Yun continued climbing the tree with her new technique, occasionally swinging wide her net as she landed to create a dangerous deterrent for these high speed creatures. Every few leaps she would either get swiped by one who then careened off to collide with a tree, or she would hit one with the net and similarly cause it to fly out of control into a collision. With her new tactic she seemed to be climbing with less attacks than before, and the swarm seemed to have shrunk as well.
Of course, as if the universe was out to spite her, Yun sensed a massive change as she reached the next branch. She was now incredibly far up the ancient tree, at least the better part of the two hundred meter height, but something strange caught her senses. The strange avians didn't attack this time, but rather seemed to be circling just below, making Yun worry a little about what was living at this incredible height that could scare these extreme speed avians away.
Yun decided it was best not to find out what kind of creature could threaten these flying beasts, as it was likely much too fast for her to combat. She turned and immediately retreated to the branch below her, preparing her net once again to defend against the high speed attacks. Unexpectedly they didn't immediately attack, but kept circling at a distance for a short time to be sure that she wasn't the predator from up above.
Slowly Yun realized that she was beginning to adapt to the speed of these creatures and could actually catch glimpses of them as they circled now. This was a reason for celebration for Yun, as this meant that she might be able to actually capture one or more of them. She had no idea what she would do with them if she caught them, but just based on their speed she was highly tempted to try and obtain some.
Yun decided to take a short rest, so she did the only thing that would be able to help. She took out some sharp knives and staked her net into the tree trunk and the branch around her so she could sit beneath it's protective shroud. Every so often one of the avians would swoop past and attempt to slash at her, but the net would catch their extended claw and send them tumbling away.
She closed her eyes and took a short nap, refreshing herself and recovering from the frantic fight with the Kraken earlier in the day. As she drifted in and out of sleep she kept her senses awake to detect if anything was sneaking up on her. The flying beasts continued to strafe her net periodically, trying to tear it away so they could presumably either drive her away or kill her, but one strange one seemed to be taking a more vested interest. Most of the creatures she'd seen were some version of browns and greens in color, blending in with their surroundings, but this one seemed to be a tint of red.
As she rested, the creature flew up beneath the net and landed on the branch in front of Yun, within the confines of the protective cover. It looked at her, head crooked and hopped around on the wide branch surface to change it's perspective. Yun kept relaxing, recovering her energy, but was much more alert than before. She kept her attention on that little bird's movements, making sure it wasn't doing anything that would endanger her. Soon enough the avian sat down and just curiously kept looking at her, waiting patiently for this strange creature that could protect itself from the flock so efficiently.
With tiny intelligent eyes it continued to watch, waiting for any sort of change to happen.
Yun slowly opened her eyes after a long rest. The tiny bird was still there, cautiously staring at her.
Yun decided it was time to move on, but she still couldn't tell which way to go. Going up to the canopy was no longer an option, and returning to the forest floor felt like a waste of energy. She decided to keep tormenting these predictable birds with her presence in the treetops.
As she began to move again she picked a direction and followed it. She had a good feeling about this direction and felt like it would definitely take her where she needed to go. Each tree she passed felt both familiar and strange, and she couldn't even tell if she had been there before, until finally something significantly changed before her.
As she landed on a particular tree the fog before her opened up and she could suddenly see the form of a single massive tree with open sky around it. No other tree grew within an entire kilometer of this humongous tree, and likely no tree would be able to succeed in competing for resources with it anyways.
Surrounding the massive tree's center was an enormous structure that appeared to be made of soil. It was incredible that it was even able to sustain it's own weight, but as she looked on she could see the blurred forms of the avians that had been harassing her for the past few days darting in and out of the myriad holes on the surface.
This was some sort of insanely massive communal nest! Seemingly the entire population of avian menaces in this forest lived in this one central structure. The only saving grace for this discovery in Yun's mind was the fact she could finally observe the sky. With this she could wait for nightfall and find a stellar body that could help point her in the right direction. She once again decided to rest, but this time she set up multiple layers of nets to protect her considering she was literally right next to the very source of these airborne menaces.
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