Kalion turned the piece of wood in his hand upside down. If his eyes were not wrong, the bark torn off by the woodpecker certainly shone in the dark. “Did I see it wrong?” Kalion asked himself. He looked at the piece of wood again closely, but there was nothing extraordinary about it. Perhaps it was just the sunshine reflected in the dew on the surrounding leaves and grass.
Shrugging, Kalion got up, brushed his clothes, and organized his sleeping bag.
In the meantime, the woodpecker continued to nip the tree.
The distortion of the space within the valley did not exterminate the forest creatures. They were also taken aback by the unusual sunlight, but they lived their lives, nonetheless.
The valley has always been deserted, except for the forest creatures. The forest is so wooded that it is easy for travelers to get lost in, if they stray away from the trail. Hence, without their constant presence, most animals in the forest are wary of humans. In addition, the animals instinctively noticed the unusual situation in the valley, which heightened their vigilance more than usual.
But the woodpecker poked the tree madly and ceaselessly, without a single care to the human below it.
As soon as Kalion, who had been staring at the creature for a while, tried to turn his body, a glimmer of light shone again.
I didn’t see it wrong. Something definitely twinkled, albeit faintly, and disappeared. Kalion lifted his head to scrutinize the tree. Even though it was close, it was far beyond his height, so he could not clearly see the inside of the hole the woodpecker had created.
Kalion got up, withdrew a few steps from the tree. It was ordinary. It was taller than other trees, but as he looked around, there were many trees at this height, too. Even taller ones.
Kalion took a few more steps away from the tree.
There was a sparkle again.
As the sky was gradually colored with the orange color of dawn, Kalion could see a gleaming hole in the tree. But the light was dimmer compared to a while ago. It seemed that it was not noticeable in the bright sunshine.
Kalion quickly approached the tree. Then, after looking at the tree once, he grabbed one of the branches with his hand and raised his foot.
Kalion grunted. Climbing trees was something he used to do in his childhood. However, his servants would yell at him to go down, so he would eventually descend the tree before reaching the top.
There was also tree climbing in the training of the knights of Hessenguard, so Kalion failed to improve his abilities.
Kalion grabbed the branch with one hand and grabbed another branch above with his other hand. He was so tall and big that the branch he caught shook, but fortunately, he couldn’t hear the sound of breaking.
As he caught the gist of it, Kalion managed to ascend quickly. Then, the woodpecker stopped moving and looked down at him. It seemed to be aware of his intention, but it didn’t fly away.
Kalion presumed that the creature was trying to protect the hole because it was a good location to build a nest. But looking at its movements closely, he felt strange. The animal pecked the tree so vigorously as if it wanted to tear it apart.
When Kalion went up a little further, a voice called him from below.
“Grand Duke? What are you doing up there?”
When Kalion turned his head, there were Cedric and the other knights looking up at him with confusion.
“I have something to check for a moment,” he replied.
“On top of the tree?” asked Cedric. His voice oozed with concern. He was obviously worried about his mental health.
“Do I look crazy?”
“Uh, um… ”
When Cedric hesitated, Kalion tightened his shaky grip on the branches.
“Never mind. Do not talk to me. Because I’m tired.”
Cedric did not reply anymore. He merely wondered what Kalion was doing with a beef jerky in his mouth.
As Kalion went up a little more, the woodpecker flew to the branch next to him. But the woodpecker was still continuously glancing at the hole it was digging until a while ago.
Although he did not have the ability to read the animal’s thoughts, Kalion could sense that the woodpecker did not like this place, which was why it nipped the tree aggressively as if it wanted to make it disappear.
Finally, when Kalion arrived at the place where the woodpecker had been, the distorted morning sun began to pour over the valley. The glimmer in the hole was rarely visible under the intense sunlight.
Kalion peered closer to the hole.
Why is it shining?
But not only was it shining, there was a letter drawn light, barely remaining as the woodpecker Although the woodpecker had already torn it partially.
“Anyone throw a dagger!” Kalion cried.
A spectating knight heard his call and hastily snacthed a dagger from his wasit and aimed it at Kalion. Kalion skillfully grabbed it and immediately prodded the hole.
After a while, scraps of wood fell from the tree.
The knights were tongue-tied at the sight. Kalion was not simply severing the twigs of the tree, he was digging a hole in the bark with a mere dagger! He was already exhausted enough, but here he was dangling on the branch with one hand while the other vehemently carved the tree!
“What the hell is this? Why did you go up like that…”
“What are you doing! Look at it!”
The knights all gathered around the scraps of wood which Kalion had carved out from the tree, inspecting each piece. They, too, saw twinkling letters, but only for a moment, as they eventually faded.
Meanwhile, Kalion jumped from the tree. Although his size was substantial, he landed without a sound, and immediately approached the knights.
“You all saw it, right?” Kalion asked.
“I saw it!” answered a knight.
A satisfied smirk formed on Kalion’s lips. He then drew a figure on the ground, “I think it looked like this…”
Everybody blinked after seeing the symbols that Kalion had drawn. Although they saw the letters drawn with light, they were complex and fleeting. In fact, together, the letters might have been closer to a picture. Kalion, however, depicted exactly what they saw.
At that time, Cedic, who had been alternating between the tree and the letters, suddenly shouted.
Everyone lifted their heads at his voice.