The white coated mink led Emmeline through the hallway and down some stairs leading to a dark study with no outdoor light. They must have been under the walls. The animal said telepathically to Emmeline…
I will return in in a half hour pretty one.
…and it left.
Beyond the door, Emmeline could see a pair of light globes illuminating desks full of books, notes, and more. At the far side, she saw a blinding flash of light illuminating Kalista as she shot a lightning bolt down a long hall into the darkness. The sound was loud, but it seemed to muffle quickly. Kalista noticed Emmeline and turned. “Ma’am.” she said with a bow, placing her wand down on the nearby desk.
“Nice shot, Kalista,” Emmeline said as she peered through the darkness. It was nice the dark never held secrets from her. “How are you?”
She looked a bit exhausted, “Fine. The master, she has me pushing myself to my limit. We are trying to determine what I can do. Apparently I can still cast lightning, both near and far. The spells I was taught still work. Though some have not gone quite as planned.”
“How do you mean?” Emmeline asked.
“I cannot fully control it. The master calls it pattern rebound. She says that as I am essentially fey that I cause a disruption in the weave of magic from tapping the surrounding mana directly and not through a medium of blood, formula, or patron. Last night I accidentally turned one of the guards into a sheep. He got better. The night before I ended up levitating myself uncontrollably. It doesn’t happen often, maybe one in twenty spells. The master says in time I could gain control over it. She says the elves have learned techniques to balance this effect and someday I might be able to meet them. So, for now I practice.” she replied.
“A sheep? Oh… my. Well that does seem like a very good idea. Is there anything I can do to help?” Em fervently hoped she would not suddenly become a pregnant sheep. Because… ewe.
“The master, Magitrix Alix, she tells me that she will need to assess you to find that out. If you can help me, that is. I do not know what that means.” she confessed.
“I think she doesn’t know the full extent of what I can do. I think I’ve only told her what I cannot do.” Emmeline thought about that. She had no intention of giving away all her secrets to any one person. She needed Alix, though, so she would give the magus precisely what she asked for. It occurred to Em that was a rather fey way to approach things. It suited her.
“She is helping me discover my abilities. We are testing each spell one-by-one, except the dark rituals I once knew. I don’t have a coven anymore and frankly those rituals called on another being for power. Best to not get his attention the master says.” added Kalista.
Emmeline nodded. “You don’t need him. You’ve evolved beyond all of that,” she told Kalista with great confidence.
“I wish I shared your confidence. I can’t look at a shadow not think he is hiding there or a person’s eyes and not think he is looking through them. He is beyond charismatic. What he says, happens, and anyone regardless of their will could succumb to his charms and powers. You have no idea what he is capable of.” she said. Kalista wasn’t too fearful, she simply stated facts.
“I understand,” Emmeline said. “You aren’t alone. When you feel threatened, frightened, or tempted, you can talk to me. I’m here.”
“You, your friends, and your gods gave me life – a second change. I know you will be there,” she said with a melancholy smile. “The magistrix tells me that my story, if I tell it verbatum, will elicit hatred for me. She says you can help there.”
Just then Snow appeared.
The mistress says that the fey one must rest now and then continue her readings. Pretty one, the mistress commands you return as the fiery one is done with his matters.
The little mink turned and moved back up the hall, pausing a moment to see if Emmeline would follow.
Em nodded to the mink. “I’ll see you later, Kalista.” She gave the fey girl a hug and then hurried on after the mink.