|In-game Slang||Quest Item|
|In-game Description||As the moon slowly rises in the night sky, small-town boy meets bamboo-forest girl — but is he voyaging into the realm of the adepti, or setting foot in some monstrous trap?|
"What's the matter? Are you lost?"
The lad heard a gentle voice among the rustling bamboo stalks, speaking with a hint of sarcastic playfulness.
The lad turned to see a slender woman garbed in white. She stood beside a clear babbling brook, with beads of water glistening on her woven rush raincoat, her golden eyes melding with the rays cast through the forest by the setting sun.
The village elder had said that there were once white horses that would leap from clear springs to become adepti to assist the campaigns of the Lord of Geo.
But no one had ever specified which spring, or the honorable name of the illuminated beast that sprang from it.
Besides, the woman that stood before him now didn't appear to be an adeptus, apart from the piercing gaze of her golden eyes.
Furthermore, he had never heard of any adepti that needed to wear raincoats.
"Well if it isn't another fool."
The lady garbed in white began to chuckle, squinting her eyes with a smile.
"Who are you calling a fool?"
Replied the young lad in a fluster.
This was certainly no adeptus. Who had ever heard of an adeptus that would speak in such a deplorable manner?
"I wish to embark on an adventure. I want to sail across the seas and witness the stone spears of the Lord of Geo for myself!"
"You've only just embarked on your journey and yet you've already fallen astray among the bamboo forest..."
The woman's reply was calm and even, a subtle smirk playing over her eyes. Already, the lad found her particularly annoying.
"I don't need your..."
"There's no shame in being lost. Come, follow me. I will lead out of here."
The woman snickered and extended her slender hand toward the boy. Her white skin glimmered under the rays of the sunset that shone between the bamboo leaves.
"Uh, thank you..."
The young lad took her outstretched hand. Her skin was cold and damp to the touch, much like fresh rain upon a mountain or dewdrops upon a bamboo shoot.
The setting sun gradually disappeared behind the mountain ridge, and the afterglow in the clear sky above gradually grew dim.
The village elder always used to say that once the warm glow of the setting sun fades, the cold and murky atmosphere of the mountain woods becomes a perfect breeding ground for monsters.
These monsters are born from a past that has long gone, their spirits forming from the resentment and unwillingness of the dead. Any bamboo they ensnare will dry up and die, and any person they ensnare will similarly grow weary and fade from existence.
"Sometimes, they will even call upon passers-by to assist them with matters that they could not accomplish on their own, before leading them into a trap from which they would never return..."
"Other times, they would act as a guide for innocent travelers, leading them to a den of demons."
"So you see, little ones, you must stay vigilant, and never let your guard down when you journey far from familiar soil."
Thus would say the village elder, patting the kids on their heads as she finished the story.
Come to think of it, could this woman in white be a monster of the mountain woods?
The lad grew nervous in his heart and couldn't help but slow his pace.
"What's the matter?"
The woman turned around, her golden eyes shining through the moonlight draping over her silhouette.