" I don't want anything from you, you disgrace!"

" A.. As you please, Mother."

Nova chased after him, followed him to his room.

Ifrit was big and tall and pretty, wispy thin like a girl, had silver hair, which no one else had. His blood was falling on the floor, thick trail to where he was seated in front of a mirror, pulling shards of glass out of his skin.

" ...You shouldn't look at me, Nova," he chided softly. " There's still some stuck in my face."

" I just- I can't believe her! You try so hard all the time, and you even got her a birthday present, and she's just so mean to you! I hate her! Why don't you ever-"


Blood and glass.

" You shouldn't hate anyone," Ifrit cut him off, voice firm. " You shouldn't hate anyone. You shouldn't hate Irdat. She's just sad, and lonely. You would be sad and lonely too, if you were her. Hating her will only make her get even more bitter and angry. It won't fix anything. It'll make things worse."

Nova sat across from him, not saying anything; it seemed stupid to not hate Irdat.

" She's the worst! She locks me in-"

" I know. I know. She did that to me too, Nova. She just doesn't know how to love things. So somebody has to show her how, alright? That's why you shouldn't be cruel to her, or hate her."

" She hurt you, Lyena!"

Ifrit turned to him, face healed but still blood streaked, and smiled softly.

" It's alright. It's all better. She would never scar me, or kill me. That's how I know you can still show her what love is. She can still get better."

Still, Nova thought of how he had looked when Irdat threw that glass ornament back at him. Weak, and holding his arms up to shield his face, like a battered woman, shaking.

... Someone as strong as Ifrit should never have to look like that, he had thought to himself.