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220 2.1

 It was time. Time for him and his friends to go their separate ways. For hours after the initial goodbye, it weighed on him, knowing that any minute now, his friends would decide that it was the right moment to leave.

Xinya, if he had his way, would rather have their departure be like ripping off a bandaid, fast and only slightly painful. However, instead of being quick, Wei and Wandering Sound had decided to drag out their farewell for hours now.

Prolonging a goodbye like this would only make it harder for the ones they were saying it to, even when they weren't trying to do so. It seemed that it was up to Xinya to push them on their way, something he really didn't want to do, but he knew he had to.

After taking a glance at the sky, he didn't need to open his interface and look at the clock to see that morning had long passed. He could tell clearly by the position of the bright yellow sun that was shining down on them from above.

This was quite the pickle he was in; he could just let them keep delaying, then the night would be here again, and he would have more time to spend with them, or he could remind them of their plans. Knowing that the first option could backfire, with the couple finding ways to stall their journey every day, Xinya went with the second option.

But as he watched his three friends chat happily with each other, he couldn't make himself cut in, he didn't want to say goodbye. Even though he was aware that this wasn't really a goodbye, but just a see you later, he still felt quite saddened by their separation.

He would miss them, well Wei more so than Wandering Sound, but he would still miss the musician's presence. But, Wei was different, she was a baby sister to him, he would miss her a lot.

Only one word could describe how he was behaving, and that was stupid. It wasn't like he would never be able to see Wei again. All he had to do was log off the game when the 23 hours were up to do so in reality.

Wei had promised him that while she was on her trip, she would make sure that their logout time would stay in sync. He knew that she was someone who always kept their promises, unlike some people he knew, so he had no doubt that she would do as she said.

It was just that he got used to being around her for long periods of time. She was the first person he connected within this new life of his. She was something tangible, something that made him realize this wasn't a dream. Wei was like his safety blanket.

'But she shouldn't be,' he thought sadly. Knowing that this separation might be useful for him as well. He needed to get used to her not being around all the time, he shouldn't be treating her as his other crutch.

"I think," Xinya began interrupting Wandering Sound's spiel about what routes they were thinking of taking. "It's time for you both to be heading off."

As soon as those words left his lips, he wished he could take them back. The cheerful atmosphere that surrounded everyone just moments ago was now gone, replaced with a palpable silence.

The mood might have been completely destroyed, but it had to be done, and he knew that his friends would understand his reasoning. It wasn't like he wanted them to go, it was just that they had to.

"Roaming wind, you told me that you and Wandering Sound would be leaving at first light, but it's almost late afternoon. If you keep stalling, it will be night again," Xinya quietly said, as if explaining why he was pushing them to go.

~

The couple glanced at each other, they knew what Xinya said was right, but they still despaired at having to leave their friends behind. Wei more so than Wandering Sound.

When Xinya had given her a one-arm hug, she was utterly shocked. At that moment, all she wanted to do was bawl her eyes out in happiness. Slowly but surely, her friend was healing from his traumatizing experience.

She had to hold in her joy, though, as to not alert the others, but it also made her reluctant to leave. This was a significant milestone in Xinya's recovery, for her to go right after it happened, she just couldn't bring herself to do so.

Plus, there was also the fact that she wasn't even sure if her green-haired friend even realized he did it. It could have been that he was so emotional about her leaving that he did it unconsciously.

However, she also understood that she had to leave on this journey. If she ever wanted to get stronger and stop holding back her friends with her stupid newbie mistakes, she needed to train on her own without Xinya.

He was her support, and all though it was good for people to rely on their support, she knew that she did it too much. If he always worried about her, he would never be able to worry about himself, which would be very unacceptable.

Xinya is always winding up in highly dangerous situations, that was just fact. The last few times he has triggered some crazy quest, it was still her that almost made everyone lose their lives. But that won't happen anymore.

She looked at her three friends in turn, only to see that each of them had varying degrees of sadness on their faces. 'I messed up again, I should have stuck to my plan and left as soon as the sun was up, but I didn't and forced Xinya to bring it up.'

Silently she berated herself, for she could tell how hard it was for him to push her to leave, especially with how averse he was to her journeying alone with just Wandering Sound.

"Your right, we should be on our way," Wei replied with a smile. She wanted to show him that she was excited to be going, and didn't change her mind about it.

Wei had to be the strong one this time. She wouldn't let her emotions overwhelm her and give in to the urge to break down, overtake her. Clenching her fists, Wei made up her mind not to allow Xinya to worry about her. So when she left, she would show him how determined, able, and ready she was to begin this journey.

~

With the warm afternoon sun shining brightly down onto them, the four friends once again said goodbye to each other. However, this time there were no dillydallying of any sort, and with one final wave, Wei and Wandering Sound left Xinya's farm and started on their journey.

Xinya didn't know how long he stood there, watching his two friends get farther away from him, but he couldn't look away. It was only when he felt the small hand of Melting Snow take hold of his own, that he took his gaze away from the retreating backs of the couple.

"Don't worry, Drifting Cloud," the furry-eared boy said when he noticed that he had the man's attention. "They will be back soon to bother us in no time."

Cracking a smile, Xinya just squeezed Melting Snow's hand before continuing to watch Wei and Wandering Sound until he could no longer see them in the distance.

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AN: Hello my lovely peaches, I'm back! It's time to start book 2, who knows what adventures lay in store for our group. Well, I know.... =^-^=; Anyway I hope you all enjoy what I have planned. Also please join my twitter @ https://twitter.com/Momocatt1 for special updates and surprises, such as pictures of our babies.