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Aera Lee

"I don't believe in saints; they never make mistakes."

0 · 627 views · located in Tokyo, Japan

a character in “Immortal Ties”, originally authored by partially-stars, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description

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AERA LEE.....................................reincarnation
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aera has lived in many countries in her life, but her family has chosen to finally settle in japan. aera's soul has also lived many lives, as a soul that has been reincarnated multiple times. this may or may not be associated with aera's obsession with death and related beliefs.

...ImageAge.......Twenty......................D.O.B.........July 17th, 1996
Origin.... America...............Sexuality....Bisexual

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I. ..A D . H O M I N E M



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        A S P E C T U S
        5'3" - 160 | warm brown | dark brown


        Aera may stand firmly on the shorter side of average, but impeccable posture and a confident stride more than make up for that, and many people perceive her to be taller than she actually is. Throw in a pair of heels, and she can pass for average height flawlessly. Not that her height bothers her- she learned how to dress it early in life. She's usually found in boyish, oversized cuts that, at first glance, hide her figure. However, she usually balances out the looser items of clothing with a crop top, skinny jeans, skater dresses, or high waisted shorts, having the effect of balancing out her figure.

        Aera's features are soft. Her almond-shaped, mono-lidded eyes are warm and friendly, always with a twinkle in them. Her heart-shaped face balances out her pointed chin, giving her a fairy or elf like quality. Her dark hair is usually coloured in one way or another, depending on what is in style and how she feels about her own hair. At present, her hair is the longest it's been in a while, and she's still debating whether she's going to cut it or not.




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        P E R S O N A
        independent | self-righteous | intelligent | stubborn

        Many people like to judge Aera on first impressions. She's always well dressed and fashionable, so she must be shallow and empty-headed. Her style isn't overly feminine, so she must be one of those "I'm not like other girls" type girls. She's usually found with headphones on when she's travelling or studying alone, so she must be anti-social. Aera is none of these things. She speaks two languages fluently and two others with a reasonable level of fluency. She's also studying psychology and if she's not studying that, she's reading up on cultural beliefs on death.

        Aera loves people. She could never be one of those special snowflakes, because she loves all types of girls so much. Punks, hipsters, pastel goths, girls who slay with their winged eyeliner and blood red lipsticks, girls who go natural... Even if she isn't going out making friends, she finds people interesting. She's perfectly happy to have one in-depth conversation with a person and never speak again, because she already learned a lot about them. She'll talk to people on public transport if they catch her attention, she'll discuss people's majors with them if they sit across from her in the library, she'll chat to the person sitting next to her in Starbucks.

        However, in order for Aera to have one of these conversations with you, she has to consider you interesting enough. She considers herself worthy to judge who's interesting enough for her to talk to and who will pass under her radar. If nothing about you stands out, she'll consider you boring and won't waste her time talking to you. She justifies this mentality by blaming her major. Talking to and dealing with boring people won't benefit her studies, talking to interesting and unique people will.

        There's not much of a chance of changing Aera's mind about it either. Aera is as stubborn as a bull. If you tell her she can't do something, she'll figure out how to do it just to spite you. If you tell her she's wrong, she'll find ways to prove you she's right. Even if she realises she's on the wrong side of an argument, she won't give in until she's won anyway. There's been many a day where she's missed her first lecture because she just had to get her eyeliner perfect out of pure stubbornness.




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ANALYTICAL..when it comes to spotting patterns or making connections, aera's
your woman. her analytical mind also helps her ability to learn things.


SOCIAL..aera is well able to hold any kind of conversation with any type of
person, which can help her out in some situations. it isn't even limited to her native english.


BILINGUAL..growing up in a mixed race house meant that aera also grew up
speaking both korean and english. she picks up languages much easier as a result.



HAUGHTY..if she doesn't deem you worthy of her attention, you won't
get it, and she won't lose any sleep over it either.


STUBBORN..good luck getting aera to back down in an argument.

SELF-RIGHTEOUS..aera always has a reason to justify her actions, and her reason is
more than sufficient in her eyes, no matter what anyone else thinks.





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II. ... I M M O R T A L I S . M O R T A L E





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        A C T U M .T E M P U S


        Aera's soul has lived many lives. In the life before hers, she was a young man in Russia. Very little echoes of her previous life passed over. She hates the cold, though, and big, angry men with guns and angry dogs terrify her, even if they're only on TV. However, when she was a young child, a Russian childminder was absentmindedly chatting to herself in Russian. Aera started replying to and commenting on what she was saying, but in English. She could understand Russian, but not speak it. The childminder didn't think about it too much, thinking it was just a child being a child. However, she also took it as an interest to learn Russian, and started teaching Aera. Aera has always loved the language- a possible echo from her previous life- and continued to learn it as she grew older, now boasting a reasonable standard of it.

        Besides that incident, Aera's childhood was incredibly ordinary for the first few years. Her father, a second-generation Korean-American, taught Aera Korean, while her mother and her daily life was in English. Aera developed a talent for picking up languages, and was practically fluent in Korean by the time she was ten. She was also ten when they started moving. At first, it was back to Korea, which perfected Aera's Korean and was where she developed her interest in interesting people. Then, they moved to Japan. Aera felt like she'd been thrown into the deep end. She knew no Japanese, knew very little about the culture, and knew nobody there.

        To stop feeling so alone, she launched a fashion blog. As she taught herself Japanese with the help of some willing locals, she also taught herself how to run a blog. She found the best places to get her favourite clothes for the cheapest prices and shared them with her readers. She made a point of researching the best local brands, what brands would charge a fortune for shipping and where to get them without those ridiculous shipping prices. It made settling into her new life a lot easier, and reduced the level of culture shock she was experiencing as she connected with people all over the world. She got as much from the internet as she gave, learning the best places to do college courses through English, hints on learning Japanese, and the best places to get her caffeine fix in Tokyo.




    Image
                  ( OOC )

                  FACE CLAIM: jenn im
                  HEX CODE: #634848
                  PORTRAYED BY: icat
                  CS CREATED BY: Epimetheus
                  TIME ZONE: GMT

                  DISCLAIMER: This sheet uses
                  code written by Epimetheus, with
                  portions of her work inspired by
                  Verix. All credit goes to them.
                  _( ASSOCIATED )
                  ..words and phrases

                  that feeling when you find a cute but low maintenance outfit
                  she's a sucker for prosecco and fun coloured drinks. bonus
                  points if they're strong and yet simultaneously taste good.
                  she unironically loves call me maybe and will fight anybody
                  over it.
                  mulan is her favourite disney movie, but beauty and the beast is
                  a close second.
                  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellente
                  _( MISC )

                  current hair style, length, and colour [x]
                  aera is fluent in english, almost perfectly fluent in korean (she's
                  out of practice more than anything) with a decent level of
                  fluency in japanese and russian. she has friends in each country
                  which she regularly skypes to keep her fluency up.
                  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellente
                  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellente
                  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellente

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

So begins...

Aera Lee's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Luciana de Silva Character Portrait: Marlon Page Character Portrait: Kohaku Character Portrait: Cassius Dōriēwes Character Portrait: Minako Character Portrait: Seung Character Portrait: Teruki Satou Character Portrait: Alucio Character Portrait: Cara Chung Character Portrait: Ikeda Shiori Character Portrait: Ryan 'Rango' Prosker Character Portrait: Basil Gardner Character Portrait: Jiangyu Bai Character Portrait: Kohta Honda Character Portrait: Aera Lee Character Portrait: Seok Areum Character Portrait: Kaede Shimizu Character Portrait: Wyatt Costanza Character Portrait: La Verne Caron Character Portrait: Paola Millán
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0.25 INK

#, as written by Cloud
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━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━
CHAPTER ONE: THE BEGINNING
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Date: Evening, 1st April, 2017
Location: Tokyo City, Japan
━━━━━━━━━


xxxOnce, before Tokyo had been given its name, before tall spires of metal dominated the horizon and light polluted the sky, one could see the stars. They say it was the gods who wove constellations into the otherwise blank expanse of night sky; exposing pinpricks of light to tell stories of legends that would transcend time. Yet, as civilisation grew ever skywards, electric lights began to drown out the natural illumination of the night sky. There are still those who remember centuries long gone, whose gaze at the night sky and remember a time when it was only clouds that interrupted their view. The constellations had changed since they were young, shifting across the Earth’s sky as time flowed forward. Yet, more than one could still take comfort in the beauty of it.

xxx “A shame really.” The man commented absently, his gaze fixed upwards, past the canopy of sky-scrapers towards the sliver of cloudless ink visible above. “Once you could have made out millions of stars from anywhere in the prefecture.”

xxxThe surly teenager seated beside him grunted and shifted slightly away, unsure who this stranger was and why he had randomly started talking to him.

xxx “I made it, you know.” The man continued, an almost smug smile on his face as he leaned against the park bench. He didn’t seem to care that the youth was resolutely staring at the screen of his cell phone, attempting to tune out the rambling stranger. “I mean, I made everything really. You’re welcome by the way.” He paused and glanced at the mortal, as if expecting a ‘thank you’, or any other form of gratitude. When none was offered the man merely continued talking, “But, I am particularly proud of the stars. ”

xxxThe man’s dark eyes returned to the small portion of the sky not covered in thick cloud. He held his hand in front of his eyes, stretched out as if he might pluck the very stars from their homes in the sky. Instead, he waved his hand slowly from side to side, as if waving away a particularly bad smell. A satisfied smile lit his face as his hand fell to his side,

xxx “There, you see!” The man said, nodding towards the now cloudless sky. Though the light from numerous skyscrapers still dimmed the brightest of the stars, they seemed stronger now, shimmering happily above the world below. “Much better.”

xxxThe youth merely grunted again, his hands fiddling headphones into his ears as he attempted to tune out the well-dressed man beside him. Unfortunately, the man’s voice continued to blare through the headphones, as if the younger man’s music wasn’t playing at all.

xxx “I fancy myself as a bit of an artist, if I’m being frank.” He continued, a note of pride creeping into his words, “You see that tree there? I designed it, right down to the edges on the leaves.”

xxxThe teenager didn’t even glance up, too busy checking that he had plugged his headphones in properly. Of all the nights for them to stop working, it had to be when he was getting his ear talked off by some mental stranger.

xxxFrom behind the pair a female voice replied, full of barely contained impatience, “I think you’ll find that I was the one to design that tree. If I remember correctly, you were still babbling on about how sludge was going to be the next big thing.” The woman snorted in amusement. “Well, we all know how that went.”

xxx “Excuse me for trying to do something different.” He retorted hotly, even as he slid across the park bench to make space for the new arrival. Beside him, the irritated youth was silently cursing the two adults who had interrupted his brooding and was quickly stuffing his phone into his backpack. Without a word the kid stood, pulled his hood tightly over his head, and walked away.

xxxThe two gods barely seemed to register the departure, more concerned with the back and forth that had begun. “I make one mistake and you never let me forget it. I made flowers, and gave the world bees. Who doesn’t like bees?” His hands made exaggerated movements in the air.

xxx “One mistake? Oh, I can count at least three dozen you’ve made in the last decade alone.” The female retorted, slapping his hands casually away. She opened her mouth to continue, before changing her mind and instead adding, “But I didn’t come to bicker with you.”

xxxHe nodded. His partner had come for the same reason he had. He stood up slowly, stretching out his tall frame, before offering a hand to the woman. She took it with a nod, her head tilting slightly in a wordless expression of ‘after you’.

xxxA second later the two figures blinked into existence on the wind-swept top of a sky-scraper. From here they could see the city sprawled out below them; neon, artificial lights marking roads, shop advertisements, and the lit windows of residential apartments. Above them, cleared of the thick layer of clouds, was the night’s blanket of stars.

xxxThough no eyes – mortal or otherwise – happened to glance up at the tip of the building, had someone done so, they would have seen two immortals bathed in moonlight, watching their world with a confidence only the gods know. They were one and the same, and yet separate, two entities burning in a universe of their creation.

xxxHe was tall and pale, his feet rooted solidly in the ground beneath him even while his hands reached heavenward. His cheekbones were chiselled from marble, sharp enough to cut mountains. Dark eyes of endless knowledge inspected his world, while strands of hair the same pitch black were pushed back from his face with lithe fingers. His appearance was similar to natives of this land, albeit almost concentrated, as if he were the original that all others had been moulded by.

xxxShe, on the other hand, had the dark, warm skin of someone who would have been marked a foreigner had she walked amongst Tokyo’s population. Her face was softer; a smooth sculpture of beauty, with thick curls of coal-coloured hair engulfing her head. Pupils that whispered of eons gone by watched the city like a predator of old, her lips held tight in a thin frown as possibilities of the days to come ran through her mind.

xxx “Owari” He spoke her name like a resolution; a finality echoing from his lips; the end.

xxx “Hajimari.” She responded with his name; a beginning; a taste of fresh possibilities, and boundless growth.

xxx “Things are moving.” He stated, his eyes too seeing beyond the crawling traffic below. “Do you think they’re ready?”

xxx “They’ll have to be.” Owari responded, her tone firm.

xxxHajimari nodded, rising his gaze from the streets at his feet to the stars above. His hand rose, fingers splayed above his head as his eyes searched between the digits. “Perhaps a sign then.” He murmured, almost to himself. Though, Owari heard and followed her partner’s gaze to the heavens.

xxx “Many have long since forgotten us.” She reminded him as his fingers began to dance overhead. His hand made a graceful pulling motion, a soft breath left his lips, and then the first star fell across the night’s sky; a streak of pure light momentarily illuminating the heavens. More followed, creating a meteor shower for any who happened to turn their attention to the sky that night.

xxx “Well, perhaps this is for my comfort than.” Hajimari replied, his hands clasped behind his back as he admired his work. Owari let the silence build as she too watched the show above, until a dozen moments had passed.

xxx “They all have demons to face.” Her words rang with a hint of pity, for she knew the dangers that were to come.

xxx “Most are of their own making.” Hakimari responded, “They would have had to face them eventually.”

xxxOwari nodded, her curls shifting as if stirred by a gentle wind, “We can only watch now.”

xxxA look of slight guilt crossed the pale god’s face, his eyes flashing momentarily. His partner turned ever-perceptive eyes on him, her frown deepening as she sensed his intentions, “Hajimari, if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a million times, stop interfering with their lives!”

xxxAnd just like that, the aura of power and mystery that surrounded the two gods evaporated. Like an old couple, married for too long and all too aware of each other’s faults, they began trading words; barbs, insults, passive aggressive suggestions. A bird soaring above would be wise to avoid the area directly around the snapping deities, a rat might have taken sheltered in a solid pipe well below the pair too. For the less perceptive mortals, they continued their work without contemplating that above them stood two squabbling gods, or that among their number roamed immortals and ghosts. Even as the two gods disappeared, the only witness to their presence a pouting teenage boy, the world continued to move of its own accord.

xxxIn a shoe-box apartment only a few blocks from the building once occupied by the two gods, a Guardian Angel calling himself Kohaku was preparing to leave on work-related business. A short distance further, within the performance hall of one of Tokyo’s learning institutes, a blonde boy studying music gave his hands a shake as he glared at a piano piece. And further away, across vast oceans and mountain ranges carved and painted by the hands of the divines, a goblin’s hand reached for a door knob. Slim fingers curled around the brass head, her eyes shut, mind searching for the pull of her next destination. She opened the door and slid through, her eyes alighting on the clear windows of her Tokyo apartment to see stars decorating the sky.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aera Lee
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

xxxAERAxxLEE
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xxxlocation: streetsxxxoutfit: here

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xxx"learning how to make a name
xxxfrom the words we can't keep in
xxxlearning how to strike a flame
xxxand draw a fire from nothing"

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For the most part, Aera spent her nights alone in her apartment, getting herself organised for the following days. Touching up photos, drafting blog posts, organising her schedule... Sometimes, if she was having a busy week or few days, that could stretch late into the night. Aera had always been a night owl, though, so she never minded. As long as there was noise in the apartment, coffee to be brewed, and work to be done, she wouldn't even feel the time passing. She enjoyed what she did, and she knew how important her scheduling was to stay on top of things.

But tonight, all that had been done in the early afternoon. She'd been invited to an influencer event for an up-and-coming makeup brand, and she'd jumped at the opportunity to attend. The line they were launching was heavily inspired by the punk and rock scenes, so that had been the theme for the event. Aera hadn't been in the mood for fancy dresses, so she was glad for the more alternative dress code.

With her goodie-bag tucked firmly into her handbag, she and a number of other bloggers she'd met previously had decided to go out. However, they didn't know where they were going, and so had stopped for a late night ice cream to discuss their plans.

"We could always just go back to mine and watch Netflix and gossip," one of the girls suggested. By that point in the night, it was starting to sound good. "I think I have some drinks in the apartment? We could find somewhere that's open and get some, though," she added, which just made it sound even more appealing.

"Wait, what about Apex? That's always a good night out," somebody else said. Aera popped a spoonful of ice cream into her mouth.

"Masquerade night tonight. I was thinking about going before I got the invitation for the press event. I mean, if you have a spare masquerade mask, I'll borrow it, but I feel like we'd be a bit out of place," she remarked. "And it's not worth going home to change." The other girls agreed. One of them just happened to glance up at the sky, and nearly dropped her ice cream in excitement.

"Guys! Guys, look! It's a meteor shower!" She exclaimed. They all shot to their feet, going to the window and looking out. The skies were alight with dozens, if not hundreds of shooting stars. They raised their cameras almost in sync, all trying to snap photos of the skies. Aera grinned. Nights like this were the nights she really felt alive.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seung Character Portrait: Alucio Character Portrait: Aera Lee
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0.00 INK

#, as written by Verix
Image
                      Seung
                      GRIM REAPER | 406 | #D08462


                      There was something in the air unspoken that drowned Seung in it’s sadness. He could feel it pushing at him like waves created from an unforgiving ocean - letting him resurface for a single breath before pulling him down once again. It was as if the world he knew was made water, and the only way to save himself was to sink.

                      He watched helplessly as the woman in white fiddled with her cup, her brown eyes flicking between him and the tea before resolutely closing them shut. Seung itched to place his hand on top of hers, to feel the warmth of her touch against his, and perhaps to give her some sort of comfort.

                      “What . . . will happen once I’m gone?” she said, her gaze finally meeting his in an act of, what he supposed, defiance. Underneath the table he curled his hand into a fist and squeezed tightly.

                      “The world will go on,” the tone in his voice did not match the tune of his thoughts, and although intentionally misinterpreting her question he longed to tell her the truth. If only he could. The woman slammed her hands on the table, almost spilling the tea, and stood up. Her eyes were red and filled to the brim with fresh tears and an anger directed toward him and the world.

                      She said nothing, but her breathing was labored and her head was bowed. Her mouth opened as if to yell or scream or shout, but all that came out was a choked sob that rendered her whole frame frail. Seung had the curious thought that if he were to touch her, as he deeply wanted to, then perhaps she would disintegrate and turn into ash before his eyes.

                      Seconds passed by in silence and when her frame stopped shaking she sat down with a heavy plop. The life had been drained out of her and Seung could only observe. He was about to say something, anything really to permeate the stifling stillness, but a quick motion from her left him in awe. She grabbed the cup in front of her and without hesitation lifted the drink to her lips greedily. There was something mesmerizing about the scene, and despite having watched plenty of mortals accept the tea he couldn’t help but think perhaps something was different.

                      When the woman finished she wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and let the cup fall to the ground gracelessly. Seung said nothing and simply stood up to walk her to the door where they had come from. She remained silent. They always did.

                      He shut the door softly and leaned his back against it with a deep sigh. All the air seemed to rush back into his lungs and his head was finally above water. He willed himself to stay afloat even for a few minutes, knowing full well it was a useless gesture. For he knew that once he returned home the sound of her sobs would follow, but he could pretend for now that it didn't bother him.

                      With slow methodical movements he walked back to the table and picked up the cup from the floor before bringing it to the sink to wash. He let the cool water from the faucet run over his hands like a blanket and when he was finished simply set it aside to dry. It was a part of his routine that he could preform with his eyes closed. He wouldn’t of course, but he’d think about it.

                      -

                      The moment Seung walked through the door to the outside world he shivered. It wasn’t as though the weather was anything unusual, but he’s always had an aversion toward the cold that never really faded with time. Regardless though, he continued to walk the city streets, wearing only a dark pinstripe suit and his only pair of black oxford shoes. It was one of his nicer outfits, as well as one of the most expensive. It had taken him a few months to save up enough money to buy it, and when he did Seung was reluctant to wear it as to not damage the cloth. Alucio had shown no outward reaction, but Seung could have sworn he heard the man whisper, ”. . . Yeah. Ok. This is life now.” Looking back on it, Seung couldn’t help but agree.

                      It was that train of thought though that reminded Seung that he should text his roommate. He had no real reason to, really. It wasn't as if they had agreed to meet one another consistently; God only knows how much they bumped into each other in their tiny apartment. But Seung didn’t feel like returning home where he knew it would be quiet, and he would be alone with his thoughts.

                      Quickly he pulled out his phone and began to text the man with an idea he knew the other couldn’t refuse.


                      To : M’lady Pard’ner
                      Come to the tipping point, first drink is on me.


                      Seung pocked his device into his pants, satisfied with his invitation. It wasn’t often he was generous enough to pay for someone’s drink, and so considered his offer to be nothing less than a sealed deal. He only had to wait for Alucio’s text for confirmation.

                      Rounding the corner a block away from the bar it was then that Seung noticed the sky had somehow turned lighter. He paid it no mind, and focused on getting to his destination, but when he bumped into a man who stopped to look at the sky Seung grew curious. Above, the stars shot across the sky too fast for him truly appreciate them, and so with a determined set to stance he kept walking.

                      He did however begin to pay attention to the people surrounding him, and for him that was a better sight than any star could manage. The people gathered on the street with their phones out ready to capture what they probably thought was an unforgettable moment. Seung knew better though, years of living made him apathetic to scenic beauty.

                      Slowing his pace even more he took in the sight of a few women gathered in a small ice cream shop, amazement in their eyes and their hearts bared for all to see. He smiled, and tore his gaze away from a scene he knew he was not supposed to witness.

                      -
                      He arrived at The Tipping Point a few minutes later and let his body acclimate to the the warm temperature of the room before sitting down. The bartender quickly made his way over and Seung ordered the cheapest sake to pass the time before Alucio would show up. When it arrived he took a sip and grimaced. Drinking was a lonely art.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jiangyu Bai Character Portrait: Aera Lee
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xxxAERAxxLEE
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xxxlocation: streetsxxxoutfit: here

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xxx"learning how to make a name
xxxfrom the words we can't keep in.
xxxlearning how to strike a flame
xxxand draw a flame from nothing."


"You know what?" One of the other girls declared, making Aera tear her eyes away from the skies. "This is a sign. A sign we shouldn't be sitting here talking what we should be doing, we should be out doing it!" Aera laughed lightly, but she had a point. Aera was bored of just talking, she wanted to be doing. "Let's just go explore the city. Let's go people-watch. And if we find a club that we're dressed for, let's just go for it!" Aera added, grabbing the hand of the girl nearest to her and dragging her out into the streets. The other girls followed.

Most nights, Aera's feet would have been aching, and she probably would have just wanted to go home. But something about tonight was different. The skies were alive and so was she. The starlight lit up the streets, and it felt magical. It was one of those nights were it felt like anything could or would happen. And, indeed, it seemed it would.

"Is that guy seriously dressed like a monk?" One of the girls squealed, but as Aera looked around, she couldn't see any such character. "He just went into that cafe!" The girl insisted, but the rest of them just laughed. "Somebody's on a sugar high," Aera remarked, laughing. "

Somebody produced a vlogging camera as they continued on their merry way and they started chatting about the event. English was the only language they could all speak with confidence, which was exactly how they had bonded. Aera had taught the girls some Korean phrases, Emma had taught them some Scottish slang, and Hana had taught them how to flirt in Japanese. Aera was in her element.

"Aera, how many languages do you speak?" Hana asked. She was the one holding the camera. "Four. English and Korean fluently and Japanese and Russian relatively well." The girls gasped. "Aera Lee everyone, proving that brains and beauty are not mutually exclusive," Hana said to the camera, and Aera shrugged, laughing a little. This was why she felt alive.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Luciana de Silva Character Portrait: Marlon Page Character Portrait: Kohaku Character Portrait: Cassius Dōriēwes Character Portrait: Minako Character Portrait: Seung Character Portrait: Alucio Character Portrait: Cara Chung Character Portrait: Ikeda Shiori Character Portrait: Ryan 'Rango' Prosker Character Portrait: Basil Gardner Character Portrait: Jiangyu Bai Character Portrait: Aera Lee Character Portrait: Seok Areum Character Portrait: Kaede Shimizu Character Portrait: Wyatt Costanza Character Portrait: Paola Millán
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#, as written by Cloud
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━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━
CHAPTER TWO: THE FESTIVAL
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Date: Early afternoon, 2nd April, 2017
Location: Kan'ei-ji Temple, Ueno Park
Tokyo City, Japan

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xxx A sea of delicate pink blossoms fluttered in the faint spring breeze, a show of nature’s intoxicating beauty revealed for the world to see. Lanes of sakura trees turned the pavement below a rosy hue, while in other places the falling flowers had carpeted the grass in blushing blooms. The Hanami custom was old, a traditional indulgence by the people of Japan and those world-wide to walk beneath spring’s buds and admire the astounding beauty of it.

xxx In Ueno park, lanterns hang on invisible ropes between the trees, arching across lanes and illuminating pathways during the nightly yozakura. Yet, even during the day, as wisps of cloud pass overhead, the lanterns only add to the festive feel. Kan'ei-ji temple is a Tendai Buddist temple within the bustling metropolis of Tokyo. It sits in the park, a beautiful array of centuries old architecture within the modern city.

xxx Fires from various civil wars and earthquakes have seen the original facades diminished, yet still the temple stands tall and proud. The five-storied pagoda and the Ueno Tōshō-gū shrine still remain as gems of the original temple, beautiful relics of a time gone past. Today, as the midday sun passes overhead, the temple grounds were thriving with activity. Cherry blossoms coloured the grounds pink, while the laughter of young children brought smiles to many who passed by. Stalls set up in one of the courtyards offered delectable treats; yakitori, grilled chicken on sticks; takoyaki, pancake balls with tempting chunks of octopus in the middle; watamep, cotton candy in all colours and styles, and more.

xxx The temple’s festivities were set to continue throughout the evening and into the early night, when the lanterns strung up would offer soft illumination. However, as early afternoon struck the festival was well into full swing. Some families take to the lawns beneath the cherry blossom trees, where picnic blankets allow them to stretch out and admire the blooming petals, while others content themselves with pulling young children around to the games set up for those who require a bit more entertainment. Also present are young couples keen to take in the romance of the sakura blossoms, their hands intertwined as they whispered endearments to each other while walking beneath the blooms.

xxx It was one of these couples that caught Lucia’s gaze as she stepped off the bustling street and followed one small, winding path towards the heart of the temple. They were young, late teens or early twenties, and yet their devotion to each other was clear. As the goblin passed the love-struck couple, she caught a glimpse of their future, intertwined for decades, their hands still clinging together as they age from young and fresh to gnarled and old. Luciana smiled softly, a hint of sadness perhaps beneath the warmth in her eyes. She had once been in love, a foolish affair, yet her story had not ended in happiness as this couple’s story would.

xxx She bypassed the devoted couple with a quick side-step, sending them a hint of good luck as she passed. Ahead, the path opened out into the main courtyard of the temple, a busy thoroughfare of festival seekers. The smell of freshly cooked food and sweets drifted between the crowd, tempting any with a nose or hint of hunger towards the wooden stalls edging the courtyard. Overhead, unlit lanterns and streamers added further decoration, even as the cherry blossoms were the real draw card.

xxx “I’ll take two yakitori, please.” Lucia intoned in flawless Japanese, nodding in thanks as her money was exchanged for the chicken sticks. The dress hugging her body floated around her knees slightly as a faint breeze snaked through the crush of people, and Lucia followed it beneath the tall pagoda and around to where a lawn of grass unfurled beneath a stand of sakura trees. A free root offered the perfect seat, and Lucia tucked her feet to the side as she sat beneath a shower of rosy petals, her gaze drawn upwards to the light blossoms blushing softly against the sky.


xxx “Beautiful” The goblin thought to herself, a feeling of peace settling across her shoulders. She left her mind wander to the twists of the day before, her thoughts less tense than the swirling cacophony of feelings that had assaulted her the previous night. Following her departure from Paola’s apartment, Lucia had spent a long time deciding on her next course of action. Her first instinct was to leave, to run from the city where she had seen and touched her ex-lover. Yet, the goblin couldn’t shake the sense that she should be closer to Paola, if only to investigate the mysterious way the girl had called her.

xxx To stay, or to go? It was the decision that had taunted her throughout the night, and though the goblin hadn’t landed on a conclusive answer, here she sat, still in Tokyo. The tough choice of the previous night seemed all the easier to face now, beneath the sakura. She would stay, would face Cassius if ever they came upon each other again. She was not the same young, naïve woman she had been as a mortal, she was stronger now, more sure of herself. She could handle it. Yet, even as her resolution settled, she remembered the feel of his hand on hers, the colours of his eyes, feel of his breath against her skin…

xxx A flicker in the corner of her eye dragged Lucia’s thoughts from the fox and she turned, searching the crowd of blossom admirers for the movement. Her brows moved into a frown as soft green eyes fell on the dark figure of a ghost. He looked as out of place amongst the pale blossoms as a bear would look in a colony of honey bees. Taller than the natives around him, and dressed in regal, medieval garb that was only now worn in theatrical plays, he was a man out of time and out of place. Though, it wasn’t the unsettling wrongness of his appearance that had Lucia pushing herself to her feet in a second. No, it was the familiarity of his face, the way the deceased soul’s gaze seemed to pin Lucia to the spot, as if he had sought her out from the beyond.

xxx The goblin took a step forward, a jolt of fear racing down her spine. “It cannot be…” She thought, wishing the distance were less so that she could be more sure, even as she wished to be miles away and safe from the soul’s eerie glare. She strained her eyes, even as a crowd of young Japanese temporarily blocked her view. Lucia took another half step forward, only to stop as the crowd passed and where the ghost had been, was nothing. He was gone, like a mirage teasing the goblin with images of her past. Had it been him? Or had the events of the previous day caused her to remember the less fortunate parts of her mortal life?

xxx Luciana took a shuddering breath, her hand instinctively flying to her neck where her fingers traced across the jewels that clung to her skin. She remembered the necklace tightening, the memory of the hand that had ended her life stark in her mind as she stared at the empty spot where he had just stood. But no, that was centuries ago. No ghost could last for that long. She forced her shoulders to relax, let her legs buckle as she regained her seat. It had been her mind, nothing else. She was safe.