I used to gather acorns with a girl named Elise. she was a funny girl, kinda short, dirty, and she always looked scared of everything. Elise kind of scared me. but she helped me with the acorn gathering, and like most peasants, that was my main source of income until I found my path. after I became a Mage however, she still followed me around. she would always walk about a foot behind me, I dont know why, and drag herself in the mud, she never stood up properly, and if I stopped for even one minute, she would tug on my dress. She used to knock on my doors at night with her greasy little fingers and sniffle when I looked out the peep hole. sometimes I would tell her to go away, sometimes I would ignore her, but no matter what I did, she stayed out there, like a disease, infecting my home. her eyes didn't line up, one went up, the other went down. she would explain to me, that this was because her mother wasn't from this country. I tried to tell her that in no country is that normal, but after several arguments with her I gave up. she thinks the French have crooked eyes, she thinks shes French. whenever we used to pick acorns together I remembered I would look over to the other side of the tree branch and find her picking her nose or trying to remove some pest that had started inhabiting her ragged clothes. She bothered me, she annoyed me, and I dont know why I ever associated with her. After I had accomplished some Mage training I started applying to become a Diviner. It was my dream to join a nobel subpath, associate with the kindest and most sophisticated of people. Then came the day I went with some Diviners to King Yuri's Golden Jubilee. I was standing on the steps to the palace waiting to get in, dressed in my finest dress, and surrounded by the upper crust of society, and so happy. Gull and I started talking about King Yuri's wonderful reign, and things looked good, I scanned the crowd to check for Elise, and I saw nothing but pristine faces, I smiled. Then it happened, a tug on my dress. I ignored it and kept talking to Gull, if he saw me with her I would be so embarassed. She kept tugging, not getting the point, slow as usual, I tried casually to tug my dress from her grips while still smiling and holding up the conversation I was having with Gull, but she was persistant. I reached behind me and tried to pry her greasy little fingers from my silk dress, but that was too obvious, Gull noticed.
"What are you doing? do you need to go to the bathroom or somthing?"
I blushed beet red and shook my head trying to explain to him that there was just a very annoying pricker stuck in my dress. I tried to kick her from behind, but by that time her tugs grew more forceful and I could feel the shoulders of my dress slipping. I panicked trying to hold my dress up and keep talking, Gull raised an eyebrow at me, and Lokira and Castaspella behind us started looking over. I pulled my dress up but with one more tug from that little pest, the whole thing was ripped to the floor, and I sat there in my underwear exposed to all the finest in Kugnae. I felt my cheeks burn like there was a fire under the skin. the crowed began the wave of heads turning, and the laughter started. I turned around, my rage had deafened me to the cries of laughter from my peers, and saw that pest behind me, with her arm up to her elbow in her nose, and her little monkey fist wrapped tight around my dress, she looked up to me and said "oops." I snapped, the little thing inside me that has kept me from strangling her all my life, just threw his hands in the air and said "she deserves it I'm quitting." I grabbed her by her musslin potato sack that she called a dress and brought her as close to my face as I could without gagging from her stench.
"YOU STUPID LITTLE GIRL! DO YOU REALISE WHAT YOU DID? I HATE YOU YOU MORON! DONT YOU GET IT? YOUR DIRTY, YOUR STUPID, YOU SMELL, AND YOU HAVE NO SOCIAL STANDING OR ETIQUET AT ALL! YOUR A LOUSEY WORTHLESS PEASANT AND IF YOU DONT LEAVE ME ALONE SO HELP ME GOD I WILL RID THE WORLD OF YOU!" one of her eyes stared into mine, the other was looking at the gaurd, and it welled up in tears. small rivers of tears washed clean stripes on her soot covered face, and she ran away into the crowd as she cried. suddenly, I felt very naked, and very bad. I looked around, Gull had stepped back and preteneded to not have been talking to me, and the whole crowd was looking at me like I was a monster. "She followed me around for my whole life!" I said trying to save face. "You have to understand, she was at my door every night! she would tug on my dress every day! she bothered me!" still no responce, and the crowd turned away from me. I felt my heart sink into my shoes and in my head I could hear my mothers voice going "tsk tsk tsk." I picked up my ruined dress and slunk away from the crowd, feeling like my life had ended on those steps. I got home and threw myself onto the bed, I closed my eyes and before me I saw my guide, ArauraDove! she smiled at me with her sweet smile, and her eyes sparkled with kindness. "Darling you have strayed, I am here to show you what could have been" I blinked at her words, I was confused "Araura, I thought you where a Diviner, not an Angel!" she smiled at me and winked "well I became a Diviner after the gods made me an Angel, and you know what they say, 'dont quit your day job'" she giggled and took my hand "now, I am going to show you somthing" we flew over my house and before I knew it we where in the court yard of Buya, and Elise lay there weeping and sniffling, alone. "who is that?" she asked. I looked at Araura, "its Elise. She didn't knock on my door tonight, you know, it made me sad" Araura nodded "yes I know." she snapped her fingers and we apeared in the palace, everything looked new though. "Whoa where are we!" I exclaimed "its beautiful!" Araura smiled "we are in the Palace of Kugnae, in the future. sit here and watch with me." we sat back in the corner, and a massive gilden door opened. There stood Elise, washed, trimmed, and in a beautiful dress. I nearly choked. "But shes a peasant!" I exclaimed, Araura laughed at me. "Social rank is not everything to everyone you know." the Prince emerged behind her and gave her a small kiss on the cheek, together they walked down the hall to a office. "BUT! NO WAY!" Araura smiled at me "he found the beauty in her heart. keep watching." The doors opened, in the office there I was, in a beautiful dress as well, I hugged Elise, and the Prince bowed to me. They handed me a crown, and a sword given only to Primogens. "What...?" I was confused, I looked to Araura for answers. "This is what could have been. if you had been her freind, this would have been your future. You have just founded your own subpath devoted to healing through comunity and herbs, and you have just recieved your title of Primogen for your own Clan. Your also her royal advisor and live with her in the palace." my jaw fell to the floor "your kidding..." Araura giggled and snapped her fingers, we apeared in a elaboratly decorated room "Here is where you live, she has taken care of everything for you, even your sheets are silk." I blinked "The bed is big enough for two..." she smiled "Oh yes! Elise has made sure you where married to the man of your dreams, an affluent buisness person, the two of you are very happy." I blinked, my heart sank to my chest again. "But I was always so mean to her..." Araura nodded "well she was happy just to feel like someone cared about her. Thats all she needed. by the way..." she snapped her fingers again. there it was, the scene outside the palace. I screamed "No no no! Araura I dont want to see this again!"
Araura laughed "no, remember, this is what COULD have happened." there she was, tugging at my dress again, but this time, I turned around, and she handed me a blue wind toy, the one I wanted. I felt my eyes well up "she only wanted to give me a toy..." Araura nodded. I hung my head in shame "Araura, I feel horrible is there any way to reverse this? I can't believe I acted that way..." She smiled at me and we apeared outside my bedroom again. "Its never too late" she said, and with a snap of her fingers she disapeared. startled I felt a though I had just been awoken from a deep dream, I ran over to Buya Palace to find her, but I looked around and didn't see anything, or anyone, and I sighed a deep sigh, falling into a seat by the palace door. then I heard it. it was a soft "hic hic hic huuuuuu" noise. It was just around the corner, I checked. there she was, little Elise, crying her eyes out, with her little finger up her nose, and I scooped her up, and gave her the biggest hug I ever gave anyone. "Its ok Elise, Im sorry, dont be mad at me, lets go have something to eat ok? its on me" I smiled at her, she stopped crying and was still for a moment, then she cracked a toothless smile and nodded. we had about 3 pounds of Sushi that night, but I have never had so much fun in my whole life.
~Makie Otono Tachibana~
Gwa-Gu Light walker