Orwen, a half-Elf, and half-Human, originally came from the land of the Elves.
The Elven land is considered sacred due to the spiritual power that has circulated within the core of the land from ancient times. The Elves can channel that power and can sense the presence of Ancient Energy.
Ancient Stone Chamber
The Ancient Stone Chamber is constructed with the architectural methods are far different from the buildings of the contemporary era.
A lot of archaeologists tried to discover something of value in the ruins, but they’re in vain. Recent rumours, however, suggest a group of people lead by Edan, the famous adventurer and archaeological expert, were successful at translating the ruins’ hieroglyphs.
Inside the Ancient Stone Chamber are Edan and his team. They are accompanied by then part-time-mercenary Florentino Ibarra.
“Good to see you’ve made it, Florentino,” Edan said as he shakes hands with Florentino, “I hope you didn’t trip yourself on the way down.”
“Edan, greetings,” Florentino said casually, “I heard a lot about you since we last met.”
“I hope those are good things that you’ve heard about me.”
They both laugh.
“I’m glad you’re finally here.”
“It’s all positive, don’t worry, what do you have for me, today?”
“Oh, nothing, I just want to test something out, we’d like to see if there’s going to be a reaction.”
“Reaction to what?”
Then suddenly, a beautiful Ganelle Elf approaches them in a hurry. In Florentino’s eyes, everything is now in slow motion as he watches the Ganelle Elf approaching them.
As Florentino is looking at her, he realizes that there’s something similar to him. For a Ganelle, this one has ears that aren’t that pointy like the other Ganelle Elves.
“Edan, we’re now ready,” the Ganelle Elf said.
“Great! And just in time too,” Edan said then turns to Florentino, “our guest has arrived… umm… Florentino?”
Florentino didn’t hear that Edan called him out, he is just looking at the Ganelle Elf. The Ganelle Elf then smiles at Florentino and nods, this made Florentino return to his senses.
A Hint of Dark Energy
“Right, yes, what are we going to do again? Do you have a bounty for me or an errand mission? I can do all that. I can also provide escort services.”
“Um… don’t worry… it’s nothing like that…” Edan said slowly, “I was just about to explain to you.”
“Oh, right, I’m sorry, please, if you will.”
“Right… we have here is an ancient artefact. We’d like to see if there’s going to be a reaction from you.”
“I beg your pardon?” Florentino said as he looks at Edan with confusion written all over his face.
“We want to see if you have dark energy…”
“You’ve lost me when you said ‘dark energy,’ Edan, I’m sorry.”
“Pay no mind to it, let’s get to work. I’d like you to meet Orwen, she’s assisting me in investigating these ruins because of her unique abilities.”
“Lady Orwen,” Florentino said as he quickly faces Orwen and bows, “Florentino Ibarra of the Ibarra Family from Calpheon, at your service.”
“Nice to meet you,” Orwen giggles, “thank you for aiding us in this experiment we’ll be conducting.”
“It’ll be my pleasure, milady,”
Edan looks at Florentino in contempt.
“Right… now… Florentino, if you would be so kind as to stand right there,” Edan points at the ground near a large ancient artefact at the centre of the room.
“No problem,” Florentino said as he walks to the marked location, “what will I do now?”
“Just stay calm and let Orwen concentrate.”
Florentino did as he is told, just standing still, while Edan is at the side with his arms crossed. Orwen, now with her eyes closed, however, is now channelling the energy of the spirits. She is now communing with the Ancient Energy.
The area Orwen is concentrating on starts glowing bright white and white smoke starts building. It’s lighting up the whole room.
A Slap in the Face
Edan is now getting nervous. He is hoping that there’s going to be a reaction from the ancient artefact. Orwen, on the other hand, is trying her best to concentrate on the connection with the Ancient Energy. Florentino, however, continues to stare at Orwen.
She’s so beautiful up close, her ears… they’re almost like mine, close to Human than Elf… is she also a half-breed?
Florentino continues to mutter through his thoughts, Orwen on the other hand, is now getting irritated. To Florentino, however, because he is captivated by Orwen, he just smiles as he looks at her.
Orwen is now getting even more irritated.
Suddenly it went black, because of the light Orwen is illuminating is so bright, when it suddenly dies out it’s as if the whole room went dark. The eyes are taking time to adjust to the sudden change of lighting.
In a flash, something hits Florentino by the cheek, “Ouch!” he cried.
“You pervert!” a woman exclaims. The woman’s voice closely sounds like Orwen’s voice.
Everyone’s eyes finally adjusted to the current lighting of the room.
Orwen is seen at the corner covering herself.
“Are you alright, Orwen?” Edan said as he went close to Orwen, “what’s wrong?”
“That man is a pervert!” She exclaims as she points at Florentino while still covering herself with her other arm.
“Me? I haven’t done or said anything yet.”
“That’s the thing! You haven’t done or said anything… but you’re thinking about it!”
“I did not! Wait, you’ve tapped into my mind?”
“Yes, because of the Ancient Energy!”
Oh no… Florentino thought with his eyes wide open and his jaw dropped.
“See!” Orwen holds herself tightly to cover herself again.
“Florentino,” Edan said as he holds Florentino’s shoulder, “why don’t you go outside for a bit? You look like you need some fresh air.”
Florentino nods and left the inner Ancient Stone Chamber.
“What happened earlier?” Edan said to Orwen who is now getting up.
“As I said, he’s a pervert!”
“What made you think he is?” Edan is trying not to laugh.
“Ancient Energy allows me to tap into his mind…” Orwen’s face slowly turning red, “and… and… well… He keeps talking about me in his mind and…”
“And…?” Edan is now having a hard time containing his laughter.
“Well, he… he… keeps… he keeps…” Orwen’s face is now bright red, “Him and I… are…”
“You and he are what?” Edan is now grinning, “Come on.”
“Quit it, Edan!” Orwen shouted as she leaves the inner Ancient Stone Chamber while wailing, leaving Edan alone.
“Ah… love,” Edan said as he laughs. “I’ll leave them alone, back to work.”
‘Tis But a Scratch
Florentino went outside the Ancient Stone Chamber. A guard by the entrance notices him coming out.
“Hey, what happened down there? I heard some screaming.”
Florentino then turns around and face the guard.
“Oh, good lord…” the guard said as he gasps, he then forced a cough, “I’m not going to ask any more questions.”
“Is it bad?” Florentino’s right cheek has a bright red hand mark from the slap he got from Orwen earlier.
“It’s… fine…?” the guard shrugs, “Don’t worry about it.”
“Right…” Florentino said sarcastically, “you said that, but I can’t feel the right side of my face.”
“It’s just a scratch, don’t worry.”
“Right…” Florentino then continues walking.
It Was Uncalled For
Orwen then gets out of the Ancient Stone Chamber’s entrance. The guard sees Orwen and just tips his helmet, he then snickers as he attempts to face the other direction. She sees what the guard is trying to conceal, this puzzles her.
She then looks in front of her, there she sees Florentino by the distant, who looks like he’s lost in thought.
The guard is now trying his best not to laugh. This puzzles Orwen even more, she then took a deep breath and starts walking towards Florentino.
The guard can’t help it anymore, he then turns around, went inside, and began bursting into laughter.
Florentino hears someone approaching him from behind. He looks behind him, making sure that it’s his left side facing the approaching person.
There, he sees Orwen slowly walking towards him.
Am I hallucinating now?
“Hey,” Orwen said as she approaches Florentino with her hands behind her back, “I’m sorry… for the way, I acted earlier. It was… uncalled for…”
Florentino then snaps back to reality, what he is seeing in front of him is indeed real.
“Oh, don’t worry about it,” Florentino said while still maintaining that the left side of his face is showing, “I deserved it anyway.”
“No… it was my fault… I was being childish earlier…”
“As I said, don’t worry about it,” Florentino smiles.
Did it Hurt?
“Why won’t you look at me directly?” Orwen said as she innocently tilts her head, “do you hate me now because of what I did?”
“Of course not! I’m just… well… the view is fantastic here.”
Orwen then pouts and starts approaching Florentino slowly.
“Now, lady Orwen… there’s no need to do this…” Florentino starts walking away as Orwen approaches him while still maintaining to face with his left side.
The speed of their walking starts increasing. Suddenly, Florentino hits a nearby tree.
Oh no, Florentino’s eyes went wide open.
“Now look at me!” Orwen exclaims as she holds Florentino by the shoulder and forced him to face her. As a result, revealing the bright red hand mark on his right cheek.
“Oh my…” Orwen gasps, “did… did that hurt?”
“This is nothing, lady Orwen,” Florentino said as he smiles while looking directly at Orwen’s eyes.
“No, it looks painful…” Orwen slowly reaches for Florentino’s right cheek with her left hand, “I… did that… I’m sorry…”
“Don’t worry, it didn’t hurt.”
Orwen then touches the red hand mark in Florentino’s right cheek.
OW! SWEET LORD ABOVE! Florentino exclaims in his thoughts while remaining a calm face with a smile but his eyes say otherwise, IT HURTS LIKE BLOODY HELL!
“You’re in pain,” Orwen slowly caresses Florentino’s swollen right cheek.
“No… I’m not…” Florentino said while trying to maintain a straight face, “I’ve had worse.”
“No, no, you are in pain, I know… I can tell, and I’m sorry.”
“I’m telling you,” Florentino holds Orwen’s hand that is caressing his right cheek, “I’m fine… now…”
Their eyes are now locked at each other’s gaze. The birds chirping overhead, the calm breeze of the wind that makes the trees sway, it’s as if composing a song just for the two. It’s as if time stops in its tracks.
Orwen then holds Florentino’s left cheek with her right hand as she went slowly closer to him.
They’re now an inch away from each other, still, their eyes are locked at each other’s gaze; their lips going ever closer and closer.
With Florentino’s left arm, he hugs Orwen, now their bodies are as close as it can get. They both close their eyes, and with that, they kissed passionately.
They’ve now completely isolated themselves from the rest of the world.
The guard earlier is now leaning on the spear he’s holding, smiling at the sight he is seeing.
Edan is walking towards the entrance of the Ancient Stone Chamber and see’s the guard standing there.
“Hey, have you seen Orwen?” Edan said to the guard, “I want her to investigate an ancient hieroglyph.”
The guard didn’t hear what Edan said.
“Hey, I’m talking to-” Edan pauses mid-sentence as he taps the guard by the shoulder, “oh…”
“Sir?” The Guard said as he still maintains his vision in front of him.
“Nevermind,” Edan smiles while looking at Florentino and Orwen who are still kissing passionately, “let’s leave those two alone for a while.”
Orwen in Heidel
Following the events from the Ancient Stone Chamber, weeks have already passed. Florentino and Orwen are happy with each other but their works sometimes make it hard for them to spend more time together.
Florentino is seen walking by the streets of Heidel, he came from a mission from Cron Castle.
“Hey,” a guard said, “you look new here, where are you from?”
Oh right… Florentino thought, I forgot my necklace with the family crest… this will be fun.
“Um, yeah, you can say that,” Florentino said, “It’s my first time here. As for where I’m from… I’m from Olvia.”
“Olvia? Now that’s a beautiful place indeed. I’m Enrico Mancini, a guard here.”
“Nice to meet you,” Florentino shakes hands with Enrico, “where can I find an inn here?”
“Inn? Well, the Golden Toad Inn recently was taken over by people from Calpheon, so people started going to the Valley Lily Inn instead.”
“Interesting…” Florentino strokes his chin, “Tell me more about the inn.”
“Oh it,s a nice place, perfect for new adventurers. In fact, a group of fresh-off-the-horse adventurers just left for Valley Lily Inn, including a blonde woman of exceptional beauty.”
“Really?” Florentino raises his right eyebrow, “tell me about this woman.”
“Her name is Orwen, what a beautiful name!”
“Beautiful indeed,” Florentino nods, “is this beautiful adventurer still in town?”
“Well… if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to meet her.”
“Can you point me where Valley Lily Inn is?”
“Go through the door behind me and go to the big building you see from there, that’s Valley Lily Inn.”
“Thank you,” Florentino said as he bows.
Orwen at Valley Lily Inn
“Well, well, well, to what do I owe the pleasure?” the Shai by the counter said, “What brings a noble here?”
“Good to see you too, Reno,” Florentino said, “I understand that Orwen is in this inn. May I ask where she is?”
“She might or might not be here,” Reno grins as he leans forward, “but what will I get in return for this information?”
“My sympathies,” Florentino grins as well, “and well… let’s just say we’re now even.”
“Deal!” Reno quickly extends his hand to Florentino for a handshake, “she’s still here and is currently on the second floor.”
“Then, consider us even,” Florentino bows and went on his way to the second floor.
A Reunion with a Kiss
On the second floor of Valley Lily Inn, Florentino sees Orwen sitting on the bench with a Shai sleeping beside her.
“Florentino?” Orwen said as he sees Florentino walking towards them, “what are you doing here?”
“Well, I was in town and all that, and I heard you’re in town so…”
“Were you following me?” Orwen stands up, “You know how I feel when you’re always lurking by the shadows.”
“Well, you should be able to detect me, right?” Florentino said with a smug on his face.
“I’m trying to conserve energy for the investigation, what are you doing here really?”
Florentino sighs then smile, “I just missed you, Orwen, when I learned that you’re in Hidel, I quickly made my way here.”
“You don’t have to go through such lengths, you know…” Orwen blushes and tries to avert her eyes from Florentino, but she keeps looking at him, “I… missed you too…”
“Orwen…” Florentino holds hands with Orwen.
“Florentino…” Orwen went closer.
Their eyes are locked at each other’s gaze and inch by inch, they’re going closer and closer to each other. It has been months since they’ve last seen each other.
They embrace each other while still in each other’s gaze. Florentino sees Orwen’s eyes glancing at his lips and without realizing it, he’s glancing at her lips as well.
Orwen then let go of Florentino’s hands and wraps her arms around him. Florentino did the same. Their bodies are as close as they can get. Florentino then leans in for a kiss. With their eyes both closed, they now kiss passionately.
Yaz, a Friend of Orwen
“Mmmm… turkey…” the Shai sleeping earlier suddenly said, she’s talking in her sleep.
The two forgot that they’re not alone and they both giggled while still embracing each other.
“Who’s your friend here?” Florentino said.
“She’s my friend and also a companion of Edan’s, her name is Yaz.”
“I… feel… powerful!” Yaz suddenly exclaims while still asleep.
“She sounds fun,” Florentino laughs.
“She is, she’s a dear friend.”
Orwen by the Mountain of Sanctity
Following the events at Heidel; Florentino, Orwen, and Yaz went to the Mountain of Sanctity to investigate a location connected to Caphras.
There, Florentino sees Orwen busy with something. He slowly approaches her. Florentino is lost for words as he sees Orwen with a great view behind her.
“Well, look at you,” Florentino said, “busy as a bee.”
“These texts…” Orwen said as she continues reading the book, “it’s nothing like in the records…”
“What is it?” Florentino leans forward to read the context of the book, “It’s all in a language I’m not familiar with…”
“It says here that Caphras’ hidden alchemical laboratory is somewhere nearby if we can decipher more of this… we can truly find the answers we’re looking for.”
“Sounds interesting,” Florentino smiles, he likes that Orwen is enjoying herself.
“I can’t agree more,” Orwen nods, “especially since… wait… this is it!”
“Let’s go back to Yaz,” Orwen closes the book and starts walking to Yaz while Florentino follows suit.
“So, you’re telling me that Caphras’ hidden alchemical laboratory is indeed in this region?” Yaz said.
“Yes, it says so in this text,” Orwen shows Yaz some parts of the book’s texts, “it’s just north of here.”
“That’s great!” Yaz jumps in celebration, “we must tell Edan about this.”
“How about you tell Edan about our findings here, Yaz? While Florentino and I investigate north of here. When you and Edan are back, we can explore it further because we’ve already had an understanding of the area.”
“You know where Edan is, and we can’t risk all of us getting in trouble.”
“Orwen has a point, Yaz,” Florentino, who is quiet up to this point, finally speaks as he nods, “it’s not that we’re questioning your abilities, but you’ll have a greater chance of finding Edan faster than us.”
“Alright, fair point,” Yaz then walks towards her donkey, “if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go get my beloved Edan.”
“Godspeed,” Florentino salutes at Yaz while Orwen waves at her.
This is it
A few hours have passed since they started their investigation to find Caphras’ hidden alchemical laboratory. Now at last, true to what the deciphered text says, they’ve finally found it.
“Florentino…” Orwen holds Florentino’s hand, “it’s here…”
“Yes,” Florentino firmly holds Orwen’s hand, “you’ve done it. Thanks to your efforts, Caphras’ laboratory is within reach.”
“You mean we’ve done it,” Orwen kisses Florentino by the cheek, “thank you, Florentino, for being there always.”
“Are you ready?” Florentino looks at Orwen.
“Yes, but…” Orwen looks down, “I’m… a little afraid…”
“Look at me,” Florentino walks in front of Orwen and holds her shoulders, “don’t worry, you can count on me. I’ll be with you, always.”
“I love you…” Orwen looks at Florentino’s eyes directly.
“I love you too, Orwen.”
Then they both lean in for a kiss.
After a while, they face the large ancient door in front of them, while holding hands, they slowly walk towards the ancient door.
With not knowing what is on the other side, they’ll bravely face what is to come.
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Andrei Jarell Vedad is a passionate financial literacy advocate from the Philippines. With a background in Information Technology and currently pursuing a law degree, Andrei combines his knowledge and expertise to empower individuals in managing their personal finances. Through his blog and extensive research, he shares practical tips, strategies, and thought-provoking articles to help readers make informed financial decisions and achieve their financial goals. With a global perspective, Andrei aims to inspire positive change and foster financial well-being, not only in the Philippines but also worldwide.