It sailed eastwards on the gusts, along with spores from mosses, fungi, pollen from flowers, bushes and trees blossoms, carried away. Nicodia stared at the sea in front of her. Gently dancing upon the waves was the reflection of the rising sun. A week had passed since she had left her home, to her surprise there was little to be seen in the woods, villages were scarce. Most of the floral people she had encountered were as distrustful as the folks in her own home. Instinctively she had avoided the strong smell of fungals, although in one instance she had to come into visual range. The camp she spotted was manned with Albin, humans and fungals. Not imprisoned fungal guards but free, armed fungals. For a moment she wanted to run home in order to tell her father but then a group of imprisoned fungals with insignia of the guards was lead to the camp by a group of humans. Immediately the fungals in the camp raised their arms. There was no trial held, immediately the prisoners were executed by the fungal camp members. Shocked by the sight she beheld Nicodia wandered on until she reached the ocean. Still the west wind blew from behind her, stocked upwith smells from her homeland, in addition to the foreign smells it carried with it. “A young floral girl like yourself shouldn’t wander alone through these parts.” the voice sent chills down Nicodias spine, slowly she turned to the origin of these words. A man with the ashen complexion of a fungal stood a few meters away from her, Nicodia felt petrified with terror although nowhere did the elderly man bear the insignia of the guards. “Don’t be alarmed, I came from the fungal republic, an enemy state of the guards. But there are still a few guards roaming these lands, hence my initial statement.” he smiled, the tired and sad hint around his mouth caused Nicodia to loosen up a bit. “Let me introduce myself, I am Shedomus of the foothills.” he bowed before her, a gesture the guards had demanded from imprisoned florals, she had seen it from afar. “Nicodia.” she stammered reluctantly. Again a faint smile appeared on his lips. “It is none of my business, but may I ask what brought you here?” turning slowly Nicodia looked out to the sea, she did not know how to put her motivation into words. “Let me guess: Curiosity for the unknown, itchy feet as the humans say!” Shedomus had also turned to the sea, teetering on his feet he had his hands crossed behind his back. Nicodia couldn’t suppress a chuckle at his quote of the human phrase. “It is what had made me volunteer for this, despite my old age.” he pointed behind himself referring to Both’anah. With a sadder expression he turned back to her. “If you have suffered at the hands of the guardsmen, I wish to apologize! We as a society have failed you our neighbors, for not stopping them soon enough!” surprise and shock in her face Nicodia inched away from the elderly Fungal. “I don’t understand.” again she could only stammer as she spoke. Quickly Shedomus explained to her that the majority of he fungal people were not involved in the invasion of Both’anah. “In the northern most region of our territory was a mountain range that once harboured the fungus. It controlled all of us, or rather our ancestors, close to no one alive then, still lives today. As we expanded into the formerly Albin territory the fungus grew, you can imagine that we expanded rapidly and violently.” Nicodia nodded, she bit on her fingertips while listening to Shedomus as they had sat down, completely ignoring the ever rising sun in the east. “The Albin started to fight back, and did so quite remarkably, they fought with magic fire, yours as well as our people are vulnerable to fire even more than a human or an Albin. Back then, all one fungal experienced was experienced by all, including the great fungus.” he sighed, swayed between relief and woefullness for said connection. “The Albin sent a group of Griffin riders into the heart of our society, burning through the guards around the fungus they poisoned and thus killed it. Soon after the republic formed and peace between the Albin and the Fungals began. But in the mountain range around the remainders of the great fungus soon thereafter a movement began, fungals that wanted to revive tge fungus, lose their free will and return to the way it has been. They soon claimed a portion of the land for their own, mostly the mountain range and its foothills, and declared independence from the republic. They call themselves the fungal guards and their landlocked nation the Fungus empire.” he shook his head, thinking tgat the Albin had a right to call their lands an empire as they had no divided nations like the humans, and they were not landlocked. Shaking his distracting thoughts off he looked back the young floral girl in front of him. “To invade your homeland they had to encroach on ours first.