MTL & Editor | A s h e s
Re-edited by Saphira
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The mountain was covered in a layer of snow, and the snow around the fort had melted. We welcomed a late spring. Three years had passed in a blink of an eye since I’ve come to this world. I had wandered into the fort when I was one. When I was two, I had finally become able to turn into a human. All throughout this time, my growth… Isn’t very obvious, honestly speaking…
Although normal cats and dogs are already considered adults when they turn three, my fox form is as round as ever with my large head. My limbs are short, I can’t accept it! I want to be more like Mother! She is beautiful and bountiful!
“Milfiria, it’s time to get up.”
Inside the cave on the top of the mountain, I was asleep when Mother gently woke me up. But I didn’t want to wake up yet. “I don’t wanna,” I replied in my mind, but being lazy, I only huffed at Mother through my nose. Despite being a doting mother, she was strict with her education. She rolled me over with her nose.
“Well, let’s do some special tree climbing training today.”
I stared absentmindedly at mother like she was a slaver. She really believes pushing her child down a cliff will raise a strong child! I don’t really want to be strong. Since I’ve been reborn as a precious fox-spirit, I want to live by eating, playing, and sleeping. I tried to crawl away on the ground, but my mother caught me by my neck. I tried to protest by barking and digging my nails into the ground… She just ended up dragging me out of the cave as my nails dragged across the cave’s floor with a “Zuzzzzzle!”
“Mother, today’s weather is really nice! How about we don’t climb trees today?”
Mother only shook her head with a murmur, “This child can’t be helped” while still pulling me. It was terrible, I felt like a prisoner being taken to the gallows!
What exactly would I need to climb trees for anyways? I have nothing to do up there. I wanted to complain. I would just end up scolded, though. Mother stopped walking, then dropped me into the snow and I let out a surprised yelp.
“These training sessions are for strengthening you so I don’t have to worry about you forever. You’re so adorable, but also small and weak… I want you to be able to care for yourself when I am no longer around in the future…” Tears began to pool in Mother’s eyes. No, I can worry about those things in the future, I have decades for it. I’m still growing and I won’t be here forever. I’m glad Mother was thinking of me so much, but… she’s such a worrywart…
A sudden strong gust of wind blew. With it was a light-brown paper. It fell at our feet. Mother turned into her human form. A spirit with white skin like snow, long silver hair appeared. My mother was wary of it since nothing normal would be able to make it up here. Even I was suspicious of this rather thick piece of paper. I wondered how it managed to make it up here. While I had these thoughts, the Mother picked up the paper and opened it up.
It was a letter?
I couldn’t see what was in it, but it appeared to have something written on it. After Mother read it, she crumpled the paper angrily and ripped it apart.
“Mother, what’s wrong…?”
She let go of the remnants of the poor letter, letting it blow away in the wind.
“What was written in it?”
Mother replied in a low, angry voice while looking up at the sky. She didn’t say anything, but it seemed like something angered mother. Who though? As far as I knew, humans couldn’t do something like that.
“Are you okay…?”
I was worried about what she read. Mother paced around for a moment while fidgeting. She then stopped and looked down at me while smiling.
“It’s okay, you don’t have to worry…”
Even though she said that she took a deep breath.
“Indeed, Hiruga has no passion…”
Hiruga was the name of the fire spirit, Kugargue’s father. Perhaps it was a love letter from Hirugapapa. It didn’t go as far as, say, human love. It did seem though he did like Mother and would occasionally visit in the summer. Though the combination of summer and a fire spirit’s aura is the worst, so Mother is always chasing them out.
“It’s always hot and stuffy in the summer, why do you always come in the summer!?”
“Because the mountain is too cold to play in when it’s winter!”
“Why should I have to apologize ?! You’re the one that wanted to come to visit!”
“I thought you were lonely!”
“Don’t say such foolish things!”
That was the interaction last summer when Hirugapapa came over. Mother was angry. Hiruga-papa was noisy and loud so Mother would shout at him in anger. Then she would chase him out and breathe heavily with anger. I didn’t really think it was that impossible for them to get along, but Mother was always refusing to do so.
In that respect, Kugargue is relatively safe since he is young. Since he’s young, his aura isn’t too strong and because Kugargue is often with me, I can help adjust his power because I’m more aware of it. I’m not sure if he’s doing on purpose or not, but he seems to hold a lot of his aura in. He’s a child that can handle a lot, it seems.