Temptation: Part Five
Kayli jerked awake as someone began noisily banging on her bedroom door. After she'd gotten the Black Magic book back the night before, Kayli had become determined to finish the book and write down all of the enchantments, so she'd never be without them again. So instead of going to sleep as she'd told Sweetpea she would, Kayli had settled down to read the rest of the book, committing as many spells as possible to memory and writing down the rest. Last she remembered the sun had begun to rise, and she was reading something about controlling petpets. Or was it petpetpets? Kayli shrugged and pushed up from her desk, stretching and trying to work out the kink in her neck. Ah well, she'd have to read that section again. At least all of her hard work was finally paying off; Kayli smiled as she realized she only had a few pages to go before she was done the book.
Kayli frowned at the door as whoever waited outside began pounding again. Her frown deepened as she glanced at the time, seeing that she still had several hours until class started. She glanced longingly at her book, wishing she could give whoever was waiting outside a taste of their own medicine, and marched up to the door. She yanked it open and scowled as Sweetpea, the aforementioned knocker, jumped in surprise. Kayli opened her mouth to snap out a sarcastic comment but Sweetpea quickly cut her off.
"Yeah, yeah, I know you're mad but deal with it. Artro's back, he needs us to meet him at the cottage. So go get ready, I'll wait here." Kayli glowered at her friend, who simply tapped her hoof impatiently.
"Who cares what Artro wants? I'm in the middle of something, he can deal with it." Sweetpea simply raised an eyebrow and waited. When Kayli crossed her arms and continued to glare Sweetpea scoffed.
"You've got to be kidding me. I know you think you're the greatest thing since the Giant Omelette, but this is Artro were talking about. Our mentor? Remember him? Yeah, well when he says jump, we jump, when he says go, we go, and when he says meet me at the cottage at the crack of dawn, we go to the cottage. Like right now. That's what being an apprentice is all about, and if you don't like it, there are plenty of other wizards in training waiting to take your place."
Kayli felt her jaw drop open as her eyes narrowed. "You think you're better than me? You think I don't DESERVE to be an apprentice. Who helps you in potions? Who makes sure you don't flunk out of this school? ME, that's who. So if you think you deserve your apprenticeship over me, you've got another thing coming."
Sweetpea rolled her eyes but didn't back down. "I've never asked you to help. Believe it or not, being a great Wizard doesn't just take natural ability, it takes hard work and practise. You'd know that if you'd take your head out of the clouds and listen to someone else for a change. Now if you don't mind, I'M going to meet Artro."
And with that Sweetpea spun around and stormed off, leaving Kayli standing in the doorway fuming. By the time she'd come up with a response, Sweetpea was already turning the corner.
"HEY, wait just a second!" Kayli ran down the hall after Sweetpea, knocking over a couple of other students in the process. "HEY-" someone called out, but Kayli was already rounding the corner and rushing after Sweetpea. Bumbling idiots, all of them, Kayli thought. She could already feel a pounding headache brewing in the back of her skull. Someone was going to pay for that headache.
By the time Kayli had caught up to Sweetpea they were already entering the forest. "Who do you think you are? You think you can just barge into my room-" Kayli's rant was cut short as Sweetpea bushed a branch aside, allowing it to swing back and nearly smack Kayli in the face.
"Sorry." Sweetpea said without looking back, clearly hoping to forget their argument. Kayli's head was beginning to throb. She couldn't take this anymore. None of them, with their dismissive tones and their condescending looks. They dared talk to HER like that? They DARED to look at her? She who could destroy them with a single spell? This was it; the last straw. Something had to be done. She'd silence them, once and for all. She'd-
"Girls! My, what a wondrous surprise!" Kayli stepped back, trying to get her rage under control as Artro approached. This was neither the time nor the place for an attack. Artro peered curiously at Kayli as she turned away, but instead focused his attention on Sweetpea. "And to what do I owe the honour?"
Sweetpea smiled and shook her head ruefully. "You wanted to see us? Something about collecting ingredients for a potion?"
Artro's eyes twinkled as he studied his pupils. "I did, did I? Well you'd best come along then, there's much to be done." And with that he turned and pranced off in the direction of the cottage. Sweetpea smiled, and turned to look at Kayli. Her smile slowly faded as Kayli refused to meet her gaze.
"Are you..." Sweetpea stopped and considered her words. "I mean... Are you coming?"
Kayli carefully arranged her expression into a look of boredom and gave Sweetpea a curt nod. Without waiting for a reply, Kayli marched off after Artro. Her headache had begun to lessen, and was now just a dull ache in the back of her head. She could do this. She'd handle whatever Artro wanted and then return to her room where the book awaited.
When they entered the cottage, they found the one roomed hut to be in complete disarray. The caldron, which should have been in the center of the room, had been pushed aside to make room for several open suitcases, which were in various stages of being unpacked. Several books fluttered around the room, and different colourful potions hung from the ceiling. A thick layer of dust covered everything, signally just how long it'd been since anyone had been in here.
"What do you want us to do, clean?" Kayli asked sarcastically. She pulled at one of the curtains, but then dropped it in disgust. The cottage, which usually felt cosy and charming, was making Kayli feel trapped today.
Artro simply laughed and shook his head. "No time for that now, we must get going!" As he spoke, Artro flew around the room, picking up various books and ingredients and tossing them into the suitcases.
"Go?" Sweetpea raised an eyebrow and glanced at Kayli curiously. Kayli continued to watch Artro, refusing to meet Sweetpea's gaze. If anyone could figure out what she was planning, it would be Sweetpea.
"Yes, yes, we must collect a special ingredient for a potion I'm brewing." Artro wiggled his eyebrows, making Sweetpea laugh and Kayli roll her eyes. "By this time tomorrow, we'll be in Altador!"
Sweetpea blinked in surprise. "Altador? But why? What could you possibly need there that's not available here?" Artro simply smiled shook his head.
"Now my dear, that's for me to know and you to find out! Now come along girls, we leave at once!"
Kayli frowned as Artro began zipping up the suitcases and sent them flying out the door. "Like, right now? But we have class."
"Now now, Kayli, I never figured you'd be one to pass up an adventure! But if you'd rather stay here and study for your midterms..." Kayli ignored Artro and headed for the door.
"Yeah yeah, let's just go already..." She muttered. Artro glanced questioningly at Sweetpea, who simply shrugged. Kayli stepped outside and frowned thoughtfully as she waited for Artro and Sweetpea to follow. This was definitely going to mess with her plans... Unless...
Kayli smiled wickedly as an idea suddenly occurred to her. An idea that would ensure she was never questioned again, and would prove just how powerful she was. It would be tricky, and she would have to time it just right, but if this worked, she'd be the most powerful Wizard in existence.
After taking a boat to Neopia Central, the group set off on foot towards Faerieland, where they would then enter the Altadorian portal and travel across the globe. Kayli would have likely once spent the entire trip complaining about having to walk and pleading Artro to teleport them, but now she was too preoccupied with her planning. Even Kayli could recognise that the Black Magic had changed her; no longer was she an aimless force, idly wasting her time in useless classes, waiting for something better to come along. No, now she had a purpose. Kayli reached under her cloak and stroked the book, thankful she had grabbed it before they had left. Yes, her time was coming. She would succeed where others had failed, and prove herself to the world. She no longer felt the blinding rage she'd be fighting for weeks, but a cold controlled fury. All she had to do now was wait.
As they neared Faerieland's border, Kayli could feel Sweetpea watching her. The sun was now sinking, and it was approaching dinnertime. As Kayli turned to her companion Sweetpea quickly looked away, pretending to study the trees.
"Problem?" Kayli asked sweetly. It was the first she had spoken since their trip had begun. Sweetpea watched Kayli cautiously but said nothing, her eyes filled with worry. So she suspected something. No matter. Once the spell began Sweetpea wouldn't be able to stop it. No one would, as soon no one would be able to match Kayli's magic. Kayli smiled at the idea, and let out a laugh. She'd be all powerful, like that fool Tamara had tried to be. Well, Kayli thought as she turned to grin at a frightened Sweetpea. She wasn't going to drain an entire forest. No; just one old man who had outlived his usefulness.
To be continued...