..."What?" I asked, my quivering voice betraying my outward attempt at fearlessness.
Sophie withdrew a small glass vial from her pocket, filled with green liquid. "Give this to Edna."
Really? It was that easy?
"Yes," Sophie replied. I started. "Mind reader, remember?"
"What about Kevin?" I inquired with a pleading frown.
Sophie folded her arms together. "I will release him after you deliver that to Edna. I'll know when you've done so because I just will... mind reader and all that." She glanced at Kevin. "You may meet him at the gates to the Haunted Woods." She nodded at the brother.
The swamp witch then shoved me away. "Now, shoo," she said, "fulfil this quest of mine and don't come back."
"Yes Ma'am," I replied hastily and went off.
"Ah, Sophie's Elixir of Smiting," Edna said upon inspection of the vial I'd just given her. "Excellent!" And then she cackled.
I grinned wearily. And then I realized... this must have been the item we were supposed to get her. "I'm glad you like it!"
"Now begone!" she said with a scowl before adjusting her hat.
I hurried out the door of the stone tower.
At the gates of the Haunted Woods, I grinned. There was Kevin!
"Kevin!" I exclaimed as I went to hug him.
"Brenda!" he said back. "Thank Fyora I finished the quest."
I paused. "Wait, what?"
"The quest for Edna ended up being me bringing something to Sophie," the Ruki replied. "Edna said that when it was done you would be released and I could find you at the Gates of the Woods."
I was confused. "I saw you at Sophie's though..."
"Odd," Kevin replied. "All the same she probably could have conjured my likeness. She's good at witchery."
I realized then that clearly we'd been played. Edna had asked Kevin to deliver Sophie something, and I'd been asked by Sophie to deliver something to Edna... all for the promise of safe return of our sibling.
Witches be clever.
"I'm just glad you're safe," Kevin said back.
"Yeah, and I to you."
Happily, we walked out of the Haunted Woods. "Let's not come back any time soon," I said.
"...Fine then Kevin, for you. Maybe."
Odd things were happening in the woods.
Sophie and Edna... colluding? This couldn't be good.
"Ah, wonderful," Sophie said to the quester who brought her the vial she'd sent to Edna, now filled with an even stronger, more crushing elixir made from her one of Smiting.
She smiled and thought of Edna cackling; the latter which certainly would after Sophie made the next enhancement. "Soon the trees will do our bidding..."