Chapter 3.5: Witches Diary
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I decided to do a short bit from the perspective of the other main character.



Mary’s Diary entry #23


Today was super eventful! I was out in the forest exploring looking for caves. You already know why I would need one of those, right? Of course you do. Not all ingredients can be grown in the garden, some need to be sourced deep in nature. Even for something that doesn’t (I don’t think) rely on mana to work. So anyways, I was out in the woods. I figured the best spot might be that meadow where the barrier between worlds is a bit thinner. The one with all the outcroppings.

 I know it can be dangerous out there, but a high-class witch like me should be able to handle most things out there, if I do say so myself. Normally there aren’t any objects going through that spot. I mean, it’s so out of the way, and from what I understand the side on the mundane world isn’t the most popular. It links to a province that’s supposed to be absolutely riddled with thin spots, so if anyone is going to fall through between worlds it’ll be at one of the more common locations.  That being said, the flow of mana through there attracts all sorts of creatures, and means you can find rarer ingredients than you can closer to the cottage. Although the recipe I found doesn’t say anything about needing mana.

So I was out gathering, when the flow of mana started to get disrupted and there was a loud bang as someone passed through. Can you believe my luck? I usually don’t go near thin spots, so I almost never get to see anyone who’s just crossed over. I already had a spell set up to mask my presence. While I could probably fight off most the monsters in the area, it’s usually better to avoid conflict and besides, bagging a jackelope or two for the pot is easier if you don’t scare them. With my spell, it was easy enough to go to the thin spot without the unfortunate otherworlder noticing. That’s when I saw her.

She was pretty, with brown hair matching mine, but with eyes a subdued green. She was (of course) wearing a bright red leather jacket, which seemed completely inadequate given the cold weather. Not only that, but she ventured out with only a pocket knife, not even carrying a sword or one of those firearms they like to use in that other world. She wore trousers, which seemed like a good choice, although they were rather form fitting. At least her poise showed she wasn’t completely helpless when it came to facing danger, although the heels on her boots were a good 4 fingers tall. I can’t even imagine walking through the wilderness in footwear so impractical. I’m happy enough with my own boots. What really struck me though was her power.

I could sense it even from my hiding place behind the tree. Waves of it, emanating from her. This girl has a crapload of potential. I completely forgot about the bat guano I had set out to harvest. Who needs sketchy spells(?) to attract an apprentice when a girl so suited for the position literally materialized in front of me. She may have been a bit daft, going out into the woods so woefully unprepared, but that could be fixed with training. I think. Maybe. Plus as someone from the mundane world maybe she would appreciate my interests? At least she seems put together mentally. Or so I thought, but she wandered over and sat against the tree I was hiding behind.

Was she stupid? You would have to be a complete ditz not to realize something odd had happened. I had heard the sound of the barrier being crossed from a good five minutes walking distance, there’s no way she didn’t notice the shift. And with that much power, her senses should be screaming with danger. I mean, with all the monsters this close to the rift there was bound to be something setting off her instincts. But no, she just sat down, and started throwing rocks and an outcropping, all while muttering under her breath, her eyes glazing over like she was daydreaming. After hearing her say something about being found soon, it hit me. She was totally unaware of the situation she was in. At least she heard the barrier when she crossed it, but this was just too much for me to take.

I revealed myself to her and broke the sad news about her friends, but she just kept staring at my hat. I know it’s the peak of witches fashion, but she seemed incredulous. She didn’t even have the decency to laugh at my Wizard of Oz joke. I thought otherworlders would know that series!

She was rather slow on the uptake, insisting she was still in the mundane world, when we were interrupted by a dire wolf. Luckily I was able to get some of my special blend of obfuscation herbs out. Fighting a monster right after her transfer would have been too much of a shock to the poor girls system, and casting a spell to mask her presence would have been too much in such a short time. Plus I’d need a bit of her hair for a warding spell like that, and given willingly at that. The wolf devoured a jackalope, which seemed to make her realized she had crossed over from her old world. Kind of.

She still hadn’t regained her sense of humor, but I was able to get her to put on a spare coat and set of boots. To be honest I may have slightly misled her. There wasn’t anything necessarily wrong with having items from the other world. If that were the case than my library would be a hive of hungry monsters after their mana. But, as pretty as that jacket was, it was just unbecoming of a future witches apprentice. And I wanted her as an apprentice. All those brats who said I was too “weird” will be weeping in jealousy when they see how powerful she is. What if she said no? That wouldn’t happen. I’m clearly a first-class witch and she should realize learning from me is the best choice. However, she did seem a bit melancholic as she folded up her jacket and placed it on a rock, along with her boots and a set of keys. Most likely they would end up back in her old world. They still had much of that world stuck to them, and as I said, the world was thin there. It’d be someone else's problem then.

The whole walk back, she kept spacing out, and even almost went after some will o’ the wisps. I’m not even sure how much of my lecture she heard. When we got to my cottage, or rather, house, she was sharp enough to recognize much of the plants growing there, which was promising for her future education. Although I didn’t like her implications. Poison is a perfectly reputable product for a witch, and has many practical uses. I swear. She gave a less than enthusiastic reaction to my impressive introduction to my house, but I think I made up for it with my library. She asked a bit too many questions about things better left unmentioned. And, I asked her. I actually asked her to be my apprentice. She foolishly tried to deny even having any magical power, despite it being plain as day. Eventually though, she gave into my logic and said yes!

Afterwards she seemed a bit tired, so we went to the kitchen and had a stew I had left over the hearth while I had gone out. She seemed fairly pleased with the keg of beer I had though, but I managed to get her to bed. She seemed a bit heavy though, I might need to get her to shop some wood to help her slim down a bit. Still, I finally have an apprentice! A super promising one! I really can’t wait to start training her, and her knowledge of the mundane world should be a huge help in my spell research. I hope things are going okay up there, mom, dad. I miss you every day.

Your daughter (of course you know it’s me),

Mary Korpi xoxoxo