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Duran Ledford

"Let's not talk about hell till we get there."

0 · 654 views · located in The City of Anthemia

a character in “Anthemia Academy for Hunters||Remaster”, as played by Kestrel


The third team put together for Donovan's class for the first exercise.



"Where I come from, there's two kinds of people. The heroes, and the survivors."



Duran Ledford

---AGE: 17

---HEIGHT: 5'11

---GENDER: Male

---HOMELAND: Aeralis, the fallen city




Luxury. If it can be attained and makes life a little more comfortable, it will be attained. Also dat fashion-statement, tell me that's not fabulous.
Recognition. Respect is a pretty big thing for Duran, especially coming from rivals, role models or elders.
Kids. Duran has a weak spot for younger children and wants to start a family one day. BUT DON'T TELL NO ONE!

The ungrateful, especially civilians who take the hunters for granted.
Red tape. No comment until you file all the paperwork.
Air magic, there's some bad memories there...

  • Sheer Force – Duran is able to push his body to the limits, providing him with a strength bordering superhuman. Telekinesis can be used to augment this even further.
  • Mobile – While Duran is no acrobat, he can weave in and out of combat as he pleases, is an expert at quick positioning and dominates most sprinting contests.
  • Survivalist – Having escaped a grim future, Duran has a ridiculously high morale and is quite resourceful, even in desperate times.
  • Trickster – Mandatory medium talent.
  • One shot, one opportunity – Nearly all of Duran's moves are calculated and he doesn't believe in do-overs. He never forgets where he came from and in spite of not looking or acting like much of a bookworm, Duran has yet to fail an exam.
  • Awareness – Notice stuff +1. Duran has the uncanny ability to be aware of most that's happening around him, giving him an edge against those who rely on trickery, sneak attacks or illusions.
  • Lie Detector - Maybe it is the medium in him speaking, but Duran can tell whether people are being honest with him or not.
  • I know what you did last summer – Duran spends a good amount of time documenting what he learns, which might require more than a few archive rooms, but is a tightly organized database.

  • Lack of experience – While undeniably talented, Duran has a bad match-up against those who understand the value of mental warfare and picking a location.
  • Fuel Economy – While not lacking in stamina, many of Duran's best abilities eat at his energy. It's the price to pay for telekinesis and sheer force. Because of this, prolonged battles are rarely in his favour.
  • Faephobia – Fae aren't fond of Duran. While most familiars may tolerate him, fae not bound by contract can be outright hostile towards Duran. On occasion it's been mentioned how he carries the scent of the underworld. This makes Duran and fae cooperate poorly, even if he and the summoner are on good terms.
  • Disregard for surroundings – Make sure not to break that? Too bad! Duran can be rather focused, causing him to 'forget' secondary objectives. That's not to say he is unaware, he just takes his priorities very seriously.
  • Arrogance – Duran likes himself. He likes himself quite a lot. Conversely, he looks down on certain other people, which can come to bite him when he underestimates their ability. He doesn't believe every life to be one worth fighting for, either, sometimes outright refusing his duty. This may also cause friction in a team, as he might seem someone as below him.
  • Abrasive – Duran can come across as harsh or even rude, especially on bad days, and not everyone appreciates this.
  • Hole in my pocket – Don't trust Duran with money. No good will come of it.
  • It's alive!? – Duran does not really know what to think of advanced technology. It can make him somewhat uncomfortable and if anything ever needs fixing... Duran is not your man.

When making acquaintances with Duran, you'll immediately notice he is rather expressive... Which can swing either way depending on his mood. It's rather common for Duran to use these superficial emotions as a form of auto-pilot, but a surface does not always mirror the depth of it's waters. His self-control is far greater than you'd initially assume... At least, should the situation calls for it.

Duran carries a notebook with him in which he scribbles quick notes, sometimes even in the middle of conversation, about almost anything. He is rather perceptive and spends a lot of his time documenting events around the academy. Though not many people know about the exact contents of his notes, they are much desired by the local gossip machines...

Duran is a hard worker, and doesn't believe in bread without sweat; something he can be very vocal about with others. Duran is rather judgemental about what people deserve and vehemently believes actions speak louder than words. He is firm in his judgement and occasionally relentless. It's not below Duran to look down on others and set practice his words. He holds grudges for a long while too and this can make him difficult to get along with, even if he has reasons for his behaviour.

That's not to say he is without respect for others. On the contrary. Even if Duran can come across as a jerk, he is still enlisted as a student and willing to lay his life on the line for the good of mankind; a trait he also highly regards in others. If you come down from Anima and put in the effort to actually make a change, you are "Not bad, for a stuck-up coward.", which means a lot more than it sounds like. Even if Duran hates your guts, that won't matter when your actions are just. Duran doesn't design his pecking order by strength, but by character and would go to nearly any length to defend those worth defending. While trying to upkeep the image of the pragmatic realist, Duran would do nothing rather than to change the hostile, divided world. Before jumping into action, he often refers to himself as a fool. These are the times his actions conflict his words, but he shrugs them off with the same old excuse that people are defined by what they do.

Little is public knowledge about Duran's past. He makes obscure references to his origins now and then, but outside of being from Aeralis there is very little concrete information he actually lets on. To dodge questions, Duran often mentions how it's more important to work toward a better future than to dwindle in the past, or as “What's left to tell about Aeralisean street rats?” failing to mention every 'Aeralisean street rat' has a story of their own.

The known bits aren't too different from his countrymen. He was sent to the academy at an early age to lay claim to a prosperous future. It's no secret his family has seen it's share of sacrifice and his childhood has been one of poverty and hiding. This reflects in his inability to save money and often rash judgements, but also his determination and work ethic. Besides popping up in his habits, parts of his past surface at night when he mumbles names in his sleep.


Due to his abnormal physical prowess, very few man-made weapons can withstand being handled with his full force. Ironically, Duran is currently unarmed for this very reason.

Mental Magick – A mix of minor skill in illusions (project images up to 3 seconds), precognition (either vague and randomised or up to one second into the future), telepathy (up to three people linked at once within 10 meters) and psychometry (up to three days). While his abilities may fall behind the average student, Duran is remarkably skilled at telekinesis for his age. While it still suffers from a power cap and overuse still causes strain on his body, Duran uses this versatile power on a very high level for a student.

Duran has the potential to master other mental magicks, but due to him prioritising telekinesis, they are currently underdeveloped for practical use.

  • Fate/Rider – While most advanced tech doesn't sit well with Duran, if he can ride it, by the gods will he ride it.
  • P-p-p-pokerface – Can't read my, can't read my,
  • Sewing – Don't ask, ok? Please.

FC: Lancer of Red
Artists in order of appearance:

So begins...

Duran Ledford's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Asher Donovan Character Portrait: Nico Erenheart Character Portrait: Duran Ledford Character Portrait: NHP-S17 "Lorelei" Character Portrait: Cuddy Vann
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#, as written by Kestrel

“About time they stopped wasting our potential.”

The classroom door opened in a fell swoop, and in it's wake stood - complete with waving cape, golden ornaments and a v-neck as low as his midriff: Duran Ledford. The young man had a sour smile on his lips, although it wasn't meant for any of his classmates, nor their new professor. Briskly, Duran strutted past the student desks, and before even reaching it, he telekinetically pulled a seat at the front of the class back for himself, though he didn't sit just yet. Instead, his cape dwindled from his shoulders (landing and tightly folding itself over his seat) while Duran took a moment to look around the classroom.

“Hm,” He sighed, briefly hiding his face in his right palm. “I suppose this is no way to introduce myself.” Duran murmured, then dropped his shoulders and recomposed himself. “First things first,” The young man spoke up more vividly. “Professor Donovan, it's an honour to attend your classes. I look forward to learning from such a prestigious individual. Sharing your experience with our generation is truly noble.”

Duran turned around, facing his classmates. His lips mimed a few names as his notebook (appearing from god knows where) floated towards his hand, then browsed through the pages all on it's own. “As some of you already know, I am Duran Ledford. Slayer and, I doubt I still need to mention this-” Duran grinned as his red-covered an leather-bound notebook made a small twirl in the space above his hand, “-Medium. Welcome back to class.”

With a slight and stiff bow, Duran finally took his seat. His neighbour was a boy-ish looking lad with white hair (like him.) “Cuddy Vann, right?” He asked his classmate, pen and paper already in Duran's hands. “I don't think we've met.”

Cuddy wasn't the only thing drawing Duran's attention however. He couldn't help but overhear the conversation between his classmates in the back rows of the classroom. Now this wasn't uncommon, as Duran's mind could space all over the place, but the particular instance was different. Upon hearing Lorelei's reply to Nico's compliment, Duran couldn't help but roll his eyes and think I don't know, suppose if you could try to be less of a total bitch. Still, his pen was already scribbling notes. Girl with two-tinted hair, does not handle noise well. He wrote down, then marking it for future editing when he'd learn her name. It was something with an L, but Duran wasn't sure...

“Oh, sorry about that, a little distraction there.” Duran apologised to Cuddy for having immediately spaced out after entering conversation. He let go of his pen and put forward his hand, as the pen started to outline borders on the paper by itself. “Put her there.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Asher Donovan Character Portrait: Duran Ledford Character Portrait: Robin Damian Grey Character Portrait: Willow Petra Uskose
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Robin observed his classmates and smiled inwardly that most were familiar faces from his last class. Some of the newer faces almost freaked him out but he learned to try and contain them as best as possible. He felt sure that he wouldn't panic for any reason shape or form. It was then she came.

Beautiful looks, amazing charm and grace, Miss Willow appeared and gave her introductions to the new teacher before sitting in the chair nearest to him! "Do not panic Robin...she's not doing anything but sitting in front of you. Don't be nervous. Don't freak out!" came the rushing thoughts in his head. She actually then turned her head towards him and actually talked to him! She bade him a good morning. He felt himself almost turning red, and against his pale skin, it showed.

"G-good morning, M-miss Willow. L-lovely day, isn't it? he managed to spit out before he made a bigger fool of himself. His mind literally wanted to pour his heart out to her but he didn't want to breach their speaking friendship by doing a fiendish act like that. But he admitted he knew he had some feelings but he had to keep those close and secret.

When everyone was settled Professor Donovan gave his introduction and stated his lesson plan whilst giving a small condolence for the past teacher they had. Then he assigned mission groups. He was paired with Miss Willow and Duran Ledford. He knew Duran was from his Mother's home country, Aeralis. She told him often of her struggles to survive and how his father literally swept her off her feet during her time in Anthemia. It was a slight scandal on Anima, but his Father spent more time helpings he other cities with his ship that he paid Anima and its political airheadedness no heed.

His father also taught him to not be like Anima. So he wasn't. He gave a small shy smile to Willow. "Well I guess we're gonna be teammates huh Miss Willow?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noel Audrey Rose Character Portrait: Asher Donovan Character Portrait: Vivian Qrow Character Portrait: Althaia Psykhe Character Portrait: Maddox Forester Character Portrait: Nico Erenheart
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#, as written by Golgari
The wind around the school always tasted like lemons. It was one of the few universal constants of this world. The sun rises in the east, water is a liquid and Anthemia air tasted like lemons. Altam licked his lips, trying to savor the sweet breeze. It was a nice change from the sandy gusts of Ura, where he'd spent his whole time out of class. He reached behind him and patted his treasures to make sure they were still secure in the bag. Though not nearly as fruitful as his previous foray into the desert, he had stumbled upon an abandoned village and picked up some neat souvenirs for Cuddy and a few others. Honestly Altam was amazed the school's robot was able to find him. He wasn't exactly a technomaster but they had to be rocking some pretty good locating software to find him in the middle of a desert.

"Hey Shamal, you don't think the teacher's gonna be mean, do you?" the boy asked, his voice as light as the cloth they were riding on. The wooden staff shook in his hands.

'I still can't believe I know who he is and you don't. I'm a million year old wind spirit and even I've heard of the incredible Asher Donovan!' The boy shrugged and fell backwards onto the quickly moving sheet. Though the air had changed, it would still be a good ten minutes until they arrived at the school. Altam squirmed with excitement. He had so many stories to tell and songs to play that he didn't even know where to begin.

It wasn't long before the landscape gave way to stone walkways and large buildings. He peered over the side of his carpet and marveled at the sheer lack of people outside. "Everyone must be in class." He said matter-of=factly. It was about a minute of aimless flying later that it dawned on him. He wasn't in class! With as much speed as he could muster Altam raced towards the largest building, looking through the windows at a breakneck pace for Cuddy's cute face. However, what caught his attention wasn't his B.F.F but a gigantic metallic dragon hovering in front of a window. Altam yelled in relief.

"Frank! Am I glad to see you!" The dragon turned and acknowledged the boy before turning back to observe his master. Sliding up beside him, Altam lifted the window up just enough to fly through and floated into the room, quickly followed by a swift breeze.

"Sorry I'm late, I flew as fast as I could!" He hopped off his turban into thin air, hovering above the ground as the blanket wrapped itself back around his head. he floated into cuddy at top speed, embracing his friend in a hug and whisking them both higher into the air. "Cuddy! I missed you so much! I have sooooo much to tell you about what I found!" A small grunt emanated from the front of the room. The new teacher no doubt. After placing his friend gently on the ground Altam reluctantly landed and weakly strode to the celebrity who was now teaching their class. It was a difficult journey to say the least. It had been months since Altam had last touched solid ground and his legs threatened to buckle at any moment.

"Hi there sir, I'm Altam Haytham! Nice to meet you!" He bowed respectfully and pushed himself off the ground, turning it into a frontflip and zipping over to his bag of treasure.

"Where is it...." He mumbled, digging through his sack. "Ahh! Here it is!" A small wooden idol emerged from the bag, completely covered in markings and carved into the shape if a giant toothed beast. With a small gesture the idol floated beside Cuddy.

"I told you I'd bring you something didn't I?" Altam smiled and looked around the room. He had met almost everyone there some time in his life. Almost. With a look of intense curiosity he floated over to the girl with two shades of hair. There seemed to be no joy in her eyes and that was something that Altam could not stand for. A small bronze box the size of a baseball drifted slowly out of the treasure bag and onto the desk in front of her.

"When I get sad or lonely, I play myself a song. Maybe it can help you too." He smiled brightly at the strange girl and flew back to his seat, hovering upside down over his desk. "This is going to be a great year, I just know it!"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Asher Donovan Character Portrait: Maddox Forester Character Portrait: Duran Ledford Character Portrait: Altam Haytham Character Portrait: Cuddy Vann Character Portrait: Allura Carrington
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#, as written by Kapento
Cuddy Vann


"Cuddy Vann, right?"

Losing interest in that which he was tinkering with moments before, the blonde boy tipped his head up a little in-response to the voice that beckoned his name. Having not really paid much attention to those who came in after him, it took a minute or so for the boy to snap into action, before giving a confirming nod. He was even a little in awe over the boy who greeted him as he studied his features.

"Oh aye, yeah! I'm Cuddy Vann." He said with his usual upbeat tone. For a moment or so, the other student seemed distracted by something, which gave Cuddy a good chance to think back and recall the boys name. Perhaps not deliberately, but he knew he'd have ought to have vaguely heard it without realizing. Now what was it? It began with a A? B? Oh, a D! Du... Du... Dur...

"Oh, sorry about that, a little distraction there." Tilting his head slightly and running a hand through his lightly toned hair, Cuddy still pondered briefly over the boy's name. The very thing was on the tip of his tongue! Just then, however, he curiously watched as his pen began doodling on it's own. Well that's pretty cool! He grinned amusingly, watching as the boy put forward his hand. "Put her there."

"Nice tah' meet you." Taking hold of the boys hand he shook it eagerly, feeling quite relived that the student was rather nice despite his appearance. It took a minute or so before Cuddy realized he was still handing on to the guy's hand, to which he then released it, and chuckled funnily. "Ah! Your name's Duran, right? Knew I'd remember it. Say, your a pretty cool looking guy!"

"Today we’ll be doing an exercise..." As their teacher spoke, Cuddy allowed his attention to drift over towards the older man. It seemed everyone must've arrived now, since everything was in motion."I’ve sorted you all by what I believe to be the best combinations for a team. If you feel you’ll have troubles with your new teammates, you can always talk privately with me, let’s begin."

"Well look at that, we got out teams! Seems we're destined to not be together, but it was really nice meeting you, Duran." He said to the boy, as his stare focused on the student once again. "I guess I'll be seeing you around bro', if that's cool? Anyways I better find my team!"

The search for his teammates didn't take long, not at all. Before he knew it one had already found him. "Ah...I-I'm Maddox, nice to meet you..."

Immediately Cuddy stood up and warmly greeted the boy as he shook his hand. At first, Maddox seemed quite nervous, or something along those lines. Either way that wouldn't bother Cuddy. "So your Maddox, huh? I think I've seen you around. I'm Cuddy so you know." Releasing the boy's grip Cuddy offered a friendly smile in hopes of making less awkwardness. "Looks like we're team-buds. Haha, this is awesome!"

Realizing they still had a teammate to find, Cuddy quickly glanced around the room before his eyes landed on a curious figure just nearby to him. That could be her I guess. He turned to Maddox. "I'm thinkin' that could be our third member? Come on!" He tugged on a piece of the boy's clothing, almost ready to drag Maddox with him as the excitement grew within himself. However, he soon settled on motioning for the boy to follow as he turned to head over to the girl. Figuring it would make a better impression for now.

As he was about to walk over a familiar face suddenly appeared into the room. He knew who it was without a doubt, more so by the sudden embrace that he knew all-too well. It was his good friend and best-est buddy, Altam. "Cuddy! I missed you so much! I have sooooo much to tell you about what I found!" The boy said excitedly. As much as he would've loved to have chatted more, there were things that need his attention, pronto. "Chill dude, we can catch up later! I so wanna hear about what you found, but later. Alrighty?" The other boy soon left as he wandered over to a girl nearby, which gave Cuddy a moment to refocus on his team.

The class was in full motion and Cuddy knew his priority right now was getting his team together. With that, he put the small idol given by his friend into his bag before managing to make his way over to the girl in question, with Maddox in tow, and leaned down curiously at her. He didn't want to be rude, but he didn't know if she was the right person either. "Hey, are you Allura? We're your teammates if so. My names Cuddy, and this guy here is Maddox." He offered out his hand to her, smiling as he did, awaiting a response.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Asher Donovan Character Portrait: Duran Ledford Character Portrait: Robin Damian Grey Character Portrait: Willow Petra Uskose Character Portrait: Cuddy Vann
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#, as written by Kestrel

“Aren't you excitable...” Duran grinned a little awkwardly, nodding towards the handshake that went on a little too long. He wasn't too hung up about it, however, as Duran gladly received the compliment when he got his hand back. “Glad you noticed,” Duran boasted with a tone of voice that was just a little too prideful to play it off as a joke. Duran leaned back and hung his arm over the back of his chair. He liked his new classmate already. “You're alright, Cuddy.”

It was barely a minute later the professor handed out team compositions. “This man sure doesn't waste time.” Duran approved, as he got up from his chair to part ways with Cuddy. “Good talk all the same. Be seeing you.” He echoed his classmate's sentiments, before taking a look at the paper and team compositions himself. Now who am I partnered up with... Duran thought to himself, as his eyes scanned the paper for his name, which he found next to those of Willow and Robin.

Willow was an old friend of Duran's, a medic and a good one at that... A great partner indeed, Duran smirked to himself. It meant he could use his powers more liberally. Robin was a young man Duran was less familiar with, but he would be soon enough. In a single fluid motion, he stood up from his chair and hopped past a few desks. It seemed team mates had already found each other.

“Don't suppose you're as flustered to meet me.” Duran announced his presence by putting a hand on Robin's shoulder and leaning on him. It wouldn't phase Duran in the slightest if that only made his fellow slayer more nervous, but for some reason he always felt a protective of Willow. His old friend was growing up to be a beautiful woman and Robin's eye was hardly the first Willow had caught. Duran's self-asserted role as watchdog wasn't sure how to go about dealing with that.

“You're captain Grey's kid, aren't you? I hear your father is the only decent man that floating city of cowards got to offer.” Duran commented, not hiding his disdain as he mentions Anima. Still, his expression brightened a little as he telepathically pulled back Robin's desk to sit to do it the honour of being his makeshift seat. Duran put himself between Robin and Willow, hardly unintentional, before he continues, “I hope you're taking after him, but I can't see how you'd not. You're a student here, after all.”

Duran took a moment to let his rather dominant speech sink in. The slayer folded his legs and rested his chin on his hand, then suddenly realised he had been so smitten by the sound of his own voice, he hadn't even said hello to his old friend yet... “Morning, Willow.” He nodded friendly, “Looks like Robin over here is right. The three of us are a team now. Lucky us. What are the chances of that?”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Asher Donovan Character Portrait: Nico Erenheart Character Portrait: Caesar Minamoto Character Portrait: Duran Ledford Character Portrait: NHP-S17 "Lorelei" Character Portrait: Altam Haytham
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#, as written by Feyblue

The supersoldier gave a silent groan, turning her eyes to the window as her momentary focus on the annoyingly loud hammer girl caused countless other voices to come flooding into her mind.

"Maybe you should try to be less of a total bitch!" Snapped one angry voice.

"Did I do something wrong? Did I offend her somehow? But all I did was talk... Was she actually reading my mind? If so, for what reason?" Wondered another, sounding hurt.

"If she's not cut out for the academy, then..." Lorelei gritted her teeth, shutting her eyes as she desperately tried to drive out the countless disgusted voices that seemed to follow her everywhere she went. Of course, actually paying attention to somebody else had been a mistake. She knew that, and yet she'd been so annoyed by that girl's perky attitude - She had to have been mocking her. Why else would she start a conversation with someone like Lorelei? - that she'd been unable to keep her calm and had snapped at her. And look where it had gotten her. Now she'd made another scene and blown her one and only second chance at starting over here. Why did it always have to be this way? It would be so much easier if people would just mind their own business and leave her alone. They hated her - that she knew - so why didn't they just ignore her and go about their own lives?! It didn't make any sense to interact with someone you despised, so why did people still choose to even come close to her? She was a freak, she knew that, everybody knew that! If they didn't want to have their thoughts read, then they should have just stayed away from her! Yet, even knowing about what she was, people still kept on trying to get reactions out of her... be they positive or negative.

With a dull clank, a small bronze box about the size of her palm landed on the desk in front of her. Her eyes snapped open and upwards to see where it had come from, only to find a young boy - she would have said he looked like he was only 11 years old or so, but his physique told a different story. Was he a midget or something? - floating above her, riding on what looked to be a disproportionately large turban. The image he presented was so comical, even she, the legendary ice queen, probably wouldn't have been able to stifle a laugh if she wasn't so confused by who he was, what exactly he had just given her, and what he thought he was doing.

"When I get sad or lonely, I play myself a song. Maybe it can help you too," Said the childish young man, grinning as though this non sequitur statement explained everything. With a knowing smile, he turned and flew away, leaving her opening and closing her mouth a few times, still not really sure what exactly had even happened. Pocketing the strange box in one of many small slits in the lining of her tabard, she then realized that the teacher had already begun speaking. She mentally slapped herself. If she didn't pay more attention to class and less to her classmates, she'd ruin herself - well, even more than she already had, anyway.

Unfortunately, things weren't exactly looking good for her regardless. Just her luck, she was being assigned to team up with some other students who would probably make it their lives' goals to drive her insane, assuming they weren't incompetent idiots. And, even worse, she couldn't even tell who she was going to be partnered with, since she didn't know even one of her classmates by name, and, even if she did, the announcement was in writing, and she couldn't read. She glared angrily at the list for a few seconds as though her sheer determination to understand it would mystically grant her the ability to both comprehend the names of those written on the sheet and pick them out from the rest of the class, but at last she gave up, sighing as she turned her gaze back out the window, trying to see the blue sky beyond the giant, hulking dragon made of trash in the courtyard. Considering most people in the school knew her simply as NHP-S17 - the numbers in which, which she could at least recognize, were pointedly absent from the sheet - the other members of her team probably wouldn't be able to recognize her, either. She supposed the only thing to do would be to wait until everybody had found their partners and then look for one group that was missing a person. Resigning herself to her need to utilize her powers, she kept her mind trained on the crowd around her, focusing intently on the word "Lorelei" and searching for any thoughts that might involve her in some way. She'd find her team one way or another. She just doubted she'd enjoy it.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Asher Donovan Character Portrait: Duran Ledford Character Portrait: Robin Damian Grey Character Portrait: Willow Petra Uskose
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#, as written by toajojo
Willow drummed her fingers on the back of her seat as she watched the boy in front of her. Brr-ump, brr-ump. The sound coming in a soft, but steady beat. She would hardly be able to hear it if it were not an action she were preforming herself. Usually, she was not one do small, needless actions. Preferring to stay as composed as possible. Yet, today she could not help it. Being back in class was making her restless.

As she noticed Robin's pale cheeks color, just a just a light pink dusting, she cocked her head innocently and watched him intently. Though, she almost immediately caught herself and turned her head away slightly, shooting her eyes downwards. 'That was impolite of me.' She berated herself silently. Biting her lower lip, Willow tried to keep her smile under wraps. 'How delightfully adorable though!' She cooed. "--Willow. L-lovely day, isn't it?".

The girl shot her head back up to face him. Shaking herself out of her internal musings. It took a minute for her to register what he said fully. "Why yes." She answered simply. Taking a moment to glance around the classroom, Willow took in all of the familiar faces piling in and some relatively new ones. Hector's familiar shock of green hair. The large metallic face of Frank outside of the window as always, near Joe. Atlam hovering to and fro on his small rug. Bright Cuddy chatting flamboyantly. Vivian looking as much as a rebel as she always has. Then, there were two, Willow definitely did not know. Neither seemed to give off the aura of being approachable, but it would be rude not to introduce herself later. She mentally added that to her checklist. Looking back at Robin, she grinned. "Lovely indeed."She added.

She opened her mouth to say something else. Something to continue their short conversation, when she heard a deep voice break through the chatter of the classroom. "Oops." Willow said under her breath. Giving Robin a sheepish smile, she turned her back to him and fully focused on their new professor, Asher Donovan. As he spoke of their late teacher, Willow briefly shut her eyes and mouthed a quick prayer. She hoped that her sincere feelings for her past homeroom teacher shone in her prayer. If possible, she wanted to help her ease her way through the afterlife and releasing the last of her earthly tether, to be finally reunited in spirit with Taliba'meda. The one true God.

She reopened her eyes as Professor Donovan was revealing the new teams. She leaned forward just a bit as she read the listings. '--Kazuhira. . .Team Three, Will--me. Robin Damian Grey, and Duran Ledford. . .' Reading it over, she absorbed what it was telling her. Quickly turning back around, she met Robin's smaller, shy smile with a beaming grin. "Well I guess we're gonna be teammates huh Miss Willow." He beat her to the punch. "Seems so!" She chirped. Bringing her excitement down to a calmer level, she titled her head to the side. "Please, just Willow. No need for the formalities. We are teammates now." She reminded him nicely.

"Don't suppose you're as flustered to meet me." A familiarly, assertive voice cut in. She recognized it immediately. Why wouldn't she? It was her other teammate, and best friend. She leaned back a bit as she watched Duran cut into Robin's personal space. “You're captain Grey's kid, aren't you? I hear your father is the only decent man that floating city of cowards got to offer.” Willow pursed her lips, not wanting to fully frown. She tried to shoot Duran a warning look inconspicuously. That was not the rudest thing she had heard him say to another, but it was still rude nonetheless. Duran's scorn for the city was easily audible. Willow wished he would hold his tongue sometimes. She leaned over and glanced at Robin on the other side of her friend's body. She hoped he was not taking too much offence.

Willow released a soft sigh at the fact that Duran thought it was appropriate to sit right in between of her and Robin in the middle of their conversation. And on Robin's desk too! Poor Robin. "Morning Willow." She heard his friendly voice greet her. "Morning Duran." She greeted with a wry smile. "Glad you finally noticed me." She joked.

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Character Portrait: Duran Ledford Character Portrait: Robin Damian Grey Character Portrait: Willow Petra Uskose
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Robin felt completely relieved and happy that Willow responded well to his nervousness, and he tried to brush off his nervousness as best he could. But then Duran put his hand on his shoulder. He sat up as straight as a board as if lightning struck him in that instant. The next thing he realized his desk flew out from under him. He looked to see Duran had sat in between him and Willow, effectively cutting her off from the conversation as if she didn't exist.

He began to frown as he began to be riffed and talked as if he was lower then him. If this was an attempt at assertive dominance, two can play at this game. "Then I take from your dominant stance in this conversation and your rudeness, that you are from Aeralis, the Fallen City. A Slayer as well, with the subclass of Medium. I give you my permission to make fun of Anima all you want as I share your slight ire against its laziness. However, should you say or disrespect my Family, especially my mother who is also from Aeralis the same as you, I promise you. I will make you regret making that mistake."

Gone was the timid demeanor for a brief moment, replaced with determination and slight elegant eccentricity. "Now kindly take that empty chair in that other desk. Because appealing as your backside must be, I believe our mutual friend might faint from it's magnificence. I feel as a team we all must see each other's faces." he said with slight bluntness. He mentally cursed himself for letting his disability talk there. He didn't mean to be rude.

"Now a bit about myself, Mr. Ledford. I am a Slayer, like you, and a Scholar. I like to tinker with my Technomancy, and I make an offer after training to begin schematics for a weapon fit of your Caliber." he stated calmly. He pulled out a pen from his pocket and twirled it in his hands in patient waiting for a reply or the Teacher's signal.

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Character Portrait: Duran Ledford Character Portrait: Robin Damian Grey Character Portrait: Hector Kazuhira Character Portrait: Willow Petra Uskose
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#, as written by Kestrel

“How could I not?” Duran jested Willow while shaking his head. He had been able to feel Willow staring at him and his actions, but Duran had pretended not to notice her reprimanding signs. Even if she didn't look the part anymore, Duran sometimes still saw her as the timid and naive girl she had been when they first met. “I was just making acquaintances with our new friend here, isn't that right, Robin?”

From his first reaction, Duran thought he had Robin in the bag, but it didn't take long for the startled, blushing young man to turn that around. Somewhat taken aback, Duran narrowed his eyes as Robin spoke. Gutsy, Duran thought to himself, folding his arms, but letting his pen do some writing as his fellow slayer monologued. His lip quivered, eager to interrupt his new teammate. Duran's eyes interlocked with Robin's, unwavering as if playing a contest of gay chicken. For a second it seemed like Duran would explode... But instead the complete opposite happened; Duran burst into jovial laughter.

“Looks like you got some spring to your step after all.” Duran snickered, dropping himself off Robin's desk and pulled the empty chair towards him, just as Robin had suggested. He threw himself back in the chair and took a quick look at his notebook, now containing what Robin had just told him.

“You're right, as a team we should face each other as equals.” Duran responded, finally having come to. He sat down to the side of the two instead of between them. “No need for the honorifics. Mister Ledford is my dad. Duran will do just fine. Oh and speaking of dads, yours is just fine in my book.” Duran said, although his last sentence had a hint of sour to it. Duran didn't like having to repeat himself.

“So you've heard of my little problem?” Duran raised an eyebrow as Robin mentioned his crafting ability. The mention of his 'calibre' brought a slight smirk to his face. “Did you let him in, Willow?” Duran then asked his friend, sincerely wondering. He did not remember telling anyone of yet another weapon breaking, but Willow might had been able to figure out what had caused his mood to turn foul a few days ago. She had a knack for that. “You know, I asked a droid this morning about exactly that.” He complained to both Robin and Willow. “You would think the technicians here would have figured something like that out by now. Still, if you're making the offer...” Duran motioned his head toward Hector, further back in the class. “You should talk to that guy, he's talked about trying the same thing. I'd gladly accept anything that can dish out a beating without taking one.”

After a few moments of silence, Duran leaned forward, throwing an arm around each teammate, seemingly in a good mood despite their little rough start. He flashed a smile at both Robin and Willow respectively, “Let's toast to our new team, tonight.” Duran suggested, pulling all three heads together (possibly pulling his teammates of their chairs in his enthusiasm) like they were a rugby team seconds away from a scrum. “On my tab.”

Still, in spite of his cheer, there were two things that bothered Duran. When he let go, he took a moment to himself to consider which lingered on his mind... He knew he still wouldn't let Robin be alone with Willow for a while. At least until he figured if he could trust Robin to be a decent enough guy around his old friend... And then there was one more thing Duran had to settle...

“Oh and Robin,” Duran spoke telepathically so that Willow wouldn't be able to hear it. Although his expression hadn't changed and Duran wasn't moving his lips, the voice Robin would hear in his head was stern and meant business. “I'll let it slide this once, but I know you know better than to threaten me. Us folks from Aeralis are not in the here and now for nothing. So let's get along, shall we?”