"Oniichan loves her very much doesn't he?" There was such a sad, heart wrenching sigh from the little demon princess as she stood staring up at the silent form of Rasetsunyo, Kougaiji's mother. "Do you think she'd like me?"
"I think," I started unsure of the truth, but knowing in my heart what she needed to hear, "I think that for Lord Kougaiji to love her as much as he does she must be a very kind woman. I'm sure she'd love you knowing how much he does."
Brilliant green eyes, usually so happy and full of life looked back at me now so near dead in their sadness, "My mother doesn't like me very much."
"She loves you in her way my lady." We both knew the truth of that statement, but she didn't call me on it. "Besides we love you, Lord Kougaiji and I. That's why he wanted you to stay here, so I can keep you safe." I smiled at her trying to bring back the light that usually shined in her eyes. I wished Lord Kougaiji and Dokugakuji would return soon, it was so hard being alone with the Lady Lirin normally when she was bouncing off the walls and ready for action--this was just wrong.
"It's not the same, is it?" She turned around looking straight at me. "Oniichan loves me because he's Oniichan--he's supposed to love me." Her next sentence was whispered but I still heard her words as she looked down at the ground, "Of course, my mother should also."
"How do you love me Yaone? Why?" So serious a look I had never before seen upon her face. I wanted to answer her as honestly as possible but was unsure how she would react to my answer.
"I love you because you're you. You're so full of life and rush head long into things because you can. You never think you'll get hurt even against the biggest enemies. And the way you're helping out your brother shows me how much love you have for him." I reached out to her, lifting her face up to look at mine, "as for how I love you..." brushing my lips against hers I held my breath for a moment, not sure what she would do. I only started breathing again once I felt her arms wrap around me, the pressure as she pulled me closer. It might have gone on longer if not for the messenger of Lady Gyokumen interrupting us.
I whispered in her ear, "Lirin, be good--be safe," and I watched her leave wishing once more for the quick return of the others.