Chapter 35
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“Hm, this can’t really rival encyclopedia Plantanica. It was written as if by a child.” Said Callan Perry, the chief editor of the publishing house. 

“Why, yes. That is because it was. But you should see the garden of the little girl. It is a marvel. She knows her stuff.” Said Larriel. The rest of the party had stayed outside of the publishing house since they didn’t believe that Larriel can get Theanore’s book published.

“And how old is the author? Ten? Thirteen?”

“Two, but…”

“Two? Who wrote her ramblings then? Her father?” Mister Perry’s nose was scrunched up. This woman was wasting his time with the ramblings of a toddler!

“No, Theanore can read and write just fine. Almost all of the drawings are done by her too. Well, some are done by her cute boyfriend. You should see them; they will melt your heart!”

“I’ll give you your money for the test read back. Tell the toddler to wait a couple of years before she tries to publish anything again.”

It seems you don’t have the heart to be melted, thought Larriel to herself. But she has paid the fifteen gold coins for a test read and this man had to give Theanore’s book a chance.

“I won’t take the money back. It says in the contract that you are obliged to read everything that you are paid to read. I can take you to court if you don’t uphold your end of the deal.”

Larriel knew that the top lawyer of Mirstone wanted more dual enchantments but didn’t have the money to pay. They were going to ruin Callan Perry together if they had to. 

“Ok, ok. I will give it to a junior editor to read and I will read their assessment. That is also stated in the contract just so you know.”

Larriel felt cheated but she sighed and went outside. The whole group then went to the market in search of the flowers and weeds Theanore wanted. 

“Some of the weeds we can pull straight out of people’s gardens.” Said Lysandrus, the party’s tank.

“People will charge us even for those. You know how greedy people in Mirstone are.” Said Lena, the party’s mage.

“Lena, don’t be pessimistic. We have new hidden persona enchanted items. No one is going to miss a couple of weeds from their gardens. But the Ogre’s demise is going to be tricky. Don’t they grow in a desert?” Asked Jasper, the worker elf archer of the party.

“We’ll need to go cave crawling for the Shrine Fairymoss. Wasn’t the legend about it a little morbid? I mean it grew in graveyards that are in caves. Do we even have one of those in Mirstone?” Asked Brandon, the shield user of the party. 

“We have to get all these for Thea. It will break her heart if we came with fewer plants.” Said Larriel. She really liked the little girl and wished she could have a daughter like her someday. Then the two could be best of friends and Larriel could dress them both up in matching frilly dresses. She stole a look at Brandon and blushed, already imagining a girl with his curly afro brown hair and caramel skin and her blue eyes.

“I say we split.” Said Lena as she pulled out her hidden persona and silent steps ring. “Jasper, Larriel, and I will go weed hunting. Brandon and Lysandrus will go stall crawling. We meet here at night with everything we have found. Let us go.”

After the command Jasper and Larriel too donned their rings and, together with Lena, they took off towards different gardens. Brandon and Lysandrus went in the direction of the market.

Lena decided to search for almost abandoned houses for the weeds. That leads her to the slums. Chipping paint and leaky roof almost made her think that she wasn’t in Mirstone anymore. The slum was a small area but it was there. That was quite a shame for all the residents of Mirstone.

The people in the slums were mostly poor people on the bad list. They had to do illegal things, or bordering illegal, to get by and so they never got the chance to move to the good list. People avoided them. 

That was why the forest of fireflies’ guardians kept Theanore’s status secret. No one would want to buy from them if they knew they were buying something made by a person on the bad list.

Searching the gardens Lena used a spell to guide her towards the different weeds on the list. In the garden of a gray, half-collapsed house, she found Piranha Aconite. Growing out of a pot through a broken window she found a sneeze fig and nearly gave herself away as it made her sneeze.

The taunting itchweed was beautiful, but Lena approached it with care. She put gloves on and cut it with a dagger. Then she bagged the cut-off plant, roots and all, and moved to a different house.

Larriel was still daydreaming about her future daughter so she nearly ran into an unkempt and abandoned house in the outstrips of the town. This was the richer area so the house was very weird. She saw a sign over the door saying:

Property of Odious Thinker.

With grim satisfaction, Larriel found out she could find all the weeds she needed growing here. It was only fair that grandpa Thinker gave a gift to little Thea, even if he didn’t know about it.

Jasper skipped around and then he saw a big cactus with purple flowers. This was the Ogre’s demise! He bagged it and rushed to the market before Brandon and Lysandrus bought it.

Meanwhile, Brandon and Lysandrus didn’t have such success. As it turns out a dungeon core, a new one, has become a supplier to people on the bad list. But those people didn’t want to share their cheaper flowers with people on the good list. Spiteful about being looked down upon for so long. 

Even though, if grandpa Thinker found out about it both adventurers would get a life fairy for Yule, they donned their rings too and stole the only thing on the list they couldn’t buy from the usual florists. The Shrine Fairymoss. They did leave 1 gold coin for the merchant and took the bare minimum. As long as no one found out, they would be fine. They hoped.