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Frozen Pane

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Rare is the opportunity the Ice Witch gifts her magicore with free will. Time to think for himself and act upon his own wishes. Yet there is never a moment when Atsuma can escape Toya's mind altogether.

This place is so cold. Suits me well, a prince of ice. The man thought darkly. Kindly, he remembered the days when he lived as a mortal. It wasn't long ago; your everyday student of Enchant University. But even then, he knew the impermanence of those finer days, all while his heart stirred with the blood of the ancients.

Again and again, he'd heard from those who whispered promises to him. These people with power and dark intentions. He had the blessed capability to be a magicore. To live side-by-side with the higher beings. The Devil Golems. But surely no good could come of it. If such an existence, such power, only brought darkness to others, then why should he believe them?

And yet so it came to pass.

The desperate magicore painted pictures with his finger on the frosted glass window. He looked out, but felt no inspiration by what he saw. A world of cold. A world without Atsuma.

Solitude would now be his new life. The only light he had - and he held onto with such foolish thinking - resided in the one person that occupied his troubled mind.

That person who - as a child - unconditionally offered his devout friendship when all else abandoned him. That person who - as a dear friend – willingly, on every occasion, proved his loyalty and his love to him over and over.

Toya cherished Atsuma. Cherished his friendship above all things his life had to offer, and before the recent events, he thought not of the day they would be apart.

But such a light, no matter how passionate, would need to dim. Toya told himself. The darkness within Yokohama, the ice castle, and within his becomingly frozen heart, surely they needed to convince Atsuma that Toya's death would be the only escape route earth had.

Yet he knew Atsuma was coming for him, despite everything. He knew Atsuma's plan to save him. He'd seen him many times, coming back to him over and over, pleading to him to return, come to his senses, and rejoin him. He understood Atsuma's wishes, but how could he convey his own?

It tortured him every time to see Atsuma's face so hurt. And every time, Toya had to lie to him. Every time, hinting then begging for Atsuma to just kill him and get it over with. It had to be done. He had to protect him. Ensure that only light he had would keep living on without him.

Toya would have felt comfortable to shed a tear if it didn't freeze to his skin. Through everything, he vowed himself to be unmoving and unfeeling. He traded emotion for duty.

The grief-stricken man shuddered again. The cold was merciless. It crawled along his skin, pricking along his body with sharp freezing pains. Maybe death is no different than this...?

Atsuma, how can I make you see? Toya sent a distant, heartfelt message to the one that plagued him. I want to free you from guilt. No regrets for Yokohama. No regrets for killing me. If my sacrifice will solve it, then I'll accept it for you and the sake of your happiness.

If you die, I'll be worth nothing. If I die, and you can live on, then that's enough for me.

Shuddering once again, Toya wrapped his arms around his body, hoping for comfort, hoping for solace. Wishing more than anything that it was only a matter of time before he could hold Atsuma again.

It's so cold here. And he is always... so warm.

I want to protect you. I want you to live. We can't be together again. Things can't be as they used to.

But if he really did leave all his hope behind, then what was that light still etching inside him? His fingers lost feeling. In the frozen pane, Toya spelled out the words, "I need you."