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warmth

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"Don't you feel cold?" asks Kunlun as he sits on the rock, glancing over at Wei. The child has his legs bent and tucked in with his arms around them as he sits on the ground a few steps away, looking out into the distance with empty eyes. It's like he's trying to roll himself into a ball.

The Little Ghost King says nothing, only shaking his head.

The two remain like this for a long while, looking at the flora and fauna out in the distance. A gentle breeze rolls over them as they continue to watch the tree branches sway with the wind, birds soaring in the sky.

It is a silence that Kunlun has grown used to. But this silence would have normally felt empty had he not encountered this child of chaos.

The child is generally quiet, but is very inquisitive. He would unabashedly ask all sorts of questions and Kunlun would (sometimes) entertain him. That gradually became their routine, with Wei asking and Kunlun answering.

Call it a whim of the moment, but Kunlun hasn't talked much about 'warmth'. Mainly because he knows the Little Ghost King has no need for it. Nevertheless, since he's asked this question, he may as well answer it for Wei.

"Come here," he beckons with his hand.

Wei looks over at him with his wide, innocent eyes and obeys, getting up to stand in front of Kunlun, staring at the outstretched hand from the god. After all this time, he still doesn't quite dare to touch Kunlun.

Kunlun gets up and begins to remove his green robe as Wei stares at this action with wide eyes, mesmerized and shocked at the same time. But before Wei could even ask what Kunlun is doing, he catches a whiff of nature—of trees and of earth around him as the green robe lands on his small shoulders.

The robe does not fit Wei's small stature and a huge length of it is spread on the ground. Wei looks at the remainder of the robe on the ground and around himself and turns to look worriedly at Kunlun, saying, “It’s dirty.”

But the mountain god pays no heed to the robe and Wei’s concerns. He wraps the robes fully around Wei, only leaving a little of the feet exposed. Kunlun sits himself down on the rock and, in a single move, places his hands under Wei's armpits, lifting the child up to sit on his lap. He finishes wrapping Wei up by lifting a side of the robe over the small feet and sits Wei snugly on his lap.

Kunlun gives his work a once over and suddenly begins to laugh hard, tears gathering in his eyes. This leaves Wei completely clueless as to what is going on. On one hand, he does not understand why this is funny, and on the other, he has no clue as to why Kunlun has tears in his eyes. Is he happy or sad?

He tries to stretch an arm out in an attempt to comfort Kunlun, but realizes he is unable to under those layers of robe. This only makes Kunlun laugh harder with his shoulders shaking, the wind carrying his crisp laughter into the air.

After a while, Kunlun begins to calm down. He looks at the Little Ghost King in the eye.

"Cute."

Wei blushes a bright pink all the way to his ears and only smiles shyly at that.

"This is what we call 'warmth'," says Kunlun as he wraps his hands around Wei, letting Wei rest his head on his shoulder. His hand idly pats the bundle in his hands repeatedly, a soothing, gentle gesture.

Their usual silence settles between them again, but it doesn't last long as it seems Wei is unable to resist blurting, "Smells like you. It's comfortable. Feels good."

Kunlun only smiles and shakes his head.

He will have to teach this child the importance of keeping certain thoughts to himself.