Farewell to home

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"ABSOLUTELY NOT! NO! OUT OF THE QUESTION!" Sage's voice thundered, shaking the walls of Lavender's cottage.

Matilda was standing in the middle of them all, hands on hips, glaring at Sage. Her eyes shot arrows at him. Ferry leaned against the wall opposite to them. He couldn't sleep that night, with all the excitement that she would go with him to Akna. But now it was hard for him to keep his eyes open, and his head felt heavy.

"My decision is already made, Sage," she said firmly, not looking intimidated by his shouts. "I'm coming with you to Akna."

"You have no idea what that place is like, Matt," Sage continued to shout. "Akna hates humans. If they find out you're human, they'll lock you up or turn you into a slave or worse. What were you thinking?"

"You can't tell me what to do, Sage! You're not my father!" Matilda raised her voice as she stepped closer Sage, but without taking her eyes off him. "Actually, my parents agree with my decision."

"Then I'll have a word with your parents!" He then turned abruptly to Ferry. "It's all your fault," he shouted. "You convinced her to do it."

Ferry raised his hands in his defense. "I didn't do such thing, Sage," he sighed, too tired to argue. "You know how stubborn she is ..."

"I'm not doing it for him, Sage," Matilda protested. "I'm doing it for me."

Sage took Matilda aside. He gently put his hands on her small shoulders, which almost disappeared under his palms. "Matt, we've talked about this before. I thought you understood. I'm going to Akna. I'm going to help Ferry defeat the enemy. I'll put him on that throne, and then I'll come back," he added, and his voice softened.

But Matilda withdrew her shoulders from under his palms. "I'm coming and that's final," she said.

Sage punched the wall, screaming in exasperation. "Why do you have to be so stubborn?"

"You can't come," they could hear Oona's confident voice. "You're not a fairy," she said, rising from the divan where she was making a flower wreath.

Matilda didn't even look at her. Instead, she raises his palm to keep Oona away from her. Her palm was inches from Oona's face. "No one asked you, foxy," Matilda said calmly. "Why can she come and I can't?" she asked Sage.

Parsely and Rosemary retreated in a corner of the room, and Lavender did not move from her chair. Thyme was somewhere in the darkest corner of the room, cutting an apple with a battle knife, wrapped in his black cloak. He didn't seem to notice the shouts and fuss around him.

Oona protruded in front of Matilda. "I'm coming because they need me, girlie," she said, grimacing. "I know the enemy better than anyone. You would only stay in our way. You completely lack magic," she spat the words.

Matilda stepped closer. Her eyes glared. "Maybe I'm lacking magic," she said calmly, "but I have something thousand times more important. Something only people have."

"And what's that?" Oona asked in disgust.

"Human intuition," Matilda replied. "Do you even know what that is?"

Oona grimaced. "You're not even ready."

Matilda took a step closer. Oona did not walk away but continued to look at her with a defiant smile on her face.

"Oh, I'm ready," Matilda said menacingly. "Unlike you, I trained. I didn't stare at the stars and made flower wreaths."

Oona's hand turned into a claw that wanted to scratch Matilda, but Sage was faster and protruded between them. "Oona is right, Matt," he said, "you're not ready ..."

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