Resolving Strange Occurrences
“Huh?” Lakshman said, looking confused. “What do you mean ‘we meet again’?”
“Well, for you it’s your first time meeting us,” Forest Elf said in an understanding tone, “but this isn’t the first time for us meeting you.”
Lakshman had no words to say. He just sat there, staring at them blankly. Ondine rose to her feet and looked at them angrily.
“Why did you attack my master?!” she demanded.
“Oh, it’s you,” the shorter Forest Elf said, looking wearily at Ondine. “The one that became a Slave Spirit to this human.”
“W-Wha?” Ondien said, startled by the shorter Forest Elf’s words. “What’s your problem?”
“As the guardians of this forest and friends of the Water Spirits, it pains me to see such a proud Spirit Guardian become a Spirit Slave,” the shorter forest self said. “It is deplorable.”
“Yes, quite depressing,” the taller Forest Elf added.
“Y-You…!” Ondine said, glaring at them fiercely, her hands etching towards her swords.
“C-Calm down Ondine!” Lakshman quickly said, grabbing her hands and kept them away from her swords.
“Master!” Ondine said angrily as she fought to free her hands from his grip. “They are being disrespectful to you and are very rude to me!”
“I know, but… no violence!” he said quickly.
At that moment, he noticed the aura around the Forest Elves. Previously it was cold, but it suddenly started radiating with fighting spirit.
“Please do not start a fight in the forest,” the tallest Forest Elf said.
“If you do, we will defeat you!” the shorter Forest Elf said.
“Okay, okay!” Lakshman said to them, raising a hand and making a gesture at them to stop. “No violence! Please!”
Then a tense silenced followed. Ondine and the Forest Elves glared at each other. Then they heard a loud cough nearby. Looking around, they noticed Felix looking at them with an eye brow raised.
“Oh, don’t mind me,” he said in a mocking apology. “Please continue with whatever you were doing.”
“Felix…” Lakshman said hesitantly.
Before, Felix’s aura was friendly, but it changed. Now it was radiating with a sense of darkness that caused goose bumps to erupt all over Lakshman.
“It’s alright,” he continued in a cheerful tone, but the air became thicker. “Really… I don’t mind being ignored.”
He spoke the last word with a heavy emphasis. Suddenly, his eyes narrowed and his face contorted slightly. Lakshman was not good at identifying someone’s body language, but he suddenly understood one thing about Felix. Looking at him, he realised Felix was angry.
The air suddenly became very tense. He could feel it faintly, but the power around Felix was emanating a strange aura of darkness. He was really angry as he stared at them through narrowed eyes.
“Felix… I…” Lakshman began hesitantly and faltered.
He was not sure what to say. This was his first time facing such heavy pressure. He thought he something terrible will happen to him. His instincts screamed at him to run, but something was keeping him stock still.
“Please be calm, O’ might Phoenix Emperor!” the Forest Elves suddenly said, looking aghast as they stared at him.
Felix continued to look at them with a dangerous look with the air tensing up by each second. Then he smirked and made a twisted smile. It was the smile that was crazier than an ordinary smile and he directed it at the Forest Elves.
Just then, the tension in the air disappeared. The dark aura of power disappeared and everything returned to normal. The forest resumed in emitting its natural sounds and the wind blowed smoothly once more.
Ondine sighed and she collapsed onto the ground beside Lakshman. One look at her and his eyes widened in shock. Her eyes were wide open and she wore a terrified expression on her face.
“Right!” Felix said in a business-like tone. “You, Forest Elves, explain yourselves!”
“Yes sir,” The two Forest Elves said and nodded vigorously.
It looked like they were afraid of Felix. There was no blaming them considering Felix used a powerful pressure on all of them. Lakshman sighed in relief and wondered why Felix was so angry at them.
“You see sir, our intentions are not to cause harm to that boy. We simply wanted to make him exit the forest,” the tall Forest Elf said.
“Make Lakshman leave the forest?” Felix asked, sounding surprised.
The tall Forest Elf hesitated, but the shorter elf took over.
“You see sir, ever since that boy came to the forest strange things keep happening.”
“Strange things keep happening?” Felix asked with a puzzled expression on his face.
“Yes sir,” the shorter Forest Elf said with a nod.
“Please give me the detail of those strange things,”
The short Forest Elf took a deep breath and let it out smoothly. Then she started telling them about them.
“The first was the appearance of the monster; the Twin-Headed Cerberus. Monsters like that do not enter the forest, unless they are searching for prey.”
“I see,” Felix said with a nod of his head.
Then he turned to Lakshman and asked “Wasn’t that the monster you defeated Lakshman?”
“Y-Yes Felix,” Lakshman responded immediately. “But, father said that monster was driven from its den when some adventurer group attacked their lair.”
“Okay,” Felix said.
Then he turned back to and said to the Forest Elf “That is complete coincidence. I do not see how the appearance of the monster inside this forest connects with Lakshman entering the forest. If you have to blame someone, blame the foolish adventurers that caused such a problem.”
“Well… if you put it that way,” the short Forest Elf said hesitantly with her head down.
“The next occurrence is the time when the boy went exploring the forest with his cat. That was when our young ones pulled a prank on them by destroying part of the cliff, endangering both the boy and his cat.”
“By ‘young ones’, you are referring to the younger Forest Elves?” Felix asked for clarification.
Felix remained silent. He had his touching his chin as he wore a thoughtful expression on his face. Silence followed where they remained silent, waiting for his response.
“I don’t see how Lakshman would have any influence on the younger Forest Elves to behave the way they did,” Felix finally said after a while.
“But sir, we Forest Elves do not do such reckless actions!” the tall Forest Elf insisted.
“I believe you, but I believe the younger ones were simply caught up in all the bravado. Please ensure to discipline them properly.”
The tall Forest Elf hung its head in disappointment before saying “I understand and will comply.”
“Next,” Felix said, turning back to the shorter Forest Elf. “Is there anymore?”
“Yes sir, just one more,” the short Forest Elf said.
“Okay. What is it about?”
“It is the matter concerning the boy and that good-for-nothing Spirit Slave.”
“What did you call me?!” Ondine exclaimed angrily.
Felix turned around and gestured for her to calm down with his hand.
“Please calm yourself Ondine. I am talking,” he said before turning back to the Forest Elf.
“Okay, but please refrain from using such rude term,” he told the short Forest Elf. “She is an ally of Lakshman and, as such, she is also my ally.”
The short Forest Elf looked surprised before bowing and saying “My deepest apologies. I did not intend to—!”
“It’s fine, so please… what is the third matter?” Felix said, urging the Forest Elf onto the subject.
“Oh yes. The third occurrence is the time that once Spirit Guardian became a Spirit Slave to that boy.”
“Oh. So, what was the issue in it?”
“Well, you see. The boy was happily playing with the young Water Spirits. It was then this previous Spirit Guardian attacked him, but was defeated and fell into the lake. She was then rescued by the boy and the Water Spirit elder, Rodrack, issued that she becomes the boy’s Slave Spirit so as not to shame their tribe.”
“I see,” Felix said, nodding in understanding.
Then he turned and looked at Ondine. He suddenly smiled at her while shaking his head.
“What?” Ondine asked, looking surprised at his reaction.
“No, it’s nothing,” Felix said and he turned back to the Forest Elf. “So? What’s the issue there, other than Ondine’s rash choice of fighting Lakshman in the first place?”
“It wasn’t rash!” Ondine insisted. “From the way he was looking, I thought he will attack the young Water Spirits. So, I attacked him before that could happen.”
“Huh? I looked like that to you?” Lakshman said, taken aback by her words.
“What? No! I didn’t mean it like that!” Ondine quickly said, trying to cover up her blunder, but it was too late.
“I only sat there and watched them play,” Lakshman said, looking a little depressed. “I don’t understand why I would make a face other than having fun watching them play.”
He was not going to admit that he felt jealousy as he watched the young Water Spirits play the sport.
“Okay, okay,” Felix said, returning the order.
He suddenly wore a wry smile and he wondered if he some sort of judge to this case of strange coincidences and accidents. He shook his head to clear away the pointless thoughts and focused on the problem at hand.
“I do not find that situation to cause any suspicious behaviour towards Lakshman,” Felix declared. “After all, it was the result of a stupid judgement made by Ondine.”
Ondine hung her head after hearing his verdict. Felix made a wry smile once more, thinking he really fit the role of a judge. Just then, the tall Forest Elf asked him a question.
“Sir, aren’t you taking that boy’s side?”
“What?” Felix said looking surprised. “I don’t believe I am.”
“But your judgement—!”
“Are all based on critical analysis and perception. I’m not boasting, but it helps to face situations like these.”
“So then, I believe there should be no reason for you to have objection against Lakshman entering the forest from now on,” Felix declared in finality.
“Yes, it looks that way,” the short Forest Elf said with a shrunk of its shoulders.
“I guess so,” the tall Forest Elf said nodding in agreement with the short Forest Elf’s words.
With slumped shoulders, they turned around and started walking away. When, suddenly, they were called back by Felix.
“Hey, wait a minute.”
The Forest Elves turned around and looked quizzically at him. Felix turned around and looked at Lakshman and Ondine with a question in his eyes.
“I know that Ondine knows the way to the Water Spirits tribe, but do either of you know where the Camdra tribe live?”
Lakshman and Ondine looked hesitant and they looked at each other. With some agreement flowing between them through their eyes, they turned back to face Felix.
“We actually don’t know,” Lakshman admitted, looking slightly sad.
“Ah, I see,” Felix said and, for some reason, he smiled. “I thought you might not know considering nighter of you left your safe haven called home.”
“We’re sorry,” Ondine said and she and Lakshman hung their heads in sadness.
“No need for that,” Felix said cheerfully. “I’ve got the perfect plan!”
“A plan?” Lakshman and Ondine said in unison, looking confused.
Felix turned back to the Forest Elves and spoke to them.
“Do you know where the Camdra tribe lives?”
“Well… yes, of-course,” the two of them nodded.
“Ah, that’s good. I wonder if I could borrow your help to guide us to them please.”
“Yes. It will be our pleasure to assist you, O’ mighty Phoenix Emperor!”
The two Forest Elves said eagerly, for the first time brimming with happiness. They started dancing together as Felix, Lakshman and Ondine watched them in surprise. Felix laughed heartily as he watched them dance cheerfully.
“Oh, before we leave, could you tell us your names?” Felix asked.
“Ah. Yes, of-course,” the tall Forest Elf said with a bright smile on his face. “I’m Fahly and this is my sister, Elusa.”
Upon being introduced, the short Forest Elf, Elusa, bowed her head. Felix did the same and soon followed by Lakshman and Ondine. With greetings done, they finally set off together towards the Camdra beast tribe.