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one stroke, two halves

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There were countless tales of spirit who fell in love with a human, and Childe had laughed mockingly at every single one of them.

Honestly, sometimes he couldn’t understand his own kin. Just what was the purpose of letting oneself to fall for a human? To bear feeling for a being whose life was fleeting like those cherry blossoms? What could ever be gained from such short amount of time?

Sound like nothing but a complete waste to him.

When the leaves started to turn into beautiful color of yellow and red, karma decided it was the time to bit him in the ass. The three-tailed fox spirit shouldn’t acted so arrogant, so sure in the knowledge he would never gave his heart to a human.

Dusk had fallen when Childe came back to his territory. Teucer was already waiting and jumped straight to his arms when he came into view, babbling about demons and attacks and other things he failed to catch on. He was trying to comprehend what his little brother talked about when his vision landed on a human girl who stood not far from them, looking oddly relaxed for someone who was all alone deep in the forest full of spirits and demons.

His blue eyes narrowed.

Childe had asked Teucer who she was, not moving his sight from that petite figure. She returned his stare without so much flinching. His little brother had given him a pout and an annoyed flick of tail, accompanied by a whine about not listening to him at all. Small hands tugged him toward the human, and slowly this time, Teucer began to explain about his encounter with her.

Apparently, the human had saved Teucer from demon’s attack and accompanying him back home to ensure no harm could befall him. Lumine, she had introduced herself then, finally speaking, those pink lips curved into a gentle smile.

Ah.

There was no fear in her golden irises even though she had ventured this far and in the presence of two fox spirits. Childe had no idea whether it was due to false bravery or simply naivety. But Teucer had told him she managed to defeat the demon, so perhaps it was something else entirely. As he took a closer look, the elder brother saw quiet strength in her eyes that might be the source of her confidence.

His brother was still gushing over Lumine, retelling how she cool she was, coming out of nowhere and beating up the demon who almost swallowed him whole. His initial surprise at finding human who had the sight was swallowed by awe at this point.

To be honest, it was endearing how Teucer’s eyes sparkled in admiration as he spoke about the encounter. Though, a scolding was in due soon as he had wandered off once again without Childe’s knowledge.

Out of courtesy, Childe had offered to escort her out of the forest. She had kindly refused it, but Childe insisted and pointed out even though she could handle herself, there were other beings in this forest who would be able to catch her off guard and simply devoured her. It was much saver to have him accompanying her back. In the end, she relented after Teucer had begged her to take the offer. He didn’t want his savior to be eaten!

The fox spirit learned a few things about her on the way back—nothing too important as Childe generally held no particular interest in humans. He thought they wouldn’t cross path again so getting to know her better was a moot point.

But oh, how wrong he was.

After the incident, Teucer had taken it to himself to visit the human almost on daily basis. Childe thought he couldn’t really begrudged his little brother for that. Despite being a human, Lumine was easy to talk to. She was unfazed with the spirit’s quirkiness, accepting him for who he was and willing to play with the smaller fox spirit. They would meet at an empty field near the forest’s border and Childe would occasionally join them, sometimes just keeping an eye, sometimes indulging himself with the human’s presence.

Interacting with her was unavoidable, and as they began to talk with each other more, Childe slowly fell for her.

He fell for her kindness, for her intriguing character. He fell for those enchanting golden eyes, the way they glittered in so many emotions. The more they spent time together, the deeper his feeling grew. He wanted to take her to flowers field that no human had ever laid their eyes on. He wanted to hold her, to have her in his embrace and never let her go. He wanted to hear that lilting voice calling his name. He wanted to have those eyes paying attention to him and him alone.

Childe wanted a lot of things from Lumine to the point he felt his chest might burst.

He watched her more closely. He paid more attention the slightest details of her. Then in the first day of snow falling to the ground, he confessed to her. The fox spirit watched as if in a trance as pink dusted Lumine’s cheeks, making her even more beautiful. And when she returned his feeling, he felt happiness like never before. He cupped her lovely face gently. Warmth curled in his stomach and his heart fluttered in his chest as she leaned to his touch.

But there was something that nagged him in the back of his mind. Something that had been bothering him for quite a while.

Lumine was a human.

The lifespan of a human was short. Very short. From the very beginning, Childe had been aware there was no happy ending for them. A spirit shouldn’t harbor feeling for human after all, for there was nothing but cruel separation awaiting them sooner or later.

And so he came to a decision.

Childe’s blue eyes glimmered in the dark, auburn tails flicked gently. His clawed hands were covered in blood and Lumine’s lifeless body was at his feet. A light fall of snow bathed his figure and the white ground was painted in red, but Childe’s sole attention was directed at the bright golden soul on his palm.

His lips curved into a tender smile. He clasped the soul gently and held it against his chest.

“My Lumine, now we’ll be together for as long as I live.”