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Flowerful

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It starts with Cody asking, “Dr. Kantera, what are the plants around Dragons’ Peak like?”

She’s delivering herbs as she always does, ones that grow in Dozing Forest. Some grow as far away as the edge of Seaside, but none of them are new to her.

“Hm, the plants in Dragons’ Peak…” Kantera considers the question. “We cultivate Chrysanthemunches and Lafflowers to take care of what insects we have.” He nods toward the Lafflower potted in his shop. “Besides those, Cactens are hardy enough to survive in the mountains.”

“It seems like Cactens will grow anywhere,” Cody says. “Is it just them and carnivorous plants? Anything that could be useful down here?”

“You can make medicine out of a Yama-Basho,” Kantera replies. “Those are considerably rarer, and more dangerous.”

“More dangerous than the carnivorous plants… I’d like to pick one for myself sometime,” she says.

Kantera chuckles. “Oh? I hardly finish saying it could be injurious to your health and you want to pick it? You are more of an adventurer than I had realized, Cody.”

She turns red in the face. “I-it’s not like that! I just haven’t seen it before, so…!”

“I understand. I’ll take you up there,” he says. “Just as long as you do as I say, you should be fine.”

Cody sighs in relief. “Thank you, doctor.”

‘Doing as he says’ starts out by wearing gloves and long sleeves. Kantera makes sure the gloves fit properly before they even set out towards Dragons’ Peak.

“The Yama-Basho flower causes hallucinations upon skin contact,” he says, glancing to the Dragon Compass. “They are typically unpleasant, so let’s see if we can’t avoid them.”

“Have you worked with a Yama-Basho before?” Cody can’t help but ask.

“Now and again,” he replies. “Before I learned to be careful, there were a few accidents.”

He’s unusually quiet, and for a long moment she doesn’t know what to say.

“Doctor Kantera… You know, if this is going to be too much trouble for you, you don’t have to do this,” she says, slowly. “I appreciate it, but I don’t want to bother you or bring back bad memories or anything.”

“‘Tis nothing at all,” Kantera says, looking over his shoulder to smile at her. “We are friends, and you have an interest in the flower, so we’ll go pick one. It’s as simple as that.”

Cody isn’t sure that’s true, but she follows him all the way up the mountain.

The air is thin here, but not so thin that she can’t breathe at all. Draken are milling about, and many of them glance towards her as she passes by.

“When I gathered them myself, I usually picked mine from inside the well. But it’s been particularly wet lately, so perhaps we won’t need to climb - aha. That one, beside the largest building.” Kantera’s gaze fixes on a white flower.

She approaches it cautiously, as if it might jump out and bite her at any moment. It’s only a flower, and it stays still long enough for her to uproot it from the ground and examine it.

“It’s really pretty,” she says, turning it over with her gloved hands.

“It is,” he replies. “Careful, now. Not too close to your face.”

After spending a bit longer admiring it, she puts it in her pack for transport back home. “Thank you, Dr. Kantera,” she says. “It means a lot - I know humans don’t come up here very often, and...”

He shrugs, with a wide smile. “‘Tis only a flower on merely a mountain. There is nothing to thank me for at all.”