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Do you believe in spirits?

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For as long as he could remember, Suga had always spent his summer break at their family’s temple which was taken care of by his grandparents. No matter how hard to believe it, Suga loved spending time there. He loved the silence and the fresh air. He loved the closeness of nature and – last, but not least – his grandmothers’ great cooking.

The temple was far away from any kind of civilization. The train station was 45 minutes away by foot and if someone wanted to go to Miyagi, they had to endure a 4 hours long train ride. Those were the reasons why Suga’s mother decided to move to the town with her husband – even if it made her and Suga’s grandfather’s relationship stiff.

However, that did not change the fact that his grandparents loved Suga and could not wait for summer to spend some time with their grandchild.

”Baa-chan, I am leaving!” Nine year old Suga shouted with a small backpack on his back before stepping out of the door.

”Have a great time, sweetheart!” He heard his grandmother answering before he closed the door.

Koushi usually spent his days on the shore of the small lake in the middle of the forest, reading books and just overall enjoying the peace all around him.

After reading a few chapters of his favorite book, he took the milk bread that his grandmother baked last night out of his backpack. He wrapped it out and licked his lips. Only the sweet smell of the sweet tread made his mouth water.

In the same moment when he raised the bread to his mouth to bite into it, he heard rustling from the bush behind him. Suga turned around and narrowed his eyes, so he could see better what was in the bush. He gasped and fell backwards when two round and brown eyes blinked back at him. Suga shook his head and when he looked back, there were no eyes at all.

 

On the next day, he arrived a bit more prepared. At dinner, he asked his grandfather if another family had moved to the area. When he got a negative answer, the only thing he could think about was that what he saw was one of the forest’s spirits. His grandmother told him countless stories about them and Suga decided to make this one his friend. It was not like the entity wanted to hurt him.

”Hello!” Suga spoke up as he stepped out to the small glade. When he did not get an answer, he walked up to the bush and sat down in front of him. ”Come on out! I will not hurt you!” Suga said with a small smile on his lips.

When he still did not get anything in return, he took out that day’s milk bread. As soon as he did that, he heard the same rustling from the bush. Suga felt his smile widening and tore the sweet in half. He reached one of his hands towards the bush and nodded encouragingly.

A small boy crawled out from the bush. He was not much older than Suga and could have been mistaken with a normal child – if it was not for his fox ears and fluffy tail. Suga had to blink a few times to completely comprehend the sight in front of him.

”C-can I really have that?” The small boy asked, still keeping his distance as much as he could.

”Oh, of course!” Suga said, putting down the sweet in front of his new acquaintance. The boy picked it up and took a bite. His blessed moan made Suga smile. ”My grandmother is a really good cook,” he said before biting into his own piece. ”You are a fox demon, right?” Koushi asked after swallowing the bite in hi mouth.

”We are called kitsunes,” the other said and Koushi heard from his voice that he was a bit offended.

”I am sorry, kitsune-san,” Koushi said, bowing his head.

”Call me Tooru,” Tooru said, then looked at him as if he was waiting for something.

”My name is Sugawara Koushi!” Suga said, smiling at the other again. ”It is nice to meet you, Tooru-kun.”

Tooru shook his hand and Suga gasped slightly because of how hot his skin was. After finishing his bread, the small fox stood up and turned towards the forest. Suga cocked his head, still sitting on the ground.

”My parents do not know that I went away,” Tooru explained with a sigh. ”My mom would be really worried by now.”

”Will you come tomorrow too?” Suga asked with his voice being a little more desperate than intended. He was happy that he found a new friend and he really wanted to know Tooru better. When the fox demon nodded, the smile returned to Suga’s face. ”See you tomorrow, then!”