The Girl Beneath The Tree

Two - Not A Simple Quest

Upon entering the forest, I can't help but feel a sense of relief that I've finally made it. Not only to the forest, but I'm *actually* a warrior now. Up till now it hadn't fully registered within me, but standing here at the opening to the forest, I feel a surge of emotions rush through me. They not only fill me with confidence, but they give me confirmation that I've finally reached my dream. I take one last look behind me towards the castle as a farewell of sorts to my past self, and then I charge into the forest and begin my journey.

It's been about an hour since I entered the forest, and I have been incredibly fortunate. So far I've managed to collect all but two of the items Sarah has asked me to gather for her, from her list of widely varying items. This includes lots of various herbs, about 20 branches, two rabbits, a lot of vegetables ( most the likes of which I have never heard of before) including tergreens, rillicks, shrowns, and the few I do know like carrots and celery, and a wild boar.

The flora was relatively easy to find and gathering it didn't seem very warrior-like to me at all. I got lucky enough to snatch a rabbit while I was searching for the carrots, pretty cliche if you ask me. As for the other rabbit and the wild boar, I seem to be at a loss. I don't know if it's just me or what, but other than some weak monsters and the rabbit, I haven't seen a single living creature in this area that wasn't a plant. I know that they were trying to make my first quest simple, but something about what's occurring around me feels off.

I don't think they are protective enough to put me in a forest with only one wild boar, at least I hope they have more faith in me than that, or else the argument I get into when I get back is going to be very unpleasant for all involved. This *is* my first quest, but there's no way i'm ever going to grow if this is how they see me. Perhaps I should try to impress them after all, I think to myself. At least I think that was my thought, although something about it felt off, like something else put that thought there.

Unable to figure out what it could have been, I pass it off as part of my anxiety that is steadily increasing the longer I go without seeing an animal. Then, as if to answer my anxiousness, a loud noise is made from a few hundred feet behind me. I quickly turn to seeeeee-nothing. Odd, I could have sworn I heard something. Though, just as I am beginning to turn back around, I hear the sound again, but this time it is quickly increasing in volume and I realize that it's headed straight at me! I dodge to my right just in time to see a boar much larger than that of an average boar.

Jokingly I think "Man that boar looks like it could have eaten all the others", before my face goes pale, both due to the fact that that's probably what happened and because I know that I'm about to have to fight this thing head on. Quickly, I grip the handle of my blade as hard as I can and I wait for what seems like centuries as the adrenaline courses through my veins. Waiting. Watching. Until I hear it! To my left, the monstrous beast comes charging at me yet again.

However, this time I'm ready for it, and as I yet again dodge to the right I hold my blade out and feel a sense of short-lived relief as the blade slices a large wound in the bottom half of its right side. My happiness quickly turns to panic as I simultaneously realize three things. The first is that I've not only failed to kill it but instead have simply angered it, the second is I realize that my sword was flung into a tree to my left by the sheer force of it's charging and my failure to fully keep it within my grasp, and the third, and most terrifying of all, is that this time when I dodged I wasn't fast enough and the boar managed to slash me as well with one of its tusks.

I desperately try to think of a scenario where this doesn't end with me being crushed under this creature's overly sized legs, or skewered by its next charge attack, but nothing comes to mind. I can possibly dodge it a few more times, but it's only a matter of time before I lose my remaining energy, and from the look of it, I'll be out of energy long before it is. I can't help but wonder why this is happening to me, or why I would be unfortunate enough to run into such a strong beast in a forest that is known for being a peaceful training grounds for all new warriors.

Although, I'm quickly reminded that I don't have time to think about unnecessary thoughts. The beast charges again, and I dodge, once, it charges and I dodge, twice, it charges and I dodge, three times ... and I dodge, ten, I count every single time this loop plays over, very quickly feeling my energy being sapped from my body. At this point, I'm in more danger of unconsciousness from blood loss than from my lack of energy. Finally, it happens, I've run out of energy to go on and my vision begins to fade. I see the boar turning around a couple of hundred feet ahead to make it's next, and final charge. As the boar begins it's charge, I see a series of images from my past flash directly in front of me, as if they are all happening at that very moment in time. And then...