*Tock, tick, tock, tick, Tock*
Oh! Well, that was interesting. I saw mommy exert a lot of strength for my sake. She is indeed the best! And we met this exciting individual. When I observed her, she had a rather prominent figure, one I have not seen before. Pointy ears that wiggled. It was quite cute! When I grow up, I want those too! Wait. Cute?! What does this word mean? How do I know it? Interesting! The more I am awake, the more I learn. This sensation is indeed the best!
*Tock, tock, tock, tick, tock, tock, Tick*
Hmm. The rhythm has changed once again. I cannot wait to find out what this sound is! Ah. I am tired once more, and hungry too. Should I let mommy know? No. not right now. I do not want to disturb her.
We are sitting on a big furry thing. This is rather exciting. I must stay awake, no matter what! I am curious. I want to see more.
Mommy is tightly holding me. She is looking at that girl.
The scenery around us is changing too rapidly. One moment we passed a small river, the next we are by the lake. Now we see a giant tree. We seem to stop here since the furry thing is slowing down. Curious, yet sleepy. I do not want to fall asleep! No! I refuse to fall asleep! I need to watch!
"We are here," said Anita, pointing towards the giant tree. "This is my residence," she added.
Alviona looked up a little, in order to see her mother's expression. It showed delight and confusion at the same time.
"Do you live under a tree?" asked Sofia awed and surprised by sight in front of her.
"What are you talking about? Why on earth would I live under a tree? I live inside the tree," replied Anita with a hint of pride in her voice.
Anita jumped off Piu's back and approached the tree. What the company saw afterward, was breathtaking. The tree trunk had opened up as if it were a tunnel. Anita entered first, waving at everyone else to follow. Sofia came second, lastly followed by Piu, after which the entrance behind them had closed.
"Welcome to my residence," said Anita to the company, while performing a courtly bow. She then clapped, and a spiral staircase rushed down from the ceiling.
Anita's house was very luxurious. It was built inside the ancient tree. According to Piu, it had been growing for almost fifty-eight centuries.
Anita explained that her mother had grown fond of the forest and most importantly, of this very tree. Since she wanted to live in such place and train pupils in various arts of healing and druidic powers, she had taken residence here.
The house was 4-story tall and despite this, it did not measure up to the real height of the actual tree since it was even taller than that. If it were to be measured, one would safely say that you could add 5-6 more floors and still have enough space for one more. They currently went up to the 3rd floor, one that housed Anita's bedroom and armory.
"By the way, you stated that your mother is in a slumber... may I ask as to where she is?" asked Sofia carefully, not to upset Anita.
"Ah... currently she is on the 4th floor. Entry to that floor is prohibited though. Only I am allowed to go up there for treating her," replied Anita.
The name of Anita's mother was Mira, and she was the most potent druid living in Dedrillon to this date. She was almost six centuries old. The reason for her power was not due to its sheer amount of destruction, but rather due to the opposite. Mira excelled at communicating with the wild-life and her healing powers, surpassed any cleric alive. Moreover, her experience gathered throughout the long life, had only added to her druidic arts. For example, she would never use skills such as [Regeneration] on her subjects, unless she was entirely sure that internal organs were not damaged.
Typically, clerics only cast heals to heal the wounds of the injured and let them fight again, after which, if they were lucky, they would have survived; but for the most part, they would die from exhaustion. Mira, on the other hand, focused on fully curing the injuries. She would mend bones, cure diseases and most importantly, restore the health of those she treated. While the process took a little bit longer, the outcome was that the person would be able to live a long and healthy life. The drawback, however, was that the number of people who could be treated like this was limited to about twenty to twenty-five people. Clerics, on the other hand, could [Mass Heal] up to eight hundred combatants. In other words, Mira's healing was of better quality, but on a battlefield, she would be of no use.
*Tock, tick, tock, tick, Tock*
I can actually sense a great power coming from that very floor. But something is wrong with it. For some reasons, the way mana flows, it feels distorted. I cannot see it; however, I can feel it. It is almost like there is a clog. Wait. what does this word mean? Ah. I am drained now. I should rest. Mommy, please feed me. I am starving.
*Tock, tick, tock, tick, Tock*
As Alviona thought about this, she instinctively began to cry. Anita quickly glanced at the child, for she still believed that her eyes and senses must have been lying. And yet, there she was. A child was weeping.
"What is wrong?" asked Anita to Sofia.
"Oh, I am sorry my darling. You are hungry are you not? Now, now. I shall feed you," came a reply from Sofia who could not help but giggle at her weeping child. Alviona was known to do this every time she would get hungry, so the mother had gotten accustomed to this. Anita on the other hand just stared.
"Does she only cry when she is hungry?" asked Anita politely.
"Pretty much," came a reply from Sofia.
"Well, what about when she needs to get changed? Does she not cry? Babies always cry for that..." said Anita, but before she could continue her dialogue, Sofia just shook her head.
"This child...", started Sofia, "...does not soil herself. As odd as it sounds, she eats food and instantly digests everything. The nuns, back at the monastery, kept joking that this girl could probably swallow the whole world and still not be satiated," said Sofia in a quite severe tone; so much, that Anita was sure that she was not joking.
"Impossible! She has to relieve herself at least sometimes. No? You are joking, right? There exists nothing of the living in this world, that does not poop and or urinate. Unless, you are a plant" said Anita coldly, while staring at the child from the disbelief. She must say that this is a joke! It is a joke, right?
"That is what everyone thought in the beginning; however the fact stays as is," replied Sofia firmly. As she did, she took out the food that she had prepared from the pouch and began feeding Alviona.
The child had ceased the weeping and instead gently *nommed* on the food that was given to her. The moment she finished eating, she instantly fell asleep. Seeing this, Anita just wiggled her ears in surprise.
"Eeh... She just got knocked out? Just like that?" she astoundingly asked Sofia. From Anita's point of view, it was as if the child had just wrestled with the food and gotten so dizzy and tired from losing to it, that she just fell unconscious.
"Yep... If I were you, I would start getting used to it. She does this all the time. Hopefully, when she grows up a little, her habits change, but right now she is a pretty sleepy head" replied Sofia, while gently landing a kiss on her daughter's forehead.
It has already been two months and a half since Alviona started living with Anita. Much to the surprise of both - Sofia and Anita, her growth seemed to be almost rampant. For a child that was only a year and nearly three months old, she already looked like a 3-year old. She knew how to walk and make some odd gestures now. Anita had speculated, that this sudden sprout was due to Alviona sleeping for such an extended amount of time. After all, it was a common knowledge that children grew up in their sleep.
Sofia's regular days went by quickly as well. It usually consisted of feeding and nurturing Alviona, helping out Anita with some wild-life population control and sometimes cleaning floors up inside the residence, except for the 4th floor.
*Tock, tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, Tock*
Today, Alviona has been left alone. Anita and Sofia had gone out to run some errands, and the child was left in the care of the greater beast. Piu had been playing with her, for what seemed to be like an hour already, but the girl did not start to run out of energy whatsoever.
"Indeed, a very resilient child" he mumbled.
What does that word mean? Wondered Alviona. Ah. This is too much fun! I keep chasing Piu's tail, but he always wiggles it in the air, and I can never reach it. Not fair! Put it down you; let me bite it! She kept thinking.
Piu watched this occurrence in an amused way. He could not help but tease this unusual girl. After all, when was the last time he had seen and let alone played with a child?
*Tock, tock, tock, tock, tock, tock, tock, tock, Tock*
Oh. The rhythm changed. This must mean that I am getting tired... again. These shifts seem to be occurring at a lesser pace now, but still every time the sound changes from Tock, Tick to constant Tock, I end up getting overly tired. As she was thinking this, Alviona had already fallen unconscious. At this moment, Anita and Sofia walked into the room. Seeing that Alviona was on the floor, Sofia immediately rushed to her.
"What happened," she asked Piu.
"Nothing. She was just playing with my tail and fell a moment ago. She must have gotten tired from chasing it and from the excitement, for she has been doing this for one full hour now," replied Piu in an amused way.
Anita checked Alviona's pulse and seeing that it was normal, she gently patted Sofia on her shoulder, indicating that she should not be worried.
"Just take her to the bedroom and let her lie down for a while. She must be tired, and when she wakes up, it is most likely that she will be famished," stated Anita.
Sofia seemed to agree with Anita, so she took her child to their bedroom. Anita was noble enough to make a separate bedroom to accommodate the two of them. Once she entered the room, she placed Alviona on the bed and lightly covered the blanket on her.
She put her right hand on her daughter's forehead to ensure that she did not have a fever. Seeing that everything was all right, she landed a gentle kiss on Alviona's forehead, - an act that had become quite common by now.
"I truly love my darling," she whispered, to which the child actually responded by giving a light smile. Noticing this, Sofia giggled and left the room in order to allow Alviona to recover.