Chapter Fifty-Two

Hariel studied the sleeping form beneath him.  It was becoming evident that she was just too hard to control.  That, however, could be remedied.

He reached down and removed the Link from her arm, and pulled the pieces apart and scattered them.  Without that, she’d be a lot less dangerous, though knowing her she’d probably sharpen a stick and try to stake him with it. However, she couldn’t drop another tree on him with no Link.  She would be defenseless, however…

He decided that a defenseless Elanor was worse than an angry one.  Seeing as the Link wasn’t gonna work (she got a little too uppity with it) he was going to have to find her a weapon.  But what to give her?

He looked around.  He was in the forest, the place that had taken care of him since he had been abandoned by humanity.  After a while, that was OK with him.  What he needed, the forest gave.  If he needed food, the forest was full of animals and plants that were edible.  Those same animals gave skins for clothing, and the plants made dyes for them.  The trees willingly gave him shelter, and the sun gave him warmth.

Even when he had needed a weapon, the forest had given.  In an aether-contaminated grove, he had found the tree that had become his sword.  It was growing in the center of the grove, almost as if it had been grown for him.  Some days, he was sure it had-there was always the feeling that he wasn’t alone.  He didn’t think it was an evil presence, just other. Sometimes it was closer than others.  Come to think of it, it had been close when he found his sword.

Leaving Elanor in the crook of a tree, he took off in the direction of the presence.  Without Elanor to bog him down, he moved as the very wind.  He was covering leagues like yards, racing deeper into the forest.  The trees were taller, darker, heavier.  He had found an ancient place, one suffused with the power of the ancient forest.  If he found anything anywhere, it would be here.

In a shaded copse, he found what he was looking for.  A tall, slender tree grew straight from the ground, with no branches save for at the very tip.  Its white wood glowed faintly.  Hariel touched it.  It was alive, crackling with aether.  He pulled it straight up out of the ground.  Tangled in the roots was a  seed crystal of aether.  He pulled a small knife from his belt and removed the top branches, as well as trimmed the roots.   He dipped the root ball into the stream running by the copse, and the soil floated free, revealing white roots.  Hariel bet that he had found an actual intended weapon, but he wouldn’t know until Elanor awoke and could test it.

Not on him, he hoped.

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Published in: on March 10, 2010 at 2:25 am  Leave a Comment  

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