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“Ubume,” Ootengu stops, wings falling still, curious at her appearance. It is true that in their history, there was once a time where she visited often, busying herself with motherly tasks. He recalls her gentle wings combing through his hair when he barely reached her knees. 

“Ootengu.” And he cannot make our exactly why she sounds so miffed. He is not the same child that loss his way in the mountains, only to be guided home by the gentle Ubume.

“You’re a mess.”

He looks down at himself, a mess? Though his robes were a bit skewed, it was nothing out of the ordinary after flying across mountain peaks. Still, with the cowed expression of a disciplined child he rearranges himself, eyebrows raised for her approval.

She hums, but still does not step out of the way. Reaching into her own pocket she pulls out a hand mirror. Blue eyes trail up to the glass falling on an image of himself.

“Ubume, you’re being rather critical today.” Ootengu sighs. He always prided himself on maintaining a respectful appearance, but contrary to what many thought, he was not a vain creature. He found far more importance in intelligence and bravery. His hair was in a disarray, though he perhaps preferred to call it windswept, but such was nature when the beat of his wings were carrying him faster then most human eyes could track.

“Well, you ARE meeting that human boy aren’t you,” smugness clouding her voice, “Surely you do not mean to meet him like that!” 

Ootengu tilts his head, questioning, “I don’t see the problem.”

“Well you want to impress him don’t you?”

Ootengu never sought to impress anyone in his lengthy life.

She taps her foot impatiently, “Oh child, you are among the smartest children I’ve ever met , yet matters of the heart remain foreign to you.”

An uncharacteristic groan, “Ubume, I am not courting a human. He is a noble warrior I’ve come to acknowledge as a friend, nothing more.”

She huffs, indignant, “Is that so? I may not be your mother by blood, but I am your mother in every other way, and you cannot fool me. How many other mortals have you gifted one of your prized flutes?”

“Oh Ubume, you know full well I have given instruments as a gesture of good will, and -"

“Fine, how many of them have you created a custom made flute carved at the heart of the mountains, in which you flew so fast to receive that you’ve left yourself an unpresentable mess.”

“I am not a mess Mo- , Ubume.”

“How many?” She asks again.

He mouth clamps shut, a looks of embarrassment forming.

“Exactly.”

“...”

“He’s quite handsome.” She offers helpfully. 

“It is - I,” with a childish pout he crosses his arms, "How is it only you can reduce me to speaking like a child?”

“Because I’m your mother” she laughs high, her voice like bells as she moves to sit him down. She combs through his hair pressing loose strands. 

“Is he nice, little one?”

“... Yes," he says begrudgingly.

“What else do you like about him little one?”

“...”

“Don’t be shy Ootengu it is just you and I.”

“He has a noble spirit.” Ootengu sighs.

“Oh, is that so?”

“Yes, and his archery is quite good. Unparalleled I might say.”

A brief moment of silence.

“His swordsmanship is excellent as well. We’ve sparred many times and he is adept at many things. Though he may be rather juvenile at times he always means well. I trust him to guard my back, and I find great honor in guarding his.”

“Oh my. Guard that backside well Ootengu.”

“Do not tease me mother,”

She only smiles. If she takes pleasure in the old title of mother she does not say. “-And have I heard correctly, that he is a nobleman?”

“Yes, But he has not been spoiled in the least by his station. In fact, it only makes him work harder. He is a just person, you know if he were not I would not even think to associate with him.” 

Ootengu ducks his head as she finishes her handiwork on his hair, “.... and it is as you say he is quite handsome.”

“As are you my son," she laughs, patting him on the head with her powerful wings, "Have fun I am sure he will like his gift a lot”

“You are quite embarrassing Mother.”

She nods in triumph. 

“Then I am doing my job correctly! Fly safely dear!”

She hears A hasty thank you as he takes flight red still high on his checks.

She grins and hopes all goes well.