Title: Mr. White Hare of the Easter Festival
Characters: OCs(Original Characters) Teiji(purple-head), Miko(brown-head), Raishin(blue-head), Vann(red-head) and Azumi(orange/yellow head) from Doll Weapon
Word Count: 1457
Please don't forget to read the Author's note at the description space! Thank you everyone for reading.
Today was another day of journey wherein the group welcomed the warm shower of sun and the scattered pollens everywhere around. They've already been outside for a week straight, and the fishes they took from lakes served as their everyday meal. No vegetables, no other meats, no sweet candies... It was only good that it wasn't cold anymore since at night, they slept outside as well. Otherwise, it would be like a torture to their bodies.
Azumi continued dragging her heavy body as she walked alongside the other members, particularly beside her long-time companion Raishin. It was this exact time of the year that Azumi disliked being outside so why now of all times that there weren't any cities or villages around? The pollens were never friendly with her, and she has had enough with her eyes that was watery all throughout the day. Even at night, she sometimes had difficulty sleeping... screw her allergy to the pollens.
As she sighed, the girl beside her tapped her shoulder.
"Hm? What is it, Raishin?"
Azumi stopped on her track as she turned to look at Raishin. The blue-haired girl was looking at a different way, but it was clear enough that she was eager to say something.
"Azumi... A rabbit. There's a big rabbit."
Azumi raised an eyebrow as she looked the way Raishin was pointing her finger at. There she saw a white rabbit sniffing through the grasses. It should be normal that a rabbit was using its nose to sniff things in the wild but this one showed a strange sign, as though it was really looking for something or perhaps hiding something...?
The rabbit was using its two hands to dig into the soil and it was looking left and right, obviously showing signs that it was trying to do something that shouldn't be seen.
Apparently, in their world, any impossible thing could actually happen. Azumi wouldn't be surprised if a rabbit could talk or dance or even cook food...
"Azumi, the rabbit. The rabbit sees us."
"Ah, eh? Where is it?"
"It ran away."
Wait... That was suspicious!
"Hey, what's wrong, you two?"
Azumi and Raishin both looked behind them, the other members of the group were standing there in question of why the two of them didn't follow. Azumi almost forgot that they were on the middle of passing by a small forest, as they continued their travel to look for a nearby village or city.
However, the rabbit just caught her curiosity and she couldn't just leave it as it was.
"Teiji, Miko... Vann, if you see a white suspicious rabbit, call me right away! Or maybe catch --- Ah!"
"Huh? Wait, wh-?"
Azumi gestured for the purple-head guy; Teiji, to keep quiet as she immediately caught a glimpse of the white rabbit once again. This time, clearer and nearer. She carefully stepped closer towards it, hoping that it wouldn't run away this time ―
"If I were you, I won't make anymore steps forward."
The sudden voice that came out from the rabbit's direction startled Azumi, making her freeze for a moment.
E-eh... Just now, did the rabbit really talk...?
Well... Not that she should be really shocked. Azumi breathed in and out to calm herself before talking to the rabbit, as though it was normal. The other four members of the group came closer until the spot she was standing in assuming that it was alright with the rabbit as long as they didn't go nearer.
From what Azumi and the rabbit talked, there was a celebration going on at a nearby village. It was a festival wherein people painted eggs with different colors.
"I, the one and only mythical white hare in this place is the village's supervisor when it comes to this event."
It seemed like his job was to deliver a set of colorful and magical eggs as presents to all the children by night time then by day time, hide a different set of eggs so the children would go looking for them, and this hide-and-seek egg game was always held at that forest.
The forest that they happened to pass by.
And the white rabbit put a barrier so no one could see and trespass the village so easily. No wonder...
~ X ~ X ~ X ~
"Well , thank you Mr. White Rabbit for letting us in. We're actually dying to get into a city or village already..."
"I'm a hare! Please remember, I'm not a rabbit!"
"Yes, we're sorry Mr. Rabbit-sama."
"Didn't you hear what I just said?"
Miko, the brown-haired girl of their group seemed to be having fun messing around with the mythical rabbit...or hare, whichever.
Azumi was really thankful to her curiosity. Apparently, at first the rabbit thought they were some bad people who came to steal the magical eggs so he warned them but when she explained their situation, the rabbit was unexpectedly kind and let them into the village. And the people there welcomed them with no problems. It was such a happy environment.
. . .
Not long after they entered the place, the group members were everywhere around the village. Azumi and Raishin were at a tent where children were painting eggs. Raishin was having fun with the children who were teaching her how to do it. And Azumi got to received some candies from them, so now she was contented.
She bet Teiji was with Miko since those two were always with each other. Although, it was probably only because the two were in a master and servant relationship. More like, Teiji; the masochist master and Miko; the sadist servant. Azumi chewed on her candy as she thought of where the others could be.
With Vann, well she didn't care about that guy much so he could be anywhere he wanted to be, she really wouldn't care.
She was just happy right now since they could most likely sleep on bed again, if they would get the supervisor rabbit and the villagers' permission to stay for a while.
~ X ~ X ~ X ~
When the night came, all the members of the group gathered in an inn that the supervisor rabbit provided them. She couldn't help but smile to herself, knowing that they were indeed truly welcomed in the place and it gave her a warm feeling.
When the other members fell asleep, Azumi sneaked out wanting to breathe in some cool fresh air. But when she went outside, she saw the white rabbit standing solemnly on the middle of the road, in front of the inn. She wondered why he would be there standing like a statue however once she realized that his body was slowly turning into smoke, she couldn't voice out her question anymore as she was mesmerized by the strange calmness that the scene was giving her.
Azumi was entranced with what she was seeing but she was soon snapped out of it when the rabbit turned to look her way and spoke.
"Did you and your companions enjoy the festival?"
"...Yes. We absolutely did.
Uhm... Hey Mr. Rabbit. Is this Easter festival held only once in a year?"
"I'm a hare... And yes, that's right. Once in every year, we celebrate this. Why do you ask, miss?"
"Nothing. I just thought it's a good village... And where are you disappearing off to?"
"It's past midnight, the date has changed so I need to rest again until the next year's Easter festival."
Azumi showed one of her truest smile before the white rabbit nodded and completely vanished into thin air.
So he was a spirit. The spirit of the one and only mythical rabbit...No. It was the spirit of the one and only mythical hare that guarded the village. Kind of a strange story but somehow, it left her a pleasant memory. As she was about to turn on her heels to go back to their room, a familiar voice called out to her.
"Oh, Raishin. You didn't sleep again."
"I saw Azumi go out. The rabbit..."
Don't worry. He's just resting for now."
Raishin nodded once and Azumi looked into the night sky.
"We ought to come back here.
Next year, and then the next year and then the next, next, and next. Right?"
Azumi didn't see Raishin's expression but hearing her positive answer, she knew that a smile already made its way to her face. She didn't think that talking rabbits or hares could touch her heart like that as if it was a good ol' fairy tale. It made her think that a happy ending could always be an option for everyone.