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His Aspiration

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His Aspiration

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When Setsu was a young boy, he never really found the superheroes or sports teams broadcasting on TV to be amazing or cool. Unlike every boy he knows in school, who spend their days playing tag in the playground, he secludes himself into a far corner from the playground and read his books.

There was something about books that fascinated him. The way words are written that fuels his imagination with color and the crisp sound of pages as he turns them to dig himself deeper into the author's world, it fascinates the young mind of Yuuki Setsu.

Instead of following the other kids' running footsteps for the playground, Setsu's feet takes him to the public library of the town. He greets the librarian with an eager smile and heads for the shelves, always amazed by how many books contain in each. He picks out a title that interest him, and hands it to the librarian along with his library card for approval that he will borrow the book for a week.

Setsu always finishes his books on time and after returning it to library, the cycle repeats.

Days turned to weeks and turned to months, nothing really ever changes in his routine. Books become one of his dearest friends and he treasures each moment unravelling each chapter, each story.

Setsu realizes that a dream is born in the deep depths of his mind. To tell tales to the people and become a star amongst his favorite authors. He smiles to himself at the newly found dream, his wish, and falls to slumber whilst hugging his book in his arms.

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Haruka is another one of his dearest friends. Like him, they share a similar dream of becoming storytellers of wonderful tales. Though unlike him, instead of becoming just a novelist, she dreams of becoming a mangaka. Telling stories through illustrations all born from her mind and hands, it was quite amazing too.

Each trip together to the library, either of their homes, or school, all felt heart-warming. He never really had a friend by his side to tell not only stories from his daily life. Aside from constant trips to read or draw, they play together until the sun sets.

Haruka, his very first playmate. Haruka, his very first friend. Haruka, his very first…

Well, he isn't sure if she was ever the last one. But one thing was sure, is that Haruka was someone important to him. A small light in the dark that helped break away from his comfort zone. While books were his home, Haruka was his solace in the twilight. The laughs and cries they had together were a precious memory in his mind.

And it all shatters as she announces to him that she'll be moving to a new town.

Before she leaves, Setsu gifts her a pencil to use for her dream and a promise that they will meet again. Haruka smiles happily as she promises him too, and he bids her farewell with a somber smile and a lonely heart.

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Haruka is gone and it's just him once again.

Along with her disappearance, he sinks deep into the abyss of the world of literature once more, but now he feels more alone and distant from everyone-everything.

Setsu's heart reaches out for the words written in all the novels he owns and reads them, and again, and again, and again again again again, until his heart is empty and Morishita Haruka and his childhood becomes nothing more than a memory from a distant past.

He becomes numb of the world around him and keeps himself occupied once more in the comfort of literature. The sea of words drown him to the depths and he stays there, unwilling to return back to the shore for the meantime.

Setsu smiles to himself as he finds himself comfortable in his loneliness, with only books as his dear friend. The words entertain his rather dull life for the rest of his years in elementary school.

Everything becomes nothing more than a flurry of comings and goings for Setsu, and he's quite sure that life would go on like this.

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Junior high school begins today and Setsu spends his walk to his new school in silence. With book in hand, he reads it solemnly. Humming a tune that he remembers from his younger days and once in a while looking up from his book to watch the cherry blossoms fly away in the sky above.

Somehow, Setsu finds himself smiling at the tranquility of the scenery before him.

As he continues his path to school, he suddenly feels a fast flurry blow by him. He looks up from his book and sees a girl running. Though, she was, as a second after seeing her, she trips to the ground and yelps in pain.

Setsu immediately runs up to her but before she could ask her if she was alright and help her up, she was already trying to stand up despite the pain she was in. He watches as she wipes off the dust on her skirt and slowly turn around, coming face to face with Setsu.

Her blonde hair is the first thing that he notices, tied in twintails that fly by the breeze surrounding them. Her big brown eyes stare back at him with a wondrous look. The cherry blossoms blow by this spring day, all his attention caught on her and vice versa.

Before he could inquire about her condition, the girl chuckles softly and smiles, waving at Setsu and running toward the path to the school.

She disappears from his sight and somehow, Setsu feels that he is alone once more.

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His first school year in junior high goes by in a flash. Setsu does his studies well and ends his year with pretty high grades. People come to him from time to time and they become acquaintances, but he never really had anyone to hang out with. He would watch as people would walk out of class together, laughing and chatting away about their mundane days.

While school comes and goes, he clings on tighter to the world of literature. The books he reads become longer and deeper, and while intimidating at first, it drags him further into the depths. The words chain him tightly as he reads into them more and more.

But somehow, the deeper he goes, the more lost he becomes.

What awaits the end of it all?

The dream he wishes to achieve doesn't feel that close as he had thought. Sure, books are always enjoyable and had become something he looks forward to dive into each time. But somehow, something was missing. Setsu isn't sure what exactly was missing.

It wasn't the nostalgic memories of Haruka and childhood or the innocence of life that was missing. No, it...was something more…

On the last day of his school break before his second year in junior high, Setsu ponders through these thoughts silently in his own little world, the chains locked but feeling a tiny bit loose.

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The first days of school begin oddly, in a way that he didn't really expect at all. The new transfer, Hidaka Azumi, approaches him with a prim smile on her face and clings onto his arm tightly everywhere he goes. Though Setsu doesn't mind her presence at first, it just becomes...annoying, as the days go by. As much as he wishes her to leave him be, Setsu thinks that she probably wouldn't listen.

However, just as he thought his days would remain in having to bear with Azumi's presence, someone new approaches by his side.

As he and Azumi walk together on their way to school, a certain blonde-haired girl approaches them both and with a flustered face, greets them quite loudly for the morning.

"G-GOOD MORNING, YUUKI-KUN!" She squeaks out loudly, flustering both him and Azumi, "I-I'm Minami Kaede...we're in the same class! N-Nice to meet you!"

"Nice to meet you too…" Setsu greets back at her and suddenly, the memory of his very first day in junior high rise up from the depths of his mind. A certain blonde-haired girl picking herself up that morning despite tripping on her way, her smile as she waves at him farewell.

Ah, so that girl was her.

Before he could say something else, he is suddenly grabbed by the hand from Azumi and she drags him away in haste for school. Moments later, Kaede appears and grabs his other free hand, and they drag him forcefully through the path.

"H-Hey, wai-!" Before Setsu could stop them, he lets out a yelp and trips on the ground. The two girls turn around and see the mess they have done.

"Y-Yuuki-kun! Are you okay?!" They ask, approaching him slowly.

Setsu manages to stand up on his own two feet and he has had enough of the two for the early morning. With a grunt, he tells the two girls that he will just walk to school by himself, and he goes away, leaving the two alone.

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Kaede and Azumi have become quite an unexpected force thrust in Setsu's life. They constantly come along with whatever he does (in school anyways) and it was enough for him to know what kind of person they are.

Azumi is a very loud presence to be with. While holding a dignified and prude aura, she possesses quite an aggressive side especially when it comes to facing Minami Kaede. It's quite like a lion coming for it's prey. She doesn't hesitate to show her assertiveness to both him and Kaede, but somehow, she seems also the kind to hide a soft side.

Kaede though, she is more a gentle wave in the shore of the beach. While she's there wanting to be by Setsu, Kaede doesn't exactly bite back at anyone who gets in her way. Her meek and humble nature shows not only to him, but to everyone she meets. But while she is truly more soft-spoken and humble, mixing her in with Azumi is the probably the worst thing to have ever happened.

And having those two as seatmates don't make things better at all.

Fighting over for Setsu's attention and constantly bickering at each other, Setsu concludes that this school year is going to be quite chaotic.

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He feels oh-so-grateful that he is able to walk home alone today. Letting out a sigh of relief as Setsu walks through the silent streets of the neighborhood, he ponders over what had happened today. The two girls sitting beside him have taken a toll on his mind to listen to them banter than read his book. It was troubling, but Setsu thinks that he'll find a way to get through.

Setsu looks up to the road to see if he was going to the right path and notices a...store...blocking his path. Confused, he decided to take another direction, only for the same store to block the path as well. Setsu panics and turns everywhere to see that the same-looking store is blocking his path home.

"Wh-What the heck?!" He shouts out, confused, "I-I guess I'll just get inside...maybe I can go through it…"

He enters the first store he saw and an odd shop of trinkets and what-nots are filled inside. A chubby, weird-looking figure stands at the cashier and he feels a shiver down his spine upon seeing him. Setsu enters the store anyway and looks around, before spotting a pink mug with a star and heart found at the center.

The rest of what happens is a blur and the next thing he realizes is that he's home with the mug on top of his table.

If you make a wish while pouring milk into this cup, a fairy will appear to grant it.

The inscription reads at the bottom of his mug. He chuckles to himself and puts it down on the table and turns away.

"Is this a good luck charm…? Huh, but this mug can't make my wish come true." Setsu tells himself and moves away.

Only to find himself getting milk from the refrigerator and start pouring milk into the cup.

"I want to be a novelist! I want to be a novelist! I want to be a novelist!" He chants in his mind.

His cheeks burn a deep red upon realizing what he had done, feeling quite embarrassed that he had poured milk on a mug that claims to grant wishes. But before he can say anything else, he watches as his mug glows a bright pink and a small fairy with long green hair and pink clothes appear from the mug.

"Hi! Good afternoon!" She greets him happily, "How are you?"

His brain tries to process what he sees and upon realizing he is in fact, not dreaming, he sets down his carton of milk and lets out the loudest scream he has ever let out in forever.

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Rirumu is an enthusiastic girl with a fierce side who tries her best. Her magic isn't exactly on par as she had turned his cactus to a plant monster who bites on his head and Setsu swears that he almost died from that plant.

She apologizes again and again to Setsu for putting him in harm's way with her magic. Rirumu explains to him that she came to the human world to find the man she loves and that she is willing to help Setsu along the way with his wish, begging him to let her stay at his home. With a smile, he says that he would let her stay and Rirumu jumps in joy.

After Rirumu explains to Setsu about how only humans who summoned fairies with a mug can see him so he doesn't have to worry about his parents freaking out over her, she asks if she would see her lover and have Setsu accompany her.

Before he could even say no, he gets dragged out of his home and going to wherever Rirumu takes him.

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His anxiety rises the moment he sees Kaede open the front door of the home of where Rirumu's lover supposedly lives.

Setsu isn't sure exactly how to react to this turn of events. Embarrassed? Scared? Sad? That's not exactly right. But he enters her home and he and Kaede watch as Rirumu and Kaede's muglox, Mirumo, talk (well, it's more of banter for Mirumo).

What gets Setsu off guard is when Rirumu punches Mirumo and sends the blue fairy flying to the wall, surprising both Setsu and Kaede. Kaede and Rirumu immediately patch him up and they leave Mirumo to rest.

"Oh, right, what did you wish for to summon Rirumu?" Kaede asked.

"O-Oh! Um, it's nothing r—"

"Yuuki-sama's wish is to be a novelist!" Rirumu butts in before Setsu could finish his sentence. His cheeks instantly grow to a shade of red and he can't hold back his embarrassment, "R-Rirumu! You talk too much…"

But while Setsu's embarrassment continues to rise, Kaede's beaming smile brightens the room and she looks at him with enthusiasm, "Wow! Yuuki-kun already has a future aspiration, that's really cool!"

Setsu's cheeks flush to an even deeper red and hide his flustered expression, noting how straight forward she is with her comment.

"Ohh, so that's why you read books, right? Well, I'll be cheering you on for your dream!" Kaede assurres him.

Setsu's eyes look at her and he sees her enthusiastic smile radiating across the room. He can't help but stifle a small, unnoticeable smile back. Despite how...bothersome she can be when she's around with Azumi, he can see that she is someone with a heart of gold. His heart feels a little less weary for some reason. Hearing her cheer him on for his dream was...heart-warming, to say the least. The chains locking him up in his lone little world begin to break, his heart being slowly set free from this confinement he had put himself to.

He looks up from where he sits and with flustered cheeks, he says, "D-Don't tell anyone, okay? Not even my parents know!"

Like usual, Kaede beams brightly and nods, "Of course!"

And Setsu makes a realization that, maybe, it won't be that bad with her around.

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