Weather Girls

The Chrysanthemum

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a part of Weather Girls, by The_Queen.

None

The_Queen holds sovereignty over The Chrysanthemum, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
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Setting

Default Location for Weather Girls
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Minimap

The Chrysanthemum is a part of Weather Girls.

3 Characters Here

Winter Matsuri [171] As gentle as the falling snow.
Elise von Hresvelg [171] "Hide away from the light, the rain is the only refuge."
Jallet [7] Jallet es un chico que le gusta andar por malos caminos que siempre estΓ‘ metido en problemas y que odia el trabajo

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝Close your eyes, don't see what's in front of you.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#0C94CC β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







Gordon Grant was very happy to see them. "I've got everything organized and ready. We're going to save a girl's life!" He was all grins as they loaded into the car. Elise was pale, the rain was pouring. Gordon looked at it and frowned. "Really, it's raining now? That was sudden, it wasn't like this earlier." Claude smiled casually, sitting in the shotgun seat. "Winter's our classmate, so we're extra motivated to save her." Elise looked away, not feeling motivated in the slightest. "And you, Elise? Are you feeling okay after yesterday?" Elise grimaced, rubbing anxiously at her wrists. "'M'fine." She mumbled, almost choking on her own tongue. She clearly was not doing anything remotely close to fine. This was the first time she rode in a car in a very long time, how was she going to handle this?

She still felt sick to her stomach when they arrived at the facility Janet - or better known as 009 - told them to come to for the meeting. Naturally, Claude was recording everything in terms of audio, he wanted to make sure everything that was heard here he would be able to document as evidence for the future in case this first meeting did not go so well. 009 greeted them and invited them in to talk. Gordon Grant did a casual bow and Claude reached his hand out to shake - and 009 refused his hand. Elise didn't make any attempt of niceties. If 009 was how she thought she was, she wasn't exactly the type to be friendly towards children. That was why she was assigned to Winter, after all. "As you said, we came here for a talk." Claude said with a smile. "But, ah, sorry, but just to make things clear, if we don't safely return to our homes, maybe some documents will find themselves all over the Chrysanthemum Howler tonight?" Elise made sure that they had autosubmission programs just in case something went wrong. Why was it down to her to come up with security measures like that?

"No need for threats." 009 said simply. "Make your case." Gordon Grant nodded, and he dove into everything. He recited Winter's entire history of the last four years to 009 and showed them just how much proof they had - which was, undeniably, all the proof they needed to get the public up in arms about this. "You surely don't want a scandal, nor do you want public outrage." Claude had a friendly smile on his face. "A beloved budding musician, being treated like this by a Government meant to protect her? Who could imagine something so horrible?" He winked then, his smile gracing his lips. "And running experiments on a girl, turning her into a blizzard machine? But wasn't biological terrorism like this illegal ever since the War Crime Convention?" Turning a girl into a biological weapon was most definitely against the law.

They were definitely laying it on thick, but Elise wanted to just get right to the point. "U-um.. w-well... let her live a normal life. U-um... here, mother already signed the papers, she's willing to adopt Winter." It was weird to call Cynthia mother, but that was the best way to go about it right now. She showed the documents to 009. "It'll be easier... for everyone... to release her from this unnecessary supervision. W-would't it be better to send people to our property and have them check her bioanalytics every week?" It would allow 009 a chance to do something other than babysitting a victim of government abuse as well.

"Or, we could take this to court." Claude said cheerfully. "With how much evidence we have, it would be easy to win the lawsuit. And while Winter doesn't have the funds to do it herself, the Von Hresvelg family would gladly pay the legal fees." He put his arm around 009's shoulder as if they were old friends. "Whaddya say? Give this to your higher ups, I'm sure they would rather take things the easy way." A case as big and scandalous as this could easily cost the Government millions, if not billions, for emotional damage and abuse of power. Even more, the people in charge could be taken in on criminal charges for their treatment of a minor.

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❝I put my arms around myself and I'm unbreakable.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#BDA0CB β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| [url=SONGURL]songname || artist[/url] ||







Janet narrowed her eyes, listening to what they had to say. She had a feeling that when Claude had asked to speak on the intercom downstairs. She let them in, she was in the middle of cooking dinner. 009 double checked that the lock to Winter's room was engaged. She knew that Winter would be sitting up against the door, trying to listen. There was no reason to stop her, after all, 009 figured that Claude simply wanted to know why Winter hadn't been attending school as of late. She had not expected him to arrive with an entourage, much less a file full of papers, with what they believed were the wrong doings of the government. Janet listened as they spoke, they really believed that they had a case here. She envied their ignorance.

"Matters of national security are an entirely different matter. I will show this to my superiors, but if you make things difficult, they will not hesitate to intervene." If they tried to do anything, 009 knew that her superiors would not hesitate to pull Winter from her current school and move her somewhere new. "Ms. Matsuri is not being used nor experimented on a as a biological weapon. Everything being done is for her own safety." Janet was not obligated to say anything more, but she knew that these vultures would not be satisfied with her answer. "I'm sorry but I cannot relinquish Ms. Matsuri to you. These are matters that two children and a tabloid writer cannot understand."

Janet rose, "now please leave." They could attempt to leak this information all they wanted, but who was going to believe it? A biological weapon? The Chrysanthemum holding a helpless child hostage? After all, Winter had agreed to these terms. In order to return to school, to live outside of the testing center, she had to give her consent. She knew the risks associated with it, she and the psychologist had spoken over it many times. The superiors debated pulling Winter out, but in the end had allowed her to remain outside, as long as she her grades were good and she kept to herself. Of course, they had been outraged to learn that Winter had begun public competitions, but they hadn't been able to stop her.

"I'm warning you," 009 placed her hand on Claude's shoulder. "If you make threats, the Chrysanthemum will not hesitate to do what is necessary to protect itself." Winter sat on the other side of the door, ear pressed against the wood. That was the reason they had come? She almost wanted to laugh. What did they think they would accomplish? What if because of this, they would erase her? Winter would have to be careful. Once the coast was clear, she crawled across the ground, hoisting herself onto her bed and pretending to read. Janet unlocked the door, peaking inside. "I know you were listening." Janet said and Winter stiffened. It seemed she had been caught. "After this group project, it would be best if you cut off all contact with the Von Hreslevg's, they're going to get you in trouble." Winter nodded in understand, Claude was the first friend she had made in four years and now his curiosity might be the fake death of her.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝Close your eyes, don't see what's in front of you.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#0C94CC β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







Cheats and liars, that was all they were. Elise wasn't a fool, she knew how Governments worked. It was rather annoying how they thought they could control everything. "You really believe an orphan girl could be classified as "national security" without being suspicious to the public?" Claude sneered, shaking his head at the audacity. "You're right, the idea of Winter being a girl who can control blizzards is unbelievable. Moreso, she was acquitted of the crime of the terrorist attack. She was proven innocent, and innocents should not be considered a matter of national security." Did 009 really think she was being clever? Thanks to one agent leaking information to them, they knew all about the tests, the observations, they had all the data to prove that Winter Matsuri herself was someone who could control snow. It might be strange, but with the evidence and proof, no one would be able to deny the truth. "I hope you know that if we release the information of her unjust imprisonment and mistreatment, you and the Government will be forced to justify your actions. Then you'll have no choice but to reveal her powers to the public."

"I hope you learn not to underestimate the public. There have been many regimes in the past who fell and collapsed, abusing their power, and the public rising up to stand against the tyranny." Gordon Grant warned, disappointed in 009. He had hoped for at least a civil conversation, but all they got was a stone wall. "I doubt threatening poor Miss Matsuri with erasure and locking her in a room of isolation is particularly good for a child's mental health. If that's what the Chrysanthemum considers safety, I really think there's something rotten behind the scenes here." Sure, at first glance, the story was unbelievable. But they had all the documents they needed to prove their claims. For those interested in actually reading the story, they would find proper documentation and exhibits to prove everything, from how often Winter uses the bathroom, to the Government forcing a contract on her, violating contract law that states a contract cannot be considered valid if there's an undue imbalance of power between the two parties without the weaker party having any support.

Elise frowned, annoyed by all of this. "Um... even the contract is faulty." She said, bringing up the contract itself. "Her signature is invalid... the contract was made under duress. That makes her signature worthless." She either had to agree to the contract or she would have been forced to live a far worse life than she currently was. "It wasn't a fair choice." 009 took Claude by the shoulder, giving him a clear warning. "I'm warning you, threatening to erase a child was a big mistake. The public won't hesitate to protect a damsel in distress, a poor little girl trapped behind the cage. If we show this information to someone who knows the system better than us... well, I'm sure even you want to avoid that outcome." People had an innate sense of justice, they wouldn't let this go. "We'll wait two days before releasing the information. We expect communication from your higher ups before then."

Gordon decided to make one last plea before they left. "We're not asking for much. Just reconsider you and your people's treatment of an innocent child. Strange powers or no, she's a child who deserves to be protected and cared for, not treated like nothing more than a lifeless test subject." His eyes were wide and earnest. "Please. For her sake, at least allow her a family to love her. Don't scar her anymore, she's had enough." But the cold callous Chrysanthemum wouldn't care, Elise already knew that. They would do anything they could to keep their claws in Winter, controlling every aspect of her life. Was this her fight? No, she didn't want to be here. But the girl in her head would never shut up about it so she had no choice. This was going to require a bit more work. She might even have to do something drastic if it means Ame would finally shut up about saving Winter.

They had insurance though, even after returning home. Elise left a tiny droplet of water inside the building that 009 was keeping Winter in. She waited until night time, when most everyone would be asleep, not telling anyone about this part of her plan. Ame told her this was possible but even now it sounded a little ridiculous. Elise shut her eyes, trying to focus on the tiny water droplet inside the building. She tried to imagine herself as the tiny water droplet but that didn't work either. "Why? After all the training..." She shook her head, trying again.

And suddenly Elise felt very... oozy. She also felt very small. Did it work? Did she move part of her consciousness to the droplet? Inside the isolation room was Winter Matsuri, locked up under threat of erasure. Was this really how to treat a girl acquitted of the crime? Apparently it was possible to speak as a water droplet, but it would be impossible to tell whose voice it is. Still, a part of the rain girl thought it prudent to lend support. "Girl of snow, sit tight. I was told by the rain to save you... s-so I will. Most definitely, the warm sun and the verdant wind will have heard the call too." Did Winter hear her? "The government's crimes won't be allowed to stand, that much is certain." Ame told her that there was a girl who was one with the sun, a girl whose smile could make the wind move and flow. They were also awakened to their abilities, and they also heard the call.

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❝I put my arms around myself and I'm unbreakable.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#BDA0CB β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| [url=SONGURL]songname || artist[/url] ||







It was her final night of isolation, but Winter had an uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach. She ate while reading, picking up her violin and practicing until she felt weary. "Winter?" Janet knocked on the door. "Your pill." She rose from the bed, grabbing her cane to take the pill and a new bottle of water from Janet. "Thanks," sleeping pills. The Chrysanthemum was doing everything they could to try and make her gain weight, attributing part of the loss to her lack of sleep. She took a bath after taking the pill, knowing she had a while until it would kick in. The steam from the bathroom allowed her to practice in secret, since any evidence of her practicing would be erased quickly.

Winter lay in bed, feeling dizzy from the medicine. She closed her eyes, hoping to drift off, when a voice whispered somewhere in the room. She bolted upright, her head spinning. It didn't sound like Yuuki, it almost sounded like Elise. She rubbed her eyes, that was impossible. Elise went back with Claude. "Must be the pills," she must've been hearing things. She lay her head back down, dragged under, her sleep mercifully dreamless. The pills combated the nightmares, allowing her to get some rest. She only woke up when Janet knocked on the door. "I'm leaving breakfast on the table. I'm going out." Winter yawned, "alright!" She sat up and dragged herself out of bed, getting dressed. It was Sunday, school didn't start again until tomorrow. She opened her door, the lock indeed disengaged.

The living room looked the same as ever. Janet had left breakfast underneath a cover so that it would still be warm by the time Winter got dressed. She ate slowly, avoiding the nasty protein drink and eating her egg sandwich. Winter limped to the television after, turning it on to check the news. She watched for an hour, waiting tensely, but her face did not show up. With a sigh of relief, Winter turned the news off. The door to the apartment opened, Janet had returned. "Here," she handed Winter a drink from the coffee shop, having remembered her order. "Why'd you get this? I thought you were just going to the grocery store?" Janet had brought pastries too, sticky ones and ones topped with sugar and filled with cream and jams. "Doc's orders, he says if you won't drink the protein shakes, then to try this." She took her gloves off to eat, Janet turning on the television to watch her soaps.

It was a slow Sunday, the kind Winter enjoyed. She played piano for a while, after Janet fell asleep watching a movie about superheroes. The women didn't rouse, even when Winter accidentally knocked her cane over in a musical stupor, only to be startled right out of it. The next morning, Winter prepared for school with some hesitation. She was going to spend the day avoiding everyone and hiding in the music room for as long as possible. Janet dropped her off at the foot of the stairs, like she did every morning. Winter took the ramp up, her weaker leg being a bit fussy this morning. She hid in the bathroom until the bell rang and then, once the coast was clear, headed for the music room. There was no one there, to her relief. She dropped her bag in the corner and headed for the selection of wind instruments. The door suddenly slid open, to Winter's surprise. She started, dropping her cand and falling to the ground.

"Oh no! I'm so sorry!" A girl ran right for her, trying to help her up. "I'm fine," Winter shook her head, grabbing her cane and rising slowly to steady herself. "Shouldn't you be in class?" Winter asked, not liking the fact that she had been interrupted. "I should be but I saw you come in here so I was wondering what you were up to!" She stuck out her hand, her smile warm like the sunshine. "My name is Serenity! I was at the Opal last week when you won!"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝Close your eyes, don't see what's in front of you.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#0C94CC β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







"Save her! Save the girl of snow!" Ame said to Elise all night long. She was tired of this, she had a headache. What could a girl do to get some well needed rest around here? "Fine! I - I'll go! I'll try, okay? Leave me alone!" She muttered under her sheets. It was really agitating that this kept on happening. What Liss wouldn't give to be given the freedom to not have to deal with strange girls telling her to do things she didn't particularly care about. The government lying and misusing power was hardly a breakthrough, something like that was practically a requirement of being a government in the first place. She didn't understand what the big deal was. "Elise, I've got a few meetings today." Claude told her seriously. "I'm going to get in touch with important politicians. The Minister of Childcare agreed to talk to me, so I gotta go."

She frowned, throwing a pillow at him for entering her room uninvited. "Did you do as I asked?" He queried, looking at her with concern. "Yes, father says he'll consider it when he's done filming the current work." She contacted father and sent him the information. It wasn't Director Jeralt Von Hresvelg's typical kind of work, but he said he was willing to do it and spread awareness of Winter Matsuri's plight. "U-um... please go! You're going to be late for your meeting!" Claude smiled, giving her a nod. "I know, I know! Thank you for helping me with this, Liss. I just, I can't let horrible things like this happen without trying to do something. If I don't try to help everyone, will there be anyone left when those who are evil come for me?" But trying to stick your neck out like this was only going to get him in trouble if he wasn't careful. "Anyways, I'm going to meet the Minister of Childcare now, so I'll see you later."

He was skipping school today. Elise also had a plan that was different from the ordinary. She put on a breathing mask after Claude left and dressed herself for once. She wasn't sure if what she was wearing was any particular style, she just grabbed the first things she saw, a dark dress, leggings, and a gold open coat overtop. "Okay, u-um, l-l-let's do this." She took her umbrella, knowing she would need it to keep herself safe. She decided to ignore Cynthia openly staring at her as she silently made her way towards the front door, opening her umbrella to prepare for the rain that would undoubtedly fall down. Was this dangerous to do? Most definitely, if the government realized she was similar to Winter that would cause many problems.

But it was also something she was betting on. This wasn't the first day she did this, she went out a few times at night as well. She hated it, she hated going outside, the open air around her felt suffocating and awful. It truly was nightmarish to consider. Why was Elise walking around town with the rain clouds following her around in the sky? Well, there were multiple reasons for this. First, it would help the sun and the wind find her and possibly group up with her. If they were being pestered by their own spirits, no doubt they wanted to save the "girl of snow" and stop the nagging as well, right?

After a day of searching though, Elise didn't find any "girl of wind" or "girl of sun". She knew they existed, she was told as much by Ame, but there was nothing so far. "It's late, I - I should go home." She was hungry and tired and her legs hurt from walking around the Chrysanthemum all day. She left her phone at home, she didn't want to risk the Government tracing her through it. She clutched her parasol, wondering which part of town she was in when someone grabbed her arm. "My, isn't that a fancy jacket?" There was a group of men, and they looked rather impoverished, wearing torn clothes with unshaven faces. "You're in the wrong part of town, milady." Her knees shook and she stared at them, trying to pull her arm back to no avail.

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❝I put my arms around myself and I'm unbreakable.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#BDA0CB β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| [url=SONGURL]songname || artist[/url] ||







"You're following me around?" Winter asked, on the defensive. "Yes! I mean, no. I followed you here, but I'm not stalking you or anything!" She scratched her head, seemingly embarrassed. The door opened again, "Serenity, did you find her?" A girl with blonde hair asked, peeking inside. Serenity nodded and pointed to Winter, who was standing by the window. "Oh good!" She stepped inside, tall, muscular, with a large chest. "My name is Mercedes, we're here to rescue you." Rescue her? Winter blinked dumbly, then burst out laughing. "I'm sorry. You're what?" She took a seat, her bad knee shaking. "I don't need saving," Winter opened up a flute case, taking out the tools to clean it. "B-but!" Serenity stuttered, rushing over. "Aren't you in trouble? You haven't been in school all week and you avoid everyone! Roll up your sleeves!" Winter sighed, it seemed class may have been the better option.

Mercedes suddenly grabbed her, forcing Winter's sleeve up. There was a band aid on her inner elbow, where blood had been drawn, but that was it. "We thought for sure you were being abused." Serenity contemplated. "You walk with that stick all the time and you're always wearing gloves!" Winter shook her head, standing slowly. "I walk with a limp because I've had 15 surgeries on my leg. I wear these gloves to protect my hands, like many other musical prodigies." She needed to go around them, these two were trouble. The bell rang, signaling the end of the period. They were at a standstill, these two girls blocking her path. She didn't understand their reasoning. "We just want to help you Winter." Mercedes said softly, "we're... like you."

Like her? "You play instruments?" She asked, confused. "No!" Serenity was clearly growing frustrated. "In other ways," she held out a finger, a small ball of light accumulating around it. Winter stepped back. "You need to stay away from me." She said softly, Mercedes stepping closer. "I said stay away!" She tried to walk around them, but with how slowly she moved, they evaded her manuever easily and pushed her into a chair. Serenity grabbed Winter's cane, it was clear they were desperate. "Please, we just want to help you. We know what the Chrysanthemum is doing to you." No, they didn't, they would never know. "You need to stay away from me," Winter said again, her voice soft. "If they find out you can do what you can, they'll interfere in your lives. I chose this, so please, just leave me alone."

"You've got Stockholm syndrome! Right Serenity?"

"I said leave me alone!" The door opened, it seemed a teacher had found them. With how it looked, the teacher drew his own conclusion quickly. "Girls, we do not bully." Mrs. Tenor stalked inside, "please give Ms. Winter her cane back, I'll see both of you in detention today." She gave them both pink slips, Winter breathing a sigh of relief and sinking further into her seat. "You should have told someone if you were being bullied, we would have put a stop to it sooner." Winter shook her head, it was impossible to explain. "Let's get you to the nurse, alright?"

"No! No, I'm fine. Just don't call 009," her hands tightened around her walking stick. "I'll go to class now," Mrs. Tenor nodded, "then allow me to escort you." She had history next period, as far as Winter knew, neither of those girls were in her class. She had never even seen them before today. The rest of her periods passed quickly, Janet waiting for her in the usual spot. She could see Serenity waiting for her at the foot of the stairs and quickly went to the ramp, signaling to Janet, who rushed out of the vehicle to assist her to the car. This was her life, she was fine with it. She didn't understand all of these people who felt the need to rescue her. Winter wasn't in need of any saving.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝Close your eyes, don't see what's in front of you.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#0C94CC β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







Someone was tugging on her arm. Elise looked up behind her to see a group of unshaven gangly men. What did they want? She realized she was walking around an old part of town, with pipes snaking around the alleys and shambled tiny little houses that looked more like boxes than anything else. "It's odd to see a little missy in the slums, isn't t, boss?" They laughed, obviously finding something entertaining about this. She didn't like all of these eyes on her, she didn't like all of these people looking at her. "Wait, that insignia..." One of them grabbed at her jacket, tugging on an emblem sewn onto the hem. It was small, showing the symbol of what seemed to be a bird with it's wings outstretched. "You're a Hresvelg?" She grimaced, wondering why all of her clothes had her family's coat of arms on it.

"N-no! I-I'm just o-one of the maids employed there!" They looked at each other, not seeming to buy it. The rain poured harder, coming down like a downpour. If her emotions got too out of control would it cause a flood? The dark clouds continued to gather around them, the pattering of the rain slapping against the ground so loud you could hardly hear anything around you. "Hey, boss, don't she sound a little familiar?" One of them pulled at her mask, tearing it off to get a better look at her face. "N-no! L-let me go!" Her heart was pounding, crashing against the cage of ribs encircling it. They were most definitely leering now. "Black Eagle, huh? Could it be?" Someone grabbed her shoulder and pushed her back, Elise landed on her rear, the parasol falling from her hands.

A man with sandy hair, slender and tall, stood against the poverty stricken men. "This girl is under my protection, so I suggest you leave her alone." He was wearing a suit similar to 009, and had a badge to show his authority. A government servant it looked, like one of those pitiful humans without a will of their own. "Crap, let's get out of here, boss!" The gang of gangly homely men ran off in the other direction, not wanting to get involved with the Chrysanthemum like this. Elise frowned, giving the man a hard stare. She glanced at his badge, quickly reading a few numbers. "012? But why?" He took her hand, helping her back up to her feet. "Let's go to the car first. I won't take you anywhere you don't want to go."

Inside the car, though both of them drenched by the rain, at least here they had a little bit of shelter. "Wh-wh-what do you want?" Elise was shivering, shaking like a leaf. Was it fear or something else? "I was assigned to watch you after the incident the other night with Miss Matsuri." 012 explained curtly. "It's not like you to do anything rash like that though. What are you planning?" She glowered, knowing better than to try and be friendly with an enemy. This wasn't even her fight, she was dragged into it because Ame kept begging every night, because Claude was diving deeper into a mystery she didn't want him to. "I-I'm just a washed up actress! I-I'm not worth it! Wh-what a waste of tax dollars!" She could a little smile on the rear view mirror. "I'd say it was worth the price, since I was able to save you just now."

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❝I put my arms around myself and I'm unbreakable.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#BDA0CB β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| [url=SONGURL]songname || artist[/url] ||







"Winter?" Janet knocked on the door to her room, "Winter?" She turned the handle, finding it to be locked. "Winter, open the door." Janet knocked again, but there was no answer. She used her key, slamming the door open and into the wall. Winter lay on the ground, passed out, her cane just out of reach. "She must've slipped," but why was the door locked? Janet looked around, finding the bottle of sleeping pills spilled on the ground. "I need backup," Janet dialed the emergency line. "Send an ambulance." Janet turned Winter over, but her breathing was fine. She checked Winter's mouth, but there was no residue. If she hadn't taken the pills, then what was she doing? How had she gotten them out of Janet's room? "Cancel, cancel. False alarm," Janet called back quickly, seeing the frozen patch of carpet. She lifted Winter up, placing her on the bed and checking the wound on her head. A small bump right now, but it would be visible tomorrow.

"What were you doing?" Janet asked when Winter finally did come to. She looked around her room, confused. "Winter, did you take any of the sleeping pills?" She shook her head, groaning. "I wanted to flush them down the toilet," Winter whispered, but she couldn't remember why. She had been angry, she wanted to get rid of them, but why? Janet handed her an ice pack, but Winter simply held it, hardly able to feel the cold that seeped through it. "Were you practicing, Winter?" Janet asked. She would have to report it, but they all knew that Winter could not control whatever gift had been bestowed upon her. "No!" She bolted upright, wincing. 009 took the ice and pressed it against the large bruise that was forming on Winter's temple. "What happened at school today?" Janet lifted Winter up and carried her to the dining room table, where dinner was sitting.

Tonight it was beef stromboli with noodles and garlic bread. "It was fine," Winter grumbled, stabbing her fork into a piece of beef. "Winter," Janet did not want to play games. It was rare that she showed this much concern, but Winter knew it must have been for a reason. Janet wanted information, she would get it one way or another. "Two girls cornered me in the music room and stole my cane so I couldn't escape." She sighed, filling her mouth with food so that she wouldn't have to say anything else. Bullying? In all of the years that 009 had been watching over Winter, she had never seen her bullied, she had never even heard of an instance of Winter being mocked. What had brought this on? Was it that man publishing an article about Winter leaving the Vin Hresvelg's home? "If it happens again, let me know." If bullying was going to become a continuous issue, then 009 would have to report it to her superiors. "Is that why you took the pills?" Winter winced, "I already told you I was going to flush them down the toilet."

After dinner, she did her homework in the living room. Janet would not remove the lock on her door unless Winter misused the privilege again. The pills would also be kept in a safe for the time being, just in case. "Can I have my phone back?" Janet nodded, returning it to Winter. She flipped through it, glad to see that everything was still there. There were only 3 contacts in her saved numbers. 009, the Psychologist, and her Grandmother's. She dialed her voicemail, something she had not done in a long while, listening to her Grandmother's voice. A fresh wave of grief hit her anew, she hung up quickly. "Did you see Claude in school today?" Janet suddenly asked from her seat in front of the television, a cup of sour smelling drink in a glass beside her. Kombucha, she drank the stuff religiously. "No, he wasn't there today." She would see him tomorrow though, where they would have to present together.

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Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝Close your eyes, don't see what's in front of you.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#0C94CC β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







Claude was looking far too chipper about everything, while Elise simply wished she didn't exist. What was she thinking going outside like that? Of course she shouldn't go outside, how foolish was that? The mysterious 012 took her back home and she made sure to not tell Claude what had transpired. What kind of idiot would she be if she did that? Then he would be incentivized to keep trying to have her go out and socialize. "No, I don't want to! I have to stay home!" She clung to her one and only true friend, Mr. Stuffles, for comfort and help but Claude shook his head. "Liss, what's wrong with you? You were starting to get better, but it's like you took five steps backwards." She glowered, it wasn't worth telling him her adventures yesterday. "Look, you have to go to school today. If you don't, you won't get credit for the project."

So against her will Elsie found herself for the first time ever, wearing her school uniform with the hat that signified that she was a theater student, and was put in the care. "Good luck at school today, Miss Elise." Vincent said with a kindly not, taking the wheel. The rain had started up but there was a reason why umbrelas existed after all. Was it save for Elise to go out and cause rain? Was 012 somewhere nearby, watching her every move? While Gordon Grant was definitely a stalker, he was relatively harmless. Someone like 012 was definitely a threat. With a single word, he could have her made into a test subject, forced to submit or else be erased, stripped away from all of her joys and comforts at home and trapped in a tiny isolation cell with nothing inside but rotting air.

As Elise cowered under her parasol over her head she saw in particular two girls giving her an odd stare, a blonde girl, and one with pale lavender hair. Why were they staring at her? "Is this her? The Black Eagle came to school today?" She heard the whispers from other children around her. Was it that obvious that it was her? "Cl-Claude, I - I don't want to! I feel sick! I'm going to go home before I die a horrible death!" Or worse, be made a test subject of the Chrysanthemum. "Oh, how dramatic, it's not like going to school kills us." One of the other students murmured. The two girls vanished into the school, into the safety away from the pouring rain. "It's come close though!" Laughter, laughter, were they laughing at her? Liss didn't want to be here. Claude gripped her hand hard but she wanted to bite him and escape. If Vincent hadn't driven off back to the estate, maybe she would have.

People were abuzz, talking about how Winter Matsuri was back in school too. So she was finally free from the isolation chamber? That made sense, they wouldn't want her to fail her classes, that would make it harder for them to justify keeping her locked up like a pitiful little slave. Right there in the trigonometry class was Winter Matsuri herself. Claude went right up to her with a wide chipper grin as if nothing went wrong at all. "Today's the presentation! We didn't get much time to practice, but I know we'll do just fine." He was no doubt trying to pull attention to him and Winter and not to Elise, who cowered in some random seat that looked unused, buried in the corner. Oh, how she wished she could go melt in the rain and become water, invisible, as if she never existed at all. Would she still be ugly? Would she still be horrendously disfigured?

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❝I put my arms around myself and I'm unbreakable.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#BDA0CB β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| [url=SONGURL]songname || artist[/url] ||




Winter's morning was uneventful. Janet woke her up, she got dressed in her uniform, ate breakfast, and got in the car. They drove straight to school, which was just what Winter was expecting. Nothing out of the ordinary, except for the bruise on her forehead, which she made no attempt to cover up. Why should she? It's not like there was any dramatic story behind it, she had merely slipped and fell. Of course, the slipping was due to ice of her own creation, which she could not recall making and now her sleeping pills were going to be locked up, but Winter couldn't remember why she wanted to flush them down the toilet either thanks to the bump on her head. "Good morning Winter!" Serenity was waiting for her at the door. Winter stiffened, trying to move past her and to her locker. She needed to get her stuff for their presentation today. It was bad enough she would need to tell Claude to leave her be.

"Good morning," Winter murmured, trying to walk around her. Serenity didn't move, her expression was one full of pity as her gaze settled on the shiner on Winter's head. She brushed her hair over it and walked around her successfully this time. "Winter, do you, um, want to meet after school? I heard you were really good at history and I could use some help." Winter shook her head, "I'm sorry, I have rehearsals after school." A lie, but a palpable one. "Oh! I didn't know you did drama!" Serenity's expression was one of surprise, "I thought you were the type to keep to yourself..." she trailed off, following Winter as she went to her locker. "Serenity!" Mrs. Tenor yelled, "stop following Ms. Matsuri around or I will have you go to the principal's office!" Winter breathed a sigh of relief, it seemed Mrs. Tenor thought she was being bullied again.

"Y-yes Ma'am!" Serenity shuffled off, leaving Winter to grab her textbook and school tablet, which she placed in her bag. She went to triginomatry, taking her time in getting to the classroom and sitting in a spot in the middle, not wanting to call attention to herself. "Oh good, it seems you decided to show up this week." Their Professor said teased as he walked into the room. "I expect you did the homework on the school portal?" Winter nodded, handing him the thick folder. "I did all of it," she said softly. He frowned as he looked at her, "Winter, is there something happening at home we need to be made aware of?" He asked quietly, kneeling down to brush her hair aside. The higher up's in the school were vaguely aware of Winter's situation, although they were made to believe that it was for Winter's personal protection.

"No, I slipped and fell, I just hit my head." She looked away quickly, the Professor nodding and taking the folder with him to his desk. The students trickled in, there were still a few minutes to the bell. It was with dread that she noticed Claude and Elise entering and wondered what Elise was doing there. It seemed that Claude had probably forced her to attend for their presentation. "Judging by how many times we went over the material, I should think that we'll ace this." Winter said casually, not meeting his gaze. "Claude," she rose slowly, the bell was about to ring. "After our presentation is over. Please don't ever contact me again. And stay out of my business."

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❝I put my arms around myself and I'm unbreakable.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#BDA0CB β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| [url=SONGURL]songname || artist[/url] ||




Winter's morning was uneventful. Janet woke her up, she got dressed in her uniform, ate breakfast, and got in the car. They drove straight to school, which was just what Winter was expecting. Nothing out of the ordinary, except for the bruise on her forehead, which she made no attempt to cover up. Why should she? It's not like there was any dramatic story behind it, she had merely slipped and fell. Of course, the slipping was due to ice of her own creation, which she could not recall making and now her sleeping pills were going to be locked up, but Winter couldn't remember why she wanted to flush them down the toilet either thanks to the bump on her head. "Good morning Winter!" Serenity was waiting for her at the door. Winter stiffened, trying to move past her and to her locker. She needed to get her stuff for their presentation today. It was bad enough she would need to tell Claude to leave her be.

"Good morning," Winter murmured, trying to walk around her. Serenity didn't move, her expression was one full of pity as her gaze settled on the shiner on Winter's head. She brushed her hair over it and walked around her successfully this time. "Winter, do you, um, want to meet after school? I heard you were really good at history and I could use some help." Winter shook her head, "I'm sorry, I have rehearsals after school." A lie, but a palpable one. "Oh! I didn't know you did drama!" Serenity's expression was one of surprise, "I thought you were the type to keep to yourself..." she trailed off, following Winter as she went to her locker. "Serenity!" Mrs. Tenor yelled, "stop following Ms. Matsuri around or I will have you go to the principal's office!" Winter breathed a sigh of relief, it seemed Mrs. Tenor thought she was being bullied again.

"Y-yes Ma'am!" Serenity shuffled off, leaving Winter to grab her textbook and school tablet, which she placed in her bag. She went to triginomatry, taking her time in getting to the classroom and sitting in a spot in the middle, not wanting to call attention to herself. "Oh good, it seems you decided to show up this week." Their Professor said teased as he walked into the room. "I expect you did the homework on the school portal?" Winter nodded, handing him the thick folder. "I did all of it," she said softly. He frowned as he looked at her, "Winter, is there something happening at home we need to be made aware of?" He asked quietly, kneeling down to brush her hair aside. The higher up's in the school were vaguely aware of Winter's situation, although they were made to believe that it was for Winter's personal protection.

"No, I slipped and fell, I just hit my head." She looked away quickly, the Professor nodding and taking the folder with him to his desk. The students trickled in, there were still a few minutes to the bell. It was with dread that she noticed Claude and Elise entering and wondered what Elise was doing there. It seemed that Claude had probably forced her to attend for their presentation. "Judging by how many times we went over the material, I should think that we'll ace this." Winter said casually, not meeting his gaze. "Claude," she rose slowly, the bell was about to ring. "After our presentation is over. Please don't ever contact me again. And stay out of my business."

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Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝Close your eyes, don't see what's in front of you.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#0C94CC β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







Elise felt sick as she was forced to go to school. The Chrysanthemum City Center was an academy that showed the top ten students and their average scores on a virtual score board. Elise was consistently in the top spot, ranking number one, putting her above everyone else in the school. Not only were people staring at her with curiosity and mockery, but also envy. They were jealous of her grades, they were jealous of the fact that she didn't have to attend classes if she didn't wish to. The rain was only growing stronger and she tried not to shiver, her fingers twitching as they tried to reach for a big cow plushie that was not here. Predictably, as both Elise and Claude expected this, Winter was threatened into trying to cut off the budding friendship. Threatened with erasure, with having her death faked and then be locked away for all eternity.

Claude was, naturally, prepared for this kind of response. "Aww, are you shy? Don't worry, I won't let them erase you." He winked at her, his mouth an easy smile full of guile. He wasn't silver tongued for nothing after all. "You just sit tight, and I'll rescue the princess in the cage she doesn't know is a cage." He didn't need her friendship, he didn't need her cooperation. He already had all the data he needed to proceed, and the Minister of Childcare agreed to cooperate if there was a need for it. There were a few gasps already, some people were definitely charmed by Claude's striking smile, the former star could practically see the hearts in their eyes as they stared at him. "Just sit tight, I'll handle the rest." He went to his seat, only one diagonal away from where Winter's desk was, and calmly began scribbling notes down.

The teacher who Elise couldn't remember the name of due to all the care and attention she put to remembering other people's names decided to call up groups to do their presentations now. There were a few who did it but Elise didn't particularly care. She decided to stare out the window. She didn't need to go to class or listen to lectures. She got her phenomenal grades just by staying at home and studying on her own time with her own comforts. "Look at her, she thinks she's too good to even listen." She heard someone say, mocking her. Elise decided to cling to her family's coat of arms, the black eagle crest she and Claude shared pressed against the collars of their uniforms.

So Elise decided to perform. As Claude gave the introduction to their product, Elise began forming the character in her head. "So we decided to tackle a problem that many students face. It's just so hard trying to prove identities in trigonometry? To figure out the different forms of san and cos and even tan! Well, we managed to come up with a solution!" Claude clicked the remote, the next slide showing up, Winter's work showing to them. Elise's part was in the middle, putting the weakest speaker where she could do the least amount of damage.

So they all wanted to hate her? Fine, Elise would let them. An arrogant smirk came to her face as she sneered, cruelty and malice marking her features. "Unlike all of you who decided to create silly prototypes, the three of us designed a full product, ready to be made and sold for the public." The black eagle pulled out her phone and brought up the trigonometric identities calculator. "Using this tool that I programmed with my own hands, I have created something most of you couldn't possibly hope to match! A device to assist in proving and solving trigonometry identities, with easy intuitive controls, and a clear and friendly interface, customizeable for font and colors!"

A smug smile graced her small face and her ruby eyes gleamed as she crossed her arms, showing a few test equations to prove that the calculator worked as required. "Our device can do what all of yours can do, but in one package! Who needs a whole lot of appliances when this one calculator can do it all for you?" She reveled in the hatred the other students looked upon her with, relishing the character she made for herself, speaking in a very clear voice that projected nicely through the room. She looked towards Winter with disdain then, allowing her to say the finishing touches. Claude was somewhere between laughing and amazed that Elise went so far off of his script.

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Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝I put my arms around myself and I'm unbreakable.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#BDA0CB β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| [url=SONGURL]songname || artist[/url] ||




"I don't need your help Claude. I'm not some sort of damsel in distress." Winter grit her teeth, he was mocking her. What did he think this would accomplish? Winter didn't know. "Stay out of my business. Or else," she sat back down, her legs especially unsteady today. Her head was throbbing, the bell rang, it was time for class to begin. Winter scooted her cane underneath her seat so that people could walk by easily and pretended to pay attention to the presentations before her own. Winter wasn't interested in her classmates or their lives, in fact, she had made a point of avoiding them. If only she had never decided to come to class that day, then she wouldn't be having all these problems. Winter glowered at the board, unaware that she was making such a face until someone gave her a weird look.

She straightened, it was their turn. Winter took her time setting up the projector for their power point, fiddling with the controls until it was just right. Once that was taken care of, she joined Claude and Elise at the front of the class, allowing Claude to begin the presentation while she clicked through the slides. Everything was going flawlessly, until Elise took Winter's critique a bit too seriously and seemed to come up with an entire persona. Winter stared, a bit wide eyed, wondering what had possessed her to come up with such a personality change. Outside, the rain had cleared up, which Winter noticed immediately. She glanced at Elise, wondering if she had noticed, then shook her head. It was her turn, but why was Elise looking down her nose at Winter?

"The calculator is available to download from the school app store. We would very much appreciate your show of support. It's also been calculated so that you cannot preprogram it to cheat, so please don't get any ideas." There, they were done. She disconnected her phone from the projector and took her seat, stuffing her phone into her backpack. As soon as class was over, Winter took her belongings and cleared out, heading straight for the music room. She didn't want to talk to anyone, she didn't want to go to her next class, where she knew they would be assigned another group orject because the teacher had mentioned it the day before. Winter sat on the piano bench, taking off her gloves. She felt frustrated with herself, she had hoped that Claude would back off, but it seemed that he simply to ruin her life.

She hadn't realized she had fallen asleep at the piano bench until the door to the music room opened. Winter sat up slowly, rubbing her eyes. Who was there? She looked around, but didn't see anyone. Something suddenly pressed against her mouth and nose, a slightly sweet smelling rag. She gagged, struggling, ice shooting from her fingertips, but whoever had a grip around her avoided it easily. She flailed, struggling, reaching for her cane, but the drug took over too quickly and Winter's body went limp. Her cane fell to the ground, the tracker that Winter normally wore on her ankle wrapped around the base of it.

She awoke in a brightly lit bedroom, a girl's bedroom, she realized. She was tied up, her wrists bound, her gloves having been placed back on her hands. Where was she? There was a rag tied around her mouth, muffling her screams. "Shh, shh, it's okay!" A blurry figure suddenly came into view. Mercedes, from school. "I'm glad you woke up, I was getting worried Serenity used too much of that stuff." Winter wanted to scream. "Are you hungry?" Mercedes asked, she had a bag of chips and a bottle of soda, stuff Winter hadn't touched because it wasn't on her health plan. "I'll take this off if you promise not to scream." Her cane, where was her cane? She looked around, but it was nowhere in sight. "It's alright, we won't hurt you."

Mercedes removed the rag from her mouth, "I'm sorry about this, after Serenity saw the bruise, we knew we couldn't wait any longer. They're hurting you, aren't they?" Mercedes opened the bag of chips, holding one out. "No, I told Serenity already that I slipped and fell." It was clear that Mercedes didn't believe her. Were they sisters? Maybe they shared an apartment? "You need to let me go, before something bad happe-" Mercedes stuffed a chip into her mouth. Salty and crunchy, just as she remembered them. She swallowed, about to protest again when Mercedes put another chip in her mouth. "You're not solving anything by doing this." Winter said angrily, it was clear she was being ignored.

"We're solving a lot, actually. We covered our tracks, we left your tracker and Serenity and I both have a cover story. You don't have to be their slave anymore Winter." She struggled, "I know you won't do anything to damage your hands and there's no point in binding your legs. I'm sure, after a few weeks, once they can't find you, they'll give up."

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Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝Close your eyes, don't see what's in front of you.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#0C94CC β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







Claude always was a bit of a snake. A good hearted one, but a snake nonetheless. Someone like him held people at a distance. He was always friendly and composed, but he never truly let people in. He wasn't doing this for Winter's friendship. He no doubt couldn't care less what Winter thought of him, but was simply doing what he thought was right. He was bullied a lot when he was a child, and to Claude, bystanders were just as guilty as the bullies themselves. So naturally, Claude vowed to not be like those who allowed him to be beaten and hurt. "It'll be okay. I'll take care of everything. You're wonderful and talented, Winter, I'm just giving you a helping hand." He gave her an easy wink and then the presentations began. The rain continued, droning on and on...

But then it cleared up as the mask was put on. Elise transformed herself into the arrogant elitist everyone thought she was. She exchanged a quick glance with Winter before looking away. "My." The teacher said in surprise once the presentation was over. "You really are quite the refined young lady." Liss have the teacher a harsh stare, as if she were evaluating her for every word. The teacher let out a cough, clearing her throat, and allowed the other students to begin their presentations. "Geez, Liss, what were you thinking? Who knew you had it in you?" She gave him a judgmental stare, one that was clearly unimpressed. "How jealous, I'd love a brother like him." She heard someone say behind her. All the girls were fawning over him as always. Just as planned though, Elise made sure to plant a little drop of water on Winter, having it cling sneakily to her. It would trace her for the next twelve hours. If the Government tried to do anything fishy like move her, Elise would be able to know.

As school ended Elise expected to sense the drop of water make it's move back towards where she knew Winter's residence to be - either that, or the isolation chamber. What she didn't expect was for the drop to go in an entirely different direction, going somewhere else. What was going on? She didn't know, but she had a feeling this would be up to her to solve. Ame would never stop yelling at her if she didn't follow. "I'm going to take a walk." She said clearly to Claude, putting a hand on her hip as classes ended for the day. "Alright. I have a meeting with Gordon, so I'll see you back at home." He smiled, clearly impressed. "Try coming to school more often. It'll be good for you, you know?"

Elise was a coward and afraid of everything. But with her new mask as an arrogant and cruel young lady, hopefully this would convince people to stay away and leave her alone. However, she expected having to sneak around a government facility. She turned around just in time to spot 012 following her. "Hello." He gave a little smile. "It's odd for you to be around here at this time. Shouldn't you know not to wander about?" Elise gave him a cold stare, trying to hide the fear inside. "I'd prefer if you didn't stalk me. Or would you rather I scream for help and cry that the Government is stalking me for getting involved with Winter's case?"

012 smiled, almost amused by her. Why was he so infuriating to deal with? "You became feisty all of a sudden. Who would have thought the reclusive little Black Eagle could have such fire?" Was he mocking her? She didn't want to be part of this. Before she could reprimand him his phone suddenly lit up. "Subject X is missing? Okay, I'm on my way." 012 sighed, almost as if he were disappointed. "Looks like I have to go help find Subject X. I suspect she's up to her usual tricks again." He gave her a wave and went off somewhere. The black eagle made sure her pursuer vanished before she continued tracking down Winter.

The door to the building she could sense Winter in was locked, but that was no problem. Ame taught Elise how to handle this. She used water to slip the lock, allowing her to enter the house without any difficulties. "Once they can't find you, they'll give up." She heard a voice speaking. "Wait, Mercy, I heard something. Did the door open?" Mercy? Elise didn't know anyone by that name. This wasn't Janet though, something else had to be happening here. "Siri, wait here, I'll go check things out."

So Elise found herself face to face with a tall girl with a natural tan thanks to the sun. Blonde, lively, the complete opposite of Elise. "Who - Elise Von Hresvelg? Why, how did you get in here?" Elise scowled, trying to muster up her bravery. "I doubt you're in a position to talk. You abducted Winter Matsuri." She was tied up and gagged in the corner of all places. "How did you-" It was as if a light lit up in the blonde girl's hair. "Are you the rain girl? The last one we're looking for?"

The former star narrowed her eyes, frowning. "So can you explain to me exactly what's happening here?" She would refuse to confirm or deny their suspicion.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝I put my arms around myself and I'm unbreakable.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#BDA0CB β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| [url=SONGURL]songname || artist[/url] ||




Winter's heart pounded in her chest, they were going to get in trouble, all of them. If they traced Winter here, they would realize that the others knew about her. They would know that they had abilities too. "WHy couldn't you just stay away from me?" Winter asked softly, "That's all I asked. I just wanted to be left alone," her shoulders slumped. There were no more chips in the bag, Winter had to find a way out of here. She couldn't leave though, she couldn't go downstairs without her cane and she could tell by the window that this was a two floor house. She couldn't go anywhere. "You're going to be alright, don't worry. Once they realize they can't find you, they'll give up and then we'll be able to sleep at night, knowing we helped save you." Save her? Save her? Winter was shaking, it was hilarious, it really was. "You've just killed me." Her shoulders were slumped, she felt as though she was going to hyperventilate.

"What do you mean?" Serenity knelt down to wipe the sweat from Winter's brow with a paper towel. It was too hot in here, she felt like she was going to die from the heat. "Please, just let me go. Leave me on a street somewhere, please. I can take the fall for this, just let me go." She begged them, but they wouldn't hear anything of it. They were going to make themselves targest, or worse, enemies of the Chrysanthemum. Winter felt as though she was going to hyperventilate, sweat dripping down her back. "Hey, just breathe, okay?" Serenity dabbed at her forehead again, but Winter was panicking. She never felt nervous, she never panicked, not since she had started seeing the psychologist. She used to have panic attacks regularly, after the terrorist attack. She couldn't leave the house without having one, but over the years they had gone away.

"You're going to be alright, do you need water?" She nodded, feeling as though she couldn't breathe. Mercedes went to retrieve a glass, Serenity remaining with her. "We'll make sure nothing bad happens to you. They can't get through all three of us!" Three? Who was the third? Unless they really expected Winter to fight back? Didn't they know how much trouble she could get into! Mercedes returned, holding the glass up to Winter's lips so she could drink since her hands were tied. "We saw what you did, you're the vassal for snow, right?" Serenity asked, trying to move on to a new topic. Winter nodded slowly, uncertain how they knew. "I'm the sunshine!" Serenity said with pride, Mercedes nudging her "and I'm the wind!" So they were vassals too? That made this situation all the more dangerous. Winter couldn't panic again though, she needed to think rationally.

The door downstairs opened, Mercedes standing quickly. "I'll go see who it is Siri," she disappeared, there was yelling and then stomping on the staircase, the door bursting open. They accused Elise of being the one that could control the rain, which Winter had concluded a while ago. She hadn't realized there were others until she met Elise. Up until this point, she had believed that she was entirely alone with this strange power, all stemming from a wish not to die that day. "We kidnapped Winter to save her from those people!" Serenity said nervously, Mercedes nodding. "We thought that if we could bring her here and wait it out, that they'll eventually deem it a lost cause and forget about her!"

"But now that you're here, you can help us!" Mercedes said quickly. "You're rich and stuff, you probably have a vacation house or something we could move Winter to. I already took care of her tracking device and phone and we covered our tracks. We'll go to school normally during the day to make sure not to draw suspicion to ourselves either." So they would leave Winter alone and bound in their apartment? She felt like she was going to vomit. "Elise, please tell them to let me go. I have to go back." Didn't any of them realize how bad this situation was? Weren't they afraid of getting caught? "Winter doesn't even realize she needs saving!" Serenity said, hugging Winter as though she were some sort of lost child.

"Elise, tell Winter she has to stay here or else!" Mercedes countered, wondering if they could get through to Winter through Elise.

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Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝Make them hate the fake, that way they won't see the real you.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#0C94CC β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







Elise sighed, wondering just what to do. What Mercedes and Serenity were proposing was something she wasn't at all comfortable about. And Winter most definitely did not agree with anything that they were saying. What was the right way to go about this? As a celebrity who once lived in the limelight Liss knew all about the fear and terror of being abducted. She wasn't the most empathetic person, but she knew this must not be a fun experience for Winter, who no doubt was also afraid that she would be erased simply because she was kidnapped. Knowing the Chrysanthemum they would blame Winter for this somehow. Not that this was at all any of her problem if not for Ame yelling at her in her head. They wanted her help to hide Winter away from the Chrysanthemum.

Obviously she couldn't just agree with that plan. There was far too much risk. While she needed to try and save Winter somehow, she wasn't willing to put herself at risk to do so. Elise wouldn't survive as a test subject, she needed her privacy and autonomy to survive and remain sane. "I can't do that." She said, keeping her tone haughty. She had to play the part of an arrogant little lady, snooty and elitist, too busy looking down on everyone to bother trying to be nice. Just why were Mercedes and Sereniry trying to get involved? "The people in our heads that made us vassals won't leave us alone, Winter, they keep telling us to save you. It's clear you're in some kind of danger." She snapped, tapping her foot before Winter could make any interjection.

However, this might just work out if she could play her cards correctly. "I'm not getting involved. My brother and I are seeking to solve this problem through legal means, and if the Government found out I was an accessory to her kidnapping, they would use that as evidence against us.'" She had to keep her record spotless and clean. "But if you promise to pretend I was never here, I'll give you money to do as you wish. Maybe if Winter's with you, Ame will stop complaining in my head every night." Obviously, since the Chrysanthemum controlled many things, they also had ways to manage and check bank accounts. She couldn't just straight up transfer money over, that would get her easily traced.

"Tomorrow, I will withdraw money. Then we will meet up at the Chrysanthemum's blight spot and I will give you the physical cash." She said, narrowing her eyes at both Serenity and Mercedes. The blind spot was a pub near the black market where criminals ruled and the Chrysanthemum had no power. It was a dangerous locale, but the best place to make a transfer like this. "I - the Blind Spot?" Serenity looked at Mercedes. "That's a little dangerous, Mercy..." But Mercedes shook her head. "It's okay, Siri. I'm tougher than you, so I'll go to the meeting tomorrow. After school then?"

She then knelt down to Winter, frowning at the bonds. Was this any way to treat a girl who's been nothing but a test subject for the last four years? She wouldn't touch anything though, she wasn't going to leave behind any DNA evidence. "You're afraid of being erased. Claude won't let that happen. If the Chrysanthemum erases you, there'll be nothing stopping Claude from releasing all the information we gathered to the public." That fear was why Winter didn't want to be here, why she thought she needed to go back. She wasn't interested in befriending anyone, but it would be good if Winter wasn't panicking in abject fear and terror the whole time. "Just in case this plan of yours doesn't work out, I suggest roughing Winter up a little. A few bruises would be quite convincing." That way Winter would be able to argue that she tried her best to fight back.

Elise turned to leave then, her job finished for now. Would this be enough to satiate Ame? "Just don't hurt her hands. Her music is wonderful." As she closed the door behind her and tried to sneak her way away from this building, she sighed, her knees still trembling. That was really scary. It was strange how easy it was to hide all of her fear and insecurity behind the character she invented. Maybe like this she would be okay.

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Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝I put my arms around myself and I'm unbreakable.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#BDA0CB β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| [url=SONGURL]songname || artist[/url] ||




Elise did not help convince them to release her, in fact, she seemed strangely in favor of this kidnapping. Of course, she wasn't the one whose entire life was unravelling again. "I don't need saving!" She snapped, more out of fear than anything. "I don't need anyone's help! That's what I've been telling everyone, but none of you are listening!" She felt as though she wasn't being heard. She was talking, but no one cared about what she had to say, no one thought about what Winter wanted. She was tired and stressed, she was sick of people not listening to her. Winter bit back tears as her eyes stung. She couldn't cry, not here. That would be like admitting defeat. She would find a way out of this and try to get back to Janet before something worse happened.

They were making arrangements to meet tomorrow, why was Elise giving them money? Did she pay them to do this? They were all connected, somehow. Even if Elise was feigning ignorance, she was just as guilty. If she wasn't going to help Winter, then she was against her. It was always like this, wasn't it? Winter against the world. "Claude is an idiot if he truly thinks he can take on Doc." Winter bit back, "releasing the information to the public won't do anything." No one was going to be outraged over one girl. If there were dozens of them, perhaps, but Winter alone was not worth kicking up a fuss over. What would they do anyway? Make her life hell? Would they stalk her in the halls, picket in front of the apartment building? Claude thought he was really doing something, didn't he? She was a nobody, a name people thought of in passing when they saw her listed in the competition ranks, but if you read those, she was no one. Anomynous, the way she should have kept herself.

"Alright," Serenity agreed, nervous. They watched as Elise left, Mercedes following her down the stairs to lock the door behind her. "Sorry about this Winter," she was punched in the face, another hit coming from somewhere else. She couldn't defend herself, not with her weak legs and tied up hands. There was blood leaking from her lip and forehead. Her side creaked and she was certain her arm was broken. "Mercy, that's enough! Stop it!" Serenity pulled her away. She hadn't even touched her, Winter realized, she had used whatever her wind ability was to hit Winter with the force of a tornado. Her school uniform was torn, slipping down her shoulder and her beret was somewhere across the room. Winter was panting when the barrage at last ended, helpless. "Here, I'll help her to the bath. Mercy, you make dinner, okay?" Mercedes nodded, disappearing. Serenity lifted her, much larger and taller than Winter.

"You're so small, I can carry you like a baby." Serenity truly thought that was a compliment, didn't she? Once Winter was cleaned up, she dressed her in an old, wrinkled shirt that slipped down her shoulders and a pair of underwear that did not belong to her. "You don't have to tie my hands up, it's not like I can get away anyway. Not without my cane," she couldn't walk without it, she would be completely off balance. "O-okay," Serenity untied her hands, handing Winter her gloves, which she shoved back on. "Wow, your fingers are blue! Is that why you wear gloves all the time?" Serenity clasped one of Winter's hands in her own, "they're freezing! Has it been like this since you became a vassal?" Winter shook her head, "No, only the last few months." She admitted, it was a result of trying to run from her identity, of trying to reject it.

"Dinner!" Mercedes called from the other room. "Are you two sisters?" Winter asked as Serenity carried her, one of her eyes was already swelling shut from being hit. "No, we're just friends. Our parents both sent us here to learn and we've been rooming since we met at school." She placed Winter down at the table, instant noodles and some sort of meat that looked slightly burnt. Food high in sodium and carbs, Janet would never approve of this. Winter ate slowly, aware of their staring. "Wow, you really eat with your gloves on, huh?" Mercedes seemed almost amused. "Mercy, don't bother her! She's trying to eat!" Serenity shoved her, nearly spilling their noodles. They made a bed for her in the closet, out of pillows and blankets and tied her wrists back up, just in case. Winter barely got a wink of sleep, too worried to rest.

When she finally did drift off, Mercedes awoke her because she had been screaming. There were tears in her eyes, she realized and two girls looking over her worriedly. "Hey, are you alright? Is this a normal thing?" Mercedes asked, frowning. "Do you need a hug?" Serenity asked. Winter shook her head, trying to push away from them. "I'm fine," she whispered, laying back down. They left her alone until morning, but Winter wasn't able to fall back to sleep. Mercedes and Serenity would both be going to school, Winter would be remaining here, her wrists left tied up, just in case. "Here's the TV remote and I left you snacks on the table, okay?" Serenity was clearly worried about leaving her. "Siri, we've gotta go. She'll be fine, she can't go anywhere anyway." How long had they been watching her that they knew this? How did they know to deliberately leave her cane behind? Was it purposeful? Malicious?

Winter watched them leave, the lock engaging behind them. She bit at the ropes binding her wrists, attempting to loosen the knot. Once she managed to wiggle that loose, she crawled around the room, agonizingly slow, looking around for a phone. No landline. She turned on the television, flickering through the channels, eventually finding the news. There, exactly what she was expecting. "An Amber Alert has been issued for a student attending the Chrysanthemum City Center. You may have heard her name before. Ms. Winter Matsuri, a musical prodigy, supposedly disappeared at school into thin air, leaving behind her cane, phone, and schoolbag. Authorities say it is impossible for Winter to walk on her own and are treating this as a suspected kidnapping. If you have any information on Ms. Matsuri's whereabouts please contact 555-555-1005."

You know it's bad when a teenager leaves behind their phone-


There was a picture of her from her most recent competition, taken only last week. She changed channels quickly, anxiety welling up inside of her once more.

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Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝Make them hate the fake, that way they won't see the real you.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#0C94CC β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







Of course, Elise had another plan. Of course she did. Hoping for the government to simply forget about Winter after a few weeks? Did Mercy and Siri not understand how unlikely it was for that to happen? No, Elise knew that that was never going to happen, but she had a better idea. Her idea involved taking advantage of the fact that Mercedes and Serenity seemed to trust in her, for some reason. The news of Winter's abduction was made public and that night Ame continued to chastise Elise in the foggy playground. "You call that saving? Come on, my vassal, you can do better than that! Those girls were misguided, there has to be a better way! Save her, you have to save her!" Elise scowled at her, too used to her new venomous persona that it leaked into the dream. "Will you just leave me alone? I'm sick of hearing you complaining! I have to do this carefully or the Chrysanthemum will have me a test subject, is that what you want, Ame?"

But Ame did not seem to understand.

"The Government sent me a message." Claude told Elise the next morning. "They won't give me an official response to our demands until after Winter is returned safe and sound." He grit his teeth, shaking his head. "Dammit, what did I do wrong? Did I miscalculate something?" To Claude who knew nothing other than Winter having powers he no doubt blamed himself for this. Shortly after cooperating with Gordon Grant, Winter went missing. "Are they erasing her? How do we know they didn't take her kidnapping? Was this my fault?" He grit his teeth, clenching his fist tight. "I don't know." Elise muttered, hugging Mr. Stuffles for comfort. "But could you please leave my room?" He went off to school then, but it was clear he was cursing himself for failing Winter.

This time Elise knew better of course. As she went to the Blind Spot pub by the black market district, Elise made sure to bring Vincent with her. "Milady, I will protect you." As a servant of the Hresvelg family he knew not to ask questions, and not to reveal secrets. Mercedes crossed her arms, looking vaguely uncomfortable here. An innocent popular girl whose pastimes were pop singers and military grants from General Edmund, a war hero famed throughout the Chrysanthemum, she was definitely out of place. Then again, a Hresvelg lady had no reason to be here either. "Here, use it to keep her secure and safe." She said, ordering Vincent to hand over the unmarked briefcase. Mercedes took it as Vincent took it to her after doing a little bow. "Is it enough to buy a place?"

"What? No." Elise frowned, as if considering Mercedes to be an idiot. "You can buy food and clothes for her with his money, and cream for her bruises." Mercedes puffed out her cheek, a little bit put off by the haughty Hresvelg lady. "O-okay. Thank you very much! We won't tell anyone you were involved!" No one overheard them of course. In the pub, everyone was busy having their own shady conversations. With the loud din of the pub, no one could clearly hear what anyone else was saying. It really was the perfect place to discuss. "I'm leaving now. Don't make mistakes." The transaction done, Elise went home. She had to wait a little, she couldn't just act without giving it any time.

Throughout the week Claude continued to look more haggard. As he and Gordon searched desperately for where Winter may be. Obviously, they wouldn't get any information from the Chrysanthemum. Elise knew now was the time to act, two days was enough time to cause enough suspense. "Come with me, Vincent." She said, speaking calmly to the Butler. "We're going to save Winter Matsuri." He nodded, following after her. She would need his help in order to do this. "I'll go wherever you ask, Milady." Vincent said, his mustache twitching as he spoke.

The rain was pouring outside of the flat. It was the middle of the day, so Serenity and Mercedes were doubtlessly still at school. Vincent took down the door and lead the charge into the flat. Winter was still there of course, and Elise gave her a distinct frown. Really, if only Winter understood just how much danger she was in - if she wasn't in danger, why would the masters in their heads be always begging them to save her? - but it was fine, Elise didn't care about that. "Winter, do you want out? She tapped her foot, trying to get the girl's attention. "I'll free you. I don't like sun and wind anyways. But only if you promise me a few things." Vincent smiled next to her, wiping everything to make sure there weren't any fingerprints, including on Winter herself.

"You won't tell them anything, tell them you don't know who the captors were." Would Winter agree to the plan? Vincent in the meantime was placing fake fingerprints on Winter's clothes. Why did Elise meet up with Mercedes at the Blind Spot? To steal one of the vagrant criminal's fingerprints, obviously. They replicated his hand using the power of money and now Vincent was planting the prints on Winter's clothes and face. "I'm sorry, miss, it won't hurt, I promise." He spoke cordially, bowing his head to her. "Don't tell them about Serenity or Mercedes... or me either. Can I trust you?" The only hint that Elise was absolutely terrified and afraid was a tiny twitch in her eye, but otherwise, her mask of arrogant confidence was flawless.

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Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝I put my arms around myself and I'm unbreakable.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#BDA0CB β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| [url=SONGURL]songname || artist[/url] ||




"How did you get the ropes off?!" Serenity asked in alarm when they returned to find Winter sitting in a chair, eating from a bowl of instant noodles. "I bit through the knot," ishe replied bluntly, careful not to spill on herself. The water in the noodles was cold, considering she was unable to reach the sink and had to crawl around to get anywhere. Her knees were scraped up, making it obvious how she was forced to crawl undecently around on the carpet. The indignity of it was enough to make Winter want to scream. Still, she did what she had to in order to in order to take care of her needs. She had been able to stand long enough to rinse her mouth with the mouthwash they kept on the sink. She was covered in even more bruises and cuts, having fallen horrifically down the stairs, only to find that the lock on their door was bio rigged.

Winter had ended up crawling back up the stairs, since there was no banister. She was lucky she hadn't hurt her hands in the process, very lucky. "We should bandage those-" Serenity said quietly, but Mercedes stopped her. "No, remember what Elise said? In case Winter gets caught, it should look like she was roughed up a little. This is supposed to be a random kidnapping." That stopped Serenity quickly, "then at least let me take her to the bathroom to wash the blood off!" Mercedes made dinner while Serenity bathed her like a child. They had bought her clothing, as though they intended for her to be here for a long time. "When can I go home?" Winter asked quietly. "Um, we were hoping that this could be your home now! Once we figure some things out. Elise gave us enough money for a proper bed too! So we'll buy one soon, alright?"

Dinner that night was take out, greasy fried chicken and french fries. Winter barely touched it, picking at the same two french fries the entire time. They hardly noticed, of course. Serenity and Mercedes were busy with their homework while Winter sat in the corner, watching TV quietly, a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The next day wasn't much better, Mercedes found a thicker rope to tie her wrists with. They left everything within close enough range, including a bucket for her to pee in. "Sorry, we'll try to do better tomorrow!" Serenity apologized as she ran out the door, but Mercedes didn't seem sorry. In fact, she wouldn't stop staring at Winter this morning, squinting at her strangely. By the second day, Winter had already withdrawn into herself.

The news was playing the same amber alert, using a different photo this time. She flipped the channel, holding the remote in both hands and awkwardly pressing the button. At some point, Winter drifted off and when she woke up, Mercedes and Serenity had returned. That night, when she screamed in her sleep, Mercedes hugged her until she stopped, bringing her a glass of water. "You're gonna be okay," she promised, closing the door to the closet. The next week, everyday was the same. Winter would turn on the television for an hour, watch the amber alert and fall asleep until Mercedes and Serenity returned. She was barely sleeping and sleep was out of the equation as well. Most of the time, she stared at the closet door, feeling squished in the small space and wanting to pull her hair out.

She barely spoke three words for the rest of the week. Serenity and Mercedes went off to school, saying goodbye, leaving cereal and instant noodles close enough for Winter to reach them. Her wrists were chaffed from the ropes, angry red burns beneath them and her bruises looked worse, if that was somehow possible. She had drifted off when something downstairs jolted her awake. The door was being forced open. Was it a break in? Or maybe... a rescue? "I'm up here!" Winter screamed from behind the closed door of the bedroom. "I'm in here!" If it was a break in, maybe if they realized that a kidnapped girl was here, they would still call the police? There was stomping on the stairs, then the door flew open. Her heart soared, then sank.

It was Elise and Vincent. What were they doing here? Didn't Elise say that she was going to stay out of this? "I won't tell anyone anything." Winter promised, wanting to get out of here. "I promise, I won't tell them the names of anyone involved. I'll say that they kept me blind folded."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝Make them hate the fake, that way they won't see the real you.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#0C94CC β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







Now was the moment. Would Winter agree to cooperate or was she stubborn to the end? Elise hoped that she could trust her, she hoped that Winter was true to her word because if this went wrong this could be very bad. "I'm still..." Her mask faltered for a moment and she frowned. Winter said that she would do as necessary, she would not say any names, she would not reveal anything. But Elise had no way to make sure that Winter was being honest here. She could easily be lying just to make Elise release her. Was there a way to be sure? "If you tell them about us... it's obvious the Chrysanthemum wants to do something with our powers. They're keeping a strong hold on you for a reason." She twitched, anxiety spiking. "But you made it clear you don't care, you're content. It wasn't my idea to meddle, and I think Mercedes and Serenity are idiots for doing something like this.'

The truth was, Winter would have been found eventually. Serenity and Mercedes didn't have any backup plan to protect themselves so it was up to Elise to clean up the mess for them. The "weather vassals" or whatever they were called - the black eagle had a feeling she did not want the Chrysanthemum to gather all four of them. Even having control over Winter to the point of brainwashing her into thinking she didn't deserve better - Elise sighed. "I'll try to tell Claude to back off. But if you're lying right now, he'll only try harder to save you." Honesty was the best policy now. Did Winter understand what was at stake? Her mouth made a troubled sort of frown, curving subtly downwards, ruby eyes gleaming. "...It's your life. Live as a slave, or be free, it's up to you. I don't care."

"Vincent, can you hurt me?" Vincent looked at her, startled, the old man taken aback. "M-Mlady? What are you asking of me? How could I turn my hand on you?" Elise frowned, rubbing at her arm. Was she ready for this? She wasn't sure, but if her plan was going to work, she needed to do this. "A-and shoot me too." Her eyes were steady, but her heart was pounding. "How can I - what kind of servant would I-" She took his arm, gripping it with her meager strength. "Please, Vincent. This is more important than my body or life. Do it... but please try to not make it - no, it has to look authentic." Vincent sobbed as he broke her arm, as he punched her across the face and shot her in the shoulder with his handgun. Elise muffled her scream using a cloth, biting down as hard as she could, hyperventilating.

Vincent was still apologizing when Elise finally caught her breath. She pulled herself up and grimaced, digging at Winter's restraints. "Vincent... please, dive us somewhere." Vincent helped the two injured girls to his car and then took them to a place in the city that she didn't recognize, an empty section where no one was on the street. "Go home. I'll be fine." Guilt was clear on his face, seeing how Elise was struggling to breathe and shaking. But as a servant, he was not allowed to defy or question her orders. "Please come home safe, Milady." He whispered, driving off as the rain continued to worsen.

"Pretend... that I... found and... saved you." Elise panted, pulling her phone out and handing it to Winter. Her vision was getting blurry, the pain was more than she could have imagined. She wasn't used to this, but this was the only way. "Call... 009... get... help..." She didn't even notice as she passed out, falling to her knees, her breathing faint. The rain only grew stronger, washing away the blood, hiding the blood trail that might have existed.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝I put my arms around myself and I'm unbreakable.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#BDA0CB β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| [url=SONGURL]songname || artist[/url] ||




Winter screamed when Vincent shot Elise. There was blood pouring from the wound, staining the stairs, the car, and eventually the street. Elise tossed her phone to Winter, whose wrists were still tied, passing out right after. "Elise? Elise! Stay with me!" Winter screamed as she dialed 009. She waited, anxiety in the pit of her stomach until it went through to an operator. "009 this is Hellen, how can I help you?" She asked, sounding awfully chipper. "My friend's been shot!" Winter tried to keep her cool, she was shaking, her past trauma returning. "I see, do you know where you are?" Her tone became serious. Winter looked around, trying to find a street sign, trying to find anything to indicate where they were. "Violet Way and 42nd Street."

Hellen's tone became serious. "I'm sending out an emergency vehicle now. Can I have your name?" She asked, her voice firm. "Winter, Winter Matsuri. Please, she's going to die!" They were all going to die. "Winter, I need you to listen to me. Place the phone on speaker and put it on the ground." She did so, pressing the button. "Okay, what do I do now? My wrists are tied up!" She pulled off her gloves with her teeth, not wanting to get them dirty. "Do you have a piece of cloth or anything you could push into the wound? You need to stop the bleeding." She looked around frantically for a moment, then tore off a piece of her nightgown. "I've got cloth!" She folded it into a neat square and pushed it down against the wound. "Okay, keep pressing." Winter could hear the ambulances, she could hear the police.

"Keep pushing Winter, you can do this. Just a little longer now," she felt her vision grow spotty. She saw fire in the air, limbs sprawled. Ice crept down her fingers without her realizing it. Winter pressed her eyes shut, waiting, waiting. Then they were surrounded, both the conventional police and Chrysanthemum Officials. "Winter!" Janet was there, she ran towards her, but Winter's eyes were closed. "No, no! I can't let her die! I'm not going to lose another one!" She screamed as Janet pulled her off of Elise's body. "Winter, it's okay." She tried to soothe. The news cars were gathering as well, it was turning into quite the scene. Slowly Winter pried one eye open, then the other. "It's going to be alright," her vision was fuzzy, there were paramedics working on Elise.

"Don't worry, you're safe now." She carried Winter to an ambulance, this one all black instead of the normal red and blue one. Elise's body was no longer visible, it was blocked by the officials standing around her as Janet placed her down on the stretcher. Her vitals were taken, they made her lay back and cut off the rope binding her wrists. Elise would go to a normal hospital, where they would treat her like they would a normal human. An oxygen mask was pushed against her face and a strap laid across her chest. "My gloves," Winter slurred in her stupor, "I need my gloves." The oxygen smelled sweet, no doubt laced with muscle relaxers. "I have them," Janet climbed into the ambulance with her. She could see Elise being wheeled into a separate ambulance, the paramedics still surrounding her, working on her. The doors to the ambulance closed, there were no windows on them, like a normal ambulance might have.

She lay back against the stretcher, dizzy, too weak to move. "No... not my hand," she begged when the paramedic moved to start an IV. He hesitated, looked to Janet, who shook her head, and put it in the crook of her elbow instead. "I'm gonna give you something to help the pain, alright?" Winter nodded, her vision spinning seconds after it was given. She closed her eyes again, falling into a dreamless sleep.

She awoke in her old room, her body aching, bruised, but bandaged. Her cane was there, propped against the bed, her gloves on the desk. There was an IV in her arm and stitches in several places from her fall down the stairs. The door opened, no doubt they were watching her, waiting for her to wake up. The psychologist entered with two city police officers, Janet right behind them. "She probably isn't in the mood to answer questions." Winter really should learn that woman's name, she realized. They brought two chairs, Winter tried to sit up, but was just now realizing the amount of pain she was in. "Don't move too much, alright?" Janet pressed the button on her bed to prop it up. "Winter Matsuri? We just want to ask you a few questions." She nodded, knowing she didn't have a choice.

"How is Elise?" She asked first, her voice hoarse. It wouldn't surprise her if she had been screaming in her sleep again. "Alive, thanks to you. If you hadn't done what you did, no doubt she would have bled out." They did not mention the fact that the bleeding had only been stopped due to the ice Winter had unintentionally plugged into the bullet wound. "Do you know the names of your captors? Can you describe them? Can you tell us anything about the building?" Winter shook her head, "they kept me blindfolded the entire time. I know Elise fought them, she found me somehow and managed to carry me out before she collapsed." One of them was recording everything she said. "Could you tell if they were male or female?" Winter nodded, "one male one female, I think."

"Do you know what they wanted from you?"

She shook her head again. "Do you know why they targeted you?" Again, she shook her head. "Probably because I'm always alone," she tried to laugh, but it was humorless. The police thanked her for her time and left, leaving Winter with the psychologist. She glanced at her name tag, her heart skipping a beat. Hellen. Was it coincidence? Fate? She didn't know. "Try to get some rest, alright?" She smiled, waggling her fingers before she exited.

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Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝Make them hate the fake, that way they won't see the real you.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#0C94CC β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







Elise was not, actually, taken to the general children's hospital. When the doctors realized her identity as Elise von Hresvelg, they called up the current head of household. Jeralt von Hresvelg was out of the city right now, so Cynthia answered the line. "We have a special ward in our home for medical purposes. Her records aren't in the general stream, so please, give us custody over her." Due to her fame and fortune, she was allowed a private resting place, but a government official made sure to place a number in her pocket to be able to contact him with. The news people were sad, knowing they wouldn't be able to sneak onto Hresvelg property, so they satiated themselves with taking pictures of the sleeping eagle as she was wheeled to Vincent's car, stabilized and patched up.

Elise's eyes blurred back into vision. It was night time, there was an IV going into her arm. Claude was reading a book, and there was a little patch on his arm. Was it a blood transfusion? This wasn't the first time his blood was used to help her. She could vaguely remember the same thing happening before, after the bombing... "Cl-Claude?" She coughed, feeling weak and nauseous. There was a lot of weakness and her body felt as if she were trying to wade through water. Her left arm throbbed, which was a little irritating. It was her dominant arm, what was she going to do now? "Liss, what were you thinking? What the hell happened?" He was frantic. "Was it a government facility? Did they shoot you? If it was, we can try to sue them, for abduction and for harming-" She shook her head, she didn't want him to get the wrong idea. The Chrysanthemum was definitely evil, but they for once, had no hand in this.

"Wasn't... them." She groaned, wondering if she should reveal the truth. The way Claude's eyes bore into her own made her know that he wouldn't be satisfied until he knew the truth. So Elise stumbled, trying to explain that she found the wind and the sun, that she was the rain and that Winter was the snow. "They tried... to save her, but I-" Elise knew that kidnapping Winter would only get them caught and taken in for testing, while being officially having their fake deaths publicized. Mercedes and Serenity had a lifetime of tests and experiments if they continued the path they were treading. "Had to stop them. They were stupid." It was night time now. Was she out a whole day?"

Claude stared at her, bewildered. "But why did you put yourself at risk? Vincent tried to resign twelve times! Was he the one that-" She nodded, grimacing because she could feel the pain spiking back up again. Thankfully Cynthia thought of her need of privacy and had her moved to a secure location where the news and the Government wouldn't be swarming her. "Now I'm... considered a hero?" For nearly giving her life to save Winter. The revelation dawned in Claude's eyes and he growled, taking her hand and squeezing it. "Liss, we're going to save Winter. But that doesn't mean you have to put yourself at risk like this. Can you imagine what'd happen if we - if we lost you?" His eyes trembled just considering it.

But Elise didn't want to talk about it anymore. Still, she had a promise to make. Since she was apparently known as a hero now, that meant Winter really must have not mentioned her at all. She also most likely didn't reveal to the public about Mercedes and Serenity either. "Stop... trying. Winter chose her fate. It... isn't worth... the effort." Claude, always smiling and glib, did not have any of that as he scowled, shaking his head. "If anything, I have to work even harder. I have to stop this." He was determined. Elise sighed, turning away, wanting privacy and sleep. Well, she promised that she would try. She didn't promise that she would succeed.

"Also, you'll be attending classes regularly now." Claude said with finality before escaping the room. Elise stared after him, wide eyed. Attending... why? Why would he do that to her? She hated it, even with the mask on, she was still terrified of the outside! Just because she was good at hiding it didn't mean she was better. Fuming, the black eagle shut her eyes, and part of her wondered if it'd have been better to not wake up after bleeding out. Why did he want her to go outside? Why did he want her to expose her disgusting face for the world to see?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝I put my arms around myself and I'm unbreakable.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#BDA0CB β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| [url=SONGURL]songname || artist[/url] ||




Winter, thankfully, was not in the worst shape. Majority of her injuries were from falling down the stairs and the worst of it was a bruised ribcage. She was antsy, locked up in her room, waiting until she was given the okay to be released. They wouldn't even let her go to the bathroom without assistance, afraid that she was more fragile than what their tests told them. After meeting with Doc and his team, they concluded that she could return to the apartment, but not to school. No, they were pulling her out of that school thanks to the actions of Serenity and Mercedes. They had sent 012 to gather her belongings and put in her official withdrawal. Janet brought clothing for her from the apartment, her gloves had been dry cleaned and returned and her cane freshly polished. They wouldn't let her walk however and insisted that WInter be wheeled to the car. It was overkill, but she knew better than to try and protest.

"This isn't the way home," Winter looked outside mildly confused. She was supposed to go home and rest. "I know," Janet replied mysteriously. Winter leaned back in her seat, wondering what was happening. They peeled away from the main street, entering a private road and driving a bit further to... a mall? "Janet, I'm not-" but Janet kept her gaze forward. She looked at her phone and pulled into a spot at the front. Janet opened the door for her, Winter stepping out, the sun a bit too bright. It was the middle of a school day, so the parking lot was mostly empty. The fountain in the front greeted them with a technicolor light show, the doors to the mall opening automatically. "What are we doing here?" Winter asked, both eager and confused.

"Clothes," Janet replied, glancing at the one's Winter was wearing. They were worn, it was true. They went to several stores, Winter afraid of being recognized from the news report, but no one gave them a second glance. Most people these days didn't watch the news, after all. "Janet, I want to go in there." Winter tugged on Janet's suit coat. She was used to Winter calling her Janet, not blinking twice when she used the nickname she had given 009 four years ago. "A makeup store?" Janet was the one that seemed confused now. Winter nodded, "I want makeup," Janet nodded, taking Winter inside. "Hey, you're that girl from the Opal, aren't you?" Someone asked almost as soon as they entered. "Yes," Winter replied curtely. "I want to buy makeup," she didn't know what kind, or what sort of makeup girls even wore.

They exited with a bag full of new products. Brushes and palettes, as well as blush and highlighter. Mascara was added as a free gift, for spending over a certain amount, so Winter figured she would play with that too. After their outting to the mall, Winter was exhausted. She fell asleep in the car, Janet waking her when they parked again. A grocery store? She hesitated, then opened her door, following Janet inside. "Winter, come here," Janet lifted her up and placed her in the basket of the shopping cart. Winter squealed, wondering if Janet had, had a stroke and was going mad. "It'll be faster this way," they entered, the air cool against her face, but Winter wasn't cold. They went down an aisle, Janet putting vegetables and meat into the basket. A woman was giving out free samples of cheese and when Janet's back was turned, Winter reached out to take a cube.

The apartment was warm, there was a new lock on the front door, Winter noticed, they had added a third one. Her door had a new lock as well, biometric. "No snacks, dinner will be ready soon." Winter nodded, taking her new belongings to her room and unpacking them all. She placed her school uniform and beret in a bag, figuring that she would no longer need it. What school was she being moved to? Winter did not know. There was a box in the corner, it seemed 012 had already been there, her belongings from school all piled inside of it carefully. She threw out most of what was in the box, shoving the majority of the trophies into the back of her closet.

"Winter, dinner!" She hobbled out to the dining room, Janet having made them grilled cheese sandwiches and vegetables. Winter ate quietly, staring out the window as the sun began to set. They ate in silence, Janet turning on the television to wash the dishes. Winter retreated to her room, taking out the new makeup she had gotten, wondering if something like makeup was futile when she was destined to live her life as a pariah.

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Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝Make them hate the fake, that way they won't see the real you.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#0C94CC β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #CC0C2E】

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







Now that Winter was returned safely, she was found and taken back into the Chrysanthemum's clutches, Claude and Gordon had quite the task ahead of them. If they were going to continue putting pressure on the Chrysanthemum to allow for Winter to have more freedoms, or at least a life where she didn't have to live in fear of being erased and never being allowed to see the sun or sky ever again, they had to act quickly. "I still think this is stupid." Elise had gotten used to wearing the arrogant mask around so much that any time she was not in her room she would do it. It was her defense mechanism whenever Claude and Gordon were planning out their ways to have the Government relent on it's control of Winter Matsuri. "She's being moved to another school, once we find out which one they'll let us know." Claude's informant from the inside was keeping them updated of course.

"There's too much potential for abuse." Gordon Grant murmured, mostly ignoring Elise's protests. "She doesn't have any public representation. If they were to abuse her, no one would be able to know and help her." They blatantly walked into the Hresvelg home and threatened a teenaged girl with being erased. If that wasn't child cruelty, then what was? Claude, as a Hresvelg son, was honor bound to not let evil like that before his eyes persist. "We need to petition to have someone serve as Winter's representative, to speak on her behalf." Because of her strange powers, it made sense that the Government wouldn't simply let her leave. However, she was still a citizen and deserved to have her needs met.

Claude checked the hand-written message over again, scrutinizing it. "Well, we'll send 009 another message." He decided. "We'll tell them that they have one more day to respond to our demands, or we'll release the information and get the Minister of Childcare on our side." They were already in contact with her and she was clearly interested in helping out. Elise, bored, decided to leave. "I wouldn't go out if I were you, black eagle." Gordon told her with a playful tone. "People are more curious about you than ever." She narrowed her eyes. "If I can't have my privacy in my own home, I might as well go outside. Better than listening to you two be idiots." Caustic and vicious, it was the best way to keep everyone away.

Her arm in a cast, itchy and in pain, her steps faint and weak due to still recovering from the blood loss, Elise didn't care. She just didn't want to listen to any of this anymore. Was Winter being given an awful hand in life? Yes, she was. But that wasn't Elise's fight, and she didn't want to be a part of it. She just didn't want to be found out for her rain and be made into Winter 2.0 and have all of her freedom taken away. "Who knows, maybe she gets off on it." Elise muttered as she exited the front gate, her gait unsteady. Some people were turned on by having their freedom restricted, that was probably why Winter was so insistent on sticking around.

As the black eagle made her way, wandering the city streets on her own, a breathing mask on to obscure her face, she realized that there was something she should have calculated for. Someone took her arm and held tight to it. "Excuse me, Elise, we need to talk." It was Mercedes and she was furious. "We know it was you, you're the rescu-" Elise shook her head, growling. "Not in public." How stupid was this flighty wind girl? Did she want everyone to realize she was the kidnapper and be reported for her crime? Elise continued to walk, trying to clumsily hold her parasol up to protect herself from her own rain when Mercedes took her arm again. "Oh, we definitely have to talk. Come with me, and don't even try getting away."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Matsuri Character Portrait: Elise von Hresvelg

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❝I put my arms around myself and I'm unbreakable.❞

【ɗιαƖσgΟ…Ρ” cσƖσя:#BDA0CB β™™ тнσυgΠ½Ρ‚ cσƖσя #F7B3DA】

|| Demon Slayer || LiSA ||




"Where are we going?" Winter asked as they got in the car. "To look at your new school," Janet replied. They had picked one already? Winter strapped in, nervous. She was wearing one of her new dresses and a cute beret. A new school meant new expectations, a new food chain, and possibly new challenges. The drive there was scenic, mostly on private roads and with beautiful houses. It was only 20 minutes, versus the 1 hour drive it took to get to the City Center. They drove through a gate with the school crest, Winter's eyes widening. A private academy? A woman waited at the foot of the steps to greet them, dressed in a smart looking blouse and skirt, her spectacles perched neatly on her nose. "Welcome, welcome!" She chirped, greeting them.

She clasped Winter's hand in her own. "You must be Ms. Matsuri, oh what a delight! I've heard so much about you." She shook Janet's hand as well, "And you must be her guardian," Janet nodded. They were shuffled inside, the halls quiet. Winter glanced at the plaque on the way in, making note of the name, her eyes widening a bit further. The Lovely Academy for Gifted Girls, a private, all girl's school. Winter knew of this place of course, they had sent her many letters, inviting her to come and visit, but she had been satisfied with her life at the City Center, up until now that is. "This is where your homeroom will be," the woman opened up a door where a class was in session. The girls were all sitting on bean bag chairs and giggling to one another. It stopped immediately when the door opened, upon which they gave Winter curious stares.

The next rooms they were shown were the music room, art room, and gym, even though Winter had a note from the Doc stating that gym class was absolutely not allowed. Outside was an Olympic sized swimming pool and horse stables, where girls in the equestrian program could choose to board their horses. They also had a small selection of pigs and sheep and a large green house. It was impressive, to say the least. The last thing they did on the tour was fit Winter for a uniform, then they were free to go. She would be starting next week and in the meantime, was given a packet of work to fill out, an aptitude test of sorts. "What do you think?" Janet asked, once they got back in the car. "It's nice," Winter admitted. "It's the kind of school most girls dream of getting into." She leaned against the seat as they drove back to the apartment.

"If you experience any issues with bullying, let me know right away." Winter nodded, "I know," she groaned, rolling her eyes. Janet suddenly stopped short, the car in front of them swerving in front of their path. "Hang on!" Janet threw the car into reverse. Winter looked around frantically, realizing they were being followed. What? Why? Winter didn't know. "Who are those people?" Winter asked, her nails digging into the arm rest. "I don't know," Janet dialed the emergency number. "This is 009 requesting back up. We're being tailed on the corner of 38th and Wrestly." They zipped through a parking lot, two cars following them on either side. Their windows were all tinted, an illegal move.

Was this a random attempt to car jack? Winter didn't know. She leaned back in her seat, her entire body shaking. She rolled down the window, sticking a hand out. "Winter, no!" It was too late, ice shot from her hand underneath the path of one car, the vehicle swerving and falling back. Janet grabbed her, pulling her hand back inside and rolling the window back up. "Don't do that again!" They lost the other car when they went into an underground parking lot, Janet waiting for backup. "You know I have to report unauthorized use of power."

"I know." Winter had taken a risk, she didn't want to know what could have happened if she hadn't done that. They could be a car sandwich by now.