Part 47: The Cage of Dreams
Whew... I went to Gato and found out from Matilda that Irwin planned to revive the great wyrm Lucemia. After yet another pointless discussion where Matilda spouted off nonsense, Daena and I flew right onto the back of the beast. We had to traverse the entirety of that gigantic beast, all the while fighting off the monsters festering in its corpse. After a lengthy journey, I finally met Irwin in person, and Daena and I fought him. He was easily the toughest foe I've faced yet, and it took all I had to bring him down, but eventually I slew him. Then we returned to Gato, where we were informed that Matilda had passed away.
And that was what was probably my most harrowing adventure yet.
It was indeed very long, and I hope it's awhile before I have to do anything that intense ever again. For now, I just want to relax at home, maybe visit some of my old haunts. Thanks as always for listening, buddy!
Whew... That was a nice walk. I should do that...more...
...What's going on?
Don't worry, he was only chosen. Now he is going to the spiritual world to become a part of a big tree.
A big tree?
Yep, we plants are all connected at our roots.
We might look like separate beings, but we are one plant in our real dimension.
You're one plant?
We belong to one tree.
If the plants join the big tree in the spiritual dimension... ...That big tree will revive in this world, too.
Hmm, that seemed to have sparked something in Li'l Cactus. Maybe I should talk to him in a moment.
If he is going to become a big tree, I will become one, too.
Well, good for him, I guess. I'm glad I made his life so happy, and that he's now part of a greater purpose.
Right, so Li'l Cactus.
So, what do you think of all this?
I understand. You've got quite a bit to think about. I'll leave you be.
Huh... Something's off.
Where'd the other one go?
Judging by this trail of leaves, he can't have gone far.
Did someone drag him to my workshop? Why would they bring him there?
...Well, then. I wish I could say this was the oddest situation I've seen in my workshop, but...
He was supposed to rise to the spiritual world to become the Mana Tree!
This man trapped a Sproutling in a dream with dimensional magic! Now the Sproutling won't be able to become the Mana Tree!
I have lived long enough to see many catastrophic events occur over the tree's power. Has mankind ever used the tree's powers for a noble cause?
We must eliminate the sources of quarrels. Peace is what we need.
So the giant talking circle kidnapped the Sproutling so he wouldn't become the new holy tree of our world, thus upsetting the dream witch. And they decided to do all this in my workshop.
I mean...I'm not even surprised by the absurdity of it. Nothing surprises me anymore. Of all the things I've seen, this isn't close to the weirdest. The only thing weird about it is that it's happening in my own home, and even that's becoming a common occurence.
Is it my fate to get tied up in these situations?
But I feel bad for the Sproutling trapped in the dream cage! I would rescue him, if only I had the power!
Hmmm. She seems familiar from my stories. Sounds like she's responsible for all the dreams of the creatures of Fa'Diel.
And I definitely know this guy. One of the great conjurers of the past, a man who accidentally sealed himself in another dimension. It's none other than Nunuzac!
I...think I should consult my library to see if I have any books on the subjects of dreams or the Mana Tree itself.
Pokiehl? Well, why not? It's not like things aren't going bizarrely enough or anything.
Would you like to join us?
Considering it's my workshop and all, it'd be rude of me not to be involved in this.
You know, overlooking the fact that everyone else here is a bit rude for doing all this in my workshop. At least they're not openly attacking me for having a different opinion, though, so I can deal.
The time has come for the Sproutling. Let him go.
Do the Wisdoms prefer war over peace, Sir Pokiehl? You must be aware that blood will be shed over a revived Mana Tree! We have proven that we can live without the tree's powers. Even if it is the Wisdoms' choice, I will not obey!
Likewise, love may not be a necessity, but even you know its blessings... Do you see what I am saying, Nunuzac?
But some will harm and take the possessions of others to feel that bliss.
We will be better off without the Mana Tree in our lives.
Nunuzac, the world you see is only a part of a vast universe. The Mana Tree is the source of unlimited power, but...
It's not the materialistic wealth missing from our lives, it's love.
Why does this sound so familiar...?
Love is power. Give it to another, and you will bring bliss. Criminals, friends, strangers, and even yourself... All is reborn when you forgive love, and understand.
Nunuzac, you believe that fools outnumber the wise. You seem to think that you are fighting the fools in a war.
None of the creatures the Goddess created are truly fools. All you need to do is believe it.
Reality is not the dream that you are preaching. Villains like the Deathbringer will surely come for the Mana Tree.
The world would return to the age of darkness.
What you describe is a thing of the past. Do not waste your life away doubting all you see, Nunuzac.
Our very existence, not our behavior, is foolish.
If that is what you believe, then that is how it shall be.
I'll trust you to do whatever you believe in.
I can see both points of view being valid, though I've never really been one for philosophical musings. Still, I wonder if Pokiehl's words had any effect on Nunuzac.
What now...Wait a minute. Is this where Nunuzac is holding the Sproutling? Maybe I can still find it!
Nothing but pests here. I shall cut through these things quickly and rescue the Sproutling so it can give rise to the Mana Tree!
Where am I? I have to go heal the Mana Tree! It's our job to focus the light of love on the Mana Tree's wounds.
All plant life is connected to the Mana Tree. Our love feeds the plants, and the plants use that love to feed the Mana Tree. From there, the Mana Tree feeds our souls with the love we need. Even if its presence may encourage strife and destruction, we need the Mana Tree just as much as it needs us.
That voice! It's the one from my dreams!
Wh-what is... This is no ordinary sword!
I don't think I can help heal the Mana Tree yet, but I'm definitely going to prepare myself to do so! Perhaps my adventures can teach me more about love and Mana. If I continue to explore, meet new people, discover new lands, maybe then I could find the courage to go to the Mana Tree and explore it for myself.
Until then, I'll keep preparing.