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Paola Millán

"A heart filled with anger has no room for love."

0 · 745 views · located in Tokyo, Japan

a character in “Immortal Ties”, as played by blondehaired

Description

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PAOLA MILLÁN.....................................Goblin's Bride
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Once a plump child who couldn't control her fists changed by a pair of loving parents, Paola is a candle shop owner who took a chance by moving to Tokyo. Fate may have bigger plans for her than she has for herself.

...ImageAge.......Twenty Three......................D.O.B.........March 8, 1994
Origin.... United States...............Sexuality....Homosexual

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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
        five foot nine | brown | almost black


        Feminine features cut sharp by a chiseled jaw and carefully groomed eyebrows, this Puerto Rican can intimidate most regular humans with a carefully planned gaze. She softens her harsh edges with tumbling black curls and plump lips always covered in a shiny gloss. Paola has what is referred to as "resting bitch face", considering her aggressively beautiful eyebrows tilted just enough to look like she's ready to knock someone out. She got a nose piercing right before she was adopted, and has never taken it out. She also has the Puerto Rican motto, "Joannes Est Nomen Eius", tattooed in a circle around her ankle. There is a strange birthmark on her right hip that almost looks like a big freckle, if not for its mutated form.

        Paola look is highly feminine, and "perfect for a runway", as her friend Basil would describe it. Turtle necks draped over her small form, velvet crop tops, off shoulder blouses, anything that has a soft look. She keeps to light colors, especially white tops with jean bottoms. She can often be found with flowers tangled in her hair, and dresses are definitely a good portion of her closet. Paola loves to fix up clothes: making jeans into shorts, adding patches to jackets, and is usually always wearing a cute pin on her shirt or dress. She also makes sure to always wear a small silver chain around her neck that was left with her at the orphanage.




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        P E R S O N A
        intuitive | emotional | romantic | spontaneous

        The mixture of a childhood mostly spent in an orphanage, countless bullies from being a plump child with oversized eyebrows, and a naturally reactive nature, Paola Millán is not the World's Friendliest Person. In fact, there was a time when just looking at her wrong could earn an unsuspecting stranger a punch to the face. She is still one of those people who just act before they think, blaming most of her sporadic bouts of emotion on her "gut feeling". She trusts herself more than anyone else, and lets that direct her anywhere she wants to go. She is known for allowing random thoughts to take her on crazy adventures, and doing something "just for the hell of it" is definitely her style. Paola understands that life is short and doesn't give anyone anything, so she goes out and takes life for all that it's worth. Sometimes that mentality leads to danger, but she's never been the type to back down when danger arises.

        She is not secretive about her resentment towards her birth parents. She blames them for a lot, and considers them to be the ones to blame for a crappy childhood. Paola does not let anyone tell her that her resentment toward them is irrational because she feels like no one can give up their child on purpose and not be to blame. There also might be extra resentment because of her unborn child, who she wasn't even given the chance to do right by, the chance she feels her own parents had.

        Once Paola was adopted, her new parents helped her channel that resentment and aggression into passion. She learned that her fists were not the only way to release aggression, and really got into yoga and meditation. She is a much calmer person than she was through her childhood, though is still prone to bursts of emotion. What really helped was seeing the love her parents shared for each other. Stories from her childhood and a real life example created a standard of romance that Paola can not let go of. She is almost hopelessly romantic, sighing as young couples walk by holding hands or an elderly husband walks into her candle shop looking for a gift for his wife. She believes the greatest purpose in life is to find true love with your soulmate. Paola has tried to find her own soulmate many, many times, and at one point, she thought she'd found him. But, as life is cruel as it had always been, the soulmate was ripped from her and she was left with a man who tried to love her but she just couldn't love him. Her soulmate would look different next time, and she will continue to search for that person until her final breath.

        Paola is a mixture of anger, love, sadness, spontaneity, and sometimes, joy too. When the world decides she hasn't suffered enough, she adds the weight to her shoulders and continues to push through. She's a fighter, just no longer with her fists.



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FISTS..Paola is not afraid to let a fist fly to protect someone who can't
protect themselves, or someone she loves. She's pretty good at it too.


LOVE..Being a passionate person, her love is just as fierce as her fists.
Love is the strongest thing about her, and you will know if she loves you.


YOGA..She's become quite a yoga fanatic since she was adopted, and
teaches yoga in what will be Basil's flower shop someday.



CANDLES..Not only a fire hazard, considering the amount of them she lights,
she is quite obsessed with candles and will spend or do whatever for the one she wants.


ROMANTIC..Always the one wishing for happy endings and flowers on the
doorstep, her infatuation with love sometimes leads her towards what only looks like love.


RECKLESS..Anything that sounds like it would be something she could do, she
usually does it. Sometimes it's dangerous, irrational, illogical, but she learns after the fact.





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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

        Cameron Millán and Angel Davila left their child in the hospital as soon as Angel could clean up and change into different clothes; little Paola was taken to the orphanage soon after.

        The world has never been kind to Paola Millán. She was the child overlooked by all the visiting parents, no matter how much she tried to have a good attitude. Every kid wants to get adopted and have parents, Paola was no exception. Being overlooked did not go well with the aggressive child, and even though her heart yearned for the soft touch of a woman who wanted to call her daughter, or the baritone laugh of a man she could call father, the hurt that built up caused her to lash out at anyone who gave her a second glance.

        The other kids in the orphanage were not kind to her either. "Sasquatch", "Beast", "Neanderthal", the bullies were relentless. Paola was constantly in fights, and usually not the verbal ones. She was a menace to the orphanage workers, and everyone doubted she would ever get adopted. Even Paola started to doubt she would ever find the loving parents she desired so much. But when she was thirteen, she got a candle for her birthday. She lit it once everyone else was asleep, and like blowing out candles on a birthday cake, she made a wish. Her desperate wish clawed out of her mouth in a whisper, tear-stained words asking for one chance to have parents like a normal child.

        A woman appeared in her room, and took her out to celebrate her birthday. Paola didn't ask where the woman came from or why she was there, just tagged along on what was her best birthday yet. When the woman, Lucia, dropped her off again, she said that her wish would be granted. Ray and Stella came a week later, wanting to adopt the scraggly girl who finally got her eyebrows trimmed. Her life with Ray and Stella Paulson was radically different: they started her in a yoga class to help express her wild emotions in a different way, she had a hot delicious meal three times a day, and went to a school where she was allowed to flourish. She learned that she was actually smart, compared to what she was told by those who lived and worked in the orphanage, and used her new freedom to make friends.

        Paola loved the idea of everlasting love, like Ray and Stella, and tried to find it for herself. She met a boy, and she swore she was head-over-heels, hopeless in love with him. Everyone at school wanted to be in love like them. They went to prom in love, graduated in love, and even went to the same college in love. That love turned into a baby in Paola's belly by winter break. They were going to raise it, and be in love for the rest of their life. But just as Paola started to show, their love was ripped to shreds with the news of a miscarriage. She had to leave, and with the consent of her parents and a healthy bank account, she moved to Tokyo and opened up a candle shop, which she's run for three years now, trying to erase the dreams of a little boy with her eyes and her lover's blonde curls.



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                  ( OOC )

                  FACE CLAIM: Natalia Calvani
                  HEX CODE: #CF5300
                  PORTRAYED BY: The Writer's Voice
                  CS CREATED BY: Epimetheus
                  TIME ZONE: EST

                  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

                  This room. Her candle shop is probably a mix of this
                  and this, with a very boutique minimal vibe but more
                  natural with soft sunset-colored walls and warm wood
                  floors. Vanilla scented candles. Fighter. Love, lots of
                  love. Dark lip looks. Platform converse. Puerto Rican
                  flag. "I wanted to name him Raymond." Sadness when
                  around children, especially boys or ones that look like
                  her former lover. Soulmates. Color, lots of color.
                  The sunrise, the dawn of a new day. Sandy beaches.
                  Tweezers. Lindor truffles. Tokyo Milk. Wicks, her store.
                  Fingers painted with pink nail polish, entertwined with
                  another.
                  _( MISC )
                  After dating a woman named Himari, she realized she's
                  not meant to love men. She met Basil when he first moved
                  to Tokyo and was going to the culinary school across from
                  her candle shop; they became such good friends she bought
                  the empty shop next to hers and promised it to him when
                  he could pay her back. Has a notepad where she counts the
                  days since she's hit someone, very proud of it. Calls Ray and
                  Stella every morning. Has a chiahuahua named Rico. Cooks
                  Puerto Rican food a lot. Probably has at least a hundred candles.
                  Paola's soul is only on it's second revival: before this, she was a
                  Portuguese girl named Luisa Delgado, born 1127.

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

So begins...

Paola Millán'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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#, 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
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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: Paola Millán
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A night like this should never be squandered; the beams of light race across the sky outside the window of her shop and the thought of closing early becomes the current decision. It's not like she's busy; though Wicks is the collective effort of her parents' financial support and her own need for a purpose, it doesn't exactly pay the bills. However, she's fortunate enough for a healthy bank account because of the seven semesters she decided to spend in Tokyo instead of in school.

School. School reminded her of Morgan, and how his beautiful blonde hair would look on her warm brown skin all rolled into a healthy baby boy. It reminded her of the worst moment of her life, sitting in the OB/GYN with her soon-to-be husband and a doctor staring her right in the face to tell her that she'd never have her child. Paola could already feel her face heating up and tears pricking at her eyes, even now. Three years and she can't fathom how to forget them. To appease the dull ache in her chest, she decides to get some fresh air. Paola restocks some of the more popular candles- vanilla and Japanese cherry blossom -and turns off her fairy lights roped around the shop before exiting and locking the front door. The wind slaps across her face but the cool air is refreshing. Refreshing quickly turns to biting and Paola pulls her thick knit cardigan closer to her body.

The city lights are usually too bright but the meteor shower is almost blinding. She thought about going to the park but with the chilly weather, all she wants to do is light some candles and take a bath. The cold air whips against her legs and the main thing she's thankful for is living above her own shop. Hurrying inside, she immediately turns up her heater and stands to look out the window. The culinary school is illuminated with late-working students; she remembers a time when that would have been her friend Basil, slaving away over a project he slept through in class. He's one of the few friends she's made in Tokyo, after slamming into one another when he was rushing to class, and a week later he was buying a candle for a date and they ended up going to dinner together instead. "You just have a look, I adore it! Want to have dinner?" Even still, the only friend she's made other than Basil is Seung, and that's only because she knocked a guy out for stealing Seung's wallet. Now they occasionally make trips to the museum and the park just to chat.

With a long sigh, she draws from the window and toward her bathroom, where her dainty pink bathroom was calling her for a steaming hot bath, fragrances with special oils giving off a warm, smoky scent. She decides to light the candles around the bath, adding to the aroma and allowing her to slip into the bath with ease. The slightly golden bath exhales around her, and the silence reminds her that she's completely alone.

Being alone doesn't always mean being lonely, but for Paola, it's an excuse to be. Her thoughts pervade through her attempts to relax. Paola misses her friends from home, and Ray and Stella. She misses being loved by someone, though she can always find that here- but it's not being loved by just anyone, but the one meant for her. She realizes now that it wasn't Morgan, though with their boy, she could have made it work. Could she?

The next sigh that expels from her mouth blows out the candle beside her. It doesn't change the light much, so she sets it aside on the table and relaxes into the bath, closing her eyes.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Luciana de Silva Character Portrait: Paola Millán
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A blink in time, a burst of energy, and a single beat of her heart. Luciana’s lashes fluttered open as her body found its mark, her hand still outstretched, the remnants of Cassius’ touch still sending shivers across her skin. Slowly, Lucia let her hand fall to her side. The goblin blinked again, her mind sluggishly catching up to where her body had pulled her. Beneath her feet, the dirty concrete of the city street has been replaced with bathroom tiles. Delicate pink assails her sight, the aroma of scented candles, and bath bubbles intoxicate the air. Yet, these are all noted secondary, filled in the back of her mind, for what truly catches Lucia’s attention is the assumedly naked young woman lying prone in the bathtub. Lucia doesn’t recognise her, nor understand what magic or turn of fate pulled her from Cassius. The goblin can’t decide if she’s glad to be away from the fox spirit, or cursing the premature exit.

A frown creases Lucia’s brow and she resolutely pushes thoughts of Cassius to the back of her mind so that she may concentrate on the issue at hand. “Why have you called me?", Lucia’s voice fills the small bathroom easily, the Japanese flowing from her tongue in a clipped, borderline polite tone. The implication of ‘why have you called me now?’ is left off, but hopefully implied by the way her gaze turns to the bubbles and then back to the girl’s face.

Only once before had such a thing happened to her, but that small human had been a child alone in an orphanage, not a woman bathing in the nude. As an after-thought, Lucia adds “How did you call me?”

Paola's eyes were still closed when a loud voice spoke in Japanese. Her eyes shoot open and she's immediately assaulted with a second question and the visual of a extremely attractive woman standing in her bathroom. The woman, much taller in her memories, is the same one with the bright green eyes and thick necklace sharing the same green tones that Paola once thought was her fairy godmother. The last time she saw this woman was her thirteenth birthday, right before Ray and Stella came into her life.

Still, her first reaction is to back as far away from the woman, because- well, she is naked in a bathtub right now. The Japanese takes a moment to translate in her mind, and Paola scoffs indignantly. "How did you get into my bathroom?" Paola counters in messier Japanese, the words still quite strange on her American-oriented tongue. The last thing she wants to do is argue with this strange woman while she's naked in the tub, but getting out is certainly not an option until she leaves. Paola can't help but stare; the woman is achingly beautiful, and hasn't aged any since Paola last saw her. That, combined with Paola's own confusion on how Paola "called" her, leaves her scrambling for the right words. "I don't know, I didn't call you here."

Perhaps her brief run in with Cassius had soured Lucia's mood slightly, or perhaps it was merely the inappropriateness of the situation – standing fully dressed in a stranger’s bathroom while said stranger reclined awkwardly and naked in a bubble bath a step away. Whatever the reason, Lucia didn’t plan on remaining in the pink bathroom for much longer. She wanted to get back to her own home where she might relax uninterrupted and mull over the surprising events of the day.

“In future, it might be better to call me when you’re clothed.” She replied with a swift, polite smile. Lucia’s gaze remained trained on the young woman’s face, and as her initial shock dissipated slightly, Lucia began to wonder if she had met the bathing mortal before. The brows, at the least, were striking. Yet, perhaps now was not the time to contemplate the woman’s appearance. So, with a brief nod, Lucia turned on her heel.

“I’ll be leaving now.” She said over her shoulder, hand moving to the bathroom door in a smooth gesture. It swung open, revealing a small flat, yet Lucia’s focus tuned in on the expansive sprawl of her penthouse apartment and it was to that expensive accommodation that her body was transported as she stepped through the door. The smell of oils and scented candles was replaced with the faint aroma of Lucia’s air freshener, and the goblin took a soothing breath as she took another step into her own apartment.

"I don't know how I called you!"

Paola couldn't have imagined the situation happening in her wildest dreams if she hadn't been witness to it just moments before. The woman spoke of Paola calling her but without a cellphone nearby, she wasn't exactly sure what the strange woman meant. It reminded her of a faint memory, thirteen years old and clinging to a flickering candle, when that same woman appeared mysteriously into her bedroom. She wanted to know more, especially since there was no explanation as to how the woman appeared in the first place. Paola shimmies into a nearby robe when she left, and found that the woman disappeared the moment she stepped out of Paola's door. Strange, she thought, as she searched around the small area that the woman had just taken up space. With a frustrated groan, she replaced the robe with a silken nightgown before blowing out the rest of the candles around the bathroom. All too soon, she found herself not alone once more. She jumped at the suddenness of the woman. "god, could you knock or something?" Paola finally snapped in exasperated English.

A moment of solitude and then the still odd sensation of harmless fire licking at her fingers. One moment Lucia stood in her penthouse, the next she was being pulled back to the small bathroom she had just left. A sigh escaped her lips, her arms folding in front of her chest as the mortal - now thankfully covered in a robe - turned and snapped at Luciana.

“I wouldn't bring the gods into this if I were you." Luciana commented lightly, switching to match the oman's use of English. Luciana pursed her lips slightly as her gaze inspected the mortal woman's face more carefully than she had earlier. A thought occured to her and she titled her head, “We've met before, haven't we?"

The memory came in a surge of recollection. An orphanage, an birthday wish, and a sweet young girl who only wanted to be loved. Luciana offered a small smile at the reminder. “Paola."

Frustration immediately became a much too tiring emotion for Poala to continue with such a strange woman. Thankfully, she didn't have to continue in stilted Japanese, but that didn't do anything for the confusion that was making home in Paola's mind. She crosses her arms across her chest at the woman's statement about the gods. "It's a figure of speech." Paola quips, though the attitude conveyed by her voice and posture immediately drops when the woman starts to study her. She felt all too aware of her body, gangly and awkward compared to the woman in front of her, and sank further into her crossed arms, looking to the floor as her only protection from the gaze settled on her.

We've met before. Paola's eyes snap up, her stare unbridled under her raised eyebrows. Her eyes weren't deceiving her, this was the woman who magically appeared in her orphanage room as well. She'd have to ask about her skin care routine because she doesn't look to have aged- Paola.

She's never heard her name sound like that, soft and sweet and rolled into a smile like it belonged there. Paola's cheeks blossom pink as she's all too sure she's been incredibly rude to the first person who ever actively celebrated her birthday. "Yeah, that's me. We met a while ago.. how'd you find me again? I always wondered how you found me in the first place but I never got the chance to ask, I-" She looks up at the woman, and laughs, bowing her head once more. "I'm rambling, sorry. Do you want, uh, tea or something?"

Though Lucia still did not understand how she had been called by the mortal, now or during the woman's youth, she felt calmer for having recognised her. She remembered her visit to the orphanage, and the heart-wrenching desire flowing from the girl. With the recollection comes another realisation. Then, Paola had wanted something, so perhaps that was why Lucia had been called here now? The words and desires that had flowed into Luciana's mind at the first sign of the flickering fire - as Cass had held her hand - came back to her, loneliness? Perhaps there was some way Lucia could help with that.

For now, however, the goblin merely nodded and stepped out of the way of the thoroughfare, “Tea would be appreciated." Truthfully, after the last hour, Lucia could go for something stronger, but that had best be saved for when she actually knew where she was.

Paola smiled softly, beckoning the older woman towards her tiny kitchen. Setting a kettle on the stove, she leaned against the counter and examined the woman again. She always had a sneaking suspicion that this woman was more than human, not exactly an alien or something from a fantasy book, but just a feeling of otherworldliness that made her seem powerful. But her appearance alone did a lot of that, commanding attention with such a beautiful presence. Before she could stare any longer and further embarrass herself, she turns back to the stove, grabbing tea bags from the cabinet.

"So, uh..." Paola trails off, looking back, "you know, I don't remember your name. I really should, I feel bad now..."

Luciana could feel Paola's curiosity, questions regarding Lucia's unaltered age no doubt coming to mind. The goblin was usually careful about how long she stayed in one place and who she interacted with. Mortal friends and acquaintances only lasted as long as her unchanging appearance failed to raise suspicions, unless they were some of the few that were part of the generations of families dedicated to helping her integrate into each country. Paola, however, had seen Luciana a decade ago.

“Luciana.” The goblin replied, leaning back against a counter as she watched Paola busy herself with the kettle. “Though you are welcome to call me Lucia too.”

A pause, as Lucia’s gaze remained on Paola, attempting to again figure out how she had been called to the woman, and why. Answers were not forthcoming, and idly Luciana wondered if the only other goblin she had ever met – the monk Jiangyu – would have any idea as to why such a thing would occur. Paola was clearly just as ignorant to how it had happened as Luciana was, given her initial reaction to Lucia’s appearance. Perhaps getting to know the girl more might shed some light on the situation.

“What are you doing in Tokyo?” Lucia asks, almost conversationally.

With two bright red mugs settled in each of her hands, and a handful of memories that placed the woman a bit older than she looked, Paola moved the conversation to her tiny dining room table, enough for two people to chat and dine comfortably. Luciana. The name did ring a bell, and she correctly connected it to the woman she joking called her "fairy god mother". None of the other children in the orphanage believed her story, and neither did her new parents, waving it off as an active imagination, but Paola was right, and the proof is sitting in her dining room chair.

The woman asked her reason for being in Tokyo, and unwanted memories assaulted her again. Her subconscious drew her hand from the mug's handle and onto her empty stomach, as if the life that was building inside her was still there. Her mind fills with daydreams of hearing her son giggle, hearing his breath, his heartbeat. It was painful watching the man she still loves somehow detoriate as their baby detoriated inside her, so she had to go.

Paola looks back up, realizing she'd been in her head for far too long. "Sorry, I uh-" Her voice is lost and far away, and she holds onto the mug's handle again to ground herself in this reality, with no baby and no man to love, "I came to Tokyo to open a candle shop." Paola finishes matter-of-factly, sipping on the tea and relishing the burn of its heat; the pain is easier to focus on than the harsher burning in her heart.

Luciana didn’t know what passed behind Paola’s eyes, Paola’s mind seemingly far away from the small apartment they sat in. Lucia didn’t press, merely waited as she sipped on the warm tea in her hand. The heat of it sent warm waves through her body, settling into her stomach. Only when Paola blinked out of her reverie did the goblin settle the mug of tea on the table between them. Curiosity tugged at Luciana, but she let it be for now. She still wanted to know how the girl had called her, so whatever this past memory that had pulled Paola away was, it could wait. Assuming the goblin saw Paola again, of course.

“An interesting trade.” Lucia murmured, “Is it going well?”

Paola let the final waves of dull pain pass through her before answering Lucia's next question. "As well as it can be, running a candle shop." She laughs softly, thinking of the meager earnings she counted through every night. Thankfully, Ray and Stella are more than happy to help her, but she never tries to take too much, leaving her in this small, small apartment with horrible color combinations.

But this apartment isn't why Lucia is here. Paola also sets her mug down on the table, folding her arms across her chest. "But you aren't here to chat, I assume. How'd you even get here?" Paola can't even hide the confusion in her voice. Nothing in her right mind can explain to her how Lucia even got into her apartment, into the bathroom where she was peacefully bathing. Shame, it was a nice smelling bath bomb she used too.

“I suppose repeating that you called me here, twice, might seem a bit redundant now.” Lucia replied with a soft sigh, tilting her head slightly to once again inspect the woman sitting opposite her. Paola didn’t seem supernatural, she didn’t give off any vibes other than that of your average mortal. And yet, somehow she had managed to pull Lucia to her a total of three times in her short life. “I do not know how I got here, only that it was at your bidding. I was hoping that you would tell me.”

Paola shakes her head, frustration clear on her wrinkled brows. These aren't the answers she's looking for, and Lucia certainly isn't gaining any further information either. "I don't know what to tell you, Lucia, I really don't. I was literally just taking a bath and suddenly you were in my bathroom!" She snaps, much more aggravated than she meant to be. She mutters out an apology, uneager to find herself on Lucia's bad side. With another sip of her tea, she hopes the older woman can have some insight for the both of them; though in all honesty, Lucia seems just as confused about the situation as Paola.

“I have a friend, perhaps I can contact him and ask.” Luciana suggested, taking a final sip of tea and ignoring Paola’s slightly raised tone. Jiangyu had never mentioned such an occurrence before, but she knew no other goblins to turn to. “Though perhaps today was a chance, who’s to say if it will happen again or not.”

Settling the mug back on the table, Lucia pushed back the chair and raised to her feet. “I should leave. Thank you for the tea.”

And just like that, Paola feels the loneliness creeping back in. She didn't notice it leave before, but with the notion of Lucia leaving, it is here again, almost tangible. But this isn't one of her friends she can persuade to stay the night, she hardly even knows Lucia. She looks away from the older woman, unsure of what to say. "See you later!" "We should have tea again soon!" "I hope I'm not naked next time!"

"Sure, yeah, it probably won't." Paola replies, trying not quite hard enough to sound normal, "But um. Thanks, I guess- for having tea. With me." Paola mentally punches herself for sounding so stupid, but tries to make up for it by opening the door for Lucia to leave. Something inside her begs for Lucia to stay, that there's more to this story than either of them are allowing, but there's nothing that'll make the words come out of Paola's mouth. Just stay, for a moment longer. "Goodnight, Lucia."

A momentary hesitation held Luciana in place as her eyes attempted to read Paola’s thoughts. No such luck. With a nod, and another word of farewell, the goblin turned towards what she assumed to be the front door. She didn’t necessarily need to use the front door, but she felt that given the weirdness of the day, keeping up some small appearance would be better than nothing.

A last glance back at the mortal had Lucia’s mouth parting once more, “I’m sure we’ll see each other again. Goodnight, Paola.” With the words spoken she opened the door and stepped through, transporting herself once again to her own apartment.

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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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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Luciana de Silva Character Portrait: Cassius Dōriēwes Character Portrait: Basil Gardner Character Portrait: Paola Millán
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      "I hear the blossoms are beautiful this time of year."

      "Maybe Kaede's hot boss will be there, you wouldn't want to miss that."

      "Basil Gardner get your lazy ass from in front of that TV and go to the festival with me!"


      That last one seemed to do the trick, combined with the threat of taking a razor to his head and cutting off all his icy blonde locks. He was already suffering from his brown roots covering most of his hair, and the shave would take away all the blonde he loved so much. So, he prettied himself up for a day at the cherry blossom festival and met Paola outside her candle shop, across from the culinary school he spent many nights catching up on projects. Paola is a sight for sore eyes, as always, and the pair make their way to the festival as soon as they're together. "You're a very lucky lady, Paola Millán, I don't miss the All Stars round of Chopped for just anyone." Basil huffed, linking his arms with the woman as they made their way to the festival. The only reply he received from Paola was rolled eyes, but that was to be expected from the fiesty girl.

      She is right, the blossoms are quite beautiful. The square is packed with people, and the smells all around are heavenly. Basil swore that Kaede said she would be here, but considering he was only half awake with a rerun of Iron Chef playing on the TV from when he didn't turn it off the night before, she could literally be doing anything and his mind just filled in what he wanted to know. The pair found an empty bench to observe the festival first; neither had much in the sense of friends, but could look for the one or two people they were close to besides each other.

      Paola wanted to see Lucia again, to talk with her. She didn't understand how the woman ended up in her apartment, or why she wanted to see her so badly, but yet the feeling pervaded. At first, she wrote it off as a dream, but something inside her wanted it to be real. "This random lady showed up at my house last night." Paola mentions, much too casual for Basil to take lightly.

      So many questions started to run through his head. His mouth stayed posed, ready, for his questions but none would come out. Finally, he managed to ease a question out, and they continued out in a flurry. "So, uh- did you know her? Well, obvious not if she was random, but, what did she want? Was she pretty, do you like her? What happened?" Basil rambled on before Paola finally stopped him. She could barely answer most of his questions, except: "Very pretty. Beautiful, and- she's here."

      That had to be Lucia. Paola noticed her walking away from a small group, some of them Basil seemed to recognize. She didn't register him speaking, only grabbed his wrist and tugged him behind her as she trudged toward Lucia through the thickening crowd. Murmuring "sorry" to every person she shoved past, and ignoring Basil's protests as he was helplessly yanked behind her, Paola was determined to get some answers from the older woman this time. Real answers.

      But, as she came closer to Lucia, she realized she had no idea what to say. A simple hello wouldn't suffice, and "why were you in my bathroom last night?" didn't sound too charming either. Still, a harsh, desperate "Lucia!" escaped her lips as she finally threaded through the crowd to Lucia.

      Basil, after being led through the crowd, notices Cassius only a few feet away from the woman Paola saw at her house last night.
      Cassius would have the best idea of where Kaede is at, considering he's her boss. He's never approached the man without being invited by the man's alluring voice, so just walking up to him seemed awkward. He gently touched Cassius' arm to gain his attention. "Sorry to bother you, Cassius, but have you seen Kaede? I think I was supposed to meet her here but I'm not exactly sure." Next to Cassius is a familiar blonde. He didn't know the other man well, only that they bumped into each other one or twice.

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Character Portrait: Luciana de Silva Character Portrait: Paola Millán
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The cherry blossom festival was supposed to be relaxing, a chance to indulge in the banquet of beauty offered by mother nature. Leaves cracked beneath her step in what might have been a satisfying 'crunch' had the goblin been in the mood to gratify the whimsical aspect of her nature. Yet, as Lucia stalked away from the group of immortals and mortal, she barely noticed the delicately fluttering blossoms above. Instead, the animosity contained within her gaze ushered temple patrons out of her path, as if they sensed the danger in accidentally hindering the woman's escape. Lucia barely registered the crowd's movements either though, for her gaze was distant, focused on memories buried beneath centuries of life.

He had been beautiful, a flame of light beside the dim embers of others. A beacon; the false light of a trickster. Yet, all she had seen at the time was his smile, that inviting face, the way his eyes would appear to light up as she entered the room. Most likely, that had all been Luciana's imaginings; attempts to place feelings where Cassius had only seen her as his next century of life. Still, she had let herself love him. Dreamed of a future where they would be together and happy, free from her fiancé. Able to be a couple.

How naive she had been.

Lucia's feet brought her to a standstill, and the goblin blinked images of the golden skinned man away. She was in a quieter courtyard where families littered benches; taking a break from the bustling vibrence of the main grounds. Lucia took a step to the side, where she could lean back against the temple wall and allow the shadow of the building at her back to cover her face. A century ago she had seen him again, from a distance, wearing that same damaging smile. He hadn't seen her then, no, Lucia had made sure to leave before Cassius could glimpse her. But, she had seen the lively turn of his lips, the way his throat stretched as he tilted his head back in an infectious laugh. Still the same, even if the clothes had changed.

If Lucia was smart, she would leave now. Find any entrance way and step through to some place across the globe. Run away from the man who had taken her heart before he could wound her again. And what then? Run away again whenever they happened to cross paths again? Why should she be forced to leave?

A tired sigh passed from her lips. She was not the same weak mortal she had been, death and centuries of immortality had changed that. No, she would not run. Not this time. Besides, Lucia had a mystery to solve and it revolved around a young woman who claimed Tokyo as her home. Lucia wouldn't leave until she had been able to ascertain how and why, the mortal girl had been able to summon her.

Pushing off the temple wall, Lucia - with much less heat in her gaze - set off. However, she had gone barely a step when the object of her previous thoughts appeared, calling her name. Luciana turned, her gaze landing on the mortal. The young man Paola was with branched off from her and Lucia briefly followed him with her eyes, only averting her gaze when she spied him joining up with the group she had just left through the crowds of people.

"Hello Paola." Luciana greets the mortal, feeling mildly perturbed as she realised Paola was of a height with the goblin, if not slightly taller. Perhaps she hadn't noticed the previous night given Paola's nudity. "I didn't expect to see you here." Lucia added, her words spoken in English. The goblin caught herself from glancing back over her shoulder towards the group she had just left, instead she nodded away from them and further into the temple grounds, "Would you like to view the blossoms with me?"

Lucia was about to lead the way, when a shiver passed down her spine. She felt cold, like an icy bolt of fear had just chilled her despite the pleasantness of the day. The feeling was not unfamiliar, for barely half an hour ago she had had the same feeling. Then, as with now, she had felt watched; as if someone was glaring malice at her. Shifting around, Lucia's gaze instantly found the source of her unease, and as before, her blood ran cold.

He was closer now, standing silently in a quiet hole within the crowded grounds. Twelfth century silks covered his pale flesh, rich in colour beside the pallid white of his deceased flesh. Jewels decorated corrupted fingers, the gold bands wrapped around blackened digits. His face still contained the same haughty confidence of royalty, death had not taken that from him, but not it was also mingled with a black, consuming hate that seemed to radiated from him. Though the mortals walking beside him could not see the ghost, they seemed to instinctively avoid the spot where he stood.

"I think I should leave” Lucia said, her voice weaker than intended. Her gaze did not leave the man who had killed her, and so she didn't miss the way his lips slowly rose into a predator's smirk; dangerous and deadly. His eyes twisted to the side. Luciana followed his gaze and found herself watching as another deceased soul materialised beside a small family. Dark ribbons of hair partially hid her face, while old, dark streaks of dirt and blood ran up this deceased soul's arms. A passing man was stopped in his tracks as the newly appeared soul pushed her hand into his chest. Though the mortal couldn't see him, he certainly felt something, for barely a second later he was collapsing to the ground and clutching at his chest while the deceased soul grinned madly above him, licking her hand.

Lucia pulled her gaze back to him, only to find her once-fiance had again vanished. If anything, this made her feel even more unsettled. More commotion behind her drew the goblin's gaze to another pair of corrupted souls, their garb similar outdated as the other had been, their intentions just as malevolent. It was definitely time to leave.

"Come with me." Lucia said, returning her attention to Paola and offering the mortal a hand, "We need to leave."