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A note from Hexenblume

Hiya! Have a nice day and stay safe everyone!

Riding upon the poor abomination of twigs, sticks, and stone, Clailip bobs up and down as it moved. The acorn soldiers were residing in the nooks and crannies of the pitiful wooden monster, clacking against the sticks as the wooden thing just did its best to transport Clailip and the acorn soldiers.

Its wooden limbs, 13 in count, moved in a calm manner. Which got Clailip wondering if the abomination was actually suffering. Clailip would drift in thought, but, the creaking of its back as it moved along the forest path would constantly remind Clailip of his architectural failure. Its neck was long, about as tall as Clailip, who was about 98 cm tall–he was considered to be the smallest boy of his peers–and the head of the 'horse' looked more like a dish plate, its face was completely flat and a pair of stones for eyes were the only feature there was.

"I'll try my best to fix you up when we get there, I'm not that good at anatomy. Sorry wooden thing… I should name you, but I don't think you'd want that while still looking like a deformed horse." Clailip pat the creature. Hearing this, the thing moved faster, its ten legs and three limbs that were supposed to be arms—Clailip what the actual fuck kind of horse has arms—went into overdrive as it did its best to traverse through the muddy and snowy ground of the forest. It dodged the trees and jumped over boulders, Clailip screamed as he held onto the thing for dear life.

"WOAHKAY! SLOW DOWN, SLOW DOOOOWN!" He was yelling as hard as he could as he used his two flimsy pudgy arms to lock himself on the 'toy'. He didn't know it could move this fast, earlier it could only move as fast as Clailip ran. Now, it was moving so fast that it could probably rival a top horse in speed. 'Well, that's one horse-like quality I guess.' He thought.

The desperation to get fixed was showing in the thing's swift movements and how it masterfully used its limbs to make sure that it was going the fastest that it could. The clear desperation was a bit terrifying, how much was this thing suffering that it would let its body go through this much strain just to be fixed?

"HOW FAST WERE YOU GOING??? I CAN SEE THE TREE LINE." It seems that the abomination was going way faster than a horse. It hasn't even been an hour and yet Clailip could already see the treeline. It was still a bit far but he wore an expression of pleasant surprise seeing that they were steadily approaching it with unexpected speed.

'This is a bit upsetting… Did I really do that horrible of a job? Why is it so excited to get fixed.' Clailip puffed his cheeks out as they breached the tree-line. The wooden thing slowed to a halt, and Clailip laid belly down on it. In awe of the beauty of it all.

In the far distance was the human village that his parents always told him about. But they never told him about the vast fields that surrounded it. Clailip jumped down the thing, and found that the grass was about his waist's height. The sun shone down on the field in a way that showcased how green it was, it was as if Clailip was standing in a sea of emeralds, but less pointy and soft to the touch. There were random trees here and there, where humans could be seen laying down and enjoying the shades and plump fruits that fell from them periodically.

"The blessing of Bu'Wan is such a wonderful thing, Acorn Soldiers and…You Who Must Not Be Named For Now. Can you see Lady Bu'Wan's mana just coursing through the land and making sure that food and fruit and plants are abundant? Ah, the air smells of sugar…wait, sugar? Oh! This is sugar grass!" Clailip ripped off a bunch of grass and started gnawing on it to confirm, his eyes visibly sparkled and turned into stars, realizing that he was standing in a field of sugar grass.

"Ah, I'm so glad I made that seemingly stupid decision of exiting the safety of the forest!" Clailip gnawed on the bunch of grass.

Clailip's cheek mark, shaped like a needle dripping with something, which was located on his left cheek—divorakks all have personal cheek marks that they are born with, a birthmark of sorts—glowed a bright blue as he enjoyed the pure sweetness coating his mouth. Sugar was healthy in this world, sweets were considered peasant food in the east due to how common sources of sugar could be found. It was so common because the grass that grows in the east could be dried out and grinded up into sugar easily with zero effort.

Clailip was so absorbed by the absolutely intoxicating earthy and sweet taste of the grass that he hadn't noticed two humans making his way towards him.

"Excuse me. How old are you? Are you lost?" A man in armor asked, "Ah, that mark. You must be from the divorakk tribe living in the forest, huh? What are you doing here? Where are your parents?" Asked the man.

"Huh? Oh, right. They're gone." Clailip said, looking up at the man and the woman beside him, who also wore armor.

"Oh? Can you explain what you mean by that?" The man didn't know what 'gone' would mean. It was a known fact in the village that the divorakks that lived in the forest were governed by a powerful sorceress. He couldn't imagine that the child's parents had died while travelling to the treeline, as whenever the dianians from the forest would visit the village, they always came with that powerful woman.

"I don't know, I just woke up and nobody was there anymore. The acorns told me a massive fight broke out and they all left without me." Clailip said nonchalantly, though he felt sad that he was left behind. He doubted that his parents actually intentionally abandoned him…actually he just doesn't want to think of the possibility that his family abandoned him on purpose.

"...Acorns? Can divorakks talk to acorns? Well dianians do apparently have really deep connections to nature." The woman said under her breath, before getting down to Clailip's level and smiling at him. "Okay, well, are you hungry? Sugar grass on its own isn't that yummy."

"I don't have money, also, I don't think my pets are allowed anywhere near the village." Clailip spat out the sugar grass, getting tired of gnawing at the tough but heavenly-tasting grass.

"Oh, don't worry about paying. It's absolutely fine. Your kind has helped this village prosper, feeding you isn't that big of a deal compared to the things the dianians did for us completely free of charge. And pets? Can I see them?" The woman asked.

"Yeah, sure. Wooden thing, reveal yourself! Also, acorn soldiers, stand on top of Unnamed Abomination." Clailip ordered, turning around to watch his works of art emerge from the grass. The two humans behind him couldn't help but draw their weapons–swords to be exact–upon seeing the wooden monstrosity, they immediately stopped themselves however, upon seeing Clailip standing proud, staring at his 'pets'. "Wooden thing has no name until I fix him, just call him whatever you want. He's my horse that will help me get around in my adventures." Clailip explained, "The acorn soldiers are the best. They're my troops that'll help me take down powerful foes!" Clailip looked at the humans, his eyes sparkling with adoration for his creations.

"Ah, yes…very…peculiar pets you have there. How…adorable." A strange look was painted all over the woman's face. "Well, like I said earlier, it shouldn't be that big of a problem as long as we explain to the villagers." The woman smiled, she looked at the man as if to say something and held out her hand for Clailip to take.

The man went first towards the village, to explain a dianian child's appearance, as well as said child's 'pets'.

Clailip took the lady's hands and they started walking leisurely. "So, what's your name?" Asked the lady soldier.

"Clailip Diancia. I'm 4. I also made my pets, I have really good magic." Clailip answered, walking at a relaxed pace.

"You…made that? Well…considering you're a Diancia I'm not really that surprised." The lady laughed off the surprise that she felt, at such a young age, to be able to 'make' these kinds of 'pets', the kid must be a genius even for divorakk standards. But hearing that Clailip was a Diancia somehow explained how exactly he managed to do such a thing.

"Mmhmm. I made him all on my own, no help from anyone whatsoever!"

"Uh huh, yeah, that much is obvious." The lady continued guiding Clailip to the village with no words. She was most definitely weirded out by the child, but she shrugged it off. Divorakks were known to be strange creatures with an even stranger culture, especially dianians like Clailip. They also didn't have a clear view of how difficult magic is, so Clailip nonchalantly talking about building such 'pets' isn't anything strange either. There were definitely stranger divorakks, She'd heard of the rumors of a band of divorakk children travelling through the northern isles that could rewrite the laws of reality, it was just absurd how much power divorakks had, and it was even more ridiculous how oblivious they are of it. She understands though that, that was their normal, so they didn't find it that particularly odd.

 

"Welcome, you must be the youngest child of Kara? Please, make yourself comfortable." The village chief; a big and pot-bellied man wearing a blue shirt and leather vest, along with black shorts held up by a belt-like contraption; welcomed Clailip into the village. They weren't that bothered by the abomination behind him, as they were warned beforehand by the soldier.

"You know Mama?" Clailip didn't hear anything about a pot-bellied village chief, his mother told stories of the village but never of the people.

He looked around, seeing a neatly paved road that seemed to fade into a forest path, leading to distant lands. The houses were constructed like the nipa huts that could be seen in the Philippine countryside. Clailip looked curiously at the houses, wondering why in the hell they resembled the exact ones that she'd pass by while making the commute from the big city of Angeles to the more quiet parts of Pangasinan. 'I swear, I can't be the only reincarnated person that's stepped foot here. I mean they're fancier and bigger, but they're still definitely kubos¹.' Clailip then looked through the houses and found that there was a river that took up most of the horizon. The village was built vertically along the river so it was easy to see it from Clailip's current position, which was the official entrance of the village. It wasn't walled off, there was just a humble arc with letters that Clailip couldn't read so he just assumed that it was the official entrance.

"Ah, yes. We are acquaintances. I am Likoi. If I am not mistaken, your name is Clailip right? She told me about you the last time she was here, a few moons ago." Likoi smiled at the little boy. "I heard you were hungry? Please come this way, it is the least that we can do. This village and its people are deeply indebted to your family. Without your mother, we wouldn't have survived this long and prospered enough for guilds to build their stations here."

They made their way through the flattened and paved walkway. Going through the town and heading towards a village square of sorts. There, Likoi went up to a person he'd called Lyka and asked her to prepare food for the little boy. Then Likoi guided Clailip once more, this time, towards the riverside, where numerous tables and chairs were situated.

"Wow, my Mama sounds like a super important person." Clailip followed the village chief.

"Oh, she is. Actually, her opinion matters the most here, not mine. Everyone loves her, and by extension, you too. Please, since your mother wouldn't take any of our repayment for her deeds, do it in her stead." Likoi said the village had stockpiled a lot of riches and other things to give to Kara. But she's never taken any of it, and even if she does she just ends up giving it back by going to the village at night and neatly putting it on the porch of a random house.

"Woah, uh… did she ever receive a gift that would help me fix up my pet? He wants a better body but I'm not that good at putting things together…" Clailip was a bit embarrassed, from the looks that the poor monster was being given, it seems that he didn't do as good of a job as he thought at first. He thought that the monster saying 'kill me' was just it being overly dramatic, now, he thinks that maybe–just maybe–it was out of genuine want to die.

"Well, no. But we have a craftsman guild that could help. They are not indebted to her, but we can use the surplus of treasures that your mother had never claimed to pay for their services."

"Oh, I just need to learn how to do stuff properly. I'm a fast learner! I can do it myself I think…actually on second thought I'll take the help." Clailip's proud and happy face deflated into a frown and furrowed brows, he suddenly realized that he might just mess the abomination up even more than he already did.

"Well, that can easily be arranged. Please take a seat here, we'll get out some snacks for you to enjoy." Likoi helped Clailip sit up on the wooden chair and excused himself.

"This village is so cool…" Clailip muttered. His pets were currently with the nice lady and the man, so he didn't have to look after them while eating. After doing so, he intended to fix up the stick abomination and finally give it a name.

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A note from Hexenblume

1. Kubos, or bahay kubos, are nipa huts and are traditional houses that are commonly found in the Filipino countryside. They can also be picked up by like a group of people or a truck if a family wants to relocate. They're made up of bamboo and dried leaves/nipa grass for the roof, this is because the Philippines is incredibly hot during summer, and these materials help cool air flow into the house (Well, that, and the fact that those were local materials that could be gathered fairly easily.)


About the author

Hexenblume

  • Yes
  • Storm Witch

Bio: Just an amateur writer that loves fantastical works.

I'm on Scribble Hub too!
https://www.scribblehub.com/profile/70485/hexenblume/

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