Chapter 9

Ivy the Forsaken

With the mantra of his mission repeating in his mind, Flynn dashed back to the Depths to collect the journals and Resting Relics. Since the invasion, the once scenic pathway was now littered with deep trenches and jagged debris so speeding down the gravel path proved to be a challenge. 

Despite a few stumbles along the way, Flynn managed to avoid injuring himself and eventually arrived at the Glasshouse unharmed. Ignoring the open flames surrounding the entrance, he jumped over the remains of the destroyed doorframe and turned down the first hallway leading to the Depths. 

A rapid sprint down the darkened corridor led Flynn to the barricaded iron door. He bent down to heft up the heavy wooden plank, but then froze when he heard the sound of voices outside the Glasshouse – The Coven was still here!!! 

He quickly ducked down into the shadows of the hallway as best as he could, praying not to be seen. The wait seemed like ages as the voices approached right outside the doorway. But before they entered, a twirling whirlwind came bursting through the already broken entrance. 

The gust whipped around in place as if deciding which way to go. To Flynn’s relief it ignored the darkened corridor that he huddled in and continued spinning further into the Glasshouse instead.

After the whipping whirlwind sped away, it was soon followed by the two arguing voices. Holding his breath in fear, Flynn ducked down deeper into the shadows to avoid their attention. He needn’t have bothered though, the two bickering women passed right by the darkened corridor without a moment’s glance. Their loud voices echoed against the coloured glass walls as they followed the whirlwind deeper into the Glasshouse.

Keeping low to the ground, Flynn left the cover of the shadows to see what these intruders were doing in the Glasshouse – why hadn’t they left with the rest of The Coven? He tip-toed behind them, making sure the bottles in his satchel weren’t clinking, but his need for stealth was entirely unnecessary due to the racket the intruders were creating. 

Between the whirlwind overturning everything in it’s path and the intruders shouting at one another, there was no possibility that Flynn would be noticed. Nonetheless, he kept his distance, leaving a few rows of plants to separate them. 

After passing through a number of domed conservatories, the young women came to an abrupt halt. Flynn stopped quick and ducked behind the fronds of a thick gingerpalm. Peeking between the bulbous fronds, he watched the intruders argue.

One of them, he recognised. The young blue-haired Enchantress that was splashing in the fountain earlier – Ventille. Her demeanour had completely changed now that she was no longer in the company of the Supreme Enchantress. 

She was no longer the demure, well-composed lady she had been in front of Lunasa. Now Ventille behaved brash and immature as she berated the smaller Enchantress tagging along behind her. 

“Stop following me Bubbles!”

Obviously used to this bullying behaviour, Bubbles seemed unfazed and continued in a pleading tone, “Come on Ventille! We have to go.” Everything about Bubbles was soft: her voice, her cheeks, her sensibilities. She was easy prey for the mean-spirited, but her way of fighting back was by letting the insults wash over her with no damage done. Words were just words to Bubbles.

Ventille knew that her harsh words rarely achieved the desired effect on Bubbles. So instead, she directed her whirlwind to increase it’s destructive pace to drown out the bothersome voice of reason behind her. Ventille followed in the cyclone’s chaotic wake, quickly trailed by her pesky shadow. 

Racing faster to keep up, the soft girl continued in a lecturing tone, “The Masters have left. So have all of the other Adepts. We have to go too.” 

“Well go ahead then.” Ventille snarled.

“But—”

“I’m not keeping you here.” Ventille interrupted, “I never asked you to come along anyways.”

Persistent as she was, Bubbles didn’t have a snappy reply to this. So she just repeated herself, “But we have to go Ventille.” 

“You may be happy to be an Adept forever, but I’m destined for something greater.” Ventille spat back.

“You’ll be destined to scrubbing latrines for disobeying the Supreme Enchantress.” Bubbles said very matter-of-fact.

The blue-haired Enchantress turned sharply towards Bubbles, “I won’t be scrubbing anything ever again once I find what I’m looking for.”

Bubbles’ eyes went wide in disbelief, “You can’t be serious!”

“Of course I’m serious – I’m gonna get myself a little souvenir from IvyHold.”

“But everything here is Curs—”

Ignoring Bubbles, the elder Adept cut her off, “Just imagine what Powers still linger here in IvyHold. I mean, Ivy was the most Powerful Enchantress of her time – her pillow probably holds more residual Power than most Enchantresses could ever dream of possessing.” Ventille became excited, “She’s bound to have left something behind. I might even come across one of Ivy’s Relics.”

“Ivy was Forsaken!” Bubbles cautioned.

“You’re such a child Bubbles.” Ventille snapped back.

“The Supreme Enchantress said…”

Ventille interrupted, “You know that Ivy used to be the Supreme Enchantress don’t you?”

“Ivy was Forsaken!” Bubbles shouted back, surprised by her own outburst.

“Yeah, you already said that.”

“Well she was.” The soft Adept’s voice was much stronger now.

Ventille snapped back, “Ivy was only Forsaken because simple Enchantresses and Adepts like yourself were terrified of what she could achieve. Power breeds fear and everybody was afraid of Ivy.”

“You should be afraid of Ivy too.” Bubbles found her courage and was now shouting back at the elder Adept, “I’m telling you, everything here is Cursed – Everything!”

“Nonsense!” Ventille lashed out, “Only babies believe in that.”

“Well I’m not going to be part of this.”

“Like I said before, I never asked you to be a part of this.” Ventille was well practiced at cruelty. She continued to taunt, “Look at Little Baby Bubbles. She’s going to be a pathetic Adept forever.” Swishing her cloak dramatically, she turned her back on Bubbles and continued further into the Glasshouse, “Not me though. I’m going to rise above everybody – even The Coven.”

Bubbles gasped in shock. Eventually she managed to respond, “You’re sounding a lot like Ivy the Forsaken now.”

Ventille burst into a maniacal fit of laughter, “You don’t even realise how much of a compliment that is.” Her skyblue cloak rippled behind her as the whirlwind increased in speed along with her passion, “Ivy had courage. Ivy had Power. Ivy became a Legend!”

“Then she was Forsaken – Never to be spoken of again.” Bubbles reminded.

“We’re speaking about her now aren’t we?”

This flustered Bubbles a bit, “But we shouldn’t be. She was Forsaken!”

“I won’t be though. Once I find Ivy’s Relics, I’ll finish what she began.”

Bubbles would hear no more of this treasonous talk. She turned in a huff and stormed off. Not expecting the Enchantress to turn around so suddenly, Flynn jumped back startled. Quickly composing himself, he ducked away before he was spotted.

Watching Bubbles storm out of the conservatory reminded Flynn of the reason he was here to begin with. He became caught up in the petty drama of these two Adepts, when he had more important things at hand. His mission was to save his parents – and to do that he must retrieve the Relics, get the journals, then escape IvyHold to find the Lost Explorer. These were the only things that mattered now. 

Resting Relics, Journals, Lost Explorer…

Resting Relics, Journals, Lost Explorer…

Resting Relics, Journals, Lost Explorer…

He silently repeated his mantra.

With his mission on his mind, Flynn left Ventille to continue creating havoc by herself. Cradling his mother’s satchel to prevent the bottles from clinking, he followed Bubbles back towards the Depths. He followed from a distance, careful to give the Adept plenty of space. 

Anxious to find the Relics and get out of here, Flynn had to restrain himself from rushing ahead. Luckily Bubbles never turned back on her way towards the exit, otherwise, she may have seen him. 

After what seemed like an eternity of following the soft Adept ahead of him and listening to the loud clatter of the cyclone behind him, Flynn was able to slip down the long corridor leading to the spiral staircase of the Depths. Heart pounding and mind racing, he threw caution to the wind and dashed down the dark hallway. 

His boots clattered across the stone tiles and bottles clinked within the satchel, but Flynn took no notice of the noise he was creating. In his haste to retrieve the Relics, he was making quite a racket, but Ventille’s whirlwind was loud enough to cover up any sound that he made.

Once at the end of the corridor, he hefted up the thick beam barricading the door. With a heavy thud, the beam crashed into the wall, then clattered onto the floor. With nervous sweat pouring down his face, Flynn pulled the creaking door open and slid down the spiral staircase into the Depths. 

Once at the bottom of the stairs, Flynn rushed across the chamber, straight to the bureau full of Resting Relics. Ignoring the echoes of destruction coming from upstairs, he put his attention towards his mission. 

Resting Relics, Journals, Lost Explorer…

Resting Relics, Journals, Lost Explorer…

Resting Relics, Journals, Lost Explorer…

Now standing in front of the bureau, he flung the oak doors wide open. Mentally prepared to grab the Relics and go, Flynn froze momentarily. There was much more in the bureau than just Resting Relics. 

Not expecting to find so much clutter, Flynn eyed the vast array of random objects lining the shelves. Momentarily forgetting his need to rush, Flynn laughed out loud when he saw his mother’s blue medicine chest which he no longer needed sitting in the bureau. His laughter stopped abruptly when all of his attention was drawn towards an assortment of heavy weaponry lining the entire lefthand side of the bureau.  

His glance first fell upon a series of jewel encrusted daggers glimmering in the dull light of the chamber. Then he spotted an impressive double-barrelled crossbow hanging above a collection of well worn throwing blades. Next to these was a heavy cudgel leaning against a thick copper shield. 

Scanning over the other deadly tools, Flynn recognised the Queen’s Web from Tarantu’s Hovel. It didn’t look as threatening as the rest of the weaponry, but he supposed the glowing stone embedded in the silvery net had it’s own sort of Power. 

Finally his attention was captured by a gigantic battleaxe leaning heavily in the corner of the bureau. This thick handled, double-edged blade was the definition of excessive.

Flynn shook off thoughts of heroically wielding the massive axe when he remembered why he was looking in the bureau to begin with – The Relics. Peeling his eyes away from the heavy weaponry, Flynn looked over at the other side of the bureau where the Resting Relics were displayed.

The deadly arsenal he had been looking at was offset by this motley collection of objects on the right side of the bureau: a singular padded glove, a burnt out torch, a miniature hammer, a shiny copper orb, a faded looking-glass, and a scaly mask with huge bug-like eyes. 

Each of the random objects was embedded with a milky-white stone similar to the glowing stone within the Queen’s Web. Even dormant, these stones drew Flynn’s attention with an hypnotic allure that was hard to snap himself out of.  

Looking at the strange collection of Relics, didn’t instill a very confident feeling within Flynn. He knew that his mission was to gather the Relics, but he also knew that he would need more than a padded glove, used torch, or looking-glass to help get him out of IvyHold safely – let alone survive in the Outside world. There were members of The Coven upstairs, so he needed something a bit more threatening – Something big and sharp preferably. 

His eyes were immediately drawn back towards the double handed battleaxe when heroic visions returned to his mind. Armed with the massive axe, he could definitely defend himself from the Adepts creating chaos upstairs. 

He eagerly wrapped his hands around the well-worn leather grip to lift the deadly weapon. Once slightly raised, it felt a lot heavier than he anticipated. Suddenly, the weight became too much, throwing Flynn off balance. In an attempt to set it back gently, the axe came crashing down. 

The thick blade and heavy handle of the axe brought down the entire contents of the bureau along with it. Flynn pulled his cloak tight around himself, cringing from the deafening clatter. 

With Relics scattered all over the floor of the chamber, Flynn scurried frantically to pick up the fallen objects. Rummaging through the jumble, he gathered up as many of the Relics as he could. One by one he threw them into his satchel. First the padded glove, then the copper orb followed by the tiny hammer. It wasn’t until he picked up the faded looking glass, that he noticed the deafening silence surrounding him. 

Frozen in place, Flynn could no longer hear any destructive sounds from the whirlwind up above. The terrifying realisation quickly sunk in that he was no longer alone in the Depths. In his hand, the misty reflection of the faded mirror Relic showed a cloaked figure descending the spiral staircase.

 

Slowly turning to face the elder Adept, Flynn saw a sickly sweet smile spreading across her face. Flynn may have found what he was looking for, but apparently so had she.

One thought on “Chapter 9

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s