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Flowers in Winter

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Winter was closing in with November coming to an end and December starting to run it’s course.
Hence why the Fujitaka family had begun to prepare for the snowy season ahead. They were a family who lived on the outskirts of the town, hidden by a wide and thick forest. Though remote and prone to isolating themselves they kept themselves in good relation to the townspeople, the lady of the house Yuriko working from home and creating beautiful haoris and traditional clothing alike meanwhile the husband, Akio worked in various locations, though nobody really knew what his job entailed as the man liked to keep his fair share of mysteries.
The couple, though fairly young had a child as well, Yue, whom the townspeople referred to as Little Snow due to the unusual color of her hair, almost completely white, safe for the tips of her hair which flow into a gentle tone of lilac. Since a young age the little girl helped her mother with work, delivering hairpins, yukatas and other orders that Yuriko completed. She never minded the long walks through the forest.

The little girl’s favorite place to visit was the Akagi mansion, the rich man Akagi was just out of the prime of his youth, Yue recalls that her mother and he are childhood friends, but he was nice. She always received a warm welcome when she delivered new kimonos for his nieces and even when she wasn’t, they always welcomed her to play, though she often refused in turn for studying.
Yue even had the town’s doctor teach her about the herbs around them and borrowed scrolls and books from the local scholar to sate her endless thirst for knowledge.

 

When she wasn’t studying, she spent the day with her father, who taught her all sorts of useful things like how to breathe properly so she wouldn’t run out of breath when they raced up the mountain, running around and playing hide and seek. And after her ninth birthday they added sword training to the schedule. Though when Akio wasn’t around Yue would spend the time when she didn’t work or study by learning how to perform some traditional dances or helping Yuriko make the articles of clothing and hairpins. She was excited about the winter, the kotatsu, the snow, what was there not to be excited about?! But what she was looking forward to most is her father’s stories of his work. He always spoke about these monsters he kept slaying with the sword carried with him, Yue never failed to listen with awe, though she didn’t really believe him, despite his warnings that the stories were true and that she shouldn’t wander around at night.

When she turned nine, he gave her the weirdest gift ever, at least in her opinion. Her dad gave her a katana, it was light but heavy at the same time, but that’s not what was going through her mind then, she mostly kept thinking back onto the grim warning she received alongside her gift.

“Only unsheathe this blade if a monster shows up, okay? You know I wouldn’t lie about monsters, Yue, right?”

She just nodded at that time but in truth she still doubted their existence, doubted his word. Though despite that doubt she became paranoid, scared to wander around when it got darker and developing a habit of taking the sheathed blade with her whenever she made a trip to deliver her mother’s creations.
Having the safety of a weapon with her was calming, relaxing even.

 

It was a peaceful life that she wouldn’t give up for anything.