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Snippet #2726486

located in Tokyo, Japan, a part of Halcyon, one of the many universes on RPG.

Tokyo, Japan

None

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Ambre Vermillion
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Kallen & Ambre Vermillion



Kallen’s breath became uneasy. Ambre raised her head from his chest; there was sweat on her brother’s brow. His mouth opened, but no words came out. Ambre took Kallen’s hand with both of hers, as she watched him toss and turn… But as Kallen did… Reflections of her own home started to appear on the room’s walls. Ambre’s heart skipped a beat. It was almost as if their mother’s magic was present in Tokyo, but the reflections were more treble than Elise’ picture-like illusions. Yet they distinctly showed her something… As if she was peering straight into Kallen’s dreams.

Kallen stands in the Vermillion estate dining hall, the table impossibly long, stacks of plates and piles of cutlery set on trolleys against one wall. Elise stands at the end of the hall, poised as ever, her face impassive as her steely gaze settles on Kallen.

“Kallen.” She says, voice hard. “Set the table, properly.”

Nodding without a word, Kallen steps over to where the plates are set, taking them off the tall stacks one by one and setting them in their places. He moves as quickly as he can without endangering the dishes, and then repeats the action for the glasses, and then the cutlery.

When the table is set, Kallen turns to his mother, only to find her staring back at him with a look of disappointment. “You have failed, Kallen.” She says.

Kallen whips back to the table, searching for what it is he did wrong, but as he turns, his pants catch on the tablecloth and drags the entire table setting off and crashing to the floor, plates and glasses shattering into a million pieces and the tablecloth fading the floor into black.

Then, Kallen is standing in the courtyard, a man standing a few feet in front of him, Elise on the other side of the area. The man bows politely, and Kallen bows back, confused.

“Kallen, defeat your instructor in this match.” Elise says. Kallen nods in silent affirmation.

The man flies forward, and Kallen ducks between the blows, shooting out to attack but never getting close enough to do damage. Barely a minute has passed and Kallen is exhausted, his dodges slowing until his instructor finally hits and knocks him across the yard.

Kallen struggles to catch his breath and looks up to find Elise right above him. “You have failed, Kallen.”

The image swirls and then Kallen is looking out a gaping hole in the wall of the main hallway of the estate, the Vermillion Pillar in the distance, crumbling to the ground. Pools of blood and lifeless bodies litter the ground, the smell of death overwhelming all of Kallen’s sense, screams and Elise’s cold voice sounding in his ear. “You have failed, Kallen.”


“Kallen?” Ambre her own hands felt ice-cold in contrast to Kallen’s sweaty palms. She clenched her brother’s hand tight, but could not tear her eyes from the scenes Kallen was showing her.

Like a picture from a horror film, Elise’s body distorts grossly into abstract shapes and lines until it is no longer Elise’s face looking at him, but Ambre’s, mouth scrunched up into a signature scowl as she glares down at her smaller brother- symbolic of how small he feels despite his gigantic height. As Ambre’s gaze bores down on Kallen, he tries to move but can’t, transfixed by her stare.

Ambre looks away with a click of her tongue, glancing back at her brother with a look of disappointment in her eyes, leaving without so much as a word. Kallen reaches out for her but finds her image disappearing-


Kallen’s eyes fluttered open, then shut reflexively against the light. When he opened them again, Kallen was met with a silent, red-eyed gaze. The pale figure of his sister hunched over him, her pupils flickering and tracking even his slightest moves. Her hands, though meagre and cold, squeezed his as if they were stuck in a trash compactor. Ambre’s lip quivered for a moment, before she toppled over her brother and hugged him tight. Kallen could feel Ambre’s chest heave as she pressed him against it with all her might.

Kallen opened his mouth to speak, but the only thing that came out was a pathetic squeak, followed by a coughing fit that made his throat sore and eyes water. He settled for moving his heavy arms to rest over Ambre, savoring the warmth of her back and the knowledge that she is alive and well, and not disappointed in him, if the bone-crushing hug was any indication.

“I saw your dream.” Ambre’s hoarse voice mumbled. Behind her, Kallen could see familiar watery images, blurring back into the estate’s walls. “You’re my only family. You better not think I’m ever leaving you. Because I won’t. Ever. I don’t care what Elise says or what the world thinks.” Ambre’s fingers cling to the back of his shirt, her chin weighing down on his shoulder. “You’re my brother.”

“But you better not lock me up again, Kallen.” Ambre’s grip loosened as she spoke his name. Kallen’s sister raised her head to face him, brushing away the tangled hair that dangled in front of her eyes. Though red and teary, they were stern and unrelenting. “That thing. It could have killed you.” Her voice shook, worming itself through the chokehold of emotion. “What if it had, Kallen? What if it had?”

Kallen coughed a couple of times, fingers curled into Ambre’s hair. His voice was soft and every word made his eyes tear up, but he spoke anyway. “If it had, then you would go on to kill it and protect everyone in my stead.” He said, honest despite the dark undertone of the phrase. “You’re stronger without me than you are when I’m here, holding you back with rules and propriety.”

“Liar.” Ambre balled her fists. “You are demonstrably wrong.” She snorted, let go of Kallen and stood up. “One-” She counted the reasons on her hand. “You were faster to deduce its ability to absorb and replicate magic. Two, you know I’m no good at conventional magic, so you raised a barrier to protect me. Three, you....” Ambre scraped her throat. “You put a dent in it’s armour, in that way you told me it could be manipulated. That’s how I killed it.”

Ambre turned away, hiding her expression from Kallen. “I didn’t go and erase the circle like you said I should. I didn’t go and protect everyone in your stead. I ran to you. I wanted to save you, I just wanted to save you…” There was a break in her voice, as she swallowed a fraction of her emotion. “But I couldn’t escape your stupid cell - and when I did, I couldn’t even make it in time.” Even in her draping clothes, it was clear how Ambre’s entire figure shivered at the memory.

“One of the guards did. She fought the monster too, she was the one protecting everyone. She sacrificed an eye, you know?” Ambre’s voice shook despite the iron grip she tried to maintain on her throat. “You know what I did? You know what I felt?” She asked her brother, for just a second looking him in the eye.

“I put the estate in shambles. I wanted… I wanted that piece of shit to feel powerless before I killed it. I wanted it to suffer. I wanted it to fear me before it died.” Ambre’s feelings ran down her cheeks - shaken to a point Kallen had never seen his sister before. “And it’s not just some stupid monster, Kallen. Ask Elise. Ask her servants. Ask any fancy-pants stuck-up little mage. Ask any of them how much of a protector I am, how much of a Vermillion I am.”

Her chest heaved. Her pupils had grown small - and so did her voice; “I don’t care, you know? I don’t care what they think. It’s fine.” Ambre whispered, sitting down to once more clamp Kallen’s hand. “But if you really believe I’m any kind of strong, it’s only because of you. You were the first person to ever be proud of anything I ever did, Kallen. Maybe you’re the only one who ever was.”

She sat up, wrapped her arms around Kallen’s head and pulled it against her chest. Contrasting her voice, Ambre’s heartbeat was fast and heavy. “So don’t leave me, Kallen, and don’t you lie to me. You’re my brother and worth more to me than anyone else in the world.”

Kallen listened to every word Ambre said with rapt attention. Having bottled up everything he felt for so long, he couldn’t help but let out his tears into his sister’s shirt, weak arms wrapping around her middle and holding as tight as he could. “I promise.” He whispered. “I promise never to lie to you again.”