“Sit obediently, don’t move around.”
Noah used his incredibly dexterous hands to quickly fix up the half-awake little girl. He adjusted her clothing, brushed her platinum blonde hair. His skill is so incredible that he somehow managed to fix her cowlick without hair gel or spray.
The little girl did as instructed, she’s still half-way into the sandman’s kingdom but she didn’t move around. She let Noah doll her up and she gasped in a slightly shocked tone.
“This is incredible, you only used your hands to tidy up my messy hair.”
“Well, that’s because I have got a bunch of kids at home, they are around your age and just as high-maintenance as you. This skill was forged through countless trials and tribulations.”
“What a convenient skill.”
“I think so too. I am too good for my own good. They kept pestering me, clinging to me like gum, only letting go when I sit down and help them.”
They kept chatting until Noah finally finished his motions.
Although her pajama is still rather loose-fitting, her messy hair is now tidy and fit for presentation. Add that to her charming face that wouldn’t lose to Enju or Kayo and you have yourself, a very cute doll. Well, she would be perfect if she could lose that sleepy attitude.
Seeing as she might doze off at any moment, Noah pulled at her cheeks.
“You’re so young, don’t tell me you’re doing silly stuff like staying up late for movies and films? Children should go to bed early!”
“N-no it’s not like twasht…”
She said with her word jumbled up since Noah didn’t stop pulling her cheeks.
“I am just used to moving around in the night that’s why day is such a pain for me…”
He started talking to her like she’s one of the kids in Fairy Tail.
“Daytime is the normal active time for children and almost all humans. Night time is for you to sleep early. Do you know? Sleeping in early at night can produce a very good resting effect as compared to paying the sleep debt back during the day. You need to fix your habit or I am going to need to have a little chat with your parents.”
The little girl looked at Noah in a daze. She kept gazing at him until he felt a bit uncomfortable. She giggled after coming to herself.
“It’s the first time someone showed so much care for me, I am so happy.”
“The first time, you say?”
Noah furrowed his brows.
“Aren’t your family caring for you?”
The little girl changed the subject by laughing it off.
“Onii-san sure is warm.”
“Now, look here…”
Seeing as the little girl isn’t planning on opening herself up to him, Noah decided to let the matter rest for now. It’s her own family and it’s her right to say or omit details about her own familial circumstances.
Noah changed his question.
“What’s your name?”
The little girl hesitated for a bit, he could see her wavering eyes but she spoke up soon enough.
“Tina, Tina Sprout.”
Noah gave her head pats. Her defenseless look made him very protective and soft.
“Tina, you’re a foreigner or of mixed-ancestry, right?”
Tina half-opened her mouth as she exclaimed her surprise.
“Onii-san is so incredible, you even guessed that part correctly.”
“That’s because your name is rather unique. The order of your family name and first name is different from the order of names common to this country.”
“Oh, your platinum blonde hair is also a dead giveaway. Anyone would have been able to guess correctly if they saw you.”
“Is that so?”
Tina let her head bob up and down, left and right before she placed her index finger beneath her chin. She asked him a question.
“What’s Onii-san’s name?”
His name is not something he should go around using nonchalantly.
As a rather famous person in Tokyo Area, even a kid would recognize him if he told her that he’s Noah Dreyar.
Everyone in this place knew about Noah Dreyar’s identity as the guildmaster of Fairy Tail. The founder of the foundation that harbors cursed children who are treated as monsters in other places.
Anyone who survived the stolen age would discriminate against cursed children, almost everyone discriminated against cursed children to some extent.
Normal kids are told horror stories about how Noah is the biggest villain in this area. They are warned against getting close to him lest they are eaten by monsters or some BS like that.
Noah isn’t sure if Tina is one of the kids who are brain-washed by adults into hating him.
If she’s one of them, Noah’s identity would probably shock her. Heck, she might even start bawling as a result.
Noah chose to sit this one out.
“Hmm, I guess you can keep calling me Onii-san.”
Tina protested with her lazy eyes but Noah ignored her.
Noah stood up and he patted her on the head.
“I am heading back, what about you? Shall I escort you home?”
Tina stared dumbfounded at Noah. She managed to squeeze out the feelings in her heart.
“Onii-san is going to abandon me too?”
“Why would I abandon you?”
“Because Onii-san is leaving.”
Tina replied with an innocent look.
“You’re going to leave Tina behind and go by yourself.”
“No no no, I was asking if you want me to accompany you on your way home?”
“How is that leaving you behind?”
Noah rolled his eyes and he acquiesced.
“How about this? I am going to give you my number, that way, no matter where I go, you will always be able to reach me, how does that sound?”
“Your handphone number?”
Tina flinched in surprise.
Noah shrugged and he gave her his numbers.
Tina repeatedly chanted his number. She turned around and she took out her phone.
Noah was surprised that someone gave a girl around the age of 10 a cellphone, that’s too much freedom for a kid. Suddenly, his phone started ringing.
Tina giggled in a sheepish manner.
“I thought Onii-san gave me a fake number.”
“Now, why would I do that?”
Noah felt tired just talking to her.
He’s only known her for a few minutes but she already knew how to get him to play along with her rhythm.
It’s more like Noah found it hard to operate on her frequency. This girl had a very unique frequency and that’s why he got played.
“This was a very joyful day for me.”
Tina stored her phone away and she stood up from the bench. She gave him a very radiant smile.
“Onii-san can’t lie to me, okay? When I call you, I hope you will pick up without fail.”
“If I am free.”
“Adults have a lot on their plates, after all.”
“Onii-san is a meanie.”
Tina said but her smile showed that she thought otherwise. She’s unusually mature for her age, she lacked the selfishness and lack of discipline inherent in young children.
Noah scratched the back of his head.
“Do you need me to send you back home?”
“It’s okay, I know the way back home.”
Tina tilted her head in thought and she bade him farewell with a polite bow.
“Until the next time we meet.”
Tina walked out of the park, away from the fountain area they were in.
Noah watched as Tina made her way out of the park, even if she was wobbling around like she would fall if somebody stuck a leg out. Noah turned around after confirming her departure. He left in the other direction.
The two would have never thought that this chance meeting is just the beginning of something bigger.