Welcome back to another chapter of Random Branches. In the last chapter the Rands went to Alistair’s house in order to be protected against Darius since the Immortal Council was gearing up to bring him down. Alistair even brought in back up from outside of Moonlight Falls to do it. However, Darius found out about some of the plot and knew to go to Alistair’s place. Atton took a spell meant for Alistair and was critically wounded. Iris took him to the Fae realm to attempt to save him. And now, onto the story.
Iris got to the Fae realm in one piece. Luckily she saw that Atton did as well and laid him down to check for a pulse. “Please, let there be a pulse,” Iris said to no one in particular, glad she popped into a more deserted area.
“I knew you’d come here,” an all too familiar voice said.
“Rosalind. You know you can’t harm me while in this realm.”
“No, but I can delay you from getting to Mother Fae and we all know what that would mean. And I can use my powers on him, too.”
“Rosalind for once in your life have some compassion and do not try to slow my trek to Mother Fae down!”
Rosalind laughed, “Ha!”
Iris knew that there was no way she was going to get to the more populated areas of the Fae realm while carrying Atton. But she also couldn’t just leave him to fetch someone. Rosalind would kill him. Which left Iris with only one option. Getting physical with her twin once again. And hoping this time she didn’t lose.
She barreled into her twin, hoping for the upper hand due to surprising her. Unfortunately, Rosalind was more skilled fighting and won.
“Nice try sister, however, for the effort I won’t hold you back until he’s passed away. I’ll just do this,” Rosalind said before chanting a spell Iris knew all too well. Rosalind then laughed and left the Fae realm.
It was the spell that had gotten Rosalind banished from the Fae realm. The life drain spell. Something Atton didn’t have much left.
“What’s going on here?” a male’s voice boomed.
Iris froze for a bit before she saw the fairy the voice belonged to. It was Tristan Fae. A close childhood friend and the son of Mother Fae. “Tristan,” Iris said, “I know I’m not allowed to bring mundanes here but there’s no way Mother Fae could tolerate a realm change and be in time to save him!”
“Save him from what? Slow down, Iris,” Tristan said.
“Rosalind’s spells. She initially tried to hit a werewolf with the anti-werewolf spell but Atton took the spell for the werewolf. When I got here Rosalind was waiting for me. She placed a life draining spell on him. The strongest kind. We have to hurry. The combination of the spells and the realm change will kill him if we don’t get him to your mother. To Mother Fae.”
Tristan ran a hand through his hair before doing a quick examination of Atton. “Dear Mother Fae he’s a resilient guy. I can tell from the spell traces it’s been a decent amount of time since the anti-werewolf spell landed on him.”
“It has. We had to get rid of those trying to harm Atton and his family. Then we had to at least inform the family of it.”
“Ah. I’ll claim I brought the boy over. Increase the boy’s chances. You know she listens to those who reside here more than those who do not.”
“You’d do that?” Iris asked.
“He committed a selfless act. And you’re doing the same to help him. Least I could do is give you the same courtesy. That and I’m her son, she’s not too likely to banish me now is she?” Tristan said with a smirk.
The two then walked quickly in silence to where Mother Fae was. “State your business.” the guard at the front said.
“We seek an audience with Mother Fae,” Tristan said.
“She is seeing guests, you may enter.”
Tristan and Iris entered the house and bowed appropriately when they arrived at the room Mother Fae was seeing guests in. It wasn’t the typical hall that she had used in years past. She was too old to make the long walk. She was in a personal study.
“What is this mundane doing here?” Mother Fae said.
“Mother, he got hit with a spell Rosalind Baines meant for a werewolf. Rosalind used the anti-werewolf spell. When I brought him over apparently Rosalind was waiting here knowing he would likely be brought here for healing. She got off the strongest life drain spell on him before we could react to it,” Tristan said.
“You brought him over, son?”
“Yes, mother. He did a selfless act. It’s the least we could do to repay the favor since the werewolf can not.” Tristan said.
“I will look into the man’s soul and see if he’s worth saving.” Mother Fae said, stepping up and walking over to where the three were before examining Atton.
“He is worth saving,” Mother Fae said, “Lay him down on my couch, Tristan.”
Tristan laid Atton down on the couch and stepped back. He squeezed Iris’s hand in sign of support.
Mother Fae then began chanting in Fae language. Atton soon began to glow white. It seemed to go for ages before Mother Fae stopped chanting. She sat down in her seat and said, “I’ve done all I can. It’s up to the Fates as to whether he’ll live. He should stay in this realm for a while while he regains strength. Take him to your quarters, Tristan. Then I want to see you here for a little discussion.”
“Yes, Mother Fae,” Tristan said and carefully picked Atton up and took Atton to his quarters. Iris followed quietly behind.
“He’s been gone several hours now!” Mira cried, “What if he’s dead and they’re just trying to figure out how to gently let us know?!”
“Shhh,” Sinbad said, “It’s been hours. Chances are it worked and they’re giving him time to recoup some strength before he returns to this realm.” Sinbad truly hoped he was saying the truth.
A white light suddenly appeared and when it dimmed, Sinbad saw that Iris had returned. “How is he?”
“He’s resting,” Iris said, “While Mother Fae didn’t want to guarantee he would live, she didn’t sound like she thought he was going to die.”
“What do you mean she can’t guarantee it?” Kreia said angrily.
“The anti-occult spells are very damaging spells. They’re illegal to use except in the most dire of circumstances. Which amounts to you’re not allowed to use them unless you’re saving someone’s life in self defense. Rosalind, while using it to save her own hide, broke the law since she initiated the battle,” Iris began, “The spell works by going through every cell and hunting for any gene that screams whatever occult the spell was designed to target and obliterate it. Ninety nine percent of the time, the occult dies from the spell due to the trauma even if it was done in Mother Fae’s presence where she could begin the counter spell immediately. And they lose their occult status. When it lands on a wrong occult, the trauma still occurs because the spell doesn’t go from cell to cell gently. And it removes anything it thinks could be the genes its looking for.”
“Now, it could be that Mother Fae’s spells that heal the trauma fixed everything that the anti-werewolf spell did to Atton, but if his DNA even had anything that resembled werewolf genetics, that could mean he is still not out of the woods yet,” Iris finished explaining.
A day of waiting slowly passed before Atton was strong enough to leave the Fae realm. He thanked Mother Fae for healing him and thanked Tristan and Iris for taking him to Mother Fae. His parents and siblings were relieved that he survived the spell. And Atton was relieved that Alistair had survived the ordeal, making his taking of the spell not in vain. He spent a few more days at Alistair’s house finishing up his recovery as he had still felt weak from the spell. He had pushed the rest of his family to go home already and move on with their lives. Kreia and Carth had school. The garden wasn’t going to tend itself and his father wasn’t going to get over his guilt by staying here.
Atton was sitting on the couch in the family room in Alistair’s house a couple of days after he returned from the Fae realm when he heard Alistair come up. He gave Alistair a nod while keeping focus on the news. He was watching to see if this little incident made the local news.
“It’s not in the news,” Alistair said, “We all thought it would be best for everyone if it stayed out of the news. Why did you take the spell?”
“It was the right thing to do,” Atton said, “My father said that you had already lost a lot and that it was hard for you to accept this mission. My way of thanking you for accepting the mission as well. And a voice said that I would be fine.”
“Yea, one of the ones that only I can hear. You know I have quirks. My mother says the voices are one of my quirks.”
Alistair nodded, “Is there anything I can do to repay you?”
Atton looked at Alistair. “I don’t really need anything. Beyond a job. I tried interviewing for the open position at the theater for the music spot, but they seemed to take issue with my quirks. Namely the voices that only I can hear.”
Alistair blinked a few times, before saying, “You openly admitted to your quirks?”
Atton nodded, “I’ve found it’s best to just be open about it than have it suddenly come up.”
Alistair nodded, “Let me make a few phone calls and I’ll see what I can do. I can’t guarantee that position or even one at all, but I do hold some influence in this town.”
It was a few hours later and Alistair had even gone out to discuss the situation with one of the managers at the theater, when Alistair approached Atton again. “You’ve got a job. It’s not much of one. Basically, they need a music critic. Someone who isn’t involved with the projects they do or the acts they bring into the theater. I know it’s not exactly what you’re looking for long term, but it gets you in the door. Your knowledge of music will help you critique the pieces well which might help you get promoted to where you want to be.”
Atton blinked a few times before saying, “Thank you.”
“Oh, by the way, you start in the morning, so you might want to head home and all that good stuff so your carpool can pick you up on time tomorrow.”
Atton nodded and thanked Alistair again for everything before heading home.
And that’s it for this chapter. Will Atton be able to get promoted in his new field or is it just a dead end job? Will Sinbad be able to forgive himself for putting his family through all of this? Find out in chapters to come!
Progress towards objectives:
- Grow a garden with every plant from the store (She’s gotten everything from the store except what requires 7 or higher gardening skill and the apple tree)
- Master gardening skill (Still at level 6.)
- Get married (Accomplished Chapter 1.0 when Mira married Sinbad)
- No woohoo until married (Accomplished Chapter 1.0 as Mira never woohooed before marrying Sinbad)
- Have a boy and a girl (Accomplished Chapter 1.1 as they have 2 boys and 1 girl as of that chapter)
Progress towards LTW’s:
- Mira- Illustrious Author: Writing level 6, Painting level 2
- Sinbad- Master Thief: Bank Robber (Level 8, finally on the thief branch)
Author’s note: And this marks the last chapter that will focus on Mira and Sinbad’s personal story. The next several chapters will focus on Atton and his struggles and successes. I’ll of course still keep track of objectives as Mira hasn’t finished hers, but the story will shift focus to Atton.