The booming voice had been whispered, but the mass of the tree who had said it contrasted greatly with the ears of the small individual who received the greeting. She covered her ears, certain she would still hear the great tree perfectly well, but hoping she would be able to save more of her hearing. It wasn’t as though time had already taken some of it from her naturally, she didn’t need a loud (though still well-meaning) tree taking the rest.
“Hello to you too,” she replied. “I’m here in response to your summons?”
The tree’s voice was a bit louder now, they had forgotten to whisper that time. The woman took some steps back, not that it would help.
“You wanted a gardener for the western edge of the forest! I wanted to apply.”
For a few moments, there was the blessed quiet of the natural forest. Then the tree spoke again. “Yes! Too many pests! Burrow into wood. My children cry.”
She nodded, before remembering that the tree either wouldn’t register that motion as her understanding or wouldn’t notice it at all. “I have heard. I am willing to give my everything to save them from that pain, if I can.”
“Then do so!”
She winced, stuffing her fingers as much into her ears as the canals would allow. “I will!”
At the very least, the western edge was far enough away that if the massive tree said anything, she wouldn’t worry about being deafened.