Rhen's eyes flickered, then open like she has just woke up from a long sleep.
She was in a pile of snow, the only thing she saw was snow, snow and more snow. She cupped her hands at her mouth in an attempt to keep herself warm.
"Brr...Wh-What a wea-weather!"
She walked around, exploring the land of snow.
"Wh-Where am I?" She talked to herself. Suddenly she was taken by surprise when she heard a voice.
Rhen followed the voice and she saw a woman, lying on a side, near a cliff edge. She wore a neat, gothic-like dress with a white hood.
"Wh-What is th-this place? Wh-Who are you?" Rhen tried to speak properly but her tongue got numb by the cold chill.
"P...Please...We must go back through the portal..."
"P-Portal?" Rhen asked as she didn't see anything there, besides them.
"It will t-take us back..." The woman pointed South and Rhen finally saw it.
"Come...Let me help you." Rhen held her shoulder and brought her to the portal as the woman leaned heavily against Rhen.
A second ago, they were in the cold, snowy land. In a blink of an eye, they were back in the cozy, warm, spring Clearwater.
"Pa! Pa! Come quick!" Rhen yelled as soon as she saw her dad.
"Rhen! My dear, are you okay? Ma and I have been looking for you all over the place. Where have you been? I'm worried sick about you." Pa stopped a few feet away from her as soon as he saw a stranger standing beside her daughter.
"Who is this stranger?" Pa asked, sternly.
"I don't know daddy, but she is hurt." Rhen replied as Pa noticed that the stranger was wounded.
"Is that you Tailor? I have come...It is time..." The priestess (who Rhen don't know that she is) spoke weakly.
"Daddy, you know each other?" Rhen questioned Pa, curiously.
"...I must get her back to the cottage." Pa didn't know how to answer her. He helped Rhen to carry the priestess back to their house and laid her gently on Pa's bed.
"Her injuries were serious." Pa mumbled, and then faced Rhen.
"Rhen, go get the herbalist and bring her over. Quick!" Pa said, urgently.
"Erm, okay. I'll be right back dad." And without delay, Rhen rushed to the herbalist's house.
On the way to herbalist's house, she saw all the town folks were preparing for the festival. Ribbons over here, posters over there, all the decors had been prepared for tomorrow can be seen everywhere.
"The spring festival is tomorrow, how could have I forgotten about this?" She finally recalled this event at the very moment.
On the herbalist's house, she knocked the door and a reply came from inside of the house: "Please come in."
The herbalist's house was neat and clean, all her herbs were put into the jars accordingly on the shelves, medical books arranged alphabetically on the bookshelves, and an elderly woman was making some kind of potion. Rhen was overwhelmed by the smell of herbs.
"Rhen! How is you mother and father? Can I get you anything?" the herbalist asked when she finished the potion on the alchemy table.
"Hi Dyonna. Do you think you can come by our house now?"
"Is anything wrong dear?" the first thing she thought is Rhen's Ma or Pa. But she felt relieved when she was wrong.
"No...er, sort of...I found this woman. She is hurt badly. Pa is watching over her, and Pa asked me to come and get you." And Rhen mumbled: "Moreover, she's from nowhere." But she spoke so softly that Dyonna did not hear her.
"oh dear, we should go then." Dyonna followed closely behind Rhen as they went to her house.
Tailor was sitting beside Talia, the priestess who was with Rhen. He was holding her hand, touching her forehead, trying to figure out who had done this serious damage to her.
"Tailor...Are you there?" Talia asked, softly.
"Yes I'm here, Talia. How are you feeling?"
"Not good at all..." Talia gave him a weak smile.
"Who did this to you?" Tailor crossed his eyebrows.
"It's the demon Agas, one of the daevas who was rescued by his master, Ahriman."
"...So he's back, doesn't he?" sighed Tailor.
"Yes...I'm sorry Tailor...I shouldn't been here."
"It's not your fault. What we can do now is to protect the last heir of Pendragon family from him."
"Yes." Talia agreed.
"Looks like I can't keep this a secret anymore..." Tailor sighed again.
"We'll eventually tell her the truth somehow in the future." There was a short pause and the priestess continued: "I'll protect the child at any cost."
"No, No. You won't be able to until you recovered." Tailor teased her.
"You haven't change abit, don't you?" Talia asked, sarcastically.
"Yep, nothing's changed. Just like old days." He rolled his eyes.
Rhen and Dyonna the herbalist stepped in to the Darzon's residence and go upstairs.
"She's up here in Pa's bed." Rhen pointed the way as they reached the second floor.
The herbalist went beside the bed and examined the woman carefully, then said: "This is a serious injury but I can fix it in no time." Rhen and Pa let out a sign of relief.
"Dyonna will help our guest get better." Pa spoke as they watched the herbalist do her "magic".
"Who is she Pa?" Rhen wanted to know the truth between her dad and the woman.
"...She is a priestess from a faraway land."
"A real live priestess! You two know eath other?" Rhen said, surprised.
"Yes...A longtime ago."
"Why would someone - a priestess - from a lifetime ago come here to see us?" curiously getting the better of her.
"..." Pa didn't know where to start.
"Should I tell her the truth, or maybe some time later?" Pa was struggling with his mind. Finally, he sighed.
"We will talk about it later dear. Go find your mother, I believe she has things for you to do." She stopped a while and carried on: "The festival is only one day away, there is a lot of work to be done." And without a sign of complain, Rhen walked out.
"Take a rest." Rhen heard her dad's voice when she was in the hallway.
"Dear, your little friend Nina stopped by while you were out. She told me she was going to the meadow to gather flowers for the festival. I need you to take this basket and bring me some flowers as well." Ma told Rhen in the kitchen.
"Do I have to, Ma?" Rhen started to complain.
"Oh, it won't be that bad! Now, fine me Marionbell flowers, and then you can play." said Ma with a smile.
"Humph! Oh, I mean yes, Ma" And without another grumble, she headed for the meadow.
"Oh hi Rhen. Good to see you again." Nina yelled as soon as she saw Rhen.
"Oh hi there." Rhen replied with a grumble under her breath.
"What's wrong Rhen?"
"My mom 'forced' me to get flowers for the festival."
"It's not that bad, is it?"
Rhen stared at her for a while, then sighed.
"Well ya, I guess."
"Great, now let's prepare for the festival!" Nina was getting excited about the festival tomorrow.
"Well, that's the last." Rhen plucked the Marionbell flower and put it into her basket.
"Wow! What a time. Looks like dusk is approaching, it'll soon be night. You don't want to be late getting home again, do you?" Nina reminded her as she carried her basket full of colourful flowers.
"I'll see you tomorrow."
"Bye Rhen!" and she rushed back to the village.
A few minutes later, she realised that she was in the front porch of her house.
"Time flies, doesn't it?" Rhen asked herself.
"Here are your Marionbells, Ma." Rhen handed over the basket to her mother.
"Why, they are lovely! Well thank you my dear. Oh my, how quickly days has slipped by!" Her mother checked the time.
"Time for your bed dear." Her mom ushered her to her bedroom.
"Good night Ma!"
"Sweet dreams, my dear."
Rhen walked into her room and noticed that Pa was still sitting beside the mysterious priestess, the herbalist was nowhere in sight.
She shrugged and get ready for a long night's sleep.