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Night of The Final Day

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Kotake didn’t particularly care if the moon fell. It was far more troubling that her sister had managed to lose herself in the swamp forest.

Koume had never been the most level-headed person, but it wasn’t like her to disappear like this. She knew the woods like the wrinkles on the back of her hand, and she was more than a match for the creatures that lived there. If something had overpowered her, it wasn’t a good sign. As much as Kotake hated to admit it, they weren’t getting any younger.

Kotake was happy where she was, and she didn’t want to leave the swamp. If nothing else, it was nice not to have to bother with the endless drama of the youngsters in the bay who insisted on playing at being pirates.

It was a lovely change of pace to make the acquaintance of the Deku King’s personal butler, who had welcomed her and her sister to the swamp. The stately Deku Scrub enjoyed Kotake’s tea, and she enjoyed his company. Koume and his son got along famously, chasing each other through the maze of mangrove roots that vaulted like cathedral arches across the water. Together they used their magic to create a mask for the boy, who had a knack for finding rare mushrooms and often played a charming game of pretending that he was an exotic truffle-sniffing pig from a mysterious foreign land.

Kotake occasionally thought it would have been nice to have a son of her own, but what good would it do to have a child if she could barely keep track of her own sister?

After spending the better part of the day in nervous agitation, she finally went out to look for Koume, searching every square meter of the forest until she located a black-robed figure sprawled like an overstuffed bat in a mossy clearing.

“Thought you’d go on holiday without me, did you?” Kotake griped as she handed her sister a bottle of sweet red tea.

Koume swiped it greedily without uttering a word of gratitude. “Do you think the moon will fall?” she asked instead. The trees were quiet, with nary a monkey to be seen, and the eerie silence put Kotake in a contemplative mood.

“It’s already falling,” she replied. “But we’ve lived eight hundred years, and I’m sure we’ll live eight hundred more.”

“Speak for yourself, you old hag” Koume cackled. “I’m the younger sister, remember?”

“Sure you are,” Kotake agreed amiably as they sat comfortably on the forest floor and watched their doom descend from a brilliantly red sky.