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"The Horse of Another Color"

The Horse of Another Color

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3

This story is in progress

The sequel to this story is "The Sword and the Rose."

World's Shortest Disclaimer: Characters are Marvel's. Comments to

Part 3

The Well of Souls was many things to many people. The portal to Blackheart's realm, it was a legend to the skeptical, a mecca to the necromancer, a place of fear for the wicked and joy for the pious. To those who had not passed through the dark waters, it was the place where they came to remember their lost loved ones. To others, still, it was the place where they came to resurrect...

"Are you sure that this is the place?" Ororo did not sound convinced, as she called a wind to raise her into the air. What she saw was not promising. A massive stone wall, engraved with friezes depicting the soul's journey in the underworld, curved to form a perfect circle, while a huge dome blocked access from above. Nearby, flowers, offerings and sacrifices for the dead decorated the carved altar in the copse. It appeared that no living traveller had come further than the perimeter of the Well's boundary.

"Yes. The place where life and death cross over, the gateway to de Netherworld, the final destination, et cetera..." Belladonna sounded impatient. The faerie had been growing more agitated as they approached the citadel. Her golden hair crackled with sparks, an electric nimbus around her overripe body. Despite her evident fury, she seemed to be slowly rotting -- her green silk dress appeared wilted, the scent of decay was more evident, the white buds in her hair were blackening. Was the Belle Dame Sans Merci, the seemingly unkillable succubus, dying?

"How do we enter?" Ororo looked dubiously at the stone structure that marked the entrance to the temple.

"Through the door." Belladonna answered facetiously.

"Well and good -- if there were a door."

"There always is a door." She raised a single, golden eyebrow, "Don't know how you got as far as you did with your limited perception."

Tired of the woman's continuous sniping, she snapped back: "My skills are element-based -- not necromancy."

The other woman laughed at the insult, "True, darling. You never could stand death. Never could see it as natural."

From a woman who appeared to be decomposing, the sentence was deeply ironic. For all her skill in healing, Ororo could do nothing to stop the gradual rot. Prophecy conspired against her. For the Avatar to return, the faerie-lover celebrated in poem and song would have to sacrifice herself for him. Would give herself up in act of ultimate love. Resolving to check the complete foreseeing when she returned to her cottage, she replied more gently:

"We do not have time to waste talking about my shortcomings. Please open the door."

Belladonna sighed and shrugged, stepping to the seemingly impenetrable wall and placing a hand on its cold surface. Her fingers seemed to melt into the stone, becoming part of the frieze -- a flame in the sixth level of the underworld. Ororo suddenly remembered something her old master had told her:

"Only the dead and dying may open the way to the Lands Below."

"Open sesame."

The wall dissolved before the sorceress' eyes, revealing a tall, carved door trimmed with iron. Belladonna hissed as she saw the metal that was so poisonous to all faeriekind. It depicted Blackheart -- the only deity with a single nature but many guises -- as the Warrior Death on the left panel and the Comforter Death on the right. As the focal point of each design, a bloody, red pearl was set in steel. In the border, among wreaths of wooden poppies, glyphs were carved: "What is it that pulls a man apart yet holds him together?"

"Open sesame?" Ororo repeated incredulously.

"The one thing you school-trained wizards never seemed to get is that words aren't important. They simply serve as a channel for you powers. A means of concentrating them and your mind on a single source." Belladonna explained, "It is not the the words that matter but the feeling behind them that counts. Could say rhubarb for all it mattered."


"You get the point?"

"Yes, I do." She said, "After you..."

"You don't trust me -- how flattering." Belladonna moved slowly forward, hips swaying as she did so, the scent of roses' ashes accompanying her. Ororo followed cautiously behind, noting with a strange sadness the white that peppered the golden curls, the slight stoop of the shoulders. How much
longer could it be?

"Is the door locked?"

"Yes, in the sense that we can't get in immediately. No, in the sense that we can unlock it."


"Goddess of Wisdom/Foolishness. Next you'll be telling me I have to flatten de grass for you before you walk on it." Belladonna groaned, "It is a magic door so we use magic."

"An incantation?"

"No, this is not as easy as saying a few pretty words and alakazam the door opens." The witch replied, "There is one word -- one right word that will open it. If we get it wrong, we're dead."

"Any way to determine this word?"

"A riddle," she smiled an eldritch smile.

"A riddle?"

"Can't have a magic door without one." Belladonna shrugged, "Once there was a travelling wizard who used to specialise in them. Riddling Rosenberg or something similar. Was all the vogue to have a magic, riddle door. Impress your friends. Fry your enemies and in-laws."

"Very well, but how does that knowledge help us?"

"Most of the people weren't exactly genii. The riddles had to be simple. Hope he hasn't made an exception here."

"Let us see." Ororo traced the words in the floral border of the strange entrance, "What is it that pulls a man in many directions all at once but which at the same time also holds a man together?"

She paused, mulling over the possibilities. If Remy was who she believed him to be, however impossible that in itself was, then the conundrum would possibly have something to do with his nature -- with having been many men in the past, yet still being solely himself. Although this puzzle was probably carved centuries before he had been born, destiny in its usual fashion would have prodded Rosenberg in the correct direction. It always seemed to do so. As terrifying as the thought of them needing him was, she had to trust her instincts and fate.

"Harder than his usual ones. Guess he must have made an exception for the Well of Souls."

"His soul. His nature," Ororo repeated.

"Yes," Belladonna said impatiently, "Why does that matter now?"

"It holds him together but tears him apart. It ... he is not unique in that respect. What is the one thing which pulls you apart? That makes you do something of which your conscience and intellect does not approve? A soul. Yet, if you don't follow those impulses, you're inhuman, broken, so it holds you together at the same time. The answer can only be his soul."

"Then say it," she seemed almost scared, hands fiddled with the ragged, mildewed silk of her gown. Her face was horribly wrinkled, her mouth gummy with blackened stumps of teeth, her hair white and thin. Only her voice was young, sweet and rich, "If it isn't right, then you will be flash-fried in a matter of seconds."

"I place enough faith in my own judgement and decisions to take that chance." She stood closer to the door, "How do I answer the riddle?"

"You see the two large pearls set far apart and trimmed with starmetal?" she shivered at the sound of the word.


"Place your hands on them."

Ororo touched it lightly, feeling the electric worms that crawled through her flesh. Like drinking lightning, it filled her with its radiance and power and strength. Her hands were light -- the bones visible through the glassy, brilliant skin. Her face reflected in the steel was a glow in the midst of a spark. The door had evidently been enchanted by someone almost impossibly powerful to ward off intruders. Forget Riddling Rosenberg, she thought in horrified awe, this was the work of the Great Sorceress.

"Now?" she gasped through gritted teeth.

"Now clear your mind of all thoughts and think of the answer."

Ororo closed her eyes, attempting to calm the maelstrom of unspoken thoughts and words inside of herself. If she is back, and he and they are together then what sort of trouble are we in and will they be strong enough will they learn and grow and know what to do because he's so young and she so weak but if they are who prophe--A SOUL. The pearls glowed, red, orange, gold, white beneath her touch. Belladonna stood back, hiding her leathery, creased face with her hands. A sound like the rumbling of thunder -- crack and a flash. The sorceress was lost in the light and the glory. Asingle thought throbbed through her aching head: "Is this what it is like to be HER?"

"Ororo?" Belladonna whispered, fearing yet hoping for the worst.

When the radiance had dimmed to a sparkle, the door stood open, like a blossom that had unfurled. The carvings of Blackheart had become flowers, the steel melted to dewdrops. In the midst of the flora, a wooden woman smiled then impossibly opened her arms to them. The words on the border had changed: "The Sword from the Well. The Rose from the Tower."

"Looks like I guessed accurately." Ororo smiled, "Follow me."

Inside the temple was dark. Musty. Cold. The scent of incense clotted the atmosphere, hung heavy on the air, barely concealing the sweet stench of death. Ororo made a small ball of lightning between her fingers, lighting up the room with a brilliant white glow, revealing bleached bones lacy with spiderwebs. The floor had been tiled at one time, but was overgrown with moss. Only a single shape remained visible, an eye staring blankly into the vaulted ceiling, hopelessly.

"I don't like it here." Belladonna muttered, looking around furtively.

"I thought I would have suited you." Ororo said in surprise, "Being the creature of the night that you are."

"Hmmp. There should be an entance here..." The now-ancient faerie knelt with difficulty, brushing away the accumulated layers of dust that coated everything. She was frail, grey and white, the bleached skeleton of an orchid.

"I should ask how you know this place so well, but I fear the answer."

"Ha!" Her laughter echoed hollowly, was lost in a spasm of coughing, "Been here before. Came here when I died."

"What?" Ororo was shocked. Had the succubus been a mortal woman or did she live in cycles, passing perpetually from spring to winter? If it was the former, who had she been before she became Belladonna? A courtesan seeking endless delight? A sorceress who had sold her soul for power and immortality? An ordinary, mortal woman who had wanted to experience immortal sensations?

As if reading her mind, which she probably was: "I was the daughter of Lord Marius de Bordeaux -- a spoilt lady brought up surrounded by privilege and luxury. Unfortunately, our comfort was bought with the suffering of our peasants. My father, I fear, was of the old school of lords who whipped and starved them; crucified them when they complained. Quite unsurprisingly, the peasants revolted. Burnt our castle with us within it. I was eighteen at the time -- my marriage to the Count of Cheswick had just been announced and I was deeply in love with him. I begged the Lord of the Underworld, Blackheart, to allow me to return to earth and he took pity on me. Or so I thought. He said that if he let me go, I must fetch him more souls. One for every day that I'm free," her seamed cheeks crinkled in a mocking smile, "I thought it was a reasonable price. I was Daddy's daughter, after all, and there were plenty of peasants in the surrounds. What Blackheart didn't tell me was that I would only lead half an existence from then on. That anyone I touched would be blighted, would slowly rot while I watched hopelessly. My Count was the first to die at my hands. To protect myself, I became what I am."

"Which is why..." Ororo's voice was soft, compassionate. Despite her animosity towards Belladonna, the woman was deserving of pity if she had to endure half of what she described. Her vows constrained her to try and heal mind, as much as body.

"I lure men into my trap, then strip them of their essence. Guess I'm an assassin of souls in a way. Please don't feel sorry for me. I certainly stopped doing so after the first century or so and started having fun instead," she pulled up an iron ring with a grunt, "There."

Breathlessly, she stared down into a black abyss of stars and space that stretched to beyond infinity. Between them, oily liquid ebbed and flowed, becoming hands and faces, mouths that whispered silent pleas for mercy. Among these, flames bobbed and whirled in time with the pulsing of a central, golden sun.

"How do we descend?"

"We jump," the crone replied, hitching up silken skirts to reveal withered calves.

"Jump?" Ororo sounded suspicious.

"You think that Blackheart would go to all the trouble of installing steps so that the souls can walk down into damnation easily? Besides which, souls can float -- we can't."

"Or maybe we can." Ororo said slowly, "If I can manipulate the wind currents in the room, I can levitate myself above the ground."

"Isn't that nice for you? What about me?"

"I can lift you as well, I think," she examined the hag, appraising how much she would weigh and wondering if even her relatively strong elemental powers could lift her off the floor. The aging probably had not reduced her mass too much, if it was magical in origin.

"You think?"

"I am not sure, but it is the only way."

"Okay ... but..."

A strong wind swirled around Ororo's grubby robes, making them fly out like streamers at a fair. Her hair was a silken banner behind her. With the same wild rush as always, she felt herself lift off the ground and hover a few inches in the air.

"And me?"

Beads of sweat stood out on Ororo's forehead as she murmured a further incantation. Trying to recall the earlier strength and sweetness that had filled her at the door, she drew on her last reserves of magical strength. Belladonna lifted into the air and then fell unceremoniously back to earth with a thud. She had been right. However ancient and delicate the faerie looked, she was still heavier than the sorceress could manage.

"I am sorry ... you are more than I can manage."

The witch muttered a foul, swearword under her breath then grinned disengagingly as she realised something. In that moment, she seemed to become young again -- her hair golden and smooth, her mouth a kissable curve, her body perfectly ripe. The flowers bloomed in her hair, and the green dress was as new and smooth as a field of clover.

"Looks like I will have to stay here after all."

"Maybe." Ororo looked worried, "But I do not wish to travel into parts unknown without a guide."

"You have no choice, dear." She smiled. "I am too heavy."

The sudden change triggered a memory. The woman had done this before, had taken on the form of the ... woman Remy loved in an attempt to deceive him.

"Earlier on, you metamorphosed into the ... Remy's fiancee. Can you not do that again?"

Disgustedly, "What? I doubt that she would be lighter than I am -- looks a little solid around the hips, if you know what I mean."

Ororo sighed -- Belladonna was still playing her games of conquest, "Not into her, but into something else. Something lighter."

"Sorry, Bright one. I can only change into somet'ing animate."

"A bird then? A mouse?"

"No, won't work unless you have a burning passion for rats. The thing is it also has to be something the other person cares about."

A grimace passed across the sorceress' face, then cleared as something dawned upon her.



"I have an apprentice by the name of Jubilation Lee for whom I care deeply. She is a child and will no doubt be lighter than you."

"Good." The witch's forehead furrowed in concentration. The air shimmered around her momentarily and, in her place, stood a child who was the exact duplicate of Jubilation down the slanted, almond eyes and glossy hair. She was dressed in boy's breeches with a leather thong holding her dark hair back in a plait. Around her neck hung her ubiquitous bag of herbs and crystals.The voice, young and piping, sounded incongruous in the dark vault.

"Should we go now?"

Still exhausted from her previous attempt but determined to succeed, Ororo motioned with her arms and the child began to rise slowly upwards until she stood seemingly on nothing.

"Let us go."

The sorceress moved herself and Belladonna over the abyss and then began to lower them gently into the viscuous fluid. As they sunk, it fitted to them like a second skin, surrounding them, lapping at them. The transition to the netherworld was as sudden as it was startling. Voices murmured, wailed, in an unholy choir. Hands reached out, clawing at their skirts and at their skin, pulling their hair. Spirits whirled around them, cold as they touched and moved through them.

"I do not like this place."

"No mortal does."

Blackheart stepped out of the liquid night. His voice was as arrogant as it was icy, speaking of the promise of eternal darkness. Of being overwhelmed by shadows. Surprisingly, considering the traditional view of his appearance, he was a tall, dapper man with slick moustache and goatee, dressed in the latest court-fashions. Only his blue skin and crystalline hair marked him as anything different from the typical congregation of sycophants that surrounded the king.

"So, Belladonna, you have returned."

"Yes, Blackheart?" the child had reverted to an ancient hag, trembling as his cool stare roved over her.

"I never thought you would, but I am glad you did. I wish to congratulate you, I see. I am most pleased with the most recent soul you sent me. It has, and you will excuse the pun, spirit. A fire which I cannot quench. I never thought I would see..."

"We have come to reclaim him. It is not his time," Ororo interrupted, seeing that Belladonna was frozen on the spot.

"So many mortals say that and none of them escape," he sounded amused.

"Belladonna sent him to you under false pretenses. His sacrifice, such as it was, was noble. He does not belong here with the corrupt and weak."

"You have the audacity to enter my realm and challenge my power?"

The crystals caught alight, refracting in shades of blue and silver and purple. The souls ceased their endless dance and came to bob around him with the voyeuristic curiosity of people watching an execution. The abyss flared red, the central sun burning in shades of blood.

Despite her fear, Ororo pressed on: "Indeed. All mankind has the right to challenge death."

"By which right?"

Belladonna spoke, her voice barely above a whisper: "By the challenge spoken so many years ago."

"You would invoke the sacred challenge of Scherezade? You realise that it is my perogative to test you as I will? You realise that, if you fail, your souls are forfeit to me?"


Blackheart gestured to an attendant demon, "Bring the spirit in question here."

The demon vanished and reappeared. It was a twisted, scarred grotesquerie with a green mane, beady yellow eyes and the snout of a pig, to which it smelt surprisingly similar. By its side, a slender man stood, like a candle-flame. A golden cloth wrapped around his body was his only covering, much to Belladonna's evident delight. Energy coruscated up and down him in a blaze of molten red and his eyes were twin lanterns in his face.

"These people have come to free you. To save your soul."

The spirit's head bowed slightly in understanding.

"His test is a simple one. One to determine whether he merits release. We will see if he is as noble as you claim."

Blackheart closed his eyes, a look of intense concentration on his face. The crystals shimmered, the abyss became blue.

"He is a thief and a highwayman. One who robs the rich."

"Yet he gives the money to those from whom it has been originally stolen. The peasants who pay exorbitant taxes to feudal lords," Ororo countered.

"You are ... correct. That is noble." He sounded disgusted, "But let us see if the deeds of his heart are as noble as those of his body."

"I believe you will find them so."

"He loves a woman. She is ... beautiful ... spirited ... and she is to marry someone else. He is in love with an engaged woman?! Is that noble?"

"Engaged against her will. Forced into a marriage with a cruel tyrant who oppresses her people. Who threatens to destroy her village if she does not become his wife."

"This also is true. He is on a quest to rescue her from this mage, Magnus."


Blackheart opened his eyes once more and looking into them was like looking at two glowing embers. How could she have thought him even vaguely human, she wondered, despite the fine clothes? He was ancient beyond her understanding, as old as the first grave.

"He does not belong here. He is neither corrupt or evil." he proclaimed with a melodramatic sigh, "Pity. He was a collector's item. I cannot free him without an exchange, however. Without someone else giving themselves up."

"Then take me." Ororo said without hesitation. He was more important to the world than she was, would save the world from some nebulous evil, would heal the land in a way that she never could.

"No ... Take me," the faerie countered softly. The green silk had become grave-clothes, her once-lovely face a deathmask, her body emaciated and skeletal. She had brought this death upon herself, Ororo realised, and she needs would allow it to fulfill the ancient prophecy. The succubus would die.

"Very well."

A flicker. A smile. Flames shifting. Hands. Eyes. Voices. Blackness. Cold. Intense light as the sun poured in through the open door of the temple. The young man lifted his head from the stone floor where he was sprawled and looked at the sorceress. He was dressed in the same, silken cloth as before, showing a finely muscled body. He would be a more than capable warrior, she thought with a blush. Remy flushed too, wrapping the fabric more tightly around him. Fortunately, Ororo had thought to bring clean clothes in their rucksacks into which he changed while she stood guard outside.

"She did it, didn't she?"

"Yes. She did."

"I wonder why."

Not believing him ready to hear the truth, she groped for any reasonable explanation: "In her own strange, twisted way, she loved you."

He sat in silence for a long while, not knowing what to say and not daring to say anything for fear that it would be wrong. The pool of stars on the floor swirled and rippled noiselessly, the chatter of birds outside the crypt seemed strangely profane and loud. Remy slowly stood, dusting his trousers off, and walked out the door.

"We've wasted time here, Ororo. I don' know how much we have left."

"Then let us hope nothing more delays us."

"The horses?"

"I had to let them go. The next leg of our journey is more easily accomplished on foot than on horseback."

Her muscles ached at the thought of the hiking across the rough terrain that led to the Promethean Mountains. The horses would have broken their legs a thousand times before they reached their destination. The twisted goat-paths and cliff-trails that they would have to follow were hardly pleasant strolls on the village green, after all.

"Good. Let's get going ... We still don't even know where to find this Horse of Another Color or how long it will take us to get it."

"No, but we shall. And then we will stop the wedding," she hoped she sounded more confident than she felt. For all prophesy appeared to be behind them, time was growing painfully short.

"If we aren't too late."

"Trust in Sabrina's love for you and know that she too is probably doing everything she can to stop the wedding as well," she comforted him, silently adding: Which is more than you possibly imagine.

"It isn't her love I'm worried about, it's the mage's power."

Laughing at the irony of which he was unaware, "Power is not everything."

"No, it isn't, but it certainly counts for a lot," he looked confused.

Waving away his worries, "As you said, let us get going. Worrying about the future can only serve to delay us."

As they started on their painful walk, Ororo glanced back at the Well of Souls, seeing that the picture had changed again. The wooden woman was holding a rose in her hand, giving it to a tall, carved man in shining armour. Their hands were joined, the union of male and female, the two halves of nature, complete. She could barely make out the carved motto on the door: "The Sword and Rose become One."

Back resting against an oak tree, Sabrina tossed small pebble after small pebble against a hapless birch sapling, watching as they skipped from the trunk to the path. She had always found solace in the forest, caught between green sky and floor; had always been able to escape the pettiness of village life in the immensity of the woods. It was strange, she thought, considering her father's perpetual cautions about wild animals and wilder men that she felt so protected there. That nothing could or would harm her. Moodily, she picked a flower and began removing the petals. It had been weeks since her fiance had left on his fool's quest. Although she had held no hopes for his success, the small part of her that believed in legends still believed that she would see him riding into the village. The pragmatic remainder scoffed at that notion.

"Well, I certainly am not going to sit around like some damsel in distress and wait for Remy to save me. I'm going to find a way to kill that pig -- no matter what."

Remy had always teased her about her habit of speaking aloud when perturbed. She herself saw it as ridiculous, but the trees seemed to listen and they were certainly more intelligent than many of the women in her village. Knew when to remain silent, for one. She sighed, stretching out her legs, allowing herself to relax for the first time in months. Unsurprisingly, the bushes rustled behind her.

Swearing silently in a manner that would have caused the most hardened sailor to blush, she grasped a handy rock and prepared to meet her assailant. Despite the uncertainty, she felt no fear. The forest would still watch over her, would not allow her to be harmed. Instead of the burly robber she had expected, a slim girl stepped out of the greenery with a nervous smile on her exotic face. Dressed in the dingy robes of an apprentice sorceror, she held up her hands as proof against the stone.

"Miss? Uhm, I'm not going to hurt you. I'm just looking for someone. Can you help me?"

"Depends. Who do you want?" she retained her weapon. It could be a trick. She had heard of highwaymen sending a child to disarm the victim, then striking when they least expected. For all the security of the woods, she preferred the safety of a stone.

"Have you seen a woman with white hair come by here, accompanied by a man with really weird eyes?"

She paused, wondering if this strange apprentice meant her fiance. His eyes were unusual, to say the least. He was reticent to talk about them, dismissing them jokingly as a curse a malign faerie placed on him at birth. They evidently were tied up to some aspect of his past or himself which he wished to forget.

"No, I'm sorry. I haven't."

The girl plopped onto the floor with a sigh, evidently exhausted. "I've searched for them everywhere and I just can't find them."

Settling on the grass beside her, "Why are you looking for them?"

"I'm the woman's apprentice and I think she needs me. She's gone on some kind of crazy quest with this man to stop his fiancée from marrying this evil mage," she explained seriously, fishing in her pouch for a bottle of water. Taking a swig, she wiped her mouth then passed it to Sabrina. "Hmmp. I hear it's going around these days. Poor fiancée."

"Yes. Tell me about it." The girl's voice dropped into familiarity, "What is so insane is that they're looking for something that doesn't even exist. The Horse of Another Color or something similar. I don't know. If I was in her shoes, I'd be looking for The Sword of Extreme Sharpness rather than some mythical pony," pausing, "I hate to be rude about someone I haven't met, but she sounds more than a little spineless."

Sabrina laughed, "Oh, I suspect she has plans of her own to end the engagement with the Mage."

"No, all that sort of woman is good for is looking lovely-but-helpless in low-cut dresses," Jubilation disagreed, her voice a sarcastic drawl, her eyebrows quirked.

"I have better dress-sense than that, don't you think?" she said gently, deciding to end the charade before it got too embarrassing for either party. In her simple homespun with her hair pulled back in a severe bun, she appeared anything but weak.

The girl flushed, stammering a hasty apology. "You're her? I didn't realise ... I'm so ... You're not ... Oh, I open my mouth to put my foot in it," she wailed despairingly.

"The name's Sabrina Parker," she held out a hand to the apprentice, which Lee took gladly, "And don't worry. I'd think me spineless too, if I didn't know myself better."

"I'm Jubilation Lee. Where were you going?"

"To see my grandmother -- Destiny -- in order to ask her if she knows any way that Magnus might be killed," she explained, adding impishly: "Or to pick up a dress with an extremely low front."

Irene Adler, or Destiny as she preferred to be called, was a local witch of some repute. Although the more modern and forward members of the community pretended to eschew her services, she was the first they called when a child needed to be birthed, a cough stopped or a recalcitrant lover charmed. If anyone knew the Mage's weakness, it would be her.

"Can I come with?"

"Of course. It'll be company. It's about a league to her house, so it'll be nice to have some conversation."

"I could use magic to get us there?" she suggested.

Sabrina grimaced. Magic, in her opinion, was something with which she wished to have as little contact as possible, having come to know how the Mage abused it. Even if the girl next to her was the Great Sorceress herself, the mythical figure from Irene's stories, she would have refused emphatically. And probably be zapped for her troubles, she added. That much power would corrupt anyone. The impossibly noble, insufferably good anima from the fairy-tales would be a power-hungry despot in reality.

"Let's walk. I need the exercise cooped up in the village as I was."

"Sure." Jubilation sighed and ran after Sabrina into the woods.


To be continued.


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