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1979
The house remained still against the soft wind. For centuries, this house has always protected itself and it's inhabitants from the changing forces that assault it. But what it couldn't withstand was the passage of time.

The yellow hair of a matured woman shimmers in the bright sun. Her figure was standing against the wind, nine tails fluttering in it's embrace. It could be said she is admiring the scenery that lay before her - or perhaps contemplating about her duties. This woman's name is Ran Yakumo. She is a shikigami of the highest caliber. She has many responsibilities she fulfills with perfect efficiency for a mistress who seemed like she was never there. She has a shikigami all of her own, a cat named Chen. Truly, she is the epitome of maturity, diligence, and responsibility.

She went back into the house and began walking to her room, taking a glance at her mistress's room. No one was there, only empty sheets and covers.

"I guess Mistress Yukari decided to head out with Yuyuko for the day," Ran sighs, her voice hanging heavy.

Ran handles all duties that have been passed down to her. She works nonstop to get them done, trying to finish each task to the best of her ability. Even if she doesn't sleep, she will continue to work until everything is complete.

She went back to her room and sat down at a single desk. Today was a dispute between Koishi and Hata no Kokoro that needed to be mediated. She put on her half-moon glasses and read the report. Those glasses didn't do well to hide the bags under her eyes, and the urge to sleep was evident. Even so, she made no effort to skim it instead reading the report fully. She let out a heavy sigh once again, and leaned back against the chair. A brief silence settled in before a high-pitched voice rang. Ran's ears twitched as they registered the sound's owner. She got up, headed to the door and opened it. Standing there was a small figure with a red dress and cat tails.

“Good afternoon, Lady Ran!” she cheerfully greeted.

“Good afternoon, Chen,” Ran replied, letting off a sweet smile.

“I was wondering if Lady Ran would like to spend the afternoon with me” she stated.

“But don't you have cats to train at Mayohiga?” Ran asked.

“Eh, they are quite stubborn little felines; one day of no training wouldn't harm them,” Chen said matter-of-factly, “Besides, I haven't seen Lady Ran in forever.”

Ran pondered on it. She did have work to do, more so than usual, but she hasn't been with Chen in a while either. The feeling of loneliness was mutual for the two shikigami. Ran let exhaled deeply and replied.

“I guess one afternoon with my Chen wouldn't hurt.”

Chen leaped into Ran's arms joyfully, hugging her tightly.

“Thank you, Lady Ran!”

“It's no problem, Chen.”

----

“This is taking too long!”

“Now now, Chen, fishing doesn't provide immediate satisfaction; you have to be patient for the fish to come.”

The two were sitting at the edge of a river pier with fishing poles in hand. The two had been waiting for a fish to come, and Chen's patience was wearing thin.

“But we've been here for 15 minutes. The fish would've come by now,” Chen stated.

“Whether it be 15 minutes or 15 hours, patience is a virtue. You need to wait for nature to respond. And when it does...” Ran said as she noticed the rod being tugged on.

“You strike!” Ran exclaimed as she threw the fish out of the water.

“Woah! That's amazing!” Chen exclaimed.

The two enjoyed their time together throughout the afternoon. It was a scene that was very heartwarming and one that was very nostalgic. A long time ago, It was Ran in Chen's place; young, naive, but very respectful and loving. When she was taught how to fish, she reacted in the same exact way; happy and joyful. During those times, there were a lot of shenanigans that were had. Whether it would be Ran turning cherry red to freak out Youki to trying to put on a scary face only to look adorably cute; those times were fun. It was reminiscent of that time so long ago.

----

When the sun had set, Ran went back to her mistress's house to finish reports. She practically rushed and struggled through the reports and tasks until the brink of night. Eventually, she gave out and fell asleep on her desk with only one report to do. The look on her face showed peace, but not quite. The whole scene was rather... unbecoming. Gently, The last report was taken off her desk, and Ran was gapped to her bed.

Now the scene was better. Ran was tucked in under her sheets, though her nine tails were stubborn and stuck out. She looked much more peaceful, almost like that innocent child she once was. It was then that she mumbled something in her sleep.

“Wady Yukawi... could you give me a goodnight kiss?...” Ran sheepishly muttered.

The adorable way she said it was irrefutable. How could one say no to that face?

Gently, a kiss was delivered to her forehead.

Sweet Dreams, my little Ran.

----

This was a story I had started before Phantom Cafe was uploaded, so I thought it would be a good idea to upload it. Thank you for reading!

Post Note: This story had to be relocated from /border/ to /shorts/ since it was a one-shot. As you can see, I still have a lot to learn about THP, but I hope to learn more as I write more stories.



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