Our Dearest Ibuki

BY : RandomJaz
Category: +G through L > Harvest Moon
Dragon prints: 230
Disclaimer: I do not own Harvest Moon or any of its characters, nor do I profit from this fanfiction.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This chapter in an intro, so its very short. The next chapters will be longer :) Thank you taking the time to read. It means very very much! I'd love feedback, but I appreciate the fact that you simply dropped in, your time is very valuable to me. Mature content will be in later chapters.

xxxxx

The town wasn't very well off when he arrived, the new farmer. The economy was lacking and the market was barren. Day in and day out Oak Tree Town was becoming increasingly desolate, the old town stuck in time. Empty homes were strewn around the community, the inhabitants who resided there hardly a community at all...Because the farmer who once kept the town going had left. Taking his son with him to boot.

It had been years since a successful newcomer made their mark. Everyone who'd come either left or gave up. It was a pity, something my beloved late grandfather would have been very shamed to see. Surely the town he'd grown up in would return the vibrant bustling place it once was, that was the hope. But with every new arrival and departure that followed soon after, that hope was lost. And I spent my days honoring my grandfather, caring for his pride and Joy. The restaurant he'd loved so much.

I came to Oak Tree Town years ago to help him run the restaurant but soon he passed away. My grandfather and I were close, very much so. His little business held memories, and it held potential. Both of which I refused to let slip away with my grandfather. In such depressing times, my grandfather's legacy was all I had. It was all I had for awhile.

When Ibuki arrived it was Spring and the nineteen year old was undeniably inexperienced. He was a very friendly face, that was for sure. He came in to my restaurant early on that Spring, not too far from Noon. Covered in dirt and dust, he was a mess. His face was flush from running around. Behind the counter I kneeled, organizing menus and cutterly when the front door jingled with his arrival.

He approached the counter, spotting me as I saw him. As he introduced himself to me I couldn't help but think how quickly his name would slip from my memory by summer. I couldn't help but think he'd be gone just like all the others. A new farmer? Not for long. They never lasted. I had no reason to expect he would.

There was nothing particuarly impressive looking about him either, not for his job description. He was rather petite blonde teenager, hardly what one would consider deemed fit for such a laborious job. He didn't look strong, maybe he was energetic? I wasn't impressed. But he smiled widely at me as I took in his appearance, leaving me briefly intrigued. His vibrant white grin stuck out to me. He was a cute guy, his looks still just as youthful as he was. Surely the women in town would eat him up. But he would be just like the others, temporary.

Accepting his introduction for the sake of being polite, I smiled very slightly from my position crouched behind the counter. Grandfather didn't approve of sour faces in the restaurant, impressions were everything under his roof. Standing up, I then introduced myself.

Ibuki seemed taken back a bit by my size as I stood. He paused, looking me over as he eventually reached my eyes. From behind the counter crouched on the floor, I didn't look large in stature, my body partially hidden. For a moment he looked...frightened? I knew he was just caught off guard and waved it off as he turned a little red in the cheeks, him voicing that he'd worried his gawking came across rude.

Appeasing him with brisk reassurance, I let it go. He ordered what he wanted and I set out to prepare his food, wondering exactly how many more times I'd see him before finding out his land was once again under poor old Eda's possession. I didn't expect him to stay and I doubted others had more faith.

Ibuki surprised me that year, however. He surprised everyone.

Xxxxx

Large blue eyes were what I remembered the day I met the young man. Venturing from my home for a walk I took the backroads up the hill. The wind was light, carrying pleasant scents of new foliage and flowers. Knelt down amongst the grass is when I spotted him, the petite man with blonde hair wandering in from the North road late one morning.

He looked horribly lost and I briefly wondered who the unfamiliar face was before noticing his attire. Very simple folk wear. His untucked shirt was a very light, plain blue. The jacket on top only a shade darker. His trousers were horribly plain, brown loafers on his feet. He wore a brown hat atop his smooth wispy head of blonde hair and a loose scarf was wrapped around his neck.

A simpleton.

I'd heard rumor of a new farmer coming to stay in Oak Tree but I paid the useless gossip no mind. The younger residents often chatted amongst each other but it seldom ever interested me. Neither did the apparent truth behind their gossip. I felt no desire to go beyond my means and greet him, instead I went about my business. Surely the lad would miss me in his lost haze .

He had spotted me though and I paused my foraging in the grass. He waved, smiling brightly and then approached. He neared me confidently but without assertion, holding out his hand to shake mine. I stood from my crouched position in the tall grass, standing at my full height to greet him like a proper gentleman.

As I rose his eyes widened, my large stature having caught him unprepared. Looking down at the small man I estimated he was no taller than an average woman. His head reached the underside of my pectorals meaning he couldn't have been much bigger than perhaps five and a half. Having passed six feet in height, I outsized the petite man by eight inches. Nearly three quarters of a foot separated young Ibuki and I in height.

The hand he held out to me now hesitated and I reached out taking it in mine, shaking it firmly once. Mine completely devoured his, the lad's fingers so small. Dainty almost. The skin was smooth and silken, uncalloused. Not the hands of a manual laborer. Curious, I squeezed his hands in mine, unsurprised to the strained intake of air he took. I could have easily crushed his fingers in mine had I reason to.

Loosening my grip, I let go of his hand and he pulled it back, flexing the joints I'd experimentally tested with my strength. Very, very lightly fingers were still intact. Peculiarly enough I was fixated on his small stature. He was just far too small.

I intended to bid him goodbye with an unhasty exit once he finished introducing himself. But I found myself drawn to his wide, marble eyes. He looked quite awestruck, his heavy lashes batting down to his cheeks bones in heavy, slow, blinks. He had such unique coloring.

As small as he was, his eyes were anything but. They seemingly took up most of his face, or rather they were what I was far too focused on. His eyes were such a soft blue, almost silver around the iris. Such beautiful pigment Id never seen. A very beautiful man.

The lad seemed to have caught himself gawking and apologized, not noticing my more subtle observation of him. He introduced himself as the new farmer, confirming my previous suspicions. Moving on from introductions, he informed me was lost. Something I could clearly see. He came from the North road, leading me to believe he'd been at Fritz's farm.

The land of Oak Tree was very large, yes, but I hardly considered it hard to navigate through. The new farmer having found himself lost so easily left me with the impression he truly was a simpleton. I directed him towards town, where he'd been trying to go. Grinning bashfully, he told me goodbye and ran off. I didn't plan on seeing much of him, surely he'd disappear just as all the farmers before him.

With age comes wisdom, but by no means was I right to make assumptions about Ibuki. He proved himself to be a fine young lad. Soon, everyone could see that.

       



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