Chapter 50 – The End and Beginning Of The Elven Temple
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"Well...it's definitely green alright." that was my first impression of the elf temple. 

Green, green, and green everywhere. [I mean it's supposed to be a temple dedicated to nature itself but isn't this too much?] I look at my mother to see her reaction to this. 

"..." Silence and a face of indifference, the scariest emotion of all is one that you can't even see. 

Staring at the temple you would find a white building with its walls lined up with pillars. It looks quite simple in design with a big door at the front with a circular stained glass window above, with a long triangular roof with what looks to be a dome-like structure at the back. 

Overall by itself it is a serviceable temple, a simple place of worship but makes up for it with its imposing nature. 

...That is if you only refer to the temple's structure. 

I look to see my mom after a long silence finally give her thoughts. "...A temple dedicated to the worship of nature should show its form as being one or standing side by side in balance with nature. Not nature controlling and overpowering you." that was her blunt evaluation. 

"Spot on mother." I told her as I look back and refer to the parts I haven't mentioned. 

The supposed white walls of this temple is slowly being cracked apart by predatory moss creeping up its pillars. Vines have wrapped around the whole building, covering and even breaking the stained glass. On its periphery tall and wild grass cover the surroundings of the temple, almost like we're looking at a ancient ruin in the forests right now. 

I am at a loss for words. [Is there even any people running this place?] the only way we could find out is heading towards the temple. 

"Let's go mom." I hold her hand as we walk towards the entrance. 

Our steps are noisy from the grasses we walk upon heading closer. "Man, it's almost like we're not even in El Niño anymore." I jokingly remarked when looking around this temple which is so out of place with the surrounding buildings of wood and stone that it's almost like it was teleported here. 

"...Poor things." mother is looking down at the plants. "This is a temple of nature but I can just feel that the plants here are not happy." she said something vague. 

"The plants speak?" there are ents and mandrakes and other plant based monsters but I didn't I knew regular plants could speak. 

I was right, "Well not really." well sorta. "They could not speak but I feel there's a special connection with nature that I can like understand somewhat." it's still vague but maybe that's the point. 

"I see." I could not ask further as it is something intentionally mysterious but also, "We're here mom." I told her as we stop and look at the large double door entrance of the temple. 

But when we stopped, "Mom?" she suddenly sat down to the ground. "...Is that a pot?" I lean forward and saw her holding a clay pot. 

And within, "Look Morus at the poor thing." it's a dead plant; leaves withered, stem floppy, and the flower shriveled. 

It's unmistakably dead. 

So I was surprised to hear that, "It we came here sooner this would have likely not made it." that the thing is still alive. "I can feel its energy still beating on, however weak it may be." she told me while showing a small and cute smile.

I look at that adorable face of mom. [Even a plant is something she likes to take care about as well.] it's truly beautiful and my heart swells even more proudly to be her one and only daughter.

So I look at the plant for a while and could only say one thing. "...Can you fix it?" I was about to ask how she knew it was alive but that is unnecessary.

My mom nodded smugly, "Dear did you forget that I am a Pomus?" turning around she hovers her hand just above the withering plant. "Something like this is a feat I can do unconsciously and in my sleep." she said while puffing herself. 

[I can do that as well baka mom~] I told her in the spur of the moment and could also do that too but, [I don't want to spoil her moment.] so I watch her arms glowing green.

"Here we go." my mom without any chanting made a green glow on her palms as the plant jerks up and is standing straight and rejuvenating from her immense magic.

New leaves grow and the remaining petals receives a new color as not only it turned back into its original form, "Whoa..." it grew bigger. 

The plant grew above my mom's height and when she pulls the plant down to see. "Oh my~" it was a beautiful purple flower shown in front of us with a its petals giving out an exhilarating smell.

"My~I have really outdone myself this time." my mother said in a jovial tone. 

"Well it's a nice flower mother." the combination of black and purple stems and with a white stamen and a red pollen really combines our colors together. 

But yeah [Back to the entrance—] when I look around I see,

"EHH?!" the door was opened. 

"W-wow..."

"W-what is that...!"

"So pretty~"

From inside the temple are a bunch of kids, many of them elves but some human and even a beastmen child of sorts. 

"...W-who are you m-ma'am...?" in the middle of the kids and the one holding them tight is a flowy haired female elf with a long sleeved outfit that seems to indicate she works here as a nun. 

Immediately from behind, "What's happening here!" is another elf with a sharp eye in a braided bun, wearing the same nun outfit running towards the commotion. 

"It's the witch!"

"Meanie! Meanie!"

"Get away!"

The kids ran out of the temple and went behind us, especially hiding behind my mom. 

"Oh my~" mother seems to not mind having little elven children clinging to her. 

That's when me and that serious elf first made eye contact. "And who are you supposed to be?!" she angrily pointed at me. 

"P-please calm down sister!" the first nun persuaded. 

I look at the sudden turn to chaos of the situation. "Uhm..." I try to explain ourselves.

This might take awhile.

•••

"I apologize for my sister's actions earlier." the bubbly-eyed elf nun with flowy hair is bowing her head right now. 

"She's someone that's well....very much hard to communicate with." she then looks on towards what seems to be a common occurrence of this temple. 

The sharp-eyed elf nun is scolding one of the kids. "Roski, Yappi, make sure to not go to strangers okay?!" her voice can even be heard from here.  

"Is that so..." scratching my head in this situation. I wanted to ask why but it might be a delicate situation so I avoid it for now. 

Looking on with a smile but an eye of pity for her. "Yes, ever since we were kids Doriayn has always been the abrasive type." that's apparantly the name of the sharp-eyed elf. "Well I always have a weak body so it may have been my fault as well." she concluded before,

"It's not your fault sister Ayna!"

"That's right! Sister Doriayn is just a meanie!"

"Mm~mn!"

The kids came and were totally on her side. 

"You sure are quite popular, Sister Ayna right?" I'm guessing that's her name from the kids. 

[Although it's pretty obvious why.] looking and comparing the two side by side. One is a soft voiced woman who's easy to approach and the other is one that reminds me of my math teacher.

But back to Ayna. "Thank you, Ms. Morus." she nodded her head while patting the kids around her. "Although I'm thankful for the praise but you shouldn't be mean to my sister okay?" that's what she told to the kids. 

"""Okay~""" 

They all said. 

And looking at the scene right now. "I'll go and check around the temple." I told Ayna and she nodded in return, "You can check this place out." she said of the temple.

[Wow...] all I can say towards this temple is, [Old.] compared to the rest of the places I've checked so far, this temple is really out of place with the design and architecture to the rest of the city. White pillars and large stone blocks, spacious and not compartmentalize. Not to mention the vines and plants about growing from every corner. 

[I think this place resembles home more than anything else this far.] this place reminds me of Atlantis. 

And upon checking around I saw a tall figure. "Oh look who it is." in the upper middle area of this temple lay a very old looking tree, that is where mom is. [There's also where the plant was placed as well.] after the whole debacle at the entrance door the purple plant was also surrounded by children, with my mother kindly explaining it to them what it is. 

Also happily telling them some tales back in Endless. [I supposed I'll go and talk to her for a bit.] is what I thought before I felt my wrist being grabbed. 

"Hey."

I look around and it's the other sister, "You're... Doriayn right?" I said in the vest voice as I can before she notices my irritation of her suddenly grabbing me. [A bit pushy but not bad so far.] I need to give a good impression on her.

"That's right." then she let go of my hand. "What are you doing snooping around here?" and then, my hopes of a good impression... 

Was immediately shattered. "Are you planning on stealing the kids?" she said something unbelievable. 

"E-eh? What—" before I could even make a proper response. 

"Doriayn! Dear!" Ayna came in like an angel swooping down on us. "I know your concerned about that but that is just rude! You know we don't get many people here." Ayna proerly scolded her. Doriayn is taller but now I dunno who's the older sister anymore.

"But Ayna she's being really suspicious! I mean who goes to this temple nowadays?!" she responded back! 

"U-uhm..." I don't feel like I wanna get involved in this. 

And also, [What is this bad feeling?] it's the first time I felt this way, of me not desiring a woman. [What an achievement Doriayn.] it's obviously her, why wouldn't she be the one I'm feeling bad about. 

But I couldn't stand here doing nothing and so. "What does Doriayn mean by me stealing children?" I try to get back to the conversation with the most eye catching part of her accusation.

"Well..." Ayna looks down with grief. "You see, we have heard rumours that on the slums, the cases of missing children has risen considerably in recent times, and of course..." looking at me in the eye. "We are a place of worship but nowadays we are primarily an orphanage, and this is something we couldn't ignore. Of course there hasn't been any cases of that here and so the happy foster parents can rest easy but still." and now clutching her chest. 

Then it was Doriayn's turn to explain. "Essentially because of that and since we don't get people here in this temple, we simply don't trust you." by 'we' she meant her and Ayna, but it clearly looks like she's the only one. 

And before I can point that out. "Why exactly is it that there are no people in this temple?" my mother Marea joined in. "Although many areas need to be renovated and the plants well, need to be pruned. Nonetheless this temple is quite extravagant enough to attract enough devotees." she said bluntly.

"Mom." I said in surprise as I look at the entrance door which is completely wide open yet there are no people coming through. [Yeah it's opened but why's no one coming in?] and the two are here to explain. 

"Well first off Mrs. Marea, there are a lot less elves here in El Niño than it was in the past." surprisingly. "Secondly as this temple is dedicated to nature itself, and well since nature is of course vague. No human except for the occasional hunters ever comes here to pray." it was Doriayn that explained all of that to my mother. 

"I am sorry to say this as well but it is all true." and even Ayna nodded with a big sigh. "Especially recently, this place has been struggling so much that we have no choice but to release the remaining personnel, which is why this place is in this state." she told us with a face full of tragic sorrow.

"Is that so..." there's nothing more that I can say. [This problem is something that could not be solved with just brute force and brute money.] I can do many things but I could not mass manipulate the masses to go to the elf temple for a long time. [Plus I am not that kind of a person.] I have a house to buy so I can't support this temple. How unfortunate it is. 

"So that's why we're—" before Anya could say something.

"Then how about believing..." my mother was about to say something before shutting up and starting over. "Then how does this temple even earn enough Dracha to stay operational with these conditions?" that's what my mother asked instead. 

"Well that's—" Doriayn tried to explain but, "By agreeing to convert this temple to a Kurumi church." Ayna intervened.

Converting the temple into a Kurumist church.

""...""

The both of us couldn't respond immediately, and after a while, "...Converting...?" my mother finally uttered a word.

In a low voice, "Yes." Ayna looked at the both of us. "We apologize if you may be disappointed as you two visited this place, as you can see we don't have that much funds especially these last two years, and so..." 

Clearing her throat. "...When the priests from the Kurumi church has gone and made us an offer in that if we convert this Temple of Nature into one dedicated to Lord Kurumi. Not only we would have funds aside from the government and devotees but also security for the children of this place." that's what Ayna had explained. 

My mother looked at Ayna and said, "...Thank you for explaining it to me." with a sigh and closing her eyelids for a while, she sat at one of the long chairs in the temple as children gather around her. 

As for me, "I apologize if I haven't said much." scratching my neck. "I was just really surprised at what you said."

"Don't worry about it." Ayna reassures me. "I know it really is a shocker but even with our beliefs this is reality and this is the fate of this place Morus."

"...Well I don't care much of what they'll do to this temple but I want them to protect the kids." for once Doriayn said something that I can agree with. 

"Yeah..." slumping my shoulders I resign myself to the fate of this temple. 

Looking around, [But there are truly some magnificent things just hiding behind the plants and rot of this temple.] I can see that this would have been a beauty in its prime, and especially. [...That tree.] it's old and needs some renovation and pruning, it looks frail but it would be a majestic tree if treated properly. 

And looking back at these two. [You guys are elves right?] but I know that it would be insulting to them. Instead I just ask, "What would happen to this temple if the Kurumist get it?"

"W-well you see this place..." Ayna seems to be struggling but.... 

Doriayn interjected. "That old tree your looking at on this temple would definitely get chopped." badly I might add. 

"..." my stomach grumbles. 

"What? Did that upset you?" and badly more she added.

[Bitch.] that's all I can say in my mind. [Now I know for sure that bad aura I was feeling is coming from you.] I look and see for sure that—

"Sister Ayna!" before a child shouted towards us and my staredown with Doriayn stops. 

"What is it child?" Ayna immediately turns around an annoyed expression.

"It's Lukk! There is someone like a weirdo at the door asking for you sister!" the child named Lukk shouted again as he points to the door. 

"Oh!" Ayna's somewhat irritable tone calmed down like a rock. "It must be the foster parents!" turning around towards us again. "I'm sorry Morus but I have an important meeting with one of the child's foster parents here!" smiling widely before rushing to the door, her final words are. "And please don't call the clients a weirdo okay?!" it's to the child before going out.

"Mmmm..." 

[Now what?] now that Ayna is not here and I definitely don't want to talk to Doriayn, [I guess with mom I guess. She hasn't prayed yet huh?] I look and I saw her.

"Morus, dear." she's beside me. "I have a little request that I would like to only talk with Ms. Doriayn here, I'll tell you afterwards." she told me.

[I guess even mother has something to do.] and now for me. [I'll just sit in the long seats and relax.] I'm tired of standing here. 

So I went to the nearest chair but decided on the one in the front, as there is virtually no one here beside the kids. 

"Finally..!" stretching my legs far I stretch my back as I finally relax myself for a bit. 

But that relaxation is awfully quick because, "U-uhm hello..." the kids are going around to me with nervous faces.

"Hello there." of course I wouldn't want to ignore children but, [As I thought I'm terrible with kids.] Mary was a very rare exception.

And right now, "What have you kids been doing today?" I'm trying my best to have a conversation with them. 

[There are a lot of kids here in general.] so this will be difficult.

"You see..." one of the kids, an elf boy, spoke up. "You see Mrs. Marea is really cool and awesome!" he said. "and since your her daughter we wanna know if your awesome as well!"

"Yeah!"

"Your so pretty as well Ms. Morus!"

"Show us something cool!"

The kids all clamored in demanding something of me. 

"W-well..." I'm stumped.

[This is difficult...] show something awesome and cool. [Fire, lightning, and dark magic are out. Water and wind might be lame, and my natural powers are too much for them.] I look around to see for an inspiration and I saw someone quite peculiar. 

"...Hello there?" I look at the little girl walking towards me, "Why are you carrying that?" with her face blocked by the giant plant pot in her hands. 

"Yeah! Why are you carrying that shorty!"

"You might trip and break that Lifi!"

"That's dangerous I'll carry that."

The words from the other kids are hard but true. She's even shorter and probably younger than the rest of the kids. 

This girl named Lifi bent her body sideways to let me see her face. "This purple flower is really beautiful ma'am!" by purple flower she meant the one my mother brought back to life earlier. 

While wondering about this curious girl it hit me. [This could work.] a brilliant idea came about. 

"Lifi, give me that plant for a sec." I told her. 

"O-okay?" confused she reluctantly gave me the pot.

Now with the plant is in my capable hands I look at it deeply. [It really does look beautiful.] and so I took a deep breath, closing my eyes and... 

{"Angie, give these children a treat."}

I felt my arms glowing and something going through my veins for a second before opening my eyes and seeing my hands glowing green brightly, and the plant itself,

"Whoa!"

"It's moving!"

"Look at the moves!"

It's shaking violently. 

"Eh? Eeeh?!" the shorty Lifi is shocked and scared of course, but as for me. 

[Good.] I'm smiling quite wide right now. [I guess more than a spell I chanted something.] the chanted words are not a spell I created but a desire that I had in my head, magic without any use for combat or utility. 

[I am ashamed as an elf to say this but admittedly I'm pretty bad with the elf way of doing magic.] I guess I need to improve this side of magic as well. [Man, I've played in Endless for 25 years and now I still have a lot to improve.]

But now enough with my thoughts. "Whoa..." Lifi who was just screaming earlier now looks at the plant with sparkling eyes. 

"What is that?"

"A yellow bean?"

The kids are all looking at the protrusions that came out of the flower. 

"This is it." I can't believe it actually worked. 

Grabbing and pulling one out I looked at the yellow bean thing in my hand. 

It's shaped like a bean but it's color is like that of the finest honey. I took a bite. 

"Hmm...!" my eyes glowed out. "It's good!" sweet, savory, and chewy. I could not describe anything like this to the food I ate back on Earth. 

[It worked...!] when I looked at the flower earlier I remember back on Endless there was a piece of lore in that many elf Pomuses were using their magic to cultivate a flower's nectar into edible candy-like food. So I tried to replicate that here and, 

[It's a success!] I look at the kids gathering around by my example and plucking the candy off fast. 

"Let me try it!"

"Me too!" 

"I want some as well!"

And as for me, "Here you go." I gave a couple to the shorty Lifi who couldn't get one because of the larger kids. 

"T-thank you..." she bowed deeply. 

I smiled and was about to say don't worry before, "Oh my, Morus I didn't know you can make elven cuisine like that." it's mother, whom had finished her talk with Doriayn. 

"Yeah, it was my first time as well." I said to her feeling kinda proud of my achievement. 

Giggling. "I definitely wanna try that as well." she said before, "But Morus." she came to my ear and told me. "Here is what we talked about..."

"What is it mother..." and I listened in. 

•••

"Ahem ahem." my mother Marea is in front of the altar with the old tree behind her. 

"Go mom!" and me in the front cheering her on with the kids also in the front as well. 

"Mrs Marea is so pretty..." the short elf Lifi who's seating close to me said, seemingly mesmerized by the presence of my mother.

"Hmph—!" Doriayn is right next to me chair-wise as she is in the next seat right across the path leading to the tree altar. 

"Oh my."

"Who is she?"

"Let's check this place out just to listen to her."

"Is she that rumoured tall elf?"

Finally, there are people from the outside. Elves, even many humans have come and went inside to listen to what they see as a goddess on mortal soil in front of them. 

[You can do this mother.] this is what she said. 

"I will do a sermon, a final sermon. Dedicated to this temple before Kurumi grabs it."

A final sermon. [Mother I did not know you want to do this.] it is really surprising to hear that from her. [You really are quite ambitious mother.] my expectations were ruined once more. But I am fine with that. 

Looking beside me to the rows of children, they are currently picking up the lasts of the nectar candy as it keeps making more and more earlier. 

"What's this?" I look and see one kid who's saving up some by hiding it in his shirt. 

"Ah!" he's surprised by my face appearing to him so suddenly. "Don't be greedy kid and give some to others." I tried to scold him but. 

"I know, and my name's Lukk!" apparently Lukk was aware of this. "...I'm just concerned for the ones that didn't came here today..." he said that with a red face. 

Immediately, "Ehh~ everybody's here." the others joined in. 

"There's me Osin, there's Panan, Wernard, Yappi..." they each pointed out their name. 

"Resyelin is me—! So is my bestie Amina, Zerci and Venny!" the human girl Resylelin said. 

"I guess that's—wait..." Osin looked at Lukk. "There's one missing."

"It's me Roskin I'm here!" he's behind the row of kids with me.

"Not you!" Resyelin shouted. "But yeah..."

And as for me, [I am not gonna speak here.] this conversation is for them only and I dunno who they are. 

But suddenly, "Fufufu..." Lifi was the one giggling. "Brother Lukk likes big sister Kim!" and then. 

"I knew it!"

"Haha so it's true after all!"

"Wow Lukk is so grown up!"

"I want someone to give me a present as well~"

Everything connected when Lifi said that, as they all were teasing him. 

"I-I just want to give her some cuz it would be not fair otherwise, ya know!" Lukk tried to explain himself but it didn't work as he was just teased even more.

For me as well, "Hm~mn." I couldn't help but giggle at this cute childhood romance right now. [How cute.] now I feel bad for scolding him earlier. 

Anyways, "Where is this Kim anyways?" I ask and there was silence. 

And finally someone spoke up, "W-well you see..." Lukk then explained. "She ran away again."

"Huh? Ran away?!" I couldn't believe it. [What did he mean by 'again'?] does she do it often?

"...It seems you kids are used to it." I look at them with a furrowed brow. 

"Yes you see." now it was Lifi that spoke. "Unlike many of us, big sis Kim was brought here as a baby and so she grew up here. And well..." Lifi stopped. 

And it was Osin that explained next. "She always likes to run away but even more so now because...uhm."

And it was back to Lukk again. "She was chosen by a foster parent." and he continued. "She always comes back but because of that she keeps running away more and more, and Sister Ayna had given up looking for her. I mean she even left when we were playing hide and seek earlier." and then he looks down, grasping on the nectar candy tight. 

"Is that so..." I dunno how to explain these feelings. [Damn they're kids but they are thinking all about this stuff.] I just feel bad that they have to experience this due to their circumstances.

But, "How selfish of her!" there was one with a dissident opinion. "It's not fair! How come she and the other elves are being picked by wonderful parents but not me!" it was Resyelin. 

But honestly, "I want to be adopted by wonderful parents very badly and get out of this dump of a place." despite her rude attitude. "And then she has the gall to run away from something I so desperately want!" I couldn't get mad at her at all. 

"Resyelin calm down." Amina said. 

"We're here for each other bestie!" Venny said as well. 

"Yeah! Yeah! I'm sure a noble will come and adopt you Resy!" Zerci said too.

Her friends immediately comfort her. "Why? Just because she has long ears she gets adopted but not me?!" Resyelin decried while sniffing her red nose. 

[Oh dear...] something like this is very unexpected. [I don't know what to do.] and I don't think that an outsider like this should prod into someone's life like this anymore than I have. [I'm not some knight that would use my money to clear the debt to someone I met in a back alley.] a very common trope of my contemporaries.

But there was one thing she said that I could ask, "What did she meant by elves getting adopted more?" I asked the nearest kids beside me. 

[Yeah, now that I look at it there's quite a lot of humans here.] I know that even if it's a temple for elves it's not only for them but there are a lot of humans than what I was expecting. 

"...Ms. Morus sadly I dunno." Lifi had her head down as she explains. "All I know is that there were a lot of foster parents that wanted an elf to be their child." 

"That's right." Lukk was next. "I'm not adopted yet but most of my friends were adopted pretty fast too." he's touching his pointy ears. 

"That's kinda weird." I said, finding it odd but also not much I can do about it. 

"Yeah and sometimes there's even—" Lukk was about to say something before.

"It's starting!" someone at the back said and when I looked. 

"It's full!" the whole temple was jammed pack with people. "The seats are all taken!" I shouted in excitement.

And when I look at the door. [There's even people looking outside.] this is amazing. 

Now, "Alright then." the room was silent. 

It was the voice of my mother. And looking at her and how she seems to be glowing, the people in awe and the kids clamoring in excitement. 

I know for sure. "Mom, you outdone yourself this time." I look at my mom who's practically a saint start her sermon. [I'm excited as well because she didn't specifically told me what she'll say.]

"Let's begin—with the beginning."

No one knew this at the time but this moment marked the beginning of an idea that would sweep across the world of Endless. But that is a story for the future.

Heya it's me! And I hoped you enjoyed the chapter :P

First off I wanna say that he's I'm not going to an hiatus. It's just that last week was pretty busy for me. Not only manga and light novels and stuff but annoying fucking school projects as well, pretty dumb lol but yeah I'll be doing one tomorrow so very sad. 

But anyways I really wanted the Marea speech to be here, I was so excited to write that as well but yeah xD I believed that by the end it doesn't fit the chapter so well so I moved it to next chapter lol

But another thing! Names! Before saying a person's name must be like they are an important character, but I wanna change that. I want it so that even background characters can have names and make the story not always revolve around Morus and gang, but like the entire world is alive lol. Though I'll only give them generic names hehe. 

And yeah! :3 arigatou and see you next chapter!  :P :3 :D

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