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The Promise

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Gentle humming could be heard from a young woman as she walked towards the little building that served both what everyone called a “Witchy Store” and as her home. As she approached the wooden door, she reached for the lanyard at her side and yanking it from her jeans pocket and looked through the keys attached to a small key ring. Finding the key she was looking for, she reached out and started to unlock the door as howling and barking started up from inside the building. “Yes baby girl, I'm home!” She called out to the animal inside, a chuckle escaping her as she opened the door to reveal a dog who was bouncing around with her stump of a tail attempting to wag, but it only succeeded in moving her rump back and forth. “Hey, sweetheart!” She said as she patted her stomach to encourage the pup to jump up on her. Her front legs lifted off the ground and she began to give the young woman the slobberest kisses she had ever given, “Hi, yes, mommy's home!” She kissed her wet nose before she landed back on the ground, leaving her to turn to close the door behind her, and the dog ran ahead of her to the kitchen located in the back of the building to sit by her food bowl. “Alright, give me a minute to get your food.” She told her as she walked over to the counter where she set her keys down, walked over to the fridge, opened the door and pulled out a bag filled with the food she had planned on giving the dog today. “Alright Rosilynn, here's your dinner.” The young woman smiled as she lifted up Rosilynn's bowl to put her meal in. Once all parts of the raw food were in the bowl (parts that were made up of raw chicken thighs, spinach, berries, chicken hearts, and a single fish), she set it down and Rosilynn began to mow down on it. “Chew your food.” The young woman told the dog who looked at her before wagging the stump of her tail and returning to the food. Sighing heavily the young woman lifted her face to the ceiling, closed her eyes, and leaned against the counter. Another long week has passed...Give it one more week and the shipment I ordered last week will come in. Wait, She opened her eyes as a sudden thought crossed her mind. Did I remember to order the tea leaves? She asked as she walked out to the part that was her shop and pulled out the order logs. Placing the rather overfilled binder upon the counter in the shop, the young woman looked over the recent orders she had made and let out a sound of relief when she saw that she had ordered. Okay, now I feel better. She hummed to herself as she turned to another page and began marking down the next things she would have to order. Biting her lower lip, she began writing things down as the door to the shop opened, the bell above the door rang and she was quick to speak. “Welcome to Botanica Magica, where we carry all herbs and ingredients you will ever need for whatever you plan. We are currently out of White Sage, but I have an order coming in next week.” She told the person without looking up, “How may I may your day more magical?” She asked as the person frowned.

“What not going to greet an old friend, Lunaria?” The voice spoke up as the woman, now known as Lunaria, looked up to see someone she hadn't see in years, walking up to the counter where she was standing.

“I would but I'm kinda in the middle of something at the moment.” She told him as he clicked his tongue. “What do you want anyway? The only time you come to bother me is if your High-Priestess is out of something. What is it this time?” She asked returning to writing down the things she needed to order the next day.

“Rosemary and Lavender.” He said as she pointed to the furthest wall away from her.

“Third shelf down is the bags of rosemary, and the fifth shelf up, the third basket in, is the bags of Lavender.” She said as he walked over to grab the ingredients. He walked back over and she stopped writing to pull up the price for both. “With the High-Priestess's discount, your total comes to fifty-seven dollars and thirty-nine cents.” She said as he handed her his card. She charged the card and handed it back to him as she grabbed the two bags and put them in a bigger bag and handed him that as well, just as Rosilynn came walking out to lay behind the counter in her bed.

“Geez, Shit's getting expensive!” The man frowned as the woman looked at him.

“Yea well, winters are getting worse.” Luna explained. “the harder the winter, the fewer plants are able to grow.” She pulled a packet of what looked to be gummy bears from her coat pocket and opened the bag to munch down on them. “Better hurry it up and get those to the Priestess, we both know she doesn't like waiting.”

“Mn, before I forget! She wanted me to give you this.” The man spoke up as Luna took something from him.

“A...bracelet?” She asked as the man nodded.

“She said that it will “take you on an adventure of your lifetime” but I don't know.” He shrugged stealing some gummy bears from the packet as she looked the bracelet over.

“Right and I'm supposed to believe that?” She asked as she snagged a few more bears from the pack. “Hey Jackass! Quit stealing all the cherry flavored ones!” She frowned as he walked out laughing. “Asshole.” She muttered as she went back to work, but an hour later the door to her store opened again and she called out to whoever entered. “Welcome to Botanica Magica, where we carry all herbs and ingredients you will ever need for whatever you plan. We are currently out of White Sage, but I have an order coming in next week.” She said walking around the corner with a box in her arms that she placed on the counter. “How may I make your day more magical?” Luna asked brushing some stray locks of her shoulder-length hair out of her face as she saw a group of five looking around in wonder. Well four of them were, while the last was walking up to the counter.

“Are you Miss. Lunaria Riverarrow?” The person walking up to her asked as she nodded.

“Yes, that is my name. Is there something I may help you with?” Luna asked as she stood behind the counter and waited for his reply.

“I'm looking for a specific herb, I've been all around town and no one seems to carry it...” He frowned, “How late are you open?”

“Until ten at night,” Luna replied as she decided to open the box and start taking the items out. He asked her about the herb and she stopped to think for a moment. “Furthest wall, closest to the door, second shelf to the top, second basket in.” She told him as he nodded and went to collect the herb. When he had two bags of it, he walked up to the counter and she charged his card for the herb. “Have a Magical day.” She told him as he gathered up his friends and left. Luna sighed after they left and looked to Rosilynn, “I would give almost anything for us to just drop off the face of this world, my pup.” She said as the dog looked up at her with a quizzical look to her face. Luna leaned down and began to pet Rosilynn's head as the stump of a tail wagged. “I would give up this shop, this lifestyle that I do not enjoy and just take you and go for a grand old adventure,” Luna whispered as she stood up and returned to work. By the time ten o' clock rolled around and passed, Luna had had her usual amount of customers come and go with a few other new faces. But as she was preparing to close up shop, she heard someone enter and turned to look at the person. “I'm sorry sir, but this store is closed-!” She saw the man pull a gun and froze.

“Give me whatever money you have!” He said pointing the gun towards Luna as she stood looking at him. “NOW!” He snarled as she remained frozen in place. “I said now, you dumb bitch!” He prepared to fire but just as he got ready too Rosilynn snarled and leapt in the way, which earned her the bullet that killed her on impact.

“ROSILYNN!” Luna called out as she watched her beloved fur baby fall onto the ground and bleed out. But then two more gunshots rang out and Luna felt warmth seep onto her shirt, looking down she saw two new wounds where none had been before. As the man prepared to fire off more shots, sirens began to wail in the distance and he took off out of the store as Luna felt herself hit the ground. “Rosie!” She whispered as she crawled towards her pup. “Rosie,” She spoke as she fell to the ground. Luna pulled her beloved dog close and held her in one final embrace. “I'll see you soon...baby girl...” With her final words, Luna felt and saw her world grow dark and felt herself almost “melt” from consciousness.

****

“Commander! There's a woman over here! But she's gravely wounded!” A voice called out as Luna's consciousness allowed her to awaken a touch to hear the voices. But she was still badly injured, so the moment lasted a few more seconds, just enough to let her hear another voice speak up.

“Maker's Breath!” The newest voice was not given enough time to speak more as Luna passed back out, but she could feel someone lifting her up. When she was next able to come into consciousness, she felt herself lying on a cot with bandages wrapped around her; as she groaned, she opened her eyes and heard someone approaching her.

“Easy, You are still recovering from your injuries,” The voice was gentle, but it was masculine in speech. The hands of the person speaking, helped her to sit up and she looked around but not before her eyes looked to the man helping her. “I can see you have many questions but those answers will have to wait,” he said as she studied him. He was lanky, around the same height she was, had a bald head and pointed ears. “Before you ask I am an elf,” He told her upon seeing the look of curiosity spark in her eyes.

Luna looked away with embarrassment flashing upon her face. “Forgive me for staring,” She whispered as he chuckled.

“There was no harm done,” He smiled at her as he turned to prepare something. When he turned back to her he placed a cup in her hands and she looked towards the warm liquid inside. She recognized it as something akin to tea and he smiled at her again, “Drink, it will help you to feel better,” he told her gently as she carefully lifted the cup up and took a careful drink of it. “If I may be allowed to ask this of you: What is your name?” He asked her carefully as she looked at him.

“Lunaria, Lunaria Azrael Riverarrow, but I prefer to be called Luna.” She told him as he nodded.

“A beautiful name. I am Solas, but now I must ask you are you aware of having magic?” He noted her confusion and told her what he could sense about her.

“My mother always told me that magic ran deep within my family bloodlines, but was disappointed when I showed no magical talent.”

“I see,” Solas became very thoughtful at her predicament. “Maybe after you are fully recovered from your injuries, I could help you with it?” He asked in deep hopefulness as she thought about his offer.

“I would be willing to at least try,” She told him as he nodded, “But I will warn you now: I'm not the most patient of students.” She admitted as he chuckled.

“I am a patient man so you need not worry,” He looked towards the entrance of the tent (which she just now realized was the place that she was in) and both watched a man and a woman with something that looked like a staff upon her back enter the area.

“Good to see that you are finally awake!” The woman spoke looking quite relieved to see Luna sitting up. “I was worried that you might not wake at all.” Luna was unsure of how to react to that so she kept silent. Solas was quick to fill in the two on what he had discovered about her and his plan to see if Luna truly had the ability to use magic, “That's a wonderful idea Solas!”

“Herald, are you sure you should let him-?!” The man just behind the woman spoke up as the woman turned on him.

“Commander Cullen, I am sure Solas is more than capable of helping her,” The woman, the Herald, told the man silencing him on the spot, “If she is not a mage, then you can do whatever training she will need,” As much as Luna was thankful for the Herald saying what she was, Luna greatly doubted she herself was a mage. The Herald turned back to Luna with a smile. “Don't mind the Commander, he can lose his temper at times. I have no doubts that you are in good hands with Solas,” The woman smiled. The two remained for a while longer asking her questions but eventually were chased away by Solas, so that Luna could get some rest, but even as Solas left her, Luna could only close her eyes with tears lingering as her multitude of thoughts swarmed her mind like hornets after having their nest kicked.