Mistica Chronicles

Welcome to Issue 47

Villainess Winning Entry

"I want to learn the secrets behind Pandoria's box."

This had always been his go-to answer, when asked about the Eledon's future. It had just made sense to him to seek it out. What greater exploration was there than the mysteries behind the Goddess' powers? And what challenge was better for Faust, himself?

Named after the ill-fated Eledon of legend, he saw it as his duty to fulfill his namesake's mission to obtain all worldly knowledge - without selling his soul to Ansidoria, of course. That part was important to the baby Eledon. He wished not to trap himself in the same fate.

Over time, Faust's desire to learn from Pandoria continued to fester. He got his hands on every book on the limited subject matter from the History of the Pandoria Box to Pandorias Box Blueprints. All offered how to make the box, but the lacked that special luster that went into Pandoria 's creations. Even a Shiny Pandoria Box could offer no insight into her powers. So, Faust decided, he would get himself a box to learn the secrets within.

The work to get one was backbreaking on its own. Faust swept out shops to scrap up coins on the evening. During the week, he organized and restocked his own business to add to his meager savings. Finally, he had enough to buy one of these mysterious coffer. But what to buy?

Faust always thought his starry-eyed passion meant he was destined for the astral pelt of a Zodiac pet. However, he also felt his heart yearned to put down roots and soak in the sun. In the end, he decided the first box he laid eyes on, would be his.

Finally on the day, he pranced to the shop, leaving a wake of dust and crying babies in his trail. Faust hardly noticed, with his trunk held high with excitement. If Eledons could frolic, he would be. Faust could not get there fast enough. His goal was in sight!

"Hey you." A tiny voice stop Faust in his tracks. Faust looked around. "Yeah you. Down here."

Faust looked down to be met by a rather unsavory looking normal Cheran, dressed in a trench coat and fedora in the shadows. "Can I help you with something?"

"No, I am here to help YOU." Came the weasely reply.

Faust’s trunk drooped at the age old scam. "No thanks. I am not interested."

"In getting a Pandoria Box?" The Cheran sneered.

Faust spun around, whipping up more dust and causing his new friend to sputter at the cloud. "H-how did you know?"

"A lucky guess." The Cheran walked his fingers across the palms. So he had noticed where Faust was heading. The Eledon couldn’t just feel impressed. "Hey, hey now! Don’t give me that look!" The Cheran held hands up. "I am here to help you."

"Doubtful." Faust sighed. "I am going to see Pandoria now."

"Why? She can’t help you."

Faust groaned and stopped again. "Why’s that?"

"I bought them all." He swore he could hear the Cheran purring. "Every. Last. One."

Faust’s ears fell to the side of his head and his trunk dropped completely to the ground. "Oh. Well… I guess I will come back another day."

"Hey, buddy! Didn’t you hear me? I am here to help you." The Cheran pressed against Faust’s leg to get him from leaving.

"How? By making me pay triple the price for it? I can’t afford it. So if you will excuse me…"

The rodent pet scowled at that, wacking Faust’s leg with all his might. The action vibrated off the Eledon’s tough hide. "What do you peg me as? A scammer?" The Cheran took his bruised paw in his hand.

"Um… yes?" Faust shrugged.

"Well I ain’t a scammer! I just require a small fee on top of the box payment.. That’s all."

Faust rolled his eyes. "How much?"

"Two hundred thousand."

"Well…. I guess that isn’t too bad." Faust sighed. "Sure. Why not?" Faust held out his money for the Cheran to take.

"Hey, hey! Not so fast! Do I look like I have a bunch of boxes on me?" The Cheran shoved Faust’s trunk away. "We got to go to my warehouse."

Faust stared skeptically at the vendor. "And where exactly is it?"

"A few trees over. Come on. I’ll show you."

Sure enough, the Cheran had hallowed out a tree to store his stash of Pandoria boxes. Faust could hardly believe his eyes that this scrawny little creature had managed to perform such a feat by himself. The trunk was practically teeming and overflowing with the magical containers.

"Why do you have so many?" Faust questioned. He could hardly keep the awe out of his voice.

"A Cheran has to make a living after all. Restocking and flipping is in this season."

"If you say so."

"Hey, hey! Stop your drooling and pick a box."

"I can’t."

"Why not?"

"I don’t know what box I saw first."

"What does that have to do with anything?"

"I said I would pick the first box I saw. I don’t remember which one I saw first."

"Here, here! Take this one." The Cheran shoved a Pandoria Box into Faust’s trunk. "There, there. Now get."

Faust hardly had time to argue as his money was whisked away and he was hurried off. He only looked down at what he was holding when his heart sunk. "Oh no." Faust cried in dismay. "Not a Phantom box! Of all the boxes."

Ever since he was a babe, Faust had always been afraid of the ghoulish pets, as they ghosted around Darkwood Hallow at night, and caused general mayhem during Lanturnacht. It had been his least favorite, or expected, theme. And here he was with the answer to his question within reach, but only if through the ghastly theme.

"I guess I have no choice." Faust postured, setting the box down on the ground. This would be his curse. He opened the lid to Pandoria's box.