Forest Troubles

 

“Oh, wow…” Ignatius said in awe as he stared straight ahead with wide eyes.

 

It took Carter and Ignatius several days to reach their destination. In truth it could’ve taken them much earlier but Carter’s constant complaining and resting slowed them down. Ignatius, on the other hand, wanted to reach their destination as soon as possible. So, several days later they finally reached the Forest of Lagranda.

 

“It’s … amazing!” Carter said.

 

After seeing nothing but sand for several days, suddenly finding themselves staring at lush green forests really surprised them. Each side the wall of forests stretched as far as the eye can see. The forests towered over each other, causing shadows to fall and darkened everything within entrance, where they stood. The darkened path before them made Carter feel nervous. There was something spooky radiating from within the forest.

 

“You know, Ignatius,” said Carter nervously.

 

“What?” Ignatius asked, turning to look at him.

 

“Can’t we think about this again?”

 

“What?!” Ignatius exclaimed in shock. “We’ve come this far! So! No turning back!”

 

“But…” Carter said and he anxiously looked at the darkened entrance into the forest. “This is giving me a bad feeling! You can feel it too, right?”

 

Ignatius narrowed his eyes as he crossed his arms and remained silent. It seemed he was thinking about something as he stared straight into the darkness that awaited them past the entrance to the forest. Then he closed his eyes and sighed.

 

“Furon,” he suddenly said. “Are you sure the spirit of wood and its holder is within this forest?”

 

Furon appeared in his spirit form and hovered above him with his arms crossed. It seemed like he was looking at the forest. Then he lowered himself and faced the two of them and nodded.

 

“Yes,” he said with a serious face. “The spirit of wood and its spirit holder are within this forest.”

 

“Then, that settles it,” Ignatius said with a nod. Then he turned to Carter and said “We have to do this!”

 

“But… It’s so dark in there!” Carter said as he eyed the darkness in the forest apprehensively.

 

Ignatius turned on him and, with an irritated look on his face, asked “So? What do you want us to do then?”

 

“Um… I don’t know? Maybe transform into your legendary warrior form and shine?” Carter asked thoughtfully.

 

In that instant, Furon became very angry and he shouted “I’m not some sort of live torchlight!”

 

Carter took a step back apprehensively and muttered “It’s the only option we got right now…”

 

As he continued to look anxious, the spirit form of the ancient spirit of metal, Megatol, appeared. He hovered above Carter and stared at the angry faces of Furon and Ignatius.

 

“Furon…! Ignatius…! This isn’t the time to argue like this! It’s too dark in there and we just want you to turn up the light. What’s wrong with that?” he said in a reasonable voice.

 

Furon turned on Megatol and said “The legendary warrior of flames won’t just use his powers for something like this!”

 

He was very against it, but Ignatius suddenly said “That’s a good idea.”

 

Furon’s eyebrows rose in surprise as he looked at Ignatius and asked “Ignatius…?”

 

Ignatius turned and looked irritated as he said “Furon, the longer we keep on complaining about it, we don’t get anywhere! So let’s just get on with it already!”

 

“Mmm…!”

 

Furon made a sound of annoyance and frustration as he stared at Ignatius’s determined eyes. Then he sighed and said “Fine! Do what you want to do!”

 

With that, he disappeared along with Megatol. A moment later, Ignatius shouted “Spirit Merge, activate!”

 

After a moment of bright light that covered him, Ignatius appeared out of the light in his legendary warrior form.

 

“Ignite!” Lakshman shouted and his body began to glow dimly in the bright sunlight.

 

“Alright! Let’s get in!” Carter said excitedly and he followed Ignatius into the dark forest.

 

The forest felt eerie as the leaves ruffled and the trees seem to sway. The light from Ignatius’s armour threw the shadows away for some distance. This allowed them to see everything within seven meters from all around them.

 

“This is so much better than walking blindly into the darkness knowing there’ll be traps inside!” Carter said in relief.

 

“That’s true,” Ignatius said in agreement. Then, while looking around, he asked “Hey… Isn’t it a little… too quiet?”

 

Carter looked around and nodded as he said “Now that you mention it… It is rather quiet. Is it a trap?”

 

“I don’t know, but I think we need to be on alert,” Ignatius said cautiously.

 

They nodded at each other began to move slowly through the forest. As they moved, Lakshman looked to the front and the sides while Carter kept watch of their backs and the sides as well. They were making sure they would not be suddenly attacked by surprise.

 

Suddenly, there was unrest in the forest and they immediately felt it. It must have been the power they gained from possessing the legendary spirits. They became alert and pulled out their sword in a ready position.

 

The wind suddenly started to blow faster and the leaves began ruffling noisily. Then a wood monster burst out of the leaves and rushed at them with a loud screeching sound. Ignatius quickly reacted and punched the monster and it immediately turned into dust.

 

“What the?!” he exclaimed when he straightened up.

 

Then, as they prepared themselves, more wood monsters began appearing out of the leaves. One by one, they came screeching loudly as they ran straight at them. After seeing so many of them, Carte’s eyes widened in alarm.

 

“There’s too many of them!” he exclaimed in alarm and was suddenly filled with fright.

 

“No need to worry! My one punch just turned them into dust! You do the same!” Ignatius said firmly.

 

“Easy for you to say when you’re in your legendary warrior form!” Carter said in a frustrated voice.

 

“Then stop complaining and transform already! Just say ‘Spirit Merge, activate!’ and you’ll transform into the legendary warrior of metal.”

 

“B-But…!” Carter said and hesitated.

 

“Just do it!” Ignatius said forcibly and be began fighting the wood monsters.

 

Carter hesitated a second longer, but knew he has to do it. So he silently prayed for victory as he shouted “Spirit Merge, activate!”

 

The moment he shouted, he was surrounded by a bright glow of light. The bright light caused the wood monsters to stop in their tracks and kept their distance from them. For a few seconds, the light remained active.

 

Then the light disappeared and a figure of someone appeared from the light. It was a man wearing full metallic armour that has several mirrors on several parts of his armour. His face was hidden behind a mask that had a rounded top.

 

Time seemed to freeze as the metallic warrior in silver armour appeared. The wood monsters did not make a move while he was nearby. Then they screeched loudly together and, once more, charged at them.

 

As they charged at him, Carter said to Ignatius “Get down! I’m going to attack them with this technique I just found out.”

 

“Go for it!” Ignatius said in an energetic voice and he quickly got down.

 

Carter extended his right hand out and said “Metallic Bracket!”

 

In an instant, a long sword appeared and he grabbed it. It was wide with the rectangular shape. Its thickness was small, but both sides had sharped edges. With the sword in hand, he readied the weapon for use.

 

“Take this!” he shouted and he began swinging it at the monsters.

 

One by one, the monster began turning into wood dust as the blade easily cut through them. As he continued to strike away at the monsters, tree branches suddenly sneaked towards him and wrapped him up.

 

As Carter struggled to free himself from the bind, Ignatius curiously asked “Need help?”

 

For a moment, Carter did not speak, but continued to struggle. Then, in a smiling voice, said “No need. I got this thing under control!”

 

Carter took a deep breath and shouted “Mirror Blades!”

 

The next moment, blades of energy was suddenly released from his sword. The energy swords went slicing through the binding tree branches and freed him. Ignatius watched from the ground as Carter, in the silver metallic armour, easily decimated the wood monsters.

 

“You’re looking good in there! Let me help out!” Ignatius said excitedly. Then he said “Phyro—!”

 

“Wow, wow, wow! Stop, stop, stop!” Carter quickly exclaimed as he repeated the words and rushed toward his friend quickly.

 

“W-What is it?” Ignatius said in alarm.

 

“If you use your fire here, you’ll burn down the whole forest, idiot!” Carter said in an annoyed voice.

 

“O-Oh…!” Ignatius said as he suddenly realised the obvious and cursed himself for not thinking about it.

 

At that moment, the monsters stopped their attack. They looked at each other for a moment before returning into the darkness of the forest where the light from Ignatius’s armour did not reveal.

 

“They’re retreating!” Carter said excitedly and he sounded relieved.

 

Ignatius, on the other hand, was suspicious at the sudden retreat. He began looking around as he said “I… don’t think so…!”

 

Hearing the alertness in his voice, Carter became alert and also started looking around. The forest became eerily silent and still as if there was no life within the forest.

 

Then there was a sudden blinding flash of light which appeared directly in front of them. Ignatius and Carter immediately covered their face covered helmets to protect their eyes. The blinding light was so strong that nighter of them could see clearly what it was flashing so brightly in front of them.

 

Then, Ignatius bravely opened one eye and peered at the dazzling light. For a moment, he was not sure what he saw. A shadowy figure was standing behind the dazzling light. From the shape of the body and the standing style, he guessed it was a girl.

 

Then he heard the voice of a girl say “Leaves of Infinity.”

 

Leaves began gathering around them and formed a circle. They continued to rotate as more and more leaves began to form around them. Ignatius and Carter tried to cut at the leaves, but they appeared to be very strong and hard to break.

 

As the leaves continued to rotate, Ignatius began to feel dizzy. He attempted to keep his eyes open, but his strength began to leave his body for some reason. The same was happening to Carter and they soon found themselves feeling extremely tired.

 

Ignatius and Carter finally collapsed on the ground as all consciousness faded from their bodies. Their armours vanished and returned them to their normal selves. As they lay on the ground with their eyes closed and sleeping peacefully, the figure of the woman walked closer to them.

 

When she reached them, she looked at them for a moment. Then she muttered “Guardian Warriors! My friends!”

 

She suddenly smiled as the forest darkened and caused everything to disappear from sight, leaving the forest in a veil of darkness once more.

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