Dominic sighed in dismay and for a moment looked crestfallen at Skarlath's unhelpful and overall discouraging words.
"One riddle leads to another riddle; solve one, there's always a second. But, nobody said it would be easy, and if it was, I'd not be sitting here, now, would I? Anyway…" He thoughtfully twirled his pen between his fingers, taking great care not to splatter ink on his parchment and notes.
"All right, we're about done, aren't we?"
'Now take you the thorn,
And go forward, not back.
Hidden in a rose,
The field shall not lack.'
"We've already identified the bee and the tree, so...
'''Tis two yet is one,
Is this thing you seek,
And then it is done,
To embolden the meek.'"
Dominic stared cluelessly at Skarlath again, carefully suppressing his obvious skepticism with clear stoicism. That being said, the bird was a ghost, and could see right through him.
"The Thorn is the Sword of Martin, and the Rose must refer to the Abbey in which the legendary blade is kept. The Field, also the Abbey, shall not be in need of a defense, a Champion, for Fernleaf has embraced his calling. We are all saved by the grace of Fernleaf, and by those who support and fight with him!"
Dominic dropped his pen in the inkwell and crossed his arms over each other, raising one palm to cup his chin in it, a habit of his when thinking.
"'Two yet is one'...That makes little sense. It is the thing Fernleaf, or perhaps all of us seek, 'to embolden the meek'. How should I interpret this?"
"Well, he seems to like it," Divan observed bluntly from the side while the ferret perused the educational tome. "But he isn't speed-reading, is he?"
"Nobeast can speed read that fast," Jared dared to note, scratching his head. "He's just browsing it."
"Don't tell me he's going to…!" Edoran inhaled frightfully and his eyes grew wide as Fernleaf reached the end of the book.
"He is!" Dane gaped open-mouthed and his face turning white.
"Fernleaf!" Jared reached out after him as he went towards the training dummy. "That's not a good idea right now! Don't do it, brother-!"
A wave of Chi energy exploded, and straw rained down upon the warriors. Jared and Divan crouched on the ground and folded their paws defensively over their heads while the rush of Chi knocked them onto their tails. Edoran, Dane, and Tokal simply looked on blankly at the hailing twigs, totally nonchalant as they fell through, around, over and under them.
"Oh, come on!" Jared got up from his crouch and shook himself violently to rid his fur of its grass-like perpetrators. "We spent two-and-a-half months putting those together! That work for nothing! They're made for hitting with a sword, not with supernatural magic!"
"ONLY TO BE USED IN DIRE NEED!" Divan picked up the book that had flown out of Fernleaf's grip during the burst and subsequent launch backwards, pointing to the cautionary statement purposefully bolded for more than just emphasis. "We may have to set a restriction on that thing. If you use it on a living enemy, like a vermin, well…you won't like the result."
"How will we put this back together?" Jared stared mournfully at the bare wooden post where the dunmy once proudly stood.
"So quick, are you, dear son, to forget about us ghosts?" Dane placed a comforting kiss on his child's face. "There is more to us than simply intangilbiity and immortality. Watch, my boy." Dane pointed his paws toward what remained of the training dummy and tutted his ten fingers articulately. Jared looked on as the pieces, shreds, and scraps reformed themselves magically from a messy circle omnidirectional meters wide into their previous form. There the new dummy reappeared, good as new, reborn and remade.
Dane winked smugly at his speechless second son, kissed him one last time and roughed his hair.
"There! All set to be blown up again!"
"Well, Fernleaf," Jared shrugged at the ferret regretfully. "I hope you've learned your lesson. I say you should just focus on the sword for now and worry about learning about natural magic later. Do you understand? None of us can afford another accident here like that one."