Chapter Snippet

From NO’VA, Book IV, Part II, Chapter 4

Another patch of light caught his attention, and away he bounded to check. For several minutes it was a mad dash between different areas, until at last he chanced upon one about to go into shade.

Jenario dived, plucking it as he slid, then held it cupped between his hands as he tried to catch his breath. Afraid that it would immediately die after being pulled, he was hesitant to open his hands and check. To his amazement the petals were still pearl white.

“Yes!” he cried out in joy before thinking better of it. He was still in a strange location, and although surrounding swamp deterred Black Wings, he could not be sure of anything else. Pulling an empty vial from his pouch, he slid the flower inside and corked it. Its size was perfect for the smaller pouch on his belt. For larger ones such as the skunk cabbage, he could hear the tap of those bottles from the sack strapped over one shoulder.

Jenario pressed on, moving quickly through a grove of cypress trees. They reminded him of soldiers standing perfectly straight. Its many linear leaves fanned out as flat blades arranged on stems spiraled around the trunk. They felt prickly against his clothing while sliding in between, though soft enough not to catch as he entered a good sized clearing. He was only able to gather three additional herbs before clouds darkened overhead.

The area had an eerie feel as a faint mist settled over the earth. Moist ground slightly sunk under his weight while he jotted down a few notes about his discovery. He planned to flesh out more details once he got back, but for now it was good enough. Location played a vital role where herbs were found. Thus far, Sapphire had proven to be an alchemist’s treasure cove.

His thoughts wandered to what his other companions might have encountered. How many collectibles they probably passed! He then shook his head at the thought of telling the Fire Mage how he slipped up in the dirt to grab a flower. Shafari would love that!


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