Chapter 3: Wanted
"HUH?! 500 GOLD PIECES!?"
"Yes, 500 gold pieces." He replied, still smiling. "I'm sorry, but that's my price." He said with finality.
"That's horse shit! How do we have that kind of cash?" I yell.
The old troll shrugged. "You'll have to figure it out," he said. "If not, I'm afraid we can't do business."
I grit my teeth, feeling anger boiling up inside me. I wanted to punch that smug expression off his face. Taking a deep breath, I turned to my team and said, "Inez, what are we going to do now? If we don't pay, Ha, our time here will be wasted."
Inez paused for a moment before replying, "If you don't have that kind of money, that's fine. I'll pay it for you."
Odette and I looked at him stunned. "WHAT? YOU CAN PAY 500 GOLD PIECES? DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH THAT'S WORTH?" I cried in disbelief.
"Yeah, Mr. Inez you can't afford something so expensive. It's not like you have gold in your pocket." Odette points.
"Not in my pocket, but on my credit card." The vampire pulled out his credit card and gave it to the cashier.
The cashier was shocked to see the vampire's wealth. The troll quickly finished the transaction and handed the vampire his receipt. Inez thanked him and turned his attention to us.
Mr. Inez smiled and said, "I have more than enough. Consider it a gift." We both looked at each other in amazement, unable to comprehend what had just happened.
"Well, that happened. I guess we just turned the corner to the exit." I said walking towards the main door but Inez called out to me.
"Wait a minute, we're not here just because of shopping but also checking on the magical staff Odette is holding."
I stopped in my tracks and turned around. "What? Why?"
"Consider this: a regular wand can only cast spells on one person each time. However, yesterday, the staff cast one spell and turned EVERYONE at the same time which means it must have been a powerful wand. This suggests that the wand might be a special one, with the ability to cast spells on multiple people at the same time."
He continued, " We must investigate further to determine the origin of this wand. We must also make sure that the wand is safe and secure and not used for nefarious purposes. We must act quickly before more damage is done."
Inez turns to Odette. "Which is why if we find out this staff is dangerous, I don't think you'll have the right to wield."
Odette frowned. "Wh-what? But did you say I'm the only one who can wield it?"
Inez shook his head. "No, I never said you could. I said I could teach you how to use magic but after seeing what happened yesterday I'm more certain you can do it."
"But I want to LEARN magic. I want to learn how to fight off the people who are with my family and get back home!"
"Odette, you already have the magic ball. You can find your parents easily now. There's no need for you to use magic."
For a moment, Odette didn't replay but laughed. She said, "You're right! Why do I need to learn magic? It's not like it will take 2 or 4 years to master all the spells! But you? You have mastered them ALL so YOU can bring my family and humans OUT of this world right now!"
She handed him the staff in an angular manner. "Come on! Get us outta here!"
"Odette, as much as I want to help-"
She interrupted him with a glare, "I'm not asking, I'm telling."
Inez walked backwards as she stepped forward. "What are you doing? You said I couldn't have it. Why are you suddenly don't want to hold on to it?"
"Odette, listen to me. First of all I can bring you and your family home but I don't have the knowledge how yet because I don't know the way even after all these years. Secondly, I can't hold that staff without my gloves or else I'll."
Before Inez says a word, Odette grabs his hand and places it on her staff. Suddenly, Inez's skin burns as if he held a hot coal. Taking his hand away from Odette, he drops the staff and looks at her in disbelief.
"Oh my God, what the hell just happen?" I yelled. "Is that staff made out of silver?"
"It's pure silver," the vampire said. "You should know that silver can ward off evil. That's why I'm giving it to you."
"What? B-but I thought glass, how could it be silver?" Odette asked
Inez glared at her. "It's a special kind of silver. It's been imbued with powerful magic that will keep anyone safe from vampires like me."
Odette nervously nodded, and the vampire handed her the silver. Odette clutched the magic staff tightly, her hands shaking.
"I'm s-sorry, I didn't know silver hurt vampires" Odette apologizes.
The vampire glared then sighed. "It's OK, I'm used to it. Just be careful with it. Silver has a powerful effect on me."
"So, you two are done talking so we check the staff or?" I paused.
They nodded and looked at the troll who stood mouth-hung. I cleared my throat and addressed the troll. "We're ready. Let's get started." He nodded and we all turned to the staff.
"So, as I recall, this staff is different from other staffs?" The troll replied, holding the staff off Odette's hands.
"Yes, yesterday I cast a spell on it mutliple people and I reugular wand." Inez said. "And I think you would be able to tell me how it works."
"Hm, let me see." The troll looked at the wand and nodded. "Yes, this is a powerful wand. It will be able to cast any spell you desire, as long as you know how to use it correctly."
"And it's because of this." The troll's finger pointed at the round yellow stone that bonded the staff. "This stone is the source of the wand's power. It is infused with powerful magic that can cast any spell you need. It's pretty common for stones in wands. They are called "Energy Stones". Be careful though, this magic can be dangerous if not used correctly."
"Wait, so the stone is that powerful? How does it trigger when I use incantation magic?" Odette wondered.
"Yes," Rifty nodded. "The stone responds to your words and intentions and helps to focus your power. Use it wisely, and you will be able to achieve incredible things."
Rifty examined the powerful wand closely, "Strange, this yellow stone is rare, I have never seen such an energy stone. Tell me young girl, where did you find this?"
The girl said, "I found it in the forest where it fused in a tree. That tree was actually a dryra and it was protecting it from anyone. She told me she was going to die so she allowed me to protect it. I didn't want it but it's the only way I can save my family."
"Your family? Huh? How did you get here?" Rifty asks. "Outsider?"
"It's... a long story."
Rifty looks confused, but nods slowly. "I understand. It's OK." He says. "We can discuss it whenever you want."
When I look out the window, I notice that the sun is almost rising. "Yeah, are we done for today? We've been here for almost an hour and the sun is rising. Inez, you're a vampire. How did you not notice the sun coming up? Let's get out of here before the sun shines fully."
"Oh, wait one more thing!" Odette gasps and grabs her staff. Could you please tell me where the restroom is? I need to use the restroom before we go," Odette says.
"Are you serious? Why are you asking now? And do you have a bathroom in your RV?" I snarled.
"Oh, come on Blayden. Let the girl get to to the restroom besides it's only 5 so we still have time left." Inez said.
Rifty points to the hallway and directs Odette to the restroom. Odette quickly runs to the restroom while Inez and I wait outside.
"Jeez, how can a girl take this long in the restroom?" I ask myself.
Inez looks at me knowingly. "That's what happens when you have to go to the bathroom," she says. "It takes a while."
A silence followed, then I spoke. "Hey, do you really think we can really trust her using a dangerous staff? I mean, she an outsider. She doesn't know anything about magic. She'll have to be taught, and who knows what could happen? We'd be taking a huge risk if we gave her something she could misuse."
He didn't respond.
I proceeded. "And she's careless too, she's not the ideal person to wield a powerful staff. She could cause a lot of damage if she's not careful. I'm worried about her safety and those around her. You should take it from her. I just don't trust her."
Silent. None of us spoke for a while. Inez finally broke the silence. "You're right. I'll take it from her. If it was possible."
Right, the staff is made out of silver and he's a vampire. I almost forgot about that.
"Anyhow, I'm heading to the restroom now. She's taking too long and I'm getting impatient. I guess I better go check on her. Hopefully, she's not doing anything weird in there." Inez said walking towards the restroom.
"Yeah, sure I'll come with you."
"No. No, you don't have to. If the sun is rising, go back to the RV and get my sunscreen." Inez said.
"Sunscreen? How does that protect you from burning up when you're a vampire?"
"It doesn't," Inez replied. "But it does protect me from the sun's rays. Plus, it smells nice." He smiled.
"Sure, I'll get it."
Inez opens the bathroom door till I grab him from the wirst. "And if you've done anything to her in there when I'm gone, I'll come back and finish you off," I said, my voice low and threatening.
"Remember Inez, I'm a dragon shifter...I can hear you a mile away."
Inez nodded, his face pale. I released his wrist and stepped back. "You have five minutes." I said, turning and walking away.
Walking back from the RV, I check body lotion again. I pick up a small bottle and turn it around to read the ingredients. It's made with natural ingredients, and vampires can walk in the sun.
Amazing how before vampires used to dread the sun, but now with this lotion, they don't have to worry anymore. Technology is advancing every day, and it's amazing how it can solve problems like this one.
As I looked up, I sensed that the sun was about to rise. "Crap! It's 5 already? Damn it, I have to move fast!"
I started running towards the antique store. I was out of breath but I had made it just in time. I was only a few feet away when I heard voices from the store.
I use my high hearing to listen in on the conversation. I heard at least five people talking to Rifty.
Rifty: "I already, told you I don't know who you're talking about."
???: "Don't lie to us. You know who the girl is in this picture?(Male 1 sounds temper able).
Rifty: "I'm not lying, I've never seen her before."
???: "You better tell us the truth or you'll be in big trouble.(Male 2 sounds like a deep voice.)
???: "I'm sensing her, I can feel her presence...Yes, she was just here.(Female 1 Sounds gentle.)
??? : "What do you mean? Where is she?" (Male 1)
??? : "I don't know, she disappeared suddenly." (Female 1)
???: "Guys, what about the two males who came with her? I heard they left together. Maybe they know where she went. (Male 3 sounds alarmed)
???: "Oh and what? She spared them and walked with her? She's evil, she won't hesitate to harm them...like she did to my uncle." (Female 2 sounded...like an angry little girl?)
I walked to the store and led beside a wall listening to their conversion.
Rifty: Please leave me alone. I don't know who she is!"
???: "Don't act like you don't know shit old man! You saw the girl. Tell us where you saw her. Us guardians will not leave this place until you tell us what you know!"(Male 1)
I froze at my place. "Guardians?" My heart was pounding. I felt a chill running down my spine.
???: "Okay, let me tell you this again: Yesterday, there was a fight that broke out at an Adventurers Guild and one of the high rankers was put through a coma. The criminal was a unslave human girl and it was said she electrocuted him using her staff. And it is also said that during her escape she cast a spell on all the guardians into trees at the same time."
Male 1 continued. "The guildmaster issued an arrest warrant for the girl, who disappeared without a trace. Many adventurers have searched for her since, but no leads have been found. The guildmaster is offering a generous reward for anyone who can provide information about her whereabouts."
I heard the male 1 chuckling: "It's just my theory, but I think the staff she's carrying is the long lost staff belonging to our Emperor: Lord Adabbon Noir!"
I froze when I heard that. The staff...belong to...our emperor?
Suddenly, I heard a mighty thud behind me, which made me jump.
???: "So, tell me again: Have you seen a human girl with blonde hair wearing sunflowers?"