It was another sunny day in the elf village, Awakening from a deep slumber Aldo reached out to the sun rays flowing through the window, winter was finally over or at least he thought so. Since birth Aldo was unable to open his sealed eyes, to the point that he no longer needed them now.

Aldo got on with his day as per usual, but today was anything but that. Aldo reached the age of maturity and would today be allowed to become a ”Forest Guardian ”. His excitement however was undetectable.

As per usual, he went on with his morning routine, he would usually wake up at the break of dawn, but today was a special case. He wore his ceremonial clothes, that were in contrast to his fur, black with a gold embroidery of the great tree on the back, every forest guardian was forced to make their own ten years prior to their ceremony. The ceremony was going to be held at the great Yggdrasils oldest branch, the one at the top of the ”Known World ”.

Unlike what the other races called the world the Elves and Forest Guardians that could communicate with the world tree knew how truly large the world was through the great trees root system, as the great trees great roots expand, the limit of the world is yet to be discovered, and so instead of dividing up the world the Elves found it easier to call it the known world.

Aldo arrived at the ceremony with 10 minutes to spare, he sat in his designated seat and showed a demeanor purer than the world itself. Aldo had not had many interactions with the people of the elf village at a young age so when in contact with them he would usually stick to one-word answers.

The ceremony began a few minutes later, there were no clocks in this world so the ten minutes Aldo waited was, simply what time it took for the sun to center itself above the great tree, showering it in vitality. The ceremony began with the collection of the suns energy in the World tree, the Elves having lived in symbiosis with the tree ever since its inception in the form of a seed, had learned how to harness that power and the tree allowed them to use its powers in exchange for protecting it. The energy was used to both seal and unseal the sight of the forest guardians.

The Forest Guardians were not of elf descent, though some mixed along the way, they were of animal descent more specifically they were the descendants of the great spirit of the world. They were the creatures that were closest to the angels created by the creator and although the Forest Guardians are similar looking to monkeys, apes and other bipedal creatures, they were distinguished by their ability to sense nature and their constitutions being built upon mana-cells.

Aldo, who had his eyes unsealed, could for the first time see the world through his eyes, but what he saw was different to what he felt on the surface of his skin. While he could still feel the blazing sun above him tormenting his skin, his eyes saw that he was in the undecorated hall and that the world tree had shrunk in size to what seemed to be its size ten years ago!

His clothes seemed to have returned to their old materials and he was naked. Aldo finally understood why the clothes in the village all were made at least ten years ago, the Elves didn want to be going around in clothes that could be seen through, Aldo wasn fazed by the fact that he could be seen naked, he had fur that covered the important parts.

The room looked to be in panic, everyone seemed to be much younger, and every time Aldo looked at someone, he would be able to not only see them from ten years ago, but also to sense all of their memories from that point on.

—Aldo, my boy, don look around, this world is beautiful only if you close your eyes to the darkness that hides beneath the sun.

The ceremony continued after that, though most of it was just pleasantries. At the end of the ceremony a protector was introduced to Aldo, she was somebody Aldo knew since she had been the one to take care of him since he was born, she was an elder of the clan and one that had always thought of Aldo as her own since she herself had no children of her own.

The elf had long hair, sunken eyes and a hunched back that made her seem more like an elder straight out of a fairy tale. When Aldo looked at her however, he could only see a Long platinum-blond beauty that looked to be almost 50 years younger, Aldo was perplexed, was his ability able to see even further into the past? Having seen colors for the first time Aldo was excited to go home and see all of the things he had collected from his childhood, when he realized he could see even further into the past, he didn even think of asking from someone more knowledgeable about his abilities and instantly tried to see how far back he could look, 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600… until he blanked out.

The information from the past to the present was too much for Aldo to compute in his brain and on such short notice, he almost overstimulated his brain cells due to overuse. The elders that seemed to have gotten used to this happenstance, called for the normal protocol, they put a blindfold on Aldos eyes and sent him to his house with his protector.

A few days later the damages to Aldos brain had been healed by the residual strength of the sun-seal-ceremony, the Elves having lived for so long along with the guardians knew pretty much all there was to know about the infants and how to take care of them. Aldo had reached the age of maturity but in the eyes of the world he was still an infant unable to fully use his abilities.

The Forest Guardians, unexpectedly, are tasked with detecting changes in the world tree. The world tree being as long lived as the mountains, its perception of time was different to that of the more short-lived creatures around it, the things that hurt it could go unnoticed for years before being detected and it would be to late to try to identify the sources and the solution to them by even long-lived races like the Elves, as a defense mechanism the great tree was forced into symbiosis with the creatures of the forest and later coming into contact with the now so-called forest guardians.

When Aldo had woken up, the excitement had yet to diminish in his heart and he knew he wanted to see the world with his own eyes. The elders had always told Aldo stories of the outside world, now having reached the age of 14 he was allowed to go out and explore whilst being accompanied by his protector. The wise old elf could see through the heart of the little child she had raised, sitting next to his bed she spoke:

—If you want to go out and explore then I have already asked for permission from the elders, though they already agreed, we can set off tomorrow at the brake of dawn if youd like.

Aldo was stunned by the sudden revelation, he wasn expecting the elders to agree without argument. After saying her piece the Protector went to sleep whilst sitting. Unnoticed she did not go as Aldo realized that the reason for her doing so was his protection, even in the village there were many who could take Aldos place and boy did they want it, not to speak of the older generation, the younger generation were always competing to see who the next guardian could be. The Forest Guardians were nourished along with Yggdrasil and they could live for as long as the tree and the sun existed they would be nourished by the minerals of the earth and the vitality of the sun, allowing them to gain a symbiotic immortality.

The elders knew of the competition between the young, the old and the dying, and decided that it was best to not let the fighting continue to occur inside the confines of the village and for the guardians to gain experience in the outside world. Aldo was kept unaware of the competition between the guardians by his protector ever since young, for there were hidden conditions to becoming the next guardian.

And so the monkey left his village unaware of the hidden turbulences he had escaped in his village.

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