Book II - Chapter 3

 

Chapter 3

 

“Where is the forest, Great One?”

“That’s a really good question, Imra. Still, if you would just listen to me-”

“The trees! They’re gone! They’re all gone!”

“I can see that, and I while I appreciated the lift, now is the time-”

“It must be the spirits, their work… the madness. Oh, what have they done? What did my tribe do?”

“If you calm down for just a second-”

“Instead of offerings, they tried to bargain… with the old ways, they tried to bind you! I remember! To bind you, Great One!”

“Try and take some deep breaths. Deep, calming, bre-”

“Why would they strike such a terrible bargain? Why would they ever…”

Alright.

You know, I think I’ve totally lost her.

She could clearly hear me a second ago, but if this is the game she wants to play, so be it.

Not getting anywhere with Imra right now.

Sss… Well, no. That’s not true. We’re out of the hole, at least. So, I’d call that progress, at least in one respect.

Quick reaction-time on my part.

All that practicing my [Tiny Snake Bite of Justice] got me along for the ride, and I’m now a fabulous piece of appended forearm jewelry.

Shiny and blue.

Clinging for dear life as she keeps pivoting.

This way-

Nope, now that way.

This way, again!

Tiny Snake God, help me. I’ll just settle with feeling motion-sick for the time being.

If I was having a panic attack earlier, Imra is putting me to shame.

“No trees… there are no trees.”

Yeah.

I mean, she’s not wrong.

There is a full count of zero, in respect to trees around our local proximity.

Trust me, had the 360, 720-degree view at this point. No trees, no bushes, no green related things. Nothing but dirt and rocks in any direction.

Not even a single shrubbery.

Sss…

I’m not sure how to process this many things at once.

My magic still isn’t working. Imra can understand Snake Language. We’re out of the hole, but I still don’t recognize where we are.

Oh, and now the blood’s rushing to my head, on account of being…

Airborne.

Why the hell are we…

Ah.

Imra is apparently able to jump, really, really high.

“Still no trees.”

Wow.

I guess that’s one way to increase field of view.

Just jump twenty feet in the air.

Don’t we have to land, now?

Like, I’ll heal you, but seriously-

Okay.

Elves are terrifying.

Never mind.

There aren’t any trees.

Fine, let’s start with that. We’ve established fact, at this point, so “why?”

Having landed back down in the middle of a field, human logic can handle this sort of problem.

The power of accumulative observations. Get a few of those together, and I’m sure we’ll have a suitable answer.

Let’s see… this field is pretty… flat.

Yes.

Well done, that’s one.

Distantly, I think it’s broken up by the occasional row of withering stalks. The occasional post, or boulder.

Some weird looking structure over there… old supports of some kind? Weathered away to nothing?

This was a… farm, or something?

An abandoned farm?

This would be a whole lot easier if-

“Imra, would you please stop turning around?”

“Why won’t the voice cease? Why?”

Uh…

Alright.

Never mind.

No trees.

No forest.

Nothing green for miles.

Some sort of farm, maybe.

Clearly, this isn’t the Forest, so I think it’s safe to assume we-

Hey.

Hey!

Imra!

Stop running!

Stop! We don’t even know where we are!

Oh, for Tiny Snake God’s sake.

I’m gonna be sick.