Hibiki LeBlanc was a sweet boy, often found tending to the flowers near the river and communing with animals. In other words, the other boys would find him to be rather odd. Unlike a typical boy who adored sporting events and rough-housing, Hibiki would prefer to be left alone and wander his beloved garden near the river. Due to his sweet nature, he often attracted lost spirits, those whom he would demonstrate his hospitality and kindness to the fullest extent, and would often receive gifts from them. His parents, much like him, were kind and selfless people. And it was very obvious just how much they loved their son.
Hibiki's mother, Yua, was a thin and frail-looking woman with the warmest smile and sparkling eyes. Her name was very befitting of her as it meant “binding love and affection”. His father, Thomas, was a strong-looking man and was very well built. His eyes were a beautiful seafoam green color, complementing his kind honey-brown hair. Hibiki resembled his mother most, inheriting his father's seafoam green eyes and charming smile.
One summer afternoon a soothing male voice rang throughout the neighborhood. "I'm home!" Called the now seventeen-year-old. "Welcome home dear." Answered a soft voice, so fragile it could shatter with the slightest movement. "I've brought a gift for you, mother. I hope you like it." He said, his eyes longing for the approving smile of his mother. He had brought her a white rose, the one he had been waiting to pick for her birthday. His mother looked at him and smiled. "What a beautiful gift Hibiki. Thank you very much." Hibiki smiled and greeted his father before he went off into the kitchen. The boy went off into the kitchen to prepare a meal for his parents, only to be greeted by a familiar warm wind. "Hello again!" He stated sweetly. The spirit that had arrived when he was four would visit the family from time to time and would keep his mother company and often help Hibiki cook. The spirit swirled around him again, pushing Hibiki's black hair out of his face.
He chuckled at the spirit. "You wanna help me cook?" He asked. The spirit, in response, moved the utensils around on the table. Hibiki nodded as he told the spirit what he needed help with, making the process of preparing the food fairly simple. Once he was done, he set the table according to what he had been taught. After he was finished, he called out to both of his parents. While he called them both, he turned to look out the small window in his kitchen. A glowing figure walking along with his garden near the edge of the meadow which he was never allowed to go.
The spirit from before, who had helped him had gone away to wander around Hibiki's garden. However, it didn't seem to notice the figure. As he was about to call out to it, his parents entered the kitchen with their usual smiles and sat down. He, being the sweet boy he was, sat with them they all communed politely and happily. Hibiki then chose to look out the window once more, to see the figure turn to look at him, now taking the shape of a very familiar-looking girl. She smiled at him and in his head she spoke. "Come to the Moonlit Meadow, Echo." His eyes widened his curiosity building quickly. His name, it meant Echo for reasons he didn't know, but he had never questioned it.
"Mother, father?" He spoke without realizing it. "What is it son?" Asked Thomas. "When will I be able to enter the Meadow beyond the garden?" Hibiki asked. His parents both looked bewildered. "W-what makes you ask that Hibiki?" His mother questioned. Hibiki nervously played with the end of his shirt as he spoke, "I saw the figure of a girl wandering the edge. She told me to meet her in the Moonlit Meadow." His parents both seemed nervous, hearing his father utter something that sounded like a curse in French under his breath. "Son, you are not to go beyond the garden." He spoke sternly. "But why?" Hibiki asked. "It is my order and you shall obey." His father stated once again, trying to keep his voice from giving away his terror.
Hibiki opened his mouth to ask again until his father growled, "My decision is final. Do not go beyond the garden, and do not speak with that girl." Hibiki nodded, keeping his head down. He stayed behind, only for his mother to speak, her voice more fragile than before. "Hibiki. I know your father's way of saying it sounded as if he were angry. But, it's much too dangerous to wander the Moonlit Meadow. People who wander there do not return. Please, my son, do not leave us alone..." Her voice seemed to fade a little as the girl's voice returned to his mind. "Come to the Moonlit Meadow, Echo." He had made up his mind about going to the meadow, at night.
Hibiki was unable to sleep at all as he was waiting to see the girl in the meadow at Midnight. So once the full moon was high in the sky, he grabbed some of his things before he escaped through his window and he walked off toward the edge of the garden. As he wandered closer to the edge, he began to hear voices welcoming him, none of them belonged to that girl. Once he reached the end of the garden he looked to the river which marked the garden's edge. He hesitantly did the only thing he could think of. "Hello?" He asked, instantly hearing an echo that should not have been there. He jumped back when a beautiful blue elk spirit stood before him. "Hello?" It repeated with his voice once more.
It dawned on him that the elk was the reason for the echo. However, he still responded. "It's nice to meet you, I'm Hibiki. I was asked to come here..." He looked down awkwardly, rubbing the back of his head. "Nice to meet you." I told him in his voice, turning around and speaking once more "Hibiki... come here..." Anyone else with this circumstance would have backed away, however, Hibiki was determined to meet the girl's spirit, and so, he walked forward. The elk took this as a sign as it pranced away gracefully, leaving a trail of stardust in its wake. Without a second thought, Hibiki bounded forward, running after the elk, following. He remembered a similar story and told it to the deer. "My grandmother would often make up wonderful stories. The child was supposed to stay on the trail and not stray from it. It was said if he strayed, he would fall. This is strangely similar." He smiled at the elk. " stay on the trail... not stray from it... if he strayed, he would fall." The elk repeated.
Hibiki nodded in understanding, staying on the trail of stardust. For what seemed like hours, he ran after the elk spirit in silence. Finally, the elk stopped. Confused and scared Hibiki asked. "Are we here?" The elk looked to him and confirmed his suspicions. "Here" Hibiki nodded as the elk faded away. "Hello Echo." A female voice spoke. He looked in the direction from which the voice came. He looked toward a hill in which the meadow was the most illuminated by the moon. A girl stood before him in a silvery dress and golden eyes. "I guess you don't know me. My name is Loreley." She smiled lightly in his direction. She held out her hand and began to hum a lullaby that his mother had once sung to him. His eyelids felt heavy as he took her hand. "Come now, Echo, my chosen. Let us head to our garden." She said before he shut his eyes.
When Hibiki came to, he looked around in confusion, not knowing where he was, only remembering the Moonlit Meadow. He lay in a bed of flowers in a beautiful garden with flowers he didn't recognize. Loreley hummed sweetly as she tended to a bush of white roses. "Hey..." He began. Loreley looked at him. "What is it my little Echo?" Her melodic voice bringing him some peace. He shook it off and asked, "Where am I?"