How blessed do you consider your life to be?
Some think themselves lucky. Others fall into the realm of negativity.
She always thought of herself as the perfect balance of both.
I always thought of myself as the perfect counter to both.
So…who was right in the end?
“Aurelia! Stop playing around and help us pack your things!”
Aurelia, who had been frolicking around the farm with her sister, Lexi, stops and glances over towards her mother. As her never ending smile radiated across the farm, Aurelia couldn’t help but panic internally about what was to come.
But of course…she would never let anyone know that.
“Praise be to our moon god Lunarias and to our sun god Sol! My daughter has found favor in the eyes of the chosen!”
Aurelia’s father kisses her forehead with a joyful heart, as Aurelia grabs his hands. With her eyes wide open towards him, her grin expands.
“You never showed this much joy when I had chosen to become a farmer alongside you, did you father?!”
Her father laughs.
“Why of course not! The choices of my daughter compared to the choices of god’s chosen FOR my daughter are different matters entirely! And dare I say…”
Her father kisses her on the forehead once more, and smiles down towards his firstborn.
“It truly pleases me,”
Aurelia grins at her father, before running off once more from the duties that her mother tasked her with. Her father was a devout worshiper of the gods, praying every day to them as much as he could - so she knew that such a result was certain to enhance his faith even more.
“Aurelia! Get back here this instant!”
Lexi runs to grab her sister and bring her back to their mother, but Aurelia remains too fast for her as usual.
“Where are you going, sister?”
Aurelia grins widely as she looks back towards her sister.
“Far away from my troubles!”
Aurelia, who now finds herself in the Riokemp forest that borders between Texdan and the Bayrin Hills of Texdan, begins to dance through the trees, encompassed by the beauty of the forest and the wildlife surrounding her. This was her happy space. A place of peace and quiet. A place where she could shut out her hectic life…yes…that’s right…
A life full of confusion.
A life full of blessings.
A life full of…
A life full of what? A full life of what? A full life?
How can her life feel so full already?
She is only 18.
But plenty of people had lived for less.
Many have lived for much more.
What does it all mean?
“Why am I thinking like this? Is this truly the type of person I am when I am alone?”
Aurelia snaps out of her confusing thought process, and looks to see her childhood friend, Geron Tomoharu, walking through the forest with a bag of sticks strapped to his back.
“Geron! How've you been, bud?”
Geron smiles and laughs.
“Been alright. Still yet to see any primals, am I right? Haha.”
“Right you are,”
“I see you wanted to be in your happy space once again…what’s the reason this time?”
Aurelia stretches her arms wide.
“Must anyone need a reason to want to be surrounded by happiness?”
“Of course not…but you weren’t just dancing this time, were you?”
Aurelia pauses and stops smiling.
“You saw that, huh?”
“Yeah. You looked frantic again. Usually that means you are worried about something…and are stuck in your own thoughts to escape from it all. Only question is, what are you trying to escape from this time?”
Aurelia sighs and plops down on the nearest tree root.
“...I have been chosen…”
“...for what, you won the grand lottery or something?...”
“No, I have been chosen by the Priestess of Sol…from now on, I am to be a Flare Aid in Floritian…”
Geron pauses for a brief moment before snapping out of it.
“By the gods, that’s great news, Aurelia! Why don’t you seem more excited?! This could lead to great things for your family!”
“The problem is that I can’t be AROUND my family!”
Geron pauses once more. Not for his own sake, but knowing he needed to for Aurelia’s. It’s been a long time since he had seen Aurelia so flustered and upset. Usually…no matter the odds…she puts on a brave face and smiles all the way through.
“I’m sure it will be hard at first…but your provisions will surely multiply, and perhaps even being chosen by nobility will guarantee a start for your future family. Think about your children, Aurelia,”
“Who says I want that?”
Aurelia grabs a branch from the ground, and stands up. She comes closer to Geron’s face, and places the branch in between the two of them.
“A family tree is worthless if it starts from a single branch…a blossoming tree requires a valuable seed…the ingredient…is the seed…”
“...so you are saying that the branch is you in Floritian…and the seed is you remaining here?...”
Aurelia pauses before backing away slowly.
“I don’t know what I’m saying,”
Geron and Aurelia stare at each other for a brief moment…before beginning to smile and laugh once more.
“AURELIA!!! Where are you?!”
Aurelia quickly grabs Geron’s hand and hides behind the trees, as they both glance and see Lexi searching for Aurelia. As Geron looks towards Lexi, he can’t help but blush. Aurelia catches on quickly, and smiles brightly.
“...take care of my sister, will you?...”
Geron looks up at Aurelia. His cheeks still beat red. Aurelia looks down at Geron once more.
“You are in love with…someone…are you not? It is only right that you make it clear to her…and take care of her…”
Geron stares at Aurelia for a brief moment. Many things raced through his mind in that moment.
Eventually, Geron nods in approval.
Aurelia pokes Geron on his big nose with the stick from earlier, before slowly glancing over at her sister once more.
“Good…now I am ready to leave…”
Within the sacred halls of the Temple of Sol located in the heart of the capital city, Floritian, was a sacred room designated for couples. Faeko and Emila Ashigake lie comfortably within the bed, covered with thin white linen sheets, as they look around their room that is covered in white and gold.
“How many times does that make it now?”
“...I’ve lost count…”
Faeko gets up slowly with a sad expression.
“Perhaps we just aren’t meant to have a child together,”
Emilia quickly sits up, with the sheets still covering her body. Tears begin to quickly flow from her eyes, as her voice goes hoarse.
“How can you say that?!”
Faeko turns around and comforts his wife in his arms.
“No, I meant that perhaps the gods just don’t want it to be so! I am not blaming you in the slightest! Nor do I have ANY intention of leaving you!”
Emilia continues to cry in despair. Her voice remains hoarse from crying so much for years about not being able to bear a child for her husband, the only remaining heir to the Ashigake clan.
“I just don’t understand…why me? Why us?!”
In that same room was a miniature golden statue of the dragon god Sol, the creator of the world of Haven that they all live in. Emilia, after seeing the statue beside her bed, couldn’t help but pick it up and throw it away in frustration.
“I have prayed to you, Sol! I have BEGGED you! If not for myself, then at least for the sake of my husband’s bloodline! WHERE IS MY CHILD??!!!!”
Faeko grabs hold of Emilia as she continues to throw a tantrum towards the miniature statue of Sol. Emilia’s cries fill the room, as she cannot bear the pain of the disappointment she feels towards herself. Not only as a woman, but as the wife to the heir of a prestigious, but dying clan.
“Shhh, don’t cry, my love. All is well…all is well…”
Faeko looks to the statue of Sol as Emilia continues to cry in his arms. He then notices that even as it was thrown down with force, there wasn’t a single scratch on it.