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Beyond the Forge

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Chapter 1 

            “Bella!” An energetic young man yelled as he barged through the entryway, the door banging open and slamming on the wall.

            A brunette young woman slammed her head on the shelf above her in shock as she jumped from her position under the counter. “Jake,” the girl groaned as she rubbed her head, emerging from behind the counter. “Don’t scare me like that, what do you want?”

            “Sorry Bells,” he replied sheepishly. “My dad sent me over here as soon as you were open to get his potions, and to bring you your regular order of bread.” He placed a bag of rolls on the counter, shooting the girl a boyish grin. The brunette wasn’t paying attention to him though as she continued to fiddle with the stuff under her counter. “Bella?” He questioned again, drawing her attention.

            “Oh, Jake, right, thanks for the rolls, I’ll get your Dad’s medicine,” she said, shuffling to the back of the store to pick up the box of vials on her worktable. She took them back out to the boy and handed him the box, “Here are the potions, these should last about a month, make sure he takes one every day with a meal, no skipping, and to watch what he eats. I know you guys are bakers, but bread all the time is not an acceptable diet.”

            “I’ll let him know, but you have to deal with the fallout,” Jacob chuckled, hefting the box over one of his shoulders. He lingered in the store and Bella watched him for a minute, puzzling over the weird expression on his face. When he didn’t say anything else, Bella shifted her attention back to restocking the shelves in her store in time to open for the day.

            “So uh, Bella,” Jacob started hesitantly, “I’ve been thinking, I mean we’ve known each other a while, it’s been a few years since you moved to town and opened your shop, and well, I’ve been uh, wondering if you would agree to maybe seeing me more… formally? Maybe courting, I feel like we’ve been courting, I mean, I come see you every week, we talk about things, it feels like we’ve been courting…” The young man was stuttering poorly by the time he reached the end of his statement, his nerves getting the best of him. He waited for a few minutes for the woman to say anything to his statement, his nerves increasing every minute. When she didn’t respond, he tapped lightly on the shoulder, “Huh, Bella?”

            “Huh, oh, you’re still here, did you say something?” Bella called back to him, “I wasn’t listening, I was testing these sound blockers.” She pointed to the sponge like items in her ears, “They pretty much deafen all sound, I was considering stocking them full time for adventurers hunting banshees or sirens.” The brunette happily rambled on about the little sponges, describing where she saw them and how she made them, not noticing the downtrodden look on the young man’s face. She definitely didn’t notice when he sullenly exited the shop and made his way back to his father’s mill, the door slamming shut behind him. “And the Banshee was taunting the witch, shrieking at her, being rather irritating, and then I saw the witch stick a piece of moss in each ear before blasting the Banshee, and that is where I got this idea,” Bella finished with a flourish before noticing that she was alone in the shop.

            “Oh,” the brunette blinked, “Oh, he must’ve had to go back to his father and didn’t want to bother me, sure hope Billy remembers to take his medicine this time…”

            Bella moved around her store, making sure everything was tidy before officially opening for the day. Once everything was secure and the proper, discreet monitoring charms were in place, Bella stepped over to the windows and pulled back the curtains, signaling that she was open for business. A few minutes later, a few of the other villagers and shop owners wandered in, picking up supplies and medicines that they needed. Bella spent a few hours until the midday lull brewing healing potions, crushing herbs and selling basic goods.

            Once she had some calm in her store, Bella checked on the potion simmering in the cauldron over the fire. She had learned the art of potion making from her father as a child, and after he died when she was a youngling, she carried on her studies to honor him. The skill helped her through the years, especially when she moved to Riverforge and found they lacked a basic potion mistress for health and mana potions. While she made a living brewing health potions, Bella’s true passion was with potion crafting, mixing it with enchanting and forging that she learned from her mother.

            The potion currently simmering in the cauldron was experimental and required constant supervision. She was attempting to enchant daggers, hoping to be able to sell them to Rogues or Warriors, and was creating a potion to soak the daggers. She was attempting to imbue weapons with the powers of the elements by soaking them in a potion. “Harnessing the elements is proving to be difficult,” Bella sighed as she wrote down in her notes. “Luckily I started with water, don’t even want to know what would’ve happened if I started with fire or wind, something like that.”

            Bella sighed and shuffled back out to the store, taking potions and other supplies out to restock her depleted items. She was restocking her water purification potion when her shop door banged open, cracking loudly against the wall. A young man with gleaming silver armor and a large sword strapped to his back sauntered through the door.

            “Bella,” the young man started before noticing that the girl in question was nowhere to be seen. “Bella?” He looked around in confusion, trying to locate the beautiful shopkeeper.

            “I’m going to have to replace this door if people keeping banging it against the wall,” Bella’s voice came from behind him and he turned to see her examining the door and what looking like a dent in the wall. “Or maybe I should replace the wall since it keeps running into the door?” She rubbed her hand on the wall where the dent was located, “Maybe some kind of door stopper maybe, slow it down from banging on the wall, or maybe get rid of the door, doors are boring, I wonder if I could just wall off the whole entrance… Oh then how would people get in? Hmm…”

            “Bella?”

            Hearing her name, the brunette turned around and spotted the young man in her store. “Oh, Edward, did you see who banged open my door? Poor door… never mind what can I get you? I’m running low on armor shine if you need some more, though I’m not sure how you managed to use a whole bottle up every two days, you must spend a lot of time rubbing it out.” At that point, Bella had returned her attention to stocking the shelves, so didn’t see Edward choking on air behind her.

            He got control of himself and followed after her, his eyes tracking her form closely, taking in the curve of her waist and hips, much more fuller than the stick like figures of the maids at his estate. “I came to collect some cut ointments, salves and enchanted bandages from you. Some of the squires and younger knights got hurt in training this morning, and the potion mistress at the manor ran out.” He leaned against the counter and smiled at the young shopkeeper, the crooked grin on his face that made many maids on his father’s estate blush and swoon.

            The brunette stared at the knight, wondering what he was waiting for as he leaned against the counter. “Well?” She prompted, motioning with her hands, “Are you going to get what you need?”

            “What? Oh yes,” the young knight pushed away and grabbed a few of the vials and bandages that he needed, maintaining his charming smile the whole time, directing it at the girl. He placed the items on the counter, leaning on his elbow again as he watched her work.

            Bella briefly glanced at his face as he was adding up his total and grabbed another vial. “Here, take this,” she said once he paid his total. “On the house, and it should help with your… problem.”

            “Problem?”

            “You know, problem,” the brunette lowered her voice. “The call of nature, the natural flow of things…” At the still perplexed look on the knight’s face, Bella sighed. “Constipated, you look constipated, your face seemed like it was twisted in pain, and I’m assuming this is why you really came. I won’t say anything.” Edward grabbed his sack and hurried out of the store, his face beet read and his mind shuffling between being humiliated and more intrigued by the brunette. She was the only one so far resistant to his charms, and that endeared her to him. The only downside was that she was a simple shopkeeper.

“Must be something in the water,” Bella murmured as she watched the knight rush out of her shop. “Some kind of staring bug, or maybe they’re all constipated.” She nodded her head, deciding that was the problem. “I’ll have to remember to boil some water tonight.”

            Bella returned to her potion, watching it carefully and recording notes through it process as the color changed, testing different stages on old metal spoons she had lying around. The majority of the spoons turned to liquid when she dumped the potion on them, except for the last one, which crystallized on the table. “I’m getting closer,” Bella cackled, noting that the crystallization occurred after the potion had shifted from an aquamarine color to more of a medium blue.

“The color must be key, if I can find a way to get it to go to a deep, dark blue, and maybe a little thicker, the spoon will become enchanted with the element of water rather than turning into a liquid,” the brunette murmured, tapping her quill feather on her chin. Bella grabbed a few leaves and berries of an indigo plant and bottled siren blood, pouring both into the cauldron. She stirred the potion and let it simmer, returning to the front of the store when she heard more customers enter.

She checked her potion periodically in between townspeople coming in to purchase goods and food. The blacksmith’s apprentice, Heidi, accidentally burned her hand and Bella needed to make fresh burn salve and ointment in order to treat it properly. She was just getting ready to close up shop for the day when the door opened again, this time with a thud rather than a bang. The sound of heavy footfalls of boot clad shoes stomped around her shelves, and she stepped out of her backroom, watching curiously as a strawberry blonde woman moved around hastily, grabbing various bottles and supplies.

The woman was wearing tight clothing with a small amount of armor covering her frame. Her tunic was a dark green with sleeves ending at her elbows, the bottom tucked into a dark brown pair of breeches. Knee-high leather boots caked with dirt and dust encased the bottom half of her legs and feet. She wore silver wrist guards, shoulder pads, and knee guards along with a lightweight silver breastplate. The brunette knew before spotting the daggers hanging at the woman’s waist and more concealed in her boots and behind her armor that she was a Rogue.

            Bella watched her grab potions, salves, dried goods and other supplies, all the while grumbling in irritation. The woman turned and stumbled when she caught sight of the brunette waiting for her behind the counter. Her eyes took in bright, smiling mocha orbs, and a beautiful pale face framed by long, red streaked chocolate colored hair. She puffed her chest out and sauntered up to the counter, setting her armful of potions and supplies down on the tabletop.

            “Hello,” Bella greeted, “Welcome to Potent Potions, Enchantments and Supplies, did you find everything you were looking for?”

            “Mhm, most definitely,” the blonde replied, her eyes raking over the brunette’s form. “I haven’t seen you here before, the last person who owned this shop was… unpleasant…”

            “Grimsly wasn’t the friendliest of people, but he was alright. He took me on when I came to town a few years ago, he needed someone to make potions. Left me the store when he decided he wanted something else in life, took off for parts unknown,” Bella replied, smiling as she added the total of the items on the desk.

            “So you’re a potions mistress, that’s impressive,” the strawberry blonde said, “I’m Tanya by the way.”

            “Bella,” the brunette replied. She gave Tanya a shy smile, which made the blonde’s insides quiver slightly. “And technically I’m a potions mistress,” she continued, oblivious to the effect she had on the other woman. “Though that’s not the only thing I do, but I make most of my revenue selling healing supplies, potions, elixirs, magic restoration…”

            Tanya hummed, her eyes never leaving the girl, admiration and intrigued present in her eyes. “That’s 500 Elers,” Bella spoke to Tanya, looking up at her finding the woman gazing at her with glazed over eyes. “Tanya?”

            “Uh, yes, what, oh, 500 Elers?” Tanya asked, confirming the price. At Bella’s nod, she pulled out the requested amount from her money pouch, handing it over to the shopkeeper. She placed the purchased items carefully in her pack, lingering slightly inside the store. Bella stared at her for a moment, wondering what was with people hanging around her today. Tanya wanted to say something more to her, but was unsure what, so she nodded her head and left the shop.

            The brunette locked her front door and checked her potion in the back room, pleased that it was turning a dark blue color. She ladled out a scope and poured some on a spoon, smiling as she saw the spoon take on a slight bluish tint. She picked up the spoon and tapped it against the table lightly, seeing a small bit of liquid move with it before hardening again. “Hmm, still not quite right, maybe the temperature is off?” Bella took the cauldron off the fire and let it cool on its rack for the night, making sure to make proper notations in her book.

            She locked her back room and grabbed her bag of bread Jake dropped off for her that morning before taking the staircase up to her room above the shop, unlocking the door at the top of the stairs and re-locking it behind her. Bella hummed as she made her way around her room, lighting a fire in the fireplace and placing a cauldron of water over the fire to start boiling.

            The brunette shuffled over to her cabinet and opened the door, checking the cooling charm she had placed on the food she kept inside. She grabbed a loaf of bread, a block of cheese, a small fish and a wineskin full of goat’s milk. Bella placed the fish near the coals of the fire and ate some of the bread and cheese while she waited for the fish to cook. A few minutes later, she took the fish off the coals and removed the pot from the fire when it started to boil.

            Bella ate the rest of her dinner, drinking a few mouthfuls of goat’s milk before putting it back in the cabinet and replacing her cooling charm. She poured part of the water out of the pot into a cup, cooling it down to a drinkable temperature and left the rest in the pot to use as washing water in the morning. Snapping her fingers, the small candle stump on the table next to her bed lit and Bella settled in, picking up one of the books on magic theory she had traded a few potions for a few weeks prior. The book she was currently reading was on elemental magic, so it was good reference for her project. She read for a few candle marks before setting her book down and snuffing out the light, instantly falling asleep as soon as her head touched her pillow.

 


 

            She stared at the potion in shock the next morning as it looked like sludge sitting in the cauldron. The brunette pinched the bridge of her nose in irritation before sighing and ladling out some of the sludge into a glass dish. She shrugged and submerged the daggers into the goop, deciding to give it a whirl. The potion was the right color and supposedly the right composition, so it was now or never, especially when dealing with something purely experimental.

            Leaving the backroom, Bella walked out to the front of her shop and unlocked the door, opening for the day. She grabbed a box of new potions she had aging in the backroom and started placing them in the new products section. Fully absorbed in her task, Bella didn’t notice the sound of pounding footsteps coming closer to her shop until the door was flung open followed by a loud shout of her name.

            “Agghh,” Bella yelled, flinging the potion in her hand at the intruder.

            The potion cracked on the ground, surrounding Jacob in a thick green mist. When the smoke cleared, Jacob had turned a moss green, staring at his spindly fingers in horror. “What is this?” He squeaked out, followed by a loud croak.

            “Ah, Jake, what have I told you about sneaking up on me?” The brunette gasped, her hand curled over her chest, monitoring her heart rate.

            “Me? What is this stuff? What did it do to me?!”

            Bella glanced at the potion in her hand, and the glass bottle on the ground. “That must be the frog changing potion; it’s supposed to turn the intended target into a frog, but I must’ve made it incorrectly. Thanks for testing it out for me Jake.”

            The boy started sputtering, staring at Bella in horror, but just as he was about to say something else his attention was drawn by a fly buzzing around. He tracked the insect with his eyes until it got closer to them, and his mouth popped open, a long tongue grabbing the bug and bringing it back to his mouth, swallowing it. Jake’s face paled and he dashed out of the shop, leaving a cloud of dust in his wake. “I didn’t get the chance ask him to let me know how long it lasts,” Bella sighed before turning back to her potions.

            Her day continued pleasantly until midday when the Blacksmith’s apprentice, Heidi, walked through the doors. “So I saw Jake today,” the mahogany haired girl grinned, wiping at the ash and smoke residue on her face. “Seemed a little on the green side today.”

            “He startled me, I threw a potion at him,” Bella shrugged. “So when did you last see him? I want to know how long the potion works.”

            “Saw him an hour ago, green and webby, I’m guessing you were going for a frog?”

            Bella pouted, “It was supposed to be a full frog, but only turned him green and gave him some webbing on his fingers and toes. I’ll have to do some testing, but it did have excellent results.”

            Heidi chuckled at the obliviousness of her friend and shook her head. “I’ll be sure to let you know when he turns back to normal since I doubt he’ll be anywhere around here any time soon.”

            “Thanks Heidi, oh how’s your arm by the way,” Bella asked, looking at the bandage still on her friend’s hand and arm.

            “Better, thanks to you,” Heidi sighed, “But Dad is making me sit out of the shop for a while because of that mistake, the ass. Looks like I’ll be back on stable duty until he says I can get back to improving my blacksmithing skills.”

            “The stables aren’t too bad.”

            “Horse shit Bella, horse shit everywhere,” Heidi retorted, sighing again. “The horses are nice enough, but stubborn and they just keep shitting everywhere.”

            Bella pulled some bread and cheese out from under the counter, cutting off a few slices and handing them to the other woman. Heidi pulled a tomato out of her bag and traded it for the bread and cheese. Bella sliced the small fruit-like vegetable quickly and placed some of the slices on the bread and cheese. “You’re the best Bella,” Heidi moaned, inhaling the food.

            “It’s rare that I get to eat the midday meal, or a tomato, so thanks for that,” the brunette shopkeeper replied, gobbling down her own food.

            Heidi nodded, “This was fun but I have to get back to the stables.” She finished her food and pushed away from the counter. “Oh by the way, have you met the new Rogues in town? They’re here chasing local bounties apparently.”

            “I met one of them yes, Tanya, she came into my shop yesterday,” Bella replied, putting her food away and wiping down the counter.

            The blacksmith apprentice stared at the shopkeeper expectantly for few minutes and just sighed when Bella stared back. “Sometimes I worry about you,” Heidi grumbled. “I’ll see you later Bells, I’ll keep an eye on Jake.”

            “Thanks Heidi,” the brunette yelled after her friend. She checked on her daggers soaking in the sludge in the back, pulling them out to inspect them before submerging them a little while longer. She started brewing some more healing and health potions to replenish her stores, but those did not take long to brew and didn’t need constant supervision. The brunette was able to brew and watch her shop at the same time, but that still left her with not much to do when she wasn’t helping customers.

            Bella pulled out her notebook and disappeared into her world of invention and creativity, dreaming up new potions and possibilities.

 


 

            The brunette cackled gleefully as she held the daggers she had created, though they turned out differently than she planned. Her idea was to create daggers imbued with the power over the element of water, but instead they seemed to be powered by ice. “Probably that ice dragon scale that got knocked into the cauldron in the early stages,” Bella mused, jotting down notes in her book. “Still bloody fantastic, I did it!”

            The blades were around medium in length for daggers, slightly smaller than a short sword. The silver colored metal had transformed to a crystallized appearance, and was cold to the touch. She had found runes in one of her books, and carved them along the flat of the blades, from hilt to tip. They were meant to make the daggers more durable and increase the potency of their control over ice. It had been several days since she had finished the daggers and nearly a fortnight since she had finished the potion. She still believed it and the daggers to be her finest accomplishment. Her curious mind knew no bounds though, as now she wanted to experiment with other elements.

            She heard the door of her shop swing open and she hastily put the daggers away and looked up. She spotted the blonde woman who had become a fixture in her shop since she had first come in her shop. Bella watched her for a while as the blonde strutted around the store, examining the different items on the shelves. Tanya lingered, shooting furtive glances at the brunette before turning her attention back to the potions she was examining. The blonde stepped lightly around the store, avoiding the creaks in the floorboards. Bella enjoyed having her in the store with her, the presence of the taller Rogue was calming and allowed for the brunette to go about her work without worry.

            “Tanya,” Bella called, drawing the Rogue’s complete attention. “Do you think you stick around and help any customers that come in? It’s about time I do some inventory and I can’t do that, and keep track of the store.”

            “I’ll help,” the blonde replied quickly, moving quickly to the shopkeeper. “I’ll watch the store, don’t worry about it.” Bella smiled, oblivious to the effect it had on the blonde, and grabbed her inventory list, moving to the back room.

            The blonde sighed as she watched after the girl, enjoying the way her hips moved as she walked and how round her ass looked in her thin, cloth pants. She sighed as soon as the girl disappeared into the back, slightly grateful that Bella had left the room to do inventory as now the Rogue could focus on her assigned task: watching the store for the girl.

            Tanya leaned against the counter, keeping careful watch on the door. “How does she do this all day?” She murmured to herself after a few hours had passed. Only a few of the townspeople had come into the shop to get various supplies, shooting wary glances at the blonde who was manning the counter. Several of them asked after Bella, and Tanya just smiled and pointed to the back room, causing the townspeople to nod in understanding before leaving the store.

            “Well, well.” Tanya heard her sister Kate’s voice coming through the door and she looked up, crossing her eyes in irritation as she spotted Kate and Irina walking into the shop. “The fiercest, bravest Rogue in all of Eleguard, reduced to a simple shopkeeper’s assistant.”

            “Lovesick shopkeeper’s assistant,” Irina amended, “Don’t forget that part. I mean that is what keeps pulling her here in between picking up bounties in the region.”

            “And it’s why we’re still here,” Kate teased. “We could’ve been out days ago, but no, Tanya here has a crush on a local, might as well give up your adventuring ways for the whole ball and chain routine.”

            “Shut up Kate,” Tanya gritted out, her teeth clenched as she fingered the daggers at her belt, debating the pros and cons of whether she should gut Kate here or save it for later. Before she could settle on a decision, Bella emerged from the back room, list in hand.

            The girl stopped short at seeing two more blondes as equally built and dressed as Tanya, though missing that dominant, striking quality that the strawberry blonde had in spades. “Oh hi,” Bella greeted, “You two must be the sisters I’ve heard about. Welcome to my shop, feel free to look around.” With that, Bella disappeared into the shelves, her mind completely focused on her task of taking inventory.

            “Damn,” Kate whistled quietly after the girl. “No wonder you keep coming around, with curves like that, almost makes me wish I had seen her first.”

            “Watch it Kate,” Tanya hissed, danger present in her voice as she pulled out one of her daggers.

            “I’m just messing with you,” the other blonde replied quickly, waving her hands. “Geez, you need to relax.”

            “You two need to calm down,” Irina said as she got between her older sister and her younger sister. “Seriously though Tanya, she’s beautiful, so we get it now, why don’t you try getting to know her more, courting her maybe rather than just hanging around here aimlessly all the time, or using half of your bounty money to buy more stuff.”

            Tanya shrugged sheepishly, “I could try but…”

            They were interrupted from their conversation by the sound of a door banging open and Sir Edward Cullen strolling in, his armor sparkling in the latent light streaming through the store. “Bella,” Edward started before stopping short at seeing the three blondes situated around the counter.

            “Kate, Irina,” Edward greeted reluctantly before turning his attention to the bane of his existence, “Tanya…”

            “Sir Eddikins,” Kate called, fake enthusiasm coloring her voice, “It’s been a while, have you managed to remove that stick purposely wedged up your ass or would you like our assistance to do so, such as when you couldn’t manage to catch that rogue bandit, what was his name…”

            “Mungler,” Irina supplied, smirking at Edward, “A lowlife thug named Mungler who was wanted for capturing girls and selling them to the trolls in exchanged for their services. He was tracked here and you…”

            “Couldn’t manage to catch him, which is why we were called in,” Tanya finished, chuckling.

            “Probably because you spend more time sparkling your armor than actually using it,” Kate added.

            Edward sneered at the three women, taking a deep breath, as it wouldn’t look good if he were to attack the women and damage the store, especially since he was trying to woo the storeowner. “I don’t know what you three are doing here, or how long you’re going to be in town, but I have better things to do than to deal with three glorified bounty hunters.” Edward turned his head and spotted the brunette he was originally looking for and rushed over to her side.

            “There you are Bella,” Edward greeted when he saw her. “I came to see how you were doing, as well as to pick up a few more potions from you.” Bella mumbled and nibbled on the tip of her quill as she glanced from the list to the shelves in front of her, making sure to tally up the correct amount. “I need to pick up more than usual today since I’m going to be traveling soon. There’s some trouble in the southern regions and the King has requested his most trusted knights to go and quell the problem. Maybe, when I get back, you’ll consent to begin courting, that way I’ll have someone for whom I’m slaying dragons for.” The knight placed a hand over his heart, kneeling before the shopkeeper, “I humbly ask for a token of yours to take into battle, so that I may return it to you upon my triumphant return.”

            At that moment, Bella took a handkerchief out of her shirt and sneeze into it, dropping it next to Edward’s feet. Not seeing what had happened, Edward looked at the fallen handkerchief and picked it up. “Thank you my lady, I will return it to you as soon as possible,” he said, standing up and leaving the store. He came back in a few minutes later, grabbing the potions that he needed and paid for them, smirking at the three women at the counter before leaving once more.

            “What just happened?” Tanya asked as she stared in bewilderment at the oblivious brunette and out the door after the knight.

            “Your girlfriend is extremely oblivious and apparently doesn’t know that she is also the future Lady Edward Cullen,” Irina chuckled while Kate just observed the girl.

            “She really is oblivious isn’t she, does she even realize that Sir Eddikins came into the store?” Kate asked as she watched the girl move down the shelves, carefully counting and re-counting each item.

            “I don’t think she realizes we’re still in the store,” Irina added, also watching the girl. Tanya just sighed wistfully as she watched the girl with admiration, her eyes tracking her every movement.

            “Keep your pants on Tristan*,” Kate joked, rolling her eyes. “Well, at least until you get her pants off.” Tanya shot her youngest sister a dark look, causing Kate to chuckle in response. “But Edward did mention something interesting, trouble happening in the south. I’m going to check with some of my contacts in town to see if its something that we could cash in on.” The platinum blonde pushed herself off the counter and grabbed her dirty blonde haired sister, pulling her out of the store.

            The remaining Rogue turned her attention back to the shopkeeper as she started on the last shelf, which was thankfully the shelf that Edward had taken his potions from. By the time Bella finished with checking the shelves, the sun was sinking below the horizon and it was time to close the shop. “Finally done,” Bella sighed, putting her paper and quill down.

            “I didn’t realize it would take you all day to take inventory,” Tanya’s voice came from behind her, causing Bella to shriek.

            “Aaaahhhh, ah, oh,” Bella gasped out, whirling around to see the blonde sitting on the counter, her legs crossed. “Oh, I forgot you were here.”

            “I figured you might have,” Tanya smiled at the absentminded storekeeper, deciding not to mention anything about Edward being there. “So how is the inventory?”

            Bella sighed again, “I’m low on quiet a few things, mainly potions ingredients, and other regular stock. I can always order those things from the capital but the potions ingredients, I’ll have to harvest them myself.” The brunette hummed as she looked at the list. “Looks like I’m heading to the south, I’ll have to make plans though…”

            “Who wait south?” Tanya questioned, trying to get clarification from the girl.

            “Yeah, south, that’s where I harvest these ingredients,” Bella replied, slowly pushing Tanya out of her store. “I hate to ask you to leave, but I have a lot of planning to do.” With that, Tanya found herself outside and the door locking behind her.

            She looked at the door in confusion then looked around the darkening street. “What just happened?”