“So do you live around here?” Letto asked Elise, as she was walking a few strides ahead of him.
“Well, I move as the seasons change, but I mostly stay near this mountain. There is just something about these parts that make me always want to come back.”
“So I’m guessing you know your way through these woods fairly well.”
“I guess you can say that.”
Soon the early morning sun that broke through the once tremendous storm, was starting to dwindle within the dense thicket of the woods. It seemed as if Letto was pretty lucky that he ran into Elise. Wandering through a perplexing place like this alone is just asking for trouble.
Letto was looking forward when he saw a branch scraping Elise’s exposed arm. A sudden blood red gash appeared among her pale skin.
“Ooh! Are you ok?” Letto asked in anguish.
“Huh? What?” She looked at the cut. “Oh that. Its no big deal.”
“You didn’t even noticed?”
“No. Remember, I can’t feel pain.” She said in a childish remark and then continued forward.
I should have know better. Letto thought to himself. Seems like she has been cursed with some sort of god forsaken spell as well. Fortunate for her she doesn’t have any agonizing side effects.
“Strange.” Elise stated as she came to a sudden halt. “I don’t remember this grove being here.”
Before the two was a small batch of lightly patted snow, with a few sprouts that have risen from the ground. It was strange to see a opening like this in such a thick forest. Also the chilled air that permeated within the grove gave off an unpleasant feeling; a very unnatural sensation to be more exact.
“Odd.” Letto said. “This spot has seem to avoid much of the weather, however the ground surrounding it is covered with a thick blanket of snow... There is something very erringly strange about this.”
“Oh my God! Look!” Elise pointed at the ground in shock.
Letto immediately redirected his line of sight to where she was pointing. He was also surprised at the sight, then in response he reached into his coat and pulled out a small notebook. After a moment of flipping to the correct page, he knelt down and gently examined one of the many similar looking sprouts. Comparing the bud to one of the drawings in the notebook, Letto turned his head to report his synopsis.
“My speculation was correct. This right here is the ‘Deception Flower’.”
“But that doesn’t make any sense.”
“You’re right. Not only is this not the right altitude for the plant to even populate, but also it still hasn’t bloomed yet. It’s true that the flower is mostly dormant throughout most of the year, but they should be blooming by now. The rest of the flowers here are still buds as well.”
“I can’t understand why this would happen.”
“Neither can I.” Letto said while standing up. “While this is the plant that I have searched for, it is useless to me if it doesn’t bloom.”
“So what will you do?”
“Continue up the mountain, of course.”
“Well you wont go far without my help.”
“Do you mind?”
“I guess I can. Its been about a year since I revisited the peak.”
“But before we go...” Letto bent down again and plucked the sprout out of the ground, then tuck it away in his coat along with his notebook. “A little souvenir.”
“Well if you are done here we continue on.”
As they were about to head out on the nearly hidden path, a slight breeze blew by. Letto barely noticed, but he saw a strange shaking reaction from Elise.
“Are you ok?” He asked.
“Yeah, it’s nothing.” Then she continued on.
Looks like her curse is starting break. Letto thought to himself.