Arc’s next venture into his orchard found that the wall around it had attained completion. Armed with spades and shovels, he got ready for a day of hard labor.
He started at one corner and slowly advanced, painstakingly examining each plant in the orchard. Arc pulled out all the weeds and cut down most of the trees. As roots were pulled out of the soil, he felt a sense of liberation begin to settle in. with each weed he removed, his conscience got lighter and lighter. By the time he had reached the other end, the orchard was almost devoid of any greenery. As night set in, he piled the plants that he had removed on the dry sand outside the wall and set it on fire.
As ashes flew over his head, arc realized that he was not merely burning weeds, but everything he had ever felt.
When he woke, Arc found that he felt nothing. And strangely, he was not worried about it at all. In fact, there seemed to be a blanket of calm wrapped about his entire being.
Though he went about his chores as any other day, everything felt different. The intense sun bearing down upon did not bother him. The wind always carrying particles of sand did not annoy him. His familiar feelings of hopelessness were nowhere to be found. But when he accidentally cut his arm and even the intense bleeding failed to break through his indifference, Arc began to consider replacing the plants he had uprooted in his orchard.
Arc spent the next day thinking about what he wanted to feel. This state of complete emotionless, while comfortable, would be dangerous.
He drew inspiration from the stories of heroes that he had heard to help him decide. When he threw his last handful of kanab into the fire that night, his resolve had hardened. In the orchard, he carefully selected the plants he would need and proceeded to implant them as deep into the soil as he could. During this gardening, Arc realized that though he had pulled out the weeds he deemed unnecessary, their seeds were buried too deep into the soul of the earth for them to be truly gone. The weeding would have to be done regularly.
Though his orchard was now merely a fraction of its original glory, he thought that its functionality had increased manifold. As he stood, surveying the toil of many weeks, he decided that the time had come to go back. Back into the world. The next morning, Arc packed his bags and left the desert.