An immortal's heart

The tranquillity of the grove was breath taking. This was truly a Kami paradise. Theibar was astounded by the sense of peace and calm that rushed over him. This place reflected all the natural beauty of world, and reminded him of the man he once was, before setting out on this journey.

The caravan as a whole sighed with relief for the opportunity to rest and recompose. The events at the monastery had taken a toll on everyone, and the mood was dejected and edgy. The safety the grove provided allowed Theibar the rare ability to unadorn his armour and dress in robes of cloth and silk. In honour of the locale, he sourced a long piece of crimson silk and fashioned it into a suitably masculine obi.

Ameiko smiled as she approached, she was impressed with his choice of attire. She too was dressed in a kimono, though much more authentic and feminine than his own.

“Perhaps you could pass as a princess after all” Theibar teased.

“And you a prince,” Ameiko retorted. The two smiled at one another.

“Shall we go for a walk?” Ameiko asked, taking Theibar’s hand.

The two walked in circles around the grove. The thick vegetation barred the cold wind and the dappled light was warm to touch.

“How are you feeling now that we are so close to Minkai?” Theibar asked.

“Nervous. I still do not know what I will do once we get there.”

“Well, after we’ve dealt with this next Storm General, we will be one step closer to restoring your family’s birth right.” Theibar reassured. Ameiko nodded to herself.

“Ameiko, where do you see this going?” the two stopped and Ameiko turned to look up at Theibar.

“I don’t know,” she said, frankly. Ameiko had been dreading this line of conversation. They both knew where it would lead.

Ameiko smiled and sighed, “I care for you, Theibar.”

“I care for you also, however,” he paused.

“It wouldn’t work.” Ameiko finished.

“If we were to continue this, I would always be afraid of that day when we part. I fear the forlorn and if I were to give my heart to you, it would almost certainly be my future.”

Theibar’s words cut at Ameiko. “So you would close yourself off to the idea of loving me?”

An awkward silence fell between the two.

“My heart was closed off, until I started this journey with you.” Theibar’s expression relaxed, as did Ameiko’s. “I have learned a lot from you, Ameiko. I have seen a side to humans that I had ignored. Now, I confidently rely on people like Sandru, Koya, your brother, and you.” Ameiko was touched by the sentiment. “But who really knows what the future will hold.” Theibar continued, his thoughts trailing off elsewhere.

“I might be empress,” Ameiko mumbled. Theibar’s attention snapped back to the present moment. With compassion, he took both of Ameiko’s hands and held them close to his face.

“No matter what happens, Ameiko, I will be right beside you. I will protect you for as long as you need me to.” Ameiko reach up and touched Theibar’s face. “I will always have a special place for you in my heart.”

Without a word, Ameiko lent in and kissed Theibar on the cheek. “You don’t really suit a courtier, anyways. You’re more of a woodland elf.” The two smiled as their foreheads met. Softly, Ameiko stepped back, wiped a tear from her cheek and turned away.

“You and Shalelu are more suited than us anyways,” she said over her shoulder.

“What do you mean?”

“For a Ranger, you are not particularly perceptive, Theibar. She fancies you. For all the time I have known her, I have never seen her as weak as when she is with you. Open your eyes, my friend.” With that, Ameiko held her head high – to maintain her dignity – strolled back towards the crowded caravan, leaving Theibar in a muddled state.

An immortal's heart

Adelaide Jade Regent Wildhunt78 Pranachan