Mel stopped when the place he stepped on turned into black. Trunks of the surrounding trees seemed to be covered in dark black shadows.
“There is no one showing up yet! I will have to go inside a little more!"
He got back into action again and ran ceaselessly between the trees, which had turned into a dead forest until he came to the waterfall that poured into a small lake.
The environment had changed again dramatically. The riot of colors greeted him as the tone dominated by black faded away.
"Human! You and the thing is you are not welcomed in this forest!"
As Mel stood watching around, a voice rang out in his head. It was old, ancient, and angry.
The young boy, who was grimacing, changed his relaxed stance and entered in a mood like he was going to fight at any moment. On the other hand, he was scanning the area with his eyes. Who could be the person that could communicate with him this way?
“Don't search for me unavailingly. You can’t find me. I am the spirit of the forest! Leave my land without giving any further damage!”
When the same voice spoke for the second time, Mel could not remain indifferent.
"You are wrong! I didn't hurt anyone who didn't attack me!”
The young boy's eyes got brightened. His voice got louder as the subject he was sensitive about was touched.
"Human, I have a question for you. What are you doing here?"
The Spirit of the Forest asked the question by emphasizing the words one by one. A fish jumped up in the waterfall and then dived into the water again. Then silence that lasted for a time of long breaths came. The young boy was thinking with his head bent.
“When you become honest with yourself, you will have no answer to give. You came here to fight and harm living things. It does not matter whether you do not attack those who do not attack you. You are just looking for violence in a place you do not belong!”
“You have recently entered our lands. As you said, you did not attack those who did not attack you. But you also did not pity anyone. You slaughtered trees, you took away the life sources of living things. How dare you present yourself as innocent?"
The sound of the Spirit of the Forest was ringing in the area of the waterfall. The trees bowed as if approving.
The silence grew bigger. The sound of the blowing wind and the water bouncing on the rocks seemed to have the stillness of a painting.
“Are you saying that this land belongs to you? Can't I be here as a human?"
The Spirit of the Forest did not wait as long as Mel, and immediately began to reply.
“Thousands of years ago, the land on earth belonged to everyone. All living things lived in harmony and order. But your race broke the balance. When they gained the power of unknown origins, they got enslaved by greed. They burnt, destroyed, and committed massacres without considering the balance. You no longer belong to nature. The tyrants who imprison the power of nature in themselves have no place among us!"
He spoke firmly and clearly. In response, Mel shouted by opening his arms to two sides.
“Apply all the advice you gave me for yourself. I don't know what happened over the years, but you're gradually turning into people you hate!”
Mel was neither angry nor nervous. He was calm as if arguing with an old acquaintance. When his words were finished, he sat down on a rock hit by the waters of the waterfall and closed his eyes. He was like he had given up fighting. But he did not leave the forest either.
A man stood silently in the bosom of nature in the darkness of night. Even though Mel was engulfed in the water, nature knew he was there, under the waterfall.
As the darkness began to disappear, Mel took action. As he was leaving as fast as he came, he had a couple of words to say to the entity he met last night.
“My name is Malcom Drago! Even if I am not welcomed in this forest, I will still come here by having learned from my mistakes!"
He walked away without waiting for an answer. He did not even look back. The roads he passed were silent. He entered through the settlement door easily and walked to the building where the Plant Department exam was going to be held.
“Shy prince, you are not early today. Did your success from yesterday spoil you?"
Grumpy Hanry greeted him here. The middle-aged man was sitting in front of the door. He pointed to space next to him. Obviously, he had something to talk about.
“Mel, I'll be honest with you. The Plant Department is a department that only alchemists care about in the Academy. They have to show minimum respect, as we provide the raw materials for their potions."
Birds on the roof of the tall building took off together. Two people sitting next to each other were watching them fly.
"The fighters have been very popular lately. They need alchemists because their cultivation is accelerated by potions. Therefore, their status is a little higher than ours."
There was an unpleasant tone in his voice. It didn’t seem like something very important, but obviously, it was still hurting him.
"Master, how do the fighters think that the alchemists would get the materials without us?”
“They are ignorant Mel. They are so ignorant that they think they can buy plants from somewhere as long as they have enough money. Ah, the President of the Academy; was it the time to lock yourself in your room for cultivation?"
As Hanry was about to be caught by a small wave of riot; first some of the children from the common people, then the nobles and the elders of the Plant Department came. While Hanry was chatting with the young people around him who were coming from common families, the others passed by laughing.
The layout in the living room was the same as the layout of yesterday. But the bright blue stones on the tables were inconspicuous. By the attitude of the noble side, it was clear that they knew what these stones were. But for the children of the commoners, the existence of these stones was a big secret.
Fortunately, Grumpy Hanry noticed this situation and spoke,
"The crystals on the tables are there to prevent someone from mentally connecting with you during the test. Mel, I have to take back the badge for a short time!"
On request, Mel returned the badge to the master. Even though they had guessed, seeing it with their own eyes shooke Master Louise and the girl from the Gloove family.
"Isn’t it a little bit early to give a student badge directly, is it, Master Hanry?"
The young Master spoke by looking at the Head of Department as if he wanted to pass the buck to him. But it was understood that the old man did not want to be involved in this, so he simply ignored it.
“On the contrary, for a genius who comes out in every hundred years, my badge is a trivial reward. When he comes to the academy, I think he will get the appreciation he deserves!”
Grumpy Hanry was not an idle man. He responded to his opponent’s attack with the same elegancy by trying to include the Head of Department in the dialogue.
The old man did not fall into the trap of either of his two helpers and shouted with unexpected vigor.
"Let the second day of the Plant Department Participation Tests begin!"
As he spoke, Louise Gloove stood up to explain the details of the test, as he did on the first day.
"Today's test is set to measure your knowledge on plants."
After the Young Master finished his words, he took a deep breath and continued.
“As some of you know, there are tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of plant species in nature. The Green Shadow Academy Plant Department is asking you to write a hundred of them!”
A wave of excitement and applause came out from the place of the noble students while there was silence in the place of children of the commoners.
“You have to write a sentence underneath each plant that includes the name and basic feature of it. Every ten plants will add one point to your score table. Your time of one hour has started!”