Epilogue – Mimizuku and Fukurou
Just like the first time she had visited, the darkness of the forest whispered and the wind sliced through the air like a scythe.
Mimizuku, who hadn’t stepped into the Forest of Night since a while before, thought that something seemed a bit strange. She knew right away what it was. It was the feeling of her steps on the ground. She was wearing shoes.
She wasn’t really sure whether it was normal or not for her to wear them.
“What should I do with these shoes? I don’t really need them…” she sighed loudly to herself. She figured that it should be her that decides what’s normal for her. “I missed this place!” Sucking in the air around the beautiful greenery, Mimizuku outstretched her arms. No matter how much she waved her wrists or ankles around, there was no sound. Not that she had ever disliked the sound. “I feel like we’ve finally come home! Don’t
you think so?” Mimizuku said, turning to Fukurou.
She wanted to say so many things to him, that she was sorry his painting burned, to thank him for showing it to her, that he was an idiot for erasing her memory. However, she decided that a lot had happened that night, and she would tell him everything tomorrow.
She was happy that there was a tomorrow to look forward to.
“… Do you truly consider this place your home?”
The first thing that Fukurou had said to her was something like that. Mimizuku tilted her neck at his words, but then smiled.
“Yeah, I do. This is where I wanted to return, right?” She then stepped closer to Fukurou and looked up at him. His eyes gradually changed to silver. The sky as well soon turned white with the dawn. “If Fukurou wanted to live in the country, with Andy and everyone else, then that’s where I would want to go. But you don’t want to live there, do you?”
“I’ll go wherever you go! We’ll always, always be together!” Mimizuku said brightly.
“… Do you understand?”
“Huh? Understand what?”
Fukurou let out a small breath.
“The meaning of your words. Do you understand them? No matter how long you live, you will never outlive me. You will die, leaving me behind.”
“Yeah, that’s true, I guess,” Mimizuku nodded, smiling. She understood the difference in their lifespans. She knew that they could live eternally together. But still… “Even so, I’ll always be by your side.” Mimizuku then smiled sympathetically. “I won’t force you to eat me, but… if you let me become a grandma, then I definitely won’t taste as good. But if I ever die, then I’ll go back to the dirt.” Mimizuku looked up at Fukurou’s beautiful eyes. “If I ever die, I’ll return to the dirt of this forest. I’ll turn into dirt, then into a flower, and I’ll always be blooming by your side… We’ll always, always be together…” she vowed, whispering.
Fukurou gazed at Mimizuku silently for a long time.
“… Do as you like,” he simply said in a low voice.
With just those words, Mimizuku was happy.
This is what he meant by “allowances,” wasn’t it?
She finally understood everything that Kuro had said.
Eventually, Fukurou stopped and sat at the roots of a giant tree to rest his large wings.
“Hm? Fukurou, what are you doing?”
“… I’m going to sleep for a while.”
“S-sleep!? I… I’ll sleep too…” Mimizuku decided, rolling up into a ball by Fukurou’s side. She became small as she had done long before, but Fukurou’s wings acted as cushions for her, and she was able to sleep with similar comfort to the giant bed in the castle.