Status: Will be updated once to twice a week, until I catch up to what I have written.

The Quest

Chapter Nineteen - Recovery

Tess woke up, laying in a plush bed. She groaned as she rolled to her side. Her body felt like someone had electrocuted it. “Thank goodness you’re okay,” Tom’s relieved voice reached her ears as she opened her eyes to slits. She was back in her own room.

“What happened?” Tess sat up, her whole body aching. She never wanted to move that much power again.

“You disintegrated the siren,” Tom answered, handing her a recovery potion. “Drink up.”

Tess cracked a grin, “Usually I’m the one taking care of you.”

“We’ll go back to that way soon enough,” Tom smiled back.

“How long have I been sleeping?” Tess asked after drinking half of her potion. The sun seemed to be in a different position than she remembered.

“Almost a full day,” Tom informed, following her gaze to the closed curtains on the window. “We buried everyone while you were sleeping. I didn’t want to leave them that way.” Tears formed in Tom’s eyes. “I’ll take you to their graves later.”

“I’d like that,” Tess gave Tom a hug as her body felt better. The potion worked faster than she thought it would. “Have you shown Destru the Last Prophecy yet?”

Tom shook his head. “Destru wanted to make sure you were okay before we did anything. He’s outside watching the perimeter.”

“That’s nice of him.” Tess swung her legs out of the bed. Looking around at her room. All her books and crystals that she had collected over the years, still where she had left them.

Tom cleared his throat as he pulled a package from next to him. “This is the gift mom wanted you to have when we got back. She... She told me about it before we left.” Tom stared at the package, remembering the last time he had talked to his mom. He hadn’t taken her seriously, thinking she was trying to scare him. He didn’t believe her until-

Tess squeezed his hand, bringing him back to the present. “They knew what they were doing,” she whispered, tears forming in her eyes as well.

Tom nodded his head, then shoved the package at Tess. “Go on, open it.”

Tess pulled the brown paper away from the last gift she was going to receive from Tom’s parents. She put a hand to her mouth as she saw the gilded leather-bound book in front of her. “This was my parents’ spell book.” She hugged the book to herself and began sobbing. Tom gritted his teeth. He knew full well that this would be her reaction, but she needed to practice her magic more than ever now.

Tom gently lifted Tess’ face to look at him. He wiped the tears away from her face, his calloused fingers brushing against her skin. “I’m so sorry, Tess,” he whispered, pulling her into a hug and kissing her forehead.

He let her cry as long as she needed; she ended up sitting on his lap as he hugged her tightly to himself. He needed her comfort just as much as she needed his. “Everything will get better,” he whispered, rocking them both back and forth on her bed.

“Thank you,” Tess sniffled as she wiped tears away. Why did it seem like that’s all she had been doing recently?

“Anytime,” Tom gave her a small smile as she got up.

“Should we go find Destru?” Tess asked, picking up her parents’ book. She had looked at it for years, wishing to see the inside, but was always told she was too young. Now this was all she had of all the people she had considered her parents.

“It’s the Little Spell Slinger!” Destru looked up happily as Tess and Tom made their way outside. Tess gave an anxious smile, terrified that her reputation was going to be ruined now. “You did good the other day,” Destru patted Tess on the back.

“Thanks,” Tess answered, regaining her balance. Destru didn’t seem to realize how much stronger he was.

“Did you still want to see the Last Prophecy, Destru?” Tom asked, eyeing the area where they had turned fresh dirt to bury his family. The pirates had helped him construct crude crosses to put at the heads of the graves. “Tess, we can spend as much time as you’d like at the graves once we come back,” Tom whispered into her ear.

Destru gave a nod, motioning for his men to get up. “Lead the way.”

“Make sure you have some water. It’s a good hike from here.” Tom led the way to a deer trail behind the house, leading into the mountains that weren’t far from the house. Tess looked into the trees curiously. She could never go on the trails, because she had been told they were filled with dangerous animals.

The group hiked for a good hour before they made it to a large cave. “It’s in here,” Tom tilted his head towards the entrance. They entered the cave to come to a dead end close to the entrance.

“There’s nothing here,” Tess commented as she looked at the blank wall before them.

“Says you,” Tom scoffed. He took some flint and lit a fire in a bowl decorated with an enormous bird on it, not too far from him. It burst into flame almost instantly as the sparks hit the oil kept in it. “Stand back,” Tom instructed as he shifted into his wolf form. He braced his back feet to prevent him from slipping. His form took up most of the room in the cave. Tom howled at a lower frequency than Tess was used to. The ground shook around them as the back of the cave slowly opened to reveal a hidden room.

“Amazing,” Destru said in awe, walking forward as Tom shifted back. They walked into a room that was unnaturally round. A pedestal stood in the middle, moonlight encircling it. Destru walked gingerly around the floor, inching towards the pedestal. His excitement nearly got the best of him.

“There are no traps,” Tom laughed. “Since a wilkolak opened the door, they’re all deactivated.”

Tess laughed as Destru got excited and nearly ran to the center of the room. He probably had little times where he got treasure so easily. “What’s in the prophecy?” Tess turned towards Tom as Destru started dancing around, holding a tablet above his head.

“I don’t know,” Tom admitted. “We never read it. We were just told to guard it.”

“Well, how would you know when to reveal it if you didn’t know what it was about?” Tess asked. Destru’s crew began dancing with him in excitement.

“I was always told that I would know when the time was right,” Tom shook his head at the pirate’s excitement. “I guess now is as good a time as any.”

“Destru, what’s it say?” Tess called, making him come over towards the two.

“Good question, Lass,” Destru turned the tablet so he could read it. He stared at it for a couple minutes, turning it one way, then another, frowning. “I can’t read it.” Destru’s excitement deflated as this realization came about.

“Well, that doesn’t make sense,” Tom took the tablet from Destru, and looked at it. He studied it for a few minutes, then sighed. “It’s written in an ancient wilkolak language.” Tom’s ears rotated in annoyance. “I can translate it but it will take me a bit.”

“Aw, bugger,” Destru looked down, then shrugged. “It was definitely worth the adventure. How long to translate?”

“If we get back to the house where the reference books are, I’d say about half a day,” Tom answered. He looked over the tablet once more. He recognized a few words, but he wasn’t the best at translations.

“Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s go!” Destru rushed everyone out of the cave and back to the house.