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Artificial flower

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One warm morning a man was sitting on a checkered blanket under a tree. Away from the eyes of those who like to know things they should not he enjoyed his rest. His trusty basket was waiting patiently for his attention. And he probably should have started organizing his little picnic by now, but he did not just yet. A rest is only a part of the reason he is here.

A little further from him stood a girl about his age in a plain light blue training clothing. She swung her training sword, then hit her imaginary opponent. And again. And again. One would think that as the one who fought with swords for quite a while she would not need to be taught such basic things at this point, but it is fine. She will learn the proper way in time.

However untrained she was there was beauty in her movement, A certain passion even. To reach beyond what she could do. Beyond what she was made to do. There was beauty in that too. The beauty of a flower about to bloom.

In the past the man would consider an idea to teach her an insanity—she was already dangerous as she was. But then again insanity was rather familiar concept… In any case he was different from who he was before now, and she was too.

It started on that day he was visiting his former lieutenant. It is not like he needed to do it personally, but whatever their relationship was he was not going to reveal that place to others. Which is better for everyone, really. All of that is half truth, though, since he had the people who were there before, but sometimes you have to do things even if it hurts your pride. Apparently.

Everything went… Normal? Much more normal than he expected in any case. It did not take much time, but then he saw the other girl. With her empty eyes she was looking somewhere not here, not even moving much. And the white clothes she had on her did not suit her. That was not her color at all. This unreasonable contrast to her former self felt wrong for some reason.

He came again. Talking to her felt pointless—she never answered him—yet he did it anyway. Trying to describe a sunset's beauty while not being sure you even understand it yourself to a person who does not even care? Been there. Talking about the things a person can do in the world to a person who only ever cared about one thing she does not even remember? That was sure successful. Not.

Why was he doing it? It was something his former self would never do. But now he did. For once he was doing something not for the duty his position demanded, nor for the world which demanded just the same, but for himself. Or rather something inside himself. Maybe █████'s attitude is contagious…

He was unsure when it changed. Certainly not after that time where he took her whole bed out with her to watch the stars. He did not even know the names of most of them. He felt stupid after doing it, but it was surprisingly fun in its own way. In any case he could not be there all the time, so the former lieutenant and the other one probably did the most of the work. However, to help with what he could he was uncharacteristically… happy.

The man stopped his wandering thoughts there.

‘Nu, it is time for a little break,’ he said.

She stopped after another strike.

‘Coming, Jin.’