A long time ago, there were two beautiful twin sisters who lived in the land of Schlezel.
The two sisters closely resembled each other, to the extent where no one could tell them apart. The older sister’s name was Rhodiani, and the younger sister was Endius. The two lived close to the entrance of the forest, a little ways off from the town. The two had lost their parents early and had no other relatives. Because of that, the two were bound by a strong bond. If one laughed, the other laughed; if one cried, the other cried. Even if their bodies were divided in two, their souls were one. This was how dear they thought of each other and trusted each other.
Both of them also had special skills. The older sister, Rhodiani, was very good at hand spinning. The threads she spun were even and delicate, to the extent where one would unconsciously want to rub their cheeks against it. The younger sister, Endius, was very good at weaving. The cloth she wove was smooth and gentle, to the extent where would unconsciously want to hug it. The two made their living by selling the clothes they made like this.
These two beautiful twins were so very pure and so very honest and unselfish. Surely, only the gods who lived in the heavens were allowed to love them. Somebody once said that.
In the heavens, were many gods were said to live, such as the Lord God, Vida.
Amongst the gods, there was one that was still young, Ordyn, who felt a bit bored at his life in the heavens. And so, now and then, he would descend into the human world and peep at the lives of humans before returning.
One day, Ordyn went down into the forest on a whim and met the younger sister of the twins, Endius. Endius had come to draw water from the spring in the forest. Ordyn liked her at first sight, and Endius also had her heart taken by his virility. Just like that, the two of them fell in love.
Both of them promised to meet each other at the forest spring every third day, but Endius was so enchanted by him that she could not wait even that long. The older sister, Rhodiani, immediately noticed that her younger sister was acting strange. When she asked, Endius spoke shyly about the person she had feelings for. Looking at how happy Endius was, Rhodiani too became happy. The two had one soul. If one was happy, the other would be happy.
Ordyn’s feelings for Endius were extremely strong. He loved Endius in seriousness and soon thought about wanting to summon her up into the heavens. However, Endius herself showed a strong resistance to leaving her one and only sister behind. But still, Ordyn’s passion slowly melted Endius’ hesitation and, at last, he succeeded in making her nod.
Both of them had confirmed each other’s resolve, but there was still a problem. The other gods opposed doing such a thing as welcoming Endius, a human, easily into the heavens.
They put out one condition. In 100 days, the two had to whisper their love to each other at the forest spring every night. If they could continuing meeting each other without missing a single day, and if their affection hasn’t faded, then at that time the other gods would approve of their love. Ordyn nodded, exultant. Endius was also happy to consent to this.
On the 10th night, the two praised the beauty of each other’s eyes.
On the 60th night, the two praised the depths of each other’s love.
And then, on the 85th night.
Endius suffered from a horrible fever. It had been a heavy burden on Endius’ body to go out every night. Unable to even rise from her bed, Endius looked up at the ceiling with tears in her eyes. In this state, she could not go and meet Ordyn.
“Sister, what should I do?”
Endius whispered with a weak and hoarse voice. Rhodiani could not find any words to return. She could do nothing but grip Endius’ hand. And Endius too returned the grip, squeezing her sister’s hand.
“Sister, please go see him in my stead. You and I look entirely alike. Please, I beg of you.”
Rhodiani was surprised but thought it certainly was a good idea. Of course she knew the location of the spring. Rhodiani nodded without hesitation.
Like this, on the 85th night, “the two” praised each other’s generosity.
On the 100th night, which had been reached safely, Endius was in high spirits and very happy. Of course, Rhodiani was also supposed to be happy. With her younger sister being this happy, she should have been happy too…… and yet, Rhodiani could not smile from the bottom of her heart. –Aah! Even if their bodies were divided in two, their souls were one!
Rhodiani had, on the 85th night, in just that night, fallen in love with Ordyn.
Now, this first love had swelled to the point of scorching her body. But she could not stop her smiling sister from heading to her 100th meeting. Rhodiani somehow made the same smile as her sister and saw her off.
And then, just after an hour, Endius returned. What exactly had happened, Endius was crying terribly as she passed through the door. Rhodiani ran hurriedly to her sister and managed to hear the details about how she didn’t see Ordyn at the meeting place. Instead, there was a small owl perched on a tree beside the spring, who called out to Endius. According to the owl, she wasn’t able to be welcomed into the heavens because she deceived them–.
Aah, Rhodiani immediately knew the meaning behind the owl’s words. That 85th night! In the end, they couldn’t deceive the gods.
“I asked for one more chance. And it told me that if I were to spin thread from silkworms and weave a cloak that fit Ordyn perfectly, they would accept me– by tomorrow at noon.”
Impossible, Rhodiani thought. Endius was an expert at weaving, but not at spinning thread. It had always been Rhodiani’s role to spin thread. This was how both sisters made their cloths. Rhodiani suggested that she spin the thread, but Endius quietly shook her head. When her last teardrop splashed onto the floor, Endius began to work at once.
Once the cloak was finished, she was to bring it to the spring again before tomorrow noon. If her work was approved then Endius would be welcomed into the heavens. Rhodiani turned the words she heard from her sister over and over again in her head. Complicated emotions whirled in her and she couldn’t settle down. On the other side, Endius did nothing but work without stopping even once for a break. She spent quite a lot of time spinning thread and it wasn’t as beautiful as what her sister could do, but somehow she accomplished it. And then, once she started weaving, the rest was her specialty. In the blink of an eye a beautiful cloak was completed.
Gradually, noon approached. Endius, whose eyes were bloodshot, held the finished cloak up to the sunlight and her expression finally relaxed. She must have been relieved, and certainly the cloak wasn’t of bad quality. Seeing that, Rhodiani once again felt the gloom in her deepen.
We were always two people but of one person. We were always closely beside each other. And yet, that girl had made a cloak all by herself. For Ordyn, who only loved that girl.
In that moment, something shattered within Rhodiani with a sound.
Rhodiani brew some hot tea and mixed sleeping powder into it. She called out to Endius to take a rest and handed over that tea. Rhodiani watched intently as Endius thanked her with a smile and drained the cup. Soon, she was looking down quietly at her younger sister, who was unable to beat the drowsiness and laid down on the bed.
And then, holding the cloak which had just been finished, Rhodiani broke into a run.
On a tree, close to the spring, like Endius said, there was a single owl.
“I’ve brought it.”
When she timidly presented the cloak, the owl glanced at it.
“Very well, we shall invite you into our world. Ordyn is waiting in the heavens. Go and run directly on the path you can see on the other side. Do not look behind you, simply look ahead and run. If so, you will arrive.”
At the words about Ordyn waiting, Rhodiani’s feelings were intensely stirred. She would be able to see him again and be loved by him; when she thought that, her feet automatically started running. She ran as fast as she could on the path, like she was told. Just how long would it continue, she couldn’t see the end. Soon, surely soon, as she told herself this, Rhodiani felt some uneasiness.
–What exactly would become of Endius when she awoke?
There was no doubt that Endius would be hurt to the point where she could not recover. Because she lost her beloved lover and her beloved sister at the same time, and due to betrayal.
Unable to bear this suddenly, Rhodiani stopped and turned around. When she did, wasn’t that her house which she had left there in front of her? She could see clearly inside from the window. There was her sister, who was still sleeping soundly– and then, the shape of a man close beside her.
It was Ordyn, who should have been in the heavens. He lovingly caressed Endius’ cheek, as she continued to sleep, and dropped a gentle kiss onto her. And then he smiled softly and continued to watch his lover’s slumbering face.
Rhodiani felt so much shock that she couldn’t breathe. Was that an illusion, or reality?
“You are not permitted to stop, Rhodiani.”
The owl’s voice echoed through the forest.
“Now, run, you chose the heavens. Look straight ahead and run, do not look behind you.”
But, wait, isn’t that Lord Ordyn? Rhodiani shouted in a soundless voice.
“For the sake of his lover, Ordyn threw away his status as a god. The two will be together for the rest of their lives as humans.”
Rhodiani began to move her legs again while in a daze. Whether it was by her own will, she no longer knew. Unable to think, she merely ran. She ran, and ran, and continued to do nothing but run.
An old man stood at the end of the path. The old man, who had gentle yet stern eyes, accepted Rhodiani with a single large nod.
“Do not regret deceiving your sister.”
“However, you cannot be forgiven. You also deceived us twice.”
“As promised, we welcome you into the heavens. However, you must atone. For a hundred years, you will bloom flowers around the spring every night. In order to bless those two and their descendants.”
“Yes–, I understand.”
“If done, I believe happiness will visit you as well, Goddess Rhodiani.”
Rhodiani was unable to stop her overflowing tears. These were tears of sorrow, tears of fear, and tears of regret. Yes, they might have been those, but they were surely tears of relief as well.
Like this, a girl disappeared from the human world, and a goddess was born in the heavens. A hundred years passed, and then two hundred years passed. It is said the flowers, which had begun blooming around the spring, cover the forest even now. However, those who know the reason for the beauty of those flowers may no longer exist.