She opened her door and revealed a large, single room with a couple of small creatures. They all moved towards her as she entered, she crouched down, smiling as she pet them, "This is Vidian," She pointed at him, "He is going to be staying with us for a little while, okay?" They all nodded, "So, Vidian, this one is Shelly," It was a small, quadrupedal creature that had a shell that covered it like a shield, it had a small tail with a ball on the end and had a beak for a mouth, "This one is Wingy," It was a small creature with four, winged limbs, it had two teeth that stuck out of its mouth, "He is an omnivore," A small ball bumped into his foot, "That is Bumpy, I am not creative with names," The creature moved back and squeaks before returning to Flora's side. The last creature is a small, bipedal creature, with small wings and a small head with a beak, like a bird, "That is Squawky,"
"Sounds like it is pretty lively around here, any other creatures I don't see?"
"Nope, these are all the ones I have, plus this one," She placed the egg in a small nest made of vines and leaves on a small table. The creatures found their way onto the table and looked at the egg, "Is, is this seal part of you?"
"Yeah, once the egg hatches, I'll take it back," Bumpy nudged her several times and then screeched.
"You must be hungry," All the small creatures waited on the table as she got up. Vidian was still standing in the room, "Sit, there is a chair there, sit, so, I need, um, some meat, some water, and some fresh leaves," She placed a wooden plate with meat, leaves and a small bowl of water on the table, "Here you go little guys."
"How many creatures have passed through here?"
"A few, but there are other breeders, I just get the newest ones, but, but the others breed the ones that survive a month of defense and hunting."
"Are these going to do that?"
"No, I want to leave soon, leave the town."
"Can I join you in your journey? I want to leave this place, with these four, they aren't strong enough to get through that, so they'll die, I don't want that."
"Um, I don't know, well, well, I guess that I could but, I'll make my decision a little later," Bumpy rolled into his arm and screeched, "Hmm?" It bumped him again, "What is he saying?"
"I don't know, he never does that," The ball creature seemed to unroll itself, turning into a larger millipede creature. It had large horns on its head with vivid patterns on its body. It had green eyes with two small mandibles under them. Flora rushed and grabbed a book like object and began writing ferociously. Bumpy revealed two horns on the back of its body, before revealing spikes and rolling back into a ball, with the horns sticking out and the spikes lining the now larger ball, "Did he just mature? That is so cool."
"He doesn't look too ready yet though, he still looks like, he isn't an adult, he is still in a ball, so he is clearly still developing."
"Oh, maybe, I didn't think of that."
"He probably is in like an adolescent phase, some creatures have that stage."
He sat down as she lied down, "Do you not want to sleep Vidian?"
"No, I don't need to, I don't think I need to sleep anymore."
"Lord Fendian's, I am going to go for a walk."
"Sure," She yawned and closed her eyes, "Goodnight."
He walked in the sleeping city. No one seemed awake, except for that same platform below Flora's home. Grissel was sitting at his table, drinking. Vidian floated down near him and landed on the platform.
"Me, Vidian," Grissel turned to him and grunted, "What are you doing still awake?"
"I don't sleep, but you should."
"I know, I know, but I hurt Flora, I lost my temper, I hate myself for it, I was ashamed of myself the entire day, this is the only time I can like, free myself up a little, is she fine?" He seemed actually worried, "I don't have the guts to check on her."
"Don't, because she is sleeping."
"You want some?" He showed him the bottle, "It's good."
"Sure," Vidian sat down at his table, "What is all this stuff?"
"I work here all day, and all night, sometimes, so I have accounts, the amount of stockpile, documents from Flora, from some of the other breeders and then the injured."
"From defense, very few, but a few of them, the beasts of this forest are pretty annoying," He pushed a glass over to Vidian, "Bolberry spirit, cultivated in our forest, no, this is wild Bolberry."
"Thanks, but I have a question, I have been in another Natura community, in the west," Grissel leaned forwards to listen to him, "What type of powers do Natura's have?"
"Any, I have the Root Hammer, a powerful weapon creation power, but some have hair magic, cultivator magic or breeding powers, so we get our roles defined at birth, so, let's just say, the powers are various, and too long to list, I have a list in here, about the powers of this city, and it is a bunch of papers, 20 or so, with the list of today's powers, but there is still more in my home, about our parents and ancestors."
"You are Amaranth's brother, right?"
"Yeah, our father and mother were the chiefs here, so we inherited that, I took my mother's task, and she took my father's task, so we split it like that."
"Why are people called winter or spring?"
"Seasons, the time we are born, I was born in the winter, my sister is technically my twin," He leaned back and yawned, "Well, I'm going to sleep now, thanks for that, see you tomorrow."
"Sure," Grissel got up and left Vidian.
"Oh, can you tell Flora that I am sorry?"
"Sure, whatever, sure."
He left on that, leaving Vidian alone on the platform. He sighed and looked over the city. There was a soft wind, a quiet forest. The guards were the only ones awake, roaming the forest, the inner city was asleep. His wings wrapped around him once more, they were less bulky that way, creating the white and black armor and his horns creating the four-horned helmet. He got up from the chair and looked up at the sky. Lady Diana was slowly moving over the city as her stars shined. He sighed and began walking back to Flora's home. He looked back at the sky.
"I hope you have destined me fairly, Lords and Ladies of the Eternal Domain, I hope I can fulfill the role you gave to me."
He stood in front of Lady Flora. She was slightly taller than him, she had plants wrapped around her as clothes with a crown of live flowers in her plant hair. She walked towards him and then slowly paced around him, looking at his wings, his horns, sometimes even poking at his body and feeling his clothes. She then returned in front of him and sat down, before gesturing for him to sit down. He did, before entering a decently long awkward silence.
"You aren't Natura," She said after having hesitated several times, "You are human, you got those wings from your blessings, the one of Night, the one of Day, and the horns come from the same," Vidian didn't say anything, "And the body was due to your, your past?" He nodded, "The scars, from your past as well, right?" He nodded again, "I am Lady Flora, the Goddess of plants, I will present you your second work, yesterday, you helped Leyitan by defending the forest, but you did also protect my children, thank you."
"Don't thank me."
"My work today will test you once more," She smiled at him, "Something that will need more than just your strength."
"Just tell me what it is."
"When people harvest from this forest, often they do it to help themselves but then help my children by giving them new life, but recently," She sighs, "Recently, someone has been using my children for experiments, not something good, they know that humans might us them, and that if they do, they should be fine, but recently, someone has been using them to extract poison and other toxins that some of my, lesser lover, children have, find that someone, but don't kill them, talk to them, then bring him to me, I want to see them, but if you need to, make sure, make sure my children are not used in such a way again."
"Poison, toxin, is there a killer on the verge of breaking out?"
"I don't know, I don't know, I am not a foreseer, but, I know my children are dying because of that person, go ahead and complete my work."
Vidian walked in the direction of the human community that was harming the forest and Lady Flora's children. He created his armor and his horned helmet, removing his demon aspect. He walked calmly as his armor formed around him, "Why do people look for evil when it seems pointless to? What is that poison used for?" He broke out of the forest, finding himself looking over a small town, some distance from the town. The town had a few fields near it, with people working under the golden sun, the town bustled with life, it seemed to be a special event, the main square was being set up, with several long tables and decorations. He created a sheathed blade from his arm and attached it around his waist making him look like an actual knight.
The people turned to him as he walked into the village. The people had stopped and turned to him as he walked, in full armor with his face mostly hidden with his helmet. He walked towards the main square and then looked around. The people of the town began crowding around him, leaving a circle around him, seeming to wait for him to talk.
"I am looking for someone," He called out, "Someone who works with plants, using them to make medicine for example, do you know where I can find them?"
"I kno-," A small girl said before her mother covered her mouth.
"She said nothing!" Vidian walked towards the girl, without touching his blade. The crowd moved away as he neared the pair, "Please don't hurt us," She had despair in her voice, Vidian squat down to be at the girl's level, "She doesn't know."
"You were saying that you knew, could you tell me where they are?"
"Let go of her mouth."
"What are you going to do about it?" Her mother said, taunting Vidian. He got up and moved back to where he was before, with the crowd around him.
"Do you prefer to talk to a human or a DEMON!?" THe crowd gasped, "I can show you both, which do you prefer? What do I look like? Huh? I look like a knight, don't I?" His horns reformed and his wings separated, his blade returned to his arm. He spread his wings out, with his golden amulet hanging from his neck, "This is what I actually look like."
"Get out of here! We'll deal with the demon!"
"Listen to me!" Men with shields and swords surrounded him, "I am not here to terrorize your village, I am here for one person," A blade struck him, then the man moved back, "I am Vidian, Vidian of the Great Desert," An arrow flew past him, missing and heading towards one of the villagers, "Dammit," He pushed through the shields and dived, catching the arrow, mere centimeters from the child, "Can you please listen to me?" The child walked towards him as his mother was too terrified to stop him. Vidian noticed the child tap his leg, he turned and knelt at the child's level.
"Mister, why do you have wings?"
"The gods gave me these," He pointed to the sky, "Like they gave you that brown hair and those green eyes, I got this face and these wings."
"Can you fly?"
"Not perfectly, but I can."
"What else can you do?"
"A lot of things, but I have a question for you, little man, do you think I am scary?" The boy shook his head, "Do you know why your parents are scared?" He shook his head again, "Well, do you know someone who uses plants?"
"Botanist?" Vidian tilted his head, "What does that title mean?"
"She calls herself the Botanist, she works with plants."
"Do you know where she lives?"
"I am right here, why are you looking for me?"
"Lady Flora sends me, I needed to talk to you."
"There was no need to make a massive fuss, go back to what you were doing, and, Gina, thank him for saving your child, the arrow was closer than you think," She turned around and all the people dissipated back into the town, he got back to his feet and jogged, following the woman known as the Botanist. She seemed to be a leader or leading figure in the town, with everyone respecting her. She walked silently down a small dirt path that lead to a house that was separated from the rest of the town. She stopped at the door, "Who are you?"
"I am Vidian of the Great Desert."
"You aren't a simple human."
"How can you tell?"
"No, not just that, you seem different."
"What do you do?"
"I am the Botanist, so I work with plants," She opened the door and they entered, "I do a lot of stuff, like medicine, and other things."
"This is a brittle needle," He said standing near a potted plant, "Extremely venomous, why do you have this?"
"Someone who know plants, huh?" She sits down at a table and he sits down as well, making sure his wings don't hit anything, "What are you here for?"
"What do you use the brittle needle for?"
"I just have it."
"What is that broken rose for then?"
"It is an appealing flower."
"And an extremely venomous one."
"What are you trying to say?"
"I am trying to ask you why you have them," His armor formed around him, to reduce the chance of his wings knocking things over, "I only ask."
"Oh, well, I study them, like you said, they are poisonous, and I am lead by the same idea that animal anti-venom can be found by studying it carefully, I try the same with these."
"Aren't you forgetting a part?"
"What do you mean?"
"Let me present myself a little better, since I haven't really told you who I was."
"Then go on, I am listening."
"I am Vidian of the Great Desert, a mortal man that was tasked by Lord Eternum to collect the blessings of the gods on our realm, I have 6 of 11 of them, one making me immune to illusions and lies, and I can tell that you aren't telling me everything."
"Oh, you must be Eternum's Trusted then," She walked over to a shelf in her small house, "Maybe that vision wasn't a lie," She looked at her books and then pulled one down, "Here, look at this," She opened the book and placed it in front of him, "My research, read all of it if you must, about the brittle needle and the broken rose, I have only started recently, so that is what I have about them."
"I am not the one who wants to talk to you about these, all I need to know is what you are doing extracting poison from those two plants."
"Like I said, I am studying them, one of the children here, died because of the brittle needle's poison, and I have been researching it ever since."
"How long ago was that?"
"A few years back, but I still haven't found much, it is hard to study something that can kill even a massive creature in a matter of seconds."
"And the broken rose?"
"I made medicine once, by combining two extracts, so I am hoping to make the antidote with a combination of something and something."
"You want nothing else out of the venom?"
"No, of course not, I don't count on killing anyone, I am not a killer."
"I don't see you lying, good, but tell me, how far have you gone with your research? And how far in experimentation?"
"I haven't been able to do any real experimentation, so I haven't done many experiments."
"How do you know your medicine works?"
"When it does."
"On people?" He leaned forwards, "Do you know what the brittle needle's poison does?" She sighed, "Physical convulsions and inflammations that cause the vessels to squeeze closed, on any living being, not so much on Naturas but regardless, try this," His arm guard pulled back before he cut his left forearm off, without any bleeding, a new arm grew in its place as the other arm's fingers still moved, "Try it."
"My arm, yes, use it, try your antidote," She slowly removed a prick from the brittle needle's stem and then slowly opened Vidian's dismembered forearm then placed the prick in it, the arm started to twitch and began inflating. She took her antidote and the arm began to twitch, the finger contracting and the wrist moving rapidly, she placed a needle and let the antidote flow into the arm. The arm suddenly stopped and the inflation slowly began decreasing and stopped twitching entirely. She looked at it before opening another wound in the arm and let the blood flow into a small container. She poured a small powder into the bowl and it went red, absorbing the blood.
"The powder should go green if there is poison," She waited for a few minutes, but the powder stayed red, "Is it possible that it worked?"
"Probably, but the aftermath on my arm, seems a little painful."
"Yes, but it works."
"Keep the arm, I don't need it, I have another one, it becomes its own entity, but it will decay in a few months, I think, so use it well," She nodded and placed it on a wooden tray, "I have something to ask you."
"What is that?" Water wrapped around her mouth and nose, blocking her breathing, she began panicking.
"Don't panic, I won't kill you, I just need you to be asleep, let it happen," She tried to scrap the water off of her face, failing, "What did I tell you?" She didn't listen to him and she quickly passed out. The water returned to the containers they were in. He picked up her body and placed it on his shoulder, before leaving the house. He broke his armor and pushed off of the ground, "Time for you to talk to the one who has all the control over your studies, the one you depend on."
He landed in front of Lady Flora with the Botanist on his shoulder. He put her down on the ground and bowed in front of Lady Flora, "I brought the person you were looking for, Lady Flora."
"Why is she asleep?"
"I knocked her out, so that she would come without resistance," Roots moved around her and placed her on a root seat and lifted her head pull and then sat down in front of her, "She should wake soon," She slowly opened her eyes and blinked herself awake, she jumped as she noticed where she was, she tried to move but her arms were wrapped around her limbs, blocking her in the chair.
"Hello there, what was your name?"
"Hello Sophia, I am Lady Flora, you have been studying my children, a little, how do I say this? Too much."
"Yes, the figure in front of you is the goddess who tasked me, Lady Flora."
"You piece of shit!" She tried to attack Vidian, "If I didn't have these roots."
"But you do," Lady Flora had an innocent smile, "Therefore, you are stuck there, I am not here to kill you, or at least, that's not my intention."
"Then what do you want?" She snapped.
"Hold your tongue a little more, you are talking to the goddess that you worship, I wanted to know what you were doing with my venomous children."
"Um, like the brittle needle and the broken rose?"
"Yes, those are two of my worst children, but I still love them, it hurts them to remove their energy like that, whether bit by bit or at once, what do you do with those extracts?"
"A few years back, a child of my village died, because of a brittle needle, and died, I couldn't save her, but I never wanted this to happen again and begun researching the plants, I never wanted anyone to die like that, I am the only one to really enter the forest ever since."
"You are doing this out of spite?"
"Spite? No, of course not, I am only trying to make my people be able to live safely, even if it needs hurting your children but I promise that later I will leave them, but I cannot right now, my antidote works, but I need to continue to improve my antidote."
"Interesting, I don't think I will kill you, that would be a waste of knowledge, but I need you to promise to not harm my children as much as you do."
"How do I know if I am?"
"If the plant dies afterwards, my child has died, they never die painlessly, I think I have talked enough with you, here, a present," A root placed a seed in her mouth and she instantly passed out, "Vidian, bring her back to her village, then return, you will have completed my work."
"Yes, Lady Flora."
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