Hastily Tophan shook of these thoughts. “Yes, I am.” he admitted, feeling himself lean towards the insane theory.

For both of them. “Then why did you come here?” Tophan felt his muscles relax, silently he sheathed the dagger again, not to give away the fact to his enemy. “I believed in the cause. Still do, actually.” her voice seemed distant, not due to the leaping distance between them, but her heart. “What cause? To kill us? Wipe us off the face of the earth? Drive us into the ground to fertilize the trees that are the gateway to our dead?” the fungal guard chuckled. Never since she got stuck in the forest did she long as much for a walk as in that moment. “No. Your women hold the key to our survival, the nectar gives us power and strength to fight an ancient enemy of this world.” she stopped herself from talking any further, recalling passages from the scriptures instead.

“Though planted from beneath and beyond, by wing and claw, I spread throughout the world for you, the cleansing will wash off the lies and reveal the truth, like soil from a body freshly risen to walk the earth on my behalf.” though interpretation was strongly forbidden, many believed that the foretold invasion of the Chimera was linked to that passage. Planted by the malevolent creatures the fungus had outgrown it’s masters and became self-aware, and spawned the Fungals to fight the winged evil, to preserve himself. “My name is Sujela, by the way.” she shook off the thoughts about the origin of the fungus and the implications that origin had. “I’m Tophan.”

 

Around the two in the breathing silence of the perfectly dark forest the mourns of the wood grew in intensity and frequency. “Alright, Tophan, it is important that you remain in the soil, no matter what you hear, no matter what you might think you see.” Sujela warned her new acquaintance of the dangers that lurked in the nights of the dark forest, stemming mostly from the mind of everyone inside.

Before Tophans eyes the perfectly dark canvas changed only subtile. Colorful fields appeared, peeling themselves out of the darkness. Without him moving his eyes they wandered around, formed weird shapes, moving towards him, away from him, around in his field of vision. Slowly the silhouette of Sujela peeled out of the darkness. “I can see you.” he mumbled, not entirely sure whether it was really what he saw or his imagination running wild. “I see you too.” she replied. Slowly advancing towards him, peeling off clothes against the dark background. “What are you doing?” he felt the soil clenching his feet as rock. “The only thing we can do, where no one sees us, judges us.” a small rock passed through her head hitting him in the face, immediately Sujela dissolved. “It’s an illusion!” her harsh voice recalled him to reality.

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