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Bedtime Story

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Nighttime had come to the Holy City Wendel on Gnome's Day. The corridors of the Temple of Light were full of glowing candles while the priests and acolytes finished their last duties of the evening before bedtime. Heath, one of the acolytes, nodded in a silent "Good night" to each of the other temple occupants as he passed them. Finally, he arrived at his destination, knocked softly, and entered a bedroom.


The girl sitting up in bed looked no more than about six years old, but Charlotte was actually twice that age. Most people in Wendel just assumed that she was younger than she said she actually was, but Heath knew the truth. The Priest of Light confided in him that his little granddaughter was actually a half-elf. Elves age far more slowly than humans, so even though Charlotte was not a full elf, she still had a slow rate of growth.

Charlotte beamed at Heath. The girl was incredibly fond of him, and the Priest of Light often asked him to watch over her, something which Charlotte was thrilled about.

"Is favorite Heath gonna tell Sharette bedtime story?" Charlotte asked, stumbling over the pronunciation of her name. She refused to use a nickname because she tended to think of her given name as grown-up sounding, not like something a little girl would use. And Charlotte was not a little girl.

Heath smiled down at Charlotte and sat at the edge of the bed. "Yes, I am, and then it's right to sleep, okay? You know tomorrow's Easter!"

"Ooh, goody!" Charlotte clapped her hands. "Easter Rabi's gonna come visit Sharette!"

"He certainly is," said Heath. "I have an idea!" he exclaimed. "How about I tell you the story of how the Easter Rabi came to be?"

Charlotte's eyes widened. "Yay, Sharette wanna hear story!"

Heath smiled and sat down at the edge of Charlotte's bed, the occupant of which was practically bouncing up and down with excitement. He cleared his throat and began the tale.

"Well, a long, long time ago, the Mana Goddess created this world, and all the creatures who live here, even the Mana Beasts which she eventually banished and sealed into the Mana Stones. But this story is well before that time."

"It was almost springtime, which is a time for rebirth. In celebration, the Goddess made an egg, a symbol of rebirth. It was covered with thousands of tiny jewels in beautiful colors."

At this point, Charlotte's eyes sparkled nearly as much as the egg Heath was describing. "Pretty..."

"It was," Heath confirmed. "But the egg fell from the Holyland, and was lost. The Goddess was distraught at losing this beautiful symbol. All of the creatures in the world searched for the egg, from the great Winged Ones to the tiny Korobockles who are said to live in the forest by Astoria."

Charlotte gasped. "Was Goddess's egg found, Heath?"

"Well," responded Heath, "after a week, the Goddess was losing hope, and was afraid that the egg was lost forever. But just then, a group of Rabis appeared, one of them nosing the egg in front of him. It had apparently fallen into middle of the dense Rabi Forest, and the little persistant creatures didn't give up and found it."

"The Goddess was so grateful that the Rabis became one of her most sacred creatures. They grew immensely in power and became the guardians of the Holyland. As for the little one who nosed the egg the whole way, he was granted immortality and was given the duty of delivering eggs to everyone each year on the first Mana Holy Day of spring, which became known as Easter. The Rabi Forest and its surrounding area became sacred as well, and that's how Wendel became the Holy City."

"Wooooow!" Charlotte exclaimed, clapping her hands in delight. "Small rabis did big, exciting thing for Goddess!" She paused, and looked up pensively at the acolyte. "Heath, Sharette is small, too..." Her voice trailed off uncertainly.

Heath chuckled. "Yes, and sometimes the smallest do the greatest things, just like those Rabis. And I am certain that you will do plenty of wonderful things, little one!" He tapped her gently on the nose, causing Charlotte to burst into giggles.

"Now, it's time to go to sleep!" He got off the bed and blew out the bedside candle. "Good night, Charlotte! See you in the morning!"

"'Night, Heath!"


At that moment, a small Rabi hopped through the forest behind the Temple of Light, nosing along some colorful eggs.