The cover image is Hearthstone's Firetree Witchdoctor by Eva Wildermann.

This is a gender-swapped version of Chapter 22, Teacher.


"First thing's first, troll," Mytherion narrowed his silver eyes as he stood before the troll, "I am the teacher. You are the pupil. You will listen to what I say without question. Furthermore, you will not-"

"Oh no you don't," Zami perked an eyebrow, waggling a teal finger in front of the night elf, "Don'cha be thinkin' I'm just gonna be some obedient little elf girl. I ain't ya wife."

"I… what?" Mytherion furrowed his silver brow, "That is not at all what I-"

"Ain't no mon gonna tell me what to do," Zami reasserted, crossing her arms across her chest defiantly.

"Oh, for goodness… Elune save me," Mytherion muttered under his breath in exasperation, pinching the bridge of his lavender nose.

"I know dat name," Zami nodded, leaning back, "Callin' upon ya elf goddess, huh? What? Is da sight of a strong wo-mon got you scared, elf?"

"Scared?" Mytherion gave a haughty laugh as he lowered his hand away, "Whatever do I have to be afraid of? A little savage? That's hardly worth my attention, let alone-"

His words were cut off as Zami reached forward, taking a firm grasp of his silver beard, and yanked down so that their gazes were level.

"Oh, so you wanna see savage, huh?" Zami sneered, holding up her other hand as it began to glow with an ominous dark light, "Askin' me to show you a bit of da voodoo, huh?"

"Are you threatening me, troll?" Mytherion wrinkled his nose, wincing slightly as she gave another tug to his beard.

"I dunno, mon," Zami chuckled, "Feelin' threatened?"

"Unhand me," Mytherion hissed, swatting Zami's hand away from him so that she released his beard.

Then he stood up, leaning away from her.

"Agreeing to teach you was a mistake," He chided, "You're clearly too unstable to become a druid."

"And why'd you decide to do dat, anyway?" Zami crossed her arms, brow perked.

Mytherion paused, glancing at Zami's silver hair, before casting his gaze aside.

"You… reminded me of someone," He mumbled, looking a bit flustered.

"Ohh…" Zami began to grin, "A lover, huh?"

"Wh-Goddness, no!" Mytherion quickly looked up, cheeks taking a dark purple tinge as blood rushed to his face.

"Mmhm?" Zami smirked, jutting out her hip to rest a hand upon it, "Whatever you say, boss mon."

Mytherion cleared his throat uncomfortably, regaining his composure as quickly as he could.

"Now then," He began awkwardly, "Shall we, er… commence your training?"

"Thought you weren't teachin' me no more?" Zami perked a white brow.

Mytherion simply waved a hand in dismissal, as though that were enough to explain. Zami shifted her arms, setting them against her hips, and examined the night elf for a moment.

"You be an odd mon, elf," She concluded before motioning towards him, "But if ya be willin' to teach, den I be willin' to learn."

Mytherion nodded, before crouching down to the ground before her.

"Allow me to show you a druid's most basic spell," He said as he nestled his purple fingertips deep into the soil, "It is only a simple matter with tapping into the spiritual essence of the natural presence around you."

"Spiritual essence of the natural presence," Zami repeated with an amused smile, "Sounds easy enough to remember, eh?"

She paused.

"So… you just stick ya hands in the dirt and call it a day? Or is dere—"

A moment later, thick green vines emerged from the ground. They slithered up around Zami, wrapping around her legs and interrupting her words. She felt her knees locked against one another as they were bound tightly by the vines. Fortunately, the vines stopped at her waist, just below where her hands rested, and thus left her hands free.

"A novice's task for you," Mytherion continued with a gesture towards the vines, "Simply remove the vines without touching them directly. Be it neither with your hands nor an intermediating instrument."

"Hm," Zami grunted, looking down at the vines, "Sounds easy enough."

She held out her hands, letting them hover above the vines. Spiritual essence of the natural presence, she reminded herself with a silent chuckle. Then she closed her eye, bowing her head forward.

She could hear everything around them. The faint whisper of the wind, the gentle sway of the trees, the soft rustle of the grass. Insects were buzzing by the lakeside and woodland animals chittered quietly in the forests. When she really focused, she could even faintly hear Mytherion breathing across from her.

Then the gentle sounds were interrupted by the crackling of soil and the snapping of vines. Zami opened her eye and glanced down as the pressure on her legs lifted away. The vines moved rigidly, receding into the soil erratically like the tentacles of a fleeing cephalopod.

Zami smiled triumphantly, looking up at Mytherion in pride. He was just staring at the ground, eyebrows raised, in a look of utter bewilderment. Like he had never expected she'd actually be capable of succeeding. Zami almost would've been offended, if not for the satisfaction of proving him wrong.

"...Incredible," Mytherion said as he crouched down, feeling at the ground, "You have some sort of affinity for nature."

"Guess you could say dat," Zami announced proudly, "Always had a way wit da beasties, and I know a thing or two bout handlin' plants. Been known to make a brew every now and den. After all, witchdoctor gotta eat too, and dem be payin' well for potions."

Zami then reached up and put a hand over her eyepatch.

"Plus, y'know, I got dis," She said as she patted the black leather, "Prolly givin' me some blessin' of Gonk. Can feel it got some powerful mojo in dere."

"Who?" Mytherion perked an eyebrow, standing up straight.

"Y'know, Gonk," Zami shrugged, "Da great hunter? Master of shapes? Packstrider?"

Mytherion was quiet for a moment before nodding.

"Ah, yes, one of your Loa spirits," He nodded, waving a hand dismissively.

Zami scowled and reached out, grabbing his hand mid-gesture.

"Don'cha be mockin' da Lord of da Hunt," She said warningly, squeezing his hand tightly, "Less you wanna be his next meal."