To the men who occasionally hunt on the mountains, snow youkai Yuki-onna should best be avoided. Therefore, though there was nothing strange about the mountain she lived in, Yuki-onna’s life was still a lonely one. That did not change until the day when she had found Karasutengu lying in the snow...
“Sneaking out like this! Are you sure it is okay?”
“Relax, I have already finished my tasks. I will just be here for a while; my brothers will not notice that I have been out.”
Karasutengu had already returned to his own country even before winter passed. Still, if he had time, even if it was hot summer, he would travel to the cave and spend time with her; after all, this was where he had met Yuki-onna. She would be extremely weak during those hot days, and all she could do was rest deep inside the cave. However, even in winter, Yuki-onna would never leave the mountain. Hence, the stories about the outside world Karasutengu had told brought her limitless joy.
“It would be nice if I could see the flowers you have talked about. They must be very beautiful...”
“Next time I will bring you some.”
“Really? Thank You.” Yuki-onna said with a bright smile. A vague feeling surfaced from her heart; it seemed to be a feeling named “warmth” but it was one that would not burn herself.
Each time Karasutengu visited, he would not stay for long. This was not because he had a busy life; rather, if he stayed too long, it would provide his brothers an excuse to be more nasty to him. As Karasutengu grew, he visited less frequently. That feeling in Yuki-onna’s heart gradually dissipated. She was afraid that the feeling would completely fade if this continued.
Winter had arrived again, but it did not bring Karasutengu with it. Yuki-onna aimlessly wandered around the mountain, the feeling in her heart already blown away by the lonesome wind. Dropping herself onto the ground, Yuki-onna cried silently.
“Miss, are you okay? Is your ankle sprained?” Yuki-onna thought for a moment that the caring words came from Karasutengu. Raising her head, she saw only a man from the village down the mountain.
“Oh, why are you crying? Have you hurt your feet?” The man was slightly shocked; yet, his sympathy triggered a trace of that feeling in Yuki-onna’s heart again.
Though somewhat resistant, Yuki-onna still allowed the man carry her back to the cave, thinking that perhaps from him, she could reclaim the special feeling.