Chapter 1: Immortality
Hai’an vividly remembered that, at the moment, before he closed his eyes, the elders calm voice told him clearly and peacefully that when he did close his eyes, they would crown him; the tree of life would bring him blessings; the Queen would give him the guardian bow and arrows and, from then on, he would become an adult elf in Elune Forest. He would then shoulder the responsibility of guarding his home. When he opened his eyes again, a new beginning would appear in front of him.
But, when Hai’an opened his eyes, he did not see the beautiful and gentle face of the Elf Queen, nor the aging faces of the elders. Instead, he saw a huge, strange-looking figure wearing exposing pink clothing. Hai’an’s heart almost collapsed.
Although this humanoid creature did look very much like a human being, Hai’an was positive that it was absolutely not human. This was because its dark brown skin had a shiny luster, which was completely different from a human’s matte skin. Looking at its clothing, it should be a woman.
At this time, she was holding a transparent blue oval bottle. After opening the stopper neatly, she poured the liquid into a small crystal flower and made sure it was evenly colored. Then she walked toward Hai’an with the flower.
The pale blue liquid in the flower sprinkled and rippled slightly, like a melted sapphire. It looked like water, but it was more viscous than water.
Hai’an watched open eyed as she approached him and was ready to ask aloud what was currently happening. But, when Hai’an moved his body, he found something strange – his lower body seemed to be oppressed by something. He could not move at all and he could not even make a sound. He looked down and found that he had not only lost his mouth, but also his pointed ears, which symbolized the elves. His entire body was now left with only two tender leaves.
Hai’an was speechless.
This seedling-like object looked like a newly germinated seed.
Was it that he had become a seedling?
Hai’an was a little nervous. Had his ritual of passage failed? After inexplicably being turned into a seedling, did the elders and the Queen not know where he went? Was this test of their own ceremony a failure?
In Hai’an’s original world, there would be a trial for every elf’s adult ceremony. Only the elves who passed the test could be regarded as successfully reaching adulthood. For thousands of years, only a few of the elves failed the test and did not pass. The elves who failed the test needed more experience and had to wait for the next adult ceremony.
There were many reasons for one to fail the trial. Hai’an couldn’t make a judgement himself why he failed. What he needed to worry about was what this humanoid species was trying to do to him.
Hai’an could only see and couldn’t move. He fearfully watched as the humanoid came closer to him. Since Hai’an was too small, he could only see the creature’s face after great effort. But the angle only provided him with the superior looks of the condescending creature.
It sprinkled the liquid from the transparent flower in its hands over Hai’an’s head. Hai’an felt a deep coolness. He felt a refreshing cold from his head all the way to his roots, but maybe because he was no longer human, he was not only cool after being soaked, but also felt misted and refreshed; it was very comfortable.
Then Hai’an was horrified to find that his body suddenly shook uncontrollably.
What did my body do behind my back?
Attlei watched with satisfaction as the green seedling in the pot trembled slightly after being watered with the blue nutrient solution. Then she pressed the headset beside her ear and said, “The plant A14 is growing well and has reached the exhibition condition without needing any extra nutrients.”
After scanning the current growth data of the shaking seedling, she immediately sent it to her boss.
This was the last pot of shaking grass alive.
Attlei’s boss was an interstellar plant dealer. He disliked the aesthetic fatigue caused by the former plant varieties. No matter how precious the plants were, the over-exploited varieties could no longer meet the needs of the customers. Botanical stores needed new varieties to join the fray.
Unfortunately, although the newly purchased trembling grass was a newly discovered variety, it had no exact cultivation instructions at all and they could only rely on their own exploration.
This plant was also way too delicate. Whether it was taken care of robotically or they hired expensive artificial farming technicians, even if they could get the seeds to germinate, there had yet to be a pot of trembling grass that had survived its infancy. Within two months, there was only this single seedling left. The boss decided to wait for this plant to grow steadily so that he could quickly get rid of it and maybe get some money back. He did not want to lose out on his money entirely.
“Agree to exhibit.”
After receiving her boss’s instructions, Attlei packed a box immediately. After all, it would be unexpected if the time was too long and that could lead to accidents. She put the seedling in the windproof box, picked it up and turned away, ready to leave the greenhouse.
Hai’an saw this humanoid creature pick up a transparent, square box and pack him up in it. Then she picked him up and prepared to safely leave the room.
After leaving the greenhouse, Hai’an found that he had been put in a separate room. The outside of the room looked completely different from the inside. Outside the room were neatly lined shelves, each divided into many transparent squares. One could clearly see that each square was loaded with different plants, all strange shapes and colors.
Some plants were small seedlings like him, but they were a dark purple in color and others were covered with tiny barbs; some plants had grown very large and looked like mature plants. Hai’an even saw a special exotic flowering plant. It had a very thick trunk and many sticky branches which were covered with eyeballs that were squinting and continued to turn around. When it saw Hai’an and the humanoid come out, all eyes focused on them for a moment.
Hai’an was shocked.
Were all the tests from failing the adult trial so cruel? Hai’an began to wonder. Was this Elune Forest? He couldn’t see anything similar to Elune Forest here.
The humanoid species traveled very fast. A minute later, she took Hai’an through the strange rooms. When the door opened to the greenhouse, Hai’an saw new things he had never seen in his past life.
It was an entirely different world.
It was daytime and the sun was hanging on the horizon in the distance. But it couldn’t be called the horizon exactly because, at the junction of the sky and the city, everything was shrouded in a misty fog and nothing could be seen below. Beneath the city, there were mass amounts of white mist, much like clouds, and the lower part of every building was buried in that mist.
The buildings had different architecture, but none of them could be identified by Hai’an. The sky above the city was a pure blue, and not far in the sky, other planets could be seen, surrounded by rings of stars. Something like meteors flashed by from time to time and were not stopped by the buildings. Through the transparent box, Hai’an could see a square like object, that looked like an iron block, flowing like a river and people could be seen sitting inside. Hai’an guessed that this should be the transportation of this world.
No matter how slow Hai’an was, he knew that this was no longer Elune Forest or even the world he used to live in.
Hai’an was shocked by the scenery of Freeport. He was dull and unresponsive, but Attlei didn’t care about him. In Attlei’s opinion, he was just an expensive plant. There was no use for a seedling other than appreciation.
Hai’an soon found that the angle of his view had changed, and that angle... seemed to be going down?
With Hai’an in her hands, Attlei used the platform to go down vertically.
Hai’an had now become a plant and he could see a 360-degree view, which made Hai’an feel that his whole body was full of eyes. Without turning around, he could see the wings of the winged people behind Attlei. They were grey and black, cold and rigid, and shining with a metallic luster. The style was very similar to that of the nearby buildings.
Then Hai’an heard the cold and mechanized voice of the female humanoid, “Switch to flight mode and start the wings.”
She quickly adjusted her flight angle and shuttled Hai’an through the traffic. They flew very fast and Hai’an could even see her hair drifting behind her head in the wind, but he found himself unaffected. He could not feel any resistance from the wind in the box.
Hai’an’s brain analyzed their present position. Attlei was wearing an ultra-short fluffy dress and people behind Attlei could see her...
The flight time was short and, in a few minutes, they began to slow down. Attlei stood upright and landed vertically on a building platform with Hai’an in her arms. On that platform, two men, fully armed, saw Attlei coming and opened the door behind them.
Attlei took Hai’an in, traveled along a long crossing and went through several doors. On the way, the doors they passed opened automatically when they were in front of them and closed automatically when Hai’an went through.
It was as if it was being controlled by magic!
Hai’an reluctantly wanted to look at the magical doors again, but was led into a shining hall by Attlei. The hall was decorated in a style similar to the illustrations of the magnificent castle of the noble human race he had seen in his books when he was still in the Elune Forest.
The floor of the hall was covered with sparkling clean marble floors. The roof was a magnificent stained glass. The sunshine outside shone through the glass dome, casting vivid colored spots on the ground. It was solemn and brilliant.
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