Molly Truncae woke up at dawn, precisely at dawn as she always did, only ever off by more than a few seconds thanks to her being able to sense when there was sunlight hitting the tree tops around her, and began her morning routine. She ate her breakfast, consisting mostly of energy she absorbed through the plants she controlled and energy directly from the sunlight itself, rested in her green cloak, bathed, then went off to begin her training.

Molly was a mage, and while she only actually knew a small handful of spells, her natural magic had been strong since her childhood, and had only gotten stronger. She had been naturally stronger than the other magic users she had known. That is to say, she had been until she quit her schooling.

She wasn't sure how long she spent meditating each day. Once she got into the center of her favorite clearing, levitating with her eyes closed, legs crossed, and her magic stretching out like a muscle and seeping down into the ground like roots, her mind connected with the plant-life around her and time just sorta lost all real meaning for her. She knew she spent the majority of the day meditating though, as when she stopped she was hungry and the sun was in a much different position.

Next she would practice her spells. As previously stated, she only knew a few spells, only knowing a few of the basics: level two levitation, short ranged teleportation, minor illusions, low power energy bolts, and temporary invisibility. She had also learned a few spells that worked in tandem with her plant magic, letting her form her plants into limbs, use her plant sense, draw energy from the plants, and heal herself with power from them.

Each of these spells had taken her a long time to learn, and she still hadn't actually mastered any of them. She still worked on them, knowing they'd be useful, but she didn't spend too much time on them.

Once spell testing was done with, Molly moved on to her favorite type of training: training her instinctive magic. This mostly just involved seeing how much she could summon and control her plants until she got too tired and ran out of magical energy entirely, having to rest.

Using magic and casting spells we two separate things. Using magic was easy, it just flowed from the user to whatever they needing it to go to, and if practiced well, could cause a variety of effects. Spell casting was the act of giving the magic a purpose before letting it out, forcing it to obey the order all the way through without dissipating. Objectively, neither was better than the other, but many still argued over it.

Molly, for example, was of the belief that reflexive, instinctive magic was far superior, saying that it was the closest humans got to wielding raw magic. This belief could have stemmed from her being of the half of all magic users born with their magic instead of the half who had to learn it, as the latter rarely ever had any reflexive magic. It could also have come from her poor casting abilities and lack of having ever gone to a formal magic academy. Regardless, she was set in her belief.

When her magic finally did run out for the time, she would switch to physical training. In all honesty, she probably spent less time training her body than she did her casting, but her body was still strong, able to leave dents and gashes in the trees with quick punches and kicks.

She primarily focused on making herself quicker, training her agility and flexibility. Her body was built for it already, and if she did run out of magic in a fight, she would be fighting defensively until she built it back up.

After the physical training, Molly would rest for awhile before getting back up and heading deeper into the forest to practice fighting with some of the local beasts. She usually did battle with boars, bears, wolves, and big cats, but occasionally came across something more powerful such as giant snakes, goblins, lycanthropes, spirits, and once even a manticore.

The last of those had been particularly exciting for her, as it had been the first time she had been able to practice her special attack on something other than a training dummy.

It started with a quick jab to the throat to knock the target back, after which Molly summoned four sets of roots to lock around their ankles and wrists to hold them in place. Molly would launch herself into the air with a combination of levitation and summoning a tree beneath her to fire her upwards, and would summon a set of vines from her hands that would connect to the ground behind the target. Finally, she would retract the vines, sling-shooting herself at the target at full force with both feet out.

If all went well, the Forest Barrage, as she called it, would knock out any target instantly. If it went wrong, it would likely shatter both her legs on impact.

Molly went through this daily routine for years, counting down the days until she would go to the World Combat Tournament. She wasn't sure what she would do if she won, but considering the money she'd get, she supposed she could do anything she wanted to. Even if she wouldn't admit though, she already knew what she would really do if she won. With that kind of money, she could finally afford to go to a real magic academy, and be more than just the crazy hippie forest mage that the magic community saw her as.