"Ah, the Tipsy Pony. Feels like a lifetime ago". A small pensive smile on my face I eagerly burst through the doors. The cozy interior and alcohol smell are just what I need right now.
I post up at one of the few available tables, and keep an eye out for my two compatriots. I suppose that Gazin is probably upstairs with his lady love. 'Well I guess I can't let him enjoy his fun a bit longer. The one I really need to start moving is that Gavin. Good thing I left some vines in his close otherwise this would be quite a pain.'
I search out the seeds of vines that I had left in Gavins clothing. By feeling where the seeds are in relation to me I'm able to get a rough layout of where he is. Seems like he's on his way over here....'
I spot a cute buxom server that's passing and call out to her, "Excuse me, please bring me some dragon water." She takes my order with a pleasant smile. It's a mere matter of time until I'm relaxing at my table and I see young Gazin descend from the second floor.
I can't quite help a laugh as he stumbles over to where I'm sitting, "Well Gazin, you look like you...slept well." I can't hide the insinuation in my voice, and Gazin blushes brighter than any tomato I've ever seen. "Yeah..yeah I had a good few days here...What about you and uncle Gavin? Did you guys....ya know..."
The desire I have to cause mischief is reaching a fever pitch, I simply must tease him! Thankfully little Gazin is saved by the sudden arrival of Gavin. "Hey Gavin" I call out simply as I take another long drink from my dragon water.
Gavin, much like myself I presume, looks like he's lost about 10 pounds the last few days.
'Well, we were burning quite a lot of calories after all.'
"So listen guys, I need a favor."
Both of their eyes lock onto me. Gavin looks slightly angry, "Now, come on. You said we were square after getting you here!"
I nod at Gavin, "You're right. I'll owe you one."
At these words both Gavin and Gazin look at me in shock. Most people wouldn't rate the value of a favor as very high, but those people couldn't be more wrong. With the impetus of a favor you can make people give you more than they ever thought they could. A favor means leverage, and since I'm the only druid....My favors can hold quite a bit of weight.
Gavin instantly defers the decision to Gazin. Despite the age and experience difference, he is the lord. All final calls should be by him.
Gazin seems to be weighing his options. He seems torn, "Look you guys, just gimme a lift back to my place. After that you'll even know where I live."
Gazin reaches out his hand. A confident look is on his face. "Okay Masamune, but you won't owe us anything. We...We really tried to screw you over, so we'll take you home.
I nod and smile at him, "Thank you...Lord Gazin."
He beams a happy smile at me
The trip to the forest was quick again, no stops or issues. I'm almost a bit disappointed, I was kinda hoping we would get to fight some bandits.
Gavin and Gazin had both long left to return to their territory. I was simply cleaning my camping area, making sure that as many traces of my presence as possible were gone.
Oddly I'm quite hesitant to leave my forest home. It hasn't been especially fun or comfortable, but there is some innate sense of freedom when you live unfettered from others. I can't help but shake my head a bit.
"Come on, this isn't like you Masamune. Perk up!"
I force a smile and follow the river I camped near towards the forest entrance. But there is this nagging feeling in my heart. Like I've only managed to finish something 99%. It drags on my heart, making me feel heavy and lethargic.
"PINKY! That's what I'm missing!"
How could I even consider leaving when I haven't had a round 2 with Pinky?! That would be more than criminal, it would be cowardice!
I grit my teeth and send out my feelers throughout the forest. I can easily locate Pinky within just a few heartbeats. My eyes flash open as I quickly roll down to the ground narrowly dodging a bright pink bear paw hurtling through the air.
Standing at his frightening full height of 8 feet Pinky stares down at me. The disgusting scabbed over stump of a shoulder he has only adds to the terror he can inspire.
With some effort I am able break out of my terror. 'Come on! This isn't a bear, it's a fucking care bear! Now Fight!'
"Let's do this you pink asshole!" I yell out.
I concentrate briefly and reform my plate armor. The familiar shape is easy to control and mold over my body.
Before the armor can fully form I'm already launching myself at my gargantuan foe. I quickly grab onto Pinky restricting his arm. As my armor makes contact I can feel innumerable spikes enter into Pinkys tough hide. Despite how tough his skin may be, these thorns are now stronger than steel, and I can continually reinforce their growth.
"Any last words Pinky?" I ask with a cocky grin on my face. He turns his snarling visage towards me. "Please...let...me...live."
He finally gasped out those three words in his snarling bear language. My heart wavers at his simple request.
'I mean...I did kinda attack him...for no reason....with no warning....'
I slowly retract the thorns growing in Pinkys body. I leave only enough of the thorn in his hide to stop the waterfall of blood that is sure to come.
"You gonna swipe at me if I let you go?"
I ask him, and he hesitates for a few heartbeats, "No...you win....you can be the king."
I smile at him, "Good boy." He snarls at the praise, "Earths Gift!"
As I fully disengage from Pinkys hulking form I make sure to heal his body. No real point in stopping the fight just to let the stupid thing die. He stares at me with distrust, but he makes no real effort to get away from me.
"Well Pinky, I'm actually leaving the forest for a while." As I announce that I can see that Pinky is shocked. His large eyes even manage to fully dilate. "Yeah, thought you would like that. So, two orders from your druid king!"
Pinky neither moves nor speaks, he merely waits to receive orders. Animals are so much better than people. Once they decide to follow you, they ACTUALLY follow you.
Pulling one pretty crystal from my coat I show it to Pinky closely, "Apparently some of the other monsters have these rocks in them. I want em."
Pinky examines the rock and sniffs it several times to make sure he fully understands what he's looking for.
"So if anything you eat has one of those rocks, give it. Second order, if you find any weird people here, or anything very strange, then I want you to come to this location right here."
I gesture towards a small circle made of twigs in the center of my camp. "I'll be able to tell if you come here."
Pinky nods at me once, "Understood forest king.....but um...There is a tradition for forest king...."
Pinky looks at the ground scratching at nothing.
'How in the hell is a bear able to look abashed!'
"Okay Pinky, I'll give. What is the thing. As long as I can get it done quick let's just go."
Pinky looks at me and I could swear his tiny tail is wagging, "Of course, but um...well the Forest Queen....She's gonna wanna meet you..."