All that travelers knew, was that the Emerald Forest was about 350 kilometers north of Prague. Pilgrims from all across the world, who were lucky enough to hear of that magical place made sure to invest all their efforts and pay that forest a visit. Many folks would hear of the emerald forest that was unlike any other, but the map to the forest, the Forest Master, would only send out to tribes and travelers of his purely instinctual choice, to protect the sacred forest from thieves, and commercial attractions.
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The forest master believed, that the right visitors could make the forest grow and bloom, but had an invitation got into the wrong hands, who knows what could happen. There was nobody but the forest master, nurturing and protecting the forests precious plantations. Paying respect to each and every creature and plant in that forest. And the forest thanked him for it and bloomed through the seasons, forming unique plant species with each transition of the climate. The air was always crisp, and among the various beautiful trees, like the 400ft Sequoias, so majestic they could reach into the skies. And blooming bushes, spicing the air with their growing formalities. Among the emerald forest, all bushes changed by season but one flower. The constant element that the forest master oh so cherished. To him, that flower had all the meaning of his existence, and every invited visitor would be drawn by the uniqueness of the flowers without the master’s need to point her out.
So powerful was the marvel of the flower, so intricate were the curves of its never-fading petals and the subtle changes in their color during the day, that it mesmerized anyone capable of even the barest sense of beauty. The rare visitors of the forest master’s palace were often rendered speechless upon witnessing the unique sight. Sometimes, a guest would feel a sudden urge to touch the gentle plant – not to match the tactile senses with the ethereal sight, but rather to find proof that such an incredible life was indeed created by Mother Nature, to know that the experience is not induced by the sweet odors permeating the Emerald Forest. However, once the hypnotized visitors would try to reach the flower, its leaves would start quivering. These moves, while minute and barely distinguishable from those induced by light forest wind, did not remain unnoticed by the travelers. As their hands neared the flower and the quivering went on, the expression of astonishment in the perpetrator’s eyes gradually changed to uneasiness. It looked as if the flower was afraid of being touched, or as if its gentle petals could be burned by the warmth of a human hand.
Uneasiness may have been the extent of the guest’s emotions invoked by the unusual spectacle, but the reaction of the Forest Master was far more dramatic. At first, he did not pay much attention to the minute movements of its leaves, preferring instead to observe his guests’ astonishment with the beauty of his most precious possession. However, once it became apparent that the flower invokes such a powerful urge, he grew more and more suspicious of the actions of those he invited to his domain. The trembling of leaves became in his eyes an unmistakable sign of fear of being vulnerable. Over time, the feeling took its toll on the Forest Master. He became more cautious in issuing invitations and tried to divert his guests’ attention away from the marvelous flower. Nevertheless, the beauty of the plant was powerful enough to withstand these efforts. Besides, the flower has already become a legend in its own right, drawing those eager to see the embodiment of natural perfection.
As the flow of the curious visitors grew, the master felt an urge to shield the flower from the occasional attempts of touching it and stopped accepting guests at all. As if in response, the flower grew more and more magnificent. The emerald forest, on the other hand, underwent its own course of changes. Once pierced with bright sunlight and filled with songs and cheerful chatter of creatures living in its canopy, it grew more and more gloomy and grim. However, the greatest change occurred within the Forest Master. A looming figure with a weary and dreadful appearance, he became a distant shadow of his former self. Long gone were the days when he could enjoy the company of an occasional artist, scholar, or passer-by. Nobody was admitted to the forest for years, and those reckless enough to try and enter without permission were met with an unwelcoming greeting of the dreadful place once known as the Emerald Forest.
Many years have passed since anyone has seen the wildflower for the last time. The rumor has it that it still grows in the Forest, as beautiful as ever. Its leaves and petals would still quiver gently as in fear of being touched, should anyone try to reach it. But the times when anyone would attempt such a feat are long gone. Everyone knows that the flower is closely guarded by the Master of the Forest, whose relentless watch over the natural marvel has become his sole purpose and driving force.