After waiting for a while, I also exit the room. Our chambers are located on the lowest level of the Gaia tree. This must be in the roots, about a thousand or so feet down from ground level. Actually, it’s more like a straight hollow pillar down. Do these trees even have roots?
Looking up, the spiral staircase is dizzying. It appears to go on for as far as I can see. The entire structure is dimly lit by a massive arrangement of fruits trailing down the middle on vines. Each fruit hangs a foot or two lower than the previous. Their vine strands running back up to the ceiling are thin like fishing line. It makes me wonder how they grow and pass nutrition.
There are five other rooms down on this base level. Apparently, two more are guest rooms, one is the queen’s chamber for her and her consort, one is the resident dryad’s room, and finally, there is the ‘Library.’
I’m sure our commotion earlier could be heard throughout this level, as there aren’t proper doors on any of the rooms. Instead, they are covered with some leafy vines that drape down in front of each entrance. They do a good job of keeping privacy, but I question how much they block sounds.
I feel a bit regretful for that. I doubt they heard my confession, but the whole yelling and roaring part was quite loud.
Before I can decide what to do next, the resident dryad, Librarian dryad? He comes out of his room and smiles at me.
“Ah, yes, are you ready to visit the Library Archives?” He seems pleased for some reason.
There is probably nothing better than the library to take my mind off the drama at hand, let me cool down, and relax a bit before talking with Dubhe again. I nod, giving him a smile in return. “Show the way!”
“Of course! This way.” He leads me to one of the other lowest level doors.
After we enter, I look around. I can’t dismiss my surprise. At the same time, I was also somewhat expecting this, since I haven’t seen a single book yet since coming to this world. How is there a library without books, anywhere else? They must have some way of storing knowledge. Surely? And the one town I was in had no books…. Although… They weren’t particularly known for their knowledge.
“It’s a computer.” I voice what I see in front of me.
“This is the Library. You may ask and interact with it in many ways,” the resident dryad explains to me.
“This is a rune passer, if you are literate, you can literate requests by pressing the right letters, and they show on the brightbark up here…” he continues, eliciting each point with strange hand motions, as if he was some kind of salesperson.
The screen is… bright bark…? I don’t see a mouse… is this all command line only? I should have learned more VIM in my past life.
“Or… If you think you have mastery of how this works, you can put on this head interface. It allows you to directly interact with the content in a fully fake world.”
Wait, they have full dive virtual reality? That was nothing but a pipe dream before I died. Here I was thinking this world was so behind, but it’s actually far more advanced? Where did this technology come from? Who invented and installed it? Why in a tree…?
Wait, where is this computer drawing power from, and where are the components? All I am being shown are the interface components…
I inspect the helmet, turning it around in my hands. It has runes inscribed on its entire surface, but none of them are glowing. That must only happen when they have power going to them… I guess? Can runes be etched into anything and still work? I haven’t tried anything to do with runes since ascension other than using my own… I feel like I’ve been a bit short sighted with my thought processes. Now isn’t really the time though.
There is a single cord of sorts tieing the helmet to the edge of the screen. The same is true of the keyboard. Are the rest of the components part of the tree, just like the screen? I’m curious about this, rather, I’m super geeked, and I’m sure my heart rate is over 100.
“… How do I start…?” I look to the dryad. Maybe I’m a bit too excited.
“Ah, putting on the helmet, or touching the a rune will activate it… Although, you should know about the helmet… I would advise against it unless you are very sure.” He points to the helmet I’m holding, my hands are shaking a bit out of excitement.
“Yeah… I’m not too worried about that, I used to be a programmer and an avid gamer. What’s the worst that could go wrong? It’s just a computer.”
Thanks for the support! I am in your care!