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Aki Evedane

"...Why risk something when there is no guarantee that you'll succeed? You'll just end up far worse than you already are."

0 · 249 views · located in Throme

a character in “Masks of the Soul”, originally authored by Nivosity, as played by RolePlayGateway

Groups

Unallied Citizens of Throme

Description

Aki Evedane
Image


Image

Grade
11th Grade (Junior)

Role
The Wheel of Fortune

Which Masks do they possess?
The Wheel of Fortune mask

Gender
Male

Age
Aki has just turned 16, although he prefers to say that he’s 17.

Personality
Aki Evedane is a complete workaholic. He is quiet and secretive from the view of his classmates - although really, he does care a little bit about how he portrays himself. Rumors surround him - the most common one flying around Cenriel Academy is that he’s the son of the leader of a Mafia branch. This strange rumor probably has its roots in his constant injuries from his Mask’s healing. Some claim he got them from gang wars… others say it was punishment for trying to break away from the Mafia scene. If he’s ever asked about it, he gives a slight shrug before walking away. Most take this to mean that the rumor is true. This strange rumor has even spread to adults nearby - his teachers never seem to invite his parents to any conferences, the school psychologist seems to have made him her personal project, and sometimes, he has a policeman following him everywhere he goes.

He is almost always injured - broken limbs, large cuts. His parents and other adults have learned that he won’t tell them where he got them, so they have stopped asking. His parents still worry about them, but without his help, there is nothing that they can do. Other than the rumors about how he obtains his injuries, the other students have very little interaction with him. He is merely the secretive guy standing to the side… not paying any attention to anyone else. During school affairs, he is rarely found.

Aki will not take any risks, as most of his goals involve complicated plans that will fail if it deviates even a slight from his planned state. He works too hard - most of his skills are gained from a combination of late-night studying and arms training with his father for the past few years - to allow them to be risked in any way. Due to this, he detests the idea of gambling, but above all, he detests trusting in Luck. He tries to be ready for everything that may come his way - carrying bandages and painkillers everywhere he goes. ‘Why risk something when there is no guarantee that you’ll succeed? You’ll just end up worse than you already are.’

Aki Evedane speaks formally to all, no matter who they are or what they do. He’ll speak the same way towards a lost child in the street as he would to the mayor of Throme, when he decides to speak, that is. Even though it appears that he is completely ignoring the scenes around him, he is, in fact, observing them with calculated glances. He examines their only movement, and only steps in at times of great need. He sees his classmates as responsibilities of the Student Council and the citizens of Throme as the responsibility of Aline Cosette. If he sees any one with responsibility close to a potential issue, he will ignore the issue and leave. However, under this polite facade, he gives everyone nicknames based on their behavior - some of which are not quite nice.

Aki can be hostile to others at time - as he is of the opinion that all people have ulterior motives behind everything that they do. He views people that dare talk to him with suspicion, as he believes that all they are looking for is to get their answers to the rumors. Even though this is his belief, he'll try to force everyone to concede to his opinion. Those that don't will perplex him for a long period of time... his opinions are usually almost-always correct though...

Another thing that marks his personality is his natural curiosity. If he hears something out of the ordinary, he will follow the trail to its root - although, this will be balanced by his strong sense of self-preservation. If the trail seems to go into the shadier aspects of Throme, he will attempt to place it out of his mind, although he fails most of the time. The black side of Throme is a side that he prefers to forget about and pretend it doesn’t exist… although the Itex is an exception.

He cannot believe in the occult - although his mask seems to blow this all out of the water. Prophecies and fortune-tellers meet complete disdain, and he sees no point in making wishes. His world is firmly grounded in the material appearance of Throme - trying to persuade himself that all is well. ‘The future cannot be predicted with accuracy, although if you plan well, you may be able to hypothesize using logic… nothing else.’

Aki has a hard time opening up to anyone, unless he’s known them for a while. He has few, actually no, friends at school, and his relationship with teachers and administrators is cordial at best. He’s curt in his speech, as he prefers to answer with motions instead of words - nodding, shrugging, etc. With his father, his actions are completely different. His speech becomes casual and he’ll be much lengthier with his answers, as well.



His favorite part of Throme, the city, is Cherry Grove Park. When he has a bit of spare time, he will be seen relaxing under one of the trees listening to his mp3 player. Every so often, he visits the Museum of Throme Art and History, and has started to open up when talking to the museum curator. He’s usually the first one in line whenever it opens another exhibit - he’s looking forward to the new Mask-related exhibit. He respects Damon Ito’s acting skills, and is desperately searching for tickets.


Brief Description
Aki Evedane has slightly long black hair that stretches to the bottom of his earlobes as well as cold, empty blue eyes. He’s commonly wearing clothes of good make and prefers black clothing. He knows that with his tall height, he’s intimidating for many of the younger students, and cultivates this with a constant haughty stare. There is always a smile of his face, however, but it's a smile that's as empty as his eyes. Many take his coldness to mean that he's murdered someone before, but no, fortunately, that's not the case. His arms and legs are always covered in neat, white bandages, but when he forgets to change them, they become splotched with red blood.

His appearance is something that he takes to heart - always making that he's presentable before heading to school, but he doesn't take the same care when it's a weekend - preferring to just throw something on and start training with his father.


Skill(s)/Abilities
~Intimidation: He can easily manipulate people into staying far, far away from himself, giving him a lot of freedom in how he travels. When he walks through a crowd of underclassmen, there is usually a large personal bubble surrounding him. This allows him to travel through the school quickly, not needing to push through any crowds.
~Basic weapon training: Aki can use any weapon that vaguely resembles a spear, such as a lance. He, despite all of his practices, cannot wield a sword at all, much to his constant annoyance.
~Basic Medical Treatment: Aki is quite skilled with bandaging and healing his own injuries, mostly because he gets them so often. Most of this comes from self-study, as he doesn’t want his parents to have to spend a lot of money on hospital bills. However, whenever possible, he will go to the hospital instead of muddling along with himself. He can treat others as well, but he won't put so much care into the presentation of their bandages.


Likes
~Spears: They're long, they have a long reach, and they can be used to push people around - what is there not to like? Not to mention, Aki uses this as his weapon of choice, starting from his childhood.
~Being solitary: Aki dislikes interacting with others unless he respects or likes the person, so he very frequently is seen wandering alone in the middle of the night, listening to his mp3.
~Night: Being as he can hear his own thoughts better in the middle of the night, he is constantly awake then. The moonlight calms him down and gives him a peaceful reprise in his busy world. The silver sheen it gives to things fades their bright color and Aki gets less distracted.
~Studying: Unlike most, he enjoys the pursuit of knowledge quite well, doing extra research on topics that interest him. He knows quite a bit of random topics, but he doesn't like to show off.
~Cherries: There is something about the red fruit that interests Aki. Sweet and juicy, he can be commonly seen eating a handful while he works. Calling them his brain food, he has nearly cleaned out the nearby supermarket of this gem of a fruit. During weekends, his fingers are always stained red, and his computer keyboard is permanently stained this color - leading to students believing it's blood.
~Cherry Grove Park: It’s a peaceful setting where he can relax under the spreading leaves of the many cherry trees. It provides the best atmosphere for eating a handful of cherries in his mind, at least.
~Museum of Throme Art and History: A part of Throme that’s firmly dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge, Aki fits in here. Not to mention, the curator is an acquaintance of his, and the different exhibits are always interesting.


Dislikes
~Swords: Whenever he tells someone he knows how to use a weapon, their minds instantly turn to swords, and more specifically, the katana. Disliking this jump to conclusions, his distaste has run off onto swords as well. Being as he can't use one, he might be quite biased against them.
~Gambling/other luck related activities: Allowing everything to go to chance is, in his opinion, the mark of a lazy person. Preferring to plan everything out before hand, he thinks that luck is unnecessary to life. He will turn his head in order to stop observing games that involve luck and gambling, and will never willingly participate.
~People who brag: People who broadcast their skills simply don't have any in his opinion. If they do brag, it means that they themselves don't believe in themselves, so with bragging, you also get his life-long irritation.
~Rumors: Something that is based off lies, and yet is seen to be truth by those who don't seem to understand, bothers him to no end. Even worse, the rumors surrounding him make it difficult to pass a day without someone asking him if his Mafia-boss of a dad did this, or that... or that he did some strange action... he doesn't understand why people would think such way.
~Loud animals: While he enjoys watching animals when they're being quiet, when they keep making loud repeated sounds, it gives him a headache.
~Fortune-tellers: There is no way that it is possible for someone to know the future. Trying to make a living off of this is simply scamming - Aki cannot believe in the presence of any other kinds of magic, except for the powers of each of the masks.
~Getting involved in dark affairs: The dark side of the city is one that Aki fears getting involved with. Knowing that entering means never getting out - and that death and risk-taking is a way of life, he tries to forget it even exists… to varying levels of success.


Phobia
~Fear or Keychains: No one knows why, but the sound of a jingling keychain drives him to the wall. It is the only time where he will lose his calm and quickly head in the opposite direction of the keychain even if it's the complete opposite of the direction he has to go. Near his house, there is a shop that sells keychains, and he will never enter that street.
~Fear of Death: He doesn't want to think that his existence is only temporary and that he will one day die. This causes him to ignore all religions that have an afterlife, or mention death in anyway. It gives him nightmares, so he'll always be very careful about his own safety - staying quite far away from all possible deaths... it takes him a long time to cross the street.




History
Aki grew up as the younger of a pair of twins in an average family, with a loving dad and mom. Having no other relatives, as his parents were both only the only child, and his grandparents had died long ago, he had a tight bond with them. His mother stayed at home to take care of him while his dad opened a 'martial arts training' school. Aki spent much of his time with his identical twin brother, watching his father's students train with various techniques.

When his twin died when he was about five-years-old, Aki was given a keychain with his name on it to take his mind off of the loss of his only friend. Since then, Aki has had nightmares about the keychain being the reason behind his twin's death as it appeared in his life at about the same time. At this time, he bothered his father, asking him to allow Aki to learn to use a weapon in order to defeat what he called "The Great Lord Keychain" who was after his life. His father didn't know what to do with this strange behavior, but proceeded to teach him anyways.

His choice to use the spear came from his favorite book - about a knight in a jousting tournament. Apparently, at that time, he thought that being a knight was the easiest way to defeat the keychain in battle. While young, he took to running around his house, carrying a fake wooden horse, brandishing his spear in his excitement. Months after learning to use the spear, his father found him 'murdering' his keychain with this spear...

After this incident, his parents decided to move away into the neighborhood he lives in now, to get rid of the curious neighbors who were drawn to the scene when they heard raw yelling and a strange hammering sound. He has gotten more ordinary after this move, but he still shares a strange fear of keychains and death. It was here that he discovered his love of school, and he poured all of his time and effort into his studies and training of his spear-work. Also, he grew even tighter to his father, but his mother became an outsider to his heart. His mother is still upset about it, which causes a few arguments in his house.

His mask came in a package - a large black box that appeared on his doorstep one day. Hoping that it was his new shipment of Damon Ito DVDs, he eagerly tore it apart, to find his mask and a note. The note stated simply this: “This is the Wheel of Fortune.” Throwing it out of mind and out of sight, he promptly forgot about it until there was a school-wide masquerade. Remembering his mask, he wore it - but strangely enough, he had a phrase that popped into his mind. Seeing no harm in it, he spoke it out loud, and ended up being controlled by some other personality. It scared him, but with time, he found out about the Masked student council who were in his same state. He had thought about informing them about his mask and joining as well, but decided not to - a choice that he’ll stand by no matter what. He has also found out about the existence of the Itex, but he tries to believe that they aren’t the dark, gloomy organization that he knows it is.

He is of a mixed birth - with a Japanese mother and a British/Scottish father. His mother works for the Japanese embassy, which was why he has been traveling for so long. However, she’s promised to stay here until he graduates from high school, so at the very least, he gets to stay in Throme for the next year. He arrived here two years ago as a Freshman, and is starting to feel as though he belongs.

He’s still trying to figure out which group he should join - as he has figured out the true identities of one person from each group, the King and the Magician. Having the two choices, he wants to get to the root of both groups to find which one follows his personal philosophy.


    Crush
    Maybe crush isn't the best word, but he admires Noel quite a bit...

So begins...

Aki Evedane's Story

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Character Portrait: Aki Evedane
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Aki Evedane; Cherry Grove Park


The red leaves from the maple tree swayed gently in the breeze as Aki Evedane leaned against its rough, brown trunk. Placing his right hand in his pockets nonchalantly, he waited for the teacher to stop blabbering about this or that. Looking around, he saw the rest of his wandering about the park - as well as other families with young children. “So, as you see, this park is a very important place for us. It provides a place for people to relax and to meet others from all around the city. This park shows you that here in Throme...” the teacher droned on and on. Aki shrugged his shoulders as the teacher looked pointedly away from him. 'Heh. So those rumors have spread this far...already. I didn't think she'd know about them a week into the school year. Tch... there goes my hope for starting anew without them floating around.' “Now, then any questions?”

Aki gave a slight smirk as he stood up straight. Quickly removing his right hand from his pocket, he lifted his hand in the air - looking at the teacher as he did so. Ignoring him, the teacher called on another student. Aki allowed a small, slight pleased look to appear in his eyes. 'It seems that I can do anything I want to do now. Even the teachers are started to ignore me… just how I like it.'

Fingering a silver box that he held in his left hand, he glanced around - waiting, no, yearning for something to happen. The week before had been relatively peaceful, even his followings of the Maskies hadn’t amounted to anything. 'There had to be something deeper about this mask - and the world that has created this mask… where did it come from? How did the sender know who I was? Where I lived? And why me? Why did I end up having this mask in the first place?' Just then, his ears caught the sound of something going on in Fountain Square. Looking that direction quickly, he saw a crowd of people holding cameras, surrounding a tall, slender person. “I wonder who that is…” murmured Aki, heading towards that direction. "It must be someone important."

“Aki, where do you think you’re going?” asked his teacher, hands on hips. “I’m not done with my lecture, you know? 'Ah, poor history teacher… it’s not as though I didn’t know this stuff before. You went through it all yesterday.' He gave a slight sigh, annoyed at the interruption. 'Who knew why she even bothered with this...'

Aki looked at her with a slight frown. 'How strange - is she going to pay attention to me now?' “Bathroom,” he muttered quickly, before striding away. 'There really was no point in having a conversation with the teacher. No, no, there wasn't.' He ran the fingers of his right hand through his black hair, making sure that it was neat. It was - he didn't really need to check, as it always was.

“But the bathroom is over the-,” he paid the adult no heed. 'If she was going to ignore me all of the other times that I wanted her attention, she may as well start turning a blind eye now.' Without a pause, he continued to head towards the interesting stuff. 'I'll just go and see what's going on over there, and then, I'll be coming back.'

“I am going to the other bathroom,” he stated callously, going to see what it was all about. 'Maybe it was Damon Ito or maybe, just maybe, Micah Faret, finally coming out of his house for the first time in weeks.' Smiling to himself, he watched the other families remove themselves from his way as he strode over there. He did, indeed, intimidate most - maybe it was his injuries. Well, it was true that his arms hadn't healed yet. It must have been a week since his mask had healed that injury, but it still hadn’t faded. Aki craned his head over the crowd to see Aline Cosette, Throme’s mayor. He gave a sigh, before turning to go back to the class. 'So it was Ms.New Changes Mayor this time…' His curiosity sated, he decided to go back to the mundane activities of today. Heading back to the teacher’s lecture, ignoring her reproving look, he went back to his tree. Settling down to give a semblance of listening, he gave a large yawn. 'Something’d better happen soon…' He reached in his pocket and took out a pink pill - his customary cherry-flavored painkiller - and popped it in his mouth. While eating it, he continued to listen to the mindless blabbering of his teacher.

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Character Portrait: Aki Evedane Character Portrait: Oskana Sonnen Character Portrait: Locke Kingston
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Aki Evedane; Cherry Grove Park


”No,” stated a boy in Aki’s class. “Not to be disrespectful, Miss, but you are boring,” he continued on to say in a truthful, blunt voice. It shook Aki out of his reverie before he looked alertly around. 'It is always nice to know that someone who will just come out and say the truth - he seems interesting enough.' Turning his blue eyes towards the speaker, Aki noticed his strange colored hair. How strange - blue-grey… After a brief cursory glance, Aki hid a slight amused twitch of his lips. 'No wonder he is so slight and fragile-looking. There was no need for the boy to use a weapon if his tongue was so sharp.' The teacher turned red - bright red.

Ms. Runa Lyall, the history teacher, kept blabbering for a while - ignoring the blank, glazed-over stares of all of Aki’s fellow students around her. Aki hid a slight frown as he saw the Student Council President fiddle around with his phone - wasn’t he supposed to be a good example to everyone else? “So, class, have fun with the scavenger hunt, and the first person to finish it gets a prize. That’s all there will be time for before it’s time to dismiss you all from school. Have a wonderful weekend!” she said, in what was supposed to be a chipper tone. She was obviously annoyed though; maybe it had something to do with the earlier statement.

The class quickly dispersed, the President putting down his cell phone to follow the crowd. Aki sighed and with an annoyed smile started to stride off from his tree. The sun’s heat beat down on his mercilessly, and he mopped his forehead with a handkerchief from his pocket - still holding his silver box in his left hand. Reaching to put the handkerchief back, his hand dislodged his roll of bandages, and the roll fell to the ground. Aki gave a deep sigh as he bent down and picked it up. He froze when his fingers grazed the white surface of his bandages - there was a pair of feet in the distance. 'Strange… I wonder what’s going on...'

He glanced at it before looking back at the piece of paper in his hand. 'Which is of a higher priority?' With a frown, he ignored the feet and took a glance at the paper - the scavenger hunt he had gotten from his teacher. Sighing to himself, he placed his mask on the ground - it was quite hard to write while holding it. Aki quickly scratched his answers into the blank space on the sheet before bending down to pick his second most important possession from the dirty ground. That done, he walked off to find his blabbering teacher - who had seemingly disappeared. Seeing her bright silver blouse, he walked faster, spotting the guy who had made her red - the Blunt Guy. He vaguely recognized the classmate on his way. Rushing up to the teacher who was enjoying a walk, Aki handed her the sheet as she stared at him blankly. “What’s this for?” she asked.

“The scavenger hunt, madam. I’m done,” murmured Aki quickly. Her face blanched when she looked at the carefully written answers which were all in his meticulous print of a handwriting.

“Aki, you’re supposed to visit the various parts of the park in order to fill it out. I am afraid that due to your cheating, I won’t be able to give you a prize,” she murmured, annoyed. She was no doubt wanting to go back to her peaceful walk through the park instead of dealing with him - they always did.

“Miss Lyall, I already knew the answers. And the prize is of secondary concern, as always. There is no need for a prize,” murmured Aki in reply before leaving abruptly. He had things to do… his pace quickened as he saw a nice half-circle of trees where he wouldn’t be bothered by any of his annoying classmates. Closing his eyes in anticipation of the peace and quiet, his foot caught on something, and he suddenly lurched to the ground. He gave a huff of annoyance before again before looking back to see what obstacle was in his way.

It was the feet from before.

He blinked once, twice, before he realized what had happened. In his reverie, he had tripped over someone - and quite rudely at that. This someone possessed black hair and was wearing a grey dress - a girl? From school perhaps? Lifting himself up from the ground, he brushed the dirt off of his pants quickly before offering his right hand to the girl. “I apologize. Ot was a mistake on my part. Would you accept my condolences?” He waited for her reply, inwardly seething. 'When was I forced into interacting with these people? … My hope for being alone ruined…' An aloof smile pasted itself on his face - his customary expression. 'I’ll wear my mask tonight and have a nice walk. The roofs of the skyscrapers are far emptier than the street. At the very least, I’ll be able to have some peace and quiet then.' It was then that he realized he was still holding his silver box with his mask inside… in plain sight. Moving it adeptly behind himself, he hoped that the girl didn’t realize. It would bring him unnecessary attention and curiosity as most did not own a mask in his school. Peering more closely at the girl, Aki Evedane gave a slight blink of relief. 'She's not one of the Maskies, so she shouldn't know the importance, but if she tells them... that will be the end of my peace and quiet.'

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Character Portrait: Aki Evedane Character Portrait: Oskana Sonnen
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Aki Evedane; Cherry Grove Park

Aki remained still as the girl rolled on her back and propped herself upwards on her elbows. When he saw her give him a brief glance, he sighed slightly… 'Hopefully she doesn’t know who I was yet. Those rumors are quite bothersome.’ Suddenly, her mouth opened wide in a large yawn before she heaved herself upwards. “Er, don’t worry too much about it. Accidents happen. I shouldn’t really be sleeping in the middle of the lawn anyways. I guess that the stupid scavenger hunt that they give out every year bores me so much that it put me to sleep,” she said as though she couldn’t care less. Aki tilted his head slightly before the girl shrugged her shoulders and brushed herself.

Seeing her large, true smile, Aki sighed again, before standing back up. ‘She doesn’t seem to upset - maybe I can leave now?’ His hopes were dashed when after looking around, the girl started to speak. “Ah, right, well, I’m Oskana, if you want to know. You’re Aki, right? I’m sorry if that was a bit creepy, you’re just well known around the school, is all,” she said, a bit awkwardly. She shifted on her feet, before continuing, “Strange how being a little different can make you a subject of a conversation. Speaking of which, do you have any idea of what’s going on at the main fountain? From here it looks like some kind of celeb paparazzi blitz.” It was then that she finally glanced back up.

Aki met her ramblings with a silent pause. He took a deep breath before forcing himself to interact with the girl - Oskana - was that her name? “It is good to meet you, Oskana,” he looked around. 'Sheesh. All of the Student Council seems to be busy somewhere - seems like I have to deal with this then. Why are they never around when I needed them? Is their position just for show? They’re supposed to be here for helping everyone - instead of forcing me to interact with these students...’

“Yes, my name is Aki Evedane. Follow the rumors much?” he asked, with a slight frown. “It’s not strange, Oskana. Humans will naturally find interest in those who don’t quite fit in -,” he then grimaced slightly, before smoothing his face back into his blank smile. 'Keep things light. It will allow you to escape this conversation earlier.' Turning towards the commotion, he gave a slight nod. “It's our mayor. I suppose it has something to do with the statue that they’re erecting later.” He, then, looked at the girl, before seeing the bruises on her ankles. “Hurt?” he asked, with a quiet sigh, before reaching in his pocket to take out a painkiller. “Need one?” Despite the welcoming words, his tone was nothing of the like - it was cold and unwelcoming, as though he didn’t wish to be doing such a hateful task. Aki offered his hand to the girl, again, this time with a pink painkiller resting precisely in the center.

While waiting for the girl to reply, he glanced around before he heard something like a saxophone playing off in the distance, with a jazz band supporting its effortless sixteenth notes. Cocking his head to pinpoint from exactly where it came from, he noticed the band playing close by. Recognizing one of them from Cenriel Academy, the Saxophone Player… he looked at it curiously, before the band stopped playing. The thunderous applause was nearly deafening, surprising Aki slightly. “I wonder what’s going on there…” he mumbled to himself, before looking back at the girl, still with the smile on his face.

He shifted the mask slightly behind his back, before looking awkwardly away. Please, get out of my sight… I want to have some peace and quiet, for once…

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aki Evedane Character Portrait: Oskana Sonnen
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Aki Evedane; Cherry Grove Park


Oskana took the pill from his hand, before spacing out. Aki raised one eyebrow, recognizing exactly what was going on. She was lost inside her own thoughts. ”Thank you,” said the girl with a slight hesitation, before stuffing the pink pill in a pocket of her dress. Aki gave another attempt at a smile, feeling uncomfortable with such an expression on his face.

“The pleasure was mine,” he muttered to her, his attention still caught by the jazz band. Even though he was straining his eyes to see exactly what was going on, the girl keep appearing between himself and his target. Shaking his head at the interruption, he met eyes with Oskana. ‘She must be a cheerful person… excited too. Her eyes are shining with - what is it? Mirth? At me? His face didn’t betray his scandalized expression - at least, not yet.

Trying to keep himself poised, he turned his attention towards the weather. The wind blew and rustled the leaves of the cherry trees here in the park. The sun continued to beat down on all mortals unlucky enough to be standing under its glare. Kenneth Park’s promised showers never did seem to arrive - heh, it was almost time for the Throme News Station to get another weatherman... he never seemed to get any of his predictions correct.

Hey, ya hear that, too? Sounds like, sounds like, Zensa Valobo, if you ask me… which you didn’t, but you can’t fool me,” she waggled her finger at him. Aki looked at the waggling finger, unsure about how to react to this teasing. There appeared a shocked look in his blue eyes - ‘what was she doing?’ Feeling his eyes widen, he gave himself a mental punch. ‘I’ve spent long enough ignoring them - it’s too late to stop now.’ With that thought, his face smoothed back into normal, but even then, he couldn’t restrain himself from visible signs of anger - his right hand balled into a fist, his left hand tightened on his mask’s box, and his teeth clenched. Oh, he was irked, very irked. ‘What the heck is that girl thinking?’

I saw that curious look in your eyes. But please, don’t mistake me for a soulless gossip. I saw them opening for a show once...” a pause, before Oskana continued to speak, “Ah, great jazz piece they did. Definitely had their own sound to them. I’m not a big jazz fan myself, but they almost won me over. You?” Her voice trailed off towards the end, getting less sure as she went. Aki unclenched his fists and teeth as Oskana continued to speak. She sure changed the subject quickly. ‘And she was wrong, all gossips were soulless people. Of course they were. Otherwise why would they - no. How could they find enjoyment in spreading pesky lies about others?’ He grimaced, thinking of her in such a manner, already, wasn’t quite fair. It was something that his mask would do, not himself…

Aki looked down, awkwardly before he started to reply. “Jazz isn’t that bad, but it is not my preferred genre,” he muttered. It wasn’t everyday that someone got through his frosty, intimidating reputation and asked him questions about himself. They were too concerned with the gossips to do much else. Thinking of this, his eyes hardened slightly, as he turned towards the girl. His bearing was erect, and just a bit regal.

“So, Oskana, would you please stop beating around the bush and asking the questions that you really want to ask?” his voice came out more hostile than he had planned, but then, of course, there was no need for the use of smalltalk to further waste his time. Especially if all they wanted was to bother him about this idiotic topic. His voice continued, self-mocking this time. “Questions like ‘Are you really a member of the Mafia’ and ‘Where did you get those injuries.’ Isn’t that all you want anyways?” He gave a quiet, cold laugh - more to himself than at anyone else. “Then, ask away. It's not like I would care, anyways. After all, I'm just Aki Evedane, who lives to interest others.”

The setting changes from Cherry Grove Park to Throme

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lucas Toland Character Portrait: Zensa Valobo Character Portrait: Sanya Ruse Character Portrait: Aki Evedane Character Portrait: Dante Toseletti
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Sanya Ruse; Cherry Grove Park


Mr.Browning was being an idiot. School was easy for Sanya - there is no doubt about it. Well, at least to her, that is. Her friends, no - her court, giggled at his strangely excitable state, all waving hands and mindless prattle. She whispered to her friend on her left, shooting a glance towards the girl who normally wore skirts, Oskana, close by, “Any new gossip floating around?” Gossip was the lifeblood of Sanya, and the one thing that she was completely interested in. Throme was all fun and games anyways...

The girl gave Sanya a smile, happy at the attention from the Queen of Cenriel Academy. Her eyes shone with mirth as she rattled off the gossip that she had collected. “Of course. Evedane has come to school with an extra injury, and Haden hasn’t been able to make any friends lately - although there seems to be something different in her expression lately…”

Ruse gave a sad smile. “Really? That’s too bad then,” she looked at the girl, Haden, with pitying eyes as her mind turned this over. ‘Evedane was caught up in more Mafia activities, and over-achiever, bossy Haden hasn’t met anyone who would even bear her presence for a few days. Of course. Everything was just as excepted.’ “Maybe, you could be her friend,” she said with a smile, as though the thought had just occurred to her. “I mean, it’s horrible that someone would be excluded from the rest of the school like that. I can’t think of anyone who would deserve from treatment, you know?” She grimaced mentally, when she heard her own sickly-sweet words pour out of her mouth, but playing with her court was fun after all.

The girl grimaced, but the Queen’s word was final . “As you wish, Ruse. And, of course, the Vice President -,”

Ruse cut her off sharply. “Don’t mention that upstart. She thinks of herself as the Queen - and everyone knows just how she’s striving for my position!” This was one of the few things that she would cause her to allow her thorns to show… she was all sheathed claws most of the time… “Anyways, what do you know about the paparazzi over there?”

The girl looked and with a couple of swipes on her phone, she looked at Sanya’s blue eyes. “The mayor is here to give a speech about the new-coming statue. On that note, Damon Ito has a rehearsal tonight - .”

Sanya gave a small smile at this, before looking down at her purse. “Right!” She took out two white tickets, before looking at the girl, with a disarmingly large smile. “My father gave me a few tickets for the rehearsal - they’re opening it up for VIPs… who should I take with me?”

“What about Dave? Weren’t you two together?”

“Nah, we broke up a few days ago… His complete obedience was boring, although I have to admit that he was cute.”

“Then why don’t you get another knight? Someone who’ll shake it up a little?”

Sanya Ruse thought hard about this idea, and brightened up slightly. “Ooooh, I could always have some fun with that?”

The girl smiled slightly, before looking at the new boy. “What about him? He’s one of the few that hasn’t been graced with your attention yet?”

“Dante? The new boy?” With a smile, the self-proclaimed Queen of Cenriel Academy left the class, ignoring the teachers who was muttering something about a scavenger hunt. “He’ll become my knight, no matter what.”

Watching the brown-haired boy sit down and start reading a book, Ruse pat down her blond locks, and motioned towards her court to follow her. But, alas, her plans didn’t yet come to fruit as someone got there before she did. A certain someone - Toland of the Student Council. Ruse gave a sigh of irritation before leaving the scene. Watching others interact was never for her as she was the center after all. It was then that something caught her attention. With a smile, she strode off towards the Jazz Band - the one who was playing the saxophone surely sounded much better than usual.

Upon arriving at the scene, she saw the silver-haired Zensa Valobo in all his saxophone glory. Nudging a random girl of her court, she motioned towards him. “What do you think or him?” The lady of the court’s blue eyes stared innocently into Ruse’s as she nodded towards him again. “He’s hot, isn’t he?” The girl blushed violently, dropping her head. Sanya nudged her, with a knowing smile, “Come on! Get up there and ask him out!”

That slight bit of manipulating done, Sanya returned to see if her soon-to-be knight was ready to be graced with her presence. The pesky president had left to do something - what it was, didn’t matter - but at the very least it left her newest acquisition alone. Approaching the boy, Dante, with a cheerful smile, she gave a friendly greeting. “Hey, you’re Dante, right? I’m Sanya Ruse, Ruse for short. It’s wonderful that you’ve moved to Throme.” She sat down next to the boy, before placing her hand over the words of his book. “That won’t do…” she murmured to herself, before making an attempt to snatch the book from his grasp. “Now that you’re completely focused on me, the true fun will begin now.”

She licked her lips quickly, before turning to Dante with a wide smile. Her blue eyes held a touch of pride and mystery, at least to her, and she, then, tossed her golden locks. “You see… I am the Queen of Cenriel Academy, and all the queens of history have had a knight at their side…” her voice trailed off, as she folded her legs neatly to her left side, “and of course, who better than you to be mine?” She picked up one manicured hand, with pale pink fingernails, and gently stroked his hair. He was cute, after all.

The setting changes from Throme to Cherry Grove Park

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lucas Toland Character Portrait: Aki Evedane Character Portrait: Oskana Sonnen
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Aki Evedane; Cherry Grove Park


The girl looked into his blue eyes with hers, before she started to lecture at him. ‘So…she’s not going to ask me these things?’ “To live in the interest of others? Is that what you have dedicated your public life to? Your apathy is hypocritical.” Aki could not bring himself to react to these comments, as they’ve come completely out of the blue for him. He could no nothing but to continue looking at the slight girl before him. “You,” it was then that she prodded Aki’s chest with one hand, “do not think any more of my thoughts than I think of yours. Everyday you walk through the halls of school with rumors starting like wildfire every time you take a step, and you ignore as if it were a gnat,” ‘an annoying gnat’. “I have to say, that could be counted as an admirable quality, being stoic.”

Oskana continued with her lecture, as Aki could do nothing but stare at her, his ears and mind working double-time. His fists slowly relaxed from their clenched state, but still a thread of anger still remained. “But. But you try nonetheless. As awkward as it was, you still offered me apologies and assistance; both of which I’ve accepted because they were an attempt at kindness. I couldn’t care less if you work for the Mafia or whatever, even with all your bandages. Being in the Mafia or having tons of ultra-cool scars doesn’t make a person interesting.” Strangely enough, even though her hands were waving through the air as though conduction some kind of musical ensemble, her voice was still light. Wait, what does she mean? . . . I don’t understand… what does she mean? I’ve never tried to be kind to her - she must be taking it the wrong way.’ This bewilderment caused him to be unable to do anything at all, stuck at looking at her with a strange expression on his face. Out of the corner, of his eye, he saw Coraline - the Vice President, waving her hand at him. Promptly ignoring that, he turned his attention back to this enigma of a person - Oskana.

She started to look towards the ground, probably embarrassed. There came to be a lull in the conversation, and Aki did not know how to get rid of the suddenly awkward pause. Just when he was about to speak, the wind started to blow. The pesky thing grabbed the words out of Oskana’s mouth. And, being the immature and overly-excited messenger that it was, it tripped and flung Oskana’s words in a warped state. “You ------- never in------- to--.” With that said, she pivoted on her feet and left, leaving Aki stuck in a state of confusion.

Aki started forward on his feet, towards her, one arm outstretched… before shaking his head and dropping the outstretched hand. ‘I’m not supposed to care that much - no, I’m not supposed to care at all. It’s just her opinion, who cares?’ But even that attempt to persuade himself to ignore Oskana failed utterly. He continued to look at her retreating back with a slight frown on his face. ‘Just exactly what is she thinking? And what did she mean? You never into? … Into what?

It was then that a voice decided to interrupt his reverie. “Excuse me, Aki!” shouted Lucas Toland. Aki turned towards him, watching in silence as the slightly older boy ran towards him. Then, he, too, gestured with his hands and asked with haste, “Have you seen Coraline Starling? If you know her that is.” Aki looked at him, before arranging his features into a calm, collected smile, but his emotions were anything but. As an answer to the fellow junior’s question, he waved one hand towards the direction of where he had last seen Coraline. “The Vice-President was somewhere over there, Lucas,” he said quietly. “A few minutes ago,” he added as an afterthought, before turning away from Lucas. It was then that he realized who exactly he was talking to - the Student Council President, and one of those Maskies. ‘Shoot. If he finds out about my mask… I’m doomed.’ He looked back at the brown-haired boy and gave another attempt at a smile, although his eyes still remained annoyed. ‘Just please, please, go away…

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kaden Jannsen Character Portrait: Zensa Valobo Character Portrait: Aki Evedane Character Portrait: Oskana Sonnen
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Kaden Jannsen; Cherry Grove Park


When Kaden woke up, everyone was gone. He was sure he hadn't been dreaming for that long, but the Scavenger Hunt must have started already. Oh well, it's not like he was missing anything. From what he'd heard from other students, this was nothing to worry about. It was just a day to hang out with friends at the park.

There was some music in the background, probably Zensa and his band. They were actually pretty good, now that he paid attention. It seemed like they were somewhere in the park, but he didn't feel like searching for them. By the sound of the applause, there was a large enough crowd there anyway.

Well, for now at least he'd find a quiet tree to sit at and draw. Hopefully, no one would disturb him, but it was always good to learn what he'd missed. Anyway, there was always some new gossip going around. If no one felt like talking, he could always blend in with Sanya's group and learn what was happening.

Right now was a perfect time to work out his story. There was this new protagonist that he was going to introduce. He had no name for him yet, but for now he'd call him Alpha. Everything would need to be edited anyway, so why stress over a name right now? The problem was the role that he was supposed to fill. He was an enemy who changed sides later on in the book. There needed to be a turning point, an outlook change that sparked his sudden betrayal. But what could it be?

Oh well, he figured drawing might help him figure out what to do. Caine started with his sword out, determination as he fought the undrawn enemy. Next came the opposing weapon clashed against Caine's sword. Was it a mace, an axe, or another sword? He finally decided on a broadsword with an ornate handle and a large central jewel. It would play in somehow. Somehow. Finally, the actual character design. Hair color a light brown, slightly taller and a few years older than Caine, wearing a flowing red cape that frayed near the bottom, dark brown eyes that almost appeared black, pale skin similar to Caine's. The background became a bright forest before it died and became skeletal, befitting a clash of evil souls. Caine's mouth was open in a chant as he prepared to cast a powerful spell. The magic seemed to form around him as his spell neared completion.

He was so absorbed in his drawing that he hadn't noticed that his tree was only a few meters away from where Aki and Oskana had been talking. He hadn't even noticed that Zensa's music had gotten louder as he approached. Admittedly, his band had stopped playing for a little while, but it was back again with all it's intensity and distracting noise.

Oh well, he was going to just keep writing and drawing until someone approached him. It's not like there was anything else for him to do. Now for the other characters...

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kaden Jannsen Character Portrait: Lucas Toland Character Portrait: Coraline Starling Character Portrait: Aki Evedane Character Portrait: Misaki Bijou Roux
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Kaden Jannsen; Cherry Grove Park


A scream jolted Kaden out of his trance, moving his pen slightly, messing up the picture that was appearing on the paper line by line, color by color. It was yet another new character, one without a name. A young girl with onyx hair and almost translucent skin. She was frozen in the light of the sun, shock and fear fixed on her face. But that one line made a difference. That line changed her background, the houses now uneven, crooked. And that was not what he wanted. Now it had changed, become something different. So he would have to draw it again later.

What really concerned him right now was the scream. It wasn’t far away, so he should be able to see who caused it. Looking around, he saw Misaki, Lucas and Aki in a group. Obviously not them. There were a few other people around that he didn’t recognize, and they all seemed to be going along their merry way, some glancing around in confusion before resuming their stride.

But over there, against the tree, was there someone on the ground? Yes, that Coraline girl, the one always coughing up blood. And who was that old man in front of her? She looked extremely panicked, scared of whoever this man was. There was definitely something wrong there. And Kaden wanted to know what.

Quickly packing up, Kaden started walking quickly over to her, painting in hand. She was coughing uncontrollably. And then she mouthed one word. One word that was unmistakable in its urgency. “Help.” Knowing for sure that something was wrong, he burst into a run and quickly reached her, kneeling down to the ground immediately.

“Are you okay? What’s wrong? Can I do anything to help?”

The setting changes from Cherry Grove Park to Throme

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kaden Jannsen Character Portrait: Lucas Toland Character Portrait: Coraline Starling Character Portrait: Aki Evedane Character Portrait: Misaki Bijou Roux
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Aki Evedane; Cherry Grove Park


While he was waiting for Lucas to leave him alone, he spotted that girl - also a member of the student council getting closer to where they were. They were surely ganging up on him, what a bother this was. But strangely enough, instead of stopping and then talking like any normal person, she proceeded to bump into Lucas, knocking him hard on his side. “Ow…” he muttered, shooting upright, holding his elbow gingerly.

“Lucas?” asked the strange girl. Her hair was blond - ah, that girl, what was her name? Mis? Whatever it was, she wasn’t a very necessary interruption. He had already been bothered enough for his patience.

“Misaki, I was just looking for you, Lie -,” Here his voice cut off as he glanced at Aki. “Leader duties. We have a Student Council meeting, and we’re late.” So that’s why he was asking about Queenie before - those maskies needed to meet up. Here, Aki sobered quickly, although no trace of it appeared on his countenance. What if the meeting dealt with him - it would be horrible for him to be found out after months of hiding.

His phone rang then, just as Aki was going to remark about the strange pause. The Maskies couldn't be doing something about - him, were they? He quickly obtained it from his pocket, before continuing to talk to Misaki. “Yeah, so we really ought to hurry. Do you see Coraline anywhere? I already talked to Gage.”

It was then that he pressed a button on his phone and a loud voice - well, noise, he couldn’t really hear what it was - started to emit from the technological device. Luckily, there was no keychain, if such a disturbing object could possess such a small and useless name. With a sheepish smile, the Kingpin left, clutching his phone.

Taking that to be his cue to leave, Aki turned away from the scene, hoping that he would be able to simply sneak back home.

A scream suddenly caught his ear, and he twirled around to see Queenie coughing on the ground. Looking in shock, he saw that Writer-Want-To-Be, Kaden, by her side, attempting to help her. Ah, so the problem could be counted solved. Not to mention, Lucas and Misaki were here after all. They had to do something to earn their student council position anyways. And thus, Aki walked away from the girl who was coughing up blood. It didn’t concern him in any way, anyways. There were people who could deal with the issue there anyways.

The setting changes from Throme to Brio

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kaden Jannsen Character Portrait: Aki Evedane Character Portrait: The Wheel of Fortune
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Aki Evedane/Wheel of Fortune; Brio



He was lucky he lived so close to Cherry Grove Park. The walk back to his home passed uneventfully, with many of the people giving him a wide berth. A police car trailed him for three blocks, trying to find any clues for suspicious behavior. Aki paid it no heed - why would he if the police were too stupid to realize the truth after months of this useless stalking? They hadn't figured anything out lately about what he really did to get his injuries, and he intended to keep it away.

“Welcome home,” called his father, holding a spear loosely in his hand. “How was school?” His last lesson with a spoiled five-year-old had just ended, and as usual, his father had a smile on his face. Also, his mother was nowhere to be found - probably dealing with stuff down at the embassy. She rarely had the time to even have dinner with them anymore.

“Same old, same old,” Aki replied, before heading into the kitchen, and coming out with a handful of cherries. His father must have stopped by the supermarket to pick up this goody. That done, Aki started to head up the stairs into his room. “I’ll just get to doing my homework then, Dad.” His room was, as always, neat. On the right side, there was a desk covered in neat stacks of paper, various colored pens, and a small basket half emptied of cherries. Dropping his handful there, he turned his attention to the far side of his room where there was a large window. Walking directly to said window, he threw it open.

Aki stuck his head outside, before sighing in relief as a breeze mussed up his normally neat hair. Looking back into the room, he placed his silver box on the desk, before falling onto his bed, messing up the neat blankets. With a sudden grunt, he sat up and got up from the bed, opening up the box for the first time in a week. There, his silver mask glinted up at him as if teasing him - and knowing the personality that it imposed over his own, it probably was. He picked it up, turning it over on his hands, before placing it over his face. “Gamble on my luck,” he murmured quietly, before that aloof smile on his face turned into one of mirth.

He, The Wheel of Fortune, grabbed a handful of cherries, before stuffing them into his mouth - causing them to be covered in a reddish stain. He closed his eyes slightly, relishing the taste, before running his tongue across his lips. Ignoring the visible stain on his fingers, he immediately rushed out of the window, before spitting out a stream of cherry seeds which fell onto the street below. He was left hanging there with one hand, his feet hanging meters above the ground. With a smile, he flipped through the hair, to grab onto the roof of his house.

Pulling himself up, he glanced around at the neighboring buildings, before leaping through the air onto the neighbor’s roof, laughing as he went. He looked towards the horizon, where the sparkling lights of the shopping district caught his eyes. Perfect. Just what he wanted. That little café with the NameChanging Owner would definitely have some cherry-flavored dessert that he just had to taste. After all, the absolute world of cherries, of heaven, really, belonged to him. But - what if someone saw him?

The Wheel of Fortune pursed his lips before cheering up - it was no fun without taking risks after all. His conscience sated for the time being, he made his way to Brio, leaping from building to building in his haste. A small brown-haired boy stared at him, tugging at his mom’s sleeve, and Aki had no choice but to duck out of sight. His eyes narrowed as he spat one word towards the pair, “Useless.” They were just putting a show on for his behalf. They shouldn’t even dare to look at him - he was just there to watch and be amused, after all. From a long ways away, he saw the crowds converging on Brio’s - sheep. Useless. Boring.

But there was someone that stood out to his eyes - a certain boy that he remembered. Why would he be going to Brio’s already? Maybe something interesting was going to happen - hopefully when he had cherries on hand, of course. Aki started to mumble under his breath, “You’re boring me… see you later then!” There was a black streak across the sky, as he hid into the boy’s shadow. The boy, with his unknown friend, then entered the room, but instead of sitting down at one of the tables like Aki thought, he went straight to the RedEyedTalkativeOne. When the boy asked him a question, said red-eyed worker pointed him towards the NameChangingOwner as Aki attempted to snatch a cherry milkshake off of a customer’s table. His snatching arm was blocked when a blond-haired, blue-eyed waitress, Rie, started to talk to the customer, blocking his reach. Aki glared at her back, before mumbling under his breath again. “Useless. Simply boring.” But instead of jumping out of the shadow to teach her a lesson as he wanted to, the boy moved away, and Aki had no choice but to move with him. He grit his teeth, before the NameChange Owner was seen in front of him.

Aki could barely even try to mess with the NameChange Owner before the boy dragged him towards a room. Inside was someone whom the Wheel of Fortune had never seen before… and thus, his curiosity was piqued for the time being. 'He looks completely ridiculous,’ was his only thought about the masked figure. How long this attention was captured depending on the next events...

The setting changes from Brio to Throme

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aki Evedane Character Portrait: Oskana Sonnen Character Portrait: The Wheel of Fortune
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Wheel of Fortune / Aki Evedane ; Brio


His previous calmness on the wall had been ruined when the Scythey inside the room continued to shoot missile after missile after him, but never got close enough for the Wheel of Fortune to actually make any attempt towards offense. His mirthful golden eyes were narrowed in something close to focus as he glowered towards Brio’s back door.

“Divine Retribution,” came the icy cold voice as Judgement shot black projectile after projectile at the far more serious than usual Wheel of Fortune. He had gotten rid of his spear, and was currently attempting to use his tome, The Art of Escaping Boredom to try and deflect the attacks. The cover was already torn and many of the creamy pages from inside were exposed to the cruel outside. Still, despite his curses and his many attempts to escape the brunt of the damage, Aki continued to possess many cuts and scrapes all over his body.

His normally cheerful, and insolent smile had drooped into a deep frown. Around the boy, who barely had enough time to deflect the attacks, let alone move, there was a red stain on the ground as his wounds continued to drip blood. His left hand clutched at the largest cut, the one that he had gotten before on his shoulder while he hopped around on one leg, trying to keep his balance despite the gash on his upper left knee. However, luckily for him, the stain wasn’t completely made of blood, much of it came from one of Judgement’s attacks hitting the stash of cherries that the Wheel of Fortune had hidden in his pocket.

“Divine Retribution,” came the voice again. As this black projectile flied towards the boy, he suddenly dived on the ground using the book as a mattress. His golden eyes winked closed as the breath was knocked out of him, and to make matters worse, it appeared as though the black object had circled around to look at him. However, he didn’t seem to see any member of the Stupidest Club ever coming to help in beating him up. Aki yelped as he jumped to his feet - but the black object still hit him squarely in the arm.

His golden eyes were narrowed as he concentrated, knowing that hopefully this barrage could not continue. “This isn’t fair!” he suddenly called out, at the source of these black objects. “I’m supposed to be the one who’s watching you deal the damage, not the one that’s taking it! Darn it! This isn’t right!” The opponent seemed to ignore his remarks, sending yet another attack towards the Wheel of Fortune’s chest. He groaned in annoyance, before all but threw his shield at it. The two collided, and he was pleased to see that the black blob had disappeared.

But, now his shield was too far from reach, and his agility was already reaching its limits. Looking around, he suddenly dashed further into the myriad of alleyways. Looking to see that no one had witnessed his complete and utter, loss, he muttered under his breath. “Idiot Scythey,” he said, while panting. “Getting in my way like that. It’s not like there’s a reason for him to exist if he doesn’t give me a show.” Luckily for him, he spotted no one else. After checking once, a hand reached up and all but tore the ornate silver mask from his face.

With a flash of sudden physical changes, a very wounded Aki Evedane occurred, his features frozen into a blank mask. The previous injury to him arm had reappeared, but the bandage wasn’t as neat as he had remembered. His icy blue eyes narrowed as he sucked in his breath from the sudden pain from the injuries - he didn’t remember them being so painful while his mask was on. He gave a slight frown at no one in particular, while he looked around himself to see a small trail of blood leading to his current direction. ‘I’ll have to get out of here, or that strange hooded man might come after me again. And without my mask on and injured, I’ll be killed in no time.

Sometimes he hated his memory when wearing the mask. All he could keep clear in his mind was the previous battle in the past, and the scent and tastes of the strange dessert - oh, and of course, he remembered the box. He understood that he knew who the people in the room were, but there was only a blur of faces and voices. The Wheel of the Fortune had probably decided them to be useless… None of these, he could place with names, but then, of course, he probably didn’t even know them in the first place.

That must be Itex,’ he thought as he looked back towards all that he had seen in that strangely-scented room. ‘Unless there is another organization with Masks running away. Exactly what was in that package? … It has to be something important, especially if that strange guy with a mask and scythe was taking things to such extremes. Those people, they were my classmates, weren’t they? If they are seriously part of the Itex, I’ll never have any peace between them and the Maskies.

Aki couldn’t say that his mask never led him to strange places in Throme while it was on the hunt for adventure, but neither could he remember being dealt such heavy blows in the past. He had never gotten injured to this extent - there was a cut weeping blood on his shoulder, left arm, and left leg. Placing one hand into his pocket, he took out his bandages and painkillers. Quickly, he punched out two of his pink painkillers from the silver packet, and placed the two in his mouth. He unravelled the bandage, ready to start wrapping, when he realized that there was only about a meter left of the roll.

His blue eyes narrowed. It seemed as though he was going to have to go to Sagaro Mall. He would never go to Maybelle Avenue, even though it was just around him, for something this important to him. Anyways, he had a special discount from that store on the first store - and even if he didn’t have his wallet on him at the moment, they’d give him the bandages on credit. Not to mention, they were the only store in all of Throme with the particular painkillers that he liked. So, all that he needed to do was to hurriedly wrap up his leg with the rest of the roll - his leg so that he would be able to make it all the way to Sagaro Mall without falling too badly, go past Goatstone Bridge, then into Sagaro Mall. Two shops to the left of the North exit, and he’d be able to buy his bandages, wrap up his injuries, and then leave quickly to return home.

Passing through Maybelle Avenue, he shot all the passersby, who shot him curious glances probably dealing with his injury, an icy glare. It was none of their business. “Liron Pier is currently being renovated. It is dangerous there, please do not interrupt the construction.,” blasted a loudspeaker, sounding throughout the complete area. Aki shrugged, this happened every now and then, and nobody really went to Liron Pier outside of those with boats anyways. He passed over Goatstone Bridge, seeing that the troll in the center was holding a wad of money. With an inward smirk at the events, he passed through the bridge to the other side of the river, limping slightly. The thin layer of bandages had already been bled through, and he quickened his step slightly, hoping to make it before he lost too much blood.

After about forty of walking, he finally got to Sagaro Mall. His blue eyes scanned the classy building before him, before he strode towards the front door. Someone else was standing there in front of the building - the same girl from the park, Oskana. Her cryptic words still ringing through his head, ‘It’ll be better to ignore her’ he strode forward as though he hadn’t seen her, past her, into the building.

The setting changes from Throme to Floor 1

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Character Portrait: Lucas Toland Character Portrait: Aki Evedane
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Lucas Toland, Aki Evedane; Sagaro Mall, 1st Floor


While the others had rushed through the elevator to the roof, Lucas found himself lagging behind. Instead, he found himself dawdling by the entrance, taking in the sights around him. Why? He wasn't sure. Liesel's instructions had been clear. Get to the rooftop. Get what Itex wanted. Itex, Itex, could they really stand up to such an organization when they knew nothing about it? If Liesel knew, she wasn't telling.

Sagaro Mall - Lucas himself didn't visit often at all, for the merchandise was too expensive for his budget. However, even he knew its popularity for its recreational facilities. It was evident even then from the swarms of people shuffling to and from the escalators. Friday evenings in particular, were prone to crowds. "I'm wasting time," he told himself, shaking his head to concentrate. He had a task at hand, an important role to play. With that, he pressed onwards, sifting through the crowds of people - however, something else caught his attention, or rather, alarmed him.

People murmured, stared, and hurried away at the sight of something Lucas couldn't quite see. Peering around the forms of other curious strangers, he could barely make out a vaguely familiar figure. Someone who he had talked to just earlier that day. "Aki?" he called, stepping forward. That was most certainly, his classmate... and he was bleeding profusely from his leg. "What happened to you?" Lucas exclaimed, concern overriding any and all thoughts of Liesel's orders. Yes, Aki Evedane slightly wounded and wrapped in bandages was a common sight at Cenriel academy, and he had often heard the rumors of some form of gang activity from his peers. However, it was the first time Lucas could recall ever seeing him in such a severely injured state. The other boy seemed pale and weak, despite the icy glare - the reason no one would approach to help.

Aki's gaze snapped upwards towards the brown-haired boy with a chilling disregard. "Does this have anything to do with you?" His voice came out calm, and controlled, with the slightest bit of a wobble as the increasing flow of blood caused his vision to run. He hobbled onwards, ignoring the curious, and slightly worried looks of the people who were peering at him like he was some sort of exhibit. It didn't matter, anyways. Soon he would get to the shop he was aiming for, and everything would be as good as new. His eyes narrowed when his sluggish mind realized that he was speaking to the Kingpin. "Lucas, I will be perfectly fine." There could be no way that he would tell the boy anything. That meeting, could it have been the Maskies at work? His voice harsher, he continued, "Leave."

Lucas flinched at the words - clearly his help was unwanted... but the boy's injuries were clearly severe. Red stains were slowly creeping along the length of unravelling bandages. Despite the calmness of his voice, Aki's unsteady gait gave him away. Lucas couldn't just let him alone like that. "You look half dead - this is serious! This isn't something you can just wave off like this."

Despite his efforts into chasing the almost irritating Kingpin away from him, the Kingpin continued to fuss over his wounds. It wasn't as though they were seriously - he might remember sometime where he had been similarily hurt. His mind running a blank, he forced a smile, as he turned his face slightly towards the shorter boy. "It's just usual for me, K-." His teeth bit down sharply as he realized that he had just almost allowed his nickname to slip through. K... K.... Nothing would come to his mind to cover up his slip, and he mentally groaned. Just what he needed, a slow-moving brain. "I'll be alright in no time." Another dizzy spell, and one hand lifted to massage at his forehead. His eyelids felt heavy - he had almost forgotten how his painkillers would do that to him.

Fortunately for him, Lucas didn't pick up on the slip of the tongue. He was too concerned with how to get Aki medical attention, and fast. What could he do? Despite himself, Lucas found thoughts of his mission weighing on his mind. The roof... what was going on at the roof? Immediately he felt ashamed. A person was dying in front of him, although the injured denied it, and he was worried about blindly following pointless orders. Well, perhaps not pointless, but if Liesel didn't let him know about anything, how was he supposed to know what to do? Besides that, all this blood reminded Lucas of... 'Mr. Torrings...' "I'm telling you this is not alright. This is anything but alright! You need to get to a hospital!"

Aki would have rolled his eyes if he could have been able to. His left leg touched the ground at an awkward angle, and he stumbled forward. He muttered a choice word under his breath, as he looked at the Kingpin through new eyes. Maybe he would be helpful? But even so, his pride wouldn't allow him to be seen relying on someone else - he had been training anyways. This should be easy for him. Another dizzy spell later, and he was already regretting his obstinacy. "Arturia," he mumbled at the Kingpin, hoping that he would understand. Arturia... the storefront just beyond his reach. He could see the owner looking there with his dark eyes... and then... he... couldn't quite see.

Lucas panicked when Aki seemed to stumble blindly, and reached out to support him by the shoulders. He was heavier than Lucas had expected, and he nearly fell with the wounded boy. "Arturia?" Lucas echoed, confused. Was he supposed to know what that meant? Was it just a delirious word? He looked around for some form of help, but most of the customers at the mall seemed to shy away, not wanting to get involved. It was probably the second time that Lucas had ever felt repelled by the common mindset of the city people. Then he saw it - just ahead, there was an unusual store, a pharmacy. Written above the polished windows was in simple lettering, "Arturia".

That was it.

"A hospital would be better," Lucas murmured to himself, but he knew he very well wasn't going to make it to one carrying an unconcious Aki around. A pharmacy was a decent substitute. Half carrying, half dragging the injured boy to the door of the store, Lucas heaved the door open with his shoulder. A bell hanging from the edge of it rang as he entered. "Excuse me," he called. Desperation was clear in his tone. "We need help!"

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Character Portrait: Lucas Toland Character Portrait: Aki Evedane
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Vault ; Arturia - Floor 1 [Sagaro Mall]


A man looked around, before taking a brush and attacking his neat hair, before it was sticking up, just as he liked it. He walked, no, pranced around his building, with a careful eye checking the shelves to make sure that everything was still there. Humming a catching tune, he glanced around at the commotion that was going on before his shop front. Sensing that it had little to do with him - he looked up, catching the weak blue gaze of his favorite friend! Whose name was… A-Achy Every Dude? That sounded about right. He continued to prance around his shop, before a light tinkling bell caught his attention.

Now where did that nauseating sound come from…

His irritated eyes glanced up at the golden object that the officials of this Soggy Roll had forced him to put up, ignoring his beautifully innovative pots and pans that had been there before. Maybe he should get rid of it - it was a democracy after all. He could do anything whatsoever he wanted. Hmm. Yes, as soon as he had gotten rid of the bell, he would be able to get back to the way he wanted his shop to be portrayed.

Excuse me. We need help!” called a young student, whom he had missed coming into his building. Ignoring him, and his favorite customer, Achy Every Dude, he continued to look thoughtfully up at the bell. A slight silence followed the dramatic entrance of the student. “Yes, that’s it. A hammer. Or a baseball bat.” Then, finally turning in the direction of the new boy, he smiled at Achy. He looked a bit paler than usual, but that was just to be expected. Red splotches were all over his body.

Maybe he had turned into a vampire.

Or the red stuff was ketchup.

Seeing at the student was in such a hurry, he should hurry up and help them. But he wanted to do whatever he wanted. Only those who mindlessly followed the orders of other people would have helped him immediately. Vault, for, yes, that was his name, looked at the boy, and with purposely elongated vowels, started to drawl out his opening speech. “Arturia,” his speech was indued with a slight accent, “is a heavenly pharmacy that exists in a mall named Soggy Roll.”

He peered around at Achy - he seemed to not be cutting him off as usual. How droll. It was only fun to watch him try to hurry him up with his irritated glowers. Fine, then, he would continue. “Now then - if you should be suffering from some unknown disease, you might have some knightly help here.” With an over-the-top gesture towards the fully stocked shelves, he made a mock knightly bow before standing upright. He had never gotten to this stage before in front of Achy, but it didn’t seem as though he was throwing a fit as usual.

He paused again, before realizing that his favorite customer’s head was lolling, and didn’t quite seem to be alive. Then, with an indignant frown, he turned towards the other student. “A body? You bought me a body for my birthday? I used to like that kid... Do you think he’d make a good advertisement? Something about zombies would be good, no? Maybe if we made him more purple-colored?” He dug in his pocket, and took out a handful of smelling salt. Placing the strong-smelling concoction under Aki’s nose, he waited there for a few moments. “I’m not going to work with a smelly body - especially if that’s ketchup I spy all over him,” he muttered as though trying to explain his actions.

Vault continued to stand there, watching the salt with interested eyes. Then with a cough, the limp body of Achy suddenly started to move. “You gave me a zombie?” Vault’s dark eyes brightened as he walked closer to the student, before opening his arms wide. “You’re so nice!”

WIth a sudden intake of breath, Aki gingerly removed his arm from Lucas, and stood by himself, albeit a little shakily. “Shut up, Vault,” he muttered. “Your annoying voice woke me up.”

The man only gave a shrug in return, before a wide smile arranged itself over his features. “It talks too!” Then, he bounced over to his shelves, and pulled out a large red hammer. “Now, zombie, take this amazingly beautiful thing and wander around Soggy Roll -.”

“Sagaro.” If Aki had the energy, this statement would have been accompanied with a rolling of the eyes and an irritated sigh.

“Soggy Roll and scare the living lights out of everyone, so they’ll run around amok.” Ignoring him, Vault continued on with his thoughts, before trying to shove the red hammer into Aki’s hand.

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Lucas Toland; Sagaro Mall, 1st Floor


Well it was all good and well that Aki was on his feet again – Lucas was relieved for that. However, he couldn’t help but question his decision to bring the injured boy here to this… elderly man. Lucas was at a loss for what to do, and could only watch the strange and admittedly humorous scene unfold with a blank expression. Was it alright for him to leave? No, but he couldn’t just leave Aki for himself when he was half dead just moments ago.

Although he knew it was rude, Lucas couldn’t help but worry about leaving Aki with this man, who seemed to find some importance in giving an injured boy a hammer to wave about. Was it really the best decision to leave Aki here with him? Well, the store itself did seem to be a pharmacy, but that didn’t quite assure Lucas that the rambling man was the pharmacist. To put it mildly, the elderly man seemed a little off the wall… And Aki wasn’t quite in the right state of mind or best condition when he mumbled Arturia – Lucas might have heard him wrong, or he could have meant for them to avoid the shop. Endless possibilities. The only comforting thing about this situation as that Aki seemed to know this elderly man.

Eventually, Lucas mustered the sense to ask, “Excuse me, could you please give him some medical attention? You said this was a pharmacy right?” He said, reaching for his pocket. “If you need money for the supplies, I can pay at least part of i – ” Lucas never finished his sentence when instead of bills, his fingers found his now buzzing cell phone. Who could it be at a time like this? A glance at his screen told him the obvious answer: Liesel.

He stared for a few moments at the flickering name on the screen, tempted to ignore it. Really, she always made such a big deal about these missions and had nothing to show for all the ‘information’ she gathered. He had little expectations from this task as well. Even still, the stone pendent around his neck, tucked beneath his shirt was reminder enough that at the very least, this whole thing wasn’t a joke. He gave a weak smile to Aki and the elderly man. “I’ll just take this call,” he said before stepping outside.

Immediately, he brought the phone to his ear, and before he could even sigh, Liesel’s voice rang out, asking countless questions on what the situation was, what was going on, and various other things that Lucas had no answers to. “Sorry, Liesel, I’m not at the roof yet,” he explained. “There was an incident and I need a way to hide the blood on my shirt – ”

“Blood? Is it yours?” Lucas was surprised at the hint of concern in her tone.

“No, but – ”

“Then it doesn’t matter. Get to the roof, now! No one cares about a little bit of blood!” Well, it wasn’t necessarily a ‘little bit’ of blood, but Lucas knew there was no arguing with Liesel. Really, he thought not causing a scene was more important than some package they weren’t even sure existed or not… and although he started towards the elevator, he decided to speak his mind. Liesel reacted with the expected negativity.

“Do you still not understand exactly what it is you’re doing?”
“Yes, I understand that this is important, but we’re not even sure if that package exists!”
“This time we’re sure – ”

“Like we were the last eight times, but what do we have to show for it?” Lucas demanded as he rounded the escalators. He saw up ahead, an elevator begin to close its doors. Dashing forward, he called out, “Ah – please hold the door!” Some kind civilian propped the door open for him, and Lucas safely managed to slide into the somewhat crowded elevator. He stood facing the wall, trying to hide the drying red stains on his shirt and continued with Liesel on his cell phone. “Okay, I’m going to the roof now… yes, I understand, I’m sorry.” However, no matter how many times he apologized, however, Liesel wasn’t letting it go. He should have been a little more sensitive, Lucas realized, because he knew how important this was to her, although he wasn’t sure how the supposed scientist had any relation to the Masks and his former principal. He probably should have tried to understand what this meant to her before dismissing it as unimportant – but before he could finish that line of thought, he noticed the people in the elevator start to disperse. Caught off guard, he unwittingly followed the crowd out the elevator, and the doors shut behind him.

He was just a little confused when he saw a line of cars before him… until he noticed a sign on one of many pillars that read “Basement – “, and although Lucas couldn’t make out the exact floor he was on, it was more than enough to let him know that he was most definitely not on the roof. “Liesel, sorry… I think I ended up in the parking lot,” he mumbled. Well this was just great…

The setting changes from Floor 1 to Throme

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[Apologies... >.> Location.]

The setting changes from Throme to Floor 1

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Aki Evedane; Floor 1 [Sagaro Mall]


Ignoring Vault’s strange fixation on handing him a ostentatiously colored hammer, Aki brushed past him before collapsing on the bright orange armchair in the center of the room. He winced slightly - he had forgotten all about the wound on his back. Gingerly sitting back up, he looked at the boy who had helped him. This Kingpin continued to stand in the doorway, his blank eyes taking in the strangeness of the pharmacist in Sog - Sagaro.

It was true that Aki would rather have someone else in charge of this pharmacy, but it was the only place in Throme with the cherry-flavored pills that he so favored. Plus, strangely enough, Vault served his purpose in getting him to ignore the pain and aches that came with his injuries. Vault turned around and started to fiddle through one of his cabinets, this time pulling out a large cooking pan. The strange old man turned to Aki, before shoving the hammer back in his direction, and the pan held loosely in one hand.

Thankfully, Lucas stopped him from launching into some convoluted statement by speaking. “Excuse me, could you please give him some medical attention? You said this was a pharmacy right? If you need money for the supplies, I can pay at least part of i-” The Kingpin started to dig through his pocket, when he took out a cell phone. Looking at the screen for a few moments, he then gave them a small smile. “I’ll just take this call.” Aki wondered what exactly could have prompted such a reaction, but decided to ignore it. It must be student council duties or the like - everyone knew how Lucas was ever so busy. Anyways, it was better for him that he left, dealing with Lucas’ clingy attitude was so much of an annoyance. The call couldn’t have picked a better time to come in, as without it, Lucas would have insisted on staying for quite some time.

“Vault,” he called out, taking the offered hammer with one hand. It was awfully heavy for his weakened state, and with a muffled curse, he dropped it on the ground. The old man shot him a glower, before picking up the garish object with one hand. “I might need some help with the treatment. So there’s no point in any more of your pointless idiocy.” He figured that since he was already seen traipsing around Sagaro on the shoulder of the Kingpin, his pride may as well go and disappear into a hole: for now. “The highest quality bandages, and the cherry painkillers. You know I have the cash for it, so no complaints.”

Vault gave a smile, ignoring the comments. “Zombies don’t need to get medicine.” He tossed the heavy bat in one hand, catching it neatly. Aki frowned slightly - somehow, being with this man was akin to being tortured... he lacked any self control or even a mild sense of decorum.

“Vault,” Aki’s voice was cold in annoyance. It was just like the old man to do such an act when time was of the essence. At times, he couldn’t tell if Vault’s strangeness was an act or his real personality. “just get on with it.”

Vault gave a loud, and overly dramatic sigh. “What do you mean ‘get on with it.’? And if you’re turning into a vampire, could you please send me a picture of your fangs? That one forum…”

This is when Aki’s finely-held temper finally snapped. “I’m warning you. I need to get patched up, and immediately. I don’t care about your little forums or your strange taste in accessories. Just give me what I need, and then, I’ll leave and stop intruding on your Arturia.” His voice, while not necessarily loud, was firm, and with a burst of willpower and energy, he stood up, albeit a little shakily, and strode towards the closest shelf, and attempted to pick up a roll of bandages.

When his fingers slipped, Vault was immediately there with a mocking look shining through his dark eyes. “Now, that was the Achy that I was looking for,” he muttered, before picking up the bandages for him. “Get back to the couch - I don’t have time to be helping little kids who can’t even pick up objects properly.”

Aki sighed once again, but remained standing there. “I’ll be needing a few more of those for personal use, and painkillers.” His hand swept to the left, to the large pile of pills. “And of course, you’ll have to disinfect the wounds and everything.”

Vault frowned in his direction. “Now, now, Achy. I can realize that even when you’re so useless, you don’t want to admit it, but I’m too kind.” He gave a cheery, wide smile that stretched until it almost didn’t fit on his face. “You don’t know what I should do. So just go back to the couch and rest up. Let the intelligent people deal with the thinking. Humans know how to do stuff, you werewolf.”

“I thought I was a zombie.”

He flapped one hand nonchalantly in Aki’s direction. “Same thing, same thing.” Grabbing a mountain of objects and strange boxes with one hand, he grabbed Aki from his less-injured arm and almost forcibly dragged him into the back, where a large room, with a medical table stood in the middle. Far from the sterile appearance of hospitals, there were mountains of pans and boxes everywhere, even piled into the smaller sink on the opposite side of the room.

Aki untangled himself from Vault’s grasp and walked over to the medical table, before sitting on it with a sigh. “Glad to know that you’re still on Earth, Vault.” Casting an askance look at the mess, he muttered under his breath, “I thought the authorities told you to clean your storage area a while ago.”

Vault turned and looked at the full sink with a sigh. Placing the objects he was carrying on a small cart next to them, he started to work on cleaning it up, somewhat. ‘Achy would make such a big fit if he didn’t see me watching my hands.’ He stuck two calloused hands into the mess, and picked up a large dented pot. Frowning at himself, he dropped the objects in the sink, three pots, two pans, a fake sword, and a dented pail, on the ground, and proceeded to turn on the water. Now, where had the soap gone…

Ah, over there. He strode, as quickly as he could, across the room, and pulled the bottle of liquid soap from on top of an empty flower pot. He peered into the transparent plastic bottle, before smiling again. “Hey, Achy, it seems like I’m out of soap.”

“… Don’t tell me you’re serious.” Aki sat up even straighter, and started to peer at the near-empty clear bottle with worried eyes. “You’re not touching me with dirty hands. Who knows what you do in your free time.”

“Hm. Maybe there’s still a little bit left?” He shook it up and down, before peering at it some more. The minute bit of soap was a milky white, and difficult to see.

“Go and get more - and a brain, while you’re at it,” retorted Aki, irritated at the delay.

Vault pursed his lips in irritation, but continued to peer at the soap. “Nope, nope, it appears I spoke too soon. Some pixie or whatever must have borrowed it, and decided to return it just at this minute. There’ll be enough~.” Walking slowly back to the sink, he ran his hands under the still-running tap, before applying a small dash soap to them, lathering for a few moments, and then rinsing them again. “Now my hands are all clean, where shall we start?” Picking up a washcloth from the cart, he dried his hands fastidiously.

“You clean the wound.” Aki continued to watch Vault’s preparations with unflinching blue eyes. There was no knowing what the strange old man would try to do while his back was turned.

“What does a banshee know about healing people anyways? Achy, you need to get some friends,” he stated in a matter-of-fact manner, but with a grin plastered all over his face. He turned around, before picking up a plastic bottle and another clean cloth.

“Excuse me?” Aki could do little more than stare at the man with confusion in his eyes. Friends had nothing to do with anything - and they weren’t even necessary in the least.

“If you had friends, you wouldn’t have gotten beat up so badly.” Vault walked closer to the black-haired boy, before pushing him down on his back. Picking up the bottle, he uncapped it, and dropped the white cap on the ground. Aki gave a start towards the lid, before Vault used his now-free hand to push him back to a reclining position. “Stop moving, Achy.” Placing the cloth tightly over the opening of the bottle, he turned it upside-down. As the liquid soaked through the bottle, he tilted it back right-side up, and placed it on the ground, carefully so as to prevent spills.

Then, folding the white cloth into fourths, he rolled up Aki’s tattered clothing with a sigh, before unravelling the now red-bandage from the wound. Even though he had treated Aki before in the past, he sucked in his breath when seeing the wound itself. “Achy, I thought I told you that I wanted a zombie that wasn’t injured. What did you do to my wish?”

There was a period of irritated silence, before Aki finally deigned to shrug. “Whatever.”

Taking the cloth in one hand, Vault frowned irritated. “Now get yourself over here. I can’t simply wipe such a large injury. I would have expected better from you, Achy, even though you’re this zombie.” He pulled Aki up, a little roughly, before walking to the other side of the room, and picking up a pot, and putting it under the faucet… which was still running.

Aki stumbled closer, before standing halfway between the bed and the sink, balanced awkwardly on one leg. When the pot was full, Vault picked it up, strong, despite his age, and sloshed it over Aki’s leg. Aki winced when the cold, almost freezing water, hit his leg and soaked his pants as well. Vault then looked more closely at the injuries, and unravelled the other bandage, on Aki’s upper arm. He walked back to the sink to refill the pot, before heading to his little cart with a few more objects laying around on it.

“Do you want stitches or not?” he called, over his shoulder. “Zombies look better with stitches… so you’d better want them.”

Aki shook his head. “I’ll be fine without them.” He looked down - although severe, it wasn’t as bad as to necessitate stitches. Maybe. He didn’t think that Vault had the necessary training to do so either.

Vault pouted, before walking back over to the overflowing pot, and carried it over to Aki. This time he remembered to turn off the water. “Hold out your arm, Achy,” he grumbled, before pouring the water over the wound. “Now that everything’s all clean…” His voice trailed off as he dropped the pot on the ground behind him, and continued to manhandle Aki back to his medical bed.

Then, as Aki laid down, Vault took a look at the various wounds all over his body. Smirking slightly, he picked up yet another washcloth - this one was pink, and then started to pat Aki dry. After a few minutes of this painstaking action, he took out a few strips of sticky skin-closure tape and secured them firmly on the edges of the leg wound to keep it closed. Vault’s dark eyes narrowed in concentration before he turned his attention to the wound on the arm. All of the other wounds could wait until later. Repeating the same action, he, then, reached out with one hand and lifted Aki up from his prone state. “Achy - anywhere else that aches?”

Aki nodded, before turning to lay on his stomach. “Back,” he murmured, as Vault’s hands pulled up his shirt. Taking the white cloth that he had wet with the saline solution, he ran it over the blotchy skin there. Taking more of the skin-closure tape, he taped over the wound, almost with a hesitancy in his action. Then, leaving Aki alone on the bed, he left the storage room for a few minutes. His hands reached into his pockets, there had to be enough money to pay for Vault. His searching fingers met nothing but air and water, and he mumbled some irritated words under his breath.

When Vault returned, holding a roll of bandages, Aki opened his mouth to speak. “Forget this, Vault.” His cold smile showed a certain bit of pride, before he made ready to leave.

To his greatest shock, Vault simply gave a smile. “Are you an idiot, Achy? If you don’t have enough money now, I’ll just charge interest~ Plus, your little friend offered to pay for the supplies. I’ll just ask my pixie friends to collect it for me later.”

There was yet another awkward pause as Aki debated how exactly to answer this man. In his confusion, the old pharmacist managed to cross the distance between them, and tossed the roll of bandages towards Aki. It hit him squarely on the chest, and rolled off the bed, unravelling as it went. Picking it up, he started to roll it around his leg, winding it around and around…

The setting changes from Floor 1 to Brio

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Aki Evedane; Cenriel Academy


Aki sighed heavily to himself. While his previous injury on his arm had healed enough for him to remove the bandage, his more recent - and far larger - injuries still ached with every passing step. The weather, being the disagreeable soul that it was, wasn’t helping any with its gusting winds and falling temperature. That wind cut through his clothing and caused a rising complaint from all over his body with every step.

Seemingly attracted to his pain, one of the counselors had spent the last week dogging his steps... and she was still there. The mousy-brown haired lady hobbled after him - she said she had arthritis - brandishing promises of a nice, friendly tête-à-tête. As if he was interested in the state of her children and god forbid, grandchildren. Still, he had to hand it to her that she was persistent at the very least. If only he could hand this interest in some other direction - maybe she could distract Vault from his also frequent dogging of Aki’s step.

Apparently, Vault wanted some payback for losing his zombie.

Aki sighed again, it seemed as though he was surrounded by those that loved to make his life a living disaster. With that mousy lady, his father’s current silence - probably upset that he wasn’t allowed to know why his son was walking around as though he had been in a traffic accident - and Vault’s frequent losses of sanity, Aki was extremely lucky to have not gone mad from all this. So, when was the lady going to gain a new brain and find someone else to bother. Someone who was actually happy to see her.

“AKKKKIIII~” came a loud shout from that said lady, brandishing one of her fuchsia-painted hands in his direction. He turned with an energy-conserving manner, before he gave her a admonishing frown. Really, was that proper behavior for an adult of her age and stature?

“Yes, Mrs.Haverland?” he asked, backing away from her excitement. The searching eyes of the students shot in his direction - really, it was obvious. However, as though they were embarrassed by their interest in him, a few of the less confident of the bunch glanced away when Aki’s blue eyes glanced in their direction.

“I was wondering if you had some free time. I heard that Brio’s having a special today - in order to get ready for the upcoming weekend. You’re not in any of the clubs, so I thought that maybe you could go with me.” Her voice was, while high in a ear-shattering manner, firm and self-assured. Almost as though she believed that he would agree to such a time-wasting thing. “Of course, it’s nothing really that important - just thought that maybe we could have a little heart to heart while we still have time.”

“No, really, there’s no need,” came the cold reply. “I have other commitments, Mrs.Haverland. I’m afraid that you’ll have to take one of the other students along with you.” Aki drew one hand over at the students that surrounded the pair. “I’m sure that Haden would be delighted to accompany you. Or the young boy genius. There’s nothing really that important or interesting about me for your attention.”

“You’re so harsh on yourself - I think that you’re very interesting~ But think at it this way, Aki. You have a little something called a college recommendation, is that not correct? Aren’t you going to be very upset if you’re given a bad recommendation by your counselor? It’s just a little something that you can do for me if you come to Brio with me.”

Old Miss Twinkletoe’s not going to shut up until I agree now, is she?’ “Is that blackmail I hear, Mrs.Haverland?” Aki stopped his backwards motion, before planting the soles of his black shoes firmly down on the ground, before drawing himself up to his full height. He towered over the shorter, and slightly pudgy adult, who didn’t seem to mind.

“Oho, Aki, I always knew that you were a smart one,” she twittered, before grabbing the junior firmly by the arm and leading him away. Aki, torn by his desire to stay out of the octopus-like grasp of the woman and his wish to not have to cause such a large commotion in a public area, allowed himself to be pulled away. “Now, this isn’t so bad after all, is it? It’s not as though you have anything else to do.”



He had a lot to do. His homework, for one.

And that was how the strange pair made their way to the crowded café. The faint aromatic smell of coffee pervaded the air, while waiters bustled here and there carrying drinks more fanciful than the last. The silver-haired one, Gwen, in particular, was looking extremely harassed… but then, of course, he always did. Ren was once again manning the counter, and his cheery smile seemed a little misplaced in the crowd. Rie, the blond female, was nowhere to be seen today - strange because she was usually here on Fridays. “SO, AKIIII~ Where will we be sitting?” asked the counselor again, pulling him through the hectic café. “Why don’t we get a nice comfy booth, huh?”

“Whatever you want, Mrs.Haverland.”

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Character Portrait: Kaden Jannsen Character Portrait: Aki Evedane
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#, as written by Witless
Kaden Jannsen; Brio


A long walk later, Kaden stepped into the hustle and bustle of Brio. Despite the dying down of tourists and natives populating the shops of Maybelle Avenue, Brio had managed to retain most of its members, with the few gone likely replaced by others. Surely a testament to Brio's management, marketing, and food, it allowed the cover that Brio provided to continue. And sure enough, like normal, Brio was crowded, filled with a variety of people. For whatever reason, Rie was gone, so Gwen was rushing to and fro, overworked as usual but even more so. Ren was at the counter, smiling his usual smile and making concoctions. As Kaden walked through to the back, he passed by a booth where a familiar face sat: Aki Evedane. Why was he here? Oh well, he looked busy with the person... wait, that was a counselor, wasn't it? That explained some things...

Putting that out of his mind for now, Kaden moved to the back, caught Ren's eye, and gestured to the door, continuing at Ren's nod of affirmation. Pulling open the door, he went where they always met, every Friday since that first meeting. Judgement was going to be there, or so he assumed, and maybe some other people had decided to arrive early as well. He'd see when he arrived. In the meantime, he brought out a notepad and began sketching while walking. The varied drinks and snacks carried around by waiters made him feel in the mood to create one of his own. Maybe he'd see if they could replicate his drawings?

He only got finished with the beginnings of the first drawing during his walk. It was chocolate. Pure, utter chocolate. Well, a mix of many different types, but it was all there. A small, cubic section of cake, cut to show the many different layers, each one different from the rest - the standard milk, dark, white, along with mint, peanut butter, hazelnut, cherry, strawberry, blueberry, lemon, cream, vanilla, ground nuts, assorted candies, and probably more left unnamed or to be added, each swirled within its own grade of chocolate to create a rainbow of colors rooted in the foundation of rich brown chocolate. It would be interesting to see what they made of it, even if he wouldn't eat it. Oh, but he had arrived now. Opening the door and walking in, Kaden went to the nearest available seat to await orders. And continued drawing...

The setting changes from Brio to Throme

Setting

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Character Portrait: Kaden Jannsen Character Portrait: Aki Evedane
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Aki Evedane; Brio


“Ah, children, children,” Mrs.Haverland waved her bright painted hand airily through the air. “They are the reason for my existence. My nephews are so cute! Aki, did I show you a picture of them before? They are positively angels!” Despite the irritated looking high schooler’s shake of the head, she preceded to dig through her wallet to pick out a slightly battered photograph. On it was a child, probably of no more than three years of age with a chubby pout carrying an equally plump stuffed tiger. “Can you believe that the oldest is now almost in middle school? How fast they grow! I always meant to -.”

“Mrs.Haverland. I believe we have gone over this topic perhaps three times in the last ten minutes,” interrupted the black-haired, blue-eyed junior. “If you have nothing of importance to say, would you mind releasing me? I am quite busy, and this is not the most effective use of my time.” He pushed himself out of the comfortable booth to leave, before the school counselor pulled him back into a seated position.

“Now, now, Aki! I am afraid that I’ll have to write a note about that.” She drew her hands up in the much-hated air quotes gesture that she was much in the habit of doing. “Impatient. Doesn’t listen to superiors talk. And how many times have I asked you to drop the formality? We have these conversations almost every week, so I don’t see a point in you calling me Mrs.Haverland. Just call me Sarah.”

“Mrs-.” There was no way that he would forego his formality for the sake of a simple woman who really did not understand the subtleties of emotion. Aki had the itching doubt somewhere in the back of his mind that she was only putting up his facade to bother him. He knew that the school would not, in any case, hire anyone claiming to be a counselor who did not even understand the very basics of their profession.

“Sarah.” She waved one hand in his direction as though swatting at a particularly annoying mosquito. “How many times do I have to -.” Since it took her this long to get something this easy, it might have taken her the entire of her life to get her degree… that is if she actually had earned one and not bought it. But enough was enough. Her mindless prattling was really getting on his nerves.

“Sarah Haverland,” said Aki in a tone that brokered no competition.

She frowned in what she thought to be a grandmotherly way. “Now, now, Aki. Please don’t make me do this, but I’m afraid that if you keep this up, I’ll have to write something about it in your recommendation.” The air quotes appeared again, and Aki barely managed to keep himself from walking off. “Doesn’t listen to those he should.” She took her time in taking out a embellished pen from her cheap-looking purse, before she scrawled something on the yellow pad of paper in front of her. It was already filled with her signature loopy purple handwriting. Looking down at it, she uttered, almost nonchalantly. “I see that we have much to correct for the end of this year - do you really want all this negative stuff to go to the colleges you’re applying for?”

In response, he merely caught the eye of a nearby harried waiter. The silver-haired one. “Excuse me, but could we please have our check?” He waved his hand towards the empty cup in front of him, holding a mostly-gone cherry Amerstall. He had spent the better part of his time attempting to explain the taste which he had only remembered through the blurry metaphors of his other’s faulty memory. Thank goodness that food seemed to pique its interest - people seemed lacking. It seemed pretty much the same, although lacking the peculiar taste of apricot.

It was around this time that he assumed he had stumbled upon the strange meeting, and although not stumbling upon anyone that he recognized (there were a lot of people who decided to spend their Friday afternoons in the crowded café, especially from his school), Aki was determined not to lose the opportunity to perhaps find the clue he had been waiting for. Such an opportunity only came once a week anyways.

“What are you doing, Aki?!” came an angry look from his counselor. Her arthritis forgotten when it no longer served her purpose, she stood up and called back the waiter. “Forget about your previous order from this upstart kid. We’re not leaving.” Such a statement ruined the ambience of the café. It was much too loud and much too forceful. Eyes were quickly drawn to their corner of the busy building, and Aki wished that he was anywhere but here. He hated the attention of those much too bothersome and dour to create their own entertainment.

The waiter, however, seemed only mildly affected by the confusing turn of events. He remained standing there, as though waiting for their little disagreement to finish. Seeing as Miss. Twinkletoes didn’t seem like she would drop the topic anytime soon, he decided to give in. All these eyes staring at him was, while not a strange occurrence for him, still a very irritating one. It was just like things to go perfectly against his plan. “Very well, we shall wait.”

“I’m glad that you actually know what’s good for you,” came the insipid reply, before Aki purposely turned his eyes away from the babbling, stout lady. She evidently noticed because she started spouting angry phrases, one after the other as though they were going out of style. “You! Aki, are you listening to me? Do you want me to write about this on your recommendation? Hm? Doesn’t think before acting? By this point, I don’t think that any of the universities that you were planning on going to -.”

Once she got started, the only thing that he could really do was to tune her out. Instead, he scanned the crowded café for the strange people that he had met last time. Then, catching sight of another person from his school, hurrying through the crazy business of Brio. Because there really was nothing to do (and that counselor showed no signs of shutting up any time soon) he followed him with his eyes to see him disappear into the curious back rooms.

Could it be…?

Could this really be what he was looking for?

And what were his classmates up to anyways?

Well, there was no way that he was going to allow such a clue to escape him. Ignoring Old Miss Twinkletoes’ increasingly loud protests, “Aki, is this is any way to treat a lady? You’re not leaving, are you? What are you thinking? You’d better be not leaving,” he got up to leave, just to be latched onto by the irritating counselor. Luckily for him, his weapons training finally came in handy for once, and he managed to unbalance her enough to slip away. The blue-eyed boy slipped into the stream of people, but kept his eyes firmly placed on the door that the guy from the park disappeared into.

Perhaps he was being quite the noticeable spy, but there was no way that he’d dare take out his mask in such a visible and prominent location. Mrs.Haverland stood on the very tip of her likely-fuchsia toes and tried with all of her might to find him again. He ducked down lower, pleading to whatever force of goodness in the world to make her go away, before sneaking into the very center of the swirling stream of people.

Now I wait…