Phyllis had soon after the speech retreated to a more private environment with Crysallis, the damp, dark chamber beneath the citadel was a room in which pupils were taken to practice their arts, various targets were lined up, but Crysallis was already beyond that point in her education, the two had cleared the room of any obstacles, lined them up at the walls, retreated to opposite sides. “Now.” Phyllis sighed, immediately the ground shook and fire was flung towards her, which the older and wiser fungal thwarted by deflecting them to the shaking ground above which she levitated. As she returned the attack Crysallis also levitated away from the ground that was meant to knock her off her feet, but she rose a patch of ground to use as a shield. In each turn the two women got closer to one another. Ready to smite each other with attacks of a magical origin they stood a mere armslength frome the other. A distinct and sudden knocking at the door interrupted the training of Crysallis. Unnerved Phyllis turned to the door, yelling to the outsider to enter. Without much of a pause a young man in plain uniform entered and handed her a scroll, saluted, turned and left. Still with an annoyed look upon her face she opened the roll and read over the lines scribbled onto the parchment. “Congratulations Crysallis.” she murmured, reading through the message a second time. “Because they are unhappy with the time it takes me to teach you all of my secrets you are to be tried and put into service as soon as possible.” she turned to the stunned younger woman. “I think your training is incomplete, but they wouldn’t care for that.” she mustered the young woman from head to toe, there was judgment in her eyes. “One last thing I want to teach you.” she sighed, raising her eyebrows. “As long as you will practice what I thought you will become better, and I can live with the fact that they put you into action.” hoping that her pupil would bring glory to the fungus and the fungal guards she turned to close the door, locking it so that the always curious eyes and ears of other pupils wouldn’t take away the secrets she had to teach, and apply them with less trained minds. A slight breeze blew over the rooftop gardens of the citadel, the southern garden was drenched in sunlight, lying higher up than any other rooftop garden it was impossible to spy upon. Phyllis opened the doors, leading Crysallis outside, locking the doors behind them again. Her pupil was still in festive robes, as her trial had been conducted the last two days and night. Overly tired and exhausted the young woman was glad to be taken to the peaceful refuge of the rooftop, albeit one she had never been on before. “I congratulate you again.” Phyllis sat down on a wooden bench, staring off into the distance whilst Crysalis sat down as well. A moment of silenc transported each of the two into the realm of thought, a constant meandering hurricane of thoughts and memories: smells, images, texts, sounds, impressions and emotions, a mealstrom that tore the mind into directions well known, and directions unseen before. “You’re probably asking yourself why I took you up here.” Phyllis allowed herself to return from that storm of thought. Hearing the voice of her former teacher Crysallis had to work hard to follow that lighthouse back to where she had trailed off. “A little, yes.” Phyllis got up and straightened her clothes, waving her former pupil with her. The path left for wandering around on the rooftop described an S-form, concealing further out parts from any visitor standing at the door, or all too curious eyes beyond it. “The source of our power.” she pushed aside the soft long leaves of a plant in their way, Revealing to Crysallis two floral women fixed on a stretcher, their hands had been removed, the wounds cauterized. For a moment Crysallis inched away, but regained her posture, not to show any weakness in front of Phyllis, after all, her presence on the rooftop could’ve still been part of her test. A wave of relief went through her as she noticed that Phyllis wasn’t watching her but delighted in the sight before them. “Florals. They thought they could withhold the Mana from us.” with a glint of distaste in her eyes Phyllis wandered in front of the semi conscious floral to their right. Crysallis followed reluctantly. There had been rumors of the treatment the Florals received in the farms. Their maiming, a necessity as it was claimed so that they couldn’t harm the ones who watched over them. Crysallis felt her stomach churn, but fought her ill feeling. “Their mouths have been sewn shut.” Crysallis hoped not to sound ill or whimpering. “When we brought them here a few months ago, they were lively and talkative, screaming for help. I didn’t want them to disturb the peace and quite of the citadel, so I had them silenced.” Phyllis marveled at her idea with pride. “Now they have quieted down of course, sucking up nutrition from below, providing Mana to those in need. Aren’t you my little flowers?” she held the face of the floral before in her hand. Crysallis could’ve sworn to see both disgust and utter hatred in Phyllis’ eyes. Sensing the inquisitive look from Crysallis she turned to her former pupil. “Would the appletree try to run, fight and deny us the fruit we not only crave but desperately need, we wouldn’t treat it any different!” she explained letting go of the maimed floral. “I don’t mind the way they are treated,” Crysallis was uncertain whether she herself lied or not, “but I don’t want to see them. The general raising my lot put it nicely: ‘I enjoy meat, eat it whenever I can lay my hands on some, but killing an animal I cared for, I tended to, maybe even raised? Couldn’t do it!'” she turned, glancing the other floral up and down, both had dark hair, although she had heard of their leaf like hair, changing with the seasons. “It turns black in captivity.” Phyllis explained dryly as she noticed Crysallis studying the hair of the two. “Too bad, they would be like pretty flowers in my garden.” she added to bridge the awkward pause that had ensued.Feeling a part of herself, she didn’t know she had, die, Crysallis nodded, turning back to her former teacher, with a smile “Indeed, they would be.” Observing the play of shadows on the Florals bodies, Phyllis sat near the edge of the rooftop garden. The sun settled in the west, left to her, while shadows slowly crept across the floor, climbing up her two captives. Dancing, as the leaves of nearby plants danced in the wind, across their bodies, their exposed skin, deeply saturated by the sun light. “In some respect I envy you.” she reached for some wine. “As I watch your bodies, firm and sunshot, I realize that you can actually have something that I can not.” sipping from her glass she leaned back. “Lust and sexual satisfaction.” she mumbled. Staring at them again. Though she often had compared her physique with that of the Florals delivered to her, finding similarities as the bosom, and generally the shape, she found more differences than similarities. “You know, we germinate in the ground, our males fertilize our germination in the ground. Though some of them have begun discovering lust, we haven’t.” she referred to her fellow female fungals. Disgruntled she leaned forward to them, studying their feverish eyes. “I hate you so much.”, sip, “Not just for that difference, but so many more. You are a pathetic race, all of the other races. Incapable of reason, your insane shortsightedness has somehow infected us, ever since the Albin attempted to murder the great fungus.”, sip, Phyllis inched around in her chair. Suddenly she felt an itch all over her skin, almost as if the ways she talked about to her Florals were trying to infect her. “Not long though.” she pointed at her muted audience. “We will reawaken the fungus, reign in our lost brethren, before we conquer the entire world, enslaving your pathetic little race, to be harvested as we please.” Phyllis paced towards them, again reaching for the face of one of them. “Sweet dreams!” she hissed, with an amused smile she was recognizing the thick tears slowly rolling down their faces.

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