The Treeboy

by

Vasko

Chapter Fourteen: Refusal To Expand.

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''Come again, young lad?’’ A man with a wise appearance spoke from a throne, wearing fancy clothes, while rocking a decently long beard to go along with it. They consisted of large, puffed out pants with stripes and a pompous top, finishing the picture off with a beautiful necklace around his neck, a white swallow engraved on it. ‘’Yes, sir! After a long time in the library, I discovered that beastmen and people from feral species in general leave a lot less fingerprints due to their skin composition mixed with the fur,’’ Daron explained to the chubby man as he stood on one knee, holding his head down. ‘’Ah, I see. Did you clean after yourself in the library? Did you put the books away, I mean?’’ The man asked as he gave an innocent smile. ‘’I-i mean, yes, but that’s not the thing you should be focusing on, my king!’’ Daron exclaimed, trying to get the king back on track.

‘’I see, I see… Then you have deducted who was in The Tree’s gallery room?’’ He asked, leaning backwards. ‘’Unfortunately, I haven’t, though we’ve now narrowed the list down by almost half the population residing in the city,’’ he further explained, leaving the man to humm. ‘’So be it, then. Young man, may I give you the duty of narrowing that list even more?’’ The man stood up from his seat, beginning to take slow, underachieving steps towards Daron, shocking him a little with his words. ‘’P-please elaborate, lord…’’ Daron pleaded as he felt a pat on his back, prompting him to quickly raise his head.

‘’I shall provide you with the tools and you will provide me with an unfolded mystery. WOuld that sit okay with you? I ask you this because you appear quite stressed out, no?’’ The man began giggling, watching Daron’s eyes light up with a sudden burst of happiness. ‘’You truly believe i’m worth that responsibility, sit?! I’m nothing but a middle class soldier!’’ Daron tried to confirm the claim, standing up and facing the man in admiration. ‘’Well, not everyone would waste that many hours, just doing research if they weren’t loyal to me, would they?’’ He reassured Daron, patting his shoulder with a gentle,open hand. ‘’Run along now, lad, i’ll have a team sent to you by tomorrow!’’ The elderly man raised his voice and his hand in an inspiring manner. ‘’Yes, my king! Thanks you so much for granting me this honor!!’’ Daron expressed his gratitude openly in a bow before beginning to walk out the surprisingly small throne room, which wasn’t that much bigger than a bedroom. In fact, it was the king’s large bedroom, as untidy as a child’s would be.

But alas, the king told a heartless lie; it hadn’t been a reward for his efforts, but rather it was him playing favorites and seeing how far the young man would go for his king. ‘’This is fantastic! Absolutely amazing!’’ Daron happily praised himself under his breath as he walked back to his room in the castle, stopping abruptly and looking around. He had remembered, at that very moment as his eyes looked at the grim and depressing black bricks the wall was made out of, as well as the flaming torches attached to that same wall, lighting up the path for them to walk. It was the tradition of the king’s family: to keep yourself connected to the roots of time, but everyone thought of it as, ‘’Don’t advance along with the outside world or the normal people.’’ Everyone admitted it was a weird tradition at the very best, but they all respected it. However, it was a tradition applying mostly for the household of the an of the family, therefore the castle stayed back in time.

Daron continued walking down the hall, still not letting anything overwhelm his happiness with any other feeling, until he saw a long shadow approach him from beyond the turn of the hallway. It approached along with soft steps, echoing through the area. Daron found them familiar, beginning to feel inclined to find out who it was. He stepped forward, turning his head to the right and only finding a short young lady walking towards the direction he was coming from, surprising her with his sudden appearance, causing to stop in her tracks in a shiver. ‘’Ah, young lady, it’s you,’’ Daron let out softly. It had been the king’s daughter, Touka, though that wasn’t really her name.

‘’D-do I know you…?’’ The young girl asked, feeling slightly uncomfortable in the presence of he tired Daron, with him noticing she was wearing that same dress she always wore when she was going to see her father. Daron was quite the fan of the royal family, that appreciation turning into infatuation when he actually became a member of the castle. ‘’Of course you don’t know me, there’s no way you would. I’m pleased to make your acquaintance, though,’’ he bowed respectfully, with the ulterior motive to hide the bags under his eyes at the same time.

‘’Thank-- I mean, I am grateful for your diligence, young lad,’’ she praised him, feeling more at ease. ‘’Is it some trend for people to call me that, by any chance?’’ He asked as he raised his head swiftly. ‘’No, not at all. My father calls everyone that; he even calls me ‘young lass’ sometimes,’’ she explained to him, chuckling midway. ‘’I’m gon-- I shall be going now,’’ she corrected herself once again, walking past him and heading towards her father’s room. ‘’It’s hard to believe someone so clumsy has managed to become the youngest human to get a tome… But I suppose it’s in their blood to be superior.’’ Daron thought as he went he own way, hearing the door to the king’s bedroom open as he walked towards his own.

Meanwhile, back at a familiar base. ‘’There’s this thing called health; heard of it, you furry bastard?’’ Rosa scolded Clous, who was sitting on the couch, smoking a cigarette in spite of his still damaged throat his hurt foot on a pillow, which was placed on the coffee table. He scoffed, ignoring her concerned, albeit rude, remarks. ‘’This is fucking stupid! Bernie’s pretty much in hibernation from overuse of magic, my nails are gonna fall off, the root sperm is in the master’s room, who’s masturbatting at the same time! The hell is this?!’’ Rosa yelled, clearly annoyed with the current situation. Clous endured her banter, staring at the wall and trying to clear his mind of everything. Rosa sat down, taking the cigarette right out of Clous mouth, immediately angering him. ‘’Shut up, you have five other boxes, let me have a bit; i’m no less stressed,’’ she told him in a depressed tone, beginning to smoke from it as well. Little did she know, Clous wasn’t stressed, exhausted or anything remotely like it. He was relieved he was finally back, for the time away from Hiona, and waiting for their reward to be given to them.

Hiona had made sure to take care of anything they could use to track them before leaving, pretty much giving them the right to relax at last. There were things still clouding his mind, however: The things Hiona did back at the army base. Stocks? ‘’More of her’’? He couldn’t exactly figure it out and also didn’t want to make assumptions when it came to her anyway, so he chose to let it lay dormant for the time being. He also couldn’t and didn’t want to tell the other what had happened, for reasons he believes Yohiro also believed in. In the end, half of them are oblivious to the situation.

‘’M-master…? Weren’t you going to teach me how to fight like you?’’ Yohiro asked, sitting with his legs crossed in the corner of Hiona’s room, staring at his finger out of bored as he didn’t pay any mind to Hiona’s moans from under her covers. ‘’Ah, y-yes. Due to you h-hmm-hurting me during our first mission together, you’ll have to wait patiently,’’ she explained half-assedly, continuing to mind her own business. ‘’May I go see Clous?’’ He asked as he stood up, receiving a quick and hard to distinguish ‘’yes,’’ leading him to leave the room quietly, remembering to close the door behind himself. ‘’She said I hurt her, but...my body was moving on its own, or so I felt,’’ he pouted under his breath as he walked over to Clous, springing onto to the cough, finding Rosa asleep with the cigarette about to fall out from her mouth, only holding itself attached by the saliva on her lips.

‘’Are you getting better, Clous?’’ Yohiro turned to Clous, getting met with a slap across the face, along with a grumpy half-smile from Clous. ‘’What did I do now?!’’ He asked in a guilty tone, watching as Clous placed his finger on the side of his head. ‘’Because I hit master Hina. Right…?’’ He asked as he out his thin legs on the table as well, subtly comparing them to Clous’ short legs. Clous nodded, rubbing the spot on his neck with frustration. He felt useless at that point. ‘’I want to tell you you’re no--’’ Yohiro tried to make feel at ease as the door to Hiona’s room slammed open, waking up Rosa, causing her to drop the already extinguished piece of tobacco. ‘’Okay, y’all, actually just Yohiro, who’s ready for training from the great Hiona?!’’ She shouted, scaring the three of them and causing for Clous to crawl off the cough, beginning hiding behind the side of it in an instant, like the fox he was. ‘’Hurry, candy ball, i’m taking you to a special place; I trained Bernie there once upon a time.’’ She explained as she walked over to him, not wearing the large iron booths for once, walking around only on her feet. ‘’Yes, master…’’ He said, standing up, lacking all enthusiasm. ‘’What, don’t tell me you got fucking depressed, Yohiro! That’s for the bitches, like Rosa and Clous!’’ She raised a finger, acting like she had slept for weeks, finally having been woken up by her mother in the evening.

‘’No, not really. I just feel my stomach growling and my head hurts a little,’’ he explained it to her, disappointing her. ‘’You would be better off depressed, then.’’ She said with a straight face, with Rosa and Clous not even being able to respond to her childish behavior, because she had taken it to the point of where no one could say anything anymore. ‘’I’ll get you something to eat along the way to the place, and your head will feel better from the breeze. Let’s go!’’ She tried to persuade him energetically, confusing them as she wasn’t acting like herself. ‘’Yes, let’s go, then,’’ Yohiro agreed, faintly smiling and trying to look at the positives as Hiona retreated to her room to get her boots and robe, and Yohiro sneaking a peek at the gem, finding it behaving normally, not shining or anything. He almost felt inclined to touch it and dive back into that little room with the large tree and the door, but he resisted, beginning to stretch his arms in preparation, not noticing how Clous and Rosa quietly mocked him, making fun of what he considered to be ‘’stretching’’.




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About the author

Vasko

Bio: I'm Vasko and I enjoy a lot of thing, like manga, anime, horror movies, etctera. Writing is a hobbie that helps me relieve stress and it's just a fun thing to do, so let's get along. Yes, I have nothing to add here that's not cliched or generic, which i'm sorry for.

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