Chapter 8:

THE OLD MAN OF THE WOODS

Cinder Roots - A Treant's Tale


The treant was still near the lake.Bookmark here

That old human was weird, the nameless treant thought, thinking over his last conversation. That's a good enough reason to at least try! I mean, it’s just a simple medallion, right? And to explore the forest, oh hohoho, I’m excited!Bookmark here

He considered what to do. I think I should try my Tree Talk skill. Maybe they can tell me something.Bookmark here

Tree Talk (Racial skill)Bookmark here

Treats have a natural capability to speak to and understand normal trees, if they feel like talkingBookmark here

If they feel like talking uh? well, let’s see if anyone here feels talkative today.Bookmark here

When he activated the skill, he started to feel every tree in a large circular radius over him. He sensed that all but one were sleeping. It was a giant willow tree.Bookmark here

“Uh, hello there,” the treant spoke.Bookmark here

“GET OFF MY DAMN LAWN!” He heard a shout inside his mind. “YOU DON’T SEE I’M TRYING TO GET SOME SLEEP???”Bookmark here

Aren't you the grumpy one? The treant thought. No matter, I can handle this.Bookmark here

“I’m sorry for disturbing you, but I’m in need of some directions”Bookmark here

“Damn kids these days, don’t even know how to walk before losing themselves,” the old tree muttered inside his mind.Bookmark here

Be patient.Bookmark here

“I really need some help, oh kind elder.”Bookmark here

He heard a little laugh “Kind elder, eh? Maybe I was wrong about you after all.”Bookmark here

“I’m glad you think so.”Bookmark here

“If I help you, will you leave me be?”Bookmark here

“Yes! I promise!”Bookmark here

“So go on, tell me what you need to know.”Bookmark here

“I need to find Barcus, he’s a Treant like me! I thought you maybe know where he lives?”Bookmark here

“You Treants and you weird names. Hardoak, Burnleaf, Wisehusk, Treeherb, arrgh, I even met one name Beardtree!” He felt a laugh inside his head.Bookmark here

“Yes, I know Barcus. He’s always coming here to nag about everything, saying that I need to wake up or whatever. Why? I’m quite comfortable right here.”Bookmark here

“Soo, you know where he may be at?”Bookmark here

“Of course not! Why would I ever involve myself with that spoiled brat”Bookmark here

“But you just said he always is coming here!”Bookmark here

“Oh yes, the last time he came was about ehh, 36?”Bookmark here

“36 days?”Bookmark here

“Years.”Bookmark here

Darn it.Bookmark here

“I guess you could ask the wind? He always knows everything. Nah, you don’t look the type to talk to the wind.”Bookmark here

“So what can I do?”Bookmark here

“You are one of those walky ones right? You should know better than I do!”Bookmark here

The treant sighed loudly. “Guess I’m by myself on this one. Well, thanks for your time.”Bookmark here

“Sorry about that, kid,” the old willow spoke in his mind. “But tell me, before you go, tell me, what’s your name?”Bookmark here

“Name? I… I never thought about that.”Bookmark here

“I imagined that you wouldn't. You’re young.”Bookmark here

The old tree became silent. An image began to form inside the treant’s mind, a lonely willow seed flying with the wind. Before he could focus more on what he was seeing, the moment passed.Bookmark here

“Allow me, The Old Man Of The Woods, to grant you a name, young child of fire.”Bookmark here

Child of fire?Bookmark here

“I would be honored.”Bookmark here

“By the grace given me by the wind, I declare that for now on, you shall be known as Oberon.”Bookmark here

Oberon. He looked at his stats.Bookmark here

Name OberonBookmark here

Level 2Bookmark here

Race Cinderborn TreantBookmark here

Class Unavailable (Unlocked at Level 5)Bookmark here

The name felt perfect for him.Bookmark here

“That the four elements guide you to safe paths on your journey. Good luck, kid.”Bookmark here

The treant was gone now, disappearing between the trees. He was a fortunate discovery. It would be good if he succeeds. It’s unnecessary, but it's always good to tip the odds a bit further. Titania losing the war right away won’t do me any good, but she needs to remain distracted. Spreading a few false informations along with the message is a delightful bonus. The fey surely discovered what my granddaughter is by now, but I don’t need them to know she is right here, with me.Bookmark here

She looked up to the sky. Almost noon, I need to get back. Grabbing a small leaf from her poncho’s side pocket, she whispered a magic spell.Bookmark here

“Mother’s Return.”Bookmark here

Mother’s ReturnBookmark here

By activating the skill while holding a leaf, the caster can teleport to the leaf’s original treeBookmark here

She felt a gust of wind on her back. Closing her eyes, she prepared herself for the teleportation. It was a weird feeling, almost like floating on water. The trick is to relax and let yourself be taken away; she remembered herself. Many times she felt the teleportation sickness overcome her senses, but always a quick learner. This was easily rectified.Bookmark here

Feeling the teleportation was over, she opened her eyes. In her front stood a rough-looking cottage. The windows were covered in wooden boards, and a strong door was barring the entrance. She personally enchanted them, pouring her potion mixes in the wood itself.Bookmark here

She stopped a few meters from the door, as she thought about the moments that led to this happening. Agatha’s death was unexpected. I knew it was going to happen, but I wish I was the one to end it. She deserved an explanation.Bookmark here

She wasn't really risking herself in the village defense, her most priceless skill guaranteed her survival. It was unavoidable… I needed to make sure what I was doing was the right decision, and I owed at least this to them. Testing her battle skills one last time, she assured herself that what she was about to do was necessary. I gave my all. Their spirits know this.Bookmark here

She let go of the breath she didn’t know she was holding.Bookmark here

Finally, this is going to happen! She laughed with excitement. Agatha was useless to me, but Dara, oh Dara, you were the thing I was looking for. My golden angel.Bookmark here

The moment she held her child in her arms, moments after she was born, she knew she’d failed. But when Robert went and told her that Agatha was waiting for a baby, her hopes rose again.Bookmark here

The girl went straight into her house the morning before the battle, and the only thing she needed to do was drop a little bit of a powerful sleeping potion in the tea she prepared. She was going to visit my sister’s grave… I almost felt guilty. Five more years would've been perfect, but I don’t have the luxury to be patient. It’s now or never.Bookmark here

She opened the door.Bookmark here

Bookmarked
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