As the dawn creeps in, spreading light over the grassy knolls and down to the forest beyond, a young girl turns her face to the brightening horizon and smiles. Basking in the warmth of the sun and the gentle light that illuminates her face, she stands still, letting the peaceful magic of a quiet sunrise wash over her. Caressing her as gentle as a lover, the soft morning wind dances around her, lifting her long hair and catching the skirts of her dress. Despite the silence of the meadow, the wind sounds almost musical as it rushes past, swirling through the tall grass in a beautiful dance. Edelweiss buds sway to and fro, caught in the gentle currents. Flowers of all shapes and sizes begin to open, spurred by the light of day, ready to be picked and gathered by the girl.

Gathering her skirts up, she begins to run, laughter ringing clearly throughout the meadow. Heavily breathing, she comes to a stop on the edge of a stream, clear water trickling down ledges and gathering in shallow pools. Inside one such pool swims a little frog, no bigger than the pinecone buds on the trees in the distance. Just as the girl reaches for the water, letting it thread in ribbons around her fingers, the sun breaks above the horizon completely, marking the start of a new day. Kneeling on the bank, the girl sits for a moment, feeling the water on her hands, the life in the little stream. Leaping and jumping, the water seems to be given new vigor. Many plants sit on the edge, and they, too, seem to perk up, as though happy to see the girl. New leaves are coming in on the small mulberry tree on the edge of the stream. Overshadowing the water, the tree, though now barren, will soon bear rich fruits.

Past the river a ways sits the edge of the forest, pine and maple trees standing tall, branches stirring in the breeze. Queen Anne’s Lace sits at the edge of the pine trees, tiny purple flowers blooming in the middle. Rising from her perch on the bank of the stream, the girl makes her way over to the flowers, fingers gently gliding over the delicate petals, her touches no more than whispers.

Swaying with the wind, the branches above her seem to quiver slightly, as though in anticipation. Turning her attention upwards, she smiles again, reaching up to run her fingers over the thin needles hanging just within reach. Under the trees, the wind dies down a bit, but there are still moving breezes, cool air emanating from the darkened spaces under the canopy of leaves. Very slowly, the girl begins to make her way deeper into the forest, skirts snagging on branches and bare feet pressing into the old carpet of fallen needles.

Within the forest, the magic grows stronger, surrounded by the ageless youth of the trees. Xylose crystallizes in drips down the sides of some of the oldest, worn and scarred from their long life. Yapping wolves gather to the girl, docile under her piercing gaze. Zeniths converged as, against all odds, the goddess took her place among her subjects, in her home for the first time in a thousand years, foreboding evil to all the people of the world for a thousand more.

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