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Feeling Kinda Blue

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It all started with his normal routine of searching for nuts.

It was a fine morning with the sun up high, clouds were white and looking as fluffy as ever.

The tree that had served as home was perfect in overlooking the sea and when he’s looking at the tranquil view at different times, it had never failed to make him feel as calm and peaceful as he can be. And when he woke up and the sea was what it had always been, he knew that something good was going to happen.

Was he going to find a good amount of nuts?

He couldn’t wait.

But his expectations were kind of. .thwarted? He guessed that that was the right word to use. He heard it when there were hunters in the forest talking about his plans being thwarted and all that before grumbling complains back to their natural habitat, it was a new word and a new experience.

Because instead of nuts, he found a human with hair as blue as the sea and there was something about him that exudes a feeling of calmness. And unlike the hunters that frequented the forest this human was not the same. There was something there that made him think of a being that was powerful and out of this world. Or maybe that was just the loneliness he feels when the bells attached on his mask tinkled.

It was like the human wanted someone, anyone to know he was there. The bells made such a lonely sound. The sounds of the bell drew him in and the repressed loneliness he felt through the days came in like a flood. There was no denying that it was what drew him in.

The human, as if knowing he was being watched, quickly wore the white fur coat beside him and hid behind the trees.

Waiting for the human to come out, he waited and waited until the sun was setting with its half hidden in the line where sky meets the sea. And as the sun completely hid and darkness had surrounded the area, the realization rose like the moon and had dimly lit the idea he wanted to deny, the human was gone.

Feeling down, he made his way back home climbing and jumping above a few trees without a piece of nut for dinner in his hands.

 

 

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He was surprised when he saw the human again. and then he felt happiness and excitement filling up his little body.

With this energy, he felt no need to search for nuts to eat.

The human was closer to his home now just a few trees away and a lot higher. Slowly, he climbed up a branch and then another and another until he was on the branch a few trees beside the human’s.

Climbing as close him as he could, with a few trees in their middle he was still farther than he liked. But this was fine, he felt a tad less lonely.

As the wind passed by, the sounds of the bell was carried along. Maybe it was just his imagination but he could almost see the tips of the human’s lips curve up just a little bit.

And as the wind passed by again, the sounds that were carried felt like what he was feeling right now.

For the first time, he wanted more than just nuts, more than what he had right now, he wanted company, a lot closer than this, a lot of smiles and laughter, a family.

He was dreaming to much, he knew but he wanted to dream a little. Wanted to dream of being in the same branch as this- as his human, together. Watching the sun as blue and calm and as lonely as the sea and him.

 

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He made a mistake.

When searching for nuts, he had accidentally stepped into a snake’s territory. And while the humans never bothered killing him for food, the other inhabitants of the forest and him knew that he, in the end, was just a squirrel, the hunted.

In human terms which he had learned about from listening in passing human conversations, he was prey.

There was nothing that had instilled more fear in him than being chased by the cunning snake, its mouth wide open and all he sees is death’s claws coming up to him.

And then he was snatched by an eagle. Or was it still by the snake? With him, fearing for his life the events have occurred too fast and the fear made his little heart beat faster and faster, and paws? Claws? Held his body tightly, he didn’t want to welcome death, he didn’t want to die.

He squeaked, pleading for his life to the unknown predator and then from either fear or the unhealthy beating of his heart (or both) he blacked out.

 

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He was surrounded by warmth when he woke up.

It was two kinds of warmth.

The first was the warmth of relief of being alive, his heart still beating and he was fine. The second was literal. It was warm, the white fur like coat wrapped around him.

This coat was familiar.

A hand appeared, it was dark but like him and the inhabitants of the forest, he can see a little bit, and it had startled him.

“Are you okay?” a voice echoed in the darkness and looking up, he managed to see a silhouette of a human?

Oh.

That’s why it was familiar.

Piecing together what he knew and what he had experienced, gratitude was formed for this human. His human.

“Thank you!” He managed to say and slowly he went out of the coat. Step by step, he walked towards his human in all fours, hesitating a bit but he continued on, climbing up to his human’s shoulder, he finally rubbed his cheek against his. And there was a slight laugh, it was quiet and the movement made the bells hit against each other and the sound mixed harmoniously with the laughter of his human.

It was a beautiful laugh.

In the dark, his dream of being close to someone, a family was fulfilled. And in the dark did the bells make not the sound of loneliness but instead the opposite.

There was third kind of warmth. With him standing on his human’s shoulder, a smile on both their lips. He thought this was exactly that.

 

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He learned the human’s name. Seiryuu. It wasn’t actually a name, its just what they, the other humans, call him. He tried suggesting other names for Seiryuu but it wasn’t fair that he could understand him but Seiryuu can’t.

In the end, it was him who got a name. Ao. The frustration of their miscommunication was unbearable that he wanted to hit his head on the cave floors.

He- Ao now- hoped that someday someone would give Seiryuu a name fitting him.

 

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The other humans, the villagers, were mean to Seiryuu. Ao didn’t like them immediately. Seiryuu was now like his brother and hearing them call him a monster and not thanking him for his protection got Ao’s blood boiling. They were undeserving of someone as great and amazing as Seiryuu.

Stomping toward the wall where the villagers lived on the other side, Ao was about to push that button to open the secret passage but was quickly snatched by Seiryuu.

“It’s okay, Ao” he said, Seiryuu already knowing what he was thinking and feeling after knowing him for months and Ao was the same, knowing that Seiryuu didn’t want the villagers to get hurt even if its just by a small squirrel.

“Why?” Ao asked, “Why are they treating you so badly?”

Ao knew that all Seiryuu heard was just a bunch of squeaks but Seiryuu understood, Ao knew he understood. They were brothers.

Seiryuu’s hand slowly lifted up to his mask and removed it. When Ao saw what was hidden behind all this time. . .

Seiryuu’s eyes were beautiful.

“I’m cursed.” He said without a hint of doubt.

Ao, also without a doubt, disliked those villagers.

Ao wanted to leave this place alongside Seiryuu but they can’t. not when Seiryuu’s trapped by his own misplaced sense of obligation.

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A savior was here. Ao felt it. the power sizzling under her hood and fire hidden behind her eyes. Along with her, companions with strength.

It was her. It was them.

When the village chief agreed to the girl’s request of staying for a while, a plan was forming in his head. If they were looking for Seiryuu, then he was going to lead them to Seiryuu.

A savior was here. Ao felt it. the power sizzling under her hood and fire hidden behind her eyes. Along with her, companions with strength.


It was her.

It was them.


When the village chief agreed to the girl’s request of staying for a while, a plan was forming in his head. If they were looking for Seiryuu, then he was going to lead them to Seiryuu.