It had been a few months since that first night on the rooftop. What might have been a single occurrence had become something much more common after that and it wasn't limited to work time either. At some point along the way, Astraea had become someone that Sunmin could relate to. Someone he opened himself up to and began to understand on a personal level. She became his friend, someone he could talk to whenever worries were plaguing his mind. She had talked him into finally reaching out to his faction and despite his doubts, he did, and while he was right in that they couldn't help him to understand what happened to him, it did bring him a sense of community he'd never felt before. 

Being a friend and a brother was something new to Sunmin but he was trying his best to not be completely terrible at both, he helped Han out at home and kept a low profile so that he wouldn't regret his decision to let Sunmin stay with him. He and Astraea hung out a few times a week after work, sometimes at a cafe, one time they even made it to a bar before deciding to bail because it was terrible. Of course, their friendship had sparked some rumors in the workplace and it wasn't like he didn't notice when they were all whispering about him but honestly he didn't care, he had something good in his life and other people weren't going to destroy that. 

Right now though, all he could think about was the place he had found last night while wandering the hiking trails, he had ended up going off the path for a while until he came across a completely abandoned garden that overlooked the city. Despite the eerieness of how overgrown and derelict it had become, he saw something in the place and he couldn't let it slip his mind. He hadn't managed to get a good enough view to completely understand what he was looking at and so he had retreated for the night with the plan to return tomorrow morning. Remebering that Astraea said she wasn't working at the cafe today he pulled out his phone and opened up his chat with her, it was mostly full of memes and complaints about work. He'd gotten the phone a few months after starting at the cafe and it was honestly such a good way to while away time. 

"Wanna go on adventure?" he typed on the chat before hovering his finger over the send button. He wasn't sure if Astraea was the type to wanna go hiking up the mountains, he twiddled his thumbs before hitting the send button and waiting to see if she would respond. Worst comes to worst he could go alone right?

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Unintentionally, her gaze quickly fell to his boots as soon as he said that and she squinted her eyes slightly as if she was trying to figure out how he makes it last, "Paint me curious but I'll… keep that curiosity to myself for now" she chuckled. She could understand being frugal with money now, back then she never had to worry about it since her parents were well off, but now she only had herself to depend on, especially when they are living amongst the humans instead of going back to the Veil. "I know how it feels like to be used and tossed away once you serve no purpose to them anymore so perhaps… you can say rather than being pessimistic, I'm just talking from experience wise and saving myself from the potential heartbreak in the future?" Though Sunmin couldn't possibly do something like that to her, right? They are good friends and he has never been untruthful to her either. Which was more than she could say for a lot of others. 

"But wow starboy, so you think we'll be lasting huh? Well now I feel giddy, especially considering how exclusive you can be with socializing." She brought her hands up to the scarf she wrapped around her neck instinctively as if she was recalling those memories, "The worst betrayal comes from those you thought cherished you." Apparently she thought wrong. No matter the season, she would always cover that part of her, the trauma drives deeper than what one's eye could see. Perhaps, one day, she could tell him more. Not today, of course. Astraea didn't want to ruin today's mood with a sad story anymore than she could, one is enough for a day. "Can I?" she wondered out loud, he said it was fine to be a little bit more greedy and the thought of it was definitely appealing. "I always wanted to learn violin" she blurted out, it was the first thing she could remember wanting to do when she heard the melodious tune. 

It made her happy and she wanted to do the same. He said it was possible if she could aim for something more specific and smaller in terms of dreams, right? The aurazin rolled her eyes in feigned annoyance when he teased her, "I'll jump off myself, don't worry, I'm not that big of a baby, gosh" actually, she could be one, depending on the circumstances. "There must be a reason why the opposites attract, no? I feel like while we like the things they have that we don't, we still have a little bit of similarity that makes us work better than most." Isn't that why they end up feeling more comfortable with each other? "I won't know how good I picked it up until I've tried it on my own though, but where am I going to find a car to fix when I don't even have a driver's license?" She imagined it could get quite messy too. She kneeled down and took a handful of the slightly ruined soil in her grip, "The ground is dry, with a little card accompanied by sufficient water and fertilizer, we can regrow plants here honestly." It wasn't her first time gardening thankfully. "How good are you with your hands?"

Sunmin tilted his head slightly when she pointed out that she knew what it felt like to be pushed side by someone who was only using you for their own gain, it was sad to think that someone who was so pure and kind like her had to go through some terrible things, the sad reality of the world was that it was harsh no matter how good of a person you were “I get it” he agreed with her “People suck and hurt others without even trying” he had seen himself how greedy and cruel others could be, especially when they had their mind on something they wanted. When she got excited about how he eluded to the fact he didn’t intend on going anywhere, he smirked and shook his head playfully “I mean who knows what the world has in mind but” he shrugged slightly “You’re not so bad” which to him was a compliment considering he didn’t really like people at all “Though don’t let it go to your head” he warned her.

He nodded slightly “Well I wouldn’t know about that but I can imagine it...stings” to put your faith into someone who ends up completely betraying it, he couldn’t imagine how Astraea managed to process such a thing and keep a sane mind along the way. He raised his brow when she seemed like she asking for his permission to want things, he supposed living the life she had, she must have been so detached from the idea of having goals and wants because they simply weren’t things she was able to actually have. He was surprised by the thing she picked, out of everything though “Can’t help you with that one, though if you need help learning to read music I could…” he played guitar, it was one of those things he learned because it helped to make money when you were on the streets, though he mostly did it just to give him something to focus on.

He enjoyed music a lot, playing it, hearing it, it was soothing to him and one of those things he could just get lost in “Is there a particular piece that made you like it so much?” violin was very specific after all, it made him wonder if there was something she had heard which inspired her to love it. He gave her a dubious look when she said she would jump off herself and then said she wasn’t a baby “I guess we’ll see one day” he challenged playfully, he got the feeling she was good at putting on a brave face but he wasn’t sure if she would follow through. He chuckled when she said she didn’t have her driver’s license yet “Well then that’s another one to add to the list then...cliff diving, playing violin and learning to drive” he commented and nodded “See you want more than you think”.

Sunmin laughed because of course his mind jumped into the gutter when she asked him how good he was with his hands “I can get by” he responded with a grin and hopped off the swing so he could investigate other work they would need to do “Getting the materials to fix the gazebo won’t be easy...perhaps we can see if anyone has any spare wood or stone going” taking it away for free might be enough to convince some people.

She remembered when she first met him, it was an accidental encounter that just so happened to bring forth someone she never thought she needed in her life. Astraea was someone who would settle very easily for anything, especially a companion by her side, but she didn't want to lose him, he was the first friend she has made in a while. She approached him not knowing what would happen and only presented herself as someone trustworthy because she detected the distrust in him. Now here they are. Perhaps their story isn't that far off from one another after all. She chuckled when he said she wasn't so bad but later added that she shouldn't let that compliment get over her head, "What to do, I have already let it go over my head" she giggled teasingly. "I've been doing this for a long while, I shouldn't expect some kind of gratitude to go my way for every person of course… like you said, not everyone's nice in this world. But I never seemed to learn, I keep putting my faith in people, even if they end up being completely undeserving of it." 

And that's her weakness right there. Her hopes of having someone to care for her as much as she would for them often blinded her insight. No wonder some would call her naive. The aurazin swore her eyes lit up at the sudden mention of reading music, "You play too?" Of course he did. Why did that surprise her? "Let me guess… a guitar guy? I don't peg you as a pianist so" That's probably the closest she could bring next to a piano. "I'd appreciate it if you could teach me, I'm usually a fast learner so don't worry, it wouldn't take long to teach me… and I'm not… a fussy student." The idea of being able to learn what she wanted to learn has always been appealing to Astraea. That's the freedom she wanted. 

When asked what made her decide violin or if there was any piece that influenced that choice, Astraea grinned and hummed in affirmation, "A few centuries ago, I was on my way back after finishing my mission and heard someone play it. It was at the Staatstheater Kassel, that guy was playing Bach's Partita No.2, Chaconne. It was my first time listening to a violin piece and it was so chaotic…" There was some beauty to it, as if it was a rendition of one's mind, and Astraea found it particularly beautiful. "What about you? I know music is music but is there a reason why you picked an instrument up?" She still had a pout written all over her face when he challenged her, it was as if it was a teasing she couldn't get over. 

The fact that he listed down the things she expressed her interest in doing made her smile, "You're right… I do want more than I think. We'll start with cliff diving… then see if I'm a failure at being a violinist and the driver's license part? I have a feeling I'll drive someone over before I could get one, to be honest" she's not confident at all with driving. It could be because she hasn't tried it yet but she was very anxious just thinking about stepping on the gas. "We'll make a list, and I'm sure people have plenty of spares. Nothing's impossible if you put your mind to it. Do you have a favorite flower? Or… are you allergic to them? I want to plant a few and I should make sure not to plant something that will get in your way."

He shook his head in amusement at her when she said the compliment had already gone to her head “Sounds like you’re easy to impress” he scoffed slightly and smirked, he could have said that before now though, she seemed to feed off other people and getting positive responses from them was what brightened her up, she could get one compliment at work and she would be beaming for hours afterwards, saying how nice it was for them to say something like that. “Well at least you acknowledge it I suppose” he commented and chuckled “I’m sure it’s paid off to some extent must have met some good people” seemed only logical after all, he wasn’t so much of a fatalist to think everyone was bad.

He swore you could see the excitement in her eyes when he mentioned how he could read music “Yeah..I mean I’m not exactly great at it was one of those things to pass the time” Sunmin spent a lot time teaching himself things in the library, he needed something to keep him entertained after all. He averted his gaze when she immediately guessed he played guitar “Guilty” he responded bluntly, she was quickly on to talking about how she would be a good student and really wanted to learn though which made him laugh “This is important to you huh?” he swore she could be a bit like a puppy when she got herself excited about something.

He raised his brows as he listened to her talk about how she had heard a piece being played and she found it so chaotic, he was sure it was considering that the violin was an instrument so commonly used to create dramatic and conflicting pieces “Sounds like a good memory” he imagined the aurazin treasured the smaller things they got to see on earth because it was somewhat like visiting for a vacation, or at least that’s how she made it sound when she explained it before. Sunmin bit his lip when she asked why he got into playing “Friend of mine used to busk with his guitar” he commented and nodded “He was sick...the streets gets to people pretty fast...he left me the guitar after he died” he had thought about selling it but couldn’t bring himself to do so.

“Seemed only right to learn to play it” he shifted a little on the spot and crossed his legs “Music is...calming” he surmised, he remembered he liked listening to Michael play it back then, it was how they had become friends of sorts. He laughed when she listed out the things and gave her predictions of what would happen with them “It’s not as bad as you think, the car mostly does the work for you, you just gotta turn the wheel” he didn’t have a license but he did know how to drive. “Flower?” he responded, almost in surprise of her asking that question, he didn’t think anyone had asked him that before honestly, he pondered it, thinking over the flowers he had seen “Poppies” he responded after a while, he remembered seeing a field of them and they were beautiful and striking.

“Do you like flowers?” he questioned, wondering why that was the first thing that came to her mind.

She couldn't hide the grin present on her lips at that moment and he wasn't wrong, Astraea in general, is an easy person to please. "I am" she nodded in affirmation, "but you already know that." There was no way a person who was as attentive as Sunmin wouldn't take note, especially when she wasn't exactly the hardest person to decipher. The aurazin was pretty much an open book. "I've met a lot of people in my life, a few good and bad, but most of them are good people, since I have been fortunate to be in the company of said people." Every once in a while in your life, you would end up meeting a few rotten ones but she has more than enough of goodness to cover that up. "You just added another number to my tally" she beamed brightly. There wasn't a moment where she didn't make it known that she finds him to be a good person. 

"Would I have any chance, even the smallest bit of chance… to ever hear you play them?" She was already ready to make a deal, for her to play a violin in return for him playing the guitar. "I don't have a lot to be excited about so yeah, it's pretty important to me. Who knows when I'll get the chance like this again? I don't know when I'll be going back or if there will be a crisis in the future where I'm forced to intervene, aka I won't have time to indulge in my personal hobbies." Better take the chance now while it was still there, no? She didn't expect him to go deeper than the surface when she asked him why he took up the guitar, it was often that Sunmin only barely scraped the surface when it comes to talking about himself, it made Astraea wonder if he didn't want to talk about his personal life or there weren't good memories to explore. 

So when he told her more than he usually does, she appreciated the gesture, "A gift left behind by a friend, clearly he cares for you deeply. I'm sure he'll be glad to know you didn't just leave it behind to rot, I imagine it was probably hard to carry the guitar when you travel though?" She knew he didn't fall here which meant he had to have traveled all the way here. "Others write it down in a journal, some vent their frustrations or express their feelings via music. It's open to interpretation and no one can really judge you for something that's not confirmed." Any other day, vagueness or ambiguity would've struck a chord and annoyed her but not when it comes to art. It was funny that the celestial tried to tell her how the vehicle worked which made her even more nervous, "The easier you say it is, the harder I feel it's going to be. We'll see if it's really as… easy as you said one day." 

A driver's license seemed far from the planning as of now anyway. "Riding a horse would've been so much easier…" she added. Now that she can handle herself just well. "Poppies?" His answer was unexpected yet expected, it felt as if it was surprising coming from Sunmin to have a favorite flower but also not shocking to know it's poppies of all flowers. "Sounds pretty yet… grim" she chuckled, "do you know what they stand for? Because it really does scream you." Considering what kind of elements that particular flower is associated with, it was very telling. When asked if she likes flowers, the brunette nodded, "I memorised a lot of flowers when I was 14, I guess it kinda stuck with me. Mine is white carnations." Not a surprising choice for her. The evening was slowly dawning on them and soon, they'd be able to witness the sunset from what was probably going to be the best location ever. "How long do you think it'll take for us to make this place presentable?"

Sunmin watched her with a curious expression when she explained how most of the people she had met in her life were good ones, he wondered if the path that life put him on set the people he would meet and changed his perception of the world, if she could go through what happened to her and still believe in people then she must have seen a lot of good “Does the good tally overpower the worst?” he questioned wondering how she couldn’t have lost faith in people after having someone literally take her life.

He scoffed slightly when he pointed out he was another one added to her list of good people “You’re just saying that” he commented and shook his head in amusement, Sunmin saw himself more as a neutral person, existing and doing what he wanted. Of course, as soon as he told her he played guitar he should have known what the next question for her would be “It’s admittedly a very slim chance” he didn’t really play for people, he wasn’t that confident in his own ability . “Carpe diem huh?” he chuckled as he looked over at her for a moment, he was glad she was excited for learning things, there had been a point in his life where teaching himself new things on the computer had been his only source of motivation.

He wasn’t really sure why he felt inclined to share the story of his friend with her but she was respectfully quiet as he explained it and seemed to appreciate the gesture, Astraea always seemed to want to know little things about him, things he realized he’d never really shared with anyone before. No one ever really asked. “It wasn’t easy...but it was worth it” it was the only thing he had left of someone he’d cared about, after all, that was worth some difficulty to get around “I saved for weeks to buy a case for it” he commented and nodded slightly, it had taken a lot of work but it ensured it was safe. He hadn’t played it in a while though, it occurred to him. He scrunched his nose in amusement when she spoke about her worries about driving “That makes me want to take you driving just to see how much trouble you get yourself into” he chuckled, he self-taught himself it too, though he’d never been able to afford a car so seemed like no point doing the test.

“You realize a horse could literally just change it’s mood and send you flying right?” he questioned as he deadpanned for a moment, there was certainly a certain amount of confidence you needed to have to put that much trust into an animal. He arched a brow when she asked him if he knew what poppies meant and shook his head “Can’t say I’ve ever been inclined to search for it” he commented, giving her a continued curious look because he knew she must be dying to impose her expertise on flowers. “Seems like a random thing to learn” he commented and tilted his head slightly “Any particular reason?” didn’t seem all that practical to him so he wondered if there was a sentimental reason. He got distracted by the sky for a while, noting that the sun was starting to lower towards the horizon, he realized she was talking mid-sentence and just about picked up what she was asking as he turned towards her.

“A few months I’d say...maybe even a year...depends how hard we work” there was a lot to do and they both had work and a life so it wasn’t like they could work on it non-stop.

Does it? When he asked her if the good tally overpowered the bad, Astraea stared at him with a conflicted look before humming softly in affirmation, "I guess so. I'm still here today doing my job… To be fair, my position is no longer the same as it was a century ago but I still hope to go back to it." She remembered explaining to Sunmin the concept of empaths and shepherds, how she had stopped empathing and switched to a shepherd again. "The world is a painful place, there's so much negativity you can find here… but you kinda have to hope there's good to it too, find it and surround yourself with that. If I lost faith in humanity, then I don't have the right to ask for a second chance which I was given in return for me to search for exactly that. I'm here because I believe the good can overpower the bad." 

When he dismissed her compliment, Astraea pulled a face and nudged him, "You know I can barely lie to you… if I had a dime for every time you call me a bad liar, I'd have plenty in a jar already." Of course she didn't expect a lot, especially something so personal to him but it was a nice idea she wondered if he could ever entertain in this lifetime. "Slim is not zero though" she pointed out coyly and grinned, she'll get to him. "Carpe diem, carpe noctem, carpe omnia" she exclaimed with a smile. She was grateful that he found her trustworthy and comfortable enough to be around to tell her such a personal story, perhaps their friendship would later grow into a stronger one, who knows what the future holds? It was nice to see Sunmin caring for something or someone, it wasn't the kind of behavior that she could see easily so she was beyond happy when she gets to witness them. It felt like he found her significant enough to share his stories with. 

You're someone important too, she thought, all her life, Astraea has been struggling with wanting to be someone to anyone, even if it meant just one person. The road to loving yourself is not an easy one after all. The look on her face when he teased about driving had her whining in response, "You mean you want to get into a car crash? You're crazy…" she was sure she'd crash them. "To be fair, I was taught horse riding since I was like 9… whereas cars… I have no experience in it. Horses get spooked over me easily sometimes because of my fox side but mine was pretty tame…" After training and bonding with it, of course it was tame. 

When asked if there was any particular reason for learning about flowers, the aurazin shrugged, "Boys go out and play with their wars. Girls are expected to stay home. That's the usual practice especially when you're going to make your social debut… my mother stopped me from taking any martial arts class with my father so I spent my days in the residence library reading whatever book I could get my hands on. There were like a dozen books on flowers. She made me recite the annals to keep me occupied and the only way for me to remember those without going crazy was if I was filling my head with something distracting. It so happened to be flowers." They were two people working and had personal schedules too so of course it couldn't be done in a short time but perhaps with enough planning, they can get it done faster than expected. "Let's start next week, on the weekends… if you're free. We can start by searching for those extra scraps…"

Sunmin was always impressed and a little surprised by her optimism, especially with the things she must have seen and been through in the past “I don’t think I would make a good aurazin” he confessed when she said she was still here and doing the role she had been assigned by the universe “I find other people are way too must get tiring to have to listen to all their problems” he commented and shook his head slightly, the work she must have put in over the years all in the name of others, he wondered if she even had a concept of her own wants anymore. “Guess that’s what makes you the rainbow girl huh?” he commented with a small smile, he could respect her for being so steadfast.

“Just because you believe it’s true doesn’t necessarily make it fact” he commented and gave her a pointed look, there were still things she didn’t know about him and vice versa and while they were closer than before, it didn’t mean that they’d fully talked about their pasts. There were things he had done before which might make her look at him differently, he had been selfish in the past. “You’re right, slim is not zero” he repeated, shaking his head in amusement because of course she would find the tiniest slither of positivity in what he said. He grinned when she took the saying he quoted and added the full of it to the end “Words to live by huh?” he believed in that, in taking chances while they were present, he’d seen the world do the worst to too many people already.

He laughed when she called him crazy for wanting to take her driving “You’ve never even tried it before, how do you even know you would crash?” he raised his brow curiously “Besides I’d only take you to a parking lot ot something” he commented and shook his head slightly, driving was easier than most people made it out to be, it was passing a test that was hard. “Since you were 9?” he commented and raised his brow curiously “Did you keep it up? After everything that happened” he supposed she might not have had time. “I’ve never been on a horse...that’s more of a rich person hobby” he mumbled softly, but he did like animals so maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.

He watched her with a curious expression as she explained that girls were expected to stay home and do nothing all day while the boys got jobs and worked to provide for their family “Right...I always forget that you came from a time when things were….unfair” he wasn’t sure how anyone could have just tolerated the injustices that came with it all “So flowers were the escape huh?” that made sense, to look for something beautiful as a distraction, he could understand “Mine was drawing” he commented as he glanced over at her “Whenever the world feels...hard...drawing is the only thing that makes me feel better” he murmured softly. He brightened up when she said to start next week “I’ll look forward to it” he commented and nodded, he kinda liked the idea of a project.

“For now let’s just enjoy having a place only we know about” he commented as he sat on the swing and rocked back and forth a little “This sunset is better than any movie” he commented as he leaned against the chain.

When he said he wouldn't make a good aurazin, Astraea tilted her head slightly to the side and snickered, "I'd ask why do you think that but I have a feeling the answer is similar to what I think it is." She wouldn't necessarily classify him to be a huge pessimist, but rather someone who is realistic about his prospects, which was also understandable considering the world they live in. "But it does get tiring at some point mhmm, though honestly speaking, that was not the problem in the job. It's the attachments. You get easily attached after you've spent quite a time with them and when the time comes for them to forget about you, it's hard to do it personally, you know? It's like me having to wipe every trace of you ever meeting me. That's a heavy job and I don't think I'd like it." The same goes for the other people she has met before but she didn't befriend them closely the way she did Sunmin. 

She likes being referred to as rainbow girl, among the other nicknames she received from him. It sounded… her. "Fact is fact, but my opinions are usually stemmed from the fact that I could sense it from that person since that's how far my abilities are stretched. Though, admittedly I can't judge someone by just looking into them the first time. But… you're not exactly someone I just met either." She could understand why he doesn't feel the same way though. "See, you said it so yourself." Slim is not zero, and perhaps someday that will change. She will not hope for much but it doesn't mean she'll just dismiss it without a second thought either. She had a frown etched on her youthful features when he called her out about driving, "I have… a feeling" she muttered dismissively, but he had a point. How would she know if she didn't try it? "You make such good points sometimes it's infuriating," she added. It makes him a compelling debater though. 

"I had to take a lot of lessons when I was younger, it included being able to ride a horse but that one I find comfort in. I… didn't have time to keep at it after I became an aurazin because I rarely stayed to indulge in any… worldly pleasure. I just come and go after I finish my duties" in a way, it does make it feel a bit boring. "There were a few instances when I couldn't help but indulge in them but I try not to make it a habit or else that'd be trouble." Attachment issues dived deep in her. "I'll teach you how to ride a horse sometime later in exchange for you teaching me how to… drive, there's a stable across the city, the owner is nice." A small chuckle escaped her when he said she lived in the times when things were often unfair, if there wasn't a sliver of truth in that. 

"Flowers are interesting plants. They can heal or kill you, I've always found it fascinating. I've never been a good artist, though I used to do calligraphy. What kind of drawing do you do?" Even before technology advanced, there were plenty of drawing types from oil painting to abstract painting but there's a chance he's into digital art too. The view before her was unlike any sunset she has witnessed before, perhaps it was better because she had company and the spot is really a good one. "Nobody else would be able to find this place, right?" There was slight worry in her tone, she didn't want what they would have built to go to waste if someone else is going to taint them in the future.

He chuckled under his breath and shrugged “The answer is exactly what you think it is” he confirmed, he wasn’t a hugely empathetic person honestly, not that he didn’t feel bad for others but because he didn’t have the time or resources to devote into helping others when he was barely surviving himself. Selfishness was now somewhat ingrained into him and he didn’t think it would disappear any time soon. Astraea seemed like the type of person who would give up her whole world to make someone else’s better, which was honestly admirable though a little reckless. “Everything feels temporary to you huh?” he murmured softly when she explained how she had to make everyone forget about her. It wasn’t the first time she had mentioned it either, he could tell it bothered her a lot.

He arched his brow in curiosity she explained how her abilities allowed her to sense whether someone was a good person, it made him wonder how accurate her abilities and whether she saw something in him that he didn’t “Well then enlighten me, what do you see when you look at me?” he asked her with tilt of his head, she always had this sixth sense when it came to the nature of the others so he was honestly curious to know how she did it. Sunmin chuckled when she explained the reason she was worried about driving was that she had a bad feeling about it “Do you avoid doing everything that gives you a bad feeling?” he was sure that bad feeling was essentially fear, it wasn’t a nice emotion to feel.

He nodded slightly when she explained how she learned a lot of things when she was younger “Do you miss it?” he asked curiously, from the way she explained her life it seemed like she didn’t have a lot of time to indulge in things she enjoyed which he honestly found to be a shame “You’d think they could at least spare you a few days off to do the things you enjoy” he grumbled slightly under his breath, all work and no play for an aurazin it seemed. “So what were the exceptions?” he commented and grinned, wondering what of all things would make her sneak away from her work and good girl routine. What couldn’t she resist? “I’m not sure you should use me as your sole teacher though” he commented and chuckle “I’m self-taught” he would probably take a test eventually when he could actually afford to get a car.

“Isn’t that nature down to a tee” he commented thinking about how there were many things in the world that could heal you or kill you, he supposed all that poetic stuff about balance people liked to talk about probably had some truth behind it “Digital comics” he responded and smiled slightly “A bit of fanart here and there” he added to the end, he did like watching anime sometimes so he would reimagine the characters in his own art style. He looked down for a moment before he pulled out his phone and scrolled through his gallery for the artwork folder and then he passed it over to him. Most of the characters were styled as either heroes or villains with unique powers.

He raised his brow when Astraea asked if anyone would be able to find this place “I mean it doesn’t look like anyone has been here in years…” he commented softly and if anyone did see it they would probably just dismiss its potential and be on their way. “Makes you wonder who built it originally though” he committed thoughtfully.

"I like to think that if I distance myself enough, it wouldn't bother me as much, you know? I don't own anything, that's the reality of it. I don't… have any possession. The life I'm living today? It's being lended to me by those people, quite literally. I live to serve, that's my second chance." But she did choose it, in a way it makes her feel better to know that she wasn't forced. "I'm just afraid that with time, I'll be more selfish to want things I couldn't have and that will eat me away." To her, she didn't have the right to ask for those. When asked what she saw when she looked at him, she turned to face him and pursed her lips, "I think the better question is what don't I see when I look at you. I don't see anything that is inherently bad, your negative traits are more pessimistic than most, but it feels… realistic if anything."

It fascinates her. "Your colors shift but not too much, which means you are not as indecisive. Surprisingly enough, I told you that your color reminds me of the sunset, so it's pleasant to look at. When you're upset, it turns murky. Unlike others… you don't shift much, Sunmin. That's why you're interesting. I've never met someone who doesn't shift every 10 mins. Either you're good at keeping your feelings in check or you're just one emotionless guy." She thought him to be the former. Astraea cleared her throat and crossed her arms while narrowing her hues at the celestial, "It's called having instincts. Self-preservation… instincts. I'm somewhat traumatised enough to have those… certain walls up." For all the reasons she had, it was warranted. "Are you asking if I missed my old life? Because if so… then I'll tell you yes and no. A bit of a 50 : 50. My life wasn't the happy princess route, it's pretty tragic. I bring some joy but I also bring doubts." 

Life as an aurazin shouldn't be so tiring, and generally, it wasn't, if you could schedule them well and look at it more of a side project rather than your duties. She gave him a look that says he was being too happy at the idea of her breaking out of her usual good girl routine. "The things I like… Animals… I like animals even though back then, they didn't like me. I blame the fox" she chuckled, of course they had every reason to be wary of her, "I remember spending the entire evening with sheeps and lambs, actually lying with them, instead of reporting back. I even rode a horse for hours… snuck out of the Veil under the reason that I forgot to do something but actually went to the opera house to watch some performances." It wasn't that bad. 

"Now that you asked, when I was only a few years older, I once went to a festival where everyone was pretty much wearing masks, and sincerely thought I fell in love with someone." When he said he was self taught and that she shouldn't think of him as a good teacher, the look on her face morphed into slight horror, "And you want me to trust you with me driving… but hey, the risks of us dying from a horse or car are pretty much the same. Aren't we immortals?" She didn't expect him to pull out his phone and give her the permission to see those drawings but it made her heart flutter because he seemed to trust her enough. So this is what friends are like. "You're a fan of superheroes? Or… supervillains. Quite the fantasy guy aren't you? How does it feel to know you're part of it too?" She asked, he is a celestial, after all. And they are very powerful once trained. It was a desolate place, but it feels welcoming. "Maybe they saw the potential in this place. We'll just pick it up and continue their work. I think it could even make people jealous if they know such a place exists in the future."

Sunmin gave her a somewhat dubious look and raised his brow slightly “Something tells me that’s less effective than you hope it to be” even if you distanced yourself, that didn’t stop the memories seeping in, nor did it prevent you from thinking about all the things you’re missing out on “Sounds pretty empty to me” he commented and leaned his head against the swing chain “You’d think for all the work you do, the universe could spare you a decent existence” it honestly seemed like they were prisoners, forced to live half a life. “I don’t think I could shut down my wants like that” he commented and shrugged slightly, it was honestly impressive, if not a little sad to him.

He chuckled and tilted his head slightly as she explained her analysis of him and he gave a wry smile “It’s not often that someone is actually able to read me” he noted, usually he was a master of keeping his emotions in check and not showing a reaction to anything but with the way she could see through that, he wondered how much more she saw in him “Are you saying there are people who are fake?” he commented and chuckled. He did like the idea of a sunset representing him though, especially considering how much time he spent looking at the sky “It’s hard to shake me...I’ve seen too much” he commented and shrugged slightly. He nodded when she explained that there were parts of her life that she missed and parts she didn’t “Oh I don’t know about that, princess” he teased her, she definitely had that regal air to her.

He smiled softly when she mentioned how she broke the rules for animals and music, honestly he could relate enough to both of those things and it made him grin slightly “It’s kinda cute how your idea of rebellion is spending a night out laying with lambs” he commented and smiled in amusement “Do you have a favorite animal?” he questioned with an amused quirk of his brow, he was sure she must considering she had already picked out so many to talk about in this one conversation alone. “You fell in love at first sight?” he questioned and chuckled, honestly that didn’t surprise him, she seemed like the type to be a hopeless romantic “Well now I’m curious to know that story” he prompted with a grin.

He laughed when she panicked at the fact he was self-taught before then resolving it couldn’t do much damage because they were both immortals “Well according to my brother celestials can die just as easily as a human...except for old age” he commented and shrugged his shoulders slightly. He watched her as she looked through his phone at the cartoons he had done and shrugged slightly “I like to think of superpowers and then imagine how a hero would look if they had that power” he murmured softly, he honestly just enjoyed letting his imagination run wild. “What power would you want if you were a superhero?” he questioned and smiled gently. “I don’t feel like a hero” he murmured softly and nodded slightly.

“I like having a project to keep me busy” he commented and nodded slightly, though he wasn’t expecting it to be restoring a garden halfway up the mountain.

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