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Outside The White Mansion

Chapter Text

The vibrant Summer cools down as the colors of the leaves started to change. Leaves are starting to change their hue, turning yellowish from green. The flowers don’t bloom as lively as the previous seasons that passed. Fall is about to begin, and eventually leaves will turn crisp and browning, or even turn into striking hues of crimson and orange.

Pete finally reawakened the Summer season by acquiring the Summer Crystal. He was very happy to bring back Spring and Summer with the help of his friends. With the power of friendship and hard work, anything will be possible to him. He was all set into restoring Fall. The Harvest Goddess told him about The King of The Underworld, who was the one that put a curse on the valley. He should make a deal, or even befriend, The King of The Underworld to bring back Fall and finally restore the flow of seasons in the valley. But first, he must dig to the very depths of the valley to reach his destination. He got a hammer with the help of the family of blacksmiths and it was quite a task for him to get the tool that will help him smash rocks that block the entrance to The Underworld.

It was a long, tiresome task for Pete to dig all the way to The Underworld. It took him a week straight to create a path to the depths of the valley. He made a layout of the rocky part of the valley and made a swirling staircase down to the gates of The Underworld. Knowing that he will be busy, he stopped his usual routine. He stopped farming, he sold his animals knowing that he can’t take care of them anymore, and he stopped socializing with the people that frequent to the valley. He dug and dug, very deep to reach the place he should go to. His attempts almost ended in vain as The King of The Underworld denied his pleas to help him bring back Fall in the valley. But Pete was very persistent. He believed that there was still a way to get the Fall Crystal. The yellow Harvest Sprite Rowan showed up to him and told him that they know a good friend that was good friends with the king, and showed the hopeful farmer the orange Harvest Sprite named Flint, one of the Harvest Sprites that mingle with nature in the valley. With the help of Flint, they tried to make the unwilling king to think twice.

The King of The Underworld agreed to Pete to get the Fall Crystal from him, only if he brought him the elusive Blessed Fruit. The Blessed Fruit is something mythical, almost impossible to find and only told in folklore. Pete, being a determined fool he was, signed a deal to bring The King of The Underworld his Blessed Fruit. He was very confident that he will get the fruit with hard work and the power of friendship. Pete went to the spring at the peak of the valley to talk to The Harvest Goddess, if she knew what a Blessed Fruit was and how to get it. Fortunately for Pete, The Harvest Goddess said that getting the Blessed Fruit was possible, but it will take him time.

To get the Blessed Fruit, first the Blessed Seeds must be planted. Pete broke the ice again to the people visiting the valley by talking to them if they own some Blessed Seeds, or if they know people who own one. Pete is quite a clever man, he thought of the people with a background with plants first: April, Iris, and Catherine. So he wanted to talk to them first.

 


 

 

It was a sunny Monday. Pete got up at 9 in the morning after a weary day discussing with The King of The Underworld and The Harvest Goddess, from the very depths to the valley up to the highest peak. He remembered that he stopped doing farm work because he got too occupied with digging his way down to The Underworld. He went outside and saw his friend Sam, who always went there up early to sell his goods to his regular. Pete approached Sam.

“Good morning, Sam!” Pete greeted Sam a good morning with a huge smile on his face.

“Mornin’. Whaddaya up ta now? Youse stop farmin’ an’ all...,” Sam said to the farmer.

“Do you know where I can get some Blessed Seeds?”

“Blessed Seeds? What’s that? I dunno ‘bout that, sorry pal.”

Pete pondered. Then he asked the merchant another thing.

“That’s too bad, but do you know someone who has those seeds? I really need them.”

“Hm. Youse gotta ask Iris and her daughta. Blessed Seeds, sounds like some poetic stuff right there.”

“I see. Thank you, Sam!”

Pete then said farewell to Sam after saying thanks for conversing with him. He went to the valley and saw how much progress the valley undergone to when he looked left and right. He stretched his arms, still feeling a bit tired, and walked around to see if some people are already up visiting the valley. He saw Iris and April walking when it was already afternoon.

“Good afternoon Mrs. Iris and April!” Pete greeted the two women.

“Mmm hmm! Nice day we’re having today, hm, Pete?” Iris nodded and asked Pete about his opinion on that day’s weather.

“Truly a nice weather we’re having. The sun is shining, while it’s still… uh, very snowy here in the valley. By the way, do you know anything about Blessed Seeds?”

“B-Blessed S-Seeds… What is th-that?” April asked.

Iris shook her head and frowned. “Oh my, I don’t know what a Blessed Seed is,” she said.

“I’m sorry,” Pete bowed and apologized. “Thank you for your time though, see you!” He said.

Pete tried going around the valley. He went nearby the Moon Valley, where trees were finally cleared. He saw Catherine walking. Catherine saw Pete, but she walked away quickly, not wanting to talk to the man. Pete sighed and decided to go mining for a while to pass some time. He remembered Gilbert, the bard that shares a lot of wisdom, being present at The Harvest Goddess Spring at that day during night, so he decided to go there to meet him. Pete believed that Gilbert might share some wisdom about Blessed Seeds.

Pete stayed up late. He was tired from all the mining. He had lots of ore in his bag, which were quite heavy to carry. Despite all that, he still went to The Harvest Goddess Spring just to meet up with Gilbert. Gilbert did have some Blessed Seeds in his pocket. The blonde bard said that those seeds were very dear to him, and only an equally rare item will be near enough to be exchanged to him. He requested a Flower of Grace to Pete, and the farmer agreed to get it for him. Luckily, Pete found the Flower of Grace quickly after a few days, and handed this elusive flower to Gilbert. Gilbert gave Pete his Blessed Seeds and told the man that he should give great care to it, and he has been travelling far and wide to find a place to plant those seeds. The Blessed Seeds will grow into a beautiful tree that will bear the Blessed Fruit, the fruit that The King of The Underworld was looking for.

After hearing trees, Pete remembered Catherine as she knew a lot about trees. On a Friday, Pete went to the Moon Valley, where Catherine can be seen finding her inner peace in that place. He saw Catherine and approached her.

“Good afternoon, Catherine! Look what I got!” Pete greeted Catherine and showed her the Blessed Seeds he got from Gilbert.

“Oh, it’s you. You and your pathetic smile again,” Catherine frowned, and then she saw the Blessed Seeds Pete was holding. “Are those… Blessed Seeds?!? Where did you get them?”

“It’s a long story. It’s a really long story why I got them and why I’m trying to approach you because of these seeds.”

“I don’t care about you and your long story! What you got right there are the Blessed Seeds! I thought they were just made up! That’s so fantastic!” Catherine said with so much awe.

Before Pete says anything, Catherine interrupted him with much gushing.

“I think YOU are asking ME how to grow these Blessed Seeds! That’s why you’re here to talk to me, right? Otherwise, I will be telling you to stay away from me because you’ll be annoying me!”

“Well… yeah, I’m trying to ask you how to grow these seeds since you know a lot about trees!”

“Okay! I don’t really know much about the Blessed Seeds, but my father told me a bedtime rhyme about them when I was little.”

“Carry on!”

Pete was very willing to listen with all smiles in his face. Catherine was slightly annoyed at this, but she cleared her throat to recite the rhyme her dear father told her when she was young.

“Sleeping seeds awaken when upon them Tears of Happiness are shaken… Then grow tall when bathed a century of the warm sun’s glow… And the Blessed Fruit, like little suns, will grow…”

Catherine then remembered her father’s sunny smile whenever he told his child this bedtime story. She can’t help but to replicate her father’s smile while telling the rhyme. Smiling, she told Pete that the rhyme she said was a bedtime story her father tells her when she can’t fall asleep. Pete can’t help but to say “Awww” to express sympathy to her. Catherine suddenly realized what she has done and tried to quickly brush off Pete’s increasing sympathy to her and blushed a bit, but Pete did not noticed as he left the valley after listening to Catherine.

Pete went out of the Moon Valley and walked his way to his house, pondering about Catherine’s rhyme. It seemed like a great help, but he wanted to take time for the day to decipher her code.

“Tears of Happiness… Sunlight that lasts for centuries…. Aha! Tears of joy for Tears of Happiness! For the sunlight, I think I will need some powers that can increase this valley’s sunlight by tenfold so it will be as powerful as a sunlight that lasted for a century!” Pete thought on his way back home.

 


 

 

On a Monday, Pete went back to The Harvest Goddess Spring to ask The Harvest Goddess if she can lend him a power of the sunlight. The goddess laughed and thought that the farmer was just trying to cheer her up, but in the end of their conversation she apologized that she can’t bestow her powers upon him and told him that he should rely on the marvels of technology with his request.

Wednesday arrived. The adventurous little girl named Sally was searching far and wide around the valley and went to Pete. The girl told Pete that her golden pendant was missing, which was an important thing to her as a picture of her missing mother was there inside. Pete promised Sally that he will find her pendant, but he still has something to do first. When The Harvest Goddess told Pete that he should consider a technological approach to acquire a century-old sunlight, the farmer thought about discussing matters with Doc. Doc proposed a device to Pete, which was called the “Insta-Sun”, a device that will possess a strong sunlight, which will be comparable to sunlight that lasted for hundreds of years. Pete agreed, and he had the right materials in his bag, so the two proceeded to make Insta-Sun a reality.

The next day, Pete remembered his first thoughts when a lot of people began visiting the valley. He recalled having a thought that Sally and Naomi looked alike, and speculated that Naomi might be Sally’s missing mother. Pete returned to the Moon Valley just to meet with Naomi. As his guesses were correct, Naomi could be Sally’s missing mother and she has Sally’s pendant. Naomi wanted to be quiet after realizing her daughter could be around this valley, so Pete left her immediately as she requested.

Time flows fast, as Fall was about to end. The last week of Fall arrived. On a Thursday, Pete was still thinking on how to cheer up Naomi and bring the woman and her child together again. Just in time, he tried talking to April, who was very close to her mother.

“Good morning April! I have something to ask you,” Pete told the timid blonde.

“W-What is it?” April asked.

“So, Naomi must be Sally’s mother. She found out that her daughter is somewhere around here because she found her daughter’s pendant, which has her picture in it. Now she’s all sad and I don’t really know how to cheer her up. I was thinking of giving her the flowers I have in store in my vase, and maybe you can make it into a bouquet since you’re quite talented on making those. What do you think?”

“I… I think th-that’s a good idea! I-I can m-make you a Re-Reunion B-Bouquet. Th-That will m-make Naomi happy! P-Please hand me over your f-flowers…”

Pete went to his home and picked three roses from his vase. Each rose has a different color. Red, pink, and blue. He rushed back to April and handed her these roses.

“Okay..! I-I will make a b-bouquet out of this!” April said with determination.

With April’s crafty hands, she made a very simple, yet beautiful bouquet.

“H-Here is the b-bouquet, th-this will be appropriate for the r-reunion between N-Naomi and her d-daughter…,” April said as she handed the bouquet to Pete.

“Thank you very much April! I knew I can count on you!” Pete thanked April with a genuine smile on his face. He tapped April’s shoulder and smiled at her, then rushed off to the Moon Valley to meet Naomi again.

Pete and Naomi met at the rocky valley, and Pete handed the colorful bouquet to Naomi. Naomi started to open up about her situation regarding her missing daughter, and she told Pete that she wanted to see her daughter. Pete agreed, but he’s not sure if Sally is outside his house during that day and time. Naomi and Pete went to the latter’s house to look for Sally, but the little girl is not there. Pete suggested that Sally might be wandering around the valley, so they tried searching far and wide to the place, but the girl is not seen. The only place they haven’t checked is The Harvest Goddess Spring, so they went there.

The two saw Sally looking down. Naomi saw Sally and asked if she’s the one who owns the golden pendant the woman was holding. Sally said yes, and there was a heartfelt reunion between the two. Naomi was Sally’s mother, and Sally was Naomi’s daughter. There were tears of joy being shed that provided the Tears of Happiness for Pete to water the Blessed Seeds.

 


 

 

The next day, Pete went to The Harvest Goddess and told her that he finally got the sunlight and the Tears of Happiness that will make the Blessed Seeds grow. The Harvest Goddess was very happy, and then she summoned Rowan to help Pete pick a spot to plant the Blessed Seeds.

Rowan and Pete both decided that they should plant the Blessed Seeds on the land beside his house. All of the Harvest Sprites arrived to help Pete plant the seeds. He sprinkled the Tears of Happiness and exposed the seeds to a strong sunlight by the use of Insta-Sun. The Harvest Sprites were dancing. Then the Blessed Seeds grew into a Blessed Tree! This Blessed Tree will bear the Blessed Fruit that The King of The Underworld requested. There was no fruit in the tree yet, so Pete waited and slept on his house after a hard day’s work.

All of a sudden, Pete heard a strong thunder and wind blowing viciously. He woke up because of the sudden storm. The Harvest Sprites appeared to him and told him that there’s a strong storm in the valley, which was very unusual. The sprites believed that The King of The Underworld must be sabotaging their quest for the Blessed Fruit. Pete was slightly agitated at how his efforts and his friends’ efforts were being belittled at, so he went outside to investigate the valley and confront the king.

Catherine ran towards Pete with a parasol in her hand. She was extremely worried about Pete after she experienced the storm at Hillsville.

“I-I’m not concerned about you and your well-being! B-But… maybe, I do since you’re the one taking care of this place and all… Are you alright?” Catherine said to Pete.

“I’m not really sure about how I feel, but this storm is quite something! I think we should go investigate what’s going on in this valley!” Pete said out loud, as the loud thunder and downpour make even the most normal tone muted due to their noise.

Catherine nodded in agreement and ran to the valley to investigate by herself. Pete fainted and started to hear a voice.

The voice told Pete that his efforts were greatly appreciated. The valley, that was once lost and nobody came through, is now a beautiful place for anyone trying to seek refuge and find their inner peace. The voice pleaded for The King of The Underworld to protect the valley.

Pete was transported to The Underworld with the king telling him what happened to the valley before he lived there. The valley was a beautiful place that was bountiful and many people lived there. But the people and animals living in the valley grew selfish and ungrateful, causing harm to the land. The King of The Underworld was very disappointed by the actions of the inhabitants of the valley back then, so he hid himself from The Underworld, and the other deities’ powers were weakened, causing the perpetual winter of the valley. The King of The Underworld can’t believe that Pete actually grew a Blessed Tree to get the Blessed Fruit. The king was happy towards Pete, and wanted the determined farmer to keep on protecting and beautifying the valley, and alongside Pete he will also protect the valley again. The King of The Underworld held the Blessed Fruit and turned it into a Fall Crystal. He told Pete to keep on appreciating the beauty nature gives on him.

The Harvest Goddess received the Fall Crystal from Pete. With her powers and all the seasonal crystals together, she finally restored the seasons back to normal.

 


 

“Pete! Pete! Wake up!” A familiar voice shouted, as Pete was being shaken.

“Huh-? Oh… Catherine?” Pete woke up.

“Hmph! You… You got me all worried! How dare you?  Anyway, the storm was gone!”

“Oh? That’s a surprise…”

“And now you’re all soaked up because of the storm! Have you been taking care of yourself?”

Pete then remembered about his visions and told them to Catherine.

“So… So you were saying the seasons are finally back to normal? Good! I-I mean, that’s impressive. Now I can bring my mother and father here and see all your efforts. I wonder what they’ll think of you,” Catherine was impressed at Pete.

Pete gave Catherine a thumbs up and a smile without saying a word. Catherine, trying to pick up Pete’s cues, also gave him a thumbs up and a smile on her face.

Winter arrived like a sudden fresh drop of snow. Catherine and Pete may not experience the full bloom of Spring in the valley, but Pete has plans on his sleeve to make the valley beautiful by springtime. Catherine was glad that the seasons of the valley went back to normal, and she can't wait to tell her parents about it.