and a burner was about to set something else on fire on the side where the desk almost was still standing. I quickly ran over to Alba while Bill took over the light.
“Alba, are you ok?” I asked as she shook her head. Her face was covered in black soot while she coughed up ash that was I different colors.
“That changed quicker than I thought.” She joked as she tried to get up with my help. “Serves me right to think that it was a failed attempt.”
“Glad that you are fine.” I chimed as I slowly started to pick glass up from the floor.
“Me too and don’t bother with the shards Mistele I will clean soon.” Alba was more laughing than anything else as she used the bottom of her apron to wipe off her face.
“You sure?” I asked thinking that I could take a small moment to help her straighten the place.
“Yes I am sure friend, besides I had heard rumors about your condition. There is no time to lose. Unless you want to clear some of the fog for me?” Alba chimed while I felt very uneasy about what all had been roaming around the kingdom lately.
“What do you got Al; I bet most of them are false.” I chimed as I got back to the store with Al and Bill in tow.
“Well first off, I heard through the grapevine that you had failed a mission that would surly aid the kingdom.” Alba started and my stomach did summersaults thinking that I have to deny this in order to keep my name in tacked though Alba is good at finding my tell for the day.
“I would never fail on a quest as bad as that rumor says!” I exclaimed and Alba saw right through me as her face brightened like she just red through my lie. However, I didn’t need to say a word when Bill already confirmed what I was trying not to do.
“Well, then why do you desperately need this when I was the one that saved your butt? Can you at least give me a bit of recognition here?” Bill called out and I ignored it while he reached into my bag and pulled out the hour glass.
“Wow a death clock! So everything is true?” Alba was excited at first till she must have remembered what a death clock is. Her face dropped and turned at me with sorrowful eyes that were full of sympathy, the exact thing that I did not want.
“Yes, it is and I have to find the Lifstone in order to reverse the injury.” I sighed and she went on over and gave me a grand hug. I could only think of how much soot is getting onto me. Every second was making my skin crawl more in the part that everyone will see me as a weakling and someone sick than someone that is trying to change her fate.
“I am so sorry. I wish I could do something for you.” Alba said in my ear. I knew that she was just strapped for words but it made me feel worse instead of better. We broke apart and I could see the hurt written on her face since it was drooped with possible thoughts of life without me.
“There isn’t much Alba, the spell was a stopheart.” I sighed wishing that I had just kept my mouth shut instead of leaving myself open for conversation.
“That is the worst spell of all. I had only heard of it before and all I know that it could be very painful. It is a long waiting game for a stone to appear let alone what all you have to go through to get there.” Al rambled and I wanted to shrug her off but I knew better but to run from the truth.
“I know but I have to try to change what is in store for me or else we both know what is going to happen.” I chimed and she nodded.
“I wished it was different. Please help yourself to anything that you think you might need out of my stock no charge. I will explain to my papa later.” Alba said and Bill nudged me and I glared at him while he raised an eyebrow suggesting that I should take advantage of this.
“Please I rather pay for it all myself.” I chimed and she shook her head.
“Oh no darling I prefer you not to spend a cent! Take it as a gift from my heart to the new you.” Alba chimed and she started to redo her black and white hair in a nice swirled cyclone down her back.
“Ok, if you insist.” I sighed knowing that I was not going to win from this. I gathered some more Manna potions and Bill went off to the charms collection.
“Grab what you need Bill! We are still need to keep this shop open!” I reminded him as I was looking for something a bit more specific. I was seeing if I could cheat this spell by seeing if I could add more sand to the mixture to dilute the bond or at least save the strand if we spill the sand.
“Why?” he chimed and I immediately tuned to him wondering if he is the greatest idiot on the planet. The fact that he stuck out his tongue made him very immature.
I decided to quickly smack him in the back of his head with my palm to immediately get him quiet for at least a few moments. I studied the colors and the labels as I caught Alba’s facial expression that still housed her curiosity.
“So who’s the hero?” Alba whispered in my ear while I glanced at Bill. He was trying his best to pull down a jar of something when it toppled over and exploded, sending the contents all over himself.
“What do you mean?” I snapped, facing her with my face getting red hot. I almost dropped a potion myself by how fast I spun around. I could feel myself getting nervous in the way I felt myself backing up.
“Come on don’t hide the truth! Everyone knows that the spellbound was the one that carried you in so you two have to be…” Alba started to explain till I cut her off quickly explaining everything.
“Look we are just a one quest group! NOT LOVERS! NOT ANYTHING BUT A DEPT BEING PAID ON BOTH ENDS!” I yelled at her and stood my ground by getting in her space in every word I threw at her.
“Ok Mistele! I was just confirming gossip.” Alba said quickly but then I heard something that I didn’t want to hear a door closing in a harsh manor. I looked around hoping that it wasn’t Bill but to my fears it was.
“Look what your roomers had done this time!” I yelled at her and raced for the door. Thankfully, Bill hadn’t run away that far for me as I caught up with him. His head was bent within his hunched shoulders he was obviously trying to hold back tears.
“Bill, Bill” I chimed as I was trying to get his attention but he kept right on moving. “Bill what I said was not supposed to be completely at you, it was to…” I started to explain but it was Bill’s turn to show me what I dis to Alba.
“What deny that we were comrades, friends or how I saved you? Sorry Myter I thought that I was doing something grand with my life when I took you back home but I bet I was wrong. I should have left you!” he made every word cold as he stood his ground and shoved me right into a sallow drinking well. I felt the cold flash itself on my rump as the sound of the splash should have been more of glass than anything.
“TO NOT SET THE WRONG RUMMER ABLAZE!” I screamed at the top of my lungs while I jumped up and quickly slashed my sword at him. I was thinking that should be enough to get him quiet with a bit of a reminder of whose is the person in charge.
“What?” Bill asked scrunching his face like he didn’t hear me through those half elven ears of his.
“I was just trying to clarify that we are not a legend couple and that we are just going on a quest together as a favor with a mutual agreement.” I said in a calmer tone this time. Bill got starry eyed all of a sudden like the chains in his mind broke.
“Oh, well, that makes more sense…” Bill chimed and placed a hand on his neck and smiled widely.
“Do we want to try the shop again I need to check our stash before we start on this quest.” I chimed as I was actually trying to laugh. Bill nodded in agreement before we went back inside the alchemy shop.
“I’m in the back cleaning. Please don’t hesitate to ask about anything but I am not in the mood to talk at the moment.” I hear Alba from the back and I smiled widely thinking that is where I always find her.
“Ok will do Al. But I think you would like this gossip from me and Bill!” I laughed and it didn’t take Alba long to emerge from the back cleaner than before. Her apron and pants had changed to a matching dark blue ones and her pitch black skin had turned back to brown.
“You’re back! I thought I said something that drove away my best customer!” She exclaimed as she started to hug me again. I stopped her before she grasped me by putting my hand quickly in her face.
“Not the time Alba, we need to quickly finish up stocking out bag and get going.” I whispered to her and she nodded. It felt like we were going through the motions this time but instead of Bill being himself he looked cautious on choosing his things while I was as well but I think it was for different resins.
“But I will confirm one thing about us that the rumors have.” I chimed to change the mood from stiff once more to something a bit more present that I know that Bill and Alba would love to know.
“We are going on a quest together, and he is the one that saved my life… Plus I am honored that he is my partner in this journey and when we return I will make sure that you, my friend, are the first to know.” I chimed and she reared back a bit.
“So your two are a couple or close enough to be called that?” Alby chimed and I looked back at Bill whom was definitely listening since he gave me winks in a way that he was saying tell her the truth.
“Close enough but I think it might change.” I smiled back and waved him over he grasped my hand calmly. I felt a pull of some sort like we just found a way that I could live. The funny part was that it was just us and my home which is a sanctuary.
“This is lovely. I will make sure I… wait if you get back Mistele.” Alba chimed and i heard her face and voice chimed as if she had accidently opened the same can of worms as before. I looked back into my sack, rummaging through it as I was doing the same with my mind. I figured that we had enough in our stash to make it through the journey.
“Don’t fret Al I’ll be back. Remember, it is not an if I get back it is a when.” I chimed when I was finished to brighten up the mood. She tried to put on a straight face but I know that it is hard to see me go on these quests to only spy my body in someone else’s arms. Not saying a word and sworn that she is gone right then.
“I don’t want to lose you again. You have no idea how curtail you are to this kingdom.” Al chimed as I made my way to the door. I could feel the air on my face and uniform while Bill caught up with me while we finally left the shop for the final time.
“I know that we will be fine.” I said and felt a sense of confidence that maybe I should say what I am going through more often because it is nice to know that I have someone that is thinking of me.