Sundown. The day's end, the mutant Acara mused.
He had been perched atop the gazebo for half an hour now. Even he had to concede, the dust in his home was somewhat of a bother after three hours. He had went out merely to take some fresh air, but the sight of the city below him atop the gazebo grabbed his attention.
Lazcus had been living in Shenkuu's region for all of his life. Born to foreigners who had supposedly abandoned him at birth, he had been taken in by a kindly shopkeeper by the name of Hui. The red Bori had acted as both his father, and his friend. His decision to start a library had been directly influenced by Hui's occupation of running a bookstore. They had regularly sent letters to each other when he moved out, but they were slowly getting less and less frequent.
The Acara laid wistful for a few more minutes, before dusting off his blue robe and heading back. Red ambiance seeped into the environment, and the path home was tinted with the radiance of the evening sky.
The moment the slide doors opened, a squeal emerged from within.
The faerie kazeriu flew to her owner, affectionately rubbing her head against his cheek. The tiny glyme hanging onto the petpet's fur almost seemed to be smiling as well.
The Acara softly petted the creature's fur. "Hello, Vali."
The kazeriu ceased it's actions and flew to the desk on the other side of the room. It settled down on the wood and nudged at a small piece of paper.
Lazcus walked forward and took the slip. It was dainty; fragile even. Even the slightest amount of pressure seemed to crinkle it.
Carefully, the Acara held it between both his paws and read it:
I wish to speak with you. Please come to me as soon as you read this.
The moment he finished reading the last word, the paper instantly dissolved into bubbles and foam. The Acara shook his now damp hands with annoyance.
He only knew one pet; nay, being, who had the ability to do something like that. He rubbed his temples.
Lazcus sighed. "That wretched water spirit..."
By the time the Acara was almost to the top of the mountain, it was midnight.
Lazcus cursed under his breath. Mizuhami had a reputation of whisking him away at a moments notice. Why him and only him, he wasn't aware.
But despite his frustration, he knew it best not to stall any of her summons. She was confined to her lake, but she was persistent. Should he had gone to sleep, he knew that he would have woke up to hundreds of the same letter he had received before. Even if he had gone elsewhere, she could see wherever he was from the magic of her water. It was better to get it over with, was his reasoning.
As he glanced up, he saw the first telltale sign of her abode. All the trees in the remainder of the path were dyed a deep blue, their leaves azure as both pink and purple blossoms adorned the branches. All the while, they emitted a light blue glow that banished the murk of the late night.
Even he had to admit, the sight was beautiful. This was the influence pure magic could have on nature.
Before long, he arrived at his destination. The lake was sparkling in the night, the moon's visage reflected on the water, the lilies in the water glowing white. A faerie hegelob slept under the large wooden bridge on the lake's right side. And at the center of it all, was her.
The water Kyrii sat on a lily pad, silently causing ripples in the water with a whisk of her finger. Her staff lay on her lap, carefully balanced. She seemed lost in thought, a rarity for Lazcus.
The Acara held a paw to his mouth, and coughed. The spirit turned just as soon as the sound reached her.
She smiled. "Why hello. I'm happy you could make it."
The flames on the Acara's head started to blaze. "Please explain exactly why you summoned me."
The Kyrii laughed. She stood up from her pad, grabbing her staff, and started to walk, her legs perfectly balancing her on the surface of the water. Her form rippled with every step she made, her staff emitting mist, and her dress transforming from blue fabric to actual waves.
When she had reached land, she sat down on the ground. "I suppose you could say... I was lonely."
Lazcus forced himself to contain his now seething anger. "...Lonely? That was the puerile reason you saw it fit to-"
The Kyrii smiled. "Loneliness is hardly trivial I would say. Don't you feel it as well?"
The Acara crossed his arms. "Of course I do. It's only a natural emotional response."
"Yes," the spirit said. "It's so hard, being confined here. Knowing I'll wither away should I leave."
"Don't sound so wistful. You can send those letters, you can see the rest of the world thanks to these waters."
Mizuhami stood up. "That's not the same as being with someone. Don't you understand that?"
The Acara turned away. "Regardless, I've fulfilled your request. I see it fit to leave."
The spirit smiled. "I was hoping you could stay longer."
Lazcus growled. "I'm afraid that won't be possible."
She shrugged. "Fair enough. So, Lazcus."
The Acara stopped. "Yes?"
"Do take care."
He started walking back towards the trail. "I don't need to know that, coming from you."
The spirit laughed.
The Acara wandered in the town, far too early in the morning for his liking. Something was troubling him, something the Kyrii had said.
Loneliness. It had never really considered the notion. He had friends, he had people he cared about. He supposed that was enough. But...
He stopped to stare at the sky. It was slowly fading to a pinkish hue, the silhouettes of the stars and Kreludor gradually vanishing. The sight made him wonder.
Hui. His father. He hadn't visited him in a month now. He had said he wasn't lonely, but there it was again. Loneliness. That word struck something in him.
Before long, the Acara was on the doorstep of a worn-looking building. The simple sign perched on top was rusted and fading. But he could still make out the words: "Hui's Books".
He rang the doorbell. It took several minutes, but the door opened. The Bori had weary eyes, but they brightened up as soon as he saw his visitor.
The Acara swallowed. "Ah, hello, Father. I was, um. I..."
Hui placed his paw on his son's shoulder. "Is something wrong?"
Lazcus steeled himself. "No, it's nothing. I was just, simply... I, ah. I thought you might be..."
"I... I thought you might be lonely."
The Bori's mouth grew into a gentle smile. "It's so late, or rather, early now. Would you like to come in for some tea?"
The Acara smiled. "Yes. I'd love to."
By the time the Acara got back from visiting his father, it was early morning. Despite his exhaustion, he was in a relatively good mood. The two of them had spent the time drinking their tea catching up over the others exploits. He had learned that his father was considering retiring from his business, but he loved his job too much to actually do so. Lazcus had considered persuading him to retire, but he stilled himself. It was his father's own decision.
Opening the slide doors, he found his petpet, and subsequently petpetpet, fast asleep on his desk, a slip of paper on the wooden surface. The soft sunlight filtering in from a window seemed to make the paper bubble. The Acara held out the letter:
I'm glad I could help.
He grumbled and tossed it out the window, where it quickly turned into foam.
Looking around, he berated himself for not noticing how messy his library was. Countless books were strewn to both sides of the room, and papers and quills were similarly carelessly tossed around.
What's more, the Acara had just remembered that it was Thursday, which meant that a certain starry Lupe would be coming over to grab a tome.
Lazcus held a paw to his face. This was going to be a long day.