The drastic changes that have fallen upon Ygnas S. Adoulin, chancellor of Adoulin, has managed to remain a secret from the general public, but has weighed heavily on the minds of the governing body of the land, the Twelve Orders. Melvien de Malecroix, leader of the Order of Woltaris, feels uncertain about the future of his country, voices his concerns in his ongoing memoirs. What of the young pioneer that seemingly has the ability to communicate with him? And what future does Adoulin have with a leader now turned Leafkin?
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My dear pioneer, you come at a most opportune moment.
Your name rings through these halls, with my master chanting it like a mantra.
There have even been hushed whispers that you have parleyed with the enigmatic leafkin queen...
But don't misconstrue this curiosity as some backhanded attempt to pry information from you. No, I have stopped you at these gates for a discussion about master Melvien.
You see, his health has been faltering of late.
He has always been the type to throw himself into his work—that much is certain—but the past fortnight, the candles in his quarters have remained lit until the moon begins to set. He has never had such difficulty finding slumber previously.
Come to think, his aberrant schedule commenced not long after the discord that swept the castle gates, when the heads of the Twelve Orders assembled for a colloquy about matters of great import.
His face a ghastly white, the master scurried home and shut himself in for hours. Now it is a chore to get him to consume even the most digestible biscuit or agreeable cup of tea as he sits at his desk consumed in thought.
What could have transpired at the castle to cause such a sudden change?
What have I been thinking?
I had originally endeavored only to record those things that would prove of use in the future, as if the difficulties suffered today would (laughably!) lead us to a brighter tomorrow.
Never did I expect such dark clouds to hang over our horizons. The curse of the founder king certainly erred on the side of the…primal.
The existence of such a malediction has been known to me for some time, and I took care to pour over the tomes in Celennia Memorial Library to glean whatever information I could from historical accounts.
Other than the original conquest by the founder king, there has been only one large-scale attempt at taming the Ulbukan wildlands—a time we refer to as the "Great Expedition". The founder king's curse, predictably, befell our sacred city those many centuries ago.
The annals state that the founder king's ghost appeared in the bedrooms of the heads of each order to issue a warning. Strange phenomena occurred all throughout the city, and accident after coincidental accident struck at the heart of each colonization base.
In this, our newest foray into the continent, it was Ygnas himself who bore the brunt of the founder king's ire. Logical, to be sure.
But who among us would have surmised it would take a form so rooted to the land?
What happens to a man when he loses his humanity, when fingers become tendrils and flesh becomes fiber? Does he retain his faculties, or does the beast within take over?
I feel that Ygnas S. Adoulin is no longer worthy of being called a person. So how can he claim to speak for us all? Why should we pay his "telepathic musings" any heed?
And what of that pioneer? Am I to accept at face value the assertion that one so disconnected from our land can hear what the rest of us cannot?
Perhaps what looks like a monster can only think like one. If so, is it wise to trust in their words?
Yet my trepidation does not cease there. In fact, the mere thought of bringing this up before the others freezes the blood within my veins.
Was the curse really the result of recommencing the pioneering initiative? Or was he already bewitched, and his ceaseless orders to press ever forward were but a symptom of something that affected him?
It pains me to even consider this very real possibility, and causes me to reevaluate his every action up until this point.
Was this truly what caused him to lose his humanity?
Melvien de Malecroix
Story : Miyabi Hasegawa
Illustration : Mitsuhiro Arita