Short Stories

Grove’s Daughter – Chapter 3: Blood

It had happened so fast, without warning, and in the midst of chaos.


“Draz.” Vesper whispered, resting her hand on Drazken’s back as he lay unconscious. He grasped a flask tightly in his hands, unwilling to break his grip or unseal it, a black glow surrounding it. The witch was in there, they had said, carefully removed from Aldora’s body and transferred to the flask, but Drazken had fallen unconscious, and the group was considering what to do.

“Draz,” she repeated weakly, unsure of what action to take. She began to notice a red glow appear around his body and a blue flame begin to flicker.

“I could try to pry it out.” One suggested.
“What if we unsealed it and transferred the witch to the amulet?” Questioned another.

Vesper shook her head. “If he is gripping it this tightly when he’s not even awake, there’s a reason. Eadan, what happened when you tried to examine him?” She asked the druid.

“His blood magic lashed out at me.” Eadan replied simply. Vesper sighed and nodded, beginning to understand.

“Why is the red glow there, Vesper?” Someone asked. Vesper cleared her throat and gave it a small rub. The past few days she hadn’t felt well. Her elemental magic seemed weaker, while a thirst built within her in the presence of blood magic. The power was calling her again, stronger this time, similar to the way blood called to the thirst of a vampire.

“I think it’s defensive, and I –” Vesper broke off as Drazken suddenly began to rise into the air, and a large blue swirl of magic began to envelop the entire group. They all gasped and cried out as the magic started to attack them all, including Vesper. Everyone began shouting, and she heard Vindya cry out “WESLEY, NO!” Vesper saw Wesley attack Drazken, his daggers out, and everything went deep red.

SNAP.

“Vesper…..easy….” Vindya calmly and fearfully said, as Vesper stood between Drazken and Wesley, the blood magic surging from her hands. The power raced through her as her voice lowly growled in rage, “Don’t touch him.”

“Vesper….touch Drazken. Use your magic on your lover. Touch him.” Vindya continued to coax, her voice still full of fear and surprise. Vesper’s eyes moved from Wesley to Vindya, who stood on the edge of the cliff they were all on. Vesper listened, the sound of Vindya’s voice soothing and calming. Vesper felt the rage within her waning and looked down at Drazken, who was now back on the ground. She turned and kneeled down next to him, placed both hands on him, closed her eyes, and pushed every single bit of energy she had toward him, begging through a whispered, “Please wake up….”

She felt thick tears oozing down her cheeks, and at his groan, she opened her eyes and looked up. Those present immediately realized that tears of blood ran down her cheeks, and her eyes were completely black.

“Vesper, are you okay?” One asked.
“I will be…I hope.” Vesper answered blankly as Drazken roused.

When he woke fully and began to speak, the crowd calmed. Vesper flopped to the ground and started to cry, more blood coming from her eyes and people began to disperse and find others.

“Why are you crying, Vesper?” Drazken asked curiously.

“B-b-b-because…I didn’t intend to….s-s-s-scare anyone,” she gasped through sobs as massive waves of guilt washed over her. What she had kept hidden, what she hoped to keep stowed away in the darkness, was now in the light and on full display. She had surprised them at the least, possibly caused fear in others. Those whose presence she enjoyed, the friendships she had formed, would they see her differently now? Would they hate her? Be afraid of her? Treat her differently?

There was plenty of guilt to go around. The witch had possessed Aldora, who had kidnapped Leilani. Leilani had then been possessed and kicked Vindya off of a cliff. Aldora and Leilani felt guilty for their actions while possessed while Vesper felt guilty for who she was, and her inability to control the magic that had been apparently building up within her for some time. During the evening, she told her story to both Vindya and Leilani, knowing that they deserved to know her reason for blood magic, and furthermore, the reason for her shame in showing it.

“Vesper,” Vindya murmured, “You were defending someone you love.”
“I will admit, I was surprised to see such magic come from someone of your stature,” Wesley stated in amusement as he regarded Vesper, blonde-haired and clad in silver armor with white cloth. Vesper had sniffled, her eyes still completely black and her cheeks stained with dried blood. Vindya rubbed her thumb over the blood and looked at Vesper. “Your eyes,” she whispered.

Vesper nodded, “They’ll go back to normal in time.” She had assured Leilani of the same. When she actively practice the magic so long before, her eyes were often black. It was helpful in providing clearer vision, and better vision at night, but obviously they were discomforting to behold. She had told Drazken that she had once loved having them back then, that she felt it gave her even more power.

Once everyone had been tended to and delivered to their homes, the night seemed to grow calm. Vesper’s eyes eventually returned to normal, and when Vesper thought to the witch, she clenched her fists. If she could control it, perhaps the blood magic would give her strength in the war to come….but would there be a cost?

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