The cannons.
Oh how the cannons would be forever etched upon his mind, like a scar that never faded.

From the moment he opened his eyes, he could tell today would be different. Not like doing perfect on his target practice, or coming across something of interest.

No, the new day had a different, ominous feel to it. As if the world around him was about to crumble from under his feet.

Ranku woke up, tired, hungry and bored. Then again, what else was new?

He decided on some berries stashed in the hole of his tree for breakfast. He had hidden them in a way that would make it difficult for bears and other types of animals that would like to eat them to find and obtain.

They were blueberries, a very common sight in the forest, along with some blackberries.

After a few hours of cleaning his living space, (Why did he even need to do that again? After all he lived outdoors, but he did enjoy cleaning. And it didn't hurt to have everything where he knew to find it) he got bored.
"My god, I need to break out of this routine... I wish something interesting would happen for once, it gets way too boring around here."

Oh, if only he hadn't said that. Unfortunately, karma can be a real bitch.

Then in the distance, a loud sound rang out, reaching his ear. He could tell it was not a welcome sound.

But he was naturally curious, and there was a possibility that the forest could get damaged as well, so he headed out to investigate.
When he arrived, he was meted by multiple strange machines.

They had two wheels and a metal socket-like object. He had recently developed a passion for reading, and instantly recognized the machines from one of his books. They were called cannons.

There were two sides of people facing each other; poor, ordinary looking people with little to defend themselves with when it came to hand to hand combat, and heavily armored ominous ones.

They seemed to have an aura of malice surrounding them and all possessed a ruthless look in their eyes.

One of the balls of death zoomed at him, coming so fast that it was nearly impossible to dodge.
Of course, for him, it was little more than child's play. He had a lot of practice, after all.
It wasn't until the lightning flashed that he noticed it had begun to rain in thick, heavy sheets. He had been too preoccupied with the balls.
After a little pestering, he managed to get one of the retreating peasants to tell him what happened and why they were fighting with the evil looking armored people.
Apparently 'He was advancing and not permitted to cross the forest'.

"… Who is 'he'…?"

The confused boy asked, blinking. Without an answer the peasant had returned back to the fight.

He wondered in deep thought that this "He" was. But no matter how hard he tried, it didn't ring any bells.
"Hmm…" He muttered. "Should I try asking one of the soldiers again…?"
Quietly the enemy soldiers were closing in on the peasants at an alarming rate.

Seeing as he was only armed with a simple bow, he fled, knowing there wasn't much he could do.

He dashed through the thick brush as fast as he could to grab his savior.
But, unfortunately, by the time he reached the edge, the rebels had retreated, but what remained was fire.

A blazing torch, about to burn his home to the earth in a flash of orange and red destruction.

Without a moment's hesitation, he shot an arrow at the hand of the igniter, seeing as there was no other open spot to fire a projectile. The Zombie-like knights answered back with their own arrows, without any order.
Fortunately, they most likely had poor training, because they missed by meters. How insulting.

Another one succeeded in picking up the torch when he was distracted. They managed to catch a small border shrub ablaze.

Ranku didn't have much time. He grabbed as much wet mud off of the ground as he could and threw it onto the fire, only succeeding in putting a small portion out.

It was the dry season, causing the fire to spread at an alarming rate through the first few trees.


He was completely heartbroken.

"God damn it, no!"

His forest, his home, was running out of time, being eaten away by the flames.
As emotionally destroyed as he was, Ranku had to get all of his supplies and as many animals as possible out of the blaze, or they would all perish.

He whistled to all of the animals, trying to tell them that they needed to get out as quickly as possible. Thankfully, the Squirrels were faster than he was, and they were able to get the supplies to Ranku before he did.

He smiled as they each gave him something, weather it be an article of clothing, arrows, string or even food. He would need it all. And one by one, they ran as quickly as they could out of the forest, away from the awful fire that covered more than half of the forest by now.

The sprint seemed like infinity, each step led him away from his home, his past, it was pain full. Very pain full.

"Don't cry, not now. Don't let him see you like this, in his time of death."

He had never been to the other side of the forest, he was nervous, but what could he do. How can you stop a wind from blowing?

There was acid on his face?

No, just the Falsity of his tears.