BLACK MAGE QUESTS #3: WITHIN THE BITTER HEART 2
Black Mage Quests
Case Name: Within the Bitter Heart
Winter of the year of Emerald
An assortment of baked goods splayed neatly across the table. On St. Florrie’s half: Croissants, newly picked flowers, and fresh vegetable sandwiches courtesy of the greenhouses in Chrysanthos. On my end of the table, lay a few toasty mineral buns and mine-stone soups, a stark contrast of dark compared to St. Florrie's end of bright green and vibrant foods.
As we ate, St. Florrie flashed me concerned looks. She knew I was despondently sipping away at my soup…
“Oh honey, stop worrying so much. Just enjoy the journey!” She chipperly said, nibbling away.
I moved the spoon left and right slowly, sighing deeply. Well.
No point in moping. I was meeting St. Florrie for the first time in ages after all, and it should be celebrated.
“Say St. Florrie, would you like to try something new?”
With a hefty groan, I took out the special drinks I had prepared for the picnic. I was a little nervous; this was the first time I was about to share it. It was a thing I had been working on during my ride up to Chrysanthos-- A strange drink I had concocted out of the surplus of koffberries that Amaryllis had given me. I was eager to see what the saint would think of it.
I placed a couple of teacups down and drew out an ancient looking steel pot. With ease, I poured a steaming bronze liquid into them.
“OH MY, What’s this?!” The saint gasped, her eyes widening in surprise.
"It's something I've made recently. I call it… Coffee"
The saint was staring at me, excitement welling up in her face.
"So.. I thought it'd be nice to share it. I've been trying to make a good brew of it recently…" The gold smoke claw presented the steaming cup to St. Florrie, and she took a sip.
I continued, "It was really fascinating, you see… It's made of Koffberries which are traditionally used as medicine…"
The saint's face scrunched up, but she tried her best to keep it straight. I had a feeling the bitterness kicked in. She was never a fan of sour or bitter flavors after all.
"...So since I had so many, I tried to make a drink out of it. My favorite method is roasting, grounding it and then...."
The saint had floated closer now, still holding her cup, but her eyes locked on me, staring stoically. Again, she seemed to intensely gaze at something invisible.
"--What?" I stared back, confusedly.
Did I anger her?
Ah. I did give her something bitter…
As a saint of love, sweets were her favorite after all. I had forgotten about that…
"Right. I forgot you hated that flavor." I sighed.
"No, it's not that."
The saint said calmly, eyes still wide, and pointing.
"Seren, you're smiling."
I had then just noticed, in fact I was. Smirks were common, but smiles were rare. I can't remember the last time I gave one…
And if St. Florrie caught this, then this was a genuine smile… At the moment it took me by surprise.
St. Florrie gave a warm smile back. "Honey, I can feel and see a large aura of passion around you!"
"Wait… That means…"
I glanced down at the teacup with the bronze liquid.
"That's right! This "coffee" you've made… It's a love of yours!" The saint jovially exclaimed, clapping her hooves together.
For some reason I began to laugh heartily.
I couldn't believe it. But it made sense. I had struggled with these koffberries all winter.
Frustration. Hair tearing. Exhaustion from staying up some nights to try and perfect the flavor of them.
Questioning why Amaryllis had dumped a year's worth of koffberries on me.
Almost giving up on them and the temptation to sell them off.
But I hadn't.
I kept them and created something new. From there, a whole new world had opened up. There were endless possibilities of inventing different types of coffee, with different flavors, and even enchanted effects. It was an exciting prospect… And it was the most exciting one I've had in years.
This was the thing I was looking for!
"Florrie… Thank you."
The pouf giggled, "I'm just glad you've found that missing piece, dearie!"
"Just one last thing about it though." She said, taking another sip, as if confirming something.
She then gave a dreadful face.
I laughed, spitting out the coffee I was drinking.
For the first time during this entire winter and fall, I felt warm and cozy.
You must log in to post a comment.Log in