The moonlight fell on the flowers, making them glow like stars. Arina sat at the edge of the flower shaped pool and stared at the lotus blossoms, as the soft music drifted through the air. Training was over, and now, just before bed, she had some time to relax, and enjoy the peace and quiet of the temple garden.
She would often come here when she was small, and when she first arrived at the temple, under her master's wing, she declared this spot to be her favorite area in her new home. As she grew older, past ten, the master would smile at the end of her lessons, and send only a few guards with her as she went to sit by the water garden and watch the dragonflies weave in and out of lotus stems. Sometimes she would count the buds, and other times she would close her eyes and listen to the leaves rustle with a soft hum now and then from the dragonflies. If she were ever to have a sanctuary, a place where she could go when things became dificult, or even a spot to meditate after a long day, this was it.
Here, in the safte and familiar garden, Arina could dream. She could dream that she was anyone she wanted to be. A performer like the women she saw at the traveling fair. A crafter who wove fine necklaces and carved beautfiful jade pendants. A nobleman's daughter, like the women in stories she read after a few hours of training. Here, she didn't have to be the faelin. She didn't have to be the figurehead of the temple, alongside her wise and kind master. She didn't have to be "the one" that everyone expected great things from. She could just simply be.
Like any person in the world, she could watch the stars, smell the water flowers, swat away a stray dragonfly and listen to the lap of water against the edge of the pool.