Grim reapers couldn't be seen by naked eyes of human, or that's what they were supposed to be.
So when her eyes met with a strangely-dressed guy, floating near a crash site while carrying around a big scythe, she had to blink and rub her eyes a dozen of times before letting out a quiet 'oh' and quickly walked away from the place. Not everyone would carry that kind of thing around nowadays, especially not in this broad daylight, especially not with their feet not touching the ground.
The creature who came only to reap souls weren't supposed to have emotions nor any free wills, that's what she thought ever since she was a child. They were created only to comply Their commands, that's what she was taught before she devoted herself in this church as a nun.
So when she saw the same guy, sitting on the altar table and enthusiastically waved at her as soon as he saw her entering the church, she was completely stunned beyond words.
"Hey, don't you think it's a bit rude to walk away without saying greetings like that?"
She took a moment to ensure herself she wasn't just imagining things.
"Are you going to take my life?"
He looked at her as if she just asked the dumbest question (in which she felt slightly offended) and laughed.
"I don't know, do you want me to? Rather than giving me your life, I personally want you to give me your name though. What do you say?"
"... It's Anzu."
With the grin on his face grew wider, the man hummed in delight.
"I see. So, Anzu, is it~?"
That bizarre exchange was their first conversation, before it became a habit to see his orange strands dangling in the air as he floated while talking to her or just watching as she prayed.
Apparently he was just a grim reaper with too much free time in his hands, if that's even possible.
She didn't know why he chose to spend his time here, probably because she was the only one who could see since she couldn't think of any other reason. If that so, she should've tried to pretend she couldn't see him.
Having a grim reaper around you felt like you keep being reminded that life is short, she couldn't shake this unsettling feelings.
"Hey, Anzu. Have you ever been bored of praying and spending your time alone in this old church? Just curious."
Anzu thought for awhile, "No."
"Were you hesitating?"
"No," she repeated, more sternly this time. "I thought grim reapers were supposed to take souls from human, not hanging around them. Wouldn't God punish you for neglecting your role like this?"
"I don't have any task for now, it's alright. There's not only one grim reaper in this world, you know?" He folded his arms in front of his chest, "Grim reapers were originally human who committed a grave sin after all."
"A grave sin?" she raised a brow.
"Suicide," he smiled bitterly.
"People who committed suicide are sinners. They don't bother to survive or be grateful for the precious life they've been given, hence they aren't allowed to be reincarnated. They can only wander aimlessly in the void, unless they pay for their sin by being a grim reaper for hundred years until they reach a certain quota." He paused for awhile. Closing his eyes, he continued, "Taking lives from people isn't a kind of thing you might want to experience, not to mention the sinners. We couldn't remember anything else except our reason of choosing death, not even our names, so there's only a short bitter memory left for us as this shackle binds us. A pretty fair punishment, if you ask me."
Anzu shuddered at the thought. She felt like hearing something she wasn't supposed to know.
"I need to take one more soul and I'll be reincarnated wahaha~" he threw his arms in the air. "Hey, hey, do you want to know why did I kill myself?"
"Isn't that a sensitive thing to talk about?"
"It's fine, it's fine. It's all in the past anyway," he waved his hand nonchalantly. "I don't really understand the details but you can say I experienced some kind of betrayal which eventually drove me crazy. There were terrible noises in my head, like it was gonna burst, my head ached like hell."
She clutched her chest.
"I can't stand it so I reached a nearby knife to make it stop... aaaaaand it did."
How can he talk about this as if this was nothing.
Unconsciously she lifted her hand to reach his face, even if she couldn't touch him, she gestured as if she was stroking his cheek. At this, his green eyes lit up. He grinned, tilting his head a bit more towards her petite hand.
"It's not that bad, I mean. Grim reaper can be called as an angel too, you see. I'm an angel~"
Yet, the sad look on her face didn't cease. When he saw her eyes started to glisten, he did the same gesture as her.
"Your heart is so pristine, Anzu. Do you know that? No wonder God loves you," his green orbs looked straight into her light blue ones. Not long before tears fell upon her pale cheek, like a fine, light rain that fell from a clear sky. "That soothing radiance was what makes me noticed you among many people, as if I was discovering a salvation. For me to even appear in your life, I should really thank fate."
The grim reaper is a lonely existence, was what she learned at the moment.
After that, she grew softer at him.
They talked more frequently. Talking about anything or simply nothing while enjoying each other company. Since this was an old church and people rarely come, she didn't have to worry people would think she's weird for talking by herself.
Those moments were precious even just for awhile.
Until one day, there were no sign of his cheerful grin when she saw him. Instead, it was almost as if he was going to cry as he looked at the piece of paper in his hand. Was it also possible for a grim reaper to shed tears? She didn't know.
"What's wrong?" Anzu asked.
"I," he gritted his teeth. "Just received my last task."
She had an idea where this was going.
"Did you see my name on it?"
He dropped the paper.
He didn't want to. He didn't want to do it all. Maybe he could try to betray the sky and maybe, just maybe, she-
"If you're having some weird thoughts about trying to stop my death then please stop it," she slowly kneeled down in front of him. "Death is inevitable and we all know it. You should know it better than anyone."
He clenched his fists.
"Rather than having you waste your chance by doing something foolish just to postpone my death for a few years, I prefer to have you escort my soul in the afterlife. It wouldn't be lonely that way, don't you think?"
She looked at him as she crossed her fingers in front of her chest.
"I want to meet you in the world where I can touch you and call your name."
She smiled as she closed her eyes.
He lifted his scythe.
"Let's be reincarnated together."
It was dark, for a long, long time.
"Are you Tsukinaga Leo-senpai? Knights asked for my help to look for you. Please return to Yumenosaki."
"Shh, I'm gonna write a masterpiece--- Ah, I lost my notebook! Eh, you're lending me this memo pad? Thank you, I really like you, I love you! Wait just a moment, I'm gonna write this down, so I'll listen to you later, maybe! By the way, what should I call you?"
They surely never met before, but somehow the sight of her brown hair and light blue eyes felt nostalgic. Strangely, his heart was pounding.
Very, very nostalgic.
"Your name is surprisingly so easy to remember, huh~?"