Instantly breaking from her trance, Rin looks away from the flowering tree to stare down at the young girl below her. Unaware that a strained smile appeared on her face.
"En, I like them," Rin said gently.
Lixue looked up at Rin with her large dewy eyes, a look of confusion on her innocent delicate face.
"Then why does pretty brother look so sad when looking at them?" Lixue tilted her head innocently.
Startled by the little girl's words, Rin couldn't stop her mouth from shutting tightly into a firm line. As if recalling a faint memory, Rin breaks out into an impassive smile.
"I was just remembering someone I used to know. She too liked chrysanthemums."
"Was she close with pretty big brother?"
"En, very close." Rin smiled graciously.
Lixue's childlike face flushed upon noting the young man's gentle and warm expression as he thought of the person he had been so close to.
Unknowingly, Rin's dazzling smile caused the little girl to pout as a gloomy aura surrounded her head.
"Hmph, pretty brother must have really liked her to show such an expression," Lixue muttered quietly.
Due to Rin's attentive ears, she heard the little girl's words clearly. Looking down to see the girl was pouting and grumpily kicking a small stone below her feet, Rin arches her brows.
Ah, was she jealous?
Suppressing a helpless sigh, Rin reaches for a flower in the tree. Delicately plucking the flower from the tree, Rin smiles at the white flower warmly, her eyes soon landing on the gloomy Lixue.
"Young Miss Lixue,"
"What?" Lixue looked up with fierce gloomy eyes, however, they soon widened as the young man kneeled down to level with the petite girl.
With a serene expression, Rin gently places the flower in the little girl's soft plump hands, the petals brushing softly against her dewy skin.
"Did you know they also say if you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for a moment." Rin softly spoke as she touches the petals in the girl's hand.
"A flower's appeal is in its contradictions - so delicate in form yet strong in fragrance, so small in size yet big in beauty, so short in life yet long on effect."
Lixue listened to the young man's gentle words as she stared at the lovely flower in her palms.
The lovely flower's fragile petals flutter gently in the calming wind in the garden. The light scented fragrance radiating off of it, drifting into the girl's button nose.
"It's so pretty!" Lixue's eyes sparkled. "For now on Lixue's favorite flower are the chrysanthemums! Pretty big brother, Lixue will keep this flower forever!"
Smiling gently at the little girl's kind words, Rin releases a soft chuckle.
"Young Miss Lixue, although they're pretty they won't last forever. Everything beautiful will occasionally fade."
The little girl looked into the young boy's lovely eyes with a puzzled gaze.
Wasn't pretty big brother beautiful? Does that mean he'll fade one day?
With a pouting frown, Lixue shakes her head rapidly.
"Even so, Lixue will make sure to love and care for it until its end! That way, the flower will have meaning and purpose, just like pretty big brother!" Lixue's childlike voice said earnestly with a tinge of fierce determination.
Unknowingly, Lixue's words startled Rin somewhat as her eyes widened slightly. Suddenly, Rin laughed a melodic sound. The little girl keenly watched the young man laugh, his enchanting face glowing even further.
Pretty big brother was really handsome when he laughed!
Once Rin finished laughing, she flashed a kind smile toward the little girl.
"En, I believe young Miss Lixue will take good care of it." Rin gently patted the girls head. "Now run along, your mother will be worried about you."
Nodding her plump head, Lixue carefully holding the delicate flower in her palms, hops away from the estate garden. Smilingly watching the little girl bounce away, Rin stands up with an indecipherable expression on her face.
With her hands placed behind her back, the girl looks toward the blooming chrysanthemums on the tree. A gentle gust of the wind quietly blows through the fragrant air - the area was once again silent.
Love and care for it until its end.
Recalling those words, a crooked smile forms on Rin's rosy lips - the sound of a mocking laugh descending through the air.