He was stuck in a tree again. She had no idea what his name was but she could recognize that pink mask and wild hair of his. She had seen the little ditto run about the village since from the very first he came there and she was always surprised at how much trouble he brought with him. If it wasn't getting stuck in a tree, he was being chased by that certain scary looking guard. If he wasn't being chased, he was tripping over his own feet, or being pushed to the side. Or he would break out into song or a puppet show and cause traffic in the village to back up. He seemed to always do it on the busiest of days. Yuki couldn't help but wonder if he did that on purpose. Of course she never asked him, nor did she stay long to find out. It wasn't that she didn't like him. Oh hardly! It was just she was so very shy and he seemed so very outgoing. Even hurt or on the gloomiest of days, he always seemed bright and cheerful. And even though he wore a mask, she was certain he had a smile on his face most of the time. She also was, well, very timid to even try to talk to him. Now that one was actually his fault, though she knew he never meant too. She thought back to that day many months ago. It was around the time she had seen him for the very first time. She had seen little traces of him here and there throughout the day but she never got a good look at him. She thought she might have been going crazy because he moved on so quickly. Taking a break on a bench under a tree, she heard strange rustling from up above. As she began to invest what was happening, a pink smiling masked face popped down from the branches.
A loud cheerful voice called to her as it's owner waved.
With that she pushed him away and ran off. She hadn't expected him and he certainly gave her a very good fright. She had seen him the next day and so kept her distance from him. He didn't seem to notice, much to her relief. And so as time does, everything moved on, but it also gave her a chance to watch and study him. Though their first encounter had made her wary of him, she found his behavior to be rather charming. Always willing to help a friend and stranger, trying so hard to cheer up those around him who were down and blue, and always having a treat ready to give to anyone near. She had been tempted on those days to walk up and speak with him. But seconds later the very thought made her blood turn colder than normal and her heart race with fear. She realized, she wasn't afraid of him, for indeed there was nothing of him to be frighten of. She realized he was new to her, and like everything new to her, it was strange and hard to get use too. It made her feel…uncomfortable. But she was trying. Every time she saw him, she would tell herself, 'Today, I shall talk to him. I shall introduce myself.' However something would always get in the way. Either her sudden fear to try or by chance some other event. Once, she had gotten close. A small town event happened. A market day came and venders from other villages had open shops all over Scorched Mountain. Including the little pink person. She was surprised to see he was selling things. From where she stood, she could see he sold dolls and puppets. Charms and interesting jewelry and even strange look cups. He had all of these and more under a bizarre looking put together tent. He sat on a patchwork of a blanket all the while waving and playing with his puppets as people would come by. She was intrigued.
"This would be a good day to try and talk to him. After all, buying some of his goods would give me a reason to speak!"
She was pleased with her plan. It was a good plan. Only expect, her friends had gotten in the way and had distracted her with many wonderful sweets that other venders were selling. Of course by the time she remembered her plan, it was too late. The little ditto was gone and so was his strange looking tent. With a sigh, she had decided next time she saw him, she would speak to him! Nothing would stand in her way. Expect…she never saw him again. It was not strange for him to appear here and there and then go unseen for some time, but when days turned to weeks, and soon weeks to months and no sign from him. She became very worried. The weather in the other villages had changed from warm to cold and in some places, snow had even fallen. Not in Scorch Mountain of course, it never snowed there which suited her fine. She certainly didn't like the cold. Not around her, or in her. But still, she was unsure how to try and find the little ditto. Should she travel to the other villages? It would be very cold outside Scorch Mountain…but still...she should try! Then as luck would have it, today of all days. She saw him. She thought it was just her imagination when she saw a familiar pink in the corner of her eye. But there was nothing there when she turned. Later, she heard children giggle as someone pink walked around a corner on their hands. She gasped and hurried after him, only to see he had disappeared. Maybe it wasn't him, she had wondered. After all there were certainly a great deal of other pink people in the world. The village alone had many pink persons. Later that day after a quick visit with her friend Willow, she knew she had seen him. A Pikachu puppet was talking to a surprised looking group of shoppers. She did not see the owner's face but after a moment a mask came into view and she knew the little ditto had returned to the village. She had tried to move closer to the group but a fight at a local inn had started and the street had quickly been cut off from her. After that, she hadn't seen mask or hair of the pink fellow. After some time searching, she gave a sigh and decided to head home. That's when she heard an odd grunt sound and noticed someone struggling upside down from a tree. But now that she had found him, she was nervous to approach him. What should she do now? She knew what she should do, but her shyness was holding her back. Should could turn back now and act as if she never saw him. BUT! She had waited all these months to see him again. No. She WILL go and talk to him. Moving closer to the tree, she could see one of his arms was stuck.
"Evil trees…I know they are all out to eat me…"
She heard him mumble to himself as he wiggled one way and then the other. She turned her back to him ready to sneak off. 'Maybe next time I'll…' And then she heard it. The saddest sigh she had ever heard. She turned to look at the pink person in the tree. His free arm hung down by his head in a defeated manner and he seemed to have given up on trying to get himself free. She blinked at this and then gave a firm nod.
"I don't think I'll ever…"
The masked person began to say when a voice interrupted him.
"Do you need help?"
Yuki asked quietly in a shy manner.
She jumped back slightly as he shouted in surprise, his free arm waving wildly about. And then he stopped. She blinked for a moment as nothing was said between the two of them.
"OOH! You got me good! Ha ha! I guess that was payback for our first time!"
Yuki looked about. Payback? She gasped.
"Oh, you remember?"
"Of course! I didn't mean to scare you but you went running off before I could say sorry…I am sorry!!"
He waved at her as he said this. Yuki seemed unsure but she couldn't help but giggle just a little.
"Do not worry about it. Thank you though."
She bowed slightly to him. He gave her a head nod that passed as a bow. They started at one other for a moment and Yuki's heart began to pound. What should she say now? She was so very nervous.
"I fell into a tree!!"
She blinked in surprise at the pink person.
"You fell…INTO a tree?"
She looked about. How could one FALL into a tree?! She looked up. Could he…fly?
"I do not wish to do it again for it was not pleasant….."
The masked person nodded and then shook his head at that.
"How did you…"
"There were fairies and a dragon looking for his heart and a quest for more rice cakes, and there was a picnic too, and a war broke but it was ok everyone just threw cakes at each other and one of my puppets became the king and so we had to be knighted by the gods themselves and then, and then! The god of darkness sneezed and well than I fell into a tree."
The pink person nodded at this final part as if it was all very clear to her now. She only blinked in confusion.
She really didn't but she had a feeling it didn't really manner.
"Well…um…I'm glad everything worked out alright?"
She asked not sure what else to say.
"Yes! Expect for falling into the tree which is out to eat me…it did."
Yuki wasn't sure if this pink person was crazy or not but now she understood why so many were charmed by him. She smiled.
"Would you…like for me to help you?"
She offered her hand to the pink mask wearer, her shyness suddenly quite gone.
"Oh yes! Thank you!"
He raised his hand while wiggling his fingers at her. She couldn't help but notice his hand was smaller than her own. She found that surprising. Taking hold of his hand she gave a gentle pull…nothing happened. She frown ever so slightly and pulled a little harder. Still nothing.
"Oh my…you're… you're really stuck in there!"
He only nodded his head and wiggled a bit.
"I do not think the tree will let me go without a fight! Oh no!! I HAVE TO LIVE IN A TREE FOREVER!!!"
He seemed to panic, which caused Yuki to giggle. Turning quickly away from him she tried to hide it. It would be rude to laugh at him, but it really was funny. Clearing her throat, she turned back to him, ready to help.
"I don't think you'll be here forever. I have an idea. Why don't you push with your feet while I pull down. Let's try to get that other arm of your's free. Ok?"
The little pink person nodded with great energy and raised his hand to her again. Taking hold, the two quickly put the plan into action. After some tugging and lots of grunts, his other arm was free.
"I think pulling you out shall be easy now!"
The pink person waved his hands about. Yuki was rather pleased with herself. Her family would be so proud to see her right now.
"Alright now! Let's get you out of this tree!"
Taking hold of each other's hands, she pulled with all of her might. He was moving and suddenly…
He went flying out of the tree and landed hard on top of her. The two stared at each other in surprise. And then just as suddenly both began to giggle.
"Are you alright?"
She asked as he pushed himself up and off her.
"Oh yes! And thank you! You're a hero!!"
Yuki was surprised to hear this.
"Oh yes! You saved me! Thank you so much!"
And with that the little pink person hugged her. She was surprise to see that she was also much taller than him now that they were at ground level.
"Umm uh…th...thank you…"
She blushed slightly. That ended rather quickly when the little pink person began to shake her hand wildly.
"Oh thank you thank you thank you!! You will always be a great hero in my eyes!"
"Oh it was nothing…really. I was just doing what anyone else would do…"
"But it was no one else that helped me! It was you!!"
She couldn't help but smile a little at his words.
She blinked at him.
"I'm Seikomaro!! You can call me Ro though!"
"Oh Umm. Hello. I'm Yuki."
She giggled at this and bowed slightly.
They spent a few moments longer talking, and she found she could never be shy in front of this person again. They spoke of odd things, mostly from him, where they liked to go and eat and even what they thought of the weather.
"I must admit…I do not like it when it gets very cold out…I do not like the cold."
She admitted softly.
"I like all kinds of weather! I like the cold too! You are cold, Yuyu!!"
She flinched slight at this, but then realized what he meant. She blinked at him for a moment and then blushed.
"The cold can be very nice! It is lovely and shows us true warmth! Even the coldest of bodies have the warmest of hearts! Your heart is the warmest I have ever seen. And a LOOOVELY blue!"
She was confused by this but his words made her smile.
"Th...thank you Ro."
He bowed his head slightly at her and then reached quickly into sleeve. She watched in wonder as he began to dig around in it. Once in a while he would pull something out that would make her mouth drop. Was that… a statue? How did that basket fit in there? How on earth was he able to keep a hot bowl of soup in his sleeve?
He cried out after some time and then held a fist towards her. She blinked down at his hand, wondering what he could be holding.
"Yuyu! You are a great person and friend. Thank you very much for helping me! I like you to be my friend! I make these for all of my friends!"
Opening his hand, she saw a tiny little ball. Reaching out slowly towards it, he placed it in her hand. Looking at the ball, she realized it wasn't a ball, but a bell. With a little movement, she made it jingle. It was the sweetest sound she had ever heard and was very pleased.
"Oh thank you, Ro! It's so ni…"
Looking up, she realized the little pink masked person was nowhere to be seen. She looked about in astonishment.
"How does he move that fast?"
She couldn't help but sigh.
"Well…at least I got over being shy."
Looking back down at the little bell, she let it jingle again, only to gasp in shock.
"But…how did he get…"
Holding the bell closer, she realized her name had been carved into the bell, with a small heart by it.
"But…but…we've just met…"
Looking about for the pink person, she found herself holding the bell closer to her heart. And for once, despite the cold her body always felt, she found herself feeling a beautiful warmth spread throughout it.