Chapter XIII: Elementum Spiritus (6/13)Mature

'Let's get to it, then,' said Tayna, and the moment she shut the door, the room lit up. The room was beautiful, feeling warm and smelling of dried ink and parchment. There were carved oak panels on all of the walls, matching three roll top desks placed around the room, each lit by stained glass lamps designed like autumn leaves. In the middle of the room was a red leather furniture suite, encircling geometric mosaics. Though there were five bookcases in the room - the middle section enclosed in locked cabinets, there were also busts on podiums, framed oil paintings and statuettes around the room.

'Paradam likes to go all out, doesn't he?' mused Will, looking at the marble bust which was apparently modelled after an old Amadahy king.

Tayna chortled quietly, swiftly finding the bookcase of Spirit archives. 'That's one way to put it. Over here.' Will stood next to her, looking at the bookcase at the back of the room. Books were stacked both ways in the upper and lower sections, old markers sticking out from place to place and objects improvised to be book-ends. The books in the glass cabinet were all that were neatly assembled inside. 'These are the most important books,' she continued, 'the most heavily-protected. And that's the Spirit book.' She pointed, careful not to put a finger on the glass, Will gazed in and saw a book spine decorated with amethyst and purple gems. He also noticed that the glass was bordered with golden Maedaal runes.

'That'll be the first enchantment,' said Tayna. 'If we try and get in any other way than using the key, I can promise you something bad will happen.'

'So where's the key?'

'With the librarian.' Tayna bit her lip.

'Well, that's no good. We can't ask for the key to the Spirit section, they'll know what we're up to.'

Tayna sat down in one of the armchairs, thinking for a moment before jumping back up, her eyes sparkling with creativity. 'You get your key, I'll join you in a moment.' She quickly took her wand from her waistband and began to mumble spells like searching a mental archive for the right one.

Will didn't move, he eyed her suspiciously. 'What are you planning?' Instead of answering, she pushed him towards the door with abnormal strength.

'You should know I don't want to do this -,' she began to say, but Will turned quickly to confront her.

'Then why are you?'

She bit her lip harder, then shook her head and made a frustrated sound. 'Just go. Do you want that blasted book or not?' She opened the door and shut it in his face. Will stood stunned for a moment, lost for what to think about her. He did as she'd asked and headed to the librarian's desk. 

'Hello?' he asked meekly. Suddenly, a chair rolled into view from the other side of the desk, controlled by a middle-aged woman in a floor-length chequered green dress, the collar tightly fastened with pearl buttons. Her silver-blonde hair was pulled up in a plaited bun, and her glasses were large and were seated halfway down her nose.

'Welcome to the library,' she said flatly. 'How can I help?'

'I need - I need the key to my cabinet...in the Elemental section...'She looked at him observingly, noting his nerves. She reached up onto the counter, grabbing a fistful of what looked like glittering dust and blew it in his face.

He spluttered and batted it away, 'what - what's that?'

'"Disenchantment Powder,"' she said matter-of-factly, leaning under the desk and pulling out a long, wooden box. 'We have quite a lot of Shifters trying to get into that section.'

'Wait, you do? Really?' Will asked, surprised.

The librarian looked condescendingly at him over her glasses. 'You think that these children won't try to dig up your secrets just because of who you are?' She undid the golden catch on the box, opening it as she set it in front of Will. Ten gold and silver keys were nestled amongst black velvet, the head of each decorated with a different symbol and accompanying initial. It was easy for him to tell which was his, the golden key with a head fashioned like a leaf, the veins made to form an 'A'. The librarian picked it up with fake, manicured nails and handed it to him. 'For your own protection, don't lose it.'

Will felt a presence behind him before he heard them speak. 'I'll have the same as Wood-Chip here.' He turned and saw Marinia standing behind him. His stomach twisted, first with rage, then with worry, it's all ruined! But then, he glanced down at her hand where she held her wand. It wasn't white birch, instead, it was made from oak; Tayna's wand. In that moment, Will understood, and "Marinia" winked at him secretively.

The End

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