Hey readers, thanks for clicking on my story. This story centers on a human from our world ending up in Tomo'kan and meeting the hero Hoodwink. I hope you enjoy!

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The forests...the ancestral home of many living things. For eons, the ancient trees provided them with their warmth, allured them with the sweet smell of pine, and comforted them from the unnatural. But, one such creature had long since detached itself from nature to pursue the unnatural themselves. The beasts started to build homes out of the forests that once welcomed them, and created cities that swallowed entire ecosystems. They transformed themselves into something unrecognizable and soon other intelligent beasts would join them. Some of them attempted to return to the woods to live simpler lifestyles, but the forest is unforgiving to those not acquainted with its beauty and dangers.

Humans…is what they've come to be known by.

Though most of these bipedal creatures left much to be remembered about them, this ONE human stood out from most.

The day he came to Tomo'Kan, the Misty Woods, one creature of the forest would never forget, for their life...as the human's...would be changed forever.

Book I

Chapter 1: Strange World

I groggily lifted my head, or at least attempted to...I must have gotten hit by a truck or something…

It takes a few moments for me to try again...finally I'm able to get up, resting my knees against what appears to be dirt. I rub my temples with a free hand while anchoring my weak form with the other hand...w-what happened?

I look up to see that I'm still in the middle of the dense forest. The light from the sun is barely able to shine through the trees. Birds are singing from above and the air is unusually cooler than what I'm used to.

Why am I here again? Oh, that's right...the last thing I remember...I was running...it was night. I made it to a trail to escape the people running to catch me, and I must have fallen because behind me is a rocky cliff.

Great, I mumbled to myself before standing up. Ugh, I'm sore all over. I look over to the bike I stole the night before: I won't be able to take it back with me...damn it…at least the bike survived the fall.

I tried climbing the cliff, but it was too tall and too smooth for me to pass. Great...I guess I can't go back the way I came! My only choice, then, is to follow the trail in front of me.

And so, I begin my journey into this forest to try and find my way out of the park and onto the street. After a considerable amount of time, I'm forced to rest.

Now wait a minute, the city park isn't this big...is it? If so, I'm totally lost, I must have gone in circles! To make matters worse, I must be so deep in this place now that I have no way to reach out and get help! I had taken out my phone to look for a signal, but it's dead...great…

That means I'm in trouble...if I can't find my way out of this trail...things'll get bad…

I guess this is what I get for taking the bike. Gosh, what a way to end up so screwed...stealing a bike only to get stuck in a park.

Ugh...I'm getting thirsty and I'm exhausted already!

My prayers are eventually answered when I find a pond close by. That's when something made me shiver and be wracked with confusion: I just realized it since it's bright in this area, but the trees sure are different than what I usually see. There are cherry blossoms and fall trees, sequoias that I'm not used to. Wait, cherry blossoms!? Don't those trees usually appear in the Spring, also...why are there strange plants I've never seen before!?

Okay, things are getting weird. Where are all the buildings, isn't this a park!? Also, the mountains sure do look bigger than I remember! Wherever I am, it's NOT close to home.

Naturally, I started freaking out, pacing back and forth; however, it wasn't until I saw the half-destroyed moon in the sky that I REALLY started freaking out!

Holy crap, I'm screwed!

I must be dreaming or I'm on something! What the hell is going on!?

After a minute of pacing, I stopped myself, "I can't freak out...I got to find a way outta here! Maybe I can find someone who can help nearby...maybe they can tell me what the hell is happening!

After drinking water from the pond with my hands, I resumed my journey. I take the bike down a hill toward a wider trail.

By the afternoon (or what I assumed it to be since the sun climbed higher in the sky) I had to stop again…

I rested the bike against a large oak tree and went searching for food...where…I had no clue where to find it. I'm not the type of person that knows how to survive in the woods...and it's gotten to that point that I have to resort to such things.

Thankfully, I manage to find a bush with many colorful berries on them! I grabbed a handful, cupping them until I can't hold anymore. I'm SO hungry, it's a good thing I found these. I must be lucky...yeah...beginners luck, right?

Before I can even take my first bite, I felt something hit the top of my head suddenly!

Ouch!

I took off my baseball cap and rubbed the top of my scalp in pain. I looked down to see what had hit me: on the ground is a rather large acorn. I went to pick it up before staring up at the tree it originated from. Strangely enough, there don't seem to be any acorns in the tree...strange…

Suddenly, what I heard afterward sent me jumping in fright! I heard a faint giggle up in the dark branches above, sending shivers down my spine…

I'm probably just hearing things...I guess that's what happens when one ends up alone in the middle of the wilderness…

This has got to be a joke...or maybe someone left me here...I was caught...brought here to be taught a lesson, I just don't know anymore.

I toss the acorn away and proceeded to eat the berries left on my other hand, but again...I'm hit in the head! It's another acorn... all right, that wasn't a fluke...someone's messing with me!

"Alright, who's up there!? Come on out!" I shouted, throwing the acorn against the oak tree. Once again, I hear the same faint giggle, but now the voice is moving! I investigate further, getting closer to try and get a better look, "listen, I don't have time for games...I'm lost, whomever you are...just show yourself."

Whatever this person is, they're jumping through the trees like some primate! I pull out my phone and turn on the flashlight to try and catch them. I circle, confused as to what is happening right now.

"H-hey! Are you even listening!?"

Suddenly, I hear a thump and before I can react, my phone is snatched right out of my hand! I shake my head in momentary shock, soon shouting at the culprit. It looks to be some animal and they're running away fast! Wait, was it NOT a person...I don't have time to dwell on it.

"H-hey!?" I quickly grabbed the bike and started peddling after them! The creature is moving way too fast for me and all I have left to do is curse at whatever it is. It has my phone and I've got to get it back!

"Come back here you DUMB animal!" Then, with no hesitation, the creature stopped as if it understood what I had said! I halted, placing the bike stand down. The beast turned around, eyes shining bright blue in anger. My eyes widened upon realizing that it was no ordinary creature...it DID understand what I had just said!

To add to that effect, they walk towards me on two legs as if they were human...I realized also that they're wearing clothes (with a bright leaf made to be a hood to cover their head.) They have an anthropomorphic look about them.

Once they got close enough, they pulled out what appeared to be a pair of bolas with acorns attached to the end. A wide, smug grin, runs up their muzzle, which is cream-colored, "run that by me again."

"Uhh…ahh…" I got off the bike, stepping away slowly in response, arms out. I decided to start running away for my life while I still have it! It's not long before I feel something wrap itself around my legs: forcing me into the ground! I hit the dirt with a thud, and I soon heard a cheer coming from the creature that had ensnared me, "gotcha!" The voice sounded strangely feminine with a normal human pitch…even though they're roughly four feet tall! Even if they're small, they're intimidating as hell! WAIT A DAMN MINUTE!? D-DID THAT THING JUST TALK!? I WASN'T JUST IMAGINING THAT A SECOND AGO!?

She walked over to me to where I could turn my head and see her standing beside me, "too easy!" she smiled inwardly, "should'a stayed out of my woods."

I manage to move my head up to get a good look at her face…we're practically staring at each other right now. In her free hand, she inspects my phone as if she's never seen one before, but her interest in the device dwindles rapidly, and tosses it to the ground. It seems to me that whatever this thing is…my phone isn't useful to them…thank goodness…

I, meanwhile, can't get over the fact that this mysterious animal can talk, walk on two legs, and hold things with her paws like this is all just some cartoon!

"H-how can you t-talk!?"

She raised an eyebrow at this, glaring at me intensely, "you hit 'yer head bad there, mate?"

I shake my head (not necessarily in response to what she asked.) She started sniffing me all over for some reason before hopping backward. Right afterward, they placed a clawed finger against their short snout close to their pinkish nose, "strange clothes…never seen 'em…"

Not long after, she began circling me as if I were her prey, which…let's face it…I am…I am ROYALLY SCREWED!

"So, what's a human like you doing in these haunted woods?" She asked. Something I forgot to mention: this creature has an accent, very reminiscent of people from…uh…Australia or New Zealand. I can't tell which one…but it's so strange regardless!

"H-Haunted!? This is a park, is it not?" I retorted, "I should be the one asking questions…what ARE you!?" I yelled out in both fear and annoyance.

"Hush!" She snapped back, continuing to inspect me, "you're intruding in my territory…why!?" The furry creature glanced over to the bike, "strange, odd, thing you 'ave there. 'Guess ya need it for being so slow!" She teased.

"I'm losing my mind…" I whispered to myself, but she can hear perfectly thanks to her long ears, "you MUST be mad for venturing into Tomo'kan alone."

"To-what?" I shake my head. Ignoring me briefly, she had a look at my bag, which had fallen off. I yelled at her NOT to touch anything. The fox-squirrel-whatever opened my bag and started seeing what was inside, throwing things out of it in an almighty mess.

"Hey! Get away from that, it's mine!"

One such item she took is my favorite snack: a nut bar.

"H-hey!"

She sniffed the wrapping, tail twitching madly behind her, reminding me greatly of a squirrel. She quickly opens it and her eyes glow at the sight and smell of the food, "nuts!"

Okay, definitely has to be a squirrel…

She takes a bite, and she is overtaken by sudden ecstasy. She salivates before looking down: gobbling down the rest of the snack.

"Will you just stop for a second, you crazy Squirrel!?" I shouted back. This is when the strange creature narrowed her eyes at me and unholstered what appeared to be a crossbow made of wood. She placed a large acorn on the top of the arbalest and pulled it back, aimed for my head, and fired.

I passed out.

The next time I'm conscious, it's dark and it's cold. I groaned, rubbing my head where I could feel a rather large bump on top. I look around: it's pitch black, or it almost would be if it wasn't for a strange purplish light in the sky that hangs overhead. The nightly sounds of the forest and the uncertainty of what lies beyond the darkness sent me into despair.

I try to stand up; however, my legs are still bound! I guess what happened earlier was real…it had to be, felt too real. This strange forest, the squirrel girl…that all happened.

And so, I made the effort to untie myself from the bolas and after freeing myself I picked up my phone and went looking for my stuff. Most of my belongings are gone or broken. Food: gone as well. I have almost nothing…at least the bike is still here and in good condition.

I sighed…I might actually DIE in the middle of nowhere…not exactly something I ever imagined would happen to me. I expected to die out in some gutter somewhere in the city, somewhere I'm used to…not here…not in this frightening place…

I'll die cold and alone, and no one will even see my passing. Maybe no one will ever be able to find me…

By the grace of a higher power (if there is such a thing) I soldiered on and took what was left with me deeper into the unknown. My destination: I don't know anymore, but a sturdy shelter would be a start.

Despite the darkness and creepiness of the forest's interior, I managed to find a glade with a large rocky structure providing what could be a refuge. I decide to stop and stay here…wait till the morning rise. The entire area is lit up by the same purple light in the sky. I set the bike down, looking up afterward to the sky: what I see amazes me to my core. In the sky, I can see a gray sphere similar to our moon, something I couldn't see earlier, but I can still see the half-destroyed moon right behind it…with its remnants orbiting it. I lay down, staring up at it for some time…

I wasn't imagining it the first time, I'm not on Earth anymore…wherever I am it's certainly not the same world as the one I'm from…unless somehow it went through RADICAL changes very recently.

Nevertheless, I shake off the revelation to rest: using my empty backpack as a pillow for my head. I sighed…deciding to stare at the skies, which are dotted with stars…so many of them…never seen so many when I lived in the city. It would surely be a beautiful sight, even with the strange moon, but my thoughts linger on my current situation.

I stayed up most of the night, letting the sound of crickets and other critters drown my ears. I think about what I'm going to do now that I'm in this strange world:

Who sent me here? Why? Is this punishment for what I had done? If it is, why did I have to suffer like this? Who was that creature? What are they and why did they do the things they did? What if I'm stuck here? What If I'm never able to go back to my world…what if I never get to see anybody ever again or the high-tech world that I've been used to all my life?

I shiver from the cold, it's much colder here than in the city. I try to bundle up, curl up even to try and keep warm, but it's NOT enough.

Unknown to me, hidden in the trees is the same furry creature that had robbed me. For some reason, they had followed me…examined my strange form with interest. One of their long ears twitched as they gave a short, silent, sigh, "this one sure is strange."

The anthropomorphic beast had seen countless humans intrude upon her dwelling: some passed through while others brazenly challenged the Mistwoods for the sake of adventure. All of them perished under the brutality of what lives inside these haunted woodlands. Their remains leave a dire warning to those foolish enough to remain. Tomo'kan is anything but a friendly place. Almost nowhere is safe, even for those who know the forest and its trails. For the ones who do survive and live in the forest, many are often sadistic in how they make ends meet...

So, how is this human different from the rest? In layman's terms, he really wasn't, but the clothes he wears…his mannerisms…the devices that belong to him…he really was different. Perhaps he's from someplace unknown to her? Maybe this human is from Krimwohl…no…he doesn't match the others in appearance. Is he a threat? She doubts it, this human can't even defend himself…how could he possibly ever survive in these woods? She should have given him a mercy killing…he has NO IDEA what is lurking in the dark. They decided to wait and see what happens…maybe this human might give her a show to watch. After all, nothing interesting happened today besides meeting this outsider.

After a few minutes, I opened my eyes to the sound of a strange explosion coming from nearby in the forest glade. I hastily moved up from my sleeping position to investigate…on the other side of the boulder there is a small glowing object on the ground. It's a small crater, but where did it come from? I squinted my eyes, crouching down to grab the mysterious object.

"W-what is this…" I picked up the pinkish stone. I looked up to see the weird moon still floating above…did it come from there? It must have…

Then, I felt a twitch on my hand which I snap my head down to look at what was happening. My hand started to warm up…and the light from the stone began crawling up my fingertips to my arm! Before long, my entire body starts glowing in response…my green eyes begin shining an unnatural hue. Finally, the whole ordeal stopped suddenly, my eyes and body flashing back to normal again.

I fall on my back, overwhelmed by what just happened…I can't explain it, but I feel so energized: like I can do anything! Why do I feel…so weird…whatever just happened the stone is gone…

Suddenly, some bushes nearby began rustling loudly…with even the trees being pushed about violently as if something HUGE is moving around them. I narrowed my eyes before standing up.

I-is something there?

After a few seconds of looking around that area, I start to hear a low growl…in fact: it's several growls coming from the same place! Sure enough, I started getting worried. I backed away slowly, holding my hands up in dread.

Before I knew it, in the blink of an eye, several beasts came out: running toward me! I can't describe them, for they have otherworldly aspects and details. Plus, I began running for my life, so yeah…couldn't really stop to get a good look at them.

All I know is that they're big and they're going to kill me if I don't get away! I run into the woods blindly, leaving all my stuff behind (including the bike.) I make my way through the darkness. Something I soon realize, I'm A LOT faster now…was it that meteorite, it must be.

Still, the beasts were gaining on me… they were right on me…barely a few feet away! I leap across a gap leading to the other side of a tiny river. I look behind me to see the three creatures jumping across. That was a BIG mistake, for I suddenly tripped: falling down a hill. I gasp and groan as I tumble down, earning a few scars in the process. I grunt in momentary pain, but I quickly recover…especially when I hear the monsters coming closer. I sprang up to my feet again and resumed running.

I ran and ran…until I end up beside a rocky façade that can't be bypassed. I'm trapped…dead end! I look behind me, and all I can see is darkness, but their snarls can still be heard…

I gulped, placing the back of my arms against the rock. I darted my eyes back and forth and I soon found a branch big enough to use as a weapon. And so, I picked it up and decided to fight.

This is it…this is how it ends for me…but I might as well go down fighting. I can barely see, but I'm able to catch them once they get close enough. One creature came in and to my surprise, I'm able to dodge its attack thanks to my newly acquired powers. The purplish beast tried to make another attempt, but I swing my weapon at it…causing them to fall back. Another jumped in and managed to scratch my back as I howled in pain. Quickly, I swiped the branch at them, and they evaded my advance while their friend tried to counterattack. I kicked it away and soon backed into the wall again.

Sure enough, all three are walking towards me…mouths foaming. I'm a goner…

Then, a miracle happened…

A fast-moving blur lands in front of me, and a yellow lantern rests on their hip: lighting up the darkness. The small mammal lowers their hood, revealing its face and head. Their blue eyes shine brightly, and a grin runs up their snout. It's the same creature I ran into a few hours ago!

Without any more delay, they pull out their wooden crossbow and fired a bright acorn toward the opposing beasts. The acorn somehow managed to sprout a tree in a fraction of a second as if it were magic…probably was. Not even a few seconds after, the anthro throws the same bolas she used to ensnare me toward the new tree. The weapon wraps around the three monsters, binding them all against the newly spawned sapling. I am frozen in both fear and confusion, and it takes the small furry animal some effort to break my trance, "hey! Not going to stand here all day, mate!" She said with slight concern, "come on, yeah?"

I hope you all enjoyed this new story. It's going to be a short story (I predict around 20k - 30k in total words), but we'll see.

Take care and I'll see you next time!