“Alright then, everyone! I think it is clear what we have to do now! Let’s get Ted out of the cage!” Toyu proclaims. He raises his arm to the air, and everyone follows with a shout.
In order to rescue Ted, Toyu would need to get closer and free Ted from the cage made of trunks and branches. However, as Toyu get closer…
“No! Wait!!!” Ted screams.
Hearing Ted’s scream, Toyu stops his feet. Suddenly, some roots and branches of the giant tree move toward Toyu at a very high speed! However, because of Ted’s scream, Toyu was ready and managed to evade the attack.
“W-Whoa!!! The tree could move?!” Toyu said, surprised.
“Stay… away…” The Oak speaks in a deep and very old voice. Its voice trembles. Not of fear, but of old age.
“I… do not know what you are trying to do, Oak.” Toyu tries to get back on his feet after evading the attacks. “However, I need to know why you keep the unicorn locked away!”
A pair of eyes opened up, exposing an emerald pupilO that already lost most of its light. Those emerald eyes are locked on to Toyu and his group of friends.
“You… would not… understand…” The Oak spouts those words and turns its entire body around until Toyu and friends can no longer see Ted. Seeing that, Toyu tries to follow the movement of the Oak’s body.
“Come on, tell us.” Toyu said once he again speaks in front of the Oak’s face.
“No…way…” Again, the Oak turns its entire body; this time, back to its original position. Toyu too, once again tries to follow the Oak’s body. This happens a few more times for a good 15 minutes, until the Oak finally sighs in resignation.
“Okay… I will tell… But please… No more… running around…” The Oak lets out a very heavy sigh. His voice is full of fatigue due to his cat and mouse game against Toyu.
“Mm! We are listening!” Toyu tries to find a comfortable ground to sit.
“I have… been in this forest… for thousands of years…” The Oak said with a shiver and hints of sadness, pain, and loneliness inside of its voice.
“I used to have… a lot of friends… But one by one… they were gone… And now… I am all alone here… In the corner… of nowhere…”
“I see… So basically, you just need friends, right…?” Ryu asks.
“That is… right… Ted here… was the first one… to come around here… in thousands of years… That is why… I do not want him to go… Not to mention… my time is… short…”
“Hmmm… What if you get… new friends?” Suddenly, Ryu proposes.
“Maybe… I will let… him go…” Calmly, the Oak answers.
“SStttt Ryu, do you have something in mind?” Toyu whispers to Ryu, and Ryu simply smiles.