Chapter 99 - Druids
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
Mother Nature would always react and change according to different forces.
In previous winters, monsters in the wilderness didn’t have enough food and would attack other nearby creatures. Since it was snowing more than a month ahead of schedule, their frequency of attack would probably be higher than before. Many Aborigines were already unknowledgeable and uncivil, but the experience they had told them that this winter would certainly be one of the most turbulent.
Soran took Vivian down and as soon as he arrived downstairs they heard a familiar voice.
“I’m here, down here. I’m down here!”
Since Aladdin had a small stature, he was hardly noticeable and only his voice could be heard. The innkeeper looked around, and then, with a big smile on his face, leaned down from the countertop and asked, “Greetings midget, is there anything I can do for you?”
Aladdin was so angry that he almost wanted to jump on to the tabletop. He took a deep breath and asked, “Have you seen a man and a woman with a little girl? I saw their carriage outside.”
The corner of Soran’s mouth twitched. He walked down the stairs and said, “Aladdin. We’re here. Weren’t you going to the Iron Dwarves?”
Aladdin was delighted to see them and clapped his hands. “Thank lady luck. You haven’t left yet.”
“It was rather unfortunate really.”
“Yesterday, I had journeyed for quite some time, and finally found a cave to sleep in. When I finished setting up traps, I took a nap. When I woke up, the snow outside had blocked the cave. I dug with a shovel for half a day, and when I came out, I realized what had happened. There was heavy snowfall the night before, and I was trapped under several meters of snow. Originally, I was going to continue my journey to the Iron Dwarves, but the snow was so deep. It reached my thighs! It was impossible to continue.”
“So I came back to see if I could go with you to Elfenland. I heard there are a lot of delicious foods there.”
Soran glanced at his legs. Sure enough, almost his entire lower half was wet. That meant that the snow outside the city was higher. The innkeeper’s expression became more and more serious. He glanced at Aladdin’s height, calculated the height of the snow, and cried, “This is bad! This snow thickness means that were in deep winter.”
The others in the tavern were shocked by what the innkeeper said.
Even though the snow was to Alladins knees, the depth of the snow would be around thirty centimeters. Comparatively, it wasn’t as serious in the city of Autumnfall. But if the thickness of the snow outside was really so high, it meant that the mountains and roads would be closed.
Deep winter and early spring were common sayings here. During deep winter, wild animals would begin to hibernate. Many monsters in the wilderness would also depend on stored food to live. Usually, the hungry monsters wouldn’t move until the end of winter.
Inside the tower of Autumnfall.
A group of fantastically dressed Druids gathered. There were Elves, Humans, and Half-Elves. The group was composed of a larger number of Half-Elves compared to Humans, and the leader in the room was a tall Elven Druid wearing an antler on his head.
There was a rectangular table in the middle of the room. It was surrounded by more than a dozen druids. Some were already arguing because of their different opinions.
The tall Druid leader slammed the table. “One at a time, please. Thorn Walker, please.”
A pure-blooded Elven Druid stood up. He looked around sharply and spoke in a serious tone, “This early snow proves that we were too lenient in the past. This is the punishment from the God of Nature and the Goddess of Winter for the endless destruction! We should have befallen the wrath of nature on those foolish Humans ages ago!”
“The Plains of Grosso in the southeast has been seriously desertified. The endless reclamation of farmland and destruction of the environment have deprived the land of vitality, and it wouldn’t take long before the land would become barren and become part of the desert. A third of the virgin forests in the southwest have already been cut down in the last 30 years.
“Nature is roaring in anger!”
“This is its punishment for the whole world. The early winter is a sign, and if we do nothing, there will only be more terrible disasters. I suggest dispatching the Sting of Thorns against those greedy, foolish Humans so that they can feel the true anger of nature!”
“I object!” An old-looking Human Druid stood up. He frowned at the Elf and slowly said, “It’s not only Humans who are destroying the environment. The Dwarfs, Gnomes and even the Elves are also destroying the environment, at least to a certain extent. The world is developing with civilization, and civilization will inevitably come into conflict with nature. What we need to do is to find a new balance between civilization and nature, instead of sticking to the old ways of the past, using violence to solve all problems.”
An elegant looking Half-Elf Druid tapped her finger on the table and said in a soft voice, “Recently, many people have been dissatisfied with us, especially because of our last attack. The Witches especially are becoming more and more hostile toward us.”
“Nature’s wrath shouldn’t be abused. We should first send people to warn them. If there is no effect, we would then send patrols to expel them. If it is not absolutely necessary, we shouldn’t launch a large-scale war. For the forests which have been cut down, we could arrange for apprentices to plant trees in those areas. And it would only take ten years for the new forest to thrive.”
Thorn Walker glanced at her and asked, “What then? We continue to let the Humans destroy our forests?”
“Their demand from nature is endless. It takes more than ten years for a tree to grow, but they can cut down thousands of trees in a day. I see only endless destruction and disasters in the civilization which they developed. Would you like to see the rise of an alchemy city again?
The lead druid slammed his fist on the table and said, “We will never allow the disaster of the Arcane Empire to happen again! Civilization should never surpass nature!”
“However, we can not only rely on violence. You should not let your anger cloud your judgment, Thorn Walker!”
“This may only be an accident.”
“Maybe we should intervene and warn those who destroy nature, not only the Humans, but also the Dwarfs and Gnomes. Many of the Elves have also forgotten the way of nature. Maybe we should send people out to instill respect for nature. Seasonal abrupt change is not a good phenomenon. Thus, I will send an errand to His Majesty Earth Walker in Phantasmal Forest.
“The problem now is that the sudden onset of winter will lead to great disasters. Animals should have stored as much fat as possible for the winter during this month, but the heavy snow has forced them into hibernation. Monsters in the wilderness can’t have stored enough food. Once they eat up all their food, they will surely attack other creatures. Animals are the first to be harmed, then they will attack other races. The chain of nature would face yet another imbalance. We must ensure that all species can continue to multiply after winter.
“If all the creatures can make it through winter, then the balance of mother nature would be balanced once more.”
The other druids all nodded in agreement, but Thorn Walker sighed and said softly, “Baron of Bucks, I am afraid we would not have the strength to bring balance; the area that winter effects are too large. I suggest we call on the other druids for help.”
The tall Druid with antler nodded and replied softly, “I am aware.”
“Now then, let’s get started. Eagle Eye Walker, go see if the Ogres in Ratchet Highlands can survive the winter. Remember, don’t let them leave the area. Those foolish creatures would only cause greater damage. Master Deadwood, go to the forest in the north and count the numbers of creatures that might not survive the winter. We must help them when necessary to ensure that their population can continue to multiply.”
A stream of orders was passed down.
Finally, the leading Druid with antlers looked at the beautiful Half-Elf Druid next to him and slowly said, “Baroness of Nightingale, I hope you can go to the Elven forests. Firstly, to visit His Majesty Earth Walker and enquire if there was any problem with this seasonal change. Then go to the Earth Element Gate and see if that dragon is still sleeping.
The beautiful and elegant Half-Elf Druid nodded and said, “Yes sir, I’ll go at once.”
“Take care,” the tall Druid with antler said, “That place is connected to one of the altars in the Earth Element Plane. Don’t awaken the dormant Earth Spirit and that dragon. Those two have the worst tempers.”
The Half-Elf Druid giggled then reached out and a beautiful Nightingale fell on her shoulder. The Nightingale combed its feathers, then circled around her, chirping crisp and pleasant bird song.
Not long after there was only the Druid with antlers in the hall. He gazed at the distance with a worried eye and stood motionless on the balcony. Snow and ice slowly fell all over him.
Outside there were dead migrating birds. These birds froze to death overnight before they had time to migrate.
The temperature got colder and colder.
A few days ago, one didn’t have to wear a coat. But, now, many had to wear winter clothing. This was only the beginning of winter, and if the weather continued to be this cold, then it would be a disaster for the Humans, Half-Elves, and Dwarfs. The Druid with the antler looked across the white snow and saw snow-covered crops. Villagers with cold blue lips were busy in the fields as they shoved away as much ice and snow as possible so they could transport the vegetables back. Children in thin clothes dared not leave their houses and gathered around the fire pit to keep warm.
The balance of mother nature.
Monsters were part of nature, and so were the Humans and the Half-Elves.