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Today was the day.

Gold eyes watched as the humans rushed around the room, missing the creature lounging on the shelf behind the new stuffed animals. Their excitement was contagious and his small wings fluttered in response. They had all gathered their gifts in a corner were making sure the house was clean and nourishment was available for the mother and the baby when they arrived.

It was a joyous time for the humans and they could not stop chattering about the child. Conversations ranged from how the babe looked to the various gifts that the family but it was a familiar buzz that put the creature at ease.

Unlike them, the lion-like creature was excited for a whole different reason. The babe would be his first human, the start of the line that he’d protect until the end of his days. His brothers and sisters had already claimed their branches of the family.

His own gift was wrapped around one of the two horns that protruded from his mane. Though gold and silver were all that he was able to consume for nourishment, he had saved the jade and gold necklace for the babe. The piece of jewelry sparkled brightly when it caught the light but thankfully the humans were far too concerned with their own excitement to notice.

The family may have branched far from their roots in China but that did not mean they were any less worthy of the protection from Pixiu. He’d keep all ill will and evil from the child. Until his human was an adult, the entire family was under his protection as well. They would know wealth and comfort well into their years.

His entire body tensed as he heard the door open. All of the humans rushed from what was to be the babe’s room to greet the new bundle. Rules had changed and he was no longer allowed to physically show himself to anyone besides his little human and was forced to wait.

Patience was not one of his strongest traits. His tail flicked impatiently as the minutes ticked by and turned into hours. Laying his head on his paws, a low growl rumbled unhappily in his throat. The babe could not be old enough to deal with so much excitement yet but from what he could hear, they were all fussing over it. He wanted a chance to see the little human that was to be his.

Leaning against the wall, his tail continued to thump against the wood of the shelf with his agitation. He had lost count of how long he waited but the sun was beginning to set when the mother finally brought the child into the room.

Excitement tensed his muscles and his eyes followed the woman about the room as she spoke softly to her child as she prepared it for bed. She had the makings of a good mother, and when she lingered at the door, a mother who was going to care deeply.

With a sigh, the woman finally left the room and he was able creep out of his hiding spot. The nightlight cast a soft glow and his eyes gleamed as he hopped from the shelf and down onto the changing table before making his way over to the crib.

Another small jump, and a flare of his wings to keep him from jarring the child, and he was staring at his human for the first time. It was so tiny, with a scrunched face, and a mop of unruly dark hair atop its head. Sniffing at the little toes, he came to the conclusion that his human was female. The natural scent was far too gentle to his nose to have been a male.

Walking gingerly so as to not rip holes into the sheets with his claws, he sniffed along his human and puffed out air to blow her hair back into place. Committing the scent to memory, he sat back on his haunches and cocked his head. This was the first time he’d ever been so close to a human and this one couldn’t even lift her head from the bed.

Fragile is how he decided to describe the baby. Fragile and in need of protection. This little female was his and he would be sure that she grew strong. The tiny fingers that curled around his horn held a promise of strength in the future but were too weak to keep him in place right now. It took a bit of gentle maneuvering to get her to release him and have his gift to drape into her open palm. The necklace would fit a female better than a male anyway.

Sitting back on his haunches, he purred happily. The girl had fisted her hand around the necklace, holding tightly to his gift and staking his claim. It was only the beginning though, there would be many years with this little one and after she was gone, with her descendants.

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I know it’s been like a week since my last post but it was a stressful past week and now I’m only 19 creatures away from my 100 goal mark. As of today, I am four days over the original end date. I still plan to finish, so don’t you guys worry!!

Next Creature: Fenghuang

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