Seeking assistance with Landstalker

Hello. I am seeking assistance with the Sega Genesis game - Landstalker. I am in King Nole’s underground labyrinth and have talked to the man who informs me that I need to build a raft to get up the river. I have then talked to his son who told me I may pass and go to where the sacred trees are.
For some reason however, he refuses to get out of the way. All he does is stand in the road and say “I wish we could grow more trees underground”. Is there something I’m missing or something I haven’t done yet? Any assistance in helping him move would be greatly appreciated.

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