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Investigate the Weed [Quest]

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Investigate the Weed [Quest] Empty Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:14 pm

Haru was in the middle of one of his rare afternoon naps after a heavy meal. He seldom took naps, but when he did, he didn’t like to be disturbed. But of course, he was almost always woken up within ten minutes into it. He heard a knock on his door. The rapping noise almost gave him the sensation of someone tapping his head. The Lieutenant woke up with a scowl on his face. “It’s open,” he said, obviously annoyed. The door opened and in came a Page with a sealed message. The young Page looked so scared that Haru felt bad for frowning at him. He sighed and took the message before thanking the boy with a smile, who bolted out of the room almost immediately after.

It was a message from Inspector Nilan. It would seem the tree he cut down that morning and collected the sample of was not an isolated situation. There were more such abnormal flora around town and the inspector needed assistance investigating it. Haru wasted no time. He wore his cloak and was on his way to the edge of the forest to meet with Nilan.

When he reached the forest outskirts, he noticed that the inspector was swarmed with at least a dozen scholars. They all spoke at the same time and it sounded like a market where people bargained for prices. Haru steered clear of the group and hung back, waiting for the whole ordeal to be over before he approached the inspector. However, less than a minute in, Nilan noticed that Haru was waiting for him and excused himself from the group to speak to the Lieutenant.

“Oh thank god! You gave me a reason to get away from them,” he said, shaking his head in disbelief. The inspector went on to explain how the researchers were arguing over who gets the sample he had collected the last time from that huge plant in the middle of the town. It seemed they all had their own theories to explain the abnormal growth of the plant and wanted the sample to prove their theory. Problem was, no one theory seemed more plausible than the other. So, making a choice as to who to give the sample to seemed impossible.

“I heard reports that there were more of such overgrown weird plants within the forest. So, if we could get some more samples, then they can all test their theories,” the inspector said, pulling out several sampling devices from his large backpack. Haru didn’t need any more explanation. He simply nodded and took the bag from the inspector before heading deeper into the forest. Some of the researchers attempted to talk to him—probably trying to curry favours so that he would get more samples for them—but one frowning look and they stayed far away from him. He really hated those sweet-talking favour-seeking snakes; some of these were also the kind who would attempt bribing him for it. Half of them were here only to advance their careers; not to help the community.



Investigate the Weed [Quest] Empty Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:32 pm

Less than a minute into the forest and Haru already began to see some weird plants around. He had only a limited number of sampling devices and he wanted to ensure he took the samples of different species with each of them. That way, every single researcher would get a unique interesting piece and even if a single one of them couldn’t find the answer, the inspector could put the different information together to figure out the problem. That is, if the researchers didn’t do that themselves. After all, if they wanted to solve the issue, that was the most efficient way. He doubted the sharing capabilities of some of them, but hoped they found the compassion to do so.

The first sample he collected was that of a glowing mushroom. It was too big and was glowing like a beacon amidst the thorny vines that had overrun the entirety of the forest. This was definitely a big problem that needed to be solved immediately. Haru was convinced of it even more when he found some small animals dead or dying near the vines. They were either punctured by the abnormally big thorns or strangled by it. That meant these strange plants grew at a rapid rate suddenly. There was no other explanation as to how the animals could have gotten strangled. It also meant that Haru had watch every single step. If he wasn’t careful, he could get tripped by the sudden growth and fall prey to the thorns or the strangling as well.

Just as he thought that, a vine next to his feet grew rapidly towards his direction. It was as if it knew of his existence and wished to prey upon him. Thankfully, he had the reflexes to dash away swiftly. Soon after, he cut that freshly grown vine and sealed it into the sampling device.

The deeper he went into the forest, the bigger and stranger the plants got. Some of the mushrooms were the size of large trees. Then there were flowers the size of a house that snapped shut and gobbled up anything that came too close. Haru knew this because he saw a bird be eaten by that flower. There was no way he wasn’t going to sample that petal. But he had to be careful. He noticed that last time the petals snapped shut, it took a good few seconds for it to open up fully. That was his window of opportunity. He picked up a pebble and threw it up in the air. The flower gobbled it up instantly and was now slowly opening up. Haru used that delay to cut a part of the petal with the sampling device and get away without being harmed.

There were more such extremely dangerous plants within the forest. And what was even stranger was that it drained him both physically and magically. He had not been doing anything extensive and yet, he felt as though he had just run a dozen miles. He figured the plants around him must be sapping his energy and using it to grow even further. The realization made him rush back out towards the town as quickly as he could. He had collected enough sample for the bunch of researchers already. When he exited the forest, he found the inspector waiting there and handed the samples to him before explaining the weird things he witnessed and felt within the forest.


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