Blue Moon

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Prologue II

The lakeside is bright and peaceful; the waters reflect and give a translucent, blue glow. The lake encompasses a large area-- the mountains overlook it from the north and the oaken forests surround it from the west-- giving everything a fantastic vibe. Perth’s attention was momentarily diverted from his quest as the calm waters sing to him, in his head. He’s nervous, but nowhere near being scared. He looks for Althea, perhaps his childhood friend if one were to hardly think about it, everywhere. Their frequent rendezvous is the lake, and it grew to be a magical place for the both of them.

Perth traces through the bank, wherever Althea may be.

“Althea? Althea! I know there’s a festival, but the night isn’t always safe...”

Finally, after a couple of minutes, he finds her, sitting under a small tree, one nearest to the lake. He approaches her while panting, and she shows him a gentle smile.

“So... You were just here.”

She stands up and faces him. “I’m glad you found me.”

Perth is mesmerized by her stare. He thinks that her short, lilac hair and current outfit, a pink, cotton blouse that blends in well with the light and a miniskirt with silk leggings, really suits her. (It’s his type.) He almost spaces out.

“Is something wrong, Perth?”

“Ah! Uh... No, nothing...”

“You look as if you’ve seen a ghost.”

“No, no, no-- there’s no ghost seen,” he can’t seem to help but smile as he tells her.

“Or perhaps...” She raises a brow to hint her suspicion. “...were you imagining something?”

“No... It’s nothing like that, I swear...”

She leans in closer towards his face, and he can’t help but stare.

“Then, what is it..?”

“You look really pretty tonight,” he steadfastly utters.

“O-Oh. So that’s what it was,” her gaze flies elsewhere, as if he caught her unguarded.

“And I thought that you’d look even cuter if you had this...”

He brings out a Moonpetal hairpin and gives it to her. A Moonpetal looks like a daisy. However, its petals shine blue in the evening, and grey in the morning.

“It looks really pretty...”

“Y-You think so?”

“Yeah...” she says as she puts it on. “Thanks!”

She then proceeds to hug the now overwhelmed Perth.

“Happy birthday!”

“By the light of the moon... This is the best birthday ever!” He thinks to himself.

“I’ve something to talk about with you...” she whispers into his ear before they both look deeply into each other’s eyes, making them seem as if they were lovers if one were not to know about them personally. Well, maybe they are...

“W-What is it?"

“Hold on... I’m having trouble where to begin,” she puts her hands on his chest. “You see...”

She looks down.

“I’ll be going on a pilgrimage by next week.”

Her voice weakens.

“And... I’m sure that I’ll be gone for a long time.”

“That’s quite the news.” Perth’s tone changes as he raises her chin up. Fireflies finally proceed to enchant the place as they alight and blend in together with how the stars shine. The mood fortunately returns to how it was. Their attention is temporarily diverted from their eventual separation. “But... It’ll be alright. Let’s just spend the night together and make it worthwhile.”

“Yeah, you’re right. Let’s take our minds off on those things for a while,” she sighs.

The both of them sit down under the tree.

“I love this night.” Perth thinks out loud.

“Irelia will surely bless this land.” Althea whispers, as if praying.

“Irelia, huh?” Perth says.

Though born in a community who exalts the Moon Goddess, Perth is still reluctant to give praise towards the Maiden of the Blue Moon. That even though the goddess does bless their crop, that even though it is made obvious through their village’s plentiful, he still halfly believes. After all, “why wasn’t I blessed with parents?” That’s what he always thinks to himself. Perth then realizes Althea’s constant devout faith towards the goddess, and asks her about his hunches.

“Is it because of Irelia that you’re leaving?”

Her eyes wander off elsewhere, a bit hesitant to answer.

“Yes.”

“If that’s so, then I’m glad that she allowed me to spend this evening with you, let alone on my birthday.”

But Perth thought to himself: “How would I know if this day is actually my birthday?” Although, it no longer mattered so much, he focuses his priorities on the one beside him.

“By the way, do you think that there’s a Sun Goddess?” Perth asks her opinions out of the blue.

Althea is surprised with the theme of the question.

“I’m not sure if she exists... considering that we’ve only heard of the Moon Goddess’s gospel.”

“But if you think about it, there might as well be one.”

Althea’s eyes finally glimmer with enthusiasm. “You do have a point there.”

After a couple of minutes, the two finally lean on each other, however, it is evident that they haven’t done so on purpose.

“I’ve so many things I want to tell you, so many things I want to do with you... So many places I want to go to with you...” Perth whispers.

“Really? Like, what?”

Perth lies silent in embarrassment.

“Tell me,” her left hand crawls over to his right hand. “Tell me now.”

“I... I don’t think I can.”

“Why not?” Her tone attempts to persuade him to tell whatever he desires to say.

“I... might only regret it. The fact that it might not even happen...”

“Don’t worry,” she finally tightly grasps Perth’s loose left hand. “I’m sure it’ll happen.”

“But, there’s not enough time...” Perth’s tone makes it seem like he’s about to break down. After all, how can one be so sure?

“There’s still a week before I leave...” Althea reminds him as she closes her eyes.

“It’s gonna be a busy week,” he tells her. “Boss is surely gonna be giving me a heavy workload.”

“Right,” her tone changes. “Even I have to prepare...”

“Then, for this night...”

“What is it..?”

The two look at each other once more, before they both lean in for a kiss.

“H-Hey, that was your first, right..?” Althea whispers as her face becomes all red.

“Why wouldn’t it be..?” Perth’s thoughts are trying to control themselves.

“More...”

“Huh..?”

“Just one isn’t enough...”

Althea pulls him in and goes in for another. Perth’s consciousness is staggered.

“T-Take it easy, Althea...”

“S-Sorry,” she looks elsewhere. “I couldn’t help my desperate self.”

She looks up and down, her embarrassment finally kicking in.

“I-I’m sorry.”

“Althea,” I whisper as I grab her by the shoulders. “I really love you.”

“I do love you too. But, I’ll be leaving... and what if...”

“...what is it?”

“It’s-- never mind...”

“...I’ll be seeing you.” she says as she stands up, with melancholy glistening from her eyes.

“Althea...”

That night, I went straight to my room as she left, and I just couldn’t sleep. I know we might not be able to meet anymore, but what do I know? All I do know is that I can’t lose her, not even to culture. No. I have to make a plan. I have to do something...

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