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Living away from her parent's superstitious beliefs & traditions, Thalia‚Äîa regular tourist guide‚Äîis accustomed to being just the normal person, or so she thought. Until an incident happens while they‚Äôre visiting Monaco, which causes her untimely death. This will trigger a fragment of memories owned by a significant diety from centuries passed. Reincarnating an ancient demi-goddess, she is determined to find answers that will lead her to find out an old myth that binds her fate with her most hated man, Stefano.
Hundreds of years before the arrival of Spaniards on the Philippine coast, a vast pantheon of Gods and Goddesses reigned over the whole Archipelago.
However, after the Spaniards and Christianity arrived, the number of mortals who worshiped them decreased, which weakened their Mentala or their life source. And Bathala, as king of the Gods and Goddesses and the higher court, knew this was coming.
Due to the scarcity of Mentala, the deities were forced to steal the pantheons of others in order to get Mentala in place to evade the perilous eternal death. Unfortunately, all of this had led to the great divine war, as rebels began to aggressively seek for Mentala.
One of Bathala's daughters, Mayari the Goddess of the Moon and War, along with her brother Apolaki and sisters Hanan and Tala, took the war in their hands and restore peace on earth and sky after they sealed all of the Umalagad's remaining Mentala into the seven moons of earth and sky. This is to prevent more rebels from taking over Bathala's court.
In that epic fight between the rebellious Umalagads and Bathala's court, a tall Umalagad appeared in front of Mayari's men, and he was wielding a keen silver spear. Mayari, the head of the defending forces, abruptly halted after she successfully slayed a rebel with her blazing kampilan. She was perplexed as to who he was—with an unfamiliar beastly mask—that concealed his true identity.
The Umalagad's complexion was tanned yet it was gleaming, and his hair was held back by a piece of woven fabric wrapped over his brow.
And in the middle of the fabric was an insignia that was never mentioned in the court scripts. He appeared in full combat armor with a thick silver shield—it gave him a more menacing appearance than Mayari's brother, Apolaki.
Mayari had no idea that her disobedience from the rest would bring her face to face with such a deity. Mayari was captivated by his crystallite yet brown skin—he was, in fact, beautiful despite his utterly terrifying aura. And Mayari's perplexity led her to believe he wasn't exactly an enemy, but also not quite an ally.
His menacing, yet pulchritudinous, presence, on the other hand, did not bewilder Mayari. Yet, she was assured that she is prepared for any onslaught tactics from his end.
As she witnessed him gripped on the spear tightly, Mayari quickly clutched the hilt of Kampilan, and pointed the tip towards him while his whetted blade exuded fiery blue flames.
The Umalagad daunted a gaze that could easily make anyone withdraw and be afraid of him once witnessed in an instance. Despite this, Mayari looked at him in wonder, she was curious to know what lies beneath his pagan mask which resembled a beast she has yet to encounter.
His whole figure stood a few meters away from Mayari. The Goddess of Moon and War didn't flinch, she held the hilt between both her grip toward him as he bolted the spear into the ground.
She was ready for his attack when he swiftly penetrated his firm hand deep into one of the rebel's chests. Mayari's eyes widened as she witnessed the Umalagad fighting against the rebels.
Another one attacked him from behind, but he easily avoided it. He caught his attacker on his nape, but the assailant quickly grabbed his long hair and tore off the string that binds it. The Umalagad's silky brown hair swayed on his shoulder. He hastily brushed off the strands that were covering his mask before he struck his opponent with his spear.
The Umalagad moved so swiftly towards the direction of Mayari that she didn't have time to take action.
He came to a complete stop just in front of her. He got down on one knee and looked her in the eyes. Mayari wanted to take off his Pagan mask, but he stopped her in the middle. The moon's reflection in his silver eyes sparkled in the surrounding darkness for a brief instant. Mayari peered closer into his eyes and realized it was him. He is the man Dalikmata once described to her.
As he embraced Mayari, he placed her hand to his chest. Before the war, Dalikmata informed Mayari that her other half would appear when the blood moon boasted into the night sky.
Mayari's hand withdrawns willingly from her kampilan. She was undecided if she would kill him. He was too difficult for her to kill. Yet, her mind told her otherwise. She may be the Goddess of War, but her heart knew that this Umagalad was the man she loves. It was fated to happen. Their imprint was at hand.
Mayari was suddenly intimidated by a sudden voice that echoed in the space, it was followed by the unexpected thunder that struck the earth between them. “How dare you disobey me and forget you're at war " said the unknown voice. “I warned you to stay away from this Umalagad!” it even added.
Mayari trembled as he realized it was his father's tyrannical voice that had suddenly descended from Kaluwalhatian—Bathala.
Mayari's hand quivered, but she picked up the kampilan and tightly held it into its hilt. It may be difficult for her, but she confronted her father, and stated, "I can't let you dominate my mind again. You can't keep my memories from recalling that Umalagad is Bakun. Father, he is my other half."
"He stole the Mentalas by consuming the six moonstones. Check it out for yourself and tell me if I'm wrong. He's manipulating you, Mayari, so he can take over Kaluwalhatian." Bathala pointed out the last moonstone from the sky, the last moonstone from the seven that held Kaluwalhatian's remaining Mentala.
Mayari, despite her conflicted thoughts, did not withdraw her kampilan. Determined to fight for her beloved, she hastily surged towards Bathala with her raging kampilan that emitted fiery flames. But unknowingly, Apolaki barged out of nowhere and cut her right eye.
She became weak as her Mentala was reduced to half after she lost one of her visions. This, however, did not deter her. She slashed the dull blade into Apolaki's head which temporarily knocked him out, and then she continued her charge towards Bathala.
Bathala, who seemed to have anticipated all of this, bolted a lightning bolt that caught Mayari's attention. He prevented Bakun's assaults when he abruptly engulfed him with his lightning. He hurled another thunderbolt at Bakun that transformed him into a ferocious serpent beast. Bathala then vanquished him in the underworld as punishment, which infuriated Mayari even more.
Mayari waved her kampilan as she attempted to free herself and save Bakun, but Bathala's lightning chain tightened, and caused her to wail.
"You gave me no option, Mayari," he said as his final warning.
Bathala draws out Mayari's Mentala, it added to the moonstone's luminosity.
Mayari, on the other hand, battled to release her final enchantment before Bathala was able to successfully obtain all of her remaining Mentala.
"Hear thee, who protects the moon and the sky, the warrior whom everyone adores and who shines in the darkest hour. I urge you to hear my final words as someone blatantly stole my breath away. I offer you my remaining Mentala, you the moon that serves as witnesses of all. Allow me and my love to live once more. For it is only in that life that we will be able to escape this wretched court."
Her final words were like a sharp blade that pierced through Bathala's heart as he witnessed Mayari's body dissolve into crystallized dust and made her escape from bondage.
The blood moon turned blue that night, and the sea was calm. As their Mentala brightened the moon, the remainder of the rebels and Umalagad then vanished. Bathala realized at this moment that all of these unforeseen circumstances were a sign that Mayari's enchantment finally came true.
Monte Carlo, Monaco.
“Cheers for the four bitches of San Ildefonso!” Gab said, giggling at the end.
“Who'd have guessed we'd have such a lavish getaway ” Emalia chimes.
Divina, who is seated next to Gab, grabs a chardonnay and pours some wine into it while bragging, “Of course, we're one hella, lucky bitches!”
I was overjoyed to see them swooning and having a good time. As I stand a few feet away from them, unpacking my bags, I feel like I'm missing out on the fun. I knew we'd have a lengthy week to appreciate the beautiful country of Monaco, so there was no need to rush anything.
“Hey, Thalia, could you please pause for a moment You're missing out on the fun here,” Emalia finally said.
“We only have five days of paradise, girl, you should finish it right away or you're going to be left behind from the best of your life,” Gab says as he walks forward and presses his huge ass on the couch I'm sitting on.
I grin at him, tossing the red lingerie I'd mistakenly tucked inside my luggage onto his face.
Later that afternoon, my friends and I went on a walkathon on Monte Carlo's busiest street. Our eyes were so captivated that we couldn't stop ourselves. Everything is too picturesque, and we've captured the majority of these Belle Epoque structures in Monaco.
“I heard the majority of the people who live here are billionaires.” Divina remarked as we sat for our coffee break near the dock.
“Well, your informant isn't lying, girl, what do we expect from a tax-free country like Monaco People can save a lot of money and their economy will still be fine.” Gab said.
I'm not the typical person to get involved in such a matter. I'm not interested in finance, politics, or anything else that doesn't worry me. I want to see more of Monaco, but these gals are already too tired to go any further.
“You know, I believe I need to go back to the store we passed a moment ago since I forgot to buy something from there. I'll just see you all later at the hotel.” I said as I picked up my purse and walked out the door.
“Are you certain you won't get lost ” Emalia inquires.
“Everything can be googled these days,” I said, raising my phone with a smile. “Even the brand of your underwear, virgin.” And then I walked away.
My feet took me back to the a perfume shop. The free demonstration I witnessed a moment ago captivated me. When I returned back to San Ildefonso, I thought, perhaps I might start this business.
“You are the lady from a while ago,” a woman in a maroon apron approached me.
“Yes. so I really returned to see you. I'm interested in creating my own fragrance, you see. Of course, I mean if you will. I'd like to know the basics because I want to make one for my husband for our anniversary. My name is Thalia, by the way,” I added, extending out my hand. I had to lie, and I'm shocked when the woman eventually accepts it without question.
“You can call me Mrs. Landers. Come, follow me,” she replies, motioning with her hand.
I didn't expect her to be so kind as to teach me how. But I followed her inside the next door, behind the tall cabinet stand, where her tiny laboratory, if I'm correct, is hidden.
“Have you been making scents for a long time ” I inquired, my gaze wandering over the various test tubes and glass bottles containing various colored substances.
“Ever since I met my husband,” she replied, smiling. So I guess my excuse was effective.
“Your husband must be very devoted to you.”
“Well, he used to be,” she says, her hand arranging the dried leaves away from the working table.
“I'm sorry—” I was interrupted when Mrs. Landers handed me a clean apron and continued, “He joined the creator ten years ago and still here I am creating his scents up to this day.”
Yet I suddenly got a brief glimpse of emptiness out in those words.
“You are truly inspiring. I wish I could make something for my husband as well, something he will undoubtedly treasure for the rest of his life.” I lied again while wearing the apron. I'm beginning to tremble as a result of these shenanigans, but so be it.
“Well, I could teach you how to make this particular perfume. I know my husband will be pleased that someone else is thinking the same thing for her husband,” she cheerfully stated in front of me, handing me a piece of paper with some measurements and ingredients I'm thinking I recognize.
I don't deserve to be flattered, but her comments are simply too much for me. I had to endure the conscience and graciously accept it. She then started giving me detailed directions. She even showed me how to take precise measures and ferment the oils and dried flowers. I'm amazed at how considerate she was.
Time flew by so quickly that I almost forgot it was almost time for dinner. I promised to meet my friends at the hotel lounge before we go out for dinner.
I arrived five minutes early and can immediately see the unpleasant expressions on their faces.
“You're late!” Divina remarked as she crossed her arms in front of me.
“Let's get going before our dinner cools,” I respond instead. Giving a justification would only complicate the issue. I had to draw them away rather than keep talking about it.
Monte Carlo, Monaco
The next morning, I informed my friends that I would be going on a different itinerary, which caused their jaws to drop open.
“But aren't we meant to all go to Larvotto Beach today ” Emalia sighed and pouted.
Gab and Divina both look at me as if I'm lying. I had to explain that I had other things to do and that I'd just follow them in an hour, which convinced them.
I arrived at the store after around fifteen minutes. Surprisingly, the store's lighting is still dim, and no one appears to be inside. Not long later, I noticed Mrs. Landers seated on a stool near the window, watching at something from a distance.
Perhaps she is anxious about something, based on the expression on her face. I tap her shoulder, and that's the only time she notices I'm already in the shop. “I'm sorry, have you been standing there for too long ” She inquired, her smile painted once more on those somewhat sagging yet graceful cheeks.
“Not really. I'm only here to let you double-check something. I had this redone in my room last night without my husband noticing,” I said as I tried to lay down the few materials I had. I handed her the spray bottle holding the fragrance I had just mixed up at the hotel from last night, shortly after everyone had fallen asleep.
She took the bottle from me and sprayed it on my palm. She waived it below her nose and inhaled it with both eyes closed. Is this how a pro smells fragrances
“Are you supposed to be on a vacation with your husband ” She suddenly asked wondering as she stood beside me.
“Well, it's technically not a vacation,” I begin to say, relieved that I was able to think of a good cover-up or else I'd be doomed. And I even added, “more like a business trip. My husband is a businessman, and this is one of his frequent out-of-country trips.”
Mrs. Lander's lips are partially parted, as if she is still waiting for more answers, which I am afraid I cannot provide.
“Ah, I see. It must be difficult for you to take your husband away from his business for a while,” she said, emphasizing the ‘business’ factor. I simply smiled at her. Not because I'm ashamed, but because I couldn't think of any other reason to tell her. Fortunately, she did not press the issue further.
This time, she smelled the fragrance on her hand before returning her gaze to me. “Excelente,” she thought.
“Pardon " I inquired, completely baffled as to why her reactions were so extreme. Did she just compliment me or what
“You have an impressive sense of smell.” Mrs. Landers' eyes widened with delight as she said, "I have never smelled such scent in my entire life."
“Are you serious I thought I messed up,” I said, surprised as to how I managed to get her to say such a thing when I'm a complete novice. Mrs. Landers, on the other hand, just smiled at me with admiration.
I'm on my way to get a clean apron when I spot a notice of closure on the shop's bulletin board. When I saw that this store was about to close due to rental fee lapses, my eyes widened with feelings of despair.
“I'm sorry, you shouldn't have seen this,” Mrs. Landers murmured as she grabbed the paper from my grasp.
“Mrs. Landers, is there anything I can help you with ”
“There is no need, my dear,” she responds, shaking her head. “I don't want to bother you with my predicament, and the store will close if it's already her time,” she remarked, but I can tell by her tone that she doesn't want the store to close. I can see why she was merely looking out the window, as if she was looking at someplace far away.
I couldn't help but feel sorry. I lied to her and took advantage of her generosity, and still she continues to have bad luck. If there was anything I could do, it would be to keep her shop open. As the saying goes, help comes to those who are sincere and generous to others. I simply wish I was the true wife of a wealthy businessman who could save her shop. But I'm simply an opportunistic visitor taking advantage of her hospitality.
I was supposed to be following her to the laboratory when I noticed another advertisement on her bulletin board, this one for an auction at a masquerade event.
“I think I have a plan to help you,” I immediately stated offering as a thought flashed through my mind, propelling my feet to quickly move to Mrs. Landers' location.
Mrs. Landers stares at me in wonder. While her brow furrowed in surprise, I handed her the auction flier, saying, "If you think this fragrance I created is exceptional, perhaps we can put it up for auction. The entire amount would be more than enough to cover the lapsed building rent."
“But isn't this perfume for your husband ” She is mainly concerned.
I smiled back at her, assuring her it was all okay, and replied, “I can still create a new one for him.”
Mrs. Landers couldn't help but cry. And with a glimpse from the flyer, she unexpectedly embraced me and at that moment, “I don't know how I shall repay you,” she murmured as her voice began to waver due to the tears running from her brown eyes.
“Think of it as nothing, Mrs. Landers,” I reassured her once more.
“This auction has an after-party masquerade ball,” she wipes her eyes soon after hugging me. “This flyer also includes two ball passes. They were meant for me and my late husband, but I'm giving them to you and your husband instead. I'd like to meet him at the auction and tell him about your generosity,” she said abruptly as she placed the passes on my left palm.
“Err…” words slipped out of my mouth.
“Is there a problem Your husband would most likely enjoy socialization nights, in my opinion. A lot of elite and powerful people, including businessmen like your husband, could be there.” She continues to encourage me, fearing that I will decline the invitation.
“Well—” I was about to say something when she interrupted, “I can't wait to meet your wonderful husband, Thalia, and thank you very much for doing this.” she graciously reminded me again. Her hands unfastened mine and she walked towards the cupboard housing fancy empty perfume bottles.
I'm going to be screwed. This whole auction proposal has sent me to my grave. Where in the world shall I find a husband to bring to the auction and masquerade ball
Monte Carlo, Monaco
“You can't fuckin' make me act like your husband, bitch! I'm a gurl” He crosses his arms and raises his brow. Gab's loud tune could even reach our country.
“You ditched us yesterday, and now you've gotten yourself into trouble, Thalia!” Divina, who is even more enraged, mouthed me with her sharp words.
I'm still sitting on a hot seat, scratching my brow, trying to think of something to say to them.
“Please, just this once, you did owe me a favor, right I'll ask this as a favor.”
My last trump did shut Gab down and made him think about it again.
The rest of the night, they all start barking at me about how I've turned into a stubborn and certified killjoy in the last two days.
I took out the perfume glass with the fragrance I prepared as soon as everyone had fallen asleep. I'm simply hoping it gets a huge boost in the auction tomorrow. Mrs. Landers needed my support and assistance, and I wanted to he
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