11 August 2015

The Curious Girl and The Traveler - Act I


The morning comes and once again the sun granted his light to the land where Okuto Village, a medium sized village with no more than 85 families resided. Situated in southern shore of Ekoli River Valley that flowed between the snow-peaked Horas Mountains and the smaller but heavily forested Wadar Mountains, Okuto Village, just like dozens of village in the same area, was a farming village that were blessed with fertile alluvial soil and abundant water – surface and underground – supply. So it’s not that strange for this village to have several wells that bring forth water from the land’s depths.
In one of such well, we can see a figure of a petite young girl with dark hair just like night’s black that gently flow until her waist but neatly tied by colourful ribbons. Her small hands seems struggling to draw the well rope pulley; but not because her frail constitution or lack of strength; but because Asari, the girl’s name was drowsy. She had a hard time to sleep last night since she can’t cast away the strange star from her mind.
She already consulted her father about what she saw last night.
“Father! It looks like the star can also become sick, because last night there was a star that slowly descent in the forest before arise again before finally fly to the sky before vanish behind the Mountains.”
But her father only give a delicate expression with what can be interpreted as, ‘Are you feeling unwell Asari? Or are you tired somewhere?’
Of course Asari soon feels like she had become an ignorant fool and swear that she wouldn’t tell another soul until the world meets it end. The last thing she wanted was to be laughed at by the whole village and shamed her father name.
Asari poured the water that she drew into the clay jug and brought it in front of her house, when she saw her father, Ewanu, walked out the door.
If you see him personally you won’t be blamed if you think that he and Asari are not related by blood. Many villagers deemed that ‘the apple fall from orange tree’. If Asari had long straight hair, her father hair is curly. If Asari had more pronounced nose, her father had more flatter one. Asari face is more rounded than the more oval face her father had. In many ways Asari is just like her mother that had passed away (one of the reason why her father pamper Asari so much). Only in the deep black hair colour and big eyes with brown-purple streaked iris that this father-daughter pair had in common (the eye colour of the mother is dark brown by the way).

“Ah, my daughter Asari, you came at the right time. Father happens to need an extra hand right now.”
“Well, what do you need help for Father?”

This is not a rare occasion since Asari usually help her father with his work.

“Mister Uharu’s Youngest Son had a really bad stomach-ache and he asked for a cure. But, Father just runs out of ingredient to concoct a potion that he will need. Father can gather the entire needed medicinal herb by myself, but if you could help then we can save a lot of time.”

If she doesn’t misremembered, Mister Uharu is one of the farmer in the village and the son that her father talked about are about 10 year old and still not received his ‘Name’ yet. As a fellow villager Asari feel an obligation to help as long as it still fall on her capability. Medicinal herb gathering is just a simple task, how hard it would be?

“Alright Father, what kind of herb do you need?”

“Mouse Leaves, Fire Red Flower and Adasi Leaves… If Father hadn’t gone senile yet, they can be found in the forest near the riverside road junction. Father guess you would be familiar the location and the herb appearance, didn’t you?”
“Of course! Asari am Father’s Daughter after all!”

Asari proudly answered and gave a big smile. A common village girl usually would never been taught to read or write, but Asari learned to read and write from her father after she begged (and cried) that she want to read her father’s books when she was 6 year old. That’s why Asari can be confidently stated that she had already read every book in her Father’s collection.

“You really are a dutiful daughter, Father is really proud for you”

Ewanu responded while patting Asari head.

“Stop father! Asari am not a child anymore.”

Protest Asari while stomping her feet, but she doesn’t do anything to prevent her father from keep patting her head.

 “But for Father, you will be forever My Cute Little Daughter. At least, until some man take your hand from this home.”

“You can rest, Father. Asari will keep look after Father in later days.”

Ewanu’s heart of course is touched by Asari statement, but Asari certainly still will get married and leave his side as she had already passed 16. This is a lonely sadness that only can be understood by parents who had a daughter.

After sent off her father, that will gather herb in the opposite forest, Asari entered the house and prepared her ‘fighting garb’ for travelling into the woods: a thick cloth sling bag that contain water skin, lunch provision, small knife, wrapping paper and cloth, tinderbox; a thick wool coat to fight back the cold air that sometime come down from the peaks, and a thick leather shoes that covered the whole feet and half shin; she also doesn’t forget to brought her dagger as self-defense weapon. With these all assembled, Asari ready to set out!
I mean how hard is it to gather herb?


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