The Geist soared over the vast forests below this time. They looked like little shrubs from so high up, and though it was awesome to see the once big forest look so tiny, it also made the forest look all the same. He realized that he did not actually know where exactly his friend the troll was. He rubbed his head, trying to figure out where to go.
"Geh! (I know!)" said the Geist in a moment of enlightenment. "Gehgeh! (I just have to think like my troll friend! He likes dirty places with bad smells and hates fresh greens…)"
The Geist scanned the forests below, the individual black eyes on his body squeezing and compacting as they focused to their maximum extent. This was another thing that the Geist had figured out how to do.
He realized that his healing power did not just let him heal, it let him control his own body. That was how it healed in the first place.
Knowing that, he could grow new arms or make things he already had even better, like his eyes. This way, he could obtain telescopic vision.
Still, his control was not perfect. Every change he made to himself, he had to train really hard for. It was like creating and adding a new move he could use. So far, he knew how to make more arms, create more eyes and improve their vision, and create hardened armor plating in small amounts.
To improve all of this, the Geist had to train more and more. He had to think hard about how to control his power and then put it into practice again and again. He had to push himself to his limits, recover, and then do it again.
That way, the Geist slowly but surely improved his powers to their full potential.
Stella was the one that had told him how to train like this. Push your powers to their limits both creatively and physically, rest, then do it again. Like muscle fibers breaking and repairing stronger and bigger.
As the Geist zoomed in on the forests, he wondered why he had never thought about doing this before. It was a hard question to answer. Before following his current master, all he could think about was killing humans because of that loud voice in his head.
Sometimes, the voice got quieter, and he had more fun, but most of the time, the voice was so loud that was all he could do. That was no fun. He always wanted to make friends, but with that voice around, there was no way he could do any of that.
Now though, he had plenty of time and freedom to make the friends he always wanted!
"Geh! (There!)" The Geist pointed down at a particularly rotted and withered section of the forest. The trees were ashen white with gnarled grey , leafless branches that stood in stark contrast to the hearty brown trunks and leafy tops of the trees populating the rest of the forest.
Strange, toxic green colored air rose up from the trees, creating a hazy green mist. The green there was exactly the type of green that the troll would like. Not the healthy bright green of good veggies, but the browned green of something dying.
"(Landing. Be ready this time.)" said Crow.
"Geh! ("I'm ready!)" said the Geist resolutely.
Crow tucked his wings again and dived down at breakneck speeds, aiming straight for the grey patch of forest. The Geist held on admirably, morphing his fingers into hooked forms that made it easier for him to get a good grip on Crow's back.
Crow still made sure to slow down his landing this time in consideration of the Geist.
At top speeds, Crow could easily match a high end fighter jet, casually surpassing the speed of sound. But the Geist at his current state could not handle even half those speeds.
Yet, Crow knew power and potential. Especially potential. Far too many people only saw power at its height. Comparatively few knew what it took to reach those heights.
Crow knew that the Geist had the potential to reach high. Possibly even further than Crow himself. Evidently, the master had thought the same thing.
But that was the thing about potential: it took time and effort to grow. And often, it needed sacrifice. There was no greater motivator than loss. Pa nda
No vel This was Crow's personal judgement, but as he made note of the Geist hanging on his back with child like happiness, he did not think the Geist had the mind to reach the peak of his potential.
The Geist was simply too innocent. Too nice.
Yet, it was not Crow's place to make these judgements. If the master supported the Geist, then he did too.
Crow landed into the forest, toppling a few trees as he did so. He shielded the Geist from the impact with his wing, stiffening the feathers there so that they formed a flexible yet durable shield to absorb shock.
"(We're here)" said Crow.
????? ????? "Geh! (Great! I survived!)" The Geist hopped off of Crow's back with his ever present smile just a bit wider and then looked around. There, he saw the confused looks of not just his troll friend, but several other trolls.
"(Looks like your guess was right)" commented Crow.
"Geh! (There you are, troll!)" said the Geist as he pointed to a troll that was particularly bigger than the others.
"(What you come here for, friend?)" said the troll chieftain in grunts and growls that made up the troll language.
"Gehgehgeh (To check up on you. Also, you made new friends?)" said the Geist, pointing at the other trolls. They warily stared at the Geist and especially at Crow's large, looming, threatening form.
"(It's OK. These all my allies)" said the troll chieftain. "(I gather more trolls to look for flowers. I think I seen some before around here. So me and the boys go find them. We find one already, actually).""
The troll chieftain grunted, and one of the trolls under him showed an Eyeflower.
"Geh…(So that's what it is)" said the Geist.
The flower consisted of a long, tendril-like purple stalk with a bulbous, closed eye attached at the end of it. When the troll poked the eye, the flesh opened up, revealing a wide and dilated red pupil.
"Gehgeh (Very cool)" commented the Geist.
"(I know, right?)" the troll chieftain nodded proudly. "(Me and the boys going to find all the flowers here!)"
"Geh…(About that…)" The Geist put his hands together like a conning salesman. "Gehgeh? (How about you give me the flowers?)"
The troll chieftain cocked his head, confused. "(Huh?)"
The Geist explained. "Gehgehgeh. Geh! (You'll have to fight the strong guys otherwise, but I can pick all the flowers, and then I'll be commander! When I'm commander, I'll do something really nice for you all!)
"(What!? If you want to be commander, I be commander too!)" said the troll chieftain.
"Geh…" said the Geist to himself. He knew the troll chieftain was more stubborn than his other friends. "Gehgeh. Geh? (How are you going to be commander? You need all the other flowers too, dummy! Otherwise you're going to fight the strong guys. Like this guy!"
The Geist pointed back at Crow before crossing his arms smugly. "Gehgehgeh. (I'll have you know he's actually working for me.)"
"What? Really!? Have you grown in power that much, friend?)" said the troll chieftain, shocked.
Troll tribes followed a very basic social hierarchy where the strongest was at the top, so for Crow to be following the Geist around must have meant that the Geist had somehow gotten leagues stronger.
"Gehgeh (I HAVE made some improvements, heh)" said the Geist.
"(Okay then. I give you flowers)" said the troll chieftain. He pointed at the Geist with a smile. "(But only if you fight me! Show me you actually stronger than me first!)"
"Gehgeh! (The commander said no fighting allowed!)" protested the Geist.
The troll chieftain laughed. "(We keep it a secret. Nobody come here because they don't like it. Bad smells and bad food, they say. But trolls like us love it.
But we also like big fights, too.)"
The chieftain grunted, and one of the trolls brought him his cursed rock club. The club alternated between owners, sometimes the Geist using it, sometimes the chieftain using it, but this time, the chieftain had it.
The chieftain grabbed the club in both hands and smiled. "(Let's fight! I want to see how much you improve, friend!)"
The Geist's permanent smile widened too. He did not like fighting too much, but he liked when his friends smiled and doing things together with them. And this time, it was going to be a fight.
Plus, the Geist could get all the flowers the trolls knew to pick.
"Gehgeh! (Okay, let's fight!)" said the Geist.
Beforehand, when the Geist first met the troll chieftain, they were mostly evenly matched when the chieftain wielded the club. The Geist was a little stronger, but the difference was not extreme.
But what about now? After all the training he had done under Stella?
The Geist was eager to find out.