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Masks of the Soul

Cherry Grove Park

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a part of Masks of the Soul, by Cienpher.

Cherry Grove Park - a peaceful site with a fountain square

RolePlayGateway holds sovereignty over Cherry Grove Park, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

313 readers have been here.

Setting

Cherry Grove Park is a public space full of flowers in the spring and colorful trees in the fall. In the center of it is a beautiful plaza with a large and ornate stone fountain. Little children like to play in it in the hot summer days. Off to the side is a wishing well - it is said if you toss in a coin and make a wish, it will come true. There is a surprising collection of coins glittering at the bottom, but it is difficult to see from the depth of it. On weekends, a fortune-teller sets up her tent a ways off from the fountain square. She is young, beautiful, and dresses no differently than any other citizen of Throme - but she claims to have accurate readings. Her specialty is Tarot cards. Despite her normal appearance, she calls herself Madam Butterfly, refusing to divulge any other name.
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Cherry Grove Park

Cherry Grove Park - a peaceful site with a fountain square

Minimap

Cherry Grove Park is a part of Throme.

1 Places in Cherry Grove Park:

3 Characters Here

Damien Braveheart [2] "...I simply exist...to fulfill my role..."
Star [0] "You're out of options." *Smirk*

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Misaki Bijou Roux; Cherry Grove Park


Misaki screamed. She had just finished listening to Emma Matia's latest song, and she was IN. LOVE. The lyrics had abosutely captured her, and had so much emotion she was able to feel everything that person did had she been in their place. Misaki always was able to imagine herself as somebody and feel their emotions, especially when she read books or saw movies, but music always had a unique effect on her.

Click. Click.

Misaki shot up and looked up from her phone to see the teacher, her face suddenly growing nervous. She let out a nervous laugh as her teacher looked at her with a stern stare. "Heh, heh. ..................Sorry." The teacher huffed and turned around, resuming the lesson. Misaki let out a sigh of relief, slumping back onto she tree she was currently leaning against. She opened one eye and looked around suspicously, sending fierce glares towards the people who were watching her, which was practically the entire class. She quietly hissed. "What are you looking at?!" Her classmates turned away with wide eyes, redirecting their attention to the teacher and scribbling down notes furiously. Misaki huffed and smirked as she lowered herself, now neatly writing down notes quickly like the rest. Becoming the Ace had granted her too power within her own classroom, power that she had becomed accustomed to. Suddenly feeling guilty and annoyed at the fact that she was getting a big ego, she wiped the smirk off her face and scribbled down notes as she began to actually pay attention to her teacher. After about 15 minutes, the teacher finally dismissed them. 'Finally!" Misaki cheered mentally. She swiftly packed up all of her things and rushed away, eager to get away from all the learning and have more time to examine the park. 'Boy, am I glad the day's almost over.' Misaki happily skipped along, her mind doing their happy dance as they registered the fact that school was soon ending. Misaki closed her stunning azure blue eyes, listening to the peaceful sound of the wind whistling in her ears, blowing her long blonde locks behind her like a golden whirlwind. A cherry blossom softly landed on her hair, sliding down towards her ear and stopping as her hair then kept it in place. A sudden feeling of crashing into something disrupted her peaceful demeanor and brought her back to reality. Stumbling back, Misaki yelped as she fell over. She growled as she rubbed her head and back, the two places where the impact against the hard ground had hurt her the most. One eye still closed in pain, she realized she must have bumped into somebody, because whatever she had bumped into was somewhat too soft to be a wall. Her eye wandered upward settling on the face of the person she had crashed into. Misaki stopped rubbing her head and let it drift to the ground, opening her closed eye as well. Misaki's eye's widened as she shook her head to clear it. "Lucas?"

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Coraline Starling; Cherry Grove Park


Coraline coughed, looking around quickly after snapping her eyes open. 'Did I fall alseep? I didn't even relize...' Coraline quietly thought, unsteadily standing up as she let out another violent cough. She looked over to where Misaki and Lucas were, it seemed as if they had bumped into each other. She shaked her head, annoyed by far. 'If Lucas is trying to look for me, I'm hid-' Coraline's thoughts were shattered at the sight of a old man.

Her eyes went small and fearful, she knew him. He had set her house on fire when she was so little, he was the cause of the fire that murdered her family. His cold, dark eyes said it all. He was waiting for Coraline to come over, or maybe even her grandparents. No, not her grandparents, Coraline couldn't believe they would do such a thing.

No one yet knew of the fire, the horrible fire that spread thoughout Coraline's neighborhood. The police always kept it covered, so did Coraline. She had no idea if anyone else knew, or if they made it out. All Coraline knew is that the old man, who was now infront of her, was the man who killed them. Coraline screamed, falling backwards.

People began to look quickly as what the scream was about, yet no one from what Coraline understood, relized how terribley scared Coraline was. "Monster! Monster! Get away! You monster!" Coraline spat, trying to back up, yet she was already agaisnt a tree. "You murderer..!" Coraline cried, tears spilling from her eyes. She began to cough, over and over again, blood showed from her mouth.

Coraline looked around with pleading eyes looking around. Her eyes darted to Misaki and Lucas, tears still coming from them as she mouthed a word, just a simple one, yet it ment so much at times.
"Help"

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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?”

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Blithe Verday ~ Cherry Grove Park


"I get the feeling that I'm being put between you and something you find dangerous. Should I know what enemy to look for or do you just prefer to be on my left?"

Blithe promptly ignored the question as she had babbled out her apology, then tried to keep her mouth shut in the short silence that followed. Casting a glance to the side, she had to restrain from knitting her eyebrows together in wonder. How was it possible for one guy to appear completely calm and aloof, even when walking? Hands in pocket, smooth strides, straight responses. He was definitely different from the gossipmongers that usually filled most groups, the Itex being no exception to it. But the change was nice, like the wind blowing through the cherry trees, it was a breath of fresh air to a normally usual routine. And the silence wasn’t as nerve wracking as it could have been.

"Relax." - "I'll have other nap time opportunities, I'm sure. Besides whatever Student Council meeting I probably have to go to today, thanks to you I won't sleep through the first twenty minutes of it. So, in a way, thanks."

Snapped out of her reverie, the small girl took stock of her still tense posture and the fingers still fidgeting with nothing to do after her last rambling. Though, come to think of it, his statement was a tad hypocritical. Just moments before how could she NOT squirm with nerves after his pause and question of her own view of her humour. Even if the crook of a smile gave him a way afterwards, it was still enough to tense up over.

Relaxing her grip from her bag with an exhale of breath, Blithe continued walking with a nagging feeling starting to creep up in the back of her mind. “No problem then, glad to be of service.” Nerves set aside; it was surprisingly easy to just settle down with a normal conversation. Apparently her social skills decided to take a year off along with her school work. Adding another side glance up at the boy, Blithe decided to ease up a bit more. “And for earlier, no I don’t prefer to walk to your left...” eyes straying in the opposite direction, her tone dropped a bit, “There was a frog.”

Not certain what response her confession would bring, fate decided to save the day as a boy came hurrying up to Gage, spouting off something about a meeting. Meeting... huh?... OH! Student Council, dummy! Watching the, guy hurry off to apparently pass on the message, the familiar face clicked into place as the Student Council President himself. Lucas something-or-another. “Looks like duty calls. Guess you ended up being late after all.” Head cocked to the side as she watched where the boy had hurried off to, something was still nagging her. There was something she was forgetting...

As if on cue a familiar jingle went off inside her bag, as her hand reached automatically to shut off the sound, Blithe glanced at her cell phone’s screen to see why her alarm went off. BRIO. LATE. NOT GOOD. Suddenly the days date became annoyingly late to her mind. “And apparently lateness is contagious. I’ve gotta book it... Thanks for being an unknowing bodyguard.” A quirk of a smile made its way across her face as she stuffed her phone back into its holder, safely attached outside her bag where it wouldn't succumb to the endless void inside. Hopefully she wasn’t the only one late. If anything, it would probably be best to find another member to walk in with; at least to take off some of the attention from herself.

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Lucas Toland; Cherry Grove Park


It was impossible not to notice the irritation that lied in this boy’s eyes – Lucas briefly wondered if he had done something to offend Aki. Maybe he shouldn’t have asked him for help. However, he didn’t have long to linger on the thought as something… or someone barreled into him, knocking him hard onto his side. Landing painfully on his elbow, he quickly shot up, eyes closed, and nursed the offended limb. “Ow…” Looking around, he caught a flash of blonde hair from beside him, and upon looking up, saw that it was a familiar face.

“Lucas?” she asked.

“Misaki,” Lucas answered with a smile, still cringing from his throbbing elbow – he must’ve hit the nerve. “I was just looking for you. Lie – ” he caught himself, flicking a glance towards Aki. Under the guise of the student council, they weren’t supposed to have outsiders at the greenhouse. Liesel wasn’t a teacher or in any way affiliated with the school. No one was supposed to know about her constant presence at the meetings. “Leader duties. We have a Student Council meeting and we’re late,” he said quickly, trying to cover his blunder the best he could.

And then his phone rang – no doubt it was Liesel again. Scowling slightly, he fished the device from his pocket before smiling at Misaki. “Yeah, so we really ought to hurry. Do you see Coraline anywhere? I already talked to Gage,” he said as he accepted the call. He noted that he should’ve been prepared for the wrath of the woman on the other end.

“You little brat!” Liesel’s harsh voice shouted through the line, and Lucas cringed from the noise. He smiled sheepishly at Misaki and Aki and dipped his head to excuse himself, walking a short distance away from them. “There’s no time! When I said get here fast, I meant now!” Liesel continued angrily over the phone.

“I’m sorry,” Lucas mumbled in reply. “It’s just that it’s difficult to gather everyone up in the park. I still can’t find Coraline, but Gage should be on his way. We’ll be there in – ”

“Look, this ain’t about your convenience, kid.” The older woman’s next words cut Lucas off right then and there.

He knew that. He knew that all too well. He ran his hand through his red-amber hair, closing his green eyes in frustration. He knew that. “I know, Liesel. I’m sorry,” he sighed, glowering slightly at the grass. Itex. Grace Stone. Masks, false and true. They were words that still didn’t make sense to him, yet they now seemed to dictate his life. His thoughts wandered back to his own mask, that smooth design, the checkered pattern of it… and the overwhelming sense of confidence that came with it. “I know.”

“I don’t think I need to remind you how important this is.”

She didn’t, but Lucas couldn’t get the words out quite right. He bit his lip and nodded, realizing that she couldn’t see him. He heard a sigh from the other end. “… Just get over here.”

Then came the beep indicating the end of the call. Lucas gave another sigh of his own, before pocketing his cell phone. His hand then trailed up to the cord around his neck, pulling the pendant of the necklace out of his shirt. It was just a simple grey shard of stone, tied on with cord. When he had received it from his uncle, the boy had no idea how much power it had… nor how much it would mess up his life. Such a plain little rock… why was some great criminal organization after this? He couldn’t understand.

Suddenly realizing that he had left Misaki hanging, Lucas turned and quickly jogged back to her, waving. “Sorry about that. It was just – ”

“Are you okay? What’s wrong?”

The concern of that sentence caught his attention, and he looked around for the source. Behind that sentence, there had been the sound of aggressive coughing, and he had felt something was wrong. With a simple glance to his left, Lucas immediately knew why. “Coraline?” he called, when he realized the girl seemed to be having a panic attack of sorts. There was a different boy with her, kneeling in concern. What was going on?

… Itex? Could it possibly be Itex?

Startled by the possibility and genuinely worried, Lucas ran towards Coraline before similarly to the other boy, crouching down beside her. “Coraline, what happened?” he asked quietly, unsure of how to react to the terror in her eyes. He noted the blood in her hand and at her lips and his eyes Instead, he followed her gaze, looking over his shoulder to see an elderly man. He seemed harmless enough… but if she was reacting this violently to his presence…

“I’m sorry, sir,” he started, getting to his feet. He smiled, but tried to keep a firmness to his eyes. He thought he was failing miserably at doing so, but trying was better than nothing. “… but you’re disturbing her. Could you please leave?”

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#, as written by Artik
Gage Vandergear | Cherry Grove Park -> The Greenhouse


Gage kept his steady, consistent strides in time with her shorter one's. The announcement of there being a frog and the boy bothered to turn his attention towards her wandering, almost nervous eyes. Clearly she had some aversion to frogs, just like he wasn't quite a fan of clowns. However, he simply offered an understanding nod allowed a short pause before quietly making a 'ribbit' sound but acting like he hadn't said a thing. Inwardly, he couldn't help the chuckle that near silently rumbled just below the surface in his chest. Of course, it was a simple teasing gesture not meant to freak her out or toy with her true fears if that's what it really was.

“Gage!” - “We have a meeting and we’re apparently late. I’m going to let the others know, so if you see anyone, send them to the greenhouse as well.” - “Sorry, but I have to go find Cora now. If you see her, let me know, but you can go on ahead if you want.”

Digressing, Gage was pulled from his thoughts when Lucas, the Student Council President came running over to him like a mad man spewing information about a meeting and how they were let and to spread the news and a whole lot of sporadic information. Somehow the Jack manage to compartmentalize and take it bit by bit in an organized manner in his head all without any surprised or confused expressions crossing his features. He conveyed his understanding to Lucas with a meaningful look and eventually a nod. "I'll see what I can do." He finished just before the boy turned to run off.

“Looks like duty calls. Guess you ended up being late after all.”

With a breathy 'heh', Gage rolled his shoulders back in a shrug and exhaled. "Even when I think I'm early, I'm late." He didn't seem to be anywhere near as bothered by it as Lucas had been, if at all. Then again, there was a reason Lucas was President and not him; A certain Leadership quality and unexpected ability to get things done when they need to get done. As if a sudden urgency took over the situation, a beep from a phone filled the brief silence between responses.

“And apparently lateness is contagious. I’ve gotta book it... Thanks for being an unknowing bodyguard.”

As he watched the quirky grin slip onto her features, Gage quirked a brow and for whatever reason allowed another lopsided yet subtle smirk control his lips for a few brief moments. He was uncharacteristically less reserved with this stranger - usually a smile wouldn't slip out, she had already gotten two out of him. Huh - interesting. He decided for the moment, not to linger on the thought as tilted his chin up a tiny bit in a farewell sort of manner before easily falling back into his lazy strides.

"See ya' 'round, Blithe." He called quietly over his shoulder as he meandered his way through the park. If he happened to pass by any Mask members, he would at least make the effort to call out to them - otherwise Gage would be the first to arrive at the Greenhouse, and he could only hope not to deal with much of Liesel's attitude. Not that he would give her many responses to work with. How long could her yelling possible last if he kept silent, right? At the very least, he knew that she had good intentions, they were just sometimes hard to see through the cloud of smoke that always surrounded that rough-around-the-edges-woman.

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Coraline Starling


Coraline's eyes quickly darted over to the boy who began to come over, with a painting in one arm. Her eyes still terrfied as he spoke, as if she didn't know where she was anymore. “Are you okay? What’s wrong? Can I do anything to help?” he said. She tried to remember what his name was, but it came as a blank.

She opened her mouth to speak, to ask him to get the old man away. Yet, only fierce coughs came out instead of words and her eyes darted back to the old man. He has some kind of evil look in his eyes, and it scared her a great deal. Slowly, she noticed Lucas coming though to her, “Coraline, what happened?” Coralina heared Lucas say as he turned to look at the man she feared.

She tried her best to calm down as Lucas told the man to leave, and the murderer did. She tried to wipe the blood off her lips and hands on her clothes, the best she could anyway. Her voice sounded forced as she began to speak to the boys who came to her aid. "I-I'm s-sorry... T-that man...h-he..." Coralina couldn't finish her sentence before remembering the tradgic night.

The bright sky as the burning ambers of the sky lit it, a little girl screaming to her parents and sister from the outside. The memory alone, could make Coralina go without sleep for days. Just like when the principal died, she let out a light sob covering her mouth to try and stop. She couldn't help but suddenly barry her head into the boy, who's name finally hit her, it was Kaden.

Her body rose and fell in a sobbing manner, she couldn't control herself anymore, the pain alone hurt. "H-he ki-killed my..." Coralina finally stopped trying. Sobs wrecked thoughout her body, she hoped they'd get it. Though, it was okay if they didn't. Them, coming to her aid, was enough.

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Lucas Toland; Cherry Grove Park


To Lucas’ great relief, the elderly man left without much complaint, and he immediately turned to Coraline in concern. Crouching down in the grass besides the panicked girl, he hesitated, unsure of what to do. She stammered something, words garbled over her sobs. Lucas vaguely registered a vibration in his pocket, but he had more pressing matters than Liesel and her impatience at the moment. “Coraline, calm down,” he said awkwardly. He didn’t know how he was meant to react at all and his green eyes reflected his frustration with himself. “Um… deep breaths. Relax and then tell me what happened. I can’t… understand you right now. Deep breaths.”

She was terrified. Lucas didn’t know what the elderly man had done to her, but it made him uneasy that the cheerful and curious Queen was so frightened. “D-do you need a drink? Some water?” he offered helplessly. He was bad with consolation. He noted that the buzzing in his pocket stopped briefly, only to resume again at a beat. A little annoyed, the boy fished the device from his pocket, rejected the call, and then put it away once more. Yes, Masked-work was important. He knew that, but obviously his friends came first. Liesel would just have to deal with whatever it was. It wasn’t as if they had done anything really important yet – simply discussed the Grace Stone, running around on baseless rumors. It was rarely worth the fuss that she made it out to be.

Coraline and the others were far more important.

Lucas glanced at the boy beside him, and was relieved to find that he could apply a name to the unfamiliar face. “Kaden, is it? I’m sorry, but could you get some water for her?” he asked a little awkwardly with an apologetic smile. “I think that might help.”

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Kaden Jannsen; Cherry Grove Park


It seemed like the elderly man was the cause of Coraline’s distress, but Lucas was taking care of that. For now, Kaden was focused on helping out Coraline, she seemed extremely panicked, more so than she should be. This was something serious, at least, to her it was. Which meant it would take a lot to calm her down. Luckily, the old man was moving away thanks to Lucas.

“I-I’m-...-at man... -he ki-ki-...”

Coraline was making little sense, her words hardly understandable between her sobs. Kaden felt helpless, he couldn’t think of what to do, could only comfort Coraline as she lay there, sobbing into his chest. He couldn’t think of anything to say, any way to console her.

“Kaden, is it? I’m sorry, but could you get some water for her? I think that might help.” Lucas was suddenly asking him for help, giving him something to do, some way to help.

Kaden gently shifted Coraline from his shoulder to Lucas’, comforting her while doing so. He then rose, and rushed off looking for some water, something for Coraline to drink.

A few paces away, he abruptly stopped, remembering the water he packed to wash his brushes with. He turned around, and brought out a bottle, opening it and gave it to Lucas. And then he remembered the time, the day. He was late. And he could not waste any time on this. Not when there was someone else to help out.

“Can you take care of her? You probably know what’s affecting her, seeing as how you’ve known her longer. If there’s anything that you need me for, any help I can give... uhh... oh! Call me.” Kaden hastily wrote his cell phone number down on a piece of paper and handed it to Lucas. “I’m sorry to rush off so suddenly, but my parents will kill me if I don’t make it home for dinner...” To Coraline: “Lucas is taking care of you. Stay strong.”

And Kaden rushed off, to Brio, to his judgement...

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Oskana Sonnen ~ Cherry Grove Park


Leaving Aki hadn't been something that Oskana had been planning on but it seemed to be the appropriate action in that awkward air at the time. Step by step, she allowed herself to slow down, the path that she now walked along so familiar that her body moved without the need to watch her surroundings. Students had, by now abandoned the assignment leaving the flora and fauna to peace. At a time where lunch break has long been over but the rushes home haven’t begun, Cherry Grove Park was at its most peaceful. Had there not been a sudden vibration from her pocket, Oskana didn't know how long would have been there lost.

Her phone vibrated in waves, four more times before Oskana could retrieve it from her dress pocket, one separate from the one that Aki's pill sat, hidden between the folds of her dress. The vibrations stopped the moment she flipped it open, words scrolled across the screen and the annoyance she was feeling towards technology was replaced with cold dread. She returned her phone to its pocket, not knowing if she should laugh or cry. Run now or say ta-ta to life later? Oskana shook her head and chucked, kicking up a pebble before turning and starting towards Brio. Judgment may have a short temper but unleashing his wrath on someone who was just a little late would be drastic, even for him.

"Better late than never." she mumbled against her better judgment, a feeble defense as the magister scowled atop his podium. Oskana's pace increased. Only an imbecile would even consider angering Judgment; all except the Hermit who seeks a life in recluse but even she was subject to some of societies rules. Cherry Grove Park, as much as I love you so, why must you be so big when I need you to be small. There must be someone else that is just as late as I am.

Perhaps the punishment for being late would be reduced if the number late was great. No, that was a fool's hope. The distance she had put between herself and Aki was now entirely useless; thankfully, he was no long there, probably off on one of his stoic adventures. Oskana looked ahead and her heart nearly sang out with joy as she recognized the blond ahead. "Blithe!" Not being entirely familiar with the older woman, Oskana probably pronounced her name wrong. Hopefully she wouldn't be terribly offended. "Ah, Blithe right?" She attempted at her name again, allowing the syllables to roll off her tongue with a different syncopation. "I apologize if I disturbed you. Would you mind if I walked with you?” Keeping her tone light, Oskana fell into step with the blond, smiling sheepishly. The walk to Brio shouldn’t be a long one but every minute counts.


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#, as written by Alasund
Kiriyu Asuki, Cherry Grove Park


She'd left that annoying boy from school behind her, Asuki's soft tread as she slipped from tree to tree only interrupted by the occasional passer-by. And they only caused her to pause for just a moment, until they passed by. She was seen by none, ghosting through the park. The phone had told her that Judgement awaited, and yet she did not fear the Itex middle-man.

She had encountered him and his anger before. He had a taste for fear, and a good mind for punishment. He was efficient in some ways, and utterly wasteful in others. He wasn't something to be looked up to or feared. He was but someone given just a little more power than she herself was, with a little more experience.

She had no honest idea of how her indifference towards the superior was taken, but she simply didn't care. There was only one thing that they could do to her that she feared, and that they'd have to fight bitterly for. The mask would not come from her hands easily.

Stepping out, she dropped the speed and quiet, crossing the street sedately, her pose demure, nothing like the tense warrior she had been only a moment ago. How she envied the Chariot for it's ability to act how it liked without fear or embarrassment

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Coraline Starling; Cherry Grove Park


Coralina listened carefully to the things that were going on. "Um… deep breaths. Relax and then tell me what happened. I can’t… understand you right now. Deep breaths." Lucas told her, only after telling her to calm down. Lucas then had asked Kaden to get Coraline water, so she had to shift onto Lucas. She tried to listen to him, and being with a friend calmed her down quite alot.

Coralina's eyes followed Kaden as he walked away, her mind replying his words to stay strong. He had given Lucas his number, so Lucas could call if he needed anything. Coralina slowly took the water from Lucas taking a sip. "L...Lucas, I need to see Liesel." Coraline whispered, standing up a bit wobbly. She grabbed her bag and waited for Lucas, her legs still shaked and she still remained pale.

She was holding in her anger and sadness, that was just plain to see. 'Maybe, Liesel would be able to give me some advice.'Thought Coraline, a smile refusing to show on her face. Her sunset like eyes blinked, looking at the sun with a sigh. "Please tell me you know where she is." Coraline whsipered again towards Lucas.

Coraline slowly reached her hand over to Lucas's hand. She stopped before touching it, she slowly withdrawed her hand. She doubted Lucas would feel comferterable holding it. "..Thank you, Lucas..." Coraline paused her thought, should she ask him what she wanted to, or just keep her mouth shut and improvise?

Coraline quietly thought about what to do, she felt to shy at the moment to ask, so she'd just have to improvise. "Can you call Kaden tonight, and tell him thank you for me?" Coraline said, using that to complete her paused thought. "I'm sorry for troubling you Lucas..." Coraline whispered in a sad manner, she stood silently, waiting for him to reply to her.

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???; Cherry Grove Park


It was a lovely day for a nice relaxation session in the park. Yes, she had things to be doing of much more importance than what she did now, but things of great importance were all so boring… she sighed. From her appearance, no one ever assumed that she had such thoughts. Sometimes she couldn’t help but feel that openly expressing them would be good for her… but of course she couldn’t do that. Instead, she tucked a dark lock of hair behind her ear, pressed her lips together, and shut her book on the Science of Values before stretching herself out on the park bench.

School trips were always so boring.

It was about then that she saw a slight commotion – a panicked girl, a concerned boy… she didn’t really care. It wasn’t any of her business – until something caught her eye. She spotted the stone shard dangling from the cord around the boy’s neck. The hue of it, the jagged edge of it, all of it was familiar. She didn’t smile, but she wanted to. She would have if she could, but in the end, she simply smiled to herself in the back of her mind where no one could see her.

… Should she tell the higher ups about this? Probably. Was she going to?... no.

She decided to note this in the corner of her conscience so that she could call upon it when needed… after all, she never knew when she’d need a piece of juicy little information to save her neck. Not all of her… ‘colleagues’ had the finest of tempers.

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Character Portrait: Zensa Valobo
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Ambra Riviere (Random Student NPC) ; Cherry Grove Park


Take five, guys,” called Zensa quickly to the rest of his band, as Ambra sneaked a peek upwards. Even though the murmuring of the crowd was urging her to run away as fast as she could, she stood her shaky ground - she had already gone quite far. It was then that she saw the older senior putting down his shiny instrument. ‘Uh, is that a saxophone? Or a bass clarinet? I always get mixed up between those two...’ It was then that she got shaken from her thoughts when Zensa spoke, somewhat closer to her than she expected. “Let’s go have a little chat, alright, Ambra?” She froze, before noticing that his taller body was closer to hers than she thought. ‘When did he get off of that stage?

He seemed to be more sure than she was, as he took one her sweating and shaking hands into his own. That done, he led her away from the crowd that surrounded the stage - they seemed a little irate that the music wasn’t quite starting yet. Ambra looked down as she was led into a secluded spot, afraid that he was going to start berating her for disturbing him while he was busy performing. “Well, it’s nice to see you out of the school environment, and all the baggage it brings along.” She looked upwards at this - shocked that Zensa was being so nice to her. She really didn’t deserve such kindness… and saw his warm smile. She blushed again as the smile made her remember just who she was talking to - Zensa Valobo, the senior she was crushing on. “You can relax a little too, I’m not going to do anything drastic or hurt you or anything. So take a breath and enjoy it. You don’t have anyone nagging you for any assignments, or to answer questions. School’s almost out for the weekend anyway, so I think you should enjoy the time you have left. And by the way, if it’s alright with you, I’d like to hang out with you sometime. Now’s not exactly the best of times we could get acquainted, as you can probably tell.” Here, he gave a little chuckle, as Ambra looked upwards and blew the hair out of her face. Her eyes were wide and wondering as she continued to look at his feet. “So here’s my cell phone number, and you can give me a call when you want to do something and I’ll come meet you.” With that, he wrote down something on a piece of paper, handed it to her, and closed her hand around this paper. “Call me later, or something, yeah? I gotta get back to those guys, I’ve got a few more songs left to play. Hope to hear from you soon!” He gave a friendly, cheerful wave before jogging back.

Ambra was left there, before she opened her fist to see a string of ten numbers - his cell phone number? Looking at it, she looked into the sky with large, sparkling eyes and started to twirl around. “Yes! He’s so nice!” With a cheerful skip in her step, she ran around, with her arms wide open. “I have his phone number! He said that he was looking forward to hanging out with me - Ambra!”

After that outburst, she looked around, embarrassed. Hearing the band starting to play again, she skipped over, before standing on the outskirts of the crowd to listen to the jazz music.

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Dante looked up from his book and noticed that people were starting to leave the park and head home. He placed his book into his backpack quietly and stood up, walking towards the exit of the park quietly. On the way he passed Lucas and some other people. He sighed and continued on his way. He didn't know where exactly he would be going, but he knew that he didn't want to spend all day at the park. He exited the park and turned down the street deciding to explore Throme.

He walked down the street quietly, his hands placed in his pockets. He quietly wandered Throme and somehow ended up back at Cenril Academy. He frowned slightly and then decided that he might as well wander around the school and get more familiar with it since he had the time to do so. He walked around the grounds first, seeing where all of the good spots to read were and noticed a greenhouse, remembering that someone had mentioned that that was were the student council had their meetings. He rolled his eyes slightly and walked past the greenhouse, continuing to wander the grounds in silence.

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Lucas Toland; Cherry Grove Park


Lucas was wordlessly grateful to Kaden when the boy brought back a bottle of water for Coraline. It was so unlike her to be so frightened that he had really been at a loss for what to do. It wasn’t until Kaden had murmured his words of consolation and rushed off that Lucas realized that he had forgotten to say thank you. However, he couldn’t linger long on the thought, as the girl beside him whispered, “L… Lucas, I need to see Liesel.”

Ah, he knew he was forgetting something. However, the thought quickly escaped him when Coraline attempted to get to her feet. “You shouldn’t try to stand yet,” he said, reaching out to steady her as she grabbed her bag. She was trying to act as if things were alright when it was clear that it wasn’t. Who cared what Liesel thought, if Coraline needed to stay and calm down for a while longer, that’s what they were going to do. Unfortunately, it was clear that the girl had other ideas.

“Please tell me you know where she is,” she pleaded quietly, and Lucas pressed his lips together in slight frustration. Coraline hadn’t heard the previous exchanges with the older woman, but he very well couldn’t deny her anything when she was so shaken up.

“She’s waiting for us at the greenhouse,” he answered hesitantly. “We can stay a while longer if you – ” he stopped short when she spoke again.

“Thank you, Lucas…”

What was she thanking him for? He hadn’t been able to help her much at all – it was nothing to thank him for. Besides, it wasn’t as if he had noticed immediately either. That had been Kaden. He was the one who deserved the gratitude – which Coraline seemed to realize as well. “I’m sorry for troubling you, Lucas…”

With a faint smile, Lucas answered back, “Don’t be. Yeah I’ll call Kaden for you.” That’s what the school directory was for after all. “If… if you want to see Liesel, we should probably start heading back now. Will you be okay?” he asked.

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Coraline Starling;Leaving Cherry Park Grove


Coraline stopped moving as Misaki came, she put on a false smile, trying to fool her two friends into thinking she was alright now. "It's okay Misaki, I know you didn't mean to freeze up. It's something that we'll just have to practice with you though, we can't have you freeze up when were fighting them." Coraline smiled another false smile. "You can make it up to me by giving me a hug though!" Coraline nearly shouted.

Throwing open her arms and wraping them around Misaki, giving her pretty much a bear hug. "Off to the greenhouse so we don't be killed by a evil rage!" Coraline joked, letting go of Misaki and grabbing both, Lucas's and Misaki's hands. "Hm, Lucas... I have something to ask you once we get there, Okay? It's about if your free this weekend..." Coraline trailed off slowly, not sure if it was a good idea to ask him.

"Oh! Misaki, how about me and you after the meeting go to the mall?" Coraline smiled, yet this smile wasn't as fake as before. She began to lead everyone to te greenhouse, and man would they probably be yelled at for being so late. "I'll explain to Liesel that I had a break down. He only bugs me, because of what he did... It was out of the news because of my grandparents forcing them to keep it out. That man set fire to my house when I was little, killing my family. So that's why you guys have only met my grandparents." Coraline explained, almost as if she didn't truely care anymore.

The truth was though, she did care. A lot actually, she even had a break down because of it.

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Damien Braveheart, Cherry Grove Park, 08:00 PM

The park was dark and empty saved for a few people that came home late quickly walked by. The wind gently played with the people, tossing their hair playfully or moving the leaves of the old oak trees with its invisible fingers. It was a peaceful and quiet moonless night...albeit a little scary for some timid people's taste since the shadows of the trees and leaves kept moving constantly like they were trying to grasp a random people and swallow them whole but to the silent figure sitting on a bench of the park, it was not terrifying at all. He breathed in and out slowly, smiling slightly as his breaths turned into some sorts of fog. The Magician picked up his back-bag and sighed softly as he took out his latest report. The mission was not a success. The information he had been given was wrong and even though he had spent a whole month searching for it, he just couldn't find it. Shaking his head, the Magician muttered "They will not be happy with my report...that's for sure..." He ran a hand through his soft hair and continued to mutter to himself again "...well, it's not like I want it to happen...It's not my fault the location was wrong..." 'but it's your fault in the end anyway...you haven't searched hard enough...' His traitorous mind whispered and the Magician snapped at it angrily "Well...sorry for not spending a year searching for it! It's not my fault they only gave me a month to search for it...and I still haven't said anything about the wrong information yet..." He growled and snapped the files shut. His good mood was ruined...no thanked to his wonderful mind. 'but it still is a failure...and you know it...just admit it...you betray their trust...' He grasped his head and gritted his teeth "Just shut the hell up...I know it, alright!?...I know they are not going to be happy with me, happy now?" His mind quieted and the Magician could almost feel its nod its head in satisfaction. He muttered again "that's it...I'm gonna change back now...at least having a logical sense is better than having a voice in my head that likes to criticize me..."

Slowly, the Ice Magician removed his mask and closed his eyes, feeling the usual ticklish sensation as he was forced to change back into his normal form. His body shrank until he was only 5 feet 8 and his hair changed from blue to silver. His eyes darkened until the icy blue turned into deep violet. In the place where the Magician had just sat a minute ago was Damien Braveheart. Blinking slowly as Damien felt his face set into its usual emotionless expression and he nodded his head slightly. It still felt very strange whenever he turned from one type of personality to another type. The sense of logic didn't allow it to happen but somehow, through means he hadn't known yet, it still happened. Taking out a cellphone from his pocket, Damien pushed a button and waited until his Mother picked up the phone "Oh thanks goddess you're alright, Damien...where have you been? Why did you leave without saying anything? Your father and I have been extremely worried...are you alright, Damien? What happened? Where are you right now? Do you need any help? Can we do anything for you, honey?" A worried voice asked through his phone and Damien waited patiently for his mother to finish her rant. He replied calmly, his voice was robotic.

"...Good evening, Mother...I am fine...thank you for your concerns. However, I do not feel the need to tell you where I have gone...we have had a similar discussion before and we both have reached an agreement that you will allow me to go where I want...without following me and asking for information...as for the next question about my destination...I do believe the place I am sitting right now is commonly known as the Cherry Grove Park...I will come back in about 45 minutes. Therefore, there is no need to worry...Good bye, Mother...I believe it is suitable to end the phone now seeing that you have had the answers you are seeking..."

His mother attempted to talk but then paused and sighed in defeat. Sadly, she would never be able to fully understand her son. He had been too much of a mystery for even her to figure out. She spoke softly "alright, honey...just be careful, alright...I'll see you in another 45 minutes...are you hungry? Do you want me to cook anything for you?" Damien shook his head even though his mother couldn't see it and spoke "There is no need for you to concern about my hunger...I am fine..." He paused for a whole minute and then continued "Even though I think it will be appreciated if I can have a bowl of soup...The temperature is low tonight..." His mother said cheerfully "Alright, honey...welcome home..." Damien didn't reply this time and closed the phone with a soft click. Finally, he muttered "...yes, it is nice to be back to Throme..."

He sat there in silence, simply enjoyed the joy of coming back home for so long. He hadn't even realized how much he had missed the city until he came back. He only hoped he could catch up with his classmates now. How were the others? Were they...Damien shook his head, quickly reminded himself that friendship and love would only hinder one's ability. He had experienced first hand how love could affect someone's life. Deep sadness crossed his violet eyes for the briefest second and then it was gone like it had never been there. He truly wished things hadn't been as they were now. Clutching the blue mask tightly in his right hand, Damien stood up abruptly. Wishes were luxury things for him. He never had had a choice in the beginning. And he never had a choice now and would never have a choice in the future. That was his fate and he had accepted it the moment he pushed that door and the moment he put on this mask.

Sighing once more time, Damien forced himself to move. His parents were waiting for him at home and wanted it or not, he still had the duty as a son to stop them from worrying too much. He slipped his mask into his back-bag and took his first step. Tonight was indeed a very cold night.

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Damien Braveheart, Cherry Grove Park, 8:30 pm

Damien closed his eyes as he felt the night gale blew his hair. He really should hurry up and go home...maybe his Mother was worrying...Normally, Damien wouldn't even care what his parents were doing but after the long mission, he didn't feel the need to be fussed because of a tiny thing that called 'go home late'. He picked up his pace.

Ring...ring...ring...

His cellphone gave a long, shrilling noise that nearly made Damien drop his backpack and cover his ears in pain. As the music stopped for a second, the teenager quickly pulled out the cellphone and looked at the strange number, his ears were still ringing because of the music. He flipped the phone and put it near his ears.

"Hello, this is Itex. Magician, correct?"

Damien's body stiffened as he listened to the strange voice...so, Itex had already known that he had come back...their information was surely fast...He took a deep breath and nodded his head slightly even though the voice couldn't probably see it and he answered in an soft, barely noticeable voice.

"Yes, master...It is I, the Magician, your faithful servant...even though at the moment, I am not wearing the gift you have bestowed upon me...I have come back from the one-month mission...and have written my report...do you wish for me to report to you right now, Master? or is it your wish to read the report that has been written by me?"

His throat felt slightly dry as he finished his short speech...He was not used to talking so much after all. Running a hand through his hair, Damien waited patiently for the speaker to speak again. He crossed a street, the cellphone held tightly in his hand.

"Very well, Magician. I'd like you to report immediately - this information is vital to the Itex cause..."

There was a short pause and the teenager closed his eyes as he stopped suddenly, staring at the empty park with emotionless eyes. Why didn't his Master finish talking? What's wrong?

"...And I prefer mistress, not master...."

Oh...that was the reason...Damien took several steps forward again, pondering about how he should ask for forgiveness. At last, he settled in a simple speech he made up on the spot.

"Yes, Mistress...forgive me for my unthoughtfulness...I shall report right away...It is my greatest regret. The mission is not successful. In the time when I spent there, I discovered that the piece of Grace Stone is only a faked one. The owner of said faked piece has been eliminated to prevent further threat for the organization...In normal term, I believe humans will often say 'I have been sent on a wild goose chase'...however, this mission is not futile...As the mission proceeded, I have made a list of legends about a magical stone and have crossed out the ones that I am strongly certain that it is not about the Grace Stone...I shall send you the list the next Friday or tonight if you want me to, Mistress..."

"Very well, the sooner the better. Is there anything else that you may want to report?"

" I do believe this is it...for now, Mistress...I will send you a detailed report the next time I come and receive a mission...are there any new missions you wish for me to take?"

The phone-call ended abruptly without any warnings and Damien looked at it carefully to see if he had pressed any wrong buttons or said anything that might offend his Mistress...Frowning slightly, Damien tucked the phone back to his pocket. He could not think of anything he said that might do this to his Mistress...It was clearly as day that Damien Braveheart had tried very hard and chosen his words so very carefully in order to please Itex. Maybe...she didn't have anything to say anymore. He began walking again as he held his backpack a little tighter than normal. He couldn't even walk for 10 minutes as the phone rang again and this time, Damien did drop his pack in surprise. Quickly picked up his things, Damien flipped his phone opened again and listened to the voice with some uncertainty. What did the Mistress want? Had he done something that displeased her?

"There was a small distraction that I had to deal with. On that note, there is nothing that Itex needs you to do - be sure to meet up with Judgement at Brio next week at the regular time. Don't be late. I suppose you shouldn't need the reminder."

Damien nodded his head again, quickly walked passed several people as they stared at him, his face was still as emotional as a wooden board could get. He spoke again and waited for the call to end.

"As you wish, Mistress...I will not be late for the mission assignment.."

"Very well. You had better not fail Itex this time."

The woman said and ended the phone call finally. Damien felt his body relaxed slightly. No matter how loyal he was to the Itex or how many times he had met them, he would always feel uncomfortable when he forced to talk so much and for so long. Snapping the phone closed with a flick of his wrist, Damien bit his bottom lip as he finally arrived to his 'home sweet home'. Sighing softly, the teenager raised his hand and knocked the door. There was no point in standing here all night...he might as well get over with the fussing...