Prose-ject 2020 18: The Tree on a Desert

The prompt used: The Vision by MaximeDaviron.

After he had finished everything he needed to with his mentor’s estate, Bereth set forth away from the settlement. He knew that since he had taken her ring without her children’s permission or knowledge, he ought to hide it. In addition to that, the ring’s powers, although limited in use cases, were too great to risk getting into the wrong hands. He had to guard it as long and well as he could.

Besides, he wanted to leave anyway. No one could blame him for it, either; everything in the settlement reminded him of her. He needed a change of scenery to let the wounds scab and process his grief to move on.

Plus, he had learned everything he could under her tutelage. There was nothing but him holding him back — it had been that way for long. It was about time he spread his wings and started to make a proper career for himself on his own. He had to learn to stand on his own now.

Perhaps it had been all according to the fate’s plan; he had been too afraid to leave her, so his mentor had died so that he would have to learn to be alone.

As he rode across the desert, shielding himself and his mount from the heat with his magic, he found a strange, lonely tree right in the middle of it. There was no visible water around, but it still stood taller than him and seemed to be alive.
“What’s a tree doing all the way here?” Bereth muttered to himself and dismounted, approaching the tree with caution. There was magic in the air, but it was not hostile at all. Bereth touched the tree’s bark, ready to cast a protection spell if necessary, and felt the power within it. Whatever spell was sustaining the tree, it was incredibly strong.

Even though it was a clear day, the land around him started to get dark. In confusion, he looked up. As his eyes did not find any clouds, he cast a protection spell on his eyes and looked at the sun. Then he saw why it was suddenly dark: an annular solar eclipse was in progress.

He stared at it, surprised that these two experiences happened to him at the same time. The moon eventually moved away, and the desert became scorching once again, but Bereth could not get the sight out of his head. Was this a vision induced by the tree or a strange coincidence?

The tree stood there, unfazed by the incident. It revealed none of its secrets, so Bereth mounted and rode away. Perhaps the settlement on his path could tell him more about this mysterious tree.

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