Sophie's Return: Part Three
Part Three: The Plan
It was only a short time to get to Neovia, considering that both the city and the shack were in the same place of Neopia; the Haunted Woods. Sophie and Reginald paused at the gypsy camp for a second. This was the place with the Elephante that had told Gilly, the Usul that ended up saving Neovia with Sophie and Bruno, of the trials their family had faced. But eventually they kept moving, as it seemed that the gypsies had finished their telling of tales and singing of songs for the night.
They followed along the path and came back to Neovia. Sophie stared with her mouth hanging open, mesmerized, as she saw how the city which, as she had left, was only just back from the curse that plagued it for so long, was now in bloom. There was, of course, some work to be done and some shops to put up again, but it was still better than before.
“This is Neovia now,” Reginald said. “You like it?”
Unlike with their previous plague, in this new Neovia the streets were still bustling, and it was far from Halloween night. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. So why was it that Mr. Slytri had only affected her family and not the families of everyone, such as Mr. Krawley? Perhaps he was not as cunning, or perhaps it was all part of a plan to slowly have all of Neovia in his grip by removing the ones more powerful than he with his wit.
“Yeah, the only thing that would be better was if... no, it can’t be.” Sophie was about to say, ‘if, with the recognition our family received, we had a small little bump up in quality, considering our old house was destroyed by the townspeople.’ But then she saw what was in the center of the town.
“Yup.” Reggie nodded proudly. “That giant home with the clock tower is now ours. Turns out it was because of your magic, Bruno’s help, and of course, my book that we got enough money that we could buy the old clock tower, fix it up, and make it into a home.”
“This is great!” She smiled before frowning. “If only I didn’t have my little shack as a home already. I’m so attached to it I can’t leave, but I have to live here.”
“Well, I’m sure that we can stay here,” Reginald said, “for as long as they’re gone. They left a lot of stuff here, so I’m sure we can get by for as long as we need to, which shouldn’t be very as long as we have a plan.”
“But we don’t,” Bainsley said bluntly.
“Ah,” Sophie smiled, which she only occasionally does but involves both of her top canine teeth, if Ixi have them at least, in front of her back ones. “But we will. I’m a witch, remember? I should know if we can use a potion or a spell to our advantage.”
“I’m hungry,” Bainsley suddenly whined after a bit.
“Well,” Reginald said, “the Crumpetmonger is nearby, and it’s open at this time of night, although not many people are hungry for pastries in the wee hours of the morning, so we should have time to think and eat.”
“You go ahead,” Sophie said. “Save me a spot. I need to get something.”
So they went ahead, into the Crumpetmonger’s little café. Soon Sophie came, holding something in her arms as if for dear life. She pulled out a chair and sat down, setting down the notebook, which was so crumpled it could qualify as a Tatty Notebook.
And with that, the young waitress came over. She was a small white Zafara in an apron with ‘Crumpetmonger Café’ written in calligraphy, and was the exact opposite of the old Meerca who owned and managed the place.
“Hey.” She smiled brightly. “What would y’all like? I know we norm’ly carry only pastries but tonight we also have a little bit of tea and coffee if you wish.”
“I’ll take Chocolate Cream Puffs, a Techo Strudel, and Mint Tea,” Reginald requested.
“I would love to have Iced Bundt Cake and Snowberry Tea,” Bainsley quietly said.
“All I want is a Strong Berry Java,” Sophie firmly stated.
“Well, I guess y’all are all set now, aren’tcha? Comin’ right up.” She was about to walk away before she recognized Sophie’s face and spun back. “Wait a minute,” she said. “Yer that witch gal, the one who saved the town!”
“Yes, my name is Sophie. Sophie the Swamp Witch. And I would recommend it if you don’t spend too much time on the subject as I have another important matter on hand.”
“Okay.” She threw her hands up, but not enough to cause a disturbance. “Well, since yer so busy and yer my hero, how ‘bout I give ya everythin’ for free, eh? Shouldn’ take more’n five minutes, tops.”
And that was true. It was back there soon and served all to the right person. While Bainsley scarfed down the cake and looked ready to eat the snowberries in her tea, and Reginald quickly but quietly ate his Puffs and Strudel, Sophie would spread her coffee out, and whenever her eyelids slowly began to close, she would reach out and take a sip quickly. When she wasn’t drinking the coffee, she was writing.
“What are you doing exactly?” Bainsley asked after peeking over.
“A potion is the only thing that can stop the powers of the jade, and return our family back to normal. Without the power of the jade eye, Mr. Slytri will have no power over anyone, and will be therefore defenseless, if you two both know that he does NOT have any besides the claw Reginald stole.”
“He does not,” they said simultaneously before letting the witch continue.
“So I need to find out which ingredients to use and how much by running some calculations. From what you’ve told me, I have all the information.”
They were at the Crumpetmonger quite a long time, and eventually open mic day/night started for the next twenty four hours. First up was a band that played a smooth jazz tune. Everyone congratulated them and asked them how Jazzmosis could get the Concert Hall honor instead of the band. Only after a few ventriloquists, musicians, and comedians, Sophie perked up. Her coffee had been emptied and refilled twice, and the tea of the other two five times.
“I’ve got it!” she said. “I just need to make a side run to my shack, but everything should be there. You two go back to our home and I’ll be there soon. You’ll have to help me with the potion assortment, but apart from that I’ll do everything.”
They did as said by going back to the shack, and in half an hour Sophie was back with everything that they would need.
“Kadoatie Essence, Moonwater, Tanglevine Sap, Liquid Meepit, Barkroot Dew, Soaked Babaa Wool, Boiled Meowclops Saliva, Glowing Zomutt Mucus, Evaporated Snorkle Juice, Pureed Sharpgrass, Bronze Sansam, Madvine Root, Platinum Mist, and Dried Black Mushrooms. It should be in that order. All the names are on the jars, and I can give you the list one more time if you forget something.”
It took about an hour, but eventually all the ingredients were in the order and quantity that they would be poured in. Then came the actual ingredient mixing. Since she did not have her own cauldron with her, she substituted an empty Minestrone Soup bowl thoroughly scoured to make sure that no unnecessary soup was added to the mix, for if anything unrequired was added to the bowl it could spoil the whole thing.
Sophie mumbled an incantation to herself while stirring the pot, and Reginald introduced Bainsley to everything important to them. But then one of Sophie’s magic books fell on the ground, and the two of them went to put it back up since she was ‘in the zone’ as Reggie called it, but then they saw what was written on the page.
They stared at it blankly for a while, not daring to turn the page or remove their eyes from it. Like all magic books, it was featured on a certain magical item, and had both calligraphy writing and a picture of either what to do or what to use the spell on. In the corner, there was also a small note about the spell in the corner. “For best effects, use this with the Banishing spell, pp. 144.”
The spell itself was six simple words, which required no hand motions whatsoever, and it was all in the language that Bainsley, Sophie, and Reginald were most familiar with, but if it were in a magic book, it should have something to do with magic, and powerful magic at that, since the ink was golden instead of the average black.
The creepiest thing about that was, staring right back at them, was a drawn picture of the jade eye of Mr. Slytri.
“Guys,” Sophie said as she finished her brew, poured it into five vials, and looked over at the picture and the spell, “if we didn’t have a way to win against that Lutari before, we certainly do now.”
To be continued...