Atanis Pond, with its pure and pretty scenery, is thought to be blessed by Atanis, the spirit of tranquillity, and held to be sacred. Songs dedicated to Atanis and in a pledge for the forest’s safety can be heard here. [src]
It’s one of the most beautiful places in Kamasylvia. People that are on their way to Grana can go along the road from Lemoria Guard Post and pass along Atanis Pond.
Erfianso blesses Ganelle soldiers heading into battle with songs of magic and communicates with spirits to detect threats to the forest. She has been making the forests of Kamasylvia more accepting of outsiders.
Maery plays the mystic harp to commune with the spirits while Erfianso sings to bless all those on adventures.
While on his way to Grana, Florentino makes a stop at Atanis Pond. He wants to listen to the Priestesses’ songs once again. The songs sung by the priestesses make him remember the times when he was young.
Florentino got off his horse and walks towards the small wharf.
A Ganelle by the wharf nods at Florentino, “Good afternoon, outsider, glad to see you here at Atanis Pond again.”
Florentino bows, “Greetings, I’m just stopping by while on my way to Grana.”
“As you always do,” the Ganelle smiles, “may I escort you further to Atanis Pond?”
“A beautiful lady such as yourself to escort someone unworthy such as myself? It’ll be an honour.”
The Ganelle giggles, “you flatter me.”
The Ganelle then starts walking further into Atanis Pond while Florentino follows her.
“Tell me, outsider, why do you always stop here on your way to Grana?”
“Make a guess.”
The Ganelle glances at Florentino with a smug on her face, “You love the song or is it the scenery? Maybe both. Or perhaps… I’m the reason?”
Florentino smirks, “Maybe.”
“Come on, tell me, I want to know,” the Ganelle hits Florentino’s right shoulder with her left elbow then pouts.
“Alright, I’ll tell you,” Florentino looks at the pond on his right, “you’re right on the first two you said but there’s also another reason.”
“What is it?”
“My mother was a Ganelle. She died when I’m still young because of an unknown illness.”
The Ganelle stops for a moment and looks at Florentino, “I’m… sorry…”
Florentino shakes his head, “It’s alright, it was a long time ago.”
Florentino leans on the fence, “My mother would always sing songs that are sung here. The first time hearing that song again after all those years was months before when Kamasylvia has opened their borders again. Though I don’t fully understand the language of my elven heritage, I do, however, understand a few.”
The Ganelle leans on the fence as well besides Florentino, “Who is your mother?”
“Her name’s Emilia; calm, beautiful, and kind. I remember at one point my mother wore the same clothes worn by the priestesses here.”
“Your mother was a priestess?”
“That I don’t know. I never got the chance to ask her. I can’t also find the dress afterwards either. And my father, well… he didn’t know or didn’t want to tell me.”
Florentino stops leaning on the fence and continues walking further to Atanis Pond.
“Let’s continue, shall we?”
The Ganelle nods and quickly walks beside Florentino with her hands behind her back while looking and smiling at him.
The two went down the stairs to the sunken platform. Florentino went into the water and offers his hand to the Ganelle.
“Want me to carry you to the other side, milady?”
Other Ganelles are staring at the two, making the Ganelle accompanying Florentino blush.
The Ganelle shook her head and made a few steps back. She then sprints and jumps her way to the other side using the beams at the side of the sunken platform.
Florentino laughs, “Of course, why didn’t I think of that?”
Florentino then makes his way to the other side with his shoes and lower cape wet.
When Florentino made it on the other side, the Ganelle is frowning at him.
“Why? What’s wrong?”
The Ganelle pouts, “You know how embarrassing that was? You offering to carry me to the other side while everyone’s there watching and listening?”
Florentino laughs, “I’m sorry, that slipped my mind.”
The Ganelle then turns her back at Florentino then said something under breath, “If only we’re alone here. Maybe next time.”
“Did you say something?”
“Nothing! It doesn’t concern you!”
By the distant, the two can already hear the harps playing a soothing tune.
“Look,” the Ganelle points ahead, “they’re starting.”
The Song of Atanis
Florentino stood there, watching, as Priestess Erfianso sings the song of Atanis along with Priestess Maery playing the harp.
The soothing melody makes Florentino feel at ease. As he closes his eyes while raising his head, he recalls when he was still a child by the fields near the Northern Wheat Plantation.
Later, Florentino then recalls the last days of his mother. It was a calm sunny day at the house of Simeon Ibarra, Florentino’s father, at the Northern Wheat Plantation; Emilia didn’t want to stay in the city, so they bought a house at the Northern Wheat Plantation.
Emilia is on her bed while looking at the fields outside while Florentino is resting his head on her lap. She caresses Florentino’s head as she sings the song that is sung by the Ganelles. Emilia’s singing puts Florentino at ease.
On the next day, Florentino enters his mother’s room and saw his father sitting beside Emilia while holding her hand. Florentino looks at his mother and saw her lifeless while sitting on her bed with her eyes closed and a smile on her face. He rushes towards his mother while crying his heart out.
The singing and music stop shortly afterwards. Florentino slowly opens his eyes and saw his mother in front of him.
“I’m flattered that you think of me that way, but no, I’m not your mother.”
Florentino shakes his head and blinks a few times to adjust his vision and sees Priestess Erfianso standing in front of him.
“Priestess Erfianso!” Florentino exclaims then clears his throat, “I’m sorry.”
Erfianso looks worried, “It seems the song of the spirits made you remember something tragic.”
Florentino laughs then clears his throat again, “No, I’m just remembering my mother.”
“Ah, I see… then it is something tragic, explains the tears in your eyes.”
“My tears? Oh,” Florentino wipes his eyes, “No, something just got into my eye.”
“I see…” Erfianso then smiles, “It’s great to see you here again, Florentino.”
Florentino bows, “It’s an honour to hear your singing, Priestess.”
“I’m flattered,” Erfianso bows, “Are you on your way to Grana again?”
“Yes, my cousin Crisostomo said that I have to escort a shipment there going to Calpheon. He said it’s an important shipment for the family.”
“I wish you luck on your mission then,” Erfianso then looks behind Florentino and smiles, “I see a lot of people visiting here today.”
“There’s someone here who’s waiting for you… right over there.”
Florentino looks behind him and saw familiar Ganelle passing by.
Erfianso smiles then start walking back to the stage, “Go to her, Florentino.”
Florentino follows Orwen to the other side of the small island in Atanis Pond. There, he sees Orwen sitting on the edge of the platform, gazing at the sky while humming an upbeat tune.
Florentino just froze there in place. He can’t move and he’s having a hard time breathing. It has been a long time since he last saw Orwen.
Orwen glances over Florentino and smiles, “How long are you planning on just standing there?”
Florentino snaps out from being frozen and clears his throat, “Orwen…”
“Well? Come, come, sit with me here.”
Florentino nod then walks forward and sits beside her.
“I see you’ve become a celebrity around Kamasylvia lately.”
“What? Me, a celebrity?”
Orwen nods, “Yeah, I was surprised to hear about your accomplishments as well, especially in Drieghan.”
“I’m just doing my part, Orwen, all the credit goes to the hard work and dedication of everyone.”
“As modest as ever,” Orwen giggles then sighs, “How are you all these years?”
Florentino smiles sincerely, “I’m doing fine, how about you? How are you?”
“I’m doing fine as well,” Orwen looks up to the sky.
“The other day,” Orwen continues, “people on the streets of Calpheon were buzzing about something so I looked, and I noticed immediately that there were products smuggled in from Kamasylvia… and then I heard about you.”
“You heard about me going to Kamasylvia?”
Orwen nods, “Yes, Kamasylvia… It’s a place where I’m deeply connected to. Grandma Diega said this is my father’s land. I’ve never seen my father before, but… well…”
Orwen then looks at Florentino, “You’re also a half-elf, right?”
“Yes, my mother was a Ganelle.”
“Then you’re deeply connected to this place as well.”
The Dim Past
Orwen looks up to the sky again, “I always had a hard time because of how different I looked compared to the others, yet this was a place where I met people who had ears which looked similar to mine, and it was a vibrant place filled with the chattering of Spirits.”
Florentino just kept silent and listens to Orwen.
“My first impression of Kamasylvia,” Orwen continues, “was that it was a very exciting and cosy place. But the feeling didn’t last long. I didn’t feel welcomed by the Ganelles. They weren’t so obvious about it, but they would gossip about me from time to time. Still, there was one who welcomed me. Princess Catherine welcomed me with all her heart. She always told me stories of the Root Realm. Yet I must add that it was her who sent me out of Kamasylvia later.”
“I still can’t figure out why she had to do that. I then pleaded to Priestess Herawen when she took me outside, but the border was quickly closed, so I couldn’t go back.”
Orwen shook her head, “It’s alright. But recently, I heard there will soon be trading activity between Kamasylvia and Calpheon again. And I heard your family played a role in making that possible.”
“It’s all the efforts of the merchant guilds that made it possible.”
“There you are again being modest,” Orwen giggles, “Well, now I can protect myself… and here I meet with you again, back at a place I longed to be at.”
Reminiscing the Past
Orwen looks at Florentino’s eyes and smiles, “Do you remember when we first met?”
Florentino smirks, “How can I not when you’ve left your mark on my right cheek?”
“I already said I’m sorry for that time!” Orwen pushes Florentino playfully, “Besides, it was your fault, you pervert!”
Florentino laughs, “Yes, yes, of course, I’m the one at fault there. But I did mean every word that you heard when you read my mind using Ancient Energy.”
“I know you do,” Orwen smiles, “I did fell in love with you after all.”
“Did I ever told you that there was a chance I couldn’t come to the Ancient Stone Chamber?”
Orwen raises her eyebrows, “Oh? I didn’t know that, tell me.”
“Well, it started when my cousin Crisostomo was handling some paperwork in his study when suddenly a letter arrived from Edan. He was busy at the time with the paperwork, so he set it aside atop the mountain of paperwork. Hours went by and he forgot about the letter. I entered his study and saw him slacking off, he quickly regains his composure to look professional even in front of his own family. Suddenly, his daughter barged in and jumps over the table to hug him while screaming I came to visit.”
“Wait, Crisostomo has a daughter? I thought he’s a bachelor.”
“Oh, he is, he adopted a little girl, her name’s Lorrelle,” Florentino then winks, “That’s a story for another time.”
“Don’t get cheeky on me,” Orwen giggles, “continue please.”
“Alright,” Florentino laughs, “Well, when Lorrelle jumps over the table, the mountains of paperwork went flying and the letter from Edan is now in front of me on the floor. I read the letter and asked him if I can go instead, and he agrees.”
I Love You
Florentino suddenly went silent as he takes a deep breath then looks up to the sky. His heart’s beating faster than usual. It’s just him and Orwen sitting at the edge of the platform at Atanis Pond. His vision gets blurry, the only thing he can clearly see is Orwen.
“What’s wrong, Florentino?”
“Orwen…” Florentino then grabs Orwen’s hand and look her directly in the eyes, “I love you, I’m in love with you when I first met you and I’m still in love with you even after we broke up. Even after all these years, there was not a single day that I stopped thinking about you.”
“You idiot,” Orwen starts building up tears, “Why are you saying all these all of the sudden?”
Florentino smiles softly, “I honestly don’t know. I just want to say what I always wanted to say but can’t last time. I’m sorry it took me this long. Orwen, I love you.”
“You idiot,” Orwen smiles softly as she wipes her tears, “I’m still in love with you too. Every night I kept crying myself to sleep while thinking of you.”
Orwen springs herself towards Florentino to embrace him. Florentino is shocked but quickly brushes it off to embrace her. It has been a long time since they’ve felt each other’s embrace. The years of frustration was gone in that very moment.
“I love you, Orwen,” Florentino hugs Orwen tightly.
Orwen nods while sobbing, “I love you too, Florentino.”
They then look at each other’s gaze, unable to let go just like the first time they met. They both smile at each other as they both lean forward for a kiss. As their lips touch one another, they’re in the world of their own.
“Aww!” Everyone watching them at Atanis Pond said in unison.
Terribly sorry, everyone, if the story is not convincing enough or it’s poorly written, or even too cliché. I find writing love stories hard because… I never experienced love. Though I am good at writing stories about being rejected or being dumped. I’ll try writing love stories harder next time. I’ll also try reading more romance novels, manga or watch romance films, anime, etc.
Just Ibarra… who wants to play video games even though he has an 8-to-5 day job…