The Arbolarbres Chronicles - Book 1 Chapter 1, Oak the Lazy

2021.09.28 16:32 Jayrayme123 The Arbolarbres Chronicles - Book 1 Chapter 1, Oak the Lazy

Hello Everybody, I am currently rewriting and publishing Book 1 of my series, the Arbolarbres Chronicles, you can check it here
Here is the synopsis
( Book 1 Completed) A young arbolarbre (Treeman) called Oak Quercus must stop his carnivorous mad King (Xidor Cedre) from sending his nation into a war to feed his gluttony for flesh and his sudden quest for immortality.
However, he will have to face opposition from his vegetarian countrymen with diverging opinions on how to stop the King's madness.
Discover it in the first book of the Arbolarbres chronicles (One chapter every week day)
New rewritten version coming soon in the following months.
Here is the first chapter:
In a parallel dimension, on another earth that has the same geography as ours, were other kingdoms such as the kingdom of Florestia, a kingdom of treemen, the Arbolarbres, humanoids with tree bodies and motor skills. This kingdom stretched from what we call north to central Spain, from the what we call Basque Country to Segovia; from the town of Oakvalley to Saint-Cèdre.
It was in this kingdom, in Oakvalley, that Oak Quercus, a 20-year-old adult treeman, father of two, lived in a sprawling stone country house. A short walk away was a stable surrounded by fields of potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, soybeans and beans.
Oak was sleeping in his white-plastered bedroom lying on a duck-feather bed supported by wooden beams next to a drawer when his mother turned the red cedar doorknob and entered.
“Wake up Oak, it’s the second time that I come to wake you up today, it’s noon and we need you.” Oak Quercus' mother said, trying to pull the blanket off his body.
Oak stayed in the bed and pulled the blanket back over himself.. “Argh, mom, I don’t wanna, it’s so great here, why get up when we can stay down.”
“I give you a few minutes, not more.”She said, shutting the door abruptly behind her.
She returned to the kitchen, a large kitchen with a stove fueled by a fire and a counter for cutting vegetables where three buckets of water had been placed, buckets which were used for various tasks such as washing, cleaning and preparing food.
She picked up one of those buckets with one hand and walked back to the bedroom, abruptly grabbing the doorknob and entering.
She poured a bucket of cold water in his face. “Enough, rascal. You get up!”
The water poured on his jumbled green leaves haircut and dripped on his rumpled clothes, rumpled as usual.
He waved the branches he used as his arms, in the air, in protest.
“Aw, why you doing that? So barbaric, I gonna remember, old hag.”
Her mother left the room and returned to sit in the dining room, which was a few steps away from the kitchen and contained an imposing solid cedar table where iron utensils were placed alongside a few glasses of water and inexpensive porcelain bowls filled with salad, salad that consisted of lettuce, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, thyme and red beans.
Oak stayed in bed for a few moments, then suddenly got up removed his clothes and put them beside his bed in a pile. Then, he opened his drawer from which he took out new clothes such as a white linen shirt, white linen pants and black linen socks that he put on. Then he walked through the door to join his family in the dining room, a room next to the kitchen. In the dining room, a sunflower oil-powered ceiling lamp hung above the table...
The whole family, seated at the table in wooden chairs, waited for Oak. There was his father, John Quercus, his mother, Cinthia Quercus, his wife, Jasmine Blossom and his children, Kelly and Régis Quercus.
All of them looked like reddish-barked oaks with hair filled with green leaves and branches for arms, but they all distinguished themselves from each other by their size, the color of their eyes, their behavior and their age. Kelly and Régis being 15 and 16 years old respectively with thin build, Jasmine being two years Oak’s senior with a brawny build while John and Cinthia were each in their fifties with a scrawny build, typical of their age, few Arbolarbres lived above sixty.
Oak's mother looked him straight in the eye, her big blue eyes filled with tears of disappointment as she lowered her arms “Yesterday, you did not feed the horses three times like you had to and now, they do not want to work, they even refuse to move and eat. We paid a lot for this new plow, and we cannot even use it. The tax collectors will come soon and claim their due. What are we going to do?”
Oak's father, John Quercus put his fist on the table, the hard oak of his arm bumping into the solid cedar of the table and propagating a scent of sawdust in the air.
* Bang *
“We will find a solution, right, my son? You will not stay there, sitting on your ass for the rest of your life, basking like a pasha, in your bed, for half a day. In this life, we need to drudge to make ends meets, there is no miracle stuff, only good old elbow grease. Join me this afternoon, you and Régis, I will show you how we used to do it, in my days, when there was no plow.”
He said, pointing his son and grandson with his fingers pointed and sharp like a stake.
Oak sighed, putting his head back on the table in order to sleep, but his father ignored him and continued talking, scraping the table with his fist. * Scrii, Scrii*
“We will do the same tomorrow and every other day until the tax collectors arrive. We're going to be working so hard that they won't have a say in this year's harvest. You will quickly see why horses need to be taken care of. " he said, staring at Oak, without a smile, expecting his answer.”
“I don’t wanna, got things to do like ahem, read cousin’s Pero book.” Oak said stretching his arms out on the table as a pillow and then putting his head onto them.
Jasmine got up from her chair, walked over to him, and put a hand on his head.
Oak lifted his head and stared into the gray eyes of his wife, who was 2 years his senior.
"You've read it three times already, make a man of yourself and join your son and your father for once, do it for me and our children. If we do not pay our taxes, we will lose the farm or worse, we will go to jail. ”
His kids, Kelly and Regis looked at each other and sighed at their father’s lack of work ethic. They were to spend the summer vacation with him until school started again.
Oak looked at his kids then nodded, digging into the salad with his fork and then taking a bite of it. His family accompanied him, and they ate in silence for several minutes, savoring the tangy taste of the thyme and tomato-scented salad.
Once his bowl was finished, John Quercus got up from his chair and picked up the bowls and utensils which he put on the kitchen counter. Then he grabbed a bucket of water and poured some into each bowl, which he then washed with a cloth.
The kids and Oak's wife got up from their chairs and walked over to the counter to help him as Oak sat comfortably in his chair.
"Oak, you won’t sit forever, right?" Come help us!” John Quercus said, rubbing hard to remove some tomato juice from a fork.
" OK." Oak said before he got up painfully from his chair and somehow helped his family with the dishes.
Oak stood between his daughter and son, who was standing in front of the counter, to their grandfather's right and their grandmother's left. Then he ran his hand through Regis' hair in a paternal gesture.
"Regis, are there a few girls that you like at school?"
Regis' face flushed red and he reached out to remove his father's hand from his hair.
"Huh… Amélie" said Régis, lowering his head, making a few green leaves fall on the ground.
"Once we get rid of the collectors, you will ask her to go out with you and then introduce her to me…" He turned to his daughter Cynthia, looking at her with a gentle gaze, oh her sweet cynthia, the pearl of his eyes.
"You too, Cynthia, if there is someone you like, don't hesitate to ask them subtly and then introduce them to me and your mother" he said turning to her and. putting a hand on her shoulder. " I will always be there for you."
Oak's father then stopped scrubbing the dishes and set them on the pine counter, the bowls and utensils diffusing a fresh water and cleanliness scent.
"It's time to go check the crops…" John said, motioning for his son and grandson to follow him.
Oak pouted and whispered to himself: “we gotta always work…” before following Regis and his father through the dining room, to a door that was a few yards away, recessed into the stone wall and held up by iron hinges. At the foot of that door, on a dusty carpet, were freshly waxed hemp shoes that smelled like new shoes.
They tucked their feet into their shoes, walked through the doorway, and walked to a stone stable that was right next to the house. They stopped in front of the door and turned the knob. Then they rushed inside and walked across the hay-strewn ground, their shoes making a muffled sound.
* Tamp, Tamp *
Directly in front of them, in a wooden enclosure sealed by a chain with a lock, was hay as well as two overo horses and a overo pony.
John Quercus briskly approached it and his grandson did the same while Oak stayed further back, away from the pen. John took out a key, turned it on the lock and removed the chain, then opened the stable door, door made of white pine.
John freed the three horses who rested their feet on the haystacks while gasping with pleasure at the sight of the father. However, they suddenly fell silent at the sight of Oak. "Ah, they recognized you Oak, try to get on one of them, hahaha," John said, laughing heartily. The 20-year-old father approached the pony apprehensively, his legs almost stuck on the haystacks.
When he got to the little beast, he mumbled to himself “You ain’t a worker like me, father’s too generous, wanting to feed you thrice a day.”
* Hiinnnnnnn, Hinnnnnnnn * replied the horse in complete disagreement.
“That's it, prove me wrong.” Oak said before stepping onto the horse's back, holding it by the bridle that had previously been fitted to its head.
At the contact of Oak's bark on his skin, the pony rushed out of the stable, through the door that had remained open, crushing a haystack under his hooves and spreading a smell of grass throughout the room. .
Oak fell, taken aback by the horse's sudden gallop, and plunged headfirst into a large haystack that absorbed the impact.
“Hahahaha, my son, you will have to walk, I fed him well from what I see.” Said John Quercus, well mounted on his horse.
“Very funny” replied Oak, brushing off the hay that had gathered on his bark to then come back on his feet.
“Dad, I would give you a ride on Poppy, but he would throw us down. Said his son Régis who stroked the mane of his horse Poppy.
“No need, I'm gonna do the rest on foot” Said Oak, coming out of the stable first, followed by his father and son, who trotted behind him.
At the same time, the little pony returned to the comfort of the stable and went out to eat hay in his pen.
Once outside, Oak and his family embarked on a dirt road, a road they traveled for a few minutes, in front of them fields stretched as far as the eye could see, on either side of a river enclosed by two immense chains. of mountains. These fields were provided by the crown to Oak's ancestors when they signed an indefinite servitude contract. A contract which stipulated that they were to provide a good part of their harvest to the king in exchange for this land.
They took a few steps and arrived in front of the cucumber fields and saw at first glance the withering leaves, the latter taking on a cracked appearance and a texture of papier maché and spreading a scent of dead leaves in the air.
The leaves tore at the slightest pressure and urgently required advanced irrigation. Regis and his mount as well as Oak stood motionless, petrified by the desolation that lay before their eyes.
John leaned on his horse's bridle and walked over to the two men, shaking them out of their torpor, slapping them several times on the shoulder. "Go fill me several buckets of water at the river, we must try to save our crops before the king’s agents arrive. Hurry up! ”
They returned with buckets of water and began to irrigate the fields when torrential rain swept over the valley and caused a towering cloud of dense, heavy mist to flood the fields.
"Finally saved, it's raining!" Let's find shelter! Let's go under the oak!” John said with a smile on his face.
* Hinn, Hinnn * made the horses, making sure they galloped away from the bad weather... their hooves stomping on a few cucumbers that laid under their feet.
“Calm yourself - John and Regis said jointly to calm the horses, holding their iron bridles firmly.”
The horses calmed down then Oak and his family tried to find the oak tree through the mist, Oak and the horses wading through the water-filled fields, their bark getting wet and giving them the smell of a wet dog.
* Ploc, Ploc, *
They walked and trotted in the cucumber fields until they saw a large Atlas cedar with orange, red and purple leaves, under which they hid and rested, using the gentle sound of the rain reverberating on the ground as background noise.
They dozed off and woke up shortly thereafter when they heard the clatter of horses' hooves wading through large puddles of water ...
Oak, Regis, and John looked straight ahead and had a slight relief at the sight of their horses, which had stayed under the tree and then panicked.
“But who is coming? John said, grasping his horse's bridle firmly, ready to go when he saw several tree-men including a cactus-haired tree-man filled with purple leaves stop in front of the tree in the middle of the cucumber’s fields.
“Hola, young people who cultivate the land. I imagine you are the boys of the Quercus family. I order you to provide me with the third of your harvest. " Karel, the head of tax collectors, said, running his hand through his cactus-shaped hair.
"Hello sir, I thought you would come in a month as agreed last year. What brings you so early? And what? Why do you say that we need to give you a third of our harvest? That’s impossible, it’s not what was agreed, "said John Quercus, rubbing his eyes to regain his composure.
"Oh yes, it is possible. The king is hosting a banquet to commemorate the inauguration of his new capital, Xidorville. Everyone is invited to join in the festivities and settle in the new capital, whether you are a peasant, a merchant or an aristocrat. Every actor will be well received. Therefore, he needs a great quantity and variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to satisfy the palates of our guests and… he needs them now.” Karel said while smirking arrogantly at the peasants.
“Ah, I see, His Highness has planned some festivities without notifying us. How kind of him ... Only you see the crops are not fully ripe so you will have to settle for a third of what we have right now ... here is one. " John said throwing a dried-up cucumber at Karel to taunt him.
"What do you mean? The king demands fresh fruits and vegetables, he does not want any vegetables or premature fruits or even, as I see, dried cucumbers, that hardly suits the king. They have a bitter and unpleasant taste that will only displease its guests. Besides, they make people burp and burping is hardly worthy of a king’s guests.” Karel said, crushing the cucumber with his hand and then showing it to his men.
Karel and his troops scoured the fields for fresh, mature cucumbers while circling the Quercus family and urging them to advance along with them so that they did not escape to avoid paying their taxes.
While walking, Karel and his men bent down to grab the vegetables to check their condition, only a third suited the King, a third being unripe with a palish green and the other third being completely drowned and having a very soft consistency, the cucumbers shattering in mash at the slightest touch.
“The King will be very disappointed with your cucumber crop ineligibility, but he could be lenient if you provide him with other produce in excellent condition. Your other vegetables aren't like that, are they? Show them to me. He said, resting his sword against the bark of Oak who stood in front of the tax collectors, his father and his son.
Oak grimaced at the contact of the sword, turned his head and clenched a fist ready to sink his hand into Karel's chest, a gesture that his father saw, father who subtly signaled him not to strike, a gesture that Oak immediately understood. And which Karel didn’t notice because he was dismounting his horse to inspect a curiosity, a red cucumber.
“ What is that” said Karel, taking a bite in the flavorless cucumber.
“ An ornament cucumber” said John, without the smallest hint of pleasure in his voice.
“I’m taking it for the King” said Karel before seizing the cucumber in his hands, remounting onto his horse and putting his sword on Oak’s back.
Oak guided Karel and his men through the other fields as John and Regis whispered insults behind the backs of the tax collectors. "Cursed vermin."
Karel noticed an unsuitable crop in a field full of water. The leaves of the potatoes had small brown dots that formed soft patches surrounded by yellowish sections.
The roots of the plants were also showing signs of purple lesions from which white spores sprouted. The late blight had seriously affected the potato fields and spread to the tomato fields and the lettuce fields. You could smell the scent of decay, death and desolation
Even soybeans and beans, though untouched by disease and drought, gave off that foul odor.
Oak stopped in front of a soybean field, picked up a plant in his hands, and was about to tear it up in anger.
"I wouldn't do that, if I was you," Karel said, pressing his blade even harder against Oak's bark.
John and Regis got ready to intervene but were immediately surrounded by Karel's men who had previously been in front of them.
Karel then stood in front of Oak and pushed him towards John and Regis.
“I notice that you have greatly neglected your garden and failed in your duty towards the crown. I compel you to pay a fine of a thousand floraux to reimburse the damages done to the King. If we observe, next year, a harvest like today’s, you will be detained for outrage towards the crown. I give you a year to gather the necessary sum and pay the fine. If you come back empty-handed, I will send you to jail, great harvest or not. Got anything else to say?”” He said as his men pointed their swords at John and Regis, the blades grazing their bark and causing them a slight gash from which emanated a strong musty-smelling green sap.
"No." Oak's father said.
Karel smirked at him and left with his men as the sun had come out, to tell the tales of the Quercus Family.
Don't forget to read the rest on :
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