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  1. #121
    Mariel and Pino

    "She can't be that hard to find," Mariel said. "She has no reason to try to hide from us--"

    Her words were cut short as soon as they opened the door, because their trajectory took them directly into the path of Pino and Kalona.

    Pino looked them over briefly as if he had forgotten Mariel was with them, then lazily flicked a spell at the child, freezing her in place as though she were a block of ice. The girl was clearly unharmed, but was unable to move. He would deal with her later. For now, his priority was to recruit to Kalona to his side.

    "There," Pino told Kalona. "I am as good as my word. Your daughter and the others are there, unharmed. Now, will you agree to enter my employment? Say the word, and reconciliation will be yours."

    His fingers began to crackle with faint sparks as he prepared to cast the spell he had promised that would make Kalona's daughter cooperate with being 'reconciled.' After all, how could a loving father say no?
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 01-09-2018 at 05:22 PM.
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea

  2. #122

    Isobel felt deep sympathy for Maleficent and Diaval. While they clearly loved each other, it had to be difficult - especially since Diaval couldn't even talk. She really hoped something in Castle Florian's extensive collection of magic books would help. The two of them deserved their happy ending.

    Her foot was aching violently where Willard had ground his boot into it, and it was becoming increasingly difficult for Isobel to walk. She was leaning more and more heavily on Carrie - but Carrie didn't seem to mind.

    "There they are!" Isobel said, pointing to Pino and Kalona. They were with three people Isobel didn't recognize - though their manner of dress suggested Kalona probably did - and a child Isobel did know. It was Mariel, Willard's other stepdaughter. Isobel couldn't imagine what the girl was doing here. This was no safe place for a child.

    Suddenly, things seemed to be happening very fast. Isobel cried out with helpless anger as Pino used some sort of freezing spell on Mariel. They were too far away to do anything, but Isobel limped toward them as quickly as she could, hoping to save them from whatever Pino had in mind.

  3. #123

    While Maleficent believed she didn't deserve a happy ending, she believed Diaval did. She didn't see his ending being with her. He had spent too many years trapped with her, thanks to her spell. He deserved to be a human again and to move on with his life. Move on from her...Now wasn't the time to think of that. First they needed to find Kalona and get to Castle Florian. Free the girl, find a way to free Diaval of his curse, and then face her judgement. All she hoped for was that before Phillip and Aurora listened to her side of the story before deciding her fate.

    When Isobel pointed out Pino and Kalona, Maleficent's eyes grew dark.

    "Let the girl go."

    She ordered Pino, seeing that Mariel, a girl she didn't know the name of, was under some sort of spell. Maleficent didn't have much magic left but she'd be willing to use it to help free Kalona and the girl from Pino. Phillip armed himself with his sword and Aurora held on tightly to the spear Maleficent had given her. Ready to fight.

  4. #124
    Kalona, with Kawelo, Koa'iki, and Meki Leaf

    Kalona looked at the girl this... creature had frozen so casually. Then he looked at his daughter, her husband, and their oldest living son. All three stared at the girl, stunned. He did not know her, but he didn't need to, to see that his daughter and her family cared about her, and did not want to see her harmed.

    Then he turned to the creature he could not now call a man. Not after all he had said and done. The thing's hands crackled and sparked with sorcerous energy. This could not be good. This could not bring any reconciliation worthy of the name. He held himself still a moment, then rushed him in a flying tackle, hoping the creature could not dodge in time. If he could just pin him, maybe he could rescue everyone. He hoped his tackle connected perfectly.

  5. #125
    Isobel and Pino

    Pino was not expecting a direct physical attack, so he had no time to prepare himself or block his foe. Kalona connected squarely, pinning Pino and slowing the sorcerer's momentum.

    "You fool!" Pino said, gasping slightly with the wind knocked out of him. "What do you think you're doing? I'm the best chance you have! The only chance you have! Why would you throw it away?"

    Because of the enchantments on the castle, Kalona was not able to do harm to Pino. Merely restraining him, though, with no intention of damage fell within what the quest seekers were allowed to do to each other.

    Isobel stepped in front of Mariel, using her own body to shield the girl from further attacks. Pino first looked even more dumbfounded, then smug. His voice was mocking as he said, "And now we have an even bigger idiot. Don't know who that is?" Triumphantly, as if he expected he was scoring a point over Isobel, he informed her, "That's the daughter of the man who tortured you!"

    The former queen's reaction was not what Pino was hoping for. The news had not landed as he expected; Isobel was supposed to turn murderous toward the girl and prove her evil nature, but instead she just looked confused.

    "I know who she is," Isobel said, speaking slowly as if talking to a simpleton. "You think I can't recognize the children of my employees? As Maleficent told you, let her go!"

    Pino did so, and Mariel stayed close to Isobel, hiding behind her and waiting to see what would happen.

    "Now," Isobel said. "We need some answers to our questions. Either of you care to go first making inquiries?" she offered Maleficent and Kalona.

  6. #126

    Maleficent sneered when Kalona attacked Pino, she could tell the liar had not expected that. Her eyes were dark as she looked at the man. It did not surprise her at all that Isobel knew who the girl was or that she would not harm her. Isobel was better than that, better then her...Phillip and Aurora were them, not saying much, but angry at Pino. For using them, for being willing to harm an innocent person. Neither liked to be a pawn in someone else's game. Whether it was in Pino's game or...King Stefan's.

    Maleficent, even in her anger, wondered if she was much better then Pino. She looked over at Aurora. The girl that Maleficent had cursed as an infant. Maleficent had punished the princess because of who her father was. It hadn't been right. Was she any different then this man? She wasn't sure if she wanted to know the answer. She raised her chin up and said.

    "What were you hoping for in all this, Pino? For my death? Sorry to disappoint you, people far better then you have tried to kill me and yet I still stand."

  7. #127

    "Oh, it's nothing personal," Pino replied to Maleficent. "I need that book of spells, and I don't intend to share it. My father placed certain enchantments on this castle - spells that prevent me from retrieving the grimoire on my own. His goal was to teach his wayward son the value of cooperation."

    Pino smirked. "Needless to say, the lesson didn't take. What I want is within my grasp, and now you two witches are simply... extraneous. As I said, I don't care what happens to Queen Maleficent or Queen Isobel in particular. You could live or die for all I care, under any other circumstances. Unfortunately, your continued presence is inconvenient, so death it is."

    Belatedly, Pino wondered if he had given too much away. Would they realize that as long as they were alive and unbound, none of the four of them could use the spells in the grimoire without the consent of the others?
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 07-15-2018 at 06:01 PM.

  8. #128

    "You were a naughty little boy then. How disappointed your father must have been in you."

    Maleficent told Pino when he said how his father had tried and failed to teach him about cooperation. She sneered at him as she added.

    "You may look like a man, but you're still a little boy. Acting impulsively and not thinking things all the way though. If you kill me, or Isobel, you'll never get your precious grimoire."

    They and Kalona knew where it was but they had not taken it from its place in the castle. None of them had truly trusted their host and with good reason.

    "All of this would have been for nothing."

  9. #129
    Isobel and Pino

    Pino swore and lashed out with a fist; Isobel flinched with the practiced reflex of someone who has taken a lot of punches, but the blow was directed past her, shattering the mirror beside her.

    "Dammit!" he shouted. "Why can't anything go right? I just needed one spell, just one damn spell." He sighed, appearing to try to collect himself, and absently ran his fingers through his hair. "It's all her fault, you know!" he mused aloud.

    Isobel momentarily thought he meant either her or Maleficent - or possibly even Mariel - but Pino wasn't through with his rant.

    "The Blue Fairy. It was all her fault. I never wanted this. I just wanted her to owe me a favor. That was why I spent the money I'd been saving to buy a new suit of clothes on paying off her medical bills instead... I wanted her to owe me. It seemed useful, being owed by a fairy, but instead she did... this!" He gestured up and down the length of his body.

    "What exactly is 'this'?" Isobel asked, not quite following. Pino seemed completely whole and healthy to her.

    "She made me real!" Pino replied, sounding genuinely anguished. "And now I have to feel things! I just want to be put back the way I was!"

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