Chapter 12:

One day, a woman who once sought knowledge visited. Part 3

Witch Cafe Wisteria

It was a rather hot day in Reingale. The blazing sun had finally caught up to the sleepy city. A city really ought to get tired enough to slow down if it's been outrunning our burning star’s high temperature revenge for most of the year, right? Usually, Reingale received mercy in the form of a tiny breeze from Seabirche’s shores, but today the city was not fortunate enough to have such a gift.

Inside Witch Cafe Wisteria, there was quite the hubbub. Derry had received the cold box and ice she had ordered! Pecan and Derry were quick to try the usual drinks with the now-cold seed milk... by waking up long before the cafe opened to test all of them!

“Wisdom Tea’s good to go,” Pecan stated as she marked the drink off the list she had scribbled out.

Derry grinned and prepared a new drink. She grabbed two jars of ice, and then poured the seed milk and mix into both.

“Alright, mind taking a swig of this one?” Derry requested as she handed Pecan one of the jars. Derry took a sip of her drink and hummed in appreciation. It must have been rather refreshing.

Pecan took her swig, licking her lips after she swallowed. She nodded and marked off the next drink. “Braver-Tea’s also good to go.”

They continued on in such a way even when Jade came in for the day. “Good morning,” the green-haired employee said quietly as she watched the witch and apprentice have yet another drink.

“Jade! The cold box came in…!” Derry cheered as she poured a jar of their current drink for Jade as well. “Here, hit this one up.”

So, Jade did join in on the testing activities! What a cooperative employee she was.

“Are you feeling that one?” Derry asked as Jade took a sip and flashed a small smile Derry’s way.

As the bespectacled employee nodded only to down more of her drink, Pecan laughed and placed another mark next to the drink’s name on her list. “Yep, she definitely hates it.”

The three women laughed and continued having drink after drink. Thankfully, these drinks weren’t infused with magic or else Witch Cafe Wisteria’s staff might have had a rather off day.

Eventually, they had tested each and every drink on the menu. Jade and Pecan began cleaning while Derry whipped out her chalk. The cafe owner grabbed a chair and stood on it so she could change her menu to include the new cold seed milk options. New menu items… How exciting!

“Hey uh… should we make a little sign for outside too?” Pecan asked, already drafting one. Derry accepted the idea and started looking over the ingredients thoughtfully. Soon, Pecan finished her sign and started making her way outside to place the sign up.

Jade walked behind the counter with the broom and excused herself as she walked between Derry.

“Are you contemplating the ingredients which would make a suitable new beverage?” Jade asked.

Derry broke her train of thought to look over to Jade in slight surprise. “Sure am now that I can think of cold drinks.”

With that, Jade scooted closer to Derry and looked down at the ingredients herself. “May I test a concoction?” she asked.

“Oh… sure thing…!” Derry replied, interested in what Jade would make.

From behind the counter, Jade selected a bunch of ingredients and placed them on top. She had selected so many that she had to keep some on the back counter. She scooped each ingredient in the bowl and began mixing her drink together. Derry looked on in confusion which caused Pecan to walk over as she came back from outside, wondering what was happening.

Jade prepared three jars of ice and poured her mixture and the seed milk in.


“Oh, no magic?” Derry asked. Jade shook her head and gestured to the other two jars.

Derry investigated her jar and hesitated to drink Jade’s creation. However, Pecan wasn’t exactly aware of what was in the mixture.

“Baby’s first drink,” Pecan said jokingly before taking a sip…

And spitting it right out. “OH HELL-- what is this?! It’s like I drank window cleaner down with acid and soap while being forced to drink spoiled milk at the same time”. Very descriptive.

At such a horrid description, Derry very cautiously licked a small amount of the drink off the top. Her face scrunched up a bit, but she shook it off and set the jar down.

“Sorry, Jade, but that was hella… not delicious,” Derry said.

However, Jade was simply drinking her drink as if it didn’t taste like a bunch of cleaning liquids. After she nearly slammed her drink down in satisfaction, she responded, “This beverage may not contain ingredients which create a delicious taste, but the value of such a beverage comes with its positive health benefits.”

“There are totally no health benefits to being dead due to poisoning,” Pecan started as she wiped up her mess. “My quality of life has dropped after drinking that.”

Jade sighed and poured Derry’s drink into her own jar. “As previously stated, the taste is not the focus.”

“Uh… this is a cafe. The taste is kinda friggen important.”

Derry agreed. “Right, no one wants to drop cash on nasty drinks.”

Jade thought for a while as she downed Derry’s drink and eventually Pecan’s as well. She seemed to be fine with drinking it. Health benefits were health benefits after all. Nonetheless, Witch Cafe Wisteria was not a health cafe and was… well, a witch cafe.

She nodded as she cleaned the jars she used. “Understood. I will rework this recipe.”

“Might need to start from scratch,“ Pecan mumbled to herself.

Before they knew it, it was time for the cafe to open. The first guests for the day came in shortly after. Jenni arrived pulling a woman in with her.

"Welcome to Witch Cafe Wisteria," Pecan and Jade called out. Pecan waved to Jenni who excitedly waved back with as much energy as possible.

"Hiiii!" Jenni exclaimed as she let go of the woman's hand to run up to the counter. The woman followed right after her, walking ever so gracefully as if she were some type of high-class beauty taking an afternoon stroll.

Derry had been in the backroom, but hearing Jenni's voice made her open the door quickly. "Jenni...!" she happily shouted. However, once she saw who little Jenni was with, her smile grew even wider.

"Kera...!" the witch cheered as she quickly made her way over to the woman named Kera and gave her a big hug.

"Hey!" Kera nearly sang out.

Suddenly, Derry gasped and backed up, looking down at Jenni. The witch bent her knees slightly and raised her palm in front of little Jenni. A familiar stance. Just as familiarly, Jenni hopped up and met Derry’s palm with her own for a high five.

“Couldn’t forget now could I? Welcome, Jenni!” Derry cooed.

“Ohh yah!” Jenni started as she untucked her necklace from her dress. “It’s here!”

Derry chuckled, “Oh good...! You’re taking good care of it. Don’t lose it… okay?”

Kera nudged Derry and smiled, “Don’t worry now, I make sure she keeps it safe.” Derry silently thanked her with an apologetic grin.

“Aren’t you lucky, Jenni? You get a really uh SPECIAL key,” Pecan said in a mockingly sweet voice.

Derry laughed, “Don’t mind, Pecan. She’s just… throwing shade-- oh...!” She came to a quick realization and briskly made her way behind the counter.

“Kera, this is Pecan and Jade. Pecan and Jade… this is my ace boon, Kera-- and Jenni’s mom. She sewed all of our uniforms,” Derry explained. “And Jade, this girl here is Jenni.”

Pecan nodded, impressed. A seamstress! Someone who could sew clothes and perhaps sew her an additional uniform if she played her cards right. For Pecan: noted. “Nice to meet you. Thanks for the uh… these,” Pecan said as she tugged on her own uniform. They were definitely comfortable uniforms, and comfortable uniforms made for happy employees, or became a part of the ideal.

“Salutations,” Jade said quite simply.

Kera smiled at Pecan and Jade, admiring the uniforms on them, then she shook her head as if to return right back to reality. “Sorry I haven’t come to visit, but here I am today. Jenni saw the sign outside and wanted to try the new thing?”

Derry nodded, “Don’t sweat it. Any you wanted to sip on...?” Derry asked.

“I want a pink one!” Jenni decided very quickly. Kera laughed with a dignified hum as she rustled Jenni’s hair. She was about to tell her that perhaps such a drink didn’t exist.

However, Derry quickly said, “Okay. How about you?”

Hearing Jenni’s cheer, Kera smiled and shrugged in defeat. “I guess I’ll have what she’s having.”

Pecan stepped up closer to the counter radiating energy which seemed to scream “Can I make it? Can I make it?” Derry stared at Pecan, who looked as if she were shaking with anticipation. The apprentice hadn’t made the tea they were requesting for anyone yet, so she was itching to try. It’s always great to have an employee who’s eager to try something new! Perhaps the results might have been as catastrophic as Jade’s attempt, but… well… it’s the attempt that counts.

“You want to whip those up?” Derry asked knowingly.

Pecan nodded enthusiastically. “Heck yeah!”

At Pecan’s gung-ho attitude, Kera couldn’t help but laugh while Jenni could only match her energy by hopping around while giggling.

Jade and Pecan grabbed a few jars and a bowl from below and set them down with relieved huffs. It was still a rather hot day, so everything seemed a little more exhausting than it usually did! Pecan thanked Jade, started measuring out her ingredients by sight, and mixed them into the bowl.

“Okay, so this tea is a… uh… super awesome magical tea that should help you make some more really awesome clothes,” Pecan said as she grabbed two jars and filled them with ice. She dramatically placed them on the counter, causing the two guests to pay rather close attention in interest.

Derry, on the other hand, was trying her hardest not to crack up at such a show as she stood off to the side. The cafe owner was actually not succeeding at her attempt very well. Everyone could hear the muffled chuckles off to the side even as Derry had her back turned. Definitely not a hype woman, but Pecan’s theatrics were understandably humorous at times.

Meanwhile, Jade paid close attention to Kera and Jenni’s every move. They were very into the entire… show, as one might call it.

Pecan managed to ignore her teacher’s chuckles and poured the drinks into the jars, following up with pouring seed milk as well.

“It’s not pink…” Jenni said, not trying very hard to hide her disappointment unlike how Derry was trying to hide her amusement.

“Not yet! But uh… just watch.” With that, Pecan clasped her hands together and squeezed as tight as possible, causing the tingly feeling to come up to her palms and fingers. She flipped her hands over, one hand above each cup, and muttered a quick phrase in a low voice quite a few times until the contents of both cups began to glow an inspiring tint of pink. Soon, the drinks went back to normal. Another successful spell!

The mother and daughter ooed and awed at their drinks. “Where’d the pink go?!” Jenni asked, but, she was really just amazed to see the pink. “Mommy, did you see that?!”

Kera nodded and took out her wallet, until Derry quickly stopped her, “Ah ah-- not happening, sister. I already told you.”

“Well then for tip,” Kera said, defiantly giving Pecan ten godas and handing Jade five as well for helping to grab the jars earlier. That was an important enough job. Jars don’t put themselves on the counter, after all.

Pecan beamed and graciously took the tip. “Thank you! You’re uh so nice. Thanks!”

“I appreciate your generous gratuity,” Jade said with a nod.

And so, Kera grabbed their drinks, gave one to Jenni, and said, “Okay on the count of three.” The mother and daughter counted down together and took a gulp of their nice, cold seed milk teas.

“It’s good!” Jenni shouted with glee. Simple praise but rewarding praise nonetheless!

“Oh, this is really good,” Kera stated, looking down into the jar. “It’s so refreshing.”

Derry chuckled and leaned over the counter casually. “Sorry it’s not actually pink… but it’s the one Pecan calls... ‘the pink one’...!”

“The pink one!” Jenni repeated in a silly voice, to which Pecan laughed.

Kera leaned over the other side of the counter, meeting Derry on the other side. “By the way, when we’re not working, we really need to go to the port again.”

“I hit the port every day… I’m just waiting on you,” Derry said with a laugh.

“Just invite me over,” Kera said as she looked at the cafe’s clock. ”Ah, I need to open the shop for the day-- bye everyone, thank you so much for the drinks! Say ‘bye’, Jenni.”

“Bye!” Jenni called out as they headed for the door. “Bye Pecan! Bye Dary! Bye Jed!”

Pecan pumped her fist in the air. “I’ve ascended into non-butchered name territory.” Derry frowned a little, but not too much. At least she wasn’t called Jed.

However, Jade took no offense to her new nickname and instead smiled. “They were rather pleasant.”

Unfortunately, Pecan’s energy didn’t last long. She plopped down in the chair and groaned.

“Already tired?” Derry asked, grabbing her employee a cup of water.

Pecan sniffled and whined a bit before taking sips of the water. She sighed, ”It’s uh... just too hot to use magic maybe.”

Jade started putting all the ingredients and such away but stopped once another guest walked in with a severe case of shaking. It was Merald.

“Welcome to Witch Cafe Wisteria,” Jade greeted the merchant. Pecan was a bit too tired to say much. She waved with as much strength as she could manage.

“Hey, Merald. Thanks… for the shipment...!” Derry said as the man walked up to the counter.

He nodded with a smile, friendly as ever. “Y-Yes! I’m… well-- I’m happy to provide that!”

Jade observed Merald carefully. He was shaking so much that she was becoming concerned. She figured it must have been a normal occurrence since Derry didn’t seem phased. Pecan, despite being a very out of commission employee at that moment, also didn’t seem too worried.

“You came to try the cold seed milk tea I was telling you about?” Derry asked, a bit excited for him to have a taste of it.

“Oh! Oh y-you betcha! That’s why I came back! You know-- eh heh-- you know I love seed milk! A-And cold Braver-Tea sounds delicious!”

Jade stepped in, “I desire to make the necessary preparations for his drink.”

Derry stared at Jade. All her employees were so eager that day! Sure, that eagerness had led to a rather nasty drink and a quarter dead employee, but something about their enthusiasm was a bit infectious.

“Okay, I’ll hit it with magic after, alright?” Derry began. She turned to Merald and said, ”While Jade’s making that for you, let me… check on Pecan. She used up a bit of energy today...”

“Oh dear,” Merald mumbled in concern. “I hope… hope she’ll be alright”.

With that, Jade started grabbing the ingredients from the bottom. “Merald, was it?”


Jade began adding the ingredients for the Braver-Tea to the bowl. “Is anxiety your ailment?”

“I-It is. And… and some other things,” the merchant said in a low voice, feeling a bit ashamed.

After a pause, Jade sneakily grabbed a few other jars from behind the counter and mixed them into the bowl as well. Merald seemed quite surprised but didn’t say a word as he watched Derry and Pecan from the corner of his eyes.

“Braver-Tea contains many herbs which assist with this ailment on a magical level. However, these herbs assist on another level-- if you do not mind their addition into your beverage,” Jade explained. Of course, she had already added the ingredients, so there wasn’t much of a choice for poor Merald who was just about to become a guinea pig for whatever odd modification Jade had cooked up.

He shakily shrugged and grinned. “I… I suppose… this is fine.”

With that, Jade quickly stashed the jars of the ingredients she had secretly added back beneath the countertop. She retrieved seed milk from the cold box and a jar of ice. Into the jar went the tea, seed milk, and perhaps a large dose of Merald's uncertainty.

"Derry, it's complete," Jade said, looking over to Derry as the cafe owner was giving Pecan, what seemed like, a stern talking to as the witch apprentice sulked.

Derry walked over and smiled, "Okay…!" However, as she tried to infuse the tea with magic, she noticed that the glow was a bit different than the usual red hue.

"Something is up…" Derry said, staring at the drink.

"Ah, w-well it's it's er... probably fine," Merald stuttered out as he placed his payment on the counter.

When all was said and done, the tea did have the usual effect it had on Merald, so Derry didn't worry too much. Still, between the odd faces Merald was making and Jade averting her gaze, she figured some modifying had happened. She'd have to keep an eye on that one.