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TGF Ch.2 Preview

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By FWJoat
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Chapter II: Commune

“Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow.
Don't walk behind me, I may not lead.
Walk beside me and be my friend.”

- Albert Camus

“Cock-a-doodle-doo!”
Zephyr’s first thought was that he hadn’t gotten enough sleep, for it had been a rather rough night for him and his friends. His second thought was of the fact that no roosters were known to reside in the Great Forest. Either one had just arrived or some other creature was making this noise.
Zephyr opened his eyes and looked up into the tree where the sound was coming from. “Cock-a-doodle-doo!” the parrot yelled again.
Semele sighed from a mere few feet away. “Well, at least he didn’t say…”
“Lovebirds! Lovebirds! Awk!” the parrot yelled, as if on cue. Before anyone could respond, it flew up into the air, out of sight. “Lovebirds! Lovebirds! Awk! Lovebirds!”
“That guy’s just asking for trouble,” Semele said.
“Makes you wonder if he really knows what he’s saying. Some parrots just learn a couple phrases and repeat them over and over again,” Sunny said.
Aku stood up sleepily, having also just been awakened by the parrot’s remarkable imitation of a rooster. “Ooh…” he muttered, obviously not feeling well.
“Are you feeling any better, Aku?” Semele asked.
Aku nodded. “I guess so. I think I could stand and walk now if I tried, but I still feel sick to my stomach.”
Jack looked around, just noticing something. “Hey, where do you think Vladimir and Henry went?”
The others also looked. Indeed, Henry and Vladimir did not seem to be in the main clearing at all. “Where did they go on such short notice?” Sunny asked.
Then, they heard something in the distance all around them. It sounded footsteps of many kinds and it was coming closer. It seemed as if a great many beings were converging toward the main clearing.
“Large crowd,” Jack commented.
“They must be holding a meeting here,” Semele guessed.
“But what for?” Sunny asked.
“Maybe they’re coming to discuss last night’s battle,” Zephyr guessed.
“Well, makes sense to me,” Sunny said.
They didn’t need to wait long before the first animals arrived. They were coming fairly fast and they were already too numerous to list here.
A rabbit child hopped up to Aku. “Is this the hyena hero?” she asked. Aku blushed under his fur. Was he really a hero now? He hadn’t thought that he had earned such a title. He knew that the people who helped him fight off the snakes and Nile were heroes, but he didn’t realize until now that he had been just as brave as they were.
“Yo, Jack!” a porcupine called out. Jack knew that porcupine. It was the same one with whom he would often play adventurers; it was the one who had unintentionally given him that nasty scratch on his leg; it was Cal. “So, how was your first adventure? I’d have joined you, but my mother didn’t bother to wake me up for the meeting. Go figure.”
“The adventure was pretty scary, but in the end, I think I’m well on my way to becoming a master swordsman,” Jack said.
“Well, I’ll be with you on the next battle. I arranged it with Henry and everything,” Cal said, proudly. While Jack wished to be a more fencing type, Cal dreamed of being a knight. He resolved that he would someday wear the greatest of armaments, charging into battle against all sorts of evil creatures. Of course, the armor would slow him down a bit, but it would still be worth it. Of course, right now, he did not have such grand equipment. What he had right now was a mere stick. But, he reasoned, every knight must start somewhere.
“So, what’s your talent, then?” Sunny inquired.
“I do pretty darn well with a stick,” Cal said.
“Ah, so you’re in Jack’s department,” Sunny said.
“I heard you were bitten by a snake. That sounds awful. Did it hurt?” the rabbit child asked.
“Yeah,” Aku responded.
“You don’t look very good. Can you stand up?” the child asked.
“I think so. I can try,” Aku said. He laboriously shifted his weight, until he was lying on his stomach rather than his side. That, he supposed, was half of the job. He was already panting.
“Come on, you can do it!” the child cheered on. Aku nodded slightly and went to the second part of the task. Surprisingly, it took less effort to lift his own weight than it had to shift it. He stood up, panting. His legs were shaking slightly under his weight, but it was still an accomplishment that he was proud of.
“Yay! You stood up! Can you do it on your hind legs?” the rabbit child said.
“I think it is best that Aku conserves his strength,” Semele told the rabbit child. Aku breathed a sigh of relief, then laid back down on the ground.
“Hey, you’re Zephyr, right?”
Zephyr looked to the source of the voice and saw a young bluebird. “Yeah, it’s me,” Zephyr said.
“So, I heard you were the hero of the day, eh? You being the great adventurer’s son, I can’t say I’m surprised. After all, I’m sure we all knew you had it in you. ‘Course, most people think it was the necklace or some other hocus pocus, but I really think it was something within you, not some necklace enchantment,” the bluebird said.
A raccoon arrived next in the clearing, carrying a white cloth. “Semele, do come here. I have something to give to you,” she said.
Semele walked over to the raccoon. “Something for me?”
“Something that I do believe you have earned well.” The raccoon held up the scarf. “This scarf is a symbol. It has been passed down through my family for generations, but now I am passing on to you, because you certainly deserve it more than I.” She gave the scarf to Semele. “This is a healer’s scarf. Most of those who have worn it were the type that heals through magic, but if your healing isn’t magical, it’s certainly close enough.”
Semele blushed a bit from embarrassment. “Wow… I didn’t know I was that special. I was just using first aid. It’s not all that special, is it?”
“That’s just it. It is special. Skill like yours is rarer than you know,” the raccoon said, “Anyone can just grab a bandage to bind a wound, but you have much more skill than just that.”
“I never quite thought of it like that,” Semele said, her voice brought near a whisper by embarrassment.
“You think that the necklace just… unlocked something?” Zephyr asked.
“Yep. Probably a Necklace of Courage or some such. Never heard of such a thing before, but it sounds like something someone would make somewhere along the line. Soon enough, though, you’re probably not going to need that thing anymore,” the bluebird answered.
“Maybe… but even so, this necklace is too special for me to ever part with it,” Zephyr said.
This is the previe for chapter 2 of The Great Forest. This might be subject to change, but probably not.
Published:
© 2008 - 2020 FWJoat
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schlechter-Drache's avatar
Very Nice ^__^ i really love the way you capture aku!! =D as always can't wait for the next chapter!!