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Deliverance

Alfheim

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a part of Deliverance, by The_Queen.

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The_Queen holds sovereignty over Alfheim, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Alfheim

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Alfheim is a part of Deliverance.

11 Characters Here

Pariya [166] "Eternally, we will be in each other's memory."
Kiyoko [165] "There's never a right time and place, sometimes you just have to make one."
Shiro [96] "My purpose is to fulfill your every need."
Korhya Filia [96] "It's so sunny today! It's going to be another great day!"
Crescent Winter [96] "Just call me Cress."
Ellen Winter [96] "I feel cold, like the ice is coming from inside of me."
Kuro Botan [69] "You can't block out my song by plugging your fingers in your ears. Idiot."
Ivan Charde [67] "Don't you go puking on my bar now.."
Prince Sangre [67] "Do you believe in a world of happy endings? I certainly don't."
Eleven [56] "To live is the rarest thing in the world, most people just exist."

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❝With the magic of positivity, anything can happen!❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#30b818 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #d1ca00

|| Girl Inside || Mika Kobayashi ||




It was just like any other day in the Rubble Tier. Aya rubbed sweat off her face with a towel, getting the black oil off of her fingertips. Her back was sore, her hair felt sticky, but it was a good day of production. No doubt the Super Manager Man would be satisfied with the quota for this week and give her her paycheck this coming Monday with a smile on his face! Paychecks were always best when delivered with a smile. Aya pulled at her blonde hairs, stripping quickly out of her factory jumpsuit and into a scraggy scratchy blue dress that she bought the other day with three weeks worth of paychecks. "Another weekend, hooray!" Aya said, grinning from ear to ear at the other workers. Daddy had a longer shift since he was an adult, but that was okay, Aya knew he would be happy too.

Inside a bush the trusty old motorbike was waiting. Aya borrowed it from Aspen without telling. Aspen was her friend from a long time ago, though he didn't come around much anymore these past seven years. While she saw his face from time to time in the illegal school time, Aya never chose to talk to him. Was he angry because she took his bike? He probably didn't even know it! It was a fancy bike, and since it ran on solar power she never had to worry about batteries either! With her cracked sunglasses on her face, Aya revved the engine of her bike, the graviton thrusters activating to send her through the air. "This is fun! I'm so excited!" She would play around for a bit. The other kids couldn't keep up, but it was okay, the bike was the only friend she needed anyways. They were just jealous they couldn't run as fast as Aya's bike!

Today was almost like any other day as Aya drove the bike to the edge of the Ironside Tier, where a new well was constructed a few years ago. It still had some water, so Aya decided to drink some of it, pulling the bucket out using the chain. She gulped it down, grinning happily. "I'll leave these here." A few coins jangled out of her pocket, and she placed them on the edge of the well. Water wasn't free after all, water was a luxury for better people to get to drink. "Three rubers for a gulp of water." Rubers was the currency here in Ashia, and Aya was a smart girl for knowing how to use them.

What made today not like other days was seeing a girl falling from the sky. She looked incredible! At first Aya was jealous, what was it like to fly without even needing a bike? But then she saw the fiery red mane of hair and the blonde was enraptured by the beauty. Lastly she decided she would help her since it didn't look like the fire head girl was falling because she wanted to. With a grin Aya jumped onto her bike, twisting her hips to fly herself up, the rear bump of the bike catching the fire head girl. "Hello, you don't look like a Rubble!" Those clothes were a little too nice for someone from the Rubble Tier. Could it be a red haired Aine? No way, Aine disappeared a long time ago, that was silly.

"My name is Ayana! You can call me Aya, because it's easier. I'm a good Rubble. If you can keep a secret, let's get you some medical help, for free!" That last part was whispered, because Aya knew medical aid was a luxury only the most fancy of people could afford. Doctors needed money after all, for all the costs of training and learning. "Do you have a name? Most Rubbles have names." She decided to give her sunhat to the fire head girl so her beautiful hair wouldn't catch as many people's attention. Well, her bike already drew a lot of attention anyways. There was an illegal clinic set up by a friend of Serpina Dorones, so Aya was going to take her new best friend there to check and make sure she was okay.

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❝I am a hell in high heels. ❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#CD5C5C ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #C5E3BF

|| Flaws || Bastille ||




Crescent Winter had always been a light sleeper. Ever since her accident, she could never sleep too deeply. So it was no wonder that she awoke to the sound of something outside. The summer breeze wafted in through an open window, the curtains whispering in the pur of woozy heat. A fan beside her bed rotated back and forth to keep the air from growing too stiff. Still, it was not the breeze nor the fan that awoke her. It was the sound of something outside, a crackle like lightning that could be heard so clearly Cress almost thought she dreamed it. She sat upright, hair askew in bed head and with a sleepy gaze glanced out the window, where something starkly rought the tiredness from her eyes.

"E-Ellie?" Cress whispered, her cousin walking, as though in a trance, towards a light. With a hasty breath, Cress nearly tripped pulling off the covers. She ran down the steps, kicking off the blanket that clung to her and shoving her feet into the first pair of shoes she could find at the door, thick soled leather boots. Quickly Cress ran across the tall, grassy field of Sierra, California. "Ellie!" Cress called, shoving flowers and plants out of her gaze. "Ellie!" Her cousin stepped into the lake that hung at the edge of the property, unresponsive to Cress's call. "Ellie, hang on!" Cress screamed, leaping into the lake, water sopping into her boots. She swam towards where her cousin stood, now chest deep.

"Ellie, what's gotten into you?" Cress asked, grabbing her arm. In a flash of something like lightning and a clap of thunder that deafened her, Cress felt herself become weightless. At the very same moment, pain filled her entire body with the likes of which she had never felt before. She cried out in pain, back arching, neck aching, blood spurting from her lips from the intensity of it. Just as quickly as it had started, it ended. The entire world came back into focus long enough for Cress to realize that she was falling, yes, falling. Her eyes widened and she flailed, attempting to right herself in mid-air, but her efforts were in vain. Ellie! Where was she? Her dear cousin, Cress looked around, but Ellie was nowhere to be seen.

The ground was coming towards her faster. Her clothes were dry, as though she had not just been swimming in a lake at two in the morning. It was day light here, but where was here? "I'm gonna die!" She screamerd, colliding with something hard. Pain shot stars through her vision, the entire world a haze for but a moment. Slowly, Cress pried one eye open, then the other. She was not dead, no, Cress was still very much alive and depiste her disbelief, the pain in her arm was enough to make her wish she had died upon impact. It was twisted behind her at an odd angle, clearly broken in several places. Therefore, her first spoken words to her savior was nothing but a scream of pain and hysteria.

The most Cress could do was gasp and pant until the shock wore off. The girl introduced herself as Aya, a Rubble? Cress did not understand what that meant, but Aya asked for her name. "C-Cr-Crescent Winter. M-most people call me Cress," she bit down on her lip to keep from crying out in pain again. She was wearing nothing but her pajamas and her hiking boots, any evidence of Sierra Nevada California completely erased. What had happened? What was that large flash of lightning? And where was this place? "Are we... floating?" Cress asked, suddenly realizing that they were moving in the air. She wiped at her eyes with her good arm, wondering if this was some sort of fever dream.

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❝With the magic of positivity, anything can happen!❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#30b818 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #d1ca00

|| Girl Inside || Mika Kobayashi ||




The more Ayana thought about the situation - not that she was ever really good at thinking or anything - the more silly it sounded. How could someone just fall from the sky like that? Was there a battle? But they were at peace with Tartaria for a long time now, ever since that silly Princess Narisia was betrothed to Prince Semyon. Battles and wars just didn't happen around Ashia anymore. "Hello, Cress! That's a strange name!" She giggled, turning her head to take a look at fire head girl. "It's a good name though, it reminds me of grass that you can cook and eat." Rubbles had to be creative on how they got their meals after all, you couldn't always afford luxurious food like potatoes or rice.

Floating? That was silly. Floating was what fire head girl - or better known as Cress now - was doing before she decided to stop floating and start falling. Which, considering her messed up arm, was probably not a good decision to have made after all, now was it? "No, we're riding a bike." Aya grinned, slapping the motorbike gently with her free hand as she revved the engine to pick up the speed. "See, this is a bike. I call him Aspen!" Named after the person who used to own it, once upon a time in a fairy time far away. "Let's get your arm fixed, okay?" Cress sure didn't look like a Rubble, but if she was an Untouchable no doubt Aya would recognize her face. "It's strange seeing a Blossom here though!" Most Blossoms wanted to avoid interacting with Rubbles.

Aya parked the bike by a fake sewer tunnel. It wasn't really a sewer anymore, it was an old section of the sewer that was canceled while being constructed so now it was just a random tunnel for no reason that went underground a little. She hid the bike inside a bush and took Cress by the good hand with a wink. "Just past here! Don't worry, it's not really a sewer." For example, it didn't stink. While most of the Rubble Tier did smell a little - for example the Ironside Tier smelled like oil and rust - this did not have the odor of human waste flowing through the veins.

Through a bush there was a secret tunnel dug out that had a rickety ladder. The ladder lead to a secret passage up towards the Untouchable Tier, but Aya didn't want to go up there. Past the bad ladder was a door. Aya knocked on it and it opened. "Corren! Aya found a friend, but her arm is hurt! She's probably a Blossom!" A sandy haired doctor in training looked at them with a slight frown on his face. "What happened that her arm became like that?" He asked, pulling his glasses down. "She fell!" Aya said honestly, grinning.

Corren Liefthis was one of the Untouchables. While the Liefthis family wasn't as cool and famous as the Seraphim or Cherubim, it still had a little bit of notoriety for being a family that dabbled in medical technology. Diseases ran rampant in the Rubble Tier, so Corren was specializing in that. "Finnley, can you get me the XMend cream?" A tall blue haired man stepped through the doorway with a sneer. Aya didn't like him so much. There were a few other staff members going about, a lot of the Rubble Tier's sick and homeless would come here, and there was a section cordoned off for the Whisper Disease that was going around this time of year.

"Here. Be careful with it, that stuff's expensive." Finnley mocked, before heading back to the Whisper Disease ward. A small tube was in Corren's hands then. "This way please." He lead the girls to a small room with a curtain and a bed but not much else. Aya pulled her sunglasse soff to get a better look at Crescent Winter. She didn't look very wintery. "You look more like a summer." Aya cracked a grin as Corren examined Cress's mangled arm. "It's going to hurt a little, but you'll be as good as new." Corren said, adminstering the XMend cream. It was a cream that hardened around the broken limb, and then heated up to meld the broken bones back together from the inside. "Knock Knock! It's me, I knocked!" Aya decided to tell jokes to distract Cress for now, because she had XMend before back when she broke her leg practicing bike riding a few years back.

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Character Portrait: Atsuko Tateyama Character Portrait: Korhya Filia Character Portrait: Crescent Winter
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❝I am a hell in high heels. ❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#CD5C5C ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #C5E3BF

|| Flaws || Bastille ||




Cress must have been dreaming, she must have hit her head and was merely in a coma again, or a hospital. Or perhaps floating face down in the lake. This could not have been real, a place where motorbikes zoomed through the skies and piles of garabage seemed to drift down from a ground that floated above them. It was some mystical realm for certain, Cress believed. "I'm dreaming, aren't I?" Half of the words Ayana Filia spoke were foreign. Rubbles? Blossoms? Untouchables? She may as well have been speaking German. Grass that you could cook and eat? Could this day become any weirder? Cress didn't know, but she did know that Ayana was taking her to get her arm fixed and hopefully not to the pysch ward of some hospital because for certain, Cress must have lost her mind.

They parked in a bush and with great care, went up a ladder and into what Cress was certain was a sewer pipe. Ayana confirmed her thoughts, but then said that it was not in use, which was why it did not smell. Smell? Cress had not noticed the smell permiating the air until Ayana had pointed it out. Now that she had, however, Cress realized that it stank of garbage. Was this why Ayana had called it the Rubble Tier? A man greeted them behind a door that seemed to come from nowhere. Ayana called him Corren. He wore no name tag and gave no way to identify himself as a Doctor. Could she really trust this man to fix her arm? Not that it could get any worse, Cress believed.

He guided her away, through the halls of the massive pipeline and to a bed behind a curtained area. It was merely a stretcher, but it was enough. Cress sank down into it, the pain in her arm growing worse. "No offense Doctor, but I don't think cream is going to fix a broken arm." Where Cress came from, an injury like this meant surgery, pins in the arm, no moving it for months and no getting it wet. The cream he put on was warm at first, then it began to burn as it permeated the skin. Cress hissed in pain, laying back on the stretcher, writhing. Ayana attempted to tell silly jokes to pass the time, but for what felt like a century, Cress could do nothing but pant and sweat and try not to scream. "Please, make it stop," she begged.

"Alright, it should be soft enough now." The man named Corren twisted her arm back into place as though it were effortless. Cress screamed from the pain of it, passing out as the bone was set back into the socket in the proper direction. She came to from the smell of something floral underneath her nose. She was still in that strange place, behind the curtain, on a threadbare stretcher. No, this had to be a dream, she was merely stuck in a dream, wasn't she? Or perhaps a realm like this was one of nightmares? "How does your arm feel?" Corren asked, his face uncomfortably close to Cress's own. "It-" with a start, she realized that it no longer hurt. In fact, she could move it without any pain. "It feels fine, good as new."

Cress sat up, "wiggle your fingers." She did as told, "bend your elbow, resist my push." She did everything to a T. "It looks like you're good as new." He nodded, satisfied, and left them. Cress turned to the girl called Ayana, who was still there and not a pain wrought fever dream. "So um... have you seen a girl named Ellie? She's about my height, black hair, ice blue eyes. She's um... I need to find her, she was with me but..." Cress trailed off, suddenly distraught. "I have no idea where she went."

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Character Portrait: Ellen Winter Character Portrait: Korhya Filia Character Portrait: Shiro Character Portrait: Crescent Winter
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❝With the magic of positivity, anything can happen!❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#30b818 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #d1ca00

|| Girl Inside || Mika Kobayashi ||




Aya continued telling jokes idly until Cress passed out from Corren putting her arm's bone back in place. She was screaming the whole time so Aya had a feeling she wasn't a very good distraction maker. She smiled the whole time though, did that help? "Seriously, who is she, Aya?" Corren asked, pulling a packet from his suitcase with a plant inside that would no doubt wake Crescent up from being passed out like that. "She fell, so I helped her and now she's my best friend." Aya beamed brightly, it was clear the little blonde was excited to get to spend more time with her new friend. "You make friends fast. She might be a runaway from the Blossom Tier, did she have any ID on her?" He looked at her but other than her strange clothing it didn't seem like Cress had any belongings.

"I don't know, but she can stay with me until..." Aya trailed off, her eyes widening as a strange feeling pounded in her chest. "She can stay here with me and Finnley. I can have the staff take care of her for now." Serpina Dorones installed a signal blocker here so no one would be able to sense that this makeshift rundown medical ward even existed. His eyes became serious. "Because home is troublesome, right?" Aya blinked. Troublesome, what did he mean? "Daddy's always perfect and nice and I love him." Aya said, tilting her head in confusion. Corren sighed, shaking his head, cracking open the packet to wake Cress up, holding the herb up to her nose.

After they made sure Cress's arm worked perfectly good as new, Aya grinned, happy to see her okay again. "Yay, you're awa-" Before Aya could congratulate her new best friend for the miraculous recovery, Cress began to ask about another girl, someone named Ellie. She was slightly tall like Cress - well, only tall if you compared to Aya, who was not even close to what height she was supposed to be - and had black hair and ice blue eyes. Corren frowned again as Cress finished the description. "Ellie?" The name sounded foreign, wrong on his tongue. "No, it couldn't be." He shook his head. Aya blinked, and shrugged.

"I'm sure we'll find her eventually. Do you want to go for a ride?" Aspen still had a good amount of power left today before he needed to soak up more of the sun's rays. "I have to ask since Aya here will no doubt forget." Corren looked at Cress seriously. "You're going to need a place to stay. I'm not going to pry in your business, but Aya can't bring you to her home. Her father wouldn't allow it. It's safe here, and I'll have Finnley keeping watch of this place whenever I'm out. He's a bit of a jokester, but you can trust him." It seemed that Corren also believed Cress was a Blossom who for whatever reason didn't want to be up there anymore for now.

"This can be your home until you figure out what you want to do."

Aya yawned, getting bored of this logistics talk. "Let's go on an adventure! We have an Ellie to find!" Aya beamed, pulling gently on Cress's hand until she fell over onto her face, bumping her nose on the tiles on the floor. She rubbed it, giggling. "Who is this Ellie person? Can you tell me more about her?" If Aya had to she could sneak up to the Blossom Tier and look around, but Ellie and Cress did not feel like names from around here at least.

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❝I am a hell in high heels. ❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#CD5C5C ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #C5E3BF

|| Flaws || Bastille ||




Cress was not sure she was in America anymore. In fact, she wasn't sure she was even on Earth anymore. Were her Mom and Aunt worried? She gnawed on her nail in thought as Corren and Ayana argued with one another. Then suddenly, they addressed her. Neither had seen Ellie, much to her disappointment. "Her real name is Ellen Winter, if you see her, or hear anything about her, please let me know. She's probably scared and worried right now." Ellie had always been the cool, distant type, but Cress could tell when she was distressed or fearful. After all, they slept only a room away from one another. She could still remember the day she had met her cousin, the genius, who won so many awards in school. Ellie was a breed of her own, maybe that's why they had been abducated to this strange planet?

Or rather, her cousin was abducted, Cress had just gotten carried along for the ride. Had they booted her from their space craft when they realized that they had a stowaway? Is that how she ended up here? Was Ellie even on the same planet anymore?! Corren looked thoughtful for a moment, then shook his head. No, he had not heard of an Ellie, at least not her Ellie. Ayana wanted to take her for a ride on her bike. "I guess," Cress was hesitant, still, that bike was pretty cool. No doubt her cousin would want to take it apart to find out how it worked. Cress shook her head, if she could get Ayana to take her to the tier above them, the strange floating ground, then maybe Cress could find Ellie up there?

"Yeah sure, I'll stay here. I hope it's not too much trouble," Cress rose, still in her pajamas, which were slightly see through. A safe place to sleep and a warm bed were more than she could ask for in this situation and she was grateful. What did she want to do? Find her sister and get the heck out of dodge. Aya pulled on Cress's hand, tugging her towards the ladder. They went back down it, Aya giggling. "She's my cousin, she's brilliant and talented." Cress sighed, shaking her head. "She had a really promising future..." if only Cress had been the one the aliens had wanted. She wasn't smart or aloof like her cousin, she couldn't contribute much to their household, like her cousin did with her scholarships and grants.

She couldn't think about that now, she had to focus on her task ahead. She needed to survive and what could she do to make that happen? Cress didn't know. For now she had a place to sleep, but she needed a long term plan and a goal. A job? Were there jobs in this place? Cress didn't know. "Hey Aya, how do people make money around here?" If Cress could secure that much, then she wouldn't have to worry in the long run. She could stay at Corren's sewer pipe until she had enough to rent a place of her own and then... and then what? Find a way home? Find her cousin? Hope they weren't separated in some weird space-time continium and on the opposite ends of a black hole?

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❝With the magic of positivity, anything can happen!❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#30b818 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #d1ca00

|| Girl Inside || Mika Kobayashi ||




Ellen Winter. If she had ice blue eyes that would make the winter part of her name make more sense at least, wouldn't it? Aya giggled, finding the idea of a fire head girl being named Winter funny in her mind. Corren was taking it a bit more seriously as he tried to see if there was anyone he knew who matched the description Cress gave them of this Ellie person. "I'll keep an ear open." Corren said with a reassuring smile. "Lots of people come through here, so if I find anything out I'll pass it on to you." He was an Untouchable, but for some reason he set up an illegal clinic down here for free. Aya didn't know why it was illegal or anything, but she was happy this place was set up. Maybe if there was a free clinic years ago, then perhaps something could have...

Well, it's silly to think about things like that. Who needs thinking, anyways? All you need in this world is smiles, nothing else mattered. With Cress agreeing to stay here Aya pulled her new best friend away and hopped onto her bike after pulling it out from a bush with a grunt and some effort. She hopped on, patting the back seat with a grin, putting her sunglasses back onto her face. "Normally a dose of XMend Cream costs almost three hundred rubers! That's almost enough for two weeks worth of food!" Aya exclaimed with a giggle. "Did you like that fun fact?" Every Rubble knew the value of rubers, they lived and died based on those coins after all.

Cress wanted to know how they made money here. Did she not know about the school or work law, where every child at five years old must either join the workforce or pay for a school licenseship? "I know you Blossoms go to school and learn stuff, but we do things different down here in the Rubble Tier!" Aya grinned, her hands and fingers still sore from the long work day today. "We can't afford school, so we get put to work instead." They were in the air near the ceiling divider that separated the Rubble Tier from the Blossom Tier. "See that? That's the S14 Factory!" It was a dark building fenced off and everything. "I work there! We make things!" Her fingers still ached and they were dirty with oil and grime, but that was okay.

Still, there weren't many people in the Rubble Tier that had something as nice as black hair and ice blue eyes. Most Rubbles had eyes that were dull and lame, and dark hair was a sign of pure blood. It was rare here in Ashia, so flying overhead there was rarely anyone that had dark hair at all. Even after an hour of searching Aya couldn't find anyone. Still, she didn't want Cress to be discouraged! "Look up! Here's a pocket!" While usually Rubbles couldn't see the sky or the sun, there were little pockets here and there that the sunshine could poke through all the way from the surface. "It's so pretty! It's the sky!" The two suns intertwined brought light down onto the planet of Ourania, cutting through the darkness.

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❝I am a hell in high heels. ❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#CD5C5C ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #C5E3BF

|| Flaws || Bastille ||




"Thank you," Cress said to Corren as she was pulled out the door by Aya. She helped push the bike out of the bush and sat on the seat where Aya had patted it. "Rubers? Is that like dollars?" Cress asked as they took off, holding on tight. She could barely believe that her arm was truly healed. She tested it, bending it and wiggling her fingers, holding her arm up as though it were some trick of the light. It looked healed, fully mended, there wasn't any pain and yet... Cress did not truly trust it. Perhaps she was still in shock from her fall? Or maybe she had died and was in some strange parallel universe? Could it be she had been hit by lightning and had died on impact? Or maybe she truly was in a coma in the hospital and this was her mind attempting to compensate?

"I'm not a blossom, I don't know what that is." Cress mumbled in contemplation. As they floated above what Aya continued to call the Rubble Tier, all Cress saw were shades of brown, black, and gray. It was with stark clarity that she realized there were no plants, there was nothing growing down here. "Where do you guys get food from? I don't see any gardens or places that could even sustain one." No wonder they called it the Rubble Tier, for all intents and purposes, the entire space looked as though it were covered in dirt. Cress shook her head, she couldn't focus on that now. If her cousin was here, she had to find her and figure out a way to get back home. "So you don't learn... then how do you know how much your money is worth? Or science? How do you guys do anything?"

Cress was baffled by this blatent mistreatment of fully humans. How was this legal? Aya showed her the factory where she worked, a greasy looking building. "What do you guys make?" Cress inquired, wondering if she even wanted to know or if it was another thing that would just make her feel sad and sorry. Aya told her to look up and Cress did, her eyes widening. "Two... suns..." she trailed off in realization. They weren't on Earth, they weren't even in the Milky Way anymore. "Aya, do you know what galaxy we're in? Do you know of a place called the Milky Way?" Cress asked, her heart throbbing in her chest. This couldn't be real and yet, the pain she had experienced earlier was very real.

She pinched herself, just to make certain, but no, she was really here, in this strange place, in a world she did not recognize. Cress's hands began to shake, the panic settling in her stomach. Far from home, with no way to get back... Cress felt as though she suddenly could not breathe. Was this a panic attack? Cress hadn't had one since leaving the hospital. She knew what it felt like, but right now, she couldn't think about the coping methods she had learned.

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Character Portrait: Ellen Winter Character Portrait: Korhya Filia Character Portrait: Shiro Character Portrait: Crescent Winter
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❝With the magic of positivity, anything can happen!❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#30b818 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #d1ca00

|| Girl Inside || Mika Kobayashi ||




It seemed this Crescent Winter person really didn't know much of anything at all. Which was an incredible though, because how could someone just not know? Aya's chest swelled, was this her chance to teach? Aine always said that knowledge was power, so Aya would give some power to this Cress person by answering all of her questions that her little squid brain was capable of answering. "Rubers is money. We use it to pay for stuff." She had a few coins still jangling in her pouch's pocket, the sound making Aya very happy indeed. "But you're not a Rubble, and you're not a Blossom. You're pretty, so maybe you're an Untouchable?" But Untouchables would know these kinds of things, so that didn't make sense either. Oh well, that wasn't Aya's place to try to figure out. Her brain belonged to other things.

Cress asked about food. Aya slammed her foot on the brake, the graviton rotors tilting to make the bike hover in place. She reached into her pouch, producing a tube if synthesized gel. "This is our food! The Untouchables hand them out each week." It was gel with nutrients to keep them strong and healthy. "It tastes like plastic. Do you want some?" Rubbles didn't deserve real food, that was why they were Rubbles. Cress was saying a lot of rude things now so Aya puffed out her cheeks, revving the engine again to keep moving, her eyes peeled, trying to spy anyone with dark hair. "Rubbles are talented! We follow instructions and do as we're told!" The blonde sounded proud as she said it, pumping a fist on her chest.

"In our factory we're put in front of a conveyor belt, then instructions pop up on a screen so we do as the instructions say with the bits that come out." Cress wanted to know what they made but not even Aya knew that. Rubbles weren't supposed to know that sort of thing. "We each only make a small part, so Aya does not know what the whole thing is." She giggled, poking at her fingers so Cress could see. "Look! Calluses!" For some reason she sounded proud of those as well.

Suddenly Cress asked an odd question. Shouldn't everyone know the answer to the question? "We're in the Andromeda Galaxy. Milky Way? You should know our scientists changed the name, we call it the Via Lactea Galaxy now!" She stuck her tongue out and continued driving. It was nice to see the sun, but they couldn't dawdle. But it was okay, Aya suddenly had an idea. She lowered the bike and hid it, since they were here now. The Gate of Hope, the checkpoint between the Rubble Tier and the Blossom Tier was here. The Gate Knights glanced over at her. "Do you have a travel pass, cutie?" A red haired Gate Knight asked, swinging her spear at her.

"Heron, you're not even a Gate Knight." The other guard muttered, male, glaring at his red haired companion. "It's okay, don't sweat it Mitchy. I'm visiting, and there's two really cute girls here, so it was worth the trip!" The girl, apparently known as Heron, flashed a grin that made Aya's heart spin for a moment. "Um, Aya wants to know. Did you see a girl named Ellie? She has dark hair and blue eyes?" If she passed through the gate the Gate Knights would definitely know. "No one like that came through today." Mitchy said, looking at the records. "So your name's Aya? Isn't that a beautiful name?" Heron winked at her, and Aya couldn't help but blush in confusion.

"So, who's the fire head girl with you?" Herno pointed her spear in Cress's direction. "I'm sure her name is just as beautiful as she is." The actual Gate Knight on duty rolled his eyes. "Heron, stop messing with the civilians just because you're bored." The boy, apparently known as Mitchy, said with a frown. Heron winked at them, pure confidence coming off of her. "I can't help it! It's rare you see such beauties from the Rubble Tier! Can you imagine them all prettied up in makeup and fancy dresses? I want to take them home with me!"

Aya blinked. "Cress, this person looks dangerous. We should escape!" She tugged on her friend's wrist, wanting to go back to the bike.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Atsuko Tateyama Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Luquiere K. Lilant Character Portrait: Pariya Character Portrait: Kuro Botan Character Portrait: Princess Yuna Character Portrait: Ellen Winter Character Portrait: Kiyoko Character Portrait: Korhya Filia Character Portrait: Prince Sangre Character Portrait: Aeeron Character Portrait: Eleven Character Portrait: Ivan Charde Character Portrait: Shiro Character Portrait: Crescent Winter
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❝I am a hell in high heels. ❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#CD5C5C ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #C5E3BF

|| Flaws || Bastille ||




Cress took the gel cautiously, looking at the tube. She unscrewed the cap and touched it against her tongue, grimacing. "This is awful!" Cress cringed, stuffing the cap back on and handing it back to Aya. How could she stand to live like this? She seemed okay with this entire arrangment, as though her life was worth nothing more than nutrient paste, or whatever, in a plastic tube. "Don't you want real food? And a real education? And... you know, to live a life that isn't surrounded by rubble?" Cress asked, wondering if Aya's only aspirations were really to work in a factory and eat food that came from a toothpaste tub. "Or you know, to at least be able to see the sky more than just in pockets?" She stared up at the two suns, her heart stopping in her chest. Two suns, that wasn't right.

Andromeda Galaxy? So Cress's guess was right, she really had left the Milky Way. In that case, there was no way that Ellie was here... was she? No, Cress shook her head. Her cousin was probably back at home, going to school, or maybe the police to put in a missing person's report. It wasn't the first time Cress had gone missing either. They probably thought she was wandering in the woods again and would return home any second, once she got hungry or realized that she hadn't taken anything with her. They would never know that she was trapped here, in a galaxy far, far away. "I'm dreaming, I must be dreaming." Cress looked at her fingers, counting them. In dreams you couldn't focus on things as specific as your fingers, but she counted to ten without trouble.

"Aya... I'm-I'm not from here." She said softly when they suddenly swerved, stopping at a gate. It was taller than most trees Cress had seen, silver in color, with spikes at the top. It was clear that they did not want people to come through the gate. Aya hoped off of her bike and waltzed up to the guards, speaking to them. Cress couldn't hear them from where she sat, but from the looks of it, they hadn't seen her cousin. She rose, hesitant, if these were guards then maybe they could take her to see their monarch or president, or whatever ruled here. If Cress could just explain, then maybe they had a way to get her back home? After all, they had strange, floating gravity bikes. They must've had some sort of tech that could send Cress back. If she could just get back to earth, she could find her way home from there.

"Wait, Aya. Go sit on the bike for a minute, okay?" She stopped in front of the bars, wearing nothing but flimsy, slightly, see-through pajamas and hiking boots. "Well, would you look at that?" The red haired guard winked. "What's your name beautiful?" She twirled the spear in her hands, leaning on it, a leery look in her eyes. "My name is Crescent Winter and I come from the Via Lactea Galaxy." The two guards looked at each other, as though they didn't quite believe what they had just heard. "Please, I need to speak to your King or Queen, or President, or... whatever ruler you have here. I need to go back home." Suddenly, they burst out laughing. "Alright, we'll take you to our leader," it was clear she was being mocked. "That's what aliens say, right?" The gate opened despite their taunting, the red headed guard reaching through to pull Cress behind the bars.

"Not! Did you think you could get to our Queen so easily!" She was abruptly shoved to the ground, a spear at her throat. Cress stiffened, blanching. "The only place a rubble like you belongs is in the loony bin!" Mitchy the guard yelled, Cress able to see his nametag from her spot in the dirt. She looked back at Aya, but the gate was separating them. "Please, I'm telling the truth! You have to believe me!" She squeaked.

A flash of light came from the sky, smoke surrounding them. Cress was grabbed from the dirt and pulled back. "It's the rebels! Sound the alarm!"

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❝With the magic of positivity, anything can happen!❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#30b818 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #d1ca00

|| Girl Inside || Mika Kobayashi ||




While she giggled at Cress's reaction to the tube, it confirmed that Cress really wasn't a Rubble. Rubbles got used to the taste. It was the only reliable food that they could count on after all. Aspirations? Hopes, dreams? Aya didn't need anything like that, those things were dangerous. She didn't need anything, because as long as Aya was smiling, then Aya was happy, wasn't she? So she smiled at Cress, tilting her head to show that she had no idea what Cress was trying to say. Eventually fire head Cress said something about how she wasn't from here. "Well, yeah! If you were from here, you wouldn't mind the taste at all!" Rubbles were used to it, but Cress sure wasn't.

After trying the Gate Knights for news about this Ellie girl and finding nothing but failure Aya wanted to leave. Someone like this knight who called herself Heron rubbed Aya the wrong way, like sandpaper over your eye. She decided she would continue the exploration someplace that wasn't here. "Be careful, Gate Knights aren't friendly!"Aya warned, since Cress seemed to want to talk to them. The blonde squid listened in, blinking as Cress was... and Aya finally noticed it. Cress's clothes, they were very improper! You could see almost everything underneath that fancy cloth! It was almost as if Cress was a lady of the night? Was that why she was a runaway? Pretty girls and ladies of the night had a bad habit of disappearing, never to be seen again. The squid did not like how Cress's negotiations with the Gate Knights was going.

Once upon a time, members of the Rebels showed up at the underground school Aine Dorones had set up. This was shortly after Aine vanished, a few years ago. An eyepatched woman with a scarred face gave a little stick to all the Rubble children. 'If ever you need help, whistle on this stick and help will come." Xion said with a grin. "Too many Rubble children are disappearing, so keep these sticks on you at all times." Aya wondered if this was the kind of moment Xion was talking about. Aya didn't like the Rebel people though. They were violent and did bad things. They tried to recruit new members to join and fight with them but Aya wasn't a fan of fighting, since it wasn't smiling.

Still, she broke the stick, wondering what would happen.

A silent signal went out and smoke filled the area. A strange fox eared boy jumped in, pulling Cress back. "So you sent the signal." He punched the gate, then pulled Aya through before she could run back to the bike. "Tch, you rebels. Always getting in my way." Heron spun her spear, twirling the blade with a deft hand. "I finally found some cute girls and you're ruining my fun, rebel!" The fox eared boy stuck his tongue out at Heron. "Well, these are my girls now." He declared, jumping away with enhanced legs before Heron could attack.

Once they were safe away the fox eared man wrapped cloaks around both Cress and Aya, though Aya's cloak fitted badly and sagged off of her emaciated body. "I'm taking you to our base. Xion's going to want to talk to you." He eyed Cress in particular. "Especially the mysterious Earthling here." Earthling? Aya's eyes widened. Could Cress be from Earth? "Who are you?" The blonde squid asked, wanting to go back to her bike as they dove into the alleys, out of sight. "My name's Farrel, and I'm helping fight for a fairer Ashia."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Atsuko Tateyama Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Luquiere K. Lilant Character Portrait: Pariya Character Portrait: Kuro Botan Character Portrait: Princess Yuna Character Portrait: Ellen Winter Character Portrait: Kiyoko Character Portrait: Korhya Filia Character Portrait: Prince Sangre Character Portrait: Aeeron Character Portrait: Eleven Character Portrait: Ivan Charde Character Portrait: Shiro Character Portrait: Crescent Winter
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❝I am a hell in high heels. ❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#CD5C5C ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #C5E3BF

|| Flaws || Bastille ||




Cress was pulled to her feet, her night clothes now smeared with dirt. In the midst of the smoke, she was grabbed by the rebels, a man with fox ears on his head, in case this world could not get any stranger. She followed him quietly, shoulders slumped, having been laughed in the face by this world's authorities took the wind out of her rather quickly. There was no reason for her to fight, after all. She had no way of getting back home, no way of knowing if her cousin was here, heck, Cress didn't even know if any of this was real or not. The alleged rebel introduced himself as Farrel, he took Aya along with them, no doubt because she had been there too. He claimed he wanted to speak with them and made them don cloaks. It was far too warm and stiffling underneath it, but Cress tolerated it because she didn't know if the guards from before were following them.

The building they entered was unassuming, like everything else in this strange place. It gave no indication that it was a rebel base, which Cress figured was fitting since they wree supposed to be in disguise. They entered through a back door, Cress taking the cloak off as soon as they were inside. There was no running air conditioner, which didn't surprise her. The inside was crammed with screens showing every inch of what Cress assumed was this planet? City? She wasn't quite sure. "Take a seat, help yourselves to some nutrient paste." He gestured to a bowl on the table full of those little tubes of gross tasting stuff. Cress grimaced at the thought and sat down gingerly on the edge of the couch.

"I'm sorry for dragging you into this," Cress spoke softly to Aya. What if she coudn't return to her home now that she had been caught? What if they would come after them? Cress swallowed hard, could she even go back to Corren's clinic? Her stomach clenched in knots just thinking about it, she may as well have just doomed herself. Her eyes wandered to the screens that were everywhere, her heart nearly jumping into her throt. Cress leaped to her feet, running to get a closer look. "That's her, that's my cousin! That's Ellie!" She pointed excitedly to one of the screens, a girl that Cress didn't recognize was there with her. Her cousin appeared to be asleep, but the fact that she was here, on the same planet, in the same galaxy, was enough to spark the fire within her.

"Your cousin?" A voice from behind them guffawed. "That's the Princess, surely if she had a cousin, we would all know." Cress whirled around to see a woman with short black hair and a scar across one of her eyes. "Princess? That can't be right, she's just... Ellie." Cress turned back to the screen, wondering if she could have mistaken her for someone else but no, that was unmistakebly her. "I would know Ellie anywhere." Her hands clenched into fists, one balling over her heart. Why did they think that Ellie was a Princess? Her cousin was the opposite of nobility. She forgot to eat sometimes, was messy, always elbows deep in the latest tech...

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Character Portrait: Ellen Winter Character Portrait: Korhya Filia Character Portrait: Shiro Character Portrait: Crescent Winter
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❝With the magic of positivity, anything can happen!❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#30b818 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #d1ca00

|| Girl Inside || Mika Kobayashi ||




Aya still smiled even as she followed Farrel and Cress into the base. She wasn't a stranger to the Blossom Tier, this was far from her first time here. She didn't like being seen though, most of her adventures to the Blossom Tier was in secret, unknown and unnoticed by anyone. Farrel had ear implants, a luxury most Rubbles couldn't afford. The flowers are blooming and the smell of plants wafted in the air through the middle ward. Even the base looked better than most buildings in the Rubble Tier. "It's okay. No matter what happens, smile!" Aya poked Cress on the cheek, her fangs peeking out from under her lips. "You have a nice smile, Aya knows you do." Cress would no doubt be a beauty. She was really pretty!

Aya gave Cress a funny look when she said Princess Narisia was her cousin. "Keep smiling, but are you asleep?" Was this a funny ploy to try and gain access to the Untouchable Tier? A woman appeared, someone Aya knew as a visitor to the Rubble Tier on occasion. "When did Princess Narisia come back?" Aya asked, smiling curiously. "She disappeared five years ago?" Something didn't quite make sense right now, but Aya wasn't sure what to make of it. She was just a Rubble, so it wasn't her job to think anyhow. "My name is Xion. I'm the leader of the Rebels." Xion held her hand out. "Farrel, good work in saving them." Farrel nodded, if he had a tail, it would be wagging. It was clear he admired Xion in some way, but Aya didn't want to get involved in these people. "This girl's name is Cress. She's the Earthling we saw fall from the transponder." Farrel announced with a grin. Xion nodded, looking calmly at the fire head girl.

"I'm just doing what any good Rebel would." He puffed up his chest, trying to look cool. "It seems like you have something to talk about with Princess Narisia." Xion said, looking at Cress. She gave Aya a cooked grass bread, which she nibbled on to satisfy her for the time being. It was better than the paste at least. "But sadly, this is a give and take world, so if you want us to help you get to the Untouchable Tier, there's something I want you to do for us to." Xion gestured at the cameras, where you could see the disparity. The rich and fancy living luxurious lives in the Untouchable Tier, Rubbles being beaten and abused in factories because the production was not high enough for the demand. "You can see that Ashia has many problems. We're trying to help alleviate those problems to make this society more equal for everyone."

Xion smiled, pointing to a calendar. "In two days Queen Narina is hosting a ball for all the nobles to attend. It's a ball to celebrate the return of Princess Narisia to Ashia. I can get you in there, Crescent." Aya was just glad that they finally found this Ellie person. It was getting late though, she needed to get home or Daddy would start wondering. "Corren told me that you're to stay at his place. I have a box here of books." She opened the box, revealing books about basic reading and writing for children. "Aya, would you mind helping Cress take these books to the underground school?" Aya blanched, raising an eyebrow. She didn't wanna be a part, but as long as she smiled it would be okay. Cress was her new best friend, and best friends stick together. "Ogie." She said, her words garbled through a mouthful of food.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Atsuko Tateyama Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Luquiere K. Lilant Character Portrait: Pariya Character Portrait: Kuro Botan Character Portrait: Princess Yuna Character Portrait: Ellen Winter Character Portrait: Kiyoko Character Portrait: Korhya Filia Character Portrait: Prince Sangre Character Portrait: Aeeron Character Portrait: Eleven Character Portrait: Ivan Charde Character Portrait: Shiro Character Portrait: Crescent Winter
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❝I am a hell in high heels. ❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#CD5C5C ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #C5E3BF

|| Flaws || Bastille ||




Narisia? A Princess? It was as though they were speaking French to her. Keep smiling? How could she do that when her cousin had been kidnapped and was being held hostage as some sort of Princess? What would happen next? Would they champion her a prince and force her into an unhappy marriage? Cress shook her head, she had to save her cousin. "Come back? She's been on earth this whole time!" Cress argued, wondering why Aya seemed to think that Ellie was really their missing princess. Cress understood now, they were crazy. How could they not be blind to see the truth? Her cousin had been abducted to replace this Narsia, or whatever her name was. The rebel with the scar announced herself as Xion, the leader of this operation.

"You saw me fall?" Cress asked. Were they just going to let her die then? If Aya hadn't found Cress with her gravity bike, then she would've become a human puddle on the pavement. "Were planning on just letting me die then?" Instantly, she did not trust these people. They were not on her side, or Ellie's side. Still, they promised they would get her to the Untouchable Tier. A ball, in two days. She took advantage of the real food they had here too, helping herself to bread, not having realized how hungry she was. "So what do I have to do?" She asked through a mouthful of crumbs, brushing them off of her lips. It seemed like an easy enough task, only too easy. Still, Cress wouldn't be suspicious of it until they gave her a reason to be.

"Alright, I'll do it. We'll do it, Aya's the one with the bike." Aya agreed through a mouthful of bread, it seemed she too, was taking full advantage of the food. "Come on Aya, let's go deliver those books. I'm sure your family is worried about you." She rose, "We will contact you tomorrow." Xion said, her smile mysterious. Cress hefted up the container of books and put the cloak on that was offered by Farrel. Once Aya was next to her, they made their way back to the Rubble Tier and back to the gravity bike. "I'm sorry for dragging you into this, you probably want nothing to do with this rebellion and stuff. I'm sure your life was peaceful before today." Cress had probably interrupted her routine. "Still... thanks for... you know."

After the books had been delivered, it was time for Aya to head home. "I can find Corren's place from here, don't worry about me, alright?" Cress waved until Aya was out of sight, then made her way, clutching the hood close to her. There were guards stationed everywhere, she noticed, and who knew if they were wathcing her? She did her best to not act suspicious, to keep her head low and shoulders down, blending into the crowd that wore mute, dull colors. At last she reached the bush that led to the ladder and clambered up, knocking on the door. She was let in by Finnley, who looked at her in distaste. "Follow me," he spoke quietly, leading Cress to a shower. "You can change into these clothes after," she nodded, grateful that at least for now, she had a place to stay and sleep. Once she showered and replaced her clothes, she slept on the cot with the threadbare blanket, contemplating how she would get herself and her cousin back to earth.

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❝With the magic of positivity, anything can happen!❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#30b818 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #d1ca00

|| Girl Inside || Mika Kobayashi ||




Xion's smile was unreadable. "We saw you appear from the cameras we have installed." She said, ending that particular mystery. "Before we could send someone to check on you, our cute little squid showed up and saved you, so we knew you were in good hands." That seemed to answer Cress's queries about why they didn't help her at least. Once the talk was over and poor Aya was roped into dangerous business she didn't want to do - she also didn't like being called squid very much - she smiled at Cress, being smiling made everything better. "We're friends." Aya said as she landed the bike in front of the pipe that lead to the underground school that Aine and her family had set up. They brought the books in, hiding them under a shelf. "Friends help each other, right?"

Aya stepped into her house, smiling. It was dark, but she locked the door anyways. Today was a very long day it turned out, and the squid girl wanted to just get in bed and relax now. She had a long day at work, then adventured with her new best friend Crescent Winter and now she was being roped into the Resistance. As Aya walked into the bathroom to set up a sponge bath - since Rubbles didn't get the same amount of water other Tiers were allowed to get - she suddenly felt awful pain. "Aya, what are you doing?" Daddy stood up, staring her down. "You have to come home by 8 PM every night, you know. There's a curfew for your own safety." He punched her again, the fist colliding with her stomach, knocking her down. Aya's eyes bugged out but she smiled, panting, laying down.

"I-I'm sorry, Daddy. Aya will do better next time." She laid there as he punched her again, shaking his head. At first she tried to fight against it but over the years Aya learned. Even though she was dumb and stupid, even Aya could learn. If she didn't struggle, if she accepted it, then it wouldn't be so bad and Daddy's anger would calm down. She loved Daddy after all, he was her only family left now. "I'm sorry, child, you know I have to do this." It was only discipline Aya understood that very well. She knew it wasn't his fault, he was only doing what parents should do. The dinner table had four chairs but only two were used, and Aya ate quietly, making sure to not stop smiling. Dinner was yummy, for however yummy the nutrient paste could be when cooked. Daddy tucked her in and gave her a kiss on the forehead just like always.

With a bright smile Aya revved her bike and parked it inside a bush outside Corren's clinic. Work ended again for the day and her hand felt raw and pained but it was okay because now it was adventure time again with her new best friend! "Cress, Aya's here!" She announced with a bubbly grin, waving her hand. "Aya, please quiet down." Corren urged, a box of medical supplies in his arm he was transporting to another room. "We have patients here trying to sleep." Aya tilted her head. "Cress and Aya have an appointment with Xion, so Aya's looking for Cress." The squid said with a grin.

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Character Portrait: Atsuko Tateyama Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Luquiere K. Lilant Character Portrait: Pariya Character Portrait: Kuro Botan Character Portrait: Princess Yuna Character Portrait: Ellen Winter Character Portrait: Kiyoko Character Portrait: Korhya Filia Character Portrait: Prince Sangre Character Portrait: Aeeron Character Portrait: Eleven Character Portrait: Ivan Charde Character Portrait: Shiro Character Portrait: Crescent Winter
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❝I am a hell in high heels. ❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#CD5C5C ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #C5E3BF

|| Flaws || Bastille ||




Cress awoke, startled, wondering where she was. Then, slowly, she remembered. This was not her cozy bed in Sierra Nevada, this was a strange world, a strange planet, outside of her galaxy and her cousin was here, in need of rescuing. "Good morning," Corren had come to check on her. "Morning," Cress yawned, rising. Finnley had left her new clothing on a chair, ones that would let her blend in. "I brought this, so you won't have to eat the nutrient paste." He handed her a sandwich, which Cress was thankful for. "Why'd you do that? What if you got in trouble?" She asked, but took it anyway, grateful for real food. "Because you're not from around here Milky Way and the last thing I need you to do is vomit." She nodded in appreciation, eating her fill.

"So how come there's no gardens down here? I noticed when Ayana was flying me around that I couldn't see a spot or bushel of green." She asked, brushing crumbs off of her pajamas. "It's how the Untouchables control the Rubbles. Make sure they can't grow their own food and they have to rely on them if they don't want to starve." Cress frowned, "but people are starving. I can count every bone in so many of those kids bodies," she said, horrified. Corren shrugged as though this were normal. "It's just how it is around here. The soil is mostly sand, they couldn't grow anything if they tried. Now get dressed, you promised me a hand and I'm going to use it." She nodded, getting dressed as soon as he left. She laced up her boots, glad for the familiar comfort.

"I'm ready, what do you need me to do?" Cress asked, washing her hands and pulling on gloves. "Mostly to dress wounds and change bandages. Can you write and read?" Cress blinked, "Not your language." She had noticed it yesterday, somehow, she spoke the language they spoke, but could not read or understand their letters. "Then you'll learn on the job, take their names down, write it in your language and then you'll translate it after." She nodded, there was a steady stream of people that came in all day. Cress cleaned wounds, taking oil out of skin. She helped children with coughs and sneaked them extra sweets from the bowl on Corren's desk. Most of the were far too thin for comfort, some of them had wounds or missing fingers from working in poorly kept factories.

It was after she had finished for the day that Aya arrived at last. "I'm here, I'll be there in a second." She dried her hands on her pants, figuring she didn't need to waste a towel. "Come on Aya, let's go see Xion." Corren looked between them, he didn't seem surprised that they were going to see the rebellion. "Just be careful around those guys," he warned. "They're the type that will do whatever it takes to get what they want." She nodded and followed Aya out of the pipe and down the ladder, to where her bike was waiting in the bush. "Aya, you don't have to get involved, it might be safer for you not to."

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Character Portrait: Ellen Winter Character Portrait: Korhya Filia Character Portrait: Shiro Character Portrait: Crescent Winter
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❝With the magic of positivity, anything can happen!❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#30b818 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #d1ca00

|| Girl Inside || Mika Kobayashi ||




Wearing a green jacket to cover the bruises Aya smiled brightly as Cress came out. She had been sitting in the waiting room, watching as Rubbles went in and went out, glad that a place like this existed. Cress seemed tired but Aya too was tired, they were both tired but there was no rest for the weary. That's okay, Aya didn't need rest. She could smile after all, so what else could anyone possibly need? "Yay, let's go!" She climbed down the ladder, happy that fire head Cress was looking a little less dreamy and a bit more lucid this time. Before they got on the bike though Cress seemed to have something to say. "Cress is new to Ashia." The little squid said simply. "Aya knows about Ashia, so Aya can help. And friends help friends." She pulled a little at Cress's cheeks, helping her smile.

The Blossom Tier was far prettier than the Rubble Tier, even though the dirt and garbage looked comfortable to Aya. The flowers and the cleaned streets and lamp lights and little gardens that made up the Blossom Tier was all something that was more fitting for Cress probably. As she rode her bike, ignoring the dirty looks and stares from various Blossoms, Aya continued to smile until she suddenly stopped. There was someone in the crowd of Varsity Academy girls that looked a lot like her twin sis- Aya blinked, then revved the engine, speeding along with Cress sitting on the back. Kora was dead, of course she was only just imagining things. While Corren gave them little coats that were more fitting of the Blossom Tier it didn't hide the Rubble smell that Aya always had.

Once at the lame looking resistance HQ Farrel was there to greet them at the front door after Aya knocked on it. "Welcome, pretty ladies. It's time to get you two ready for a ball!" He flashed a grin, pushing them along, setting the bike down safely in the yard. "Ball?" Aya blinked. She was going to go to a Ball? "Xion, why don't you explain?" Xion gave them both a wry little nod, taking both girls into a room where other female resistance members already had everything set up. "Tonight, there's going to be a ball to celebrate the return of Princess Narisia to Ashia. All the nobles are invited, of course. Your "Ellie" will be there, and if it's true that she's not really the Princess, then we need to know."

Before Aya could realize it she had been stripped. "What's this?" Xion asked, looking at her in concern. There was bruising on her stomach and her sides. "Aya tripped." She said lamely, blinking. "Aya held a big machinery piece but it was heavy so she fell." Xion looked at her carefully, putting a dress away. "That doesn't look like... anyways." Suddenly a dress was decided for her dress, gold and flowing, with a corset underneath to make it look as if the emaciated girl had a figure.

"There's a noble lady named Aine Dorones. Why don't you tell us about her, squid?" Xion began and Aya nodded. "Aine and her father made a school for us Rubbles to learn how to read and write." She explained with a smile, fidgeting as the women plucked her eyebrows. "Then she disappeared because the Untouchables didn't like that!" Xion seemed to approve of that. "Aya looks a lot like Aine, so we're going to dress her up as Aine to attend the ball. Aine's disappearance was kept a big secret, so I'm sure the Queen won't make a fuss." As Aya's hair was being treated and her body washed Xion put Cress in a chair, a slew of dresses ready to try on her. "You're going to attend as Aine's servant, Crescent." Xion's smile was not kind as it was Cress's turn to begin being pampered.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Atsuko Tateyama Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Luquiere K. Lilant Character Portrait: Pariya Character Portrait: Kuro Botan Character Portrait: Princess Yuna Character Portrait: Ellen Winter Character Portrait: Kiyoko Character Portrait: Korhya Filia Character Portrait: Prince Sangre Character Portrait: Aeeron Character Portrait: Eleven Character Portrait: Ivan Charde Character Portrait: Shiro Character Portrait: Crescent Winter
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❝I am a hell in high heels. ❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#CD5C5C ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #C5E3BF

|| Flaws || Bastille ||




It seemed that despite Cress's protest, Aya was here to stay. In a way, Cress was glad. Aya was familiar, she was on her side. Having someone consistenly there for her... made her stomach squealch strangely. Back on earth, it was hard for Cress to make friends. She had lost a lot of them after the accident and spent most of her time outside, honing her green thumb. She had a handful, but Ellie was the one people grativated towards. She was a sun that the planets revolved around. In a way, it didn't surprise Cress that her sister had been taken to be some sort of Princess. "Aya," Cress said softly, "Thank you." They suddenly sped up, but Cress didn't know why. She looked where Aya was looking, but didn't see anything in particular that might make her speed up.

A ball? That was wildly outside of her comfort zone. Dresses and makeup, stuff like that wasn't what Cress would exactly call her forte. They were whisked away almost immediately to a side room and forced into chairs that were clearly meant to prep them. A team of girls were at Xion's sides, each holding a different grooming tool. Cress swallowed hard, this looked more like torture than help. What was Xion thinking? "So let me get this straight, you're going to take two girls, one from the poorest tier on your planet and the other who is literally from outter space and place them in the center of everyone's attention where they could be captured or killed?" Xion nodded. "Great, just wanted to make sure I knew what I was getting myself into." Her nails dug into the skin on her thighs, she didn't know what was worse.

Getting thrown onto a different planet? Or suddenly having to attend a ball? She glanced at Aya as she was stripped, noticing the bruising on her fair skin. "Aya.... nevermind," Cress looked away. She had seen injuries like those before and Xion too, seemed to notice Aya dodging the question. Still, no one pressed her. It seemed that the ball was the priority. Aya was going to play the part of Aine Dorones, a notable noblewoman and Cress, her servant. "Sounds good to me." There would be less attention on her, it would be easier for her to move. After all, no one cared about a servant. Xion's eye had a gleam in it that Cress didn't like. She was being used, she knew, but for what purpose, Cress wasn't sure. At the subtle nod of a head, the gaggle of girls descended upon her.

She was scrubbed and waxed of almost all of her body hair. They plucked her brows and put creams and powders on her face to make her look presentable and then, finally, the dress. It was darker than Aya's, meant for Cress to blend into the crowd rather than stick out. It matched her eyes, the fiery hues and warm tones going well with her hair and skin. "Aya, you really don't have to do this if you're not comfortable with it." Cress reached over to squeeze her hand, wouldn't AYa's family worry? Wouldn't they be wondering where she went? After all, a ball wouldn't be easy to escape from once they entered.

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Character Portrait: Ellen Winter Character Portrait: Korhya Filia Character Portrait: Shiro Character Portrait: Crescent Winter
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❝With the magic of positivity, anything can happen!❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#30b818 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #d1ca00

|| Girl Inside || Mika Kobayashi ||





Against her will Aya was forced into a golden dress. She had been scrubbed down and de-haired and had weird stuff shoved in her face and rubbed all over it. Once it was done Aya wasn't sure if she was a clown or a frog but she sure didn't like it either way. Thankfully no one cared about the bruising in the end, they believed her story about falling down. Aya was pretty clever, wasn't she? It must have been a really convincing story then. Cress was put in a dress and made suitable as well, though she looked to be having as much fun as Aya was right now. "Now, unfortunately, the two of you are a little uncouth." Xion said, sporting an unreadable expression on her face. "I'll have Farrel teach you the basics of etiquette."

Farrel was all dressed up in a tuxedo as Xion lead them to another spare room. "Stand up and straight. Aya, you come first." He held his arm out and Aya smiled brightly, accepting his offer. He spun her around over and over, making the poor squid dizzy and confused as she tried to keep up with her clumsy little feet. It was hard enough trying to breathe, why did she have to do this too? "It would look bad if two pretty girls like you couldn't dance." Farrel snickered, cruelly putting Aya through the moves. "Cress, I'll be easier on you since you won't be as noticed." He held his arm out, letting Aya down once he was satisfied she learned. Two girls with no noble manners couldn't do very well at all in sneaking into a Ball where important people would be looking in at all times. "Will it be dangerous?" Aya asked while Cress was being taught some basic moves. "We'll have people in the staff to help if there's an emergency." Farrel assured them. "So don't worry your heads and focus on finding out who Princess Narisia is." After dance practice they were given pictures and made to memorize all the nobles attending the ball, from Beatrice Liefthith, Corren's sister in law, to Alastor Vance, a young scientist studying alchemy, to even the wild and ferocious knight Heron Cherubim, the Fang of Ashia.

It was possible that Narisia really was just Cress's cousin, Ellie, kidnapped because she looked like Ellie. Similarly, Aya was being made to dress up as Aine because she looked a little bit like her. Even as Aya was put into a fancy flying chariot she wasn't sure what to think. A thin old man in a simple black suit was there to greet them. "You really do look just like her." His gaze was sympathetic. "My name's Serpina. I'm Aine's father." He shook his head at Cress and Aya. "I'm sorry for what Xion's doing. She's a bit zealous in her methods." Even his voice sounded like soft sad cotton. "I'm sorry about Aine." Aya said, having known and seen Serpina a few times back when the school was operating. He gave her a weak little smile, but couldn't say anything in return.

The Untouchable Tier was a place of beauty. There were statues and fountains and fancy streets and stores and happiness abound up here. Aya wasn't sure she liked it, it all looked so artificial. The Rubble Tier is probably the most real of them all. "Look, isn't it pretty?" Aya asked, pointing at some rare flowers blooming near a crosswalk. "If anything happens, break the stick." Serpina held out two sticks for the girls. "Someone from the resistance will come and save you." Ashia Palace was both scary and fantastic, almost looking like a castle made entirely out of ice, waiting for them, the gates opening, a carpet rolled out for the nobles to attend. Already Aya could hear the music.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Atsuko Tateyama Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Luquiere K. Lilant Character Portrait: Pariya Character Portrait: Kuro Botan Character Portrait: Princess Yuna Character Portrait: Ellen Winter Character Portrait: Kiyoko Character Portrait: Korhya Filia Character Portrait: Prince Sangre Character Portrait: Aeeron Character Portrait: Eleven Character Portrait: Ivan Charde Character Portrait: Shiro Character Portrait: Crescent Winter
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❝I am a hell in high heels. ❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#CD5C5C ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #C5E3BF

|| Flaws || Bastille ||




After getting suited up, Farren was given the task of teaching them to dance. Cress watched Aya, giggling as she stumbled and tried to learn to dance with less than an hour to go and two left feet. When it was her turn, she blanched and looked away. "I'll go easy on you," Farren promised, grinning. "No, it's not that." Cress said quietly, "I took ballroom and ballet for the first ten years of my ilfe." She rose, allowing Farren to teach her their custom dances. They weren't so far fetched, pretty similar to earth's actually. "You're actually kinda good at this," he grinned, oddly gentle with her. "Thanks... I think?" Their time was cut short, it seemed that their ride had arrived. Cress swallowed hard, they were really doing this. What if she died? What if she was killed? Or worse? What if Ellie was hrut and killed? This could all go south pretty quickly.

"Let's do this," Cress exuded false confidence as she held up the hem of Aya's dress, attempting to play the part. Their ride was nice, it was probably the nicest car Cress had ever been in. It had red velvet seats and the window lit up different colors as though they had fireworks built into them. Aya spoke with the man, who introduced himself as Serapina Dorones, the Father of the girl they were pretending to be. Did he know what really happened to Aine? Cress had to wonder. He apologized for Xion's behavior, was he in direct alignment with the rebellion as well? There were so many questions that Cress had, but she did not think it would be polite to ask. Was he really okay with Aya immitating his possibly dead daughter? It seemed so.

They had reached the Untouchable Tier, as everyone else called it. It was significantly nicer here than the Blossom Tier, Cress noticed. While the Blossom Tier looked about the same as Cress's own neighborhood before her move to California, the Untouchable Tier was more like something out of a sci fi movie. They passed an entire building made of glass that seemed to float, fish swimming between the walls. Fountain where the water went up instead of down, buildings that changed colors as they passed them. "What is this place?" Cress breathed. She felt awfully intimidated by all of this. Could they really do this? Could they really blend in up here? Cress opened her mouth, then closed it quickly, it seemed that they had arrived. She could hear the music from in her seat in the car.

They pulled up to what could only be described as a castle. There were people wearing dressed that Cress could only describe as both ridiculous and fascinating. One woman dripped in an outfit that seemed to be made of a fabric that rippled like water. Another had donned a gown that almost looked to be sewen of glass. Men wore suits in shades with patterns that moved when they did. One of them had eyes that followed and watched behind him. "We're really doing this," she whispered as the door opened. A carpet rolled out as soon as they arrived, as though it had been expecting them this entire time. "Well, after you Madame." After all, Cress had to now play the part of the servant. She had an easier job, she believed, than poor Aya, who was immitating what could possibly be someone who had died in a purposeful attack.

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Character Portrait: Ellen Winter Character Portrait: Korhya Filia Character Portrait: Shiro Character Portrait: Crescent Winter
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❝With the magic of positivity, anything can happen!❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#30b818 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #d1ca00

|| Girl Inside || Mika Kobayashi ||




To the sound of music, gentle and elegant, the Ball began. Aya nodded, making a bit of a face. "Thank you, Crescent. It's been a while since my last ball." By taking on the role of Aine Dorones it was almost as if Aya herself vanished. She's always been a good actress after all, one of the few talents the squid had in that head of hers. She held her arm out with a right angle for Cress to lead her to Ashia Palace. "Take it easy, Aine." Serpina had an aura of depression in him but still he seemed devoted to the act. What was his role in all of this? Aya didn't know but right now she was Aine so it wasn't her job to care about that sort of thing anyways.

They followed the red carpet, the other nobles also gossiping and jittering among each other towards the interior of the palace. Eventually the red carpet lead them to a large room where the music was at it's loudest. Aya's eyes were drawn immediately to the large and sparkling crystal chandelier dangling above their heads. It was protected with invisible supports so it couldn't be sabotaged and made to fall however. At the far end, opposite of the entrance, Queen Narina and King Azel sat on either side of the newly returned Princess Narisia. King Azel seemed bored of the festivities, if anything he wanted to go and interact with his military friends. Queen Narisia was enjoying the glory as jealous noblewomen glared up at her dress and her beauty. Princess Narisia sat on the throne, her hair dark, her eyes cold and emotionless. Her dress fit her perfectly, like a stake of black ice.It was as Aya remembered on the screens, the cold hearted princess with no empathy or kindness. There was a puppy servant made to stand at her side.

"At long last, my daughter, Princess Narisia has returned to us." Queen Narina announced with a smile. Aya was nibbling on some fancy sort of yellow creamy bread, trying not to moan at how yummy it was. She was standing next to a girl whose face she saw on the pictures she was forced to memorize, Nio Cherubim, the youngest daughter of Zerath Cherubim. "Here, you can have some." Aya said, noticing that Nio was staring at the bread. Nio silently took the bread and nibbled on it as well, but said nothing. She had a cute choker on, with a big red bow. "Ashia Palace is now ready to return to her full glory." Queen Narina declared. "Now, let's celebrate, and enjoy the feast!"

With a stone cold face Princess Narisia descended from the chair. Visiting from neighboring nation of Tartaria, Prince Semyon took her by the arm. "If you may, my betrothed." She nodded, her gaze like a wintry night. They were arranged to marry, and even now that arrangement would remain intact. Together the couple took to the dance floor, flawlessly executing their moves. Aya gave Cress some of the bread, frowning. How would Cress get a chance to talk to Narisia like this if she was in the middle of all of the attention? "You appear hungry. Here, have some bread." Aya took another loaf from the snack stand, handing it to Cress to try, since it was super yummy.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Atsuko Tateyama Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Luquiere K. Lilant Character Portrait: Pariya Character Portrait: Kuro Botan Character Portrait: Princess Yuna Character Portrait: Ellen Winter Character Portrait: Kiyoko Character Portrait: Korhya Filia Character Portrait: Prince Sangre Character Portrait: Aeeron Character Portrait: Eleven Character Portrait: Ivan Charde Character Portrait: Shiro Character Portrait: Crescent Winter
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❝I am a hell in high heels. ❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#CD5C5C ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #C5E3BF

|| Flaws || Bastille ||




The ballroom was somehow even more incredible than the surrounding area, if that was possible. There were tiles that glowed, illuminating the ground in soft light. On the far side of the room were tables and tables filled with food and drink the likes of which Cress had never seen. Floating above them were flowers suspended in bubbles that changed color, drifting seamlessly throughout the air, possibly controlled by some unforeseen force. Cress had no idea what this place was, but it was fr more advanced than any movie she had seen. Sitting on thrones made of different materials were the supposed Patriarch and Matriarch, as well as Ellie. The King sat on the throne that seemed to be made of solid silver, perhaps because gold was far too maleable. The Queen had a throne chipped from diamonds with intricate patterns of lace, glittering even in this light. Ellie sat on a throne that was pieced together out of large spikes of multicolored quartz, her expression unreadable.

Cress swallowed hard, following Aya across the room. They walked towards the food tables, Cress's stomach grumbling. She hadn't realized how hungry she was, but she was too busy staring at Ellie, attempting to get her to return her gaze. Standing a bit behind her was a tiny blonde girl with puppy ears and a tail that hung between her legs, betraying her emotions. Cress looked away, afraid of staring too hard and attracting the attention of the Queen, the last person she wanted to notice her. Instead, she trained her gaze on the flowers that floated above them, glittering in the light. There were flowers everywhere, she noticed. Peace lillies, the symbol of renewal. Whoever had picked them was clever, Cress thought.

Aya suddenly shoved something into her hands, telling Cress that she appared hungry. "Th-thanks," she took the food gratefully. It had a crusty exterior that was light and fluffy, with a custardy interior that melted on her tongue. It had the appearance of a cream puff and the taste of a galaxy, Cress thought. Her eyes widened and she finished it in nearly three bites. Ellie had descended from the throne platform with a boy on her shoulder. He wasn't bad looking, but not her cousin's type. She swallowed hard and wiped her hands on a napkin. "Aine," Cress said quietly, in case anyone was listening to them speak. "We should exchange pleasantries with the Princess, should we not?" Right now she was being swarmed by dignitaries and other Untouchables.

They would have to wait until the crowd died down, perhaps once the music started up in earnest people would leave Ellie alone? Cress was patient of course, she waited and waited until the crowd thinned out and even Ellie's partner had gone to eat something, but her cousin was still standing in the center, talking to one or two people. Now was their chance, Cress thought. "Aine," she gestured towards the line of two people. Cress had waited this long, she could wait out another couple of minutes. Cress was suddenly feeling anxious and nauseous. Perhaps it was her own nerves that were getting to her, but she knew that this could blow their cover. The two people that were before them came and went in a flash, then, at long last, it was their turn. Cress swallowed hard and stepped forward.

"Ellie," she said softly, hoping the music would cover them. "It's me, it's Cress."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Ellen Winter Character Portrait: Korhya Filia Character Portrait: Shiro Character Portrait: Crescent Winter
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❝With the magic of positivity, anything can happen!❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#30b818 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #d1ca00

|| Girl Inside || Mika Kobayashi ||




As the dancing begun, King Azel left his seat to go and mingle with the other leaders of military affairs. They were all war buddies, graduating from the same academy together so it made sense they would want to take the time to socialize with one another. Queen Narina did not leave her seat and simply watched over the proceedings with eyes as sharp as a hawk. Narisia and Semyon danced, the Tartarian Prince being of pale skin and white hair, typical for most Tartarians who hailed from the desert north of Ashia. Cress suddenly had the idea of wanting to talk to Princess Narisia, exchanging pleasantries. It was a good idea, Aya figured. "We are old friends, so I guess we could." The three of them always used to be together, Aine, Itward, and Narisia. It wouldn't be seen as odd at all.

Prince Semyon left Narisia's side but Itward Cherubim was quick to take his place. "It's been quite a long time." He said, his red hair well groomed, his towering height far above Narisia's own average peak. "Yes, it has. I suppose you want to dance." The crowd parted slightly to allow the old friends their moment, while Aya and Cress mingled in the crowd close by, waiting for their chance to leap in. Narisia and Itward were whispering about something or other as they danced but Aya wasn't close enough to be able to catch any of it. She did see Itward looking over at her so Aya made sure to smile and wave at him, doing a little curtsy with the hem of her dress. For a Rubble to get to see such wonderful sights as this was truly incredible. Most Rubbles would never get to eat the creamy bread puff in their entire lives.

Finally Cress found her opening once Itward parted ways with Narisia. The ice storm princess looked at her, her face unchanging, her poise, elegant. Cress called Narisia by the name she called her cousin. Was it true? Aya wasn't sure. "Aine Dorones, is it? You look as if you've barely grown." Narisia's tone cut through Cress's words completely. "I wasn't even sure if you were still alive after what happened." Aya blinked, trying not to be surprised by the sudden change of pace. "Well, I'm here now. I missed you, Nee." She wasn't sure what happened, but hopefully the act would work. "I suggest you take your servant to a doctor." Narisia's voice was merciless. "She must have hit her head and is delusional."

Delusional? Narisia was refusing to even give Cress a second glance. "Maybe you could try talking to her?" Aya suggested, not wanting Cress to be ignored like this so easily. "What for? She's just a lowly servant. You should take her back to wherever she came from." The ice princess said without missing a beat. "She doesn't belong here. She should give up and go home." Aya gulped, frowning. She didn't want this to become an incident. "I like my servant the way she is." The squid kept her voice pleasant. "Shall we have a dance for old time's sake?" Narisia looked at her hand and sighed, deciding to take it. "Shiro, you can -" Suddenly someone else grabbed Cress's hand. It was the fanged knight from earlier, Heron Cherubim. "If you don't want to talk to such a cute girl, I could take her off your hands." Heron grinned, her eyes sparkling with delight. "Go ahead." Narisia's tone was indifferent, oddly stiff. "It makes no difference to me." The fanged knight did a bow, her grip strong on Cress's own hand.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Atsuko Tateyama Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Luquiere K. Lilant Character Portrait: Pariya Character Portrait: Kuro Botan Character Portrait: Princess Yuna Character Portrait: Ellen Winter Character Portrait: Kiyoko Character Portrait: Korhya Filia Character Portrait: Prince Sangre Character Portrait: Aeeron Character Portrait: Eleven Character Portrait: Ivan Charde Character Portrait: Shiro Character Portrait: Crescent Winter
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❝I am a hell in high heels. ❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#CD5C5C ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #C5E3BF

|| Flaws || Bastille ||




Her cousin cut into her words, not looking at her, acting cold and distant. Cress's heart froze in her chest. Had Ellie been brain washed? Had that Queen that took her away done something? She knew it was the same person, how could she tell? Well, Cress knew Ellie had a scar on her shoulder, a small, faint one from when they were kids doing stupid, childish things. It was there, visible enough that Cress could just barely make it out in this light. It was her cousin indeed, not some foreign Princess wearing her face. Cress's hands balled into fists. They called her Nee, but that wasn't her nickname. Why was she acting like this? Why was her cousin telling her to give up and go home? Cress looked up, Aya would dance with Ellie, the red haired knight that had guarded the gate sidling up beside her.

Heron took her hand, her grasp tight. Had they been caught? Did Heron recognize her from their encounter at the gate? Cress didn't know. Her heart beat rapidly in her chest. "It would be an honor to dance with you, Ms. Knight," Cress took her free hand and picked up her dress, using it to curtsy the way Farren had shown her. It was different than on earth too, there were different levels of bowing depending on the position, was what he had said. The deeper the bow, the more respect given. Since Cress was supposed to be a lowely servant and Heron was a knight of the Queen, Cress dipped low, but not so low as to disrespect the "Princess" in their presence. "Go on Mistress Aine, I'll be here when you're done." Heron pulled her away, Cress turning to look at Ellie and Aya for only a second.

What did this knight want with her? Was it really to dance? Or was she going to drag Cress way, perhaps to jail for illegally entering the castle and disrupting the ball? Would Ellie let her go to jail? What if they executed her. Cress needed to get away, but Heron's grip was strong. She led Cress to the drink table, where Cress looked back at Aya and Ellie once more. "Here, drink this," Heron pushed a glass into her hands. The liquid changed colors in the light, looking almost like an oil spill. "Is this safe to drink?" Cress questioned, holding it up to the light, to which Heron laughed. "I'm not going to poison you!" She slapped her knee as though it were the funnies tthing nyone had ever said to her. Cress sniffed it, but it didn't smell like alcohol.

She took a sip, finding the taste to be sweet. It didn't have the slow burn in the back of the throat like alcohol did either. She took another swig, rather liking it. "What is this called? I've never had anything like it." There was a hint of a smile on her face. "It's called Grappleberry juice," Grapple? As in a grape and an apple? "It's good," she finished her glass and placed it on a passing servant's tray. "Now, fair lady, would you like to dance?" Heron held out her arm. Cress gingerly took it, wondering what sort of trick this was, or if it wasn't a trick at all.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ellen Winter Character Portrait: Korhya Filia Character Portrait: Shiro Character Portrait: Crescent Winter
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❝With the magic of positivity, anything can happen!❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#30b818 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #d1ca00

|| Girl Inside || Mika Kobayashi ||




Aya suddenly found herself dancing with Princess Narisia herself. Her face did not change in the slightest, even as Knight Heron went and swept Cress away for herself. "It's strange that you're here, Aine." Narisia said quietly, eyeing the squid carefully. Her eyes looked like ice, and Aya felt a chill go down her spine just looking at them. Her own eyes were nowhere near as cold and dangerous looking as that, but rather a warm summery green. "It's stranger that you won't even talk to her." Aya decided to break the act, but only in a low whisper so no one else would suspect anything. She might be stupid, but it hurt her to see Crescent be ignored like that. "Aren't you cousins?" Was there anything? Even a flicker of resemblance? No, there was nothing from those ice sharp eyes.

"The thing is, Aine, I'm not even sure how you are here." Narisia's whisper was like a knife glistening on the wind. "Last time I checked, aren't you supposed to be dead?" Dead? Was Aine really dead? Her heart thumped painfully in her chest. How could it be? That kind little girl who wanted to help young Rubbles learn how to read and write? How could someone like her be dead? "Is she really-" Narisia's grip on her tightened as they continued to dance. "You two need to get out of here." The Princess said urgently. "Itward is getting suspicious. Take Cress and get away from Ashia Palace." Aya wasn't going to lose though. She gripped harder, frowning distinctly. "She came all this way to save you. Are you really Narisia?" Narisia grimaced, as if it pained her to talk about this. "I'm not sure what you're talking about, Aine. Why don't you go and lie down."

Aine was pulled suddenly. Itward Cherubim grinned at her, looking at her with disbelief. "So it really is you, Aine Dorones." He spoke loudly, cracking his knuckles. "After such an incident seven years ago, you make your debut back into high society." Suspicious? Itward was? Aya flinched, wondering what to do, her mind racing. She decided to smile, because that was all you had to do. "My father thought it was about time. I wanted to see my old friend again." She said, going back into character. Itward's nails dug into her arm painfully. He didn't buy it for a second. "I know you're lying, rebel." His voice was low, no one else could hear. Narisia looked at her with something almost like pity. "Go easy on her, Itward. You don't want an incident like last time." Narisia said, looking away, disinterested now.

There was only one thing to do. Aya reached into the hidden pocket in her dress and broke the stick. A silent alarm rang out and before anyone could react a strange ball broke through a window. Heron reacted first, jumping at it with the spear hidden in her military uniform when smoke exploded out of the ball, filling the ballroom. Fox eared Farrel grabbed Cress in the middle of all the smoke, and then scooped Aya up into his other arm. "Good work." He grinned, escaping from the castle under cover of the smoke. "Now let's get you two out of here."