It was about 5am. The sun was just about to rise. I materialized back into a nymph and stamped my foot. Why couldn't everyone here just use time for once? What sort of meeting time was 'first thing tomorrow' anyway? I started walking, though I had no idea where Lychia Hall was. I walked though an array of different trees; I could have sworn they weren't all there yesterday. They must all be polynymphs. Now, what would Lychia Hall look like? I imagined a big, wooden building, decorated with fireflies or whatever.
After walking around a little more, searching for my image of the Hall, I noticed the sun in the sky. It had risen even higher and I could now see the entire sun. I must have been walking for at least an hour. I kicked an oak tree and screamed in frustration. The shrill sound echoed through the silent morning and I quickly covered my mouth. The oak tree changed into a girl with black hair and pale skin.
"Do you mind?!" Erica yelled, running her fingers through her hair in a desperate attempt to tidy it up. "I just woke up!"
"Shouldn't you be at the meeting?"
"Shouldn't YOU be at the meeting? Oh, I forgot. You're new; you are completely stupid." Erica made a hairbrush appear in her hand and started wrenching at her hair, cursing when she hit a knot. I swallowed down all the insults I wanted to hurl at her.
"You're not my enemy, Erica. You made sure I knew that." Erica lowered her hairbrush, recognising my olive branch.
"You're right," she said, quietly. "But I know who is. Well, actually I don't, but that's the point..." Either she realised what she was saying made no sense to me, or she felt she'd said too much, because she stopped herself.
"Please," Erica drowned my unasked question hastily. "Y-you'll find out." She fluffed up her hair.
"So," she said, finally, "to Lychia Hall."
We continued moving in and out of trees, some of which turned into polynymphs as we passed them by, making me jump. I still couldn't see anything resembling a meeting hall. But Erica appeared to know exactly where she was going, turning left and right at certain rocks and trees. Soon, we stopped in front of a boulder which looked like a hedgehog. The place didn't seem particularly important; there was nothing there except a lot of trees and the hedgehog boulder. I wondered if we were just stopping here for a rest.
"No, we're not," Erica read my mind again, "we're here." She went up to a lychee tree (don't ask me how I knew that) next to the hedgehog boulder and rapped on the trunk.
"Erica and Cherry here for the meeting."
"Password?" a raspy voice from within the tree replied.
"Chinensis," Erica whispered. There was a deep rumble, and a knot in the tree opened up, and kept growing until it was as large as a door.
"What does chinensis mean?"
"It's part of the Latin for lychee." She grabbed my wrist and we stepped inside.
"Welcome to the meeting," A tall nature lord inclined his head to us, "Please find a seat wherever there's room. Not at the High Table, though, for obvious reasons." Erica and the nature lord chuckled, like they were sharing a joke. Erica grabbed me and pulled me deeper inside.
"Wow, he was fit..." she said, dreamily. But I wasn't looking at the nature lord. I was gazing beyond him, into the vastness of the Hall which seemed to be inside a lychee tree. There was a large table on a wooden stage at the front, which seated about ten people. One polynymph and one nature lord in the middle of the table were wearing crowns made of leaves. The rest of the people on the table looked very important and were wearing golden badges. That must have been the High Table.
YOU ARE READING
When Edith dies, her life turns upside-down. Will she be able to solve her kingdom's population problem, if nobody knows what the problem is? Will she be able to defeat the evil Nefarius Nemesis, if nobody knows what he looks like? And will she be a...