In an endlessly bright dimension filled with every colour imaginable except for black, a young girl no older than ten sat in the very centre of this dimension.
"Why can't I just die?" the girl asked herself for the billionth time.
She never ate, but never starved, she created sharp pieces of armour and stabbed herself, but never bled out, she cut off the air flow in the dimension via barriers, but never suffocated.
The girl slumped onto her side and stared into nothingness with a blank gaze in her dead eyes. "What's the point of immortality if I don't want to live?"
Such a routine of trying to end her own life only lasted for thirty years before she finally lost her willpower. "Maybe it would have been better if God could have ended my life... I shouldn't have killed him when he exhausted himself... Even though he was the reason... Maybe it would have been nice to have someone to talk to?"
This thought lingered in the girl's mind for the next five-hundred - nearly six-hundred - years. Most of that time was spent sleeping. She couldn't return to Earth. Not after what had happened. She never wanted to see that place ever again, not even to visit her brother's descendants.
During that time, she had started talking to herself. Who better to keep her company, than the person who had always been with her from the start? This had brought on... adverse side-effects.
Wearing her usual woollen jumper, the girl sat cross-legged as she talked aloud. "Should I just go down there and mess around? Maybe I can find someone nice to chat to."
"No one's nice! Remember what those knights did to us?! You aren't just going to forget those two-hundred years, are you?!" her response to herself was vile and filled with hatred.
"I know... But I'm so lonely. Even if they're bad, I just want a friend, no, not even that, just someone to talk to, to listen to," the girl explained as she cried silent tears out of her grey and lifeless eyes.
"You don't need anyone else! You have me! We're friends, aren't we?!" the girl shouted at herself.
Burying her head between her knees, she replied, "But you're just me. It's not the same."
"Then make more of us! We can keep you company forever!" Excitement flowed out the girl's second voice.
A very weak smiled spread across her face. "Maybe... I want to sleep now."
She curled up into a ball and tried to ignore the heavy pains in her chest as she began to drift asleep. It was then that the entire dimension shook and began collapsing around her.
Standing up rapidly, the girl looked around with those blind eyes of hers as the colours started to fade. Even if she couldn't see the colours, she could certainly sense them. Her entire 'vision' was filled with darkness suddenly. A pitch black darkness.
Memories flooded into her mind, memories that she didn't want to recall.
"What is this?!" a strange and masculine voice yelled in panic.
Out of instinct, the girl screamed at the top of her lungs. She was in a terrifyingly dark place with an unknown person, and this horrified her immensely.
"A child? Is someone there? Are you okay? Where are we? Do you know anything?" the voice asked in quick succession once it heard her screaming.
She held her mouth shut and began to hyperventilate. 'Don't respond! He is surely trying to trick us! Let's run!'
The real girl's voice had a different idea though. Through her unique vision, she could see that the man was wearing peculiar clothing and looked just as, if not more, panicked than she was. She had never seen tails like his before on a person, nor his ears, but she assumed that he was some sort of new fox and man hybrid. It had been over half a Millenium since she last saw someone, after all, so surely this wasn't too out of the realms of reason, was it?
In truth, the girl cared not for what this man looked like. She wanted a real friend, and maybe this was her chance? But still, she had to approach this carefully. She didn't want a repeat of God.
"W-who are you?!" She ended up sounding far more frightened than she had intended, but it was commendable nonetheless that she was trying.
The voice responded, "Soph."
'Huh? That's a bit like my n-name though?' She was very confused.
"Soph!" The darkness around her evaporated and was replaced by the face of the Foxman's concerned expression.
She was lying on top of him with several of his tails held between her arms. "Lone?"
"Were you dreaming? It seemed almost like a nightmare... You were thrashing about pretty badly..." Lone's tone indicated how worried he was about her.
Sophie let go of Lone's tails and hugged him tightly. "Mmm, it was a nightmare. I'm sorry if I woke you up..."
Lone just sighed and smiled wryly. "It's so hard to remember how old you are when you're such a... well, such a kid." He gently returned her hug.
Sophie buried her face in his chest. "Is it bad that I'm like this? I-I can try to be mature..."
Lone shook his head even if she couldn't see him right now. Well, she could see him if she used her mana sensing, but her emotions were all jumbled right now, so she wasn't concentrating. "It's fine. Just be yourself."
'Myself? Which self?' Sophie kept her somewhat cynical thoughts hidden. She definitely didn't want to reveal her other side to Lone, not after she had become friends with him and gotten a proper person to talk to out of him. She could never risk letting him see her more hateful, uglier side. Not now, not ever. "O-Okay... I'll try."
The two stayed like that, hugging, for a while. Once Sophie finally separated herself from Lone, he rubbed her hair gently and said, "Hungry?"
Nodding lightly, Sophie replied, "Yup."
"Okay, you take a bath then, and I'll cook breakfast for us. I plan on going back into the forest today, so no lazing about, 'kay?" Lone ordered in a slightly playful tone.
Sophie pouted. "Just 'cause I act immaturely, it doesn't mean that you have to treat me immaturely."
"Sure. Stop being lazy and I'll stop telling you to quit it, got it?" Lone replied with a warm smile.
Sophie stuck her tongue out teasingly. "I'm not lazy. Doing nothing and being lazy are different."
"I guess they are. Anyway, go on and have a bath, unless you'd rather I washed and you cooked today?" Lone suggested as he stroked his stubble.
Sophie shook her head and crawled off of the bed. "Bathing is fun, cooking isn't." With that, she scampered off to the bathroom. Just as she reached the door, she turned around and looked at Lone with a somewhat lonely expression on her face. "Lone."
"Hmm?" Turning his head to face her as he was getting properly dressed, Lone gave the girl an inquisitive gaze.
"You... You won't ever leave me, will you?" Sophie's expression changed from one of loneliness to one of desperation in a split-second.
'Gah, those words would have been really dangerous if she was in her twenty-year-old body...' Lone put on a slightly crooked smile and replied, "I have no plans to, why?"
"No reason." Sophie left the room and made her way to the bathroom, leaving Lone perplexed.
"What an odd girl," he muttered under his breath.
After he was finished getting dressed, Lone heated up the bath water for Sophie via his Creation Magic skill and then went to work preparing a light breakfast for the two of them. He decided on porridge, which required the help of his ever-handy Creation Magic since he didn't know nor have the ingredients to make any kinds of porridge.
Something that he and Sophie had in common was their sweet tooth, it would seem. Although, Sophie's was far worse than his was. After he had made the porridge, he added some sugar and honey to both bowls and left them to cool down.
A few minutes passed before Sophie came out of the bathroom wearing nothing but a towel. Her long golden-blonde hair was carelessly touching the floor and leaving wet marks everywhere.
Lone frowned. "You really need to learn how to dry your hair."
Sophie occupied the seat next to him and dug into her porridge. "Yummy." Satisfaction filled her face. "My hair's too long. I like it when you dry it."
"What am I, your father?" Lone joked.
"No, you're my friend, no, best friend!... Right?" Sophie asked with a bit of uncertainty in her voice.
Lone sighed. He grabbed a napkin and wiped the food that had somehow missed the girl's mouth off of her chin. "I mean, I'm the only person here, so of course I'm your best friend if I'm your only friend."
Sophie blushed. "Oh, yeah... Hahaha..."
Lone frowned. "What's up with you today? You're being a bit... weird."
Sophie flinched. "N-Nothing. I was ju-just worried about you since you keep getting hurt and I'm so useless."
Lone had a feeling that she wasn't being truthful. 'Was it her nightmare?' He shook his head lightly. It didn't really matter. For whatever reason, she had become even more insecure overnight. "Okay." He put his hand on her wet head and petted her, a bad habit of his. "Thank you. Your concern means a lot to me. Also, stop putting yourself down. You're plenty useful, okay?"
"Thanks..." Sophie's face was red from a mixture of bashfulness and joy. She focused on her food to distract herself. She liked the physical contact between herself and Lone, and she also wasn't stupid enough to not know that Lone was purposely not pressing her about what was going on.
'Hypocrite. This isn't friendship! You are just using him, and one day, he will use you too! We should kill him before he has the chance!' Sophie closed her eyes and focused hard to drown out the voice in her head.
She had fought her other self for almost seven months now. She wouldn't let it get in the way of herself and Lone, even if deep down, she agreed with it to some extent.
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- The Scottish Slothy Sloth
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