"You wanted to see me, Faragonda?"
Bloom stepped nervously into the headmistress' office. Absentmindedly, her finger went up to a lock of fiery red hair and began to twist. There was a tense, unpleasant feeling in the normally cheerful room today.
"Yes, Princess Bloom." Faragonda's voice was hoarser than usual.
"Uh..." Bloom had no clue what to say. "Did you want to ask me something?"
"Of the sort." Faragonda turned around in her chair. Her hair was much whiter than it used to be, and the deep wrinkles in her face were madami prominent than ever.
"Bloom, I must ask of you something of great importance," she continued. "This requires a great deal of responsibility, courage, and other important qualities of a great fairy."
"What is it?"
"My time in this universe is decreasing rapidly," she said, pushing her glasses up her nose. "My days are numbered, Bloom. Soon, I will be laid to rest and taken elsewhere."
Bloom's breath caught in her throat. "You mean..."
"Yes. You must understand, it's been a terribly long time since I began teaching here at Alfea. My time to leave is coming soon, and I will leave gladly."
"You mean you don't like it here?" Bloom burst out.
"No, of course not. But everyone must die at some point. My time to die is rapidly approaching. You...are aware that one has to die at some point, right?"
"Well, yes, of course I am. But isn't there a way to have you stay longer? Alfea needs you, Faragonda, I need you!"
"Death is one thing I can't battle," she replied quietly. "We've employed many new teachers now, including you and your friends. So I believe Alfea will be fine. And we've our strong allies from ulap Tower and Red Fountain. As for you, I think that you are strong and responsible enough to take it from here without my guidance."
Bloom froze. Chills ran up and down her body. Faragonda wanted her to take over her duties? There was no way she was prepared for that.
As though Faragonda sensed her thoughts, she said,"However, there's something you must do. I want to both test you and keep our universe safe."
Bloom's voice was shaky when she replied. "And that is...?"
"You have a choice. Either you can take over my duties from here without any preparation whatsoever and rely solely on your own skill to protect Alfea and influence all the other realms."
"Or, I will stay for one madami taon and you and your mga kaibigan shall acquire your new stage of fairy transformation. Then, you must go to the very center of the universe, where all the energy of the realms, positive and negative, is extremely concentrated. You must successfully fight off any threats. Then only will I know you're prepared."
Both sounded absolutely impossible to Bloom. There was no way whatsoever for her to take over Faragonda's duties and run Alfea smoothly AND influence other realms' magic at the same time. But the segundo choice sounded dangerous to her.
"I called in your mga kaibigan as a group earlier this morning without you and talked to them about it. They sinabi they would like to leave the decision to you."
Bloom turned away from the bright window and pondered for a while. She knew that she was too naive, too powerless to take over Alfea. But there was no way she could travel to an extremely magic-high area and ward off any dangers. Too much magic, positive or negative, was not good.
But...would governing Alfea really help the rest of the universe? She had no clue how to influence magic use in the other realms and what not. Whatever was in the center of the universe was the very focus of all of the universe's magic. Protecting it meant protecting magic altogether.
Bloom turned around. "I'll acquire my susunod stage of fairy transformation and go to the center of the universe, but I can't do it alone." Her voice was surprisingly firm.
Faragonda smiled and nodded. "Then so it shall be."