Chapter One – Pt. 1
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The Forest

The light of the dawning sun cascaded through the trees onto the roots of a massive oak and revealed a group of excitable inchling creatures, with nearly transparent wings upon their backs. The creatures flitted about excitably near the roots as the light breached and shone upon the trunk to reveal a comparatively larger figure. Its eyes were closed and, in its lap, sat a sizable lump of fluff, though the larger creatures skin seemed adorned in mossy bark and vines, with patches of brilliant white skin visible on its stomach and inner arms.

The creatures face was outlined by the same, but its hair was a the pink of cherry blossom petals, adorned with several vines creeping through. The creature moved and revealed eyes the color of moonlight as it peered out. Strangely enough. There no pupils to be seen, but soon after the creature in its lap turned to look up at it inquisitively. “Mrow?”

The creature blinked at it’s furry lap cushion for a moment then turned to look around. “It would have helped if the goddess hadn’t mentioned I’d be practically blind!” The voice was lilting and as it moved through the forest, the trees seemed to become more vibrant and the inchlings around here flitted about with more fervor.

“I can roughly tell where everything is by that weird glow, but color? The sky? Light? Nothing. How am I supposed to function!” The creature grasped her head, causing the other in her lap to move quickly out of her way. It was a large fluffy cat, the eyes sparkling with intelligence as it peered up at her. After a second, she blinked.

“Eh? Wait… A E I O U,” she paused as she spoke, listening to her own voice with a hand on her thoat. “AM I A GIRL!?” she fumed, grasping her head as she struggled to control her breathing. “Okay, okay. Dryad… I should have known! Tree nymphs! Typically, female! Ughhhhhhh.”

One of the inchlings flitted up to her, “Miss?” an ethereal, as if not entirely present, voice spoke.

She blinked, “Oh, I can see you. Hm, a fairy?”

“Yes, miss. Are you sent by the Mother?” the fairy seemed hesitant as she asked.

“Mother, you mean that goddess, Qhedea was it?” she answered.

The fairy shook excitably, its wings fluttering like a hummingbird’s, “Yes! The Mother!”

“Ah, I am yeah,” she answered.

The surrounding fairies cheered loudly. “The Mother has sent her blessing! The forest is saved!”

“What do you mean the forest is saved?” She asked, looking around at the cheering fairies. The forest was vibrant to her, as the glow seemed quite strong and she could make out numerous details in the trees, though rocks and the sky were still a black emptiness. Must be something to do with nature, she did I say I would be a dryad…

“The nearby human city has been harvesting the trees really fast, miss!” the fairy in front of her spoke in a depressed tone, “the forest is much smaller now! The little ones have nowhere to go and the hunters are after them all the time!”

She let out a sigh and put her face in her palm, “Right, take me there. Might as well get started on my job.” The fairies let out another loud cheer as the one before her nodded rapidly and waved her hands at the opening of the glade. The fairy took charge and flitted towards the opening.

“This way miss!” the fairy’s childlike voice called out as the one-human-now-dryad followed behind, a large cat practically attached at the hip following closely behind. As they stepped forth from the glade, the edge of the treeline revealed a massive deforestation project, felled trees left behind and stumps. The flowers were crushed and several trees at the edge of the forest were deeply cut into.

The dryad frowned, “How terrible, especially terribly inefficient…” she muttered. “But is there even anything I can-“ the sound of a… what seemed to be at least, a smartphone notification echoed in her head and two memories entered her head. The first, was a message from the goddess. The other was on how to use two spells.

“Oh, I guess I can. [Divine Restoration Gaia],” the words echoed, seemingly in another language, as the glow of the forest shook and she watched as, before her eyes, the weakly glowing stumps were infused with a vibrant glow, stretching upwards and exploding into full grown trees all around her. The wave of nature spread rapidly and soon, the edge of the forest could no longer be seen.

The dryad nodded in satisfaction before a weakness in her body set in as she shuddered, nearly dropping to her knees. The fairly flitted around her nervously. “Miss? Miss? Are you alright miss? Was it too much miss? I’m sorry I’m sorry!”

The dryad groaned, “Hush. I used too much,” she stood up straight again. “Take me to the place to humans arrive at each day. I’ll wait there.” The fairy nodded eagerly and grabbed ahold of her, attempting to drag her to the treeline. She watched in amusement as the small creature struggled before giving up while panting.

“Huff. Huff. Miss~” the fairy said, her eyes tearing up.

Unable to resist the urge, she poked the small creature with her fingertip and laughed, “Lead the way!”

The small fairy’s head bobbed rapidly as she flitted forward, the dryad behind her moving at a leisurely pace. Surprisingly, the distance between where they had been and the edge of the forest was further than it had seemed, and by the time they had arrived, a mass of something was moving towards the forest from the horizon. She squinted and couldn’t quite see in detail.

“The humans!” the fairy squeaked out as she hid behind her. Ah I see. Days must start early here. She gazed at the approaching group for a few minutes as they gradually grew closer. Wait, I can’t use my old name anymore. I could, but it wouldn’t make sense. What do I use?

As she pondered, the fairy behind her suddenly let out a loud voice. “Oooooooooo. Miss, your hair smells like cherries!”

“It does? What does it look like?”

“It’s pink! Like cherry blossoms on the other side of the forest!” she felt her hair rustle around as the fairy seemingly nestled into her hair. Another light chuckle, I was a man, Seriously, pink? Ahhhhhhh, whatever, but this fairy, so difficult to hate. She’s just like a child, I hate adults. Cherry blossoms… Hmm… That goddess mentioned Greek, so…. Perhaps I’ll just be that simple. Kerasi Anthos. That’ll do.

As she mused, she looked up and noted the glow had separated into individual glows, though still not quite so detailed. At the head of the pack, she could make out men on horses. She eyed them closely and, as they got close enough to see her, as far as she could tell, the one leading them approached. She watched silently and a gruff voice spoke up. “What are you and what are you doing in this forest, this forest is in our charge by Lord Monmar, to be harvested for use in the war.”

Oh, a knight? He seems particularly rude, and that outstretched fist, it seems he may be holding a sword? How ostentatious to greet a someone like that.

“I have no use for the names of nobility who hold no sway in the way of these woods. I have no use for human hands seeking the destruction of nature. These lands belong to the creatures that dwell within and the fairies that house them,” she answered, her voice drifting on the wind. “You seek it’s destruction and my duty is to prevent that.”

“Is that a challenge, creature?”

“Is it?” she eyed him closely, watching as his grip tightened.

“You affront my honor to my lord by preventing my duty,” the knight hissed.

“And you affront my duty to this forest. I am no creature, honor-less knight, I am a forest nymph and a guardian of nature,” she answered meeting his gaze.

“Miss, you can’t, these humans are strong,” the fairy whispered from behind her.

“Silence creature, a monster with an appearance such as yours has no place speaking to the chosen of the gods,” he raised his sword and the knights behind began advancing. She rolled her eyes in response.

“Chosen by the gods?” she laughed, “An honor-less guard such as yourself? You chose to send your force after one meager dryad?” One of the knights froze and the others paused.

“Dryad?” the knight sputtered.

She smiled broadly and lifted her hand, closing her eyes as she focused heavily on the glow around her. Grasping the feeling of energy similar to what she had felt when using the spell the goddess had shown her, she imagined the glow drifting in the air coalescing in her hand rapidly. As it gathered, she opened her eyes and tossed it before the knight. Unbeknownst to her, the wind swirled violently as infant nature spirits, little more than orbs of green light, responded to her call and filled the air around her.

The horse let out a startled yelp as a tree rapidly grew from the ground, tearing up the dirt as the roots began to settle. The sounds of branches cracking and leaves whistling in the wind silenced all else. She took a step forward and laid her hand on the tree. “I am Kerasi Anthos, a chosen child of the goddess of nature Qhedea, the dryad who protects this forest from all threats, including, you.” The knight and his forces froze.

“Qhedea? There is no such god to us,” the knight scoffed, “Only elves worship such a useless god. You think something like that is enough to deter me? These forests are claimed, for use in the war with the Daemons.”

Karesi winced before sighing, “Fine. For today, I’ll leave it be, should you to take me to this lord of yours.” Dyad and man made eye contact, neither blinking though the knight’s gaze, obscured through his helmet to all but her, seem unsure, his eyes drifting every so often before returning. The exchange seemed to last a considerable amount of time, long enough for the soldiers and lumberworkers behind him to start shifting uncomfortably. He finally lowered his sword.

“Men, we’ll be returning for today,” the knight said through clenched teeth, his voice gruff and deep as though his throat were injured in some fashion. The soldiers immediately stood at attention.

“Yes sir!” The soldiers immediately turned around, to the grumbling of the lumberworkers as they began to turn their wagons around and the knight left her behind in a huff. Kerasi watched him for a moment before approaching the last lumber wagon. As she approached the man sitting at the head gave her a look. Unlike the, presumable, metal of swords and armor she could faint see the wagon, horses, and very very lightly the reigns.

The man spoke up as she approached, “If you want a ride, fine, but you best put in a word with Sir Lorealis.” She rose an eyebrow and tilted her head.

“Is that the knight I spoke with?” she asked as she started climbing on board, “If so, it’s best I say nothing, he doesn’t seem to like me.”

“That’s for certain,” the man snorted, lifting the reigns and cracking them down. The horses started trotting forward, the wagon shifting forward more than she anticipated, causing her to catch herself. After a few moments, the glow of those ahead returned.

“Do you mind me asking some questions? I’m unfamiliar with everything beyond the forest,” she admitted, watching the man pause for a minute as he turned back to look at her with a frown. After he stared at her for a minute, he finally turned back around and sighed.

“Alright, you’re a weird one overall, what do you need to know?” At his comment she looked down at herself, noting what seemed to be bark on the outside out her arms and adorned the sides of her body, her stomach fully visible. She frowned.

“Am I naked?” She asked.

“Yes, an' that sehkme on shoulder was giving me the evil eye,” he answered, still watching the other wagons. She blinked and reached towards her shoulder, only to realize at some point her cat had, at some point, had climbed aboard her shoulder. She blinked and turned back.

“Would you perchance have clothes I could borrow?”

“I’m afraid nothing would fit,” the man shook his head, “You can ask one of the others when we stop.”

“Thank you,” she answered and looked out towards the group. “What’s the name of this place?”

The man paused again and sighed, “You really don’t know anything, do you? This is all part of the lord, Monmar’s fief, which is part of the southern half of our kingdom, the Solis Kingdom. Further south is the Luxian Empire, just beyond the mountains in the distance.”

“Mountains?” she looked out, the light of nature grew extremely faint in the distance, “I’m afraid I can’t see them.”

“Are you blind, they’re directly south of us,” he scoffed.

“Yes I am, I can sense nature and see its energy, but things such as rocks appear as nothing, as does the sky. Clothes, this wagon, and some things made from animal products and plants are faint. These mountains you speak of are impossible for me to see from this distance,” she shook her head again, the cat’s fur brushing heavily against her cheek, the purring loud enough it was audible and she could feel it in her shoulder. The fairy in her hair seemed to have made a nest, as there was silence, or she had returned to the forest.

“My apologies, though I imagine its better than being truly blind,” the driver mused for a moment, cracking the reigns again as the horses slowed. She watched him for a moment and then leaned against the inside of the carriage, letting out a deep sigh as it rumbled beneath her. It was, by far, more uncomfortable than she imagined.

“Tell me, what is Monmar like?” she finally spoke, watching as the driver tensed up.

“Speaking ill of my lord is ill advised,” the man eventually responded.

“If you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all?” Kerasi answered, “I prefer to say what I like, even if it’s nothing good. Even so, that answers my question well enough.” She finally laid her head back and closed her eyes. It seems this guy is gonna be a pain, eugh. Less than a day here and I’m already dealing with annoyances.


The dirt road that led from a large city in the distance finally gave way to a cobble stone road and soft clopping of horse hooves against dirt gave way to the louder way of stone. Scattered past the giant city walls were farms of varying sizes and various small houses. Throughout the fields, farmers went their way about doing various chores.

Various wagons and carriages moved both towards and away from the large city gate in the distance, though to her, it was little more than a mass of light and a wall of nothingness. She watched as the glow shifted every so often and gradually grew closer. “What’s the name of the city?” she asked.

“Monmar, all cities are christened after the lord of the region, at least in Solis,” the man answered, and the soldiers moved in with ease. The guards however stopped each of the wagons as they entered the city gate, and by the time their turn arrived it had been a fair amount of time but this wagon was the last of the group.

During that time she had activated the other spell the goddess had given her. The spell itself didn’t seem to invoke a significant amount of, what she presumed, was magical power or mana, like the earlier spell. “[Terrarum Archive].” After a moment, before her eyes appeared what seemed to be a screen, with a massive list of books in all forms. It’s like a magical kindle, this is nice. Whichever god had made the spell seemed to be terribly efficient, as it even had a search system.

After a browsing for a moment she then paused, But what about shows and- As if responding to her thoughts, the spell shifted again and the archive showed variety of shows, their covers surprisingly in color. Subconsciously, she chose one and a summary appeared. Music? It shifted again.

Kerasi smiled, “Ooooh, I like this.”

This was about the time the guards began inspecting the wagon, and so there she sat when a guard rounded the wagon and saw her. She blinked and the guard stared back. After a few seconds of this exchange, the guard finally said something. “Uhhhh, sir?” he turned towards the side of the wagon. “There’s uhhh, some sort of plant thing?”

“I’m a dryad, thanks.”

“IT TALKS!?” The guard flinched away from her in shock.

“I’m also the queen of England!” she retorted, rolling her eyes heavily.

“England?” the guard was even more confused by this, so she stood up and started climbing out of the wagon.

“Don’t move!” the guard drew his sword.

She sighed and sat down at the back of the wagon, her legs crossed as she eyed the guard. Meanwhile, at the head of the wagon, the man and chief of the guards were conversing quietly. “A dryad?” the guardsman asked.

“She seems to be the protector of the forest we were harvesting,” the lumberman answered, looking towards the back of the wagon. “She wasn’t aggressive towards me, although she and Sir Lorealis were having some sort of argument, though from what I can’t see it didn’t get physical.”

The chief groaned loudly, “That idiot… He said someone would be with you, and that they wanted an audience with the lord but he never said who they were.”

“Let her out,” the chief called back towards the other guardsman, who watched her for a moment before sheathing the sword in his hand. She let out a vibrant smile as she dropped from the back of the wagon.

“Hey hey,” she leaned around and looked up at the chief guard who blinked down at her. She smiled back, “So, I have to fill out some paperwork right? Before that can I get some clothes and maybe somewhere to stay or money?”

The guard chief proceeded to, for the second time that day, facepalm hard enough for the smack to be audible. “Is that a sehkme?” he finally asked.

“It’s a cat though?”

The guard chief groaned even louder, “I’m not dealing with this, let’s just get in the barracks and get you out of my sight.”

Kerasi laughed and followed behind him, “Just so you know, I’m broke.”

“I’ll give you enough money for the inn for a month if be quiet,” the guards chief instantly responded without looking at the trailing character behind him.

Kerasi quickly made the motions of zipping her lips and throwing away the key, grinning wildly as she looked around at the sights. Beyond the open gate, a number of people passed by, many of them not wholly human. Some had deerlike horns and hooves, some had the ears and tails of beasts, the sight was splendid. Now this is another world, she grinned again.

The guards chief pushed open a wooden door just beyond the massive gates, two gigantic men stood to each side of the gate, their muscles enough to easily rival a bodybuilder of earth, and lionlike manes and ears adorned their heads, thing tails tipped with fluff twitching behind them. Beyond the wooden door sat a fair-sized table, two wooden chairs sat across from each other horizontally.

She plopped into the seat closest to the door as the chief opened a drawer in the desk at the corner of the room before setting a piece of parchment and quill before her. On the parchment were simply lines for some of her personal information. The overall simplicities. She grabbed the quill and after a moment of fumbling looked down, surprisingly it was all English.

After she easily filled it out, the guards chief finally spoke. “Now all we need to do is get a drop of your blood and channel mana into the parchment. After that, you’ll get an identification tag.” He lifted up a small metal rectangle, attached to a bit of string, from his neck. “You know what this is, correct?”

She shrugged, “I get the idea of it, you keep the original, I get the copy to prove my identity.”

“Indeed,” he answered, “I’ll send someone to gather clothes of your size while we finish.”

“Much appreciated,” she answered as he opened the door and called someone over. Kerasi looked back down at the parchment, hopefully this world accepts this name, my old one definitely wouldn’t work.

The chief returned and drew a small knife from the pouch on his waist before she spoke up again. “Isn’t this a job for one of your employees?”

“Employees?” he paused as he asked.

“Sorry, means those that answer to your authority here. Like a less domineering way of saying underlings,” she reached out for the knife.

He passed it into her hand, “I see, well that’s a nice way of putting it, but no, anyone seeking an audience with the lord comes here and it’s my job to take care of them.”

She pricked her finger without wincing, a small droplet of green blood forming at the tip of her thumb as she spoke, “Ah, so you get the big names, should’ve figured as much.”

He nodded as she pressed her thumb down on a blank portion of the parchment, “Do you know how to channel mana?”

She frowned, “I think I get the gist of it, does everyone have mana.”

“Some races don’t, though they can use innate magic of their kind, but humans on average have at least enough for the most minimalistic of survival spells,” he answered, “You have to grasp it within your mind, it’ll feel like a warm pool in your body. Once you do, direct it like a stream towards your thumb and it should ‘spill out’ into the paper.”

“So I have to enchant the paper?” she frowned, “I’ve never done that before.”

“It’s not enchanting, no. This paper already was, it’s sent by the city’s archmagus, all you’re doing is activating that spell to verify your identity.”

“Ohhhh,” she closed her eyes and with far more ease, perhaps since she had already used it twice, directed the stream of mana into the paper which soon began to glow. Shortly after the vibrant green glow faded, the lettering on the parchment turned gold before fading to black. Atop the paper sat a small metal tablet.

“Handy,” she muttered.

“Are you from another country?” the man finally asked, “This sort of thing is common in the kingdoms and empire.”

“I suppose you could say that,” she responded with a nod, “But it’s quite a distance.”

“Then why were you in the forest?”

“Dryad,” she pointed at herself with a confused look, “It’s my job to watch over nature.”

“I always believed the elves were in charge of such things,” he answered musing with a hand to his chin, scratching his beard, “But well, elves are quite secretive, we don’t have too many in town. Though that answers the question of which inn to send you to.”

“Oh? There’s an elf-run inn in town?” How cliché.

“Indeed, though it’s a bit out of the way, but I think you’ll have an easier time there.” And you’ll be far away from me.

“Thank you,” she bowed her head as a knocking came at the door.

The door soon opened to reveal one of the earlier guards, a large beard covering the lower half of his face as he stared in the room, a bundle of clothes in his arms. “Sir, I’ve retrieved the requested items.”

The chief nodded and waved his hand dismissively, “Pass them over to her. I’ll have you lead her to Kayina’s place once she’s done changing.” The chief, whose name she honestly had yet to learn, turned around and opened a drawer. After a moment of shuffling he placed a large golden coin on the top of the desk before turning around and waving the guard out the door. “There’s your payment, please remember our agreement.”

The guard’s eyes widened, “Um sir?”

Kerasi snorted loudly and a faint tinkling of fairy laughter echoed in her ears as the chief’s eyes widened rapidly and his face turned bright red. “You have really weird tastes, that explains a lot,” the guard noted, his tone ever serious.

The chief sputtered, “Why do I have do deal with this?” tears started forming in his eyes as he clenched his fist, “You heard what I said earlier!”

The guard frowned, “I did?”

“You all look alike to me,” Kerasi chimed in, stifling her laughter.

The chief no longer restrained his tears, “This is the second time today!”

“That you’ve paid a child for services?” the guard asked, as monotone as ever.

Kerasi could restrain her laughter no longer and clenched her stomach as the giggle fit took over. The chief groaned exceptionally louder and tossed the clothing at her face, “Once you’re changed he’ll lead you, I hope we never see each other again.”

“Awww, I’m wounded.”
“Shut up.”