Chapter 8:

Chapter 5 : A Peaceful Day at the Lake

Radiant Prism - The Goddess of Chaos and a World With You [Short]

Radiant Age, April 4, 1127Bookmark here

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My room was a mess, pillows in strange places, things knocked to the floor.Bookmark here

“…I really did a number on my room.”Bookmark here

Slowly, I cleaned up the place. It took around ten minutes or so. Bookmark here

“Well, I have the entire day to relax. You know what… I’ll stay in today.”Bookmark here

I decided as I took my coat in my hand. I sat it on the table and started to mend all the cuts from last night. The morning sun was shining through the window as I calmly knitted my jacket. Outside, the birds chirped, the wildlife was busy, but inside my home… it was peaceful.Bookmark here

I looked at my bookshelf and took out a book. It was a novel I found as I traveled to Radiant City. It was about a prisoner of war back in the 400s. They escaped and made it back to their platoon, miraculously. I enjoyed historical stories like these. After washing my clothes and hanging them up, I lied on my comfortable bed and enjoyed the story.Bookmark here

“Hehe…”Bookmark here

Everything was peaceful, just like Maxwell instructed me to live. Now around 12 PM, I stood up. I decided to have fish tonight, so I took my fishing pole, hoisted it over my shoulder, and took a bag of bait. For protection, I took my katana off the wall and made my way outside.Bookmark here

After walking for a mile, I came to a small lake in the woods. It was a spot I found while I lived here for the last few months. The water was deep blue and glistened off the sun. The grass was a vibrant green, the sky was clear, and the lush plants only added to how Maxwell described this place.Bookmark here

This was a land that flowed with honey. A land where resources were plentiful and life blooms, unlike how the forest became before I left. I cast my line and relaxed. The fish were biting, and before I knew it, I had around 3 of them. After being here for 2 hours, I called it a day. The smile on my face couldn't be mirrored. I… enjoyed this tranquil life.Bookmark here

With the fish in hand, I walked back to my cabin. I set out the food and put it in the cooling box for later. Afterward, I grabbed my clothing from the line outside. When I stepped back inside, I looked out the window and saw someone I wasn't expecting to see.Bookmark here

She ran across the field of my cabin and raced into the forest. The brightness in her eyes was full of passion. Her pink hair bounced, backpack and all sprung with her. When I stepped outside, I saw her circling the cabin, chasing after a squirrel. Slowly, I approached her.Bookmark here

“Do you think… Yuu Yuu is a kind person, Mr. Squirrel? She isn’t, is she?”Bookmark here

I watched from a distance as that pink hair bunny tenderly examined the creature in front of her. With my hands behind my back… I silently observed like I had done the other two times. I didn’t intend to see her today, but when I spotted her, my wonderful day… became even more magical. I… wanted to see her now that I thought about it more. Maybe that's why I stayed home that day, to see if I could spot her running around and playing.Bookmark here

“Mr. Squirrel… I want… Yuu Yuu wants to be gentle and help people… but she can’t, can she?”Bookmark here

She petted the squirrel with her fingers.Bookmark here

“… Sorry, I don’t know how to be gentle to people… like animals.”Bookmark here

She sounded conflicted, and it rustled at my heart. With my hands on my hip, I closed my eyes and brought out the sweetest voice I could.Bookmark here

“I think you are gentle, Yuu Yuu.”Bookmark here

Surprised, she turned back to me, causing the squirrel to run away. I didn’t mean to startle her… but she seemed to be the kind of person who would stay in her own little world until I did.Bookmark here

“O-Oh… ah… F-Feodora…”Bookmark here

She blushed, causing my heart to race slightly. We were alone, only staring into each other’s eyes. My face became warm as I tried my best to bring out a calm smile. She was the only person I’ve met since I came here who always… made me feel calm.Bookmark here

“Sorry… I didn’t mean to scare Mr. Squirrel away.”Bookmark here

She shook her head.Bookmark here

“Oh no… he’ll be back one day… ah…”Bookmark here

She looked over her shoulder and turned back to me.Bookmark here

“W-What are you doing here, F-Feodoa?”Bookmark here

The pink bunny's eyes widened as she dug her feet into the dirt. She asked a good question; I wasn’t sure what I was doing here… yet here I am.Bookmark here

“I’m just… looking around?”Bookmark here

I lied. In this silent awkwardness, we both looked away. It’s not like we were friends… or even acquaintances for that matter. Just two strangers who had a chance meeting… a few times throughout the last few days.Bookmark here

“Ah… do you want to play with me? Oh… it’s okay if you don’t, F-Feodora.”Bookmark here

Her timid voice reminded me of flowers dancing in the wind, beautiful but ever so fragile.Bookmark here

“Ah… Yeah, if you want to play… I don’t mind.”Bookmark here

That sounded so awkward. I felt like the 12 years of me being isolated and only chatting with Maxwell was showing… and it caused me to grow embarrassed. Coyly… she approached me.Bookmark here

I turned to her, and she shrieked by stiffening her back.Bookmark here

“Oh… Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you, Yuu Yuu.”Bookmark here

She looked over her shoulder, pushed her head down, and walked over to me. Her slender fingers reached out and took mine. She felt soft like she never worked hard with her hands. They were like marshmallows as she tugged at me, gently.Bookmark here

“I… want to show you one of my favorite places.”Bookmark here

Her scent wafted into my nose. She smelled like strawberries, and it only made me want to follow her closely. Slowly, In the afternoon, we walked into the forest together. Her fingers were still pulling me along with her.Bookmark here

“Ah… W-Why do you live alone, Feodora?”Bookmark here

She struggled, but she asked. I couldn’t see her face, but I saw her ears turn a reddish tone.Bookmark here

“I prefer it.”Bookmark here

I answered a tad insecurely.Bookmark here

“I’ve lived alone for most of my life… and I prefer it. What about you, Yuu Yuu? Do you live with someone?”Bookmark here

As she guided me in the woods, deeper and deeper, she nodded.Bookmark here

“I… live with one other person.”Bookmark here

She confessed as we made our way down a hill.Bookmark here

“She’s… like my mentor.”Bookmark here

Suddenly, she clenched my hand tighter as she turned back to me. Bookmark here

“… I like coming out here… a-and playing with the animals though.”Bookmark here

She lowered her head.Bookmark here

“They… don’t talk back and make me feel bad. Animals are kind… "Bookmark here

With her free hand, she curled her pink hair and gazed at me.Bookmark here

“You… remind me… of a small animal, F-Feodora.”Bookmark here

She confessed with a slight smile.Bookmark here

“T-That’s why… I wanted to pet you yesterday.”Bookmark here

I wasn't expecting her to be so honest, and it caused my heart to race. So, I looked away slightly. I could feel her hands warm up as she tugged my finger all the more.Bookmark here

“Ah… I… I like being alone… but… something about you made me… want to chat with you.”Bookmark here

I couldn’t understand why I was saying this, why the blood in my body was feeling so warm. As our eyes connected, my mouth opened slightly.Bookmark here

“… Hehehe.”Bookmark here

She didn't say anything… She just laughed. I didn't know what to make of this as she turned around. The bunny let go of my finger and pointed to the space behind us. There lay an area full of large colorful mushrooms. The blue river flowed wonderfully as animals and wildlife flourished together. She turned around and tilted her head.Bookmark here

“Tag…”Bookmark here

She pushed out of her thin lips and then ran off. I could still feel her warm breath hit my cheeks.Bookmark here

“Huh?”Bookmark here

I…. haven’t played tag since the first day I was in the orphanage. It was before they… realized how I screamed at night. From then on, they called me a banshee. Now I watched her shapely back as she ran from me. Her white skirt kicked up as she raced around the corner of a few trees. My heart began to race a bit.Bookmark here

“Oh… I should catch her… "Bookmark here

I awkwardly raced after her. The ground below me was soft like a cloud. Animals didn’t scatter when I ran past either. On this wonderful afternoon, I caught her white uniform as she peaked out from behind a tree. That bright pink hair blew in the warm win as she giggled and ran away.Bookmark here

“I’m going to catch you!”Bookmark here

I cried out playfully. It felt like I was a kid again as I ran after her. She jumped away before I could touch her, rolled to the ground, kicked back up, and ran towards the lake. She was fast… really fast. But something in me…Bookmark here

Wanted to…Bookmark here

Touch her…Bookmark here

We came to a clearing that opened up. There was a wonderful lake that glowed bright blue. Its water stretched out as far as the eye could see. Animals danced and drank from it. I could clearly see fish swimming about… This place was nothing short of amazing. As I watched the beautiful landscape, that pink bunny took off her shoes and ran across the lake. She kicked up water, causing the drops to dance in the air. It felt… magical.Bookmark here

“You can’t catch me!”Bookmark here

She cried with a bright smile on her face. It felt like when she was playing, she didn't have to worry about the conversation. This… must have been Yuu Yuu’s safe place. So, I removed my shoes too and placed them next to hers. When I touched the water with my feet, it was cold. That only added to my excitement.Bookmark here

“You don’t think I’ll catch you, do you Yuu Yuu?”Bookmark here

I smirked as she returned her smile.Bookmark here

“Nope.”Bookmark here

She teased as she turned and frolicked away. She got to the middle of the lake and kept skipping in the water. I picked up the pace and followed her. Before I knew it, I saw her back once again. I was on her tail, and then finally, I reached out and missed.Bookmark here

“Oh! T-That was close.”Bookmark here

She giggled as she sped away. I reacted fast as I ran at her. The water flowed with me as I got closer and closer. With both my hands out, I wrapped them around her waist and pulled her to me. She was as soft as a cloud as I brushed her body against mine.Bookmark here

“Got you!”Bookmark here

It felt a tad uncharacteristically of me… but then no, it felt like this was right. It reminded me of when I was in the orphanage. I was a bit aggressive and played rough with the boys. Before I became their enemy… I… had fun with people.Bookmark here

“Oh?!”Bookmark here

She screamed as she giggled and fell to the side. The bunny pulled me along as we both fell into the water. For a moment, we were both submerged into the ice-cold water. We stood up in knee-deep water, staring at one another. Her hair was wet and made it stick to her face. Everything in me wanted to reach out, brush it away but I... stopped myself.Bookmark here

“Are you... it?”Bookmark here

I asked… earning a giggle from her. Her cheeks were reddish as we both looked away momentarily.Bookmark here

“When I get wet in the river from playing, I dry off before I catch a cold… else… M-my mentor would be mad.”Bookmark here

She looked over her shoulder as she grabbed my fingers again. Forcefully, she pulled me along, out of the river. We rounded a corner in the forest. There was a place with a campfire that's been burnt out. Dry wood collected on the side as if everything was placed out for us. So, we silently made a fire to warm up our cold bodies. As I watched Yuu Yuu do this... she looked as though she's done this a million times.Bookmark here

“Do you live near here, Yuu Yuu?”Bookmark here

Before I knew it, the sunset was here. It added an orange hue to our fire. Yuu Yuu waited for a bit, looked over her shoulder, then turned back to me with that reddish face.Bookmark here

“Yes. I-I live in a cabin nearby…”Bookmark here

After we made the fire, the twilight started to come in. In the middle of this campsite, we quietly watched the fire go, drying us off.Bookmark here

“… With your mentor, right? Who is your mentor, Yuu Yuu?”Bookmark here

“… I don’t speak of the unspeakable.”Bookmark here

Bizarrely, she firmly stated. Her eyes were fierce and for a moment, she looked a tad panicked as she watched the fire. Maybe I breached a subject that wasn't the best... so I closed my eyes and thought of another question.Bookmark here

“How old are you?”Bookmark here

“Oh? I’m 18.”Bookmark here

She smiled as she looked at me.Bookmark here

“How old are you, Feodora?”Bookmark here

“I’m 20.”Bookmark here

The pink bunny nodded.Bookmark here

“You’re older than me…”Bookmark here

She giggled.Bookmark here

“That makes me feel… safe. I like… being with people older than me.”Bookmark here

Something about her drew me in, and I found myself inching closer to her. In the twilight, I wanted to know more about this mysterious rabbit.Bookmark here

“Why do you live out here, Yuu Yuu?”Bookmark here

I asked, prying just a little bit more.Bookmark here

“… I’m here… for work…”Bookmark here

“Work?”Bookmark here

I thought about Vivian who said the same thing the other day. She was here for work.Bookmark here

“What is your job?”Bookmark here

Her eyes darkened for a bit as she pushed her body close to mine.Bookmark here

“I work… for… I-I… ah…”Bookmark here

She paused then after a bit she confessed.Bookmark here

“The Light Camp.”Bookmark here

“Light Camp?”Bookmark here

I asked.Bookmark here

"I work for… the Light Camp. We… are… like contractors who do... odd jobs. My job is to help people… "Bookmark here

She pushed out. That explosion from the day before came back to mind. Yuu Yuu was there, running about. We caught our eyes with one another. It made sense; she must have been helping people.Bookmark here

“Are you a doctor?”Bookmark here

She nodded.Bookmark here

“I provide aid! I… always wanted to… be… a… person who helps people.”Bookmark here

Her eyes shined as she bitterly bit her lip. Her coy nature only added to the charm that she exuded. Yuu Yuu wanted to help people.Bookmark here

“Feodora… H-Have we…”Bookmark here

She looked at me and tilted her head.Bookmark here

“H-Have… we…”Bookmark here

Suddenly, the moonlight reflected over her gaze. Tenderly, she searched my eyes. I found myself looking at her closer now. She had a small nose and round cheeks that made me see how… soft she was. That's when she turned to the side, looked behind her, and stood up abruptly. With her hands on her chest, she lunged to the side as if the wind was pushing her away.Bookmark here

“I NEED TO GO!”Bookmark here

She cried, then sporadically began running away. It was so sudden that it took me a moment to react.Bookmark here

“Ah, wait! Yuu Yuu!”Bookmark here

Her shoulders sharpened when she came to a sudden halt. Her body turned like rusted gears as she rigidly turned back to me.Bookmark here

“Ah… I had fun, Yuu Yuu. I-I don’t know why you need to leave… "Bookmark here

I swallowed, trying to gain the courage to ask…Bookmark here

“B-But… do you want to do it again someday?”Bookmark here

Her eyes felt dark as she rubbed her shoes into the ground. With her arms behind her back, she swayed from side to side. Her white skirt to dance. She was… nothing short of cute like this.Bookmark here

“Really? You had fun with Yuu Yuu… I mean… you had fun with me?”Bookmark here

But before I could reply, she looked back over her shoulder. I felt like I saw her expression darken once more as she didn’t wait for me to answer and ran off, deeper into the woods. Unexpectedly, the world got colder, the fire burnt out, and I was left in the darkness of the night. However, I could see clearly.Bookmark here

“I wanted… to get to know her a little better...”Bookmark here

I felt guilty because I was breaking away from the creed that I promised my mentor. I shook my head and stood up too.Bookmark here

"Sorry, Maxwell…"Bookmark here

I mumbled. Yuu Yuu wasn’t like the other people I met here at Radiant City. Something in me… drove me to search for her, unlike people I've met before. I… wanted to keep playing tag with her… and get to know her better. She was like a mystery that needed solving, and that… interested me. But I also knew what happened when I got close to people…Bookmark here

They see the true side of me… those night terrors that scares people away. And if that doesn’t make them hate me…Bookmark here

…They might vanish or go away… leaving a hole in my heart…Bookmark here

…Just like Maxwell did.Bookmark here

Slowly, I walked back home. I got home faster than I thought I would. Maybe it was me being deep in thought the entire way that I didn’t notice the distance I traveled. When I got home, I cooked one of my fish for dinner, took a bath, and lay in bed. That pink bunny was still on my mind, how one minute we were enjoying ourselves, then the next she ran away without explanation. But despite that…Bookmark here

“…What a fun day.”Bookmark here

I confessed. My heart still beats rapidly from all the running and playing with Yuu Yuu. I closed my eyes and let the horrible night terrors take over my body.Bookmark here

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