With a fairy fluttering in his face like a gnat, doing nothing giggling, it was beginning to feel more and more like he had wasted time following it here. It didn't say anything and seemed enamored with the blonde's pretty face, but it was starting to wear his patience a little too thin. With a quiet sigh, he scrunched his face at the fairy, looking past it to stare at that odd and beautiful tree.
Ling was beginning to turn away and retrace his steps back to the path he started on, but then some deep, rich voice greeted him from across the clearing. He flinched when he heard it, stunned to hear anything even remotely human so deep in this forest, and when peered around to match a face to the voice, lo and behold, it was an especially large man. He was visibly muscular and well-refined in build, but what on Earthland was he doing here? Well, maybe Ling wasn't one to talk, but he had thought himself alone. And what's more, the man had something interesting to say about the tree."It's dead?"
Ling repeated, looking back at the tree and its colorful grove that seemed so full of life. It looked nothing like a dead tree if you judged it by its appearance, but a quick closing of his eyes and kneeling down to touch a root that stretched all the over to his feet, he heard and felt nothing. He's right... I don't feel or hear anything from this tree at all, which means...
His pretty emerald eyes floated from the root to the grinning fairy fluttering around his face, and then at the grove of leaves on the dead tree. The petals and its wings... were identical. When he realized this, his expression was struck with a twinge of apprehension. The other person they were mentioning earlier must've been the man from the other side of the clearing, but why were they guiding them to a dead tree, to begin with?"I'm sorry, but I think it's time for us to leave,"
Ling said, looking at the tall man from earlier with that same anxiety in his tone, like he was hoping he'd take the hint, "your tree's very nice though... sorry."But you can't leave yet!
the fairy rebuttled in its same high-pitched, cute voice as it grabbed a small portion of Ling's white cloak. "I'm really sorry...!"
Ling shook his head, attempting to walk away again.But we haven't eaten you yet!"?!"
Out of nowhere, the petals began to flutter like a dragonfly's wings, and unlatching from the stretch of branches were fairies identical to the one latching on to him. All of them giggling, all of them laughing and grinning as they fluttered away from the tree like a swarm of beautiful locusts. As tiny as they were, their numerous were so many that they were like a dark stormcloud that cast a shadow over the entire clearing, leaving nothing but the dark and creepy silhouette of the dead and now naked tree that they latched to before. Maybe that man couldn't tell what they were saying, but it was nothing as sweet and innocent as it led out to be. They were all discussing which parts of their bodies they wanted to eat the most, and how the pretty blonde one wasn't as juicy as his buff counterpart just nearby. They really were going to eat him, and he played right into their hands! He was so...so... "RUN!"
Ling shouted, pivoting on his foot and facing the path in which he came. He tried to burst into the fastest sprint he could, but the moment he moved out of place, he fell down face-first into the ground. "W-What?!"
he yanked on his feet, but they wouldn't budge. There were vines and roots slowly spiraling from the soil and wrapping around his body, holding him steady for the fairies that were beginning to separate and pursue both of them. He leaned over and yanked his ankle free of the root itself and finally was able to start running. Everything was dark and the roots that grew out of the ground were becoming faster and growing around other trees as they pursued them both.
Was the other guy okay? What if he got caught in those roots too? Suddenly, Ling stopped in his tracks and abruptly turned around to stare at the plume of fairies hovering above them. He looked around for the man, but it was hard to hear his own
voice through the wall of mystical, disembodied laughter."H-Heeeeyyy!! S-Sir?! Where are you?! Heeeey!!"
he cupped both hands over his mouth as he shouted back into the forest, but if he didn't show himself or respond, Ling had no choice but to head back and find him!
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