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Life

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a character in “Super Spiral Spectacle”, as played by OstrichBurgers

Description

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Life ✼ Miracle ✼ Life ✼ Life's Side (obv) ✼ Bisexual ✼ Seisa Mikagura

✼Likes:
Flowers, trees, leaves, fruits, vegetables, animals, humans, love, prosperity,
watching things grow, company, noise, rain, snow, colors, picnic baskets, water,
singing, music, her children, and heights.

✼Dislikes:
Death, watching things die, pain, misfortune, and losing.

✼Quirks:
Often looks off into the distance; talks to self every now and then

✼Theme Song:
Sunshine is Brief; Kikuo


#D6BF57 ✼ #3FB1AA
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Life. *shot again*

Anything and everything around her will seem a bit more lively than before. She has--or, well, had--control over all life. Now, in her human form, her powers are extremely if not completely limited, and she's left with only the strength of her current human body.

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Blunt ✼ Bemused ✼ Sincere ✼ Thoughtful ✼ Arrogant

Life is often zoned out--airheaded, in the sense that, she's never really paying attention. She's always thinking about something else, and doesn't really listen to anyone unless she makes an effort to focus on them. More often than not she finds herself lost in nature. Arrogantly, in a sense, considering she's admiring the things that she created and only that. She places herself above everyone else, but only Death has really witnessed this--Life isn't outwardly arrogant, only inwardly. She believes that, as the embodiment of life itself, everything that is owes its existence to her.

However, she also believes that no matter what, her creatures are precious, and she wants to protect them. Life's heart is full of love, and she wants to share that love with everything she touches. She does her best to portray this through action--doing favors, spreading kindness, and blessing things with life.

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"I will walk until there isn't ground left to walk on. And even then, I will still try to walk."

Family Relations: Spouse of Death; Mother of Afterlife, Xenos, and Kayin; Grandmother of Bennie, Alfonso, Ingirs, and Shoe; Great-Grandmother of Ludovica, Malin, Niven, and Kayin; Great-Great-Grandmother of Malin, Shoe, and Ingris.

Just as there was Death, there was Life.

Life created. She created humans, plants, animals, colors... there would be nothing if Life did not exist. She knew this--or xhe, as she was known back then. Life was both genders.

At first, Life and Death pretended to get along, but both had always harbored hatred for each other. Whereas Death was always jealous of Life, Life always hated Death. Not only was Life better than her, but Death was the end of everything that Life worked to create, and it was always inevitable. No matter how many years Life gifted to a creature, Death would always catch up with them in the end.

At some point, in an attempt to create something eternal, Life agreed to have a child with Death. As a result, Afterlife was born. The moment Life laid her eyes on Afterlife she fell in love; this was her child, and she would cherish her. Part of her wanted another child. In fact, she ended up spending a night with Maria, ending in the birth of Xenos.

Not soon after, however, Life's beloved daughter Afterlife was sealed away. With the help of Xenos, Death sealed Afterlife in a clock behind Life's back. The moment Life found out, she was infuriated. Death had not only sealed her child away, but used Life's own son to help. It felt like a stab to the heart.

Her two most precious treasures were practically gone--one was sealed away, and the other had betrayed her. And as if to further this point, Death ended up having twins with Xenos--Bennie and Alfonso. Later on, Bennie seduced Life on a late night and they ended up having Kayin, but before she could shower this child with love Life was suddenly sealed away.

Due to conspiring between Xenos and Death, Life had been sealed inside of a human body. She was cursed to remain that way--any time her host body would die, her soul would be forced into the nearest human, and this cycle would repeat endlessly. There was no way for her to find any other deities, no way for her to use her powers, and no way for her alone to reverse the seal.

She was stuck--completely stuck, and she stayed that way for the longest time. At first, she ran around frantically trying to find a way to save herself--with her in such a weak state, life was dwindling slowly but surely. If it continued, there would be no life.

As the years passed by and she was forced to die over and over again through the body of her current host, Life felt more and more hopeless. Eventually, she saw no point in trying, and resorted to wandering around aimlessly. She doesn't know what she's doing, she never knows exactly where she's going, and she's decided her only hope at this point is to continue walking until fortune strikes her.

Currently, she resides in the body of a young Asian girl, still walking aimlessly.

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So begins...

Life's Story

Setting

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Character Portrait: Life Character Portrait: Shoemowetochawcawewahcatowe Character Portrait: Alfonso
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Life stared at the flower in her hand. She twirled it, idly.

She sat in an old tree, bag full of supplies resting on her shoulder, her head leaned against the tree bark. She inhaled, slowly. The forest smelled of pine cones. The sun fell below the horizon, leaving the sky a lovely purple. It was slowly fading into dark blue--the last of light would soon fade, at least until day came again. In that moment, Life could feel a slight chill coming on--there was still a bit of cold left from winter, but the warmth of spring was slowly taking hold.

Frowning, she looked back down at the flower. It was a bright yellow. Petals sprang from its brown, fuzzy center, reminding her of the sun. She brushed one hand against the ends of the flower--if one looked closely, they could see the tips beginning to turn brown. The most beautiful of things die the quickest.

Wind blew. Her hair swooshed to the side, strands sticking to her face. Sighing, she let go of the stem, letting the flower float away. There was no reason to keep it around just to watch it die, she supposed.

Night was coming. It was going to get colder. She unzipped her tan bag and wrapped a warm, black blanket around herself. She'd had many warm things left over from winter, but she'd sold most of them, considering spring was now here. The only warm things she had left now were her blanket, a pair of mittens, and an itchy scarf.

I've been reduced to so little, she thought, idly. I was the sun that everything revolved around, and now I'm just another creature struggling to survive. Is this what I'm always going to be?

She huffed, fists balling slightly. A long time ago, she'd lost count. She'd lost count of how many days, months, years, and centuries she'd spent as a human--another component in the food chain. Admittedly, even in that moment, she wondered why she bothered pining over something long gone. Had she not resigned herself to her fate long ago?

'No use in crying over spilled milk,' as the humans liked to say.

There was nothing she could do, and that was the truth of it. Sitting in the tree, Life knew this, and a small part of her wanted to be angry, but the rest was too exhausted. The world was cruel--perhaps it was her fault for making it that way.

Her eyes closed. Minutes passed. The forest stirred around her, and she listened. Birds whistled, leaves would shudder when the wind blew, and every now and then a squirrel would squeak. She loved the sound of life, because it made her proud. She created birds, trees, leaves, and squirrels. Everything owed its existence to her, and nothing ever forgot that.

At some point, in the midst of the quiet hum of nature, Life heard footsteps.

Her eyes flicked open and she looked around, quickly. She hadn't been expecting company.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Life Character Portrait: Shoemowetochawcawewahcatowe Character Portrait: Alfonso
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Alfonso's slim hand stretched down to scratch his canine companion between the ears. The wolf beside him, long black fur flapping in the breeze, let out a low growl and arched her head into his touch.

Shoe had done a wonderful thing in leading Alfonso here. The dying rays of the sun left just enough light for him to make out the figure in the tree, and from Shoe's anxious behavior, Alfonso had a feeling he knew what kind of figure it was--a spirit.

The grass crunched beneath his boots. Alfonso wished for a way to minimize the sound his footsteps made, but that wasn't his main concern: his main concern was somehow figuring out just who it was he was about to confront. Beside him, Shoe howled softly, arching her head towards the quickly lowering sun and dark eyes already seeking out the twinkling stars. Her ears twitched, and a paw was lifted to indicate the human's general direction. Shoe nudged the back of Alfonso's knee with her snout to try and get him to move faster.

"Patience, my dear, patience," Alfonso murmured, tugging at the tip of Shoe's ear. She wrenched her head away from him, growling. "You're so on-edge today, aren't you? Do you need a nap?"

Annoyed, Shoe trotted ahead and paused at the tree, circling it, her snout tilted in the air as she sniffed the human curiously. She scratched at the tree trunk, gazing in expectancy at Alfonso.

Parading around earth with nothing to do but collect souls got so boring sometimes. Alfonso much preferred spending time with the souls he already had. But his partner, his beloved little girl Shoe, only behaved in such an erratic manner when something particularly exciting was happening. Alfonso could only guess what kind of delectable creature she'd stumbled upon.

He made his way to the foot of the tree and glanced up at the girl in its branches, waving. He would work his magic after setting up a conversation; there was no need to suddenly blurt out, "Hi, so what entity of death are you? My wolf-spirit sidekick can smell your funky soul."

"A lovely evening, isn't it, dearie?"

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Character Portrait: Life
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"You could say that."

What a simple response. Alfonso glanced down at Shoe to see what she thought; the wolf was distracted with lapping at her front right knee.

Humans were such amusing creatures. Squatting beside Shoe to pet her more efficiently, Alfonso angled his chin up at the young girl in the tree. Subconsciously, his tongue swept across his lips--even if she wasn't a spirit, she was a soul he wouldn't mind adding to his collection.

"You are alone," Alfonso commented. He scratched at Shoe's muzzle, and Shoe stretched, yawning. "Is this intentional, sweetie? Or do you wish for some company in that tree of yours?"

Shoe clawed at the dirt, digging a small hole. She sniffed around in it, nudged an ant with her nose, and rested her muzzle on Alfonso's thigh. He sighed, not for the first time wishing he had some way to communicate with animals. Perhaps his daughter--Shoe's mother, Ludovica--would know what the fluffy creature was trying to tell him.

Would now be a good time to just come out and ask? "Pardon me, I noticed you were a death entity like myself. You want to talk about that?"

Or was it still too soon to make any assumptions? Most of the others were up in their realms, so maybe this wasn't a spirit after all. Well--almost everyone. The only ones who were missing were his half-sister Afterlife and his mother's first partner, Life.

Shoe again dug a small hole, then picked up a pine cone in her teeth, brought it to the hole, and buried it. She looked up at Alfonso, a glint in her eye.

Life. Alfonso felt he had figured out the identity of the individual in the tree--the bringer of life, much like dirt brought life to a pine cone and turned it into a mighty tree, or allowed a small ant to crawl around in the dirt.

But could he be certain? Time would tell; for now, he contented himself with a charming smile aimed at the young girl in the tree, awaiting her answer.

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Character Portrait: Life
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Another subpar response came from the girl in the tree: "When you're alone, you have all the time in the world to think."

Alfonso observed her pretty face. Something was distinctly off about her mannerisms; sure, she behaved like a normal human for the most part, but Alfonso had the distinct feeling she recognized him. Her eyes were trained on Shoe, who stared back at the girl now that her digging had alerted Alfonso to the possible identity of this individual.

Admittedly, the girl's bluntness surprised him.

"Who are you, who are you with, and what do you want?"

Her rather harsh tone caught him off-guard. Alfonso blinked twice, smacked his lips, and glanced down at Shoe. Shoe tilted her head, then lowered her muzzle, as if giving him permission to tell the truth.

"You don't like to mess around, I see. I must admit it's a charming feature," Alfonso murmured, rising to his feet. He grinned at the girl in the tree, bowing at the waist. "My name is Alfonso, I am with the entity known as Shoe--" At this, Alfonso patted Shoe's head. "--though if you ask which side I'm with, I am with the entity of Death. And what I would love is for you to answer your own questions, sweet girl. You already knew who I was, didn't you? Now it is your turn to enlighten me. Shoe already knows you aren't a true human soul, and I get the same sense from you, darling."

Shoe growled, flattening her ears, as if to drive in that she knew exactly who she and her grandfather were facing.

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Character Portrait: Life
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Shoe gave up on her scratching and instead lay down at the foot of the tree. Her gaze switched between Alfonso and the girl in the tree, now more or less confirmed to be Life.

Alfonso stared at Shoe for a moment, then glanced up at the girl just in time to hear her speak.

"What are you doing?" she asked. Alfonso stood straighter, alert. "Other than talking to me, I mean."

At this, Alfonso let out an audible laugh. He took a few steps closer to the tree, kneeling next to Shoe. Shoe rested her had in his lap.

"Searching," he announced. This time, he did add the rest: "For you, at that. Or little ones like you, I suppose. I wonder if my dear Ludovica has any plans to have you mauled by a wild animal? Or perhaps there is something else in store for your cute little body. I imagine my sister would have no troubles working her own magic on you. Either way, it seems the way things are now I'll have complete control over you soon enough."

Shoe actually growled at this. Alfonso chuckled, stroking her fur. Perhaps dropping blatant threats wasn't the best course of action, but Alfonso had never been particularly tactful.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Life Character Portrait: Bennie Character Portrait: Shoemowetochawcawewahcatowe Character Portrait: Alfonso
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"Indeed." Alfonso stood, reaching up a hand to touch the girl's ankle. "Not until they reach my realm, that is. Then I have all the control over them I want. Exhilarating, isn't it?"

Beside him, Shoe growled, arching her back. She glared at Life, her fangs bared.

Something similar to hunger was present in Alfonso's gaze--but upon close inspection, perhaps it was more like lust. Whether it was lust for blood or lust for Life was unclear. His hand continued to reach for Life--what he planned on doing if he caught her was unclear, but it was certain whatever it was would be very unpleasant.

A twig snapped to his left.

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The same old souls, the same old entities, the same old activities. Bennie could only take so much before she needed a change of pace.

Her supply of souls was dwindling day by day. The earth was losing one human after another, each one being snatched up by one of her greedy family members before Bennie even had a chance to show up. It was why she'd taken to surveying earth personally, and taking advantage of her time to look for where Life had gotten sealed. Sure, having relations with Life hadn't been the most satisfactory experience of her life (Bennie awarded that honor to a sultry hooker she'd picked up after an STD claimed her life; "Gilly", she claimed her name was), but without Life, there was no...well, life. No more sultry hookers, no more cute little souls, no more anything.

Bennie couldn't stand it.

So naturally, when she realized her brother had cornered a poor young soul--a cute, female soul, at that--she absolutely had to step in.

The breeze tossed Bennie's wavy, red hair into her face. She held it away from her eyes with a hand, nails painted red, and focused her sight on where she'd tracked her brother to. Even in the twinkling light of dusk, his white hair seemed to glow.

Bennie's red heel snapped a twig.

"Step away from the little cutie, Alfie. One less soul in your creepy collection won't end the world, but one more might."

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Character Portrait: Life
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Alfonso huffed, stretching his hand to try and reach Life. Why did Bennie always have to step in at the worst time?

"Stay still, honey!" he called, stepping onto Shoe's back to use the wolf as a footstool. Shoe scooted out from under him, and Alfonso tumbled onto his back, letting out a cry. Shoe growled at him, as if to say, "Keep your smelly feet off me and learn how to climb!"

Bennie laughed at him, stepping closer. Alfonso scrambled back to his feet, brushing off his clothes.

"You are hilarious," Bennie announced. "Is this why you take Shoe around? Because you can't climb?"

Shoe howled. Bennie advanced, reaching out to scratch the canine.

Alfonso grumbled something. "Oh, be quiet, you witch. I'd like to see you get her down."

"Okay. Bennie shrugged, leaning against the trunk of the tree. "Is this idiot giving you trouble, babe? Trust me, I can handle him. If he'd bang his own mother and daughter, I doubt he'd take issue with humping his own sister. Not that I'd take an a*s like him to bed even if he begged."

"Hey!" This was why Alfonso hated family reunions. Did Bennie insist on always being so...crude?

Shoe had padded closer to Bennie and now nuzzled her leg affectionately. Bennie ignored her. Disappointed, Shoe returned to Alfonso's side and pawed at the tree trunk.

"What's your name?" Bennie asked. "I'm gonna keep calling you 'honey' and various other pet names until you give me one."

"I already used 'honey'. Pick your own," Alfonso complained, tapping his fingers against the tree trunk.

"No."

This woman was going to drive him mad.

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Character Portrait: Life
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Feisty. That was something Bennie admired in a soul. The poor thing sounded absolutely terrified--no doubt because of Alfonso. Bennie felt the need to make one last jab at her twin before switching her attention to the poor terrified girl.

"He did it with his grandma, too."

Alfonso looked ready to punch her. Bennie laughed, ruffling Shoe's fur.

"But anyways, there's no need to get so on-edge. I'm here to protect you, puddin'. From this creep."

"Well, that's just like you, isn't it?" Alfonso hissed. "Always on the wrong side of the fence."

He was so dramatic. Bennie rolled her eyes. "What are you even talking abou--"

"You are Life, aren't you?"

The question froze Bennie where she stood. Shocked, she looked up at the swiftly-escaping little girl, examining her. Alfonso continued beside her.

"Shoe here has already sniffed out that you are one of the entities. You knew about my sister, so you cannot be Afterlife. And everyone else is still up in their realms. Do you have any idea how long we have all been looking for you, love? You've had us so worried. Worried that you will somehow regain your name and reinstitute what we rightfully took from you, that is."

It couldn't be true. He couldn't be telling the truth. Life had been sealed for--well, Bennie didn't even know how long at this point. Was this really the entity that had fathered Bennie's only son? More importantly, was this the entity in charge of saving souls?

She was scared to assume. She was nervous about trusting her brother--if this was a prank, it was a nasty one.

So Bennie waited, watching the girl for a reaction.

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Character Portrait: Life
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Sadists. Bennie didn't think she was one. Was she? Was she just like her brother in the end? She sided with Life, yes, but why was that? Just so she could capture and steal more souls?

No. Bennie wouldn't let herself get wrapped up in the "why". She'd found Life, and now she was going to protect Life.

She opened her mouth to respond, but Alfonso's carefree, irritatingly aloof laugh cut her off.

"So it is you. I knew it. I'm sure my dear mother will love knowing we've tracked you down."

Bennie bit her lip, ignoring the taste of the lipstick. Did she even really want to get involved?

"You have lost, my dear," Alfonso continued. "Why do you not just give up quietly?"

This isn't right. Bennie wanted to keep her souls, and for that, she needed Life. Did it matter if her motives were petty and selfish?

"Just come down, love, and surrender--"

"Shove it up your a*s and shut up, Alfie."

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This woman was insufferable.

Bennie always had to act so high-and-mighty. So above it all. So "perfect".

But she was just as bad as Alfonso himself, wasn't she? He hated that self-righteous attitude of hers.

Bennie pulled out a pipe from behind her ear, then fished a lighter from a small bag and lit it. She placed the pipe in her mouth, paused, and blew out a steady puff of smoke before speaking again.

"'Surrender'? Hasn't she done that already? You're so full of it, Alfie, she's sealed in a cute little body already. It isn't like she can do anything."

Alfonso frowned. Shoe cocked her head, looking between the three other entities.

"You say that, but--"

"But? But what? But she's still able to use her power? What a load of bull, the humans get closer to extinction every day." Bennie reached up a hand towards Life, and Alfonso resisted the urge to sic Shoe on her and let Ludovica handle the rest. "Life, sweetcheeks, I've been lookin' for you. You haven't been abandoned. I want these humans preserved, and we can't do that without you. Wanna come down and discuss a plan over dinner?"

Unbelievable. As if Bennie wasn't bad enough before, now she had the nerve to ask Life on a date? (Ignoring the fact that Alfonso had already made his intentions for the young girl very clear.)

"I promise, I'll keep you safe," Bennie continued. Alfonso's hands clenched by his sides. "I've been on your side since the beginning. Even if your sex was kinda weak."

Leave it to Bennie, Alfonso thought, to make me wish entities could die.

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Character Portrait: Life
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Bennie frowned; of course Life didn't believe her. Bennie hadn't given her any reason to believe Bennie was on Life's side. Maybe she could make up for it with honesty.

"There are nine more besides what you see here," Bennie related. Alfonso elbowed her to shut her up, but she responded by socking him in the gut and continued. "Myself, Alfonso, yourself, Shoe, Ludovica, Death, Afterlife--who goes by Cherry Blossom now--Malin, Niven, Maria, Xenos, Ingris, and, of course, uh...what did we call our son again? Calvin or something? Yeah, him, he's there too."

"You can't even remember your kid's name...?" Alfonso sighed. "Kayin."

"At least I didn't have a baby with mine," Bennie shot out.

"Why do you insist on bringing that up...? What bearing does that have on the present conversation?"

Bennie ignored him. "Those of us on Death's side? ...Most of them. The only ones of us who still support you are me, the kid, and Malin. The rest are either neutral or they want everything dead."

"Rightly so," Alfonso interrupted. "We are in charge of death, in case you've forgotten."

"You know what'd be real helpful right now? If you took the stick out of your a*s and shoved it down your throat instead."

Shoe made a sound that was probably something close to a laugh. Bennie petted her ear. Alfonso crossed his arms.

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Character Portrait: Life Character Portrait: Ludovica
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Beside Alfonso, Bennie laughed, digging her heel into the dirt. Alfonso resisted the growing urge to take the heel and stab her with it. She opened her mouth as if to respond to Life, but a new voice cut her off.

"Lying about what?" Alfonso recognized the voice, but before he even had time to go greet it, Shoe had left his side and raced to the newcomer, letting out a call. "Oh, and hello."

Alfonso glanced over his shoulder and swiftly recognized Ludovica. Shoe had already run to her mother's side, and now paced around her excitedly, whining. The charming smile returned to Alfonso's lips, and he went to greet his daughter. Behind him, he heard Bennie continuing the conversation with Life.

"Lying? Hardly. Why would I lie to you, sugar?" There was a pause. "Oh yeah, and it's nice to see you're back, Ludo. Come to finally chop off your dad's busy dick for a trophy?"

"My daughter has class, unlike you," Alfonso shot back. Truly, there were no words to describe how annoyed he always was with Bennie--it was as if his sister existed to make him furious. "Ludo, sweetheart. It's good to see you again. Were you lonely up in your realm, sweetie?"

Shoe grabbed Ludovica's skirt in her jaw and tugged, releasing a single bark.

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Character Portrait: Life Character Portrait: Ludovica
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Bennie caught the map that was tossed to her, immediately hiding it down her cleavage. She took a smoke from her pipe, observing the others. There would be time for her to find Life after she was certain the pheromones had done their job.

She approached Alfonso first, placing her hands on his shoulders. He hissed at her.

"D*mn you...Bennie," he whispered. Bennie blew a puff of smoke right in his face. He coughed. "I know exactly what you're doing, you vixen."

"Isn't that precious?" He hadn't tried to push her away yet, which meant the pheromones had already taken hold. It figured; Bennie had a feeling her brother was more susceptible to these sorts of things. Humming, she scratched under his chin and left him, kneeling in front of Shoe and Ludovica. "And how are you ladies doing? Lonely? In need of some lovin'?"

"Get away from my daughters," Alfonso ordered. Bennie laughed.

"Please. I wonder how many times little Ludo here said something similar to you?" At this, Bennie reached out to touch Ludovica's leg. "I'll accept being a vixen when you accept being a playboy."

Shoe howled. Bennie slid her pipe back behind her ear and petted the wolf. If everything went well, she would meet Life soon, but...there was no harm in staying to play around a bit before she left, was there?

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Character Portrait: Life Character Portrait: Ludovica
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Gotcha.

Bennie always loved seeing her power take hold, especially on a pretty girl like Ludovica. There was something immensely satisfying about knowing she'd won out over any sheer willpower or aversions.

She heard Alfonso groan behind her, and glanced at him to find her brother crouched to the ground, rubbing his head. Bennie smirked; it was amusing to see Alfonso so thoroughly defeated.

"I'll take that as a compliment," she said, addressing Ludovica. "Neutral or not, I made a promise. And Auntie Bennie doesn't like to break her promises. That said, I promise I'll show you a good time if you want it."

Her hands moved with her legs as she stood, resting her fingers on Ludovica's hips. Alfonso and Shoe both growled at her. To soothe the wolf, Bennie removed one hand to pet her.

"Let her go," Alfonso demanded.

"And let you have all the fun? What, are you jealous? I can get to you later, bro, but I really prefer girls."

"F-f*ck you." The way Alfonso's voice trembled brought immense satisfaction to Bennie.

"Well, if you insist," she cooed. "But like I said, I'm not gonna like it. I really prefer your daughter."

So long as Life was safe...this sort of thing was fine for now, right?

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Character Portrait: Life Character Portrait: Ludovica
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"Well."

The best part of working with Bennie's powers was when her little victims tried not to let her see that it was working.

"You're not wrong, sugarplum."

Vixen and playboy. That was what defined them, wasn't it? To think both entities had come from a crazy lunatic and a death goddess. They were siblings, alright.

Bennie pulled the map out of her cleavage and checked it. The distance to the nearest town wasn't too far; she could probably make it within a day if she ran. So there was really no need to rush, really.

"I'll admit I'm at least a bit more particular than this stick in the mud. At least I don't prey on weak children." Bennie returned to the tree and sat down beneath it, crossing her ankles. Shoe padded over and lay down beside her, resting her fluffy muzzle on Bennie's thigh. "I have a bit of time, if you want me."

Alfonso spat on the ground, mumbling to himself. Bennie couldn't remember the last time she'd seen her brother so flustered.

Life had plenty of time, and so did Bennie.

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Taking a walk on earth always filled Malin with a sense of calm. He cared deeply for this planet; its beautiful trees, its beautiful animals, its beautiful people. Humans and their souls, full of wonder, full of life--that was what he loved the most.

Of course, his stupid parents didn't get that. "You'll grow out of it," they said. "He's just in a phase," they said. "One day you'll realize how ridiculous this is," they said.

Pathetic. Was Malin really in the wrong for so enjoying a planet that had been brought into being by who he considered the most brilliant entity to ever live?

The sound of someone panting caught his ear. Curious (and a bit worried), Malin moved to observe the noise.

A human leaned against a tree. Long, black hair fell straight by her sides, and her pale face, delicate and young, flushed with sweat. Malin moved towards her, admittedly worried about the poor little thing.

His foot crunched a pine cone.

"Wh-who's there?" the girl gasped. Malin retreated behind a tree, nervous. It'd been so long since he'd run into a human and chatted with one; would she even like him? "I-I swear, if it's another one, I'm going to be so done..."

"Another one"? That caught Malin's ear. He emerged from behind his tree, sticking his hands in his pockets, and observed the girl. Her soul didn't feel particularly remarkable, and yet, at the same time, he got a sense that something about her was different.

Another one. Another entity?

His parents.

"Is my stupid mom sending a wolf after you?" was his opening line.

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Character Portrait: Life Character Portrait: Ludovica
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Bennie laughed, carefree. Alfonso brought himself to her other side, and Bennie slipped her arms around both him and Ludovica. Moments like these made her wonder why she didn't use her powers on other entities more often.

And then she remembered.

The helpless feeling, not being able to act on your own whims, not being able to operate according to your own desires, not having a choice...that was something very entity despised. They were creations who existed to control. And to not be in control, well...Bennie had felt that once. She had felt it when Xenos sealed Life away, and she could do nothing to stop it.

Her powers stopped. Her skin ceased the production of the pheromones that had drawn her brother and niece to her, and immediately, Shoe's ears pricked and the wolf went to stand behind Ludovica.

"I am not like him," Bennie stated, the low rumble of her voice surprising even her. "Wanna know why? 'Cause I know how to stop. I have somewhere to be, babes. Catch you back in the realms?"

A lack of control. Every entity's worst fear, and one Bennie couldn't bring herself to capitalize on. Humans were one thing, but to selfishly manipulate others like her crossed a line she had drawn.

It was the line that kept her from being just like her brother.

"You're weak, Bennie."

Speaking of the monster.

"I should have known you couldn't go through with it. Where did you send Life?"

"Not telling, nerd." Bennie winked at them over her shoulder. "If you'll excuse me, I have a trail of bread crumbs to follow."

She pulled the map out once more, trying to figure out how to follow it properly. Alfonso's hand gripping her arm caught her off-guard.

"You're not getting away that easy, dearie. If we can't have her, neither can you."

Sh*t. Maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to reactivate her powers after all.

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Malin was, admittedly, unsure how to answer. This poor little girl spoke like she knew about the entities, but how could that be possible? If she'd met one, she'd probably be dead by now. She was small, cute, frail, and--

"In Life's name. My stupid dad is after you, isn't he?" Malin crossed his arms, then uncrossed them and stuck the eraser end of a pencil in his mouth. He chewed on it. "Or my stupid aunt is after you. Or maybe my stupid grandfather is trying to seal you in a clock for fun. My family is stupid."

That wouldn't do. This human needed help, clearly, and Malin intended to help her. Even if his stupid family would hate him for it. Maybe he could stick around her and escort her to the next town, or just hang around her and make sure his stupid family didn't find her, or maybe he would straight-up become her new bodyguard. If he could save even one human, it'd be worth it.

But first, he had to earn her trust.

"I'll be blunt. I'm Malin, I'm the entity in charge of death by murder, and I want to help you get away from my stupid family because they're all stupid and they don't understand how great humanity is, because they're stupid."

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Character Portrait: Life Character Portrait: Ludovica Character Portrait: Kayin
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I am a good wolf.

Shoe howled, sniffed the air briefly, and set off after Life.

I am a good daughter. I will help you tear her to pieces, Mommy.

Oh, how nice it was to get some time alone with her mother. Shoe had missed her.

She was picking up so many scents from different entities--how many of them were there now?--but Life's scent was distinct. Life's scent had something special about it, something unique. Something so eager to be snuffed out.

As Shoe continued tracking that scent, she noticed something. She could smell another entity with it.

She stopped walking for a moment and began pacing, sniffing the ground, the trees, the air, everything. She whimpered once, as if to alert Ludovica that her nose was picking up something unusual.

There are two. I'll rip them both up for you, Mommy. I am a good girl.

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Something about her breath near his ear made Malin shudder. He chose to believe it wasn't because Life herself was the one breathing on him.

"It's completely ridiculous," he admitted. "I can give you the whole crazy laydown if you want it. It's so stupid, everyone got crazy busy not long after--it wasn't long after you were sealed. Should I not talk about that? S-sorry."

Curse his awkwardness. Malin debated asking Xenos to seal him in a jar and break the jar.

"My dad is my father and my grandpa at the same time. He also did it with his mom and his grandma. He's so stupid. Family is supposed to be sacred, not some thing you make with whoever the h*ll you want. That's why creation is so beautiful, because humans actually value family and it's not just some stupid game to them--humans care, they don't yell at you for being in a 'phase' when it's obviously not just a 'phase', it's something I believe in, so shut up, Mom!"

Malin was very aware he'd started rambling. He cleared his throat.

"...Or whatever."

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"You requested company?"

The voice came from behind Bennie. She turned around, prepared to stop whoever it was from stopping her.

She found her son.

Or at least, she thought it was her son. He looked vaguely familiar, and she was sure she'd felt this kind of soul before. She was sure it was him. This was...

"Kevin," Bennie declared, confident.

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Character Portrait: Life Character Portrait: Ludovica Character Portrait: Kayin Character Portrait: Niven
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Shoe nodded her head vigorously, digging at the dirt. She drew two scratch marks, then looked up at Ludovica expectantly.

Two. I smell two entities. She's with someone. Am I a good girl, Mommy?

She trotted in place, eager to continue the fight and yet nervous of who she would find. Had Xenos come down from the realm? Was Niven around? It was hard to tell.

Still, whoever it was, Shoe was sure. They were dead meat.

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Malin let out a dry laugh. "That must have sucked. Geez, you have no idea how long I've been looking for you--n-not because I wanted your soul or whatever, I just wanted to meet you. I know how it feels to live for centuries believing no one understands you. No one understands me either."

It would have been entirely true if not for the girl riding on his back. Nervous, Malin added, "Except you, of course. 'Cause you made this planet and stuff. W-whatever, you know what I mean. The flowers, and the animals, and the people. ...And all those things are dying without you. Because you're stuck here. Gosh, the others are so stupid. I can't believe they want to keep you here. I don't blame you for being cautious, you've got a lot of enemies."

The anger he felt towards the rest of his family had pushed him into a full-on sprint, but he didn't even seem to notice. He did notice his hands gripping Life's legs more firmly, but he decided not to focus on that.

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Kayin. That was right. Bennie had forgotten his name, but that wasn't really her fault--she had a lot on her mind.

"I'm looking for your...um, father?" Bennie shrugged. "Life. She's in a girl's body now, a really cute one. Have you seen a tiny Asian cutie around here?"

It was a long shot, but maybe Kayin had seen something.

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Alfonso stepped into a familiar realm on his way to Death's throne.

Inside, three familiar faces sat. Alfonso recognized his father Xenos first; the blond entity sat with the same wide grin on his face he always had.

Beside him were Alfonso's other son, and Ludovica's other daughter. Alfonso dipped his head to them.

A passing soul was randomly sealed into a ring by Xenos, who slipped the ring onto one finger. Alfonso shuddered; the way Xenos could just casually seal up a human soul without a hint of hesitation--even within another entity's realm--always terrified him.

"What's going on here?" he asked.

"Family meeting," Ludovica's daughter muttered, plucking the petals off of a daisy. "I'm sick of this already, can I go back yet?"

"Stay and enjoy the company, little Alfie," Xenos hissed, laughing as he turned the ring over in his hands. "It's been aaaaaages since I saw ya!"

That was intentional. Alfonso avoided saying it out loud. Instead, he asked, "Is Death in her room?"

"Death, Life, Maria. Death, Life, Maria." Xenos repeated the mantra, tossing his ring up into the air and catching it. Alfonso avoided eye (bang?) contact.

"I don't even care," Ludovica's daughter sighed.

Niven was Alfonso's last hope. He looked over at his son, internally begging for a real answer.

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Character Portrait: Malin Character Portrait: Life Character Portrait: Bennie Character Portrait: Kayin Character Portrait: Ingris Character Portrait: Alfonso Character Portrait: Niven
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Kayin...sighed miserably, hanging his head. "I don't even know why I hope. It's clear you are not sincere, mother. Those words are like a dagger to my heart!"

"At least I'll always remember your name, Kayin," Life offered warmly, as she headed over to the door. She reached into her bag and pulled out a compass, glancing down at it briefly. "Come on, let's go. The longer we wait around here, the higher the chance we have of getting caught. We are in Quagmire, correct? The temple should be south of here..."

Kayin smiled gratefully at Life, following her to the door. "Yes, that's true. I love you, other mother! You're so much better than my other mother!"

Life chuckled to herself. "Likewise."




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Niven stiffened, for once some genuine fear in his dark green eyes. He swallowed, pace slowing slightly.

"That's just like you, you know?" Niven mumbled as he walked, kicking a nearby stone. That slight headache from before turned from a slight annoyance to a throbbing pain in his head. He fought off a shudder, actively thinking about his next words in an attempt to keep his mind focused. "To hide behind Mom. It's pathetic. Maybe for once, you should fight your own battles."

Either way, I still have to listen to him right now, Niven lamented, sickness pooling in his stomach. How unbearable...