Work Header

The Tale of the Maiden and the Guardian Spirit

Work Text:

In the past, before the age of men, heaven descended upon the earth and declared his love for her.

She bore him a son, he who would be known to be the first Son of Heaven. He was plagued by loneliness though, as his parents were so vast and mighty, they could not play with him, lest they endangered his life.
So the earth bore him siblings, to keep him company, that were much like him.
He swore to protect them henceforth, and rule over them so that they would live in fairness and dignity.

When he grew older and began to tire from his life, he sought a way to ensure his siblings' livelihood. He asked his mother, the earth for her wisdom, but she had no answer for him.
So he went to his father, heaven himself and asked him for his wisdom. Heaven spoke then, "Go, my son to the shore of the earth and wait there until the moon is full, for from the sea a Maiden will arrive to be your wife," to his son.

So the Son of Heaven did as his father told him and went to the shore of the earth. He sat down and waited three days and three nights. On the third night the moon had grown to its fullest and the sea grew restless before his eyes.
Then, from a fountain of foam and water rose a Maiden as heaven had foretold.

She was the child of the night and the sea, her skin white as the moonlight and her hair black as the sea at night.

The Son of Heaven greeted her as his betrothed and brought her to his mother.
Overjoyed the earth created an island for the Maiden to call her own.

All were invited to witness the marriage, which would take place seven days from then.

Until that time the Maiden chose to seclude herself on her island. The Son of Heaven asked his brothers and sisters to look after his fiancé, but soon saw that they could not resist the allure that she possessed. So he forbade anyone but himself from setting foot on the island until the marriage.

Unbeknownst to him though, the sun had seen her after all. It sent a ray of its light, in the shape of a spirit to meet the Son of Heaven.
The spirit said: "I have seen your bride and I am willing to guard her until you can make her yours."
The Son of Heaven asked in turn: "Very well, Guardian Spirit, to compensate for your work, what do you wish for?"

The Guardian Spirit smiled and said: "I wish that your bride's first born child be named after me."
The Son of Heaven thought about that and decided that he would accept the Guardian Spirit's offer.

So the Guardian Spirit was brought to the island of the Maiden.

Once he had arrived, he took his true from, that of the sun, and sought her company.
With his light he made flowers grow, he warmed her and once she had fallen for him, he laid with her.

When the day of the wedding arrived, the bride was taken from the island to live with her husband.
Soon it was revealed that she had conceived a child.
The Son of Heaven was filled with relief, certain that his child would one day take his place.

When his wife came down with the child though, he saw that he had been betrayed, as the child was golden like the sun.

Enraged he sought his parents to ask for their advice. His father told him to cast the tainted wench back into the sea where she had come from. His mother told him though, to seek his wife's answers before condemning her wrongly.

While that was happening, the young mother feared for her and her child's lives. She escaped to the island, where she found the Guardian Spirit once more and reunited with him.

The Son of Heaven had been willing to hear his wife's answers, but when he came home and found her and the child gone, rage took over his heart. He went after her, wielding his bow and arrow. When he arrived at the shore where he had first met her, he looked across the ocean at the island.
He saw his wife in another man's embrace, and blinded by his pain he shot his arrows into her heart.

The Guardian Spirit cried out in his grief as he cradled his dying love.

Some say the Son of Heaven and the Guardian Spirit cursed one another, for their descendants to forever suffer the same pain as they did.

Eventually the age of men began, and the deities that once ruled the world withdrew from their lands; but even today it is said that the golden spirit is forever fated to fall for a maiden that is not rightfully his, and the maiden is forever fated to be killed in her husband's vengeance.