Two days later, and Tyr just… Couldn't find her way out. No matter what path she decided to take on her attempt to flee this forest, she somehow always found her way back to the flower glade. So much so that it became rather familiar to her. Where each flower was, which ones the bees liked more so she could avoid them. The only stable place in a forest of fae trickery and madness, it seemed.
Somehow her feet kept going in circles. In and out of the same glade, which by now was becoming more and more like a temporary base of operations to her. If nothing else, she didn't have to worry about food here. The nectar was more than enough, even if she began to crave something more tangible in her stomach. Tasty as it was, nothing beat a good, solid meal every once in a while, even if she wasn't hungry per se.
Of course, the ever present noise of flapping wings and mutters amongst the fae that were watching her never ceased plaguing her brain. If nothing else, being so close to them only further intensified the sound. Though at this point… She was able to just push it to the back of her mind. It didn't bother her as much, not anymore. Soon enough she'll make it out of the forest, there were only so many paths she can try before one of them worked.
"Alright… Let's try this again." She said to herself, packing a few sacs of nectar for rations. Giving one last look to the bee girls hovering above her, going about their day in indifference of her, she snarled. Soon, they'd be gone. Even if it was a bit of a shame, they were rather cute. At least, as cute as monster bee humanoids could be. They used all four of their arms to reach in, grab nectar, bathe themselves in the pollen.
In fact, she quickly realized why they use the flowers as makeshift beds for their… Rumps. It was a rather effective way to get themselves covered up in pollen before heading back to wherever the hive was. Regardless, this would soon no longer be her problem. She has to show this to other people. Get out, bring back a few powerful warriors. They'll surely understand, right? They had to.
The hive… The idea kept penetrating her thoughts. What would a hive of human sized bees even look like? Would they have similar structure, seeing as the bee girls had different bodies and an extra abdomen at their end? Not to mention the wings, they didn't need a regular human door, right?
Tyr shook her head, trying to push away the thoughts. Why would she care? She was curious, sure, but that curiosity had no place in her current situation. She had to escape. Had to. That single need was the only thing keeping her together at the moment…
Setting out, the winding paths of the forest welcomed her, and Tyr made her way. This time, using her dagger to mark the trees she passed. The last few times she just tried to use her actual ranger skillset to make her way, and that clearly failed. This way she can prevent herself from going in circles. May as well use more traditional navigation methods, the trees could forgive her for making a few small marks alongside them.
Another giant tree, and another. Something felt off. A small trickle at the base of her head, ignored for now, as she pushed onwards. Another mark, and she was on her way again.
Just a small break. It was getting harder and harder. Not physically, her body was more than fine, even if she could swear her top was getting tighter, same for her thigh area. Mentally, however… it felt as if a fog of sorts began to shroud her surroundings. Finding her way became harder and harder.
Like dripping water from the top of a cave, she could feel each metaphorical droplet splash against her head, hitting her forehead. Drip, drip drip… What began as a tiny trickle soon evolved into a perpetual haze that she just couldn't escape. The road before her dimmed, or were her eyes losing focus, she could not tell. Even her ears, as sharp as they usually were, could only pick up on the everlasting buzzing from all over. The same damn bees, surrounding her. Looking at her.
At the corner of her eyes, she noticed one in particular. Was she… Worried? Why the fuck would the fae bees be worried about someone like her? They were monsters. Demons. They took away her Lora and kept her alone and in pain. And now they had the audacity to show concern?
Before she knew it, she passed by yet another tree she had already marked. Tyr sighed, annoyed with herself. She wasn't a ranger for kicks, she should've been better at this!
As more time passed, each step became harder and harder. A force, unknown to her, compelled her to take a certain path. Only when she was walking in a certain direction, was the headache somewhat lifted. Anywhere else, and she'd sooner collapse to the ground unconscious than be able to push on.
From there… She was absolutely lost. Tyr completely let go of her sense of direction, making it impossible to know left from right. Each tree looked the same, and at that point she could've sworn she saw her marks on all of them. The only thing guiding her forward was the lack of a headache, which was finally getting lighter and lighter. Soon, she saw a breach of light. So close, she could finally escape this damned forest and get out of here…
Her hand brushed the foliage aside, and Tyr stepped into the sun. And the flower glade welcomed her.
"Oh come on!" She snarled. For some reason, here she could at least think and plan. Though she did not appreciate how she managed to walk around in circles, again. If she didn't know better, she could've sworn that the forest itself was preventing her from leaving, though something told her Gregory would've been able to discern that kind of magic when they first walked into this death trap as a group.
Her shouting drew some attention to her, however. Some of the bee girls turned their heads to her, and… Wait were they swooning? Tyr just shook her head and turned right around. She was fucking done. From this point she was gonna keep moving, and not even the gods would stop her. Fuck the headache, fuck the weirdly horny swarm of fae that she caught the interest of. At this point she just wanted out.
This time Tyr had a much easier way to discern her position. The worse the headache, the further she got. And at first, she thought she could win against it. Make her way despite the pain until she was finally out of here. Then it would probably subside. After that, who knew. Get more people, show them the flowers. She had to show them the flowers. Burn them down, not, she didn't know anymore.
Alas, it would seem that just powering through the headache wouldn't be so easy.
The flowers. They filled her mind. Shapes and colors bewitching her weakened mental state with promises of food, comfort and bliss. All she had to do was go back. Go back to where her head wouldn't hurt, and she could be at peace.
It would've been so easy, so simple. Just turn around. She knew which direction wouldn't hurt her head to go through, and all it took was just one quick turn and she could just go back, and gather her thoughts anew. Maybe she could come up with a better plan. Like staying there, and just having some time to relax and enjoy some sweet, sweet-
But Tyr refused. She refused to give up. She had to keep pushing onwards. Even if the safety of the glade was assured while who knew if anyone believed her outside. Even if the bee girls who were just letting her be had this charm to them that she may as well accept was there. Even if the nectar was delicious, and there was no saying if there would be more of it out there, or anything that could compare to the taste. She had to endure this pain for the sweet release that came with freedom.
The sweet, sweet release.
Tyr's legs froze in place. The taste of the nectar was all she could think about. Taking out one of the packets she had with her, Tyr quickly gulped it down. She had to. It soothed her nerves, but she only made a few steps forward before the need overpowered her once more. Packet after packet, she drank them, each one making her hungrier to return than the last. Until… She was out. None of the ones she took with her remained.
She wanted to push. To get out. Maybe, just maybe, a few more steps and she'd be free. But the scent of the flowers was somehow still in the air. Inescapable, in how overwhelming it was. She could smell it everywhere now, more intense than she initially realized.
Then there was the constant, ever present buzzing all around her. She could see them. The bee girls flying about, some of them glancing at her at times before going back to doing whatever they were doing. And the combination of scent and sound proved too heavy of a weight for her relatively fragile mind. Soon, Tyr fell to her knees. Trying to cling to the last bits of willpower she had to be able to march forward, while every fiber of her body urged her to go back last she hurt herself. She needed to go back. Back to the glade. Back to the flowers, that's where she needed to be.
The war between the two screaming parts of her internal self didn't end with a bang, but a whimper. Tyr fell prone, holding her head as the pressure became too much. The force that compelled her to return felt otherworldly. Beyond her capacity to fight it. She just wanted it to end…
A scream came out of nowhere, and Tyr took a second to even realize it was coming out of her. That drew the attention of even more of the hive members, who all gathered around, watching her with worry. Good, maybe now they'll just kill her and get this sick joke over with.
As her eyes closed, the last thing she saw was the silhouette of another bee girl approaching her, cooing with worry before grabbing her torso…
When Tyr's eyes fluttered open, she awoke in the glade. The same bee girl that carried her was kneeling next to her, taking her to a small stream where she could let the ranger rest. "W-What…" she tried to move, but felt a pair of arms hold her down gently while another pair kept applying cold water to her head with a makeshift leafy towel. "Shh… You collapsed. You need to rest."
That of course, wasn't enough for Tyr to stay put. She struggled, and thrashed, even managing to push the bee girl off of her for a moment to roll over and try and get away. Which only helped in pressing her wounded arm against the ground, eliciting a yelp of pain out of her throat. She wasn't strong. Never like her dad, who could take a punch to the gut and then shrug it off like it wasn't a big deal.
She hated thinking about it. Hated giving it any form of attention. That old bastard threw her off the village as soon as she refused to play his game, and who the hell knew where her mother was. Just another elven slut, having some fun times with a guy, giving birth, and pawning the child off on him cause the other Elves are too snotty and up their own ass to care or giving any form of empathy to anyone who's not their own.
"Please, try and stay put. I'll treat your arm too." The bee girl spoke, and she could swear she heard pity in her voice. Tyr gave a few more meager attempts at resistance, but eventually the bee overpowered her, taking her back to the small stream and keeping her put as she tended to her sting wound.
She noticed how the bee girl brought one of her four hands to her mouth, licking it. She then pressed her saliva to Tyr's arm, and while the ranger expected something like pain to wash over her from the pressure… She just felt relief, as the pain subsided somewhat.
All Tyr could do in defiance was scowl at the bee girl who kept tending to her. She was feeling better now, back in the glade. But that didn't explain why their foes became so warm and caring all of a sudden. "A-And why do you care?..."
The girl smiled at her. "How could I not?"