As the sun rose as it usually did, a young boy woke up from slumber. It was evident from his face that he had not had a good night as bugs had faintly formed under his eyes. He sat on his bed, his eyes closed as his brain took its time to wake up.
The rays of the sun penetrated into his room but clouds forbid this tactful trespass and blocked its path. He rubbed his eyes and groaned still half asleep. It was evident that the thought of going back to sleep still lingered in his mind.
”That dream again. ” He said, half asleep.
His hair, which was partly white from down up, was a mess as few strands were in his mouth. He removed the strands from the invasion and unconsciously racked his hand down his hair.
It always amazed him how fast his hair grew even after he had cut it. He had long since wondered why but had fortunately heard that his mother had had the same problem. He had had his hair cut just the previous week and here it was, at an I desired back length once more.
He involuntarily sighed at this as he fluttered his eyes open. The clouds who by this time were still blocking the sun, gazed upon his beautiful eyes and forgot about their important mission.
In an attempt to praise his beauty, the wind blew slowly moving them aside making the sun shine once more. When its rays landed in his room, his eyes sparkled from the reflection. The light the sun gave off was comforting and warm.
Among his kin, he was one with unique eyes. He hated them but still smiled when someone complemented them. When this thought came to mind, a knot tightened in his chest and out of habit, he webbed his hands together. His eyes, the only reason everyone avoided him. The only reason he was always alone.
The only reason he was deemed a misfortune before they got know him. And, the only reason people, even from within these walls, looked at him with cold eyes. It hadn been long since he found out that some of his family made money out of them.
Deep down, he wished they wouldn look at him like a money making machine but as a person. He was sure he had done nothing wrong but the treatment he had received from everyone but three of his siblings was vast in difference.
Thinking about them made his heart ache. When he felt this piercing sensation, the white ends in his hair swallowed some blue. He bent forward as he felt chills run down his body that did not only hurt but made him shudder for an unknown reason. It was a simple stretch that should have bothered him, that is, if he had noticed.
When he was a little younger, the maid assigned to him had complained about him being a burden. And that, was when it started. He might not have noticed it but when she said this to him, the ends of his hair began whitening. However, since it was a simple stretch, they were not that noticeable back then.
It became noticeable when she said something that stroke a chord within him. She called out to him using a strange word. One he had never heard before. He remembered the feeling as if it were happening at the moment.
His hand instinctively went to his chest. He did not remember much of what had happened next since he had collapsed from the pain. What lingered o his mind was the fear in her eyes and the strange word.
What was it, again?
As if to answer, the word printed itself in his mind as if he was hearing the maid say it. ”Shinigami. ” He felt the pain fresh as he had that day and he buried his head back to his pillow. He also remembered that after he woke up after the incident, his hair had turned white. Just a part of it.
That had been the first time all his siblings had been to his room.
It was dark and he opened his eyes slowly, his vision was blurry at first but he tried focusing on seeing clearer and this made him blink severally. As his vision cleared, the sudden sight of bright light made him squint his eyes.
He lifted his hand in attempt to block the light but something heavy was on it. It was warm, comfortable and felt very familiar. This brought about a sense of de ja vu. He was about to lean toward this warmth when it came and held his face instead.
Leaning toward it more, he closed his eyes and groaned from the sudden movement that made his stomach churn. For some strange reason, he was more tired than he should have been just from the movement.
”Take it easy, ” the voice of his older brother filled his ears.
This made his eyes open wide and without hesitating, he woke up with a stat. His body which was acting strange, did not listen to him hence making him fall forward. It felt heavy, his vision blurred and he noticed that his body had sweat profusely and that he was falling forward.
However, he landed on something warm and firm. His heart was beating faster than he cared to admit, a feeling of nausea hit him but he was to weak to lift his hand. But by some strange miracle, he was bale to hold it in. The gentle pat from his older brother helped him in calming down.
”Careful! ” two people exclaimed.
He knew one voice as she always stuck to him anytime he went out of his room. It belonged to his second sister, the fifth born, Hayami. The other was an unfamiliar voice. All he was sure of is that it was male and he was curious as to who it was. He moved his head along the well chiseled firmness and lazily looked at the owner of the voice.
Their eyes met.
The boy immediately froze, tears welled in his eyes and they broke banks and slipped down his face uncontrollably. He looked like he wanted to say something but couldn find the right words so he scratched the back of his head and laughed awkwardly instead.
They were all shocked by this and if not for the fact that Asher was holding Echo, he would have been the first to jump to him. After he had awkwardly wiped his face, his face looked sad.
He looked down and they could see drops of tears fall to the ground. A young lady, whose hair was just as blue as Echos, came up to him and held his hand concerned. He mumbled something and she froze. She was the only one who stood close enough to hear what he had said.
A sad smile spread across her face. Jamil folded his hands into fists careful not to hurt Hayami and straightened is body. Echo seeing this tried hiding his face. His body began trembling from what he had seen. He looked into the chest before him and covered his eyes.
Memories of what his maid had done and said to him flooded his mind. He tried holding back his tears as his did this but the terror he had faced through her was too great to hide. Asher, the eldest, mistook his trembling for a cold and wrapped a blanket around him before wrapping his hands around him as well.
”Sorry. ” He said, his voice scratched up and dry.
Asher unwrapped his hands and tried creating some distance between them but the young boy was too weak to sit on his own. He slid the blanked he had wrapped around him down to his shoulders, tried looking at his little brother with the intention of figuring out what he had missed.
Jamil, whos hands were on an adventure to stop the water from running down his face stopped in his tracks. He looked up and was confused at the scene before him. Asher looked worried and that meant that something was amiss.
He approached their youngest who was trying so hard to make himself invisible from them in his brothers chest. Seeing as he towered over them, he crouched down to his bed and reached for his head, patting it gently, he smiled through his unwiped tears. He did not know what was wrong but he had to do something.
”Its not your fault? ” it was a comment he always made when his siblings said something he could not understand or connect with. It was his own unique way of saying they didn need to worry.
However, that only worked for those who knew this about him. Since he had been in school, their youngest had only met Hayami who was two years older than him and their oldest, who had a habit of visiting his siblings whenever he got the chance. Sometimes he would even delay his duties just to see and spend time with them.
”My eyes, they made you uncomfortable. ”
”Of course they are! ” Luna, Ashers twin retorted.
This made him flinch and made him shrink further even though there practically no space left. Asher gave her an icy glare and Jamil looked ready to pounce on her. The words she had planned to say next all vanished.
Their third born, Azula, who also looked irritated readied himself to say something more stopped. Jamil might have been younger than him but he put matched him in strength. He tched and left. Luna followed suit.
Jamil sat on Echos bed and picked him from Ashers chest. He let out a squeak from the surprise and tried holding Ashers garments, determined to stay with him but failed.
Placing him on his lap, he lifted Echos head and looked into his eyes one more time. More tears fell down his eyes and he smiled. Echo became horrified and began thinking of a way to escape.
His mind was convinced that he had now done it. A beating or something worse was going to happen. His body trembled from the fear and tears were almost falling from his eyes. However, Jamil wrapped his hands around his body and uttered something. Of course, he didn miss the soft tissues on his body that were probably from a beating.
”Mom… ” Echo stopped.
He looked at him. Jamil had closed his eyes, the sad sweet smile on his face once more. He looked like he was trying to conceal his pain which made him sad. Echo placed his small hand on his cheek and wiped away his tears. Jamil froze but he let him.
”You have her eyes. So no matter what people tell you, they are beautiful. ”
Echos eyes widened. Someone patted his head and ruffled his hair making it wilder.
”Hes right. ” Asher said.
Hayami was pulled onto Ashers laps. When she looked at Echo, his eyes were begging her to say something too. She smiled and nodded. She remembered the first time she had seen him and had tears in her eyes as well. Right now, she had fallen in love with eyes that reminded her of their mothers warmth.
He folded his hands as they slightly trembled, he bit his lip but it was all in vain. They still, his tears, and they washed away the doubts on his mind. He was relived. Echo, who was told that he had unsightly eyes, had heard his first compliment. They let him have his moment but couldn hide their worries.
Asher held it in, Jamil, whose emotions flew out, cried with Echo while Hayami watched over them while holding her brothers hand. Once they called down.
”Its true. ” She said. ”You got her mismatched eyes while we got either one of her eye color. I have green while these two have her silver- ” she stopped and arced her neck.
Her face turned from shocked to annoyed in a second but she hid it well. Putting on her warm smile, she looked in his eyes and asked him tell what exactly happened. She tried to be as polite as she could but they all felt it. Hayami was annoyed.
Echo was silent. He did not want to say anything as he was unsure what the question meant. She held his little hands and asked again, this time she made an effort of being a little calmer.
”Am I…? ” he trailed off but the only word in his mind was what She said. ”Shinigali. ”
He looked up at her expecting an answer. He knew not of what this Shinigali was but he could tell that it was something bad.
”Its Shinigami… and no you are not. Who said you were? ” Jamil said as he boiled with fury.
The anger he felt was enough to make the tears in his eyes evaporate from the temperature.
Echo didn look up, if he had, he would have seen the demon lord and his siblings looking at him. Their eyes turned into cold jewels searching for the perfect prey to torture.
Echo fiddled with his hands as his mind turned to think and when he made a move to look up, their snares changed to look like angels everyone thought they were. He was still unsure about it and hesitated but he wanted to let them know.
Nevertheless, he was still not convinced of their intentions as his maid had used this tactic more than once. So he was going to dodge the question. He thought of how to avoid this situation.
”W-why do you want to know? ” he asked curious to what their answer will be.
They looked at each other and then at him but did not say a thing. He tilted is head and looked like an adorable puppy. Jamil resisted from ruffling his hair and coughed awkwardly. Echo looked up at him expecting an answer but he looked away. He looked at his siblings for help but they looked elsewhere as well.
Feeling rejected, he wanted to dig up a hole and just die. This caused his hair to whitened and a sharp pain to pierce his heart. His eyes began becoming dull. Catching onto this look, Asher patted his head making him look up.
His eyes twinkle a bit. He sighed as he did not know what to say. The reason was simple but it wasn something he could handle. At the moment, only that was left to convince him.
Sighing again, he held out his hair for him.
The ends were white.
”Tell me. ”
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