six ☾

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Hyunjin had the blanket covering his whole figure. He didn't know how much it would help, but he felt safe somehow. Truthfully, he didn't know what he was scared of. The Captain's tale left a very deep impact on him, he was terrified in a way.

"After winter ends, I'll stop singing and you no longer have to keep me accompany."

Did her words actually meant that she was going to remove his existence from this world? Was she really a witch? The thought of dying like how the man described his friend's death was enough to send chills through his spine.

Hyunjin was caught in a huge dilemma, he didn't know if he should trust those men or not. Considered their age, they could make up stories to catch others' attention. Well, they sure caught his conscience. He threw he blankets away and sat on his bed, staring at his feet.

He had asked if Maru was a witch, it was the first thing he mentioned when they met. He could remember perfectly how Maru was unbothered by it, stating that he was the first one to call her that. First one, it only meant she had met others before him. Did she really murdered them? Tore their heads from their bodies? Will she do the same to him?

Dear Lord, what sin have I committed for me to end up in this cruel fate?

He shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts from the viscous death he might face. He couldn't even imagine the pain he might go through. He was simply thrilling. He made a decision that he would stop seeing her. He glanced at his window, he was dark, midnight was nearing.

Winter is coming to an end anyway, I should stop seeing her. This would keep me safe, Hyunjin thought to himself. He threw himself on the bed, trying to sleep. Unfortunately, the drowsiness wasn't coming to him. He tossed and turned on his bed, but it was no use. Hyunjin opened his eyes, and a particular object caught his eyes. The nightingale he made for Maru.

He made another carving of it, so he could add it to his shelf of collections. Hyunjin reached out to it, he had thousands of thoughts up in his mind. Was it really fate meeting her? Was he really going to die after this? He wasn't sure himself, and asking her seemed suicidal.

Just before his fingertips could make contact with the wood sculpture, he heard the melody. It was midnight. As reflex, he shot up from his bed. His feet were on the floor, but he was seated on his bed, his eyes facing the black and cold forest. He stared at the little nightingale in his hands before glancing outside again. The thought of not seeing her was odd.

——— ☾———

"You're late." Hyunjin's ears perked as he heard the voice from above. As usual, she was seated on a tree branch. She was acting like a bird, now that he thought of her resemblance to a nightingale. Maru jumped from the top and landed safely on the snow. She was wearing her boots and coat that Hyunjin gave her.

"I had things to do." Hyunjin lied, it wasn't a good one he admitted that but at least he didn't spill the truth. "How was your trip to the Centre, amusing?" She grinned, and her teeth shined almost too clean for a normal human being. Thoughts of her as a witch came flooding in his mind once again, giving him the thrills.

"Do you understand what I mean, now?" She asked. Hyunjin gave her a nervous smile, he was trying hard to keep his calm. "Do you only intend to put the people to sleep so that they'll get the rest they deserve? Or do you have other intention?" Hyunjin asked after a while of silence.

Maru examined the male in front of her, she just couldn't read his mind nor the expression he was wearing. "What did they tell you?" She broke into a sudden laugh but Hyunjin didn't follow her. His expression remained, he was serious. She felt uneasy, she was familiar with this look. She had deal with it numerous times, she lost count.

"Did they tell you that I tore people heads apart? I chose a boy I found interesting so I can kill him? Yes, I do. I only appear at the mountainside, I am a heartless killer. I lure boys my age with my voice, I sang the rest to sleep. Fine, leave. Don't ever return! Just like what they told you, I'm... I am a..." somehow, Maru couldn't finish her sentence. Hyunjin knew what she was going to say, but seeing her this way, he didn't have the heart to say it.

"You know it don't you? You believed them, say it." She said, looking at him right in the eyes. Hyunjin could see her eyes glowed like crystals under the moonlight. She was tearing up, it was seconds before he witnessed those tears rolling down her cheeks. He felt guilty, he should have never asked. Of course he was fine, but he hurt her. That was the worst thing he ever felt.

"I... I don-"
"Say it."

"A witch."

With those words, he witnessed as she broke into a painful grin as she looked right into his eyes. Maru turned away from him and started running away. Hyunjin felt blameworthy. He wasn't thinking before he threw the question at her. He was deceived by the villagers, he felt like an idiot for trusting them.

He hurried after her, he had to make it right somehow. Hyunjin looked at the sky, he noticed something different. There was a tint of orange in the sky, dawn was approaching and he was running out of time. If he couldn't apologise before dawn, he'll end up in his bed and who know? Maybe Maru won't return anymore.

"Maru, wait!" He called as he ran after her, but the girl increased her speed in her sprint. She was avoiding him with all she could.

Hyunjin glanced behind him, the colour of orange was getting brighter. It was coming, he had to hurry. "Curse this!" He grunted as he ran with full speed to catch up with the girl up front. It was becoming a bit difficult as they were running towards the bottom of the mountain and snow was piling there.

At last, he managed to grab her by the arm. Hyunjin pulled her using all his strength as he kept a tight grip on her, preventing the girl from escaping. However, he pulled her a bit too strong causing the girl to collide with his chest. As a reflex, he wrapped his arms around her. Like it or not, she had to listen to what he had to say.

"I'm sorry." He said, almost running out of breath from the sprinting. "I should have not believe their false tales, I didn't think throughly. Please don't leave, I promise I'll keep you accompany until winter ends." Hyunjin said, he tried his best to finish his words before sunrise.

He released his grip on her and looked down on her face. He noticed she still had tears on her cheeks, he didn't know where he had the courage to do it, but he wiped them with his thumbs. He held a face for a little longer, both of them staring at one another. She was beautiful, like what the Captain described in his story.

Before he knew it, sunrise came. Hyunjin opened his eyes, only to find himself lying on his bed. He stared at the nightingale on his shelf, then recalled her face. Without realising, he found himself grinning from ear to ear.

"I'm sorry too, Hyunjin. I'm sorry for lying." She whispered as she watched his figure disappearing, his warmth on her face, gone.

——— ☾———

🐾I wrote this while listening to crush's beautiful
I had to make it fitting with the song, sighs.

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