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Vulpus Animus


Arcana Fanfic with an emphasis on Asra. Artist IG: @batoshiino

Fantasy / Romance
Coco Nichole
Age Rating:

The Gardener pt.1

Kipling looked down at her hands and wondered how they got so dirty.

Guess I just really got caught up in gardening again.

She leaned back on her heels and inhaled deeply, absorbing her hard work. Madam Moussaint’s garden was looking so much better than it did that morning. Thanks to Kipling, all the weeds were gone and the succulents finally had room to breathe.

“Kipling! I can’t believe it.”

The sound of Madam Moussaint’s shrill declaration startled her a little. Kipling didn’t expect her client to kneel beside her and marvel in speechlessness at her handiwork.

“This is amazing. You really outdid yourself.”

Her words brought warmth to Kipling’s cheeks. Wiping away the perspiration from the morning’s effort, she replied, “All I did was clear away some weeds.”

It was a natural tendency for her to downplay her talents. For a moment, she tried to see the arrangement of plants from Moussaint’s perspective. The shades of violet and green across the fuzzy surfaces of the succulents were so pleasing to the eye. They gave a sense of fulfillment and embellishment on an otherwise ordinary, utilitarian Vesuvian street.

Helping Kipling to her feet, Moussaint said, “Soon everyone on this corner will be requesting for you to remodel their gardens.”

While Kipling used the water in the small pail to clean off her hands, Madam Moussaint disappeared inside her flat. She returned with a thick velvet purse, which she pressed into the gardener’s palm.

“Madam,” Kipling gasped, “this is far too much!”

The older woman waved away the protest. “I won’t hear a word of it. With talent like yours, you should be making arrangements for the Countess herself.”

Kipling sheepishly tucked a stray silver lock behind her ear. “I’m actually headed to the palace after this. I have to deliver some dehydrated witch hazel to the royal herbalist.”

In fact, she was running late. Madam Moussaint seemed to notice her restlessness. She gave her a good shake and said, “Well, off with you then. Give my regards to the Countess.”

“I will!” Kipling quickly gathered her tools and started down the street.

By the time she reached the palace, she looked down at her attire and cursed. She’d been out gardening in the sun all morning without a chance to go back to her flat and wash up.

That’s okay. I just won’t enter the palace. I can reach the conservatory by going through the royal gardens.

But the idea made Kipling hesitate. She knew there would be a strong chance that he would be roaming the gardens too.

Asra. Personal Magician to the Countess.

Kipling swallowed hard. Self consciously, her fingers wandered up to her hair. It was a hot mess.

Most of the time she was proud of her dark mass of tightly coiled curls. With the right oils and butters, she could get her hair to do spectacular things. But today was not her day. The colorful scarf that Kipling fashioned into a useful headband was her only saving grace.

She sighed. Did it really matter if Asra saw her this way?

I’ve been delivering herbs and balms for months and he has never noticed me before.

Kipling approached the glossy gates of the palace.

Why would today be any different?

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Further Recommendations

tbedford1971: Very good read

bmca00: Why do I have to do this review.....just move on I want to read more of the story

Fiona Walker: Absolutely bloody loved it. A very well written slow burn romance that will I think, be continued in subsequent books. It leads nicely into the next one

Angeliquita: La verdad me gustó muchísimo quiero más capítulos si por favor 🙏😃

RGXD: I'm loving this book so far. One thing I would've done to make it better was to add povs. I understand that every writer has their own writing style but just a polite suggestion. Loving the book though. I love this writer. Keep it up! 💖

Crazy_reader: It's a really nice read! !

honeygirlphx: I wish your books would be a tv series I can only imagine how amazing these fantasy stories would be!!

Keona: I absolutely love this so far

More Recommendations

Bamalady78: I have absolutely nothing but praise for this story. Each book draws you in to the newest couple while still continuing the past couples storyline. Absolutely brilliant work of art.

Tenley: I've read both of the books in the series and I love the story lines in both.Thank you for writing an amazing series.I'm still gonna need the rest of the next book tho.

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