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5. The red forest

Yzarc and Rama picked the red forest out of all the forests to go camping in and invited us. They both agreed that spending some time together fishing and planning campfires would be enjoyable.

Yllen was expecting the campfire that Yzarc had promised her with excitement.

We were on the move as we approached the red forest, searching for the lake about which Rama had spoken so frequently.

In contrast to other forests, the red forest had a special thing: the lake, the trees, and even the animals that lived there were red in a variety of shades as well as other less noticeable colours.

A few humans, but not many, have visited that place and saw many different kinds of creatures.  

When humans had a dragon as a friend or had a special calling, they gained those experiences.

The creatures appeared strange to the human eye but were familiar to those of us who had witnessed a significant number across the centuries.

Yzarc brought to mind that deep-red creature with the dark-blue dots and the green lines. It had tiny eyes, but when it spotted an enemy, its colour changed.

His greatest gift was being able to tell who was who. That’s why he went into the red forest to hide. Only those who were protecting him knew where he was.

The red forest was hard to find because it was alive, capable of changing colour to mislead the enemy, and quite often capable of being invisible.

We learned a lot about those unique creatures from our ancestors.

My great-grandfather had compared me to that special creature that Yzarc had mentioned, so I was familiar with it.

The colours were similar. My skin was unique and a bit colourful, and many found the texture to be strange because it had different colours than the skin of the other dragons.

Everyone knew that Oebama wanted this special creature in his domain for his own gain, but the only way he could locate the Erfs was with the help of a universe-betraying person.

The Erfs were small in stature but had great knowledge of good and evil. They were also masters of appearance.

They had the ability to read minds, see into the future, and see with closed eyes. Oebama would use the Erfs as a lethal weapon against all creatures, including humans.

They were silent, but they had an enormous power, a power I had only seen Yllen use in the confrontation with Nivlek and Eoj. This power is outstanding in my opinion.

They could run faster than anyone on Earth or any other planet, had incredible strength, and had amazing abilities. They could go to places no one else could; only the called and some of us, the dragons, could.

The Erfs were powerful, but there weren’t many of them, and the ones that did exist were protected until the end.

Unfortunately, some Erfs joined Oebama, so it worked in Oebama’s favour to some extent, because the Erfs didn’t have the same powers.

Yllen was chatting with some of the small animals that had arrived to visit us while Yzarc and Rama were setting up the camp and the campfire.

I brought some books, including mine and Yllen’s favourites. Reading stories before bed was a tradition in our family.

While we were enjoying nature, a strange creature with two legs, half human and half animal, approached us.

This time I could understand the strange tongues he began using to speak to us, but they were very ancient tongues. This creature’s behaviour started to gradually resemble Nivlek’s. My concerns for my friends increased, but I also had more faith in my ability to confront him.

I had seen enough of Yllen to be confident in her strength.

Yllen returned to me, looked at this strange creature, and began speaking to it in human language, asking what he was doing there.

That strange creature with strange and somewhat unusual movements approached Rama like a snake and began to surround her, looking at her with great captivity, while Rama only watched. At one point, Rama shook powerfully, and the creature looked at the water and flew to the end of the lake at the speed of light.

The creature returned at incredible speeds, chased by thunder; its speed was unbelievable to me as well as Yzarc and Rama.

I was unable to imagine the speed of the Erfs if this creature’s speed was anything like that.

As soon as they were face-to-face, Yllen simply put her finger on the strange creature’s forehead and said:

The moment has not come.

My territory and waters.

Ochul, leave us alone and go away. Yllen repeated what she had said to Nivlek the previous time. 

Rama, Yzarc and I found everything to be strange.

In his hatred for Yllen, Ochul attempted to attack her but was constrained by the force of gravity.

He tried to hit her again at light speed, but was unable to do so after returning from the heavens twice as big.

The three of us were unable to move while this was happening. It was uncomfortable and upsetting to see Yllen, who was only a child, being attacked.

She was still a child to me, and even though I knew she was special and powerful, I couldn’t help but see her as a little person, but inside me, I knew she was a warrior, our saviour. 

Yllen’s behaviour was free from any form of emotion, and she had a peculiar temper with no trace of fear or anger.

Ochul made an odd noise out of the blue, and another creature like him emerged from the water.

Nothing made sense because it was the red forest, also known as the protection forest. Why were you two present? I questioned.

I had a lot of fears because I didn’t know how Yzarc and Rama were. Also, I was paralysed; I could not move at all.

Yllen, with a firm voice, told them

You, Ochul, dare you approach me, attack me, and remain ambiguous in my waters with Divad?

Finally, Yllen took a white rock out of her bag and showed it to the two of them. She then said:

-You, followers of evil and corrupt worshippers of your god Oebama, are not welcome on my lands, and you will simply disappear.

Ochul proudly tried to intimate Yllen.

-“Who are you?”

-Who is referred to as the Saviour?

-Who has those dragons as friends, and I’m unable to fight them?

-You are not our God, and you are not who you believe yourself to be. Because of us, history will change. We are aware of all of your hiding places and your future.

-I can smell your defeat.

Yllen threw the stone at Ochul and Divad’s feet, and they both vanished.

As we could move once again.

I rushed over to Yllen, but she was just staring at the water. When she touched the lake with her finger, various dreadful creatures flew into the air, watched us, and then vanished into thin air.

The red forest was no longer the forest of protection. At least, that’s what I initially believed, but suddenly, several lovely creatures—among them the Erfs—came out of the water and thanked Yllen for expelling all the terrible ones.

According to the Erfs and other creatures, Oebama had discovered the Erfs and others who had been hiding in the red forest for centuries, and some Erfs had chosen to follow him because of their weakness.

They had created another world underneath the waters in their wisdom, and those dark Erfs and evil creatures could not go any further because their evil limited their powers.

Invoking the heavens, Yllen smiled and said, “Today’s weather is a time for joy.” Only those who have been called will see the red of the forest.

The forest was illuminated by an odd light that descended from the heavens.

When everyone smiled and started singing, Yllen shouted, “Salvation has arrived,” as she invited them to enjoy our camp.