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Tale Two: Beauty Hides Many Things


Freida is someone who loves music and her own environment however not everything is as it seems...

Tale Two: Beauty Hides Many Things

Erramun told his daughter many important things, lessons she had to learn. Many of these he told her when she was a child. They would often sit on the wooden walkway outside their house, a walkway which in turn extended out over the large lake. On-top of this walkway lay their village of Seu raised above the water on stilts, which was surrounded by a ring of mountains deep in the Rhern mountain range.


Erramun was an older father being 49 years of age when his daughter, Freida was born. Erramun had once had dark brown hair but now it was becoming grey as time went on, he had large ears that kept close to his head while his nose was long and thin matching his square face. His body was tall and thin yet muscular, and everything about him seemed to be carefully made as though he had been crafted by hand slowly over time. His eyes were kind and he was always accepting of every situation, for his life had not been an easy one and in his lifetime he had experienced many strange things.


His daughter Freida was, in looks, dissimilar to her father and had more of her mothers’ facial features. Her build was stocky, muscly and with wide shoulders. Her face was rounded, with slightly longer than shoulder length brown hair which had a hint of gold of it and long thin eyebrows. Her ears were smaller than Erramuns’ but larger than her mothers’ while her eyes, mouth and nose were average size and shape.


On one particular night they were sat with their legs hanging off the edge of the walkway looking out over the still lake. The sun was setting before them into the western horizon, its light was directed over the lake in multiple rays as it passed through the sparse section of forest that lay all around the lakes’ edge. On the lakes surface water lilies sat with their flowers not yet in bloom. Freida was resting her head on her fathers side and her small fingers managed to just about reach the middle of his back. Erramun was solemn yet warm as he embraced his daughter, laying his arm around her.

They sat together in a comfortable silence as the sun slowly set amidst the pastel coloured sky. The air was still, a few birds could be heard faintly singing and gentle banging sounds could be heard as Freida rocked her legs back and forth over the water. A soft breeze filled the air in the dimming light and along with it came quiet music from a violin, just a whisper but enough to add something to the atmosphere around the pair.

What’s that?” Freida whispered in her child’s voice.

Music my sweet.” Erramun replied.

Where’s it coming from?” Freida questioned.

It’s coming from the water, from creatures that dwell there. Creatures who play such sweet music.” Erramun then became serious, “Creatures that hide many dangers.”

It’s beautiful.” Freida said with such innocence and naivety. At this Erramun looked at her smiling and replied,

Indeed it is. Listen to the music my love but never follow it. Enjoy the melodies but be wary of those who play it. Music is best heard from a distance for its beauty hides many things. Pain, death and everything in-between all sound so sweet when played on an instrument however it can lead you astray. So listen but never follow it my child.”


This lesson was so important for Freida, although she did not know it at the time. However as years passed, time would take control and when this lesson was remembered, it would be too late.


During the years that Freida grew, herself, her parents and all those in the village aged but the land around her did not. Over the years her elder brother, Heli, would go into the woods to learn how to hunt animals, such as deer and chamois in the high plateaus with her father. They would spend days up in the mountains, days her mother spent worrying about the dangers they could get themselves into and all the dangers that could find them.

During the day the dangers in the mountains are few, as the men are fresh and the deadliest of creatures stay hidden. As the old poem goes,


In the mountains many deadly creatures lie.

Snakes and bears lie in wait in the grasses and the meadows.

And foul spiders and goblins lurk in dark places.


Giants roam all across the great Rhern mountains.

But beware for the dragons which dwell there also.


For giants eat dragons.

And dragons eat us.

But none quite knows what the giants will do to us.


Due to this reason people do not fear giants, for none has ever met them, they have only seen them from afar. Giants stay away from settlements and human dwellings as, it is thought, they have no reason to attack us nor do they have any use of us. But in the day when the giants roam the mountains dragons stay hidden and rarely attack. For that we do not fear the giants, we thank them and wish never to break this unspoken peace we have with them.


Freida had always been fascinated about giants, their mysterious protectors while her brother Heli knew the mountains well enough to have an idea about what they would really be like having to live in that environment. Heli was 3 years older than Freida and like her he too had a stocky and muscular physique. Despite his body shape he had tremendous balance and was able to scale rock faces with ease. His large, rough hands, like Erramuns’, allowed him to climb and hunt with stability and strength and his large ears lay close to his face, which he had got from his father. On his wide face he wore a tattoo which lay on the upper left hand side stretching from his hairline to below his eye. It was the mark of the mountain men, an ancient symbol used by the old civilisations of Jordfald given to the men who had immense knowledge about the mountains and a special connection with them which only the men could appreciate and others could admire. Helis’ dark brown hair was identical to that which Erramun had had, and their faces were surprisingly similar despite Helis’ wider facial features.


Heli would spend weeks in the mountains sleeping rough and collecting plants from the ground and off cliff faces that he’d climb. Balancing on small cliffs ledges, ones not even the most skilful of animals could get to, he would kill animals from above with his bow and arrows ready collect them when he reached the cliffs’ base. In order to stay alive and avoid becoming prey he would sleep in cracks and crevices in the cliffs to avoid all unwanted attention. Freida went with him once into the mountains and it was there she fell in love with the high peaks, the sharp cliffs, the fairytale meadows and all the danger that lay hidden within its’ beauty. She became intrigued with how Heli climbed, so light on his feet yet strong and always knowing where to place his hands and feet. Heli climbed by intuition,

You do not need strength when you have balance.” He had told her. “I listen to my body Freida, I feel everything. Where it lies on the rock, how it has to move and how I should move it in relation to everything else. It’s all about the body’s mechanics, you can be as strong as a bear but without balance you will fall.”

Despite following Heli’s instruction this Freida never got the hang of it. Instead over the years she became fascinated with other kinds of mechanics. How the village filtered drinking water, how they measured the acid levels of the soil and mud in the marshes and how they irrigated crops for making clothes with. In the evenings and at night the mountains were too dangerous to go into, as even giants must sleep so in the night dragons come out to feast. The dragons never come down to the village, it’s just marsh to them and nothing lives there they want to eat as there is plenty in the mountains for them.


On a cold winter night Freida heard a soft tune being played somewhere by the lakes’ edge. There on the walkway wrapped in her mothers shawl she stood listening to it, these tunes filled her teenage mind with amazement. In the quiet night she heard tapping behind her, turning she saw a girl who was her own age and was dancing to the sound. The dancers’ name was Philyra, she had long dark hair that would playfully bounce around her waist as she moved and turned with her feet bare on the walkway, which in accordance with each move came a soft patter sound on the wood like rain falling from a height. Her face was round and symmetrical and each of her features were very distinctive. Her wide nose softly sat in the midline of her face sitting just above her lips, which matched perfectly to the colour of her blushing cheeks. Her magnificent chunky eyebrows lay above her big brown eyes.


In nights that followed Freida would come out of her house to watch Philyra dance while listening to the soft music in the air. Over the years Philyra taught Freida to dance like she did, while Freida showed Philyra the high mountain meadows where Philyra would dance to the whistling of the wind.


13 years later.


In an early sunrise one day, a very sleepy Freida appeared outside her house. Dressed in her everyday white ankle length dress she looked out over the lake. Her dress had been woven by her mother, Evie, who was the main seamstress in Seu. Their lives revolved around making clothes and items from the plants that grew in the marshes and around the lake. These goods they would sell in the markets down in Kaynan along with animal skins made from the catches the men brought back with them from the mountains.


Evie had a wide build yet her figure was beautiful and her ginger hair complimented her softly coloured skin. Her facial features were average, being petite without being long and thin and her ears were small. Her heart was kind and she always worried a little too much but her love was strong for her children.


The seamstresses of the village used the stems of the plants, known as pith, for making clothes and dyed the garments using flowers which had been treated by a particular chemical, a chemical that the seamstresses like to keep a secret. The flowers used for dyeing the clothes are grown in the fields above the village, in the fertile soil that used to be marshland. In these fields food was also grown so village life could be sustained. Fisherman were also dotted around the village, in order to sell fish at the small village market. Women mostly took the role of making the clothes and items as well as making up 50% of the farmers and fishermen workforces.


For Freida’s father and the other men, their roles mainly revolved around teaching the boys to hunt in the mountains just as they did, how to skin animals and cook what they catch. They also taught boys how to care for the horses, how to lead them down the small road to Kaynan and how to barter to get the best prices at the market. The men also offered guidance to the girls about the world around them and shared knowledge with the women in how to advance Seu.


Freida, are you going to the meadow?” Evie asked her daughter one morning.

Yes mother, I am going with Philyra and Heli”

Good. Remember to keep close to Heli because he’ll keep you safe.”

I know mother, dragons hide in the mountains so we must not draw attention to ourselves.”

And remember that the giants don’t roam this far down the valley.”

I know.” Freida told her mother with a groan.

Freida ran to Philyra’s house where she knocked and stood humming a tune, allowing her feet to move to the beat while she waited. After a moment Philyra appeared also clothed in a dress, but unlike Freida’s, her dress was a pale green colour with a white underlay, it was thin and drifted as she moved but it was just as plain and undecorated as Freida’s garment.

They travelled up to the high meadow in the plateau where they laughed, danced and played. Unknown to them something had followed them into the mountains, the creature had crept through the trees, sometimes on all fours and sometimes on two legs. It had been drawn to the women a few nights before when they had been walking through the village together. Their beauty had been clear to this creature from the moment it had laid its eyes upon them, and it was clear that this creature wanted them. From dark places it had watched them, seeing where they could be lured to and how best it should entrap them.


Later that week, on a still evening when mist had descended on the village lying low to the water a faint sound came from somewhere within the fog. The sound drifted freely in the air, it was so beautiful that Freida felt herself drawn to it. In the mist she saw nothing but the music was as clear as day. She walked in the cold air down to the water to try and get a clearer view of who, or what, was playing. A figure it, about the same height as Freida and standing on two legs could be seen with a string instrument in its’ hand, which was most possibly a violin. The figure, who was merely an outline in the mist, seemed to be calling her into the fog with the tune it played. The cold air stopped her however and a few moments later the figure was gone and the music fading.


The next morning Freida left to collect water, she got it from the well in the village and was on her way home when she bumped into Philyra.

Hey, what are you up to?” Freida said greeting Philyra.

Helping my mother, she wants me to get her a new basket.” Philyra replied cheerfully. Freida nodded for no apparent reason but then her gaze strayed from Philyra to the lake and the river just beyond it. She frowned at what appeared to be a figure by the lakes edge in the lilies. “What are you looking at?” Philyra asked, as she also turned her attention towards the river.

Do you see that?” Freida said pointing at the figure. Philyra was silent for a moment as she looked to where Freida was pointing.

Yes that figure by the water. I see it.” Philyra replied. In the distance the figure lifted up a violin and started to play, it took only a moment for the music to reach the women’s ears.

I think he’s playing that.” Freida muttered.

He?” Philyra questioned Freida. Freida headed home putting the bucket of water down by her front door before heading towards the lakes’ edge to get a clearer view of this mysterious figure. As soon as she got a clear view of this figure Freida stopped, and with Philyra standing next to her they just looked at this man. He was tall and slim with thin facial features and gently rolling dark hair which drifted softly in the wind. He was focused with his eyes shut moving his hand smoothly along the violin which created a calm atmosphere. All his movements were gentle on the women’s senses and they felt tranquil in his presence. He finished playing the song and looked up at the women smiling slightly as though he was expecting them,

Hello fair maidens” The man greeted them before bowing before them.

The music you play is unlike anything I’ve ever heard” Philyra uttered softly. At this the man’s ears twitched slightly and he came up to look upon them once more.

I play only that which would please such honourable women as yourselves.”

What a magnificent gentleman you are. I am Freida and this is Philyra.” Freida said stepping forwards towards him.

In these lands I am known as Feilo, it is lovely to meet you ladies.” Then gracefully he kissed each woman’s hand.

Lovely to meet you at last, for we have heard your music from the village.” Philyra explained to him.

I am pleased that my music drifts that far on the wind.” Feilo replied.

Why don’t you come and play in our village not alone out here by the waters’ edge?” Philyra asked him.

I would but part of me is connected to this land, I am happy here playing amongst the rushes and the reeds.” Both women stood smiling at Feilo as he said these words until Freida remembered something.

I’m awfully sorry Feilo” Freida spoke abruptly breaking some kind of atmosphere that had created itself around them, “We are meant to be on errands and your music distracted us from our work, we should go. But I pray that it is not long until we see you again.”

Then go and work in the rest of the day.” Feilo kissed Freida’s hand after saying this, then added, “Until we meet again.” As Feilo went to kiss Philyra’s hand, she curtsied.

You are most fair and I shall return to your sweet song.” Philyra whispered in a soft voice.

As are you. I shall play a song just for you in the day after tomorrow.” Feilo replied. As the women turned and headed back to the village Feilo raised a hand behind them as a gesture of goodbye.


Over the rest of that day and in the next both women worked and when they met all they talked about was Feilo and the music he played. Each waiting for when they would hear his music again and therefore could return to him. In the rising sun of the next day Philyra was outside her home dancing to the soft rustle of the rushes, meanwhile Freida was humming as she prepared for the day. It was around midday that they heard the music flow on the air to the village, the women dropped their affairs and went hasten to the sound. In the woodland just as before, Feilo stood playing his violin effortlessly and without any mistake. As Feilo played he walked slowly to the shore of the lake where transfixed by the notes he was playing Philyra and Freida followed him becoming more and more unaware of their surroundings. They were being serenaded down to the water and as far as they were concerned, this was the most beautiful thing they had ever experienced.


However as they neared the waters’ edge Freida began to experience a feeling of uneasiness, as though there was hidden danger there. Still hearing the call of the music she looked around for what it may be, but she couldn’t see anything.

Philyra.” She whispered, “Philyra.” she whispered again, this time catching her attention where Philyra turned to Freida. “Something is not right.” Freida said in a hushed voice to her friend, “We should go back.”

At this Philyra turned away from Freida and back to Feilo who had halted on the lakes shoreline, he was still playing but at a slower pace and was looking directly at both women now.

I think we should go home.” Freida said, in a louder voice. She was looking around, on guard ready for some kind of attack and as she looked back, she saw Philyra walking to the waters’ edge. “Philyra!” Freida called out with a raised voice stepping forwards and taking Philyras’ hand. Something had made her heart skip a beat causing her to draw her friend back to her, only she didn’t know what had caused her to do that. At this moment Feilo stopped playing,

Must you go so soon?” Feilo asked lowering the violin to his side.

I think we’re in danger, we have to go. I’m sorry.” Freida told Feilo in a stern voice.

Come back tomorrow, I have a new song to play you.” Feilo called to them as they walked briskly away. Freida didn’t look back however Philyra briefly turned and caught Feilo’s gaze as they left.


Back in the village Freida turned to Philyra letting go of her hand, like a mother about to discipline her child.

We can’t go back there” Freida sternly told Philyra.

Why? It’s not doing us any harm.” Philyra replied in a passive aggressive tone.

We can’t, something’s not right.” Freida replied, tried to calm the situation down.

We’ve lived by the river for our whole lives and it’s never done us any harm.” Philyra objected, confused at Freida’s words.

It’s not the river I’m afraid of.” Freida affirmed.

Then what?” Philyra asked.

I can’t say, I’m not quite sure what it is.” Came Freida’s reply.


Morning broke and Freida looked out of her window into the calm morning. Getting up and dressing herself, a thought crossed her mind. Heading straight to Philyra’s hut clothed only in a thin dress with bare arms and bare feet, Freida went with a hurried pace.

Philyra!” She called knocking loudly on the door, “Philyra, it’s Freida.” She called again. She turned to look out across the water, she knew Philyra wasn’t home and she knew she was in trouble. Running down to the waters’ edge lifting her dress as she ran Freida entered the forest calling for Philyra.


She had realised who, or rather what Feilo was. The name Feilo, as Freida had realised, means familiar and it was no coincidence that something followed them into the mountains only days before Feilo serenaded the women. He was the one who had followed them, he had tracked them for months before they even knew of his existence. It was in this moment she remembered what her father had told her. Enjoy the melodies but be weary of those who play it. Pain, death and everything in-between all sound so sweet when played on an instrument however it can lead you astray. So listen but never follow it my child. They only ever saw Feilo in the marsh and he never came to the village, so where did he live? Freida concluded in horror that Feilo was a creature of the river, one of the nøkken, and he was going to kill Philyra.


Soon a sound came through the trees, a soft violin playing on the wind. Freida followed the sound but numb now to the songs sweet melody. She saw a figure stood on the shore and rushed to that spot. She left the cover of the trees to see Feilo waist deep in the water, violin in hand, playing to Philyra who was standing on the shore.

Philyra!” Freida shouted but Philyra slowly started walking towards Feilo as though she had not heard Freida. Freida watched as Feilos’ hands drifted over the violin but his eyes were firmly fixed on Philyra. To Freida’s ears the music changed now to a twisted tune where all the notes seemed sour and the melody sounded disjointed unlike anything that any decent creature with a musical ear would play. Philyra was in the water now passing Feilo and descending deeper into the water until she was submerged up to her shoulders.

Philyra!” Freida screamed but she dared not enter the water. She watched as Feilo also descended to his shoulders and appeared to continue playing under the water as he waded in deeper. Philyra was held in a complete trance as her mind focused on the delightful sound that only she could hear. Freida watched in horror as Feilo put a hand to Philyra’s cheek, where instantly her friend relaxed as though she was drifting to sleep. Freida stood helpless on the shore as an unknown force prevented her from entering the water to help Philyra, so all she could do was watch. Tears rolled down her cheeks as Feilo gently lowered Philyra into the water with one hand on her cheek and the other around her shoulders leaving her to fall gracefully into his arms. Then they were gone, beneath the waters’ surface.


As though breaking out of a trance Freida came to her senses and waded into the water without hesitation. She dived under the waters surface when it was deep enough, and then abruptly stopped in her tracks. A fair few meters before her Philyra lay just below the surface, her body resting between the lilies, and beside her fully submerged was a grotesque monster. In the darkness she couldn’t make out its exact shape but it’s eyes were a distinct green colour shining between the plants. Staring right at her it seemed to be made up of a mixture of mud, twigs and human hair that appeared to be bound together by the swirling darkness that engulfed the monster. Freida didn’t stay a moment longer knowing there was nothing more she could do for Philyra. She swam to the surface, raced out of the water and ran away from the shore as fast as her legs would carry her.


She raced through the trees like a wild animal not knowing if the creature was chasing her. She jumped onto the wooden walkway, continuing to run before glancing behind her and simultaneously bumping into her father. She looked up at him with tears in her eyes and fell to the floor weeping as he came down to join her. Embracing his child he said,

Oh my child, why didn’t you tell me?”

There was no time. By the time I knew that Philyra was in danger it was too late.” Freida replied between tears, then buried her head into Erramun’s chest.

Hush my child, hush now.” He reassured her while he gently rubbed her arm, “It is not your fault, the men of the water are tricksters.”

They sat there for a while, Freida crying in her fathers arms. In her fathers embrace she felt her heart start to warm,

You know them?” She said slowly.

I met one a long time ago, a nøkken. The water spirit who changes shape in order to lure their prey. I should have explained the dangers to you better.” Erramun gently told his daughter, holding her tight.

It was hideous, I went after her and I saw it.” Freida recalled. “When we first met it, it was a beautiful man who I could have easily made my husband but under the water it changed, it turned sour like the music it played on it’s violin. It took her, stole her away from me.” Freida looked up and spoke softly now, “I saw her, dead by his hand. She looked so calm as though she was in a pleasant dream floating on the surface amongst the lilies.” Resting her head against Erramuns body and in the setting sun’s light they sat on the walkway looking out over the river just as they had on many nights before, only now Freida truly knew the danger behind the music.


After a few days Freida left the house, wrapped in her blanket and with a messy complexion she walked silently through the village. She passed houses where children played outside and fishermen sat on the walkway fishing into the lake. To the marshes edge she went, which was on the other side of the lake where some women were crouched down collecting plant stems an opening them to get the pith inside them. She came to a woman who was collecting plants slowly, Freida knelt down and began to help her. After a few moments the woman turned and her eyes met with Freida’s. Both women looked as though they were about to cry but instead they smiled at one another and kept working. This woman was Joyann, Philyra’s mother.


Each day after this Freida went to the marshes and helped Joyann. As time moved on they started to smile and laugh together,

My dear Freida.” Joyann said to Freida one evening after working in the fields all day, “you are bright and young. I know for both of us the shock of Philyras’ death has passed but you must start living life as Philyra did. Find your passion, do good in this village and do it for her.” Freida nodded and put her forehead against Joyanns’ and smiled. She looked into Joyanns’ eyes for a moment before standing and heading home. Thinking about what Joyann had said Freida thought of the mountains, of climbing with Heli and of mechanics. As she thought about what she wanted to do, she passed a child. He was sat on the edge of the walkway with a rope in his hand, pulling up a bucket from the lake before standing up and taking the bucket with him into a large warehouse. Freida watched as the boy climbed a small ladder and poured the water from the bucket into a metal sphere, the water made a noise like rain as it landed on the metal, then it passed though a metal grate and drained from the basin into a pipe which ran out the back of this warehouse. Going round to the back of the warehouse Freida found herself looking down into a well. At the bottom of this well Freida could make out stones that sealed the wells base off from any groundwater in the water-table. She then realised this was the well she had collected water from as a child and every day since. It’s location in-between two adjoining walkways with the bucket hanging over the water and the wells stone edge protecting it from the water in the lake. Walking back into the warehouse through a small wooden door that disguised it, she climbed the ladder just as the boy had done and looked down into the metal sphere where all around its edges was mud, plants and dead fish. The whole place smelt rotten and Freida left the warehouse just as the boy ran back in with another bucket of water. Freida watched the boy again wondering who would let him do this job then she looked out to the lake and realised that in the lake there were things a lot worse than dead fish that could end up in the water supply.


Over time that became Freidas’ project, of finding a way to get clean, fresh water to the village. She started thinking of the mountain streams, their water flowing out from a spring then down over rock. Using mechanics she thought up many solutions about how to get water and transport it down to the village without disturbing the normal environment as for the plants to grow in the marshes the water supply it gets must be consistent. She came up with a valve mechanism that would allow clean water to be accessed when people wanted it while having the water flow in its usual direction when it was not in use. Erramun helped Freida with how the valve should work as he worked in Sioan for most of his younger years. Sioan is renowned for its technology, specifically revolving around producing power from steam using special pumps and having most of its city running off clockwork devices.


Due to this Erramun was able to work with Freida to create a valve that when a key was turned the compression of a spring pulled open the valve causing water to flow to an outlet in the village. This therefore allowed people access to clean mountain water rather than water filtered from the lake. In order to carry clean mountain water down to the valve they planned to build a pipe from a stream in the mountains, putting a marsh over its entrance to stop any pebbles or fish from entering the pipe, from there it would go to within meters of the village where the water was then diverted back to the marshes. At the point where the pipe was directed back to the marshes the valve would be put in.


It took a month before Freida could travel to the market in Kaynan, purchase all the parts she needed for the piping and the valve itself. It took another 2 months for Freida to build the valve and for it to work successfully. Over the following year she and a workforce of 30 men and women dug the path for the pipe, laid the pipe and covered it over. After a few adjustments the new water outlet was working in the village and the warehouse where the water had been filtered from the lake stopped its work. Instead Freida ended up employing the boy, Naim, who had worked there and also ended up employing his older brother, Micha, to maintain the outlet, valve and the piping.


Over time Freida grew and became known due to her fresh water outlet. She went on to design many more mechanical systems with the help of her father. Time went on and Freida found herself back sitting on the edge of the walkway. Only this time she was not accompanied by her father but instead by her husband Micha and her 6 year old daughter Pacha. It was here while watching Pacha wriggle around her father’s arms attempting to watch the sunset in seemingly odd positions that Freida saw herself in Pacha and gently called for her daughter's attention.

Pacha” She said softly yet firmly, “Pacha” she called again taking hold of her daughter's hands. Pacha turned to look at her mother with her big brown eyes. Micha handed Pacha to Freida slowly so that Pacha was sat upright in her mother’s lap.

Do you see that lake Pacha?” Freida asked Pacha.

Yeah.” She replied in her child’s voice.

Do you see how the sunlight plays on the water?”

Yeah.” Pacha replied. “It's beautiful.”

Indeed my darling.” Freida agreed holding Pacha tightly to her, “that's what Philyra thought.” Freida continued looking out to the lake.

Your friend.” Pacha interrupted. Freida looked down at her as she said this.

Yes, my friend. Do you know what happened to her?” Freida asked her daughter. Pacha shook her head as Micha glanced to Freida and gave her a discerning look. Despite this Freida continued, “She got hurt. She got carried away by the beauty of the lake and she got hurt. Do you remember what I told you?” At this Pacha paused for a moment.

Things are not always as they appear.” Pacha decided after some thought.

Exactly.” Freida congratulated her daughter. “For Beauty hides many things, and the world should never be taken at face value.”