Izayoi first spied her beloved drifting through tangles of vibrant wildflowers. They paled to drab weeds when compared to her love's radiant beauty.

Blooms born pretty in spring, died ugly come winter. But, such things were not true of her beloved. Timeless and ever beautiful, with pale skin, silver hair, and soul-piercing eyes. Unchanging, immutable. An eternal being, whilst flowers simply wilted and bent in transient existence.

Petals darkening, eye centers unseeing, her flowers swelled, cracked, and fell haplessly to the earth. Fell, as Izayoi longed to fall, tumbling with her love amongst the reedy grasses.

But just as some flowers wither so others might blossom, not all loves flourish. Forbidden by all, it had been felt by only one.

Long ago, the garden of her beloved's heart had been cultivated. Seeded by a powerful warlord, whose empire rose to west. A rustle of silk, a swirl of fur. He was an intruding thistle, pushed haphazardly through newly tilled soil.

Time passed, and spring fell to winter. Izayoi wove wedding garland for her lost beloved. It would fade, wither and die, leaving her yearning for a garden bereft of flowers.