The Sun finally started peering from beyond the horizon, the land which was until now covered in darkness quickly changing its palette from dark blues and grays to warm reds and oranges. The cold temperature of the night finally started shifting and growing as the Sun’s rays warmed up not only the earth it shone upon but also individuals who were fortunate enough to be standing outside at this moment in time. One such person was Leila Vergious, sitting on top of a fairly flat rock adorning one of the many beaches that Fiore possessed.
As the sea in front of her started reflecting the Sun’s shine, glowing with the golden and white hues, the girl couldn’t help but smile. It was this beauty that always drew her back to this land, every single time she left it. There was something special about it, even when compared to a place of near perfection such as the Gardens of Eden. A miracle of this Earthly creation, perhaps? Regardless, all of that was far too difficult to be pondering about. No, the silver-haired maiden was content simply lazing about on this rock and drinking it all in, letting the warmth wash over her.
Stretching for a bit, a sudden gust of wind nearly toppled her slim frame over, those silver locks of hers dancing in one singular dimension. There was something different about how the girl looked today, actually. Almost as if she had spent the last few nights in this very spot, her hair, while still mostly straight, was very messy with strands going in just about every direction possible. And this was not the only strange thing about her right now either. It was her skin, that seemed until now completely pristine, now tainted with darkness all too familiar to Leila.
Especially visible on her face, where a good half of it was covered by it. That half of her face appeared as if it was made out of darker wood, rather than soft skin. Even felt like it, too. This same special ‘skin’ covered most of her left hand, as well as few other parts of her body that were currently hidden beneath her clothing. The usual purple and green attire consisting of an airy shirt and pleated skirt. But above this was also another layer until now unseen, a mostly tattered piece of a brown cloak.
This was her ‘wanderer’ attire, old and used. But she held a certain fondness for it, as the coat was given to her many winters ago by her father so that she would be protected from the elements on their lengthy travels. Though by now it was barely holding together, not exactly capable of protecting her from anything. The nostalgic value was still great enough for the girl to keep it, even wear it. Her entire appearance somewhat screamed of a tattered traveler who has been to many places and overcame many obstacles.
And indeed, Leila has by now overcome many things. Some easier, some not so much. But she was still here and feeling happy. As the blowing wind finally calmed down again, her blue eyes wandered, catching a glimpse of several objects gently floating toward her. With a quick gesture of her hand, she snatched one of them straight from the air, investigating. A pristine white feather. Giving them all another look, it appeared that all of the objects were feathers, of different colors. Some pink, others deep blue. Tightening her hold on the white one, a soft sigh escaped from between the girl’s lips.
“Free like the wind itself…”
The was one very clear thing this feather reminded her of. But before she could even think about it any further, a voice from behind her called out. “Will you never let her go?” Startled enough to jump a bit, the girl hastily turned around to confirm the source of the voice. “Y..yuki?!” Right there, in the sand, stood a seemingly young girl with short and snow-white hair. Her skin was pale, covered only by a short yukata of blue and white colors. Though similar to Leila herself in many features, there were also some very different ones.
For starters, Yuki boasted crimson red eyes that stared straight into her summoner’s soul. A terrifying gaze despite her unamused and seemingly bored expression. She also had a pair of blue dragon horns, as well as a tail that was slightly moving behind her, unintentionally drawing lines in the sand of the beach. She also appeared to be barefoot, though that was of a little issue in a place like this. “W-what are you talking about?” Not really answering verbally just yet, the ice dragon girl would approach the rock and hop on.
Seating herself right beside her summoner, she now appeared to have a strangely gentle expression, her eyes fixated on the small feather in her summoner’s hands. “You’re thinking of Mikka gain, aren’t you?” Those words, so soft as if spoken by a mother to her child, allowed Leila to realize. Now staring at the feather herself, she nodded and sighed again. “I suppose so. But when did you start addressing her by that name?” After all, both her and Yuki knew that girl by a different name for such a long time.
“Since the moment you learned that was her real name. It’s only fair, I think. Though I was able to also sense your sadness, as you had it learn from someone other than Mikka herself.” Another nod. But this time, Leila let the feather go, another gust of wind taking hold of it and carrying it to its destination, wherever it might be. “It all makes sense in retrospect. Jiyu… it loosely translates to “Freedom”. And she always wanted to be free. Free as the wind itself. Jiyu Kazehime. The free princess of wind.”