encounters

encounters

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private roleplay between korruption and nations

1,520 readers have visited encounters since nations created it.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

inspired by from greek mythology and lore olympus on webtoon

Introduction

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inspired by greek mythology and lore olympus on webtoons

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encounters
modern retellings of classical greek myths.

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persephone & hades
anastasia ivanov | by nations
jisun yeong | by korruption





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arachne & athena
yael pratibha yahalom | by korruption
bernadette dubois | by nations







side characters

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leonard ainsworth
age | twenty-two
role | anastasia's fiance
characteristics | responsible, ambitious, caring, attentive
faceclaim | will higginson
hex | #003b32

Toggle Rules

The GM of this roleplay hasn't created any rules! You can do whatever you like!

The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 2 authors

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jisun Yeong Character Portrait: Anastasia Ivanov

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#, as written by nations
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anastasia
dialogue - #6c0102
thought - #d0a9a0

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It was indeed different but Anastasia found it oddly comforting. Used to being surrounded by so many people that had a bigger-than-life air around them, where everything in your life could be inspected under a microscope, it was nice to think that one indeed was part of a crowd. Everyone around her had full, complex, and intimitate lives but it was theirs only.

She was slightly surprised by the tap-- it was a small, brief touch but she wasn't expecting it from Jisun, who seemed to prefer to stay as far away from people as possible.

Anastasia followed her out into the cool night. Anastasia kept close to Jisun; there was still a jumpiness about her elicited from the darkness of the night. Thankfully, the restaurant was not too far from the station. It would definitely take some getting used to going around the city at night.

She couldn't help but feel slightly odd when she saw that mostly everyone inside was in jeans and sneakers. Anastasia meant a mental note to buy some jeans, perhaps it would help her blend a little better with the city crowd. It wasn't like she never wore them, she just was more used to dresses and skirts. Sneakers, however, she would keep them for exercising or activities like hiking. She did not like the combination at all.

The restaurant was down to earth and smaller compared to the high-end places she was used to. From the moment Jisun opened the glass door, Anastasia was hit with the delicious scent of meats and seasonings. Although it was not what Anastasia had expected, not that she even knew what to expect, seeing that everyone in the tables seemed content and that the food on the plates looked good -although the presentation was not refined at all- made Anastasia feel like she was walking into someone's home. Something very intimate and welcoming at the same time.

The interaction between Jisun and the restaurant staff was also not something she had expected either. Jisun's rather neutral demeanor didn't change much but the others seemed very happy to see her. It's her favorite restaurant, after all, Anastasia thought. She's probably a regular.

Anastasia felt their positive energy and couldn't help but smile brightly, although she didn't understand what they were saying.

"Hello, it's nice to meet you, Byeoljji," she said kindly with a wave. Her British accent stood out and she couldn't help but wonder if she sounded silly in their ears. She turned her light brown eyes to the two men, "You two as well. You have a lovely restaurant."

Anastasia gave another small wave as they walked back to the kitchen and followed Jisun to a seat.

Picking up the menu, she scanned through the foreign names and their English descriptions. There were some pictures and they all looked delicious. "What would you recommend?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bernadette Dubois Character Portrait: Yael Yahalom

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It was the first day of the fall semester, and Yael was simultaenously eager and dispassionate about it. She loved the feeling of success, and she loved her major, but Yael didn't necessarily have the personality of a traditionally diligent and hard-working student. That was not to say that she wasn't high-achieving; she just didn't roll as well in the school environment as some of her peers did.

The next class she would be going to truly excited Yael, though; the professor had all the necessary credentials and beyond, and was well-known in the art world. Having such an incredible opportunity sent adrenaline pumping through her veins.

Yael walked into the lecture hall, quickly scanning the rows of seats for anyone she recognized. She caught sight of a familiar face in the third row and immediately tooked the seat next to the owner of said face.

"Oh, hey Yael," the Russian boy turned in his seat, offering his hand for Yael to clasp. Veniamin Sokolovsky was the son of famous oil painter, Ivan Sokolovsky; he was a Russian foreign exchange student attending Olympus for its highly acclaimed art program. Admittedly, Yael had made contact with Ven purely due to his lineage at first, but they sustained their friendship through compatible personalities rather than their respective backgrounds.


"How was your summer, Ven?" Yael and Ven weren't the kinds of friends who texted often, but they definitely hung out whenever they saw each other in public.

"My father took us to Siberia," Ven groaned. "He made us go to the Arctic circle."

Yael furrowed a brow, running a hand through her wild curls.
"Um . . . why?"

"It was for some painting study he wanted to do, and he dragged us along," Ven complained. "I get spending a couple of weeks somewhere -- but two months? In the Arctic? No, just no."

Before Yael could even open her mouth to respond, the doors of the lecture hall opened dramatically to reveal a middle-aged man dressed in a flowing navy blue trench coat. His build seemed to be accentuated by the choice of clothing, and his skin was dark, easily darker than Yael's. His face was angular and roman, but it his forehead with wrinkled deeply with extensive crevices. His hair was a smattering of silver amongst a sea of dark brown, and his eyes were a piercing, obsidian black. Yael immediately recognized the man purely from his silhouette, and it seemed many others in the hall did as well, with the way they all hushed to a sudden silence.

"I am Navdeep Chaudhary," the man spoke, his words sharp and slightly tinged with an Indian accent. Yael paid attention to every word the man said as he went through his syllabus and what to expect out of his class. She was usually not one to be enraptured to the point where she could focus completely on a professor, but Navdeep Chaudhary was another breed of teacher -- Yael would say that he was only a single tier below Renold Treithon, her idol, as an artist.

"This year's biggest project will be a group project," Professor Chaudhary proclaimed; that was the only time the students in the room murmured in dissent, but they were quickly silenced by the professor's sharp glare.

"It will take up most of the year," he continued. He paused heavily as the rest of the room waited in anticipation for the rest of his speech. "As you know, this class is not open to everyone. Only the best are allowed in. Therefore, I have had the opportunity to study your profiles extensively. Using this knowledge, I hope that the groups I've chosen for you are fitting."

The students did not murmur in dissent this time -- instead, they were shocked to have assigned partners for a fourth-year group project in such an exclusive class. Yael shared the same sentiment; she thought that they would be generally independent, with some occasional but very helpful guidance from the professor.

"The pairing with the highest grade will receive an opportunity to personally meet Renold Treithon."

That statement shook everyone out of their trance-like states. Ven turned to Yael; they stared at each other wide-eyed, knowing full well what this opportunity meant to each other.

"I will list off your partners," Professor Chaudhary said, taking out a paper list. Everyone was immediately shaken out of their chattering as they leaned forward to hear the names.

"Veniamin Sokolovsky and Pilar Morales."

Ven groaned quietly under his breath, and gave Yael a foreboding look. Yael gave him a shrug as she let the other names she was hearing float past her; all she cared about what who she was paired with.

"Yael Yahalom . . . and Bernadette Dubois."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jisun Yeong Character Portrait: Anastasia Ivanov

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"What would you recommend?"

This is my territory, Jisun thought confidently -- she knew all about Korean barbeque. She immediately pointed to the image of bulgogi. "This is bulgogi," she began. "It's the most popular kind of meat you would order. It's basically strips of beef that have been marinated. We'll order some of that. It's my favorite meat, along with samgyeopsal." Jisun moved her finger to point at said meat. "Samgyeopsal is pork belly. I personally like it, but it's not as popular as bulgogi." Jisun paused to look up at Anastasia. "If you like a certain kind of meat in general -- for instance, chicken -- there's probably something on here for you."

"Next are the side dishes," Jisun continued. "A lot of them are pickled. I personally don't care for kimchi --" which was an extremely controversial opinion in her homeland and a surprisingly one amongst foreigners, Jisun was quite aware of that "-- but you should try it. It's very quintessentially Korean." Jisun thought everybody would know what kimchi was -- it was that well-known -- but after their conversation the previous night, she wasn't going to take her chances with Anastasia.

"I can explain the food when it comes to the table," Jisun offered rather generously; she rarely spoke this much, but ever since the roommate situation . . .

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bernadette Dubois Character Portrait: Yael Yahalom

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bernadette
dialogue - #98942e
thought - #623821

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Bernadette took a moment to look around the room at the faces of other students as Professor Chaudhary commented on the quality of the class. The university was very competitive and the fact that most of its population was elite meant that most had an upper hand in whatever field they entered. Art was no exception. Still, there was definitely ranks of expertise amongst the students.

As Professor Chaudhary mentioned the assigning of groups, there was a stir in the classroom. Art students tended to be solitare beings when it came to the work; unlike other artistic industries like the music and film, it was not common to find a piece that was worked on by artists. Bernadette had not heard anything about Professor Chaudhary assigning groups so this must have been a first and her very luck left her feeling a small flame within her, despite the silence and unphased expression coming from her.

Bernadette listened carefully to the names called out. Everyone around her was talented, without a doubt, but there was an issue of clashing visions, styles, and personalities that often accompanied artists.

"Yael Yahalom . . . and Bernadette Dubois."

Her eyebrows narrowed into a small, almost undetectable, frown. After their encounter a previous nights prior, Bernadette did not expect for there to be any more reason to spend time together. The professor finished listing out the pairs.

"As artists," The Professor continued, "We must take a close look at the world around us-- step beyond ourselves and see the world for what it really is. Wonderful and haunting, a perfectly balanced world sent into chaos by humanity."

He moved to the front row and gave the student a small stack of papers. The student took one copy and began to pass it down. From her seat, Bernadette noticed that there were barely any words on the page. "The instructions for the project are brief but I am demanding. I expect pairs to work together; a shared vision and immaculate execution is expected while allowing each artist to stand out.

"Our classes will switch between this auditorium, art room Alpha 405, and places around the city for field studies. I expect a good semester and will be here for guidance. Now, please take some time to get together with your partner to read over the project and start planning."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jisun Yeong Character Portrait: Anastasia Ivanov

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#, as written by nations
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anastasia
dialogue - #6c0102
thought - #d0a9a0

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Anastasia's brown eyes moved across the menu to where Jisun's slender fingers pointed at the image of bulgogi. The meat looked juicy, its dark color constrated by the green onion and sesame seeds. She was taken back by the flow of words that followed her simple inquiry.

As Jisun continued to explain the dish, Anastasia's eyes traveled up the length of Jisun's arm and paused at her face. The other young woman's pale expression had barely changed from the neutral, almost emotionless, state it was often found in but it was clear that this was something that Jisun cared about.

Dal and Korean food-- Korean culture, Anastasia made a mental list, remembering the show Jisun had been watching. At first, Anastasia thought there wasn't much that interested Jisun but it was clear that it wasn't the case, she just had to be very attentive.

As she listened to Jisun speak, Anastasia realized that she had never taken a moment to really look at the other young woman. Despite her black attire and overall dark demeanor, her facial features were round and soft.

"I'm alright with trying anything as long as it's not too spicy," she said softly, not wanting to say much more so that Jisun could continue. It was quite nice hearing her speak, even if there still wasn't much intonation in her voice.

"Sounds good," Anastasia nodded as Jisun said she'd just explain as it came. She glancd over at Yoonseok, who was giving the receipt to a couple at a table. "It all sounds and looks delicious."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bernadette Dubois Character Portrait: Yael Yahalom

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Yael couldn't help but cringe slightly when she heard Bernadette's name alongside hers. Sure, there was nothing wrong with the other woman -- Yael was sure that Bernadette was an extremely competent artist -- but Yael wasn't sure if their styles would mesh well. If they didn't have similar personalities, they probably wouldn't have similar artistic styles; Yael knew that her personality often imprinted itself on how she painted.

Yael couldn't help but feel a little bored when Professor Chaudhary started talking about the perfectly balanced world and chaos and whatnot. Yael respect him and his art, that was for sure; she knew she had a lot to learn from him, but she really never cared for theoretical things. She knew it was important for art to have a deeper meaning, but Yael was more inclined towards physical sensations in art; color, texture, composition, etc. If it was good art, those techniques would culminate into an impactful piece; Yael didn't want to have to analyze anything to appreciate art.

Yael took a handout, passing the stack to Ven. She appreciated the brief instructions; Yael didn't like to be told what to do. Creative freedom was important to her. But the "shared vision" part didn't bring her any excitement. Yael didn't want to imagine any of the ways she and Bernadette could possibly clash.

"Now, please take some time to get together with your partner to read over the project and start planning."

Ven and Yael stood up simultaneously, giving each other a brief clap on the back before they parted.


"Yo, Bernadette," Yael greeted, taking the seat next to her partner. "What a funny situation that we got paired up, am I right? Anyway, do you have any ideas?"

The instructions were very vague, and while Yael appreciated the freedom to do whatever she wanted, she didn't really have a direction in mind yet -- especially considering that she would have to work with a partner. Might as well rip the bandaid off and see if she and Bernadettes had any disagreements first.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jisun Yeong Character Portrait: Anastasia Ivanov

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"I'm alright with trying anything as long as it's not too spicy."

Jisun nodded. She had sorted expected that -- she didn't think eastern European cuisine was particularly adventurous in terms of spices. Anastasia probably wasn't used to food with more intense flavors.

"It all sounds and looks delicious."

Jisun felt a flash of pride that her culture appealed to someone. "It is," Jisun confirmed. "Even if you feel disinclined to a certain flavor, there will definitely be something that appeals to you." Jisun didn't have as much as a liking for pickled foods as the average Korean did -- after all, that's why she wasn't particularly fond of kimchi -- but Jisun still loved her country's cuisine.

Jisun called Yoonseok over. He grinned as he walked up to the table they chose, which was in the corner, partly against the window. "Ready to order, Jisunie?" he asked, cheerful. Yoonseok contrasted Jisun an almost comical amount; he was generally bright, sunny, and excitable, and Jisun was everything he wasn't.

Jisun ordered the bulgogi, samgyeopsal, along with some buckwheat noodles and a few other dishes. Yoonseok nodded, bringing the order back, before quickly coming out with many side dishes.


"I ordered some naengmyeon," Jisun explained to Anastasia. "This is a North Korean restaurant -- Byeoljji and Bokyung are defectors -- so it's basically North Korean style buckwheat noodles."

Jisun pointed to the side dishes. "These are side dishes, or banchan," she explained, pointing at the respective dishes as she named them. "This is kimchi. These are soybean sprouts. This is cheongpomuk, or mung bean jelly. It's generally flavorless. This is pickled radish --" Jisun paused to grab a piece, popping a piece into her mouth "-- and these are fishcakes. These are pajeon, which is essentially a savory green onion pancake. I recommend those."

Jisun's voice was generally monotone as she listed off the dishes briefly and succinctly. She was aware that she was essentially listing off information to Anastasia, and not really having a conversation with her, but if Jisun were in the younger girl's place, she would appreciate the knowledge. "Also, we're supposed to cook the meat ourselves," Jisun gestured towards the grill. "I can do that today." Jisun wasn't sure how much cooking skill Anastasia had in general -- sure, she made pancakes that morning, but being able to make pancakes didn't necessarily extend towards cooking meat.

Suddenly, something essential struck Jisun.
"By the way, do you know how to use chopsticks?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jisun Yeong Character Portrait: Anastasia Ivanov

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anastasia
dialogue - #6c0102
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Anastasia listened as Jisun explained more about the restaurant. It didn't take long for some of the plates to come out from the kitchen.

Anastasia wondered if Jisun was like Byeoljji and Bokyung since it was a detail that she wouldn't expect someone to bring up unless it meant something to them. There was no being sure unless she asked but Jisun kept speaking, even saying something about having to cook the meat. That part confused her-- Aren't the chefs supposed to cook the food for you?

She watched as Jisun picked up the chopsticks and used them to pick up a piece from the side dishes. When Jisun asked if she knew how to use them, Anastasia shook her head.

Looking down, Anastasia realized that a small long, paper bag had been placed on her side as well. Picking it up, she opened it to find two long wooden sticks combined at the top.

Are there any forks? Anastasia asked herself, realizing that Yoonseok had not set down a cultery set on the table yet. Maybe it would come with the later dishes, or maybe they didn't use them?

Anastasia soon realized that she was being overwhelmed with information, as wonderful as it was learning about it and seeing and smelling the delicious plates in front of her. She didn't want to seem stupid in front of Jisun but there was little she could do; it was either ask or not learn.

"Can you show me how to use the chopstick?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jisun Yeong Character Portrait: Bernadette Dubois

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Anastasia shook her head and Jisun hummed in response. To the Korean girl, the other woman was a continuously blooming enigma. Jisun would have expected the classy daughter of a wealthy European family and business moguls to have more worldly education and to be a little more . . . cultured. It was a tradition among wealthy families to teach their children more about the world so they could extend their empires beyond the borders of their country; after all, that was why learning foreign languages was so important. It befuddled Jisun to see someone like Anastasia know so little about the world that was beyond her little bubble. Of course, it wasn't just the chopstick thing -- it was a continuous pattern Jisun had picked up within the single day she knew Anastasia for. Jisun wondered if she had any elder siblings; Anastasia couldn't inherit such a large company and have aspirations about taking it to international heights with the level of knowledge she had.

"It's fine," Jisun said nonchalantly. She removed the top chopstick from her left hand, before pausing. "Are you right-handed?" she asked Anastasia in more of a murmur than anything else. Jisun was forced to develop some ambidexterity, but she was naturally left-handed and always reverted to it if using her right hand wasn't more convenient. She decided to simply demonstrate with her right hand.

"Put the bottom chopstick in the groove between your thumb and forefinger," Jisun showed Anastasia. "Then just hold the top one like a pencil. Here, lemme help you."

Jisun, bold and decidedly going out of her comfort zone, leaned forward to fit the chopsticks in Anastasia's hand and adjust the positioning. "There. Like that. If it's hard, I'm sure there's a fork someone around this place."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bernadette Dubois Character Portrait: Yael Yahalom

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bernadette
dialogue - #98942e
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Bernadette watched as Yael walked over to her.

She looked down at the printed assignment. There wasn't much required on paper but she knew, of course, that the expectations were going to be extremely high. Professor Chaudhary was not easy to please. With it being a group project, Bernadette was not quite sure how to approach it. The two artist must be distinctly seen in the piece while also blending together.

She had been in a few art classes with Yael but couldn't quite remember what the other young woman preferred in terms of "artistic style."

Bernadette's art learned towards realism with the subject matters usually focusing on the human body. Like the Greeks, she found the human body fascinating and painting it was like a science, a cross between the creative and the logical. She loved painting undertones and bruises and veins and the translucency of skin.

"I paint hyperrealism," she said. "Usually the human body or military art."

"What is your style?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bernadette Dubois Character Portrait: Yael Yahalom

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Yael nodded, humming in acknowledgement. Inside, she was a little dissatisfied, but unsurprised. Bernadette did seem like the kind of person who would go for hyperrealism -- Yael, on the other hand, was not. She knew that hyperrealistic paintings required an immense amount of skill, but she thought it was just boring -- why paint something to look like something that already existed? That was no different than photography. Painting gave the artist certain freedoms that mediums like photography didn't have. In terms of her own paintings, Yael liked to bring something new to the table every time; she studied obsessively and raved about the masters, but she refused to be like them. Yael wanted to be original and inimitable.

"My style is pretty varied," Yael explained. "You could say that my general style combines elements of impressionism and expressionism. I like textures, and I mainly use oil paints. Sometimes I like to go the surrealistic route, and a lot of my paintings incorporate chiaroscuro."

Yael knew that she was kind of all over the place in terms of style. But why choose just one? Yael was the artist -- she could do whatever the hell she wanted. So she chose to take her favorite elements of all different styles of paintings and incorporate them into her own personal style. Art was an expression; Yael loved sensations, like color and texture, so better to amplify them in her interpretations than just paint it like it appeared in reality.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jisun Yeong Character Portrait: Anastasia Ivanov

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#, as written by nations
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anastasia
dialogue - #6c0102
thought - #d0a9a0

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Anastasia didn't move as Jisun reached out to grab her hand and instruct her on how to hold to chopstick. It was certainly unexpected and she felt that any sudden moves from her part would scare her off. She felt as the young woman's cold skin made contact with her own and, although it last for no more than a moment, it left a cool sensation on her skin.

She tried to pick up one of the fishcakes. The first try was unsuccessful and the piece plopped back down onto the plate immediately. Anastasia frowned and tried again. Her hold was wobbly but she managed to eat it. A soft mm left her lips as she tasted the combination of fried seafood and vegetables. She went for another dish; the process wasn't the smoothest, but she was a fast learner.

Her phone ring broke through her concentration and made her flinch, dropping a piece of cheongpomuk on the table. With a quickly apology, Anastasia picked up the piece with a napkin to clea up the small mess and reached for her phone. Reading the screen, she was Leo's name on it and a soft sigh left her lips. Right, I forgot to call him earlier.

"Excuse me, I have to answer this," she said, picking up the call. "Hi, Leo."

"Hi, flower. I've missed you."

She could hear a hint of sleepiness in his deep voice and remembered that they were no longer in the same time zone.

"I've missed you too," she replied, feeling her heart pound.

Normally, back at the Academy, she would miss Leo. Whenever he visited, he would take her out for the weekend. It was one of the few moments she had throughout the school year to get away from the Academy and, of course, she spend a lot of summers around him before and after the engagement. Here, it had only been two days, but there was so much more to think about and see that there had been barely any time for him in her thoughts. Here, he was something that held her back, one of the very things she was running away from.

"How are you liking New York? Did you arrive well?"

"It's wonderful here. How was your day?" Anastasia didn't know why but she felt awkward talking to Leo in front of Jisun. Maybe it was because she felt like Jisun would have a lot to say -well, would have a very strong, unspoken opinion- about it. "It's really late over there."

"It was a long and I didn't get back until late, but I wanted to talk to you, you never called me when you arrived," Anastasia heard him sigh, "I still can't believe we're finally able to be together and you move across the globe... Sorry, are you out? It's loud on your end."

"Yes, I'm having dinner at a restaurant."

"Alone?" She could hear him moving on the other end, his tone becoming a little more serious with the question. "Be careful, you know the city can be dangerous at night."

"No," Anastasia said after a moment, glancing up at Jisun. "There's another student living in my building. I didn't want to eat out alone so I invited her."

"Have you seen the Fates? I'm sure they can take you around, much better than a stranger."

"I did see them earlier today," She supposed there was no need to elaborate on their brief interaction or how little she wanted to see them in her future. "But don't worry about me."

"I kind of have to," he said with a laugh.

"I'm safe. I promise."

"Well, I'll let you finish dinner and I'll head off to bed. Call me tomorrow? We can video call."

"Okay."

"Love you, flower."

There was a moment of hesitation, the words caught at the back of her throat. Come on, Anastasia scolded herself. You say it all the time, it's not like you're telling your mom this... "Love you, too."

Hanging up, Anastasia was left looking at the phone screen for a moment. The calls between them were usually... different. Shaking off the odd feeling she was left with, Anastasia put her phone away and picked up the chopsticks, determined to continue normally with her night and learn how to use chopsticks better.

"This is all really delicious, by the way," Anastasia commented. "I would love to learn how to cook the meat, if you don't mind showing me. Maybe next time I can do it for us?"

The question slipped out before she even thought about it. Would there be a next time? Anastasia didn't know if, once university began, Jisun would want to see much of her at all.

Anastasia remembered the conversation they were having earlier about German, which the Fates had broken up. "You said something about German earlier," she said, "Are you fluent? I began studying it earlier this summer but I don't know much yet."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jisun Yeong Character Portrait: Anastasia Ivanov

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Jisun watched silently as Anastasia tried to pick up a fishcake. The first attempt failed, but the second . . . wasn't bad. Jisun was rather surprised at how quickly Anastasia learned, but then again, she never really had to teach anyone around her how to use chopsticks; she wasn't sure what the baseline was.

Jisun sampled various side dishes as she waited for the meat to come out, her gaze flickering upward at Anastasia when the other woman's phone rang. Jisun only shrugged when Anastasia apologized briefly, glancing at the food on the table to give the other girl the veneer of privacy.


Ah, Leo, Jisun's mind hummed when she heard the name slip out of Anastasia's lips. Jisun didn't consider herself to be very invested in romance, but she supposed that Anastasia's arranged marriage interested her. It wasn't really a practice that was exerted in her own adopted family, or in their close circles. Business deals were important, of course, but they rarely involved marriage, from what Jisun had seen. Marrying into another prominent family in one's field would be akin to merging their companies, and many families weren't interested in that at all.

Yoonseok had come over at some point during Anastasia's phone call, setting down the bulgogi and samgyeopsal and departing with a small wave in Jisun's direction. Jisun was faintly fond of Yoonseok, which she knew was something that would come as a surprise to essentially everyone who was familiar with her stony demeanor. But Yoonseok was like the mild sunlight of cloudless, late afternoon -- warming, but not too intrusive. His presence was pleasant.

Yoonseok left to tend to the other customers as Jisun began placing some of the meat of the grill, relishing in the satisfying sizzle. Even under the sound of the cooking meat however, Jisun felt quite attuned to Anastasia's conversation. Her eyes immediately flickered upwards when she heard the other girl mention her name, but overall, Jisun mindlessly focused on flipping the meat on the grill, giving herself a small serving when she saw that it was ready, before adding another small batch for Anastasia.


"This is all really delicious, by the way," Jisun hummed lowly under her breath, satisfied with Anastasia's statement. "I would love to learn how to cook the meat, if you don't mind showing me. Maybe next time I can do it for us?"

Jisun's gaze flashed up, clearly surprised. Next time? The prospect of Anastasia already mapping out another engagement for the future was befuddling to Jisun. She knew she wasn't the traditionally fun kind of person, especially with someone she didn't know intimately. She wasn't sure why Anastasia would purposefully experience that again. Anastasia seemed like a nice girl -- Jisun had no doubt that she would make friends on campus who were a little more . . . charming.

"Yeah, I'll show you how to cook the meat," Jisun recovered smoothly. "It's pretty easy. We don't have to come here again anytime soon, though." While Jisun valued her comfort foods, she wasn't necessarily a person of habit. Trying new things was one of the joys of life. "If you want to try a different cuisine, I wouldn't be opposed."

Jisun continued flipping the meat, adding comments here and there for Anastasia. "I'm quite a bit better than conversational, but I'm far from fluent," Jisun responded. "I focused more on it before I started university. It's something I can easily pick up again if it's necessary, though. Why did you begin studying German?" Jisun would've been more interested in learning something like Japanese -- the grammar and the pronunciation were quite similar to Korean, and although there was the hurdle of kanji, it seemed more intriguing that frightening (Chinese, however, had both characters and difficult pronunciation, and was a language Jisun intently veered away from at the moment). Jisun understood why she had to take German, though; the Hostetlers had many connections in German-speaking countries, and they had German roots themselves.

"You were talking to your fiance earlier, right?" Jisun unabashedly shifted the conversation. "Are you fond of him? If so, that's quite fortunate and I'm happy for you." Many times, circumstance wouldn't align with preference, so Jisun appreciated the moments when it did.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jisun Yeong Character Portrait: Anastasia Ivanov

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Jisun's answer seemed to sound like she wouldn't mind having dinner a second time. That was enough for Anastasia.

Jisun mentioning how she picked it back up in university meant that she had probably studied it beforehand. With German, it added up to at least three languages Jisun had a handle around. Anastasia knew three languages as well but wanted to continue learning, seeing languages as a way to connect with others and something more self-fulfilling.

"The beginner Spanish and Japanese classes were full by the time I was able to choose electives," she replied with a small shrug, popping in another bite and passing it down before she added, "Maybe I'll be able to get in one of them next semester but I'd just love to learn another language, any language, really."

"It'd be nice if I could practice it with you," she chimmed in, "Doesn't have to be all the time, of course, I don't want to bother you."

As Anastasia took a bite of another side dish, Jisun brought up Leo. She froze at the question, her eyebrows drawing together in a brief moment of confusion. It wasn't a question she was used to hearing; the comments were always somewhere along the lines of, you're so lucky! or you'll make him so happy! No one really asked her what she thought about him or the situation, not even when it was being set up. What was she supposed to say?

"Yes, that was him."

He always smelled nice, he was certainly handsome, he knew how to kiss... There was perhaps a lot of things Anastasia could say about Leo but did those things mean that she was fond of him?

She took another bite of food. She began to feel very aware of the ring again.

"He's... kind and attentive. I've known him for a long time now."

"Have you had boyfriends?" Anastasia asked, wanting to change the subject. "Oh, sorry-- or do you have a boyfriend?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jisun Yeong Character Portrait: Anastasia Ivanov

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"It'd be nice if I could practice it with you. Doesn't have to be all the time, of course, I don't want to bother you."

Jisun raised an eyebrow, surprised by the offer. But then again, most of Anastasia's actions have surprised her at that point. Jisun clearly wasn't used to such an immediate friendship, and refused to let herself get comfortable; she felt quite confident that once the semester started, Anastasia would rapidly drift away from Jisun in favor of friends she was probably more compatible with.

Regardless, there was no harm in accepting the other woman's offer.


"I don't mind," Jisun answered, rolling up a piece of bulgogi into a lettuce wrap. "I've never needed to use German in a legitimate setting, so I could use some practice as well."

Jisun took a small bite out of her lettuce roll, humming in affirmation as she listened to Anastasia. Kind and attentive? she mused. Doesn't mean she likes him, but sounds like he's not bad. It wasn't expected for one to fall in love with the person they had an arranged marriage with -- although it did happen, once in a blue moon -- so the fact that Anastasia had an amenable relationship with Leo was already satisfactory enough.

"I'm happy for you," Jisun said simply. "It sounds like you're more than civil."

Jisun completely halted when Anastasia asked about . . . boyfriends. If she were eating at that very moment, she would've choked. Jisun didn't really talk about romance with anyone -- it wasn't a topic she was necessarily familiar nor comfortable with. Her sexuality was something she recognized, but she never emphasized it, and it wasn't a big part of her life or her identity. However, the question was simple, and Jisun didn't mind answering it.

"No, I haven't had a partner before," Jisun answered, purposefully using a gender-neutral term. "I'm not interested in that sort of thing."

That was true -- for the most part. Jisun has established to herself that she was bisexual -- in her occasional moments in night clubs, she had found herself equally attracted to men and women. But despite that, she never felt romantic attraction, nor had she consciously desired it -- well, except for one singular, isolated incident. When she was younger, Jisun had a horrible crush on Han-gyeol; fortunately, she was always a stoic child, and did a good job of hiding her emotions. Looking back on that moment, Jisun chided her younger self; Han-gyeol was multiple years older than her. But then again, he was kind, and they got along well. Regardless, Jisun knew they were strictly friends.

Maybe Jisun would be interested in romance, but there hadn't been a consistent enough pattern for her to determine whether she was or wasn't. All Jisun knew was that it was exceedingly rare for her, but she wasn't entirely opposed.


"Have you dated anyone before Leo?" Jisun turned the topic towards Anastasia, curious. She wouldn't be surprised if Anastasia had a dating history -- she seemed like the kind of girl people would like -- but then again, she didn't seem very . . . experienced.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bernadette Dubois Character Portrait: Yael Yahalom

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Bernadette listened as Yael spoke, her left hand playing with the pen in her hand, moving it quickly between her fingers. Bernadette had to stop herself from frowning when she heard the words "pretty varied style." There was nothing wrong with being inspired by several movements and experimenting with techniques, of course, improvement required constant experimentation, learning, and pushing boundaries. She herself had gone through endless phases by now-- impressionism-inspired had been one. Expressionism, however, was not something she had ever been fond of, although her father had several paintings from the 20th century movement in his personal collection.

However, not having a clear understand of one's art was, to Bernadette, like not knowing oneself. And all-over-the-place wasn't something Bernadette was known for.

The two young women's painting styles were clearly different from what she could hear, but it could be to their advantage-- if they played it right. The pen in her hand stopped moving around and she began to sketch something in one of the margins of the assignment page.

"We can combine my realism and your surrealism," Bernadette said after a moment, "Make it seamless yet distinct. "

A landscape could work, but she always preferred to work with people. Capturing their nuances and the challenge of hyperrealism was something she enjoyed. "We'd have to brainstorm the subject matter as well, but perhaps use a muse?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jisun Yeong Character Portrait: Anastasia Ivanov

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The gender-neutral term went unnoticed by Anastasia at first. It just wasn't something she was used to hearing. At the Academy, all you would hear was the girls swooning over the guys at the all-boy academy that hosted events with them and male protagonists in cheesy romantic movies. However, she had done some reading ahead for her elective class and connected the dots.

The other young woman didn't hesitate to turn the conversation back to her, not giving her a moment to comment.

"No," Anastasia replied after a moment. "He was my first boyfriend. We were friends for years until our parents announced the engagement. I... suppose I've never dated? I suppose it's too late now."

It sounded so stupid when she said it to someone outside of her circle-- engaged and yet she had never dated. Even her friends had harmless summer flings with pool boys. Anastasia had never even come close to that, never come close to kissing someone else except Leo.

An old forgotten memory flashed through her mind; the after-hour dare game her friends had forced her into and the taste of vanilla lip balm. Anastasia blinked quickly, brushing away the thought.

"So," Anastasia cleared her throat softly, her eyes looking down at the almost-empty plates before back up at Jisun. There were a lot of questions running through her head that she wanted to ask. Anastasia decided to begin with the two that she was the most curious about, "What you said before-- does that mean you like women as well? How did you know?"

Setting

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Character Portrait: Bernadette Dubois Character Portrait: Yael Yahalom

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"We can combine my realism and your surrealism. Make it seamless yet distinct."

Yael couldn't help but frown at the proposition. Sure, it made sense -- hyperrealistic surrealism was an easy way to combine their styles. But to be honest, the characterstics of her style that Yael preferred to hold onto were the physical textures, the shadows and highlights, the choice of colors -- not really the composition. Sure, composition was important, but it wasn't everything. Yael didn't think she'd enjoy having to paint a bunch of boring skin you could find from a photograph, even if it was in some surrealistic design.

As much as Yael wanted to fight for what she wanted, she recognized that she had to compromise -- hopefully, it wouldn't be on elements that she didn't want to give up. Nonetheless, Yael was fairly flexible, and could work around things in order to get her way -- Bernadette's idea was definitely not the end of the world.


"We'd have to brainstorm the subject matter as well, but perhaps use a muse?"

Yael shrugged, the movement of her shoulders relaxed and somewhat flippant. "Sure, if it comes to it, that sounds fine," she said, her tone light and exposing little of her internal thoughts. "I dunno, I don't like to tie myself to specific things. We could take inspiration from a multitude of things and combine them into something original but cohesive."

Yael was one to take inspiration from the outside world rather than her own internal thoughts or musings when it came to her art; she was never particularly introspective or "in her head." So she supposed she could understand the appeal of a muse, but she usually didn't care for such things. Yael's muses were small fragments of puzzles and singular sensations from colorful experiences. She loved to capture the cattiness of a smirk, the dark, heated passion of one's rage, the pressing waves of heat from the sun, and convey them in a visual art form that still allowed the viewer to viscerally understand the feelings in the painting. Yael was never too inspired by any one thing or any one person. She found that far too restricting.

"Hey, about the realism and surrealism thing," Yael brought up. "That sounds like a great thing to branch off of. If we happen to use human figures, we could definitely make the base realistic -- like her skin and her hair. But it'd be fun to incorporate other things too -- like a surrealistic landscape reflected in her eyes. What do you think?"

Yael had no issue with realism, but she sure as hell wasn't going to paint basic human eyes with basic highlights if she could help it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jisun Yeong Character Portrait: Anastasia Ivanov

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"No. He was my first boyfriend. We were friends for years until our parents announced the engagement. I . . . suppose I've never dated? I suppose it's too late now."

Jisun hummed in response, bringing another bite of bulgogi up to her mouth. Anastasia's answer didn't really surprise her; the younger girl did seem rather . . . innocent? Naive? Jisun could tell that Anastasia probably didn't have a boyfriend before -- at least, one of her own volition.

"So." Jisun raised her blank gaze when Anastasia broke the brief silence. There was a short pause before the other girl continued. "What you said before -- does that mean you like women as well? How did you know?"

Jisun couldn't help the way her eyebrows shot upward towards her hairline. She hadn't expected Anastasia to pick up on a term so minor and unassuming, but she was even more surprised that the other girl decided to be upfront about it and ask. Jisun was admittedly taken aback; neither of those actions seemed like things that Anastasia, a prim and proper European girl who went to a boarding school, was capable of.

There was a long silence before Jisun opened her mouth to answer. The question, in all honesty, did make her a bit uncomfortable. She knew there was nothing wrong about sex or love or whatever, but she was never the kind of girl who thought long and hard about it. Being bisexual was just a minor fact she acknowledged briefly before moving on with her life. Now that she was actually confronted directly about it? Jisun had to take a few moments to think.


"I'm bisexual," Jisun began, "so I'm sexually attracted to men and women. As for how I knew?" Jisun took a bite of samgyeopsal, thinking as she chewed and swallowed. "I suppose I just found both of them attractive. Like not just in an aesthetic sense -- more in a, 'alright, I'm down to make out with you in the corner of the club,' kinda way."

Internally, Jisun felt a bit awkward saying it out loud -- she didn't talk about sex. But hey, it was the truth, and there was no need to hide it. Her words had come out blunt and matter-of-fact.

"Some people just get crushes on both genders," Jisun continued, diverting the conversation away from her personal experiences. "Their sexuality is pretty upfront to them, once they figure out that they're feeling romantic feelings. I personally don't feel romantically inclined towards people often at all." Jisun shrugged. "Sexuality is a complicated topic. Sexual and romantic orientation are completely separate things apparently -- I guess you can get a crush on someone without thinking they're sexually attractive, and vice versa."

A brief silence lingered once Jisun finished talking. She interrupted the tranquility of it once again, saying bluntly and unabashedly, "why do you ask? Are you questioning your sexuality or something?"

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View All » Add Character » 4 Characters to follow in this universe

Character Portrait: Jisun Yeong
Character Portrait: Anastasia Ivanov
Character Portrait: Bernadette Dubois
Character Portrait: Yael Yahalom

Newest

Character Portrait: Yael Yahalom
Yael Yahalom

i challenge you.

Character Portrait: Bernadette Dubois
Bernadette Dubois

you are a weapon

Character Portrait: Anastasia Ivanov
Anastasia Ivanov

even flowers wither

Character Portrait: Jisun Yeong
Jisun Yeong

all are equal in death.

Trending

Character Portrait: Yael Yahalom
Yael Yahalom

i challenge you.

Character Portrait: Jisun Yeong
Jisun Yeong

all are equal in death.

Character Portrait: Anastasia Ivanov
Anastasia Ivanov

even flowers wither

Character Portrait: Bernadette Dubois
Bernadette Dubois

you are a weapon

Most Followed

Character Portrait: Bernadette Dubois
Bernadette Dubois

you are a weapon

Character Portrait: Yael Yahalom
Yael Yahalom

i challenge you.

Character Portrait: Jisun Yeong
Jisun Yeong

all are equal in death.

Character Portrait: Anastasia Ivanov
Anastasia Ivanov

even flowers wither


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