|My Lady Lumina
Author: Chicken Yuki PM
The Farmer's Son reflects on his feelings for Lumina before finally leaving ForgetMeNot Valley to travel around to spread his music. He then considers asking her to join him with little hope of acceptance in mind...Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst/Romance - Words: 7,744 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 3 - Published: 08-09-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3096055
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Please... you mustn't suffer for my sake..."
I felt by heavy head resting upon a warm lap.
Desperately, my eyes wandered about until it rested upon the most beautiful sight I ever laid eyes on:
A young woman with long, flowing brown hair with gentle hazelnut eyes and a warm smile. She wore a shiny silver tiara and a lovely, baby-blue dress.
"You mustn't suffer my sake... my freedom isn't worth it... I'm not worth it..." she softly uttered in a sober tone as she gently caressed my cheek.
"Lady Lumina, I don't care... about what may lie ahead for me anymore... all that matters right now is that I can assure your future..." I said in my weakened state.
"Sir Link, please! I don't want to see you suffer anymore!" my lady pleaded.
But I refused to let her remain bound to her cage before. I was still weakened from my past struggles, but I still had enough left in me to continue my battle.
She continued to plead for my attention, but regretfully, I forced myself to ignore her cries. It was until she let out a great gasp that she finally caught my attention. However, I could not afford the luxury of checking her. What materialized right before my very eyes was a dastardly odly lady with curly white hair, silver glasses, and an ominous black cloak.
The fiendish old crow cackled to herself. "Out of all the self-proclaimed heroes that came to save her, what makes you believe that you will suceed where they failed?" she taunted. "I can see through your valiant charge, young warrior. You are merely like the rest of the fools who dream of having the lady's hand in marriage and bringing honor upon yourself, are you not?"
I narrowed my weary eyes in disgust. "I don't care about my honor! All I wish is to ensure Lady Lumina's freedom!" I cried.
"Freedom?" she scoffed as the witch laughed at me in mockery. "You're an even greater fool than I realized! Beyond here, a lady of her blood is already bound to so many other chains! By what way do you believe she will achieve this "Freedom" of which you speak?"
I growled angrily at her taunting. "I believe in her strength to achieve this Freedom! I swear by this sword, I will no longer allow her to be lead astray by the hands of fate! So for this sake, I fight to show her this truth!" I proclaimed.
"I cannot believe what I am hearing" she growled. "You pledge your life... for the sake of a weakling who is only fit to serve!"
"SILENCE!" I shouted. I then turned my head towards the saddened eyes of the damsel.
"Lady Lumina, please believe me when I say you are not helpless. I know this is hard for you to believe, but you are the only one who can permanently end this witch's reign of terror. If you cannot find the courage to face her, please leave this place until you discover your inner strength. It will bring no good to anyone if you remain her captive. Please... take this one chance that I give you." I asked.
I then faced the devilish woman once more with sword raised in hand. "FOUL FIEND! I SEE THROUGH YOUR RUSE! I WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO CONTAIN OUR TRUE SAVIOUR ANYMORE!" I shouted as I charged straight ahead with my sword thrust out.
"Great Power of Mana, I heed thee!" the witch chanted in a sinister voice. She continued to utter her demonic words as my sword gleamed with honorable intent.
In a matter of moments, the witch came close to completing her spell as my sword was within an inch of her body. "DARKNESS CRY ---"
At the same time, a wave of dark energy overwhelmed me as I pierced the witches' chest. Sad to say, I had felt my life slipping away as the Witch remained full of immortal vigor. It was not too long when I heard my Lady crying from behind. I turned around, and her eyes swelled with tears. However, within her anguish, something else stirred within her. She finally found the inner light to forever vanquish darkness from our kingdom in my final hour. Unfortunately, I could not live long enough to see her time of triumph. It was unusual, but as I saw my lady cry for the last time, I was smiling.
"Now, Lady Lumina... Fight..." I uttered as my final words.
But as I passed out, I did not see the light most spoke of as they passed into the afterlife. Instead, I saw a cabin-like room with various mementoes.
I then realized that it was not my final memories, but a dream created by my fantasies.
I am not a brave warrior, but the son of a farmer who was named after some mythical hero.
Romana is not some wicked witch wielding terrible powers, but a willful old lady who's afraid to loose what's left in her life.
And although she is still a lady of nobility in real life, Lumina is not a maiden who secretly held the potential to save her kingdom. She a piano prodigy by her grandmother's guidance.
To me, this felt like a truly sad thing. For the longest time, I harbored feelings for a woman who is far too old for me. Even to this day, as I have reached adulthood, and should have moved beyond such petty feelings, my heart races when I'm near her.
Things have changed since my childhood. The flowing long hair I have become so familiar with has been chopped into a shorter form. She had grown from a young lady with naive dreams into a mature woman with adult wisdom.
But to me, her face was still as young and beautiful as I remember it. I still find myself drawn to her no matter how much I resist, no matter how hopeless a relationship with me.
Still, there was always a similarity between dream and reality that always bugged me: Whenever I gaze into her lovely hazelnut eyes, there was always a strong hint of sorrow.
Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life
My Lady Lumina
My name is Link, and I am the son of the earnest farmer Gavin, and his loving wife, Celia. As of now, I'm officially an adult resident of Forget-Me-Not Valley.
I have this nifty brown cowlick hairstyle. I dress up in a white shirt with a red bandana, some sneakers, and a pair of jeans, so I look quite a bit like Dad.
Ever since I was little, I've always had this strong fascination with Fantasy and Music, mostly because of the stories my Dad used to read me, and all those times he took me to that weirdo, Gustava. I guess my love of Fantasy comes out in my daydreams, where I turn a mundane chore of cutting the grass into an epic struggle of good and evil.
Each tall blade is a terrifying monster, and the sickle in hand is my mighty weapon of justice.
Come to think of it, Dad did tell me I was named after a legendary Hero from a story he read some time ago. I guess my love of all thinks Fantasy came from him, even if he is content with his humble lifestyle.
Speaking of things I love, well... this always made me feel awkward. For the longest time, I've harbored this huge crush on the local "Lady" of Forget-Me-Not Valley, the quiet, yet kindly Lumina. My first few moments with her were strange to me. Back when she had long hair, I used to remember how tenderly she held me. To be perfectly clear, it wasn't as if I had another Mother at my side. The warmth I felt from her was different, but was still very special to me. And even when she was usually composed, she had this energy, this sparkle in her eye that always appealed to me.
Nowadays, Miss Lumina is growing increasingly reserved and soft-spoken, but she's still this wonderful woman to me. It's not that I'm growing accustomed to what she is becoming; it's that I can still feel that she's that same, compassionate lady.
Besides Gustava's mean tunes on an acoustic guitar, I also believe Miss Lumina influenced my interest in music due to her skills on the piano. Whenever I catch her practicing in the mansion, I always felt myself drawn towards it. Before, I was just happy with the decent effort she put in it, but now it's... It's enchanting. It soothes me. It's really beautiful and refreshing. I find yet another reason to come to her mansion everyday, but at the same time, I feel guilty.
She's brought her music to perfection now, but is this devotion her own, or one solely enforced by her grandmother, Romana? Does she feel any internal calm as she plays those soothing songs? Is she fulfilling her own dreams this way? Is my enjoyment merely pushing her down a path where she cannot find true happiness?
Once these fears came into play, my reoccurring dream began. Romana becomes the evil witch, I become the faithful hero, while Lumina becomes the maiden who could not fathom her own power until I sacrificed my life.
But I know Romana isn't the bad guy, here, and I am not worthy to be by Lumina's side.
So that leaves one thing left that's without a contradiction:
Lady Lumina is trapped in a cage, burdened by loneliness.
It's always made me wonder what Miss Lumina really wants to do with her life.
Since the death of her parents, she's been bound here, to her only living family, since a time far before my birth. If it's truly so unbearable to leave behind her remaining family, she will likely remain here for the rest of her life.
Meanwhile, I haven't lived long as she has, and I already yearn for a taste of the outside world. It was fun helping out at the farm, and meeting everybody around this quiet place, but Dad was able to explore the sights in cities before, and I want to do it as soon as possible. I already told my parents about my future plans as a traveling musician, and even though they're sad to hear about it, they're going to let me go free. I guess I'm lucky to have one of the few understanding parents in the world, huh?
I've already started packing up, and I think I'll be ready by next season. I've already made a few plans on where I'll be headed, and I think I'll start out by heading out to Mineral Town. I've heard from my longtime pen pal, May, that there's a great winery over there. The way she describes the taste makes it sound incredible, but I think I'm getting ahead of myself.
Anyway, I've been going over a few more things in my head, and I've decided to take care of a few things before I leave. Among these... telling Miss Lumina my feelings... was top priority.
Obviously, I've been thinking about that one for a long time.
Mom believed this to be a crush, and thought it was very cute. I think I told Rock once, and he was inexplicably proud of this, bragging that we could both be this Valley's "pimps" one day. Kate also managed to find out, and she got irritated while yelling at me about my interest in "older women". With this all in mind, I had initially thought that it was all just a crush on an older lady, some prepubescent obsession that was meant to pass as I matured.
Obviously, by now, I realized there was more to this. As I grew, I ended up thinking about her even MORE than ever. I enjoyed being around her more, and I instinctively acted to cheer her up whenever she seemed depressed. By the time Gustava and Griffin tutored me on instruments, I started taking my own acoustic guitar, and we had some fun making up our own personal melodies. Of course, because she still doesn't know about my feelings, she thought I was just trying to be cute, but at least it was something we did together.
Yes, after everything we've been through, after realizing how much I really care about her, and how deep my compassion is, that what I felt for her was something truly special. But feeling this didn't compel me to compose random love songs or charming poetry. I hate that sort of thing, and I just know that I always will. Most love ballads sound far too blissful, and those that speak of heartbreak are filled with complaints and selfishness.
Nothing out there says why these feelings should be taken seriously. Nothing out there says why love really IS special. Nothing out there explains how even a hopeless romance like mine has meaning.
What I want to fulfill to the bitter end is a selfless love.
Despite having those words in mind, I felt that I might as well try one more thing and ask that she accompany me, with the approval of everybody else involved.
I was more than doubtful that she will accept, I'm almost certain that Romana would disapprove, but I was still curious as to what Miss Lumina really wanted. I couldn't pass up this final chance to know to truth.
It was raining on that fateful day. Dad decided to loan me his prized horse, Epona, so I made my way to the villa on horseback.
It didn't take long. I made it to the villa in practically record time, and as usual, I heard Miss Lumina's piano playing beautifully outside. For some reason, I found the faithful butler Sebastian outside. It looked like he was enjoying himself outside, despite the fact that he might catch a cold or something.
In my personal experience, Sebastian was always a kind and understanding old fellow, so I decided to explain my situation to him first. He told me that he was about as confident in my proposal as I was, so my hopes didn't rise, but it was comforting to hear him wishing me good luck. He then told me that Romana was sitting in her usual spot. After sharing a few more words with him, I thanked him for the conversation before heading inside.
Moving on with what felt like a typical day, I saw Miss Lumina there, thoroughly focused on her piano. That bittersweet feeling of uncertainty swelled in me once more, and Miss Lumina's tender smile greeted me at the door. With her developed skill and memory, she no longer has to rely on sheet music so much to accurately play her piece.
At that moment, I simply told her I wanted to see her Grandmother, and she responded by giggling and thanking me for keeping her company. She must still see me as the lovable child she's used to being with.
I guess, all this time, I've felt obligated to see Romana whenever I visit Miss Lumina, but in all honesty, part of me was always afraid of her. I mean, it's not like she's as burly and overbearing as Vesta, nor is it that I dislike old people. Heck, I've come to learn that there are plenty of really cool old people in the world, like Sebastian, or the Pyrotechnic Twins. To be more precise, it's the fact that Romana had this subtle, yet influential hold over everybody else living in the villa, and that alone gave her a formidable presence, despite her typical granny look.
I finally entered that small, yet heavily ornate room where she rocked in her chair, and confronted her. As we finally met face to face, I bowed my head to show my respect.
"Hello, Dearie!" she called to me in a typical granny fashion. "What brings you here today?"
"Ms. Romana! Uh... hello!" I answered. Obviously, I was pretty darn nervous when I approached her. "I'm not sure if you've heard anything, but I've come to say that I'll be leaving this valley in a season to go explore the world."
"Is that so? Gavin's little man is finally ready to spread his wings and leave the nest, eh? I still remember when you were a baby. Such a precious little thing you were back then!" she recalled.
Despite my nervousness, I was laughing on the inside. I just remembered in my early days that I really DID believe Romana was a witch! I admitted this to her when I grew up more, and she simply laughed it off.
"You've become really skilled with that guitar of yours. If you're thinking about taking your act on the road, it would almost be like my darling Lumina herself sharing her music with the world!" she chuckled. What an interesting coincidence...
"Yes I am. And Dad told me he's looking forward to hearing one of my songs on the radio one day. But I'm not going to try and rely solely on music to get my around! There should be plenty of part-time jobs in the cities, and I can cook! I could probably make some more traveling on the side by working at a restaurant every once in a while!" I told her.
Romana nodded to herself, with a strong, nostalgic look in her eyes. "Oh yes, your father. Gavin dear was always so kind to me. He always gives me a fresh crop from her farm every other day, and it would always be top quality. It's nice to see him and Sebastiatin talk together as friends, and he's been so sweet taking care of Lumina like a little sister!"
I grinned slightly. I definitely owe a lot to Dad for introducing me to Miss Lumina.
"Er... Thank you for bringing up your precious past memories, but there was something else I wished to discuss regarding my travel" I responded with apology, trying not to offend her.
"Okay then, Dear. What is it you want?" she asked patiently.
"Well... Ms. Romana, Ma'am... what I want to say is... I just... I'm curious if your granddaughter, Miss Lumina, would be willing to join me on my travels." I managed to get out. "With your consideration, of course..."
Suddenly, her eyes narrowed, and she removed her glasses to clean up fog.
"I see..." she answered in a composed tone. "And for what reasons do you have for doing this?"
I gulped. "Well, as far as I've heard, she's been around Forget-Me-Not Valley since the accident with her parents, and I was just wondering... if maybe she would like to have an opportunity to explore outside the Valley after being isolated for so long." I proposed.
Again, Romana slowly nodded. "Interesting proposal..." she uttered right before putting her glasses back in front of her pupils. She then stopped rocking as she inched forward on her chair and looked closely into my eyes.
"Now, as I remember in my youth, I've seen quite a few things in the world myself. Some were exciting experiences, others were refreshing times, and an exceptional few were dangerous places. After a while, I finally found a reason to settle down, and had a child to call my own. You can say that I was a changed woman that day..." she said, like she was reliving those old times in her head.
"I was proud to have that child, and I was even more grateful to raise that child into a grownup, although saddened to see my baby leave. Unfortunately, the sadness merely grew as I learned of that accident so long ago. The only thing I had left of my dear child was a lonely little girl, my Granddaughter Lumina. She's already heard numerous tales of the outside world thanks to my personal experiences, and a few stories that Sebastian had. And I believe, with everything she's dealt with, that she will be just fine staying here." she insisted.
"Is that so?" I asked her quietly. "And... did she actually say this herself?"
For some reason, I felt an increasing urge of defiance at that point.
"Yes. Yes she did." she answered in total confidence. "Some years ago, around the time Farmer Gavin moved in, after a long day of practice, she told me herself. She told me, "I don't want to leave, Grandma. I love living here with you and Sebastian, where it's safe." Nearly word for word, if I'm not mistaken."
"Really? And you said this was a long time ago, before I was even born?"
Romana raised a brow. "So? What is your point?"
"That's exactly my point." I stated in a slightly assertive tone. "It was a long time ago. How can you be sure that's still how she feels?"
"I know it's how she feels because I know what it is she wants. I'm the one who had to raise her, and the only family she has left. I've acted as much more than her Grandmother" she claimed, still brimming with eerie confidence.
"I can see that. You've raised a fine daughter, and she's been like cherished... older sister to me" I told her.
Come to think of it, my external relationship with her thus far was much like sibling love. This must mean that Miss Lumina sees me as a cute little brother to dote on.
"So If I'm not mistaken, this means that you want my granddaughter to join you because you like her a lot..." she concluded.
"Then this also means that you're making your own assumptions about what she wants." she added.
I breathed heavily. That is precisely what I was worried about, and it felt like Romana read me like a book.
"Wouldn't you fare better going with Nami? She's experienced at that sort of thing as well, so she would make an excellent guide on your travels" she suggested.
"That's true, and Sis has always been good to me. However, she's already left here some time ago, and none of us are certain when to expect her next visit here. She has this job as a weather girl in a city, and it's kept her busy." I explained.
I call Nami "Sis" because I always admired her as an older sister, and I thought it would be cool if I were to have one like her.
"Besides, I'm really interested in what Miss Lumina herself has to say about this."
Romana lowered her gaze for a moment, leaving a long period of silence. She then inched back into her rocking chair and started moving back and forth again.
"Go ahead, child, but I sincerely doubt you will hear anything new come from her" she firmly stated.
Again I sighed. I sensed that she had a point. If I don't hear those simple words that Romana "quoted" earlier, she'll treat me like an adorable boy, as she usually does. But I guess her casual attitude will soften the rejection, if only a little.
"Lumina has already been through so much. Even now, I feel that she isn't willing to leave behind her remaining family. I admit that it's a shame my little girl has yet to start her own family. And I had such high hopes for that Rock, fellow. He's quite the ladies' man, you know!" she added.
Rock, huh? I suppose he's someone interesting to approve.
"I've already taken a lot into consideration, but thanks for your concern" I answered.
"You're welcome, Dear. I hope what I have said today helps you in some way" she grinned "pleasantly".
Romana then stared off into space, as if she was about to nod off. I was about to leave quietly, so as to not disturb her sleep, but I was surprised to be cut off.
"It's interesting... how children change as they grow up. It's a shame how they cannot realize the true value of youth they still have. Even more alarming is how some once- innocent children change into appalling people at adulthood..." she muttered aloud.
I felt sickened by that side comment.. Was it me that she was referring to?
I turned to her, and noticed her blinking her eyes a lot.
"Link, dear..." she called out before opened a door. I turned around to see her wearing an unusual smile.
"Whatever happens from here on out, I hope you have fun on your journey. There are plenty of wonderful things to see out there, but it would still be best if you were to be careful!" she smiled.
I nodded to her one last time before I left. "Thank you for kind wishes, Ms. Romana. I'll be sure to remember that."
I let out one more sigh before I finally left her room.
I was starting to feel claustrophobic with the subtle pressure, but I had to remind myself that Romana wasn't the bad guy. She's only trying to protect her remaining family.
When I got to the welcome room, Miss Lumina had finally finished practicing. She was a bit preoccupied with cuddling the many cats residing here before noticing me again.
"Hello again, Link!" she said to me with a radiant smile.
I felt my heart skip a beat as I saw her being motherly towards those cats.
"Ah... hi!" I cried back. I think I blushed at this point. I really hope I didn't..
"How did your talk with Grandma, go?" she asked, looking at me very curiously.
Her various adorable facial expressions didn't exactly help me with my conversation skills.
"It was... interesting, to say the least." I grumbled in a surprisingly comprehendible form.
"I see... so she came on a little harsh again, huh? Don't worry, she just likes to tease that way. Strangely enough, the more difficult she is, the more she actually likes your company." she explained.
Okay... then I guess she still really likes me, huh?
"Does that mean she hates Dad, then? She was pretty much praising the old man when I spoke to her!" I told Miss Lumina.
Upon hearing that, she just stared at me in a peculiar way until she went into a fit of giggles.
"I suppose Farmer Gavin's an exception to the rule! People in the valley just can't seem to help from being kind towards your Father, even Vesta!" she answered.
I smiled nervously. So THAT'S why "Scary Lady" Vesta lays off Dad more than everyone else!
"By the way, did Dad or any of my friends say anything about my plans for next season?" I asked.
Miss Lumina nodded. "I heard it first from Griffin. He looked proud, yet a bit sad that one of his pupils will be off to see the world. Gustava also happened to be there at that time, and he looked unphased. I heard he had plenty of traveling experience too, so I think you have someone in the village that understands your need."
Good old Gustava and Griffin, my two tutors of the stringed instruments. Out of all the people Dad could've chosen as drinking buddies, I'm glad it's these two.
"So they've been spreading the news behind my back, already? With word spreading this fast, it's really hard to keep secrets in this valley, huh?" I said in half-frustration.
Somehow, that made Miss Lumina laugh, which made me smile. "It's a price you pay for living in such a close community!" she answered.
Miss Lumina was right. Nearly everyone in Forget-Me-Not Valley had a familial bond with one another. The only people who kept a lot to themselves were Old Man Galen, and Crazy Kate's family. Poor Galen lost his wife some time before I was born, while Kate's family was an upstart family used to the city. I really hope most city people aren't like that, because prideful mothers and bratty young women will most likely drive me away from such places.
To be completely honest; however, Miss Lumina's comment made me realize how much I'll miss this place once I leave. Despite the wide open spaces, it felt a little cramped with all the people you get familiar with, but it was a good kind of cramped. I'm also leaving behind many friends here. Mom, Dad, Griffin, Gustava, Griffin, Auntie Chris, Professor Carter and Flora, the Pyrotechnic Twins, Tim and Ruby, and Rock. I'm even going to miss Aunt Muffy, who really liked to baby me in my childhood. Ever since hearing a few of her personal stories, it felt like I was one of the things in this world that kept her going.
...out of all the wishes I have for this village when I leave, I seriously hope Aunt Muffy finds a reason to live on...
"It's a pretty small price in my opinion." I added.
Miss Lumina turned her head sideways and gazed nostalgically in the air.
"It's been far too long since the last time I saw the world outside of this Valley. Unfortunately, I was last left with a tragedy, but I guess... there were a few fond memories for me to hold onto..." she uttered softly.
"Right... so, anyway, I've been thinking a lot about this big journey I'm going to make, and I felt there were a few things I might as well do before I go." I said in slight hesitation.
"Really? Like what? Are you going to try all the drinks at the Blue Bar, since you've come of age?" she asked.
"N-no! Nothing like that!" I cried.
I had actually tried quite a few of Griffin's drinks before, and I was surprised to find out how many weren't alcoholics. It was a relief to find out he had some kid-friendly cocktails on the side, but it only strengthens my yearning for Mineral Town Wine.
"Actually, Miss Lumina, I've been wondering... I know you've lived here in Forget-Me-Not Valley for most of your life, while this has been the only place I've ever known. But still, considering your... situation... this would be difficult...but... are you interested in joining me for a little while? I found out I could make this work out for two people, and since Sis isn't around, and you haven't been out for awhile, that maybe you'd be interested?" I blathered in cold sweat.
Miss Lumina stared at me, like I was some sort of space alien, or some other unfamiliar creature. "Go... with you? Are you serious, Link?" she asked.
I felt myself shaking. "Y-yeah...I know it's a strange request, but you've always taken good care of me, and..." I stared rubbing my head a lot at this point.
It seemed to me that I sounded like a child again, and it made me feel really foolish.
"No, it's not strange at all. It was actually really sweet of you to ask." she said in awe.
And then I started blushing thanks to her. I rarely see her look at me like this. It'll probably be one of the last few memories I'll have of her.
"Really? Th-thank you!" I stammered.
I think I started regressing into my childish self. It was getting really awkward.
"Sure... but what do you expect to happen with me around? Isn't this supposed to be your opportunity at independence as an adult?" she asked.
"I thought... you might have some fun with me. Maybe it would help you relax, too. I believe you could enjoy the experience... that you could learn a few things about the world like I will... that it could help you move on in peace..." I said meaningfully.
"Interesting... I wasn't sure what brought this idea on at first, but you really thought this through, huh?" she said.
I nodded. "Yeah. I even planned it out and everything, in case you actually accepted, or if I happened to pick up another traveler on the road."
Miss Lumina gazed at me thoughtfully, which made me feel really funny inside. It wasn't exactly pleasant, but it wasn't torturing me at the same time.
"Well, thank you for offering, but it isn't something I'd just jump at." she answered bashfully. "It's good you took everything into consideration, but knowing what I have here... it isn't so easy for me to leave this place. I'm sorry, but I just can't leave Forget-Me-Not Valley with Grandma and Sebastian looking out for me."
I sighed yet again upon hearing this. It figures, but could I really expect her to join me? I prepared to be rejected for the longest time, and it still hit me at full impact.
"It's okay. I... didn't think you would, but really, it was worth a shot, wasn't it?" I asked in an embarrassment.
Miss Lumina nodded with a consoling smile, and then I felt a single tear running down my cheek.
"There's also something else... I've been meaning to ask you... something that I've wondered since I first heard you play..." I said while trying to hold back more tears from coming down.
"Really? Wow... that's... that's a long time..." she uttered quietly.
I nodded. "Miss Lumina... does playing the piano really make you happy?" I asked in a serious tone.
Miss Lumina's eyes dilated. I wasn't sure if I had any right to ask this, but I knew these were the last few days I had in the valley, and time was running out.
"Do you really enjoy playing the piano?" I asked again.
Both of us exchanged uneasy glances as we shared a long period of silence together.
Miss Lumina looked like she was having trouble finding an appropriate answer, while I felt my effort of containing my tears starting to diminish.
"It's just... every time I've heard you play, it's always sound so beautiful. I was always so fascinated by it, and it always drew me to your home..." I uttered softly, and remorsefully.
My tears started pouring, and, although she was still in great shock, I sensed a strong concern from her.
"But whenever I see you, you always seem sad somehow... and whenever I see Ms. Romana at your side during one of your practice sessions, you looked miserable... I started worrying about you after knowing all this, yet I'm still attracted to that music... I've even joined you in composition without regarding your feelings, and... part of me couldn't stand it anymore..."
The tears came down fast and hard. I couldn't stop them no matter how hard I tried, and now here I am, at my most pathetic moment, right in front of the one I admired most. I don't know if this was the best course of action for me to take, but all I know for sure is that I couldn't take it back.
I looked up into her eyes, and I noticed they started tearing too.
"Please tell me, has my playing ever helped you in anyway?"
I was taken be surprise as she asked me this.
"Well... when I was just a child, it used help me go to sleep, but nowadays, if I let go of my thoughts, it soothes me. I'm able to feel many new things thanks to your music, but I still feel very guilty--"
Without warning, I suddenly found myself held close to her. This didn't feel like her usual embrace. It felt like something... more...
"If it really makes you feel better, than I'm glad I'm able to play for you..." she told me with a very gentle voice.
"What I've been through all this time was a sacrifice I've made for this art, but if it really has such a profound feeling behind it, I believe it's a worthwhile sacrifice..." she continued.
Yet another unfamiliar emotion welled within me. Was I actually one of the reasons she continued to play?
"Miss Lumina... you don't have to continue playing if you really don't want to. I'm not going to around for long, anyway... and I could just trying to live without your music today. It... it isn't worth playing to make others happy if it only makes you miserable, so I don't want to burden you any further--"
"It's okay... I'll be alright..." she told me.
It didn't take long, but tears started flowing from her eyes as well. But still, she sounded so soft and tender, as if they didn't affect her at all.
"Please... you mustn't suffer for my sake..." she assured me.
I was taken aback. Those are the same words she had spoken in my dream, when she was the reluctant maiden.
It was then that I felt that she felt a strong sense of purpose with the music she played, but she was still held back by so much that had hurt her in the past.
"Miss Lumina, I can't help it. I can't help but worry about you... and I can't help but wonder what it is you really want..." I confessed as I sat up to meet her at head height.
She looked at me concerned, yet confused eyes. After that, she caressed my cheek ever so softly and slowly. Miss Lumina then opened her mouth, ready to speak, but she looked so hesitant to do so.
"Why... are you so concerned for me? Why do you want to know these things?" she asked.
Instinctively, I brought her hands close to my chest. So many walls have broken already, so I figured that one more would eventually follow.
"Can you feel it, Miss Lumina? I don't know if you believe me, but I love you... for the longest time, I've always felt this way... my heart always throbbed like this..." I finally confessed.
These words floated about in my head for the longest time, but I never applied it to some ridiculous, blissful, romantic fantasy. I'm aware that there's so much to be happy for in life, but I wasn't the kind of person to indulge in optimistic fairy tales.
"I wasn't sure in the beginning... I was a boy, and it started off as a simple childhood crush. When some people realized this, they convinced me that it was just a cute infatuation with an older woman, and it will pass eventually. But as time went on... these feelings grew into something serious. I suddenly found myself concerned for you, so I felt an increasing urge to help you in any way I could. All those times we were able to play together... every day you were able to look out for me... I'm grateful for all of those days..."
I felt like I had taken a load off my chest. My heart still pounded wildly, but this sudden confession brought me great relief. Still, I wasn't sure what to expect next, but it came, nonetheless.
She hugged me again, but this time she looked straight into my eyes as she did this. And she looked at me... in a way that made me feel different, somehow.
"You're very special to me. And it's because, you're so kind and sincere, and very earnest. You were such an adorable little baby before, and now you stand before me as a fully grown man, ready to explore the world. I feel so proud in having such a vital role in your upbringing, that I helped you grow into this wonderful person. And that's why... you'll always be precious to me..." she told me.
I was glad. I was never sure how she felt about me, or how she saw me as I finally reached adulthood, but now I know.
At that moment, it became a confusing time. We were both in each other's arms, crying without knowing for sure whether we were filled with joy or sorrow. The only thing I really knew was that we were together, with our hearts openly exposed.
And maybe, for the time being, that was all that really mattered...
So much time already passed since that fateful encounter. The day I was going to leave Forget-Me-Not Valley finally came. I had already said my goodbyes to my parents, and everyone else who lived in the valley. And despite everything we've put each other through, even Kate herself started to cry as I announced my departure.
I have everything at my side, now. Mom packed me a few snacks while Dad left me with a few valuable tools. Griffin gave me a few music sheets of advanced pieces he never got around to teaching me, while Gustava gave me a pair of his nifty sun glasses. The bartender even gave me a farewell drink on the side for good measure. The big man Cody also handed me one of his most treasured works of art.
Overall, it was a very touching moment. We already had a goodbye party the day before, but they were all ready to send me off in style today.
Most of all, Miss Lumina was there, looking perfectly happy to see me this one last time.
Everyone cheered and cried as I was ready to leave. I was filled with both fond memories and deep regret, but I knew that this was exactly what I wanted to do.
Every single resident of the valley gave me one their last and loudest hurrah, and then I was off on the road that wound deep into the canyon that would lead into the city.
It suddenly grew quiet as I followed the road a good distance. Eventually, the winding path opened up into a clear, spacious field with the local city in sight. I was just about to head there when I felt a subtle presence from behind.
"Excuse me..." a soft voice cried out.
I slowly turned around, and to my great surprise, I found Miss Lumina standing there, with a few of her own things prepared for a long trip.
"Do you mind if I join you?" she asked.
Without hesitation, I took her by the hand, and the two of us began our epic journey as traveling companions.
Author's Note: Again, I do yet another short story that took much longer than I thought. I suppose, it was mostly because it was pretty hard to do. Anyway, I wrote a previous story that was mostly about Celia's son's impressions on the villagers, with an intro on how he got his diary to wrote it. Since that rambled on, and the story received few hits and no reviews, I got discouraged from doing 1st-person narratives for awhile. Anyway, I read some recent "A Wonderful Life" fanfics that were doing well, and considering the feedback I got for "Dormant Beauty", I figured I might as well do this story that focuses on Link's feelings for Lumina (since that ended up being a strong point in my previous "AWL" story).
Anyway, while I'm finally going on with "Charms of A Scarlet Lady", look forward to an upcoming oneshot randomly inspired by Rhianwen. Rick goes from smalltime villian to Evil Super Genius, and allies with Won to take over Flowerbud Village! Who will arrive to stop Rick's evil plan? Why, none other than 4 Female Super Heroes led by a certain Goth-Lolita crusader! Dia, Karen, and Rothe unite under the leadership of hot-tempered Katie to combat the forces of evil! It's about frikin' time I wrote an HM fanfic with Katie as the Protagonist, 'cuz "Katie Defense Force" will be arriving soon! ... I think...