Ok, I lied. Here’s Chapter 17 of Ambrosia. Just know the B.O.S.S. chapters of Ambrosia are likely not what will be in Nell and Culvir’s Novellete.
I just can’t keep away from these two for long.
Part 17 – Sage
Clothing designed by Eurydice Topel had to have been one of the most terrifying concepts Nell could think of. Given the old man’s track record, she expected him to hand her a square of cloth.
She couldn’t have been more wrong.
A brilliant robe hung into the closet, crafted from fine pink and grey silk and spun silver. The robe managed to be more modest than her usual one as a scarves of silver fabric draped from the shoulders and the hips. The one at the shoulders was bound by a brooch with a brilliant ruby set in its center.
Nell gasped into the palms of her hand, tracing her gaze over the numerous silver notches along the neck and belt. Dangling strands of silver hung from the waist as well.
“It’s beautiful,” Nell said.
“I’m glad you approve,” Topel said. He stroked the scraggly hair at his chin. “I had a close friend design it and—”
Nell hugged him and peppered his nose with kisses. “I more than approve. It looks like it belongs on a queen.” She paused to consider. “W—wait. How did you afford such a—”
“Lots of money of course.” Topel shrugged a shoulder. “I’ve poured a great deal of my savings into its creation. Originally I made the design for myself, but then I met you.”
Nell blushed. “I couldn’t.”
“I’m old.” Topel slipped a hand low and around her bottom. She didn’t protest. “Besides, such a thing would be wasted on me. It would shine on your beautiful body.”
“So in other words,” Culvir said, scowling. “You gave it to her so she could model it for you.”
Topel slipped away from Nell, eyeing Culvir. “Of course.”
“Master—I mean—Eurydice. You can’t fool me,” Nell said smiling. “That’s merely an ulterior motive. These indentations they’re for the stones you use correct?”
Topel nodded. “You will need to make your own. It is inefficient to use other people’s magical energies, especially one as gifted as you. Laymen such as Cuvlir have no appreciation for efficiency.”
“I am efficient. We simply have a different definition of the word.”
“If I spend half my life’s work on a robe I am entitled to enjoying seeing a beautiful woman wear it.” Topel ran a hand across the fabric. “And while this is a… nice… garment, I hoped for something a little more showy.”
The smile fell of Nell’s face. Thank the spirits he didn’t design it.
“How is that efficient?” Culvir said.
“Nell will bring a new age to the legacy of the Sage. Not only will she revolutionize magic as we know it, she will be viewed as a goddess. Everyone in the right mind loves breasts.”
Culvir opened his mouth to speak, but his mouth simply hung open.
Topel clicked his tongue. “I hoped for something that showed cleavage.”
Nell crossed her arms self-conciously. I don’t really have enough to show cleavage. “Eurydice. Please. It’s a lovely robe but I couldn’t pull of something like—well, what you have in mind. It’s not too late to find a more… filled out apprentice.”
“Nonsense,” Topel said. “There can be no one else. I’m sure my friend knows what he is doing and you can ignore the doddering of this old man. Besides, it does well to show off your—”
“Enough.” Culvir said, red faced. “You’ve made your point, as stupid as it is.”
“Stupid?” Topel’s temper flared. “Have you no appreciation for Nell’s charms? Did I mistake you for playing on the wrong team? Perhaps you prefer Nikidas to her?”
Nell blushed crimson at the prospect. She couldn’t resist the mental image.
“Now look here, old man.” Culvir stepped between them, jabbing an accusing finger in the center of Topel’s chest. “Keep your filthy mind focused on granting Nell the power you deem her worthy of. If you did this just to have her play dress up, you have another thing coming.”
“And you are not excited to see her wear it? Or are you jealous that you aren’t the one wearing it instead.”
“S—stop.” Nell said, pushing them apart. “If I accept and put on the robes will you stop fighting? Culvir. I agree Master is too forthright over his love of women, but after all he’s done for me I don’t mind prancing about for him. Master, you need to understand Culvir has come as far as he has because he takes everything seriously. This is nothing more than a petty clash of principles.”
Both men looked away, snorting stubbornly.
“Both of you, leave the room and I’ll try it on. Culvir, please see to it Master does not peep.”
Culvir narrowed his eyes. “My pleasure.”
Nell smoothed the fabric over her stomach, the dress fit well. Too well. She found it vexing how her Master could buy her perfectly fitting garments, better than she could buy for herself. He knew every curve of her by memory.
“You can come back in,” Nell said.
The two men stepped into the Inn room and gaped. Nell really did feel like a queen, once she got used to the awkward brace of steel that encircled behind her neck.
“You look amazing.” Topel said, grinning.
Culvir said nothing, staring blankly at her. That had been an answer in itself.
“Oh, I almost forgot. That ruby. I included it for a very specific reason. Do you mind summoning your little friend?”
Nell nodded and raised a hand. Wisp swirled into existence inches from her palm. He danced about happily, approving of her new garb.
“It’s a home for wisp.” Topel tapped on his collarbone. “But, it is a little bit more than that.”
Wisp dove into the ruby, setting it to glow. Nell felt the rush of power immediately. A tingling sensation raced through her body. She extended an arm, setting the silver bracers that matched the robes to glow with magical heat.
“What’s happening?” Culvir stepped closer to her.
“Wisp is empowering me, I suspected he was a spirit but—”
“Wisp is no spirit. He is your confidence. Your soul. Your passion.” Topel raised a hand summoning a ball of energy hued blue. It raged and throbbed, invoking a powerful heat that pushed back Culvir a step. He turned his hand over and let it drop to the ground like a raindrop.
The flame splashed on the floor and erupted into a pillar of power.
Topel regarded the light, smiling. “This is Id. He is my wisp.”
The pillar exploded into crackling lightning forming the outline shape of a burly man forged by lighting. Two eyes, like twin sapphires turned to regard Nell, and the creature bowed properly.
“You will be able to do the same one day. But the fact that your first act as a magician was the first step of being a sage has left a strong impression with me.”
Id fizzled to nothing and dissipated into the air.
Nell stared, frozen in shock. She had never seen Topel invoke such power without a stone of power. Her thoughts drifted to Sonnie’s words and the claims.
She swallowed hard, licking her lips. “Tell me, Master. What do you call this power?”
Topel donned a sly smile. “The power of Psychology.”