21. I Have a Plan
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I Have A Plan

Calci and I sat together in potions class poring through our text books. We'd spent the first part of the class going over safety procedures. It was all pretty standard stuff. What to do if you got poisoned. Knowing when to grab the extinguisher stone, duck, run away, or bend over and start praying to the deity of your choice. The difference between various types of mercury. And how trying to make the biggest boom nearly drove Gnomes to extinction and why you should learn from their mistake.

Now it was independent studies. Working alone or in pairs we could make any potion we wanted, at the end of the week we would present a perfect example of the potion for grading.

“I don't think there's any potion to stop mind control in here,” I said. We'd looked through our Intermediate Alchemy books twice and while there were plenty of potions to alter metals, make things explode, enhance items, heal people, only a few affected peoples minds. And those ones would make people more intelligent or insane, sometimes both.

While making Victor and Micheal think they were covered in bugs was appealing, I was pretty sure that would annoy the school.

Professor Pyrotechny made its way over to us. It must have gotten its face fixed last night, because the half melted copper lips, eyebrows, and other details were now shiny silver. It even had silver ears, although one was badly tarnished and half melted already.

“Calcium, Petra,” it said in its odd bellowy mechanical voice, “you seem to be having trouble choosing a potion.”

“We are Professor Pyrotechny. We're looking for a potion that can fix someone who is under mind control,” Calci said.

Something started whirring in the professors head. “There are some potions that can do that. They are not easy.”

“Can you give us the instructions for the easiest one?”

The professor tilted its head to the side. This normally wouldn't be weird, but it's ear actually touched its shoulder, and the loud clicking of gears sounded like breaking bone. That wasn't something I normally enjoyed hearing, after what happened in my first day of combat class, it was even creepier now.

“Very well,” it finally said. Going to the lectern the professor dug through some papers and came back with a sheaf of papers. “Try your best and do not test it on anyone without permission.”

Thanking Professor Pyrotechny, we looked over the instructions. As I struggled to figure out what half of the ingredients were, I started to think this was a bad idea.

“Isn't this a little dangerous. It has mercury, basilisk bile, fresh mandrake root, cockatrice venom, and what exactly is fulminating gold or spirit of salt?” I asked.

“Fulminating means explosive. You want to be careful with that. And spirit of salt is hydrochloric acid, make sure you're wearing gloves,” Calci said. “But it's OK, we don't need much of those, and we purify it with angel feathers and phoenix tears. It's perfectly safe.”

“If you say so. Where do we start?”

“First we need to distill the holy water of all impurities and mix the mercury with the cockatrice venom, that will take twenty-four hours. How about you do the holy water and I'll work with the deadly stuff?”

I nodded, quite happily. “Sounds like a plan.”


It was time for my most favourite class ever, combat class.

“Come on Petra, you can't hide in your locker,” Naomi said.

“Yes I can! I live in the locker now. I fit perfectly,” I wheezed.

“You can barely breathe. How did you squeeze in there? Your breasts are wider then the locker.”

Ignoring the tears of pain, I held the door closed. “They're fine. They're not crushing my ribs or anything.”

I heard Naomi sigh. “Ivy, can you help me get Petra out of her locker.”

The door was wrenched out of my hands and two dainty but amazingly strong hands grabbed me. I only shrieked a little as Ivy yanked me out. I gasped for air, clutching my chest, making sure my nipples hadn't been ripped off.

“Thank you, Ivy,” my so-called friend said.

The werewolf walked out of the change room ignoring us completely.

“I don't wanna die again,” I cried.

“Come on that was just the first day, I'm sure you won't have to do it again anytime soon. Now hurry up and get dressed, or you'll get a detention.”

Unwillingly I put on my padded combat outfit and followed Naomi outside. We were the last ones out and the bell rang as we got to our spots.

The cat girl, Ameth was doing handstands on the rail overlooking the lava field. She waved at us and almost fell, catching herself at the last second. Giggling she started doing cartwheels.

The Orc Angel Slayer was looking at us like we were a bug she'd stepped on. “All right you maggots, on the table over there are pins, put them on and make sure you don't lose them. They're magical shields, as long as you're wearing them you won't die in a fight. You'll still feel the pain, but it will only be for a few seconds. Apparently my usual methods are considered a crime against sapient beings, so I have to be nicer.”

There was a mad dash for the table. Naomi and I were shoved to the ground by the larger students, and lightly trampled in the stampede.

When we could finally get up, all the pins were gone.

Ivy came over to us looking disgusted, which was quite impressive since she had a wolf head with no human features to speak of. She tossed us each one medal and walked away, finding a nice sunny spot where she could curl up and watch everything.

Putting the pin on I felt a lot safer.

Seeing that we were all ready, Angel Slayer smiled. “You all look out of shape. You wouldn't last three minutes in a real fight. So we're going to run laps.”

She snapped her fingers, and a narrow rock path appeared along the cliff. It went all around the lava field, with cracks to jump over, small cliffs to climb up or jump down, and places where it looked like an avalanche had taken out the path, so we'd need to climb over the loose boulders to keep going. It was an obstacle course from hell.

“To encourage you to run your fastest in thirty seconds I'm going to release a pack of rabid dogs.” Her smile became a blood thirsty grin. “Remember, the shields won't let you get injured, but it will still hurt. Start running.”

We started running.


Washing off the dog drool after class, I tried to forget the last hour of my life. Ivy wasn't in the showers. When the rabid dogs had been released, she'd started fighting with them. After they accepted her as pack leader, she'd led them as they picked off the slower students, finding shortcuts and cutting us off one by one, until we finished our lap.

“Don't feel too bad Petra, you were doing really well. I didn't know you could run that fast,” Naomi said.

“I still got mauled.”

“Well yeah, but that's only because Barbarina threw you at the dogs when they started getting too close to her. Just make sure to avoid her next time.”

“I hate this school.”


Sitting at my desk, I was busy practising my enunciation for magic class when there was a knock at the door. As planned, I went to the door, acting like the perfect minion for Ella, who was sitting in one of the overstuffed comfy chairs wearing her best outfit. An almost blinding white dress of demon spider silk, with a bit of jewellery she said was tastefully discrete while being incredibly expensive.

Opening the door, I smiled at Blood Wing who was surrounded by her usual cloud of fairies. What wasn't usual was the black dress that barely covered her, and was studded by blood red soul stones that seemed to be faintly screaming. She was also wearing a small crown covered in the same red stones, one of which was the same size as her tiny head. That one was really disturbing as a screaming misty face appeared in it for a moment before fading away again.

Trying not to stare at the soul stones, I stepped to the side. “Hi Blood Wing, thanks for coming.”

“I just had to come when I heard my good friend Princess Ella needed a favour,” the half fairy said, flying inside. “We royals need to stick together against the commoners.”

A girl I vaguely remembered was one of Blood Wing's minions hurried in before I could close the door, she was looking at the ground and carrying a bag.

“Of course, Princess Blood Wing,” Ella said, smiling pleasantly. “Please have a seat.”

The half fairy waited while her minion took a throne from the bag, setting it up on the table beside Ella. “I hope you don't mind, I brought something for us to drink. Fresh fairy-honey juice, from my fathers personal hives.”

“How thoughtful. Petra can you get glasses and the treats.”

I didn't have to get glasses, the silent girl was already setting out two goblets, one small but human size, the other was minuscule. Taking a bottle no bigger than my thumb from the bag, she carefully poured it into the two cups, somehow not spilling a drop despite the small size.

Grabbing the tray full of fancy fruits, flower petals, and raw, expensive meat, which was all available at the school store, I put them on the table beside the two princesses. My job done, I sat down off to the side in the second comfy chair. Blood Wing's minion kept standing, apparently waiting for further instructions.

Ella took a sip of the juice. “Hmm, this is very good.”

“Thank you, my father insists on the best,” the half fairy said.

She snapped her fingers and one of the fairy's flew down to the tray. Taking a rose petal, the fairy wrapped some raw unicorn meat in it, and handed it to the princess. Blood Wing sniffed it, smiled and began eating it with gusto. Licking her fingers, she grinned. “That was delicious. So few humans know how to serve proper fairy-demon food.”

“I like to make my guests feel at home,” Ella said. “I'm curious, do you know the student Micheal Lambert?”

Blood Wing flared her wings. “That trumped up little brat! If Witch Hemlock hadn't stepped in, I would have ripped his soul from his chest and turned into a nightlight!”

She went on like that for several minutes, getting bloodier and more violent as she went on. Her fairy cloud gave her space, while her minion sighed, rolled her eyes and walked to the other side of the room.

Getting up I followed the girl.

“Hey,” I said softly, “I'm Petra.”

“Hi, I'm Briar.”

“If you don't mind me asking, what's it like working for Blood Wing?”

Briar looked over at the ongoing rant, shrugged, and said, “Not that bad actually. She mostly just wants someone to act all meek and obedient in public. So I keep quiet when I'm around her and get her things. In class and when I'm not with her, if anyone bothers me, I just have to say her name and everyone shuts up.”

“Huh. That's not what I expected to hear,” I admitted.

“Yeah, she's nuts, but as long as I remember my lines, she's harmless. And it's good practice for me.”

I gave her a questioning look.

“I'm studying politics. I don't have the right attitude to be an evil overlord or anything, so I'm aiming to be an advisor. I don't plan on working with someone quite like her after graduating, but if I can handle her, I can handle anything,” she said, grinning.

That made a lot of sense. “Very smart.”

“Oh, she's done her rant. We're on,” Brier said, hurrying back to her spot.

Ella was acting like the long rant hadn't happened, perfectly calm she said, “I feel much the same about Micheal. He has been causing some trouble for my friends, and quite frankly he needs to be taught a lesson.”

“YES! Together we will crush him like a bug!” Blood Wing shouted. “Tomorrow at breakfast we will attack him together. He'll never expect it.”

“If you don't mind, Princess Blood Wing, I would prefer not to get detention. I have a plan where we can get him and make it look like we're defending ourselves. So anything we do will be perfectly legal.”

The half-fairy grinned. “I'm listening.”