Legends of Varlaurea: The Dragon Emperor - 44 THE SINISTER TREE 6

Emperor Tu sigh for running into another dead end, thinking for a bit, then he decided they will continue the search early in the morning and told the elders prepare a place for them to rest. The elders said they will prepare a small countryside feast for them. So while waiting for the meal and room to prepare, Crown Prince Lam and two Brocade Cloak Guards take a stroll around the village to stretching their limbs after three days sitting on velelis back. The eerie quiet atmosphere in this village still give Crown Prince Lam goosebumps, leaved the common house he goes toward the giant cerpidar tree, when he came near the small lawn he saw before, there, on the overgrown grass the three villagers he saw still sitting there, staring at the tree's foliage. Curious, Crown Prince come near a young man about his age, try to converse. When he is near, the young man has no reaction, he is too focus on what he looking at and fail to notice his surroundings. Seeing the young man payed the Crown Prince no notice, a Brocade Cloak Guard scorn him for his insolent but stopped by the Crown prince, then he friendly asks the young man.

"what're you staring at? Is there something on the tree?" Crown Prince Lam look up, follow the young man gaze. But all he saw were branches and leaves of the giant tree rattling in the wind. Crown Prince scan his eyes all over the foliage, down to the tree trunk, then up to the foliage again. But found nothing of particular interested, what are these people watching? That young man still sitting there in silent, still staring at the thing that only he and two other can saw, and still pay no attention to Crown Prince Lam present.

Waving his hand before the young man face, but the young man still gives no reaction, disappointed and creep out by these people. Crown Prince leave them alone, and come near the giant cerpidar tree and marvel at its magnificent size. Then when he touches the tree, a strange and weird feeling that cannot be describe by any word in any language, sending goosebumps rush through his fingertips to his body like electricity, yet that is not all, there is something in that split second when his skin touch the tree, he heard a voice, someone whisper in his ear.

Retreated his hand, and bewildered, Crown Prince Lam turn to the two guards and ask if they just said something, the guards confuse and claimed they has utter not a single word for the past minutes. Crown Prince Lam feel bizarre, he clearly had heard someone whispering in his ear, in that short second. Rubbing his fingers, he wondering if it is just his imagination? Then something caught the corner of his eyes, turn around he saw the middle-aged woman, one of the three people staring at the tree foliage. Now she is staring at him with a lifeless gaze. He also quickly noticed she not the only one, but the middle-aged man and the young man he trying to talk with from earlier, had now fixed their stare at him.

They still just sitting there, posture unchanged, staring the Crown Prince with their soulless eyes. Once again making Crown Prince Lam skin crawl, somehow from their gaze, some uncanny threat wiggling its way into his mind, triggered every primal fears inside his soul.

Irritated by those villager's soulless eyes, Crown Prince Lam quickly left.

"bruh…uh…uh… that creepy at hell, what wrong with these people? like they're possessed or something." One of the two guards accompanied Crown Prince Lam complain as they walk down an empty alleyway.

"Highness, I feel there're some kind of sinister evil in this village, we shouldn't wander along like this, better to return to the common house with His Majesty." An accompanied guard concern.

"uhm… agreed, right from the start I had feel something off when we met that peasant women." Crown Prince Lam said "and …do you two feel strange? I mean… from the moment we enter the village to the time we reached the common house, we're with that peasant woman all the time, and we don't see her speak with anyone or have anyone run to notified the village's elders either. Then how does those elders know we a coming to have them wait in the common…" Crown Prince Lam stop mid-sentence, interrupted by a man appeared in front of his eyes from a narrow path left of the alley. The man is in his 30, fit and healthy, he wears nothing but a loincloth, and a pair of black boots. His mid-back length hair is a mess, he standing there in the middle of the alleyway, turn his lifeless and sunken eyes staring at the Crown Prince and his two guards. He standing there motionless for seconds, then, his face twitching, his head stiff and tense, tremble slightly, like something within him is fighting to come out.

"g… g… g… get… get out… of here…" the man struggling to utter a whisper, the whisper sound more like a moan of a dying beast, breathing it last breaths, Crown Prince Lam feel his eyes somehow came alive in that few short moments when his struggling to utter those words. After those whisper, the man keep rambling on with incomprehensible nonsenses, holding his head, rocking side to side then face up to the sky, his face shriveled into a mesh of wrinkles, as if he's enduring some unimaginable pain, his fingers pinching deep in his flesh like he about to tear his own face apart.

"hey, are you alright?" Crown Prince Lam worry and approaching the man. The man suddenly snapped and lunging toward Crown Prince Lam, grasp hold at his collard, his face only a few liamis away from the Crown Prince. The guards drawn their sword to intervene but stopped by the Crown Prince. The man's eyes maniacally rotating in those deep sunken eyes sockets of his, mouth flustering with each breath he took. Whisper hysterically the man said "h… hear… hear that… hear that?". He silences for a seconds, eyes still rolling mindlessly.

"hear… what?" Crown Prince Lam asked.

"you hear that?... the Old Gods… the Old Gods are whispering… they whisper… they want…" the man mumbling.

"the Old Gods? Whispering what? Want what?" Crown Prince Lam intrigued.

But suddenly, the man released his gasp, arms went limp and body became motionless again, face up to heaven, he maintaining that postures for several minutes, giving off soft whimpering exhale sounds. Moments after, he lowered his head, staring Crown Prince Lam with the lifeless eyes, and a freakish grin on his face, slowly he turns around and go back to the narrow path where he came from. Curious, Crown Prince Lam follows the man, the dark tiny path, lie between two molding wall and covered in moss, narrow enough for only one person to tightly fit through. After wiggler their way through the path for a while, Crown Prince Lam came upon an open area, surrounded by 4 houses, that man open a wooden door on the wall of the left house of the open area and walk inside.