Back on the ground, Essairyn contemplated her circumstances. She was currently in an enormous forest with strange animals that could possibly attack her and strange plants that may or may not be edible or poisonous. Somehow she would have to learn which plants or animals were innocuous and find or make shelter for when it got dark. Although, she could just sleep in the ancient tree, it might be cold at night, and she could possibly roll off and fall to her hapless death.
As that thought about night crossed her mind, Essairyn suddenly realized that she hadn’t seen any sun when she was in the treetops. Light definitely existed here, but where exactly did the outside light come from if not a sun? Looking up at the forest ceiling, there were barely any openings for sunlight to come through. However, the forest was as illuminated as a room lit by electricity, but there were no sources of external light under the treetops. It was like the air itself was illuminating the space it presided. Even so, it was clearly brighter above the canopy than below. Pondering this newfound discovery, Essairyn decided to visit the treetops once more.
As she looked up at the ancient tree, she wondered if she could defy gravity completely. Taking a little jump, she was able to float in the air for a few seconds before she fell. After experimenting a little, she discovered that unless she continually moved through the air, she would gradually sink. And with each successive attempt, she could move through the air for longer periods before eventually dropping to the ground. Just like first learning how to walk, flying seemed to be a movement that had to be practiced before it became natural.
While she enjoyed the feeling of walking through air, it was definitely a slow, time-consuming process and learning curve. So Essairyn racked her brain for another idea. Remembering how effortlessly the magic ball floated and could be controlled, she conjectured that other flying objects could be made. Positivity flowed into her, and Essairyn slowly waved her hand in a large circle, creating a hovering, lilac colored disk. This flying disk was common in the fantasy and sci-fi stories she had read, so the idea came easily. She flicked her finger down, and the disk followed, moving to a stair-step height before her. She placed a foot expectantly on the disk, and to her satisfaction, she felt a solid surface. Essairyn regarded the disk with cheerfulness as she stepped up on it, but as soon as both of her feet landed on the surface, it emanated a bright light that reached up to her knees and caused her to squint.
The light gradually faded away, and in the place of a solid colored disk, a transparent disk with two lavender outlined circles and triangles floated in its place. The four shapes were centered on the disk with the triangles forming a star inside the two circles; strange letters revolved in between the two circles.
A magic circle?! The ludicrous thought echoed in Essairyn’s mind and enchanted her. Humongous trees, spirit deers, grassy wolves, miniature dragons, bear demons, and now magic circles? This surely was a fantasy world. Now, only elves or dwarves or fairies or sorcerers were left. Although, Essairyn supposed she was sort of the sorcerer here even if she didn’t know how to cast spells like a wizard.
However, looking at the foreign lettering on the circle, she wondered if she had somehow unknowingly casted a spell; even though, she hadn’t thought of any particular command at the moment she stepped. She tried deciphering the revolving letters but forgone after a minute. The only partially recognizable letters were A, E, and N; everything else was obscure. She sighed; if this was the native language, it would be a challenge adapting to this new world.
Setting aside that concern, Essairyn continued her plan before the luminescent display occurred. Focusing her mind, she willed the magic circle to move upwards. The circle glowed briefly before rising swiftly but steadily into the treetops. A smile played across Essairyn’s face as she adeptly maneuvered the disk through the branches. She might’ve not been able fly on her own easily, but with the help of the magic circle, she was able to soar through the air effortlessly. In a matter of seconds, she spanned several tens of stories high.
At the top, she surveyed the skies for a light source. To her surprise, although she did suspect it, there was no sun. Nevertheless, the world was indeed covered in light. The azure itself was illuminating the landscape. Essairyn wondered if this was another dimension outside of her solar system, possibly even her universe. The thought spooked her somewhat, but it was also incredibly fascinating. It made her deeply question science and existence of life in general. There was still yet so much that man didn’t know about, but it likely that at least for those on Earth, they may never know unless a portal existed. And seeing as no one discovered any portal from when she lived, time had also been distorted. But perhaps more simply, there really was no way to return to Earth.
She pursed her lips and shook her musings aside. For now, Essairyn needed to create a lodging for herself. Some of the encircling trees had branches as thick as normal trunks. Perhaps with these she would be able to construct a treehouse in the ancient tree. Essairyn figured it would be the safest spot since it was the highest off the ground.
Descending below the ancient tree’s canopy, she took a hard look at some prospective trees. Tracing the branches of each one to find the nonessential branches she could lop off, she selected several branches and then flew up to a chosen branch. Essairyn wasn’t sure if she could dual-cast, but she was about to find out now. She swiped her hand down the width of the branch by its base. Following her hand, a lilac strip of light appeared on the bark. Not even a second after the completion of the motion, the branch plummeted to the ground. Fleetly flustered by its sudden descent, Essairyn hurriedly softened the impact by casting what she thought was going to be a net but turned out to be a magic circle. The plants below were saved from being squashed, and the branch was now hovering on a circle that had different inscriptions from the one she was using to fly.
Essairyn glided down to inspect it, amazed by how the supposed net automatically transformed into another magic circle. She gestured for it move to the grass under the ancient tree’s canopy. The inscriptions illuminated momentarily before changing into letters that almost corresponded to her flying disk. Only one segment, possibly the word for branch or object, was different. She followed the circle as it transported the branch to the gestured location. Essairyn noticed the letters changed again when she ordered it to place the branch gently on the ground. Now she knew for sure that the letters were the language of magic and spells. She’d have to meet another person in order to find if it was also the spoken language.
Returning to her task, Essairyn lopped off each of the selected branches and placed them in a pile by the ancient tree. She soon had enough to begin construction. Before slicing the logs into lumber, she devised a mental blueprint of how the treehouse would assembled. First, wood planks would have to be compressed into boards. Then, the boards would have to connect to one another without metal nails seeing as there weren’t any mines nearby, and she wasn’t about to dig into the earth for metal. Also, even if she could find some natural glue in the forest, it likely couldn’t support a building, and she couldn’t rely on magic to keep it together if she was going to sleep inside. She could also make nails of rock, but that idea seemed more difficult, so Essairyn decided to follow through with her initial plan.
In less than an hour, she created a spacious treehouse with two rooms and a deck that would be the envy of any treehouse owner. One room was a dual living room and office space with a guest table, work desk, and two chairs; the other was a bedroom with a bed and nightstand. That room had one window by the bed while the other room had two windows: one by the doorway, and another in-between the guest and work spaces. As for bedding and curtains, she saw some cotton-like plants from the earlier wanderings in the forest that might suffice. But, she didn’t know whether they were poisonous or allergy prone.
Additionally, Essairyn felt a need to make paper and ink for the desk. She had already crafted a small box which held the black claw, a cup for the desk, and a vase for the guest table. She wasn’t sure how long she’d stay in the forest, but at the very least, she couldn’t leave and be satisfied without making the treehouse suitably livable. That included basic furniture, textiles, and utensils. Call it sentimental, she liked the idea of returning to a home and perhaps granting a passerby a safe haven too. It also was a thrill to craft a real, life-sized treehouse rather than the miniature houses she had made out of paper and cardboard when she was little. Meticulous to every detail then and now, she decided to search the forest for berries with which to make ink. And while she was at it, she had to secure water and food. Even though she was oddly not thirsty or hungry after all her exertions, it was better to be prepared as the lands below the cliff would likely not have as many resources as the forest.