13 A Boy“s Confidence
As the weeks past Franklin continued John's training regiment. The well was finished and the new villagers got used to life under the hill. They had begun to trap small animals near the forest's edge. However, grass and weeds grew at a ridiculous pace here causing much consternation. Much of the day was spent fighting this plant apocalypse. The plants were bound and offered as a tribute to the Demonic Bull that lived on the hill.
Franklin was training, as usual, and was getting quite confident in his strength. Even some of the men had recently complimented him when he helped lug the weeds up the hill. So when Laurel came over he made quite the show of it. Puffing his chest and lifting weights he'd usually avoid.
Laughing at the silly sight Laurel said, "You look like a tomato!" while pointing at his perspiring red face.
"Shut up you can't lift this big pot." Embarrassed Franklin looked away. "I've gotten strong you know?"
"I've seen my mom lift that pot every day," she smirked teasingly.
"It's not fair to compare to an adult." he griped at the cute girl. "Look, I even fought some small demonic beasts last time!" Franklin thumped his chest.
Wide-eyed the girl yelled, "You're not supposed to go into the forest it's dangerous!"
"So I've gotten strong and I just went in a bit I could still see the houses and everything." The boy glared defiantly.
"I don't believe you." Laurel puffed her cheeks with anger. "There's no way a kid can fight those monsters."
"I can!" he hollered back as he grabbed his wooden sword. "I'll show you," Franklin said as he stomped away.
Laurel's jaw dropped in shock. "Don't go, okay? I believe you, stop!" her eyes tearing up with fear.
Franklin stubbornly continued into the forest. "I told you it wasn't a big deal. I can handle myself." Though he said that he tensed up and squeezed his sword with apprehension.
"NOOO!" She squealed as she ran at the stupid boy grabbing his arm trying to pull him back.
"Why'd you come in too?" He looks worriedly at the small girl.
"Cause you're being stupid!" Laurel looked at the boy angry and aggrieved.
"Okay, I get it. We'll go back." Franklin gave in with a sigh.
Grrr, roar. Sounds of small fox demonic beasts came from the nearby trees making both the kids jump in fear.
"D, dd, don't worry Laurel I can take care of this while you run." Franklin was shaking but he still managed to stand over the Laurel protecting the young lady.
"No, you run too." She cried tears flowing like a river.
He pushed the girl towards the village "Go!"
In the meantime, back on the hill, a small lush bush was watching the children closely. "Looks like there's some trouble." Waiving his branch at Joe, "Perhaps you should intervene since you're their guardian spirit?"
"Snort." The demonic bull just glanced over and continued eating.
"How can you say that you've never gotten anything from them! What about all the food?" John argued.
"Yeah, I know you would have eaten it anyway. It's the thought that counts you know?" John lectured the stubborn beast with an air of authority.
Joe looked away from the bush with a, "Grr."
Annoyed that a mere Joe wouldn't listen to reason he argued. "I still remember when you rolled down the hill and couldn't even stop your self like a big ball! If you don't get some exercise they'll have to put the grass in your mouth for you."
The bull turned back looking a bit hurt "mrr," reluctantly Joe turned towards the forest where the kids were to take a look.
Back in the forest, Franklin was swinging wildly at the small fox demonic beasts. John hadn't trained him in any sword techniques since he was still too weak. These demonic beasts used their numbers against him and easily cornered him against a tree.
They kept attacking from all sides in quick succession. Franklin is forced to block them with his body to protect the crying Laurel who seemed unable to move on her own due to fear. Blood spewed out from the claw wounds on his arms and chest. As he endured the pain he wildly swung with all his strength smashing one of the foxes to the ground.
However, while the hurt fox limped away from the fight. The other demonic beasts were clearly enraged. How dare this pup hurt their friend was painted in their eyes. With knowing coordination a small fox danced and dodged keeping the boy's attention. While the large alpha male came from the other side smashing Franklin into a tree and dividing him from Laurel.
Franklin crumpled with a bang a groan escaping from his mouth. Laurel screamed with all her might snot flowing from her nose in a sorry state. Finally, the villagers noticed the commotion and they ran towards the scene.
Anna happened to be close by drying clothes arriving quickly to the scene. Her eyes flashed with panic as everything seemed to slow down as she watched the large demonic fox lunge for her son's throat. It was too late she was too far away.
Up on the hill, John could only shake its head it was too late. Joe was heading over but he wasn't in any hurry. The bull had no strong feelings on humans and only thought them a bit useful but no more.
John wanted to help his young student but alas life was cruel. "Sorry, Franklin but I'm only a seed coalescing plant." Shaking his branches he could only sigh. He'd long became numb to death even his own. Unlike those heroes and talents that clung to life, he'd long known his limits.
It's true that he was pretty strong as a plant. Seed coalescing is the first level of plant cultivation and nothing to scoff at. However, plant cultivation is different from human cultivation. A plant takes a long time to soar through the heavens. Even now the most he could do is swing his branches a bit. He couldn't even defeat a normal human. However, with his strength, normal animals and humans had no hope of hurting him either. Plant cultivation is very passive in this way.
As the last moments flashed by Franklin's eyes were flush as he saw his mom rush over. Tears flow as he held out his hand. Yet she was so far away his mind was drowning in panic.
Anna bit her tongue her blood flowing and under her breath spoke. "Though my body will break I still go forth!" Foundation energy burst forth from her body as she flew covering a few yards with each step. She grabbed the shocked demonic fox by the neck smashing him against the tree above her son. The beast whimpered then was still it's neck broken.
John watching from the hill noticing something was off. His internal eyes flashed intensely while sensing the energy rising up from over there. Joe also noticed and his eyes furrowed looking at the scene.
John heard the words spoken and was shocked. Such a thing could she be? He fell into contemplation. He only knew one bloodline with such power. "Could it be?"His leaves shook in contemplation.