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In my travels, I stumbled across a place known as Ilsera. It was a quaint town in the middle of a forest. Not much was there, and there were very few people. But what brought me there was the story of the blossoming trees. Ilsera was the only known place outside of 16 small Indonesian islands where these trees grew. The trees blossomed for only a week, and very few people even knew that they were even here.
On my first night, the young man who ran the inn brought me into his room. He was a man of about 30, with partially greyed hair. He told me that about a century ago, his grandfather had a guest who referred to himself as Bokra. With him, he brought thousands of tree seeds. These seeds grew the Red Javan Magnolias, as they were called. However, there was one sapling among the seeds. This tree did not have a name, but Bokra called it “Blueblossom”. Bokra, a man then of about 50, requested that he be taken to an open field where he may plant the seeds. In the middle of all of them, he planted the sapling. He then went on his way.
The innkeeper took a sigh, and continued. He then explained what happened when he came back. About 15 years later, Bokra returned, only to find all of the branches of Blueblossom had been torn off. Bokra demanded that the then innkeeper, Cedric, explain himself. Cedric explained that Blueblossom had verticillium wilt, a common tree disease, and that they therefore had to cut its branches off. As you could imagine, Bokra was furious. He kept screaming “My baby is not sick! You will feel my dread!” But what happened next was especially odd. Bokra collected himself, and then walked away from the tree. When he returned back to Blueblossom, he placed a book in a hole in the tree. The book looked absolutely ancient, bound in what looked to be the skin of a lion. He then told Cedric that it would be best that he visited Blueblossom tomorrow.
When Cedric went to Blueblossom the next day, he found that all of the branches were back, and that it was blossoming. But what was different from the fellow magnolias in the field was that the blossoms were blue. Cedric looked up at the tree to find a note. It read:
I hope this letter finds you, in good health or otherwise. But that is not why you are reading this. By now, you have probably noticed Blueblossom’s metamorphosis. I suggest you don’t move the book inside of her. Oh, and make sure that you tell your guests not to pick her blossoms.
The 17th Bokra
The innkeeper then remarked that they’re still not sure what he meant by “The 17th Bokra”, but that I heed his warnings. I silently nodded and went off to my room.
The next day, I visited the magnolia field I had come to see. Sure enough, Blueblossom was in the middle, and in her full blue bloom. And as the innkeeper had told me, the book was in the hole. Curiosity and desire overtook me. I decided that I would take a blossom as a keepsake, and sell the book. I was sure it was worth a lot of money. Later that night, I went out to the field again. I picked a blossom and removed the book. When I returned to my room, I found ten saplings and a bag of seeds. Wondering how this had happened, I opened the book and began reading.
Congratulations. If you found this book, but did not pick a blossom, you can be saved. Just close the book, return it to Blueblossom, and all will be well. However, if you removed one of Blueblossom’s blossoms, you are too far gone. Your next objective is to plant the seeds and saplings before you. Let’s not discuss what will happen if you don’t.
The Current Bokra
I decided that enough was enough. I would just burn these things, and that would be that. So, I opened the fireplace, and began. The first sapling burned easily. The same went with the second through the ninth. The tenth one was different. No matter how many times I tried, it would not catch fire. I knew something was wrong. I turned for the seeds when a figure arose from the fire. He said “You shouldn’t have done that”. But before I could react, he swiped a fiery hand across my chest. The figure then faded into the fire. I looked at the damage. My clothes were not burned, but a large scar was on my chest. I looked in the mirror in the bathroom, thinking I might be able to wash off any ash remaining, or maybe go to the hospital and repair the damaged tissue. I screamed. It was in the shape of an 18, with the word “Bokra” in the middle of the upper ring of the 8.
From then on, I called myself “Bokra”. I also began to feel a strong attachment to the sapling. I decided to name her Blueblossom, after her mother. I then brought her, the seeds, and the book everywhere I went. They deserved a better home. One out of my arms. One connected to the earth. Oh yeah, that reminds me. Is there a field nearby where I can plant my baby and her friends? I assure you, my baby isn’t sick.